Recipe—Chicken Breasts with Mushroom and Onion Dijon Sauce

Something about cooler weather makes me crave comfort food. I just love a good hearty meal on a cool night. My chicken breasts with mushroom and onion Dijon sauce is one of those delicious and soul warming meals. This is a sophisticated recipe that is just absolutely wonderful. The sauce is rich and creamy and really allows the flavors of the fresh herbs to come out and complement the zestiness of the mustard. With the holiday season approaching and people getting together this is the perfect dish to prepare for a small group. This recipe comes together relatively easy and you are sure to impress your guests with your culinary abilities.

Note: If you are feeding more than four people consider butterflying the breasts or even getting thin breast cutlets at the store. If you use a thinner breast you will need to adjust the cooking times for the chicken slightly to avoid overcooking. 

1/4 c flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4 c white mushrooms, sliced
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
2 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
1 tbsp whole grain mustard
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1/2 c white wine
2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 c chicken broth
1/4 c heavy cream
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped (optional)



  • In a large Ziploc bag mix together the flour, salt, and pepper.
  • Add the chicken to the bag and toss to coat.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Remove the chicken from the bag and shake off excess flour before placing in the pan.
  • Cook the chicken for 4–6 minutes per side and transfer to a platter.
  • Add the mushrooms to the pan and cook for about 5 minutes making sure to stir a few times.
  • Add the sliced red onions and rosemary to the pan and continue to cook for 3–4 minutes.
  • Mix in the mustards and wine and gently scrape the bottom of the pan making sure to get everything well incorporated.
  • Add in the parsley, broth, cream, and butter and mix to combine.
    Place the chicken back into the pan and spoon the sauce over the top.
  • Reduce heat to medium-low and cook at a simmer until the chicken is cooked through.
  • Transfer the chicken breast to a plate and spoon sauce over the top.
  • Sprinkle with a little chopped parsley garnish for some added color.


Recipe adapted from A Family Feast.


Recipe—Smothered Chicken

I am not posting this recipe because it is super easy or quick. Not that it is challenging by any means, just lots of steps and dirty pans. But hey, sometimes meals are completely worth it. I am posting this recipe because it is rich, tasty, and a wonderful indulgence. This is the type of dinner for a romantic night, a special occasion, in or if you are entertaining a couple of guests. The name says it all, a simple chicken breast smothered in all sorts of wonderful, creamy, scrumptious, goodness. This is the perfect recipe for all the low carb lovers out there. When I’m focusing on eating low carb I typically go for lower fat items but sometimes you just need something rich to satisfy those cravings. This is it.  Even if you aren’t watching carbs, this will be a wonderful indulgent dinner.

2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp pepper
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
4 slices, mozzarella cheese

2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp garlic, minced
3 tbsp red onion, minced
1 bunch of kale or chard, inner stalks stripped out and greens chopped
4 oz cream cheese
1/4 c grated parmesan cheese
salt and pepper

1/4 c butter
2 c mushrooms, sliced
1/2 c white wine
1 tsp garlic, minced
salt and pepper


  • Preheat oven to 350º.
  • In a small bowl combine the garlic powder, salt and pepper.
  • Sprinkle the seasoning over the chicken.
  • Place the seasoned chicken in a greased baking dish and bake for 16 minutes.


  • While the chicken is baking, heat the 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.
  • Add the red onions and garlic to the pan and sauté for 2–3 minutes.
  • Add in the chopped greens and cook until they are completely wilted.
  • When the greens are done stir in the cream cheese and parmesan cheese, and season with salt and pepper.
  • Continue cooking until the cream cheese is melted.
  • Remove from heat and set aside.


  •  Melt the butter in a medium skillet over medium high heat.
  • Add the mushrooms to the pan and cook until browned all over.
  • Add the wine, garlic, salt, and pepper.
  • Continue cooking until most of the wine is cooked out.
  • Remove from heat and set aside.


  • When the chicken is done cooking, remove the dish from the oven and flip the chicken over.
  • Divide the creamed greens over the top of each breast.
  • Add the sautéed mushrooms to each breast.
  • Top each breast with the sliced mozzarella.
  • Continue baking the smothered chicken breasts for another 14–16 minutes.

Recipe adapted from Butter, Bacon, Cheese, and Garlic.


Recipe—Macadamia Nut Crusted Halibut

One of my all time favorite restaurants in Sacramento is Scott’s Seafood. They are known for stunning presentation and of course their out-of-this-world fish dishes. One of my all time favorite meals that they serve is their melt in your mouth macadamia nut crusted halibut. It is incredible! They take an already awesome piece of fish and seem to make it more awesome then you can possibly imagine. Lucky for me (and you I suppose), they have some of their more popular recipes on their website. The other night I decided to attempt to make their popular halibut dish on my own. It did not disappoint, it was awesome! The brown butter gives the dish a salty and nutty flavor and the macadamia nuts themselves give the fish a mild sweetness and great texture. My husband, son, and I chowed down and we were in heaven! If you have a little extra time and money on your hands, and you want to impress, try this decadent recipe. It is an incredible way to enjoy halibut.

Note: This recipe is written to use an oven safe skillet. If you don’t have one, no biggie. Just use whatever large skillet you have and then transfer the fish to a large baking dish and finish off in the oven.

4-6 oz halibut filets, skin removed
1/2 c panko
1 1/2 c macadamia nuts
1/2 lb salted butter
4 tbsp olive oil


  • In a large saucepan bring the butter to boil over medium heat, stirring constantly until it just starts to turn a golden brown color. Be sure not to burn it!
  • Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 350º.
  • Place the panko and the macadamia nuts on a baking sheet keeping them separated.
  • Toast both the panko and nuts for 3–4 minutes or until just starting to brown.
  • Transfer the toasted panko to a plate or shallow bowl.
  • Using a food processor, or by hand, chop the macadamia nuts.
  • Add half of the chopped nuts to the toasted panko and mix.
  • Place the other half of the chopped nuts in the brown butter and stir.
  • Turn the oven up to 375º.
  • Coat the halibut filets in the panko and nut mixture making sure to cover as much of the fish as possible and set aside.
  • Heat the olive oil over medium high-heat in a large oven safe skillet.
  • One by one add the breaded fish.
  • Cook until golden brown on the bottom and then flip to cook the other side.
  • Once both sides have turned a golden brown place the skillet in the oven to finish cooking, about 5–8 minutes depending on the thickness of the filets. When the fish is cooked through it should flake off easily with a fork.
  • When the halibut is cooked, stir the brown butter and nut mixture and then ladle it over the top of the fish.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Scott’s Seafood Grill & Bar.


Recipe—Shrimp Gratin

This recipe actually originated as a seafood gratin recipe, however I’m not a huge fan of lots of mystery fish thrown together so I adapted the recipe to suit my taste, and shrimp are my taste. This sauce ends up being creamy and rich and goes great with the shrimp and seasoned panko topping. This really is decadent enough to be served for a special occasion but also quick and easy enough for any night of the week. If you are scrambling to figure out what to do for Valentine’s Day dinner give this fabulous recipe a shot. Your sweetie won’t be disappointed, especially since you won’t have to spend the whole night in the kitchen. Throw together some greens for a salad and a French baguette to soak up the sauce and you have a romantic dinner in less than 40 minutes.

Note: This recipe is perfect for entertaining because all the prep and assembly (minus the panko topping) can be done well in advance to save time when your guests are over. Just make the recipe earlier in the day, put it in the baking dish or ramekins, cover with plastic wrap, and store in the fridge until ready to bake. Remove the dish(es) from the fridge a few minutes before placing in the oven, sprinkle with the panko topping and bake for 20 or so minutes.

1 c clam juice
1 c heavy cream
1/2 c white wine
3 tbsp tomato sauce
2–2 1/2 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
6 tbsp butter, divided
2 large leeks (whites and greens), washed and thinly sliced
1 c carrots, shredded
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp pepper
3 tbsp flour
1/2 c panko
1/3 c Parmesan cheese, grated
2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
1 tsp garlic, minced


  • Combine the clam juice, cream, wine, and tomato sauce in a large pot and bring to a boil over medium high heat.
  • Simmer until the sauce is reduced by almost half, about 12–14 minutes.
  • While the sauce is simmering, in a medium sauté pan melt 5 tablespoons of the butter over medium-high heat.
  • Add the leeks and carrots and cook for 5 minutes or until tender.
  • Season the veggies with salt and pepper and stir in the flour and heat for 1 minute.
  • Place the shrimp into the pot of sauce and cook for 2–3 minutes.
  • Add the cooked veggies to the pot with the sauce and shrimp and stir to combine. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 375º.
  • In a small bowl combine the panko, Parmesan, parsley, and garlic. Melt the remaining tablespoon of butter and drizzle it over the crumbs. Toss with a fork to combine.
  • Transfer the saucy shrimp to one large baking dish or 4 individual ramekins.
  • Sprinkle the panko mixture evenly over the top of the shrimp.
  • Bake for 20 minutes or until the top is lightly browned and the sauce is bubbly.
Sweet Treats

Recipe—Chocolate Truffle Pie

Valentine’s day is right around the corner and what says Valentine’s Day better than a big slice of sinfully rich chocolate truffle pie? I know a lot of people like to go out to eat on what is supposed to be the most romantic day of the year but I have always been more of a homebody on this Hallmark Holiday. I like setting the table with candles and our best linens and cooking my husband a nice romantic dinner at home. And like all romantic dinners even one at home needs a wickedly decadent dessert. That’s why I love this truffle pie, there is not one, but two rich chocolate layers finished off with a light whip cream topping. Perfect for the chocolate lover in your life!

2 c graham cracker crumbs
1/3 c white sugar
1/2 c butter, melted

  • Mix all ingredients together.
  • Press the graham cracker mixture into the bottom and up the sides of a pie dish using the backside of a large spoon or rubber spatula.
  • Place in freezer.

2/3 c heavy cream
6 oz bittersweet chocolate chips

  • In a small saucepan bring the cream to a simmer. (Be sure it does not boil over.)
  • Place the chocolate chips in a small mixing bowl and pour the hot cream over the top of them.
  • Let stand for 1 minute and then using a fork gently whisk until smooth.
  • Pour the truffle filling into the piecrust and gently spread it out evenly.
  • Place in the freezer for 20 minutes.

6 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 c heavy cream
1/2 tsp vanilla

  • In a small saucepan bring a 1/2 cup of the cream to a simmer. (Be sure it does not boil over.)
  • Place the chocolate chips in a small mixing bowl and pour the hot cream over the top of them.
  • Let stand for 1 minute and then using a fork gently whisk until smooth.
  • Let cool to room temperature.
  • In a medium mixing bowl beat the remaining cup of cream on medium-high speed until thick and fluffy.
  • Add the melted chocolate mixture and the vanilla and continue beating until thickened.
  • Spread the whipped chocolate filling over the truffle layer.
  • Place in refrigerator.

1 c heavy cream
1/4 c powdered sugar
chocolate bar (for garnish)

  • Beat the cream and powdered sugar on medium high speed until thick enough that stiff peaks form.
  • Spread the whipped cream over the top of the pie.
  • Using a grater or vegetable peeler make shavings off the chocolate bar.
  • Garnish finished pie with chocolate shavings.
  • Chill for 5–6 hours or overnight before serving.

Recipe adapted from Deen Bros.


Recipe—Fried Pork Chops with Bourbon Cream Mushrooms

By now I probably have you convinced that the only meat we eat in our house is chicken. I swear it’s not! We really do eat a diverse selection of meat. I just find that those are some of my more creative recipes that are fun to share. Well I’m breaking the chicken trend and sharing a fabulous pork recipe. This is a super decadent way to enjoy a very simple cut of meat. The creamy mushrooms are rich and completely addictive. I thought they went wonderfully with some mashed potatoes. This is one of those recipes that completely knocked my hubby’s socks off. One of those meals where there is minimal dinner conversation because you are just taking bite after bite, and moaning every few minutes because you are full but you just can’t stop eating. If you are looking for one of those kinds of dinners, this is it.

1 egg
2 tbsp water
4 boneless pork chops
salt and pepper
1/2 c flour
2 c bread crumbs
6 tbsp olive oil, divided
1/4 c yellow onion, chopped
2 tsp garlic, minced
1 lb white mushrooms, sliced
1/2 c white wine
1 c chicken broth
1/4 c bourbon
1/2 c heavy cream
salt and pepper
2 tbsp fresh basil, minced


  • In a shallow bowl whisk together egg and water.
  • Season both sides of the pork chops with salt, pepper, and paprika.
  • Dip the pork shops in the flour being sure they are coated evenly.
  • Then dip the chops in the egg wash and breadcrumbs, coating completely.
  • Set the breaded pork chops aside.
  • Heat 2 tbsp of the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Sauté the onions, garlic, and mushrooms until browned, about 10–15 minutes.
  • Add the wine and increase the heat to high.
  • Boil the wine down until all the liquid is reduced to almost a glaze, about 4 minutes.
  • Add the chicken broth and the bourbon and simmer until reduced by two thirds.
  • Add the cream and simmer several more minutes, reduce heat to low.
  • Preheat oven to 400º.
  • In a large skillet heat the remaining four tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat.
  • Add the pork chops and cook 4 minutes per side or until they reach a nice golden brown.
  • Transfer the pork chops to a baking dish and cook for another 8–10 minutes or until cooked through.
  • Remove the pork chops from the oven and allow to sit for a minute.
  • While the pork chops are resting turn up the heat on the mushrooms and add the chopped basil.
  • Season with salt and pepper and spoon over the cooked pork chop.

Recipe adapted from Simply Recipes.

Side Dishes

Recipe—Garlic Roasted Mushrooms

How many times have you had mushrooms on hand and you just sautéed and served them up as a lackluster side dish? Never again! Okay, I’m sure we will do it again, but after having these flavor packed oven-roasted mushrooms my eyes have been opened to a whole new super easy way to prepare the fabulous fungi. I won’t deny, I have simply sautéed mushrooms an abundance of times myself but mushrooms deserve so much more than that! These roasted mushrooms are so simple and the flavors come together very nicely. This dish really has an elegant flare to it, perfect for a romantic dinner night. I served it with sliced tri tip and some crusty bread to sop up all those yummy juices. Can’t let wine go to waste after all!

Note: Chop any large mushrooms in half so that they all cook evenly.

1 lb mushrooms (cremini or white)
2 tbsp capers
2 tsp garlic, minced
2 tsp olive oil
1/4 c white wine
salt and pepper
3 tbsp butter, sliced into pieces
2 tsp lemon juice
1/4 c flat leaf parsley, chopped


  • Preheat oven to 450º F.
  • In a small baking dish toss together the mushrooms, capers, garlic, olive oil, wine, salt, and pepper.
  • Top with sliced butter.
  • Roast stirring occasionally until the mushrooms are tender, about 15–20 minutes.
  • Remove mushrooms from oven and stir in the lemon juice.
  • Top with parsley and serve immediately.