Saturday, February 28, 2009

The Best Gourmet Meal I've Made So Far?

According to Greg, this is the BEST gourmet meal I've made for him so far! That's a serious compliment since it beat out his former fav, Chilean Sea Bass in Hollandaise Sauce! This is the first time I've ever made Lamb Chops too so I'm VERY proud of myself! They're so simple to made and super quick (if you don't count the marinating time). I do wish I had some fresh Rosemary though cuz they go so perfectly with lamb BUT the dish came out awesome anyway!


2 Tbsp Italian seasoning (thyme, oregano, rosemary, parsley)
2 Tbsp chopped garlic
2 Tbsp sherry vinegar
½ c extra virgin olive oil
5 to 6 lamb chops
Salt & pepper


1. Combine all ingredients except for lamb chops in a large bowl and whisk together. Pat the lamb chops dry, then salt and pepper each chop on all sides. Add chops to the bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and marinate for 1-1.5 hours at room temperature.

Make Aioli

2. Pan fry the chops for about 5 minutes on each side then serve with Aioli.


1 large egg yolk
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
½ tsp Dijon mustard
2 tsp garlic powder
¼ c extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ tsp dried rosemary (optional)

Combine oils in measuring cup and set aside. Whisk egg yolk, mustard and lemon juice until frothy. Whisk in oil slowly until completely mixed in. Whisk in the garlic and add more salt and pepper to taste. Cover and chill for at least a half hour before serving. The mixture will thicken.

I Had a Left-over Apple

So I made Apple Raisin Bread! Nothing too outrageous about this except that it's REALLY healthy and yummy! AND I had ALL the ingredients I needed in my pantry, which I'm sure everyone else does too! Isn't it great when you can just whip something up without going to the store? :)


¾ c vegetable oil
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1½ c all-purpose flour
1 c sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp salt
¾ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp baking powder
1½ c diced tart apples (I left the peel on)
½ c raisins
½ c chopped nuts


1. Preheat oven to 325°F. In a mixing bowl, beat oil, eggs and vanilla. Combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, cloves and baking powder; beat into the egg mixture. Stir in apples, raisins and nuts.

2. Pour into greased 9-in x 5-in loaf pan. Bake for 60-70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to wire rack.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Left-over Steak Fajitas makes a YUMMY PIZZA!

Can't let all that SLOW COOKED Fajita Goodness go to waste! I used the good old Pillsbury Pizza Crust and just topped it with beef and LOTS of Mozzarella CHEESE! Fajita Beef Pizza in less than 20 minutes! YUMMY!

PB & Choco Chip Cookies from Nestle = YUM!

I can't take credit for making this recipe up but you really can't go wrong with a Nestle Cookie recipe! Peanut Butter + Chocolate Chip...I mean how can you go wrong? These are crunchy cookies so a lil different than my usual soft chewy cookies but definitely YUMMY! I'm so excited cuz my best friend Kat is visiting from SD and I get to finally share my creations with her! :)

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Yummy Red Blend from Whole Foods

I picked up this bottle of Sacred Stone Red Blend from Whole Foods today and LOVED it! I've noticed that I'm becoming a big fan of red blends and this one was SO yummy! I could actually taste the cherries and plums described on the bottle, which I usually NEVER do! VERY recommended for sipping on a cold rainy night! :)

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Grapefruit Muffins? Not bad!

I know Grapefruit and Muffins usually don't go together but I like being creative so that's what I made! They weren't bad...juicy and very citrusy...BUT they came out a lil too soft. They were great right out of the oven but not ideal for traveling since they can get squished REALLY easily! Sorry mommy, you won't be tasting this one! :(

Ingredients: (12 muffins)

1 c all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
½ c whole wheat flour
½ c granulated sugar
6 Tbsp butter, melted
1 large egg
1 c buttermilk
1 grapefruit, segmented and roughly chopped
½ c walnuts, roughly chopped


1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together into a bowl. Stir in the whole wheat flour and granulated sugar.

2. Mix together the butter, egg and buttermilk and pour over the dry ingredients. Add the grapefruit and walnuts to the flour mixture. Stir only enough to moisten the flour, the mixture should be lumpy.

3. Spoon the mixture evenly between each muffin case and bake for 15-18 minutes or until golden. Remove the muffins to a cooling rack and leave to cool.

Steak Fajitas in the Slow Cooker

OMG just LOOK at this beauty! I mean, seriously, how could this NOT be yummy? How much do I LOVE my slow cooker? I mean the only work I had to do was slice the steak and throw in all the seasoning! It does take about 10 hours for the meat to be really tender though since flank steak can be a bit tough but SO worth it! We have a TON of left-over after making 2 gigantic fajitas but I'm sure they won't last long in the fridge! :)


1½ lbs beef flank steak
1 medium onion, sliced
1 can (14½ oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chili powder
¼ tsp salt
1 medium green pepper, julienned
1 medium sweet red pepper, julienned
1 c salsa

6 flour tortillas (8 inches), warmed
Shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream and guacamole, optional


1. Thinly slice steak across the grain into strips; place in a 5-qt. slow cooker. Add the onion, tomatoes, jalapeno, garlic, cumin, chili powder and salt. Cover and cook on low for 7 hours.

2. Add green and red peppers. Cover and cook 1-2 hours longer or until meat and vegetables are tender.

3. Using a slotted spoon, spoon meat mixture down the center of each tortilla. Sprinkle with cheese if desired. Fold sides of tortilla over filling. Serve with sour cream and guacamole if desired.

Clam Chowder Muffins

After my Lentil Muffins were a hit, I knew the possibilities were endless! These Clam Chowder Muffins were SO yummy! There were chunks of potatoes and clams in every bite! I wanted to add some mixed veggies but there was so much going on in the soup already I didn't wanna overdo it! Maybe next time! :)
Ingredients: (12 muffins)

1 c all-purpose flour
1 c cornmeal
2 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 can Clam Chowder soup
½ c milk
4 Tbsp butter, melted


1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Grease or line 12 muffins cups.

2. Combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add milk, egg, soup and butter; stir until dry ingredients are moistened.

3. Pour into muffin pan and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the cornbread comes out clean.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Giada's Ricotta Cookies

It's Cookie Friday again and this week I baked Giada's Lemon Ricotta Cookies (but without the glaze...too messy!). They're wonderfully soft and chewy with a CREAMY texture thanks to the RICOTTA CHEESE! The LEMON flavor makes them light too so you can feel good about eating a few (or a dozen!).

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The ULTIMATE Sausage Meatball Sub!

LOOK at this lil Monster we have here! I mean, seriously, how could you go wrong with a Meatball Sub? These were made using Jimmy Dean sausage and their Italian Meatballs recipe. I got 15 HUGE meatballs out of the recipe but if you make smaller ones, you could probably end up with around 20. I just lightly toasted a small baguette and then stuffed 3 meatballs in the middle with LOTS of Mozzarella Cheese. OMG...this requires a big mouth!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Apple Walnut Muffins

Apples were on sale at Safeway so therefore we have Apple Walnut Muffins! They're incredibly juicy and slightly tart since I used green apples. I'm sure they'd be sweeter if I'd used Fuji or Gala. The only thing about these muffins is you have to peel the apple, which I find is the hardest thing in the world for me to do without peeling my fingers at the same time! :(

Ingredients: (6 muffins)

1 c chopped peeled tart apple (1 medium)
½ c sugar
1 c all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp salt
1 egg
⅓ c milk
3 Tbsp canola oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
¼ c chopped walnuts
¼ c raisins


1. Preheat oven to at 375°F. In a small bowl, combine the apple and sugar; set aside. Combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.

2. In another bowl, whisk the egg, milk, oil and vanilla; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in the apple mixture, walnuts and raisins.

3. Coat muffin cups with cooking spray or use paper liners; fill ¾ full with batter.

4. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

After V-day Gourmet @ Home!

Even though V-day's over, I wanted to make a gourmet meal for my honey. They had these HUGE sea scallops at Safeway so I picked up a package and made Scallop Linguine Alfredo. It was SO easy and I didn't even use store-bought Alfredo Sauce! The scallops were juicy and tender and the entire dish reminded me of something you'd get at a fancy restaurant!

Ingredients: (2 servings)

4 oz uncooked linguine
½ lb sea scallops, halved
2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1 garlic clove, minced
1 small shallot, chopped
½ c chicken broth
1 c heavy whipping cream or half-and-half cream
½ c grated Parmesan cheese

black pepper


1. Cook the linguine according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, sauté scallops in 1 tablespoon oil for 3-5 minutes or until scallops are opaque. Remove and keep warm.

2. In the same skillet, sauté garlic and shallot in remaining oil until tender. Stir in broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 6-8 minutes or until most of the liquid has evaporated. Stir in cream; cook, uncovered, over medium heat for 5 minutes or until thickened.

3. Drain linguine; stir into cream sauce. Add scallops, black pepper and Parmesan cheese; toss to coat. Serve warm.

Another Healthy Strawberry Bread

There's something about strawberries that just make healthy breads SO moist and yummy! I've tested them with High Fiber Bread so I thought I'd try them in Whole Wheat Bread. NOT a disappointment at ALL! They were juicy and not too sweet. The nuts added a great crunch too!


1½ c sliced strawberries
1 c whole wheat flour
½ c all-purpose flour
1 c sugar
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
½ tsp ground cinnamon
2 eggs
¾ c vegetable oil
¾ c chopped pecans


1. Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Combine eggs, oil and strawberries; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Stir in pecans.

2. Pour into a greased 9-in x 5-in loaf pan. Bake for 55-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes; remove from pan to a wire rack.

Monday, February 16, 2009

I Beat Bouchon in a TASTE TEST!

Ok so what if it's a Taste Test done by my honey? He's got GREAT taste and he liked MY Croque Madame BETTER! We took another weekend Vegas trip (just in time for Valentine's Day!) and had a wonderful Sunday Brunch at Bouchon inside The Venetian. With no Crabmeat Eggs Benedict on the menu for the Specials of the Day, Greg ordered the Croque Madame after I explained to him that it was close to the Grilled Cheese and Ham Sandwiches that I usually make him. And you know what he said afterwards? He said MINE are WAY better! is the Bouchon version...And here is the one I made him tonight to thank him for such a wonderful compliment! It's GREAT to be appreciated! :)

Sunday, February 15, 2009

You've Heard of Lentil Soup with Cornbread...

Now you can have them all in one! Meet my very own creation of Lentil Soup Cornbread Muffins! Moist, satisfying, HEALHTY, everything you could hope for in a lil package! Yes they are super yummy too! Hum...what else could I make muffins out of?

Ingredients: (12 muffins)

1 c all purpose flour
1 c cornmeal
2 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 can lentil soup
½ c milk
4 Tbsp butter, melted


1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Grease or line 12 muffins cups.

2. Combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add milk, egg, soup and butter; stir until dry ingredients are moistened.

3. Pour into muffin pan and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the cornbread comes out clean.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Tuna in a MUFFIN?

I know this sounds REALLY weird but trust me, it's REALLY yummy! Even my mom, who is NOT a fan of canned tuna loved these muffins! With the parmesan and green onions, they don't taste fishy at all. Seriously, you could convert some non-tuna lovers with these! Just give them a try! I mean, tuna is cheap AND good for you so why not?

Ingredients: (6 muffins)

1 c all-purpose flour
1¼ tsp baking powder
1 Tbsp lemon pepper
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 egg, slightly beaten
⅓ c milk
¼ c canola oil
1 can tuna in water, drained
2 Tbsp green onions, diced
1 c cheddar cheese, shredded
2 Tbsp garlic, chopped
½ c parmesan, grated


1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease or line a 6-cup muffin tin.

2. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, pepper, salt and sugar. In another bowl, combine egg, milk and oil. Add to the dry ingredients and stir well. Add tuna, garlic, green onions and cheddar combine well.

3. Fill muffin tin until ¾ full. Top with parmesan. Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Happy Early Valentine's Day!

I know it's not quite Valentine's Day yet but I won't be working this Friday (Vegas baby!) so I decided to do Cookie Friday a day early. These are just the basic Pillsbury Cake Mix done in my Mini Muffin Pan with a piece of special V-day Chocolate on top! SO cute!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Super Easy Gnocchi at Home

It's TJ's to the rescue again! I found this package of Gnocchi the other day and they just look SO cute I had to buy them! You wouldn't believe how fast they cook too! I just dropped them in some salted boiling water and they started floating to the top in just a couple of minutes! SO soft and yummy like little pillows of joy! Of course, my boy won't eat anything without meat so I made a super simple sauce of sausage, onions, mushrooms and MOZZARELLA CHEESE! :)


1 pkg (16 oz) Gnocchi
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
1 lb Italian sausage, casings removed
1 c mushrooms, sliced
¼ tsp garlic salt
¼ tsp black pepper
1 c Mozzarella cheese, shredded


1. Cook the Gnocchi according to the package directions, reserving ¼ c of the cooking liquid.

2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and mushrooms and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the sausage and cook, crumbling it with a spoon, until browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the salt and pepper.

3. Add the drained Gnocchi, the reserved cooking liquid, and the Mozzarella and toss. Serve warm.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Bluecheese Bread from the Bread Machine

I decided to pull out the good old break machine again and this time using Blue Cheese and Green Onions. The result? AWESOME! You wouldn't believe how much our entire place SMELLED like CHEESE! YUMMY!

1 c water
2 Tbsp butter
3 c bread flour
2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp dry active yeast
2 Tbsp chopped green onions
1 c Blue cheese
Place all ingredients into your breach machine according to directions. Bake on White Bread setting for 1.5lb bread.

Blackberries + Sour Cream = Creamy Berry Muffins!

I don't remember the last time I baked with Blackberries so when I found them on sale at Safeway, I decided to get some. I LOVE how Blackberries just burst and are so much juicier than Blueberreis and Strawberries! The sour cream made these muffins SO creamy! They actually kinda reminded me of my Ricotta Berry Muffins.

Ingredients: (6 muffins)

1 c all purpose flour
½ Tbsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
1 large egg
½ c sour cream
½ tsp milk
⅓ c sugar
4 Tbsp (½ stick) warm melted butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 c of fresh blackberries, cut in half


1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease a standard 6-cup muffin pan or line with paper liners.

2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, sour cream, milk, sugar, butter and vanilla.

3. Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and mix together with a few light strokes, just until the dry ingredients are moistened. Add the berries.

4. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups. Bake for 17-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the muffins comes out clean. Let cool for 2 to 3 minutes before removing from the pan. If not serving hot, let cool on a rack.

Crabmeat Eggs Benedict fit for MY KING!

I made Crabmeat Deviled Eggs for Super Bowl Sunday and we still had some lump crabmeat left over. Now this wasn't just some old canned stuff, it was FRESH and CHUNKY crabmeat from Whole Foods so I wasn't about to waste any of it! There was about half a cup left and the perfect amount for some Eggs Benedict. I just made my usual Eggs Benedict but instead of Candian Ham, I used Crabmeat Salad with a bit of mayo, mustard and my secret ingredient, Worcestershire Sauce!

Featuring Quinoa AGAIN!

Remember the left-over Quinoa from my Martha Muffins? Well, here they are featured again! Quinoa Banana BREAD! YUM YUM! Healthy, MOIST, AWESOME!


½ c (1 stick) butter, softened
2 eggs, plus 1 egg yolk
2 medium bananas, mashed
⅔ c sugar
⅔ c quinoa, cooked
2 c whole wheat flour
1¼ tsp baking soda
pinch salt
½ c pecans or walnuts


1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9x5 loaf pan.

2. Cream the butter, sugar until smooth. Add the eggs and yolk; blend well. Add the banana, then the quinoa; blend well.

3. In another bowl, mix the flour, baking soda and salt together. Add the flour mixture to the banana mixture and stir until all incorporated. Add nuts. Pour into prepared pan.

4. Bake 1 hour or until knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

More for the Baking Contest!

So I cooked up another entry for the Betty Crocker Cookie Mix Contest! I know we've all heard of turning Muffins Mix or Brownie Mix into COOKIES but what about the other way around? Well, they work! These muffins are REALLY soft and REALLY moist! Who knew right? Wish me luck!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Watch Out Betty Crocker!

Well, it's time for Cookie Friday again! This time, I'm going ALL OUT! These are actually my entries for the Betty Crocker Cookie Mix Contest! Aren't they cute? They're Butter Pecan Tartlets! I can't post the recipe yet but here's a hint, there's PB Cookie Mix in them. Wish me luck! :)

Martha Stewart's Quinoa Muffins

I bought a box of Quinoa from TJ's a while back after reading about how nutritious they were. I'd been meaning to try them out and found the perfect recipe from Martha Stewart! I would've NEVER thought of baking it into muffins! Quinoa is SO easy to cook and they sure make awesome and NUTRITIOUS muffins!

Ingredients: (12 muffins)

1 c quinoa
¼ c vegetable oil
2 c all-purpose flour
¾ c packed dark-brown sugar
1½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
½ c raisins
¾ c whole milk
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium saucepan, bring quinoa and 1 cup water to a boil. Reduce to a simmer; cover, and cook until water has been absorbed and quinoa is tender, 11 to 13 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, grease or line a 12-cup muffin pan. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, raisins, and 2 cups cooked quinoa; reserve any leftover quinoa for another use.

3. In a small bowl, whisk together oil, milk, egg, and vanilla. Add milk mixture to flour mixture, and stir just until combined; divide batter among prepared muffin cups.

4. Bake until toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool muffins in pan, 5 minutes; transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container up to 5 days.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

My First Scones!

Thanks to my new food processor, I can now make SCONES! The mixing was SO easy and they didn't turn out too shabby either! Although I think they're a lil softer than they're supposed to be so maybe I needed to chill my ingredients more before baking next time. They did harden a bit int the fridge over-night. Well...practice makes perfect right? For now, I'm just happy with my FIRST EVER SCONES! Cranberries and Walnuts, how can you go wrong? :)

Ingredients: (8 scones)

2½ c flour
⅔ c sugar
2½ tsp baking powder
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
½ c (1 stick) cold butter, cut into chunks
2 eggs
¾ c sour cream
2 tsp vanilla extract
½ c dried cranberries
½ c chopped walnuts


1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicon mat.

2. Mix flour, sugar, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse to combine. Add butter and pulse a few times, until mixture resembles very large, coarse crumbs.

3. Beat eggs, sour cream and vanilla in medium bowl with wire whisk until well blended. Add to food processor and pulse until a soft dough forms. Stir in dried cranberries and walnuts.

4. Place dough on baking sheet and pat into a 10-inch circle. Score top of dough with sharp knife into 8 wedges. Sprinkle with 2 teaspoons sugar.

5. Bake 30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool slightly on wire rack. Cut into 8 wedges to serve.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Hot Beefy Stroganoff

I had some ground beef left over from making my Guac Burgers so I decided to make another comfort food dish. There's just something so YUMMY about meat and noodles soaked in white CREAMY sauce! It was also so simple to make and took less than 30 minutes to pull together! Like I always say "Look out Rachael Ray!"


1 lb ground beef
½ medium onion, chopped
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
½ tsp garlic salt
¼ tsp pepper
1 c mushrooms, sliced
1 can (10¾ oz) cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
1 c sour cream
Hot cooked egg noodles


1. Cook ground beef and onion in a large skillet until meat is browned, stirring to crumble meat; drain.

2. Stir in flour, salt, pepper and mushrooms; cook and stir 1 minute. Stir in soup. Simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add sour cream, and heat thoroughly.

3. Serve over noodles.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Lovin my Girlie Kitchen Gadgets!

I just received my new PINK KitchenAid Food Processor last night and wanted to show off my babies. I've had the Mixer for a while now and can't imagine living without it! Now I'm just searching for recipes that I can use my Food Processor for! I would love some ideas!

Guac Burgers

We had some Guacamole left over from Super Bowl Sunday and I didn't want it ALL to go to waste. SO I made Guac Burgers! Nothing fancy, just some all-BEEF patties mixed with some Mexican Chili Seasoning, pan-fried, then topped with 2 slices of American CHEESE and some homemade Guac! YUMMY!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Super Bowl = WINGS!

OK what says Super Bowl more than Wings? Hum...NOTHING! So here are our oven-ready Buffalo Wings. SO good, SO easy, 30 minutes in the oven from Safeway! Thank GOD!

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