Thursday, April 23, 2009

I've been busy...

I just found a whole bunch of pictures from the past few weeks that I didn't have time to post. I made a huge batch of cupcakes over Easter weekend (8 dozen!). I made these super-cute robin chick cupcakes for Phillip's family Easter. They were a hit!

Phillip's Grandpa had a birthday recently, and I made this cherry chocolate layer cake with whipped cream frosting:

I'm throwing a Bridal Shower for my BFF Ashleigh in a few weeks, so I had her over to sample the food that I'm going to make.

Croque Monsier

Mmmm... Cheesy Goodness. These sandwiches are now a permanent part of my sandwich repertoire. I doubted that they would be worth the effort that they took for just a sandwich, but they were so good that I think I might make them again next week! Chosen by Kathy of All Food Considered , Phillip & I both loved this recipe.


2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups hot milk
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Pinch nutmeg
12 ounces Gruyere, grated (5 cups)
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
16 slices white sandwich bread, crusts removed
Dijon mustard
8 ounces baked Virginia ham, sliced but not paper thin


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Melt the butter over low heat in a small saucepan and add the flour all at once, stirring with a wooden spoon for 2 minutes. Slowly pour the hot milk into the butter–flour mixture and cook, whisking constantly, until the sauce is thickened. Off the heat add the salt, pepper, nutmeg, 1/2 cup grated Gruyere, and the Parmesan and set aside.
To toast the bread, place the slices on 2 baking sheets and bake for 5 minutes. Turn each slice and bake for another 2 minutes, until toasted.
Lightly brush half the toasted breads with mustard, add a slice of ham to each, and sprinkle with half the remaining Gruyere. Top with another piece of toasted bread. Slather the tops with the cheese sauce, sprinkle with the remaining Gruyere, and bake the sandwiches for 5 minutes. Turn on the broiler and broil for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the topping is bubbly and lightly browned. Serve hot.

Chinese Chicken Salad

I actually made this Barefoot Bloggers recipe on time, but I've been so busy with finals that I've put off posting it. My finals are finally over, so let the posting begin! This recipe was chosen by McKenzie of Kenzie's Kitchen, and I was pleasantly surprised. I am not generally a fan of chicken salad, but the combination of the crunchy veggies and the peanut sauce really hit the spot. I added snow peas because I had them on hand, and they made a great addition.

Chinese Chicken Salad

4 split chicken breasts (bone-in, skin-on)
Good olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 pound asparagus, ends removed, and cut in thirds diagonally
1 red bell pepper, cored and seeded
2 scallions (white and green parts), sliced diagonally
1 tablespoon white sesame seeds, toasted

For the dressing:

1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup good apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons dark sesame oil
1/2 tablespoon honey
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon peeled, grated fresh ginger
1/2 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted
1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Place the chicken breasts on a sheet pan and rub with the skin with olive oil. Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until the chicken is just cooked. Set aside until cool enough to handle. Remove the meat from the bones, discard the skin, and shred the chicken in large bite-sized pieces.
Blanch the asparagus in a pot of boiling salted water for 3 to 5 minutes until crisp-tender. Plunge into ice water to stop the cooking. Drain. Cut the peppers in strips about the size of the asparagus pieces. Combine the cut chicken, asparagus, and peppers in a large bowl.
Whisk together all of the ingredients for the dressing and pour over the chicken and vegetables. Add the scallions and sesame seeds and season to taste. Serve cold or at room temperature.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Mini Quiche

After making Tomato and Goat Cheese Tarts a few weeks ago, I realized how much I love my little tart pans! I decided to use Tartelette's original recipe for savory breakfast tartelettes. Phillip & I altered the fillings (we just threw in anything that sounded good), I can't even remember exactly what he put in his. They were so good, I wish I had one right now (it doesn't help that I'm sitting in class with my stomach growling). Here is the original recipe from Tartelette, with my changes in italics:


1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
5 tablespoons butter, cold and cut into small slices
5 to 6 tablespoons ice cold water

Mix together the flour and salt in a mixing bowl. Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter or a fork until the mixture forms pea-sized pieces. Sprinkle 3 tablespoons of water over the flour mixture and toss with fork until moistened. Repeat with the remaining water, one tablespoon at a time and gather the dough into a ball with your hand. Do not handle the dough too long. Wrap into a sheet of plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. This will allow the dough to relax and make it easier to roll, keeping it from becoming tough. Roll dough on a lightly floured surface, applying pressure from the center to the edges until it is about 12 inches in diameter. Cut out four 5 inch circles onto the dough and press them into the tartlet pans (I used 4 inch pans). Refrigerate while you prepare the filling.

6 slices bacon
4 stalks green onion, sliced, white and green parts included
1/2 finely sliced onion
1/3 cup chopped flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
3 eggs, slightly beaten
1 ½ cups milk
Pinch of salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 cup shredded Colby Jack cheese

Preheat oven to 350F.In a medium sauté pan set over medium heat, cook the bacon slices until crispy brown. Drain them on a paper towel. Crumble them and set aside. Wipe the pan of the bacon dripping with a paper towel and place it back over medium heat and cook the both types of onion for a couple of minutes, just to take the raw edge off. Divide the bacon, onion and parsley evenly among the tartlets and place them on a baking sheet.In a bowl whisk together the eggs, milk, salt and pepper until combined and slowly pour the mixture over the tartlets. Divide the cheese evenly in between the tarts and bake for 20 to 30 minutes. Individual sizes bake faster than a whole pie so keep an eye on them after 20 minutes. Let cool before unmolding and serving.

Adapted from: Tartelette

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Baby Shower Cupcakes

I haven't been posting pictures of my cupcake orders recently, but these baby shower cupcakes were too cute to keep to myself! The nursery is done in a really cool jungle mural, so I made cupcakes to coordinate with that.