Like a recipe? Find it here!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Key Lime Pie

Hey yall, remember me?

It's a little sad to think I haven't shared a recipe with you in over a year! Especially since I have lots of free time now! I can't believe what has happened in my life since I last posted but to give you a SHORT recap: We honeymooned. We bought a condo. I got a promotion. Matt got a new job with a new company. We rented out our new condo. We moved to Florida. I became a spin instructor. We celebrated our year anniversary. We got a dog. Like I said - short recap. To say I am happy not living in the north for the snowpocalypse of 2014 would be a vast understatement but I will say that I am surprised I do miss Pittsburgh!

Because Matt and I are now Floridians, I figured it was only appropriate to share with you the key lime pie I made him for his 30th birthday. Keep in mind the photos are with my iPhone because I had no intention of posting - then I realized it was just too good not to share! Then I thought about all the people who ask me once a month why I am not still blogging and then I felt obligated.

The first month we lived in Florida we took a trip down to the keys. We went flats fishing in Islamorada and then made our way down to Key West. Let me tell you - if you ever get down there, there is a little cafe on the beach (the one with the beach volleyball nets) and their key lime pie is TO. DIE. FOR. Totally worth the $9.00 it costs. Since then, Matt has been very vocal about how much he loves key lime pie. So much so that he nixed his yearly tiramisu for homemade key lime pie.

One thing you should know before you embark on making this - don't be fooled by key limes. I bought them thinking "oh how cute - look how little they are!" (side note: because everything that comes in little versions is automatically better) They are not. Key limes are tiny stubborn assholes. They are not so bad to zest with a good microplane zester, but when it comes to squeezing the juice out of them make sure you have someone to tag team it with you! And I pray for you and your juicing partner that neither of you have and hangnails. Because it will burn. Really bad.

Key Lime Pie

1 prepared 9-inch graham cracker crust
3 large egg yolks
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
2 teaspoons grated key lime zest
1/2 cup freshly squeezed key lime juice
1/2 cup heavy cream

Meringue Top:
4 egg whites
6 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
pinch salt

Preheat oven to 350F.
In a medium bowl, whisk together egg yolks and key lime zest. Stir in condensed milk, key lime juice, and cream. Pour the filling into the pie crust and bake for 30 minutes or until center is firm. Remove from oven.

While pie is baking, in a medium bowl beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. In a second bowl, mix sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Add the dry mixture to the egg whites in 3 parts, beating in between each addition. Continue beating the mixture until all the sugar has dissolved. Spoon the meringue over the hot pie and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until light brown.

Enjoy! :)

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Roasted Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese Pasta

I have decided to come out of early retirement. 

Thanks to all of you who have stayed on me about starting up again. I have been meaning to for some time now but, man, has 2012 been a busy year!

Let's recap, Matt and I went to California in April, we sold our condo in May, June- August were jammed packed with engagement showers, bridal showers, and bachelorette parties... then September was the main event! It was the most perfect wedding day I could have asked for and now we are just enjoying life as newlyweds until we leave for our honeymoon on Thanksgiving.

Now let's talk about this meal. I want it to be my best friend. I want to be around it all the time. It's. That. Good.

Roasted Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese Pasta

2lb Butternut Squash
1 Onion
8-11oz Goat Cheese
1lb Whole Wheat Pasta
2oz Prosciutto
2/3 cup Chopped Basil
Olive Oil
Parmesan Cheese

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Cut the peeled and seeded butternut squash into about 1 inch cubes. Dice onion into similar size. Lay squash and onion on a baking sheet- coat liberally with olive oil and salt and pepper. Put in oven for 40-45 minutes. Bring a pot of salted water up to boil and add your pasta, cook according to package. Crisp cut up prosciutto in a pan and set aside. Also at this point, cut your basil and set aside.

Once pasta is done, set aside 2 cups pasta water and drain the rest. Add your goat cheese with 1 cup pasta water, if you want it more creamy add more pasta water (with 11oz goat cheese I usually use about 1 1/2 cup pasta water). Once the goat cheese is melted you can add your roasted squash and onions, crispy prosciutto, and basil (if you want a little more color, I have added sun dried tomatoes before). Toss until everything is combined and then top with Parmesan cheese.

Enjoy! :)

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Chicken Fried Rice

How pretty is this bowl of tasty heaven? I want to dive in head first.

It's so colorful. and healthy. and delicious. and colorful. Speaking of colorful, here is a story for you: I was talking to my Mom's friend Dee the other day... When she asks her grand daughter, who is not quite 4, what her favorite color is, her answer every time is colorful. How flipping cute is that?! Colorful. Here you go Audrey- a big bowl of colorful.

Do you think I can say colorful one more time in this post? Colorful. Ok. I'm done.

I only have one qualm about this dish. And it's that my kitchen is not equipped with one of those hibachi cooking tops so I can just fling rice all over the place and make onion volcanoes. I wonder where I can register for one of those bad boys...I smell a home renovation in my future.

Chicken Fried Rice

3 tbsp Sesame Oil, Divided
3 Cloves Garlic, Minced, Divided
1 tsp Lime Juice
1 tsp Sriracha
Low Sodium Soy Sauce
Half of an Onion, Diced
1 1/2lbs Bonesless, Skinless Chicken Breats, cut into bite size pieces
1 Bag Birds Eye Steamfresh Edamame in the Pod (I use these ones because they are always in the freezer, edamame that are pre-shelled would work too).
1 Cup Frozen Corn
1 Cup Diced Carrots
4 Eggs (Little bit of Skim milk for scrambling)
2 Cups Brown Rice
Salt and Pepper

Start by marinating chicken in 1tbsp sesame oil, lime juice, sriracha, 1 clove garlic (minced), salt, pepper, and low sodium soy sauce, and putting the rice on to cook.
Put 2 tbsp sesame oil in a skillet and add onion and the remanding garlic and cook until the onions are iridescent. While doing this steam your edamame and corn. Once steamed add edamame, corn, and carrots in with the onion and garlic.
To cook the chicken, I put the veggies in a bowl and wrap with foil to hold in the heat. Then I cook the chicken in the same skillet (mostly to keep the amount of dishes I have to do post dinner down).
All you have left is scramble your eggs, mix everything together, and season with salt, pepper, and low sodium soy sauce to taste.

Looking for an extra punch of protein? I have made this same meal with quinoa instead of rice. Cook your quinoa the same way as rice 2 to 1 (1 cup quinoa to 2 cups liquid). For extra taste, cook the quinoa with low sodium chicken stock instead of water.

Enjoy! :)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A Delicious Plate of Green Goodness

Hi. Remember me?? 

I am sorry for my absence lately… let’s recap: I finally left my dead end job and got a new job which is completely different than anything I have done (in a very good way). It is amazing to be busy for the entire work day and not be checking the clock every 5 minutes. I am still planning the wedding and can happily report most of the major things are done (well…sorta, kinda). Things are moving along which I guess is the good thing about planning! Also, I just recently got back from California where Matt took me for my last birthday as a Bielat (sad face). We spent a few days bunking with my fantastic family and hiking in Yosemite National Park….it was EXACTLY what we both needed.

Now that I have caught you up on my life, (sorry the void is not more interesting) let’s talk about this meal and the 6 times I’ve made it since the first time I put it on the table. It’s a dish I wanted to share with you since the first time I mixed the ingredients together but it gets inhaled so fast there was no way I was going to get a decent picture. Even these are mediocre at best because Matt was salivating over my shoulder with his knife and fork in hand. I don’t even know what to call it besides a delicious plate of green goodness… so that’s what we are going with.

A Delicious Plate of Green Goodness

*I apologize up front for my lack of precise measurements in this dish….it’s just one of those dishes you need to taste as you go and I make LOTS so Matt and I can have lunch for 2-3 days after (bonus- this heats up really well!!)*

1 Bunch of Asparagus
2-3 Zucchinis 
1-1 1/2 lbs Boneless Skinless Chicken (I season with salt, pepper, and lemon juice)
Whole Wheat Penne Pasta

Pesto Sauce: 
Basil (about 2 cups) 
Spinach (I use a couple of handfuls to give it a richer color) 
Handful of Walnuts (mostly because I have these on hand all the time and NEVER have pine nuts) 
2-3 Cloves Garlic, Minced
Parmesan Cheese
Extra Virgin Olive Oil

First things first, I get my salted water in a pot and turn the heat up to high.
Next, I put my chicken in the oven to bake while I prep everything else. I bake the chicken at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes (these are chicken tender size, not breasts).
To assemble the pesto: If you have a food processor this whole process will go MUCH easier… I however only have a blender to work with… it does the job. Roll the basil leaves and spinach leaves into rolls and slice thinly. Toast the walnuts and roughly chop. Toss the first 4 of the pesto ingredients in the blender and mix together. Slowly add the olive oil until everything is blended together and a nice consistency. After add the parmesan cheese and mix thoroughly. Set aside still, keeping in the blender.
Back to the pasta water: Once your water has come to a boil toss in your pasta. Rule of thumb for this dish in measuring your pasta: you only want to use half of your normal serving size. The idea is to use your veggies as the other half. While your pasta is boiling, cut your asparagus and your zucchini to mimic the size of your penne. When your pasta is about half way done cooking toss your veggies into the same water and let cook with the pasta until both are done.
Before you drain your pasta veggie mix take a ladle full of the pasta water and put in your blender with the pesto, blend together. This will make your pesto slightly thinner and you will have enough to coat your entire dish.
Drain your veggies and put in a large serving bowl. Add your cut up chicken (once baked, I cut in bite size pieces) and put your pesto sauce on top. Mix all the ingredients together and indulge. 

Remember, this makes great leftovers so make lots.
Enjoy! :)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Fish Tacos

Holy Guacamole, these are tasty.

For Super Bowl this year (yes I know, I'm posting this really late), I decided to skip the chili and go a little more unconventional, bringing tastes from home and one of Matt's personal favs! My super simple, SUPER delicious fish tacos! When I lived at the beach my family and I made it our mission to try (and rate) every fish taco in the area. Some places had the taste and the price where we visited them once a week in the summertime, while others we never visited again. We took this duty very seriously.

I'm happy to announce that these fish tacos scored very high on the fish-taco-tasting-richter-scale. Only two items actually need to be prepped and then it's left to the assembly line; can't get any easier than that!

Fish Tacos

3 Frozen Tilapia Filets
2 Limes
5.3 oz Plain, Non-Fat Greek Yogurt (or just a small container you would get from the store)
Taco Seasoning
Cilantro, chopped
Raw Green Cabbage
Small Whole Wheat Tortillas

To cook the fish: Separate each filet and put it on it's own piece of aluminum foil. Sprinkle about 1/4 teaspoon of taco seasoning on each filet, along with a pinch of lime zest and chopped cilantro. Squeeze the juice of one lime over the three filets. Next, fold the foil around the fish so each one has it's own little pocket to cook it. Cook the fish at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Take the fish and flake it into a bowl, discarding the juice and foil pockets.

To make the sauce: While the fish is cooking, empty the plain, non-fat greek yogurt into a bowl. Add a tablespoon of taco seasoning, juice from 1/2 a lime, and hot sauce to taste. Mix all together and set aside.

To assemble the taco: Start with your whole wheat tortilla and add fish. Next add your sauce and a small amount of cabbage for crunch. Top that with 2 slices of avocado,cilantro, and a little bit of lime juice (hot sauce if you are like me) and you have one scrumtious fish taco!

Enjoy! :)

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Raspberry Meringue Hearts

Need something impressive to make your honey for Valentine's Day? Something with the same delicious raspberry flavor as these but not as many steps? Well look no further, folks. Love is in the air and I have the dessert for you.

These meringues are so light and tasty it's easy to fall in love with them. I fell hard... and ate most of them. These have become some what of a tradition in our household. A tradition in the fact that I have made them last year and then I made them again this year. Not a big deal, I know... but it does mean they are easy enough for me to attempt again!

Raspberry Meringue Hearts

3 Egg Whites (Room Temperature)
1/4 tsp Cream of Tartar
3/4 Cup Sugar
1 tsp Raspberry Extract
1/8 tsp Liquid Red Food Coloring
Powdered Sugar (for Garnish)
*You will also need parchment paper, a heart shaped cookie cutter, and a large ziploc bag with the tip cut off (or a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2 inch tip if you are real fancy).

1. Position racks to divide over in thirds; preheat to 225 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. With your cookie cutter, trace hearts evenly spaced on each piece of paper (I got about 16). Invert parchment paper so tracings are facing down.
2. Beat egg whites with cream of tartar in a large bowl with mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form when beaters are lifted. On high speed, gradually add sugar and beat until stiff, glossy peaks form and mixture no longer feel grainy. Beat in extract and food coloring until blended.
3. Spoon mixture into ziploc bag. Pipe the outline of your hearts and fill in completely with your meringue mixture.
4. Bake 2 hours or until meringues feel firm. Turn off oven and leave meringues in oven for another 2 hours or overnight until hearts are crisp and dry. 
5. Peel off parchment and arrange on a plate. Lightly dust with powdered sugar and serve.

Happy Valentine's Day!
Enjoy! :)

Monday, January 23, 2012

Raspberry Bars

Like what you see?

These tasty little treats are one of my top sweets to make! A mix of chocolate and raspberry deliciousness! And...they are so versatile!! Change the flavor. Change the color. Every way I have tried them, they are equally scrumptious!

Today I'm guest blogging on my good friend, Tori's, blog: Sugarcoated.
Sweet treats and sinful snacks are this girls specialty... she can REALLY bake!

To get the recipe and read more about these Raspberry Bars, head over to Sugarcoated. While you're over there check out all the other goodies she's been whipping up. YUM!

 Enjoy! :)