Thursday, May 31, 2012

Skinny Memorial Day Cheesecake

I am continuing this week's theme of healthy eating, but I really couldn't not share this recipe with you all.  It's way more healthy than a normal cheesecake and the fact that it's a cheese-cup-cake means that you have a perfect portion all set up for you!  According to the original post about it, each cupcake is about 100 calories! Plus, they're just too darn cute and perfect for Memorial Day or 4th of July.  Check it out:

Skinny Memorial Day Chocolate Chip Cheesecake (adapted from Skinny Taste

12 vanilla wafers
1 8 oz package of 1/3 less fat cream cheese
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
6 oz fat-free vanilla greek yogurt
2 large egg whites
1 tbsp flour
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
strawberries and blueberries

1. Preheat the oven to 350, line a cupcake tray with 12 liners, and place a vanilla wafer in the bottom of each one.
2. In a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese until light and fluffy.  Beat in the sugar and vanilla.  Slowly beat in the greek yogurt, egg whites, and flour until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.
3. Fill each cupcake well about 1/2 full and bake for about 25 minutes.  Let cool.
4. Top each mini cheesecake with some sliced strawberries and blueberries and let chill in the fridge for at least an hour.
Enjoy :)

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Strawberry, Quinoa, and Spinach Salad

Oh my.  My brother graduated from high school yesterday and my family and I went out for dinner at Buca di Beppo afterwards to celebrate.  It was tons of fun.  The food was great and the company was even better.  I had a great time, but I ate way too much.  Since being on summer vacation I have been spending a lot of time catching up with friends and family and eating like I am on vacation.  I have still been working out and completing my half-marathon training, but I have not been eating in the most healthy of ways.

From sushi with friends...

to giant skillet (whole grain at least) cookies...

I used THIS recipe with whole wheat flour and dark chocolate chips
to crazy family-style Italian...

The Brownie Sundae!

I have had amazing foods, but now I am feeling a little unhealthy.

Since starting college, I have lost almost 25 pounds.  I am very proud of the changes I have made in my life.  I have learned a lot about how to eat healthy and I have adopted all sorts of exercise schedules.  I love food and so I still eat what I want, but I am way more aware of portion sizes and eating a balanced diet.  Plus, running has helped a lot, both with becoming healthy, and de-stressing.

Now that summer is here, I have been a little off track in terms of staying healthy, but that is all going to change starting now! This morning I did pilates with my mom and then ran a quick 5K with my brother.  For breakfast: oatmeal, orange juice, and some coffee.  My post-work out snack: an apple with a little peanut butter.  And, for lunch: leftover Strawberry Quinoa and Spinach Salad.

I made this salad for the Memorial Day dinner that we had at my house and now I still have the leftovers.  This salad is healthy, hearty, and absolutely delicious.  Plus, it's gluten free! It's a great way to get some veggies in, but it tastes so good that I don't even feel like I'm being that healthy! I'm excited to get back on track with being my normally healthy self and even more excited to go enjoy this salad! Yum!

Strawberry, Quinoa, and Spinach Salad (adapted from Cookie and Kate)

For the salad:
3 cups baby spinach
3/4 cup cooked quinoa (cook according to instructions on box)
3 tbsp crumbled goat cheese
3/4 cup strawberries, chopped
1/4 cup chopped pecan pieces
salt and pepper
For the dressing:
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp balsamic vinaigrette
1 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tsp real maple syrup
1 tsp shallot, chopped

1. Make the quinoa and set aside.
2. Make the dressing by whisking all the ingredients together.  Add more balsamic for a tarter dressing and more maple syrup for a sweeter dressing.
3. Toast the pecans: place pecans in a pan on the stove and heat pan over medium heat for about 5 minutes or until pecans are fragrant.
4. In a large bowl, toss the warm quinoa with the goat cheese and season with salt and pepper. Toss with the pecans. Next toss in the spinach and strawberries and finally, toss in the dressing.
Enjoy :)

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

One Lovely Blog Award

Today is a pretty big day.  My little brother is graduating from high school! I am so excited for him and I can't believe he is all grown up and going off to college! It just makes me feel super old! I wish him the best of luck with whatever he does and wherever he goes.  I hope that he has great experiences in college and that he makes great friends! I have had an amazing college experience so far and I hope that he does as well.
Me and my "not-so-little-anymore" brother...posing like champs
I am also so excited to say that Starr over at the Misfit Baker just awarded me with One Lovely Blog Award.  Starr's blog is truly fantastic and she shares a bunch of vegan and healthy recipes that look amazing! I can't wait to share this Lovely Blog Award on this Lovely day! I feel flattered to have received this award and I am excited to pass the award along to some amazing blogs that I have been enjoying lately.
Here are the rules that come along with the award:

1. Link back to the blogger who nominated you.
2. Paste the award image on your blog.
3. Tell 7 facts about yourself.
4. Nominate 15 other blogs that you would like to give the award to.
5. Contact the bloggers that you have chosen and let them know about the award. we go:

7 Facts About Me!

1. I am training for a half marathon.
2. I am a senior in college
3. I can't stand when my nails aren't painted
4. I have a serious problem with picking my nail polish off after I paint my nails... 
5. Thus, due to the combination of #3 and #4, I have a HUGE nail polish collection
6. I am the site director at a day camp and I am super busy planning the summer right now
7. I love almost all foods except I can't stand raw bananas...weird right?

My 15 Nominations for the One Lovely Blog Award
(in no particular order)

1. Skinny Simple Recipes
2. The Cooking Actress
3. Melanie's Mixtures
4. From Calculus to Cupcakes
5. Fragrant Vanilla Cake
6. The Smart Cookie Cook
7. A Dash of Megnut
8. Home Skillet
9. Sarcastic Cooking
10. Everything in the Kitchen Sink
11. No Sugar Sweet Life
12. Juanita's Cocina
13. Love Food Cook Food
14. The Healthy Bites
15. Chocolate Therapy

Make sure to check these guys out, they have amazing recipes and wonderful stories to tell!

Now, I have to get ready for graduation! Congrats, lil' brother!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Challah French Toast-Plain/Strawberry-Nutella/Blueberry/Peanut Butter-Banana

I made a TON of challah the other day for the May Daring Bakers' Challenge.  We had some at dinner, we sent some over to our neighbors, and still I had two whole loaves lying around.  So then, I got to thinking, what can I make with this challah?  The first option, that I'm sharing here today, came to me pretty quickly: Challah French Toast.

Challah French Toast is the best kind of french toast in my opinion and I thought it would be perfect for breakfast over Memorial Day Weekend.  I made three kinds of french toast: Regular, Blueberry Stuffed French, Raspberry-Nutella Stuffed, and Peanut Butter Banana Stuffed French Toast.  Everything came out beautifully and the clear winner for being just amazing was the Raspberry-Nutella guy.

Challah French Toast

4 egg whites
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups skim milk
1/2 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
12 slices of challah (I used my Honey Whole Wheat Challah)

1. Lightly grease a frying pan and set over medium heat.
2. In a large bowl with a flat bottom, whisk the egg whites, eggs, milk, vanilla, and salt.  Add in the cinnamon and nutmeg and other spices that you might want.
3. Cut the challah into 1- 1 1/2 inch thick slices.  For the stuffed challah: Spread and place the fillings in between two slices of bread to form a sandwich (Nutella and thinly slice strawberries, creamy peanut butter and thinly sliced bananas, and blueberry greek yogurt).
4. Place the slices of bread in the bowl with the egg batter and make sure both sides get coated.
5. Fry the bread in the pan, greasing as needed, until lightly browned on both sides.  Mine took about 3 or so minutes on each side.  Serve with additional fruit/syrup/powdered sugar.
Enjoy :)

It also works out nicely that you get Red White and Blue Challah :)

Sunday, May 27, 2012

May 2012 Daring Bakers' Challenge: Challah

Today is the day I get to share my first Daring Bakers' Challenge!  The May 2012 challenge came from Ruth over at The Crafts of Mommyhood.  Ruth's challenge was to make challah.  When is saw that this was the challenge I got pretty excited.  This was something that I knew about since I am Jewish, but I had never made it before from scratch.  I couldn't wait to get started.  Ruth provides some awesome history on challah bread as well as examples of different ways to braid the challah.  The only mandatory items were to make an enriched bread and to braid it.  I decided to make a more traditional honey wheat challah and then a less traditional blueberry challah.  Most challah recipes make two loaves as it is tradition to provide two loaves of challah on Shabbat so that you have enough for all of Shabbat (you can't "do work" on Shabbat, so you need to get all the preparations done before).  Therefore, I ended up with four loaves of challah.  I'm going to have to think of some fun ways to use up all this bread!

I decided to have a traditional Shabbat dinner for my family and I did it all.  I made the challah, an awesome apricot chicken dish, and some yummy homemade pasta with a white wine mushroom and broccoli sauce.  We gathered around the table, poured the wine, lit the candles, said the blessings, and dug in!

Honey Whole Wheat Challah (adapted from Ruth's Go-To Whole Wheat Challah which was adapted from D's Whole Wheat Challah)
Before Rise
After Rise
Oven Ready- 6 Strand Braid and 4 Strand Round

4 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
1 tbsp honey
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
3 large eggs
2 cups white whole wheat flour
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
2 tsp salt
extra flour for kneading
Egg Wash:
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 tsp brown sugar
-beat all the ingredients together in a small bowl

1. In a large mixing bowl, mix warm water with honey.  Mix in the yeast and let it sit for 5 minutes, until foamy.  Mix in the brown sugar, butter, and eggs.  Mix in the flour and the oats.  Mix until just combined and then mix in the salt.  Knead the dough in a stand mixer with the dough hook for 5-10 minutes and add flour as needed (haha no pun intended!) The dough should be smooth and elastic. Form dough into a ball and place in an oiled bowl.  Cover the bowl with a clean towel and place in a warm, dry place (I put mine in the oven with the light on).  Let the dough rise for 2 hours.
2.  After two hours, punch the dough down (literally punch it) and then recover with the towel and let rise for another hour.
3. After an hour, punch the dough down again and divide it in two.  Braid the challah as you want and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. (I braided one loaf with the six strand braid method and the other with the four strand round method).  Then cover the two loaves with a towel and let rest for about another hour.
4. Preheat the oven to 350 and once the loaves are ready, brush with the egg wash and bake for 30-40 minutes.  The challah is done when it is lightly browned and sounds hollow when you tap it.
Enjoy :)

Blueberry Challah (adapted from The Challah Blog)

3/4 cup warm water
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
1 1/2 tbsp agave nectar
2 large eggs
1/4 cup canola oil
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
extra flour for kneading
1 1/4 tsp salt
frozen blueberries (or dried-I think dried would have worked better)
Egg Wash (same as above)
Before Rise

After Rise

3 Strand Braid

Just out of the oven

1. In a large stand mixer, mix water with agave nectar.  Mix in yeast and let sit for 5 minutes, until foamy. Mix in the eggs and oil.  Mix in the flour.  Once flour is incorporated mix in the salt.  Switch to a dough hook and knead for 5-10 minutes or until dough is smooth and elastic, add flour as needed. Form dough into a ball and place in an oiled bowl.  Cover the bowl with a clean towel and place in a warm, dry place.  Again, the oven is good.  Let the dough rise for 1 1/2 hours.
2.  Once the dough has risen, turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead in the blueberries.  Divide the dough in two and shape both loaves as desired. (I braided both loaves with the traditional three strand braid method).  Place the loaves on a parchment lined baking sheet and cover with a towel.  Let rise for another 30 minutes or so.
3.  Preheat the oven to 350 and brush the loaves with the egg wash.  Bake for about 30 minutes and check often to ensure the dough isn't getting too brown too fast.
Enjoy :)

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Shabbat Dinner: Whole Wheat Pasta with White Wine Vegetable Sauce and Apricot Chicken

I made a couple lovely recipes for dinner last night.  We had a typical Shabbat dinner and it was nice to share my food with my family.  The chicken recipe came out amazing and the pasta recipe was really tasty as well.  Next time, I wouldn't make my own pasta as it was a little too chewy for my taste.  If you try this out let me know what you think!

Apricot Chicken (adapted from All Recipes)

6 chicken breasts
1 1/3 cup low-sodium chicken broth
3/4 cup apricot preserves
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
2 tbsp chopped cilantro
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp water

1. In a small saucepan, heat the chicken broth over medium heat and add in the rest of the ingredients. Allow to simmer until sauce thickens slightly.
2. Place chicken in a 9 by 13 inch dish and pour sauce over the chicken.  Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.
Enjoy :)

Homemade Whole Wheat Pasta with a White Wine Mushroom and Broccoli Sauce (adapted from The Realistic Nutritionist)

For the pasta:
3 cups whole wheat flour
6 large eggs
For the sauce:
4 tbsp butter
1 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1 1/2 cups dry white wine
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
2 medium onions, chopped
1 1/2 cups broccoli chopped
1 tbsp flour
salt and pepper

1. Make the pasta: In a large bowl, place the flour and create a whole in the middle.  Place the eggs in the whole and mix with a wooden spoon until combined.  Knead dough for about 6-8 minutes or until it is soft and flexible.  Let the dough rest for about 15 minutes.  Bring a large pot of water to a boil and sprinkle in salt.  Roll out the dough as thin as possible and cut thin strips with a pizza cutter. Cook the pasta in the boiling water for about 2-3 minutes (it will cook really fast!). Drain and set aside in a large bowl.
2. Make the sauce: saute the mushrooms, onions, and broccoli in a large saucepan with the butter until the onions start to become translucent and the mushrooms start to brown.  Pour in the wine and cook until evaporated.  Pour in the broth and cook until it reduces by about 1/3.  Add in the flour and salt and pepper to taste.  Continue to cook until the sauce thickens slightly. Pour the sauce over the cooked pasta.
Enjoy :)

Friday, May 25, 2012

Strawberry Avocado Dip

Today has been a really lovely day.  First off, it's Friday and even thought I am on summer vacation, Friday still feels amazing.  Second, according to my half marathon training schedule, today is a "rest day," and I really needed that.  Instead, I did this awesome abs workout that I found here.  And third, I cooked and baked all day to make my family a lovely Shabbat dinner.

Shabbat is the Jewish celebration of the day of rest and it is supposed to be a celebration with family and friends.  So, I pulled together a fantastic meal and we all gathered around the table for a traditional Shabbat, blessings over the wine, bread, and candles and all.  I will be sharing the recipes that I used for tonight's dinner tomorrow, but first, I have an awesome recipe that a threw together as an appetizer as all that not-running and cooking made me hungry far before dinner-time.

Strawberry Avocado Dip (adapted from Eat. Drink. Love)

2 avocados, peeled, seeded, and chopped
1 cup chopped fresh strawberries
2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
1 red pepper, chopped
2 tbsp lime juice
salt and pepper

Mix everything together and toss with the lime juice.  Serve with tortilla chips, or as a sweeter option, cinnamon-sugar chips.
Enjoy :)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Milk Chocolate Ice Cream

Today is all about summer.  I was in shock when I finished my junior year of college and realized that I was a senior, but today pushed me over the top.  Senior year of high school, I was a Senior Advisor for a freshmen advisory.  Specifically, I was the senior advisor for chorus advisory.  Today is the senior boat party and so all the seniors come to the school, meet with their advisory teacher, and get letters that they wrote to themselves as freshmen.  Then, they go downtown, have dinner and go to an arcade and then they go to Navy Pier and go out on a boat.  Senior advisors are invited to come to the event at the beginning.  I went.  It was so crazy to be back at the high school and then see all of my freshmen as seniors! I felt crazy old and it was a little overwhelming.  My little brother is one of those seniors now, and I can't believe that he is going to be going to college in the fall.  I am so proud of all of them and it made me so happy to see all of them again.

While we were at the school, the seniors had to write a letter to themselves to be read at their 10 year reunion.  They had to make 10 year predictions and that sort of thing.  I started thinking about where I would be in 10 years, and then, when I realized that would be when I am 30, I stopped thinking.

I can't believe I have changed so much in just the 3 years since high school, and I truly can't imagine the next 10.  In fact, this thought is pretty scary.

However, I started this off with the theme of summer.  The seniors are graduating and about to enjoy their last summer together before college.  I am prepping for my summer as the Site Director at a day camp and the summer before my student teaching.  And of course, I am celebrating summer with my favorite summer treat: Ice Cream! So, here's to an amazing summer full of friends and family because they are the most important people and they are the ones who have helped me to change and grow in the past three years, and they are the ones who will continue to support and love me through the next 10.

Now go eat ice cream.

Skinny Milk Chocolate Ice Cream with Triple Chocolate Cookie Pieces (adapted from Dainty Chef)

1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup half and half
1 1/2 cups skim milk
8 oz milk chocolate chips
3/4 cup sugar
pinch of salt
4 egg yolks
Mix-in: Any cookie crumbled up...I used these made with white, milk, and dark chocolate chips 

1. In a medium microwave-safe bowl, mix cream, half and half, and chocolate chips.  Microwave on high until the chocolate is melted.  Stir ever 30 seconds.
2. Heat the milk, sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan on the stove until the sugar is melted.
3. In another medium bowl, beat the egg yolks.  Pour the milk mixture into the egg mixture slowly and whisk constantly.  Once combined, pour everything back into the saucepan and continue to heat and stir until the mixture thickens. 
4.  When the egg/milk mixture is thickened, pour through a sieve into the cream/chocolate mixture.  Stir everything together and then cover and cool in the refrigerator for as long as possible, preferably overnight.
5. Freeze the ice cream mixture in your ice cream maker according to the directions.  Place the frozen ice cream in a container, fold in the cookie pieces, and freeze to set. 

Enjoy :) 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Brunch! Frittata and Cinnamon Rolls

My house smells amazing right now.  There are about 40 cinnamon rolls making this kitchen smell amazing.  Why are there FORTY cinnamon rolls? Well, because I felt like baking.  And I couldn't decide on one kind of cinnamon I made two.

It also worked out nicely that my friend Michael was coming over and I had already decided that we were going to have a brunch-lunch.  So, I got out my mini skillets to make mini frittatas for us and then after all that vegetable and egg stuff...cinnamon rolls seemed like an excellent side!  I found a lovely recipe for the frittata over at Jinkzz's Kitchen.  This recipe was for one large frittata, and I just made two small ones with some small changes. Then, I made the Pioneer Woman cinnamon rolls (with some healthy substitutes) and then I made half with a more traditional filling/glaze and the other half with Peanut Butter and Jelly! I found the inspiration for the Peanut Butter and Jelly cinnamon rolls over at Runs with Spatulas and they were AMAZING.  The combination of peanut butter and cinnamon was actually really good and then the strawberry jelly glaze brought the whole thing together.

We had an amazing brunch and then watched the movie, Captain America.  Bri and I recently went to see the Avenger's, which was great, but it made me want to watch the superhero movies that I had missed.  Captain America was pretty great and I want to know how they made that actor look so small and then so big...and hot! Geez, he was good looking.  Anyways, it was a fun day and I'm happy to share it with you.

In other news, this might be my last post for a while depending on what happens today.  A while ago, I spilled orange juice on my laptop.  It was the scariest moment of my life (maybe...).  I stuck the computer in rice and miraculously, it lived! However, now it is a little sticky and the charger does not always work! So, I am taking the computer in to the computer-doctor today and I'm a little nervous about what will happen.  Hopefully they will be able to fix it!

Mini Frittatas (adapted from Jinkzz's Kitchen)

6 eggs
1/4 cup skim milk
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 cup low-fat feta cheese
olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup spinach
1 small tomato, chopped
3-4 small portabella mushrooms, chopped
shredded pecorino cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. In a medium bowl, beat eggs, milk, pepper, and feta.  Set aside.
3. Place both mini skillets on the stove-top and heat over medium heat.  Place about a tsp of olive oil in each skillet and 1 clove of garlic in each skillet.  Meanwhile, chop the tomato and mushrooms.  In one skillet, saute the mushrooms and in the other saute the tomato.  After a few minutes, place half the spinach in each skillet and cook until wilted.  Once the spinach is wilted pour half the egg mixture into each skillet, lower heat to low, and cook until sides start to set. Sprinkle some pecorino cheese on each frittata. 
4. Place both skillets in the preheated oven and cook for 10-15 minutes or until the egg is totally set (shake the skillet a little to see if it jiggles, when it doesn't it's done!).
Enjoy :)

Whole Wheat-Lightened Up Cinnamon Rolls (adapted from the Pioneer Woman and Runs with Spatulas)

4 cups skim milk
1 cup canola oil
1 cup sugar
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
4 cups all-purpose flour
4 cups whole wheat flour (I used white whole wheat)
1 heaping tsp baking powder
1 scant tsp baking soda
1 heaping tsp salt
1 cup flour
Regular Cinnamon Rolls:
8 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
cinnamon (I used China Cinnamon)
3/4 cup sugar
Peanut Butter Cinnamon Rolls:
1/3 cup (about) Natural Creamy Peanut Butter
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
Regular Glaze:
1/4 cup skim milk
1/8 cup warm coffee
2 tbsp maple syrup
dash of sea salt
powdered sugar
Jelly Glaze:
1/2 cup strawberry (or any flavor) jelly
3-4 tsp skim milk
powdered sugar

1. In a large saucepan, heat milk, oil, and sugar until bubbles start to form around the sides, but it is not boiling.  Remove from heat, place in a large mixing bowl, and sprinkle yeast on top.  Let sit for about a minute.
2. Mix in the 8 cups of flour with mixer on a slow speed, about 1 cup at a time.  Mix until just combined. Cover the bowl with a clean towel and let sit in a warm place for about an hour.
3. After an hour, mix in the baking soda, baking powder, salt, and 1 cup of flour. Use dough right away (which is what I did), or refrigerate up to 3 days.
4. Preheat oven to 375.
5. Take half the dough and roll it out on a clean and lightly floured surface so that you have a long rectangle (about 30 by 10 inches).  Make the regular cinnamon rolls: brush the melted butter on the rolled out dough.  Next, sprinkle cinnamon all over the butter and then sprinkle the sugar on top. (Feel free to use more butter or sugar if you want even gooey-er rolls). Now, roll the dough up-start with the long side and slowly roll the dough up so that you have a long rod of cinnamon-y goodness! Now, take a pizza cuter or knife and cut along the rod about 1/2-1 inch at a time.  Place the rolls in lightly greased pans (You will have enough for 1 9 by 13 inch pan and 1 9 inch circular pan). Cover the pans with a clean towel and let rest for 20 minutes.
6. Take the other half of the dough and roll it out in the same way.  This time, spread a thin layer of peanut butter on the rolled out dough and then sprinkle on cinnamon.  Finally, sprinkle on the brown sugar.  Roll up the dough in the same way as the first one and cut it in the same way as well.  Again, place the rolls in lightly greased pans and cover for 20 minutes.
7.  Once the rolls have rested for 20 minutes, place in the oven and bake for about 18-22 minutes. Rolls should be lightly browned.
8.  While the rolls are resting/baking make both glazes.  In two medium bowls, whisk the ingredients except for the powdered sugar and then add sugar until you have a desired consistency.  I tried to limit the sugar and had thiner glazes.
9. Remove the rolls from the oven and pour the maple glaze over the hot regular cinnamon rolls and the jelly glaze over the hot peanut butter rolls.  The rolls will soak up those amazing glazes and be super yummy!
Enjoy :)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Bruschetta Stuffed Chicken

I love being home and being able to cook for my family.  Last night I tried out a great recipe that made me feel super fancy, but it was truly very simple.  I made bruschetta stuffed chicken breasts and served it with some whole wheat angel hair pasta.  The best part was that I used this amazing balsamic-pomegranate vinegar that we got while in Sonoma.  It was phenomenal!  This is definitely a weeknight dinner recipe that I will come back to and I hope you enjoy it as well!

Bruschetta Stuffed Chicken Breast (adapted from Part Time House Wife)

4 large chicken breasts
3/4 cup chopped roma tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped onion
2 tsp chopped fresh basil (or dried)
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup shredded light mozzarella
1/3 cup Balsamic Vinegar (find fun flavors!)
1/4 tsp sugar

1. Preheat oven to 400 and line a baking sheet with foil and grease lightly.
2. In a small bowl, mix the chopped tomatoes, onion, basil, and mozzarella.  Season with salt and pepper.
3. In a small saucepan, bring the balsamic with the sugar to a boil until you have a thicker and syrup-y concoction.
4. Use a long knife and cut into the chicken breast at the thickest point.  Move the knife around to create a hole for filling.  Repeat with the other pieces of chicken.  Stuff the chicken breast with your cheese mixture.  Don't be afraid to use your fingers! Place each piece on the prepared baking sheet.
5. Take your balsamic syrup and brush each piece of chicken with it.  Flip the chicken and brush the other side.
6. Bake the chicken for about 30-35 minutes, make sure the thickest part of the chicken is done! Serve over pasta, with veggies, or whatever else you are in the mood for! We drizzled more of that fantastic balsamic-pomegranate vinegar over the chicken/pasta and had peas on the side.  Yum!
Enjoy :)
Ooey Gooey Chicken!