Category: Recipes

Homemade, finger-lickin’ good recipes that flatter your waste-line.

Pesto Chicken Ciabatta Sandwhich

Pesto Chicken Sandwich

Pesto Chicken Ciabatta Sandwich Ingredients

  • 1 chicken breast halved
  • 4 oz fresh mozzarella
  • 1 handful fresh arugala
  • 1 sliced roma tomato
  • 4 tbl spoons homemade pesto sauce
  • 2 ciabatta rolls
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Season chicken with olive oil, salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning. Grill chicken until fully cooked. Combine remaining ingredients between toasted ciabatta rolls and serve hot. Everyone loves a fresh pesto chicken ciabatta sandwich for lunch or even an on-the-go dinner!

As the Italians say, “Molto Bene”!

Earl Grey & Honey Macarons

I love macarons but I hate paying $2 for one cookie at Whole Foods! So I decided to try making these delicious little french cookies on my own. The first batch I tried using a recipe that required measuring each ingredient by the ounce….that was a big mistake! Then I watched a few YouTube videos that helped me figure out the measurements. So I’ve put together the best tips and tricks to make the perfect french cookie: Earl Grey Macarons with Honey Buttercream Filling.Earl Grey MacaronsSimple Earl Grey Macaron Ingredients

  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 3/4 cup almond flour
  • 1 teaspoon earl grey tea leaves
  • 2 1/2 table spoons fine granulated sugar
  • 2 drops food coloring

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

Sift the almond flour and powdered sugar into a large bowl and stir until thoroughly blended. Add the teaspoon of earl grey leaves and mix in.

Next is the fun part, making the meringue for the cookies! Start by whipping your egg whites for 3 minutes on speed 4 on your KitchenAid. Next kick the mixer up to speed 7 for another 3 minutes while you slowly add in the granulated sugar. The mixture should have soft peaks. Add two drops of food coloring of your choice and make sure you don’t add more than two or it will alter the mixture’s consistency. I made two separate batches with two different colors.

For the last 3 minutes kick it up to high all the way. The mixture should be like a marshmallow consistency and a little stiff.This next step is very specific, take the bowl of sifted flower-sugar mixture and stir 10 times with a spatula. Take another third and stir 15 more times. Add the last bit of meringue and stir 25 more times until the mixture is fully combined. Don’t over stir or under stir.Macaron ShellsPut the mixture into a pastry bag with a large round tip. Squeeze the mixture on onto a piece of parchment paper on a cookie sheet in 1 inch circles. Next drop the pan on the counter three times to get the air bubbles out. Let the cookies sit on the counter for 15 minutes until the shells hardens and doesn’t stick to your fingers. Bake for 15 minutes and let cool. The cookies should have little feet and hard to the touch.Finished Macaron ShellsHoney Buttercream Filling

  • 4 tablespoons or 1/2 stick softened unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons honey

Fill the cookies with frosting and refrigerate for 24 hours. Bon Appétit!

Easy Homemade Pasta

There is nothing more delicious than homemade pasta. Anytime we go to an Italian restaurant with homemade pasta on the menu, I get more excited than a child in a candy store! Since my husband shares my love for carbs, he bought me a Kitchenaid Mixer Pasta Attachment for Christmas. What a smart man, buying his food-loving-wife a tool to cook. Although you may think he was buying a gift for himself, I had been saying I’ve always wanted to make homemade pasta at home plus he did his fair share kneading the dough to the perfect consistency (which is the most difficult part) and taking all the photos to document our first time making pasta from scratch. I love recipes like this because it is a great way to bond and do something together as a team that doesn’t involve the TV.

Since it was our first time making pasta we decided to go for an easy homemade pasta dough but go all out on the sauce to make one of my husbands favorite recipes, Spaghetti Carbonara. To mix things up we went with thick noodles to make our own creation: Bucatini Carbonara!

Note: For equipment, you will need a mixer, a pasta attachment, and a little muscle.

Easy Homemade Pasta Ingredients

Easy Homemade Pasta

Ingredients
3 1/2 cups All-Purpose Unbleached Flour
4 Large Eggs
4-6 Tablespoons Water
1/2 tsp Salt

Bucatini Carbonara

Ingredients
8oz chopped pancetta
1/4 cup + 1 TBL spoon extra virgin olive oil
3 large eggs
4 cloves garlic chopped
1/4 cup parsley finely chopped
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup grated Romano cheese
1/2 cup dry white wine (I used a Sauvignon Blanc I had in the fridge)

Pasta Directions

1. Sift flour into a mixer bowl.
2. Add in salt.
3. In a separate bowl whisk eggs together with one tablespoon water.
4. Using the hook attachment, slowly mix in the egg mixture into the flour at a slow speed.
5. Add in one tablespoon of water at a time until the pasta mixture begins to hold together but is still crumbly, about 1 minute.
6. Move pasta dough to a clean flat surface to hand knead the dough until smooth, 5 to 10 minutes. Do not add to much water, add minimally 1 tablespoon at a time until the dough is smooth but not sticky. If the dough is too sticky to go through the pasta attachment, add a little flour.
7. Shape dough into walnut sized balls and slowly feed through the pasta attachment. I put my mixer on speed 10. (Note: the pasta takes a lot out of the mixer so don’t do more than one batch at a time so your machine can rest.)

Pasta 2

You can’t have pasta without wine! This is my favorite wines I brought home from one of our favorite wineries in Napa, Castello di Amorosa. I have been waiting to bust this baby open and the night felt right to enjoy it at last. By the way, if you like food and wine and you haven’t been to Napa yet, it is a must! I opted for this delicious Dolcino while my husband enjoyed a rich red Cabernet.


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Bucatini Carbonara Directions

1. Heat olive oil in large pan until hot but not smoking.
2. Add chopped pancetta and cook until crisp.
3. Add in wine and simmer until reduced by half.
4. While reducing the pancetta, boil water in a 4 quart pot with a tablespoon of olive oil and a pinch of salt.
5. Cook pasta 6-9 minutes until desired softness.
6. Reserve half cup of cooking water and drain pasta.
7. In a separate bowl, mix together eggs, cheeses, garlic, and parsley.
8. Add pasta to bowl and coat with egg mixture.
9. Poor pancetta and oil into the pasta bowl along with the reserved cooking water as needed to make a creamy consistency. Stir together until pasta is completely coated and the cheese has melted.

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The finished product is so worth it. As they say, the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach! I’d love to know your favorite pasta recipes if you have any of your own. Next up on my list is creating pasta from alternative flours and really pushing the limits of my new found pasta making skills. As the Italians say, “buon appetito”!

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Skinny Baked Sweet Potato Fries

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“The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.”
-Fanny Fern

Nothing says “I love you” more than a home cooked meal. So this Valentine’s Day I grilled up filet mignon, baked these tasty sweet potato fries and a tossed in a light salad. I love making meals that don’t leave you feeling lethargic and super-full, especially if you are trying to eat healthy and stay slim.

These skinny baked sweet potato fries are as simple as can be and could even be paleo-friendly if you took out the parmesan cheese.


Cook Time: 25 minutes             Total Time: 35 minutes


Ingredients

5 or so large unpeeled sweet potatoes, cut into fries 1/2 inch thick

3 garlic cloves, finely minced

1/4 cup parmesan cheese, shredded

4 Tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

3 Tablespoons olive oil

1/2 Tablespoon corse sea salt

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Thoroughly wash sweet potatoes and slice length wise into 1/2 inch fries. Toss sweet potatoes with olive oil and minced garlic cloves until they are thoroughly coated. Place sweet potatoes on wax paper lined baking sheet. Make sure to lay all of then flat so they don’t overlap. Bake for 10 minutes then flip potatoes. Increase the heat to 450 and bake for 15 more minutes. When the fries are soft and lightly crisp, remove from the oven and sprinkle them with cheese and parsley. Add more salt if desired and enjoy!

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These pair well with turkey burgers, steak, or just about anything and they are husband approved.

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