Saturday, October 27, 2012

Chicken and Veggie Braid

Carbs. Can I just say it? Wrap anything up in carbs and it is immediately delicious. For example: meat pies, sheperd's pie, and beef wellington. Really, meat wrapped in bread/pie crust? That sounds disgusting. But it isn't! Carbs are magical and have super powers and best of all are calorie free! Yay for carbs!!

And tis the same with this meal. Chicken and veggies covered in saucy goodness and laid to rest in a bread pillow. Yes, please. I think this is probably one of my most impressive, yet easiest-to-make meals. I especially like it because it has your main entree and side dishes all crammed into one package, so no need to plan out side dishes and what not. And it is filling and delicious. Win, win, win.

I make this pretty much every time I have guests and people always think it is way more gourmet and time-intensive than it really is. Since it looks a little tricky/intimidating, I thought I would do my fist step-by-step post. Enjoy!

Step 1 (not pictured): Make this bread dough (yes, I know it is labeled pizza dough but it is amazing and I use it for everything) and set it aside to rise. Then, cook one un-seasoned chicken breast in a grill pan or however you'd like. Let it cool and then cut it into cubes.

Throw your cubed, cooked chicken breast in a bowl with whatever veggies you like, cheese, mayo, garlic, salt, and dill. Mix it all up nice and good.

Plop your dough onto a floured surface.

 Roll the dough into a rectangle. Or a blob that kind of resembles a rectangle. No one is judging!

 Cut dough into strips, about 1' wide and 3' deep. Leave the last 3' of the the dough un-cut. Make sure you cut the same number of strips on both sides.

Place your chicken-veggie filling in the center of the dough.

Fold both ends of the dough (the un-cut 3' inch heel parts) over the paste. Begin braiding the bread by taking a dough strip from the left side, placing it over the filling, then grabbing the opposite dough strip on the right side and placing it over the filling. The right strip should be covering about half of the left strip.

Place on a lightly sprayed cookie sheet and bake at 475 for 15 minutes.

Pull it out and admire the beauty.

Chicken and Veggie Braid
  • 1 chicken breast, cooked and cut in cubes
  • 1 1/2 cups of veggies. I mix it up every time depending on what I have in the fridge but a few favorites have been zucchini, squash, corn, peas and carrots or just peas and carrots.  I've had it with broccoli and peppers too but that isn't my top choice.
  • 1 garlic clove, pressed
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp dried dill weed
  • ¼ tsp salt
  1. Make this pizza/bread dough and set aside to rise.
  2. Bake 1 un-seasoned chicken breast. Let it cool and cut it into cubes.
  3. Preheat oven to 475.
  4. Place chicken and veggies in bowl, garlic, cheese, mayo, salt, and dill.  Mix well.  
  5. Roll out into a rectangle.  On longest side, cut dough into strips, 1 ½ inches apart, 3 inches deep. LEAVE 6’ UNCUT DOWN THE CENTER FOR FILLING.  Spread filling over dough.
  6. To braid, life strips of dough across the filling to meet in center.  Continue, alternating strips to form a braid.
  7. Place on a greased cookie sheet and bake at 475 for 15 minutes or until deep golden brown.  Cut and serve.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Girls Weekend

6ish years ago I briefly lived in France and weird things happened.

For example:
  • I gained 25 pounds and ate nothing but pastries and bread.
  • I was 18 years old living abroad and had no idea how to speak French.
  • I packed only 4 shirts, 1 pair of shoes and 2 pairs of pants and thought that was an acceptible wardrobe for 4 months.
So yeah, those weird things happened. And these weird things happened too:

And this:

Oh here we are again, a little full in the face...nbd:

This might have happened too:
And it will all happen again this weekend-in all our obnoxious glory.
Keystone, CO may not be France, but some call it the Paris of the West.
Bring it on ladies. I am bringing the pastries and insufficient wardrobe because thats how I roll.