Monthly Archives: February 2012

Lemon Zest Cupcakes with Lemon Cream Frosting

As the resident foodie and party planner extraordinaire for all my friends, when Birthday time comes around I’m everyone’s first call!  For a friend I’ve known my whole life I pull at all the stops, and that friend would be Billy!  It just happens that Billy’s Birthday fell on Superbowl Sunday this year, bonus!  So a duel celebration was in order, biggest football day of the year and celebrating the birth of one of the greatest guys I know!

So the first question I ask my friends as their birthday approaches is “what kind of cake”?  This year Billy responds with the dreaded “surprise me!”  Oh no, this means not only do I have to come up with an amazing cake, I also have to figure out what kind of cake that is! So in true little leopard fashion, I made three cakes, just to be sure!!! Some were made into cupcakes, like these delightful little desserts! (Easier for sharing at a party!)

Ingredients (makes 48 mini cupcakes or 24 large cupcakes)

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • lemon zest from 2 lemons
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup half-and-half

Start by pre-heating the oven to 350° and lining a cupcake pan with paper liners.

Next, combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a small mixing bowl.

In a medium mixing bowl cream the butter and sugar together, then add eggs one at a time. Next, add the zest and vanilla.

Then add the lemon juice and half-and-half.

Combine together with electric hand mixer.

Mmmm creamy! Now spoon into the lined cupcake pan.

I used the mini-cupcake pan because they’re so darn cute and easy to gobble up in one bite!

Bake for app 15 minutes.

Now it’s time to make the Lemon Cream Frosting!  I simply took my Cream Cheese Frosting recipe and added lemon juice!

Ingredients

  • 2 8 oz packages cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups confectioners sugar, sifted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Juice of 1 lemon

Use an electric hand mixer to combine ingredients. Next spread on top of the lemon zest cupcakes!

Now of course I have no pictures of the cupcakes WITH the frosting on top! I got busy making all of the other delicious Superbowl Party food and asked my girls to frost the cupcakes for me, by the time I realized there were no pictures, they were all gone!

I promise they were as pretty as they were yummy!

The Little Leopard Photo Shoot

Today I wanted to share with you all my favorite images from a recent photo shoot I did with photographer Kenneth M Ruggiano. I wanted the shoot to encompass who I was as a chef, foodie, blogger and person!  Kenneth did just that! He is an amazingly talented photographer and just so happens to be from my home state of Oklahoma!!  I hope you all enjoy and look for a new recipe tomorrow on the little leopard book 🙂

Thank you to my amazing friend Shannon for letting me turn your beautiful downtown loft into a studio for the day!

 

I like to call this one “Casual Cookie Making”

I feel very “Real Housewives of OC” in this shot!

Veggie time!

Most people chop their veggies while sitting on the floor, right??

Who wants cookies???

It’s a cookie cutting party y’all!

The Little Leopard Book herself had to make an appearance!

And now for a fun little behind-the-scenes video!

Heading into the kitchen now to whip up a new creation for tomorrow’s post!

Strawberry Pancakes with Cream Cheese Syrup

Fluffy Strawberry Pancakes are filled with fresh, juicy strawberries and drizzled with sweet, delicious cream cheese syrup in this perfect brunch recipe made in under 30 minutes!

Fresh Strawberry Pancake Recipe

I am having a serious debate with myself right now about what my favorite time of the year is. Strawberry season or football season? It’s still a toss-up but strawberry season is making me overjoyed at the moment!

Strawberry Pancake Recipe

One of the many benefits of living in Southern California is the year round fresh produce, but there are still seasons when certain produce is more readily available and inexpensive than other times! We’re just stepping into the peak Strawberry Season where the berries are bigger, brighter and more succulent than ever!

Fresh Strawberry Filled Pancakes

I’ve decided to take full advantage and use them in every recipe possible!  Brunch this weekend was Strawberry Pancakes. Not only did we have pancakes, we had Cream Cheese Syrup.  Yes, that is an actual thing. And if not, I just made it happen!  You’re welcome 😉

Strawberry Pancakes with Cream Cheese Syrup Ingredients

Ingredients (Strawberry Pancakes)

  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter (melted)
  • 1 pint strawberries (sliced)

Cream Cheese Syrup

  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Prepare the pancake batter by combining the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a small mixing bowl.

Strawberry Pancake Batter Recipe

Next, combine the egg, milk, vanilla and honey in a medium mixing bowl.

Strawberry Pancake Batter

Add in the dry ingredients, stir to combine, then add the melted butter. Next, add in those delicious, juicy strawberries!

Fresh Strawberry Pancake Batter Recipe

Gently fold the strawberries into the pancake batter.

Heat a griddle or large skillet to medium and spray lightly with cooking oil.

Pour the pancake batter by 1/4 cup onto the griddle.

Fresh Strawberry Pancake Recipe

Wait for the pancakes to be covered with small bubbles, then flip!

Fresh Strawberry Pancake Recipe

While the pancakes are cooking, prepare the Cream Cheese Syrup.  (Yes it tastes as decadent as it sounds!)

Combine all of the ingredients in a small mixing bowl.

Cream Cheese Syrup Recipe

Use an electric hand mixer to combine ingredients until a syrup consistency forms.

Cream Cheese Pancake Syrup Recipe

Drizzle the syrup atop the pancakes and serve to your brunching delight!

Strawberry Pancakes with Cream Cheese Syrup

Warning: they are addicting!

Fresh Strawberry Pancakes with Cream Cheese Syrup

♣ Vegetarian Option: This recipe is vegetarian.

♦ Gluten Free Option: Use Premium Gold Gluten Free Flour to make this recipe gluten free.

Strawberry Pancakes with Cream Cheese Syrup

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 8 \"silver dollar\" pancakes

Strawberry Pancakes with Cream Cheese Syrup

Ingredients

    Strawberry Pancakes
  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter (melted)
  • 1 pint strawberries (sliced)
  • Cream Cheese Syrup
  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Instructions

  1. Prepare the pancake batter by combining the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a small mixing bowl.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl combine the egg, milk, vanilla and honey
  3. Add in the dry ingredients, stir to combine, then add the melted butter.
  4. Next, add the sliced strawberries.
  5. Gently fold the strawberries into the pancake batter.
  6. Heat a griddle or large skillet to medium and spray lightly with cooking oil.
  7. Pour the pancake batter by 1/4 cup onto the griddle.
  8. Wait for the pancakes to be covered with small bubbles, then flip.
  9. While the pancakes are cooking, prepare the Cream Cheese Syrup.
  10. Combine all of the ingredients in a small mixing bowl.
  11. Use an electric hand mixer to combine ingredients until a syrup consistency forms.
http://whitneybond.com/whats-for-brunch-strawberry-pancakes-with-cream-cheese-syrup/

Note: This page contains affiliate links. I only link to products I use & love!

Hoisin Sauce Lamb Chops with Potato and Celery Root Mash Topped with Roasted Sunchokes

For some cooks the kitchen is your domain, no one is allowed in, to touch your gadgets or to “help” with anything. Well I would be that kind of cook!

I like to do things myself, I like my space and I’m very particular about my cooking.  There is a method to my mayhem, a way I like things chopped, grated, pureed and that’s why I tend to make my kitchen a “do-not-enter” zone!  I allow my friends to help by keeping my wine glass full 😉

But last Wednesday I allowed my friend Colin into my kitchen for a co-produced dinner. He had been bragging about his cooking skills for months so I finally put him to the test. He did not disappoint.  He had told me that he made a great lamb chop and since I’d never made lamb chops before I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to learn from someone who had perfected a recipe!

Since I couldn’t give up complete control of my kitchen I offered to make the sides. This week while at the Farmers Market I bought a few Sunchokes, also called Jerusalem Artichokes.  I’d never cooked with them before so I Googled them to find out what to do! I found a lot of recipes that used them in mashed potatoes or simply roasted them.  I then found on Bon Appétit the recipe I adapted mine from, combining the two most common approaches to Sunchokes incorporating mashed potatoes and roasting them.

Let’s start with Colin’s Hoisin Sauce Lamb Chop Recipe:

*Don’t be fooled by the jar of Hoisin Sauce.  Colin uses the Lee Kum Lee Hoisin Sauce as a base, but adds to it!

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 6-8 medium lamb chops
  • 2 tbsp Thai Peanut Satay Sauce
  • 4 oz Hoisin Sauce
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp Thai sweet chili sauce

Start by mixing together the store-bought Hoisin sauce with the garlic, ginger, soy sauce, sesame oil and chili sauce.

Next, sear the lamb chops on the stove for 2 minutes on each side.

Look at that sweet action shot!

Then, remove the chops from the stove top and into an oven safe dish.  Place in the oven set at 400° for 6 minutes.

After 6 minutes, flip the chops and cook for an additional 6 minutes. Next, remove from the oven and brush with the peanut satay sauce, then top with the hoisin sauce and place in the oven for an additional 4 minutes.

Remove from oven and serve!!  Simple and delicious!

Now for the Potato and Celery Root Mash Topped with Roasted Sunchokes Recipe (which is possibly the longest recipe name EVER!)

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 1 large celery root
  • 1 lb Russet potatoes
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups milk
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 3 rosemary sprigs
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3-4 Sunchokes (Jerusalem Artichokes)
  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper

Start by peeling and chopping the celery root and potatoes into 1 inch cubes.

Next, add the chopped vegetables to a large pot with the chicken broth, milk, garlic cloves, rosemary and bay leaf.

Then, add enough water to cover the celery root and vegetables completely and bring to a boil.

Allow to boil for 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender and break apart with a fork.

While the potatoes and celery root are boiling, prepare the Sunchokes. Start by chopping each one into quarters.

Next, mix the chopped Sunchokes with 1/2 tbsp butter, olive oil, sea salt and pepper.

Spread onto a foil lined baking sheet.

Now, place in the oven at 400° for 20 minutes.

While they are roasting, finish the potato and celery root mash.

Start by draining the potato mixture.

Next, discard the rosemary and bay leaf. Return the potato mixture to the pot over low heat and add the remaining 3 1/2 tbsp butter.

Mash the potatoes and celery root until creamy.

Now, place potato and celery root mash in a large serving bowl.  Remove the Sunchokes from the oven and place on top of the mash.

Get ready for your close-up….

Might be my favorite potato recipe ever!  I love the crunch of the roasted sun chokes on top and the creaminess and flavor of the celery root and potato mash from boiling them in milk and chicken broth.

I finished the meal off by roasting some garlic lemon asparagus in a foil packet for 20 minutes at 400°

Ingredients

  • 1 lb asparagus
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 6 cloves of garlic

Place the asparagus on top of foil and drizzle with lemon juice and olive oil , then top with salt, pepper and garlic cloves. Wrap the foil over the asparagus into a packet and place in the oven for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, unwrap and place onto serving dish.

And the meal is complete!

Time to chow down!

Colin definitely knew what he was talking about and is now invited to cook with me anytime!  Ok… maybe not ANY time, but he’s no longer on the “do-not-enter” list 😉

♦ Gluten Free Option: Make your own Hoisin Sauce.

Ingredients:

  • 4 tbsp gluten-free soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp peanut butter or black bean paste
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 2 tsp white vinegar
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil

Things I love…

With the ever-expanding Little Leopard Book, I decided to actually  give some background on myself through my “about” page rather than being ambiguous and just talking about the things I love!

With that said the original page with the “Things I Love” was the starting point for a blog that I was not sure what was to become of! After months of blogging and thousands of hours of Tweeting, Facebooking and Pinteresting about the blog, the Little Leopard Book has formed an identity around food, cooking, party planning and a little bit in between!

I continue to love these things that I posted on the first day of blogging so I wanted to share a post on the LLB where new followers could connect with me through the things I hold so near and dear to my heart!

… the things I ♥

  • Family
  • Traveling
  • Food
  • Cooking
  • Eating
  • Football
  • Pictures
  • Friends
  • Game Nights
  • Milkshakes
  • Fresh Flowers
  • The Food Network
  • Fashion
  • Backyard BBQ’s

And the little leopard book will fill in the rest…

Heart Shaped Cookie Cutter

Buffalo Chicken Cheesy Penne

Shredded chicken is added to a spicy, cheesy buffalo sauce and tossed with penne pasta in this creamy, delicious Buffalo Chicken Cheesy Penne Recipe, made in only 29 minutes!

Buffalo Chicken Cheesy Penne Pasta

This is the first recipe I’ve posted while simultaneously eating the dish!

Ok, so maybe it’s the leftovers from yesterdays lunch, but it’s just as good the second time around!!

Buffalo Chicken Cheesy Penne Recipe

For six months now I have been obsessed with all things buffalo chicken thanks to my friend Lindsay who first introduced me to Buffalo Chicken Dip! I now think of all the ways I can incorporate buffalo chicken into new recipes. From burgers to tacos to this new yummy dish, I’ve found some interesting ways to spread out my obsession over several genres of food!

Today I will be sharing with you my newest creation, Buffalo Chicken Cheesy Penne.

Buffalo Chicken Cheesy Penne Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 2 cups shredded chicken breasts (boil or pressure cook 1 lb of chicken and shred)
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 1/3 cup buffalo sauce
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup blue cheese dressing
  • 12 oz uncooked penne pasta
Optional toppings
  • Green Onions (chopped)
  • Crushed Red Pepper Flakes

Instructions

 

Buffalo Chicken Cheesy Penne

 

Buffalo Chicken Cheesy Penne

Oh yeah, that is one pretty bowl of spicy chicken pasta that this girl can dig!

Buffalo Chicken Cheesy Penne Pasta

♣ Vegetarian Option: Omit the chicken.  The spicy, cheesy buffalo sauce is so good on its own, you could definitely do it without chicken! Also, use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.

♦ Gluten Free Option: Use gluten-free pasta. Make sure the blue cheese dressing is gluten-free. Ken’s Blue Cheese Dressing is what I used in this recipe & it is gluten-free!

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Buffalo Chicken Cheesy Penne

Total Time: 29 minutes

Serving Size: 4

Buffalo Chicken Cheesy Penne

Ingredients

  • 2 cups shredded chicken breasts (boil or pressure cook 1 lb of chicken and shred)
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 1/3 cup buffalo sauce
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup blue cheese dressing
  • 12 oz uncooked penne pasta
  • Optional toppings
  • Green Onions (chopped)
  • Crushed Red Pepper Flakes

Instructions

  1. Heat a large skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add the cream cheese, buffalo sauce and chicken broth.
  3. Whisk until creamy.
  4. Add the paprika, garlic powder, black pepper and salt.
  5. Stir to combine
  6. Add the blue cheese dressing.
  7. Stir to combine
  8. Add the shredded chicken.
  9. Allow the sauce to simmer for 10 minutes over low heat.
  10. In the meantime, boil a large pot of water and cook the penne pasta according to package directions, drain, add to the cheesy buffalo chicken sauce and stir to combine.
http://whitneybond.com/whats-for-lunch-buffalo-chicken-cheesy-penne/

Shredded chicken is added to a spicy, cheesy buffalo sauce and tossed with penne pasta in this creamy, delicious Buffalo Chicken Cheesy Penne Recipe, made in only 29 minutes!

Note: This page contains affiliate links. I only link to products I use & love!

Gluten Free Chicken Parmesan

This 30 minute Gluten Free Chicken Parmesan recipe substitutes gluten free breadcrumbs and adds homemade marinara sauce for a delicious twist on an Italian favorite!

Chicken Parmesan Recipe

I have to start out this blog post by expressing my eternal gratitude to Jenna’s Everything Blog for being one of my first inspirations to start blogging!

My brother was lucky enough to meet Jenna and her husband Adam when he moved into the college dorms over a decade ago and they still remain the best of friends!  Jenna’s posts are entertaining and hilarious, her pictures are stunning and her recipes exquisite!

The means for my rambling about the greatness of Jenna is that this is my first blog post recipe inspired by a “Jenna original”!

Gluten Free Chicken Parmesan Ingredients

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil (chopped)
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1/3 cup Gluten Free Breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsp grated parmesan
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cups chunky tomato marinara sauce (click for recipe)
  • 4 oz fresh mozzarella (thinly sliced)
  • 8 oz gluten free pasta (cooked according to package directions)

Preheat the oven to 500°

Slice the chicken breasts in half lengthwise. Next, mix the oregano, thyme, basil, salt, pepper, breadcrumbs and parmesan in a small bowl.

Drag the chicken through the breadcrumb mixture and place on top of the olive oil in an oven safe skillet over medium heat. Next, brown the chicken on the stove, 2-3 minutes per side.

Turn the heat off and cover the chicken breasts with the sliced mozzarella.

Chicken Parmesan with Fresh Mozzarella

Next, add the tomato sauce.

Chicken Parmesan Recipe

Cover the skillet and bake in the oven for 10 minutes.

Remove the cover and bake for an additional 5 minutes. That delicious fresh mozzarella should now be nicely melted in!

Baked Chicken Parmesan

Serve with the cooked pasta.

Gluten Free Chicken Parmesan

Ok yeah, it’s as good as it looks!!!  Writing this post takes me right back to the happiness of that first bite.

Chicken Parmesan with Homemade Marinara

Oh I wish I hadn’t already eaten all the leftovers!!

Fresh Mozzarella Chicken Parmesan

♣ Vegetarian Option: Substitute tofu for chicken.

♦ Gluten Free Option: The chicken parmesan is gluten-free. Serve with gluten-free pasta or a side of steamed vegetables instead of pasta.

Chicken Parmesan

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Serving Size: 4

Chicken Parmesan

Ingredients

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil (chopped)
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1/3 cup Gluten-Free Mary’s Gone Crackers “Just the Crumbs” Breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsp grated parmesan
  • 2 tbsp Enzo Basil Olive Oil
  • 2 cups chunky tomato marinara sauce (click for recipe)
  • 4 oz fresh mozzarella (thinly sliced)
  • 8 oz pasta (cooked according to package directions)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 500°
  2. Slice the chicken breasts in half lengthwise.
  3. Mix the oregano, thyme, basil, salt, pepper, breadcrumbs and parmesan in a small bowl.
  4. Drag the chicken through the breadcrumb mixture and place on top of the olive oil in an oven safe skillet over medium heat.
  5. Brown the chicken on the stove, 2-3 minutes per side.
  6. Turn the heat on the stove off, cover the chicken breasts with the sliced mozzarella.
  7. Add the tomato sauce to the skillet.
  8. Cover the skillet and bake in the oven for 10 minutes.
  9. Remove the cover and bake for an additional 5 minutes.
  10. Serve with cooked pasta.
http://whitneybond.com/gluten-free-chicken-parmesan/

Note: This page contains affiliate links. I only link to products I use & love!

Spinach, Goat Cheese and Bacon Frittata

A bag of spinach, a carton of eggs and a package of bacon, what to do, what to do?? It’s sounding like my Italian ancestors version of an omelet is about to happen!  Yes, if you were wondering what exactly a frittata was or what the difference between a frittata and quiche were, you are not alone!  So in the simplest terms: a quiche has a crust (usually) and more liquid than egg, where as a frittata has more egg than liquid and no crust, there it is!

So whether you just learned your fun fact of the day or not, you’re about to dive into a delicious recipe for this Italian crust-less egg dish!

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 6 slices bacon
  • 8 eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1/2 red pepper
  • 3 cups spinach
  • 2 oz goat cheese
  • 1 avocado

Start by frying up the bacon.

Don’t mind those extra couple slices of bacon.  Those are for…. someone 😉 Fry until crispy then drain the grease, crumble and mix together with the eggs, milk, salt and pepper.

Next, heat the olive oil in a sauté pan and add the onion and red bell pepper.

Sauté for 2-3 minutes then add spinach and sauté for an additional 3 minutes.

I know that looks like a LOT of spinach, but I promise it will cook down!

See, I promised 🙂

Next, add in the egg and bacon mixture.

Let cook for 2 minutes then crumble the goat cheese on top.

These chunks of goat cheese add an amazing creamy surprise in the middle of the Frittata!  Now cook on the stove for 5 minutes, then move into the oven to finish cooking at 400° for 10 more minutes.  Remove from the oven and voila!

I sliced the Frittata into pieces, topped with avocado and served with homemade rosemary focaccia bread!

Click here for printer-friendly version: Spinach, Goat Cheese and Bacon Frittata

♣ Vegetarian Option: Omit the bacon.

♦ Gluten Free Option: Omit the rosemary focaccia bread.

Rosemary Focaccia Bread

Baking homemade rosemary focaccia bread is easy, fun & delicious. Simply mix the dough together, let rise, then sprinkle with rosemary & bake!

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There might not be a smell I love in the world more than fresh rosemary!

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I started my own little herb garden and the first herb I bought was rosemary, not even for its culinary use but merely so I could go outside every morning and smell it!

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Fortunately on Saturday I was able to use it for both purposes in this amazing freshly baked rosemary focaccia bread!

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Ingredients (makes 2 loaves)

  • 1/4 oz active dry yeast
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 3 tbsp fresh rosemary (chopped)
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp italian seasoning
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

(Ignore the baking powder in the picture, that little Clabber Girl just jumped right in there, little camera hog 😉 )

Start by combing the yeast, sugar and water and wait 10 minutes until bubbly.

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Then add in the flour and butter.

Next, add in the salt, pepper, italian seasoning and 2 tbsp of rosemary.

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Form the mixture into a ball and place on floured surface and knead for 10 minutes.

Next, spread olive oil on the inside of a bowl and place the kneaded dough into the bowl and cover.

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Allow the dough to rise for an hour and a half or until doubled in size.

Next, split the dough in half and form into two oval shapes on a Baking Stone. Use your finger to press indentations into the bread (fun!)

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Bake at 400ºF for 10 minutes.

Remove from the oven and brush with the remaining olive oil.

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Next, top with the remaining rosemary and bake for an additional 10 minutes.

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Now the bread should be brown on top and your house should smell amazing!

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And oh yes… it does!

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This bread is delicious at brunch with a  Spinach, Bacon and Goat Cheese Frittata!

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Or sliced and made into a panini!

rosemary bread, focaccia bread, rosemary focaccia bread, easy bread recipe, simple focaccia bread recipe, recipes, homemade focaccia bread

I made a steak sandwich with leftover Coffee Crusted Tri Tip and this delicious bread… Oh wow, talk about one delicious panini!

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♣ Vegetarian Option: This recipe is vegetarian.

Rosemary Focaccia Bread

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 2 loaves

Rosemary Focaccia Bread

Ingredients

  • 1/4 oz active dry yeast
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 3 tbsp fresh rosemary (chopped)
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp italian seasoning
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Instructions

  1. Start by combing the yeast, sugar and water and wait 10 minutes until bubbly.
  2. Then add in the flour and butter.
  3. Add the salt, pepper, italian seasoning and 2 tbsp of rosemary.
  4. Form the mixture into a ball and place on floured surface and knead for 10 minutes.
  5. Spread olive oil on the inside of a bowl and place the kneaded dough into the bowl and cover.
  6. Allow the dough to rise for an hour and a half or until doubled in size.
  7. Split the dough in half and form into two oval shapes on a baking stone.
  8. Use your finger to press indentations into the bread.
  9. Bake at 400º for 10 minutes.
  10. Remove from the oven and brush with the remaining olive oil.
  11. Top with the remaining rosemary and bake for an additional 10 minutes.
http://whitneybond.com/whats-for-a-side-rosemary-focaccia-bread/

Note: This page contains affiliate links. I only link to products I use & love!

Red Velvet Kiss Cookies

Red velvet cookies are rolled in powdered sugar then topped with Hershey’s hugs, making them the perfect Valentine’s Day treat!

Red Velvet Kiss Cookies {Little Leopard Book}

This recipe is just in time for Valentines Day!

Red Velvet Kiss Cookies

These red velvet cookies are both beautiful and delicious!

Red Velvet Kiss Cookie Ingredients

Ingredients (makes 12 cookies)

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp red food coloring
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 12 Hershey’s Hugs Candies

Pre-heat the oven to 325°F.

Combine the flour, cocoa, salt and baking soda in a small mixing bowl and set aside.

In a large bowl mix together the melted butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar until smooth and creamy.

Combine the egg with the other ingredients. Add in the food coloring, vanilla and vinegar.

After the ingredients are combined well, add in the dry ingredients and mix well.

Red Velvet Cookie Dough

When the dough is ready, roll a heaping tablespoon into a ball then roll in the powdered sugar and place on a baking stone or parchment lined baking sheet.

Red Velvet Powdered Sugar Cookies

Bake the cookies for 12-14 minutes.

Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies

After the red velvet cookies come out of the oven place a Hershey hug or kiss in the middle of the cookie and allow it to melt in.

Valentines Day Red Velvet Cookies

These cookies are perfect for Valentine’s Day parties or treats for your sweet <3

Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies

If you love it, don’t forget to pin it!

Red Velvet Kiss Cookies {Little Leopard Book}

Now let’s take a closer look at that chewy, red chocolate goodness!

Red Velvet Cookies with Hershey Hugs

Bake some today and share with the ones you love!  (This single girl shared them with her roommates 😉 )

Red Velvet Thumbprint Cookies

♣ Vegetarian Option: This recipe is vegetarian.

♦ Gluten Free Option: Substitute Premium Gold Gluten Free Flour to make this recipe gluten-free.

Red Velvet Kiss Cookies

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 12 minutes

Yield: 12 cookies

Red Velvet Kiss Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp red food coloring
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 12 Hershey’s Hugs or Kisses

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 325°.
  2. Combine the flour, cocoa, salt and baking soda in a small mixing bowl and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl mix the melted butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar together.
  4. Combine the egg with the other ingredients.
  5. Add the food coloring, vanilla and vinegar.
  6. Add the dry ingredients.
  7. After the dough is ready roll a heaping tablespoon into a ball then roll in the powdered sugar and place on a baking stone or parchment lined baking sheet.
  8. Bake the cookies for 12-14 minutes.
  9. After the cookies come out of the oven place a Hershey hug or kiss in the middle of the cookie and allow it to melt in.
http://whitneybond.com/whats-for-dessert-red-velvet-kiss-cookies/

Red velvet cookie dough is rolled in powdered sugar to form a beautiful red and white crinkle cookie, topped with Hershey's hugs, these are the perfect Valentine's Day treat recipe.

Note: This page contains affiliate links. I only link to products I use & love!

Grilled Jalapeño Poppers

These little morsels were meant to be a part of my Superbowl Party menu, but with so little time and so much over-ambition they did not make it on to the smorgasbord of hor d’oeuvres last Sunday. Never fear, two days later these little poppers made the perfect side for my Mexican Meatloaf!

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 10-12 Jalapeño Peppers
  • 4 oz goat cheese
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup cheddar cheese
  • 1 small tomato (chopped)
  • 2 tbsp green onions (chopped)
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Mix all ingredients except the Jalapeños in a small bowl. Slice the jalapeños lengthwise and remove the seeds.

Stuff the cheese mixture into the jalapeños.

Place the stuffed jalapeños on a pre-heated grill covered in cooking spray.

Grill the peppers 5-7 minutes or until cheese is melted and voila! These poppers make a great side dish for Mexican food or a fun Gameday Grub snack!

Chicken and Sweet Corn Tamales with Green Chili Avocado Salsa

These homemade tamales are filled with a sweet corn masa mixture and shredded chicken for a deliciously authentic and gluten free Mexican dinner recipe!

Chicken and Sweet Corn Tamales with Green Chili Avocado Salsa

After having the best sweet corn tamales of my life in Malibu last week, I was inspired to make my own.  Let me start by giving you two bits of advice people:

  1. There’s a reason making tamales is a family event.
  2. There’s a reason they sell packaged tamale corn husks.

For these two reasons, my tamales took about 5 hours to make the first time I prepared them! I attempted to use the corn husks from actual ears of corn and they are far too small.  Therefore I ended up making 60 baby tamales instead of 12 normal size tamales!  Since each tamale must be filled, wrapped and tied, the time to make 60 vs 12, no matter the size, makes a huge difference!  On the upside I filled each with a different assortment of ingredients so they were kind of like the fortune cookie of tamales, you opened each one not knowing what you were going to get!

Round two of making tamales: I’ve since wised up and purchased large tamale corn husks at the grocery store!

Sweet Corn Tamale Ingredients

Ingredients (serves 6)

  • 6 ears of corn (app 6 cups kernels)
  • 2 cups harina de maiz
  • 1/2 cup lukewarm water
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 oz unsalted butter (softened)
  • 1 egg

“Optionally Awesome” Filling Ingredients:

Chicken Tamale Ingredients

  • Cooked Chicken Breasts (Shredded)
  • Jalapeños (diced)
  • Serrano chili peppers (diced)
  • Mexican cheeses (shredded)
  • Diced green chilies
  • Fresh Cilantro

Begin the recipe by deconstructing the ears of corn. If you are not able to find packaged corn husks in the grocery store or you want to use the actual corn husk to construct the tamales, carefully remove the husks from the corn ears and reserve.  If not, just rip those puppies off and get to the kernels!

Next, begin removing the kernels from the ears of corn. Use a sharp knife and they should slice right off the cob. Reserve the cobs for a cool little trick I learned from the Cooking Channel.

Sweet Corn Tamales

Next, add the corn kernels to a blender or food processor.

Sweet Corn Masa

Blend until creamy.

Sweet Corn Masa Mixture

Next, begin soaking the corn husks so they’ll be ready to fill. A little 10 minute bath should do the trick!

Soaking Tamale Corn Husks

While the husks are soaking prepare the corn masa mixture.

Using an electric hand mixer, blend together the harina de maize, water, sugar, salt, baking powder, egg and butter in a large mixing bowl.

Sweet Corn Masa Mixture

Next, hand mix in the blended corn kernels.

Sweet Corn Masa Mixture

Now for my fun Cooking Channel trick. Start with a large pot (I used my dutch oven) and if you are like me and you don’t have a steam basket that fits, use the trick of lining the bottom of the pot with corn ears.

How to steam tamales

Next, fill the bottom of the pot with about 1-2 inches of water, then place a small steam basket on top of the cobs to make sure that the tamales do not touch the water.

Steam Basket for Tamales

Turn the stove on and bring the water to a boil. Now all that’s left to do is put these tamales together!

I constructed a tamale making station on my counter top with my accouterment of different filling ingredients.

How to make Homemade Tamales

Start assembling the tamales by opening a corn husk and filling with the sweet corn mixture, then add some of those “optionally awesome fillings”. The little guy got some shredded chicken and diced green chilies, Yum!

How to make Homemade Tamales

Then, fold one side of the tamale over the mixture.

How to make tamales

Then the other side…

Make Your Own Tamales

Then fold the other two sides over the middle…

Homemade Tamale How To

Now it’s time to do a little gift wrapping of deliciousness!

Wrapping Homemade Tamales

After all of the tamales are assembled, place them standing up in the steamer basket or atop the corn ears, just make sure they do not touch the boiling water.

Steaming Tamales

Now cover and allow to steam for 45 minutes. Remove one tamale from the steamer after 45 minutes, if the filling is firm and pulls away easily from the husk then they are ready to be gobbled up! If not, steam for an additional 10-15 minutes. Be sure to check the water level every 10-15 minutes and re-fill if necessary.

Steamed Tamales

Sweet Corn and Chicken Tamales

While the tamales were steaming I prepared the Green Chili Avocado Salsa, then served the delicious dinner with chips and salsa, Chili Lime Garlic Grilled Shrimp and White Peach Sangria!

Gluten Free Vegetarian Tamales

Mmmm look at that plate of scrumptious tamales! In the words of Forest Gump “Life is like a box of LLB tamales, you never know what you’re gonna get!”  Ok, so maybe that was not the exact quote, but close enough!

Homemade Chicken Tamales

I prepared half of the tamales with chicken and half with a combination of chilies and peppers for my guest who was a vegetarian!

Vegetarian Tamale Recipe

Both versions were delectably awesome!

Tamale Recipe

The harina de maiz is corn based, therefore gluten-free!

Chicken Tamale Recipe

Gluten Free Sweet Corn Tamales

Buen apetito amigos!

Sweet Corn Tamales

Gluten Free Tamale Recipe

♣ Vegetarian Option: Omit the chicken, replace with extra chilies and peppers.

♦ Gluten Free Option: Using the ingredients pictured above this recipe is gluten-free! Yay!

Mexican Meatloaf

Mexican Meatloaf gives a spicy twist to a classic favorite with roasted jalapenos, chili powder and cayenne pepper for a dinner dish with a little kick made in only one hour!

Spicy Mexican Meatloaf

My refrigerator is in a current state of “Superbowl Hangover”, a random mishmash of leftover ingredients lingering in my fridge following one huge party on Sunday. These ingredients include things like ground beef, jalapeños, bell peppers, celery, carrots and assorted cheeses, so I began to ponder what I could make out of these ingredients.

Mexican Meatloaf

That is when the idea for Mexican Meatloaf came to me!

Just when I thought I had come up with the next new food craze, I googled Mexican Meatloaf to find I was not the first to come up with such a brilliant idea (dang it!) but either way I threw together my random assortment of ingredients into what may not be the first, but may very well be the best Mexican Meatloaf ever!

Mexican Meatloaf with Spicy Tomato Topping

Yeah I said it, THE BEST, it was that good!

Mexican Meatloaf Ingredients

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 2 Jalapeños (roasted, peeled, seeded and diced)
  • 1 small onion (diced)
  • 1/2 red bell pepper (diced)
  • 1/2 green bell pepper (diced)
  • 2 celery ribs (diced)
  • 2 carrot sticks (diced)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs (use Gluten Free Breadcrumbs to make the recipe gluten-free)
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

Topping:

  • 6 oz tomato paste
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tsp chili powder

Start by pre-heating the oven to 375°F.

Next, roast the jalapeños on the grill. (If you don’t have a grill you can roast them in the oven)

Let the peppers roast for app 5-7 minutes per side, or until black and bubbling.  While the peppers are roasting sauté the diced bell peppers, onions, carrots and celery together for 5 minutes.

Next, add the minced garlic to the vegetables and sauté for an additional minute.

Sauteed Peppers and Onions

After the vegetables are sautéed, remove them from the heat to cool.

Remove the jalapeños from the grill. After the peppers have cooled, remove the skin, then slice into the pepper and remove the seeds. Next, chop the roasted pepper and add to the vegetable mixture.

Chopped Roasted Jalapeños

Now combine the cumin, chili powder, cayenne, salt, pepper and bread crumbs in a small mixing bowl.

Spicy Breadcrumbs

Add to the mixture the eggs, sour cream, ketchup and cheese, stir to combine.

Mexican Meatloaf Mix

Next, add this mixture to the ground beef and vegetables.

Mexican Meatloaf Mix

Now it’s time to get your hands dirty and mix it all together. Next, place the mixture into a loaf pan coated with cooking spray.

Mexican Meatloaf

Cook in the oven for 25 minutes.

While the meatloaf is cooking combine the tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, water and chili powder in a small bowl for the topping.

Mexican Meatloaf Topping

After 25 minutes remove the meatloaf from the oven, drain any juices and spread the tomato topping onto the meatloaf.

Mexican Meatloaf with Spicy Tomato Topping

Cook for another 15 minutes then remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes before slicing.

Gluten Free Mexican Meatloaf

I served mine with Jalapeño poppers… part of that whole Superbowl Hangover thing I mentioned (AKA: party hor d’oeuvre’s that didn’t get made due to over-ambition and lack of time!) They turned out to complement each other very well and I would definitely recommend it!

Mexican Meatloaf Recipe

♣ Vegetarian Option: Substitute a sleeve of veggie crumbles and 3/4  can of semi mashed black beans for the ground beef.  This was made by my good friend Katie and she gave me the recommendation, thanks girl!

♦ Gluten Free Option:  Use Gluten Free Breadcrumbs to make this dish gluten-free.  Also make sure that the ketchup used is gluten free.

Mexican Meatloaf

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Serving Size: 4

Mexican Meatloaf

Ingredients

  • 2 Jalapeños (roasted, peeled, seeded and diced)
  • 1 small onion (diced)
  • 1/2 red bell pepper (diced)
  • 1/2 green bell pepper (diced)
  • 2 celery ribs (diced)
  • 2 carrot sticks (diced)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup Mary’s Gone Crackers Gluten-Free Breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • Topping
  • 6 oz tomato paste
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tsp chili powder

Instructions

  1. Start by pre-heating the oven to 375°.
  2. Next, start roasting the jalapeños.
  3. Let the peppers roast for app 5-7 minutes per side, or until black and bubbling.
  4. While the peppers are roasting sauté the diced bell peppers, onions, carrots and celery together for 5 minutes.
  5. Next, add the minced garlic to the vegetables and sauté for an additional minute.
  6. After the vegetables are sautéed, remove them from the heat to cool.
  7. It should now be time to remove the jalapeños from the grill. After the peppers have cooled, remove the skin, then slice into the pepper and remove the seeds.
  8. Next, chop the roasted pepper and add to the vegetable mixture.
  9. Combine the cumin, chili powder, cayenne, salt, pepper and bread crumbs in a small mixing bowl.
  10. Add to the mixture the eggs, sour cream, ketchup and cheese, stir to combine.
  11. Next, add this mixture to the ground beef and vegetables.
  12. Mix it all together.
  13. Next, place the mixture into a loaf pan coated with cooking spray.
  14. Cook in the oven for 25 minutes.
  15. Combine the tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, water and chili powder in a small bowl for the topping.
  16. After 25 minutes remove the meatloaf from the oven, drain any juices and spread the tomato topping onto the meatloaf.
  17. Cook for another 15 minutes then remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes before slicing.
http://whitneybond.com/whats-for-dinner-mexican-meatloaf/

Note: This page contains affiliate links. I only link to products I use & love!