Chicken Cutlets with Brussel Sprouts and Parsley Potatoes

Growing up in a half-Italian household, my grandmother (Nonna) would always make chicken cutlets for me and my cousins. We would eat these like candy. My Nonna made her cutlets by lightly frying them with a little bit of flour. They aren’t breaded heavily, which is what makes this recipe so delicious because you can still get all the flavor from the chicken. My mom helped me out with this recipe since it was my first time making it. We paired the chicken with my Nonna’s famous parsley potatoes- a staple in our diet since birth. For as long as I can remember, I have had these potatoes at every holiday meal at my grandmother’s house. Actually, just with every meal. They are light and flavorful and super easy to make. 

Recently, I have really gotten into brussel sprouts. Now I know that brussel sprouts have had a bad rep, but I really don’t see why. If you like broccoli, then you’d absolutely love brussel sprouts! Ok, so that wasn’t so convincing, but you really need to prepare them the right way. My grandmother and mom prepare them with a little bit of olive oil and garlic and they are so delicious. Keeping it simple is often the best way to go. And if brussel sprouts still aren’t for you, then more for me! Just kidding :) 

Chicken Cutlets 

(serves 4)

  • 8 skinless and boneless chicken breast halves
  • all-purpose flour (to coat the chicken breasts)
  • salt and pepper to season
  • small dish of 2% milk (any grade milk will do though) 
  • 2 tablespoons butter 
  • lime juice 

In a medium dish, pour in a generous amount of flour and season with salt and pepper. In another dish, pour in the milk. 

Dredge the chicken first though the milk, coating on both sides and then covering it in the flour mixture.

Turn on a burner on the stove to medium heat and melt the butter.

Cook each chicken breast for 5 minutes on each side and then flip. Watch them! They cook fast! 

Once the cutlets turn golden brown, squirt with lime juice.

Brussel Sprouts

  • 12-15 brussel sprouts
  • olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic

Heat up a pan on medium heat and add garlic. Make sure to watch the garlic so it doesn’t burn.

Add the brussel sprouts to the pan and add olive oil. 

Cook for 5 minutes until tender. Some of the layers might come off when cooking. 

Parsley Potatoes 

  • 6 russet potatoes
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil 
  • apple cider vinegar 
  • any type of herbs (I used parsley and basil leaves) 

Boil the potatoes in a pot of water and peel back the skin when soft. Once the potatoes are peeled, chop up into chunks. 

In a medium bowl, add olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper and herbs. Mix well. 

Dinner is served! See? Wasn’t that easy 😉 We had a few asparagus vinaigrette left over from the night before so we added them in :) 

Snowman Pancakes

My sister and I wanted to make something fun for Christmas morning breakfast. Something that was festive and yummy as the same time. We contemplated making sweet rolls, pretty typical for a holiday morning breakfast, but thought of something better. We were recently introduced to Pinterest over the Thanksgiving holidays and my sister showed me a picture of a snowman made of pancakes. It was so cute that we had to make a Broyhill version of it. 

We stumbled upon a great fluffy pancake recipe that stated it was the “last pancake recipe you’ll ever need”. We tried it out and agree that it is definitely the last pancake recipe we’ll ever use. The texture and consistency of the pancakes were the fluffy, warm and super soft kind that you get on a Sunday morning brunch restaurant. And we made them in our own home! We were very proud of our accomplishment.

We adorned our snowman pancakes with chocolate chip eyes, a bacon scarf, and half of an orange gumdrop from one of our gingerbread kits. We wanted to place our snowman in snow so we put him in a field of shaved coconut :) I hope you had as much fun as I did making this! Happy Holidays!

Snowman Pancakes 

(Fluffy pancakes adapted from momgrind.com)

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups 2% milk
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract 

Mix together the dry ingredients with a fork: flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. 

Add in the egg. 

Add in the milk, vanilla and butter and mix together well with the fork. The batter should be lumpy and thick. 

Using an ice cream scooper, scoop small heaps of the batter onto a heated skillet. 

Let sit for about 3 minutes until the underside is lightly toasted and bubbles form on the sides and then flip. Cook on the other side until lightly golden. 

Decorate you pancakes with whatever you want! We used other breakfast foods like bacon to make the scarf for Frosty :) 

Filet Mignon with Sautéed Broccoli and Carrots and Asparagus Vinaigrette

A Christmas eve eve feast indeed! My mom and I wanted to do something special for this Christmas up in the mountains so we decided to make filet mignon. I have to applaud our efforts because my mom and I grilled the filets out on our grill in -7º weather! But they were totally worth the cold. We paired the filets with blanched broccoli and carrots sautéed in garlic and prepared asparagus with vinaigrette to finish off the meal. Besides the filets, one of my favorite things about this meal is the sautéed broccoli. I can’t count how many meals I’ve had where the broccoli is prepared with just butter. Now, I’m not dissing butter (Paula), but I felt like the broccoli could be improved. This time, I added garlic to the broccoli, so I blanched the broccoli in the microwave with a bit of water for about 2 minutes until they became soft and then tossed them in a pan with olive oil and garlic. Not only did the smell of the garlic fill up the kitchen but once I added the broccoli and carrots my kitchen smelled like a 5-star restaurant. 

We grilled each filet for about 5 minutes on each side and they turned out medium rare, which I felt had the most flavor. Each filet was about 6 ounces, a generous and filling portion for each person. As fancy as filet mignon sounds, it’s actually not that difficult to make. No, I’m not kidding. All you have to do is season the filets and put them on the grill and cook them to your preference. I have neve been more satisfied with a meal and I hope it satisfies your Christmas eve dinner too! 

Filet Mignon 

  • 4 6-ounce filets 
  • Salt and pepper 
  • Olive oil 

Preheat the grill to 450ºF. Prepare the filets by drizzling a little bit of olive oil and sprinkling salt and pepper on them. 

Once the grill is hot, place each filet on the grill for 5 minutes. It’s important not to pierce the filet when flipping it over so use tongs to flip over for another 5 minutes on the other side. We cooked ours medium rare and it took only 10 minutes.  

Remove from the grill and place on a platter and cover with aluminum foil to let it rest for a few minutes. The key here is to rest the meat. Resting the meat helps the juices redistribute.

Sautéed Broccoli and Carrots

  • 2 lbs. of broccoli 
  • Half a bag (or more) or baby carrots
  • Olive oil 
  • 1-2 cloves of chopped garlic

Heat up a pan on medium heat with a little bit of olive oil. Once the pan is warm, place the chopped garlic in the pan. You might want to lower the heat to make sure the garlic doesn’t burn. 

Cook the broccoli by placing them in a bowl with a little bit of water and steaming them in the microwave for around 2 minutes. 

Once the broccoli is steamed, place in the pan with garlic.

 

Once the carrots are steamed, cut them in half lengthwise. 

Put the carrots in the pan with the broccoli and toss for around 5-10 minutes until done. You can also add with a tablespoon of butter for flavor, if you wish. 

Asparagus Vinaigrette 

  • A bunch of asparagus (around 25)
  • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper 
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar 
  • A pinch of basil 

Wash the asparagus and trim the ends where they snap off. Steam in the microwave with a little bit of water for 2 minutes until soft, but firm.

To make the vinagrette, mix the olive oil, Dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar and salt and pepper together. Finish off with a little bit of basil.

Drizzle the vinaigrette over the asparagus and serve! 

Our Christmas eve eve dinner :)

High Altitude Banana Muffins with Chocolate Chips and Pecan Streusel

Good news for all of y’all who live above 5,000 feet! Alright, maybe that’s just me. My family and I spend every holiday up in Breckenridge, Colorado, an exciting but relaxing little mountain town at 9,600 feet. Needless to say, baking up here can be quite the pain…especially during the holidays. My mom and I are always on the hunt for high altitude recipes and we stumbled across this recipe for banana bread. The reviews on the recipe from Food.com had a ton of positive reviews, so I decided to try it out. I wanted to make Christmas morning muffins instead of a loaf and I also added chocolate chips to the recipe. To make it even better, I decided to top off each muffin with a sprinkle of pecan steusel. Originally, I had planned on serving these on Christmas morning, but my family couldn’t resist them. Plus, with the smell they had left in the air, I’d just be a scrooge if I didn’t let them have one 😉 

High Altitude Banana Muffins with Chocolate Chips and Pecan Streusel 

(Adapted from Food.com

Yields 12 divine muffins

  • 4 tablespoons of softened unsalted butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 2-3 ripe bananas 
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips 
  • 1 1/3 cup flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Pecan Streusel Topping

  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon cut up unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans 

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Butter or oil a muffin pan or line with muffin liners. In a large bowl, combine softened butter, eggs, sugar and bananas. Make sure the bananas are mashed and the mixture is a little chunky.

In another bowl, combine flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon. Gradually add the dry mix to the wet mixture. Mix together well with a spoon. 

Mix in 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips. 

Using an ice cream scooper, scoop the batter into each muffin cup. Should be filled a little more than half-way. 

To make the pecan streusel topping, combine all of the ingredients until they become a crumby texture. 

Add the pecan streusel topping on top of the batter in each cup. 

Bake for 22 minutes. Put a toothpick into a muffin to see if its done. Cool for 15 minutes then carefully take them out of the tins and serve on a platter. 

Look at those chocolate chips! Enjoy :) 

Blue Cheese Salad with Feta, bacon, cranberries and candied pecans

I know your first thoughts when reading this might be, “There’s no way this is a salad”, and you’re right! This is not an ordinary salad by any means. This is a super salad. It’s a salad that is full of flavor and different ingredients. My mom was craving a blue cheese salad the other day so we decided to make one ourselves. We added in our favorite things and it became a super salad. Feta cheese is a must in pretty much everything (I’m 1/4 Greek) and my grandmother had just shipped over a package of her homemade candied pecans. Craisins (dried cranberries) have the perfect amount of sweet and tang…and do I need to explain bacon bits? We drizzled a little bit of light blue cheese dressing and is became a super salad. Super easy to make and super delicious. 

Blue Cheese Salad with Feta cheese, bacon bits, cranberries, and candied pecans

  • 3-4 leaves of iceberg lettuce
  • 1/8 cup crumbled Feta cheese
  • 1/8 cup bacon bits (or more, if you like)
  • 1/8 cup Craisins 
  • 1/8 cup candied pecans (you can also use just plain pecans)
  • 2 tablespoons Blue cheese dressing 

Wash and chop up 3-4 leaves of iceberg lettuce and put into a medium-sized bowl. 

Add in crumbled Feta, bacon bits, Craisins and candied pecans.

Pour the Blue cheese dressing over the salad and toss. Serve into two bowls and enjoy! See, easy :)