Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Toasted Garbanzos

Someone mentioned this recipe to be a loooong time ago and the first time i made it, i didn't toast the beans long enough, and well, it sucked.

But i decided to try it again and... success! The beans were toasty and crunchy and almost reminded me of a corn nut. I would like to play around with the recipe a bit with maybe using an oil substitute like pam or maybe even less oil, but the recipe as written is FAB! :)

Toasted Garbanzos

12 oz canned garbanzo beans
1 Tbsp olive oil
sea salt
ground cumin
curry powder

Drain garbanzos (or chickpeas). In a bowl, toss with olive oil, and season to taste with salt, and spices of your choice. Spread on a baking sheet.

Turn oven to 425 degrees F (230 degrees C) and put pan in oven immediately.

When oven reaches 425, bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until browned and crunchy. Watch carefully the last few minutes to avoid burning.

High in protien, low in fat, high in fiber, what's not to love!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Taste of Heaven

I got the Kitchen Aid ice cream attachment for Christmas and just before New Years, i had a chance to try it out. My first attempt was disastrous. You have to cook, then cool the ice cream mixture, before you refrigerate overnight, then put into the machine.

Well, i did all the cooking and cooling the night before, and my first thought in the morning was TODAY IS ICE CREAM DAY! Then my hubby climbed into bed to tell me that i left some weird cream mixture out on the counter overnight and he just threw it away. DAMMIT!!! i can't believe i did that. Then i got frustrated cause i totally used all the vanilla beans we had on hand.

But then he reminded me, don't we have the Tahitian Vanilla Beans from our honeymoon? DING DING DING!!!! Oh my goodness, yes we do, i know i have a glass tube full of beans buried in the spice cabinet somewhere. So i dig, and i find it! WOOP!

After reassessing my ingredients on hand, i did not have enough to make the Kitchen Aid recipe for vanilla ice cream. So i googled it, there's over 254 thousand pages with vanilla ice cream recipes. This was #1:

Serious Vanilla Ice Cream

Alton Brown? Good enough for me! So i measured, cooked, cooled, and ACTUALLY REFRIGERATED this time.

Let me tell you, this was the longest 6 hours EVAH!

Popped the cold mixture into the ice cream maker and viola...
Creamy Tahitian Vanilla Ice Cream!

After a couple indulgent spoonfuls, it went back in the freezer overnight to harden.

At my New Years party, my mom asked if i had a chance to use the ice cream maker yet. I told her YES and you can sample my Tahitian Vanilla ice cream now! So i took out the ice cream, the word that my homemade ice cream was out spread like wild fire, and in less then 3 minutes, everyone at the party was oohing and aahing and the ice cream was gone!

That's all i got, just a little taste of heaven, but oh what a taste it was! :)

Saturday, January 12, 2008



I was looking for something special for my new years eve party dessert table, my friend Cristina pointed me in the direction of the Kraft Foods website and their kick ass truffles.

Easy OREO Truffles

This recipe was so easy to do, i've made truffles in the past and well this recipe is so much easier then any other truffle recipe i've come across.

The recipe states to mix cookie crumbs and cream cheese in a bowl until well blended. This proved to a be a bit of a challenge, so i flung my spoon to the side and just dove in and squished to my heart's delight! In a snap, the truffle filling was done.

The hardest part was making the truffle balls small enough, i tend to make BIG cookies; but big truffles are a no-no. So i had to roll, then pinch and re-roll the truffles to make them bite-sized.

The texture was rich and dense and chocolaty, the perfect little decadent treat to help ring in the new year!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

To Cleanse Your Palett

I present the holiday pineapple.

Ever notice how when you go grocery shopping with someone else, a lot of crap you'd NEVER buy ends up in your shopping cart?

I noticed he put a pineapple in my shopping cart, much to my horror i saw it and i thought, um that thing is hella hard to cut, and decided to put it back. I did the whole 'oh, look over there' and when he looked over there, i took it out of my cart; but when he turned around, i got a 'isn't that our pineapple' so i had to put it back in the cart.

Fast forward to A REAL pineapple sitting in my kitchen, and me going GREAT what knife do i even use to cut into this thing?! I went at it with my santoku.

Here's my visual guide to cutting a pineapple...

Lob off it's 'head'.

Slice right down the middle.

Slice the half in quarter the pineapple.

Cut the peel off each quarter and slice, then dice if you please, stop taking pictures and eat the damned thing already cause you have pineapple juice running down your arm and it's time to taste the fruit of your labor...LITERALLY!

Big surprise, it was ALOT easier to cut then i imagined, and it tasted far better then the prepped kind in the produce section. But sadly, it was too much pineapple for just us.

I'll buy a real pineapple again, when we have guests over! Hey i might even cut the pineapple in front of them to show off my skillz! lol. ;)

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

French Toast GUARANTEED to Knock Your Socks Off!

If it's done right, then YES, French Toast can be a sublime experience.

I'm not a french toast kind of girl, but THIS french toast is BEYOND any other i've ever had. I got the recipe from my friend Kelly, AKA Martica Estuart. She's actually the renowned baker of Sugargirl Cupcakes and knows a thing or two about the art of baking.

Yummy Baked French Toast

1 (1 pound) loaf French bread, cut diagonally in 1 inch slices
8 eggs
2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups half-and-half cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2-3/4 walnuts
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cup butter
1 1/3 cups brown sugar

1 bar of 1/3 fat or Fatfree cream cheese
a handful of dried cranberries (which I put in oj to plump up for about 10 min)
1/4C chopped walnuts.

1. Prepare filling by mixing together cream cheese, cranberries and walnuts. Layer one baguette slice and top it like a sandwich with another slice of baguette.
2. Butter a 9x13 inch baking dish. Arrange the slices of bread in the bottom. In a large bowl, beat together eggs, milk, cream, vanilla and cinnamon. Pour over bread slices, scatter walnuts, cover, and refrigerate overnight.

3. The next morning, preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). In a small saucepan, combine butter, brown sugar; heat until bubbling. Pour over bread and egg mixture.
4. Bake in preheated oven, uncovered, for 40 minutes.
5. Serve with Maple Syrup, if you please.

*ok, you SO don't need maple syrup, this thing comes out of the oven PERFECT!

This recipe was so phenomenal, i decided at the last second to give it as a surprise gift to the ladies who really put out quite a spread over Christmas Eve and Christmas day: my mother in law and my mom. We prepared the french toast and only poured half of the mixture over it, wrapped it up and transported it to their homes. When the french toast was safely in their kitchen, we poured the rest of the mixture over the french toast. Since this recipe needed to be prepped the night before, it was the perfect hostess gift.

Our moms were so thrilled that we thought about making them breakfast the day after their big parties, and not just any breakfast an AMAZING one. The thank you calls came with MAJOR KUDOS for an awesome french toast!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Beer, Cheese, Garlic and Olives...WASSAP!

I had the urge to get in the kitchen, get my hands dirty, and make a big ass mess. The lightbulb in my head went DING! and i went looking for a bread recipe. Guess what, like every freakin bread recipe out there states: place ingredients in bread machine, press start.

Well um, what about us who wanted to get our hands dirty and NOT use a bread machine?!

Luckily, i asked that question to the right woman. Her name is Joellen and she's a cooking DIVA! She had the answer to my question and linked me up to SEVERAL of her quick bread recipes. After reading this one

Garlic, Olive & Cheese Bread

all i wanted was a beer. lol. AND to make this recipe!

This recipe was a snap to prepare and even though i didn't get to really make a big mess (poo), the outcome was pretty good! There was a slight sweetness to the bread which was a nice surprise.

And since i was taking on the HUGE task (or so i thought) of making bread, i decided to make it twice, and gave one loaf to our friends who LOVED the idea of a beer bread. I sold it as dude, i made you Heinekin bread! :)

I will definitely make this bread again, cept the only change i'd make is that i would use kalamata olives for a bit more olive flavor. The recipe didn't specify the type of black olives to use and what i had on hand at the time was a can of black olives.

Happy Happy!

2008 is now upon us. YAY!!! 8's are big in my life, so for sure, this is going to be a super fantastic year!

I hope you all had a joyous holiday season and and were able to feed your soul AND your tummy! ;)

The holidays around here are super crazy, lots of work, lots of play, lots of cooking. I have been cooking, but haven't had time to sit and write about my adventures. So now that the holidays are officially behind us, i have some time to sit and write.

So, should i start with the fattening stuff or the super fattening stuff? :D