Mauve Cabinets and a Bottle of Red

My two passions–Food and books

Crispy Mustard Glazed Chicken Breasts January 16, 2013

Filed under: Chicken,Quick and Easy — hmills96 @ 6:16 pm

Guys, I have some big news! I’m engaged! If you’ve been following me on Facebook or Pinterest, you’re probably thinking “Big surprise, everyone already knew that!” We joke because it’s been the worst kept secret in town. We’ve been planning the wedding since Christmas, but because the ring was on order, it wasn’t “official.”

On Monday, Richard had told me that he was going to have to work late because too many people had called off work. He had been there since 6 am, and was understandably frustrated. I decided, instead of working late too, I’d come home, do some laundry, make dinner, and clean up so he could relax when he did get home.

But, when I opened the door to our apartment, I walked in to purple crepe streamers EVERYWHERE. He had made a timeline of our relationship and it crisscrossed around our apartment. I started following it, all the time thinking he was still at work, and how could he have gotten this done, since he left before I did that morning. I was laughing and crying as I read the date cards that were placed every few feet on the line.

The timeline wrapped back into our bedroom–where I was expecting a card or clue or something, since I still didn’t think he was home. At that point he popped out of the closet and proposed! Well, almost proposed, because I think I said “YES!” before he even got the words out. Oops. Me and my big mouth!

To everyone who has sent their congratulations, thank you! We are so excited and can’t wait to be married in the fall.

The recipe that follows is what I made for dinner last night. I have been told that I must add this recipe to my regular meal plan, because Richard loved it.

Crispy Mustard Glazed Chicken Breasts
Adapted from

2 chicken breasts
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper
4 Tbsp butter, softened
2 1/2 Tbsp stone ground mustard
3/4 cup Panko
2 tsp dried dill
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup heavy cream

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Rub chicken with olive oil, season with salt and pepper.

Combine 2 Tbsp butter with mustard. Reserve two tsp of that mix for sauce. Smear the rest on the chicken.

Melt remaining 2 Tbsp butter, mix with Panko, dill, salt and pepper. Dredge the breasts with this mixture.

In a large skillet, heat olive oil over med-high heat. Sear chicken until browned on both sides, about 5 minutes each. Transfer skillet to oven and roast until chicken is cooked through–15-20 minutes.

Transfer chicken to serving platter. Add stock and cream to skillet over medium heat, and stir until creamy and reduced to 3/4 cup, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in reserved mustard mixture.


Chicken Cacciatore November 8, 2012

Filed under: Chicken,Freezer Meals,Mushrooms,pasta — hmills96 @ 5:47 pm

One of the great things about this new apartment is how homey and grown up it is. We have real, matching (well, somewhat matching) furniture, and even though it’s just a one bedroom, we have enough room in the living space to have a “den,” and “office,” and a “dining room.” This makes it really easy to entertain, which we did for the first time last night.

I’ve had this recipe flagged for awhile. PW has this way of drawing you in with her bright, delicious looking food shots. This was no exception. So, when we made plans to have friends of Richard’s over for dinner, I knew this is what I had to make. It was a little acidic for me, so I’ve adjusted my recipe below to compensate for that. Otherwise, it was a great meal, especially next to roasted acorn squash (another recipe I got from PW), and some yummy toasted asiago bread. It’s a little time consuming, so it won’t be a weeknight meal most of the time, but worth it for company definitely. Mine didn’t turn out as pretty as Ree’s, but come on. Who can compete with the Pioneer Woman herself? I didn’t get a picture of mine, since we had company, so go on over to her site if you want to see some gorgeous food porn.

Chicken Cacciatore
Adapted from The Pioneer Woman

8 chicken thighs (leave the skin on!)
1 pound Pasta Or Egg Noodles, cooked per package directions
1/2 cup All-purpose Flour
4 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 Tbsp Butter
1 whole Medium Onion, Halved And Sliced
2 whole  Bell Peppers, Cored And Sliced (I used one yellow and one orange, use whatever color you like)
5 cloves Garlic, minced
12 ounces button mushrooms, halved
1 tsp fresh thyme, stemmed and chopped
1/4 teaspoon Cumin
1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
Red Pepper Flakes, Crushed, To Taste (optional)
3/4 cups Dry Red Wine
1 can (15 Ounce) Whole Or Diced Tomatoes (with Their Juice)
2 cups low sodium chicken stock

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Salt and pepper both sides of chicken thighs. Dredge lightly in flour.

Heat butter and oil in dutch oven over medium high heat. Brown chicken, 4 pieces at a time, on both sides. Set aside on a plate.

Drain off about half of the oil, otherwise the sauce will be greasy later. Saute onion, peppers, and garlic for about 1 minute. Add mushrooms, and thyme, cook another minute. Add seasonings, then pour in wine, tomatoes, and chicken stock. Place chicken on top of the veggies and liquid, keeping the browned skin out of the sauce.

Put lid on pot and cook in oven for 45 minutes. Remove lid and raise temperature to 375. Cook for additional 15 minutes.

Take pot out of oven. Remove chicken to a plate so you can get to the veggies. Spoon veggies on a large platter over the egg noodles. Allow sauce to simmer over medium high heat for 5-6 minutes to thicken.

Arrange chicken on top of the veggies. When sauce has thickened, spoon it over the whole dish. You may not use it all without drowning everything, so just pour the rest into a serving dish for the table.

Serve family style in center of your table.


Homemade Frozen Burritos September 11, 2011

Filed under: beans,cheese,Chicken,Freezer Meals,Mexican,Quick and Easy — hmills96 @ 7:13 pm

Wow guys. It’s been a really long time since I’ve blogged. I’ve kind of been all over the place the last few months, and really not cooking very much–or at least no actual new recipes. I’m completely changing the way I eat so mostly it’s been a bit of trial and error to see what works and what doesn’t.

I went and visited my cousin in Winston-Salem a few weeks ago. She’s really big into clean eating–organics, local produce, no preservatives. I cannot afford to go as extreme as she does it, but I did learn some helpful lessons about what my body needs when. It’s been a bit of a shock on my body, to cut out so much of the junk. I’m not even talking about junk food, just the preservatives and extreme amounts of sodium so much of the convenience foods have today. Hence the trial and error–because of my migraines, I have to be careful about going too extreme too fast–which is why crash diets and cleanses have never really worked for me. I’m starting to feel a lot better–monitoring what goes in, as well as taking up biking.

Anyway, this recipe idea came at an amazing time. I’ve been trying to spend a few hours every weekend putting together a few dishes that I can freeze in individual portions. It makes it so easy then, to pack one of the meals for lunch. Lean Cuisine and Healthy Choice  are great for portion control–but there’s a lot up unpronounceable ingredients on their lists. This uses simple ingredients and was so easy to throw together. The following is what I had on hand (and no, most of it isn’t organic, and probably does have some preservatives in it, but it’s still better for me than what I was eating), but feel free to change it up. I would have loved roasted peppers in this, and some cilantro.

Homemade Frozen Burritos

Inspired by The Kitchn 

2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, diced
2-3 cups roast chicken (you can use raw, just make sure you cook it fully)
Cumin, chili powder, hot sauce (whatever spices you have on hand)
1 can black beans
1 can diced tomatoes
1 bag frozen corn, thawed
Shredded Cheddar cheese
Tortillas (I used Low-Carb)

In a medium skillet, heat oil over medium high heat. Saute onions and garlic until soft.

Add chicken, toss with spices of your choice. My chicken was left over from a roast I had done the day before, but feel free to saute sliced chicken breasts if you want.

Add beans, tomatoes and corn. Toss until warmed through.

Set up a little work station. Make a pile of tortillas, a bowl of cheese, your foil for wrapping.

To make the burritos:

1. Grab a tortilla.

2. Spread a little line of cheese down the middle.

3. Scoop about 1/2 cup of filling onto the cheese (you need less than you think).

4. Fold two ends in towards the center. Roll burrito.

5. Roll completed burrito in foil.

6. Repeat until you have all your tortillas filled!

7. Freeze.

8. To heat, remove the foil. Wrap in a damp paper towel (this will help keep the ends from getting hard). Microwave for 3 minutes. Enjoy!

Man, I wish I would have taken pictures of this process. I could have gone all Pioneer Woman on you. Unfortunately, I do not have that much foresight or blogging prowess. Make this though. It’s so easy, and it’s soooo yummy.


Lemon Oregano Chicken February 28, 2011

Filed under: Chicken,Fall/Winter,Lemon,My Recipes,Quick and Easy,Spring/Summer — hmills96 @ 7:38 pm

The weather around here has been pretty crazy lately. I’m not sure what Indiana did to Mother Nature but she is TICKED OFF and is not afraid to show it. I don’t remember a winter this cold or this snowy. Normally, I’m a huge winter fan. Bring on the snow. The problem is, this year I have an hour commute. That makes a really big difference in my winter attitude. There were two days, a few weeks ago where I missed two days of work because of the massive ice storm that hit our area. Then Friday, we got hit hard again. We had enough snow that I couldn’t get up the hill to get out of my neighborhood until noon! I did end up going to work once everything started to melt off, but I was pretty frustrated.

Then last night brought a BOOMING first storm of the season. I don’t know that I’ve ever heard thunder that loud! It poured and poured, from about 9pm to 4am. The ground was already saturated from the snow meltoff, so everything is flooded around here. There were a few funnels, maybe a touch down in the area as well.

Because of last night’s storm, I didn’t get much sleep. I’m a storm fanatic so not only did thunder keep me awake, but so did the adrenaline from studying the storm cells racing across the state. I was up from about 2-3:30! That didn’t make for an easy Monday let me tell you! We were swamped, and one of my teammates is on vacation until tomorrow so things were pretty crazy.

By the time my day was over, I was definitely ready for something delicious. My food budget has been tight so I haven’t been cooking much. But I had some chicken thighs, and a lemon that I needed to use. This recipe came from my head, just a way of using up what I had on hand. You’ll probably recognize the technique, it’s really just a variation of something I do all the time. But the combination of flavors came out fantastic! I threw in some Brussels sprouts and a little butter before I stuck the pan in the oven, and the flavors all caramelized together. It was a really good combination.

Lemon Oregano Chicken

Original Recipe

1 chicken thigh, skin on
1 lemon
1 tsp oregano
Salt & Pepper

Preheat your skillet over Med-High heat with a little olive oil. Preheat oven to 450.

When hot, place chicken skin side down in pan. Brown for about 5 minutes, then flip over and do the same to the other side.

Put pan in oven for 15-20 minutes, until chicken is cooked through. Serve with roasted veggies.


Coq au Vin January 30, 2011

Filed under: Chicken,comfort food,Freezer Meals,Mushrooms,wine — hmills96 @ 2:44 pm

I love my job, but everyone has those days that are just overwhelming. Thursday was one of those days for me. For some reason, I was swamped. And I would much rather be busy than have no work to do, but by the time I was off work I was REALLY keyed up. Common logic would say “Oh, you had a really stressful day, sounds like you should go home and nuke something in the microwave.”

But not me. On those kinds of days, I think about recipes and techniques and flavors. All I wanted to do was turn on some SUPER loud rock music and make some really good French comfort food. My favorite.

This is actually really similar to the Boeuf Bourgenion in style and flavor. Major difference? Chicken instead of beef. Both of these dishes can be customized depending on what wine, herbs, and veggies that you use. I would serve this with crusty French bread, maybe some buttered egg noodles so soak up the gravy.

Coq au Vin
Adapted from Cooking Light

4 slices hickory smoked bacon, cut into 1″ pieces.
8 pieces bone in chicken (I used all thighs.)
Salt & Pepper
1 cup onion, diced
3 medium carrots, sliced
2-3 sprigs thyme
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1 (750 ml) bottle of red wine (use something heavy and full-bodied for this)
2 cups chicken broth
1 Tbsp butter
8 oz button mushrooms, quartered
6 oz frozen pearl onions

Cook bacon in a dutch oven until crisp. Remove from pan and set aside. Drain all but 2 Tbsp fat.

Season chicken with salt and pepper. Carefully add the chicken to the pan. Brown on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. Remove from pan.

Add onion and next 5 ingredients (thru bay leaves). Cook 5 minutes, until onions are soft. Add tomato paste and cook 1 minute. Add wine, simmer for 10 minutes until reduced by half. Return chicken to pan.

Add broth, simmer, covered, for 35 minutes. Remove chicken from pan, cover.

While the chicken is simmering, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Melt butter, add mushrooms and pearl onions. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for 10 minutes. Remove from heat.

Reduce stew liquid by half, about 10 minutes. Discard bay leaves. Stir in mushroom mixture. Return chicken to pan and simmer 5 minutes.


Thomas Keller’s Roast Chicken December 6, 2010

Filed under: Chicken,comfort food,Leftovers — hmills96 @ 8:18 pm

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a hundred times:  I LOVE ROAST CHICKEN! You’ll never find a juicier way to eat poultry than roasting the whole bird. And the skin. OOOOOOOOOOH the skin.

Anytime I find a new roast chicken recipe, I have to pull it. I liked the look of Thomas Keller’s because it was so simple. This recipe was made to bring out the flavor of the chicken. No frills. It’s a great recipe to use if this is your first time doing a whole chicken.

Unfortunately, the chicken I got was not that great. It was small, and just not the best quality. Plus, I had bought it before Thanksgiving, and realized I wasn’t going to have time to cook it, so I had to freeze it. There just was not as much flavor in it as there should of been. I’ll probably try this recipe again but I’ll go back to buying the chicken I usually get.

Thomas Keller’s Simple Roast Chicken
Adapted from Sticky, Gooey, Chewy, Creamy

Whole chicken
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
2 sprigs of thyme, minced

Preheat oven to 450.

Rinse the chicken, then dry it really well with paper towels, inside and out. Salt and pepper the cavity, and if needed, truss the bird (some already come tied). Make sure to tuck the wings underneath.

Salt the whole chicken, making sure to get a uniform coating. Sprinkle with pepper.

Place the chicken in your roasting pan. Do not baste the chicken while it’s cooking. Just leave it alone for about 1 hour, then add the thyme. Continue roasting until the thickest part of the thigh reaches 165.

Just before carving, slather the meat with butter. This part’s optional, but it was a good idea for my low quality bird. You can also turn the pan drippings into gravy!

*****If you have a lot of leftovers, like I did, don’t throw them out! I chopped them up into bite-sized “cubes” and stored them in freezer bags (1 cup in each bag). I now have 3 cups of frozen chicken for the next time I want to make buffalo chicken dip (or chicken soup or chicken salad or whatever YOU do with already cooked chicken)!


Wild Rice and Mushroom Soup with Chicken October 3, 2010

If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, well, you’re probably thinking, OK HALEY ENOUGH ALREADY!!!

You also know that I’ve been SUPER productive this weekend. I’ve been in a cleaning frenzy. Operation Take Back My House. The mess had literally taken over and it had gotten to the point where I had just given up. I started cleaning yesterday around 9 and did not stop until about 4 pm today. I still have a little bit to do before my mom will be allowed in the house, but the MAJOR stuff is done, the hard stuff.

While I was working on the kitchen yesterday, I also decided that I would make a pot of stock. My stash had run out and I was using the boxed stuff, so a batch was way overdue. (I also made a jar of homemade BBQ sauce, but that really has nothing to do with this post, other than it was one more thing that I did haha!)

I had planned on making a huge pot of chili to freeze in smaller batches. Since I’m only feeding myself now, most nights I don’t feel like cooking a huge meal. I want to have easy meals on hand so I can just make something quick. But, since I had a bunch of fresh stock, I changed my plan and made a pot of this soup instead. It was good, but a little bland. Next time I’ll add more than just thyme, and maybe some Worcestershire.

Wild Rice and Mushroom Soup with Chicken
Adapted From Cooking Light October 2010

4 cups chicken broth
1 package quick-cooking wild rice
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1/2 cup red bell pepper, chopped
1/3 cup carrots, matchstick-cut
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 Tbsp butter
2 packages shiitake mushrooms
2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken breast
Salt & Pepper to taste

Boil 1 1/3 cup broth in medium sauce pan. Add rice. Cover, reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Set aside.

Heat oil in Dutch oven over med high heat. Add onion, bell pepper, carrots, garlic, and thyme; saute 3 minutes. Stir in butter and mushrooms, saute 3 more minutes.

Add remaining broth, rice, chicken, salt and pepper. Cook 3 minutes more.