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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Project of the Week: Chicken Marsala Recipe

A few years ago as a college student, I made my first trip to eat at Carrabba's. I had their Chicken Marsala, and I was hooked. I won't order anything else. I order it with a garlic mashed potatoes on the side. It's the mushrooms. Something magical happens with the mushrooms, and they are diiiiivine. Especially with the potatoes. MMM. Well, I decided I need to attempt to make this delicious dish, and I have a few times over the past years. It comes out AMAZING every time. It tastes like something you got from a restaurant. So, if you are looking for a very delicious, special meal to make one night, I suggest this amazing, yet simple, recipe to you.

Copycat Recipe for Carrabba's Chicken Marsala from Food.com

Prep Time: 20 mins
Total Time: 40 mins
Servings: 4


4 tablespoons butter
4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
4 shallots, chopped fine
1/2 lb mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup dry marsala
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon lemon juice

*Emily's Tip*
Double (Triple, x 100!!) the sauce: Butter, shallots, mushrooms, marsala, heavy cream and lemon juice. It will be worth it!!! I also added some minced garlic.


1. Pound chicken breasts to even out thickness and lightly salt and pepper.
2. In large skillet, saute chicken in 2 T melted butter until lightly browned, about 2 minutes per side.
3. Remove from pan and set aside.
4. Melt remaining butter in pan and add shallots and mushrooms.
5. Cook until mushrooms are lightly browned.
6. Add Marsala and bring to a boil, scraping browned bits from bottom of pan.
7. Add cream and lemon juice and return to a boil.
8. Season with salt and pepper.
9. Return chicken to pan for about 3 minutes to reheat and finish cooking (Me: Really let it cook down until the sauce isn't as white from the cream. Let's the mushrooms really absorb the flavors)
10. Serve with buttered fettucini (Me: Or with garlic mashed potatoes like I do!)

Sauteing the chicken breast

Adding the Marsala wine to my cooked mushrooms, shallots, and garlic

Added the heavy cream
Returned the chicken to the pan to finish cooking
The finished product!
Served with some roasted garlic red potatoes (didn't mash them this time,
but I wish I would have), grilled veggies, bread and salad.

Try this recipe. You won't regret it!

I know I have been doing a lot of food on my blog! And there is more to come... but hopefully soon I will have some other projects up that aren't edible. :)

♥ Emily

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Project of the Week: Zulu King Cake!

So this past weekend my boyfriend, Will, our friend, Lam, and I had the genius idea of having a King Cake Making party. Okay, so maybe it wasn't the best idea in the world since we were trying to eat better, but we wanted to test out some different recipes and ideas. At the end of the night we had FOUR different king cakes in our house! FOUR!!

I decided to try and make one of my faaaavvvorite king cakes, the Zulu. Chocolate and coconut and cream cheese! Oh my! My mom sent me this recipe from The Advocate newspaper. I used another bread machine dough recipe, but followed the filling and topping from the Advocate's recipe with some minor adjustments.

First I made the dough. I used a recipe my friend, Jane, gave me long ago. It's SO simple. Just put the ingredients in a bread maker, set it on the Dough cycle, and press start! 90 minutes later, you have your dough!

Here are the ingredients for the dough (This dough is enough for two make two king cakes):

5 cups - All Purpose Flour
5 Tbsp - Sugar
2 Eggs
1 Stick - Melted Butter
1.5 cups - Whole Milk
1 (heaping) tsp - Salt
1 (heaping) Tbsp - Yeast

*Update 1-18-13* I recently made used this recipe again, and added 1 tsp of nutmeg and some lemon zest to the dough.  I found it to be a great addition! :)

Then I started to follow the Advocate's recipe:

Kneaded my dough
Divide dough into four pieces. You will need two pieces for one king cake. Save the other two pieces for another king cake!

Rolled the dough out into two long strips

The filling

8 ozs. cream cheese, softened
3 tbls. butter, softened
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup sweetened coconut flakes
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Plus, I decided to add a cup of confectioner's sugar to give the cream cheese a sweeter taste.

Put the filling on the strips of dough

Rolled the strips up
Twisted the rolled dough strips together
Yes, that is my dog trying to get a peak... or a bite! :)
Joined the ends together on a ungreased pan
Baked for about 25 minutes on 375.
I placed a small glass bowl in the middle
so the dough would keeps it's ring shape.

Then I made the chocolate gaze and added the coconut on top!

3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chip
4 tbls. butter
2 tbls. honey
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
Sweetened coconut flakes

Overall, my king cake was delicious. I don't think you could go wrong with chocolate, coconut and cream cheese... mmmm.

Will's king cake
Will used Emeril's recipe for his king cake. He did a lemon cream cheese cake. Out of all cakes we did that night, his tasted most like a king cake. When I try to do a king cake again (which may be soon) I would like to use the dough from the recipe.

Lam's chocolate filled King Cake
Lam went a different route with his cakes. He made two. They both used croissant dough from the refrigerated section at the grocery store. The first one was suppose to be a s'more one but it ended up being more of a chocolate filling. It was very good. Didn't really taste like a king cake, but the saltiness of the croissant really complimented the sweetness of the chocolate.

Lam's peanut butter King Cake

Lam's second king cake had a peanut butter. It was also really tasty. Not sure about that pink glaze though. ;)

All in all, the night of King Cakes was a big success, and resulted in a messy kitchens and full bellies. I have made several king cakes in the past, and this was my best one yet. I kind of want to go make another one this week, but for my diet's sake, I won't! :)

♥ Emily

Friday, January 14, 2011

My New Nook Sleeve!

So, I purchased a Nook last week because my New Year's resolution is to read more. I looked online for a long time trying to find a cover for it that I liked. I couldn't find anything! They were all so boring. I wanted something different! So I ended up on the website www.etsy.com. This is a place where a lot of people go to sell some of their own handmade goodies. I ended up finding a seller that had beautiful sleeves for Nooks, Kindles, IPads, etc. You can customize it to have padding, a flap/closure, etc. While looking I fell in love with a fabric I saw on one of the IPad sleeves. I emailed the seller asking if I could have that fabric and flap with padding. She was able to do this for me, and I got my customized Nook sleeve less that a week later. I love it! It exactly what I wanted! It's pretty and functional. So fellow Nook-Kindle-Ereader-Pad users, if you are in need of a nice cover for your device, check out her stuff here:


Maybe I should learn how to sew next so I can make my own projects like this!

I also bought a wrist key chain from the same seller. It's very pretty as well!

♥ Emily

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone! I know I haven't written in awhile, but I think that is because I have been taking a creative break! I needed a rest after all the Christmas festivities! I had a wonderful holiday. I hosted a Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve party at my house this year. Lots of cooking, cleaning, etc. But what made this Christmas extra special was this little niece of mine...

This was on of my projects from Christmas time! A "stick Natalie in a stocking" photo session. She wasn't very happy about it. Get use to it kid... Auntie Em is going to be taking a LOT more pics of you! :)

2010 was a really great year for me. New house, new niece, a fun blog, a new found love of cake decorating. I can't wait to see what 2011 has for me!

I have been thinking a lot about what I want to accomplish this year, personal and creative. At first I was kind of lost, and while I am still not sure exactly what I want to do, I have some ideas.

  • Reading. I decided this year that I would read more. I love to read, but for some reason I just don't do it a lot. It may be because I am never sure what to read. A lot of times, I will pick out a book, start reading it then stop in the middle because it wasn't well written, or I just wasn't interested. But now I have some recommendations from friends, and have already began to read. And... being into gadgets as much as I am... I started research ereaders. I am now the proud owner of a Nook 3G + WiFi. I LOVE it... Well... I only had it two days, but I already love it. :) I think I will read more with it. No excuses. I don't have to go to a book store or order one online and wait for it to come in the mail. I  have instant access to millions of books! I already read one book, Water For Elephants. I reeeeeally enjoyed it. I am now reading the Maze Runner. If anyone has any book suggestions for me, let me know! I like well written fiction. My favorite book of all time is The Lord of the Rings.
  • Evernote. Okay, this is completely random, but I came across a website literally about 30 minutes ago, and I already love it. It's called Evernote, and it has an app for your iPhone, Mac, etc. It takes notes. Organized notes. Why am I excited about this? Well, recently my boyfriend and I were trying to figure out where we had a certain Sensation Salad (I need to blog about Sensation Salad one day :) ). Anytime there is a Sensation Salad at a restaurant in Baton Rouge, we get it.... but we are having trouble remembering where the best ones we had are! So I mentioned that I really needed to start keeping notes (with pictures) about the restaurants we go to so I can remember what I had there and if I liked it. It would also be helpful when recommending a restaurant to someone. Evernote will allow me to do this in an organized way! I am so excited. Restaurants reviews aren't the only notes I will start taking. I will like to use it for notes about recipes, books, etc. I am very excited to start using this app!!
  •  Baking. I loved my cake decorating classes. I was signed up to take the last of 3 Wilton cake classes, but for the last two months it has been canceled because there weren't enough people signed up. Hopefully in February I can take the last class. But I want to learn more than just a little decorating. I want to know more about the art of baking. I want to nail some awesome cake and icing recipes. I want to have the confidence to be able to actually sale my cakes. But how? How do I do this? Teach myself? Read some books? I went as far as looking into pastry schools  around here... but I don't want to do that. I am not sure where I want to go with my new found love of decorating cakes. I think I am just waiting for an opportunity to arise.
  • Photography. I LOVE taking pictures. So so so much. And I am decent at it, but I know there is SO much more to learn, technically, about it. I tried teaching myself, but I just couldn't grasp it. Maybe I didn't try hard enough?  I looked at some photography classes that I may want to take, but if I do, should I upgrade my camera to a SLR, like this one? I just don't if it's worth me paying that much money. So I am trying to decide how involved in photography do I want to be.
I do have some projects coming up that I will be working on... guess what... they're CAKES! I have a couple of birthday cakes in mind. In March, I will have a few projects focused on my niece's Christening: a daffodil photo shoot, an announcement and a cake.  That's all I can think of for now. I need to start painting/drawing again. Drawing is probably my biggest passion, but I never do it, because I never know what I should draw!

I hope everyone is having a great 2011 so far! I hope to bring you many projects this year!

♥ Emily