Thursday, October 23, 2014

Chipotle Cheesy Garlic Bread




I mentioned in a prior post that my family used to call me the doughboy. Not because I giggled when my stomach was poked, although I’m sure I did, it was because I LOVED biscuits, garlic bread, and everything in between.

Then came the year 2009, when I was introduced to the place called Little Caesars. A friend of mine gave me a piece of his Italian Cheese Bread. It is now affectionately known as Cheesy Bread. It was love at first bite. It’s cheap, unhealthy, artery-clogging goodness is incredible. Just because I am a foodie doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy the simplistic things in the culinary world.

While down at the University of Delaware, an order of “Cheesy Bread” was a common agenda item after midnight on a weekend night. I’m sure you can assume why. Last weekend at homecoming, a few friends and I re-lived this common occurrence. It inspired me to make a cheesy garlic bread of my own, with a twist of course. I’d say it’s healthier than what you can buy at Little Caesars…but it’s not. Just enjoy it!




Chipotle Cheesy Garlic Bread

Ingredients
1 Teaspoon Chipotle Seasoning
2 Tablespoons Garlic Powder
½ Teaspoon Salt
1 Teaspoon Black Pepper
1 Teaspoon Oregano
½ Teaspoon Thyme
½ Teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
2 Tablespoons Parmesan Cheese - Shredded
1/3 cup Mozzarella Cheese - Shredded
5 Slices Italian Bread
4 Tablespoons Butter

Directions
1.     Preheat an oven to 400 degrees.
2.     In a small bowl, combine all of the herbs and spices.
3.     Lay the bread flat on a greased baking sheet.
4.     Spread each slice of bread with the butter and then top with the herbs.
5.     Top with the cheeses and bake for 10 minutes.
6.     If desirable, cut the slices in half lengthwise.
7.     Serve with a side of marinara sauce!


Thursday, October 16, 2014

Banana Bread French Toast Sticks


When I’m trying to come up with a new and creative recipe, I tend to reminisce about foods I used to love as a kid. The intention is to take a new spin on an old favorite and make them even better than I remembered.

Here comes French Toast Sticks! When I saw them at the lunch counter in grade school I would salivate. Unfortunately (but not really unfortunate), I always ate breakfast at home before school started and didn't need to buy breakfast. This doesn't mean I didn't have a bag of frozen French Toast Sticks in the freezer at home for an after school snack!

Recently, I discovered that I love Banana Bread. One day, as I was eating Banana Bread and I said to myself, “Wait a minute, French Toast Sticks made from Banana Bread! Yes.”


I made this in a span of two days. The Banana Bread part of the show was the night before the French Toast finale and the anticipation was unbearable. With a touch of powdered sugar and syrup, this might be one of my favorite recipes yet. Enjoy! 




Banana Bread Ingredients

½ cup Butter - softened
1 cup Dark Brown Sugar
2 Eggs - beaten
4 Ripe Bananas - smashed
1 ½ cup Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
½ teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Vanilla

French Toast Sticks Ingredients

4 Slices of Banana Bread
1 Teaspoon Honey
1 Tablespoon Sugar
¾ cup Heavy Whipping Cream
1 Tablespoon Cinnamon
3 Eggs - beaten
1 Tablespoon Butter
Powdered Sugar


Directions – Banana Bread

1.     Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine the butter (not melted) and sugar in a large bowl.
2.     Add the eggs.
3.     Add the bananas, vanilla and combine.
4.     In a separate bowl, combine the flour, salt, and baking soda.
5.     Add the dry mix to the wet mix and gently stir together.
6.     Grease a loaf pan and pour the mix into the pan.
7.     Bake for about one hour at 350 degrees.
8.     Set aside to cool for a couple of hours.

Directions – French Toast Sticks

9.     Slice the bread so that it forms a batch of 6-8 slices about 2 inches thick.
10. In a large mixing bowl, combine the eggs, cinnamon, whipping cream, sugar, and honey.
11.  Melt the butter in a large pan over medium heat.
12. Dip the slices of bread in the mix, shake off the excess and set aside on a plate.
13. Once the pan is hot, place the sticks into the pan. Leave some space in between the sticks to prevent overcrowding.
14. Cook for about 5 minutes per side.
15. Remove from the pan and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

16. Serve warm with syrup.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Corn and Crab Bisque






When I was younger, the only soup I would go near is chicken noodle soup. Not even tomato soup!

I grew up. I grew up and crab bisque quickly became a favorite. Hope you enjoy this recipe!

*I adopted this recipe from allrecipes.com. I made some tweaks of course*


Corn and Crab Bisque

Ingredients

2 Tablespoons Butter
1 Cup Crab Meat
¼ cup Shallots – finely chopped
1 ½ 14 oz can Chicken Broth
2 cloves Garlic – chopped
¾ cup canned Sweet Corn
1/3 cup Half-and-Half
1 Bay Leaf
¼ cup Milk
2 Tablespoons Flour
¼ Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
1 Tablespoon Old Bay
½ Teaspoon Black Pepper
¼ Teaspoon Salt

Directions

1.     Heat up the butter in a medium sized pot. Saute the shallots for about 5 minutes.
2.     Pour the chicken broth into the pot, and bring to a hard boil.
3.     Add in the bay leaf, garlic, cayenne pepper, old bay, salt and black pepper.
4.     Reduce to simmer for 15 minutes and reduce the heat to low.
5.     Remove 1 cup of the soup and pour into a food processor.
6.     To the food processor, add the half and half. Puree for thirty seconds and set aside.
7.     In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk and flour. Slowly pour this into the soup in the large pot and let simmer for 3 minutes.
8.     Stir in the pureed mix and simmer for an additional 5 minutes.
9.     Add the crabmeat, corn and simmer on very low for 3 more minutes. 

10. Sprinkle the soup with more old bay if desired and serve!

*If you prefer a thicker soup (as I do), multiply the milk and flour combo by two.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Wonton Raviolis w/ Herb Butter Sauce



Most of the time, if you put the word homemade in front of any dish the assumption is that it will be somewhat complicated to make. For instance, "homemade cereal" sounds complex right? Except not really.

For the past couple of years I have really enjoyed experimenting with wonton wrappers. They're extremely versatile and can lead to some great recipes. Take, for instance this, one. Homemade wonton raviolis with a light herb butter sauce.

The light sauce allows the filling of the raviolis to shine...in your mouth! Or something like that. They cook extremely fast and are a healthy alternative to the store bought frozen raviolis. Enjoy!


Wonton Ravioli W/ Garlic Herb Butter Sauce

Ingredients

8 Wonton Wrappers
3/4 cup Boneless Chicken - cooked
½ cup Spinach - cooked
½ cup Ricotta Cheese
1 Teaspoon Black Pepper
½ Teaspoon Salt
½ Teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
½ Teaspoon Garlic Powder
1 Egg - beaten
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

Garlic Herb Butter Sauce
¼ Tomato
1 Shallot
1 Tablespoon Chopped Garlic
1/8 cup Parmesan Cheese
½ cup Butter
1 Tablespoon Basil
1 Teaspoon Oregano

Directions

1.     In a large bowl, combine the chicken, spinach, ricotta cheese, black pepper, salt, red pepper flakes and garlic powder.
2.     Lay a wonton wrapper on a flat surface, and place a large dollop of the chicken/cheese/spinach mix in the center.
3.     Lightly spread some egg on every edge of the wrapper.
4.     Fold the wrapper diagonally and firmly press the edges so it sticks.
5.     Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
6.     In a medium sized saucepan, heat up the olive oil
7.     Saute the shallots and garlic for about 6 minutes.
8.     Add the butter, basil, and oregano and set the pan on simmer.
9.     Drop the wontons in the boiling water and let them cook for 3 minutes.
10. Gently transfer the wontons from the large pot to the pan with the butter, shallots and garlic.
11. Add the tomatoes and toss to mix for about 2 minutes.

12. Sprinkle with the Parmesan Cheese and serve.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Fudge 2.0

As we wave goodbye to summer, it's just about time to bring out the fall/winter recipes! I'm not super strict with what I should and shouldn't eat based on what season it is. However, I typically won't have a craving for soup in the summer time or water ice in the winter.

But fudge...


I have been waiting to make this happen again after my late revelation last winter. Somehow, before last winter, I had never made, or even tasted, fudge before. Well now, I'm somewhat of an addict. 

Last winter I made a simple fudge that I fell in love with. Many others have tried it and share the same love! Of course, I had to add a few elements to the recipe. 

Caramel and pretzel bits!

These combined with the creamy, sweet fudge make this recipe to die for (not literally, I don't recommend dying for fudge). Enjoy! 









Fudge 2.0


Ingredients

3 cups Hershey Drops
1- 14 oz can Sweetened Condensed Milk
¼ cup Butter
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
3 Tablespoons Pure Maple Syrup
Caramel Crushed Pretzels on top and bottom
½ cup Pretzels - crushed
Tin Foil

Caramel Sauce
¼ cup cup Brown Sugar
1/8 stick Butter
1/8 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
½  Teaspoon Vanilla


Directions

1.     In a large microwavable safe bowl, combine the chocolate chips, condensed milk, butter, vanilla and maple syrup.
2.     Microwave, covered, for about a minute and a half.
3.     Stir the ingredients around and return to the microwave.
4.     Microwave for an additional minute until the butter is completely melted (be sure to not let the mixture boil).
5.     Line a baking pan with tin foil, sprinkle half of the crushed pretzels on the bottom of the pan and pour the mixture into the pan.
6.     Smooth out the mixture so it forms a thick slab.
7.     Make the caramel sauce and drizzle it over the fudge.
8.     Sprinkle the remainder of the pretzels over the fudge and press into the fudge

9.     Refrigerate for 3 hours.