Wednesday, July 06, 2011

No-Bake Lemon Cheesecake Cups

This is a made up recipe. I bought the ingredients for something completely different that didn't work out the way I'd hoped. These are delicious and happy and summery. So make yourself a July treat.

Cupcake liners
8 oz cream cheese (room temp)
2 Tbs granulated sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
The zest of one lemon
Juice of half a lemon
2 cups whipped cream
7 or 8 Mothers Oatmeal Cookies (they're the ones with the icing on them)
4 Tbs Melted butter

Mix together the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, and juice of half a lemon
Fold in the whipped cream - gently and then fold in the lemon zest
This is your filling

For the crust -
Crush up the cookies as finely as you want
Melt half a stick of butter (4 tbs)
Mix with the cookie

In a cupcake tin, line with cupcake liners and firmly press about 1/4 to 1/2 and inch of crust into the bottom of each. Top with the cheese cake filling (as much as you want). Refrigerate for an hour to two hours and eat them outside on your back porch in the sun.

Friday, July 01, 2011

Kung Pao Chicken

I don't know what my Asian food deal is lately... but how bout some more!
2 boneless, skinless chicken breast, diced into 1-2 inch pieces
1 tbsp cornstarch
2 tsp sesame oil
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1-2 tsp fresh ginger, grated
1-2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
3 tbsp rice vinegar
3 tbsp soy sauce
1-2 tsp sugar
1/2 cup roasted peanuts (this is optional... for me, not included)
White rice, prepared per instructions

Prepare rice. Combine chicken and cornstarch in a bowl and toss until evenly coated. Combine the vinegar, soy sauce and sugar in another bowl and set aside for later. Heat a large skillet or wok with sesame oil over medium high heat. Once the pan is smoking hot add the chicken and stir fry for 5-6 minutes or until no longer pink inside. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.

Add the garlic, ginger and red pepper flakes to the pan and stir fry for 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add the soy sauce/vinegar/sugar mixture to the pan along with the cooked chicken (and peanuts). Coat the chicken and peanuts with sauce and heat thoroughly. Serve over rice

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Sweet and Sour Chicken

I found this recipe on
I was nervous because I don’t make asian food often…haha but this was so tasty. You HAVE to try it.

1 tbsp olive oil, divided
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into 1 inch chunks
2 tsp corn starch
1 egg white
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup sweet yellow onion, chopped (optional… I didn’t use it)
2 baby red, yellow or orange bell peppers, chopped
1 cup fresh pineapple, chopped
1/4 cup of ketchup
1/4 cup of pineapple juice
1/4 cup of white vinegar
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp fresh ginger

Combine the chicken pieces, cornstarch, egg white and salt in a bowl and set aside for a few minutes.
In a small bowl, whisk together the ketchup, pineapple juice, vinegar and brown sugar. Taste the sauce and add more brown sugar if desired.
Heat a large skillet or wok over medium high heat until HOT. 
Add 1/2 tbsp oil and swirl to coat. Add the chicken and spread out into one layer. 
Let the chicken cook, untouched for 1 minute, until the bottoms are browned. 
Flip the chicken with a spatula then continue to cook for an additional minute. 
The chicken should still be pinkish in the middle. 
Remove from the skillet onto a plate, leaving as much oil in the pan as possible.
Add the remaining 1/2 tbsp oil to the skillet then add the onion. 
Cook for 1-2 minutes then add the bell pepper and ginger. 
Fry the vegetables for 1 minute then add the pineapple chunks and the sweet and sour sauce. 
Turn the heat up to high and add the chicken pieces back in. Let simmer for 1-2 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. 
The best way to tell if the chicken is done is to take a piece out and cut in half. If it's pink, add another minute to the cooking. 
Serve over steamed rice.

Summer Salsa

This is a really quick and easy salsa recipe. You can always add more ingredients or replace some.

3 medium tomatoes, cored and quartered
1 jalapeño, stem removed and roasted
3-4 small cloves garlic
2 tbsp cilantro
3-4 tbsp water
1 tsp olive oil
salt to taste
½ tsp. crushed red pepper

In a blender/food processor, add tomatoes, jalapeño, garlic, cilantro and water and pulse a few times until completely smooth.
Add oil to a deep skillet, then pour in tomato puree. Season with salt and crushed red peppers and simmer uncovered stirring occasionally, 20 to 25 minutes.

The color of the salsa will be really light at first, but as it simmers you will see it become a really beautiful dark red.

4 Cheese Penne

I had originally bought these ingredients for a different recipe... but then I lost the recipe! So, I made this one up instead.

2 TBS butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
salt and pepper
2 cups heavy cream
1 TBS fresh chopped parsley
2/3 cup freshly grated Romano
2/3 cup shredded Parmesan
2 cups shredded mozzarella
2 tbsp. ricotta cheese
1 pound penne rigate pasta


Cook pasta according to directions
In a large skillet, melt butter and add minced garlic on med-low heat cook until barely golden
Add the heavy cream, parsley, salt and pepper heat through on Med heat
stir in Romano, Parmesan, and 1 Cup mozzarella until cheese is melted and well blended.
Add ricotta and mix until well blended.
Add Pasta and toss to coat.
Add the remaining cup of mozzarella toss to blend/melt.


Monday, June 13, 2011

cheesy creamy caprese... pasta

  • 1 pound penne pasta
  • 1 cup of pasta sauce (I made my own, see recipe below)
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream or half and half
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese + more for garnish
  • 4 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut into cubes
  • 1 pint of grape tomatoes (I cut mine into 4ths)
  • 1 bunch of fresh basil leaves (julienned)
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

  1. Boil water and cook pasta according to directions.
  2. While pasta is cooking, heat pasta sauce over low heat in a large saucepan.
  3. Once its warm, stir in heavy cream and grated parmesan.
  4. Once pasta is done cooking, drain and mix in with the sauce, mixing to coat and turning off heat.
  5. Fold in mozzarella cubes and tomatoes, then julienne 3-4 fresh basil leaves and add them in too.
  6. Once combined, spray a baking dish with non-stick spray and pour the entire pasta mixture into the dish.
  7. Top with shredded mozzarella.
  8. Bake for 25 minutes, or until cheese is golden and bubbly.
Top with additional fresh basil and grated cheese.  Yummmmm

Pasta Sauce
  • Drizzle of olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ½ cup tomato sauce
  • ½ cup tomato paste
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 tsp dry oregano
  • 1 tsp dry basil
  • 1 tsp dry thyme
  1. Add olive oil to sauce pan and warm the garlic (don’t over cook)
  2. Mix in the tomato sauce and paste and water
  3. Add oregano, basil, and thyme
  4. Simmer about 5 minutes

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Party of the Year

And a Three-Layer Pink Velvet Cake with Butter Cream Filling

Alright folks. This may have been one of our proudest accomplishments. Making a cake is hard work. And I definitely couldn’t have done this without the help of Miss Jade. Not only was this “Happy-Birthday-Presley-Cake so cute, it was delicious!
If you are up for the task… and it is QUITE a task. Here is the recipe:
(We doubled this recipe in order to get three good-looking layers

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
  • 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon red food coloring (amount may vary depending on the color of cake you want)
  • 1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Prepping the cake pan is critical in order to get the cake out safe and sound. I think the pan we used was 9X9 circular. Grease the bottom and sides of a nonstick pan then coat with flour
In a medium mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder.
In a large bowl gently beat together the oil, buttermilk, eggs, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla with a handheld electric mixer.
Add the sifted dry ingredients to the wet and mix until smooth and thoroughly combined.
We filled the pan about half-full with batter and baked for about 30 minutes. We only cooked one at a time. You’ll know it’s ready when you stick a fork...or knife…or toothpick through the middle and it comes out clean and batter-free. It’s really important to check because no one likes a soggy cake.

After the cake was finished baking, we put it directly into the freezer to cool. The cooler the cake, the easier it is to get it out of the pan.  Even then, you still might want to loosen up the sides of the cake before you try to take it out of the pan. Place a plate on top of the cake pan and flip it over… If you did it right, you’ll know – and it will be a joyous moment. Hahaha.

Before trying to layer with the filling, you really want to make sure the cake is completely cool. We used a knife to shave off the top and create a flat surface.

Butter Cream filling

  • 2 Sticks of butter  (Room Temp)
  • 8 Oz Cream cheese  (Room Temp)
  • ½ Tsp Vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ - 2 Cups of Powdered sugar (depending on the thickness you want)

You want to make sure the butter and cream cheese are at room temperature or the consistency will be weird. In a mixing bowl with an electric mixer, mix the butter until it is smooth then mix in the cream cheese and vanilla. Slowly mix the powdered sugar until you fill like you’ve reached your desired thickness…

Add a pretty thick layer to the top of the first cake layer, then add the next cake layer to the top of that. The frosting we used on the outside of the cake was different from the filling. We frosted the first two outside layers of the cake with a thin layer of frosting before adding the next layer (repeat the same steps as before with the filling, you know the drill) Then we frosted the top and sides with a thin layer (thicker in between each cake to get smooth sides.)

You’ll have to ask Miss jade for the frosting recipe she found. We wanted something that was pretty thick in order to make the little sparkle-star-spikes. Jade spent over an hour frosting the cake. You can frost it whatever way you please…because this is a long process and you really need patience.

We kept the cake in the freezer until an hour or two before the party.
It was delicious.
The princess party was perfect
for a perfect little 5-year old Presley.

oy vey pink velvet cake…