Monthly Archives: January 2011

Smoky Chicken Paprikash and Microwaveable Mug Cake

Fitness Magazine recently had a whole slew of healthy recipes in their January issue. Tonight I thought I’d try the Chicken Paprikash, only to have the healthy factor ruined shortly after with a few glasses too many of some wine and a literal cup of cake, a recipe found by my roommate. I thought the chicken was a great success and fairly easy to make. It had the same satisfaction as my favorite Indian meal (Chicken Ginger) because of the sauce and rice under the chicken, but without all the heavy cream.

Smoky Chicken Paprikash

  • 4 tsp canola oil
  • 1 1/4 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs cut into 1 in pieces
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper, plus more to taste
  • 2 medium red bell peppers, cored, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 tbps minced fresh garlic
  • 1 tbsp smoked sweet paprika
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup canned crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tsp all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup reduced fat (fat free works just as well) sour cream
  • 2 tbsp minced fresh dill
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • cooked whole wheat orzo (optional)
  1. Heat a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat; add 2 teaspoons of the canola oil. Season the chicken with the salt and black pepper; add to the pan. Cook 2 to 3 minutes to sear. Turn and cook 2 minutes more. Transfer to a plate and tent with foil to keep warm.
  2. Add remaining oil and the bell peppers and onion to skillet. Saute, stirring occasionally, until softened, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the garlic and paprika; saute until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the wine and cook, stirring frequently, until nearly evaporated, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and chicken broth and bring to a simmer.
  3. Return chicken to skillet, reduce heat to medium low and simmer until chicken is just cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. In a small dish, whisk the flour into the sour cream. Slowly add to the sauce and simmer 3 minutes more. Stir in the dill and lemon juice and season to taste with additional salt and black pepper. Serve chicken and sauce over whole-wheat orzo if desired.

Per Serving: 325 calories, 32 g protein, 15 g carbohydrate, 13 g fat (3.4 saturated), 3 g fiber

If you have small children (or a picky roommate) you can actually put the sauce in a blender so that the red bell peppers are mixed into the sauce rather than on their own. It just looks like some kind of pasta sauce but it has more veggies in it.

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The ever popular….CUPCAKES!

My roommate walked into my room, some might call it more of a closet, to find me writing a list of things that make me happy. First on the list: my cat, Chester (duh). Second on the list: cupcakes. My new found love might be cliche since they’ve become so popular as of late, but I have to say I wasn’t prepared for the sheer amount of fun I had while decorating them.

When I was home over the holidays I found a tucked away stash of professional decorating tools my mom bought when she was about my age.  Apparently she and her mom took a cake decorating class (and another class which was incidentally taught by the then not-famous Diane Sawyer) and kept all the equipment. Woo hoo! So here’s what I came up with. The color scheme is for my brother.

Professional Icing Recipe:

  • 1/2 cup crisco
  • about 1 pound confectioner’s sugar/powdered sugar
  • about 1/3 cup water (this can vary depending on how humid your kitchen is)
  • 1 tbsp almond extract


Start off with the crisco and slowly add in the powdered sugar, blending with a hand mixer. When it gets to thick to mix, add some of the water, a little at a time, and the almond extract. Once that’s mixed in, add more sugar. This process continues until you have a fairly thick icing so that the shape will keep when you use it to decorate. Milk can be a substitute for water but then you have to refrigerate it.

If you prefer to add color, use a gel. This won’t water down your icing and it requires very little.

*If you prefer vanilla icing just make sure you get clear vanilla flavoring. You can find it sometimes in the baking section of the grocery store. Otherwise, your icing will turn brownish. *

Here’s a website that shows how to fold a parchment triangle into a bag for icing.

And here’s one that shows all the different icing tips you can get if you are  feeling adventurous with your funds.

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