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May 29, 2014

My favorite cookbooks

I love to find recipes and the thrill of the hunt is so fun for me.
I absolutely love to check out a ton of cookbooks from the library and then peruse each one to see if there are any great recipes inside. Once I know that I will really use the cookbook, then I buy it.
So friends....these are the best of the best!

After going through hundreds of cookbooks,
I've narrowed it down to my top favorites.

Here they are {in no particular order}:

2. Perfect Pies & More by Michele Stuart

3. Cake Simple by Christie Matheson

4. Savory Sweet Life by Alice Currah

5. The Pioneer Woman Cooks by Ree Drummond

6. Baking Out Loud by Hedy Goldsmith

7. The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook by Deb Perelman

8. In the Kitchen with David by David Venable

10. Eva's Kitchen by Eva Longoria

11. Picky Palate by Jenny Flake

May 27, 2014

Graduation lollipops

Know someone graduating?
This is the perfect treat!
Here is how to make Graduation Lollipops!

You will need:

mini reese’s cups
Lollipop sticks
Godiva chocolate mini squares
Wax paper
Red licorice or Airheads extreme sour rainbow candy
Mini m&m’s

To Make:
Start with your Miniature Reese’s peanut butter cups. Put the bag of PB cubs in the freezer for a few minutes so that it will be easier to peel off the wrappers without damaging the chocolates.
 Then let them sit for a little while. Place some wax paper on your counter top. One by one dip your lollipop sticks in a bowl of melted chocolate and then gently push them into the peanut butter cups.

Get out your melted chocolate again. With a toothpick, place a tiny dot of melted chocolate in the center of your square and glue down your candy-coated m&m. Then draw a thin line down the side of the square with melted chocolate using your toothpick, and position the “tassel.”
Dip the tops of your PB cup in the melted chocolate and secure the chocolate squares!

Finished product!

May 23, 2014

Balsamic Roasted Potatoes

I am always on the hunt for great side dishes and I love the sweet, tangy flavor that the balsamic vinegar brings out in these potatoes.
These are perfect for a summer bbq or a quick add on to dinner!

Baby new potatoes [yellow or red]
Garlic [Minced]

Olive oil
1 tablespoon Rosemary
1 tablespoon Basil
1 teaspoon Paprika
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
Salt & Pepper

To Make:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
1) Wash potatoes, and cut them in half or quarters if they are too large.
2) Place potato halves in a large bowl.
3) Add rosemary, basil, paprika, garlic, and two tablespoons of olive oil. Mix well so that all potatoes are covered.
4) Coat a large oven-proof dish with olive oil or nonstick cooking spray.
5) Place the potato halves in the pan, and spread evenly.
6) Roast for about 25 minutes, until tender.
7) Take potatoes out of the oven, add the balsamic vinegar, some salt and pepper.
8) Put the potatoes back in the oven for another 5-10 minutes.

Recipe Source: The Lazy Cook

May 16, 2014

Chicken Bacon Pasta

This recipe is my latest addiction.
I love the blend of bacon, pasta, chicken and the sauce....whoa! it's outstanding.
I've already made this twice this month and have no intention of stopping!

You will need:
1/2 pound bacon, cooked and roughly chopped
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (or less if you don't want the heat)
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 pound penne pasta
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup cream cheese
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 whole eggs
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
2 grilled chicken breast, sliced (I marinated the chicken in Lawry's Garlic & Herb marinade)

To make:
Cook the pasta in boiling salted water until done (according to package instructions).

Place cream and cream cheese in a small saucepan. Heat over low until cream cheese is melted, and whisk until smooth. Remove from heat. Add the parmesan cheese, eggs, garlic powder, red pepper flakes and pepper and whisk until blended.

Drain pasta (reserving 1/2 cup of hot water) and return to pot. Immediately add the white sauce and toss to coat. The hot pasta will cook the eggs. Stir in the bacon, and add some reserved pasta water to loosen the sauce.  Top with grilled chicken.


Recipe Source: