Welcome to CutieCooks!

Linds and Ally here! We want to share our cooking experiences with you to help you start having a more fabulous experience in the kitchen. It is our mission to bring you simple yet deliciously healthy recipes that you can make in a flash! Thanks for visiting!
XOXO, CutieTwins

Apr 29, 2011

Colorblock Dinner Party

I very much enjoy cooking and entertaining, obviously, and my best friend is a fashion guru, if there is such a thing. So we decided to combine our two loves and host a fashion inspired dinner party. The entire thing was inspired by the Colorblock Fashion Trend, which was very big in the Spring Runway looks.

The hosts, Lindsey and Maggie

We hosted eight of our closest friends to come enjoy cocktails, food, and of course fashion all inspired by the Colorblock trend. We had a blast putting it all together and even more fun sharing it all with our friends. I hope that this inspires you to pull the things you love together and gives you idea on how to tie food into the mix. Enjoy all of the recipes that we did!

Sara, Rachel, Matea, Gabrijel and Lauren

Megan, Ally, Maggie, Lindsey and Kelly

Sara, Kelly and Ally

We started off serving colorful cocktails to our guests as they arrived in four bright colors. The main menu, as you can see below, included a pear and roquefort salad, tortellini with chicken in pesto sauce, roasted vegetables, and cupcakes with coffee for desert.

Our menu for the night.

Roasted Vegetables

We chose a colorful array of vegetables, including tomatoes, zucchini, squash, and orange peppers. After chopping them into equal size pieces we lightly salt and peppered them, then sprinkled with italian seasoning and some garlic powder. I would also suggest pouring a light amount of balsalmic vinegar over the top of them.

Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees and let roast for about 15-20 minutes for a smaller portion (one of each vegetable) and 25-30 minutes for a bigger portion (two of each vegetable). This is such an easy recipe that I use all the time as a healthy and delicious side dish!

Cooked Veggies

Pear and Roquefort Salad

This salad turn out to be a huge hit, it was very tasty and the flavors complemented each other perfectly. Start by tearing a few leaves of lollo rosso, a few leaves of radicchio, and a few leaves of mache into manageable pieces. Arrange either in a large serving platter of on individual plates. Then cut one red and one green pear into small, manageable slices. Arrange the slices over the salad. (You can also substitute any type of greens for a similar presentation and taste. I have used only spinach leaves in the past, which was just a delightful!)


For the dressing, place 2oz. of Roquefort (or blue cheese) in a bowl, and mash with a fork until broken up. Gradually mix in 2/3's cup of plain yogurt. Chop up 2 tablespoons (about six fresh chives) and add to the mixture. Sprinkle with pepper to taste, then serve. I would usually serve dressing in a bowl so that people could determine how much they would like. For a dinner party, I would suggest just putting it on the side of the individual plates for people. Garnish with a few full whole chives.

Pesto Sauce over Tortellini

Start by roasting chicken boneless and skinless chicken breasts halved in oil, salt pepper, garlic powder and some italian seasoning for 30-45 minutes at 450 degrees (depending on how many you are roasting at once, we had six). Check on them occasionally. While they are cooking, whip up your pesto sauce.

Start making your pesto sauce while chicken is cooking. Add 2 large bunches (about 4 cups loosely packed) of basil, 2/3 cups olive oil, 2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese, 4 garlic cloves, and 2 tablespoons pine nuts into your food processor or blender. Blend until smooth and then season to taste with salt and pepper, set aside. Pesto sauce can be made a day in advance as long as stored covered in the fridge.

Next, cook one pound of fresh cheese tortellini in boiling water until tender. Drain reserving 1/4 cup of the cooking water.

Lastly, combine the tortellini, chicken and 1 cup pesto sauce in a large sauce pan over high heat. Toss until heated all the way through. Add the cooking water and remaining pesto sauce a little bit at a time until all of the pasta and chicken are coated evenly. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve! Enjoy!!

Old Fashion Cupcakes
with Almond Cream Cheese Frosting
and Coffee

I decided to do an old-fashioned cupcake recipe with an updated, newer frosting recipe.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line cupcake pans with paper liners and set aside. Combined in a mixing bowl 1 3/4 cups cake flour and 1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, 2 cups sugar, 1 tablespoon baking powder, and 3/4 teaspoon salt. Mix, using a mixer, on low for about 3 minutes. Add in 2 sticks of butter, cut into cubes, mixing until just coated with flour.

Add 4 large eggs, one at a time until combined. Slowly add 1 cup of whole milk and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract until completely mixed. Scoop batter in baking cups filling them about 2/3's full. Bake for about 17-20 minutes, or until cake tester inserted comes out clean.

As cupcakes bake and cool, prepare the almond cream cheese frosting. In a bowl using your mixer, whip 11 1/2 tablespoons of soft butter and 24 ounces of cream cheese on high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Turn the mixer on medium-low, and slowly add 4 1/2 cups powdered sugar, 3 teaspoons vanilla extract and 1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract. Once the ingredients are all incorporated, turn the mixer to high, and beat for one additional minute.

Frost cupcakes once they have cooled to room temperature and serve with a steaming hot pot of coffee of your choice. The perfect end to a lovely dinner party!

Thank you to all who helped make our night fabulous and fun with great conversation and funny stories! We hope that you all had as splendid of a time as we had hosting you! Hope to do it again soon!

xoxo, CutieCooks

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Apr 6, 2011

Gourmet French Bread Pizza w/ Pesto Sauce

Ingredients: 1 loaf of French Bread 1/2 8 oz. jar of pesto 2 cups Mozzarella Cheese - shredded 1 med. Andouilli Sausage 1/2 lb. shrimp (cooked) 1 fresh tomato 4 tbsp. sun-dried tomatoes Red Pepper flakes Italian Seasoning Oregano Seasoning **Add black olives if desired
First, slice the Andouilli Sausage into half and cut into thin slices. Dice tomatoes, making sure that they are thin and flat (also cut up olives if you plan on using them). Cut shrimp into pieces that are also flat or thin. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut the French Bread loaf into 1/3's or 1/4's and then slice long ways. Spread pesto sauce evenly over each piece of bread. Add diced tomatoes and sun-dried tomatoes.
Sprinkle one layer of cheese over the tomatoes, about one cup in total.

Place sausage and pieces of shrimp on top of the cheese. Then, sprinkle red pepper flakes over meat, to your liking.

Finally, sprinkle remaining cheese (or as much as you like) over meat and top off with Italian seasoning and oregano.

Cook for 12 to 13 minutes at 375 degrees. After pulling out of the oven, let cool for at least 5 minutes. Then enjoy!!

I would recommend serving with your favorite white wine. I chose a Pino Grigio. Also, serving Bruchette as a light appetizer before dinner (or to eat while cooking) is the perfect amount of food to hold you over without that full feeling.

xoxo, CutieTwins

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Apr 4, 2011

Red Wine Steak Marinade

Ingredients: 1 Cup A-1 Steak Sauce 6 tablespoons Worcestershire 1/3rd Cup Red Wine Salt & Pepper to taste Choose any red wine of your choice, to pair with your steak dinner, and use it in your marinade. We chose a McWilliam's Shiraz, which paired very nicely with the entire meal. First, mix together all ingredients in a clean bowl. Do not feel as though you have to follow the recipe exactly, but rather to your taste. Clean, then salt and pepper your steaks. Also, note at this stage, you can use any steak rub or other seasonings you prefer to use. Pour red wine marinade over steaks and let sit for four or more hours. If you are short on time, 30 minutes will do, especially if you set aside some marinade to use as au jus on top of your cooked steaks. (I would suggest doing this either way, very yummy!) Cook steaks to your liking. I prefer medium to medium rare for best flavor. Serve with your preference of sides. I would suggest roasted or mashed potatoes and roasted zucchini and squash seasoned with salt, pepper, and Italian Seasoning. Serve with the remaining red wine, which should compliment and complete the meal! Enjoy!!! xoxo, CutieCooks
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