Thursday, February 26, 2009

post draught

OMG is it just me or does anyone else have the winter blues?? I swear this winter feels like it has been going on for about 6 months now...i just want it to be over!! I want to grill again, and I want to be able to stay outside for more than 5 minutes!! I haven't been cooking anything exciting & new lately...just because we have been so busy lately, and not home after work for dinner. I made chicken chili again this past weekend, and yesterday we had baked potatoes & salad for dinner after the gym. I have been working out like a mad woman for my boudoir pictures next surprise to Chad for our 1st anniversary in May, although I will probably give in & give them to him for his 30th birthday next month!! I have also been planning my mom's 50th birthday celebration which is this saturday!! We are going to the spa in the morning...and then to dinner at night *wink*, *wink*. Along with my brother in law's birthday which is this sister & I are also going to a bridal makeup seminar at the MAC store in Chicago. We will be going there only for the night, and heading back on Monday. WOW, I am going to be exhausted next week!!

Well, I hope to get back to cooking after the madness ends...hope everyone has a great weekend ;)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

introducing...DEUX ADORE!!

most of you know and all ready have sister stephanie and i have been doing make-up & hair for many weddings and events the past year. well we finally started a blog & came up with a nice kitschy name to call our little side biz. we love what we do, and we are so excited to share with you our blog, and the fun girls we meet on the way...stay tuned as we have many events coming up this year!!
thanks to everyone's support & all of our many referrals ~ you girls are the BEST!!!

Monday, February 16, 2009

oatmeal, cranberry + white chocolate chip cookies

OMG these are my new FAV cookies!! I love oatmeal cookies, my dad has always made them for us growing up. They are my absolute favorite cookie in the world! My friend Jenni at work, brought me in one of these cookies she made...and I knew I had to make them. Yummmmmm ;) the oatmeal cookie recipe is from under the lid of the quaker oatmeal canister, and cranberries & white chocolate chips are substituted for the raisins.

makes 4 dozen cookies

~1/2 lb. (2 sticks) margarine or butter; softened
~1 c. firmly packed brown sugar
~1/2 c. granulated sugar
~2 eggs
~1 tsp. vanilla
~1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
~1 tsp. baking soda
~1 tsp. cinnamon
~1/2 tsp. salt; optional (I omitted)
~3 c. quaker oats (quick or old fashioned, uncooked)
~1 c. white chocolate chips
~1/2 c. craisins (ocean spray dried cranberries)

pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

beat together the sugars & margarine until creamy. add eggs & vanilla; beat well. combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon & salt (if desired) in a seperate bowl; mix well. add flour mixture; mix well. stir in oats; mix well. stir in craisins & white chocolate chips; mix well.

drop by rounded tablespoons onto ungreased cookie sheet. bake 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. cool 1 minute on cookie sheet; remove to wire rack. enjoy, these are the best right out of the oven!! ;)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

cajun salmon fillet + white butter sauce

OMG, chad absolutely loved this recipe!! it is the first time i cooked samon this way...we usually bake it with squeezed lemon, red onion & pepper. i found this recipe on chef de cuisine. i also cooked the rice with beef broth instead of using all water...this made the rice tastier & the butter sauce was AMAZING!! i actually made the steak with sweet pepper sauce for myself tonight, but i did taste the samon...i could maybe eat it this way, i will be definitely making this again soon!

~1 lb. fillet of salmon
~1 tbsp. wine worcestershire sauce
~1/2 tsp. onion salt
~1 tsp. fish seasoning
~1 tsp. dry oregano
~2 tbsp. capers
~angel hair pasta or hot cooked rice (i used basmati rice)

white butter sauce:
~3 tbsp. white wine vinegar
~3 tbsp. dry white wine
~2 tbsp. shallots, finely chopped (i omitted)
~1 tbsp. heavy cream (i used fat free half & half)
~8 ounces (1 c.) unsalted butter, cold
~salt; to taste (i omitted)
~ground white pepper; to taste

preheat oven to 450 degrees.

butter a baking dish large enough for the salmon fillet (i used PAM butter cooking spray)

rinse fillet under cold water and pat dry. place the salmon fillet skin side down in the baking dish. season with the white wine worcestershire sauce, onion salt, fish seasoning, and oregano.

bake the salmon for 10 minutes. brown under a hot broiler for an additional 2 to 3 minutes. sprinkle capers over the fish. cook the angel hair pasta in salted boiling water according to the directions on the package. drain the pasta, and toss in butter. or cook rice according to package (i substituted 1/2 the water for beef broth).

divide the salmon fillet into equal portions. arrange each portion on a hot plate over rice or pasta. top with capers and cooking liquid. serve with the white butter sauce.

for the white butter sauce...
in a small heavy pan, boil the vinegar, wine and shallots until all liquid is reduced. add the cream, and re-boil until completely reduced. whisk in the cold butter, a few pieces at the time. the sauce thickens and becomes creamy. note: do not overheat the sauce, as the sauce separates and loses its creamy texture. season to taste with salt and pepper. keep the sauce warm over a pan of warm water. serve as soon as possible.

steak with sweet pepper sauce

for valentines day, i wanted to make chad samon & i needed something to eat because i really don't eat any kind of fish. this recipe is from my better homes & gardens cook book & it was delicious!! super easy + it is low in fat too! i got this fabulous beef tenderloin at nino salvaggio's & i butterflied it, to make two small steaks.

~2 med. green or red bell peppers; cut into strips (i used one of each)
~1/2 c. chopped onion (1 medium size)
~1 c. chopped seeded tomatoes (2 medium size) i used cherry tomatoes
~2 garlic cloves; minced
~1 lb. beef ribeye steak; cut into 1/2" - 3/4" thick, or 1 lb. beef top sirloin steak, cut into 1/2"-3/4" thick (i used 1 beef tenderloin, butterflied about 3/4" thick)
~black pepper
~1/2 c. low sodium beef broth
~1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil (evoo)

in a med-large skillet heat oil, add minced garlic + peppers; cook for approx 4 minutes until veggies are crisp/tender. remove veggies from pan with slotted spoon.

season meat with salt + pepper on both sides. place meet in the skillet. (add more evoo if necessary). cook over med-high heat for approx 4 minutes on each side or until desired doneness. transfer the meat to a serving platter, reserving drippings in the skillet. keep warm.

for sauce, carefully add beef broth & oregano to reserved drippings in skillet. bring to a boil. boil gently, uncovered over med heat for 2-3 minutes or until broth is reduced to 1/4 cup; scraping up crusty brown bits in pan. stir in the cooked veggies & tomatoes. heat thru. spoon over meat & hot cooked rice. enjoy!!

heart shaped bundt cake

~ view of the inside after being cut & served ;)
~below is the cake before it had been iced!
i saw this recipe on HWTM, hostess with the mostess...i absolutely LOVE this website!! i found it during the holidays, it is actually called the 'candy cane cake'. i modified it a little to suit the valentines theme...i love hearts xxx

happy valentines day everyone!! ♥ ♥

~1 box of betty crocker, super moist white cake mix
(water, vegetable oil & 3 egg whites; as per box instructions)
~1/2 tsp. red food color
~1/2 tsp. peppermint extract (i omitted)

white icing:
~1 c. confectioners sugar
~1 tbsp. milk or water
~1/2 tsp. vanilla extract; if desired

decoration: crushed candy canes or crushed hard peppermint candies

heat oven to 325 degrees. generously grease & flour a 12 c. fluted tube cake pan (i used a heart shaped bundt pan). i also used butter flavored PAM spray, then covered the whole inside of pan with flour; i shook the pan until all areas were covered with flour & then emptied remainder in sink. make sure you get all areas with flour, so cake can come out real easy from pan ;)

make cake batter as directed on box. pour about 2 cups of batter into pan (spread with spatula, to make even). into small seperate bowl, pour about 3/4 cup of batter; stir in red food coloring & peppermint extract (if desired). mix well. carefullt pour pink batter over white batter in pan (again spread carefully to even out with spatula). carefully pour remaining white batter over pink batter (spread evenly).

bake as directed on box (mine was done in 40 minutes); until toothpick comes out clean. cool 10 minutes. turn pan upside down onto cooling rack or heat proof serving plate; remove pan (careful it comes out VERY easily). cool cake completely, approx 1 hour.

in small bowl, mix icing ingredients. if necessary, stir in additional milk, 1 tsp. at a time, until smooth & spreadable. spread over cake. sprinkle top with crushed candy cane or candies (i bought candy hearts for the top)!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

sweet n' sour chicken

i really have to admit that this was the best dinner i have made in a long time!! these were soooo good! i found this on senora espanola's blog, and i am so glad i did! we didnt even have any for leftover's! i served over hot cooked basmati rice. this was even better than the restaurant version...we will be making this again for sure;)

makes 4 servings

~3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (i used 4 thin sliced, approx. 1lb)
~Salt and pepper
~1 c. cornstarch for dredging
~2 eggs, beaten
~1/4 c. canola oil (i used vegetable oil because it was all we had)

cut boneless chicken breasts into chunks. season with salt and pepper. dip chicken in cornstarch and then in egg. fry in a little oil until brown but not cooked through. place in a single layer in a baking dish. mix sauce ingredients (below) together and pour over chicken.

~¾ c. granulated sugar
~4 tbsp. ketchup
~½ c. vinegar
~1 tbsp. soy sauce (i used light soy sauce)
~1 tsp. garlic salt (i used garlic powder)

bake for one hour at 325 degrees. turn chicken every 15 minutes. serve over hot cooked rice, or eat alone...enjoy ;)

Monday, February 9, 2009

crock pot white chicken chili

so you know the story....our computer busted, so i had to consult to the cook books this weekend for some recipes. i have been wanting to make the chicken chili that everyone has been i looked this one up in my trusty red plaid cook book that we received as a know the special addition pink one (better homes & gardens) ~ this was freaking amazing!! I had never made chili before because I hate beans...well you can hardly taste them, they melt in your mouth! i think puting the chicken in frozen makes it taste better in the end...because i also did this with the crock pot chicken noodle soup. enjoy ;)

makes 6 servings

~1 lb. chicken breasts (i put these in frozen, and shredded before serving)
~3 ½ c. reduced sodium chicken broth (i added a little more approx 4 1/2 c.)
~2 (15oz.) can of northern white beans; rinsed & drained

~1 green bell pepper; chopped
~1 red bell pepper; chopped
~1 large onion; chopped
~2 jalapeno peppers; seeded & chopped
~2 garlic cloves; minced
~2 tsp. cumin
~1/2 tsp. crushed oregano
~1/2 tsp. salt
~shredded Monterrey cheese for garnish (we used Colby & Monterrey blend)
~tortilla chips; crushed if desired (we use tostitos multi-grain, which i highly recommend with everything!!)

~light sour cream

coat slow crock pot with non-stick cooking spray. Place chicken in bottom of crock pot; frozen. Add minced garlic on top of chicken, follow with the chopped onion & then add the rest of the ingredients (minus the cheese,tortilla chips, & sour cream); mix well.

cook on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 4-6 hours. When chicken is cooked thru, shred chicken with fork.

before serving, top with shredded cheese, light sour cream &
crushed tortilla chips. Mmmmm, fantastic!!

crock pot cream cheese chicken

i have already posted a crock pot recipe just like this one...however this is much more delicious prepared this way ;) this is from lauren's food is love blog, and it is even better the next day as leftover's. yum, this is one of chad's favorites!! my sauce is a little more brown than usual in the picture, b/c i had burnt the bottom of the crock pot...oops, it was still fantastic anyway!!

makes 4 servings

~3 lbs chicken pieces (i usually just use 3-4 boneless skinless breasts)
~1 (2/3 ox) package italian salad dressing mix (i use good seasons)

~4 tablespoons melted butter; divided
~1 small onion chopped
~1 garlic clove chopped (i used 2 cloves)
~1 can cream of chicken soup
~8 oz cream cheese
~1/2 cup chicken broth

coat bottom of crock pot with a non-stick cooking spray. place chicken in crockpot & sprinkle italian seasonings packet over chicken pieces. sprinkle with 2 tablespoons melted butter over top. (i just place the chicken in frozen!)

cook on low for 4-6 hours.

melt the 2 remaining tablespoons of butter in saucepan and saute onion and garlic. add cream of chicken soup, cream cheese, and chicken broth; stir until melted & smooth. add the mixture to the crockpot and cook on low for an additional hour.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

chicken piccata

ok, bad picture :( I thought out of the 3 pics I took, one would turn out! Hmmmm, well I got this recipe from monica's, big fat blog; adapted from Giada De Laurentiis's Everyday Italian cook book. this was a hit with the hubby! i finished cooking this in about 20 minutes between walking in the door from work, changing into my gym clothes, and then serving it to chad before walking out the door to go to the gym...pretty good, huh? thanks monica!

4 servings

~4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, halved crosswise (I just used 4 thin cut)
~1/2 teaspoon sea salt
~1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
~all-purpose flour, for dredging
~4 tablespoons unsalted butter
~2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
~1/2 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
~1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (from about 2 lemons)
~1/4 cup drained capers, rinsed
~2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Sprinkle the chicken with the salt and pepper. Dredge the chicken in the flour to coat lightly. In a large saute pan, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter with the 2 tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat.

Add the chicken and cook just until brown, about 3 minutes per side. Using tongs, transfer the chicken to a plate.

Add the broth, lemon juice, and capers to the same pan. Bring the broth mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, scraping up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan for extra flavor.

Return the chicken to the pan and simmer until just cooked through, about 5 minutes (this is also where I added the artichoke hearts as well as thin slices of lemon). Using tongs, transfer the chicken to a platter. Whisk the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter into the sauce. Pour the sauce over the chicken, garnish with the parsley, and serve.

wheat garlic toasts

i made these little delicious toasts with the veggie lasagna....super easy, yes i know! you may have already thought of this yourself...but i love carbs...and i love my texas toast, and since i am really trying to be good i made these instead. yummmy!! this went fabulous dipping in the tomato sauce ;)

~4 slices of wheat bread
~butter (I used i can't believe it's not butter light)
~garlic powder
~parmesan cheese

set oven broiler on high. take bread and place them over foil on a baking sheet. butter the bread and sprinkle a few shakes of garlic powder. sprinkle parmesan cheese all over bread.

place baking sheet in oven under broiler; approx a foot under. close oven door, and watch so they dont burn. it will toast very fast, make sure you watch them! once they brown take out of oven & serve!