Tuesday, September 25, 2012


On a glorious afternoon, my friend and I were sitting by her pool, looking over the languid Florida lake when we noticed a small creature sunning on the lakeshore. It was a young gator! 

Still new to Florida, my friend had never seen one up close and was quite excited. We ran into the house to get our cameras
(of course!) and quietly headed to the beachfront to capture this little fellow on film. Being the foolish fearless Florida native who has lived near gators all my life, I slowly crept up behind the creature, snapping photos as I closed in. This little fellow seemed to be afraid to move...he just stayed still, posing for our shots.

We continued to close in on our gator, reveling in the thoughts that we could share our photos and story with our traveling husbands and imagining them telling us that we were stupid brave to try to capture our gator on film.

Closer and closer we crept with great trepidation, thinking that at any time, the gator would turn and snap at us...

that is until we noticed the sun glinting on his eye. 
It was a FAKE!!!

Did we ever feel foolish!!! But we did have a great story...

(This is a repeat from my early days of blogging. I saw a gator this morning, and thought of this tale. It was worth retelling again...)

Enjoy nature!

Posting with Outdoor Wednesday...

Saturday, September 8, 2012


Chicken new favorite dish to make. Why? 
Because it is so quick and easy ...and it's much more economical to prepare, than to purchase them at the meat market.

You know...I had not even thought of that until last night when one of my customers mentioned that she had just purchased 4 roulades for her family...and spent $20 on just the chicken dish! At our party, we made these tomato/spinach/Parmesan cheese stuffed roulades for under $10...and still had chicken left to make an appetizer!

The beauty of Chicken Roulades is that you can stuff them with just about anything. Chicken Cordon Bleu is a "roulade" Publix has these and other varieties available in the butcher shop. Other meat markets have them stuffed with crabmeat...cheddar cheese...even sausage! There are so many ways to prepare them...

The recipe for my version came from a fitness part of the "HEALTHY COOKING" class we held last week. The original recipe required browning the roulades in a pan on the stove. But, I tweaked the recipe a bit, to use on my Demarle at Home Silpat...and to make the dish even easier! A quick dip in egg whites, mixed with a little chicken broth, then a roll in Italian Seasoned Bread Crumbs, and the roulades were ready to BAKE! You can bake these in traditional pans, but you will need to turn them during baking. But when using the Silpat and the Perforated Baking Tray, the roulades cook on both about 25 minutes! No turning....and best of all, cleanup takes just seconds with just a quick soap and water wash. 

These roulades were delicious, both hot and cold. They would also make a nice heavy appetizer...

For the "Healthy Cooking Class", we served the Roulades with red peppers stuffed with quinoa and vegetables, a shrimp/mango appetizer, Portobello Mushroom "Pizza", and Fresh Blueberry/Peach Crisp. Every recipe was approved by the fitness trainer...and all the dishes were DELICOUS and HEALTHY...and they're 


     with Tomato, Spinach and Parmesan Cheese

Boneless chicken breast (I used a cutlet...on sale), pounded THIN. Take the thin chicken a thin slice of fresh tomato on the breast. Add several leaves of fresh baby spinach. Sprinkle with a little shredded Parmesan cheese. Roll as tightly as you can. Fasten with toothpicks.  Dip the chicken roulade in a dish of beaten egg (or egg white) and a couple of tablespoons of chicken broth, mixed together. (Basically, you will "roll" the roulade in this mixture). Roll the roulade in Italian seasoned bread crumbs. (Light!) Place on Silpat/tray and bake at 375 for about 25 minutes (more or less, depending on the thickness of the chicken and the oven). Remove from Silpat and slice. (This is really a pretty presentation...white meat with red and green swirl)

If desired, you can make a sauce to pour over chicken...chicken broth, diced tomatoes, chopped spinach, a splash of white wine (actually calls for red wine vinegar...I think the wine would be better)and a little seasoning, such as garlic, onion, salt and pepper. Simmer while the chicken is baking...reducing the liquid. Spoon over the roulades. Sprinkle the top with a little chopped fresh basil.

I am connecting this Foodie Friday this week...check out all the fab recipes!