Friday, April 5, 2013

Mt. Hope = Crazy!

Today was Day 2 of the Mt. Hope Spring Exotic Sale.   I have to say I am always amazed/surprised at how much money a person will pay for that one must have chicken.

I watched Tolbunt Polish, a reverse trio, sell for $65 a head. Which, if you know what a Tolbunt Polish is and what they normally go for, that was pretty cheap.

A Dark Brahma rooster, on the other hand, sold for $350.

We saw an Old English Game Hen with 10 chicks sell for $75.  Then a white flemish rabbit with 7 babies sold for $70.  I'm seriously beginning to think I am in the wrong business!!

Spotted skunks, $250.00,  wallabies for $2500, and 2 baby emus brought $300 each!

I  bought a $10 rabbit for $10.  Thank goodness there aren't any crazies buying mutt rabbits for $50 each right now.  (Probably just before Easter they did, though.)

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Day 2 Pinterest Recipe: Italian Chicken

I found the pin of Italian Chicken on Pinterest, but then I had to do
some work to find the original recipe, as the pin I had linked to meat dishes from Pinterest, and not the original recipe.   ;)  Since finding the blog of the creator of this dish, I've found even MORE recipes to try!   They've been tucked away for future use.  Best of all, this gal shares a love for tomatoes, as do I, and so far uses mozzarella quite a bit.

Let me tell you. I could eat tomatoes and mozzarella every. day.  Seriously.  I love these two foods more than....well, more than *gasp* chocolate.

Olive oil, five fresh roma tomatoes, fresh basil, 2 cloves of garlic, artichoke hearts, 2 cups mozzarella, S & P.
Prep time on this, I would say 30 minutes for the chicken dish.  Since I substituted spaghetti squash for pasta noodles,  cook time has been considerably longer.  Chicken dish cooked for 40 minutes, 45 minutes for the spaghetti squash, and I broiled asparagus for 15 minutes.  If I had a double oven, I could have had the squash baking at the same time as my Italian chicken, but alas, I only have one oven (for now...).

I used five fairly large boneless skinless chicken breast. Since they were so large, I cut each one in half to make 10 pieces of chicken. Essentially, 10 servings (and half a chicken breast per person was more than enough!)

Generously seasoned with salt and pepper. 
Mixed together artichoke hearts, tomatoes, and sliced garlic cloves. Love the colors!

Drizzle of olive oil

Spread it around the chicken, put in oven for 30 minutes at 350.
 I baked the chicken for about 30 minutes at 350.  The tops of the chicken was just starting to dry out.  I used 2 cups of mozzarella, and completely covered the entire top of the chicken and veggie mix with it.   Broiled for 5 minutes, checked it, wasn't golden brown so I set the timer in 2 minute intervals until desired brown of cheese was achieved.

I have to say, even before tasting this dish, it LOOKS beautiful.

Just out of the oven.
I made 3 changes to the original recipe. I omitted the sugar, and I used 2 tablespoons of corn starch instead of flour, and I added a teaspoon of flax seed to my veggie mix before I spooned it into the pan of chicken.

This was the first time I've ever used artichoke hearts in anything.  Some of them were fairly large, so I sliced a few in half. I was mildly disgusted, as they felt squishy much the way a slug or snail does. But they taste oh my word!  Yep, must find more uses for artichoke hearts.

This was also my first time cooking a spaghetti squash. We will not discuss the level of difficulty I had slaying slicing that squash in half in order to bake it.  Slayed Sliced, I scraped out the guts, which made a grand treat for my chickens, and laid each half cut side down on a foil lined cookie sheet.  I baked these at 375 for 45 minutes, or until the flesh scraped out like it's supposed to.

How cool that it looks like spaghetti noodles?

Broiled Asparagus was the choice of side tonight.  This is probably the easiest thing ever to make.  Line cookie sheet with foil, spread fresh asparagus on foil, drizzle with olive oil and season with sea salt. Put under broiler for 15 minutes. :) Voila, and it's the only way my husband will eat asparagus.

I love the way everything came together, and it was absolutely delicious!  The whole family, even the kids, loved it!  Not a single crumb was left on any plates!   This gets 2 thumbs up for sure!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

30 Days of Pinterest Recipes: Recipe 1 Mozzarella Baked Tomatoes

A dear friend of mine posted a challenge on facebook the other day, and I duly accepted!  30 Days of Pinterest Recipes!    I added a twist to my challenge, asking friends and family to send me low carb pinterest recipes.

I chose a simple recipe for my first one. For the original Mozzarella Baked Tomatoes recipe, click here. Tomorrow, I'm tackling something a little more difficult.  I guess you could say I was happy to accept the challenge, because it's "training" for me before I attempt cooking my way through Julia Child's Art of French Cooking (and yes, this is something I want to do!)

The original recipe called for 2 medium tomatoes, but I only used one, mainly since I'm the only one who would be eating them.

Then I made a small mistake, but if anything it enhanced the flavor.

These were wonderful. Will definitely make these again, and my mind is already filled with ideas to add a little jazz to them (like bigger tomatoes...forget medium sized tomatoes...go large).

note: I made my mistake in using fresh basil instead of fresh oregano.  This was remedied by picking the basil off halfway through bake time (5 minutes in) and sprinkling the tomatoes with oregano.  The basil didn't hurt the flavor at all, if anything it enhanced it!