Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Lamb, Chicken and Beef Kabobs..

I have no idea how to make these since they're not my handiwork, but I just wanted to say that I LOVE MY HUSBAND!! They were sooooo yummy and I am so glad I married a chef.. lol... Isn't he cute, cooking in his Johnson and Wales shirt?? 3<3<3

Friday, October 12, 2007

Italian Meatloaf

Last night was meatloaf night. I found the recipe online, and even though it was time consuming, it is very easy to make. On the side, I made the Cheddar Mashed Potatoes posted below... by the way, they are very good too!

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 red pepper, seeded, small diced
1 onion, diced
2 teaspoons (about 3 cloves) chopped garlic
1 pound ground beef
2 eggs
3/4 cup bread crumbs
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped basil leaves
1 tablespoon chopped parsley leaves
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 cup marinara sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in medium sauté pan over medium heat and add the peppers, onions, and garlic. Sauté until just soft, remove to a plate and cool.

When the peppers and onions are cool, combine all the remaining ingredients together except for the marinara. Pack the meat mixture into an oiled loaf pan, if you do not have aloaf pan, form the meat mixture into a loaf shape on an oiled oven tray or baking dish. Top the marinara making sure to spread evenly over the top.

Bake for approximately 50 to 60 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer registers 160 degrees F in the middle of the meatloaf. Remove from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes. Slice and serve.


Banana Caramel Cake

This week was DH's bday, and, as usual, I baked him a cake. I asked him what kind of cake he wanted, and he chose banana caramel (gave him a few recipes to choose from). He loves bananas; I swear he's a monkey.

The cake turned out great, a bit time consuming, but well worth it. DH and his family and friends loved, loved, loved the cake. And I too enjoyed it (not a huge fan of bananas); it isn't over powering as I thought it would be.

The cake is easy to make, but time consuming; lots of steps. For those of you interested, here you go:

1 ½ sticks plus 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pans
1 2/3 cups of all purpose flour, plus more for pans
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
3 very ripe bananas, mashed, plus 3 ripe bananas, sliced lengthwise, for filling (I actually cut them in small circles because it is easier)
¼ cup sour cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 2/3 cups, plus ¼ cup sugar
4 large eggs
Mascarpone frosting (recipe follows)
Caramel Sauce (recipe follows)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter two 9x2 cake pans; line bottom with parchment. Butter parchment and dust with flour, tapping out excess; set aside.

Into a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a small bowl, stir together mashed bananas, sour cream, and vanilla. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat 1 ½ sticks butter and 1 2/3 cups sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. With mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture in tow parts, beating until combined after each, 2 to 3 minutes. Using rubber spatula, fold in the reserved banana mixture, being careful not to overmix.

Divide the batter between the prepared pans. Bake, rotating the pans halfway through, until cakes are golden brown and cake tester inserted in the centers comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer pans to wire rack to cool 20 minutes. Invert cakes onto the rack; peel off the parchment. Reinvert cakes, and let them cool completely, top sides up.

Sprinkle remaining ¼ cup sugar into large skillet; cook over high heat, shaking the pan occasionally, until sugar is caramelized. Remove from heat; stir in remaining 3 tablespoons butter until melted. Return pan to medium heat. Add the sliced bananas; cook until slices start to turn brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Gently turn the bananas, and cook over medium-high heat until browned, about 2 minutes.

Using a serrated knife, trip tops of layers to make level. Place one laker on cake plate; arrange caramelized bananas on top. Place remaining layer on top. Using a large offset spatula, spread Mascarpone frosting over entire cake, swirling to completely cover. Drizzle with Caramel sauce over the top of the cake, or serve some alongside each slice. Serve immediately, or refrigerate, covered with a cake dome, for up to 3 days.

Mascarpone frosting
1 pound mascarpone cheese
1 ¼ cups heavy cream
½ cup confectioner’s sugar

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the mascarpone, cream, and confectioner’s sugar on medium speed until medium-soft peaks form, 1 to 2 minutes. Be careful not to overbeat. Use immediately.

Caramel Sauce
½ cup sugar
½ cup heavy cream

Prepare an ice bath; set aside. Cook sugar in medium saucepan over medium-high heat until it starts to melt around edges; then shake pan to melt remaining sugar. Continue to cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, until golden amber, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Stirring constantly, add cream in a slow, steady stream (it will splatter). If necessary, return pan to heat for a few seconds, stirring until mixture is smooth. Place caramel in a bowl in the ice bath; let stand until cold, stirring frequently.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Easy Chicken Parmesan

Hello ladies. Since I'm on a 2 wk vacation in between jobs, I've taken up cooking. Last night's attempt was Chicken Parmesan with pasta, and boy oh boy was it good! I'll have to say, my best meal yet (which doesn't say much, since I cook about a meal week). Either way, it was super easy... I cooked some pasta with alfredo sauce on the side (no special receipe there... followed the box instructions).


4 boneless chicken breasts
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
seasoned bread crumbs
8 slices mozzarella cheese, or more
1 jar (16 oz) spaghetti sauce
Parmesan cheese

Whisk together the egg and milk. Dip the chicken breasts in milk and egg mixture and then in bread crumbs. In a skillet with a little olive oil over medium-high heat, brown on both sides until golden.

Set chicken in a baking dish.

Slice 8 pieces of mozzarella cheese and put two on each chicken breast. Pour 1 jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce over all. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and a little more mozzarella and bake at 350° for about 25 to 30 minutes, or until bubbly.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Chicken in Lemon Cream with Penne

This is my first blog! Yayyyy!!! I've been stealing so many recipes and eating so much yummy food from here and finally I felt I had to share something with you. I didn't think this dish would turn out as great as it did so I didn't take pictures while cooking. I took the pictures after I had a couple bites. This was when I realized how tasty and easy this was to make and how I sharing was a must. If you like lemony cream taste this is for you! I was a bit skeptical since the recipe doesn't take flour the sauce is very thin but it's so flavorful and yummy that you don't need thick sauce. I found this recipe in Giada De Laurentiis' Everyday Pasta Cookbook. Here's the recipe with the changes I made:

1 pound penne

3 tablespoons EVOO

2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, diced into 1 inch cubes (I used 3 thinly sliced breasts which I cut up into the 1 inch pieces)

1 teaspoon herbes de Provence (I didn't have this so I used Adobo Seasoning)

Pinch of salt, plus 1/2 teaspoon

Pinch of freshly ground black pepper, plus 1/2 teaspoon

1 cup reduced sodium chicken broth

2 cups heavy cream

Zest of 1 lemon (I just used the grater to zest the entire lemon)

1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley (I didn't have any)

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice (I squeezed an entire lemon)

1. Heat the oil in a heavy skillet over medium high heat. Season the cubed chicken breast with the adobo, salt, and pepper. Cook the chicken until golden brown. Using a slotted spoon, remove the chicken and set aside. Pour of any excess oil from the pan. Add the chicken broth to the pan and cook over medium high heat, using a wooden spoon to scrape the brown bits off the bottom of the pan.

2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occassionally, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain.

3. Add the cream and lemon zest to the broth. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes.

4. Add the pasta, chicken, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, chopped parsley, and lemon juice. Toss to coat the pasta and chicken with the sauce and serve.