Sunday, February 7, 2010

Hot Spinach Dip

So it's Superbowl Sunday and we're in the thick of "Snowmageddon 2010"...chili is brewing and next up on the list of Super-Foods is some hot spinach dip.  A recipe adapted from one used by a friend, this is super tasty and super simple.
Hot Spinach Dip
1 Jalapeno, chopped
1 White Onion, chopped
2 Tomatoes, chopped (about 2 cups)
10 oz. Package Frozen Chopped Spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
8 oz. Cream Cheese, softened
2 cups (8 oz) Monterey Jack Cheese, shredded
1/2 cup Half and Half 

Mix together all ingredients and put in a buttered baking dish (sometimes if I'm feeling extra cheesy, I sprinkle the top with some parmesan cheese).  Bake at 400 for 20-25 minutes or until hot and bubbly.  (You can also microwave if you'd rather).  Serve with pita chips, tortilla chips, slices of baguette...pretty much anything you want!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Snickerdoodle French Toast with Warm Apple Sauce

So around 3am I decided I wanted french toast for breakfast (which I have never made before, so this was going to be quite the adventure). After some research I decided to on the following combo:

Snickerdoodle French Toast with Warm Apple Sauce
Serves 2

For the toast:
3/4 cup Milk
3 Eggs
1 1/2 tsp. Vanilla Extract
Pinch of Salt
4 slices of Bread
1/4 cup Sugar
3 tsp. Cinnamon

For the sauce:
1 tsp. Butter
1/4 cup Brown Sugar
6 Tbsp Water
1/4 tsp. Cinnamon
2 Small Apples (or one large one), peeled, cored, and thinly sliced

Warm Apple Sauce
  1. In a small sauce pan, melt together the butter and sugar for the sauce.
  2. Add the water, cinnamon, and apples to the butter/sugar mixture.
  3. Cook on medium-high for at least 10 minutes.
Snickerdoodle French Toast
  1. In a small bowl, mix together cinnamon and sugar, set aside.
  2. Mix together milk, eggs, vanilla, and pinch of salt - pour into a shallow bowl.
  3. Dip bread in sugar mixture, sprinkle one side with cinnamon and sugar mixture, and put into a pre-heated skillet (medium-high heat).
  4. Sprinkle the other side of the bread with cinnamon and sugar mixture.
  5. Cook on both sides until toast is firm and no longer wet.
  6. Serve with warm apple sauce.

I'm not an expert at french toast yet (still a little on the soggy-side), but I'm willing to give it another try and keep perfecting this new breakfast item =)

Friday, February 5, 2010

Molten Chocolate Cakes

While on our September cruise to the Caribbean with friends we were introduced to Carnival's Molten Chocolate Lava Cakes. This left us with the extreme desire to recreate the experience at home. During the kitchen tour we were gifted with a copy of the recipe used by Carnival's chef's, but obviously this would need to be scaled down quite a bit. In this month's Everyday with Rachael Ray there was a similar recipe. Being that we were snowed in due to the crazy mid-Atlantic storm that was in progress and my guilt for being far too pregnant to help with any sort of the fact that all of the ingredients were on hand, I decided to surprise my hubby with a tasty dessert. I made some changes since there was no need for us to consume 6 cakes between the two of us, and mixing chocolate and mint is not one of Hubby's favorite things. The result was mighty tasty although not quite as rich and decedent as the ones from our cruise (which may or may not be a good thing ;-)

Molten Chocolate Cakes
Serves 2

1/2 sticks (2 ounces) unsalted butter
2 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
4 1/2 teaspoons flour
10 peanut butter chips
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting
  1. Preheat the oven to 450°. Grease and flour two 6-ounce ramekins. Melt the butter and chocolate, whisking until smooth.
  2. Using an electric mixer, beat the egg, yolk and granulated sugar at high speed until pale and very thick, about 8 minutes (crucial to get these eggs all beat up!) Whisk in the chocolate mixture, then the flour until just combined.
  3. Divide the batter among the prepared ramekins and submerge 5 peanut butter chips in the center of each. Place the ramekins on a baking sheet and bake until set but still slightly jiggly in the center, 12 minutes or so.
  4. Invert the cakes onto plates, wait a few seconds and remove the ramekins. Dust with the confectioners' sugar and serve immediately.
    (I served mine with some whipped cream and a little scoop of Mississippi Mud Pie ice tasty!)

You can put just about any melt-able candy in the center of these little cakes, or just leave them plain. Or try as many combos as you can think of and pick your favorite! (I think that's going to be my vote!)

Monday, February 1, 2010

Apricot Chicken

This is a variation of a chicken dish that I heard Angela Kinsey (Angela from The Office) describe once in an's super simple and nice for a busy weeknight.

Apricot Chicken
Serves 3


1 package of chicken breasts (usually contains 3 breasts)
4 oz apricot preserves
4 oz Russian salad dressing
1 package of onion soup mix
1 can of sliced mushrooms, drained

1. Put chicken breasts into a greased baking pan.

2. In a small bowl mix together the remaining ingredients and then pour over the chicken.

3. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes at 350.

4. Uncover and bake for another 15-20 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked.

I like serving this with rice since the sauce is pretty tasty and normally with a side of broccoli (I use the florets from fresh broccoli crowns - a little olive oil, garlic salt, and pepper and just throw them in the oven with the chicken on a cookie sheet lined with foil for those last 15-20 minutes...makes for Hubby's favorite veggie!)