Friday, September 28, 2012

Tunnel of Brownie Ice Cream Cake

I have only one word for this dessert: DECADENT!  This is seriously and insanely amazing!  You so have to try this.  It's very easy, but make sure you either make it the night before or early morning if you want to serve it that night, as it has to sit in the freezer for 6-8 hours.  You can use any flavor ice cream or frozen yogurt you like.  I used the blueberry pomegranate dark chocolate chunk ice cream, which is a big favorite at our house.  Enjoy!
-1 box brownie mix and related ingredients (I used Duncan Hines fudge brownies)
-1 1/2 to 2 quarts ice cream or frozen yogurt, softened
Bake brownies in a 9x13 pan for 20-25 minutes only (they have to be soft and pliable, so that you can work with them).  Let cool completely.
Line a 5x10 loaf pan with plastic wrap (not the sticky kind).  Cut pieces of brownie to fit the bottom and sides, but make sure you leave enough for the top as well.  Arrange the pieces on the bottom and sides of prepared loaf pan.  Scoop ice cream into the pan, filling to about 1/2 " below the top.  Top with the remaining brownie piece.  Cover pan with aluminum foil and freeze for at least 6-8 hours.
Remove from the freezer and gently flip it onto serving plate.  Remove plastic wrap, cut into slices and enjoy!
Immediately freeze the leftovers.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Chicken Paprikash

This dish is very quick, simple, and absolutely delicious!  I put it together in under 30 minutes!  How's that for fast?  It has a bit of a kick to it and the chicken is super moist and tender.  The flavors are absolutely amazing together.  Enjoy!
-6 slices bacon, diced
-1 medium onion, chopped
-1 red bell pepper (green is fine too), chopped
-1/4 cup flour
-2 Tbs paprika
-1 tsp salt
-1 1/2 lbs skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut in half
-2 cups chicken broth
-8 oz egg noddles
-1/2 cup sour cream
-1 Tbs dried parsley leaves
Start boiling the water for the noodles.
Meanwhile, in a separate pot, cook the diced bacon for 2 minutes over medium heat.  Add the onion and pepper, and cook for 3 more minutes.
While that is cooking, mix the flour, paprika, and salt in a shallow bowl.  Dredge the chicken through that.
Push the bacon and veggies to the side of the pot and increase the heat to medium high.  Add the chicken and any remaining flour mixture to the other side, and cook, turning, until browned (about 6 minutes).  Stir together the chicken, bacon and veggies, and cook for 2 more minutes.  Add the broth and bring to a boil.  Stir, the reduce the heat to medium low.  Cover and simmer until the chicken is cooked through (about 10 more minutes).
While that simmers, add the noodles to the boiling water and cook as the label directs.  Drain and set aside.
Uncover the pot with the chicken, increase the heat to high and cook for 2 extra minutes.  Reduce the heat to low, stir in the sour cream and parsley, and cook for 2 more minutes.  Serve over the noodles.  Enjoy!
Slightly adapted from a Food Network Recipe.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Smoked Salmon Hash with Sunny Side Up Eggs

This dish is very addictive.  Once you start eating it you simply cannot stop!  It's also a bit on the spicy side, which is always a plus for me.  If you don't like spicy, simply omit the cayenne or add only a little bit.  Enjoy!
-oil for frying
-2 large Idaho potatoes, peeled and cut into small dice
-1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
-1 small onion, chopped
-cayenne pepper, to your liking
-2 garlic cloves, minced
-6.5 oz gourmet smoked salmon, flaked
-cooking spray
-4 eggs
Heat frying oil.  Add potatoes and cook until golden brown.  Drain on paper towels.  Season with salt and pepper.
Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan.  Add the onion and season with salt and cayenne.  Cook for about 2 minutes.  Add the garlic and salmon.  Season with a bit more cayenne, if desired.  Stir and cook for 1 minute.  Add the potatoes and cook for 2-3 minutes, gently stirring.  Set aside and keep warm while you make the sunny side up eggs (use the cooking spray to make them).
Divide salmon hash onto 4 plates, and top each with 1 sunny side up egg.  Serve immediately.  Enjoy!
Adapted from an Emeril Lagasse recipe.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Pecan Chicken with Blackberry Sauce

As soon as I saw this recipe on my friend, Haylee's blog, I knew I had to try it.  I sure am glad I did, because my family and I LOVED it!  The sauce is absolutely incredible!  It has such an amazing flavor!  I tweaked the recipe just a little bit.  A plus is that it's also super easy to put together.  The longest time is for cooking the chicken, so make sure you plan this in advance.  I served ours with some mashed potatoes.  Enjoy!
For the chicken:
-4 chicken thighs, bone-in, skin-on
-1/2 cup pecan chips
-1 tsp salt
-1/2 cup Italian style bread crumbs
-1/4 tsp ground pepper
-1/2 cup buttermilk
-2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
For the sauce:
-1/4 cup diced onion
-2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
-1/2 tsp sumbol (or crushed red pepper)
-10 oz blackberry preserves
-1/4 cup chicken broth
-1/2 cup heavy cream
-1/8 tsp Tabasco sauce
-1/8 tsp salt
-1/8 tsp ground pepper
-1 Tbs cornstarch
Preheat oven to 300F.
In a shallow bowl, mix pecans, salt, crumbs, and pepper.  Pour buttermilk in another shallow bowl.  Heat the oil in an ovenproof large skillet.
Dredge chicken in buttermilk, then through the crumbs mixture.  Fry in hot oil until lightly brown on both sides (about 3 minutes per side).  Move skillet into preheated oven and bake for 1 hour.
Meanwhile, make the sauce.  Heat oil in skillet.  Add the onion and saute for about 4-5 minutes.  Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil.  Simmer until nice and thickened.
Once chicken is done, pour sauce over chicken and enjoy!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Buttermilk Pie

This pie is truly a treat!  So creamy, sweet, smooth and delicious!  Enjoy!
-1 (9 inch) deep dish frozen pie crust
-1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
-1 cup sugar
-3 Tbs flour
-3 eggs
-1 cup buttermilk
-1 tsp vanilla
Preheat oven to 450 F.  Line a baking sheet with foil.  Place crust on top of that.  Line crust with double thickness foil.  Bake in preheated oven for 8 minutes.  Remove foil and bake for about 4 more minutes or until lightly browned.  Set aside to cool.
Reduce oven temperature to 350 F.
In a saucepan, melt butter.  Stir in sugar and flour.  Mix well. Remove from heat and set aside.
In your mixer's bowl, beat the eggs until nice and fluffy (about 1 minute).  Add the buttermilk and vanilla.  Gradually add the butter mixture.  Pour into cooled pie shell. Carefully tent whole pie with foil.
Bake in preheated oven for 55-70 minutes or until center is set when gently shaken.
Cool on counter for 1 hour.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hour before serving.  Enjoy!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Simple Fried Shrimp

This is super quick and super delicious!  It goes really well with a side of mashies or broccoli rice, or you can serve it by itself with some cocktail sauce or even ketchup.  Although there's some Tabasco sauce in it, there really isn't any spiciness to it.  The Tabasco simply gives it a bit more flavor, but no kick.  Enjoy!
-1 lb shrimp, peeled, deveined, with tails removed
-1/2 cup flour
-1 egg
-2 Tbs milk
-4-5 dashed Tabasco sauce
-1 cup Panko crumbs (you may need to add a bit more)
-oil for frying
Heat oil in large skillet.
Place flour in a shallow bowl.  In another bowl, beat the eggs, and add milk and Tabasco.  Mix well.  In a third bowl add Panko crumbs.
Dip shrimp in flour, then in egg mixture, then in Panko crumbs.  Make sure it's coated on all sides.
Place in hot oil in batches.  Do not overcrowd.  Cook for a couple of minutes on both sides, or until golden brown.  Drain on paper towels.  Enjoy!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Smoked Salmon Wraps

This is not really a recipe.  It's more a suggestion for serving some delicious smoked salmon.  It's super quick and very tasty!  Enjoy!
-4 small tortillas
-cream cheese
-2 eggs, hard boiled, sliced
-smoked salmon
-1 cucumber, peeled and cut into thin strips
Spread cream cheese on tortillas.  Top with sliced eggs, cucumber strips and pieces of salmon.  Wrapped tightly, secure with toothpicks, and enjoy!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Garlicky White-Bean Dip

This is a nice change from the regular dips.  It's also healthy and very quick to put together.  It goes perfectly with pita chips or tostidos scoops.  Enjoy!
-2 (15.5 oz each) cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained, divided
-2 garlic cloves, peeled and whole
-2 Tbs lemon juice
-1/4 cup + 1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil, divided
-1 roasted red pepper, diced
Reserve 1/2 cup of the beans in a small bowl.
Place the rest of the beans in a blender.  Add garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper.  Puree.  With the motor running, add the 1/4 cup oil.  Puree until nice and smooth.  Pour into serving bowl.
Mix the reserved beans with the rest of the oil, roasted pepper, and a little salt and pepper.  Pour on top of dip.  Enjoy!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Slow Cooker Stewed Chicken and Sausage

This is serious comfort food.  The flavors are truly amazing in this dish.  There's also a little kick to it, which makes it even nicer.  It goes absolutely perfect with mamaliga.  Enjoy!
-1/4 cup vegetable oil
-4 chicken thighs, bone-in, skin-on
-Creole seasoning
-1/2 cup flour
-1/2 lb smoked sausage, cut crosswise into 1/2 inch slices
-2 onions, thinly sliced
-3 cloves garlic, chopped
-6 cups chicken stock
Heat oil in large skillet.
Season chicken on both sides with Creole seasoning.  In a bowl, mix the flour with some more Creole seasoning.  Dredge the chicken in the seasoned flour, coating each side completely.
Add chicken to hot oil.  Turn to brown on all sides.  Remove chicken and place it in the slow cooker.
To the skillet, add the sausage and onion.  Season with salt and cayenne.  Cook for about 10 minutes.  Transfer everything (including oil) to slow cooker over chicken.  Add the garlic and chicken stock.  Cover the slow cooker and cook on low for 3 hours.  Serve on top of mamaliga.  Enjoy!
Adapted from an Emeril Lagasse recipe.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Decadent Chocolate Cheesecake

I do not have enough words to describe this cheesecake!  It truly is decadent!  It's so chocolaty, rich, creamy...oh, so good!  You have to try it!  It's absolutely incredible.  Enjoy!

For the crust:
-1 (9 oz package of chocolate cookies-chocolate wafers, graham crackers or teddy grahams)
-1 Tbs sugar
-6 Tbs butter, melted
For the filling:
-10 oz semisweet chocolate chips
-4 (8 oz each) packages cream cheese, room temperature
-1 1/4 cups plus 2 Tbs sugar
-1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
-4 large eggs
For the topping:
-3/4 cup heavy cream
-6 oz semisweet chocolate chips
-1 Tbs sugar
For crust:
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter a 9-inch springform pan with 3-inch-high sides (or use a 10-inch springform pan with 2-inch sides). Process the chocolate cookies until they are finely ground. Transfer them to a small bowl and mix in the sugar. Add the melted butter and mix until well combined. Press the crumbs evenly onto the bottom only of the prepared pan. Bake just until set, about 5 minutes. Cool while preparing filling. Keep the oven heated at 350 degrees.
For filling:
Melt the 10 ounces of chocolate.  Cool the chocolate until lukewarm but ensure that it is still warm enough to be pourable. In a large bowl (or with a stand mixer), blend cream cheese, sugar, and cocoa powder until smooth. Blend in eggs one at a time. Mix in lukewarm chocolate. Pour the cheesecake filling over the crust; smooth the top. Bake until the center is just set and just appears dry, about 1 hour. Remove the cheesecake from the oven and cool for 10 minutes. Run knife around sides of cake to loosen. Let the cheesecake cool to room temperature. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and chill overnight.
For topping:
One hour before serving (or up to 3 days ahead of time), stir cream, 6 ounces chocolate, and sugar in medium saucepan over low heat until smooth. Cool slightly. Pour over the center of the cheesecake, spreading to within 1/2 inch of edge and filling any cracks. Chill until the topping is set, about 1 hour.
When ready to serve, release the springform pan sides. Transfer the cheesecake to a platter. It is preferable to let the cheesecake stand at room temperature for 1-2 hours before serving.  Enjoy!
Recipe slightly adapted from here.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Weight Watchers Philly Cheese Steak Sandwiches

I had this recipe for a long time, yet I just now made it.  I love how tasty it was with half the calories of a normal Philly Cheese Steak!  It is super easy to put together and absolutely delicious!  Enjoy!
-cooking spray
-1 large onion, thinly sliced
-1 Tbs sugar
-1 lb flat iron steak, cut into strips
-2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
-1/4 tsp salt
-1/4 tsp pepper
-4 burger buns
-3/4 cup shredded cheese (cheddar or pepper jack)
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
Coat a large skillet with cooking spray.  Add the onion and sugar.  Mix and saute until onion is tender and golden brown (about 10 minutes).  Remove onion from the pan and set aside.
Return the skillet to stove and add the strips of steak.  Saute until browned and cooked through.  Add the Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper, and cook until liquid is absorbed.
Divide the steak between the burger buns.  Top with onion and cheese.  Wrap in foil and bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes or until cheese is nice and melted.  Enjoy!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Chicken with Quince Jam

Quince is a big, hard fruit that tastes kind of tart.  However, processed as jam it is unbelievably sweet and delicious!  If you happen to have some in your home or find it at the store, try it with this simple recipe.  Enjoy!
-4 chicken thighs, bone-in, skin-on
-3 Tbs butter
-salt and pepper
-1 cup quince jam
-1/4 cup water
Preheat oven to 300 F.
Melt butter in large ovenproof skillet.
Score each thigh and season well with salt and pepper.  Add to melted butter, skin side down.  Cook for about 7 minutes or until the skin is nice and golden.  Flip to the other side and cook for 5-7 more minutes.
In a small bowl, combine the jam with the water.  Pour over chicken.
Place skillet in preheated oven and bake for about 40 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.  Serve over rice.  Enjoy!


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