Tuesday, April 30

BAKE IT: White Chocolate Chip Chocolate Doughnuts

Doughnuts, everyone loves doughnuts. There are so many types and kinds of doughnuts out there. My favorite are the cake style doughnuts and the best part of cake doughnuts is they can be baked not fried. That makes them healthier and slightly less oily when eating them. Oven baking doughnuts is easy and simple! try making yourself a fresh batch for the morning and watch the smiles appear!

Full time: 1 hour (includes cooling time)
Makes 6 crullers or 12 doughnuts

You will need:

2 eggs
2 1/4 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup sour milk (add 1/2 tsp white vinegar to 1/2 cup milk)
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1/4 cup unsweetened coco baking powder
6 tbsp butter, softened
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

1 cup powdered sugar

Let us begin:

Preheat your oven to 350. Spray a doughnut or cruller pan with cooking spray.

In a large mixing bowl place softened butter along with sugar and cream until fluffy.

Add in eggs.

Add in the vanilla, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, baking coco, and salt.

Add in 1 1/4 flour and mix just until it is incorporated, about 1 minute.

Add in remaining flour and sour milk, mixing just until blended.

Fold in white chocolate chips.

Divide evenly into doughnut pan, roughly 2/3 full.

Bake in oven 18-22 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean when inserted in middle.

Allow to cool in pan 5 minutes.

Move to wire rack to cool completely before coating, or you will get a stick not pleasing mess.

Place powdered sugar into a sided plate and roll each doughnut in the sugar.

If using a textured doughnut pan, you may need to get your hands in there and rub the sugar onto the outside of the doughnuts.

Plate up and enjoy!

HOW TO: Make Caramelized Pork Chops

Caramelized pork chops are juicy, savory, sweet, and tender. They are a great family weeknight favorite around my house. And they are easy to do! Before you worry or wonder, Caramelized does not mean they are coated in a heavy caramel sauce or a sugary crisp costing. It is actually a very light thin pan sauce that is created during the cooking process which becomes magic in your mouth!

I recommend serving these one night to liven up your pork chops and create a new family favorite. They pair fantastically alongside corn bread and roasted sweet potatoes!

Making Caramelized pork chops is all the matter of timing, once you do it the first time you will be able to repeat these whenever you want without needing a recipe. To begin get a heavy oven safe sauté pan, preferably cast iron heating over medium-high/high heat. Add 1-1 1/2 tbsp olive oil to pan. Just enough to moisten but not coat pan. At the same time you will want to preheat your oven to 350.

While that heats season 5-6 pork chops with 2 tsp salt and 2 tsp ground black pepper, making sure to get both sides. I am using 1/2" thick boneless.

Once pan is nice and hot, lower heat to medium and add in pork chops.

Cook for five minutes and then flip over pork chops. Season with 1 tsp allspice sprinkled evenly across the nicely seared top.

Continue to cook for give more minutes.

Turn off heat and crumble/sprinkle 1/4 cup of light brown sugar across the top of pork chops. This will allow the sugar to start to melt and almost disappear from sight.

Carefully place pan into oven.

Cook 15-20 minutes or until pork chops read 145-150 on your meat thermometer.

Remove from oven and let sit 2-3 minutes.

Move pork onto serving plate and spoon pan sauce over the top. Enjoy!

Sunday, April 28

Lebanese Cilantro Roasted Potatoes

This is one of my favorite ways to roast potatoes. There subtle flavor slowly builds to pack quite a punch of yumminess. The first time I ever did this I thought I was being all creative and inventive, only to find out how traditional the dish really is. However, in Lebanese cooking-the potatoes are traditionally pan fried not roasted. I prefer roasting to help impact flavor and have less oil.

Serves 4-6
Full time 45-60 minutes

You will need:

6-8 medium red potatoes, diced into bite size pieces
1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped fine
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tbsp minced garlic
1/2-1 tsp cumin (based on your preference)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground back pepper

Let us begin:

Preheat oven to 350.

In a medium mixing bowl place potatoes.

Add in oil, cumin, salt, pepper, and garlic.

Mix well to full coat potatoes.

Transfer potatoes to baking dish, do not clean bowl. Just set aside.

Bake 45-50 minutes or until potatoes are tender when poked with fork.

Return potatoes to mixing bowl, adding in lemon juice and cilantro.

Mix well to fully coat.

Serve and enjoy!

Wednesday, April 24

Honey Lime Chicken

Honey lime chicken is probably one of the best seasonal dishes. It is simple, easy, and marinades as it cooks. Creating a savory and flavorful dinner in no time at all.

Full time: 1 hour
Serves 3-4

You will need:

6-8 chicken thighs
1 small red onion, diced fine
1/4 cup honey
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp minced garlic
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp salt

Let us begin:

Preheat oven to 350.

Place chicken into a baking dish.

Top with garlic and red onion.

In a easy pour cup mix honey, soy sauce, and lime juice. Mix until even and smooth in texture.

Pour over chicken.

Sprinkle across remaining ingredients as evenly as possible.

Bake in oven for 45-60 minutes until chicken is at 175-180 or juices run clear. Basting chicken every 15 minutes.

Remove from oven and let sit 3-5 minutes before serving.

Serve with a line wedge and some fresh cilantro for full and robust flavor, enjoy!

Monday, April 22

Mango Salad

Mango salad is one of my favorite spring side dishes. The colors are bright, vivid, eye catching and best of all the salad is extremely tasty! I like serving this with honey lime chicken or grilled fish. Very easy to make and done in under 15 minutes, this is sure to be a new seasonal favorite!

Full time: 10-15 minutes
Serves 4

You will need:

3 mangos, peeled and cubed (look in you grocery store some have already peeled sliced mangos)
1 small red onion, diced fine
1 bunch fresh cilantro, pull leaves off just use them
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
3 tbsp lime juice
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper

Let us begin:

In a large box place red onions, lime juice, salt, pepper, and cumin.

Give it a good stir, add in tomatoes.

Give it a good stir.

Add in cilantro leaves and mango, stir well to completely incorporate.

Serve and enjoy! For best flavors let sit 5-10 minutes prior to serving.

Thursday, April 18

Brownie Cookie Bites

Take 1 part brownie add 1 part sugar cookie and you get this fun little treat. The best part is you can start with homemade brownies/cookies or save a large amount of time and use store bought ready to bake! Making this a perfect treat for parties, bake sales, and anytime wow!

(I am going to do this the easy store bought way today)

Full time 1 1/2 hours (includes cool to serve time)
Makes approximately 24 bites

You will need:

1 box family size brownie mix
Ingredients called for on brownie box
1 package refrigerator sugar cookie dough (or really any cookie dough flavor)

For extra fun: (shown in photo/will add an extra hour)

1 cup milk chocolate chips
1 tbsp vegetable shortening

Let us begin:

Preheat your oven to 350. Line a 9 x 13 baking pan with aluminum foil and set aside for a moment.

Mix brownie mix according to package.

Pour into baking pan.

Break off 1 tbsp size pieces of cookie dough.

Roll into a ball.

Flatten into a disk.

Lay on top of brownie mix.

Continue until your brownie mix is roughly 85% covered.

Bake in oven 35-50 minutes or until middle has set.

Remove from oven and let cool 20 minutes before serving.

Lift up on foil to remove from pan.

You can now cut and serve, or for extra fun-dress them up a bit.

After removing from pan slide onto wax paper.

Place chocolate chips and shortening in a small bowl.

Melt in microwave in 45 second intervals until it stirs nice and smooth. Stir vigorously after each round to prevent burning.

Drizzle melted chocolate across top of bars, let set for 1 hour to harden.

Cut into 1 1/2" squares.

Serve and enjoy! With or without extra chocolate top they are fantastic!