February 26, 2010

More Photos of Baby Caston

More photos of Baby Caston are posted on Tiffany Kelley's blog....take a look at our big boy!

I've had a couple of folks ask if I'm cooking as much anymore with the new little one- the answer is yes! I've just been busy with work and baby time it's been a little difficult to keep up with my blogs and other social media sites. But I'm learning how to get more done with an infant more and more each day....plus the little man is on a pretty good schedule now and gives mama time to get her work done.

Here's a new recipe that we really enjoy around our house. With just having a baby, I'm now trying to get back into "prebaby" shape. This recipe is sure to please not only the taste buds, but also the waist. Most Chicken Piccate recipes are made with a fatty, rich cream sauce- but this recipe is just the opposite- and tastes just as good.

Chicken Piccata with Pasta and Mushrooms
Recipe courtesy EatingWell.com

6 ounces whole-wheat angel hair pasta
1/3 cup all-purpose flour, divided
2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
4 chicken cutlets (3/4-1 pound total), trimmed
3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 10-ounce package mushrooms, sliced
3 large cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup white wine
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons capers, rinsed
2 teaspoons butter

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until just tender, 4 to 6 minutes or according to package directions. Drain and rinse.

Meanwhile, whisk 5 teaspoons flour and broth in a small bowl until smooth. Place the remaining flour in a shallow dish. Season chicken with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper and dredge both sides in the flour. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook until browned and no longer pink in the middle, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate; keep warm.

Heat the remaining 1 teaspoon oil in the pan over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring, until they release their juices and begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Add garlic and wine to the pan and cook until reduced by half, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the reserved broth-flour mixture, lemon juice and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring, until the sauce is thickened, about 5 minutes.

Stir in parsley, capers, butter and the reserved mushrooms. Measure out 1/2 cup of the mushroom sauce. Toss the pasta in the pan with the remaining sauce. Serve the pasta topped with the chicken and the reserved sauce.

February 23, 2010

Caston 3 Months...How the Time Flies

Caston turned 3 months last week...it's that amazing? Charlie and I sat at dinner and were just talking about how a blur our lives have been the past three months: New jobs (for both of us), moved south, sold a house, bought a new house, painted the new house, oh...and had a baby! Throw that all together and what do you get? One crazy time...we wouldn't recommend it.

BUT- we are so lucky to have everything fall into place at the right times. We feel very blessed to be closer to family and have our beautiful baby boy in our lives. He has really enriched our lives and made us better people! Amazing how little ones do that , isn't it?

Today we had a photographer come and do a photo shoot of the family and Caston! I discovered Tiffany Kelley through searching online. I knew she was the perfect photographer for us after I was she not only was a "social media junkie" (like me), but that her photos were modern- and at the same time classic.

Caston was a little angel all throughout the photo shoot and Tiffany posted a "Sneak Peek" of the pictures on her blog, check it out!

February 10, 2010

Winter Squash Soup

The weather has been extra oridnary this year- we have seen so much snow and bitterly soup wind chills here in Missouri.

(PHOTO: Here's a view from our back porch this past snow storm...it's like a winter wonderland. So thankful to live in the country.)

My advice on to how to tackle cold weather- warm up with a cup of soup! That's what my mother used to say when I woudl come in from building snowmen or doing chores on the farm with dad.

I'm done to my last couple of garden grown Butternut Squash. (I know how sad.) I grow a lot of winter veggies in my garden to last me at least part way through the winter months.

We grow a lot of our own food at the McConnell and Baldwin houses- farm raised beef, an assortment of vegetables and berries...and if we don't grow it, we buy it local when possible.

It's nice knowing where my food comes from and how it was raised. Plus, it just makes you feel better knowing you are supporting your local Missouri farmers!

Hope you enjoy this winter soup recipe as much as my family does!

Butternut Squash Soup
2 tbs. butter
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 carrots, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 potato, peeled and diced
1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and diced
3 cans (14.5 oz. each) chicken broth
½ c. honey
½ tsp. dried thyme leaves, crushed
½ tsp salt
1 tsp. pepper

In large pot, melt butter, stir in onions and garlic. Cook and stir until browned (5 minutes). Stir in carrots and celery and cook until tender (5 minutes.) Stir in potatoes, squash, chicken broth, honey, and thyme. Bring to boil and simmer for 35 minutes. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Place mixture into a food processor and mix till smooth. Return pureed soup to pot and season with salt and pepper.