Monday, December 14, 2009

Julie & Julia

So the hubby is out of town and I get to do all the things I used to when I was single, watch a girlie movie, eat bread and cheese for dinner and bake up some Babka. Well I'm lying about the last part, I've never made babka before, but I am trying to tonight. I am watching Julie and Julia, which I had wanted to see in the theatre but never got the chance to, I loved it! I was worried about the movie not being as good as the book, but I was wrong. I really enjoyed it and would love to watch it again.

Anyways, back to the food. Most of the time this is how I end up making something brand new that I've never even heard about before. Someone mentions something they once had, then the whole office wants to know about it and we google. Then someone always asks me to try it out and bring it in. This is what happened today and this is why I am now waiting for yeast to bloom... :)

More on this Babka tomorrow.......

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Barefoot Bloggers - Croissant Bread Pudding

So this is my very first Barefoot Bloggers Post!!! :) I decided to get involved as a way to ensure that I keep this blog up! In addition Ina is one of my favorite chefs and I always want to try out her recipes, so it was a win-win!

My husband and I have never been huge fans of bread pudding so I cut down the original recipe so that I we wouldn't have a ton of this left over. I also didn't have any raisins but I had a HUGE Costco size bag of dried cranberries that I decided to use. I also added some chocolate to mine and white chocolate to my husbands. I swear he is constantly going to cupboard to steal some white chocolate chips and since it is our 2 month anniversary I decided to be nice and include some! :) Another change I made was that I did these in individual ramekins so that I could easily customize them with the different chocolates.

The flavor was wonderful, but next time I think that I would add some orange zest to the custard to give it something different. If you like bread pudding this is one that you should try!

Cranberry Croissant Bread Pudding

2 whole eggs
3 egg yolks
2.5 cups of half & half
3/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 croissants, slice in cubes
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup chocolate chips (I mixed white and milk chocolate)

Preheat to 350 degrees.

Whisk together eggs, half & half, sugar, & vanilla. Layer the croissants into ramekins, making sure the cranberries and chocolate chips are dispersed between the layers. Fill the ramekin with the custard mixture and let sit 10 minutes, pushing down slightly.

Place the ramekins in a large baking dish and fill with an inch of water. Cover with foil, cut some steam holes in the foil. Bake covered for 45 minutes, uncover and bake for 30 additional minutes. Make sure the custard is set and it is puffed.

Let cool for a few minutes, and serve warm or room temperature.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Nutella & Banana Wontons

I love Nutella! I am always trying new recipes for it, spreading it on toast, eating it straight from the jar.....

I had a banana that was about to get too ripe and decided to mix it into a delicious dessert! I added a dollop of nutella to each wonton wrapper and then added some chopped up banana. Some them got white chocolate chips for the hubby. I fried them up in some veggie oil and drained on a paper towel.


Thursday, December 3, 2009

Roasted Tomato and Shrimp Orzo

I love just throwing some ingredients together into a pasta for a quick meal. I made these delicious oven roasted tomatoes last night and had to get them into some pasta. I don't even like tomatoes, my dad used to try and pay me to eat them, maybe he just needed to roast them first, because I was eating these right out of the pan.

Roasted Tomato and Shrimp Orzo

1 cup cooked orzo pasta, cooked in salty water
1/2 cup asparagus, chopped in 1 inch pieces
3/4 pound peeled shrimp, with tail removed
1 minced clove of garlic
1/2 cup oven roasted tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped kalamata olives
Juice of one lemon
Crumbled Feta Cheese

Heat olive oil in pan, I used a couple of turns around the pan. Add asparagus and cook 4 minutes, season with pepper. Add shrimp and cook about 3 minutes before you stir the pan. Add the garlic, tomatoes and olives, cook 3-4 minutes longer. Add lemon juice and orzo pasta, stir to coat everything with the lemon juice, you can add some pasta water if it seems too dry. Season with pepper, the olives are salty so you don't need to add any more salt. Place pasta on the plate and top with crumbled feta cheese.

Serve immediately with some bread.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Oven Roasted Tomatoes

So tonight was a leftover night - just a big yummy salad with leftover soyaki chicken, goat cheese, baby lettuce, tomatoes for the hubby and raspberry vinaigrette. I only had about a cup of cute little grape tomatoes left from the Thanksgiving platter so I decided to make some oven roasted tomatoes. I've never made them before but have seen them on the Food Network, after some internet searching I realized that there didn't seem to be one specific way to do them, so I just decided to improvise. I cut the tomatoes in half drizzled with olive oil, salt and pepper, and two cloves of garlic. I roasted them at 225 degrees for 1 1/2 hours.

Once I took them out I stored them in the fridge with a little olive oil. I will be using it them tomorrow for an orzo, shrimp and asparagus pasta. Yummy!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Ben & Jerry's Pumpkin Ice Cream

They say that ice cream sales go up in the winter, not sure they are but that's what my mother in law told me the other when we sitting outside of Golden Spoon bundled up in our coats! This isn't exactly the case in our house where my husband hasn't met a quart of Ben and Jerry's that he hasn't liked - and devoured in one sitting! Pumpkin is one of my favorite flavors year round so when I saw this recipe for Pumpkin Ice Cream I knew that I would be making it soon.

Ben & Jerry's Pumpkin Ice Cream
Makes 1 Quart

2 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup milk
1 cup pureed pumpkin
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
(I added about a 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon because I always feel like you can't have enough!)

Whisk the eggs until light and fluffy, about two minutes. Gradually whisk in the sugar until completely blended. Add in cream and milk and whisk.

Put about 1/2 of the milk mixture into a bowl and whisk in the pumpkin and spices. Add back to the pumpkin and mix until combined. Transfer to ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer's instructions. This filled up my ice cream maker almost to overflowing which meant I needed to run it a little longer.

I also added some mini chocolate chips to half of the ice cream just to try it out and loved it!

I made this today and it totally made me forget the 2 1/2 hours at the Dentist!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Trader Joe's Dinner

I love Trader Joe's - we go there at least once a week to stock up on essentials. One thing that my fridge is never without is Trader Joe's Soyaki, it is a delicious combination of soy sauce, ginger, garlic and magic! One of our favorite things to do is a simple chicken breast marinated for about 30 minutes. I then grill it over medium heat for about 5 minutes each. Along with it I sautéed up some some asparagus which I then drizzled up with some additional soyaki. Add a little white or brown rice and we have a quick weeknight meal!

Thursday, November 26, 2009


Thanksgiving this year will be at my Aunt's house, which means that we don't have to do any cooking. It makes me a little sad because my dad make the best turkey and stuffing ever, and I love the atmosphere that cooking Thanksgiving brings. I love the sounds of pots clanging at 6am, the extra stuffing for breakfast, even the argument that is had EVERY year about my dad getting turkey juice all over the counter! I don't even want to talk about the lack of leftovers!

Since we weren't cooking I offered to bring some pre-dinner snacks. There is something to be said for a basic veggie platter. I always include my ranch dip which is just sour cream and HiddenValley Ranch dip mix. Don't knock the easy way until you've had it! :) I did two veggie platters, one with carrots, celery, tomatoes and cucumbers and a second one where I banished the veggies I despise - broccoli and mushrooms. I also created a cheese platter with cheddar, pepper jack, goat cheese, feta and mozzarella. I will round out the appetizers with some crusty bread and my new favorite item - Food Should Taste So Good Multigrain Chips. They are DELICIOUS!

I have a lot to be thankful this year and can't wait until next year when hopefully we have a house big enough to host Thanksgiving!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Vampire Cupcakes

Vampire Cupcakes
Adapted from Baking Bites Blog

Halloween is a big deal in our office, for all ten of us! We have our annual Costume Contest & Potluck and I don't think we ever get a bit of work done! :) As the office baker I am always given dessert when the potluck list goes around, not that I mind! This year Halloween fell on an interesting week, we got back from our Honeymoon on Monday and were back to work on Tuesday. On top of that I caught a cold on the day that we were flying back and it has made it very difficult to recover from my jet lag.
With that being said, I searched the internet for a dessert that would be easier to make than the pumpkin cheesecake that I had planned. I found these adorable Vampire Cupcakes on one of my favorite blogs Baking Bites and knew I could make these! I will let you in on a little secret - I cheated! I used some help from Betty, I made white cupcakes from the box! I just added a couple of teaspoons of vanilla to spice up the flavor.
Once these had cooled I tried a new way of filling cupcakes that I had seen before. You take a knife and cut a small circle out of the top of the cupcake and lift it off, the top piece will be a cone shape. You then flatten out the lid and after they are filled you can replace the lid. I actually found that this wasted a lot of the cupcake. These were filled with pureed cherry pie filling that oozed out deliciously once they were bitten into. After the lid was replaced they were frosted with a vanilla buttercream and with a toothpick I made two fang marks with the leftover cherry pie filling!
They were a big hit in the office and I would look to make them again! I hope everyone has a wonderful and safe Halloween!! We are off to our first Laker's Game as a married couple! :)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Married Woman!

It's amazing how time has flown by and how much I have neglected this blog! Today is a new start and I am happy to say that I will be rededicating myself to this blog! Can't wait to get restarted!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Soy Chorizo and Eggs

I personally love breakfast for dinner, it is fast and easy and since breakfast is my favorite meal of the day it is always delicious! I have also recently discovered a strange love/obsession with runny eggs! I used to look at my honeys over medium eggs with disgust, couldn't understand the call of the sunny yellow yolk that would run all over the plate. Then I started watching Nigella Lawson, love everything about her, except for her comforting dish of runny eggs and toast. Then I decided to give it a shot, and it has been love ever since!

This dish started out with a coworker recommending Trader Joe's Soy Chorizo, as a lover of almost all things Trader Joe's I decided to give it a shot.

First I started with browning the soy chorizo, there wasn't a lot of fat so it browned quickly. Once that was browned I added a can of black beans.

Next fried up flour tortillas, I cut these into quarters because they were large.

Then I fried up some eggs over-medium, I broke a couple right before I took them out of the pan.

Once all of these components were cooked I started plating them up - first a layer of chorizo & beans, then the tortilla, and then the yummy egg on top. I added a little sour cream on the side and next time would like to add some guacamole.

This was a delicious dish! Plates were cleaned at our house! The soy chorizo had wonderful texture and flavor. I would love to make it again and probably will soon with some fried potatoes all wrapped up in a tortilla! (yummy!)

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Brand New Blog!!!

I am excited to have a new blog! I have loved reading other blogs and thought I would start one of my own! I am getting married in October of this year to a wonderful man that I have been with for almost 8 years. I am fortunate that I love my job and co-workers! The only downside is that I often work nights and weekends, which can get tiring during our busy season.

On top of all that I LOVE to cook and have a soon to be hubby that loves to eat! He will try everything and anything that I decide to try and thankfully is very honest on the taste!

This year I decided to try one new recipe a week, this has been a fun adventure and I have come out with new recipes that are now firmly placed in the rotation. I love to share these new recipes with my office and decided to share with everyone else. I will always give credit for any ideas that I get from other wonderful food blogs, websites and cookbooks.

I hope you enjoy this blog and that you will have patience with me while I am learning how to blog! :)