Cloud Nine Valentine Martini

Since Valentine’s Day is tomorrow, I thought I’d share a yummy drink recipe that I made for my boyfriend and I this weekend. I found it through a pin on Pinterest and it’s from the Web site DayDreamerDesserts.com. Whether you are dining out or staying in and cooking at home, enjoy one (or two!) of these tomorrow evening. Happy Valentine’s Day!!!

Cloud Nine Martini

Serves 2

Red Sanding Sugar
6 ounces Godiva White Chocolate liqueur (I used Merrys White Chocolate Liqueur)
2 ounces Pinnacle Whipped Cream vodka

For an added Valentine’s Day touch, pour some red sanding sugar (go to the baking isle in your grocery store and you will find it with the sprinkles)  into a plastic lid then swirl the rims of the martini glasses in some whipped cream vodka and dip them into the sanding sugar.

Fill a cocktail shaker halfway with ice. Pour ingredients into the cocktail shaker, and shake for 20 seconds.

Strain and serve into martini glasses.

Recipe: Raspberry Shortbread Thumbprints

Happy New Year!

Even though the holidays are over (sad face), I had to share one other cookie recipe that I made for Christmas. I came across these cookies from a good family friend and had to get it from her – Thanks, Lynn! I remember eating them as a little kid too, but they were known as Kolacky’s to our family. So, tuck this recipe away if you need another cookie recipe for your next holiday cookie exchange because this one is so yummy! Enjoy!

Raspberry Shortbread Thumbprints (Otherwise known as Kolacky’s)

2/3 c. sugar

1 c. butter, softened

1/2 tsp. almond extract

2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour

1/2 c. raspberry preserves

Glaze

1 c. powdered sugar

1 1/2 tsp. almond extract

2-3 tbsp. milk until smooth

Add milk slowly so glaze doesn’t become too runny (should be thick like maple syrup)

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Combine sugar, butter and almond extract in a medium-sized bowl.  Beat until creamy. Reduce speed and add flour.  Beat until well mixed – dough will be crumbly.

Shape into 1-inch balls.  Place two inches apart on cookie sheet.  With thumb make an indentation in center of each cookie, edges may crack. Fill with 1/4 tsp. raspberry preserves.

Bake 14-18 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Drizzle with glaze when cool.

Yield: 3 1/2 dozen

Recipe courtesy of Lynn Ahern.

Recipe: Ginger Spice Cookies

I participated in a cookie exchange about a week ago and made some delicious cookies, so I wanted to share the recipe with you all. Since I’m a part of the Junior League of Denver, I went straight to the new JLD cookbook, Colorado Classique (released in 2009), to get a holiday cookie recipe. After you are done, put these on a pretty plate or tin and give them as a hostess gift! They are guaranteed to love them!

Ginger Spice Cookies

1 c. sugar
3/4 c. butter
1 egg
3 tbsp. molasses
2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
sugar for rolling

Glaze

1 1/2 c.  powdered sugar
1 1/2 tbsp. water
1 1/2 tsps. lemon juice

* Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, cream 1 cup sugar with butter for three minutes or until light and fluffy. Mix in egg and molasses. In a separate medium bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. Add dry ingredients to creamed mixture and blend well. Fill a shallow bowl with sugar. Break off walnut-size pieces of dough and roll into balls. Roll balls in sugar and arrange on greased baking sheets. Bake 10 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer cookies to racks to cool.

Meanwhile, make glaze. Combine powdered sugar with water and stir until smooth. Stir in lemon juice. Drizzle glaze over cookies, or dip half of cookie tip in glaze.

Nutrition Information: 97 calories, 4 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 14 mg cholesterol, 87 mg sodium, 16 g carbohydrates, 10 g sugars, 0 g fiber, 1 g protein.

Yield: 40 cookies.

Recipe from the Junior League of Denver Colorado Classique Cookbook.

Recipe: Grilled Chicken and Pesto Farfalle

Just made this for dinner the other night and it was delish! I halved the recipe so that we could have leftovers for lunch the next day. Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Grilled Chicken and Pesto Farfalle

1 3/4 lb skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

1 tsp salt, divided

3/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper, divided

Cooking spray

20 oz uncooked farfalle (bow tie pasta)

1 tbsp butter

3 garlic cloves

1 1/2 cups 1% low-fat milk, divided (I used skim milk)

2 tbsp all-purpose flour

1 (3.5 oz) jar commercial pesto (about 1/3 cup)

3/4 c half-and-half (I used fat-free)

2 c (8 oz) shredded fresh Parmesan cheese, divided

4 c halved grape tomatoes (about 2 pints)

1/2 c chopped fresh basil

Preparation

1. Prepare grill to medium-high heat.

2. Sprinkle chicken evenly with 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Place chicken on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 10 minutes or until done, turning after 6 minutes. Remove from grill; let stand 5 minutes. Cut chicken into 1/2-inch pieces; keep warm.

3. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain in colander ovre a bowl, reserving 1/4 c cooking liquid. Place pasta in large bowl.

4. Heat butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic to pan; cook 1 minute, stirring occasionally. Combine 1/2 c milk and flour in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add milk mixture to pan, stirring constantly with a whisk. Stir in pesto. Gradually add remaining 1 c milk and half-and-half, stirring constantly with a whisk. Cook 8 minutes or until sauce thickens, stirring frequently. Add 1/4 c reserved cooking liquid, remaining 3/4 tsp salt, remaining 1/2 tsp pepper and 1 c cheese; stir until cheese melts.

5. Add chicken and sauce to pasta, tossing well to coat. Add tomatoes and basil; toss gently. Sprinkle with remaining 1 c cheese. Serve immediately!

*Recipe courtesy of MyRecipes.com

(Yield: 10 servings (serving size: 2 cups pasta and 1 1/2 tbsp cheese) 508 calories, 38.3 g protein, 16.7 grams total fat, 50.7 g carbohydrate, 81 mgs cholesterol, 781 mg sodium)

Recipe: Creamy Artichoke Dip

If you love artichoke dip, you are going to love this! I got this recipe from Myrecipes.com and made it the other night for my boyfriend and we both loved it.

Creamy Artichoke Dip

1/2 cup (4 oz.) block-style fat-free cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise

3 tbsp. grated fresh Parmesan cheese

2 tsp. minced garlic

2 tsp. fresh lemon juice

1/2 tsp hot pepper sauce (such as Tobasco)

1/4 tsp kosher salt

1/4 tsp. fresh ground black pepper

2 (9 oz.) packages frozen artichoke hearts (about 2 cups), thawed and chopped – I used canned artichoke hearts and it worked just fine.

Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine the first 8 ingredients in a large bowl; stir until well blended. Stir in artichoke hearts. Spoon artichoke mixture into an 8-inch square baking dish coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until artichoke mixture is hot and begins to brown. Serve warm. Goes great with veggies or cut up pieces of french bread.

(Yield: 6 servings (serving size: about 1/3 cup) 72 calories, 5.7 g protein, 2.4 grams total fat, 8.3 g carbohydrate, 5 mgs cholesterol, 352 mg sodium)

Recipe: Cynthia’s Apple Crisp

I made this yummy dessert for my family on Christmas and it turned out fabulous. The recipe comes from a cookbook that was given to me last Christmas by a good friend of mine. It’s called “American Fashion Cookbook”. What a perfect combination – Fashion and Food! It’s a compilation of more than 100 recipes from favorite designers around the world. Let me know what you think!

Cynthia’s Apple Crisp – By: Cynthia Steffe

8 large Granny Smith apples, peeled cored and sliced

2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

1 c. unbleached all-purpose flour

1 c. sugar

1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 c. unsalted butter, cold and cut into pieces

1/2 c. coconut

1/2 c. panko bread crumbs

1/2 c. old-fashioned oats

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×12-inch baking dish. Place a layer of apple slices in the pan and sprinkle with some of the lemon juice. Repeat the layers until all the apples are in the pan. Lightly press down on the apples to even them out. Mix the flour, sugar, cinnamon and salt in a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Add the butter and process, using repeated pulses, until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Transfer to a bowl and toss together with coconut, panko bread crumbs and oats. Press the crumb mixture evenly over the apples, making sure the edges are well sealed. Bake at 350 degrees until the top is golden brown and the apples are tender, approximately one hour. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

Recipe: Thai Chicken Wraps

This is a super yummy recipe I received from a friend. I’ve made it a few times for friends and family. You are bound to love it!

Thai Chicken Wraps

1/4 c sugar

1/4 c creamy peanut butter

3 tbsp low sodium soy sauce

3 tbsp water

2 tbsp canola oil

1 tsp minced garlic

4 8-inch flour tortillas

1/2 tsp garlic salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs

1 tbsp canola oil

4 cups broccoli slaw mix

1 red onion, cut into thin wedges

1 tsp fresh ginger

1. For peanut sauce, in a small saucepan combine sugar, peanut butter, soy sauce, water, the 2 tablespoons cooking oil and the garlic. Heat until sugar is dissolved, stirring frequently. Set aside.

2. Wrap tortillas in foil. Bake in oven at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes or until heated and softened. Meanwhile, in a medium mixing bowl combine garlic salt and pepper. Add chicken, tossing to coat evenly.

3. In a large skillet hear the 1 tbsp oil. Cook and stir seasoned chicken in hot oil over medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes or until cooked through. Remove chicken from skillet; keep warm. Add broccoli mix, onion and ginger to skillet. Cook and stir for 2-3 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender. Add reserved chicken and heat over low heat.

4. To assemble, spread each tortilla with peanut sauce. Top with vegetable mixture. Roll up each tortilla, securing with a wooden toothpick. Serve immediately with remaining sauce.

(Per serving:  411 calories, 26 g protein, 21 grams total fat, 33 g carbohydrate, 74 mgs cholesterol, 1089mg sodium)