Crusted Garlic Parmesan Roasted Chicken From The Fall Harvest Dinner

I hope you made it to The Fall Harvest Dinner that my great blogger friends and I hosted yesterday?  If you didn’t, then please rewind for a minute and check it out before you continue reading this post.  You won’t want to miss the beautifully decorated fall table, tasty cocktail, yummy appetizers, scrumptious salad and side dish, soft and delicious homemade bread and rolls, and sweet dessert that was shared there.  Recipes are available for each dish featured in our Fall Harvest Dinner, along with Sandra’s table setting tips, at each individual blog.  Just follow the links I’ve included in that post to access them.

My contribution to our dinner party was a Crusted Garlic Parmesan Roasted Chicken.  Autumn is the perfect time to start roasting meats and chicken is no exception. This is an easy dish to make and a relatively inexpensive way to feed a hungry crowd.  The recipe and baking instructions come straight from the cook (hubby) in this house, not (me) the baker.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Remove the giblets and discard them.  Rinse and dry the chicken.   Place the chicken in a large roasting pan; drizzle olive oil, honey, and red wine vinegar on top.  Crush 4 cloves of garlic and sprinkle onto the chicken.  

In a bowl, mix together seasoning consisting of 2 tbsp. dried basil, 1 tbsp. Italian seasoning, 2 tbsp. parmesan cheese, 2 tsp. five pepper spice, 2 tsp. celery salt, and 1 tbsp. of dried cilantro.

Generously sprinkle seasoning over the chicken and into the roasting pan. 

Slice one medium onion, and chop the very top of a head of celery (including the leaves).

Cover the chicken with the vegetables.

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Fill the roasting pan 1/4 of the way full with water or chicken broth.  Place chicken in preheated oven and bake until internal temperature of chicken is 180 degrees.  For the size of the chicken hubby baked it took 2 hours.

Remove from oven and allow meat rest for about 10 minutes before removing it from the pan.

Slice and serve.

This chicken is baked just like I like it.  Moist inside and crusty on the outside – yum! 

What’s your favorite meat to roast?  Beef, pork, lamb, turkey, ham, or chicken?

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Ten Bloggers Present – The Fall Harvest Dinner!

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Dinner parties were once one of the most common forms of entertainment in this country.  Homemakers would set their tables with their finest dinnerware, make their favorite recipes, and invite some of their closest friends over for an evening of cocktails, delicious food, and great company.   

Some of my most favorite pictures are of my grandparents hosting dinner parties back in the day.  The women in the photo’s wore pretty dresses and heels, and the men donned dress slacks, dress shirts, and ties.  And as you can imagine, the photo’s depict adults having a great time dining and socializing.

With entertaining on my mind, I have invited some of my closest blogger friends to help me host a virtual Fall Harvest Dinner Party.  Each dish, including the table décor, signifies our beautiful fall season.  If you’re looking for Thanksgiving dinner ideas, you’ll likely find something from our dinner that you can put to good use later.  I am sharing just a tease (here at The Joy of Caking) of our dinner and the bloggers who helped make this all possible.  For loads more pictures, recipes, and to get to know each of these great blogger friends of mine better, please visit each of their sites.  I promise not to disappoint you!. 

Our dinner party begins with a beautiful Festive Fall Table created by Sandra of Sweet Sensations. Sandra has a real knack for coordinating and designing some of the most beautifully decorated tablescapes I’ve ever seen.  She claims it is nearly impossible for her to separate herself from the world of sweets and parties and I believe it! Have you ever seen the beautiful cakes she makes?  Sandra blogs to us from Michigan, and she tells me that her regular job as a fitness professional allows her to indulge moderately in all things sugar – lucky girl!  She say’s “it’s a good thing that I’m as passionate about working out as I am passionate about sweets!”  I only wish I could say the same Sandra.

I ask you, what’s a dinner party without a cocktail or two?  This scrumptious looking Apple Pie Cocktail with a Twist is brought to you by Terra of Café Terra Blog.  This cocktail looks like it would wet just about any whistle.  I know it would mine!  In my opinion, Terra is the ultimate cocktail queen – at least she is in North Carolina where she happily resides.  If you can think it; she can mix it!  Terra has been blogging for over three years.  By day she is a food safety/quality assurance specialist that checks on restaurants and hotels.  As a recipe developer, Terra say’s “I have discovered I love baking/cooking with booze.  So to add to my list of fun, I started creating cocktails with all the extra booze in my bar!”  Keep um coming Terra!

When Dionne from Try Anything Once Culinary graciously offered to make us one of her yummy appetizers for our dinner I couldn’t wait to see what she would bring.   This French recipe for Eggplant Caviar sounds so unique and delectable.  I love the creativity that flows from Dionne’s kitchen, and I drool over all of the belly filling food she shares.  Dionne say’s “I love writing, cooking, eating and photography. Strengthening my culinary skills was something that I found myself doing after my daughter was born. It was something that we could do together, no matter what our financial situation, and we could have that in common.”  Dionne operates their family by day and squeezes in time for food blogging when she can.  She’s a very busy girl especially since her and her “other-half” co-founded No More Hungry Nights in the state of Washington,  an organization dedicated to ending hungry nights one house at a time. They provide food donations, job connections and even training for local families in their community.  KUDO’S to both of them for taking on such a huge problem! 

I know that a new mom like Monet, from Anecdotes & Applecores, is probably more focused on feeding her sweet little Lucy than helping host a fall dinner party – but Monet is an amazing girl.  She always bakes delicious treats and writes from her heart  –  two of the things that I enjoy immensely about her.  Today, she brings an enticing Goat Cheese with Herbs de Provence to our dinner table.  While this recipe sounds like a fancy and time consuming appetizer, I’m sure she will tell you otherwise.  Monet writes and bakes in colorful Colorado.  She just recently finished her MFA in Creative Writing and she is currently working on a memoir about food and family.  Monet invites you to visit  Anecdotes and Apple Cores where she say’s,  “I share simple recipes that are meant to be shared.”  And while your there, be sure to ogle (like I do) over sweet little Lucy!

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Amy, aka “Ms. Toody Goo Shoes, has created a sapid Roasted Pear Salad with White Balsamic Vinaigrette for us to feast upon.  After a lengthy career in the TV industry,  Amy reports that she has ”hung up her dress-for-success clothes and pulled her domestic ‘genes’ out of storage.”  Now that she isn’t rushing off to catch the 7:52 every morning, she spends her time writing from her home in New Jersey about the things she always wished she had time to do when she was working; like baking, traveling and interior design. Amy’s great sense of humor and her creative writing skills make me laugh and keep me coming back for more.  And I haven’t even mentioned all of the other attractions she shares on her blog; like recipes, home decorating ideas, and her road trips! 

Jeanne is the author/blogger behind Inside NanaBread’s Head.  For our fall dinner she has prepared Roasted Sweet Potatoes & Pineapple with Almond & Honey Streusel – yummy!!  Jeanne compares her blog to her junk drawers – filled with tidbits, trash & treasures – so open with caution; you never know what might fall out.  I can completely relate to that!  She writes from the big state of Texas about the things that make her world brighter.  Jeanne’s blog is much like mine in that she offers a little of everything – food, family, travel, an occasional craft or sewing project.  On occasion you may even get an update on the mildly exotic fruit that they grow; including pineapples, bananas and a new papaya tree.  Jeanne say’s she’s “prone to bouts of sarcasm, and believes that a good sense of humor is one of life’s greatest gifts.”  She’s always made me feel very welcomed at her blog, and she once told me if she ever wins the lottery she’s inviting me to a “girl’s getaway” she’s planning.  Hey, you never know!  Drop by her blog for a visit, poke around for a while, and say hello. Her door is always open.  

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My contribution to our dinner is a Crusted Garlic Parmesan Roasted Chicken.  Since I’m the baker in our house, and my hubby is the cook, I asked him if he would mind helping with the entrée for our dinner. Since he loves to cook, he was more than willing to roll up his sleeves and help out.  I’m so fortunate because the two of us can work side by side in the kitchen and produce some pretty tasty meals together.   Since this is a super long post I am going to be sharing his recipe in a new post tomorrow – so be sure to stop back for it!

Liz of That Skinny Chick Can Bake brings a beautiful and flavorful Pumpkin Challah to our table all the way from Indiana.  Liz credits her mom as being an amazing cook, but not much of a baker. She say’s, “when my sisters and I yearned for a sweet treat, I turned to our trusty BH&G cookbook and zeroed in on the dessert tabs. My love of baking began in my childhood kitchen.”  She married a chocoholic and together they had 3 children with plenty of sweet teeth.  Liz began blogging in 2010 (the same year I did) to chronicle her baking journey. She amazes me because I don’t think there is a day that goes by that she doesn’t post something delicious on her blog.  I love reading all the great stories she shares with her great recipes.  Drop over and say hi, and ask her how many times she’s had a fire truck at her house.

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Sharon and Denise are the makers of these tender and buttery Onion Rolls. Did I mention I love Onion Rolls?  Both are sisters born a scant 17 months apart, best friends, and the brains behind BeBetsy.   BeBetsy is a place to find fabulous food, flirty fashion, beauty trends, creative artists and a lot of inspiration!  Both gal’s tell me that they “like the idea that a modern woman can have a career, then carry her baby or grandchild on her hip wearing a fabulous dress and heels (or flats if her feet are killing her) and all the while admitting that she loves to cook, sew and garden, and finds the greatest joy in friends and family.”  I enjoy dropping by and linking up to their linky party every Tuesday.  It’s called Brag About It.  Please feel free too do the same! Lucky for me, these two ladies from the Wild West (Utah and Nevada) have become great long distance friends of mine.

Anne, a baker and blogger From My Sweet Heart, resides in a suburb of Washington, D.C.  Her dish to pass is my favorite part of any meal – dessert!  I can almost smell Anne’s Cinnamon Applesauce Tart, can’t you?  Anne admits, “I grew up in a generation where you always had dessert; even if it was after a weeknight supper; and even if it was only Jell-o. And to this day, when I dine at a restaurant, I always glance at the dessert menu first! I began baking later in my life.”  I can completely relate to what Anne says about always having dessert – that’s the way I remember it too!  She and I both appreciate vintage kitchen items and you will likely see many of them in the beautiful photographs that she takes for her posts.  Ann amazes me because she has a job that keeps her very busy by day, and yet she still manages to produce some of the most perfect looking desserts that I’ve ever seen. Grab yourselves a cup of coffee and head over to From My Sweet Heart for a slice of this delicious tart.

Thank you for coming to our Fall Harvest Dinner.  We all hope you have enjoyed yourselves, but remember it’s not over yet!  Hop on over to each of my friends blogs and pick up their scrumptious recipes for this meal, along with Sandra’s tips on setting a winning table.  And if you forgot to bring a hostess gift don’t fret; just pin, tweet, or Facebook our party and we’ll forgive you!  

You’re Invited To Join A Bunch of Great Bloggers for…

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On October 23rd, some of my favorite bloggers will be showcasing their awesome hard work here, and on their own blogs, as we host our first virtual fall harvest dinner party.  It’s going to be a fun filled and delicious dinner that you won’t want to miss.

During this virtual party we will show you how to set a winning table, mix the perfect fall cocktail, and we’ll share an array of scrumptious recipes that you’ll be proud to serve at any dinner you host.

Please consider this your official invitation to The Fall Harvest Dinner 2013.   We can’t wait to see you there!

 

Sinful Midnight Cake

Do you realize how many different chocolate cake recipes there are in this world?  Way too many, and settling on a recipe (in my opinion) is half the battle.

I settled on a cake that doesn’t have a single calorie in it.  No sir, I’m certain of that.  And if you believe me, I’ve got a bridge I’ll sell you.  Cash only please, and no refunds!

This recipe was adapted from Betty Crocker’s Cookbook – copyrighted in 1969.  I’m not sure how it got it’s name because it really isn’t as dark as midnight, but I suspect it might be hard to stay out of at midnight. In fairness to Betty Crocker, it should be noted that I didn’t have enough baking cocoa on hand when I made this recipe so I substituted some of the cocoa with melted semi-sweet chocolate chips.   It’s possible that if I had used the cocoa that the recipe originally called for then it might have produced a darker colored cake.

I’ve included one of my recently learned secrets on how to handle fresh baked layer cakes in this post.  Until recently, I struggled with uneven cake tops.  If you have this problem make sure you read this entire post.. 

Sinful Midnight Cake

2 eggs

1 2/3 c. sugar

1/4 c. olive oil

1/2 c. margarine, softened

1/4 c. cocoa

1/2 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted

1 1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

2 1/4 c. all-purpose flour

1 1/4 c. hot water

2 tsp. instant coffee

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Heat oven to 325 degrees.  Grease and line two 9” round layer pans with parchment paper.  Lightly grease parchment paper.

In a large mixing bowl, add eggs, sugar, margarine, oil, cocoa, and melted chocolate.  With electric mixer, mix for 1 minute on low speed.  Add remaining ingredients and mix for 2 minutes on high speed.  Pour into prepared pans.  Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the center of each cake comes out clean.

Remove cakes from the oven.  Using a clean dishtowel, while the cakes are still warm and in their pans, press them flat.  This saves you from having uneven cake tops when it comes time to decorate them.  Place two large pieces of plastic wrap on a flat surface and flip the cakes out of their pans onto each piece of plastic wrap.  Lightly wrap each cake in the plastic wrap.  This traps the moisture in and will help make your cakes super moist.  Allow cakes to cool thoroughly. 

Unwrap each cake when your ready to frost and decorate them.  

I frosted this cake with a chocolate buttercream icing, but because this recipe calls for a lot of sugar and the cake was sweet, I think I’d opt for a chocolate whipped cream frosting the next time around. 

I am definitely more of a cake fan than an icing fan.  What about you?

Sharing this post at:

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Mini Lemon Pound Cakes

Holidays in our family are more about food than anything else.  We cook, we bake, and we eat.  And Father’s Day this year was no exception.  I made homemade vanilla ice cream and mini lemon pound cakes as gifts for the dad’s in our family. 

This recipe is adapted from the blog Bright Green Door which Jessica titled Copycat Starbucks Lemon Loaf.  I happened upon Jessica’s recipe at BeBetsy’s Brag About It – Tuesday Link Party #8.  I opted to make small cakes so they could be frozen and the recipients could enjoy them now and again.

Mini Lemon Pound Cakes

(Makes 8 mini pound cakes)

Preheat oven to 300 degrees and grease 8 mini loaf pans

2 c. sugar

1 stick of margarine, softened

6 eggs

1/4 c. sour cream

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 tsp. lemon extract

1/2 c. fresh squeezed lemon juice

3 c. all-purpose flour

Cream together sugar, margarine, eggs, and sour cream in a large mixing bowl.  Mix in baking powder, baking soda, salt, vanilla extract, lemon extract, and lemon juice.  Add flour and mix in thoroughly. Pour batter into prepared pans and bake for approximately 50-55 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center of the loaves.  Allow loaves to cool slightly before removing from pans.

Lemon Icing 

1 c. confectionery sugar

1-2 tbsp. milk

1 tbsp. lemon juice

Mix all ingredients together and drizzle on top of cooled pound cakes.

On a scale from 1-10, how important is food to your holiday celebrations? 

If you’d like to share one of your favorite desserts (or any post) don’t forget to drop by BeBetsy.com this Tuesday (that’s tomorrow) for their next link party.  They’d love for you to join in on the fun!

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The Chocoholic Cupcake: Another Valentine’s Day Dessert

A couple weeks ago I announced that I was going to make a few  treats in an effort to pick the perfect Valentine’s Day dessert.   The only requirement for the dessert; it must have chocolate in it.  And as you might imagine, this is becoming a harder chore than I originally thought.

The first recipe I presented was for Strawberry Kiss Cheesecakes.  They definitely hit the spot, and after making them I had to wonder if I would be able to top them.

Well… now I present the Chocoholic Cupcake.  The cake is dark, moist, and less sweet than a lot of chocolate cupcake recipes.  I like to top them off with either  vanilla or chocolate buttercream frosting which is sweet and buttery and compliments the dark chocolate cake.

I have to say that it is nearly impossible to choose a favorite between the two desserts I’ve made so far.  I have at least one more dessert to make before picking a favorite, but now I’m wondering if we should celebrate Valentine’s Day with just desserts and wine!

Chocoholic Cupcakes

1/2 c. granulated sugar

1 c. brown sugar, not packed

2 eggs, room temperature

1/2 c. olive oil

1 1/2 tsp. baking soda

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

3/4 c. cocoa

1 3/4 c. all-purpose flour

1 c. skim milk

1 c. boiling water

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Makes 1 1/2 dozen cupcakes. 

Prepare cupcake tins by placing paper liners in each cup.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, add sugars, eggs, skim milk, and oil.  With an electric mixer beat ingredients for 2 minutes.  Add baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cocoa; mix again until completely blended.  Add boiling water and flour; beat until smooth and creamy.  Stir in vanilla extract. 

Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full.  Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center of cupcake comes out clean.

Cool completely before frosting.

I couldn’t resist decorating these cupcakes with bright gumballs from SweetWorks candy, along with Hershey’s creamy milk chocolate hearts and kisses.  Both are so festive!

And drum roll please…. 

TheMaryJaneFam blog, Raising Jane Journal, featured photos of my one and only Pink Paradise today.  They also shared a link to my Tin Can Tourist post as well.   I feel so honored!  If you have a minute,  please hop on over there and check it out.

Also, an important reminder all you glampers  –  the International Glamping Weekend is scheduled for  June 1-2, 2013.  Follow the link above to find out more.

I shared this recipe at:

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Where to find me today

If you are interested in learning one of my secrets then you will have to visit Mike and Molly’s House  where I have been invited to guest post today.   Thank you Mike and Molly!

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Not only will you hear my silly confession, but you will find a simple recipe for a non-fattening but seriously delicious chocoholic treat

And don’t forget to join SoupaPalooza at TidyMom and Dine and Dish sponsored by KitchenAid, Red Star Yeast and Le Creuset today.  Yes, great prizes are involved!

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I’ve entered my Creamy Chicken Asparagus Soup.   If you missed my original post go ahead and take a look, or find the recipe below.

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Ingredients:

1 pound thin fresh asparagus

3 small potatoes, peeled and diced

1 large onion, chopped

2 celery ribs, chopped

1 large carrot, chopped

2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes

2 garlic cloves, minced

6 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 32 oz. container of chicken broth

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper, divided

2 cups cooked boneless chicken breast, cubed

2 cups half-and-half cream

Instructions:

Cut tips from asparagus spears – approximately 1/4 of the way down the spear; cut tips in half again; set aside. Place stalks in a large stock pot and cover with water (you will need 3 1/2 cups of broth later so be generous with the water). Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Cover and simmer for approximately 40 minutes. Remove from heat.

Strain 31/2 cups asparagus broth from the pot and set aside. Discard stalks; rinse pot for late use.

In large sauté pan, add 3 tbsp. of oil, potato, onion, celery, carrot, parsley and garlic. Cook until vegetables are tender; set aside

In a medium sauté pan, add 3 tbsp. oil and cubed chicken breast, cook until lightly browned; set aside.

In stock pot, add chicken, sautéed vegetables, asparagus tips, reserved asparagus broth, chicken broth, salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer uncovered for about 30 minutes. Cool slightly.

Add cream and remaining 1/4 tsp. of pepper. Bring to a boil and reduce heat; simmer uncovered for 5 minutes.

Makes about 10 servings (about 2 quarts).

I’m also sharing a bowl of my soup over at Premeditated Leftovers Tuesday Hearth & Soul Blog Hop.  This blog hop features recipes made from wholesome, healthy ingredients that are made from scratch.

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And if all of that isn’t enough – whew! I’m sharing the color yellow at She Wears Many Hats Share the Shot today.  Amy has decided yellow  is the color for this week’s assignment.   Check out all the pretty yellow things everyone has posted over there, including my Elegant Lemon-i-cious Cake

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So go ahead.  Do a little blog hopping yourselves!