Category Archives: Potluck

Dijon & Brown Sugar Glazed Chicken

Chicken dishes aren’t a frequent occurrence around here. In my mind, chicken is kind of boring and when thinking of what to make for dinner, it’s never my go-to protein. But sometimes… sometimes… (like when it’s not overcooked into a dry, crispy, pulp) chicken can be a shining star!

Dijon & Brown Sugar Glazed Chicken in an Oven-Ready Skillet

Dijon & Brown Sugar Glazed Chicken in an Oven-Ready Skillet

The chicken breast here is quick, juicy and delicious!

Enjoy!

Dijon and Brown Sugar Crusted Chicken

Dijon and Brown Sugar Glazed Chicken 

Dijon & Brown Sugar Glazed Chicken

Makes 4 breasts

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil
4 chicken breasts
4 tablespoons dijon mustard, divided
4 tablespoons brown sugar, divided
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Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper
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Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
1. In an oven-ready skillet, on medium high, heat olive oil.
2. Salt and pepper both sides of the chicken breast.
3. Place chicken breast into hot skillet. Let cook for 3-4 minutes. Flip over and let cook for another 4-5 minutes.
4. Flip so that the “smooth” side of the breast is up. Smother 1 tablespoon of dijon onto each chicken breast. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of brown sugar onto each breast and gently pat it down.
5. Place skillet into the oven, about 7-10 minutes until cooked through (an internal thermometer should read 165 degrees).
6. Be careful not to over-bake the chicken, otherwise it will be dry and rubbery…
7. Enjoy!!
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Eat, Drink & Be Yummy!
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Lamb Solyanka (Солянка из баранины)

A few months ago, I blogged a recipe for Beef Borscht and I spoke about the controversies of writing down traditional Russian recipes. The reality is that tradition varies from region to region and also family to family. I often get emails and comments on my most popular blogged dishes (Lamb Plov, Lemon Ricotta Syrniki and Pelmeni) indicating that while my recipe was yummy, this is *not* how their mother/grandmother/aunt made the dish. I have a feeling that I’m going to receive similar reaction to this soup recipe.

Lamb Solyanka

Lamb Solyanka

When my mama made Solyanka, it kind of felt like she was taking all of these random orphan ingredients and pulling them together into a salty, soupy goodness.  So while I write specific ingredients for this recipe, know that it’s very flexible. If you don’t like lamb and prefer beff, swap it out. If you have leftover cold cuts or sausage, throw them in! Everything will stand to boost the flavor of this forgiving soup.

Enjoy!

Solyanka Ingredients

Solyanka Ingredients

Everyone into the pot!

Everyone into the pot!

solyanka3

Solyanka is often enjoyed with vodka 🙂

solyanka5

Lightly garnished with dill, this Solyanka is delicious!

 

Lamb Solyanka (Солянка из баранины)

Makes 12-16 bowls of soup

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 boneless leg of lamb (about 3.5 pounds) cut into bite size pieces
2 Spanish onions, diced
3 large carrots, shredded
3 celery stalks, finely diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 28oz can of pureed tomatoes
1 package all beef uncured hot dogs, cut into coins
6 ounces pitted black olives, halved
1 24oz jar Trader Joe’s Dill Pickles (or any other variety) dice pickles, reserve pickle juice
4 “cans” of water (I’ll explain later)
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Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper
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For serving:
Dill Sprigs

Directions

1. In a large heavy bottomed pot (7.25 quart), on medium-high heat, add olive oil. Working in batches, sear lamb pieces adding a bit of salt and pepper to each batch. Don’t cook through. Remove lamb pieces and any juices. Set aside and repeat with remaining lamb.
2. After all of the lamb has been cooked and set aside (along with all of the rendered lamb juice), wipe the pot “clean” with a paper towel and add remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
3. Heat for a few minutes and add the diced onion, shredded carrots and finely diced celery. Saute for 7-10 minutes, on medium heat, until onions are translucent.
4. Add the meat and rendered juices back to the pot. Stir to combine.
5. Everyone else into the pot! Diced pickles, half of the pickle juice, hot dog coins, halved olives, and tomato puree.
6. Using the can from the tomato puree, add 4 cans of water to the pot. This will be about 14 cups of water.
7. Bring to a boil and then turn down to a low simmer. Let simmer for at least an hour.
8. Taste. It should be a little briny without being overpowering. If necessary, add remaining pickle juice, some kosher salt or freshly ground pepper.
9. Enjoy!!
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Cooks note: The soup tastes best after it’s been cooled and reheated… so go ahead and enjoy it tomorrow for dinner!
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Eat, Drink & Be Yummy!
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Goat Cheese, Brie & Zucchini Tart

We often have ingredients laying around that don’t have a specific intended use. And when we put them together into a magical dish, we then have to buy those same ingredients for the magical dish. Do I make sense??

Goat Cheese, Brie & Zucchini Tart

Goat Cheese, Brie & Zucchini Tart

A few months ago, during the height of summer and summer guests, I had some leftovers. Almost an entire log of goat cheese and some brie… and summer squash that the kids picked themselves from Holbrook Farms. With only those ingredients, I defrosted a puff pastry shell and set out to make an easy dinner.  

Since making it the first time, it’s a dish that the kids ask that I repeat almost once a week! So easy and the results are so fancy! You’ll love it at home or for a dinner party!

Enjoy!

Place brie and goat cheese on raw puff pastry

Place brie and goat cheese on raw puff pastry

Alternating zucchini and summer squash makes the tart colorful and playful

Alternating zucchini and summer squash makes the tart colorful and playful

Goat Cheese, Brie & Zucchini Tart

Goat Cheese, Brie & Zucchini Tart

Vegetables can be sexy from any angle!

Vegetables can be sexy from any angle!

Cut into the tart once it's cooled down a little bit

Cut into the tart once it’s cooled down a little bit

Goat Cheese, Brie & Zucchini 

Makes about 8 appetizer size slices

Ingredients

1 frozen puff pastry, defrosted
8 ounces goat cheese, sliced
5 ounces brie, rind removed, sliced
1 zucchini, thinly sliced
1 yellow summer squash, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
1. In a large bowl, combine zucchini, summer squash, olive oil and salt. Toss to coat.
2. Unfold puff pastry dough onto silicone baking mat, laying on a large baking sheet.
3. Using a sharp knife, score along the perimeter of the pastry dough, about 1/2 inch in from the edge. (Optional)
4. Break up the goat cheese and spread evenly over the puff pastry.
5. Fill in the empty spaces with pieces of brie that you break up with your fingers.
6. Alternate the zucchini and summer squash over the cheeses.
7. Sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper.
8. Bake for 25 minutes, or until crust edge is golden brown and zucchini has softened.
9. Let rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
10. Delicious warm or at room temperature!
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Eat, Drink & Be Yummy!
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Truffled Ricotta & Asiago Dip

About a year ago, when I recreated Fairway’s Artichoke Garlic Cream, I mentioned that we live in a place with access to amazing food. We’re walking distance from Fairway MarketTrader Joe’s, the Union Square Farmers Market and Whole Foods. Having immediate access to all four are what foodie fantasies are made of.

Truffled Ricotta & Asiago Dip

Truffled Ricotta & Asiago Dip

Of the four amazing stores, Whole Foods is closest to us. A friend recently recommended WF’s Truffled Ricotta Asiago Dip.  Since I’m a sucker for any and all things truffled, I made sure to stop by the store the following day. The dip with rich and slightly chunky from bits of asiago. I knew that I had to recreate this deliciousness because I simply couldn’t afford frequent trips to Whole Foods.

My version is rich and creamy, with the same slightly chunky consistency. The version that I made is a bit thinner than the original, but still very stable. It will hold up to any cracker, baguette or vegetable. Remember, everything goes with truffles! Enjoy it on a sandwich instead of mayonnaise. You’ll find so many ways to enjoy it… including straight out of the jar with a spoon!

Enjoy!

Recreating a great find from Whole Foods

Recreating a great find from Whole Foods

Hand chop the second half of the asiago

Hand chop the second half of the asiago

Recreating store-bought yumminess

Recreating store-bought yumminess

Truffled Ricotta & Asiago Dip

Truffled Ricotta & Asiago Dip

Truffled Ricotta & Asiago Dip

Makes about 2 cups, 16 ounces

Ingredients

1 15 ounce Trader Joe’s Whole Milk Ricotta
3 ounces Asiago, divided
1 Tablespoon truffle oil
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 Tablespoon 1% milk
1 teaspoon kosher salt (optional)

Directions

1. Using a blender cup, combine the ricotta, 1.5 ounces of the asiago, and remaining ingredients. Blend together.
2. Hand chop or shred remaining asiago. Add to the smooth ricotta mixture.
3. Add kosher salt to taste.
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Eat, Drink & Be Yummy!
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School Lunches, Take 13 (2013/2014 10 lunch photos)

Here are 10 more lunch ideas! Are you keeping track? These are 131-140 photos/ideas of my entire list of makemealsmama school lunch photos and ideas.

Packing lunch (almost) every day for three school aged kids is an adventure! I photograph the lunches and share them with my ah-mazing Facebook food group and I’m now sharing last years school lunches with my blogger friends. During the 2013-2014 school year, the kids were in 5th grade, 3rd grade and Pre-K. It was the only year where I had three kids attending the same school. What a treat for drop-offs and pick-ups!

Sometimes we gave them leftovers, sometimes sandwiches, sometimes random foods thrown together, sometimes thoughtfully put together… always with an effort to keep them fun, yet healthful. Hope that these lunches give you ideas for your own kids lunches.

**How to keep food in thermoses hot: Pour boiling water into an empty thermos and cover. While you are preparing the lunch, this will “pre-heat” the thermos. When you’re read to fill the thermos, spill out the boiling water and fill it with the lunch.**

 

1. Panini thins with ham, mayo & mesculin greens. Strawberries & English cucumber “chips” 2013lunch71

2. Soft multigrain with hummus, bologna and romaine. Sugar snap peas, cheese stick, yogurt and bosc pear 2013lunch72

3. Fussili with basil pesto (pesto purchased from fairway), watermelon, some crunchy salty snack mix thing and a fruit leather 2013lunch73

4. Raisin bagel with goat cheese, sugar snap peas and yogurt 2013lunch74

5.  Pita with hummus and cucumber slices, grape tomatoes, cheez-it’s & a leftover pink peep 2013lunch75

6. BLT on white whole wheat bread. Cucumber spears, gum balls to share with friends and popcorn – camera shy 2013lunch76

7. Trader Joe’s clam chowder, goldfish, carrots and dates (LO got a cream cheese and fig jam sandwich for a bag lunch school trip) 2013lunch77

8. Honey roasted turkey, cucumber slices and mayo on sandwich thins. Muscat grapes and sugar snap peas 2013lunch78

9. Peanut Butter and Jelly on white whole wheat, applesauce pack & edamame 2013lunch79

10. Challah roll with cream cheese, salami and thinly sliced tomatoes. English peas with garlic salt, cherries & yogurt 2013lunch80

 

Enjoy!

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Kids should also Eat, Drink & Be Yummy!
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School Lunches, Take 12 (2013/2014 10 lunch photos)

Here are 10 more lunch ideas! If you’re keeping count… these are 121-130 photos/ideas of my entire list of makemealsmama school lunch photos and ideas.

Packing lunch (almost) every day for three school aged kids is an adventure! I photograph the lunches and share them with my ah-mazing Facebook food group and I’m now sharing last years school lunches with my blogger friends. During the 2013-2014 school year, the kids were in 5th grade, 3rd grade and Pre-K. It was the only year where I had three kids attending the same school. What a treat for drop-offs and pick-ups!

Sometimes we gave them leftovers, sometimes sandwiches, sometimes random foods thrown together, sometimes thoughtfully put together… always with an effort to keep them fun, yet healthful. Hope that these lunches give you ideas for your own kids lunches.

**How to keep food in thermoses hot: Pour boiling water into an empty thermos and cover. While you are preparing the lunch, this will “pre-heat” the thermos. When you’re read to fill the thermos, spill out the boiling water and fill it with the lunch.**

 

1. Egg salad with scallions and shallots, cucumber slices, pita chips, strawberry banana kefir & small chocolate wafer. 2013lunch61

2. Gluten Free white bread tea sandwich with laughing cow garlic herb and Genoa salami. Sugar snap peas and red grapes. Shamrock cookie from Whole Foods. 2013lunch62

3. Everything bagel thins with ham and romaine. Sliced radish and cucumbers. Star fruit. Trader Joe’s chocolate yogurt 2013lunch63

4. Trader Joe’s pork gyoza and mini chicken cilantro dumplings with soyaki dipping sauce. Edamame and Asian pear. (Asian theme was accidental) 2013lunch64

5. Sourdough with turkey, brie and granny smith apple or romaine for DD1. Salad with corn, edamame and cannellini beans (dressed with a white wine vinaigrette). Plum 2013lunch65


 6. Everything flagel with hummus and turkey, shredded carrots, korean rice krispy, box of raisins and 2 pieces of Tteok (filled with sesame honey paste) 2013lunch66

7.  Quick lunch: sourdough with cream cheese and jelly, cucumber spears and snap pea crisps 2013lunch67

8. Homemade lunchables! Bologna, smoked turkey, havarti, laughing cow wedge, babybel, cucumber, crackers and galia melon (oh yeah, my kitchen was post-it bombed as an April Fool’s prank… but I still made the kids lunch. LOL) 2013lunch68

9. Flour tortilla wraps with turkey, hummus and spinach. Carrots, d’anjou pears, two homemade cookies and yogurt 2013lunch69

10. Potato bread with goat cheese, turkey, havarti and lettuce (dinosaur sandwich cutter). Hard boiled eggs and granny smith apple or banana 2013lunch70

Enjoy!

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Kids should also Eat, Drink & Be Yummy!
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School Lunches, Take 11 (2013/2014 10 lunch photos)

Here are 10 more lunch ideas! If you’re keeping count… these are 111-120 of my entire list of makemealsmama school lunch photos and ideas.

Packing lunch (almost) every day for three school aged kids is an adventure! I photograph the lunches and share them with my ah-mazing Facebook food group and I’m now sharing last years school lunches with my blogger friends. During the 2013-2014 school year, the kids were in 5th grade, 3rd grade and Pre-K. It was the only year where I had three kids attending the same school. What a treat for drop-offs and pick-ups!

Sometimes we gave them leftovers, sometimes sandwiches, sometimes random foods thrown together, sometimes thoughtfully put together… always with an effort to keep them fun, yet healthful. Hope that these lunches give you ideas for your own kids lunches.

**How to keep food in thermoses hot: Pour boiling water into an empty thermos and cover. While you are preparing the lunch, this will “pre-heat” the thermos. When you’re read to fill the thermos, spill out the boiling water and fill it with the lunch.**

 

1. Minestrone, cucumber, gala apple & KIND bar. 2013lunch51

2. Rolled up wraps with Trader Joe’s chocolate cookie swirl cream stuff and baby bananas. Cauliflower salad (truffle oil, s&p). Seaweed snacks and kiwi. 2013lunch52

3. Popcorn rice cake with goat cheese (pastrami on the side for the olders). Sugar snap peas, pear, babybel cheese and lemon yogurt. 2013lunch53

4. Valentine’s Day School lunch: leftover kasha varnishke, grape tomatoes and papaya with blood oranges. (Assuming they’re going to eat a ton of candy goodness for Valentine’s Day) 2013lunch54

5. Tortellini with olive oil and Parmesan, anjou pear, carrot spears and conversation hearts. 2013lunch55 

6. Hotdogs, tomatoes and cucumbers, mini rice cakes, banana and homemade biscotti 2013lunch56

7. Leftover tomato corn gouda soup, apple/pear and seaweed snack. 2013lunch57

8. Salami, cream cheese and tomato whole wheat rollup. Tomatoes, grapes and sirok. 2013lunch58

9. Canadian bacon on Trader Joe’s Canadian white with mayo & lettuce. Sugar snap peas, cornichons and sugar cookie favor from baby shower. 2013lunch59

 

 

10. Everything bagel thins with turkey & cheese. Cucumber spears, plum and corn chips. 2013lunch60

Enjoy!

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Kids should also Eat, Drink & Be Yummy!
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