Thursday, February 25, 2010

Winter Dreams and Pistachio Crusted Chicken

Here we go again.

We got out early this morning for our walk, Holly Bear and I. The snow had already begun to fall and the weatherman is predicting a massive storm with snow, sleet, rain, ice and wind. When it is all said and done on Friday night we should have 16 to 18 inches of snow on the ground with a middle layer of ice and 50 mile an hour wind gusts.

"My" swan was still in the pond. Where did he come from? How long will he stay?

This morning he had some company. A gaggle of geese with snow on their backs. Bet they are wishing they had flown just a bit more south....

We closed on our land last week so we are now official owners of 12.5 acres of a dream.

We have been busy pouring over house, barn and out building plans. In March we have a meeting with a builder who specializes in geothermal heating and cooling. We are dreaming. TBHITW is dreaming of a barn and workshop, just for him.

I am dreaming of a small, one room guest house located in the woods, just beyond the main house.

When family and friends aren't visiting I'll use it for sewing and quilting and maybe a summer kitchen.

Of course we are both dreaming of building the "main" house.

We were going to go "up" to the land this weekend but the weather (just 3 hours north) is supposed to be even more intense with 30 inches of snow predicted, high winds and 6 foot drifts. Guess we'll postpone our winter picnic.

What do you dream about on snowed-in days?

This recipe is from my incredibly talented and beautiful sister, J.

Pistachio Crusted Chicken (serves 4)

1/2 cup unsalted, shelled pistachios
3 tablespoons black sesame seeds (you can use light colored seeds too)
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 egg
1 tablespoon water
1/4 cup flour
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 6 ounces each)
Cooking Spray (or butter if you prefer)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Coat a foil lined baking sheet with cooking spray (or smear with butter)

Finely chop pistachios in a food processor or by hand. Transfer to a shallow bowl and stir in the sesame seeds, coriander and cumin. In another shallow bowl beat the egg with the water. Add flour to a third bowl and season with salt and pepper- this is your breading station.

Dip a piece of chicken in the flour and shake off excess, dip in egg mixture, then pistachio mix, turn and coat both sides.

Transfer to the greased baking sheet and repeat with remaining chicken pieces. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until juices run clear when pierced with a knife in the thickest part of the chicken breast.

Glazed carrots will make a not only attractive, but tasty side dish.

Glazed Carrots:

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
6 carrots, sliced 1/4 inch thick on the diagonal
1/3 cup orange juice
1 1/2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped (optional)

Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add cumin seeds and cook until fragrant (about 2 minutes). Add carrots and toss to coat with oil. Season with salt and pepper. Add orange juice, cover and cook for 8 minutes. Reduce heat to medium low and stir in honey. Continue to cook, uncovered for 4 to 5 minutes or until liquid evaporates and carrots are tender.

Yum. Stay Warm. Keep Dreaming.


  1. First of all Congratulations on your dream..coming true.. Now the fun begins of all the new possiblities ahead the Dreaming and the journey is just as exciting as having it! I love this part of creating your own perfect space.. ..... Well this recipe just made my heart go pitter patter..I LOVE cumin..that smoky taste is like no other..and well crusted with pistachios just won me over totally! I also have not had carrots made this way..with cilantro..which I also love..both these will be made this Sat...I can't wait..I hope the winter storm goes thru without too much damage..we hada bad rain storm and lost power for couple days a while back..its not fun...The Swan is still alone..with no mate?? how sad he must be..I wonder if he/she lost his other half??..How do they manage in stormy weather? where do they go to keep safe and find food? I am curious I think I will google swans and find out.. the magic of the internet huh? :-)

  2. I'm part owner in 160 acres and a log lodge up north in Michigan...Check out the special things to expect if you go with logs.. the house will settle for years, as the wood dries a bit, their is movement, and a little splitting. They are built like tanks, and weigh even more! Hold heat really well! Beautiful piece of land you got there!

  3. Marlene - Thank you ! Our biggest worry right now is loosing power. What do you do? Do you just drive until you find a hotel WITH power? Let me know how you like the chicken recipe. My sister said her family loved it and here's the good news, Chicken AND carrots (6 oz chik, 1/2 cup carrots) are only 504 calories! That's a bargain.

    Buffalo - Thank you for the advice! We are new to all of this. Have you heard of Beaver Mountain Log Homes? We visited their model homes and are going on a tour of the factory. Just wondered. They come highly recommended and have built many homes in the PA, NY, NJ area... 160 acres! Wow. You're a regular land baron!!

  4. We are hoping for 100 acres this summer. Love the recipe for glazed carrots..

    We think your blog is awesome and would like to invite you to the Kitchen Gang

  5. Somehow I missed a couple of posts - I am sorry for the loss of the boy's mother! And the little boy with cancer. It puts everything in perspective. You asked all the right questions about what we really need - your answers are my answers. Food, shelter, love. That's about it. All the rest is frosting.

    Love that beautiful swan! I wonder if it lost it's mate (they mate for life)?

    Your property dreams are exquisite! I love all the ideas. It looks similar to my commune...

    Your recipes are really wonderful. And the heritage sale is a good one. I wish I had more freezer space.

  6. Yummy! I'm definitely trying this soon.

    How exciting about the land! And you've answered my question about a sewing room.

    Lately, I dream about sleep. Of course, this is typically at 3 or 4 or 5 in the morning when the latest addition is having screaming gas fits.

  7. We were thinking of getting a generator..because it was so bad not having power.. we have a huge wood burning fireplace which kept us warm and after the 3rd day we went to a hotel on the beach to take a hot shower..Its strange how many things we use power NOW i have a manual can opener.and the Tv and the radio..and of course you need a old fashion phone becasuse the new ones do not work..I'll keep my fingers crossed for you..and let you know about the food this weekend!

  8. The scallops look so yummy.I will have to try your recipe.

  9. I have been reading all of your recipes; do you have a book?

  10. Nah! 10 owners (5 never use it) and 160 acres in Michigan up north is cheap! We are looking to possibly sell it, as it isn't getting used that much... Trouble is, Michigan house values are really depressed!


Wow. Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. I love feedback... what with being a cook and all. I will respond to your comments via email (if you do not have a "noreply" address or here, below your comment) As always, Bon Appetite!

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