Monday, May 7, 2012

Odds and Ends

Well hello there folks! I know I have been bad lately but time hasn't allowed for much free experimental time so this post is of a few yummy things I have made as of late.

First up is these pretty little sweet potato patties. 

They sell little frozen sweet potato patties at Aldi that I LOVE! I heated them up in a small saucepan with brown sugar cinnamon and a little bit of honey. This made a thick caramely sauce and I sprinkled some more cinnamon sugar on top for the hell of it once plated.  

















Now Eric and I's favorite chicken recipe. 

Buttered Garlic Breaded Chicken!

I mixed garlic and herd bread crumbs with fresh garlic, Parmesan cheese and some extra garlic salt. I dipped my chicken breasts in some egg yolk and then bread it. While I am doing that I let a 1/2-1 stick of butter melt in a glass casserole dish in the oven while it preheats. Once melted, place your breaded chicken in the dish and bake 20-30 mins at 425 degrees or until the internal temp reaches 165 degrees. 

Final product below, served with corn smothered in garlic butter and a little salad covered in feta (just the way Eric likes it).
















Eric and I also love, love, love chicken wings but buying wings (and fries) from Wingstop too often is not good for the waste line! So we made our own one night! I purchased a packet of the pre-mixed chicken wing seasoning from McCormick which turned out to be quite delicious and easy! Paired with a nice salad and homemade ranch and no one could complain in this household of a bad meal.



Last up is a mint chocolate "mousse". If you whip a can of full fat coconut milk you get a thick and creamy little concoction.  I whipped and whipped and whipped it until stiff peaks formed. Then I added in some cocoa powder and mint extract to finish it off. Once I was done I moved it to the fridge to set up a little and to chill it for a cool treat later in the evening. It was so easy and such a great dessert/snack!


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

What I've Been Up To!



While I haven't been doing a ton a baking lately I have still been in the kitchenmaking dinners for my man most nights. Recently I purchased a fondue pot because a) Eric has never had fondue before (weird, right?) and b) I LOVE cheese fondue. It is one of my favorite things and it reminds me of my grandmother. 

So once the fondue pot arrived from amazon I cleaned that bad boy out and immediately made cheese fondue! First, I rubbed the pot with a few slices of a garlic clove just like my grandmother taught me. Then I added in over a pound of freshly shredded Swiss cheese and some delicious white wine. The secret to a good cheese fondue, besides good wine, is a sprinkle of nutmeg. Once everything was simmering and melding together nicely, I took my day old french bread and got to cutting up a bowl of bread cubes for each of us. 

The cheesy goodness 
















Bread and Cheese- It was sooooooo freaking good. 



Fortunately for me (and Eric too, I guess) I bought too much french bread for fondue night and thought a baked french toast might be good a good use for the extras. 

I threw together a few eggs, some leftover heavy whipping cream and some cinnamon. 

















Here are my lovely thick slices of bread.

















I dipped each slice of bread in the egg mixture until it was soaked through. Then the slices were placed in a greased pan and I poured a bit of good bourbon on each slice. Once the slices were arranged I melted butter, brown sugar and a little vanilla extract in a saucepan and until the were boiling and use this to coat each slice once more. 

Here it is baking in the oven. Getting all crunchy and yummy and DELICIOUS!

















Bake until it is good and cooked all the way through and gets brown.crunchy on the outside. Serve and cover with a little butter and maple syrup to enjoy.
















A few days later I decided to try a cinnamon roll pancake recipe. The recipe that I used came out more like a crepe and the filling did not set it was terrible. Next time I will use my own fluffy pancake recipe with the cinnamon roll filling and frosting.


 This is the recipe I used but it did not come out like hers AT ALL! It was a sad day indeed.

Now this next item wasn't Eric's favorite thing I've ever made but he ate which was nice. I, however, thoroughly enjoy this. I saw it on pinterest and just KNEW I had to try it.

Spaghetti Squash Au Gratin- Recipe Here

If you are looking for an alternative to potatoes this is a good one and this cheesy mess was magic in my mouth.
















I served it up with some fresh rolls and a random garlic chicken recipe I found somewhere. It was basically fresh garlic, minced, with brown sugar and butter. I top the chicken and baked for 20-30mins and stopped to bast it a few times.

The final product-
















Next up on the docket is a healthy taco casserole- recipe here

You start out with a layer of tortilla chips like so-
















But first you must brown some ground turkey- see below.
















Then mix a jar of salsa with some whole corn kernel's

















Mix the two above together and spread over the chips. Kind of pretty, right?

















Layer and repeat then cover with cheese.




Bake it until it is warmed through and cheese is good and melted.

















Here it is complete with a dollop of sour cream. It was really good and I ate this for several days for lunch afterwards.


On the same night I decided to make a healthy snack for work. Roasted chickpea's- I tossed chickpeas in olive oil, salt, brown sugar and cinnamon after baking them in the oven plain for 30 minutes. Salty and sweet!!


Hey back to a little baking finally!! Are you excited???

Haha I made the classic school lunch dessert- Wacky Cake! Oh man wacky cake days and pizza days at school were always the best so I thought I'd make my own cake for the hell of it. 

I love my kitchen aid. I use it so much it is insane. 
















Mmmm coco powder making things chocolaty and delicious!
























Ready to pour and go in the oven. Woo hoo!

















Once it was baked and cooled, I made a delightful chocolate frosting/ganache and drowned the cake in it.

See :)




Don't forget the sprinkles!

















And you CANNOT forget the glass of milk! I think this was the recipe I used for it but no promises! Here is the frosting recipe.
















And to top it all off, a happy food face before we part! Enjoy!





Valentine's Day Goodies Follow Up Post

For Valentine's Day I sold some delightful cookie boxes for a fun little Valentine's Day gift for people to give. Large white chocolate heart cookies with custom phrases for each box were created. Below is my table of cookies midway through packaging. 


Getting some boxes ready to package.



In go the cookies... Aren't they cute?


My friend Lindsey and her sister choose custom phrases for a cookie box for their mom. They were very sweet.


Yummy!


Another box of cookies...



All done up with ribbons and bows.





Close up and personal with the cookies.



Another box with a different top. I found super cute Valentine's paper at Hobby Lobby.



It was a lot of work but I really enjoyed making these for people and their loved ones and they came out really great looking!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Post Holiday Cooking Adventures

First up is bacon wrapped stuffed chicken breast. 

I butterflied my chicken breast (which is SOOOOO much easier with good knives). 
















Once butterflied, I place on top of 3 strips of bacon.
















Then filled with feta, salt pepper and a dash of Italian seasoning.  Pull the top of chicken breast back over the cheese and wrap the bacon tightly around it to hold in all that yummy goodness.

















The bacon should grip on to itself and hold in place but if it doesn't you can use toothpicks. I place the breasts in a glass pan with some melted butter. You can for go the butter but I would spray the pan lightly and it will cook in the bacon fat alone.

















I topped it with some cream cheese and cheddar cheese for mine and more feta and cheddar cheese for Eric's. Turn on the broiler to get a good melty top and serve :) We had an quick side salad with our  chicken. 

















Next up is a healthy taco salad! I used chopped up romaine hearts, avocado, diced roma tomatoes, ground turkey cooked up with some taco seasoning and black beans warmed up in lime juice. I tossed with a serving of light ranch  and sprinkled with some lime juice.

















So for Christmas my parents got me a mini donut maker :) The recipe book that came with it had butterscotch donuts for which I happened to have all the ingredients! Below in the "dough"
















Cool little donut maker, yay for Christmas!
















Test donut
















Mini Donuts! Oh and maple glaze,,,just because :)
















mmmm donuts...
















warm butterscotch maple donuts. I'll be making these again for sure!
















Next on the list is whole grain blueberry muffins. These things were so stinking good! I used whole grain flour and applesauce to make these a little healthier than your average muffin. 

















Fresh blueberries all over the place
















I wanted to eat all of these as soon as I removed them from the pan. 

















I LOVE fresh blueberries in muffins. You get sweet warm muffin and then blueberry goodness explodes  in your mouth.



On a not so healthy note, I made mug brownies. Here it is pre-microwave-

















I topped mine with chocolate ice cream that was made from coconut milk- no soy and no dairy for those that were wondering. I topped with toasted coconut sprinkles and it tasted like a super chocolaty mound/almond joy bar. 

















Mug Brownie Recipe
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
Pinch salt
2 Tbsp canola or vegetable oil (I tried it with coconut oil and it was very moist)
2 Tbsp milk, coffee or water
In a heatproof mug or ramekin, stir together the dry ingredients until no lumps remain. Stir in the oil and milk until you have a thick paste.
Microwave on high for a minute, checking it after 30 seconds – it will be done when it’s springy on top but still a bit gooey – like the very best brownie. Eat warm. Top with ice cream and whipped cream, if desired (which it usually is)!