Sunday, December 19, 2010
I liked the idea because it gave me the chance to cook with Mel in my new kitchen and it was one less recipe I needed to search out and research on my own. Plus, this particular winning recipe was a great way to use up some leftover pumpkin from the last holiday we just had! This recipe was very easy to pull together and everyone loved the results. I split the cake I kept (Mel took the other two for gifts) between my sister and Forrest and they both gave it glaring reviews! Give this one a try, you won't be disappointed. Thanks April!
Yummy Pumpkin Bread
From April T.
We used regular sized loaf pans and made 3 loaves.
3 cups canned pumpkin puree
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
4 cups white sugar
4 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour three 9x5 inch loaf pans.
In a large bowl, mix together the pumpkin, oil, sugar, and eggs.
Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves;
stir into the pumpkin mixture
until well blended.
Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans.
Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour and 15 minutes (we found our cakes were ready at 1 hour and 10 minutes. The top of the loaf should spring back when lightly pressed.
Click Here for the Printable Recipe
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
What I didn't anticipate was how miserable I would be at the end of my pregnancy. Just the thought of standing in my kitchen long enough to open a few boxes of Pasta Roni even wore me out. It was so hot, I was so swollen and the exhaustion was unimaginable. I did zero cooking towards the end and therefore I did zero preparation for what would happen at meal time after our little of bundle joy joined us in this world.
And as it turned out, the lack of frozen meals turned against us. In the early weeks of Rex's life, dinner time was by far his fussiest period of the day. Even though my energy was up, my feet were back to normal and I had the desire to cook again it wasn't exactly easy. It took everything we had for the two of us to calm the baby enough to even be able to have a 2 minute discussion about what we would have for dinner more or less cook an entire meal. To be honest, most nights we ate take out. But on the rare occasion we could pull off home made dinner, it was meals like this that really helped. Quick dishes do exist and if the mom of a 6 week old colicky baby could pull this one off, anyone can! This was delicious and surprisingly gourmet tasting for starting out frozen!
Bacon Pierogi Bake
Adapted from Cooking Light December 2010
Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 3 pierogies and 2 tablespoons sauce)
- 1 (16-ounce) package frozen potato and onion pierogies (such as Mrs. T's)
- Cooking spray
- 3 center-cut bacon slices, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/3 cup (3 ounces) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
- 1/2 cup fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
- 1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1/4 cup thinly diagonally sliced green onions
- 1/4 cup chopped seeded plum tomato
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1. Preheat oven to 400°.
2. Arrange the frozen pierogies in an 11 x 7-inch glass baking dish coated with cooking spray.
Cook bacon in a saucepan over medium heat until crisp; remove from pan. Set aside.
3. Add garlic to drippings in pan, and cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add 1/3 cup cream cheese to pan, and cook for 1 minute or until cream cheese begins to melt, stirring frequently. Gradually add chicken broth to pan, stirring with a whisk until smooth. (My cream cheese is almost completely melted in the picture below.)
Pour the cream cheese mixture evenly over pierogies.
Top evenly with 1/2 cup cheddar cheese.
Bake at 400° for 20 minutes or until bubbly and thoroughly heated. Remove from oven, and
sprinkle with bacon, green onions, tomato, and pepper.
Click Here for My Adapted Printable Recipe
Monday, November 29, 2010
Chocolate Pound Cake with Peanut Butter Glaze
Adapted from Martha Stewart July 2009
Sunday, November 14, 2010
Check out my Game Day (which includes some awesome football watching recipes!) post at this link:
and follow the instructions to enter on your own!
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Prosciutto & Black Pepper Quesadillas with Rosemary Oil
Adapted from Bobby Flay
- 12 (6-inch) flour tortillas
- 1 pound fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
- 1 red onion, finely sliced
- 2 tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper
- Olive oil
- 1/4 cup Parmigiana Reggiano cheese
- 8 slices prosciutto di Parma, thinly sliced
- 1 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup fresh rosemary leaves
- 1/4 cup coarsely chopped chives
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
Make the rosemary oil: Combine the oil, rosemary, chives and salt and pepper in a food processor
and process until smooth. Strain through a fine strainer
and store the green goodness in the refrigerator.
Quesadilla: Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Saute the red onions in a tsp of olive oil until softened about 8 minutes.
Place 8 tortillas on an ungreased baking sheet or non stick silicone baking pad. Spread half the cheese, onion and black pepper on each and season to taste with salt.
Top with 3 thin slivers of prosciutto and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
Cover with remaining tortillas and brush the tops with olive oil
and sprinkle with some more of the Parmesan cheese.
Place on a lightly oiled baking sheet or a non-stick silicone baking pad and bake for 5 to 7 minutes or until the tortillas are lightly golden brown and the cheese has melted. Cut into quarters, top each quarter with a slice of prosciutto and drizzle with the rosemary oil.
Sunday, October 24, 2010
Braised Chicken Thighs and Button Mushrooms
Adapted from Emeril Lagasse
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 6 chicken thighs
- 1 tablespoon Essence, recipe in link above
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 16 ounces button mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 1 cup sliced yellow onion
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 cups dark chicken stock
- 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
- 1 pound of bowtie pasta
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
Set a 10-inch, straight-sided saute pan over medium-high heat and add the oil. Season the chicken thighs with the Essence, salt and pepper. Place the chicken, skin side down in the pan and sear until golden brown, about 3 to 4 minutes. Turn the chicken over and sear on the second side for another 3 to 4 minutes.
Remove the chicken from the pan and add the butter and mushrooms.
Saute the mushrooms, stirring occasionally, until browned and most of the liquid has evaporated, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the onions and garlic to the pan and saute for 3 to 4 minutes.
Sprinkle the flour into the pan
and cook, stirring often to make a light brown roux, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste, stock to the pan and stir.
Add the rosemary to the pan,
bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Return the chicken to the pan, skin side down and cook the chicken for 30 minutes. Turn the chicken over and cook until the meat is very tender, about 30 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Serve the chicken over pasta and garnish with the chopped parsley.Click Here for My Adapted Printable Recipe
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Meet Rex Paul Foti:
Thursday, September 30, 2010
The first step was achieving the tree mural that would take up most of the 10 foot wall behind the crib. I told her I found a stick and peel wall decal on the Internet, but she said we could do it ourselves. She started with a free hand drawing of the tree in question, transferred it to a transparency, projected it onto the wall and made a life size stencil. Then I cut it out - that was the extent of my contribution. She then spent a few hours of one of her days off painting the tree using the stencil she had made. And that was just the start of it.
Next up was the fact that I didn't want off the shelf curtains or a bed skirt, so she spent another entire Saturday sewing and hanging curtains, figuring out how to make a crib skirt and whipping that out like a professional. I told you she was amazing! On another Saturday I showed up at her house with some new fabric I wanted to add to the room. As she saw me walk up the stairs to her front door she immediately guessed I had another project in mind for her. That particular day she worked her way through sewing throw pillows and recovering an existing lamp shade in said fabric. The shade and one of the pillows can be seen below, and I told you she could take on any project in spite of lack of experience.
Her last and final project occurred this past Saturday when she spent the day helping me hang these giant flash cards behind the changing table. I wanted them there, I purchased them and the ribbon and then I didn't have a shred of confidence that I could get them hung neatly. Of course she had some really genius idea of how we could do it and she whipped it out in no time at all while we baby sat two of her grandsons.
Some of the other personal touches in the nursery that I love so much are the baby outfits we hung on the wall. No my Mom didn't make these, but they were worn by my two oldest nephews when they were infants. Since my nephews are only six years old now these could hardly be considered heirlooms, but being that they were both New Orleans babies born before Katrina it is miracle that we still have anything from their early life. Since the hurricane hit before they were both one, I spent different portions of the rebuilding process living with each one of them at different times and because of it I have a very special relationship with them and can remember watching them grow each day into little boys. I love having something from each of them in my son's nursery. He will be lucky to have such great older cousins as role models throughout his life.
There is one item though that could be considered an heirloom that made it into the nursery. The white toddler rocking chair below belonged to my husband and was given to him by his Aunt when he was a baby. It used to be brown with a heavily used cotton cover on it that needed some attention. Way before we moved in our house and started this nursery, Forrest began to restore the chair and repaint it a color that would match our decor. He spent several of his Saturdays in his parents garage prepping his chair to pass on this his first born. It is very special to have something of his in the nursery and it has proven to be a very popular piece with my younger nieces and nephews when they have come to visit. Therefore, I have no doubt our son will appreciate it as well.
My mom also crosstiched the alphabet blanket hanging over the crib. She was such a big part of this nursery and she made it all possible. I couldn't have gotten even a quarter of it done without her help. Making this extremely easy bread doesn't even scratch the surface of thank you's that I owe her, but it was a sweet start. I told her recently in a thank you note that if I am half the mom to my son as she has been to me he will be one lucky boy! Here is to my extremely creative, willing and selfless Mom!
Nursery Inspired by Holly Mathis Interiors
Bananas Foster Bread
Adapted from Cooking Light October 2010
Yield: 16 servings (serving size: 1 slice)
- 1 1/2 cups mashed ripe banana
- 1 cup packed brown sugar, divided
- 6 tablespoons butter, melted and divided
- 1/4 cup dark rum, divided
- 1/3 cup plain fat-free yogurt
- 2 large eggs
- 6.75 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Cooking spray
- 1/3 cup powdered sugar
1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. Combine banana, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 5 tablespoons butter, and 3 tablespoons rum in a nonstick skillet.
Cook over medium heat until mixture begins to bubble.
Remove from heat; cool. Place yogurt, remaining 1/2 cup brown sugar, and eggs in a large bowl
and mix until combined. Add the cooled banana mixture and beat with a mixer at medium speed.
3. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 4 ingredients (through cinnamon) in a small bowl. Add flour mixture to banana mixture; beat just until blended. Pour batter into a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 50 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from oven; cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack. Remove bread from pan; place on wire rack.
4. Combine remaining 1 tablespoon melted butter, remaining 1 tablespoon rum, and powdered sugar; stir until well blended. Drizzle over the warm bread.
5. Slice and Serve.