March 9th, 2009 |

Monday Night Dinner

Chicken Piccata ~ Barefoot Contessa Style

Monday Night Dinner (small)

Ingredients

  • 2 split (1 whole) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 extra-large egg
  • 1/2 tablespoon water
  • 3/4 cup seasoned dry bread crumbs
  • Good olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature, divided
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons), lemon halves reserved
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • Sliced lemon, for serving
  • Chopped fresh parsley leaves, for serving

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

Place each chicken breast between 2 sheets of parchment paper or plastic wrap and pound out to 1/4-inch thick. Sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper.

Mix the flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper in a shallow plate. In a second plate, beat the egg and 1/2 tablespoon of water together. Place the bread crumbs on a third plate. Dip each chicken breast first in the flour, shake off the excess, and then dip in the egg and bread crumb mixtures.

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large saute pan over medium to medium-low heat. Add the chicken breasts and cook for 2 minutes on each side, until browned. Place them on the sheet pan and allow them to bake for 5 to 10 minutes while you make the sauce.

For the sauce, wipe out the saute pan with a dry paper towel. Over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter and then add the lemon juice, wine, the reserved lemon halves, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Boil over high heat until reduced in half, about 2 minutes. Off the heat, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and swirl to combine. Discard the lemon halves and serve 1 chicken breast on each plate. Spoon on the sauce and serve with a slice of lemon and a sprinkling of fresh parsley.

Monday Night Dinner Food (small)

Images: placesetting (ballarddesigns.com), chicken piccata (foodnetwork.com) and warm vegetable salad (foodnetwork.com)

March 9th, 2009 |

Deliciously Artistic Centerpiece

yellow-daisy-jello-rachel-ray

I found this cute idea on Everyday with Rachel Ray….

What a great idea for Spring!

Combine six boes of Jell-O powder with half the amount of water specified, chill the mix in a glass vase for half an hour, the just push flowers into the semi-firm gelatin.  You can customize this idea for any color palette, with all different types of flowers.  Great for a spring dinner, children’s birthday or baby shower!

March 8th, 2009 |

Trend Alert: Vegetable Colors

trend-alert-vegetable-colorsVegetable colors are popping up both in apparel and in home goods this Spring.  Intense colors that remind us of butternut squash, lemons, and leafy greens are being paired together to set Spring-like tables.  Bold and fresh, it’s a great update to any home this time of year.

Images: Dining room and yellow plate (potterybarn.com), green candy bar (amyatlas.com), white, orange & green table (theknot.com), bamboo & lemons centerpiece (tapestryflowers.com) and stripe cake (theknot.com)

March 7th, 2009 |

Birth Announcements – For Life’s Little Celebrations!

I’m a sucker for paper….no doubt about it.

But I firmly believe that there are many things in life worth celebrating (and announcing!)….and the addition to a family is definitely one of them!

Here are some of my favorite new birth announcements….many of them could be used for the color story/theme of a baby shower too.

baby-announcements

Top Row: red & blue pattern (minted.com), blue monogram (tinyprints.com)

Middle Row: mod rattles (tinyprints.com)

Bottom Row: brown and blue (minted.com), white (minted.com)

March 7th, 2009 |

Announcing a New Pet

Don’t forget about the puppies….they deserve to be announced as well!

I think this one does the trick for my new “nephew”!

cooper-tiny-prints-copy

Pet announcement via tinyprints.com

March 6th, 2009 |

A Sweet Surprise

champagne-rimming-sugarsI found these champagne rimming sugars at Crate & Barrel today.

A set of three flavors, Mimosa, Kir and Bellini come packaged together (and would make an adorable hostess gift!).

You can be sure I will be testing these out at my next party!

March 5th, 2009 |

Friday Night: Pizza Night!

pizza-night-copyFriday night is pizza night in our house!  It’s one of those parties that you can whip together fast – and everyone loves it!

Whether it’s friends stopping over for drinks after work, or the whole family wanting to make their own pizzas…..get creative, try some new combinations….I have a couple of ideas (and recipes) for you:

Ideas

  • Make life easy on yourself…buy store bought pizza dough.  Trader Joe’s offers fresh dough daily – regular and whole wheat.
  • Set up “make your own pizza” stations on your counter top – everyone can add their individual flair to their pizza!
  • If you are setting a table, get creative with your “Italian” theme – try using bread sticks as a centerpiece or (like the picture above) as place cards.

Recipes

  • Pizza Margharita

    • A wonderful classic that everyone loves!  Try this recipe from Mario Batali (via Martha Stewart).
  • Deep Dish Pizza

    • Update your classic deep dish with these new toppings – Pepperoni & Onion or Spinach & Artichokes…..YUM!  (Recipes via Martha Stewart)
  • West Coast Grilled Vegetable Pizza

    • Full of fresh veggies and goat cheese, it’s a great pizza to welcome Spring.  (Recipe via Martha Stewart)

March 5th, 2009 |

Mark your page with style

magazine-tagsI don’t know about you, but I am constantly looking for inspiration everywhere.  Fashion magazines, a great art book….even my cookbooks!  Something that looks fresh and new, something that I might want to re-create in my own life.

Picture this, I am flipping thru a magazine and there it is!  A new idea I just must have!  I either tear it out and it gets lost in a pile, or I bend the page down in hopes that I will find it again (and probably never do).   This is not a good system….

I found these darling little sticky tabs the other day (via seejanework.com) and they are perfect for marking all of those inspiring images!

Happy searching!

March 4th, 2009 |

Welcome to the Party, Kate Spade!

kate-spade-stripe-dressI have been a fan of Kate Spade for a long time….I don’t want to date myself by telling you how many years ago I got my first Kate Spade handbag!

Known for her simple silhouettes and whimsical use of color and pattern, Kate Spade has been expanding into a lifestyle brand since she first emerged on the scene in 1993.  Handbags, shoes, sunglasses, paper, home and now…..apparel!  New for Spring 2009, Kate Spade is offering special pieces that are sure to fit into any hostess’s wardrobe.

Staying true to her philosophy (“if it will be out of style tomorrow, it won’t be added to the line today”), the items are clean, timeless and full of color! There are only a few pieces on the website currently, but rumor from the inside says there is much more to come on the apparel side!

Can’t you just picture yourself hosting a backyard birthday party wearing this dress?!

March 3rd, 2009 |

Trend Alert: Yellow & Black

trend-alert-yellow-black-copyAs I am sure you can tell from my previous posts, I am in love with the color yellow this season!

People tend to shy away from the yellow & black pairing, as to not resemble a bumble bee…..however, this season the combination is nothing short of striking!

I think this color combination could make an excellent inspiration for a party or wedding, and trust me, there is plenty to choose from these days.

Images: yellow cake and floral cake (cakegirls.com), yellow & chocolate desserts (amyatlas.com), yellow place setting (marthastewart.com) and bold maxi dress (bloomindales.com)

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