Chicken is a great meat because it holds the flavor of spices really well, while maintaining the original flavor of the chicken itself on the inside. This makes it a great base for recipes like this Pineapple Lime Chicken, where we are using a couple of different fruit acids, along with a few spices, with the end result being a nice, island-y dish. To make this one a little easier come preparation time, you can cut up the pineapple days in advance and keep it inside of a sealed container in the fridge.
- 1/2 pineapple, chopped into chunks
- 2 limes (or 1/2 cup lime juice)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 4 chicken breasts, bone in with skin
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper (freshly ground)
File these under “Super Easy, Still Impressive” - palmiers (light, sweet puff pastry cookies) are criminally cinchy to make and an impressive and tasty way to end a meal on a high (and not too heavy) note. I love to eat these with chocolate sauce or whipped cream, and every once in a while I get a little crazy and add some cinnamon to the sugar.
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 sheet of puff pastry
Preheat the oven to 425.
Sprinkle half of the sugar on a cutting board. Unfold the puff pastry and press it down into the sugar. Sprinkle the other half of the sugar on top of the puff pastry and spread it around with your fingers, brushing off the sugar that doesn’t stick to the pastry.
Fold the sides of the puff pastry in to the center. Fold the pastry again so there are four layers. Using a sharp knife, cut the pastry across the short side into 1 inch slices. For the best results cut straight down, not back-and-forth like with bread or steak.
The very best baking results will be achieved using a silicone baking mat like a Silpat, but parchment paper will work in a pinch. To bake, take the sliced pieces and place them cut side down on the baking sheet. Unfold them slightly and twist the edges down, so that the cookies make a V (this part is not the easiest thing to explain, I know - basically you’ll have one end standing up on the cut side, and it will be the point on the V that’s formed with the two ends lying flat on the the non-cut side). Bake until the tops are slightly golden (about 7 minutes) and remove from the oven. Flip them over and put back in the oven another 4 or 5 minutes or so - until the tops and sides are nicely browed and the sugar has caramelized. Remove and let cool, then eat!
It’s time for fresh berries! One of my favorite ever weekend breakfasts (okay, most weekend breakfasts are my favorite) is a nice warm blueberry muffin. Or a few. And yes, there are plenty of mixes and bakeries around who will hook my breakfast up right for just a little bit of time and money, but I’m still firmly of the belief that everything tastes better when it comes from my personal oven.
These muffins are an adaptation of a recipe from the Butter Queen Paula Deen - when I went to buy blueberries this week, there were some raspberries that I just couldn’t resist. I added a streusel topping recipe found on the Chowhound message board for a little bit of extra sweetness and crunch. And before you ask, I did not eat muffins straight off of my counter - there IS a plate under there. It’s just clear. I swear.
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Cakes are great, pies are good, anything gooey and sweet is fantastic. But cookies? So underrated. Cookies are, in my opinion, the best way to end a party. Put a big plate of cookies out at the end of a party and people will eat them up! I made these Mexican Chocolate Icebox cookies the first time a couple years ago, and they’ve been the sleeper hit in my repertoire.
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup cocoa powder
- 3/4 t ground cinnamon
- 1/2 t cayenne
- 1/4 t salt
- 1/4 t freshly ground black pepper
- 12 T (1 1/2 sticks) butter, room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 egg
Sift together the flour, cocoa, cinnamon, cayenne, salt and pepper in a medium bowl.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Beat in vanilla extract and egg. Gradually add flour mixture until dough is uniform in color and no unmixed flour remains.
Shape into two 9” logs and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Make sure the wrap is airtight. Freeze overnight. The dough will keep up to six weeks in the freezer.
When ready to use, preheat oven to 375F and bake for 8-10 minutes. Cookies should feel a bit firm at the edges. Store in an airtight container when cool.
Be sure to check out our other Cinco de Mayo recipes!
Warren Brown’s first foray into cookbook writing, “CakeLove: How to Bake Cakes from Scratch”, was published on May 1st, and like many dessert lovers and home bakers, I could barely contain my enthusiasm when I finally got to plunk down my $27.50 for the oversized tome, full of beautiful photographs by Renee Comet.
If the name Warren Brown sounds vaguely familiar to you, it may be because you’ve seen him on Oprah or Today, or maybe because of his second (third, now) job hosting Sugar Rush on the Food Network. Brown left his law career and opened his first CakeLove bakery in Washington, DC in 2002, which has since branched out to three bakeries and a cafe, with two more bakeries in the works.
I have a friend who requests one thing for his birthday every year - brownies. After a few trial and error batches with various recipes, I discovered this recipe two years ago and have never looked back - the combination of easy preparation and a texture that falls somewhere between a cake and a piece of fudge make this recipe a winner.
- 6 oz 70% bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 3/4 cup cold butter, cut into chunks
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 t vanilla
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup chopped nuts (optional)
Seafood is not that big a thing around Gear Live’s virtual offices. And while I can’t speak for the other editors, I’ve been known to hit up the neighborhood Red Lobster solely for the biscuits. Unfortunately, the staff at the ol’ RL didn’t take kindly on a person who goes in alone and has nothing but biscuits, a side salad and water. That left me trying to recreate the little starchy wonders at home.
- 1/4 cup margarine or butter
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 cups of baking mix (I use Bisquick)
- 2/3 cup milk
- 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
These Sausage Ball appetizers are great for entertaining. They come together quickly, freeze well, and can be baked up in a snap.
- 3 cups baking mix (I use Bisquick)
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 pound ground sausage (any kind), uncooked
I’m on a personal mission to get you baking, readers! These cranberry lemon muffins, which I’ve adapted from Nigella Lawson’s classic “How To Be A Domestic Goddess: Baking and the Art of Comfort Cooking”, are easy, fast, and delish.
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1 1/3 all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Juice and and chopped zest of 1 lemon
- Approximately 1/2 cup milk
- 1 large egg
- 5 ounces dried cranberries
Some people can take or leave oyster crackers. Often overlooked when they arrive with your soup or salad, I say that these little hexagonal nuggets of salty, starchy goodness are completely underrated. This recipe, passed to me by my mom via her godmother, has been not only a party hit but a comfort food when I’m craving something savory.
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