Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Pumpkin Cheesecake and Cinnamon Caramel Sauce

Sounds delicious, right?! It's pretty darn good. My only concern is this turned out more like a creamy pumpkin pie than a cheesecake. It's okay though, that's the first time I've ever made a cheesecake so now I know for next time! So be warned, this is like a creamy pie not a cheesecake. If you want it more like a cheesecake I recommend using more cream cheese and less ricotta.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Marinated Grilled Chicken and Spinach Salad

Oh yes. That's some lovely grilled (I like it more on the charred side . . .) chicken!! I served this over a spinach salad and a side of sweet potato chips. If you're wondering about the color of the sweet potatoes and wondering why they aren't a reddish-orange, that's because there are two types of sweet potatoes. The orange ones are incorrectly labeled as "yams" here in the states. In fact, yams have a very dark skin and purple flesh; here it's regulation to label the yellow and less sweet-sweet potatoes as sweet potatoes, and the dark orange much sweeter sweet potatoes as yams. Get it? Yeah, it's very strange.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Delicious Breakfast Breakdown

I hope you're not tired of my breakfast ideas yet ;-) I calculated all the nutritional info (well, not all like sodium etc.) and I'm here to prove you can have a HUGE, filling, and delicious breakfast while still fitting into those skinny jeans. Okay I had to switch into yoga pants after I ate because I was so full, and I couldn't even finish my food!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Eggs for Dinner

There are some nights where the leftovers have gone away and it's too late to eat anything too heavy like delicious Mexican fast food bean tostadas mmmmm. These are the nights when hubs and I turn to eggs for dinner. Okay, I wont lie. Sometimes we just want eggs for dinner because they're so yummy!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Adobo Fire Roasted Margherita Pizza

Premade dough can be a lifesaver on nights where you want to cook, but don't want to cook for hours and do a lot of prep work. So grab some ready made dough and let's get to it!

No Excuses Breakfast

Give this simple and easy breakfast a shot, I'll even prove how awesome it is by listing the nutritional information.
  • 286 calories
  • 11.5 grams fat
  • 15.7 grams protein
  • 31.9 grams carbohydrates
  • 8.3 grams fiber

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Chicken with Olives, adapted from Pioneer Woman

I saw this recipe posted on Monday over at Pioneer Woman's blog. I love her blog by the way. I seriously laugh out loud with every post, her writing is so comedic and witty. One of my faves ^_^ Well I actually ended up making this on Monday, I had everything but chicken thighs so I ran down to Albertsons and bought boneless skinless organic chicken breasts. Just a little visual for you: right now, as I'm typing this, my hammy hog is snuggled in my bosom tucked in securely by a sports bra taking a nap. She's literally the cutest thing I've ever seen, I hope her teeth grow back in properly =/ Okay, back to the recipe! Grab your skillet and get into the kitchen. Although, if you're already holding the skillet God forbid you're in the bathroom and not the kitchen.

Chicken and Olives:
     adapted from Pioneer Woman 
  • 2 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1 tablespoon EVOO
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (on the small side, or you can use 2 ginormous breasts. I had a couple bits of chicken thighs leftover from another recipe and threw those in as well!)
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 green bell peppers, seeded and roughly chopped
  • 28 ounce can San Marzano diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 (large) cup dry white wine
  • salt + pepper
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 6 garlic stuffed green olives
  • 10 ounces whole wheat penne pasta
I followed the exact steps as the original recipe, which can be found here. Check out the original recipe for step by step instructions and fabulous pictures! I'll give you a quick rundown of how I made it, just in case you want to make it using the ingredients I did.

Melt 1 tablespoon butter and oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Brown chicken on both sides and set aside. Add the chopped veggies to the skillet and cook until onions are softened. Then add in tomatoes, wine, salt and pepper and chicken.

Cover and transfer to 375 F oven and cook for 45 minutes. I cooked for 30 since my chicken was boneless and skinless.

Add in the cornstarch and water mixture and cook an additional 20 minutes.

Cook and drain your whole wheat pasta (I used some of the "smart tasting" kind that looks white but is whole wheat? yeah, weird) and toss into the mix once everything is cooked. My chicken (since it was already cut into smaller pieces) was falling apart in the sauce and noodles, which I actually liked it was amazing. I served this up with homemade garlic bread, although a side salad would have been the smarter choice ;-)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Sun-dried Tomato & Artichoke Lasagna

Some of you might remember this post from January. Hubby had made us a pasta dish using sun-dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, salami, rigatoni, vodka sauce, and a lot of cheese. We recently recreated this dish making a few adjustments. It came out wonderfully, and I finally have a recipe to share with you!

You will need:
  • 9x13 in. casserole dish (3 quarts)
  • 9 lasagna noodles
  • 52 ounces (2 large jars) Vodka sauce
  • 8 ounce jar sun-dried tomatoes (oil drained) chopped
  • 14 artichoke hearts, chopped
  • 32 ounces Italian cheese blend (we used 2 bags of Kraft cheese)
  • pepperoni slices (as many as you want)

Monday, June 14, 2010

Mocha Cream Cheese Phyllo Triangles

A few words: chocolate, coffee, whipped cream cheese, phyllo dough.

Okay, now that you're trying to wrap your mind around that here you go:

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Awesome Recipe for Peas! ^_^

When I first saw the post about Philly Peas over at Leslie's blog I died and went straight to pea heaven! I couldn't wait to try them! After a month I finally had all the ingredients and the time and focus to whip them up! I did a modified version of this amazing recipe Healthy & Homemade style! Leslie, you're a genius for making peas your kids want to chow down on!

Friday, June 11, 2010

How to Make Snickerdoodles from a Mix

I'm not one to trust many boxed cake and cookies mixes, but the Betty Crocker sugar cook mixes yields decent results! Now as yummy as plain sugar cookies are, they aren't quite as delicious as snickerdoodles!

Oddly enough I don't have any cream of tartar, but what I do have is a box mix for sugar cookies. I thought I'd give them a whirl rolled in cinnamon sugar and the result way great. 

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Hump Day Giveaway *CLOSED*

I have finally gotten around to this giveaway, sorry for the delay! I had trouble thinking of what to give away to one lucky reader. Everyone seems to be here for different reasons whether it's fashion, food, silly writing, or ridiculously cute hamster pictures =P I thought something clothes related would be good but then realized that wouldn't apply to everyone. Then of course I couldn't just do something cooking related either. I thought of Amazon but then my mind wandered and I realized might be best. The prices are low, shipping is super cheap, and the possibilities are endless with that website. You can find anything from shoes, to cookware, to baby gear.

So my lovely readers, this is your chance to enter to win a $25 gift card! There are only a few simple rules to enter, and this giveaway will be open until 11:59 PM PST on Wednesday June 16th.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Croque Monsieur

I'm sure as you all know by now, breakfast is my favorite. I hate getting up early to make it, but something like this is well worth the 2 cups of coffee to get me going! Croque Monsieur (crunchy mister) is a classic French sandwich made easily with Dijon mustard, bread, ham, Gruyere cheese, and butter. There are many ways to make this dish but I wanted to stick with the easy and traditional way for breakfast. To make it more of a breakfast item and less of a lunch or dinner meal I left the sandwiches open and served them with fried eggs. This sandwich can be made elaborately with a bechamel sauce and Gruyere blend. I've also seen them with cheese over the bread to get nicely brown and crunchy. Traditional is usually best in my book, so I stuck with simple grated cheese. Please, no bechamel sauce-making at 7 am.

Now I didn't have any Dijon, so I made up a batch of spicy honey mustard last night. For that, which is quite simple, you only need a few household items that I'm sure are in your pantry. The trick with mustard is letting is sit out. If you mix up the water and ground mustard and stick a spoonful in your mouth it will knock you on your ass. It's serious business. I was perched over a mixing bowl with watery eyes and cleared nasal passages while I was whipping this up. Unfortunately I didn't have a week for it to sit out and mellow before transferring it to the fridge, so it sat out on the counter overnight and then mixed a spoonful of the spicy mustard with plain yellow French's mustard to mellow it out.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Homemade Fast Food in a Flash

These breakfast items will definitely keep your wallet full, as well as your stomach. As much as I love Starbucks or Peets coffee in the morning we've saved hundreds of dollars in a matter or months by brewing our own. I'm fine with a hot cup of coffee and a splash of milk on most workdays, however on the weekends I want something with a little pizazz! Enter: The Magic Bullet. I worked at Rite Aid during college and the Magic Bullet was popular when it first came out; I used my discount to buy one so it only cost $40 or so. I don't use it all that often, the infomercials make it look ridiculously efficient but realistically it's best for really small batches or liquids like milk and cream. I use my Vitamix for everything from making dough to blending smoothies, but it's a bigger pain to clean because of its size. The MB is very compact and only has one speed, when you add warm milk and the whipping blade you'll get a beverage like this:

Friday, June 4, 2010

Spicy Sausage Super Sloppy Joes

Phew! Try to say that 10 times fast. The sloppy joe is an American dish that originated in Key West, Florida. The name of the bar is Sloppy Joe's and it's still there today. Traditionally a sloppy joe consists of ground beef, onions, sweetened ketchup, and other spices. This is my little spin on the sloppy joe using spicy pork sausage.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Chocolate and Almond Cake

I watched Julie & Julia again yesterday and then I wanted to make a cake. I'm really bad, I'll watch the movie once and then start it again right away ^_^ I've said it before and I'll say it again: I am not a baker. I'm also not a fan of adding 1,000 lbs. of butter to something so I used an organic cake mix that I've used in the past. The cake comes out sweet, fluffy, moist, and chocolaty! I also didn't have powdered sugar so I bought the organic chocolate icing to go with. I wanted to make it an chocolate-almond cake like in the movie, so I used an additional 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract in the cake mix and garnished the icing with sliced almonds.