Keeping it chic and Carefree! Two superbly simple appetizers that look gorgeous and are delicious!
Take the burrata out of the refrigerator at least an hour before you plan to serve it! It is so much creamier and delicious when it is at room temperature.
With melons coming into season now we love burrata with melon, prosciutto and a balsamic drizzle! We season the burrata with salt and pepper, drizzle the balsamic on the buratta and the melon, leaving the prosciutto to just be fabulous with a hint of it when you taste it all together.
We of course also love buratta with tomatoes, basil, extra virgin olive oil, balsamic drizzle. Drizzle the olive oil and balsamic over the whole plate and also season the whole plate with salt and pepper to taste.
Serve both with sliced crusty Italian bread and olives.
Cap’N Crunch & Corn Flakes mixed together sounds odd but tastes great!
Ingredients for the dipping sauce
Delicious alone or with the dipping sauce
Where it all began…the first taste of the amazing chicken finger!
I discovered these in Cancun on Spring Break. My friend Dawn and I stayed across the street from a Planet Hollywood and had dinner there the first night. The waitress said we should try these and we were hooked. They are DELICIOUS! I hope you enjoy them! The recipe below is not exact to what they serve, I am sure they fry them, these are baked, and I am sure they use a lot of other ingredients but these are still tasty.
Recipe for the chicken fingers…serves 2-4 (pan fry then bake)
- Chicken Cutlet tenders (1 packet is good for 2-4 people)
- 2 cups Cap’N Crunch
- 1.5 cups Corn Flakes
- 1 cup milk
- 1-2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- dash of pepper
Heat oven to 325 degrees…
Mix together the Captain Crunch and the Corn Flakes in a mixer until crushed (like bread crumbs) add in the onion powder, garlic powder and pepper-put all this in 1 dish. Combine the egg and milk and put in another dish. Dip the chicken in the egg/milk mixture then coat in the cereal mixture.
Heat olive oil in a fry pan (just enough to coat the pan and make the chicken a bit brown on the outside) place chicken in pan and heat on each side for roughly 1 minute until the coating is a bit brown. Then transfer to a baking dish and bake for 15-20 minutes or until done.
Dipping Sauce: mix the below together and use as a dip…I played around with the ingredients, the below is not too strong or too mayonnaise tasting. I suggest tasting it as you go along and find what you like best.
These would also be good in a ranch or honey mustard dip or with no sauce
- 6 Tablespoons Dijon Mustard
- 9 Tablespoons Mayonnaise
- 3 Teaspoon creamy style horseradish
- 3 Teaspoon honey
- 3 Teaspoon Yellow Mustard
- I like to add a dash of hot sauce
Butternut Squash Soup
Roasted Butternut Squash with Cranberries & Walnuts
Roasted Butternut Squash with Brown Sugar
Butternut Squash is healthy and delicious!
Our favorite is roasted or puréed into a soup. Here are a few recipes for you to try this fall.
Enjoy and keep it chic and carefree!
ROASTED BUTTERNUT SQUASH WITH CRANBERRIES AND WALNUTS (serves 4-6)
- Pre heat the oven to 375
- Butternut Squash (about 2 pounds)
- Walnuts (1/2 cup chopped)
- Dried Cranberries (1/2 cup)
- 2 Tbsp Maple Syrup
- 1 Tbsp Butter
- Olive Oil, Salt & Pepper
Peel, seed and cube the butternut squash. Place on baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Toss to coat all the pieces and roast for about 30 minutes until the squash is fork tender. Bigger pieces may take longer.
In a sauté pan melt 1 Tbsp butter and add 1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts and cook for two minutes. Remove from heat and toss in 1/2 cup dried cranberries and 2 Tbsp maple syrup.
Toss all all ingredients in a large bowl together…enjoy
ROASTED BUTTERNUT SQUASH WITH THYME AND BROWN SUGAR (serves 4-6)
- Preheat Oven to 375.
- Butternut Squash (one large one cut into strips…you could also used cubed squash if easier to work with)
- 1/2 cup Brown Sugar
- 8 Thyme Sprigs
- Olive Oil, Salt & Pepper
Slice butternut squash down the center and seed. Place in a baking dish. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Take the thyme sprigs and remove the leaves onto the squash, leave some whole sprigs because it looks so pretty. Sprinkle brown sugar over the squash and roast for about 45 minutes or until squash is fork tender.
ROASTED BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP (serves 4-6)
- 4 cups Butternut Squash cubed
- 1 cup diced Onion
- 3/4 Cups diced carrots
- 1/2 cup diced celery
- 4 cups chicken stock (can use vegetarian stock if you are vegetarian…some flavor will be lost)
- Parsley for garnish
- optional marscarpone cheese
In a large soup pot heat 1 Tbsp olive oil. Add diced butternut squash, carrots, celery & onion. Toss to coat in the oil and cook until onions start to turn clear. Season with salt and pepper. Add 4 cups chicken stock and on a medium low heat, cook down until all the vegetables are tender enough to purée about 45 minutes. With an emulsion blender puree the soup. If you like a thicker soup use less stock. Serve with a garnish of parsley and/or serve with a dollop of marscapone cheese if you want something creamy.
Basil Pesto…Delicious on almost everything!
Strawberry & Basil Margarita
Tomato & Basil Chicken
Basil & Tomato Chicken…serves 4-6, prep time 15 minutes, cook time 15 minutes
- 1 1/2 lbs skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 6 fillets
- 1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 lb cherry tomatoes, halved
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 tbsp dried oregano…Salt and pepper to taste
- Grease a medium sized non-stick skillet with cooking spray or olive oil and set over medium high heat
- Season both sides of chicken with salt, pepper & oregano and cook about 3-4 minutes on each side, or until chicken is almost entirely cooked through
- Turn the heat down to medium & add the tomatoes and garlic. Cook for about 4-5 minutes
- Add basil & butter, and stir until combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste
- Turn heat to low and let sit for about 5 more minutes
Basil Hummus Prep time: 15 minutes ,Cook time: 5 minutes, Makes about 3 cups
- 2 cups sweet basil leaves, packed
- 3 cloves garlic, smashed then minced
- 2 15-ounce cans chickpeas rinsed and drained
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- Up to 1/4 cup water
- 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon tomato paste
- 1/4 cup pine nuts optional
- Place the basil and the garlic in a food processor. Pulse until finely chopped.
- Add the garbanzo beans, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, tomato paste, and pulse until the hummus is smooth
- If using pine nuts heat in a pan with olive oil until brown & mix into hummus save a few for the topping
- Add more salt or lemon juice to taste. Add water to the point of desired consistency.
- To serve, place in a bowl and drizzle a little olive oil over it.
- Serve with pita wedges, crackers, or rustic bread.
Strawberry Basil Margarita… makes 1 pitcher/8 servings recipe from thekitchn.com
- 10 strawberries
- 8 basil leaves
- 1 can (12 ounces) frozen limeade concentrate
- 2 to 2 1/2 cups tequila (gold or silver)
- Empty the limeade concentrate into a pitcher. Add 2 1/2 cups of water & 2 1/2 cups of tequila mix together
- Slice the strawberries lengthwise, and add to the pitcher.
- Cut the basil into small pcs and add to the pitcher
- Place the pitcher, covered, in the fridge overnight, or for at least four hours
Easy Basil Pesto (1 cup)
Pesto is delicious as a topping for bruschetta, pasta, shrimp, chicken, steak, vegetables & in sandwiches
- 2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino cheese
- 1/4 cup pine nuts (optional) walnuts can also be used
- Combine the basil, garlic, and pine nuts in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped.
- Add the oil and mix until smooth
- Mix in the cheese
- Season with salt & pepper
The Perfect Cheese Plate with our favorite Chardonnay (Grgich Hills Estate)
Lobster always delicious with Chardonnay
Zucchini wrapped with Prosciutto & Parmesan Cheese
Baked Potato Bites
On a recent trip to Cape Cod we prepared a meal around a delicious bottle of Chardonnay…Pick your favorite bottle & enjoy! we love Grgich Hills Estate Chardonnay (from Napa Valley).
Cheese that Pairs well with White Wine….
- A “Fresh Cheese” such as Goat Cheese
- A “Funky or Smelly Cheese” such a Blue Cheese
- A “Creamy Cheese” such as Brie, St. Andre or Tallegio
- Meat…add at least one …Prosciutto, Sausage or Salami
- Fruit, fresh fruit or dried fruit (both work) lets face it no one seems to eat it but it looks pretty
- Nuts, we love Marcona Almonds from Spain
Lobster…you can buy them already steamed but if you want to do it yourself read below
Lobster is great with potatoes (baked or boiled) & vegetables (corn is usually served but asparagus, zucchini or a nice salad is also delicious).
- Choose a pot that is large enough for them (you don’t want to crowd them)
- Bring 2 inches of salted water to a rapid boil in a pot with a steaming basket
- Place Lobsters into pot & cover
- Shake or Stir the Lobsters occasionally
- a 2 pound Lobster should be ready in roughly 15-18 minutes, a 3/4-1 pound lobster in 10 minutes (the shell should be bright red)
- Remove Lobsters and set aside for a few minutes to cool before cracking them
- Serve with melted butter (don’t skimp on the butter it’s my favorite part)
Baked Potato Bites (from Cookthestory.com) serves 6-8
- Preheat oven to 450
- 9-10 small yellow Potatoes, cut in half
- 2 tsp olive oil, salt and pepper
- 1 slice of Bacon
- 6 spears of Asparagus (trimmed)
- 4 1/2 tsp sour cream
- mix Potatoes with 1tsp olive oil & place in baking dish cut side up ( cooks in 15-20 minutes)
- place 1 slice of bacon in pan to cook at same time (a thin slice of bacon should cook faster then potatoes- take out when crisp, roughly 10 minutes)
- Asparagus, mix with remaining Olive oil salt & pepper & place in pan should cook in 4-7 minutes
- You can cook everything in the same dish and take out items as ready
- let everything cool (these can be served at room temperature)
- place Sour Cream on Potato, then chopped Bacon, then Asparagus & enjoy
- If you prefer to serve these straight out of the oven substitute sour cream for cheese (your choice but cheddar is always good and comes shredded)
Zucchini wrapped with Prosciutto & Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese (serves 6-8)
- 4 Zucchini-sliced length wise
- 1/2 pound Prosciutto (We use San Danielle but any type can be used)
- 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- Olive oil, salt & pepper
- Preheat oven to 400
- In fry pan saute zucchini with olive oil until tender (about 6 minutes) remove & let it cool enough so you can touch it
- Wrap Prosciutto around Zucchini & place in baking dish
- Sprinkle Zucchini with Cheese, salt & pepper
- bake for 10-15 minutes, serve warm