Sunday, March 21, 2010

Happy St Patricks Day

I had a grad class on St Patricks Day and I had signed up to bring in snacks so I wanted something in the holiday spirit. I made chocolate cupcakes with creme de menthe frosting. The frosting is the same recipe I used for the Creme de Menthe Brownies. I ended up needing to make this frosting recipe twice in order to have enough to cover 24 cupcakes. I thought I was going to get through all of them with one batch :) not quite!

Cream ¼ cup butter; gradually add 2 cups powdered sugar, and 1 to 2 tbsp of milk if mixture seems too thick to spread.

Because I had work and then class after work I wasn't going to be home until 8pm. I ran home during lunch and threw my corned beef meal in the crockpot and set it on low so it would have about 8 hours of cooking time. It was so yummy! We had some extra veggies afterward because my piece of meat was only about 2 pounds, not 3 as the recipe suggested. The good news is once St Patricks day was over, corned beef went on sale :) so I have one in the fridge for Monday

Here is the recipe I used
Corned Beef and Cabbage

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Lays Pepper Relish Flavored Chips

I grabbed this bag of chips when I walked by them. They sounded interesting and the photo of salsa on the bag looked yummy.

The flavor is not hot like a jalapeno potato chip. No need for a glass of water when snacking on these

Its also not sweet like a BBQ potato chip

The flavor is somewhere in the middle of those two
Its a mild BBQ like chip with a red pepper flavor.

Photo from the Lays brand website

Sunday, March 7, 2010

California Pizza Kitchen

CPK has some new items and we tried the most interesting small plate today. This is something we will try to recreate at home!

Sweet Corn Tamale Ravioli

Picture and description from the cpk website

Ravioli filled with poblano peppers and cheese, tossed in a roasted pepper cream sauce with fresh sweet white corn and fresh cilantro.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Cajun Chicken Alfredo

Oh yum. This is a recipe I will be making again.
The original recipe is from Guy on food network.
Changes made to the recipe are in bold

Cajun Chicken Alfredo Recipe


* 4 (5-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
* 1 cup blackening spice (recommended: Paul Prudhomme's Chicken)We used cajun seasoning we already had at home
* 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
* 3 tablespoons minced garlic
* 1 cup roughly chopped marinated sun-dried tomatoes
* 1/4 cup white wine
* 3 cups heavy cream
* 3/4 cup grated Parmesan
* 1 teaspoon sea salt
* 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
* 1 pound cooked fettuccine
* 1/2 cup sliced scallions
* Sliced cremini mushrooms


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Dredge the chicken breasts in the blackening spice and place in a cast iron skillet over very high heat. Blacken both sides of the chicken and place in the oven for 10 minutes(we cooked ours for 15 minutes because it wasn't done when we pulled it out after 10 minutes), or until internal temperature of chicken reaches 165 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer. Slice in strips on the bias and set aside.

In a saute pan over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil. Add garlic and lightly caramelize. Then add the sun-dried tomatoes and the chicken slices. (This is where we added our mushrooms)Deglaze the pan with the white wine. Add the heavy cream, increase the heat to a simmer, and reduce the cream sauce by half.

When the cream sauce is to desired consistency, stir in 1/2 cup Parmesan, salt, pepper, and pasta.

Microwave broccoli florets with some water for 3-4 minutes.  Add to pasta sauce.

Nest the pasta on large rimmed plates, pour sauce over pasta, and garnish with scallions and the remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan.

A different kind of grilled cheese

My husband studied a little in Brazil when we were in college. He remembers people selling grilled cheese on the beach and we found the same kind of cheese at our Shoppers.

Its a very very hard cheese but when you grill it the inside becomes melty soft.

Birthday/Valentines Day

My birthday is 2 days before Valentines Day and sometimes the two events get a little combined.

This year we had about three feet of snow before my birthday. I didn't have work for a week. I was motivated to get out of my house for my birthday. Three of us dug out the driveway and freed two of the three cars. We met some friends for Mexican food. It was SO good and it was great to be out of the house. I was tired of being home and cooking and cleaning three meals a day

Before the fiesta I made it to the grocery store to buy some cupcake ingredients. The Harris Teeter was out of power yet people were still shopping and the credit card scanners still worked! I bought lemon cake and strawberry frosting. mmmmm

I made a small heart shaped cake and also 12 cupcakes to take to the restaurant