Saturday, October 31, 2009

LOTS of Dill!

My dill is growing really fast and seem to shoot up an inch every other day! So when I saw this recipe on Annie's Blog, I knew I had to bake up some yummy Cheddar Dill Scones. (I also needed an excuse to use my awesome PINK food processor again!) Dill was great with my Salmon Patties but it was even better with cheddar! Using the food processor made them really easy and I also substituted a cup of whole wheat flour to make them healthier. They were SO good warm out of the oven and made a fantastic afternoon snack! I bet they'll be perfect with some Tomato Soup for an easy lunch too!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Dinner from Trader Joe's!

I decided to make a quick but comforting dinner this Friday night. I picked up a package of Trader Joe's Spicy Chicken Sausage and Chicken Sausage with Sun-Dried Tomato Ravioli the past weekend so dinner was a no-brainer. I also had some Gorgonzola cheese in the fridge so the sauce was easy as well. This was definitely the PERFECT way to start the weekend!

Ingredients: (2 servings)

1 pkg (9 oz) Ravioli (I used Chicken Sausage w/Sun-Dried Tomatoes)
2 Tbsp butter, divided
2 links (6oz) Sausage ,cut into bite-size pieces (I used Spicy Chicken)
1/2 c sliced freshed mushrooms
1 oz crumbled Gorgonzola Cheese
1/2 c heavy cream
1 tsp fresh oregano
1/4 c Parmesan cheese


1. Cook ravioli according to package directions, drain and set aside.

2. Meanwhile, sauté mushrooms and sausage in 1 Tbsp of butter until mushrooms are soft, about 5 minutes.

3. Melt remaining Tbsp of butter in a saucepan on low, add Gorgonzola and cream. Stir constantly until sauce is thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in oregano and Parmesan.

4. Add Ravioli and sausage mixture to sauce. Serve immediately.

Happy Halloween with Snickerdoodles!

Happy Halloween everyone! (Well...almost!) I wanted to bake something festive but ended up with Snickerdoodles and have no idea why. I guess I was just not feeling creative or maybe it's cuz I've never made them before. Anyway, they turned out great and my co-workers love them so I'm happy! (I actually thought about adding Candy Corn or something to make them more festive, but that didn't work out so well.) At least I had a festive bowl!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

More Fall Baking with Apples

Apples just scream "FALL" to me and what better way to enjoy them than in some freshly baked goodies! I found this recipe for Praline Apple Bread and knew I had to make it! I used a Red Delicious Apple instead of a Granny Smith and omitted the glaze since I wanted the bread to be more like a breakfast item than a dessert. It turned out SO yummy! I'm sure my mom will love it too!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Finally a Post about Workout!

I just realized how long it's been since I've posted anything about WORKOUT! I mean, this blog is called WORKOUT then cook right? (Don't worry, I haven't stopped working out but just been doing boring gym stuff and nothing to blog about!) ANYWAY, so I checked out Exercise On Demand again last night and had one of the BEST upper body workouts ever! It's called Jackie 1-on-1 Upper and you can get a peek here. The workout is basically 20 minutes of fast-pace upper-body moves with LOTS of reps and some light cardio in between. It's definitely a good workout for any level of fitness cuz Jackie teaches you how to make the moves more advanced and you can also adjust the intensity by using heavier weights. You can't beat a great FREE workout right?

Using My Fresh Dill!

My dill is getting pretty big, so I decided to use some up. I did some research and found that it pairs really well with salmon so I decided to make some Salmon Patties. I got pretty creative with ingredients I had on hand and they turned out great! I just served them on top of some Couscous, which really soaked up the yummy Tomato Dill Sauce!

Ingredients: (2 patties)

1 egg
10 Wheat Thins, crushed
1/4 c dried breadcrumbs (I used Italian style)
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp garlic salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1 can (14-3/4 oz) salmon, drained, bones and skin removed
1 Tbsp butter

Tomato Dill Sauce:

1 small onion, caramelized (see how here)
1/3 c mayo
1/2 tsp lemon-pepper seasoning
1 tsp fresh dill
1 small tomato, diced

Cooked Couscous


1. To make the patties, combine the first 6 ingredients in a large bowl. Crumble salmon over mixture and mix well. Shape into 2 large patties.

2. Melt butter in a medium skillet. Fry patties over medium heat for 3-4 minutes on each side or until browned on the outside.

3. Mix sauce ingredients together and serve over patties and Couscous.

Monday, October 26, 2009

You Will NEVER Guess the SECRET Ingredient!

I won't even make you's MEATLOAF! YUP, the LAST slice of meatloaf made its way onto this pizza along with pepperoni, mushrooms and Mozzarella. I used the good old Boboli Crust (which I ALWAYS keep on hand for pizza cravings!) and the sauce packet that came with it. I just crumbled the meatloaf into chunks and they tasted just like sausage on the pizza. Creative right? I guess I just hate wasting good food and wasn't about to make another Meatloaf Monster!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Cheesecake Factory, Our Fav Outdoor Spot!

We love The Cheesecake Factory for its outdoor seating and of course, the food! I can never decide what I want cuz there's just SO much stuff on the menu. I mean, they have 3 pages JUST for appetizers! On this occasion, we decided to try their Guacamole (which was enough to feed about 6 people!) and Stuffed Chicken Tortillas (I guess we were trying to keep with a Mexican theme or something). Both were really yummy, especially since it was 2pm and we were both starving! Unfortunately all those chips and that massive plate of cheesey goodness didn't leave any room for cheesecake. Bummer! I guess we'll just have to come back! :)

My Meatballs Make Another Appearance

The good thing about making LOTS of meatballs is you have LOTS of left-overs to make different meals with. I put about a third of them in the freezer and had 8 in the fridge. So tonight, I decided to make a classic Spaghetti and Meatballs. I just love the fact that I now have fresh herbs from my Aero Garden to cook and garnish with! I bought the Gourmet Herb Kit about a month ago and the Basil was the first to really spruce up. I think my Dill and Oregano are ready to be used too. I'll have to remember to take a picture of the garden soon!

Another Savory and Yummy Muffin!

I had some left-over Roasted Red Bell Peppers from making those Crab Cakes for my mom and decided to bake these savory Muffins. The Feta, Roasted Red Bell Peppers and Fresh Basil were the perfect combination. They smelled SO good coming out of the oven! I love making savory muffins cuz you can really make a meal out of them by adding a side salad or some soup now that it's getting chilly outside. I took some to my mom and she thought they were a bit salty (probably from the Feta?) but still really yummy!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Buitoni to the Rescue AGAIN!

I make Tortellini, Tortelloni and Ravioli quite often cuz they're so quick and easy. I also like the fact that I can jazz them up with whatever I have on hand! I had some chicken strips in the fridge so I picked up a package of Buitoni Chicken and Prosciutto Tortelloni (to keep with the whole chicken theme and all). I also had some mushrooms and half a jar of Alfredo Sauce left over from my Stuffed Shells so dinner was created. Don't you just love it when all your left-over ingredients come together to make the perfect meal? :)

Back to Basics with Brownie Bites!

I try to get creative with my baking most of the time, but sometimes you've just gotta go back and make a classic like Brownie Bites! I had a box of Duncan Hines Chewy Fudge Brownie Mix in the pantry (the BEST in my opinion!) and chose the "Fudge Brownie" route, which basically meant using 2 eggs instead of 3. I don't think it gets easier than baking these brownie bites and they were gobbled up in no time at work! DEFINITELY a good choice for Cookie Friday!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Monster of a Sandwich!

We had some left-over Meatloaf sitting in the fridge just waiting to be made into sandwiches. I remembered seeing this recipe from Good Morning America and decided to give it a try. (I just LOVE Diane Sawyer, don't you?) I didn't have any A1 or Heinz 57 so my sauce consisted of just mayo, sour cream, ketchup and honey mustard (didn't have Dijon either!). I also caramelized the onion before adding it to the sandwich and it turned out amazing! (Check out this post from Simply Recipes on how to caramelize onions. It really takes any recipe to another level!) Just look at this MONSTER of a sandwich! It really looks like a face, doesn't it?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

LOTS and LOTS of Meatballs!

I had 2 lbs of ground beef in my freezer and decided to makes a LOT of meatballs! I've read somewhere that they're great to make ahead and freeze for later so that's what I did. It was quite a large amount of beef and made 35 meatballs! I froze about a dozen of them, kept another dozen in the fridge and the rest was DINNER! I love making meatballs cuz they're so versatile. You can add just about any type of seasoning or sauce to fit the type of meal, whether it be sandwiches, pasta or even appetizers! These were very simple and consisted of an egg, regular breadcrumbs, some garlic salt, Italian seasoning and Worcestershire sauce (I didn't really measure). Here they are ready to go into the oven...

...400°F and 15 minutes later, I toasted up some French bread (cute mini baguettes!) and melted a few slices of Provolone cheese. What a beauty huh? I am SO glad we have lots of left-overs!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

What to do with left-over Ricotta cheese?

Make Crabmeat-Stuffed Shells of course! I LOVE these jumbo shells cuz they're so fun to make and you can basically stuff them with any mixture you like. I decided to go the gourmet route with crabmeat this time and the flavor was incredible! I wasn't sure how the left-overs would taste so I made a small batch of just 10 shells. The mixture was just a can of crabmeat, a cup of Ricotta, 1/2 cup of Parmesan, 2 Tbsp of mayo, garlic salt and Italian seasoning. You just cook the shells, stuff them, top them with 1 cup of Alfredo Sauce and bake them in the oven for 30 minutes at 350°F. It really doesn't get easier than that! I really liked the sauce I used this time too, which was a Sun-Dried Tomato Alfredo I found at Safeway (their store brand). Yup...NO left-overs tonight!

Here they are pre-sauce and pre-bake...

...30 minutes later and ready to be devoured!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Super BEEFY Lasagna Roll-Ups!

Lasagna is probably one of Greg's favorite foods (right after pizza!) so when I saw a container of ricotta cheese in the fridge, I knew what was in store for dinner! BUT instead of making a huge pan of pasta and having to deal with a week of left-overs, I decided to make roll-ups. I only made 6 rolls, which is probably half of a normal recipe, and we ate every last bite! I think dividing the beef mixture between the filling and the sauce made it, well more BEEFY of course, but also a lot more flavorful. They're a bit messier but SO totally worth it!  What a yummy Friday night treat!

Ingredients: (6 rolls)

6 uncooked plain lasagna noodles
1 lb ground beef
2 c tomato pasta sauce (any variety)
1 c sliced mushrooms
1 c ricotta cheese
1/2 c shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 c grated parmesan cheese
1 tsp garlic salt
1/4 tsp pepper


1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Cook and drain noodles as directed on package.

2. Cook beef and mushrooms in a skillet over medium-high heat about 6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until beef is brown; drain.

3. Reserve half of the beef mixture and set aside. Stir in pasta sauce and heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Pour into ungreased rectangular baking dish.

4. Mix together the reserved beef mixture, ricotta, mozzarella, parmesan, garlic salt and pepper in a bowl. Spread 3 Tbsp of the cheese mixture over each noodle and roll up. Place cut sides down into the bakind dish on top of the sauce mixture.

5. Cover with foil and bake about 30 minutes or until hot. Serve with additional Parmesan cheese.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Meatloaf to welcome my Honey!

Greg's been traveling a lot more than usual these last few weeks and tonight is the only night he'll be home before flying out again! SO I wanted to make him something I know he'll love...Mexican Meatloaf! I love making meatloaf cuz you always end up with a lotta left-overs to make sandwiches or even pasta! (Yes I've done that before and it turned out awesome!) What's Mexican about this meatloaf? Well, it's just basically got salsa and cumin in the mixture. The salsa kept the meatloaf REALLY moist and yummy! I mean, you really can't go wrong with anything ground beef Mexican style right? :)

Laguna AGAIN!

I just can't believe it's Laguna time again! It's Greg's company's annual Biotech Conference, which I've been tagging along to for the last 2 years now. The last time I was here, Greg's mom drove down to take me shopping and this time she brought Kanika along! We went to South Coast Plaza, which is one of my favorite malls and shopped around for a couple of hours before we were all starving. We looked at a few different restaurants but finally settled on Charlie Palmer, which is located next to Bloomingdale's. The food was great and the service was really fast since it was already 2pm! Afterwards, we drove back to The Montage, where Greg was just finishing up his last meeting. We got to stay here Friday night but then moved to The St Regis for the last couple of nights cuz they ran out of rooms. I didn't mind though!

Here we are at the Awards Dinner Sunday night.  I love dressing up!  :)

Sunday, October 4, 2009

The Easiest Crab Cakes EVER!

I'm so sad my Mommy Weekend has come to an end but we had SUCH a wonderful time together! I decided to make crab cakes for an early dinner before my mommy had to drive home. I found this easy recipe from Chicken of the Sea and added some chopped roasted red peppers for color. I served them on top of a bed of sautéed spinach and mushrooms. Simple, healthy and of course, REALLY yummy! I'm sure we'll be spending another weekend together real soon mommy! MUAH!

Strawberry Sauce Take 2!

I had some left over strawberry sauce from yesterday morning so I topped some vanilla ice cream with it. It was JUST as good as one the waffles, I swear! This is just such a versatile sauce!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Chinese Ribs for Our Moon Festival Dinner

Happy Moon Festival everyone! This is the traditional Chinese holidays where you're supposed to have dinner with your family. Lucky for me, my mommy just happened to be spending the weekend with me! I planned ahead and made these yummy Chinese Ribs in the slow cooker last night. The meat came out super tender (as always in the slow cooker!) and the Asian flavors really came through! The only thing I changed was that I substituted apricot preserve for the orange marmalade cuz I couldn't find any at the store. It paired wonderfully with the soy sauce though, sweet and salty. YUM!

The Healthiest Waffles Topped with Yummy Strawberry Sauce

For our Saturday morning breakfast (well brunch since it was noon!), I decided to break out the good old waffle maker. I found this recipe for Oatmeal Nut Waffles that sounded super yummy and healthy. I halved the ingredients to make 4 waffles and they were perfectly filling. (NOT too filling for a late lunch at The Cheesecake Factory though!) ANYWAY, I topped the waffles with a fresh strawberry sauce and the sweetness paired wonderfully with the oaty waffles. The sauce was as simple as can be. In a small pan, I brought 1/4 cup of water, 3 tablespoons of sugar and 1 tablespoon of cornstarch to a boil. Stirred it for a few minutes until the mixture thickened. Then I tossed in some freshly chopped up strawberries. SO yummy and easy!

Friday, October 2, 2009

First Dinner of the Weekend

For our first dinner together on Friday, I decided to make this Maple Salmon with Mushroom Couscous recipe. I mean, the NAME just sounds yummy! I already had some left-over mushroom couscous from making the sea bass so all I had to do was cook the salmon. I ended up marinating the fish in the sauce for about 30 minutes before baking to give it a more intense flavor. Doesn't that just look like the PERFECT piece of saucy salmon? 

Super Easy Crescent Appetizers!

Greg is traveling in Malaysia for a week so I invited my mommy to come stay with me for the weekend. I've planned 2 days of shopping and eating so I'm sure we'll have a GREAT time! I knew my mommy had to make a long drive up right after work and she'd probably be pretty hungry when she got here. So I wanted to make her a lil something to munch on while I cooked dinner. I had a roll of Pillsbury Crescents in the fridge so I got creative and made these super easy appetizers. All I did was spread a thin layer of Philadelphia Garden Vegetable Cream Cheese on each end of the triangles, topped them with a bit of wilted spinach leaves and baked them according to the package directions. SUPER easy and SUPER yummy! The apartment immediately smelled like freshly baked croissants when my mommu stepped in the front door. What a great welcome huh?  My mommy was REALLY impressed!

Blender Hollandaise ROCKS!

My obsession with all pink kitchen gadgets have finally led me to order a pink Cuisinart blender. I received it sometime last week and decided to test it out with this easy Hollandaise sauce recipe I found a while ago. Since it was dinner time, Eggs Benedict wouldn't really work, but you know what else goes perfectly with this sauce? Chilean Sea Bass, of course! This method of making Hollandaise Sauce was definitely MUCH easier than the last time I made it from scratch and it tasted just as good (if not better with the addition of cayenne pepper)! I also dredged the sea bass in a lil bit of flour before pan-frying it to give it that nice golden color. I served the fish on top of some Safeway Select Cheese Risotto that was also super easy to make. I first sautéd some mushrooms in a bit of butter until they were nice and soft, then cooked the risotto according to the package directions. During the last couple minutes of cooking, I stirred in some fresh baby spinach. Healthy and super yummy! A total restaurant quality meal that took no time at all!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Happy Early Moon Festival!

Moon Festival is this coming Saturday so I decided to celebrate it by making Chinese Almond Cookies. (I've researched on making Moon Cakes but they seem WAY too complicated for me!) I found this recipe from Taste of Home and our entire place smelled like yummy almond goodness! The extra step of brushing them with egg white gave the cookies this pretty golden shine. Happy Early Moon Festival everyone!

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