Recipe Swap: Creamy Artichoke Lemon Chicken Pasta


I’ve talked before about the awesome group of ladies on a cooking forum that I frequent.  Well they’ve been running recipe swaps for the past YEAR and I’ve finally managed to join in the fun.  I know, a day late and a dollar short, right?  I’m sticking with better late than never.

The theme of this swap was “bloggers choice” – meaning that we swap blogs, not just recipes.  I thought this would make it a little easier on my frantic schedule – a little more flexiblity in being able to choose the recipe I want to make.  Well.  That backfired a little.  I spent DAYS searching So Tasty, So Yummy trying to decide what recipe to make!  I initially went in thinking seafood, but then the desserts looked so good, but then I had chicken breast in the freezer…. and so it went.  For like a week.  I had to force myself into a decision just to make the posting deadline!

But let me tell you about this pasta dish.  Holy smokes was it good. Scott’s not really an artichoke fan, so he passed on this one.  Ok by me, that means more lunch leftovers for me!  This dish was rich from the cream, but lightened up a little with the lemon, nice and salty from the bacon, with just a touch of briny from the capers.  So fantastic.  I changed up the veggies a little because I’m not much a mushroom fan – I swapped in sun dried tomatoes and some spinach I  needed to get rid of.

One year ago: Plum Raspberry Sorbet
Two years ago: Zucchini Fritters and Shrimp Scampi

Creamy Artichoke Lemon Chicken Pasta
adapted from So Tasty, So Yummy

8oz angel hair pasta (I used ww spaghetti)
2 slices of bacon, diced
1 boneless, skinless chicken breast, sliced into strips
1/4 cup all purpose flour
salt and pepper
15 oz can artichokes in water, drained and chopped
2 tsp capers, drained and rinsed
2 tbsp chopped sundried tomatoes
1/2 cup white wine
1 cup chicken broth
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup heavy cream
2 cups baby spinach

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Salt and cook pasta according to package directions.  Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crispy.  Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.  In a small bowl, stir together flour, salt and pepper.  Lightly coat chicken strips in flour.  Carefully place in hot pan.  Cook until lightly brown and cooked through.  Remove and set aside.

Stir in artichokes, capers, and sun dried tomatoes.  Cook a 1-2 minutes.  Deglaze pan with white wine, cook for 2 minutes.  Add chicken broth and lemon juice, cook for another 2 minutes.  Stir in cream and spinach, cook until spinach is wilted.  Stir in chicken and bacon and season to taste.  Serve immediately.



Yes, Chef Giveaway Winner!

Listen carefully.

Can you hear it?

It’s the sound of my friend Amelia FREAKING OUT right now.

Because she just won a signed copy of Marcus Samuelsson’s memoir – Yes, Chef!

I think Ames might be the only person I know who’s a bigger Marcus Samuelsson fan than I am – she’s the one who let me know when he was coming to Denver!  Well I guess some things are just meant to be!

I used a random number generator to determine the winner:

and #15-16 was Amelia’s entry:

Thanks to all who entered, and congrats Ames!  Your book will be in the mail later this week!

Have a great week everyone!

“Yes, Chef” Giveaway!

I stood in line.

I thought the entire time about what I wanted to say to him or ask him.

I got up there, and I was completely and totally star struck. I was standing next to Marcus Samuelsson.

I’m pretty sure I mumbled something about being a huge fan.

I handed him the two books I was going to get signed.

He looked at the sticky note on the first one – the stick note that one of his assistants came around and stuck on people’s books with their names so things would get spelled right.

“What’s a PLFF reader?”

I laughed, explained that it was my blog – Peace, Love and French Fries – and I was going to give away a copy of his book on my blog.

He laughed. “why french fries?”

“Because there is no greater thing than a perfect plate of french fries.  Well, to me at least.”

He laughed again. “No truer words have been spoken my dear.  I’m Marcus.” (like I didn’t know who he was!)

I introduced myself.  Then swooned, because Marcus Samuelsson likes french fries as much as I do (or pretended to, at least).

Since I was at the back of the line, I got a few extra minutes to talk to him while he signed a bunch of other books store employees.

I finally got my bearings, came back down to earth, and remember to ask him about the competitions he’s done – which was the hardest?

His answer was about what I expected – that Top Chef Masters and Next Iron Chef were like marathons – exhausting, never-ending, whoever can hold out the longest.  nonstop for three weeks.  Chopped was like the 100 meter dash, and “you had to be Usain Bolt to make it out alive.”  But what I really wanted to know – which was your favorite?

He grinned as wide as he could and said “oh, Chopped.  Definitely Chopped.”

And then I started swooning again.

He was everything I wanted him to be – kind, down-to-earth, and laid back.  It wouldn’t have mattered if 200 people or 20 people showed up to the book signing, he would have eagerly signed everyone’s books and humored their star-struck silly questions.  I’m totally envious of those who got to go to his demo/tasting up in Boulder.

But I had skipped my lunch to go to the signing, there was no way I could get out of work early enough to make it up to Boulder.

And now that I’ve finished the 3 books I had on request from the library (and couldn’t renew!), I’m finally digging into Yes, Chef.  And once again, it’s everything I hoped it would be.  Every page makes me like Marcus Samuelsson more and more.


And here’s your chance to have your own (SIGNED!) copy of Yes, Chef – a memoir by Marcus Samuelsson.

Each person can have up to 2 chances to win:
1. Leave a comment with the question that YOU would ask Marcus Samuelsson (if you weren’t too star-struck).
2. Go like PLFF on Facebook and leave a 2nd comment letting me know you did.

All entries must be received by 11pm MST on Friday, August 10th.  I will use a random number generator to decide the winner.  Winner to be announced Monday, August 13th.  Good luck!

Giveaway winner!

Thank you everyone that entered!  Apparently y’all are way more experienced in eating game than I am – bear and caribou and peacock, holy cow!

Using Random, org, a random number was selected:

and the winner is Beth from Beth’s Blue Plate Special!

Beth, you’ll be getting an email from me shortly requesting your address so I can ship you your new OXO food scale!


Thanks everyone, have a wonderful weekend!!

OXO Food Scale giveaway!

I’ve talked a lot lately about all the elk we’ve been eating.  One of our favorite cuts has actually ended up being the elk roasts.  Now, we get minimum info form the butcher, we have no idea what kind of roast they have been – my best guess is a rump-roast.  Anywho.  When we picked up all this meat from the butcher, it was all wrapped up, very basically labeled with the cut (like “elk roast”) and that’s it.  No weights.

Now the first time I made one of the elk roasts, this proved to be a little bit of a dilemma.  The roast recipe I was using (as many roast recipes do), the timing was all based on the weight – like 20 minutes per pound.  Except I didn’t know what my elk roast weighed!

I tried a few things.

I held a 3lb package of chicken in one hand, the roast in the other.  The roast was heavier, but… how much heavier?  shoot.

I tried putting the elk roast (still wrapped) on the bathroom scale.  No dice.

So I weighed myself (GAH!), then weighed myself holding the elk roast.

It was time for a food scale.

So imagine my elation when I was contacted by OXO about testing one of their new products – a 5lb food scale with a pull-out display.  For free. Score!

And test I did.

It works fabulously.  It has a light-up display in case you like cooking in the dark.  It’s small and compact, which is essential for me and my limited cabinet space.

I might have started weighing everything in my kitchen.

Look at that, the weight of my blackberries factors the weight of the container!

Like I said.  Too much fun.  I’ll spare you the rest.

Oh yeah, the best part? They sent me one for you too!

To enter this giveaway:
Leave a comment telling me what cool kinds of game (or unusual proteins) you’ve tried.  We’re eating a lot of elk – what have you eaten?  If you haven’t been very adventurous with eating game, what would you like to try?

That’s it!  Sorry, no extra entry opportunities this time – equal chance for everyone!  US entries only, please (I own’t ship internationally, sorry!)

Enter by 11:00pm (MST) on Thursday, May 10th.  I will use a cold, random number generator to select a winner.

Good luck!

One year ago: Purple Cow (Blackberry) Frozen Yogurt and Monogram Sugar Cookies
Two years ago: My Favorite Guacamole

Happy New Year!

Wishing all of you a blessed and wonderful 2012!

I’ve been MIA again, but I’m in the process of getting back on track, 2012 will be full of new recipes.

For those viewing in Google Reader, you’re going to see a bunch of “new” posts pop up.  But they aren’t new.  I’m just updating a few pictures.  But since I transfered content from the old URL, wordpress thinks they are “new.”  Not much I can do about it.  Just enjoy reviewing some older recipes that have been fancied up with some new pictures.

If you aren’t viewing in Google Reader, then ignore and go about your business.  Nothing to see here.

Chocolate Therapist Giveaway Winner!

Thank you all that entered!  The response to the giveaway was amazing and I loved hearing about all of your favorite chocolate goodies – seems like many of you gravitate towards chocolate and caramel or chocolate and peanut butter, but most of you like chocolate dark and straight up!

And I loved hearing about some of your favorite PLFF recipes – so glad you guys like some of our favorite recipes as much as we do!

And using one of those cold random number generators, the giveaway winner is entry number 39 –

Jennifer said:

Dark chocolate is the only way to go. Combined with caramel in any fashion is divine. What I love best old therapist friend is that two years ago you followed your heart and your passion!

Jennifer was one of my first mentors in grad school.  She moved away from Denver to follow some of her own dreams and now she’s running her own practice.  Thank you so much for your support then and now my dear.  Enjoy your chocolate haul my friend!

Blogiversary giveaway!!! Chocolate, chocolate, and more chocolate!!

My little blog turned 2 last week!  On November 21st, 2009 my first blog post was about garlic bread.  And than some Thanksgiving leftovers.  One with no picture, one with a really bad picture.  Since then, I’ve found a little bettter writing voice, got a DSLR camera (and have started learning how to use it), and have grown well beyond just friends and family as readers.  And made so many friends.  Some of my more faithful followers I feel like I almost “know” – you’re the firsts to “like” a new post on Facebook and comment that you can’t wait to try something.  You leave comments of support and rave reviews.  I’ve gotten to know some other bloggers who I feel like I know better than some of the people I see everyday in “real” life.  The blogsphere is a crazy place – a huge, giant network, yet such a small, small world.

I’ve had so much fun over the past two years.  I’ve challlenged myself to try so many new things – like cream puffs, working with yeast, making my own bagels, making so many more things from scratch, like homemade stock, puff pastry, and ice cream.  I auditioned for a cooking show, and donated over $1000 to various charities in the Money Where my Mouth is Project.  And got the courage to start my own catering business.

So thanks PLFF readers for sticking with me on this journey.  I may not know what lies ahead in my future, but I know there will be plenty more tasty meals and treats that I will always come back and share with you.

Ok, enough sappy stuff.  Here’s what you’re really came here for, right?

The giveaway.

Now, before we get into the actual goods, I want to tell you about a place I’ve fallen in love with here recently.

The Chocolate Therapist, in downtown Littleton, CO.

Owned by Julie Pech, The Chocolate Therapist is every choco-holic’s dream.  It’s wall-to-wall chocolate, all made in house.  All natural, no artificial anything.   The darkest of dark chocolates, the smoothest of milk chocolates.

Some with straight up cocoa nibs.  Some are a little nutty, some are a little fruity.  Some salty, some spicy.

Some spiked with organic oils like black cherry, lemon, orange, maple, and my favorite – sangria.

She designs chocolates made to pair with wines, teas, and coffees.  And will even teach a class about how to pair wine and chocolate (we went, it was heaven).

And Julie has an amazing sense of humor.  How could she not, dubbing herself the Chocolate Therapist?!

You walk in her little shop, and can spend hours just looking at the different chocolates, sampling some of her amazing creations. Do yourself a favor and get a coffee or chai, because you’ll be there a while. Not because it’s a huge shop, but because you just won’t want to leave.

Her turtles are so big, they call them tortoises.

Are you drooling yet?  If you’re not, then you’re disqualified from this giveaway.

Because some lucky PLFF reader is getting a HUGE sampling of Julie’s treats.  I didn’t get one of everything (I was temped…) but you’ll be getting to sample some of her most unique treats.

Included in this chocolate lovers dream is:

The Dark Chocolate Extrodinary Paring Chocolates, which includes Dark Chocolate/Organic Black Cherry, Dark Chocolate/Sangria (my absolute favorite!), and the Dark Chocolate/Lemon
The Milk Chocoalte Extrodinary Paring Chocolates, which includes Milk Chocolate/Organic Maple, Milk Chocolate/Organic Amaretto Cappuccino, and Milk Chocolate Organic Orange
A bag of Milk Chocolate Cinnamon-Dusted Pecans (my husband’s favorite!)
A Mint Chocolate Meltaway
A Chili Pepper Meltaway
The Down by the Sea Salt bar (55% all natural dark chocolate adorned with maldon sea salt crystals and sliced almonds)
The Berried in Chocolate bar (55% all natural dark chocolate with dried blueberries, cherries, and cranberries)
TWO packages of their award-winning almond toffee – one package in milk chocolate and one in dark chocolate

To enter this giveaway:  Comment on this post about your favorite kind of chocolate or your favorite thing to make with chocolate.  All entries must by in by Friday, December 2nd at 11:00pm MST.
** for an extra entry, go to the PLFF Facebook Page (“like” us if you haven’t already!), and tell me what your favorite recipe has been over the past 2 years here at PLFF.  Or let me know which recipe you’re dying to make!

All entries must by in by Friday, December 2nd at 11:00pm MST.  A winner will be drawn using one of those cold, official random number generators.  Contest open to US residents only.

**disclaimer:  The Chocolate Therapist is not affiliated with this giveaway.  All products were purchased out of my own pocket.  They let me come and take pictures, but I was not compensated in any way for this promotion (I wish!).  I’m giving away their stuff solely becuase I love it.

Want your own chocolate?  Colorado folks, just get your booty down to downtown Littleton.  It’s worth the trip.  For those outside of Colorado, go to The Chocolate Therapist online and place your own order!  Their gift sets are oh-so perfect for the holidays!

Winner will be announced on Saturday, good luck!

(I may of may not have bought a 1/2 pound of bulk sangria chocolates also while I was there.  I had to.  If I didn’t, I might have started eating the giveway set before the week was up.  And we don’t want that.  The bag might be sitting in front of my at my desk right now.)

I haven’t forgotten you!

I’ve been a bad blogger lately.  But for good reason, I promise.


PLFF has gone legit.    I have a piece of paper and everything that says so.




The City and County of Denver thought it was a good idea to give me a license.  To be a caterer.


Whipped Catering and Confections had it’s first gig Saturday night.


I’m exhausted.


But I do have lots of new recipes to share with you, I promise.


But right now, I have absolutely no energy left to edit pictures or think of something witty to say.


But I haven’t forgotten about you, I promise.


I have a nice, quiet, husband-less weekend next weekend.  I hope to spent a significant portion of it catching up on blogging while I root for the Cardinals to win the World Series.




Mocha Chocolata ya ya….

A few weeks ago, I was chosen to be a part of Foodbuzz’s (the same people who help us throw the 24×24 parties!) Tastemaker program and received TWO huge bags of the new Godiva coffee to try out and maked an iced coffee concoction out of.  While I have big dreams of various ice creams with the coffee, I struggled to come up with an iced beverage.  Since I’m not a huge coffee drinker (scratch that I don’t drink coffee at all!) I deferred to my husbands limited coffee expertise.  Then I had an idea.  I do love me some frozen hot chocolates, and I really love me some frozen chai lattes from Wystones, would a frozen mocha latte work?

After Scott taught me how to brew a pot of coffee (yep, never done that before), we set of to find the right mixture.  And as it was a lazy Saturday morning, some Bailey’s got throw into the mix.  The second batch was declared delicious by my husband quality control department.  It turned out a little more milkshake-like than the frozen treat I envisioned, but Scott didn’t seem to mind.  He finished off the rest of the pitcher with no problems.  In all, he gave the Godiva coffeee two thumbs up.  He is now rather eager to try the caramel variety.  I’m thinking that would also make good ice cream.  Can you tell I have ice cream on the brain?  Stay tuned later this week for another KILLER ice cream recipe!

One year ago: summer veggie bolognase

Iced Irish Cream Mocha Latte (or something like that)
a PLFF original recipe, inspired by Godiva Chocolate Truffle coffee

3/4 cup brewed Godiva Chocolate Truffle coffee (brewed per package instructions)
1/4 cup milk
2 oz Bailey’s Irish Cream Liquor
1-2 tbsp chocolate syrup (optional)
ice, around 2 cups

Combine ingredients in the pitcher of your blender.  Puree until ice has broken down and mixture is frothy.  Serve immediately.