Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Roasted Garlic Cauliflower

This roasted cauliflower was delicious! It turned out tender, but not mushy. Don't let the large volume of garlic deter you- it wasn't overpowering.

Based on the Allrecipes dish by the same name.

2 tablespoons minced garlic
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large head of cauliflower, separated into florets
Dash Italian seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 425. Grease a large casserole dish.

Combine garlic, oil, and cauliflower in a Ziploc bag. Shake to combine. Pour into casserole dish. Sprinkle with Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Cover with foil.

Bake for 30 minutes, stirring halfway through.

Top with parmesan cheese and return to oven, uncovered, for an additional 5 minutes.
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Blade Steaks with Herb Wine Sauce

My husband and I were both very disappointed when we found out Gourmet magazine was no more. We were always sure to find something interesting to cook in each issue. When I saw a copy of the Gourmet cookbook in our local Half Price Books last week, I snatched a copy and started tagging recipes to try right away.

This steak dish turned out delicious. The steaks had a very beefy flavor and the sauce complemented them perfectly. I wasn't sure about using white wine in a steak dish, but it definitely worked.

I altered the original recipe by decreasing the amount of parsley and upping the cook time for a nice medium instead of medium-rare.

4 (1/2-inch-thick) top chuck blade steaks (18 oz)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large shallot, finely chopped
1/2 cup dry white wine
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley

Pat steaks dry and sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper.
Heat 1 tablespoon butter and oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking. Add steaks and cook 3-4 minutes per side, flipping once. Transfer to a plate and tent loosely with foil.
Add remaining 2 tablespoons butter to skillet and cook shallot over moderate heat, stirring, until softened, about 2 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and carefully add wine and any meat juices that have accumulated on plate with steaks. Simmer until reduced by half, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in herbs and salt and pepper to taste.
Serve steaks with sauce poured over.
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Monday, December 20, 2010

Brownie Frosting

This brownie frosting hails from Allrecipes. It is very rich and indulgent, but DELICIOUS!

6 tablespoons milk
6 tablespoons butter, softened
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 cup chocolate chips
1 dash vanilla extract

1. Combine the milk, butter, and sugar together in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Allow to cook at a rolling boil for 30 seconds and immediately remove from heat.

2. Add the chocolate chips and vanilla to the milk mixture and stir until the chips are completely melted. Pour immediately over warm brownies.
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Mom's Sugar Cookies

These sugar cookies are the best thing since sliced bread. As a kid, I helped Mom make a big batch of these cookies every Christmas. I loved cutting them out with cookie cutters. They are not your typical cakey sugar cookie. These are very thin and crisp. Mmm...

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups all-purpose flour

1. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla. Beat until well-blended. Stir in flour.

2. Cover and refrigerate at least one hour.

3. Preheat oven to 350.

4. Roll out dough on lightly floured board or pastry cloth to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut with cookie cutters.

5. Bake on ungreased cookie sheet 10-12 min or until light golden brown. Cool and decorate as desired.

Yields about 6 dozen.
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Monday, December 13, 2010

Onion Rice

This dish hails from Allrecipes. It is a very easy way to dress up plain rice. We had it with burrito bowls.

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 red onion, chopped
1 cup long-grain white rice
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 cups chicken broth

Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the onion, and cook until almost tender. Stir in rice, and continue cooking until coated with oil.

When onion is tender and rice begins to brown lightly, season with pepper, and pour in the broth. Bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 20 minutes.
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Cookies n Cream Cupcakes

These cupcakes are a Beantown Baker original and are delicious!

Cookies n Cream Cupcakes

1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups flour, plus 2 Tbsp for the Oreo chunks
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 2/3 cup sugar
3 large egg whites, at room temperature
1 pkg Oreo Cookies (~45 cookies)

Preheat over to 350F. Insert liners into a medium cupcake pan.

Twist apart 24 Oreos. Place the wafer with filling on it, filling side up, in the bottom of each paper liner. Cut other wafers in half. Save 24 halves to place in the frosting. Crush the other wafer halves, also for garnishing.

Cut the remaining Oreo cookies into quarters with a sharp knife. Toss with 2 Tbsp flour and set aside.

In a large bowl cream the butter until fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Add the milk and vanilla and mix to combine.

In a separate bowl mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

Add the dry ingredients to butter mixture. Mix until integrated. Stir in sugar. With an electric mixer on low speed, beat for 30 seconds. Turn the mixer up to medium speed and beat for 2 minutes. Add the egg whites. Beat for 2 more minutes. Stir in the quartered cookies.

Fill the cupcake lines three-quarters full. Bake for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of cupcakes comes out clean. Cool cupcakes in the pan.

Cream Cheese Frosting

8 oz cream cheese at room temp
1 stick butter at room temp
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
3-4 cups powdered sugar

Cream butter and cream cheese until fluffy.

Add vanilla extract. Slowly add powdered sugar until desired consistency is reached.
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Sunday, December 12, 2010

Strawberry Daiquiri Cupcakes

These cupcakes were a HUGE hit.

Strawberry Daiquiri Cupcakes


2 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
Pinch salt
1 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. vegetable oil
4 egg whites
2/3 c. thawed frozen strawberry daiquiri concentrate
1/2 c. buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350F. Line muffin pan with liners. In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, oil, egg whites and lemonade concentrate. Alternately whisk in flour mixture and buttermilk, making three additions of flour mixture and two of buttermilk, beating until just smooth.

Add just enough food coloring to turn the batter a light shade of pink.

Scoop batter into liners (fill about three-fourths full). Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until tops of cupcakes spring back when lightly touched. Let cool in pan on rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and let cool completely on rack. Top cooled cupcakes with frosting (see below).

Daiquiri buttercream icing

3 c. + 3 Tbsp. confectioner’s sugar
1 stick unsalted butter at room temperature
1/8 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. pink lemonade concentrate
Milk to thin, if necessary

Add the butter, confectioner’s sugar, salt, lemonade concentrate, and a few drops of food coloring to the stand mixer and mix on low using the paddle attachment until combined.
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Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Chicken Scallopini

When I saw this recipe on Stephanie Cooks, I knew I had to try it. This was great- the kind of entree that tastes like you slaved away over a hot stove all day.

Rather than spend five bucks on a package of prosciutto, I paid sixty-eight cents for two slices at the deli counter.

2 chicken breasts
2 slices prosciutto
1/4 cup flour
2 tablespoons parmesan cheese
1 egg
1 tbsp. olive oil


Pat the chicken breasts dry. Season each side with salt and pepper. Sprinkle dried sage on one side of the fillet. Press the prosciutto on top of the sage, pushing it into the chicken so that it sticks.

Whisk an egg in a shallow dish. In a separate dish, combine the flour and parmesan cheese. Dip the chicken breasts into the egg and then into the flour mixture.

Heat oil in a nonstick-skillet over medium high heat until shimmering. Place chicken into hot skillet, prosciutto-side down. Cook chicken on both sides until the coating is crisp and the chicken is cooked through.
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Friday, July 2, 2010

Cream of Mushroom Soup

This is modified from Allrecipes. It is fresher-tasting than my previous cream of mushroom soup, and can be garnished with green onions or chives.


5 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/8 tsp dried thyme
3 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp flour
1 cup half-and-half
Salt and pepper to taste


Heat a small portion of oil or butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Sautee onions and mushrooms until onions are tender and mushrooms have given up their juices. Add the butter and stir until melted. Add flour and, stirring constantly, cook about 1 minute.

Add broth and thyme. Bring to a boil and cook until thickened, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to medium low. Add half-and-half, salt, and pepper and heat for 1-2 minutes.
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This goes great on Elly's chicken gyros! Compiled from several online recipes.


1 cup Greek yogurt
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced
1 medium cucumber, peeled, halved and seeded
1 tsp dill
salt and pepper to taste


Shred cucumber using a fine cheese grater. Place in a paper towel and squeeze several times to remove liquid.

Combine all ingredients. Mix and season to taste. Refrigerate for at least one hour.
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Chicken Gyros

These gyros were my first venture into Greek cuisine. They were easy to throw together on a weeknight and tasted great. From Elly Says Opa.


1.25 lbs. chicken pieces (breast or thighs)
4 cloves garlic, smashed
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tsp. red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 heaping Tbsp. plain yogurt
1 Tbsp. dried oregano
salt and pepper
sliced tomatoes
sliced onions
4 pitas


Whisk together the garlic, lemon juice, vinegar, oil, yogurt, and oregano in a bowl. Add the chicken and rub the marinade in. Cover and refrigerate for about an hour.

Preheat grill pan over medium heat and cook until done. Allow the chicken to rest for a few minutes before slicing into strips.

Heat the pitas. Top the pitas with the chicken, tzatziki, tomatoes, onions. Fold and enjoy!

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Thursday, July 1, 2010

Kielbasa with Peppers, Onions, and Potatoes

This is a down-home, stick to your ribs, one-pot meal. Everything you could want, right? It isn't diet, but hey- live a little. Modified from Allrecipes.


1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 16 oz pkg kielbasa
1 red bell pepper, cut into strips
1 green bell pepper, cut into strips
1 onion, cut into strips
4 medium red potatoes, or 6 small ones


Heat oil over medium heat. Add kielbasa and all veggies. Cover and cook 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season to taste.

*If this gets too dry, you can add a splash or two of water.
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Roasted Corn and Poblano Polenta

I am a huge fan of the blog Elly Says Opa. Almost everything she makes has me drooling. This dish was no exception. The hubby and I had polenta for the first time on while on vacation to Hot Springs. I started poking around after I got home to find a recipe to try for myself. It was delicious! I served this as she did, with pan-seared shrimp seasoned with cumin, salt, and chili powder.


1 poblano pepper
3/4 cup roasted corn*
2 tsp. butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1-2/3 to 2 cups chicken broth (depending on how thick you want the polenta)
1/4 tsp. paprika
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1/4 cup (1 oz.) cheddar or Monterey jack cheese
salt and pepper


Over a gas burner or under your broiler, char the poblano on all sides, until the skin is blistery and black. Submerge in a bowl of ice water. Once cooled, peel and dice.

Heat the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat Add the garlic and stir until just fragrant. Stir in the chicken broth, paprika, and salt and pepper to taste; bring to a boil. Slowly whisk in the polenta – it will absorb the liquid almost immediately. Add the diced poblano and corn. Reduce the heat to low and continue to simmer, stirring frequently, until cooked, about 10-15 minutes.

Off the heat, stir in the cheese and reseason if necessary. Serve immediately.

*I roast the corn in oven for about 8 minutes (for individual kernels) but grilling it is delicious if you are already grilling something else!

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Sunday, June 6, 2010

Homemade Pizza Crust

This pizza crust is phenomenal. The outside gets nice and crispy while the inside remains soft and moist. There's nothing quite like a homemade pizza!  (Although I don't think I'm going to make another asparagus-topped one any time soon...)

This recipe either makes one very large thick-crust pizza or two medium sized regular crust pizzas. You can wrap half the dough in plastic wrap and put it in a Ziploc bag if you'd like to freeze half the dough for next time.

From Allrecipes

2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
1 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees F)
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

1. In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast and brown sugar in the water, and let sit for 10 minutes.
Stir the salt and oil into the yeast solution. Mix in 2 1/2 cups of the flour.

2. Turn dough out onto a clean, well floured surface, and knead in more flour until the dough is no longer sticky. Place the dough into a well oiled bowl, and cover with a cloth. Let the dough rise until double; this should take about 1 hour. Punch down the dough, and form a tight ball. Allow the dough to relax for a minute before rolling out. Use for your favorite pizza recipe.

3. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). If you are baking the dough on a pizza stone, you may place your toppings on the dough, and bake immediately. **If you are baking your pizza in a pan, lightly oil the pan, and let the dough rise for 15 or 20 minutes.
Prebake the dough for about 10 minutes before topping it.

4. Bake pizza in preheated oven, until the cheese and crust are golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes.
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Sunday, February 14, 2010

Chicken Enchiladas

I got this recipe from from the Pink Parsley blog. It is full of flavor. I cooked some taco chicken in the crockpot one day and just used the sauce from this recipe. Next time, I'd like to make it as-written. I made the mistake of skipping the step where you brown the enchiladas in the oven and mine turned out a little on the soggy side.

1 medium onion, chopped fine
2 jalapenos, seeded and chopped fine
1 teaspoon canola oil
3 medim cloves garlic, minced
3 Tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
3 teaspoons sugar
1 15-oz can tomato sauce
1 cup water
1 large tomato, seeded and chopped
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I used thighs instead)
Shredded cheese to taste
1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro
12 (6-inch) soft corn tortillas
cooking spray
salt and ground black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 425.

2. Combine the onion, jalapeno, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and oil in a large saucepan. cover and cook over medium-low heat, stirring often, until the onions and peppers have softened, 8-10 minutes. Stir in the garlic, chili powder, cumin, and sugar, and cook until fragrant, less than 30 seconds. Stir in the tomato sauce, water, and chopped tomato. Bring to a simmer, and cook until slightly thickened, 5 minutes.Nestle the chicken into the sauce.

3. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until chicken is cooked through (thickest part reaches 160 degrees), about 12-20 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate, and set aside to cool.

4. Strain the sauce through a strainer into a medium bowl, pressing the onion mixture to extract as much liquid as possible. Transfer the onions to a large bowl and set aside. Season sauce with additional salt and pepper to taste.

5. Shred the chicken into bite-sized pieces. Add to the onion mixture, and add 1/4 cup of the enchilada sauce, 1 cup cheese, and the cilantro. Toss to combine.

6. Stack the tortillas on a plate and cover with plastic wrap; Microwave on high until warm and pliable, 40-60 seconds. Spread the tortillas on a clean work surface, and spoon 1/3 cup of the chicken mixture evenly down the center of each. Tightly roll each tortilla and lay seam-side down in a greased 9x13 inch baking dish.

7. Lightly spray the tops of the enchiladas with cooking spray. Place in the oven, uncovered, for about 7 minutes, or until the tortillas start to brown slightly (skip this step if you don't like the crunch).

8. Reduce heat to 400. Remove enchiladas and pour sauce evenly on top. Top with the remaining cheese. Cover dish with foil, and bake an additional 20 minutes, or until heated through.

9. Remove foil and bake another 5 minutes, until cheese browns. Remove from oven and let stand 10 minutes before serving.Serve with sour cream, guacamole, salsa, additional cilantro, etc.
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Baby Red Potato Salad

This is a very nontraditional potato salad in the sense that the main flavor is potato rather than Hellman's. I got this recipe from Gina's WW Recipes. It's light and delicious. The potatoes can be either boiled or roasted.

4 cups baby red potatoes, cut in small pieces
1/2 cup green bell pepper, finely diced
1/4 cup red onion, finely diced
3 scallions, diced
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp reduced fat mayonnaise
salt and fresh pepper

1. Boil potatoes in salted water until soft, approx 10 minutes. Drain and let cool.

2. While the potatoes are boiling, combine red onion, green pepper, mustard, olive oil, vinegar and mayonnaise and season with salt and pepper. Mix well and let the flavors marinade while the potatoes cook.

3. Once the potatoes are done and cool, mix into the bowl and add scallions and additional salt and pepper to taste. Serve room temperature or refrigerate until ready to serve.
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Parmesan Tilapia

This dish is called Broiled Tilapia Parmesan on Allrecipes. It is the tastiest tilapia dish I've made yet, and it's very quick to throw together.

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup butter, softened
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon onion powder
1/8 teaspoon celery salt
2 pounds tilapia fillets


1. Preheat your oven's broiler. Grease a broiling pan or line pan with aluminum foil.

2. In a small bowl, mix together the Parmesan cheese, butter, mayonnaise and lemon juice. Season with dried basil, pepper, onion powder and celery salt. Mix well and set aside.

3. Arrange fillets in a single layer on the prepared pan. Broil a few inches from the heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Flip the fillets over and broil for a couple more minutes. Remove the fillets from the oven and cover them with the Parmesan cheese mixture on the top side. Broil for 2 more minutes or until the topping is browned and fish flakes easily with a fork. Be careful not to over cook the fish.
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Sunday, January 24, 2010

Broccoli-Stuffed Chicken

2 chicken breast halves, butterflied
1 egg
2 tsp water
3/4 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
1 cup broccoli floret, cooked, chopped small
2 slices cheese
spray oil

1. Preheat oven to 350°. In a small bowl, combine egg, water and a little salt. Beat with a fork to make an egg wash. Set aside. Fill a second bowl with breadcrumbs.

2. Place a slice of cheese in the center of the chicken and top with a little broccoli. Wrap chicken around to completely cover cheese, using toothpicks to secure. Season with a little salt.

2. Dip chicken into egg wash, then breadcrumbs. Spray cookie sheet with oil and place chicken on cookie sheet. Lightly spray chicken with oil and bake about 25 minutes, until cooked.

Hails from Gina's Weight Watcher recipes
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