Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloweeny? Halloworking. Boo!

What did I do last night?  Cooked, of course.  I am on this kick lately of finding new dinner recipes and last night's may be the best yet.  I'm sure you've eaten at a Cheesecake Factory before (I worked at one in the O.C. for like 8 months once... those all-white outfits are not hot).  Even though the Cheesecake Factory is a chain (and I generally do not support chains), I do think their food is pretty damn good.  So last night I decided to copy one of their most popular dishes and make it at home.  Google directed me to the perfect Cheesecake Factory Chicken Madeira recipe that sounded just like the original.  And, oh man... it was good.  After dinner Lee said it might have been the best dinner I've ever made him!  The recipe I used (and the Cheesecake Factory dish) asks for asparagus spears as the vegetable.  Here's the thing.  Asparagus is a springtime vegetable and, a quick check at Whole Foods revealed that asparagus spears are currently being grown in and shipped from Peru where it is now springtime.  I have too much of a conscience (and I think it's ridiculous) to buy a vegetable grown on another continent so I substituted the asparagus for roasted carrots (grown in Florida).  Perfect compromise.  Here's the link to the recipe I used.  I made it with two chicken breasts rather than four but I kept the sauce amount the same as I knew the sauce would be delicious.  I was right!  We licked our plates clean.  Also I sub'ed the Madeira wine with Marsala wine.  I couldn't find Madeira wine and a quick Google search revealed that they are basically the same thing.

The Cheesecake Factory serves their Chicken Madeira with mashed potatoes but the recipe I used didn't have one listed so I just made a very basic version with steamed red potatoes mashed with a dollop of sour cream and some salt and pepper.  The sauce is just so delicious you won't need all the butter/cream of usual mashed potatoes.  Trust me.  Luckily I have leftovers to take to work tonight and some for Lee to heat up when he gets home from work.  It's going to taste so good at 2AM when I finally eat my dinner.  Yum.  

Happy Halloween!  Hopefully you're doing something fun and spooky today.  Me?  Not so much.  I have to work tonight (wah, wah) and for the next 4 nights (boo, hoo) so I'll be doing a whole lotta nuthin' today and the next few days (except for sleeping).  That's okay.  We have something special coming up that I can't wait for.  More on that in a later post. 

Aren't these Halloween decorations adorable?  I found these on the CountryLiving website (after they were featured on Today).  My favorite is the glow-in-the-dark eyeball wreath.  Now this is how I'd like to decorate for Halloween!


  1. That looks so delicious! Totally putting that on my to-make list for next week!
    I've only ever eaten at the Cheesecake Factory twice - I don't know how people decide what to eat between the dozens of pages in their menu!
    Loved clicking back through all your links by the way! I swear, when it comes to food I'm either incredibly conscious or just shovel and shovel it into my mouth without thinking. Something to work on :)

  2. That recipe looks divine.

    I love your decorating taste. The eyeballs are seriously awesome.

  3. I've never eaten at the Cheesecake Factory! We don't have it here and every time I visit the US I see it, but there is always a huge lineup! I heard the food is really delicious though so it might be worth the wait one day! Mashed potatoes are my favourite!


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