Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Home of the Buffalo wing

Josh and I went to Buffalo, NY yesterday for the day. I had to go up for work for a quick site visit. We figured, since we've never been, we should check out the city and it's namesake...Buffalo Wings. On the recommendation of one of Josh's friends, we went to a place called Duffs...which supposedly had the best wings in the city. We ended up getting the mild since we were told even the mild were pretty hot. Josh reluctantly poses for the camera......

Well, they weren't hot at all, more like, buttery. The wings were okay, but I still have yet to find wings better than Fat Head's in good old Pittsburgh!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

The best steak you'll put in your mouth!

I have my favorite Texan gal, Andi, to thank for this. She sent me a care package from TX which included Saltgrass Steakhouse's 7 Steak Spice. The recipe is simple...rub the Saltgrass spice all over the filet. Grill to medium perfection. About a minute before taking the steak off the grill, let a pat of butter melt over the top of the steak. Let rest a few minutes before cutting. Warning, your mouth will water excessively!
I serve these with my roasted garlic and white cheddar mashed potatoes and roasted asparagus. Yum!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Yankee Pot Roast

I saw this recipe in the most recent issue of Cooking Light. This isn't my usual preparation for pot roast, but it seemed quick and easy. I still prefer my beef roast with mashed potatoes and gravy!

Josh and I both thought it a little bland. Maybe some ne or even a lager beer would have gave it the extra shot of flavor it needed.

Giada's Vodka Sauce

Yes, I love Giada. She is a culinary genius. The other night was my first attempt at vodka sauce and no better recipe to use than Giada's!

This recipe comes from foodnetwork.com and instead of using penne, I used mini cheese and mini meat ravioli. I also made Giada's simple tomato sauce, which is the base of this recipe and had a bit leftover for a future use. The simple tomato sauce is pretty darn tasty and it'd work well on it's own.

Sometimes my plates look fancy, other times, they look "real"...because they are real! I usually snap a quick shot right before dinner. I'm not here for 'chef of the year'...just to keep my recipes in an easily-accessible place.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Well, Hello Dolly!

I saw these "Hello Dolly Bars" on the Homesick Texan's blog. So she gets all the credit for this recipe. I used walnuts instead of pecans and they were fabulous! I will make these again...very soon!

Don't you love that cute plate?

Chicken Marsala

My recipe for chicken marsala is almost famous! I've given this to a few friends and it's on the top of their weekly menus quite often!

1 pound of skinless, boneless chicken breasts (Cut into thirds)
1 carton of baby bella mushrooms
1 cup of Marsala wine
1 1/2 cups of chicken broth
1 clove of garlic, diced
1 small shallot, diced
1 tablespoon of butter
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 eggs
1 cup of flour plus 2 tablespoons for sauce
1 teaspoon paprika
3-4 sprigs of fresh thyme
Mix 1 cup of flour with the paprika, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, lightly beat the eggs with a fork.
Heat the olive oil in a skillet.
Dredge the chicken pieces in the eggwash and then coat with the flour mixture.
Brown in the skillet on both sides (3 minutes per side)
Place the chicken pieces in a glass baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes.
While the chicken is cooking, use the same skillet as you fried the chicken and melt the butter. Sautee the shallot and garlic until transparent.
Add the mushrooms and sautee until tender.
Add the Marsala Wine and let simmer 5 minutes.
Add 1 cup of chicken broth and let simmer 5 minutes.
Add the fresh thyme.
Mix 2 tablespoons of flour with the remaining 1/2 cup of chicken broth and whisk until smooth.
Add the flour/broth mixture to the skillet and simmer lightly until thickened, stirring constantly. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Serve the marsala sauce over the chicken breasts and egg noodles.

Happy Birthday, lil' sis!

My sister described this cake as a brownie with frosting. Even the choco-phobes in my family had a big chunk! Sure, my cake decorating skills are a bit lackluster but this cake was darn good!
I used the Wilton Buttercream Frosting recipe for the orange frositng.

Sunday, October 14, 2007


I've never been to New Orleans, so I can't really say that I've had authentic Creole food. I did, however, have some really delicious Cajun food at a Cajun restaurant in Lexintgon, Kentucky. Since it's even more difficult to find Cajun food in Philadelphia or Pittsburgh, I had to figure out how to make this on my own.

I finally found a recipe that sounded really close to what I had in KY.

I followed this recipe, pretty much exactly, except I added frozen okra near the end and I omitted a cup of chicken broth because I like this served on top of rice instead of with the rice mixed in. I used chicken, shrimp, and andouille as the meats.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Banana-Apple-Honey Nut Muffins

I created this one on my own. Adding healthy ingredients and a combination of yummy flavors. These muffins are moist and have great texture!

1 Cup sugar
1/2 Cup Soy Garden (butter replacement)
3 ripe bananas, mashed
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon of honey
1/2 cup of chunky applesauce
2 tablespoons of wheat bran
1 1/2 cups of self-rising flour
1/2 cup of whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Beat 1 cup sugar and Soy Garden at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy.
Add mashed bananas, honey, applesauce, eggs, and vanilla, beating well.
Combine flour and baking soda; add to banana mixture, beating until just combined. Stir in chopped walnuts.
Pour into lined muffin tins. I sprinkled mine with a little extra wheat bran.
Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack 10 minutes; remove from pan, and cool completely on wire rack.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Chicken Cordon Ewe

Actually, I'm not sure what to call this! It's definitely Italian and not French, but my brain is not cooporating tonight and I can't come up with anything creative. Any suggestions?

So here's the recipe....

4 chicken breasts, pounded flat
4 slices of Prosciutto di Parma
1 oz. block of goat cheese (sliced)
3 eggs
1 cup of Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
1/2 cup of frozen spinanch, thawed and drained

Lay out the chicken breast. Place a piece of prosciutto on top of the chicken. Then layer on the cheese and spinach. Roll up. Dredge in egg wash and then lightly dredge in the breadcrumbs.

Brown in a skillet, approximately 5 minutes per side. Bake at 375 degrees for 30-35 minutes.

I served with Parsley Potatoes - which is basically 5 yukon gold potatoes cubed and boiled until fork tender and then tossed with butter and fresh, chopped parsley.

My husband put the peas on my plate...I think he over did it!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Crockpot Salsa Chicken

So, yes, I broke down and tried this one as well! It's such a "staple" on the What's Cooking board, plus it looked so easy and yummy that I had to try it. Josh is always after me to make chicken enchiladas and this seemed very similar but way easier. Plus at 157 calories per serving, it's perfect for a low-calorie diet but super-filling!

The original recipe is from http://www.sparkrecipes.com/ and can be found here...Crockpot Salsa Chicken. We had this on tortillas with fresh lettuce, tomatoes, and cheddar cheese.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Cinnamon Dolce Pumpkin Muffins

These were my own creation! I have some Starbucks Cinnamon Dolce syrup and put it to good use!

3 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 cup butter or margarine, melted
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons of Starbucks Cinnamon Dolce Syrup
Wheat bran (for sprinkling on top)

In a mixing bowl, combine eggs and sugar. Add pumpkin, butter, vanilla and syrup. Combine dry ingredients; gradually add to pumpkin mixture and mix well. Pour into lined muffin tins and sprinkle with wheat bran. Bake at 350 degrees F for 45-50 minutes or until breads test done. Cool in pans 10 minutes. Remove to a wire rack.

Peanut Butter Pumpkin Muffins

Who knew peanut butter and pumpkin would make such a good combination! I nearly ate all the batter before I made it into the muffin tins! Allrecipes link.

3 cups sugar
1 (15 ounce) can solid pack pumpkin
4 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup water
2/3 cup peanut butter
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

In a mixing bowl, combine the sugar, pumpkin, eggs, oil, water and peanut butter; beat well. Combine the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Gradually add to pumpkin mixture; mix well. Pour into two greased 9-in. x 5-in. x 3-in. loaf pans (I used muffin tins). Bake at 350 degrees F for 60-70 minutes (muffins bake for 40 minutes) or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.

I also added some chocolate chips to some of them....

Portabello and Parmesan Risotto

I made this with the balsamic chicken drummettes. I think it was a nice, complementing side. I think I'll use a more flavorful cheese next time as the parmesan didn't give it enough oomph. Although, it was still pretty darn tasty!

2 cups water
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can vegetable broth
4 teaspoons olive oil, divided
2 cups chopped cremini mushrooms (about 6 ounces)
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
1 cup marsala wine
1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Bring water and broth to a simmer in a saucepan (do not boil). Keep warm over low heat.
Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms; saute 5 minutes or until tender. Remove mushrooms from pan.

Heat 2 teaspoons oil in pan over medium-high heat. Add onion; saute 2 minutes or until tender. Add rice; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in wine; cook 2 minutes or until liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly.

Add broth mixture, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly until each portion of broth mixture is absorbed before adding the next (about 20 minutes). Stir in mushrooms, cheese, and remaining ingredients.

Giada's Balsamic Chicken Drumettes

I have made this recipe time and again and have used it on wings, drummies, thighs, and breasts. We love it! This recipe is from foodnetwork.com. I omitted the sesame seeds because hubby doesn't like them and also because I was out of them.

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

1/2 cup honey

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup soy sauce

5 sprigs of rosemary

5 garlic cloves, halved

10 to 12 chicken drumsticks

2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Combine the balsamic, honey, brown sugar, soy sauce, rosemary sprigs, and garlic cloves, in a large, re-sealable plastic bag. Shake and squeeze the contents of the bag to dissolve the honey and the brown sugar. Add the chicken drumsticks to the bag and seal with as little air as possible in the bag. Place in the refrigerator and marinate for 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Place the chicken drumsticks on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake until the skin is caramelized and very dark in spots, about 30 to 35 minutes.

Meanwhile, place the marinade in a small saucepan. Bring the marinade to a boil (in order to kill bacteria). Reduce the heat to simmer and cook over low heat until thick, about 15 minutes. Reserve.

Use a pastry brush to brush some of the cooked marinade on the cooked chicken. Place the chicken on a serving platter. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds and the chopped parsley.