Thursday, November 10, 2011

Pumpkin Scones ** Starbucks copycat ***

 I've been craving Starbuck's pumpkin scones a lot lately. I don't get them often, even though I love them. And it doesn't help that we are 25 miles away from the closest Starbucks. I did a quick search for their copycat recipe, and found several sites that had the same recipe, so I figured it was probably a good one. 
These are so delicious, and taste sooo much better FRESH/home-made. They are much more moist and soft than at Starbucks, but still have that great pumpkin & spice flavor. They're kinda time consuming to make, but not too bad, the only part I don't like is cutting in butter. The recipe makes 6 scones, and only uses 1/2 cup of pumpkin puree, so I saved the reminder of the puree from the 15 oz can. I'm very tempted to make these again in the morning. They are soooooooo goooooood.

I found this blog had a good picture-by-picture play of the recipe.

2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated white sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 cup canned pure (unsweetened) pumpkin
3 tablespoons half and half cream ( I did 1 1/2 Tbsp of whipping cream and 1 1/2 Tbsp. of whole milk, because that's what I had on hand.)
1 large egg
6 tablespoons cold butter, cut into cubes

1/2 cup powdered sugar (sifted)
1 tablespoon milk (any kind)

3/4 cup powdered sugar (sifted)
1 to 2 tablespoons milk (any kind)
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
pinch of ground ginger
pinch of ground cloves

1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Spray baking sheet with cooking spray or line with parchment paper. (I just rubbed some butter on a baking sheet.) Give it a light dusting of flour on top of that.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together dry ingredients (through ginger).

3. In a separate bowl, whisk together pumpkin, half and half and egg.

4. Use a pastry cutter or two knives to cut butter into the dry ingredients. Continue cutting until the mixture resembles fine crumbs.

5. Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients, then form the dough into a ball. The dough will be wet, but if it seems super sticky... just go ahead and sprinkle a little more flour into the dough until it's easier to handle. Remember, you want it to be somewhat sticky, and that's okay- but you also don't want it to stick to the baking sheet. Pat out dough onto the lightly floured baking sheet and form it into a 1-inch thick rectangle that is about 9-inches long and 3-inches wide. Use a large knife or a pizza cutter to slice the dough twice through the width, making three equal squares. Cut through the three squares diagonally so that you have 6 triangular slices of dough. Gently pull the triangles apart, leaving about 1/2-inch space between each one.

6. Bake 14 to 16 minutes on prepared baking sheet. Scones should begin to turn light brown.

7. While scones are cooling, prepare plain glaze by whisking ingredients in a medium bowl. Mix until smooth.

8. When scones are cool, use a knife to cut them apart and then pull them apart so that they are ready for glazing. Use a brush to paint a coating of the glaze over the top of each scone.

9. As the white glaze firms up, prepare spiced icing by whisking the ingredients in another medium bowl until smooth. Drizzle this thicker icing over each scone (or brush it on) and allow the icing to dry before serving.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Paula Deen's Choc Chip Zucchini Bread

3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 eggs
2 cups white sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups grated zucchini
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 tablespoon orange zest
Whipped cream, for serving
Zucchini ribbons, for serving
Preheat oven at 350 degrees F. Grease (2) 9 by 5-inch loaf pans.

Sift together flour, baking powder, salt, spices and baking soda.

In a large bowl, beat eggs until light and fluffy. Add sugar, and continue beating until well blended. Stir in oil, vanilla, zucchini, pecans, chocolate chips, and orange zest. Stir in sifted ingredients. Pour into prepared loaf pans.

Bake for 50 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove loaves from pans and cool. Chill before slicing. Serve with whipped cream and ribbons of zucchini.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Birthday BBQ

Jeremy and I both LOVE BBQ. We had a little family birthday party for Jeremy, and I thought it was the perfect time of year for a BBQ menu. I originally wanted to make a home made bbq sauce and follow Tyler Florence's recipe for BBQ pulled pork, but once the day got here, I figured I should go for easy as well as tried and true. I had no idea what his BBQ sauce would taste like, so last minute I decided to just use our favorite "Sweet Baby' Rays Original Sauce"

BBQ Pulled pork sandwiches:
7 pounds of Pork shoulder (bone out) - [fed 17 people]
1 large bottle of Sweet Baby Ray'z Original Barbecue sauce
Potato roll buns (I like these because they are soft and a little bit sweet, and they are smaller size than large hamburger buns. Perfect size for kids, and for adults too with sides of potato salad and beans).

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Salt and pepper the pig on both sides. Put the pork in a roasting pan (fat side up) and roast it for about 6 - 6.5 hours. An instant-read thermometer stuck into the thickest part of the pork should register 170 degrees F, but basically, what you want to do is to roast it until it's falling apart. (We pulled it out a couple times and tried to start pulling meat apart with 2 forks, until it actually was "pulling apart" rather easily.)

While the pork is still warm, you want to "pull" the meat: Grab 2 forks. Using 1 to steady the meat, use the other to "pull" shreds of meat off the roast. Put the shredded pork in a bowl and pour the sauce over. Stir it all up well so that the pork is coated with the sauce.

To serve, spoon the pulled pork mixture onto the bottom half of each hamburger bun. Bon appetit!

Baked Beans (a mixture of my friend Kelly McDonald and Pioneer Woman)
3 Large cans (28 oz) pork and beans (I like "Bush's" brand) and drain a little of the liquid
1 med (sweet) onion chopped
1 lb cooked bacon cut up in pieces
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup BBQ sauce
1/2 - 3/4 cup brown sugar
a splash of cider vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard

Cook Bacon. Then stir together all ingredients, place in baking dish, cover with foil and bake for a long time maybe 1 1/2 -  2 hours on 300 degrees.

Loaded Baked Potato Salad.
I have this recipe posted here, and I doubled it for the amount of people we had over.

Baja Shrimp Tacos

I did a quick search for "shrimp taco" and the first hit I checked out was a short video of Gwyneth Paltrow making baja style shrimp tacos. She made it look pretty easy, considering you have to make beans, guacamole, pico de gallo, and still grill the shrimp. I took it just a step further, since Jeremy requested a "sauce" to go with the tacos. I pulled out my Our Best Bites cookbook and made "creamy lime-cilantro dressing", which is her knock off from Cafe Rio. The whole combination was really tastey. Jeremy smeared beans on his taco before layering everything else, and he really like it.

Baja Style Shrimp Tacos (Servings 4)
2 pounds medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 tablespoons olive oil
the juice of one lime
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1 dozen corn tortillas
pico de gallo (see recipe below)
guacamole (recipe below)
lime wedges for serving
Creamy lime-cilantro sauce (see recipe below)
crumbled cotija or feta cheese or monterrey jack cheese (optional)

1. Preheat your grill (or frying pan in my case) over high heat.
2. Toss the shrimp together with the olive oil, lime juice and salt.
3. Grill until cooked through, about 2 minutes a side.
4. To serve, heat the tortillas in in the leftover frying pan right before ready to serve.  (Wrap them in a tea towel to keep warm.
5. Pile a few shrimp on top of each tortilla and serve with a bit of pico de gallo, fresh lime juice, guacamole, some cilantro lime sauce and a little of the cheese if you’d like.

Pico de Gallo
1 pint grape tomatoes, quartered
2 tablespoons roughly chopped cilantro leaves
3 tablespoons finely chopped white onion
coarse salt
squeeze of lime
as many finely chopped serrano or red jalapeƱos as you’d like (optional)

Combine the tomatoes, cilantro and onion together in a bowl. Season to taste with salt and lime.

A lesson in simplicity—the best guacamole is a showcase for ripe avocados. A little salt, lime and cilantro go a long way. Again this serves four and is ready in 10 minutes!

2 ripe avocados
2 tablespoons minced white onion
3 tablespoons cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
1 lime
coarse salt

Cut each avocado in half. Scoop the avocado into a mixing bowl and mash gently with a fork—you don’t want it to be completely smooth. Stir in the onion and cilantro. Cut the lime in half and squeeze in enough juice to taste. Season the guacamole with salt, and either serve immediately or stick the pits in to keep it from browning (remove the pits before serving).

Creamy lime-cilantro sauce (curtesy of OBB)
1 pack (1oz) Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing Mix
1C mayo
1/2 C milk
1 lime
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1/2 C roughly chopped cilantro
1/4 C green salsa ( I used her recommended La Costena brand)

Place milk, mayo, and ranch mix in a blender. Juice the lime in there too, you should get about 2T juice. Toss in the garlic, cilantro and green salsa. Blend 'er up. Make it several hours ahead of time to allow it to thicken.

Black Beans
By adding a few aromatics to a can of black beans, you get that Mexican restaurant flavor without hours of soaking and cooking. Serves 4 as a side dish and will be done in 20 minutes.

1 can of black beans
4 cilantro stems
1 garlic clove, crushed
pinch of salt

Combine everything together in a small pot and simmer over low heat for about 15-20 minutes (I do this while I’m preparing the rest of the meal).
Be sure to simmer the beans long enough so that they’re not watery.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

chicken chow mein

I got Jeremy the book "Jamie's Food Revolution" for his birthday. We both read through the whole book within a couple days of getting it, and we both wanted to make this dish first! We got some lovely baby bok choy at a local Farmer's market and we gave it a go! It is fairly simple to make and pretty quick. A couple days later I improvised the same recipe but was missing about 3-4 of the ingredients, but still tasted good. So what I learned from this, is that Jamie teaches you how to use a wok and basic components and you can start making up your own stuff with what you have in your fridge and pantry.
I highly recommend the book.

chicken chow mein (my slightly modified version):
[2 servings]

• a thumb-sized piece of fresh root ginger
• 2 cloves of garlic
• a squirt of Sriracha sauce
• 1 large skinless chicken breast, thinly sliced
• sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 2 green onions, sliced
• a small bunch of cilantro
• 1 bok choy (he says spinach is a fine substitute if you don't have bok choy)
• a bundle of medium egg noodles
• vegetable oil (if I had peanut oil, I would have used that)
• 1 heaped teaspoon corn starch
• a small can of water chestnuts
• 2–3 tablespoons soy sauce
• 1 small lime

To prepare your stir-fry
• Boil a pot of water (for the noodles and bok choy)
• Peel and finely slice the ginger and garlic
• Slice the chicken into finger-sized strips and lightly season with salt and pepper
• Cut the ends off your green onions and finely slice
• Pick the cilantro leaves and put to one side, and finely chop the cilantro stalks
• Halve the bok choi lengthways

To cook your stir-fry
• Preheat a wok or large frying pan on a high heat and once it’s very, very hot add a good lug of peanut (or vegetable) oil and swirl it around
• Stir in the chicken strips and cook for a couple of minutes, until the chicken browns slightly
• Add the ginger, garlic, chilli, cilantro stalks, and half the green onions
• Stir-fry for 30 seconds, keeping everything moving round the wok quickly
• Add your noodles and bok choy to the boiling water and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, no longer
• Meanwhile, add the corn starch, water chestnuts and their water to the wok and give it another good shake to make sure nothing sticks to the bottom
• Remove from the heat and stir in 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
• Halve the lime, squeeze the juice of one half into the pan and mix well
• Drain the noodles and bok choi in a colander over a bowl, reserving a little of the cooking water
• Stir in the noodles and bok choi, with a little of the cooking water to loosen if necessary, and mix well
• Have a taste and season with more soy sauce if needed

To serve your stir-fry
• Use tongs to divide everything between two bowls or plates, or to lift on to one large serving platter
• Spoon any juices over the top and sprinkle with the rest of the green onions and the cilantro leaves
• Serve with lime wedges

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Thai Peanut Noodles

Like I said yesterday, I love the Our Best Bites cookbook. This recipe is from their cookbook, as well. This was Jeremy's birthday dinner request. I've had it flagged ever since I bought the book. This was delicious, and I quote Jeremy "heaven in my mouth". Pretty simple and quick to make. Chicken is listed only as side note as optional. However, I think it's a must! Especially when you are feeding a hungry man. :-)

This recipe has been added to our regular dinner rotation.

Thai Peanut Noodles:

1 chicken breast, very thinly sliced
1/2 c. chicken broth
3 Tbsp. creamy peanut butter
1-2 tsp. Sriracha chili sauce (1 is mild with a bite, 1.5 is medium, 2 is hot)
1 1/2 Tbsp. honey
3 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 1/2 Tbsp. fresh minced ginger
2-3 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
8 oz. Udon or linguine noodles
Chopped green onions
Chopped cilantro
2 limes, cut into quarters
Chopped peanuts

1. Cook noodles in salted water.
2. Stir-fry very thinly-sliced chicken in some olive oil with a couple cloves of garlic, some fresh ginger, some green onions, soy sauce, and a small squirt or two of Sriracha chili sauce.
3. In the meantime, combine chicken broth, peanut butter, chili sauce, honey, soy sauce, ginger, and garlic in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Whisk until smooth and remove from heat.
4. Toss cooked noodles with sauce and divide among 4 bowls. Sprinkle with green onions, cilantro, chopped peanuts, and garnish each serving with 2 lime quarters.
5. Before eating, squeeze lime juice over noodles and stir to combine.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Cheese Steak Sandwich

I found this recipe in my Our Best Bites cookbook (which I absolutely love). Sometimes I forget that you can serve a sandwich for dinner...but since this is warm, and involves steak, I think it's totally appropriate for dinner. Both Jeremy and I loved this sandwich, we had it again the next night.

On a side note, my SIL Brittany just told me there is a Our Best Bites cookbook signing in Seattle/Bellevue next weekend! It's now on my calendar!

Cheese Steak Sandwiches:

1 lb. steak (you really can use any cut; since you’re going to slice it up and season it heavily, there’s really no need to splurge on a fillet mignon.)
2 Tbsp. butter
1 green bell pepper
1 medium yellow onion
Kosher salt and freshly-ground black pepper
Hot sauce (our favorite is Crystal)
4 Hoagie French rolls

1. Cut steak VERY thin, and set aside. (Get your husband to do it, if he's good with a knife. :-)
2. Slice bell peppers and onions. Set aside.
3. Heat 2 Tbsp. butter over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Add steak and stir-fry. Season heavily with salt and lots of freshly-ground pepper.
4. When meat is about half-cooked, add peppers and onions. Stir occasionally, cooking until most of the liquid is evaporated and meat is cooked through.
5. Season with hot sauce to taste. Just a little bit for me.
6. Turn broiler on high. Position sliced buns on baking sheet and spoon steak mixture inside. Top with cheese and place under broiler for 1-2 minutes or until cheese is melted and bread is slightly toasty.

This sandwich is JUICY GOOD!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Stuffed Spinach Shells

(I'm really embarrassed about the lame photos for this post. I'll try not to use iphone anymore!! But still wanted to post this recipe b/c it's really yummy!!!)

I've always loved food. I grew up in New Orleans, and in my opinion ate at the best restaurants in the world. Ok, I guess I can't say "world", because I'm definitely not a "world traveler"- The only place I've been out of the country is Mexico. Anyways, my heart (and taste buds) are in New Orleans. When I was in High School, I applied to a favorite local Italian restaurant, Figaro's, close to my (childhood) home on a whim, and was hired that same day. One of my favorite things there was their Stuffed Pasta Shells. And it also reminds me of my mom, too, she would always order it. So I tried to find a close enough recipe to resemble this said stuffed shell recipe. After searching around, this is what I found.

On a side note, my 14 month old LOVES LOVES LOVES this. She wanted to eat the whole pan. And she had leftovers again and again until they were all gone.

Spinach and Artichoke Stuffed Shells
(Makes 6 servings)

6 oz jumbo shell pasta (1/2 a standard box or about 20 shells)
15 oz ricotta cheese
2 cloves garlic, minced
10 oz frozen spinach, thawed and drained
1 can (or jar) artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
2 cups grated Fontina or mozzarella cheese, divided
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, divided
1 egg
freshly ground black pepper
24 oz jar marinara sauce

1. Cook pasta shells according to package directions, drain well and let cool.
2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
3. Combine ricotta, garlic, spinach, artichokes, 1 cup Fontina, 1/4 cup Parmesan and the egg. Mix well. Season with salt and pepper (you won’t need much salt since the cheese is salty).
4. Spread a cup of marinara sauce on the bottom of a 13 x 9 baking dish.
5. Fill the cooked shells with about 2 tablespoons of the ricotta mixture. Arrange the shells in rows in the baking dish. Spoon the remaining sauce over the shells and sprinkle with the remaining Fontina and Parmesan.

6. Bake covered with foil for 35 minutes. Uncover and bake another 10 minutes until cheese is golden and bubbly. Remove from oven and let stand for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Breakfast Burritos

First of all, sorry for the lazy iphone photo. :-( Sometimes it's just too convenient. Every now and then I like to shake up the usual boring breakfasts (bagels with cream cheese and strawberries, cereal, Greek vanilla yogurt with granola and fruit, and our latest easy kick--cinnamon rolls from the refrigerated can) and make a yummy warm breakfast burrito. It takes more effort but boy is it worth it! I tried to copy my absolute favorite Breakfast Burrito of all time from Rooster Cafe in Costa Mesa, near my previous job at Rauxa.

So here is the rundown of what I like to put in my burrito:
  • Thick slices of bacon, chopped in big pieces.
  • Crunchy shredded hashbrowns cooked in above mentioned bacon grease
  • Light and fluffy scrambled eggs (with a wee bit of milk mixed in egg mixture). do not overcook eggs!!
  • Shredded (sharp or medium) cheddar cheese
  • Freshly chopped cilantro
  • Freshly made salsa - but that isn't always handy, so the salsa in the jar will have to do the majority of the time.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Greek Couscous Salad

This was my favorite dish served at Pearce's first birthday party! I LOVE anything with a vinaigrette, and I'm a pretty big fan of Greek food in general.

Since the party was at lunch time (12-2p), I wanted to serve a chicken salad sandwich and two different kinds of salads. Naturally I thought one of the salads should be a pasta salad...but then I wanted to do something different for the second "salad". I recently purchased the new "Our Best Bites Cookbook" for inspiration for the luncheon...and I was glad I did! I got several ideas from this cookbook. And as soon as I saw the picture for the Greek Couscous on the "Salad" intro page, I was pretty sure this would be the one.

This recipe is awesome as is!! i didn't change anything!! (Except I like to use fresh ingredients whenever possible - so I subbed fresh rosemary for dry- but I realize at such a small amount it doesn't make a big difference, so I would just use dry next time.) AND, I didn't pour in all of the vinaigrette, most of it though.

SO.. here is the awesome recipe that is found only in their new cookbook and NOT on their website.


1 (14.5-ounce) can chicken broth plus enough water to make 2 cups
1/2 teaspoon dry oregano leaves
1 teaspoon dry basil leaves
1/4 teaspoon crushed dry rosemary
1 (10 ounce) box dry couscous (about 1 1/2 cups) - I used the "Middle Eastern" brand from the box
2 cups diced tomatoes, or 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved- I used the latter
1 medium cucumber, diced- I also peeled it, because I don't like the peelings
1/2 cup diced red onion
1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted and halved
1/2 cup crumbled feta- I LOVE feta so I used a bit more
1/2 cup chopped parsley- Jeremy's not a big parsley fan, so I maybe used a heaping 1/4 cup

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 garlic cloves, pressed or finely minnced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1. Place the chicken broth and water, oregano, basil, and rosemary in a small pot on the stove top. Bring to a boil  Add the couscous, cover the pot with a lid, and remove from heat. Let sit for at least 5 minutes and then fluff with a fork. Cool to room temperature.
2. Combine cooled couscous, tomatoes, cucumbers, onion, olives, feta, and parsley. Set aside.
3. In a small jar, combine vinaigrette ingredients and shake until combined. Pour over salad, stir, and then refrigerate 2 hours before serving.  Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.
4. If desired, garnish with fresh parsley, extra feta cheese, and lemon slices for squeezing on top.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Citrus Garlic Shrimp Linguini

This is one of my mother-in-law's recipes. It's so delish! I got the recipe after the first time we had it. It is  a Curfew family favorite, and especially in our home, too! I now keep frozen (raw) shrimp from Costco in the freezer, and use them for this fancy and easy meal. It only takes about 30-40 minutes to make from start to table. Here is the recipe...

Citrus Garlic Shrimp Linguini
1 pkg linguini
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup (fresh squeezed) orange juice
1/3 cup lemon juice
3 to 4 garlic cloves, peeled
3 tsp grated lemon peel
2 tsp grated orange peel
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 pound uncooked medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
shredded parm cheese - lots and lots!!!
minced fresh parsley

1. cook linguini according to pkg directions. meanwhile in a blender or food processor, combine the next eight ingredients; cover and process until blended.
2. pour into a large skillet. heat through. add shrimp. cook for 5 minutes or until shrimp turn pink. drain linguini. toss with shrimp mixture. sprinkle with cheese and parsley.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

{Spicy} Orange Beef Stir Fry with Fried Rice

I got this recipe combo from my cookbook. It was paired together and labeled "better than chinese take-out dinner". We both really liked this, and I've made it twice already. I added red bell peppers (in additional to original recipe). It has a nice orangey flavor and can be spicy with red pepper flakes. If you don't like spicy, you can just leave that out.

(Adapted from
Servings: 4

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 pound round steak, cut into thin strips on the diagonal
1 red bell pepper, sliced in strips
1/8- 1/4 cup orange zest
1-2 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger (I like to substitute 1 tsp fresh ginger grated if I have it)
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup beef broth
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup orange marmalade (don't leave this out!)
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (use less if you don't like spicy!!)

1. In a wok or skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add beef strips 1/3 at a time. Stir-fry for 3 minutes or until browned, removing the done pieces to a plate lined with paper towels.
2. Return all the beef to the wok. Stir in red bell pepper strips, orange zest, garlic, and ginger; stir-fry 1 minute.
3. In a medium bowl, combine cornstarch, broth, soy sauce, marmalade, and red pepper. Pour this mixture into the beef, stirring constantly. Bring to a boil over medium heat and cook for 1 minute. Serve hot.

(Adapted from
Servings: 4

In the cookbook it was paired with "Fried Rice". I love it when side dishes are suggested...leaves me from using my brain too much. I think this was an easy and yummy recipe. I followed direction almost completely.

2 2/3 cups water
1 1/3 cups uncooked white rice
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoons vegetable oil, divided
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 (10 ounce) package frozen green peas, thawed
2 green onions, chopped

1. In a saucepan bring water to a boil. Add rice and stir. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, season eggs with salt and pepper.
2. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in small frying pan, pour in eggs. Coat the bottom of the pan with the eggs, in order to cook them evenly; cook for about 3 minutes. Flip the eggs, cook one minute more and remove them to a cool surface. Let them cool, then cut them into thin slices. Set aside.
3. Place rice in skillet; break up any clumps and toss to coat with oil. Stir in soy sauce, peas, eggs and green onions. Stir and cook until heated through, approximately 3 minutes.

Friday, March 11, 2011

PW's Meatloaf

We are super lucky and have an awesome Meat Market in town (Owen's Meat). They have THE BEST ground beef ever!!! It's made completely from ground Roast, and has the best flavor and is so juicy delicious. We've made hamburgers with it several times and they are a perfect ten. So... I figured if meatloaf was ever going to taste good it was with this awesome Owen's ground beef. Plus, I think the Pioneer Woman's recipe is great to begin with it. I made it exactly like her recipe found here, BUT did NOT use BACON. I figured it wasn't necessary-b/c I wanted to taste the beef flavor more than bacon. Jeremy loved this, too, and we made sandwiches the next day with leftovers. seriously, good stuff. Will definitely make this again!

1 cup Milk
6 slices White Bread
2 pounds Ground Beef ( I recommend getting the BEST ground beef possible)
1 cup (heaping) Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese
¼ teaspoons Seasoned Salt
¾ teaspoons Salt
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
⅓ cups Minced Flat-leaf Parsley
4 whole Eggs Beaten

Ketchup Sauce:
1½ cup Ketchup
⅓ cups Brown Sugar
1 teaspoon Dry Mustard
Crystal Hot Sauce To Taste

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pour milk over the bread slices. Allow it to soak in for several minutes.
2. Place the ground beef, milk-soaked bread, Parmesan, seasoned salt, salt, black pepper, and parsley in a large mixing bowl. Pour in beaten eggs.
3. With clean hands, mix the ingredients until well combined. Form the mixture into a loaf shape on a broiler pan, which will allow the fat to drain. (Line the bottom of the pan with foil to avoid a big mess!)
4. Make the sauce: add ketchup, brown sugar, mustard, and hot sauce in a mixing bowl. Stir together.
5. Pour 1/3 of the mixture over the top of the bacon. Spread with a spoon.
6. Bake for 45 minutes, then pour another 1/3 of the sauce over the top. Bake for another 15 -30 minutes.
7. Slice and serve with remaining sauce.

Serve with mashed potatoes. Yummy!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Chocolate Crackle Cookies (Lion House)

Whenever we have houseguest staying the night, it gives me a great excuse to bake! Jenny, Jeremy's sister, is a big chocolate fan, so I wanted to make these Chocolate Crinkle cookies I had flagged in my Lion House dessert cookbook a while ago. Come to find out, these are her favorite cookies! Score! I loved these. However, in the recipe it said to line cookie sheets with wax paper--this was a BIG no-no! The oven started to smoke with the first batch, and the cookies kinda became "glued" to the paper, if you will, and we had to scrape off. So the first batch was not the best, but we used parchment paper for the remaining two batches, and they turned out wonderful!! These are a great cookie to make, giving the classic (and loved) chocolate chip cookie a break.

(from the Lion House Desserts cookbook)

1/4 cup shortening (melted)
1/4 cup cocoa
1/2 cup oil
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 to 1 cup powdered sugar
(I thought I'd also mention that in the Lion House recipe it mentions 1/2 cup chopped walnuts and/or 1/2 cup chocolate chips as optional- but I left it out.)

In a large mixing bowl, cream together shortening, cocoa, oil, sugar, eggs, and vanilla until well mixed. Add flour, salt, and baking powder. Mix well. Dough will be very sticky and almost runny. Refrigerate dough for at least 3 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Drop and gently roll dough by tablespoonfuls in powdered sugar, being careful not to overhandle dough. Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 9-10 minutes. Do not overbake.  : -)

Makes about 3 dozen cookies.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Louisiana Chicken Pasta with creamy cajun sauce

4 tablespoons vegetable oil
6 skinless boneless chicken breast halves
3/4 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons flour

Cajun Sauce:
1 tablespoon butter
1 small yellow bell pepper, chopped
1 small red bell pepper, chopped
3/4 small red onion, chopped
3 whole garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 1/4 pints whipping cream
1 cup low-salt chicken broth
4 tablespoons fresh basil, thinly sliced
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 package bow-tie pasta
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
salt and peper

Melt butter in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add yellow and red bell peppers, mushrooms, and onion to same skillet and saute until crisp-tender, about 4 minutes.

Add minced garlic and crushed red pepper to skillet and saute 2 or 3 minutes.

Add whipping cream and chicken stock. Simmer until sauce re-heats and thickens slightly, about 5 minutes.

Add basil and 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese to sauce, stirring to incorporate. Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to low, simmer. Sauce will reduce and thicken.

Cook chicken:
Wash and drain chicken breasts. Pound until very thin, as thin or thinner then 1/4-inch thick (the thinner the chicken breasts the better).

Mix breadcrumbs, flour, and Parmesan cheese together. Place milk in dish for dipping.

Dip chicken in breadcrumb mixture and then in milk and then back in breadcrumbs.

Place in fry pan that the oil has been heated and fry at medium high temperature until golden, crisp, and cooked through. Add more oil as needed. Remove and drain chicken. Keep warm.

Meanwhile, cook bow-tie pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite. Drain and return to pot. Add sauce and toss to coat.

Place pasta with sauce on plate, and top with chicken breast. Serve, passing additional Parmesan separately.

(recipe found here. Servings: 6)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

chicken tortilla soup with lots of veggies

Chicken Tortilla Soup (Similar to Cafe Rio)
This recipe is a cross between one in my Huntington Beach ward cookbook and "Our Best Bites"

2 cooked and cubed chicken breasts
3 T. olive oil
1 large sweet onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, diced
3 stalks celery diced
2 or 3 handfuls of diced carrots
4-6 garlic cloves minced or pressed
48 ounce giant box of chicken broth
1 15-oz. can chopped or diced tomatoes
2 jalapeno peppers, finely chopped (and seeded)
2-3 limes freshly juiced
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
dash of cumin
dash of red chili powder
dash of cayenne
2 flour tortillas, cut in small strips

2-3 flour tortillas, plus oil for pan frying
Grated Monterrey cheese
chopped cilantro
a few more slices of lime for individual squeezing :-)

While the chicken breast were boiling, that's when I chopped all the veggies.

In a large stockpot, heat some olive oil over medium-high heat. Add chopped onion, bell pepper, celery, and carrot and saute 4 minutes. Add garlic and jalapeno and cook a few minutes more until pepper is softened and garlic is fragrant. Add chicken broth,  tomatoes, and seasonings and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and allow to simmer for one hour.

While soup is simmering, juice the limes and set aside. Start preparing the toppings: grate the cheese, chop the cilantro, cut up avocado and fry tortillas.  Right before serving, add lime juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Ladle soup into the bowls and add desired toppings.