Thursday, January 27, 2011

Me Gots An Award!!!

The beautiful Casey over at align my heart, my body, my mind nominated me for this spiffy award! Not gonna lie, I feel pretty special because she follows some epic blogs.

Anyways, from the looks of it I am now to share 7 things about moi and then nominate 7 blogs for this spifftastic award!

So seven things about little old me.

1) I hate black socks. Actually, I DESPISE black socks. They make people's feet look creepy. This is a weird thing I've had my whole life. I know I am the strangest person alive, but I think we knew that before I shared this weird phobia of mine.

2) I am obsessed with my dogs. To me, they are the most beautiful and amazing creatures alive. My phone is filled with pictures I take trying to capture a shot to show the world how darn cute they are. They are sick of the paparazzi status and learn to turn away when a camera or my phone is directed at them. Brats.

3) I LOVE TV crime dramas. It started with CSI, I've recently branched out to Cold Case and my next stop is going to be Bones and the Mentalist.

4) I get totally stressed out by this blog sometimes because I feel like I don't post enough. I know that eventually I'll be able to be one of the bloggers that just saves a bajillion recipes and posts them when she's busy. Hopefully "eventually" is soon.

5) I LOVE Disney world. Anything Disney makes me happy. Jon and I got to go to Disney World together in 2007 with my whole family and we had a blast. Our mission is to get there or Disneyland one more time before we have kids.

6) My mission of 2011 is to run a 5k. Just on the treadmill at the gym so I don't feel like a bum when it takes me super long.

7) I totally love who I am and I'm not afraid to say it. I think I've made myself and my family proud with the type of person I am. So, its really easy for me when people try to put me down to laugh at it. I know I do the best I can to be the best person I can. I make mistakes, but they're totally nothing compared to the good I do. It might sound conceited, but I just have self-confidence. Self-confidence is something I've only recently ascertained and its not going anywhere. :D

And now, for the 7 blogs I nominate!

Casey @ align my heart, my body, my mind
Nalani @ its all bajigidy
Krissy @ brightened eyes
Buena @ moments caught in time..
Tina @ tinabutt got sole
Amy @ Not All Who Wander Are Lost
Stephanie @ Stephanie Cooks

Polar Plunge 2011


One of my friends is participating in a really epic event and I wanted to share the link with you fine readers. If you have any money to donate, it would be much appreciated. If you can't, that's okay too, use technology (facebook, tumblr, twitter, blogger) to spread the word to try and help raise some funds.

Love you all <3

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Teriyaki Chicken Kebabs


Sorry I've been a little absent! Tonight I had some chicken and wanted to do something a little different than the usual grilled chicken breast. It was easy enough to make and they were delicious! A great way to spice up the traditional chicken dinner.

1 lb chicken breasts, diced into cubes
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 cup teriyaki sauce
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp black pepper
Optional- Assorted vegetables (bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, onions, etc)

Mix garlic, teriyaki, soy sauce, olive oil, ground ginger and black pepper in medium mixing bowl. Add diced chicken, cover with saran wrap and marinate for 2-3 hours. Place chicken on skewers with desire vegetables. Grill for 4-5 minutes per side, seasoning with salt and pepper on each side.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms

I had some mushrooms and sausage left over from my pizza adventure yesterday so I decided I would make some sausage stuffed mushrooms. Jon is NOT a fan of mushrooms because they have dirt on them when you bring them home from the store. That guy would use any excuse not to eat vegetables, haha. Anyways, after I tried the first one, I basically force fed the mushroom to him to try. After a couple seconds he agreed that they were delicious. I hope you all enjoy them too.

Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms

16 ounces mushrooms, cleaned with damp towel and stems removed
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 tbsp butter, softened
3 cloves garlic, finely minced or hand grated
2 cups crumbled sausage, fully cooked (remove casing and cook like ground beef)
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1/4 cup romano cheese, grated
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray baking sheet with cooking spray. Combine cream cheese, butter and garlic until fully combined and smooth. Add in sausage, parmesan, romano, mozzarella, black pepper, paprika and salt. Stuff mushrooms with mixture. Top with some extra grated parmesan cheese. Bake for 20 minutes until golden brown and bubbly.

Empire State Pizza

My friends and I decided we wanted to do a pizza and game night. Originally, the games were supposed to be of the board game nature. The "game" portion of pizza and game night ended up turning into Patriots vs. Jets and "night" turned into an 11:30am kickoff. I had my usual spread, spinach and artichoke dip, onion dip, chips, margaritas, etc. I was planning on just ordering in pizza but decided instead to take on an adventure of making homemade New York Style pizza.
Mushroom and Sausage pizza, yum!

Nalani snapped a pic of the spread
I had bought a pizza stone a couple weeks ago and decided I would need another since I had to make multiple pizzas. I stopped at Target and got a pizza stone kit. It friggin cracked in half when I made the first pizza! Fail. Anyways, the pizzas ended up coming out really good so I'm gonna go ahead and share the recipe for the dough and sauce. I usually make my own recipes but this one I got from a website. The biggest tip I have is to preheat your oven to 500 degrees with the stones inside. This website doesn't tell you this until the very bottom of the recipe. My issue with that is if I hadn't read that I may have not given myself enough time to be able to preheat the stones for one hour.

Pizza Dough

Ingredients Required
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water (105F)
  • 4 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 1/2 teaspoon of granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of yeast
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
 Step by Step Procedure
  1. In a large bowl, dissolve sugar and salt in water.
  2. Add oil and flour and stir with heavy spoon for 1 minute.
  3. Turn out to a lightly floured surface and press into a circle.
  4. Sprinkle yeast evenly over dough and knead for 12 minutes.
  5. Divide dough into portions: 6 oz. for Calzones, 18 oz. for 12 inch, 25 oz. for 15 inch
  6. Roll each portion into a ball. You want a dough ball without visible seams except the bottom.
  7. Place dough balls in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to proof for 1−2 hours at room temperature to use the same day, or store in refrigerator to use the next day.
  8. Place dough ball on lightly floured surface, and lightly flour the top. Use fingertips to evenly flatten out the dough ball. Work from the edges to the center press dough into a 12" circle. Place both hands within the shell edge and stretch with fingertips and palms maintaining an even pressure. Or, use a lightly floured rolling pin to stretch to desired shape.
  9. Sprinkle cornmeal or semolina on pizza peel (a wooden paddle with a handle to slide the pizza in the oven) or a cutting board. The cornmeal allows the pizza to slide onto the stone easily.
  10. After topping the pizza, when you are ready to cook it. Shake the peel or cutting board to make sure none of the dough is sticking.
  11. Carefully slide the pizza into the oven.
  12. Bake in a 500 degree oven for 20-25 minutes, until crust is golden.
For the sauce, I chose to use their uncooked sauce recipe because it seemed more along the lines of what I would have made for the sauce myself. They also have a cooked sauce recipe on the site.

Pizza Sauce

Ingredients Required
  • 28 oz. of can crushed tomatoes
  • 3 oz. of tomato paste
  • 4 tbsps. Pecorino Romano
  • 1 tsp Oregano
  • 2 tbsps. minced fresh garlic
  • 1 tbsp. black pepper
  • 3 tsps. of sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of dried basil
 Step by Step Procedure
  1. Whisk all together.
  2. Allow flavors to blend for one hour before using.
Feeling confident before the game that the Pats were gonna win...
Needing a drink after they lost...

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Dinner for Two: Stuffed Chicken

Let me start this post for apologizing for my lack of picture. Dinner wasn't ready until almost 8 o'clock last night so I didn't even give this dish enough time to cool before eating it, never mind stop to take a picture of it. I promise I will update this with a picture the next time I make it. And yes, I will definitely be making it again.

This recipe came about in a couple different ways. The first was that my mom recommended I start including recipes for people like myself, who only have 1-2 people to feed, and aren't interested in always having leftovers. I had exactly two chicken breasts and thought this was a good way to listen to my mama! Also, I have been DYING to try stuffing my chicken with a spinach and artichoke stuffing. Slight problem, Jon was hungry too and Jon doesn't like spinach or artichokes. I kept on truckin' and decided to do one stuffed chicken breast with spinach and artichoke and the other with a simple ricotta stuffing. Doesn't this sound like my feta-licious post? Yeah, he's obnoxious! :oP

The good part was both recipes start with the exact same ingredients,. So with the spinach-artichoke, I just added the two main ingredients- spinach and artichoke. I'm going to include both recipes as 2 servings. If you have a house like me, and want to do one of each, just start with the ricotta base and add in half the called for amount of spinach and artichoke on the second bird. I hope that made sense. If it didn't, email me-

Ricotta Stuffed Chicken

2 chicken breasts, butterflied and pounded (between parchment paper) to 1/4-1/2 inch thick
1 cup ricotta
1/2 cup cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella, reserve some for topping
1/4 cup romano, grated
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1 clove garlic, minced or grated
1 tbsp parsley
1 egg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cover bottom of baking dish with marinara or cooking spray to avoid sticking. Combine ricotta and cream cheese until smooth and well combined. Add in mozzarella, romano parmesan cheese, garlic, parsley and egg. Fill chicken as desired and then wrap chicken around filling. Use wooden toothpick to secure if need be. Place in baking dish, sprinkle with reserved mozzarella, cover with foil and bake for 40-45 minutes.

Spinach and Artichoke Stuffed Chicken

2 chicken breasts, butterflied and pounded (between parchment paper) to 1/4-1/2 inch thick
1 cup ricotta
1/2 cup cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella, reserve some for topping
1/4 cup romano, grated
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1 clove garlic, minced or grated
1 tbsp parsley
1 cup spinach, coarsley chopped
1/2 cup artichoke hearts, coarsely chopped
1 egg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cover bottom of baking dish with cooking spray to avoid sticking. Combine ricotta and cream cheese until smooth and well combined. Add in mozzarella, romano parmesan cheese, garlic, parsley, spinach, artichoke and egg. Fill chicken as desired and then wrap chicken around filling. Use wooden toothpick to secure if need be. Place in baking dish, sprinkle with reserved mozzarella, cover with foil and bake for 40-45 minutes.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Feta-licious Pizza

I'm like seriously in love with feta cheese. I could eat feta cheese for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I decided I wanted to use these nifty 100 calorie wheat wraps I had picked up at Costco to make pizza. So, I decided to make a Greek inspired pizza featuring my love, feta cheese. The nice part is that the wraps are perfect individual sized pizza, so I made myself the recipe I'm sharing and for Mr. Picky I made a cheese pizza.

The wraps are perfect for crispy crust pizza. It only took about 30 minutes for this entire recipe which was awesome. Really nice and easy lunch for me to throw together. Hope you all enjoy it and the new layout!

Feta-licious Pizza

1 whole wheat wrap * I used Flat Out Brand *
1 tsp olive oil
1/4 tsp granulated garlic
1/2 cup onion, sliced
1/2 cup mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup spinach leaves
1/2 cup part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/4 cup feta cheese
1/4 cup romano cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Brush wrap with olive oil, then sprinkle on granulated garlic. Spread onion, mushrooms and spinach over wrap. Sprinkle cheeses over vegetables. Bake in oven for 20-25 minutes until cheese is golden brown. Enjoy!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Guest Blogger: Baking With Bonnie

So my friend Casey, who has a must read blog, has had her hilarious husband "guest blog" a couple times. I always wanted to do that but Jon can only toast a bagel and microwave leftovers. Fortunately, I asked my mom to email me one of her recipes for Oatmeal Cookies with Ganache filling and she included a story. Check out Mama, my guest blogger...


Let me tell you my yummy (if I do say so myself) Oatmeal Cookie's story

A good friend of ours, Bobby, started working on the LOST TV series, he was on the camera crew...I was on my way back to my condo to make my oatmeal cookies when Bobby was driving by and told me to come down to the LOST site and he would introduce me to movie stars and show me the camp.  So I thought it would be nice to make some of my oatmeal cookies for the crew, or  anyone who wanted some...

So I make my cookies wrap them up pretty and make some for the security guard I always see sitting on the side of the road. I always felt bad for that guy. I get to the set and some big mucky muck is there that day and no one thinks they should let me in. I understand and I give the guard the cookies I made for him, he was so thankful and I think felt bad he couldn't let me in. He said if I drive around to the beach side, a one mile walk down the beach with the cookies, I could see some things being filmed...I said sure! Well after my walk down the beach with cookies in hand an definitely the wrong shoe choice, I get close to the camp and other guards...I tell them Bobby invited me and I have now walked for miles, but that big wig had everyone worried and I couldn't get on the set. So I give the security guards all of the cookies to get to Bobby, hopefully they will get them and eat them!

The next day I hear from Bobby, that the big wigs ate some of my cookies and were mad they didn't let me on the set...The whole camera crew was very upset and said I could get on the set of LOST anytime, but I had to bring more cookies...A few days later I got the royal treatment and so many people coming up to me saying they love my cookies!!!

So here is the recipe....

2 sticks of butter- ROOM TEMP.
1 c. firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 c. Maui Cane sugar or granulated sugar
2 eggs ROOM TEMP.
2 tsp. vanilla
1-1/2 c. all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2  tsp. sea salt
3 c. Quaker Oats old fashion uncooked oatmeal
1 c. raisins
1 c. choc. chips-milk choc.
1 c. finely chopped walnuts, you might want to toast them for 2 minutes

4 Cadbury chocolate bars
1/4 stick of butter
1 c. whipping cream

Pre heat oven to 350 degrees. I use my kitchen aid mixer to mix the butter and sugars together. Add the eggs one at a time then the vanilla. Add the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, sea salt, oatmeal, raisins, choc. chips & walnuts. I turn off the mixer and use a spatula's to clean the sides of the bowl and mix it a little better. With a tsp. drop the mix on a ungreased cookie sheet. It bakes fast so after 7 minutes watch closely, the bottoms seem to brown very fast. So I remove the cookies as soon as I see the brown bottoms, the cookies will continue to cook when you take them out of the oven.

Sometimes I get fancy and make a choc. ganache to put inside of the cookies. I buy 4 large Cadbury choc. bars, heat water in a pan and have a glass bowl inside the pan on top of the hot water. I add 1/4 of stick of butter, 1 c. of whipping cream, the chocolate and let it melt stirring constantly...It will take awhile to cool and thicken! You might want to add some extra butter to your cookie recipe to make a thinner cookie! enjoy!!!


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