Friday, May 29, 2015

Bobby Flay's Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Aaron and I loved these, the boys, not so much :).  Noah didn't like the goat cheese, and Owen didn't like the tomato.  Aaron and I gave these a perfect 10 and Owen and Noah gave these a 7.  Bobby Flay called these grown up grilled cheese, and obviously he was right.  Aaron and I will eat these anytime, anywhere :).  They are easy to make, and filling with all the cheese and bacon.  Each sandwich was 557 calories, but that will differ based on the bread you use.  Here's what I did:

2 slices of bacon per sandwich, cooked
2 T margarine or butter per sandwich
2 slices bread per sandwich
2 slices sharp cheddar cheese per sandwich
1-2 oz goat cheese per sandwich, according to taste
2 slices green tomato per sandwich (if you want a juicier tomato, just go with a riper one :))

Spread the butter on one side of each slice of bread.  Toast it with the cheeses, tomato and bacon between.  Cook on both sides, then serve when the bread is toasty and the cheese is melted.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Michael Symon's Skirt Steak with Parsley Sauce

While Aaron doesn't enjoy the cheaper cuts of meat like skirt steak, especially because he doesn't like it cooked rare, he agreed that this was really delicious, even cooked to medium well.  This really was an easy, great tasting dinner, and the steak was super satisfying.  Aaron and Noah gave this an 8, and Owen and I gave this a 9.  The steak with the green sauce similar to chimichurri really hit the spot, and I like this take on it with parsley rather than basil.  Each serving, for six servings, was 625 calories if you used all the sauce, but we definitely didn't, so the calories are lower than that.  Here's what to do:

1 lb skirt steak
2 T olive oil
2 1/2 t balsamic vinegar
2 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
2 c fresh parley leaves
1 jalapeno, reeds and seed removed
1/2 c sliced almonds
3/4 c olive oil

Mix together the balsamic vinegar, garlic, parsley, jalapeno, almonds, and 3/4 c olive oil.  Add in 1/2 t salt.  Blend it in a blender or food processor, then set aside until ready to use.
Heat the broiler.  In an oven safe pan, heat the 2 T olive oil, season the steak well on both sides, and brown the meat on all sides.  Broil the steak to desired doneness, let it rest for a few minutes, then serve with the parsley sauce.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Michael Symon's Sloppy Mikes

This was a huge hit at our house, especially with Aaron, which always makes me happy.  This sloppy Mike from Michael Symon is a sloppy Joe using sausage rather than ground beef.  It makes for a nice change, and everyone really liked it, except Noah.  Noah gave it a 7, Owen and I gave it a 9, and Aaron gave it a perfect 10.  Each serving, without a bun, was 247.  I used the hamburger buns we used in our date night, and they were awesome after being frozen too, which is great.  Here's what to do:

12 oz Italian sausage
1 onion, minced
4 garlic cloves, minced
salt and pepper
28 oz canned tomatoes
3 T packed light brown sugar
1/2 c chopped fresh parsley leaves
Mozzarella cheese and Hamburger buns for serving

Brown the sausage, then add the garlic and onions.  Cook until the onions turn translucent, then add in the tomatoes and brown sugar, and season to taste.  Let cook a minute or two more, then serve.

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

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

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, 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
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!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Bobby Flay's Steel Cut Oatmeal with Cinnamon Cream

I love oatmeal for breakfast, and this was a great idea, and such a treat.  The boys gave this a perfect 10, and I gave it a 9, because I felt like there was a little too much orange flavor for me, but I really loved this, and the boys thought it was fun to see the sugar get hard and crunchy with my brulee torch :).  Each serving was 360 calories, for eight servings, but this was a little more than one serving.  We found this in Bobby Flay's Bar Americain cookbook, and here's what to do:

1 1/4 c steel cut oats
pinch of salt
1/2 c whole milk
2 t finely grated orange zest
1/4 c packed light brown sugar

2 T sugar
2 T maple syrup
1/8 t ground cinnamon
1/2 c raisins
2 T unsalted butter
2 T light brown sugar
pinch of salt
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and diced
4 T sugar
Cinnamon Cream (found in the cookbook)

Bring 5 1/2 c water to a boil over high heat.  Stir in the oats, salt, and zest and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to medium and continue cooking, stirring occasionally and adding more water if needed (I didn't nee more water), until the oats are tender, 30-40 minutes.  Stir in the milk and brown sugar and cook for 1 minute.
While the oatmeal is cooking, combine the granulated sugar, 3/4 c water, the maple syrup, and the cinnamon in a small saucepan and boil it over high heat.  Cook until the sugar is completely dissolved, about 1 minute.  Remove from the heat, stir in the raisins, and let sit at room temperature for at least 20 minutes.
Heat the butter, add the brown sugar and salt, and cook until melted.  Add the apples and raisin mixture and cook, stirring occasionally, until the apples are soft, about 15 minutes.
Place a little apple mixture in the bowl, then top with some oatmeal, then layer the apple mixture, then top with more oatmeal, then sprinkle some granulated sugar on top and torch with a brulee torch or broil until the sugar melts and crisps up.  Serve with some cinnamon cream or other creamy topping.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Michael Symon's Flank Steak with Bacon Corn Salad

Sorry about the late posting the last few times, I keep losing track of days :).  This was a delicious meal, and I loved the salad.  We actually had salad left over, and had it for leftovers the next day.  Each serving was 340 calories, for six servings, and Noah and I gave this a perfect 10, and Owen and Aaron gave it a 9.  Here's the easy recipe from Michael Symon:

Flank Steak (about 1 lb)
salt and pepper
4 T olive oil
1/2 lb bacon, diced
4 ear sweet corn, kernels cut from the cob
pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
2 T balsamic vinegar
2 c loosely packed arugula
1/2 onion, sliced thinly

Season the steak with salt and pepper.  In a pan, heat 3T oil, then cook the flank steak on both sides until cooked to desired doneness.  Cook the remaining bacon with 1 T olive oil until crispy.  Add the corn and cook until the corn starts to brown.  Add the red pepper flakes and 1/2 c water to deglaze the pan.  Stir in the vinegar.  Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding salt and pepper.  Cut the steak thinly against the grain.  Top with the bacon, corn, arugula, and onion.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Lizzy Early's Chocolate Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies

So my kids really liked these, but Aaron and I thought they were too sweet.  This is an easy recipe, these are out of the cake mix cookbook, but I didn't follow it exactly.  Each cookie was 474 calories, and the boys gave these a 9, and Aaron and I gave them a 7.  Here's what I did:

1 box chocolate cake mix
2 eggs
1/2 c butter, melted
3 T brown sugar
2 t vanilla
1 package peanut butter baking chips

Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter

Preheat oven to 350 and line cookie sheets with parchment paper.  Mix together the ingredients, then form into balls.  Bake for 8-12 minutes (mine went longer), then let cool.
Spread the peanut butter over one cookie, then make a sandwich with another cookie.  Serve.