Thursday, April 30, 2009

Lemon Sugar Crusted Blueberry Muffins

While I was at my mom's in Utah, I had a lemon blueberry muffin from Costco. Naturally, since it was from Costco, it was amazing. That's why I was so struck by this recipe when I saw it on Melanie's blog, My Kitchen Cafe.
And yes, it's a keeper. Next time I think I'll try subbing a couple tablespoons of applesauce for butter, and I'd like to add either some lemon zest or lemon extract straight to the batter. Nonetheless, it's perfect as is, too.

Since the recipe is a bit involved and Melanie explains each step so darn well, I'm just going to send you straight HERE for the recipe.

Need to use up your leftover buttermilk? Try this wonderful buttermilk banana bread (also from Melanie!) and these delightful whole wheat pancakes.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Quick Teriyaki Chicken

It's the middle of the week, everyone. That means it's halfway over! Last night for dinner we had a simple teriyaki chicken that I thought I should share with you. Remember this lovely recipe for sesame chicken? (Oh man I love that recipe.) This is the weeknight version—same sauce, same veggies (well, whatever you have in the fridge, really), just a different cooking method for the chicken. Rather than take the time to fry it, and to spare some calories at the same time, I like to grill or saute the chicken for a quick but delicious weeknight dinner.
Last night I seasoned the chicken with S&P, slathered the chicken with the sauce, grilled for a few minutes on each side, and sliced it into strips to serve.

Secondly, I wouldn't be a good food blogger if I didn't post discoveries like this one. Trader Joe's frozen brown rice is amazing!! I hate cooking rice for some many reasons...Half the time I forget to start the slow-cooking rice only to remember right before dinner is ready. Then I have to opt for minute rice, which I don't think tastes as good—especially in brown rice. But this option is foolproof. All you do is take a bag of it out of the freezer and microwave it for 3 minutes. That's it! Plus the texture of the brown rice is perfect, not grainy at all.

Well, have a great week, friends! Let me know if you have any questions.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Skinny Cows

I'm back from The World's Best Family Vacation and am getting ready to tackle some new recipes. Until then, have you tried the Skinny Cow products? They come Oprah- and Erica-recommended (who else's recommendation could you possibly need??) and are as tasty as their full-fat competitors.
Mmmm... The ice cream bars come in vanilla (Ryan's favorite), mint (my favorite), chocolate, peanut butter, and even strawberry shortcake. So next time your sweet tooth starts calling, reach for one of these babies instead.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Chocolate Chip Cookies (Take 2)

Remember when I promised you'd be seeing more chocolate chip cookie recipes in the future? Well, today's the day. I described the last recipe I shared as thick and chewy. These ones, on the other hand, spread a bit thinner when you bake them, leaving you with slightly crispy edges and soft centers.

Chocolate Chip Cookies (Take 2)
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons hot water
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
  1. Preheat to 350.
  2. Cream the butter, white sugar, and brown sugar. Beat in the eggs one at a time, and then stir in the vanilla. Dissolve baking soda in hot water. Add to batter along with the salt. Stir in flour, chocolate chips, and walnuts (if using). Drop by large spoonfuls onto ungreased pans.
  3. Bake for about 10 minutes. Remove immediately and cool on a wire rack.
With the millions of chocolate chip cookie recipes out there, I have a feeling I'll still post more down the road... So stay tuned! :)

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Fettucini with Parmesan and Cremini Mushrooms

I made this quick and easy pasta dish tonight and thought I'd toss it up here as another weeknight meal idea. Have you discovered cremini mushrooms? I'm just branching out into the mushroom world, and I've got to say, creminis blow regular old white mushrooms out of the water! (er, forest floor?) Anyway, the combination of fresh basil, nutty parmesan cheese, and satueed cremini mushrooms really makes this easy dish a winner.

Simple instructions:
  1. Cook whole wheat fettucini according to package directions.
  2. Saute some cremini mushrooms in a frying pan with some olive oil. (Remember that the mushrooms will shrink down, so start with a bit more than you think you'll need.) After sauteing, generously season with kosher salt and fresh black pepper. (The regular stuff works too. :)
  3. Slice basil into strips.
  4. Combine pasta (no need to rinse), basil, mushrooms, and add parmesan cheese (1/4 to 1/2 cup, depending on how much pasta you're making). Add 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes. Serve warm.
Next time I make this I'm going to add asparagus and cherry tomatoes. As with any least in my opinion...keep the veggie-to-pasta ratio heavy on the veggies.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Cilantro Citrus Chicken with Caesar Salad

Finally, I've got a new main dish to share! This marinade will jazz up your good 'ole standby— grilled chicken. It makes the chicken super-moist and gives it a zesty flavor from the cilantro and orange & lime juice. A big thanks to Cafe Johnsonia, a beautiful food blog, for the recipe.

Cilantro Citrus Chicken
From Cafe Johnsonia, via Cooking Light

1/2 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves
juice of 1 orange
juice of 1 lime
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 garlic cloves
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Cooking spray
Lime wedges to serve squeezed over the top of chicken

  1. Process the first seven ingredients in a blender until smooth. Marinate the chicken in the herb mixture for an hour. When finished, discard the marinade and let the chicken sit for 15 minutes.
  2. Coat the chicken on both sides with salt, cumin, and pepper.
  3. Grill for about 10 minutes on each side. (A thermometer should register 165, not that I ever do that...)
I sliced the chicken up after letting it sit for about 15 minutes and served it right alongside the salad. It would go well with all kinds of salads, so have fun with it.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Black Bean Salsa

I got this recipe from the cooking class I took at BYU, and it's a keeper. It's a fresh take on the traditional tomato salsa, with black beans, avocados, and corn as the star ingredients. As with a lot of my recipes, it is completely adaptable according to your taste.

2 avocados, diced
1 can black beans, drained and well rinsed
3/4 cup corn (I use a really good frozen sweet white corn)
2 roma tomatoes (or 1 if it's a larger tomato variety)
1/4 cup cilantro
A quarter of a jalepeno, seeded and diced (optional)
Salt and pepper

Dress with half an Italian dressing packet, made up (meaning you need to vinegar & a salad oil on hand).

If you want to just make up the whole packet, you could use the other half of the dressing to marinate these fajitas.

Kitchen Tip: Snipping cilantro right off the bunch with clean kitchen scissors is much easier (and quicker!) than removing the leaves by hand and chopping them with a knife.

Enjoy the salsa!