Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Throw Together Chili!

I don't know what it is about chasing after a two year old, but I am not motivated to take a lot of time with dinner these days.  As a result, I stumbled upon a SWEET concoction (yeah, that means I actually made a recipe up all by myself!).

I found a recipe for the world's BEST Fajita Seasoning in the October 2009 Edition of Cuisine at Home.  I LOVE getting flank steak at Costco and using this seasoning on Fajita's.  I'm surprised I haven't posted the Fajita's on my blog yet....but all you really need is the seasoning...which you'll get because it was part of my Throw Together Chili.

Throw Together Chili
2 Tablespoons Fajita Seasoning (See recipe below)
1/2 white onion, chopped
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 pound chorizo
1-14 oz. can pinto beans with chili sauce
1-12 oz. can navy beans (or other white beans), drained and rinsed
2 Roma tomatoes, chopped
1 can tomato sauce

On medium heat in a large pan add oil and onions.  Cook until soft.  Add chorizo and Fajita Seasoning, crumble meat while cooking through.  Add beans, tomatoes and tomato sauce.  Let simmer for 20 minutes to 1 hour.

Fajita Seasoning:
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon of EACH paprika, onion powder, dried oregano and kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon of EACH ground coriander, garlic powder, and black pepper
1/4 teaspoon of EACH red pepper flakes, ground ginger and cayenne pepper

This chili is great stand alone and ROCKS over tortilla chips for chili cheese nachos!  OH YEAH!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


I know I have a tendency of speaking in absolutes, but I'm not kidding you when I say, "THESE ARE THE BEST CUPCAKES I HAVE EVER HAD!!!"  I was searching for a unique and FABULOUS cupcake recipe for my husband's birthday.  I have recently been caught watching the t.v. show Cupcake Wars on Food Network, so I thought that would be a good place to start researching.  My husband LOVES pineapple and spicy flavors so I knew this was a winner before I even saw the ingredients.  The 31 five-star ratings helped too.

When I pulled these babies out of the oven I kept myself from making a carnal mistake of tasting a cupcake without frosting on it.  I quickly whipped up a batch of frosting and frosted a mini-cuppy-cake (I doubled the recipe and got 24 cupcakes and 18 mini-cuppy-cakes) and popped it in my mouth.  Oh heaven!  The combination of the Chinese Five Spice and the Ginger frosting were PERFECTION in my mouth!!!  The layers of flavor punched my taste buds over and over.  Talk about BAM!  The inventor of this recipe is a GENIUS!!!!  

This is the only cake I want for my birthday until I die....and even after that I want someone to make the cake and leave it on my tombstone in an effort to keep my dead body from rising up and starting a zombie revolution!

Carrot Cupcake

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons Chinese five-spice powder
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup crushed pineapple
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups shredded carrots (about 3 to 4 medium-sized carrots)
  • Frosting, recipe follows
  • Crystallized ginger, as garnish


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 12 cup muffin pan with paper cupcake liners.
In a large bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and Chinese five-spice powder.
In another large bowl, whisk together the vegetable oil, crushed pineapple, eggs, sugar, vanilla extract and carrots. Then slowly add the flour mixture and beat with an electric hand mixer until just combined, about 2 minutes.
Fill the cups 3/4 full with batter. Bake until the cupcakes are set, about 20 to 22 minutes. When they can be handled safely, remove them from the muffin tins and let cool completely on wire racks before frosting. Garnish with crystallized ginger.


  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2 teaspoons Madagascar vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons Chinese ground ginger
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
In a large bowl, add the cream cheese, butter, vanilla, and ginger. Blend thee ingredients with an electric hand mixer until a creamy consistency is reached, while slowly adding the powdered sugar.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Pesto Salmon

I can't believe I haven't posted this recipe before now.  This is a recipe Alex turned me on to several years ago when we were first dating.  I used to be that girl who needed tarter sauce to stomach fish so the first time I had this recipe I felt like I was choking it down.  Now that my palate is more refined (LOL!!!) I LOVE this recipe!

I topped the salmon fillets with  my favorite pesto recipe and cooked them at 475F for about 15 minutes.  I know, you're wondering why I would cook the fish at such a high temperature.  I was cooking the salmon with the butternut squash from the previous post and wanted to make sure they finished cooking around the same time.  I REALLY enjoyed the way the salmon cooked at the high temperature.  Because it was so high it cooked the olive oil completely out of the pesto frying the salmon almost and leaving a yummy basil, garlic, pine nut and parmesan goodness  on top.  I LOVE when I find a new means of cooking something I LOVE!

Roasted Butternut Squash

With Fall come the cravings for Fall foods.  Within the last few years I have really started liking all kinds of squash.  Tonight I was planning on making a Martha Stewart recipe for twice baked butternut squash, but I got started cooking too late to make the recipe.  I opted to roast the squash with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, thyme  and rosemary cooked at 475F for 40 minutes.  The balsamic vinegar ended up tasting more vinegary that I expected and caused a coating on the butternut squash that made you taste the vinegar first and then the squash. I do think I will try this concoction again.

Goat Cheese!

Friday I was watching Diners, Drive In's and Dives and saw recipe for Blueberry Goat Cheese Pie.  Guy Fieri has been doing that show for something like 2-3 years now.  He has been to TONS of restaurants and seen thousands of recipes.  Not much surprises him these days.  But this pie did!  I have never been a fan of goat cheese, it was Guy Fieri's reaction to this pie that made me want to make it.  He was stunned when he tasted it...and I wanted to be stunned too!

Soon after baking the pie I took it to my monthly BUNCO as dessert.  Many of the people steered clear when I told them it was a goat cheese blueberry pie.  I probably would have too, under other circumstances.  The few people who did try it said they couldn't get past the basil.  That first night the basil did stand out.  After letting the pie hang out in my refrigerator overnight the flavors were able to meld together for a seriously KNOCK OUT dessert!  **However!  I will tell you Alex was NOT a fan of this pie***  He doesn't like goat cheese and couldn't get past its distinct taste in the pie.  I loved this pie, in part because so many people tried it and walked away with different opinions with regard to the individual ingredients.  This should be renamed 'Controversy Pie!'

Cooking note: I did have to cook this for nearly DOUBLE the time the recipe called for.  Not sure if that is due to my altitude here in Colorado.  I also didn't make the topping because I realized too late that I didn't have almonds.

Blueberry Goat Cheese Pie:


2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cups cold margarine
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Pinch salt
  • Cold water


  • 1/2 cup soft goat cheese
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh basil
  • 5 cups fresh blueberries


  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup melted margarine


For the crust:
Combine the flour, margarine, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Work with your fingers
gathering and crumbling until you have a crumbly mixture, about the size of peas.
In small amounts, slowly add cold water, gently incorporating by hand. As soon as the dough comes together in a ball, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.
For the filling: Mix the goat cheese, heavy cream, egg, sugar, flour, salt and basil together in a bowl. Add the blueberries and mix to desired texture.

For the topping: Mix the almonds, sugar and margarine in bowl, set aside.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Roll out the dough and place in a 10-inch pie pan. Pour the filling into the crust and sprinkle the topping over the top. Bake 25 minutes, rotating at the pie halfway through.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Gettin' the BBQ fired up!

Alex FINALLY broke down and bought a gas grill this summer.  I have been harassing him for years to get a gas grill because of the convenience of being able to light it up and start cooking.  He refused because he feels charcoal tastes better than gas.  That might be the case, but it isn't as versatile as a gas grill because you can't control the temperature of the grill.  I won and Alex is happy to have been on the losing end of this disagreement. :)

I've been on a Bobby Flay kick lately.  I think I just need to use up the spices in my cupboard.  I don't know how he figures out how to combine so many different flavors that compliment each other so well and layer the tastes.  He must waste a TON of spices!

Spice Rubbed Chicken Tacos:

Grilled Poblanos:

  • 3 large poblanos
  • Canola oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon celery seed
  • 3 tablespoons apple-cider vinegar
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 small head cabbage, cored, finely shredded
  • 2 carrots, finely shredded
  • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced on the diagonal


  • 2 tablespoons ancho chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 boneless, skinless Chicken Breasts (8 ounces each)
  • Canola oil
  • 8 flour tortillas
  • 2 grilled sliced poblanos
  • Barbecued onions
  • Coleslaw
  • Guacamole, recipe follows

For the poblanos:

Heat the grill to high.
Brush the poblanos with oil and season with salt and pepper. Place the chiles on the grill and cook until charred on all sides, about 10 minutes. Remove from the grill, place in a bowl and cover with plastic for 10 minutes. Remove the skin, seeds and stem and cut into thin slices.
For the Cole Slaw:
Whisk together the mayo, sugar, celery, celery seed, vinegar and salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add the cabbage, carrot, onion and scallion and stir to combine, season with more salt and pepper, if needed. Let slaw sit at least 15 minutes before serving.

For the Chicken:
Heat the grill to high.
Whisk together the ancho, cinnamon, cumin, brown sugar, 1 teaspoon salt and black pepper in a small bowl.
Season top side of the breasts with the rub mixture, turn over and season the back with the remaining salt. Drizzle with some of the oil and place on the grill, rub side down and grill until lightly golden brown and a crust has formed, about 3 minutes. Turn the chicken over, close the lid and continue cooking until just cooked through, about 6 minutes longer. Remove from the grill and let rest 5 minutes before slicing.

Grill the flour tortillas briefly, just to mark and heat. To build the taco, fold each tortilla around some of the chicken, poblanos, onions, coleslaw and guacamole.
These tacos were a HIT!!!  So yummy and flavorful!  Despite all the steps and ingredients involved in making these tacos, they were surprisingly easy to make!  The left over chicken made for GREAT quesadilla's the next day too!

Truly Magic Sauce

I was scoping out Grilling blogs this week and stumbled upon a KILLER recipe for a chimichurri type marinade. The sauce is so crazy simple I'm surprised I didn't think of something like this myself, but then again, I'm not awesome at making up new recipes. :)

2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary leaves
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon fresh oregano leaves
2 teaspoons sweet paprika
2 medium cloves of garlic, smashed into a paste
1 well-crumbled bay leaf
pinch of red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon + fine grain sea salt
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

The author of this blog suggested doubling the batch because you can use it on EVERYTHING!!!!!  I marinated a flank steak over night in this sauce and it was UNREAL!!!!  It was tender, perfectly flavored and I found myself wishing I had reserved some Magic Sauce to use a a steak sauce while eating it!  I did drizzle some on my eggs before I used it as a marinade and it WAS magical. :)

'Tis the season for PUMPKIN!

My favorite thing about fall?  PUMPKINS!  I was dismayed to find that none of the grocery stores had pumpkin stocked when I searched it out.  I searched high and low and ended up finding it at Sunflower Market.  I plan to buy a case of it when the regular grocery stores start carrying it.

I've recently become addicted to Pinterest.  I originally thought it was just a crafting web site, but no, like an a it!  Then you can scroll through all the 'pins' other people have found and you can pin it on your wall.  I have been pinning recipes like nobody's business!  I am especially glad I found the following recipe.  It is supposed to be a knock off of the Starbucks Pumpkin Scones, but I think they're better!  I am always disgusted that the food at Starbucks isn't made fresh in their individual stores.  Everything is day old...or more!  These babies are FRESH!  Warm from the oven scones beat hard crumbly ones ANY DAY!...especially if they are pumpkin!  :)

Starbucks Pumpkin Scones Knock Off Recipe:

Starbucks Pumpkin Scones Ingredients :
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 7 tablespoons sugar

  • 1 tablespoon baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

  • 6 tablespoons cold butter

  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin

  • 3 tablespoons half-and-half

  • 1 large egg

  • 1 cup powdered sugar

  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar

  • 2 tablespoons whole milk

  • 1 cup powdered sugar

  • 3 tablespoons powdered sugar

  • 2 tablespoons whole milk

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • 1 pinch ginger

  • 1 pinch ground cloves

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees
     F. Lightly oil a baking sheet or line with parchment paper.

    Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and spices in a large bowl. Using a pastry knife, fork, or food processor, cut butter into the dry ingredients until mixture is crumbly and no chunks of butter are obvious. Set aside.In a separate bowl, whisk together pumpkin, half and half, and egg. Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients. Form the dough into a ball.  

    Pat out dough onto a lightly floured surface and form it into a 1-inch thick rectangle (about 9 inches long and 3 inches wide). Use a large knife or a pizza cutter to slice the dough twice through the width, making three equal portions. Cut those three slices diagonally so that you have 6 triangular slices of dough. Place on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 14–16 minutes. Scones should begin to turn light brown. Place on wire rack to cool.

    To make the plain glaze:
    1. Mix the powdered sugar and 2 tbsp milk together until smooth.
    2. When scones are cool, use a brush to paint plain glaze over the top of each scone.
    To make the spiced icing
    Combine the ingredient for the spiced icing together. Drizzle this thicker icing over each scone and allow the icing to dry before serving (at least 1 hour). A squirt bottle works great for this, or you can drizzle with a whisk.

    I'm not sure why people who create these recipes call for SO MUCH glaze!  Let alone TWO glazes!  I didn't bother with the plain glaze and halved the spiced glaze.  I have more than enough for the scones.  The glaze really IS the frosting on this recipe!  It was SO tasty and spicy!!!  If I ever get around to making pumpkin donuts, I'm going to use this glaze on them too!!!

    Friday, September 9, 2011

    AMAZING Peach Cobbler!!!!

    'Tis the season for peaches!!!  I got a whole flat of peaches at Costco with the intention of canning them, but never made it that far.  They were going to go bad in a couple of days if I didn't so something with them so I searched out a recipe for peach cobbler on com before my husband yelled at me for buying peaches and letting them go bad.

    Growing up my mom made the same peach cobbler over and over and over again.  I wanted to try something different and this recipe had over 1,000 reviews and a nearly five star rating.  I followed all the direction EXACTLY and the top of my crisp came out looking like the top hadn't gotten enough moisture to make it crust over.  I was pretty skeptical...until I tasted it!!!  HOLY HELL!  Trust me when I tell you this is the BEST peach cobbler I have EVER had!!!  The cobbler I grew up with had a sweet biscuit like crust on top and the topping on this was much more crisp like.  I am thinking it would be fun to combine the recipe from my childhood with this one and make an even BETTER peach cobbler. :)

    Peach Cobbler 
    8 fresh peaches - peeled, pitted and sliced into thin wedges
    1/4 cup white sugar
    1/4 cup brown sugar
    1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
    2 teaspoons cornstarch
    1 cup all-purpose flour
    1/4 cup white sugar
    1/4 cup brown sugar
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    6 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
    1/4 cup boiling water 

    • 3 tablespoons white sugar
    • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

    • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).

    • In a large bowl, combine peaches, 1/4 cup white sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon juice, and cornstarch. Toss to coat evenly, and pour into a 2 quart baking dish. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes. 
    • Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine flour, 1/4 cup white sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, baking powder, and salt. Blend in butter with your fingertips, or a pastry blender, until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in water until just combined.
    • Remove peaches from oven, and drop spoonfuls of topping over them. Sprinkle entire cobbler with the sugar and cinnamon mixture. Bake until topping is golden, about 30 minutes.
    HA!  The Queen of NOT Follow Directions just realized I forgot to add the hot water!!!!  No wonder it didn't have enough moisture to crust the top!  Still, it turned out heavenly!!!  I have to admit, I ate WAY too much of this cobbler!  I'm going to need to hit the gym hard for a WEEK to make up for this one!  

    Monday, August 22, 2011


    My neighbor lent me her Estefan Kitchen Cuban cookbook by Emilio and Gloria Estefan.  It is always so cool to me to learn the customary differences between cuisines.  I was looking for a pork marinade for pork tacos.  I found a steal in the Mojo Criollo recipe.  They use this recipe in many of their dishes like the pork for Cuban Sandwiches.  I definitely plan on trying that out too!

    Mojo Criollo
    10 to 12 garlic cloves
    2 teaspoons salt
    1/2 teaspoon black pepper
    1 teaspoon dried oregano
    3/4 cup naranja agria (sour orange) - you can substitute 2 parts lemon juice with 1 part orange juice.
    1/4 cup olive oil

    In batches of 6 cloves, peel and mash the garlic using a mortar and pestle (or crush in a garlic press).

    In a small bowl, combine the mashed garlic with the salt, pepper and oregano.

    Stir in the naranja agria juice and olive oil.

    I marinated pork in this for about four hours, pan fried it, and chopped it up for pork tacos with white onion and cilantro salsa.  AWESOME!!!!!!

    Mesa new favorite restaurant I've never visited.

    This last week I wanted some Southwestern cooking, so I broke Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill cookbook.  I am not a huge Bobby Flay fan.  I think he is loud, cocky and obnoxious.  His food is loud, flavorful and bold, which is PERFECT when we are talking about food, so I'll forgive him his shortcomings. :)

    I wanted to make something unusual, but tasty and I found his recipe for Fry Bread Taquitos with Jerk Chicken, Red Cabbage-Jicama Slaw, and Mango Habanero Hot Sauce.  VERY unusual, but very TASTY!!!!

    This recipe sounds time consuming, but I assure you, it isn't as bad as it sounds.  From start to finish this took me about an hour and a half.  So I guess if you think a 30 minute meal is time consuming, this might be too much for you.

    Fry Bread Taquitos with Jerk Chicken, Red Cabbage-Jicama Slaw, and Mango Habanero Hot Sauce
    Fry Bread Taquitos
    1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
    1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
    1 Tablespoon dry milk powder
    Kosher Salt
    1/4 cup cold vegetable shortening or lard
    2 cups canola oil

    To make taquitos, combine the flour, baking powder, milk powder, and 1 teaspoon salt in a large bowl.  Cut in the shortening with a pastry blender or 2 knives until the mixture is crumbly, add 3/4 cup cold water.  Place on a lightly floured surface and knead lightly until smooth.  Cover with a kitchen towel and let sit at room temperature for 1 hour.

    Heat the oil in a large high sided saute pan until it reaches 360 F as measured on a deep-frying thermometer (or just wing it!  That's what I did).

    Divide the dough into 8 pieces and roll out each piece into a four inch circle about 1/8 of an inch thick.  Fry the bread in batches in the oil until golden brown on both sides, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove to a sheet pan lined with paper towels and season with salt.

    Jerk Rubbed Chicken Breasts:
    2 tablespoons ground coriander
    2 tablespoons ground ginger
    2 tablespoons light brown sugar
    1 tablespoon onion powder
    1 tablespoon garlic powder
    1 tablespoon kosher salt
    1 tablespoon habanero chile powder (I substituted guallio chile powder because I had it on hand)
    2 teaspoons ground black pepper
    2 teaspoons dried thyme
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1 teaspoon ground allspice
    1 teaspoon ground cloves
    4 8-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
    2 tablespoons canola oil

    To make the jerk rub, combine the coriander, ginger, sugar, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, habanero powder, black pepper, thyme, cinnamon, allspice, and cloves in a small bowl.  the rub will keep for up to 6 months in an air tight container.

    Rub the top of each breast with 1 heaping tablespoon of the jerk rub.

    Heat the oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat.  Pace the chicken in the pan, rub side down, and cook until golden brown and the crust has formed, about 3 minutes.  Turn the breasts over and continue cooking until just cooked through, about 5 minutes.

    Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes before slicing each breast on the bias into 1/4 - in warm tacquitos, topped with red cabbage-jicama slaw and drizzled with mango-habenero hot sauce.

    Red Cabbage-Jicama Slaw:
    1/2 cup fresh lime juice
    1 tablespoon ancho chile powder (I also substituted guallio here too)
    1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
    1/4 teaspoon freshly ground back pepper
    2 teaspoons honey
    1/4 cup canola oil
    1/4 small head of cabbage, thinly shredded
    1 small jicama, peeled and thinly shredded
    1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro

    Whisk together the lime juice, ancho powder, salt, pepper, honey, and oil in a large bowl.

    Add the cabbage, jicama, and cilantro and toss well to combine.  Let sit at room temperature for at least 15 minutes and up to 4 hours in the refrigerator before serving.

    Mango Habanero Hot Sauce:
    2 tablespoons canola oil
    1 small Spanish onion, finely chopped
    2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
    3 ripe mangoes, peeled, pitted and coarsely chopped
    1 habenero chile, chopped
    2 to 4 tablespoons honey, depending on the sweetness of the mangoes
    1 cup white wine vinegar (I used straight up whine vinegar)

    Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add the onion and cook until soft, 3-4 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.  Add the mangoes, habanero, and 1 cup of water and cook stirring often, until the mangoes get very soft and the water evaporates, 8-10 minutes.  Add the honey and vinegar and cook over low heat until the mixture thickens slightly, 5-7 minutes.

    Transfer the mixture to a blender and blend until smooth.  If the mixture is too thick to pour, add a few more tablespoons of water.  Strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer set over a small bowl; season with salt.

    This is what I have to say about this recipe and most Bobby Flay recipes I have come across: If you want rid your cabinets of spices, make one of his recipes!

    The overall tastes of this recipe are out of this world when combined together.  I snatched a taste of the fry bread before everything else was finished and it was heavy on the oil because it has vegetable shortening in it. I did omit the milk powder because I didn't have any...I wonder if it would have made a difference? But with the chicken, slaw and mango habanero sauce it was divine!

    I seeded the habanero for the sauce and I was kicking myself when it was all done.  I was so worried it would overheat the sauce.  Keep the habanero whole!

    My husband was over the moon about this recipe!  He told me to add it to our guest repertoire.  So if you come to dinner at my house, you might get lucky enough to have this recipe!

    Monday, August 8, 2011

    Strawberry Muffins

    I am a touch crazy when it comes to muffins.  I am constantly searching out new recipes for a muffin to dream about, crave and DEVOUR!  This recipe is pretty damn PERFECT!  The consistency of these muffins was not too dense, not too fluffy and got better as they cooled down.  The best part? They weren't flat!  They actually raised to have nice puffy tops at altitude. 

    I have not made strawberry muffins before, but had some strawberries I needed to use up.  The recipe also claims you can use defrosted strawberries cut up too.  I know what I am doing with my Costco sized bag of frozen strawberries!!!  I have seriously been craving these babies since I made them.  The recipes makes 8-9 muffins, which I LOVE because it keeps me from eating too many!  Several people on suggested making a glaze for the top of the muffins so I tried it out (1/2 cup powdered sugar with 1/2 tsp vanilla).  HEAVEN!!!!!!  I suspect I'll be craving these babies the next time I'm pregnant!

    Strawberry Muffins
    1/4 cup canola oil
    1/2 cup milk
    1 egg
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    2 teaspoons baking powder
    1/2 cup white sugar
    1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour1 cup chopped strawberries

    Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) oil an 8 cup muffin tin, or use paper liners. 

    In a small bowl, combine oil, milk, and egg. Beat lightly. In a large bowl, mix flour, salt, baking powder and sugar. Toss in chopped strawberries and stir to coat with flour. Pour in milk mixture and stir together.

    Fill muffin cups. Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 25 minutes, or until the tops bounce back from the touch. Cool 10 minutes and remove from pans.

    Tuesday, July 26, 2011

    Chicken, Peas and Pesto...OH MY!

    We visited my husband's sister recently who is gluten-intolerant and I scored an AMAZING recipe from her.  Well, not a recipe as much as an idea.  I've been trying to eat less bread/carbs an increase the amount of veggies I get in my diet.  Because how can you encourage your child to eat their veggies when you aren't serving them!  My sister-in-law threw together a quick meal of leftover chicken, pesto and peas to make a quick salad.  My carb loving gut instinct was to turn my nose up, but I felt obligated because I was her guest. :)  SO GLAD I FELT OBLIGATED!!!!  I've been thinking about that salad for three weeks and decided to finally make it myself.  Only requirement...MAKE OR PURCHASE AWESOME PESTO!!!

    Chicken, Peas and Pesto:
    1 breast of chicken cooked and cut into bite sized cubes
    1/4 cup pesto (homemade or store bought)
    1 cup frozen peas

    Combine everything into a skillet and cook until peas are warmed through on medium heat.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

    Thursday, July 21, 2011

    Ellie Krieger Pumpkin Muffins

    I am ALWAYS on the search for ways to use pumpkin, in part because I LOVE pumpkin and also because it is a good way to sneak in vegetables into my daughter's food without her knowing. :)  Ellie Krieger, Food Network Celebrity Chef, is all about making yummy comfort dishes healthy and flavorful and I am GLAD for it!  Because if it is healthy, it means I can eat more of them.  I actually made these muffins in a mini-muffin pan so I could freeze them for later gorging.  It actually paid off...except for when I defrost the zip-lock bag full of mini muffins.  I have managed to eat the entire bag each time. 

    These muffins are chalked full of spice and flavor, which is why I LOVE them...I don't just love them, I'm addicted to them.  I've even used the measurements from the spices for these muffins to make pumpkin pancakes.  LAAAAAAAA!!!!!!  Those are the angels singing. 

    Ellie Krieger Pumpkin Muffin Recipe:
    1 cup all-purpose flour
    1 cup whole-grain pastry flour
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
    1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
    1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
    3 tablespoons unsulphered molasses
    1/4 cup canola oil
    2 large eggs
    1 cup canned pumpkin
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    3/4 cup lowfat buttermilk
    1/4 cup raw, unsalted pumpkin seeds

    Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Coat a 12-cup muffin pan with cooking spray.

    In a medium bowl, whisk together the all-purpose and whole-wheat flours, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg.

    In a large bowl, whisk the sugar, molasses, oil and 1 egg until combined. Add the other egg and whisk well. Whisk in the pumpkin and vanilla. Whisk in the flour mixture in 2 batches, alternating with the buttermilk. Whisk just until combined.

    Pour the batter into the prepared muffin pan and sprinkle with the pumpkin seeds. Tap the pan on the counter a few times to remove any air bubbles. Bake for 20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center of 1 of the muffins comes out clean.

    Let cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Run a knife around the muffins to loosen them and unmold. Cool completely on the rack.