Thursday, February 25, 2010

Easy Cinnamon Roll Muffins

Who doesn't love a cinnamon roll? I will post pictures later today :]

This recipe is adapted from Joy the Baker

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
4 tsp active dry or rapid rise yeast
2/3 cup warm milk (100-110F; low fat is fine) ** I warmed up the milk in the microwave for 30 seconds **
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg

2 tbsp butter, room temperature
2/3 cup brown sugar
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
pinch ground cardamom

1 cup powdered sugar
1-2 tbsp milk or cream (you may need to add more)
In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar and salt. Dissolve the yeast in a measuring cup filled with the warmed milk, then stir milk mixture, vegetable oil, vanilla extract and egg into the flour mixture. Mix well, until very smooth. Pour into prepared pan and let rest for 1 hour.
While the dough rests, mix together butter, brown sugar, cinnamon and cardamom in a small bowl using a fork until all the butter has been incorporated into the sugar and mixture is crumbly.  Divide the batter between 12 greased muffin cups ( I used cupcake liners). ** Be sure to only fill 1/2 the cup with the batter because if you fill it higher you'll have a mess for sure, according to Jelli Bean Journals.**  Sprinkle evenly on top of rested dough and press the mixture down into the dough with your fingertips (or swirl in with a spatula.)
Place pan into a cold oven, then set the oven temperature to 350F.
Bake for about 20 minutes, until bread is lightly browned at the edges and the center of the bread springs back when lightly pressed. Some of the sugar mixture on top may still be bubbling.
Cool for at least 30 minutes before whisking the powdered sugar and milk together to form an icing and drizzling it onto the bread.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Swiss Chard and Sweet Pea Stuffed Shells

I was watching Giada last week and saw her make this wonderful recipe! I could not wait to make it came out wonderful and was so filling :]


  • Butter, for greasing the pan
  • 1 box stuffed shells
  • Filling
  • 1 head (about 12 ounces) red or white Swiss chard
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 (15-ounce) container ricotta cheese
  • 3/4 cup frozen petite peas, thawed
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella (4 ounces)
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan (2 ounces)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • Fontina Fonduta Sauce
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 3 cups (6 ounces) fontina cheese, grated
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) mozzarella, shredded


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a 13 by 9-inch glass baking dish liberally with butter.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 6 to 8 minutes. Drain the pasta and rinse with cold water. **It is helpful if you place the shells on a plate, they will be so much easier to fill that way**

For the Filling:

Using a knife, remove the leaves from the stems of the chard. Discard the stems. Chop the leaves into 1-inch pieces. In a large nonstick skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until soft, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute longer. Add the chard and cook, stirring constantly, until wilted, about 2 minutes. Allow the mixture to cool slightly. Place the ricotta cheese, peas, mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, basil, salt, and pepper in the bowl of a food processor. Add the cooled chard mixture and blend until smooth. Spoon the mixture into the prepared pastry bag and fill each stuffed shell with the filling. Place the stuffed shell's in the prepared baking dish.

For the Fontina Fonduta Sauce:

In a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, bring milk and cream to a simmer, over medium heat. Reduce heat to low. Add the fontina cheese and cook, stirring constantly, until the cheese is melted and the mixture is smooth. Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the Parmesan cheese and basil.
Pour the sauce over the stuffed manicotti and sprinkle with the mozzarella cheese. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until the top is golden. Cool for 5 minutes before serving.

    Monday, February 22, 2010

    Quick Pizza Dough

    Food-Processor Pizza Dough
    Yields 2 12-inch pizza crusts

    1 c warm water
    2 1/2 tsp yeast
    1 tsp sugar
    3 c all purpose flour
    1 tsp salt
    2 tbsp olive oil

    Stir together water, yeast and sugar until dissolved. Set aside.

    In food processor, place flour and salt and blend. Stir 2 tbsp oil into yeast mixture.

    With the motor running add yeast mixture through the feed tube. You may need add a little extra water to get the dough to stick real well. Allow the dough to go around the bowl until the dough clings together, about 20 to 30 times.

    Turn dough onto a floured surface and kneed until dough is smooth and elastic, 5 to 6 times.

    Cut dough into 2 equal pieces. Form each piece into a round disk and let rest for 10 minutes. Or you can opt for 1 large pizza.

    With a floured rolling pin, roll out the disk into a 12 inch circle.

    Then place pizza dough onto pizza pan and add sauce and toppings.

    Cook @ 450 degrees for about 10 min or until cheese melts and crust is golden.

    Sunday, February 21, 2010

    Oven Fried Coconut Chicken

    I adore coconut and chicken of course so this is a perfect match made in chicken heaven!


    3 lb. chicken pieces, skinned or unskinned
    1 1/2 c. flaked coconut, loosely packed
    1 c. seasoned bread crumbs
    2 eggs, beaten
    4 tbsp. butter, melted


    Mix together coconut and bread crumbs.

    Pour butter in bottom of baking dish.

    Dip chicken, one piece at a time, in eggs and roll in coconut mixture.

    Arrange skin side down in pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Turn chicken pieces and continue baking 25 minutes more.

    Yogurt Bread

    Ok so I was off to an adventure with making Yogurt seems to look and taste like Sourdough Bread...recipe courtesy of


    2 c. very warm water (120 to 130 degrees)
    1 1/2 tbsp. dry yeast
    2 tbsp. honey
    1 tbsp. salt
    1 c. plain yogurt
    7 1/2 (or more) c. flour


    Combine first 3 ingredients and stir to dissolve. Let rest for 5 minutes, then add salt and yogurt. Mix well. Stir in flour and knead on floured surface for 5 to 10 minutes, adding more flour as needed. Divide dough in half. Shape each into a loaf and place in greased loaf pans. Cover and let rise in warm place 30 minutes (until dough rises to pan top). Bake in 350 degree oven 40 minutes. Remove from pan immediately.

    Fudgy Brownies

    A perfect light dessert from Perfect Light Desserts Cookbook.

    These brownies are super fudgy and delicious :]


    1/2 cup cocoa powder
    1 cup all purpose flour
    1 tsp baking powder
    1/2 tsp salt
    3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
    1 cup granulated sugar
    1/2 cup dark brown sugar ( I used light brown)
    2 lg egg whites
    1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
    2 tsp vanilla extract

    1 9 inch square pan, sprayed with vegetable cooking spray and the bottom lined with parchment or wax paper


    -preheat oven to 350 degrees
    -mix cocoa, flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl
    -in a separate bowl beat the sugar and butter together with a large rubber spatula
    -beat in the brown sugar, egg whites, applesauce and vanilla, one at a time, beating until smooth after each addition
    -stir in the dry ingredients with a large rubber spatula
    -scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake the brownies for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center emerges with moist crumbs clinging to it

    Friday, February 19, 2010

    Raisin Ginger Scones

    Borrowed from Laura @ The Cooking Photographer

    These scones are not too sweet, are super simple to make, are a quick go to breakfast and are versatile!

    4 cups unbleached flour
    ¼ cup plus two tablespoons granulated sugar
    2 Tablespoons baking powder
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into 16 pieces
    4 eggs
    1 cup heavy cream
    ½ cup raisins
    2 tsp vanilla
    fresh grated ginger, to your liking

    Egg wash
    1 large egg beaten with 2 tablespoons heavy cream

    1. Place oven racks in the top lower and upper third of the oven and preheat to 425 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

    2. In a food processor pulse together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
    Then add the butter 1/3 amount at a time and pulse just until combined each time. You want pea sized butter chunks.

    3. In a stand mixer or a large bowl. Beat together the eggs and
    heavy cream. Add the flour mixture and beat until just combined. Then mix in the raisins. Dump out the dough onto a clean surface and knead for a few turns adding a little flour if needed until dough is only slightly sticky.

    4. Flour a clean surface and roll or pat down the dough until it’s about
    1 inch thick. Cut out shapes with fluted a 3 inch biscuit cutter (or any shape you prefer) and place two inches apart on the parchment. Brush tops with egg wash.

    5. Bake for about 15 minutes or until golden brown rotating
    cookie sheets halfway through baking time.

    Tuesday, February 16, 2010

    Arriba Arriba Healthy Burritos

    Healthy is the word of the year :] These burritos are super simple and so tasty!


    1 sm onion, chopped
    1/2 yellow and 1/2 green zucchini, chopped
    1/2 pepper, chopped
    2 tsp minced garlic
    2 lbs ground chicken
    1 c black beans, rinsed
    2 c salsa
    3 tbsp diced green chilies
    2 c white cheddar cheese, grated
    1-2 lg tomatoes, diced
    1-2 c lettuce, chopped
    12 flour tortillas


    Add EVOO to a med/high heat pan
    Cook onions til translucent, then add the zucchinis, pepper and garlic cook til softened
    Add ground chicken and once cooked thoroughly drain excess fat
    Add black beans, salsa and diced green chillies to pan and cook on low heat for 5 minutes

    Place tortilla shells into the oven @ 325 to soften for 5 minutes

    Place meat, veggies, tomatoes and salsa onto a warm tortilla shell and add the cheese and some more salsa, if desired


    Sunday, February 14, 2010

    Valentine's Day Dinner

    I love cooking and I love my Tim so I figured I'd make a great dinner :]

    Leg of Lamb with rice and vegetables


    2 lbs butterflied boneless leg of lamb
    1/3 c ginger minced
    1/2 c honey
    1/3 c soy sauce
    2 tbsp minced garlic
    1/4 - 1/3 c white cooking wine

    Long grain rice
    1/2 yellow and green zucchini
    1 red pepper
    1 tbsp minced garlic


    Mix ginger, honey, soy sauce, garlic and white wine together in a large bowl. Add leg of lamb and marinate in fridge for 20 minutes.

    Set oven to 450 degrees.

    Place lamb in roasting pan and spread remaining juices over top. Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes then reduce temperature to 350° F and continue to roast 8 minutes per pound for rare, 10 minutes per pound for medium, or 18 minutes per pound for well-done. Baste with pan juices or additional wine or water.

    Cook rice according to box directions.

    Add oil to frying pan and cook vegetables til softened.

    Once lamb is desired temperature (desired doneness - rare 140°, medium 150°, well-done 160°) take out of oven and let rest for 5 minutes then cut.

    Goes perfect with a nice glass of red wine!

    Tuesday, February 9, 2010

    Basic White Bread

    Recipe Courtesy of

    Here is another bread recipe that is really easy and makes 2 loaves.

    2 packages (4 1/2 tsp./1/2 oz./14g) active dry yeast
    2 1/2 cups warm water
    3 tablespoons butter, melted
    3 tablespoons granulated sugar
    2 teaspoons salt
    6-7 cups all-purpose flour ( I used bread flour)

    1. In a large mixing bowl, combine yeast and 1/2 cup warm water. Stir until dissolved. Add remaining warm water, butter, sugar and salt. Stir until mixed.

    2. Add 6-7 cups of flour and mix until blended. Add enough of the remaining flour until dough forms a smooth ball that is slightly sticky to the touch.

    3. Place dough in a large, greased bowl. Cover and let rise until double in size, about 1 hour.

    4. Punch dough down, divide in half, and shape into loaves. Place loaves into two 9 x 5-inch greased loaf pans and let rise until double in size, about an hour.

    5. Bake in 350°F (180°C) oven for 40 minutes (before baking I like to give the top of the bread an egg white wash to make the top crunchy).

    Makes 2 (9 x 5-inch) loaves or you can make 2 long loaves of bread

    Sunday, February 7, 2010

    Easy Bread

    Thanks to Trent @ The Simple Dollar


    1/4 cup milk
    5 teaspoons sugar
    1 teaspoons salt
    5 teaspoons butter
    1 package active dry yeast
    1 cup warm water
    2 1/2 to 3 1/2 cups flour (I used bread flour)
    Corn starch or nonstick cooking spray


    -1st start w/ a warm bowl...put some hot water in it and then take it out
    -Add the warm water to the yeast and mix it in the bowl (it'll start to bubble on top)
    -Melt the butter in the microwave and then add the milk, sugar and salt with the butter to the yeast mixture
    -Once mixed together add 2 cups of flour and then mix
    -Add the remaining flour by 1/4 cups every minute that you are mixing (you basically want the dough to not stick to your hands)
    -Place dough onto a floured surface and flour your hands
    -Knead the dough for 10 minutes (punch the dough, beat it a bit ;])
    -After 10 minutes shape it into a ball, then place into a clean bowl that is lightly oiled
    -Cover the bowl and place in a warm area for 1 hour for it to rise
    -Once that is done punch dough down a few times and then place on a floured surface
    -Form it into a rectangular shape with one side being roughly the length of the bread pan and the other side being about a bread pan and a half long
    -Now you will roll the dough and then tuck the end under
    -Place the dough in a lightly oiled bread pan and cover with towel again and place in warm area for another hour
    -Finally set the oven to 400 degrees F and bake for 30 minutes
    -Once done take out of pan and let cool ( I like to coat the warm bread top with butter)


    Wednesday, February 3, 2010

    Fig Bread

    So Tim and I went and met up with our friend Paul and his girlfriend in VA at a coffee shop...we had some great fig bread and I said I need to figure out how to make this after I ate the whole loaf practically!

    Thanks to Noir @ Group Recipes for this delicious Golden Fig Bread Recipe:

    1 cup apple juice

    1/4 cup unsalted butter (1/2 stick, or margarine)
    1/4 teaspoon salt

    1 1/2 cups dried figs, stems removed, coarsely chopped

    1 3/4 cups flour
    1/2 teaspoon baking powder

    1/4 teaspoon baking soda

    2 eggs

    1/3 cup sugar

    1/2 teaspoon vanilla
    1 teaspoon lemon juice

    1. In a small saucepan, heat the apple juice over moderately high heat just until boiling, about 3 minutes.
    2. Remove from heat, add butter, and stir until melted.
    3. Stir in the salt and figs.
    4. Cool to room temperature.
    5. Preheat the oven to 350*F.
    6. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, and baking soda.
    7. In a medium bowl, beat eggs, sugar, and vanilla until well incorporated. Stir in fig mixture and lemon rind.
    8. Add all to the dry ingredients and stir until just moistened.
    9. **Do not over mix.**
    10. Spoon the batter into a greased 8"x4"x2" loaf pan.
    11. Bake for about 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
    12. Let it cool upright in the pan on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes. Remove and let cool completely.
    13. Makes 1 loaf.