Thursday, April 30, 2009

Sweet Citrus Chicken - Revisited

Awhile back, I posted this recipe for Sweet Citrus Chicken. I had forgotten to buy OJ so subbed in apple juice. While it was very yummy, I always wanted to try it the original way.

I made it last week, and I think I preferred the apple juice version! This time around, I threw in some craisins and served it with mashed potatoes and corn - it was like Thanksgiving in April! I don't know if it was the OJ or the craisins, but I felt it was a tad too sweet. Still really yummy, though, and I will either use apple juice in the future, or just cut back on the brown sugar and/or OJ.

  • 1-2/3 cups hot water
  • 1 pkg. (6 oz.) STOVE TOP Stuffing Mix for Chicken
  • 6 small boneless skinless chicken breast halves (1-1/2 lb.), pounded to 1/2-inch thickness
  • 2/3 cup orange juice
  • 1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 3 Tbsp. butter or margarine, melted
  • Handful of craisins

PREHEAT oven to 400°F. Add hot water and craisins to stuffing mix; stir just until moistened. Set aside.

PLACE chicken in 13x9-inch baking dish. Mix juice, sugar and butter until well blended; pour over chicken. Top with prepared stuffing.

BAKE 30 min. or until chicken is cooked through (170ºF).

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Chicken Cordon Bleu Burgers

My sister-in-law Sherri emailed me this recipe for Rachael Ray's Chicken Cordon Bleu Burgers and said it was delicious. I had been wanting to make my own hamburger rolls for awhile, so I figured that the amazing weather we had this past weekend would be perfect to try them both!

I ended up cooking these babies on the grill pan inside because the "amazing" weather quickly turned into "way too hot to think about stepping outside."

I cut back a little bit on the spices and still felt they had a tad too much kick to them. I posted the recipe as is, but I personally would probably only use 1tsp of each and not 2. Then again, I only used one pound of meat and not two. Whoops.

In addition, I subbed mozzarella for Swiss cheese, and some sliced deli ham for bacon. Yum!

  • 2 teaspoons vegetable or olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 4 slices Canadian bacon
  • 2 pounds ground chicken breast
  • 2 teaspoons sweet paprika, eyeball it in your palm
  • 2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons grill seasoning blend (recommended: Montreal Steak Seasoning) or salt and pepper
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 4 deli slices Swiss cheese
  • 2/3 cup mayonnaise or reduced fat mayonnaise, eyeball it
  • 3 rounded tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons freshly chopped tarragon leaves, 4 sprigs
  • 4 kaiser rolls or sandwich size sour dough English muffins, split and toasted
  • 8 leaves leaf lettuce
  • 1 vine ripe tomato, thinly sliced

Preheat grill pan, nonstick griddle, large nonstick skillet or table top electric grill to medium high heat.

Add 2 tablespoons of oil and Canadian bacon. Warm bacon and caramelize it at edges, 1 to 2 minutes on each side. Remove to a piece of foil. Fold foil over loosely to keep warm.

Combine chicken, paprika, poultry seasoning, grill seasoning, shallot. Score meat with the side of your hand to separate into 4 equal amounts. Make 4 large patties, 3/4 to 1 inch thick. Drizzle patties with oil and place on hot grill pan, griddle or in skillet. Cook 5 minutes on each side, until chicken is cooked through.

Top patties with reserved cooked Canadian bacon and Swiss cheese. Fold each slice of cheese in half to fit the burger. Cover loosely with tin foil. Turn off pan and let cheese melt, 2 minutes.

Combine mayonnaise, mustard, tarragon. Slather bun tops or English tops with sauce. Place Cordon Bleu burgers on bun bottoms and top with lettuce and tomato. Put bun or muffin tops in place. Serve with oven fries.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Homemade Hamburger Rolls

A miracle occurred in my kitchen this past weekend; I decided to face my fear of yeast.

I've been seeing yeast-iful recipes on my reader for ages but never had the nerve to try them. Finally, I found this recipe for hamburger rolls on Annie's Eats. Luckily, I somehow failed to notice her note about not recommending this to an inexperienced yeaster like myself; I never would have attempted this otherwise!

I do absolutely agree with her observation, however, that I needed to add more flour than the recipe calls for. I also wish I had kept them in the oven for a bit longer; I took them out right at 15 minutes. They did have that golden color, but they look more like dinner rolls and less like hamburger rolls.

They were still damn yummy, though, and I just might never buy hamburger rolls again!

  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 2 ¼ tsp. instant yeast
  • ¼ cup warm water (105°-115°)
  • 1 cup warm milk (105°-115°)
  • 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 3 to 3 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg beaten with 1 tbsp. cold water
  • sesame, poppy or caraway seeds, or coarse salt, for topping


In a bowl of an electric mixer, dissolve the sugar and then the yeast in the warm water. Add the milk, oil, salt and 1 ½ cups of flour to the yeast mixture. Beat vigorously for 2 minutes. Gradually add flour, 2 tablespoons at a time, until the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl. Switch to the dough hook and knead until you have a smooth and elastic dough, about 7-9 minutes.

Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl. Turn once to coat the entire ball of dough in oil. Cover with a tightly-woven dampened towel and let rise until doubled, about one hour.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly oiled work surface. Working with oiled hands, divide the dough into 9 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a ball, and flatten into 3 ½ -inch disks. For soft-sided buns, place them on a well-seasoned baking sheet a half-inch apart so they will grow together when they rise. For crisper bun, place them three inches apart.

Cover with a towel and let rise until almost doubled, about 45 minutes.

15 minutes before you want to bake the buns, preheat the oven to 400°. Just before baking, brush the tops of the buns lightly with the egg wash and sprinkle with any desired toppings.

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the internal temperature of the bread reaches 190°. When the buns are done, remove them from the baking sheet to cool on a wire rack. This will prevent the crust from becoming soggy.

* Note: This particular dough should be quite slack, i.e. very relaxed in order to make soft and tender buns. So you want to add only enough more flour, past the 3 cup point, to make the dough just kneadable, sprinkling in only enough more to keep it from sticking to you or the work surface.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Peanut Butter Cookies and Cream Ice Cream

I couldn't wait to make this ice cream from Proceed with Caution. And even better - when I went food shopping, I bought the peanut butter Oreos. YUM!!

(Actually, I should mention that I originally bought regular Oreos to make this, but those suckers didn't last long enough to be made into ice cream!)

I love that she references her tips for adjusting fat content - I will for sure be using those again!

Anytime I've tried to adjust fat content on my own, the result has been very hard, icy ice cream, so I was very impressed when this still ended up creamy and wonderful. Loved it!


  • 8 oz milk (skim, 1%, 2% or whole is fine)
  • 8 oz heavy cream, whipped
  • 8 oz fat free half and half
  • 1/4 cup eggbeaters
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • 7 oz fat free sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup finely ground oreos
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped oreos
Whisk together the egg beaters, sugars, and sweetened condensed milk. Add the cream, milk, half and half, vanilla, and finely ground oreos, mix well. Chill a minimum of 4 hours, preferably overnight. Freeze according to ice cream maker directions. In the last 5 minutes of freezing, add the roughly chopped oreos. Place in the freezer to cure.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Apple Streusel Coffee Cake

When I showed up to Palm Sunday dinner with this Quadruple Chocolate Bliss Cake, my brother Chris questioned my ability to create a dessert without the use of chocolate.

"Seriously," he said, "don't you ever just make an apple coffee cake or something?"

Well, the answer is really probably no. I am a chocoholic (like you haven't noticed) and it's just not dessert if there's no chocolate!

Since we were heading up to my parents' house this past weekend to have a belated Easter celebration, I figured that would be the perfect time to prove my anti-sweets brother wrong. I searched through my blogs and found this one from REC(ession)IPES.

I really enjoyed the flavor of this little cake, but I think I should have kept it in the oven a bit more. It completely fell apart as I tried to cut it, and I needed to perform minor surgery on it to get a somewhat-solid piece to photograph!

Here is a really creepy picture of Chris eating his - what a ham:

For the Cake:
  • 1 1/2 cups flour total, equal parts white and whole wheat, sifted, then measured
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup milk (can be skim)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable shortening, melted (shortening melts very quickly, so use low flame, and keep an eye on it)
  • 1 1/2 cup chopped apples (about two large apples), any semi-tart to tart variety

For the streusel topping (aka, the crumb part that everyone likes):
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup flour total, equal parts white and whole wheat
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnnamon
  • 2 tablespoons butter (right out of the refrigerator is fine)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Sift flour together with other dry ingredients.

Beat the egg, then add the milk and melted shortening.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry then add the raw apples and mix well.

Pour the batter into a well-greased 8-inch square pan.

To make the streusel, stir together the dry ingredients, then cut in butter using a pastry blender**** until it forms pea-sized pieces with the dry ingredients.

Finish combining with your fingertips until you have small clumps.

Sprinkle topping over the batter. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

****If you don't have a pastry blender, butter may be cut in using two butter knives in a criss crossing motion, or just work it in with your fingertips. If you like to make struesel toppings, or any kind of fruit crumbles, you may want to get a pastry blender - it cuts time in half, easily.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Sweet and Sour Chicken

I've made sweet and sour chicken before, but I feel it's kinda like chocolate chip cookies or something - you can just never try too many variations.

I got this Cooking Light version in one of my daily "Dinner Tonight" emails and thought it was really good; next time, I will totally add some sauteed mushrooms to it.

(Sorry for the weird picture; I didn't realize that my f-stop was set so low until later. At least, I think that was the problem. Sometimes I like to randomly throw around the photography terms I know, even if I have no idea what I'm talking about. It makes me feel smart.)

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon bottled minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon bottled ground fresh ginger (such as Spice World)
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 3/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 (15 1/4-ounce) can pineapple chunks in juice, undrained
  • 1/3 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons dry sherry
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup dry-roasted chopped cashews (I omitted)

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic, ginger, red pepper, and chicken to pan; sauté 5 minutes or until chicken is done. Remove chicken mixture from pan; set aside.

Add onion, celery, and bell pepper to pan, and sauté 4 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain pineapple, reserving 1/2 cup juice. Add 1 cup pineapple chunks to pan; cook 30 seconds. Reserve remaining pineapple for another use. Combine the reserved 1/2 cup juice, soy sauce, sherry, cornstarch, and sugar in a bowl, stirring with a whisk until smooth.

Return chicken mixture to pan. Stir in juice mixture; bring to boil. Cook 1 minute. Sprinkle with cashews.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Pioneer Woman's Mac and Cheese

There are simply no words for the Pioneer Woman's Mac and Cheese. None. While I was eating this, I mentally wrote some eloquent entry that would have all of you just flocking to your kitchens to make this.

But now... the cheesy goodness has completely taken over my mind and I cannot think of anything remotely intellectual to say about this meal. After we had it for dinner, I did everything I could to make sure my husband would not touch this for lunch over the next few days - it was all MINE! And it reheated amazingly - maybe even better than the first night.

And I am absolutely not ashamed to say that I ate this for lunch right alongside of her BBQ meatballs.

I should also add that I chose to eat it straight out of the pan - I didn't bake it. When it comes to baked mac and cheese, I definitely want my dad's!

  • 4 cups dried macaroni
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick, 4 tablespoons) butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 2 heaping teaspoons dry mustard (more if desired)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 pound cheese, grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (more to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt (more to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • *Optional spices: cayenne pepper, paprika, thyme

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

If you plan to bake it, cook macaroni until very firm. Macaroni should be too firm to eat right out of the pot. Drain. (If you do NOT plan to bake, cook a bit longer.)

In a small bowl, beat egg.

In a large pot, melt butter and sprinkle in flour. Whisk together over medium-low heat. Cook mixture for five minutes, whisking constantly. Don’t let it burn.

Pour in milk, add mustard, and whisk until smooth. Cook for five minutes until very thick. Reduce heat to low.

Take 1/4 cup of the sauce and slowly pour it into beaten egg, whisking constantly to avoid cooking eggs. Whisk together till smooth.

Pour egg mixture into sauce, whisking constantly. Stir until smooth.

Add in cheese and stir to melt.

Add salts and pepper. Taste sauce and add more salt and seasoned salt as needed! DO NOT UNDERSALT.

Pour in drained, cooked macaroni and stir to combine.

Serve immediately (very creamy) or pour into a buttered baking dish, top with extra cheese, and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until bubbly and golden on top.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

My first waffle attempt - Honey Yogurt Waffles


I used this recipe from Annie, which was absolutely delicious, but they ended up flat and soggy and limp; needless to say, there are no pictures of the finished product. I later learned that I should have used whole-milk yogurt (thank you, Vanessa!); I used some of Ryan's Activia, which is lowfat.

Here's Annie's recipe, which she adapted from Williams Sonoma:

  • 3 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 3/4 cup vanilla yogurt
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Melt the butter; set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, oats, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon. In another bowl, whisk together the milk, yogurt, honey, eggs, and vanilla until well blended. Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients and whisk until just combined. Gently fold in the melted butter.

Preheat and lightly grease a waffle iron. Pour batter into the wells of the waffle iron and bake until the waffle is golden and set. Place in an oven preheated to 200 degrees F to keep the finished waffles warm while you use the rest of the batter. Serve with maple syrup or honey and top with fresh fruit.

A new look!

Well, I still can't figure out what's with the "undefined," but with this new layout, it doesn't bother me as much. :)

Friday, April 17, 2009

Turkey Parm Burgers

I don't even remember how I stumbled upon these Chicken Parm Burgers from Elly Says Opa, but I'm glad I did - they were SO GOOD!

As my title indicates, I used turkey instead of chicken, but I bet chicken would have rocked. The flavors are just so good and it was a great way to put a spin on an old favorite.

Just like Elly said in her original blog post, many people don't use their broiler often; I am for sure among them. I can probably count on one hand (maaaaaybe two) the number of times I've used mine. But really, she's so right - it's so fast and easy, like an upside-down grill! I definitely want to try to use it more often.



  • 1 lb. ground chicken (I used breast meat)
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup plain bread crumbs
  • 2 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 cup chopped flatleaf parsley
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced or pressed
  • 1 shallot, finely diced
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup pasta sauce
  • 4 slices mozzarella or provolone (or 1/2 cup shredded)
  • sauteed mushrooms (optional)
  • 4 buns (brushed with a little garlic butter, they are even better)

Lightly mix together all the ingredients for the burgers. Form into 4 patties. I like to make them about 30-40 minutes ahead of time, to let the flavors meld a little bit.

Preheat & spray the broiler with a little oil (or use the grill, or a pan). Broil the burgers for about 4 minutes on the first side, then flip and broil for 3 minutes. Top each chicken burger with 2 Tbsp. pasta sauce and a slice (or about 2T) of cheese. Place back under the broiler for 30-60 seconds, until cheese in melted and burger is cooked through. Top with mushrooms, if desired. Place the buns in the broiler for about 10 seconds, just until toasted.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Chicken Scallopine

This chicken scallopine was yet another successful dinner courtesy of the almighty Pioneer Woman. I want to move into her ranch.

I absolutely loved loved loved this dinner. So fresh and delicious and the flavors rocked. Definitely a keeper!

  • 1 pound linguine
  • 6 boneless, skinless, trimmed chicken breasts
  • Flour
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 12 ounces white mushrooms, sliced thin
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • Chicken broth (optional)
  • 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream (can use half & half)
  • 1 heaping tablespoon capers
  • chopped fresh Italian parsley

Cook pasta according to package directions.
Flatten chicken breasts to uniform thickness. Salt and pepper both sides, then dredge in flour.
Heat butter and olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Fry chicken breasts until golden brown. Remove to a plate and set aside.
Throw mushrooms into the pan and stir. Immediately pour in wine, then squeeze juice of 1/2 to 1 lemon. Stir to deglaze the pan, then cook vigorously for 1 minute, until sauce reduces.
Pour in cream and stir, then add capers and parsley and stir. Turn off heat. Stir and add salt and pepper to taste. Don’t undersalt!
Place pasta and chicken on a platter and top with every last drop of sauce. Generously sprinkle Parmesan Cheese over the top.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Dinner Divas: Veggie Not-Sagna Pasta Toss

I am SO GLAD that Jenn picked Rachel Ray's Veggie Not-Sagna Pasta Toss for one of this month's Dinner Divas recipes. I have always wanted to try it, but tended to always go for the "original" version.

While I very much enjoyed this veggie meal, I definitely prefer it with meat and tomatoes and all of that good stuff. ;)

  • 1 pound curly pasta (recommended: campanelle or cavatappi by Barilla)
  • Coarse salt
  • 1 10-ounce box frozen chopped spinach
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium zucchini
  • 12 cremini or baby portobello mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 roasted red pepper, drained, pat dry, quartered lengthwise then thinly sliced (I omitted)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 rounded tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated fresh nutmeg, eyeball it
  • 1 1/2 cups part skim ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan, a couple of handfuls, plus some to pass at the table
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves, about 20 leaves

Heat a pot of water to a boil for pasta. Salt boiling water and cook pasta to al dente. Heads up: reserve a ladle of the hot cooking water just before you drain pasta.

Place the frozen spinach on a plate and microwave to defrost it according to your microwave's directions. Place defrosted spinach in a clean kitchen towel and wring out the liquid.

Heat a deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil. Halve the zucchini lengthwise then thinly slice into half moons and add to the pan along with the mushrooms. Cook 2 to 3 minutes then add onions and garlic to the pan. Season the vegetables with salt and pepper. When the onions are tender, about 5 minutes, add defrosted spinach, separating into small bits as you handle it, and the roasted red peppers and toss to heat through. Transfer veggies to a dish and return skillet to stove top. Add remaining 1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil and the butter. When the butter melts into extra-virgin olive oil, add 2 rounded tablespoons of flour and cook a minute or so, then whisk in stock and milk. Bring to a bubble and thicken the sauce, reducing it 2 to 3 minutes. Season the sauce with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Slide vegetables back into sauce.

Place the part-skim ricotta in a large shallow bowl and combine with a ladle of boiling, starchy pasta cooking water. Stir to combine then add in a couple of handfuls of grated cheese.

Drain pasta and toss with cheeses. Add half the vegetables and sauce to pasta and toss to combine. Tear or shred basil and toss into pasta. Adjust seasonings. Top bowlfuls of Vegetable Not-sagna with remaining veggies in sauce and pass extra grated cheese at the table.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

My first "piping" experience

Since I used boxed funfetti cupcakes and its coordinating canned icing (I know, scandalous!), there is no recipe in this post.

However, this was the very first time I tried piping rather than slapping the frosting on with a spatula. I dumped the frosting into a ziploc and clipped the corner, and poof!

Although, note to self: 1 can would be fine when you do the spatula method, but when piping? Spring for the extra can. My little masterpieces got smaller and smaller as I went through the tin!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Pampered Chef for the Cure!

My sister-in-law, Sherri, is participating in the Breast Cancer 3-Day coming up in October.

You might ask what this has to do with food and cooking...? Well, I will let Sherri tell you herself!

As you know, I am doing the 3-day, 60 mile walk in October here in Philly to support breast cancer research as well as funding for testing and education. To help me raise money, a local Pampered Chef representative has set up a program for 15% of any product order in this fundraiser to go towards my campaign. If I reach $1000 in sales, she will add in an extra 15% of her commission. Orders can not be placed online to link to my fundraiser, but all products can be viewed with pricing at:

If anyone is interested in making a purchase, they can email me: and I will call them with info to place the order by credit card or check.


So if you're thinking about adding to your cookware collection or need to replace those splintery wooden spoons, shoot Sherri an email - not only will your kitchen be up to date in the coolest gadgets, but you'll know that some of your money went to an awesome cause!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Smarter Fettucini Alfredo

I hardly ever make or order anything Alfredo because it's just so blatantly bad for you - I guess I prefer to clog my arteries and add to my fat ass in a more subtle manner. So when I saw this recipe for a "smarter" version on the Kraft Foods website, I jumped at the chance to make it.

The recipe below is directly from Kraft; I doubled the sauce because I also threw in broccoli and grilled chicken.

  • 1/2 lb. fettuccine, uncooked
  • 1-1/4 cups fat-free reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 4 tsp. flour
  • 1/3 cup PHILADELPHIA 1/3 Less Fat Cream Cheese
  • 3 Tbsp. KRAFT Grated Parmesan Cheese, divided
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp. pepper 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley

pasta as directed on package.

MEANWHILE, beat broth and flour in medium saucepan with whisk until well blended. Add cream cheese, 2 Tbsp. Parmesan, nutmeg and pepper; cook 2 min. or until mixture comes to boil and thickens, stirring constantly.

DRAIN pasta; place in large bowl. Add sauce; toss to coat. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan and parsley.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Houston, we have a problem

For those of you who read the blog through the actual site (as opposed to through Google Reader) you may have noticed some changes in its appearance.

Yours truly has decided to get fancy and change up the template. Without backing up my original (*kicks self repeatedly*), I installed a new one, and... disaster.

I have tried to restore to a basic layout, but I still have several weird problems - my dates are gone and the word "undefined" is scattered throughout instead. My blog titles aren't big, and bullets don't show up.

I have already tried editing blog posts and completely deleting/re-adding the template... to no avail. If anyone has any suggestions, I'm more than happy to listen... I am beyond frustrated with this. :(

Quadruple Chocolate Bliss Cake

I wanted a yummy dessert to take to Nana's for Palm Sunday dinner. I could have sworn I had saved a chocolately bundt-style cake in my reader, but I couldn't find it.

I found this Triple Chocolate Cake on the Kraft website, and immediately thought it would be perfect. You may notice, however, that I titled this post Quadruple Chocolate Cake; well, I decided that 3 kinds of chocolate (cake mix, pudding mix, and the chocolate frosting) weren't enough. I added a handful of chocolate chips to the batter as well.

This was so, so, so, so delicious. My only regret is that I didn't use all of the sauce for on top. When I poured it on, it seemed like way too much, so I may have used about half of it; it definitely could have used more.

Once again, I had some assistance from my little helper:

  • 1 pkg. (2-layer size) chocolate cake mix
  • 1 cup BREAKSTONE'S or KNUDSEN Sour Cream
  • 1 pkg. (4-serving size) JELL-O Chocolate Instant Pudding
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 cups thawed COOL WHIP Whipped Topping, divided
  • 1 pkg. (8 squares) BAKER'S Semi-Sweet Chocolate
  • 1-1/2 cups raspberries

PREHEAT oven to 350°F. Lightly grease 12-cup fluted tube pan or 10-inch tube pan. Beat all ingredients except whipped topping, chocolate and raspberries in large bowl with electric mixer on low speed just until moistened. Beat on medium speed 2 min. scraping bowl occasionally. Pour into prepared pan.

BAKE 50 min. to 1 hour or until wooden toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 min. Loosen cake from side of pan with knife or metal spatula and gently remove cake. Cool cake completely on wire rack. Place on serving plate.

RESERVE 2 Tbsp. of the whipped topping. Microwave remaining whipped topping and chocolate in microwaveable bowl on HIGH 1-1/2 to 2 min. or until chocolate is completely melted and mixture is well blended, stirring after each min. Drizzle over cake. Immediately drop reserved whipped topping, by scant teaspoonfuls, around top of cake; create star shape by drawing wooden toothpick through middle several times. Spoon raspberries into center of cake. Store leftover cake in refrigerator.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Garlic Cresent Rolls

This really doesn't need a recipe, but I am so not the type to think of things on my own, so when I do? I gotta go with it.

I had a tube of crescent rolls in my fridge and felt like some bread with the Baked Gnocchi. I thought about it and improvised, and voila!

  • 1 tube crescent rolls
  • Butter
  • Minced garlic (I used jarred)
  • Italian seasoning
Preheat the oven according to the tube and unroll the dough. Spread butter across each roll - as much or as little as you'd like.

Add a small blob of garlic on each roll and then roll up. Sprinkle the tops with the Italian seasoning and back according to the directions.

Creamy Baked Gnocchi

While this dinner from Giada's Everyday Pasta was good, I didn't feel it was great. However, I am so so so so so partial to a nice baked gnocchi with a yummy meat sauce, so perhaps I am a bit biased.

I thought the flavors were very good, and this was very easy to put together. And Ryan did actual eat a decent amount, so that right there says a lot. ;)

  • 2 (17 ounce) packages potato gnocchi
  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 12 ounces baby spinach
  • 3 ounces fresh goat cheese
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Place the gnocchi in a lightly greased 9x13x2 inch baking dish. Set aside.
  3. In a medium saucepan, whisk together the cream, chicken broth, and flour over medium heat. Continue whisking until the sauce is simmering and thickened, about 5 minutes. Add the salt, pepper and nutmeg and stir to combine. Add the spinach and toss to coat in the cream. Pour the cream and spinach mixture evenly over the gnocchi and gently spread the spinach out to cover.
  4. Crumble the goat cheese over the spinach. Sprinkle with the parmesan cheese. Bake until the top is golden in places, about 30 minutes.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Chicken Cheesesteaks

I ripped this one out of Everyday Food and was recently reminded of it when I saw it on Good Thymes and Good Food.

The time allocated was nowhere near enough for my chicken, which admittedly were very fat; I should have sliced them to make them thinner. But all in all, this was one delicious meal! (Oh, and I did NOT pull out the insides of the bread - that's the best part!)

  • 1 pound chicken cutlets
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, such as safflower
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 2 mixed bell peppers (ribs and seeds removed), thinly sliced (I omitted)
  • 1 large red onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 6 ounces sliced provolone cheese
  • 4 soft hoagie rolls, split lengthwise
  • 1/4 cup light mayonnaise

1. Heat broiler, with rack set 4 inches from heat. On a rimmed baking sheet lined with aluminum foil, toss chicken with 1 tablespoon oil; season with salt and pepper. Broil, without turning, until chicken is opaque throughout, 5 to 7 minutes.

2. Transfer to a cutting board (reserve baking sheet); let cool, and thinly slice. Set chicken aside.

3. On baking sheet, toss together peppers, onion, garlic, and remaining tablespoon oil. Broil, tossing occasionally, until crisp-tender and slightly charred, 8 to 10 minutes; season with salt and pepper.

4. Add chicken to broiled vegetables; toss, and spread in a single layer.

5. Top chicken and vegetables with cheese; broil until cheese is bubbling, 30 seconds to 1 minute.

6. Scoop out most of the doughy center from both halves of rolls; discard.

7. Spread rolls with mayonnaise; fill with chicken and vegetables.

8. Serve immediately.

Sweet Potato Fries

I've made sweet potato fries before, but one of the things that really attracted me to this particular version from Annie was the little tip about soaking the fries in cold water prior to baking. Finally - an answer to my soggy fry woes!

I didn't get to fully enjoy the benefits, however, because I was also making Chicken Cheesesteaks which required the broiler, so my oven temps were weird and inconsistent. That aside, these were very tasty, if a tad mushy, and I can't wait to try again without temperature interruptions!

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. light brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil greased with cooking spray.

Halve the sweet potatoes lengthwise and cut each half into long spears. (Soak in cold water for 20-30 minutes before continuing for crispy texture outside. Drain well and pat dry.) Place the potato spears on the sheet pan and toss with olive oil. Spread them in a single layer. Combine the brown sugar, salt, and pepper and sprinkle on the potatoes. Bake for 15 minutes, then turn with a spatula or tongs. Bake for another 5 to 10 minutes, until lightly browned. Sprinkle lightly with kosher salt and serve hot.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Crockpot Pot Roast

A week or two ago, there was a post on one of my message boards about spicing up pot roast. A wonderful poster, Rachel, responded with this awesome recipe that I immediately put on my menu.

I don't usually like to cook with condensed soup, and definitely not two cans in one dish, but this pot roast sounded so good! I did buy the low-sodium kind so I felt better about it.

Not only was this meal ridiculously easy to set up, but it was GOOD. I didn't need a knife at all, and the flavor was just so intense and awesome. (Oh, and I TOTALLY forgot to add potatoes and onions, and it was still so good - I can't wait to try it with everything!)

Don't mind this picture - there's not a whole lot of natural light in my kitchen, and it's rather difficult to make the contents of your crockpot look pretty. :)

  • Pot Roast (mine was about 3 pounds)
  • Potatoes
  • Onions
  • 1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 can condensed tomato soup
  • 1 packet dry onion soup mix
Add Pot Roast, potatoes and onions. On top pour everything else. Cook on high 4-6 hours, or low for 8-10 hours.
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