Thursday, February 4, 2016


What's everyone doing for Superbowl?  I know a lot of people watch that game and/or go to parties even if they normally don't watch football.  I do watch football and though our NY Giants failed miserably this year, we are still looking forward to the game.  Mr. Helen lived in Colorado for a few years when he was in the Air Force so he considers the Broncos a back-up team.  I'm rooting for the Carolina Panthers, mostly because I love everything about North Carolina and also Cam Newton is fun to watch!

It will be a busy day for me because without realizing it was Superbowl when I set it up, I invited two of my younger friends to come for brunch mostly because I want to get some baby time lol!  So I've been working on my menu for that, which will include a sweet, savory, fresh, pastry, and drink. Though I'm not using her recipes, I got that idea from Smitten Kitchen's brunch builder.  Right now I'm planning a lemon blueberry baked french toast, a mushroom and cheese frittata, a salad with mandarin oranges and toasted walnuts, either scones or biscuits, and of course, mimosas, coffee and tea.  Most of the recipes (except the salad) are new ones to me so if any of them turn out well, I'll share them here at a later date.

Once I'm done with brunch I'll be on to Superbowl dishes.  Mr. Helen requested wings but this year I'm going to make a couple types of wings instead of just buffalo.  I'm also making a tater tot casserole just because it sounds fun, some crudites and dip, cheese and crackers, etc.  I'm actually going to try my hand at making Pimento Cheese.  I love Pimento Cheese but have always bought it.

I imagine I'll be busy Saturday prepping and making as many things as I can a day ahead of time but I honestly love doing this type of thing, as long as I have the time to pull it off the way I want to.


I haven't mentioned it here but I am no longer working my second job.  Not by my choice but by a corporate decision.  My last day was January 10th - a Sunday.  On Monday, my phone rang and it was my boss, whom I hadn't spoken too since before the New Year so I wished him a happy new year then asked what I could do for him.  He just flat out stated, "As of today, I don't have a job and neither do you."  Long story short, Simon Corporation who owns the local mall decided to remove the Guest Services booth from 61 malls and ours was one of them.  They didn't give any notice because we handled money.  So, just like that I didn't have a second job.  It was shocking and a bit frustrating at the same time as I'd made up my mind I was going to keep the job for a while.  In any case, due to all my "new" free time, I no longer have to batch cook for the entire week on the weekends.  It has been nice to be able to have a bit more variety in our diet for sure.  Last night as I was making this recipe it occurred to me that it is one of our favorites, easy to make on a weekday after work and I've never shared it here.   This literally takes about 35-40 minutes to make and tastes gourmet!

Mushroom Asiago Chicken

1 pound of thin sliced chicken cutlets (or cut regular chicken breasts in half/thirds yourself)
1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. seasoned salt
4 Tablespoons butter, divided
1 pound mushrooms, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream

Heat 2 T butter in a large non-stick skillet.  While the butter is melting, mix the flour, salt and pepper together and dredge each piece in this mixture.  Add to melted butter and let brown until golden - about 5 minutes on first side, then flip and cook for only about a minute on the second side.  Put finished chicken on a plate and cover with aluminum foil.

Melt 2 T of butter in same skillet over medium high heat and add the mushrooms.  Saute, stirring occasionally, until they are a bit browned and cooked down.  Add garlic and thyme and saute an additional 2 minutes.  

Pour 1 1/2 cups chicken broth over the mushrooms and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat so that it's at a fast simmer and cook until about half the liquid is evaporated.  Add heavy cream, stir, then nestle the chicken back down into the liquid.  Slowly simmer for about 15 minutes to finish cooking the chicken and meld the flavors.

Serve with pasta or mashed potato and a green vegetable.