Saturday, December 29, 2007

Basil Baked Tilapia

With all of the heavy holiday food we've been eating I was really in the mood for something a little lighter. I've recently discovered that I LOVE tilapia, so that's what I decided to make. I love risotto with fish but I thought it would be a little too heavy with our light meal. Baked rice seemed like a lighter choice. At the very last minute I decided that I wanted to have a cream sauce for the fish (so much for a light meal, haha). To make the cream sauce I heated a tablespoon of butter in a small sauce pan. To that I added 1/3 cup of the lemon wine sauce that the fish cooked in and 1/4 cup of flour to act as a thickener. When the flour was well combined I added 1/4-1/3 cup of half and half. I was very please with the flavor of the sauce. Now for the tilapia recipe!

Basil Baked Tilapia
(Recipe source:

1/2 cup white wine
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup fresh basil leaves
4 thin fish fillets, like tilapa
1 lemon, juice of
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
2 tablespoons plain breadcrumbs
salt and pepper

1. Preheat oven to 450*.
2. Pour wine and butter into glass measuring cup and microwave on high until butter begins to melt, about 1 minute.
3. Spread basil leaves over bottom of 9 X 13 glass baking dish, reserving a few large ones for the top of the fish.
4. Place fillets over the remaining basil.
5. Remove the wine mixture from the microwave and add fresh lemon juice.
6. Stir or whisk the wine mixture and pour over the fish.
7. Season the fish with the salt and pepper.
8. Sprinkle the onion powder and bread crumbs evenly over the fish, then add paprika.
9. Cover the pan with aluminum foil, place in lower third of preheated oven, for 12 minutes.
10. Uncover fish and continue to cook until fish is opaque and flakes easily with a fork, about 2-3 more minutes.
11. Serve at once.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Another Christmas Cookie...

This one came from my Kraft food magazine. My friend/co-worker Michelle and I made cookies for all of the other girls in the office. And this was one of our favorites. We also made sugar cookies and buckeyes, but didn't take pictures of those. Next time I make these I will make sure to roll them into thinner ropes. Our's puffed up a lot more than I thought they would.

Chocolate Candy Cane Cookies

1 pkg. (8 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
2-1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
4 squares BAKER'S Semi-Sweet Baking Chocolate, melted
1 pkg. (6 oz.) BAKER'S Premium White Baking Chocolate (we dyed half of the white chocolate red with red food coloring)
12 hard peppermint candies, crushed (we didn't have any so we skipped this part)

PREHEAT oven to 350ºF. Beat cream cheese, butter, sugar and vanilla in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add flour and baking soda; mix well. Blend in semi-sweet chocolate. (Dough will be stiff.)

ROLL tablespoonfuls of dough into 52 balls. Roll each ball into 3-inch-long rope. Place, 2 inches apart, on baking sheet, bending top of each slightly to resemble a candy cane.

BAKE 10 to 12 min. or until puffed and set; cool 5 min. on baking sheet. Transfer to wire racks; cool completely. Microwave white chocolate as directed on package; drizzle over cookies. Sprinkle with crushed candies. Let stand until chocolate is firm.

Gingerbread Bars


Ok, so I've not been so great at updating this thing... Oops :) I also missed my daring baker challenge this month. December and Christmas just snuck up on me and before I knew I had no time left to complete the challenge. I promise to get back on the ball with the January challenge. In the mean time check out what the other Daring Bakers have been up to here.

Even though I did not have enough time to make my Yule Log I still had some baking to do. Most of what I made this holiday season I have made before. But this I just recently saw on Peabody's blog. I thought it sounded delicious and most importantly, easy! I used the recipe almost exactly as it appears on her blog. The only change I made was using maple syrup instead of molasses because I had already started when I realized I didn't have any. I still think they came out great. Oh, and I added some colored sugar crystals to the top to make them festive.

I also think that I should mention that I am very excited because my dear husband got me a brand new SLR digital camera for Christmas. I'm still figuring out how to use all of the bells and whistles but I'm pretty happy with how this photo turned out. Now on to the recipe...

Gingerbread bars -

(Original Source:; as found on Peabody's blog)

1 1/4 cups flour
1 tablespoon ground Ginger
1 teaspoon ground Cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
1 1/4 cups sugar, divided
1 egg
1/3 cup molasses (I subbed maple syrup)
3 tablespoons water
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 13×9-inch baking pan with foil. Spray foil with no stick cooking spray. Mix flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda and salt; set aside.
2. Beat butter and 3/4 cup of the sugar in large bowl with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in egg until well blended. Gradually beat in flour mixture until well mixed. Stir in molasses and water just until blended. Spread evenly in prepared pan.

3. Beat cream cheese in large bowl with electric mixer until smooth. Beat in remaining 1/2 cup sugar and vanilla extract until smooth. Reserve 1/2 cup of the icing; refrigerate remaining icing. Spoon dollops (about 1 teaspoon each) of the reserved icing over batter in pan. With knife or spatula, swirl icing through batter to marbleize.

4. Bake 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 15 minutes. Lift out of pan using foil. Cool completely on wire rack. Invert and peel off foil. Spread refrigerated icing over bars. Cut into bars. Store in refrigerator