Grilled Chicken with Spicy Mango Sauce

Grilled Chicken with Spicy Mango Sauce

Grilled Chicken with Spicy Mango Sauce

About three years ago during one of our visits with my folks in Canada they took us to a local Mexican Restaurant.  I can’t remember the name but I remember what I ate.  Typical.

I had a delicious chicken with a mango sauce dish….simply delicious.  I tried to duplicate it at home on several occasions.  Never quite what I remembered.

Then my lovely mother (who is cleaning out her house once more to downsize) brought me some old Bon Appetit magazines. …we are talking circa 1994.  Other than pleasing me, I seriously wonder why she hung on to these for so long….oh well….I’m glad she did because I found a recipe I could definitely work with for my mango sauce.

Note: I couldn’t find this recipe on the Bon Appetit Website , I think it is because it was a reader’s request from a restaurant.  I also have found that said restaurant (Cottonwood Cafe in Bethesda, Maryland) no longer exists!  Oh well…I did try!

Grilled Chicken says SUMMER IS HERE....and this sauce puts the mango on top!  ;)

Grilled Chicken says SUMMER IS HERE….and this sauce puts the mango on top! ;)

Ingredients:

For the Chicken:

3 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast (if needed cut breast in half, so they cook evenly)

1/2 cup olive oil

1/2 cup fresh herbs (basil, oregano,chives, parsley, rosemary), roughly chopped

1/4 cup lime juice

2 garlic cloves, minced

For the sauce:

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon butter

1 mango, peeled, pitted and chopped

2 peaches, peeled, pitted, and chopped

1/4 cup brown sugar (I used raw coconut sugar, see pic below)

2 cups sweet white wine (Riesling, Moscato…etc..)

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 tablespoon chopped canned chipotle chilies in adobo sauce

3 tablespoons lime juice

1/4 cup vegetable broth (optional)

Salt and Pepper to taste

How to:

For the chicken:

In a large ziplock bag combine your chicken with olive oil, herbs, lime juice and garlic.  “Massage” everything well.  Put in your fridge for 3-4 hours (or even overnight won’t hurt anything).  If you prefer to marinate your chicken in a large bowl, simply combine your olive oil, herbs, lime juice and garlic, mix well and add your chicken.  Make sure all pieces of chicken are well coated with the marinade.

wanted to show you...but honestly this pic makes me gringe...ooops

wanted to show you…but honestly this pic makes me cringe…ooops

For the sauce:

In a large saucepan, melt your butter with your olive oil.  Add your mango, peaches and sugar.  Cook stirring frequently for about 15 minutes until fruits are soft and sugar is completely melted.  Add your wine and cook until wine has reduced to a sauce consistency (about 20 minutes).  Add your cream and chilies.  Simmer for another 10 minutes.  Using an immersion blender or a blender puree your sauce.  Return to your pan (if you were using your blender) add your lime juice.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Keep warm until  chicken is ready.  If your sauce is too thick add your vegetable broth.  Stir well to combine.

look at the pretty colors!

look at the pretty colors!

reducing definitely makes flavors go from 0 to 100!  WOW!

reducing definitely makes flavors go from 0 to 100! WOW!

this is going to be amazing!  I can tell...I REALLY can tell!

this is going to be amazing! I can tell…I REALLY can tell!

For the chicken:

Preheat your grill.  Remove chicken from marinade.  Grill until cooked through, about 5-7 minutes per sides.  Transfer chicken to serving plate (or platter if serving family style) spoon sauce over chicken!

I am so ready for this explosion of flavors!

I am so ready for this explosion of flavors!

DELICIOUS.  Slightly spicy but not overwhelming.   The color is so pretty with little flecks of red from the chipotle chilies.  I think this sauce would also be amazing on fish, grilled vegetables, burgers….oh the possibilities!

I can no longer wait...the first bite took me back to that delicious restaurant and the amazing meal I had with my folks <3

I can no longer wait…the first bite took me back to that delicious restaurant and the amazing meal I had with my folks <3

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Peace and Hang On,

Isabelle

NOTE:  I know I have been somewhat absent.  I have so many delicious recipes I want to share with you guys.  I feel horrible….but life as you know it is not a rehearsed play…sometimes you just fly by the seat of your pants and hope for the best.  Stick with me, I promise to keep on going and keep on sharing!  :)

 

 

Scotcharoos (my way)

Scotcharoos <3

Scotcharoos <3

Some days I think I live under a rock.  I honestly had never heard of Scotcharoos until a few days ago.  Truth be told when I saw the picture of a lovely dessert treat I wanted to make Sunshine for prom night at her friend’s house, I thought it was simply a layer of Rice Krispies squares.  I saw the name but thought nothing of it.  Then my friend Chris came over and I showed her the recipe and she said: “oh yea I love Scotcharoos….”

What?  ummmm…..OK.

So then I had this flashback of never having tried Hamburger Helper until I married Mr. Man.  Never having ordered Chinese take-out until I moved in with the “princess” in college.  Never having Spam…still!

What’s a silly girl to do?  Make Scotcharoos and make some pretty darn good one at that!  So take that stupid rock over me!  :/

these little gems are so flippin' amazing!

these little gems are so flippin’ amazing!

Please note this is not the “classic scotcharoos” these have been Isabellized…what ever that means!

Ingredients:

6 cups rice Krispies cereal

1 cup light corn syrup

1 cup sugar

1 cup peanut butter

2 cups chocolate chips, divided

1 cup butterscotch chips

1/2 cup peanut butter chips

How to:

Spray a 9X13 baking dish with cooking spray, set aside.

In a large bowl combine your cereal with 1 cup chocolate chips.  Set aside.

In a saucepan, combine your corn syrup and your sugar.  On medium heat gently stir until sugar has melted.  Remove from heat and add your peanut butter.  Gently stir until combined and creamy.  Add to your cereal and chocolate chips mix.  Quickly stir.  The heat from the peanut butter mixture will melt some of your chocolate chips, go for it. Don’t worry about it too much.  It will taste amazing.  Spread your mixture into your prepared pan.  Set aside.

the peanut butter mixture is quite spectacular if you ask me!

the peanut butter mixture is quite spectacular if you ask me!

all set!

all set!

In a heat proof dish combine your 1 cup chocolate chips with your butterscotch chips.  Starting with 30 seconds heat in your microwave.  Stirring after each time.  (I did 30 secs then another 30 secs. but followed with 15 seconds increments as to not burn my chips)  Once completely melted pour over your cereal mixture and spread evenly.  Set aside.

chocolate & butterscotch make a beautiful friendship!

chocolate & butterscotch make a beautiful friendship!

In another small heat proof dish melt your peanut butter chips in microwave.  Again stirring after each time.  (I would suggest 15-20 seconds increments)  Using a spoon, place dollops of your melted chips over the chocolate/butterscotch layer.  Using a knife gently run through to swirl the peanut butter with the chocolate/butterscotch layer.  Done!  Place in your fridge (if in a hurry) or leave to cool at room temperature until chips have hardened.

there is no rules here....just dollops of peanut butter! Whatever works!

there is no rules here….just dollops of peanut butter! Whatever works!

pretend to be an artist....a peanut butter artist!

pretend to be an artist….a peanut butter artist!

OH MY WORD.....pure art!

OH MY WORD…..pure art!

Voila!!!! One of the best treat I have had in a long time….SUPERB!

I want this piece right now!

I want this piece right now!

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so so so perfectly fabulous!

so so so perfectly fabulous!

Note: these are simply jaw-dropping delicious….addictive….not something that will get you bikini ready….beware my friends, one could eat a whole pan of these goodies!

don't you just want to take a bite?  ;)

don’t you just want to take a bite? ;)

Peace and Rock,

Isabelle

Tomato Soup Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Tomato Soup Cake with Cream Cheese Icing

Tomato Soup Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

At first I thought: yuck…

Then I remembered my: Not your mama’s apple pie  which is made with green tomatoes.

So I figured if Nate, my husband’s buddy from the Firehouse says it is delicious then who am I to judge.

I made the cake….turns out Nate’s Mom knows how to make a great cake even if it is with canned tomato soup, which I have never been a fan of, case and point: Cream of Roasted Tomato Soup.

reminiscent of a spice cake, slightly similar in color to a carrot cake....but absolutely delicious and moist!

reminiscent of a spice cake, slightly similar in color to a carrot cake….absolutely delicious, flavorful and moist!

Ingredients:

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1-1/3 cups sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

4 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoon allspice

1 can condensed tomato soup

1/2 cup shortening

1/4 cup water

2 eggs

 How to:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease and flour an 9 X 13 baking pan.  Set aside.

In a large bowl combine your flour, cinnamon, sugar, ground cloves, baking powder, baking soda, and allspice.

Add your tomato soup and shortening, beat until well blended.  Add your water and eggs.  Beat for 3 minutes.  Spread into your prepared pan.  Bake for 35-40 minutes until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Let stand 10 minutes.  Remove from pan and cool on rack.  Cool completely before frosting.

a gorgeous pinkish orangy hue...very pretty!

a gorgeous pinkish orangy hue…very pretty!

wow! the smell is absolutely amazing!

wow! the smell is absolutely amazing!

Cream Cheese Frosting:

Ingredients:

8-ounce cream cheese at room temperature

1 tablespoon milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 lbs confectioner sugar

How to:

Whip cream cheese until light and fluffy.  Add you milk and vanilla combine well.  Gradually add your sugar until well blended.

cream cheese frosting....simply magical!

cream cheese frosting….simply magical!

Do you guys have an unusual recipe you would like to share with me?  If interested please email me at: isamvor@comcast.net I would love to blog with all my readers all the fun, perhaps bizarre yet delicious recipes that you want to share with me/us.

you know it's a good cake when my mom tells me it's a perfectly delicious and she must have it for breakfast as well! ;)

you know it’s a good cake when my mom tells me it’s perfectly delicious and she must have it for breakfast as well! ;)

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Peace and Let’s be unusual,

Isabelle

Roasted Garlic Pomodoro Sauce

Roasted Garlic Pomodoro Sauce

Roasted Garlic Pomodoro Sauce

It’s always a good thing when I can say: “well, at least I learned something today and I can go to bed a little smarter”.  I guess in the grand scheme of life what I learned today won’t make or break me but I am glad I figured it out by myself.

Here’s the story….it’s not very riveting but it’s one I think you’ll appreciate.

I went to Aunt Joyce’s a few weeks back.  She was raving about this delicious sauce she gets at a local Italian restaurant: Pomodoro Sauce.  It can be used for dipping and of course to drown some serious pasta as well.  She told me I should find a recipe for it.  I started looking around.  I kept thinking: “it’s really just tomatoes….hmmmm….” then I stumbled upon a site that said: “pomodoro sauce simply means: tomato sauce”  AH!  Yep.  I had a AH! moment.  It makes sense.  Yet how you make your pomodoro sauce is important.  It’s all about the flavors, all about the tomatoes, and all about the consistency.

There you have it.

Tomato Sauce.

No need to reinvent the wheel…..well I did add the roasted garlic instead of just regular chopped garlic.  I find the roasted garlic adds a wonderful depth of flavor to the sauce.

my love of pasta and delicious sauce truly is infinite....amen!

my love of pasta and delicious sauce truly is infinite….amen!

Ingredients:

1 garlic head, top cut off (see pics below)

1 can 28-ounces crushed tomatoes: I went with the lovely and delicious Tuttorrosso by Red Gold (Indiana’s best!)

1 medium onion, minced

Olive oil

1/2 cup fresh basil (plus more for serving)

Salt and Pepper to taste

Fresh parmesan cheese, for serving

How to:

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.  Put your garlic head in a piece of aluminum foil, drizzle with olive oil.  Put in your preheated oven for 30 minutes.  Remove and let cool for a few minutes.

garlic, before

garlic, before

and after....fair warning your house will smell like love!  Garlic love that is ;)

and after….fair warning your house will smell like love! Garlic love that is ;)

In a large pan or dutch oven, heat your olive oil (about 1 tablespoon).  Add your onion and gently sautee for about 4-5 minutes.  Cut the tip of your garlic cloves and squeeze your roasted garlic in your onion mixture.  Gently stir and break up your garlic to blend with your onions.  Add your crushed tomatoes, salt and pepper (about 1 teaspoon each).  Bring to a simmer.  Roughly chop or tear your basil and add to your tomatoes.  Let this simmer for about 30 minutes.  Taste and adjust seasoning.  To serve top with fresh basil and a healthy dose of Parmesan cheese.

Perfect tomato sauce!  Simple perfect!

Perfect tomato sauce! Simple perfect!

I actually consider using this as my personal plate...

I actually considered using this as my personal plate…

this is the ticket to win a LOT of applause around your home!

this is the ticket to win a LOT of applause around your home!

Red Gold was so wonderful to send me some delicious Tuttorosso products.  Go check out their Facebook page: here

thank you Red Gold/Tuttorosso! I LOVE your products!

thank you Red Gold/Tuttorosso! I LOVE your products!

original

Enter to win some serious cool prizes!  It’s all about Traditions!  YUM!  I know one family tradition from my grandmother I will never forget is adding green olives to her spaghetti sauce.  OH MY GOODNESS….my absolute favorite…now if I could convince Mr. Man that olives are delicious!  ;)

forget the olives for now...let's devour this madness!

forget the olives for now…let’s devour this madness!

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Note: if you do not like big pieces of garlic in your sauce you can squeeze it onto a cutting board and mince it prior to adding it to your tomatoes.

Peace and AH!

Isabelle

Cauliflower Salad

Cauliflower Salad

Cauliflower Salad

I saw a wonderful Romanesco Summer Salad in Delicious Living Magazine, that I pick up at my local health food store.  Problem is that Romanesco Cauliflower is not readily available at my grocery store.  Honestly I think I might have seen it there once since we moved here 8 years ago!  That certainly doesn’t make it an ingredient I think of when I cook!  I tend to be one who likes easily and abundantly available ingredients…some might call that laziness but I call it “make it work with what you have”!

This is my version of this delicious salad.  It is fresh, easy to make and loaded with vitamins!  It is a great side for grilled chicken, fish, grilled steaks, burgers, etc…. I think the addition of capers makes this salad perfect!

Look at those gorgeous colors!

Look at those gorgeous colors!

Ingredients:

1 head cauliflower, cut into bite-size pieces

Zest and juice 1 lemon

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

4 tablespoons olive oil

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1/2 cup red onion, thinly chopped

1/3 cup fresh basil, roughly chopped

3 tablespoons fresh chives, roughly chopped

4 tablespoons rinsed and drained capers, coarsely chopped

Salt and Pepper to taste

How to:

In a large pot, bring water to a boil over high heat.  Add cauliflower, cover, reduce heat to medium, and cook for 2–3 minutes, until crisp-tender.  Using a slotted spoon, transfer cauliflower to a rimmed baking sheet or clean kitchen towel, spreading it in a single layer, to cool.

In a small bowl, whisk together mustard, lemon zest, lemon juice, and about 1/4 teaspoon each salt & pepper.  Slowly add oil, whisking constantly to emulsify.

simple yet delicious dressing

simple yet delicious dressing

Put cauliflower in a serving bowl.  Add bell pepper, onion, basil, chives, capers, and vinaigrette; toss gently to combine.  Taste and adjust seasoning.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.  It will keep well for several hours, you may want to toss again prior to serving.

all in!  Ready for the dressing!

all in! Ready for the dressing!

some sort of action shot for you guys ;)

some sort of action shot for you guys ;)

ready to chill for a little bit

ready to chill for a little bit

Note: if you have a steamer you may use it to cook your cauliflower.

oh my goodness this is simply amazingly scrumptious!

oh my goodness this is simply amazingly scrumptious!

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Peace and I like Abundant,

Isabelle

 

 

 

Sour Chocolate Cake

Sour Chocolate Cake

Sour Chocolate Cake

I found this recipe a while back in my Saveur magazine.  I guess I held on to it so I could find a good reason to make it.

Reason #1.  We were on vacation.

Reason #2.  It was HOT outside and I was in heaven.

Reason #3.  I sat by a pool all day with nothing to do but sit.

Extra reason: I made dinner for everyone as a thank you for having us spend Spring Break with them….which meant my horrible lovely brother and my BFF Janine’s terrible wonderful husband Dan could torture me all night.  AND I FED THOSE TWO BAD BOYS!

Saying things like: “it’s more of a door stopper than a cake!”  “knocking on the table…what’s that?  Isabelle’s cake”  “remember when we were kids eating peanut butter and soda crackers having a whistling contest?  This cake would work as well”  “moisture, where are you?”  “I know what it’s like to eat sand now”  and on and on….

;)  I do love them both immensely but they thrive on torturing me!

this is what was left after they teased me about the cake....!

this is what was left after they teased me about the cake….!

Ingredients:

For the cake:
½ cup milk
1½ tsp. white vinegar
¾ cup shortening, plus more for greasing
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
½ cup cocoa powder
8 tbsp. unsalted butter
3 eggs, lightly beaten

For the icing:
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
3 tbsp. cocoa powder
¼ cup milk
5 tbsp. unsalted butter

How to:

For the cake:

Mix milk and vinegar in bowl; let sit until slightly curdled, about 10 minutes.

Heat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease a 9″x13″ baking dish with shortening. Set aside.

Whisk flour, sugar, cinnamon, and baking soda, in a bowl; make a well in the center.  Bring shortening, cocoa powder, butter, and 1/2 cup water to a boil in a 1-qt. saucepan.  Cook, whisking constantly, until smooth, 5-7 minutes; let cool slightly.  Whisk in milk mixture and eggs.  Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients until a smooth batter form.  Pour batter into greased pan and smooth top.  Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 25-30 minutes; let cool.

the start

the start

baked

baked

For the icing:

Whisk confectioners’ sugar and cocoa powder in a bowl.  Simmer milk and butter in a 2-qt. saucepan over medium heat until butter is melted, 3-4 minutes.  Whisk in sugar mixture until smooth.  Pour icing over cake; let set completely, about 30 minutes.

and the icing on top :)

and the icing on top :)

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 pretty good cake if you ask me...OK OK I will admit a dollop of vanilla ice cream would have been heavenly!

pretty good cake if you ask me…OK OK I will admit a dollop of vanilla ice cream would have been heavenly!

Peace and I have my reasons,

Isabelle

Southside Cocktail

Southside Cocktail

Southside Cocktail

When in Florida….

Make drinks for your hosts!

This is one of my new FAVORITE drinks!  It is refreshing, easy and tastes like the best night of your life!

OK…I made that last part up.

I saw Geoffrey Zakarian make this drink one day on the show The Kitchen on the Food Network , my only concern is that he made it with Gin.  Gin and I don’t get along to well.  So I wondered if I switched to Vodka would the drink still work.  Vodka and I get along really really really well!  Turns out vodka or gin make this drink worthy of sharing with you my friends or sister in law ;)

Cheers (please ignore my crazy hair and the fact that Dee is looking at Matt)

Cheers (please ignore my crazy hair and the fact that Dee is looking at Matt)

Ingredients:

2 ounces gin (gin for the hubby, vodka for the crazy…ummm me!)

1 ounce lime juice

3/4 ounce  simple syrup

1 sprig mint (optional…turns out both Dee and I don’t like mint)

How to:

Combine the gin (or vodka), lime juice, simple syrup and mint sprig in a shaker.  Add some ice cubes and shake vigorously.  Strain into a chilled martini glass.

Garnish with one mint leaf, smacked to release the oils, floating on top of the cocktail.

Simple syrup:

1 cup sugar

1 cup water

How to:

In a small saucepan bring your water and sugar to a boil.  Boil until sugar is dissolved.  Let cool completely.  Use as indicated in recipe.

so fresh, tart, and slightly sweet = perfect cocktail!

so fresh, tart, and slightly sweet = perfect cocktail!

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Have a wonderful weekend from us to you ;)

Have a wonderful weekend from us to you ;)

Peace and Florida,

Isabelle

Oats and Chocolate Chip Scones

Oats and Chocolate Chip Scones

Oats and Chocolate Chip Scones

I have been making this recipe for quite some time.  I don’t even know why I haven’t shared it with you guys.  It is so delicious.  Kids love it and you can truly make the whole thing in no time.  It is not too sweet.  It is a quick breakfast on a busy morning and it is absolutely amazing with a hot cup of tea.

I think that it would probably be easy to swipe the chocolate chips with blueberries or peanut butter chips or butterscotch chips…I say this but in all honesty I haven’t tried it simply because the hormonal wonderful teens that always hang at our house are somewhat obsessed in love with chocolate!

look at that gorgeous color and the amazing crust!  YUM!

look at that gorgeous color and the amazing crust! YUM!

Ingredients:

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour

1/2 cup rolled oats (old fashion NOT quick oats)

1/3 cup packed light brown sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

6 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces and kept very cold

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup cold buttermilk

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 egg, whisked (for topping)

Raw/Torbinado sugar  (for topping)

How to:

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone mat.  Set aside.

In a large bowl combine your flour, oats, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Add your cold butter.  Using a pastry cutter or your finger combine your butter to your flour mixture until you have a coarse mixture.  You shouldn’t have pieces any larger than a pea.

I do love my pastry cutter!

I do love my pastry cutter!

Add your chocolate chips, buttermilk, 1 egg and vanilla.  Using a wooden spoon combine until all liquid is absorbed.  Your dough will be extremely sticky.  Dump everything on a well floured surface (wooden cutting board is best in my opinion).  Using your hands (best tools known to man!) knead your dough gently until your have a soft texture (do not over knead).  Form into an 8 or 9-inch circle about 1- 1 1/2-inch thick.  Cut into 8 pieces.  Put all 8 scones on your prepared baking sheet.  Brush with your whisked egg and sprinkle with your raw sugar.  (amount suggestive to taste, about 1/2 teaspoon per scones I guess)

make sure it is not too thin

make sure it is not too thin

8 "almost even" pieces ;)

8 “almost even” pieces ;)

ready to go!

ready to go!

Put in your preheated oven and bake for 17-18 minutes.

doesn't that look so scrumptious?

doesn’t that look so scrumptious?

take a closer look...don't you just want to take a bite?!

take a closer look…don’t you just want to take a bite?!

Let cool and enjoy.

perfect afternoon snack!

perfect afternoon snack!

Note: I like to cut my butter into small pieces and put it back in the fridge for a few minutes while I get everything else ready.  I find that by the time I cut my butter into the small pieces it has already started to warm/melt just from the heat of my hands….just a thought maybe your hands don’t melt butter!  ;)

my basket for the teens' breakfast

my basket for the teens’ breakfast

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Peace and I am probably more hormonal than they are,

Isabelle

Butternut Squash Cake

Butternut Squash Cake

Butternut Squash Cake

Is it weird when someone sends you a recipe and says: “this is a different kind of cake, it uses butternut squash, which might sound weird but it’s delicious and butternut is my favorite”.  To which my first thought was: “nope not weird, in fact I have a butternut squash just sitting in my fridge, ready for action”.

Because my reality is that I buy butternut squash pretty much every week, just because…I really don’t know why but I buy it all the times even though I never put in on my planned menu…now THAT is weird!  I always think I can manage to incorporate it somehow in one of our meals.  Maybe I should check with my people if this is appropriate or not.

Here’s another delicious recipe from Danielle my uncle’s girlfriend.  She gave me her recipe for: Spanish Cookies/Bars

Note: I had to make a few adjustments along the way because sometimes life dictates how things will fly around here.  I will note my changes along the way ;)

look at that gorgeous cake!

look at that gorgeous cake!

Ingredients:

1/4 cup golden raisin ***I dislike raisins…sorry…I used dried cranberries

2/3 cup all-purpose flour

1/3 cup whole-wheat pastry flour ***I couldn’t find the pastry kind so I used regular whole-wheat flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ginger

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon all-spice

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

3/4 cup butternut squash puree (see below for instructions)

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup honey

1/4 cup canola oil

1 egg

1 egg white

How to:

Preheat your oven to 350 degree F.  Grease or spray a loaf pan (9X5).  Set aside.

Put your raisins in a small microwave safe bowl and add water (I did 1/4 cup water).  Put in your microwave for about 30-40 seconds to soften your raisins.  Drain and set aside.

In a medium bowl combine your flours, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, salt, all-spice and ground cloves.  Set aside.

In your mixer combine your pureed squash, sugar, honey and oil.  Mix well.  Add your egg and egg white.  Scraping the side of your bowl at least once and combining well.  Add your flour mixture slowly.

Using a spatula or wooden spoon fold your raisins into your mixture.  Pour mixture into your prepared pan and bake in your preheated oven for 45-50 minutes until lightly brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.  Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and let cool for 30 minutes more.

this batter smells amazing!  And the color is out of this world!

this batter smells amazing! And the color is out of this world!

time to cool things off

time to cool things off

a little more cooling and then we dig in

a little more cooling and then we dig in

Serve!

Squash Puree

Ingredients:

1 Butternut Squash

How to:

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.  Grease a baking sheet.  Set aside.

Cut squash in half and scoop out the loose flash and the seeds.  Place cut side face down on your prepared baking sheet.  Bake in your preheated oven for 50-60 minutes.  Cool completely before scrapping out the flesh with a fork.

Note: you could use frozen (thawed) or canned puree but it is definitely better to use fresh squash.

take one last good look at this little marvel!

take one last good look at this little marvel!

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Peace and Being Weird Is Cool These Days,

Isabelle

What to do with the leftovers butternut squash?  Here’s a couple of suggestions:

Sausage and Butternut Squash Ravioli

One of my absolute favorite sauce: brown butter...so simple yet so perfect

One of my absolute favorite sauce: brown butter…so simple yet so perfect

Roasted Butternut Squash Pasta

mouthwatering and gorgeous

mouthwatering and gorgeous!

Danielle’s Spanish Cookies/Bars

Spanish Cookies/Bars

Spanish Cookies/Bars

My uncle’s girlfriend Danielle loves to cook and bake.  She also loves to do crafts and projects.  I can totally relate to that.  She graciously sent me a dessert recipe from her childhood: Biscuits Espagnols.  Interestingly enough she mentions that she has no clue why they are called Spanish Cookies (Biscuits Espagnols) but simply that her mom would make these cookies for them as children and they loved them.  That’s enough of a selling point for me.  She also mentioned that when she made the cookies for my folks, my dad said: “finally a super sweet dessert!”

Hmmmmm like father like daughter.  Sweets make the world go round don’t you know ;)

BEWARE: this is sweet….and by sweet I mean super duper heart racing sweet….but oh so good!!!!!

Also…I feel this is more of a bar than a cookie, but then again I am quite the cookie fanatic so I might be just a tad opinionated when it comes to naming something a cookie!

Sweets sweetie sweetness....that should be the name ;)

Sweet sweetie sweetness….that should be the name ;)

Ingredients:

First layer:

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup flour

1 egg

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon milk

3/4 cup chopped walnuts

Second layer:

15 marshmallows cut in half

Third layer:

1/2 cup butter

1 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup milk

2 cups confectioner sugar

How to:

First layer:

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F.  Line an 8X8 baking pan with parchment paper, making sure the paper overlaps on all side at least 1-inch.  This will help remove the cookies/bars from the pan.

In a large bowl mix all your ingredients well.  Spread your mixture into your prepared pan.  Bake in your preheated oven for 10-12 minutes.  Remove and place on an heat safe surface.

Layer #1

Layer #1

Second layer:

Lay your cut marshmallows cut face down (just easier I found out).  Set aside.

Layer #deux

Layer #deux

Third layer:

In a medium pan melt your butter.  Add your brown sugar and milk.  Bring to a boil for 2 minutes.  Remove from heat and add your powdered sugar.  Using a whisk combine everything well.  Gently pour over your marshmallows.  Spread the mixture evenly oven the marshmallows, it might get a bit messy but it’s all in the taste, no worries about the look!

the hot sweet mixture!

hot sweet mixture!

the pour...always exciting!

the pour…always exciting!

and finally layer #tres

and finally layer #tres

Let cool completely and cut into squares….have a big glass of milk ready to balance all this sugary sweetness!

Note: I researched Spanish Cookies on the internet and frankly nothing comes close to this version.  Who knows, maybe a Spanish lady gave the recipe to her mom and hence the name….or maybe not.  Bottom line is: these cookies are delicious.  At the end of the day your belly and taste bubs won’t care what the name is just that is was fabulous!

deliciously sweet and decadent!

deliciously sweet and decadent!

Printer Friendly: Spanish Cookies

Peace and Sweets Stuff,

Isabelle