ever since we left the bar almost three years ago to make our own chicken fingers at home, a version makes in into our dinner rotation every couple months. they're easy, delicious, quick, and don't make a big mess when they're baked. this version is breaded with both panko and ground almonds. if you aren't a fan of nuts or have a nut allergy, feel free to skip the almonds all together and just use panko. they're delicious either way.
it's funny how people react to snow. last weekend, we got hit, just like everyone else on the east coast. i had plans friday to take the baby out for the day, but after watching six inches fall in the morning, i ditched them and stayed inside. mostly because i didn't want to deal with the other idiots driving around that don't realize you actually do have to drive differently when there's this much snow falling. by late saturday morning the snow stopped falling and it was absolutely beautiful outside. all the tree branches were covered in snow. it was picture perfect. other than having to be plowed out of our driveway, we weren't really affected. our power didn't go off, we didn't go to the grocery store to stock up, i didn't even bother getting out the flashlights.
it's been a while since i've made anything sweet. honestly, i think the back to back cakes in january had me sugared out. last week i picked up a bag of six meyer lemons in the store. two were already spoken for, leaving me with four. the perfect number to make these cupcakes.
i love lemon desserts, almost as much as hubs, so it's no surprise these cupcakes are one of my favorites. ever. using meyer lemons makes the cakes not too sweet, not too tart. and the buttercream is the perfect finishing touch. so last week, while everyone else was watching beyonce sex it up, i was mixing up these cupcakes. definitely not a bad way to spend a sunday evening.
i had a hard time choosing my recipe for this month's secret recipe club. jane at the heritage cook has hundreds of sweet and savory recipes, most of which look like something i would make at home. and i can totally get behind her "chocolate monday" feature. (marry that with alison's sweet tooth friday and the start and end of the week is covered!)
i had it narrowed down to three recipes - mexican black bean soup with cilantro lime sauce, triple layer lemon cake with lemon buttercream icing (for hubs, of course), and one of her two mushroom barley soups. i ultimately chose the mushroom barley soup because i didn't have the patience for the black bean soup this month, i had already made two layer cakes in the last four weeks and couldn't justify another, and the first and only time i made mushroom barley soup it came out far too thick. i've had every intention to remake it and as soon as i saw jane's version, i stopped looking for anything else!
we try to have salad one night a week for dinner and i'm always on the look out for a new one. this pomegranate and pear version caught my eye because it's so similar to my new favorite apple chicken salad, only this version has pomegranate and pear instead of apple and dried cranberry. it's delicious, with a few tweaks.
as much as i adore mushrooms, i've always steered clear of any recipe that called for dried porcinis. i don't know why, but they've always intimidated me; something about having to reconstitute them made me afraid they would turn into chewy sponges in the end. boy was i wrong! i'm so glad i gave this recipe a try. it's really simple and full of mushroom flavor. don't let the time fool you - 30 minutes of it is spent waiting for the porcinis to reconstitute. no wonder this was one of cooking light's best recipes.