homemade balsamic bbq sauce

I had never really been into barbecue anything, until I found this recipe for a balsamic BBQ sauce. Yes, it is as good as it sounds. The ingredients for this sauce are things most people already have in their refrigerator and pantry. This is one of those recipes I pull out when I need to stretch my dollar. I go to the grocery store and buy a family-pack of chicken thighs. It comes with about 8-10 pieces for around $6. Since I’m only feeding two, I usually just freeze the extra thighs, and defrost them the night before when I need a quick yummy dinner.

Maybe it’s because I enjoy cooking so much, but I’ve become a “why buy it when you can make yourself?” type of person. Wait- what am I saying? It’s totally because I enjoy cooking! Not to mention, it’s cheaper.

Chicken Balsamic BBQ Sauce from Everyday Italian

Ingredients

1 cup balsamic vinegar
3/4 cup ketchup
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Combine all the ingredients in a small saucepan and stir until all the ingredients are incorporated and the mixture is smooth. Simmer over medium heat until reduced by 1/3, about 15 to 20 minutes.

If you have a grill, cook your chicken or steak and smother it in lots of BBQ sauce! If you’re like me, and only have an oven, you can bake your chicken in a baking dish at 375 degrees F, skin side up, for 25 minutes. Then remove the baking dish from the oven and spoon the BBQ sauce all over the top of the chicken. Return the baking dish to the oven and bake for another 15 minutes.

The recipes for the sides in the photo above can be found here and here, all courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis. Enjoy!

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January 9, 2009 at 7:15 pm 1 comment

i dream of sushi

If there is one food that I find myself craving quite often, it’s gotta be sushi. I just love how cute and little they are! But for the longest time I had been too intimidated to even try to make them myself… until about a week ago when I found the nori sheets and sushi rice at the local farmer’s market. It was as if a beam of white light lead me to them… and I knew what I had to do!

As soon as I got home that day I searched “how to make sushi” on youtube. I watched about six different videos (at least twice) until I was confident enough to go for it. The only part that still had me feeling a little apprehensive was perfecting the sushi rice. I don’t know what it is about rice, but I always manage to screw it up unless I’m using a rice cooker. When it comes time to making it on the stovetop, my rice either comes out undercooked or too mushy.

Anyway, I had read somewhere online to prepare the rice two hours in advance. That way the rice would have enough time to cool down to room temperature. First I made my rice vinegar mixture. Then I took a deep breath, and followed the directions on the packaging verbatim. After it was cooked I laid it out on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, with a damp towel over it. An hour later my rice was ready! It was shiny and sticky and just right. Phew!

Once the hard part was done I was rolling my California rolls in no time! I refrigerated my leftover sushi rice and prepared the rest for lunch earlier today. My boyfriend and I both agreed that they tasted even better the second time. Maybe refrigerating it gave the rice more time to absorb the rice vinegar? Maybe it was the fact that the rice was chilled? Maybe we were hungrier? Not sure what it was, but the leftovers were super yummy.

If you haven’t tried making your own sushi at home yet, give it a try! It’s easier than you think!

January 5, 2009 at 6:55 am 1 comment

it was love at first sight

Thank you, boyfriend!

January 4, 2009 at 7:37 pm 2 comments

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