Chicken Marsala is a recipe that has been known to us by name, but we couldn’t recall having had it in the past nor had we tried to cook it. After a bit of research, in light of Otto’s love of mushrooms and all things umami, we were impressed to give it a try.
This creamy Chicken Marsala recipe was amazingly easy, and flavorful to boot. It is chicken breast heavy, but this has meant lots of leftovers for Heather, Otto, and me. One last note: Technically, Chicken Marsala is made with marsala wine, a fortified wine from Sicily. We were unable to find it easily, and so used a dry red wine instead. According to our research, this is acceptable; and, frankly, we don’t feel like we were missing anything. We know you’ll enjoy it, too!
During the holidays, if there’s time to watch TV, I prefer to watch holiday baking shows and competitions. OK, truth be told: baking shows are my guilty pleasure all year round. It just seems more acceptable to watch them during the holiday season when baked goods abound.
The other day, I watched someone create a spicy caramel sauce. Salted caramel I’ve seen, but habanero spiced caramel sauce? It got me thinking about what else you could do to jazz up dessert sauce. I started looking through my pantry. With the holidays upon us, I knew I wanted to do a holiday spice blend; but we didn’t have regular coconut sugar on hand. Instead, we had brown coconut sugar.
Butterscotch and caramel sauce are essentially cream, butter and sugar; but butterscotch uses brown sugar. Since that’s what we had on hand, that’s what I tried to create. Brent, his parents (who were visiting), and I all agreed—it’s delicious. We hope you will think so, too!
Psst: Holiday specials are going on now. A link to learn more is at the bottom of this post.
Who am I to become a Beautycounter Consultant? Let’s be honest…
I am not a make-up person. I’m not even a skin care person. I’ve been very fortunate to have good skin my whole life and, perhaps because of that, I’ve always been lazy about skin care and make-up.
OK. OK. There is one thing I won’t leave the house without—mascara. But that’s it. Literally. I go to work most days with nothing but mascara on. I carry a chapstick or sheer lip gloss for when I’m feeling fancy.
I think “sales” is a dirty word. Or, well, I used to think that, and some days I still do. When I think of sales, I think of the overly happy lotion lady at the mall who chases you for a few feet as you pass their stand and the flood insurance salesman who swears you need his product even though there hasn’t been a flood in your area for 1,000 years.
Yes, I realize these are exaggerations. I know that, logically. But whatever impressions I felt as a child or teenager were emotional, visceral even. They have stuck with me and despite my efforts to think rationally about these sorts of things, the emotions color my perceptions at least a little bit.
So, again, why on earth would I become a Beautycounter Consultant?
If you’re like us, you often put extra meat into the freezer and then promptly forget. We try to be good about this, but when we received a great selection of meats from Butcher Box, we could only use so much at once! One of the remaining cuts we had were these boneless short ribs. Boneless short ribs are not a regular buy for us, but we are now loyal converts. See for yourself how you can get high quality, sustainable beef, chicken, and pork on a regular basis without buying a full side of beef with Butcher Box.
We decided to braise these short ribs with raw apple cider vinegar, onions, and fresh figs. Our tree won’t stop producing these figs, so we keep using them. If figs aren’t your cup of tea, or are not in season, feel free to substitute figs for an equal amount of peaches, apricots, or plums. These tender, delicious short ribs will allow you to eat like royalty for the entire week, and smell fantastic while cooking. We know you’ll enjoy.
I love shrimp, and huge tiger prawns are far and above my favorite kind. Growing up, we rarely had big tiger prawns; but we had seafood at least once a week. I would always ask for shrimp, and I would say about fifty percent of the time I was lucky enough to get it. Plus we always had shrimp cocktail for special occasions; I usually ate more than my fair share.
These days, shrimp is still more of a special occasion food. But, anytime I see wild caught shrimp on sale, it’s a special occasion!
Dressed simply, these succulent shrimp are light and refreshing despite being a hot grilled item. The sweet flesh of the prawn with the bright freshness of ginger and slight spice of garlic come together to create a great appetizer on a warm day. Or, if you’re a party of one, they can serve as your entree!
We hope you enjoy these ginger garlic grilled shrimp as much as Brent, his parents, and I did.
We really have enjoyed the benefits of a paleo diet for our own health and wellness, and we felt it was only fair to share the love with our dog, Mason, as well. He does eat a real-food, gluten-free dog food, but we have had mixed success with dog treats.
Leave it to my Mom to come up with a cool, paleo-friendly dog treat recipe. She also hit a home run with her mushroom soup. Another fun fact is that she loves crafting, and makes a lot of the napkins and place settings for our photo shoots. You can check out her stuff on her Etsy site.
This is a guest post we did for Matt & Stacy at the Paleo Parents. If you aren’t already aware of the amazing things that they are putting out, go ahead and check out their website, podcast, and books. I’m sure I’m already preaching to the choir here, but if not–go check it out and thank me later.
Quality time is a big part of any relationship–without it, it’s easy for little things to get in the way of the bigger picture and sit under the surface until you end up in a huge fight about not looking both ways before crossing the street (true story). When Heather and I first met, we were both in grad school and working full time. Since, we’ve
managed to move twice and work more than when we were managing school. Working 60+ hours a week each makes it difficult to carve out time with and for each other, especially because my second job occurs on evenings and weekends.
We just celebrated our 3-year anniversary, and I’ve taken time to really reflect on the things that make us work as a team. One of the things that has really helped us grow is our time in the kitchen. We, like others, once made the argument that, “Cooking takes too long–let’s just order in.” I learned the hard way that is hard on both the waist and the wallet, packing on 50+ pounds in the first year we were together. So, about a year and a half ago, I decided to make the switch, and made a little website as an accountability measure. Heather will admit, she was hesitant at first; but she supported me and eventually realized the dietary changes were good for her too (her allergies are more manageable now).
Below is a distillation of some of the life lessons that we’ve learned in the kitchen. Not only do we get to spend time
together, it is making the choice to better our health and wellness, and hopefully reduce stress. Our diet and fitness can only do so much if we’re stressed out of our minds.