I am notorious for planning exhausting vacations. If you want to spend your vacation relaxing on the beach with a good book - it's probably best, not to invite me.😅 If you want to see all the boroughs of New York City in a single afternoon - I'll be your travel agent.🙋🏻♀️🗽 My family jokes about the training that they have to do in preparation for an "Amy-cation" just so they can keep up with my ridiculous pace. 🏃🏻♀️
My speciality is packing a whole lot of adventure into a short amount of time. Did I mention that we toured Ireland in a weekend? 🇮🇪😅 For me, the litmus test for a good vacation is the level of exhaustion that I feel when I return home. 😅 As you might have guessed, I'm not the easiest person to travel with - I admit that. 😬 Lucky for me, I've got the best, most energetic and tolerant travel partner to accompany me on these crazy vacations. (I'm pretty sure that was in our wedding vows. 😂)
My love of packing the maximum into the minimum isn't only a vacation trait for me, though. It's a characteristic that carries over into my cooking too. This strawberry cupcake is the perfect example of that. I managed to squeeze in a serving of fresh strawberries, a handful of frozen strawberries and some heaping spoonfuls of freeze dried strawberries into each cupcake.🍓 This little treat packs a big strawberry punch and it is sooooo good.
White Chocolate Strawberry Cupcakes
1 and 3/4 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
3 egg whites, at room temperature
1/4 cup sour cream or plain yogurt, at room temperature
1 and 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup whole milk, at room temperature
10 ounces frozen strawberries
White Chocolate Strawberry Frosting
1 cup freeze-dried strawberries
2 cups butter, softened to room temperature
10 egg whites
2 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
6 ounces white chocolate, melted and slightly cooled
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
fresh strawberries coated with 2 ounces melted white chocolate
Decorate with white chocolate covered strawberries.
Summer may be coming to an end but doesn't mean that I'm ready to stop making strawberry cupcakes. Enjoy!
Greek Taverna Favorites is set to repeat on my apple music playlist this month. I've rewatched Mama Mia and My Big Fat Greek Wedding at least 2 times each. I'm buying kalamata olives, eggplant and even feta. 😅 Is it obvious that I'm excited about my upcoming trip to Greece? The only reason that my suitcase isn't already packed is because I'm still wearing some of the clothes that I need to take with me. 🧳 😂
I've also been experimenting with Greek cooking in preparation for our adventure in Greece. I figured it would be best if I serve my family Greek food before they have a chance to taste the authentic version. 😂 Much to my surprise, moussaka came up as one of the most popular Greek dishes when I did a google search for traditional Greek dishes. So, naturally, it was one of the first Greek dishes that I decided to tackle at home.
Traditionally, moussaka is spiced beef or lamb cooked in tomato sauce and layered with eggplant and bechamel sauce. 🍆 This dish sounded so good to me - even though I'm not a big fan of ground beef or lamb. And that's saying something. 😅 But to make it a little more Amy-friendly - I swapped out ground turkey for the traditional meat in the recipe.
Don't be intimidated by the lengthy ingredient list for this moussaka. This is most definitely a meal that you can assemble ahead of time. I put my moussaka together and stored it in the refrigerator overnight. The following day, I took it out of the frig, popped it in the oven and 30 minutes later - we were eating.
3 1/2 pounds eggplant, cut into 3/4" pieces
1/2 cup + 2 teaspoons + 3 Tablespoons oil
2 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, sliced into 1/4" rounds
1 Tablespoon oil
1 onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 cup red wine
2 teaspoon paprika
2 teaspoons oregano
1/2 red pepper flakes
1 pound lean ground turkey
14.5 ounce can tomatoes
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
6 Tablespoons butter
1/2 cup flour
2 1/2 cups whole milk
3/4 cup shredded provolone cheese
3/4 cup grated pecorino Romano cheese
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
3 egg yolks, lightly beaten
Bake 30 minutes. Let cool 30 minutes before serving.
I can hardly wait to get to Greece to find out how my turkey moussaka stacks up against the traditional version. I absolutely loved this version but I'm certain that it won't even hold a candle to the moussaka that we will taste in Greece.
I published my first blog post in July of 2011. 3-4 recipes a week x 11 years = a LOT of blog posts! One would think that I've said absolutely everything there is to say about chicken in that amount of time. 😂 Turns out - I've got more chicken recipes to share and more stories to tell you about chicken -- and lots more trivial information to share about my life.😅 When you love food as much as I do - you've got a lot to say about the food that you eat. 🤷🏻♀️ I guess I was made to be a food blogger.
I've posted a lot of chicken recipes over the years. Mainly because I eat like a pesce-pollotarian. No worries if you're unfamiliar with that term. I just learned it myself -- and I'm one of them. 😅 Pesca-pollotarian is the technical name for vegetarians, like me, who eat chicken and fish but avoid red meat and pork.
If you want to avoid dinner invitations from friends, tell them that you cook for a living and then inform your host that you're also a pesca-pollotarian. 😅 Only your true friends are willing to overlook all of that and take on the task of preparing food for you despite of it. Thankfully, I've been blessed with great friends who have accepted my weird eating habits and willingly cook for me anyway.
Vegetarian, vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free - all words that ignite pangs of stress and anxiety in the heart of even the most seasoned host and hostess. Throw in an obscure term like pesca-pollatarian and you're almost guaranteed to be served a single, uncooked carrot for dinner. 🥕😂
Even as a person who has a whole lot of experience in food preparation - I've done my share of google searches while menu planning for guests with special dietary needs. Google is a really good resource but, if you need extra help - reach out to me. I've got lot's of great recipes for all kinds different dietary needs. Especially great chicken recipes like Baked Chicken Drumsticks that are perfect for Tuesday night dinners or to serve at a formal dinner party. They're pesca- pollotarian, dairy and gluten free. You're welcome.
Baked Chicken Drumsticks
3 pounds chicken drumsticks
1/3 cup sliced oil packed sun dried tomatoes
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup white wine
5 cloves garlic, minced
4 teaspoons herb de Provence
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons anchovy paste
1 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup water
2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 Tablespoons butter or olive oil
2 Tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
Bake 55 minutes at 400.
Spoon sauce over chicken and serve.
This is one of those cases where the final product didn't photograph nearly as well as I wanted it to. The pictures just don't do it justice. You'll just have to take my word for it that my Baked Chicken Drumsticks were super flavorful and tender or make them and see for yourself. 😉
I learned recently that a Bellini was originally an Italian cocktail made with Prosecco and peach purée. Legend has it that it originated at Harry's Bar in Venice, Italy. 🍑🍾 I should have known. Venice is one of the coolest places that I've ever travelled to.
The food and the drinks in Venice were just as amazing as I imagined they would be. Linguini with clams, margherita pizza, fresh seafood platters and tiramisu - all of it - incredible.
I'm just a little disappointed that didn't know about the infamous Harry's Bar belini before I went to Venice. (The bar is still open, by the way - I checked. 😉). But now that I know that the birthplace of the belini is in Venice - I think I need to go back and make a stop at Harry's Bar.🥂. Until next time, Venice.
A classic belini is made with peach puree and Prosecco and even though I live in the peach state - I've had terrible luck getting good peaches this summer. So, I decided to swap the peaches out for raspberries and make a raspberry belini. Trust me when I tell you that it was just as deliciously refreshing as it looked.
½ cup raspberry sauce
1-2 teaspoon simply syrup
1 Tablespoon lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1 bottle rosé/pink champagne or sparkling wine
Fresh mint leaves
Garnish with fresh raspberries and mint.
The original recipe for this red belini wasn't very sweet. Probably because I chose a dry champagne to pair with my tart fruit instead of a sweet sparkling wine. This may have been the perfect combination for some people but I tend to like my drinks on the sweeter side so I added a teaspoon of simple syrup to my belini. It was just enough to make my raspberry belini the perfect combination of sweet and sour.
I am unashamedly in search of "friends with figs." 😅 You read that right - I'm looking for local friends - with fig trees - who are willing to share their crop of fresh fruit - with a girl who loves figs. I've got a list of insanely good, fresh fig recipes that I cannot wait to dive into. Salads with figs, figs with fresh cheese, stuffed figs, fig crostini and chicken with figs. Amazing, right?
It's only been recently that I've started to explore the wonderful world of figs. Since friends with figs are hard to find and they're almost never available in grocery stores, most of my exposure to figs has been mostly limited to the dried version.
Late summer and early autumn is fig season in Georgia so it's also the perfect time to make some fig dishes. (Even if you have to settle for dried figs.) I think you're going to love this chicken with fig dish. It comes together quickly and it's easy to double or cut in half, depending on how many people you want to serve.
The goal was to wait for fresh figs - but patience is not my strong suit - and my fig cravings took over.😅 So when I just couldn't wait any longer, I broke down and bought dried figs at the grocery store to make this chicken and fig dinner.
Chicken with Figs
8 bone in chicken thighs
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 shallots, quartered
3 cloves garlic, sliced thin
3/4 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup white wine
4 sprigs fresh thyme
8 figs, halved
2 Tablespoons butter
1 1/2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons honey
2 Tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
Local friends - now that we're in "fig season" in Georgia, keep your eyes peeled for fresh figs. If you happen to see them in a grocery store and you don't buy them all for yourself- let me know where you find them. AND if you have a fig tree in your yard and you need someone to come and share your crop - I'm your girl. I will gladly come and get all your figs.
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