Thursday, November 18, 2010

MOVEMBER Bake Sale Delivery!

Hello my lovelies!

My awesome boyfriend Vince is participating in MOVEMBER in November. Movember is an organization that is raising awareness for men's cancers, Prostate Cancer and Testicular Cancer.

What he did was shave off his beloved mustache and goatee that he's been growing for a very long time and will re-grow one for the month of November. In addition, he is also raising money for the cause.

As the awesome girlfriend that I am, I feel the need to help him by throw a fundraiser, such as a Bake Sale! The problem with that is that I don't have a place to actually host a bake sale in such short notice. That's why I created Bake Sale Delivery :) I posted an invite on the Events page of Facebook and put down a list of cookies, cupcakes, and brownies along with the prices. To my surprise it's getting a huge turn out. Pretty much all the cookies on the menu I've posted on here. These are just a couple of goodies that I haven't yet.
Here's one of them!

Chewy Oatmeal Cookies 


  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 large eggs, well beaten
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 3 cups rolled oats, not instant
  • 1 cup raisins (optional)
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)


  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two large cookie sheets or line with parchment paper.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter until creamy. Add sugars; beat until fluffy. Beat in eggs. Then add vanilla.
  3. In a medium bowl mix flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg together. 
  4. Stir dry ingredients into butter-sugar mixture a cup at a time. If you choose to add raisins and/or nuts, stir these in now. Stir in oats.
  5. Roll out 1 inch balls of dough onto prepared cookie sheets, leaving at least 2 inches between each cookie.
  6. Bake until cookie edges turn golden brown, 10-12 minutes. Let the cookies stay on the cookie sheet a few minutes longer to let them "cook" a little longer.
  7. Move the cookies carefully to a cooling rack and let cool for at least 5 to 10 mins.

Stay hungry, my friends :)

    Wednesday, October 6, 2010

    honey soy salmon

    Hello my lovelies!

    I'm currently house/pet sitting for a friend of mine while he travels the world in 4 weeks. I'm lucky that he lives really close by the a grocery store, but when you're lazy and not wanting to go anywhere you have to make the most of things. I came across this recipe for honey glazed salmon. It wasn't very tasty for some reason. I thought it to be too sweet. This time around I decided to play it up with some soy sauce. It came out pretty delish! Try it out and let me know what you guys think. If you have any suggestions on how to make this dish better, please let me know!

    Honey Soy Salmon


    • 1/2 to 1 cup soy sauce
    • 2 filet salmon
    • 4 tbs of butter
    • 4 tbs of honey


    1. Pour soy sauce into a resealable bag or container. Submerge the salmon into the soy sauce. Let the salmon marinate in the soy sauce for an hour. If the salmon isn't completely submerged, either add more soy sauce or just flip the filets over after a half hour.
    2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
    3. In a pan over low heat, melt the butter. 
    4. When the butter is melted take off the heat. Spoon in the honey. (If you want to make this a little more sweeter, add a couple more tbs of honey.) Stir well.
    5. Take the filets out of the marinade and gently place them in to the pan of the honey mixture. Coat both sides of the filets well. 
    6. Place the filets into a baking dish. Spoon the leftover honey mixture over the salmon.   
    7. Put salmon into the oven and bake for 15 mins. 
    8. Serve warm with a side of rice or cous cous. 

    Bon appetit!

    Wednesday, September 15, 2010

    Farmers Market food

    Hello my lovelies!

    Summertime has come and gone and I never got a chance to post these recipes in time. The one thing that I absolutely love about summer and occasionally the autumn seasons are farmers markets. I absolutely love them! You definitely can tell the difference between fresh vegetables and fruits coming from a farmers market and the grocery store. Here are a few of my favorite recipes. Enjoy!

    Sweet and Salty Marinated Asparagus


    • 3 lbs fresh asparagus, about 44 to 50 spears if you get them medium sized
    • 1/2 cup of low sodium soy sauce
    • 1/3 cup of rice vinegar
    • 3 tbs of olive oil
    • 2 tbs of fresh ginger
    • 1-2 tbs of honey
    • 1 tbs of minced garlic
    • 1 tbs of sesame seeds
    • pinch of cayenne pepper to taste


    1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add asparagus and cook for 5 mins. Drain immediately put the asparagus into a bowl of ice water.
    2. In a medium size bowl whisk soy sauce, rice vinegar, oil, ginger, garlic, honey, and cayenne. 
    3. Take out asparagus from the ice water and place in a large baking dish. Spread out the asparagus in the dish. 
    4. Pour soy sauce mixture over the asparagus evenly.  (The amount of sauce should submerge the asparagus in the baking dish. If it doesn't, add a little water.)
    5. Cover baking dish with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at 3 to 4 hours. 
    6. In a small pan on low heat toast sesame seeds for 2 mins. 
    7. Take out the asparagus from the refrigerator. Drain off the marinade from the asparagus. Save the sauce.
    8. Place the asparagus on a serving plate. Add a few spoonfuls of the sauce over the asparagus. Sprinkle the sesame seeds before serving. 

    Tomato Basil Farfalle

    • 1/4 cup of lime juice
    • 3 tbs of olive oil
    • 1 tbs of grated lime zest
    • 1 tsp of ground cumin
    • 2 lbs of cherry/plum tomatoes, sliced in half or cubed
    • 1 cup of chopped basil leaves
    • 1 box of farfalle pasta


    1. Put a large pot of water to boil on medium heat. Add the pasta and cook according to the packaging directions. Drain and set aside. Sprinkle some olive oil over pasta so it doesn't stick.
    2. In a medium bowl, combine lime juice and zest, oil, and cumin. Whisk gently. 
    3. In the lime juice mixture add tomatoes and basil. Gently stir. 
    4. Add the pasta with the tomato mixture and toss gently.
    * this recipe is great if you add grilled chicken!

     Tangy Fresh Veggies


    • 1 cup of olive oil
    • 1 cup of red wine vinegar
    • 2 tbs of dried basil
    • 2 tbs of dried oregano
    • 2 tbs of dried pasley

    • 1 cup of brocoli florets
    • 1 cup of cauliflower florets
    • 1 cup of baby carrots
    • 1 cup of button mushrooms, quartered

    1. In a large bowl, combine oil, vinegar, and spices. Whisk gently. 
    2. Add brocoli, cauliflower, carrots, and mushrooms. Stir gently til all vegetables are fully coated.
    3. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 3 hrs. 
    4. Take vegetables out of refrigerator and serve cold. 
    * this recipe can also be added into stir fry :)

    Bon appetit!

    Thursday, August 19, 2010

    yummy delicious and refreshing 'ades

    Hello loverlies!

    It's been a crazy hot and humid summer in Chicago! I know I posted sangria recipes last time, but sometimes you just don't want wine. Sometimes you just want to bring something to sip on at work or on the go. Lemonades and limeades have been key beverages my summer. Here are a couple of my favorite recipes for that. Enjoy!
    This recipe was inspired by the lavender lemonade that I always get at Julius Meinl. The syrup that they use does not have that flowery soap like taste at all. It's so yummy that I had to try to make it myself.

    Lavender Lemonade

    • 5 cups of cold water
    • 1 cup of fresh lemon juice (usually this takes 5 lemons, depending on size)
    • 1 cup of sugar
    • 2 tbs of dried lavender buds
    • ice as desired


    1. In a medium pot, combine 1 cup of the water, sugar, and lavender on medium heat. Bring to a boil while stirring, or at least til the sugar has dissolved. Take off heat.
    2. Stir in lemon juice. Let it stand for 10 mins.
    3. In a pitcher, add the rest of the water. 
    4. Carefully strain the lemonade mixture into the pitcher of water. Stir.
    5. Place in refrigerator before serving. If you can't wait (cuz I usually can't) add ice as desired.

    The one thing that I always look forward to is Farmers Markets that are all over the city. I've been in this cherry kick for awhile now. I had to incorporate this with a limeade! After a few tries I finally perfected the recipe!
    Very-Cherry Limeade


    • 4 cups of cold water
    • 1 1/2 cups of sugar
    • 1 to 1 1/2 lbs of cherries, pitted
    • 1 cup of fresh lime juice (this took about 12 - 14 limes)
    • ice as desired

    1. In a medium pot, combine 2 cups of the water, sugar, cherries, and lime juice on a medium heat. 
    2. While the liquid starts to heat up, gently mash the cherries to let out their essence. 
    3. Bring to a boil while stirring, or until sugar has dissolved. Take of heat and let it stand til it cools. 
    4. In a pitcher add the rest of the water.
    5. Carefully strain limade mixture into the pitcher. Stir.
    6. Place in refrigerator or add ice as desired before serving. 


    **FYI: In case you all have noticed, I strain the lemonade mixture quicker instead of letting it cool like the limeade. The reason being is because I found out the longer you let the lavender buds steep, the more perfumey it starts to taste.

    Saturday, July 17, 2010

    Sangria Summers

     Hello loverlies!

    Gotta love the Chicago summer weather! It's so humid and balmy out. The evenings is where it's at as far as trying to stay cool. Sangria definitely helps the situation! In fact, yesterday my bestest roomie Becca and I had something to celebrate. Her CEA (cancer antigen levels) went down significantly! This definitely called for a celebration of yummy sangria!

    So, whether it's for having a meal al fresco, lounging on the porch or back yard after a long day, having fun with friends on a picnic, or just celebrating something big, sangria is definitely a winner. Here are some of my most favorite (and most requested) recipes. Enjoy!

    (For all you non alcoholic drinkers out there, substitute the wine for lemonade or limeade and not add the rum! It's still quite delicious and refreshing.)

    This sangria I made last night. It was a huge hit between Becca and I that I have to share it with you all!

    Wild Berry Sangria


    • 1 bottle of Rose wine, chilled
    • 1 cup of white sugar
    • 1 cup of mango flavored rum (I used Bacardi Mango)
    • 1 cup of water
    • 1/2 can of frozen orange juice concentrate
    • 1/2 can of frozen lime flavored drink concentrate
    • 1 cup of frozen raspberries
    • 1 cup of frozen blueberries
    • 1 cup of frozen strawberries 
    •  Ice, as needed


    1. In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, combine frozen juice concentrates with water. Add rum slowly. Mix in sugar. Bring juice mixture to a boil. Take off heat immediately. 
    2. In a carafe or pitcher, add frozen berries. Pour juice mixture into the container with the frozen berries (use a funnel if a carafe is used). Let it stand for 10 mins. 
    3. Pour chilled Rose wine into the container. Add ice if preferred. 
    4. Add berries from the container into each glass before pouring the sangria. 

    This sangria made it's debut last year for Becca's birthday party. The theme was Wine and Cheese at the RoRe Vineyard ("Ro" for Roanne, "Re" for Rebecca).  Needless to say it was quite delicious!

    Peach Basil Sangria

    • 1/2 cup of white sugar
    • 3 cups of peach nectar
    • 1/4 cup of lemon juice, freshly squeezed (this equals to 1 whole lemon)
    • 1 cup of loosely packed basil leaves
    • 1 bottle of white wine (for this I used a Pinot Grigio)
    • 1 cup of ice


    1. In a medium sauce pan combine nectar, sugar, lemon juice, and basil leaves. 
    2. Bring mixture to a simmer and stir while gently crushing the basil leaves to release their flavor. Simmer long enough for the sugar to dissolve, then take off of heat and allow to cool.
    3. Add ice into a carafe or pitcher. Strain basil mixture into container. Pour in wine. 
    4. Stir briefly and then serve. 



    Tuesday, June 15, 2010

    Maple lovin!

    Hello lovelies!

    Over the weekend my roomie Becca and I went to the East coast for her Colondar reunion. If you've been following my blog, my bestest friend and roomie Becca was diagnosed with Colon Cancer back in 2006. She participated in the Colon Club's 2008's Colondar.
    Since then Becca's become very close to all of the Colondar models, old and new. This year marks the 5th year since the making of the Colondar. The Colon Club invited the models back to the infamous Lake George lakehouse to reminisce and meet the new models. The models were able to invite guests to accompany them and I, alongside Becca's mom, Mary, and her trusty cameraman Ehsan, had the honor to join in. I understand now what Becca was saying about the lakehouse. There is a sense of tranquility and some kind of special healing power of the place that will forever be a part of me. These people that have been affected by Colon Cancer have a story to tell and to just imagine that there are close to 100 of them alive and well, active in their pursuit of colon cancer awareness. I was honored to be in their presence as well as inspired to help.

    We stayed in Vermont majority of the time, and this of course introduced me to the ever loving essence of maple. Before we left, we got a chance to stop by the Dakin Farm and purchase some maple syrup and other goodies. I seriously couldn't wait to come home start creating recipes with all this yummy maple. When I woke up this morning this is what I've come up with. Enjoy!

    * - I used Dakin Farm's maple products for all of these recipes. I hope you get a chance to use them. They are quite delicious!

    Maple Marinade Salmon


    • 1/4 cup Maple Syrup *
    • 1/2 of a lemon, freshly squeezed
    • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
    • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
    • 1/2 tsp of finely chopped ginger (if you don't have fresh ginger, ground ginger works too!)
    • 4 salmon fillets


    1. In a large bowl, mix all ingredients, except the salmon. When finished, reserve 1/4 cup of the marinade.
    2. In a shallow baking dish (i use an 8x8 or 9x9) arrange salmon fillets. Pour the remainder of marinade over each fillet. Make sure each fillet is fully coated. Refrigerate for 30 mins. 
    3. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Preheat oven for 5 mins. Take fillets out of the refrigerator and place inside preheated oven. 
    4. Bake fillets for 15 - 20 mins until fish flakes easily with fork. 
    5. Before serving, drizzle the 1/4 cup of marinade over salmon. 

    Maple Glazed Carrots


    • 1/2 bag of peeled baby carrots
    • 2 tbsp of unsalted butter
    • 1/4 cup of water
    • 2 tbsp of  Maple Syrup *
    • Dash of salt


    1. Bring medium pot of water to boil. Add carrots and cook for 3 - 5 mins until tender. Drain. 
    2. In a large skillet combine butter, water, maple syrup, and salt over a medium-low heat. 
    3. When butter is melted, add carrots. Mix well and cover. Bring to a quick boil then reduce heat to simmer. 
    4. Cook carrots for 8 mins stirring often. 
    5. When finished cooking (most of the liquid will be gone), uncover and let sit for a few minutes before serving.

    Maple Butter Cookies


    • 1 cup of butter, softened
    • 2/3 cups of  Maple Sugar  (use brown sugar if you can't find maple sugar in your local grocery store)
    • 1 egg
    • 2 cups of flour
    • 1/2 tsp of salt
    • 1 jar of Maple Butter *


    1. In a large bowl, cream butter, sugar, and egg. Mix until well blended.
    2. While mixing, slowly add flour 1/2 cup at a time. Add salt. Blend well. 
    3. Cover bowl and place in refrigerator for at least 1 hour. 
    4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Take out cookie dough from refrigerator.
    5. Roll 1 inch balls and place approx 1 1/2 to 2 in apart on cookie sheets. Flatten balls with the bottom of a glass dipped in flour.
    6. Place in oven and bake 10 - 12 mins.
    7. Remove from oven. Place cookies on cooling rack.
    8. Once the cookies are cooled spread a fairly generous amount of maple butter on top.

    Bon Appetit!

      Tuesday, May 18, 2010

      meatless pasta dishes

      Hello my lovelies!

      I meant to post these recipes during the Lenten season, but I never got a chance to. So, I'm adding them now. I decided that this week I'm going to try to be a bit of a vegetarian, or at least try to eat less meat and more veggies. Something along those lines. These work great whenever Becca or I have friends over that are vegetarian or prefer to eat meatless. Enjoy!

      White Wine Sauce and Vegetables with Linguinie

      • 2 tbsp of olive oil
      • 1 small white onion, chopped
      • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
      • 1 cup of semi-dry white wine  (I use Wollersheim Winery's Prairie Fume)
      • 1 cup of water
      • 1 tbsp of butter
      • 1/2 tbsp of flour
      •  1/4 cup of fresh parsley, chopped
      • salt and pepper to taste
      • 10 to 15 large mushrooms, quartered
      • 1 bunch of asparagus tips
      • 1 box of linguinie, cooked
      1. In a large skillet on medium heat add 1 tbsp of olive oil, asparagus, and mushrooms. Stir gently for 5 mins until softened. Take off heat and set aside.
      2. In a medium sauce pan over low heat, add olive oil, onion, and garlic. Cook until onions are soft and slightly translucent, about 5 mins. 
      3. Add the white wine and water then bring to a low simmer. Continue to simmer for about 10 mins.
      4. Add the butter and flour, stirring until completely combined and the sauce begins to thicken. 
      5. Use a hand mixer to blend the onions and sauce until creamy. (If the sauce becomes to thick add more water, a 1/4 cup at a time, until you reach desired consistency)
      6. Add salt and pepper to taste (I usually start off with 1/2 tsp of each to start with)
      7. Add vegetables to sauce. Simmer for 5 mins. Take off heat.
      8. In a large serving bowl combine linguinie and vegetables. Toss gently until the pasta is completely coated. 
      * - This dish is also yummy along with some pan fried or grilled chicken breast. 
      ** - Also save the asparagus stalks for something else. All you have to do is blanch them and then put them in the freezer!

        Hearty Vegetable Spaghetti

        • 3 medium carrots, chopped
        • 2 small to medium zucchini, chopped (skinned if preferred)
        • 1 medium onion, chopped
        • 5 large mushrooms, chopped
        • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
        • 1 tbsp of salt
        • 1 tbsp of pepper
        • olive oil 
        • 2 tbsp of Italian seasonings 
        • 1 24oz of pasta sauce (I like to use Prego's traditional sauce for this one. I also don't use the whole jar, but some of you might like it a bit more saucier)
        • 1 box of spaghetti 

        1. In a large skillet on medium heat, drizzle olive oil. 
        2. Add carrots and onions. Mix until softened.
        3. Drizzle a little more olive oil and then add garlic and zucchini. Mix until zucchini is softened. 
        4. Drizzle a little more olive oil and then add mushrooms, salt, and pepper. Mix well until mushrooms are softened. Take off heat and set aside.
        5. In a large sauce pan over medium heat pour half of the jar of pasta sauce. Add Italian seasonings. Simmer for about 5 mins. Lower heat.
        6. Slowly start to add cooked vegetables. Once all the vegetables are in the sauce carefully stir in the rest of the pasta sauce. Let the sauce simmer for about 10 mins, occasionally stir. 
        7. In a large serving bowl combine spaghetti and sauce. Gently incorporate vegetable sauce and spaghetti until fully coated.

        Bon Apetito!

        Wednesday, May 5, 2010

        bake sale goodies

        Hello lovelies!

        Sorry to have kept you guys waiting with all the yumminess. I've been super busy with work, family matters, and thinking up some deliciousness. 

        My bestest friend and roomie, Becca, is having a fundraiser thrown in her honor at her job, Old Town School of Folk Music, in Chicago, IL. It's gonna be a bake sale and they're calling it, Bake It For Becca! Fits her totally since she loves to eat (as do we all, hehehe). In case some of you don't know this, Becca was diagnosed with Colon Cancer at the tender age of 24. She's beat it before, and now that it's showed its ugly face again we all knjow that she can beat it again. I also know I already posted some fundraiser foods back in October (or was it November? Not too sure, but it was another fabulous fundraiser for Bec). I just came across some more throughout the recent months and want to share it with all of you. I know there's more, but I'll just have to post them here another day :)

        Dulce De Leche Sandwich Cookies
        1¼ cups all-purpose flour
        ½ tsp. baking soda
        Pinch of salt
        8 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
        6 tbsp. dulce de leche, plus more for filling (1 can)
        6 tbsp. light brown sugar, packed
        ¼ cup sugar
        1 large egg

        Preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.  In a small mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt.  Stir with a fork to blend.

        In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-high speed until soft and smooth.  Mix in the 6 tablespoons dulce de leche, and both the brown and white sugars.  Beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Beat in the egg, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.  (The mixture may look curdled - don't worry.)  With the mixer on low speed, mix in the dry ingredients just until incorporated.

        Spoon the dough onto the prepared baking sheets, using a heaping teaspoon of dough for each cookie and leaving 2 inches between them.  Bake for 10-12 minutes, rotating the pans from top to bottom and front to back halfway through baking time.  The cookies should be a golden honey brown with a light crust, but they will still be soft.  Remove the cookies from the oven and let the cookies rest on the baking sheet for a few minutes.  Using a metal spatula, carefully transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.    Repeat with the remaining dough.

        Once the cookies are completely cool, pair them up by size.  Spread the flat side of one cookie from each pair with a small amount of dulce de leche, and top with the other cookie.  Repeat with the remaining cookies.

        *This cookie is quite chewy in texture. If you want a crisper cookie, leave in the oven for 15 to 18 minutes.

        Amazing Blueberry Muffins
        • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
        • 3/4 cup white sugar
        • 1/2 teaspoon salt
        • 2 teaspoons baking powder
        • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
        • 1 egg
        • 1/3 cup milk
        • 1 cups of fresh blueberries (if out of season, use 1 1/2 cups of frozen blueberries)
        • Crumb Topping
        • 1/2 cup white sugar
        • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
        • 1/4 cup butter, cubed
        • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

        1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line muffin/cupcake sheets with muffin liners.
        2. Combine 1 1/2 cups flour, 3/4 cup sugar, salt and baking powder. Place vegetable oil into a 1 cup measuring cup; add the egg and enough milk to fill the cup. Mix this with flour mixture. Fold in blueberries. Fill muffin cups right to the top, and sprinkle with crumb topping mixture.
        3. To Make Crumb Topping: Mix together 1/2 cup sugar, 1/3 cup flour, 1/4 cup butter, and 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon. Mix with fork, and sprinkle over muffins before baking.
        4. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until done.
        Bon appetit!

        Thursday, February 18, 2010

        Lenten season foods

        Hello all my lovelies and Catholic friends!

        I know that with this Lenten season a lot of my friends and family (including myself) will be giving up a few things, one of which is meat (beef, pork, and for most poultry) every Friday (and for you hard-core Catholics the last week) til Easter Sunday. Here are a few recipes that will hopefully tide you over til we all can start eating meat!

        *You can use any fish for these recipes. I just prefer salmon and tilapia.

        Goat Cheese Salmon


        • 4 to 6 salmon fillets (depends on how thick they are)
        • 1/2 cup of herbed goat cheese (or plain if you'd prefer)
        • 1/4 cup of Dijon mustard
        • 1/4 cup of mayonnaise


        1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease large baking dish.
        2. Arrange salmon fillets in the baking dish. Make small incisions in each fillet, and stuff equal amounts of the herbed goat cheese (if the fillet is thick enough to cut length wise, do so and make a small pocket so you can stuff the goat cheese inside, but don't fill too much because it'll ooze out when baking)
        3. Bake salmon for 15 to 20 mins in oven, or til salmon is easily flaked with a fork. 
        4. In a separate bowl, mix Dijon and mayonnaise together (I prefer to use more Dijon than mayo in this recipe). Spoon over salmon once it's taken out of the oven. Wait for 10 mins before serving.  
        *If the Dijon/mayo sauce is too vinegary, add a few teaspoons of honey.

          Herb-Crusted Salmon with Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce


          • 4 tsp of olive oil
          • 2 tbs of shallots minced (if you can't find shallots, mince a pearl onion)
          • 1 tbs of fresh lemon juice
          • 1/2 cup of dried white wine
          • 6 sun-dried tomatoes (not packed in oil), minced
          • 1/2 tsp of Kosher salt
          • 1/2 of ground black pepper
          • 1 tsp of dried basil
          • 1 tsp of dried rosemary
          • 1tsp of dried thyme
          • 1/2 cup of bread crumbs (I use panko)
          • 2 to 4 salmon fillets (depending on thickness)

          Sauce: (I like to make the sauce before I prepare the fish. That way the flavors are all settled in. Then I just reheat the sauce before I pour it over the fish when it's done baking)
          1. In a large skillet, heat 2 tsp oil over medium heat. Sautee shallots, stirring constantly, til lightly golden.
          2. Add lemon juice, wine, and sun-dried tomatoes. Turn up the heat to a medium-high flame. Cook until sauce is reduced to about a 1/2 cup.
          3. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
          1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a 9x13 in baking dish.
          2. Whatever makes it easier, use a ziplock bag, a larger bowl, or a large plate, combine bread crumbs, basil, rosemary, and thyme. Dredge each fillet in bread crumb mixture, coating well.
          3. Place fillets in the baking dish. Drizzle each fillet with the remaining 2 tsp olive oil.
          4. Bake for 8 to 10 mins, til salmon is easily flaked with fork. 
          5. Take fillets out of oven. Make a slit lengthwise on top of the salmon. Spoon sauce over the fillets. 

          Lemon Pepper Dill Tilapia


          • 2-4 tilapia fillets
          • 1/2 cup of butter (1 stick)
          • 1 half of a lemon
          • 1 tbs of dried dill weed
          • 1 tbs of lemon pepper seasoning
          • 4 tsp of olive oil


          1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In an 8x8 (or 9x9) baking dish, drizzle olive oil. 
          2. Place fillets in baking dish. Sprinkle evenly dill and lemon pepper seasoning over fillets.
          3. Cut up butter and place on top and around fish.
          4. Place in oven and bake for 15 mins, or until fish flakes off with fork. Before serving, squeeze lemon over fish.

          Bon appetit!

            Tuesday, February 9, 2010

            Comfort foods

            BRRRRRR!!!!! It's cold out there!

            Tonight, in sweet home Chicago, it's supposed to start snowing some time around midnight. We're expecting at least 10 to 12 inches. YIKES!!! With this type of weather all I can think of is warm comforting soups and delicious sweet breads. Tonight I made my favorite butternut squash soup and I experimented with zucchini bread. I wanted a more denser and heartier zucchini bread and I think I got it.

            Butternut Squash Soup with Bacon Garnish


            1. 1 butternut squash halved and pitted
            2. 1 stick of butter (1/2 cup of butter)
            3. 1 1/2 to 2 cups of brown sugar
            4. 4 cups of vegetable broth (if you want a creamier soup, use 3 cups of veg broth and 1 cup of heavy whipping cream)
            5. 1 onion, chopped
            6. 1/2 tsp of pepper
            7. 6 strips of bacon, cooked and crumbled (if desired)


            • Preheat oven to 425 degrees
            • Place halved and pitted butternut squash on cookie sheet or 9x 12 in pan (I line it with foil for easier cleanup)
            • Cut stick of butter in half (or split the half cup) and place each half inside the pitted hole of the squash
            • Separate brown sugar and pank in the pitted hole of the squash along with the butter. Spillage of brown sugar is okay, as long as it's on the squash flesh.
            • Place inside oven and bake for 45 mins to 1 hr, or until when poked with fork it slides out easily .
            • While the squash is in the oven, take out a large stock pot and place on stove. Either use a 1 tbs of butter or 1tbs of olive oil and sautee chopped onion on medium heat til the onion is transluscent. Take off heat.
            • When squash is done, take out of the oven, and carefully scoop out the cooked flesh and put it inside stock pot with sauteed onion. Discard skin. Pour vegetable broth and turn on stove to medium heat.
            • Take out hand mixer and puree squash, onion, and broth til smooth. Cook uncovered for 30 mins.
            • When serving soup, sprinkle a tsp of crumbled bacon (if you want to keep this vegetarian, use parmesan shavings)

            Zucchini Bread

            1. 3 cups of all purpose flour
            2. 1 tsp of salt
            3. 1 tsp of baking soda
            4. 1/4 tsp of baking powder
            5. 3 tsp of ground cinnamon
            6. 3 eggs
            7. 2 cups of white sugar
            8. 4 tsp of vanilla extract
            9. 1 cup of vegetable oil
            10. 3 cups of grated zucchini


            • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
            • In a medium bowl, mix together flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon
            • In a large bowl, mix eggs, sugar, oil, and vanilla. Fold in grated zucchini to egg mixture. 
            • Slowly add in flour combination to the zucchini and egg mixture. 
            • Pour evenly into 2 pre-greased loaf pans.
            • Place inside preheated oven and bake for 1 hr.
            *I like to sprinkle a combination of cinnamon and sugar on top of the zucchini bread the minute I take the loaves out of the oven. It gives it that special something when you bite into it. My roommate Becca likes to eat it with a little butter. It's devine!!

            Bon appetit!

            Wednesday, January 20, 2010

            Chunky beef stew

            Man, it's soooo cold in my house! Chicago winters are brutal, especially in a drafty home. That's why I always try to keep busy in the kitchen by baking cookies or huge entrees. There are some days when I don't have time to cook when I get home from work. That's when I use a crock pot. I get up a little early in the morning and start getting the ingredients ready to toss into the pot. While Becca and I are at work our dinner is cooking. My chunky beef stew is one of my favorites to make. I use lots of baby carrots and potatoes in this.

            Chunky Beef Stew

            • 3 cups of vegetable juice (like V8 or tomato juice)
            • 2 cups of water
            • 2 lbs of stew meat, mostly BEEF!!!
            • 2 large russet potatoes or 5 small red potatoes, peeled and cubed
            • 3 large carrots, peeled and chopped, or a small bag of baby carrots
            • 1 small yellow onion, peeled and chopped
            • 1/2 cup of ketchup
            • 3 tablespoons or cubes of beef flavored instant buillon
            • 2 tsp of black pepper


            1. Make sure you use a liner for your slow cooker! So much easier for clean up.
            2. Pour vegetable juice, ketchup, and water into the slow cooker.
            3. Add bouillon, beef, potatoes, carrots, onion, and pepper. Stir gently. 
            4. After stirring ingredients together, put lid on slow cooker.
            5. Set slow cooker on LOW for 8 to 9 hours OR HIGH for 4 to 5 hours, until beef is tender.

            Bon appetit!

            Sunday, January 3, 2010

            Bacon chicken

            Happy New Year my lovelies!!!

            To start off the new  year I want to share you a recipe from my boyfriend, Vince. He found this recipe a few months ago. He wanted to try his hand at cooking by himself one evening. It took me a while to trust him with cooking in my kitchen due to a few bad experiences with mashed potatoes, cheesy noodles, and couscous. But, I figured that he's going to have to learn some time and at least he's willing to try until he finds something that he's most comfortable with. So I told him to find a chicken recipe that he'd want to try. Sure enough he did. He tweaked it a bit to make it his own. This recipe has become a huge favorite amongst myself and friends. Vince is kind enough to share his favorite recipe on my blog :) Enjoy!

            Bacon Chicken

            • 10 slices bacon
            • 1 Tbsp. butter
            • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
            • 6 to 8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (this depends on size)
            • 1 onion, chopped
            • 3 cloves garlic, minced
            • 1/2 tsp. salt
            • 1/8 tsp. pepper
            • 1-1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese


            1. Turn on oven to 350 degrees.
            2. Cook bacon in 12" skillet until crisp, about 4-6 minutes. Crumble bacon and set aside. Pour bacon grease out of skillet, but don't wash or wipe it. 
            3. Add butter and olive oil to skillet. 
            4. Saute chicken breasts in this mixture over medium heat, turning once, until chicken is cooked and no longer pink in center. This usually takes about 7 mins on both sides.
            5. Place chicken in ungreased 12x8" baking dish.
            6. Cook onion and garlic in drippings remaining in skillet until softened, then stir in salt, pepper, and cooked bacon. 
            7. Spoon over chicken breasts and sprinkle with cheese. 
            8. Bake for 10-15 minutes until cheese is melted.