Friday, July 31, 2009

Frosted Pineapple Zucchini Sheet Cake *Melissa

So, I'm not really a baker. Here are some of the things that stress me out about baking:
  1. all the exact measuring....1/8th of a teaspoon? really? they go that small?
  2. sifting of lumpy flour....did I sift enough?
  3. the possibility of the thing being baked sticking so badly that it gets destroyed when extracting it :( ...hard work down the drain
But, Nate loves the baked goods so I'm determined to be a better baker....

Last Friday we entertained a group of about 16 people for a Bring Your Own Meat cookout. So, I needed to make a dessert that would feed these peeps and I came across this recipe. I proceeded to bake...

So, I gathered and prepared my ingredients and went to work.

Combined my dry ingredients (sifted flour, baking soda, salt, coconut, cinnamon, nutmeg, *cloves -my addition, and ginger) Then added my egg and oil and stirred away.

Then I added my shredded zucchini and drained pineapple....not very appetizing to look at but trust me, the result is tasty! Poured into a glass 13x9 dish coated with baking spray (very much avoid sticking)

After it comes out of the oven you're supposed to be able to get it out of the baking dish to cool on a baking rack....this didn't happen for me. I followed the rules. I PROMISE I sprayed with baking spray. It still stuck and wouldn't come out. SO, I just let it cool on in the dish.

The icing for this is very tasty ~ light cream cheese, powdered sugar, a splash of pineapple juice and vanilla extract.


Thursday, July 23, 2009

Chipotle Rosemary Grilled Chicken *Melissa

Another huge perk about moving from our 16th floor apartment to a house with a yard has been being able to grill all the time. We have a gas grill, rather than a charcoal grill, for the convenience. But, nothing beats that smoky taste you get with charcoal. So, my friend Elisa told me about Liquid Smoke, that can be used in marinades or brushed on meats or veggies before grilling. So I put it to the test in this recipe! Also, I went to Marshalls the other day to buy some balsamic vinegar. (*tip* Marshalls is great for buying gourmet cooking oils, vinegars, jams, etc. at a fraction of their original price.) So, I stumbled upon a jar of ground chipotle chile pepper. I've been on the hunt for this FOREVER (along with smoked paprika). This particular brand is by Spice Appeal. I checked out their website and it looks like I got this can of smoked chipotle chile pepper for a steal! Chipotle peppers have a smoky flavor to them so I thought it would be a nice combo with the liquid smoke. For a fresh and favorite zing I combined these with chopped rosemary. (By the way, this recipe is only mildly spicy.)

2 chicken breasts, halved
1Tbs chopped rosemary
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon chipotle chile pepper
slash of Liquid Smoke

First, slice the chicken through the center of the breast to thin out breasts. This allows for shorter grilling time. Then place in re-sealable plastic bag. (Sorry if this picture of raw meat grosses anyone out. I have to admit that as much as I love to cook, I get really grossed out by handling raw meat. I try my hardest not to touch it.)

Combine olive oil, chopped rosemary, splash of liquid smoke, and chipotle pepper ~ wisk to combine

Pour over chicken in plastic bag and toss to coat. Let marinate (in frig) over night or at least a few hours.
Place chicken on hot grill and close top. Grill approximately 5-7 minutes on each side.
And here it is! Chipotle rosemary grilled chicken! It was very tasty.....I think next time I make this I'll add a splash of lime juice to the marinade. (My light was fading for this picture. Nate usually plays ball after work and doesn't get home from the park until 8 ish. So, by this point my stomach was growling up a storm and I was working hard to keep my salivary glands under control.)

Monday, July 13, 2009

Rosemary & Lime Spicy Salmon * Melissa

Thankfully, I married someone who likes fish! Here's a new salmon recipe that I tried last week. It turned out to be super tasty.

1 Tbs fresh rosemary
1 lime
sprinkle/ to taste cayenne pepper
sprinkle/ to taste sea salt

To start, spray pyrex baking dish with cooking spray. Place salmon in dish. Juice 1/2 lime through strainer (to catch seeds and pulp.) Pour lime juice over salmon. Coarsely chop rosemary and sprinkle on. Then, sprinkle sea salt and cayenne (*a little goes a long way but makes for excellent flavor.) Thinly slice lime into rounds and place on salmon. Broil on high for about 15 minutes or until fish flakes but is still moist.

By the way, the above pictures of rosemary is from my herb garden which I'm SO excited to finally be able to grow now that I have a sunny porch. Anyway, this salmon turned out to be a huge hit with Nate and was SO tasty! (And, not too spicy, if anyone is wondering...all depends on the amount of cayenne that's a-sprinkled.)

I served the salmon with fresh green beans and Naan (Traditional Indian Flatbread) from Trader Joe's. On the side we had a delicious summer fruit salad of blueberries, green grapes, and watermelon.