Martha Comes Through Again… Braised Chicken with Mushrooms and Oven-Baked Polenta

Another great recipe from Everyday Food’s Great Food Fast. This is one of my favorite cookbooks. It could be the glossy, perfect food photography.. but then again, every Martha recipe I make comes out great – including this Braised Chicken with Mushrooms and Oven-Baked Polenta.

The recipe was pretty simple. Most of the ingredients will come from your pantry, excluding the chicken and mushrooms, which are basics that hang around most kitchens. I would recommend watching the chicken closely during the last step – I had to add extra chicken broth at the end because all of my liquid had evaporated. The juices are a great addition to the dish and shouldn’t be missed. Most importantly, my husband left the table full and satisfied. Another great weeknight meal!

Kath’s gone nuts!

My mother, whom I affectionately call “Kath,” texted me last night with a request for walnut recipes. Apparently, she’s got loads of them. But instead of storing up for winter, she wants to use them up. So I compiled a little list of walnut recipes that are perfect for fall (which we hope is on it’s way). A few of them are from this month’s Cooking Light- they had a whole menu based around walnuts this month- lucky us!

Yogurt Drizzled with Honey and Walnuts
This sounds like a perfectly quick and delicious breakfast.

Roast Chicken with Pears, Shallots and Walnuts
This just feels like fall!

Fruit and Walnut-Stuffed Pork Loin
Kath loves pork loin and the combination of fruit and nuts- this recipe is right up her alley.

Spinach Linguine with Walnut-Arugula Pesto
Switch your basic spaghetti and meatballs for something a little more exciting.

Classic Walnut Boule
If you’ve got the time, you’ll be thankful you used it to make fresh bread. Perfect with a meal, with butter and jam, or as the base for future PBJs.

Washington Walnut Pie
Trade in your pecans for walnuts in this sweet fall pie.

Cranberry-Black Walnut Coffee Cake
Again, this is especially for Kath, our fruit and nut lover who just can’t say no to the cran-walnut combo.

Austrian Chocolate Walnut Bars

These look decadent! Remember, your excuse is you’re using up the walnuts.

Walnut Cake with Praline Frosting

Last, but not least- a delicious ending to any fall meal.

So it looks like Kath has got her work cut out for her! When she gets around to trying the recipes out, I’ll be sure to have her take some photos and I’ll post the results.

In the beginning, there was … leftover pasta?

I’ve always wanted to start a food blog, but I haven’t had the time or the urge to really start until today. I’m an avid food blog reader – I love to sift through the entries on Tastespotting to find new recipes and ideas. Now -as I’m in a new home, with my new husband, without a job- seemed as good a time as any to take the plunge and start a food blog of my own.

I used to be notoriously bad at keeping up with blogs (the wedding blog was a bust), but I’m guessing since I cook/bake/eat every day, this should be a little easier to maintain. Enough about me – let’s get to the good stuff.

Today, I wasn’t really planning on making anything for dinner. Nick was content with leftovers, but my mind was reeling after he left for an afternoon bike ride. I had a ton of leftover pasta from Friday’s dinner (Orecchiette with Sausage and Roasted Peppers, thanks Martha) since the recipe was for six, not two. I decided to throw together a pasta bake, and the results were pretty delicious!

All I did was mix a jar of marinara sauce (I used Nature’s Promise Garden Vegetable) with the pasta and topped the casserole with a mix of provolone and mozzarella cheeses and a bit of italian seasoning. I covered it with aluminum foil and baked for about 20 minutes at 350, then took off the foil and put it under the broiler until the cheese was brown and bubbly (about 2-3 minutes). This quick dinner could be easily made with any leftover pasta and any type of pasta sauce. Just get your husband to throw together a salad and pour the wine, and you’re in business.