Filed In: food

Our Easter Cake

Every year Evan’s family hosts a cake contest since most of the family can’t get together on Easter. We are pretty scattered about (Seattle, Las Vegas, Chicago, Indianapolis, New York, Maine, and maybe even a few others) so it’s a fun way to see what everyone is up to on Easter. Each year has a different theme too. This year’s theme was “location, location, location” – which is perfect since we are all over the US.

Evan and I decided to go with the “Bean” as our Easter cake. For those of you that don’t know, the “Bean” is a famous sculpture in Chicago that attracts a lot of tourists every year. It’s basically a giant bean-shaped mirrored structure. You can walk up to it and see your reflection in it.

Anyway, I think that the Bean looks like a jelly bean which is obviously a big Easter candy. Evan, on the other hand, will argue with me until I give in that it looks nothing like a jelly bean. I sort of gave in and said that it “doesn’t exactly look like a jelly bean but close enough”.

The shape actually turned out pretty good. I tried really hard to get the icing super smooth but it was the best I could do. We also added the little Cubs logo since we had so much leftover cake. I’m not sure that his family really put the connection between a jelly bean or even the Bean, but oh well. It’s only for fun and no one actually wins the “contest”. Next year we might need to put a little more explanation in our email.

For fun, here was the family member that lives in Las Vegas’ cake. Don’t worry I censored out all of the inappropriate parts.

BBQ Pulled Chicken Sliders

This is what Evan made us for dinner tonight (with homemade baked sweet potato fries). A-mazing!

Cajun Jambalaya

This recipe is Evan’s creation, but it turned out super yummy so I had to share. He left out the jalapenos so I could actually eat it this time!

Cajun Jambalaya

Prep time: 20 minutes         Cook time: 30 minutes

2 tbsp Olive Oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
2 tbsp Creole/Cajun seasoning (paprika, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, cayenne pepper
½ tsp thyme
3 stalks of celery, diced
1 medium onion, diced
1 green pepper, diced
½ 15oz can of diced tomatoes
¾ 15oz can of black beans
1¼ cup raw brown rice
2 cups chicken or beef broth
1 medium/large chicken breast, cubed
½ lb Andouille/Smoked sausage, sliced
1 tsp worcestershire sauce (optional)
1 tsp hot sauce (optional)

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat and add onion, pepper, celery, and garlic for 5 minutes. In a bowl mix diced chicken with Creole/Cajun seasoning. Once mixed, cook chicken and sausage in a separate skillet. After the 5 minutes, add diced tomatoes, bay leaves, thyme, worcestershire and hot sauces to the onion/pepper/celery mix and cook for another 5 minutes. Stir in broth and bring to boil. Once boiling, stir in rice, cover and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once liquid is absorbed and rice is cooked, dump in the chicken and sausage mixture and the black beans and simmer for another 5 minutes.


Photo credit: A Bird in the Kitchen

Panko-Crusted Chicken Salad with Honey Mustard Vinaigrette

I found this recipe on SkinnyTaste, one of my favorite new websites to get healthy and very tasty recipes. I’m not a huge fan of coconut though, so I left that out. I’m obsessed with honey mustard, and so it this dressing. Now that I know how to make it (so easy) I will definitely be making it more often. If you are looking for some new yummy and healthy recipes – head on over to SkinnyTaste. There are plenty of them!

Panko-Crusted Chicken Salad with Honey Mustard Vinaigrette (*adapted from SkinnyTaste’s recipe here).

6 chicken tenderloins
¼ cup panko crumbs
¼ crushed rice krispies cereal
¼ cup egg substitute or egg whites
pinch salt
olive oil spray
6 cups mixed baby greens
¾ cup shredded carrots
1 small cucumber

1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp white vinegar (balsamic would work too)
2 tsp dijon mustard

1. Whisk all vinagraitte ingredients together, set aside.
2. Preheat oven to 375°.
3. Combine panko, rice krispies and salt in a bowl. Put egg whites or egg beaters in another bowl.
4. Lightly season chicken with salt. Dip the chicken in the egg, then in the panko mixture. Place chicken on a cookie sheet lined with parchment or aluminum foil for easy cleanup. Lightly spray with olive oil spray and bake for 30 minutes turning halfway, or until chicken is cooked through.
5. Place 2 cups baby greens on each plate. Divide carrots, cucumber, tomato evenly between each plate. When chicken is ready slice on the diagonal and place on top of greens. Heat dressing in the microwave a few seconds and divide equally between each salad; a little over 1 tbsp each.

photo credit: SkinnyTaste