Category Archives: Personal

Roasted Chicken, Rosemary and Goat Cheese Lasagna

  

Let me start by saying I am not a runner.  I never have been.  Being the exercise enthusiast that I am, I will even go as far as saying, I hate running.

Now that that’s out of the way, I’m excited to announce I recently just completed my first 6.5 mile, half relay marathon.  I know. I’ll explain.

Somewhere around the sixth month during my pregnancy is when it happened.  I began to really get the itch.  It was between the period when my knees were giving out on me and dealing with the 20 extra pounds I had gained.  (Well, it was actually a little closer to 25 extra pounds. Ok, ahem…50. Ish. But most of it was water weight, I swear!).

Around that time was when I made a vow to myself that as soon as I was cleared for exercise I was going to tie up my laces and hit the pavement, hard.  It was my way of mentally focusing on getting through the last months as my energy continued to decrease and my self-pity increased.

So, I stuck to my word and just a couple of Sundays ago I completed my first ever marathon.  My two best gal-friends and sister, who are all regular runners, coached me through the whole process from beginning to end.  Everything from how to stretch, how to train, when to train.  What to eat…

I was given strict instructions to eat LOTS of carbs the days leading up to the race.  Biscuits, pizza, dulce de leche bars.  Ok, I made that part up, but the carbs part was true. I ate toast with bananas for breakfast, a powerbar for lunch, and this lasagna for dinner the night before.  And boy did it help me finish.

I’m not exactly convinced it was the carbs themselves that helped, but the fact that the lasagna was so insanely good, and I had leftovers in the fridge waiting for me to eat for lunch after I got back, so I ran that sucker as fast as I could.

The answer, I will never know, but the important thing is, I finished!

 Roasted Chicken, Rosemary & Goat Cheese Lasagna

  • 8 cooked lasagna sheets
  • 1 1.5 lb roasted chicken, meat pulled off and shredded (about 3 cups shredded chicken)
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 2 large stalks fresh rosemary (about 3 tsp), roughly chopped
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • kosher salt and pepper
  • 2 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella (2 cups plus ½ cup)
  • 8oz goat cheese log

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cook the lasagna sheets and set aside while you prepare the sauce.

In a large saucepan melt butter over medium heat.  Whisk in flour and cook to make a roux, about 2 minutes.  While whisking slowly add the milk.  Add the rosemary, nutmeg and 1 tsp kosher salt, and cook stirring occasionally until thickened, about 5 minutes.  Turn heat off and stir in 2 cups of the mozzarella until smooth. Check seasoning, add more salt as needed, and add pepper.

Across the bottom of a greased 8×8 pan, spoon about ¼ cup of béchamel sauce (just to cover the bottom), ¼ of the chicken, ¼ of the goat cheese and then arrange 2 cooked noodles next to each other on top (you may have to trim the lasagna sheets if you are using the standard length).  Repeat this three more times, ending with a layer of noodles on top.  Top with remaining ½ cup cheese, cover tightly with foil and bake for about 35-40 minutes or until the noodles are tender.  Remove foil and place under the broiler to brown the cheese on top. 

Serve with crispy garlic bread. Enjoy!

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Filed under All Posts, Goat Cheese, Pasta!, Personal, Recipes, Recipes - Chicken

New Year, New Look

Out with the old in with the new.  So long two thousand eleven!  I’m starting off twenty-twelve with a new look.  What do you think?

It’s always bittersweet to start a new year.  Life happens at lightening speed, so I love having this little reminder to take time out and reflect on all the greatness that has taken place. 

It’s been a fun year here at Daily Crave and I genuinely thank all of you that have been reading, cooking and commenting with me from the beginning.  And, of course, a huge welcome to all of the new followers that came along in 2011.

Have a blissful New Year and I’ll see ya on the flip side!  

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Ella Bella

Since this little tater tot is the reason I am finding less and less time to get into the kitchen I found it appropriate to share some more pictures of her.  If you’ve followed the blog for any length of time you’ve seen the showstopping work of my good friend Annie from Anne Constance Photography.  Well, here are just a few more of her artistic masterpieces that will make you grin from ear to ear and are sure to brighten up any gloomy day!

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Sweet Baby Ella

I know this is a food blog and all, but indulge me for a moment as I introduce you to the newest member of our family, baby Ella.  After 9 long months of waiting our bundle finally arrived last week and we couldn’t be more in love.

I’m not one to brag, but I’m pretty sure she is the sweetest little thing in town…

I think it goes without saying that if you notice a lull in postings I’ll be taking a short hiatus from Daily Crave.  However, I do plan to be back just in time to share some irresistible tastes of my favorite season.  In the meantime, Happy Fall!

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A Perfect Getaway

One of the many things in life I am incredibly fortunate to have are strong and powerful women surrounding me on every corner — and my good friend, Kristi, is no exception!  While I am sneaking in extra chunks of butter into my velvety cheddar cheese potatoes, Kristi is inspiring women of all shapes and sizes across the nation to join her and her partner Ryan in bettering themselves with their exclusive health-focused getaways. 

The retreat coming up in April will be held in the Smokey Mountains, TN where they will incorporate nature’s unparalleled elements along with their strong fitness background to create a week-long escape dedicated to weight loss, strength building and all around self-improvement.  Along for the journey will be an expert nutritionist who will not only prepare the daily meals, but teach and motivate you to take the initiative in jump starting a healthy lifestyle.

They will be offering several retreats throughout the year in multiple hot spots across the US, so whether you are looking to drop some inches quick or to just rediscover that lost motivation check out Kristi and Ryan’s website: Fat Camp Retreats — you may just see me there (but, ahem…just keep the cheddar potatoes between us).

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This Year In Review

Move over twenty-ten, we’re heading into the new year at full speed!  There are just a few days left to say our goodbyes and there’s no better time than the last week of an extra fabulous year to reflect on all the good that took place.  Although this year will most definitely be a hard one to beat, I’m so incredibly eager for the next chapter to unfold.

So, without further ado, a few of my favorite highlights from 2010:

I Got Hitched!

First and foremost, I turned in my singlehood this year for an adorable blonde-haired, blue-eyed Jersey boy.  Also known as my husband, Grant.  As many of you know, we were married this September in Charleston, SC –and it was nothing short of perfect.

 

El Bulli Hacienda Benazuza

Eating at El Bulli Hacienda Benazuza, Ferran Adria’s restaurant outside of Seville, Spain was without doubt one of my top restaurant experiences.  Previously named the world’s best chef, Adria is known for his wacky, scientific style.  His take on food is that “Cuisine is not something to be had, but a state to be in”….and that state swept me away to a playful world of spherical olives, mimic peanuts and disappearing desserts.

Noma Named Best Restaurant in World

Taking over El Bulli’s number one spot this year for world’s best restaurant is René Redzepi’s Noma  in Copenhagen, Denmark.  Opening the door for Scandinavian cuisine, you will find on Chef Redzepi’s Nordic menu, items that have been foraged straight from the wilderness (so I hear).   This is likely something we’ll be seeing much more of in 2011 as many chefs are finding new ingredients the oldest kind of way — seeking out pure, natural foods like wild greens, nuts and even tree bark.  You can read more here in The New York Times where they recently highlighted some of the many new ingredients being foraged.

The Cherpumple Was Born 

Ok, I don’t know if I would classify this as a highlight, but it was entertaining nonetheless!  For those of you who unfortunately missed this gargantuan creation, writer Charles Phoenix developed the “turducken of desserts” – the cherpumple.  An outrageous creation consisting of three pies baked inside three cakes and glued together by heaps of cream cheese frosting.  Holy sweet tooth!

Eataly Opens in NYC

I have yet to go, but when I do I am going hungry, thirsty and wearing  the stretchiest pant I own.   Some of our favorite Italian chefs opened a celebration of Italian cuisine in Manhattan, comprised of markets, restaurants and shops with the the nations best Italian foods.

Avocado Ice Cream

One of the first recipes posted here on Daily Crave and one of my favorites.  If you’ve never had it, try it.  You’ll love it.  I promise.

I Got A New Camera

Not just any camera, but my first SLR!  Give it up for the Canon EOS Rebel T2i.

Ninety Acres at Natirar

Although Ninety Acres actually opened in December of 09′, it wasn’t until 2010 that I finally got to indulge in the new restaurants “farm to table” experience.  If you live in the surrounding area, and you’ve not yet been — go!  (And then thank me later.)   Even a non-foodie will appreciate the gorgeous setting in the heart of New Jersey’s countryside.  The 491-estate set against green rolling hills, previously owned my the King of Morocco, has now been transformed into an elegant spa and an amazing restaurant based on local ingredients sourced directly from the Natirar property.

Chef Natalie Lewis: Open for Business!

Lastly, in 2010 I announced the opening of Chef Natalie Lewis, a personal chef and catering service.  A lot of fun was had in the process of creating the new biz, so I thought I’d share with you a couple of photos that didn’t make the cut…

Take two:   (There are very few things more fun than doing a photo shoot in the woods with a bottle of wine and a baguette!) 

Ok, one more time:

So, here it is — just a few of the delicious happenings of this spectacular year!  Happy New Year to you all and here’s to an even more flavor-filled 2011 — Salut!

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Around my house on Christmas Eve

Cookies and Milk for Santa, New England Style…

 

Peppermint Whoopie Pies!

Cheerful snowmen

Sparkly tree

 Lots of goodies decorating every nook and corner

Nutcrackers, of course

And at last, my favorite. May the sweet magic of Christmas bring you the gift of love, peace and happiness for many years to come.

  Warm wishes for a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you all!

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