Winter Views I

Yesterday was bitterly cold here in Connecticut! In fact, it was the first time since 2019 that we had a wind chill advisory!

Despite the chilly temperatures, my yard looked pretty thanks to the dusting of snow Thursday morning. More snow is possibly on the way! I have a love/hate relationship with winter and winter weather. One day, I’ll explain more about it. But for now, here’s a picture of my snow-dusted back yard.

It isn’t a lot of snow by any means! But, when the sun hits it just right, it still looks beautiful, in my opinion. (Shot on my iPhone 12 Mini)

Friday Cooking January 29, 2021

So I know earlier in the week I posted how on Friday I was planning to switch things up a bit and make something out of the Gourmet Today cookbook. However, sometimes plans change and the weather in southern New England today calls for a hearty soup. So, I’m back to making an Ina recipe. I’ll be making Winter Minestrone & Garlic Bruschetta out of Foolproof. I can’t wait to try this recipe since I am a big fan of minestrone soups in general. They’re so hearty. Especially in the winter.

Ok, I’m Obsessed With Discovery+

Have you heard of it? No! Well then…

Discovery+ is a streaming platform that has past and current television shows and specials from a variety of Discovery-owned networks. These include the Food Network, HGTV, Animal Planet, and more! It also has a preview of what will be available on Chip and Joanna Gaines’ Magnolia Network, which will be launching soon!

Photo by Nothing Ahead on

One of the reasons I love Discovery+ is its large library of content. I have really only poked around the Food Network options (are we surprised by that?), but there is so much there alone. Lately I’ve been watching the original Barefoot Contessa episodes. This was before the Back to Basics sub heading was added. These episodes are from the early 2000s (2003 and on). They also have a much different artistic style than the later Barefoot Contessa episodes.

I have also been watching old classics from my younger days. Sandra Lee’s and 30 Minute Meals starring Rachel Ray. There is also the entire back library of Pioneer Woman and the streaming even includes some episodes from the latest season of the show!

But there is so much besides Food Network content. Like Animal Planet’s The Zoo and Mega Zoo. Also you can find episodes of Dr. Pimple Popper if you’re into that sort of thing.

If you haven’t tried it yet, I highly recommend getting it. You won’t be sorry!

P.S. This is NOT a sponsored post, I just really LOVE this platform!

Changing it Up a Little

Hey everyone!

This week, I am thinking of breaking out of the Ina-shell once again. It’s been a few weeks since I’ve made a recipe that wasn’t out of one of Ina Garten’s books. If you follow me on Instagram, I teased that I may be cooking something out of the Gourmet Today cookbook. I still have not decided what that will be. But, I’m busy thumbing through the pages, looking for something enticing.

I will surely let you know what recipe I am making Friday morning whether I chose to make one out of Gourmet Today or another cookbook entirely. In addition to my usual Friday-night dinner cooking plans. I will also be making a chocolate cake for a family member’s birthday. However, I will not be making an Ina Garten chocolate cake. She has quiet a few recipes for chocolate cakes. They vary in shape and size, but I just want something a little different.

The cake and frosting recipe I make for the birthday celebration will be out of The Magnolia Bakery Handbook. This is a dedicated baking book and for the price, you get A LOT of recipes and information. If you buy one baking book, I think it should be this one! The recipes are easy to follow and the results are well-worth it.

I’m so excited to share with you photos of the chocolate cake this weekend and whatever recipe or recipes I decide to make for Friday’s dinner.

In other news, I may start doing more than one post a day every now and then. I’ve always wanted this blog to evolve a bit over time. I may have some general life related posts or just little “updates” about things that I am doing that day or that week.

Until the recipes are made….

P.S. The photo at the top of this page is not something I’ve made. (But boy, do I WISH I had the recipe!) I just liked it and felt it went with the theme of this post a little bit.

Recipe #29 Roasted Broccoli with Panko Gremolata

This recipe can be found in Cook Like a Pro, page 164.

Last Friday I made dinner for the family. The main course consisted of Lemon Chicken Breasts. The vegetable was a beautiful and simple broccoli dish that I think will be a common recipe in my household from now on.

Roasted Broccoli with Panko Gremolata adds a bit of flair to what may otherwise be a boring broccoli dish. The toasted panko crumbs with the lemon and garlic flavor really shines and adds a much needed taste-boost to the broccoli.

Often times, Ina comments on how after she discovered roasting vegetables and the flavor it brings out, she fell in love with preparing them that way. I have to say that I agree. There have been a few recipes on this blog that have the vegetables roasted and I am always impressed with the results.

I will admit that I should have let the gremolata mixture “toast” for a few more minutes prior to serving, but the chicken was already done baking, and people were hungry. Myself included! You live and learn, right?

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, this photo included both recipes. I wasn’t able to get a separate picture. I was too busy serving…and eating!

Recipe #28 Lemon Chicken Breasts

This recipe can be found in Barefoot Contessa How Easy Is That? on page 120.

Last Friday, I took over the dinner duty, as usual. This week I made a lovely chicken dish and a side of vegetables to go along with it.

The main course was Lemon Chicken Breasts. While the recipe calls for boneless chicken breasts with the skin on, I wasn’t able to find that. So I just used the more-common boneless, skinless chicken breasts. The breasts did not develop a beautiful golden-brown color on top like the recipe photograph shows, but they were still tasty nonetheless.

The recipe is heavy on the lemon. Lemon juice and zest is used in the sauce that the breasts bake in, but I don’t feel the use of lemon was overpowering. It adds a wonderful, fresh, citrusy flavor the dish. This was perfect for a cold winter’s night since I often find myself longing for the warmer days of summer.

This dish is easy enough to make for a weeknight since it can be completed in around 40 minutes from start to finish. Although, I do feel that letting the chicken rest after taking it out of the oven is essential to prevent the meat from being too dry. But that aside, this is a fast and easy weeknight dinner, which is unusual for Ina. Long time readers of this blog will recall that I have found some of her recipes time-consuming.

The vegetable dish I served with this will be reviewed tomorrow.

Stay tuned!

You can see from the photo above that the vegetable dish was a broccoli one. I wasn’t able to take a separate photograph.

Shopping List for Friday January 22 2021

Well Friday is here again! And what a week it was, for sure.

I took on the task of making dinner tonight and I decided to share my shopping list for the two dishes I’ll be making this evening. One is a main dish and the other is a vegetable dish. I will not be making a side dish or a dessert this week.

At the request of my father, I took the time to try to find a “healthier recipe.” This was somewhat challenging. Most of Ina’s recipes, while delicious, are quite rich. Or, if not rich with ingredients, many recipes such as beef or pork meals are just not as heart-friendly. But, I eventually stumbled upon a great, light, and flavorful chicken recipe that I can’t wait to try!

My Shopping List

  • White wine
  • 5 lemons (wow, can we see a theme here??)
  • fresh thyme
  • 4 boneless chicken breasts (with skin, if able)
  • 2 large bunches of fresh broccoli
  • panko
  • pine nuts

Of course, this list does not include any ingredients that I know I already have in the pantry.

I’m getting hungry just looking at the recipes. I can’t wait for dinner time!