Hot Chocolate Heaven

4 Dec

Boy have I gone to hot chocolate heaven!! Today was one of those days that all I wanted to do was come home have dinner and watch my favourite show, The Voice, fall into a coma on the couch and get ride of this lingering cold. I mean come on, who doesn’t love that show, watching a few bad boys and some great singers… I just had zero motivation to do anything. Thank god, my husband made dinner, as much as I wanted to cook, I would have probably used sugar instead of salt, or milk instead of cream. Yes, I am that tired and yes I have done that before. Every time I do something like this it takes me back to the story my parents told us years ago, that one day my grandmother used some type soothing muscle cream instead of toothpaste to brush her teeth. She must have had one heck of a brushing experience.
I’m sure everyone has one of those days where you have no desire to do anything but just relax. And today was one of those for me. However, while I was at work, I was craving soup and hot chocolate. Weird as I don’t like soup and I don’t like milk, so to me this was a weird combo!!! But I guess they are both comforting when you have a cold.
I found this amazing hot chocolate mix called Red Velvet Hot Chocolate. First of all the red velvet caught my eye, I am a lover of anything red velvet. I mean who is’t?? Red Velvet Trifle, Red Velvet Cup Cakes, oh I could just go on and on. So when I saw this recipe, I knew I had to make it. It’s pretty simple and so good, I swear my tastebuds were doing the gangman dance. That’s how yummy this drink is!!
Top this tasty drink with a spoon full of cream cheese whipped cream and bang!! You have yourself a delicious hot chocolate, that makes any plain hot chocolate seem boring. This drink is the prefect drink to get you in the mood for Christmas season. I can’t wait to get to the ski hill this Christmas and sit by the fire and with a cup of this hot coco. Life just seems so perfect when you’re sitting by the fire.

Here is the recipe to this cup of heaven. When I make this again I will probably use a little less chocolate chips or use semi sweet squares instead.

4 cups whole milk
1 dash water
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. red food coloring
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 – 4 tbsn. whipped cream cheese, room temperature

In a stand mixer, combine the heavy cream and sugar. Whip on medium speed with the whisk attachment for 2 – 3 minutes. Just before peaks form, add the cream cheese and whisk for another 2 minutes. Taste and add more cream cheese to taste. Be careful not to over whip though, or else you’ll have butter! In a medium saucepan, heat the milk over medium heat. Add a splash of water and the chocolate chips, constantly stirring gently. When almost melted, add the red food coloring and stir. When the chocolate chips are thoroughly melted, pour the hot chocolate into mugs and top with the whipped cream.

For full details click here
(source: une-deuxsenses blog spot)

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Sunday Funday in the Kitchen

2 Dec

Today is a good day to stay inside. The weather outside is a gloomy winters day. Cold, wet and miserable. It pretty much reminds me of the winter days in Toronto, and those days suck. As much as I miss home, I don’t miss the winters there. So what better way to spend a gloomy day indoors, than to spend it in the kitchen.
Despite, my cold that I managed to get from my husband and a late night from a work Christmas party, I was able to spend sometime in the kitchen trying out some new lunch and dinner recipes. I maybe tired, but sometimes you are just never to tired to cook, especially when what you are making is just so yummy.
For lunch, I found this awesome sandwich through my favourite website Pinterest. Thank god for this site!! My husband loves sandwiches, it’s his favourite meal. So when I saw this sandwich I immediately thought of him. It looked really good, however, I was hesitant to make it when I saw that you needed yogurt for it. Frankly I cant stand yogurt. The taste, the smell, yes I know there are kinds that don’t have a smell to them, but still the thought of it being in my food just doesn’t sit right with me. And after watching my sister try yogurt for the first time, I don’t think I will ever try it. But I figured I could just replace the yogurt with ricotta cheese and make it taste even better, I also replaced the basil pesto with sundreid tomato pesto and mixed it together. This created what has to be the best mix ever!! Not sure why I never thought of putting these two together, what a a great combination to put in your panini. Together with arugula salad, tomatoes, chicken and mozzarella, this creates a full of flavour sandwich. I’m not a big sandwich fan, but this definitely gets my husband and mines approval.

Here’s the recipe. I had a few substitutes, but if you like yogurt, you may want to try it with yogurt instead of ricotta.

Chicken Pesto Sandwich
INGREDIENTS:

2 cups shredded chicken breast
1/2 cup basil pesto, or more to taste
1/4 cup Greek yogurt
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 baguette, cut into 3-4 equal pieces, toasted, for serving
Arugula, for serving
Sliced tomatoes, for serving
4 ounces mozzarella, thickly sliced

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Dinner

Sunday dinner in our house has always been the usual. One week pasta, the next roast, then chicken, and repeat. It’s not that I don’t like all of those things, it was just becoming a little boring. I needed to put a little creativeness into our dinner and try something new every once in awhile. We came up with a great idea that every Sunday one of us would come up with a new recipe and create something we have never tried before. It may not always be a keeper, an trust me I have made some horrible dinners. They look so good in the picture, but it taste so bad you cant even eat it. But at least way we are discovering some new recipes and exploring our food options since we are both foodies.
This Sunday happens to be my turn to cook, and I was very much looking forward to making my chicken picata. Thank god I did, cause this turned out to be such a delicious meal. The meat was tender and the lemon caper sauce turned out incredible. The fact that it was so simple to make and only took 30 minutes, makes this dish even better.
The great thing about this dish is that it’s best of both worlds, pasta and meat and I love my pasta. I added asparagus to go with it as a side, but you could pretty much use any type of veggies with this meal.

Here is the recipe taken from Pinterest. Happy cooking!!

2 boneless, skinless Chicken breasts, cut in half lengthwise, to form 4 thin cutlets
1 cup Italian style bread crumbs
1 egg, beaten
4 Tablespoons butter
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup brined capers, rinsed
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
8 ounces Angel hair pasta
2 Tablespoons butter
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

For the full recipe and direction click here

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It’s beginning to smell a lot like Christmas

30 Nov

If it’s one thing I love about Christmas, besides hanging out with the people you love, is the food. Growing up in an Italian/Spanish home, Christmas is always filled with lots of love and an abundance of food. You could probably feed an entire army in one Christmas sitting in my home. If it’s one person that knows how to make a Christmas dinner it’s my mother. She has to be one of the best cooks I know, I’m not saying that because she is my mother, I am saying it because it is the truth! Anything that she creates comes out to be this mouthwatering, straight to the hips, food. She loves to bake, her cookies and cakes are to die for and her pasta is one of a kind. Lord knows I have tried to make it taste just as good as hers, but it hasn’t happened yet. And I wont stop trying till I get it right!! I can only hope that one day I can be as good as her. She tells me it comes with practice, so that is exactly what I am doing, practicing. I love to bake, it may not always come out the way I had hoped it to, but like they say, practice makes perfect. One thing I know for sure is that I will continue to learn from the best, MY MOTHER!!

This Christmas, I am headed to my in-laws condo in Panorama and lucky for me, my mother in-law loves to cook and bake as well. I would have to say, for someone like me, who loves to cook and bake, I am pretty lucky to have these woman in my life. This year I decided to do my Christmas baking a little early and make their favorite cookies and cakes (and mine too). Thanks to Pinterest, I am able to pull up some creative cakes, cookies and other Christmas desserts and I can’t be more excited to try them all out. I hope my husband, coworkers, friends and family are ready, cause this little baker is getting her baking on.

Here is one of my favorite recipes found on Pinterest.

Candy Apple Pie

Crust:
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup butter, melted
3/4 cup caramel ice cream topping
1 cup chopped pecans

Apple Filling:
5 Granny Smith apples (peeled, cored, sliced very thin)
5 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Cream Cheese Topping:
8 oz. cream cheese
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup sugar

Topping:
3/4 cup heavy cream, whipped
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup caramel ice cream topping
1/4 cup chopped pecans

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