Thursday, August 23, 2012

Buffalo chicken pizza. Coming soon to a kitchen near you!

Today I will be showing  you how to make a flatbread buffalo chicken pizza!

As I sit here eating and typing this blog post out (which is hard to do with tasty pizza!), I can tell you this is the best pizza I have ever made in my entire life.  Imagine if you will, a flatbread pizza topped with bleu cheese dressing, piled high with buffalo chicken, smothered in cheese with some fresh spinach and fresh picked basil from the garden on top.  Sounds good huh?  There's the perfect amount of spiceyness and the minty-savory flavor of the basil just tops it off.

This pizza is super easy to make and will take all of 15minutes.  It's a healthy pizza for lunch,dinner, or an afternoon snack.

Makes 2 servings

What you'll need:

2 boneless chicken breasts
1 piece of flatbread (homemade or store bought)
2 sprigs of fresh basil
a hand full of fresh spinach
1/4 cup mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup light blue cheese dressing
1/2 cup of your favorite buffalo sauce

How to make it:

Preheat your oven to 350degrees F. Start off by chopping your chicken breast into slices, they will cook faster this way and don't worry they won't dry out.  Place them in a non-stick skillet and cook until done.

While thats cooking wash your basil and spinach and then cut the spinach into 1in wide ribbions. Set aside.

At this point your chicken should be close to done.  When it is done cut it into smaller strips or bite sized chunks.  Put them in a shallow container of your favorite buffalo sauce and toss to cover the chicken completely.

Next you'll want to cover the bottom of your flatbread with a thin layer of the bleu cheese dressing.  Then start piling on the ingredients in any order you want!  DO NOT PUT THE BASIL ON UNTIL IT IS DONE COOKING OR IT WILL SHRIVEL UP AND BROWN I MADE THIS MISTAKE!!!!



The last step is to place it in your oven for about 5minutes.  This is just to let the cheese melt basically.  It should look something like this when its done!

All thats left to do is chow down and enjoy your pizza!!! =)

~Happy eating!~

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Vanilla bean cupcakes

Wow its been a while since I posted a new recipe!  Today I'm going to post a simple recipe for vanilla bean cupcakes that I found while browsing around on the internet.  I altered the recipe to my own personal liking since I am lactose intolerant (sucks right?)!  These cupcakes are probably the best vanilla cupcakes I've ever had the pleasure of tasting, they were super moist, full of flavor, and had a very nice almost bouncy texture when I bit into it.  Anyone that knows me knows that I L-O-V-E cupcakes like they were my first born child and these might just wedge their way into your family tree!

(Original recipe belongs to:

FOR THE cupcakes

2 1/4 cups cake flour
1 Tbs baking powder

1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 1/4 cups soy or almond milk, room temp (whole milk if you can drink it)
4 large egg whites, room temp
1 stick (8 Tbs) unsalted butter, room temp
1 1/2 cups sugar
seeds scraped from one vanilla bean
2 tsp pure vanilla extract (use a clear one if you want to preserve the white color of the cake)


3 sticks unsalted butter, softened
seeds scraped from one vanilla bean
2 teaspoons clear vanilla extract (this helps maintain the bright white color)
1 ½ pounds (24 ounces) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
4-6 tablespoons heavy cream or milk



1. Center a rack in the oven to 350 degrees F. Line cupcake pan with paper liners.
2. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk and egg whites.
4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter, sugar and vanilla bean seeds at medium speed for 3 minutes, or until the butter and sugar are very light. Add in the vanilla extract and one third of the flour mixture, still beating on medium speed. Beat in half of the milk-egg mixture, then beat in half of the remaining dry ingredients until well incorporated. Add the rest of the milk and eggs, beating until the batter fully incorporated and smooth, then add the last of the dry ingredients.
5. Once ingredients are thoroughly incorporated, give the batter a good 2-minute beating to ensure that it is thoroughly mixed and well aerated. Using a large scoop (about 3 tablespoons), distribute the batter between 18 muffin wells, filling each well 2/3 full.
6. Bake for 18-24 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centers come out clean. Cool on wire rack.


1. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and seeds from vanilla bean until fluffy. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add in confectioners’ sugar, and continue beating until well blended.
2. Add in vanilla, and 3 tablespoons of heavy cream or milk. Blend on low speed until moistened.
3. Add an additional 1 to 3 tablespoons of heavy cream or milk until you reach the desired consistency. Beat at high speed until frosting is smooth and fluffy.

Frost cupcakes when competely cooled and serve!

(All orginal recipie rights belong to My Baking Addiction)

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Chicken packets

What's a chicken packet you ask?  It's a wonderful meal with veggies and chicken all wrapped up in a little tinfoil packet and thrown on the grill!  The decision to make these was a spur of the moment thing since I was starving and didn't really feel like putting much effort into cooking.  These are very easy to make and cook in about 10min on a outdoor grill.

I basically just threw whatever I had in my fridge into these, so its more of a hodgepodge meal than a well planned out one.  But at least I got rid of old veggies that were slightly wilted since crispness doesn't matter when making this meal, everything gets soft anyways LOL.

Here's what you'll need to get started:  Makes 2 packets

2 medium sized chicken breasts
1 bell pepper of your choice
1-2 stalks of celery
2 small red potatoes
2 medium sized carrots
juice from 2 small lemons
salt&pepper to taste
Montreal steak seasoning

How to make it:
First you're going to want to preheat your grill and get it nice and toasty.  Then cut up all the veggies and put them in a large bowl.  Add in the salt & pepper, Montreal seasoning, and the lemon juice.   Mix well.  Next pull off enough tinfoil to cover one of the chicken breasts and half of the veggies.  Place the chicken in the middle of the tinfoil and place the veggies on and around it.  Then close up the tinfoil so that you can't see the food inside.  Repeat for the 2nd piece of chicken.  Place onto the grill when its ready and cook for about 10-15 minutes or until the juices run clear on the chicken breast.  Serve immediately on its own or on a bed of rice and enjoy!


Tuesday, March 27, 2012


Spaghetti is a great and easy food to make quickly and it stores pretty well for about 7days in the fridge!  It's coming to that time at the end of the month where I start to run out of food since I only go shopping once a month to save money.  Oddly enough though this is when I'm at my creative peak for recipes, now you'd think that wouldn't make sense seeing as I have more to work with at the beginning of each shopping period but it actually works out great.  You see, the less I have the more creative and thoughtful I have to be about what I'm going to make.  Sometimes I have everything but the kitchen sink in my pot!

Coming up with new cooking ideas can be a challenge especially when working on a budget.  Unlike most people I can't go out every week for groceries because that would be way too costly so I shop once a month and get everything I need.  On occasion I'll go out to get a fresh veggie or two but generally I never need to.  Being on my last week of my food supply is actually how I came up with a grilled cheese tuna sandwich and I'm not really sure what compelled me to try this strange combination but it worked out really well.

So here's a recipe for a easy garden fresh spaghetti that I got from  everything used are common ingredients that most if not all of you should have on hand!


  • 1/2 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 2 medium carrots, coarsely chopped
  • 2  chopped celery stalks 
  • 2 tablespoons chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon chopped green pepper (bell pepper)
  • 1 tablespoon  chopped sweet red pepper (bell pepper)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1/4 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/4 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1/8 (12 ounce) can tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons and 1/2 teaspoon beef broth
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons and 1/2 teaspoon grated Parmesan cheese
  • Hot cooked spaghetti (make this last)
In a Dutch oven, saute the mushrooms, carrots, celery, onion, peppers and garlic in oil until tender. Add the next 10 ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 1 hour. Serve over spaghetti.

The spaghetti I made was A LOT simpler, it was about 10pm mind you and I was feeling lazy LOL. So I just hand rolled some meatballs and made a small fruit salad to go with it. Enjoy your food!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Jazzed up Ramen

Ramen has pretty much become a staple food in every college kids pantry and for good reason. It's cheap, easy to make, and very easy to jazz up with a couple of common ingredients found in everyone's house.  By simply adding one or two more things to your Ramen you can have a much more filling and tasty meal ready in about 5 minutes!

A single packet of plain Ramen supposedly feeds two people according to the package but I call bs on that one.  I can easily eat a pack on my own and not be full afterwards. But if you are on a budget and trying to feed yourself and your room mate don't worry!  This simple Ramen with a few added things can easily feed both of you.

Here's what you'll need:

1 packet of Ramen (your choice of flavor)
1 small or medium chicken breast
1 large carrot
1 medium head of broccoli
1 celery stalk
2tbs of lemon juice
salt & pepper to taste
McCormick chicken spice
1tbs of olive oil

Make it!
Start out by chopping up the chicken breast into bite sized pieces then season with salt, pepper, chicken seasoning, and 1 tbs of lemon juice.  Wash and peel your carrot and wash the celery.  Cut on a diagonal angle.  Wash and cut your broccoli into bite sized pieces.  Season all the veggies with salt and pepper.  Don't be afraid to over-season your food this time as it'll help flavor the Ramen when combined.
Throw it all in a pan over high heat with the olive oil and cook until the veggies are fork tender, about 5min.  Meanwhile cook your Ramen either on the stove or in the microwave this also takes about 5min.
Once everything is done combine everything together and serve!

Don't be afraid to experiment!!!!!  This can be made so many different ways to adjust it to your tastes!  Try adding scrambled eggs,cheese,eggplant,peas and anything else you can think of.  Ramen is a very versatile meal so do what you feel is right!


Thursday, March 22, 2012

Vodka infused pomegranate-berry iced tea

Summer is upon us and that means it's time to break out the iced tea!  I love a good iced tea and I'm not talking about that Lipton crap, this pomegranate-berry iced tea is straight from the Mighty Leaf Tea company and it's simply amazing.  From the moment I open my tin of tea my nose is filled with the wonderful scent of pomegranates and various berries with a slight hint of citrus.

This iced tea can also be made into a slushie or margarita of sorts simply by putting it in the blender with some ice and liquor of your choice.  This drink is very refreshing, easy to make, and can be made in big batches.

Ingredients: Yields 1gallon of tea
1 one oz pomegranate tea bag
2-3 cups of ice (depends on your pitcher size)
sugar for rimming the glasses
blueberries and raspberries for garnish
mint for garnish
a few thin lemon slices

Heat filtered or bottled water to a rolling boil or to 205 degrees F. Add tea bag to a 1-gallon pitcher or container.  Fill pitcher halfway with boiling water. For best flavor infuse for 5minutes but no longer than that or tea will be bitter.  Remove the tea bag and discard.  Add ice so that the level of the liquid rises to the top of the pitcher. Shake to flash chill or store in the refrigerator for an hour.

Meanwhile, coat the edge of your glasses in sugar simply by getting the edge wet and then rolling and pressing it into the sugar. Add 1-1/2oz of vodka (or more if you're feeling adventurous), a bit of ice and iced tea to a martini shaker.  Shake well. Be careful as it will get foamy!  Pour into glasses until full. Add a thin slice of lemon to the edge of the glass.  Skewer a few blueberries and raspberries on a long toothpick alternating berries and set into the tea. Add a sprig of mint if desired and enjoy!

This drink can be made kid friendly simply by substituting the vodka for sparkling water or 7up.

Experiment!! Try out different types of liquor  and tea with this, it might turn out great but you never know until you try!!


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Tea brewing

Sorry I've been gone so long, I've been super busy lately!  Today I'll be talking about how to properly brew tea.  All teas have their special way of being steeped whether its green,black,white,herbal,iced, or oolong knowing how long to steep your tea can really make a difference in the taste.

Water quality
The first step in brewing tea is of course water!  The quality of the water that you choose to use is very important as this impacts the taste of the tea.  Try to use purified water or spring water.  Tap water and bottled waters aren't usually used since they still have minerals and impurities in them and can greatly alter the taste of teas.  Never use hot tap water to speed up the brewing process because the water heater in your home adds even more impurities into it.

Picking your tea
Choosing good tea can be a challenge sometimes since there are so many out there to pick from.  Your local grocery store may carry 20+ different kinds of tea which is great if you want cheap artificially flavored tea.  Health food stores will sometimes sell gourmet and organic teas but will often have less of a selection than that of a grocery store.  A tea house would be your best bet for tasting and buying gourmet teas.  While the latter option may cost more it's worth it for great quality tea.

How much tea to use
When buying loose leaf tea (tea that's not in a bag) you'll want to use about 1-2tsp per 8oz glass and adding more tea until the desired briskness and body is achieved.  If using a bag of tea you'll only need one bag per 8oz glass.

Heating up your water
Water temperature is just as important as picking out your desired tea. Heat your water in a glass, ceramic or clay teapot until it reaches a boil (212 degrees Fahrenheit) then allow the water to cool before brewing your tea. As a general rule green tea should always be heated to 180 degrees Fahrenheit, 190 degrees for Oolong tea, and 200 degrees for black tea.

Brewing methods
Brewing loose leaf tea in a teapot:  This method of brewing allows for maximum freedom for the leaves to unfurl.  This makes for a stronger, more flavorful cup.  The disadvantages are removing the leaves and cleaning the teapot after brewing. If the leaves are allowed to sit in the water for a long period of time the tea can become bitter.

The tea ball: Most tea balls are made from aluminum or stainless steel to hold the tea in place.  This allows for easier cleanup of the leaves.  However there is usually insufficient space for the tea leaves to expand.

Coffee pot:  Brewing your tea in a coffee pot is a fast and easy way to get a lot of tea at once.  A disadvantage to this is that most coffee makers won't heat water hot enough for Oolong or fine green teas to produce the best taste.

Steeping tea:
After gauging the proper water temperature, the tea leaves are steeped in the water using one of the methods listed above.  Steeping tea leaves should be allowed to set still during this process because excess motion can cause the release of more tannins which can lead to bitter tasting tea.  Do not steep tea for to long before serving when brewing in a teapot.  Many newer teapots have basket filters that can be removed after the tea has steeped for the recommended time.  Start with 1-3 minutes and gradually increase the time to your preferred likeness.  This is especially important when preparing delicate green teas. 

Enjoy your perfect tea!