"For I was hungry & you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty & you gave me something to drink..."

Matthew 25:35

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Lemon and Brown Sugar Chicken

sometimes i get sick of trying to come up with dinner. those sometimes = the husband eats cereal or pizza. blah. whatever.

but then i'm all like, "omg- need to make real food or husband will leave me for the Olive Garden!!!"
so when i spotted this recipe i figured it was quick & easy & i could make it work.

Lemon and Brown Sugar Chicken adapted from Tasty Kitchen
1 lb chicken breasts
1 cup flour
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp salt
2 tblsp canola oil
1 lemon (juiced) or just use lemon juice (approx)
1/2 cup dark brown sugar (approx)

Directions: Pre heat oven to 350
Trim the fat from your chicken. Combine the four, paprika & salt in a shallow dish. Coat each chicken breast with the flour mixture.

Heat the oil over medium/high heat in a cast iron skillet (if you have one)
Place each chicken breast into the hot oil & brown on both sides (4-5 minutes should do it)
Remove the chicken breasts & set aside.

turn the heat down loa & pour the lemon juice into the pan & stir to deglaze (if all the juice cooks off- ad a bit more. you should have about 1/4 cup worth of liquid in the skillet)
Put the chicken breasts back in the pan & turn to coat.
Sprinkle the brown sugar on top (make sure each piece has a good of sugar on it)

Put the skillet in the oven & bake for around 20 minutes (until the chicken is done)

we had this with some quick tri colored pasta (i tossed the cooked pasta with some cream, lemon juice, salt & pepper, capers & some grated parmesean cheese)

and some beans (from our garden!!! yay!!!) that i sauted in butter, a little water, garlic & onion powder.
it was delish. and fast. and easy.
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Quick Pull Apart Breakfast Bites

when i say "quick" i mean quick. like, 5 minutes quick.
saturday morning greeted me at 5:45 in the am thanks to my youngest slapping me in the face.

so as i staggered into the kitchen, with her on my hip, i wanted food. now. right this second!
homemade cinnamon rolls were out- as was any kind of bread that included mixing & measuring.

then i spotted a can of crescent rolls and got an idea.

Quick Pull Apart Breakfast Bites
1 can of crescent rolls
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 stick butter (melted)

Directions: Pre heat oven to 375. Grease a small 6in cake pan (or 8in if you're going to double up)
Open the rolls & rip off pieces & roll into little balls (1 in or so)
Mix together the cinnamon & sugar & roll each ball into the mixture
Place the balls into the cake pan so they're touching (like Monkey Bread)
Por the melted butter over the top & sprinkled with a bit more cinnamon & sugar.

Pop it in the oven for 15 minutes & remove.
Let it cool for a couple minutes & then turn onto a plate.

Pat yourself on the back for coming up with the quickest semi-homemade breakfast ever & go to town.

FYI: you can doctor these up by spreading a cream cheese frosting over the top- or whatever. easy peasy.
also- you can make these geared towards dinner as well- instead of cinnamon & sugar- use garlic powder & some chopped basil. or whatever else you have on hand.

crescent rolls are my go to kitchen "pantry" staple. you can make anything out of them because they're magical.
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Sunday, July 10, 2011

Strawberry Cake with Champagne Buttercream & ruffled Swiss Meringue Buttercream Frosting

look at that. ruffles are so pretty.

and rather delicate

and very forgiving

i'm making a ruffled cake for my friend's bridal shower so i decided to do a test run.
the cake was so so- but the frosting looked lovely (well sort of- it was my first time afterall)

Strawberry Cake with Champagne Buttercream
Go here for the recipe.

The cake was good- but a bit dense. This may have had something to do woth the fact that i used 4 whole eggs instead of 6 egg whites.
But i'm going to nix it anyway- i want something else...

as for the Swiss Meringue Buttercream- go here for an awesome recipe

i tweak it depending on the humidity & consistancy i seem to be getting. but i strongly suggest at least 2 tsp of flavoring (vanilla or what not) and a good quality butter. i also add a pinch of salt.
also- make sure your butter is soft, but still somewhat firm (room temp) not completely softened like when baking cookies. and you NEED a stand mixer- it's a must. my batches take over 15 minutes of beating. imagine standing there & doing that with a hand mixer.

omg no. never ever.
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Monday, July 4, 2011

Coconut Tres Leches Cake

remember this cake: Tres Leches Cake?

well this is the same deal- cept with coconut. bam.

substitute the can of Evaporate Milk with a can of either Coconut Milk or Condensed Coconut Milk.
sprinkle the top with Toasted Coconut (and possibly some bananas or pineapples) and you've got yourself a bite of Tropical Awesome.

FYI: you can also substitute the sponge cake with a box of white cake (in the interest of time or energy)
It works pretty well- but i think it gets a tad bit soggier. so go with the sponge cake if you can.
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Coconut Bread

there is something wrong with my husband. he doesn't like coconut.

right? crazy man. but that's ok- because it means i have an excuse to eat an entire loaf of this bread.

Coconut Bread via Honey&Jam
You Need:
2 large eggs
1 1/4 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup superfine sugar
1 1/2 cups flaked coconut
6 tblsp unsalted butter (melted & slightly cooled)

Directions: Preheat oven to 350
In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, milk & vanilla. Set aside.
In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon & salt.
Stire in the sugar & coconut. Make a well in the center of the dry ingred. & slowly add the wet misture, stirring until just combined.
Fold in the melted butter- be careful! don't overmix it!

Pour into a greased & floured 8x4 in loaf pan. Bake until a cake tester comes out clean (around 1 hour or so). Remove from the oven & allow to cool for 5 minutes. Then turn onto a wire rack.
Allow it to cool some more & then slice away.

this was good. so good. BUT- i think it was a bit crumbly. Not dry- just crumbly. you do need to cut this into THICK slices- but i feel that it should hold together a bit more.

Next time i'm going to make it with an extra egg & cream instead of milk. we'll see if that does the trick.

you can eat it straight up or smothered in butter. or my favorite- with coconut milk whipped cream:

Coconut Milk Whipped Cream via Nutty Kitchen
1 can full fat organic coconut milk
cinnamon & sugar to taste

Place the can of coconut milk in the fridge overnight
When you open it you'll see that the milk & water has seperated.
Scoop out the creamy milk portion & place into a bowl.
Whip (just like making whipped cream) with a bit of cinnamon & sugar until nice & thick.
Try ot to eat it all straight out of the bowl.
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