Archives for posts with tag: recipe

Double Chocolate Brownies

Where has June gone? I cannot believe this is the last weekend of June and summer is here! Lucky for me this month has been filled with a lot of yummy food. Today I will share with you a simple and easy to make brownie recipe that I put to the test earlier this month and it was a great hit with a large group.

You see, summer not only means warm weather, pool parties and barbecue’s, but it also means I get to volunteer in an interesting way! Last summer I found a local organization that enables people to volunteer as part of their culinary team. Tuesday through Saturday individuals have the opportunity to cook meals for staff and volunteers of the organization. Because I work full-time Monday thru Friday, the only day I am able to volunteer is on Saturday’s. The Saturday shift is only available from late Spring to late Summer. Anyway, a few weeks ago I volunteered as the kitchen support person, I’ll call it a “Sous Chef”. The lead aka “Executive Chef” made a baked pasta dish and salad, I was instructed to make dessert – can I call myself a “Pastry Chef” too?

In the past I have made cookies or baked a cake, this time I wanted to try something different so I ended up making brownies from scratch! For some reason baking brownies from scratch made me nervous. I do not know why. Unfortunately, I so used to making brownies from a box that the rations of cocoa powder and chocolate really made scared me.

Well, to my surprise it was super easy to make these brownies from scratch, yay for that! On this day we cooked lunch for 10 people so the pressure was on. When in doubt I refer my trusted friend, Pinterest! I found a simple recipe that I modified a bit to suit our needs, I doubled the recipe (most of the ingredients).

Here are the ingredients you’ll need:

  • 1 cup of softened (unsalted) butter (two sticks)
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 cup of cocoa powder
  • 1 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup of chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and grease a baking dish.
  2. In a large bowl mix the eggs, sugar and vanilla until smooth, then add the softened butter (make sure it is not hot. Cool it down).
  3. Then add the cocoa powder, flour, cinnamon, salt, and baking powder. Combine well.
  4. When all ingredients are mixed well then fold in the chocolate chips.
  5. Next, pour the mixture onto the baking dish and bake for 25 to 30 minutes.
  6. Once they’re done place the brownies on a cooling rack.
  7. After they cool down cut them into small pieces and serve.

Brownies from scratch 02

To my relief, the group LOVED them and many had a second serving. If you make this recipe, please let me know how they turned out. As always, warm brownies go well with a scoop of vanilla ice cream – FYI.

Thank you so much for visiting C to C,

CAT

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Strawberry Compote Sauce 07

I have a super yummy and easy recipe to share with you. You only need six (possibly five) ingredients, so it’s simple too.

The strawberries in my refridgerator were reaching their final days so they needed to be used. Plus, I had recently picked raspberries and those needing to be eaten. I decided to mix the two and make a compote or sauce to top my breakfast pancakes.

Strawberry Compote Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1 lbs. Strawberries (sliced or cubed)
  • 1 cup of raspberries
  • 1 lemon (zest and juiced)
  • 1 tbsp. corn starch (optional)
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 1/4 cup of water

Strawberry Compote Sauce 02

How to make the compote | sauce:

1. In a small pot over medium heat combine water, sugar and corn starch – mix until dissolved, then add the lemon zest and juice. Stir for a few minutes until you see a slight boil.

2. Add the berries and continue to stir until all ingredients come to a boil.

3. Turn the head down to low and stir. Let the berries cook for at least 10 to 15 minutes. Allow the sauce to cool for a few minutes before serving.

 

The sauce | compote can be served with pancakes, waffles, French toast, ice cream or anything your little heart desires.

Enjoy!

Strawberry Compote Sauce 03

Roasted Tomato Salsa A

Hello! I am back after a month long hiatus, miss me? Don’t answer that!

Well, happy Cinco de Mayo weekend! Drinking a Corona and eating some nachos? Well, you know what goes well with that Corona, or Margarita, chips and salsa!

I love salsa (food not the dance) which is why I am sharing this super easy recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 4 – Tomatoes
  • 1/4 – Onion
  • 3 –  Serrano (or Jalapeno) peppers
  • 1 – Garlic clove
  • Cilantro (to taste)
  • 1/2 a Lemon (juiced)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

How to:

To roast the veggies I used a cast iron skillet, no need for oil or butter, just plain veggies on a hot surface. Place the veggies on the skillet (you can also use a grill or an oven), turn them every so often so that each side has a little char. Tomatoes took the longest about 20 minutes or so.

Roasted Tomato Salsa 01

 

Remove veggies from the skillet after they are well roasted and let them rest for a few minutes. Once all the veggies are roasted and have great coloring (which will give flavor to the salsa), let them rest for at least 5 minutes.

Next, using your blender or food processor “shop” the onion, garlic and peppers. Once those are nice and chunky remove them and place them in a glass container. Next, do the same for the tomatoes, one by one, be sure not to over “shop” them. You do not want to end up with a tomato puree – make sure your salsa a little chunky. Once that’s done, mix them with the onion, garlic, and peppers and mix well.

Next, finely shop the cilantro and add it to the salsa. Then add the lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste.

Voila, you now have Roasted Tomato Salsa!

Roasted Tomato Salsa03

Simple! Serve this delicious salsa at your Cinco de Mayo festivities and you’ll be the talk of the party.

Enjoy,

CAT

 

BasilChicken08

The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you’ve got to have a what-the-hell attitude.”  
―     Julia Child

Well, Julia sums it up!

Last week I had one of those “what-the-hell” kind of moments. I didn’t know what to make for dinner and all I had was four chicken breast. I wanted something with basil, so instead of making a pesto marinade and slandering on the chicken – I stuffed it!

The filling included ingredients I had in my refrigerator needing to be used such as cooked quinoa.

Ingredients for filling:

  • Basil (1 cup)
  • Spinach (1 cup)
  • Quinoa (1/2 cup)
  • Jalapeno pepper jack cheese (1/2 cup)
  • Green onions (1)
  • Garlic (2 cloves)
  • Red pepper flakes (to taste)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Black pepper (to taste)

Directions:

Finely slice the basil, spinach and green onions. Then mince the garlic and shred the cheese. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl.

BasilChicken01

To prepare the chicken for stuffing make a slit on the thicker side of the breast creating a pocket. Next, open the pocket and stuff with the filling mixture. Stuff each breast and lay on a cookie rack lined with parchment paper. Once all the breast are stuffed, season with salt and pepper and drizzle with a little olive oil.

BasilChicken02

Once all your chicken breasts are stuffed, wrap the poultry with the parchment paper to create a large air-tight packet.

BasilChicken04

Cook for 35 to 40 minutes in a 375 degree oven.

BasilChicken03

The packet will “steam cook” the chicken which will produce juicy and tender breast. It’s tough to burn food when cooked this way. I am a big fan of this method.

Serve the breast with a side salad or veggies.

BasilChicken06

This “what-the-hell” recipe turned out to be super delicious! I just had to share it with you.

Hope you’ll enjoy it too.

Kalechips04

Move over Popeye and make room for the “queen of greens,” kale. Gaining in popularity, kale is an amazing vegetable being recognized for its exceptional nutrient richness, health benefits, and delicious flavor.

Eating a variety of natural, unprocessed vegetables can do wonders for your health, but choosing super-nutritious kale on a regular basis may provide significant health benefits, including cancer protection and lowered cholesterol.

To read more about the Truth About Kale, click here.

Kalechips03

One of my favorite ways to eat kale is to bake it and make chips. Lucky for me, my garden is doing great and producing a lot of kale. Other ways I use kale is to sautéed, juiced, or steamed. I try to incorporate kale in my dishes because of its high nutritious value.

An easy way to eat this hearty green vegetable is to make kale chips. I got the recipe from Mimi of Everything Luxy on YouTube, but I added lemon juice to give a bit of tang. This recipe makes delicious, healthy, guilt-free snack that will not disappoint.

Ingredients:

  • Kale
  • Salt (to taste)
  • 2 tbs Olive Oil
  • Lemon juice (to taste)
  • Sesame Seeds (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Wash the kale, remove the stem, and tear into small pieces.
  3. Be sure to dry the kale really well by using a salad spinner (or paper towels).
  4. In a large bowl place kale and massage the oil into it. Gently toss the kale with the olive oil, be sure all the leafs are covered with oil.
  5. Add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl of kale, and mix well.
  6. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  7. Pour the kale on to cookie sheet, be sure to arrange in a single layer.
  8. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Check the oven toward the last 5 or 10 minutes to prevent burning. Bake until all pieces are crispy.
  9. After kale chips are done, remove cookie sheet from oven and let them cool.

KaleChips 01

Hope you like and enjoy!

Breakfast sandwich 05

I absolutely love weekends! Not because they’re a break from my Monday through Friday routine, aka work, but because… I get to eat a real breakfast! Yes, because of the food, LOL. During the workweek breakfast usually means a banana or Greek yogurt. Yeah, not super exciting, but it is convenient.

Weekends mean delicious breakfast, YAY!

I love eggs, bacon, sausage and hash browns, but in order to be semi-healthy I have to limit my intake. When I want a healthier breakfast, I’ll make myself a veggie omelette or a healthy breakfast sandwich.

Yesterday, I kicked off my weekend by attending a Yoga class at the gym. To continue on the health-kick, I made myself a yummy breakfast sandwich, which I will share the recipe with you here.

Breakfast sandwich 02

Ingredients are:

  • 2 slices of whole wheat bread
  • 2 eggs
  • a handful of spinach
  • a few lettuce leaves (which I grew in my garden)
  • 1 tomato
  • 1/2 an avocado
  • Sea salt and Black Pepper

Breakfast sandwich 03

Directions:

  1. In a small frying pan, add a little olive oil or butter, and fry your eggs.
  2. When the translucent liquid becomes white, break the yolk by poking it with your spatula.
  3. Then sprinkle a little sea salt and black pepper. Because I like some heat in my food, I also add red pepper flakes.
  4. Wait, a few more seconds and add your spinach (as seen above), flip the eggs, let it cook for a little longer until the yolks are solid.
  5. Once the yolk is fully cooked, fold eggs in half and let them rest (move your pan away from the burner) for a few seconds while preparing the bread.
  6. Take your bread slices and spread the avocado. Ripen avocado will make this process easier.
  7. Once you’ve spread the avocado on to your bread, add lettuce and tomato slices on each side.
  8. Place the eggs onto the your bread and sandwich it.

Breakfast sandwich 04

Ta da, now you have a delicious and healthy breakfast sandwich!

Breakfast sandwich 06

If you’d like to liven up your sandwich, add a layer of crispy bacon strips. Yup, bacon makes everything better… and cheese! But if you want to be healthy do without.

I promise, you will love this sandwich and enjoy it to the last bite. Don’t forget to add a little spice, it’s good for your health 🙂

Breakfast 02

P.s. that’s Tapatio sauce on my sandwich. I told you, I love me some spicy food.

Apple Pie Recipe

It is cold outside and what better way to cozy up then with a delicious slice of warm apple pie. Yum! True to my nature, I put my own spin on the traditional apple pie. I topped it with a buttery, sweet, cinnamonie streusel crumb topping. Heavenly!

Here are the recipes I combined to make one super delicious apple pie and boyfriend approved. And I should add, he’s the baker in our household.

I borrowed Blair Fowler’s “Grandma Fowler’s Apple Pie” recipe. Who’s Blair Fowler (JuicyStar07)? A YouTube Beauty Guru, I’ve been watching her and her sister Elle’s (All That Glitters21) videos for almost three years. A few months ago Blair shared her grandmother’s apple pie recipe and I recreated it.

Check out the video from Blair’s YouTube channel – Grandma Fowler’s Apple Pie Recipe

Once again, the combination of the recipes was amazingly delicious, hope you give it a try.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients for pie:

  •  6 Granny Smith apples cored, peeled and sliced
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 pre-made refrigerated pie crust

Streusel topping recipe from: Food.com

Streusel ingredients:

  • 1  cup flour
  • 1  teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup  packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened

Pie Directions:

  1. Core, peel and slice the apples.
  2. In a large bowl gently mix in the lemon juice, then add sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Mix well so all slices are covered with the mixture.
  3. Place the apples into a strainer and placed over a large bowl. Let sit for 15 to 20 minutes.
  4. Pour the drained juice into a microwave safe container and add butter.
  5. Microwave for 6 minutes then mix the home-made caramel back into the apples.
  6. Line pie pan with pie crust and fill with apples.
  7. Top with pie streusel crumb topping (see recipe below)
  8. Wrap the edge of the pie with aluminum foil to prevent burning.
  9. Bake at 425 degrees for 30 minutes.
  10. Let the pie cool before cutting into it and serving. Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or alone.

Streusel Crumb Directions:

In a medium bowl mix together the flour, cinnamon, and brown sugar with a fork. Then mix in the softened butter. Continue by stirring and blending until the mixture creates crumbs.

Delicious Apple Pie 02

P.s. free hand or use cookie cutter to make hearts.

Thanks for visiting, CAT.

ImageWhenever I take a trip to the grocery store, I am inclined to buying a natural fruit juice like Odwalla or Naked. While these fruit and veggie juices are delicious and nutritious they can also be a bit pricey for those of us on a budget. As an alternative I have opted to making my own fruit and veggie juices.

When I first began making my own juices, I would stick to simple juices such as carrot juice, apple juice, pineapple juice etc. With time, I’ve learned to mix and match fruits and veggies to not only make tasty juices, but to also make them as delicious and nutritious as possible.

I’d like to share one of my favorite juice recipes with you, all in hopes of inspiring you to give juicing a try. This recipe requires that you own a juicer, but if you do not own one, I suggest you chop all the ingredients into smaller pieces and mix them in the blender.

Tangy-licious

Ingredients: (yields about 16 oz.)

  1. 4 carrots
  2. 3 large stalk celery
  3. 4 oranges
  4. ¼ of a pineapple cut into spears
  5. 1 small lime
  6. Tajin or cayenne pepper (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Wash fruit and veggies
  2. Peel skin off the oranges
  3. Cut the celery stalks in half
  4. Cut the top off the carrots (do not peel the carrots)
  5. Peel lime
  6. One by one, insert fruits and veggies into juicer (no particular order)
  7. Stir juice thoroughly and pourImage

**To add zing to the juice, I like to top my juice with a pinch of Tajin (a chili powder) or some cayenne pepper. It makes the juice that much more delish **

Good source of: Beta-carotene, Vitamin A, B-Complex, D, E, K, iron, calcium, magnesium and manganese.

Good for: Anti-aging, cleansing, colds and flu, digestion and cancer prevention

Let me know what you think, Enjoy!

**Cristy**

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