Thursday, August 12, 2010

Crispy Parmesan Chicken

Mike gets all the credit for this one, he found it in Men's Health and it quickly became a regular in the rotation. The sauce is amazing so you might want to double that part of the recipe.

Crispy Parmesan Chicken


2 BONELESS, SKINLESS CHICKEN BREASTS, 6 OZ EACH (thin sliced filets if you can find them)
2 TBSP CAPERS (we leave these out)


1. Cover the chicken with parchment paper or plastic wrap, and use a meat mallet or a heavy-bottomed pan to pound it until it's 1/4" thick.

2. Combine the crumbs, Parmesan, and Italian seasoning in a wide bowl. In a second bowl, beat the egg whites slightly. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Now carefully dip each breast into the egg whites and then into the crumb mixture, pressing to make sure it's evenly coated.

3. Heat the oil on medium in a large stainless-steel saute pan or cast-iron skillet. Add the breasts and cook them for 3 to 4 minutes or until the crusts are deeply browned and crunchy. Turn them over and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. Then transfer them to a platter to rest.

4. While the pan is still hot, add the butter. When it's lightly browned--which should take no longer than 1 minute--stir in the capers, mustard, and lemon juice, using a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits. Turn off the heat and add the parsley. This is your sauce.

5. Serve the chicken breasts with the sauce drizzled on top.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Shellac Manicure

Since it had been three weeks (yes, 3 weeks!) since my last Shellac french manicure I thought it was about time to get a re-do, even though most people probably couldn't tell:

Shellac doesn't chip but if you look closely you can probably see the nail growth around my cuticles. So I headed to my favorite manicurist, Lana, at Natalie's Hair and Nail Studio. She only charges $20 for this awesome manicure while most places charge around $40! It goes on just like nail polish over your natural nail,
but it cures like gel nails so it doesn't chip.
After the base coat, you can choose from various colors or get a french mani like me. I prefer the french mani because it's much less obvious when the nail grows out.
When it's all done, you can dig in your purse, grab your keys, and go because the polish is dry! I highly recommend you at least try this if you are interested, especially with Lana since she gives you $5 off your first time... there really isn't much to lose!
Click here to find a Shellac salon near you.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Butternut Squash Ravioli with Sage-Brown Butter Sauce

This one is not very easy, it requires a decent amount of work and in the end my raviolis ended up sticking together something fierce. You may want to use olive oil to make them slippery, or cook them a few at a time so they don't touch each other. Despite all that, they still tasted great, stuck together or not!

Butternut Squash Ravioli with Sage-Brown Butter Sauce

Preheat oven to 350


1 large butternut squash - halved lengthwise, peeled and seeded

2 teaspoons butter

salt and ground black pepper to taste

1/2 teaspoon allspice

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

50 wonton wrappers

1 teaspoon egg white, lightly beaten


1/4 cup unsalted butter

1/4 cup chopped fresh sage leaves

salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Place the squash cut side up on a baking sheet. Place 1 tablespoon butter in the hollow of each half. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Cover the squash with a sheet of aluminum foil tucking in the edges.

Bake squash in preheated oven until tender and easily pierced with a fork, 45 to 65 minutes.

Scoop the cooked squash into a bowl, and mash until smooth. Mix in the allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon, and Parmesan cheese until well blended. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Fill a deep pot with lightly salted water and bring to a boil.

To make the ravioli, place a wonton wrapper on a clean, flat surface. Brush edges with the egg white. Place about 1 tablespoon of the squash mixture in the middle of the wonton. Cover with a second wonton wrapper. Repeat with remaining wonton wrappers and squash mixture until all have been used.

Drop the ravioli into the boiling water, and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, or until tender. Remove, drain, and keep warm until sauce is prepared.

To make the sauce, melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in the sage. Continue to cook and stir until the sage is crispy but not browned. Add salt and pepper to taste. Place 6 to 8 raviolis on serving plates, and drizzle with sauce.

Molten Chocolate Cakes With Sugar-Coated Raspberries

Made this for our at home New Year's Eve dinner. Came out just like the lava cakes at the restaurants and was a lot easier than expected!

Molten Chocolate Cakes With Sugar-Coated Raspberries

This recipe was originally featured in the USA WEEKEND article Advice A Holiday Feast - One Meal, Two Traditions on April 13, 2003.

Preheat oven to 450.


1 cup unsalted butter or unsalted margarine

8 ounces semisweet chocolate chips, or bars, cut into bite-size chunks

5 large eggs

1/2 cup sugar

Pinch of salt

4 teaspoons flour (or matzo meal, ground in a blender to a fine powder)

8 extra-large paper muffin cups (or use regular paper muffin cups, which will make 12 cakes)


1 (6 ounce) container raspberries, barely moistened and rolled in about 1/2 cup sugar right before serving


Melt butter and chocolate in a medium heat-proof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water; remove from heat. Beat eggs, sugar and salt with a hand mixer in a medium bowl until sugar dissolves. Beat egg mixture into chocolate until smooth. Beat in flour or matzo meal until just combined. (Batter can be made a day ahead; return to room temperature an hour or so before baking.)

Before serving dinner, adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 450 degrees. Line a standard-size muffin tin (1/2 cup capacity) with 8 extra-large muffin papers (papers should extend above cups to facilitate removal). Spray muffin papers with vegetable cooking spray. Divide batter among muffin cups.

Bake until batter puffs but center is not set, 8 to 10 minutes. Carefully lift cakes from tin and set on a work surface. Pull papers away from cakes and transfer cakes to dessert plates.

Top each with sugared raspberries and serve immediately.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Lorie's Peach Crumble/Cobbler

My fabulous world traveler friend Lorie makes this super easy really tasty dessert that she calls cobbler but more nearly fits the description of a crumble. Either way, I call it scrumptious and kinda healthy!

Preheat oven to 375.


1/2 cup of oats

1/2 cup of packed brown sugar
1/3 cup wheat flour (normal flour works if that's all you have)

3/4 stick of butter, melted

1 lemon (or 2 depending on size)

5-7 peeled peaches (or mix with pears/blueberries!)

Lubricate the baking dish. Mix the flour, oats, and sugar together with melted butter to make "cobble, " set aside. Take sliced peaches and pour lemon juice over them, spread in dish. Place cobble on top of fruit. Bake at 375 in oven for about 25 min the broil. Watch carefully at end to get it crusted just right.

Thanks Lorie!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Honey-Glazed Chicken Stir-Fry

This is one of my favorite quick, easy, healthy recipes to make. I lost the recipe at one point but googled the ingredients and found it!

Honey-Glazed Chicken Stir-Fry
From The Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook 1996

Start to finish : 25 minutes
Makes 4 servings.


· 12 ounces skinless, boneless chicken breast halves or skinless, boneless chicken thighs

· 2 tablespoons honey

· 2 tablespoons vinegar

· 2 tablespoons orange juice

· 1 tablespoon soy sauce

· 1 teaspoon cornstarch

· 2 tablespoons cooking oil

· 2 cups vegetables, fresh or frozen (I buy the packaged stir-fry veggies in the produce department)

· hot cooked rice or couscous (I buy pre-cooked microwaveable brown rice)


1. Rinse chicken; pat dry. Cut chicken into 1-inch pieces; set aside. For sauce, in a small bowl stir together honey, vinegar, orange juice, soy sauce, and cornstarch; set aside.

2. Pour cooking oil into a wok or a large skillet. (Add more oil as necessary during cooking.) Preheat over medium-high heat. Stir-fry vegetables for 3 minutes or till vegetables are crisp-tender. Remove vegetables from wok. Add chicken to hot wok. Stir-fry for 3 to 4 minutes or till chicken is no longer pink. Push chicken from the center of the wok. Stir sauce; add to center of the wok. Cook and stir till thickened and bubbly.

3. Return cooked vegetables to wok. Stir all ingredients together to coat. Cook and stir about 1 minute more or till heated through. Serve immediately over rice or couscous.

Nutrition fact per serving: 232 cal., 9 g. total fat (2 g sat. fat), 45 mg chol., 322 mg sodium, 20 g carbo, 18 g pro.
DAILY VALUES: 30% vit A, 10% vit. C, 2 % calcium, 8 % iron.
*This recipe was taken from Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook, Meredith Corporation, 1996_1996.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Umami Burger

Been meaning to try this place for far too long so on a day that started with not a single plan and turned into the most LA day we could have imagined, we trekked over to the La Brea location and gave it a shot. We arrived around 7:25pm on a Saturday night which I thought was a death wish but the wait for four was only 15 minutes. It's very tiny but there are tables and chairs outside so we sat down and played Words with Friends until our name was called. Once inside the server was very speedy in greeting us and explained the menu since it was our first time. Unfortunately our friend Lindsay is allergic to just enough items that she was unable to order any of the burgers. Such a bummer! She was a really good sport though and got a salad so the rest of us could chow down. Mike got the namesake Umami Burger, I got the Socal Burger, and Big Jon got the Manly Burger. All were really good and not too pricey! Mike also got the tempura onion rings and I got the sweet potato fries (dusted in crack... I mean brown sugar) and he got a Mexican Coke and our bill was under $40 including tip. Overall it was a good experience and I'll definitely be going back, especially since we bought a coupon from At Cost which we forgot to print before going.

Cheeseburger Cupcakes

This is one I get a lot of questions on so seemed like a good place to start. A while back Mike sent me this link and suggested I make these cupcakes that look like cheeseburgers. I did and they were good but boxed cake mix is not my favorite so I substituted that part with this cake mix recipe (tossing in some cocoa powder to make the chocolate cake mix). Then Mike's mom suggested using coconut mixed with green food dye for the lettuce. What a brilliant idea! And then she taught me how to make the icing (frosting?) so now the entire recipe is from scratch! Here's what I do:

Preheat oven to 350 (I always forget to do this).

Make this cake mix


Cocoa Powder
red, yellow and green food dye
shredded coconut

Beat butter, sugar, baking powder, and vanilla in a large bowl with mixer on high 3 minutes or until fluffy.

Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each. On low speed, beat in flour in 3 additions alternately with milk in 2 additions, just until blended, scraping sides of bowl as needed.

Spray cupcake tins with Pam (or the like) very generously. Cover every inch!

Fill cupcake tins about 3/4 full. Bake at 350 degrees for about 10-15 minutes (I monitor them closely and use a toothpick to tell when they are done.) For some reason my cupcakes never seem to rise properly, even after buying a new can of baking powder, so yours will probably look much better than mine!

Once they are done, cool in pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes.

Now mix some cocoa powder in with the remaining batter (I just eyeball it, it will look pale but will be nice and dark once baked).

Spray cupcake tins again (I got some mini cupcake tins for Christmas and these work awesome for the patties but you can just fill normal cupcake tins about 1/4 or less full). Bake for a short time monitoring carefully.

Once they are done, cool in pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes.

Vanilla cupcakes should be cool by now, cut them in half horizontally with a sharp knife (try not to crush them). Once the chocolate "patties" are cool, you may need to cut or smush them to look more like patties, then place on the bottom half of the vanilla cupcake.

Now make the icing and use red and yellow food dye to make "ketchup" and "mustard/cheese." I fill a sandwich bag with each color and cut the tip to create a pastry bag, then squeeze onto the "patty." You may need to put the icing in the fridge to set a bit.

Mix the shredded coconut with the green food dye (liquid food dye works better than gel for this part) and add atop the condiments, then top with the top half of the vanilla cupcake.


I decided to start a blog mainly to keep track of my recipes (currently housed in a 12 page Word document). I may also post about fashion, restaurants, workouts, and any other new things I try. No clue what I'm doing, we'll see how this goes!