Saturday, November 24, 2012

Let the decorating begin.....

December is fast approaching and our American friends are finished with the Thanksgiving turkey, the Christmas season can begin. But to be honest, I started at the beginning of the week, as I knew by the weekend I wouldn't have time. I have most of it done on the inside and now I just have to put some greenery and lights outside. The rain has quit for a few days, so its perfect timing.

I haven't been happy with my camera lately because my shots inside have not been turning out right. Something to do with the white balance and exposure....I don't know why, all of a sudden this happened, so I've been trying to figure it out, but really all I want to do is point and shoot! Is that too much to ask? It all looks good to my eye and then it all goes array when I download them and photoshop isn't helping but hopefully this weekend I will get the kinks worked out.

I have a few projects lined up for my next days off, a couple of infinity scarves, an owl pillow and some little baking ideas that I ran across on Pinterest, of course. I wanted to try a few new recipes out before the kids come home at Christmas, so the Hubs has been through a few experiments this week. So far he's still eating and breathing!

Here are just a couple I've tried:

Chicken Strognaoff
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, chicken thighs or a combination of both, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 tablespoon sweet paprika or regular paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more as needed
1 medium yellow onion, diced (about 1/2 cup)
8 ounces white button mushrooms or baby bella mushrooms, sliced
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 3/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 bay leaf
1/4 cup sour cream
Hot, cooked egg noodles, for serving (about 12 ounces to 1 pound)
Fresh, chopped parsley for garnish

In a medium bowl or shallow pie plate, toss the cubed chicken with the paprika, salt and pepper. Sprinkle the flour on top of the chicken and toss to coat.
Heat the olive oil in a large 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until rippling and hot. Add the chicken in a single layer and cook until golden brown on each side, tossing occasionally, about 5 minutes. The chicken will finish cooking fully a bit later so it doesn’t need to be cooked all the way through. Scrape the chicken onto a plate and set aside.
Add another teaspoon of oil to the pan, if needed, and stir in the onions and mushrooms. Saute the mixture, stirring occasionally and scraping up the browned bits from the chicken, until the onion is translucent and the onions and mushrooms are browned, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute, until fragrant.
Pour in about 1/4 cup of the chicken broth and deglaze the pan by scraping up any bits from the bottom. Stir in the tomato paste, whisking to combine. Add the rest of the chicken broth and the bay leaf, stirring well.
Add the chicken back into the skillet and simmer the mixture over medium-low to medium heat, until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce thickens slightly, about 5-6 minutes. Stir in the yogurt (or creme fraiche or sour cream) and cook for about 2-3 minutes longer. If you would like the sauce to be a bit thicker, make a cornstarch slurry by mixing 1 tablespoon cornstarch with 1-2 tablespoons cold water. Add the cornstarch slurry to the simmering mixture in the skillet, whisking quickly to combine. Let the mixture simmer for 2-3 minutes until thickened. Serve over hot noodles and garnish with fresh parsley, if desired.

It was very tasty and a nice change from the regular beef version, so this is a definite alternative. then tomorrow I am going to try make a Pizza Roll.......

Pizza Roll
Now I am going to make pizza dough in my breadmaker, but I know there are lots of alternatives out there and then all you do is spread a thin layer of pizza sauce, some pepperoni, and some grated cheese, bake and serve with a salad. It should be good cold for lunch the next day. I'll let you know how it goes!

Well with any luck I will put some photos up tomorrow of some of my Christmas decor and the mini-skinny trees. Not sure if I like having a skinny tree, but it doesn't take up a lot of the livingroom, that's for sure! And all those decorations I have, certainly go a long way in decking those have a great weekend, and let the decorating and baking begin! Did you get all your shopping done on Black Friday?

Whooooooo's this for? Cute isn't he?

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