Braised Chicken 'n Leeks

Braised chicken and leeks via Print (Em) Shop

Welcome to day 23 of Blogmas! We only have one more day of Blogmas left + I am kind of sad about it. We have plenty of fun things planned for 2015, but it was fun to collaborate + create all of this fun content for you!

For today I wanted to share a winter dish that is buttery, savory and rich. Basically the trifecta of winter eats in my opinion. Chicken + leek is a great combination + here it tastes kind of like a chicken pot pie sans the crust. It is best with something to soak up the gravy, so rice or quinoa is the way to go.

I made this dish the other day (basically like a super early Christmas Eve pre-game), served with green beans, quinoa + buttermilk biscuits. Out of control! Hopefully you can get this one in before you attempt use your new 2015 gym membership.

Braised chicken and leeks via Print (Em) Shop
Braised chicken and leeks via Print (Em) Shop
Braised chicken and leeks via Print (Em) Shop

Braised Chicken 'n Leeks

  • 4 lbs. chicken thighs, bone in and skin on
  • All-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Salt + Pepper
  • 4 tablespoon butter
  • 1 lb. leeks, frozen or fresh + chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 teaspoon grainy mustard
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • Parsley, to taste
  1. Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a stockpot.
  2. Combine all-purpose flour (no exact measurement but ~1 cup) with the dried oregano + salt and pepper to taste. Coat 
  3. Add 1 tablespoon of butter into the heated oil. Brown the chicken thighs on medium heat. You may have to do this step in two batches, adding another tablespoon of butter between batches! Cook each chicken thigh 6-7 minutes on side + 8-10 minutes on the other side. Set this aside + do not wash out the pot.
  4. Add the leeks + sliced garlic cloves. There will be some liquid in the pot as the leeks defrost, so keep staring until that water comes to a boil + the garlic is fragrant.
  5. Add 1 cup of white wine + bring to a boil. Add the chicken stock. Add the chicken back into the stockpot, including any drippings.
  6. Braise the chicken in it's liquid for ~50 minutes, 20 minutes covered + 30 minutes uncovered. Add water to thin the sauce if desired. 
  7. To finish, stir in the grainy mustard + red wine vinegar. Serve with plenty of fresh parsley.

4 last minute DIY holiday gifts

Last minute DIY holiday gifts

Christmas is in 3 days, which means that all of you late-minute shoppers are going absolutely insane. But that's ok, because you have plenty of time to make some cute last minute DIYs for all of those on your list. I've collected my four favorite last minute DIY holiday gifts from around the web for you. From the edible to those that will pamper, there is definitely a holiday DIY here that you can bang out without breaking a sweat. 

1 // Winter is the perfect time to amp up your beauty regiment + there is no better way to treat your friends + family than to gift them something great. This DIY vanilla sugar cookie body scrub + soak will do the trick.

2 // Glittered wooden spoons! I love this idea because it is incredible easy to customize for the holidays or to match your receiver's home. It's simple, but a lovely gesture.

3 // Another great customization DIY, a tissue paper watercolor mug. So pull those scrap pieces of tissue paper together, find a simple mug + get ModPodge-ing.

4 // When all else fails, melt a bunch of chocolate + stick some great ingredients in it. Viola, it's chocolate bark AND it tastes really great. You likely have most of the ingredients on hand for this already, but you cannot go wrong with the dried cherry, pecan + sea salt combo.

Morning Centering Routine

If you live in the North East it's time for a few things, but mainly WINTER. Winter throws a lot of people out of whack: the days are shorter, it is extremely cold + end of the year obligations both social + financial can become extremely stressful.

I wanted to share a few tips on how I remain centered, especially during the morning! I was not always the best at dealing with mornings (sleeping in too late, skipping breakfast, checking emails as soon as I woke up), but I have tried really hard to find that balance between work, sleep + life in general. I go into more detail below, but check out my Animoto video for a quick look!

1. Candles // These are an instant mood shifter. Filling a room with a relaxing scent, or just one that is relaxing for you, is the best way to transform your environment. I may have work splayed around me + emails piling up, but a candle is a must.

2. Cuppa Tea // It is not necessarily about the tea itself, but the habit of preparing tea. There is a ritual involved in crafting a cup of tea. A squirt of lemon, a dash of milk or a swirl of honey, whatever your choice is you can create a warming + soothing drink tailored just for you. It is a nice gesture, one that you get to enjoy.

3. Breakfast // Similarly to tea, breakfast is incredibly important to me. I typically will make the same things for weeks at a time + then switch it up. It has been oatmeal, scrambled eggs, cereal, french toast, but it has to be there. 

4. No work AM // Alarm goes off + you look at your emails, am I right? Nothing kills the morning vibe like a crazy email from your co-worker or a message from your in-laws saying they are staying with you for Thanksgiving weekend. To find your center you need to tune out everything else. The best way to do this is to ignore messages + any work early in the AM. 

5. Stretch/Yoga // 30 minutes of exercise or nothing, right? Nope. 10 minutes of stretching, yoga or meditation is better than nothing. Remember you will never regret doing so.

6. Mother nature // Surround yourself with plants, flowers + other greenery. It is surprising how much it can lift your mood, plus something that grows with you is poetically what we all need.

7. Something cozy // I don't care if I look "fly" because if I am not comfortable it's game over. Finding what looks good on you + is cozy is what it's all about.

Sparkling Clementine Cake Truffle

Clementine Cake Truffle via Print Em Shop

It's the 19th day of Blogmas and it's a sweet one! While there are many holidays approaching, this one is for New Years. 

I always find it difficult to pin down what makes a great New Years Eve dessert. It should be boozy. It should sparkle. It should be indulgent. 

Clementine Cake Truffles via Print Em Shop
Clementine Cake Truffles via Print Em Shop
Clementine Cake Truffles via Print Em Shop

Otherwise I am not sure there are many rules. Even those are not set in stone.

I wanted to attempt to make a dessert that was boozy, sparkly + indulgent, however. The sparkling clementine cake truffle (or boozy cake ball) is it. The cake truffle has bite to it, but it oddly tastes like sugar cookie dough. Sinfully good.

Clementine Cake Truffles via Print Em Shop
Clementine Cake Truffles via Print Em Shop
Clementine Cake Truffles via Print Em Shop

First you cook clementine segments in Prosecco. The boozy clementines go into the cake batter. The cake is then crumbled + combined with a luscious cream cheese filling. This mixture is formed into balls + dipped into TWO different coatings. Powdered sugar + sanding sugar. One makes the cake truffle velvety + the other adds a crunch. Kind of like choose your own adventure, the food version.

Clementine Cake Truffles via Print Em Shop
Clementine Cake Truffles via Print Em Shop
Clementine Cake Truffles via Print Em Shop

Sparkling Clementine Cake Truffle [makes 3 dozen]

  • 4 clementines, peeled and segmented
  • 1 cup champagne
  • 2 tablespoon sugar
  • 2/3 cup butter, softened
  • 2 clementines, zest 
  • 3 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 egg whites, beat to stiff peaks
  • 1/2 stick butter, softened
  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup confectioner's sugar
  • White sanding sugar and/or confectioner's sugar, to coat
  1. In a medium-sized pot combine the clementine segments, champagne and sugar. Cook on low for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. Mix together the butter and clementine zest until light and fluffy. Add the sugar and continue beating until combined.
  4. Drain the clementines from the syrup. Reserve the syrup for another use (cocktails, anyone?!). Add the clementines to the mixing bowl and mix until combined.
  5. Slowly add the baking powder, salt and all-purpose flour. Mix to combine.
  6. Add one half of the whipped egg white mixture into the bowl. Fold gently into the rest of the cake batter gently with a spatula. Add the second half and gently fold that into the batter.
  7. Butter a 10-inch cake pan. Pour the batter in the pan and speed it evenly. Bake the cake in the oven for 30 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Set aside to cool.
  8. Prepare the cream cheese frosting. Beat the butter and cream cheese until smooth and creamy. Add the vanilla extract and combine. Slowly add the confectioner's sugar until the frosting comes together. Set aside.
  9. Now it's time to crumble the cake. Break off chunks of the clementine cake and crumble with your fingers. Now is the time to remove any large clumps of clementine pith which tend to be bitter and chewy.
  10. Add the cream cheese frosting and mix everything together.
  11. To form the truffles, use a small ice cream scoop to portion the truffles. Roll each scoop into a ball with your hands and toss in white sanding sugar or confectioner's sugar, your choice, to coat. Repeat with each truffle.
  12. Serve right away, or better yet, place the truffles in the fridge and remove 10 minutes before serving.

4 roasted salads to warm you up this winter

4 roasted salads to warm you up this winter via Print Em Shop

We are 18 days into Blogmas (ahh!), and I hope everyone has been loving it as much as everyone did contributing to it. It's another week, so here is another collection of recipes I cannot wait to start cooking.

There is something about winter that makes me crave roasted vegetables. No typo there, I actually crave roasted vegetables. What's better than just the veg? A roasted vegetable salad. My oven in conveniently already preheated for these four roasted salad recipes. Which of the four would you give a try?

1 // Eggplant + I is not a love story you will find on any best seller list, but this spiced eggplant + buffalo mozzarella salad recipe has a shot. Lush Loves roasts the eggplant with cumin, smoked paprika, fennel seeds, ground coriander + garam masala.

2 // I would eat anything Flourishing Foodie set in front of me, but this balsamic roasted beets, sweet orange + chèvre salad with pumpkin seeds is beyond. It is not overly fussy, but will surely impress whoever you feed it to. Even yourself.

3 // What is winter without acorn squash? Nothing. Spicy roasted squash with feta + herbs is the way to go. Chili garlic sauce adds to heat, but brown sugar + feta cheese tame the dish. A  generous amount of herbs brings out the freshness of this dish.

4 // Roasted fingerling potato salad with romesco + herby black quinoa. I am all about adding quinoa to everything and anything + when quinoa makes me feel better about eating a bowl of potatoes, that's everything to me. The romesco with red peppers + hazelnuts is a great, and gorgeous, touch.

A Perfect Christmas Cocktail

Cranberry Thyme Cocktail via Print (Em) Shop

We are 16 days into Blogmas guys, and we have shared DIYs, recipes and even fashion tips, but booze has alluded us. Today is its day.

Cranberry Thyme Cocktail via Print (Em) Shop
Cranberry Thyme Cocktail via Print (Em) Shop
Cranberry Thyme Cocktail via Print (Em) Shop

This babe is sweet, so for all of you bourbon straight up folks look elsewhere. Even in the winter I prefer a sweet cocktail, but that's my game. Feel free to cut some of the sugar, change up the herbs or leave them out. Simple syrup is not a science, but a 1:1 ratio is the classic. 

Cranberry Thyme Cocktail via Print (Em) Shop
Cranberry Thyme Cocktail via Print (Em) Shop
Cranberry Thyme Cocktail via Print (Em) Shop

You will make enough simple syrup for 20 cocktails. So call 20 of your closest friends and family members, pop open a few bottles of Prosecco + go loco.

Cranberry Thyme Christmas Sparkler 

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • 5 sprigs fresh thyme + extra for garnish
  • 2 bottles Prosecco or sparkling white wine
  1. Combine the water, sugar, cranberries and fresh thyme in a medium saucepan. Bring to boil, stirring, and then set aside to cool.
  2. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve. 
  3. To prepare each drink add 1 tablespoon of the simple syrup and top each glass with Prosecco. Stir with the a thyme sprig and rest the sprig on top of the drink to garnish.