Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Happy National Ice Cream Sandwich Day!

Homemade Ice Cream Sandwich Recipe

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 pints ice cream (any flavor- I used vanilla), softened

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 15-by-10-inch cookie sheet with cooking spray or use butter; line with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on the two shorter sides.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together butter and sugar until combined; add in egg, vanilla, and salt and whisk again until combined. Add flour and cocoa, and mix just until smooth. Spread in prepared baking pan. Bake until cake edges begin to pull away from the sides, about 10 to 12 minutes. Cool completely in pan.
  3. Using paper overhang, lift cake onto a work surface. Halve crosswise. Place one half of cake, flat side down, on a large piece of plastic wrap. Spread with ice cream, then top with remaining half of cake, flat side up. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and freeze until firm, about 2 hours.
  4. Cut with knife, wiping off blade after each cut. Wrap individually in plastic wrap and freeze up to 1 week. Enjoy!
Notes: next time I think I'll put chocolate sprinkles along the edges. You can also wrap them in parchment paper and tie with string. Looks adorable! It also helps catch any melting ice cream. For some reason the kids thought the parchment paper was the cat's meow. This recipe is a keeper!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

coriander-crusted salmon

This fish will rock your face off! It's super simple and has a ton of flavor. Serve on top of chickpea artichoke salad for a satisfying meal. My daughter loves this meal and said it was so good that she didn't even notice the red onions in the salad (she's 9).

coriander-crusted salmon

  • 3 tablespoons ground coriander (if you don't have coriander you can use cumin)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 4 salmon fillets (1 1/2 lbs total)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  1. Combine the first 3 ingredients in a small bowl, set aside.
  2. Preheat a large saute pan on medium heat for 2-3 minutes. While pan heats up rinse fish with water and pat dry, then coat both sides with coriander mix.
  3. Put oil in pan, then add fish. Cook 3-4 minutes on each side and until fish flakes easily. Serve over chickpea artichoke salad (below).
chickpea artichoke salad

  • 1/2 canned quartered artichokes, chopped
  • 1/4 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 bag of baby arugula leaves (4-5 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup EVOO
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  1. Combine first 4 ingredients.
  2. Whisk last 4 ingredients until blended, add to salad. Toss and enjoy!

Easy Lemon Cookies

This has got to be the easiest lemon cookie recipe ever! They were chewy on the inside and just a little crisp on the outside. The glaze on top was perfect. These guys were gobbled up in no time.

Lemon Cake Mix Cookies
Duncan Hines recipe


  • 1 package of Lemon Cake Mix (any brand will do)
  • 1/3 cup of vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
Lemon Glaze
  • 1 cup powdered sugar (I used less, we like our glaze more tart)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
Mix cake mix, oil, eggs, and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice together. Dough will be stiff.
Drop on ungreased cookie sheet 1" apart. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-14 minutes or just until edges are slightly brown. While the cookies bake, make the glaze. Mix powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, and 1 teaspoon lemon zest together. When cookies come out of oven, let them cool 1 minute then drizzle with glaze and enjoy!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Blackberry Honey Wheat Scones

I've always been scared to make scones. Anything I have to roll and shape scares me but when I saw this recipe on Savory Sweet Life I just had to try them! I love her blog, she's real. She admits to making pancakes and bacon for dinner (raising hand here) and she always has recipes that work for "real" families. Try these and you won't be disappointed.

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 egg slightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen blackberries
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a food processor, add both flours, baking powder, brown sugar, and salt. Pulse the dry ingredients for a couple of seconds to mix everything. Add the butter. Pulse again until a coarse meal forms. Transfer everything to a large mixing bowl. Add the heavy cream, egg, honey, and vanilla extract and knead the dough inside the bowl until it comes together. Add the frozen blackberries and work the dough with your hands and fast as you can into a large ball. -The less you handle the blackberries, the less purple colored scones you’ll have. Frozen blackberries work great!
  2. On a floured surface, flatten the dough ball into a disk one inch thick. Cut the disk into eight equal pieces. Place the scones on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake the scones for 15-18 minutes or until the bottoms are golden brown. Transfer scones to a wire rack to cool.
My suggestions: I did not use a food processor. Just used my fingers and it worked great. I did add 2 cups of frozen blackberries and it might of been too much so next time I'll stick to the recommended 1 1/2 cups. I think a sprinkle of coarse sugar on top would be nice too. They do get soft, I think it's because of the wheat flour but a quick reheat in the oven and they are good to go.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Weekly Menu

The kids are out of school and I'm trying to keep a routine but it's hard when you want to stay up late and sleep in! I finally made it to the grocery store yesterday, list in hand and ready to shop. I don't know why but I never learn.....never, I repeat, never grocery shop hungry. It's a bad mix. Anyways here's the run down of what we're eating over here. Sometimes we may not feel like eating what I have written down for that night so we'll exchange it with another night. We are pretty adaptable. Last nights dinner was grilled chicken kabobs, brown rice, and grilled asparagus. Today's lunch was turkey, brie, and green apple wraps, chips, and fresh fruit. I just love Granny Smith apples with brie.

Tonight was supposed to be Korean Beef Stir Fry but the littlest (who has been sick) put in a request for Sun Dried Tomato & Spinach Turkey Burgers. Works for me! I'll put together a salad, maybe some fresh fruit and we'll call it dinner. The rest of the week looks like this;

  • Korean Beef Stir Fry, brown rice, and salad
  • Roasted Chicken with Chickpeas, tomatoes, and cauliflower, roasted new potatoes, salad, and maybe some bacon cheddar biscuits
  • Smoky ham, tomato, and sweet pea pasta, salad, and bread
Lunch is usually whatever we have left over or whatever is easiest to make.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

chinese chicken dinner

I'm not a thigh girl but this recipe has changed my mind! The meat was so tender and the flavor was out of this world. The kids ate everything and went back for seconds. My daughter said she could eat the chicken all day, yep it's that good. I didn't even have time to marinate my thighs for the full 4 hours, only got 1 hour in and it still rocked.

inspiration: Our Best Bites

8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs

1/4 cup brown sugar ( I used less)
1/4 cup soy
1 lime
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 teaspoon curry (I ran out and did not use this)
3-4 garlic cloves, minced (I of course used 4, love me some garlic)
1 teaspoon of fresh grated ginger (I used a bit more)
2 tablespoons honey (my addition)
a big splash of rice wine vinegar (my addition)
1 green onion, chopped (my addition)

Mix all ingredients together and place in a plastic gallon sized bag. Add chicken thighs and let everyone get to know each other for 4 hours or even over night. Throw those babies on the grill when your ready. You can use an outdoor grill or be like me and throw down with an indoor grill. They cooked super fast so watch them and maybe use medium heat. I had my grill on high and I think it would've been better with a little lower temp. Next time I'm throwing some sesame seeds on these babies too.

I served our chicken with Jasmine rice and Asian slaw. For the rice I just added some diced mango, chopped green onion, cilantro, kosher salt, and a little garlic. Did this as soon as the rice was done and everything came together nicely. The slaw was prepared while the chicken marinated (that's why the chicken only got 1 hour to chill) and that gave plenty of time for all the flavors to come together. I used a bag of coleslaw (red and green cabbage with carrots) and then added some chopped Napa cabbage. Added the dressing and was done.

Asian slaw dressing

2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons sesame oil (you can also use vegetable oil)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
fresh ginger, minced
fresh garlic, minced

Optional: 1/2 tablespoon peanut butter. I don't use it in my recipe because my daughter has an allergy. The sesame oil adds enough nutty flavor that you don't need it. If you use vegetable oil than I would add the pb for the nutty flavor.

blackened fish with mango salsa

I love fish but I don't always like to cook it. This recipe is pretty simple and comes together quickly. Would be wonderful with some brown rice or even over a salad. I made this for the hubby and I but the recipe can easily be adjusted for more or less.

source: Foodie Family

2 flounder fillets
Tony Chachere's Original Creole Seasoning

  • Rinse and pat dry the fish. Now it's time to get dirty! Use your fingers to gently rub the Creole Seasoning into the fish, both sides. You can also dip you fish into melted butter before adding the seasoning but I'm trying to stay semi-healthy here so I skip that part.
  • Now heat your pan up on med high heat for about 5 minutes. You want the pan to be really hot when you add your fish. Now you can add a little butter and olive oil to the pan. Place your fish in the pan and cook for about 2 minutes, flip and cook for another 2 minutes or until done.
  • Remove and top with mango salsa. Again other recipes call for more butter on top but I skip that, feel free to add more butter if you like.
mango salsa

1 peeled and diced mango
1/4 cup of pineappple, chopped
1 green onion, chopped
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
1 jalapeno, finely chopped
2 tablespoons of fresh lime juice (1 lime)
salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients and enjoy on top of fish. If you don't like a lot of heat make sure you don't use the seeds from the jalapeno, that is where you get the heat from. I insist on using the jalapeno in this recipe, it really gives it a wonderful flavor! Try to make the salsa about 30 minutes before you need it, it gives time for all the flavors to come out.

raspberry cornmeal crumble bars

These hit the spot, not too sweet and just enough tartness from the raspberries. The ground almonds in the crumble give just a hint of nutty flavor and combined with the cornmeal they have a really nice texture. Of course the crumble part was my favorite and I had to fight the husband for the corners!

source:Everyday Food

3/4 cup natural (raw) almonds
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar (I only used a 1/2 cup)
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt (kosher)
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
10 ounces frozen raspberries (or fresh)

  • Preheat oven to 350 then line a 8inch square baking dish with parchment paper, leaving a 1 inch overhang on two sides.
  • In a food processor pulse almonds until finely ground. In a large bowl combine the almonds, cornmeal, flour, sugar, and salt. Add melted butter and stir until dry ingredients are moist.
  • Press about two thirds of the crumble into the bottom of the baking dish. Scatter berries on top and then add the remaining crumble over raspberries.
  • Bake until golden brown on top, about 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool and enjoy.
These can be stored at room temperature for up to 3 days but I bet they won't last that long!

Friday, March 11, 2011

E-Z Flank Steak Quesadillas

These are super easy to make and yummy good!
It's best to marinate the flank steak over night but a couple hours will do.

For the Flank Steak
  • 1 lb. of Flank steak
  • EVOO (I don't measure but I would guess about 1/2 cup+)
  • Montreal Steak Seasoning (McCormicks)
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar (You can also use rice wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar, pretty much whatever you have on hand)
Put everything in a gallon size bag and let it do it's thing. When your ready to cook dinner throw it on the grill, broil it in the oven, or my fave....throw it on the indoor grill (aka George Foreman, I've got a no frills DeLonghi). Let that baby cook until pink inside, now take it off and let it "rest". Remember it will continue to cook just a bit. Once it's rested for about 10 to 15 minutes, slice it against the grain in very thin pieces.

  • 4 to 6 large 10" tortillas
  • Mexican cheese blend
  • Grilled flank steak
  • Optional: mushrooms, tomatoes, cilantro, jalapenos
I bake my quesadillas in the oven at 375 degrees. It cuts down on having to use butter to fry them and I can cook more than one time. Just lay the tortillas on a baking sheet, throw some cheese on them, add the flank steak on top and any other toppings you'd like, top with a little more cheese and then place another tortilla on top. Bake in the oven for approximately 5 minutes then flip and bake an additional 5 minutes or until cheese is melted. Use a pizza cutter to cut into triangles and serve with homemade guacamole, sour cream (I use plain Greek yogurt), lettuce, tomatoes, salsa, jalapenos, etc.

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

  • 1 1/2 cups of whole wheat flour (I usually mix half whole wheat and 1/2 all purpose)
  • 1/4 cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup sugar (I use 1/4 cup)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (I use 1/4 cup)
  • 2 ripe bananas,mashed ( I like them when they have brown spots on them)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 350.

Mix the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, slat, and baking powder together in a bowl.

In a separate bowl combine the oil, sugars, egg, and mashed banana together using a mixer or by hand until well combined. Slowly add the flour mixture and stir until just combined. Then fold in the chocolate chips and walnuts. Spoon the batter into a muffin pan.

Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of a muffin comes out clean. Cool on rack and enjoy!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Pasta with Pancetta and Leeks

  • 12 ounces of pasta, cooked
  • 1 cup of reserved pasta water, if needed (I ended up using some)
  • 3 ounces of chopped Pancetta
  • 3 leeks, sliced thin
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Parmesan cheese
Cook pasta and set aside. Make sure to reserve a cup of the pasta water.

Saute chopped Pancetta until lightly browned. Add sliced leeks and cook for 8 minutes. Add butter. Saute for about 5 minutes then add wine, cook an additional 2 minutes, until reduced. Set heat on low, then pour in cream. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir in Parmesan cheese. Toss in pasta and add water as needed to thin out. Serve with additional Parmesan cheese and enjoy!