Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Spinach, Strawberry, and Feta Salad

Yesterday easily made my "Top 5 Worst Days of My Life" list. I won't get into much detail, but I'm very thankful it's over.

My plan for coping with my stress was to sit around and eat the rest of my delicious birthday Kahlua cake, but then I decided to go for a long walk instead. Well, my walk turned into a two mile run (I used to be a runner but haven't tried it in about 6 months.. needless to say, I won't be moving much today). When I got home, I decided I was on somewhat of a health kick, so I made this light and fresh salad for dinner.

This salad is so pretty because of all the different colors and the presentation is outstanding.

Anngredients:
  • Spinach Leaves 
  • Walnuts
  • Strawberries
  • Feta Cheese
  • Light Raspberry Vinaigrette
  1.  Use as much or as little of each ingredient as you like. I typically use one cup of the spinach, two sliced strawberries, 1 tbsp. Feta, 1/4 cup walnuts, and about 1/3 cup of the Vinaigrette. 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Kahlua Cake

Well foodies, yesterday was my 22nd birthday so to celebrate, my fiance made delicious cheeseburgers (with bacon and cheese inside.. they were amazing! I'll post the recipe sometime) and I made a divine Kahlua cake.

This cake is so moist and decadent--perfect for special occasions, potlucks, or a Monday. And best of all, it is incredibly simple to make!

Anngredients:
  • 1 (18 oz.) box devil's food cake mix 
  • 1 (6 oz.) box chocolate pudding mix
  • 1/3 cup Kahlua 
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  1. Mix all ingredients together into mixing bowl (minus the chocolate chips).
  2. Grease Bundt pan and add chocolate chips to bottom. 
  3. Pour ingredients into Bundt pan.
  4. Bake in 350 degree oven for 25-30 minutes.
  5. Let cool and remove from pan. Sprinkle powdered sugar over top and serve with whipped cream.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Momma's Fruity Shrimp

It's Spring Break! Which means I'm going to Vegas with my fiance and family tomorrow! Can't wait!

Until then, I am at my parents house hanging out, awaiting our 7am flight tomorrow morning. My mom has to work today so I volunteered to make dinner. Now, my mom is on the "17 Day Diet" right now (and has already dropped 15 lbs. Go Mom!) which means she can't eat pasta, rice, bread, potatoes, sweets... basically anything good. However, she can eat fruit. And shrimp. So, I made up this recipe for dinner. And it was so amazing. And simple!

Serve this healthy, light, refreshing fruity shrimp on rice (if you can have it..) It's also good on its own!

So, foodies, here is your dinner for tonight--or, if you're Catholic, something you can whip together during your lunch break on Friday (it'll be ready when you come home for dinner!). By cooking the fruit in the slow cooker for 5 hours, you create this sweet juice that the shrimp will absorb. Mmmm Mmmmm!

Anngredients:
  • 1 lb. tail less, deveined shrimp
  • 1 can pineapple rings
  • 2 strawberries (sliced)
  • 10 blueberries
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  1. Add soy sauce, water and juice from pineapple can to slow cooker.
  2. Add 10 blueberries, sliced strawberries and 4 pineapple rings to cooker.
  3. Cook on low for 5-7 hours.
  4. Add shrimp.
  5. Cook on low for one hour. Stir Occasionally.
  6. Serve over rice (my mom ate it over a bed of lettuce and loved it!).

Monday, March 19, 2012

Not Really A Recipe..

Okay, today's entry isn't so much a recipe as something delicious and healthy I discovered a couple years ago..

If you know me, you know that I have a HUGE sweet tooth. I love sugar. I will (and have) poured maple syrup all over breakfast foods and then added gummy bears.. or toffee bits.. or chocolate chips.. or all three! Gross, I know. This simple, easy to make "recipe" is sweet (it even satisfies my ridiculous sweet tooth), healthy and delicious! It's perfect for a dieter, kids, or notorious snackers.

So, what is this miracle food you may ask? Well, I'll tell you: frozen grapes.

I first discovered this tasty little candy-like-snack a few years ago when I was working at a performing arts ticketing office. One of the gals I worked with brought them in and offered all of us one--my friend and I ended up eating most of the bag (so good!) so she never offered to share again.. But I've been making them ever since!

Anngredients:
  • Seedless Grapes.
  1. Rinse the grapes well--make sure to let them strain for a couple of minutes to alloy excess water to drip off.
  2. Spread grapes apart on plate (you don't want them to touch.. if they touch, they will stick together).
  3. Set plate in freezer for one hour.
  4. Once grapes are frozen, add them to Ziploc bag. You can start munching on them now or save them for later!
Tip: If you want to replace a dessert with these, just add about a spoonful of Steiva or Splenda to the grapes. This makes them even sweeter without adding those pesky calories!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Heavenly Brunch Cuisine

I would like to dedicate today's post to my dear friend, Heidi--and I will explain why..

A couple Sunday's ago, Heidi and I went out for brunch with a major hankering for pancakes. When we went to IHOP at 11am, we hadn't considered the post-church crowd that would be there. Long story short, the wait was ridiculous, so we ended up having chicken and noodles at a local chicken shack. Granted, the chicken and noodles were delicious.. but they just weren't pancakes.

The whole next week at work, we were talking about how badly we still wanted pancakes. So FINALLY, a week and a half later, we forced our friends to go to IHOP with us and eat pancakes. The pancakes were good, but it still didn't satisfy my craving. Fast forward to this morning--Heidi, a couple of our friends and I went shopping for costumes for an upcoming theme party and started talking, once again, about how hungry we were and how great pancakes sounded. We didn't act on the craving but it continued lingering with me.. so I got home, looked in the cabinets and discovered I had nothing to make pancakes with. Sigh.

However, I did find bread.. which is used in french toast...

So, Heidi, in a very round about way, you inspired me to make brown sugar french toast for lunch which is why this entry is dedicated to you (well, that and you're an awesome friend and my favorite person to get Sunday brunch with)!

Side Note: I have always hated making french toast because I loathe having to stand over the skillet while the bread cooks (which is the way my dad always did it). Come to find out, you can make it in the oven and it comes out softer and more moist. If you prefer to fry it or prefer a more crisp outside, bypass oven steps.

Tip: You can use regular milk, but I highly recommend Almond Milk. It's fewer calories (not that it really matters with french toast but still) and gives the toast better taste. 

Tip: Spray down cookie sheet with non-stick butter spray before setting in oven--otherwise THE BREAD WILL STICK!! Trust me, I learned this the hard way.

Anngredients:
  • 6 pieces of whole wheat bread
  • 1 cup Almond Milk
  • 2 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 egg
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In bowl, combine milk, brown sugar, vanilla and egg. Mix well.
  3. Dip both sides of bread into mixture and set on sprayed cookie sheet. 
  4. Bake in oven for 8 minutes, then flip bread and cook additional 8 minutes on other side.
  5. Serve with syrup, powdered sugar or fresh fruit. 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Grilled Salmon with a Brown Sugar Glaze

The temperature here in Kansas today was in the lower 80s. In March. With no wind.

So... what does this mean?

Yes, my friends, you guessed it--springtime is here (well, technically not for a few weeks but close enough)! Nothing says springtime to me quite like grilling up something delicious. No, not hamburgers or brats (even though brats are one of my favorite foods).. but seafood.

Now, I am not a huge griller (I am typically not trusted around an open flame..) but my sweet fiance is. In fact, he went out and bought our first grill yesterday! So, to break it in, he grilled up some delicious salmon, lobster tail AND corn on the cob tonight. And it was amazing.

This week on Annie One Can Cook, we're going to be talking about grilling recipes, as well as grilling tips for novices like myself. 

So, foodies: here is Brandon's (oh, by the way, my fiances name is Brandon) recipe for a delicious, melt in your mouth grilled salmon with a brown sugar glaze.

Anngredients:
  • 2 pieces skinless salmon filets
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. table salt
  • 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • Two slices of lemon
  1. Mix garlic and table salt together and rub on pieces of salmon.
  2. Combine olive oil, brown sugar, soy sauce and lemon juice in bowl. Mix.
  3. Add pieces of salmon to mixture. Set in refrigerator for 3 hours to marinate.
  4. Add oil to racks on grill so salmon does not stick.
  5. Grill (Brandon recommends 3-5 minutes on each side but says it varies depending on grill and how thick filet is)!

Monday, March 12, 2012

The Urban S'more

Whoever came up with the idea for the s'more is a genius. Seriously.. graham cracker? Marshmallow? Chocolate? Brilliant.

Nothing beats making and eating s'mores fireside with friends, nature.. and all that crap. However, how often do we get to go camping with our busy schedules? Enter the Urban S'more. Now, this recipe is pretty simple, but pretty delicious (my fiance and I munched on a couple of them tonight after he put together our brand new grill!).

Anngredients:
  • Two honey graham crackers
  • One Hershey's Kiss
  • One Marshmallow 
  • Two squares of a Hershey's Symphony bar
  1. Preheat toaster oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Lay one graham cracker square on cooking sheet. Add marshmallow. Cook in microwave oven for 5 minutes.
  3. Remove graham cracker and marshmallow from oven. Marshmallow should be warm and soft: add Hershey's Kiss to center, pushing down.
  4. Add two squares of Symphony bar to top of marshmallow. Add other graham cracker to top, pushing down.
  5. Place s'more back in oven for 3 minutes.
  6. Let cool and enjoy!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Shrimp and Artichoke Pasta

Okay, this is easily one of my favorite meals of all time..

The first time I had it was when my Aunt Nancy made it for my 20th birthday dinner. It is so light, delicious, and not all that horrible for you (it has artichokes in it after all, which are a vegetable.. so, its healthy--right?). Pair this with a nice salad (I recommend spinach, blueberries and strawberries with a light raspberry dressing). This meal is perfect for a date night, girls night, or just a Friday night.

Bon Appetit!

Anngredients: 
  • 1/4 cup Olive Oil
  • 12 oz. angel hair pasta or linguini 
  • 4 tsp. Minced Garlic
  • 1 lb. Shrimp (raw, peeled and deveined)
  • 1 ½ cups drained artichoke hearts
  • 1 ½ cups feta cheese (crumbled) 
  • 1 cup chopped tomato 
  • 3 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp. chopped parsley
  • 2 tbsp. fresh oregano chopped or 1 ½ tbsp. dried

    1. Heat oil, sauté garlic 30 seconds.  
    2. Add shrimp, sauté for 2 minutes.   
    3. Add remaining ingredients except cheese and heat.  Add feta at last.   
    4. Grate asiago or parmesan on top.


Thursday, March 8, 2012

On a Scale From One to Ten, I Give These Nachos a "Big 12!"

That time of year that college basketball fans pine for is finally here.. yes, folks--it's almost time for March Madness. So, in honor of the upcoming tournament (and because KU plays this afternoon), I made my delicious game day nachos (or, as I usually refer to them, my "It's too bad I hate the NFL because these would be perfect to eat during a game" nachos). 

Enjoy! And if you are good a choosing teams for March Madness brackets, hit me up (I'm in a bracket pool with 6 guys and wouldn't mind winning the $30 prize..).

Anngredients: 
  • 1 bag tortilla chips.
  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts.
  • 1/2 can black beans (rinsed).
  • 2 cups shredded cheese (I used cheddar but you can use whatever kind you want).
  • 1 can Rotel. 
  • 1 package (1 oz.) taco seasoning mix.
  • 1/4 cup water.
  1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Cut up chicken into small, bite size pieces.
  3. Add chicken, Rotel (juice included), black beans, taco seasoning and water to skillet. Cook on medium high for 10 minutes or until chicken is cooked. Stir continually. 
  4. Add half bag of chips to the bottom of 11 x 7 pan. Sprinkle one cup of cheese to top of chips.
  5. With spoon, evenly distribute half of the chicken, black bean, Rotel mix to the top of the chips and cheese.
  6. Add other half of chips to top of the pan. Add cheese, followed by the chicken, black bean, Rotel mix.
  7. Bake in oven for 10 minutes. 

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Scrumptious Fruit Pizza

Ah yes, spring is in the air--except here in Kansas, where the high winds are constantly blowing away any inkling of warm, sunshiny happiness... Nevertheless, my recipe today is my favorite warm weather dessert that I think you're going to love!

I actually came across this recipe two years ago when I was going home for Mother's Day and looking for a special dessert to make my mom. At the time, I had the mentality that I needed to lose 10 pounds, so I joined Spark People (I was 5' 6", 140 pounds--two years later, I am still the exact same so that should show you how dedicated I was...). Anyway, long story short, the most I got out of my time with the site was this delicious recipe for fruit pizza. 

It actually isn't the worst dessert in the world for your waistline, so feel free to eat two (or five) slices instead of just one.

Anngredients:
  • 1/2 package of refrigerated sugar cookie dough.
  • 8 oz. of fat free cream cheese.
  • 1/3 cup sugar.
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla.
  • Fruit of your choice (I chose raspberries and blueberries this time because they are in season but have used strawberries, kiwi, pineapple, mango, peaches, mandarin oranges and several other fruit varieties in the past).
  1. Spread sugar cookie dough over a 14-inch pizza pan. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 10 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Cool in the pan. 
  2. Let cookie dough cool for an hour.
  3. Blend the cream cheese with the sugar and vanilla until completely mixed. Spread in a thin layer over the cooled crust. 
  4. Add fruit to top. 

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Parmesan Butter Biscuits

Tonight, my sweet fiance made dinner (chili--it was amazing) which means this girl has the night off from the kitchen! So, for today's recipe, I would like to share with you an easy, garlic-y side that I made up the other night--Easy, Parmesan Butter Biscuits.

Anngredients:
  • 1 can (8 oz.) refrigerated crescent dinner rolls. 
  • 1/2 stick butter or margarine.
  • 2 tbsp. Parmesan cheese.
  • 1 tbsp. minced garlic.
  1. Put butter and garlic into bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds or until melted. Mix well. 
  2. Unroll crescent roll. Brush on butter/garlic mix.
  3. Add pinch full of Parmesan cheese.
  4. Roll up crescent roll.
  5. Brush on butter/garlic mix to the top and add another pinch of Parmesan cheese.
  6. Repeat for each roll.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees F for 8 minutes. 

Monday, March 5, 2012

Protein(y) Linguine

I am one of those people who loves to eat plain, buttered noodles (I am also one of the cheapest people you will ever meet so that could be the reason why). The "bland" taste that everybody complains about with boring pasta just tastes good to me. Eating the noodles is always a little nostalgic for me (when my best friend and I lived together our sophomore year of college, we were dirt poor--we now look back and kid around about our old food staples of buttered noodles, frozen chicken nuggets and generic cereal) but this apparently isn't the case with everyone. My fiance is one of these people.. So, I had to invent a new pasta that satisfies both his taste buds and my wallet. Enter Protein(y) Linguine.

This is one of the simplest, most inexpensive meals I have come across--chances are you already have the ingredients in your cabinet and refrigerator.

Now, you may look at the ingredients list and think "Wow, this pasta seems like a little bit of a cluster f......." but trust me, it.is.good.

Anngredients:

  • 1 pound uncooked spaghetti.
  • 2 eggs.
  • 1 stick of butter or margarine.
  • 1 Tbsp. minced garlic.
  • 1/2 grated Parmesan cheese.
  1. Cook 1 pound pasta in boiling water. Once pasta is cooked, promptly strain. 
  2. Once water is strained,  immediately add two eggs, yolk and all (you want to make sure to add the eggs as soon as you strain the water--you don't want to let the noodles cool or else the egg won't cook). Stir egg into noodles for about 2 minutes. You will notice little bits of scrambled eggs on the pasta.
  3. Put stick of butter and garlic into bowl, microwave for 30 seconds or until butter is melted. Stir butter and garlic.
  4. Add garlic butter to the top of noodles, stir. 
  5. Add Parmesan cheese to top and stir in with noodles, eggs and butter. 

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Creamy Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies

This recipe actually came about by accident.

The year was 2002. I was a 7th grader who loved to cook, leave a mess for my mother to clean up when she got home from work and eat. And eat. And eat (and it showed). One day after school, I was having a craving for cookies. So, I got one of my moms cookbooks out and found a recipe for easy peanut butter cookies (it was an old church fundraiser cookbook--the cookie recipe was right below the submitted instructions for "how to microwave an egg"). It was simple enough: it called for peanut butter, an egg and granulated sugar. Well, I didn't know what granulated sugar was (I was a bright middle schooler..) and just assumed that meant any sort of sugar. So, I grabbed for some powdered sugar in the pantry. My stupidity actually paid off for once. The cookies were delicious--the powdered sugar made them more creamy and decadent.

So, friends, I now present to you these easy to make Creamy Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies. Enjoy!

Anngredients: 
  • 1 cup peanut butter (if you want to go the healthier route, use natural peanut butter).
  • 1 cup powdered sugar.
  • 1 egg.
  • 12 Hershey's kisses.
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 
  2. Mix peanut butter, powdered sugar and egg in mixing bowl.
  3. Mold mix into small,  1" balls and press with a fork.
  4. Bake in oven for 8 minutes.
  5. After removing from oven, add Hershey's Kiss to the top. 
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