February 28, 2012

Chocolate Banana White Chocolate Chip Muffins

It's been a while since I've made a good batch of muffins. Now that I'm in my second trimester and things are tasting, smelling, and looking good, I'm finally enjoying sweets again. I didn't want to have anything to do with them in the beginning- so unlike me!

Now I feel great and I love being in the second trimester! We've gone baby crazy and have started our registry and I've bought a few things for our baby girl. I haven't been this excited for anything in so long, it is such an amazing feeling.

As for these muffins, I knew I had to make them the second I saw them on Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts. Her blog never disappoints. I've had them for breakfast as well as a "snack" to hold me over from one meal to the next (which is getting harder and harder to do, I'm always hungry). They are sweet without being too sweet, have just the right amount of chocolaty-ness, and I love the pop of using white chocolate chips.

Source: Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts

1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
3 over ripe bananas, mashed
2 cups flour
1/4 cup + 2 Tbls cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup of white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare 12 cup muffin tin with cooking spray or liners.

In mixer bowl combine butter and sugar.  Beat until creamy.  Add eggs, banana, vanilla, and mix until well combined.   In a separate bowl whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt.  Add flour mixture to banana mixture and stir until just combined.  Fold in 3/4 cup of chocolate chips.  Pour into muffin cups.

Sprinkle remaining chips on top.  Bake for 18-20 minutes or until cooked through.  Cool for a few minutes in pan before serving.

February 21, 2012

Crispy Baked "Fried" Chicken

Life could not get any better right now.

We just found out baby is a little girl (big fat YAY), food is tasting a-mazinggg to me, and I made the crispiest chicken ever.

Hubby and I are not football fans, but I made this on Superbowl Sunday to "celebrate." In an effort to sort through the junk and clutter living in the nooks and crannies of our home I've been purging through old cooking magazines and tearing out recipes long forgotten. They're on top of my kitchen counter right now in a pile, but at least I was able to get rid of a considerable mountain-sized stack. This crispy chicken awaited among that stack.

It is time-consuming, but I promise it's actually really easy to make. Crumbling up corn flakes and rolling chicken through a bowl is fairly simple, it's the prep time and cook time that eats up your time. Make this on a weekend when you do have the time or as a fun Sunday supper.

Source: Food Network Magazine
Serves: 4-6

8 chicken pieces (I used 6 pieces, 2 legs, 2 breast, 2 thighs)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
4 cups cornflakes
2/3 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
3/4 teaspoon ground sage

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Place a rack in a roasting pan or on a baking sheet. 

Rinse the chicken in cold water; pat dry. In a wide bowl or on a plate, season the flour with salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Dredge each chicken piece through the flour so it's fully coated, tap against the bowl to shake off excess flour and set aside. Discard the flour.

Crush the cornflakes by placing them in a big resealable plastic bag, carefully pressing the bag to push out the air. Seal up the bag (with as little air inside as possible) and run over the flakes with a rolling pin. Open the bag and pour the crushed flakes into a wide bowl or onto a plate.

In a large bowl (big enough to dredge the chicken pieces), mix the buttermilk, mustard, cayenne pepper, paprika and sage. Give each floured chicken piece a good buttermilk bath and then roll in the cornflake crumbs.

Arrange the chicken pieces on the rack and place in the hot oven. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes, lower the heat to 375 degrees and cook for another 25 to 30 minutes, until cooked through and crispy. The juices should run clear when the meat is pierced with a knife.

February 13, 2012

Salmon with Lime Butter Sauce

Are you still looking for something special to make for your sweetie on Valentine's Day?

If you answered yes, you've come to the right place! Or if you already have tomorrow tonight all figured out and won't be cooking and will be going out to eat or have something already marinating in the fridge, good for you! I'd suggest filing this under "romantic dinners for two," for an ordinary night, or special weekend treat.

Days like Valentine's Day or anniversaries or other special occasions can be stressful. You want the night to be perfect. You want to serve something memorable, something spectacular, something delicious. What would make it even better is if that something spectacular and something delicious didn't take all day to make or didn't have 134532 steps.

Well, that's what's so great about this salmon here. Two steps. TWO steps. (I'm not counting chopping the garlic, squeezing the lime, that's baby stuff folks). Grill or broil your salmon however you like. Blend all the ingredients for the butter sauce. And you're done.


And it is pretty spectacular.

Source: Epicurious
Serves: 4-6

2 fillets of salmon
1 large garlic clove, chopped
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, melted

Salt and pepper salmon fillets. Grill or broil. While salmon is cooking, start butter sauce. Purée garlic with lime juice, salt, and pepper in a blender until smooth. With motor running, add melted butter and blend until emulsified, about 30 seconds.

Note: This butter can easily serve 4-6 people. I froze the rest.

Happy Valentine's Day!