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Showing posts from April, 2008

Cheesecake Pops!

This month's Daring Bakers Challenge was the fabulous Cheesecake Pops from Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey by Jill O’Connor. Our gracious hosts were Elle from Feeding My Enthusiasms and Deborah from Taste and Tell . I had so much fun with this month's challenge. I was a little worried at first, because Brad is not a big fan of cheesecake. So, I didn't know if I'd get a chance to make them. But luckily, 2 of my best friends gave me the perfect reasons to try them out! Ashley's birthday was April 15th, and she LOVES cheesecake...so of course I made her a batch! Then, Jessica had her Bachelorette Party this month. Her wedding colors were purple and green, so I made a second batch to coordinate with her colors. I think they turned out really cute! Cheesecake Pops Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey Makes 30 – 40 Pops * 5   8-oz packages cream cheese at room temperature * 2 cups sugar * 1/4 cup all-purpose flour * 1/4 teaspoon salt * 5 large eggs * 2 egg yolks * 2 t

Herbed Chicken with Spring Vegetables

***You probably all know by now that I love Giada's recipes...this one is certainly no exception. I recently saw her make this on the "Spring Forward" episode of Everyday Italian . It's the perfect time of year for this dish - Spring! I especially liked using the smaller, boiler onions that this recipe calls for. I've never used them until now...I didn't even know they existed! I only wish that the grocery store had had bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts available...I had to use leg quarters. I think the chicken breasts would have been even better. Nonetheless, this dish looked really pretty on the platter and was absolutely delish! This is definitely a keeper.*** Ingredients: 1/4 cup chopped fresh thyme leaves 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves 3 cloves garlic, minced 1 teaspoon fennel seeds 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes Kosher salt Freshly ground black pepper 3 boneless, skin-on chicken breasts 3 bone-in, skin-on thighs (I used 2 bone-in, skin-on leg qua

Classic Pizza Margherita

***Homemade pizza is one of those things that I've always meaned to try, but I've never gotten around to it. I guess it's always just been easier to call up Papa John's and order our large supreme with no black olives or mushrooms...lol. What can I say?...I recently got ambitious and put together what you see here. I figured it would be best to start with a classic....a simple pizza made with tomato, mozzarella, and basil to imitate the colors of the Italian flag. I must say, it was pretty yummy!*** Classic Pizza Margherita (Tomato, Mozzarella, and Basil Pizza) The following recipe is my modification from Lynne Rossetto Kasper's recipe found HERE . Ingredients: Store-bought Pizza Crust (I used the refrigerated one by Pillsbury) Margherita Topping: 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil 1/2 medium onion, minced 1 sprig parsley, chopped 1 large clove garlic, minced 1/4 teaspoon dry oregano (I think I used a smidge more...just add to suit your taste) 3 - 4 Roma to

Blogging with a Purpose

Jaime from Burnt Toast , has just made my day by giving me the "Blogging with a Purpose" award. I am truly flattered....thanks again, Jaime! =) It's exciting to know that there are people like you that take the time to check out my blog. I started this blog mainly to be a place to save all my favorite recipes. I never guessed that there would be people who actually enjoyed reading it! I hope you keep coming back! Now comes the fun part...I get to hand out this award to 5 other food bloggers! 1. Bethany at This Little Piggy Went to Market : Bethany always has wonderful stories to go along with her posts...I can't wait to try her chicken salad recipe from Food & Wine magazine. 2. Melanie at My Kitchen Cafe : Melanie makes delish desserts, among many other fabulous dishes! Just check out her "Solid Peanut Butter Cups" recipe...they look SO heavenly, and her "Dragon Birthday Cake" is super cute! 3. Katie at Good Things Catered : One word: Ca

Herb-Crusted Pork Roast

***Here's yet another yummy recipe from Cooks Illustrated magazine. I used dried thyme and rosemary in place of fresh, and the roast came out delicious anyway.*** "Perfecting Herb-Crusted Pork Roast" Cooks Illustrated magazine Ingredients: 3 pound boneless center-cut pork loin roast Kosher Salt 1/4 cup sugar 1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese 1 medium shallot, minced 4 tablespoons olive oil 2 teaspoons olive oil Ground black pepper 1/3 cup packed fresh parsley or basil leaves, minced (I used fresh basil) 2 tablespoons minced fresh thyme leaves 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary 1 large clove garlic, minced Directions: 1. Lightly score fat cap on pork, making 1/4-inch crosshatch pattern. Cut pocket in roast. Dissolve 1/2 cup salt and sugar in 2 quarts water in large container; submerge roast, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 1 hour. Rinse roast under cold water and dry thoroughly with paper towels. 2. Meanwhile, adjust oven rack to

Fresh Pico de Gallo w/Homemade Tortilla Chips

***Brad and I took our honeymoon in the Mayan Riviera. It was the most incredible place I've ever been to...from our beautiful resort, to the fabulous food. One thing that stands out was the yummy chips and pico de gallo. I swear, we could have eaten nothing but that and we would have been happy....LOL. This recipe for pico de gallo is as close to the real thing as I could probably ever get (short of taking a trip back to Mexico!). So, here it is!*** Pico de Gallo: ***I never measure things when making this recipe, so these amounts are just guesstimates....please feel free to adjust these amounts to your liking!*** Ingredients: 1 large tomato, diced into small pieces 1 small onion, diced 1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped Fresh lime juice, to taste Directions: Mix all ingredients. Stir well and chill in the fridge. Serve with your favorite tortilla chips! Homemade Tortilla Chips: ***I know, I know....buying a bag of store-bought tortilla chips is much easier. However, if you h

Authentic Beef Enchiladas

***Hola! Okay, this has officially made Brad's Top 5 list of favorites. It was one of those times when no left-overs were thrown away. To accompany this dish, I made fresh pico de gallo and homemade tortilla chips....in other words, we had a Mexican Fiesta!!! It was muy bien! I did substitute ground beef for the blade steaks. That cut the cook time down drastically, because the meat didn't have to simmer for the full 1.5 hours.*** Authentic Beef Enchiladas Cooks Country magazine Ingredients: 3 garlic cloves, minced 3 tbsp chili powder 2 teaspoons ground coriander 2 teaspoons ground cumin 1 tsp sugar Salt 1 to 1.25 lbs blade or chuck steaks, trimmed to small pieces 1 tbsp vegetable oil 1 15 oz can tomato sauce ½ cup water 2 cups shredded Monterey Jack or mild cheddar ¼ cup chopped cilantro ¼ cup canned japapenos, chopped fine 12 (6-inch) corn tortillas, white or yellow ***If you have any of the meat mixture left over, it is great to use as a dip with the tortilla chips!

Tuscan-Style Chicken

***This was truly a beautiful dish when it was plated...so, if you're looking to impress someone with colors and presentation, this might be the one. It's also REALLY delish! The tomatoes and baby spinach added a fresh flavor, and the mozarella cheese made it savory. The tomatoes soaked in the flavor from the white wine, and were so good....we cleaned our plates! I served this chicken with the Italian Sauteed Beans below. These two things together were great - they both had a wonderful Italian flavor, without being a pasta dish. I did prepare this dish a little differently from the recipe. Instead of cooking the chicken in the pan, I baked it in the oven. I simply drizzled the chicken with EVOO, seasoned it with Italian Seasoning, and baked it until it was cooked through. I prepared the tomato - spinach mixture in a pan, just as the recipe calls for. I then added the chicken back to the pan at the end and placed the mozarella on top to let it melt. I just felt that this way w

Italian Sauteed Beans

Ingredients: 1/2 cup roasted red peppers 5 fresh garlic cloves 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 2 (19-ounce) cans cannellini beans (drained and rinsed) 1/4 cup white wine 1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 1/2 teaspoon pepper 3 fresh basil leaves (rinsed) Steps Cut peppers into 1/4-inch slices. Preheat large sauté pan on medium-high 2–3 minutes. Chop garlic coarsely. Place oil in pan; swirl to coat. Add garlic, peppers, and remaining ingredients (except basil); cook 4–5 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until beans are thoroughly heated. While beans cook, stack basil leaves and roll tightly; slice thinly into fine ribbons. Stir in basil; cook 1–2 more minutes or until fragrant. Serve. (Makes 6 servings.) Source: Publix Apron's Simple Meals - http://www.publix.com/

Chicken Saltimbocca Done Right

Cooks Illustrated: "Chicken Saltimbocca Done Right" From the mag: "Buy cutlets that are approximately 5 to 6 inches long. If the tip is too thin, trim back 1 to 2 inches to make the cutlet of uniform thickness. If cutlets are unavailable, you can make your own with four (8-ounce) boneless, skinless breasts. Although whole sage leaves make a beautiful presentation, they are optional and can be left out of step 3. Make sure to buy prosciutto that is thinly sliced, not shaved; also avoid slices that are too thick, as they won’t stick to the chicken." Ingredients: ½ cup unbleached all-purpose flour Ground black pepper 8 thin boneless, skinless chicken breast cutlets (about 2 pounds), trimmed of ragged edges as necessary 1 TBSP minced fresh sage leaves 8 large whole leaves (optional) 8 thin slices of prosciutto, cut into 5- to 6-inch-long pieces to match cutlets (about 3 ounces) 4 TBSP olive oil 1 ¾ cups dry vermouth or white wine 2 tsp lemon juice 4 TBSP unsalted b

Emeril's Shredded Chicken Nachos

***Wow...these nachos were awesome! I don't watch Emeril on a regular basis, but I caught this as he was making it. I had to change the recipe a good bit, because I didn't have all the needed ingredients on-hand (and I didn't want to wait until I did...hah!). However, you can find the original recipe HERE . I also had no idea that tortilla chips were so easy to make at home. They were delicious.*** With cheese sauce added: For the Chicken Mixture: 3 tablespoons olive oil 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast diced into 3-inch strips 1 teaspoon salt 2 cups thinly sliced onions 1 tablespoon minced garlic 2 cups chicken stock 1 can diced tomatoes 1 pkg taco seasoning Directions: Set a wide-mouthed 3-quart saucepan with lid over medium-high heat and add the oil to the pan. Season the chicken pieces with salt & pepper. Add the chicken to the pan and sear for 3 minutes per side. Add the onions to the pan and saute for another 3 minutes. Add the garlic to the pan and

Oven Roasted Balsamic Chicken

***Here's yet another simple and quick recipe. I added some dried rosemary and a sprinkling of sesame seeds to jazz it up a little bit.*** Ingredients: 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves Salt and freshly ground black pepper 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard 1 tsp. dried rosemary 1 tsp. sesame seeds Directions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Drizzle E.V.O.O. all over top of chicken. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Arrange in an oven-safe baking dish. In a small bowl, whisk together balsamic vinegar, mustard, and rosemary. Brush mixture all over chicken. Sprinkle top of chicken with sesame seeds. Bake for approximately 40 - 45 minutes, or until juices run clear and chicken is cooked through. Source: Robin Miller - http://www.foodnetwork.com/