Thursday, June 27, 2013

Grilled Chicken with Cucumber-Melon Salsa

We were running a bit late tonight, because it's Brody's 6 month birthday!! (and mommy wanted to make him a cake to celebrate)  :)  SO this was nice - because we had marinated ahead of time, and just had to make up the salsa and grill!  It was really good!!  Super fresh - and the chicken had a great taste too!!  We had this with some brown rice - perfection!

OBB Cookbook - serves 4


Chicken:1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
Juice of 4 limes (about 1/2 cup)
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon minced garlic (about 2-3 cloves)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Salsa:2/3 cup honeydew melon, cut into 1/4″ cubes
2/3 cup cantaloupe, cut into 1/4″ cubes
1/3 cup cucumber, peeled and seeded, diced
1/3 cup red onion, diced
1/2 large jalapeno, seeded and diced
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint leaves
zest of 1 lime
juice of 1 lime
1 teaspoon sugar, honey, or agave
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Rinse the chicken and place in a large Ziploc bag. Whisk together the remaining chicken ingredients in a small mixing bowl and pour it over the chicken. Marinate the chicken for at least 4 hours, no longer than 24 hours.

An hour before serving, combine the salsa ingredients in a small-medium mixing bowl.
To cook the chicken, preheat a grill to medium heat. Cook over medium flame/coals for about 7 minutes per side. Remove from the grill and allow to stand 5 minutes before serving. Top with salsa.

1/2 Birthday Cake!

HAPPY 1/2 BIRTHDAY BRODY!!!  I can't believe he is 6 months old already!!  Time has just flown by, but we have loved every MINUTE with our little man!!  As you know, I'm a BIG fan of BIRTHDAYS - so we had to celebrate Broden's 1/2 birthday with a very fun cake!!!  :)

Bake your cake - cut it in half - and I used my mom's recipe for frosting - ahhh so good!! - and let the celebration begin!!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Tortellini Salad

Ahhh such a refreshing and yummy summer salad!!  This was so good!!  It was quick to make too - so perfect for a summer / weeknight!!

20 oz package refrigerated cheese tortellini
1 cup fresh mozzarella, cubed
1 cup pepperoni, chopped
1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1/3 cup fresh basil, chopped
2/3 cup Caesar salad dressing
salt and pepper to taste

Cook tortellini according to package directions; drain and rinse with cold water.  Transfer to a large bowl - and add remaining ingredients.  Toss well.  Refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Father's Day Poem

It was Ross's first Father's Day; so we had to make a little craft to celebrate the fun day!!  Figured we would make a personal card for him to keep :)
Washable Paint
Daddy's shoe
Baby's foot


Brody even helped out :)

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Italian Chicken Sandwiches with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

7-ounce jar of roasted red peppers, drained and patted dry (about 3/4 C)
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/2 cup mayo
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
kosher salt and black pepper
1 large french baguette (about 24″ long) or 4 large hoagie buns
2 cups cooked shredded or (or a few chicken breasts grilled and sliced)
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, or several slices
a handful of fresh basil leaves

Place roasted red peppers, garlic, mayo, and lemon juice (if you don’t have a lemon, sub red or white wine vinegar, or just leave it out!)  in a food processor.  Add a pinch of salt and a few cracks of fresh ground pepper.  Process until smooth and then store in the fridge until ready to use.  You can make the sauce ahead of time.

Slice bread in half to open it up.  Lightly brush with olive oil or butter and place under a broiler until golden brown and toasted.  Remove from oven and spread red pepper sauce on the bottom half of the bread.  Layer chicken on top of it and top with cheese.  Place back in the broiler just until cheese is melted.  Top with basil leaves.  Spread red pepper sauce on other side of bread and put sandwich together.  Slice in to 4 large hoagies, or 8 smaller sandwiches.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Brownie Cupcakes with Cookie Dough Frosting

Cookbook in the house!!!  (or I should say BABIES in the house!!!)

We made up two desserts tonight at cookbook!  Ordered up some Jimmy Johns so we could bake the desserts while we ate, and watched the little ones "play" with one another!
These cupcakes were really good; but uber rich chocolate!  I'm not a fan of chocolate, but I did LOVE the cookie dough frosting (and I didn't feel guilty eating it because there wasn't raw eggs in it!)

Yield: 12 cupcakes

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
3/4 cup butter, melted
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons milk

Cookie Dough Frosting
10 tablespoons salted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon molasses
2-3 tablespoons cream or half and half
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl whisk together flour, baking powder and salt, set aside. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together granulated sugar, light-brown sugar and cocoa powder. Pour in melted butter and use a wood spoon to stir until combine. Mix in eggs and vanilla extract. Stir in milk. Add dry ingredients and mix just until combine (batter will be thick).

Divide batter among 12 paper lined muffin cups filling each about 2/3 full (about 1/4 cup batter in each). Bake in preheated oven 16 - 20 minutes (lesser for gooier brownies). Allow to cool in muffin tin several minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool. Cool completely then frost with Cookie Dough Frosting. Store in an airtight container.

Cookie Dough Frosting
In a mixing bowl, using an electric hand mixer, whip together butter and light-brown sugar until pale and fluffy, about 3 - 4 minutes. Mix in flour then add powdered sugar, vanilla, molasses and 2 Tbsp cream and blend together until smooth adding an additional 1 Tbsp of cream to thin if desired. Fold in chocolate chips.

Note that if you want a pipe-able frosting you will have to leave the chocolate chips out then simply add some of them to the top for garnish, otherwise they'll just get clogged in the piping tips.

Pineapple Cheesecakes

This was super good; very sweet!!  If I were to make them again, I would double (maybe even triple) the amount of crust....wasn't quite enough for my liking!  It was fun to put them in these cutie little dessert serving dishes!!

Makes 4-6 servings
3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

8oz package cream cheese, softened
3 tablespoons granulated sugar (see note below)
12 ounces fresh pineapple, pureed
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
8oz tub frozen whipped topping, thawed

whipped topping, optional
fresh pineapple, optional

In a medium bowl, stir together the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter. Evenly divide the crumbs between your individual serving dishes and press into the bottoms of the dishes to form a crust layer.

In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and sugar on medium-high speed until smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes. Add in pineapple and vanilla and mix to combine, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the whipped topping until well combined.

Evenly pipe or spoon the filling into prepared individual serving dishes. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving.

If desired, garnish with additional whipped topping and fresh pineapple.