Date Night at Home

Date Night at Home

If you would have asked me a year ago what my favorite thing to do was, I would have instantly answered, “going out to dinner!” I love trying new restaurants and cuisines, but lately, I prefer cooking at home. I’m not sure whether its because of COVID or our new puppy, but I love being at home so our date nights have transitioned from going to our favorite restaurants to cooking at home as a family.

Tonight our menu was inspired by The Defined Dish’s Pan-Roasted Blackened Cajun Chicken. Alex warned us in her stories last night that getting boneless chicken breasts with the skin on might be a challenge, but the butchers at Central Market were happy to help me this morning, they were even excited to know what I was making!

When you’re at your local grocery store or meat market, just ask the butcher for boneless chicken breasts with skin. It’s not really common, but if you ask nicely, they’ll be happy to help.

When I saw Alex posting about this meal last night, I just knew we had to make it. Last year, my husband and I spent some time in the French countryside and ever since, I have such a new appreciation for chicken. The recipe Alex shared was inspired by the Cajun Chicken entree at Le Bilbouquet…one of my all time favorite restaurants. I’ve never had this dish in the restaurant, but I definitely will next time I go!

I paired our dinner tonight with a medium-bodied French red wine. I think the seasoning on the chicken paired so well with this wine!

For our date night, we started off with a little cheese board when Will got home from work. I kept it pretty simple, but used my favorite ingredients. Central Market makes my FAVORITE crackers, the rosemary crostini crackers…they are a game changer so I started out with those, selected a basil pesto goat cheese and a blue cheese, peppered salami and holiday grapes to round out my board. I like to drizzle local honey over my blue cheese because I think it gives it a really nice balance.

A little cheese board for our appetizer

For our salad, I made a version of a childhood favorite. I diced an apple, crumbled some goat cheese, added a dash of salt and pepper and mixed it with butter lettuce and a spring mix. I drizzled Garlic Expressions over it.

For our main entree, I served the pan-roasted chicken with oven frites and my mixed salad.

Pan-Roasted Blackened Cajun Chicken with Oven Frites

by Alex Snodgrass – The Defined Dish

Pan Roasted Blackened Chicken

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 lbs boneless, skin-on chicken breasts about 1 1/4 pounds
  • 1 tablespoon avacado oil
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine substitute chicken broth plus 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon arrowroot starch
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter or whole 30 use ghee
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Oven Frites

  • 1 1/4 pounds russet potatoes or 2 large potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

INSTRUCTIONS 

Pan-Roasted Blackened Cajun Chicken

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • in a small bowl, combine the salt,pepper, thyme, cayenne pepper, paprika, rosemary, and oregano. Set aside.
  • Pat the chicken breasts dry and season the skin side with half the spice mixture.
  • in a medium oven-safe skillet, heat the avocado oil over medium-high heat until just starting to smoke. Carefully lay out the chicken breasts into the hot skillet skin side down. Cook without moving until the skin is deep golden brown and very crisp, about 6 minutes. While cooking season the second side of the chicken with the remaining spice mixture. Carefully flip the chicken breasts and transfer the skillet to the oven. Bake until cooked through, or when an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breasts registers 150 degrees, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and set aside, reserving the pan juices in the skillet.
  • In a medium bowl, combine the wine, chicken broth, and arrowroot and whisk until the arrowroot dissolves. Set aside.
  • Pour off all but about 1 teaspoon of the fat from the skillet and place the pan over high heat. Add the garlic along with the wine mixture, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the skillet. Cook, stirring until the sauce is reduces by two -thirds, about 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and add butter and the lemon and allow the butter to just melt. Stir to combine. Taste the pan sauce and season with more salt and pepper, if desired.
  • Slice the chicken breasts and serve on individual plates. Spoon plenty of pan sauce over the slice chicken and serve with the oven frites.

Oven Frites

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Scrub the potatoes well, then cut them lengthwise into 1/2 inch wide fries.
  • Place the fries in a large bowl and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper until evenly coated.
  • Spread the fries across the prepared baking sheet in a single layer (you may need two baking sheets to ensure they are in a single layer and have plenty of room to crisp up).
  • Bake in the oven until potatoes are golden brown all over and crisp, about 30 minutes (and no, you do not need to toss during the cooking time at all).

This dinner was amazing!! My husband and I both loved it and were pretty impressed with just how good it was. The chicken was full of flavor and moist, the oven frites were excellent ( I roasted mine for about 45 minutes because I like them extra crispy) and we loved the salad!

What are y’all doing for your date nights this week?! Leave me a comment and let me know!!

XO,

Brit

Brit’s Picks: Fall Neutrals

Brit’s Picks: Fall Neutrals

Happy first Friday of the fall, y’all! We had a brief moment of sweater weather here in Austin and it was amazing! I’m not usually this excited about the beginning of fall, but this year, there is something so wonderful about it and I can’t wait to break out my sweaters, boots and jackets!

This week, I’m easing into my fall fashions with neutrals. These pieces can really work year-round, but put together, they work perfectly for the early weeks of fall. For my first manicure of the fall, I’ve already brought back my go-to color, Don’t Bossa Nova me Around by OPI, this white-beige polish is a beautiful neutral and it looks gorgeous on a multitude of skin tones.

1. Theory Relief Cashmere-Blend Cardigan 2. English Factory Cream Jersey & Poplin Ruffle Top 3. Frame Braided Petit O Ring Double Wrap Belt 4. Adina’s Jewels Pave Butterfly Pendant Necklace 5. Zara Tan Sweater Dress 6. Nanushka Cream Belted Sweater Dress 7. OPI Don’t Bossa Nova Me Around Nail Polish 8. Vanina Inflorescence The Pearl Comino Top Handle Bag 9. Mansur Gavriel Monogrammed Dream Ballerina Flats 10. Mother The Insider High Waist Crop Step Fray Jeans

Something I love about this time of year is that you can still wear dresses or jeans and a tee and just throw on a sweater to stay warm. I’m loving these sweater dresses from Zara and Nanushka and think they would be beautiful with ballet flats, tennis shoes, sandals or even a pair of boots depending on where you are in the world.

For a casual fall look, I’m loving this new Theory cardigan paired with a white tee, darker denim and ballet flats. I can already tell this will be my uniform for the next few weeks!

What are your fall favorites so far?! Leave me a comment and let me know!

XO,

Brit

Brit’s Picks

Brit’s Picks

It is feeling like fall here in Austin, y’all and I am here for it!! This was my first summer in Austin and I was shocked at how hot/unbearable it was! So of course when I got a whiff of this 65 degree weather, I jumped on my chance to try out some of my new fall clothes!

Although many thought the “modern prairie” trend would not last, I’m happy to report that it is here to stay. I love feminine dresses with long sleeves so if that makes me look like I’m from Little House on the Prairie, then I’m totally ok with that!

1. Green Sweater 2. Leopard Face Mask 3. Gold Face Mask Chain 4. Green Plaid Dress 5. Wooden Hoop Earrings 6. Roxanne Assoulian Bracelets 7. English Factory Sweater Dress 8. Vintage Denim 9. Louis Vuitton “On the Go” Look Alike 10. Grey Celine Nano Belt Bag 11. Golden Goose Western Boots 12. Gucci Loafers 13. Stutterheim Raincoat

I recently picked up this plaid green dress by Sister Jane and am so in love with it! The fabric is a bit heavier than I expected, but it is beautiful in person and really well made! I’ve paired it here with a pair of old Zara boots that have since sold out, but I’ve linked a similar pair here, and my grey Celine Belt Bag. If boots are too heavy for the climate you’re in right now, I would suggest wearing this dress with tan ballet flats or even slide sandals.

If you’re looking for a for a casual fall uniform, look no further than this combo! I’m a sucker for anything green so this Cupcakes and Cashmere Sweater speaks to me on so many levels! The simplicity of the sweater and classic Moussy jeans (currently on sale) leave a perfect opening for these amazing Gucci loafers! Will be running all of my errands in this look for the next few months! If you’re looking to add a little more color to your look, I would suggest this amazing set of blush-toned bracelets from Roxanne Assoulian, they are 80 percent off right now at Moda Operandi! I know Christmas is still a few months away, but if you have ladies you need to buy gifts for, these make a fabulous stocking stuffer!

I also love a good raincoat for fall and when I saw this beige beauty from Stutterheim I got all of the Julia Roberts vibes in Notting Hill!! I like this one particularly because of the weight and it is just effortlessly chic.

Which clothing items and trends are you most excited about for fall?! Leave me a comment and let me know! Hope you all have a wonderful weekend and enjoy some nice fall weather!

XO,

Brit

Brit’s Picks

Brit’s Picks

Happy Friday from the mountains! I have had the best week exploring Montana and Utah and I’m not quite ready to go home. All though temperatures have been unusually high this week, the mornings are COLD!! This adorable tie dye sweatsuit from Amazon has been keeping me warm and cozy, not to mention cute!

1. Rose Mask 2. Jo Malone Earl Grey and Cucumber Perfume 3. Schutz Wrap Sandals 4. Tie Dye Sweatsuit 5. Free People Sweater 6. Roxanne Assoulin Bracelet 7. Cozy Cashmere Set 8. Dolce and Gabbana Wedges 9. Headband Holder

I have been in a cozy mood this summer and am loving the matching cashmere set from Nasty Gal as well as this amazing Free People bubble sweater that is on a major sale right now!

If you’re looking for cute summer sandals at a great price, check out the Schutz wrap sandals or the Dolce and Gabbana wedges! They are on sale right now and will go quickly.

I stocked up on my favorite scent this week from Jo Malone…Earl Grey and Cucumber! I wear this perfume every day and I love it because it is light and makes you smell like a spa! I also recently purchased a headband organizer from Amazon and I’m loving it! It has cleared up so much space on my dresser and I can actually see which headbands I have!

What are your favorite things this week?! Hope you all have the best weekend!!

XO,

Brit

Brit’s Picks

Brit’s Picks

What a week it has been, friends! It is always kind of crazy coming back from vacation, but it feels like this week has just blown by! Although this week has been fast, it has also been filled with some amazing sales…from Tory Burch’s Semi-Annual Sale to Net-A-Porter’s major sale, we are in store for some great deals as we head into summer and I’ve rounded up a few of my favorites on the blog today.

For my picks this week I have to start right off with these pearl sunglasses. I ordered them in April and I just got them in the mail on Monday…I have not stopped wearing them and everywhere I go, I get SO many compliments!! From the dry cleaners to lunch with my girlfriends, everyone loves these sunglasses and are blown away when I tell them I got them from Amazon for $13.99!!

1. Pearl Sunglasses 2. Tory Burch Polka Dot Dress 3. Tory Burch Fish Earrings 4. Sisley Black Rose Cream 5. Zimmerman Dress 6. Ulla Johnson Maxi Dress 7. Ulla Johnson Ruffle Top 8. Pink Free People Dress 9. Lisa Marie Fernandez Bikini
10. TKEES Lace Up Sandals 11. Ganni Midi Skirt  12. Corkcicle Canteen

I am also so excited about the Tory Burch sale this week. Tory Burch clothing is some of my favorite–it is so well made, effortlessly chic and flattering. I do think her prices are a bit steep, but as soon as her clothes go on sale, I snatch them up! I am in love with the navy blue and white polka dot dress and these fish earrings are to die for! A couple of years ago, I bought a similar set of earrings from her, but they are gold dragonflies and I’m hoping I will love these fish just as much. They are such a steal at $75!

Pictured here on New Years Eve 2018 wearing the Dragonfly Tory Burch earrings.

Net-a-Porter is also offering 50 percent off of hundreds of styles this week and some of my favorite designers are included in the sale! I live for Zimmerman and Ulla Johnson, but they are also brands I prefer to buy on sale. I am loving this peach Zimmerman dress with floral detailing, the cream puff-sleeve blouse from Ulla Johnson and this blue and white maxi dress from Ulla Johnson as well! They are all half-off right now so its a great time to buy and you have all summer to wear these beautiful pieces.

Aside from the sales, I have been crushing on this hot pink Free People Dress for a few Weeks and I think I just need to buy it! I am also loving the Tkees lace up sandals…I have a similar pair from Splendid that I bought a few years ago, but am in need of an update. If you are a Corkcicle fan, this confetti canteen is on sale at Nordstrom right now and is perfect for keeping your beverages cool in the summer heat. And last but not least, I have been using a sample of the Sisley Black Rose cream that I got a while ago for the past two weeks and I have seen a real difference in the firmness of my skin, it is a little pricey, but if you’re looking for a fabulous night cream like I have been, I would highly recommend this one!

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

XO,

Brit