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Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Sharing My Recipes, My Life, And The Food Tale Of Two Cities

My Tips For The Most Flavorful Chicken

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If you want moist and juicy white meat chicken every time, the key is to roast it. You want to do this at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes, or until the internal temperature is 165 degrees F. You also want to buy your chicken skin-on and bone-in. The bone will add so much more flavor, and having the skin on will keep it moist. You’ll never have dry chicken again.

Another thing like to do is to place a slice of lemon, under the skin. Then I drizzle olive oil over the top of the skin and rub it around with my hand, and add a sprinkling of Kosher salt and black pepper. Place the chicken onto a rimmed sheet pan and place into the 350-degree oven.

When I take the chicken, out of the oven, let it rest for 5 minutes. Now the chicken is ready.

Make a chicken salad using roasted chicken, it’s amazing. Adding roasted chicken to pasta dishes or soups works beautifully too.

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Homemade Ciabatta Croutons

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Orlando Weekly’s-Best Of Orlando 2015

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Every year, all the local businesses look forward to how the public rate us. So if you’re a foodie, and live in the Orlando area, you know what I’m talking about. The newspaper categorizes everything from best casual dining all the way up to fine dining and posts the top three in each category. What’s really great about this is, that the locals are the ones that vote for their favorite. Then they have a section dedicated for selected critics to choose their favorites as well. The voting starts, online, a month before the results are revealed in the Orlando Weekly. It’s something that the food industry looks forward to every year.

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The diner where I work has done it again, and I’m so proud. We have an amazing staff, and the owners are amazing. We treat our guests like they were a part of our own family. I can’t even say enough about the food. The cooks take such pride in their work and it definitely shows up on the plates that we serve. I am so happy to be a part of the staff at Christo’s Cafe. If you plan on visiting Orlando, and you’re looking for a place where the locals go to eat, you’ve just found it! You can visit Orlando Weekly at their website for more information at m.orlandoweekly.com.

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Sweet Potato Drop Biscuits

2015-07-20 12.27.02

I love these biscuits and I have a shortcut that will make you want to make these as often as you make regular drop biscuits. The sweetness of a sweet potato just adds so much flavor to a drop biscuit. But, before you can even start on the biscuits you need to bake the sweet potatoes, remove their skins, and lastly process them until they are pureed. Well, not anymore!  What’s just as healthy than the real thing, yet ready to use, has no artificial preservatives, and is organic?

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That’s right, organic sweet potato baby food. For my recipe on Sweet Potato, Drop Biscuits click on the link below. They are sweet, tender, and delicious!

 

Sweet Potato Drop Biscuits

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Fruit Pizza

2015-06-05 17.38.22

It was a dear friend’s birthday at work,and I wanted to make something special. It had to be something sweet but not overly sweet. Then it had to be enough to feed the whole staff. They are so thoughtful of every ones birthday, by going a picking up a cake. They get that card that everybody signs, and when you least expect it, it happens. The whole crew sings you happy birthday as loud as they can. Well it was Micheal’s birthday, and I wanted to do something a little different. I made fruit pizzas. They were a big hit. I don’t think anyone expected a dessert like this. It’s super easy. Let me show you how I did it.

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The first thing I did was to line 2- 1/4 sheet pans with parchment paper. Next, I bought some sugar cookie dough, and while it was still cold, I spread it out with my fingers to cover the bottom of the sheet pans. Following the directions on the back of the sugar cookie package I bake them off. that’s what you see in the last picture above. Let the sheet pans with the baked sugar cookie cool completely.

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In this bowl I mixed 2- 8 ounce room temperature containers of Mascarpone cheese, along with powdered sugar, pure vanilla extract, a baker’s cream cheese emulsion ( similar to an extract that you can find in any store that has a baking section), and the zest of 1 lemon. I wanted the cream base to be a little sweet but not over baring because, I’m going to put all kinds of good things on the top. So while the cookie dough was cooling, I placed this delicious cream into the frig to chill for about 30 minutes. I want to tell you this does not have the texture of frosting, it’s more of a soft sweet cream.

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Once the cookie dough has cooled completely. I spread this sweet Mascarpone cream over the top of each of the sheet pans of baked sugar cookie dough. Now it’s time for the fun part.

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I bought all types of berries along with some kiwi, and laid them out all over the sugar cookies covered in  Mascarpone cream. Place the sheet pans back into the frig to stay cold until I was ready to take them to work. I don’t live far from my job so it was no problem to travel with them wrapped in plastic wrap for the short distance that I had to travel. Remember, this is a sweet cream that lies under the fruit and not what you would consider a frosting that sets once it’s been applied.

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And there’s the “birthday boy” ready for his slice of heaven.

Yields: 16 squares per pan
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: Follow instructions on cookie package
Equipment: 2- 1/4 sheet pans and parchment paper
Ingredients:
2 packages of sugar cookie dough
2- 8 ounce containers of Mascarpone cheese
1 tablespoon of pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon of baker’s cream cheese emulsion ( extract)
8 ounces of powdered sugar
zest of 1 lemon
1 pint of blueberries
1 pint of strawberries ( sliced)
6 kiwis peeled and sliced
2-1/2 pints of raspberries
Powdered sugar, as garnish, to sprinkle over the top before serving

Directions: Line parchment paper on two 1/4 sheet pans. Then spread cold sugar cookie dough out on each one. Bake in the oven according to the package and let cool completely. While this is happening make the Mascarpone cream and refrigerate for 30 minutes. While your waiting on the cooking dough to cool and the cream is chilling, slice the fruit. Next, spread the Mascarpone cream all over the cookie dough. Lay the fruit out in whatever pattern you like, then dust the top with some powdered sugar and serve.

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