Tuesday, September 16, 2014

5-Ingredient Chicken Milanese with Crunchy Snap Peas—Fancy Chicken Cutlets, Y'all!



Over on Freutcake today you'll find one of my favorite chicken dinners ever! How do you feel about breaded chicken cutlets? Because I feel real good about 'em. They're just the best. That's why you'll often find chicken Milanese (a fancy way of saying breaded and pan-fried chicken cutlets) on our dinner table. Offset with some veggies, of course!



Before all of the summer produce disappears, go out and try to get some last-ditch snap peas for this meal. Thinly sliced on the bias, they make the ultimate fresh and crunchy topping for your super-savory chicken. Too late for snappers where you live? No worries! Sway in snow peas or baby arugula. Problem, solved! 





I'm curious, what's your go-to chicken dinner? Are you a cutlet-fiend like me? I've love to know! One of my favorite things about this recipe is that if feels relatively virtuous. It's low-carb, full of protein, and topped with the most veggies! Maybe I'll make it again tonight...






CHICKEN MILANESE WITH SNAP PEA SLAW
SERVES: 4

1 pound boneless, skinless thin-cut chicken cutlets 
1 large egg
1 cup Italian-style breadcrumbs 
8 ounce snap peas 
2 lemons 

PANTRY STAPLES: Kosher salt, freshly ground and extra-virgin olive oil 

1. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Heat up some olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. 
2. Lightly beat the egg in a shallow bowl. In another shallow bowl, sprinkle the breadcrumbs. Dip the chicken in the egg, then press in the breadcrumbs to coat, shaking off any excess. Transfer to pan and cook until golden brown and cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes per side. 
3. As the chicken cooks, thinly slice the snap peas on the bias; transfer to a medium bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and the juice of 1 lemon; sprinkle with salt and toss to coat. 
4. Serve the chicken topped with the snap pea slaw. Top with fresh Parmesan cheese, if desired. 

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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

How-To Make The Most Epic Horse Cake EVER! Step-By-Step Instructions, Just For You xo



Birthday cakes don't have to be so serious after you turn 20, 30, 40...heck! Even 100! I love a sophisticated layer cake but compared to a frickin' multicolored horse!? It's not even a question which one I'd rather have my candles in. 

To wish my dear, beautiful friend a "Happy Birth-nay" this weekend, I whipped up this sweet stallion. It's easy—and I'm not just saying that. It's, like, legitimately one of the easiest cakes I've ever created (and I've made some no-brainers). Here's what you do...




HORSE CAKE
SERVES: 8 to 12

1 (9- to 10-inch) round cake
1 (9-inch) square cake
3 cups chocolate frosting 
2 (5-ounce) bags Hershey's Chocolate Twizzlers
1 mint-flavored Life Savers
1/4 cup melted chocolate  
Candy dots, for decorating
Marshmallows and/or sprinkles, just because

1. Put your round cake and your square cake on a cutting board or other work area. Cut two rounded edges off of your round cake (see above); trim one of the scraps into two ears. Cut the square cake in half. 


2. Put the trimmed round cake on a serving platter. Arrange the two square halves (trimmed, if needed) to be the nose and neck of your horse (see above). Place the ears on top. 

TIP: You can squish everything together with toothpicks to make it super sturdy but I hate cutting into a cake with wood bits in it. My advice, just be careful not to move your design when frosting. Frost gently! Everything will be okay.



3. Cover your cake with homemade chocolate frosting. I like to swoop the frosting where the neckline would be to make it look more realistic.

TIP: Tuck strips of parchment paper under the cake before frosting for easy clean-up. When you're finished, just gently pull 'em away and throw in the trash.






4. Cut Chocolate Twizzlers into strips (fringing them at the ends, if desired). Place Twizzlers pieces along the neck and between the ears to be the mane. 

5. Press the Life Savers into the frosting to be the eye. Fill the Life Savers center with melted chocolate and top with a candy dot to complete the look. 

6. Use melted chocolate, put in a resealable plastic bag with the corner snipped, to pipe an eyebrow and eye lashes onto the horse. Pipe on two nostrils, too! 


7. Use more candy dots to make the—horse lovers help me out here—face harness? The bit? The cavesson? What's that thingy called? Anyway! Use the dots for that, then press sprinkles onto the base of the neck to dress things up a bit. 


That's it! What do you think? Do-able, right? You can of course change up the frosting color or even use this face-template to make another animal, maybe like a pig or a dog. The hardest part is cutting into your creation after you made it look so darn fabulous! Sigh. A little bit of heartbreak in each slice xo -Erin




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Thursday, September 4, 2014

Dreamy Coconut Rice Pudding! The Best Gluten-Free Dessert for Gluten-Free Dessert Haters xo


I'm not a calorie counter nor a carb-restrictor nor a don't-eat-dairy gal. I believe in balance and lots of exercise but that's another conversation. The important thing is, there are more and more people in my life who do need to watch what they eat and I try to dream up delicious treats with them in mind. I'd love to show you how to make this super-simple Coconut Rice Pudding, a gluten-free, dairy-free recipe I created for Freutcake a few weeks ago. Sound good?



The not-so-secret ingredient in this dessert? Coconut milk! It's sweet, nutty and totally cow-free (aka bonanza)! Toss it in a pot with frozen cooked white rice, sugar, vanilla and you're drooling—guaranteed. 

If you can't find frozen cooked white rice in your regular grocery story, double check Whole Foods. They make my favorite kind (it's just 365 brand). Still no luck? Cook up some white rice from scratch or use leftovers from takeout Chinese—now that's super resourceful!

For an extra-special presentation, serve this coconut rice pudding in fresh coconuts. I kid you not, this is way easier to do than you think. I posted a quick how-to video with coconut cracking instructions on YouTube incase you need a little extra help. Let me know what you think! xo 



5-INGREDIENT COCONUT RICE PUDDING
SERVES: 6 to 8

4 cups frozen cooked white rice, thawed 
1 (13.5) ounce can light coconut milk 
1 1/2 to 2 cups sugar
1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped 
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Optional: Fresh coconuts, for serving

1. Bring the rice, coconut milk, sugar, vanilla bean and vanilla extract to a simmer in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook, simmering, 15 minutes or until thickened slightly. 
2. Transfer pudding to a bowl, cover and refrigerate until cold, about 1 hour. Scoop into small glass bowl or serve in fresh coconut cups. Store leftovers in the fridge for up to 5 days.

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Friday, August 15, 2014

11 Modern Cork Finds For Small Kitchens—Rad Grocery Bag, Included!

Got a small kitchen? Put a cork in it! These neutral accessories are a no-brainer way to add natural frill to your teeny space and—bonus—they're all kind of good for the environment, too. Fact: Cork is inherently sustainable because it's both biodegradable and recyclable (aka greener than the tupperware stash mom sent you) so your shopping spree is kind of, like, a good thing for the planet! Add a few pieces to your countertop this weekend Planeteers...


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Thursday, August 14, 2014

The 3-Ingredient Tiki Punch That Puts All Other Summer Cocktails To Shame—MAKE IT!



I was going to wait until tomorrow to post this but I thought you might want to plan for happy hour. If you love pineapple...and booze...and making a statement with your drinking vessels, this is the 3-ingredient cocktail for YOU! How it works: Scoop out the insides of a pineapple. Whiz 'em up with rum, lime juice and ice in a blender. Pour that shit back into the pineapple—done! What do you think?


If pineapple isn't your jam, head over to the Good Housekeeping website to get my other next-level "fruit cup" cocktail recipes. Hint: One's served in a giant watermelon! If you're fancy, go ahead and garnish your drink with fresh mint and/or fruit. Here's a super-quick how-to video if you need some guidance (or just really want to listen to reggae). Now slip into your bikini and get sipping! 





PINEAPPLE RUM PUNCH
SERVES: 2 to 4

1 small pineapple, bottom trimmed slightly so it sits flat
1/2 to 3/4 cup spiced rum
Juice of 1 lime

1. Slice off the top of the pineapple, about 1 inch from the leaves. Scoop the insides of the pineapple into a blender using an ice cream scoop to create a hollow pineapple cup; pour any juices into the blender.
2. To the blend, add the rum, lime juice and ice. Blend until smooth; pour back into the pineapple (or divide among cups). 


Q: What other kinds of fruit would you like to see turned into an cocktail cup!? xo Erin

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The 3-Step Guide To Whitewashing Boring Wood. Every Gal Should Know How—SO Easy!




We needed a large whitewashed serving board for a photo shoot at work. For weeks I searched stores, prop houses and the web without any luck. Then I thought, "Duh, girl! Why don't you just make one yourself!?"

You know I'm crafty but I often draw the line at wood. It's a mental block, plus I can't really use power tools in our teeny Brooklyn apartment. That's why this DIY didn't occur to me sooner. But now I feel like a wood whiz! 



Now you may be thinking, why on earth do I need a whitewashed board? Well first of all, it looks frickin' awesome! If you're a fellow blogger, whitewashed boards make gorgeous photo backgrounds. If you're a laid-back hostess, use this for a modern buffet setup, cocktail tray or dessert bar. But there's no need to stop there, this basic technique can be used to whitewash any wood object: Your hand-me-down dresser, kitchen table, ugly chair, photo frame...get creative!

What you'll need: 
  • Something made of wood
  • Sand paper
  • White latex paint 
  • Paint brush


Okay, ready: Put your wood thing on newspaper or a drop cloth to keep your workspace clean. Sand that sucker! Go with the grain so the paint settles in nicely. Next, stir together equal parts white latex paint and water in a disposable bowl. I used about 1/4 cup each. Diluting the paint is what gives you that sexy, sun-bleached translucent look!


Cover your wood board or object with a thin layer of paint—make sure you get the edges! Don't worry if it doesn't look pale enough for you yet, you can go back with a second coat. 

Let the paint dry a bit, then go back with another coat, if desired. Too heavy handed? Gently wipe off some paint using a clean, damp sponge. That's it! Let her dry and pat yourself on the back.

Are you ready to go totally whitewash-crazy now!? I hope so. I'm curious, do you think you could pull off this simple DIY now that you know how easy it is? I'd love to know!

 If you DO get your paint on, tag your before and after photos on Instagram using the hashtag #FFwhitewash—I'll post 'em on the blog xo -Erin




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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The Best No-Cook Tomato Sauce Ever, You Can Make It In Just 3 Minutes!

Hi there, lazy girl! Can we talk dinner for a second? I've been in a bit of a food rut lately, coming home from work with absolutely zero desire to cook. What about you? No judgment. I'm right there with you.

Before you reach for that store-bought marinara sauce though—before you open that can (jar?) of worms—I have an idea! One of my all-time favorite recipes is this No-Cook Tomato Sauce and there's no better time to make it than right now.  


I await tomato season just so I can make this easy 5-ingredient dinner. All you need: Tomatoes, garlic, basil, olive oil and a food processor. Whiz up the sauce in minutes, then store it in the fridge for a week or two. I love serving it over pasta (because it's fast and mindless) but this sauce is also amazing spooned on grilled steak, chicken and/or fish.

You may have seen that I shared this recipe over on Freutcake last week but I wanted to post it here, too, in case you missed it. It's that good! A bunch of Freutcake readers have already reached out to say it's their new go-to easy dinner, so I hope you give it a try. If you do, oblet me know what you think! Happy eating xo

NO-COOK TOMATO SAUCE PASTASERVES: 4 to 6 
1 pound spaghetti4 large ripe tomatoes1 large handful fresh basil leaves, finely chopped3 to 4 cloves garlic, pressedGood-quality parmesan cheese, for gratingPANTRY STAPLES: Extra-virgin olive oil, salt and freshly ground pepper.
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the spaghetti and cook at the label directs. 2. Trim any gnarly bits off your tomatoes, then cut into quarters and add three to a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Pulse 15 to 20 times until finely chopped. Add the remaining tomato and pulse about 5 times or until coarsely chopped; transfer tomato mixture to large bowl. Stir in basil, garlic, about 1/4 cup olive oil, two big pinches salt, and pepper to taste. 3. Drain the pasta. Toss with the prepared sauce. Divide among plates and top with lots of finely grated parmesan cheese. 



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