Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Strawberry Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing

Have you ever had the feeling where life just simply cannot go on if you do not make or eat something sweet? I mean you feel like you absolutely cannot live without it, you gotta have it, you NEED it...all you want to do is sink your teeth into something so sweet, devour it and yep...it's happened, you've just eaten that entire cupcake in a matter of seconds. So you’ve eaten that darn cupcake, cookie, piece of cake, whatever this sweet enemy might be but instead of kicking yourself and feeling like you need to go run it off immediately you actually stop and think to yourself, “That was so good and I actually am so glad I ate that….devoured it actually.”

Well, okay….maybe you won’t feel 100% okay with the fact that you just scarfed down an entire cupcake like Cookie Monster off of Sesame Street but come on…we gotta live a little and enjoy some sweets every now and then.

These cupcakes are literally the best strawberry cupcakes I have ever eaten. Not to mention that the homemade cream cheese icing is pretty amazing in itself. I could seriously eat it with a spoon and be totally fine with it. But….obviously I have not done that…ever….just licked the bowl a little bit.

I’m kidding, I’m kidding…..not really.


1 Package Plain White Cake Mix

1 Cup Chopped strawberries, with juice

3/4 Cup Milk

1 Package Strawberry Gelatin (3 ounce)

3/4 Cup Vegetable Oil

3 Eggs

8 ounce Cream Cheese, room temp (icing)

4 Tablespoons margarine, room temp (icing)
3 Cups confectioner's sugar (icing)

1. Place cupcake liners in pan.  Gently mash strawberries by placing them in a large plastic bag and rolling over it with a rolling pin or large can.
2. Place cake mix, milk, gelatin mix, vegetable oil, and eggs in a large mixing bowl.  Beat with an electric mixer untili smooth and creamy, about two minutes or so. Add in the strawberries and juice that has been made by the berries, mix again until well combined.
3. Pour into cupcake pans. Bake at 350 for 20 min or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Allow to sit for ten minutes to cool.
4. Combine all icing ingredients and mix with electric mixer until smooth and creamy.  Ice cooled cupcakes. 
5. Devour.  

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Baked Tuna Stuffed Tomato With Pepper Jack Cheese

Good morning fellow foodies. I know, I know....it's been quite some time since I have blogged and for that I apologize. I'm sorry....really, I am.

So we all know that I am legitimately obsessed with poultry but a girl needs a break sometimes! I think I have found something new to be obsessed with and I have to share it with you. You will love it!

This recipe combines the flavors of pepper jack cheese, white albacore tuna, a touch of garlic, and a big and juicy tomato. When these ingredients come together it makes something so magically delicious and the best thing about it is that it is HEALTHY!


1 3oz can white albacore tuna (If not available then divide a regular can into two portions)
1 slice pepper jack cheese divided in half
1/2 teaspoon garlic
1 large tomato
Salt and pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Take the tomato and hollow it out. Basically, cut the top off, take a knife and run it along the sides of the tomato leaving some "meat" on the shell. Discard the insides of the tomato as well as the top.

Next, drain the tuna and put it into a small bowl.  Take half of the slice of cheese and break into small pieces. Add cheese, garlic, salt and pepper to bowl and stir to incorporate ingredients.

Add tuna mixture into tomato and place the slice of pepper jack cheese on top. 

Place on baking dish and bake until cheese of top is melted and bubbly, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Voila! Enjoy!


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Spanish Chicken with Spicy Lemon Rice

Chicken brings lots of words to mind, at least for me. I think versatile, juicy, and CHEAP!! I am a chicken fanatic and I can prepare chicken breast, thighs, cutlets, even a whole dang bird a billion ways. I love how it is basically a blank canvas in the way that you can really just do what you want with it. I've got that bird mastered.

Go on and call me the master chef of chicken...go on...let me hear it. 

I'm still waiting..... 

The other night I knew I wanted chicken but I wanted to prepare it in a way I had not done so before. I browsed a few recipes and came across Spanish Chicken with Spicy Lemon Rice.  The Spicy Lemon Rice was something that really caught my eye because I have never put those words together. I was hesitant but holy canoli it was delicious and this dish would not be the same without this crazy combination of delicious flavors!

I was immediately drawn into this recipe not only because of the rice but the colors, ingredients, and just overall preparation. I mean, seriously, look at that picture! The thought of these ingredients coming together and making something so magical was making me drool...like a dog...seriously.

Okay...enough jibber-jabber....here are the ingredients! 

3 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon garlic powder
6 chicken thighs
1/4 cup canola oil
One 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes 
2 green bell peppers, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 onion, sliced into thick pieces
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup rice
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Zest and juice from 1 lemon
1/2 cup pitted green olives (with pimientos)
Special equipment: slow cooker and zester

Now for the preparation....

In a large zip-top bag, mix together the flour, paprika, garlic powder and some salt and pepper. Add the chicken and toss to coat completely.

In a large saucepan over medium heat, heat the canola oil. Add the chicken and brown on all sides, 3 to 4 minutes per side. While the chicken is cooking, head on over to the slow cooker and add the tomatoes, peppers and onions. Top that goodness with the chicken thighs.

In same skillet used to brown the chicken, add the tomato paste and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add the chicken broth and bring to a simmer, stirring to scrape any browned bits off the bottom of the pan. Pour over top of the chicken in the slow cooker. Cook on low for 4 hours, or until the chicken is extremely tender.

In a medium pot, combine 2 cups water, the rice, red pepper flakes, lemon zest, juice of half the lemon and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook, covered, until the rice is tender and has absorbed all the liquid.

To serve, spoon the rice onto a deep-sided platter and ladle the Spanish chicken and vegetables over top. Garnish with the olives and squeeze over the remaining lemon juice.

I hope you all enjoy this and I cannot wait to hear some feedback!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Genevieve's Garden

Well, it has been quite some time since I have posted anything and for that, I apologize.

I planted a garden a few months ago and have been patiently awaiting the growth of tomatoes, eggplant, basil, rosemary, zucchini, watermelons, and swiss chard. I was extremely nervous about planting this garden because it was the first garden I have not planted in pots, containers, and window boxes.  But, with a lot of hope, love, watering and patience the garden has tremendously grown and I am one proud woman! Here are a few pictures!

Genevieve's Garden now
The garden on the first day I planted everything!

Gretel Eggplant

Grape tomatoes


Tomatoes growing rapidly  

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Baked Polenta Fries with Spicy Lime Mayo

We all crave those crispy on the outside, smooth on the inside, and just absolutely delicious fries but not necessarily the calories.  Talk about instant gratification.....we crave them, we eat them, and then we go kill ourselves in the gym. 
 No need to do that after devouring these sticks of goodness.  These baked polenta fries are low in calories, fat, and cholesterol. These little sticks of joy taste even better with the spicy lime mayo.  Enjoy!!!

4 cups whole milk
1 cup water
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 1/4 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
2 teaspoons kosher salt, and more for sprinkling
2 tablespoons olive oil

Chili Lime Mayo:
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
3 dashes Cholulua (or Tobasco)
1 teaspoon lime juice
Pinch salt

1. Spray non-stick cooking spray on a baking sheet (or casserole dish). Bring milk, 1 cup water and butter to boil in heavy large saucepan. Gradually whisk in cornmeal. Reduce heat to low and cook until polenta is very thick and starts to pull away from sides of pan, stirring often, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat.

2. Stir in cheese and salt. Add more salt if you like. Immediately transfer polenta to prepared baking sheet, spreading mixture to a 1-inch thickness. Mine filled up half of the baking sheet. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cool and firm, about 1 hour. (You can do this a day ahead. Just be sure to cover and keep refrigerated.)

3. Cut polenta lengthwise in pan into three-inch-wide rectangles. Cut each rectangle crosswise into 3/4-inch-wide strips. Set polenta strips aside.

4. Preheat oven to 450F. Transfer polenta fries to lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with about a teaspoon of kosher salt and some olive oil. Bake for 20 minutes, flipping the fries at the 10 minute mark. Fries, when done, will be slightly golden brown at the edges.

5. Meanwhile, mix together the mayo, hot sauce, lime juice and pinch of salt.

Adapted from Bon Appetit

Yields two and a half dozen fries

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Tortilla Soup with Chicken

Winter temperatures are here and we all crave that bowl of delicious soup to warm us up.  Soup has this magical power to warm us up and it just hits the spot. I have many fond memories of making soup with my mother who is an absolutely amazing cook.  Along with her homemade vegetable soup, chicken tortilla soup is one of my favorites.  It has the right amount of flavor, not too spicy, and just absolutely delightful.  I hope that you enjoy this recipe and stay warm and toasty this winter season.

  • 1 large dried pasilla (negro) chile, stemmed and seeded
  • One 15-oz can diced tomatoes in juice (preferably fire-roasted)
  • 2 tblsp vegetable or olive oil
  • 1 medium white onion, sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 quarts chicken broth
  • 1 large sprig fresh epazote, if you have one
  • salt
  • 4 (about 1-1/4 lbs total) boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into 1/2 inch thick cubes
  • 1 large ripe avocado, pitted, flesh scooped from the skin and cut into 1/4 inch cubes
  • 1-1/2 cups (6 oz) shredded Mexican melting cheese, or Monterey Jack, brick or mild cheddar
  • A generous 4 cups (about 6 oz) roughly broken tortilla chips
  • 1 large lime, cut into 6 wedges  

  • Quickly toast the chile by turning it an inch or two above an open flame for a few seconds, until its aroma fills the kitchen. (Lacking an open flame, toast it in a dry pan over medium heat, pressing it flat for a few seconds, then flipping it over and pressing it again.) Break the chile into pieces and put in a blender, along with the tomatoes with their juice. (A food processor will work, but it won't completely puree the chile.)

    Heat the oil in a large (4 quart) saucepan over medium-high. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until golden, about 7 minutes. Scoop up the onion and garlic with a slotted spoon, pressing them against the side of the pan to leave behind as much oil as possible, and transfer to the blender; set the pan aside. Process until smooth.

    Return the pan to medium-high heat. When it is quite hot, add the puree and stir nearly constantly until thickened to the consistency of tomato paste, about 6 minutes. Add the broth and epazote if usiing. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes. Taste and season with salt, usually about a generous teaspoon (depending on the saltiness of the broth).

    Just before serving, add the chicken to the simmering broth. Divide the avocado, cheese and tortilla chips among the serving bowls. When the chicken is done, ususally about 5 minutes, ladle the soup into the bowls. Pass the lime separately.

    Rotisserie or grilled chicken can stand in for the raw chicken breasts (add it at the last second).

    -Adapted from Rick Bayless