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Showing posts from June, 2011

Cheesy Shrimp Ciabatta

For out last get together I made this delicious Cheesy Shrimp Ciabatta. This is an appetizer that shrimp fans will love. In our family this is one of our most favorite recipes. It's so delicious!

You can go with a baguette instead if you would like bite sized portions, but it is hard to beat a fresh loaf of ciabatta bread. The baguette slices will get much crunchier so if you prefer that mouth feel, you can go with a baguette. A fresh French bread would also work great. Enjoy!

Cornflake-Crusted Baked Chicken

Pretty, right? (sarcasm) This is such an old picture...I really should update it. Maybe someday, but not today. Anyways, crunchy cornflake chicken! It is delicious, it is crunchy, it is better than breadcrumbs.

Chai & Chocolate Chai Concentrate

I'm stressed out. Super stressed. Stressed to the max. Stress can take a serious toll on your energy, and while I am a big fan of the morning and afternoon cup of coffee, it is nice to change the routine. A delicious alternative is to take a mug of black tea and add a spoonful (or two) of this chai concentrate.

White Chocolate Peanut Butter

Brace yourself. This is some seriously good eating. White Chocolate Peanut Butter and homemade Strawberry Freezer Jam. Easily the best PB&J I've ever had, and I'm willing to bet the best you've ever had too.

I mean, just look at the deliciousness. Are you ready to make some? Good because it is super simple.

Have you ever tried making homemade peanut butter? What are some creative flavors you would like to add?

Note: I am paranoid about storing this at room temperature, so I stick it in the fridge. It will keep for several weeks in the fridge, otherwise if you keep it at room temperature, I would say it will last one week, but you better keep an eye out for anything funky growing. Yuck, see that is why I store mine in the fridge!

White Chocolate Peanut Butter
Makes 3/4 cup

1 1/2 cups dry, roasted peanuts (I used salted)1 teaspoon vanilla extract1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil1/3 cup white chocolate chips/chunks/bars, melted

1. Add peanuts to a food processor and blend until …

Strawberry Summer Cake

Before I get to the recipe for this delicious Strawberry Summer Cake, I wanted to say thank you for all the feedback on my previous post. If you missed it I asked what you thought the ideal amount of posts per week was appropriate for a blog. I am still mulling it over. Jo-Anna sent me a great link from Will Work for Followers that addressed this very issue. Check it out here if you would like to see his answer for the ideal posting frequency. I was leaning towards trying out posting every other day, but after reading Dan's post I am still trying to decide if every day will be better for growing my blog. Who knows? I sure don't.

Anyways, on to the cake!

Homemade Maple Syrup

At my place there are a lot of nights where breakfast becomes dinner. Between having breakfast for breakfast, and breakfast for dinner, we tend to go through a lot of maple syrup. I wanted to try out a homemade syrup recipe, just a basic Maple to start. It turned out great and it was very simple to make.

No candy thermometers necessary, just stir continuously and pay attention to how it looks while it is boiling and it is as simple as that. It is cheap to make and you know exactly what ingredients are going into it. It is thinner than commercial syrups because it doesn't have corn syrup, but that is a good thing.

This recipe lends itself well to adding other flavorings, like raspberry or orange extracts. Onto the recipe!

Caramel Bacon Rolls

As promised I have my recipe for the Caramel Bacon Rolls. If it is only two ingredients can it be considered a recipe? Probably not, but I'm doing it anyways.

I had already made the regular bacon cinnamon rolls a few times before and I figured I would try using a different flavor of rolls for my contribution to the bacon party. At first I was going to try orange, but at the last minute I decided to try caramel instead, to channel the candied bacon craze that is going on amongst the foodies. I thought it turned out delicious. I would still like to try the orange rolls next time.

Bacon Cinnamon Rolls

Oh yeah baby. Bacon Cinnamon Rolls. They are the perfect sweet and savory combination. If you want to fancy it up, you can of course make the cinnamon rolls from scratch, but I really like the Pillsbury Cinnabon style of canned cinnamon rolls, so I use those. You can use a good quality precooked bacon, or regular bacon. I like the precooked bacon from Costco personally.

Either way, you have to crisp up the bacon a bit before you add it to the cinnamon rolls. Use the microwave or cook them up in a pan. One reason I like the precooked bacon is I can nuke it for a minute and I'm ready to roll. I never cared much for standing over a skillet getting splattered by bacon grease. If your bacon is extra extra fatty be sure to trim it off.

In my experience when you add bacon to a roll like this, it takes a few extra minutes for the middle roll to cook though. Ovens vary, so make sure you take it out and test it to see if it needs extra time to bake. To test it, just pull out the pan, poke th…

Sweet & Savory Spinach Salad

My mom made this salad a lot while we were growing up. She made the dressing from scratch, but you can save some time and buy a bottle of poppy seed dressing instead. I don't know what it is about the combination of spinach and poppy seed dressing, but it is oh so good.

Shrimp Etouffee

Like I mentioned a couple days ago, I'm on a Cajun kick. I have always wanted to try shrimp etouffee, which it turns out is delicious! There are apparently two schools of thought on etouffee. Some believe that it should not have a tomato component, while others say it should. My mom made this for dinner a few weeks back and she went with the tomatoes. I made a corn spoon bread to go with it and while it was edible, it wasn't as good as my cornbread supreme.

Smothered Cajun Cube Steaks (Aka Smothered Swiss Steaks)

I've been on a serious Cajun kick lately. Anything and everything Cajun, yes please, give me more. I have a huge playlist of Cajun & Zydeco music (some of it is even sung in French), recipes in my recipe box, and a bunch of new food blogs, like Cajunlicious, Cajun Delights, Real Cajun Cooking, that I am subscribed to.

I'm a happy girl living vicariously though these websites. (Go check out those sites, by the way, they rock! If you know of any other great Cajun sites, please leave a comment with the address)

I wanted to try out a few recipes that normally I'd never try. I'd had Shrimp and Crawdad Po'Boys before and an amazing bread pudding, but that was about it. Those were items that I'd ordered from a great little restaurant in Montana of all places (warning, music on site), so I hadn't even tried cooking anything I would consider Cajun.

The first dish I made was a Smothered Cajun Cube Steak Dish, which is also known as Smothered Swiss Steak. I don…

Caramelized Peaches with Ice Cream

I'm feeling uninspired today. I have been sitting here a while, trying to think of an interesting way to introduce this dessert, but it just isn't coming. Here is what you need to know: Peaches are delicious. Roasting peaches in the oven brings out a delicious flavor that is perfect for a light Summer dessert. If you would like to lighten it up you can substitute sorbet for ice cream. I think I'll stick with ice cream though.

Chocolate Orange Zucchini Bread

I have a deep love for zucchini breads of all kinds. I make them all the time. Up until recently my favorite had been a coconut zucchini bread (recipe another time, ahem), but my top spot has now been replaced by the ultimate, the best, most amazing (according to Ali) Chocolate Zucchini Bread.

Flat Bread Taco Supreme

Taco time! If you love tacos but are getting tired of the same old flour tortilla, give this recipe for Flat Bread Taco Supreme a try. For a time saver it utilizes canned biscuit dough that is dry cooked in a pan until browned. If making dough from scratch is your thing, by all means feel free to Google a recipe, but dough is one thing I don't have much patience for, not to mention my oven is possessed by the devil, so I either buy my bread products or buy raw/frozen dough.

Smokey Marinated Drumsticks

This recipe for Smokey Marinated Drumsticks is a dinner my mom made a lot growing up.  It has a delicious smokey flavor with the addition of lemon juice, soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce. You can dip the chicken in the marinade if you'd like.

Yoo-hoo, guess who is 2?

My little energizer bunny turns 2 today.

Someone tell me what happened to this little chub??

Happy Birthday bubs. I'll try to convince your sister to not boss you around all day.

Raspberry Caramels

Wow, those caramels sure are bright! I know. I accidentally dropped the bottle of food coloring in the pot. They taste great though.

As I have learned, handling caramel can be a sticky affair. I lightly sprayed my hands with non stick spray before rolling into little logs, as well as chilling the caramel when it became too warm while sitting out at room temperature. I tried out the plain recipe as well, and let me tell you, it was amazing!

Hawaiian Haystacks Two Ways - Tropical and Traditional

Raise your hand if you have heard of Hawaiian Haystacks. Anybody? Well, I bet a few of you have. It is more of a retro dinner and I need you to have an open mind going in to this, the recipe is a little quirky.

You start with the basics of chicken in a sauce over hot rice. Then you add your toppings. They range from run of the mill things like olives, tomatoes, shredded cheddar and bell peppers, all the way to the unexpected items like caramelized pineapple bits, cherries and coconut.

Before I totally lose you, no you aren't putting ALL of those ingredients over the same plate of chicken, sauce and rice. Rather, you pick and choose a few of them that sound the best to you.

A savory suggestion is to use the following toppings over the chicken and rice: cheddar, olives, bell peppers, pineapple, bugles chips or chow mein noodles and tomatoes.

For the Tropical Haystacks, a classic and very retro suggestion is to use the following toppings over the chicken and rice: Coconut, pineappl…

Mocha Toffee Brownies

It is about time for some chocolate, don't you think? These brownies are ultra rich, ultra chewy, and ultra caffeinated. Enjoy them with a big glass of milk. You don't have to feel too guilty about eating them either, the recipe is from Cooking Light.

If you are a coffee fanatic, you could even make a simple coffee glaze to drizzle over the top with powdered sugar, a little instant coffee and a bit of milk. Just stir well to incorporate the powdered sugar then drizzle over the top. If that sounds like too much coffee flavor for you, then you might want to stick with a chocolate or caramel glaze. I had mine plain since that is what the recipe called for, and they are great that way too!

Updated: One thing I forgot to add earlier was that freezing these brownies for a few days, then defrosting, made them much less potent on the coffee flavor, and also incredibly moist. If you make these and they have too much of a coffee taste, I highly recommend freezing and trying them after …

Roasted Vegetable & Goat Cheese Wrap

I especially enjoyed this wrap. Makes me feel oh so healthy. (Never mind all the cookies I've been eating. Ahem.) Roasting the vegetables brings out their flavors and the goat cheese adds a bit of tangy flavor and creaminess.

The basic idea here is to add a bunch of veggie to a roasting pan, coat with a little olive oil and spices, then cook them. If you would use different vegetables I'd love to hear what you would use, since I have made this so many times I am completely out of ideas for it.

Possible fillings would be: pesto, red onions, eggplants, zucchini, portobello mushrooms, red bell peppers, spinach, Parmesan cheese, hummus or balsamic vinegar. If you wanted to you could make the pesto creamy by adding a little mayo to it and stirring it well.