Chicken Cakes & Good Company…

TGIF everyone! Friday’s meals are always a little more fun!  Since Nick doesn’t have work the next day and we can stay up later (additionally pour more wine), we try to branch out of our usual one or two step dishes.  We had some friends over last night and served up one of our new favorite meals: chicken cakes. The best part of this recipe is the fact that you pick up rotisserie chicken, so there really isn’t anything raw to manage. You could if you wanted to cook the chicken on your own ahead of time. Charlotte was on her best behavior as well. Something about being around strangers puts her in a calm/intrigued mood. I am not sure if we should be excited about this, or worried for her future. We put her down for the night around 7:45 and then had the rest of the night to relax with good company.

Chicken Cakes: servings 2 (makes 2 cakes per person)

  • 1 rotisserie chicken
  • 1 red pepper ( finely diced)
  • 1 half red onion (finely diced)
  • 1 bunch green onion (finely chopped)
  • 2 garlic cloves (finely chopped )
  • 1/3 cup of Bread crumbs (we use panko, but normal bread crumbs work too)
  • 1 Tbsp each of salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 1 Tbsp of red pepper flakes (more or less depending on how much of a kick you want!)
  • 2-3 Tbsp dill (preferably chopped fresh dill!)
  • 1 Tsp of paprika
  • 1 Tsp of dried thyme.
  • 1 Tbsp of soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp of Worcestershire sauce
  1. Pull the chicken meat off of the rotisserie bird and shred (doesn’t have to be too finely shredded… chunks are good!) Use both the white and dark meat.
  2. Sautee the onions, garlic, and red pepper for 5 mins, or until just getting soft. Let cool a little (so it doesn’t cook the egg). You can also roast all the veggies if you have more time
  3. In a mixing bowl add sauteed ingredients above, egg, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, bread crumbs, and all other spices ingredients. Add in pulled chicken.
  4. Mix everything together by hand, being somewhat cautious not to over-mix (to avoid it getting mushy)
  5. Roll mixture into baseball size “meatballs”.
  6. Heat a little olive oil and/or butter in the pan, and place the meatballs in. Once the balls are in the pan, press gently to form thick patties.
  7. Cook over medium heat until a crust forms, about 5 mins. We like to sprinkle the non-cooked side with a little more salt and pepper. Try not to flip them until the crust is formed!
  8. Flip carefully to other side, form crust on other side, another 5 mins.

 

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Salmon to the rescue

 

I always know how my day will go by the way Charlotte decides to wake up. On most days, she softly whimpers when she’s ready to go, which,  like clock work, happens around 6:45 am- 7 am. When I go in there, she is usually smiling ear to ear, so excited I have come to set her free from that swaddle of hers. I honestly live for those blissful moments each morning.

Then there are those other days that you unexpectedly wake up to screams. Those “come get me RIGHT now” screams, and even as you are unswaddling her she is just mad. Well that was today, and for some reason this always happens on days the forecast predicts 100% rain ALL DAY. So that calls for a lightning speed grocery trip and a even faster meal prep, because Char is a ticking tie bomb on these days. That’s when I go to my fool-proof meal choice of salmon.

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Now this is cabin fever…

Salmon is one of my favorite and easiest meals to cook. This recipe you really can’t screw up, in fact most the time I don’t even measure the marinade and just whimsically pour in various amounts of what ever I see on the counter. I like to top this dish off with a quick to make veggie side (today we baked asparagus) and a grain (couscous today). All in the dish takes about 5 minutes to prep, and 30 minutes to cook.

Baked salmon with sweet glaze

Ingredients: servings 2

  • 1 lb of salmon
  • 1/4 cup of bbq sauce
  • salt & pepper
  • 2 table spoons of honey
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tea spoon of chili powder
  1. Preheat the over to 385F
  2. Chop garlic cloves and sautee in olive oil for two minutes, or until golden.
  3. In a mixing bowl add bbq sauce, garlic, chili powder, and honey
  4. Season salmon generously with salt & pepper. Brush on bbq marinade covering the entire fish.
  5. Wrap/enclose in foil and place on baking sheet. Cook for 20 minutes.
  6. Add last of the marinade and put back in the oven with foil open. Cook for ten minutes to get a nice glaze.

By the way, if you are in NYC, you need to check our Murrays Cheese shop in the West Village for the best honey around (and cheese obviously). We used their wildflower honey for this recipe.

http://www.murrayscheese.com/

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All better!

Chicken & Chickpea spicy chili

I love this dish for several reasons. First, it’s quick and easy, which means I can actually cook this while Charlotte is napping. Not to mention, there are so little ingredients to buy. Secondly, I think leftovers the next day actually taste even better than the first night. Needless to say, since Charlotte has arrived, we have come up with multiple variations of chili for dinner.You can make this in bulk, and eat it as lunch for the next couple of days.

This is another inspired dish from Food & Wine, except I skipped out on the bacon they used and added chicken as the main focus. This dish has quite the kick, so if you don’t want the spice, you might want to skip the adobe peppers.

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“We’re having chickpea chili?”
  • 2 cans of chickpeas (15 oz)
  • 1 can of crushed tomatoes (28 oz)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 2 boneless chicken breasts
  • 3 carrots
  • 1 lb of swiss chard
  • 3 cups of chicken stock
  • 1 can of adobe peppers
  1. Season chicken breasts with salt & pepper. Bake at 350F for 30 minutes.
  2. While chicken is cooking, chop carrots, garlic, and onions. In a large pot, sautee all 3 in olive oil for 5 minutes or until tender.
  3. Add can of crushed tomatoes, chicken stock, and chopped adobe peppers. I used half a can of peppers and this was spicy, so adjust to your spicy liking.
  4. Chop chicken into bite size pieces and add to pot.
  5. Let simmer on low heat for 30 minutes. I usually take the top of to thicken the broth.
  6. Rinse chickpeas and add to pot 15 minutes before serving.
  7. Add chard to the batch 5 minutes before serving. I usually chop the chard into smaller bites before adding.IMG_4199 (1)

Valentine’s Day Pork

porkFor Valentine’s Day, the Hubs and I always stay in and cook. This year with a newborn at home we wanted to go with something straight forward, in case Charlotte decided to grace us with her famous witching hours of the past. For those of you that don’t know, Valentine’s Day marked the 13th week of Char’s life, which we were both eager to cheers over, because when you have a baby everyone keeps telling you over and over, “just survive the first 12 weeks, I promise it gets so much easier after that”. So here we are at week 13, pulling out some Silver Oak wine (thank you Michelle), ready to go!

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Dressed in her Valentine’s day best!

This delicious pork dish was inspired by Food & Wine magazine, accompanied with a beet puree and swiss chard. The beet puree was our favorite part, as the sweetness really balanced out the savory pork chop and salted chard. You’ll notice in the picture Nick’s first attempt of ‘smearing’ the puree. I’d have to say it looks pretty darn close to a restaurant’s plating.

 

Pork with beet puree and swiss chard

Ingredients: serving for 2

  • 2 bone in pork rib chops
  • 2 lbs of swiss chard (it shrinks a lot when you cook it)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 large beets
  • 2 medium yukon potatoes
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 3 table spoons of olive oil
  1. Peel & quarter both the beets and potatoes. In a large sauce pan combine the two. Add enough water to cover them and bring the water to a boil. Cook for about 30 minutes. Transfer veggies into the food processor and blend until smooth, adding 2 tablespoons of butter along the way.
  2. Prep pork chops with olive oil, and salt & pepper. Heat skillet to high and cook pork chops for about 7-9 minutes on each side or until golden brown.  Simultaneously, add 2 table spoons of butter and chopped garlic to the pan covering the pork. Once the meat is finished, remove and let sit.
  3.  Add 2 more table spoons of butter to the heated plan, a few dashes of olive oil, and slowly add in the swiss chard. Try not to add it all at once, rather throw a quarter at a time on the pan and let it wilt. Season with salt & pepper and let wilt for about 5 minutes total.

About me…

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Thanksgiving 2015-Charlotte was only 2 weeks old

 

Hi!! My name is Nicole and I currently live in NYC with my husband Nick (I know how fitting we have the same name). In November 2015, we welcomed our new baby girl Charlotte Rosalie into our family. Sometimes it’s hard to believe she’s only been with us for 3 months. Up until Charlotte’s arrival I had always worked in the retail industry. I decided in January to take a break from work and spend my time home with our daughter. In between our feed, play, sleep schedule I found myself getting small dosages of cabin fever. I thought to myself what could I get involved in, and that’s where the idea of this blog came to life.

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My husband and I really love food. In fact our first date I think that was all we talked about. Being in NYC is the best place for foodies like us and weekends used to be our time to explore a new restaurant downtown. Obviously since Charlotte’s arrival our restaurant excursions have taken some what of a back seat. Therefore, we have really tried to step up our cooking game. We have always loved to cook and we actually have a lot of fun doing it together, especially with wine in hand 🙂 I decided to start documenting some of our best dishes. We are always trying to tweak recipes into our own healthier versions, as I am a little nutty and like to eat really clean . My husband on the other hand would eat pasta every night if I let him.  I’d say on most nights we meet in the middle.  Most of these meals you can prep/make in an hour, which is great for week day meals. I also felt like it was a fun way to reflect upon my adventures with lil miss Char.

Hope you enjoy!!

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