food

Weekend

I took it easy for a few days after my cortisone injection in my knee. Thursday afternoon it started to swell a bit and it was hard to walk or bend my knee. I went home early and iced my knee. Thankfully I could work from home on Friday and I spent the day on the couch with my laptop and an ice pack. After that it was a lot better!

Saturday I wasn’t able to do cardio or lower body workouts yet but I did go to the gym and do an upper body weight workout and ab workout. It felt nice to be able to do something after a few days off.

I went to see the Downton Abbey movie with a friend and it was really good! Granny is the best character :). The movie was good and I felt satisfied with the ending and how they kind of wrapped things up. It was funny, too. Loved it!


I sure do miss that TV show!

After the movie I came home and we had some friends over for dinner. Michael smoked a chicken. We had some steamed broccoli with it and they brought fresh sourdough from the bakery our friend works at it. It was all so good!

Sunday I was able to go swimming. I took it easy with my knee. My doctor had said that I could swim on Sunday and it should be fine (after two days of rest). But I still wanted to be careful. So I alternated between swimming with my buoy a lot more than I usually do (to rest my knees) and then swimming normally kicking my legs. I was pleased there was no discomfort but glad I took it easy still.

After Logan’s nap, we went to Liepold Farms in Boring, Oregon to go to the pumpkin patch.

I was happy our friends could join us, too. It was a lot more fun with friends! I was surprised at how crowded it was, especially for a Sunday afternoon. Last year when Logan and I went it wasn’t very crowded. But this time there were long lines. Oh well, the kids still had fun.

They played in the kids area, ran around, we got mini donuts to share, they went on the carousel. We went for a hayride and then picked out pumpkins. The pumpkins were reasonably priced too!

We had a blast! But man, I was pretty tired by Sunday night.

Cozy, Rainy, Yummy

Sunday we woke up to rain. Rain rain rain! Downpour, actually! I guess summer is officially over in Portland…So making something cozy for dinner was a must.

I’d been saving this recipe for awhile and finally tried it. And it’s a winner!

FRENCH ONION CHICKEN CASSEROLE

Ingredients:

  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 or 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Red crushed chili pepper flakes, optional
  • Pinch of salt and fresh cracked pepper
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (or Gruyere)
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 5 large onions, thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • Fresh chopped parsley, for garnish

DIRECTIONS

1. To make the chicken casserole: Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C). Lightly grease a 9×12-inch baking dish and set aside.

2. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 5-8 minutes until soft.

3. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are caramelized – about 15 minutes. Pour in 1/4 cup of broth to deglaze if your pan gets too dry, and keep stirring until onions are browned. 

4. Stir in fresh minced garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Turn off the heat and allow to cool slightly.

5. Season chicken breasts with oregano, crushed chili pepper flakes, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Go easy on the salt because French onion and cheese are already salted. Arrange chicken breasts in the baking dish. 

6. Divide caramelized onions on top of each chicken breast. Sprinkle shredded cheese on top and bake for 20-25 minutes in the oven (or more, depending on the thickness of your chicken breasts), until fully cooked and cheese is bubbly. Then broil for 2 minutes to crisp up the cheese. Garnish the French onion chicken casserole with fresh chopped parsley and serve immediately with steamed vegetables or cauliflower rice. Enjoy!

Notes:

  • You can prepare the caramelized onion ahead of time, and just assemble the casserole at the last minute before baking.
  • You can flavor up the french onion with a dash of white wine, sherry or balsamic vinegar to deglaze the pan.
  • The cooking time will depend on the thickness of your chicken breasts.
  • Go easy on the salt because French onion and cheese are already salty.

I caramelized the onions in butter and 1/4 cup white wine (the good stuff, too!) instead of chicken broth. I used a mixture of mozzarella and gruyere but used more gruyere then the mozzarella.

It turned out GREAT! Michael and I both loved it and wouldn’t change a thing! It was so delicious and the melted cheese (slightly browned from the broiler) was so so good!

I had one chicken breast with the cheese and onion mixture and a side salad with French dressing. Delicious dinner! I will definitely make this again! It’s a keeper!

I suggest you make this recipe asap!

Also, Friday night I made this recipe: BARELY-BLANCHED BROCCOLI SALAD WITH FETA AND FRIED ALMONDS.

It was delicious! I also recommend it.