Thursday, February 28, 2008

Would you like a Cookie?

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

These used to be the only cookies I made. But I have recently found 2 other recipes that I love too. So it has been a long time since I made some of these. The recipe comes from the Better Homes and Garden Cook Book. I can't rave enough about the convection setting on my oven. This setting allows for the perfect cookies! Yum these are some good melt in your mouth cookies, and extra perfect with some milk.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Eat to the Beat!! Part 2 Coconut Lime Cupcakes

Since this was thrown together, I would recommend a couple changes to the recipe I used. I will note those in blue.
Preheat Oven to 350 (I have convection so I did 325)

1 1/4 Cups Flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 Cup Butter
3 Eggs
3/4 Cup Milk (use 1 Cup)
3/4 Cup Sugar
1 lime (juice and zest) (I used a small one use medium sized lime)
1 Cup Coconut (use 3/4 cup)

Mix the dry ingredients together and set aside. Beat the butter until soft and add the sugar and mix until smooth. Add the eggs one at a time. Add the milk and lime juice. Slowly add the dry ingredients and mix until smooth. Stir in the coconut at the end.
Pour into muffin cups in muffin pan.
Bake for 20 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Enjoy.

Makes 12 Cupcakes

Eat to the Beat!! Part 1

So I decided to participate in the blogging event "Eat to the Beat".
The song that came to mind was "Put the Lime in the Coconut" By Harry Nilsson. To listen to this song check out YouTube. This song has a lot of memories for me. I will age myself by saying this, but whatever. In college my roommate had a mix tape (yes tape) called the "100 Proof Mix". This was one of the songs on the tape, which was full of great, classic "drinking songs". Too funny. (I am not THAT old, 1998 graduate).

So what to make with Lime and Coconut??
I thought of two ideas and decided to try them both.
1. Coconut Shrimp with Tequila Lime Marinade
2. Coconut Lime Cupcakes

I couldn't find any recipes for either that I wanted to try. So I had to improvise a bit. I have done a tequila lime marinade and made coconut cake previously so I had a good idea of what I was looking for.

Coconut Shrimp
18-20 Raw Shrimp, peeled and deveined, tales on

1 Lemon (juice and zest)
1 Lime (juice and zest)
1/3 Cup Tequila
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
3 Tbs Olive Oil
(Marinade for 30 minutes- 1 hour)

Preheat Oven to 425
1/2 Cup Flour
1 Egg
1/4 Cup Beer
1 Cup Coconut

Beat the egg and mix with the beer. Prepare a dish with flour, one with the egg mixture, and one with the coconut. Roll in the flour, then the egg, then the coconut and place on greased cookie sheet. Spray with cooking spray and bake for 10 minutes. Serve with the dip. Enjoy.

1/4 Cup of Mayo
Juice and zest of 1/2 a lime and 1/2 a lemon
1 Tbs Honey
1 Tbs Tequila

Monday, February 25, 2008

Platinum Chef Challenge Part 2


Two ingredients remained in the challenge, chick peas and cumin. So what on earth to make with chick peas? Well Hummus of course!!

1 Can of Chick Peas (rinsed and drained)
1 garlic clove
1 tsp salt
1 Tbs Olive Oil
2 tsp cumin
2 Tbs Lemon Juice

Place all ingredients in a food processor or a blender. Add a little bit of water if needed to get the consistency. Serve with tortilla chips. Enjoy.

Platinum Chef Challenge Part 1

Platinum Chef Challenge

So another challenge presented itself. I decided to take another stab at the challenge. The ingredients chosen were intriguing. This was a good tasting dish and pretty healthy. To think risotto without any cheese or butter, you are doing pretty good. I was surprised how long the barley took to cook though. This dish probably took close to an hour to complete. But I am excited to try other risottos substituting barley for the rice.

These are the ingredients this time:

*Butternut Squash

The first recipe I chose was for a Butternut Squash & Barley Risotto
I found this by googling the ingredients of Butternut Squash and Barley. This recipe comes from Parade.Com. (In red are the changes that were made. )

Butternut Barley Risotto

1 butternut squash (about 11⁄2 pounds), peeled, seeded and cut into 11⁄2-inch pieces

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice

1 cup diced (1/4 inch) plum tomatoes

5 cups chicken or vegetable broth

1 cinnamon stick (3 inches long) (This was omitted)

2 Tbs Vanilla (this was added)

1 cup pearl barley, rinsed

4 tablespoons chopped parsley (This was omitted)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1. Blanch the squash in boiling, salted water until just tender, about 3 minutes. Drain and reserve. (this actually took more like 15 minutes)

2. Place the oil in a pot over low heat; add the onion and cook until tender, stirring, 10 to 15 minutes. (Add the vanilla and stir for a minute) Add the tomatoes; cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, simmer the broth.

4. Stir the barley into the onions and tomatoes, coating well with the oil. Raise the heat to medium.

5. Stir 1/2 cup of the br oth into the barley mixture; cook, stirring frequently, until it has been absorbed into the barley. Repeat, making sure each addition of broth is absorbed before adding the next 1/2 cup, until the barley is tender and most of the broth has been used, about 45 minutes.

6. Carefully fold in the reserved butternut squash. Cook until the barley reaches the desired consistency, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper. (Add one more Tbs of Vanilla and stir) Serve immediately.

7. While eating it was apparent something was missing. So cinnamon was sprinkled on top and stirred in.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Cinnamon Rolls

I had the wonderful experience to work in a Church Camp Kitchen during the summers in College. I learned a great deal and often use techniques I learned there in my kitchen. The camp has an outstanding roll recipe and used that roll recipe to make cinnamon rolls also. So the technique of this recipe was learned long ago. The recipe I used the Honey Whole Wheat Bread dough recipe again from All recipes.


  • 2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup honey (I use 2/3 Cup)
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
Cinnamon Spread
1 Cup Melted Butter
3/4 Cup Brown Sugar

1/8 Cup Cinnamon
Mix all ingredients together


  1. Dissolve yeast in warm water. Add honey, and stir well. Mix in whole wheat flour, salt, and vegetable oil. Work all-purpose flour in gradually. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead for at least 10 to 15 minutes. (I cheat and use the Kitchen Aid to knead the dough) When dough is smooth and elastic, place it in a well oiled bowl. Turn it several times in the bowl to coat the surface of the dough, and cover with a damp cloth. (This is where I change it up)
  2. Split the dough into two equal portions. Take the first and roll out flat on a floured counter top. The size should be around the size of a large cookie sheet (maybe a cookie sheet and a 1/2). Spread with the cinnamon mixture.
  3. Roll the dough to create a log. Slice into 1 1/2 inch slices and place on a greased jelly roll pan.
  4. Bake on 375 for about 12-15 minutes or until slightly browned.
  5. Serve warm with a fork.
  6. Enjoy.

The Perfect Pork Loin

After having an amazing pork loin at Mesa Grill in Las Vegas I thought that I should experiment with a rub. So I googled pork loin rubs to get some ideas of ingredients.
This is what I decided to try

3T Brown Sugar
3 T White Sugar
1T each garlic salt, pepper, cumin, coriander, cinnamon

Rub the loin with a hefty amount and allow the meat to come to room temperature. Heat a dutch oven to medium high and add a little Olive Oil. Sear all the sides of the pork loin for a few minutes on each side. Place a probe thermometer into the thickest part of the loin and Cover the dutch oven. Place the whole pan into a preheated 350 degree oven. Set the temperature on the probe to 135 degrees. Once it reaches temp remove from the oven and rest for about 5 minutes. Serve on a plate and slice into individual servings. ENJOY.
These are two of my kitchen products. These products have allowed me to acheive near perfection in my roasting of meat.

Dutch Oven
Probe Thermometer