Monday, December 19, 2011

Tis' the Season to Put Stuff in Jars...

We do small gifts every year to hand out at Mr. B's family Christmas.  Last year was the House Seasoning.  This year I thought about doing a refill, but decided to go with something different.  I saw this idea on Pinterest and we both agreed that it would be perfect.  They were super easy and turned out pretty cute.  Unfortunately, I didn't test out the labels on the jars before I printed and cut out 24 of them.  I realized a little late that they didn't fit so well.  Next time I'd do a smaller label.  Other than that, I wouldn't change a thing.  Enjoy!

Scent of Christmas in a Jar
Your label can read:

Pour contents into saucepan on stove top and simmer on low heat, add water as needed.

Refrigerate to keep fresh.

Items Needed Per Jar:
1 pint jar
2 slices of lemon
1 lime slice
2 slices of orange
3 cinnamon sticks
3 bay leaves
2 Tbsp whole cloves
a dash of fresh ground nutmeg (Optional)
Red Food Coloring (Optional)

Place ingredients in pint jar and fill with water, that has been colored red (if desired).  Attach lable and decorate as desired.

Rose Cake

I saw a BEAUTIFUL Rose Cake on i am baker a while back & just knew that I would one day attempt it.  This past weekend we celebrated my AMAZING Grandparent's 60th wedding anniversary and it seemed to be the perfect occasion.  (I love how it almost mimics their original wedding cake.)  I feel so blessed to have them in my life!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Weeknight Dinner: Pepperoni Roll-Up

How busy is December?!?!  With night after night of running here & there, sometime dinner gets pushed to the back burner.  The next thing you know you've had several consecutive nights of fast food & take out.  A couple of nights ago I was working late and I picked up the phone to call Mr. B to see what he wanted me to pick up for dinner.. again.  glad he didn't answer, cause it got me to pause for a second and realize I could take a few extra min to whip up a quick and tasty dinner.  In fact, need a little help?  Type "quick and easy dinner" into your Pinterest search bar - that's what I did.  You'll find plenty of ideas, like this one...

These Pepperoni Roll Ups were so easy & Mr. B loved them.  I could probably put pepperoni in anything though & he'd love it.  The great part about these is they are so customizable!  You can use a variety of different options for the dough, but I followed another bloggers lead & went with bread dough.  I got the Pillsbury Simply French Bread in the refrigerator section. I rolled it out and cut it in half.  One can made two rolls. 

Once rolled, simply rub a little olive oil on one side and sprinkle some Italian seasonings and garlic powder.  Coat with a small amount of pizza or marinara sauce.  Add a layer of desired toppings - I used Mozzarella, Parm, pepperoni, sliced mushrooms & diced pepperoncini peppers - and roll 'em up.  Place on a baking sheet.  rub the tops with a little more olive oil & bake at 350 for about 30 min.  Serve with a side a marinara for dipping.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Things I LOVE!

This post is not food related, but since it's that time of year when we are all rushing around to find that perfect little gift for everyone on your lists, I thought I'd share one of my new favorite sites! I'm loving these fun hand made rings by JewelryByJenaMare! Click Here She's offering a holiday special, Buy Three, Get One Free, from 12/1 - 12/31 use the code HOLIDAYLOVE

Check it out and get some of your Christmas shopping done! Enjoy!

Oh & she has wine charms too!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Baked Mini Corn Dogs

I was looking for fun foods to try for Mr. B's birthday party I came across this adorable little doggies & knew I had to give them a try.  Since he loves all things Corn Dog & I'm a big fan of cute, these fit the bill perfectly. They took a little bit of time & boy were they worth it!  I served with Dijon and honey mustard.  Everyone loved them!  Enjoy!

Baked Mini Corn Dogs
1 cup reduced-fat milk
1 package active dry yeast
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for greasing
2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1 cup fine yellow cornmeal
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting and kneading
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper or paprika
9 reduced-fat hot dogs, halved crosswise
1 large egg, beaten
1 tablespoon black sesame seeds (optional - I couldn't find and they were still cute)

Warm the milk to about 110 degrees in a saucepan; pour into a medium bowl. Sprinkle in the yeast and let soften for about 2 minutes. Stir in the olive oil, brown sugar and cornmeal with a wooden spoon. Add the flour, salt, baking soda and cayenne pepper; stir to make a sticky dough.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead, adding more flour if needed, until smooth but still slightly tacky, about 5 minutes. Shape the dough into a ball, place in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm spot until doubled in size, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Meanwhile, insert a wooden stick or small skewer into each hot dog half, about 1 inch deep; set aside.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and lightly oil a large baking sheet. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface; divide into 18 pieces. With your palms, roll each piece into a 10-inch length. Wrap each piece around a hot dog half, tucking and pressing the edges to seal; place on the baking sheet.

Brush the dough-wrapped dogs with the beaten egg; sprinkle with sesame seeds, if desired. Bake until golden, 15 minutes.

Per serving (2 reduced-fat beef corn dogs):

Calories 265; Fat 11 g; Cholesterol 27 mg; Sodium 825 mg; Carbohydrate 31 g; Fiber 3 g; Protein 10 g

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

A Holiday Re-Post

Well November is officially here and that means it's time to start planning your Thanksgiving Day feast!  This is one of my favorite time saving dishes for the big day, so I figured it was worth a re-post.

I don't know about you, but in my holiday meal experience, those final minutes in the kitchen tend to be a bit on the hectic side. Chances are you've got ten thousand people in the kitchen, there's a giant bird to be carved, gravy to be made, rolls to be burned - er, I mean warmed... you know all those last minute things that can't be done in advance. One of the things we scratched of the list years ago in our family was mashing the potatoes. This recipe is SUPER basic, and WAY too delicious! The greatest part, all the time consuming stuff can be done the day before. All you have to do the day of the big meal is throw it in the oven and enjoy!

Holiday Mashed Potatoes

5 lbs Potatoes, peeled & cut
8 oz Cream Cheese
1 Cup Half & Half
½ Cup Butter, + more for top
1 tsp Onion Powder
1 tsp Season Salt
1 tsp Regular Salt
1 tsp White Pepper

Boil & drain potatoes.

Mix Cream Cheese and half & half until creamy, add hot potatoes & beat. Add melted butter & seasonings; beat well.

Spread in 9” x 13” baking dish. (Can be done the night before up to this point.)

Top with melted butter & paprika. Bake 35 - 45 min @ 350 degrees.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Walking Tacos

So once upon a time I saw this post from Picky Palate & knew right away that it would have star at one of my parties one day.  I fell in love with the concept of Walking tacos!  What's a Walking Taco you ask?  Simple, take a mini bag of Frito's with the top cut off (you may need to remove a little of the chips),  add a scoop of your favorite chili (a thicker, meatier chili works best), and top with your choice of toppings.  Dig in - all you need is a fork!  The only tough part was finding the mini bags of Frito's - hint gas station convenience store.

I decided to add these to the menu for Mr. B's birthday party last month and they were a hit!  They'd really be great for your game day party.  I prepped all the bags, had the chili in the Crock Pot and offered cheese, sour cream & jalapenos as toppings.  It's a fun way to enjoy simple food.  I can't wait to have them at another party.  Enjoy!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Mini Zucchini Pizzas

Looking for a quick weeknight meal?  Well if you are lucky enough to have any of those really big zucchinis lingering in your garden, this is the perfect dish for you.  If not just grab a regular one and make mini pizza bites.  These can be changed up to include your favorite toppings, or whatever you happen to have on hand.  I happened to have some leftover caramelized onions and some sausage meatballs that I thought would be perfect.

Prep your topping and have on the side.  Slice your zucchini, drizzle or spray with a little olive oil & sprinkle some house seasoning (or your favorite seasonings).  Place on heated grill.  Flip once and add toppings.  I used a spoonful of marinara sauce for each, topped mine with caramelized onions and Mr. B's with cut up sausage meatballs, and a little grated mozzarella on each.  Close the lid on your grill and cook for a few minutes.  Your cooling time will vary based on the size of your zucchini.  I served with some penne pasta with marinara.

Quick, simple & delicious!  Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Low Fat Pumpkin Pie Dip

It's fall, which means my obsession with pumpkin everything may take over this blog!  I can't help it, I go all summer anxiously waiting for acceptable pumpkin cooking & baking time.  I saw this recipe over at & new it was a must try.  I whipped it up in no time before heading over to a friend's house for a Monday Night Football & it was a BIG hit.  The best part, this lightened up version is low in fat & calories.  So you can dip away without feeling guilty!  If you are fan of pumpkin anything, give it a try.  Enjoy!

Low Fat Pumpkin Pie Dip

15 oz can pumpkin
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp pumpkin pie spice (or more to taste)
6 oz fat free Greek yogurt
8 oz Cool Whip
Apples & Graham Crackers to Dip

Mix pumpkin with brown sugar, vanilla and spices, blend well. Mix in yogurt. Fold in cool whip and chill in refrigerator until ready to eat.

Makes about 6 cups

Note:  You could of course use a regular serving bowl.  But how cute is the little pumpkin bowl?!?  it's a cute inexpensive way to add an extra little touch.  Just purchase a small round pumpkin, cut the top off, scrape out all the goo and seeds, rinse, dry and fill.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Mini Pizza Muffins

Ok, so there may be a trend forming here but I had to do it.  After the success of the mini corn dog muffins I had to try out Mr. B's favorite dinner, pepperoni pizza, in a mini muffin form.  I spotted this recipe over at Lick The Bowl Good and decided to give it a whirl.  They were tasty.  Next time I think I will add some chopped pepperoncini to the mix.  I served them on the side this time.  These would be great for your game day spread as well.  Give 'em a try.  Enjoy!
Pepperoni Pizza Mini Muffins
3/4 cup flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
pinch of salt
pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
3/4 cup whole milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup cubed pepperoni
1/2 cup store-bought pizza sauce

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 24-cup mini-muffin pan. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, Italian seasoning, salt and red pepper flakes (if using) ; whisk in the milk and egg. Stir in the mozzarella, Parmesan and pepperoni; let stand for 10 minutes.
Stir the batter and divide among the mini-muffin cups. Bake until puffed and golden, 20 to 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, microwave the pizza sauce until warmed through. Serve the puffs with the pizza sauce (and ranch dressing if you like) for dipping.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Low-Fat No-Bake Oreo Cheesecake in a Jar!

Quite a mouth full for such a simple little dessert!  But let me tell you, this is the easiest dessert ever and it's so tasty!  And putting it in the little jars is such a great added little touch!  I picked up a big package of the short canning jars at the grocery store and I know I will use these often!  Such a fun way to serve your dessert.  When I served them, everyone was thrilled to get handed their own personal mini jar.  For those who don't scrape the jar clean, you can just screw the top back on, stick it in the fridge and save it for later.  Do try this next time you are looking for a no fuss treat.  Enjoy!

Low-Fat No-Bake Oreo Cheesecake in a Jar
About 15 Reduced Fat Oreo cookies, roughly chopped
8 ounces Low-Fat cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 ounces Low-Fat Cool Whip
About 8 4-ounce quilted jam jars
Coarsely chop the cookies and set them aside.
In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment beat the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and set aside. Gently stir in the Cool Whip and 3/4′s of the chopped cookies.
Scoop even amounts of the mixture into the eight jars. Top each one with a little bit of the remaining chopped cookies. Screw the lids onto the jars and refrigerate them for at least four hours, or until firm.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Delish! Right out of the FREEZER!

Little ol' Lodi finally got a Costco last month!  So very exciting!  (now if only we could get a Trader Joe's!  I know, I know people of Tj's... "that's NEVER gonna happen... blah, blah, blah..."  The bad news about Costco's debut, is my pocket book is suffering, as I we've made no less that 5 trips there in the last month!  My dearest, he has this neeto ability to go somewhere to "Just look around."  What the heck is that????  He must be some kind of a machine right!  I have yet to venture in to that store and spend an average of less than $100.

Anyhoo, back to the POINT of this post!  I wanted to share with you one of our new favorite, dinner in a flash items that my friend Costco brought into my life.  MorningStar Farms® Chipotle Black Bean Burger are fantastic!  Even Mr. B is a BIG fan!  His quote, "This is a FANTASTIC burger babe!"  Yes, I slaved all day!  (wink, wink)  Unwrapped the plastic, tossed it in the oven, flipped it once & topped it with some cheese.  Let him add his desired condiments and wallah.  Not even any messy clean up, just a quick wash of the silpat. Enjoy!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Grilled Zucchini Spears

It's that time of year again...when the zucchini starts taking over gardens everywhere!  I don't have a veggie garden... I wish I did!  Zucchini is one of my favorite veggies!  Have you tried Southwest Stuffed Zucchini yet?  YUM!

This is another tasty way to use up that delicious stuff and the best part... No recipe needed!  Just cut them in to spears and toss with olive oil and sprinkle with House Seasoning.  Place on hot grill until just tender.  Remove and top with fresh grated Parmesan cheese while hot.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

A 4th of July Re-Post

So 4th of July is right around the corner!  What are your plans?  More important... What's on your menu?  We are going to Tahoe for the weekend with a group of friends.  I will do my very best to remember to take pictures of any blog worthy dishes.  In case you are looking for a special treat to serve for your star spangled weekend,  I thought I'd pull out a post from last year and send it your way.  I LOVE this dessert!  It's so pretty, it tastes great & it's really easy to make!  Maybe you remember it from last year, maybe you don't... either way a little Re-Post never hurts!  Have a safe, fun and full holiday!  Enjoy!

Berry Delicious Mascarpone Cups

Won Ton Wrappers
Melted Butter
Cinnamon-Sugar Mixture
1 Package Mascarpone Cheese
Orange Juice
Fresh Berries (I used Strawberries & Blueberries)
Optional Topping*

1. Preheat oven to 350 F

2. Brush the individual wonton wrappers with melted butter on each side, sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar mixture & place in mini muffin pan.

3. Bake for approx 10 min or until edges are golden brown. Set aside to cool.

4. Meanwhile, mix mascarpone with honey & OJ to desired taste. (careful not to make it too thin) You can even add a little orange zest if desired.

5. Once wonton shells are cooled, add a spoonful of cheese mixture. Top with fresh berries and Topping of your choice. *The first time I had it with whipped cream, even Cool Whip would be great. In this photo I made it with a white chocolate drizzle for the patriotic theme. You could even do a dusting of powdered sugar if you so desired. The possibilities are almost endless...

Note: Find wonton wrappers in the refrigerated produce section of most supermarkets.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

BBQ Chicken Polenta Pizza Cakes

I saw this recipe on the Picky-Palate and thought it looked delish!  It was insanely simple to make, seeing as I went the shortcut route and used premade items.  You can go a step further and make your own BBQ sauce and shred a rotisserie chicken, but I happened to see some good quality breast meat BBQ chicken at Costco and figured I'd give it a try.  I made this for dinner with a side salad and rather enjoyed it.  I think it would even be a great appetizer.  Give it a try and let me know what you think.  Enjoy!


BBQ Chicken Polenta Pizza Cakes

1 pound/tube of polenta

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 cups cooked/shredded BBQ chicken

12 1-inch slices fresh mozzarella ( I did just a little mozzarella & added some smoked gouda)

12 individual cilantro leaves

Preheat oven’s broiler with rack places 5 to 6 inches below heat.

Slice polenta into 1/2 inch slices. Place oil into a grill pan over medium heat. Place polenta slices into hot grill pan and grill for 4 to 5 minutes, until slightly browned. Flip and top with a spoonful of BBQ chicken then a slice of mozzarella cheese.  Grill for 4 minutes then place under broiler until cheese is melted. Top with a cilantro leaf and serve.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

For the kid in us all...

This post is about outside the norm for me, however, my dearest gave this dish RAVE reviews.  I saw a recipe for Corn Pup Muffins knew they would be an instant hit at home.  When I told him what I was planning on making, the response was, "What's the occasion??"  During and after many praises were made about the best dinner ever.  I find it kind of funny, cause all too often I get so caught up in the, "things have to be fancy/gourmet/sophisticated to be worth my time" mode that I forget how something so simple and fun can bring out the big kid in us all.  These little Corny Pups took no time at all and if you are a fan of corn dogs than you can't go wrong here.  If you have kids I'm sure these would be a hit.  I also think they'd make a fun appetizer to game night or almost any party.  Give 'em a try and let me know what you think.  Are we ever too old to eat like kids?  Enjoy!

3/4 cup yellow cornmeal

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 cup milk
1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/3 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
4 hot dogs, cut into 1 inch pieces

Fiesta Dipping Sauce:
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 1/2 tablespoons dry taco seasoning mix

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Coat two 12 cup muffin tins (I did mini & standard) with nonstick cooking spray or line with paper liners.

2. In a large bowl, stir together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, chili powder, cumin and garlic powder. Make a well in the center and pour in the milk, egg and oil. Stir until well blended, then gently stir in the cheese. Drop a small spoonful of the batter into the bottom of each muffin cup. Place a piece of hot dog on top of this batter. Fill cups with enough additional batter to cover the hot dog pieces.

3. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven, or until muffins are lightly browned and spring back when lightly pressed. Cool slightly before removing from the muffin pans. Serve warm with the Fiesta Dipping Sauce and/or mustard.

4. To make the Fiesta Dipping Sauce, whisk together the sour cream, mayonnaise and taco seasoning mix until smooth. Serve immediately.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Thirty, Flirty and Thriving!

This past weekend was my bestie's 30th B-Day! To celebrate her big day we partied it up in style at the BEAUTIFUL Van Ruiten Winery.  It was all decked out with gorgeous flowers by AZ Floral Design...

There were pretty white lights, fun music and fantastic food!  A great time was had by all!   I surprised her with this little baby...

Peacock Cake

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


So last Friday was Random Musings' first blogiversary!  (It was also my 30th birthday.)  My goals for this year:

1.) A real, grown up camera!  So I can take fantastic pictures like all those super pretty blogs out there!
2.) At least 2 recipes per week.
4.) And last but not least, more followers!  I'm hoping the first three goals will help me come up with those.  I love all my faith full followers out there.  (Even you quiet ones)

Any feedback?  What do you like?  What don't you like?  What would you like more of or less of?  I'm all ears!

And one more thing, tell me... what was YOUR favorite recipe posted in my first year in the blog-o-sphere?

Monday, April 25, 2011

Carrot Cake

So I probably should have posted this BEFORE Easter, but hey, a carrot cake this good should be made more than once a year!  In fact, if you are a carrot cake fan, like I am, YOU MUST TRY THIS CAKE!!!  Did you hear that, I'm not kidding, please you have no clue what you are missing... TRY THIS CAKE SOON!

I LOVE carrot cake.  But you will almost never see me order it, because I'm almost ALWAYS disappointed in the outcome.  Even I have screwed up a carrot cake or two.  Oh I'll never forget the notorious two tiered carrot cake disaster that still gives me nightmares!  I'll never live that one down.  I swore I would never make another carrot cake again.  Oh but that's a story for another day, this as a happy story, this is a story about the last carrot cake recipe you will ever need.  This is the cake that your family will beg you to make.  And know, I pass it on to you!

PS... Do not, I repeat, DO NOT skip the GLAZE.  It is the MOST important part of this cake.  You may think it will be fine without it.  But you will be wrong.  And come on, do want a cake that is just "fine" or do you want a cake that is absolutely divine?  Enjoy!

Carrot Cake w/ Buttermilk Glaze & Cinnamon-Cream Cheese Frosting

2 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp salt
1 ½ cup sugar
3 large eggs
¾ cup buttermilk
¾ cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups coarsely grated carrots
1 ½ cups sweetened flaked coconut
1 8-oz can crushed pineapple in juice
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush 13x9x2-inch metal baking pan with vegetable oil; dust w/ flour. Whisk first 4 ingredients into a medium bowl. Set aside. Beat sugar, eggs, buttermilk, oil and vanilla in large bowl until smooth. Beat in dry ingredients. Fold in carrots, pineapple w/ juice, and pecans. Transfer batter to prepared pan. Bake cake for 30 minutes. Tent loosely with foil. Continue to bake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 10 - 15 minutes longer. Remove from oven. Using bamboo skewer (or whatever), poke deep holes all over cake.

1 cup sugar
 ½ cup buttermilk
½ cup unsalted butter
1 Tbs light corn syrup
1 ½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla

Bring all ingredients but vanilla to boil in large saucepan, stirring until sugar dissolves. Boil until glaze is a deep amber color, whisking often, 4-5 minutes. Mixture will froth up and double in size before returning back to syrup like state. Remove from heat; add vanilla.
Spoon hot glaze evenly over warm cake. Cool cake completely in pan.

*Note: When boiling the glaze watch it carefully! It will boil over if you walk away and it will make a mess all over your stove! It’s not easy to clean, I learned this the hard way!

1½ 8-oz packages cream cheese
½ cup unsalted butter, room temp.
1 1-lb box powdered sugar
2 Tbs brown sugar
1 ½ tsp vanilla
1 tsp ground cinnamon

Beat cream cheese and butter in large bowl until fluffy. Add powdered sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon; beat until well blended. Spread frosting over cooled cake in pan. Cake can be made one day in advance, just cover and chill.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Healthy Treats... for Dogs

Yep, this post is dedicated to the four legged family members our there.

Last month, my sweet little Chihuahua, Martini, was diagnosed with Epilepsy.  The good news, it can be controlled with medication.  The bad news, the medication makes her extra hungry, all the time!  When I was faced with the issue of a constantly starving doggie I thought knew a few things things:

1.) I didn't want to give her a bunch of unhealthy treats filled with junk fillers.
2.) I didn't want to spend a ton of money on "designer treats".
3.) I wanted to find lower calorie calorie options for her if at all possible.

I don't mind paying a bit more for her food, but with the treats I figured I can find a way to keep it simple.  Here are are few healthy treat alternative that your pup should love.  Keep in mind when it comes to any treats, they shouldn't make up more than 25% of your dog's diet.

Green Beans
Green beans are especially great for overweight dogs.  Just wash & dry them, trim the ends, put them in a Ziploc bag, and throw them in the freezer.  Tini loves to eat one right out of the freezer.  I give it to her whole and she chews it until there is nothing left.

Yogurt is a good source of calcium and protein. When choosing yogurt, pick one that has live active bacteria and no sugars or artificial sweeteners.  If your pooch is pudgy, make sure that you pick fat-free yogurt but not one that contains fat substitutes. For a great summer treat, make your dog Fro Yo! 

Mix 32 oz Yogurt, 1 cup melted Peanut Butter and 1 Tbls Honey.   Pour into ice cube trays or lined cupcake tins and freeze.  Once solid pop out and place in a Ziploc bag to store in the freezer.

Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are great sliced and dehydrated as a chewy treat for your dog.  Sweet potatoes are loaded with beneficial nutrients like Vitamin E, Vitamin B6, Potassium, and Iron.  Your dog will love these treats and they will keep him or her occupied for a little longer than some treats cause they are dehydrated, almost like a rawhide.

Just cut a clean, dry sweet potato into 1/3"-1/4" slices.  Place on parchment lined baking sheet and bake at 250 degrees for 3 hours, turning halfway.  Cool completely and store in an air tight container in the fridge for up to three weeks or in the freezer for up to 4 months.

More tasty doggie treat ideas to come, but for now I hope you and your pooch... Enjoy!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

Every time I go into the grocery store and see lemons prices at 2 for $1.00 I cringe!  Especially when I realize those things hardly ever have any juice in them.  Then I walk over to the organic section and see them priced at $1.38 each.  $1.38 for ONE lemon... are you KIDDING me???  Oh those lovely little lemons, they drive my mad!  Grocery store are definitely not the place to get lemons.

Imagine my delight when my bestie hands me a bag of BEAUTIFUL lemons freshly picked of her very own giant lemon tree!  Oh the joy one must feel having their very own lemon tree, I could only dream.  At least I can share in her good fortune!  So off to the kitchen to whip up something lemony and delicious!

I decided lemon ricotta pancakes were just what I was in the mood for.  So I perused the blog-o-sphere a bit and of course found a yummy looking recipe over at The Noble Pig.  I wish I would have had blue berries so I could have topped them with her Blue Berry Sauce!  It looks DEVINE!!

If you're in the mood for something a little different in your pancake routine give these a try.  The best part, they're low fat! But they are so delicious, you'll never know.  Enjoy!

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3 Tablespoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese (do not substitute fat-free)
1 large egg
2 large egg whites
1/2 cup lemon juice
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1 Tablespoon canola oil, more for brushing on the griddle/skillet

Preheat oven to 200 degrees.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In a medium bowl, whisk together ricotta, egg, egg whites, lemon juice, lemon zest and canola oil. Fold this mixture into the dry ingredients to make a thick batter.
Brush a nonstick skillet with canola oil and heat over medium-low. With a 1/4 cup measure, drop the batter onto the skillet, spreading it slightly.
Cook the pancakes until browned on the underside and beginning to set, about 2 minutes. Flip and cook until browned on the second side and cooked at the center, about two minutes longer.
Transfer the cooked pancakes to a baking sheet and place in the oven to keep warm. Brush the griddle or skillet with the remaining oil and repeat with remaining batter.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Did I Mention...

So I didn't JUST go to Vegas for the food, the main purpose of the trip... CELINE! We went as an early celebration of my (gasp) big 3-0 to see my very most favorite singer on the planet.  If you love her, if you even like her and it is at all possible for you to make the trip to Vegas, DO IT!

Now, I promise I will return to our regular scheduled blogging tomorrow, maybe even tonight.  I have a couple of dishes saved for ya! :)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

I'm Back...

Yes I've been quiet for a while.  While I may not have been doing a whole lot of blogging as of late, I did plenty of eating!  I spent four days eating my way through Las Vegas!  Too much food & all of it so good!  This little beauty was just too pretty not to take a picture of!  Hello S'mores Pie!

I have a serious weakness for s'mores.  Well marshmallows actually.  Adding a graham cracker and chocolate (when do you ever have all there ingredients laying around?) is just extra special!  My boyfriends finds it pretty ridiculous when he comes into the kitchen and finds me "roasting" a one on a bamboo skewer over the stove top, just so I can have a toasted marshmallow!  Yeah, I admit, it happens pretty often.  Hey, sometimes a girl's gotta do what a girls gotta do!

Tip:  Wanna whip up s'mores for a crowd but no time to build a camp fire?  Skip the microwave!  Rubbery marshmallows aren't tasty.  You can get the crispy outside and melty inside using the broiler setting on your oven.  Place your mallows on a foil lined baking sheet and toast 'em under the broiler.  Just be sure to keep a close eye on them as they will go from toasted to flaming rather quickly.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

It's the most wonderful time of the year...

No, not the holiday season... ASPARAGUS Season!  I LOVE asparagus!  LOVE LOVE LOVE it!  But then again, maybe I'm just a product of my environment??  It's tough to grow up somewhere that celebrates the stuff annually and not fall in love with it right?  I once took a crate of it to a co-ed bridal shower and handed bundles out like favors, believe me, it was well received.

I prepare many a dish with this lovely little veggie, so imagine my dismay when I learned that my dearest does not share my love for the little green spears.  In fact during the early stages of the relationship he stated that he didn't like it at ALL!  Oh no!  Since then he has tried it a few times, mostly a not terrible, but not good response.  The one exception being the coveted deep fried asparagus spears at the Asparagus Festival last year.  He actually really enjoyed those.  With the first batch of fresh asparagus brought to us of the year I was inspired to recreate a healthy version of those oh so good, yet oh so bad crispy asparagus spears.  End goal, a healthy treat that my dearest would like.

Hence the birth of Panko Crusted Asparagus!  Outcome... Goal achieved!  Everyone, including you-know-who went back for seconds (possibly thirds) of these little crispy deliciousness!  My toughest critic even asked to take the one lone spear left on the platter with his lunch leftovers.  Oh yes, sweet success!

These were so easy!  And rather delicious!  The panko breadcrumbs gives you the crisp you get from the deep fried asparagus, but there's no deep frying and no heavy batter.  I just threw together a little egg wash, so these amounts are approximate, but you can play with it and use what works for your tastes.  Enjoy!

Panko Crusted Asparagus
1 bundle asparagus tips (break off tough ends)

1 cup panko bread crumbs
about 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
House Seasoning (Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder)

2 egg whites
1 Tbs Dijon mustard
1 Tbs Lemon Olive Oil (or just lemon)
House Seasoning (Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder)

Pre heat oven to 450 degrees.  Wash and dry asparagus.  Mix together bread crumbs, parm and seasoning, set aside.  Whisk together remaining ingredients.  Coat asparagus in egg mixture, then panko mixture.  Carefully lay on parchment lined cookie sheet.  Bake for 15 min, or until crumb coating is golden brown.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Stuffed French Toast

For Sunday brunch I was looking to do something a little different.  I found a recipe on Noble Pig that seemed to fit the bill just right.  I made a couple of ever so slight slight tweeks to the filling and was oh so pleased with the final outcome.  It was quick and easy to make.  I prepped the bread the night before, so that morning it came together in no time.  If you are looking for an addition to your brunch buffet or just something that extra tasty for breakfast, give this one a try.  Enjoy!

Stuffed French Toast

Adapted from Noble Pig via Everyday
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar plus more for dusting
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/4 cup cream cheese
1/2 tsp vanilla
pinch salt

2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
12 slices sandwich bread, crusts removed
2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

In a small bowl mix powdered sugar, ricotta cheese, cream cheese, vanilla & salt.  (I used a hand mixer, to get it nice and smooth.) In a medium bowl, beat together 2 eggs and 1/2 cup milk.

Trim the crusts off 12 slices of sandwich bread and using a rolling pin, roll out the bread to flatten. Add 1 Tablespoon of the sweetened ricotta cheese to each slice, fold over and pinch the edges together. (The edges will seal during cooking.)

In a large skillet, heat 2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive over medium heat. Working in 3 batches, dip the stuffed bread slices in the egg mixture and transfer to the skillet. Cook, turning once, until puffed and golden, about 3 minutes. Dust with more confectioners' sugar before serving. Syrup is good too.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Tortellini Spinach Soup

Once upon a time my bestie recommended a Giada de Laurentiis recipe for a Tortellini soup that looked oh so simple and tasty.  Then last week while perusing Gina's Skiny Recipies I was reminded of it and decided it was time to give it a go.  Quick, easy, tasty... can't ask for much more than that!  This soup is light yet filling and comforting at the same time.  Give it a go.  Enjoy!

Spinach Tortellini en Brodo

Gina's Weight Watcher Recipes
Servings: 8 • Serving Size: 1-1/2 cups • Old Points: 5 pts • Points+: 6 pts
Calories: 226.6 • Fat: 5.3 g • Carb: 33.8 g • Fiber: 0.9 g • Protein: 11.3 g

2 tsp butter
2 stalks of celery, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 carrot, peeled & chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
8 cups chicken broth
3 cups water
1 small Parmigiano Reggiano Rind (optional)
18 oz spinach cheese tortellini (Buitoni)
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
2 cups baby spinach
salt to taste
Parmigiano Reggiano, grated

In a large pot, melt the butter over medium-low heat. When melted, add the celery, onion, carrot & garlic. Cover and reduce heat to low and cook for approximately 8-10 minutes until vegetables begin to soften.

Add the chicken broth, water, rind and increase heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. When broth boils, add salt (to taste), pepper and nutmeg. Stir to combine. Reduce heat to low and add tortellini. Simmer until tortellini cooks to al dente.

Once cooked, remove the rind, and add the baby spinach. Stir to combine. Garnish with freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano!

Makes 12 cups

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Chicken with Artichoke Hearts and Feta Cheese

So I admit, my picture kinda sucks... not kinda, it really sucks.  Especially in comparison to how great this tasted!  If you want to see a picture of this dish in all it's glorious splendor click on over to Gina's site, her pic her picture makes it look as good as it tasted!  While mine may not look as pretty, (I didn't even take the time to put it on a platter, yeah I was feeling lazy) it was OH SO WONDERFUL to taste!  To quote my dearest, "Outstanding babe!"  And I didn't even have to ask him if he liked it.  My favorite part... how quick and easy it was!  I prepped the chicken and tossed it the marinade right before we too a quick trip to my favorite Red Dot Boutique (translation, Target for those of you who aren't familiar.), when we returned dinner was on the table in about 20 min.  How great is that!?!

I just so happened to come across a fantastic Meyer Lemon Olive Oil last weekend, so I did a little drizzle of that over the chicken as well.  The lemon flavor really added to it nicely!  I served with a side of cous cous and some steamed broccoli.  You must try this dish!  Enjoy!

Chicken with Artichoke Hearts and Feta Cheese
Gina's Weight Watcher Recipes
Servings: 6 • Size: 1 med thigh with artichokes • Old Points: 2 pts • Points+: 3 pts
Calories: 107.4 Fat: 2.8 g • Carb: 4.1 g • Fiber: 1.7 g • Protein: 16.6 g

6 skinless boneless chicken thighs, excess fat removed (I used 2 breasts, sliced into thin pieces)
6 oz jar marinated artichoke hearts
2-3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp oregano
1/4 cup reduced fat feta cheese
2 tbsp fresh chopped parsley
salt and fresh pepper

Combine artichoke hearts along with liquid and chicken and let it marinade about 20 minutes or longer. After it's marinated, drain all liquid, add garlic, oregano, salt and pepper.

Broil on low about 6 inches from the flame for about 10 minutes or until golden brown, turn chicken and cook an additional 8-10 minutes and chicken is fully cooked. Top chicken with feta and broil an additional minute. Remove from oven and top with fresh oregano.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Turkey Chili Taco Soup

While clicking around in the great world of blogs I happened to find this fantastic blog for low fat, low cal recipes, Gina's Skinny Recipes.  It's the perfect site for any of you Weight Watchers folks out there as she also has all of her recipes on the points system.  If you haven't already found it, go and check out.  I was quickly inspired to choose dinners for each night of the week, make my grocery list and head to the store.

This Turkey Chili Taco Soup was on the menu for Monday.  It came together incredibly fast and it was delicious!  The only thing I did differently was add a can of S&W pinquitos beans.  I wasn't precise with the chicken stock, I just added it until I liked the consistency.  I also reduced the amount of bell pepper based on personal preference.  This chili/soup was packed with flavor!  next time your looking for something light and filling, give this one a try.  Enjoy! 

Turkey Chili Taco Soup
Gina's Weight Watcher Recipes
Servings: 9 • Size: 1-1/4 cups • Old Points: 3 pts • Points+: 5 pts
Calories: 198.8 • Fat: 1.4 g • Carb: 29.7 g • Fiber: 7.0 g • Protein: 19.5 g

1.3 lbs 99% lean ground turkey
1 medium onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
10 oz can rotel tomatoes with green chilies
15 oz canned or frozen corn, drained
15 oz kidney beans, drained
8 oz tomato sauce
16 oz fat free refried beans
1 packet taco seasoning (you can use 40& less sodium)
2 1/2 +/- cups fat free low sodium chicken broth
In a large pot, brown turkey on medium heat, breaking up with a wooden spoon as it cooks. When cooked through, add onions and pepper and cook 2-3 minutes. Add tomatoes, corn, beans, tomato sauce, refried beans, taco seasoning and chicken broth. Bring to a boil and simmer about 10-15 minutes.
Serve with a few baked tortilla chips and your favorite toppings such as low fat sour cream, jalapeños, reduced fat cheese, chopped scallions, onions, or chopped fresh cilantro. Freeze leftovers in individual portions for future meals.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Fajita Turkey Burgers

Think all turkey burgers are boring and dry??  Think again!  These were the moistest burgers EVER.  I found the recipe on the Cooking Light web site. The avocado salsa on the top is great! And the burgers are so flavorful.  If you're a fan of bell peppers, you'll love these.  If not, just cut the amount of bells back or omit all together & you'll still love these!  If you're in a hurry, buy the pre-chopped veggies and these come together on no time!
I do have a helpful tip to making your turkey burgers moist.  I ALWAYS do this whenever I'm using ground poultry for anything, since it lacks the fat content of ground beef.  Take 1/2 or 1/4 of an onion & using the fine side of a grater, grate it into your turkey meat and mix.  It's a simple extra step that will make a BIG difference.

If you're looking for a quick and healthy burger that's a little out of the ordinary, give this one a try.  Enjoy!

Fajita Turkey Burgers
from Cooking Light
1/4 cup bottled tomatillo salsa
2 tablespoons chopped avocado
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
2 (1-ounce) slices white bread
Cooking spray
1/2 cup finely chopped onion (use the other half for the above mentioned tip)
1/2 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
2 teaspoons fajita seasoning, divided
1/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 pound ground turkey
1 egg white
4 (1 1/2-ounce) whole wheat hamburger buns, toasted

Combine tomatillo salsa, chopped avocado, and cilantro; set aside.
Place bread in a food processor; pulse 10 times or until crumbs measure 1 cup.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add onion and bell peppers; sauté 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon fajita seasoning (I added a splash of water). Cool.

Combine breadcrumbs, onion mixture, remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons fajita seasoning, remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt, tomato paste, turkey, and egg white in a large bowl. Using damp hands, divide turkey mixture into 4 equal portions, shaping each into a 3/4-inch-thick patty. Heat pan over medium heat. Recoat pan with cooking spray. Add patties; cook 4 minutes on each side or until done. Place 1 patty on bottom half of each bun. Top each serving with 1 1/2 tablespoons salsa mixture; top with remaining halves of buns.

Calories:349, Fat:11.5g

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Tuscan Chicken with White Beans and Spinach

While browsing through a few of my favorite blogs last week, I came across this recipe posted by For The Love of Cooking.  (If you aren't already familiar, click on over, she's got loads of yummy stuff.) She made this recipe look outstanding!  Add to that, I love pretty much everything from Cooking Light.  So I decided to give it a try.  Let me tell you we were not disappointed!  It was just what I was hoping it would be and more.  Super easy and has very few ingredients.  (The only real change I made was to use chicken breasts instead of thighs.)  Add to that, its a lighter, healthier meal.  Which I promise is something you'll be seeing more of here again.  Those of you who have been with me since the beginning may remember when this blog focused mainly on, dare I say, healthy meals.  But I digress... back to this meal. 

There's one thing that makes a "healthy" dinner a winner in my book and it's if I think it's good enough to serve to company.  This one achieved just that.  It has a rustic simplicity but at the same time is good enough to share with others.  Give it a try, see for yourself and enjoy!

Tuscan Chicken with White Beans and Spinach
Original recipe in Cooking Light ~ October 2010

4 slices of bacon, trimmed of most fat, chopped and cooked
2 tsp olive oil (divided)
2-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, seasoned and pounded flat
House Seasoning
Dried basil, to taste
1/2 sweet yellow onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 15 oz can of diced tomatoes, drained
1 15 oz can of white beans, rinsed & drained
2 cups of baby spinach
Once the bacon is cooked, remove from pan and set aside.  Remove all but 1 tsp of bacon grease from the skillet. Add 1 tsp olive oil to the bacon grease in the skillet over medium high heat. Season the chicken with sea salt, freshly cracked pepper, garlic powder, and dried basil, to taste on both sides. Once the skillet is HOT, add the seasoned chicken and cook for 5-6 minutes on each side, or until cooked through. Remove the chicken from the skillet, cover with a tin foil tent, and set aside.

Add the remaining teaspoon of olive oil to the skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, for 4-5 minutes or until tender.  Add the minced garlic, and cook stirring continuously for 1 minute. Add the drained diced tomatoes and white beans. Stir and cook for 4-5 minutes.  Add bacon back to the pan.  Add the spinach, season with sea salt, freshly cracked pepper, and dried basil, to taste. Pour the juices from the chicken into the pan and mix well. Ladle the beans and spinach onto a serving dish then top with chicken. Serve immediately. Enjoy.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Molten Chocolate Cake

This intimidating dessert is actually one of the simplest there is!  Next time you're having a dinner party, prep this the morning of and put the batter into a large Ziploc bag.  After dinner, snip the corner of the bag, pipe the batter into each of your ramekins and in 12 minutes you've got an amazing dessert that will have your guests thinking you're a confectionery goddess!  Top it with a small scoop of the whipped white chocolate ganache, or simply pair it with a scoop of your favorite ice cream.  (Or be BAD like me and do both!)  Keep it simple and classic with vanilla.  Or jazz it up a bit with cherry or mint chip.  Just don't go too crazy, cause you want this rich chocolaty little treat to shine.  Enjoy!

Molten Chocolate Cake
recipe by Gale Gand
4 ounces plus 3 tablespoons butter
5 ounces bittersweet chocolate
3 yolks
3 eggs
1.5 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup flour
(Can easily be doubled)

Melt the chocolate and butter together.  (You can do this in the microwave at 50% power for 30 seconds, stir, and continue with 15 second intervals if needed.) Cool slightly. Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, whisk together the yolks and eggs then mix in the powdered sugar. Whisk this into the chocolate mixture then whisk in the flour. You can refrigerate the batter until ready to bake or bake immediately.  Fill 6 greased 4-ounce ramekins with the batter bake in a preheated 450 degree F oven for 8 - 10 minutes from cold, or 6 - 8 minutes from room temperature.  Let set for 2 minutes.   Turn out onto the plate.

Optional Garnish:

White Chocolate Ganache
2 cups heavy cream
8 ounces white chocolate, chopped

Heat the cream in a saucepan until boiling. Place the chopped chocolate in a bowl. Whisking well, pour the hot cream over the chocolate to melt it. Cover and chill overnight. The next day, whip it up like whipped cream until soft peaks. Place a dollop of it on the cake before serving.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Chicken and Cheese Stuffed Portabella Mushrooms

I was trying to think of something different to inspire me for a tasty Valentine's dinner for my sweetie and I.  Also, seeing as I had to work late and make a trip to the grocery store, I knew it couldn't be something that would take forever.  The way my hectic day was going it was beginning to look like he was going to get takeout.  That's when, as I was looking through one of my dreaded desk piles for an invoice, a buried Raley's Something Extra Magazine practically fell into my lap open to this page.  What is that?  It looks pretty & sounds tasty.  A short list of ingredients and I was basically sold at the mention of "shredded rotisserie chicken"  (yeah perhaps you've noticed, I'm a fan).  A quick trip to Raley's that included a stop by their bakery department for a no fuss dessert.

Dinner was everything I hoped it would be.  It had that "something special" feel to it, but it took no time at all to through together.  The stuffed portabella concept was something new for Chad, but I think it was pretty unanimous that this one was two thumbs up.  Give it a try, I think you'll like it.  Enjoy!

Chicken and Cheese Stuffed Portabella Mushrooms

adapted from Raley's Something Extra
2 large portabella mushrooms, stems & gills removed
1 1/2 cup shredded rotisserie chicken
2/3 cup shredded Italian blend cheese
3 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sliced green onions
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 tbsp. California Sun-Dry Sun-Dried Tomato Spread
1 tsp. Morton and Bassett Italian Seasoning
fresh ground pepper to taste
2 tbsp. each: shredded Parmesan cheese and panko bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 450°F and place mushrooms stem side up on a foil lined, greased baking sheet.

Stir together chicken, cheese, onions, garlic, sun-dried tomato spread and seasoning and spoon into mushroom caps. Stir together Parmesan and bread crumbs and sprinkle over mushrooms.

Bake for about 15 minutes or until filling is hot and cheese is melted. Recipe may be doubled.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Chicken in Phyllo Dough

No, that is not a burrito.  It's one of my favorite impress your guests, they'll never know how easy it is (unless they read your blog), sinfully delicious dinners EVER!  Seriously, you've got to try this one.  If you're planning on having guests over for dinner, or just want to impress that special someone this Valentine's day, MAKE THIS!  You'll love me, I promise! 

Phyllo dough and hollandaise sauce are the stars of dish.  If you aren't familiar with phyllo dough, it's that paper thin pastry dough that is used for the Greek dessert baklava.  Here a few sheets are simply brushed with melted butter, layered and wrapped around a chicken breast to create a savory dish.

As for the hollandaise you can either make your own as I like to do, or you can buy the packets and "kinda" make your own.  (It's ok, I've done that in a pinch too.)  If you want to give the homemade stuff a try I've included a SUPER easy blender recipe that is DELISH!

Oh and the Lemon Dijon Asparagus is the perfect side dish.  Try it once and you'll be hooked. Enjoy!

Chicken in Phyllo Dough
4 Chicken breasts, pounded flat & seasoned
1 pkg Phyllo dough (you will only need 3 sheets per breast, but some will rip beyond repair)
1 cube melted butter
8 - 12 asparagus spears, trimmed & blanched or a handful of fresh baby spinach
Hollandaise Sauce (Recipe Below)
Shredded Monterey Jack Cheese (optional)

Prepare single batch of sauce.

Carefully lay one sheet of phyllo dough on a flat surface, brush with melted butter.  Carefully lay another sheet on top of that one, brush with melted butter and repeat.  You should have 3 sheets total.  Place 1 chicken breast towards the bottom corner of the dough square.  Top with a spoonful of hollandaise and either 2-3 asparagus spears, or a small amount of fresh spinach.  Fold, roll and wrap your little pouch of goodies and place on a foil lined baking sheet.  Repeat process with each chicken breast.

Brush tops with remaining butter; sprinkle with cheese. Bake uncovered, at 375 degrees F for 25-30 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 170 degrees F.

Right before the chicken comes out of the oven, make another batch of sauce.  When you serve the chicken spoon some of the sauce over the top.

Hollandaise Sauce has an amazing lemony, buttery, velvety taste that can easily be achieved by using a blender. This recipe has all the same ingredients as the classic, but no double boiler and no chance of the sauce separating.  Give it a whirl!

Blender Hollandaise Sauce
3 egg yolks
1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 dash hot sauce
1/2 cup salted butter

1. In the container of a blender, combine the egg yolks, mustard, lemon juice and hot pepper sauce. Cover, and blend for about 5 seconds.

2. Place the butter in a glass measuring cup. Heat butter in the microwave for about 1 minute, or until completely melted and VERY hot.  Set the blender on high speed, and pour the butter into the egg yolk mixture in a thin stream. It should thicken almost immediately. Keep the sauce warm until serving by placing the blender container in a pan of hot tap water.