Basil Infused Oil

Basil Infused Oil

Speaking of basil, have you ever made basil infused oil? My husband’s aunt suggested it after I posted about my basil going to seed. Turns out there are multiple uses for this delicious plant.

Just put some of your basil clippings in a jar of cooking oil and allow it to sit on the counter for about a week. Watch for mold though in warmer climates.

Can’t wait to dip some homemade bread into this oil when it’s ready!

Have you ever infused oil? With what? If this turns out well, I’ll want some new ideas!

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Stuffed Pesto Chicken

I don’t know about you, but I always have trouble stuffing chicken.  Or any kind of meat, for that matter.  I’m not sure how people get them all pretty and symmetrical looking without the stuffing leaking out.  And then breading it too?!  I’d just as easy buy the frozen ones at the grocery store and call it a day.

But Pinterest, be damned!  You always make things look so easy.  And yummy.  I’ve seen this recipe for Stuffed Pesto Chicken floating around for awhile and decided to try it.  I actually already had all the ingredients – talk about a budget meal!

And, don’t pass out, but I actually followed the directions!  I pounded the chicken to make it flatter.  I even, wait for it, used toothpicks!  But alas, they were a hot mess.  I mean, don’t get me wrong, they tasted deeeeelicious, but the stuffing all leaked out everywhere.  When I tried to roll up the chicken the stuffing squeezed out and I had to stuff it all back in several times.  Even after all that, most of the stuffing leaked out into the chicken juice <shudder> while it was cooking.  Sloppy mess.

Have I mentioned I hate touching raw chicken?  Stuffing and restuffing and rolling and rerolling really tested my comfort zone.

I ended up covering the entire top of the dish with mozzarella cheese and making it a “casserole”.  Extra cheese can fix anything, right?!  They were super yummy, and I’d make them again.  But I need some stuffing chicken advice.  Anyone?  Bueller?

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Stuffed Pesto Chicken
Adapted from Kalyn’s Kitchen

Ingredients
4 chicken breasts, flattened
4 tbsp sour cream
4 tbsp basil pesto
4 tbsp shredded mozzarella cheese + extra for sprinkling on top

Directions
1. Pound chicken breasts individually in a plastic bag with a meat mallet until they are as thin as you can get them.
2. Mix together sour cream, pesto and mozzarella.  I used “heaping” tablespoons as well.  The more stuffing the better right?  (Although this might be my issue…!)
3. Spread mixture onto each chicken breast and roll up.  Put some toothpicks in to hold the shape.
4. Place chicken in a greased glass pan.  Mine all fit in an 8×8.  Bake for 25 minutes at 375˚.
Optional: after about 20 minutes, feel free to sprinkle some extra mozzarella on top if your chicken looks ugly.

This would be a great recipe to freeze either as individual chicken breasts, or as a whole dish.  I didn’t do that this time, but definitely would be easy to do!

Another tip that I got from Kalyn was making a batch of pesto with all your garden basil.  We’ve had just a TON of basil this year and I just can’t eat it all.  I was like, well you can’t freeze basil so I guess it’ll go to waste.  Ah, duh.  I  just pinched off all my flowers on the basil plant and hopefully, assuming I did it correctly, it’ll grow more leaves and I can try my hand at making homemade pesto.  Kalyn has a delicious lemon basil recipe on her site that I can’t wait to try!

City Girl Gardening Woes

OMFG!!!!!!!! What the hell?!? Seriously. I thought I was super cool today as I was cutting fresh basil for my pasta salad. And then this happened.

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I cut off its branch to try and get it to fall down so I could kill it. (I’ve gotten really good at/comfortable with this since Mosquito Invasion 2013). I was totally afraid this thing could fly or jump or something. They can do that right?!

Snip branch. Fling branch. Scream. Gather myself and look for spidey to kill it. WTF?! Where did it go?!

I think I have enough basil actually.