Saturday, April 30, 2011

Chocolate Chip Sour Cream Muffins

Happy Saturday! It is sunny and trying really hard to be spring here today, which is awesome! I did take some time this morning to make these muffins. I couldn't help myself they just looked so darned good.
If you have some left over sour cream in your fridge make these today. They are soft and moist almost more like a cupcake than a muffin.

Here is what you need,
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2/3 cup granulated sugar
3/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 large egg
1 cup sour cream
5 tbsp butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a cupcake pan with paper liners.
In a large bowl mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In another bowl combine egg, sour cream, melted butter and vanilla. Mix well.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir gently until just combined.
Add the chocolate chips and fold in.
Divide the batter into the paper cups so that they are 3/4 full.
Bake until a tester comes out clean, about 15-18 minutes.
makes 12
Super delish!
I will be making these again for sure.

Hope you all have a very good weekend, and I hope its sunny where you are!


recipe from The Curvy Carrot

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Dinner, and I didn't make it!

So I came home from work today and my in house taste tester was making ME dinner!
Pan fried Tilapia, mashed potatoes and corn.

It was a very nice and super tasty surprise!
Oh and the best part, he even did all the dishes afterwards. He is the BEST!
Thanks Babe!


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Orzo with Tomatoes and Spinach

My Auntie Dorothy requested a recipe using Orzo. I had never used Orzo before, it is a pasta that looks like a big fat rice grain. It is tasty.
It took me awhile to find a recipe I liked I ended up combining a bunch of recipes to get the elements I wanted. It turned out awesome. This is a great summer dish. Simple and easy and you only have to cook the Orzo no oven, so perfect for those hot days.
Here is what you will need,
4-5 cups of packed spinach, I used baby
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
2 lemons, zested
1 1/2 cups Orzo
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

12-14 large basil leaves

coarse salt and pepper to taste

Parmesan cheese to garnish

Cook Orzo according to package directions
Pile spinach leaves in stacks and thinly slice leaves to make spinach confetti. Place the spinach into the bottom of a large glass bowl.
Cut the tomatoes in half and add them into the bowl as well as the zest of 2 lemons. You can save the lemons for another recipe!
Add the hot cooked and drained orzo to the bowl. The heat of the pasta will wilt the spinach and warm the tomatoes. Drizzle the olive oil over the pasta and toss to combine. Add in the chopped fresh basil and salt and pepper to taste. Top with Parmesan cheese.

This took me all of the 12 minutes it took to cook the Orzo which rocks my world. Plus it is amazingly tasty.

Wanna see a cool trick? I saw it on Rachel Ray one day. It is a miracle! It makes cutting a bunch of cherry tomatoes in half super crazy easy.
Flip a plate upside down and put the tomatoes on the bottom, like so...
Put another plate the right side up on top of the tomatoes,
Then hold a knife horizontally to the table,
Gently hold down the top plate and slice through the tomatoes.
What you get is a whole bunch of tiny tomatoes all cut in half in one swift move.
I don't know why I didn't think of this sooner. Awesome!
Anything to make cooking easier.

I hope you like this one Auntie Dorothy!


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Lemon Cheescake

 If you like cheesecake this is the recipe for you.  It is so so good. It is light and refreshing. The perfect dessert after a big heavy meal.

My in house taste tester went crazy for it. He said it was the best cheesecake ever, not sure about that but it was pretty darned good! I will be making it again for sure. I would be great with strawberry or raspberry sauce over the top!

Here is what you need,

2 cups Graham Crumbs
6 Tbsp. butter, melted
4 pkg. (250 g each) PHILADELPHIA Brick Cream Cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup sour cream
 Grated peel and juice from 1 lemon
 4 eggs
Note that I cut this recipe in half. It seemed huge and for only 2 of use I didnt' think we needed that much. Turned out perfectly well. I did use the full amount of lemon all the zest and juice from 1 whole lemon. The lemon flavor was perfect, not overpowering or anything, I like lots of lemon so you could cut it back too if you like.

Preheat oven to 325°F. Mix graham crumbs and butter. Reserve 1/4 cup of the crumb mixture; press remaining crumb mixture firmly onto bottom of 13x9-inch baking pan. Set aside. ( I used a 8x8 pan since I only made half)


Beat cream cheese and sugar in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add sour cream; mix well. Stir in lemon peel and juice. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing on low speed after each addition just until blended. Pour over crust.

Sprinkle with reserved 1/4 cup crumb mixture.

Bake 40 min. or until centre is almost set. (I only cooked mine for 30 mins because of the smaller amount) Refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight. Store in refrigerator.

If you don't have any cream cheese or lemons in your house go out and get some. You need to make this NOW!

It is really easy and super tasty. It really would be the perfect end to any meal.
I reccomend only making half the recipe like I did, otherwise you will be forced to eat it all!


source: cooking with Philly website

Monday, April 25, 2011

Ham and Scalloped Potatoes

So is everyone still full from Easter Dinner last night? I am! Whew food hangover.
So worth it though!
Here is what we had.

Slow Cooker Ham,

Because it was only my sweet and I for dinner I just bought a small cottage roll ham. I did it in the slow cooker cause my tiny oven isn't big enough to do 2 things at once in.
I tossed the ham in the slow cooker with 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1 tbsp honey, 1 heaping tbsp Dijon mustard and 1 tbsp of cider vinegar. It cooked about 6 hours on low. I basted it twice.
Super tasty and moist.

Then I did Scalloped Potatoes,

I did a kicked up version of the recipe my mom used to do. They were so creamy and rich.
what you need,

3 large russet potatoes, sliced thinly. I would have used Yukon golds but the grocery store had none! 1 medium onion, sliced
1 cup heavy cream
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 tbsp melted butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 cup of grated cheese, I used cheddar
salt/pepper to taste ( add a good amount of both probably a tsp of salt and at least 1/2 tsp of pepper)

I used a mandolin to slice my potato and onion. I makes quick work of a potentially long job, plus all the slices are perfectly even!
Layer the potatoes and onion and cheese over and over until all your potatoes are used. I think I got 5 layers. I made a small batch, so you could easily double this.
Mix all the other ingredients together and carefully pour over the potato layers. Go slowly it will take a little time for the sauce to sink down between the layers.
Top with cheese and cover with foil. Place the baking dish on a cookie sheet. It is going to bubble over a bit and cleaning a cookie sheet is so much easier than cleaning your oven!
Bake at 375 for 60-90 minutes. I tested mine after 60 minutes and it needed the whole 90 minutes. Once the potatoes are tender take the foil off and use the broiler for a few minutes to brown up the top.
Take the dish out of the oven and let it sit for 10 minutes, this will help everything firm up and save you from burning your lips off!

Oh and I did some carrots as a side. Butter and a little chives.

Here it is on the plate,

Delish! and really pretty easy.

I made this for dessert,

It is heavenly, recipe tomorrow.


Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter Everyone!
Did the Easter Bunny make a stop at your house last night? What did you bring you?
He left our favorites,

He left my in house taste testers favorite, Mini Eggs.

and he left my favorite, Reese's peanut butter eggs,

I love the easter ones because the peanut butter to chocolate ratio is WAY higher than the regular cup style, YUM!

He also left a crispy bunny some Oh Henry's and some pretty Tulips!
Thanks Easter Bunny.

I am making Ham and Scalloped Potatoes for dinner I will post that tomorrow. Oh and I whipped up a special dessert too!
What are you having for dinner?
I hope you all have a wonderful Easter!


Saturday, April 23, 2011

Egg Salad Sandwiches

I ate this for lunch today,

This is what happens the day after you color Easter Eggs!
I am not sure why I don't make egg salad more often it so simple, but it seems I only eat it once a year, at Easter.

I like mine pretty classic, here is what I use,

3-4 hard boiled eggs (I used extra large eggs so I only needed 3)
1/4 cup mayo
1 tsp Dijon mustard
2 green onions, chopped
lots of fresh ground pepper and salt to taste
4 leaves of bibb lettuce
nice grainy bread

First peel your hard boiled eggs, this is my favorite part!

In a medium bowl mash up your eggs with a fork. I like mine pretty smooth but you can leave it chunky if you like. Add in the onions, mayo, mustard and salt/pepper.
Mix gently. I like to chill mine in the fridge for 20 minutes or so before I make my sandwich.
Spread your bread with a little butter, it is the right thing to do. Then spoon a good amount of egg salad on your bread top with lettuce.


So yummy! A perfect Easter lunch.
The Bunny comes tomorrow, I hope you all gets lots and lots of treats!


Friday, April 22, 2011

Good Friday

Good Friday is Egg Coloring Day! When I was a kid we always dyed eggs today and I still do.
My Sweet and I love doing it together and we end up getting devilled eggs and egg salad sandwiches out of it, artistic fun and yummy eats, can't beat that.

All the pretty colors.

Here is the first egg going in.

Looking good but it isn't quite ready yet.

All done! They turned out really cute.
Did you color eggs today?
I hope you all had a Good Friday!
Man I can't wait to crack a couple of these cuties open and make an egg salad sandwich.


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Mini Egg Rice Krispie Cake

I have another Easter treat for you. It is easy and so very yummy!
Rice Krispie cake with a bag of Mini Eggs tossed in.
Looks super cute and tastes amazing!

Here is what you need,

1 bag of mini marshmallows (250grams)
1/2 cup butter
1 tsp vanilla
6-8 cups of Rice Krispies
1 bag of Mini Eggs

Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add in the marshmallows and stir until they are totally melted and smooth. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla and the Rice Krispies. I like mine a little gooey so I probably used 6-7 cups of cereal, if you like them a little firmer add closer to 8 cups. Stir in all but a small handful of the bag of Mini Eggs. Press mixture into a 9x11 pan.
Press the remaining Mini Eggs on the top of the cake.
Chill until firm.

Cut into large squares.

Eat half the pan and stash the rest in the fridge for later!

I have to go buy another bag of Mini Eggs now. I used the bag I was going to give my in house taste tester for Easter! Oops! Oh well he will love these!


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Quinoa Salad

Have you ever heard of Quinoa? (pronounced Keen Wah).

Quinoa is a grain, actually its a grain seed. It is a carbohydrate but also a very good source of protein and it is gluten free. It is very healthy!
It comes in red and yellow, they taste similar just different colors. It looks like this uncooked.

It cooks up like rice, it takes about 15 minutes or so. Super quick!
Here is what it looks cooked.

It really puffs up, cool hey!
OK so I made a salad with this lovely Quinoa, here is what you need,

1 cup of Quinoa, cooked and cooled
1 cup English cucumber, diced
1/3 cup chopped fresh dill
1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
2-3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp olive oil
course salt/fresh ground pepper to taste

Cook the Quinoa according to directions. Place in a large bowl and stash in the fridge to cool a bit.
While the Quinoa is cooling cut up the cucumber and dill, crumble the feta.
Toss all the ingredients into the Quinoa and chill for 30 minutes.
Adjust salt/pepper and lemon juice according to your tastes.

Here is what you get,

I suggest you make this salad and eat it for lunch. That way when you go home and have a Brownie and a Diet Coke for dinner you aren't racked with guilt. I mean after all you did have a super healthy Quinoa salad for lunch, and life is all about balance, right!

It is super healthy and it tastes GREAT! 
Hooray for Quinoa!