Archive for February, 2012

Bailey’s Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Cup Frosting

Bailey's Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Cup Frosting

Bailey's Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Cup Frosting

For our good friend Beth’s birthday last week, Stacey and I made this cake thanks to a tip from the birthday cake fairy (Jen) who let us know what Beth’s ideal cake might look like. We took some liberties; including the philosophy I strictly abide by which states that all desserts should include booze. So, what started as a chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting, turned into a Bailey’s chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting topped, as you can see, with peanut butter cups. The reviews on this cake (now the second one I’ve made from scratch — See an earlier post called Kahlua Chocolate Cake for the first one) were pretty good. Somehow the cake seemed a little dry. I may have cooked the cake too long. I’m not sure. This is the recipe we followed for the cake and this is where we drew our inspiration for the peanut butter frosting. We added a little Bailey’s to what the the cake recipe called for. This probably goes without saying. 🙂 Happy Birthday to Beth. I’m sure I speak for others when I say that I hope we can help you celebrate your birthday again in years to come!

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White Roughy, Brussels Sprouts and Tomato Bake

White Roughy, Brussel Sprouts and Tomato Bake

White Roughy, Brussel Sprouts and Tomato Bake

Stacey whipped up this phenomenal dish this week for Valentine’s Day. It was one of my absolute favorites she’s ever made. She marinaded the white roughy in olive oil, lemon juice, honey, brown sugar a generous portion of red pepper flakes and some Amish seasoned fish salt I picked up in Shipshewana, Indiana (any fish salt or seasoning mixed with salt would probably work as a replacement for the Amish seasoned salt). Then, she sauteed onions, garlic and fresh rosemary in olive oil with more of the  Amish seasonings and red pepper flakes. She added the halved fresh brussels sprouts to the onions about half way through. Then, she coated the bottom of a casserole dish in olive oil and fresh thyme, and then put the sautee-mix in the bottom of the dish. She laid the marinaded fish on top, covered the whole thing with tin foil and baked it at 375 for 10 minutes. She removed it at the 10 minute mark, took the tin foil off and added tomato slices to the top of the fish and put everything back in for another 5 minutes uncovered because it was pretty moist. Then, pair it with a chilled bottle of Prosecco and VIOLA: a tasty, healthy delicious dinner for two!

Homemade Feta, Tomato, Pepperoni Whole Wheat Pizza

Homemade Feta, Tomato, Pepperoni Whole Wheat Pizza

Homemade Feta, Tomato, Pepperoni Whole Wheat Pizza

Making homemade pizza, drinking beer and watching basketball is pretty much the best way to spend a weekend evening in the winter in the Midwest, if you ask me! While making homemade pizzas is a pretty common occurrence for us, this week, we prepared a new pizza which had feta instead of mozzarella, pepperoni and tomato slices on it. It will definitely remain in the regular rotation as it was simply delicious! We also figured out that one slice of this pizza was only 125 (or so) calories! Healthy pizza means there’s no guilt in having a beer or two more than usual! Score!

Soy Ginger Salmon with a Yam and Kale Salad

Soy Ginger Salmon with a Sweet Potato and Kale Salad

Soy Ginger Salmon with a Sweet Potato and Kale Salad

We had some frozen salmon we needed to use up so recently we baked a couple of filets after marinading them in garlic, ginger soy sauce, brown sugar and olive oil for a few hours. We just put the marinade down in the baking dish, put the salmon in and covered it with foil. We baked the fish at about 375 for 12 minutes. The time it takes to cook will, of course, depend on how thick the cut of salmon is.

We also made a nice side dish of yams, kale, onions and red wine vinegar. We pretty much followed the recipe exactly. We had dried thyme instead of fresh thyme so we substituted that instead. The salad was really good. We definitely want to make it again sometime!

Spicy Black Bean Vegetable Soup

Spicy Black Bean Vegetable Soup

Spicy Black Bean Vegetable Soup

Stacey whipped up a delicious HOT and healthy soup when good friend Erin P. came over for dinner the other night. The soup started with this recipe from allrecipes. She added some kick by loading up on the chili powder and cumin (and set the hot sauce out on the dinner table, of course!). She left out the carrots and used frozen corn instead of canned. She also used one can of pureed black beans and one can of whole black beans. The pureed beans added a nice thickness to the broth. More salt and pepper than the original recipe was also necessary. Otherwise, she followed the recipe pretty closely. Stacey overdid herself by baking a batch of  homemade whole wheat garlic herb bread earlier in the day to serve with the soup. In the dough, Stacey added garlic, rosemary, basil and thyme. The  pairing of the two really brought out the spices in each. In the middle of winter, this was a warm, healthy accompaniment to good conversation with good people.

Simple Shrimp and Broccoli Stirfry

Simple Shrimp and Broccoli Stirfry

Simple Shrimp and Broccoli Stirfry

We have been abnormally busy with school and work lately and have thus taken some help with our cooking- not making everything from scratch. With this basic stirfry we got our help from store-bought stirfry sauce. We used a garlic, green onion teryaki sauce. It was fabulous and we will definitely use it again! The veggies though, were all fresh. We included onions, garlic, ginger, shitake mushrooms, red bell peppers and broccoli.

Simple Broccoli & Shrimp Stirfry

Simple Broccoli & Shrimp Stirfry

We started by sauteing the onions, garlic, ginger and broccoli. Then, we added the bell pepper and the mushrooms last. We also added some (already cooked) shrimp when the veggies were almost soft. Over-cooked shrimp would have been the one way to ruin this one, I think. We added the sauce right after the shrimp.

Simple Broccoli & Shrimp Stirfry

Simple Broccoli & Shrimp Stirfry

We served the finished product over brown rice. It was a delicious, healthy, and most importantly, easy  way to cook up a week-night dinner.

 

Lip Smacking Fish Pockets

Lip-Smacking Fish Pockets

Lip-Smacking Fish Pockets

Tonight, Stacey and I collaborated to create a delicious poached tilapia in foil pockets. We first covered the foil in olive oil, red wine and herbs including basil and rosemary. Then, we put down some chopped onion and garlic. We laid the fish filets down and topped them with olive oil, salt and pepper before closing up the foil pockets.

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We put the pockets in the oven at 400 degrees for about 7-10 minutes or until the fish is cooked through.

As a side dish, we sautéed some shiitake mushrooms, red bell peppers, onions, garlic, rosemary, sliced tomatoes and fresh spinach. To this, we added some salt, pepper, dried oregano and worcestershire sauce. We cooked the veggies in a wok in olive oil until everything was al dente. The final product was amazing, delicate and healthy!! Oh, we also paired it with a bottle of ‘The Show’ Malbec (yum!!)