Saturday, May 26, 2012

Fresh Greek Salad

This has become one of mine and Josh's favorite salads lately. Its light, healthy and delicious. Good as a side, or even as the main dish with some fresh bread. Enjoy!
1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 cups diced cucumbers
1 1/2 cups diced tomatoes, drained if juicy
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
3 Tbsp olive oil
oregano to taste
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup Feta
olives, optional
Marinate chickpeas with balsamic vinegar and olive oil in baggie for 2-4 hours in refrigerator.
Mix ingredients together, and use 3 Tbsp of olive oil/vinegar dressing used to marinate chickpeas to dress salad. 

Chicken Pot Pie

Nothing beats homemade chicken pot pie. A good comfort food anytime. Yum!
2 pie shells, a top and a bottom
4 Tbsp butter
1 onion
3 Tbsp flour
1/4 tsp pepper
1 can chicken broth
frozen peas, rinsed with water
carrots, cooked
2 1/2-3 cups chicken, cooked and diced
 Fry butter and onions together until the onions are soft. Then, stir in the flour. Add salt, rosemary, and pepper. Cook until mixture becomes bubbly. Add chicken broth and stir until sauce thickens. Add peas, carrots and chicken and mix thoroughly. Add to uncooked pie shell. Lay top shell over pie, cut a vent, and cook at 425 for 20-25 minutes.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

chocolate mousse crunch cake

I made this for my mother in law's birthday and it was soooo easy and soooo good.  It looks pretty impressive and like you spent all day making it, but it takes very little effort and time and has a huge pay off.  I will definitely be making this again. Can you say y-u-m ?!

Chocolate Mousse Crunch Cake
Recipe by Our Best Bites
1 package Duncan Hines Devil’s Food Cake
1 recipe (give or take a little) Chocolate Ganache
Crushed Heath bars or a bag of chocolate-covered Heath bits
1 tsp. unflavored gelatin
1 Tbsp. cold water
2 Tbsp. boiling water (just heat it in a small bowl in your microwave)
1/2 c. sugar
1/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 c. whipping cream
1 tsp. vanilla
Bake cake according to cake mix instructions in 2 8″ round pans. Allow to cool and set aside. This can be done several days in advance; just freeze the cakes when you’re done.
In a small bowl, combine gelatin and cold water and allow to stand for about 1 minute. While gelatin is softening, bring 2 Tbsp. water to a boil in the microwave. Whisk into the softened gelatin and allow to cool slightly.
In a medium mixing bowl, combine sugar, cocoa powder, whipping cream, and vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer until medium-stiff peaks form. Mix in gelatin mixture and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Prepare ganache (if you haven’t already) according to directions.
With a serrated knife, carefully slice the dome-iest part of each cake layer off so the layers are level. Place one layer on the serving plate and spread about 1/2 of the chocolate mousse over the cake. Sprinkle with Heath bits.
Place second layer on top of Heath bits.
Spoon ganache over the top layer, allowing it to drip down the sides. Sprinkle with additional Heath bits and refrigerate until ready to serve.


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Parsley Pesto Pasta with Chicken

I love pesto, but it's usually so expensive to buy and if you're making a traditional pesto with pine nuts and basil, it's even expensive to make.  This is a cheaper, just as delicious alternative.
 1 lb Fettuccini
1 bunch Italian Parsley
1/2 cup Grated Parmesean
2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
2 cloves garlic
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup olive oil
Rinse the parsley well and shake off as much water as possible. Remove the leaves from the stems and place them into the food processor. Also add the garlic (peeled), parmesan cheese, and lemon juice. Pulse until there are no large chunks of garlic left.
Slowly add the olive oil through the spout on the lid as you continue to pulse the mixture. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed and pulse until smooth. Taste the pesto and add salt to your liking. I added 1/4 teaspoon. You want the pesto to be slightly saltier than you'd think because it will be spread out thin over the pasta.
 Cook the pasta according to the package directions (this can done while you make the pesto). Before draining the pasta, reserve about a half cup of the starchy cooking water. Drain the pasta, let cool slighly (about 5 minutes) and then return it to the pot. Add the pesto and stir to coat. If the pasta becomes dry, clumpy, or sticky, use a small amount of the pasta water to help loosen it up. Serve warm with baked or grilled chicken breast. Yum-o

Friday, February 24, 2012

Whole-Wheat Walnut-Raisin Biscotti

I've never had biscotti before so I don't really have anything to compare these to, but they are pretty good. They definitely have a healthy taste to them because of the whole-wheat flour but don't let that turn you off.  I've eaten so much of them today that I'm not hungry for dinner tonight.  Dunk them in a cold glass of milk, hot chocolate or in my sister Sarah's case, Diet Coke. I'm just kidding; that would be gross. Enjoy!


  • Vegetable oil, for baking sheet
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour, spooned and leveled
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled, plus more for work surface
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup walnut halves
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush a baking sheet with oil; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flours, sugar, baking powder, and salt; stir in walnuts and raisins. Set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together eggs and vanilla. Add to flour mixture; stir just until combined.
  3. On a lightly floured surface, with floured hands, pat dough into a loaf about 1 inch thick, 2 1/2 inches wide (and about 7 inches long); transfer to baking sheet. Bake until risen and firm, 20 to 25 minutes; cool completely on sheet. Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees.
  4. Place loaf on a cutting board, and using a serrated knife, cut diagonally into 1/4 inch-thick slices; place slices in a single layer on sheet. Bake, turning once, until dried and slightly golden, 25 to 30 minutes; cool completely.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Spicy Chocolate Bars

    This is an Allred classic- especially for events where food and large amounts of people go together. They are easy and especially good when frozen. Take care not to overbake them (like me- oops).

1 1/2 c. margarine/shortening
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 1/2 c. brown sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
4 cups flour
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cloves
1 tsp. nutmeg
4 tsp. cinnamon
2 cups chocolate chips

Mix ingredients together. Spread onto a greased cookie sheet and cook at 350 for 20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Flourless Chocolate Cake

I made this cake for Valentines Day and it was quite delicious.  Its very moist and rich and very grown up.  I served it with a homemade butterscotch sauce, but any store bought caramel sauce would work as well. 
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, plus more for greasing the pan
8 ounces of semisweet chocolate, chopped
6 large eggs, separated
1/2 cup granulated sugar
confectioners' sugar, for dusting (optional)
Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Line the bottom of a springform pan with parchment paper and butter the sides and parchment paper.
In a double boiler, melt butter and chocolate together. Once melted, remove from heat and cool.
Meanwhile, beat egg whites until soft peaks form.  Once soft peaks form, gradually add in the sugar and beat until you see glossy, stiff peaks.
Once chocolate is cooled, whisk in the egg yolks.  Transfer chocolate mixture to a large bowl and whisk in 1/4 of the egg whites into the chocolate before folding in the remaining egg whites.  Be sure to fold them in well as to not have pockets of egg whites.
Pour batter into the greased pan, smooth the top and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until set.  Cool completely before removing the sides of the pan and serve with sauce of your choice.

This little guy wanted to help so he held the measuring cup.