Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Tyler Floreance's Chicken Marsala with Mashed Potatoes



By now you all know of my secret love for Tyler Florance. I swear if he were to cook for me my butt would be 2-3 time bigger. Over the passed 3 years I've have tried many of his recipes and I've always been impressed. This time around he has taken it all to a new level. This chicken Marsala recipe is so good and I was amazed on how good it turned out, just when you think it can't better it really does.

The only added a half cup of cream, to make it a little thicker and smooth it. Another thing I did was double the ingredients to make the sauce, this because I knew I wanted to pair it up with mashed potatoes and I would like to have extra sauce. I'm happy that I did that because even having had doubled the sauce...it was just enough. So this recipe has been modified just in the liquid portions.

I highly recommend this recipe, my husband who loved chicken Marsala states that this was the best he has ever had!


SOURCE OF RECIPE: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/tyler-florence/chicken-marsala-recipe/index.html

WHAT YOU'LL NEED:

4 chicken breasts cut into thin cutlets (about 1 1/2 pounds)
AP flour, for dredging
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 ounces prosciutto, thinly sliced
8 ounces mushrooms, stemmed and halved
1 cup sweet Marsala wine
1 cup chicken stock
3 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 cream


WHAT YOU'LL NEED TO DO:

Cut chicken breasts into thin cutlets about 1/4-inch thick.

Put some flour in a shallow platter and season with a fair amount of salt and pepper.

Heat the oil over medium-high flame in a large skillet.

When the oil is nice and hot, dredge both sides of the chicken cutlets in the seasoned flour, and shake off the excess.

Put cutlets into the pan and fry for 5 minutes on each side until golden.

To avoid over crowding, do this in batches if the pieces to insure even cooking.

Once chicken is done transfer to a platter and keep them warm.

Lower the heat to medium and add the prosciutto to the drippings in the pan, saute for 1 minute to render out some of the fat.

Then add the mushrooms and saute until they are nicely browned and their moisture has evaporated.

Pour the Marsala in the pan and boil down for a few seconds to cook out the alcohol.

Add the chicken stock and simmer for a minute to reduce the sauce slightly.

Stir in the butter, cream and then return the chicken to the pan.

Simmer for 1 minute to heat the chicken through.

Serve over pasta or mashed potatoes.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Italian Sausage with Broccoli Rabe and Pasta


Is it just me, our does everyone fall into a food rut every once in awhile? I love food and trying new dishes. This that said...working long days, and then coming home to a three year year old, sometimes is easier to go to your staple recipes. You know what I'm talking about... the recipes that you don't need to think about it, you just go into auto pilot and before you know it dinner is served.

Yeah, I too am guilty of this, more so when winter rolls around because it get darker earlier, and I associate darker with later, which means make something fast. Now that the holiday are right around the corner I came up with the idea of keeping a food log. This is where I write what plan on making each day, giving me the opportunity add something new into the rotation. This has helped me a lot and I've worked it out so that on nights that I know I'll be coming home early, I plan on trying something new. And tonight was one of those nights...here is my spin on the traditional sausage and broccoli.

Hope you enjoy! And like always, Happy Cooking!


WHAT YOU'LL NEED:

1 package of whole wheat pasta
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 pound bulk Sweet Italian sausage (I like to use a turkey sausage)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup of white wine
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 bunch broccoli rabe, trimmed
1/4 cup butter
1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon of sugar

WHAT YOU'LL NEED TO DO:

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil over high heat.

Add in pasta, and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes, once done drain pasta.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

Stir in the sausage until crumbly and no longer pink, this will take about 5 minutes.

Stir in the garlic, and continue cooking until the sausage begins to brown, for another 5 minutes.

Pour off the excess grease, then add chicken broth, white wine, and red pepper flakes.

Bring to a boil over high heat, then add the broccoli rabe, and cover. Cook until the broccoli rabe almost done about 2 minutes.

When the broccoli rabe almost done, stir in the butter, Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, a sugar until sauce has thickened.

Add everything in with the pasta and and serve hot.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Crusty French Boules (Cooking Light)





I have to say that this month's Cooking Light magazine was the best issue yet this year. It had a ton of great recipes that I can't wait to try. One of the best things I found was the French Boules recipe. OK, I know what your thinking..."it can't possibly taste like the real thing!" Well your right it doesn't taste like the "real thing"...it's even better! I kid you not when I say, that this loaf of bread disappears within a matter of a day in my house. My husband who isn't big on bread will take a huge slice, toast it, slap some butter and eats it as a snack.

I think that one of the best things about this bread is that while the crust is crisp and hearty, the inside is light and flavorful. The only down falls is that it takes a few days to prepare. However it truly is well worth the time. I've made this recipe 3 times already and it has now become my go to bread recipe.

If you do try this recipe I would love to here your input, and I hope you all enjoy this recipe as much as my family and I have. Like always happy baking!

WHAT YOU'LL NEED:

For the Pâte fermentée:
1 1/4 cups of AP flour, divided
1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup warm water (100° to 110°)
Cooking spray

For the dough:
3/4 cup warm water (100° to 110°)
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
2 cups of AP flour
2/3 cup bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cornmeal

WHAT YOU WILL NEED TO DO:

Prepare the pâte fermentée, by weighing 1 cup of AP flour into a dry measuring cup, and level with a knife. Combine flour, 1/2 teaspoon yeast, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment.

Add 1/2 cup warm water, and beat at low speed until mixture is thoroughly combined.

Add enough of the remaining 4 tablespoons flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, until dough just begins to pull away from sides of bowl.

Increase mixer speed to medium, and beat for 2 minutes.

Place dough in a small bowl coated with cooking spray.

Place a piece of plastic wrap coated with cooking spray directly on dough. Refrigerate 48 hours or up to 3 days.

Once you're ready to bake your bread, remove pâte fermentée from refrigerator; let stand at room temperature 30 minutes.

Next prepare the dough, by placing 3/4 cup warm water in the bowl of a stand mixer with dough hook attached, and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon yeast.

Let mixture stand for 5 minutes or until bubbles form.

Add pâte fermentée to yeast mixture; let stand 10 minutes.

Spoon 2 cups flour, 2/3 cup of bread flour, and 1 teaspoon salt to bowl; beat at low speed until flour is incorporated.

Increase mixer to medium speed, and beat for 6 minutes. Dough will form a ball.

Place the dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray; lightly coat dough with cooking spray.

Cover with plastic wrap, and let stand in a warm, dry place, free from drafts, for 1 1/2 hours or until doubled in size.

Punch dough down, and divide into 2 equal portions.

Knead each portion for 1 minute. Shape each dough portion into a 5-inch round by pulling the sides down, pinching and tucking them under the bottom center of dough, forming a smooth, taut surface on the top.

Place dough rounds on a baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal. Lightly coat surface of dough with cooking spray.

Cover and let rise 1 hour and 15 minutes or until doubled in size.

Place a small ovenproof saucepan with 3 inches of water directly on the floor of oven. Preheat oven to 450°.

Uncover dough. Spray dough lightly with water. Make 4 (4-inch) cuts 1/4 inch deep in dough to form a grid across top of each loaf using a sharp knife.

Bake at 450° for 10 minutes.

Remove water pan from oven.

Bake an additional 15 minutes or until bread is golden brown and sounds hollow when bottom is tapped.

Cool on a wire rack. Cut each boule, crosswise, into 12 slices.

Recipe source Cooking Light NOVEMBER 2011

Serves 24 (1 slice) Calories 82, Fat 0.3 Protein 2.5g CARB 17G, Fiber 0.6g

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Skinny Mini Oreo Cheesecakes!




It's that time of the month again, and that means that it's time to get our What's Baking entries in! This month Jessica from http://www.thejeyofcooking.com decided that this month's challenge would be "Something Savory" and to be honest, I really had a hard time with this one. Not because it couldn't come up with something, but more so because when I went to buy the ingredients either I couldn't find what I was looking for, or the product seemed to be below par.

The fact that I've been consumed with work and the holidays didn't help matters either. My mind was going a million miles an hour that I couldn't tell you how many things I baked/cooked that I could have used for this What's Baking Challenge. The sad thing is when I did realize it, we were almost done with our meals or I had already cut into the baked goods without taking a picture.

Lucky for me, my husband and I were hosting Thanksgiving, and in his opinion, not having cheesecake at a holiday party is like having Thanksgiving without turkey!
This year I took my skinny mini cheesecakes and changed them up a little, just to do something a little different while still trying to keep things lighter. The great thing about this recipe is that you get that wonderful cheesecake flavor and each cheesecake and each is just under 90 calories. How can you go wrong with that! Do you know how many calories are in a piece of cheesecake at the cheesecake factory?

All I am going to say is even if you had all 12 mini cheesecakes you would still have consumed less calories then you would in one slice from the cheesecake factory! I have always been big on finding ways of eating everything without the guilt. It's so true, you really don't have to give up all foods to maintain weight, you just have to use the right ingredients, and of course have everything in moderation.

Recipe adapted from The most decadent diet cookbook

WHAT YOU WILL NEED:

Butter flavored cooking spray
12 reduced fat chocolate wafers cookies
8-10 Oreos finely crumbled in the food processor to mix into your batter
12oz of fat free cream cheese at room temp
1/3 cup of sugar
2 tablespoons fat free vanilla yogurt
1.5 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon unbleached all purpose flour
2 large egg whites


WHAT TO DO:

Preheat oven to 300

line 10 cups of a standard muffin tin with cupcake liners.

Lightly mist them with cooking spray

Place one wafer in the bottom center of each cup, flat side down.

In food processor added or Oreos and grind until fine.

Now in your mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar on medium until well combined. Add yogurt, vanilla, and flour and mix on low until just combined.

Fold in Oreo and set aside.

In another bowl whisk together egg whites until soft peeks form.

Use spatula and gently fold the eggs into the cream cheese until mixture is just combined. (You don't want to over mix)

Divide the mixture among the muffin tins.

they will puff up and the tops will crack once the are baked.

Transfer cheesecakes to cooling rack and cool at room temp. Refrigerate for at least 5 hours.


I hope you enjoy this as much as my family does.

1 Cheesecake has 90 calories, 6g protein, 17g carbohydrates, 1g fat.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Creme Brulee



The past few months I feel like all I've been doing is working, working, working. Which means that dinner in our home has been very basic. Not that basic meals are a bad thing, it's just that I found myself making the same things each week.

This weekend I was thinking about it, and I really feel like my husband and son haven't had anything special in a long time. So I decided to hold off on my original recipe for the What's Baking Challenge, and I was determined to make them something new. The plan was to make something healthy and that was a little more time consuming, and was a recipe that I knew I could not make on a weekend after working a 10hr day.

Therefore, Saturday night I made a beautiful piece of grilled salmon, with a side broccoli risotto, and for dessert you guessed it I made CREME BRULEE for the first time.

And if you haven't guessed it....it was delicious!!! The Brulees had a perfect smooth creamy texture and a nice crisp sugar topping. Both my son and Husband were very pleased and since my husband has asked when I was going to make it again. Therefore I plan on making it for Thanksgiving this year.

I hope you all enjoy it as much as we did and like always...Happy Baking!

Recipe source: Allrecipes.com

WHAT YOU'LL NEED:

6 egg yolks
6 tablespoons white sugar, divided
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons brown sugar

WHAT YOU'LL NEED TO DO:

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F

Beat egg yolks, 4 tablespoons sugar and vanilla in a mixer until thick and creamy.

In a saucepan heat cream over low heat until it almost comes to boil.

Remove the cream from heat immediately.

Take a cup of the cram and stir into the egg yolk mixture; to make sure that it tempered before adding it to the reminder of the cream, stir until combined.

Pour cream mixture into the top of a double boiler.

Stir over simmering water until mixture lightly coats the back of a spoon; this will take about 3 minutes.

Remove mixture from heat immediately and pour into a shallow heat-proof dish.

Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and cool to room temperature.

Refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or overnight.

Before serving Preheat oven to broil.

In a small bowl combine remaining 2 tablespoons white sugar and brown sugar.

Sift this mixture evenly over custard. Place dish under broiler until sugar melts, about 2 minutes, make sure to keep a watchful eye so doesn't burn.

Remove from heat and allow to cool. Refrigerate until custard is set again.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Tapioca Pudding





This month's what's baking challenge had me super excited. I planned on baking one of my family's favorite desserts, however I had to pick our second favorite due to the it being so humid lately. The humidity doesn't help for the Portuguese cookies I had in mind, so my second thought was to make a nice tapioca pudding, this month and then bake the cookies next month.

A little secret about this recipe is it's so easy and so basic, that anyone could make this. Over the years my mother has adapted this recipe so that the pudding is extra creamy. One of the things she has done is use half whole milk, and half skim milk. By doing this she was able to cut back on the fat and calories. Something else she did was add more milk to achieve a creamier texture which has been a great hit in our house. I hope you all enjoy this recipe as much as my brother and I have when we were growing up. Like always Happy Baking!

Recipe Source my mom

***TIP*** Some small pearl tapioca requires a few hours to an overnight soaking in water. Make sure that when you buy your tapioca pearls that you read the package to see if it's an instant tapioca, or what the soaking requirements are.


WHAT YOU'LL
1 cup of small pearl tapioca (Make sure that they have soaked)
4 cups whole milk
3 cups skim milk (you could use all whole milk if you like, we use skim to cut back on the fat and calories)
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 eggs beaten
3/4 cup of sugar
1 and 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
1 tablespoon of cinnamon

WHAT YOU'LL NEED TO DO:

After soaking the tapioca, combine tapioca, milk, and salt in 1 1/2 quart pan on medium high heat.

Stir until boiling and then let simmer for about 5 minutes.

Uncovered and allow it to cook at the lowest possible heat, adding sugar gradually.

Beat eggs in a separate bowl.

Mix in some of the hot tapioca into the eggs very slowly to equalize the temperature of the two mixtures by doing this you will avoid curdling.

Mix eggs mixture in pan with the rest of tapioca.

Slowly bring mixture barely to a boil, stirring constantly.

Reduce heat and stir several minutes at a low simmer, stirring constantly until you get a nice thick pudding consistency.

Once thick add vanilla and cinnamon and continue to stir until well combined.

Pour into serving dish and serve either warm or chilled.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Sweet Potato and Pecan Pancakes



I can not tell you how excited I was when I found this recipe. As you all know, I'm always looking for ways to get Jonathan to eat more veggies, and I could not tell you when the last time he eat pancakes...that is until now! Mashing up a sweet potato and adding it into this pancake mix is the perfect way to ensure that he gets an added severing of veggies.

My husband stated that this recipe was really good and in his own words "savory" Jonathan stated that they were "yummy, yummy for his tummy" Which makes this mommy, very happy! Drizzle with maple syrup and butter, or serve with a side of fresh fruit.

Happy eating!

Recipe adapted: Cooking Light 2006

WHAT YOU'LL NEED:

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup fat-free milk
1 cup mashed cooked sweet potato
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large egg yolks
2 large egg whites, lightly beaten
Cooking spray

WHAT YOU'LL NEED TO DO:

Add AP flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife.

Combine the next 4 ingredients (through cinnamon) in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk.

Combine milk, sweet potato, sugar, oil, vanilla, and egg yolks, stirring until smooth; and then add to flour mixture, stirring just until combined.

Beat egg whites with a mixer at high speed until soft peaks form; fold egg whites into batter. Let batter stand 10 minutes.

Heat a nonstick griddle or nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.

Coat griddle or pan with cooking spray.

Spoon about 1/4 cup batter per pancake onto griddle or pan.

Cook 2 minutes or until tops are covered with bubbles and edges look cooked.

Carefully turn pancakes over, and cook 2 minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

tomato basil soup


As my readers well know, I tend to work 50+ hours a week, and then dealing with the traffic. I have nights when I don't get home until 6:30-7:00 o'clock at night. So dinners on my "late nights" tend to be carry out...and I don't know about the rest of you, but it gets old fast!

So for the passed few months I've gotten back on the meal planning routine and on the weekends I make something a head of time for our Monday night dinner. This weekend I decided that Monday's dinner would be TOMATO BASIL SOUP with stuffed sausage bread (also baked the night before)can you say yum?!?!

Not only is this a healthier filling meal, but it only take 5 a total of 5 minutes to reheat when you arrive home after a long day in the office.

I hope you all enjoy it as much as we

Recipe Source: Ina Garten

WHAT YOU'LL NEED:

3 pounds ripe plum tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons good olive oil
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
2 onions chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 (28-ounce) canned plum tomatoes with juices
4 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
1 quart chicken stock or water
1 cup of cream (I use fat-free and it works well)

WHAT YOU'LL NEED TO DO:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Toss together the tomatoes, 1/4 cup olive oil, salt, and pepper.

Spread the tomatoes in 1 layer on a baking sheet and roast for 45 minutes.

In an 8-quart stockpot over medium heat, saute the onions and garlic with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the butter, until the onions start to brown.

Add the canned tomatoes, basil, thyme, and chicken stock.

Add the oven-roasted tomatoes, including the liquid on the baking sheet.

Bring to a boil and simmer uncovered for 40 minutes.

Once above is complete blend using hand blender, return to stock pot and then add cream and let it come to quick simmer.

Taste for seasonings and serve hot.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Mocha Fudge Brownies with Dark Chocolate Drizzle




IF you ask me, this recipe has all the important food groups...mocha, coffee, fudge, and dark chocolate. What more could a girl ask for? Ok, maybe it doesn't cover all the major food groups, but it's now become my new all time favorite brownie recipe. I made two batches for a get together and they gone in a matter of a few hours. Everyone was raving on how great they were, they are a must try recipe. I promise you will not be disappointed.

Happy baking!

WHAT YOU'LL NEED:

1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup sugar
2 squares unsweetened chocolate
2 eggs
1 cup flour
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons coffee
Chocolate syrup, for drizzling

WHAT YOU'LL NEED TO DO:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In large bowl cream together butter, sugar and eggs.

In another bowl combine flour and baking powder.

Melt chocolate in microwave.

Slowly add dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Stir to combine.

Add chocolate, milk and coffee and mix well.

Pour into a buttered 8'baking pan and drizzle with chocolate syrup.

Bake for 30 minutes.

Zucchini Bread



Since we had so many zucchini this year, I had t o find new ways to use them, before they went to waste. Of course having a child that is the "I wouldn't eat that because it's green" stage, I had to find new ways to get certain veggies into his diet. Adding shredded zucchini into the bread makes it easy for me to achieve that goal.

The cool thing about this bread is that the spices in it, make it taste more like a coffee cake bread then an actual zucchini bread. The bread comes out with a nice smooth, moist texture. Something else that I love about this bread is the fact that it freezes well, so you can eat one now and then freeze the second bread for another day. I hope you, and your family all enjoy this as much as we have.

Recipe inspired by Paula's Home Cooking

WHAT YOU'LL NEED:

3 1/4 cups of whole wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon of allspice
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup unsweetened apple sauce
4 eggs, beaten
1/3 cup water
2 cups grated zucchini
1 teaspoon lemon juice


WHAT YOU'LL NEED TO DO:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

In a large bowl, combine flour, salt, nutmeg,all spice baking soda, cinnamon and sugar.

In a separate bowl, combine apple sauce, eggs, water, zucchini and lemon juice.

Mix wet ingredients into dry.

Bake in 2 standard loaf pans, sprayed with nonstick spray.

Bake for 1 hour, or until a tester comes out clean.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Healthy Zucchini Muffins


This month's JADE from http://www.themesspot.com decided that the What's Baking challenge would be Celebrate Summer. This month I decided that I would use up the abundance of Zucchini I have, and try to make something that was tasty and healthy.

Jonathan is in the phases where we wouldn't eat any green veggies. So, as his mother it's my job to find a way to get him to eat them. And I ask you, what better way than to bake them into his favorite things.

This recipe is so good that even myself who hated Zucchini love this recipe. With the applesauce and spices you really can tell that they have anything healthy in them. I hope you enjoy them as much and my 3 year old who eat 2 in one sitting!

Happy Baking!

RECIPE SOURCE: KidsHealth.org

WHAT YOU'LL NEED:

2 cups of shredded zucchini
2 cups of whole grain pancake mix
1 Tsp of cinnamon
1 teaspoon of allspice
1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice
3/4 cup of brown sugar
1/4 cup of unsweetened applesauce
2 Tsp of lemon juice

WHAT YOU WILL NEED TO DO:

Wash,peel, and shred zucchini

Wrap grated zucchini in a couple of paper towels and squeeze to remove water.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Line a 12 cup muffin tin

In a large bowl, and mix pancake mix,along with all the dry spices

In another bowl whisk together eggs, applesauce, and lemon juice

Fold egg mixture into shredded zucchini and dry ingredients.

Fill each muffin cup with 2/3 full with batter.

Bake for 15 minutes (until golden brown)

Cool on baking rack for 5-10 minutes.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Chocolate-Chocolate Chip Muffins (Cooking Light)


I think I've said this before, but in my house Breakfast is the most important meals of the day. Both my husband and son love breakfast. Which leads to me always trying to change things up for them. This week my husband want me to make muffins for work. Lucky enough had a few recipes bookmarked in the May Cooking Light Magazine that I wanted to try, and today was the day to do it.

The recipe was super easy to make. I did change a few things up from the original recipe that allow me to cut out a few extra calories from fat and the still came out tasteful, without being sweet, nor bland. The only thing that you want to do is be careful not to over mix it, because they will become more dense when they should be fluffy.

Adapted Recipe from the Cooking Light Magazine (May edition)

WHAT YOU'LL NEED:

1 3/4 Cups of AP flour
1/2 Cup packed brown sugar
1/4 Cup unsweetened cocoa
1 Teaspoon baking powder
1 Teaspoon of baking soda
1 Cup of warm water
1/4 Cup of unsweetened applesauce
1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 Teaspoon of vanilla extract
2 Large eggs lightly beaten
1/2 Cup of chocolate chips

WHAT YOU NEED TO DO:

Preheat oven to 400

In a medium bowl combine flour, brown sugar, unsweetened cocoa, baking powder, and baking soda.

Whisk the dry ingredients above, and create a well in the middle of mixture.

In a second bowl, combine 1 cup of water, applesauce, red wine vinegar, vanilla extract, and eggs. Add in chocolate chips.

Combine the dry and wet ingredients and stir just until moist.

Line muffin tin with liners and spray with cooking spray.

Divide batter evenly among muffin cups.

Bake at 400 for 15-17 minutes until toothpick comes out clean

Cool for 5 minutes in pan on wire rack.

Calories 175, Fat 5.6g Protein 4.1, CARBS: 22g

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Tyler Florance's Shredded Beef Burritos in the Crock-pot



This recipe is actually a stove top recipe, but honestly, who has 3 hours to babysit a top on the stove top? Not me that's for sure. I really wanted to try this recipe, however during the work week, this is not the type of meal that I could just make whenever I arrive home from work. So I thought why not make this in the crock pot. I have to say, that this has to be one of the best crock pot recipes that I'm made in a long time!

I was so pleased with the way that it came out. The beef came out so moist and jammed packed with flavor. I was so please with the way it came out in the crock-pot that I'm not even going to try to make in on the stove top, why mess with perfection.

Recipe source...http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/tyler-florence/mexican-pot-roast-tacos-recipe/index.html (this is the stove-pot version)

WHAT YOU'LL NEED

2 pounds beef shoulder
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 large onion, sliced (I like red onions)
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 tablespoon smoked cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 avocado cut into chunks
1 med tomato cut into chunks
1/2 habanero pepper minced
6 wraps
lite sour cream

WHAT YOU'LL NEED TO DO:

Season all sides of the beef with a fair amount of salt and pepper.

Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, garlic, onions, canned tomatoes, beef cayenne pepper, and cumin to crock-pot.

Let cook on LOW for 7-8 hours. Beef should be fork tender and falling apart.

Remove beef from pot and using 2 forks shred beef into bite size.

TO ASSEMBLE YOUR BURRITO:

Take one wrap, and take a teaspoon of sour cream and spread on wrap.

Add shredded beef, and top with chopped tomatoes, habanero pepper, and avocado.

Wrap burrito and eat!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Tyler Florance's Ultimate Crab Cakes (Baked)


I'm just going to get to the point...I love Tyler Florance, and I know that If he was my husband my ASS would be ten times bigger than it already is. I have never made a Tyler Florance recipe that I did not love. Each time I make something I tell myself..."it can't get any better than this" and each time I prove myself wrong.

I know that I have said that his Prime Rib recipe is my favorite, but this crab cake has changed me. For now this is my new all time favorite recipe. I highly recommend trying it at least once, you wouldn't be disappointed!

Recipe source: Tyler Florance Ultimate (cooking channel)

WHAT YOU'LL NEED:

Extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, finely minced
1/2 green pepper
1 celery stock
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 pounds jumbo lump crab meat
1 1/2 cups fresh bread crumbs
2 tablespoons fat free mayonnaise, (more if needed)
1 large egg white
1/2 lime, juiced
1/4 cup freshly chopped cilantro leaves, (I used less because I don't care for it)
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons of butter melted

WHAT YOU'LL NEED TO DO:

In a medium frying pan, add just enough olive oil to cover the bottom of pan and heat.

Add the onion, peppers, celery, and garlic and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, until the onion gets kind of caramelized.

Dump that into a bowl and fold in the crab meat, bread crumbs, mayonnaise, egg white, lime juice, and cilantro, mixing just until well blended.

Season with salt and pepper. Shape the mixture into 6 fat crab cakes. Put them on a plate, cover, and stick them in the refrigerator to chill. (about and hour)

Heat oven to about 400 degrees.

Take crab cakes out of frig and brush the tops with melted butter.

Bake for about 20 minutes flipping crab cakes once.

After fully cooked turn oven onto broil and allow crab cakes tops to crisp, this will take 3-4 minutes.

Serve one a bed or salad, or with fresh lemon wedges

Hubby's Cole Slaw



About 2 weeks ago, a friend emailed me requesting that I bring Cole Slaw to her daughter's Birthday party. My 1st thought was, how are you going to email me and tell me what to bring. Then my next thought was I never make slaw, because I don't like it; how was something to bring it to a party?

After telling my husband about my dilemma,my husband (who will eat just about anything) said that we would have care of this. I was doubtful about this, but I agreed to allow him to make it, if it came out awful, I could always blame him. LOL!

I was going to skip posting this recipe, but the fact that it was so easy to make and the fact that everyone loved it really change my mind. I hope you all enjoy this recipe as much and everyone at the party did.

Like always happy cooking!


WHAT YOU'LL NEED
6 cups shredded cabbage
1 cup shredded carrot (about 3 medium carrots)
1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon celery seed
1/4 cup sugar
Salt and pepper to taste

WHAT YOU'LL NEED TO DO:

After shredding the cabbage in your food processor, combine cabbage and carrots in large bowl.

In a smaller bowl, combine mayonnaise, vinegar, celery seed, sugar, salt and pepper.

Add mixture to cabbage and let chill for a couple of hours before serving.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Mud Pie Brownies


I've come to the conclusion that when I'm stressed I tend to cook and bake a lot more than usual. But today I'm baking up a storm because I'm actually trying to clear out my pantry of all the not so healthy items. You know the old saying...out of sight out of mind. =) Besides I own some people some treats.

I have to admit that I've been working my staff hard, and the month of June isn't going to be much different. So the game plan is to make sure that I keep everyone happy with a few home baked treats. The people that I work with are major goodies...even if the guys don't want to admit it. =) Monday is going to be one of those days where we are all running around, therefore I think it call for brownies.

Not just any brownies...it called for Tyler Florence's rocky road bars! This is by far one of the best brownie recipes I've found. I hope you all enjoy them as much as my staff will. Happy Baking!

Recipe Source: Tyler Florence

WHAT YOU'LL NEED:

6 (1-ounce) squares unsweetened baking chocolate
1 cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups miniature marshmallows
1 cup walnut pieces (I omitted this because because of a nut allergy)
1 cup of chocolate chips
1/2 cup Carmel sauce (store bought works well)

WHAT YOU'LL NEED TO DO:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Coat an 8-inch square baking pan with non-stick spray and set aside.

In a glass bowl, melt the chocolate and butter together in the microwave on high for until the butter is just melted.

Mix it up to melt the chocolate completely.

Stir the sugar into the melted chocolate until dissolved.

Add vanilla and eggs.

Mix in the flour and salt just until combined.

Mix in chocolate chips and then spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.

Sprinkle the marshmallows and nuts evenly over the brownies. Stick it under the broiler for 2 minutes,until the marshmallows are light golden brown.

Allow to cool to room temperature. Drizzle the caramel sauce over the cooled brownies before cutting.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Cran-Orange Muffins


Being that both my husband and I are very busy and are always rushing to work, we are always looking for something easy and fast in the morning. Not only this tasty, but it's also healthy. Another added bonus is my toddler loves them.

I hope you all enjoy them as much as we do. Happy baking!

Recipe inspired by: Food network

1 cup cranberries (frozen work well)
1/4 cup orange juice
1 cup All-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened,
1 orange zested
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup milk (I use 2%)
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1 teaspoon of cinnamon

WHAT YOU'LL NEED TO DO:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F

Line muffin tin with liners and set aside

Put the cranberries and orange juice in a small saucepan, and bring to a simmer.

Remove cranberries from the heat, and set aside to cool.

Drain excess liquid and set aside.

Sift the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt into a medium bowl and set aside.

In standing mixer, cream the butter, orange zest, vanilla, and 2/3 cup sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.

Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Fold the flour into the butter mixture, alternating with the milk, until just combined.

Fold in the cranberries. Do not over mix.

Divide the batter evenly into the muffin tin.

Bake until golden brown,this will take about 20-25 minutes.

Cool muffins on a rack.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Grilled Porkchops topped with Sauteed Mushrooms



As part of my 24x24 dinner party, I had to come up with a main dish that I knew everyone would like. The idea was to make something that could easily be eaten in a Portuguese roll, or could also he eaten with a side like rice. I wanted to stay way from the traditional steak dishes. let's face it a grilled steak is a grilled steak in any type of cuisine. After pondering over this for a few hours, I thought why not make a nice pork chop with some sauteed Mushrooms.

As we all know Pork could at time end up being flavorless and dry. The best way to avoid this is by putting the pork chops into a brine over night and then seasoning them in the morning. Another thing you want to do is make sure that your pan is super hot. You want to make sure that you get a nice sear on your meat. If you put the pork on the grill to early, changes are your are going to end up with an over done dry piece of meat. What I love about this recipe is the fact that the pork chops come out so moist and are packed with flavor. This is by far one of the best pork chop recipe I have ever come up with.

Recipe source: myself

WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
1/2 cups dry white wine
1 teaspoon paprika
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
4 cloves garlic minced
4 4-6oz pork chops about (1/2inch)
3 teaspoons olive oil, divided
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
8oz of chopped mushrooms your choice (we use the white stuffing mushrooms)
Salt and pepper to taste

WHAT YOU'LL NEED TO DO:

In large bowl, combine wine, paprika, salt and pepper, and red pepper flakes blend well. Add garlic cloves.

Layer pork chops in single layer and then pour marinade to coat chops

Marinate for 6 hours, turning occasionally.

Drain pork; reserve marinade.

Pat pork chops completely dry.

Heat 1 teaspoon of oil in large skillet.

Add pork chops, flipping chops occasionally so that the meat cooks and colors quickly and evenly.

Transfer and let stand.

Pour reserved marinade into skillet and bring to a boil over high heat, scraping off any brown particles clinging to the inside of pan. and let marinade reduced.

Add remaining 2 teaspoons oil; and add mushrooms stirring frequently until mushrooms are soft and tender.

Once cook layer over pork chops and serve hot.

Enjoy!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Kale Soup- Caldo Verde



Here is another one of my favorite Portuguese soup recipes. I made this as a starter dish for my 24x24 meal. Not only is it an easy basic recipe that you can throw together it's also very tasty.

Growing up this was something that my mother would make on a weekly bases, especially on cold winter nights. This soup along with a think slice of crusty bread makes a wonderful meal. I hope you all enjoy it as much as my family and friends have.

Happy Cooking!
Source: My mother's kitchen

WHAT YOU'LL NEED:

4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 clove garlic, minced
6 large potatoes, peeled and chopped into chunks
2 quarts cold water
6 ounces chorizo sausage, thinly sliced
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
ground black pepper to taste
1 pound kale, rinsed and thinly julienned

WHAT YOU'LL NEED TO DO:

In a large saucepan over medium heat, cook garlic in 3 tablespoons olive oil for 3 minutes.

Stir in potatoes and cook, in water, bring to a boil, and let boil gently for 20 minutes, until potatoes are mushy.

Puree the potato mixture in food processor.

Stir the sausage, salt and pepper into the soup and return to medium heat.

Cover soup broth and simmer 5 minutes.

Then stir kale into soup and simmer, 5 minutes, until kale is tender and jade green.

Stir in the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and serve at once.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Arroz Doce-Portuguese Rice Pudding



During the month of March I took part in the foodbuzz24x24, I have to admit that is was a lot of fun and I look forward to the opportunity to doing it again one day.

One of the many dishes that I made was Arroz Doce. Azzor Doce translates to sweet rice and is a traditional Portuguese rice pudding, while there are many variations they are all very similar. This particular one is very creamy custardy. If you are looking for a good Arroz Doce recipe this is the way to go.

Like always if you do try this recipe please let me know how it came out. I would love your feedback. Happy Baking!

Source: My Mother;s kitchen...sorry I don't know where she got this recipe from, it's one that she has been making for over 30 years.

WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
2 cup or white rice (I like Carolina rice, for rice pudding)
8 cups water
half of a lemon's peel, and the other half of the lemon peel finely grated
1 tablespoon butter
A pinch of salt
4 cups hot milk (whole milk makes it creamier)
2 cups sugar
5 egg yolks
Cinnamon for garnish

In a medium saucepan, bring water to a boil with the lemon peel, butter and pinch of salt.

Add the rice and let it simmer for about 20 minutes and add lemon zest.

Stir occasionally. When most of the water has evaporated, add the very hot milk.

Simmer for 5 more minutes and add the sugar.

In a separate bowl, beat together the egg yolks and add a few spoonfuls of the rice mixture to temperate the egg yolks.

Then add the now warm egg mixture to the saucepan and stir quickly until rice is evenly coated.

Pour arroz doce into a large platter or into individuals servings.

Once rice pudding has settled sprinkle with cinnamon.

Serve cooled.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

FoodBuzz 24x24 A Tribute To My Father-in-Law

I can not begin to tell you all how excited I was when Foodbuzz contacted stating that I was one of the 24 bloggers picked to host in the month of March. Once I got the news I started making lists of everything I wanted to make. As the days passed the list of dishes became longer and longer, and I think at one point I had over 30 recipes that I wanted to make.

My theme was a tribute to my father in law. He is one of most amazing, strong, brave, and caring people I have ever met. About a month ago he informed us that he was sick and needed to undergo some surgery, but before he did, he asked that I make him some real traditional Portuguese food. I was honored by my father in law request, and wanted to make sure that I made him the best Portuguese feast possible. We had my in laws over along with some of my husband's other family members and the night was a huge success. Everyone had a wonderful time and enjoyed the food.

I made so many wonderful dishes, and thought I would share few pictures of the many dishes we had. Over the next few weeks I'll be posting all the recipes. I had a great time doing this and I hope that anyone reading this that has ever consider hosting a 24x24 does it! Because it was a great time.







Sunday, March 20, 2011

Everything Bagels



OMG! I never thought I would ever, ever try to make bagels. Every time I looked for a bagel recipe, I would get intimidated and run in the other way. I am happy to report that this is no longer the case.

A few months ago I post on one of the broads that I frequent and I asked the ladies how hard it really was to make bagels. Foodie lover Cate from http://catesworldkitchen.com assure me that it wasn't as hard I was making it out to be in fact she shared with me her own recipe for raisin bagels. http://catesworldkitchen.com/2010/09/cinnamon-raisin-bagels/ if it weren't for the simple fact that my husband hates raisins, I would be all over this recipe. =)

HAPPY BAKING!

Recipe source: Emeril Lagasse 2002

What YOU'LL NEED:

2 cups warm water, about 110 degrees F
2 (1/4-ounce) packets active dry yeast
3 tablespoons granulated sugar, plus 1 tablespoon
6 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup lightly toasted chopped onions
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 doughnut cutter

WHAT YOU'LL NEED TO DO:

Combine the water, yeast, and 3 tablespoons of the sugar in the bowl of an upright mixer fitted with a dough hook.

Stir and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.

Gradually add 4 cups of the flour and the salt, and mix until the mixture comes together.

Add 1 cup OF additional flour at a time to make a stiff dough. This is were you will have to work the dough with your hands.

Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and no longer sticky.

You might not require the whole 6 cups of flour, just add as much flour as needed so that dough is heavier and stiffer than regular yeast bread.

Grease a large bowl with 1 teaspoon of the oil.

Place the dough in the bowl, turning to coat. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free spot until almost doubled.

Remove dough from bowl and punch down the dough.

Divide into 12 equal pieces, about 2 to 3 ounces each, it should measuring about 4 inches.

Form each piece of dough into a ball and then either roll each ball into a 4 to 6-inch log or you could do it the cheater way like I did and use a doughnut cutter.

Place on a lightly greased surface, cover with a clean cloth, and let rest until risen but not doubled in a draft-free spot, 20 to 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Grease a baking sheet with the remaining teaspoon of oil.

In a large pot, bring 12 cups of water and the remaining tablespoon of sugar to a boil.

In small batches (to avoid over crowding), add bagels to the water and boil, turning, for 30 seconds to 1 minute.

Flip bagels onto the prepared sheet pan.

Bake for 5 minutes, turn over Top each bagel with toasted onions, poppy seeds, sesame seeds and salt and cook for another 30 to 35 minutes.

Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Cinnamon Scones



I can't believe that it's been 3 weeks since my last blog update. It seems as if life is rushing by and I'm just trying to keep up. And now that Spring is upon us, it's only going to get worse. Knowing that we will be spending more time rushing around, it's nice to know that I can make these scones on the weekends and when I need something fast I can just take a scone with be when I'm on the run.

This recipe is fantastic, and has become one of our favorites. I hope that it helps all you busy people that are looking for something quick on the weekdays. I hope you all enjoy as much as we have.

Like always, happy baking!

Recipe Source www.food.com/recipe/cinnamon-scones-17366 -

WHAT YOU'LL NEED:

1 cup sour cream (I use lite sour cream)
1 teaspoon baking soda
4 cups all-purpose flour (works well with wheat flour)
1 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter (unsalted)
1 egg
4 teaspoons cinnamon
For dusting
sugar
cinnamon


WHAT YOU'LL NEED TO DO:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Spray baking sheets with non-stick cooking spray/or line with parchment paper and set aside.

Combine sour cream and baking soda in a small bowl and set aside for later.

In another bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, cream of tartar and salt.

Cut in butter until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.

Combine egg with sour cream mixture, and add cinnamon.

Gently stir into flour mixture until moistened. make sure not to over mix dough do not mix more than 10 times.

Divide dough into two, place on baking sheet and pat into a 3/4 inch think round.

Cut each round into 6 wedge-shaped pieces, but do not separate, let bake as one large piece

Before placing into oven to bake, dust with sugar and cinnamon.

Bake for about 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.

Let cool for 5 minutes and then break pieces apart. If desired, once completely cooled top with sugar glaze.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Vanilla/German Chocolate Cake Cupcakes with Oreo Bottoms (What's Baking Challenge)





Let me first state that this recipe yields a large batch of cupcakes...If I am not mistaken, I made about 35-36 cupcakes with this recipe. Which is why this recipe is great for parties. I hope you all enjoy! And now for a little back history on why I decided to make a vanilla/German cupcake.

For Valentine's day I wanted to make something special for my little guy, and of course my husband. Valentine's day has always been a low key night for us, and to be honest I would much rather stay in, have a nice dinner and treats apposed to going out. Valentine's day/night has long been known for long waits for over priced and less than average meals. Hence one of the many reason we do not go out to dinner on or around that day.

This year for I made Rigatoni Di Gregorio from Annie's Eats (which was really good!) and wanted to try making cupcakes to go along with that. Trying to pick a cupcake to go with that meal was hard in it's self. All I knew was I wanted to make something different and I couldn't make up my mind between vanilla or German chocolate cupcakes. Since I was unable to make up my mind, I decided that I would try to make a combination cupcake.

I was kind of nervous on how it would turn out and if the flavor profiles would work well together. And I am very happy to report that I was so pleased with the way they came out. They were so lite and fluffy. I honestly think they are the best cupcake I've ever made. I really can't wait to make them again for Jonathan's Birthday this spring.

If you try them, please let me know what you think. Happy Baking!

German Chocolate cake recipe inspired by Bobby Flay http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/bobby-flay/german-chocolate-cake-with-coconut-pecan-cajeta-frosting-recipe/index.html


***THIS RECIPE YIELDS 36 CUPCAKES***

WHAT YOU'LL NEED FOR THE VANILLA PART OF THE CUP CAKE

2 cups sugar
2 sticks of unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
2/3 cup milk
2/3 cup water
2 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract (like always use the real stuff)
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/3 cups cake flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
pinch of salt

WHAT YOU'LL NEED FOR THE GERMAN CHOCOLATE CAKE:

1 1/2 sticks of unsalted butter, at room temperature,
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups strong brewed black coffee, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

WHAT YOU'LL NEED TO DO:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Line three 12-cup cupcake tins with paper liners.

In the bottoms of each paper liner add half (one side) of an Oreo cookie.

Process sugar and butter in a food processor until very creamy, scraping sides as needed, for about 2 minutes.

Add the eggs and yolks, one at a time, pulsing after each addition.

Add the milk, water, and vanilla and process to blend.

Whisk both flours, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.

Add the dry ingredients, in 3 batches to the wet, pulsing, and then scraping batter off the sides of the processor as needed after each addition.

Process until the batter is very smooth and pourable like pancake batter, about 2 minutes.

Evenly pour the batter into the prepared cups, filling them 1/2 of the way full.

Put into oven and bake for about 8 minutes (this is the time that it should take to make the second cupcake batter)

**NOW in it's time to mix the German Chocolate cake**

Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a medium bowl.

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.

Whisk in the cocoa powder and cook for 1 minute.

Remove from the heat, add both sugars and whisk until the sugar has dissolved.

Add the coffee, buttermilk, eggs and vanilla extract and continue whisking until smooth and just combined.

Add the dry ingredients and stir until the batter is smooth.

Remove cupcake from oven and now spoon chocolate batter on top very slowly.

Once the cupcake tins have been filled return to oven and allow to bake for another 10-12 (or until fully baked)

Let the cupcakes cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes, and let cool at least 1 hour before frosting.

Marble Cake


I am always looking for something I can bake on Sunday so my husband has something to take to work during the week. And to be honest I tend to stick with the same thing, either I make a banana bread or some type of muffin. Well, this week I want to try making something a little different, after all I don't want him to get bored with the same thing over and over.

I came across this recipe and decided that I would give it a try. I must admit that this recipe is really good, and it's isn't all that sweet. Another great things about this recipe is not only does it make for the perfect breakfast when on the run, but it could also be made into a party cake. All you need to do is frost with a nice chocolate frosting and you have the perfect birthday cake!

I hope you all enjoy this as much as we did. Happy Baking!

Source: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/gale-gand/lilys-marble-cake-recipe/index.htm

WHAT YOU'LL NEED:

2 sticks of unsalted butter, plus more for the pan
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (use the good stuff)
2 1/2 cups cake flour, plus more for the pan
2 teaspoons baking powder
Pinch salt
3 tablespoons cocoa powder, sifted

WHAT YOU'LL NEED TO DO:

Butter and flour cake pan while you preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a standing mixer, cream the butter until light and fluffy.

Add the sugar and continue to mix well.

Add the eggs 1 at a time and beat until incorporated.

In a bowl, whisk together the milk and vanilla.

In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

Reduce the mixer's speed to low and alternately add the flour and milk mixture until a smooth batter is formed.

Continue mixing for 5 minutes. (It's important to mix for the full 5 minutes.)

Transfer 1/3 of the batter to a bowl and whisk in the cocoa powder.

Pour the remainder batter into the pan; then spoon the chocolate batter around.

Run a knife through the batter, cutting the batters together to create a marbled effect.

Bake until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean, about 1 hour 15 minutes.

Let the cake cool in the pan. Invert the cake onto a stand or plate, slice, and serve.

Weight Watchers Fettuccine with Chicken and Broccoli Rabe




I feel that I can not say this enough; healthy food does not have to taste like cardboard! There I said it =)I am feel that you can still have great meals without feeling guilty. It as long been said that you can eat just about anything, as long as you make the right choices when picking your ingredients.

This is another winner Weight Watchers recipe! My only regret is I just wished I hadn't waited as long as I did to try it. I foresee becoming one of my go to recipes for chicken for many years. I hope you all enjoy it as much and we have.

I did make a few minor modifications to the original recipe, therefore I am not listing the point value today. I don't think that the changes I made would change the points on this dishes, however I also want to make sure that I do not give the wrong information should anyone here be counting points.

Like always happy cooking!

WHAT YOU WILL:

1 Bunch of broccoli rabe (cleaned)
1 lb fettuccine (I usually use whole wheat)
4 Teaspoons of olive oil
4 skinless boneless chicken breasts
1 Teaspoon salt
crushed red pepper flakes to liking
1 medium red onion thinly sliced
4 Garlic cloves minced
2 Tablespoons Parmesan cheese
fresh ground pepper to taste
2 oz half and half (fat free works well)
4 oz chicken broth

WHAT YOU'LL NEED TO DO:
In a large pot of boiling water cook broccoli rabe for 2 minutes

With slotted spoon transfer broccoli rabe into a bowl of cold water.

I the boiling water cook fettuccine according to directions on the box.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat 2 teaspoons of oil.

Add chicken, salt, pepper flakes and saute until cooked through. about 4 minutes on each side.

Remove chicken and place on plate.

In the skillet heat remaining 2 teaspoons of oil, saute onion and garlic until tender about 4 minutes.

Stir in broccoli rabe let cook until tender.

Add chicken, broccoli rabe to the fettuccine.

In hot skillet add chicken broth and half and half and just let it come to a boil.

Add liquid mixture to pasta mixture and add the cheese and black pepper.

Toss until everything is well combined and serve while hot.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Apple Banana Bread


As a mother, I am always trying to get Jonathan to eat more healthy foods. What sucks is my mother-in-law is always giving him crap that I do not approve of for breakfast and snacks. so lately he hasn't been eating his fruits and veggies.

And me being the type of person I am, I'm just not having it! I'll get him to eat his fruits, if it's the last thing I do! LOL! With all joking aside it's very important that Jonathan has a well balanced diet and as his mother, it's my responsibility to insure he gets all the nutrients that he needs.

I've been making banana bread for a while now, and decided that it was about time that I change this up a little, and hence the birth of the apple banana bread was created. I hope you all enjoy this recipe as much as my husband and toddler do.

Happy baking.

Recipe inspired by one of my recent Emeril banana bread recipes.


WHAT YOU'LL NEED:

8 tablespoons of butter
3 medium sized ripe bananas mashed
1/2 cup sour cream (I use lite)
2 tablespoons of half and half (I use fat free)
1 cup of organic unsweetened apple sauce
3 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 teaspoon of cinnamon
2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt



WHAT YOU'LL NEED TO DO:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Lightly grease a 9 1/4 by 5 1/4 by 2 1/2-inch loaf pan with 1 teaspoon of the butter.

Puree the bananas, sour cream, eggs, vanilla, apple sauce, half and half and cinnamon in a food processor.

Sift flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fixed with a whisk attachment.

Add the remaining butter and mix on medium-low speed until blended.

Add the banana mixture in 3 batches, scraping the sides of the bowl and mixing on medium speed between each addition.

Pour into the loaf pan and bake until lightly browned and bread bounces back to the touch. This will take about and 1hour to an 1 and 20 minutes.

Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes before turning out onto wire rack to cool completely.

Carrot cake Muffins



Every Sunday I bake some kind of baked good for weekday mornings. I know I've said it in the passed weekdays are hard for my husband I to have a good breakfasts before going to work. Before we had Jonathan I would make myself a berry smoothie and my husband was known to skip breakfast all together...I know, I know...not the healthiest habit. Good news is that since we have had Jonathan he has become much better about this.The fact that I bake something every weekend helps a lot.

Each week, I make some type of breakfast bread, or a muffin which my husband is able to eat, or take with him, before he walks out the door. The passed few weeks I've made different breakfast breads, so this week the husband asked if I could make him some carrot cake muffins. The problem with that request was I lost the carrot cake recipe I use to have. Therefore I asked the wonderful ladies on WC if they had a recipe that they would be willing to share.

I was lucky that Cathy of mykitenjourey.blogspot.com was online and was able to share her carrot cake recipe with me. So thanks to Cathy for sharing your recipe. Please feel free to click on the link below to see her original post for carrot cake, I omitted the frosting because, this is a breakfast food. But I plan on trying making this into a cake, "cake" some day soon!

http://mykitchenjourney.blogspot.com/2008/11/carrot-cake.html

Hope you all enjoy this recipe as much as my husband has. Happy baking!

WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
4 eggs
1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup crushed pineapple, drained
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
3 cups grated carrots (About 6-7 carrots)


WHAT YOU'LL NEED TO DO:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line muffin tins.

Grate carrots and set aside.

In a bowl combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat together eggs, oil, sugars, vanilla, and pineapple. Mix in dry ingredients.

Once mixture is well combined, stir in carrots.

Pour equal amounts into prepared muffin tins, abou 3/4 of the way.

Bake in the preheated oven for about 15-17 minutes (time will depend on muffin pan, I use a pampered chef stoneware so it tends to take a little longer)

After 15 minutes check with toothpick muffins will be done once the toothpick comes out clean.

Let cool in pan for 5 minutes, then place on wire rack until completely cool.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Baked Chicken Wings in a Mango Habanero Sauce


IT'S SUPERBOWL TIME! When my husband thinks football, he automatically thinks wings and beer. When I think football and wings,the first thing that comes to mind is fatty fried food. To keep both my husband and myself happy, I decided that I would just bake the wings and when they were fully cooked I would broil just to give them some color and to a little crispiness.

The end result is they came out amazing. I will never, ever fry another wing again. I hope you all enjoy this as much as my husband does.

***The Mango Habanero sauce is SPICY*** So be careful and try the sauce before hand.

Recipe source yours truly

WHAT YOU'LL NEED:

4 lbs of chicken wings
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 small Spanish onion, cut into chunks
2 whole cloves of garlic
2 ripe mangoes, peeled, pitted and coarsely chopped
1 habanero, chopped
1 Fresno pepper
1 cup white wine vinegar
a splash of water (about 1 tablespoon)
Salt
2 tablespoons of honey (to mask the acid of the vinegar)

WHAT YOU'LL NEED TO DO:

Season chicken wings with garlic, salt, and pepper and set aside.

In a medium saucepan, heat oil in medium saucepan over medium heat.

Add onions, garlic, mangoes, habanero, fresno pepper, and vinegar and cook over low heat for 15 to 20 minutes.

Place the mixture in a blender add honey and water, then blend until smooth.

If the mixture is too thick, add a few tablespoons of warm water or vinegar.

In a large bowl mix together wings and half or prepared sauce. Let sit for about 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Place chicken wings in a single layer on baking sheet.

Bake for about 10-15 minutes until wings are cooked(baking time will depend on the size of wings)

Once baked broil wings until they are golden.

Serve hot with the other half of the sauce.

Risotto with Mixed Seafood



Don't get me wrong, I love a nice piece of steak, and a nice piece of boneless, skinless chicken breast. But this past week while meal planning, the thought of meat made my stomach turn. Let's face it, even the biggest meat lover has a limit on the amount of meat they could eat. Hence the reason I needed to change things up and add some seafood to our diet =)

With that said, this has to be the best risotto we have ever had! The fact that you do not use cream, but you use the actual lobster stock makes the risotto that much more savory. Another bonus us the fact that you're not using any strong cheese is wonderful, because not only are you saving on calories, but you're also not masking the sweet flavor of the fresh seafood. This is surely a wonderful option when you are sick of meats. I hope you all enjoy this as much as we have.

Inspired by Mario Batali http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/mario-batali/risotto-with-mixed-seafood-risotto-alla-chioggiotta-recipe/index.html

WHAT YOU'LL NEED:

1 red onion, coarsely chopped and divided
1/2 carrot, coarsely chopped
1 medium bell pepper sliced thin
2 lbs lobsters
1 lb bay scallops
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 heaping tablespoons tomato paste
2 cups arborio rice
1 cup dry white wine
about 16 little neck clams, scrubbed
1/2 lb shrimp
1/2 lb crab meat
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 bunch Italian parsley

WHAT YOU'LL NEED TO DO:


Bring 3 quarts water to boil with half the coarsely chopped onion, carrot, and bay leaf.

Prepare the ice bath.

Plunge the lobsters into the boiling water and cook for 2 minutes.

Remove with tongs and submerge in ice water 1 minute. Drain and set aside.

In a 12 to 14-inch frying pan with 3-inch sides, heat the olive oil, onion, red pepper, and tomato paste over medium heat until softened but not brown, about 8 minutes.

Add the rice and, stirring constantly, about 2 minutes.

Add the white wine, then the lobster cooking liquid, ladle by ladle, until the rice is covered.

Turn the heat to high and, stirring constantly, continue to cook, maintaining the level of liquid just above the level of rice, for 10 minutes.

Add clams and continue cooking 5 minutes.

Remove the lobsters from it's shell, chop the meat into 1-inch pieces, and toss into rice,

Add in shrimp, scallops and crab.

Continue cooking until rice is soft.

Season with salt and pepper, remove from heat and stir in butter and parsley.

Serve immediately.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Creamy Chicken and Veggie Pasta


I'll admit it, I love pasta in any type of cream sauce. But realistically cream sauces are no ones friend. Let's face it...cream based sauces are not the best for anyone's waist line. The good things about this recipe is, all one needs to do is make a few adjusts. By doing this you save on calories and fat, and you can still have that same great taste.

Dinner does not have to be flavorless or take a long time to put together. This recipe is that it's so easy and perfect after a long day at work. Because it's a lighter version and can be made in about 30 minutes, it's become one of my go to weeknight dinner recipes. I hope you all enjoy this as much as my family and I have.

Happy cooking!

Recipe source yours truly


WHAT YOU'LL NEED:

1 (16 ounce) box dried whole wheat penne pasta
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 pounds chicken breast, sliced
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1 teaspoons of crushed red pepper garlic sauce
1 jar artichoke hearts
1 medium red onion chopped
1 red pepper, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup fat free half and half
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 and 1/2 cup chopped broccoli
2 Tablespoons cornstarch (to make a slurry)

WHAT YOU'LL NEED TO DO:

Cook the pasta according to package directions and set aside.

Season the chicken with the salt, pepper and red pepper garlic sauce set aside.

Heat oil over medium heat in a large skillet and add sliced red pepper, and onions and cook until veggies are soft and then add garlic.

Add chicken and cook until it starts to brown about 5 minutes.

Once chicken is cooked add in the artichoke hearts, and stir in the chicken broth. Bring to a simmer.

Once it has come to a steady boil, stir in half and half, and add in the Parmesan cheese, and broccoli.

Add corn scratch slurry, and mix in with chicken, veggie, and pasta, allow for it to thicken.

Stir in the cooked pasta. Serve immediately.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Mango Habanero and Fresno Sauce




My husband is a long time fan of wings and spicy dipping sauce. About three years ago my husband was introduced to BWW (http://www.buffalowildwings.com. On that day he fell in love with their Mango habanero wings. The good news is you can buy bottled sauces in house, the bad news is since we've moved, BWW is way out of the way for us. So no more wings for the hubby.

The other day Mangos were on sale so I decided I would pick up a couple. When I got home all I could think about was the fact that I bought mangos and they weren't in season (what the hell was I thinking) this means they are going to be tasteless.

At this point I had to come up with some type of recipe so I didn't waste them. I had wings defrosting and it came to me...why not make a mango sauce for the next time I baked wings...and thus Mango Habanero Fresno pepper sauce was created.

I do caution you all, it's really spicy, but so yummy. Great for people who like spice, and definitely NOT a recipe for toddlers. Sorry Jonathan looks like you're going to have to wait a few more years before you are able to have this. =)

Recipe inspired by BWW

WHAT YOU'LL NEED

1 tablespoon canola oil
1 small Spanish onion, cut into chunks
2 whole cloves of garlic
2 ripe mangoes, peeled, pitted and coarsely chopped
1 habanero, chopped
1 Fresno pepper
1 cup white wine vinegar
a splash of water (about 1 tablespoon)
Salt
2 tablespoons of honey (to mask the acid of the vinegar)

WHAT YOU'LL NEED TO DO:

Heat oil in medium saucepan over medium heat.

Add onions, garlic, mangoes, habanero, fresno pepper, and vinegar and cook over low heat for 15 to 20 minutes.

Place the mixture in a blender add honey and water, then blend until smooth.

If the mixture is too thick, add a few tablespoons of warm water or vinegar.

Season with salt.

Yield: 4 servings