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Showing posts from June, 2010

Chicken Cordon Bleu Panini

I love sandwiches, and I love Chicken Cordon Bleu, so why not combine them? Quick and easy to prepare - this grilled sandwich will please even the most picky of eaters, especially considering you can adapt the recipe to suit all tastebuds. Don't like Havarti? Try Mozarella or stick with a traditional Swiss.

Serve this alone for a quick lunch or add a side salad or cup of soup for a comforting dinner. However you serve it - just serve it. Fantastic!

Chicken Cordon Bleu Panini
Ingredients: 
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup flour
1 egg, beaten
1 cup Panko bread crumbs
4 b/s thin sliced chicken cutlets
S & P
1 loaf favorite Artisan bread, cut cross-wise into 4 pieces
8 thin slices deli Canadian Bacon
4 slices Havarti cheese
(favorite condiment - honey mustard, mayo, etc.)

Directions:
Heat the olive oil and butter in a large saute pan over medium-high heat.  In three shallow, rimmed bowls place flour, egg and bread crumbs in each dish.  Season the chicken with S & P and…

Cornflake Chicken Tenders

I am constantly telling myself that I need to prepare more freezer friendly meals - but you can only freeze so many pasta dishes, right?!  Now, I love a good classic lasagna  and recently discovered that Rigatoni with Turkey Bolognese might be better when defrosted, but I like variety.  Joelen recently did a post about preparing her freezer for when she brought her new son home, and has loads of freezer recipes to inspire me! In fact, forget inspiration for now - I flat out copied this one verbatim, but will say that I do plan on getting a little more creative when I have time to devote to filling my freezer with meals.  I love the idea of being able to ask my husband to just throw something in from the freezer if I'm running late - or even myself just having something to back up on in the instance that, again, I'm running late, or just don't want to think about it.

These chicken tenders were so easy that I wished I'd bought two packages of chicken from the store.  I…

Chocolate Angel Food Cupcakes

Adding chocolate to a light dessert always makes it more indulgent, but when that chocolate doesn't counteract the lightness of the dessert you automatically have a winner.  These chocolate angel food cupcakes are still light, like angel food cake should be, but the cocoa flavor really makes these little guys more impressive.

Not only did this taste great, and hit that sweet spot I often find myself trying to hit - I'd have to say that my favorite thing about these cupcakes is that they are so adaptable to variety.  Want to make them even more indulgent?  Top with whipped cream and a drizzle of chocolate or caramel sauce.  If you're really watching the waistline (it IS swimsuit and wedding season after all) you can top these cupcakes with your favorite berries instead of whipped cream.  You can even go somewhere in between - whatever floats your boat - just make sure your boat takes you to these delicious cupcakes!


Chocolate Angel Food Cupcakes
Ingredients:
3/4 cups sugar
S…

Creamy Taco Mac

We definitely have a soft spot for Hamburger Helper in our house.  Cheeseburger Macaroni is probably one of my husbands favorite meals - so much so that if he were ever knowingly given the need for a last meal he might actually consider it.  I, too, enjoy Hamburger Helper but considering my love of cooking, desire in expanding my knowledge and wanting to cut out process foods when possible, I try not to rely on boxed meals too much.   Don't get me wrong - I still love Hamburger Helper and I'm not gonna lie, I'll probably continue to make it every once in a while, but this Creamy Taco Mac will definitely rein supreme when it comes to quick "box" dinners.  The concept is reminiscent of classic Hamburger Helper - but I know every single item that was in the skillet.  Can't beat that, right?  Plus, it was just as quick which is an added bonus.   It makes a lot so I did freeze the leftovers - I'm hoping it's just as good defrosted because I'm already c…

Fresh Mint Ice Cream (with Oreos!)

One of my absolute favorite ice cream flavors is mint, especially when it's Mint Chocolate Chip or Oreo Mint.  YUM!!  I finally bought a copy of The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz and have been drooling over it since day one.  Naturally, I couldn't wait to try the recipe for Fresh Mint Ice Cream.

The fresh mint in this recipe made for a very light and refreshing ice cream.  Personally, I loved it, though my husband was a little taken aback by the fresh mint flavor.  I did warn him that the mint was fresh and not extract from a bottle, but apparently I was too late.  He didn't dislike it by any means, he just wasn't expecting it to taste so "plant like" as he referred to it.  It was the "plant like" flavor that I enjoyed the most about this recipe!


Fresh Mint Ice Cream
Ingredients:
1 cup whole milk
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups heavy cream
Pinch of salt
2 cups, lightly packed, fresh mint leaves
5 large egg yolks
(optional - crushed oreos, thin mints, chocolat…

Garlic Cheese Bread

A good garlic cheese bread is something that is so easy to make, but always pleases.  Yes, you can certainly buy pre-made garlic cheese breads from the frozen section of the grocery store, but it's just as cheap, and sometimes quicker, to make your own.  For even novice cooks butter, garlic and cheese are often staples in your pantry and fridge so to make your own garlic cheese bread all you need is the bread (and maybe parsley if you want it or already have it, though it's not necessary).  With Artisan breads becoming easier and easier to find at local bakeries, the bakery section of  your grocery store, etc. it's certainly not hard to find.

In just a few short steps you can have your own garlic cheese bread fresh from the oven and on your families dinner plates.  And, what's better than the ease of making your own garlic cheese bread is the fact that you know every single ingredient you put in to it, whereas the premade stuff you never know what you're going to…

Homemade Potato Chips

Homemade potato chips are a food that I've been wanting to make for awhile, I just hadn't gotten around to it.  It's not that I've been intimidated, but since I don't have a mandoline slicer I keep putting them off because it seems rather daunting to slice by hand.  One day I gave in, thinking homemade chips would be a good side to a small dinner.  I can cut things pretty thinly so not having a mandoline didn't seem to be an issue for me, though with given how easy these were I may have to bump a slicer up on my kitchen want list!


To me, one of the most difficult things about homemade potato chips was deciding what to season with.  Sure, I could have gone simple with just salt, but I had this great wedge of Parmigiano-Reggiano, and some thriving Rosemary in my herb garden that I thought I'd work with that.  The fragrance of the Rosemary paired with the smooth, slightly nutty flavor of the cheese, paired with a bit of Paprika for and fresh ground pepper was a…

Strawberry Bread

Food has a way of reminding us of certain times and events in our lives.  One food that always reminds me of spring growing up is Strawberry Bread.  My mom would always make this recipe, that was a recipe of one of her aunts who has some amazing dessert recipes that are floating around in the family recipe book that I would love to obtain!
This bread is moist and sweet with hints of spice from the cinnamon. Because it uses frozen strawberries it can be made any time of the year, but the flavors will always remind me of the springtime.  And, I will always eat this bread the same way - sliced with a spread of softened butter.  It is good on its own, and I bet it would be good with a little cream cheese but simple butter will ALWAYS be my favorite way to enjoy this sweet and spicy quick bread.  

Strawberry Bread
Ingredients:
2 (10oz.) frozen containers of sliced strawberries in sugar, thawed (or 2 1/2 cups fresh strawberries, sliced, stirred with 2 tablespoons sugar and set in fridge for aw…

I'll have an Iced Skinny Vanilla Latte, Please!

I am one of those people that enjoy coffee for the taste and the caffeine is just an added bonus.  In fact, many mornings at work I get decaf - even when everyone is dragging in 8:00am looking at me like I'm utterly crazy.  In truth, I'm more awakened by the extreme temperatures of something hot or cold in the morning than I am by the caffeine.  I will admit though, I don't like the flavor of plain black coffee, I have to have a little skim milk in there, and sometimes some sort of sweetener depending on the actual coffee.

I'm lucky enough to work in an office with amazing espresso machines - during the winter months I tend to make myself a half-caff skinny vanilla latte.  For those of you that don't speak "barista" that would be one shot of decaf espresso, one shot of caffeinated espresso, skim milk and sugar-free vanilla syrup.  In the summer months I anticipate an iced version of this same drink many mornings - an ICED half-caff skinny vanilla latte.…

Grilled Pizza

Memorial Day has come and it's official that summer is in full force!  Though I'm the first to admit I'm not a fan of heat and humidity (so why do I live in St. Louis?!), I am a fan of a summer atmosphere.  BBQs, cold beer, Cardinals games, etc.  I am definitely not a master griller, but without a doubt my favorite thing to grill is pizza.  When I mention to people that we're going to grill pizza they look at me like I have a second head or something.  But, man-oh-man, I could eat grilled pizza every day!

Though it seems hard to do, and time consuming, based on the instructions below, believe me - it's not.  You can make it even easier too by using a store-bought dough!  I've been on a homemade pizza kick lately because I think it's so easy when you allow yourself enough time, but the convenience factor of store-bought just can't be beat, especially now that so many grocery stores are really stepping up their prepared foods.  
There are a few different wa…

Classic Beef Lasagna

A good, classic lasagna recipe is something every good Italian woman can make with her eyes closed, but it's something that everyone should have available when they want to serve a crowd, or eat for a week.  Though time consuming, lasagna is easy when you're prepared and impressive to serve which is why they're great for entertaining.  You can assemble in advance and bake when it's needed while preparing the rest of your meal (a nice big salad, bread or rolls and a freshly opened bottle of wine!)  I personally like to prepare Lasagna on Sundays and then bake on Monday while I'm working out.
Some of you may recognize this recipe from a few years ago on this site, however I've tweaked it a little and have a MUCH better picture to share.  Unfortunately Lasagna is not the easiest thing to photograph unless you make it like a gazillion layers to give it some height!

Classic Beef Lasagna
Ingredients
1 box No Boil lasagna or 16 cooked Lasagna sheets
1 ½ lbs lean ground b…

Champagne Risotto with Chicken

Risotto is a dish that many people are intimidated to make on their own, and I admit I used to be one of those many people.  I do love Risotto though, but rarely get it when I go out because there's usually something about the recipe that I know I won't like (lots of mushrooms, shrimp, etc...) so I don't even bother.  Since I love it I was inclined to try my hand at it, fully prepared to fail.  I know, talk about a fantastic attitude, right?!  (said in a sarcastic voice).

Well, ye a little faith!  The first time I made it, I was hooked on homemade Risotto and knew I'd never be afraid of it again.  I have many Risotto recipes that I want to try, but I see Risotto as more of a "have every once in awhile" kind of dish.  It's easy enough to make all the time but I'm afraid it'll lose it's appeal.  Not sure why, but hey - it gives me something to look forward too, right?!

I decided to try this recipe (or combination of two essentially) because I h…

Baked Mac & Cheese

There is only so much you can say about Macaroni and Cheese.  It's pasta and it's cheese - what's not to love?!  I've generally preferred stove-top mac & cheese to baked, but I definitely see where baked mac & cheese has it's place.  It's great to entertain with because you can make it in advance earlier in the day, or even the night before, and pop it in the oven before serving.  

When looking for a baked mac & cheese recipe that would be creamy enough to prepare in advance, I stumbled across this recipe on Pioneer Woman.  I've never met a recipe of hers that I didn't fall in love with, so I knew this had to be tried as well.  I prepared this recipe earlier in the day and several hours later after baking it was still creamy and flavorful.  Definitely a winner!  Plus, with this recipe can even be enjoyed before baking.  However, I did notice when taste testing that the mustard flavor was pretty powerful before baking, so if I do make this rec…

Tin Roof Ice Cream

Summer-like weather has been in St. Louis full-force for awhile now and what better way to embrace/fight it off, then with the most perfect complement to summer - ICE CREAM!  This was one of the most delicious ice cream recipes I've ever had.  It's made up of three components - two of which sounded like a dream come true to me, and one of which may have converted my entire demeanor to it's flavor in general.  

This ice cream starts with a vanilla bean custard base, then you throw in some chocolate covered honey roasted peanuts and layer in some fudge sauce.  Let me just tell you that vanilla bean is one of my favorite flavors ever, of anything (including perfume!), then on top of that I love honey roasted peanuts (which is what I used for this recipe).  Those two right there had me excited to try this recipe, though I almost felt like I could take or leave the fudge ripple.  
Can I just say that I was severely mistaken when brushing off the fudge sauce to the back of my mind…

Chewy Brownies

A great brownie recipe is something every baker needs in their repertoire. I personally have been looking for years for the perfect recipe that fits most everyones preferences.  There are a few types of brownie people - chewy fans, cake-like fans, fudgy, etc...  These brownies DEFINITELY fall in the chewy and fudgy category which seem to be the more populated camps.  I believe my search for the perfect recipe might very well be over because with a few modifications in the future this recipe might be perfect for me.  The only thing I'll do differently in the future is chop up the bittersweet chocolate in to smaller pieces as I don't think I chopped it as small as the recipe calls for.

Chewy Brownies Ingredients: 1/3 cup Dutch-processed cocoa
1½ teaspoons instant espresso (optional)
½ cup plus 2 Tablespoons boiling water
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter, melted
½ cup plus 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
2 large eggs
2 large egg yo…