Monday, May 18, 2015

Banana Nut Bread

What a busy couple of months it's been! From a surprise trip for my fiance's (now husband) 30th birthday to getting married over Mother's Day weekend, we've been having fun! Our wedding was held in Colorado in an intimate setting, my husbands parents house. We had quite a turn out as well, which was quite unexpected from the start. We were anticipating 30 to 40 guests but ended up with over 70. It was wonderful to have all the support from our family and friends and are so happy they attended! 

Now, being a cook I couldn't help but make my own wedding cake and cupcakes for the wedding. I can't wait for the photographer to finish all of our photos, but for now I leave a teaser! The photographer was the wonderful Tiffany of La Bella Luce Photography

And now for the yummy part! Banana bread has been a favorite of mine ever since I was a little. My mom made it best and I always enjoyed waking up to a lovely warm slice with butter. This recipe is amazing, it's flavorful, moist and has texture. I like that the bananas aren't completely mashed, it helps create bursts of flavor.



Banana Nut Bread

1 1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 eggs
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
4 bananas {ripe], half mashed
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

  • Preheat oven the 375 degrees.
  • In a mixing bowl using a whip attachment, add the sugar and butter and mix until combined. Add 1 egg in at a time and mix until fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Sift in the flour and baking soda. Add the dry ingredients, bananas, vanilla and walnuts. Using a paddle attachment, mix until just combined.
  • Spray a loaf pan with cooking spray and pour the batter in the pan.
  • Bake for 1 hour, or until a toothpick comes out clean.


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Buttery Irish Scones

So in honor of St. Patrick's Day, I've cooked a corned beef this week! Usually my corned beef is used for my one and only delicious reuben sandwiches. But I when I saw these scones, I knew I had to make corned beef hash to got with them.

The scones are delicious. Very much like your everyday scone, but folded like a pastry dough for a few more layers. I always have zante currants on hand so it was meant to be!

Buttery Irish Scones
Recipe from Epicurious

1 cup whole milk
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup cold unsalted butter, divided
1/2 cup dried currants
turbinado sugar and sea salt, garnish

  • Preheat oven to 375°. Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat.
  • Whisk the milk, sugar and salt in a medium bowl until sugar and salt dissolve. Whisk the flour and baking powder in a large bowl. Cut 10 tablespoons of butter into 1/2" cubes, add to flour mixture, and blend with your fingertips until pea size pieces form with some larger chunks remaining. Add the milk mixture and stir with a fork until large clumps form. Gently knead in the bowl until dough just comes together. Transfer to a lightly floured work surface.
  • With a lightly floured rolling pin, roll out dough to a 14x8" rectangle, with long side facing you. Heat 2 tablespoons of butter in a small bowl in the microwave until softened but not melted. Spread evenly over dough with fingertips, then sprinkle the currants evenly on top and press to adhere. Fold up bottom third of dough over center, then fold down top third to meet bottom edge. Fold in half crosswise, then, using a rolling pin, gently flatten into an 8x4" rectangle.
  • Cut dough in half lengthwise and in quarters crosswise to form 8 even squares. Transfer to the pan, spacing 2" apart. Sprinkle the tops with turbinado sugar and sea salt.
  • Bake until scones are golden brown, 25-30 minutes. Meanwhile, melt remaining 4 tablespoons of butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. When butter starts to bubble remove from heat and skim off foam from surface. As soon as the scones come out of the oven, lightly brush tops with clarified butter. 
  • Cool the scones on sheet on a wire rack and serve hot, warm, or room temperature.


Monday, January 19, 2015

Green Curry Shrimp

My favorite Thai curry is green curry, especially if it's made with homemade curry paste! I made this recipe in school a couple of years back and it definitely stuck with me. This recipe is quite basic, if you want to add more vegetables you certainly can. Bell peppers, carrots, eggplant, etc!

Green Curry Shrimp

1 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup onions, diced
1 lb shrimp, peeled and patted dry
1 cup coconut milk
5 tablespoons green curry paste {recipe below}
1 teaspoon fish sauce

  • In a pan over medium heat add the olive and onion. Cook while stirring for 1-2 minutes.
  • Add the shrimp to the pan and saute for several minutes, stirring occasionally, until they are pink.
  • Turn the heat down to low and pour in the coconut milk along with the green curry paste and fish sauce.
  • Once the coconut milk has slightly thickened and the paste is bound with the sauce turn off the heat. Serve with fluffy rice and steamed sugar snap peas.

Green Curry Paste

2 poblano peppers, seeded
4 serrano chili peppers, seeded
1 jalapeno, seeded
6 cloves garlic
1/4 cup onion
1 stalk lemongrass, chopped
1/4 cup cilantro
1/4 cup lime juice
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 1/2 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon fish sauce

  • Using a blender or food processor combine all of the ingredients and mix until smooth.



Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Huevos Rancheros

Ever since our trip to San Francisco and Napa Valley in November I've been craving huevos rancheros! And since I haven't made a post since September due to work, travel and planning our wedding I do feel terrible! We had a great time in California, we spent about a week there, a few days exploring Napa and St. Helena and then made our way to San Francisco where food is never out of reach. While in wine country, we visited 4 vineyards. Artesa, Domaine Carneros, Beringer and V. Sattui! All had a charm about them and it's very hard to pick which was our favorite. I can't wait to go back.

Huevos Rancheros

corn tortillas, fried
black bean spread {recipe below}
cheese, shredded
sour cream
egg {cooked to your preference}
hot sauce {optional}

  • Turn on the broiler.
  • Spread the black bean spread onto a freshly fried corn tortilla and sprinkle with cheese. Place under the broil until the cheese is melted, about 2-3 minutes. Remove and add a spoonful of sour cream, the egg and top with pico de gallo.

Black Bean Spread

2 tablespoons olive oil {I used infused green chili pepper}
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup onion, chopped
1 15 oz can black beans, drained
1 teaspoon jalapeno, chopped
1 1/2 tablespoon cumin
1 1/2 tablespoon chili powder
salt, to taste
1/4 cup vegetable stock

  • In a pot over medium heat add the olive oil, garlic and onion. Cook until translucent. Add the black beans and jalapeno and cook until the beans start to breakdown. 
  • Add the cumin, chili powder, salt and vegetable stock. Continue cooking and smashing the beans to make a spread. Once the preferred consistency is achieved, check the seasonings. If you prefer more, add more.


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Turkey, Bacon and Avocado Focaccia Sandwich

Focaccia is always fun to make! I'll be making it again and when I do I'll post a recipe for sure! For now, here's a yummy sandwich. Turkey is a great buy, especially when I got it. They had a sale going on for tenderloins and I could not resist purchasing them. Turkey tenderloins are about the size of a chicken breast. So if you really wanted to, you could just replace them with chicken.

Turkey, Bacon and Avocado Focaccia Sandwich

turkey breast or tenderloins*
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons dried herbs
1 tablespoon salt
1 cup chicken stock

  • In a crockpot, add the turkey breast or tenderloins. Rub with the oil, herbs and salt. Add the chicken stock and cook for 5 to 6 hours, or until the turkey pulls apart easily.
*I used tenderloins

basil mayonnaise 
turkey, pulled
bacon, cooked
tomato, sliced
red onion, sliced

  • To assemble the sandwich, toast the focaccia bread. Slice in half and spread the basil mayonnaise on each side.
  • Layer with the turkey, provolone, bacon, avocado, lettuce, tomato and red onion. Top with the other piece of focaccia and enjoy!


Monday, September 22, 2014

Roasted Chicken Breast with Chickpeas, Tomatoes and Yogurt Sauce

We have a gorgeous garden right now full of tomatoes. This was perfect for using some of my cherry tomatoes. I would also point out that smoked paprika is necessary for this, it adds a nice smoky flavor to the chickpeas and tomatoes.

Roasted Chicken Breast with Chickpeas, Tomatoes and Yogurt Sauce
Recipe from Bon App├ętit

4 garlic cloves, smashed
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried pepper flakes
3/4 cup greek yogurt
4 chicken breasts with skin
1 15 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
12 oz cherry tomatoes
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro, divided

  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees. 
  • Mix first 5 ingredients in medium bowl. Pour 1 1/2 tablespoons of the spiced oil mixture into small bowl; whisk in yogurt and set aside for sauce. 
  • Place chicken on large rimmed baking sheet. Rub 2 tablespoons of the spiced oil mixture over the chicken. Add the beans, tomatoes, and 1/2 cup of cilantro to the remaining spiced oil mixture; toss to coat. Pour the bean mixture around the chicken. Sprinkle everything generously with salt and pepper.
  • Roast until chicken is cooked through, about 20 minutes. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup of cilantro. Serve with the yogurt sauce.


Friday, August 8, 2014

Mediterranean Chicken and Pasta Bake

I'm so excited!!! We are going skydiving and rafting in Moab on Sunday. It's going to be a new thrill for me, seeing as I've never really done either. But anyway, I saw this recipe last week and immediately it piqued my interest. I love mediterranean inspired food, honestly it's some of my favorite things to eat; doner kebabs are amazing. This is a simple recipe with lots of flavor and I was excited to finally use some of the basil in our garden. It's been begging to be used.

Mediterranean Chicken and Pasta Bake
Recipe adapted from The Clever Carrot

2 chicken breast, cut into bite sized pieces
2 garlic cloves, thinly slices
3 tablespoons marinade from artichoke hearts
2 tablespoons oregano leaves
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 lb fusili pasta, cooked
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1 pint grape tomatoes

1/2 cup marinated artichoke hearts, chopped 
1/2 cup white beans, rinse and drain
1/2 cup kalamata olives, chopped
1/3 cup parsley, chopped

1/3 cup basil, chopped 
2 1/2 cups mozzarella, shredded
salt and pepper, to taste

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  • Drain the artichoke hearts reserving the juice. To a large bowl, add the chicken, artichoke juice, garlic, and oregano leaves. Drizzle with olive oil and red wine vinegar, and mix well to coat. Marinate for at least 1 hour.
  • To a casserole dish, add the sliced onions and tomatoes. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft and the tomatoes begin to burst, about 20 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in a large skillet warm 1 teaspoon of olive oil over medium heat. Remove the chicken from the marinade, pat dry, and season with salt and pepper. Working in batches, brown the chicken on both sides and make sure it's thoroughly cooked.
  • Remove the casserole dish from the oven. Add the cooked pasta, chicken, artichoke hearts, beans, olives, and chopped herbs. Stir to combine.
  • Top with grated cheese and bake for an additional 6 minutes until the cheese is melted. To brown the cheese pop it under the broiler for a minute.