Saturday, February 27, 2016

Spring Sunday Dinner | Lemon Chicken

I am really looking forward to spring.  Our weather has been so strange this winter.  We have has spurts of snow, some really cold temps, warm days of around 50 degrees and sun, rain and even a thunderstorm!  It has been so strange.  Just a few days ago it was raining and slightly warm.  The air smelled clean and springy.  It was very refreshing and made me realize how much I an looking forward to the next season, spring.

As I think most people do, I base my menus around the seasons.  In fall and winter, I like to prepare meals that are comfort foods. Usually something like chili, pastas or pot roasts.  In the spring and summer, I like to prepare meals that can be grilled outside or include elements like fresh lemon, garlic and herbs because they make the meal light and give it loads of flavor.

We can't grill outside just yet, so this chicken recipe is perfect for the oven.  I served this dish with a nice side of mashed potatoes and crusty french bread to soak up all the delicious juices.

roasted chicken
with lemon, garlic & thyme
4 chicken breasts (I used bone in)
1/4 cup of olive oil
1-2 lemons, juiced
1/4 cup of white wine
6 cloves of garlic, smashed
10 sprigs of thyme
1 tablespoon of sea salt
1/2 tablespoon of cracked pepper

Place chicken breasts in a baking dish.  Combine olive oil, lemon juice, white wine and garlic. Pour mixture over the chicken and put divide thyme evenly over the top of the chicken.  Sprinkle salt and pepper over the chicken breasts.  Cover and marinate for at least 30 minutes.  You can do it longer if you plan ahead.

Cover the chicken with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes, or until the chicken is no longer pink.  When it is finished cooking, remove the chicken from the oven and let sit for 8-10 minutes before serving.

This will give you time to prepare the mash potatoes!

All the ingredients together and ready to combine into a delicious meal.

I like to leave the garlic cloves whole and smash them with the blade of the knife.  They give off great flavor in the lemon and white white mixture.

All in the pan and ready to bake.  Doesn't it look divine?

Ready to serve on a pretty platter.  The skin is golden brown and the lemons are cooked.  Make sure to save the juice to pour over the chicken on your plate.  Make sure to have some crusty bread to soak up the juices, too.  As a side note, this make a great leftover chicken salad sandwich for lunch!

Friday, February 26, 2016

Homemade Vanilla Bean Sugar

I love coffee...I drink it in the morning, fresh from the coffee pot.  I love ordering it when we go out for breakfast.  It love to have it next to me when I am working at the computer.  It just seems to make everything cozy and for me, it adds a comforting element. 

I have discovered an even more wonderful way to enjoy my cup of coffee.  I have been adding homemade Vanilla Bean Sugar.  It adds a divine, sweet flavor that makes the coffee even more delightful and comforting. 

It is very easy to make and I do it without even measuring.  I just eyeball the ingredients and mix everything together in my mini food processor. 

I use about a teaspoon full in my coffee.  So delicious!

Here are the ingredients...just sugar and vanilla bean paste.  I just pour both into my mini food processor and whirl it all together.  You can use as much bean paste as you would like...I like a decent amount.

Mixed together and ready to use in coffee or even in baking!  This make a great gift as well.  You could put it in a clear glass container with a label and give it to friends and family at Easter brunch.  Make sure that you have a sugar dish full of Vanilla Bean Sugar at your next gathering. 
It will make your coffee that much better!