Friday, February 28, 2014

White Chocolate Mousse with Raspberry Sauce

When I asked Randal if he had any suggestions for dessert he mentioned trying to make a white chocolate mousse with a raspberry sauce.  Little did he know that I had already decided on Nigella Lawson's white chocolate mousse with macerated strawberries, so I just changed the topping to the raspberry sauce I usually make and Randal was a happy man!

300 gm white chocolate
100 ml milk
2 egg whites
3 tbsp sugar
200 ml cream
1 vanilla bean, slit
400 gm strawberries, hulled and sliced
2 tbsp icing sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice

To make the mousse, melt the white chocolate with the scraped vanilla bean and milk.  Set aside to cool.

Beat egg whites to soft peaks, add the sugar and beat to stiff peaks.

Beat the cream to soft peaks and fold in the egg whites, followed by the white chocolate.  Spoon into serving glasses and refrigerate.

Raspberry sauce:
6oz fresh raspberries
1.5 tablespoons superfine sugar
Seeds from a 1/4 of a plumped vanilla bean

Combine the raspberries and sugar in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar, until the berries have given off some juices and they come to a boil. Transfer to a sieve set over a bowl. Using a spatula rub the berries and juices through the sieve.  Top the white chocolate mousse with the raspberry sauce.
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Chocolate Cheesecake Mousse Cups with Strawberry Sauce

I found these cheesecake cups over at Barbara Bakes and I knew I had to include them in our Valentines desserts.  The original recipe included homemade chocolate heart cups, but with everything else I was making I just didn't have time for that so I bought some chocolate cups.

Cheesecake Mousse:
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
pinch salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup heavy cream

Strawberry Sauce:
1 cup frozen strawberries
1/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice
Fresh strawberries and blackberries

To make the cheesecake mousse, in the bowl of an electric mixer, add the cream cheese, sugar and salt and beat until smooth.  Add in the vanilla and heavy cream and beat until light and fluffy.  Pipe into chocolate cups and refrigerate.

In a medium saucepan, mix together the frozen strawberries, sugar, and lemon juice. Over medium heat, bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until mixture thickens. Transfer to a small bowl and let cool slightly. Add fresh berries and stir to coat, drizzle over the cheesecake cups.
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Strawberry Cake Skewers

I knew I wanted to make these cake skewers as part of our Valentines dessert.  I have seen these all over pinterest and they are usually made with cake mixes.  I knew I wanted to make my favourite chocolate cake recipe for these as Randal loves that as well, but I did take the easy route for the yellow cake and used a box mix, but I used milk not water and butter not oil.

Yellow cake:
1 yellow cake mix
3 eggs
1 cup milk
1/3 cup butter, melted

Chocolate cake:
¾ cup plus 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
6 tbsp. valrhona cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda

½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
1 cup sugar
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 large egg
½ cup black coffee
½ cup buttermilk
1½ tsp. vanilla extract

To make the yellow cake, in the bowl of an electric mixer combine the cake mix, butter, milk and eggs.  Beat until combined.

Pour into a greased 9 x 13 pan and bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

To make the chocolate cake, in a small bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt, whisk to blend and set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the sugar, vegetable oil and egg. Beat on medium speed until smooth, about 1-2 minutes. With the mixer on low speed, blend in half of the dry ingredients, beating just until incorporated. Blend in the coffee, buttermilk and vanilla just until smooth. Beat in the remaining dry ingredients, mixing just until incorporated.  Pour into a greased square pan and bake at 350 for 28-30 minutes.

Once cakes have cooled cut into squares.  Take a skewer and alternate with cake squares and strawberries, drizzle with melted white and milk chocolate.

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Thursday, February 27, 2014

Thai Chicken Lettuce Cups

Finally the last of the Valentines appetizers I made this year.  I think it was a few years ago that I made Vietnamese chicken lettuce cups, and as we loved those so much I wanted to try a new lettuce cup recipe this year.  I found this recipe over at Sonis Food.  I knew we would like these as we love red curry and coconut milk and they were a fun appetizer to try.

1 lb ground Chicken
1/2 cup onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 cup mixed bell peppers, diced
1/4 cup frozen green beans
1 tbsp red curry paste
1/4 cup coconut milk
salt and pepper to taste

Heat a tablespoon of oil in a large pan.  Add the onion and cook for a few minutes.  Add the garlic, ginger and curry paste and cook for a minute, add in the ground chicken and cook through.

Add in the bell peppers, green beans and season with salt and pepper.  Mix in the coconut milk and spoon into lettuce cups.

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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Deviled Egg Dip

I have seen the idea for this all over pinterest, a deviled egg dip rather than making actual deviled eggs. It's pretty much a big bowl of egg mayonnaise but instead of eating it as a sandwich filling it is served with crackers.

6 eggs
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tbsp mustard
1 tbsp sweet relish
salt and pepper

Place the eggs in a pan of cold water, bring to the boil, cover pan and turn off the heat.  Leave for 10 minutes then place eggs in a bowl of ice water.

Peel the eggs once they have cooled.  Place in a large bowl and mash with the mayonnaise, mustard and relish.  Season with salt and pepper to taste and top with paprika.

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Crescent Roll Monte Cristo Bites

I had some crescent roll dough left over after making a few of the chicken cordon bleu roll ups, and when trying to decide what to make with the remainder of the dough I thought about trying to make a version of a monte cristo, a sandwich that I have only ever tried at a restaurant called cheddars, and the first time I ordered one I was horrified by the raspberry jam and powdered sugar, but that was a long time ago and my taste buds have since become Americanized !

Crescent rolls
sliced turkey
sliced ham
sliced swiss cheese (you can use any cheese you like, swiss is what I had on hand)
raspberry jam
icing sugar

Press 2 of the triangles of crescent dough together.  Spread a thin layer of jam over the dough.  Cover with the sliced cheese, then the ham and turkey.  Roll up the dough and place on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes at 375.  Let cool for a few minutes before slicing and dusting with icing sugar.

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Chicken Cordon Bleu Crescent Rolls

These chicken rolls were the reason I made the batch of homemade chicken strips .  I used the jumbo sized crescent rolls, as my chicken strips were huge.  These are really simple, but very good.

1 can of jumbo crescent rolls
chicken strips
ham slices
swiss cheese slices
honey mustard

Preheat the oven to 375

Unroll the crescents and separate into triangles.  Spread a thin layer of honey mustard on the crescent roll, add a slice of swiss cheese, a slice of ham and a chicken strip.  Roll up and place on a baking sheet.  Bake for 20 minutes, until golden brown.  Serve with additional honey mustard.

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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Bacon Wrapped Tater Tots

Every year for Valentines day I make a lot of new appetizers for us.  This year I felt quite bad that because of the daycare I just couldn't make as many from scratch recipes, as I have done in years past.  This is probably why I tried to use a lot of my husbands favourite foods, which is why I made these bacon wrapped tater tots.  They are very simple and easy to make but I knew that Randal would love them.

Tater tots
Bbq sauce
Bacon, cut into thirds

Cook the tater tots according to package directions.

While the tots are baking, cook as much bacon as you need to wrap around the amount of tots that are baking.  Cook the bacon until some of the fat has rendered but it is still pliable, if the bacon gets too crispy it won't wrap around the tots.  Leave to cool for a few minutes until it can be handled.

Wrap a piece of bacon around each tot and secure with a toothpick.  Brush with bbq sauce and bake for 15 minutes at 350.
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Mini Chicken and Waffles

As I already had made a lot of these chicken strips  for another appetizer for our valentines dinner, I decided to just make these mini chicken and waffle bites with the remaining strips.  This barely qualifies as a recipe but they were cute and tasted good so I am posting these along with all the other appetizers I made.

Chicken strips
Frozen mini waffles
Maple syrup

I made my own chicken strips, the recipe is linked above, however to make these even easier you of course could use frozen chicken strips that you bake.

Toast the mini waffles and cut the chicken to fit and sandwich between 2 mini waffle, and hold together with a toothpick.  Drizzle with maple syrup.

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Chicken Strips

I needed chicken strips for an appetizer I was making for Valentines day, and after emptying the freezer and only finding a bag of dinosaur chicken nuggets that the daycare kids eat, I figured I had better make some myself.

I decided on a Pioneer Woman recipe, mostly because it was the first one I looked at and I had a lot to do for Valentines day and I liked that she drizzled buttermilk into the flour to create extra crunchy bits on the chicken.

1 package of chicken tenders
1 1/2 cups flour
3 tsp seasoned salt
vegetable oil for frying

Place chicken in a large bowl and cover with buttermilk.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

In a large bowl, add the flour and the seasoned salt.  Drizzle in about a half cup of buttermilk, mixing with a fork to create clumps in the flour.

Coat the chicken strips in the flour and fry in the hot oil until golden and crispy on both sides.

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Monday, February 24, 2014

Menu Plan Monday

Monday: Chicken cacciatore

Tuesday: Tacos

Wednesday: Chicken parm

Thursday: Dirty rice stuffed peppers

Friday: Beef stroganoff

See other menu plans over at Organizing Junkie

Mango Curry Chicken Wings

I have never made chicken wings before, but these mango wings from The Tasty Fork seemed like the perfect recipe to try for my first attempt, as both Randal and I love curry and mango chutney. 

These wings are a little hot from the curry, a little sweet from the chutney and we both enjoyed these and would definitely make them again.

2 lbs chicken wings
2 tbsp all purpose flour
2 tsp curry powder (I used Penzey's sweet curry)
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp hot sauce
4 tbsp mango chutney
4 tbsp butter

Preheat oven to 500.

Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with non stick spray.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, curry powder and salt.  Toss the chicken wings in the flour mixture then place on the prepared baking sheet.  Spray the wings with the non stick spray.  Bake for 40 minutes, turning the wings half way.

In a small pan, combine the butter, hot sauce and mango chutney. Heat until the butter has melted and the sauce is blended. 

Place the wings into a large bowl, add the sauce and toss to coat.

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Beer-Cheese Potato Bites

I found these potato bites over at Culinary Cool and after reading that they are made of mashed potatoes, beer, cheese and bacon rolled in crackers and fried, I pretty much thought they sounded perfect!


2 cups mashed potatoes
1 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
1/2 cup beer
2 spring onions, chopped
6 strips bacon
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper 
3/4 cup ritz cracker, crushed
1 egg
vegetable oil for frying 

In a food processor, add potatoes, cheese and beer and blend until smooth. 

Place the potato mixture in a large bowl and mix in the spring onions, bacon, salt and pepper.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Place the crushed ritz crackers in a shallow bowl.  Crack the egg in a small bowl and whisk.

Form the potato mixture into small balls and roll in the egg followed by the crackers.

Heat the oil to 375 and fry the potato balls until golden brown.

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Monday, February 17, 2014

Menu Plan Monday

Monday: Coronation chicken sandwiches and potato salad

Tuesday: Breakfast for dinner - bacon, eggs, hash browns and waffles

Wednesday: Chicken cordon bleu, mashed potatoes and green beans

Thursday: Italian sausage spaghetti

Friday: Eating out 

See other menu plans over at Organizing Junkie

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Bacon Jalapeno Deviled Eggs

I made these last week when I made the mango curry deviled eggs, my back up in case Randal really didn't like those, I knew he would love bacon and jalapeno deviled eggs!

6 large eggs
3 tbsp mayonnaise
1/2 tsp mustard
1 tsp rice vinegar
1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
3 slices bacon, cooked and diced

Place the eggs in a pan of cold water, bring to the boil, cover pan and turn off the heat.  Leave for 10 minutes then place eggs in a bowl of ice water.

Once the eggs have cooled, cut eggs in half and scoop out the yolks.  Place yolks in a small bowl and mash, add in the mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, half the diced jalapeno and half the bacon.  Mix well and spoon the yolk mixture back into the egg whites, top with the remaining bacon.

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Monday, February 10, 2014

Menu Plan Monday

Monday: Meatloaf, mashed potatoes and asparagus

Tuesday: Chicken tikka, jasmine rice

Wednesday: Homemade corn dogs and french fries

Thursday: Jalapeno popper chicken, mashed potatoes and peas

Friday: Valentine's day appetizers for dinner

See other menu plans over at Organizing Junkie

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Italian Cream Cake

Time for another Secret Recipe Club reveal, and the first reveal for group B of 2014. This month I was assigned the blog it bakes me happy and as soon as I saw the name of the blog I knew I would love it, as I love baking and I usually end up making a dessert or baking something for the secret recipe club each month.

I immediately went to the cakes and cupcakes recipes that Emily has on her blog and at first I thought about making her vanilla birthday cake, as it's Randal's birthday next month and I still haven't perfected a great vanilla cake recipe.

As soon as I saw the Italian Cream Cake though, I knew this was the recipe I wanted to make this month.  I have never made an Italian cream cake before, I don't think I've ever tried an Italian cream cake before but we both loved this cake, so much so that Randal has actually requested I make it again for his birthday next month, so it looks like I did find his birthday cake on Emily's blog after all!

1 stick butter
1 cup crisco
2 cups sugar
5 egg yolks
1 cup buttermilk
1 small bag coconut
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup pecans, chopped
5 egg whites, beaten to stiff peaks
pinch of salt

1 lb icing sugar
1 stick butter, softened
1 8 oz cream cheese, softened
seeds from 1 plumped vanilla bean (vanilla beans plumped in rum for at least 2 weeks)
1/2 cup pecans, chopped

To make the cake, in a large bowl mix together the dry ingredients and set aside.  In the bowl of an electric mixer add the sugar and crisco and cream together. Add the egg yolks and mix together. Alternate adding the dry ingredients and the buttermilk.  Add in the vanilla and fold in the egg whites, along with the coconut and pecans.

Divide the batter between 3 8 inch greased cake pans and bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

To make the cream cheese frosting in the bowl of an electric mixer beat the butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add the vanilla and icing sugar and beat for 3 minutes, until thick and fluffy. Stir in the chopped pecans.

To assemble the cake, spread a thin layer of the frosting between each cake layer, then use the rest of the frosting to cover the cake, and top with chopped pecans.

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Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Corn Dog Bites

Randal loves corn dogs, but I have never been that successful at making them, so when I saw these corn dog bites over at Budget Savvy Diva I knew I wanted to try making them. 

I was so happy with these corn dog bites, they were crunchy on the outside, sweet and fluffy on the inside just like a great corn dog should be.  We will definitely be making these again!

8 hot dogs, cut into pieces
1 cup flour
1/4 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup milk
vegetable oil

Put 3/4 cup of the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, sugar, salt, garlic powder and onion powder in a large bowl, mix together and slowly stir in the milk. 

Roll the hot dog pieces in the remaining 1/4 cup of flour.

Heat about 2 cups of vegetable oil in a saucepan to 350.

Place the hot dog pieces into the batter, drop into the oil and cook until browned on both sides, about 3 minutes.

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Mango Curry Deviled Eggs

I am sure that Randal was a little sceptical when I told him I wanted to make mango chutney curried deviled eggs, however after he had tried them he really did love them.  My idea for these eggs came from my love of coronation chicken, I wanted to make the filling for these eggs taste like the coronation chicken sauce and I have to say that it really did!

6 large eggs
1 tbsp mango chutney
1 tsp apricot jam
3 tbsp mayonnaise
1 tsp curry powder (I used the Penzey's sweet curry)
1 tbsp onion, diced
cayenne pepper
salt and pepper

Place the eggs in a pan of cold water, bring to the boil, cover pan and turn off the heat.  Leave for 10 minutes then place eggs in a bowl of ice water.

Once the eggs have cooled, cut eggs in half and scoop out the yolks.  Place yolks in a small bowl and mash, add in the mayonnaise, chutney, jam, onion and season to taste with salt and pepper, mix well.  Spoon the yolk mixture back into the egg whites and top with a little cayenne pepper.

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Monday, February 3, 2014

Menu Plan Monday

Monday: Cabbage rolls

Tuesday: Belgian waffles, eggs, bacon

Wednesday: Pizza

Thursday: Chicken tikka, jasmine rice

Friday: Eating out

See other menu plans over at Organizing Junkie