March 31, 2011

Lemon Chicken

This is one of my favorite meals...Lemon Chicken.  It's so easy it is almost embarrassing to post:)  The best part is its pretty darn healthy...if you look back at the other main dishes I have posted...this doesn't even have heavy cream!  It does have butter...but thats ok.

When I decide to do a week of something...like lemon week...I like to try new recipes and try to find a gem.  I should always use what I have.  I have tried so many lemon recipes and they have failed...miserably.  I finally decided to just to go to my favorite and go with that.  So here's to failed recipes so you can have this fabulous Lemon Chicken and a huge thanks to a friend, Jodi, who gave this to me YEARS ago!

Lemon Chicken

4 chicken breasts
Juice from 2 lemons
Lemon zest from 2 lemons
1 packet Italian dressing mix
1 stick butter, melted

Zest the lemons.  Dip chicken in lemon juice.  Put in glass baking pan.  Sprinkle Italian dressing mix on top of the chicken, put lots on (you won't use the whole packet).  Pour butter over chicken.  Sprinkle lemon zest on top of chicken.  Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until no longer pink.

Parmesan Croissants

1 pkg. Croissants
Italian dressing
Parmesan cheese

Unfold croissants.  Brush Italian dressing on both sides of croissants.  Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.  Grill on both sides, or bake at 375 degrees until golden brown, about 11 minutes.

Lemon Pancakes with Raspberry Butter

 Hooray!!  I (and by I, I mean my hubby) finally got the card reader to work!  I have totally been stressing about that!  You can't have Lemon Week and then not post any lemon recipes...LAME!  So I have 2 recipes for you all today;)  I'll be back later with the second one!

These Lemon Pancakes are to die for.  They are not your typical pancake.  They are a little more delicate and full on the taste.  You can have maple syrup, but you just need a tich of it, otherwise it will take away the flavor.  These would be really good for an Easter Brunch...just say'in!  My cousin, Jennie, gave me this recipe a LONG time ago and I have been dying to make them.
 The Raspberry Butter totally makes these pancakes.  It adds a nice zing!  You make a simple raspberry syrup, strain out all the seeds, then blend it with some butter...

 The final product...Raspberry Butter!

 What makes these so delicate is the ricotta cheese and cottage cheese...sounds wierd, but is so good!  Also you whip up some egg whites and fold them into the batter...giving it some serious volume.  You would never know it was in there!  I rate my recipes by my family...if my hubby and boys love it...then I know it is kid proof:)   These are kid proof!  Everyone loved them!

One thing you have to remember...don't put tons of batter on the griddle.  Just do about 1-1 1/2 TBS of batter per pancake and spread it out.  Otherwise you will have to cook them for forever.  These are thin and delicate.

Lemon Pancakes

1/2 c. ricotta cheese
1/4 c. cottage cheese
1/4 c. unsalted butter, melted
1/4 c. flour
3 eggs, separated
2 TBS sugar
1 TBS grated lemon peel, generous
Generous pinch of salt

Place cheeses, butter, flour, egg yolks, sugar, lemon peel, and salt into food processor and mix for 30 seconds.  Transfer contents into large bowl.  Beat egg whites to peaks.  Fold into cheese mixture.  Heat griddle to medium heat.  Butter griddle and drop batter with a tablespoon and spread out.  Cook until golden on each side.  Serve with Raspberry butter and warm maple syrup.

Raspberry Butter

1 c. fresh or frozen raspberries, unsweetened
2 TBS water
1 TBS sugar
1/2 c. unsalted butter, room temperature
2 TBS powdered sugar
fresh lemon juice

Boil raspberries, water and 1 TBS sugar in small saucepan over medium heat until syrupy, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes.  Strain berry mixture through sieve pressing with back of spoon to remove seeds.

In food processor, mix the raspberry mixture, butter, and powdered sugar until smooth.  Add lemon juice to taste, may be made ahead and frozen.

March 30, 2011

White Chocolate Lemon Cookies

If anyone were to ever ask me what my favorite cookie was...I would say these White Chocolate Lemon Cookies.  They are just so refreshing and you will eat the whole batch...I promise!  Since there are lemons (fruit), pecans (protein) and milk (dairy) they are healthy for you so it IS ok if you eat the whole batch.  Just say'in!  

I know I have posted these cookies before, about one year ago...but I am having trouble with my card reader...it won't read my camera card....aarrrrgh!  So...while I am trying to fix it, I had to post something with lemon for you:)  In case you are wondering I am going to post Lemon Pancakes with Raspberry Butter today:)  So be on the look out!!  I will go to Best Buy and get a new card reader in the mean time!!     


White Chocolate Chip Lemon Cookies

1/2 c. softened butter
1 c. sugar
1 egg
1 TBS milk
1 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. vanilla 
1 3/4 c. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 c. white chocolate chips
1 1/2 tsp. grated lemon zest
1/4 c. chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cream butter and sugar with electric mixer until light and fluffy.  Add egg, milk, lemon juice and vanilla, mix well.  Combine flour, baking powder and salt.  Add to butter mixture; mix well.  Stir in white chocolate chips, lemon zest and pecans.  Drop by tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake 12-15 minutes or until edges are a light golden brown.  Cool 3 minutes on sheet; remove and cool completely on cooling rack.

March 29, 2011

Lemon Cake Shots

I love LEMONS...love them.  
I thought I needed to have a LEMON week on Swanky Pear...it just seemed right.
Spring + Love of Lemons = Lemon Week
See...makes sense:)

The first day of Lemon week...Lemon Cake...put into Shot glasses. 
I think most of you know by now how much I love things in miniature.  
They are smaller and therefore you get to eat MORE!   
  

I mean REALLY!!  How cute are they! 


My sis-in-law, Wendy, gave me this awesome scalloped square pan for Christmas...I love it.  
It goes with my love of miniature!  This pan just makes things that much better.
So make this sheet cake in a cute square pan, a sheet pan, put it in a shot glass, or whatever else you dream up:)

Lemon Sheetcake
recipe from my good friend Amy

Mix together:
1 lemon cake mix (Duncan Hines)
15 oz. can lemon pie filling
4 eggs

Put in greased 18x12x1 pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes.  Cool.  Put frosting on.  Keep cool in refrigerator or even in the freezer.

Frosting: (mix till creamy)
2 c. powdered sugar
1/2 c. butter
3 oz. cream cheese
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

March 28, 2011

M.M...Nursery

Do you all remember Charity?  I did a Makeover Monday for her Master Bedroom...well she just sent me some pictures of her Nursery!  I love it!  I asked her if I could share these pictures...they are beautiful!  She is due REALLY soon with her first baby...and a boy at that:)  I love Charity's style and I think she did such a fabulous job!!  Here is what she says about the baby's room via Project Nursery:

I made the bedding and recovered the chair (purchased off Craigslist) and the bookcase idea was borrowed from Penny Carnival I used Anna Marie Horner fabrics which I purchased from Intown Quilters



The biggest investment in the room was the dresser from Haverty's (in the clearance section) - everything else was put together and created by me and my husband. The crib, though new, was inexpensive!
I painted a lot of the frames myself and bought some off Etsy from The Art of Chic.
Artwork came from Trafalgar's Square and JK Vinyl Designs along with a few special pieces from friends, and a diaper caddy I had when I was a baby.

 I made the window treatments which are hung with simple knobs (use toggle bolts!) and string/clothes pins- the quilt is hung the same way! Very inexpensive and it makes a statement, for sure my favorite part of the room.
Design inspiration: The quilt hanging above the crib - I didn't make the top, but I did do the finish work on it - my first quilt and not an easy task!


I found it at an antique store on a trip to Connecticut at 15 weeks pregnant and said, if it's a boy, this is his nursery inspiration!

 Favorite items:
The bookcases! Or, the dresser? Or collage of frames with his family? The quilt above his bed, or even the bedding?! I can't pick just one...

Everything I gathered was put together by love - there is nothing on his walls/floors/dresser/shelves that is not special to us...
*photos taken by: Meg Davidson Photography

March 25, 2011

S'mores Bites

 I don't know about you, but I am so excited about the weekend!  It is going to be beautiful weather here in Texas, and I believe we are going Horseback riding and spend some time with family.  Can't wait!  I really do need to go get me some boots!

I found this recipe on Pizzazzerie, and had to make them the second I saw the word S'mores Bites.  How fun is that?  These are delicious and would be perfect for any party and of course to take when you go camping:)

Speaking of camping...we went this past weekend to Cooper Lake, which is in East Texas.  We had some "fabulous" neighbors (I use that term VERY loosely) right behind us who gave us so much entertainment.  I mean we had drunkards, park rangers, sheriff deputies, an arrest, fighting and much more. (My favorite was when the guy getting arrested asked the officers if they wanted a taco and then he told the rest of his friends that they had better eat the tacos soon or else the sour cream was going to go bad.  I think he may have been arrested before if he was worried about tacos...)  That went on until 2 in the morning and then another neighbor had had it so he went and yelled at them telling them that we weren't at the Holiday Inn Express and that enough is enough.  Bless his heart.  Too bad the partier's NEVER went to sleep and neither did the rest of the campers since they were SO loud!  I paid for it the next couple of days:)
 Anyway...I hope everyone has a great weekend and I hope you spend some time in the kitchen:)  I know I will be!!  Next week I have a special week dedicated to one special ingredient...do I have any guesses???


S'mores Bites
Recipe from: Pizzazzerie


2 boxes of Golden Grahams
1 bag of mini marshmallows
1 stick of butter
1 bag of semi-sweet chocolate (I used a Symphony Bar)
Melt butter and marshmallows.
Smash bags of cereal and mix into marshmallow mix.
When cooling, shape mix into bite-sized balls and let cool.
Dip into chocolate and let chocolate cool.

March 23, 2011

Flip Flop Birthday Cake

 Over Spring Break I was able to make this adorable cake for some friends of mine.  They both have a daughter, who are best  buds, with a Birthday close together.  So they decided to have a double Birthday.  They asked me to make this cake.  I had a blast making it!
 In case you are wondering it is 3 layers in this order: chocolate, yellow, chocolate with chocolate frosting.

March 18, 2011

Nutter Butter Pie

I don't know about you...but it has been Spring Break for my Family.  I have been spending it trying to keep sane and keep my boys busy!  I have also had quite a few baking jobs...which have been FABULOUS!  I made a birthday cake and enough cookies for 150 people...which is about 20 doz. cookies.  That's been fun!  

Anyway, on to this pie.  Me and some cousins are in charge of a Family Reunion...my Dad's side.  It will be my Grandparents 60th Wedding Anniversary and they are both celebrating their 80th Birthdays this year!  I don't know about you...but that just screams Family Reunion!  So of course you have to have a Cook Book...I am the lucky one to edit recipes and  put them in the right order.  But when I say I'm the lucky one, I really mean it!  I get to see all the recipes first and I get to try some of them out!  I told my Grandma that I want ALL of her recipes, and I think she did that!  I haven't seen most of them and when I saw a recipe for Nutter Butter Pie...I was all over that!  So, here is the what Nutter Butter Pie is....
 I know!  Amazing!  Best part is...its NO BAKE!  

 Here is the line up of ingredients...

 The crushed up Nutter Butter Cookies and melted butter...

 Everything else and folding in the Cool Whip.

 I may have added a few things to the recipe...like homemade whipped cream on top, with a few Reese's Peanut Butter Cups chopped up, and some chocolate ganache...it just seemed like it needed a few more calories.
 It is ok to lick the scream...you just won't be able to taste anything though:)



Nutter Butter Pie


24 Nutter Butter sandwich cookies                            
5-6 TBSP. melted butter (or margarine)                   
1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened                  
1 cup Creamy peanut butter
3/4 c. sugar
1 TBS vanilla
1 (8 oz.) container Cool Whip, thawed


Crust:
Put cookies in plastic bag and crush with rolling pin.  Mix with melted butter.  Press in bottom of 9” pie tin.  Save a little of crumb mixture for garnish.
Filling:
Mix with mixer cream cheese, peanut butter, sugar, and vanilla.  Fold in Cool Whip (save a little for garnish).  Put in pie crust.  Garnish with Cool Whip and crumb mixture (or grated chocolate bar or chocolate topping drizzled.)
Freeze pie 4 hours or overnight.  Serve frozen. Let thaw 15-20 minutes before serving.

Extras:

Homemade Whipped Cream:
1 c. whipping cream
1/4 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

Beat whipping cream and gradually add the sugar and vanilla.  Beat until it forms the right consistency.

Ganache:
1/2 c. chocolate chips
2-3 TBS heavy cream

Melt chocolate chips for 45 seconds, stir and add cream.  Stir until combined.  May microwave for another 10 seconds to get extra smooth.

March 14, 2011

Makeover Monday...Office

I have been waiting and waiting since CHRISTMAS to do this post!  I have PATIENTLY been waiting for my Dad to send over the pictures:)  Love you Dad!

For Christmas my 3 brothers, Mom, Grandparents and I got together and redecorated my Dad's office.  My Dad is the most giving man and thinks of others before himself.  This is the last room in my parents home that needed to be redecorated, but he kept putting it off to do things for others.  I have been wanting to get my hands on it for quite sometime:)  So I planned, and shopped and spent gobbs of money and then at Christmas...me, my hubby and my brother, Curt got busy and put the room together to surprise him.  It was a blast and I was so excited for how it turned out!  
Here is a before shot...a bad one since it is off my phone, but you have to see the BEFORE!!
Now the after pictures!  I am just so giddy!  We obviously painted the room a dark blue.  We found some fabulous drapes from Kohls and the bench is from Kirklands.  We got him a new desk that matched all the other wood in the room.  The bed used to be where the desk is.

Where the bookshelf is there was a dresser.  We got the ladder shelf from Target.

We got some new bedding and added some fun, bright red pillows so the whole room isn't just blue and brown.  The bedding came from Kohls.  Now imagine a beautiful brown headboard instead of the bright blue one:)  That hasn't been purchased yet...  The desk used to be where the bed is now.
My Dad takes some AMAZING pictures, and we wanted to put all of the pictures he has taken from all around the world up as the artwork.  So all the pictures you see were taken by my Dad!  The ones on this wall are from Rome, Brazil, and Russia.
Here is the last picture...We are thinking that a big ole TV will be on one of the walls...this is still up for debate:)  So, we put a clock up and some more fabulous prints of Rome and Prague.  These prints are on canvas from canvaspeople.com

So what do you think?  I was so excited for the room!  It has such a different feel and you just don't want to leave!  Hope you like it!

March 10, 2011

Stylish Blog Award

Ok...how cool is it when you open your comments and find that a fabulous blogger has awarded you the Stylish Blogger Award!!??  I am telling you it made my day and was the best thing EVER!  Shannon from Grunged, Glittered n' Branded awarded this to me:)  Thank you so much!


The Terms for Excepting The Award are:




Thank and Link back to the person who gave you the award.
Share Seven things about yourself.
Award 15 recently discovered great bloggers.
Contact the bloggers and tell them about the award.

Here are my 7 things:
 1.  I am a BED HEAD.  I usually wake up grumpy and it takes me a good 30 minutes or so to snap out of it.  I prefer my nice, warm, cozy bed with the softest pillow known to man than begging my kids to get ready for the day and to eat their breakfast and to quit fighting.  I don't see how the rest of the world is not a bed head!  I mean...why be a morning person? 

2.  I love to bake desserts, take one bite of it and then pass them onto friends.  Otherwise it will sit there and not be eaten!  Although my 20 month old will eat every single bit of it if he could!

3.  I am a girl in a boys world.  I have 3 brothers, my husband has 5 brothers and I have 3 boys.  There are NO girls and probably will never be any girls.  I am starting to be ok with this.  BUT...that is why I have this blog and that is why I love zebra print and pink.

4.  I want to have a bakery one day.  Major dream of mine that BETTER happen!  I have a stash of recipes that I have tucked away and a menu all ready to go!  I also have the layout and interior of the bakery all designed.  

5.  I have been to Brazil, Paris, London (2 times) and Rome.  Love to travel and can't wait for the next trip...wherever that may be!  Oh...camping...with all my boys...over spring break.  Can't wait!  At least I'm not 8 months pregnant and its my birthday, which happened 2 years ago.  Also since I have been to London, it has made me REALLY obsessed with the English history.  I love reading all those books from Phillipa Gregory and researching about the Tudors, Lancaster's, Yorks...etc.  Totally obsessed!

6.  I collect plates and stuff to entertain with.  My whole garage is FILLED with this kind of stuff.  I need a whole room dedicated just to entertainment.  It's an obsession and sometimes REALLY hard to not buy stuff.  BUT...I can say no!

7.  Laundry is my nemesis.  I hate it with a passion and I really just want to throw all of our clothes away and start over.  I mean...who doesn't like to hang up NEW clothes?  It just makes sense!  But...when you have a mountain of laundry that needs to be folded and another mountain that still needs to be washed...it just overwhelms me and then I don't do it.  The end.  

Here are blogs who also deserve this fabulous award!!












March 9, 2011

Creamy Chicken Parmesan Pasta

After much frustration and throwing things I'm not proud of {{kidding, or am I??}}I finally got my stupid card reader to do its job.  Seriously...I had to walk away for a bit and ask hubby to do something.  And you know what?  He walks over, looks at my card reader and says that all the little wires are bent...oops.  Then he uses the computer one and it worked.  Nothing makes me feel more humiliated than that;)  At least I got my pictures and I can finally post.  Moral of the story...don't get so mad you bend wires that are important!

So...on to the goodness.  I realized that I have been doing a whole lot of sweets lately.  I mean seriously...how big can my butt get?  So I am doing something that is light and non-fatty...HA!  At least there are veggies in it!  
If there is one thing I love more than desserts, it is pasta...with a creamy sauce...that has whipping cream and butter and bacon.  You will lick your plate clean and then you will take some bread and wipe the pan clean...since your plate is already clean.  So...enjoy it, and then run 10 miles the next day:)

Creamy Chicken Parmesan Pasta
Source: Just Get Off Your Butt and Bake

1 1/2 c. cooked, diced or shredded Chicken, (I used Rotisserie Chicken)
1 c. diced fried ham (opt)
1 c. crumbled, cooked bacon (for the top)
1 diced Roma Tomato (for the top)
5-6 stalks of cooked, tender Asparagus
1 c. grated Parmesan Cheese and additional for the top
Pasta...your families favorite

Sauce:
1 c. milk
1 c. chicken broth
1 c. whipping cream
1 c. grated cheddar cheese
1 c. Parmesan cheese
2 TBS butter
2 TBS flour
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. onion powder
a few sprinkles of Red pepper flakes (opt.)
1 tsp. white sugar
1/2 tsp. cracked black pepper


Fry bacon until crispy, place on Paper towels and set aside.  Fry pieces of Ham in a small amount of the bacon grease.  Sprinkle a tablespoon of Brown Sugar on top of the ham, and toss until the ham is golden and the Brown sugar has caramelized.  Chop or shred the Chicken Breasts, chop tomato, and chop tender cooked Asparagus. (If you don’t care for Asparagus, you could use Broccoli or any vegetable your family likes, or just leave it out entirely)
Over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter.  Add 2 tablespoons flour, seasonings, sugar and whisk together with the butter until bubbly.  Continue whisking, and slowly add the milk, cream and the chicken broth.  Whisk Constantly, so that you don’t get any lumps.  You want your sauce to be nice and smooth.  Keep whisking until the sauce has thickened.  Turn heat to low, and add the grated cheddar and Parmesan cheese.  Once melted and mixed thorougly, turn your heat to the lowest temperature and cover.  Add chicken and ham to the sauce.  Prepare your pasta until al dente. Drain well.
Plate the pasta, and serve the sauce over the top.  Crumble your bacon on top of the sauce, and also top with Asparagus, tomatoes and more grated Parmesan Cheese.  Delish!
*This also warms up nicely the next day.  Just mix any left over Pasta in with the sauce, and keep in well sealed container. Just heat in skillet, but don’t let the sauce boil! 
Linking this recipe up to:

March 4, 2011

CTR Cake

 Happy Friday Everyone!  I love Fridays!  I love the weekend even more!  Hopefully by the end of the weekend I can figure out why my card reader won't read my pictures and then I can post the million things that I have planned!  It is so frustrating!  At least I have had this cake in my back pocket to share with you:)

I was asked to make this cake for a church function...It is call "8 is Great!!"  It is a program for all the kiddos who are going to be turning 8 this year and will get baptized.  For those of you who don't know, CTR stands for Choose the Right.  You can find out more information here.
 The color scheme was obviously purple, blue, pink and green.  The sad thing is, is my son is the only boy in the group of 7 girls:)  It was sweet of them to include the blue and green just for him!  However, I had to sprinkle everything with some edible glitter that I found in London a few months back...boy or no boy...there HAD to be glitter!
 I made the "8's" with my cake Cricut...I love that more than I can even tell you!  Best thing I could have won;)