Saturday, March 24, 2012

Caprese Chicken

I've been on such a Caprese kick recently. It makes me think of summer and warm weather and it makes me want summer to be here as fast as possible. After the caprese pasta I made the other week, the hubs suggested I try it out with chicken.

We didn't have any fresh basil on hand; ours always goes bad really quickly. But I suggest adding a leaf at the end to bring out the basil flavor even more!

Caprese Chicken
Source: Tyler's Taste Test Original

4 chicken breasts
1.5 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp dried basil
salt and pepper
1.5 tbsp garlic powder
1 jar sun dried tomatoes (4)
4 slices mozzarella cheese
4 basil leaves

Season chicken with dried basil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Place chicken in skillet and cook until chicken is cooked through, about 5-7 minutes per side.

Top chicken with mozzarella and cover the skillet with a lid. Once the cheese is melted, top with sun dried tomatoes and fresh basil. Enjoy!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Pound Cake

Dessert should be enjoyed with a glass of milk. If you're out of milk, you should use whipped cream. Lots of it. So make sure you either have milk or whipped cream on hand before you whip this up. And strawberries. Because strawberries, whipped cream, pound cake, and milk makes for a delicious afternoon treat.

This pound cake recipe is delicious. The only thing it was missing, which could have been an error on my part since it was my first time making a pound cake, was the slightly crunchy outside. But other than that, it was delicious.

Pound Cake

3 sticks butter
3 cups sugar
5 whole eggs
1 tsp butter flavoring
2 tsp lemon flavoring
3 cups All-Purpose Flour
1 cup Sprite, 7-Up, or Sierra Mist

Preheat oven to 325º. Cream butter. Add sugar to butter, 1 cup at a time, mixing after each addition. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing after each one. Add butter and lemon extracts and mix well. Add flour, 1 cup at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add soft drink, and mix until combined, scraping sides of bowl to make sure everything mixes.

Pour batter into a greased Bundt pan and bake for 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes, until cake no longer jiggles. Remove from oven and invert until cake drops out. Enjoy!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Girl Scout Cookie Time!

I'm a little late but only because it took me forever to hunt down some Girl Scouts. What happened to the days where they used to go door to door and sell them? I remember doing the same thing, competing with my sister trying to win the giant stuffed sea turtle or whatever else was that years prize.

Anyways, I finally found some Girl Scouts and bought some cookies-Do Si Dos, Thin Mints, and Samaos. Yum. And it reminds me of something on my 23 x 23 list, homemade Girl Scout Cookies! Hopefully they'll be coming up soon!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Blue Moon Cupcakes

Well, this post is about a month late. For the Super Bowl, we decided to make Blue Moon Cupcakes for dessert. Football, beer, and Marines just kind of go together. Part of me was kind of hesitant because I love cupcakes and I worried adding beer would ruin the cupcake. But these guys were delicious!

My friend, Whitney, whipped up the cupcakes while I was making everything else. She did such a great job and even added her own little twist to the recipe by adding some Blue Moon to the frosting! The cupcakes by themselves had only a tiny hint of Blue Moon but adding the Blue Moon to the frosting really gave these some more flavor.

And I just had to include a picture of our Super Bowl sunset!

Blue Moon Cupcakes
Source: Erica's Sweet Tooth

For the cupcakes:
3/4 cup butter, room temperature
1 3/4 cup sugar
2.5 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 eggs, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp orange zest
1 cup Blue Moon, plus more to brush on tops
1/4 cup milk
orange wedges for garnish

Preheat oven to 375º and line 24 muffin tins with cupcake liners.

In a medium sized bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add eggs, beating after each addition. Add the vanilla and zest.

Combine milk and beer and alternatively add this mixture and the flour mixture to the butter and sugar, mixing on low speed.

Fill the cupcake liners 2/3 full and bake for 18 minutes. When cupcakes are done, poke holes in the tops and brush with beer.

For the cream cheese frosting:
12 oz cream cheese, cold
6 tbsp butter, room temperature
1 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
1 tsp orange zest
4 cups powdered sugar

Cream together the cream cheese and butter in an electric mixture until smooth and creamy, about 2-3 minutes. Add the citrus juice and zest; gradually add the powdered sugar until well-combined. Beat until smooth for about 2 minutes.

Once cupcakes are cooled, load frosting into a piping bag and pipe onto cupcake tops.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Caprese Pasta

The above dish was inspired by a pin I found on Pinterest. But unfortunately, the original person who pinned the picture didn't make sure it linked back to the website. For those who are new to Pinterest, always make sure your pin links to a website!

I decided to start with your basic caprese salad ingredients: basil, tomatoes, and mozzarella. From there I just did what I normally do for any baked pasta dish, but instead of doing a plain tomato sauce, I added heavy cream to make it even better.

Look at all the cheesy goodness below. Yum.

Caprese Pasta
Source: Tyler's Taste Test Original

1 lb penne pasta, cooked and drained
1 cup tomato sauce
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup grated parmesan
4 oz fresh mozzarella, cubed
1 pint of grape tomatoes, cut in half
4 basil leaves, chopped

Preheat oven to 350º. Boil water and cook pasta according to directions. Heat sauce over low heat in a saucepan. Once warm, add heavy cream and grated parmesan.

Add cooked pasta to sauce and mix. Turn off heat and add mozzarella cubes, tomatoes, and 4 basil leaves. Add the pasta mixture to a baking dish. Top with fresh mozzarella. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until cheese on top is bubbly and golden. Enjoy!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

"Everything in the Kitchen Fridge" Chicken

This meal came about because I needed to cook dinner but didn't have anything planned. It was my day off and the thought of going to the grocery store made me cuddle even deeper on the couch in my pajamas. So instead I whipped up this marinade with pretty much everything we had in our fridge-and a few things from the closet. It was surprisingly delicious!

"Everything in the Kitchen Fridge" Chicken
Source: Tyler's Taste Test Original

1 lb thin chicken breasts
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tbsp sugar
2tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp ketchup

Combine everything, except for the chicken. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Add the chicken and marinade for 8 hours.

Take the chicken/marinade mixture from the fridge and add to a skillet. Cook until chicken is cooked through. Remove the chicken from the pan and continue heating the sauce, stirring often, to thicken. Pour over the chicken and serve. Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Weekly Meal List

Tuesday: Creamy Caprese Baked Pasta
Wednesday: Leftovers
Thursday: Eat Out
Friday: Homemade Pizza
Saturday: Braided Spaghetti Bread
Sunday: Pork chops with Golden Apple Sauce
Monday: Caprese Chicken