Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Memorial Day Jello-shots!

I hope everyone had a happy and safe Memorial Day weekend! Most importantly, I hope that all the service men and women overseas were safe and able to have some time off this holiday weekend. Come home soon!

I must admit, I'm not a jello-shot virgin anymore! I made three batches this weekend, so I think I'm a veteran at making them already. They are very easy to make, the only hard part is waiting till they set! There are tons of websites with jello-shot recipes, but I used a basic 1 to 1 recipe. Meaning 1 cup boiling water to 1 cup alcohol of your choice along with a 3oz box of you favorite jello flavor. I made Orange Creamcicle Jello-shots with Vanilla Vodka and you guessed it, orange jello. Those were my favorite although they were a little strong for my taste. I think I'm more of a 1½ cup water to ½ cup alcohol girl! I would definitely suggest that if you don't like strong alcohol tasting drinks, I would reduce the amount of any alcohol in a jello-shot recipe by ½ a cup.
Below are some links to inspire! The flavor combinations are endless, not to mention tasty! Enjoy and drink with moderation! Don't forget to have a designated driver if you indulge in too many of these!



Friday, May 16, 2008

Goat Cheese, Sun-dried Tomato, & Pesto Stuffed Chicken

I love sun-dried tomatoes and I love goat cheese! This recipe marries two of my all time faves along with a little pesto to give it some extra UMPH!

The recipe could not be any easier, especially for a weeknight quick prep meal. I don't have exact measurements, but it's okay. . .you can get away without measuring in this recipe.

  • Chicken breast (thawed and pounded thin to your liking)
  • Goat Cheese (you can also make it ½goat cheese/½cream cheese)
  • Sun-dried tomatoes (mine are soaked in Olive oil, I squeezed out the excess oil)
  • Pesto
  • Non-stick cooking spray
  • Toothpicks

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a food processor, mix/chop the sun-dried tomatoes, pesto and goat cheese. Spray your baking dish with non-stick cooking spray, smear a good amount (of your liking) of the goat cheese mix onto your thinly pounded chicken breast. Roll the chicken breast, starting at the smallest side and secure with tooth picks. Place your chicken rolls in your baking dish and bake for 30-40 minutes. After 30 minutes, keep an eye on them for doneness. You could also make a simple béchamel sauce and add some sun-dried tomatoes to it, to accompany the chicken.

I didn't make the béchamel sauce when I made it, since we try to be good during the week. I would make it for a dinner party though, to give it that extra creamy goodness!

Now, I feel like making this tonight for dinner! :)

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Cooking again @ the Biltmore Hotel, Coconut & Crab Rice

I've been busy, and it's been a little over a month, but I had to blog about our interactive cooking class last month. The chef this time around was Chef Jesse Souza from Baleen on Grove Isle. The menu was tropical and delicious.

Champange Nicolas Feuillatte

Arugula & Endive Salad, Poched Pears, St. Andre Triple Créme,
Toasted Pistachios, Maple Vinagrette

Cane Sugar Blacked Tuna,
Crab & Coconut Rice, Green Papaya Salad,
Avocado Wasabi Sauce

Banana Chocolate Tart,
Caramel Sauce
(Made by the Biltmore's Executive Pastry Chef Oliver Rodriguez)

Here's the Recipe for the rice, it was to die for! My husband and I made it for a family dinner we were having the next day! We made it without the crab, it was still as delicious and complimented our meal perfectly!

Crab & Coconut Rice
By: Chef Jesse Souza, Baleen, Grove Isle
Serves 8

6 cups cooked Jasmine Rice
2-3 cups light chicken stock
1 cup coconut milk
1 cup Coco Lopez (found in some supermarkets or @ your local liquor store)
1 cup lump crab meat
½ cup scallions

Combine all of the ingredients and heat thoroughly. The liquid will cook up and the rice will almost resemble a "risotto". Cover and keep warm till ready to serve.

** This whips up pretty quick, since the rice is already cooked. I made mine earlier in the day and just combined everything about 20/30 minutes before we were going to eat and it was perfect!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

SUPER EASY Chocolate Covered Strawberries

These are so easy to make( I cannot stress that enough) and they look like a million bucks! I used to make chocolate covered strawberries the old fashion way, by melting the chocolate, adding a little oil to it to make sure it was the right consistency, then dipping the strawberries and waiting for them to set for what seemed like FOREVER! Not anymore though! Thanks to my friend Vanessa, it's as easy as 1, 2, 3!

Vanessa's lifesaving tip? Dolci Frutta's microwaveable dipping chocolate! Whoever invented the stuff is a god! You melt the chocolate in it's own container in about a minute or two, then dip your previously cleaned and dried strawberries, and then set them on wax/parchment paper. By the time you go to set down the next strawberry, the one you dipped before it, is already hard! It's like "Magic Shell" for fruits, cookies, pretzels, or what ever your little heart desires to dip in there!
You can find Dolic Frutta in the produce department of most supermarkets, usually in the strawberry section. Just remember the name DOLCI FRUTTA and don't be fooled by other brands. . . they don't harden immediately and that is one of its main allures! Not to mention, that it tastes great, major bonus points there too!

So go dip some strawberries for your family and friends, or dip them just for you!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Happy Cinco de Mayo! Arriba! Arriba!

In honor of Cinco de Mayo, I'm getting on the ball and posting my Margarita Cupcakes! I've been slacking the last couple of week, but no worries, I have a ton of recipes to blog about, so stay tuned!

I adapted this recipe from 2 recipes I found online. Margarita recipe 1, from Wilton and Margarita recipe 2 from Confections of a Foodie Bride.

I mixed the batter according to Margarita recipe 2 and made the frosting like Margarita recipe 1.

I did tweak the frosting a bit, so here's my version, using some of the left over Margarita, Tequila, & Grand Marnier mix from the batter.

Key Lime Cream Cheese Icing

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoon lime juice

1 tablespoon of the left over Margarita, Tequila, & Grand Marnier mix from the batter.
½ teaspoon lime zest
4-5 cups confectioners' sugar

In large bowl, cream butter, cream cheese, juice and zest with electric mixer until light and fluffy.
Add 4 cups confectioners' sugar, one cup at a time; continue beating until light and fluffy.
If icing is too thin add additional confectioners' sugar 1 tablespoon at a time. Yield: Makes about 3 cups icing.

The Margarita Cupcakes were a hit and a sweet finale to our friends Monica and Rodney's fabulous "Cinco de Mayo Taco Night"! Until next year! Hijole!!!!!!!