February 9, 2011

They say it's your birthday, it's my birthday too, yeah! :D

I'm 26 today! Yee haw! :D I got a snow day, a car stereo, bath stuff, a bracelet, and a pimple zapper. Good haul. :D

Tonight's dinner is special, because I like it. :D

Salmon Fantasia is an old fave, it's so darn good. I got the recipe off the back of a bag of frozen salmon fillets. lol

1 pound Salmon Fillets
8 Tbsp. Honey
3 Tbsp. Soy Sauce
3 Tbsp. Fresh Ginger, grated
8 Tbsp. Olive Oil
3 Tbsp. Mustard
3 Tbsp. Chopped Chives
3 Tbsp. Lemon Juice
4 Tbsp. Butter

Mix first 5 ingredients (after the salmon) in a shallow bowl. Add salmon fillets and turn several times to coat well. Transfer salmon and marinade to a plastic zipper bag. Squeeze the air out of the bag before sealing. Marinate for 30 minutes (or longer). Remove from bag. Grill 3-4 minutes per side, or until the salmon is flaky.

In a saucepan, melt the butter over high heat. Add lemon juice and chives. Pour over the cooked salmon and serve.

I stumbled across this awesome salad dressing on Tasty Kitchen last week. Unusual, but wonderful. Thanks to TK user Sally Darling. :)

Lemon Maple Vinaigrette

* 2 cloves Garlic Chopped
* 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
* 1 whole Lemon, Juiced
* 4 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
* 1 teaspoon Black Pepper
* 2 Tablespoons REAL Maple Syrup (Not The Pancake Syrup)

Combine all ingredients in a jar or a salad dressing bottle. Shake shake shake 'em up. Let them mingle and combine for a little while before you eat it. :)

Okay, now for the science and magic portion of the show:

Chocolate Spice Cupcakes for Two!!!

This gem came from an article on Paula Deen's website.

(Note: use silicone cupcake liners, since these are being "baked" in the microwave. The paper liners will fall down, and you don't wanna be there when you put a foil liner in the microwave. Just believe me. ALSO: I doubled the recipe so there'd be 4 cupcakes. Dividing an egg in half seemed silly, and who doesn't want another cupcake on their own birthday? :D)

Chocolate Spice Cupcakes For Two
Yield: 2 cupcakes

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons brown sugar
4 ½ teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
4 ½ teaspoons milk
1 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
½ egg, lightly whipped (approximately 2 tablespoons whipped egg)
Prepared Whipped Cream

Whisk flour, brown sugar, cocoa powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and ginger in a small bowl.

Mix in milk, butter, and egg.
Divide evenly between two silicone cupcake liners.
Microwave on medium for one minute.

Microwave again on medium for thirty seconds. If the cupcakes do not bounce back when lightly touched, repeat this step.
Top with whipped cream and sprinkles, serve warm. :D

Don't freeze your little toes off this week!

Eat well!
New 26 year old Jen <3

February 5, 2011

Easy, kid-friendly desserts!

I've been bored out of my gourd just hanging around the house this week. Dang blizzard! lol So, I've been cleaning, cooking, and generally making myself useful. I've made 2 quick and easy sweets that kids and grownups alike will enjoy!

*Vanilla dipped oreos

-1 package white candy melt (mine came from baking aisle at big box store, labeled "Make your own almond bark")
-1 package sandwich cookies of choice (I got these awesome candy cane flavored oreo-like cookies at Aldi last month that were great)

Break off 6 squares of the candy melt into a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for about 90 seconds, then stir to check progress. Microwave for additional 30 second intervals until all candy is melted and smooth, stirring in between intervals.
Remove candy from microwave. Drop in cookies, one at a time, and coat both sides of cookie. (I use a 2 fork method, where I flop the cookie around with my forks, heap a bunch of coating over the top of the cookie, then lift it out with one fork, tap it on the edge of the bowl to shake off any excessive coating, then scrape the bottom of the cookie fork with the free fork.) Place coated cookies on a piece of foil or wax paper to dry. While the cookie is still wet, you can put sprinkles on to make it purdy. :) 6 squares of candy coating yields about 24 cookies.

*S'mores Treats

-about 9 cups of graham cereal (like Golden Grahams)
-3 tablespoons of butter
-3/4 cup of light corn syrup
-12 oz bag of chocolate chips
-1 teaspoon of vanilla
-2 or 3 cups of mini marshmallows (go for 2 if you like marshmallows, 3 if you love 'em. Any more than that probably won't stick so well.)

Grease a big cookie sheet.
Pour the cereal into a big mixing bowl.
Combine butter, corn syrup and chocolate chips in a saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until everything has melted and combined thoroughly.
Remove from heat, add vanilla. Pour chocolate mixture over cereal in bowl, stirring quickly to ensure the cereal is thoroughly coated. Add marshmallows and stir more. Turn out onto cookie sheet. Press it into the pan with damp fingers, let it cool, and eat it! nom nom nom

Please share these, so you don't turn into a jigglesaurus. They'll make you really popular! :D

Eat well!
<3 Jen

February 4, 2011

Baby, it's cold outside!

♪♪♪I'm dreaming of a whiiiiite... February....♪♪♪

Okay, I'll stop. LOL It's been nasty cold here in Okieland for the last week, meanwhile, last weekend it was in the 70's and sunny. Bipolar weather for ya.

It's been good weather for making hot suppers! Today, I'm making spaghetti sauce in the crock pot.

1 pound ground meat of choice (I'm using turkey, but whatever makes you happy)
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes, juice and all
1 8 oz can tomato sauce (the plain kind without any spices or anything)
1 6 oz can tomato paste
1 yellow onion, diced
2 teaspoons oregano
2 teaspoons basil
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (I had only ground red pepper, so I used a bit less than 1/2 tsp)
1 bay leaf
3-4 cloves minced garlic (more if you're feelin' it)
handful of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Optional exciting ingredients: 1 de-seeded and diced bell pepper, handful of minced parsley, tiny can of tomato juice, a good "glug" of red wine

Brown your meat until it's not pink anymore. Drain off excess fat and add to crockpot. Add all other ingredients, stir it up, and let it cook on low in the crockpot for about 6 hours.

Man, it's gonna start smelling really good in here in about an hour. Let's hope I can hold on that long!!! :)

**UPDATE** I felt this lacked a necessary robustness. I'll tweak it next time I make it and let you know. :)

Eat well!
<3 Jen