Sunday, May 16, 2010

Cilantro-lime Chicken Quesadillas with Goat Cheese

I was really having a hankering for goat cheese the other day and thought I'd use it in a different way than I normally do. I love goat cheese...the creamy-tangy texture is amazing & it's amazing warm or cold. So, I made a trip to the Farmers Market the other morning and got a ton of cilantro and these really cute spring onions and I was determined to cook something fresh & different. I'm not usually a huge fan of cilantro, but this marinade tastes YUMMY! I think it's the combination of lime juice & the spice of the jalapeno that makes it. The quesadillas turned out REALLY good & the Corn-Avocado Salsa was super tasty & devoured in no time!

Cilantro-Lime Marinade
  • 1/2 Cup Chicken Stock
  • 1/2 Cup fresh Cilantro
  • 1/2 jalapeno, cut up
  • 1 clove garlic, mashed
  • juice of 1 lime
  • kosher salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 2-3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 4 Chicken Breasts, boneless skinless
Place all ingredients, except olive oil in food processor or blender. Blend all ingredients until smooth, then slowly add in olive oil while processing. Pulse until well combined. Place chicken breasts in large ziploc back then add marinade & seal. Place bag in refrigerator for 4 hours. Remove chicken from bag & grill. I used my indoor grill pan for this, the spring onions and the corn. Once chicken is cooked through, let sit for a few minutes, then slice in strips and set aside for the quesadillas.

These were the cutest onions & so sweet too!
Cilantro-Lime Quesadillas with Goat Cheese
  • Cilantro-lime marinated Chicken Breasts, cut up
  • 6-8 oz. Soft Goat Cheese, broken up
  • 3 cups monterey jack cheese, shredded
  • 2 spring onions (or scallions) seasoned, grilled & sliced
  • Flour Tortillas
  • Butter or oil
Heat indoor grill pan or outdoor grill over medium heat. Butter one side each of 2 tortillas. Place a small amount of jack cheese & then goat cheese on top of tortilla, then sprinkle cut up chicken, some spring onions, then a little more of both cheeses on top. Place top tortilla on then set on grill. Grill until golden, about 3-5 minutes, then flip over to brown other side.
This amount will make about 4 quesadillas. Slice quesadillas into quarters and serve with Corn-Avocado Salsa.

Corn-Avocado Salsa
  • 3 ears Corn, grilled & cut off cob
  • 2 spring onions, grilled & sliced
  • 2 large avocados, diced
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • juice of 1 lime
  • kosher salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients, season to taste. This salsa tastes best served the same day. Serve along side Quesadillas or on top of any grilled chicken, fish or steak.

This salsa tastes great with just about anything!

Thursday, May 13, 2010


This has got to be THE MOST requested cake ever! It's a popular birthday cake with my friends and I love making it! I mean come on, you've got your healthy veggies, your nuts, your can you resist? Well, this cake smells amazing when it's baking, tastes even more amazing and makes for the BEST leftovers!

  • 2 C. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/4 C. Oil (I can never bring myself to use that much, so I use half applesauce, half oil) You'd seriously NEVER know!
  • 1 tsp. vanilla - sometimes I add a splash more :)
  • 1 3/4 C. sugar
  • 3 C. grated carrots
  • 1 C. chopped walnuts (optional)
Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 1 lb. box powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, room temp.
  • 1 cube butter, room temp.
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
Directions: Prepare two 9 inch round pans by wiping the bottom and sides with butter, then flour to coat. This cake is SUPER moist, so if you have Parchment Paper, cut 2 rounds to place on the bottom of the pan after you grease and will help tremendously with removing the cake after it's cool.
Mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in medium bowl. In a large mixing bowl, combine over medium-low speed, eggs, oil, vanilla. Add sugar to combine. On low speed, add flour mixture 1 cup at a time. Turn off mixer then stir in carrots and nuts. Divide mixture evenly among the two cake pans.
Bake in pre-heated 300 degree oven for 45 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool for at least 20 minutes in the pan, then turn out onto rack. Frost with Cream Cheese Frosting and ENJOY!!!!

The batter: Sweet Carrots from Farmers Market

The BEST frosting EVER!!!!

Do I eat the rest of the frosting or do I finish the cake?

Ella's Fancy Party

The BIG Birthday we won't forget...

So, my baby girl turned 5 last week, which was HUGE for me! Thinking that my tiny little 5lb 12 oz baby has grown to be an almost Kindergartner just blows my mind! She's changed so much in the past 5 years, but one thing that hasn't changed is her sweet spirit and tender heart. She was really sick the day of her party and the week leading up to her birthday, but even when she could have been crabby & pouty, she was sweet & lovable saying constantly, "Mamma, I just love you". Now that is a girl who loves her mamma, but for her to realize that I was there for her, laying by her side taking care of her 24/7, was so touching to me!
I just had to share some pics of the infamous day...
My friend turned me on to the most ADORABLE blog EVER : is where I got most of these ideas, and printed out the labels for the toppings. Ella missed out on the ice cream sundae part, but the kids loooved picking out their toppings & I'm sure had some tummy aches after the sugar-overload!! Check out some more pics on my friend Jamie's blog:DIY ICE CREAM PARLOUR PARTY

My sweet, pale little girl
Ice Cream Sundae Bar

Oh, and the BEST chocolate cupcakes (made by

These cute popcorn cups (from Michaels) held the spoons
These paper straws wer the cutest things...find them on Etsy

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Ravioli with Arugula, Tomatoes and Pancetta

Here's another Giada De Laurentiis recipe...because I think she's awesome! When I watch her show, I drool over her beautiful refrigerator! I know, sounds crazy, but it's pretty cool!
Made this easy dish last night and it was good!! I just happened to have bacon (I always have bacon), but Trader Joe's has great already chopped pancetta that would be perfect for this recipe! The arugula is super tasty, but you could substitute baby spinach. Make sure you top off this dish with lot's of freshly grated Parmesan cheese...

Ravioli with Arugula, Tomatoes and Pancetta

  • 1 lb Cheese Ravioli
  • 6 oz. cubed Pancetta (or this time I used bacon)
  • 1 15 oz. Can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 3 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp. Kosher salt, plus extra for seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • 3 cups arugula or baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced basil leaves, divided
  • 2 Tbsp. butter, room temp
  • freshly grated parmesan cheese
Boil Ravioli according to directions on the pkg. Drain. In a large non-stick skillet over med-high heat, cook pancetta (or bacon) until crispy. Drain on paper towels and set aside. Add olive oil, tomatoes, 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Cook for 2 minutes. Add arugula and 1/4 cup basil and cook until wilted. Stir in butter, add ravioli and toss together. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with remaining basil and lot's of freshly grated Parmesan cheese! All you need to complete this meal is a nice crispy loaf of sourdough bread!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Chinese Chicken Salad

Wow! What an insanely busy and tiring past couple weeks! I started out planning my baby's 5th birthday party and ended with a SUPER sick little birthday girl. She's on the mend now, but with all of that going on, life has been FULL! I have quite a few recipes that have been piling up, so I'm going to try to bust out a few right now. So...I'm gonna start out with a great spring/summer meal that my entire family LOVES! Enjoy!

Chinese Chicken Salad

  • 4 Boneless, skinless Chicken Breasts- seasoned w/ salt & pepper, cooked & shredded or cut up in small chunks
  • 1 head Cabbage, shredded
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 pkg. Top Ramen noodles (broken in the bag)
  • 1/2 Cup slivered almonds (toasted together with sesame seeds in small pan)
  • 1/4 Cup sesame seeds
  • 6 Tbsp. Seasoned Rice Vinegar
  • 4 Tbsp. sugar
  • 2 tsp. Salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 1 Cup Olive Oil or Canola Oil
This is a great salad to prep early in the day. Cook chicken then cut up, shred the cabbage, slice the green onion, make the dressing, toast the nuts together, then throw it all together just before dinner. Ok, so it seems like quite a few steps, but it really is super easy & very yummy!
The chicken tastes really good cut up then cooked on stove-top, but sometimes I opt for baking in the oven covered in foil, then it can be really easy to shred (and not as dry). When making the dressing, sometimes I'll add an extra splash of rice vinegar. Be sure to get the "seasoned" rice vinegar, as it adds much more flavor. Then whisk in the oil at the end.
This salad is great for potlucks as it feeds an army!!


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