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Showing posts from February, 2008

Julia Child's French Bread!

So, I am very excited to announce that I have become a member of an amazing group of bakers called the "Daring Bakers." Each month, I will be faced with a new challenge...probably something that I've never had the guts to attempt in point - Homemade French Bread. And not just any ole' bread, but Julia Child's French Bread. This month's challenge was hosted by: Mary at - Sara at - I have to admit that when I first saw this recipe - and what a whooper of a recipe! - I was pretty intimidated. After all, it took up 15 pages when I printed it. Yes, you read that correctly - 15 pages! I've made homemade sourdough bread before. In fact, that was my very first blog post a few months back. So, I thought maybe I could conquer my first Daring Baker challenge okay. It really wasn't as bad as I thought. Basically, the only ingredients are flour, yeast, salt and water. The recipe simply takes pat

Mozzarella and Sun-Dried Tomato Cigars

***Here's yet another yummy recipe from Giada. Her recipes never let me down! For this one, I only made the cigars....not the salad dressing. I used a pre-made, bottled Italian Vinaigrette to save time. However, I did want to include the ingredients and directions for Giada's homemade dressing because it looked so good.*** Cigars: 6 sheets phyllo dough 4 tablespoon butter, melted 8 ounces smoked mozzarella, sliced 1/4-inch thick 8 ounces sun-dried tomatoes, drained Dressing: 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil 1/4 cup Prosecco 2 tablespoons cider vinegar 1 teaspoon kosher salt 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 6 cups field greens Directions: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Lay a sheet of phyllo dough on a clean dry work surface. Use a pastry brush to brush the phyllo sheet with melted butter. Fold the phyllo sheet in half lengthwise, resulting in a 12 by 8-inch rectangle. Brush the top of the phyllo with melted butter. Place a few slices of smoked mozzarella at a narrow end

Apple Nut Pancakes

Something Brad and I love are homemade pancakes on the weekend. We've tried a lot of pancakes, and let me just say that these are the best I've ever put in my mouth! They are so scrumptious. They just melt in your mouth, and the chunks of apple are amazing. You've got to try these! Ingredients: 1 cup all purpose flour 2 tsp. salt 2 tbsp. baking powder 1 1/2 tbsp. sugar 2 apples, peeled, cored and chopped 1 cup milk 2 egg whites 2 tbsp. applesauce 1 tbsp. vanilla extract 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (I used cinnamon instead) 1 cup walnuts, chopped for garnish maple syrup whipped cream (I left this out) Directions: Preheat griddle over medium heat and coat with cooking spray. In a medium bowl, combine flour, salt, baking powder, sugar, and apples. In a separate larger bowl, combine milk, egg whites, applesauce, vanilla extract and pumpkin pie spice (or cinnamon). Pour dry ingredients into wet ingredients and stir to combine. Pour 1/4 cup batter at a time onto griddle; cook for 3

Little Italy Chicken Pitas with Sun-Dried Tomato Vinaigrette

***These pitas are so good, that I made them 2 days in a row! I had them for lunch one day, and then for dinner the next night. This is another great Cooking Light recipe. They are light, fresh, and healthy....these are going on my favorites list!*** Ingredients: 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar 1 1/2 tablespoons sun-dried tomato oil 1 tablespoon chopped drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1 garlic clove, minced 4 cups shredded cooked chicken breast (about 3/4 pound) 1 cup chopped tomato (about 1 medium) 1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated Asiago cheese (I had to use grated parmesan instead) 1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil 6 (6-inch) pitas, cut in half 3 cups mixed baby greens Directions: Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl. Stir in chicken, tomato, cheese, and basil. Line each pita half with 1/4 cup greens. Divide chicken mixture evenly among pita halves. Source:

Brad's Famous Spaghetti!

This is one of the first things Brad ever cooked for is always fabulous! We've started a Valentine's Day tradition of cooking this spaghetti together, so it's only fitting that I include it in my blog....with Brad as my Guest Blogger! We served it with a side salad with a vinaigrette dressing and feta cheese, plus fresh French bread with seasoned dipping oil. We both love thick spaghetti sauce...if that's what you like, you'll LOVE this recipe! So, without further it is! Ingredients: 1 box uncooked spaghetti 1 green bell pepper, chopped 1/2 onion 2 garlic cloves, minced 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil (E.V.O.O.), plus 1 tbsp. E.V.O.O. for pasta 1 jar Ragu spaghetti sauce (we always get the garlic and onion flavored kind) 1 can tomato paste 1 can stewed tomatoes 1 lb. lean ground beef 1 tbsp. dried oregano Garlic salt, to taste Grated parmesan for seasoning 1 tbsp. butter Directions: Drizzle E.V.O.O. in a skillet over medium heat. Take half of the

Giada's Gianduja Souffle with Hazelnut Liqueur

***I wanted to make something special for dessert on Valentine's Day. I saw Giada make these about a week before, and I knew that I had found what I was looking for. I'd never attempted a souffle before....I was a little intimidated, but I was up for the challenge! ;) The hazelnut liqueur really adds a nice pop to this recipe. I did use Frangelico like she recommended. The souffle itself was a wonderful, light texture....and then you get down to the chocolate hazelnut ball at the bottom of the ramekin....YUM-O! I found the cutest heart-shaped ramekins at Michael's...they were perfect!*** Ingredients: 2 tablespoons unsalted butter 1 tablespoon sugar, plus 1/4 cup 1 tablespoon hazelnut liqueur (recommended: Frangelico) 1/2 teaspoon vanilla 3 ounces milk chocolate, chopped, plus 6 ounces chopped 1/4 cup all-purpose flour 1 cup milk Pinch salt 4 eggs, separated 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar Directions: Preheat the oven to 375 degree F. Butter and sugar 6 (6-ounce) ramekins. Heat


One word: YUMMOLICIOUS! The photo for this recipe on the Food Network site made my mouth water! These brownies really do taste like s'mores. They are a little tricky to eat because the marshmallows are so sticky, but believe's worth the trouble! After reading the reviews for the recipe, I made a few very minor'll see them below. Crust: 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted (I added a little extra butter-1 tbsp- to avoid a dry crust) 1 1/2 cups crushed graham cracker crumbs 2 tablespoons sugar Pinch fine salt Brownie: 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped 1 cup packed light brown sugar 3/4 cup white sugar 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract 1/2 teaspoon fine salt 4 large cold eggs 1 cup all-purpose flour ***I also added about 2 tbsp. of vegetable oil to keep the brownies moist*** Topping: 4 cups large marshmallows Directions: Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and heat oven to 325 degrees F. L

Chicken & Asparagus in White Wine Sauce

***Here's another great recipe from Cooking Light . Although the chicken isn't baked, it still tastes pretty light....not greasy. I served it with asparagus and garlic mashed potatoes. I usually have bad luck when trying to cook asparagus, but this time it actually came out tasty...yay!*** Ingredients: 4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves 3/4 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 2 tablespoons butter 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (about 2 1/4 ounces) 1/2 cup dry white wine 1/2 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth 2 garlic cloves, minced 1 pound asparagus spears, trimmed 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice Directions: Place each chicken breast half between 2 sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap; pound to 1/4-inch thickness using a meat mallet or small heavy skillet. Sprinkle chicken breasts evenly with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Melt butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Place flour in

A Lil' Bit About Me...

This should be fun! I've been tagged by Deborah at as part of an "About Me" post....exciting! Here we go... These are the rules: 1. Link to your tagger and post these rules. 2. Share 5 facts about yourself 3. Tag 5 people at the end of your post and list their names (linking to them). 4. Let them know they've been tagged by leaving a comment at their blogs. As you probably know by now, I love photos! So, I felt that I had to include some in this post. Here are a few of me when I was little....including fact #1. #1. When I was little, my favorite toy was "Monk Monk." LOL. I still laugh about this. That monkey went EVERYWHERE with me....from shopping to the Bahamas....Monk Monk is well-traveled. =) #2. I married my wonderful husband in May 2006. Here we are on our wedding day...the best day of our far! #3. We have 2 dogs....Lady and Hannah. They are so much fun and are the sweetest dogs in the world! "Lady

Fried Green Tomatoes!

Here's another classic Southern dish. Fried green tomatoes have always been a favorite of mine. I like them best when they're nice and crispy. The Creole seasoning in this recipe adds a nice little "kick" also. I served these with the Shrimp in Lemon Butter posted below. Yum-O! And of course, anyone in the Birmingham area HAS to head over to the Whistlestop Cafe to try their fried green tomatoes...Yes, that's the very same Whistlestop Cafe from the movie! Theirs are heavenly! Check out the blog at: and leave a "Hey Y'all" for Sandi. =) Ingredients: 3 large green tomatoes, cut into 1/8-inch-thick slices 1 tbsp. salt Hot tap water 3/4 cup all-purpose flour 3/4 cup yellow cornmeal 2 tsp. Creole seasoning Canola Oil Directions: Combine tomato slices, salt, and hot water in a baking dish; let stand 30 minutes. Drain. Combine flour, cornmeal, and Creole seasoning in a shallow dish. Dredge tomato slices in cornmeal

Shrimp in Lemon Butter

Ingredients: 1 c. butter 1 clove garlic, minced 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce 1/2 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper 2 lb. large shrimp, peeled and deveined 1/4 c. lemon juice 1 tsp. parsley flakes 1 tsp. soy sauce 1/4 tsp. salt 1/4 tsp. garlic salt Directions: Melt butter in a large skillet. Add next 8 ingredients; bring to a boil. Add shrimp; cook over medium heat 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Garnish shrimp with lemon wedges, if desired. Source:

Mixed Berry Cobbler

I've been craving a good berry cobbler, and this recipe looked quick and, I had everything I needed in the fridge. Of course, cobbler isn't cobbler unless it's topped with ice cream....Yum! Ingredients: 1 bag mixed, frozen berries 1 c. all-purpose flour 1 c. sugar 1 egg, beaten 5 tbsp. butter, melted Directions: Pour berries into 8 x 8 x 2 inch pan. Stir flour, sugar and egg mixture, will resemble coarse meal. Sprinkle over berries. Drizzle melted butter over top of cobbler. Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. Source:

Chicken & White Bean Stew

Okay, I'm not usually big on soups, but this one is delish! Before making this, the only soup I've ever really made is vegetable stew. The bacon in this recipe adds a great taste, and we really loved the spinach as's a hearty soup that I'll definitely be making again. Ingredients: 4 slices bacon, finely chopped 1 onion, finely chopped 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped 1 pound red potatoes, cut into cubes One 32-ounce container (4 cups) chicken broth 1 whole rotisserie chicken Two 15.5-ounce cans small white beans, rinsed 5 ounces arugula (5 cups).....I used fresh baby spinach instead Salt and pepper Directions: In a large soup pot or Dutch oven, cook the bacon over medium heat until cooked but not crisp, about 5 minutes. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the potatoes and chicken broth and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, pull the meat off the rotisserie chicken; discard the skin a

Southern Biscuits

Ingredients: 1 cup skim milk 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice 9 1/4 ounces all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling 4 teaspoons baking powder 1/4 teaspoon baking soda 3/4 teaspoon salt 1 ounce unsalted butter, chilled 2 tablespoons shortening These biscuits went perfectly with Paula's "Chicken Divan" below. As a Southern girl myself, these biscuits are a staple in my kitchen! ***I had to add a good bit more flour than the recipe calls for. After only adding the 9 1/4 ounces of flour, the dough was too soupy. Just add a little at a time until you get the right consistency.*** Directions: Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Combine the milk and lemon juice in a glass measuring cup and place in the refrigerator. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Using your fingertips and working quickly, rub the butter and shortening into the dry ingredients until the mixture looks like crumbs. Make a well in the center and pour in

Paula Deen's Chicken Divan

Brad had to work late the other night, and this is one of those recipes I've been meaning to make. That night seemed like a good opportunity because this is a dish that could be re-heated easily when he got home. It was so simple to throw together. I served this with Southern biscuits (which I'll post next!). If this isn't comfort food, then I don't know what is! After all, Paula Deen is the queen of comfort food! Ingredients: 2 (10-ounce) packages frozen broccoli, chopped 6 cups shredded chicken, cooked 2 (10 3/4-ounce) cans condensed cream of mushroom soup 1 cup mayonnaise 1 cup sour cream 1 cup grated sharp Cheddar (I had mozarella cheese on-hand) 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice 1 teaspoon curry powder Salt and pepper 1/2 cup dry white wine 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan 1/2 cup soft bread crumbs 2 tablespoons butter, melted Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Remove the outer wrappers from the boxes of broccoli. Open 1 end of each box. Microwave on full power