Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Chicken Cordon Bleu and a Blog Hiatus

Post 400 at last. I feel I’ve created a large enough body of work that there’s a little something here for most everyone. Like a hefty living cookbook that embodies my blood, sweat, tears and soul.

Slowly over the past few months I’ve been weaning myself out of the blogging system by pulling out of clubs and websites, leaving cooking groups and discontinuing participation in blog stuffs preparing for this day.

I admit I’m anxious and not just a little scared to fly away from this project. This has been my life for years. It’s habit now that absorbs huge amounts of my time and emotional energy. It’s also my comfort and my way to express myself through food, photographs and words. Which is why I can’t just let it go or leave completely.

So this isn’t goodbye, but I’m taking a long overdue break from food blogging for a while. Oh, I’ll likely still pop on now and then when a recipe or story gets me excited and I’ll still take on special assignments, but I’m ready to start and finish a few nonfood projects I haven’t had time to work on.

This break is not something I take on lightly. Emotionally I’m tied to this body of work, as it’s the first time every creative process was my own. If I got an assignment, it was because I picked it. My own thoughts, visions and subjective views are all here. I’m intensely private by nature, but tried hard to put as much me in here as possible. It wasn’t always exciting, but it was always me.

However, I have a novel that's partially finished I’ve been promising myself I would tackle head on. I’m looking forward to much more writing time. I’m also gearing up to start a new trade I trained for and that job starts Tuesday. There will be a learning curve but I’m pretty excited and I get to work for a woman I sincerely admire.

I admit another reason for this break is I miss cooking freely without having to test and write everything down. Just fly by the seat of my pants kind of cooking. Doesn’t that sound nice? Plus I’ve been wanting to cook and taste other food blogger recipes and I can’t do that while I’m posting myself. It’s going to be fun!

Will you guys ever forgive me? I'll still be here, but I’ve turned the comment moderation on, as I won’t be checking this everyday. If you want to get a hold of me, add me to Facebook or shoot me an email please. Facebook is great as I’m always connected.

I also want to say thank-you, for everything over the years. Yeah I know I’m not capable of really leaving, but still, thanks. This idea for a food blog started more than four years ago when a group of MySpace friends and I took pictures of our meals and posted the recipes for each other. I’m still super close to those ladies and our inclusive group has grown into something wonderfully huge. Plus we have big girl blogs now and switched out MySpace for Facebook, which has been fun.

And after all these food blogging years holy crow do I need to go on a diet! Trust me, you don’t want to be around for all that boring food.

So here is that last recipe for a while. I thought I’d end with something wonderfully indulgent and an old time classic because tomorrow it’s lettuce for me!

Chicken Cordon Bleu
Print Recipe
This decadent recipe was submitted by Behr to and I think it’s probably the best Chicken Cordon Bleu I’ve ever had. Behr writes that it’s "The standard Cordon Bleu swimming in a creamy wine sauce." Sure it is, if standard means I’ve died and gone to heaven.

6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
6 slices Swiss cheese
6 slices ham
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon paprika
6 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 teaspoon chicken bouillon granules
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 cup heavy whipping cream

1. Pound chicken breasts if they are too thick. Place a cheese and ham slice on each breast within 1/2 inch of the edges. Fold the edges of the chicken over the filling, and secure with toothpicks. Mix the flour and paprika in a small bowl, and coat the chicken pieces.

2. Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat, and cook the chicken until browned on all sides. Add the wine and bouillon. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes, until chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear.

3. Remove the toothpicks, and transfer the breasts to a warm platter. Blend the cornstarch with the cream in a small bowl, and whisk slowly into the skillet. Cook, stirring until thickened, and pour over the chicken. Serve warm.

Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Ready In: 1 Hour
Cook Time: 45 Minutes
Servings: 6

Recipe submitted by Behr to Picture by Laura Flowers.


Colleen @ What's Baking in the Barbershop?! said...

Love that you "finished" (for a while anyway) with a delicious classic! Best of luck with your new ventures. Thanks for the wealth of tasty recipes on your blog from which we can choose! :)

Anonymous said...

What a great recipe to leave us with! I've been following your blog and trying your recipes for years. I'll miss your awesome creations but I wish you well. Enjoy your time off!

Kim said...

I remember the day we met, I found your photos on MS and was totally astonished. I must have left 100 comments in one sitting, LOL I so enjoy your blog, but if you I can come back and leaf through your blog while you are away.. Stay in touch on Fb :)

Scott said...

We'll miss your creativity, your posts, and the life and food you've shared with us. This blog has, in ways, been an integral part of my life as well (as you well know). I'm happy for you, though, even as I feel a bit of nostalgic regret that we won't have quite as many opportunities to see whats going on in your food world. So, not "goodbye", but "until next time"...

Kim said...

Oh, and what a wonderful recipe to finish off with... one of my favorites! You do so inspire me.

Desserts In My Kitchen said...

Oh Laura, I am so proud of you. I remember when we first met on Myspace. I thought all of your photos were amazing and presented so beautiful. I am so glad you are venturing off into your calling. I will always be your friend and will always keep in touch. Hugs to you my friend!

Patricia @ ButterYum said...

Wow - hit me with a brick! But seriously, go, rest, do other things, finish that book, cook on the fly, enjoy your new job, enjoy your family, or hey, just sit around in your pajamas for a week.

But before I leave this last comment on your wonderful blog (at least for a while - wink), THANK YOU for your immense contribution to, and participation in, the food blogging community! It just wouldn't be the same without you.


Patricia @ ButterYum said...

PS - can I raid your prop closet?

just kidding ;)

The Cooking Photographer said...

Lol heck yeah go ahead Patricia. I wish you were here for the prop yard sale this summer.

And thanks guys! You are the best.


Unknown said...

I just took a 3 month break! It made me coming back feel much less stressful. Good luck with your new endeavors. Love your blog, so it will be missed.


Spike said...

ohhhh, I jus discovered your blog, I am in love with it and now you tell me you are leaving? This is worst than a breakup. wow I didn't see this coming. I wish you the best with your new job and with the book, the cooking and all your plans. Until you will post another recipe I will check out your old ones. Good luck!

Morgan said...

I'm going to miss you around blog world! But I understand that sometimes people need breaks and I hope that you will enjoy some wonderful quality with your family and getting to enjoy doing real-life things. =) Have fun cooking just for the fun of it and I look forward to hearing from you again at some point! =)

The Atwoods said...

Will miss you Laura, and your beautiful photos, but I know there are seasons for everything. Enjoy this new season, and I wish you all the best in your new journey.

PS - are you starting your real estate job?!? :)

Krysta said...

I'm so excited for you! I think this is wonderful news. Of course we will miss you but like you said, you'll come back every once in a while. Good luck with all your new projects. And when you do pop in, we will be here. :)

Anonymous said...

Enjoy your break. And enjoy making recipes FOR FUN!!!!!!

Rhonda said...

I'm sporting a pouty lip! It's been wonderful following you, checking out your recipes and enjoying your lovely photography.

Sometimes a break is what's needed, goodness gracious, blogging is time consuming. I've been thinking of starting a novel myself but who has time ;)

If/when you come back, we'll all be here waiting.

Jackie said...

This looks divine!!! Good luck on your new adventure!!! I know it will
"rock" and I will beone of your first book buyers....You've come a long way from the myspace days, lol!!! Follow your dreams the rest rest will fall into place!
God Bless Jackie

Joanne said...

Oh laura, I'm going to miss you and your fabulous posts so much! I totally understand, though. Good luck finishing your novel! I hope you stop by every so often to let us know how you're doing!

scrambledhenfruit said...

Enjoy your blogging break!

Anonymous said...

This looks great and that sauce...ohh yumm! THanks for sharing with us, love following you as always :)

Monet said...

As everyone has already said...we will miss you, but we are so happy to hear that you are taking steps in this new adventure. I'm working on a novel myself and I understand the need to focus. Thank you for sharing with me again and again. As always, you make me smile. Love and blessings.

stephchows said...

A novel! How exciting! I have a dear friend writing one and I know just how much time and energy goes into them. Good luck and will miss you on the blog for sure! You are a wonderful woman both in person and in the interwebs :)

Unknown said...

Ahhhhh! You're leaving me???? But we just met! Was it me? You can tell me if it was. I've got my big boy pants on today.

No, but seriously, enjoy the decompression time and novel time! If you're hankerin' for a laugh or two, stop on by my neck of the woods! :)

(holding up a glass) Here's to you! Cheers!

Lauren (PB&G) said...

Good luck, Laura! I completely understand the blogging break, we all need them once in a while. Good luck with your novel and hopefully we'll see you back someday! =)

Mads said...

I'm so glad you put all these recipes out here! I love cooking your recipes, and you best believe I will keep you in my google reader. Thanks and good luck!

shaz said...

Awww, good luck Laura! I'll still visit from time to time hoping for some "crumbs". :)

Mari @ Once Upon a Plate said...

Aww, Laura, You're going to be missed! But we've all got to follow our heart and dreams ~ so enjoy every moment of pursuing your new adventures. I'm happy for you!

Thank you for all you've shared over the years,( and your helpful advice regarding pricing my work.)

All the best to you ~ xoxo m.

PS. Thank goodness you'll still be on facebook. :)

vocello said...

Laura... I am so sorry to see you go. I am relatively new to this world of foodies... for a person who haunted libraries from my teen years on to find recipes that inspired me, I can tell you that I have enjoyed your culinary artistry immensely. God bless you in your new endeavors. I am certain that you will succeed!!
susan davis

Veronica said...

This post really resonated with me because the same feelings of weaning myself off blogging have just started niggling in the back of my mind, and for the same reasons, even the unfinished novel reason! I really love to write and blogging satisfies that urge on a certain level, but I would still like to go back to finish that novel. I'm OK for now and it will be much longer before I take my break, but I want you to know I totally understand your decision and support you in it. I too could use a non-blogger diet for a while, and I too get tired of having to take photos of everything and write my recipes right away before I forget them. Rock on and enjoy your days of less blogging! At least I will still see you on f/b on the rare occasion that I stop by! :)

Anele @ Success Along the Weigh said...

A perfect "until we meet again" recipe. This is what we had at our wedding reception! I'm only sorry I didn't find you sooner. :(

SeattleDee said...

OMG - I just found you and you're off on hiatus. What a wealth of recipe treasures you have left to explore in your archives. Enjoy your next adventure, living life fully.

natasha {schue love} said...

So glad you let us know you are taking a break...I hate when bloggers just leave and I never know what happened! I worry! I wish you ALL the best in your endeavors and know you will be missed. Check back in every now and then ok?? Cheers! :)

Ciao Chow Linda said...

I wish you all the luck and success with your new projects. Sometimes we need to make more time and food blogging really is a time-consumer (and weight-gainer). I admire you for taking the step, and thanks for leaving us with a great recipe. I'll be seeing you on FB.

Sue said...

You are one busy and ambitious person, Laura! Good luck on your endeavors. A novel? WOW!
You will definitely be missed, but I'm grateful for the facebook connection, though I have a love/hate relationship with it at times:) XO, Sue

Unknown said...

I'll miss your post and I can't wait until you start posting again.

Deborah said...

I sort of get it. I sometimes also feel presure with the blogging. Not cooking but horseracing (the site was hacked and not up at present) as people expect entries and not least photos. That's why I'm my heart and soul is with my other blog, where I write whenever I feel the urge. I do often, and even more freqvent than I have time for. I don't think people have ANY idea how much time and energy it takes to sort photos, upload and edit and post takes. Bless them how can they. But maybe a more allround blog would get the pressure of (as it does for me, as it's purely for me and when I want to). Anyway good luck with everything and hope to see you back her (or on another blog) when you can't help yourself ;-) Have a lovely X-mas if you're away for that long.

Amee said...

Enjoy your break! thanks for sharing all that you have shared.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I am really sad. You will be missed so don't forget to pop back on!

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