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"Killa Chip Dough Nilla" Ice Cream
Ha, I only wish I could say I made up the name, but I didn’t. I took it from an ice cream place in Estes Park, Colorado. It was just vanilla ice cream with chocolate chip cookie dough and caramel, but I spruced it up a bit.
So I present to you cookie dough FLAVORED ice cream with cookie dough chunks, mini chocolate chips, and lots of caramel. (The base of the ice cream was based on a recipe by The Kitchy Kitchen.
First off, here’s how you make the cookie dough pieces:
5 tbsp brown sugar6 tbsp sugar4 tbsp unsalted butter, softened1 tsp vanilla3 tbsp milk1 cup flour1/2 tsp salt1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
In a medium bowl, mix together  the brown sugar, white sugar, and butter until smooth. Stir in vanilla  and milk. Mix in the flour until well blended. Shape into small melon balls, and freeze for 1-2 hours. When ready to add to ice cream, cut into fourths.
Here’s the rest:
 1 cup semi sweet or dark chocolate, chips or chopped (I used mini chips)
 2/3 cup dark brown sugar
 4 large egg yolks 
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract 
2 cups half and half 
1 1/2 cups milk (I used 1%)
 3 tablespoons unsalted butter pinch of salt
Real caramel syrup
 Directions: In a small sauce pan, melt the butter until it is a deep golden  brown color.  There will be little brown bits at the bottom.  You don’t want it too burnt, so be careful and watch closely.  Add half and half and heat until scalding  (not quite boiling). In a separate bowl, whisk together the sugar and egg yolks until  pale and fluffy.  Take the half and half mixture off the heat, and add a  little to the egg mixture while mixing.  This is called tempering the  eggs:  introducing hot liquid a little at a time to eggs while stirring,  as to not cook the eggs with the hot liquid.   Add a little more (just  over half of the hot mixture total) and the healthy pinch of salt, then  pour everything back into the sauce pan.  
 Heat, stirring very often or constantly, until about 170 degrees,  or until it coats a metal spoon.  As per Joy the Baker, “There’s a point after you’ve tempered the egg yolks, when you’re  reheating the whole custard, stirring constantly, and you’ll test the  concoction to see if it coats the back of a spoon.  Coat the back of the  spoon with custard.  Run a finger down the center of the custard, and  if a line remains separating the two custard halves, then your custard  is thick enough.  170 degrees F is you have a nifty thermometer.”  Transfer the mixture to a bowl and  chill.  Once the mixture is chilled, whisk in the additional 1 1/2 cups  of milk and add it to your ice cream machine.  When it’s almost fully  churned, (3-5 minutes left) add your chocolate chips and  a couple minutes later, your cookie dough pieces. At the last moment, scoop in lots and lots of caramel. Store ice cream in air tight container in your freezer.  Enjoy!

"Killa Chip Dough Nilla" Ice Cream

Ha, I only wish I could say I made up the name, but I didn’t. I took it from an ice cream place in Estes Park, Colorado. It was just vanilla ice cream with chocolate chip cookie dough and caramel, but I spruced it up a bit.

So I present to you cookie dough FLAVORED ice cream with cookie dough chunks, mini chocolate chips, and lots of caramel. (The base of the ice cream was based on a recipe by The Kitchy Kitchen.

First off, here’s how you make the cookie dough pieces:

5 tbsp brown sugar
6 tbsp sugar
4 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla
3 tbsp milk
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

In a medium bowl, mix together the brown sugar, white sugar, and butter until smooth. Stir in vanilla and milk. Mix in the flour until well blended. Shape into small melon balls, and freeze for 1-2 hours. When ready to add to ice cream, cut into fourths.

Here’s the rest:

  • 1 cup semi sweet or dark chocolate, chips or chopped (I used mini chips)
  • 2/3 cup dark brown sugar
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups half and half
  • 1 1/2 cups milk (I used 1%)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter pinch of salt
  • Real caramel syrup


Directions: In a small sauce pan, melt the butter until it is a deep golden brown color.  There will be little brown bits at the bottom.  You don’t want it too burnt, so be careful and watch closely.  Add half and half and heat until scalding (not quite boiling). In a separate bowl, whisk together the sugar and egg yolks until pale and fluffy.  Take the half and half mixture off the heat, and add a little to the egg mixture while mixing.  This is called tempering the eggs:  introducing hot liquid a little at a time to eggs while stirring, as to not cook the eggs with the hot liquid.   Add a little more (just over half of the hot mixture total) and the healthy pinch of salt, then pour everything back into the sauce pan.  


Heat, stirring very often or constantly, until about 170 degrees, or until it coats a metal spoon.  As per Joy the Baker, “There’s a point after you’ve tempered the egg yolks, when you’re reheating the whole custard, stirring constantly, and you’ll test the concoction to see if it coats the back of a spoon.  Coat the back of the spoon with custard.  Run a finger down the center of the custard, and if a line remains separating the two custard halves, then your custard is thick enough.  170 degrees F is you have a nifty thermometer.”  Transfer the mixture to a bowl and chill.  Once the mixture is chilled, whisk in the additional 1 1/2 cups of milk and add it to your ice cream machine.  When it’s almost fully churned, (3-5 minutes left) add your chocolate chips and  a couple minutes later, your cookie dough pieces. At the last moment, scoop in lots and lots of caramel. Store ice cream in air tight container in your freezer.  Enjoy!

White Chocolate Triple Berry Swirl Cheesecake
Sorry it’s been so long since I’ve posted! I’ve made quite a lot, but I haven’t posted any of it. Anyway, I figured I’d try to get a couple things up. This is not my first time making this cheesecake, and that’s because I absolutely love it. I made this for Father’s Day, and I’ll tell you my dad loves it even more than I do, somehow.
So here goes:
Ingredients:
 1.5-2 cups Oreo cookie crumbs (just makes sure you have enough to cover the bottom of the pan)
1 tbsp white sugar
 2 tbsp butter, melted
 12 oz frozen mixed berries (Blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries)
 2 tablespoons white sugar
 2 teaspoons cornstarch
 1/2 cup water
 2 cups white chocolate (I used baking squares)
 1/2 cup half-and-half cream
 3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened (I used 2 regular and one fat free)
 1/2 cup white sugar
 3 eggs
 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
 In a medium bowl, mix together cookie crumbs, 1 tbsp sugar, and melted butter. Press mixture into the bottom of a  9 inch springform pan. 
 In a saucepan, combine berries, 2 tablespoons  sugar, cornstarch, and water. Bring to boil, and continue boiling 5  minutes, or until sauce is thick. Strain sauce through a mesh strainer  to remove seeds. This takes a bit of time and effort, but don’t get too frustrated, it’ll work out!
 Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). In a  metal bowl over a pan of simmering water (a double boiler if you have one. I do, and it’s so handy), melt chopped white chocolate  with half-and-half, stirring occasionally until smooth. 
 In a large bowl, mix together cream cheese and 1/2  cup sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs one at a time. Blend in vanilla and  melted white chocolate. Pour half of batter over crust. Spoon 3  tablespoons raspberry sauce over batter. Pour remaining cheesecake  batter into pan, and again spoon 3 tablespoons raspberry sauce over the  top. Swirl batter with the tip of a knife to create a marbled effect. 
 Wrap bottom of pan in foil and set spring form pan in a baking pan full of about 1 inch of water to prevent cracking. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until filling is set. Turn off oven and open door, let sit for one hour. Remove from oven, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 8 hours before  removing from pan. Serve with remaining berry sauce.

White Chocolate Triple Berry Swirl Cheesecake

Sorry it’s been so long since I’ve posted! I’ve made quite a lot, but I haven’t posted any of it. Anyway, I figured I’d try to get a couple things up. This is not my first time making this cheesecake, and that’s because I absolutely love it. I made this for Father’s Day, and I’ll tell you my dad loves it even more than I do, somehow.

So here goes:

Ingredients:

  • 1.5-2 cups Oreo cookie crumbs (just makes sure you have enough to cover the bottom of the pan)
  • 1 tbsp white sugar
  • 2 tbsp butter, melted
  • 12 oz frozen mixed berries (Blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries)
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 cups white chocolate (I used baking squares)
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half cream
  • 3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened (I used 2 regular and one fat free)
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. In a medium bowl, mix together cookie crumbs, 1 tbsp sugar, and melted butter. Press mixture into the bottom of a 9 inch springform pan.
  2. In a saucepan, combine berries, 2 tablespoons sugar, cornstarch, and water. Bring to boil, and continue boiling 5 minutes, or until sauce is thick. Strain sauce through a mesh strainer to remove seeds. This takes a bit of time and effort, but don’t get too frustrated, it’ll work out!
  3. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). In a metal bowl over a pan of simmering water (a double boiler if you have one. I do, and it’s so handy), melt chopped white chocolate with half-and-half, stirring occasionally until smooth.
  4. In a large bowl, mix together cream cheese and 1/2 cup sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs one at a time. Blend in vanilla and melted white chocolate. Pour half of batter over crust. Spoon 3 tablespoons raspberry sauce over batter. Pour remaining cheesecake batter into pan, and again spoon 3 tablespoons raspberry sauce over the top. Swirl batter with the tip of a knife to create a marbled effect.
  5. Wrap bottom of pan in foil and set spring form pan in a baking pan full of about 1 inch of water to prevent cracking. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until filling is set. Turn off oven and open door, let sit for one hour. Remove from oven, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 8 hours before removing from pan. Serve with remaining berry sauce.
Grilled Fish Tacos with Roasted Corn and Pepitas
This recipe is actually really specific, so not much ambiguity here. I forgot about this when I said another meal was my favorite. This might be it. I really love seafood.
1 1/2 pounds firm fleshed fish fillet, 3/4 inch thick (I used mahi-mahi. If it’s not thick, it will fall apart on the grill, so you’ll have to use a frying pan) 3/4 teaspoon garlic salt 1/2 teaspoon paprika 2 teaspoons olive oil 1 ear corn, shucked 1 large tomato, 1/4″ dice 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro 8 corn tortillas 1/2 cabbage, shredded 2 limes, cut into wedges 1/4 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
For the sauce (stir together) 1 cup light sour cream 1/2 teaspoon paprika 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt 1/4 teaspoon ancho chili powder (substitute with regular chili powder)
Preheat your outdoor grill. Cut the fish into 8 thick strips, about  1″ wide x 4″. You’ll be using 1 fish fillet per taco, 2 tacos per  person. On a plate or bowl, toss the fish with the garlic salt, paprika  and olive oil. Brush a bit of the oil onto the corn on the cob. Grill  the corn on the grill over direct heat, rotating a few times.
Three minutes after starting the corn, it’s time to grill the fish  for 2-4 minutes each side, depending on thickness of the fish. During  the last 2 minutes of grilling, throw the corn tortillas on the grill,  flipping halfway. The corn, fish and tortillas should be ready around  the same time.
Use a serrated knife to cut the kernals off the cob. Toss with the  tomato, salt and cilantro. Assemble tacos with cabbage, a piece of fish,  a spoonful of sauce, grilled corn/tomato, a squeeze of lime and a  sprinkling of pepitas.
Serves 4
Thanks go to Steamy Kitchen :)

Grilled Fish Tacos with Roasted Corn and Pepitas

This recipe is actually really specific, so not much ambiguity here. I forgot about this when I said another meal was my favorite. This might be it. I really love seafood.

1 1/2 pounds firm fleshed fish fillet, 3/4 inch thick (I used mahi-mahi. If it’s not thick, it will fall apart on the grill, so you’ll have to use a frying pan)
3/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon paprika
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 ear corn, shucked
1 large tomato, 1/4″ dice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro
8 corn tortillas
1/2 cabbage, shredded
2 limes, cut into wedges
1/4 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)

For the sauce (stir together)
1 cup light sour cream
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon ancho chili powder (substitute with regular chili powder)

Preheat your outdoor grill. Cut the fish into 8 thick strips, about 1″ wide x 4″. You’ll be using 1 fish fillet per taco, 2 tacos per person. On a plate or bowl, toss the fish with the garlic salt, paprika and olive oil. Brush a bit of the oil onto the corn on the cob. Grill the corn on the grill over direct heat, rotating a few times.

Three minutes after starting the corn, it’s time to grill the fish for 2-4 minutes each side, depending on thickness of the fish. During the last 2 minutes of grilling, throw the corn tortillas on the grill, flipping halfway. The corn, fish and tortillas should be ready around the same time.

Use a serrated knife to cut the kernals off the cob. Toss with the tomato, salt and cilantro. Assemble tacos with cabbage, a piece of fish, a spoonful of sauce, grilled corn/tomato, a squeeze of lime and a sprinkling of pepitas.

Serves 4

Thanks go to Steamy Kitchen :)

Grilled…Array of Awesome Food?
There’s not much of a recipe, here. But it was really delicious, so I thought I’d share. My dad and I just grilled a bunch of red, orange, and yellow peppers, chicken sausage (with peppers inside), and a mixed bag of baby potatoes—red, white, and purple! (the insides were purple too!).
We did season the potatoes with a random array of spices before hand. I believe it was cumin, chili powder, and maybe some garlic salt if I recall correctly.

See? They really were purple! :)

Grilled…Array of Awesome Food?

There’s not much of a recipe, here. But it was really delicious, so I thought I’d share. My dad and I just grilled a bunch of red, orange, and yellow peppers, chicken sausage (with peppers inside), and a mixed bag of baby potatoes—red, white, and purple! (the insides were purple too!).

We did season the potatoes with a random array of spices before hand. I believe it was cumin, chili powder, and maybe some garlic salt if I recall correctly.

See? They really were purple! :)

Most Incredible Banana Cake Ever
I mean it. I love this cake. It takes a lot of prep/cooking time, but every time I make it, it’s entirely worth it. And it gets better every single day, so if you’re making it for an event, I suggest making it at least a day ahead, even though it’s fantastic eaten immediately as well. It’s basically just great all around. And because I adapted it quite a bit from the original recipe, it’s not too unhealthy, either.
Here goes.
 1 1/2 cups  bananas, mashed, ripe (about 3 large)  
 2  teaspoons  lemon juice   
 2 1/4 cups all-purpose   			 flour
3/4 cups whole wheat flour (if you  don’t wanna use this, just use more of the all purpose)
 1 1/2 teaspoons  baking soda   
 1/4 teaspoon  salt   
 1/2 cup  butter, softened 
1/4 cup applesauce, unsweetened
 1 3/4 cups  sugar   
 3  large  eggs   
 2  teaspoons  vanilla   
 1 1/2 cups milk (skim or 1% is best if you’re cutting down on fat) with 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
Preheat oven to 275F
Grease and flour a 9x13 pan
In a small bowl, mix mashed banana with 2 tsp lemon juice; set aside.
In medium bowl, combine flours, baking soda, and salt
In a large bowl, combine butter, applesauce, and sugar, beating until fluffy
Beat in eggs one at a time, then add vanilla.
In a small bowl, combine milk and 1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice. Let stand for about 2 minutes.
Add flour mixture and milk mixture alternately into bowl with butter mix.
Stir in the mashed banana mixture
Pour into prepared pan and bake for about an hour, until toothpick comes out clean. This baking time will vary from one oven to the next. In mine it took about 1 hr and 15 minutes.
Immediately after removing from oven, place the cake in the freezer for 45 minutes. This will make the cake really moist and awesome.
You might like to frost it with cream cheese frosting. It is good that way, but I honestly love it so much I have eaten it without anything on it for the most part. In the picture I drizzled a little chocolate on top too. Honestly though, it’s fantastic alone.
I also like it best when kept cold in the fridge, so I’d recommend storing it that way.
This is, without a doubt, my go-to cake.

Most Incredible Banana Cake Ever

I mean it. I love this cake. It takes a lot of prep/cooking time, but every time I make it, it’s entirely worth it. And it gets better every single day, so if you’re making it for an event, I suggest making it at least a day ahead, even though it’s fantastic eaten immediately as well. It’s basically just great all around. And because I adapted it quite a bit from the original recipe, it’s not too unhealthy, either.

Here goes.

  • 1 1/2 cups bananas, mashed, ripe (about 3 large)
  • teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose  flour
  • 3/4 cups whole wheat flour (if you  don’t wanna use this, just use more of the all purpose)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  •  1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup applesauce, unsweetened
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • large eggs
  • teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups milk (skim or 1% is best if you’re cutting down on fat) with 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
  1. Preheat oven to 275F
  2. Grease and flour a 9x13 pan
  3. In a small bowl, mix mashed banana with 2 tsp lemon juice; set aside.
  4. In medium bowl, combine flours, baking soda, and salt
  5. In a large bowl, combine butter, applesauce, and sugar, beating until fluffy
  6. Beat in eggs one at a time, then add vanilla.
  7. In a small bowl, combine milk and 1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice. Let stand for about 2 minutes.
  8. Add flour mixture and milk mixture alternately into bowl with butter mix.
  9. Stir in the mashed banana mixture
  10. Pour into prepared pan and bake for about an hour, until toothpick comes out clean. This baking time will vary from one oven to the next. In mine it took about
    1 hr and 15 minutes.
  11. Immediately after removing from oven, place the cake in the freezer for 45 minutes. This will make the cake really moist and awesome.

You might like to frost it with cream cheese frosting. It is good that way, but I honestly love it so much I have eaten it without anything on it for the most part. In the picture I drizzled a little chocolate on top too. Honestly though, it’s fantastic alone.

I also like it best when kept cold in the fridge, so I’d recommend storing it that way.

This is, without a doubt, my go-to cake.

Spicy Shrimp and Chicken Linguine
I’m way behind on posting recent meals, but I’ll try to catch up some now. This was dinner tonight, cooked by me and my dad.
I know sometimes people ask for very specific instructions, but I’m sorry to say I don’t generally cook with recipes or measurements :/ I can give you a basic idea, but just use your best judgment.
Ingredients:
Whole wheat linguine, 12 oz.
1/2 lb shrimp, deveined and peeled
1/4-1/2 lb chicken, chopped
Jar of Arrabiata Pasta Sauce, 24 oz.
Italian seasoning
Spinach leaves, cut into fine strips
Oregano
Roasted garlic
Capers
Parmesan cheese, 1/2 cup grated
Begin boiling water, and add in pasta, cooking for indicated time (about 10 minutes—until al dente). Meanwhile, season shrimp with italian seasoning or oregano and cook for recommended time—generally about 3 minutes—in olive oil on stove top. Set aside. Chop chicken into small pieces and cook in olive oil on stove until done. Set aside.
While pasta is cooking, pour sauce into saucepan, and add in oregano, Italian seasoning, about 2 cloves of roasted garlic (finely diced of course), a couple tablespoons of capers, and cut spinach. Heat on stove top until bubbling some.
Drain pasta. Plate, topping with sauce, some Parmesan cheese, and shrimp and chicken. Garnish with strips of spinach leaves.
Serves about 6.
*If you can’t find the proper kind of sauce, you can use regular pasta sauce and add in a little extra garlic, crushed red pepper, and some chopped onions. Arrabiata sauce is spicy.

Spicy Shrimp and Chicken Linguine

I’m way behind on posting recent meals, but I’ll try to catch up some now. This was dinner tonight, cooked by me and my dad.

I know sometimes people ask for very specific instructions, but I’m sorry to say I don’t generally cook with recipes or measurements :/ I can give you a basic idea, but just use your best judgment.

Ingredients:

  • Whole wheat linguine, 12 oz.
  • 1/2 lb shrimp, deveined and peeled
  • 1/4-1/2 lb chicken, chopped
  • Jar of Arrabiata Pasta Sauce, 24 oz.
  • Italian seasoning
  • Spinach leaves, cut into fine strips
  • Oregano
  • Roasted garlic
  • Capers
  • Parmesan cheese, 1/2 cup grated

Begin boiling water, and add in pasta, cooking for indicated time (about 10 minutes—until al dente). Meanwhile, season shrimp with italian seasoning or oregano and cook for recommended time—generally about 3 minutes—in olive oil on stove top. Set aside. Chop chicken into small pieces and cook in olive oil on stove until done. Set aside.

While pasta is cooking, pour sauce into saucepan, and add in oregano, Italian seasoning, about 2 cloves of roasted garlic (finely diced of course), a couple tablespoons of capers, and cut spinach. Heat on stove top until bubbling some.

Drain pasta. Plate, topping with sauce, some Parmesan cheese, and shrimp and chicken. Garnish with strips of spinach leaves.

Serves about 6.

*If you can’t find the proper kind of sauce, you can use regular pasta sauce and add in a little extra garlic, crushed red pepper, and some chopped onions. Arrabiata sauce is spicy.

Linguine with Tuna & Crab Puttanesca
"Linguine Puttanesca" means "whore-like linguine" in Italian. There is some debate as to why exactly this dish got that name, but one of the explanations is its hot, frisky flavor. (Ha!)
Anyway, this dish does have a little bit of a kick, although I think next time I make it I’ll up that kick even more. But it was a healthy dinner with some good flavor, and my family seemed to enjoy it enough to go back for seconds and thirds, and we don’t eat enormous quantities of food.
So! Here’s the recipe: I’ll go ahead and say that the crab meat is optional. I added it in, but it’s not super cheap, and I don’t think you’ll be missing out on a ton if you only go with the tuna. Normally I’m all about fresh seafood only, but the canned tuna tasted just fine in the sauce.
Okay, recipe now. Promise!
Salt & Pepper
12  ounces linguine (I prefer to use whole wheat pasta or at laest the kind that includes a serving of vegetables. Just a bit more nutritious.)
2  tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 
4  cloves garlic, diced—using roasted garlic from the jar adds a little more flavor too.
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (Adding more next time!)
2  tablespoons capers, drained 
1/3 cup roughly chopped kalamata olives 
20 oz petite diced tomatoes (more or less—I didn’t use the entire big can)
Oregano—just pour some in. You’ll notice I don’t always do measurements. Most of these are approximate, and I apologize.
1  5-ounce can albacore tuna, packed in olive oil 
1/4 cup crab claw meat (make sure it’s cooked already, because I’m not going to mention that in the recipe)
Cook pasta until al dente.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, until slightly  toasted, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the capers and olives and fry 2 more  minutes. Crush the tomatoes in a bowl (I used a potato masher) and hold on to  the juices (don’t pour in all the excess juice yet). Cook until the tomatoes are slightly dry, about 2 minutes.  Add the extra tomato juice, the oregano, and salt to taste (probably 1/2 tbs? Not sure how much I added, I just poured a bit in. But better to be safe and just wait to add more to the individual plate) and cook  until the sauce thickens, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the tuna with its oil,  breaking it up with a fork, and season with salt. Add crab meat, breaking up with a fork as well.

Drain the pasta, reserving 1/2 cup cooking water, and return it to  the pot. Add the sauce and the reserved cooking water and toss. Season  with pepper, and add more salt to taste.
At first bite I wasn’t totally impressed. It was by no means bad but I could taste some of the flavors. However, a little salt goes a long way in bringing out flavor, and a little bit more on the plate really made it great! I’m adding more spices next time because I’m a big fan of spicy, but overall it was a good, healthy meal.

Linguine with Tuna & Crab Puttanesca

"Linguine Puttanesca" means "whore-like linguine" in Italian. There is some debate as to why exactly this dish got that name, but one of the explanations is its hot, frisky flavor. (Ha!)


Anyway, this dish does have a little bit of a kick, although I think next time I make it I’ll up that kick even more. But it was a healthy dinner with some good flavor, and my family seemed to enjoy it enough to go back for seconds and thirds, and we don’t eat enormous quantities of food.

So! Here’s the recipe: I’ll go ahead and say that the crab meat is optional. I added it in, but it’s not super cheap, and I don’t think you’ll be missing out on a ton if you only go with the tuna. Normally I’m all about fresh seafood only, but the canned tuna tasted just fine in the sauce.

Okay, recipe now. Promise!

  • Salt & Pepper
  • 12 ounces linguine (I prefer to use whole wheat pasta or at laest the kind that includes a serving of vegetables. Just a bit more nutritious.)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, diced—using roasted garlic from the jar adds a little more flavor too.
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (Adding more next time!)
  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained
  • 1/3 cup roughly chopped kalamata olives
  • 20 oz petite diced tomatoes (more or less—I didn’t use the entire big can)
  • Oregano—just pour some in. You’ll notice I don’t always do measurements. Most of these are approximate, and I apologize.
  • 1 5-ounce can albacore tuna, packed in olive oil
  • 1/4 cup crab claw meat (make sure it’s cooked already, because I’m not going to mention that in the recipe)

Cook pasta until al dente.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, until slightly toasted, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the capers and olives and fry 2 more minutes. Crush the tomatoes in a bowl (I used a potato masher) and hold on to the juices (don’t pour in all the excess juice yet). Cook until the tomatoes are slightly dry, about 2 minutes. Add the extra tomato juice, the oregano, and salt to taste (probably 1/2 tbs? Not sure how much I added, I just poured a bit in. But better to be safe and just wait to add more to the individual plate) and cook until the sauce thickens, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the tuna with its oil, breaking it up with a fork, and season with salt. Add crab meat, breaking up with a fork as well.

Drain the pasta, reserving 1/2 cup cooking water, and return it to the pot. Add the sauce and the reserved cooking water and toss. Season with pepper, and add more salt to taste.

At first bite I wasn’t totally impressed. It was by no means bad but I could taste some of the flavors. However, a little salt goes a long way in bringing out flavor, and a little bit more on the plate really made it great! I’m adding more spices next time because I’m a big fan of spicy, but overall it was a good, healthy meal.

Chicken and Black Bean Green Enchilada Rice Bake
I made this for dinner last night and it was super delicious. I adapted the recipe a bit from Picky Palate
Ingredients:
2 cups white long grain rice
2 cups cooked, shredded chicken breast (I cooked mine on the stove in olive oil)
One 15-ounce can mild green enchilada sauce
One 2.5 oz. can diced jalapenos
One 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup sour cream  (fat free)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon Ground Cumin
3/4 cups chopped green peppers
One 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups shredded cheese (cheddar or a Mexican blend)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and spray a 9×13-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
2. Cook rice according to package directions.
3. Place chicken, enchilada sauce, jalapenos, tomatoes, sour cream,  salt, pepper, green peppers, and cumin into a large bowl, mixing to combine. Pour cooked  rice into prepared baking dish and layer beans on top of rice. Pour  chicken mixture over rice and top evenly with cheddar cheese. Bake for about  30 minutes, until cheese is melted and rice is hot. (You can really just tell by looking at the top—if the cheese is thoroughly melted you’ll be good to go).
Of course, if there’s something in here you don’t like, you can leave it out or substitute something else. And feel free to add new things too! I added a few the recipe didn’t include.

Chicken and Black Bean Green Enchilada Rice Bake

I made this for dinner last night and it was super delicious. I adapted the recipe a bit from Picky Palate

Ingredients:

2 cups white long grain rice

2 cups cooked, shredded chicken breast (I cooked mine on the stove in olive oil)

One 15-ounce can mild green enchilada sauce

One 2.5 oz. can diced jalapenos

One 15-ounce can diced tomatoes

1/2 cup sour cream  (fat free)

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon Ground Cumin

3/4 cups chopped green peppers

One 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed

2 cups shredded cheese (cheddar or a Mexican blend)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and spray a 9×13-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.

2. Cook rice according to package directions.

3. Place chicken, enchilada sauce, jalapenos, tomatoes, sour cream, salt, pepper, green peppers, and cumin into a large bowl, mixing to combine. Pour cooked rice into prepared baking dish and layer beans on top of rice. Pour chicken mixture over rice and top evenly with cheddar cheese. Bake for about 30 minutes, until cheese is melted and rice is hot. (You can really just tell by looking at the top—if the cheese is thoroughly melted you’ll be good to go).

Of course, if there’s something in here you don’t like, you can leave it out or substitute something else. And feel free to add new things too! I added a few the recipe didn’t include.

MAPLE MOUSSE SERVED IN AN EDIBLE CONTAINER

The April 2011 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Evelyne of the blog Cheap Ethnic Eatz.  Evelyne chose to challenge everyone to make a maple mousse in an edible  container. Prizes are being awarded to the most creative edible  container and filling, so vote on your favorite from April 27th to May  27th at http://thedaringkitchen.com! 
I’m not actually planning on entering the contest. In fact, if I’m being honest, I really hated this recipe. It’s definitely not something I ever would have made myself (although I know that’s sort of the point, except my reasoning was that it didn’t look appetizing not that it was challenging).
Anyway, I did make it though. My dad thought it was good. He ate the whole thing! I took a bite…not too impressed to be honest. But uh, I have to post it anyway, so if you’re interested—here it is! Also the edible container I chose was bacon, which was the one listed in the recipe. So those directions and pictures are the ones that are given by the host.

Bacon Cups:
Ingredients:  •	24 thin slices good quality bacon
Directions: 1.	Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees F/200 degrees C. 2.	Take a muffin pan or 6 small ½ cup capacity heat-proof bowls, turn  upside down and carefully form aluminum foil covers on the back of 6  muffin cups or the bowls. 3.	Taking 2 strips of bacon at a time crisscross the strips over the  backs of the muffin cups and cut to size a tad longer then the bottom  part of the cup. Now use 1 to 2 more strips to cover the sides of the  muffin cups in a weaving fashion. You want a full tight weave because  bacon shrinks a lot. For smaller cups I used a shot glass with a square  of bacon for the bottom and I wrapped 1 strip around the side. 4.	Tuck the ends of the bacon strips inside otherwise they will curl  while cooking. A good idea is to insert 4 toothpicks where the  crisscrossed bacon meets in the weave. 5.	Place muffin pan in a cookie tray to catch drippings. Bake in oven  for about 25 to 40 minutes, or until the bacon is golden and crisp but  not burned. 6.	Cool completely, a good hour, before removing your cups delicately from the foil.

Maple Mousse:
Ingredients: •	1 cup (240 ml/ 8 fluid oz.) pure maple syrup (not maple-flavoured syrup) •	4 large egg yolks •	1 package (7g/1 tbsp.) unflavoured gelatine •	1 1/2 cups (360 ml. g/12 fluid oz) whipping cream (35% fat content—that’s regular whipping cream)
Directions: 1.	Bring maple syrup to a boil then remove from heat. 2.	In a large bowl, whisk egg yolks and pour a little bit of the maple  syrup in while whisking (this is to temper your egg yolks so they don’t  curdle). 3.	Add warmed egg yolks to hot maple syrup until well mixed. 4.	Measure 1/4 cup of whipping cream in a bowl and sprinkle it with the  gelatine. Let it rest for 5 minutes. Place the bowl in a microwave for  45 seconds (microwave for 10 seconds at a time and check it in between)  or place the bowl in a pan of barely simmering water, stir to ensure the  gelatine has completely dissolved. 5.	Whisk the gelatine/whipping cream mixture into the maple syrup mixture and set aside. 6.	Whisk occasionally for approximately an hour or until the mixture has the consistency of an unbeaten raw egg white. 7.	Whip the remaining cream. Stir 1/4 of the whipped cream into the  maple syrup mixture. Fold in the remaining cream and refrigerate for at  least an hour. 8.	Remove from the fridge and divide equally among your edible containers.
Vegan Maple Mousse:
Ingredients: •	1 package (12 oz.) soft silken tofu •	¾ cup (14 fluid oz.) pure maple syrup •	2 tsp agar-agar
Directions: 1.	Let tofu come to room temperature. Using a food processor, blender, or hand mixer, blend tofu until just smooth. 2.	Sprinkle agar-agar on the maple syrup and let it rest for 10 minutes.  Heat maple syrup on the stove to a boil and then let it simmer 5  minutes until the agar-agar has dissolved. 3.	In a food processor, blender, or a large bowl, blend the tofu with the maple syrup until creamy. 4.	Refrigerate for at least one hour. Remove from the fridge and divide among your edible containers.
Meringue (optional):
Ingredients: •	3 large egg whites at room temperature •	¾ cup (165 g./5.5 oz) sugar
Directions: 1.	Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F/150 degrees C. 2.	Put the egg whites in a large bowl. Using an electric mixer beat for a  few minutes until the whites become stiff. Now add the sugar, a little  at a time, whisking until the mixture is stiff and glossy. You should be  able to turn the bowl upside down and the mixture won’t fall out. 3.	Place baking parchment on to a clean baking sheet. Using a spoon or a  piping bag, dollop the meringue into circles that fit inside the rim of  your edible cups. (See mine, I wanted height but they fell a  bit…which is OK…freeform art) 4.	Put the tray in the oven, then immediately turn the oven down to 250 degrees F/130 degrees C. and bake for 45 minutes. 5.	Turn off the oven and allow the meringues to cool in the oven for a few hours. 6.	Place meringues as decoration on your maple mousse which has already be spooned into your edible containers.

MAPLE MOUSSE SERVED IN AN EDIBLE CONTAINER

The April 2011 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Evelyne of the blog Cheap Ethnic Eatz. Evelyne chose to challenge everyone to make a maple mousse in an edible container. Prizes are being awarded to the most creative edible container and filling, so vote on your favorite from April 27th to May 27th at http://thedaringkitchen.com!


I’m not actually planning on entering the contest. In fact, if I’m being honest, I really hated this recipe. It’s definitely not something I ever would have made myself (although I know that’s sort of the point, except my reasoning was that it didn’t look appetizing not that it was challenging).

Anyway, I did make it though. My dad thought it was good. He ate the whole thing! I took a bite…not too impressed to be honest. But uh, I have to post it anyway, so if you’re interested—here it is! Also the edible container I chose was bacon, which was the one listed in the recipe. So those directions and pictures are the ones that are given by the host.

Bacon Cups:

Ingredients:
• 24 thin slices good quality bacon

Directions:
1. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees F/200 degrees C.
2. Take a muffin pan or 6 small ½ cup capacity heat-proof bowls, turn upside down and carefully form aluminum foil covers on the back of 6 muffin cups or the bowls.
3. Taking 2 strips of bacon at a time crisscross the strips over the backs of the muffin cups and cut to size a tad longer then the bottom part of the cup. Now use 1 to 2 more strips to cover the sides of the muffin cups in a weaving fashion. You want a full tight weave because bacon shrinks a lot. For smaller cups I used a shot glass with a square of bacon for the bottom and I wrapped 1 strip around the side.
4. Tuck the ends of the bacon strips inside otherwise they will curl while cooking. A good idea is to insert 4 toothpicks where the crisscrossed bacon meets in the weave.
5. Place muffin pan in a cookie tray to catch drippings. Bake in oven for about 25 to 40 minutes, or until the bacon is golden and crisp but not burned.
6. Cool completely, a good hour, before removing your cups delicately from the foil.

Maple Mousse:

Ingredients:
• 1 cup (240 ml/ 8 fluid oz.) pure maple syrup (not maple-flavoured syrup)
• 4 large egg yolks
• 1 package (7g/1 tbsp.) unflavoured gelatine
• 1 1/2 cups (360 ml. g/12 fluid oz) whipping cream (35% fat content—that’s regular whipping cream)

Directions:
1. Bring maple syrup to a boil then remove from heat.
2. In a large bowl, whisk egg yolks and pour a little bit of the maple syrup in while whisking (this is to temper your egg yolks so they don’t curdle).
3. Add warmed egg yolks to hot maple syrup until well mixed.
4. Measure 1/4 cup of whipping cream in a bowl and sprinkle it with the gelatine. Let it rest for 5 minutes. Place the bowl in a microwave for 45 seconds (microwave for 10 seconds at a time and check it in between) or place the bowl in a pan of barely simmering water, stir to ensure the gelatine has completely dissolved.
5. Whisk the gelatine/whipping cream mixture into the maple syrup mixture and set aside.
6. Whisk occasionally for approximately an hour or until the mixture has the consistency of an unbeaten raw egg white.
7. Whip the remaining cream. Stir 1/4 of the whipped cream into the maple syrup mixture. Fold in the remaining cream and refrigerate for at least an hour.
8. Remove from the fridge and divide equally among your edible containers.

Vegan Maple Mousse:

Ingredients:
• 1 package (12 oz.) soft silken tofu
• ¾ cup (14 fluid oz.) pure maple syrup
• 2 tsp agar-agar

Directions:
1. Let tofu come to room temperature. Using a food processor, blender, or hand mixer, blend tofu until just smooth.
2. Sprinkle agar-agar on the maple syrup and let it rest for 10 minutes. Heat maple syrup on the stove to a boil and then let it simmer 5 minutes until the agar-agar has dissolved.
3. In a food processor, blender, or a large bowl, blend the tofu with the maple syrup until creamy.
4. Refrigerate for at least one hour. Remove from the fridge and divide among your edible containers.

Meringue (optional):

Ingredients:
• 3 large egg whites at room temperature
• ¾ cup (165 g./5.5 oz) sugar

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F/150 degrees C.
2. Put the egg whites in a large bowl. Using an electric mixer beat for a few minutes until the whites become stiff. Now add the sugar, a little at a time, whisking until the mixture is stiff and glossy. You should be able to turn the bowl upside down and the mixture won’t fall out.
3. Place baking parchment on to a clean baking sheet. Using a spoon or a piping bag, dollop the meringue into circles that fit inside the rim of your edible cups. (See mine, I wanted height but they fell a bit…which is OK…freeform art)
4. Put the tray in the oven, then immediately turn the oven down to 250 degrees F/130 degrees C. and bake for 45 minutes.
5. Turn off the oven and allow the meringues to cool in the oven for a few hours.
6. Place meringues as decoration on your maple mousse which has already be spooned into your edible containers.

Whole Wheat Cheese Bread
Bread is my favorite food. Hands down. I love it.
That being said, I just need to hug myself for this. This is delicious, amazing, wonderful, incredible, fantastic, awe-inspiring bread.
Yum, yum, yum, yum, yum. I am seriously in love.
Okay enough gushing. Seriously….I apologize.
It takes a long time, but it’s well worth it.
Recipe (thank you for your help Two Hippos)
1 pkg active dry yeast (or 2 1/4 tsp yeast)1 cup lukewarm milk [I use skim]2 tbsp butter1 c. whole wheat flour2 c. white flour2 tsp salt1 c. (or more!) grated sharp cheddar1. Combine yeast and milk. Stir and let sit for about 15 minutes.2. Melt butter. Let cool, and add to yeast mixture.3. Mix flour and salt in large bowl. Make a well in the middle.4. Pour yeast mixture into well.5.  With a wooden spoon, stir until you have a rough dough (you can add a  few drops of water if the dough seems dry — it will depend on the  weather).6. Transfer to a floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic.7. Return to bowl, cover with a damp towel, and leave to rise in a warm place until it doubles in size (about 2-3 hours).8. Punch down the dough. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough into a large oval.9. Spread cheese on the oval.10. Roll the dough up into a jelly roll/loaf and place in a greased loaf pan. [You can use water to “seal” the roll.]11. Cover with a damp towel and let rise in a warm place until the dough rises above the rim of the pan (~ 1-2 hours).12. Preheat the oven to 400. Bake for 15 minutes at 400. Lower the temperature to 375, and bake for about 25 minutes more.

13. Eat it all before anyone realizes what magnificent baked goods you’ve produced.

Whole Wheat Cheese Bread

Bread is my favorite food. Hands down. I love it.

That being said, I just need to hug myself for this. This is delicious, amazing, wonderful, incredible, fantastic, awe-inspiring bread.

Yum, yum, yum, yum, yum. I am seriously in love.

Okay enough gushing. Seriously….I apologize.

It takes a long time, but it’s well worth it.

Recipe (thank you for your help Two Hippos)

1 pkg active dry yeast (or 2 1/4 tsp yeast)
1 cup lukewarm milk [I use skim]
2 tbsp butter
1 c. whole wheat flour
2 c. white flour
2 tsp salt
1 c. (or more!) grated sharp cheddar

1. Combine yeast and milk. Stir and let sit for about 15 minutes.
2. Melt butter. Let cool, and add to yeast mixture.
3. Mix flour and salt in large bowl. Make a well in the middle.
4. Pour yeast mixture into well.
5. With a wooden spoon, stir until you have a rough dough (you can add a few drops of water if the dough seems dry — it will depend on the weather).
6. Transfer to a floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic.
7. Return to bowl, cover with a damp towel, and leave to rise in a warm place until it doubles in size (about 2-3 hours).
8. Punch down the dough. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough into a large oval.
9. Spread cheese on the oval.
10. Roll the dough up into a jelly roll/loaf and place in a greased loaf pan. [You can use water to “seal” the roll.]
11. Cover with a damp towel and let rise in a warm place until the dough rises above the rim of the pan (~ 1-2 hours).
12. Preheat the oven to 400. Bake for 15 minutes at 400. Lower the temperature to 375, and bake for about 25 minutes more.

13. Eat it all before anyone realizes what magnificent baked goods you’ve produced.