Running from the Law: November 2009

Monday, November 30, 2009

Chocolate Cream Raspberry Tart - Cooking Light

This year for Thanksgiving, I was in charge of desserts.  Sounds theory.  I've never claimed to be a great baker...there's something about following directions EXACTLY that I can't seem to do.  I'm more of a make-it-up as I go kind of cook.  BUT, this is a Cooking Light recipe I made a few years ago, that has been such a big hit I've made it about 10 times now.  I just have to remember to follow the directions exactly and viola!  It just keeps surprising me how amazing it is!  And (believe me) people will be seriously impressed because this dessert looks like you spent hours making it.  It's a beauty!  And it's COOKING LIGHT!  Sorry again for the stock camera is still injured.

Chocolate Cream Raspberry Tart
  • 1 1/2 tsp unflavoured gelatin
  • 1 cup milk, divided
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup semisweet chocolate morsels
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract
  • 1 1/2 cups reduced calorie whipped topping, thawed
  • 3 cups fresh raspberries
  • 1/4 cup red currant jelly, melted
Preheat oven to 350.

Combine gelatin and 1/4 cup milk in a bowl. Combine 1/2 cup sugar, cornstarch, cocoa and salt in a saucepan. Gradually add 3/4 cup milk, stirring with a whisk. Bring milk mixture to a boil over medium heat (about 5 min), stirring constantly. Remove from heat; add chocolate morsels, stirring until melted. Stir in extracts.

Add chocolate mixture to gelatin mixture, stirring until gelatin disolves. Place bowl in a large ice filled bowl for 3 min or until chocolate mixture is cool, remove from ice filled bowl. Add whipped topping, stir gently until well blended. Spoon into tart shell. Arrange raspberries (top down) on top of tart. Gently brush raspberries with melted jelly. Chill 2 hours. Serves 9.

Graham Cracker Crust
  • 40 graham crackers
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 Tbsp melted butter
  • 1 large egg white
  • Cooking spray
Place crackers in food processor, process until crumbly. Add sugar, butter and egg white; pulse 6 times until moist. Coat 9 inch pie plate with cooking spray.  Prepare graham cracker crust (recipe below), pressing mixture into bottom and up sides of a 9 inch round removable bottom tart pan. Bake at 350 for 10 min, cool on a wire rack.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Mally's Adventures in Duck Hunting

While I was in San Antonio this weekend, Mally spent the weekend with her dad ducking hunting out at a friend's farm.  She chased the 4-wheeler, barked at ducks, barked at leaves, barked at the wind, got crazy dirty, rolled in the mud, jumped in puddles, barked some more, and was too tired to even greet me when I got home last night.  I think she must have had a great weekend.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Honey-Hoisin Pork Tenderloin

This is another fabulous recipe from my new Cooking Light cookbook.  It was really easy and really delicious.  I'm not a huge pork fan, but Ryan loves it, so I try new recipes every now and then.  I definitely like the tenderloin the best.  This was really juicy and tender, so I was pretty pleased.  I served it with a spring greens salad (with almonds, mandarin oranges and ginger dressing) and a side of sauteed green beans.   

  • 2 tablespoons sliced green onions
  • 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon hot water
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (1-pound) pork tenderloin, trimmed
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds

  1. Preheat oven to 400°.
  2. Combine first 6 ingredients in a small bowl. Pour 1/4 cup honey mixture into a large zip-top plastic bag; reserve remaining honey mixture. Add pork to bag; seal and marinate in refrigerator 30 minutes, turning bag occasionally.
  3. Remove pork from bag; discard marinade. Sprinkle pork with salt. Heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add pork; cook 2 minutes, browning on all sides. Brush 1 tablespoon reserved honey mixture over pork; sprinkle with sesame seeds. Place skillet in oven. Bake at 400° for 20 minutes or until a thermometer registers 160° (slightly pink) or until desired degree of doneness.
  4. Place pork on a platter; let stand 5 minutes. Cut pork across the grain into thin slices. Drizzle with the remaining honey mixture.

This is a seriously good cookbook...I suggest buying it immediately. 

Monday, November 16, 2009

Turkey-Jasmine Rice Meatballs with Baby Bok Choy

So, I made this recipe last week from my new Cooking Light cookbook.  Delicious!!!  It took a bit of time and a ton of different ingredients, but was well worth it.  Sorry, I forgot to take pictures, so this is the one from CL magazine.  Please note that this recipe calls for steaming the bok choy, so make sure you have a steamer (or a dutch oven and a steamer basket)...I didn't and overcooked it, but it was still good.

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/3 cup uncooked jasmine rice*
  • 1/4 cup dry breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/4 pounds ground turkey
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Cooking spray

Bok choy:
  • 6 baby bok choy (about 1 1/3 pounds)**
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions
  • 1 tablespoon shredded peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 cup water
  • 3/4 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons dry sherry
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
To prepare meatballs, bring 1 cup water to a boil in a small saucepan. Stir in jasmine rice; reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until rice is almost tender. Drain; cool. Combine rice, breadcrumbs, and next 6 ingredients (through 1 garlic clove). Shape mixture into 18 meatballs.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat; coat pan with cooking spray. Add meatballs; cook 5 minutes, browning on all sides. Cover and reduce heat to medium; cook for 10 minutes or until done, turning often. Remove from heat; keep warm.

While the meatballs cook, prepare bok choy. Cut each bok choy in half lengthwise. Rinse under cold running water; drain well. Arrange bok choy in a steamer basket, overlapping pieces.

Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add 1/4 cup onions, ginger, and 1 garlic clove; sauté 30 seconds. Place steamer basket in pan. Combine water and next 4 ingredients (through red pepper); pour over bok choy. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and steam over medium-low heat 20 minutes or until bok choy is tender, rearranging bok choy after 10 minutes. Remove the bok choy and steamer basket from pan; cover and keep warm.

Combine sherry and cornstarch; add to pan. Bring to a boil; cook 1 minute or until slightly thick.  Serve sauce over meatballs and baby bok choy.

* Jasmine rice has a pleasant aroma that underscores the other Asian ingredients, but any long-grain white rice will work to help keep the meatballs moist and add a bit of texture.

Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 3 meatballs, 2 bok choy halves, and 3 tablespoons sauce)

CALORIES 251 (35% from fat); FAT 9.8g; IRON 2.6mg; CHOLESTEROL 75mg; CALCIUM 135mg; CARBOHYDRATE 18g; SODIUM 832mg; PROTEIN 21.3g; FIBER 1.9g
By the way, I think baby bok choy may be the cutest vegetable ever!  I mean, they're adorable.  They just make me smile!

** Chopped bok choy can substitute for whole baby bok choy, but they won't be nearly as cute.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

New York, New York

Tomorrow I'm going to New York!  I'm totally pumped.  My bestie is in New Jersey for the next two weeks taking training courses for her new job.  She's never been to the city, so I decided to hop on a plane, meet her in Manhattan and be her personal tour guide for the weekend.  It's been a couple years since I've been to New York and I cannot wait to be a tourist again! 

Our hotel is basically in the middle of Times Square.  Not a bad cental location for us tourists.  Checking out the scene in Times Square is a must for any tourist.  And I think it'd be great if we could find some time to catch a show while we're there. 

Central Park is definitely on the list.  Not sure if we'll just walk around and take in the sites, or go ice skating, or go to the zoo.  Maybe lunch at the Boathouse.  However, I can't see Kasey being all that excited about the carousel, so that's probably out. 

Maybe we'll be in a cultural mood, wanting to enrich our minds at some of the best museums in the world.

Or perhaps we might even take the opportunity to visit some of the classic NYC landmarks.

This might take some work on my part, but I'm going to try to convince Kasey to visit some of my favorite NYC places and let me make a few quick pit stops here...

and here...

and here...

After a long day walking around (and hopefully shopping), we're definitely going to need to replace all those burned calories...enter this NYC favorite.

We can split one of these.

As for dinner, since I'm obsessed with Top Chef, I figured it was only appropriate to dine with Tom Colicchio himself.  We've got reservations at Craftsteak.  Not the original Craft, but it'll do.  I'm a total sucker for bald heads and Ryan's already warned me that I'm not allowed to make out with TC.  He said it'd be ok if Kasey did though, so I'm going to have to live vicariously through her.

Am I missing anything?  What are your favorite things to do in NYC?

Monday, November 9, 2009

Who would play you?

I was chatting with some friends last week and this question came up: "Which actress would play you in the movie of your life?"  I thought about it for a minute, but couldn't really come up with a perfect answer.  However, I was really surprised how many people knew right away which actress they wanted to play them on the big screen.  Answers were anywhere from a young Meryl Streep to Lindsey Lohan...quite a big difference there.  So, this past week, I've given it a bit more thought.  In order to play the character of ME, I'd need someone smart (most of the time), blonde (although not necessarily naturally), a little quirky (in a good way), outgoing (at times), slightly bitchy (regularly), bossy (all the time), stylish (in a conservative way), athletic (yet clumsy), and smoking hot (of course).  I decided to only consider actresses that are "around" my age, just for good measure.  Here are my favorite contenders...

10. Kate Hudson

Now that I think about it, Kate is WAY too cool to ever be me.  She's got a funky, sexy, bohemian fashion sense that makes me want to put on a turtleneck (although she can totally get away with it).  She's also WAY too smoking hot.  Although I do believe that Ryan would consider himself directly on par with A-Rod as a suitor. 

9. Amanda Bynes

Although she's a little younger than me, Amanda Bynes is definitely smart, quirky and athletic (yet clumsy).  From hosting her own comedy sketch show (The Amanda Show) to starring in numerous sitcoms and comedies, I think Amanda is WAY more funny and outgoing than I could ever possibly hope to be.  I think she'd be bored out of her mind with playing me.  

8. Brittany Murphy

From the made-over girl in Clueless to the babysitting rock star's daughter in Uptown Girls, Brittany is definitely blonde, quirky, and stylish.  Although, I think she might actually be a little too clueless for me. 

7. Sarah Michelle Geller

She's smoking hot, stylish, blonde, bitchy and bossy.  A really great combination!   But, from kissing a girl in Cruel Intentions to killing vampires in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, I think Sarah Michelle might be a bit too badass for me. 

6. Kirsten Dunst

I don't even like Kirsten Dunst, so I don't know why I'm even including her on here.  Never mind.

5. Claire Danes

Claire Danes is definitely smart (she went to Yale), blonde, hot and stylish.  She's starred in the movie adaptation of some of my favorite books (Romeo & Juliet and Little Women).  And yet, sometimes I just don't know what to think about her.  Boring?  Serious?  Conservative?  Maybe she would be perfect to play me! 

4. Naiomi Watts

I'm only including Naiomi Watts because Ryan thinks she looks like me.  I don't see it (but am flattered, nonetheless). 

3. Amy Adams

Amy Adams is freaking adorable.  I want to be a fairy princess in a Disney movie.  I want to be Julie making Julia Child dishes.  I want that black dress she wore to the Oscars.  I want her gorgeous red hair!  Ok, maybe I should play her in a movie of her life. 

2. Rachel McAdams

Love her!  From Regina in Mean Girls, to Allie in The Notebook, to Clare in The Time Traveler's Wife...I'm a huge huge fan.  I have no idea what color her natural hair is (who cares), but she can definitely pull off blonde.  And I think Ryan would approve, although he'll insist on playing himself.

1. Reese Witherspoon

I super-mega-heart Reese Witherspoon.  Mad girl crush right here.   I honestly think we'd be besties in real life.  She's funny, quirky, smart, stylish and legally blonde.  I'm sure she can also be pretty bossy and bitchy when necessary (she owns her own production company, Type A Films).  Tracy Flick and Elle Woods put together!  And she seems to be a loving mom and has that girl-next-door sweetness about her.  I'm not worthy!

What do you think?  Please post a comment with your choice.  And let me know who would play YOU in a movie about your life.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Pumpkin Roll

I'm blaming crediting that beautiful blonde over at "For the Love" for tempting me with this delicious dessert.  She shares my love of all things pumpkin, Jeopardy (we both think we could kick ass on that show), tailgating at college football games, boots, books, J. Crew, cooking, In Style magazine, Halloween, diet Coke, Michelle Obama, and fun cheap accessories.  I love this girl. 

A few weeks ago, she posted a Libby's recipe for Pumpkin Roll that spoke to the very depths of my soul.  I have not been able to stop thinking about it and drooling over it.  A friend's mother used to make pumpkin roll for us when we were kids, but I haven't had it in ages.  So, yesterday I went out and bought a jelly roll pan and last night I made my very first pumpkin roll (actually, I made 2).  And they are delicious!!  I was slightly intimidated by the recipe (I've never made a jelly roll), but it was actually pretty easy and turned out really well.  Thank you For the Love!!

Libby's recipe can be found online HERE.


  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar (to sprinkle on towel)
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup LIBBY'S® 100% Pure Pumpkin
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)
  • 1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 6 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Powdered sugar (optional for decoration)

  1. PREHEAT oven to 375° F. Grease 15 x 10-inch jelly-roll pan; line with wax paper. Grease and flour paper. Sprinkle a thin, cotton kitchen towel with powdered sugar.
  2. COMBINE flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and salt in small bowl. Beat eggs and granulated sugar in large mixer bowl until thick. Beat in pumpkin. Stir in flour mixture. Spread evenly into prepared pan. Sprinkle with nuts.
  3. BAKE for 13 to 15 minutes or until top of cake springs back when touched. (If using a dark-colored pan, begin checking for doneness at 11 minutes.) Immediately loosen and turn cake onto prepared towel. Carefully peel off paper. Roll up cake and towel together, starting with narrow end. Cool on wire rack.  
  1. BEAT cream cheese, 1 cup powdered sugar, butter and vanilla extract in small mixer bowl until smooth. Carefully unroll cake.
  2. Spread cream cheese mixture over cake. Reroll cake.
  3. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least one hour. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving, if desired.

 Be sure to put enough powdered sugar on the towel when rolling up the cake so it will not stick.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Justin & Christine's Wedding

What a great wedding and a wonderful weekend! The DeCaro-McCarty wedding was an absolute blast!  The families had a great time at dinner.  The rehearsal dinner was so much fun. The decorations were perfect. The toasts were hilarious. The video slideshow was a big hit. The weather on Saturday was amazing - a sunny, crisp fall day. The bride was stunning! The dress was to-die-for.  The groom was glowing. The wine was flowing. The band was rocking. The parents were dancing machines.  The groomsmen were dead.  And the party lasted ALL night long! Here are a couple pictures.

The bridesmaids.
The groomsmen.
The rehearsal.
The tables.

The best man and maid of honor.
The baby I tried to steal.
The soon-to-be sisters.
The brothers.
The girls.
The happy couple.
The Party McCarty.
The groom's cake.
The toasting.
The roasting.
The after-rehearsal dance party.
The girls getting ready.
The hair getting did.
The bride!
The first dance.

The proud parents.
The centerpieces.
The moms.
The joy.
The husband and the wife.
The Maid of Honor.
The ring bearer.
The MIL and DIL.
The McCarty family.
The DeCaro family.
The cake.

The sweethearts table.
The father-daughter dance.
The room.
The second dress.
The party!

The groomsmen in costume!
The singer.
The end.