Thursday, November 1, 2012

Pumpkin Bread

It's been forever. I know! I'm sorry! We have been baking and cooking so much but haven't seemed to find the time to document out eats. I haven't forgotten about you and I love hearing your comments on past recipes. Thank you for your support on our little food site. We just love you all!!

Since I'm in a fall-time mood, here's a fun recipe brought to you by Sweet Pea's Kitchen (slightly modified). I made this bread for a family who just welcomed a new baby. I thought it was a perfect fall treat that can be enjoyed by everyone in the household. I just have the final picture but it's pretty simple I think we can survive without the step-by-step;-)
Bread Recipe:
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
4 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup butter 
2/3 cup water
1 cup brown sugar
2 cups white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease two 9X5 loaf pans. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the puree, eggs, oil, butter, water, sugars, and vanilla. In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and spices. Slowly add to the puree mixture and fully incorporate into the batter.
Bake for 45-50 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
Spiced Glaze Recipe:
1 cup plus 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 pinch ground ginger
1 pinch ground cloves
Mix together ingredients and add to a pastry bag. I didn't have one so I put it into a sandwich plastic bag and cut a small hole into the corner. When the bread is cooled, I drizzled the glaze on top in cross-cross motions. Let the glaze harden and serve.


Friday, June 8, 2012

Taco Pizza

Quick- you have 8 very hungry 19 year olds coming over in 30 minutes for dinner. What on earth do you make that will feed the masses in a short amount of time? Taco pizza of course! Thanks to Real Mom Kitchen I found a great recipe that is very simple to make and quite delicious. Our guests were happy to eat 2-3 large pieces each. They told me to put this new recipe on the blog, so here it is:

1 lb. ground turkey (or beef if you prefer)
1 envelope low- sodium taco seasoning mix
2 (8 oz.) cans Pillsbury reduced-fat crescent rolls
1 (16 oz.) can refried beans
2-3 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese
1 chopped roma tomato
4 green onions, chopped

Brown ground turkey meat and drain. Add in the taco seasoning mix. Follow the directions on the packet and then let simmer on very low heat.
Pre-heat the oven to 375
Roll out the crescent rolls into rectangles and place in a slightly greased jelly roll pan. Bake for 10 minutes or until the bread is golden brown.
Chop the tomato and green onions.
Microwave the refried beans in a microwave safe container. Stir and spread on top of the warm crust creating a small layer. Add the meat to create a layer on top. Top the meat with the cheese. Now add the tomatoes and green onions. Serve hot.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Southwestern Chopped Salad

I'm so excited Summer is here and one of the best parts of summer is eating of course!! I love summer food- grilled chicken, steaks, salads, fruit, lemonade. It's all so refreshing and so very delicious. For Sunday dinner I decided to try this recipe out I modified from Greens and Chocolate recipe website. The dressing includes greek yogurt and the salad itself is full of fresh really can't go wrong.


1/2 cup fat-free mayonnaise

2/3 cup fat-free Greek yogurt
1 tbsp ranch seasoning
1 tbsp taco seasoning

Mix all the ingredients together and place in a small bowl. Keep in the fridge while you start chopping for your salad.
1 Green bell pepper, diced

1 can Black beans, rinsed
1 can Sweet yellow corn, drained
2 Roma tomatoes, diced
4 Green onions, sliced
1 head Ice berg lettuce, washed and chopped
1/4 C Cilantro, chopped
2 ripe Avocados, diced

2 C Shredded chicken
1 C Crushed tortilla chips

 Prep all the ingredients and add them to a large bowl. Toss. Add the dressing until everything is coated. You can add as much or as little per your preference.
 I loved how the flavors come together in this salad. It's perfect for a big event or a quiet Sunday dinner. You know the salad is good when people go back for seconds and thirds.:-)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

White Cheddar Chicken Pasta

If you haven't noticed, we eat a lot of chicken in our household. Don't get me wrong, we love our red meat but chicken is always a better on your budget and easy to have in your freezer. While perusing Pinterest I found yet another great chicken recipe originally posted by Homemade by Holman. Though they used fresh thyme and fresh oregano, I used dry from my pantry and the taste was still delish.
For the chicken:
1 lb boneless chicken breast, thawed and cubed

1 tsp dry mustard

1 T thyme
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 T olive oil

Start by pouring your olive oil into a large skillet, coating the bottom well. Heat the pan on medium-high. Sprinkle your herb mixture on top on the chicken and add to the skillet. Cook until the chicken is cooked all the way through. You can sprinkle more of your herb mixture while the chicken is cooking just to make sure it absorbs all that flavor. Remove chicken from heat and place in a separate container.
For the pasta:

1 pound bowtie or your favorite short cut pasta

2 T butter
2 T flour
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, finely diced
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 T Dijon mustard
8 oz sharp white cheddar cheese, grated
2 cups milk
1 T thyme
1 T oregano
Parmesan cheese to taste

Melt the butter in a large skillet. Add flour and whisk over medium heat. Add the garlic, onions and mustard and cook until onions are translucent.
Add the milk slowly and stir. Let stew for 5 minutes to allow the mixture to thicken.
Add cheese and stir until melted. Add the chicken.
Mix with your already prepared noodles, sprinkle on the oregano, thyme & parmesan cheese and serve. Seriously...sooo good! You're going to love this dish, serve with garlic bread and you're set to go.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Crock Pot Chicken Parmesian

Hello everyone! Hope all is well in the food blogging world. We've been cooking up a storm here finding new food favorites and some not so great recipes. No worries, we don't post anything but the best so enjoy this new recipe I found on Pinterest (originally posted by Chef In Training). I have fallen deeply in love with our crock pot. It has become my go-to for dinners. With K working late at the hospital his schedule changes day to day which doesn't give me a good timeframe when he will be home for dinner. But not everything we eat can be soups or chili which is why I really loved this recipe. Very simple to put together with a rich Italian taste. If you're a fan of a crispier chicken parmesan then this recipe probably won't be your favorite but if you are a fan of big Italian flavor then give this recipe a try.

4 frozen boneless chicken tenderloins, defrosted
1/2 C Italian breadcrumbs
1/4 C Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp Black pepper
1/4 tsp Kosher salt
1 TBSP Olive oil
1 egg, beaten
1 C flour
1-2 C mozzarella cheese
1 Jar of your favorite marana sauce

Ready, set, cook! In a medium bowl mix the Italian breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, pepper, and salt. Grab three dishes, as you noticed I just grabbed anything I can dip the chicken in. Dish 1: Flour, Dish 2: egg and Dish 3: Italian bread seasoning mixture.
 Pour olive oil onto the bottom of your crock pot dish. Dust your chicken in the flour, shake off excess flour.  Now dip chicken into the egg and cover. Last step, place chicken in the breadcrumbs mixture and cover well.

 Place in your crockpot dish.

 Cover the chicken with a layer of mozzarella cheese. Cover cheese with the jar of marana sauce. Cook on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 7-8 hours.
 So guess what!! We we were so hungry we failed to take a finished photo! I know, I'm so sorry!! This is how we ate it though. We didn't go traditional with the noodles (which also would be great). Instead, we ate it with slices of freshly made (and still hot) french bread and it was amazing. I hope you all try the recipe out, it's a definite keeper.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

French Bread

Whenever I'm in a need of a new recipe, I go straight to the Pinterest search bar. Why not? I find the recipe I want with pictures! What could be better? Last week we made an Italian feast and I needed a great french bread recipe. I found this great pin with a recipe posted by justgetoffyourbuttandbake{dot}com. It looked fabulous and I had to try it out. The ingredients are fairly simple and most likely you have any everything you need in your pantry. I like to buy a jar of yeast instead of packets. It's a little more expensive to buy upfront but it last a lot longer and you're able to get the exact amount of yeast you need. The bread came out very soft, chewy and delicious. I like a soft outer crust on my french bread but there's also a neat trick to get a crispier crust. Here's the recipe:

2 1/4 C warm water
3 Tbls sugar
2 Tbls yeast
1 Tbls salt
2 Tbls oil
6 C flour
Place the warm water, sugar in a  large mixing bowl. Add the yeast and let dissolve. You really want to get the yeast activated so really let it dissolve until it starts "bubbling".

Add the salt, oil and 3 cups of flour and mix. At this point change your mixer attachment to your kneader. Slowly add the remaining 3 cups of flour. Add additional flour if the dough is still pretty sticky.

Let the dough sit in the mixing bowl for ten minutes with a kitchen towel on top. After ten minutes turn the mixer on for ten seconds. Repeat this 5 times.

Take dough out and knead a few times on a well-floured surface. Split the dough in half and roll out into a 9x13 rectangle. Roll the dough and tuck the ends in. Cute three gashed on top of the dough. Place seam down on a baking sheet and let rise for another 15-20 minutes. Repeat with the other half of the dough.

Preheat over to 375.

Using a pastry brush add an egg wash (1 egg+ 1 Tbls water) on top of the bread. Place bread in the oven and cook for 20-30 minutes. If you feel like the top of your bread is getting dark to fast, add a piece of aluminum foil on top 15 minutes into cooking.

When your bread is golden brown and done take out of the over and let rest. You can't tell in the picture but we were already devouring the first loaf out of the oven as we took the second one out. It's really hard to resist which is why this recipe is perfect in making to loaves:-) It is so delicious and perfect with soups and pasta. In fact, we let this loaf cool cut it in half (lengthwise) added butter and garlic and put it under the broler for a few minutes. It was by far the best garlic bread I've ever had!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Measuring Spoons

I have been baking a lot recently which has proven to be quite difficult. You see in the past few weeks E has been sneaking into my baking drawer and throwing away my measuring spoons without my knowledge. I finally realized this when I unloaded the dishwasher and started baking bread and found that I only have a 1/4 teaspoon and 1 Tablespoon. That's a lot of measuring for something requiring 1 1/2 teaspoons:-) I'm in the market for new teaspoons. Any suggestions?

Homemade Teriyaki Marinade for Grilled Chicken

Grilling season is around the corner and I'm getting so excited. Last Father's Day we surprised K with a grill and it's changed out lives. Haha- okay maybe not changed but definitely enhanced out delicious eats. We've made grilled pizza, steaks, chicken, vegetable and are always open to new grilling recipes. Well, even Southern California has rainy winter days and today was no exception. I saw this marinade on Pinterest (where else?) and made it to throw onto the grill today. Unfortunately, the rain started in the afternoon which meant no grilling. No worries there, instead of grilling a whole chicken breast, we cut the chicken into cubes and grilled it on the stovetop instead. Talk about delicious and full of flavor. I love the tangy soy sauce and limes paired with the sweetness of the honey. Thank you for the recipe.

Recipe (slightly modified):
3 Tbl Soy Sauce
2 Tbl Honey
1 Tbl Vegetable Oil (though I'm sure you can omit this as well)
Juice from 1 Lime
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp sesame seeds (optional)

Place ingredients into a small bowl and stir well.

Pour into a gallon size ziplock bag and add chicken. Cover chicken in the marinade and place the sealed bag into the fridge until you're ready to grill. Let it marinade for at least 30 minutes but I prefer a few hours.
We marinaded our chicken for about 5 hours which made the chicken super tender. We cubed the chicken and placed it on the stovetop to cook. Cook for 5-8 minutes or until the chicken is cooked all the way through.
Though we didn't get to grill today, we both agreed this marinade is a keeper. The chicken was tender and moist, jammed packed with flavor.  Pair with a side of rice and veggies and you have a perfect meal.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Lemon Snickerdoodles

I love snickerdoodles. They are my very favorite cookie. Snickerdoodles work for every occasion throughout the year and let's not forget how delicious they are. When I saw the recipe for Lemon Snickerdoodles, I whipped up a batch right away and I'm so glad I did. Can you say divine? I love how the lemon zest gives the cookie a settle hint of lemon that is not overpowering. I found this great recipe at Not So Humble Pie blog and modified it just slightly.

Zest of 1 lemon
1/2 C butter, softened
1 C Sugar
1 Tbl lemon juice
1 Egg
1 tsp. Vanilla
1/4 tsp. Cream of tartar
1/4 tsp. Baking soda
1 3/4 C Flour
1/4 C sugar to roll the dough in
Zest the lemon into a large mixing bowl. Add the butter and sugar and mix well. Continue mixing while adding the lemon juice, egg, vanilla, cream of tartar, and baking soda. Once mixed together add the flour a little at a time until fully incorporated.
Form the dough into a bowl and cover in plastic wrap. Place in the fridge for at least an hour.
Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees.
Take the dough out of the fridge and remove wrap. Form small 1" balls and roll in the sugar. Place on a non-greased baking sheet and bake for 8-9 minutes.
Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack. These cookies just as pretty as they are delicious. I've made two batched within one week and everyone who has tried one just loves them. You'll love them too, promise:-)

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Crockpot Shredded BBQ Chicken on a Homemade Hamburger Bun

My amazing friend, C, brought me dinner the other week when I was sick. It happend to be one of my favorite meals she makes. Yesterday I was craving this deliciousness and contacted C to get the recipe. I couldn't believe how easy it was to make and double checked in case I forgot something:-) The chicken was so incredibly tender with the tangy-ness of the BBQ sauce and with the sweetness of the brown sugar was incredible. The smell was intoxicating and I ended up eating before K got home because I couldn't stand it anymore haha.

Recipe (slight change from C's recipe):
2-4 frozen chicken breast
1 bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce
1/4 C brown sugar
3 Tbs ketchup

Add the BBQ sauce, brown sugar and ketchup to your slow cooker. Stir.
 Add the frozen chicken breast and cover with the sauce. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.

How easy was that?! Now the fun part begins. I didn't want to run to the store to buy rolls or hamburger buns...blame it on my laziness! So I jumped onto Pinterest to find an easy hamburger bun recipe. I found a great one that I had all the ingredients for. It was very simple to make and most likely you have all the ingredients in your kitchen too. Here's what you need:

Recipe (found at

1 tablespoon active-dry yeast
1/2 cup (4 oz) warm water
1/2 cup (4 oz) milk (whole, 2%, or skim)
1 large egg
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups (15 oz) all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon butter

Pour the warm water into a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle the yeast on top and let dissolve.

In a separate bowl whisk together the milk, egg, oil, sugar, and salt. Add to the yeast/water mixture and mix well.

Add the flour to the mixture one cup at a time. I used the hook on my kitchen aid to mix this together. Once the dough forms, take out and knead by hand ten times or until it is smooth and springs back when you touch it.

Oil the mixing bowl and place the dough inside. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm place for the dough to rise. Let is rise for an hour or longer until it has doubled in size. My house was pretty cold so I turn my oven on low and placed it on top to help it rise.

Once the dough is ready, take out of the bowl and cut it into 6-8 even dough balls. Place on a baking sheet and let rise for another 45 minutes until they look puffy.

Preheat the oven to 375. Melt the butter in a small jar and brush on the top of each roll with a pastry brush.

Bake for 15-18 minutes or until the buns are golden.

Let them cool on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes before eating. If you're not eating them right away you can place in a tuber-ware container to keep fresh until you're ready to eat.

Now- back to the chicken. By this time you chicken is probably cooked all the way through and ready to shred. You know my trick by now. Using a handheld mixer, shred the chicken. Continue cooking on low or "keep warm" until you're ready to eat.

Like I said, I couldn't wait any longer so I cut my hamburger bun in half and filled it to the max with chicken. I gobbled that sandwich down in seconds....seriously though it was soo good!!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Cafe Rio Inspired- Shredded Chicken & Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette

My slow-cooker is one of my best friends in my kitchen. With K's work schedule so sporadic, I know that I can throw something in there and once it's finished cooking I can keep it on "keep warm" until he gets home. Last Friday I was really wanting Cafe Rio and though I'm really lucky to have a restaurant 20 minutes away I didn't want to make the drive. Through the help of Pinterest I was able to find this great recipe pinned by Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms. I had all the ingredients which made it even easier (no groceries store runs!). The recipe didn't disappoint! The taste was super close to the real thing, it felt like I did make that 20 minute drive. There's nothing like throwing everything into your crock pot and eight hours later having a delicious meal. Here's the recipe:
Recipe (slightly modified from original post)

2-4 frozen chicken breasts 

1/2 a small bottle of zesty italian dressing

1/2 Tbsp. minced garlic
1 pkt ranch dressing mix (mixed with 1/2 cup of water)
1/2 Tbsp. chili powder
1/4 Tbsp. ground cumin
Place all the ingredients into your slow cooker. I put my chicken in frozen, no need to thaw when the slow cooker will do the work for you. Set on low for 8 hours or high for 5-6 hours.
 Around 5 hours check the progress of your chicken. By this time your chicken should be cooked. 

The best way to shred your chicken without taking it out of the crock pot is by using a hand held mixer. It's super easy, super fast with no mess. Shred your chicken and continue cooking.
I wanted to make tacos with the chicken, though you can also make a salad or burrito. Since I'm still on a healthier eating kick I didn't want to do a creamy salad dressing. I found a Cafe Rio inspired Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette on the Favorite Family Recipe website. It was perfect and tasted divine.
2 tamatillos
1/2 bunch cilantro

2 cloves garlic

1 tsp. diced jalapeno (canned) --you can use more if you would like it spicy.
Juice of 2 limes
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 c. balsamic vinaigrette salad dressing (make sure it is the dressing NOT the vinegar)

Place everything except the dressing into a food processor and blend well. Add the balsamic vinaigrette salad dressing and cover. Place in the fridge for at least two hours before using.

Everything is now set for a delicious dinner. Grab your tortillas, lettuce, sour cream and everything else you want to add. K didn't get home until pretty late but it was worth the wait to eat this delicious meal with him!