Sunday, January 17, 2010

Chicken Caprese Panini

I love a good Caprese Salad. Tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, some basil or pesto and a splash of balsamic vinegar. I also love Sandwiches, in this case paninis. I have been craving a caprese panini, but since I was making this for dinner and Kevin likes meat for dinner I decided to add some chicken... These turned out AWESOME!

Choice of Bread. If I had the time I would make some soft Foccacia but without the time to bake my own bread I just used Walmarts flat sandwich rounds found in their bakery.

Sliced Tomatoes
Sliced Fresh Mozzarella
Pesto Spread- you can make your own pesto with fresh basil, olive oil and pine nuts but I just got the spread at the store.
1 Chicken Breast
Balsamic Vinegar

Marinate the chicken in some Balsamic Vinegar. I just pan fried the chicken but you can throw it on a grill. If you cook it in a pan add a little balsamic and water so the vinegar doesn't just burn. I tried cutting the chicken in half and also in strips. I found that cutting it in half was best and actually for round two of the sandwiches I used one chicken breast for two sandwiches, it depends on the size of the chicken.

Spread the Pesto on one side of bread- or both if you're feeling wild.
place sliced mozzarella and tomatoes on top of pesto spread. I don't have a panini press so I just use my George Foreman and it is awesome for paninis. If you don't have a George Foreman or a press you can just use a frying pan and flatten it with a another pan or a spatula.
After the mozzarella is melty and the bread is crusty pull it off the grill and add the chicken. The first time I made these I put the chicken on before cooking the sandwich and the juices pressed out of the chicken and made the bread soggy so it is just better to add the meat at the end.


Saturday, January 9, 2010

Pizza Loaf

This is not gourmet. It is not a classy dish for a Sunday get together. This is, however, something you can make if your husband is installing recessed lighting in the kitchen and the room is covered in plastic, dust and tools. It only takes one pan and is super easy. As kids we used to make biscuit pizzas all the time, this time I just layered it all in a loaf pan...

Preheat oven to 350
You need:
2 Tubes of biscuits- the cheap kind that come in packs of 4 for like $1.29
1 Can Pizza Sauce
Pepperoni- or any topping you like

The process is quite easy, spread 8 biscuits along the bottom of the pan

Next, layer sauce cheese and toppings-

Layer more biscuits, for the rest of the layers I just did four biscuits flattened to fill the space, the biscuits in the middle won't cook all the way if they are too thick. Continue with sauce and cheese and toppings. Bake 35-40 minutes.

I like to dip in in a ranch pizza sauce mix... mmmmmmm pizzzzaaaaa....

Saturday, January 2, 2010


I absolutely love cupcakes. I love the size. I love the variety. I love the taste. Really what isn't there to love about a cupcake... Oh ya, the cost of a cupcake at a cupcakery. I don't have anything against a delicious cupcakery. My friend is head decorator at So Cupcake in SLC and she is amazing. I had extra delicious cupcakes from a spot in Provo across from Provo Towne Center Mall. My first Cupcakery experience was in Vegas and the cupcakes there were worth every penny. But then I went to a cupcake shop here in San Antonio- I won't give a name because A: I don't remember it and B: I think they are out of business now anyway; I was really excited when I found this place, but when I went in they didn't have many cupcakes on display, just the names written on a chalkboard. I ordered a S'mores cupcake and $2.75 later I was handed a small chocolate cupcake with chocolate icing spread on by a knife, dusted with graham cracker crust, and topped with a tiny unroasted marshmallow. I was less than impressed. I created my own S'more Cupcake and a delicious Peanut Butter Cup Cupcake. So to start out the new year try out these Yummies!

S'MoReS CupCaKes (Makes 24)
ONE BOX CHOCOLATE CAKE MIX(I used swiss chocolate but any chocolate flavor is fine)
24 HERSEY KISSES(optional)
-I love the Guittard Milk Chocolate Chips
Make mix as box instructs.
Before baking I topped each cup of batter with a Hershey Kiss. It doesn't make a drastic difference but adds a little bit of chocolaty richness. Bake according to box.
After baked transfer to cookie sheet and top each cupcake with 1 large marshmallow cut in half (place cut side down so it sticks to the cupcake, plus the powdered side roasts better. Place tray on middle rack in oven and broil for about a minute, keeping eye on them so they don't burn!
Pull out cupcakes and top immediately with chocolate chips and half a Graham Cracker. The Graham Cracker may not stick the best but it will as the chocolate underneath melts and cools. I topped each Graham with another half of marshmallow and broiled for about thirty seconds more til mallow was toasty but careful not to burn the Graham, remove from oven and top with a chocolate chip.

These are just as fun and messy to eat as a real Smore!!

PeANut BuTTer CupCaKEs Makes 24

Mix PB and Powder Sugar mixture should be dry enough to mold with hands, if not add more Powder sugar. Form 24 little balls. Make batter as directed. Fill cups and place a peanut butter ball on top of batter (it will sink as cupcakes bake).
Bake and cool.
(Usually when I make frosting I eyeball it so here are the measurements if its too runny add more PB and Powder sugar, if its to stiff add a little cream. This should come out pretty stiff for piping).

Beat together till smooth and creamy with stiff peaks
Pipe onto cupcakes.