Saturday, May 17, 2014

Chocolate Caramel Nut Cheesecake

  A snickerdoodle cheesecake that tastes like a candy bar.
3 tablespoons butter, melted
    1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
    1 tablespoon white sugar
    3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese
    3 eggs
    3/4 cup white sugar
    2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    2 (2.16 ounce) bars chocolate-coated caramel-peanut nougat candy, chopped
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. In a small bowl, combine the melted butter, graham cracker crumbs and 1 tablespoon sugar. Press into the bottom of a 9 inch springform pan. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes. Allow to cool.
  3. In a large bowl, cream the 3/4 cup of sugar and cream cheese together until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, and vanilla. Stir in chopped candy bar, and pour into baked crust.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 45 minutes. Let cool and carefully remove the springform pans side.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Nutella Hot Chocolate

Nutella Hot Chocolate
  • 1 cup milk (I use skim)
  • 2½ Tbsp Nutella
  • 1 Tbsp Cocoa
  • Tiny pinch of salt
Homemade Whipped Cream
  • 1 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 2 Tbsp Sugar
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  1. In a small sauce pan over medium heat, whisk all ingredients together until well blended and hot.
  2. Pour in a cup and top with homemade whipped cream and shaved chocolate.
For the whipped cream:
  1. Place a medium bowl and your beaters from your electric mixer in the freezer for 10 minutes (this helps the whipped cream stiffen faster)
  2. Pour all ingredients into the chilled bowl and start to beat.
  3. Start off on low and gradually work your way up to high. It will be done when it is the consistency of whipped cream.
  4. Don’t over beat.

New York Cheesecake

Just like the deli - if not better!

15 graham crackers, crushed
2 tablespoons butter, melted
4 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese
1 1/2 cups white sugar
3/4 cup milk
4 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup all-purpose flour

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9 inch springform pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix graham cracker crumbs with melted butter. Press onto bottom of springform pan.
  3. In a large bowl, mix cream cheese with sugar until smooth. Blend in milk, and then mix in the eggs one at a time, mixing just enough to incorporate. Mix in sour cream, vanilla and flour until smooth. Pour filling into prepared crust.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour. Turn the oven off, and let cake cool in oven with the door closed for 5 to 6 hours; this prevents cracking. Chill in refrigerator until serving.

Antipasto Pasta Salad

A delicious pasta, meat and cheese combination with a homemade dressing. It serves a crowd and is great for a picnic.

1/4 pound Genoa salami, chopped
1/4 pound pepperoni sausage, chopped
1/2 pound Asiago cheese, diced
1 (6 ounce) can black olives, drained and chopped
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 green bell pepper, chopped
3 tomatoes, chopped
1 (.7 ounce) package dry Italian-style salad dressing mix
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
salt and ground black pepper to taste

  1. Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water until al dente. Drain, and cool under cold water.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the pasta, salami, pepperoni, Asiago cheese, black olives, red bell pepper, green bell pepper and tomatoes. Stir in the envelope of dressing mix. Cover, and refrigerate for at least one hour.
  3. To prepare the dressing, whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, oregano, parsley, Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Just before serving, pour dressing over the salad, and mix well.

Spinach And Strawberry Salad

 This delicious salad will satisfy your vegetable AND fruit cravings!

2 bunches spinach, rinsed and torn into bite-size pieces
4 cups sliced strawberries
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 teaspoon paprika
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
  1. In a large bowl, toss together the spinach and strawberries.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, sugar, paprika, sesame seeds, and poppy seeds. Pour over the spinach and strawberries, and toss to coat.

Sugar Cream Pie


 1 (9 inch) pie crust, baked
    4 tablespoons cornstarch
    3/4 cup white sugar
    4 tablespoons butter, melted
    2 1/4 cups half-and-half cream
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    2 tablespoons butter, melted
  1. Mix cornstarch and sugar. Add 4 tablespoons butter and half and half. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture boils and becomes thick and creamy. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.
  2. Preheat oven broiler to high.
  3. Pour mixture into pie crust. Drizzle 2 tablespoons butter over top and sprinkle with cinnamon. Put under broiler until butter bubbles--watch it carefully as it doesn't take long. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.

Coconut Cake

 3 cups all-purpose flour
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon baking soda
    1 1/2 cups butter, softened
    3 cups white sugar
    6 eggs
    1 cup sour cream
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1 (7 ounce) package sweetened flaked coconut
    1 cup milk
    2 tablespoons cornstarch
    1 cup white sugar
    1/2 cup butter, softened
    1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
    2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    1/2 (7 ounce) package sweetened flaked coconut

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C).
  2. Grease a 10-inch tube pan.
  3. Combine flour, salt, and baking soda in a bowl.
  4. Beat 1 1/2 cup butter and 3 cups sugar with an electric mixer in a large bowl until light and fluffy. The mixture should be noticeably lighter in color.
  5. Beat eggs one at a time into butter mixture, allowing each egg to blend completely before adding the next. Beat in sour cream and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract with the last egg.
  6. Gradually stir flour mixture into egg mixture, mixing until just incorporated.
  7. Fold in 7 ounces flaked coconut, mixing just enough to evenly combine. Pour the batter into prepared pan.
  8. Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 90 minutes. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing to cool completely on a wire rack.
  9. Whisk milk and cornstarch in a saucepan over medium heat until mixture becomes very thick, stirring constantly, about 5 minutes; set aside to cool completely.
  10. Beat 1 cup sugar, 1/2 cup butter, and shortening with an electric mixer in a bowl until mixture is smooth and creamy.
  11. Beat cooled milk paste and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract into sugar mixture to achieve a light and creamy frosting.
  12. Spread frosting over completely cooled cake and sprinkle remaining 3 1/2 ounces flaked coconut over the frosting.

Strawberry Cake from Scratch

    2 cups white sugar

    1 (3 ounce) package strawberry flavored Jell-O®

    1 cup butter, softened

    4 eggs (room temperature)

    2 3/4 cups sifted cake flour

    2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

    1 cup whole milk, room temperature

    1 tablespoon vanilla extract

    1/2 cup strawberry puree made from frozen sweetened strawberries

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour two 9 inch round cake pans.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, sugar and dry strawberry gelatin until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time, mixing well after each. Combine the flour and baking powder; stir into the batter alternately with the milk. Blend in vanilla and strawberry puree. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans.
  3. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a small knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow cakes to cool in their pans over a wire rack for at least 10 minutes, before tapping out to cool completely.


Named after the Italian ladies of the night, this sauce goes well with any type of spaghetti.

8 ounces pasta
1/2 cup olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups chopped tomatoes, pushed through a sieve
4 anchovy filets, rinsed and chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
3 tablespoons capers
20 Greek olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook pasta in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.
  2. Heat oil in a skillet over low heat; cook garlic in oil until golden. Add sieved tomatoes, and cook 5 minutes. Stir in anchovies, tomato paste, capers, olives, and red pepper flakes. Cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Toss pasta with sauce, and serve.

Real Strawberry Frosting

   1 cup fresh strawberries
    1 cup butter
    1 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    2 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted, divided

Forget cupcakes - for this recipe, you just need a spoon.
  1. Place strawberries in a blender; puree until smooth.
  2. Transfer strawberry puree to a saucepan over medium heat; bring to a boil, stirring often, until puree is reduced by at least half, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and cool completely.
  3. Beat butter with an electric mixer in a bowl until light and fluffy.
  4. Beat 1 cup confectioners' sugar into butter until just blended.
  5. Beat 2 tablespoons strawberry puree and vanilla extract into butter mixture until just blended.
  6. Repeat with 1 cup confectioners' sugar, followed by 2 tablespoons strawberry puree two more times.
  7. Beat last 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar into mixture until just blended.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Smoked Gouda Grits

You could use any melting cheese in this recipe, such as a sharp cheddar, fontina, or Gruyère—in which case, just call them "Cheesy Grits." No one has to know.
2 1/2 cups whole milk
1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup coarse-ground grits (not instant)
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
4 ounces smoked Gouda, grated
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
Bring milk, salt, and 2 1/2 cups water to a boil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Gradually whisk in grits until smooth. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook, whisking occasionally, until creamy but still with some bite, 20–25 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in butter and cheese; season with salt and pepper. Serve topped with chives. 

Gluten-Free Tiramisu Brownies

Ingredients Brownie Base
  • 2 1/2 cups cashew flour
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup bitter sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup freshly brewed espresso (add 1 sachet instant coffee and dissolve for a more intense coffee flavor)
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup raw virgin coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 tablespoon unsweetened apple sauce
  • 2 eggs
Ingredients Tiramisu Cream
  • 8oz mascarpone
  • 8oz cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 3 egg yolks (only if you have fresh eggs; it will taste good without yolks, too)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract (in place of Amaretto)
Preheat oven to 350F and line a baking dish with parchment paper.  Add coconut oil to a small saucepan and melt over low heat.
In a large bowl, mix all dry ingredients for brownie base: cashew flour, coconut flour, baking soda, cocoa powder and chocolate chips.
Using a medium sized bowl, mix all wet ingredients for brownie base: espresso, maple syrup, coconut oil, vanilla extract, apple sauce and eggs.
Make sure the eggs are mixed in well and there are no strings. If necessary, use a hand mixer.
Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix (by hand) until well incorporated. The batter will be thick, that’s ok!
Fill brownie batter into your baking dish and bake for approximately 25-30 minutes. Do the tooth pick test: If you stick a tooth pick down the middle and batter crumbs stick to it, you need to continue baking.
Allow brownie base to fully cool off.
Mascarpone and cream cheese should be at room temperature. Combine all Tiramisu Cream ingredients and mix with hand mixer until you have a smooth cream.
Spread on top of your now cold brownie base and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Brownie base by itself keeps for up to 5 days. Tiramisu cream containing egg yolk should be consumed within 2 days.

Cinnamon Apple Scones

These are BETTER than grain recipes of the same type! No pale substitutes here! Eat gluten free with no frustrated tears of "why doesn't this taste like it USED to?"

3 cups blanched almond flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
4 tablespoons butter, as cold as possible (preferably frozen), cut into small pieces
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
1 small Granny Smith or Fuji apple, peeled, cored, and cut into thin tiles
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F with the rack in the middle position, and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl, combine the almond flour, baking soda, and fine sea salt. Use your hands or a pastry cutter to work the pieces of cold butter into the dry ingredients until a crumbly mixture is produced. Then, mix the cinnamon into the almond flour mixture.
3. In a separate bowl, thoroughly whisk together the eggs, apple cider vinegar, and honey.
4. Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients, and pour the egg mixture into it.
5. Gently mix with a spatula until a wet, chunky dough forms, and then throw in the apple. Combine the ingredients with your hands, and form a ball of dough.
6. On a sheet of parchment paper or a nonstick surface, gently flatten the ball with your hand. The round of dough should be about 3/4 inch thick. Using a pastry cutter or a sharp knife, cut the dough into 6 equal-sized wedges, and arrange them on the parchment-lined baking sheet.
7. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, rotating the tray halfway through. The scones are ready when they're golden brown, and an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Transfer the scones onto a wire rack to cool slightly before serving.

Brazil Nut & Banana Parfait

Rich in protein, the oats and nuts in this sweet, crunchy dessert will help keep blood sugar levels stable.

  • 3/4 cup brazil nuts, chopped
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 3/4 cups Greek yogurt with live active cultures
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
  • 4 ripe but firm bananas, sliced
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons demerara or other raw sugar
Put the brazil nuts and maple syrup in a small saucepan over low heat and cook until the syrup bubbles. Remove from the heat and stir in the oats. Transfer to a nonstick baking sheet and place in a preheated oven, at 325°F, for 10 minutes, or until the oats are toasted and sticky.
Mix the yogurt with the vanilla, cinnamon, and confectioners' sugar and set aside. Reserve 4 slices of banana for decoration, then place the remaining bananas in another bowl with the lemon juice and raw sugar and toss to coat.
Divide half the yogurt mixture among 4 glass bowls or sundae glasses, top with half the bananas, then half the nut mixture. Repeat the layers, finishing with the nut mixture. Decorate with the reserved banana slices and chill until ready to serve.

Vegetable Enchiladas

They pack almost all your daily vitamin C.
  • 1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and diced into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 12 corn tortillas (6 inches each)
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons dark chili powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon chipotle powder
  • 1 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 cup roasted or thawed frozen corn
  • 1 cup roasted red peppers
  • 1 can (15 ounces) low-sodium black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups cooked shortgrain brown rice
  • 1 can (8 ounces) enchilada sauce
  • 1 cup shredded lowfat pepper Jack cheese, divided
  • 1 avocado, thinly sliced
  • 1 scallion, chopped
  • 6 sprigs fresh cilantro
 Heat oven to 300°F. In a bowl, toss potatoes in 1 tablespoons oil; spread on a baking sheet. Bake until potatoes are soft and browned, 20 to 25 minutes. Wrap tortillas in foil; bake 10 minutes. In a large pan over medium heat, heat remaining 1/2 tablespoon oil. Add onion, chili powder, chipotle and cumin; cook until onion is tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Add corn, peppers and black beans; cook 5 minutes. Set aside half of corn mixture. Add potatoes, rice and enchilada sauce to pan; cook 6 minutes. Place 6 tortillas on a baking sheet. Spread potato mixture and 1/2 cup cheese evenly among tortillas. Top with remaining 6 tortillas, remaining 1/2 cup cheese and reserved corn mixture; bake 7 minutes. Divide avocado, scallion and cilantro among enchiladas.

Oreo Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies

These will blow your mind.

2 sticks softened butter (1 cup)
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 Tablespoon vanilla
3 1/2  -4 cups flour (I live at about 5000 ft, and I like all my cookies with an extra 1/2 cup of flour.  It makes them puffier.  Thus the range.)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
10 oz bag of chocolate chips
1 package of Double Stuff Oreo Cookies

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cream butter and sugars until well combined.  Add eggs and vanilla until well combined.
In a separate bowl, mix the flour, salt and baking soda.  Slowly add dry ingredients to wet ingredients along with the chocolate chips until just combined.  Using a cookie scoop or a spoon, place a scoop of dough on top of the Oreo Cookie. Now take another scoop of dough and place on the bottom of the Oreo Cookie.  Seal edges together by pressing and cupping in hand until Oreo Cookie is enclosed in dough.  Place onto a parchment or silpat lined baking sheet and bake cookies 9-13 minutes or until lightly browned.  Let cool 5 minutes before transferring to cooling rack.  Serve with a tall glass of milk and enjoy!
Makes 2-3 dozen large cookies.

Buffalo Chicken Strips

Serve these delicious spicy and crispy oven fried chicken strips for an everyday meal with fries and a side vegetable. Or, double the recipe and make them for a game day snack or party. This easy recipe makes about 20 to 24 chicken strips, enough for a meal for four. They're wonderful with the included Buffalo aioli, or serve with your favorite blue cheese dip.

  • 1 to 1 1/4 pounds boneless chicken breast halves
  • 1/2 cup Buffalo wing sauce, such as Frank's, Stonewall Kitchens, or your favorite
  • 1 1/2 cups panko crumbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground sweet paprika
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
***Buffalo Aioli***
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped celery
  • 2 teaspoons dill relish
  • dash garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons Buffalo wing sauce


Line a large baking sheet with foil. Spray with nonstick cooking or baking spray.
Wash chicken and pat dry. Cut the chicken breasts crosswise into 1/2-inch strips. Put them in a food storage bag or bowl and toss with 1/2 cup of the wing sauce. Let stand for 15 minutes or marinate in the refriterator for 30 to 45 minutes.
Heat oven to 425°.
Combine the panko crumbs, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, parsley. Add the melted butter and toss to blend.
Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until chicken is cooked through.
Meanwhile, combine the mayonnaise, finely chopped celery, relish, a dash of garlic powder, and 2 tablespoons of the Buffalo wing sauce.
Serve with the aioli for dipping.
Serves 4.

Happy Chocolate Chip Cookie Day!

Today is National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day! I trust you'll want a good recipe for this momentous occasion, so here's my personal favorite!

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups (about 12 ounces) semisweet and/or milk chocolate chips
  1. Step 1

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and baking soda; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter with both sugars; beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low; add the salt, vanilla, and eggs. Beat until well mixed, about 1 minute. Add flour mixture; mix until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  2. Step 2

    Drop heaping tablespoon-size balls of dough about 2 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper.
  3. Step 3

    Bake until cookies are golden around the edges, but still soft in the center, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven, and let cool on baking sheet 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack, and let cool completely. Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature up to 1 week.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Pretzel Chicken Tenders with Spicy Honey Dijon Sauce

This recipe is absolutely delicious and great for entertaining - adults and children alike! Try it at your next party.
3 pounds chicken tenders or boneless skinless breast cut into 1 1/2-inch strips
2 cups buttermilk
2 tablespoons dried basil
2 tablespoons dried oregano
2 tablespoons granulated garlic
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons pepper
3/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 1/2 cup smoked almonds
12 large sourdough hard pretzels
Canola oil, for frying

Spicy Honey Dijon Sauce:
large resealable plastic bag
1/2 cup Dijon mustard
1/4 cup honey
1 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
2 teaspoons adobo sauce (optional)
1 teaspoon cider vinegar
In a small bowl, combine basil, oregano, granulated garlic, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Place buttermilk and half the spice mix into a double-lined resealable plastic bag. Add chicken and massage bag until well coated. Refrigerate 6 to 12 hours. Reserve remaining spice mix.

Place almonds in plastic bag. Break up with rolling pin or mallet (flat side) until mixture looks part rough chopped part crumbs. Remove almonds and place into shallow bowl. Put pretzels in same bag and mash with mallet or rolling pin until it looks like a mixture of large breadcrumbs and powder. Add to almonds mix to combine.

In a large fry pan, pour canola oil until it measures about 1 1/2 -inches high in pan. Heat over high, until oil is hot, but not smoking, temperature, 350 degrees.

Remove tenders from buttermilk and dredge in almond-pretzel mixture, pressing mixture into the tenders. Gently add tenders, in batches, to the oil. Be sure not to over crowd the pan. Fry tenders until they are dark golden brown, being careful not to burn, about 5 minutes or until cooked through. Remove and drain on a cookie sheet lined with a wire rack. Serve immediately with Spicy Honey Dijon Sauce or keep warm in a 200 degree F oven.

For sauce: In a small food processor, combine all ingredients. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Spring Pizzas

This recipe is different and light. Perfect name for it because it reminds you of spring. Very tasty. This is definitely one of my favorites!
1 pound pizza dough
All-purpose flour, for dusting
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing and drizzling
6 ounces ramps or scallions, trimmed
Kosher salt
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
Coarse sea salt
Coarsely ground black pepper
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
Grated parmesan cheese, for topping

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F. Divide the dough into 4 pieces on a floured surface. Brush a baking sheet with olive oil. Stretch the dough into four 6-inch rounds; place on the baking sheet and bake until golden, about 12 minutes.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Toss the ramps or scallions with 1 tablespoon olive oil and season with kosher salt. Saute until just wilted, about 1 minute. Transfer to a cutting board and cut into pieces.

Mix the ricotta, lemon zest, the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and some sea salt and pepper in a bowl. Brush the crusts with olive oil (this will protect them from getting soggy), then spread with the ricotta mixture and season with sea salt. Top with the ramps or scallions. Return to the oven until warmed through, about 2 minutes.

Top the pizzas with basil, parmesan and a drizzle of olive oil.

30-Minute Parmesan Chicken

This is a favorite in my house. We make it all the time.
4 to 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 extra-large eggs
1 tablespoon water
1 1/4 cups seasoned dry bread crumbs
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus extra for serving
Unsalted butter
Good olive oil
Salad greens for 6, washed and spun dry
1 recipe Lemon Vinaigrette, recipe follows
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
1/2 cup good olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Pound the chicken breasts until they are 1/4-inch thick. You can use either a meat mallet or a rolling pin.

Combine the flour, salt, and pepper on a dinner plate. On a second plate, beat the eggs with 1 tablespoon of water. On a third plate, combine the bread crumbs and 1/2 cup grated Parmesan. Coat the chicken breasts on both sides with the flour mixture, then dip both sides into the egg mixture and dredge both sides in the bread-crumb mixture, pressing lightly.

Heat 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large saute pan and cook 2 or 3 chicken breasts on medium-low heat for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until cooked through. Add more butter and oil and cook the rest of the chicken breasts. Toss the salad greens with lemon vinaigrette. Place a mound of salad on each hot chicken breast. Serve with extra grated Parmesan.

Lemon Vinaigrette:

In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper.

Chocolate Strawberry Shortcakes

Super-chocolatey, and the berries are perfect with the unsweetened whipped cream! The dusting of sugar makes for a nice little sweet crunch, with a hint of molasses flavor.
1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons Dutch-process cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
3 ounces milk chocolate, roughly chopped
2 large eggs
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Raw or turbinado sugar, for sprinkling
For the toppings:
1 quart strawberries, hulled and halved or quartered (about 3 cups if large
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup heavy cream

Position a rack in the middle of the oven; preheat to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Make the shortcakes: Whisk the flour, granulated sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Using your fingers, rub the butter into the flour mixture until sandy. Add the chocolate. Whisk 1 egg, the cream and vanilla in a glass measuring cup; stir into the flour mixture with a fork to make a shaggy dough (there will be some dry bits). Turn out onto a lightly floured surface; pat flat until 1 1/2 inches thick. Cut into 6 rounds with a knife or cookie cutter, using the scraps for the last cake.

Place the rounds on the baking sheet; freeze for 20 minutes. Beat the remaining egg; brush onto the cakes and sprinkle with raw sugar. Bake until firm, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool.

Meanwhile, make the toppings: Toss half of the strawberries with half of the sugar in a bowl; set aside. Place the other half of each in a saucepan; cook over medium-low heat, mashing with a fork to make a thick puree, about 10 minutes. Cool completely. Whip the cream with a mixer until medium peaks form; swirl in the strawberry puree.

Split the shortcakes in half. Layer some of the strawberry cream and reserved fruit on the bottoms; cover with the shortcake tops. Finish with more strawberry cream and the remaining berries.

Summer Spicy Shrimp Salad in Tortilla Cups

 This recipe is great in tortilla bowls or as a dip with toasted baquette pieces. It can be prepared in larger tortilla bowls or smaller ones that you can make in a muffin pan for hor douevres.

1 lb cooked shrimp, chilled and coarsely chopped
1/2 c mayonnaise
1 1/2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 c minced red onion
1/4 c minced celery
1/2 c real bacon bits (4-5 slices chopped)
1/4 c fresh parsley chopped
Mix all salad ingredients together. Chill for at least 1/2 hour. Fill Tortilla cups or bowls or use as dip with toasted baquette slices.

Cream of Chicken and Wild Rice Recipes

Simple and so good. Warm yourself through and through with this flavorful, hearty soup! 
 4 chicken breast halves, skinless and boneless and cubed
1 stick butter, cold
2 c wild rice, uncooked (prefer uncle bens)
1 onions, yellow, medium chopped
2 c carrots, chopped
2 c celery stalk, chopped
8 oz mushroom pieces
1/3 c flour
6 c chicken broth
1 pt heavy whipping cream
1 Tbsp parsley flakes
1/2 tsp sage, dried
In large skillet, add 1/4 cup butter, onion, celery, carrots, sage, and salt and pepper to taste. Sauté till onions are turning translucent. Add chicken breast and continue to cook until meat turns white. In a sauce pan, bring 2 cups water to rolling boil. Add rice, reduce heat, cover and simmer 15 minutes or until rice is cooked. Combine Vegetable/chicken mix, rice, and chicken broth in large soup kettle. Bring to boil, reduce heat. Add cream and parsley. Heat just to boiling point but don't boil. In a microwave safe bowl, melt remaining butter and add flour to make roux. Slowly whisk the roux into the soup mixture to thicken. Enjoy!

Lemon Delight Filled Cupcakes

These are delicious filled cupcakes! Sure to hit that lemony spot.

1/3 C butter
1 C sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 large eggs
2 tsp lemon flavor
3 Tbs lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest
1/3 C milk
1 1/2 C flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 lg pkg lemon pudding and pie filling (not instant)
1/3 C cream cheese
1 1/2 C powdered sugar
1 Tbs milk or lemon juice
lemon zest
lemon yellow food coloring (optional)
Preheat oven to 350. Line muffin cups with paper Liners. Measure out all your Ingredients, and set aside.Using paddle attachment on your mixer, cream butter, sugar, and salt. Add eggs, beat well. Add flavor, juice, zest, & milk. Beat until mixed. Mix together flour, & baking powder, add this to creamed mixture. Mix ONLY until blended, DO NOT OVER BEAT." Spoon batter into 12 paper lined muffin tins, bake for 15-18 min or until toothpick comes out clean. Remove from pan to cook on wire rack. While cakes are cooling, cook your pie filling and cool. Once cupcakes and filling is cooled, begin to fill. Take a pastry bag or zip lock plastic bag with a decorating large tip. Fill with cooled pie filling. To fill cupcakes, press filling into topside of cupcakes, squeezing about 1 tbs into each. You will cover the small hole with frosting. For frosting, mix cream cheese, powdered sugar and lemon juice together with milk, adding a bit more of either to make the right consistency. Add lemon zest. Mix well. Frost cooled cupcakes.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

3-Ingredient Easy Nutella Brownies

I am about to change your life.  I am about to make you the happiest person on the planet.  I am about to show you how to make Nutella brownies with only three ingredients. 

1 cup Nutella
2 eggs
10 tbsp flour

Put it in a bowl. Mash it up.  Pour into a pan or muffin tin.  Top with hazelnuts if you're feeling extra fancy.  Bake at 350F (180C) for around 30 minutes. Marvel!

Molcajete Salsa Guacamole Recipe

Roasted peppers, tomato and garlic crushed in a traditional molcajete or mortar and pestle create an earthy, spicy base for this authentic guacamole. Use more chiles if you really love the heat! 
1 large ripe Roma tomato
2 serrano chile peppers, or more to taste
1 clove garlic, unpeeled
1/2 tsp. salt
4 ripe, Fresh Hass Avocados, seeded, peeled and roughly mashed
  1. In an iron skillet over medium-high heat, roast the tomato and chiles until they are soft and charred, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic clove to the skillet during the last three minutes, cooking just until it starts to turn golden.
  2. Place the tomato in a paper bag, and close. Allow to cool for about 5 minutes.
  3. When the tomato is cool enough to touch, peel and discard the charred tomato peel.
  4. Trim stems from roasted chiles and squeeze the garlic clove from its peel.
  5. In a large molcajete** or mortar and pestle, grind the roasted chiles and garlic until roughly chopped. Add the peeled tomato and crush to combine into a chunky salsa. Season with the salt.
  6. Gently stir in the mashed avocado and serve immediately, preferably in the molcajete. 

100% Fruit Smoothie

Sometimes, you just need a nice burst of fruit to wake you up and start the day. For that, this yummy smoothie delivers.

1/2 cup sliced, frozen bananas
1/4 cup blackberries
1/3 cup blueberries
1/4 cup juice
In a blender, blend together all the ingredients until smooth.

Quick and Easy Salsa

If you're looking for an easy and absolutely scrumptious fresh salsa recipe, then you've come to the right place. This is the best I've ever found in terms of taste and ease of preparation! Have a good dinner! ♥

24 oz. can of diced tomatoes
1 onion
2 gloves garlic
2 Tablespoons chopped jalapeños (1 jalapeño)
1 green chile, chopped
1 Tablespoon olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon salt
Roughly chop the tomatoes (I used canned diced tomatoes), onions, and garlic. PUt all the ingredients into a food processor or blender, and turn on at the lowest speed for 10-15 seconds. Check the consistency. If needed, repeat on more time. Be careful not to puree it. We don’t want Tomato sauce here! It’s best on the chunky side. Keep in the refrigerator for about 15-20 minutes to allow to flavors to mix. Serve with crisp tortilla chips or use in your favorite mexican dish and enjoy!

Strawberry Lemon Yogurt Cake

This is one amazing cake... so soft and delicious! You'll absolutely love it ♥

Strawberry Lemon Yogurt Cake
adapted from Shockingly Delicious
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
Zest of 1 lemon
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature (if you use unsalted, add another 1/2 teaspoon of salt)
1 1/4 cups sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
3 eggs
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 ounces plain Greek yogurt
12 ounces (about 2 cups) fresh strawberries, diced
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
1-2 tablespoons lemon juice

Heat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour a 10-inch bundt pan and set it aside.
In a bowl, stir together flour, baking soda and salt. Mix in the lemon zest and set aside.
With an electric mixer or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in lemon juice and vanilla extract until incorporated. Alternate beating in the flour mixture and the yogurt – starting and ending with flour – and mixing just until incorporated. Gently fold strawberries into the batter. Pour the batter into the prepared bundt pan. Bake for 70-75 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool 25 minutes in the pan, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely. Once cooled, whisk together the powdered sugar and lemon juice in a small bowl. Drizzle glaze over top of the cake, letting it drip down the sides.

Red Velvet Swirl Brownies

I can personally attest that these are AMAZING!! Some of the best brownies I've ever had, for sure. They hit both the brownie and the red velvet spot, which makes them double delicious. I'm drooling just thinking about this amazing dessert!!

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, for pan
Red Velvet Brownie Layer:
1 stick unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup cocoa powder
Pinch salt
1 tablespoon red food coloring
1 teaspoon vinegar
2 eggs
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup chopped toasted walnuts
Cream Cheese Layer:
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
Special equipment: 8 by 8-inch baking pan

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Butter an 8 by 8-inch baking pan, and set aside.

Brownie layer: In a saucepan on medium heat melt the butter. Remove the butter to a large bowl and add the sugar, vanilla, cocoa powder, salt, food coloring, and vinegar, in that order, mixing between additions. Whisk the eggs in a small bowl and stir it into the cocoa mix. Fold in the flour until lightly combined. Stir in the walnuts and pour the batter into the prepared baking pan, saving 1/4 cup of the batter for the top.

Cream cheese layer: Blend together the cream cheese, sugar, egg, and vanilla in a medium bowl. Gently spread the cream cheese layer on top of the brownie batter in the pan. Dollop the remaining brownie batter over the cream cheese layer. Using a skewer or the tip of a knife, drag the tip through the cream cheese mixture to create a swirl pattern. Bake the brownies for 30 minutes. Remove to a cooling rack and allow them to cool completely before cutting.

Spice up your ramen! Stir-fried Beef + Snap Peas

Every college student has ramen. Far too much ramen, even. But in case your boring little packet meal is getting a little stale, here's a great way to make it into something exciting: stir fry!

Toss a quarter pound of thinly sliced flank steak with half of the seasoning packet, then simmer the noodles just until they break apart. Drain the noodles and set them aside. In a large wok or skillet, heat a tablespoon of oil until smoking. Add the beef and cook without moving for about 1 minutes until well-browned. Toss the meat a few times. Add a quarter pound of snap peas and stir fry for about 1 minute. Add another tablespoon of oil, the noodles, the rest of the seasoning packet, a couple tablespoons of oyster sauce, and a bit of sugar. Toss until everything is well coated, then eat it! Top with sliced scallions if your goal is to impress. But it probably isn't. It's ramen.

Delicious Ravioli With Tomato-Basil Cream

1 20 oz. package refrigerated four-cheese ravioli
1 16 oz. jar sun-dried tomato Alfredo sauce
2 tablespoons white wine
2 medium chopped tomatoes, fresh
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated finely
Garnish: fresh basil strips
Prepare pasta according to directions on package. Meanwhile, pour Alfredo sauce into a medium saucepan. Then, pour wine into the old sauce jar; cover tightly and shake well. Stir wine mixture into saucepan. Stir in tomatoes and basil, and cook over medium-low heat 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Toss with pasta, and top evenly with Parmesan. Garnish and serve!

This recipe is just as delicious as it looks - and it looks pretty delicious! A great, easy meal to impress your family without intense work. Source.

Easy Vegan Vanilla Protien Smoothie

A high-protein and totally healthy, delicious smoothie for everyone, not just vegans! Lose weight while still eating something yummy and luxurious ♥

To make this amazing shake, you'll need:

1/2 cup soft tofu
1 cup vanilla soy milk
1 frozen banana
1/2 tablespoon peanut butter

Throw everything in your blender and mix until smooth. This should take about one minute. Enjoy!

Recipe from here.

5-Minute Chocolate Mug Cake


2 1/2 tbsp all purpose flour
2 1/2 tbsp granulated white sugar
1 tbsp cocoa, sifted
1 egg
1 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 1/2 tbsp milk
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp chocolate chips
1/4 tsp baking powder
small pinch salt

Mix all ingredients but chocolate chips. Sprinkle chocolate chips on top and microwave for 3 1/2 minutes on max power.

This is one delicious recipe! It's fast and yummy and can even be done in the dorm, for you college kids out there looking for a sweets fix! Nothing chocolate can't do, right? Good luck on your finals!
Recipe & picture source, I just transcribed it for easier reading.

Hello everyone!

Hi guys! I created this blog so that I would have a place to post my favorite recipes, especially those that are cute. Because I believe everyone can be cute no matter what, I post lots of different kinds of foods, from diabetic friendly recipes to weight loss recipes to recipes for kids! I hope you enjoy this blog, because I'm going to work my hardest to provide you with the best of the web just for you and yours! ♥