Friday, November 14, 2008

641.5 -- Parmesan Crusted Chicken

Recommended recipes are, in my opinion, the best kind of recipes. In that spirit, I present to you another recipe pilfered from a dear friend. This one is from Jackie. About a year ago, when she was living close enough for me to visit her, I did just that. We scouted the greater Ft. Knox metropolitan area (hah!) for flea markets and other craft opportunities. We looked at furniture, watched movies, and she made this delicious (and too freakin' easy) dinner for us. So good and so impressive, that you'll want to keep the ingredients handy for spur-of-the-moment dinner guests.

4 boneless skinless thin sliced chicken breasts
1/2 cup mayo
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
4 tsp Italian season bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 425. Line 9x13 baking dish with foil. Place chicken in pan. Combine the mayo and the Parmesan cheese. Spread over the chicken breasts. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs. Bake for 20 minutes.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

791.4375 -- Picture show

As a kid, I can remember sitting in our living room watching old James Bond movies during TBS Bond marathons. With only one TV in the house -- and my dad a decided Bond fan -- it was either 007 or nothing. Two years ago, I gave Matt the complete set of Bond movies on DVD as his "deployment extension present." So now there's really no escaping it. And truth be told, I actually really liked Casino Royale and Daniel Craig in the title role. So I was happier than I expected to find out that Matt already bought us tickets to Quantum of Solace for Friday night. I can't wait!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

394.264 -- Happy Veterans Day

I'm so proud of my husband Matt for so many reasons, not the least of which is his service in the Army. Today I get to thank him as the rest of America thanks him and all veterans for their service. I wish I had time to post something more thought-provoking or pensive, but my lunch break is waning. Happy Veterans' Day!

Posing outisde a school house in Kamdesh, Afghanistan. Matt is on the left. He's standing nex to our friend Ben Keating, who died 20 days after this picture was taken. On the far right is the Afghan National Army Executive Officer (XO) who was working with our Battalion.

Monday, November 10, 2008

613.79 -- Relaxation

This past Saturday was a rarity around our house: neither Matt nor I had anything planned outside of the home. In fact, we didn't have anything planned to do at all. It was a glorious day, and I'm thankful we got to spend it together. Neither one of us so much as lifted a finger to do laundry, clean dishes, or pay bills. We didn't even get the mail in or check our email. After making pancakes mid-morning, we didn't cook either. It was the first day since we moved into our house 7 months ago that we didn't do a single thing that resembled work. A thoroughly great day.

641.568 -- Thanksgiving recipes

What's not to like about Thanksgiving?! Cold weather, warm family gatherings, and license to eat all of the comfort foods I love the best. This year, my family's Thanksgiving celebration is at my house. Entertaining is one of my favorite things about (finally) having a house that's big enough and close enough to friends and relatives. I couldn't be more excited to host aunts, uncles, cousins, and my grandparents for the holiday (though technically, we'll be celebrating the weekend after the big day).

Excited as I am, however, I'm also a little bit terrified. I've never cooked a whole turkey before, and instead of starting with 2 or 4 people as I normally would, I'm jumping strait to a group of 16. I have no doubt that my trusted sources at allrecipes will do right by me.

Below is the recipe I plan to cook. (I've left the alternate temperature suggestions in for my mom and anyone else who might find themselves cooking in other than the most familiar circumstances.) Do you have any tips or tricks to help this first-time bird baker? Note that any suggestions to use a deep fryer will go unheeded. I'm going traditional this year :)

1 12-pound whole turkey
6 tbsp butter
2 tbsp dried parsley
2 tbsp dried minced onion
4 cups warm water
3 tbsp chicken bouillon
2 tbsp seasoning salt

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Rinse and wash turkey. Discard the giblets, or add them tot he pan if they are anyone's favorites.

2. Place the turkey in a Dutch oven or roasting pan. (I'll be using the roasting pan.) Separate the skin over the breast to make little pockets. Put 3 tbsp of the butter on both sides between the skin andt he breast meat. This makes for very juicy breast meat.

3. In a medium bowl, combine the water with the bouillon. Sprinkle in the parsley and minced onion. Pour over the top of the turkey. Sprinkle seasoning salt over the turkey.

4. Cover with foil, and bake in the preheated oven 3-1/2 to 4 hours, until the internal temperature of the turkey reaches 180 degrees F (80 degrees C). For the last 45 minutes or so, remove the foil so the turkey will brown nicely.