Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Raspberry Cream Cheese Muffins

I saw a recipe for these Raspberry Cream Cheese Buns on Bake or Break. They looked so good and got such a good review that I had to put them on my never ending list of "things to make." I had some cream cheese left over that needed to be used so they quickly worked their way to the top! Nick and I both liked them a lot. I made some with raspberry jam and some with strawberry so you can use whatever kind you want, but I liked the raspberry best! The muffins were sweet, but not too sweet and had a good crumb and texture. I think that it would be a good base recipe for other muffins too (like blueberry or lemon).

I didn't change the recipe at all so you can just use the links above if you want to make them!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Prosciutto Wrapped Tilapia

This is a fairly quick and simple dinner, but it is also delicious! I had wanted to make fish wrapped in prosciutto for awhile now, so I finally did and chose to make it with tilapia because it is a mild-flavored fish (and also budget friendly!) The prosciutto gave it a nice salty flavor and crispy texture contrast to the delicate fish. I made a tomato and avacado salsa to top the fish which tied it all together well. We both liked it and will be making this again!

(For fish)
- 2 tilapia filets
- 2 pieces of thinly slice prosciutto
- salt and pepper
- 1 tsp olive oil

(For tomato and avocado salad)
- 1/2 Haas avocado, cubed
- about 10 grape tomatoes, halved
- 1 shallot, finely diced
- 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 tsp lemon juice
- salt and pepper

1. Combine all salsa ingredients in a small bowl and gently toss to combine
2. Sprinkle both sides of tilapia with salt and pepper.
3. Wrap each piece of tilapia with proscuitto.
4. Heat about 1 tsp olive oil in a pan over medium heat.
5. Once pan is heated, add fish and cook through, flipping half way (fish should flake easily with a fork on both sides when done)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Roasted Vegetable Salad

On Sunday night we ate dinner at California Pizza Kitchen and had a roasted vegetable salad to go with our pizza. It was really good so I wanted to re-create it for dinner tonight. It was so easy to make, and it is so versatile because you can use whatever vegetables you want! I had a bed of romaine topped with roasted asparagus, squash, red pepper, onion, corn, and crumbled goat cheese. It was delicious served with a light balsamic vinaigrette.

There is no real "recipe" for this. Just toss your vegetables with a little olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and roast in the oven until done (mine were done in about 15 min in a 400 degree oven). Then, throw them on top of your lettuce!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Strawberry Cake

For mom's birthday, I made her a strawberry cake- not just any strawberry cake, but the recipe my granny was using to make a cake the day she had my mom! Now, it does use cake mix and jello, but it has the addition of fresh strawberries, pecans, and coconut so you would never guess that it starts with cake mix. And it is topped with a strawberry cream cheese frosting- delicious! Everyone really seemed to like it! You can find the recipe here.

Here is a pic of Steve and me with the dinner we cooked.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Goat Cheese and Roasted Corn Quesadillas

"This is a winner!" Nick commented on tonight's dinner, and I agree! Quesadillas aren't normally the type of thing I would cook for dinner, but I love goat cheese and thought it would be good to branch out a little. I am glad I did! The goat cheese is tangy and balanced out nicely by the sweetness of the roasted corn. I found the original recipe in Cooking Light, but changed it a little so my version (which serves 3) is below. I served it with a side salad and black beans. Oh, and Nick had chicken in his (he really liked, but I don't think it needed it!)

- 3 oz goat cheese, softened to room temp
- 3 Tbsp milk (I used 2%)
- 3/4 cup frozen corn kernals
- 1/4 cup sliced green onions
- Salsa (I used Tostito's Medium)
- 3 10" Wheat Wrap/Tortilla (I used Tofuyan)

1. Once goat cheese has softened, put in a bowl with milk and beat with hand mixer until smooth.
2. Heat skillet (lightly coated with cooking spray or olive oil spray) over medium heat.
3. Saute corn until it starts to brown. Remove from heat and stir into goat cheese.
4. Spread goat cheese and corn mixture onto one half of each tortilla.
5. Sprinkle each with green onions and dabs of salsa (dabs is a technical term here!)
6. Fold empty side tortilla over cheese side.
7. Heat skillet (lightly coated with cooking spray or olive oil spray) over medium heat.
8. Cook each quesadilla until golden brown on both sides.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Mediterranean Salmon

I made this Mediterranean Salmon on my trip to the beach with mom, Meggy, and Nat! I have made it a few times before and haven't gotten any bad reviews yet:) It is easy to make and doesn't take much time so it is even a good for a weeknight. The recipe is from Southern Living, but it is from the "Healthy" section and really is good for you! I pretty much follow the recipe, but I do make a few minor changes- reduce amount of olives, reduce oil, and broil the salmon. The recipe with these 3 adaptions is below. And, it is great served over roasted asparagus...yummmm.

* 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
* 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
* 1 (15-oz.) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
* 1/4 cup chopped black olives
* 1 cup halved grape tomatoes
* 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
* 4 (6-oz.) salmon fillets
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 teaspoon pepper
1. Sauté onion in 1/2 Tbsp. hot oil in a saucepan over medium heat 2 minutes or until slightly softened. Add beans, olives, and tomatoes; cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Remove from heat, and stir in basil.

2. Sprinkle salmon fillets evenly with salt and pepper. Broil in oven until cooked through and fish flakes easily with a fork. It took about 8-10 for me, but it will depend on the thickness of the salmon fillets.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Blackberry Cheesecake Bars

Before I went on vacation, I wanted to make Nick a treat to compensate for the the fact that I was going to the beach while he was stuck working:) (I am sure he thought that was a fair exchange as well!) I didn't have much time so I picked a recipe for cheesecake bars that I found here because 1) I wouldn't have to buy much, 2) It was quick and easy to make, 3) He likes cheesecake. The recipe is for strawberry cheesecake bars, but we had blackberry preserves so that is what I made- you could use any kind you want though and they would be delicious! You can also halve the recipe and bake it in a loaf pan if you want.

1 ¼ cups graham crumbs
¼ cup butter, melted
2 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, softened at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp flour
3 tbsp of lemon juice
2 eggs
1/3 cup blackberry preserves

1. Preheat oven to 325ºF. Grease and line an 8” x 8” square baking with parchment paper or nonstick foil (for easy removing you slices later)
2. Mix crumbs and butter together and press firmly into bottom of the pan. Set it aside.
3. Beat cream cheese, sugar, flour and lemon juice in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add eggs, one at a time, beating on low speed after each addition, just until blended.
4. Pour cream cheese mixture over crust.
5. Heat blackberry preserves slightly in the microwave (like 15 seconds). Gently drop preserves by small spoonfuls over top of batter. Use a knife and drag it through preserves and cheesecake batter to swirl.
5. Bake approx 40 min. or until center is set. Cool. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight before cutting it.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Strawberry Chantilly Cake

Happy Birthday to Meggo, Happy Birthday to Meggo!! Today she turns 25! For Meg's Bday, I made a Strawberry Chantilly cake about a month ago (before I left Wichita). She seemed to like it because she was very particular about who she would share with :) The actual cake isn't that hard to make, but make sure you spray your cake pans with a baking spray with flour! I forgot to do this, and it was a disaster- that is why Meg ended up with a three layer half cake rather than a whole two-layer cake. Anyway, on to the actual cake...the cake itself is a fluffy white cake with a sweetened whipped cream and fresh strawberries in between the layers. The cake has a light texture to it and is complemented well by the not-too-sweet chantilly cream and strawberries.

For the Cake (recipe adapted from Cooks Illustrated):
Nonstick cooking spray with flour
2¼ cups cake flour (9 ounces)
1 cup whole milk, at room temperature
6 large egg whites, at room temperature
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
1¾ cups granulated sugar (12¼ ounces)
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon table salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter (1½ sticks), softened

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray two 9-inch round cake pans with nonstick cooking spray; line the bottoms with parchment or waxed paper rounds. Spray the paper rounds with cooking spray
2. Pour milk, egg whites, and extracts into 2-cup glass measure, and mix with fork until blended.
3. Mix cake flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in bowl of electric mixer at slow speed. Add butter; continue beating at slow speed until mixture resembles moist crumbs.
4. Add all but ½ cup of milk mixture to crumbs and beat at medium speed (or high speed if using handheld mixer) for 1½ minutes. Add remaining ½ cup of milk mixture and beat 30 seconds more. Stop mixer and scrape sides of bowl. Return mixer to medium (or high) speed and beat 20 seconds longer.
5. Divide batter evenly between two prepared cake pans, spreading evenly with a rubber spatula. Bake until thin skewer or toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 23 to 25 minutes.
6. Let cakes rest in pans for 5 minutes. Loosen from sides of pans with a knife, if necessary, and invert onto wire racks.

For the Chantilly Cream:
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 3 Tbsp powdered sugar
- 2 tsps vanilla extract

Combine all ingredients in a chilled bowl and whip just until stiff peaks form but not too long because you don't want it to be over-whipped!

1. Wash strawberries and pat dry with paper towel.
2. Remove stems and slice lengthwise.

To assemble cake:
1. Once cake has cooled, place one layer on cake stand or plate.
2. Cover with Chantilly cream, place fresh sliced strawberries on top of cream covering the top of the cake.
3. Place second layer of cake on top and cover completely with Chantilly cream.
4. Smooth cream all around the cake and decorate top as desired.