Monthly Archives: August 2011

Old Bay Spiced Baked Chickpeas

We have officially moved into our new house!!!  We couldn’t have done it without our families.  They came down from NY to help us move and were amazing.  Both my Mom and my Mother-in-Law came prepared with delicious Chicken Riggies and Lasagna respectively.  It was awesome to christen our dinning room with our moms’ amazing Italian food.  Since I was busy moving all weekend, I decided to blog about a snack that I made last week before the big move: Old Bay Spiced Baked Chickpeas.  Chickpeas are such an amazing snack because they are healthy and chalked full of protein.  I love the Utz Crab potato chips that are seasoned with Old Bay, so I decided to use Old Bay to season my chickpeas.  You can use whatever spice you like.  Enjoy and thanks for all the well wishes about the move!

Ingredients:

  • One 15-ounce can garbanzo beans
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Sea Salt to taste
  • Old Bay Seasoning to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Drain the can of garbanzo beans in a strainer and rinse with water to clean beans.  Between two paper towels, gently press the beans to absorb any excess water.  Discard any skins that may come off the beans.
  3. Drizzle the olive oil over the beans and use your hands or a spatula to toss around and coat.  Sprinkle with sea salt and Old Bay.  Roast for 30-40 minutes until the beans are a deep golden brown and crunchy.
  4. If needed, season with sea salt and Old Bay to taste.

*Adapted from Steamy Kitchen

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Filed under Side Dishes

My Favorite Summer Recipes


Happy Friday!!  My hubby and I closed on our first house yesterday and are spending all day today, and most likely the rest of the weekend, moving.  Moving stinks, but we’re so grateful that our family is here to help.  That being said, I haven’t really been busy in the kitchen since it’s been all packed up, so I decided to write a post on my Favorite Recipes of the Summer!

This summer literally flew by for me: I traveled for work to three different cities all for more than a week at a time, my sister gave birth to my beautiful niece, my hubby and I bought a house, we somehow managed to squeeze in a long weekend at the beach, we’re moving, and somehow, someway, I managed to cook and bake my way through it all.  Here’s a few of my favorite summer recipes that are worth checking out!!!

13 Comments

Filed under Baked Goods, Desserts, Main Course

Spaghetti Aglio e Olio w/ Broccoli Rabe

When I was little, I used to request that my mom and my grandma set aside some plain spaghetti for me before they poured the marinara sauce over the pasta for the rest of the family.  It’s not that I disliked marinara sauce, I just preferred to have garlic and olive oil on mine aka aglio e olio.  There is something that is so simple, but so delicious about a bowl of spaghetti with garlic, olive oil, and crushed red pepper.  It’s easy to make, but the flavors are just extraordinary together.  This is my holy food trinity: olive oil, garlic, and red pepper flakes.  90% of the meals that I cook start with this base.  By itself, you can’t beat the flavor combo, but it’s versatile enough to add onions, bread crumbs, mushrooms, any type of meat, spinach, broccoli, etc.  My hubby brought some broccoli rabe home from the grocery store, and I sat there trying to come up with some fancy schmancy dish that I could use the broccoli rabe in.  Then it hit me… this is the perfect dish for Spaghetti Aglio e Olio w/ Broccoli Rabe.  Nothing beats a simple, but delicious bowl of spaghetti!

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1 tbsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 head of broccoli rabe, cleaned and roughly chopped
  • Sea salt for seasoning
  • Parmesan cheese for sprinkling

Directions:

  1. Cook pasta in boiling, salted water until al dente.
  2. Meanwhile, cook broccoli rabe in boiling salted water until tender.
  3. In a large saute pan, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add the onion and saute for 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook until garlic is lightly browned.
  4. Drain the broccoli rabe and add to the onion and garlic mix.  Toss to coat and remove pan from heat.
  5. Drain pasta, reserving 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid, and place in a bowl for tossing and serving.  Add olive oil mixture and toss.  Add the reserved cooking liquid if mixture seems dry.
  6. Season with salt and Parmesan cheese.  Serve immediately.

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Filed under Main Course, Pasta

Reese’s Pieces Peanut Butter Brownies

I hope you had a wonderful weekend!  This past weekend, I babysat my niece for the first time!  She’s 1 month old and is absolutely adorable.  I decided to make these Reese’s Pieces Peanut Butter Brownies to bring over to my sister and brother-in-law to enjoy before they went out for the evening.  I was searching for a dessert to make that was easy and quick and this is definitely the perfect one.  You need to try it out ASAP!

Ingredients:
  • 1 box of your favorite brownie mix
  • Water, vegetable oil and egg called for on brownie mix box
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

Peanut Butter Frosting:

  • 1, 16 oz container of vanilla frosting
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1-2 tsp milk
  • 1 box Reese’s Pieces
 Directions:
  1. Heat oven to 350°F.  Spray  13 x 9″ baking pan with shortening or cooking spray.
  2. Make brownie batter as directed on box.  Spread batter in pan and with a knife, swirl peanut butter through batter.
  3. Bake 25-28 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Cool completely.
  4. In a medium bowl, mix frosting ingredients and spread frosting over brownies.  Place Reese’s Pieces in a plastic Ziploc bag and lightly crush with a rolling pin, breaking candies up into pieces.
  5. Sprinkle Reese’s Pieces over brownies and serve.

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Filed under Baked Goods, Desserts

Peanut Butter & Vanilla Godiva Iced Coffee w/Toffee Bits

I love coffee.  It is usually one of the highlights of my morning because it wakes me up, and depending on the weather, it cools me down or warms me up.  That’s why I jumped at the chance to participate in the Foodbuzz Tastemaker program with Godiva Coffee.  I received two bags of glorious flavored Godiva coffee in the mail: chocolate and vanilla.  Being a huge vanilla and peanut butter fan, I decided to make a Peanut Butter & Vanilla Godiva Iced Coffee with Toffee Bits.  The toffee bits weren’t planned… I was actually going to sprinkle chocolate chips on top, until I saw my half-used bag of toffee bits staring at me from the cabinet.  This iced drink is delicious and decadent.  It definitely gets the job done if you’re craving something sweet or need a pick-me-up in the morning.  And the Godiva coffee alone has a wonderful flavor!  Even without the added peanut butter, toffee bits, and milk, this coffee’s flavor is amazing.  Treat yourself to this baby this weekend.  You’ll thank me 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup ice
  • 1 cup cold Godiva Vanilla coffee
  • 1 tbsp of smooth peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons of milk or cream
  • whipped cream for topping
  • Toffee Bits for sprinkling

Directions:

  1. In a blender, combine ice, coffee, peanut butter, and milk.  Pour into a serving glass.
  2. Top with whipped cream and sprinkle with toffee bits.

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Filed under Desserts

Blueberry Peach Crisp

I love making any sort of fruit crisp for dessert because they are so easy to prepare and are so versatile since you can use whatever seasonal fruit you’d like.  I love to make apple crisp in the fall with some fresh, hand-picked apples.  Since peaches are still ripe and juicy, I decided to make a Blueberry Peach Crisp.  I dolloped some whipped cream on top while the crisp was still warm… YUM is all I can say!
In other news, it’s Hump Day, so smile 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 pint blueberries
  • 4-5 peaches, sliced
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup oats
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • Vanilla ice cream or whipped cream for topping

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 and spray a 13 x 9″ pan with cooking spray.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, mix blueberries and peach slices with cinnamon.  Pour fruit into the pan and spread out evenly.
  3. In another bowl, mix the rest of the ingredients until crumbles form.  Sprinkle crumbles over the fruit.
  4. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the crumb topping is golden brown.
  5. Serve with vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream.

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Filed under Baked Goods, Desserts

Raspberry Limoncello Spritzer & a Kodak Photo Book


I was recently contacted by KODAK, as part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker program, to create a hardcover photo book for free!  My two year wedding anniversary is coming up in September, and I realized that my hubby and I never bought ourselves a wedding album; we gave one to my parents and to my in-laws, but we never got around to getting one for ourselves!  I figured this was the perfect opportunity to bust out my wedding photos and take a stroll down memory lane.  I thought it would be a great idea to create this photo book while sipping on the signature cocktail that we served at our wedding…. Raspberry Limoncello Spritzer.  Since my hubby and I met in Italy and became engaged there a few years later, we wanted to have a signature drink at our wedding that was reminiscent of our time spent in Florence.  This drink is light, refreshing, and delicious!

What is more, KODAK Gallery is providing an exclusive offer for you; 40% off a medium hardcover or a large Photo Book. Simply go to www.kodakgallery.com/creativity to redeem.  The offer is only available through this URL until 8/31/11 so get started!

Here are some of my favorite photos that I included in our Kodak photo book.  Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 1 (750-ml) bottle limoncello, chilled
  • 1 cup sparkling water, chilled
  • 1 cup fresh raspberries
  • 5 fresh mint sprigs, lightly crushed, plus extra for garnish
  • Crushed ice

Directions:

  1. In a pitcher, combine the limoncello, sparkling water, raspberries, and mint sprigs.
  2. Fill glasses halfway with crushed ice. Pour about 1/2 cup of the limoncello mixture over the ice in each glass.
  3. Garnish with mint sprigs and serve.

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Filed under Misc., Side Dishes