Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Spicy Tilapia with a Pinapple-pepper Relish

So this weekend i did some spring cleaning. After cleaning out my freezer i saw which meats i had (that were still good) and planned my meals around them for the week(rather then buying more meat). Plus since i dusted off my cooking light cookbook i thought this was the perfect opportunity to try something new, healthy, and yummy!
This is what i found for my Tilapia...now Chris wasn't a huge fan of the Relish... to "different" for him but I LOVE IT! I was eatting spoonfuls of the stuff... but i also felt the peppers baking my insides for the rest of the night but it was still SOOOO good! It was fresh, spicy, and filling!
4 servings (serving size: 1 fillet, about 1/2 cup relish, and 1 lime wedge)

* 2 teaspoons canola oil (i didn't have any so i used EVOO)
* 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
* 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
* 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
* 4 (6-ounce) tilapia fillets
* 1 1/2 cups chopped fresh pineapple chunks
* 1/3 cup chopped onion
* 1/3 cup chopped plum tomato
* 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
* 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
* 1 small jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped
* 4 lime wedges


Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Combine Cajun seasoning, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Sprinkle fish evenly with spice mixture. Add fish to pan, and cook for 2 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of doneness.

Combine pineapple and next 5 ingredients (through jalapeño) in a large bowl, stirring gently. Serve pineapple mixture with fish. Garnish with lime wedges.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 228 (22% from fat)Fat: 5.5g (sat 1.2g,mono 2.2g,poly 1.4g) Protein:34.9g Carbohydrate:11.2g Fiber:1.5g Cholesterol:85mg Iron:1.2mg Sodium:328mg Calcium:29mg

Everyone needs an audience!

This is my Sadie Ladie! my cute "little" lab! She's like velcro to me and gets frustrated when i'm in the kitchen for long periods of time (notice the chew marks on the rails)! Love my pups!

Pioneer Woman Chicken

Now i'm sure if you're a food blogger you know about the Pioneer woman and her amazingness but WOW... this is the first recipe of hers i've made (knowing it was hers) and it was amazing! I made it with my Mother-in-law on Friday night before we went off to my scrapbook world. It is such an amazingly tasty AND colorful dish! It just LOOKS so pretty! Chris LOVED it... not he didn't eat all of his peppers but he loved the flavor they added! I can't wait to make this dish for a dinner party!

3 chicken legs
3 garlic cloves
3 tomatoes
2 bell peppers
1 large onion
3 tomatoes
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/8 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp paprika powder
1 tsp curry powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
3 tbsp oil

Optional: chili pepper


Preheat your oven to 350F (175C).

Wash and slice 2 bell peppers (color is completely irrelevant) into medium-sized strips. But color is ALWAY more fun!

Cut an onion in half and slice it up…

Until you end up with a big pile of these.

Slice a medium to large chili pepper. Don’t worry; this is not going to make things overly spicy. It’ll only add a little zing. (i honestly don't remember doing this step... i could have... but maybe i didn't... it was still good!)

Wash and dice 3 juicy red tomatoes.

Grate or finely mince 3 garlic cloves. Mine were medium-sized.

Grab yourself a bowl and put the garlic in there.

Pour 3 tbsp olive oil in there as well. Use a mild olive oil, if you have any (i didn't and it was fine).

Add 1 tsp sweet paprika powder, 1 tsp curry powder, a heaping 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon, 1/8 tsp ground cumin and 1/4 tsp salt. (i'm finding out more and more that cinnamon is a good thing in things other then dessert! Use it, Love it!)

Whisk until you have a fragrant marinade.

Generously season them with salt and black pepper.

Heat 1 or 2 tbsp oil and quickly brown the chicken legs.

Transfer the chicken to an oven dish.

Brush them with half of the marinade. BAM! Instant color! Kind of like a spray tan for the chicken!

Spread the bell pepper strips, onion slices and chili pepper around the chicken. Also place a few slices underneath and on top of the chicken.

Lightly and haphazardly dab the vegetables with the other half of the marinade.

Add the diced tomatoes. Try to distribute them evenly.

Pour in 1/2 cup of chicken broth. Pour it down the side of the oven dish— you don’t want to rinse the flavor off of the chicken and vegetables.

Pop the dish in a preheated oven and bake for 1 hour at 350F (175C).

After 30 minutes, remove the chicken from the oven, flip over the vegetables and pour some of the juices all over the chicken.

Put it back in the oven for another 30 minutes.

Thanks Pioneer woman this was amazing and GREAT still for leftovers!!

Dark and white chocolate strawberry layer cake!

We were going over to a friends house for dinner and i said that i would bring a dessert and OOOOH MAN i couldn't wait to make this so i thought PERFECT! Strawberries just went on sale i HAVE to make it! I can't even begin to tell you how amazing this cake was! EVERYONE loved it. My friend even asked if she could keep a big ole chunk so they could have it the next day (now when have people EVER ASKED for you to leave leftovers with them??)! This has such a nice blend of flavors but without being heavy and overly sweet. The best way i can explain the taste is a Chocolate Strawberry Shortcake!
Now i would LOVE to give credit to someone for this cake (because i didn't come up with it) but i can't remember whose blog it came from, so if it's your cake let me know!

Dark and White Chocolate Layer Cake

For the dark chocolate cake:
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup dark cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water

For the white chocolate whipped cream:
6 oz. white chocolate, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups cold heavy cream

For the whipped cream frosting:
1 cup cold heavy cream
4 tbsp. confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Fresh strawberries, for filling and garnishing

To make the cake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour the sides of two 9-inch round cake pans, and line the bottom of each with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In the bowl of a stand mixer combine the sugar, eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; mix at medium-low speed until smooth. Add in the dry ingredients and mix on low speed until just incorporated. Stir in the boiling water (batter will be thin).

Pour batter into the prepared pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cool in the pans for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of each cake, remove the cakes from the pans, and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. When the cake has cooled, cut each in half horizontally to create four cake layers.

To make the white chocolate whipped cream, place the chopped white chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Melt, stirring occasionally. When the chocolate is almost melted, bring 1/2 cup of the cream to a boil. Once the chocolate is fully melted, transfer the bowl to a counter, pour in the hot cream and let it sit for one minute. Then stir gently with a spatula until the chocolate is smooth. Let the chocolate sit until it reaches room temperature - the chocolate can’t be the least bit warm when it is added to the whipped cream.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the remaining 1 cup cream only until it holds the softest peaks. With the mixer on high speed, add the white chocolate all at once and continue to beat just until the mixture holds firm peaks. Transfer the cream to a bowl, press a piece of plastic wrap gently against the surface and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

To make the whipped cream frosting, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment beat the cream, sugar and vanilla together just until the cream starts to thicken. Start on a slower speed and increase the speed as the cream gains texture. Continue to beat until the cream holds stiff peaks. Be very careful not to overbeat.

To assemble the cake, transfer one of the cake layers to a 10-inch cardboard circle, cut surface up. Spread a thick layer of white chocolate whipped cream on top of the cake. Layer with fresh strawberry slices. Lay another cake layer on top of the cream and berries, and press down gently. Top as before with white chocolate whipped cream and berries. Repeat once more with another cake layer and topping. Place the final cake layer on top, cut side down, and press down gently. Frost the cake with whipped cream frosting and garnish with fresh berries as desired.

Pineapple Salmon

Tired of the same old Salmon and don't feel like putting a lot of effort into dinner BUT you still want something tasty and healthy?? Look no further! This was a very simple recipe but beware you have to like the taste of actual salmon to enjoy it (i tend to douse my fish in seasonings so you taste that more then the fish, not the case here).
Pour some melted butter over the top of the salmon (i just spread I can't believe it's not butter light). Sprinkle brown sugar so that a nice thin layer is there. Now bake in the oven on 400ish until almost done. Now take your pineapple chunks and spread over the top and bake for about 5 more minutes or so, keeping an eye not to burn the pineapples.
Enjoy! This makes a GREAT summer recipe too! I can't wait to try it on the grill!

Strawberry Lemon Tart

I would like to thank Katie for making this so that i could have to recipe to make it! Chris was having a hard week at work and so i wanted to make something nice for him to cheer him up and he LOVES lemon anything! So i made this yummy Strawberry Lemon Tart! We just loved it! It's the perfect sweetness without being heavy! We're really looking forward to this summer when i can add some other fresh fruit on it and maybe an apricot glaze!

Strawberry Lemon Tart

1 1/2 c. flour
1/2 c. butter, room temp
1/4 c. sugar
1 egg
1 pinch salt

1 1/4 c. milk
1 tsp vanilla
zest of 1 lemon
juice of 1/2 lemon
3 egg yolks
1/4 c. sugar
1/8 c. flour
2 Tbsp cornstarch

2 c. strawberries

-In bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, place butter and beat until softened.
-Add sugar and beat on high into butter until light in color and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
-Turn mixer to medium and add egg, beating until just combined.
-Add flour and salt and beat until mixture comes together, about 2-3 minutes. Do not overwork.
-Remove bowl from mixer, press dough together into ball and pat into flat disk.
-Cover disk tightly in plastic wrap and place into fridge for 20 minutes.
-Meanwhile, in small saucepan, combine milk, vanilla, and lemon zest and place over medium heat.
-Meanwhile, in small mixing bowl, combine egg yolk and sugar and mix to combine well.
-Add flour and cornstarch and beat into yolk mixture to combine very well.
-When milk mixture comes to a boil, remove from heat, add a spoonful into the yolk mixture to temper, then add yolk mixture into milk, whisking constantly to combine.
-Place back over heat, whisking constantly until mixture thickens well.
-Remove from heat, and stir in lemon juice.
-Place into bowl and cover with plastic wrap, placing over the top of the cream to avoid a crust and place into fridge to chill well.
-Remove dough from fridge and preheat oven to 400 degrees.
-Prepare 9 inch tart pan.
-On floured surface, roll out tart dough and then place evenly into tart pan.
-Smooth a little bit of flour onto the top of the tart dough, place a piece of tinfoil over and fill with pie weights.
-Place into oven and bake for 20-25 minutes until it turns golden brown.
-Remove from oven and let cool completely.
-Once ready to serve, wash and dry strawberries thoroughly, remove tops and slice each into half.
-Remove lemon pastry cream from fridge and spread evenly into bottom of tart shell.
-Top pastry cream with strawberry halves and serve.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Candied Apple Pork Chops

These little babies were YUMMMY! I was looking for a new spin on pork chops and i had two apples laying around so i thought i would put them to good use! These were a really tasty dinner that didn't take any time to prepare but seem almost gourmet!

I baked the pork chops with just a little salt and pepper seasonings. While those were cooking i sliced my apples into thin strips and then placed them in a pot on the stove where i had already melted 2 tbsp of butter. I added about 1/4 c of brown sugar and maybe a tsp or two of cinnamon (sorry i'm not an exact cook) and cooked them on a low medium heat until they were soft. Once my pork chops were done i poured the apples over top and served! YUMMM!

This is SURE to be a kid pleaser!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Holy Super Productive Batman!

Well something must be working with my new chemicals i'm on b/c WOW i've been doing GREAT lately... Chris is even surprised by my energy! I mean Yeah i still have to literally DRAG myself out of bed (i don't think that will ever change)but WOW i even impressed myself yesterday!!
So i'm not feeling soo well this week b/c it's not a great week to be a woman, catch my drift... okay moving on... BUT i STILL went home and i did the Jillian Michaels 30 day shred! I mean i almost died (seriously! okay not really but UH it was tough!) but i did it! THEN i folded some laundry and made cheesey gluten free biscuits from a mix i had in my pantry (they were eh)... I also took the pups on a car ride to the post office and uploaded LOTS of photos to facebook! I then went and auditioned for my church's chamber choir (oooh yea i'm in! SWEET!) came home finished making dinner for my darlin hubby and ate at the TABLE (yea we've been BAD couch eaters lately)!!
***side note: Chris has decided that Stella now gets to sit in a chair at the table, well it's against the wall and not BY the table but still!! She still like right there... and i would object but she's so darn funny just sitting there quietly watching us!***
After dinner we did some potential looking at new clothes for chris online and then i finished up the laundry and....

WAIT for it....

WAIT for it....

PUT IT ALL AWAY! OOOH YEA! Even MY hanging clothes! WOW! That was a lot! Hey it was! It was like 6 loads at least!

And after my beloved LOST finished i started my new bible study THE LOVE DARE. It's a bible/christian study on how to be a better spouse and how to love your spouse more...etc

That was what i did! Things are really looking up!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Pour some fat on me....

So Chris had a really rough day at work yesterday so i decided to make him a non-diet food that he LOVES. Shrimp Scampi. But i had this GREAT sounding recipe in my google reader from Annie Eats that i knew i had to try! I didn't have all the ingredients on hand but it still turned out amazing! So here's my version of her tasty treat! Notice below i wrote in the changes of the amount i used... for a smaller serving go to her blog or basic half it.

Baked Shrimp Scampi

1 lb. large shrimp in the shell (I used this bag of shrimp that was on sale... it was like 50 med shrimp)
3 1/2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. dry white wine (didn't have any so i added in more olive oil and a splash of vinegar)
salt and black pepper
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 tsp. minced garlic (about 4 cloves)
2 tbsp. minced shallots (so i didn't have any of these, so i used chopped up finely white onions)
1 1/2 tbsp. minced fresh parsley (mine was dried)
1/2 tsp. minced fresh rosemary leaves (dried again)
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp. grated lemon zest (didn't have any so i used more juice)
2 1/2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten
1/3 cup panko (yeah non again so i used bread crumbs)
Lemon wedges, for serving and non AGAIN!)

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Peel and devein the shrimp, leaving the tails on. Place the shrimp in a mixing bowl and toss gently with the olive oil, wine, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Allow to sit at room temperature while you make the butter and garlic mixture.

In a small bowl, mash the softened butter with the garlic, shallots, parsley, rosemary, red pepper flakes, lemon zest, lemon juice, egg yolk, panko, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and a pinch of black pepper until combined.

Starting from the center of an oval or round baking dish, arrange the shrimp in a single layer in the dish. Pour the remaining marinade over the shrimp. Spread the butter mixture evenly over the shrimp. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until hot and bubbly. Place under the broiler for 1 additional minute to brown the top. Serve with lemon wedges.

This is a finished result (wish i would have taken a picture of my lovely shrimp before the bread crumbs)... pardon the black spots... i was slightly distracted by my lovely husband when we walked in the door!

I made that sauce stuff

So i wanted something tasty but easy so what did i do? I pulled out the already stuffed flounder (stuffed with crab mixture, thanks to my local Giant!) and i sprinkled Cajun seasonings on it and baked it... yummm
Then i made some brown rice in my pampered chief rice cooker and put some sort of seasonings in it (don't remember) yummmm
Then i sauteed some asparagus and made my first ever hollandaise sauce!

Sauce is from my Betty Crocker Cook book.
Take 1/2 a stick of butter and melt in a sauce pan with a large egg yolk and 1/4c (i think) of lemon juice. Wisk constantly.... once that's done add in another 1/2 stick of butter and continue... now it's all melted goodness, dump it over your asparagus... yummmm

My Dogs Love the Snow!

This was what it looked like Monday morning when i peeked outside around 930ish~ SWEET!

A beautiful Blanket!

Yes I shoveled this all by myself!

Sadie had no breaks!

look at my big girl go! She was running around just as much as Sadie!

Sadie Couldn't have been happier!

Sadie, given me some lovin!

Stella just taking a break

One of their new friends from the dog park!