Oregano-Lemon Roasted Chicken w/ Croutons

This is my favorite Barefoot Contessa recipe of all time. It leaves your house smelling like a French Bistro. A simple inexpensive recipe that I’m sure you’ll love as much as I do. If done as instructed, It comes out very juicy. An excellent Sunday dinner meal.

INGREDIENTS

1 (4 to 5-pound) roasting chicken

1 large yellow onion, sliced

olive oil

Kosher salt

2 Tbs dried oregano

Freshly ground black pepper

2 lemons, quartered

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

6 cups (3/4-inch) bread cubes (1 baguette)

DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Take the giblets out of the chicken and wash it inside and out. Toss the onion with a little olive oil in a small roasting pan. Place the chicken on top and sprinkle the inside of the cavity with salt and pepper. Place the lemons inside the chicken. Pat the outside of the chicken dry with paper towels, brush it with the melted butter, and sprinkle with salt and pepper and the oregano. Tie the legs together with kitchen string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the chicken. Roast for 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours, or until the juices run clear when you cut between the leg and the thigh. (What I do is at the half way mark, I turn the pan 180 degrees.) Cover with foil and allow to sit at room temperature for 15 minutes. (Don’t worry about the burnt onions, it’s delicious.) Meanwhile, in a large saute pan heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil until very hot. Lower the heat to medium-low and saute the bread cubes, tossing frequently, until nicely browned, 8 to 10 minutes. (You can do this, or on a baking pan I place the bread in the oven 10 minutes before the chicken is ready.) Add more olive oil, as needed, and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Place the croutons on a serving platter. Slice the chicken and place it, plus all the pan juices, over the croutons. Serve with green beans.

Decadent White Chocolate Banana Bread

If you have a nut allergy, I know how you feel. But you are in luck,
because this recipe doesn’t contain any. After having to turn down many slices of banana bread, I decided to take things into my own hands. 

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 medium-large very ripe bananas (1 cup mashed)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1-1/2 cups Chocolate Chips (I use the swirl chips. For Christmas, I tend to use the red/green version as shown in the picture.)

DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 325°. Line a 5- by 9-inch loaf pan, preferably one with a light interior, with enough waxed paper to drape over the long sides. This will make the baked bread a cinch to remove and the pan easy to clean. Set the pan aside.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl. In a large bowl, cream the butter using an electric mixer. Gradually add the sugar, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Next, add the vanilla extract and blend briefly. Set both bowls aside.

Peel the bananas and place them in a separate bowl. Mash them with a fork or a potato masher and measure out 1 cup. Add the sour cream and stir to blend. Set the bowl aside.

Using a wooden spoon, blend a third of the dry mixture into the butter-sugar mixture. Add the rest of the ingredients in this order, stirring well after each addition: half of the banana mixture, half of the remaining dry mixture, the rest of the banana mixture, the rest of the dry mixture. Next, add the chocolate chips.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a spoon. Bake on the center oven rack until a tester inserted deep into the center of the bread comes out clean, about 70 to 75 minutes.

Transfer the bread to a cooling rack and cool it in the pan for about 20 minutes. Using the waxed paper, lift the bread from the pan and place it on the rack. Pull down the sides of the paper and allow the bread to cool thoroughly before slicing. Makes 10 or more servings.


If you want to go the extra mile for someone that can eat nuts, add a
scoop (or two) of Ben & Jerry’s Chunky Monkey.

Pineapple Salsa Salmon and Rice

Yesterday at my local market, they were doing a cooking demonstration. I had a couple minutes to spare and decided to taste the outcome. I must say there’s two things I really dislike eating; cilantro & salmon.  I didn’t know it was salmon until the lady said the name of the recipe towards the end. I opted to walk away with my plate just in case I didn’t like it. I didn’t want to offend anyone by throwing it away. So, I had to “suck it up” and took my first bite. I gasped in disbelief! I even went back to the lady and asked, “This can’t be salmon! I don’t even like salmon. Did you use magic?” She laughed and said, “Hun, I didn’t do anything differently than what the recipe called for.” She gave me the recipe and I gladly took it. I fully intend to make it for my family in the future. But for now…I share it with you.

Recipe & picture from Publix

Ingredients
1/2 lbs fresh pineapple chunks
4 salmon fillets (skin removed & check for bones; 1 1/2 lb, thawed)
1 cup refrigerated fresh salsa
1 tablespoon honey mustard
2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons prepared horseradish
1/2 teaspoon lemon pepper seasoning
2 cups instant rice (*As a child of Cuban parents, I always cook rice from scratch, but to each their own.)

1. Combine pineapple, salsa, honey mustard, cornstarch, and
horseradish; set aside. Cook rice following package instructions.
2. Preheat large sauté pan on medium-high 2-3 minutes. Coat both sides
of fish with cooking spray; sprinkle with lemon pepper. Place fish in
pan; cook 3 minutes.
3. Turn fish and add salsa mixture. Cover and reduce heat to medium;
cook 5-7 minutes or until flesh separates easily. Serve fish and sauce
over rice.

Add a salad and its a quick dinner.

Taste the Rainbow Cupcakes

I’ve been an avid blog watcher of Curious Cupcakes on Livejournal. In ’08, I decided to face my fears and make Ice Cream Cones Cupcakes for my daughter’s birthday. Trust me, they won’t burn as long as you pay attention to what you’re doing. The end results came with tons of compliments, jealous mothers and a happy child.

Ingredients: Duncan Hines White Cake mix – 2 boxes, Neon food coloring, Homemade Cream Cheese Frosting, and Ice cream Cones.

Utensils: Ziplock bags, a (2-Cups) Pyrex measuring cup, 1 tablespoon, 1 fork, one drinking glass, bread pan, and a mixer.

For the batter: I mixed 2 boxes of Duncan Hines as instructed. In a drinking glass, placed an opened ziplock bag (quart) inside. This way you can be ready for the batter. Pour 2 cups of batter unto the Pyrex. Then add the drops of desire color. Mixed it with the fork. Then I used the spoon to scoop the bottom where the color settled. When it was well incorporated, I poured the batter into the waiting bag. Seal it up and moved on to the next color. I washed the Measuring cup, fork, spoon and started ALL over again. It sounds like a pain, I know.

The Batter

Once that was assembled, I prepared the frosting.

Ingredients:

1 package of Cream Cheese, room temperature.

1 stick of butter, room temperature.

1 bag of Powdered sugar

1 teaspoon of Vanilla extract.

Mix the cream cheese & butter, scrape the sides. Add the Vanilla, mix. Finally add the powdered sugar, Slowly. I separated the frosting and made half pink and blue. But it’s up to you to decided. I used Ziplock bags to hold the frosting until it was time to use my piping bags. Stored it in the refrigerator for later use.

Now for the batter. Place the ice cream cones inside a bread pan. Then cut a tiny slit at the corner of each ziplock bag. Squeeze out a little bit of each color until its filled up half way. NO MORE THAN THAT! You don’t want to over fill them. I baked them as instructed on the box. But kept an eye on them. Before: Batter in the cones

After: What the cupcakes looked like without Icing.

Honestly, I had enough batter left over to make regular cupcakes and was able to find cute liners at my local Target.

Before: Left over batter in Cupcake liners.

After: A very cute Cupcake in a 60’s motif.

Once cooled for about an hour or so. It was time for the icing on the cake. Would you believe this was my first time using tips? For a cute touch I even added some star sprinkles on top.

The Finished Product

I hope you make it and may everyone give you tons of compliments.

Cornbread Pudding

*The Side dish that keeps them coming back for more.*
Years ago, I ran an e-group for mothers in my area. At the Thanksgiving get-together that year, a member shared her recipe for Cornbread Pudding. Its one of the simplest recipe you could ever make, but its so delicious!

Preheat oven 350 degrees

In a large bowl add
2 – boxes of jiffy cornbread mix
1 – can of corn
1 – can of cream corn
1 – cup of sour cream
1 – cup of butter (I use “I can’t believe its not butter”)
Mix and pour into a buttered square pan. (I use my BAKER’S EDGE pan)

Bake for 45 minutes.

Voila! That’s all.

Suggestion: It goes great with Chili.