Friday, October 29, 2010

Tequila-Lime Chicken and Shrimp Fajitas

Have you noticed it??

You know what I'm talking about....

Fall is here!

Winter is approaching quickly!

Yesterday was actually one of the first really chilly days we have had yet.

I mean, the weather keeps going chilly, then it will jump back into the 80's. What the...

Well. Today I even got a severe weather alert saying that there was going to be a wind chill of 28 degrees! Woohoo!!!

I love cold weather.

I love hats, scarves, coats, boots, you name it. If it's cold weather gear. I love it.

I've been so ready for the cooler weather.

However, while all the other foodies are posting about pies, pumpkin goodness, and soups...I, on the other hand, am going against the grain (as usual) and talking about fajitas today!

You heard me! Fajitas are good year round.

As long as The Hubble braves the elements to break out the grill that is...

The Hubble and I love fajitas. And what's better than chicken and shrimp fajitas?? As long as you throw some tequila in there...I'm thinking nothing!

Naturally, we chose yesterday (with it's 28 degree wind chill and all) to prove our dedication to the almighty fajita!

Okay, okay. So I stayed inside with the warm stove top and The Hubble really showed his dedication...but we're a team. Right??

Anyway. I did most of the work. He just grilled the meat!

These fajitas were pretty much amazing. Especially the shrimp. The flavors complimented one another and I knew that I just had to share the recipe so you all can prove your dedication to fajita goodness.

So before the weather turns too up your grill and try these. Quick!

Grab your ingredients: shrimp, chicken, tequila, lime juice, minced garlic, red and green bell pepper, an onion (for some reason I removed this before taking the picture), olive oil, ground cumin, salt and Emeril's Essence (or you can use any type of cajun spice or cayenne pepper).

Start by whisking together the lime juice, tequila, minced garlic, gound cumin, salt, Essence and 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a medium bowl.

Place the chicken and the shrimp in large plastic baggies (I used a different bag for each meat) then pour half of the marinade into each bag. Make sure the meat is well coated and covered then place the bags in the fridge for 1-2 hours.

While The Hubble is outside freezing his bummers off starting up the grill and throwing on the chicken, you can get the peppers and onion going.

Slice the peppers and onion into strips. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a hot pan. Toss in the peppers and onion.

And cook on medium heat, stirring frequently, until they are tender, yet still crunchy (about 8-10 minutes).

While the chicken is cooking and the veggies are sizzling, go ahead and skewer the shrimpies.

When the chicken is just about done, add the shrimp skewers. Then ask The Hubble to take a picture so you don't have to go out in the cold interrupt the time between man and grill. Then feign amazement when he shows you the incredible shot he took complete with fire!

Once the shrimp are nice and pink and the chicken is no longer pink, slice up the chicken and make your fajita. Throw the chicken, peppers and some onion on a tortilla and top with whatever other toppings you like. I added sour cream and cheese to mine. The Hubble had his plain. Grab a couple skewers of shrimp. And enjoy!!

Tequila-Lime Chicken and Shrimp Fajitas

Printer Friendly Version


  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1 pound Jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined with tail on
  • 1 cup lime juice
  • 1 cup tequila
  • 2 Tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon Emeril's Essence (or cajun spice or cayenne pepper)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
  • 1 green bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
  • 1 medium onion, sliced into thin strips
  • Tortillas
  • Sour cream (optional)
  • Shredded cheese (optional)
  1. Whisk together lime juice, tequila, minced garlic, ground cumin, Essence, salt and 2 Tablespoons of olive oil.
  2. Place chicken and shrimp in separate plastic storage/freezer bags. Pour half of marinade mixture into each bag. Make sure chicken and shrimp are well coated; place in fridge for 1-2 hours.
  3. Grill chicken until no longer pink. Slice into strips.
  4. Skewer shrimp and grill until pink and opaque.
  5. Heat remaining 2 Tablespoons of oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add peppers and onion. Cook, stirring frequently, until tender; about 8-10 minutes.
  6. Assemble fajitas: place chicken, peppers and onion on a tortilla. Top with sour cream and cheese (optional). Enjoy with shrimp skewers.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Guest Posting on Pink Little Cake

Featured on Pink Little Cake

Hey everyone! I just want to let you know I'm not here today.

Kathia over at Pink Little Cake has given me the honor of guest posting on her blog. She's been having a Halloween party with her 28 Days of Sweet Halloween Treats Series and I'm excited to have been able to contribute.

So head on over to my guest post. And while you are there...check out all the other great ideas for Halloween treats.

Thanks again Kathia!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Bananas Foster Bread

I have a question for you...

Do you have a favorite grocery store??

Yes? Awesome!

Next question...

Can you access said favorite grocery store??

Yes?? Lucky! favorite grocery store of all time is Wegman's. Wegman's is pretty much THE best grocery store EVER! I love it so!

But I've only ever seen Wegman's in the Northeast part of the country.

I miss Wegman's. Like...A LOT!

Sadly, since I currently live in the middle of nowhere. The "grocery store" I go to is....

Wally World!

Are you jealous??

No? No worries...I wouldn't be either.

Anyway. I have a point...really.

Since I go to Wally World pretty regularly I am constantly stopping by the magazine section. It's in between the door I come in and the place that I start in the store. I always go to the furthest end of the store and work my way back.

I am always on the lookout for new cooking magazines to catch my eye. I also always look for the new Food Network and Cooking Light magazines each month. Please don't ask me why I don't just get subscriptions because you will be disappointed with my answer. the beginning of this month I stopped by the magazine section and I saw the new Cooking Light. This issue was full of banana bread options. Yes!!

As I was walking away making a mental list of what I needed to get to make the banana breads in this magazine, I had to turn back because I realized I needed to get a copy for my buddy Ingrid. Ingrid loves bananas.

No. Seriously. She LOVES bananas. I think she would probably marry them if she could.

So I sent her this magazine and told her how much I wanted to make this bread! She quickly found the recipe and agreed. So we both made it.

I made mine to take to a friend Lori's house for her last dinner here. She was moving the next day and was having a "clean out my freezer" dinner party. Of course I had to take dessert. And I knew JUST the dessert to take!

The bread was moist...oh so moist. The taste of the Cognac was subtle but definitely gave this bread an added oompf. Is that a word? Hmmm....well it is now.

I ate 2 pieces of this bread in the same amount of time. It was really good. I will definitely be making this bread again.

Now, don't forget to head over to Ingrid's place and see what she thought of this bread. But let me show you how to make it first! Then you can go.

Let's bake!

Grab your ingredients: all purpose flour (I use unbleached), dark brown sugar, salt, ground cinnamon, unsalted butter, eggs, flaxseed meal, baking soda, ground allspice, Cognac, bananas (not pictured here...oops!) and powdered sugar.

Toss your mashed bananas, 5 tablespoons butter, 1/2 cup brown sugar and 3 tablespoons in a medium saucepan.

Cook the mixture until the butter melts and it all becomes bubbly. Remove it from the heat so it can cool.

While the banana mixture is cooling you can go ahead and get your dry ingredients ready. In a medium mixing bowl whisk together the flour, flaxseed meal, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and allspice. Set aside.

By now the banana mixture should be pretty cool. Go ahead and pour that mixture into a mixing bowl. Add in the yogurt, the rest of the brown sugar and the eggs. Mix it all together well.

Now add in the flour mixture...

And mix until just combined.

Now...pour the batter into a greased 9x5 inch loaf pan.

And bake it up for about an hour. The bread is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let the bread cool in the pan for about 10 minutes. Then transfer to a cooling rack.

While the bread is cooling we will make the glaze. Toss the remaining 1 tablespoon butter with the remaining 1 tablespoon of Cognac into a small saucepan. Allow the butter to melt and the Cognac to cook for about 30 seconds.

Remove from heat and add in the powdered sugar.

You do not have to do this in a saucepan. Little Butt was going to enjoy this bread with us so I wanted to cook off the alcohol. Instead you can just melt the butter then add the Cognac and powdered sugar and mix well.

Drizzle the glaze over the warm bread.

Allow the bread to cool and the glaze to set. Slice. Serve. Enjoy!!

Okay. Now you can go check out how Ingrid liked this bread!

Bananas Foster Bread
Slightly adapted from Cooking Light

Printer Friendly Version

  • 1 1/2 cups mashed ripe banana (I used 3 bananas)
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar, divided
  • 6 Tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1/4 cup Cognac or dark rum, divided
  • 1/3 cup plain fat free yogurt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (I used unbleached)
  • 1/4 cup ground flaxseed (flaxseed meal)
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Combine banana, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 5 tablespoons butter and 3 tablespoons Cognac in medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat until mixture begins to bubble. Remove from heat to cool.
  3. Whisk together flour, flaxseed, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and allspice. Set aside.
  4. Pour cooled banana mixture into large mixing bowl. Add yogurt, remaining 1/2 cup brown sugar and eggs. Beat on medium speed until well combined.
  5. Add dry ingredients to banana mixture. Beat until just combined. 
  6. Pour batter into greased 9x5 inch loaf pan. 
  7. Bake 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in center of loaf comes out clean.
  8. Cool in pan 10 minutes then transfer to cooling rack.
  9. Make glaze. Place remaining tablespoon of butter and tablespoon of Cognac in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat until butter is melted. Remove from heat and add powdered sugar. Mix until sugar dissolves.
  10. Drizzle glaze over warm bread.
  11. Allow bread to cool and glaze to set. Slice. Serve. Enjoy!!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Loaf

I think I have a problem...

I have an addiction.

I think I need some kind of meeting to help me with this addiction.

Hello, my name is Maranda...

and I'm an addict.

I have an addiction to...

baking groups.

Yup. You heard me right.

I have an addiction to baking groups. When I see a new one that is available I just can't seem to say no.

I joined The Daring Bakers.

I created my own Facebook baking group.

Then...Monica posted about the Cake Slice Bakers.

Another baking group??? Sign me up!

I know I'm not the only one out there with this problem!

Am I??

Sadly, the Cake Slice Bakers option is closed to new members again. Maybe they will open it up once they finish out this new book. Until then, you can head over to the Cake Slice Blogroll to see how all the other members did with this cake.

Wait...what?? You want to know what the new book is?? It's Cake Keeper Cakes by Lauren Chattman.

I know you are pretty sad right now about this group. But there is always The Daring Bakers! And if you aren't quite ready to tackle that...go ahead and join my Facebook Baking Group! We are always accepting new members.

So on to my very first cake with the Cake Slice Bakers. The chocolate chip pumpkin loaf.

I made this cake a the beginning of October. We were finally having a cool day and we were headed to a graduation party for The Hubble. I've been itching to bake with pumpkin and this is the first pumpkin treat I made this year!

This cake was excellent. I love the addition of the walnuts because they were unexpected. It gave the cake a little added texture. I have to admit though...this cake was MUCH better the next day. After everything settled and all the flavors married up.

Let's get baking!

Grab your ingredients: all purpose flour (I always use unbleached), baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, ground cloves, nutmeg, unsalted butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla, milk (forgot to put it in the picture), semi-sweet chocolate chips, walnuts, and pumpkin!!

Start by whisking together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, cloves and nutmeg in a medium mixing bowl.

Let me warn you here. I think my camera was in the mood for pumpkin as well because every picture has an orange tinge to it. Weird.

Toss the sugar and the butter in a mixing bowl.

And cream it together on medium high speed (about 3 minutes). Scrape sides as necessary.

Reduce the mixer speed to medium low and add the eggs one at a time, mixing well between each addition.

Now add in the pumpkin, vanilla and the milk. I wondered at this point if the batter was supposed to look curdled like that but someone else asked about it too so I figure that's the way it's supposed to look.

Slowly add in the dry ingredients. Mix well and scrape the sides of the bowl as necessary.

Stir in the nuts and the chocolate chips.

Pour the batter into a greased 9x5 inch loaf pan. Spread the top around to make sure it's all even. Then bake it up!

When a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean (except for the melty chocolate of course) the cake is done! Cool in the pan for about 5 minutes then invert onto a cooling rack. Allow to cool completely before cutting!

Now slice that bad boy up. Serve. And enjoy!!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Loaf
Retrieved from Cake Keeper Cakes

Printer Friendly Version

  • 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour (I used unbleached but either way is fine)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • pinch of ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat inside of 9x5 inch loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray (I used Baker's Joy).
  2. Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, cloves and nutmeg in a medium mixing bowl.
  3. Cream together butter and sugar on medium high until fluffy (about 3 minutes).
  4. Reduce mixer speed to medium low and add eggs one at a time, mixing well between each addition. 
  5. Mix in pumpkin, vanilla and milk.
  6. Slowly add dry ingredients until well combined; scrape sides as needed.
  7. Stir in chocolate chips and walnuts.
  8. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and smooth the top with a rubber spatula.
  9. Bake 55 minutes to an hour or until cake is firm and toothpick inserted into center of the cake comes out clean.
  10. Cool in pan 5 minutes; invert onto cooling rack and allow to cool completely.
  11. Slice, serve and enjoy!!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Inside-Out German Chocolate Cake

Do you have a problem with procrastination??

I sure do! Or so it seems.

I made this cake back in August! Can you believe it?!?!?

I seem to make stuff, not post it, make more stuff I'm excited about, then just kind of forget about the old stuff that I made.

Recently I started moving all of my food pictures over to Flickr. My computer is running out of memory (it's a 2006 model which makes it ancient in computer years). So that means all my pictures need to go somewhere. As I've been moving them over I've found a bunch of recipes that I never posted!

Can we spell procrastination?? Oh wait...I just did.

There are two reasons I made this cake (way back then!). 1) It was the chosen cake for my Facebook baking group. 2) The Hubble's birthday was in August and German chocolate cake is his favorite.

This cake was super rich but still enjoyable. Sadly, I'm not a huge chocolate fan so I didn't eat much of it.

The way I got rid of it was having a bunch of Army guys over. I made a chocolate stout cake for the event but we ran out of that one and I pulled the rest of this one out of the fridge. Save!

Whether it was rich or not, the guys definitely devoured it. I barely was able to save a small sliver for The Hubble and I to enjoy together.

I wonder if he would have been upset if I had given away all of his birthday cake...

Let's get after it.

Ingredients: Sugar, flour, Dutch processed cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt, milk, butter, eggs, coconut, sweetened condensed milk, light corn syrup, chopped pecans, vanilla extract, almond extract and semi sweet chocolate. Phew.

Start by sifting together the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cocoa into a large mixing bowl.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, butter, whole egg, egg yolk and both extracts until well combined.

Pour the wet mixture in with the dry ingredients...

And beat on low speed until just combined. 

Then raise the speed to high and beat for 1 minute.

Now put the mixer back on low and slowly add in the water until combined.

Separate the batter into 3 cake pans and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. You will need to rotate the pans halfway through baking. When done, cool in pans for 15 minutes then remove from pans and cool completely on cooling rack.

Now for the filling. Place your coconut and pecans on separate parchment lined baking sheets. Place in upper and lower thirds of the oven and bake, stirring occasionally, until golden brown. Set aside to cool.

Pour the sweetened condensed milk into a pie pan.

Cover the pie pan with foil and place in a larger pan. Fill the larger pan with water until it reaches halfway up the pie plate. Bake for about 45 minutes, refill the water, then bake for another 45 minutes.

While the milk is baking, we will make our glaze because it needs refrigeration time. Toss your butter into a saucepan until melted. Remove from heat.

Add the semi sweet chocolate and corn syrup and whisk until melted and combined.

Pour 1 cup of the mixture into a bowl and place in the fridge about 1 hour, stirring occasionally. The rest of the glaze, just set aside.

Back to the filling! When the milk is done baking it should be thick and brown. Remove the pie plate from the water bath.

Toss the toasted pecans and coconut into the cooked milk.

Add vanilla...

And mix it all up until everything is well combined.

Now for the assembly!! Take a layer of the cake and spread press half of the filling evenly across it. It helps if you wet your spatula because the filling is stiiiiiicky!!

Then top with another cake layer and the rest of the filling.

Place the final cake layer on top of all of that.

Take the glaze out of the fridge and stir it up really good until it is spreadable. Do a rough frosting job all over the cake.

At this point, if you haven't already, place a parchment lined baking sheet under the cooling rack that your cake is on. Reheat the rest of the glaze that you set aside earlier and slowly pour it over the frosted cake. Oh, and you see the right side of my cake there?? Yeah...that's where I gorged it when I was "roughly" frosting the cake. I wasn't being literal there (even though I took it that way). You really need to gently frost the cake!

After you pour the glaze on the cake, chill it for about an hour until the glaze sets and hardens. Then transfer to a plate (or be lazy like me and leave it on a cake board). Cut a chunk out of that bad boy...

Serve it and enjoy!!!

Inside-Out German Chocolate Cake
Retrieved from Epicurious

Printer Friendly Version


For cake layers
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/8 teaspoon almond extract
  • 3/4 cup boiling-hot water
For filling
  • 7 ounces sweetened flaked coconut
  • 4 ounces coarsely chopped pecans (1 cup)
  • 14-ounces can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
For glaze
  • 2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 10 ounces fine-quality semisweet chocolate
  • 3 tablespoons light corn syrup

Make cake layers:
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and oil cake pans. 
  2. Sift together sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl.
  3. Whisk together whole milk, butter, whole egg, yolk, vanilla, and almond extract in another large bowl until just combined. 
  4. Beat egg mixture into flour mixture with an electric mixer on low speed, then beat on high speed 1 minute. 
  5. Reduce speed to low and beat in water until just combined (batter will be thin). 
  6. Divide batter among cake pans (about 1 1/2 cups per pan) and bake in upper and lower thirds of oven, switching position of pans and rotating them 180 degrees halfway through baking, until a tester comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes total.
  7. Cool layers in pans on racks 15 minutes. Run a thin knife around edges of pans and invert layers onto racks and cool layers completely.
Make filling:
  1. Reduce oven temperature to 325°F.
  2. Spread coconut in a large shallow baking pan and pecans in another. Bake pecans in upper third of oven and coconut in lower third, stirring occasionally, until golden, 12 to 18 minutes. Remove pans from oven.
  3. Increase oven temperature to 425°F.
  4. Pour condensed milk into a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate and cover tightly with foil. 
  5. Bake milk in a water bath in middle of oven 45 minutes. Refill baking pan with water to reach halfway up pie plate and bake milk until thick and brown, about 45 minutes more. Remove pie plate from water bath.
  6. Stir in coconut, pecans, and vanilla and keep warm, covered with foil.
Make glaze while milk is baking:
  1. Melt butter in a 3-quart saucepan. 
  2. Remove pan from heat and add chocolate and corn syrup, whisking until chocolate is melted. 
  3. Transfer 1 cup glaze to a bowl, reserving remaining glaze at room temperature in pan. 
  4. Chill glaze in bowl, stirring occasionally, until thickened and spreadable, about 1 hour.
Assemble cake:
  1. Put 1 cake layer on a rack set over a baking pan (to catch excess glaze). 
  2. Drop half of coconut filling by spoonfuls evenly over layer and gently spread with a wet spatula. 
  3. Top with another cake layer and spread with remaining filling in same manner. 
  4. Top with remaining cake layer and spread chilled glaze evenly over top and side of cake. 
  5. Heat reserved glaze in pan over low heat, stirring, until glossy and pourable, about 1 minute. 
  6. Pour glaze evenly over top of cake, making sure it coats sides. Shake rack gently to smooth glaze.
  7. Chill cake until firm, about 1 hour. 
  8. Transfer cake to a plate. 
  9. Serve and enjoy!!

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