Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Happy Holidays

Hello everyone. I have been cooking just haven't had the time to post. After the holiday's I'll be sure to update the blog.

Hope everyone has a great holiday!


Monday, December 15, 2008

Turkey Chili

Tasty chili for a nice winter day/night. Although it ended up being 60 degrees today it was still delish! I added in more beans than the recipe called for just because I like lots of beans.

*You can find the recipe here

Chicken Tortilla Soup

This recipe comes from one of Rachael Ray's cookbooks, Rachael Ray: 365 No Repeats

This is a recipe that I've made before. It's a tasty soup. For some extra spice, I added some red pepper flakes and for some more chicken I used chicken breast instead of chicken tenderloins.
2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1-1/2 pounds
chicken tenders
Salt and Fresh Ground Black Pepper
3 Garlic Cloves, chopped
1 Green Bell Pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
1 large Onion, chopped1 Jalapeno pepper minced (don't touch your eyes after cutting pepper until you have washed your hands)
2 celery ribs, finely chopped1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
2 cups yellow corn tortilla chips (about 4 handfuls)
2 teaspoons hot sauce such as Tabasco
1 quart chicken stock or broth (store bought works fine unless you want to make it homemade)1/2 cup sour cream, for garnish
Zest and juice of 2 limes combined
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves (chopped)
4 scallions (green onions) thinly sliced (use both the white and green parts)

1. Preheat a medium soup pot over medium high heat and add the olive oil ... a couple times around the inside of the pan should be fine.
2. Chop the chicken tenders into bite size pieces.
3. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and add to the hot soup pot.
4. Lightly brown the chicken for about 3 to 4 minutes, then add the garlic, bell peppers, onions, jalapenos, celery, cumin, coriander, salt and pepper. Continue to cook for 3 minutes, stirring frequently.
5. While that is cooking place the tortilla chips in a food processor and process until well ground. I f you don't have a processor place the chips in a plastic storage bag and crush with a rolling pin.
6. Add the ground tortilla chips to the soup pot and stir to combine.
7. Add the chicken stock and bring the soup to a simmer.
8. Simmer the soup for 15 minutes
9. Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with the sour cream. Pass the lime zest, chopped cilantro, and sliced scallions for each person to add to taste.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Winter Grilling: Grilled Chicken with Lemon and Oregano

Just because it's winter it doesn't mean you can't grill! I have an indoor grill and I grilled up some chicken.

I made grilled chicken with lemon and oregano, green beans with lemon zest, & some brown rice.
I steamed the green beans-mixed 1 tablespoon of lemon zest, butter, salt & pepper.

For the chicken I followed this recipe.
*I used chicken tenderloins instead

Monday, December 8, 2008

Magnolia Bakery: The Taste Test

As I mentioned in my Magnolia Bakery cupcake post, my friends and I went to NYC this past Friday. We stumbled into one of the Magnolia Bakery locations. I was very excited to get to try their cupcakes and see the bakery! It was packed!

I got a vanilla cupcake with chocolate frosting. I wasn't crazy about the frosting - I should have gotten the butter cream frosting. Overall I enjoyed the cupcake! The presentation was great (I should have taken a picture of the cupcake).

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Christmas Tree Cookies

An excuse to use my new cookie press! If you don't have a cookie press- I suggest you get one! Baking season is here and the cookie press makes great cookies. I got my recipe from Martha. The cookies turned out great. They're rich and buttery! You can get really creative with these cookies. I dyed the dough to make some green Christmas trees. With plenty of shapes you can make these cookies at any time of the year.

*You can find the recipe here

Turkey Meatballs

I've been making these turkey meatballs for several years now. They're very easy and very tasty!

Take 2 tablespoons of olive oil spread on baking sheet. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. While oven is preheating place cookie sheet in the oven.

Mix ground turkey (1 1/2 lbs), 1 egg (beaten) and 1/3 cup of Italian bread crumbs. Roll into balls. Cook for 15 minutes. Turn meatballs over and cook for another 5 minutes.

November Club: Thanksgiving with Friends

For November club I had the girls over for Thanksgiving dinner on Saturday 11/22. We ate a lot and drank a ton!

Of course we ate turkey! I also, made carrots, brussels sprouts, potatoes, cranberry sauce, gravy, & stuffing. I can't believe I forgot to take a picture of the turkey breast when it came out of the oven! It looked so good and would have made a great picture but I must have been too busy to think about taking the picture.
Below are some of the recipes from November club!

I made the cranberry sauce ahead of time to make sure it could cool at room temperature. Cranberry sauce is incredibly easy!!
Bring 1 cup of water and 1 cup of sugar to a boil. Add cranberries and let boil for 10 minutes. The cranberries will burst open and break down. Stir sauce and let cool at room temperature. Below is the finished sauce! As I mentioned the turkey breast tasted really good! I used this recipe from the food network. Next time I make it, I'll be sure to get a picture.

Since everyone was going to be eating Thanksgiving dinner again later in the week. I decided to switch up the potatoes. Instead of making mashed potatoes. I quartered smalled red potatoes, placed them in a pot, added water, kosher salt, minced garlic and fresh chopped rosemary. I let the potatoes boil until soft. Drained and mixed them with butter. They were very tasty--especially with gravy on top!
The brussels sprouts were tasty too! I got the recipe from the November issue of Real Simple. Although I couldn't get Liz to try brussels sprout, I did get everyone else to try them and I believe they all enjoyed! You can find the recipe here.
I steamed the carrots in chicken broth, added butter and thyme and they were ready to serve.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Magnolia Bakery Cupcakes

Have you ever heard of or ever been the the Magnolia Bakery in NYC? I've never been but I've heard so much about it! I'm going to be in NYC on 12/5 so maybe I'll check it out then. They have several cookbooks out with tons of recipes for their well-known treats. Their cupcakes are always talked about and I've been wanting to make them for some time now.
A couple of weeks ago I purchased More From Magnolia: Recipes from the World Famous Bakery and Allysa Torey's Home Kitchen from Amazon.com! It was a great purchase and a great deal. I know it will be my go to baking book.

This past weekend my mother and I baked up a little something from the book. I made the vanilla cake cupcakes with vanilla butter cream icing and Mamie, my mom, made pumpkin bars with cream cheese icing. (I should have made Mame take a picture--what was I thinking).

The cupcakes were delicious- very moist!!! The icing was very rich and very creamy! I thought the recipe was really easy. No need for a boxed cake. Although I wasn't able to try the pumpkin bars with cream cheese icing, I heard they were really good!

I promise there will be more to come from this book.

Bill asked for it...and he got it!

Bill, my father, asked if the blog can be sorted by category. I added "labels" right under the blog archive. So if you're looking for a chicken recipe you can select the "chicken" label and all chicken recipes will come up! Hope this is helpful! Happy cooking/baking!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Veg-Head Three-Bean Chili

This recipe is one of Rachael Ray's 30-min meals. You maybe thinking..."It's not chili if there's no meat" but I promise you'll like this recipe. I usually make a turkey chili (another Rachael Ray recipe) but I thought I'd try this three-bean recipe out! I used some blue corn tortilla chips for some crunch and topped it off with cheese. I like things a bit more spicy so next time I make it I'll add some extra spice.

*You can find the recipe here

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Comfort Food: Chicken & Dumplings

I've been craving chicken and dumplings for quite some time. I finally got around to making it tonight and I was very pleased with the flavor of this dish. It was very simple; a bit lengthy for a week night meal but well worth it. To save some time I used baby carrots and instead of using water I used chicken broth for some extra flavor.

*You can find the recipe here

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Chocolate Cinnamon Muffins

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2 large eggs
1 cup milk
6 tbsp melted cooled butter

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Stir together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, cinnamon, & salt into a large bowl. Stir in the sugar and chocolate chips.
Lightly beat the eggs in a large pitcher or bowl, then beat in the milk and butter. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the beaten liquid ingredients. Stir gently until just combined. Do not over mix.
Bake for 20 minutes

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Classic Pumpkin Seeds

If you haven't carved a pumpkin yet; then what are you waiting for? I roasted pumpkin seeds last night. So easy and so tasty. Of course there are many recipes out there for flavored pumpkin seeds but I like mine with some butter and salt. I melted 2 tablespoons of butter and sprinkled some kosher salt on the unwashed seeds (you want the pumpkin flavor) spread them thin on a cookie sheet and let them roast for 30-40 minutes at 300 degrees.

Oh and here's the carved pumpkin! Go PHILLIES!

Penne with Pumpkin Cream Sauce

At the beginning of fall I said to myself "I'm going to make pumpkin ravioli this year" I have yet to do so but I'll consider this recipe a baby step. There's still time for the pumpkin ravioli; although it snowed, fall is not over yet.

This recipe came from the October issue of Everyday with Rachael Ray. You can get all her recipes at her website if you don't subscribe to the magazine.

This dish was a great taste of pumpkin. I think you'll like this even if you're not a huge fan of pumpkin (but really who isn't??)

*You can find the recipe here

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Chicken Scaloppine with Arugula, Lemon, and Parmesan


Scalopinne: sauteed cutlets (usually veal or poultry) that have been pounded thin. This is a great, simple, and healthy recipe! Enjoy!

You can find the recipe here

Monday, October 27, 2008

Tonight's Dinner: Pasta Primavera

What a tasty and simple meal. Although this recipe didn't come from Rachael Ray it was a 30 minute meal! The roasted veggies along with the cheese add a ton of flavor to this dish.

Where else to get an Italian recipe from but Giada at the Food Network.

**If you're interested in this recipe; simply click recipe above. The link is attached.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Iced Pumpkin Cookies

As soon as September hits I start craving fall flavors; especially PUMPKIN!! I got this recipe from allrecipes.com. It got great ratings and after making and eating them I agree! These Cookies are a great taste of fall. They're perfect for the holidays and very easy to make. They have a cake like consistency. The pumpkin puree helps keep them super moist! This recipe makes about 34 cookies.

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups confectioners' sugar
3 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves, and salt; set aside.

In a medium bowl, cream together the 1/2 cup of butter and white sugar. Add pumpkin, egg, and 1 teaspoon vanilla to butter mixture, and beat until creamy. Mix in dry ingredients. Drop on cookie sheet by tablespoonfuls; flatten slightly.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven. Cool cookies, then drizzle glaze with fork.

To Make Glaze:

Combine confectioners' sugar, milk, 1 tablespoon melted butter, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Add milk as needed, to achieve drizzling consistency.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Chicken Stir Fry Lettuce Wraps (yet again adapted from Martha)

These lettuce wraps were full of flavor. Martha pulled through again!

I didn't have cornstarch so I used flour. (For every tablespoon of cornstarch use 2 tablespoons of flour)

Serves 4

1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, halved horizontally and thinly sliced
Coarse salt and ground pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 large red bell pepper, ribs and seeds removed, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons grated peeled fresh ginger
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
3 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch, mixed with 1 tablespoon water
12 to 16 Boston lettuce leaves (about 2 heads)

Season chicken with salt and pepper. In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over high heat. Add half the chicken; cook, stirring constantly, until opaque throughout, 2 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with remaining chicken.

Add remaining tablespoon oil to pan, along with the onion and bell pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, until onion is tender and golden, about 4 minutes (reduce heat if browning too quickly).

Reduce heat to medium; add garlic, ginger, and red-pepper flakes; cook, stirring, until fragrant, 30 to 60 seconds.

Stir in soy sauce, vinegar, and cornstarch mixture; remove from heat. Add chicken and any accumulated juices; toss to coat. Serve in lettuce cups.

Chicken Soup (No Noodles) (Adapted from Martha Stewart)

Of course you can add noodles but there's plenty of chicken and veggies that take place of the noodles. I used half the amount of parsnips called for and added red potatoes. This soup was so flavorful!

Serves 8 to 10:

1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley leaves, stems reserved
5 whole black peppercorns
1 dried bay leaf
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 clove garlic
1 pound carrots, peeled and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
1 pound parsnips, peeled and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
1 to 2 medium onions, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 (4-pound) chicken, rinsed
Coarse salt

Tie parsley stems together using kitchen twine. Prepare a bouquet garni: Place peppercorns, bay leaf, thyme, and garlic in a 5-by-5-inch piece of cheesecloth; tie to enclose using kitchen twine.

In a large pot, combine parsley stems, bouquet garni, carrots, parsnips, onions, and chicken, breast-side down. Add enough water to cover; season with salt. Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce to a simmer, and cook, partially covered, until chicken is cooked through, about 45 minutes. Skim any foam that rises to the top and discard.

Remove chicken from pot, and let stand until cool enough to handle. Skim fat from surface of soup, if desired, and discard. Remove and discard parsley stems and bouquet garni. Remove meat from bones; discard skin and bones. Shred meat into bite-size pieces, and return to pot. Cook until heated through; season with salt. Serve garnished with chopped parsley.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Lighter Sesame Chicken (Adapted from Martha Stewart)

Serves 4:

3/4 cup brown rice
3 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 garlic clove, finely chopped or crushed with a garlic press
2 large egg whites
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into 2-inch chunks
Coarse salt and ground pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, such as safflower
4 scallions, thinly sliced
1 1/2 pounds broccoli, cut into large florets, stems peeled and thinly sliced

Place a steamer basket in a large saucepan, and fill with 1 inch water; set aside for broccoli. Cook rice according to package instructions.

Meanwhile, make sauce: In a small bowl, combine honey, sesame seeds, soy sauce, and garlic; set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together egg whites and cornstarch. Add chicken; season with salt and pepper, and toss to coat.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high. Add half the chicken; cook, turning occasionally, until golden and opaque throughout, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a plate; repeat with remaining tablespoon oil and chicken. Return all the chicken to skillet; add reserved sauce and scallions, and toss to coat.

Meanwhile, place saucepan with steamer basket over high heat; bring water to a boil. Add broccoli, and cook until crisp-tender, 4 to 6 minutes. Serve sesame chicken with broccoli and rice.