Barefoot Contessa Dinnertime

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Tonight for dinner I tried a Barefoot Contessa recipe… Parmesan Chicken!  All I can say (and Tim, too), is YUM!

6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 extra-large eggs
1 1/4 cups seasoned dry bread crumbs
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
Unsalted butter
Good olive oil
Salad greens for 6, washed and spun dry

Combine the flour, salt, and pepper on a dinner plate. On a second plate, beat the eggs with 1 tablespoon of water. On a third plate, combine the bread crumbs and 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese. Coat the chicken breasts on both sides with the flour mixture, then dip both sides into the egg mixture and dredge both sides in the bread-crumb mixture, pressing lightly.

Heat 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large sauté pan and cook 2 or 3 chicken breasts on medium-low heat for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until cooked through. Add more butter and oil and cook the rest of the chicken breasts. Toss the salad greens with lemon vinaigrette. Place a mound of salad on each hot chicken breast. Serve with extra grated Parmesan.

For the Lemon Vinaigrette:
In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper.

Copyright 2002, Barefoot Contessa Family Style by Ina Garten, Clarkson Potter/Publishers, All Rights Reserved


Labor Day Dish

For our annual Labor Day bash at my Aunt’s, I made my go-to mild corn salsa.  This is an easy dish that can be served as an appetizer or a side dish with your favorite Mexican/Spanish meal.  Serve with lime tortilla chips or tacos and enjoy!

corn salad

Mild Corn Salsa

2 cans no-salt corn (drained)

1 can black beans (drained)

1 can white beans (any kind – drained) 

2-3 chopped peppers (red is my favorite – adds a pretty color to the dish)

3/4 cup chopped cilantro

2 limes graded and juiced

chili powder, cumin, and salt & pepper to taste

Toss and marinade in the fridge for at least an hour

Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve! 

Family Room Transformation

It took us around a year to find our house.  And by all means, the house we finally decided on was not perfect.  However, it had the foundation we were looking for with some charm.

I was recently asked, “How could you see past the green shag carpet and the yellow spongepaint?”  And my reaction was, “We just had a vision and executed it.”  That’s really all you need… a decent eye, or someone to help you.  We hired a Sherwin Williams designer to help us pick out paint colors, which was useful when we were totally overwhelmed with paint and miss-matched carpet.  We decided on SW Bungalow Beige for the walls and SW Pure White for the mantel and trim.

The accessories were a combination of items we had on hand (couch & coffee table), HomeGoods (pillows and curtains), center coffee table (a vintage window made by my Father – I will blog about that sometime), and the vintage media unit (see previous post). And finally, we had new carpet installed from Lowe’s.  See below for the transformation!




Family Room Reno

Curb Appeal

The Labor Day Weekend project we planned to accomplish was updating the front porch.  We chose Sherwin-Williams Pure White (7005) exterior paint in a satin finish and set out to prime and paint the pillars, porch ceiling, and the trim around the door.  The next phase currently under progress is painting the front door and upgrading the hardware.  I will blog about that later 😉


Pic 1

After (and yes, Amber is still in her cone of shame):

Pic 2

Saturday Dinner

For Saturday dinner at home I decided to make a veggie lasagna and a kale salad.  I added ground beef because we had it on hand, and let’s be honest my husband does not like veggie-only anything.  Kale is very bitter, so I was sure to chop and dress it early in the afternoon so the salad had time to marinate.

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For the meal, I used the following two recipes as a base:


  • 1-1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons prepared pesto
  • 2 cups sliced zucchini
  • 2 cups sliced baby portobello mushrooms
  • 1/2 lb ground beef or turkey
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 jar (one 24 ounces) your favorite spaghetti sauce
  • 9 lasagna noodles
  • 1 jar (12 ounces) roasted sweet red peppers, drained and chopped – or fresh (that’s what I used)


  1. In a small bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, eggs and pesto; set aside. In a large skillet, saute zucchini, mushrooms, red pepper in oil/salt/pepper until tender; set aside.
  2. Spread 1 cup spaghetti sauce in a 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish coated with cooking spray. Top with three noodles; spread 1 cup sauce to edges of noodles. Layer with half of the zucchini mixture, red peppers and cheese mixture. Top with three more noodles and another cup of sauce. Layer with remaining zucchini mixture, peppers, cheese mixture, noodles and sauce.
  3. Cover and bake at 375° for 45 minutes or until a thermometer reads 160°. Uncover; sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese. Bake 10 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Let stand for 15 minutes before cutting. Yield: 12 servings.

Kale Salad

  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 shallot, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 bunches kale, stems removed, leaves shredded or finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds
  • 8 dates, pitted and chopped
  • 2 1/2 ounces Parmesan, shaved with a peeler


In a bowl, whisk juice, shallot, honey, salt and pepper flakes. Add kale; toss well. Let sit 20 minutes. Mix in oil. Refrigerate for up to 1 day, or serve immediately. In a dry pan, toast almonds over medium heat, tossing constantly, until color deepens, 1 to 2 minutes. Add almonds, dates and Parmesan to kale; serve.

Here was the final product (Note: happy husband & the meal was tasty)…

Salad Lasagna


The word of the day is the result of Amber being cut by the groomer, then forced to wear the cone of shame.
noun: humiliation; plural noun: humiliations
  1. the action of humiliating someone or the state of being humiliated.
    “they suffered the humiliation of losing in the opening round”
    Dog 1  Dog 2

Refurbishing in the Sanborn Garage

My husband, Tim was adamant about mounting the TV above the fireplace in our new family room.  I surprisingly got used to the idea, however we needed a place to store our TiVO, DVDs, removes, etc.  We searched local antique stores for a media stand when suddenly my husband stated, “Let’s refurbish!”

So… we located an antique blue dresser my grandparents had given to us in our basement (see below left corner).  Next, we sanded, primed, and spray-painted the original brass hardware white.  Tim and my dad utilized the table saw to make a new shelf for the center, and Tim installed hardware so the bottom shelf could be hidden.    


We went with Lowe’s Valspar Paint (sorry Abby & Scott)… and let me tell you, we will probably never paint with it again.  It was tacky, cheap, and required many layers and dry-time.  However, the colors are for the top Black Raisin (4002-2C) and for the base Mark Twain House Ombra Gray (4004-2A). 

And, viola!  A refurbished, vintage media unit!