Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Ginger Pumpkin Bread

Halloween has come and gone which means that I have a bunch of pumpkin meat from the pumpkins that we carved. I already whipped up Pumpkin Cheesecake and will be making Sydney some treats and perhaps some pumpkin cookie treats for me and Kris and will still have a ton of pumpkin leftover so I decided to try out this bread recipe by Martha Stewart. It's delicious and something else that I can look forward to eating every fall.

12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted, plus room-temperature butter for pan
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for pan
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin puree (1 3/4 cups)
3 large eggs
Sugar Glaze

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter and flour two 8 1/2-by-4 1/2-inch (6-cup) loaf pans (see note, below); set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, ginger, and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together sugars, pumpkin, melted butter, and eggs; add flour mixture, and stir until just combined.
# Divide batter between prepared pans. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of loaves comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes; invert pans and transfer loaves to a wire rack to cool completely. Add glaze.

Sugar Glaze
1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
2 to 3 tbsp water

In a small bowl, mix confectioners' sugar with 2 to 3 tablespoons water until mixture is smooth but thick. Place waxed paper under rack for a quick cleanup. For easy pouring, transfer glaze to a liquid-measuring cup, and drizzle over loaves. Let dry 15 minutes before serving. Makes enough for 2 loaves.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Peanut Butter and Pumpkin Dog Treats

I am now officially on leave from work until February. My house is spotless, I dont' have a baby yet to care for (you can come out whenever Parker, just saying...), and there is absolutely nothing on daytime TV, so I'm back to the cooking blog :) I bought some canned pumpkin the other day to make pumpkin rolls and the leftover pumpkin needed to be put to good use. Sydney devoured these treats, but she eats just about anything ;)

Recipe adapted from Allrecipes.com

1 cup canned pumpkin
4 tbsp peanut butter
1 tsp cinnamon
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 350. Mix all ingredients together. Add water as needed to make dough workable, but the dough should remain somewhat stiff. Roll into 1/2 inch thickness and cut with cookie cutters. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet and cook for 20 minutes.

Sydney patiently waiting for the delicious treat

Sydney devouring the treat

Had to put my Ohio State cookie cutters to good use :)

Saturday, October 2, 2010

I have a bunch of hot peppers from my garden this year (one of the few things that the deer don't like to munch on!) so I try to incorporate them into as many meals as possible. I really like how this dish is different then your typical stuffed chicken breast!


2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Salt and pepper
Garlic powder
1 cup Jalapeno Popper Dip (recipe to come in next post)
1 cup crushed tortilla chips
1 egg, beaten

Preheat oven to 350. Butterfly the thickest section of the chicken breast to create two halves. Place each breast in a Ziploc bag and pound it with a meat mallet until 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch thick. Season chicken with salt, pepper, and garlic. Add cheese stuffing (however much you would like to!) on one half of the chicken breast. Fold other half of chicken breast over. Coat with egg and breadcrumbs and place in a well greased baking pan. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Baked Penne with Chicken and Sun Dried Tomatoes

Martha Stewart recipes never fail! This pasta dish is full of creamy goodness and will leave you full and satisfied!

6 tbsp butter, plus more for baking dishes
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1lb penne rigate
1 tsp olive oil
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup plus 2tbsp flour
4 gloves garlic, minced
6 cups whole milk
10oz mushrooms, thinly sliced
1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes, oil drained and sliced
6oz shredded provolone
4oz grated Parmesan

Preheat oven to 400. Butter two shallow 2 quart baking dishes. Cook pasta three minutes short of al dente in a large pot of boiling salted water. Drain pasta and return to pot.

In a large skillet, heat oil. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Cook three to five minutes on each side until no longer pink in the middle. Remove from heat and thinly slice.

In a large pot, heat butter over medium heat. Add flour and garlic. Whisk for one minute. While whisking, add milk and bring to a simmer, whisking frequently. Add mushrooms and tomatoes. Cook for one minute and add cheese. Add chicken and pasta and season with salt and pepper. Divide between two dishes and top with remaining cup of Parmesan.

Bake uncovered for 25 minutes. Let stand five minutes before serving.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Chicken Caesar Salad Wraps

I was inspired by this wrap when I saw it advertised at a local restaurant. It's quick to whip up and is a crowd pleaser!

1 head romaine lettuce, chopped
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 lb chicken, grilled and sliced
Caesar dressing (recommends Trader Joe's Caesar Romano dressing)
1 cup croutons
Wraps (any kind)

In a bowl mix together lettuce, cheese, chicken, Caesar dressing (enough for your liking) and croutons. Top on a wrap and enjoy!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Mexican Rice

Mexican rice is the perfect side to go with my many Mexican recipes. It tastes like something from a restaurant and meets my requirement of being easy to make!

1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 red onion, finely diced
2 gloves garlic, minced
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 cup rice
1 tsp chicken bouillon
2 cups water
1/2 cup corn

Saute onions and garlic in a olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook about five minutes, stirring frequently. Add in spices. Mix in rice. Add in water and bouillon. Bring to a boil and then simmer, cover, and cook for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in corn. Serve.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Beef Quesadillas

I have had my quesadilla maker for years and it's one of my favorite cooking tools. Typically I make chicken enchiladas but I'm glad that I tried out beef ones. They are great!


4lb boneless beef chuck roast
2 tbsp taco seasoning
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
2 jalapenos, chopped
1/2 cup water
Shredded cheddar cheese

Place beef in crockpot. Add in all other ingredients (not tortillas and cheese yet). Cook on low for 8 hours. Shred meat and return to juices. Place meat on tortilla and top with cheese. Place second tortilla on top and place on quesadilla maker. Cook for five minutes.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Tuna Noodle Casserole

I don't eat tuna so I used chicken instead and it still tasted great. I thought that I would miss the Cream of Mushroom soup that is used in so many tuna casserole receipes but this from scratch version is even better!

All Recipes
1/2 cup butter
8oz egg noodles
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
1 stalk of celery, finley chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
8oz mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup flour
2 cups milk
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cans tuna drained (or chicken!)
3 tbsp bread crumbs
2 tbsp butter, melted
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 375. Butter a medium baking dish with 1 tbsp butter. Bring a large pot of lighty salted water to a boil. Add egg noodles. Cook for 8 minutes until al dente and drain. Melt 1 tbsp butter in skillet over medium heat. Stir in onion, celery, and garlic and cook five minutes until tender. Add mushrooms. Cook another five minutes until most of the liquid is absorbed. Melt 4 tbsp butter in a medium saucepan. Whisk in flour until smooth. Gradually mix in milk. Continue cooking 5 more mintues until sauce is smooth and thickened. Season with salt and pepper. Mix in mushroom mixture, noodles, tuna/chicken, and shredded cheddar. Transfer to a baking dish. Melt remaining butter and mix with bread crumbs. Top casserole with bread crumbs. Bake 25 minutes.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Focaccia Bread

Finally I am back to blogging! The first trimester did wonders for my taste buds and the blog suffered as a consequence. Now I'm feeling better which means I'm back to cooking and blogging!

I love making bread and wanted to switch it up a bit from my typical loaf. I am amazed at how delicious this bread is AND easy! The aroma filled the house and the bread tasted just as good. It's perfect as a side to an Italian meal!

All Recipes
2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp white sugar
1 tbsp active dry yeast
1 tsp garlic, minced
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp basil
Pinch black pepper
1 tsbp vegetable oil
1 cup water
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsbp grated Parmesan cheese

Dissolve the yeast in warm water. Add in flour, garlic, oregano, thyme, basil, pepper, and vegetable oil. When dough has pulled together, knead until smooth and elastic. Oil a large bowl, place dough in bowl, and cover once to coat. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise for thirty minutes. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Punch dough down. Place on a greased baking sheet. Pat into a 1/2 inch rectangle. Brush with olive oil. Sprinkle with Parmesan. Bake for 15 minutes. Cut into rectangles and serve warm.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Twice Baked Potatoes

This recipe is time consuming but the end result is worth it!

Recipe adapted from All Recipes

8 baking potatoes, medium sized
8 slices bacon
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup milk
4 tbsp butter
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
8 green onions, sliced

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Pierce potatoes with fork. Place directly on oven rack and bake for 1 hour. Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium high heat until evenly browned. Drain, crumble, and set aside. When potatoes are done, let them cool for ten minutes. Using a paring knife, cut off the skin in a canoe shape. Scoop out the potato and save the skins. Add all ingredients, leaving out 1/2 cup cheese, 1/2 of the green onions, and 1/2 of the bacon, and mix with a hand blender to combine. Top with cheese, green onions, and bacon if desired. Place back in oven and cook 15 minutes.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Baked Chicken Cheese Enchiladas

I make this recipe all the time and it is one of my favorites. I typically use 10 inch tortillas and cover them with a simple cheese sauce made with milk, flour and cheese (about 2 cups of cheese, 1/4 cup flour, and 1 cup shredded cheddar). This recipe is from Gourmet Magazine.

4 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sour cream
2 cups salsa
2 cups grated Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
1 cup corn
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp cayenne
4 scallions, thinly sliced
12 to 14 round 8 inch flour tortillas

Preheat oven to 325. In a medium bowl, cream together the cream cheese and sour cream. Stir in 1/2 cup of salsa. Stir in 1 cup of grated cheese. In a bowl toss together the chicken, corn, cumin, cayenne, salt, pepper, and 1/2 of the scallions. Add the chicken mixture to the cheese and stir to combine.

In a baking dish spread the remaining salsa on the bottom. Place about 1/3 cup of the filing on the tortillas, roll up and transfer to the dish. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top. Transfer to oven and cook 25 minutes until hot and bubbly.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Honey Wheat Bread

I'm constantly trying out new bread recipes since I make about two loaves every two weeks or so. This honey wheat bread is simple to make and tastes like bakery bread. I usually prefer a bread with more grains, but this is still great.

2 cups warm water
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tbsp active dry yeast
1 tsp salt
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup vegetable oil
5 cups all purpose flour

Dissolve yeast in warm water. Add honey and stir well. Mix in whole wheat flour, salt and vegetable oil. Work in all purpose flour slowly. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes. When dough is smooth and elastic, place into a greased bowl, turning to coat dough. Cover with a cloth and let rise for one hour until doubled in bulk. Punch down the dough. Shape into two loaves and place in two greased loaf pans. Cover with cloth and let rise for an hour. Bake at 375 for 30 minutes.


The first time I tried making fudge it was a disaster. I apparently did not allow the mixture to heat up as high and long as it should have been and the whole thing turned into a gross, sugary blob. After this failure, the husband bought a candy thermometer for me (which was a lifesaver), more ingredients, and I tried it again. It turned out perfect! I found this recipe on the Carnation Evaporated Milk label.

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2/3 cup evaporated milk
2 tbsp butter/margarine
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups mini marshmallows
1 1/2 cups semi sweet chocolate morsels
1 tsp vanilla extract

Line a 8 inch square baking pan with foil. Combine sugar, evaporated milk, butter and salt in a medium saucepan Bring to a full rolling boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes. The fudge should ready 240 degrees on a candy thermometer. Remove from heat. Stir in marshmallows, morsels, and vanilla. Stir for 1 minute or until marshmallows are melted. Pour into prepared baking pan, refrigerate for 2 hours or until firm. Lift from pan, remove foil. Cut into pieces.

Chicken Parmesan

The panko bread crumbs and olive oil make this Chicken Parm one of the best I've ever had. I made the tomato sauce from scratch but if you want to save some time then use premade sauce.

Recipe is from Bobby Flay

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, pounded thin
Freshly ground black pepper
2 cups flour, seasoned with salt and pepper
4 large eggs beaten with 2 tbsp water and seasoned with salt and pepper
2 cups panko bread crumbs
1 cup pure olive oil
Tomato sauce, 24 oz jar
1 lb fresh mozzarella, thin
1/4 cup grated Parmesan

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Season chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. Dredge each chicken breast in flour and tap off excess. Dip in egg and let excess drip off. then dredge both sides in the bread crumbs. Divide the oil between two large saute pans and heat until almost smoking. Add two chicken breasts to each pan and cook until golden brown on each side, about two minutes per side. Transfer to a baking pan and top each breast with sauce, mozzarella, salt and pepper, and Parmesan. Bake in the oven until chicken is cooked through and cheese is melted about 7 minutes. Remove from oven and serve.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Parmesan Chicken

I'm always looking for new ways to cook chicken and this recipe is great. The oil makes the outside of the chicken crispy and very tasty!

4 (4 oz) boneless skinless chicken breast halves
1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1/4 grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp dried basil
1 egg
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil

Flatten chicken to 1/4 inch thickness. In a shallow bowl, combine bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, and basil. In another bowl, beat the egg. Dip chicken into egg, then coat with crumb mixture. In a large skillet brown chicken in butter and oil over medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes on each side or until juices run clear.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Tequila Touchdown

Martha Stewart has a ton of great drink recipes. Who knew?

2 cups orange juice
1 cup tequila
6 tbsp fresh lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
1 1/2 oz grenadine
Ice, for serving
3 cups club soda

Pour orange juice, tequila, and lemon juice into a large pitcher. Add grenadine. Divide mixture among 8 ice filled glasses and top off each with club soda. Stir and serve.

Hot Spinach Dip

Mmmm, this dip is a great snack! Serve with water crackers and enjoy. This recipe is compliments of Martha Stewart.

2 tsp olive oil, plus more for baking dish
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 lbs spinach, coarsely chopped
1/2 cups milk
6 oz cream cheese
3 dashes Worcestershire
3 dashed hot sauce
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a Dutch oven/large pot, heat oil over medium. Add onion and garlic. Cook until lightly browned, 5 to 8 minutes. Add spinach and cook until wilted, 5 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a colander and drain, pressing to release all excess liquid. In the same pot, warm milk over high heat. Whisk in cream cheese until melted, about 3 minutes. Add spinach, Worcestershire, hot sauce, and 1/4 cup mozzarella. Stir to combine. Pour into a lightly oiled 1 1/2 quart shallow baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup mozzarella. Bake until bubbly and golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes.

Crab Cakes

I love going out to eat. I love it even more when the restaurants post recipes on their website. Cameron Mitchell does just that for all his restaurants. I have had crab cakes at Mitchell's many times and was so excited to see that they posted their recipe. My version turned out great, but I'll still go back to Mitchell's and have the original!

2lb crab
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 1/2 tsp Worcestershire
2 tsp tabasco
2 tbsp parsley, chopped
2 tbsp scallions, minced
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
2 eggs
1 cup bread crumbs, unseasoned
1 1/2 tsp lemon juice

Combine all ingredients except crab and bread crumbs. Add crab and bread crumbs. Pat into cakes. Heat olive oil in a non-stick saute pan. Add crab cakes and sear until golden brown on both sides and cooked through in center.

Shrimp Scampi

Shrimp scampi is one of my favorite seafood dishes and this recipe is super tasty. I served this as an appetizer but it can also go well over pasta. I omitted the wine (I don't like foods cooked in wine, which is odd since I love to drink it!) and the parsley since I was out of it and it turned out great. I found this recipe on my favorite cooking site, The Food Network.

2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 large shallot, diced
5 cloves garlic, sliced
Pinch red pepper flakes
1 lbs shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 lemon, juiced
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley leaves

In a large skillet melt butter and olive oil over medium high heat. Saute the shallots, garlic and red pepper flakes until the shallots are translucent, about 4 minutes. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper. Add to the pan and cook until they have turned pink, about 3 minutes. Remove the shrimp from the pan. Seat aside and keep warm. Add wine and lemon juice and bring to a boil. Return the shrimp to the pan along with the parsley. Stir well and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle over a bit more olive oil and serve.