Monday, June 28, 2010

Chinese Potluck!

After having my Mexican Fiesta on Saturday (which was to die for!), I decided to have a Chinese Potluck tonight! I made Pioneer Womans Lettuce Wraps and then made amazing home-made Sweet and Sour Sauce to go along with my Crab Rangoons from the website Tasty Kitchen.
Here are the links to the Lettuce Wraps and Crab Rangoons:
You will never want to eat Chinese food out ever again!
Also, this is how to make the super easy and best Sweet and Sour Sauce I have ever had:
-4 tbsp Ketchup
-1/2 cup vinegar
-1 tsp garlic salt
-1 tbsp soy sauce
-3/4 cup sugar
Put all the ingredients in a sauce pan and bring it to a simmer at medium heat till all the ingredients are incorporated and thickened (about 6-8 minutes). You will love this for dipping the Crab Rangoons, Spring Rolls or whatever!

Summer Stir Fry...A very fresh and fun dinner!

On Sunday I was feeling so ambitious! After making the mouth watering Banana Nut Bread, later that night I made Summer Stir Fry, another awesome recipe from Pioneer Woman. I love that woman (in a non-gay way)....through her blog she has been teaching me to cook and be creative with new ingredients and it has been so fun and tasty!
Here is Pioneer Womans recipe for Summer Stir Fry:
I must make a note of the alteration I made to the recipe...
-I made rice to go along with this recipe to make a little bit for filling for dinner and I also didn't have lemon juice so I sprinkled a little soy sauce on top instead. It was still really really good! YUM!

Banana Nut Bread

During my past 4 years of living in the dorms and eating campus food, one of my favorite things to eat for breakfast that the school did right was banana bread. Or so I thought....

Two weeks ago I was watching the Neeley's on Food Network and watched them make a banana bread that made my mouth water. But instead of dropping everything and searching online for the recipe, I turned the channel to TLC (my other favorite channel).

A couple days later, Father's Day to be exact, both of my Grandparents were telling us about this amazing banana bread they made and that it was the most wonderful and moist bread they had ever had.

I was shocked that my Grandparents and I had watched the same episode and were so smitten with this banana bread. Too funny. It was a sign. I NEED TO MAKE THIS!

So on Sunday I made this recipe and it was AMAZING!!!
You must try this Banana Bread, you will love it!

This is what you will need:
-1 stick of butter at room temperature
-1 and 1/2 cup flour
-1 tsp baking powder
-1 tsp baking soda
-1 tsp salt
-3 ripe bananas
-1 cup sugar
-2 eggs
-1/2 cup sour cream (scary! but so wonderful!)
-1 tsp vanilla
-3/4 cup chopped pecans

Now that you have the materials this is how the magic gets made:
Preheat the oven and butter/flour a loaf pan. I highly recommend Pam Baking Spray (with Flour). It is the best invention EVER!

In a bowl, sift together flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda.

In another bowl mash up the ripened bananas with a fork, but make sure to leave it a little chunky.

Then, if two bowls weren't enough, get another one for creaming the sugar and butter until they are nice and fluffy with an electric mixer. Add the eggs, one at a time until mixed nicely. You can then add the bananas, sour cream and vanilla. Mix it all up until it is just incorporated.

Slowly add the dry ingredients and mix it in with a spoon...the mixer will be too harsh on the bananas, so use your muscles!

To top it all off, gently fold in the chopped pecans. That's it!

Put it in the loaf pan and bake it for 1 hour and 10 minutes. It is the longest wait, but so worth it!
Enjoy your yummy breakfast!

Recipe By: The Neeleys

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Tequila Lime Chicken

This week has been absolutely crazy working in the dorms. I've never had residents that have caused so much trouble and been so high maintenance before! Which is saying something, because I've seen some crazy stuff! So after an 8 hour shift of babysitting college students I come home completely exhausted and sad to say that I have been relying on Lean Cuisines to feed me. YUCK!
But tonight I'm really excited because I got some motivation this morning and prepared the marinade for Tequila-Lime Chicken from Pioneer Woman. It's the first time I've made a dinner since Father's Day (which is sad), but it is going to be soooo good!
Here is Pioneer Womans Link to making this recipe (if you need visual help):
This is what you need for the marinade:
-1/4 cup Tequila (yea!)
-Juice of 2 Limes
-1/4 cup cilantro
-3 cloves of garlic peeled
-1/2 of a jalapeno sliced
-1/2 tsp of salt
-2 & 1/2 Tbsp Olive Oil
Throw all of these into a food processor or blender (for us poor college students) and watch the magic come to life!
Place 2 chicken breasts in a large storage bag and pound them down flat. Add the marinade to the bag and let the chicken soak up all the yummy juices overnight or a couple of hours. I'm letting mine marinate for about 8 hours, since that is how long I'll be at work till. Bummer.
When you get hungry and can't take it any longer, heat up your George Foreman or Grill and cook the chicken for several minutes until done.
To make this extra tasty (if that is possible), turn on the broiler and place the chicken on a baking sheet. Sprinkle on 1/4 cup of Monterey Jack Cheese onto each chicken breast and melt the cheese in the broiler!
I'm going to serve this with refried beans and Mexican rice....I can hardly stand the wait! Oh mama! I'm so excited to get away from the dorms and eat this Mexican fiesta!!!! Adios!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Father's Day

Today was so much fun! As you know it was Father's Day....but my Mom and I went all out!
The day started out with my sister and I making French Toast and Scrambled Eggs for breakfast for Dad and then the rest of the day was spent preparing for the feast!
It was pretty much as epic as Thanksgiving...but BBQ style.
Our fantastic dinner included:
-BBQ Ribs
-Macaroni Salad (I need to get my mom's recipe, it is so good!)
-Buttered Rosemary Rolls
- and Baked Beans
Then for dessert I worked all day on this masterpiece!

Lemon Cake with Buttercream/Royal Icing!!!!!
This cake mold was so mom got it off of William Sonoma. I checked on their website and sadly it isn't listed anymore. But maybe its available on Ebay if you love it that much!
Pretty much I love this cake pan, it came with the recipe for the lemon cake and it was very very specific on how to make it, which is good because it turned out great!
So basically....after eating and eating and eating some more, I went into a food coma! LOVE IT!
Happy Father's Day!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Cake Decorating: Lesson 1 & 2

So sorry I haven't posted in work schedule has pretty much been taking over my life! Anyways, I signed up for cake decorating classes at Michaels Craft Store and it has pretty much changed my life forever!
My friends and family better watch out next time it is there birthday because I'll make/decorate a cake! lol. My past two classes have been awesome....we were taught the secrets of how to make and ice the perfect cake. There are so many little secrets I had no clue about!
For example....did you know that you have to add meringue powder to icing? I DIDN'T! I allows the icing to crust so that you can make it smooth and beautiful. Also, Pam cooking spray with flour included is a miracle! I pretty much love this class and will be learning new techniques from the class and, so go check it out! The website is really helpful and great!
My Cake!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Lemon Bars

There is nothing like a sweet and refreshing recipe during the early summertime. Lemon Bars definitely fit that description! I love lemon bars, more than my love for cupcakes....NOT! There is nothing that can beat my love for cake and cupcakes, but these certainly come close and they are delicious!
For the Crust you are going to need:
-1 and 1/3 cup crumbled vanilla wafers
-2 tbsp sugar
-5 tbsp melted butter
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. To make the crust you need to grease a 2 qt baking dish. In a mixing bowl combine wafers, sugar and butter. Press the crust into the bottom of the baking dish and bake for 10 minutes.

For the Filling you are going to need:
-1 cup sugar
-2 eggs beaten
-1/2 tsp lemon zest
-Juice of 1 lemon
-1/2 tsp vanilla
-2 tbsp flour
-Powdered sugar (to sprinkle on top)
Whisk together all the ingredients in a bowl and pour it over the baked crust. Bake for 25 minutes or until the center is set. Let it cool to room temperature or put it in the fridge till its very chilled. Sprinkle powdered sugar on top.
Warning!!! They are very addicting!!!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Tavern Burgers

Like I said before...yesterday was CrAzY! So what is good to make when you have to work insane hours???? CROCK POT DINNER! I looked through my official crockpot cookbook and found Tavern Burgers. It's basically Sloppy Joes but not as sloppy.
Here is what you will need:
-1 lb ground beef
-1/8 cup brown sugar
-1/8 cup yellow mustard
-1/4 cup ketchup
-Hamburger Buns
-Cheese (optional)
First cook up the ground beef and drain the fat....because we all know fat is the last thing we all need!

Then place the beef in the crockpot and add brown sugar, mustard and ketchup. Stir it all up and then set the settings to LOW for 4-6 is that easy!

I wanted to take a picture of it all put together, but they were gone too fast before I could remember to grab my camera! If you will visualize with me....put a spoonful of beef mixture on hamburger bun and put some cheese on top (if you wish!).
Eat it up and enjoy!!!

French Toast

Yesterday was absolutely CrAzY and I was unable to write about the 2 meals I made. Usually in the morning all I eat is a yogurt for breakfast, but yesterday I was feeling I made French Toast! It's a classic breakfast dish and I love it so much!
You are going to need the following:
-3 large eggs
-6 slices of bread
-Cinnamon powder
First I cracked 3 eggs in a large bowl and scrambled them up good. Heat a medium sized pan at medium/low heat with a tablespoon of butter. Then with the 6 slices of bread, dip them into the scrambled egg on both sides of the bread and place them onto the pan...only do 3 slices at a time, maybe 2. On the top side of the bread sprinkle Cinnamon powder on the bread. After 1-2 minutes flip the bread to the other side and cook the French toast until both sides are lightly brown.
Ta-da! Yum!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


Like I said in yesterdays post....the Penne pasta makes alot! Also, the Cupcake Bite recipe makes alot! So today I will be eating leftover penne for dinner and cupcake bites for dessert!
Plus I'm definitely sore today from doing P90x...I can barely climb up stairs!
To conclude, today is a lazy day where I will be eating leftovers.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Shrimp Penne Pasta in Tomato Cream Sauce

Today I just started P90X. For those of you who don't know what that's the DVD workout series from HELL! I did the workout called Plyometrics, which equal Jump Training. Not excited. So I felt like I deserved something truly sinful for my good workout! hehehe. Also, I have decided that once a week I have to make something from Pioneer Woman because I LOVE her food. Here is her website so you can check it out and get addicted like I am...
The recipe I made from her book today is called "Penne alla Betsy" but technically I would call it "Shrimp Penne Pasta in Tomato Cream Sauce." And let me tell you was good! (of course)
To make it, this is what you are going to need (it makes alot!).....
-2 tbsp butter
-2 tbsp olive oil
-1 lb shrimp
-1 lb penne pasta
-1 small onion minced
-2 cloves garlic
-1/2 cup white wine
-1 cup heavy cream
-1 (15 oz) can of tomato sauce
-1/8 cup dried parsley
-6 fresh leave of basil chopped
-Salt and pepper
Cook the pasta as directed on the box. Drain and set aside.
In a large saucepan melt 1 tbsp butter and olive oil in med/high setting on stove. Add the shrimp (without tails) and cook until pink. Cut the shrimp into bite size pieces and then set aside in a bowl.

Add another tbsp butter and olive oil to the pan and add the minced garlic and onion. Cook until the onion/garlic is translucent. Add the white wine and let it evaporate for about 45 seconds. Turn the heat down to low and add the tomato sauce and heavy cream (I told you it was sinful!).
Then add the bitesize shrimp, parsley, basil, salt and pepper. Gently stir and then add the penne pasta. Dish up the goods and add some Parmesean cheese on top for a nice classy touch! Or just because Parmesean cheese and pasta belong together.
Enjoy! And have a glass of wine too! YUM!
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