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Friday, June 24, 2011

Butterflly Cupcakes

I can't believe my beautiful grand daughter turned one year old this week. Wow how time flies!! The older I get, the faster it flies. Tomorrow is her birthday party and I was given the pleasure of making birthday cupcakes for the kids at the party. I think the kids will have fun with them. :)

Monday, June 20, 2011

Grilled Salmon with Mango Sauce

Tonight is warm and the air outside is stagnant. Usually there is a light breeze blowing this time of night, but tonight is very still here in Southern California. I needed a dinner that would be light and refreshing to offset the dry, hot air outside. Tonight's menu definitely filled that bill. I love salmon and I really enjoyed how the sweet and spicy mango sauce went so well with the dry rub that I used on the salmon. All the flavors combined to make one of my new favorites!
For the Rub:
2 salmon steaks
1 Tbsp cumin
1 Tbsp coriander
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp paprika
salt/pepper to taste

Mix all the rub ingredients together and rub into the outside of both salmon steaks.

For the Mango Sauce: 

1 mangoes, pureed in food processor
1/8 cup lime or lemon juice
1/2 Jalapeno pepper, seeded
1-2 Tbsp chopped cilantro

In a blender or food processor, puree the mangoes and lemon or lime juice. Add the jalapeno and cilantro and pulse until mixed through.

Grill the salmon steaks for 5-6 minutes depending on the thickness of the salmon steaks.
Top with Mango Chili Sauce.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Scallops with Mango Papaya Salsa and Coconut Rice

So let me start by saying I'm not a "scallop" fan. It's not a taste thing, it's a texture thing with me. Although I loved this combination of flavors, next time I will make the same mango/papaya salsa and put it on salmon or tilapia. The fruit salsa made this such a refreshing meal on a warm evening. I like my salsa extra spicy, but you could make yours with less spice if that's how you like it.
 Salsa Ingredients:
1 Papaya, seeded and diced
1 Mango seeded and diced
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1 jalapeno chili, diced
2 green onions, chopped
2 tsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp lime juice
1 tsp of your favorite hot sauce

15 Scallops
1 Tbsp butter
Salt Pepper

Combine all salsa ingredients and stir together until mixed. Set aside. In a skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Salt and pepper your scallops and put them into the melted butter. Cook approximately 5-6 minutes and serve with salsa on the top.

For the coconut rice:

2 cups jasmine rice
1 cup water
2 cups coconut milk
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp sugar
Cook everything together in your rice cooker. (you can add  butter to the rice when it's done cooking)
If you don't have a rice the water, milk, salt and sugar into a pan. Add rice, cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15-20 min or until rice is tender. Turn off the heat and allow rice to sit for just a few minutes. Stir in butter if you wish.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Grilled French Ham and Cheese

My creative cooking juices were just not flowing today. That's very unusual, but it does happen. I have to admit that I don't like ham at all. I took a couple bites of this sandwich and passed it happily along to John. That's not to say it didn't taste good though. If you like ham, I'm sure you would like this sandwich. It's really easy to make and hardly takes any time at all.

French Bread
Ham Slices
Gruyere Cheese Slices
2 Eggs
1 Tbsp water

Butter 2 slices of french bread on one side. On the non buttered side of one slice, place ham and slices of cheese. You can use as much or as little as you like. Place the other buttered piece of bread (buttered size out) on the top of the sandwich. In a medium bowl, mix two eggs with water, salt and pepper. Dip the sandwich into the egg mixture and press in a panini press or cook in a skillet for 5 minutes, turning halfway through the cooking process.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Watermelon Tea Pot

I decided to try another watermelon carving. I like my turtle a lot better than this one, but I think it still turned out ok. I didn't have enough fruit to showcase the fruit salad that is inside the watermelon, but trust me, there is some yummy fruit inside here.

Chili Rellano Casserole

"Muy caliente" is the way I like my food. This is definitely hot, but can be made to your own liking, by backing off some of the peppers that are added. This is super easy to make and is a good beginner recipe.

2 (8 oz) cans diced green chilis
1 (4 oz) can diced jalapenos
2-3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 lg onion, diced
8 eggs
1 can evaporated milk
1/4 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
salt/pepper/cayenne pepper, (just use these spices as much as you would like them or as little)

Heat oven to 350.
Spray a 13 X 9 inch pan with Pam. Pour both cans of green chilis and the jalapenos into the pan. Spread out with a spatula. Place the diced onion on top and cover with the shredded cheese.
In a large bowl, combine the eggs, evaporated milk, flour, baking powder, salt, pepper and cayenne pepper. Mix thoroughly. Pour over the other ingredients in the pan. Bake at 350 for 50 minutes.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Chicken and Pasta Bake

After a day of church, lunch out with my daughter and son in law and an afternoon visiting with the in laws, it was definitely a night to make a fairly easy dinner. This is super easy to make and it hardly takes any time at all.

2 cups pasta, any kind you like
3 Tbsp olive oil
2 cups, cubed raw chicken
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
28 oz can of either crushed or diced tomatoes ( I would use diced, but all I had was crushed tonight)
2 cups mozzarella cheese, grated
1 Tbsp oregano
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup fresh parmesan cheese, grated
2 Tbsp butter
*In the picture I added a few leaves of fresh hot and spicy oregano, to the top, out of my garden. 

Heat oven to 450.
Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside in large bowl. Heat the olive oil in a skillet and cook the chicken for 3-4 minutes. Add the onion and garlic to the chicken. Stir and cook for 4-5 more minutes. (Chicken might not be done at this point, depending on how big it is cubed, but that's ok because it's going to finish cooking in the oven) Stir the chicken mixture into the pasta. Pour the tomatoes, oregano, salt, pepper and the mozzarella cheese onto the chicken/pasta mixture.  Stir and place the entire mixture into an 11X13 inch baking pan (make sure you spray it with Pam). In a bowl, combine the bread crumbs and parmesan cheese. Stir together and sprinkle over the pasta mixture in the baking dish. Use the 2 Tbsp of butter to "dot" onto the top of the meal. (do this by cutting very small pieces of the butter and placing them randomly all across the top). Bake uncovered for 30 minutes or until the top is golden brown.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Peanut Butter and Banana Panini

This post should probably have been titled the "Elvis Panini" since he loved peanut butter and banana sandwiches. I'm not too familiar with many Elvis songs, but I do know that as busy as I plan to be today, I had to make time to blog this panini, because  IT'S NOW OR NEVER. I didn't create this panini in my BLUE SUEDE SHOES, nor was I in the KENTUCKY RAIN. The question is: ARE YOU LONESOME TONIGHT? If the answer is yes (or no) try this recipe for some good comfort food. Just please DON'T BE CRUEL if you don't like it. :)
Ok enough of the Elvis songs! This panini really was great. The peanut butter cuts the sweet of the honey and the cinnamon bread just adds a unique combination to the flavors. Next time I might even try putting in a few chocolate chips to add the flavor profile.
Cinnamon Swirl Bread
Peanut Butter
1 Banana, cut into slices

Spread peanut butter onto one slice of cinnamon bread. Spread honey onto the other side. Place sliced bananas on top of the peanut butter and sandwich the breads together. Spread butter on the outsides of the bread slices and grill or put into a panini press.