Tag Archives: food

Pancakes make Mondays better

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Monday is always the longest day of the week and what better way to end Monday then with buttermilk pancakes for dinner (plus, I had 2/3 of a carton of buttermilk expiring in 3 days that I didn’t want to waste). I’ve said this a million times to y’all, but it’s true; breakfast is my favorite meal, especially breakfast for dinner. I can’t help it! Seriously, blame my parents. We had breakfast for dinner quite often growing up. We even went through a stage in our house where we had pancakes at least once a week for what seemed like an eternity as a kid. When I got into high school I actually went more than 5 years without eating a single pancake because I was so sick of them! haha

Besides a few all-you-can-eat pancake meals over the course of college at Ihop, I can’t remember the last time I made or ate homemade pancakes. Since I don’t have a ‘favorite’ recipe for pancakes, I found a recipe on Food Network’s website and tweaked it to my tastes and what I had in my pantry. The original recipe was for Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes, which sound delicious, but I wasn’t in the mood for blueberries, so I nixed those little blue babies from the recipe. Also, I did not have any baking powder, nor did the closest supermarket – how a supermarket does not have baking powder, I do not know. Seriously, it’s a baking essential. Anyway, I didn’t have any cream of tartar either to make up for it, so I added just a little more baking soda to the recipe and it actually turned out fine. I also added a little vanilla to give my pancakes a little extra flavor. Seeing as I completely changed the leavening components of these pancakes and I believe I made them infinitely better tasting, I have decided that they should be renamed after me! Just kidding, well not really…

Julie’s Buttermilk Pancakesserves 4 to 6

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup melted butter, plus some for frying
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

In a large bowl sift together the four, sugar, baking soda and salt, see note at bottom*

Beat the eggs with buttermilk, melted butter and vanilla. Combine the dry and the wet ingredients into a lumpy batter, being careful not to over mix.  Heat some butter in a skillet over medium heat. Spoon 1/3 cup of batter into the skillet. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until golden brown.

Serve with your favorite pancake toppings! I used fresh strawberries with a pinch of sugar 🙂

*Note: I did not have a sifter (actually my sifter is in Texas with a million other cooking tools I own) so, I did not sift my dry ingredients. My pancakes still turned out fluffy and light.

Three pancakes with strawberries

My pancakes turned out a perfect golden brown color. They were more oval-shaped than round, but that’s what I get for trying to squeeze three good-size pancakes into a 10 inch frying pan! I felt a little guilty about eating three of them, but considering I don’t like syrup on my pancakes (I know, I’m weird) I figured I could afford to eat an extra one!

After making these, I thought that they would taste really good with some coarsely chopped walnuts and sliced bananas mixed into the batter.  Or I could just add some cinnamon to them! All I know is that I’ve got some left over batter in the fridge, so I will be experimenting later this week with some specialty pancakes. Once you find a good pancake batter recipe there are endless possibilities as to what you can add into your pancakes.

Try these out and don’t be afraid to make them your own.

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Easter in Texas

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For the past FIVE days, I was in Texas visiting my family and celebrating Easter! If you know my family, then you know that as Christians, that Christmas and Easter are the two most important holidays in my family, So, it was definitely important that I come home to celebrate the resurrection of our savior, Jesus Christ, with my family.

This is the first time in my 26 years that I have not lived within reasonable driving distance of my parents, thus it was my first time traveling on Easter weekend. I would be lying if I didn’t tell you that I was quite frustrated and shocked at not only how many people fly the Friday before Easter, but also at the amount of people at the airport who act live they’ve never flown before. For a 26-year-old, I consider myself to be a pretty seasoned traveler having visited about 20 countries and racking up enough frequent flyer miles to gain elite status with Continental (now United) the last couple years, but this last Friday was unlike anything I’ve ever seen: people trying to walk through the metal detectors with their shoes and jackets on, others literally trying to rush the gate to board the plane before the door was even open, and so on… Needless to say, I was glad when I finally landed in Texas at 7:30pm!

Within the first 24 hours of being home, I did two very important things. I ate a kid’s meal from Chick-fil-a (since we don’t have them in the city, I must have it at least once every time I’m in town) and I got my hair done. It might be hard to understand, but I do not cheat on my hair dresser, so I plan my hair appointments around my trips home. Even in college I would drive home to get my hair done. The one time I did try a new hair dresser, my hair was butchered, so I vowed never again to go elsewhere. Kara, my hair dresser, never gives me a bad hair cut and always gets my highlights right! She always knows what looks best with my face!

After doing these two things, I spent the rest of my weekend getting a tan and spending time with my family and my dog, Sophie, who is staying with my parents in Texas. Sophie is a french bulldog and I love her so much, but it’s better for her to stay in Texas because she would get lonely in NY with me being at work all day. When I am home, Sophie sleeps with me in my bed which she NEVER would do when I actually lived in town. It’s funny how she only cuddles with me now because she doesn’t see me on a regular basis anymore. Regardless, I love her. She’s my little pig…literally she snorts, eats like a pig and snores!

Isn’t she the cutest?

Sophie’s looking for crumbs after Easter dinner…

I spent Saturday afternoon in my parent’s backyard laying out and Monday afternoon my parents and I went to the beach to get some sun. As my family is originally from California, we are avid sun lovers. We LOVE sitting in the sun and getting a tan! Since moving to NY, this is the palest I have ever been, so I was glad to come back with some color because I definitely needed it. I’m just crossing my fingers it will last…

The Beach

Sunday was spent going to church and spending time with my family celebrating Easter and the resurrection of Jesus. Apart from my immediate family, some of my extended family on my dad’s side came to our house to celebrate. My mom prepared quite a feast for us to eat, but I was responsible for the dessert! I made a triple berry cobbler for dessert. I came up with this recipe by combining two recipes that I had for cobbler.

Triple Berry Cobbler

Filling:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 cup water
  • 2 cup fresh raspberries
  • 2 cup fresh blueberries
  • 2 cup fresh blackberries

Topping:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus additional for dusting
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1/6 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 1 cup heavy cream, plus additional for brushing

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a small heavy saucepan, combine the sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon and water until smooth. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from the heat; stir in berries. Transfer to 9 x 13 baking dish coated with cooking spray.

For the topping, in a food processor or large bowl, pulse or whisk together the 1 2/3 cups flour, the sugar, baking powder, and salt. Pulse or cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Slowly add the 2/3 cup cream, mixing until the dough just comes together. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and pat together. Form the dough into 2-inch balls. Flatten balls gently with the palm of your hand.

Before putting it into the oven

Evenly arrange the dough rounds on top of the filling. Brush a little cream over the rounds. (This step I left out…I sprinkled cinnamon and sugar on the top instead.) Bake for 45-50 minutes or until the biscuits are golden and the filling is bubbling.

After it came out of the oven!

Eat it warm with some ice cream and you’re good to go!

The berries in this dish were so good! I wasn’t a big fan of the crust though. We all decided that the berries would be a good topping for the ice cream during the summer! Or, they would be really good in a pie. If I make a cobbler again, I’ll definitely use these berries, but I’ll switch up the recipe for the topping.

Apart from my cobbler, we had ham, scalloped potatoes, spinach casserole, beans and 3 different types of salads. My mom’s scalloped potatoes are amazing…they use Gruyère cheese and its strong taste meshes well with the potatoes. In college my parents and I went to Europe and we visited the town of Gruyère in Switzerland. We had some of the best cheese fondue and quiches there that we have ever had. It’s definitely worth visiting the town if you’re in the country.

My mom’s scalloped potatoes. It was cooked to perfection with that golden top!

The spinach casserole that she made was really good as well and very simple. It only had a few toppings in it and it was really easy to make.

Spinach Casserole

Unfortunately I don’t have either of these recipes on me, but I will have to ask my mom for them because they are great dishes! Don’t you just want to eat up those pictures?!?! I know I do!

My mom and I on Easter

Three generations: me, my grandma and my mom

I had a lot of fun spending time with my family during my long weekend. It was definitely a great trip and I’m glad I was able to spend so much time with my parents. The only bad thing that happened was that I went to the doctor while home because I had been coughing and found out I had bronchitis! Luckily the doctor gave me a zpack and told me to take mucinex md, so I’m hoping it kicks in soon because I’m supposed to go back to Houston this weekend to run in the Blue Bell Fun Run and that is something I don’t want to miss!  Expect a blog about the run next week! On that note, I’ll leave you with a few Easter verses. Regardless of the time of year, it’s always important to remember Christ’s sacrifice for us.

John 3:16-17

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. “For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through Him.

Luke 24:1-12

But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they came to the tomb, bringing the spices which they had prepared. And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. And it happened that while they were perplexed about this, behold, two men suddenly stood near them in dazzling apparel; and as the women were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living One among the dead? “He is not here, but He has risen. Remember how He spoke to you while He was still in Galilee, saying that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.” And they remembered His words, and returned from the tomb and reported all these things to the eleven and to all the rest. Now they were Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the mother of James; also the other women with them were telling these things to the apostles. And these words appeared to them as nonsense, and they would not believe them. But Peter arose and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen wrappings only; and he went away to his home, marveling at that which had happened.

Day 22: Honey Garlic Chicken

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It’s Monday and almost the end of March! I can’t believe almost a 1/4 of the year has already flown by and I can’t wait for it to officially be summer. I’m ready for some consistent warm weather! Last week we were blessed in NY with weather in the 70’s and for some reason a cold front has decided to come through this week. I don’t like waking up to 30 degree weather! Never have, never will. I need to be in warm environments because I get cold way too easily, plus I packed up all my winter clothes.

I start my new job on Wednesday, so I took advantage of sleeping in today as with my new job I’ll have to be at the office at 8am. I haven’t had early mornings like that since I quit teaching last year, It hasn’t even been a year since I was waking up every morning at 5 am, but I’ve already become accustomed to sleeping in and waking up at 7:30 am! Needless to say, Wednesday morning will be tough. Besides sleeping in today, I literally did not leave my apartment all day. It was really windy and although the sun was out, it was still too cold to enjoy the weather. Instead, I watched movies and did an in-home workout focusing on my legs and abs. Tomorrow I’ll hit the gym or Central Park to get in some running. Today I also cooked!

For Day 22 of the Pinterest Project I made Honey Garlic Chicken for dinner. This recipe was originally for pork chops, but since I’m not a big pork chop eater I substituted it with chicken. Plus, I had two chicken breasts that I needed to use up that expire in a few days, so this recipe was perfect for those! This recipe was originally pinned from the website ‘Spark Recipe’ which is a healthy recipe website. I cut this recipe in half to account for the fact that I was using less meat as the original recipe was for 6 pork chops.

Honey Garlic Chicken

Ingredients:

  • 1/8 cup honey
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • non-stick cooking spray

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a shallow dish, whisk together honey, soy sauce and garlic. Coat chicken in mixture or if you have more time, marinate chicken in mixture for 6+ hours before cooking. Set aside leftover honey mixture for basting.

Put chicken breasts in baking dish that has been greased with non-stick cooking spray. Bake for 30 minutes or until cooked through, basting two times with remaining honey mixture.

As you can see from the picture, I paired my chicken with a side of garlic spinach which was super easy to make. (Sautee one clove of garlic in olive oil until browned, add 2 cups spinach and cook until it wilts –  only takes 5 minutes.)

This chicken was amazing! I know I’ve said that a about a few of the recipes I have made lately, but seriously this was really good. This chicken was one of the most moist pieces of chicken I have ever had in my life, literally. The chicken had a subtle honey garlic taste and was just oozing with juice when I cut into it.

It went perfectly with the spinach for a light, healthy meal. This recipe will definitely be one that I make for a long time! I might even end up trying it with pork chops, like the recipe was originally intended for. We’ll see if I feel up to it, but if it tastes anything like this chicken, then I’m sure I’ll end up enjoying it.

And Mom, when I come in town for Easter weekend I’ll cook this for y’all and give you a break from cooking dinner one night. Trust me, y’all will love it! 🙂

Day 20: Cheese Enchiladas and Day 21: Awesome Legs Workout

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It’s been a few days since I have posted anything, so let me catch you up on what’s been going on! On Friday I found out that I got a job offer from a  company that I had interviewed at on Tuesday, so that was really exciting! Plus, I’m getting a huge pay increase, which makes the new job even that much more exciting. I start on Wednesday!

My old office gave me some flowers as a going away gift. Look at those yellow roses…they made me think of the Yellow Rose of Texas!

Ok, onto the Pinterest Project and I actually wrote this post out last night after eating, but for some reason the darn thing didn’t save and I was too tired to rewrite it, so I figured I’d just post days 20 and 21 together!

Yesterday was Day 20 of the Pinterest Project and I made Cheese Enchiladas! I’m not a big enchilada eater, but when I do eat them I want them to be spicy! My favorite homemade enchiladas growing up with some that my mom made and she accidentally messed up the recipe causing them to be spicier than normal. To this day my brother and I still talk about those enchiladas and how they were the best ones my mom ever made.

This enchilada recipe is actually one that I have been making for the last year, and I have pinned it on Pinterest. It is a cheese enchilada recipe that I adapted from the March 2011 issue of Martha Stewart’s ‘Everyday Food’ magazine. [Sorry mom – I took this one to NY with me!] I changed this recipe up by making it a little spicier!

Cheese Enchiladas with Tomato-Jalapeno Enchilada Sauce

Ingredients:

Tomato-Jalapeno Enchilada Sauce

  • 1 can (28 ounces) whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 1-2 tablespoons hot sauce, depending on how hot you want it (I use Frank’s)
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • pinch of sugar
  • salt and pepper to taste

Enchiladas

  • enchilada sauce
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 2 1/2 cups shredded cheese (I use Mexican blend)
  • diced onion, avocado, cilantro or sour cream (optional), for serving

Directions:

Sauce

In a blender, combine 1 can whole peeled tomatoes, onions and jalapeno. Puree until smooth and season with salt and pepper. In a medium pot, heat oil over high until shimmering. Add tomato mixture and simmer, stirring, until thickened, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in thyme, vinegar, sugar and hot sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Refrigerate in an airtight container, up to 4 days.) Makes 2 1/2 cups.

Enchiladas

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pour 1 1/2 cups of enchilada sauce into 9 x 13 baking dish. Working with one tortillas at a time, sprinkle cheese down the middle of tortilla. Roll tortillas around cheese and arrange, seam side down. [From the picture below you’ll see I had to use two smaller baking dishes as I don’t have one that is 9 x 13.]

Top with remaining sauce and cheese. Cover tightly with foil and bake until heated through, 10 minutes. Serve with desired toppings.

 It doesn’t take long at all for these enchiladas to bake! Corn tortillas are still nice and soft and with the extra cheese on top, they’re nice and cheesy!

I made some fresh guacamole to go along with these spicy bad boys. If you don’t like spicy enchiladas, then leave out the hot sauce and the jalapeno. If you end up doing that, then you’ll have a tomato tasting sauce, which will be much more bland.

Don’t those look so good! They were amazing and spicy, which is just what I wanted!

Apart from making these enchiladas yesterday, I went and saw the Hunger Games in the morning!! I was so excited to see the movie and overall I thought it was pretty good. I was actually surprised at how much they left out from the books, but they did get a lot in in 2 1/2 hours. I’ll be interested to see how the next two movies are since I think those books (especially Mockingjay) were pretty graphic and intense!

Today I was super lazy! I actually ended up watching movies most of the day and eating leftovers. The only active thing I did today was for my pinterest project, which for day 21, I did the Awesome legs workout that I had repinned to my fitness board. This leg workout is supposed to tone up your legs and make them summer ready in just 5 minutes a day, and apparently you see results in as little as 10 days! This workout was originally pinned from the website, ‘T-tapp’. There are 3 phases to this workout and you do 2 reps of each phase, eventually working up to 3 reps per phase.

Unfortunately I am not able to upload all of the pictures that show exactly what you are doing, so it is imperative that you go to the t-tapp website to see the movements. You are basically lying on your back with your legs in the air and are bending your knees (one at a time) while tightening your muscles.

This wasn’t a hard workout, but I already have pretty strong legs from running and years of swimming and water polo. If anything I think I’ll feel it more in my lower abs from holding my legs up in the air. On the website, they stated that this helps the muscles in your legs be longer and leaner, which is the result I’m looking for. I’m planning on incorporating this into my workout routine since it only took 5 minutes, so we’ll see if I get longer, leaner muscles as opposed to them being bulkier. Wish me luck!

Day 18: Fried Egg, Avocado, Bacon and Tomato Sandwich

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I’m sure you have realized by now that at least once a week I eat breakfast (i.e. eggs) for dinner. I honestly would probably do it much more often than that, but I’m sure y’all would get tired of reading about it and that wouldn’t really fit into the premise of the Pinterest Project.

For Day 18 of the Pinterest Project, I am making a Fried Egg, Avocado, Bacon and Tomato Sandwich, or as I like to call it a Fried Egg BAT. When I originally repinned this to my ‘recipe’ board, I didn’t realize that I was just repinning a picture and not a link to an actual recipe. Luckily the name of this sandwich speaks for itself, so it wasn’t too hard to wing it.

Fried Egg BAT

Ingredients:

  • 1 egg
  • 2 slices of bread (I used Ezekiel 4:9 whole wheat bread)
  • 1 slicing or beefsteak tomato
  • 2 pieces of bacon or turkey bacon (I opted for the lighter turkey bacon)
  • 1/4 of an avocado
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • non-stick cooking spray or 1 tsp olive oil

Directions:

Cook bacon according to packaging. [I had 2 pieces of leftover turkey bacon for the other night, so I just reheated that in a frying pan for a few minutes.] Toast 2 pieces of bread in toaster and set aside on plate.

Starting at one end of the tomato, cut 2 or 3 slices off about 1/4 inch thick. Discarding end piece and set aside slices. Cut avocado in half and put away the half with the seed for use another day. Peel remaining half of avocado and slice. You’ll only need about 4 thin slices.

[Look at that avocado below! I have the hardest time finding ripe avocados in NY, so I was super excited when I picked this baby up today! There’s nothing better than a perfectly ripe avocado :)]

Heat frying pan on medium and spray with cooking spray or put olive oil in pan. Crack egg into pan and cook until desired doneness. [I personally like my fried eggs over easy.]  On one piece of toast, layer turkey bacon and fried egg and layer tomato slices and avocado on the other slice of toast. Salt and Pepper as desired.

Close the sandwich up and enjoy!

I know I say this a lot about, but this recipe was really good! I mean, I guess it should be since I’m picking out recipes that I would want to eat! I’m a pretty picky eater, but I at least know what I like. This sandwich was a little messy because of the juice from the tomato and the yolk, but it was totally worth it. The toast was a little more done than I typically like, but overall it was really good.

If you cook the bacon in advance, then you could make this for a quick breakfast before work! Plus, it’s relatively healthy. You’ve got your protein from the turkey bacon and egg, good kind of fat from the avocado slices, carbs from the whole wheat bread and some tomato slices for your veggies. I’d say this sandwich is way better than any breakfast sandwich you’re going to get from a fast food place!

One bite in and it was so good!!!! Try it, you’ll love it!

P.S. My abs are like seriously burning from yesterday’s 300 workout. I definitely need to incorporate that routine into my weekly workout schedule. If you didn’t see yesterday’s post, you can read about it here.

Day 16: Jalapeno Crusted Chicken Strips with Jalapeno Ranch Dipping Sauce

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Day 16 of the Pinterest Project is already upon us and I have decided to make Jalapeno Crusted Chicken Strips with Jalapeno Ranch Dipping Sauce for dinner! When I saw this recipe on Pinterest, I knew I wanted to try it. I love jalapenos and everything spicy for that matter. The spicier the better, if you ask me! This recipe uses Jalapeno Kettle Chips, which are so good. I don’t eat potato chips often, but when I do Jalapeno chips are one of the few kinds I really like to eat.

This recipe is a little different from the one that was originally posted on Pinterest from the blog “My life as a Mrs.”  If you look at her recipe, you’ll see that I made my chicken into strips instead of keeping it as breasts. I thought it was be easier to dip the chicken in the homemade jalapeno ranch sauce, then to drizzle it on top of the breasts.

Jalapeno Crusted Chicken Strips with Jalapeno Ranch Dipping Sauce

Ingredients:

Jalapeno Ranch Dipping Sauce:

  • 1/4 cup mayo
  • 1/4 cup low fat sour cream
  • 1/4 cup (plus 2 tablespoons) low fat buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing (the powder)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • dash of cayenne
  • 5-6 hot pickles jalapeno slices, finely chopped

Chicken:

  • 4 chicken breasts or tenders (about 1 3/4 – 2 pounds total)
  • 1 bag Jalapeno Kettle Chips, crushed
  • 1 cup low fat buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • dash cayenne

Directions:

Jalapeno Ranch Dipping Sauce:

Mix all ingredients together (adding additional buttermilk until desired consistency). Set aside and refrigerate until ready to use.

Chicken:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease baking dish or baking sheet for chicken. In a bowl, whisk buttermilk, salt and cayenne. If using chicken breasts, pound out chicken breasts to 1/2″ thickness and cut into strips. Add chicken to buttermilk mixture, tossing well.

Place crushed Kettle chips in a shallow baking dish or bowl. Pull one piece of chicken at a time out of the buttermilk and gently shake to remove some of the excess buttermilk. Dip into the chips and coat thoroughly on both sides. Place on prepared baking sheet. Repeat until all chicken breast are thoroughly coated.

Place chicken in oven and bake for 25-35 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Serve hot with jalapeno ranch dipping sauce.

35 minutes later and the chicken was done. Honestly I don’t know how I feel about this recipe. I was a little frustrated while making it. The chips weren’t sticking to the chicken as well as I had assumed it would and since I cooked my chicken on a baking sheet, the bottom wasn’t as crispy as the top. Also, for some reason chicken looks pink in these pictures, but it was fully cooked!

My favorite part of the recipe was the homemade ranch dipping sauce. It gave the chicken a completely new flavor which was good because I thought the chicken was too bland. I could hardly taste the jalapeno chips and instead it just tasted like baked chicken with a few crunchy things on it. I’m not going to lie, I was a little disappointed with this recipe and I probably won’t make it again. Maybe it would have turned out better if I had followed the directions exactly and cooked chicken breasts, but who knows. The only thing I  for sure will make again is the dipping sauce. I think it would be really good with some buffalo wings or even over a salad – it would give it a really good kick! The pickled jalapenos in it made all the difference.

Let me know if you try this recipe out and get a better result!

Day 13: Mexican Egg Skillet

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Last night as I was typing this blog, my internet stopped working and wouldn’t work for the rest of the evening, so sorry for the delay in posting!

It’s day 13 of the Pinterest Project and I’m making Mexican Egg Skillet for dinner! As I told y’all last week I love eggs, so I’m really excited about trying this recipe and eating some eggs tonight for dinner. I did make a few changes to the original recipe to give it my own flavor and fit my tastes! This recipe is adapted from the Mexican Egg Skillet recipe found on the blog “Pennies on a Platter.” If you look at the original recipe, then you’ll see the changes that I made.

Mexican Egg Skillet – serves one

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped tomato
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/8 cup grated cheese
  • 1 tortilla (corn or four)
  • Adobo seasoning, to taste
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • Salsa (I always use Pace Picante)

Directions:

Heat oil in skillet over medium heat. Sautee onions for 3-4 minutes until golden brown. Add tomatoes and cook until tender. Season with Adobo, salt and pepper.

Push veggies to the side of the skillet to make room for the eggs. Crack two eggs into the skillet and cook until desired doneness. I cooked mine for 6-7 minutes until the egg white was completely set. Sprinkle the shredded cheese over the eggs and vegetables. Cover the skillet with a lid for 1-2 minutes until cheese is melted. Serve over a tortilla and top with salsa, if desired.

As you can see from the above picture, I also added some salt and pepper to the top of my eggs before adding the cheddar cheese. I was really glad that my eggs didn’t become scorched considering I cooked them without flipping them for so long!

I loved the way I changed up this recipe. I served it up with a side of spanish rice and it was amazing. I literally was making noises while eating this meal because I loved it so much. It was like a veggie breakfast taco but with sunny side up eggs instead of scrambled. Seriously though, I was  saying ‘mmmm’ the entire time I was eating this. I was being ridiculous! But look at that food, how could you not love it??! Try it, you’ll be glad you did, especially if you like breakfast!

Day 11: Spaghetti with Sauteed Chicken and Grape Tomatoes

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It’s the start of a new week and a beautiful week at that. Although the first day of spring is still 8 days away (March 20th) today is finally a gorgeous day in NYC. It’s partly cloudy and in the 60’s, which reminds me of the few nice days you get in Texas. Even yesterday the weather was finally warm enough to enjoy going outside and trust me, the streets were packed! I’m praying that this weather holds up because it’s the first nice weather we’ve had since the fall. No lie, for the past 4 1/2-5 months it’s been cold, overcast and non-stop rainy! In other words, it’s been miserable outside! I’ll be glad to finally be able to get back out to Central Park for a run!

For Day 11 of the Pinterest Project, I’m making Spaghetti with sautéed Chicken and Grape Tomatoes for dinner! This recipe was pinned from the blog ‘Skinny Taste’ which I’m sure you’ve heard of because their recipes are all over Pinterest! This will be the first Skinny Taste recipe I’ve tried and it doesn’t look too bad. It’s a basic pasta with fresh tomatoes in lieu of a rich tomato sauce, which I’m looking forward to trying. It also helps that one serving of this pasta is only about 330 calories, which is way less than most pastas!

Spaghetti with sautéed Chicken and Grape Tomatoes – serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 2 skinless chicken breast halves, diced in 1 inch cubes
  • cooking spray
  • 1/2 tsp each of dried oregano and dries basil
  • kosher salt and fresh pepper
  • 8 oz spaghetti (the recipe recommends high fiber or low carb noodles)
  • 2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
  • 6 cloves garlic, smashed and coarsely chopped
  • 4 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 tbsp chopped fresh basil

Directions:

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.

Season chicken with salt, pepper, oregano and basil. Heat a large frying pan on high. Spray with cooking spray and add chicken. Cook for about 3-4 minutes, until chicken is no longer pink inside. Remove chicken and set aside.

Add pasta to boiling water and cook according to packaging, making sure to stir occasionally. Reserve about 1/2 cup of pasta water before draining.

While the pasta cooks, heat same frying pan on high heat. Add olive oil to skillet and saute garlic until golden brown. Add tomatoes, salt and pepper and reduce heat to medium-low. Saute for 4-5 minutes, or until tomatoes are soft, but not falling apart. When pasta is drained, add pasta to tomatoes and toss well. If pasta is too dry, add some of the reserved pasta water. Add fresh basil and chicken and toss well. Serve and top with grated parmesan cheese.

Unfortunately I didn’t take pictures while I was making this meal because I got a really late start to dinner and my phone was about to die so I need to charge it! So, the only picture I have is of the finished dish.

For a low-calorie, light dish this was actually pretty good. If you’re looking for pasta that isn’t too heavy and has a subtle taste, then this is a good dish for you. The strongest flavors I could taste were the fresh basil, garlic and parmesan cheese. For my pasta, I didn’t need to add any of the reserved pasta water as my pasta wasn’t dry. Everything was thoroughly coated in the olive oil and garlic.

As a side, I made some garlic bread to go along with this dish. I sautéed some french bread in a skillet with a little olive oil and then rubbed the top of the bread with a garlic clove to give it a subtle garlic taste. Eat a helping of this dish with a piece of garlic bread and you’ll be set for the night.

Day 10: Migas

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Today is officially day 10 of the Pinterest Project, one day late that is. For those of you who are regular readers, I skipped a day yesterday. I know I shouldn’t have, but this past week was very tiring, and I needed a day to just relax. Plus, I read almost 250 pages of Mockingjay, so creating something was one of the last things on my mind. Tonight before bed, I’ll finish the last 40 pages of Mockingjay, but you’ll hear about that tomorrow.

Migas are on today’s menu. These aren’t just any Migas though, they’re my Migas that I posted to Pinterest. Coming from Texas I LOVE TexMex and Migas is one of my favorite brunch items to eat. They’re really easy to make and they have one of my favorite ingredients in them – eggs!

Migas with Turkey Bacon (makes 2 servings)

Ingredients:

  • 5 eggs
  • 4 pieces of Turkey Bacon
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 2 tortillas (flour or corn) cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Splash of Milk
  • 1/4 cup grated cheese
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions:

In a frying pan, cook Turkey Bacon as directed on packaging. When fully cooked, remove from pan onto a paper towel lined plate. [I had 6 pieces of Turkey Bacon left, so I ended up just cooking all of them because they were about to expire, but only 4 are used in the Migas.]

In same pan heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium-low heat. Add onions, salt and pepper to taste and cook until browned and translucent (about 4-5 minutes). When fully cooked, remove onions from pan and set aside.

 In same pan, add remaining olive oil and cook tortilla pieces until they are brown and crispy (about 4-5minutes). I used four tortillas, but you can use corn as well.

Whisk together eggs and the splash of milk into a separate bowl. If you don’t have milk, you can use water – both of these help make the eggs fluffier. Break the bacon into smaller pieces and add bacon pieces and onions to the egg mixture. Pour egg mixture over tortilla pieces and cook until the egg has set.

 Once eggs are done, divide onto two plates and top with shredded cheese. I also like to add salsa to the top of my Migas. Pace Picante is some of my favorite salsa to eat on eggs and that’s what I added! Add some hash browns or home fries and you’ve got a TexMex brunch!

I was only able to eat like 4 of my fries before I was just too full! These Migas are some of my favorite things to cook! They are so tasty and amazing! Try them out and you’ll love them!

Day 9: Two (exactly two) Chocolate Cupcakes

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I LOVE chocolate. I mean honestly, what girl doesn’t love chocolate?  I personally wouldn’t trust a girl who says she doesn’t love chocolate because she has to be lying, but that’s me. Men have steak as their comfort food and well women, we have chocolate and all kinds of chocolate at that! White, Dark, Milk, you name it, we got it and trust me, I’ll eat it. If you want to win me over, then buy me some chocolate, but it better me the good stuff like See’s or Godiva! With chocolate on my mind, I can’t think of a better way to start off the weekend then with a rich chocolate cupcake! Sometimes it’s good to indulge a little and that is just what I’m going to do today. After all, I think I deserve it after this long week at work 🙂

For day 9 of the Pinterest Project, I am baking Chocolate Cupcakes. [Side note: for those of you who are reading my blog for the first time, the Pinterest Project is something I started March 1st where everyday I create something that I have repinned onto my Pinboards.] Back to the cupcakes and chocolate !  These aren’t just any cupcakes, this is a special recipe that bakes exactly TWO cupcakes, which is perfect because it’s not like I need 24 all to myself. This recipe was repinned from “Brett Bara’s” blog.

Two (exactly two) Chocolate Cupcakes

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cocoa powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda (just eyeball half of a quarter-teaspoon and it will be fine)
  • 1/16 teaspoon salt (otherwise known as a pinch)
  • 2 tablespoons cold water
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/16 teaspoon vanilla (ie, just a few drops)
  • 1 tablespoon chocolate chips (optional)
  • Chocolate Frosting (mini recipe follows)

Directions: 

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Combine all dry ingredients in a small bowl and set aside. In a second small bowl combine the wet ingredients (water, oil, vanilla). Add the dry ingredient mixture to the wet ingredients and stir until well combined. Using a muffin pan, divide batter between two cupcake liners and then sprinkle chocolate chips on top (I used Hershey’s mini baking kisses). Bake for 18 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Let cool completely before frosting.

 

Chocolate Frosting

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons confectioners sugar
  • 1 teaspoon half and half or any milk/cream
  • dash of salt

Directions:

Melt butter in a small bowl. Combine all remaining ingredients and whisk together until smooth. Refrigerate for 10-15 minutes until icing starts to set. Whisk icing again then allow it to reach room temperature until cupcakes are cool enough to frost. [Brett recommends that you start on the frosting immediately after you put the cupcakes in the oven, so that it will be ready to go once the cupcakes are cool.]

While making these I thought that this would also be a good recipe to use for making mini cupcakes. I’m almost positive that you could use a mini-muffin pan and make 12 mini-cupcakes from this recipe. Obviously the baking time would have to be altered, but a few mini-cupcakes might be fun to make as well! I’ll have to test it out, but my guess is that it would take about 10-12 minutes to bake the mini ones.

If you like chocolate, then this is a recipe for you! The only issue I had with these cupcakes was the when I was making my frosting it started clumping together as opposed to being really smooth. But, that was probably my fault as I started making the icing and then walked away from it for about 15 minutes so some of the ingredients had already begun to set. Overall though, I was very satisfied. I only ate half of a cupcake, so I’ve got plenty of chocolate to eat later!