Thursday, June 30, 2011

Aarti's Chicken Tikka Masala

A while ago I watched Aarti make her Chicken Tikka Masala, which is basically chicken in a creamy tomato curry sauce. I finally made it tonight and I'm SO glad I did! I marinaded the meat overnight and it became so tender from the yogurt. The only thing I changed was browning the chicken in a pan since I don't own a grill. It turned out amazing and super flavorful! Thanks again Aarti!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

My Mom's Favorite Cookies

My mom LOVES LOVES LOVES Pecan Shortbread Cookies so for a special treat, I decided to bake a batch for her. Boy, was she thrilled! I followed Ina's recipe and cut them into cute heart shapes cuz I LOVE my mommy! I even visited her at work to bring them to her. What a good daughter huh? :)

Giada's Baked Manicotti

I've been saving Giada's Baked Manicotti recipe for a while now and finally make it tonight. I omitted the peas cuz hubby hates them but stuck to the recipe otherwise. At first I thought the Fonduta Sauce would be a bit overkill but it definitely fit the recipe perfectly! Leftovers are even better! Seriously!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Peachy and Porky Dinner

It's peach season so I decided to feature the yummy summer fruit for dinner. I love pork with fruit and tonight's dinner was such a perfect combination or sweet and savory. You can marinate the meat for anywhere from an hour to overnight, which is what I did. SO good and easy too!


2 bone-in pork chops (1 inch thick)
1/4 c olive oil
2 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
Salt and pepper
2 sprigs of fresh thyme


2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 c chopped onions
1/4 c white wine
1 c diced peaches
1 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper


1. Toss the chops with marinade in a resealable plastic bag and marinade for 1 hour or up to overnight in the fridge. Bring to room temperature before cooking.

2. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add pork and brown 5 minutes on each side. Remove and keep warm.

3. Add onions and cook for 5 minutes. Deglaze with wine for 1 minute. Add peaches and drizzle with honey and balsamic vinegar. Cook until lightly caramelized, 10 minutes.

4. Add pork back and coat with sauce. Cook 5 more minutes. Serve with sauce on top.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

My Go-to Hollandaise Sauce

My hubby LOVES Eggs Benedict. In fact, it was the first dish I ever (attempted) to make for him. It was before I started cooking and well, let's just say we ended up going out for brunch. Ever since then, I've perfected my poached eggs but for the longest time making Hollandaise Sauce from scratch scared me. It just seemed so complicated and the McCormick Sauce Mix tasted ok so I was happy with that. Not anymore though! Ever since I discovered this easy blender recipe, I've never gone back to the mix. It's easy and just SO much better! This Sunday, I decided to whip up some Eggs Benedict to thank my hubby for cleaning our dining room. And as always, we devoured every last bite!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Chicken MOLE!

This was another "stolen" recipe from my mother-in-law's cookbook collection. It's the Chicken Mole from Cook's Illustrated, which of course, I made a few adjustments. It turned out SO flavorful and Greg declared it "restaurant quality", which is always great to hear!


1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 Tbsp ground ancho powder
1 Tbsp chipotle in adobo sauce
1/4 c minced onions
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 oz semisweet chocolate
1 tsp minced garlic
1 c diced tomatoes (I used Rotel
1 Tbsp raisins
Salt and pepper
2 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
Rice, for serving


1. Preheat oven to 400°F.

2. Heat oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add onion and cook until softened, 5 minutes. Stir in ancho, chipotle, cinnamon, cloves and chocolate and cook until spices are fragrant and chocolate is melted, 3 minutes.

3. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds. Stir in tomatoes and raisins and cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce is thickened, 10 minutes. Transfer mixture to a blender and process until smooth, 30 seconds.

4. Pat chicken dry and season with salt and pepper. Arrange chicken in a baking dish and cover with sauce, turning to coat evenly. Bake, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Turn chicken over and bake until it registers 170°F, 20 minutes.

5. Remove chicken from oven, cover loosely with foil and let rest in sauce for 5 minutes. Serve over rice and spoon sauce over top.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Doubly Yummy Creamed Spinach

I was inspired by Sandra Lee's Spinach Stuffed Baked Sole but didn't wanna use Frozen Spinach Dip (yuck!). Instead I used my goto recipe for Creamed Spinach from Tyler Florence and got creative by adding it to the Grits as well. It turned out amazing! Greg's not the biggest fan of fish but he ate every bite of this! YUMMY!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's Day Enchiladas!

It's Father's Day so I wanted to make something manly for my man even if he's not a dad (yet!). I knew Enchiladas were his all-time favorite meal so I made some with ground pork and Tomatillo Sauce. Not the prettiest picture but OH so good!

Breakfast of Champions!

Have you ever had Fried Rice for breakfast? It's SO good and the perfect start to the day. For a nice Sunday morning, I made Fried Rice out of the leftovers from my pork and added 2 eggs to it. PERFECT way to start your Sunday, I promise!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Brownie Cheesecake Bites for My BFF!

My BFF, Kat, is visiting and I got to have brunch with her and my other BFF, Helen, at Ironside. They have the BEST deal when it comes to brunch! For $16, you get a buffet of yummy goodness like French Toast, Biscuits and Gravy, Cheddar Grits, Seafood Ceviche (my fav!), Bread Pudding, BACON and Spicy Sausage. Oh and for $10 more, you get BOTTOMLESS Mimosa or $8 fpr BOTTOMLESS Bloody Mary! THIS is the way to start the weekend for sure!

We left VERY FULL and happy especially since I brought my famous Brownie Cheesecake Bites for dessert! These are super easy and always a hit. It's just your basic brownie mix with a mixture of a package of Cream Cheese, 1/3 c Sugar and an egg dropped in the middle. I makes about 8 dozen bites so everyone can have as many as they want!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Big O Stuffed Meatballs!

I had some left-over ground beef so I decided to make a few stuffed meatballs. These are just a mixture of meat, breadcrumbs and an egg all wrapped around chunks of Pepperjack String Cheese. SO good and SO simple!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Fruit Cups are More Than Just Snacks!

I bought some Peaches in Strawberry Banana Syrup a while ago at Target and used them in this yummy pork stir-fry dish tonight. It's spicy sour and sweet and was SO flavorful!


2 Tbsp cornstarch, divided
1/2 lb pork, cut into chunks
1 cup (4 oz) pineapple chunks
1 cup (4 oz) Peaches in Strawberry Banana Syrup
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 c onions, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
6 dried red chiles
1 coconut milk, unsweetened
Rice, for serving


1. Toss pork with 1 Tbsp cornstarch and set aside.

2. Drain pineapple and peaches and reserve syrup. Mix syrups with remaining 1 Tbsp cornstarch, soy sauce and brown sugar in a small bowl. Set aside.

3. In a nonstick skille, heat oil on medium-high heat. Add pork and stir-fry until meat is no longer pink, 5 minutes. Remove and set aside.

4. Add pepper and onions and stir-fy until just crisp-tender, 5 minutes. Add garlic and dried peppers and cook 1 minute.

5. Stir in juice mixture and coconut milk. Add pork back and bring to a boil. Cook and stir 5 minutes until thickened. Serve with rice.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Sweet and Spicy and OH SO TENDER Duck!

I grew up eating Peking Duck at Chinese restaurants with my family but only recently have I tried making duck at home. My mom got me some duck legs at the Asian market and I kept them in the freezer. Tonight, I decided to braise them in a red wine and cranberry mixture. I also added some Cayenne for a lil bit of heat and the meat was falling off tender after 2 hours. SO SO good and definitely worth the time and effort!


1 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 large whole duck legs
Salt and pepper
1/2 c dry red wine
1/2 c onions, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp thyme
1/2 c dried cranberries
1 c chicken broth
Couscous, for serving


1. In a Dutch oven, heat oil on medium-high heat. Season duck with salt and pepper. Add to the pan, skin sides down, and brown for 10 minutes. Turn over and brown another 10 minutes. Transferring to a plate.

2. Add wine and deglaze, scraping up brown bits with a wooden spoon. Boil wine until reduced to half. Add onion and brown 5 minutes. Add garlic, cayenne, thyme and 1/4 cup cranberries. Stir for 1 minute.

3. Return duck legs, skin sides up, and add broth. Bring mixture to a simmer and turn heat down to low. Cover and simmer for 1 hour. Turn legs over and simmer for 1 more hour or under meat is very tender. Remove legs to serving platter.

4. Turn heat up to high and add remaining 1/4 cup cranberries. Boil until slightly thickened and fruit is softened, about 5 minutes.

My Piggy Obsession

I've recently developed a Piggy Obsession meaning that I NEED to have anything pink and piggy for the kitchen. It started out with just the Pink Piggy Timer but has evolved into an entired Piggy Family. For my bday, my hubby ordered me the Piggy Canister Set that I've seen on Down Home with the Neelys and have been wanting for like a year! How cute are they? I mean, seriously, those piggies can make anyone smile! :)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Yummy Thai Red Curry Pork

I bought some beautiful boneless pork loin chops at the store and couldn't wait to make something yummy with them. Tonight, I decided on Thai Red Curry flavor and served the meat with Rice Noodles, which is one of our currect obsessions. Very easy and very quick!


8 oz pork fillet, cubed
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 Tbsp red curry paste
1 tsp ginger, grated
5 dried red chiles
1 tsp lime juice
1 Tbsp fish sauce
1 c coconut cream
1 c tomatoes, diced
5 basil leaves


1. Toss pork with cornstarch and set aside.

2. Heat oil in a pan over a high heat. Add pork and cook until well browned. Remove and set aside.

3. Add the curry paste, ginger, red chiles and lime juice and cook for 1 minute. Reduce heat and stir in the fish sauce and coconut milk.

4. Return the pork fillet to the pan and tomatoes and simmer 5 minutes. Add the basil and cook 2 more minutes.

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Monday, June 13, 2011

Who to do with Leftover Ricotta?

Make Lasagna Rolls, of course! For a special Monday night treat, I made Beefy Lasagna Rolls, which are just ground beef, Ricotta, Italian Seasoning and Paremsan rolled up into yummy goodness.

Here they are ready to go into the oven...

...and here they are ready to be devoured!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Lamb Shanks Again but Even Better This Time!

After getting over my fear of lamb shanks, I couldn't wait to make them again. This time, I went with Moroccan flavors and it was SO good! I know it's a long list of spices but I always have them on hand anyway and they were just perfect with the lamb. The meat literally fell apart after 2 hours of braising and I served it with couscous to soak up all the yummy sauce. I can't WAIT to get some more lamb shanks!


2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 lamb shanks
Salt and pepper
1/4 c onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp Harissa
1/2 c dry red wine
1 (14-oz) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1/4 dried apricots, chopped
1 c beef stock
Couscous, for serving


1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven. Season the shanks with salt and pepper. Add them to the casserole and cook over moderately high heat until browned all over, about 12 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

2. Add the onion and garlic and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the cumin, coriander, cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg and cook, stirring until lightly toasted, about 1 minute.

3. Add the tomato paste and harissa and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Stir in the wine and boil until reduced to a thick syrup, about 4 minutes.

4. Add the tomatoes, apricots and chicken stock to the casserole. Season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Nestle the lamb shanks in the liquid.

5. Cover tightly and braise about 2 hours, basting occasionally, until the meat is almost falling off the bone. Transfer the shanks to a platter and cover with foil.

Happy Birthday to US!

My mom's bday just so happens to fall on the day right after mine so every year we celebrate them together. This year, my hubby treated us to The Waterfront Bar for a yummy seafood feast. We had Calamari, Crab Cakes, Oysters, Seafood Pasta and of course, LOTS of bubbly! My mom surprised me with a Juicy Cupcake Necklace and I surprised her with a Precious Moments Figuring featuring a mom and daughter.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Leftovers NEVER Tasted SO Good!

Whenever I make Meatloaf, we always end up with leftovers and usually we're completely happy with just making sandwiches. BUT this time, I got creative and made Stuffed Shells out of my Cheeseburger Meatloaf. I just mixed the leftovers with some Ricotta cheese and leftovers never tasted SO good!

Red Lobster Biscuits for My Mommy!

It's my mom's birthday today and we're celebrating with her tomorrow so I decided to bake her favorite Red Lobster Biscuits. Whenever we go to the restaurant, she can seriously polish off the entire basket by herself and that's BEFORE her entree showed up! I came across this TOP SECRET recipe a while ago and it works like a charm every time. Bisquick, who knew? LOVE IT!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Celebrating My Bday with Chilean Seabass!

Apparently Chilean Seabass is really expensive right now so normal grocery stores like Safeway aren't carrying them. Luckily, I knew I could always find them at Whole Foods. Not cheap at $15 for a 6oz piece, but hey, it's my birthday and I wanted Chilean Seabass! This fish is so buttery and flavorful that you don't really need much besides adding some salt and pepper. BUT if you REALLY wanna take it over the top (since it's my BIRTHDAY and all!), you can serve it with Blender Hollandaise Sauce along with some Cheese Grits. Oh yea, THIS is what I wanted and of course, you can't celebrate without LOTS of Champagne right?

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Eesy Cheesy Pork Chops Parmigiana!

I've been saving this recipe for Pork Chops Parmigiana from Kraft for a while now and finally made it tonight. I pounded my chops so that they were a lil thinner and more tender. I also topped them with some Italian breadcrumbs along with the Parmesan cheese. I think the mushroom tomato sauce was the best part and of course, all the Mozzarella on top didn't hurt either! I served them over some Fusilli pasta and it was the perfect weeknight meal!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

What is Vindaloo?

According to Wikipedia, Vindaloo is a spicy Indian curry dish that included meat, garlic, vinegar and potatoes. I found a bunch of recipes online and decided on this one since Epicurious has never disappointed me. I'm so glad I did! The potatoes were really tender and the chicken was full of flavor! I served it with rice to soak up all the yummy sauce and it was just a great meal!

Pecan Squares for My Mom's Bday!

I don't think there's anything my mom loves more than pecans and since her birthday's coming up, I decided to make these Pecan Bars. They've got the perfect crunchy topping and buttery shortbread crust and not at all difficult to make. I'm sure my mom will love them as much as I do!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Spicy and Cheesy Just the Way We Like it!

I've been saving this recipe for Spicy Cornmeal Cod for a while now and finally made it tonight. I topped the fish with some Cheddar Cheese right at the end and served it with Cheesy Grits. SO good and really easy too!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Cheeseburger and Meatloaf are a Match Made in Heaven!

Cheeseburger and Meatloaf are 2 of my hubby's favorite foods (right behind pizza) so when I saw this recipe, I KNEW I had to make it. I omitted the bacon cuz Greg's not a fan and added some chopped onions and garlic to the mixture. It came out SO SO SO SO good! Super cheesy and just amazingly moist! Sunday dinner at it's best! Thanks Paula!

THIS is the ULTIMATE Panini!

I haven't made Panini in a while and decided to make the ultimate sandwish for lunch. (I have NO idea where I got the idea from!) This monster featured LOTS of roast beef, tomatoes, pickles, Chipotle Mayo and Pepperjack Cheese. ALL topped with 2 fried eggs. YEA BABY!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Yummy Blueberry Sauce on Chicken

Greg loved my Blueberry Porkchops so much that I decided to try something similar with chicken. The verdict? Just as yummy if not better!


1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
Salt and pepper
2 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
1 shallot, thinly sliced
1 c blueberries
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp dried rosemary


1. Heat oil and butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper and add to pan. Brown 5 minutes on each side. Remove and set aside.

2. Add shallot and cook until soft, 3 minutes. Add blueberries, vinegar, maple syrup and rosmary and cook for 1 minutes.

3. Add chicken back and cook for 5 minutes, until chicken is cooked through. Remove to serving platter.

4. Add butter and turn heat up to high. Boil until thickened, 5 minutes. Serve over chicken.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Left-over Thai Meal is Even BETTER!

I had some Thai Meatsauce left over and decided to work it into Pineapple Fried Rice. It's just reheating the meat and cooked rice and adding pineapple chunks along with pretty much every Asian condiment I have: Fish Sauce, Soy Sauce, Ginger, Lemongrass, Thai Red Chilies and a generous drizzle of Sesame Oil at the end. SO incredibly easy but SO good!

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