Hello all! Sorry ONCE AGAIN for my prolonged absence. A lot has gone on since I last posted. I have been trying to cook and bake a bit. My real food cookbook just came in so I’m hoping to get into making some things from that very soon. I am super excited about it. I haven’t been cooking new things a whole lot recently. Reason one being that I tried out the 21 Day Fix from Beachbody. Does it work… yes, it does. If you eat the way the program tells you and all that jazz it works. But if you are a food lover like me, it didn’t “work.” I didn’t feel like I had a lot of room for creativity. In all honesty I ate almost the same exact thing every day for 21 days. As far as food goes, it was pretty boring. I wouldn’t mind doing it again as a jump start but I need a little more variety in my diet.
Anyway, back to the real reason I’m here, food. I have gotten involved in theater here in Louisiana and have met some absolutely AMAZING people. When I think of people coming together, I often think of food. I admit it, I love people with food. If I can feed someone and they like/enjoy my food, I feel that I’ve shown them love and appreciation. So, last weekend we had out second set of shows. The hubs had a LONG day at work so I tried my hand at making biscotti. I’ve eaten biscotti before, but never made it. Crunchy. Sweet. Delight.
I made a cranberry white chocolate biscotti that ended up being incredibly easy… and trust me I was worried. I don’t usually worry about things in the kitchen, but I was worried. No reason to be. These things were amazing and I was able to show love to my cast mates by sharing them. Here’s the recipe
White Chocolate Cranberry Biscotti (adapted from the Cookie Bible)
2 cups of flour (plus 2-3 tbsp for forming)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 stick butter or margarine, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups white chocolate chips
1/2 cups sweetened dried cranberries
Grease a flour a LARGE cookie sheet. (I stress large because the initial baking you will have two long “logs”). Mix the flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl and set aside. In a large bowl with and electric mixer or in a stand mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy, scraping the sides as necessary. Add the eggs one at a time beating well after each addition. Add vanilla. Gradually add your dry ingredients, mixing well after each addition. Then add the cranberries, and 1 1/2 cups of the chocolate chips. Divide the dough in half and shape into two long logs. (Do this on a floured surface. The dough will be slightly sticky) The logs should be about 14 inches long. On your baking sheet, place your logs about 2 inches apart so they have room to spread in the oven. Bake at 325 for about 27 minutes until LIGHTLY brown. You are going to bake them more. Remove from the oven and let them cool COMPLETELY! (Trust me they are much easier to work with if they cool completely) Cut with serrated knife into diagonal slices right around 1 inch thick. Return them to the baking sheet, cut side down. Bake about 10 minutes until they are slightly dry. Remove from the oven and again let them cool completely. Melt the remaining chocolate in a double boiler or in the microwave and drizzle your biscotti. Let it cool completely, then enjoy. These are fabulous with a good cup of coffee.
Then of course on to the TITLE food for this post. Chicken Fra Diavolo. Basically this means “Devil’s Chicken” so that should give you a hint that it is HOT! The original recipe calls for shrimp, but as I have a husband who REFUSES to eat any type of seafood, I substitued chicken. The recipe is super simple and delicious. It has a heat that sort of sneaks up on your for a nice kick. Let me tell you, this was an absolute HIT in my kitchen. Here’s the recipe.
Chicken Fra Diavolo (Adapted from Cook This, Not That)
1-1.5 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into chunks or slices
1/2 tbsp olive oil
1-2 tsp red pepper flakes (depending on the amount of heat you want)
1/2-1 small onion finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped or minced
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1 28oz can of crushed tomatoes
salt and pepper
Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a LARGE skillet and cook the chicken over medium heat until thoroughly cooked. Remove from pan and set aside. Into the hot pan add the red pepper flakes, onion, garlic, and oregano. Continue to cook until the onions are soft/translucent. Add the tomatoes and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Add the chicken back into and heat for a few more minutes to ensure that the chicken is hot. While the sauce is simmering, cook the pasta and drain. Once the sauce has finished, toss them together and serve. Makes about 4 servings.
2 tsp of the red pepper flakes gave it the perfect amount of heat for us, but if you want it less spicy add less; spicier add more.
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