Monday, November 30, 2009

Chicken Enchilada Pasta

Another terrific recipe from My Kitchen Cafe. This was easy to put together and was a fun take on pasta.

Chicken Enchilada PastaMy Kitchen Cafe

2-3 chicken breasts, cooked and cubed or shredded
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 medium onion, diced
1 red pepper, diced
4-ounce can diced green chilies
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
2 (10-oz) cans green chili enchilada sauce (I used mild)
2/3 cup red enchilada sauce (I used mild)
1 can large black olives, cut in half- I omitted these
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups shredded cheese (I used sharp cheddar)
16-20 oz. penne pasta (Depending on how "saucy" you want the pasta)

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook the pasta until tender. While the pasta is cooking, heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet and add the onion. Cook for 2-3 minutes until onion is translucent. Add the garlic and red pepper and cook for another 2 minutes, until pepper is barely tender. Add the cooked chicken, green chilies, spices, enchilada sauces and olives. Let the sauce simmer for about 8-10 minutes. Add the sour cream and cheese and heat through, until the cheese is melted (but don't boil!). Pour the sauce over the hot pasta. Garnish with extra sour cream, cheese, diced tomatoes, green onions or crushed tortilla chips.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Potty Time

A couple of months ago now we bought Gabe his first DVD. The name of the DVD is 'Elmo's Potty Time'. It is a cute educational show all about Elmo learning to use the potty and growing up. Since LOVES Elmo and so we thought that this would be a great introduction to potty training.

At first we would let him watch it and then we would casually ask him every day if he wanted to pee or poo on the toilet like Elmo and he would say "No, I no like it". So not wanting to push the issue, we would drop it and ask again the next day. After trying this for a few weeks we decided we may have better luck if we buy him a potty. I have to admit the big toilet is a little scary for a little guy. So we made a big deal about going to the store to buy him his own "special" potty (like Elmo) and we acted excited etc. We continued to ask him if he would like to go poo or pee on his potty to which he continued to reply "No, I no like it". He would pull it out and pull his pants down and sit on it (with his diaper still on) and moan and groan etc but still had no real desire to use it.

Then... a couple of weeks ago I decided to move the potty into Brad's office just off the bathroom to see if that would help. It worked! Turns out our boy doesn't like an audience when he has to use the potty. One night the bath was running and Gabe was getting undressed and I asked him if he wanted to go pee on the potty. So he went in to the office closed the door and emerged a few minutes later excitedly telling me he had peed in the potty like Elmo. I jumped up and down and then I put some of that Halloween candy I've been hiding to good use.

Ever since that night he has gone pee on the potty before bath time. I'm glad I was able to use the Halloween candy for a good purpose. After he uses the potty he gets to choose one piece of candy as a reward. Last night during the same routine, we had more success but this time he went No. 2 all by himself. Again we were very excited.

Practicing using the potty- the sound effects were quite funny

Practicing wiping. He would run and get toilet paper from the bathroom and practice cleaning up.

Pulling your pants up is really quite tricky!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A mention in the Deseret News!

A friend and gym buddy of mine has what could be considered one of THE coolest jobs in the world (I think). She is the food editor for the Deseret News here in Salt Lake City. I honestly envy this lucky lady. She was recently doing a story on different kinds of sugars used in cooking and baking and was interested in trying golden syrup (a baking ingredient commonly used in New Zealand and my home town of Australia). So one day I took my calorie loaded golden syrup to our gym class to let her have a taste. She then mentioned me in her Deseret News blog. I was completely flattered to know that she would mention me and my little blog. See below for Val's complete blog post.

Thanks Val!!! See you at Body Jam!

Caramel Cake

I made this cake recently for my father in law's birthday. While I liked the cake and thought it yielded a nice caramel flavor, my cakes were quite flat and dense, not soft and fluffy as I usually like my cakes. I'm not sure if that is how they are supposed to be or not.

Nevertheless, it was a yummy cake and I enjoyed making it for my father in law's special day. He works extremely hard so that his family can have the things they want. My son adores him and he adores my son. I can't ask for much more than that. Gabe just LOVES when Pappa is off work and they can spend the day together. The two of them spend hours "fixing stuff" and working in the yard together and Gabe always thoroughly enjoys the time he gets to spend with his Papa. Thank you Clark for all that you do!

Caramel Cake
Martha Stewart

Serves 8
Nonstick cooking spray with flour
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/4 cup Caramel Syrup, plus more for serving
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
2 large eggs
Caramel Frosting
1.Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray two 8-inch round cake pans with cooking spray, line each with a parchment paper round, and spray again. Set pans aside.
2.Beat butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Gradually add 1 cup sugar and continue to beat until mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in syrup.
3.In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix flour mixture into butter mixture, alternating with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
4.Beat eggs until foamy in another bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Add remaining 1/4 cup sugar and continue beating until thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir into cake batter until well combined.
5.Divide cake batter evenly between prepared pans. Bake until cakes spring back when gently touched in the center, about 25 minutes. If cakes do not spring back, return to oven and continue cooking about 10 minutes more.
6.Cool cake in pans for 10 minutes. Invert cakes onto a wire rack and remove parchment paper round. Let cakes cool to room temperature before frosting.
7.Place four strips of parchment paper around perimeter of a serving plate or lazy susan. Place the first layer on the cake plate. Spread the top of the first layer with frosting. Top with the remaining layer, bottom-side up. Spread entire cake with frosting; remove parchment paper strips. Serve cake drizzled with any remaining caramel syrup.

Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting
Adapted from Martha Stewart

12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
4 ounces of softened cream cheese
1 package (16 ounces) confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream, plus more if needed
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
1.In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium-high heat until nut-brown in color, about 8 minutes. Remove pan from heat and pour butter into a bowl, leaving any burned sediment behind; let cool.
2.In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add confectioners' sugar, cream cheese, vanilla, salt, and butter. With the mixer on low, slowly add cream; beat until smooth. If frosting seems too thick, stir another tablespoon cream into the mixture.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Scrambled Eggs

I know I've said it before, but Gabe loves to help me cook in the kitchen. He loves to pull a chair over from the kitchen table and stand right by me as I cook and bake. A couple of weeks ago I was making his breakfast and he insisted on helping me crack the eggs. Of course at first I was hesitant as I don't usually like egg shell in my scrambled eggs but all he has to do is look at me with that cute little face and say "Please mummy" and he wins. He did a good job I thought as I didn't have too much trouble fishing the eggs shells out. He was so proud and it was SO worth it.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Strawberry Cheesecake Shooters

I LOVE LOVE LOVE this dessert. I have always been a fan of Applebee's appetizers and desserts. The first time I had one of their Strawberry Cheesecake Shooters I was hooked. Recently I set out to see if I could find a recipe online that was similar. I found this recipe and tried it and much to my pleasant surprise it tasted exactly the same as the real thing from Applebee’s. I am thrilled to have found this recipe and I'm sure I will make it countless times.

I found that this recipe made about 6 dessert shooters.

Strawberry Cheesecake Shooters


cheesecake filling
12 ounces cream cheese (1 1/2 8-ounce pkgs)
2 eggs, beaten
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons sour cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 cup frozen sliced strawberries in syrup, thawed
canned whipped cream
1make cheesecake filling by blending cream cheese, eggs, sugar, sour cream, and vanilla in a large bowl with a mixer on high speed, until smooth.
2pour mixture into a large saucepan and cook over med-high heat, stirring often, for 8-10 min or until mixture begins to thinken. mixture should stick to the spoon when its inverted. pour cheesecake filling into a covered container and chill for several hours, until cold.
3to prepare each serving, combine melted butter with graham cracker crumbs. spoon 2 tbsp of graham cracker crumbs into a 6-ounce rock glass,.
4and top with 1/3 cup cheesecake filling. spoon 2 tbsp of strawberries and syrup on top of cheesecake filling, and top off the dessert with whipped cream.

Sunday, November 22, 2009


This is a little belated but better late than never has become my motto lately. Gabe LOVES Elmo and so this year when I girl I worked with mentioned she had an Elmo costume I could borrow I jumped at the chance. I thought Gabe would be thrilled!!!

However, this year our two year old decided he didn't want to dress up for Halloween. Any time i got his costume out and put it on him he would say "I no like it" and ask us to take it off. He would look at us as if to say "Why would I wear that?" Though I was disappointed at first, I decided to pick my battles and not stress out about it. We "practiced" wearing Elmo a few time before Halloween but to no avail.

On the day of Brad's work Halloween trick or treating day we walked in the office Brad holding Gabe and myself holding Elmo. It only took a couple of minutes of Gabe watching all the kids dressed up and getting candy for him to work out why Elmo was necessary. He let us put Elmo on, trick or treated for a while and then as soon as he decided he had gathered enough candy he asked us to take it off. We didn't take the camera to Brad's work that day because we didn't think he would wear his costume, but these shots we managed to get at home one day when we were practicing.

Elmo is coming to town in December and I splurged and bought 3rd row center seats for Brad, Gabe and I. I can't wait to take him!!!

Now you see it, now you don't!