Archive for February, 2008

How fierce is your cupcake?

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Make it fierce!

NFR: Vote for ME!

I’m hopping on the bandwagon since many of my July 2007 Knottie friends have already done so.  The knot is having  a contest for the best of 2007 weddings.  I am entering, of course because my wedding was the bomb diggity ;), but also because my photographers were so awesome and took SUCH amazing shots.  I wasn’t able to upload all of them, but I tried to represent my wedding as best I could.  Here’s the link, don’t be shy…

http://realweddingawards.theknot.com/photo/view/Summer-In-NYC

Thanks readers!!

Turkey Burgers

I love a good burger.  Burgers feel like summer to me.  I needed some summer in my life.  Good Things Catered had a turkey burger recipe and I had some turkey left over from my baked ziti, so I gave it a whirl.  Let me just say that these burgers were really yummy.  Hubs could not stop raving!  Next time I might just add some diced onion and minced garlic to the meat for a little more flavor.

Continue reading ‘Turkey Burgers’

Sesame Ginger Stir Fry

I found this recipe on one of my favorite blogs, Good Things Catered, and couldn’t wait to try it.  I love stir fry and this one sounded and looked so flavorful and easy.

 

Sesame Ginger Stir Fry
(Source:  Good Things Catered, my changes in green)

Ingredients:
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast, sliced into thin strips
3 Tbsp vegetable oil, divided (I used canola)
1 tsp sesame oil
1 lb. mixed veggies of your choice, cut on diagonal into 1 1/2-inch pieces
     I used carrots, snow peas, and broccoli
1 small bunch green onions, cut on diagonal into 1 1/2-inch pieces (I had shallots, so I used those)
1 1/2 Tbsp minced peeled fresh ginger
1/3 c. chicken broth
1/4 c. rice vinegar
1/4 c. low sodium soy sauce

Directions:
-In flat bottom wok or large skillet, heat 2Tbsp oil over high heat.
-Add chicken in single layer and cook, undisturbed, until meat begins to brown on bottom, about 2 1/2 minutes.
-Flip cook until second side browns, about 2 minutes.
-Transfer meat to plate and cover.
-Heat remaining 1 Tbsp oil and 1 tsp sesame oil in same skillet over medium-high heat.
-Add veggies, green onion, and ginger.
-Sauté until vegetables are tinged brown and crisp-tender, about 2 minutes.
-Add broth, vinegar, and soy sauce to deglaze the pan.
-Bring to a boil, return chicken and cook until sauce is slightly thickened, about 1 minute.
-Serve immediately.

 

 

Baked Ziti Redux

I absolutely love baked ziti.  It is one of my all time favorites.  However, it is not so…well, as Rachael Ray would say, “Figure Friendly.”  I decided to revisit and healthy it up! 

Baked Ziti (the healthier way)

Ingredients:
1 lb. whole grain pasta (I used Barilla Plus Penne) cooked
3/4 lb. ground turkey
2 cups pasta sauce, divided
1 15 oz. container part skim ricotta cheese
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided (I always use fresh) plus more for topping
Salt and pepper

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350. 
  • Season the turkey with salt and pepper and brown in a non-stick skillet. 
  • Transfer to plate.
  • Add half of the cooked pasta to a baking dish lightly lined with pasta sauce.
  • Add half the ricotta cheese, 1 cup of mozzarella, 1 cup of pasta sauce and half the ground turkey to the pasta.
  • Mix well to combine.
  • Repeat with the rest of the pasta, turkey, and ricotta.  Add the other cup of mozzarella and sauce.
  • Mix again to combine.
  • Top with sliced mozzarella.
  • Bake covered for 20 minutes.  Uncover and bake for 15 more minutes until cheese on top is melted.

NFR: Billy Joel

I am so excited and I just can’t hide it!  I just got tickets to the Billy Joel concert at Shea Stadium (where my fave Mets play) on my BIRTHDAY!  Woo Hoo.  They were uber expensive, which gives me anxiety, but I can’t wait! 

Vent Complete.

Cupcake Hero – Liquor

So I think I’m completely addicted to blog events now.  I have been eyeing this contest for a while and figure this was an appropriately themed month to join in since the theme was…

I had been wanting to make bananas foster ever since one of my girlfriends told me that her chef boyfriend made it for her and it was so delish.  I figured I’d try to put bananas foster into a cupcake.  I was pretty pleased with my ingenuity, especially since I searched and searched and couldn’t find a recipe.  Then, much to my chagrin, I found one on Wilton’s site.  It had been done.  But that’s ok.  I used their recipe skeleton, measurements for butter, sugar, flour, etc., but really kind of did my own thing!  I actually fostered the bananas (I so know that’s not right) in brown sugar, butter, cinnamon and rum.  And yes, I flambéed those suckers.  The frosting recipe came from my ole buddy CB’s blog.  I adjusted that one also.

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Continue reading ‘Cupcake Hero – Liquor’

Two birds, one stone…

So I was double-tagged.  I am going to completely cheat and do them both in one post.  How’s that for multi-tasking?  Two lovely ladies, CB and April.  I feel as if everyone who is part of my blogging life has been tagged as of late, so I’m going to be a loser and not tag anyone else…come on, who likes double-dipping anyway?  So here you go:

1 – Any mention of veins or eyes makes me absolutely queasy.  I cannot tolerate havig blood taken…I usually pass out.

2 – I have 2 tattoos.  Strange I know considering numero uno, but if the needle is not actually penetrating, I don’t have such a problem.  Plus, ink is cool.

3 – My husband is from Brasil.  We visited the motherland 3 years ago.  It is a beautiful place.

4 – I live around the block from my mom.  I like it.

5 – I could watch the Food Network for hours and never get tired of it. 

6 – I broke my right foot when I was 11 because I was “playing step aerobics” on the couch.

7 – I used to get excited when I would stay home from school because I was sick so I could watch the Price is Right and Martha Stewart (see?  born to entertain!)

Rotini with Lemon Cream Sauce, Broccoli, and Chicken

Pasta with Lemon Cream sauce is something I’ve been wanting to make for a long time. I usually fear cream sauces because of their high fat content. However, I saw this recipe on Good Eats ‘n Sweet Treats and noticed it was from Cooking Light. I looked it up on their website and saw it weighed in at only 350 calories (11 grams of fat, but we’ll pretend that isn’t there…it is CREAM sauce afterall). Mrs. Presley at GE’nST made the substitutions of adding chicken and subbing broccoli for asparagus in the original recipe. I did the same, but ommitted the red pepper that the recipe called for, as hubster doesn’t love the spice.

Rotini with Lemon Cream Sauce, Broccoli, and Chicken
Adapted from Cooking Light

8 ounces Rotini (or other pasta)
2 c steamed broccoli
2 chicken breasts, cubed
1 T butter (I used SmartBalance)
1 garlic clove, minced
1 c vegetable broth (I used chicken bc I had it)
1 t cornstarch
1/3 c heavy cream
3 T lemon juice
1/2 t salt
1/4 t pepper

  • Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt.
  • Season chicken with s + p.
  • In a skillet coated lightly with cooking spray, brown the chicken.
  • Set the chicken aside and cover with foil. Wipe out the skillet.
  • Melt butter in the skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add garlic to pan; saute for 1 minute.
  • Combine broth and cornstarch in a small bowl and stir until wel-blended.
  • Add broth mixture to skillet; bring to boil and cook 1 minute or until thick, stirring constantly.
  • Remove from heat and stir in cream, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
  • Combine pasta, broccoli, chicken and sauce and toss to coat.
  • Serve immediately.

I added a little grated parmesan to the top. This meal was delish. Hubs suggested trying to make the sauce a little thicker. But I think I’ll keep it where it’s at to keep the calorie count low… bikini season is upon us, afterall.

Cinnamon Rolls

 

I’ve been wanting to make cinnamon rolls for a while now. Yesterday, I was watching the always informative and entertaining, Good Eats and wouldn’t you know it, Alton was making cinnamon rolls (and explaining the science of yeast of course). Plus, my friend Nikki was hosting the Master Baker Challenge, so I decided to give it a whirl and I have to say, they came out pretty delish!

Cinnamon Goodness pre-frosting

Overnight Cinnamon Rolls
Recipe from Alton Brown

Dough:
4 large egg yolks, room temperature
1 large whole egg, room temperature
2 ounces sugar, approximately 1/4 cup
3 ounces unsalted butter, melted, approximately 6 tablespoons
6 ounces buttermilk, room temperature
20 ounces all-purpose flour, approximately 4 cups, plus additional for dusting
1 package instant dry yeast, approximately 2 1/4 teaspoons
1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
Vegetable oil or cooking spray

Filling:
8 ounces light brown sugar, approximately 1 cup packed
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
Pinch salt
3/4-ounce unsalted butter, melted, approximately 1 1/2 tablespoons

Icing:
2 1/2 ounces cream cheese, softened, approximately 1/4 cup
3 tablespoons milk
5 1/2 ounces powdered sugar, approximately 1 1/2 cups

Frosted Deliciousness

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, whisk the egg yolks, whole egg, sugar, butter, and buttermilk.
  • Add approximately 2 cups of the flour along with the yeast and salt; whisk until moistened and combined.
  • Remove the whisk attachment and replace with a dough hook. Add all but 3/4 cup of the remaining flour and knead on low speed for 5 minutes.
  • Check the consistency of the dough, add more flour if necessary; the dough should feel soft and moist but not sticky.
  • Knead on low speed 5 minutes more or until the dough clears the sides of the bowl.
  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface; knead by hand about 30 seconds.
  • Lightly oil a large bowl. Transfer the dough to the bowl, lightly oil the top of the dough, cover and let double in volume, 2 to 2 1/2 hours.
  • Combine the brown sugar, cinnamon and salt in a medium bowl. Mix until well incorporated. Set aside until ready to use.
  • Butter a 9 by 13-inch glass baking dish.
  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Gently shape the dough into a rectangle with the long side nearest you.
  • Roll into an 18 by 12-inch rectangle.
  • Brush the dough with the 3/4-ounce of melted butter, leaving 1/2-inch border along the top edge.
  • Sprinkle the filling mixture over the dough, leaving a 3/4-inch border along the top edge; gently press the filling into the dough.
  • Beginning with the long edge nearest you, roll the dough into a tight cylinder. Firmly pinch the seam to seal and roll the cylinder seam side down. Very gently squeeze the cylinder to create even thickness.
  • Using a serrated knife, slice the cylinder into 1 1/2-inch rolls; yielding 12 rolls.
  • Arrange rolls cut side down in the baking dish; cover tightly with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator overnight or up to 16 hours.
  • Remove the rolls from the refrigerator and place in an oven that is turned off. Fill a shallow pan 2/3-full of boiling water and set on the rack below the rolls.
  • Close the oven door and let the rolls rise until they look slightly puffy; approximately 30 minutes. Remove the rolls and the shallow pan of water from the oven.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • When the oven is ready, place the rolls on the middle rack and bake until golden brown, or until the internal temperature reaches 190 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer, approximately 30 minutes.
  • While the rolls are cooling slightly, make the icing by whisking the cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer until creamy.
  • Add the milk and whisk until combined. Sift in the powdered sugar, and whisk until smooth.
  • Spread over the rolls and serve immediately.

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