Monday, October 20, 2014

Parmesan Roasted Butternut Squash

I diced one butternut squash and tossed it with olive oil, salt, pepper, and olive oil. I spread it out on a baking sheet and cooked in in a 375 degree oven for 30 minutes, tossing halfway through at 15 minutes. 


Yum!


Monday, July 14, 2014

Chicken & Gnocchi with Basil Pesto

Friends, this is a quick dinner -- like 15 minutes top! I cooked, we ate, and I cleaned within an hour.


Ingredients for the basil pesto:
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves, packed
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan
  • 1/4 cup Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/8 cup Pine Nuts
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
I added all the pesto ingredients into my bullet (you can use a food processor, or blender) and let it rip!



Look how green!



Preparing the chicken & gnocchi:


I cut one chicken breast into bite size pieces, about as big as the gnocchi and browned the chicken in some olive oil. I used a large stainless steel skillet because the gnocchi and pesto are going to join the party in a little bit.


I added the gnocchi to some salted boiling water and cooked it for 2-3 minutes.


Chicken is all browned!


I added the gnocchi to the skillet and lightly browned them. At this point, the heat is on low.


I poured the pesto over the chicken and gnocchi and gave it a toss!


Beautiful! Ready for plating :)


I garnished each serving with chopped parsley and more Parmesan -- so good!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Fourth of July Jell-o Cups

Red, White, and Blue!


For the Fourth of July, I wanted to bring a dessert - and what says Independence better than Jell-o?!

To make the blue layer:

I used 2 - 6 oz. berry blue Jell-o boxes and a container of blueberries. It yielded about 28 Jell-o cups. I followed the directions on the box (add 4 cups of boiling water to the Jell-o powder and once dissolved, add 4 cups of cold water).


Using a baster, I filled the clear party cups about a third of the way up.



I wanted to create a tipsy look to the cups, so I added a make-up applicator wedge to the bottom of a cupcake pan. Below, you can see the wedge in one empty cupcake holder, what it looks like when the cup is resting on the wedge, and what it looks like without a wedge. Looking back, I would have just made hem all normal without using the cupcake pan -- but it was fun to try something new!


Halfway there!


Once filled, I threw a couple blueberries in each cup and let them set in the fridge for about 3 hours. 

To make the white layer:

I added 4 cans of sweetened condensed milk in a large bowl.


I added 4 cups of boiling water and stirred until the milk and water were incorporated well.


Looks perfect! Now to make it into Jell-o...


... you need 8 packets of unflavored gelatin and 2 cups of cold water.


I added the water to a bowl and sprinkled the gelatin powder on top. Let it sit for a couple minutes.


After a couple of minutes, I added 2 cups of boiling water and mixed the gelatin until dissolved.


Both mixtures are ready!


I poured the gelatin mix into the milk mix and stirred to combine.


I set the bowl aside and let it cool to room temperature. I stirred it about every 10 minutes,


Using the baster, I added it on top of the blue layer.


I sprinkled some coconut on top of each white layer and then put the cups back into the fridge.


You can kinda see the topsy-turvy look I was going for.


The white layer gelatized (not a word, but you know what I mean) very quickly so I got started on the red layer after about an hour.

To make the red layer:

I used 2 - 6 oz. boxes of strawberry Jell-o and a container of strawberries.



Just like the blue layer, I added 4 cups of boiling water to the powder, and after dissolved, added 4 cups of cold water.


Once the red mix was at room temperature, I grabbed the cups and got them ready to fill!


I thinly sliced the strawberries and had Will help me put some in each cup.


Messy, but fun!! They looked so yummy!


Ready to go back into the fridge!


All ready to party! You can serve them with cool whip and sliced strawberries and blueberries.






Monday, April 21, 2014

Chocolate Cupcakes with Fluffy Peanut Butter Frosting

I bought Reese's Pieces Eggs and felt inspired to create a dessert to showcase them! So What goes better with peanut butter than chocolate?! I used a box mix to make the cupcakes, but I made the frosting from scratch.


Ingredients for the frosting:
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 3 tbsp milk, or as needed
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
Preparation:
  • Cream butter and peanut butter
  • Gradually add the powdered sugar
  • Add milk as needed until the frosting is thick and spreadable



I dipped the tops of the cupcakes in chocolate sprinkles and then nestled in the Reese's Pieces Eggs. They were so yummy :) 



Saturday, April 19, 2014

Carrot Cake Cupcakes w/ Cream Cheese Frosting & Toasted Coconut

I may or may not (totally am!) eating one of these cupcakes as I write this. I made them for a Good Friday dinner party and they turned out great!


Ingredients for the batter:
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/3 cups vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 11/2 tsp salt
  • 3 cups grated carrots
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts

Preparation:
  • Beat sugar, oil, and vanilla in a bowl
  • In another bowl, sift together flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt
  • Add 1/2 the dry ingredients to the wet mix
  • To the other 1/2 of the dry ingredients, add the carrots and walnuts and mix them together. This way, the carrots and walnuts will incorporate well into the batter.
  • Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes


Ingredients for the frosting:
  • 2 (8 oz) packages of cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
Preparation:
  • Cream together the cream cheese and butter
  • Mix in the vanilla
  • Gradually mix in the powdered sugar


I toasted sweetened coconut in the oven and broke it up into small pieces. I topped the cupcake with the frosting and then turned it upside down in the coconut. 

I make sure to store them in the fridge until they were ready to serve :)



Saturday, March 29, 2014

Red Velvet Oreo Brownies

I'm just going to jump right into how to make these decadent desserts because I don't feel like I need to give you guys an explanation of why I made them... (red velvet, chocolate, more chocolate) But here's how!


Ingredients:
  • 1 box of Red Velvet cake mix
  • 1 stick of butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ~18 double stuf Oreos, broken up
  • 1 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/4 cup Hershey's dark chocolate fudge
  • 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
To make the brownie batter, I mixed the box of red velvet, butter, vanilla, and egg.



I pressed it down into a 9x13 pan. You could either grease the pan or use parchment paper like I did.


Then, I broke up the Oreo cookies and evenly layered them on the red velvet brownie mix.


To make the fudge layer, I mixed the sweetened condensed milk and fudge.


I slowly drizzled it over the Oreo cookies.


The final touch is a light sprinkling of chocolate chips! Because there wasn't enough chocolate before ;)


After chillin' in a 350 degree oven for 35 minutes, they were perfect! I let them cool in the pan and after about an hour, I just lifted the brownies out using the sides of the parchment paper. 

After they were completely cool, I cut them in about 2 in squares. I didn't get an after shot of the cut brownies, but believe me -- they were amazing!