[Wet Behind The Kitchen]
Easy-Brine Chicken Breasts with Sicilian Glaze and Puttanesca-Style Panzanella

Right now I have this dish brining in the refrigerator for tomorrow’s dinner.

Can’t wait to see how it turns out, I’ve been waiting to use this recipe.


  • 2 tablespoons EVOO
  • 4cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2to 3 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves stripped and finely chopped
  • 1 Fresno or Italian cherry chile pepper, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup Marsala wine, sherry or spicy red wine
  • 1blood orange or organic navel orange
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons grated red onion
  • 2 tablespoons kosher or fine sea salt
  • 4cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • A few sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 1lemon, sliced
  • 4pieces skinless, boneless chicken breasts (about 2 pounds)
  • EVOO, for brushing
  • Puttanesca-Style Panzanella, for serving, recipe follows
  • 2 pounds plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1medium red onion (you can use the rest of the onion you grated for the brine, recipe above), chopped
  • 1red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • About 1/3 cup EVOO
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons anchovy paste
  • 2cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
  • 1Fresno or Italian red cherry chile pepper, finely chopped
  • 1lemon
  • 1/2loaf peasant bread
  • 3/4 cup oil-cured black olives, pitted and chopped


For the glaze: Heat the EVOO in a small pot over medium to medium-high heat. Add the garlic, rosemary and chile pepper, and stir for a few minutes. Add the wine and cook until reduced to 3 to 4 tablespoons, about 2 minutes. Peel the zest from the orange in strips and add to the pot. Stir in the chicken stock and honey, then cook at a low rolling simmer until reduced to about 1/2 cup, about 20 minutes. Let cool.

For the brine: Put the onion, salt, garlic, rosemary, lemons and 4 cups water in a large resealable plastic bag. Add the chicken and refrigerate for up to 2 days.

Heat a grill pan, griddle or cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Remove the chicken from the brine and pat dry. Drizzle or brush the chicken with EVOO, then cook, turning occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through, 12 to 15 minutes. Meanwhile, gently warm the glaze. Baste the chicken with the glaze during the last 5 minutes of cooking.

Serve the chicken with the Puttanesca-Style Panzanella.

Cook’s Note: Make 6 pieces of chicken breast and you’ll have extra meat to slice for sandwiches or chicken salad the next day.
Combine the tomatoes, parsley, onions and bell peppers.

Whisk together the EVOO, vinegar, anchovy paste, garlic, chile pepper and lemon juice in a bowl.

Pour water over the bread, then wring out the loaf and tear it into bite-size pieces. Toss the bread, vegetable mixture and olives with the dressing. Serve.

Cook’s Note: Wrap the bread loosely in foil overnight so it becomes stale and a little hard (if it goes too far, place it in a plastic bag overnight). If you are making the salad ahead of time, you can combine the vegetables and parsley in a resealable plastic bag and refrigerate them. Pit and chop the olives and return them to their container in the refrigerator. Store the dressing in the refrigerator and bring it to room temperature before using.
Slow Cooker Cilanto Lime Chicken

This recipe was sent to me by my friend Heather! Can’t wait to try it!

3 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1-2 16 ounce jars salsa - I used 2 jars of mild (amount and level of hot depend on your preference)
3 limes or more if you want it tangier (juiced with juicer, or if you don’t have one like me - cut the limes into quarters and squeeze out all the juice and cut out a few lime pieces)
3 Tbsp. fresh chopped cilantro
1 packet taco seasoning

combine all ingredients together in slow cooker and cook on low for 4 -6 depending on your crock pot.  Serve whole with Lipton Taco Rice on the side. I removed the chicken after 4 hours, shredded the chicken and placed it back in the crock pot on warm for another 1.5 hour until dinner, mixed it with 2 Lipton Taco Rice packets (this made a LOT so if you don’t want leftovers only use i rice packet), and put reduced fat Mexican blend cheese, reduced fat sour cream,black olives and tomato on top!
Another option is serving the shredded chicken/salsa mixture in flour tortillas with the cheese, sour cream, tomato mixture if you want to skip the rice.

Éclair Cake

This recipe was sent to me by my friend Anita! Sounds delicious! =)

1 box of graham crackers (honey graham)

2 boxes (4-serving size) vanilla instant pudding

1 (8 oz.) carton Cool Whip

3 cups milk

1 tub ready-made chocolate frosting

Mix pudding and milk; beat for 2 minutes. Fold in Cool Whip.

In a 9x13 pan place one layer of graham crackers on bottom. Spread pudding mixture over this, then add another layer of crackers. Spread chocolate frosting over the top layer of crackers. Chill a few hours before serving. Tastes even better if made a day ahead, giving the crackers a chance to soften.

Italian Pasta Salad

There are tons of ways to make pasta salad, but for a work pot luck lunch, I decided to go with a more Italian traditional.


  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 1 pound bow tie pasta
  • 1 cup store-bought balsamic vinaigrette dressing
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1 (4-ounce) can sliced mushrooms, drained
  • 2/3 cup pitted kalamata olives
  • 1/2 diced green bell pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Grated Parmesan, for topping


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over medium heat. Add the pasta cook it according to package directions.

While the pasta is cooking, in a small bowl, whisk together the balsamic vinaigrette, mayonnaise, and sugar.

Drain the pasta well, transfer to a large serving bowl, and let cool. Add the tomatoes, mushrooms, olives, green pepper, salt, to taste, and the black pepper. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to combine. Sprinkle with the cheese, toss lightly, and serve.

Real Fruit Pops

1 peach, cut into 1/2-inch slices (1/2 cup) 2 kiwis, peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch rounds 3/4 cup strawberries, finely chopped 1/2 cup blueberries 1/2 cup raspberries 1 1/2 to 2 cups of fruit punch or 100 percent white-grape juice Directions 1. Combine fruit in a mixing bowl and arrange the mixture into eight 3-ounce Popsicle molds. 2. Pour enough juice into each mold to just cover fruit. 3. Insert Popsicle sticks and freeze until solid (about six hours).

Stuffed Peppers

Last night’s stuffed peppers with cheese queso on top. Yummy.

South Tampa Problems

Last night while washing up from dinner we noticed we have a leak under the sink. Not only did we wash dishes in the bathroom, but this means the sink is off limits until fixed. This also means that cooking if off limites until fixed. Can’t cook/clean without the sink in working condition.

So…all those recipes I wanted to try this week are on the back-burner, no pun intended. I just hope it gets fixed soon so I can get back to it!

Foods of Love

Since I didn’t cook or bake on Valentine’s Day - here are some recipes I LOVE and want to make to show love. <3

Chocolate Heart Peanut Butter Cookies

Red Velvet Cake 

Valentine Pretzel Buttons

Jelly Donut Muffins

Chocolate Chip Cupcakes

I’ve been on a cupcake craze recently because I made Guinness cupcakes and mini vanilla cupcakes for a bridal shower last week.

Last night I came into the kitchen because there was a lot of noise coming from it. My boyfriend…was making cupcakes.

He took the vanilla cupcake mix and through in mini morsels (semi-sweet). They turned out delicious, even though I didn’t want to admit that to him. =)

Penne with Italian Pesto Sauce

Pesto. There are many different recipes for it. You can add nuts, vegetables, anything you want.

Last night I went traditional Italian pesto with greens, garlic and olive oil.

Once my penne was cooked, I added a little oil to loosen the pasta. I also added chopped garlic, the pesto, parsley and Parmesan cheese. Mix it together well and serve hot with more cheese on top.

It’s delicious!