Friday, May 22, 2015

Date Night In's Rainbow Chip Cake

Isn't my baby Jonah's silly smile so fun :)?  When I was a kid, my mom used to make me rainbow chip cakes for my birthday, always out of the box, and I loved them.  I haven't seen the cake and frosting since I was a kid, but I found this recipe in my Date Night In cookbook from Ashley Rodriguez, and decided I had to make it.  I knew Aaron wouldn't want this for one of our dates, but we made it for fun and we all enjoyed it.  We gave this a 9, and I thought the rainbow chips were really cool.  Each serving, for 1/16 of the cake, was 700 calories, but this was a smaller slice than that.  My only complaint about this was the cake didn't hold together all the well, I'm not sure why.  Anyway, here's what to do:

Rainbow Chips
11 oz bag of white chocolate chips
1 T canola oil
food coloring

Cake
1 c whole milk, at room temperature, divided
5 egg whites
2 t vanilla
1/4 c cornstarch
2 3/4 c flour
1 T plus 1 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1 3/4 c sugar
3/4 c unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 c homemade rainbow chips

Frosting
24 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 c unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 c powdered sugar
1/8 t salt
1 t vanilla
1 c homemade rainbow chips

1/2 c strawberry jam (we didn't use the entire amount)

Melt the white chocolate with the oil, stirring every 20 seconds or so, until the mixture is smooth.  Divide the chocolate into four bowls, color them to desired color, and then spread them on a parchment lined baking sheet into a rough, thin rectangle.  Freeze for about 10 minutes, or until set.  Chop each color into little pieces.

Preheat the oven to 350.  Butter two 8 inch cake pans and line the bottom with parchment paper.  Butter the parchment.
Whisk to combine 1/4 c milk with the egg white and vanilla.
Beat the cornstarch, flour, baking powder, salt and sugar and mix on low speed for 30 seconds.  Add the butter and the remaining 3/4 c milk.  Mix on low until combined, then increase the speed to medium and beat for 1 minute.
Scrape down the sides of the bowl, mix again to combine, and add one third of the egg white mixture and mix until just incorporated.  Add half the remaining mixture, beat well, then add the rest, beating until everything is combined.  Fold in the rainbow chips.  Divide the batter equally between the two pans.  Bake 35-40 minutes.  Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then remove them from the pan to cool completely.

Beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth.  Add the sugar, salt and vanilla, and mix until combined.  Beat for four minutes more.  Add the rainbow chips and mix until combined.  Layer the cake, frosting, some strawberry jam, then top with the cake and more frosting.  Serve.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Michael Symon's Shrimp and Chorizo

So this was one of Aaron's favorite meals ever :), and like all Michael Symon's 5 in 5 recipes, this was easy and delicious. Aaron gave this a perfect 10, Noah gave it a 9, and Owen and I gave it an 8, I thought it was a tiny bit too orangey. For five servings, each serving was 284 calories, and the spicy sausage with the shrimp was so great. Here's what to do:

1 lb shrimp, shelled and deveined
1/2 lb chorizo
4 T chopped fresh oregano leaves
1 t cumin
14.5 oz diced tomatoes
salt and pepper
Grated zest and juice of 2 oranges

Cook the chorizo until browned, add the shrimp, then cook for one minute. Add in the tomatoes, oregano, cumin, and orange juice and zest. Season to taste and serve.

We had this with rice pilaf, and it was a great meal.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Carne Asada Cheese Tacos

So I found this recipe a long time ago on foodnetwork.com, and we just got around to trying it recently, and I wish I had tried it a lot sooner!  These tacos were amazing, not so much the carne asada, but the actual shells.  They are made out of cheese!  Yes, lots of exclamation points :), but I got really excited about these things.  Here's where you can find the recipe from Marcela Valladolid, and for each taco, the calories were 366, with 10 tacos made.  I'll be making these tacos again, just cooking the cheese, adding the ingredients inside, then flipping the cheese over makes a great taco, and I love it.  These were a perfect 10 from us, and so delicious.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Date Night In's Burger Buns

This recipe is from a cookbook called Date Night In, and it is such a beautiful cookbook.  The pictures are fabulous, and the stories and ideas presented are fabulous, as are the recipe.  Aaron and I had our first "date night in" a few weeks ago, and I wanted to feature these burger buns because they turned out so well.  I have tried making buns before, and they were a flop, but these were great, and we had them again after freezing them and they were still delicious.  We gave the buns a 9, and each bun was 175 calories.  Here's what to do:

1 c warm water
3 T whole milk
2 t active dry yeast
2 T honey
1 egg
3 1/4 c bread flour
1 t salt
2 T unsalted butter, at room temperature

Egg wash
1 whole egg
1 egg yolk
1 t water

Start this dough the day before you plan to use it.  In a mixing bowl, whisk together the water, milk, yeast, honey and egg.  With the dough hook attached, add the flour and salt all at once and mix for five minutes on medium low.  Add the butter and mix for another 2 minutes.  Seal the bowl tightly and place in the refrigerator.
When ready to make the buns, remove dough from the refrigerator and divide it into 12 equal portions.  Roll each portion of dough into a ball by covering the dough with one hand and gently rotating that hand in a circular motion.  Use your fingertips to tuck the dough under itself.  Place the rolled buns on a parchment-lined sheet tray.  Spray the buns with non-stick cooking spray, cover the tray loosely with plastic wrap, and allow the dough to rise about 1 1/2-2 hours.  Preheat the oven to 400.  Whisk together the egg, yolk, and water.  Once the buns have doubled in size, carefully remove the plastic and brush the buns with the wash.  Bake for 15-20 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking time.  The buns should feel hollow when tapped.  Cool, then use or freeze tightly wrapped for later use.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Michael Symon's Pasta with Corn and Feta and Tomatoes

This was the most amazing dinner.  We all gave this a perfect 10, and we couldn't believe how amazing it was.  I found this recipe in Michael Symon's 5 in 5 cookbook, our family's favorite, and this recipe just spoke to us.  The feta with the corn and tomatoes, what an amazing combination.  I made some Italian seasoned ground beef for Aaron to put on his, which is why he also gave it a perfect 10 :).  Anyway, for 8 servings, the calories were 290, and here's what to do:

12 oz pasta
2 T olive oil
salt
3 ears sweet corn, kernels cut from the cob
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 t red pepper flakes (can use more)
3 T fresh oregano leaves
2 c cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
2 T olive oil
1 c crumbled Feta cheese

Cook the pasta in very well salted water.  Reserve 1 c of the pasta water, then drain and set the pasta aside.
Heat the olive oil and corn in a large skillet until the kernels start to brown, then add in the garlic and oregano and salt.  Cook about 1 minute.  Stir in the red pepper flakes and the reserved pasta water and cook for another minute.
Add the pasta to the pan, stirring the noodles into the sauce.  Remove from the heat and stir in the tomatoes, olive oil and feta.  Serve immediately.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Michael Symon's Orange Chicken with Snow Peas

This was really tasty, we all gave this a 9, the chicken was super delicious.  This was from Michael Symon's 5 in 5 cookbook, and my biggest complaint was that it took waaay longer than 5 minutes, because cutting up my peas took a while :).  Unlike my complaint about the oatmeal I featured recently, this was not too orangey.  We really liked it.  Each serving was 343, and here's what I did:

1/4 c flour
salt and pepper
4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, chopped into bite size pieces
2 T olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 T sesame seeds
grated zest and juice of 2 oranges
1/4 t crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 lb snow peas, thinly sliced
2 T unsalted butter

Season the flour with salt and pepper in a bowl, and season the chicken on all sides with salt and pepper.  Dredge the chicken in the seasoned flour, shaking off any excess.
Heat the oil in a large pan, and cook the chicken, stirring occasionally, until well browned.  Add the garlic and sesame seeds, and some salt, and cook for about 30 seconds.
Add 1/2 c water to deglaze the pan, then simmer until the liquid has reduced by half.  Add the orange zest and juice and red pepper flakes, then cook for another minute.  Add the peas, cover the pot, and cook until slightly tender, about one more minute.
Add the butter to the pan, taste and adjust the seasoning, then serve.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Picky Palate's Cinnamon White Chocolate Chip Cookies

Here is where you can find this delicious recipe.
While these were a little on the sweet side for me, the boys were nutso about them.  Owen says they are his favorite cookie of all time, and Noah gave them a perfect 10 as well.  I gave them a 9.  For each cookie, the calories were 204, and that was for 20 cookies.  These are amazingly good, so try them out!