Thursday, October 9, 2008
Really the only thing that can be said about Death by Chocolate is that it is THE BEST DESSERT EVER CREATED. I'm not kidding. There have been doubters throughout the years, but they die at first bite. Die and wake up in blissful chocolate heaven, that is.
This recipe is stolen from my first boss ever, Christine. She used to bring it on special occasions and the staff at Day Camp would go crazy for it! Ever since, it has been my silver bullet at dinner parties. I know that even if all else fails, people will love dessert.
1 box brownies (I prefer Ghiradelli's)
1 box instant chocolate pudding
1 package Cool Whip
Bake the brownies according to the directions on the box. Let cool. Prepare instant pudding. Layer (I prefer two sets of four layers) and enjoy!
I decided to go with Chicken Tortilla Soup, a recipie given to me by my mom. I adapted it to be slow-cooked in my giant Crockpot and doubled the ingredients. The following can be halved for smaller parties:
2 onions, diced
4 carrots, diced
4 stalks celery, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
1 potato, diced
1/2 cup tomato paste
2 bay leaves
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 t Mexican oregano
2 zucchini, diced
4 tomatoes, diced
4 pan cooked, shredded chicken breasts
6 corn tortillas
1 1/2 cup jack cheese
The night before, I prepared the onions, carrots, celery, bell pepper, potatoes, bay leaves, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper and refrigerated them.
The morning of the party, I put the previous day's ingredients, along with 7 cups of chicken broth into my Crockpot and turned it on high for 10 hours.
At this point, I put half of the soup into a pot on the stove and brought it to a boil. I added the chicken, zucchini, and tomatoes. I let this simmer for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, I cut the tortillas into matchsticks and fried them in the vegetable oil.
The soup was served with tortilla strips, cheese and avocado toppings.
For the Caesar salad,
4 corn tortillas
2 large heads romaine lettuce
1 cup pepitas
2/3 cup finely grated cotija cheese
2 tomatoes, chopped
Caesar salad dressing
Taco seasoning packet
Cut tortillas into matchstick size strips. fry in oil until crisp as for the soup. Mix taco seasoning with Caesar salad dressing. Add dressing to salad to taste and toss.
The party only turned out to be five of my friends and I (the flu epidemic sweeping Los Angeles colleges is partly to blame) but everyone enjoyed the meal immensely and we devoured the entire salad and half the soup, so I would recommend the serving size as is for parties of 10-12.
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
From Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook
1 1/2 pound fresh salmon fillet (with skin) cut 1 inch thick
2 tablespoons sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons finely shredded orange peel
2 oranges, peeled, sectioned, and coarsely chopped
1 cup canned crushed pineapple, drained
2 tablespoons snipped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot
1 fresh jalapeno chile pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1. Rinse fish; pat dry. Place fish, skin side down, in a shallow dish. In a small bowl stir together sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons of the orange peel, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. Sprinkle mixture evenly over fish (not on skin side); rub in with your fingers. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 8 to 24 hours (I did 12).
2. Meanwhile, for salsa, in a small bowl stir together the remaining 1 teaspoon orange peel, the oranges, pineapple, cilantro, shallot, and jalapeno pepper. Cover and chill until ready to serve or up to 24 hours.
3. Drain fish, discarding any liquid. Place fish, skin side down, on greased grill. Cover and grill for 14 -18 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork.
4. To serve, cut fish into 4 serving-size pieces, cutting up to, but not through the skin. Carefully slip a metal spatula between fish and skin, lifting fish up and away from the skin. Serve fish with salsa.
Mmmmmm... Loved by us all!
Taken from Rachel Ray's 365: No Repeats
1 pound spaghetti
5 T extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
1 small, firm eggplan, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 1/3 pounds chicken tenders cut into small bite-size pieces
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, pressed
Coarse black pepper
1 t crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 cup dry white wine (I used Yellow Tail Chardonnay)
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 pint red grape tomatoes
1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once it is boiling, salt the water and cook the pasta al dente. Heads up: you will need to reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water before draining.
Preheat a large nonstick skillet (it needs to be VERY big!!) over medium-high heat with 3 tablespoons of EVOO. Add the eggplant and cook, stirring occasionally, until brown, about 5 to 6 minutes. Remove the eggplant from the skillet to a plate and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm; return the skillet to the stove. Add the remaining 2 tablespoonsof EVOO. Add the chicken and cook to lightly brown, about 4 to 5 minutes.
Add the onions and the garlic and return the eggplant to the skilet, season with salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes, and continue to cook for 3 to 4 minutes more. Add the cherry tomatoes and the reserved pasta cooking water and cook until the tomatoes begin to burst. Add the parsley and the cooked pasta, toss to coat and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the sauce tightens up around the pasta. Turn the heat off and add the grated Parmesean cheese.
Toss to coat the spaghetti, then serve it up!
Delicious! The recepie book says 4 servings, but I would put this at closer to 8 to 10 servings. We give it two thumbs up!
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
1 1-pound package frozen unsweetened sliced peaches
1/2 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
5 large eggs
1/2 cup milk (do not use low-fat or nonfat)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 1/2-inch-thick slices egg bread
3 tablespoons butter
Preheat oven to 300°F. Place baking sheet in oven. Combine peaches, brown sugar, 1/4 cup water, cinnamon and nutmeg in heavy medium saucepan. Cook compote over medium heat until liquid is reduced to medium-thick syrup, at with remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons butter and 4 bread slices. Serve with peach compote and maple syrup. stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes.
Whisk eggs, milk and vanilla in large glass baking dish until well blended. Arrange bread slices in egg mixture. Let stand until egg mixture is absorbed, turning once, about 5 minutes.
Melt 1 1/2 tablespoons butter in large nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Add 4 bread slices to skillet. Cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer to baking sheet in oven. Repeat with remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter and 4 bread slices. Serve with peach compote.
Everyone loved this recipe! It was even given two thumbs up by Steven Chew of cooking.com!