Welcome to my blog! This will be a creative outlet for me without a particular theme, so the posts may seem sporadic or random. Each post will likely be a new and different category, so if you like surprises, you’re in the right place! This will contain everything from journal entries to photography and I don’t have a set posting schedule. I may post multiple times a day, or not at all for a week. If you decide to follow me, I hope you enjoy your experience on my blog!
Sunset in Okeechobee, FL.
Last night, I decided to try a spin off of the traditional chicken cordon bleu and made a Dijon cream sauce to accompany it. It was really good, but is not the flavor you expect when you think of chicken cordon bleu. I paired it with feta roasted carrots, which were amazing. Try them yourself and let me know what you think! Do you have a chicken cordon bleu recipe you like? Share it in the comments!
Chicken Cordon Bleu with Dijon Cream Sauce
Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 30 min
Total Time: 45 min
Servings: 2 servings
- Panko breadcrumbs – 1/2 cup for Shortcut Method or 1 cup for Dredging Method
- 2 small chicken breasts, around 6-7oz
- 4 slices swiss cheese
- 4 to 6 slices of ham, about 2.5oz
- 1 egg
- 2 tsp plain flour
- 3 tbsp mayonnaise, preferably whole egg
- 1 1/2 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1 1/2 tbsp butter
- 1 1/2 tbsp flour (I used 2 tbsp because it was a little too thin with 1-1/2 tbsp)
- 1 1/4 cups milk
- 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 3 tbsp parmesan cheese, finely grated
- 1 tsp thyme leaves (optional)
- Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 180C/350F.
Spread panko breadcrumbs on a baking tray and spray with oil. Bake for 3 minutes or until light golden. Remove and scrape into bowl straight away.
Cut a pocket into each chicken breast, as per the photo below.
Fold the cheese in half and place 2 pieces inside each pocket. Do the same with the ham. Close the pocket, seal with toothpicks.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Whisk egg and flour. Dip chicken into egg mixture, then into the panko breadcrumbs. Transfer to tray, spray with oil.
Mix the mayonnaise, mustard, salt and pepper in a bowl. Spread onto the top and sides of the chicken (not underside).
Sprinkle panko over the chicken, using your other hand to press the breadcrumbs onto the side of the chicken. Spray with oil.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown and just cooked through. Rest for 5 minutes before serving with the Dijon Cream Sauce.
Melt butter over medium heat in a small saucepan. Add flour and cook for 1 1/2 minutes.
Add half the milk and whisk until the flour mixture is blended in.
Add remaining milk, mustard and cheese. Cook for 3 minutes, whisking constantly, until thickened. It will thicken as it cools.
Remove from heat, stir through thyme leaves and add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with chicken.
Feta Roasted Carrots
Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 30 min
Total Time: 40 min
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Tara Noland
- 10-12 large carrots, diagonally crinkle cut or plain
- 2-3 Tbsp. olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- ¼ cup feta, crumbled
- Fresh parsley for garnish
- Preheat oven to 425F.
- Toss carrots with oil on a rimmed baking sheet and season with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 25-30 min. or until caramelized and tender. Tossing at about the 20 min. mark.
- Place hot carrots in a bowl and top with feta and garnish with chopped parsley.
Some reeds I photographed a few years ago. If you have something you’d like me to photograph, tell me in the comments!
I go to a LARP (Live-Action Role-Play) game every month with a bunch of friends and most of us try to chip in for food for the evenings. Its not the typical LARP you think of with wooden swords and dressing up and stuff – it’s a gathering at a friend’s house where it’s almost a glorified table-top RPG and you remain in character throughout the night’s game.
Anyway, some people will buy snack trays, chips, drinks, etc to help out the host with food for everyone since at any given time there’s usually about 15-20 at the house. Last night, I made 2.71 lbs of Parmesan Garlic Herb Salmon. There was none left by the time we left, so I’m going to say this recipe is a win! I thought it was missing something, but can’t put my finger on it. If any of you try it, let me know what you think it’s missing (if anything)!
Parmesan Garlic Herb Salmon
Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 20 min (It took closer to 30-35 min for mine. I recommend using a meat thermometer – salmon should have an internal temperature of 145 degrees measured in the thickest part)
Total Time: 30-45 min
Servings: 6 servings
Author: The Gracious Wife
- 1 large salmon filet (about 2 pounds)
- 3-6 garlic cloves, minced
- ¼ cup chopped parsley
- ¼ cup sliced chives
- ½-1 cup coarsely grated Parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 400°.
- Line a large baking sheet with foil.
- Place salmon skin side down on the foil. Wrap the foil loosely around the salmon so that it’s kind of tented in the middle and fold up the ends of the foil.
- Bake for 10 minutes.
- While salmon is baking, combine garlic, parsley, chives, and Parmesan to a medium mixing bowl.
- Remove salmon from the oven after 10 minutes. Unwrap and sprinkle Parmesan garlic herb mixture onto salmon evenly.
- Leave uncovered. Return salmon to oven for an additional 5-10 minutes, or until cooked through and cheese is melted and slightly browned.
I recently had to quit my job due to medical reasons and have applied for disability. I have a 4-6 month wait before they send me their decision on whether they deem me disabled. I start school on August 22nd for my bachelors in clinical psychology, but being out of work gives me plenty of free time I need to do something with.
In an attempt to eat more well-rounded meals rather than ramen, pasta, and pb&j like the poor college student I am, I have started finding recipes on Pinterest and creating 2 week meal plans. I love cooking, but previously I didn’t have enough time and my pain levels after work were too high to move. My days off were always spent at doctors or recovering, so finding time and ability to actually cook wasn’t easy.
Well, on Thursday I did my shopping and stocked the fridge and pantry and on Friday night, I made bacon-wrapped cheese-stuffed chicken with garlic parmesan roasted broccoli. These are definitely dishes I would make again. Delicious!!
For any fellow cooks who follow my blog, here are the recipes. Their titles are links to the original websites the Pinterest pins took me to for the recipes.
Bacon-Wrapped Cheese-Stuffed Chicken
Prep Time: 10 min (if you’re slow at trimming fat off the chicken like me, this is MUCH longer)
Cook Time: 35 min
Total Time: 45 min
Servings: 4 Servings
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1 pound (4 four-ounces each) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 8 slices thin cut bacon
- paprika to taste
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
In a bowl, combine cream cheese and cheddar cheese. Form into about 2 to 3-inch length and 1/2-inch thickness (make sure they will fit the cut you make on the chicken).
Wrap each cheese log in plastic film and freeze for about 10 to 15 minutes or until firm.
Trim chicken of any excess fat. Make a small slit on top of meat, but not cutting all the way through.
Insert cheese log into the slit.
Wrap chicken with bacon and place in a single layer on a cast iron skillet or baking dish.
Season with paprika to taste and sprinkle with chopped parsley.
Bake in a 400 F oven for about 30 to 35 minutes or until thermometer inserted in center of chicken reads 165 F.
Broil for about 1 to 2 minutes or until bacon slightly crisps. Serve hot.
Garlic Parmesan Roasted Broccoli
Prep Time: 5 min
Cook Time: 10 min
Total Time: 15 min
Servings: 6 servings (3-4 servings is more accurate, depending on how much you like broccoli)
Author: Website did not provide author for credit
- 24 ounces broccoli florets (equal to about 5 cups)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
- Juice of 1 lemon (I just used La Fe Lemon Juice)
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Lightly oil a baking sheet or coat with nonstick spray.
- Place broccoli florets in a single layer onto the prepared baking sheet. Add olive oil and garlic; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Gently toss to combine.
- Place into oven and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until tender.
- Serve immediately, sprinkled with Parmesan and lemon juice.
If you try them, let me know what you thought! If you have a recipe recommendation, leave it in the comments as well!
I had orientation for school today and am now registered for classes full-time! I’m really excited because I’m starting my bachelor’s degree for clinical psychology. I need 9 books for 4 classes though! It’s insane! The second best idea my mother ever had (after getting me unlimited texting as soon as she got me my first cell phone) was buying me the rolling backpack when I started community college back in 2009. I was a stupid 19 year old and argued with her because “a rolling backpack isn’t cool.” I am now thanking her profusely because that stupid rolling backpack is going to save my life as I traverse my new campus, which is basically a small city, especially since I have severe arthritis in my knees and 2 herniated discs in my back.
I am very nervous about restarting school, though. The classes I’m used to contained about 30-40 students. These classes are about 400-450 students. I guess I always thought the depictions of gigantic classrooms in the movies were exaggerations or just for Ivy League colleges like Harvard or Yale. I really hope I am able to continuously get the front row because otherwise I won’t be able to see anything! I have a corrective lens prescription of -9.75 (For those that don’t know what that means, I literally can’t see farther than an inch away from my face clearly without contacts or glasses. Though correction definitely helps, my vision will always be far from perfect and I still have trouble seeing things at a distance).
Not only that, but my social anxiety keeps telling me I won’t make any friends and I’ll be crazy lonely and just seen as that weird nerd who does nothing but study all the time. I hope I’ll find some people to talk to there after a bit. I didn’t have much luck with that at my last school, so hopefully here will be easier.
I start classes on August 22nd, so the countdown begins!
My boyfriend’s birthday was June 30th (which also added to the busy week) and I cooked him dinner before going to a nerd bar with a couple friends and playing board games while drinking.
I was pretty proud of my dinner, which consisted of spiral cut, brown sugar ham, honey garlic roasted carrots, and candied yams. For dessert, I made an apple pie from scratch (everything but the crust anyway), which he ate 90% of in one sitting. I don’t usually take photos of food, but I felt my pie was impressive enough to do so.