So my daughter and I had a lazy day today. So lazy that I looked at the clock in enough time to realize that I only had two hours before I had to leave for work to cook, clean, and shower.
I still decided to put some effort into dinner with what little we had in our cupboards and got creative. The results were fantastic.
Chicken & Broccoli with a Garlic Basil Cream Sauce
You will need:
Oil, for cooking
Chicken breasts, thawed (one per person)
Seasonings to taste (I used salt, pepper, and garlic salt)
1 cup broccoli, cut into bite sized pieces (mine were frozen)
1/2 cup onion, chopped
Box rice of your choice, I used Chicken and Garlic Rice-a-Roni
Garlic Basil Cream Sauce:
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp flour
1 cup milk
5-6 leaves of fresh basil (chopped), or 1-2 tsp dried basil
Oil frying pan, season chicken breasts, and pan fry on medium heat. Brown both sides of chicken, reducing heat if needed to time dinner preperations.
In a separate pan, melt butter for sauce in low heat. Once melted add garlic. Stir occasionally, smearing garlic with the bottom of your spoon to reduce the garlic into the butter, about 3-5 minutes.
Add flour and salt. Stir/spread mixture frequently for approximately 3 minutes to minimize flour taste and texture.
Slowly and simultaneously add milk and chopped basil until completely combined.
Raise heat to medium low and stir occasionally. Turn off heat when sauce has reached desired thickness.
In the meantime, after both sides of chicken are browned, add broccoli and onion to fry pan. Add extra seasonings if needed. Sauté with chicken until tender.
Plate with rice of choice, covering both rice and chicken/vegetable fry with cream sauce. So delicious!
A great thing I love about living in Washington State is having the beach, the city, and country life all within a thirty minute drive. I have family in all of these areas, and I myself live in the city, only a hop-skip from the beach. My grandparents, however, live a little more in the country. They have horses and small stables, and their property has a creek dividing their home from their orchard. They have apple trees, plum trees, grapes, walnuts, blueberries and more. Most recently they had an overwhelming amount of ripe pie cherries.
My daughter and I were happy to oblige. Those baskets are deeper than they look.
The crop was starting to turn and a lot will still be left to the birds, but I’ve pitted and frozen around two one-gallon ziploc bags. My payment will be made in pies. I couldn’t wait though! I wanted to test my skills again and make a little treat for my husband to take to work tomorrow. Here we have:
Mini Cherry Pies!
AND they’re easy.
Cupcake tin, greased
One pie crust
Sugar (approx 3/4 cup)
Bowl of cherries
1 tbsp melted butter (optional)
To start, preheat your oven to 350.
I have a favorite pie crust recipe from a cook book I absolutely recommend having in your library!
I used the pie crust recipe from the holiday cookbook from The Pioneer Woman, but feel free to use your favorite pie crust recipe or a premade one.
If making your own crust, roll out dough on a lightly floured surface.
Next, find two cups in your house, one regular drinking cup sized:
And one slightly larger, like my awesome monster Starbucks mug:
My home made pie crust made 6 of each with a little left over.
Tuck the larger circles into your greased muffin tin. Bake for 3-5 minutes until the crust barely starts to firm and set.
Seed cherries by halving them and prying out the pit.
Coat cherries in half of the sugar, toss, then mix in the rest of the sugar to coat again.
Reduce the oven heat to 325.
Spoon cherries into crusts. Press down to fit the maximum amount of fruit.
My cherries are specifically pie cherries, so they’re a little more tart. To compensate, I sprinkled the leftover sugar over each pie, but this is optional.
Next I put a small amount of butter over each of the smaller crusts, but again, optional.
Fit each smaller crust over the mini pies by pinching or pressing down into the tin.
Note in the above picture I also took a butter knife and made three small slits at the top of each pie.
Bake for 25-30 minutes until the sides begin to golden. Let cool for a few minutes before removing from the tin. To remove them, I took a butter knife around the edges of the pie, slightly lifted from the side, then used a spoon to carefully scoop them out.