Thursday, December 3, 2015

Carrot Cupcakes


              Well if there is one thing more than I love than cooking for myself and Hubby, it is cooking for my kids. Honestly, I knew I would enjoy this pre-babies, but actually doing it has been more joyful than I could have ever imagined. Even the process of making the treats is fun to me. I plop the kiddos in their little seats on the counter, then pretend to host a cooking show while prepping and making whatever it is. Yes, their attention spans only last, oh, about 10 minutes but I don’t mind….. enter something for them to chew. Once content, I continue with my show, explaining and showing my viewers (yes just the 2 of them) what is coming together. They smile, giggle and I get to keep my kitchen skills at somewhat of a decent level. For the three of us, it is a winning situation. 
          So far, I’ve made them banana muffins, sweet potato bread and these here cupcakes. Their itty bitty teeth and itsy bitsy fingers have served them quite well as they have gobbled all these treats up. And as a bonus, all the goodies keep grandparents, daddies and hungry mommies satisfied too! Enjoy….


Toddler Treat- Carrot Cupcakes
makes- 10 servings
slightly adapted from: parents magazine 


Ingredients:
1 C flour
1/3 C sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 C canola oil
1/3 C unsweetened applesauce
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 C finely grated carrots

frosting:
4 oz room temp. cream cheese
1 TBSP pancake syrup

Procedures:

  1. Preheat oven to 350, line muffin pan with liners or spray with nonstick spray
  2. In medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder and salt
  3. In large bowl, whisk together oil, eggs, and carrots
  4. Slowly add dry ingredients until just blended
  5. Divide batter among 10 muffins cups (could stretch it out to 12 if you want smaller cakes)
  6. Bake cupcakes until tops are golden brown and cake tester to toothpick comes out clean, about 25 minutes
  7. Remove from pan from oven and let cool on a rack
  8. Blend frosting ingredients and then spread on cupcakes 

My Happy Eaters 


Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Product Alert

Short Rib Ravioli
Star Ravioli, Moonachie, NJ 




         Hello my friends.....I'm back from my baby duties for a bit.....aka- girls are napping so I have to make this super quick....
        As you know, at least I hope you know, this gal loves ravioli. I really think they are the bomb diggity. I have yet to find one I am able to pass up. (seriously, try me) My favorite actually come from  a long time best friend's restaurant, Capone's in Toms River. But since I don't live around the corner from there nor work there anymore, I hardly get to feast on them. So I have ventured out to find some new ones to satisfy my ravioli-ravenousness.
      Enter these pockets of bliss.....found at Dearborn Market in Holmdel. I'm sure they have them elsewhere but this is where I found them. In fact, Star Ravioli has a ridiculous amount of varieties to choose from. Go to their site and take a look.....contain yourself though, it is pretty overwhelming. Anyway, back to these yummies. Short Rib filled to be exact. They were so delicious, a dozen in that box was truly not enough. The filling was all short rib, nada else. Here is how I prepared them:

1. Boiled water and got that ready for ravs
2. Melted about 3 TBS unsalted butter in large skillet  and added salt, pepper and dried parsley
3. Quickly used a vegetable peeler to make shreds of carrot and added them to saute. About 2-3 carrots. Let cook for about 5-7 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, boiled ravioli and added to sauce when ready
5. Mixed it around a bit and served with some freshly grated parmesan cheese.
Mangia!


Tuesday, September 29, 2015

I'm still cooking.....

        
Cooking with my little chefs-in-training ..... slow cooker to the rescue 


     Hi loves......just wanted to keep you posted about this here blog. As you know, I had my twinnies this past December and yes, they are keeping me busy. Hence, my blogging has gone to the back burner, waaaay back burner to be specific. 

       But luckily for me, and kind of you, I have still been cooking. Once a week, Saturday to be exact, Hubby and I have ourselves a 'date night' after the gals go to sleep. He is very into wine so he picks out something new on that front and I usually pick the dinner. Exception, he is quite into cooking steak so a ribeye or porterhouse is a frequent date night special. Kinda puts him in charge of the beverage and cooking program for that night, so no complaints here! 


          Here are some pics of what we have been stirring up! I wish I had more time to give you recipes but hopefully after my babies are 1 year old, I will have more of that (#yeahright). 


Enjoy the photos, captions and of course an updated pic of the princesses. 

Sautéed clams with not enough bread 
Naan Bread pizzas with ricotta, mozz and basil 
Herb-crusted halibut with sides ala Wegmans
You think I made this? no way, Espositos for a lunch with the little ones

Fig, proscuitto & goat cheese flatbread....afternoon with company
Not sure......I guess I was desperate for some sort of dinner
Skins

Bottles ready for the morning in corner......a platter of sorts with decanted wine ....nice one

I attempted to make flautas....which is just as fun to say as to cook! 
Porterhouse for two

Shrimp tacos on my fine china 

Coconut shrimp

Matt's Ribeye 
Inside of Ribeye....perfection

       So there they are.....I hope you enjoyed both my humor and my food.....they both make me smile so I guess that is a win-win. I hope to bring you more yummies soon. In the meantime, follow me on Facebook and Twitter to see more of my culinary skills in action. 


Our little Loves.....xoxox 

Thursday, April 9, 2015

It has been a while




Well, for you out there who keep on checking my site....I am alive.....and I'm now a MOTHER!

of 2 beautiful little girls! xoxox


My husband and I welcomed in Abigail Josephine and Emma Elizabeth on December 28.

Although I love food, recipes and the blogging world....my duties as a mommy are much more important and dear to my heart.

I will return to this blog soon, hopefully once the gals can hold their own bottles!

For now, I bid you farewell and look forward to sharing all the yumminess out there in the future!


xoxo

Monday, October 27, 2014

Buffalo Blasts ®


         In this house, game day is synonymous with guilty fried foods easy enough to eat with your hands while lounging on the couch.  We here are Rutgers fans and so when they became part of the Big 10 this year, that meant more TV coverage…….aka: more game days to get our grub on! Unfortunately though, their games haven’t been as successful as my frying has been….. Oh well, at least something is working out. J

            Here is a recent recipe I used for some pregame appetizers. I halved the original recipe since it was just for the two of us. I think we could have downed the entire full quantity though. It is funny how when things are fried and 2-biters, you go through 7-10 of them in one commercial break. Maybe we could have slowed down or better yet, maybe I should have made the original amount. Either way, they were delicious. Matt enjoyed them with an extra side of hot sauce while I kept a limit on the heat by eating them as is. Again, with the mere crumbs left before kickoff, you could tell they were a hit.

            I left directions on the bottom of the recipe for baking this recipe. I actually did bake the first few of these treats before frying the rest. Results: baking was pretty tasty, but frying was impossible to beat. With the baking, you need additional hot sauce to dip in or even to glaze on top as they get a bit dry.  I’d recommend you fry. With the itsy size of these things, your hips won’t know the difference, I promise! ;)

Enjoy….


Buffalo Blast ®- Copycat Recipe
Adapted from: Our Italian Kitchen
Originally adapted from: Restaurant Copycat Recipes
Servings: 12 Blasts (serving for 1! – lol) 

OBJ: TCW be able to replicate a restaurant favorite while also providing a fried treat for game day fun

Ingredients:
2 chicken breast, cooked (I used leftover over white meat from large Oven Roaster)
¼ C hot sauce
2 cloves garlic minced
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
S & P: salt and pepper, to your liking
½ package won-ton wrappers
Water
Vegetable or Canola Oil, for frying

Procedures:
1. Shred chicken well
2.  In a medium to large bowl, mix hot sauce, cream cheese, garlic and S & P
3. Add the shredded chicken and combine
4. Place a heaping TBS of chicken mixture on corner of wrapper. Water the edges and fold over, press along edges to seal. Repeat with remaining chicken mixture and wrappers
5. Pour oil in a large pot, fill ½ way. Heat oil over medium-high flame, heat enough so that when you stick the back of wooden spoon to bottom of pan, bubbles rise up. Or with a thermometer, you can check oil to make sure it is 350 degrees
6. Fry about 5-6 Blasts at one time, for about 1-2 minutes on each side, until golden browned
7. Remove from oil and place on wire rack, sprinkle with salt immediately. Serve alongside additional hot sauce or blue cheese

 

*** Alternately, you can preheat oven to 425 degrees and bake blasts on a foil-lined baking sheet for about 15-20 minutes. Bake until golden brown, salt and serve with same dipping sauces. They are pretty good this way, not going to trick you into believing they are fried though! ***

 

 

 

Monday, October 6, 2014

Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Chicken


        BBrrrr, the weather is definitely turning around these parts. The mornings have a distinct chill and the leaves are starting to pile. Although I am a summer gal through and through, I do love the start of fall….all the colors, cozy wrap-around sweaters and new boots to strut around in. However, all this autumn excitement lasts, oh, until about mid November when the car is too flipping cold to get into in the morning, I realize I no longer have tan lines, and I have to drive in the dark home from work…yyuuuckkkk….how many months until Memorial Day!??!

            Okay, I got too ahead of myself and began to get winter cranky, sorry…So where I was going with this..I am writing this post to get to the point that when the weather turns cold, not much can make you smile more than a hearty and steaming meal. A dinner that warms you from the inside out is one that I crave from now until about April. Now I know that not every dinner can be quintessentially winter-ific, but I love when I can find easy meals that come pretty darn close.

            As in this one….. Hearty, steamy, and way-filling, it will have you hardly missing those 95 degree days. The recipe comes together in a snap and as a bonus makes your house smell quite nice. I served it over rice but I bet rice noodles would be fantastic too. Either way, I know you’ll enjoy it…..

Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Chicken
Serves: 4-6

OBJ: TCW be able to add a bit of pizzazz into the weeknight dinners

Ingredients:
½ C soy sauce
½ C ketchup
1/3 C honey
2 cloves garlic, minced,
1 teaspoon dried basil
2 tsp siracha
½ C chopped green onion
2 tsp canola oil
Fresh ground pepper (to taste)
5 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 C diced carrot
1 C cleaned and roughly chopped string beans
Cornstarch and water

Procedures:
1. Whisk all ingredients except chicken, carrots, string beans, cornstarch and water
2. Place chicken in slow cooker, pour mixture on top
3. Cook on low 4 ½ hours
4. Add carrots and string beans to slow cooker, cook for additional 30-45 minutes
4. Remove chicken from slow cooker, make sure it is done (it should be but chicken sizes vary so much), shred it
5.  Leave slow cooker on low and whisk together 2 tablespoon cornstarch and 2 tablespoon of water. Add “slurry” to mixture left in slow cooker and stir. Add chicken back into slow cooker and let everything heat and thicken through- about 5 minutes
6. Serve over rice, sprinkle with sesame seeds, enjoy



Friday, September 26, 2014

Oreo Pound Cake


            You know what might be even better than having this cake to serve?

            Having ¾ of a package of Oreos left to snack on all month long!! Seriously, I think I was more excited to have leftover Oreos in my fridge than I was to bring this cake to a recent family BBQ. Haha, I guess I like to keep it more simple than most!

            Nevertheless, this cake is great. Definitely a “cheater recipe” in that it has 2 ingredients, but whose judging? C’mon, who doesn’t love a quick and tasty treat that will both wow your guests and leave you with a little treat at home? There I go again, with my beloved package of Oreos. Moving on…..yes, this recipe……I bet it would be super good with all the umpteen new flavors of Oreos out there too. I recently saw peanut butter Oreos and my goodness, those would be divine in this recipe. I hear there is even a Limited Edition Cookie Dough flavor……wowza, that is almost too much to handle. And of course, the source I got this recipe from, Miss Stephanie stands by her Birthday Cake Oreos. Again, another addition to this recipe that would be nothing short of exceptional.

            So go ahead, get some Oreos…..original or something more adventurous…..either way you’ll be left with one delicious cake and duh- a treat left for you! Enjoy….

 
Oreo Pound Cake
Servings: 8-10
Slightly adapted from: Stephanie Cooks, originally adapted from: Kraft

OBJ: TCW be able to bring a homemade dessert without spending hours in the kitchen whipping one up

Ingredients:
15 Oreos
1, 16 oz package Pound Cake Mix

Procedures:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Butter a loaf pan or cover one with foil then spray with nonstick spray
3. Prepare the pound cake mix according to package directions
5. Chop up 10 Oreos and mix into batter
6. Pour batter into prepared pan
7. Cut the remaining Oreos into quarters and scatter atop of batter, push down to help set them
8.  Bake for 1 hour and 10-15 minutes, during last half hour loosely place piece of foil on top to prevent burning
9. Remove from oven and let cool in pan for 5 minutes before removing to cool completely