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Saturday, November 27, 2010

Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Filling

Chocolate and peanut butter go together like..........well John and I ♥
I liked this recipe, but next time instead of trying to dip the cupcake tops into a chocolate ganache mixture, I would just make a regular dark chocolate frosting recipe and use a spatula to spread it and then pipe the peanut butter dollop on top of that.

3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 cup boiling water
1 cup buttermilk
1 3/4 cup flour
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 sticks plus 3 Tbsp butter, softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup creamy peanut butter
2/3 cup powdered sugar
1 cup heavy cream
8 oz semi sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350. Line muffin cups with paper liners.
Place cocoa powder in med bowl. Add boiling water and whisk until a paste forms. Whisk in the buttermilk until combined.
In a med bowl, sift the flour with the baking soda, baking powder and salt.
In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, beat 1 1/2 sticks of the butter with sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs and vanilla. Beat in the dry ingredients and the cocoa mixture. Spoon the batter into paper lined muffin tins, about 2/3 full. Bake for 16- 20 min or until toothpick inserted in center, comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack.

In a med bowl, beat peanut butter with remaining 3 Tbsp butter until creamy. Sift the powdered sugar into the bowl and beat until light and fluffy. (this is where I had to add a tiny bit of heavy cream to give it a more fluffy filling type consistency, so if you need to do that go ahead). Spoon all but 3 Tbsp of the mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a small star tip. (reserve the 3 Tbsp for later) Plunge the tip into the cake and squeeze a small amount of filling into each cupcake.

In a small saucepan, bring the heavy cream to a simmer. Take it off the heat and add the semisweet chocolate and let stand for 5 minutes. No need to stir. After 5 minutes, whisk together the chocolate and cream. Let stand until cool and thickened, about 15 minutes.  Dip the tops of the cupcakes into the chocolate mixture and place back on the cooling rack for approx 5 minutes. Re-dip the tops again into the chocolate and place on rack for 5-10 minutes again. Spoon the remaining 3 Tbsp peanut butter mixture into the pastry bag and pipe tiny rosettes onto the top of each cupcake.

Fluer De Sel Caramels

Fluer De Sel is just a fancy name for sea salt. So if you like sweet and salty together, then you might like these caramels. The texture reminds me of Werthers Candies, in that it's hard on the outside, but after it's been in your mouth for a couple minutes it softens up to a chewy caramel. There is a link to the recipe below the picture. Mine didn't turn out as pretty as hers, but oh well, I am also not a professional cook. In the recipe, she says to "roll" the caramel....mine wouldn't roll, so I broke it into pieces.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Roll

Who doesn't love pumpkin this time of year? Carved pumpkins, pumpkin candles, pumpkin pie...but my all time favorite is pumpkin cream cheese rolls. I haven't made these in a couple of years and was surprised at how easy it came back to me. It takes a little work to get them rolled just right, but I think they are well worth the effort.
This was the dessert that I took to a friends house and then wound up having her friend order some from me for Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Fish Sandwich with Jalapeno Slaw

After hiking about 5 miles today, John and I were very hungry. I wanted to make something filling and yet light. I got a new Food Network Magazine a couple of days ago and this recipe was in it. really turned out great. John loved it and I would most definitely make it again. We also tried "mashed cauliflower" (which is what you see beside the sandwich). It's supposed to be like mashed potatoes but much better for you. It was really good too. In fact, I was pleasantly surprised. I have decided not to post this recipe unless someone requests it, because it's a lot to type and most people don't like seafood enough to be brave enough to try it in a sandwich. So if you want the recipe, just ask and I'll type it up!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Cheese and Fruit "Turkey" Appetizer

My daughter Kylie made this today for Thanksgiving and I just had to share it on my blog. It was super cute and looked great on the table. She is super creative and always makes her things look so good!

For  the body use a honeydew melon. For the tail feathers, place cheese and grapes on skewers and insert them into the melon. For side feathers, cut red and yellow pepper slices and place in with toothpicks. The head is a bosc pear and the nose is a cube of cheese. The eyes are cranberries and the "gobble" was cut out of a red pepper also. Attach with toothpicks!

Quite a few months ago, she also made this baby carriage stroller for my other daughters baby shower. I thought this post would be a good place to put this picture too! Isn't it adorable???

Cupcake "Pies"

My friend Tammy and I got together to bake the other day. We were attempting to make "pie cakes". They are cupcakes decorated to look like pies. They were actually fairly simple, but we were lacking the right decorating tip to make the lattice tops for the pies. We had to get really creative with the tips we had. I think we accomplished it fairly well, but next time I will definitely buy the right tip before trying these again. I hope they were a hit with her family!!
All you do is bake vanilla cupcakes. Frost the top of the cupcake lightly with butter cream frosting. Place any color M&M you want to use for "fruit" on the top of the cupcake. Do not get too close to the edges as it makes it very difficult to pipe on the "crust". Tammy and I learned that the hard way! Pipe a "crust" around the edges of the cupcake. Next pipe a "lattice" over the top. Enjoy!! * I know  these don't look the greatest, but for our first try and without the right decorating tips....I think we did a pretty good job!

7 Layer Jello

Today is Thanksgiving. I made a 7 layer jello to take to my mom's house. Everyone loved it! My sister Janet was the first person I know to make this jello and ever since she shared the recipe with me, I have been making it.

1 small box black cherry jello
1 small box lemon jello
1 small box lime jello
1 small box cherry jello
1 small box orange jello
1 small box peach jello
1 small box strawberry jello
1 can evaporated milk

*If you can't find the small boxes of jello, just use half of the large box. Also, if you can't find the black cherry, just substitute raspberry. (That's what I had to use for the top layer in this picture)

Method # 1
Mix jello with one cup boiling water. Stir to dissolve sugar completely. Pour in half a cup of cold water.

Method # 2
Mix jello with one cup boiling water. Stir to dissolve sugar completely. Pour in a half a cup of evaporated milk.

Alternate method one and method two for all layers. Make one layer, pour it into a bundt pan and refrigerate it until completely set. (about a half hour or so). In the meantime, make the next layer of jello in a bowl so it can be cooling down before you pour it over the last layer. Pour it over the previous layer, only when cooled down on counter and the first layer is completely firm in the refrigerator. Continue to do this until last layer is poured on. After all the jello layers are completely firm, put some tepid water in the sink, just high enough to come to the top of the bundt pan, but not over the top edge. Hold onto the pan and let the water sit around it for a minute or so. Maybe less, depending on the water. Pick up the pan and tilt it to the side gently to see if the sides of the jello loosen from the edges of the pan. Continue to soak and check the edges. Once the edges loosen from the side of the bundt pan, place a flat round dish on the top of the bundt pan and flip the entire bundt pan over. The jello should loosen and come out onto the plate. Fill the center with whipped cream!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Mint Chocolate Cupcakes with Mint Frosting

These cupcakes are super yummy. They taste a little like Thin Mint Girl Scout cookies. I had a similar recipe I used last week in a vanilla cupcake, but I was trying to be a bit more creative this time around. Everyone that tasted the vanilla ones did say they liked them though!
Oh...the frosting is also green on these cupcakes, but the flash on my camera made it look white :(

1 Chocolate Cake Mix
1 Bag Oreos with mint filling
2 Tbsp flour

1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened
1 cube butter, softened
1 Tbsp vanilla
1/4 tsp mint flavoring ( you can add as much as you like to suit your taste)
3-4 cups sifted powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350. Place paper liners into your muffin tins. Twist 24 Mint Oreos apart. Place the Oreo half with the filling, filling side up into the bottom of the muffin tins. Cut the other unfilled Oreo halves in half with a sharp knife. Save half of the cut up halves for crushing for the garnish and the other half to stick in the top of finished cupcakes. Follow the instructions on the cake mix and prepare the batter. Cut or break the whole Oreos  that are left in the package into quarters or eighths. ( I cut mine into don't have to be precise, they are only going in the batter and won't really show). Mix the cut up sections of cookies in a small bowl with 2 Tbsp flour. (this  keeps them from sinking in the cupcake) Stir the floured Oreos into the batter. Fill each muffin cup 3/4 full. Bake at 350 for about 16-20 min. When toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, they are done. Remove from oven and let cool until they are completely cool.

For the frosting: Mix together the cream cheese and butter until blended well. Mix in vanilla and peppermint flavorings. Add sifted powdered sugar one cup at a time and blend well after each cup. You can use 3-4 cups depending on the frosting texture that you want. I tend to use closer to 4 cups because I like the piping consistency of thicker frostings.

Grind up half of the Oreos that you halved earlier. Dust the top of frosted cupcakes with the Oreo powdered crumbs. Place the other half of the saved Oreo halves into the cupcake for decoration.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Broiled Greek Scampi

The rain is falling lightly outside. Sounds of water flowing through the dishwasher are competing with the rumbling of the washing machine. Both dogs are in  a state of contentment, breathing heavily on the carpet next to me. The sugar cookie candle is flickering in the kitchen, casting an eerie glow on the kitchen blinds. The Television is turned off, the phone is silent and I can hear the "tap tap" of the keyboard as I type. All of these sights and sounds are captivating me as they attest to a home that is no longer filled with the laughter and chatter that comes with raising children, but is now a home filled with quiet contentment.
This morning I was busy making pumpkin, cream cheese rolls and this afternoon I made John and I a wonderful dinner. Tonight's dinner was Greek Scamp, Basil Cheese bread and brocolli with mozzarella cheese.
This recipe for Greek Scampi is quite easy to make and for anyone that thinks they are just a "beginner" cook but wants to make something that looks fancy, this would be a good one!

1/2 stick butter (4 Tbsp)
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1/4 tsp dried dill
Salt and black pepper to taste
2 Tbsp Panko bread crumbs (Japanese bread crumbs, sold at the grocery store)
1 Tbsp fresh, shredded parmesan cheese ( not the kind in the shaker tub)
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp paprika
10-12 extra large shrimp ( I used medium shrimp), peeled, deveined and tails left on

1. Preheat broiler with oven rack 6-8 inches from the top.

2. Melt butter in a saucepan over low heat or in the microwave in a small bowl. Stir in the lemon juice, garlic,   dill, salt and pepper. Put aside.

3. Combine bread crumbs, parmesan, oregano and paprika in small bowl. Set aside.

4. Coat 2 small casserole dishes (approx 6 oz each) with Pam. Place the dishes on a baking sheet. Arrange shrimp evenly in each dish. Divide butter mixture evenly between dishes, drizzling it over the shrimp in each dish. Top with the bread crumb mixture. 

5. Broil until shrimp are cooked and bread crumbs are golden brown. (5min for ex large shrimp and 4 min for medium shrimp).

Friday, November 19, 2010

Italian Margherita Pasta

I'm so thankful as I sit here typing this tonight. God is so good to me and has blessed me beyond what I can comprehend. I actually had my first "order" for an item today. A friend from work ordered a pumpkin cream cheese roll. I took it to her house and she had a friend visiting and that friend then ordered 4 more! What a blessing! Anyway, tonight for dinner I made an Italian Margherita Pasta with chicken. It was so good and so filling. My pine nuts got a little too toasted, but they still tasted great! Lesson not try to cook on all 4 burners at once while you are on the phone ;)

For the Pasta:
8 oz dry spaghetti ( I used wheat spaghetti)
3 cups halved grape tomatoes
2 cups diced mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp minced garlic
1/2 cup thinly sliced, fresh basil
Salt, pepper, crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
Toasted Pine Nuts

For the Chicken:
2-3 boneless, skinless  chicken breasts
Olive oil, dried oregano, salt, pepper and crushed red pepper flakes to taste

*Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook spaghetti according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
*While spaghetti is cooking, combine tomatoes and mozzarella in a large bowl. Set aside.
*Coat chicken with oil, oregano, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Cook in skillet or grill until cooked through. Slice into thin strips.
* Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in a skillet over med heat. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute.
* Pour oil into tomato/cheese mixture. Add the cooked pasta and stir.
* Stir in basil, season with salt, pepper and crushed red pepper flakes.
Divide pasta onto plates and top with chicken and toasted pine nuts.
** To toast pine nuts, place nuts in a small skillet with a little bit of olive oil. Turn fire to low- med and continue stirring till pine nuts are golden brown and toasty

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Polsa Kielbasa

Most of the time I am posting my fancy pictures of dinners and desserts that I make. Today's posting is definitely NOT fancy! I had a very busy day and only had time to make a quick and easy dinner. I know you are probably looking at this picture and thinking "oh my goodness that is not coke I see with meat is it?" Yes, it sure is!!
My sister Janet told me about this recipe years ago. I'm not sure if she thought it up or if someone gave it to her, but when she told me about it I thought she was crazy! She made it for me and asked me to try it. I loved it. I have since, over the years, made this many times for my family. Whenever I tell people about it they think I'm nuts, but then they try it and love it. The sweetness of the coke blends perfectly with the hint of spice in the Polsa Kielbasa. The Coca Cola caramelizes as it cooks, and coats the outside of the meat.

All you have to do is cut a piece of Polsa Kielbasa into bite size rounds. Place the cut up sausage into a skillet. Pour one 12 oz can of Coca Cola Classic (it has to be reg. cannot use diet and Coca Cola is the best for it's taste) over the cut up sausage. Turn fire onto high. Cook for approx. 25-50 min, (stirring every now and then), to fully caramelize the Coke. The liquid will evaporate off and you will see the coca cola thicken up. Stir by scraping the caramelized soda off the bottom of the skillet. Enjoy!!!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Chocolate Cupcakes with Banana Buttercream Frosting and Milk Chocolate Topping

I have come to the conclusion that for me, sharing food and desserts I have made, is like sharing a piece of my heart with others. Every time I share something I have baked or made,  I want it to be that I am showing others love in a different way than just saying "I love you" or "I was thinking about you." I love making things and others generally love eating them. So tonight I decided at the last minute to make a batch of cupcakes to take to work tomorrow to share. I truly cheated tonight though and used a chocolate cupcake mix. I rarely use boxed mixes, but since I decided so late to make these and I knew I would still have to make frosting, I cheated and used a mix...but ssshh...don't tell anyone! lol

I used a boxed chocolate cake mix for the cupcakes. I then followed a recipe for banana buttercream frosting and it was way too thin, so I added a can of buttercream frosting from the store and added 2 more mashed bananas and a little bit of lemon juice (so the bananas won't turn brown). I then piped the frosting on and froze the cupcakes for about 40  min to firm up the frosting for dipping. I melted 1 cup milk chocolate chips with one Tbsp oil and stirred it together. When the chocolate mixture cools down some, dip the top of each cupcake in the melted chocolate.
**So I'm thinking you could just buy a tub of buttercream frosting and add a couple, very mashed, bananas and a tsp or so of lemon juice for your frosting!

Tomato Tarts with Goat Cheese and Basil

Leftovers? When you are a person that genuinely loves to cook, leftovers are not your most exciting foods to deal with. Today my dilemma was how to make leftovers more appealing. I don't like leftovers and usually I don't have to decide what to do with them because I pack them up for John to take to work so he has a nice lunch. It works for both of us, he gets a nice lunch and I don't have to eat leftovers! From last nights dinner, I had leftover roasted chicken and spiced couscous. I wanted something to have something nice to go with it, so I decided to try making Tomato Tarts with Goat Cheese and Basil. I have only had Goat Cheese once before and wasn't sure if I would like it in this particular way, but it turned out to be really good. The flavors of the tomato and the cheese blended so well with the flaky pastry.
* I could not find yellow tomatoes as the recipe called for so it's made with all red tomatoes. It would sure be pretty if you could find both color tomatoes.
** I also could not find herbed goat cheese, so I bought regular goat cheese and seasoned it myself with oregano, basil, sage, garlic powder and pepper.

2 sheets frozen puff pastry
1 egg yolk, beaten with 1 Tbsp water
2 oz herb goat cheese, softened
2 Tbsp milk
8 each, red and yellow cherry tomatoes, halved
Salt and Pepper, to taste
2 Tbsp minced, fresh basil

Thaw puff pastry according to package directions. Preheat oven to 400.
Cut on pastry sheet into 4 even squares. Place squares on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Cut remaining pastry sheet into 8 strips (3/4 inch wide each). (you will have a little pastry dough leftover, you can save it for a different time or just toss it). Cut the 8 strips in half crosswise, to make 16 strips. Place 4 strips around the edge of each pastry square, overlapping corners (over and under on each corner). Lightly brush the 4 strips around the edges and the corners of each pastry, with the egg wash. Bake until puffed and brown 22-24 minutes. Whisk together the goat cheese and the milk. Divide cheese mixture among the center of 4 tarts, spreading with a spatula and pressing lightly to gently deflate the centers. Top cheese mixture with red and yellow tomatoes and season with salt and pepper to taste. Bake tarts 5 minutes more. Remove from oven and garnish with basil. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Coconut Lime Fish with Lime Dijon Dipping Sauce

I love seafood!! I used to cook fish about 3-4 nights a week. I got out of the habit and started cooing a ton of chicken dishes. So tonight I made a fish that John and I have enjoyed many times. It's really easy to prepare and light and yummy! The coconut gives it a little sweetness and the lime gives it a little tang.

1 large egg, beaten
1/3 cup coconut milk
3/4 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup flaked coconut
1 tsp finely shredded lime peel
3-4 Tilapia filets (or your favorite whitefish)
1/4 cup reduced fat mayonnaise
2 tsp Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp lime juice

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Lightly grease a baking sheet
2. Combine beaten egg and coconut milk in a shallow dish
3. In another shallow dish, combine bread crumbs, coconut and lime peel. Mix together.
4. Dip fillets into coconut milk mixture and then dredge into the coconut mixture.
5. Arrange fish onto baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork.
6. Whisk mayonnaise, mustard and lime juice together in a small bowl. Serve alongside fish

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Mandarin Orange Chicken Salad

Fall is officially in the air. It's a chilly night outside and I can smell my neighbors fireplace burning. I am in my winter pajamas and I am still cold in the house! You would think that I would be posting a winter type "hot" meal, but nope....I was hungry for Mandarin Orange Chicken Salad. My sister-in-law Denise, that I love dearly, gave me this recipe a few years back. I loved it then and I still love it! Tonight after dinner, John could not stop telling me how much he loved this salad tonight. It's got a crunch from the celery, a light and refreshing dressing, a sweet taste from the sugared almonds and a little bit of tang from the mandarin oranges.

1/2 head iceberg lettuce, chopped
1/2 head romaine lettuce, chopped
4 green onions, chopped
2 cups celery, chopped

Mix above ingredients together in a large salad bowl.Set aside.

3/4 cup almonds
3 Tbsp sugar
3 tsp sugar

Place above ingredients in a saucepan over low heat and stir constantly until almonds become coated with sugar and it "sticks" to them and the almonds turn light golden brown. Spread them out onto waxed paper to cool.
*If the sugar does not seem to be "cooking" (sticking)...then sprinkle a few (and I seriously mean ONLY a few) drops of water over the sugar almond mixture while cooking.

1 can mandarin oranges, drained. Set aside.

4 Tbsp sugar
4 Tbsp white vinegar (I use rice vinegar)
1 tsp salt
2 dashes pepper
2 dashes tobasco sauce ( I use a sauce called Red Hot and I also use about a 1/2 tsp)
1/2 cup vegetable oil

Mix the first two ingredients together until sugar is dissolved. After those two ingredients are blended well, add all other dressing ingredients.

*To assemble salad:
Place greens on plate. Top with chicken. Top with oranges. Top with almonds and spoon well stirred dressing over the top!!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Fish Tacos and Spanish Rice

Woo Hoo Fish Tacos. No...not Wahoos fish tacos, but just as good!! I was craving fish tacos all day long today. I love to order them when we go out (which truly is not often since I love to cook so much) and I also love to make them at home. They don't take much cooking skills at all to put together, it's just time consuming. Add a little Spanish rice on the side and it all equals YUM!!!

4 Tilapia fillets (or any of your favorite white fish) *cut each fillet in half to fit better in tortilla
8 Corn Tortillas

Beer Batter
1 cup flour
1 cup beer
Garlic powder, pepper, to taste ( I add a little cayenne pepper for a little bit of spice)

*Oil for deep frying

White Sauce
1/2 cup mayonaise
1/2 cup plain yogurt

1 garlic clove, minced
4-6 tomatoes, chopped
1/2 onion, diced
2 Tbsp cilantro, chopped
2 jalapeno chilies, seeded and diced
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

1/2 head green cabbage, shredded
3 limes, cut into wedges

Directions: Mix flour with spices and stir the beer into the flour mixture. Mix until blended. Wash fish and dry. Be sure fish is completely dry.

Prepare Salsa and set aside.

Put  the oil into a deep skillet and when oil is very hot, place battered fish in a single layer and do not let the fish touch each other. Cook fish until batter  is crispy and golden brown.

Heat corn tortillas lightly in a skillet until they are soft and hot.

To assemble the taco: On each corn tortilla, layer the fish, white sauce, salsa and cabbage. Squeeze the lime juice over it.

Spanish Rice
2 cups rice (long grain)
4 cups water
3/4 - 1 Tbsp chicken bullion

Salsa: 1/4 small onion
2 regular size tomatoes
1 tsp garlic
Prepare salsa by placing all salsa ingredients in blender and blend until it is a liquid. Set aside.

Brown rice in oil. When rice is browned, drain off any extra oil. Pour salsa over browned rice. Stir for a min or two. Pour hot water over the rice. After it boils, put in chicken bullion. Mix once through. Put on lid. Turn fire to low. Do NOT remove lid. Cook for 25 min without removing the lid. Turn off the fire and let the rice sit covered for 5-10 min.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Cuban Mojo Chicken and Duchess Potatoes

Tonight I wanted to make a really special dinner. I've made this chicken before and we both really enjoy it.  He was pretty surprised at my fancy potatoes and he thought the entire meal was awesome! The flavors in this chicken blend so well together. Let me know if any of you ever make this as I'd like to see if you like it as much as we did. I forgot to put our chopped cilantro on top of our chicken. It would have tasted much better and probably would have made the chicken look nicer in the picture with more color presentation!

Cuban Mojo Chicken

Chicken Prep Ing:
1 tsp cumin
3 garlic cloves, peeled
1 red chili stemmed
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 Tbsp orange juice
1 1/2 Tbsp fresh squeezed lime juice
2 large boneless chicken breasts

For the avocado,mango sauce:
2 Tbsp chicken drippings (or olive oil)
1/2 cup orange juice
1 tsp grated lime peel
1 tsp honey
2 tsp thick, sweet terryaki sauce
4 Tbsp butter (cut into 1 tbsp portions)
1/2 firm, (but ripe) mango, peeled and diced
1/2 ripe avocado, diced
freshly chopped cilantro

To make the marinade: Place cumin, garlic, red chili and salt into the food processor. Grind into a coarse paste. Place into a med bowl.
Heat olive oil in a skillet until it's very hot and then pour over the coarse paste you just made in the food processor. Stir to blend. Let stand for 15  min. Whisk in the orange juice and lime juice. Pour the marinade into a pan and add the chicken to marinate it. Turn to coat all sides of the chicken. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit in the refrigerator for 1-3 hours.
Preheat oven to 350. Remove chicken from the marinade. In a heavy skillet, over med high heat, brown the chicken on both sides (about 2-3 min per side). Finish the chicken in the oven (7-10 min depending on the thickness of your chicken). Cover with foil and allow to rest for 3-5 min. While the chicken is baking, whisk together the chicken drippings (or olive oil) orange juice, lime peel, honey and terryaki sauce in a saucepan over med heat. Bring to a boil and reduce (approx 6-8 min). Remove from heat and whisk in each tbsp of butter one at a time. Combine the mango and avocado in a med bowl. Scatter the mango and avocado around the chicken. Drizzle  with sauce and sprinkle on chopped cilantro.

Duchess Potatoes

Make mashed potatoes using 6 potatoes. (add all your reg. ingredients, butter, milk, salt, pepper etc)
Make them a little bit "thicker" than you might normally. Beat 2 eggs in a bowl and then add them into your mashed potatoes. Blend until completely smooth. Heat oven to 425. Place your mashed potatoes into a cake decorating bag with a fancy decorating tip inside ( or a baggie with a corner cut off and place the decorating tip inside there) and "pipe" them out onto an ungreased cookie sheet into a rosette. Drizzle melted butter over all the rosettes and bake uncovered for 15 min or until light brown.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Hamburger Cupcakes and Almond Shortbread Fries

As you know, Kylie and I made the hamburger cupcakes for today's pot luck at church. Well on the way home from church today I decided to make a little something to go with it and make it even more "fun" than it already was. I made almond shortbread shaped like "fries". They are ssssoooo yummy!! Since I don't eat red meat, I have now decided that each time I'm craving a hamburger and fries, I'll just have one of these haha.....

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Hamburger Cupcakes

Today, Kylie and I made "hamburger cupcakes" for a church ministry pot luck tomorrow. We had so much fun baking and decorating them together. I'm glad she was helping me as this took awhile. We made a mess, but made some adorable looking "hamburgers" in the process.

Bun: Vanilla cupcake cut in half
Meat Patty: Chocolate cupcake with the top cut off
Condiments: Buttercream frosting dyed yellow (mustard), red (ketchup) and green (lettuce)
Sesame seeds for topping

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Santa Fe Chicken Chili

We were invited to have dinner at a friends house not too long ago. After contemplating what to make, Colleen finally decided on making Santa Fe Chicken Chili. Oh my goodness, it was so wonderful. She took a recipe she had found and "tweaked" it to her liking. I have made it a few times since that night and it's become one of my favorites. I just finished cooking a large pot of it on the stove and thought this would be a good recipe to share. So thank you Colleen!! :)

2 chicken breasts, diced
1 jalapeno, diced
1  red pepper, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 onion, chopped
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1 can diced tomatoes (approx 15 oz)
1 can chicken broth (approx 15 oz)
1 can kidney beans (approx 15 oz), rinsed
5 oz frozen corn
Salt and Pepper to taste

 1) Saute chicken, jalapeno, red pepper, garlic and onion  in olive oil over med. heat until chicken is no        longer pink and vegetables are semi tender

2) Add chili, cumin and cayenne pepper. Stir and cook for 1 minute.

3) Add tomatoes and chicken broth. Bring mixture to a boil. Lower heat and simmer uncovered for about 15 min.

4) Add beans, corn, salt and pepper. Turn up heat and return to a boil. Lower heat and simmer uncovered for 15 min. 

* This is best when eaten later or the next day so the flavors have a chance to really sink into the chili

Monday, November 1, 2010

Dark Chocolate Bowl with Vanilla and Raspberry

Today I was really hungry for something sweet to eat after lunch! I wanted something super small and not too, too many calories. This picture really makes this look large, but it was very small.  I decided to  make a dark chocolate edible bowl and fill it with sugar free vanilla pudding and top it with fresh raspberries. Not too shabby for an amateur cook I guess ;)

First I melted dark chocolate and poured it into my candy mold. Then I froze it until it was ready to release from the mold. Next I filled it with sugar free vanilla pudding and topped it with 3 fresh raspberries! YUMMY! The sugar free pudding had hardly any calories. The fresh raspberries were healthy. The dark chocolate was fairly thin, so I'm thinking it might not have been too bad overall. A girl can dream can't she?????? Hey I only ate half....doesn't that count for something?