Sunday, July 19, 2015

Lemon Mustard Chicken with Asparagus and Potatoes

This is a really easy dinner to throw together – all goes in one skillet.  I followed the original recipe from Damn Delicious, but next time, I’d cut up the chicken more and quarter the potatoes instead of halving them to make sure it all gets cooked through evenly – we had to put it in the oven awhile longer to finish. 

Lemon Mustard Chicken with Asparagus and Potatoes (adapted from Damn Delicious)

  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 T Dijon mustard
  • 1 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • ½ t dried thyme
  • Salt and pepper
  • 6 bone-in, skin-on thicken thighs (we already had boneless in our fridge, but I think bone-in would have turned out better…)
  • 2 T unsalted butter
  • 12 baby red potatoes, quartered
  • 1 pound asparagus, trimmed


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.   

2. In a small bowl, combine olive oil, mustard, lemon juice, lemon zest, and thyme.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Rub onto both sides of the chicken. 

3. Melt butter in a large oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the chicken, skin-side down, and sear both sides until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes per side.  Set aside. 

4. Add quartered potatoes to the skillet.  Season with salt and pepper.  Place skillet in oven and bake 20 – 25 minutes, or until potatoes are easily pierced with a fork.  Add asparagus and chicken to the skillet. 

5.  Place in oven and roast until chicken is completely cooked through (with an internal temperature of 175 degrees F), about 30 more minutes.  The cooking time will vary depending on the thickness of your chicken and size of your potatoes, so adjust accordingly.  

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Steak Tacos with Chipotle Cherry Salsa


Cherries are at their season peak right now here in Florida, so we bought a big bag of them last week.  Then, our neighbor Vimmi gave us even more since she was leaving town & had to clear out her fridge, so we had more cherries than we knew what to do with! 

This recipe was really easy and the salsa itself was amazing – the mix of sweet, tart, and spicy reminded me of this spicy cranberry cream cheese dip I made at Thanksgiving last year.  And the Trader Joe’s Habanero Lime tortilla shells were great – the bag said “medium hot”, but I’d really say they were just mild-medium…just a hint of spiciness.  I’d definitely make this meal again. 

Steak Tacos with Chipotle Cherry Salsa (adapted from Iowa Girl Eats)

Steak Ingredients:
  • 1 pound sirloin tip steak
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 T Worchestershire sauce (I actually ran out the other day when we made meatloaf, so I omitted this ingredient…)
  • 2 t. brown sugar
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed
  • ¼ t. red chili pepper flakes
  • salt & pepper
Salsa Ingredients:
  • ¼ cup fresh basil
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 T balsamic
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 t. honey
  • 1 t. lime juice
  • 2 cups cherries, pitted and cut in half
  • salt and pepper
Rest of the ingredients:
  • 1 onion, sliced thin (sweet onion would be better – we only had half a white onion)
  • 1 T olive oil
  • Pinch of sugar
  • Flour tortillas (we used Habanero Lime from Trader Joe’s)
  • Shredded cheddar cheese (pepperjack would have been good too)
  • 1 t cilantro
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1 tomato


1. Prepare the steak marinade.  In a small bowl, whisk together balsamic, Worchestershire, brown sugar, garlic, red chili pepper flakes, salt & pepper.  Season steak on both sides with salt & pepper, then place in a Ziploc bag with the marinade and refrigerate for 1-4 hours (it doesn't look very appetizing here, but I promise, it will be delicious!)

2. Meanwhile, prepare the cherry salsa.  In a food processor, combine basil, jalapeño, balsamic, garlic, honey, lime juice, salt, pepper, and half the cherries.  Process until nearly smooth.  Add the remaining cherries and pulse until chunky.  Refrigerate until ready to use. 

3. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add onion slices, season with salt, pepper, and pinch of sugar, then cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and caramelized, about 25 minutes. 

4. Let steak sit at room temperature for 10 minutes.  Grill on high heat 2-3 minutes per side (we just used our George Foreman, which grilled both sides at once, so we didn’t have to flip the steaks…)  Let steak rest 5 minutes before slicing thin. 

5.  Heat your flour tortillas on a skillet to warm them until slightly toasty.  Assemble your tacos as you’d like & enjoy! 

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Atlanta Restaurants


I had training for HON Office Furniture in Atlanta this past week.  It just happened to be on Tuesday/Wednesday (which are Lance’s days off work each week), so he joined me for the work trip.  While I was in class, he wandered the city, and then in the evenings, we ate our way around town. 

On our way out of town, our flight out was delayed because of thunderstorms, so we enjoyed beers at the Cigar City brewery right in the Airside C terminal.  They brew beer right there in the airport– and even have some specialties that aren’t available at the other locations (I really liked the Tony Jannus Pale Ale – named for the world’s first commercial airline pilot, who flew from Tampa to St. Pete, Florida). 

We got to Atlanta Monday evening.  One of our all-time favorite restaurants is Canoe – we discovered it last time we were in Atlanta (read more about it on this blog post…)  The menu is innovative and perfectly executed, and the view is beautiful.  It is on the Chattahoochee River and has a beautiful garden behind.  Well, we couldn’t miss an opportunity to eat there again, so we took an Uber there for dinner (it’s a little drive from midtown/downtown Atlanta, so it would be hard to get there with public transportation). 

If you haven’t used Uber before, we had a great experience with it!  Our drivers were much friendlier than the taxi driver that we had from the airport, and if you go here or use my referral code amandan1158ue, you’ll get your first ride for free!  

Lance tried the Wild Heaven Eschaton Quadrupel based out of Decatur, GA, and I had their 4th Sun Rising cocktail with Old Fourth Distillery, SOHO Lychee, lemongrass, lemon, and egg whites.  My drink was deliciously tart – but probably went a little overboard with the egg whites.  It was hard to get through the thick foam to sip the drink. 

We started with the peppercorn crusted kangaroo loin with caramelized onion tart, olive, and black vinegar gastrique (since when else will we have the opportunity to try kangaroo…)  If I hadn’t known any better, I would have just thought it was steak. 

For our main courses, Lance ordered the pork tenderloin and I had the lamb sirloin.  His actually came with multiple types of meat – the tenderloin, house made sausage, and braised pork belly, with apricot and natural jus.  Mine was served over English pea tortellini, minted tomato jam, and pistachio butter. You really can’t go wrong with anything you order at this restaurant.  We probably went a little overboard with the meat dishes that evening, but it was all fantastic. 

We were really full, but the dessert we had last time was one of the best sweets we’ve ever had, so we finished with their gourmet cracker jack sundae. 

I kept my receipt because it says I bought 1 kangaroo…

For summertime, it really wasn’t that hot outside and it was great weather for wandering their gardens.  There were fireflies lighting up and we visited the chicken coop where they get all the fresh eggs for the restaurant. 

After my training the next day, we visited the Wrecking Bar Brewpub.  We actually wanted to go on our last trip, but it was closed when we were there before.  It’s in the Little Five Points neighborhood in an old Victorian mansion.  The tables were set with pretty wildflowers.  Our waiter recommended the Corn Pups and the Georgia Duck, so we went with his suggestions.   

I’m not normally a fan of hot dogs – personally it just seems gross that it’s a mixture of all rejected meat parts.  But these were made from chedderwurst, battered in corn bread, and fried.  It was served with curry ketchup and yellow mustard – it was good, but would have been better if it was with a whole grain or spicy mustard. 

The duck was served with chioggia beets, red beet root, swiss chard, radish, chanterelles (a type of mushroom), and duck jus.  The presentation was very pretty, and the flavor was just as great as it looked. 

We finished with a peach crisp (which actually turned out to have blueberries as well).  It was topped with oatmeal streusel and vanilla honeysuckle gelato. 

Finally, the last day we had to fly back home, so we had a really early dinner around 4pm.  Several of my classmates from the training had eaten at South City Kitchen the night before and said it was amazing, but another set of people said it was so crowded, even on a Tuesday night, that there was over an hour wait.  We made reservations, but there really wasn’t a need for them when we showed up for such an early dinner. 

They didn’t start serving their full dinner until 5pm, but we ordered from their abbreviated bar menu, which had some of their specialties. I liked the Lazy Magnolia Southern Pecan ale from Mississippi and Lance enjoyed his Hoplanta IPA – but I wasn’t as much of a fan of Terrapin’s Peach Farmhouse Ale (too sweet). 

We had the buttermilk fried chicken and the shrimp & red mule grits.  It seemed like we should get Southern specialties while we were in Georgia.  Both were really authentic dishes and very filling.  The red grits were a bit heavier than I’m used to – with poblano peppers, house made tasso ham, and smoked tomato gravy.  We didn’t have room for any dessert this time (and figured even if we did, dessert three nights in a row was probably a bad idea…) 

Atlanta has so many fantastic restaurant options – happy to have had the chance to try a few new ones this time!  But Canoe still tops the charts for me…definitely go there if you have the chance.      

Canoe is located at 4199 Paces Ferry Rd SE, Atlanta, GA 30339  and is open for lunch 11:30am – 2:30pm Monday through Fridays, for dinner 5:30pm – 10pm Monday through Thursday, and 5:30pm – 11pm Friday & Saturday, and 5:30pm – 9:30pm on Sundays.  They are also open for Sunday brunch 10:30am – 2:30pm. 

Wrecking Bar Brewpub is located at 292 Moreland Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30307 and is open 4pm – 11pm Monday – Thursday, 12pm – 12am Friday – Saturday, and 11am – 10pm on Sundays. 

Southern City Kitchen is located at 1144 Crescent Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30309 and is open 11am – 10pm Monday – Thursday, 11am – 10:30pm Friday, 10am – 3pm and 5pm – 10:30pm on Saturdays, and 10am – 3pm and 5pm – 10pm on Sundays.