I have always loved baking and I’m not sure if I have been doing it more this month because of all of the free-time I have or because my sweet tooth has gotten much bigger! But either way, my favorite baking recipes to follow are from Ina Garten. Most recently, I have made Ina’s Blondies with Chocolate Chunks and her classic Beatty’s Chocolate Cake.
I made Ina’s Blondies the other night when I served salad as an entrée for dinner. I thought because of the lighter meal, I could make a fun dessert. My husband LOVED it! Ina traditionally makes this recipe in a square baking dish and uses walnuts. I don’t really care for walnuts and they are high in calories so I kept them out and just stuck with the chocolate chunks. I also baked this is a round cake pan because it was the first dish I found in my cabinet… it is a really easy recipe to follow and modify if you want to. I served it here with vanilla ice cream and it was sooo good!
This Beatty’s Chocolate Cake recipe was also divine! It was relatively easy to make and I loved the little bit of coffee grounds Ina calls for in this cake, it just takes the whole recipe up another level. This was my first time making it and I will definitely make it again soon!
The great thing about most of Ina’s recipes–whether it is a cake recipe or scrambled eggs, she includes videos and lots of tutorials to help you master the dish, even if you have never cooked or baked in your life! I hope you enjoy these recipes and would love to hear how they turn out for you!
Coronavirus and quarantine have totally changed the way I plan for meals. In the days before COVID-19, I considered grocery shopping to be one my favorite hobbies. Heading to Central Market, grabbing a glass of wine and leisurely strolling the aisles until I found something totally inspiring to make for dinner was part of my weekly routine.
I’m not sure why, but I hate having a lot of food in my refrigerator and until a month ago, I only used my freezer to freeze blueberries and bananas for my daily smoothie. Because of this, I would go to the grocery store three or four times a week and only buy exactly what I needed for the meals I was making. But now, going to the grocery store is no longer a thing of leisure, it is an essential task that needs to be taken seriously.
Before I make my trek to the store, I open up my favorite cookbooks and make a meal plan for the week. My biggest sources of culinary inspiration come from *Queen* Ina Garten, Alex Snodgrassof The Defined Dish and Tanya Zuckerbrot of F-Factor. All three of these women create the most incredible recipes that are accessible and easy to master at home. After deciding on which recipes to make, I take an inventory of my pantry, spice cabinet, refrigerator and freezer to make my grocery list. By making a detailed list for the store, you ensure that you will not only get everything you need for your meals, but you will also avoid spending too much time in the store, which in turn, keeps you and other shoppers much safer.
Monday: Oven “Fried” Chicken with a honey glaze, rice and an HEB salad kit.
- 1 lb. chicken tenders
- 1 stick butter, melted
- 1 cup flour
- 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp. oregano
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. pepper
- 2 eggs, lightly whisked
- 2 cups panko bread crumbs
- 1 cup honey
- 3 tbsp. soy sauce
- 3 cloves minced garlic
- 2 tbsp. corn starch + 1/3 cup cold water
To make the chicken tenders, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Melt the butter completely and pour it on a sheet pan. Pound the chicken tenders with a mallet. Combine flour with cayenne pepper, oregano, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Dip chicken tenders first in the flour and coat on both sides, then dip into the eggs and finally in the panko bread crumbs. Set the chicken on the baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes on one side, flip the chicken and bake for another 10 minutes. To make the sauce, combine honey, soy sauce and minced garlic in a sauce pan over medium heat. Once the mixture starts boiling, stir in corn starch and water mixture to combine.. Drizzle the sauce over the chicken, serve with rice and salad.
Tuesday: Pederson’s uncured kielbasa sausage with mushrooms, onion, orange bell pepper and spinach, served over rice.
- 1 Pederson’s uncured, no sugar kielbasa sausage, thinly sliced and divided
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 1 package mushrooms
- 1 orange bell pepper
- 2-3 handfuls spinach
To make this dish, sautée the sliced and divided sausage in a deep pan with 2 tbs. olive oil for 5 minutes. Next, add onion and bell pepper, stir for another 3-5 minutes, then add mushrooms and cook for another 5 minutes. Finally, add spinach and stir to combine and serve over rice.
Wednesday: Pan fried salmon served with F-Factor cauliflower fried rice.
- 2 (4 oz.) salmon filets
- salt and pepper to taste
- 3 tbsp. olive oil
- 1/4 cup chicken stock
- 1 lemon juiced
- 2 cloves garlic, sliced
Pat salmon dry and coat with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat, when oil is hot, but not smoking, add salmon–skin side up. Season skin with salt and pepper and cook for about six minutes. Flip over and add chicken stock and lemon juice. Serve over F-Factor Fried Rice and enjoy!
Thursday: The Defined Dish’s Cajun Chicken Pasta.
Friday: Roasted Halibut served with Ina Garten’s Rosemary potatoes and an HEB salad kit.
The Defined Dish is an excellent resource for healthy and often Whole30 compliant meals that are also incredibly creative and easy to make. F-Factor recipes are all very healthy and light on calories. I love learning from Tanya about how to live a healthier lifestyle and as a registered dietician, her insights on portion recommendations and substitutes for cooking have been so helpful for me. I use Ina Garten’s recipes when I am looking to make a really classic meal and also when I am trying to make something for a special occasion.
I hope you enjoy the recipes this week! Leave me comment to let me know how they turn out for you and if you have any questions for me!