Cheddar Cheese Bread

Thursday, June 27, 2013

This bread is very easy to make and d-e-l-i-c-i-o-u-s. Perfect to eat with a good cup of coffee or to serve for an afternoon tea, either way it's delicious. Take a look:

2 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon onion salt
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar 
1 cup milk
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon butter or margarine, melted

In large bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, sugar, onion salt, oregano and cheese. In a separate bowl, combine milk, egg and melted butter; add to dry ingredients, stirring just until moistened. Spread batter in greased 8x4 inch loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in  center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes on wire rack. Remove from pan. Serve and enjoy!

Summer Nights...

I love Summer nights because it can be eight o'clock 
at night and still have sunlight. The other night the kids
were feeling a little grumpy and we decided to go 
to the park around that time so they could burn a little energy. 

It was a great idea! They had fun, ran around like crazy 
and enjoyed the playground. They were pretty tired by the time
we got home, I just gave them a nice bath and a little milk
before bed and they were fast asleep.
Take a look:

Do you love Summer nights too?

Pasta with Chicken, Leeks & Mushrooms

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

I think I'm addicted to leeks. I want to add them to every single dish now, they're just so delicious (I can't help it). I love, love, love this pasta with chicken, leeks and mushrooms and I think you'll too. Take a look:

Recipe by Sweet Caroline

1 large chicken breast, chopped
1 leek (cut lengthwise, thinly sliced, washed and drained)
1 cup baby bella mushrooms, sliced
1/3 cup white wine
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 lb spaghetti or any pasta of your choice
Olive oil
Salt and black pepper

In a large pot, add enough water and bring to a boil. Salt the water and add pasta, cook pasta until al dente; drain. Meanwhile, season chicken with salt and pepper. Heat a couple tablespoons of olive oil in a large pan over medium/high heat. Add chicken and cook chicken completely, remove chicken from pan and set aside. Add leeks and sweat until soft, adding a little water to encourage softening if necessary. Once the leeks are soft, add the mushrooms and sauté for a couple of minutes, add the wine and heavy cream and bring to a boil. Cook until lightly thickened, season with salt and black pepper. Add the mozzarella and cooked pasta, toss really well. Serve hot and enjoy!

Spinach and Cannellini Beans

Thursday, June 20, 2013

I love to cook and eat spinach. The combination between the cannellini beans and spinach is perfect. I love the texture of the silky, wilted spinach with the hearty cannellini beans. Like I said: Perfect! Take a look:

Recipe by Sweet Caroline

1 (15.5oz) can cannellini beans (drained and rinsed)
4 cups baby spinach
1/2 white onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper

Heat the olive oil in a big skillet over medium/high heat. Add the garlic and onions. Saute until onions are translucent. Add the spinach and saute until wilted. Stir the beans well. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm.

Baked Sweet Potato with Rosemary and Butter

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

This is a fairly easy and simple side dish but full of flavor. I love the combination of the sweet potato with rosemary, it adds such a great flavor. Take a look:

Recipe by Sweet Caroline

1-2 large sweet potato (cut into 1/4 inch tick slices)
2 tablespoons butter, cut into cubes
2 medium sprigs of rosemary
Salt and black pepper

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Arrange sweet potato slices in a baking dish, add the butter on top and sprinkle with rosemary leaves. Season with salt and pepper. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 18-20 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Serve hot and enjoy!

Pan-Seared Tilapia with Creamy Leek Sauce

Thursday, June 13, 2013

This is a delicious pan-seared tilapia served with a quick creamy leek sauce, the dish has become a hit with my family and a must weeknight meal. Take a look:

Recipe by Sweet Caroline

4 Tilapia fillets, fresh or thawed
1 large leek (cut in half, thinly sliced, nicely washed and drained)
1/2 cup heavy cream
Olive oil
All-purpose flour
All-purpose seasoning

In a big skillet, heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil over medium/high heat. Add the leeks and sweat until soft, adding a little water to encourage softening if necessary. Once the leeks are soft, add the heavy cream and bring to a boil. Cook until lightly thickened, season with salt and pepper. Cover and remove from heat. Season the tilapia fillets with the all-purpose seasoning and arrange a plate with flour. Heat a non-stick skillet with a couple of tablespoons of olive oil over medium/high heat, gently press each fillet into the flour to coat nicely, shake off the excess flour and add the tilapia fillets to the nice hot skillet. Cook each side until golden in color. To plate, arrange some creamy leek sauce and top with a nice golden fillet serve with rice and lemon wedges. Enjoy!

Rainy Days and Playing...

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The weather has changed very much this past week, it has been raining and it's cold! The kids caught a little common cold from all the weather changes, there are plenty of tissues, sneezes and coughs (not fun). They've been playing indoors and trying to keep each other busy most days. Take a look:

This is what our sunroom looks on most days, toys scattered around everywhere, kids running and lots of screaming (I wish my photos would capture all the screaming for you). 

What do you do on rainy days with your kiddos?

Breakfast Series: Raisin Bread French Toast

Monday, June 10, 2013

It has been a while since I did a breakfast series post but this one is worth the wait! I was in the mood for some french toast this morning but I didn't have a baguette, so I remembered that my husband had bought some raisin bread the night before and then it came to my mind - why not make it with the raisin bread? Not only it was a great substitute for the baguette but the overall result was delish and a little of a twist on the classic recipe. Take a look:

Recipe by Sweet Caroline

2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Few slices of raisin bread

In a shallow dish, whisk together the eggs, milk and vanilla. Over medium heat, heat a skillet with some butter. Dip the bread slices (one at a time) into the mixture, and let it sit for a few seconds on each side. Transfer the slice to the skillet and cook the slice until it gets crispy on each side. Serve hot with some butter and maple syrup.


Thursday, June 6, 2013

Popover is a light and airy muffin, which rises to form a hollow shell when baked. It's made from an egg batter similar to Yorkshire pudding and it can be baked in muffin pans. It's perfect for breakfast, brunch or served with tea and quite simple and quick to make too, take a look:

Recipe adapted from Chow

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 eggs (at room temperature)
1 cup whole milk (at room temperature)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon sugar
pinch of salt

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees and arrange rack in the third lower position.
2. In a blender, put butter, eggs, milk, sugar and salt. Blend until smooth. Add flour and blend again until smooth.
3. Pour batter into a buttered muffin pan that fits 12. Fill muffin pan halfway.
4. Bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes, reduces heat to 350 degrees and continue to bake for an additional 15 minutes. (During the baking process, do not open oven door! otherwise the batter will not pop up.)
5. Remove from the oven and serve hot. Enjoy!

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