Monday, July 30, 2012


This meal is a looker--will definitely impress, but is easy to make.  I am absolutely a mushroom and asparagus freakkk!  I would usually love to have this meal with mashed potatoes on the side, but since it's summer I wanted to make a lighter dinner.  This is definitely satisfying, but also very healthy and doesn't have the huge fat content that is usually associated with these flavors in restaurants.  

4 chicken breasts
2 cups red wine
1 bay leaf
1/2 Tbsp. fresh rosemary (or 1/2 tsp. dried rosemary)
1 1/2 cups red grapes
1 bunch of asparagus
1 medium portabella mushroom cap, sliced
2 cups crimini mushrooms, sliced
salt and black pepper to taste
4 Tbsp. olive oil (and more for sauteing)

1.  Preheat oven to 375 F.
2.  Mix chicken breasts with 2 Tbsp. of olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
3.  Bake chicken for 25-35 minutes, or until there is no pink in the center of the chicken.  
4.  In a sauce pot on medium heat add red wine, rosemary, and bay leaf.  Let it reduce until it has reached a syrup likeness.  It takes about 30 minutes.

5.  In a separate pan on medium heat add the red grapes with 1/2 cup of water.  Let it cook for about 30 minutes or until the grapes are completely tender.

6.  Saute portabella mushrooms with olive oil and salt and pepper to taste until they brown, and then do the same with the crimini.   You can saute these together, but make sure to not overcrowd the pan.  

7.  Coat the asparagus with 2 Tbsp. of olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.  You can either grill the asparagus or bake it at 400 F for 15 min.  

8.  To plate this dish: first place down a fourth of the asparagus, one chicken breast, a fourth of the mushrooms, a fourth of the grapes, and a fourth of the red wine reduction.  

Thursday, July 26, 2012

BAKED EGGS with turkey bacon, green onions, and cheddar


These make a fabulous combination.  They taste like that great breakfast dinner food that we all love, but are a lot healthier.  Plus, I just ordered my first set of ramekins and wanted to come up with something that wasn't dessert.  I made this for my family this morning and topped the potatoes off with some homemade tartar sauce, and the eggs with a bit of avocado, but of course ketchup is acceptable as well!  

Ingredients (for Baked Eggs with turkey bacon, green onions, and cheddar)
8 eggs
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup green onions, chopped small
5 strips turkey bacon (personally I prefer it to regular bacon and it's a LOT healthier)
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1/4 tsp. salt
dash of black pepper

  • Preheat oven to 375 F.
  • Cook bacon until it is crispy.

  • In a bowl whisk together eggs, milk, green onions, salt, and pepper.
  • Chop up bacon and place a fourth of it in the bottom of each ramekin.

  • On top of the bacon place 1/8 cup of shredded cheese.

  • Pour a fourth of the egg mixture in each ramekin.
  • Place the ramekins in a baking dish and surround them with water a third of the baking dish full so that they get evenly baked.  

  • Bake for 45-50 minutes or until the eggs are completely solid through when you stick a fork inside. 
3 sweet potatoes (that's the more white colored ones--not yams)
2 Tbsp. olive oil
salt and black pepper to your taste (I added 1/4 tsp. of salt and a generous dash of black pepper)
1/4 tsp. dried basil

Directions (for sweet potato hash browns)
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. Wash sweet potatoes, but do not peel them! The skin tastes good and has a lot of nutrients in it.
  3. Chop sweet potatoes into small cubes.
  4. Toss them with the remaining ingredients and place them in a baking dish.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes at 400 F. When they finish baking switch the oven over to broil and broil the potatoes for 2-4 minutes, or until they have crisped up.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


Cupcake Royale in Seattle have my absolute favorite cupcakes, and I've been trying for a while to come up with a similar cupcake recipe to their vanilla cupcakes and I think I nailed it!  These cupcakes are dense and moist cakes, they are so flavorful, but not too sweet.  In the Summertime I make a lot of homemade jams, so I had homemade marionberry jam and lemon curd on hand, but using store bought is fine, or whatever flavors you have or hand and like.  

Cupcake Ingredients

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/3 cups sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 c. egg whites
1/2 c. warm water
1/3 c. reduced-fat sour cream
6 1/2 Tbsp. butter, cut into chucks and kept cold
3 Tbsp. canola oil
1 Tbsp. pure vanilla extract

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Mix dry ingredients together in a bowl. 
  3. In a separate bowl combine warm water, sour cream, egg whites, and vanilla extract. 
  4. In a mixer on low speed combine the dry ingredients with butter, canola oil, and a fourth of the liquid ingredients until the mixture is blended through.
  5. Increase the mixer speed to medium and add another fourth of the liquid mixture and blend for 30 seconds. Now scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  6. Repeat step 5 for the remainder of the liquid mixture, making sure that between each 30 second period that you scrape down the edges of the bowl. 
  7. Fill cupcake tins with your favorite cupcake wrappers, this recipe makes around 16 cupcakes.  Fill cupcake wrappers a little over three-fourths full; these cupcakes will rise, but not too much.  
  8. Bake at 350 F for 25-28 minutes.  The edges of the cupcakes will begin to get a little color. 
  9. Let the cupcakes cool before frosting them.

Marionberry Lemon Whipped Buttercream Ingredients
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), at room temperature 
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted to remove lumps
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream, chilled
4 Tbsp. Marionberry jam (or whatever berry jam you prefer)\
2 Tbsp. Lemon curd

  1. In a mixer on medium speed combine butter and powdered sugar until they are incorporated. 
  2. Add heavy cream and mix for 2 minutes.
  3. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add marionberry jam and lemon curd.  Mix for another two minutes or until all the frosting ingredients are well blended. 

Frosting the cupcakes
  1. Take a large ziploc storage bag and make a half inch cut to cut one of the corners off.
  2. Load frosting into the ziploc storage bag and pipe frosting through the hole you cut.  


Saturday, July 21, 2012


Okay, so I cannot take credit for this recipe.  Before searching for a croissant recipe, I actually had no clue how to make these. It is a whopping 3 day process, but won't disappoint!  Seriously layered and flaky--just what you want in a good croissant. Really fun project for the Summer, and really isn't too hard, just a lot of rolling dough and refrigerating.  I would recommend stuffing your croissants with chocolate because I did half plain croissants and half chocolate, but the chocolate were really the winner hands down.  Anyways since I did not write this recipe I'll just post pictures and give you the link I used.  On this site they have a really great step by step audio to guide you through the process. 

Friday, July 20, 2012


This is a classic quiche with a little twist.  Red wine gives this quiche added richness and flavor.  This is quick to make and great for to serve for any meal, but I particularly love it for brunch.

1 pie crust (I used frozen and it was perfectly delicious)
1 1/2 cup Swiss cheese, grated
1 medium onion, sliced
1 Tbsp. Olive oil
1/4 cup red wine
5 eggs
1 cup half & half
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. dry mustard
dash of nutmeg

1.  Preheat oven to 400 F.  Once oven is preheated, bake pie crust for 7 minutes to give it a pre-bake.  When it is done baking drop the temperature to 350 F. 
2.  In a pan on medium heat, add olive oil and onions.  Saute for 2 minutes.  Salt and pepper to taste.
3.  Add red wine and saute until the water from the red wine has evaporated and the onions are caramelized.

4.  In a bowl whisk together eggs, half & half, salt, dry mustard, and nutmeg.  
5.  In the pie crust place Swiss cheese, and then caramelized onions.  Pour egg mixture on top of both.

6.  Place the quiche on a cookie sheet and bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes or until the quiche does not giggle. 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


Strawberry Rhubarb Pie is a flavor explosion in your mouth.  Seriously, after I take the first bite of this pie I will not shut up about how good it is.  If you are looking to impress someone with your baking skills; this is the recipe to make.  I used local strawberries and rhubarb in this pie, which just put it over the top.  A serious must make recipe for Summer time!

1 Pie Crust (comes in a two-pack in the grocery store in the frozen dessert section)

Pie Filling:
3 cups rhubarb, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
2 cups strawberries, sliced
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/4 cup minute tapioca
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar

Pie Crumble Topping:
2/3 cup all-purpose unbleached flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter, chilled, cut in little cubes

1. Pull out one pie crust and partially thaw.

2. Preheat oven to 400 F. When the oven is preheated, place pie crust in to bake for 7 minutes.

3.  In a bowl mix together all pie filling ingredients until well blended.

4.  Pull the pie crust out of the oven after the 7 minutes of baking and let cool.  
5.  Now start on the crumble topping.  In a bowl combine all pie crumble toppings until all ingredients are incorporated and it gives a nice crumble.  I would recommend using your hands to mix these ingredients together. 

6.  Add pie filling mixture into the pie crust and top with pie crumble topping.

7.  Bake at 400 F for 20 minutes, and then drop the temperature to 350 F for 15 minutes.
Let the pie sit until it is fully cooled, or the pie filling will still be liquid and bleed. 

Monday, July 16, 2012


If you're like me, pretty much everything pesto is divine.  The Old Spaghetti Factory has a Creamy Pesto dressing, and even though they are just serving it over iceburg lettuce, I always devour it.  I decided to try and see if I could mimic their recipe.  I created this recipe and put it over pretty much everything--salad, eggs, bread, meat.  It is delicious and a great way to use leftover pesto!

1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
1/3 cup best foods mayonnaise (I think this brand is much better than others)
1/3 cup low-fat sour cream
1/3 cup Parmesan, grated
4 Tbsp. basil pesto

1. Whisk all ingredients together in a bowl until well blended.

2. Pour into a container to save in the fridge.

3. Dress anything you like with this delicious dressing!


This recipe is easy, fast, and can be used for just about anything.  Pesto can 
be put on pasta, used instead of a pizza sauce, spread on your morning toast, used as a sandwich spread, or inside a salad dressing.  It was always a staple in my house in the summer time when the fresh local basil would be in season.  I adore how adaptable it is, and if you're looking to save a few dollars you can substitute in a cup of cilantro or parsley in place of basil. 

2 cups basil leaves, removed the stems, wash well, and dry
3/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1/3 cup walnuts (you can substitute in almonds or pine nuts)
3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped

1. Put basil, Parmesan cheese, walnuts, and garlic in a food processor or blender.  Blend for 2 minutes. 

2. Begin streaming in the olive oil while the mixture is still blending, until all of the olive oil is incorporated.  

3. Blend until the mixture is smooth, and all ingredients are well blended. 

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Strawberry Mint Refresher

I love this refreshing beverage for Summer.  It is light and healthy, and highlights juicy summer strawberries.  I love to have this beverage served ice cold on a hot day.

3/4 cup strawberries, sliced
1/2 cup mint leaves, roughly chopped
2 Tbsp. sugar
3 3/4 cups water


1. Place strawberries, mint, and sugar into a pitcher and smash together with a sturdy spoon.

2. Add water and mix. Place in the fridge to chill and let the flavors marry together until ready to serve.  

3.  Serve and enjoy!  

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Thai Panang Curry

This curry is delicious and always a crowd pleaser.  It can be pricey to go out for Thai food, but this is pretty inexpensive.  You will not find all these ingredients in your normal grocery store, but most areas have Asian markets and the ingredients are always really cheap. You can adjust this recipe to the way you like it--what your meat and vegetable preferences are, or what you have on hand.  If you are a vegetarian, I would recommend using tofu for your meat, but it can easily be made with just vegetables. 

  • 3 1/2 cups chicken, cooked, cut into inch pieces (or you can use beef, tofu, eggplant)
  • 2 13.5 oz. cans coconut milk
  • 2 Tbsp. Panang Curry paste
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. fish sauce (you can always add a little more if you like a stronger taste)
  • 1 cup vegetables (i used canned Asian vegetables, but I would also recommend fresh red bell pepper or steamed carrots)
  • 10 kaffir lime leaves, taken off the stem, chopped
  • 1/3 cup Thai basil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • cooked rice to serve curry over
coconut milk

keffir lime leaves

panang curry paste


1.  Place half a can of coconut milk into a pan on medium heat.  Heat for 5 minutes to simmer and thicken. 

2.  Add Panang Curry paste into the pan and mix until combined with the coconut milk.  Let simmer for 5 minutes. 

3.  Add cooked chicken to the pan and cook for 2 more minutes. 
4. Add the other half of the can of coconut milk to the pan.

5. Add brown sugar and fish sauce.

6. Add kaffir lime leaves, Thai basil, vegetables, 3/4 of the second can of coconut milk, and water.  Simmer for 5 minutes. 

7. Drizzle with a little of the remaining 1/4 of a can of coconut milk, and serve over rice.