Saturday, November 20, 2010

Chipotle Cranberry Sauce

So I know I haven't updated in awhile. It's not that I've stopped cooking, just this past week I made garlic crusted steak and shrimp scampi. I just never think of updating here. However, I am going to try and do better and get back to at least once a week. This weeks recipe I found at Epicurious. I'm taking this to my families Thanksgiving celebration,but since I work on Wednesday I figured I would make this tonight as it said it can be made up to a week in advance.

Chipotle Cranberry Sauce

2 dried chipotle chilies
12oz fresh cranberries
1 1/3 cups sugar
3 TBS lemon juice
1 small garlic cloves chopped 
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cumin

1. Place chilies in medium saucepan covered with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat  and simmer 1 hour, keep enough water in pan to cover chilies. Drain

2. Combine chilies, cranberries, sugar, and lemon juice in saucepan and stir over medium until sugar dissolves and cranberries begin to pop.

3. Stir in garlic, cinnamon, and cumin. Simmer until sauce thickens. 

4. Remove chilies. Stem and seed. Mince chilies.

5. Mix minced chilies back into cranberry sauce and chill. (can be made 1 week ahead, keep chilled.)

I am really looking forward to eating this Thanksgiving. I did save a spoonful out for me to try and I thought it was amazing. There was just a slight kick at the end, but not really spicy. Next time that I make this I'll probably add two or three more peppers to it. 

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Chocolate Pudding Cake

Well after a 3 day work week (which was proceeded by a 5 day staycation) it is nice to have a 3 day weekend. I am enjoying my new position at work though. It's really nice having my own office. And even nicer knowing that all my customers are having there cars repaired at my location, instead of me trying to track down what toyshop they are using.  Daniel and I have Elizabeth for the weekend. So I decided to make a cake with her. This cake is my own invention, so we will  see how it turned out. It is a result of my researching online different kinds of egg less cakes.

Chocolate Pudding Cake

     2/3 cup flour
      2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup cocoa
1 pkg. chocolate pudding mix
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 TBS melted butter
1/2 cup milk
1/4 pkg semi sweet chocolate chips.

1. Combine flour, sugar, cocoa, pudding mix, salt, and baking powder.

2. Mix milk, vanilla, and melted butter.

3. Stir into flour mixture. Add chocolate chips. 

4. Bake at 350F for 30 to 45 min, or until inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Nutella Pudding Frosting

3/4 cup butter
4 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup milk
1 cup chocolate pudding 
1/2 cup Nutella
1/4 cup goat cheese

1. Mix all ingredients together.

2. Frost cake.

So right now I'm waiting for the icing to harden, which I really hope it does. Daniel and I have both tasted the icing and at least it tastes AMAZING. Elizabeth and I had a lot of fun making the cake. She was positively in love with my apron. And she was a big help until she dunked the apron into the mixing bowl. Hopefully this will turn out and taste good. 

Well we just got done with eating dinner and went on to the good stuff. While this turned out a slight bit more puddingy than I wanted it to, it was still AMAZING. It was definitely messy. But for something that I made up out of my head using only ingredients we head in the house it is something that I am going to make again!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Jamaican Stuffed Chicken

Ok so I'm going to try and get back into doing this. It really is something that I miss. Plus with my new position I'll be getting home early so I can actually COOK dinner. So let's see...just a little update: I'm loving working as an auto damage adjuster. It was definitely a good move on my part. I'm much happier than I was on the phones. I also just got a promotion, which is fantastic. I'll be running the office out of Moore Cadillac. So no more driving to Falls Church. I now have a nice 15 min, 3 road drive to work every morning. Other than that nothing else new. So todays recipe was inspired by one I found at Epicurious and tweaked for my tastes.

Jamaican Stuffed Chicken
1/2 cup peeled cubed sweet potato
1/3 cup peeled chopped plantain
5 chicken breasts
1 TBS butter
1TBS olive oil

1. Place the sweet potato and plantain in a small saucepan. Add enough water to cover. Bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for about 8 min, or until soft. 

2. Drain. Return to pan and mash. Season to taste with salt and pepper. 

3. Pound chicken to 1/4 inch thickness. Season both sides with salt and pepper.  place spoonful or sweet potato/plantain mash on one end of chicken. 

4. Roll up chicken to surround mash. Repeat with remaining. Cover stuffed breasts with flour. 

5. Melt butter and oil in large skillet. and chicken and brown all sides. 

6. Add 1/4 cup water to skillet and simmer covered for aprox. 15 min or until chicken cooked through. 

7. Plate chicken. Add a drop of lemon extract to drippings in skillet. Increase heat to high and thicken for 1 min. Drip lemon sauce over chicken and serve.

This was really tasty and incredibly easy to make. It will probably become a staple in my weeknight dinner rotation. Even Daniel said it was good, although he was a little bit hesitant to eat it at first since I wouldn't tell him what it was except for chicken. 

Sunday, May 23, 2010


So three months after it began I'm done with training and finally living at home again. Daniel had moved into an apartment while I was gone, so now I've moved in with him and am currently getting the kitchen set up the way I want it. I"m loving my new job. For the most part I"m working 6:45- 3:15, which I love! I"m actually able to do things like go to the grocery store once I get off work. And of course not being stuck in an office building all day is awesome! In a few weeks I"m having a tastefully simple party, which should be pretty cool. I"m looking forward to having people over. This week I made three different recipes all brought to us by my iPhone!

Mango Shrimp

Canola Oil
Chopped Red Onion
2 Cloves Garlic, minced
Fresh Ginger, peeled and minced
Ground Cumin
1 Mango, peeled, pitted, and cut into 1/2 in pieces
Cider Vinegar
Lime Juice
Brown Sugar
1lb Shrimp, peeled
Red Pepper
Garlic Powder

1. Heat oil in a 3-qrt saucepan over medium high heat. Cook onion, garlic, ginger, 1/4 tsp salt, allspice, cumin, and cinnamon for about three min. I didn't measure anything just made it to taste.
2. Add mango, vinegar, lime juice, and sugar. Gently boil, stirring occasionally until sauce is thick. Again I added everything to taste.
3. Toss shrimp with red pepper, garlic powder and Salt. Heat remaining oil in skillet. Cook shrimp.
4. Let cool and serve with sauce.
I also put this sauce over some chicken I have baked with garlic powder on it. Served the shrimp with the chicken and mashed potatoes as a side. This was a really delicious dinner. Daniel and I ate the entire thing, with no left overs. Best of all it only took about 45 min to make.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day

No recipie yet againt today, sorry. It's just been to busy. To start off with I got the job that I applied for back in October. As I type I am in my hotel room in Va Beach nervously awaiting my first day of training in the morning. So to add to that my lease is up the end of Feb so I had to pack up my entire house and Snowmegedon and Snowverkill did not help at all with that. Add to that that I missed my last 3 days of work in Fredericksburg due to having my wisdom teeth pulled. As to that lovely experiance I must advise, if you are getting your wisdom teeth done ASK TO GO TO SLEEP. I was wide awake and got to witness the blood and hear the snapping and cracking sounds, not pleasant.
So for this week I thought I would share some of my favorite food blogs:

Also since my hotel room does include a kitchen I am hoping to be back up and cooking at some point this week. I'm thinking that I will be trying to focus on quick meals for one. But who knows!

Sunday, January 24, 2010


So today Stacy, Daniel's sister-in-law, and I went and took a cupcake making class at Cookology (they can be found at It was a lot of fun and I am definately going to go back and take some more classes. But I did want to share the cupcakes that we made today.
1. Red Velvet Cake with a Cream Cheese and Goat Cheese Frosting.
2. Vanilla Cake with a Ameretto, Expresso, and Nutella Frosting and a fondant rose. And yes I made that rose myself, pretty impressive hunh!

3. Chocolate Cake with a Chocolate Ganache and Dark Chocolate Drizzle.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Jalapeno and Beer Baked Ribs and Sweet Potato Biscuits

Well it's been a great couple of weeks. I've been interviewing for a new job at GEICO. it was be a job as an AD trainee. Basically I would be training to be the person that looks at your car and assesses the damage after an accident. I really want this job because after 3 months of training in Va Beach I would be located in Falls Church, a much shorter commute than Fredericksburg. Also I wouldn't be tied to a desk, I'd be up moving around and actually interacting with people. Not to mention a pretty good pay raise. I"m supposed to find out if I got the job some time this coming week. So keep your fingers crosssed. Also this week I went back to school. I'm taking Federal and Colonial American Lit. It seems like it should be a pretty interesting class. I also discovered that they have done a LOT more building at GMU than I thought they had and I was breifly lost while on campus. And lastly the house hunt has been put on hold because there is no reason to pay rent in Fairfax for 3 months if I'm going to be living in VA Beach. This weeks recipies come to us from two different sources and Food and Wine Magazine.

Jalapeno and Beer Baked Ribs

Beef Short Ribs, cut into 3 inch peices
2 c. canned tomato sauce
1/4 c. red wine vinegar
1/4 c. firmly packed brown sugar
1 TBS dry mustard
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 large onion coarsly chopped
4 large jalapenos, chopped                                         TBS chopped green peppers
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 c. beer

1. Preheat oven to 425. Arange ribs in pan. Sprinkle onions around ribs.

2. Combine All remaining ingrediants except beer in a large saucepan. Simmer over medium heat until slightly thickened, stiring ocasionally, about 10 min. Cool slightly. I didn't have tomato sauce so I used 1 can Campbell's tomato soup.

3. Stir in beer. I used Dogfish Head 90 minute.

4. Pour mixture over ribs. Cover pan and bake aprox. 2 1/2 hours. I would make sure that the cover/foil does not touch the meat. Mine did and where it was touching it burned.

5. Remove ribs from pan and keep warm. Combine all pan juices in medium sauce pan. Skim fat from pan juice. Boil over medium heat until reduced to two cups.

6. Spoon sauce over ribs and serve.

Sweet Potato Biscuits
~ Food and Wine
1/2 lb sweet potato
1 3/4 cup flour
1 TBS brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
7 TBS butter
1/3 cup buttermilk

1. Preheat oven to 375. Poke the sweet poato all over with a fork and bake for about 45 min until tender.

2. Peel and mash the potato. Set aside 3/4 cup and let cool completely. Reserve the rest for another use. Raise oven to 425.

3. In a food processor pusle the flour with the brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

4. Add butter and pulse until the misture resembles coarse meal. My blender started having trouble once I added the butter so I moved it to a bowl and cut it with kives.

5. Add the buttermilk and 3/4 cup mashed potato and pulse until dough comes together.

6. Turn the dough onto a heavily floured work surface and knead 2 or 3 times until smooth. Roll out the dough 1/2 inch thick and cute eight 4-inch rounds.

7. Arrange on parchment lines baking sheet. Bake for about 15 minutes, until golden brown. I didn't have any parchment so I just greased the pan with a little crisco.

Overall I think that this was a delish dinner. I saved my leftover sauce, I'm planning on putting it on some chicken tomorrow night. And the biscuits were really good, though they were more muffiny than biscuits should be, but still really good!