Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Dinner tonight!

Fiery Thai Chicken Wings for dinner tonight! YUM.

Penne with Ricotta and Bacon

Can't decide what to make for dinner tonight? This is quick, easy to make and only has 5 ingredients!

Penne with Ricotta and Bacon


  • 1 pound penne
  • 8 slices bacon (about 1/2 pound)
  • ½ large onion, sliced
  • 15 ounces whole-milk ricotta cheese, at room temperature
  • 10 fresh basil leaves, chopped


  1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the penne until al dente. Reserve one ladle of cooking water, then drain the pasta and transfer to a serving bowl. In a medium skillet, fry the bacon until crisp and transfer to a plate, leaving the bacon fat in the skillet. Add the onions to the skillet and cook until golden, about 10 minutes. Stir the onions and ricotta into the pasta along with the reserved pasta cooking water. Crumble the bacon and sprinkle it over the pasta along with the basil.

Parmesan-Crusted Tilapia

Yum! Tilapia -  lot of people don't realize how delicious and inexpensive this fish is. The ideas are endless! Enjoy one of my fav's!

Parmesan-Crusted Tilapia


  • ¾ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 4 tilapia fillets (about 1 pound total)
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°. In a shallow dish, combine the cheese with the paprika and parsley and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle the fish with olive oil and dredge in the cheese mixture. Place on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake until the fish is opaque in the thickest part, 10 to 12 minutes. Serve the fish with the lemon wedges.

Garlic-Dill Salmon

Here's DELICIOUS 5 ingredient recipe for Salmon. Never cooked Salmon before? Don't be scared!! Just relax, be patient and don't walk away from the kitchen (my rule of thumb for anything I try the first time). I wouldn't suggest this for a weeknight dinner, unless you have someone at home who can marinade for you.

Garlic-Dill Salmon


  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
  • 4 salmon fillets (about 1 3/4 pounds total)


  1. In a medium baking dish, combine the garlic, orange juice, lemon juice and dill. Place the salmon, skin side up, in the marinade and refrigerate for up to 3 hours. Preheat the oven to 375°. Discard half of the marinade and bake the fish in the remaining sauce until cooked through, about 15 minutes.

How to Marinate

Cool it: Always cover and refrigerate meat, poultry and fish as it marinates. Bacteria grow quickly at room temperature.

Bag it: Marinate food in glass bowls or, better yet, resealable plastic bags: They're nonreactive and save room in the refrigerator. Plus, there's no cleanup!

Stretch it: Before adding raw meat, poultry or fish to a liquid marinade, set some of the marinade aside for dipping or drizzling on top of the finished dish.

Watch the clock: Food will turn mushy if left too long in an acidic marinade. As a general rule, marinate seafood for no more than 45 minutes; small pieces of meat and poultry for no more than 2 hours; and whole chicken, large whole fish and large cuts of meat for no longer than overnight.


Liquid Marinade: This mixture usually contains three components: an acid, such as vinegar, wine or citrus juice; an oil, which protects the meat from drying out; and flavorings, such as herbs, spices and vegetables. Almost any food can be marinated: meat, poultry, fish and vegetables.

Brine: This solution of salt and water—often mixed with sugar, spices and herbs—delivers seasoning and moisture to meat. Brining takes longer than marinating but often yields more flavorful, juicier food. Brining works best with pork, poultry and shrimp.

Spice Rub: This mixture of salt, spices and herbs is rubbed onto the surface of meat, poultry or fish before cooking. Spice rubs can be dry or mixed with oil; the latter are easier to apply.

1. Choose an acid, an oil and seasonings for your marinade.
2. Whisk together the ingredients until combined.
3. Pour the marinade over the food, toss well, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Kitchen Conversion Chart

I snagged this from Pinterest and wanted to share with all of you! It's super cute and I plan to make mine on Coasters I can not only use in the kitchen BUT are super cute and cooking helpful too. Enjoy!
Wait...how many teaspoons are in a tablespoon again?
Yep. This is me. ALL the time.
In the kitchen, hovered over a recipe card and trying to
do math in a head already filled with measurements and ingredients.
I finally bought a fridge magnet with a conversion chart.
The problem? It is super-duper-ugly-town.
So I set out to make a cute one and share it with you!
These print as 4x4" square.
And you get to choose your favorite color....oooooo...fancy! 

- CLICK HERE to download pdf.
- Go to the page where the color of your choice is.
- Select print. Then select "Current Page".

- Print onto card stock and then....
a. use glue stick to add to inside cover of family recipe book
b. use tape to secure on inside door of cupboard nearest your prep station.
c. laminate and attach a magnet to the back to hang on fridge


Fiery Thai Chicken Wings

Yum! Another delicious recipe for all you wing lovers out there! I am always looking for a new recipe for Chicken wings, and this is definantly NOT a recipe for the wimpy eaters out there.

Fiery Thai Chicken Wings

Fiery Thai Chicken Wings


18-24 chicken wings (about 3-4 pounds total)
1 tablespoon kosher salt
Vegetable Oil
1 medium mango, seeded, peeled, and cut up
½ 14 ounce can of coconut milk
1 tablespoon (to start, I add about 4 tbsp) Asian chili sauce
1tablespoon lime juice
Mango slices (optional)
Snipped fresh cilantro (optional)


1. Heat Fryer or skillet until oil is HOT! HOT! HOT! (Around 350-375 degrees if you are using vegetable oil) - Cook wings for about 8 minutes… It takes me 2-3 times to cook all the wings from the bag.

2. In the meantime add all other ingredients in a food processor and mix until well blended and smooth.

3. Pull out that Wok or deep skillet and add sauce mixture and heat. Add wings turning them in sauce and simmer on medium heat for about 10 mins.

4. Transfer to a serving platter. If desired, garnish with mango slices and cilantro.

Cook’s Notes: You can really use this recipe for any wings you desire, just change the sauce.

Sweet & Smoky Nuts

Pour the crunchy, salty-and-sweet snack into paper cones for mess-free single servings that look more sophisticated than a generic snack bowl. These are perfect for any gathering or family event.

Sweet and Smoky Nuts

  • 1
    egg white
  • 1
    cup dry-roasted peanuts
  • 1
    cup whole almonds or hazelnuts (filberts)
  • 1
    cup pecan or walnut halves
  • 1/3
    cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 1/2
    teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1
    teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4
    teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4
    teaspoon ground allspice 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 15x10x1-inch baking pan with foil or parchment paper; set aside.
2.In a large bowl whisk egg white until foamy. Add peanuts, almonds, and pecans; toss gently to coat. Stir in brown sugar, paprika, salt, cinnamon, and allspice. Spread nuts in prepared baking pan.
3.Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until nuts are toasted and appear dry, stirring twice. Remove from the oven and stir again. Cool completely in the baking pan. Break up any large clusters. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

Fudgy Football Brownies

These cute Brownies will be a big hit come Superbowl Sunday. Be sure to pick up a football shaped cookie cutter at a local store.

Fudgy Football BrowniesYield: 9 or 10 football brownies or 48 brownie rectangles
Prep: 30 minsBake: 350°F 18 minsStand: overnight
  • 1
    cup butter
  • 6
    ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 2
    cups sugar
  • 4
  • 2
    teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 1/3
    cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2
    teaspoon baking soda
  • 1
    cup miniature semisweet chocolate pieces
  • Creamy Vanilla Frosting or 1 cup canned vanilla frosting
1.The day before: In a medium saucepan combine butter and unsweetened chocolate. Cook and stir over low heat until melted; cool slightly. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 15x10x1-inch baking pan with foil, extending the foil over edges of pan. Grease foil; set pan aside.
2.Stir sugar into chocolate mixture. Add eggs, one at a time, beating with a wooden spoon after each addition just until combined. Stir in vanilla. In a small bowl stir together flour and baking soda. Add flour mixture to chocolate mixture, stirring just until combined. Stir in semisweet chocolate pieces. Pour batter into the prepared baking pan, spreading evenly.
3.Bake for 18 minutes. Cool in pan on a wire rack. Using the edges of the foil, lift brownies out of pan. Using a 3- to 4-inch football-shape or other cookie cutter, cut out brownies. (Or cut brownies into rectangles.)
4.Spoon Creamy Vanilla Frosting into a decorating bag fitted with a small round tip. Pipe frosting onto brownies to decorate. Let stand until frosting is set.
5.In a storage container layer brownies between sheets of waxed paper. Cover tightly and let stand at room temperature overnight.*
6.Tailgate day: Tote brownies in container at room temperature.

Creamy Vanilla Frosting
  • 1/3
    cup shortening
  • 1
    teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2
    cups powdered sugar
  • 2
    teaspoons milk
  • Milk
In a large bowl combine shortening and vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds. Gradually beat in 3/4 cup powdered sugar. Beat in 2 teaspoons milk. Gradually beat in 3/4 cup additional powdered sugar. If necessary, beat in additional milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, to make a frosting of piping consistency.