Friday, February 5, 2016

Mint Chocolate Bundt Cake

Oh my!  What a delight this cake is!  It's moist, creamy, minty and delicious!  Every bite is a piece of heaven!  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
For cake:
-1 (15.25 oz) super moist devils food cake mix
-1/3 cup flour
-1 cup water
-1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
-2 large eggs
For Cream Cheese Filling:
-6 oz cream cheese, softened (use 1 (8 oz) block and divide it; remaining 2 oz go into the frosting)
-1/4 cup sugar
-1 Tbs flour
-1 large egg
-1/8 tsp peppermint extract
-3 drop green food coloring
For Chocolate Mint Frosting:
-2 Tbs semi sweet chocolate chips
-1 Tbs shortening
-2 oz cream cheese, softened 
-3 Tbs unsalted butter, softened
-1 cup powdered sugar
-1/4 tsp peppermint extract
-4 Tbs milk
-10-12 drop green food coloring
Directions:
Coat the bottom and sides of a bundt cake pan with baking cooking spray (the one with flour and butter).  Set aside.
Preheat oven to 325 F.
Let's first make the cake. Mix all cake ingredients together until smooth.  Pour into prepared bundt pan.
Second, let's make the filling. Using a hand mixer, beat the softened cream cheese and sugar until smooth.  Add remaining ingredients and beat until smooth.  Spoon mixture on top of cake batter.  Place pan in preheated oven and bake for about 45-55 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.  Remove from oven and place cake (still in the pan) on wire rack to cool completely.  Once cooled, remove cake onto a serving plate.
Last, let's make the frosting.  Melt the chocolate chips and shortening.  Set aside.
Beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth.  Add the melted chocolate mixture and remaining ingredients.  Beat until desired consistency.  Frost the cooled cake.  Slice and enjoy!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Poached Tilapia Amandine with Creamy Mashed Cauliflower

Sometime I want to enjoy  a lighter, more gourmet dinner and if it happens that only hubby and I enjoy it, well, so be it! :)  Yes, this one was not very popular with the young'uns, but hubby and I sure enjoyed every bite of it.  It's light, packed with flavor, and quite a delight.  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
For fish:
-3 lemons
-1/2 cup cooking white wine
-1 Tbs dried parsley
-1 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp pepper
-5 tilapia fillets
-1/2 cup slivered toasted almonds
For cauliflower mash:
-1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
-3/4 cup water, divided
-1 Tbs cornstarch
-1/3 cup heavy cream
-1 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp white pepper
-1/8 tsp onion powder
-1/8 tsp garlic powder
Directions:
Make the cauliflower mash first.  Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Add the cauliflower florets and boil for about 15 minutes or until tender.
Drain and add to your food processor or blender.  Add 1/2 cup of the water and process until smooth, but still with some texture.
Pour mixture back into empty pot.  In a small bowl, mix the remaining water and cornstarch.  Add to the cauliflower puree and mix well.  Add remaining ingredients and cook on low, stirring often, for about 10 minutes.  Remove from stove, cover and keep warm.
Meanwhile, let's make the fish.
Juice 2 of the lemons and slice the third.
Add the lemon juice, wine, parsley, salt and pepper to a large deep pan.  Bring to a gentle boil and lower the heat.  Add the tilapia, cover, and let it poach for about 5 minutes or until fillets are just opaque in the middle.
To plate, scoop some of the mashed cauliflower onto a plate.  Top with a poached fillet.  Garnish with lemon slices and toasted almonds.
Enjoy!

Monday, February 1, 2016

Cream of Black Bean Soup

This is quite a delight, especially on a cold winter day.  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
-1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
-2 medium onions, chopped
-2 jalapeƱos, seeded and chopped
-1 garlic clove, minced
-2 cups chicken broth
-1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
-1 tsp ground cumin
-1 tsp ground coriander seeds
-1 cup water
-2 Tbs cooking white wine
-1 tsp lime juice
-1/2 tsp salt
-chopped chives, to garnish
Directions:
Heat oil in large sauce pan.  Add the onions, jalapeƱos and garlic.  Stir and cook until veggies are soft, about 5 minutes.  Add the broth, beans, cumin, coriander, and water.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Stir in the wine, lime juice and salt.  Mix well and pour mixture into your blender.  Puree.  Ladle into bowls and top with some chopped chives.  Enjoy!
Slightly adapted from a Weight Watchers recipe.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Chunky Monkey Brownies

This is such a perfect dessert to make with those leftovers bananas.  Wonderful combination of ripe bananas with chocolate.  YUM!  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
-1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
-1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
-1/2 cup sugar
-1/4 tsp salt
-2 large eggs
-2 tsp vanilla extract
-3 ripe banans
-2 cups flour
-1 1/2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips
-1/4 cup semi sweet chocolate chips, for topping
Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 F.  Coat 9x13 baking dish with baking cooking spray (the one with flour and butter).  Set aside.
In your mixer's bowl, cream the butter, brown sugar, sugar ad salt.  Add the eggs and vanilla.  Mix well.  Throw in the peeled ripe bananas and mix well.  Add the flour, half of cup at a time.  Stir in the chocolate chips.
Pour mixture into prepared pan.  Top with 1/4 cup of chocolate chips.  Bake in preheated oven for 40-45 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.  
Cool pan with brownies on wire rack.  Let it cool completely, no matter how hard it is to smell the goodness and not have it! :)  Once cooled completely, cut and enjoy!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Chicken Thighs in Creamy Sauce

Quick, easy and delicious!  This is a great dish to enjoy over and over. The chicken is a little spicy, which compliments perfectly the creamy sauce.  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
For seasoning:
-1/4 tsp salt
-1 tsp chili powder
-1/2 tsp onion powder
-1 tsp garlic powder
-1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
For dish:
-1 lb chicken thighs, skinless, boneless
-4 Tbs salted butter, divided
-2 cups heavy cream
-cooked rice
Directions:
Mix seasoning ingredients together and set aside.
Melt 2 Tbs of the butter in large skillet.  Season thighs on both sides with seasoning mix.  Add to the hot skillet and brown on both sides.  Remove chicken onto plate and return skillet to stove.
Melt remaining butter into skillet and add the cream. Bring to a boil.  Lower the heat, return chicken to skillet (including all the juices accumulated on the plate they sat on), cover and simmer for 5-7 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.
Serve on top of cooked rice.  Enjoy!

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