Sunday, December 11, 2011

White Chocolate Gingerbread Blondies

Oh hello Christmas, you snuck up on me this time around! Time for some festive foods. I adapted this recipe from Tracey, where you can find the recipe. The only change I made was that I didn't use cloves (only because I forgot to purchase some...) and I used 12 oz of white chocolate chips instead of 10 oz. Who doesn't like a little extra chocolate? Hmm?

Monday, July 4, 2011

Independence day delights

It has been a whopping 3 months since the last post - gasp! No excuses, just a lack of creativity in my cooking. However, with today being a holiday I decided to go all out. This 4th of July's foods are brought to you by none other than my favorite Martha. Both of these recipes were taken from Martha's website, and (per usual) they didn't fail me!
First we have some barbecued baby back ribs. These were fall of the bone amazing. Enough said. You can find the recipe HERE

For dessert, Noah darling requested strawberry shortcake, but while perusing the interwebs, I discovered THIS fabulous recipe. I like strawberries better than raspberries, so I replaced the raspberry ingredients (ie fresh raspberries, jam) with it's straw counterparts. The fun part was making homemade whip cream! It was very easy, just whipping some heavy cream and a little sugar. The result was a much creamier, less sugary version of the store bought whip cream. For the pound cake, I just chose an original pound cake recipe out of my handy dandy BH&G Cookbook.

Overall this was a fabulous summery meal, celebrating Independence Day! What did you all eat today, anything good?


Sunday, April 17, 2011

Summer Salad Duo

Oh, hello there 70 degrees and sunny! Warm weather means away with the soups and in with the salads. I've never been too fond of chicken salads, as I'm not a mayonnaise aficionado. So, here I've created a creamy, satisfying chicken salad for those relaxing summer lunches (hopefully you can have at least one of those in the next few months) without all the mayonnaise. I've paired it with a vinegar tomato and cucumber salad. I love the creaminess of the chicken salad and the punchy bite of the other. Both of these are light on fat, but heavy on satisfaction.



Mayonnaise-free Chicken Salad (makes 4 servings)
16 oz poached chicken breasts, cooled and diced
1/2 cut plain yogurt (you can use Greek if you're feeling adventurous)
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 diced sweet onion
2 tbsp dijon mustard
1 tsp tobasco (gives it a punch!)
1 tsp fresh ground black pepper

While cooking your chicken, mix together the remaining ingredients. When the chicken is cooled, dice and toss with the yogurt mixture.

Tomato and Cucumber Vinegar Salad
2 vine tomatoes
1 cucumber
1/4 cup salad vinegar (if you have other vinegars on hand, feel free to try it out)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp paprika
1 tbsp lemon juice

Dice the tomatoes and cucumber. In a bowl, mix the remaining ingredients until the sugar and salt granules have disintegrated. Toss over cucumber and tomatoes and let marinate in the fridge for 1/2 hour.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Reese's Cup-cakes

So, I cheated. I used boxed cake. Do you judge me? It's ok, you'll get over it when you taste one of these. My one suggestion would be to use the no-sugar peanut butter for the frosting. I sadly didn't have any available, and the icing was a little too sweet for me, but I'll know for next time!


for the cake -
1 boxed mix (gasp!) of devils food cake
3 lg eggs
1 1/3 cup veg oil
1 cup water
1/4 cup peanut butter

1. Pre-heat to 350
2. Prepare ingredients as directed, per the boxed instructions, and add in the peanut butter. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until inserted toothpick comes out clean

for the fun stuff -

3/4 cup butter (1.5 sticks)
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup peanut butter
3 Reese's Cups, cut into fourths

Mix together the butter, sugar, and peanut butter until smooth. Pipe onto cooled cupcakes and add the reeses cups on top as decorum. Eat and repeat.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Almond Butter Snickerdoodles

Where did the word snickerdoodle come from? I mean, was it a Mr. or Ms. Snickerdoodle, the famed creator of our beloved cinnamon treat? Was it from the town of Snickerdoodle? I researched a bit only to find that there is no definite answer....thriller! It looks like it's of German origin (much like my beloved dog, a Schnauzer), but past that, no one has a definite etymology. Does this not make it even more exciting? Perhaps.

Regardless, these cookies are a little bit of a twist on the classic recipe, with almond butter and some cream cheese being in the mix. I adapted my recipe from Handle the Heat blog. The only change I made was to use 2x the amount of almond butter and a little extra cinnamon. My almond butter was from raw, unsalted almonds, and for that, there was a little inkling of depth lacking. I think that if I used almond butter from dry roasted almonds (as is normally the case), it would have made it that much more uber-delicious (throwing in a little German there).


Saturday, February 26, 2011

Coq Au Vin

I just want to start off by saying: this recipe required me to butcher a chicken in the way that would have made the native American's blush. I mean, I was hacking away at that thing with no mercy! The recipe required 2 chicken legs and 2 chicken breasts, so I just decided to get a whole chicken and have a go at it. After using the legs and breasts for this recipe, I cut off all the remaining parts, made some barbeque, and then used the bones and remaining chicken parts to make some broth. Waste not, want not! I'm almost embarassed by my show of violence towards the foul, but what's done is done! Moving on.

I got this recipe out of this cookbook - which is a good little treasure for "healthy" recipes that are still classic and satisfying. It's a fairly easy recipe, just a good little bit of prepping and about 2 hours worth of cooking. By the end, your kitchen will smell delightful! It's not the most visually appealing dish, but it's very flavorful, comforting, and satisfying.


2 skinless chicken legs (or full skin, go for it!)
2 skinless chicken breasts
2 slices bacon, diced
1 1/4 cup shallots or button onions (I used pearl onions)
6 carrots, sliced
1 1/4 cup dry red wine (I had a Cabernet)
1 1/4 cup chicken broth
1 tbsp tomato paste
2 small garlic cloves, crushed
sprinkling of S&P
sprinkle of thyme
bay leaf
sprinkle of parsley
1 1/4 cup button mushrooms
1 1/2 tbsp cornstarch

1. Put chicken, bacon, onions and carrots in a casserole dish

2. In a bowl, mix together the wine, broth, tomato paste, garlic and seasonings. Pour over the chicken/veg mix and cook @350 degrees for 1 hour

3. Add mushrooms, stir, and cook for an additional 30 minutes

4. Remove the chicken, place in a covered bowl.

5. Blend the cornstarch with 3 tbsp water and stir into the juices and vegetable. Bring to a boil, stir until thickened, and let simmer for 3 minutes.

6. Spoon the veggie sauce mixture over the chicken and serve

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Banana and Sweet Potato Muffins

Let's be honest here, this is a lazy post. Here are the reasons:
1. These were made for a work "baking contest". (adorable idea, yet would seem to be a health hazard?) I could have done something that would have actually had a shot at winning (ie some delightfully piped and decorated cupcake), but instead I opted out of buying any additional items at the grocery and sticking with what I have.
2. I'm not even going to type out the recipe! Instead, I'll save yourself and myself the time by referring you to the creator and originator of this recipe HERE. The only thing I changed was the topping - I did a brown sugar topping instead of the toasted nuts. I like nuts, but not in baked items.
3. This recipe would be great for a lazy afternoon, sitting on the couch, enjoying the lack of...well...anything but this delicious, wonderful baked delight!
4. I'm in the middle of a 50 hour work week and I frankly don't want to put more effort into my baking as I have to. So there! : )


Thursday, January 27, 2011

French Bread

I was sad to see that a whole month has passed with no posts! Le sigh!
The reason for the lack of blogness is that we have moved out to the country! I know have a huge kitchen (and basically a larger scale of everything) to use. It's very exciting, but needless to say, I've been crunched for time. Here is a great simple bread recipe for us beginner bakers! I consulted my handy dandy Better Homes and Garden's cookbook for this recipe. I was in the mood for some kneading and to have my kitchen smell like fresh, yeasty goodness.

The recipe that I used (and did not divert from) can be found HERE.