Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Grandpa's 91st Birthday Party

This past weekend was Grandpa's 91st Birthday Party. Melba made 2 cakes, and mom made a delicious carrot cake (one of these days I will post that recipe). Some of Grandpa and Melba's friends and relatives came over and celebrated the birthday. It was good to be with family. For Sunday dinner, I made Chicken Teriyaki and stir-fry. Carolyn made "baked" potato fries. 

Chicken Teriyaki
6 small or 3 large chicken breasts, skin removed
1/2 cup gluten-free soy sauce (you may need to add more)
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup white or brown sugar
1/4 cup water
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
1 Tablespoon garlic powder
2 Tablespoons onion flakes, or minced fresh onion
1/4 teaspoon pepper
*Place the chicken breasts into a gallon-size ziplock bag. In a small microwaveable bowl, combine the soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, garlic powder, onion, and pepper. In a cup, whisk together the cornstarch and water. Stir this water into the small bowl. Place in the microwave for one minute. Stir and pour into the ziplock bag containing the chicken. Seal this tightly and shake up bag to disperse the teriyaki sauce evenly. Marinate this in the fridge overnight. To cook: either fry in a pan (I like to use a wok), bake in the oven, or grill on the barbecue. To bake, place the chicken in a sprayed glass pan and bake at 425 degrees F for 30 on each side. For quicker cooking, broil on each side for about 8 minutes. (For additional teriyaki sauce to top the chicken with, make the marinade once again and microwave for longer to make it thicker.)

Saturday, March 20, 2010

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies Ever!...Like Literally.

So I actually don't like chocolate chip cookies...but this recipe convinced me to get rid of all my biases toward these little bundles of delight. Here are some great tips to make your favorite cookie, either crispy, soft, or chewy.

For thin/crispy cookies: increase baking soda by half, replace one egg with applesauce, and add more white sugar than brown sugar.
For puffy/soft cookies: use butter flavored shortening or margarine rather than butter, use cake flour rather than all-purpose flour, use baking powder instead of soda, chill the dough before baking, and place smaller scoops of dough on the cookie sheet.
For chewy cookies: melt the butter, use bread flour rather than all-purpose flour, use baking soda rather than powder, add more brown sugar than white sugar (the darker the sugar, the chewier the cookie), add in milk, replace an egg yolk for one egg, and chill the dough before baking.


Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 sticks unsalted butter, melted
2 1/4 cups bread flour (I didn't have any on hand so I just used all-purpose)
1 teaspoon salt (omit if butter is salted)
1/4 cup white sugar
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 Tablespoons milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups chocolate chips
*Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Sift together flour, salt, and baking soda in a bowl. Pour melted butter in a separate (large) bowl. Add sugars and then cream these all together. Add the egg, egg yolk, milk, and vanilla. Mix until well combined. Slowly incorporate the flour mixture until well combined. Stir in the chocolate chips. Chill dough. After placing scoops of dough on a cookie sheet, bake for about 14 minutes or until golden brown. (Check them after 5 minutes of baking).

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


This Sunday, Jimmy (Yvonne's brother-in-law AKA Trey's brother...yeah, you get the picture), Lon, and Carolyn (my future sister-in-law) came over to my apartment for dinner. The food was a group effort, and it was so much fun to eat, talk, and play games together.

I made Stuffed Chicken Parmesan and Fettuccine Alfredo. Carolyn made a beautiful salad. Lon brought the rolls, and him and Carolyn made garlic bread. Everything was so yummy.
Jimmy made a Boston Cream Pie. I was so impressed! Where are all the guys that can bake these days?! It was delicious. (I don't have the recipe for this one. If you want it, get it from the master baker, Jimmy.)

Stuffed Chicken Parmesan

4-6 chicken breasts, butterflied
4 oz cream cheese, softened
1 1/4 cup Mozzarella, shredded
1/2 cup Parmesan, shredded
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 egg, beaten
bread crumbs (Panko Japanese bread crumbs work the best)
* Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Mix all the cheeses, herbs, and garlic together in a bowl. Spread this mixture onto each of the butterflied chicken breasts. Roll each chicken breast. Then dip each one in the beaten egg. Now roll each into the bread crumbs, covering entirely. Put in an oiled glass dish. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until chicken flesh is white.

Alfredo Sauce

1 stick butter
2 T. cream cheese
1 pint heavy cream
3/4 c. Parmesan cheese, shredded
1/4 c. mozzarella cheese, shredded
garlic powder (or fresh minced garlic), salt, pepper, basil
*Melt the butter in a medium saucepan. Add in the cream cheese and stir until soft. Whisk in the heavy cream. Stir until warm (on medium heat). Whisk in the cheeses until they are melted. Add the seasonings to your liking. Simmer the sauce for 10-15 minutes, stirring often. Serve over Fettuccine noodles and Stuffed Chicken Parmesan .  (Note: this is the same recipe I used for another one of my posts)

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Whole Wheat Pita Bread and Hummus

I have just discovered my new food infatuation...Pita Bread and Hummus. This stuff is dang good! Pita Bread is also very versatile, you can use it to make chips, sandwiches, pizza...hmmm :) To make chips, simply cut or tear the bread into small pieces and bake in oven at 425 degrees for about 5 minutes, depending on how crispy you want them. For the Pizza, top with your favorite toppings and bake at 425 degrees for about 10 minutes. Note: When you make the chips or pizza, the bread should already be baked.
Whole Wheat Pita Bread
1 ½ cups warm water
1 package active dry yeast
1½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil + 1 tablespoon
½ teaspoon honey
3 cups whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons salt
Flour for dusting

Pour water into the bowl of an electric stand mixer with dough hook attached. Add yeast, olive oil and honey. Allow yeast to bloom until it begins to foam, about 5 minutes. Add flour, then salt. Mix on medium speed for one minute. Turn the mixer down to low and mix for 2 minutes longer. Increase speed to medium and continue to mix 2 minutes longer. If at any point the dough wraps completely around the hook and is no longer kneading, turn off the machine, scrape the dough off the hook back into the bowl and return to mixing. Transfer dough to a clean work surface and knead by hand for one minute longer or until you have a round, smooth, elastic dough. Pour 1 tablespoon of olive oil into a medium sized bowl. Place dough into bowl and coat with the oil by turning over. Cover with a clean damp towel or plastic wrap and place in a moderately warm, draft-free place until doubled in volume, usually about 2 hours.

Position an up-side down 18 x 13 aluminum sheet pan or a baking stone on the middle rack in the oven. Preheat oven to 500 degrees F. Transfer the proofed dough to a clean work surface and knead it by hand until it is round, smooth and elastic, about one minute. Divide the dough into 16 pieces, (2 ounces each) and shape into balls. Cover with a clean towel and allow to proof until expanded slightly in size, about 20 minutes.
Dust a clean work surface with all-purpose flour (I like to use cornmeal). Roll dough into 6-inch circles. You may stack them between parchment paper or clean towels. Carefully and quickly place them in the oven directly on the baking sheet or stone. You may bake 2 or 3 at a time. Cook pitas for 2 minutes or until puffed. Remove with a metal spatula. Repeat with remaining dough. Serve hot or at room temperature. Once cooled, pitas may be stored in a re-sealable plastic storage bag for up to 2 days, they may also be frozen for a few months. (To keep them soft, put them in a towel or plastic bag right after you remove them from the oven.)



  • 2 cups canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons tahini paste
  • 1 tablespoon garlic
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, plus more, for drizzling
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, combine the chickpeas, lemon juice, tahini paste, and garlic. Process until smooth. With the machine running, add 1/4 cup olive oil, a little at a time. Season with salt and pepper.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake

Cheesecake is one of my favorite desserts...the key features: a sweet crumbly crust and a rich and creamy filling. This recipe is the best I have ever used. Watch these awesome videos to learn how to make the perfect cheesecake. If you follow these tips, your cheesecake will rock everyone's socks off! :)

White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake
33 graham cracker squares, crushed by hand (about 2 cups of crumbs)
1 tablespoon white sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 (10 ounce) package frozen raspberries
2 tablespoons white sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 cup water
2 cups white chocolate chips
1/2 cup half-and-half cream
3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese,
1/2 cup white sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. In a medium bowl, mix together cracker crumbs, 1 tablespoon sugar, and melted butter. Press 3/4 of the mixture into the bottom of a 9 inch spring-form pan. (Save the rest of the cracker crumbs for the outer coating.) *I like my graham crackers crumbs to be a bit chunky, it gives the cheesecake a more exciting texture.
2. In a saucepan, combine raspberries, 2 tablespoons sugar, cornstarch, and water. Bring to boil, and continue boiling 5 minutes, or until sauce is thick.
3. Preheat oven to 300 degrees and bake crust for 10 minutes. Cool the crust. In a metal bowl over a pan of simmering water, melt white chocolate chips with half-and-half, stirring occasionally until smooth.
4. In a large bowl, whip the cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add in the 1/2 cup sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs one at a time. Blend in vanilla and melted white chocolate. Pour half of batter over crust. Spoon 3 tablespoons raspberry sauce over batter. Pour remaining cheesecake batter into pan, and again spoon 3 tablespoons raspberry sauce over the top. Swirl batter with the tip of a knife to create a marbled effect.
5. Cover bottom of pan with foil. Place pan on top of a towel in a cookie sheet (or any other deep-dish pan). Fill this outer sheet 2/3 of the way with hot water. (The hot water will cook the cheesecake more evenly and retain moisture. The towel will act as an insulator.) Bake for 55 to 60 minutes (at 300 degrees). Turn off oven and leave door open for one minute. Close oven and leave cheesecake in for another hour. Remove the pan from the sheet of water. Cool, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 8 hours before removing from the spring-form pan. When removing from pan, you may want to run a hot wet knife around the edge of the cheesecake. Put the left-over crushed graham crackers on the outside of the cheesecake. Serve with remaining raspberry sauce.
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