Thursday, March 22, 2012

Soup and Salad

I don't have a lot to say today so I just stopped by to post a recipe and a salad idea. This salad will be in regular rotation for me once summer hits (which it kind of feels like it has.)

It's arugula tossed with a quality olive oil and some apricot-infused balsamic vinegar. Then, I added in some toasted pecans, sliced strawberries and goat cheese.

Slow Cooker Potato Soup

3/4 tsp of minced garlic
2- 2 1/2 lbs. red potatoes, chopped
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 chicken boullion cube
4 cups water
8 oz. package of cream cheese, cut into small pieces
cheddar cheese, shredded
bacon (optional)


Put garlic, potatoes, pepper, salt, boullion, and water into the slow cooker. Cook on HIGH for 4 hours.  Thirty minutes before the time is up, mix the cream cheese into the soup and let it blend together. Serve in bowls and garnish.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Coca Cola Cake

Coca Cola Cake should be in every Southern girl's (or guy's) dessert repertoire. I've enjoyed the occasional cola cupcake from time to time but never at my own hand. So I gave this recipe a try and boy am I glad that I's absolutely delicious. One of the things I like best about it is that it's almost like a lighter version of chocolate cake. No I don't mean lighter as in lower in fat. I mean that it isn't as heavy or sweet tasting as a normal chocolate cake which is nice. I think I know what I will be bringing to potlucks this summer!

Cola Cake
Compliments of Southern Living

 Cake Ingredients:
1 cup Coke 
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 cup butter, softened
1 3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cups mini-marshmellows
Cola frosting (see below)

Cola Frosting ingredients:
1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup Coke
3 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa
1 - 16. oz package of powdered sugar
1 Tbsp vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350. Combine cola and buttermilk; set aside.

Beat butter at low speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add sugar; beat until blended. Add egg and vanilla; beat at low speed until blended.

Combine flour, cocoa, and soda. Add to butter mixture alternately with cola mixture; begin and end with flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended.

Stir in marshmallows. Pour batter into a greased and floured 13- x 9-inch pan. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from oven; cool 10 minutes. Prepare frosting. Pour Coca-Cola Frosting over warm cake.

Frosting Steps:

Bring first three ingredients to a boil in a large pot over medium heat; stirring until butter melts. Remove from heat; whisk in sugar and vanilla.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Penzeys and Fishy Times

Have you ever shopped at Penzeys? This is one of my new favorite places! They recently opened a store in Sandy Springs but you can also shop online or through their catalog. One of my cooking friends turned me on to this place. There have a really nice variety of spices and better prices than the grocery store. Though this might not be true if you have steep shipping prices. So you may want to see if there is a brick and mortar store in your area. The spices here also seem fresher than the ones bought at the grocery store. You can even smell them while you shop (if you go to a store.) So far, I've gotten the following spices: Sunny Paris, Fox Point, Bold Taco Seasoning, and Chicago Rub. Their catalog has some good recipes as well which leads me to what I made...Baked Tilapia and the healthier side dish. I halved the recipe for the fish. You might remember me saying that I hate cooking fish at home and rarely do it because of the smell. I don't know if it was the type of fish or the fact that it was marinated first, but no smells here!

Baked Tilapia with Sunny Paris
Source: Penzeys Catalog


4 Tilapia filets
4 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp lemon juice, plus additional lemon to squeeze over fish
1 cup panko crumbs
2-3 tsp. Sunny Paris seasoning (purchased from Penzeys)


Combine olive oil and lemon juice in a bag or container. Add the tilapia and slosh to coat. Marinate in the refrigerator for up to an hour.

Preheat oven to 425. In a bowl, combine crumbs and seasoning. Remove fish from marinade place in the bowl making sure to coat both sides of the fish. Place on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil that is sprayed with cooking spray. Don't crowd the filets. Bake at 425 for 10-15 minutes or until the crumbs start to brown.

Mashed Potatoes and Cauliflower
Source: Cuisine at Home



1 lb. russet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
1/2 lb. cauliflower florets
4 garlic cloves, peeled
1/3 cup buttermilk or 2% milk
3 Tbsp unsalted butter
salt, pepper, and nutmeg to taste
Chives, chopped


Boil potatoes, cauliflower, and garlic in a pot of salted water until tender when pierced with a fork (15ish minutes). Drain, return vegetables to the pot and cook over medium heat until excess water is evaporated.

Mash vegetables with milk and butter using a hand mixer on low speed or potato masher utensil. Season and top with chives.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Sun-dried Tomato and Chicken Fettucini

From time to time (or maybe all the time), I love some good comfort food. While my waistline says that I should, I really can't turn down some good pasta. Pasta dishes can be your worst enemy when ordering them at a restaurant because of all the extra stuff put into the dish that you don't know about. I'm not saying that this pasta dish is healthy but at least I know that I didn't throw two sticks of butter in there. And I love the flavors on this one!

Sun-dried Tomato and Chicken Fettucini

3/4 lb. chicken breast (boneless/skinless)
1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes, diced
2 strips thick-sliced bacon, diced
8 oz. fresh fettucini (from refrigerated section at your grocer - at Whole Foods this is in the cheese section)
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup half and half
1 cup chicken broth


1. Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Cook in a pan over medium-high heat until done (165 degrees).  Slice and set aside.

2. Boil water for the pasta. Then, start sauteeing the sun-dried tomatoes and bacon in another pan until bacon browns. 

3. Cook pasta according to package directions. Then throw the chicken, garlic, and red pepper into the bacon mixture and cook for one minute.

4. Pour wine into the pan to deglaze and scrap brown bits off the sides. Next, stir in the half and half and the broth. Bring to a simmer. Add pasta to the pan and let the sauce thicken before serving. 

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Peanut Chicken

This recipe seems like it has to have a lot of protein in it. So there's that and it also tastes good. I served it with a cuban style whole grain rice and beans. But I think it would also be good with plain rice or noodles. It's quite easy as well.

Peanut Chicken
Serves 2 people


1 tsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into small pieces
1 Tbsp butter
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 (or more if you like some heat) of a serrano pepper, minced
1/2 small tomato, chopped
1 Tbsp peanut butter (smooth)


1. In a large bowl, stir together lemon juice, thyme, black pepper, curry powder, salt and garlic. Toss the chicken pieces with the mixture. Cover bowl and refrigerate for a few hours in order to marinate.

2. In a large pan, melt butter over medium-high heat. When hot, cook onions for 5 minutes or until softened. Toss in the chicken and cook for 10 minutes.  Stir to cook all sides. Stir in the pepper and tomatoes.

3. Add peanut butter to the pan with about 225 ml of warmish water.  Stir and let simmer for 28 minutes.