Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Chicken and Mushroom Wanna be

This recipe was inspired by one of my favorite blogs: The Pioneer Woman! She makes amazing and delicious looking food! I was searching through her blog the other day and got some inspiration and here is what I came up with! Here is her blog address if you want to look her up!


1 bone in chicken cut into pieces
½ onion rough chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
12 mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
2/3 cup of white wine
2 cups heavy cream
½ box of noodles (anything you have on hand)
2 tsp. dried rosemary
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper

Now before I begin telling you the how-to….I must confess that when I made this tonight.. it did not turn out like I had hoped! You see when you’re in Italy, everything is in Italian! Seems like a simple concept till you go to the store and want to buy heavy cream but buy regular milk instead :( If you use milk, it will not work the same! Trust me I KNOW! Ha! So buy the heavy cream! Back to the how to:

How to:
Start with putting your chicken in a pot and covering with water. Turn the heat up high and cook till done. Also, preheat your oven to 375*F and butter a casserole dish-set aside.

While that’s cooking, chop up your onion, garlic, and mushrooms. Then in another pan, put about 2 Tbs. of oil and your onion and garlic in. Use about medium heat because you want your onions to get nice and light brown.

After browning, remove onion, add some more oil and add your mushrooms in. You can turn up the heat alittle here cuz you want your mushrooms to get nice and brown too!
*Don’t you just love multitasking?! *

Okay, at this point you should have brown onions, garlic, and mushrooms. Put these on a plate and set aside.
Now remove your chicken from the water. DON’T THROW OUT THE WATER!! Use this water to cook your noodles while you shred your chicken. **Once again multitasking!* Nothing special about shredding, just make it into bite size pieces.

Now to bring it all together! While your noodles are finishing cooking, using the same pan as you did for your onion and mushrooms, put it back onto high heat. Now pour your wine in. This is going to make a lot of noise and alittle smoke but don’t worry it will settle on its own.
Add in everything but the noodles at this point, so onion, mushrooms, heavy cream, chicken, rosemary, salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a simmer.

Once at a simmer, add your cooked noodles and toss to coat everything. Pour everything in your casserole dish and top with Parmesan cheese! Cook for about 25 minutes or till cheese is melted and slightly brown. ** Remember that my dish is not exactly like the recipe so your picture will look more like mac and cheese consistency than soup!* But if it looks like soup, it is still yummy, I promise! ha**

I like alittle extra pepper with mine and it is a simple garnish!

Serve with more cheese, a side salad or some crusty bread!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Food Update!!

Food Update!
Well lately I’ve been eating some yummy stuff. First was in my Traditions of Italian Food class. We made chicken with dill and almond. AMAZING! It was delicious and I’m definitely bringing it back to ya’ll.

Our next dish was sweet and sour eggplant. Not quite as good but still yummy. You can substitute anything for the eggplant: zucchini or squash whatever you like! The whole play on this dish is sweet and sour tones. These come from vinegar and sugar added. I really liked this dish and will bring it home to ya’ll as well!

When I was in Siena, we went into this cute pastry shop.

Beautiful creations right?! Now look at these?!!

Yep these are the yummy things I made in my dessert class, in an actual store…BUT I have made these!! So cool!! Haha

Also in Siena, was this random brown hut thing in the middle of Plazza de Campo. Turns out this place, fries little balls of tapioca, then tops them with more sugar! OMG, these are amazing! Worth the 6 euros just to get to Siena. They were incredible!

Last update: to my excitement, my piping skills are getting better!! Now please don’t judge to hard cuz they are by far not perfect but I think with alittle more practice I’ll be writing Happy Birthday on cake before you know it! Hahaha!!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Feeling Chilly?! Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup!

This recipe came from 2 different inspirations! 1- Wedensday in my cooking class we didn't cook so I was craving alittle culinary pleasure. And 2 I keep hearing about all this snow going on in Texas so i figure ya'll could use alittle warming up! So here we go, chicken noodle soup from water to soup! It's amazing and will last you days!!

1 whole chicken cut up into pieces (you can get this at the store. Just look for a chicken into 8 pieces)
3 stalks of celery
2 carrots
1 medium size onion
1 bay leaf
1 stalk of rosemary
3 whole peppercorns
1 chicken or veggie boulon cube
pasta of your choosing

How To:
Take a large pot, put all ingredients (except noodles) and cover with water. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and let cook for 2 hours. *You can totally leave this going and go to class or run some errands, just make sure the heat isn’t too high and you’re golden.
After 2 hours, strain broth into another pot and cut up all the veggies into bit size pieces and shred chicken. Remove peppercorns and bay leaf-throw away Then put all back into broth and bring back to a simmer. If you are serving this all in one night, then when the water is to a boil, add pasta and cook till the noodles are done. Then serve with fresh parsley!
**If you are only serving a few people and will have left overs, cook pasta in another pot and serve individually with the soup. This will keep your noodles from getting really soggy!
I was in the spirit of styling so here are my attempts to make soup look beautiful! First 2 are just with a bunch of parsley and the 2nd two are with finely chopped parsley.

This was really delicious and great for a cold day! Feel free to add anything else in like green beans, peas, corn, or broccoli! You can even make croutons!

Homemade Croutons

1 loaf of stale bread
2 Tbs. Italian seasoning
3 Tbs. olive oil

How To:
Pre heat your oven to 400* F. Cut bread into small cubes. Toss with olive oil then toss with Italian seasoning. Spread out evenly on a cookie sheet and toast cubes till golden brown. **Keep an eye on these they could toast fast! Giving them a good shake to rotate every minute or so helps** After nicely toasted, serve on top of your yummy soup or just eat them plain like I do!
**Sorry there is no picture for these. I have made these before but did not make them for this soup..

Amy, Briana and I are thinking about chicken parmesan soon!! Get excited!!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Beginning of Italian Cooking...

Well so please don’t think ill of me for not posting any of my yummy foods yet. Lately when eating comes around its like stuff my face so good, so no pics! Ha! But I have cooked alittle bit here and there. This task is also difficult because my kitchen is alittle inadequate to cook and my fridge is about the size of an American freezer so you get the point.
How ever, this is my latest dish!

Sautéed Chicken with Fresh Green Beans in a White Wine Reduction
Olive Oil
Italian seasoning
Chicken breast (one per person)
Fresh Green Beans (about a handful per person)
Salt, pepper, and a dash of red pepper flake (more if you like it hotter)
4 Tbs. White Wine (whatever you have on hand, nothing fancy)
Toasted Bread

How to:
Put about a 2Tbs. of olive oil in a pan and heat it to about a medium heat. Once heated, season your chicken with salt and pepper and alittle Italian seasoning. Cook till golden brown and no pink left in the middle. This will be about 4-5 minutes per side depending on thickness.

While that is cooking, if your green beans have stems, remove those and set aside. In another pan, heat about 2Tbs. of olive oil and a dash of red pepper flakes. Once heated, put in your green beans. Cook till done but if you like alittle crunch in your veggies then just keep testing them till they are to your liking!

After you chicken is done, remove from pan and set aside. Take your pan off the burner, and add the wine. Immediately put the pan back on the heat and bring to boil. Using a wooden spoon, scrape anything that has stuck to the bottom( it’s the good stuff, trust me). Once, your wine has reduced( less than when you started) remove and pour over your finished green beans.
Serve chicken and green beans with toasted bread to soak up any sauce that might remain. Sounds fancy but totally do able!

Tomorrow I start my Italian cooking class and then Thursday I will have my Dessert Styling class!! EKKK so excited and I will post pictures and recipes, ASAP!

Peace, Love and Cooking ☺

Monday, January 17, 2011

World Traveler...El Salvador to Italy

Well to say the least, my poor blog has been neglected. After my last post, I worked 8 week of Pine Cove, went on a cruise, fall semester at Tech, turned 21, drank wine (In moderation), went to El Salvador, and now in the process of packing for Italy!!!

A picture of me in El Salvador!!

My life has been running a hundred million miles an hour but it's been amazing but now I am ready to sprint full steam ahead into cooking and baking! In 10 days my study abroad Italy orientation will be under way and my eyes will be popping out of my head in excitement!!! As I bake and eat my way through Italy, I will blog all about my culinary adventures, here at this site! I will also be blogging about various adventures, travel and whats going on in school at my other blog called! I'll post Facebook statuses when I've updated!
Ready or not Italy here I come!!

Peace, Love and Baking :)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Strawberry Lime Pie

So sorry it has been awhile since I've posted anything. ALOT has happened in the past few weeks. Spring classes, finals and school have all come and gone. I've moved back to Tyler for the summer and in 3 days I'll start my summer job at Pine Cove.
Pine Cove is a christian summer camp for camper from 2nd-12th grades. I'll be working with 2nd-5th graders for 5 weeks, encouraging their walks with the Lord, playing in the sun, and having a blast! Because of camp, this will be my last blog for a while, but I promise I'll be back after July 4th! Now on to baking!!

Strawberry Lime Pie:
This is a recipe I created while having way too much free time on my hands and after watching a Foodnetwork episode of amazing pies!

1 bag of frozen strawberries
2 limes zested and one juiced (can use extra zest for garnish)
1 cup sugar
1 carton of fresh strawberries, cut in half
3 tablesspoons of cornstarch
3/4 cup water
1 frozen pie shell, pre-bake according to package
2 cups heavy cream
3 tablespoons of powdered sugar

In your cooled pre-baked crust layer your fresh strawberries in a single layer. Then in a medium saucepan, combine first 3 ingredients and bring to a boil, stirring often. While strawberries are boiling, mix the water and cornstarch together and add to the strawberry mixture. Remove from heat and stir till thick.

Pour into your pie shell, decorate top with extra fresh strawberries (if desired) and chill overnight or at least 5 hours.

If you wish to garnish your pie: in a mixer whip heavy cream till it starts to thicken, while continuing to mix add the powdered sugar and whip till stiff peaks. Serve on the side or pipe pretty like this!

This recipe was so easy and super yummy! Good pantry staple for the summer and will also keep well in the frig so make more than one! Have a wonderful May and June of summer!!

Peace, Love and Baking <3

Monday, April 12, 2010

Surprise Party!!!

This past weekend my mom turned the big 50! Unknowingly to her, my dad and I have been planning a surprise party for her since spring break. Which is so hard to do when your mom knows everything and your living 8 hrs away. But dad and I pulled it off with the help of Susan and Kristi. I flew in the day of the party and went straight to work on my appetizers and dessert. Within a few hours, food was done, decorations were up and everyone arrived. And mom got surprised!

and here is another catch... mom didn't know I was there so here is her reaction to that!

So here is what I made: Stuffed Mushrooms and Gourmet Deviled Eggs

and for dessert.. Banana Pudding ( half eaten too, HA)

Recipe for Stuffed Mushrooms:
12 whole fresh mushrooms
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Clean mushrooms with a damp paper towel. Carefully break off stems and discard.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and saute till golden brown, taking care not to burn garlic. Set aside to cool.
When garlic is no longer hot, in a standing mixer or a large bowl with a hand-mixer, add cream cheese, Parmesan cheese, black pepper, onion powder and cayenne pepper. Whip untill combined. Mixture should be very thick. Using a little spoon, fill each mushroom cap with a generous amount of stuffing. Arrange the mushroom caps on prepared cookie sheet.
Bake for 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the mushrooms are piping hot and liquid starts to form under caps.

Recipe for Gourmet Deviled Eggs
12 eggs, hard boiled and shelled
1/2 cup mayonnaise
4 slices bacon
4 tablespoons finely shredded Cheddar cheese
2 tablespoon djion mustard

Place eggs in a saucepan, and cover with cold water. Bring water to a boil and immediately remove from heat. Cover, and let eggs stand in hot water for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from hot water, and cool. To cool more quickly, rinse eggs under cold running water.
Meanwhile, place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium-high heat until evenly brown. Alternatively you can: wrap bacon in paper towels and cook in the microwave for about 1 minute per slice. Crumble and set aside.
Peel the hard-cooked eggs, and cut in half lengthwise. Remove yolks to a small bowl. Mash egg yolks with mayonnaise,cheese and djion mustard. Fill egg white halves with the yolk mixture and refrigerate until serving. I like to use a large star tip to make them look really pretty. Garnish with crumbled bacon and parsely for some green.

Recipe for Banana Pudding:
1 5oz. package of instant vanilla pudding mix
2 1/2 cups of whole milk
1 can of Eagle brand milk
1 box of vanilla wafers
3-5 bananas thinly sliced.
16 oz. container of cool whip

In a large bowl combine pudding mix, both milks. After combining, fold in cool whip till no lumps and set aside. Then in a 9X13 pan, line the bottom with vanilla wafers then top the wafers with banana slices. Pour about half of your pudding mixture on of the bananas and wafers. Add another layer of wafers and bananas and pour the rest of your pudding. Top the whole thing off with the rest of your whipped topping and crushed up wafers. This is soo good and so quick its fool-proof!

Overall, the night was a success, I was exhausted and mom was surprised. I love surprise parties!

peace, love and baking :)