Delicious homemade sauce by mixing soy sauce, brown sugar and peanut butter.
Tonight we made this healthy, delicious and filling Barley recipe from Real Simple.
We simply added avocado to our tuna melts for lunch today. It was tasty and healthy!
I saw this idea on Pinterest (where else, right?) and had to try it out: Strawberries filled with cheesecake. I’ve made them a few times before and pretty much just make it to taste. It’s a simple and quick recipe. The first time I had them was at a bridal shower and I think I ate all of them. My mom bought strawberries the other day so I made these again and brought them to Skyler’s work. Well, the ones that I didn’t eat on the way there…. Here’s how to make these tasty treats.
- Strawberries, larger work better
- 1 cup cream cheese, softened
- Powdered sugar
- Vanilla extract
- Brown sugar
- Wash the strawberries, cut the stem and bottoms off and hull them. If you’ve never hulled strawberries before, use a paring knife and almost scoop out the inside. Look at the pictures if you still need help.
- Using a mixer, whip the cream cheese. Add about 1 teaspoons of vanilla extract and about 3 tablespoons of powdered sugar. Like I said, I usually make this to taste so if you want it sweeter, add another tablespoon. Beat until creamy.
- Add filling to a piping bag. I used a plastic ziplock style bag and cut the tip off. (A helpful tip: put the bag in a big cup so you can use both hands to scoop filling into the bag). Pipe the filling into the strawberries. Sprinkle brown sugar over the top. Now try not to eat them all at once!
For our first Valentine’s Day together (last year he was 6,000 miles away in Paris), Skyler surprised me with flowers and my favorite dinner. He made chicken piccata, fettuccine with homemade alfredo, and asparagus. It was absolutely delicious!
For the chicken piccata, he used a recipe by Giada de Laurentiis that seemed pretty quick and easy, found HERE and at the bottom of this post. He cooked the chicken in a skillet and let it simmer in the capers and lemon juice a little longer than the recipe called for, so it was extra flavorful. It was the best chicken piccata I’ve had and next I would make it exactly the same.
Skyler assigned me to the asparagus. I used some of the leftover lemon juice from the piccata and drizzled it over the asparagus after I cut off the ends. We put a little water and butter in a skillet, put the asparagus in, covered it up and let it steam for about 4 minutes. I turned off the heat but left them covered so they would cook a little longer and stay warm. I didn’t add salt or pepper and it still turned out tasty (probably from the butter).
I don’t think Sky used a recipe for the alfredo sauce. He heated up butter and milk in a nonstick pan over medium heat and assigned me to “keep stirring!”. He shredded parmesan cheese and slowly added it to the milk. I kept stirring. I think he also threw in some salt and pepper. Then he mixed in the fettuccine. The sauce turned out amazing. It wasn’t gritty or too rich, just creamy and delicious. We plated and ate our delicious romantic meal together.
For dessert, we had puff pastry waiting to be used so we made apple turnovers. I peeled Granny Smith apples and Sky cut them up and sprinkled brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg on them. He heated them up on the stove with some butter until they were tender. He cut the pastry dough into quarters and divvied up the apples. We experimented with adding cheddar to a few of them (delicious, by the way). Then we sealed them up, sprinkled sugar on the top and cooked them at 400 until they were golden brown. I think it was about 15 minutes, but I can’t remember. We had the turnovers with vanilla bean ice cream. There was some left over apples, so we threw them in the Magic Bullet and made applesauce!
Everything turned out great! Which is good because our next post will be about when recipes don’t turn out.
Giada de Laurentiis’ Chicken Piccata:
2 skinless and boneless chicken breasts, butterflied and then cut in half
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
All-purpose flour, for dredging
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup brined capers, rinsed
1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped
Season chicken with salt and pepper. Dredge chicken in flour and shake off excess.
In a large skillet over medium high heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter with 3 tablespoons olive oil. When butter and oil start to sizzle, add 2 pieces of chicken and cook for 3 minutes. When chicken is browned, flip and cook other side for 3 minutes. Remove and transfer to plate. Melt 2 more tablespoons butter and add another 2 tablespoons olive oil. When butter and oil start to sizzle, add the other 2 pieces of chicken and brown both sides in same manner. Remove pan from heat and add chicken to the plate.
Into the pan add the lemon juice, stock and capers. Return to stove and bring to boil, scraping up brown bits from the pan for extra flavor. Check for seasoning. Return all the chicken to the pan and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove chicken to platter. Add remaining 2 tablespoons butter to sauce and whisk vigorously. Pour sauce over chicken and garnish with parsley.
We decided to make brownies for a Super Bowl party we went to (I know, we’re a few days behind on posting) and naturally, Skyler wanted to get creative. We had a few oranges laying around, ready to be used. Skyler found a recipe that looked awfully tasty (you can find it here and at the bottom of this post). The recipe is designed after a chocolate terrine–think dense, silky, and almost fudgey. We had a great time making them, but they didn’t turn out quite the same as in the picture. They were still a huge hit at the party and I’m finding myself craving one now… We topped them with the whipped cream and they were a tasty treat!
Double Orange Dark Chocolate Brownies with Orange Blossom Whipped Cream
Recipe loosely adapted from Earthbound Farm Organic Farmstand
- 20 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 2 sticks unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 tbsp instant espresso powder
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp orange extract
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp unbleached all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts or pecans
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup plus 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 tbsp orange peel
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Line a 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking pan with foil. Generously butter or spray the foil.
Melt the chocolate and butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until melted and smooth. Add the espresso powder, vanilla, and orange extract and stir to blend. Cool the mixture for 15 minutes. (You’ll be adding eggs later, and don’t want to accidentally cook them!)
Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the nuts and orange peel; toss to coat evenly.
Whisk the eggs and sugar in a large bowl until just blended. Add in the cooled chocolate mixture and stir until just blended. Add in the flour mixture and, again, stir until just blended. (Overbeating will result in deflated brownies.) Pour the mixture into the foil-lined pan.
Bake the brownies for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the middle comes out with moist crumbs attached. Cool the brownies completely in the pan and stick them in the refrigerator for 6 hours. (Eating them sooner is definitely ok; just know that the texture is so fudgey that they won’t hold together in your hand, and need to be refrigerated for 6 hours to properly congeal). Keep chilled.
To make the orange blossom whipped cream: in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat 1/2 cup of cream with a few tablespoons of powdered sugar (to your taste) and one tablespoon of orange blossom water.
Skyler and I have talked about starting a food blog for some time now. So Saturday night, we went for it (read more about it on our About Us). After church on Sunday, we had our good friends over–K2 & Maddy and Wes & Erica.
Skyler thought it would be fun to make salmon for dinner, and I instantly thought of doing a risotto and asparagus on the side. Wes & Erica brought sweet potatoes to make chips for an appetizer. The recipe we found for the risotto had lemon in it, so we carried the lemon theme through to each dish. Skyler made a prosciutto-wrapped salmon with chives and lemon zest. Wes made the asparagus with mushrooms and lemon.
For our starter, Skyler used the mandolin to finely slice the sweet potatoes, then drizzled olive oil on them, spred them on a baking sheet and sprinkled sea salt on them. We cooked them at 400F for about 15-20 minutes. (Next time I would want to try THIS recipe.) I followed a recipe by Giada di Laurentiis (which you can find HERE). She hollowed out lemons and served the risotto in the lemon cups but when we saw the lemons at the store, we decided to skip the cups. Skyler cut the salmon into portion-sized pieces, piled on lemon and chives, wrapped each steak in prosciutto, and pan fried them. Wes worked his magic and sauteed the asparagus in a pan with lemon and mushrooms.
If we were to do it over, we would need to work on the timing. Anyone who has made risotto before knows that timing is a biggie. I started too early so it was sitting in the pan longer than it should’ve. The sweet potatoes were tricky too. They didn’t get as crispy as we expected and some just didn’t cook through all the way. However, the meal turned out delicious!
We ended our evening with a great game of Apples to Apples and amazing homemade vegan Samoas (now the Girl Scouts call them Caramel DeLites) made by Maddy.
Our first journey into our Bouchon cookbook.