Monday, February 28, 2011

Spaghettti Squash - How to

I love Spaghetti squash, it is delicious and it is a great replacement for noodles to accompany any sauce of your choice. I love it because it is delicious and because it is low in calories too. Perfection can be accomplished with this vegetable. A spaghetti squash can be prepared in the oven or the microwave, I prefer the tastes that exist when something is roasted in the oven and so my recipe is for the oven method.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Whip Cream

Nothing is better than homemade whipped cream. It is so much tastier and so light. If you have the choice, especially for fancier desserts, use homemade whip cream, so worth it.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Salted Caramel Frosting

This is again from Megan, so pretty much we have decided that she holds the best baking recipes of all. I for one love caramel, this frosting is more caramel than anything else, it is very strong and very sweet. Perfect for me. A perfect pairing for this frosting is another one of Megan's recipes she shared with me, chocolate cake .

Monday, February 21, 2011

Chocolate Cake

This is another recipe I got from my baking friend Megan. She credits it to Hershey's. It is a great cake mix that tastes delicious and comes out quite moist, definitely recommended, especially if you top it with some Salted Caramel Frosting. I prepared it for my friend Nathaly's 25th Birthday. I think I impressed her :)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Chocolate Truffle Cookies

I recently spent the day with my cousin Katherine. We had a wonderful day that consisted of movies, coffee, cooking, and girl stuff .... there's nothing better. I showed her this recipe I found on Valentines and asked her if she was interested in giving it a shot, she happily obliged. We baked these cookies in between taking a mid night dip in the jacuzzi, they were a perfect end to the night. Thanks Katherine.
These cookies are very chocolaty, kinda like a dark chocolate bitter taste, perfect for any level of sweet tooth. I had some leftover cookies that I shared with some friends of mine who are not too fond of sweets, after they had one bite they could not stop eating them.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Puff Pastry Salmon

This is a wonderful salmon recipe. A friend introduced this idea to me a few years ago, this is my first time creating it myself. I love the combination of bread, pesto, and salmon. Absolutely delicious.

Serving Size: 2

2 (12 oz) skinless, boneless salmon fillets
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 (17.25 ounce) package frozen puff pastry, thawed
1/3 cup pesto
1 (6 ounce) package spinach leaves

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Season the salmon fillets with salt, garlic powder, and onion powder.
3. Divide 1/2 of the spinach between two sheets of puff pastry, and mound in the center.
4. Place a salmon fillet on top of each mound of spinach.
5. Spread the pesto on the salmon fillets, and top with remaining spinach.
6. Moisten the edges of the puff pastry with water, fold to the center, and seal the seams. Place the sealed salmons seal side down on a greased baking dish. Brush the top of the puff pastry with butter and a sprinkle of garlic salt.
7. Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes until the pastry is puffed and golden, and the salmon has cooked all the way through. Serve with some rice, enjoy!

recipe adapted from:

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Coffee Liqueur Souffle

What says I love you more than a souffle? Perhaps a coffee liqueur souffle on Valentine's Day!
I have been wanting to make a souffle ever since I saw Whitney perfect one on MasterChef, I found a recipe and of course I altered it slightly. This was a fun experience, it's easy to do it just requires multiple tasks at the same time, which can be achieved if you read the recipe thoroughly beforehand to get yourself familiar with what will be happening next. Also, the tricky part for me was the last step, our oven is at least 30 years old and has no internal light and the temperature tends to be off and so it was difficult for me to leave the souffles in the oven without being able to see through the oven door to make sure everything was rising correctly etc, but I made it through and for the most part they turned out great.

Serving size: 4 souffle ramekins

1 tbsp butter, for ramekins
white sugar for dusting
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tbsp cornstarch
1/4 cup white sugar, divided
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
3/4 cup milk
4 egg yolks
4 egg whites
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup coffee liqueur or the liqueur of your choice
2 tbsp semisweet chocolate chips, melted (optional)
1/2 cup fresh fruit, like raspberries or strawberries for garnish (optional)

Optional strawberry sauce:
1/2 cup strawberries and1 tbsp powdered sugar blended together in food processor

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Thoroughly grease the the bottom and sides of four ramekins with the tablespoon of butter. Coat with sugar, tipping out any excess. If desired, place a raspberry or strawberry and/or a drizzle of chocolate or strawberry sauce as a "surprise" at the bottom of each cup.

3. Combine the cocoa powder, cornstarch, and a tablespoon of the sugar; set aside. Mix the butter and flour to form a paste; set aside. Lightly whisk one egg yolk in a larger heatproof bowl; set aside.

4. Heat the milk to the boiling point in a heavy saucepan; stirring often to prevent burn. Whisk in the flour-butter mixture until it melts.

5. Gradually pour the hot milk into the egg yolk in a steady stream, whisking constantly.
6. Return the mixture to the saucepan and bring the custard to a simmer over low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon or spatula. Cook and stir the custard until it thickens, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat, stirring occasionally to keep it smooth.
7. Combine the three remaining egg yolks with the vanilla, liqueur, and the sugar-cocoa-cornstarch mixture. Whisk in the warm custard, cover, and set aside. (The custard can be made ahead of time up to this point and refrigerated for a day before proceeding with the recipe.)

8. About 35 minutes before serving, whip the egg whites until they are thick and foamy and have quadrupled in volume. Gradually mix in the remaining 3 tablespoons of the sugar, whipping until the egg whites are stiff but not dry.

9. Fold 1/3 of the meringue into the custard to lighten it, using a whisk or rubber spatula. Fold in the remaining meringue.
10. Immediately transfer the souffle batter into the prepared ramekins, making a smooth mound slightly above the rim of each ramekin. (If you have a piping bag, you may pipe the mixture into the ramekins.) Bake at once in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the souffles have risen and the edges are set (do not open the oven before time is up).

11. Serve hot almost immediately, with fruit sauce and fresh fruit or chocolate sauce to garnish, if desired.

recipe adapted from:

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Steamed Lobster Tail

I don't understand why anyone would go to a restaurant to get their lobster fix, it is so easy to make at home and not only that but much much easier on your wallet.

1 tbsp sea salt
2 lobster tails, defrosted

1/2 cup clarified butter, melted for dipping

1. Pour 1 cup of water into the bottom of a steam pan and add the salt
2. Bring the water to a boil
3. Place the tails on a steaming rack placed inside the pan and cover with a lid. Steam the tails for about 7 or 8 minutes. You will know your tails are fully cooked when your tails have turned red and have curled up.

4. Remove the tails from the steamer. Remove the shell by using kitchen sheers to cut a straight line down the middle of one side of the shell. Remove and serve alongside some clarified butter for dipping, enjoy!

Twice Baked Potatoes

Nick prepared these for our Valentine's Day feast, they are the perfect side to some hearty steak.

4 russet potatoes, skin washed and poked with a fork
2 tbsp butter, room temperature
2 tbsp sour cream (optional)
1 cup of milk
Garlic powder, garlic salt, and ground black peppercorn to taste
2 tbsp of green onions
1 cup cheddar cheese, grated

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F
2. Place the potatoes in the oven and bake for 1 hour
3. Remove the potatoes from the oven. Slice them in half lengthwise. Spoon out the insides of the potatoes, trying your best to keep the skin in tact. Place all the potato insides in a separate bowl.
4. Add the butter, optional sour cream, milk, and spices and whisk the potatoes to combine well. Add the green onions and stir together well to form mashed potatoes.
5. Spoon out the mashed potatoes into the skins of the potatoes, making sure each skin is completely filled with mashies.
6. Top off the stuffed potatoes with some cheddar cheese.
7. Place potatoes back in the oven and bake for another 15 minutes until the cheese has fully melted.
8. Serve along side your favorite meal. Enjoy!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day


One thing Nick and I have learned over the years for V-Day is that it is better to stay in on Valentine's day and prepare your own fancy meal at home. Not only does this save you money due to increased prices on this Hallmark holiday but because if the food is prepared by you it will be catered to your liking. If you want to save money on your next Valentines but still manage to impress the loved one in your life then try creating this perfect Valentine's Day menu.

2 5oz lobster tails: $5.99 each
2 filet mignon steaks: $5 each
bag of potatoes: $1.50
1/2 pound of cremini mushrooms: $1
green onions: $0.50
1 onion: $0.25
flour, eggs, cocoa powder etc.: $5
A romantic, delicious, and impressive Valentine's dinner at home: Priceless

Our meal consisted of steamed lobster tails, mushroom and onion filet mignon, and twice baked potatoes, we finished off with some delicious coffee liqueur chocolate souffle. Yummmm


Sunday, February 13, 2011

Lemon Bars

I love lemon treats. So when I was asked to make a dessert for Valentine's Day service, I thought I would go against the grain and not make something chocolaty. The only problem was that everyone else had the same idea in mind. We ended up having 3 versions of lemon bars and nothing chocolaty, oh well. This recipe is from my friend Megan. She is my amazing baker friend and these are the best lemon bars.

1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
3/4 cup butter, softened to room temp

2 lemons, juiced
4 eggs
1 1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
sprinkle of powdered sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Mix together 1.5 cups flour, powdered sugar and butter until crumbly.

3. Press crumbles into an ungreased 8x8” pan so as to create a crust.

4. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Do NOT brown.
5. Mix remaining flour and sugar together in a bowl to create a paste. Whisk in the eggs and the lemon juice and combine well.
6. Pour mix over the hot baked crust and return to the oven for another 20-25 minutes, until middle is mostly set.

7. Let it cool for at least an hour, then sprinkle the top with some powdered sugar.
8. Cut into bars or squares and enjoy!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Roasted Potatoes and Veggies

One of my most favorite side dishes is some roasted potatoes and veggies. It is something easy to make that can be prepared alongside just about any dish. I always try to have a bag of potatoes on hand in my household and so these can be made at any moment with any veggies I may have available in my fridgel. The picture above includes brussel sprouts, yummy.

4-6 potatoes, chopped into 1 inch squared pieces
1-2 onions, chopped into 1 inch pieces
2 tbsp minced garlic
2 tbsp olive oil
garlic salt and pepper to taste (feel free to add your favorite seasoning)
Include any veggies of your choice cut into bite size pieces (my most favorite veggies to include are zucchini and broccoli).

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9 by 13 baking dish.
2. In a big bowl, combine all the ingredients and mix together well so that every vegetable is coated in olive oil and seasoning.
3. Bake at 350 for 45-60 minutes, until a fork can puncture the potatoes easily. Flip ingredients midway through cooking time. Serve with any meal, enjoy!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


I was sick of making chocolate chip cookies and so I decided to make some Snickerdoodles. This recipe is absolutely perfect, I highly recommend that you give it a try.

3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter
2 cups white sugar
2 eggs 1/4 cup milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

3 tablespoons white sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons brown sugar

1. Sift together the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt, set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Stir in the eggs, milk, vanilla and almond extracts.
3. Gradually stir in the dry ingredients until fully incorporated. Cover bowl and chill for 1 to 2 hours.
4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets.
5. In a shallow bowl or saucer, stir together the remaining brown sugar, white sugar and cinnamon.
6. Roll the chilled dough into 1 inch balls, then roll the balls in the sugar mixture.
7. Place cookies 2 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheets.
8. Bake for about 8 minutes in the preheated oven, until cookies begin to brown at the edges. Remove from baking sheets to cool on wire racks. Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from:

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Enchiladas Verdes

Enchiladas are easy to make they are just a tad time consuming, but they are always worth it.

Serving size: 9 by 13 pan (6-8)

1 large pack of Corn tortillas (24-36)
1 tbsp oil
2 onions, chopped
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1-2 jalapenos, seeded and chopped (you can use more or less jalapenos depending on your spice tolerance)--you could also use a can of chopped jalapenos
1 can of chopped green chilies
1 bunch of cilantro, chopped (leaves only)
1-2 cups cooked and shredded chicken
1 large can of green enchilada sauce
1 jar of salsa verde
lots of shredded mexican cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
1. Heat the oil to medium heat in a large skillet. Add the onions, bell pepper, jalapenos, green chilies, and cilantro. Saute until onions become tender, about 5-10 minutes. Lower heat if anything begins to brown.
2. Meanwhile, fry your tortillas in oil so that when you roll them they don’t fall apart.
3. Add chicken to skillet and mix into the chili mixture so that the chicken soaks up the flavors of the green chilies. Only allow everything to cook together about 2 minutes, then remove from heat and set aside.
4. Pour the enchilada green sauce in to a bowl. Place the cheese in a bowl.
5. Then take each individual tortilla, one at a time. Dunk the tortilla in the enchilada sauce, lie it down in the pan, fill it with some of the chicken mixture and some of the cheese, then roll it up and place in the 9 by 13 pan, being sure to either use another dipped tortilla to surround the enclosure or use the regular tortilla and keep the shell closed by pointing the opening towards the pan.
6. repeat until the pan is completely stuffed full of filled tortillas.
7. Take all of the leftover enchilada sauce and pour it over the top of the enchiladas. Sprinkle more cheese on top of that and then sprinkle some thick salsa verde on top of the cheese. Finish it off by garnishing the top of the enchiladas with some fresh cilantro leaves.
8. Bake in the oven for 30-45 minutes until the cheese is bubbly. Serve and enjoy!