mediterranean chicken

If you've never tried "packet" cooking, I highly recommend it. (This is where you seal a bunch of stuff in parchment or foil, and bake it)

Here, I put together a bunch of stuff that I like:
-chicken breast (seasoned with salt, pepper & oregano)
-kalamata olives
-roasted red peppers
-feta cheese

Pile it all on a piece of foil (12" x 12" should do), give it a splash of olive oil and white wine, seal the edges of the foil (make sure the seal is tight, but tent the foil a little so it has some breathing room), and bake at 375 for about 22 minutes.

Cooking it this way, the chicken stayed unbelievably moist. You could use whatever ingredients you like, and it's a good way to use things up (the sad little remnants of jars of capers, artichokes, and roasted red peppers I had cluttering up my fridge turned into a great meal!)


open-face shrimp tortillas with guac

On the bottom: flour tortillas with melted cheese (brush tortillas with a little olive oil, top with shredded cheese, and stick in a 450 degree oven for a few minutes, until the cheese is bubbly and the tortillas are crisp).

Add a layer of tomatillo guacamole (click here for that recipe).

Top with shrimp, however you like to cook them (here, I tossed them with a crushed garlic clove, and stuck them under the broiler—just a couple of minutes per side)

Garnish with cilantro and sour cream, and some mango on the side.


balsamic-basil strawberries

It looks like chocolate sauce, but it's actually balsamic vinegar reduced down into a syrup, which pairs beautifully with strawberries.

Balsamic syrup: about 1/2c balsamic vinegar + 1 TBSP sugar. Heat to boiling, and let simmer until it has a syrupy consistency. Drizzle over strawberries and top with fresh basil. And because hey—it's dessert— how about a little squeeze of honey and dusting of cinnamon.

And, because I love edible containers (this blog was born with bacon cups, as you may recall), this mountain of strawberry deliciousness is served in a crêpe cup.

Take a crêpe (see my previous crêpe post for recipe) and form it into a cup in a muffin tin. Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes, and the shape will set and it will get nicely crispy on the top edges. The above photo doesn't quite do justice to the dainty crêpe cup, as I completely overflowed it with strawberries.



I made these myself, using the Café Du Monde beignet mix that a friend brought back from a recent trip down to New Orleans (thanks, Larry!) It wasn't quite the same as eating them at the famous open-air French Market stand, but still pretty good.

If you can't make it to NOLA, you can also order the mix from Café Du Monde's website.