Chicken Picatta

A staple of many restaurants, but you can make this wonderful sish easily at home. For this i always try and get young chicken breasts because the meat is just so much more tender.

2 chicken breasts

Half cup of flour

2/3 oz of white wine

1 oz lemon juice

1 oz of capers

8 cherry tomatoes

Olive oil

2 oz butter

Salt and pepper to taste

One sprig of rosemary

2 cloves of garlic

First take the chicken and butterfly them all the way through so you have four pieces. Then take some plastic wrap or a zip lock bag and place a piece of chicken in. Take a meat hammer or the flat end of a rolling pin and pound out the chicken untill its about twice the size being carefull not to rip rhe meat into pieces.

Next dizzle the oil into a hot pan along with the butter and heat on high. Put the flour on a plate and mix in the salt and pepper then coat the chicken with the flour. Once this is done place the chicken into the pan along with the rosemary and garlic. Cook chicken for about two min untill slightly browned and flip over and cook for a further min. Then put in the wine, lemon juice, capers and tomatoes and cook for a further min.

Place the chicken on a plate and cook down the liquid in the pan and pout over the chicken.


At the beach in Ohio

When in Ohio, you dont usually think about going to the beach for a day. But up in northeast ohio by lake erie there are several small little towns right by the lake with some small but nice beaches. Yes it is not the same as being by the ocean but during the summer months the water is warmer than the oceans and you can get some waves good for body surfing. The beaches in Conneaut and Ashtabula are well maintained with no trash. There are also beachside parks with concession stands to grab a snack at. There are several marinas too with some seafood restaurants( i havent been to these but they are always busy).

So if we you in Ohio, head up to Ashtabula or Conneaut area and enjoy a day at the beach. Then after be sure to check out Fitzgeralds for dinner on bridge street in Ashtabula( Fitzgeralds, a little gem in Ashtabula) for a relaxing end to your day

Cranberry and apple salad with chicken

A salad with a little sweetness sure to please the whole family.

3 oz of mixed greens

1oz of dried cranberries

2 oz goat cheese

4/5 slices of apple

2 oz of candied walnuts

6 oz of chicken

To make the candied walnuts heat a pan on medium heat and put 6 oz walnuts in along with two small cubes of butter and half oz of brown sugar. Heat till butter is melted and mix. Next take half oz of good maple syrup and pour. Mix to coat all the nuts and let cool.

To make the salad put the greens on the plate and top with the cranberries and crumble the goat cheese then put the apple slices on top with the chicken around the side of the green. Use your favorite dressing, recomend a white balsamic or rasberry vinagerette.

Southwest airlines: The best low cost carrier in the USA?

It is true these days flying economy can be an uncomfortable experience. Seat width and pitch have decreased as the years go by with customer service also going downhill. But is Southwest trying to improve that and do they deliver a good experience?

I have flown most american carriers and it is fair to say they are not at the top of my list of favorite airlines. But southwest has always delivered for me.

To start with their customer service has always been great, gate agents are always friendly and keen to help you. I like their boarding procedure which is far better than United or American. Once you get on board the flight attendants are always cheerfull, and usually make some jokes with the passengers to liven up the mood.

Now the hard product on board the aircraft is pretty good too. You get 32 inch pitch, 17.8 inch width with a 2 inch recline. The seats themselves are very comfortable made from something they call e-leather( not sure what that is). And once airborne they serve free drinks and snacks which is hard to find these days on American carriers.

They do also have on board entertainment delivered through your own device, however one downside is they do not provide in seat power.

Overall i like Southwest and usually try to fly them when traveling domestic. Hope they keep up the good work and keep their product where it is.

How to make perfect seared scallops at home

Most people only eat scallops at a restaurant because they think they are difficult to cook correctly at home. Well they are in fact very easy and quick to make. The first thing is when you are buying them most stores will now sell wet or dry scallops. You want to chosse the dry ones. The wet ones have been soaked in a water solution to help preserve them. This makes them take on a lot more water and gives them a different taste. Usually they are not as fresh as the dry ones either.

Once you have bought them, heat a pan untill its very hot. ( cast iron skillet is best) Then put some oil in the pan to heat up. While the oil is heating up season one side of the scallops with salt and pepper and then place in the skillet. Next season the other side of the scallops. Cook for one and half min then turn over. Put a small cube of butter in the pan and cook for another min and half. Remove from pan and enjoy perfectly seared scallops at home.

Beet salad with feta cheese

A simple salad to make any time. The dressing 4 oz of olive oil, 1 oz of honey, 1 oz lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste and a pinch of sumac. Just get 4 oz of mixed salad greens on a plate and put 8 one inch cubes of red and gold around the greens. Then drizzle the dressing over it. Next get 1 oz of feta cheese and spread on top and finnaly a half oz of spilt almounds on top.

How to cook beets

A great vegatable good all year round. Cooking your own are much tastier tgan buying the canned variety. You can cook both gold and red beets. Simply heat your oven to 350 degrees. Put the gold beets and red beets in a separate piece of foil, drizzle olive oil and salt the beets. Wrap them up put in a baking tin and put in the oven for about two hours untill the skin is soft.

Once they are cooked you can peel them simply by eubbing the skin off with your hands or use a sharp knive and gently just peel the skins off.

Sauteed zucchini and corn with ginger

A great side dish that goes well with any meat dish. The ginger just gives the vegatables a great flavor and is easy to make.

1 zucchini small diced

1 cup of corn

0.5 oz of fresh ginger finely diced

Olive oil

Heat a sautee pan with oil and put in zucchini and cook for about a min then add the corn and ginger and mix and continue cooking for another 2 min. Goes well with chicken or beef

Butternut squash soup

Another great soup for the fall. For this you will need:

1 3/4 pounds of butternut squash peeled and seeded then cut into inch cubes

Half a white onion thinly sliced

One apple diced up

One cup apple cider

Two tablespoons of olive oil

2 cups of stock

Half cup cream

3 oz melted butter

4 tablespoons of goat cheese

Sprig of fresh rosemary and thyme

3 bay leaves

Salt and pepper to taste

First put the squash onion and apple into a baking tray along with the apple cider, olive oil and the herbs and cover and bake at 350 degrees for about 30 min untill the squash to soft to the touch. Next take out the herbs and put into a blender and add cream butter and stock and puree untill smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with some goat cheese and thinly sliced apple slices.

Layover in Sydney

So you have a few hours layover at Sydney airport. What can you go and see?

I had about a 5 hour layover in sydney earlier this year and wanted to leave the airport for a bit. Best bet is to take the train from the airport to Circular Quay. This is the station closest to the opera house and boosts stunning views and several good choices for getting a bite to eat. Perfect for spending a couple hours at before heading back to the airport. Note the train from the airport does carry a $20 surcharge but i think its worth it just to see a bit of the city. You can also get a bus which will take a bit longer due to the heavy traffic by the airport. Or if you feel like walking there is a footpath from the terminal to the city although not sure how long this would take.