Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Chicken Paprikash

This is a recipe from my Everyday Food magazine, made it tonight and it is SUPER yummy (and easy too!) A nice change from basic chicken dinner . . .

4 chicken leg quarters cut in half at joint, about 3 lbs (I already had about 1.5 lbs of chicken thighs in my freezer and used that, it was enough)
salt and pepper
2 tsp veggie oil
1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced lengthwise
3 garlic cloves roughly chopped
2 tbs paprika
3 tbs all purpose flour
1 3/4 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes
1/2 lb wide egg noodles
1/2 sour cream or thick plain yogurt

Season chicken with salt and pepper. In a large dutch oven or heavy pot, heat oil over high heat. Cook chicken skin side down until golden and crisp, about 6 minutes. Flip chicken and cook until browned, 6 more minutes. Transfer to plate.

Discard all but 1 tbs fat from pot and reduce heat to medium. Add the onion and cook stirring frequently scrapping any brown bits with a wooden spoon until begin to soften. Add garlic and cook stirring frequently, about 3 min. Add paprika and flour, season with salt and pepper and stir constantly until paprika is fragrant and mixture begins to stick, 1 min. Add broth and whisk until smooth. Add tomatoes and bring to a boil over high. Return chicken to pot in a single layer skin side up and reduce heat to medium. Cover and cook until chicken is cooked through, 20-25 minutes.

Meanwhile in a large port of boiling salted water cook noodles according to instructions. Drain noodles and divide among four bowls. Top with chicken. Stir sour cream into sauce then ladle over the chicken and noodles.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

New to Yoga

So yes it has been a VERY long time since my last post but I thought I would write tonight because I have recently discovered the wonderful world of yoga and just needed to share. This new revelation was largely inspired by my very dear friend Valerie who has been practicing yoga for 8 years and through her blog made me curious. I always thought yoga was too laid back to be a good workout mainly because I considered a good workout to involve sweating a lot. I also thought you had to be really flexible . . . boy was I wrong!! After only 2 classes I have already begun to feel the burn, feel so relaxed and have also surprised myself as to how far I can stretch my body!! I also have to give props to my neighbor Sarah for being my partner in crime during this new revelation. All in all, I am determined to keep yoga as a part of my fitness regimen and continue to challenge myself. So thanks to Val for the motivation, I love ya girl!!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Shrimp Scampi with Artichokes

Another fabulous and healthy weeknight dinner with lots of flavor and easy ingredients!! This will yield about 4 servings and I made it with Herbed Quinoa.

2 tablespoons olive oil
4 large cloves garlic, minced (about 4 teaspoons)
2 medium shallots, thinly sliced (about 1/3 cup)
1 1/4 pounds large shrimp (about 20), peeled and deveined
1 (11-ounce) package frozen artichoke hearts, thawed, or 1 (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts, rinsed, drained, and quartered
1/3 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, plus more for garnish
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
couple pinches of red pepper flakes

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and shallots and cook, stirring until softened but not browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Add shrimp, artichoke hearts, wine, and lemon juice and cook until the shrimp are cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the parsley, salt and pepper. Divide among 4 plates, garnish with additional parsley, and serve.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Italian Baked Chicken and Pastina

1 cup of small pasta (elbow macaroni or mini farfalle work really well)
2 tbs olive oil
1/2 cup cubed chicken breast (I usually use 2 breasts)
1/2 cup diced onion (about 1/2 a small onion)
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice
1 cup shredded mozzarella (I usually use a lot more because we like cheese so just add what you want)
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (you can also use dried parsley if you have it)
(if you have dried oregano and basil, I use those too . . . about a tsp or so of each)
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1 tbs butter

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender stirring occasionally (check the directions on the box for time). Drain the pasta and put in a large mixing bowl.

Meanwhile, put the olive oil in a medium saute pan over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook for about 3-4 minutes. Add the onions and garlic, stirring to combine, and cook until the onions are soft and the chicken is cooked through, about 5-8 minutes more. Put the chicken mixture into the bowl with the cooked pasta. Add the canned tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, parsley (and any other dried herbs), salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Place mixture in a baking dish sprayed with Pam.

In a small bowl mix together the bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle over the top of the pasta mixture. Dot the top with small bits of butter. Bake until the top is golden brown, about 30 minutes.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


Congratulations to the Chicago Blackhawks for winning the Stanley Cup!!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Summer Garden

My Little Garden

Basil and Parsley . . . Cilantro in the small pot

Hopefully there will be some tomatoes blooming soon!!

Finally I got around to planting my garden for the summer. It is very small as I only wanted to grow herbs (basil, parsley, cilantro) and tomatoes for cooking. My goal is to 1) not kill it and 2) see how things go and perhaps expand next year. Here's hoping my black thumb has turned a bit green!!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Easy Weeknight Dinner

Last night was one of the easiest dinners I have made in a long time, anyone could do this. I was at Whole Foods and asked one of the guys in the produce section where to find their mango salsa (I was just going to buy it for chips to dip) and he asked if I was making fish for dinner. I said no and he told me I HAD to try this Thai marinade with Tilapia, bake it and then serve with the salsa on top. So I took his advice and boy was he right!! The fish was so easy to make and full of flavor. Then I had to decide what side to make and remembered that I had bought some Quinoa (pronounced "keen-wah") from Trader Joes for a recipe I saw on Giada's show. In case you don't know what Quinoa is, it's a grain similar to couscous but full of protein and nutrients. It can be bland by itself so you really need to give it flavor, but it was very tasty and healthy too!! Here are the recipes . . . bon apetit!!

For the fish . . .

4 Tilapia fillets
1 container of Whole Foods Thai marinade
1 container of Whole Foods mango salsa

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Marinade the fish for about 20-30 minutes in the fridge. Put a piece of foil on a baking sheet and lightly spray with cooking spray. Bake for 15-20 minutes until the fish is done and flaky. Serve with the salsa on top.

For the Quinoa, I have attached the link from Food Network for the recipe.

Herbed Quinoa - courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Addy's First Tooth Brushing

Mommy's attempt to teach good teeth brushing habits . . . this for the child with one tooth, oh well it is never too early!!

Sex and the City in NYC

At Zanzibar in NYC

In front of the house they used for Carrie's apartment on the show!!

At Magnolia Bakery enjoying a "Carrie Cupcake"

What better place to go see Sex and the City 2 than in NYC!! I had an awesome weekend with my fellow SATC fanatic Siobhan and it was even Fleet Week while we were there so needless to say there were many a sailor among us. I thought the movie was fantastic . . . what did you think?

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Chive Risotto Cakes

I am always looking for new side dishes to go along with dinner and to get away from the same ole boring thing night after night. I remembered this recipe from an episode of Barefoot Contessa and decided to give it a try. Once again Barefoot did not disappoint and they were delicious!! This recipe will probably make about 10-12 cakes so I cut it in half since it was just me and Brian . . . watch out though because these are incredibly rich and could prob be a meal in itself along with a light salad . . . ENJOY!!

Kosher salt
1 cup uncooked Aborio rice
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
2 extra large eggs
3 tbs minced fresh chives
1 1/2 cups grated Fontina cheese (5 oz) - you could also use Romano or Parmesan
1/2 tsp pepper
3/4 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
Olive oil

Bring a large (4 qt) pot of water to a boil and add 1/2 tbs salt and the Aborio rice. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes. The grains will be quite soft. Drain the rice in a sieve and run under cold water until cool. Drain well.

Meanwhile, whisk the yogurt, eggs, chives, cheese, 1 1/4 tsp salt and the pepper in a medium bowl. Add the cooled rice and mix well. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight until firm.

When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 250 degrees.

Spread the panko in a shallow dish. Heat 3 tbs olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Form balls of the rice mixture using a standard ice cream scooper or a large spoon. Pat the balls into patties about 3 inches in diameter and 3/4 inch thick. Place 4 to 6 patties in the panko turning once to coat. Place the patties in the hot oil and cook, turning once, for about 3 minutes per side until the cakes are crisp and golden brown. Place on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and keep warm in the over for up to 30 minutes. Continue cooking in batches adding oil as needed. Serve hot.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Peanut Butter-Filled Chocalate Cupcakes

So I had the urge to bake something last night and I gave these a try this morning mainly because I had all of the ingredients, plus how can you go wrong with peanut butter AND chocolate. Let me tell you they definitely did not disappoint . . . ENJOY!!

Batter Ingredients
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter cut into small pieces
6 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract

Peanut Butter Filling (stir all together until smooth, use immediately)
4 tbs (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325. Line a standard muffin tin with paper liners. Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Put butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl and set over (not in) a pan of simmering water; stir until melted. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.

Whisk granulated sugar into cooled chocolate mixture. Add eggs, and whisk until mixture is smooth. Stir in vanilla. Add flour mixture and stir until well incorporated.

Spoon 2 tbs of chocolate batter into each lined cup, followed by 1 tbs of peanut butter filling. Repeat with another tbs of batter and top with 1 tsp filling. Swirl top of cupcake batter and filling with a toothpick.

Bake, rotating tin halfway through, until cake tester inserted into centers comes out with only a few moist crumbs attached, about 40 min. Transfer tin to wire cooling rack to cool completely before removing cupcakes.

Makes 12 cupcakes

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Salmon with Puff Pastry and Pesto

So I was trying to think of a nice dinner to serve tonight for Brian's birthday and came across this recipe from Giada's cookbook (Giada's Kitchen). This was SUPER easy and very tasty and looked really fancy without all of the fuss . . . I served it along with some fresh cooked spinach. Enjoy!!

Ingredients (makes 4 servings)
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
2 (10- to 12-ounce) center-cut salmon fillets
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup purchased pesto
2 tomatoes, sliced

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Spray half of the foil with cooking spray.

Unfold the puff pastry sheet on a cutting board and use a sharp pairing knife to cut 4 equal squares. Prick each square all over with the tines of a fork. Arrange the pastry squares on the sprayed end of the baking sheet about 1 inch apart. Cut the salmon fillets in half crosswise to make 4 pieces about 3 inches square. Season the salmon fillets with salt and pepper and arrange them on the other end of the baking sheet. Sprinkle each piece of the salmon with 1 tbs of the sliced almonds. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until the pastry is puffed and golden brown and the salmon is firm.

To serve: place a piece of puff pastry on each plate. Top the pastry with 1 tbs of pesto. Arrange 2 slices of tomato over the pesto and top with the salmon. Serve immediately.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Pan-Seared Scallops with Bacon & Spinach

This is a new recipe I found in my Cooking Light magazine and let me just say that it was fantastic!! A great addition to the dinner menu and something that was a little bit different than what we normally have.

3 center-cut bacon slices
1 1/2 lbs jumbo sea scallops (about 12)
1/4 tsp plus 1/8 tsp kosher salt, divided
1/4 tsp pepper, divided
1 cup chopped onion
6 garlic cloves, sliced
12 ounces fresh spinach
4 lemon wedges (optional)

Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan reserving the drippings, coarsely chop and set bacon aside.

Pat scallops dry with paper towels and sprinkle evenly with 1/4 tsp of salt and 1/8 tsp of pepper. Add scallops to drippings in the pan and cook 2 1/2 minutes on each side or until done. Transfer to a plate and keep warm.

Add the onion and garlic to the pan and saute for 3 minutes stirring frequently. Add half of the spinach and cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently. Add remaining spinach and cook for 2 minutes or just until wilted, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and stir in remaining 1/8 tsp of salt and 1/8 tsp of pepper.

Serve scallops on top of spinach and sprinkle with the bacon, lemon wedges on the side.

Bon apetit!!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Private Chefs of Beverly Hills

If you haven't seen Private Chefs of Beverly Hills, I TOTALLY recommend it! I love the Food Network to begin with and saw a preview for this show so naturally I set my Tivo to record it and finally got around to watching the first episode last night. OMG, it was HI-LARIOUS!! The show follows 6 professionals chefs from a private chef-placement agency in Beverly Hills. Now since I grew up in LA, I know that there are some crazy and interesting peeps that live there, especially in Beverly Hills, but this blew me away. This first episode had private chefs catering a botox party, a party for dogs at a doggy spa (yes you heard me correctly, there is actually a dog spa in Beverly Hills called The Club) and finally a "glamping" trip which is a glamorous camping trip that included a group of millionaire guys!!! If you have some time def check this out, you will not be sorry!!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Tilapia with Tropical Fruit Salsa

I LOVE seafood but more often than not I just can't quite figure out what to season it or serve with. Well now I definitely have a very easy and tasty dish that is light and full of flavor. I discovered this on "Money Saving Meals with Sandra Lee" on the Food Network. She made the salsa to go along with shrimp skewers which is absolutely another seafood I would use but just didn't have in the house so I used it on top of the tilapia. This recipe will serve 2 people and you may have a bit of salsa left over that you can certainly enjoy with your favorite tortilla chips as a next day snack.


2 (4-oz) tropical fruit cups, drained (you can find these in the produce section)
1 tbs fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped
1 scallion, finely chopped
1 lime, juiced
1 jalapeno, ribs removed, seeded and minced
Kosher salt to taste

1 tbs olive or vegetable oil
2 fresh tilapia fillets
Kosher salt and pepper

For the salsa, chop the drained fruit into small pieces, almost the consistency of thick relish. Combine the fruit and the remaining ingredients in a bowl and refrigerate until chilled.

For the fish, heat the oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Season both side of the tilapia with salt and pepper. Once the oil is heated, place the fish in the pan and cook for about 4-5 minutes on each side or until cooked through.

Serve the fish with salsa on top and with steamed rice or your favorite veggie.


Sunday, April 11, 2010

Chicken with Radish & Avocado Salad

Here is another tasty, simple and light dish to serve on a nice, spring evening . . .

1/4 cup olive oil (plus more for the grill)
1/4 cup of fresh lemon juice (about 2-3 lemons)
Coarse salt and pepper
2 or 3 boneless chicken breasts
1/4 tsp cumin
1 bunch of radishes sliced thinly (I use the greens from the radishes as well)
1 avocado cubed

Heat an indoor or outdoor grill on medium to medium-high heat. In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper.

Lay the chicken flat and hold a sharp knife parallel to the cutting board, then slice the chicken in half horizontally so you have 2 thinner pieces of the breast. Cover with plastic wrap and pound with a meat mallot (or rolling pin) until about an inch thick. Drizzle about half of the dressing onto the chicken and then sprinkle with the cumin.

Oil the grill and then cook the chicken until done, about 2-3 minutes per side. In a medium bowl toss the sliced radish, greens and avocado with the remainder of the dressing. Serve the chicken topped with the salad.

Bon Apetit!!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Favorite Frangrances

First Row
Hanae Mori Butterfly
Marc Jacobs Daisy
Ralph Lauren Romance
Issey Miyake L'Eau d'Issey

Second Row
Chanel Chance
Givenchy Very Irresistible
Versace Bright Crystal
Kim Kardashian

As summer approaches and after a recent trip to ULTA, I started thinking about my favorite perfumes over the years and thought I would share with you as well. These are just some of my favorites and there are many more out there that I would like to test out including Kim Kardashian's fragrance which I have heard good things about. Right now I use Daisy and Bright Crystal . . . what are your favorite perfumes?

Monday, April 5, 2010

The Search for the Wedge Sandal . . .

Michael Kors 'Juniper' Espadrille Sandal - $140
Stuart Weitzman 'Alex' Espadrille Sandal - $365

So lately I have been obsessing over the Stuart Weitzman sandals that Jennifer Aniston is wearing in one of my previous posts. Obviously I can't justify shelling out the almost $400 for them so I have been on the lookout for a better alternative. Last Friday during an afternoon of family shopping, I spotted these Michael Kors sandals that were pretty darn close and half the cost. I have yet to try them on and determine the comfort and cuteness level but it is definitely on my to do list. Now whether I purchase these or continue to be on the lookout for a better bargain . . . stay tuned!!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

New Cookbook from Giada!!

Giada at Home: Family Recipes from Italy and California
The Food Lover's Companion

Last night I attended a demo at Williams-Sonoma featuring recipes from "Giada at Home: Family Recipes from Italy and California", which is the newest cookbook from Giada De Laurentiis. For all of my fellow food and/or cooking lovers out there, this is a great book to add to your collection. Although we only sampled a few recipes, as I browsed through the others, they all seemed to be simple ingredients with lots of flavor which is definitely my kind of cooking.

The recipes I had the pleasure of eating last night included the following:

Artichoke & Bean Crostini
Pea Pesto Crostini
Chicken Milanese with Tomato and Fennel Sauce
Bibb, Basil and Mint Salad with Parmesean Butter Crostini
Raspberry Pound Cake with Vin Santo Cream

These were all absolutely delightful and ones I would definitely make at home.

Another perk from last night was that we were offered 10% off in the store and I found myself purchasing yet another book called "The Food Lover's Companion". This is an awesome food dictionary that will tell you about any kind of ingredient you can think of, the history of it, how to store it and what substitutes you can use. I figured this was a must have in the kitchen for as much as I like to cook/bake.

Until next time my culinary companions . . . bon apetit!!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Jennifer Aniston

Now that the weather is starting to point towards summer, I can't help but think about what I want my summer wardrobe to entail. Since I am totally in love with Jennifer Aniston's style, her simple and casual look is what I will be going for this season. A classic pair of wedges, shorts, capris, tees and tanks, and a casual sun and maxi dress is just the beginning. Throw in some killer shades, simple accessories and an essential bag and I'll be set. Let the bargain search begin . . .

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Pasta with Artichoke Sauce

So after opting to scratch the idea of going to the grocery store and instead take advantage of the very nice weather by taking a walk with Addy, I began to wonder, hmmm what's for dinner tonight? And I knew that would be exactly what Brian would ask me too so I had to think of something. Now there was no meat defrosted and all I had to work with were things in the pantry but I have to say the result was something quite tasty and would probably make its way into the dinner menu rotation. So for all of you busy gals (or guys) out there looking for a tasty meal, here you go . . .

Pasta with Artichoke Sauce (this is just enough for 2 people, with perhaps a little left over sauce)

1/2 lb. of your favorite short pasta
1/2 tbs olive oil
1 small onion chopped
1 clove of garlic minced
1 large (28oz) can of whole tomatoes
1 small (14.5oz) can crushed tomatoes
1 tsp each of dried oregano and basil (or more to taste)
salt and pepper to taste
1 small (14.5oz) can of artichoke hearts

In a large sauce pan heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook until tender, about 2-4 minutes. Add the tomatoes, oregano and basil. Break the whole tomatoes up a bit and bring to a simmer for about 20-30 minutes stirring occasionally until the sauce thickens. Add salt and pepper to taste and then add the artichoke hearts.

While the sauce thickens cook the pasta according to the package. Toss the pasta with the sauce after cooking and serve.

FYI - the sauce can be refrigerated for about 2 days or frozen up to 3 months if you want to make extra and add your favorite ingredients like chicken, veggies, etc. Also, a pinch of red hot pepper flakes could add a little spice to the sauce as well.

Bon Apetit!!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Welcome to My Blog . . .

So when it came time to think of a name for this new blog who else would I turn to for help than my BFF and little sis, Bec. After many fun and entertaining options we came up with "My Honey and Bunnies". Why this title you may ask, well allow me to explain. My intention for this blog is really to talk about being a wife, mother, sister, daughter, and friend as well as share the things I am passionate about. My "Honey" is none other than the best hubby in the world, Brian, and my "Bunnies" are all of the wonderful people out there that I love so much, my beautiful daughter Addison, my puppy Wrigley, my sis and bro (Bec and Mike), my mom and dad and extended family thanks to my hubby and all of my friends out there (Enj, Siobhan, Lori, the LA crew and my fellow Chi-town mommies, etc). I hope you all enjoy reading about the things I love in and about life and tune in for more . . .