Monday, April 28, 2008

Bourbon Chicken

I was craving Chinese food but wanted something a bit more healthy than what we would get from a take-out restaurant. I found this recipe on Recipezaar and luckily had all (okay, most) of the ingredients. I skipped the ginger but it still tasted great! I think next time I'll make a bit more sauce and toss the broccoli in with the chicken.

Bourbon Chicken
Source- Recipezaar

2 lbs boneless chicken breast, cut into bite-size pieces (I used 4 breasts)
1-2 tablespoon olive oil
1 garlic clove, crushed (I used two)
1/4 teaspoon ginger (omitted)
3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (omitted)
1/4 cup apple juice
1/3 cup light brown sugar
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup soy sauce


1. Heat oil in a large skillet. Add chicken pieces and cook until lightly browned. Remove chicken.

2. Add remaining ingredients, heating over medium Heat until well mixed and dissolved.

3. Add chicken and bring to a hard boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

S'more Bars

I saw this recipe on Baking Blonde's blog and it sounded so good I had to try it. They come out a bit crumbly but the taste makes up for the mess! I found that flattening them with a spatula after about 20 minutes of cooling made them conform more into bars.

S'mores Bars

Source: Baking Blonde


1 egg, beaten
1/3 cup butter (no substitutions)
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
15 crushed graham crackers (I used 8 rectangular crackers)
1 1/2 cups small marshmallows
3/4 cup milk chocolate chips


1. Line an 8x8 pan with foil and spray with cooking spray.

2. In a medium mixing bowl combine the graham cracker crumbs, 3/4 cup marshmallows and 1/2 cup chocolate chips. Set aside.

3. In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, combine the egg, butter, sugar and vanilla. Cook, stirring constantly until it comes to a full boil. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
Pour mixture in bowl with the graham crackers, marshmallows and chcolate chips. Stir to combine. (Marshmallows and chips will melt a bit).

4. Fold in remaining marshmallows and chips.

5. Press mixture into prepared pan.Cool until set. Remove foil and bars from pan, cut and serve. Store in airtight container either room temp or in fridge (if during warm months).

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Chocolate Cake with Buttercream Icing

My coworker Debbie always bakes all of us a cake for our birthdays. She always goes to great lengths to try to surprise us each year with a lit cake and office serenade. We each try to act surprised like we forgot that the same thing happened to each of us last year.

Anyway, she always makes this cake and it is always gone by the end of the day. I never thought I'd be making a cake from scratch but with this recipe its just as easy as those box cakes. The cake is incredibly moist and the buttercream is amazing! Not too sweet....just right.

Debbie's Chocolate Cake
Print this Recipe

3 cups flour
2 cups sugar
2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
2/3 cup cocoa
1 cup oil
2 cups water
2 tbsp. vinegar (I used cider vinegar)
2 tsp vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Put all ingredients together and beat until smooth. Bake for 35-45 min. (until toothpick comes out clean)

Buttercream Icing

1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 lb (4 cups) confectioner's sugar
2 tbsp. milk (or water)
1 tsp. vanilla

1. Cream shortening and butter. Add sugar, milk, and vanilla.

2. Blend on medium until all ingredients all well mixed. Blend a minute or two more until creamy.

(If using a hand mixer and icing is not creamy, use high speed or add more liquid.Icing can be refridgerated in an air tight container for 2 weeks. Rewhip before using.)

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Penne a la Betsy

One of my favorite cooking blogs is The Pioneer Woman Cooks. She has some great recipes, incredible photography, and witty writing-style. Check her out!

Back to the situation at hand, You are gonna need to use your imagination a bit with this dish because it calls for penne. A noodle's a noodle, right? Now imagine the ziti you see above is penne.

This dish is amazing! You can subsitute the shrimp for chicken, sausage, or even vegetarian if you are one of those people. I would have licked the dish clean if it wasn't completely inappropriate. Fortunately for me, I deemed it inappropriate after the deed was done.

Penne a la Betsy
Source: Pioneer Woman Cooks
¾ lb. penne pasta
3 tbsp. butter, divided
3 tbsp. olive oil, divided
1 lb. large shrimp
1 small white onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup white wine (or chicken broth)
1 (8 oz.) can plain tomato sauce
1 cup heavy cream
1 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
basil leaves, to taste (use a bunch!)

1. Boil water and cook pasta according to package directions.
2. Meanwhile, while water heats and pasta cooks, make the sauce. Melt 1 tbsp. butter and 1 tbsp. olive oil in a large skillet. Add the shrimp and cook for a few minutes, until opaque. Remove to a plate to let cool.
3. Heat 2 tbsp. butter and 2 tbsp. olive oil in the skillet. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally. While the onion and garlic are cooking, chop the shrimp into small, bite-sized pieces. Add the wine (or chicken broth) to the pan and allow to reduce for a few minutes.
Chiffonade the basil leaves and set aside.
4. Stir in tomato sauce. Add the heavy cream and stir well to combine. Add shrimp back to the skillet and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the parsley and basil and mix well.
Drain pasta and return to pot. Add the sauce to the pot and stir well to combine. Serve.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Italian Stromboli

I used to work at a grocery store in college in the deli and we would prepackage strombolis for the public to purchase. The best part is you can customize them for your own cravings. My husband was muy impressed but if you've read any of my other blogs, you can see it doesn't take much. That's why I married him after all.

Italian Stromboli

Source: Simple but Delicious


1 package Pillsbury pizza dough

1/4 lb hard salami

1/4 lb sandwich pepperoni

1/4 lb capricola ham

1.5 cups mozzarella cheese

1 small onion

sweet peppers

Italian seasoning

Pizza sauce


1. Preheat oven to 400 degress. Roll out your pizza dough. On half of the dough, place layer of ham, leaving 1/4 inch edge.

2. Repeat with salami and pepperoni, evenly covering half of dough. Cover with mozzarella cheese, onions, and peppers. Top with italian seasoning.

3. Cover the topping with the unused portion of the dough. Take a fork and press down edges to seal. Finish with another pinch of seasoning and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Use heated pizza sauce for dipping.