Thursday, June 23, 2011

Braised Chicken with Riesling

This is a recipe that was shared by Mary at One Perfect Bite. I think I saw it when she listed her favorite chicken recipes and she always shares fabulous recipes. I made a couple of changes but nothing dramatic. Mainly I just used chicken breasts instead of what the original recipe called for and Baby Portobello's. This was excellent.

Braised Chicken with Riesling


5 tablespoons unsalted butter

One 3 1/2-pound chicken, quartered

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 large shallot, minced

2 tablespoons Cognac (optional)

1 cup dry Riesling

6 ounces white mushrooms, sliced 1/4 inch thick

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

1/3 cup heavy cream


1) Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet. Add chicken, season with saltand pepper and cook over moderate heat until slightly browned, about 4 minutes per side. Add shallot and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add Cognac, if using, and carefully ignite it with a long match. When flames subside, add Riesling, cover and simmer over low heat until chicken breasts are just cooked, about 25 minutes. Transfer breasts to a large plate and cover with foil. Cover and simmer legs until cooked through, about 10 minutes longer. Transfer to plate.

2) Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Add mushrooms, season with salt and pepper and cook over low heat until liquid evaporates, about 7 minutes. Increase heat to moderate and cook, stirring, until browned, about 3 minutes.

3) In a bowl, blend flour and remaining 1 tablespoon of butter. Stir cream into the large skillet; bring to a simmer. Gradually whisk flour paste into cooking liquid and simmer, whisking, until no floury taste remains, about 3 minutes longer. Season with salt and pepper. Return the chicken to skillet, add mushrooms and briefly reheat. Yield: 4 servings.

My Notes: I feel that the cognac is a MUST. I also used baby portobello's because I feel that they are more flavorful.

My husband who is not a big fan of chicken, can you even imagine that????? However, he loved this dish. I usually serve this kind of dish with Wild Rice but alas, I only had white rice at the time. It was still delicious.

Pared with some crusty bread and a Mixed Green Salad it made for an outstanding dinner and I think definitely dinner party fare.
This was outstanding and will definitely be listed as one of my favorite chicken dishes. I am very happy to add this recipe to my repertoire thanks to Mary.
I am joining the blogging party Foodie Friday hosted by Michael Lee West at Designs by Gollum. There are so many other participants of this party with some fabulous recipes to share. You can click HERE to see other participants.

Intimate Dinner for Four

The heat and humidity of our summers here in North Florida has caused me to bring any and all dinner parties inside. This table was a small intimate dinner for four.
I am making an effort to incorporate more blue into my decor. I admit to being influenced by a very dear friend who has a passion for blue and white. I had been on the lookout for placemats that have just touches of blue but also incorporated other colors of this room. I found these recently at a small nearby gift shop and she only had the four but that worked for me.

They worked well with my white Villroy & Boch dinner ware. I also used my hotel silver from Horchow and the yellow stemware ties everything together. They were a purchase of many years ago and I just love the feel of them in my hand and they are made from recycled glass which is another plus.
Several years ago I was gifted with these beautiful pear shaped bowls from that same dear friend who has influenced that love for blue and white. I find that I use them often for salad and I always make a salad with pears added to it. I love a salad with the freshness of a fruit added to it along with a light homemade vinaigrette such as a Lemon Vinaigrette.
These little bird S&P add a little bit of whimsy to the table. I found these not long ago in a charming little gift shop at one of my favorite places to shop, Thomasville, GA.

I love this candle piece and it was one of my first blue and white purchases. I have to say that it spoke to me upon first seeing it.

Good friends, good food, interesting conversation, it just doesn't get any better than that.

Today I am joining Susan's blogging party at Between Naps on the Porch. To see some creative and interesting tablesettings of other participants please click HERE.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Rooms of Bliss

Today I am sharing an outdoor room that I truly regard as a Room of Bliss. It is my screened porch that is just off of the dining room but is also accessed from the kitchen. We use it so often and even during the summer with our intense heat, I do have a fan which allows us to use it during those summer months.

I often enjoy my early morning coffee here always with a magazine or latest book I happen to be reading. Never the morning paper since that is sometimes depressing. I like to begin my morning with a happy frame of mind.

I am surrounded by things that are dear to me such as this painting on an old window that my daughter painted for me. And in the corner, a water element for a relaxing feel. This one has little birds on it and I love watching the birds as well.

This mosaic was a gift given to me as an anniversary gift many years ago by my husband. It was done by a friend and local artist. When the morning sun is shining through it is simply breathtaking.

Of course, you have to have a lovely view. This is another of my passions, my garden and when I am sitting here early in the morning having my coffee nothing brings me more joy or pleasure than this view of my garden.

This is my view to the opposite side of the screened porch.

We have also shared many joyous family celebrations here on this porch as well. This just happened to be this year in April, the twin grandsons tenth birthday.

I have given thought to making changes to my screened porch but at the end of the day it truly is one of my Rooms of Bliss and I would have a hard time makning changes here.
Today I am linking to Susan's blogging party at A Southern Daydreamer, Outdoor Wednesday.

Monday, June 20, 2011

A New Kitchen Lamp

Two weeks ago I went down to our beaches along the Gulf  coast for a five day R&R and I took my daughter with me. My daughter was three weeks away from her due date, her due date now is this Friday but alas, no signs yet of an eminent delivery. However, our newest grand daughter will be arriving when she is ready. When contemplating a trip to the beach I thought it would be an excellent oppoutunity for my daughter to rest up, put her feet up and just enjoy the cool breezes of the Gulf.

One of those days we drove to Applachicola, a charming little seaside fishing community with lots of cute shops and the walking was good for me and my daughter. I have a friend whose daughter recently opened a new shop there and I was anxious to visit it. This young woman who is the owner has impeccable taste and I knew that I would love everything in it. I was right about that. That's where I found my new kitchen lamp.

I have this fondness for hens and roosters and use them most often in my kitchen but I do have some in other areas of my home as well.
As you can see I have a McCoy Rooster cookie jar that is part of a larger McCoy collection. My towel rack has a handpainted Hen on it and the towel also has a rooster embroidered on it.

When I did my kitchen remodel about two years ago I had this hand painted tile piece behind the cooktop painted by an artist in England and it has become the centerpiece of my kitchen. On the shelf above is a set of three handpainted roosters that I was gifted with from a very dear friend as a "new" kitchen gift and I had the perfect spot for them.

I have hens and roosters in my rugs on either sides of my island. Thats Huey's favorite resting place in my kitchen.
I think it is fair to say that I do love hens and roosters and one would think that a person could get a little carried away with such a theme. When I walked into this little shop in Applachicola which was adorable I spotted it immediately and I pondered over it for a while. My daughter told me that I couldn't pass it up and that was all I needed with the exception of trying to figure out where I would put it?????

Here is the area that I placed it on and this is what it looked like before I brought in my new lamp.
These are some cabinets in the kitchen that separate the Morning Room from the kitchen. This is my new kitchen lamp.

He is so handsome and seems to be the perfect addition to my kitchen.
I am very pleased with my new lamp and it really does throw out a lot of light.
Today I am joining Marty at A Stroll Through Life for Tabletop Tuesday. There are so many creative people participating so click on to Marty's lovely blog for inspiration. Thank you for visiting my blog and please do come again and I just adore comments.

A Few Garden Mosaics

I am new to photography and it is merely a hobby for me. My skills are limited, however, I do enjoy working at improving my skills. Hopefully, I will improve over time but until then????? Today I am sharing a few of my garden photos in mosaics and joining Mary's blogging party at Mosaic Monday at Little Red House.

Very soon my nasturtiums will be pulled because our heat is  getting to them but I have enjoyed them. I find so many uses for them from adding them to salads with their peppery taste to finessing on appetizer trays. The hydrangeas, roses, cone flowers and herbs continue to be a source of delight though.

The delphiniums have been just gorgeous this year but they too are waning in our heat but this salvia is attracting so many hummingbirds and I am enjoying watching their antics.
My fountain is so close to my patio as you can see and is such a relaxing source. I have many daylilies scattered amongst all my beds and they are putting on their show right now.
This bed  is also a delight with the heady fragrance of the old roses and the lavender is also blooming right now. This year I planted more lavender than I ever have and the fragrance with the roses is amazing.

I hope you have enjoyed a little of my garden. It is not a large garden but it does bring me a great deal of pleasure. Please visit Mary at Little Red House for more Mosaic Monday inspiration.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Chicken with Lemon and Potatoes

It is Foodie Friday once again and today I am sharing a very simple, healthy and quick dish that I really enjoyed. It is a recipe that was shared by a very dear friend who is an excellent cook, Glynda.

Chicken with Lemon and Potatoes

1 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, quartered
3 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
1 lemon, cut into 8 wedges
6 sprigs fresh thyme


Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Place potatoes and half the butter in a roasting pan; season with salt and pepper. Roast, tossing once, until potatoes are golden, 20 to 25 minutes.

Place chicken on top of potatoes; season with salt and pepper. Roast until chicken begins to brown, about 20 minutes.

Scatter asparagus, lemon, remaining butter, thyme around chicken and additional salt and pepper. Roast until asparagus is tender and chicken is opaque throughout, 5 to 15 minutes. Serve chicken, vegetables, and lemon drizzled with pan juices.

Layering this recipe was a key element. I loved the way the potatoes browned and were a little crispy on the outside. It was necessary to cook the chicken breast a little longer and I did not make a note of it on the recipe unfortunately. Let them brown to your desired doneness and the addition of the fresh asparagus made for a one dish meal. I did, however, pare this dinner with some fresh white acre peas that we are enjoying right now in our local area.

A little crusty bread and a good glass of wine made for a perfect dinner for two.

 I think the next time I prepare this dish I will add a little white wine after I add the asparagus. I think it would put it over the top.

There are so many wonderful recipes shared on Foodie Friday hosted by Michael Lee West. Click here to see those recipes. Our hostess, Michael Lee West, is an author with a new book out, Gone with a Handsomer Man. It looks to be an excellent read.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

An Unexpected Beach Mini Vacation

I live about 45 minutes just north of the Gulf of Mexico in N FL. I don't go down to the coast very often but this past week had an opportunity to do so. My expecting daughter went with me. She at the time was three weeks from her due date, feeling kind of miserable in our awful heat that we are experiencing right now and I thought it would be a great R&R for the both of us. There is nothing more relaxing than the sights and sounds of the beach and I felt that she could prop her feet up and just relax before this baby comes. We had a fabulous time together and had some wonderful talks. It truly was a great idea and for my Outdoor Wednesday post I wanted to share some of the coastal photos I took.

Where we were staying there was this very large screen porch where we spent most of our time and on several nights well into the evening. I took this from that porch.

This was a family of ducks that we enjoyed meandering up and down the beach everyday. There was so much wildlife to observe.

This was that same family of ducks that I caught in flight as they were feeding.

I particularly enjoyed watching this little boy feeding the seagulls.

There was even a family of bluebirds just outside our door. Sorry about the fuzzy pics. I was trying to get this in a hurry.

We also enjoyed the antics of this pelican and actually saw lots of them. This one just happened to be putting on a show for us.

This was an Osprey.

It was a wonderful relaxing mini vacation. Can't you just hear the sound of the waves hitting the beautiful white sand that we have along our Gulf Coast.

Thank you for visiting my blog and please do come again. I am joining Susan at A Southern Daydreamer for Outdoor Wednesday.