30 December 2012

Caprese Shrimp Bruschetta

My friend Joel would cry and run away if I served him this dish.  Why?  Because it contains both tomatoes and cheese, his arch nemeses of food.  But if you're reading this, odds are you are not Joel and not scared of tomatoes and cheese.  First, good for you.  Second, please read on.

29 December 2012

Guacamole & Egg Breakfast Pizza

Everyone loves pizza.  And with good reason.  This flat piece of bread can be tailored into everyone's favorite dish...just pick your favorite meats, veggies and cheese and voila, a delicious customized dish.  If you're at all like me, you've probably also enjoyed the glories of pizza for breakfast.  Typically, these were leftover cold slices with congealed cheese (ahh, the college glory days).  However, as a full-fledged adults with a pup to look after, the hubs and I have taken our breakfast pizza up a notch, turning it into a healthy and filling start to the day (rather than a leftover afterthought).  

17 December 2012

Egg Nog Waffles (but healthy!)

Eggnog is one of the quintessential holiday beverages that you love to drink.  Unless your my hubs.  He is not a nogger, much to my nog-loving disappointment.  We hadn't even purchased any the past two holiday seasons.  So this year I was not letting eggnog pass me by once again.  We bought a carton and I have been drinking small glasses of this thick, creamy beverage and pondering just how I could trick the hubs into loving egg nog enough to welcome it into our home annually.  And my way to his inner nog-lover was through one of our favorite breakfasts...waffles.

16 December 2012

His & Her Butter Horn Cookies

When it comes to cookies, the hubs and I each have certain things that we go for.  I love any cookie with nuts, good texture or almond extract.  The hubs loves anything with chocolate.  Therefore, every year I add chocolate to one of my favorites to make a his & her set of Christmas cookies.  Last year it was chocolate stuffed Russian teacakes.  This year, it was chocolate glazed butter horn cookies.  

13 December 2012

Buffalo Pesto

My all-time favorite way to eat chicken is grilled with Frank's RedHot sauce and fresh basil.  I've been eating it this way for so long, I don't even remember where I came up with the idea to pair these two disparate items.  But for some reason, they are insanely good together.  Everyone I've ever fed this combo to has been delightfully happy with the flavor.  And justly so, because what's not to love?  Zesty RedHot, fresh basil and tender chicken breast...all wonderful.  So good, I wanted to put it on everything I ate.  So I figured out a more spreadable solution by transforming the duo into a pesto.  Mayo and mustard never knew what hit them.   

10 December 2012

Hearty & Healthy Italian Pasta Bake

There are times when you just need a good Italian meal.  We're not talking about simple spaghetti here.  I mean some serious Italian indulgence.  Piles of tender pasta and far too much marinara than is typically correct, capped with melted mozzarella just barely toasted to bubbly perfection.  Oh, the humanity.  I find an interesting juxtaposition between this dish and the weather - as the temperature decreases, my need for this dinner increases.  Drastically.  And specifically.  So give spaghetti a rest and try this healthy, hearty pasta bake.

09 December 2012

Raspberry Basil Panini

We are typically seasonal produce eaters.  Whatever fresh fruits and veggies that are the most beautiful and bountiful are added to our cart.  And as an added perk, these items are usually on sale (frugal pride).  So imagine my surprise when gorgeous, fresh raspberries popped up in December.  Not really berry season, so double shock when they were on sale at summer prices.  Naturally, I had to buy a few containers.  Who could resist that lovely magenta?  And here is how they were all eaten.

04 December 2012

Cinnamon Roll Scones

Have you ever been torn between two things?  It can be tricky, particularly when they are polar opposites.  Knowing that there are two great choices, how can you pick which is best?  Do you go for soft but gooey...or tender yet flaky?  No, I am not talking about ______ (insert opposite sex here).  I am talking about cinnamon rolls and scones.  I love both for completely different reasons.  Cinnamon rolls are yeasty swirls of frosted spices while scones are tender warm pastry insides with a lightly crispy outside.  Dense and savory versus light and decadent.  There are days when I simply cannot choose.  So I decided to embrace indecision and combine the two into one glorious super-solution.  Don't you love that about baking?

02 December 2012

Peppermint Brownies

In our home, the day after Thanksgiving is dedicated to unpacking Christmas decor and sprucing up the house.  All the turkeys are tucked away for another year, replaced by penguins, snowmen and candy cane stripes.  But once the house is ready, I get ready for my favorite weekend in December:  Cookie Wekend.  Two straight days of dough-making, followed by a week of cookie baking (last year we made 36 dozen for ourselves friends and family).  It is a weekend spent covered in flour and a perpetual smile.  To say I love Christmas cookies is an understatement.