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

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

My Go-To Salad

This is nothing fancy by any means, but this is my simple go-to salad that I make almost once a week. It's so easy and great for me to take to work. I stole the tuna salad recipe from Whole Foods. They sell it at their deli and it's my favorite!

Tuna Salad (adapted from Whole Foods)

Combine the following ingredients:

2 cans solid white albacore in water, drained well (I use StarKist)
2 Tbsp coarsely grated onion
1-2 coarsely grated baby carrots
Juice of half a lemon
1/4 cup dried cranberries, chopped
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 cup mayonnaise (or more for desired consistency)
Pepper to taste

Serve over lettuce with croutons and a light dressing if desired. These are my absolute favorites:

Cardini's Garlic Croutons and Brianna's Blush Wine Vinaigrette (both all-natural, no preservatives or MSG)

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Wing Night

I'm excited that I've received lots of great feedback from my last post! It's great to see that people actually try these recipes and that I'm speaking to somebody rather than just sending messages out into cyberspace! I'm hoping this recipe is a hit as well. I don't know many people that don't like chicken wings. Personally, I'm a picky, little wing eater. They have to be just right. My ideal wing is small, extra-crispy, and falling off the bone. Plus, the hot sauce and blue cheese dressing have to be perfect, too. After finding this recipe, I don't think I will even have the urge to go to the local "Wing Night" anymore! You will never believe that these wings aren't fried. They get so crispy and since they bake for a while, they literally fall off the bone. I'm officially obsessed!

Hot Wings with Blue Cheese Dressing


8-12 chicken wings (cut into drumstick and wing portions with kitchen shears)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
4 Tbsp butter
Dash of black pepper

For the hot sauce:

1/2 cup hot sauce (I use Crystal)
4 Tbsp butter

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place 4 Tbsp butter on baking sheet or stoneware pan and allow to melt in oven while preparing wings.
2. Place 1/2 cup flour and dash of black pepper in deep container. Toss wings in flour to coat.
3. Remove baking sheet from oven. Shake excess flour off each wing and place on baking sheet. Bake uncovered for 20 minutes. Turn each wing and return to oven for 20 minutes. Repeat this process until wings are extremely crispy and very browned. (I usually flip them 4-5 times total, so cooking time usually takes approximately an hour and a half.)

4. While wings are baking, prepare hot sauce. Melt 4 Tbsp butter in a bowl in the microwave. Whisk in hot sauce.
5. Remove wings from oven and drain on paper towels.
6. Using tongs, dunk each wing in hot sauce, allowing excess to drip off. Serve immediately with celery and blue cheese dressing.

Blue Cheese Dressing


1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
1 Tbsp milk
1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
1/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder
Sprinkle of paprika
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese


Combine all ingredients until well blended. Fold in crumbled blue cheese. Refrigerate until ready to serve. For stronger blue cheese flavor, prepare one day in advance.

The secret to perfectly crisp celery like they serve in restaurants is soaking it in an ice water bath before serving! Simply cut up your celery and put it in ice water while you are preparing the wings.

Please don't forget.....if you try any of the recipes on my blog, please comment on the recipe so others know what you thought of it!!! Thanks!!!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Napoleon Dynamite

Seriously, what is it about eggplant? It's so yummy, but it doesn't really even taste like anything! I can't figure it out. Maybe I just like it because I can bread it and fry it to a crisp! Everything's better fried, right? I am very proud of this little concoction I came up with and it turned out better than I could have ever imagined. Usually I post recipes that I find on other websites/blogs and alter them to make them my own. Well, this one is ALL mine. My inspiration came from a dish they serve at a restaurant in Old City, Philadelphia. I highly recommend it! (http://www.positanocoast.net) The food is to-die-for, the atmosphere is regal, and the music is hoppin'! If you love to dance, you have to check it out!

Sopa Lounge at Postitano Coast

Eggplant Napoleons


1 large eggplant, peeled and sliced about 1/2 inch thick
1 large egg
1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs
1/2 cup unseasoned dry breadcrumbs
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 cup finely-grated Parmesan cheese
1-15 oz can tomato sauce
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 tsp dried minced onion or onion powder
1/2 cup olive oil, for frying
1 cup shredded whole milk mozzarella cheese
1 Tbsp. parsley (dried or fresh)


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Add olive oil to saute pan over medium-low heat.
2. Place egg in shallow bowl or breading tray. Beat egg. Place both types of bread crumbs, Parmesan, salt, garlic powder, and dash of pepper in separate tray and stir to combine. Using a fork, dip eggplant slices in egg to cover both sides. Then dip in bread crumb mixture and press to coat well on both sides.
 3. Place breaded eggplant in hot oil and fry until golden brown on both sides. Remove eggplant slices from oil and place on paper towels to absorb excess oil. (It may be necessary to add more oil to the pan between batches. Just be sure the oil heats up enough before adding more eggplant.)

4. Once all eggplant is fried, stack in layers of 3 on a baking sheet with about 1 heaping Tbsp of mozzarella cheese in between each slice and on top. (I just grabbed a large pinch of mozzarella and put it between each slice. Sorry about the ugly-looking stoneware pan. It looks dirty, but it's supposed to be that way and it's my favorite!!! It's so not cute. They should make them in pink!)
5. Bake eggplant napoleons for about 15 minutes until all cheese is melted. (The cheese on the top melts before the cheese in-between, so be sure not to take them out too soon.)
6. While eggplant is baking, prepare the sauce. Combine tomato sauce, minced garlic, dash of pepper, and dried minced onion/onion powder in a small saucepan. Place over medium heat until simmering and then reduce heat to keep warm.

7. Remove eggplant napoleons from oven and spoon as much sauce as you'd like over top. Sprinkle with parsley. Serve immediately (or in my case, devour immediately like a ravenous animal! LOL!)

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Blueberry Bliss

Now that I get organic produce delivered to my house from Suburban Organics, I can finally eat blueberries that aren't covered in pesticides. Yay! (Check it out at www.SuburbanOrganics.com and tell them I referred you!) I've been making lots of blueberry pancakes and today I decided to make blueberry muffins. These muffins are fluffy and moist, and the blueberries burst in your mouth when you eat them. Plus, they have a nice crunchy topping for that little something extra.

Blueberry Bliss Muffins (makes 12 muffins)


1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1/3 cup milk or almond milk
1 tsp vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
1 cup fresh blueberries
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup flour
2 Tbsp butter
1/4 tsp cinnamon


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place muffin liners in muffin tin.
2. Combine 1 1/2 cups flour, 3/4 cup granulated sugar, salt, and baking powder in a large bowl. Place 1/3 cup vegetable oil in a 1 cup measuring cup. Add egg and enough milk to fill the 1 cup (approx. 1/3 cup milk). Mix wet ingredients into dry ingredients just until incorporated. Gently fold in blueberries. Fill muffin cups a little over halfway full.

3. To make crumb topping, combine brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Mix in butter with a fork or pastry cutter. Sprinkle over muffins before baking.

4. Bake muffins for 20 minutes or until crumb topping is golden brown. Cool on wire racks.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Chocolate Decadence

Lately I've been reading some posts on Facebook about people giving up chocolate as their New Year's resolution. WHAT?!?!?!?!? Are you people serious?! Good for you, but I know for a fact that I never could. Some people eat to live.....well, I live to eat. I am such a foodie that I can't even eat a meal at a restaurant without critiquing every little taste, texture, and bite! I'm such a foodie that even if I'm completely stuffed, I will still eat dessert. It's ridiculous. (It doesn't help that I'm extremely nosey also and love to try new things!) So speaking of desserts, here's my latest conquest. The Chocolate Cheesecake. But not just any chocolate cheesecake....the most decadent, creamy, rich, chocolate cheesecake I have ever tasted! Enjoy! (Oh, unless that is, you've given up chocolate for the New Year, in which case, boo-hoo-hoo.)

Chocolate Cheesecake


For crust-
1 9-ounce box chocolate wafer cookies (or chocolate graham crackers)
6 tablespoons butter, melted

For filling-
1 1/2 cups whipping cream
1 tsp instant coffee powder
12 ounces Ghirardelli semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1 cup sour cream
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 large eggs


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray bottom of 9" springform pan with non-stick cooking spray. Finely grind cookies in food processor. Add butter and process until blended. Press mixture on bottom (not sides) of springform pan. Refrigerate while preparing filling.
2. Combine cream and coffee powder in medium saucepan. Stir over medium heat until coffee powder dissolves. Reduce heat to low. Add chocolate. Whisk until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth. Cool for 10 minutes.

3. Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar in a large bowl until well blended. Beat in cornstarch. Add sour cream and vanilla. Beat well. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating just until incorporated after each addition. Whisk 1 cup cream cheese mixture into chocolate mixture. Return chocolate mixture to remaining cream cheese mixture. Mix until smooth.

4. Pour filling into crust. Place springform pan on a large baking sheet. Bake cake until softly set and slightly puffed around edges, about 1 hour. (Center will still be slightly "jiggly".) Turn off oven and let cake stand in oven about 45 minutes (this helps to prevent cracking, allowing the cake to cool at a slower rate.) Transfer springform pan to a rack and cool. Cover and cool cake overnight in refrigerator.

5. To slice cheesecake, use a sharp un-serrated knife. Run knife under hot water and wipe clean between slices for a nice, clean cut. (Sorry, no pics of the sliced cake. This cake went to a party with me and I forgot to take more pics.  :(  Oh, well. I guess I will have to make it again!!!)

Thursday, January 5, 2012

What's up, Butternut?

Butternut. A type of squash.....and just one of the millions of nicknames I have for my dog, Chester (at this point I'm not even sure he knows what his real name is!) So I had this amazing butternut squash lasagna at a party and I was lucky enough to get my hands on the recipe! (Thanks Marilyn!) It's one of those things I've always wanted to make, but didn't know if I'd like it. I was suprised how easy it was to prepare. I would definitely describe this dish as comfort food all the way. It's so creamy and cheesy with the perfect blend of sweet and savory. The top gets nice and crispy from the Parmesan cheese (freshly grated of course....no "snow cheese"!) The white sauce in this recipe is called a Bechamel sauce. It's one of my favorite basic sauces for making any type of vegetable or chicken lasagna when I don't want to use a red tomato sauce.

Butternut Squash Lasagna (adapted from Giada de Laurentiis recipe)


1 Tbsp olive oil
1 (1 1/2-2 pound) butternut squash, sliced lengthwise and seeded
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 1/2 cups whole milk
Salt and pepper
Sprinkle of nutmeg
3/4 cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves
12 no-boil lasagna noodles
2 1/2 cups shredded whole-milk mozzarella cheese
1/3 cup grated Parmesan


1. Preheat oven at 375 degrees.
2. Place squash sliced-side-up on a baking sheet. Brush with olive oil. Bake at 375 for about 1 hour and 15 minutes or until tender when poked with a fork (will depend on size and thickness of squash.)

3. Transfer squash to a food processor or blender and puree until smooth. Season puree with salt and pepper.
4. To make the Bechamel sauce, melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and whisk for 1 minute until combined. Gradually whisk in milk. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce to low heat and whisk often until thickened, about 5 minutes. Whisk in sprinkle of nutmeg. (This is the basic Bechamel sauce. Just butter, milk, flour, and nutmeg. So delish!)
5. Transfer half of Bechamel sauce to blender. Add basil and blend until smooth. Return basil sauce to sauce in the pan and stir to blend. Season sauce with salt and pepper, to taste.

6. Spray a 13x9 inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Spread 3/4 cup of sauce in bottom of dish. Arrange 4 lasagna noodles on bottom of pan. Spread 1/3 of the squash puree over the noodles. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese. Drizzle about 3/4 cup sauce over the mozzarella cheese layer. Repeat layering process twice more, topping off with remainder of the sauce.
7. Tighly cover baking dish with aluminum foil and bake for 40 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining 1 cup mozzarella and parmesan and bake and additional 15 minutes uncovered, until lasagna is bubbly and browned. Let stand 15 minutes before slicing or serving.