Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Red Velvet Cupcakes

For our sister-in-law's birthday she chose a red velvet cake for her birthday cake. It was my first experience with red velvet and I fell in love with it! So when I found a red velvet cupcake recipe a few months ago, Bryson and I just had to try it, and they were so good! I found the recipe in the Cooking Light magazine. Here's a link to the recipe, and try it! You won't be disappointed!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Balsamic-Glazed Chicken and Bell Pepper Sandwiches

One of my favorite online resources for healthy recipes is a site called myrecipes.com. You can search for recipes under many different categories such as: ingredient, occasion, dietary need and culture. Plus they give serving sizes and nutritional information. If you want a great resource where you can find easy, healthy and tasty meals, myrecipes is wonderful!

We stayed pretty close to the recipe, although we substituted a real red pepper for roasted red peppers, and used sourdough bread instead of focaccia bread.

Here's a link to the recipe:

Fresh Mozzarella, Tomato. and Basil Couscous Salad

After making this dish, Bryson and I have fallen in love with couscous! It's so good and can pair with so many different things. This salad (which we found at myrecipes.com) we actually had as a main dish, although it would also work great as a side dish. It was so fresh tasting (hence the name :) ), very filling and so simple. It's a great meal to make when you don't have a lot of time, and it's pretty healthy too. The only thing we changed was to use a can of diced tomatoes instead of fresh ones. Enjoy!

Here's a link to the recipe:

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Mozzarella with Roasted Red Peppers and Pesto Sandwiches

This is one of our new favorite sandwiches, and so simple to make. I found it in The America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook (I love this cookbook), although as always we made a few changes. There are four ingredients to this sandwich:
  • Fresh Mozzarella
  • Roasted Red Peppers
  • Pesto
  • Focaccia Bread
Bryson and I didn't have any focaccia bread so we used sourdough bread instead. We also only had shredded mozzarella cheese which, although a little messy, worked just fine. And our final change was that we grilled the sandwiches, which brought out all the flavors of the peppers, cheese and pesto, plus just gave it an extra kick.

Here is how we assembled them:
  • Spread pesto on the bread
  • Layer with a few Roasted Red Peppers
  • Sprinkle with Cheese
  • Spread pesto on the other piece of bread and place that (pesto side down) on the rest of the sandwich
Butter one side and put that side down on either a heated grill or in a heated pan. Once that side is finished, butter the top side and carefully flip the sandwich over.

We paired our sandwich with a bag of frozen vegetables that we sprinkled with Italian seasoning and baked in the oven.

Mexican Shepherd's Pie

It's been a while since either of us has posted any recipes. The one I'm going to post we actually discovered a few months ago. It's what we like to call a Mexican Shepherd's Pie. It's very simple to make.

For the base or filling, we used Mexican Happiness. Then we made some mashed potatoes and mixed it with a little cumin and chili powder to give it a little kick. When those are finished, spread them over the Mexican Happiness. We used little handled soup bowls to hold the pie, but you can really put it in any oven proof dish.

Put the pie in the oven at 350 degrees. Since all the ingredients are already cooked, you are really just making sure it's warmed all the way through. So there's no set time limit. When you feel it's been heated the way you like it, take it out. For a final touch we sprinkled a little cheese on top. So delicious and so easy! Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Mexican Happiness

This is a recipe that Whitney has been making for quite awhile, she said it was inspired by a roommate's cooking, but she added her own combination of ingredients. It has a real latin american flavor, and it tastes wonderful! Whitney wanted me to make sure that I made it clear that you could use the base in any sort of way, either as taco filling, with chips, with whatever! Enjoy playing with it!

Creating the Base

1/2 lb. of ground beef
1 can of corn
1 can of black beans
1 can of northern white beans (I think hominy might taste good here)
1 pint of medium salsa
Garlic Salt
Chili Powder
Ground Red Pepper

In a non-stick skillet, brown the beef over medium heat. Mix some garlic salt (a teaspoon or so) into the beef as it is browning.

Once the beef is browned, add the cans of corn, beans, and salsa. Stir to combine.

Now to try and explain Whitney's method of spicing. I asked her for specific measurements, but she has no idea! So here's how she does it: When she's adding a spice, she sprinkles it completely over the top of the mix, stirs it in and then tastes it to see if she's added enough. It usually takes two to three tries of that to get it right. She does say that she added a little more garlic salt, and not very much ground red pepper.

Let it simmer until the flavors combine, a nice juicy forms with it, and it looks like this:

The way we arranged the Mexican Happiness tonight is that we made homemade tortillas to use as a base for tostadas. We then added shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, and grated cheese. Another favorite is to put the base in a bowl, add the shredded cheese, and eat it with corn chips.


Sunday, September 20, 2009


So, I keep bragging about my Wife's cooking on facebook, and I keep getting asked for recipes. So I decided its time we start a blog, eh? I hope you enjoy. The story behind this is, we never do exactly what the cookbook says, but we will give you the recipe as we did it :) Hopefully you can enjoy and add your own tweaks in the comments!

So, Saturday night was pizza night. Having served my mission in Italy, I really love pizza and have never successfully recreated it. Until last night. We did everything, from throwing the dough (wish we had some pictures of that) to sliding it on a pizza crisper (a pizza tray with holes in it, found it at bed bath and beyond, really recreated the "brick oven" idea) AMAZING stuff!

Pizza Dough

4 1/2 c Bread Flour (it actually is important to get the Bread Flour, we used "Better for Bread" in the yellow bag)

1 1/2 t. salt

2 1/4 t. Yeast

1 1/2 c. lukewarm water

2 T olive oil

Sprinkle the yeast over the warm water and allow to proof.

Meanwhile, put the bread flour and salt in the cuisinart and pulse to combine. (If you don't have a cuisinart, a kitchen aid with the dough hook, or a bowl with your hands will work just fine).

Once the yeast is proofed and foaming (I usually stir it in at some point) add the olive oil to the water.

Turn on the cuisinart and add the liquids through the spout very slowly. Continue mixing until you have a ball. Let the dough rest for two minutes, then mix again for 30 seconds. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover, and let rise for about an hour. Punch down and then let rise for another five minutes.

This recipe makes three 12 inch pizzas. The throwing and the rolling out of the dough is up to you. I usually would roll it until it was about 6 inches in diameter and then throw it. We ended up with a lot of holes and had to start over, but it was fun!

Now for the pizza toppings:

Margherita Pizza (Traditional Italian, and my personal favorite)

2 tomatoes, cored and sliced

5-6 basil leaves rolled and sliced (so you get little ribbons of basil)

2 cups (or more!) mozerella cheese

3 T Olive oil

1 t garlic

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees farenheight. Mix the olive oil and garlic and spread over the crust. Place in the oven for 8 minutes.

Remove from the oven and arrange the tomatoes on the pizza evenly. Salt the tomatoes to taste. Then spread the cheese over the top. Place in the oven for another 12 minutes.

Remove from the oven and immediately sprinkle the basil over the top.

Slice and Eat!!

Potato and Onion Pizza

2 Potatoes, sliced 1/8 inch thick

1 small onion, cut in half and sliced lengthwise

2 T butter

2 T Olive oil

1 t garlic

Thyme, Rosemary, and Salt to taste

2-3 cups shredded mozarella cheese

Caramelizing the onions: Melt the butter over medium high heat. (If you want you can also add a little olive oil, reduces the smoking point of the butter). Add the sliced onions to the butter and sprinkle a little bit of salt on them. Stir them until they're slightly translucent. Reduce the heat to medium low, cover, and let cook for 15 -20 minutes, stirring occasionally until golden brown. Spread onions out on a paper towl and blot to remove the butter.

Preheat the oven to 400-degrees farenheight. Mix the Olive oil and garlic and let rest for a few minutes. Brush over the pizza crust. Layer the potatoes on the pizza very close (not overlapping, but touching) until the pizza is covered. Season with Rosemary, Thyme, and salt (Whitney still thinks we should've used garlic salt here, it was a little underseasoned still). Place in the oven for 12 minutes.

Remove from oven, sprinkle cheese over the top. Back into the oven for 8 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender and the crust is browning.

Remove from oven, let cool for a couple minutes (or as long as you can last), slice, and serve!

Hope you enjoy!