Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Broiled Parmesan Tomatoes

YUM!  I really could eat these everyday.  Quick, easy, delicious and healthy. WIN WIN WIN WIN  This is perfect as a snack and also works great as a side dish to many meals. 
  • 3 medium/large tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese, grated
  1. Preheat broiler.
  2. Place tomatoes on a lightly sprayed cookie sheet.
  3. In a small bowl whisk together oil and garlic.
  4. Brush garlic oil onto each tomato slice and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  5. Sprinkle tomatoes evenly with cheese and broil for about 3 minutes or until cheese is bubbly.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Carrot Cake

Happy Birthday to my Hubby!  I don't think I every actually tried a Carrot Cake until my husband and I started dating.  Crazy I wasted 15 years of life not knowing the glory of a good Carrot Cake.  This cake is super moist (worst word EVER) full of flavor and the cream cheese frosting is PERFECTION.  You must make this.
Ingredients for Cake:
  • 2 cups Flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups oil
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 cups grated carrots
  • 1 cup coconut
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup crushed pineapple, lightly drained (reserve juice)
Ingredients for Cream Cheese Frosting:
  • 1/2 c butter (softened)
  • 8 oz cream cheese (softened)
  • 1/4 cup reserved pineapple juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 lb powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup coconut


    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease two 9 inch cake pans.
    2. In a large mixing bowl combine oil, sugar, eggs and vanilla, mixing well.
    3. Slowly stir in flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt and mix well.
    4. Mix in drained pineapple, carrots, coconut and walnuts.
    5. Pour even amounts into each cake pan and bake for 35-40 minutes.
    6. Cool cakes completely before removing from pan.
    7. In a large mixing bowl whisk the butter and cream cheese until nice and creamy.
    8. Add in vanilla, pineapple juice, cinnamon and coconut.
    9. Slowly stir in sifted sugar until smooth.
    10. Invert first cake onto a plate or cake stand.
    11. Apply a generous amount of cream cheese frosting to the top of the cake.
    12. Gently place the second cake on top of the cream cheese and frost the top and sides with remaining frosting.
    13. Top with more walnuts or coconut, optional.

    Friday, November 14, 2014

    Verde Chicken Stew

    This recipe is fairly close to my Salsa Verde Pork Chili and it's just as tasty!  I think I have ate something Verde at least 3 times a week for the last couple weeks.  I love making a big pot of soup or stew and freezing individual portions for lunches.  This ones freezes great and is a great way to stay warm during these cold nights!

    • 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
    • 1 small onion, diced
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 cup Salsa Verde
    • 2 cups chicken broth
    • 1/2 cup sour cream
    • 1 can green chilies
    • 1/8 teaspoon Turmeric
    • 1/8 teaspoon Pepper
    • 1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon Cumin

    1. Place chicken thighs in the bottom of a lightly greased crockpot.
    2. Season chicken with turmeric, pepper, garlic powder and cumin.
    3. Top with onions, chilies, salsa verde and chicken broth.
    4. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.
    5. Remove chicken and shred.
    6. Stir sour cream into broth and add in shredded chicken.
    7. Let cook for an additional 15 minutes and serve.

    Thursday, November 6, 2014

    Copycat Cheesecake Factory Carrot Cake Cheesecake

    Warning:  If you don't want to find yourself hiding in a corner with a fork and a whole cheesecake, DO NOT MAKE THIS.  This is my first attempt at a whole cheesecake and it was FANTASTIC.  Anytime my husband is up north for work I remind him that a cheesecake would be delicious with dinner!  This has worked ONE time when I was 8 months pregnant.  I asked for Vanilla Bean and he came home with Vanilla Bean and this Carrot Cake one and I was in heaven.  This is so amazing.
    Ingredient's for Cheesecake:

    • 16 ounces cream cheese
    • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
    • 1 tablespoon flour
    • 3 eggs
    • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla

    Ingredient's for Carrot Cake:

    • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
    • 1 cup granulated sugar
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    • 1 cup flour
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 1 pinch salt
    • 1 8 oz can crushed pineapple (reserve juice and drain very well)
    • 1 cup grated carrots
    • 1/2 cup flaked coconut
    • 1/2 cup walnuts
    Ingredient's for Frosting:

    • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
    • 2 tablespoon butter, softened
    • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    • 2 tablespoon reserved pineapple juice
    • dash salt
    1. Grease a 9 or 9 1/2 inch springfoam pan. Set aside.
    2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
    3. For cheesecake: In a large mixer, mix together cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Mix in flour, eggs and vanilla until smooth. Set aside.
    4. For carrot cake: in a large bowl, combine oil, sugar, eggs and vanilla, mixing well. Slowly stir in flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt and mix well. Mix in drained pineapple, carrots, coconut and walnuts.
    5. Spread half of the carrot cake batter over the bottom of greased pan. Drop large spoonfuls of cheesecake batter over carrot cake batter. Top with remaining carrot cake batter followed by remaining cream cheese batter.  Gently spread the cheesecake over with a knife.
    6. Bake for 60-70 minutes or until cake is set.
    7. Let cool to room temperature.
    8. For frosting: Mix all ingredients until smooth in an electric mixer.
    9. Frost top of cooled cheesecake and refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving.

    Tuesday, October 28, 2014

    Nutella Banana Bread

    So until recently I thought I hated Nutella.  I really don't know if I should be mad for all the years I missed out, or for the pounds that will slowly creep up on me.... I'm pretty sure my husband will find me hiding in the laundry fool with a jar of Nutella and a spoon one of these days.  I found this recipe on Chef-In-Training and only changed up the sugar.  BTW, her site is AMAZING!
    • 3/4 cup Nutella
    • 3 ripe bananas
    • 2 cups flour
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 1/2 cup white sugar
    • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 cup butter, softened
    • 2 eggs
    • 1/3 cup milk
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla


    1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
    2. In a large mixing bowl cream together sugar and butter.
    3. Add in eggs one at a time until well blended.
    4. Add bananas, milk and vanilla and blend until thoroughly combined.
    5. Slowly add in flour, soda and salt until it is all mixed together.
    6. In a small microwaveable bowl, add Nutella and heat for 15-20 seconds.  Add in 1 cup of the banana bread batter and stir until well combined.
    7. Drop alternating spoonful's of each batter into a sprayed loaf pan.  Swirl the batters together with a butter knife.
    8. Bake for 60 minutes.
    9. Let cook in pan for about 15-20 minutes before removing from pan.
    10. Cut and serve! 
    *it is extra delicious served with more Nutella spread over the top*

    Monday, October 13, 2014

    Shrimp Ramen Bowls

    MMMMM...... I seriously love a good noodle soup.  This broth is quite similar tasting to Hot and Sour Soup.  I definitely see myself converting it one day.  I absolutely loved this dish and will be making it again soon.  I was low on veggies but you can definitely bulk it up.  My original plan revolved around Coconut Milk however, I left the store without it.
    • 1 lb medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
    • 1 6 oz box chow mein noodles (feel free to use plain packaged ramen noodles)
    • 2 boxes vegetable broth (4 lbs)
    • 1 onion, halved and sliced
    • 1 package sliced mushroom ( I lightly diced mine)
    • 3 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 Teaspoon dried basil
    • 1 Teaspoon red pepper flakes
    • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 1 tablespoon Sriracha
    • salt and pepper, to taste
    • 1/2 tablespoon flour
    • 2 tablespoons butter
    • Cilantro and green onions for garnish.
    1. Boil noodles according to package directions.
    2. In a large pot melt butter.
    3. Add mushrooms and sauté until soft, adding in onions and garlic for last couple minutes and sprinkle with a little salt.
    4. Sprinkle onions and mushrooms with flour and stir until thick.
    5. Slowly stir in broth and bring to a boil.
    6. Add in the rest of the seasonings and sriracha and stir, if you need to add any extra flavors this is the time!
    7. Reduce heat and add noddle's and shrimp.
    8. Cook until shrimp are pink, around 3-5 minutes.
    9. Garnish with green onions and cilantro and serve.

    Tuesday, October 7, 2014

    Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

    Chocolate chips make everything better!  I always seem to have extra ripe bananas screaming, "banana bread" in my house lately.  I opted for an easy go to recipe and added some chocolate chips, PERFECTION! 
    • 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 -3/4 cup milk chocolate chips
    • 3 ripe bananas
    • 1/3 cup melted butter
    • 1 cup of sugar ( I did 3/4 cup sugar and 1/4 cup honey)
    • 1 egg, beaten
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • Pinch of salt
    1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
    2. Add bananas, egg, vanilla, cinnamon and sugar into a mixing bowl and mix until smooth.
    3. Slowly mix in flour, soda and salt.
    4. Gently fold in chocolate chips.
    5. Pour into lightly buttered bread pan.
    6. Bake for 45 minutes.
    7. Cool and serve.