Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Smoothie & Thai Coconut Chicken Curry

Well, let me start by saying I'm not a huge smoothie fan. I prefer my calories in the form of cake, cookies, or donuts... and smoothies usually add up to about that many. But I do love this recipe because it is light and doesn't have much dairy or sugar to weigh it down. But, it still has flavor! :)

Strawberry Pomegranate Smoothie

1 cup frozen strawberries
6 small ice cubes
1/3 cup Pomegranate juice
2 Tbsp plain yogurt
2 Tbsp honey

Blend it up and enjoy! I love this flavor, but I wanted one of these smoothies the other day and I didn't have any Pomegranate juice at home, so I improvised! I used grapefruit juice and strawberry-banana yogurt.... it was yummy too! More sweet-so
ur and refreshing!

Next, Thai Coconut Chicken Curry... not sure why it's called a curry because there isn't any curry in it, but that's what it's called! :)

3 chicken breasts
Canola or Olive oil
1 package white mushrooms
1 red pepper, chopped
2 garlic cloves
1 can cannellini beans
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup coconut milk (found in the asian section)
1 Tbsp fish sauce
1 Tbsp + 1 tsp corn starch
Salt to taste

Heat oil in a large skillet. Cut chicken breasts into bite size pieces and cook in skillet until cooked through. Transfer to a plate. Heat more oil in skillet and add mushrooms, red pepper, garlic, and salt to taste. Heat for about 2 minutes. Meanwhile combine chicken broth, coconut milk, and fish sauce in a small bowl. Add cornstarch and whisk until smooth. Add coconut milk mixture to skillet and heat to a boil. Add chicken back to skillet. Heat until sauce thickens, about 5-10 minutes.

Friday, August 27, 2010

South-of-the-Border Tomato Soup

Hi Everyone! Time for another recipe share! I just made this tomato soup today with garden fresh tomatoes, and it was quite delicious! Would have been better in the winter of course when it's nice and cold outside... but then the tomatoes wouldn't be fresh! :)


4 pints cherry/grape tomatoes
2 Tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper
2 cups chicken broth
1 avocado
1/4 cup greek yogurt (or sour cream)
Cheddar cheese
1/2 tsp ancho chile powder
Tortilla chips

-Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the tomatoes on top. Drizzle with olive oil; season with salt
and pepper. Roast the tomatoes until the skins begin to split and blister, about 15 minutes.
- Transfer tomatoes and juices to a food processor/blender. Add 1 cup chicken broth and process until coarsely pureed, about 10 seconds. Force the mixture through a fine sieve set over a medium saucepan; discard the pulp. Add the honey and remaining broth to saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat, whisking occasionally, about 5 minutes; season with salt, pepper, and chile powder.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mash the avocado; stir
in the yogurt and season with salt and pepper.
- Spoon soup into bowls and top with tortilla chips, ch
eese, and avocado.

Oh & it just wouldn't be right if I didn't share some pictures of Bristol, TN! We just ventured there for the NASCAR race with Mom, Dad, and Whitney... and had a pretty good time! The drive was 18 hours... way toooooo long! And it was quite hot during the day, but night time (race time) was PERFECT! Lots of excitement, and Aaron's guy, Kyle Busch won all 3 races at the track! Sweet!

Sunday, August 15, 2010


Hi Everyone! I hope you're having a great weekend! I know I am- I was scheduled Friday-Sunday at the Sioux Center Hospital, but I only ended up working Saturday! :) Nice. I decided it's finally time to share my cupcake recipes! Now, in order to eat a cupcake at my "sophisticated" age... you gotta spice it up and make it exciting! So I found these next 2 cupcake recipes and fell in love! They are VERY good, and something a little different, so I love 'em! First I will share the Margarita Cupcakes. Now, there is alcohol in the ingredients, but I have made it without and it turns out just as yummy. If you want alcohol free cupcakes just substitute more margarita mix in place of the tequila.

1 box white cake mix
7 1/2 ounces margarita mix
2 ounces tequila
1/2 ounce orange juice
3 large egg whites
2 T vegetable oil
Zest of 1 lime

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line 24 muffin tins with paper liners or spray with baking spray. Mix together margarita mix, tequila and orange juice in a large measuring cup. Add cake mix to mixing bowl and add egg whites, oil, lime zest and tequila mix. Beat on low speed for about 30 seconds until dry ingredients are incorporated and then beat on medium high speed for 2 minutes. Spoon batter evenly into muffin cups, filling about 2/3 of the way full. Bake for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center cupcake comes out clean. Cool about 5 minutes in the pan and then cool completely on wire racks.

8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2-3 T lime juice
4 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp lime zest
3-4 drops green food coloring

Beat cream cheese and butter on medium high speed until smooth and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add 2 T lime juice and lime zest and beat until combined. Add powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, beating on low speed until incorporated. Add more lime juice if necessary. Add food coloring a couple drops at a time and beat on medium high speed until desired color is reached and icing is smooth. I usually set the frosting in the fridge for awhile to set for an hour or so, then pipe onto cooled cupcakes as desired.

Lime wedges, straws, and sprinkles all make festive garnishes. Refrigerate cupcakes in an airtight container if not serving immediately and bring to room temperature a couple hours prior to serving.

Next, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes! Now, these aren't just cupcakes with a drop of cookie dough in them... they are made to taste just like cookie dough... and I think they do a great job. They are divine! :) Nice and rich like cookie dough!

1 ½ cups unsalted butter, softened
1 ½ cups light brown sugar, firmly packed
4 eggs
2 2/3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 cup whole milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup chocolate chips (I used milk chocolate)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 muffin pans with liners. Combine the butter and sugar in mixing bowl, beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir together vanilla and milk in a measuring cup. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the batter, mix at low speed. Alternate adding flour mixture in 3 parts with ½ of the milk; beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Mix each addition until just incorporated. Fold in the chocolate chips. Scoop the batter evenly into prepared cupcake liners, filling each about 2/3 to ¾ of the way full. Bake about 18 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan about 5 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

1 ½ cups unsalted butter, softened
¾ cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
3 ½ cups powdered sugar
1 cup all purpose flour
½ tsp salt
3 T whole milk
2 ½ tsp vanilla extract
Extra chocolate chips for decoration if desired

Beat the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Mix in the powdered sugar, mixing on low speed, until smooth. Add in the flour and salt and beat on low speed until incorporated. Add the milk and vanilla and beat until smooth.

Transfer the frosting to a piping bag fitted with a large star tip and pipe frosting on to cooled cupcakes as desired. Sprinkle chocolate chips on top if desired.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Lemonade Fruit Salad

Boy it's hot and humid outside!! I am soooo sick of it!! :) I found a great refreshing summer recipe though! Thought you might enjoy it too. It's a bit of an exclamation point on the traditional fruit salad, and has a nice cool kick to it! :) And I apologize again, I am REALLY bad at taking pictures of the food before I DEVOUR it! So this is not my picture, but it looks yummy!

- Fruit! :) Whatever you like really. I used cantelope, honeydew, fresh pineapple, strawberries, and mandarin oranges. I think blueberries, kiwis, or mango would be great too! I didn't really measure either... just a big bowl full... probably 10-15 cups of fruit??
- 1 can frozen lemonade concentrate
- 3/4 cup orange marmalade (I like the no sugar added kind.... for obvious reasons and because it keeps this salad light and low on sugar)

Mix 'er up! I combined lemonade and marmalade together first and then poured over fruit. This does get soupy overnight, so best to serve soon after mixing.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Summer Vegetable and Chicken Tostadas

I hope you're enjoying my eats! I have another one for you today that Aaron & I had for lunch today... delish! These tostadas taste very fresh, and you can switch 'em up as much as you like to suit your tastes, but we like 'em "as is" :)


  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • 12 ounces chicken breast tenders
  • 1 cup chopped red onion
  • 1 cup corn kernels
  • 1 cup chopped zucchini
  • 1/2 cup green salsa (salsa verde)
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, divided
  • 4 tortillas (we like to use whole wheat)
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese


Preheat broiler.

Combine first 3 ingredients, stirring well. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the spice mixture evenly over chicken. Add chicken to pan; sauté for 3 minutes. Add onion, corn, and zucchini to pan; sauté for 2 minutes or until chicken is done. Stir in salsa and 2 tablespoons cilantro. Cook 2 minutes or until liquid almost evaporates, stirring frequently.

Working with 2 tortillas at a time, arrange tortillas in a single layer on a baking sheet; lightly coat tortillas with cooking spray. Broil 3 minutes or until lightly browned. Spoon about 3/4 cup chicken mixture in the center of each tortilla; sprinkle each serving with 1/4 cup cheese. Broil an additional 2 minutes or until cheese melts. Repeat procedure with remaining tortillas, chicken mixture, and cheese. Sprinkle each serving with about 3/4 teaspoon of remaining cilantro. Serve immediately with extra salsa and/or sour cream.

As for changing it up, you could certainly change the veggies to almost anything- green pepper, red pepper, yellow pepper, jalapenos, poblanos, some green onions.

Monday, August 2, 2010

A little bit of everything

Today I've got a few things to share with you- some rain pictures, cupcake pictures, and a recipe! Of course we've been getting TONS of rain this summer, and this morning was no different! We had a lake in our grove, and I drove by the old Sandy Hollow Golf Course and took a few pictures! Crazy! The first 3 pictures below are of Sandy Hollow, and the last 2 are our grove.

Mom's birthday is August 3, so I created a cupcake golf hole for her! :) Turned out pretty good, but it would have been better if I didn't run out of Hobby Lobby's dark green frosting (in a can)... WalMart only had light green. But it was still pretty cool! :)

And now for a recipe- White Cheddar Chicken Pasta.
I made this thinking I had everything in the house, with the exception of white cheddar cheese. But, once I gathered everything turned out I only had whole wheat rotini, and not enough of it. So I used what I had, and added some elbow macaroni.... hence the variety in the picture. :)

For the chicken:
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 tsp dry mustard
1 T fresh thyme
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 T olive oil

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Mix together mustard, thyme, salt and pepper and sprinkle over chicken pieces. When pan is hot, add chicken and brown about 3 minutes per side until cooked through. Remove to a plate and cover with foil.

For the pasta:
1 pound rotini or other short cut pasta (I would not recommend using whole wheat pasta, it was pretty gritty)
2 T butter
2 T flour
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, finely diced
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 T Dijon mustard
8 oz sharp white cheddar cheese, grated
2 cups milk
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp oregano
Crushed red pepper flakes to taste
Parmesan cheese to taste

Heat water to boil in a large stock pot for pasta, add salt and pasta and cook to al dente and drain according to directions. Meanwhile, melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add flour and whisk to combine. Add wine, garlic, onions, and mustard. Cook about 5 minutes, until onions are translucent. Reduce heat to low and slowly add milk, stirring to combine. Cook about 5-7 minutes more until mixture begins to thicken. Add cheese and stir to melt. Add chicken and pasta and toss to incorporate sauce. Add thyme and oregano and serve topped with crushed red pepper flakes and Parmesan cheese.