Thursday, September 30, 2010

Simple Meal from the Fridge

I love stocking up on simple ingredients over the weekend, so I can whip up a meal in no time on a busy weeknight. This yummy pasta dinner came completely from my fridge. It's Buitoni Three Cheese Tortellini with a sauce made from a jar of Classico Sauce which I added ground beef and mushrooms to. Topped with some fresh basil and you've got restaurant-quality food in less than 30 minutes!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Pork and Pear, the PERFECT Combo!

I've been experimenting a lot with meat and fruit combinations and most of them have come out really good. These Porkchops did NOT disappoint either. In fact, Greg said they were "amazing!" I braised them in a creamy pear sauce with just a lil kick from red pepper flakes. Served over some cheesy polent for a perfect fall meal!


2 pork chops (bone-in, 3/4-inch thick)
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 Tbsp butter
1 pear, chopped
1/2 c onion, chopped
1 tsp garlic, minced
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp chili flakes
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 c apple cider or apple juice
1/2 c heavy cream


1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Season the pork chops with salt and pepper on both sides. Brown on both sides for about 2 minutes per side. Remove and set aside.

2. In the same pan, melt butter over medium heat and add pear, onion and garlic. Sprinkle with thyme, chili flakes and sugar. Sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the apple cider, bring to a boil and deglaze, about 2 minutes.

3. Add the pork back, turn heat to low, cover and simmer until internal temperature reaches 160°F, about 10 minutes. Remove pork to serving platter.

4. Add cream, turn heat to medium-high and boil until thickened, about 5 minutes. Serve sauce over pork.

Pears Can Be Upside-Down Too!

We've all heard of Pineapple Upside-Down Cakes but why stop there? I found this recipe for Pear Upside-Down Muffins and knew I had to make them! The caramelized pear topping was sweet and sticky just like it should be. I substituted Pumpkin Pie Spice for the Cinnamon to give it more of a "fall" flavor and it added such nice warmth. Oh and of course I added some chopped walnuts to the mix cuz I add nuts to just about anything I bake! Cute and yummy!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Chicken Cacciatore take 2 with Zucchini!

I've made Chicken Cacciatore before and we loved it so I decided to make it again. I had some zucchini in the fridge so I added some in. I figured the more veggies the better right? This time I served the chicken over couscous and it did a great job of soaking up all the yummy sauce!


2 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs
Salt and black pepper
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 c onion, finely diced
1 tsp garlic, minced
1/2 c chicken broth
1 c diced tomatoes, undrained
1/2 medium zucchini, cut into sticks
1 c white mushrooms, sliced
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
1/4 tsp red chili flakes
1 Tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley


1. Season the chicken well with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the thighs and brown 2 to 3 min per side. Transfer to a plate.

2. Reduce the heat to medium and add the onion and garlic. Stir with a wooden spoon and scrap up any browned bits, until the onion softens and browns, about 5 min. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Add the tomatoes, zucchini, mushrooms, thyme, rosemary and chili flakes.

3. Nestle the chicken back into the sauce and add any accumulated juices. Lower the heat to a simmer, cover with the lid slightly ajar, and cook the chicken, turning occasionally, until internal temperature reaches 160°F, another 20 to 25 min. Remove chicken to serving platter.

4. Turn heat up to high and boil until sauce thicks, about 5 min. Pour over chicken and sprinkle with parsley.

My Go-To Savory Cornbread Recipe

I've finally found a "go-to" savory cornbread recipe that I can add whatever veggies, meat, cheese and herbs I feel like. It's cheesy and super simple baked in a cast-iron skillet. This one has mushrooms, cheddar and parsley but like I said, add WHATEVER you have laying around. I love savory cornbread cuz they're good any time of the day!


1 c all-purpose flour
1 c yellow cornmeal
2-1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 Tbsp sugar
1 stick unsalted butter
1 c veggies (bell pepper, mushroom, squash, etc), diced
1 c buttermilk
2 large eggs
1 c (4 oz) cheese, shredded
1 Tbsp fresh herbs (parsley, green onions, basil, etc), chopped


1. Preheat oven to 425°F. In a bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, and sugar; set aside. In another bowl, whisk together buttermilk and eggs. Add to dry ingredients and stir just until moistened.

2. Melt butter in a 9 or 10-inch cast-iron skillet. Add veggies and sauté until tender. Remove skillet from heat and let cool slightly. Add to rest of the ingredients along with in cheese and herbs.

3. Pour into hot skillet and place in oven. Bake until skewer inserted into center tests clean, about 20 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes, cut into wedges and serve (with more butter).

Monday, September 27, 2010

Fish + Curry Milk = YUM!

After discovering how yummy coconut milk is with fish, I decided to try this Indonesian Fish Curry. I am SO glad I did! I used some canned diced tomatoes (left-over in the fridge) and substituted lemon juice for the tamarind puree (couldn't find it). I also omitted the water cuz we like a very thick curry. As always, my kitchen smelled AMAZING as the sauce simmered and that rice caught every bit of its goodness!

Saying Good-bye to Zucchini Season

Now that summer is officially over, it's time to say good-bye to the beloved zucchini. BUT I just couldn't bare it without making 1 last batch of Zucchini Bread! I found this recipe using chocolate chunks that apparently came from a Ghirardelli Chocolate Bar package and just couldn't resist. I've seen lots of recipes for Chocolate Zucchini Bread and even Zucchini Brownies but haven't tried the combination before. I used semi-sweet chocolate chips instead and it added just the right amount of sweetness. I only a small zucchini so I cut the ingredients down in half and made 4 mini loaves instead of a big 1. The baking time was also a lot shorter, about 25 minutes, which is a total bonus since I hate waiting around for my yummy treats!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Sunday Dinner with Food Network Magazine

Although I know all the recipes from Food Network Magazine can be found online, I just love flipping through them and clipping the ones I wanna try. This Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese recipe was from a recent issue and I'm SO glad I made it tonight! For the hot sauce, I used Frank's Buffalo Wing Sauce, which we put on everything so I knew we'd love this dish! I was also excited to use 1 of the new baking dishes we received as a wedding gift. It came out super cheesy with just the right amount of kick from the hot sauce and Pepper Jack cheese. Perfect Sunday night dinner with LOTS of left-overs!

Fried Veggies are Still Veggies!

Greg's not a big fan of veggies but he'll definitely eat them if they're fried! Zucchini Sticks are something we love to order when we want something other than French Fries and now I can make them at home thanks to my Deep Fryer! I used Giada's recipe and they turned out awesome! I had trouble getting the batter to stick in the beginning using my fingers but after switching to tongs they worked like a charm. I liked dipping my sticks in warmed Marinara Sauce but Greg preferred Ranch. Either way, they were PERFECT Football Snacks!

Can't Wait to Try the New Mayo!

I picked up a bottle of Kraft's New Sandwich Shop Mayo in Horseradish Dijon and couldn't wait to try it! I remembered how much we liked the Hot and Spicy flavor on some Roast Beef Panini so decided to make some more. These were almost identical except for the new mayo (of course) and I also used a combination of Muenster and Pepperjack Cheese (to kick it up a notch!). You can definitely taste the horseradish in these and just perfect with the beef! I can't think of a better way to spend Sunday!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Summer in Fall!

That was the headline on the news this morning and for once the weatherman were actually right on! It was in the 80's, which is definitely summer weather for us and we totally took advantage of it. One of our favorite brunch spots when it's nice out is Mission Rock Cafe. It's just the perfect spot with outside seating by the water and it's almost like our hideout cuz not many people know about it. The food is good and you can't beat Bottomless Champagne! Aw, the happy newly weds under the sun!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

We NEVER Get Tired of Pineapple Fried Rice!

I think Greg can probably eat Pineapple Fried Rice at least once a week and not get tired of it. Me, probably about every other week but I still love it! It's also such a quick and easy meal as long as you have all the ingredients on hand. I just love the way my kitchen smells whenever I made an Asian dish! It's the combination of all the different sauces mixed with the garlic. This time I also added Fish Sauce, which is probably one of my favorite Asian condiments. This meal definitely hits all the flavor components from the spicy chili flakes to the salty pork and finally the sweet pineapples. And the left-overs just get better!


1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1/4 c onion, chopped
1 tsp garlic, minced
1 Tbsp fresh ginger, minced
1 green onion, sliced, plus more for garnish
1/4 tsp chili flakes
1 egg
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1 c BBQ Pork, chopped
1/2 c pineapple chunks, slightly drained
2 c day old white rice
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 Tbsp fish sauce


1. Heat a skillet over medium heat and add the vegetable oil. When the oil shimmers, add the onion, garlic, ginger, green onion and chili flakes. Sauté until tender and golden, about 5 minutes. Add egg and scramble for 1 minute.

2. Stir in the red bell pepper and the chicken and sauté until the pepper starts to soften. Add the rice and pineapple and mix with a wooden spoon to break up any lumps. Stir-fry until lightly browned, about 5 minutes, stirring constantly.

3. Stir in the sesame oil and fish sauce. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve.

Cookie Friday is BACK!

I'm back to baking for Cookie Friday and decided on a classic, Mrs Fields Oatmeal Raisin Cookies. They're soft and chewy and I made sure they're full of raisin!

Ingredients: (3 dozen cookies)

2-1/4 all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 c oatmeal
1 c brown sugar, packed
1/2 c granulated sugar
1 c (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 Tbsp honey
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1-1/2 c raisins


1. Preheat oven to 300°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, soda, salt and oats. In the bowl of a stand mixer, blen sugars with butter at a medium speed to form a grainy paste. Scrape down sides, then add honey, vanilla and eggs. Mix at medium speed until light and fluffy.

3. Add the flour mixture and raisins, and blend at a low speed just until combined. Do not overmix.

4. Drop by rounded tablespoons onto cookie sheets, 1-1/2 inches apart. Bake for 22-24 minutes or until cookies are light golden brown. Immediately transfer cookies with a spatula to a cool flat surface.

What Happened Last Saturday

We got married!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Finally Opening Up That Red Curry Paste!

I bought a jar of Thai Red Curry Paste a while ago and finally used it tonight to make this Chicken Dish. It turned out amazing! Rich and creamy and filled our kitchen with the yummy curry aroma! I used some boneless skinless chicken thighs cuz we like dark meat at our house. I also made sure there was enough rice to soak up all the sauce. Quick and easy and tasted just like a Thai restaurant!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Chipotle Raspberry Pork Chops

I regret not garnishing the dish with something green for a prettier photo, but trust me, they tasted just perfect! The combination of the sweet raspberries and firey chipotle went so well with the meat. The vinegar and sugar also added a perfect tang. To make sure that I didn't waste any of the yummy sauce, I made some couscous to soak it all up! Quick and easy weeknight dinner!


1/4 c diced onion
1 tsp minced garlic
1 Tbsp chipotle chiles in adobo, chopped
1 c fresh raspberries
2 Tbsp cider vinegar
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/4 c beef stock
1/4 c granulated sugar
1/4 tsp salt

2 boneless, center-cut pork loin chops, (1/2 to 3/4-inch thick)
1 Tbsp vegetable oil


1. Heat oil in heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high until smoking. Pat pork chops dry and season with salt and pepper. Add to skillet and cook until browned, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Remove chops and transfer to a plate.

2. Add the onions and cook, stirring, until soft and slightly caramelized, 4 minutes. Add the garlic to the pan and sauté for 1 minute. Add the chipotles and cook, stirring continuously, for 1 minute. Add the raspberries and cook until soft, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the vinegars and stock, scraping up brown bits. Add the sugar and salt, and bring to a boil. Add chops back, reduce heat to medium and simmer until chops register 145°F, 1 to 2 minutes.

3. Remove chops to serving platter. Turn heat up to high and reduce sauce by half, 5 minutes. Pour over chops.

Saying Bye to Summer with Raspberry Muffins

Fall starts this week so that means the end of berry season. I didn't wanna say bye to summer without picking up one last batch of berries and making these Raspberry White Chocolate Muffins. I left out the sugary topping cuz they were very sweet already. The combination of raspberries and white chocolate was just perfect and they tasted just like summer! I'm actually really looking forward to fall baking with all the pumpkins, apples, squash and of course, Thanksgiving!

Friday, September 17, 2010

A Trip to Hawaii with Pork!

I call these my Hawaiian Pork Chops cuz the flavors remind me of Hawaiian BBQ. The meat is topped with a sweet and savory pineapple relish and wasn SO yummy! They're also perfectly done thanks to braising and took no time at all. I can't think of a better dinner to send us off to get married!


2 bone-in pork chops
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
1/4 c all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 c crushed pineapple, undrained
1/4 c beef broth
1/4 c ketchup
1 Tbsp cider vinegar
1 Tbsp light-brown sugar
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce


1. Season pork chops on both sides with salt and pepper. Coat both sides in flour.

2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Brown chops for about 2 to 3 minutes per side.

3. Mix together pineapple, broth, ketchup, vinegar, brown sugar, soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce. Pour over chops. Cook, covered, over low heat for about 10 minutes or until chops register 145°F.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

I Finally Made Fried Chicken!

AND IT WAS GOOD! I've been wanting to make Fried Chicken ever since I got my Deep Fryer and finally did it tonight. I marinated the chicken thighs overnight in a mixture of buttermilk and Emeril's Essence. (I keep the mix in a jar and it's good on EVERYTHING!) The chicken was fried to perfection in just 10 minutes, golden crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. (That pretty red color is from the Essence!) I'm TOTALLY in love with my deep fryer right now! Of course you can't have a proper Fried Chicken Meal without some Mashed Potatoes and Biscuits right? PERFECT meal to get us through the week!

Who Wouldn't Want Some Mocha Chunk Cookies?

We're visiting the future in-laws this weekend so I wanted to bring something sweet. I flipped through the good old Mrs Fields Cookie Book and decided to make some Mocha Chunk Cookies. I know Greg's mom likes coffee and chocolate so I was sure she'd like these. I mean, who wouldn't right? I cut the recipe in half cuz I didn't want 4 dozen cookies and used chocolate chips instead of chunks. They came out so decadent and full of mocha flavor! I can't wait to share them!

Ingredients: (2 dozen cookies)

1-1/4 c all-purpose flour
1/4 c unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp instant coffee
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 c granulated sugar
1/4 c packed brown sugar
1/2 c (1 stick) butter, softened
1 egg
1 c semisweet chocolate chips


1. Preheat oven to 300°F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

2. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, coffee, baking soda and salt.

3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, blend butter with sugar to form a grainy paste. Scrape down sides and add eggs. Beat at medium speed until smooth.

4. Add the flour mixture and chocolate chips. Blend at low speed just until combined.

5. Drop by rounded Tbsp onto cookie sheets. Bake 23-25 minutes.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

I FINALLY Got Coconut Milk!

I've been saving this Coconut Curry Salmon recipe for a while now but could never remember to get Coconut Milk. I bought some salmon the other day and made a special trip to the store just to get a can so I could finally make it. I was SO glad I did cuz the coconut curry flavor was AMAZING on the fish! I didn't need the whole can so I made Coconut Rice to go on the side. Greg love it too! I'm definitely getting more Coconut Milk and making more Curry dishes from now on!

Piña Colada Muffins!

Although I've never actually had a Piña Colada, I feel like it's the official "Summer Vacation Drink". Since summer is about to end (9/22!), I decided to celebrate its last days with these Piña Colada Muffins. I adapted them from this Pineapple Quick Bread recipe and they came out SO SO good! By sprinkling the Coconut Flakes on top, they browned up nicely and became slightly crunchy. Sweet and creamy, these are definitely the BEST muffins to end summer with!

Ingredients: (12 muffins)

1-3/4 c all-purpose flour
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c coconut milk
1/2 c crushed pineapple, slightly drained
2 eggs
1/2 c (1 stick) butter, melted
1/4 c sweetened shredded coconut


1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease muffin pan.

2. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. In a large measuring cup, whisk together the coconut milk, eggs and butter. Add the wet ingredients to the dry along with pineapples, stir just until combined.

3. Divide among prepared pan. Bake 25-30 minutes, until golden brown and toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Dinner Inspiration from Food Network Magazine

I'm always really excited to get a new Food Network Magazine in the mail and usually skip right to the Weeknight Dinner section. The recipes are simple and mostly quick-cooking. In the last issue, I saw a recipe for Honey-Mustard Chicken and Apples that I knew I wanted to try. I love the combination of pork and apples so why not chicken right? It turned out amazing! Sweet and savory and just perfect! Instead of finishing the chicken in the oven, I just simmered it on the stovetop instead. I also added some left over bell peppers I had in the fridge. I found that I didn't need to add the flour cuz the sauce thickened up with just the butter. I served the chicken over some Cheesy Grits and it was such a yummy dinner!


2 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 c onion, chopped
1 apple, cut into chunks
1/2 bell pepper, cut into chunks
1/2 c chicken broth
1 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
1 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp butter
1 tsp fresh parsley, minced for garnish


1. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add chicken, skin-side down and brown for 5-6 minutes. Flip and cook 2-3 more minutes, then remove to a plate.

2. Add onion, apple and bell pepper to pot and season with salt and pepper. Cook until softened, 4-5 minutes. Add broth, mustard and honey and bring to a boil. Add chicken back, skin-side up. Turn heat down to low, cover and simmer 15-20 minutes, until chicken reaches 170.

3. Remove chicken to serving platter. Stir in butter, turn heat up to high. Boil until sauce thickens, 4-5 minutes. Serve sauce over chicken and garnish with parsley.

Sweet & Savory Cheesy Apple Bread!

I LOVE the combination of apples and cheese and can't believe I haven't tried it in baking yet! It turned out SO yummy! I baked mini loaves but you can definitely use a regular loaf pan but just increase the baking time to 50-60 minutes. Sweet and savory and the perfect way to welcome fall!

Ingredients: (1 regular loaf or 6 mini loaves)

2 c all-purpose flour
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 c (1 stick) butter, softened
1/2 c sugar
2 eggs
1 apple, chopped
1/2 c shredded cheese (I used Mexican blend)


1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray loaf pans with cooking spray.

2. In a bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, mixing well after each addition.

4. Stir in dry ingredients, apple and cheese. Batter will be thick.

5. Divide batter evenly into prepared loaf pans. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until golden on top and toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Visit from the Future Bro and Sis!

Kanika and Ryan visited us over the weekend for a wedding and got to squeeze in a lunch at Palomino with us. We were pleasantly surprised to find out that they now serve Happy Hour appetizers ALL day and EVERYDAY! Can't pass that up right? We ordered SO much food (Calamari, Clams, Flatbread and Pizza) and had yummy left-overs to take home. We totally lucked out with the weather too and it was warm enough to sit outside!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Mexican Dinner Inspiration @ Midnight!

It's been a while since I've stayed up late watching Food Network but I was home alone on a Friday night so I decided to watch some Rachael Ray. I watched her make Posole Mexican Lasagna and knew I had to try it! I mean, it's like the perfect marriage of Greg's 2 favorite dishes! As with many of Rachael Ray's recipes, they may only take 30 minutes to cook, but you use so many pots and pans that you end up cleaning for the next 30 minutes. So to make my life easier, I made some adjustments like using canned Green Enchiladas Sauce instead of making my own from Tomatillos. I did add the avocados though and it made the sauce extra creamy! I couldn't find Hominy so I used corn instead. I also used only 1 lb of pork and it was already plenty of meat. It was the perfect Sunday night meal with LOTS of yummy left-overs!


1 Tbsp olive oil
1 lb ground pork
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
Salt and black pepper
1 (15 oz) can corn kernels
1/4 c jalapeno, chopped
1 (28 oz) Green Enchiladas Sauce
2 avocados
1 Tbsp lime juice
2 Tbsp honey
6 tortillas
4 c shredded cheese (I used a combo of Mexican and Pepper Jack)
1 green onion, sliced


1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork and crumble as it browns. Sean with cumin, coriander, salt and pepper. Once browned evenly, add corn ad reduce heat to simmer.

3. While meat cooks, heat Enchiladas Sauce. Pit and scoop the avocados into food process, add lemon juice and honey. Puree until smooth and season with a little salt. Stir the avocado mixture into the sauce and remove from heat.

4. In a baking dish, layer sauce, 2 tortillas, meat and cheese. Repeat twice. Bake for 25 minutes, until cheese is bubbly and brown. Let cool 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with green onions.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Chicken with Our Favorite Hot Sauce!

We LOVE Crystal Hot Sauce at our house and I swear if we put it on everything! So imagine how excited I was when I found Rachael Ray's recipe for Chicken Thighs with Louisiana Style Gravy! What an AWESOME way to use more of our favorite hot sauce, right? I left out the celery (Greg hates it) and just used red bell peppers (all I had). Of course, I also added WAY more hot sauce than a few "dashes". ;) The gravy was AMAZING on the chicken and I also made some Cheesy Grits (keeping it Lousiana-Style!) to soak it all up. What a yummy way to start the weekend!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Muffins with a Kick!

These are my Hazelnut Mocha Muffins and they will definitely kick-start your morning! I used a packet of Taster's Choice Single-Serve in Vanilla but any flavor will be great in here (along with a tsp of Vanilla Extract). I topped each muffin with a few Hazelnuts, which came out nice and toasty. I'm definitelyl having 1 (or 2 or 3) for breakfast tomorrow!

Ingredients: (6 muffins)

1 c all-purpose flour
1/4 c sugar
1/4 c brown sugar
2 Tbsp cocoa powder
1 Tbsp instand coffee
1 tsp baking powder
1 egg
1/2 c milk
1/4 c butter, melted
1 c whole Hazelnuts


1. Preheat oven to 400ºF. Grease or line 6 muffin cups.

2. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugars, cocoa, baking powder and coffee.

3. In a large measuring cup, whisk together egg, milk and butter. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.

4. Fill muffin cups 3/4 full. Top with Hazelnuts. Bake 15-20 minutes, until toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.

Cute Lil Savories!

I've been looking for inspiration to bake something savory so when I saw these Pizza Puffs, I couldn't wait to try them! They were adapted from Rachael Ray Mag and I turned mine into Ham and Cheese Puffs with lots of fresh parsley. (I basically just sub'ed Ham for the Pepperoni and Cheddar Cheese for the Mozzarella.) I baked my puffs in my Mini Tea Cake Pan but I guess you can't really see the cute shapes with everything else going on. Oh well, they tasted fantastic! Cheesy and savory, just the way I like it!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Bad Cookie!

Looking back I realized that it's been over a year since I participated in Cookie Carnival! I mean, it's got a new home and everything now! Well, I'm back and chose to make these Chiquita Banana Breakfast Cookies. Although mine turned out more like pancakes but that's still breakfast right? I left out the carrots cuz I didn't have any but they turned out yummy and moist just as promised! These are some HUGE cookies!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Peachy with LOTS of Pecans!

Summertime means lots of juicy peaches on sale so I picked one up to make some yummy muffins. I over-filled my cups a lil bit so these muffins came out HUGE! You could probably get 8-9 regular sized ones but I'm happy with my big O muffins! They have just the right amount of sweetness with lots of crunch from the pecans. Perfect for summer snacking!

Ingredients: (6 BIG muffins)

1 c all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 c granulated sugar
1/4 c packed brown sugar
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 egg, well beaten
1/4 c oil
1/4 c buttermilk
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 c chopped pecans
1 peach, chopped


1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease or line 6 muffin cups.

2. In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, sugars, cinnamon and nutmeg. In a large measuring cup, whisk together the egg, oil, buttermilk and vanilla. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the wet. Stir just until dry mixture is moistened. Stir in pecans and peaches.

3. Divide among muffin cups. Bake 15-18 minutes until brown on top and toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.

A Comforting Meal After a LONG Day!

Going back to work after a long weekend is always hard but ending the day with a comforting meal makes everything better! I've been saving this recipe for Sautéed Catfish with Mustard Sauce for a while now and finally made it tonight. It was such an meal to make and the crust on top was just SO good! The creamy mustard sauce was the perfect match too and I made a side of Smashed New Potatoes to soak it all up. Now we're happy and full and looking forward to the short work week!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

I Finally Got a Deep Fryer!

You cannot imagine how long I've wanted a Deep Fryer but Greg was always scared that I'd hurt myself so I never got one. (Actually I ordered one a few years ago but he made me return it!) Anyway, he watched some infomercial the other day and saw how safe they were so he told me that I could get one. I jumped at the chance and ordered one right away before he could change his mind! I did a lotta research and finally decided on the Cuisinart Mini Deep Fryer after reading all the great user comments. You also can't beat the discounted $49 from the original $90! It's very small but is perfect for just the 2 of us. I tested it out with some Fish and Chips for lunch using Big Daddy's recipe. The beer batter was SO good on the catfish and the chips were perfect with just a sprinkle of salt. I was nervous about using a deep fryer for the first time but it was so easy and not scary at all! The charcoal filter obsorbed most of the frying smell and there was no splatter at all. I highly recommend getting this fryer if you like fried food! (And who doesn't right?) I'm totally looking forward to some Buttermilk Fried Chicken and Fish Tacos very soon!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Easy Friday Night Dinner from the Fridge!

I had a lot of Garlic Cheese Spread left over from making my Cheesy Balsamic Chicken so I went online to find some use for it. It's not that we can't make the container disappear very quickly on some crackers but I wanted to try something different. I found this recipe for Mac and Cheese and knew I wanted to try it! I added some ground beef and Mozzarella to the mix for my meat-and-cheese-loving man. It turned out to be such a simple and yummy meal with all ingredients I already had in the fridge! The crunchy topping was our favorite part and we gobbled up every last bite! Now it's time to relax with full tummies and look forward to the LONG weekend ahead!

Sloppy Bombay Joes are the BOMB!

I didn't really watch The Next Food Network Star but I'm glad that Aarti Sequeira won cuz they really need some variety besides American and Italian cuisine. I know they make plenty of ethnic dishes on the shows but somehow watching Tyler Florence make Indian Lamb Curry or Guy Fieri making Thai Green Chicken just seems WRONG! I mean, where's the authenticity in watching 2 white guys make these dishes? I think The Food Network finally realized that and since Greg LOVES Indian food, Aarti Party is quickly becoming my new favorite show. Tonight, I made my version of her Sloppy Bombay Joes and they were a yummy switch up from the good old Sloppy Joes we love. I'm definitely excited to try more of Aarti's recipes!


1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp ginger powder
1 tsp Garam Masala
1/4 c onion, finely diced
1 jalapeno, minced
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 lb ground pork
1 tsp garlic, minced
1 c tomato sauce
1 tsp honey
2 Tbsp heavy cream
2 hamburger buns


1. Heat oil in pot over medium heat. When shimmering, stir in the cumin, ginger, Garam Masala and onions; sauté until softened and starting to brown.

2. Add the jalapeno and sauté for another couple of minutes, seasoning with salt. Stir in the meat, breaking up the big lumps. Cook until opaque, about 5 minutes.

3. Stir in tomato sauce and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer until the mixture has thickened slightly, about 10 minutes. Stir in honey and heavy cream. Serve on toasted buns.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Cheesy Balsamic Chicken Bake

Doesn't that name just sound yummy and look at all the pretty colors! I saw the idea of spreading cheese under the chicken skin and knew I needed to try it ASAP. I used Alouette Garlic and Herb, which is one of our favorite cracker toppers but any type of creamy cheese would be just as good. The chicken came out crispy and bursting with cheesy garlicy flavor! We really liked the Balsamic flavor too and it went perfectly with the potatoes and tomatoes. What an AWESOME 1 dish meal!


2 chicken thighs, skin on
2 Tbsp garlic & herb soft cheese
6 new potatoes, halved
1 tsp dried thyme
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp brown sugar
12 cherry tomatoes


1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Carefully lift the skin on the chicken thighs and spread 1 Tbsp soft cheese between the skin and flesh.

2. Place chicken in a baking pan, skin-side up, and surround with the potatoes.

3. Whisk thyme vinegar, oil and brown sugar together until sugar has dissolved. Drizzle over chicken and potatoes.

4. Bake for 30 min, until the chicken and potatoes are almost cooked through with crisp, golden skin.

5. Add tomatoes. Bake for 10 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 170°F.

The Easiest Biscuits EVER!

Having Bisquick around really does mean I can make biscuits in a flash. This is my foundation recipe and I just basically add whatever herbs or veggies I feel like. I even like to add meat sometimes to make a meal out of them. Tonight, I kept it simple and just added some chopped green onions and Parmesan to the butter topping. Easy and yummy!

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