Friday, October 29, 2010

.artichoke chicken.

This recipe involves some of my favorite items and took almost no prep time. A new favorite for sure! I found the original recipe on and after looking through several of the reviews on the dish I made my own changes accordingly. Enjoy!

1 (15 ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup mayonnaise
garlic powder (to taste)
black pepper (to taste)
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/2 cup Panko or breadcrumbs

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
In a medium bowl, mix together the artichoke hearts, Parmesan cheese, mayonnaise, garlic and pepper. Place chicken in a greased baking dish, and cover evenly with artichoke mixture. Top with panko or breadcrumbs.
Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until chicken is no longer pink in the center and juices run clear.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

.m&m and kit kat cake.

I have lately been intrigued by cake design and how fun it can be. Anyone who knows me is probably laughing at this because I have absolutely NO sweet tooth what so ever! So when a co-worker/forever friend's birthday came I volunteered to bring the cake to work for her. I asked her what her two favorite candies were and she said m&m's and kit kats. I wish that I could take all the credit for this amazing cake, but I literally googled "m&m kit kat cake" and this was the first hit I got. Gosh I love the world wide web.

("embrace the checkbox" is a joke with my friend since she is now entering into the next checkbox when she fills out forms the 25-30 age range)

One box of cake mix or you can make your own, again I dont bake so I used a box :)
One container of frosting or again you can make your own.
1 big bag of M&M's
1 bag of snack size kit kats (put in refrigerator beforehand so they dont melt when you touch them)

Bake the cake according to directions on the box or your own. The cakes need to be placed in 2 round cake pans. When they are done and cooled use a knife to cut them level. (Make sure they are shorter then the height of the kit kat bars) Place a layer of frosting in the center of the cakes to attach them. Frost the entire cake and place kit kat bars in groups of 2 around the cake. Then place m&m's on top and around the plate for decoration. Wrap a ribbon of your choice around the entire cake and enjoy!

.garlic marinated steaks.

Words do not even describe how AMAZING this marinate is! Normally I am not a huge fan of marinates because they take so much time and I can normally not taste them, but this was so so delicious (and my husband is excellent on the bbq so that helped :) I only marinated it for one day and next time I will do it for two. It does taste super garlicky so if you are not a fan of garlic this is not the recipe for you. Enjoy!

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pinch cayenne pepper
2 (1/2 pound) rib-eye steaks

In a medium bowl, mix the vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, honey, olive oil, ground black pepper, Worcestershire sauce, onion powder, salt, and cayenne pepper.
Place steaks in a shallow glass dish (I used a ziplock bag) with the marinade, and turn to coat. For optimum flavor, rub the liquid into the meat. Cover, and marinate in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 days.
Preheat grill for medium-high to high heat.
Lightly oil the grill grate. Grill steaks 7 minutes per side, or to desired doneness. Discard leftover marinade.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

.blueberry banana bread.

I usually get so mad when the hubby does not finish all the bananas that I buy him for his smoothies..however this time I decided to get creative. This bread was SO delicious! It tasted great fresh out of the oven with a little bit of butter right on top. I will never get mad at him again for not finishing bananas! (side note: unfortunately this bread was so good, when we left the house bella decided to open the tupperware container that it was in and eat its contents, she is very skilled..and we are very very sad)

3/4 cup and 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1/2 cup mashed ripe bananas
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons water
1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
1/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. In another bowl, combine the eggs, bananas, oil and water. Stir into the dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in blueberries and walnuts. Pour into greased 8-in. x 4-in. x 2-in. loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to wire rack.

Monday, October 18, 2010

.gnocchi with shrimp, asparagus, and pesto.

I got this recipe from a friend who made this for her husband and posted a picture of it on facebook. It looked so amazing I had to give it a try. I had never tried gnocchi before and its pretty tasty and super easy to make. The original recipe is from Cooking Light, I changed it a bit and instead of making my own pesto I used already made pesto from my favorite...Trader Joe's. I am posting the original recipe with instructions to make the pesto. If you choose to just buy it, ignore the pesto instructions. Enjoy!

2 quarts plus 1 tablespoon water, divided
1 (16-ounce) package vacuum-packed gnocchi
4 cups (1-inch) slices asparagus (about 1 pound)
1 pound peeled and deveined large shrimp, coarsely chopped

1 cup basil leaves
2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
2 tablespoons preshredded Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons bottled minced garlic
4 teaspoons extravirgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt

Bring 2 quarts water to a boil. Add gnocchi to pot; cook 4 minutes or until done (gnocchi will rise to surface). Remove gnocchi with a slotted spoon; place in a large bowl. Add asparagus and shrimp to pan; cook 5 minutes or until shrimp are done. Drain. Add shrimp mixture to gnocchi. Add ready made pesto or follow directions below to make the pesto.
Combine remaining 1 tablespoon water, basil, and next 4 ingredients (through garlic) in a food processor; process until smooth, scraping sides. Drizzle oil through food chute with food processor on; process until well blended. Add salt and basil mixture to shrimp mixture; toss to coat. Serve immediately.

.grilled zucchini & yellow squash.

These are my new favorite vegetables! The picture does not really do them justice to how completely amazing they tasted, they look a little burned because I like thing extra crispy :) Bobby and I were fortunate enough to work with a family that had a vegetable garden with plenty to spare! We ate these veggies daily with many of our meals and never knew we would love vegetables so much!

Yellow Squash
Lemon Pepper
Seasoning Salt

Cut into 1/2 inch slices. Season with Lemon Pepper and Seasoning Salt. Grill on a frying pan until lightly browned. Using butter instead of oil. Serve with your favorite meal and enjoy.

Friday, October 15, 2010

.parmigiano-reggiano crusted chicken piccata.

This recipe was AMAZING!!! I found it in Rachael Ray's magazine. I changed the recipe a bit to make it more practical. Also the original recipe contains capers, with I omitted because I did not have them and it tasted just fine :) The only thing that gave me problems was when I cooked the chicken the oil splashed everywhere, even though I did not even use the full amount, so make sure you have some sort of splash screen to prevent the major ouch! I will make this again soon!

1/4 cup flour
2 eggs
1 1/4 cups grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, pounded 1/4 inch thick
1/2 pound angel hair pasta
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon, plus 1 sliced lemon
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons butter
5 oz. baby spinach

1. Place the flour on a plate. In a shallow bowl, beat the eggs. Place 1 cup cheese on another plate. Working 1 cutlet at a time, coat the chicken with flour, then egg, then cheese, pressing to adhere. Transfer to plate.
2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add salt, then the pasta and cook until al dente, 3 minutes. Drain, reserving a ladleful of water.
3. In a large nonstick skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of oil, over medium heat. Add the chicken ad cook, turning once, until deeply golden, 10 minutes. Transfer to a platter and cover with foil. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil to the skillet. Add the sliced lemon, garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the wine and parsley and cook until reduced, 1 minutes. Lower the heat and bring to a simmer.
4. Stir the chicken broth into the sauce for 1 minute. Stir in the butter until melted, then stir in the lemon juice. Spoon a little sauce over the chicken. Add the spinach to the remaining sauce in the skillet and cook until wilted. Add the reserved pasta cooking water. Stir in the pasta and toss to coat; season with salt and pepper. Add the remaining 1/4 cup cheese and toss. Serve the pasta with chicken.