Friday, August 31, 2012

"Pin It" Button

Okay, the "Pin It" button is by no means a new sensation, but I am not tech savvy, and messing with html scares me, so I'm very proud of myself for finally adding it to the bottom of all my blog posts!

What does this mean?! If you're a pinterest addict like me, and you like one of my recipes, at the bottom of all of my posts, there is a "Pin It" button for y'all to save my recipe on one of your pinterest boards AND share with your followers! I love doing this, because it keeps the recipes I like from all the blogs I follow organized, and is easy to access later. So if you like a recipe, I hope you will utilize this new feature (for me), and do the same!! Stay fresh!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Farmer's Market Pizza

My favorite veggies, cheese, and healthy carbs... yup, I could not be happier! This pizza combines a wonderful mixture of summer's bounty over fresh mozzarella and my Whole Wheat Pizza Crust. It's about as nutritious as a pizza can get, without compromising any flavor whatsoever! In fact, it's really delicious. So delicious that you may even feel kind of guilty eating it -- just continue to remind yourself of all the nutritious vegetables, and hey, a little cheese every now and then never hurt anyone. In fact, just typing this is making me hungry... read on; I'm off to eat the leftovers! :)

Whole Wheat Pizza Crust

Get ready for an up and coming pizza recipe!! (Pictured above.) But before we get to that, I wanted to share the pizza crust recipe (also pictured above!). If you're in a pinch, you can always use a pre-made frozen pizza crust, but I wanted to share a homemade pizza crust recipe that I like to use! While you do have to plan in advance because the dough has to rise two times before it's ready, the preparation is a cinch. Also, this dough is made with half whole wheat flour and half all-purpose flour, for a healthier preparation. You can substitute all whole wheat flour if you're trying to be super healthy, but I personally like the combination. The result is a great chewy, and slightly crunchy crust, that you can top with whatever you like! Or, stick around, and see what I made

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Sauteed Chicken w/ Roasted Blueberry-Basil Salsa

  A perfectly cooked chicken breast topped with a sweet, tangy, & spicy salsa... now THAT is my kind of summertime meal. It's intriguing, refreshing, and fills you up without weighing you down. As you can see (and will taste), the stars of the show are the bright, fragrant blueberries and basil. Also, the blueberries are roasted!! You know how I love roasting my fruit and veggies. :) By roasting the blueberries, it sweetens and deepens their flavor. The sweetness is then contrasted with the heat and salt of the salsa, and altogether it is perfectly balanced with the savoriness of the chicken. If you are pressed for time or want a less sweet salsa, just forego roasting the blueberries. Either way, you are going to LOVE this! Hope you give it a go -- it's a quick and scrumptious meal that you will feel great about eating and sharing!

How To: Perfectly Cooked Chicken Breast

 Everyone loves a perfectly cooked chicken breast, and everyone hates a tough, dry chicken breast. But, how to ensure you get a succulent, juicy bite every time? My favorite method is searing the chicken breast on high heat, and then turning the temp down low and covering the chicken until it's finished cooking. You end up with a nice sear and a perfectly moist center. Here's how!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Zucchini-Oat & Raisin Bread

And my last bread (for now), I promise! I like to think of this bread as a compromise between the last two. Not quite as healthy as my Zucchini-Flax Bread, but with a lot more nutritional value than my Peanut Butter & Chocolate Chip Banana Bread. It's still really yummy -- if you like a super dense, slightly sweet bread, then this is definitely for you! For a filling breakfast, a mid-afternoon snack, or even for "dessert," you can easily make this the night before and share, or eat on it yourself for a couple days and freeze the rest. Time for some more carbs... Oh yes...

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Peanut Butter & Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Onto the next bread! And for some contrast, here is the most decadent of the three. :)

My last day at the firm I was working for the second half of the summer, I knew I needed to make something. When you have a food blog, people expect these things. Now, don't get me wrong, I love doing it, but there's always the worry of keeping the people happy. I decided that two types of bread would be a nice treat, so I made this bread, and also another -- my next bread post. This one was a big hit, because well, there are chocolate chips in it. And peanut butter. So, yeah, it's really yummy, but without being as sweet and heavy as something like a cake. Yes, there is some sugar, but, there is also some whole wheat flour and bananas... so, let's call it a compromise.

Also, I realized I haven't been including a printable recipe in my last few posts. I made sure to do so this time, just click on "Printable Recipe." In the next few days I'll update my previous posts with one as well. Now, onto the good stuff... 

Zucchini-Flax Bread

Just warning y'all, I have gone a little nutty (or bread-y) baking breads lately. This is one of three I made the past week, so if you're feeling bread-y too, get excited, because there will be more coming at ya soon! 

This is the healthiest of the breads that I made. It contains zero butter AND zero oil... yes, you heard me... AND it's still incredibly moist. The moistness comes from the banana, apple sauce, and zucchini featured in the bread. It's also quite dense from the whole wheat flour, walnuts, and ground flax -- which makes for a perfect breakfast bread -- not too sweet, hearty, and there is a ton of nutrition packed into one slice!  I was a little skeptical about the ground flax, but was pleased to find that HEB had two different varieties in the store (one in the baking aisle, and one by the vitamins/health foods), so hopefully it shouldn't be too difficult for anyone to find. And, you'll be glad you did -- it's full of Omega-3's and fiber, so use the extra to sprinkle over cereal, yogurt, oatmeal, and such! Or just bake more bread...

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Panko Crusted Asian Salmon

Looking for a protein to pair with my Lightened-Up Fried Rice? Well, look no further! Here's a super easy salmon that features an Asian-inspired marinade and crunchy Panko bread crumbs. The salmon is quick to prepare and cook, and makes for a perfect weeknight meal.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Lightened-Up Fried Rice

Whenever life is crazy busy, or there's nothing exciting in the kitchen, Chinese takeout is definitely an easy go-to. You can order it quickly, and it's usually not too far of a drive to the nearest dive. My personal weaknesses are Kung Pao Chicken and Fried Rice. The only problem is that after such a meal I am completely lethargic, instead of energetic. Now on nights when I can completely relax, I may shamelessly embrace my pathetic food coma. However, most days or nights, I need something to refuel, so I can keep on keepin' on.

Currently, there a lot of recipes for healthier versions of Chinese classics surfacing, and I have totally embraced this movement. My favorite so far is this lightened-up fried rice. The takeout version is super oily, but the great thing about making it on your own is that you can control the oil quantity and add whatever veggies or protein you fancy, to give it a more nutritional kick. This version features brown rice, a variety of vegetables, and there's a little protein from the egg. It's a great side dish for any Asian-inspired protein, and it's also really satisfying on its own! Try it out; you can't go wrong!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Just Peachy: Hill Country Vacation and Simple Peach Salad

  A couple weekends ago, I had the opportunity to visit with two of my very best friends, my roommates from undergrad. They both live in San Antonio, and at least twice a year, we all make an effort for just the three of us to get together and catch up on what's been happening in our crazy lives. This time I drove out to San Antonio, and we spent one day in and around Fredericksburg, just shopping, and going to local farms and wineries. If you are looking for a relaxing weekend with some friends, or something different for the family, I would highly recommend going to that area! Something about the Hill Country always soothes my soul, and the three of us had a fantastic time eating good food, drinking wine, and doing lots of sharing (like us girls do).

Fredericksburg is known for its peaches, so of course, I stocked up, and was a peach-hound the next few days. Because they were so lovely on their own, I wanted to do something simple, just featuring the peach, and enhancing its natural flavors.

Enjoy some of my peachy pics, and hope you try my Simple Peach Salad!

Lemon-Blueberry Cheesecake Bars

You know I'm behind on my blogging when I'm doing a post on something I made about 6 weeks ago... Yikes. My goal is to be a blogging fiend today, so that I can get some seasonal goodies to you while they're actually in season!

Enter: some decadent cheesecake bars featuring fresh blueberries! I made these for my co-workers on my last day at the DA's office this summer, and just writing this is making me nostalgic thinking about all the passionate and kooky people I worked with there, and all the good fun we had fighting crime. So, here's to you! And here's to everyone else that wants to make a delicious summery treat for a special occasion, or as a "thank you" to someone you appreciate.

One thing I love about this recipe is that they are bars, instead of a full cheesecake. Bars are much easier if you're entertaining, or giving as multiple gifts. Also, they are a lot less finnicky than an actual cheesecake, and will come out beautifully without worrying about cracking, and other such cheesecake woes. This recipe is also special because it is a slightly different take on a traditional cheesecake. I saw Anne Burrell (on Food Network) make a Goat Cheese-Cheesecake, and I couldn't get the idea out of my mind, so I decided to incorporate it into these bars. And I'm very glad I did! The goat cheese adds more tangy-ness, and a little extra "hmmmm..." to the cream cheese. Then, for another layer of flavor, I made a spiced graham cracker crust. You can do a normal graham cracker crust, but the spices in this crust give the bars a whole other level of warmth and personality.

I hope you try this out, and share with the cheesecake enthusiasts in your life!