Saturday, December 27, 2014

Easy Entertaining!

Yes, Christmas rolled over us like a double-decker bus filled with overstuffed passengers, but there are still several days of fa la la la la-ing, before the ball drops. (Actually, I've believe the ball is filled with weight loss and tax commercials, so once it hits the ground and breaks open, the party's over.) So, for now, here are two easy and delicious recipes that I made over this holiday, and I will find a reason to use them both all year long! Take a look:

I'm going to name this first one after my son (since he stopped by for dinner one night, took home the leftovers and hid them from his fiance. By the time she got home the next night, all that was left was the waft of prosciutto and wine in the air). Not fair, my boy!

Kyle's Chicken

You'll need 2 packages of THIN chicken breasts
1/4 lb of prosciutto 
a half bag of fresh spinach
an 8 oz package of fresh sliced mushrooms
1 envelope Lipton Recipe Secret's Savory Herb and Garlic
1/2 C White Wine
1/4 C Olive oil

1/2 lemon, squeezed, seeds removed
8 oz shredded mozzarella

Preheat oven to 375
Spray a 13/9" pan with Pam.
Put 2 layers of chicken in pan, layer the prosciutto.

Top with spinach, sprinkle with a little kosher salt and coarse black pepper and then
top with mushrooms.
Whisk together olive oil, wine, lemon and savory herb envelope then pour over everything.
Lay a piece of foil over (not tight) the pan and bake for 30 minutes
Top with the cheese and bake for 5 minutes more.

This is a very simple and impressive casserole.

The next one is a snack, appetizer, game night sensation, or a great accompaniment to a good book and a glass of wine. All the credit here goes to Ina Garten who created this recipe for the Food Network Magazine. She calls it "Caramelized Bacon" for the ultimate happy hour. I call it...

1/2 cup brown sugar, lightly packed (I used the dark variety)
1/2 cup chopped or whole pecans
2 tsps kosher salt
1 tsps black pepper
1/8 tsp of cayenne pepper
2 tbls spoons of pure maple syrup
1/2 lb of thickly sliced applewood smoked bacon

Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a sheet pan with aluminum foil and put a wire rack on top of that. Ground together the pecans and brown sugar in a good processor until both are finely ground.
Add the remaining ingredients and pulse until all are moistened. Cut the bacon strips in half and line on sheets. Then take a spoon and spread the mixture on each piece, covering completely and bake for about 30 minutes. You want the topping bubbling brown but not burned. Remove from sheet immediately and place each piece on a plated topped with a paper towel. This can be made early in the day and then kept a room temperature.

The only thing differently I would do next time is to make a double batch!

So savor the next few days of what's left of the 2014 holidays and enjoy yourself! A long dark winter awaits us and we need to enter it with as much spirit as possible!

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