Friday, January 14, 2011

Lemon-blueberry muffin bread

Ever go to re-organize/clean out your freezer and surprise yourself?  Well, while snowed in from the recent snowstorm that put 25 inches outside my door I found 3 bags of almost empty frozen blueberries.  How on earth I ended up with 3 of them I still don't know.  They equaled about a cup, so I new I could do something with them.  What I ended up with is the recipe below...there would've been a picture but Chef decided he enjoyed the bread so much, it was practically gone before I could find the camera.

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1/3 cup milk
1 tsp lemon extract
1 cup fresh blueberries
sugar for sprinkling


1.Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease loaf pan or muffin cups or line with muffin liners.

2.Combine 1 1/2 cups flour, 3/4 cup sugar, salt and baking powder. Place vegetable oil into a 1 cup measuring cup; add the egg, lemon extract and enough milk to fill the cup. Mix this with flour mixture. Fold in blueberries. Fill pan and sprinkle top with sugar.
3.Bake for 45-60 minutes in the preheated oven, or until done.

If making muffins bake 20-25 minutes.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Not your same ol' same ol' chicken recipe

Ok..Ok I know. Its been quite a while since I posted a recipe.  Been making the same ol' same ol'.  But tonight I was feeling creative. So here is a new chicken recipe!  I am always trying to find a new way to make chicken and I think I found a keeper.

Braised Chicken

2-3 tbsp oil

6 drumsticks (or chicken thighs)

2 tbsp butter

1 yellow onion diced

2 garlic cloves crushed

1-28 oz can diced tomatoes

1 small bag of frozen green beans

seasonings needed:



garlic powder

cayenne (use for spicy version)

red pepper flakes (spicy version)

pinch of sugar

Heat large pan with oil on high

Season chicken with first 3-4 seasonings

Brown chicken...1-2 min per side. Remove from pan and set aside.

Add butter to pan. Add onion and garlic. Stir about 5 times. Add can of diced tomatoes with juice.

Season with 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, dash of cayenne and red pepper flakes if using, and pinch of sugar.

Bring to simmer and lower heat to med low. Cook for 10 min. Add green beans.

Put browned chicken back in pan. Cover pan and cook for 20 min. Turn chicken over. Cover and cook another 25 min.

Serve over brown or white rice. Maybe even mashed potatoes.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Recreating yumminess...

A couple of weeks ago Chef and I went and saw Cirque du Soleil and then had dinner out.  It was our first date out in while. Reminds me of the early days of Us. 

Cirque du Soleil was absolutely amazing! Awe-inspiring what a human being's body is capable of moving.  Then it was time for dinner.  Where to go?  After getting lost driving around, we finally decided on a favorite of ours.  Grant's in West Hartford.  If you love good, fresh food made honestly, then this is the place to go.

Dinner was amazing just like the show was earlier.  Beautiful evening dining out on the patio with delicious food.   As is our tradition, when we eat out we splurge on dessert.  Grant's was voted as the best dessert menu in Connecticut, so how could we pass it up?!  Normally if I see creme brulee that is my automatic choice.  But for some reason I kept returning to the Orange Olive Oil Cake.  So taking that as a sign, I bravely tried something new.  I am sooooooo glad I did.  The cake was moist yet dense, but yet seemed light as air.  I made a comment to Chef that I must recreate this wonderful cake!

Well about a week later I finally tried a recipe.  So here I am the day after the 4th of July, I baked a cake.  Now please keep in mind that the East Coast is in a heat wave, it reached 100 degrees today.  Yep, 100 degrees outside, and I have a cake baking in the oven.  But I had to!  Its been swimming in my head for a week!  When finally the cake had cooled, I topped it with some whip cream and some mascerated strawberries.  It was one of the most delicious desserts I have ever created.  Now how am I ever going to top this one?!

Orange olive oil cake


  • 1/2 cup olive oil, plus more for greasing the pan
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup sugar, plus 1/3 cup for the topping
  • 1/2 cup orange juice (or dry white wine)
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup finely ground yellow cornmeal
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Zest of 1 large orange


1 Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray a spring form pan with nonstick spray.
2 In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, oil, 1 cup of the sugar, and orange juice until smooth. Add flour, cornmeal, salt, baking powder, and orange zest; whisk lightly to combine.
3 Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan; sprinkle the top evenly with the remaining 1/3 cup sugar. Bake until cake begins to pull away from sides of pan and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 25-35 minutes.
4 Cool the cake in the pan 20 minutes. Run a knife around edge of cake to separate it from the edge of the pan. Cool completely before serving.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Spaghetti sauce

2 tbsp oil
1 medium diced yellow onion
2 cloves garlic minced
1 28oz can crushed tomatoes
1 28oz can tomato sauce
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp dried basil and oregano, or fresh if you like
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)

Heat oil on med-high in pot.
Add onions and cook about 2-3 min stirring frequently
Add garlic and cook for another min
Add rest of ingredients, lower temp to simmer.

Cook minimum of 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Season to your liking.

You can also add veggies if you want a garden sauce, or grated parmesan for a cheese marinara, or cooked ground beef for a meat sauce.  I like to add cooked meatballs into the sauce while it simmers.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Razzy white chocolate oat bars

1/2 C light brown sugar
1 C flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1 C rolled oats
1/2 C oil
1 egg beaten
3/4 C seedless raspberry jam
1/2 C white chocolate chips

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease one 8 inch square pan, and line with greased foil or parchment paper.
  2. Combine brown sugar, flour, baking soda, salt, and rolled oats. Pour in oil and egg, using your hands blend to form a crumbly mixture. Press 2 cups of the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Spread the jam to within 1/4 inch of the edge. Sprinkle white chocolate chips over jam. Sprinkle the remaining crumb mixture over the top, and lightly press it into the jam.
  3. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes in preheated oven, or until lightly browned. Allow to cool before cutting into bars.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Smothered pork chops

It turned cold and rainy here in New England.  But looks summer heat is just around the corner.  Due to the cold I was craving some comfort food.  So after researching some recipes I came up with this recipe for Smothered Pork Chops.  My recipe made 3 pork chops and was served with white rice and sauteed spinach.

Season pork chops with salt, pepper and garlic powder, then dust in flour and set aside while pan heats up.
When pan is hot heat about 2 tbsp oil and place pork chops in pan.  Flip after 2 min (browned) and then another 2 min. Remove from pan.

In same pan add sliced onions and cook thru, scraping brown bits on bottom.  Add 2 tbsp flour and cook 1 min (stirring often)

Add 2 cups of beef broth.  Stir, season to taste.  Add pork chops, cover and lower heat to low and cook for about 1 hour until tender.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Mini meatballs

1 lb ground beef
1/4 c bread crumbs
1/4 c water
1 tbsp italian herb mix (optional)
1 tsp worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp cayenne
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tsp frank's hot sauce (optional)

Preheat oven 400 degrees. Line baking sheet with foil.
Gently mix above ingredients. Form 1 inch balls, I use a small ice cream scoop.
Bake in preheated oven about 10 minutes or until browned.