Thursday, July 21, 2011

Thai Peanut Noodles

If I want a good steak or tasty tex-mex I can name several places in Shreveport to find either of those things. If I want any type of Asian dish I can't name a single place. Therefore I have to make my own dishes if I want to get my fix. Luckily, while searching the Internet a few weeks ago I came across a Thai Peanut Noodle recipe that looked easy to make. Easy it was and the layers of flavor were amazing! I know that this will now be a staple in my kitchen.

  • 1/2 c. chicken broth
  • 3 Tbsp. creamy peanut butter
  • 1-2 tsp. Sriracha chili sauce (1 is mild with a bite, 1.5 is medium, 2 is hot)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. honey
  • 3 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. fresh minced ginger
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
  • 8 oz. Udon or linguine noodles
  • Chopped green onions
  • Chopped cilantro
  • 2 limes, cut into quarters
  • Chopped peanuts

Cook noodles in salted water. In the meantime, combine chicken broth, peanut butter, chili sauce, honey, soy sauce, ginger, and garlic in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Whisk until smooth and remove from heat. Toss cooked noodles with sauce and divide among 4 bowls. Sprinkle with green onions, cilantro, chopped peanuts, and garnish each serving with 2 lime quarters. Before eating, squeeze lime juice over noodles and stir to combine.

My Edits: I could not find udon noodles so I used linguine noodles instead. Also, I wanted to add a protein so I sauteed shrimp in a separate pan before adding it to the noodles. I could eat this dish again with or without shrimp; it was amazing.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Saturday morning breakfast

I go through phases of loving/hating eggs. Sometimes they really gross me out and I can't eat them by themselves other times I crave an over easy egg and toast to soak up all the goodness. Recently I've been in a loving them stage and can't seem to get enough. I found an easy egg recipe on pinterest earlier this week and made it for the hubby this morning. The Bacon, Egg, and Toast Cups recipe combines all of things I like to eat with my eggs; bacon and toast!

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 8 slices white or whole-wheat sandwich bread
  • 6 slices bacon
  • 6 large eggs
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly butter 6 standard muffin cups. With a rolling pin, flatten bread slices slightly and, with a 4 1/4-inch cookie cutter, cut into 8 rounds. Cut each round in half, then press 2 halves into each muffin cup, overlapping slightly and making sure bread comes up to edge of cup. Use extra bread to patch any gaps. Brush bread with remaining butter.

In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium, until almost crisp, 4 minutes, flipping once. (It will continue to cook in the oven.) Lay 1 bacon slice in each bread cup and crack an egg over each. Season with salt and pepper. Bake until egg whites are just set, 20 to 25 minutes. Run a small knife around cups to loosen toasts. Serve immediately.

My Edits: For the two of us I only used two pieces of bread, two pieces of bacon, and two eggs. If you do the full recipe it is enough for 6 servings! Also, next time I'll cook it for less time to get a runny egg.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Thank you basket

I had some bananas in the freezer and decided it was time to make some chocolate chip banana bread. I try to not bake things and keep them in the house so I needed a reason to give them away. Jason's office gave us a fabulous gift card as a wedding present and we owed them a thank you note. Thank you note + Basket of treats = happy office! I baked the chocolate chip banana bread and made no bake vanilla cake batter chocolate truffles. I never give away my bread recipe but I'm happy to share the truffle recipe I found online.


  • 1 c vanilla cake mix
  • 1/4 c sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp agave (optional and you can just use all sweetened condensed milk if you don’t have agave on hand)
  • 1 to 1.5 c chocolate chips


In a mixing bowl combine all ingredients, except chocolate chips, and stir to combine.

This mixture should be quite solid and not runny, but not so dry that you can’t mold it into balls. If you find that your mixture is a little too runny, add a touch more cake mix. If it’s a little too dry, add more sweetened condensed milk/agave. I ended up using about 1.25 c of cake mix to get the perfect consistency.

After you have made the dough, refrigerate or freeze for 15 minutes and then remove and roll into balls.

After the balls have been made, refrigerate or freeze for 15 minutes minutes or until well-chilled, ensuring the melted chocolate will adhere and set up properly.

Melt the chocolate chips, and dip the chilled cake batter balls into melted chocolate. Using parchment paper is a tip I’d recommend when working with melted chocolate. Place truffles in freezer or fridge to set up.

Yields: 20 to 30 truffles depending on size preference. Store in refrigerator or freezer.

My Edits: I changed the amount of chocolate needed to 1 to 1.5 cups. I found that one ghirardelli chocolate bar was enough. I broke it up and melted it in the microwave (stir every 30 seconds).

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Healthy frozen treat

Recently JB decided to inform me that he does not like watermelon? I've packed it in his lunch and he hasn't said anything for a year but he promises that he always ate it. Unfortunately he decided to tell me this after I bought a lot at the grocery store! What to do? Make a drink out of it! Once again pinterest came to the rescue with a cool summer treat. I found a recipe for a watermelon frosty and made it the next day. I made it without the alcohol in case it was bad... Never waste good tequila or vodka!

  • 2 1/4 cups frozen watermelon cubes
  • 1/2+ cup water
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 lemon, squeezed (lime juice also works!)
  • 1 banana

Blend Pour. Garnish with frozen watermelon/rind slices. Serve! Enjoy.

My Edits: I may have added too much watermelon therefore I needed more liquid to make this yummy concoction blend. I added 1/4 cup of orange juice. Also, I added 1 lemon and 1/2 lime (perfect combo). Other than that, it was simply refreshing!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Turkey roast french dip? Yes please!

During my post graduate school, pre-job period I've had a lot of time to watch some quality TV (read: Law & Order, The Nanny, HGTV, Food Network). While flipping through the channels I learned that we also have the Cooking Channel. Fancy! So now I've started watching Kelsey's Essentials and have fallen in love with her food. I decided to whip out the crock pot again and make one of her recipes (the first of many I'm sure). Her amazing sandwich, Turkey Roast French Dip is now a Brett family favorite!

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 large onion, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 (3-pound) bone-in turkey breast
  • 6 demi French baguettes, sliced in half
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 12 slices Gruyere cheese

For the turkey: In a small mixing bowl, mix together the softened butter and fresh herbs. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

Spread the chopped onions over the bottom of a slow cooker. Pour the chicken stock and Worcestershire sauce into the slow cooker. Sprinkle the turkey with salt and pepper. Slather the turkey breast with herb butter, spreading half under the turkey skin. Place the turkey on top of the onions, breast side up. Cover and cook on high for 4 to 6 hours, checking it after 4 hours to see if the internal temperature has reached 170 degree F. Once the turkey reaches 170 degrees F, remove it from the slow cooker, transfer to a cutting board, tent with aluminum foil and allow to rest 10 minutes before slicing. Reserve any juices from the slow cooker. After the breast has rested, remove the skin and slice very thinly using a sharp knife.

For the sandwich: Preheat the broiler. Brush each side of the sliced bread with the softened butter and place on a baking sheet, buttered side up. Top each buttered baguette with sliced cheese. Place under the broiler until the cheese melts and begins to turn golden brown.

Carefully remove from the oven. Pile the sliced turkey on the bottom half of each sandwich before topping it with the cheesy top. Serve the turkey au jus left over in the slow cooker for dipping.

My Edits: I did not have any fresh herbs therefore I substituted 1 teaspoon of dried herbs instead. Next time I'll make sure to pick up the fresh herbs from the grocery store to see the taste difference. Additionally, I had Havarti cheese in the fridge and decided to use that instead of buying Gruyere... Next time I won't make that substitute unless it is dill Havarti.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Yogurt Balsamic Dressing

I love a good steak but I rarely eat them. This week I was in the mood for steak but did not want to pay $10 per steak. I decided to get creative and buy one steak and make a hearty salad with it. I grilled the steak on my Le Creuset grill pan (my current obsession) and found a great dressing to compliment the flavors of the meat. I've never made a yogurt based salad dressing so I was ready to try something new! I found a low-fat yogurt balsamic salad dressing to go on my salad! Oh and did I forget to mention that I also made myself a cosmo? Perfect meal!

  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon honey
  • 3 tablespoons nonfat Greek yogurt (may substitute regular nonfat yogurt but finished product will be a little different)
  • 1/2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil.

Mix well. Store in refrigerator.

My Edits: I did not have any Dijon mustard so I used 1/2 tablespoon of ground mustard and 1 tablespoon of yellow mustard. It worked out quite well. Other than me not having the right mustard, I would not make any changes by choice. It was very good!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Crock pots are the truth

My bff/old roomie was obsessed with his slow cooker and I always thought he was a little crazy. Not to mention I thought that only old women used them. I was wrong. Yes Patrick, I can admit when I get things twisted. Therefore, I put one on my wedding registry and surprise, Patrick bought it for us! I was eager to find a recipe to make to experience the joys myself. A friend posted a Creamy Tex Mex Chicken recipe to make in the crock pot on Pinterest. It seemed easy enough and I had all of the ingredients so I made it. I could see how this recipe would be ideal for a family of four, note, for a family of 2, it made about 4 meals worth. I put three servings in the freezer to eat at another time.

  • Bag of frozen Chicken Breast Tenderloins (2.5-3lb bag)
  • 8 oz block of cream cheese (don't use Fat Free! 1/3 less fat or regular is fine)
  • Can of Black Beans, drained & rinsed.
  • Can of Corn, drained.
  • Can of Rotel
  • Small scoop of low-fat sour cream
  • Red pepper flakes


Put frozen chicken in the crock pot. Put Cream cheese on top of the chicken. Dump in the Black Beans (make sure they are drained & rinsed). Dump in the drained corn. Dump in the Rotel. Cover & cook in your Crock Pot on low for 6-8 hours. Every 2 hours, I stir the ingredients. You can shred the chicken when it is done, or just leave it as tenderloins. I turn the crock pot off, add the sour cream, red pepper flakes, and let it sit for about 30-45 minutes. It is a little soupy, but letting it sit causes it to not be as soupy. I serve this over rice.

My Edits: The recipe does not include sour cream or red pepper flakes but I added them in. After the 6 hours the sauce was not as creamy as I would have liked so I decided to add a little sour cream. It instantly changed the texture to what I was hoping for. Also, when I tasted it, it was as spicy as I wanted so I added about a teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes. Fixed, finished, delicious.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Mom knows best

My mom is a great cook. She never follows recipes and knows what to mix together and when things are done based on experience. Every time I try to get her to follow a recipe she fails miserably. So when I tasked her with writing down her spicy/cheesy cornbread recipe it was a struggle. But, like the superstar that she is, she got it together and emailed me her recipe. It is so tasty and I was happy to make it for my husband.

  • 1 cup yellow Cornmeal (1 box of jiffy mix)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder (heaping)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup oil (I used canola/olive blend)
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (approx. 6 oz)
  • 1 can cream corn (15-16 oz)
  • 1 (4 oz) can chopped green chilies (I used 1/2 can jalapenos)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees, grease 2 (9-inch) round pans. Combine cornmeal, flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl (set aside). Combine sour cream, eggs, and oil in a medium bowl, stir well. Add cornmeal mixture to the sour cream mixture, add cream corn, cheese and chilies. Mix well. Pour mixture into pans. Bake at 400 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10-15 minutes, cut and serve warm.

My Edits: None. Mom knows best. It served as the perfect compliment to my bbq chicken!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th!

While spending some quality time with my new obsession, Pinterest, I found this irresistibly cute recipe and project! Jason and I had plans to spend some time with friends over the holiday weekend therefore I used it as an excuse to try out this recipe. Turns out everyone at the party loved the patriotic cupcakes as much as me. I hope that you'll find these treats an inspiration for your next party regardless of the time of the year.


  • Jars (I used 1/2 pint canning jars)
  • 1 Vanilla cake mix (from a box or from scratch)
  • Frosting (from a can or homemade)

Prepare the batter of your favorite vanilla cake (from a box or from scratch). Divide the batter as equally as possible into three bowls. Color one bowl of batter red, and one blue (using concentrated gel coloring). The final bowl will remain uncolored. Prepare 3- 9″ cake pans (round or square) by greasing the pan lightly (with butter or oil), and lining with parchment paper. Fill pans with batter. Bake cakes according to recipe instructions.

Once baked, cool cakes completely. Remove cakes from pans, and level cakes as needed. Then, use a 2″ round cookie cutter to cut out circles of cake. Prepare a batch of frosting and fill a piping bag fitted with a large round or star tip. Layer cake and frosting as shown above (blue cake, a little frosting, white cake, a little frosting, red cake, a nice swirl of frosting). Top with festive sprinkles.

My edits: I've never made a cake from scratch so I was hesitant to go down that road when making food for others but I hope to learn soon. Therefore I used a boxed cake as well as a jar of frosting. Judge away :)

Saturday, July 2, 2011

I heart chicken wings

It isn't a trick title, I really do love chicken wings. Buffalo sauce may be my most favorite thing ever (and super healthy... i know). But you can't help what you love! Even though I have always loved eating wings I've actually never made them. In fact I've never prepared a chicken wing to be cooked and had to look up YouTube videos on how to break down a chicken wing. It turned out to be quite an adventure a little more work than I had anticipated. But, I saw Claire Robinson make them 5 Ingredient Fix the week before and I was determined to make them for myself. Broiled Hot Pepper Wings turned out to be as delicious as they looked on TV. I loved the sweetness and the heat while not being completely unhealthy.


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus extra for oiling rack
  • 5 pounds chicken wings, split, wing tips cut off and discarded
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 cup hot pepper jelly (recommended: Stonewall Kitchens)
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/2 cup hot sauce (recommended: Frank's)


Preheat the broiler. Line a sheet pan with foil, place a rack on top of the pan and oil the rack.

Toss the wings with the 2 tablespoons oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Spread the wings on the rack in 1 layer. Broil 4 to 5 inches from the heat, turning over once, until barely cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes.

In a small saucepan over moderate heat, whisk the hot pepper jelly, lime juice and hot sauce until smooth. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and let simmer 1 to 2 minutes. Brush 1/4 cup sauce on the cooked wings and broil 1 to 2 minutes. Brush the wings with 1/4 cup sauce again, and then turn the wings over and brush with another 1/4 cup sauce. Broil until crispy about, 2 to 3 minutes. Brush with the remaining sauce before serving.

My edits: I actually have no edits for this recipe. It is pretty point on flavor wise and technique. Enjoy :)