Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Mint Chocolate Chip Cupcakes

These are my DH's favorite cupcakes. He really loves them, and is always begging me to make them, so I figured that you ladies might want to share them with your mint chocolate chip loving husbands :)
They are easy, and all I did was take my favorite vanilla cupcake recipe, I modified it to be able to add a nice amount of peppermint extract, added chocolate chips, and made a special frosting and that's it! Anyone can do it with their own favorite cupcake recipe :)

1 and 1/2 cups self-rising flour
1 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon peppermint extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 and 1/2 cups of semi sweet or milk chocolate chips (your choice, I like semi-sweet, DH likes milk)

For the frosting (this is a buttercream frosting)

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
6 or more cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
a few drops of green food coloring
1 cup of mini chocolate chips (your choice - i like semi-sweet)

To make cookies:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Line 2 (1/2 cup-12 capacity) muffin tins with cupcake papers.
In a small bowl, combine the flours. Set aside.
In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugar gradually and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the dry ingredients in 4 parts, alternating with the milk, vanilla and peppermint extract. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated but do not over beat. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the batter in the bowl to make sure the ingredients are well blended. Carefully spoon the batter into the cupcake liners, filling them about 3/4 full. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cupcake comes out clean.
Cool the cupcakes in tins for 15 minutes. Remove from the tins and cool completely on a wire rack before icing.

For the frosting:

Place the butter in a large mixing bowl. Add 4 cups of the sugar and then the milk and vanilla. On the medium speed of an electric mixer, beat until smooth and creamy, about 3 to 5 minutes. Gradually add the remaining sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating well after each addition (about 2 minutes), until the icing is thick enough to be of good spreading consistency. You may not need to add all of the sugar. Then add a few drops of green food coloring, enough to make it a light pastel green!

When cupcakes are cool, frost them and top with mini chocolate chips :)

They come out fabulous!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Dill Chicken and Angel Hair Pasta

Can you tell I'm having fun in my kitchen?
Here is another quick and simple recipe.

Chicken Breasts (cut into strips)
Olive Oil
1/4 onion finely chopped

Marinade the chicken with the olive oil, lemon, dill, onions, and salt and pepper. Butter pan and cook on medium until thoroughly cooked (can also be baked or grilled).

1/2 box of Angel Hair Pasta (whole wheat or multigrain)
1 Tomato (diced)
Mushrooms (cut into halves or fourths)
1 can of tomato sauce
1 garlic clove (minced)
Balsamic vinegar
Olive Oil

Boil the pasta for about 7 mins. Strain and set aside when done. Sautee the rest of the ingredients except the tomato sauce until the mushrooms are tender. Add the tomato sauce
and stir it into the pasta.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Salmon and Vegetable Orzo ( w/ Optional Teriyaki Glaze)

This is a really quick and simple recipe. I don't really follow measurements, so I apologize in advance that I don't have exact measurements. But, here goes:


Teriyaki Glaze (optional)

First, preheat oven to about 400-4250 degrees Fahrenheit. Place salmon in bakeware, salt and pepper on each side to your taste. Place about a square inch or less of butter on each piece. Bake for about 30-45 mins.

I love the teriyaki glaze, but my hubby prefers the salmon without it.

For the teriyaki glaze, take about 1/4 cup of ginger teriyaki sauce and 1/4 cup or a little less honey and whisk until thoroughly mixed. Makes a great sauce for the salmon and/or Orzo.

For the salmon without the teriyaki glaze, but a little more taste: sprinkle dill and spritz some lemon on the salmon before baking.

Veggie Orzo

Orzo Pasta
Butter or Olive Oil
Balsamic Vinegar
Garlic Powder

Boil the the orzo pasta until tender, strain, and set aside. Sautee the mushrooms, broccoli, & onions, (and any other vegetables you would like to add) in butter (or olive oil), garlic powder, salt and pepper (to taste), add 2-3 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar. Add orzo pasta and stir together.

This can also be served as is with the plain salmon or with the ginger teriyaki glaze for a more Asian-inspired meal.

Arroz con Cilantro

At 3pm on Saturday, my husband told me that he had invited some people over for dinner and to watch a fight. MEN! Anyhoo, we instantly started planning, what are we gonna serve so last minute. We decided on Beer Can Chicken, Grilled Veal Chops, and my contribution, Cilantro Rice. Now, I love rice with a passion, but sometimes you want to serve up your guests something with a little more pizazz, well this is the PERFECT go-to side dish.

Now I make this the old-fashioned way, in a pot, so ladies, put the hitachis away.

2 Tbsp oil (I use 1)
1 medium onion, finely diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup cilantro leaves
1.5 cups chicken stock (I prefer Swanson’s 99% fat free, Organic)
1 cup white rice
1 tsp of salt ( I completely omit it, since the cilantro and chicken stock add enough flavor, plus I prefer to cook without salt when possible)

Blend together Cilantro and Chicken stock and set aside

In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add Onions and garlic and sauté for about 2-4 minutes.

Add rice and stir, coating it with the oil.

Add Cilantro/Chicken Stock blend.

Let the rice simmer, until you see the liquid absorb just below the top of the rice. Lower the heat to low, and cover. Cook for 20 minutes.

WARNING: If you should decide to send Darling Husband to the grocery store, make sure you drill it in his head that he needs to buy cilantro, and not parsley, unless of course he wants you to shoot him dirty look for an hour or so. :)



Mini Food-A-Thon

I decided to take advantage of my stress-free Sunday and spend some time in the kitchen making some of my favorite recipes. I started off with a deliciously sweet breakfast, had too many cookies for lunch, and then finished the day off with a simple but flavorful dinner.

Nutella and Banana Stuffed French Toast

Not only do I have two huge tubs of Nutella that I bought from Costco, but I woke up craving it. So I decided to whip up a quick breakfast for one that included French toast and hot chocolate. This recipe is from Recipezaar

2 slices of your favorite bread
1-2 tablespoons Nutella
Thinly sliced ripe banana (about half of a banana)
1 egg
1/4 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
Confectioner's/Powdered sugar

Spread Nutella on both slices of bread. Place sliced banana on one slice of bread and then cover with the other slice.

Beat egg, milk, and vanilla together. (This is enough mixture for 2 servings)

Dip the sandwich in the egg mixture, flipping to cover both sides.

Heat butter in skillet over medium heat.

Place sandwich in skillet and cook about 3 minutes per side until golden and cooked though.

Dust the French toast with the confectioner's/powdered sugar and eat immediately.

Nutella Hot Chocolate

This recipe is so easy to make and it's a chocolate lovers dream because of how rich and creamy it is. This recipe is also from Recipezaar

3 tablespoons Nutella
1 1/3 cup milk

Put Nutella and 1/3 milk in a small saucepan over medium heat and whisk together until blended.

Add the remaining milk and continue whisking until hot and frothy.

Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies

This is my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe ever. Nestie Joelen&Louis posted it in her blog when I was in search of the perfect chocolate chip cookie. The cookies come out really soft and chewy and are super addictive. The recipe itself creates about 3 dozen cookies and can easily be doubled if needed.

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flowers
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1 (3.4 ounce) package instant vanilla (or French vanilla) pudding mix
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat over to 350 degrees F.

Sift together the flour and baking soda; set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar. Beat in the instant pudding mix until blended. Stir in the eggs and vanilla. Blend in the flour mixture. Finally, stir in the chocolate chips.

Drop cookies by rounded spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets

Bake for 10-12 minutes in preheated oven. Edges should be golden brown.

Marinated Steaks with Chipotle Cheddar Mashed Potatoes

The marinade has quickly become my go-to recipe when I want juicy, soft, and flavorful steaks. This recipe was recommended to me and comes from AllRecipes. It can be halved if you have less than a 1 1/2 pounds of steak and it's a perfect recipe for making fajitas too. Since Alex wanted mashed potatoes, I used whatever ingredients we had in the house and came up with something that's creamy, spicy, and mouth-watering good.

Marinade Recipe

1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 1/2 pounds flank steak (or your favorite steak)

In a medium bowl, mix the oil, soy sauce, vinegar, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, garlic, and ground black pepper. Place meat in a shallow glass dish. Pour marinade over the steak, turning meat to coat thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate for 6 hours.

You can cook this on a skillet or on a grill.

Chipotle Cheddar Mashed Potatoes

4 medium Russet potatoes
1 ounce cream cheese
1 1/2 cup Sargento chipotle cheddar cheese
1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons milk

Boil water in a medium sized saucepan.

Cut up potatoes into chunks (with skin or without) and boil them for 10-15 minutes or until soft.

Mash the potatoes to your liking and add the cream cheese, chipotle cheddar, and milk until well blended and the cheese has melted.

Serve immediately.


Saturday, August 25, 2007

New Kitchen!

The kitchen is finally done! All that is left to do is paint, but I didn't want to wait any longer to share some pics. You can still get an idea of the final product. We are going to paint the ceiling white and the rest of the walls the same shade of yellow you see below the counter. Below are some before and after pics. It was quite a dramatic change. I can't wait to start using my new appliances. I also can't wait to share some recipes and try some of yours. Let me know what you think.


Friday, August 24, 2007

Chicken & Mushroom Casserole

This recipe is definitely a crowd pleaser. It's creamy and especially delicious over a nice helping of white rice, QUE RICO!!!

I got the recipe off of, but as usual I've made my own adjustments. It takes about an hour for it to be ready, so it's relatively easy to make. I went ahead and modified the original recipe with my adjustments which are significant (and it comes out much better!)

a 9X13 baking dish
6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/2 cup butter
6 teaspoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 (10.75 ounce) cans condensed cream of mushroom soup
2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
1 cup half-and-half
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 bags of spinach leaves
8 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 1/3 cup bacon bits
4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Boil Chicken breasts until cooked. Once cooked, cut into cubes and set aside.

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stirring constantly, mix in the garlic, lemon juice, cream of mushroom soup, Italian seasoning, half-and-half, and Parmesan cheese. Add chicken cubes. Let it simmer on very low heat.

In a large sautee pan, melt a little butter and garlic and add the mushrooms and spinach leaves. Let them cook until all the spinach is wilted and most of the liquid has burned off. If it takes too long, just drain the liquid. Cover the bottom of your baking dish with the spinach and mushrooms. Pour the white sauce with the chicken over the spinach. Sprinkle with bacon bits, and top with mozzarella cheese.
Bake 20 to 25 minutes in the oven, until bubbly and lightly browned.

Hope yours comes out as good as mine! Happy cooking :)

P.S. It looks a little watery in the picture, but that's because it was JUST made. It thickens upon standing a little while. :)

Another easy, but YUMMY dinner!!!

Lemon Velvet Chicken

This is another super easy but so delicious recipe from Publix. Yes, I am hooked on them because they've never let me down! Anyway, here goes:


1 TBS of flour
1 tsp seasoned salt
large zip top bag
1 1/2 chicken tenderloins
2 TBS of butter
1 TBS of capers
juice of 1 lemon (about 2 TBS)
1 cup of Alfredo sauce


1. Preheat large saute pan on meduim-high heat for 2-3 minutes. Place flour and seasoned salt in zip-top bag. Add chicken; seal tightly and shake to coat.
2. Place butter in pan; swirl to coat. Place chicken in pan using tongs. Cook 4-5 mins, turning occasionally, until chicken begins to brown.
3. Stir in capers. Cut lemon in half and squeeze juice over chicken. Stir in Alfredo sauce and reduce heat to medium-low; simmer 6-8 mins. Serve

Isn't that simple? And girls, it is SOOOOOOO delish! I made it for Ali 2 nights ago, but liked it so much, he wanted me to make it last night again, since we had a friend over for dinner. It was a success! But here is what I did different:

1. I did not use tenderloins, I used chicken breasts. Same thing, different name ;P
2. I added more flour (about 2 more TBS) and about 1/2 a tsp more of seasoned salt because I knew what the recipe said wasn't enough.
3. Ali and I are not fans of capers, so I didn't even bother to go buy them, but I think it would kill the recipe really because capers have such strong taste and without them the chicken is soooo tasty and creamy, I don't think they are necessary. But that's me.

To go with the chicken, I made some potatoes. I have no name for it because it was a recipe given to my by word of mouth by my aunt the other day. It's soooooo simple, you wont believe it, but man is it good!

3 Large potatoes (I used brown ones, but red ones will do the job too!) *
Butter to the taste
Parsley to the taste

1. After washing and peeling the potatoes, slice them up.
2. Put them into a steam pot (well, you know how you have a pot and some of them bring the little basket to put on top of them to steam veggies? That's it!) until done.
3. Place on plate one next to each other and then spray with butter (to the taste) and sprinkle some parsley over them (also to the taste).

They are so tasty! Here's a pic:

* I used this amount of potatoes because we had a guest over, but if it's just for 2, obviously reduce the amount of potatoes. I think 2 would do for 2 =)

Oh, yes, I finally have pics, lol!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Super Easy Pescado Sudado!!

I made this for dinner a few nights ago, so I thought I'd share the recipe since it is so incredibly easy to make for dinner! I whipped the entire meal up in less than thirty minutes and Anthony totally loved it.

Here's what you need
a few filets of your favorite kind of fish. I used Tilapia, although it's not my favorite, but it's what we had... lol
1 whole tomato
1 small can of tomato sauce
1 white onion
1/2 of a green bell pepper
2 tbsp canola oil
1 beer ( I use a bottle of Corona)
Sazon completo

First, I chopped up the onions, bell peppers and tomatoes, and put them in large saucepan. I find that the texture comes out better if you chop them VERY chunky, in big pieces. They soften up in the pan anyway. I put in about 2 tsp of salt and 2 tsp of sazon completo. Then I put in the two tsbp of canola oil and let those flavors combine. After two minutes or so I pour in about half of the beer. I let that simmer for another few minutes and then add the can of tomato sauce. I then put in the fish filets, and finally the other half of the beer bottle. Let it simmer on medium heat for about 15 minutes and it's done! Just make sure the onions are translucent. I served it with white rice and it would probably be yummy with tostones..



Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Chocolate Heaven!

Tonight I decided to make a special but quick dessert. Seeing as how we didn't have much in the house I had to get creative with what to make. I decided to make molten chocolate cakes and they came out delicious. It was the perfect food for the chocolate fix I was looking for. The original recipe can be found here but I made it for two instead of 8.

Molten Chocolate Cake

1/4 cup unsalted butter/margarine
2 squares Baker's semi-sweet chocolate
1 large egg
2 tablespoons of sugar
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon flour

Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees. Coat 2 ramekins with butter and flour.

Melt butter and chocolate in a double boiler (or heat-proof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water); remove from heat. Beat in the egg, sugar, and salt until the sugar dissolves. Beat in flour.

Divide batter among the two ramekins and bake in oven for 8 to 10 minutes.

Once cakes have been removed from oven, flip them onto a plate and top with your favorite toppings. I used vanilla ice cream with caramel swirls and then topped it off with Nutella....yum!!


Sunday, August 19, 2007

Banana Rum Cupcakes w/ Cream Cheese Frosting!

Yes, you read right! Banana Rum Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting! D-Freakin'-Licious! I whipped them up and took them to a get together last night and they were a yummy hit! I wasn't sure what I was going to make at first, but when I saw the overly ripe bananas that were chillin in my fridge, I knew exactly what I was going to do! I used one of my quick cake-doctor type recipes and before I knew it, I had baked these little suckers and was ready to take a much deserved nap! Here's a great little recipe + my little changes that makes these out of this world!

Banana Rum Cup Cakes

(This is a very moist cake and it's a great way to use those over-ripe bananas)
  • 1 package yellow cake mix
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 or 3 teaspoons cinnamon (I used only 2, I thought 3 might be too much)
  • 1 cup water ( replaced 1/4 of the water with RUM. If you don't drink, add 1 tsp of rum extract to your 1 cup of water)
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 2 mashed, ripe bananas (I used 3 b/c I didn't want the extra banana to go to waste, becareful b/c that extra sucker will make your cupcakes super-duper moist - maybe too moist!)
  • 3 eggs
Preheat oven to 350 F.

Add all ingredients. Mix with a blender on low speed until well mixed; scrape bowl. Mix on medium speed for 2 minutes. Pour into paper lined cupcake pan, bake for 20-25 minutes. Cool and frost with cream cheese frosting. Makes 24 cup cakes :)

Cream Cheese Frosting

8 oz. cream cheese
1 stick butter (I used "no salt added" butter, that's why I added the pinch of salt)
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1- 1lb box powdered sugar (sifted)

Pinch of Salt

Let the cream cheese and butter soften, blend till creamy. Add the vanilla & a pinch of salt, continue to mix while adding the powdered sugar a little a a time until well mixed. Once the cupcakes have cooled, spread the frosting on them and ENJOY! VOILA!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Tilapia with Lemon Butter Sauce! Yum!!!

Ok girls, my hubby and I are not seafood lovers nor had I ever cooked any type of seafood either, but I wanted to try something new and so I bought a few tilapia fillets the other day. I kept wondering how the heck to cook it when I stumbled upon a recipe I had picked up a while ago from Publix (you know those little cards they have at the entrance?). It was so yummy or, in my husband's words: "Restaurant quality!" that I had to share with you all! Here is their recipe (Publix) and, after that, my notes (i.e.: what I did differently):


4 tsp. flour, divided
1 tsp. seasoned salt
large zip-top bag
5-6 springs fresh Italian parsley
juice of 1 lemon
1 1/2 lbs. of tilapia fillets
3 TBS. butter, divided
1/4 cup of white wine


1. Place 3 tsp. flour and seasoned salt in zip-top bag; shake to mix and set aside. Chop (rinsed) parsley coarsely, leaves only, and measure (2 TBS). Slice (rinsed) lemon in half. Set both aside.

2. Preheat large saute pan on medium-high 2-3 mins. Check fish for bones by pressing on fillet with fingertips and remove. Add fish to zip-top bag; seal tightly and shake to coat. Wash hands.

3. Place 1 TBS of butter in pan and swirl to coat. Add fish (wash hands) and cook 3 mins. Add 1 TBS butter to center of pan. Turn fillets, using a spatula, distributing butter under each fillet. Cook 3 more mins. until fish is golden and flakes easily. Place fish on serving plates.

4. Place remaining 1 TBS of butter and 1 tsp flour, wine and juice from lemon in saute pan. Heat 1-2 mins until thickened, stirring occasionally. Stir parsley into butter sauce and serve over fish.

My Notes:
1. I found that the amount of flour and seasoned salt that the recipe says to use was not enough for all the fish, for it only covered like 2 of the fillets fully. So I say add another tsp of seasoned salt and 2 more tsp of flour into the zip-top bag (which I found to be the best idea ever!) so that it will really cover all the fillets.
2. I didn't have fresh parsley, so I just used the dried one (from my spice rack). I measured it to be what the recipe says (2 TBS) and I thought was a little too much. So if you are going this route, try only 1 TBS.
3. For the cooking of the fillets, I didn't really measure the butter, I just would put in as needed (since I wanted my fillets to be a little more golden, I left them just a little bit more than 3 mins on each side, so I had to keep adding a little bit of butter for it not to burn).
4. Because my husband and I do not drink, I don't have white wine (like the recipe says) at home, so I used white COOKING wine instead. Although I didn't like the lemon sauce too much because of the extra amount of parsley, my hubby LOVED it, so I think the white cooking wine was a good replacement for regular wine.

Let me tell you that, after tonight, I will be making Tilapia a little more often =)

PS: I totally FORGOT to take pics! Darn it! I shall take pics next time I make it, promise!

Race for the Cure Bake Sale

There was a bake sale at work today to raise money for the Race for the Cure. And like the good little baker I am, I knew I had to bring something in that was yummy and homemade. No offense to those that donate store bought goods to bakes sales, I just need to make it myself, if not I feel like I'd be cheating and the baking gods would flip their floury lids! I solicited my buddy Mari and we baked and baked for most of the evening! Not to sound snobby, but our cookies and cupcakes rocked, they were so pretty if I may say so myself! We're so proud of ourselves and we've gotten a ton of compliments all day. It's really satisfying that something we did for a good cause, can bring so much joy to the tummies of all of those that bought our cookies and cupcakes. I wanted to make them special and not just your boring everyday sweets, so the cookies are sugar cookies cut out with a "hope ribbon" cookie cutter and are covered in pink fondant. The cupcakes are vanilla & chocolate with a special "hope ribbon" fondant medallion on top of each of them. Like I said, they were the hit of the bake sale! :) It was lots of fun, it was messy, it was yummy and we'd definitely would do it again! Many thanks to Mari for helping me make these special goodies for such a great cause.

Angie ;)

Baked Chicken Breast with Feta

This is my first post on the blog! Bueno, any blog for that matter! I'm so excited! Tremendo milestone! Let me start off by warning you that yes, I write in "spanglish" a lot, it's just a part of who I am, lol! A crazy little native Miamian! I look forward to sharing recipes and pictures with all of you and I hope that some of my posts inspire you to be all that you can be in the KITCHEN :)

I'm introducing you to a recipe that I made a couple of weeks ago for my hubby, I tweaked it a little, but his first words upon trying it were "I'm in heaven!" You know you have a hit on your hands and your hubby exclaims that and you happen to be fully clothed! lol! The recipe follows with my little tweaking comments, I hope you enjoy this ultra easy and delicious dish!

Baked Chicken Breast with Feta

2 Thin boneless skinless breasts of chicken ( I pounded the heck out of them, great if you're stressed)
1 pkg. Atheno Feta Cheese (8oz) ( I only used ½ of the package and bought the crumbly kind)
Lots of butter (I omitted this, you'll see why later)
Grated Parmesan cheese (½ to1 cup)
Two Eggs, beaten ( I only used 1 egg)
Real bacon bits (I used "real" bacon, 4 slices cut up into little pieces and some of the fat removed, the why I added no butter)

Preheat oven to 400-425. Pound chicken breasts till very thin. Dip chicken breasts in melted butter dip in eggs and dip in Parmesan cheese. Slice pieces of feta cheese to cover each breast, sprinkle bacon bits on top. Melt MORE butter (1/2 a stick for about 4 breasts) in the baking dish add chicken breast cover with tin foil and bake for about 20 minutes.

*Okay, here are my TWEAKED notes to the preparation:
Preheat oven to 400-425. Pound the heck out of your chicken breasts till very thin. Beat your egg and add any desired spices, I used a little Sazon Completo (note, don't add any salt, the Parmesan/feta will add enough salt to the dish). Dip chicken breasts in the beaten egg and dip in Parmesan cheese that you've sprinkled on a plate. Place the Parmesan covered chicken breasts in a oven save dish sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Sprinkle pieces of feta cheese to over each breast, then sprinkle bacon pieces on top. Popped it into the oven UNCOVERED for 25-30 mins. I cooked it a lot longer than the recipe calls for because the feta releases a lot of liquid and if I follow the directions above I would be too watery and not appealing. My way though, is right on the money! Once the 30 mins have passed, I turn on the broiler to high and keeping a watchful eye, broil the chicken for another 5-7 mins. I like the bacon to get crispy and the cheese to brown a little :) Ovens differ, so just keep your eyes on it during the "broil" stage. Take it out and let it sit a minute or two, you don't want to burn your mouth on your first mouthful!

We enjoyed this with a nice side salad and I hope you enjoy it any way you'd like! :) FYI: This is low carb as well, so any of you on low carb diets can get your eat on!

Angie ;)

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Look at the recipe I found!

Ali's favorite dessert on earth is Tiramisu, so I went online looking for recipes and I found this one. I thought it sounded yummy and when I told Ali about it, his face lite up. I haven't done it, so if anyone gets to make it before me, let me know how it turns out =)

Chocolate Coffee Tiramisu

1 1/2 cups 5% ricotta cheese
1/2 cup light cream cheese
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons cocoa
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 egg whites
1/3 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup strong prepared coffee
3 tablespoons chocolate/coffee-flavored liqueur
16 lady finger cookies

Spray a 9-inch square baking dish with vegetable spray.
In food processor, combine ricotta cheese, cream cheese, sugar, cocoa, egg
yolk and vanilla until smooth; transfer to a bowl.
In bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar and
continue to beat until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the whites into the
ricotta mixture.
Combine coffee and liqueur in a small bowl.
Put half of lady fingers in bottom of dish. Sprinkle with half of
coffee-liqueur mixture. Spread half of ricotta mixture on top.

Repeat layers. Cover and chill for at least 3 hours, or overnight.

Contributor: Rose Reisman's Enlightened Home Cooking
Yield: 6 servings

found it on:

Tammy's Chicken Legs =)

A while back I had a pack of chicken thighs and no idea of how to cook them, so, as I usually do, I started creating as I went. The final result was SO yummy, I had to sit down to remember everything I had done/put in the chicken to share with you all. So here goes (sorry, don't have a pic of it, I haven't made them in a while...)


6 Chicken thighs
Adobo without pepper to the taste (but I would advice not putting too much or it would be too salty)
A pinch of Oregano
1/2 Onion, in layers
1 TBS. of minced garlic
4 oz. can of tomato sauce
1/2 TBS. Olive Oil
1 cup of water

Marinate the thighs with the adobo and oregano. Then, on medium-high heat, put a 10" skillet with the olive oil. Once it is hot, put in the chicken until golden brown. Then, reduce heat and toss in the tomato sauce, the minced garlic, the onion layers and water. Simmer and cover.

Make sure to turn the thighs for about 15 mins (to make sure the center is well cooked!) and simmer the sauce so it wont get stuck on the skillet.

That's it! They are ready to serve. Enjoy!

Not too complicated, but man is this good! =)

Monday, August 13, 2007

Sinful Red Velvet Cupcakes

Oh man. I have made my share of red velvet cakes, but let me tell you that NONE have compared to how delicious these cupcakes came out. They were super moist, delicious and had the PERFECT red velvet taste. The only problem with them is stopping myself from eating all of them!! The cream cheese frosting is the best recipe I have found.

I used Paula Deen's red velvet cupcakes recipes, but I made a LOT of alterations and tweaks. Luckily, one of my friends had made this recipe a few days ago and she had made it exactly as the recipe instructed, so I could tell right away where the flaws were. It didn't have enough cocoa flavor, the cupcakes were more pink than red, and they were just a bit dry. So here is the recipe as Paula Deen wrote it, along with my alterations...

For the cupcakes:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cocoa powder (I quadrupled this.. I used 3-4 teaspoons)
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil (I used half melted butter, half vegetable oil)
1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 tablespoons red food coloring (I doubled this)
1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (I doubled this)

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 pound cream cheese, softened
2 sticks butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
Chopped pecans and fresh raspberries or strawberries, for garnish

For the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 (12-cup) muffin pans with cupcake papers.
In a medium mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder. In a large bowl gently beat together the oil, buttermilk, eggs, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla with a handheld electric mixer. Add the sifted dry ingredients to the wet and mix until smooth and thoroughly combined.
Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake tins about 2/3 filled.
Bake in oven for about 20 to 22 minutes, turning the pans once, half way through. Test the cupcakes with a toothpick for doneness. Remove from oven and cool completely before frosting.
For the Cream Cheese Frosting: In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla together until smooth. Add the sugar and on low speed, beat until incorporated. Increase the speed to high and mix until very light and fluffy.
Garnish with chopped pecans and a fresh raspberry or strawberry.
Cook's Note: Frost the cupcakes with a butter knife or pipe it on with a big star tip.

I hope you guys make this recipe because it was AWESOME!!! I just used red sprinkles because I didn't have pecans, but these cupcakes don't need anything fancy - they are all flavor baby!!



Love At First Mixer!

A few weeks ago Lowe's had a special offer advertised where you could get a KitchenAid Artisan mixer for $150. Not only was that an amazing price, but they also had a $30 rebate so the mixer only came out to $120! As soon as I heard about this offer I jumped on it since I had been wanting this mixer for so long. So I immediately called the closest Lowe's and placed an order for it. And now 3 weeks later I am a proud owner of a beautiful pink KitchenAid Artisan Mixer. It is absolute heaven and has made baking so much fun (and easier!). This weekend I took advantage of an empty house, put my baker's hat on and broke in the new mixer. Not only did the apartment smell divine but everything came out so delicious. First, I made a cheesecake from the recipe book that came with the mixer and then I made cinnamon rolls from a recipe that I got from Nestie Pinkwife8506.

New York Style-Sour cream-Topped Cheesecake

1-1/2 cups Honey Maid Graham Cracker Crumbs

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted

1-1/4 cups sugar, divided

4 pkg. (8 oz. each) Philadelphia Cream Cheese, softened

2 tsp. vanilla, divided

1 container (16 oz.) Breakstone's or Knudsen Sour Cream, divided

4 eggs

Fruit for garnish


Preheat oven to 325°F. Line 13x9-inch baking pan with foil, with ends of foil extending over sides of pan. Combine crumbs, butter and 2 Tbsp. of the sugar in pan; press firmly onto bottom of prepared pan.

Place cream cheese, 1 cup of the sugar and 1 tsp. of the vanilla in mixer bowl. Attach bowl and flat beater to mixer. Turn to speed 4 and mix until well blended. Continuing on Speed 4 add one cup sour cream; mix well. Stop and scrape bowl.

Turn to Speed 2 and add eggs, one at a time, beating just until blended after each addition. Pour over crust.

Bake 40 min. or until center is almost set. Mix remaining sour cream, 2 Tbsp. sugar and 1 tsp. vanilla until well blended; carefully spread over cheesecake. Bake an additional 10 min. Cool completely then cover and refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.

To serve, lift cheesecake from pan using foil handles. Cut into 16 pieces. Top with you favorite topping (strawberries, cherries, etc) just before serving. Store leftover cheesecake in refrigerator.

For the non-mixer recipe click here.

Cinnamon Rolls

Rolls Ingredients

1 cup lukewarm water

2 large eggs, room temperature

1/3 cup unsalted butter, cut up

4 3/4 cups All-Purpose Flour

1 3/4 teaspoons salt

1/2 cup sugar

2 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast

Filling Ingredients

1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened

1 cup brown sugar, packed

3 tablespoons ground cinnamon

Glaze Ingredients

3-ounce package cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened

1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


Combine all of the dough ingredients in a large mixing bowl, stirring till the mixture becomes cohesive. Transferthe dough to a
lightly oiled work surface, and knead it for 5 to 8 minutes, till it's smooth. Or knead it in an electric mixer, using the dough hook, for 4 to 7 minutes at medium speed.

Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, turn to grease all sides, cover the bowl with a proof cover or plastic wrap, and let it rise for 60 minutes, till it's nearly doubled in bulk.

Transfer the dough to a lightly greased work surface, and roll it into a 16 x 21-inch rectangle. Spread the dough with the 1/3 cup butter. Mix the brown sugar and cinnamon, and sprinkle it evenly over the dough.

Starting with a short end, roll the dough into a log, and cut it into 12 slices. Place the buns in a lightly greased 9 x 13-inch pan. Cover the pan with a proof cover or plastic wrap, and let the buns rise until they're nearly doubled, about 30 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 400.

Bake the buns in a preheated oven until golden brown, about 15 minutes. While the buns are baking, make the icing.

Glaze Directions

In a small bowl, beat together the cream cheese, butter, sugar, and vanilla. Spread the icing on the buns while they're warm.


Oh soo good Crab Bisque

I have always loved to cook and it has become a hobby of mine to make new and delightful dishes that I have never made before.

I got the original receipe from Emeril when I was watching his show one day. I have never made crab before but it looked so good that I just had to try it out.
This dish is well worth the couple hours in the kitchen. Carli loves seafood and he has raved about this dish for months. It is fantastic for the summer and I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

Emeril makes an incredible crab toast that goes perfectly with the bisque. I didn't make it this time but I included the recipe just in case you wanted to try it out. It's delicious!!!

Here's the recipe. It may look a little hard to make, but I promise that it's not.

3/4 cup bleached all-purpose flour
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onions
1/2 cup seeded and chopped green bell peppers
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped carrots
4 bay leaves 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
6 gumbo crabs cut in 1/2
1 cup peeled, seeded, and chopped fresh or canned tomatoes
1/2 cup brandy
8 cups water
1 teaspoon liquid crab boil (recommended: Zatarain's Concentrated Liquid Shrimp and Crab Boil), optional ( You can find this
in the spice aisle at your local supermarket)
1/2 cup chopped green onions, green parts only
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 pound lump crabmeat, picked over from shells and cartilage

Combine the flour and oil in a large nonstick saucepan and whisk until smooth. Over medium heat, stir constantly until the mixture is the color of peanut butter, about 10 minutes.
Add the onions, bell peppers, celery, carrots, bay leaves, salt, and cayenne. Cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes.
Add the crabs and tomatoes and stir to mix. Cook for 10 minutes

Stage 1 picture.

Add the brandy, water, and crab boil. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, for 1 hour and 45 minutes.

Stage 2 picture.

Add the green onions and parsley. Remove the bay leaves. Remove from the heat and add the cream. Mix to blend.

Stage 3 picture.

Ladle into individual serving bowls and sprinkle each with 1/4 cup crabmeat.

The finished product. Mmmmm.........Tasty

Crab Toast.

1/2 pound lump crabmeat, picked over from shells and cartilage

1 large egg
1 large egg white
2 tablespoons minced green onions
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley leaves
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
3 ounces cream cheese, cut into pieces
2 tablespoons heavy cream
8 slices brioche, or home-style white bread
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
Combine the crabmeat, egg, egg white, green onions, parsley, garlic, salt and white pepper in a food processor and pulse until blended but still chunky.
Add the cream cheese and pulse until smooth and thick.
Add the cream and pulse until just blended, being careful not to over process.
Spread 1/4 of the crabmeat mixture on each of 4 slices of bread, spreading it to the edges and smoothing the top.
Place another slice of brioche on top and press down to make a sandwich.

Heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet.
Add the crab toasts to the hot oil, in batches if needed, and cook until golden on the first side, about 3 minutes. Turn and cook until golden on the second side, about 2 minutes. Drain on paper towels if needed. To serve, cut each toast diagonally into halves or quarters


Sunday, August 12, 2007

Shameful first post...

So this is a blog about cooking and baking, and unfortunately, I must say, what I'm about to post hardly qualifies as either. But my husband and I discovered this about a week and a half ago and we have had it about 5 times since's just too darn good to hold back from you all.

I can't even call this a recipe, because it's only got two ingredients (which happen to be pre-processed and pre-packaged), and the only "cooking method" is to stir furiously. Here it is: all you need is fat free chocolate pudding and Lite Cool Whip. You make whatever quantity you want (we've been using individually-sized cups of pudding), and just make sure you have at LEAST as much Cool Whip as pudding, or more depending on your around with it, be crazy, have fun. You combine the two and, like I said, stir furiously until they are perfectly blended and combined.

It may sound ridiculous, but the result will give you a pleasant surprise. It makes the easiest, creamiest, coolest, chocolatey-est, fluffiest, airiest concoction you can imagine. In fact, it comes scarily close to looking and tasting just like our favorite chocolate mousse from our favorite Italian restaurant. It may not be gourmet, but if you're in a pinch and need to whip up something for dessert quickly, it definitely does the trick. It could look pretty elegant served in the right dish and garnished with strawberries or piroulines.

Anyway, my husband and I are really planning to conduct a blind taste test with our little concoction (which, as of yet, remains unnamed - any suggestions?) and the mousse we love from the Italian place. I'll keep you posted on the results!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Tremendo Mango!!!

Haha, this post is titled IHO Adri and her tremendo Mango status..

Today I had all day to laze around and relax, so there was more than enough time to make dinner AND dessert! Anthony's going to be sooooo happy when he gets home.
It's been a while since we had Italian (at least GOOD Italian), so I decided it would be a good night to try my hand at some Baked Ziti.. It was sooooo incredibly easy, so easy in fact, that I decided to name it Easy Baked Ziti - Ha, say it out loud, it rhymes!

Easy Baked Ziti

Prebaked Ziti -

Just out of the oven...

1 lb of Ziti pasta
1 onion
1lb ground beef
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1 3 lb jar of your fave tomato sauce
Ricotta cheese (I used half of the big tub, so I don't know exactly how many oz..)
16 ounces shredded Mozz cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan

First, bake the pasta until it is al dente, and drain

Chop up the onion, and put it in a sauce pan with the beef until the beef browns. Add the garlic powder and salt. Then, add the sauce and let it simmer for 12-16 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9 X 13 pan and pour 1/2 of the ziti in the pan, followed by 1/2 of the sauce and 1/2 of the mozzarella cheese and all of the Ricotta. I kind of chunked the Ricotta cheese and spread it out. Then pour in the rest of the Ziti, the rest of the sauce, and sprinkle with the rest of the cheese and the grated parmesan. Stuff that baby in the oven for 30 minutes and voila!! Instant Ziti!!

While my Ziti was baking, I got a head start on my Mango-Peach cupcakes, which came out better than I could have imagined. The filling gives them a super moist, sweet center that is Sooooo GOOD!

Mango-Peach Cupcakes


2 Mangoes
2 Peaches
1/2 cup sugar
1tsbp lemon juice
1 can Condensed Milk

1 cup of butter, softened
4 eggs
2 cups of sugar
1 1/2 cup of self rising flour
1 1/2 cup of all purpose flour
1 cup milk
1 tsbp of vanilla

First things first, make the filling - I peeled the mangoes and the peaches and chopped them up. I put them both in the food processor until they pureed, but was still chunky. I added half a cup of leche condensada, the sugar and the lemon juice, gave the processor another run and put it in the fridge for the flavors to really combine.

Next, I got to work on my batter. With an electric mixer, cream the butter until it's nice and smooth - then add the sugar gradually until the mixture is fluffy. After that, you add the eggs (make sure they are room temp) one by one and really mix them in.

After that, add the liquids (milk and vanilla) and dry materials (flour) a little at a time, alternating between the liquids and dry materials. Do NOT overblend.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. I always bake convection, so i put mine a little higher (375 degrees). Line a cupcake pan with paper holders. Spoon the batter into each cup until each is filled halfway. Then spoon about 2 tbsp of filling into each cupcake. Cover each cupcake with the remaining batter until the cup is full.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, until each cupcake is golden brown.

Remove from oven, and let them cool. I drizzled them with the rest of the condensed milk (they don't need frosting) and they were DELISH!!

Enjoy, ladies!!


First post :)

Hellooooo bloggers!!
I took the liberty of making the first post.
I'm so excited for everyone to post their recipes and finished products!!!

Ok, well that's all for now - I'll update how my mango-peach cupcakes turn out later!!