Chai Spice Sugar Cookies!

I received the best birthday present from my bestie. She got me a Kitchen Aide stand mixer!! Last month I made pretzels from scratch which was a complete fail and this made me realize how difficult baking is. You have to have the exact measurement or it falls apart.

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So this time around I decided to make cookies from scratch, which was definitely easier than pretzels. I decided that a spin on sugar cookies would be a great way to try out my cookie making skills.

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Chai Spice Sugar Cookies

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups white sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

 

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.

2. In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

3. In a medium bowl combine sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, allspice and black pepper. Remove 1/4 cup of the sugar-spice mixture, set aside to reserve for rolling the cookies.

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4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar-spice mixture until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

5. Beat in egg and vanilla extract, combine until fully incorporated.

6. Slowly blend in dry ingredients mixing until just combined.

7. Using a small scoop (2 teaspoons) roll dough into balls and then into the reserved sugar-spice mixture. Place dough balls on prepared baking sheet about 1 1/2 inches apart.

7. Bake in preheated oven for 8 to 10 minutes.

8. Let stand on baking sheet two minutes before removing to cool on wire racks.

 

Recipe courtesy of My Baking Addiction.

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It’s been a long time

It's been a long time

Here’s a quick snap shot of what I’ve been up to.

1. Scallops, sautéed spinach and wild rice. Scallops are difficult to cook. Achieving that perfect sear is hard!

2. I got this idea from Whole Living magazine. It is a baked sweet potato topped with swiss chard and avocado. This meal is apart of their 2013 detox plan.

3. Cajun Chicken Pasta! I think i’ve perfected this recipe. Its my favorite for a cheat day, not that Im into this new healthy living lifestyle.

4. Chocolove chocolate is my new favorite. I found it at Whole Foods and they have so many flavors.

5. This is a roasted portabella mushroom, caprese style!

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Black Bean Soup Over Wild Rice

photo 2A friend’s mother had a brunch last month where she served this black bean soup over wild rice. She had a whole tray of toppings that you could add to spice up the dish. I fell in love!!! Her mom was nice enough to send me the ingredients!

The soup is so easy. The best thing I can tell you is buy Bob’s Red Mill Black Bean Soup at your local grocery store. Follow the instructions on the back and there you have it.

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Cook wild rice separately and decide what toppings you would like to add. I used avocado, monterey jack cheese, jalapeños (finely chopped) and green onion. Sour cream would be delicious as well.

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You will have a huge pot of this so I would definitely suggest freezing any left overs.

Enjoy!

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Easy Peasy: Catfish Baked in Foil

I was looking for something slightly different from the norm and fairly easy so I was very excited when I came across this recipe in the Food Network Magazine. I would say it took me about 15 minutes to prep and about 30 minutes later, I was enjoying my food.

A few notes…why have I never had couscous before? Its so delicious! The recipe said to bake in the oven for 25 minutes but my filets were a little thick so I let it cook for about 35 minutes. Also, I forgot to mention that this is a low calorie meal, if you’re into counting that stuff.

 

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup couscous (preferably whole wheat)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 6-ounce skinless catfish fillets
  • 2 lemons (1 thinly sliced, 1 juiced)
  • 1/3 cup roughly chopped fresh parsley or mint
  • 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

Directions

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Lay a 2 1/2-foot-long sheet of aluminum foil on a baking sheet, letting the ends hang off. Lay another sheet of foil perpendicular on top.

Rinse the couscous in a fine-mesh sieve under cold water. Mix the olive oil, paprika and 3/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper in a small bowl. Pile the couscous in the center of the foil; toss with 1/2 tablespoon of the seasoned oil and spread in an 8-inch-square layer.

Brush the fish fillets on both sides with 1 tablespoon of the seasoned oil and arrange side by side on top of the couscous. Toss the lemon slices, parsley, red onion, tomatoes, garlic and the remaining 1/2 tablespoon seasoned oil in a bowl, then scatter evenly over the fish and couscous. Drizzle with 2/3 cup water, then bring the opposite ends of the foil together, fold over and crimp closed to make a sealed packet. Transfer the foil packet (on the baking sheet) to the oven and bake 25 minutes.

Open the foil packet; divide the fish among plates. Toss the couscous and vegetables; serve with the fish. Sprinkle with the lemon juice.

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How Did You Give Thanks?

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Thanksgiving 2012 was a success! I cooked the entire meal this year and I have to say it was a true testiment  to my cooking skills. I’m not trying to toot my horn but I just know Thanksgiving dinner is an intimidating meal. With confidence and preparation, I conquered it. I was also feeling great because I gave back this year! With the generosity of NBA player, Ekpe Udoh, families in need were given turkeys and sides in Oklahoma City. 200 turkeys were given away in a matter of 10 minutes. The local news stations just barely missed the action! I was so grateful to be apart of this great event….and excited to see all the volunteers wearing my t-shirt design!

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Trying New Recipes Will Never Get Old!

I follow a number of chefs on instagram because like any true foodie, I love looking at pictures of good food.  This guy calls himself “The Dancing Chef” and claims his food is so good, it will make you dance. So I figured ‘hey, I’ll dance for some good food. Lets try one of his recipes’. I decided to go with the sweet potato crusted salmon and the cranberry curry brown rice. Just let me say this…that brown curry rice will especially make you dance!

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Sweet Potato Crusted Salmon

2 lbs of Atlantic Salmon

1 cup of shredded sweet potatoes

2 Tbsp of Dijon Mustard

1/3 cup of fresh Parsley

Pinch of Salt

Pinch of Lemon Pepper

Directions:

Preheat oven at 350 degrees. Then in a grill pan sear the bottom of the salmon for 5 minutes until you see light grill marks. Remove salmon from the grill and place on a lightly greased baking sheet.

Mix mustard and mayo. Spread on top of salmon until completely coated then sprinkle the shredded sweet potato over the top. Add salt and lemon pepper.

Cook salmon in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes. Potatoes should be stiff to the touch.

Brown Curry Rice with Cranberries

FYI this was amazing! This recipe makes a lot of I cut everything in half which could probably give you about 3 servings.

4 cups of cooked brown rice

1/2 cup of unsalted butter

1 small red onion – finely chopped

2 green peppers – finely chopped

2 cups of dried cranberries

1 cup of curry powder

2 tbsp of salt

1 tbsp of lemon pepper

Directions:

In a medium non-stick pan, sauté onions and peppers on med-high heat until slightly tender.

Add 1/2 cup of butter to the pan. Add 1 cup of curry then fold in the brown rice. Keep stirring until evenly mixed. Sprinkle with salt and lemon pepper. Let it simmer for about 2 minutes then finally stir in the dried cranberries.

Enjoy!

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Sorry, it’s been a while…

Chili Cheese Fries    

How to Poach the Perfect Egg

Hello Everyone!

I know it’s been a few months since my last post. You were probably wondering if I even maintain this blog anymore. Well I do! The truth is, I have actually been thinking of ways to make it better. So here are two recipes that I’ve tried lately and please bear with me as I brainstorm more ways to engage with my fellow foodies!

Enjoy!

P.S. Learning to poach an egg will change your saturday mornings!

Individual Quiche Lorraine w/ Puff Pastry Crust!

I was craving quiche and I had some left over puff pastry in the freezer so this turned out well. I put mine in little ramekins which is great if you’re having guests!

Individual Quiche Lorraine w/ Puff Pastry Crust!

0.5 (14 ounce) package frozen puff pastry (use half of a 397 gram)
2 -3 tablespoons butter
1 large onion,
chopped 2 -3 fresh minced garlic cloves (optional)
8 slices bacon, cooked and chopped
4 eggs
1 cups whipping cream (unwhipped)
salt (start with 1/2 teaspoon)
pepper
1 pinch nutmeg
1 pinch cayenne pepper
1 1/2 cups grated swiss cheese
Set oven to 425 degrees (will reduce oven temperature later). Prepare a 9-inch (deep-dish) pie plate or ramekins.
In a frypan, melt butter and saute onion and garlic (if using) until soft.
In a large bowl, combine eggs, whipping cream and spices; beat until very well combined.
Roll out pastry to fit the pie plate. Sprinkle the onion/garlic mixture into the bottom of the pie shell, then chopped bacon then top with grated cheese. Carefully pour the egg mixture on top.
Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes.
Reduce heat to 300 degrees, and bake for about another 35-40 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.

 

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Asian Glazed Chicken Legs

I havnt been posting as much primarily because I’m busy, but also because I’ve changed my eating habits. I am now eating healthy and working out! This recipe falls on the lighter side and it’s very tasty!

Ingredients
8 medium chicken drumsticks, skin removed
olive oil spray
1 cup water
1 tbsp Sriracha hot sauce (more or less to taste)
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup soy sauce (make sure it’s low sodium)
4 tsp agave nectar (or sugar)
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp ginger, grated
2 tbsp chives or scallions, chopped
1 tsp sesame seeds

In a heavy large saucepan, brown chicken on high for 3-4 minutes with a little spray oil.

Add water, balsamic, soy sauce, agave, garlic, ginger, hot sauce and cook on high until liquid comes to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered for about 20 minutes.

Remove cover and bring heat to high, allowing sauce to reduce down, about 8-10 minutes, until it becomes a thick glaze, turning chicken occasionally. (Keep an eye on glaze, you don’t want it to burn when it start becoming thick) Transfer chicken to a platter and pour glaze on top. Top with chives and sesame seeds and serve.

This recipe was found on SkinnyTaste.com

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Favorite New Restaurant

Call me a slacker if you will, but I’ve been extremely busy with work. The life of a marketer is no easy task, but I did manage to make it out to a new restaurant in Dallas.

Ladies & Gentleman, I present to you Acme F&B. It’s located on McKinney, north of Henderson. They categorize themselves as New American and they cook meats using a whole-animal allocation program. This means they go through all of the parts of the animal until they run out. Every dish on the menu sounds vaguely familiar like chicken and dumplings but the flavor is out of this world.

We ordered crab dip as an appetizer which included grapefruit as an ingredient. After my first bite, I though why isnt grapefruit always paired with Crab. They will completely change the way you think of food.

Some other winners was the Sea Skate (the fin of a sting ray) and the Rabbit.

I also ordered the Hummingbird cocktail will is very similar to a piña colada but much more creamy.

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Rabbit

 

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Sea Skate

The atmosphere is very eclectic and contemporary. You feel like you’ve entered some trendy spot in NYC. Also the place is owned by four women and I’m all for girl power!

Definitely worth making a reservation. Bring a full wallet because you need to try all you can eat!

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