Saturday, February 16, 2013

Spicy Garlic Pasta With Chicken

Here's a little dish I created last week from whatever we had left in our fridge and cabinets. Basically, this is the type of dish that is born from being a broke-ass college student with champagne taste on a beer budget. 

It was so good that I made it twice in the same week. Why? Because bacon. (Yep. Bacon is a legit reason.)

Yields 4 servings (Or two if you're a champion.)


  • 8 ounces spaghetti (about half a box. Other types of pastas work, too)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2-4 slices of bacon 
  • 1 chicken breast, thawed and patted dry
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp chili flakes
  • paprika
  • cayenne
  • salt
  • pepper
  • freshly grated parmesan
  1. Generously season chicken with paprika, cayenne, salt, and pepper. Allow to chill in the fridge for about 10-20 minutes.
  2. Start a pot of boiling water for the pasta.
  3. Over low-medium heat, cook bacon until crispy. Set aside on paper towel to drain. Reserve grease in pan.
  4. Cook chicken in the pan with the bacon grease until it is almost fully cooked (The internal temp should be about 145 ish)
  5. Remove chicken from pan, but leave the grease.
  6. Your water should be boiling. Add the pasta and boil for about 9 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, mince the bacon and slice the chicken into bite-sized medallions.
  8. Add garlic to the pan with the bacon grease and sauté until fragrant.
  9. Put the chicken back in the pan with the garlic and cook it until it is no longer pink in the center.
  10. When the pasta is done, drain it and add it to the garlic and chicken mixture.
  11. Toss pasta with oil, bacon, chili flakes, salt, and pepper.
  12. Serve with freshly grated parmesan cheese.
  13. Try not to drool because it's unladylike.

Julia Child's Coq Au Vin

We sure did watch Julie and Julia while making this. And I almost cried when I tasted it. I can't believe I've gone this long without Coq Au Vin in my life. A lengthy process, but so undoubtedly worth it.


  • 4 slices thick cut bacon
  • 3 lbs chicken breasts and legs, skin on (two breasts and two drumsticks)
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary, minced
  • 2 cups red wine
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 10 oz sliced mushrooms
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • ½ tsp salt (or, to taste)

  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
  2. Fry the bacon over medium heat in a dutch oven or large heavy-bottomed pot. 
  3. After it’s fried, remove the bacon and place on paper towels to drain. 
  4. Once cool, chop bacon and set aside. Keep the bacon grease in the pot.
  5. Turn heat to high and place chicken, skin-side down in the pot. Sear chicken until golden brown on both sides, about eight minutes. 
  6. Then, add the onions, garlic, bay leaves and rosemary. Continue sautéing until the onions begin to soften, about six minutes.
  7. Add the chicken broth and red wine. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. 
  8. Cover and let simmer for 30 minutes.
  9. After 30 minutes, carefully remove the chicken from the pot and place in an oven-safe dish. Keep chicken warm in the oven while you work on the sauce.
  10. Stir the flour and butter (butter should melt instantly in the pot) into the red wine sauce. Bring back up to a boil and stir constantly----sauce should be begin to thicken. 
  11. Add mushrooms, chopped bacon, salt and pepper and continue cooking for 10-12 minutes. Keep in mind that the sauce will also thicken up a bit when it cools.
  12. Place chicken back in sauce and serve with roasted potatoes and/or greens.
  13. Die of happiness.

Bailey's Irish Cream Cake

I know these don't particularly look like Bailey's irish cream cakes. I got a little fancy for this recipe! My manager and a co-worker were leaving Starbucks last week, so I decided to make them each cakes to say goodbye. I chose this recipe A: because it's delicious! and B: because it's a denser cake, which makes it perfect for stacking and decorating.

I do a lot of variations of Bailey's cakes and cupcakes, trying to find the best one. I think this is it!! You can really taste the irish cream in this cake.

(Adapted from Too Many Chefs)

Bailey's Irish Cream Cake

For the cake:


  • 4 oz semisweet chocolate 
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 6 Tbs Bailey's Irish Cream
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup milk


  1. Preheat the oven to 350F and butter and lightly flour two nine inch cake pans. (for cakes, I like to use powdered sugar instead of flour so the cake doest get that raw flour taste.)
  2. Melt chocolate over a low heat with the Bailey's and the brown sugar. Stir often to blend to a smooth mixture. 
  3. In the meantime, cream the butter with the sugar. 
  4. Add the eggs one by one. 
  5. Sift the dry ingredients over another bowl.
  6. Add the milk and the dry ingredients gradually to the egg/sugar/butter mixture, alternating wet and dry. 
  7. Once they are completely incorporated, add the chocolate mixture. 
  8. Bake in the middle of the oven for about 35 minutes, allow to cool ten minutes in the pans and then turn out onto wire racks to finish cooling.

For the filling:
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 3 Tbs Bailey's Irish Cream
  • 1 small package of vanilla flavored instant pudding

  1. Whip ingredients together until it has reached a fluffy consistency.
  2. Be very careful not to over whip them or they'll turn into a gooey pudding-like consistency. You really want it to be fluffy.

For the frosting:

  • 1/3 cup butter
  • about 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 heaping Tbs cocoa powder
  • 2 tbs heavy cream

  1. Beat the butter with the powdered sugar and the cocoa powder and cream. 
  2. If it seems a little dry, add a tablespoon of milk. If it seems a little wet, add a little more sugar. 
  3. Ad food coloring if desired. Frost the cake.

Mint Bailey's Chocolate Chip Cupcakes

Maybe you don't know this about me, but I'm a stress baker.

When I've had a long day, nothing calms me down as much as the methodical rhythm of baking cupcakes. I know the measurements. I know the steps. I don't have to think about much at all.

These cupcakes were born from getting passed up for a promotion for the third time. So, obviously, they had to involve alcohol! =]

(Adapted from Baking Bites)

Yields 16 cupcakes


  • 1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup Chocolate Mint Bailey’s Irish Cream (or regular Bailey’s + 1/2 tsp peppermint extract)
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2/3 cup mini chocolate chips


  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line baking pan with cupcake liners.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time, followed by vanilla extract. 
  4. Mix in half of the flour mixture, followed by the irish cream and milk, then mix in the remaining flour mixture. 
  5. Stir in chocolate chips.
  6. Distribute batter evenly into prepared muffin pan.
  7. Bake for 18-21 minutes
  8. Allow to cool completely before frosting

Mint Buttercream Icing

  • 4 tbsp butter, softened
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tbsp irish cream
  • 1 tsp peppermint extract

Mix all ingredients in a small bowl until smooth. Add food dye, if desired. Pipe onto cooled cupcakes.

I also added some chocolate drizzle to these by microwaving some chocolate chips in a ziplock bag. I cut a tiny hole in the corner and drizzled it over the cakes.