Sunday, December 28, 2008


I saw another article on Superfoods from Women's Health Mag and wanted to share. I love how they break everything down by the body parts that they can help. Now, it doesn't mean that you shouldn't eat all the items cuz they're all very nutritious. BUT since everyone has different needs, we can all use more of what we need help with right? I just wrote down the nutrients needed not the actual food item cuz some of them are kinda hard to obtain like Orange Cauliflower and Arctic Char? I also gave examples of not-so familiar nutrients (at least to me).

1. Hair: protein & zinc
2. Brain: omega-3 & leafy greens
3. Nose: vitamin E
4. Eyes: lutein (egg yolks) & beta-carotene
5. Skin: lycopene & omega-3
6. Lips: omega-3

7. Nails: iron
8. Breasts: sulforaphane (broccoli)
9. Heart: homocysteine (asparagus) & phenolics (grape juice)
10. Gut: fiber & beneficial bacteria (tofu)
11. Girl Parts: vitamin C & fermented milk products
12. Muscles & Joints: whey protein & oleocanthal (olive oil)
13. Bones: magnesium & omega-3

So what's my conclusion? Omega-3 is a MUST in a healthy diet since it helps more body parts than anything else. BUT we also need LOADS of different vitamins, antioxidants and not to mention other hard-to-pronounce things...EAT UP!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Lobster Ravioli from TJ!

Today we celebrated our own Christmas since Greg just got back in town. I knew he'd already had great food all week at home but I wanted to make something special. I remembered the package of Lobster Ravioli I'd bought from Trader Joe's last weekend and thought it'd be perfect! It's simple yet elegant and special. I just made a quick white sauce using heavy cream and chopped onions. Then I stirred in some Mozzarella and sour cream at the end. SO quick and yummy! :)

Friday, December 26, 2008

More Salmon for my Mommy!

I'm spending the night at my mommy's house since Greg is still out of town so I wanted to cook dinner for her again. She LOVES Salmon and we picked up a couple of really fresh piesces at Trader Joe's. I wanted to do something Asian-inspired and these Peanuty Noodles were PERFECT! This dish was so simple and healthy, not to mention YUMMY! Look at that perfectly seared salmon!


2 oz soba or whole wheat noodles
½ large carrots, cut into thin slices
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
¼ c thinly sliced scallions
1 tsp minced peeled fresh ginger
4 oz skinned salmon fillet, cut crosswise into slices about 1 1/2" long and 1/3" thick
1 Tbsp creamy peanut butter
1 Tbsp soy sauce
½ c cucumber, cut into thin slices


1. Bring a large covered pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add the soba or whole wheat noodles and cook, stirring often, for 2 minutes. Add the carrots and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, for 4 minutes longer, or until the noodles are tender and the vegetables crisp-tender. Scoop out and reserve about 1/4 c cooking liquid. Drain the noodles and vegetables in a colander.

2. In a large nonstick skillet, stir the oil, scallions and ginger. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the scallions are wilted. Remove to a mixing bowl.

3. Add the salmon to the skillet. Cook, stirring gently with a spatula, for 4 to 5 minutes, or until just opaque in the thickest part. Remove from the heat.

4. With a whisk, mix the peanut butter and soy sauce into the scallion mixture in the salad bowl. Gradually whisk in 3 to 4 tablespoons of the reserved pasta cooking liquid until creamy.

5. Add the noodles, carrots, and cucumber to the peanut butter mixture and toss to mix well. Add the salmon and any pan juices and toss gently. Serve immediately or refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours, until ready to serve. If the salad is too dry, add a little more pasta cooking liquid.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Day = FOOD!

Merry Christmas everyone! My mom's spending the day at my place since Greg is out of town and we had an AWESOME day! (Revolving around food...of course!) Since nothing's open and there really aren't any movies we wanna watch, we decided to stay in and order some movies and EAT! I had this menu all planned out and EVERYTHING was yummy yummy yummy!

First Up Breakfast: Eggnog French Toast and Fresh Fruit


1 egg
½ c eggnog
¼ tsp vanilla extract
¼ tsp pumpkin pie spice
2 slices bread
2 Tbsp powdered sugar
2 Tbsp syrup
1 c fresh fruit


1. Heat a griddle. Whisk together eggs, eggnog, vanilla and spice. Dip bread in egg mixture, allowing it to soak in slightly.

2. Butter the hot griddle and place soaked bread on the griddle. Cook on each side until golden brown. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and drizzle on syrup. Serve with fruit.

Lunch: Crab Cakes and Salad with Avocado Dressing


1 Tbsp olive oil
1/3 c bread crumbs
2 Tbsp mayonnaise
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp Dijon style mustard
1 egg, beaten
½ tsp salt
1 cans (6 oz) crabmeat, drained

2 Tbsp green onions, chopped
½ ripe avocado, finely chopped
2 c mixed greens

Avocado Dressing:

½ c olive oil1 Tbsp lime juice
¼ c mayonnaise
1 Tbsp minced garlic½ avocado, cubed

Combine everything in a blender and blend until smooth


1. In a bowl, combine bread crumbs, mayonnaise, lemon juice, mustard, egg, salt, green onions and crabmeat. Stir in avocado. Cover and chill for 30 minutes.

2. In large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Form crab mixture into 3 cakes and cook for about 3 minutes or until browned, turn and brown other side.

3. Serve on a bed of greens and drizzle with dressing.

Finally Dinner: Shrimp Pasta Primavara

Ingredients: (2 servings)

8 oz fettuccine pasta, cooked according to package
10 large cooked shrimp
1 box (7 oz) frozen mixed veggies
1 Tbsp butter
1 c heavy cream
1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
½ c Mozzarella cheese
¼ c Parmesan cheese


1. Melt butter in a sauce pan. Add the veggies and seasoning and sauté for 5 to 6 minutes.

2. Pour in heavy cream and simmer 5 minutes. Add shrimp and Mozzarella. Cook on low heat for another 5 minutes. Stir in fettuccine and serve with Parmesan sprinkled on top.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


With all the baking I do, can you believe I've NEVER made Cheesecake before? OMG it was SO easy and barely any ingredients at all! I even added some PECANS on the bottom just to jazz it up a little. You know me! I'm just gonna pretend like it's what we were supposed to make for Tuesdays with Dorie even thought I totally went off track this time. At least it gave me the idea right? I can't wait to taste it tomorrow night! :)


2 pkg (8 oz each) Cream Cheese, softened
½ c sugar
½ tsp vanilla
2 eggs
½ c pecan halves
1 Graham Pie Crust (6 oz)


1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Toast pecans for 5 minutes.

2. Beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add eggs; mix just until blended.

3. Pour pecans onto crust; cover with cream cheese batter.

4. Bake 40 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool. Refrigerate 3 hours or overnight. Store leftover cheesecake in refrigerator.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Spaghetti and MEATBALLS

I bought a pound of beef the other day and decided to try making MEATBALLS. Can you believe I've never made them before? I must've watched the chefs on Food Netword make them a dozen times but never actually did it myself. They were just like little MEATLOAVES but round and cuter!

Ingredients: (4 servings)

1 lb ground beef
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1/3 c dry bread crumbs
1/4 c milk
1 egg
1 tsp garlic salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1 jar tomato pasta sauce (any variety)
8 oz spaghetti, cooked according to package directions
1/4 c grated Parmesan cheese


1. Preheat oven to 400ºF.

2. Mix ground beef, onion, bread crumbs, milk, egg, salt and pepper. Shape mixture into thirty 1-inch balls. Place in ungreased rectangular pan, 13x9x2 inches.

3. Bake uncovered about 15 minutes or until no longer pink in center and juice is clear.

4. Heat pasta sauce in a large saucepan and add meatballs. Heat to boiling, stirring occasionally; reduce heat. Stir in spaghetti and coat the noodles with sauce. Serve warm with Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Jazzin it UP...Chocolate Dipped Madeleines

Since making my first batch of Madeleines, I've decided to jazz things up a bit by making Chocolate Dipped Madeleines. They're a bit messy but SO worth the extra step. I basically just melted some Baker's Chocolate in the microwave and started dunking the cookies in as soon as they were cooled. Then I laid them out to dry on a cooling rack.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Chicken Mac & Cheese...Need I Say More?

The holidays are ALL about Comfort Food in our house and I wanted to make something EXTRA comforting tonight! What could be better than Chicken Mac and Cheese? These were super creamy from the Cream of Mushroom and Cream of Chicken Soups. Look at that CRISPY CHEESY Topping!

Ingredients:(4 servings)
2 c macaroni
2 c diced, cooked chicken meat
1 c shredded Cheddar cheese
1 c Mozzarella cheese
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 c sliced mushrooms

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add macaroni and cook for 8 minutes or until al dente; drain.
2. In a large bowl combine cooked macaroni, chicken, cheeses, soup, and mushrooms. Place mixture in a 9x13 inch baking dish.
3. Bake uncovered in preheated oven for 50 to 60 minutes; serve warm.

Leftover Eggnog = Bread!

I had some (well a LOT of) Eggnog left over from my Eggnog Cookies so I became creative (as usual) and baked some bread! I added some dried Cranberries to be festive and walnuts for crunch. Just like the cookies, it made my house smell like the holidays! :)


2 eggs, beaten
1 c eggnog
1 c granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 c (1 stick) butter, softened
2 1/4 c all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 c dried cranberries
1/2 chopped walnuts


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease bottom only of a 9x5 inch loaf pan.
2. Beat together the eggs, eggnog, sugar, vanilla and butter in a mixer until smooth.
3. Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg. Add to eggnog mixture and stir in cranberries and walnuts just enough to moisten; pour into prepared pan.
4. Bake 50 to 60 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes, and remove from pan. Cool completely, wrap tightly and store in refrigerator.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Finally...Hawaiian Pizza

I've been wanting to make Hawaiian Pizza for a LONG time now and it's finally here! I used Crushed Pineapples instead of the traditional chunks and you get some sweet pineapple and salty ham in every bite. SO yummy and cheesy and GOOD!


1 can (13.8 oz) Pillsbury frigerated classic pizza crust
2 c Marinara or Pizza sauce
oz sliced ham, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 can (8 oz) pineapple chunks in unsweetened juice, well drained on paper towels
2 c shredded Mozzarella cheese


1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Spray or grease 12-inch pizza pan or 13x9-inch pan. Unroll dough in pan.

2. Spread dough with Marinara sauce to within 1/2 inch of edges. Top with ham and pineapple. Sprinkle with cheese.

3. Bake for 16 to 20 minutes, or until crust is deep golden brown.

Spaghetti + Pizza = HEAVEN!

I bought this recipe booklet from Safeway with all these yummy dishes using Ground Beef and decided to test one out. This was called Spaghetti Pizza. Now you really can't go wrong with that!


7 oz spaghetti
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1/4 c grated Parmesan cheese
1 lb ground beef
2 Tbsp minced garlic
1 jar (26 oz) spaghetti sauce
1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
1 c sliced mushrooms
2 c shredded Mozzarella cheese


1. Preheat oven to 350F. Cook spaghetti according to package directions. Drain.

2. In a large bowl, toss spaghetti with eggs and Parmesan cheese. Spread evenly into a 15 x 10" baking pan coated with cooking spray; set aside.

3. In a large nonstick skillet, cook the beef over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Add garlie, cook 1 minute longer. Stir in spaghetti sauce and seasonings; heat through.

4. Spoon over spaghetti. Top with mushrooms and Mozzarella. Bake, uncovered, for 25 to 30 minutes or until lightly browned.

Eggnog Cookies

What's got Christmas written all over it? EGGNOG Cookies of course! These babies just SMELL like the holidays with the cinnamon and nutmeg. SO yummy!

Ingredients (36 cookies)

2½ c all purpose purpose
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp cinnamon, ground
½ tsp nutmeg, ground
1¼ c sugar, white
¾ c (1½ sticks) butter; salted, softened
½ c Eggnog
1 tso Vanilla extract
2 large egg yolks


1. Preheat oven to 300F. In a medium bowl combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg. mix well with a wire whisk and set aside.
2. In a large bowl cream sugar and butter with an electric mixer to form a grainy paste. Add eggnog, vanilla and egg yolks and beat at medium speed until smooth. Add the flour mixture and beat at low speed just until combined. Do not overmix.
3. Drop by rounded teaspoons onto ungreased baking sheets, 1 inch apart. Sprinkle lightly with nutmeg. Bake for 23-25 minutes or until bottoms turn light brown. Transfer to cool, flat surface immediately with spatula.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Blue Cheese Pear Muffins

I had a pear and half a container of Blue Cheese left over from making my R2R recipes so Blue Cheese Pear Muffins were born! The salty flavor from the Blue Cheese went so well with the sweet and fresh flavors from the Pear. It was almost like a Pear and Blue Cheese Crostini but in muffin form! hehe

Ingredients: (12 muffins)

2 c all-purpose flour
1/4 c packed brown sugar
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
4 oz crumbled Blue Cheese

2/3 c milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 pear, cored and finely chopped


1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease 12 (2-1/2-inch) muffin cups; set aside.

2. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and cheese in large bowl. Combine milk, egg and oil in small bowl. Stir into flour mixture with pear and nuts just until moistened. Spoon evenly into prepared muffin cups.

3. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack 10 minutes. Serve warm or cool completely.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Cheeseburger Pot Pie

I had another Pillsbury Pie Crust left over from making my Twofer Pie so I decided to give this recipe a shot. It was SO yummy with the cheese and flakey crust! I would definitely make it again since it was SO easy too!


1½ lb ground beef
¼ c chopped onion (½ medium)
¾ c ketchup
1/8 tsp pepper
1 c shredded sharp Cheddar cheese (4 oz)
1 Pillsbury® refrigerated pie crust (from 15-oz box), softened as directed on box


1. Preheat oven to 450°F. In 10-inch skillet, cook ground beef over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until thoroughly cooked; drain.

2. Reduce heat to medium. Add onion; cook 5 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onion is tender. Stir in ketchup, pickle and pepper. Cook 2 to 3 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Spoon mixture into ungreased 9-inch pie pan. Sprinkle with cheese.

3. Remove pie crust from pouch; place flat over hot beef mixture. Seal and flute edge; cut slits in several places in crust.

4. Bake 13 to 20 minutes or until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbly. After 8 to 10 minutes of baking, cover crust edge with strips of foil to prevent excessive browning.

R2R: Cheese Puffs & Blue Cheese Crostini's

I do realize that we were supposed to make Gruyère Parmesan Cheese Gougères but I went with Mozzarella Puffs with Marinara Sauce instead cuz 1. I couldn't find Gruyère at our little Safeway and 2. Greg likes Mozzarella with Marinara Sauce. These puffs turned out REALLY yummy though and even good the next day reheated in the toaster oven.

Ingredients: (15 puffs)

½ c milk
8 Tbsp (1 stick) butter or margarine
½ c all-purpose flour
2 eggs
1 c shredded Mozzarella cheese
1 c marinara sauce, heated


1. Preheat oven to 375ºF. Grease cookie sheet.

2. Heat milk and butter to boiling in 1 1/2-quart saucepan. Stir in flour; reduce heat to low. Stir vigorously about 1 minute or until mixture forms a ball; remove from heat.

3. Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating until smooth. Stir in cheese. Drop dough by rounded teaspoonfuls 2 inches apart onto cookie sheet.

3. Bake about 15 minutes or until puffed and golden brown. Serve warm with marinara sauce for dipping.

My second choice was the Blue Cheese Walnut Crostini's. BUT I had to make a few changes as well (duh!) since we're not having a party and don't need an appetizer. SO I just made a Blue Cheese Walnut Dip instead and cut up a mini baguette. The dip was really smooth and yummy!


1 baguette, thinly sliced about ½ inch each
1 pear, sliced
4 oz cream cheese, softened
½ c sour cream
1 Tbsp milk
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
4 oz blue cheese
¼ c walnuts, coarsely chopped, broiled for 2 to 3 min
Salt and pepper to taste


1. Preheat oven to 400ºF. Brush bread slices with olive oil, line on a baking sheet, then bake for about 8 min until browned and crispy.

2. Beat cream cheese until creamy. Add sour cream, Worcestershire sauce and milk, stir until all is incorporated. Add blue cheese and walnuts, stir to combine. Cover and chill for 2 hours.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

More Christmas Cookies!

It's counting down to the last weeks before everyone leaves for Christmas so I thought I'd whip out the real festive cookies. I found this recipe from Kraft Foods and they're Shortbread Cookies with Cream Cheese mixed in! Yes...they're as yummy as they sound!

Ingredients: (4 dozen)

1½ c (3 sticks) butter, softened
1 pkg (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
½ c granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla
3 c flour
Red and Green Sprinkles


1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Beat butter, cream cheese, granulated sugar and vanilla in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Gradually add flour, beating until well blended after each addition.

2. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place, 2 inches apart, on ungreased baking sheets. Top with sprinkles.

3. Bake 30 min or until bottoms of cookies are lightly browned. Remove to wire racks; cool completely. Store in tightly covered container at room temperature.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

My First Madeleine Cookies!

I bought a Madeleine Pan a couple of months ago and haven't had a chance to use it yet. I always thought making Madeleine Cookies would be so difficult to bake but they're actually not too bad. You just have to make sure to follow the steps exactly and make sure not to over-mix. These cookies smelled SO yummy and buttery! I'm sure they'll become one of my fav cookies! :)

Ingredients: (12 cookies)
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 powdered sugar
1 c + 3 Tbp all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 c (1 stick) butter, melted and cooled
1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Grease a 12 3-inch Madeleine Pan.
2. In a large bowl, combine eggs and vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer on high speed for 4 minutes. Gradually beat in pwdered sugar, scraping bowl occasionally. Beat about 5 minutes more or until thick and satiny.
3. In a small bowl, stir together flour and baking pwder. Sift about half of the flour mixture over the egg mixture; stir in gently. Rpeat, stirring in remaining flour mixture. Stir in melted butter. Spoon batter into prepared pan, filling each mold about 3/4 full.
3. Bake for 12 to 15 mintues or until edges are golden and tops spring back when lightly touched. Cool in molds for 1 minute. Invert cookies onto wire racks; let cool.

Happy Birthday Honey!

It was my Honey's birthday last night and we went to Circolo for dinner. We had a great time even though the menu had totally changed on us! We'd gone a couple of years ago and ordered this AMAZING duck dish but this time they duck was just so-so. It was good though and the Pumpkin Ravioli we ordered was REALLY yummy! I also really liked the Tuna Tartare with potato chips. I told the waiter that it was Greg's bday and they gave him a dessert with PB Empanadas and a candle! SO sweet!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Another Turkey Day with the Young's

Another Thanksgiving has come and fast is this year flying by? We had an AWESOME time with Greg's family (as usual) and there was PLENTY of food consumed! Here's pretty family portrait that I'm sure I'll be using in one of my photo projects/gifts. What a cute family huh? :)

Here we are preparing for the big Turkey Day! I baked a PuBoldmpkin Loaf in a special Autumn Pan from William-Sonoma as a gift for the gracious hostess. It was SO yummy and not to mention cute!

And here we are on our last night at a Mexican restaurant in Palm Springs. (As if we didn't have enough left-overs in the fridge!) It was so much fun though and we got to sit outside since it was so warm! Thanks Priscilla and Jon! Come visit us soon!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Left-overs Transformed!

I had some chicken left over from my Coq Au Vin and thought it would be REALLY yummy in a pasta dish. The Mozzarella cheese and Cream of Chicken soup worked perfectly together with the chicken and bacon! Look at the ooey gooey goodness!

Ingredients: (4 servings)

1 can (10¾ oz) condensed cream of chicken soup
1 c milk
1 c shredded Mozzarella cheese
1 pkg (13 oz) Tortellini, cooked according to directions, drained
2 cups cubed cooked chicken OR turkey
¼ c grated Parmesan cheese


1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. Mix soup, milk and Mozzarella cheese in a baking dish. Stir in pasta and chicken.

3. Sprinkle Parmesan on top. Bake 30 min until bubbly.

TWD: Holiday Sugar Cookies

Ok so it's not really the Tuesdays with Dorie recipe that we're supposed to make but I found this recipe on the Land of Lakes website and thought it'd be perfect! I used my Cookie Press again to make the cute Christmas Trees and Wreaths. Don't they look SO cute and festive? SUCH an easy recipe too!

Ingredients: (5 dozen cookies)

1 c (2 sticks) butter, softened
1/2 c sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla or almond extract
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/4 c all-purpose flour


1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Combine all ingredients except flour in large mixer bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until creamy (2 to 3 minutes).

2. Reduce speed to low; add flour. Beat, scraping bowl often, until well mixed (2 to 3 minutes). (If dough is too soft, cover; refrigerate until just firm enough to form cookies (30 to 45 minutes).)

3. Place dough in cookie press; form desired shapes 1 inch apart onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

BB: Coq Au Vin (in the slow cooker)

It's Barefoot Blogger time again and we're making Coq Au Vin! I thought this yummy bacon and chicken dish would be awesome in the slow cooker and I was TOTALLY right! The meat was SO tender and juicy from the bacon drippings and stock. We still have left-overs and I'm thinking maybe in a pasta dish?


6 slices bacon
8 chicken pieces (I used thighs)
1 large onion, sliced
4 Tbsp garlic, minced
½ lb mushrooms, sliced
½ tsp thyme
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
1 c chicken stock
1 c dry red wine


1. Cook bacon in a large skillet until crisp. Remove bacon from skillet to drain but reserve the bacon fat.

2. Brown chicken pieces on all sides in reserved bacon grease.

3. Put onion, garlic and mushrooms in slow cooker. Add chicken, bacon and any leftover juices from the skillet.

4. Mix remaining ingredients except wine and pour over chicken.

5. Cover and cook on LOW for 6 to 8 hours. Turn heat to HIGH and add wine. Cook for an additional hour.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Raisin Bran Muffins?

I had a whole box of Raisin Bran left over from my Pear Carrot Muffins so I searched online to see what else I could make. I found this recipe on the Kelloggs website and decided to give it a shot. I jazzed it up with some Peanut Butter and extra raisin. SO yummy!

Ingredients: (6 muffins)

1/2 c all-purpose flour
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 c sugar
1-1/2 c Raisin Bran Cereal
1/2 c milk
1 egg
1/2 c peanut butter
1/4 c raisins

3 Tbsp vegetable oil


1. Stir together flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Set aside.

2. Stir together Raisin Bran and milk into mixing bowl and let stand 1 to 2 minutes or until cereal softens. Add egg, peanut butter and vegetable oil. Beat well.

3. Add flour mixture and raisins to cereal mixture, stirring only until combined. Portion batter evenly into 6 lined muffin pan cups.

4. Bake at 400° F for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Platinum Chef - Another Brunch

It's time for another Platinum Chef entry and this time the ingredients were: Potatoes, Pear, Egg, Parsley and Carrots. At first I had no idea how they would go together but then I thought "What would be better than making brunch since we're using eggs?" My Cheesy Baked Eggs and Potatoes came out SO yummy and the Pear and Carrot Muffins weren't too shabby either! What a Breakfast of Champions huh?

Cheesy Bacon Potato Bake


2 c frozen shredded hash brown potatoes, thawed
1 c Half & Half
4 eggs
1 tsp dried parsley
8 slices crisply cooked bacon, crumbled, reserve drippings
1 c sliced mushrooms
1 c chopped tomatoes
1 c Cheddar cheese, shredded


1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Press potatoes onto bottom and up sides of greased 9-inch pie plate. Bake for 10 minutes.

2. Combine half & half, eggs and pepper in medium bowl; beat until well mixed. Stir in bacon, drippings, mushrooms and tomatoes. Sprinkle half of cheese over potatoes. Pour egg mixture over cheese.

3. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Top with remaining cheese. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Pear-Carrot Muffins

Ingredients: (12 muffins)

1¾ c raisin bran cereal
1¼ c all-purpose flour
¾ c sugar
1¼ tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp salt
1 egg
¾ c buttermilk
¼ c canola oil
¾ c finely chopped peeled pear
¾ c grated carrots
¼ c chopped walnuts


1. Preheat oven to 400°F. In a bowl, combine the first 6 ingredients. In a small bowl, beat the egg, buttermilk and oil. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in apple, carrots and walnuts.

2. Fill paper-lined muffin cups ¾ full. Bake for 20-23 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack.

Fruit Cocktail Bread

We have a ton of little Delmonte Fruit Cups at home so I decided to make some bread. I didn't drain the cans completely and the juices left over kept the bread really moist and yummy! The Ricotta made it rich and creamy. You can taste big chunks of pears, peaches and pineapples in every bite! :)


3 cans (4 oz) Fruit Cocktail, drained
3 c all purpose flour
2/3 c sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
2 eggs, beaten
1 c Ricotta cheese
1/3 c vegetable oil


1. Drain fruit cocktail. Combine flour, sugar and baking soda; mix well.

2. Blend eggs with cheese and oil. Stir into dry ingredients with fruit cocktail. Stir just enough to blend.

3. Spoon into greased 9x5-inch loaf pan. Bake at 350°F, 60 to 70 minutes or until tests done. Let stand in pan 10 minutes. Turn out onto wire rack, cool completely.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Chicken Mac 'n Cheese

I don't think it's possible to go wrong with pasta and cheese! I cooked up this concoction cuz we had some precooked grilled chicken strips and sliced mushrooms in the fridge. AND of course we ALWAYS have pasta and cheese! This yummy meal took less than 30 minutes to make and will make REALLY good left-overs too! Greg actually ate the first few bites WITHOUT Ketchup and raved about it! :)


3 c chicken broth
2 c uncooked small pasta shells
1 c sliced mushrooms
½ lb grilled chicken strips, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 c shredded cheddar cheese
3 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese, if desired


1. In 3-quart saucepan, heat broth to boiling over medium-high heat. Add pasta; boil 6 minutes; do not drain. Reduce heat. Stir in mushrooms and chicken. Cover; simmer 3 to 5 minutes or until shells are tender. Remove from heat.

2. Add shredded cheese; toss gently until cheese is melted. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese before serving.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Festive Mini Cheesecakes

I had a special request for cheesecakes (again!) so I decided to bake some for my boys in these festive liners! They were REALLY yummy and the Nilla wafer on the bottom added the perfect vanilla crunch.

Ingredients: (12 cheesecakes)

2 (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
3/4 c sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
12 Nilla wafers


1. Preheat oven to 375F. Line 2 6-muffin pan or 1 12-muffin pan.

2. Beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each.

3. Place a Nilla wafer in each cup, then top with cream cheese mixture. Fill to about 3/4 full.

4. Bake for 25 minutes.

Baby Carrot Nut Muffins

We had some Baby Carrots in the fridge so I made some healthy muffins! The cinnamon and nutmeg is so fitting for this chilly fall weather we're having in SF. They're also not too sweet and very moist. The walnuts also had a wonderful crunch!

Ingredients: (6 muffins)

1 c shredded carrots (10 baby)
1/2 c sugar
1/4 c vegetable oil
1 egg
3/4 c all-purpose flour
1/4 c coarsely chopped walnuts
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg


1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line a 6-muffin pan with liners.
2. Mix carrots, sugar, oil and eggs in large bowl with spoon. Stir in remaining ingredients; pour into pan.
3. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

TWD: Linzer Sables using my NEW Cookie Press

I ordered a Cookie Press from Amazon a couple of weeks ago and have been just itching to use it! SO for this week's Tuesdays with Dorie, I took it for a spin. I LOVE it! It's SO cool how the cookies just come out in perfect little shapes! There are 12 different cookie disks and I cannot WAIT to try them all out! The Christmas Tree one will definitely be used real soon! :)

Ingredients: (12 sandwiches)

1/2 c butter
1/3 c sugar
1 c flour
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
1/4 c jam, any flavor


1. Preheat oven to 400F.

2. In large mixer bowl combine sugar, butter, egg, salt, and vanilla. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until mixture is light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add flour. Beat at low speed, scraping bowl often, until well mixed, 2 to 3 minutes.

3. Place dough in cookie press. Form desired shapes 1 inch apart on cookie sheets. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.

4. Let cookies cool completely and spread 1 tsp of jam in between 2. (I used both peach and strawberry.)

Monday, December 1, 2008

Back to My "not so" Asian Roots!

I bought some BBQ Pork from an Asian Supermarket with my mom and wanted to try making something new. Greg LOVES those Pork Buns you get from the Dim Sum restaurants so I decided to recreate my own version. They're actually really yummy with the flakey Pillsbury Biscuits and super easy to make! The extra Hoisin Sauce really adds to the flavor. Don't they look SO authentic? :)

Ingredients: (8 buns)

1 c BBQ Pork, chopped into bite-size pieces
1/2 c Hoisin Sauce
1 can (16 oz) Pillsbury Buttermilk Biscuits
2 Tbsp butter or margarine, melted


1. Preheat oven to 375°F. In small bowl, mix pork and Hoisin Sauce.

2. Separate dough into 8 biscuits and roll into 4-inch rounds. Spoon about 2 tablespoon pork mixture onto center of each round. Fold dough around filling, covering completely; seal well and shape each into ball. On ungreased cookie sheet, place balls, seam side up. Brush tops with butter.

3. Bake 14 to 16 minutes or until golden brown. Immediately remove from cookie sheet. Serve warm.

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