fried sweet potato wontons with spicy cranberry dipping sauce

>> Saturday, November 26, 2011

feeling overwhelmed with all your thanksgiving leftovers today? not quite sure what to do with it all?

i'm over at patch today with a solution. in just a few short steps you can have a game-time appetizer using two turkey-day staples: sweet potato casserole and cranberry sauce.

check it out at


happy thanksgiving

>> Wednesday, November 23, 2011

my favorite holiday is a little different this year. i'm currently in the bahamas with the nanny family soaking up some sunshine and chasing little ones around the crazy pools.

needless to say i won't be cooking tomorrow so unfortunately i don't have any recipes to post.

however, on saturday i'll be posting a "what to do with thanksgiving leftovers" column over on check back then to see what fun ideas i came up with.

until then - eat lots of turkey, drink too much wine and play a round of dominoes for me.


ginger soba noodles

>> Wednesday, November 16, 2011

i'm tired. my eyes are trying to close. i had a long, long day that included getting peed on by a 6 month old (and we're not talking about just a drop...we're talking full stream). i'm exhausted but i can't go to bed until i write this post. i'm that excited about this recipe. 

i made this for dinner tonight for the nanny family. i took one bite and knew i was in trouble...i couldn't stop! the secret is in the ginger dressing. all the ingredients perfectly blended together to create this tangy but sweet sauce to coat the sticky soba noodles. after some coercing we even got the kiddies to eat it. you can serve it as a main course or a side dish.

the recipe comes from heidi swanson at 101 cookbooks. i had to tweak it a little tiny bit based on what i had at the house. here we go!

8 oz dried soba noodles
1 tablespoon freshly grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
zest and juice of 1/2 a lemon
1/2 cup chopped white onion
1 teaspoon mirin (optional)
2 teaspoons honey
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
3 tablespoons brown rice vinegar
1 celery stalk, strings removed, then chopped
1/3 cup vegetable oil
a few big handfuls of cubed tofu, pan-fried or baked until golden
1/3 cup toasted pumpkin seeds, plus a little more
1/4 cup green onion, chopped

cook the soba noodles according to package directions in well salted water. drain, rinse under cold water, and shake off as much of the water as possible.

meanwhile, make the dressing by combining the ginger, toasted sesame oil, lemon zest and juice, onion, mirin, honey, salt, vinegar, celery, and oil in a food processor. blend until very smooth, then press aggressively through a strainer. 

in a large bowl, toss the soba noodles with the tofu, most of the pumpkin seeds, and the dressing. garnish with green onions and remaining pumpkin seeds.

side note: the kiddies asked for some "soy" on theirs...meaning soy sauce. you can add a little of that on top or even some brown rice vinegar.


buffalo chicken grilled cheese

>> Tuesday, November 15, 2011

last week i made my version of the perfect lunch. in my opinion, lunch is the best meal of the day. it includes my two favorite foods groups: chips and bread. throw a diet coke in there (maybe a piece of dark chocolate) and i'm happier than a happy meal.

this sandwich is a spicy, creamy, crunchy, gooey, indulgent mess all in one bite. i promise it's worth it.

check it out at


maple dijon roasted winter vegetables

>> Thursday, November 10, 2011

so simple. so delicious. and so perfect for the winter season.

this recipe comes from gwyneth paltrow's cookbook. i love it because your palate gets a little bit of everything - sweet, spicy and salty. plus it's such a great side dish for any of your winter staples - roast chicken, panko crusted pork chops or herbs de provence steak.

3 tablespoons maple syrup
3 tablespoons dijon mustard
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 3-inch sticks about 1/2 inch thick
4 parsnips, peeled and cut into 3-inch sticks about 1/2 inch thick
4 carrots, peeled and cut into 3-inch sticks about 1/2 inch thick


preheat oven to 425 degrees.

mix together the syrup, mustard, oil, salt, and pepper. toss together with vegetables on a large baking sheet. roast, stirring occasionally, until browned and cooked through, about 25 minutes.


sausage, spinach, and provolone pizza

>> Monday, November 7, 2011

friday nights at the nanny house are our italian nights - i either make the kiddies pizza or pasta.

one friday i had to make dinner for the nanny parents also so i whipped up this more grown up version for them. i used provolone cheese instead of mozzarella, giving the pizza a stronger and more pronounced flavor. provolone is a little bit nutty and melts beautifully. this is so so good and takes no time to pull together. i promise.

1 pound pizza dough, thawed if frozen
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 links hot italian turkey sausage, casings removed
1 small bunch spinach, thick stems removed (about 3 cups)
kosher salt and black pepper
1/3 pound thinly sliced provolone
1 cup marinara sauce
red pepper flakes

preheat oven to 425 degrees.

roll out pizza dough on floured surface into any shape you want. transfer to baking sheet, brush with olive oil and cook for 15 minutes.

meanwhile, heat skillet with remaining tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat. brown sausage and cook, breaking it up with a spoon, until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. add the spinach to skillet and season with salt and pepper.  cook until spinach has wilted, about 1 minute.

take dough out of oven and top with marinara sauce, cheese, and the sausage/spinach mixture. sprinkle with red pepper flakes and bake until crust is crisp and the cheese has melted, 12 to 15 minutes.


baked pumpkin oatmeal

>> Sunday, October 30, 2011

i posted this breakfast treat on clarendon patch over the weekend. it is seriously the best way to start your fall morning with a cup of joe. check it out at

ps. i'm making recipes from gwyneth paltrow's cookbook this week. hopefully i can post the results on here!

pps. i learned out to filet a whole fish today in class. removed the eyes and everything. wow.


cookies and cream cupcakes

>> Wednesday, October 26, 2011

i never thought i was a baker. i literally used to have meltdowns when baking. that was until i started my new life as a nanny and baker has become my new job title. every time one of nanny dad's co-workers has a birthday i send in 30 cupcakes for his team. this has become a little routine of ours and i've grown to love it. i get to be creative and make whatever i feel like.

last week i made these cookies and cream cupcakes. nanny dad says they were the best cupcakes i've ever made. i'm gonna go ahead and agree with him. the super moist cake and paired with such wonderfully decadent icing is so delicious that you can't help but eat a second.

this recipe makes exactly 30 cupcakes when you fill liners 3/4 full of batter.


via my baking addiction

1 (18.25 oz.) package devil's food cake mix
1 (5.9 oz.) package instant chocolate pudding mix - if you can't find this size just use 1.5 boxes of the 3.9 oz size
1 cup sour cream
1 cup vegetable oil
4 large eggs
1/2 cup warm water
2 cups miniature semisweet chocolate chips

cookies and cream buttercream frosting

2 sticks of unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup shortening, at room temperature
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 lbs. powdered sugar
4-6 tablespoons very cold milk
8 crushed oreo cookies (cream filling removed before crushing)
30 mini oreo cookies

preheat oven to 350 degrees. line cupcake pans with paper baking cups.

in a large bowl, mix together the cake and pudding mixes. mix in sour cream, oil, beaten eggs, and water until just combined. stir in the chocolate chips and pour batter into prepared cupcake pans.

bake for 20-24 minutes, until tops spring back when touched and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

for the frosting:
cream the butter and shortening in the bowl of an electric or stand mixer. add the vanilla extract and combine well. begin adding in the sugar and mixing thoroughly after each addition. after all of the sugar has been added and mixed thoroughly, begin adding the very cold milk, one tablespoon at a time, combining very well after each addition (mixer on medium-high to high speed) until you reach the desired consistency. fold in the oreo cookie crumbs. top cooled cupcakes with the buttercream frosting and garnish with a mini oreo.


vegan roasted vegetable and black bean burrito

>> Wednesday, October 19, 2011

last week's patch column was all about eating vegan. my editor asked me to create a vegan recipe for his fiancée that they both could enjoy even though he's the traditional meat-eating guy.

it was a fun project and a little out of my comfort zone (at first i had no idea what a vegan actually was). check it out to see what i came up with over at

on a side note - i started culinary school this week. it's been amazingly crazy and wonderfully overwhelming. i'm loving every minute of it so far and can't wait to share more updates with you guys.


pesto crusted lamb chops

>> Thursday, October 13, 2011

the last post i wrote was about my new found love for arugula pesto.

this week i'm going to show what to do with the leftover pesto to make a fancy schmancy friday night supper. serve with a simple salad and potatoes au gratin to make it elegant enough for dinner guests or delicious enough for kids aged 2 to 6 to gobble up. just trust me on this one...i'm talking from my own experiences :)

here we go.

1/4 cup arugula pesto
2 racks of lamb, cut into individual chops (ask the butcher to do this for you)
olive oil
slat and pepper

preheat oven to 400 degrees.

heat olive oil in large frying pan over high heat. liberally season chops with salt and pepper. sear 2 minutes per side and place on baking sheet. brush with pesto and roast to desired doneness, about 10 minutes for medium-rare.

brush with more pesto before serving. enjoy!


israeli couscous and tomato salad with arugula pesto

>> Tuesday, October 4, 2011

i have made basil pesto many many times. i had never made arugula pesto though.

so i decided to give it a whirl for the nanny family after finding the recipe in an issue of food and wine magazine.

it was simple and quite delicious. the arugula has a peppery kick and is high in vitamin a & c. and you can put this stuff on just about anything - pasta, shrimp, fish, chicken, beef, veggies. i suggest you give it a whirl sometime too.

6 cups packed arugula (6 ounces), plus whole leaves for garnish
2 cups israeli couscous (12 ounces)
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1/4 cup pine nuts
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 cup freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 pints red cherry tomatoes, halved
4 yellow or orange tomatoes, cut into 1-inch dice

bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. add the 6 cups of arugula and blanch for 10 seconds. with a slotted spoon, transfer the arugula to a colander. rinse under cold water to stop the cooking, then drain.

add the couscous to the boiling water and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until al dente, about 10 minutes. drain the couscous and spread it out on a large baking sheet. drizzle lightly with olive oil and toss to prevent clumping. let the couscous cool to room temperature.

in a small skillet, toast the pine nuts over moderate heat, tossing, until golden brown, about 2 minutes. let cool.

squeeze the excess water from the arugula and coarsely chop it. transfer the arugula to a food processor. add the pine nuts, garlic, cheese and the 1/2 cup of olive oil and process until the pine nuts are finely chopped. season the pesto with salt and pepper.

transfer the couscous to a large serving bowl and stir in the pesto. gently fold in the tomatoes. garnish with the arugula leaves and serve.


diy tv dinners: muffin meatloaf with mashed cauliflower and edamame succotash

here is last week's patch column. i re-invented the traditional tv dinner and turned it into a healthier way to enjoy america's iconic "fast food".

take a look over here:


24 "carrot" cupcakes in jar

>> Thursday, September 29, 2011

one of my friends from college, kat, asked me to make some cupcakes for a bridal shower she was hosting in nyc. she loved the rainbow cakes in a jar i made but needed something more bridey (is that even a word? let's just go with it).

so i searched the internet and found martha stewart's genius idea for 24 "carrot" cupcakes. i followed her directions exactly except for a few things:

  • i didn't make the cake from scratch (sorry kat, this gal was busy)
  • i baked the cupcakes in muffin tins, cut them into thirds and layered the cake into mason jars with the icing (this blog gives exact directions)
i was really surprised at how great these turned out. i had never worked with fondant before and my first experience with the stuff wasn't bad at all. everything was much easier than i had thought. take a look...

special thanks to my sister for making these adorable little tags


autumn family affair: pecan crusted tilapia with dijon cream sauce

>> Wednesday, September 28, 2011

i'm a bad blogger. i forgot to post my patch article last week. whoops. this new city live has been busier than i thought.

anywho - last week's theme was all about cooking for my grandma. my cousin and i threw together an impromptu dinner party for her last weekend. check it out the recipes and even a pic of the famous grandma herself!


carrot cake pops with caramel drizzle

>> Thursday, September 22, 2011

wow. i thought this day would never come. after last halloween's minor cake pop meltdown i swore these guys off. it wasn't until i had about 2 pounds of cooked carrot cake left over from making cupcakes for a friend (will post later) that i knew the day had come for attempt number two. i have to say - this time around was a lot easier. my aunt taught me the trick to melting white chocolate is to add butter. apparently white chocolate has less fat content than regular chocolate so it burns easier and faster. all you have to do is add a little fat and melting the stuff becomes almost fool-proof.

1 package of carrot cake boxed mix, made according to package directions and cooled
1 can cream cheese icing
12 oz white chocolate (use the best quality you can find)
lollipop sticks (found at Michael's, JoAnn's, or other craft stores) 2 tablespoons butter
caramel sauce

crumble cooked cake into a bowl. mash with fork into tiny pieces. add frosting and mix together until its fully incorporated into cake.

 prepare two large baking sheets by covering with wax paper or parchment. take little cake mixture and roll it into ball. place on baking sheet and insert lollipop stick one into the end of each ball, pointing upward. repeat until you've used up all the mixture. place baking sheet in freezer for at least 2 hours.

once cake pops have hardened in the freezer, melt white chocolate and butter in a double boiler on the stove (or microwave). stir well. dip each ball into the chocolate until covered. place back on baking sheet, drizzle with caramel sauce and let harden. don't refrigerate these; it will cause the coating to weep or melt. you can either put back in freezer or let them sit on counter. enjoy!


orange creamsicle cupcakes

>> Monday, September 19, 2011

 yous welcome.

that is the best and only thing to say about these cupcakes. they're delicious, a little bit white trash (like my language) and just so stinking cute.

i only call them white trash because you make them by mixing a box of vanilla cake mix with a bottle of orange soda. seriously anyone can make these. now go do it.

go here for the recipe from dashing dish.


grocery gourmet: chicken gyros with tzatziki and marinated feta tomatoes

>> Thursday, September 15, 2011

here's my newest clarendon patch article - this is one of my favorite go-to recipes using grocery store staples like rotisserie chicken.  check it out at let me know what you think!


herbed shrimp and white bean salad

>> Monday, September 12, 2011

healthy. fresh. and satisfying.

most times salads can leave you with a feeling on wanting more (maybe that's just me?), but this recipe is quite the opposite. the protein-packed white beans and shrimp fill you up and make you feel full longer. i love all the different components to this meal - especially the fresh herbs. they really help bring new flavors to an ordinary bland salad. don't let the long ingredient list fool you - this couldn't be easier to pull together on a week night.

source: cooking light

1 roasted red bell pepper
4 cups arugula, loosely packed
1/2 cup thinly vertically sliced red onion
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans or other white beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
1 pound peeled and deveined large shrimp
2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted

combine bell pepper, arguar, red onion, chives, basil, parsely and beans in large bowl. in a separate bowl mix lemon rind and juice, garlic, oil, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.

heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. coat pan with cooking spray. season shrimp with salt and pepper. cook 2 minutes on each side or until done. add shrimp, lemon mixture, and nuts to arugula mixture; toss.

serve immediately.  goat cheese would be a great addition to this as well.


grilled corn with parmesan

>> Friday, September 2, 2011

these mini corn on the cobs are a great appetizer (or side dish) for an end of the summer cookout. get your hands on some fresh corn before the season is over. the sweetness from corn pairs perfectly with the spicy chili powder and salty parmesan.

assembling these cutie pies couldn’t be easier – just set up your “dredging” stations and it will go quickly. serving them on a stick keeps your hands clean and free of a greasy mess.  i mean, who doesn’t like food on a stick?

4 ears of corn, cut into thirds
¾ cup – 1 cup light sour cream
¾ cup – 1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese (use the real stuff, not the bottled kind)
chili powder

cook ears of corn in boiling pot of water for 5 minutes. drain and place popsicle or kabob stick into each mini ear of corn.

set up two bowls – one for sour cream (with basting brush) and one for freshly grated parmesan cheese. working quickly, slather each ear of corn with about 1 tablespoon light sour cream. sprinkle with 1 tablespoon cheese and garnish with a dusting of chili powder. repeat 11 more times. serve immediately.


frozen bananas with peanut butter and dark chocolate toffee bits

>> Wednesday, August 31, 2011

ummmm this might be one of the best things i’ve ever made. seriously. and you shouldn’t feel too bad about eating them. i mean you’re getting potassium from the banana, protein from the peanut butter and a little indulgence from the dark chocolate toffee bits. we all deserve a little treat every once in a while….right? that’s what i told myself and the two friends i served these to.

2 bananas, cut in half
½ cup peanut butter
¼ cup dark chocolate toffee candies, broken into tiny pieces (you can get these guys at trader joe’s. if you can’t find them, substitute with your favorite candy bar)
4 popsicle sticks (i used chopsticks because it’s all i had)

heat peanut butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. place each banana half on your stick of choice. once peanut butter has melted dip banana into pot, coating ¾ of the banana. garnish with chocolate bits and place on foil-lined (wax paper works too) cookie sheet. repeat with 3 other bananas and place in freezer. freeze for at least 2 hours before serving.


pulled bbq chicken wraps with cheddar

>> Sunday, August 28, 2011

irene has come and gone. sis and i are finished hiding out in her apartment and we can finally get back to normal life. nannying, blogging, and dreaming of what recipes i'll make next are all back on the schedule. earlier this week i promised you a recipe using only the trader joe's ingredients i bought on my grocery trip. well it's not really a recipe as much as an easy dinner you can pull together in under 15 minutes. here we go.

the ingredients all lined up:
whole wheat tortillas, broccoli slaw, parmesan ranch dressing,
pulled bbq chicken (found in refridgerated section) and cheddar cheese

combine 1/2 cup broccoli slaw with 1/4 cup ranch dressing.
let sit for at least 15 minutes until slaw has softened.

cook bbq chicken in microwave according to package directions.
preheat broiler.
layer 4 slices of cheese on each tortilla.
broil until cheese has melted.
remove from oven and top with bbq chicken and ranch coleslaw.

close up shot.
slurp this down with your beer.
you can buy individual beers at trader joes. perfection.


a trader joes trip.

>> Tuesday, August 23, 2011

grocery shopping in nyc is crazy expensive. i talking double the price than in dc. thank god they have a trader joe's here. it's cheap, carries great varieties of produce and the people are pretty darn friendly. oh and they always have free samples.

i frequent trader joes quite often. it's my new saturday routine. get up, make some coffee, walk 1 mile to the store and hope to find a cab back so i don't have to carry the grocery bags + bottles of wine i've snagged up.

anywho - here's a few pictures i snapped of what i bought this week. i'll be posting a recipe using only ingredients from my shopping trip in the next few days.

produce section (my favorite aisle)
1. baby bok choy
2. broccoli slaw
3. white peaches - get yourself some before summer is over
4. baby carrots - perfect for snacking
5. cut up pineapple - time saver
6. snow peas - great for hummus
7. bananas - made a dessert with these
8. 1 ear of corn - i'm single
9. red bell pepper - great for stir-frys
10. lime & lemon - get some everytime i go shopping
11. butter lettuce - aaaaamazing
12. broccoli - quick weeknight side dish
13. baby potatoes - just rinse & roast - no need to dice up
freezer section
1. chimichurri salmon - goes from freezer to oven to table
2. steelcut oatmeal - quick way to start the morning on a healthy start
3. best brown rice. ever.
4. raspberry, lemon and strawberry fruit pops. yums.
refrigerator section
1. low-fat parmesan ranch dressing. close second to hidden valley ranch
2. egg whites - part of my sunday routine
3. low-fat brie - who knew??
4. one beer - again i'm single
5. pulled bbq chicken - ready in under 5 minutes
6. best turkey bacon i've ever had
7. cheddddddaaaa cheese
pantry staples
1. sparkling waters - lemon and raspberry lime
2. whole grain tortillas
3. general tso stir fry sauce - great for all those veggies i bought
4. whole wheat couscous - a must
5. whole wheat bread - surprisingly really soft and yummy
6. raspberry jam - obvi to go with the brie
7. dark chocolate covered peanut butter wafer cookies - impulse buy
8. individual fruit & nut snack mix - curbs the 4pm hunger calling
9. peanut butter - paired this with the banana for a dessert


roasted jalapeño-tomato salsa with fresh cilantro

>> Sunday, August 21, 2011

nothing beats fresh salsa. especially really good fresh salsa. especially when the recipe comes from rick bayless - the mexican cooking connoisseur. i knew it was going to be good before i even made it.

roasting the vegetables gives an authentic taste, making you feel like you're eating salsa from a mexican restaurant and not that bottled stuff. i made this for the nanny family a couple weekends ago and they gobbled it up.


1 1/2 pounds ripe tomatoes (about 10 medium), preferably plum tomatoes
2 to 3 fresh jalapeño chiles (1 to 1 1/2 ounces), stemmed
half of a small white onion (2 ounces), sliced into 1/4 inch thick rings
4 garlic cloves, peeled
1/4 cup water
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro, loosely packed
1 generous teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons cider vinegar


preheat broiler. place tomatoes and jalapeños on baking sheet. set pan about 4 inches below broiler and cook for about 6 minutes. (they should be darkly roasted). rotate tomatoes/jalapeños and cook for 6 more minutes on other side. (the tomato skins will split and curl in places) set aside to cool.

turn the oven down to 425 degrees. place onion rings and garlic on baking sheet and roast for about 15 minutes. onion should be browned and garlic should be soft and browned in spots. set aside to cool.

in a food processor, pulse the jalapeños, garlic and onion. spoon into big bowl. add tomatoes (including juices from roasting pan) to processor giving them a coarse chop. add to bowl.  stir in enough water to give salsa an easily spoonable consistency. add cilantro. taste and season with salt and vinegar.

serve with your favorite tortilla chips and guacamole.


mini turkey bacon and spinach quiches

>> Friday, August 19, 2011

this is part 1 of a new series i'm working on over at clarendon patch. it's all about learning how to eat healthy on the go. this week is breakfast. you can make them ahead of time, freeze them and pop them in the microwave before you leave in the morning.

check it out at


grilled blueberry bbq chicken

>> Wednesday, August 17, 2011

i found this recipe over at how sweet it is. if you've never checked out her blog, please do. she is hilarious, a great writer and even better cook. and all of her recipes look amazing.

anywho - i started to make this non-traditional bbq sauce when i realized i didn't have a few of the ingredients she called for. so i improvised a little bit. the end result was a tangy bbq sauce with a little bit of a sweet bite. it's fun, it's seasonal and its really versatile - you can serve it on just about anything - chicken,  seafood, pork, beef.


1 pound chicken cutlets
2/3 cup fresh blueberries
1/3 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
couple dashes of hot sauce
salt and pepper

in a small sauce pan heat blueberries over low heat. cook for about 10 minutes until berries begin to burst. mash with fork. add ketchup, both vinegars, brown sugar, onion powder, garlic powder, dijon mustard, and hot sauce. season with salt and pepper. turn heat up to medium and cook until sauce begins to bubble. turn heat back down to low and cook for 20 minutes, stirring every few minutes. sauce should be thick with visible blueberries chunks.

grill chicken however you normally do it. take off grill and slather bbq sauce on chicken with pastry brush. serve remaining bbq sauce on the side with your favorite vegetable.


curb the carbs: spaghetti squash salad

>> Monday, August 15, 2011

i'm a little behind schedule in posting this (i've been in rhode island and the hamptons for the past week). but here's my latest clarendon patch article from last week - an easy veggie side dish perfect for summer entertaining. recipe inspiration came from the one, the only, denise kessler.

check it out at:


rainbow cake in a jar

>> Tuesday, August 9, 2011

does life get any better? seriously.

1 - it's individual cakes baked in a jar, perfect for single use
2 - it's rainbow so you heart should be melting naturally
3 - they're so darn cute

i made these for my friend lynn's birthday last week.  i'm not going to lie - i had a mini meltdown when i took them out of the oven for the first time and they weren't cooked all the way through. i ended up popping them back in the oven 2 more times until they looked done. some of the gals ended up getting raw cake batter at the bottom but who doesn't love that? at least that's what i told myself to talk myself off the ledge.

they turned out to be a huge hit and the perfect birthday surprise for the perfect birthday girl.

i found the recipe over at babble - be sure to read through the editor's comments.  she talks about how to make sure you cook them correctly.

dyed cake batter all lined up.
ready to bake. 
view from the top.
birthday girl happy for cake. 
the moment you've been waiting for.


bbq chicken tenders with corn and lima bean succotash

>> Thursday, August 4, 2011

another meal for the kiddies.  nothing seems more like summer to me than barbecue sauce and some corn on the cob.  but I wanted to give this summertime favorite a little sprucing up. 

my nanny family (that’s my name for them) isn’t big on processed or premade foods so i decided to make my own barbecue sauce. 

it’s easier than you think.  really though – you combine 5 ingredients in a pot over low heat and let simmer for 10 minutes.  that’s it. 

1 cup ketchup
1/4 cup cider vinegar
2 tablespoons molasses
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon water
1 pound chicken breast tenders
4 ears of fresh corn
2 cups lima beans (frozen or fresh)
2 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons garlic powder
Salt and pepper


preheat oven to 350 degrees.

combine first 5 ingredients in small sauce pot.  season with salt and pepper. cook over low heat for 10 minutes.

season chicken tenders with olive oil, salt and pepper.  place on baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes, turning once. remove from oven and brush both sides with homemade barbecue sauce.  put back in the oven for 2 minutes.

bring large pot of water to a boil.  add corn and cook for about 7 minutes. remove from pot, let cool and cut off kernels with sharp knife. 

meanwhile, fill a medium sauce pot with 1 inch of water.  bring to a boil, add lima beans, cover with lid and reduce to simmer.  cook for about 5 minutes until tender.

in a large bowl combine corn kernels, lima beans, butter, garlic powder, salt and pepper. 

serve 3-4 chicken tenders per person with a heaping portion of succotash.


orange pineapple teriyaki salmon

>> Wednesday, July 27, 2011

as part of my new job as super nanny, i have taken on the role of house cook (i won’t call myself a chef until i have the degree).

i really lucked out with these kids – they will eat just about anything. as was making this last night the 4-year-old exclaimed “I LOVE SALMON!” i almost choked. when i was 4 i’m pretty sure i was throwing a hissy fit on my kitchen floor (probably half naked) screaming for more french fries. these kids are saints.

i got this recipe from cooking light. it’s so so easy to make that you probably have most of the ingredients in your cabinet already. serve it with some brown rice and lemon green beans.

2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon orange zest
6 oz pineapple juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 6oz salmon filets


combine first 5 ingredients in a small saucepan over high heat. bring to a boil. reduce heat, and simmer until reduced to 1/4 cup (about 15 minutes). set aside.

preheat oven to 400 degrees.

heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. season salmon with salt and pepper on both sides. add fish to hot pan and cook 3 minutes. turn fish over and place in oven. bake at 400° for 3 minutes. remove from oven and brush 1 tablespoon sauce over each fillet. return to oven, and cook 1 minute or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of doneness.


  © Blogger template Simple n' Sweet by 2009

Back to TOP