Hi! No posts for 2 weeks and I feel like I need to explain :)

We are in the process of buying our first home and well it’s time-consuming and stressful! Wait, did I mention we are building a home! I’m soo excited! Looking at all the different options I want to create my perfect home is overwhelming and ahhmazing! But at the same time looking at all the fabulous options they have and how I just have to have them all (jetted tub-hello!) and the price sheet that comes with it makes me feel like I need a drink! I have a pretty expensive taste… But besides that I am just soo excited to be starting the next chapter of our life in our own home :) And by the way our house should be complete around Sept 28th! Anyway we’ve been pretty busy with that and I really haven’t been in the mood to cook and since I’m pretty sure you don’t want to hear about all the Burger King stackers I’ve been eating and how I pretty much live off peanut butter and jelly sandwiches I’ve got absolutely nothing to share… but have no fear I promise a new post on Thursday!

Caramelized Onions and Mushroom Risotto with Pan Seared Chicken

So today we are making simplicity at its best. You only need a few ingredients to create a delicious and easy meal your family will love :)

So risotto. Well what’s not to love? Its soo creamy and packed with flavor that the rice just melts in your mouth! I made it with beef broth, mushrooms and caramelized onions on top and it was just dreamy! And by the way while making it, Mr. Picky was hovering over me watching what I was doing and he wasn’t at all happy about the amount of onions I was cutting apparently he doesn’t really like onions. Well I was set on changing his mind and showing him that caramelized onions is where it’s at! Seriously! I could just eat them with a fork straight out of the pan! And at the end he admitted that he actually likes them :) So now I just have to convince him that he likes strawberries, raspberries, cherries, pineapple and kiwis and this marriage might actually work lol!

So here’s how to make this simple dish!

Caramelized Onions and Mushroom Risotto with Pan Seared Chicken

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 2 large sweet onions
  • 8 oz mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups beef broth + about 1/4 cup more for sauteing the onions
  • 1/2 cup Arborio rice
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 medium chicken breasts, thin (or pounded thin)
  • salt and pepper
  • EVOO and 3 tbsp butter

Directions:

For the onions: First start with the onions! You need to finely chop 1 onion, set aside. Chop the second onion in half and then slice into thin half moons. In a medium skillet over medium high heat add 2 tbsp butter and let it melt. Add the onions and saute the onions until they are golden brown (stirring occasionally). Turn the heat down to medium low and cook covered for 20 mins stirring occasionally. Add in some beef broth about 1/4 cup (give or take) and simmer for another 10 mins.

For the rice: In a large deep skillet over medium high heat add some EVOO and let it get hot and add the onions. Santee until translucent about 5 mins. Add the garlic and saute for 2 more mins. Add the mushrooms and cook for about 3-5 mins or until the mushrooms have significantly reduced in volume (stirring often). If the onions and garlic are starting to burn turn the heat down accordingly. Add the rice and saute for 2 mins. Add 3/4 cups of the beef broth and let it absorb for about 7-8 mins. Add the remaining of the beef broth and let the rice absorb it for another 8 mins. Add thyme salt and pepper and taste for seasoning. Add the remaining 1 tbsp butter and serve.

For the chicken: Pat the chicken breasts completely dry with a paper towel and season with salt and pepper. Heat some EVOO in a skillet over medium high heat and add the chicken breasts skin side down and cook for about 5 mins per side until golden brown. Make a slit in the chicken to make sure it’s completely cooked through and the juices are running clear and there’s no pink. Serve with risotto topped with caramelized onions.

Mini Chicken Meatball Soup

Well today we are eating soup. Soup with cute little meatballs in it. Packed with flavor. I’ve wanted to make Italian Wedding Soup for a while now and well I finally got around it. Although this is not the classic way to make it, its delicious nonetheless, if not even more :) Packed with flavor and spice! And by the way, growing up I was a verrryy picky eater. I would refuse to eat anything green. Well excluding lettuce. But everything else green like spinach, broccoli or even fresh herbs – I would not eat it! No way! And although I still resent broccoli and some fresh herbs, spinach I can do – but only if it’s in a soup! I don’t know why, but it’s just how it is… So every now and then when I feel the need to sneak in some veggies into my food, the easiest way to do so it’s with a soup! I mean think about it, there’s minimum work involved, it’s a one pot meal so easy clean up, you will have delicious leftovers and won’t have to cook for 2 days, it’s great on your wallet and your jeans thank you! Convinced yet? I know it’s summer and its well over 100Fhere but if I crave something, well I have to make it, no ifs or buts there… Make this soup, you won’t be sorry!

Everything you need + a few spices! Oh and I’d thought! Oh and don’t look at the mozzarella just imagine that it’s parmesan lol!

 

Mix all the ingredients for the meatballs together :)

 

Shape into little meatballs!

 

Now get a large pot. Add some oil and let it get hot. Add the onions and let them cook for 5 mins. Add the garlic and spinach and cook until the spinach wilts.

 

Alright transfer the onion to a separate plate and add a little more oil to the pot. Brown the meatballs 2-3 mins on each side.

 

Add the veggies, water, broth and tomatoes and bring to boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for another 20mins. Add the pasta, parmesan and spices and cook for another 10 mins.

 

Serve with some more parmesan and enjoy :)

Mini Chicken Meatball Soup

Serving: 7

Ingredients:

For the meatballs:

  • 1 lb ground chicken
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup parmesan
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 dried parsley
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs

Directions: In a bowl combine all the ingredients together and mix with your hands to combine. Make meatballs of desired size. (mine were about 1 tbsp big) Set aside.

For soup:

  • canola oil
  • 1 sweet onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic coves, minced
  • 4 cups raw spinach
  • 32 oz chicken broth
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 can (14.5) oz diced tomatoes
  • 1/3 freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups small pasta
  • 1 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions: Heat a large pot over medium high heat. Grease with a little bit of canola oil. Add the onion and saute for about 5 mins or until translucent. Add the garlic and spinach and cook, stirring constantly until the spinach wilts (reduces in volume). transfer the onions/spinach to a plate. Add a little more canola oil to the pot and brown the meatballs about 2-3 mins on each side. Once all the meatballs are evenly browned, add the vegetables, broth, water and diced tomatoes. Stir so the meatballs are floating and bring to boil then reduce the heat and let is simmer, covered, for 20 mins. Add the pasta, parmesan, red pepper flakes, paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper and let it cook for another 10mins or until the pasta is al dente. Taste and adjust seasoning and serve with some extra parmesan. Enjoy!

Notes: Don’t overcrowd the meatballs when browning! If you need to cook them in batches! To flip the meatballs easier use 2 spoons.

Slightly adapted from:

Sometimes I see things that I just have to have.

Things like Steve Madden shoes.

Or a cute little summer dress.

Or vanilla extract. I know, weird.

Yet sometimes I see things that I absolutely must have or my life will never be complete.

Like these cookies.

Dark chocolate. Kahlua. Sea salt. Heaven.

Now go make them!

Here’s how:

So here’s what you need! Flour, sugar, baking soda, egg, yolk, chocolate chips, sea salt, melted butter, cocoa powder, brown sugar, vanilla extract and Kahlua :)

Alright First step first mix the dry ingredients together, set aside…

Now let’s deal with the wet! In a bowl mix together the melted butter and sugars and stir to combine. Then add the vanilla and eggs – stir. And lastly the Kalua. Pretty simple, heh?

Now add the wet to the dry ingredients and keep stirring with a spatula until the dough comes together

Fold in the chocolate chips and refrigerate for 30mins

Scoop onto baking sheets and bake for 10-12mins

My baby sister loved them!

The Six Pack Diet!

Salted Mudslide Cookies

Makes 28 cookies

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups + 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 cup dark cocoa powder
  • 3 tbsp instant coffee powder
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) of unsalted butter, melted and cooled for 10-15 minutes
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg + 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup Kahlua
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips
  • sea salt for topping

Directions: In a bowl combine all the dry ingredients together (flour-sea salt), set aside.

In another bowl, mix the melted butter and the sugars to combine. Add the egg, yolk and vanilla and whisk to combine. Add in the Kahlua and stir. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and with a spatula continue stirring until the mixture comes together. Don’t worry the dough will come together, it will take about 3 mins of mixing and some elbow grease but you’ll be well rewarded! Fold in the chocolate chips. Refrigerate the dough for 30 mins.

Preheat oven to 325F. Scoop the cookie dough into golf sized balls and place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 mins or until the edges are set and the top is puffy, Be careful not to overcook these, you want them to be gooey on the inside :) Once baked, sprinkle with sea salt immediately and let cool for 5 mins before indulging. Enjoy!

Source:

Let’s eat cupcakes! So these were my birthday cake cupcakes. The fam got together for a little poolside bbq last weekend and these were the perfect cupcakes for the occasion. The cake is very light, moist and chocolatey while the coffee buttercream is so finger-licking delicious and not overly sweet like some buttercreams tend to be so they were definitely a winner and everyone loved them! And they were soo simple to make :)

Mocha Cupcakes with Espresso Buttercream Frosting

Makes 12 cupcakes

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened dark cocoa powder (Hershey’s)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup – 1 tbsp milk
  • 1 tbsp hot water
  • 1 tbsp instant espresso powder
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions: Preheat oven to 325F. In the bowl of electric mixer, combine all the ingredients and beat to just combine. Divide between prepared muffin cups and bake for 26-29 mins. Let cool completely before frosting.

Frosting:

  • 1 cup butter, softened (2 sticks)
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 tsp instant espresso powder

Directions: In a small bowl, combine the vanilla and espresso powder and stir until the espresso has completely desolved.

In a large bowl using your stand mixer (or hand mixed!), cream the butter on medium high-speed for about 5 mins (scraping the sides every now and then). Reduce the speed to low and start adding the powder sugar (a little at a time). Once all the powdered sugar has been incorporated, turn the speed to medium high and mix until fluffy. Add the vanilla espresso and beat to combine. Frost the cooled cupcakes.

Frosting Recipe Source: