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

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Cheese Snob

I like cooking so much that I often do not repeat meals/recipes since I like to try new ones. However, there are a handful of recipes that I make over and over again because they are just THAT good! This is one of those recipes. There is nothing quite like homemade Alfredo sauce and it's so easy to make! Don't be afraid of the price tag on a block of Parmesan cheese. When grated, a little bit goes a long way. Plus, if you wrap it really well, it stores in the fridge for well over a month. There are so many uses for Parmesan cheese if you have a lot leftover. I would use it to grate over a Caesar salad, make fresh pesto to serve with crostini, eat by itself drizzled with a little balsamic vinegar, or serve with fresh fruit and a big glass of wine. One thing's for sure.....once I started using fresh Parmesan, I've never gone back to that fluffy, powdery stuff in the shaker container. If that makes me a cheese snob, then so be it!

Cajun Chicken Alfredo


3 large chicken breast, tenderized and sliced lengthwise (to make 6 strips total)
Any spicy grill seasoning or rub (I like Pampered Chef Chili Lime rub)
1 box Barilla Campanelle pasta
1/4 cup butter
3 cups half-n-half
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper
Fresh parsley, chopped (optional)


1. Preheat grill at medium heat. Rub chicken strips with your favorite seasoning or rub. 
Place chicken on grill and close lid.
2. Cook pasta as directed and drain.
3. Melt butter in a saucepan. Add garlic and cook over low heat until translucent, but not browned. Stir in 3 cups half-n-half. Simmer on low for 5 minutes. In the meantime, turn chicken on the grill.
4. Remove sauce from heat and add parmesan cheese. Stir until cheese is melted. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
5. Add pasta to Alfredo sauce. Serve topped with cooked chicken. Sprinkle with fresh parsley if desired.

Note: This Alfredo sauce does not get super thick like the kind in the jar. However it does slightly thicken as it cools. For leftovers, pour a small amount of milk or half-n-half over pasta before reheating since the noodles absorb a lot of the sauce. Then stir after heating.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Chewy Chewy

I love all things "CHEWY"! Macaroons have always been one of my favorite cookies for that reason. When you bake them, they stay moist and chewy on the inside, but get really crispy and toasted on the outside. Coconut just tastes even better once it's toasted! There are so many recipes out there for coconut macaroons, but this one is my tried and true favorite. One batch is never enough, so I always double it. If you don't have any stoneware pans, you will want to use parchment paper to keep these sticky, ooey-gooey little morsels from sticking to your aluminum baking sheets! Try not to eat some of the batter when you are making these, I dare you!

Coconut Macaroons


2/3 cup all-purpose flour
5 1/2 cups flaked coconut
1/4 tsp salt
1 (14oz) can sweetened condensed milk
2 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl, combine flour, coconut, and salt. Stir in sweetened condensed milk and vanilla using a wooden spoon until well blended. 
3. Drop golf ball size amounts of dough onto baking sheet using a cookie or ice cream scoop.
4. Bake for 12-15 minutes until coconut is golden brown and toasted. 

If you need a chocolate fix, try adding mini chocolate chips to the batter! Don't forget to double the recipe if you want these to last more than a day!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Fresh Baked Breakfast

I never make extra time for breakfast, so I always end up eating it in the car. I love the idea of a "breakfast bar", but have never been able to find one that tastes great and isn't over-processed. I love these yummy little bars and they put Nutrigrain bars to shame!!! Plus, they are so healthy, feel free to eat two!

Banana Chocolate Chip Breakfast Bars


1 very ripe banana
1/3 cup canola oil
2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup flour
2/3 cup dark chocolate chips
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups quick cooking oats
Optional add-ins: chopped banana chips, raisins, chopped walnuts, cinnamon


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a large bowl, mash the ripe banana with a fork then add canola oil and brown sugar. Mix well until there are no sugar lumps left. 
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, and oats. Mix into wet ingredients and stir in chocolate chips.

4. Pat batter down into a greased square 8-inch pan. Bake for 25 minutes, or until edges are golden. Let cool before cutting into squares.