Welcome to The Pink Kitchen.....where life is fashionably delicious!!!

Friday, November 26, 2010

My Favorite Fish Recipe

I am always saying that I need to include more fish in my diet. Every time I make it, I vow to make it more often, but never do. Now that I have found this delicious recipe, I will surely be making it more often. First of all, fish is one of the few food sources of omega-3 fatty acids (nuts are another good source) which we need in our diet since our body cannot produce them. These fatty acids are really beneficial for your heart, skin, fatigue, and even mood swings and depression. A lot of people don't eat fish because they can't get past that "fishy" taste. This recipe calls for tilapia, which is a very, mild white fish. It very rarely has a "fishy" taste, unless it's not fresh. Some other mild fish types that could be used in this recipe are cod, halibut, ahi-mahi, orange roughy, or flounder. Fish is also a great option for weeknight meals, since it cooks up in a flash. This recipe and photo were taken from The Steamy Kitchen website (www.steamykitchen.com).

Pecan Crusted Tilapia with Honey Glaze


4 whole Tilapia fillets, cut in half lengthwise
3 T organic honey
1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
1/2 cup crushed pecans
salt & pepper
3 eggs, beaten
Honey Glaze: 3 T organic honey mixed with 2 T hot water
3 T olive oil, for frying

1) Wash Tilapia and pat dry. Crack eggs onto a plate or breading tray. Combine breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, and crushed pecans in a separate breading tray or plate.
2) Using tongs or a fork, coat fish in egg and then press into breading mixture until coated.
3) Heat a large fry pan over medium heat. Add olive oil. When the oil is hot, turn the heat down to low. Add the fillets to the pan, make sure the fillets don’t touch each other. You may have to do this in separate batches. Fry on low for 2 minutes until the underside is golden brown. Turn. Fry another 2 minutes or until the fish is cooked through. While fish is cooking, whisk together honey and hot water to make the glaze. Pour the honey glaze over the fish. Note: if you don’t fry on low heat, the panko/pecan coating will burn before the fish is cooked through.

Alissa's notes: I used my Pampered Chef food chopper to chop the pecans very fine. If the pecan pieces are too large, they will fall off the fish while cooking. Also, breading trays make coating food so much easier. You can find them at Williams-Sonoma, and Pampered Chef makes them as well. This fish is great served with a salad (I did a caesar salad)!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Ooh La La

If you haven't been to the new Sur La Table (pronounced Sir-la-tahb) store in the King of Prussia Court yet, you need to make a special trip! It is similar to Williams-Sonoma, but has lots of cute little gadgets and things that any cook would love! They also offer hands-on cooking/baking classes in their large kitchen/classroom in the back of the store. The last time I was in the store, I bought a really adorable cupcake set which included cupcake liners and decorative toothpicks. The kit was called "Ooh La La" and I was simply drawn to it because it was pink (shocking, I know). I wasn't sure when I would ever use it, but recently I made cupcakes for work and decorated them using this kit. I love how they turned out! The recipes for the cupcakes and icing were taken from "Martha Stewart's Cupcakes", a really cute book filled with over 175 cupcake ideas! I particularly loved the buttercream icing!

Devil's Food Cupcakes


3/4 cup unsweetened, Dutch-process cocoa powder
3/4 cup hot water
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter
2 1/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 Tbsp, plus 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream, room temperature


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together cocoa and hot water until smooth. In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and baking powder.

2. Melt butter with sugar in a saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring to combine. Remove from heat, and pour into a mixing bowl. With an electric mixer on medium speed, beat until mixture is cooled, 4 to 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add vanilla, then cocoa mixture, and beat until combined. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in two batches, alternating with the sour cream, and beating until just combined after each.

3. Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester (or toothpick) comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool 15 minutes; turn out cupcakes onto racks and let cool completely. Cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature, or frozen up to 2 months, in airtight containers.

Swiss Meringue Buttercream


5 large egg whites
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp sugar
pinch of salt
1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons, room temperature
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract


1. Combine egg whites, sugar, and salt in a heatproof bowl of a standing mixer set over a pan of simmering water. Whisk constantly by hand until mixture is warm to the touch and sugar is dissolved (the mixture should feel completely smooth when rubbed between your fingertips).

2. Attach the bowl to the mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Starting on low and gradually increasing to medium-high speed, whisk until stiff (but not dry) peaks form. Continue mixing until the mixture is fluffy and glossy, and completely cool (test by touching the bottom of the bowl), about 10 minutes.

3. With mixer on medium-low speed, add the butter a few tablespoons at a time, mixing well after each addition. Once all butter has been added, whisk in vanilla. Switch to paddle attachment, and continue beating on low speed until all air bubbles are eliminated, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula, and continue beating until the frosting is completely smooth. Keep buttercream at room temperature if using the same day, or transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate up to 3 days or freeze up to 1 month. Before using, bring to room temperature and beat with paddle attachment on low speed until smooth again, about 5 minutes. (Food coloring may be added if desired.)

Alissa's notes: So I know these cupcakes are NOT AT ALL diet friendly, so sorry to all of my "dieting friends". They are loaded with butter, but I think I have a little bit of a butter obsession, kind of like Paula Deen! The cupcake recipe calls for Dutch-process cocoa powder. If you cannot find that, you need to add more cocoa powder (about 1 full cup instead of 3/4 cup) to get a rich, chocolatey taste. I didn't do this, and mine weren't quite as chocolatey as I would have liked them to be, but still yummy. Don't be intimidated by the icing recipe. It is actually very easy, as long as you have a stand mixer. If you aren't sure about the whole "stiff peaks" thing, this just simply means that when you lift the attachment away from the mixture, a little peak will form and it will stay there without flopping over. I added pink food coloring to my icing. I started off slowly, just adding one drop at a time and letting the mixer blend it in. Keep going until you reach your desired color. I started off using little decorator tubes to pipe the icing onto my cupcakes (as seen in the above photo), but then just switched over to a ziplock bag with a little whole cut in the corner to save time. I actually just purchased the Easy Accent Decorator from Pampered Chef and can't wait to get it! It will make icing cupcakes a breeze next time!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

My New Addition

I'd like for you to meet my newest little addition to the Pink Kitchen. The Cuisinart popcorn popper!

Like I said in my previous post, lots of fabulous pink things come out every October for Breast Cancer Awareness. I've been wanting this popcorn maker for a while, and when I saw it in pink, I had to have it! Plus, a portion of my purchase went towards breast cancer research! My FAVORITE food in the whole world is popcorn, but not just any popcorn. I love movie theater popcorn (as greasy as it could possibly get, and I'm sure the butter they use isn't even real butter)! I'm on a mission to recreate the deliciousness that is movie popcorn. But until then, here is a great recipe for Caramel Popcorn. It's great for a snack anytime, or to give as a gift.

Caramel Popcorn


1 c. butter
2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. corn syrup
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla
5 quarts popped popcorn (about 3 bags microwave popcorn, or 3/4 c. kernels)


1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
2. Melt butter in saucepan and add brown sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Stir until it comes to a boil. Boil without stirring for 4 minutes.
3. Remove from heat and stir in baking soda and vanilla.
4. Pour caramel over popcorn and stir to coat.
5. Spread popcorn on cookie sheets and bake for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.
6. Cool and break into pieces.

Alissa's notes: If you want to make this even more interesting you can add peanuts, pecans, almonds, or a little bit of cinnamon. For slightly chewier caramel corn, bake for 30 minutes instead of the full hour. This is great to give as a holiday gift in cute little cellophane bags or Christmas tins.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Take a peek inside...

If you've ever wondered what makes the Pink Kitchen so "pink", well you are about to find out! It all started with my pink KitchenAid Artisan stand mixer my mom gave me as a wedding shower gift. I've always loved the color pink, and I didn't even care that I may never find other pink things for my kitchen. Ever since October has been recognized as Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I haven't had any difficulties finding pink objects for my kitchen (and other parts of my house for that matter). And for those of you who may be wondering what my husband thinks of all this pink stuff, he knew what he was getting into when he said "I do", plus he's so laid back that he doesn't care how I decorate! So, take a peek!

The piece that started it ALL!!!

The pink blender I use every morning for my Shakeology

Various pink colanders

Lots of pink bowls (the ones on the left are my favorite from Williams-Sonoma)

Canister full of dog treats for my Chester

 On my stovetop always!

Too many spatulas

Love my Santoku knives

Cutting boards (I like to use these ones for meat)

Random gadgets (ice cream scooper, can opener, peeler, garlic press)

Bundt pan (has cute little hearts for Valentine's day)

Cake stand (because everyone needs a cake stand, haha!) 

I love William-Sonoma kitchen towels!

This one's sideways, but it's my apron!

I hope you enjoyed your tour of my "pink kitchen"! And since no post is complete without a delicious recipe, here's another winner! This recipe seems to have a lot of ingredients, but it's really easy to make and you will be eating leftovers for days!

Crab Manicotti with Bechamel Sauce


1 box Manicotti pasta
1 15oz. ricotta (whole milk or part skim)
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped (or 1 tsp dried parsley)
1 c. imitation crab legs, diced
1 6oz. can fancy lump crabmeat
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 egg yolk

Bechamel sauce:

5 Tbsp. butter
1/2 c. flour
4 c. whole milk (or 2%)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
pinch of grated nutmeg


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Mix together ricotta, 1 c. mozzarella, imitation crabmeat, salt, pepper, egg yolk and parsley. Fold in canned crab meat last, stirring gently so you don't break up the lumps of meat.
3. Cook manicotti until al dente (according to directions on box). Drain and lay in a single layer on a baking sheet to cool (this way they don't all stick together).
4. To make the bechamel sauce, melt butter in a saucepan. Add flour and whisk until combined. Add rest of ingredients and cook over medium, whisking occasionally, until thickened.
5. Spray a 9x13 inch baking dish with cooking spray. Stuff each manicotti with the crab/cheese mixture and place in a single layer in baking dish.
6. Pour bechamel sauce over the pasta. Sprinkle with 1 c. mozzarella and 1/2 c. grated parmesan.
7. Bake for 20 minutes until bubbly.

Alissa's notes: I've done this recipe both ways, with whole milk/whole milk ricotta and 2% milk/part skim ricotta. It tastes good either way, the first is just thicker and creamier. Be sure to squeeze all the excess moisture out of the canned crab meat (just like you would with tuna.) Stuffing manicotti can be tricky, but gets easier with practice. I like to use a spreader (a little one like you would use to serve cheese spread or dip) to stuff the filling into the tubes. You can also turn on the broiler for the last few minutes if you want the cheese to brown on top (since parmesan cheese tastes even better this way!) Just watch it carefully so it doesn't burn. Don't forget the nutmeg in the bechamel sauce. It's gives the sauce that "little something extra"! So yummy!