Brownie and Ice Cream Layered Dessert

Monday, September 24, 2007

Well… the name pretty much explains it all, lol! This is more of a dessert idea rather than a recipe but this was a great way to liven up a boring weeknight! Justin and I picked heart shaped cookie cutters, Andrew picked a flower, and Abbott picked a cross. The pictures of each are below, but my brownies were still a bit warm so they were quickly melting as I snapped a photo!

Brownies (purchased or prepared)
Ice Cream
Whipped Topping
Syrups, Sprinkles, and Cherries

You need to remove the brownies from their pan so you can cut shapes using cookie cutters. I prepared my brownies from a box so I lined the 9x13 baking dish with parchment paper so that I could easily flip the pan once the brownies cool. Each person picked out a cookie cutter and cut their brownie, once you have your shape set the brownie aside. Place the cookie cutter on a plate and begin to scoop ice cream into the cookie cutter, leveling the scoops until the cookie cutter shape is filled with ice cream. Using you scoop to hold the ice cream down slowly remove the cookie cutter. You should be left with a ice cream cut out of your shape. Using a spatula transfer the ice cream cut out to the top of your brownie shape. Top with whipped topping and choice of syrup, sprinkles, and cherries.

Creamy Italian Chicken with Pasta

Friday, September 21, 2007

I found this recipe on probably 7 years ago, to date it is probably the best recipe I found on that website. It could definitely benefit from sliced mushrooms and diced onions but in a family of picky eaters those are always out of the question (boohoo).

I first started making this recipe for my family right after I turned 21 so I remember going to the grocery store to look for white wine and bringing home Arbor Mist (I had no idea what real white wine was nor what it looked like). So… if this recipe can make mouths water using Arbor Mist for the wine then it is pretty fail safe!

6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/4 c. butter
1 (.7 ounce) package dry Italian-style salad dressing mix
1/2 c. white wine (you can sub chicken broth)
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed golden mushroom soup
4 ounces cream cheese with chives
1 pound angel hair pasta

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
In a large saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Stir in the package of dressing mix. Blend in wine and golden mushroom soup. Mix in cream cheese, and stir until smooth. Heat through, but do not boil. Arrange chicken breasts in a single layer in a 9x13 inch baking dish. Pour sauce over.
Bake for 60 minutes in the preheated oven. Twenty minutes before the chicken is done, bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a rolling boil. Cook pasta until al dente, about 5 minutes. Drain. Serve chicken and sauce over pasta.

Fish Tacos

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

This Baja treat is well known to residents of Southern California, where fish tacos have been popular since their introduction in the 1980s. The crunch of coleslaw contrasts with tender fish, and the creamy dressing is spiked with the smoky heat of chipotle chiles.

Tilapia or flounder fillets (2 needed per taco)
1 tbsp olive oil
1-2 tsp lemon pepper seasoning
½ c. mayonnaise
1/4 c. plain yogurt
1/4 tsp chipotle chile powder
1 tsp lime juice
1 (1-lb) bag coleslaw mix (8 cups)
Corn or flour tortillas
Accompaniments: salsa, lime wedges
Fish- To cook the fish you use the same recipe as the “Lemon Pepper Fish” previously posted (in fact you can just use any leftover fish you have from that recipe). Add olive oil to a sauté pan on medium heat. Lay frozen fillet in the pan, don’t let the fillets overlap but the sides can touch. On medium heat cook the fish until it looks thawed then sprinkle on the lemon pepper seasoning. Continue cooking until the sides of the fillets become transparent (around 5 minutes) and then flip the fillets. Sprinkle the other side with the lemon pepper seasoning and cook until fish is white and flakey (around 5 minutes).
Spicy Slaw- While the fish cooks, make the slaw sauce by stirring together mayonnaise, yogurt, chipotle powder, and lime juice in a bowl. Toss together with coleslaw mix. The slaw keeps for a couple days so you can make it the day before if desired.

Transfer fish to a platter along with bowls of coleslaw, salsa, lime wedges, and a basket of warm tortillas. Serve immediately

Lemon Pepper Fish

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

This is really more of a meal idea rather than a recipe, but this is one of those quick and easy meals that we eat almost weekly. It takes 15-20 minutes total!

1 tbsp Olive Oil
Tilapia Fillet(s)
1-2 tsp Lemon Pepper Seasoning

Add olive oil to a sauté pan on medium heat. Lay frozen fillet in the pan, don’t let the fillets overlap but the sides can touch. On medium heat cook the fish until it looks thawed then sprinkle on the lemon pepper seasoning (I really don't measure it, I just sprinkle until everything looks peppered). Continue cooking until the sides of the fillets become transparent (around 5 minutes-depending on thickness of fillet) and then flip the fillets. Sprinkle the other side with the lemon pepper seasoning and cook until fish is white and flakey (around 5 minutes).

You can flip the fish another couple times to brown the outside but the more you flip it the more it will fall apart on you. I always cut one of the thickest fillets open to make sure it is white and flakey all the way through before taking it off of the heat and serving.

Kick’n Fish

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Fish is a huge staple in our house. We purchase tilapia in bulk bags found in the freezer section of a grocery store, each fillet is individually packaged so only have to cook as many as you need. One of the things I love about these fillets is that you can cook it straight from the freezer, no thawing needed! In fact thawing the fish makes it difficult to work with and season because it will fall apart. Above is a picture of the seasoned fillets before they go into the oven!

We cook fish a couple different ways but this is definitely one of our favorites! Even though I use a BBQ rub I would call it more of a Cajun fish because it doesn’t taste like BBQ, it has a spicy kick but nothing that would make you break a sweat. This picture shows the final product!

Tilapia Fillet (s)
Gates Original BBQ Seasoning and Marinate

Lay the frozen fillets in a baking dish (the fish oil will keep it from sticking so there is no need for oil or butter). Generously shake the BBQ seasoning onto the fillets, turn the fillets over and season the other side. Cook uncovered for 20 minutes at 400. Broil for an additional 3 minutes or until the fillets start cracking open.

Whoopie Pies

Saturday, September 15, 2007

I’ve heard that the New England area has something called a “Whoopie Pie” or “Gob” made of two small, chocolate, disk-shaped cakes with a sweet, creamy frosting sandwiched between them. Traditional Amish markets would sell them but after quickly gaining popularity they started to pop up in grocery and convenient stores. I thought they looked interesting so I found a couple recipes online and gave it a try!

They turned out really well! They actually ended up tasting alot like those new Oreo Cakesters!

1 Pkg of devil's food cake (with the oil and eggs listed on the package)
1 Pkg instant chocolate pudding
3/4 cup water

Creme Filling
1 1/4 c. powered sugar
1-2 tbsp milk
3/4 c. marshmallow fluff
1/2 c. shortening
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp peanut butter (optional)

Mix the devil's food (according to package minus the water), pudding, and water together. After mixing let it set for 5-10 minutes (I have no idea why but they don't flatten out as much if they sit). Use a melon baller to drop balls of the dough onto cookie sheet with parchment paper. Cook at 350 for 10 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Mix powdered sugar, milk, vanilla, and fluff together and then add shortening. You can alter the flavor of the creme by adding another ingredient if you want. Justin loves peanut butter so after using 1/2 the vanilla filling I added 1-2 tbsp to it to make a peanut butter creme filling. I used the melon baller again to add one drop of filling in-between the two cakes.

3 Ingredient Macaroni and Cheese

Friday, September 14, 2007

The school that I teach at has great macaroni and cheese! At first glance it looked a little unappealing the way the cheese sauce dripped through your fork but the flavor was delicious! I asked the cafeteria what their recipe was and was told “5 lbs of Velveeta and 1 gallon of milk”. Since my conversation skills are lacking I took my best guess. It turned out just as yummy as the school cafeteria’s and even Justin who is anti-Velveeta liked it!

16 oz. Elbow Macaroni
2 lb. Velveeta (cubed)
2 c. Skim Milk

Cook the elbow macaroni in boiling water for around 12 minutes or until your desired tenderness and strain. Return pan to low heat and add the Velveeta and milk. Stir until all the Velveeta is melted and then season with salt and pepper.


Thursday, September 13, 2007

After spending countless hours scouring the internet for great sites dedicated to good food and interesting recipes, I realized that if I could reallocate even half those hours to creating my own recipe journal, it could be pretty good.

This blog is intended primarily for family and friends with whom I would like to share some of my greatest culinary "masterpieces" and my biggest flops, but if anyone else stumbles across it and actually finds it interesting, then I am thrilled!

I am a busy working Mom with two children, Andrew and Abbott. But no amount of time is too much to spend planning and preparing a nice meal for my family. Here are some of my thoughts..... enjoy....