Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Mothers Day Brunch at Pelagia Trattoria

Mothers Day is soon upon us! My Mom is my best friend and I always want to make this a special day for her. Boy does she have a surprise in store for her this year! More about that after the day.
Meg and Momma  at Disney, 2012
A few weeks before Easter, I did a compilation of Tampa restaurants hosting Easter Brunch. Since my parents were coming into town that weekend, I wanted to make sure we showed them a great time and amazing food. The decision was difficult and we actually changed our reservations up a few times, unable to make a decision. We finally ended up taking them to Pelagia Trattoria, one of the best brunch decisions I have ever made in my life.

I selected a restaurant who is not known for brunch and only host brunch a few times a year. The main reason for this is that I have never had a bad meal there and it is one of the few places I suggest to friends, family and strangers when are visiting Tampa. I knew without a doubt that my parents would be impressed and that service would be spot on. During our fabulous brunch, we had a chance to chat with Pelagia's Executive Chef Andrew Basch, who informed me that they would be hosting a Mothers Day and Fathers Day brunch this year as well.
Carving Stations Top - Prime Rib Bottom  - Turkey and Ham
What sets Pelagia apart from other restaurants hosting Mothers Day brunch is they have everything your heart could ever imagine or dream of on their buffet. For Mother's Day, they will have a special "make your mom a pancake station"!. Kids will have around 20 different types of toppings they can use to make their Mom a custom pancake. Plus, as an always added perk - Pelagio offers all adults a glass of free champagne with the purchase of a brunch.

During our Easter brunch, we enjoyed everything from signature pasta, ham, gulf oysters, flat breads, stone crab, baked salmon, waldorf salad and much much more. I ate more food than I could ever imagine and was full the next day. Check out what I feasted on:
My four plates of food!!!!
The fixed price buffet is $49 per person for adults and $18 per person for children, ages 3 - 12. Prices do not include tax or gratuity. For Mother’s Day reservations, call 813-313-3235 or go to www.pelagiatrattoria.com. 

Here are more signature items available for Mothers Day Brunch at Pelagia Trattoria!
  • Make-Mom-a-Pancake station until 5 p.m. 
  • Omelet and egg station until 3 p.m. 
  • Pasta station from 3 p.m. 
  • Carving station with oven-roasted turkey, prime rib with Pelagia rub and fruit-stuffed pork loin
  • Chilled seafood selection of lemon-poached shrimp, crab claw and Gulf oysters 
  • Cold buffet featuring Caesar salad, organic greens, poached pears with spinach, blue cheese and candied nuts, tortellini salad with grilled vegetables, tandoori chicken salad, Asian slaw with rock shrimp and more 
  • Hot buffet with Applewood smoked bacon and pork sausage, traditional Eggs Benedict, Pelagia crab cakes, sauteed vegetables, assorted pizzas (from 3 p.m.), Cajun grilled salmon with fruit salsa and more. 
  • Platters filled with fresh fruits, sliced Italian meats, assorted cheeses, breads, pastries and spreads and smoked salmon 
  • Display of cakes, pies and miniature desserts

Friday, April 26, 2013

My Bestie is running the #BeAmazing Women's Marathon Series with me!

I received the best news a couple weeks ago - my best friend Keri will make the trip over to Tampa to run the St Petersburg Womens Running Half Marathon series with me! I absolutely love running with Keri. While we are both competitive people, when we run together, all that matters is that we have fun which makes for a very enjoyable experience.

Keri is the one who first got me into distance running. Before I started running, I would watch and listen to Keri's highs and lows, always amazed at her accomplishments. I once thought I could never do what she was doing. It's amazing what you are capable of doing when you follow a training guide. So if you read this blog and think you could never run a half marathon - that is not true. Start slow, keep up with a plan and stay positive.

Keri and I am already in talks over what our running outfit will be on November 24th. One thing is for certain - we will be in all pink. I suggested that we should dress up as flamingos. Time will only tell!

As you can see from the photos below, we like to dress up for our races:
Team Reindeer at Santa Hustle Half Marathon - Daytona Beach 2012
Spider Witch and Jessie at Tower of Terror 10 miler - runDisney 2012
Team Minnie Mouse at Walt Disney World Half Marathon, 2013
The Womens Running Marathon Series is is a great race series who celebrates Women athletes. There are three remaining races throughout the US in 2013 - Nashville, TN - Scottsdale, AZ - St. Petersburg, FL.

I have a $10 discount code for Womens Running St. Pete with the discount code FITFLMEG at checkout!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Who knew - I like Salmon. Maple Glazed Salmon with Pineapple Salsa

Gabe and I are making a collective effort to eat healthy lunches and dinners on any night we are not at events. This week, we decided to start cooking fish more often at home. While I love cooking with new flavors and techniques, I am a nervous fish cook. I have mastered seared Ahi Tuna yet I am deathly afraid of cooking Salmon.....

Until tonight.

We picked up two beautiful 6 oz Salmon filets tonight at the store and made a recipe Gabe's Dad has mastered over and over again.


Maple-Glazed Salmon with Pineapple Salsa
Adapted from Paula Deen (it's one of her healthier recipes)

Ingredients
4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets
1 tablespoon Pompeian Grapeseed Oil
Marinade: 
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 tablespoon teriyaki sauce
1 tablespoon pineapple juice
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1 clove garlic, mashed Pineapple Salsa, recipe follows

Directions
Place salmon filets in a resealable plastic bag. Combine marinade ingredients in a non-reactive bowl or measuring cup. Pour marinade over filets, vacuum seal and refrigerate  from 1 to 24 hours. Preheat your cast iron skillet and grapeseed oil. Place marinaded Salmon in the pan, flipping after 2 to 3 minutes and cook for another 1 to 3 minutes, or until desired doneness.

Serve on a bed of uncooked spinach with the pineapple salsa on top,

Pineapple Salsa recipe: 
1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
2 pickled jalapeno pepper slices, deseeded and finely chopped
1/2 cup fresh pineapple chucks
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon Agave
1 tablespoon cilantro
2 tablespoons Mirin

Place your red pepper in a small saucepan with Mirin. Sautee for 3 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients, simmer for 5 minutes and set aside until you are ready to serve with the salmon.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Rock n Roll Half Marathon Savannah announces two person relay!

Last week, I received two bubble wrapped packages in the mail from the Competitor Group and I instantly knew what was inside waiting for us. We finally received our first Rock n Roll Marathon Series Heavy Medal - the Rock Encore! We received this beauty for completing two Rock n Roll half marathons in 2013 and we're very excited to add it to our sports hook!
Rock n Roll Ste Pete 2013, Rock Encore 2013, Rock n Roll NOLA 2013
We will receive a second Heavy Medal in November, the Triple Crown, after completing Rock n Roll Half Marathon in Savannah! Speaking of Savannah, I will be in the beautiful city this weekend for my friend Darlynn's bacherlorette party. Aside from celebrating in Savannah this weekend, I am looking forward to running 13.1 there in November. I have a $10 discount you can use for the Half and Full marathon - Click here to register and use WINESAV at checkout. 

BIG NEWS!

If you aren't ready to commit to 13.1 miles but still want to participate in the Rock n Roll Savannah series, I have some great news for you. Rock n Roll Savanah Marathon series just announced a 2 person relay! The first leg distance is 6.2 miles and the second leg distance is 6.9 miles. Gabe and I ran our first relay in March and we absolutley loved it. A relay is a great option if you want to get a race completed during vacation. You still receive the same participant perks as the full and half marathon runners:

  • Official Relay Finisher’s Medal
  • Brooks Technical Tee
  • Swag bag
  • ChronoTrack timing tag
  • Official race bib
  • Post-race beer at the Finish Line
  • Festival Rock ‘n’ Roll branded baton: (Each team member will be issued a commemorative Rock ‘n’ Roll branded baton, one of which will be designated as the official “team baton” for the race)
  • Access to the Finish Line Festival and Headliner Concert
Click here to register and don't forget to use the Rock n Roll Savannah discount code WINESAV to save $10 on a half marathon or full marathon entry!

Monday, April 22, 2013

#BostonStrongTampa, a Boston Recovery Run in Tampa


Tonight at 6:30, local running stores across the country are participating in a run in honor of the Boston Marathon. Tampa's Boston Recovery Run will be meeting at FitNiche in Hyde Park. This run is open to runners of all level to honor of Boston. Along with thousands of other runners across the country, we will run the first mile of the run in silence. You can also purchase a shirt at the stores for $20.00 with 100% of the proceeds going directly to One Fund Boston. If you aren't in the area, you can donate to One Fund Boston, click here to be directed to their site.

Hope to see you there.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Penne Ala Vodka Recipe for #SundaySupper Showers

I was so excited for this weeks #SundaySupper hosted by Brandie at Home Cooking Memories. For once, I didn't have a second thought as what I would cook for this weeks event. Today, I dedicate this post to one of my best friends, Darlynn, who is getting married in less than 4 weeks!!
Darlynn's Bridal Shower 3/2013
Long story short - I met Darlynn in 2001. I was her banker, she was a local famous radio personality. After seeing her credit cards, knowing we had duplicate debt in our 20's, I knew we would be instant friends. Fast Forward to 2013, we are a few weeks away to her dream wedding. She is marrying her childhood friend Steve, who I refer to as my brother. I cannot wait for this big day!!

When it came time to plan her bridal shower, I knew instantly what I was going to make for her special day. Not only did I want this to be perfect for her, favorite foods had to be involved. I had to show respect to Penne Ala Vodka. This was the dish she cooked me for the first time when we were flat mates. The dish she made for my family when my father passed away. The same dish we made when we were crying over boyfriends, cheering over new crushes or most importantly, celebrating life.

PENNE ALA VODKA

Over time, I have made a few personal touches on this recipe but it will always belong to Dalrynn. I truly believe, if she didn't force me into eating this while watching Sex in the City circa 2002, I would probably still think I hated tomatoes.  I made this recipe for Darlynn's bridal shower for 40 people a month ago. When the sauce is cooked the night before, it makes for easy travel and you can even create a DIY pasta bar!

Penne Ala Vodka Recipe
modified from Darlynn Nangano

For a family of four:
Ingredients:
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
1/2 vidalia onion, diced
Crushed red pepepr to taste
2 cans of diced tomatoes
1/4 cup Vodka - Have fun with the flavors of vodka, you can use basil, tomato, or peppar flavored vodka
1/2 cup Parmesan (freshly shredded) cheese
1 cup heavy whipping cream
Fresh Basil for garnish
POTATO MASHER OR HAND BLENDER

Directions:
Add the diced onion to the olive oil and sautee for 5 minutes or until oniPons are translucent.
Add crushed red pepper to taste
While the onions are cooking, drain the juice from the diced tomato cans. This is probably the most important step of this recipe. You have to make sure the juice from the can is not existent when adding to the pot.
Simmer the tomatoes in the onion mix for 30 minutes. If you are using a potato masher, "moosh" the mixture while cooking. If using a hand blender, mix halfway through the 30 minutes.
Add the next three ingredients, stir frequently, 30 minutes on low heat. "Moosh" the sauce if using a potato masher. if using the hand mixer, blend when the 30 minutes is complete. Make sure you keep eye on the sauce as the cheese can burn.

Serve over penne pasta, top with fresh basil, crushed red pepper and freshly grated parm cheese. Next week, I will not be taking part in #SundaySupper as I will be in Savannah celebrating Darlynn at her "bacherlorette party" - that makes me feel too young saying that!

Let's check out the rest of the #SundaySupper recipes for showers celebrating those we love.
Starters, Appetizers & Snacks
Soups, Salads & Sandwiches
Main Dishes
Cakes
Cookies, Brownies & Dessert Bars
Sweet Treats
Drink Recipes
Want even more #SundaySupper? Follow our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for recipes that are sure to impress!

Friday, April 19, 2013

The Drybar now available at Sephora and QVC and a #giveaway


Last year, I attended BlogHer in NYC with my friend Darlynn. We arrived a day early to get a little city vacation time in during our trip. We both started our early morning arrival to the city with hair appointments. Darlynn got a blow out at The Drybar while I got a braid at The Braid Bar. It was the best money either of us spent starting off our vacation. While my braid was suggested to last 48-72 hours, I was very impressed with how long Darlynn's hair stayed movie star perfect.
When I heard the news that The Drybar is now selling their famous products to the public nationwide at SephoraQVC and Drybar, I squealed with delight. I am what some may call a beauty product whore. The amount of beauty products I have on my bathroom counter / cabinet would freak most people out. I am the person who buys product just to buy it. Of course I was instantly intrigued with this line, who names their products after adult beverages.
Check out these names: Happy Hour Blowout Shampoo and ConditionerSouthern Belle Maximizing Mousse, Detox Dry Shampoo, 100 Proof treatment oil. How cool is this line! The product names are beyond awesome.

I received two products from The Drybar product line to try out. I have to state, I had a hard time choosing two - I was leaning towards selecting on name vs. the products results. Marketing geniuses..........

The Chaser Shine Pomade
This product blew me away. I am always using my boyfriends pomade to settle my flyaway's. This pomade not only smelled perfect but added the perfect amount of post styling shine. While one may find it costly at $28, it is well worth the price. The Chaser Shine Pomade instantly smooths hair to prevent frizz and flyaway's. It never makes your hair look dry and it leaves it with a perfect polished ending.

Hot Toddy Heat Protector and Frizz Fighter
A letter to this product: Hello Lover. You have jumped every product in my collection to be my favorite beauty product. I could not imagine a day without you in my life. I. LOVE. YOU.
OK, so that may be a little dramatic but it is how I truly feel about this hair product. At first sight, I was taken aback as I was expecting it to be larger. Yet, you do not need much of this product and the small bottle will last a long time. Especially mixed with a treatment oil (like Drybar's 100 proof oil). You use this product before blow drying to create a breathable, protective barrier against heat. It helps fight frizz by sealing the ends and the restorative formula helps condition and repair hair. LOVE in a small bottle for $33. Well worth every penny.
Three times in the past week, I have been complemented on my hair. I have been asked if I was doing something different...that it is the best my hair has ever looked. THIS means a lot, especially to a girl who received unsolicited samples for aging hair treatment in the mail last week....

So here is the good news. The good people at The Drybar will give a lucky reader of mine the same two products I am in love with!! This is retailed for over $60!

I want to know what your favorite hair product is. Would you spend extra money to have a non-permanent hair treatment such as a blowout done?


Follow The Drybar: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Online

a Rafflecopter giveaway
I was provided with products from The DryBar for my review. All opinions are my own.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Five minutes of fame with Taylor Swift

Me & Darlynn with Taylor Swift
One week ago today, I received a phone call from one of my best friends.

Darlynn - "Hey, would you like to come to Taylor Swifts Concert with me and meet her?"
Megan -  "Um.....sure!!!!"

I have a few Taylor Swift songs I secretly sing in the shower, yet I was not a die hard fan. I say that past tense because I am now a major fan of Miss. Swift, both personally and on stage. I have met my fair share of celebrity's thanks to my past career and Darlynn's career. We have met everyone from Tom Cruise to Tim Tebow. Yet I never expected to meet Taylor Swift, sit with her for 5 minutes and leave the conversation thinking, Taylor Swift was the nicest, down to earth A-list celebrity I have ever met and I want to be her friend.
Meg & Dar Inside of Club Red
Darlynn and I got to enjoy some time in Club Red where Taylor met up with us. We were told later on that Club Red was the location where a few lucky fans would hand selected to come back here post show and eat pizza, drink soda and talk relationships with Taylor and her dancers. Also, the first row of every concert is not for sale - ever.. It goes to military and government (police/fire dept) families who would not be able to bring their families to a show. A few lucky fans could also be upgraded prior to the shoe into those seats. We sat 2 rows above that lucky row.

Taylor welcomed us with a huge hug (she's a hugger). We talked about shoes and a few other girly things. After our 5 minutes with her, we headed off for a backstage tour hosted by Mamma Swift, AKA Taylors Mom. We happened to be in presence of Momma Swift's college friends. It was truly surreal. No pictures were allowed on the backstage tour, sorry friends. I was beyond impressed at the amount of input Taylor Swift has on her shows and that she does not lip sync or use auto tune, ever ever ever.

As a woman nearing her mid-thirties (ouch, that hurts to say out loud), Taylor Swift's Red Concert was one of the best performances I have ever witnessed in my life and trust me, I have concert stubs which would make a few heads spin. She was magical on stage and really engaged her crowd. If you find yourself going to a Taylor Swift show, do yourself a favor, bring ear plugs. She has some screaming fans!

I could go on and on but figure you would prefer to see photos from our third row seats. Here is a collaboration from this amazing night. Thank you Taylor for a memorable evening.











Tampa International Curry Festival 2013

Hey Tampa - what are your plans this weekend? April 19th - 20th is the 2nd Annual International Curry Festival. I often joke that we are a city who likes to throw festivals, we have them for everything. This one I am quite excited for and my friend Leslie (leslie-floyd.com) asked me to be her partner in crime at the International Curry Festival.

Friday, April 19th is a VIP Charity Ball To Fight Local and Global Hunger and tickets are still available. I am looking forward to attending a black tie event, it has been way too long since I have worn a gown.

Saturday, April 20th is the International Curry Festival, Only $5 admission with over 50 International Curry vendors, live entertainment, a $25 Beer and wine tasting. Leslie and I are going to be judging the event!!! Come say hey :)

From the TBICF website: Join the Fun and Celebrate the Dynamic Art of Curry Cooking! Live Music & Local Entertainment Curry Cuisine from the World Over Dozens and Dozens of Vendor Booths Children's Activities - Bounce Houses Family Fun - Evening Concert Join thousands for a day of family fun and entertainment as Tampa Bay celebrates the culinary wonders of cooking with curry. Stroll over 50 plus vendor booths while local area performers dazzle and entertain you and your family. Let award-winning international chefs and talented local amateurs help you taste your way around the delicious world of Curry at the family-friendly International Curry Festival. Feel the excitement as Chefs from all over compete for over $20,000 in prizes and the title of Curry Grand Champion.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

A perfect night at Flemings Washington Vs. California Wine Dinner

Last week, I mentioned a dinner Gabe and I were planning to attend, Flemings Washington Vs. California Wine Dinner. It was a perfect night out which ended up becoming an impromptu double date with our friends Lauren and her husband!

This was a dinner which gave us the opportunity to have a blind taste test from two regions (Washington and California) paired with Flemings Prime Steakhouse signature dishes. Everything was perfect. We voted old school style by raising our hands, while hearing some stories and wine history by the wine genius who should also become a comedian, Michael Rugers.


Course 1: 
California: Schweiger, Sauvignon Blanc Sonoma Valley, 2011
Washington: Chateau Ste. Michelle, Sauvignon Blanc Horse Heaven Hills, 2011
This course was one of my favorites of the night. You will probably hear this a few times out of my mouth throughout this post. We were served a prawn - now I am from FL and I am accustom to big shrimp. This thing was out of the prawn category in my mind, closer to a small lobster tail, delicious. Never mind it was topped with a chevre foam. Schweiger won! 

Course 2:
Washington: Chateau Ste. Michelle, Chardonnay Canoe Ridge Estate Horse Heaven Hills 
California: 2009, and Beringer, Chardonnay Private Reserve Napa Valley, 2011 
I would have died a happy person if this was my last meal on earth. A huge bowl of Lobster Bisque, topped with a perfectly seared diver scallop, a lobster croquet and truffle micro greens. Wait for it - this was served with Chardonnay, my favorite. Seriously, this pairing couldn't  have been more perfect. Lauren and I were both unsure of what a croquet was but learned it was a lobster cake bed for the scallop. Beringer won!

Course 3:
California: Rodney Strong, Merlot Sonoma County, 2009  
Washington: Hogue Genesis, Merlot Washington, 2008
The third dish was pretty awesome. While I am venturous with my food, I usually steer clear from Quail. Yet in this case, it was very welcome in all of our belly's. Perfectly executed and damned delicious.
The winner of this wine was Rodney Strong

Course 4:
California: Estancia, Meritage Paso Robles, 2009
Washington: Northstar Stella Maris, Columbia Valley, 2007
By the time dish 4 came out, I was starting to feel pretty full. It was a beautiful Prime New York Strip roasted shallot compound butter, twice baked blue crab potato with a beet puree. While I loved it, I could only eat half of it. Stella Maris won!



Course 5:
California: Red Car Wine Company, Syrah Sonoma Coast, 2008
Washington: Hogue Genesis, Syrah Washington, 2009
Remember how I said I was full above? Apparently not that full. This dish didn't last long for this world. A Milk Chocolate Cremosa Espresso Parfait tahitian vanilla bean and hazelnuts. It was downright delicious. Thank you Lauren for allowing me to use your photo of the dessert! Hogue Genesis won!

This was truly a perfect night out on the town. We had great company and were told plenty of fabulous stories by Michael Rugers. I was very happy to hear that Flemings will continue to host these special dinners, the next being a Collett Champagne Dinner on May 30. Contact them now to reserve your spot! Also, their new "Taste the Season" Menu will be available starting April 23. I really enjoyed the Winter Taste the Season menu and look forward to seeing what will be available next week!


Fleming's is located at 4322 West Boy Scout Boulevard, Tampa, FL 33607.

Disclosure: I received a free dinner from Flemings in exchange for this review. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

A fashionable and affordable line of fitness wear #C9atTarget

Although I have a fulltime professional job, I am fortunate to get to work from home a few days out of the week. The flexibility and work life balance my work offers makes me a truly happy employee. With that said, on those days I do not have to go into the office, my fashion sense has turned from "what BCBG dress am I wearing today" to "what piece of yoga wear am I going to wear today".

While I am always dressed in Yoga clothing or casual wear at the comfort of my house, I still like to be somewhat fashionable. God forbid UPS come with a package I have to sign for and I am in ratty sweats. Although I am a huge fan of Lululemon and Juicy Couture, my wallet likes a break from time to time.

When Target contacted me about their line #C9atTarget, I was instantly intrigued. First, I am a huge fan of everything Target. Second, I trust products they put on the market. An affordable and fashionable line of workout wear? Yes Target, I am interested.

C9 by Champion believes in "Today's Victory" - both big AND small personal fitness victories. Maybe it's running a marathon, or maybe it's dropping your children off at school in your yoga pants*. When it comes to being active and feeling good, C9 gear always has you covered!

I am looking forward to learning more about the C9 line and I will be talking more about it in the upcoming months!.

Do you prefer cost efficient workout clothing or do you invest in higher end brands?
If your answer is the latter, let's have a talk. I have an entire chest full of Juicy Couture suits from 2003-2006 which I purchased at full price. If I would have only known now, 10 years later, they are in Marshall's for 1/4 the price.....

Content and/or other value provided by our partner, Target.


Content and/or other value provided by our partner, Target.

Content and/or other value provided by our partner, Target.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

In respect of runners around the world

I have so much to say about yesterdays tragic event but am not going to use my blog to dwell on negativity. Instead, I met up with one of my favorite running pals Rachel for lunch today. We discussed the highs and lows of running and honored those at Boston by wearing blue and yellow race shirts.
My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone affected by Boston.

Time to Change your Cooking Oil - Garlic Seared Chicken with Pompeian OlivExtra

Do you often find yourself cooking and a recipe calls for butter or vegetable oil but want to stay healthy? I probably find myself in this predicament on a nightly basis. Although I am a generally healthy cook, I have Southern roots. I learned how to cook using slabs of butter and lard. These days, unless I was having a crazy cheat night cooking my Grandma's fried chicken (it happens), I always use Extra Virgin Olive Oil in recipes that call for butter or other evils. Recently, I was introduced to an even healthier option, Pompeian OliveExtra Premium Mediterranean Blend.

This unique blend provides essential Omega-3 and Omega-6, monounsaturated fat, and Vitamin E Antioxidant. OlivExtra® Premium contains Vitamin E that has antioxidant capabilities that may help protect against diseases such as cancer and heart disease.

The first time I experimented with Pompeian OlivExtra Mediterranean Blend, I decided to make one of my favorite chicken recipes. It was a huge success and I am greatfeul for this healthier option. You can save $1 on Pompeian OlivExtra Premium oil by clicking here.

Garlic Seared Chicken with Artichokes


This is a super healthy, fast and delicious recipe. Plus you can make it your own by using a variety of different dry seasonings. You can use a variation of different dry spices in your pantry, focusing on your favorite flavors to make this recipe your own. As many times that I have made this dish, I have never followed a recipe

While a cast iron skillet is not mandatory for this recipe, I absolutely suggest it. This is one item in the kitchen I tell everyone to invest in. Using a cast iron skillet for this recipe will allow your chicken gets a nice sear, keeping your chicken juicy and bring extra flavor to the garlic sauce.
I LOVE my cast iron skillet!
This recipe is best served with the wine you cook with, or at least that is my non-professional opinion. This night, I paired Once Upon A Vine "Lost Slipper" Sauvignon Blanc, which was a perfectly crisp wine with a hint of citrus. In true fairy tail style, it was the prince charming for my chicken little! Not to mention, the bottle and name are super cute.

Garlic Seared Chicken with Artichokes Recipe
Ingredients:
1 tsp Cavenders Greek Seasoning
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp paprika
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast, pounded into 1.5" filets
1 tbsp Pompeian Olive Extra Mediterranean Blend
12 cloves garlic, sliced into 1/4
3/4 cup fat free chicken broth, reduced-sodium
1/4 cup white wine
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 can of quartered and drained artichoke hearts

Directions Preheat oven to 450°.
Heat Pompeian oil in a large cast iron skillet or ovenproof nonstick skillet, medium-high heat. Meanwhile, using a meat mallet, pound your chicken to 1 1/2" thick. Somehow, this is an enjoyable task on a bad day. Sprinkle your chicken with the first four (dry) ingredients. Add the chicken and cook 2 minutes on each side. Add garlic and chicken broth. Place skillet in a preheated oven and bake at 450° for 12 minutes or until chicken is done and garlic cloves are soft.

 Remove pan from oven and transfer chicken to a platter, covering chicken with aluminum foil to keep warm. Add wine and lemon juice to the skillet and mash garlic with a fork. Add the artichoke hearts and cook the sauce over medium heat for 2 minutes or thickened. Serve garlic sauce over chicken. Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 chicken breast and 2 tablespoons garlic sauce).

Here is a Butter to Olive Oil conversion chart just in case you were interested!