Archive for February, 2010


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February 16, 2010 at 10:06 pm Leave a comment

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

So this last weekend, Johnny and I packed all of our laundry into my car and drove out to his parents house in PA. It’s always so nice to spend time out there with them and Melinda and Ralf. Heh. Ralf. (Johnny’s sister and puppy, respectively)

His dad’s birthday was last week, and his mom’s is next week, so we decided to celebrate all at once while we had the time to visit. Of course, this means I had to cook something 🙂  Actually, I cooked several things.

Mr. Yoder is a big fan of quiche apparently. How awesome is that?! So my Bacon, Broccoli and Cheddar Quiche had an encore at breakfast time.

Dinner was Pesto Chicken Paninies (on ciabatta bread with mozzarella, roasted peppers and arugula) with Cumin Scented Sweet Potato Fries.

Ralfie wanted some chicken!!!!

Dessert? Pineapple Upside-Down Cake!

I couldn’t tell you the last time I had pineapple upside-down cake. I remember when I was little my mom made it once and I absolutely loved it. It’s such a fun dessert! To the untrained eye, as it sits in its pan it looks just like a plain old yellow cake. Flip it over – and like magic it’s a gooey, glorious cake topped with golden pineapple rings and brilliant red cherries. Yum yum yum yum yum .

Pinapple Upside-Down Cake

  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 (20 oz) can pineapple rings, juice drained and reserved
  • 1 jar maraschino cherries
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 stick of unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons dark rum
  1. Preheat the oven to 350.
  2. In a cake pan of your choice, combine the melted butter, brown sugar and rum. (It should be sticky and syrupy.) Line this mixture with pineapple rings, placing cherries in the center of each ring and any empty spaces. Set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine cake mix, eggs, oil, and pineapple juice and whisk until the batter is combined and free of lumps. Pour over pineapple mixture.
  4. Bake at 350 until the top is golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  5. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minuets.Be sure to loosen the edges of the cake with a knife.
  6. Carefully place a large plate or platter on top of the cake pan. Flip the cake over onto the plate and carefully remove the cake pan.
  7. Volia! Pineapple-Upside Down Cake!

February 16, 2010 at 11:57 am Leave a comment

Snow Day!!!

Look at the poor tree in front of my apartment! He must be so darn cold. You can’t really see his buddy to the left, but I’m sure they’re chatting about all the snow. (Please, forgive the poor quality of the picture, I took it through my kitchen window, that’s why it looks like it was taken through a screen or something. Because it was. Anywhoooo…)

I’m sure everyone in Jersey probably has a similar view when they look outside, but I just wanted to capture the real essence of  today’s snow-day-ness.(Random Thought. Snow always makes me think of Christmas? I know it’s come and gone already, but I’ve been humming Jingle Bells all day and I can’t stop. Does anyone else have this problem?? Resume Post.)

Snow day means no class AND no work. I’ve got a pile of dishes in the sink, a room to be cleaned and homework I could get a head start on. What’s a girl to do when she’s stuck inside all day?????


Delightfully comforting on such a snowy day,
this Bacon, Broccoli
and Cheddar Quiche was the absolute perfect
brunch meal.

Bacon, Broccoli and Cheddar Quiche

  • 1 frozen, ready-made pie crust (thawed)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup 2% milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 5 slices of thick cut bacon, chopped
  • 1/4 cup red onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1/2 bag steam-in-a-bag frozen broccoli (yes, that’s the technical term), prepared to package directions, chopped
  1. Preheat the oven to 350º.
  2. Prick the bottom of your pie crust all over with a fork (to prevent bubbles from forming during cooking) and place in the oven for about five minutes, just until you begin to smell it. Remove and set aside.
  3. Place the chopped bacon into a large frying pan. Cook over high heat until brown and crispy, about seven minutes Add the red onion during the last minute of cooking time. Drain on a plate lined with paper towels and set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk and pepper until it forms a smooth mixture. Add the cheese, broccoli, and bacon. Mix to combine.
  5. Pour the egg mixture into the reserved pie crust. Top with remaining cheese.
  6. Cook for 40 minutes or until the eggs are set and the cheese on top is melted and brown.
  7. Let cool about 15 minutes before serving.

February 10, 2010 at 2:52 pm 2 comments

Spinach & Artichoke Dip

This morning my tummy is still recovering from yesterday’s Super Bowl celebration. Johnny and I didn’t do anything toooooo crazy, we just had our close friend and his lovely lady over for some snacks and good times.When our friends showed up an hour earlier than I expected I hurried my little self up to get snacks on the table as fast as possible.

In all my haste, I neglected to snap a single picture of the Creole Crab Dip I made (which was totally why the Saints won by the way 🙂 ) or the Spicy Boneless Buffalo Wings, or the Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Blondies. I couldn’t not share a recipe with you guys, though, so although this dip was not in last night’s repertoire, it IS in my repertoire of recipes and is absolutely divine.

Spinach and Artichoke dip is one of my favorite favorite snacks to get when I’m out to eat. It’s creamy and cheesy and the perfect companion to anything crunchy and dipable. When I finally decided I wanted to try and make it for myself at home I started searching through dozens of recipes. In all of my searching, I noticed that one of the main ingredients in just about every recipe I found was mayonnaise.


Don’t ask me why. I couldn’t really tell you. Aside from the fact that it’s absolutely awful for you, averaging at around 100 calories per tablespoon and having little to no redeemable nutritional value, something about the way it jiggles and stares at me and – ugh – it just really grosses me out. So I decided, forget you mayo and forget you recipes, I’m coming up with my own.

The recipe I’m sharing with you is all my own. I replaced the *shudder* mayo with nonfat yogurt to lend a creamy texture without all the fat and repulsiveness and I added some white wine to thin out the mixture while adding a lovely, more sophisticated zip to the dip. The red bell pepper was another touch of mine because I love the sweet crunch it adds to the finished dip and because it’s my recipe and what I say goes. Heh. 🙂

Spinach and Artichoke Dip

  • 1 package frozen, chopped spinach, defrosted and drained of all liquid
  • One 8-ounce package reduced fat cream cheese, softened
  • One 6-ounce container nonfat yogurt
  • One 8-ounce jar marinated artichoke hears, drained and chopped
  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • ½ of a small, red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 teaspoons garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning or oregano
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup mozzarella cheese
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°.
  2. In a large sauté pan, add the spinach, cream cheese, yogurt, and artichokes. Over high heat, stir until the ingredients become a smooth mixture.
  3. Add the wine and allow to cook for about 5 minutes, until the mixture thickens.
  4. Add the bell pepper, garlic, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes and parmesan. Mix to combine.
  5. Pour the mixture into a 9 inch pie plate or baking dish. Top with mozzarella and more seasonings if desired.
  6. Bake at 400° until hot and bubbly and the cheese is melted.
  7. Serve with carrots, celery, and homemade pita chips!

February 8, 2010 at 1:40 pm 2 comments

Penne with Sausage, White Beans and Spinach

It’s a shame the first snow day of the semester just so happened to fall on a Saturday AND my day off work. So of course, I slept until noon and am still in my pajamas. 🙂 (Yes, STILL, and I’m probably sleeping in them again too. So HA!)

I spent my whole morning/afternoon baking a pear and almond spice cake that was inspired by the apple almond coffee cake of Inspired Taste. It turned out quite nicely, but oopsies, I didn’t snap a picture that did it justice. Add that to the fact that Johnny and I were starving and each shoveled down two pieces and watched Scrubs reruns until it was finally, you guessed it, dinner time. Typical. Ha.

I didn’t have much to work with, but surprisingly I had all the right things to make this delicious dish. Looks freakin’ awesome, doesn’t it? Johnny went back for seconds, so I knew I did good. 🙂 And just in case this photo doesn’t do it justice…


From start to finish this probably took about 25 minutes to make. The longest part is waiting for the pasta water to boil! I guarantee you, anyone can make this for a hearty, satisfying meal any night of the week!

Penne with Sausage, White Beans and Spinach

  • 1/2 box of penne pasta (Ronzoni Smart Taste, I’m tellin ya guys, It’s the best)
  • 1 lb hot italian sausage
  • 1 can white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup baby spinach, washed and torn
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup shredded italian cheese (whatever you have on hand will work perfectly)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  1. Cook the pasta for about 7 minutes, so it’s just shy of being cooked all the way through.
  2. Meanwhile, over medium heat, brown the sausage in a large frying pan. When brown on all sides, remove from pan and slice into 1/2 inch slices (the sausage will still be raw in the center). Return to the pan with some olive oil to finish the cooking process.
  3. Add the cooked pasta, beans, spinach, garlic and remaining olive oil to the pan with the sausage. Stir well to combine and top with cheese.
  4. Cover the pan with a lid and remove from heat. Let sit for 5 minutes, covered, or until the cheese is melted. (Or if your pan is ovenproof, place in a preheated oven at 400º  until the cheese it melted and bubbly, about 5 minutes.)

February 7, 2010 at 12:38 am Leave a comment

Five Favorite Food Smells!

Okay so, as per usual, I’ve spent this evening clicking from one random web site to another and I came across this list on epicurious. com. My interest was piqued so much that I decided I had no choice but to post it on here to share with you!

5 Great Food Smells! It is definitely a really hard decision to make.

Next to impossible, really.

After some serious soul searching, I was, indeed, able to narrow it down to five…ish…

The Winners
(in no particular order)

Cinnamon Rolls
(this smell will FOREVER remind me of Sunday mornings at my dad’s house 🙂 )

image courtesy of

Fresh Basil, Hazelnut Coffee, Caramelized Onions & Buttermilk Biscuits
and because I feel bad leaving these other guys out…

The Runners Up

Movie Theater Popcorn & Chocolate Chip Cookies fresh from the oven

What do you think???
What are your top five???

February 5, 2010 at 11:52 pm 1 comment

Chicken & Corn Chowder

Oh, snow. That’s what I woke up to this morning. Little fluffy flurries falling from the sky. (Heh, that was so something Dr. Seuss would say.) Though in retrospect it could have been much worse, being that it’s pretty much all melted now, but from the moment I stepped outside for work this morning I knew it was a soup night.

But what kind of soup Jen???

First and foremost, a delicious soup. (Duh!) A soup that will fill up my fussy fiancé who insists soup should never be a meal without a sandwich to accompany it. And perhaps, a soup with a little sass…kinda like me!  So I decided on Chicken & Corn Chowder!


February 3, 2010 at 11:36 pm Leave a comment

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February 2010