Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Citrus Roasted Chicken

With the wedding less than 150 days away I like to play around with healthy recipes for dinner. I came across this recipe from The original recipe called for drumsticks but I was looking for a healthier approach and used boneless skinless chicken breast.

 1/4 cup olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp sugar
2 whole lemons, one sliced, one juiced
2 whole oranges, one sliced, one juiced
2 tablespoons italian seasoning
1/2 tsp paprika
1 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp red crushed pepper flakes
kosher salt and pepper to taste
4 1/2 pounds chicken (breast or drumsticks)
1 medium onion
dried thyme
additional herbs (rosemary, parsley, etc)

Preheat oven to 400 F. In a small bowl whisk olive oil, garlic, sugar, lemon juice, orange juice, Italian seasoning, paprika, onion powder, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.
Place chicken in a 13x9 dish, skin side up. Pour the olive mixture over the chicken coating all sides of the meat. (You can marinate the chicken before if desired. I marinated the breast for 1 hour before cooking). Arrange the lemon, orange, and onion slices around and under the chicken. Sprinkle any remaining herbs on top of the chicken.

If using drum sticks, bake for an hour or until chicken is cooked and juices run clear. With the breast, it only needs to be cooked 30 -40 minutes. It doesn't get as nice of a brown color as the drum sticks do, but is still tasty!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Orange Cranberry Glazed cake

I had recently gotten a bundt cake pan and really wanted to make something in it. I love fruit cakes like orange and lemon cakes with fruit in them so I decided to make an orange cake with cranberries (my grandparent love cranberry bread). I used a recipe from

1 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup sour cream
1 cup sugar + 2 tsp sugar
3 large eggs
zest of 1 orange + Juice
1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cup fresh cranberries or craisins
1 cup powdered sugar
2-3 tablespoons orange juice, water, or milk


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray your bundt pan and then sprinkle the 2 tablespoons of sugar around the pan.

On top of the sugar, sprinkle 1/4 cup of your cranberries.

In a separate bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until well blended. (I blended for 2-3 minutes). Start added eggs one at a time blending each one. 

I then used a grated to zest the peel of the orange, measuring out about 1 tablespoon.

Add the zest and any juice from the orange to the batter.

Stir in the sour cream, flour, salt and baking powder. Once the batter is well mixed, incorporate the remaining cranberries. 

Bake for 50-55 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes in pan before flipping on a wire rack to cool. Mix your glaze ingredients (I went with the orange juice and sugar option) and pour over the top of cake. Enjoy!

Cookies and Cream cupcakes

With my new decorating kit I wanted to make another fun cupcake this weekend for mothers day and then I stumbled across this oreo cupcake recipe that is just as delicious as it looks!

Don't they just look mouth watering!!! I think Johnny and I ate about 10 in 2 days they were just so yummy! And they were pretty east to make as well!

While there are many different ways your could make these cupcakes (oreo cake with vanilla, chocolate, or oreo frosting or chocolate cake or vanilla cake with oreo frosting) we decided to go full out and do an oreo cake with oreo frosting. I based these cupcakes off of a recipe I saw on

Oreo Cake
White cake mix (with ingredients needed on package)
1/2 cup sour cream
2 cups oreo crumbs
Oreos for bottom of cupcakes
Oreo Icing
8 oz cream cheese
1/2 stick of butter
1 cup marshmallow cream
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp whipping cream
1 cup powdered sugar
2 cups super fine oreo crumbs
Optional: Cookies for decoration (I used mini oreos)

Mix the cupcakes according to the package. (Usually requires eggs, water, and oil) Add the sour cream and oreo crumbs. Preheat according to the package. You can also use your favorite white cake recipe if you want to make them from scratch. Once the batter is mixed prepare the cupcake tins. I lined mine with a cute black and white liner and then placed my oreos inside.

If you have the patients you can use a parting knife and evenly spread the cream on the bottom but I went for the more convenient approach. Some people get a surprise on the bottom with cream and some people don't! All were delicious!

Once the bottoms are ready pour the oreo cookie mix into the liners about 2/3 of the way full and make according to the box. Cool cupcakes COMPLETELY before frosting.

For the oreo frosting, I took the oreos and placed them in a blender to chop them up fine. Since we are piping them on they need to be small to fit through the tip. Once the oreos are ready, In a separate bowl cream the butter and cream cheese together. Slowly add the powdered sugar. Then fold in the marshmallow cream, vanilla, and whipping cream. Slowly add in the oreo crumbs. For the frosting I used a piping bag with a round tip opening. Once all the cupcakes are frosted garnish with a mini oreo! They are so cute and yummy! Enjoy!

Sunflower Cupcakes

I was feeling inspired this mothers day to make some yummy treats which included these cute Sunflower cupcakes!

They are my first decorated cupcakes I made and they were a huge hit! For the cake I did my almond wedding cake flavored cupcakes but any cupcake mix could be used. After baking the cupcakes and letting them cool completely I frosted the top of the cakes to allow the frosting and oreos stick to the top.

I then added oreos on the tops of each flower. I just split mine in half where some had the cream still and others do not. I will say the ones with no cream were easier to frost and came out better. For the future I will take all cream off. 

If you need help frosting the flowers please watch this tutorial.

I was not feeling inspired to make my own frosting so I used the can frosting and added about 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar to get a good consistency and a nice light yellow color. You can also color your favorite frosting with an icing dye kit. 

They turned out super cute and very yummy! We will certainly be making these again!

French toast Casserole

Mothers day was a success with this weekends sweet treats! I asked my mother what she would like for her breakfast and she said French toast which me and my little brother both though that wasn't exciting enough for a mothers day spread so we decided on french toast casserole and OH MY GOD was it amazing! We brought syrup to put on it but it was not necessary by any means. Its was sweet with the perfect crisp on the top!

It was very similar to my apple pie cake I make. It was a huge success with breakfast. We also had the basic eggs, sausage, bacon, fresh fruit, and mimosas. It was delicious! Recipe from

1 loaf day old french bread (really you can use any old bread)
8 eggs
2 cups milk
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
3/4 cups sugar
2 tsp cinnamon, divided
2 tbsp vanilla
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup cold butter, cubed

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Prepare a 9x13 baking dish with Pam.
Tear up the bread into small chunks and place into the baking dish. In a separate bowl mix the eggs, milk, cream, sugar, vanilla, and half the cinnamon (We LOVE cinnamon so we used more like 1 tablespoon) and salt. When the wet ingredients are well blended together, pour over the bread mix in the dish. I like to stir it around to make sure all the bread has the egg sauce on it. The next part is a little more tedious. Cut up the butter into small chunks and place into a small bowl. Then add the brown sugar and flour to the butter along with the remaining cinnamon and salt. Mix together until a crumbly mix is formed. 

You may need to use a fork and knife and continue to cut the butter up into chunks while mixing (you don't want any large chunks of butter).

When you are satisfied with your crumb topping, evenly pour it over the casserole. Bake for 45 minutes - 1 hours until edges are brown and top is nice and crisp. This will soon be a family favorite! I promise! Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Quick Snap Beans

I have my "Arkansas" style green beans on here which are amazing but sometimes I don't want to make a whole batch or have the time to cook the bacon and then cook in the oven for 45 minutes so I started playing with an easy stove top version for smaller portions and it was a hit!

2 cups Fresh Snap Beans
2 tbsp Soy sauce
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp olive oil
Garlic salt
1 garlic clove, minced

This recipe can be changed. Depending on our mood and diet we might ad a little more or less of each ingredients until we like the overall taste of it. 
First prepare the beans. I snap off the ends and boil them for about 15-20 minutes depending on how you like them (we like ours more soft so we boil them longer).
After the beans are ready, in a skillet heat the oil. Brown the garlic and add the beans. Add in the soy sauce, brown sugar, and garlic salt. Heat for about 7-10 minutes until the green beans are at your desired texture. This is the point where I like the taste test them and add more of each ingredient if needed. Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Healthy Turkey Veggie Cobbler

I am always looking for a balance between healthy, yummy, and fast! And this is certainly an easy and yummy dessert with a few calories missing from your typical pot pie recipe! (from pampered chef)

Meat & Veggie filling
2 cups diced cooked turkey (or chicken)
1 cup sliced carrots
1/2 cup chopped onions
2 cups broccoli florets
1 can (10.75 oz) 98% fat free reduced sodium condensed cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup 100% fat free chicken broth
1/2 cup 2% reduced fat milk
1 garlic clove, pressed
1/4 tsp dried thyme leaves
1/8 tsp ground black pepper

Biscuit topping:
1 1/4 cups reduced fat all purpose baking mix
1/2 cup 2 % reduced fat milk
1 egg white

Preheat the oven to 400 F. For turkey and veggie filling, cut cooked turkey into 1/2 inch cubes.  Chop carrots, onions, and broccoli. In a large microwavable bowl, mix chopped carrots, onions, and broccoli, cook on high for 2-3 minutes or until crisp tender. Drain.

In a separate bowl, combine soup, broth, milk, garlic, thyme, and black pepper. Whisk until well blended. Stir in turkey and vegetables.

Pour the soup mixture into a 2 quart baking dish. Now we start preparing the biscuit topping. in a small bowl mix the all purpose baking mix, milk, and egg white. Stir until dry ingredients are just mixed forming a soft dough. Drop 6 scoops of dough over the filling. Bake 30-25 minutes or until topping is golden brown. Enjoy!

Healthy Salmon Cakes with Lime sauce

These are a fun appetizer than you can easily turn into a main course. They are light and less fattening than restaurant style and they are pretty easy to make! This recipe is from my pampered chef cook book!

1 lime
1/2 cup fat free mayonnaise 
1/4 cup fat free sour cream
Salmon Cakes:
2 cans (6 oz) skinless, boneless, pink salmon packed in water, drained and flaked.
1/4 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
1 tbsp snipped fresh cilantro
3/4 cup unseasoned dry bread crumbs, divided
1/3 cup fat free mayonnaise
1 egg white

For the sauce, zest the lime to measure 2 tsp lime zest and squeeze out about 2 tsp of lime juice. In a small bowl, mix the lime juice, zest, mayo, and sour cream until well blended. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. 

For the patties, drain the salmon and flake it to separate the meat. Prepare the chopped bell pepper, onion, and cilantro. Mix the bell pepper, onion, cilantro, 1/2 cup bread crumbs, mayonnaise, egg white, and salmon. 

Sprinkle the remaining bread crumbs onto the bottom of a plate. Scoop the salmon mixture over the bread crumbs (makes about 7-8 patties), flatten with the back of a spoon to about 1/2 inch thickness. Turn the patty over to evenly coat in the bread crumbs. 

Heat a 12" skillet over medium heat. Cook salmon cakes 6-8 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with the chilled lime sauce! Enjoy!