October 18, 2014

Pumpkin Spice Cookies with Vanilla Bean Frosting

Pumpkin Spice Cookies with Vanilla Bean Frosting is the perfect #pumpkin recipe for the #autumn pumpkin season. A #recipe from Seduction in the Kitchen.
I know, silent again, well when I got back to work from vacation, well it appears something happened and, let's just say my day job as a phlebotomist became very stressful Everyone, including myself, is under a microscope right now. So due to the stress, I been really tired that I just could not concentrate on writing a post.

Actually to help deal with that stress, moving to the new apartment, has come in handy. I have been doing "projects" in the decorating of the new place. Like right now, I am re doing a mirror and a small chest of drawers to give it a beach wood/driftwood look for the bedroom. I will post my projects as I get them done, I needed that distraction as I get through the stress at the day job.

I have a whole list in my head of these projects, from making a headboard to building a bar. In the past, I would bake as a form of stress relief, particularly cakes. I loved cake decorating. If it was someones birthday I would create a cake for them as a surprise. I self taught myself, like I do with most things, cake decorating. The web is full of great tutorials on how to do this. I found some the cakes I did that I will share with you, my specialty was drawing with the butter cream:

I love to bake, I have not decorated a cake in a long time, who knows, now that I have this much larger kitchen, maybe I will get back into it. I may not be doing cake decorating, but I still love to bake. As you are very well aware of it is PUMPKIN SEASON! So yes I had to do something with pumpkin!

I know some people simply do not have enough time to make cookies completely from scratch, that a shortcut is needed. Well these pumpkin cookies is the perfect shortcut cookie, the secret it is made from spice cake mix.

1 box of spice cake mix
1 egg
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 small can (15oz) pumpkin puree

1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup evaporated milk
1 cup of shortening
1 vanilla bean
1 teaspoon vanilla

In a large mixing bowl combine the cake mix, egg, vegetable oil, and pumpkin puree.

Pre heat the oven to 350F. Drop rounded teaspoonfuls of the pumpkin batter onto a parchment lined cookie sheet.

Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes. It just till the bottoms are set and the tops are lightly browned. Let them cool on a bakers rack.

To make the frosting: Cream the sugar and shortening together.

Split the vanilla bean and crape the seeds into the shortening mixture. Add the evaporated milk and the vanilla. Mix it well.

After the cookies have cooled, spoon the frosting into a Ziplock bag or a icing bag. Snip off the corner the bag and pipe on a dollop of the frosting onto the cookies.

After the frosting is on them, then ENJOY!

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October 10, 2014

Citrus Ahi Tuna with Pineapple Kiwi Salsa

Citrus Ahi Tuna with Pineapple Kiwi Salsa, a dish that is full of flavor and is healthy as well. A recipe from Seduction in the Kitchen.
I went on a date recently. It was ok, but he brought up something I am always hearing from these guys, "Deanna, your so beautiful, if you lose weight you be a knock out." I get tired of hearing this. I eat healthy, I am on a perpetual diet, I have the hardest time losing weight. I have an hour glass figure. I wish guys would see me for me and not judge me by my weight.

As you know I moved recently, and something inside me seems to have changed with this move. I have a new view on things in life. It like I been saying on here "change is good." I am like most people when comes to losing weight, I rely on an excuse not to do it.

So, once again, I am going to try and lose weight again, So healthy eating I will once again be doing. One thing that is good, my new apartment has stairs I have to take every day, no elevator. So that will help me so much in getting in 5,000 steps each day. I have to use these steps to enter and leave my apartment but also to do my laundry, since my washer and dryer is on the lower level of my apartment.

Why do I want go at it again? Well I turned 39. This is my year to make huge changes in my life before I turn 40. This is the year of Dee. I do want lose weight, in fact I always see myself as smaller then what I really am. It usually takes someone, like a guy to say this famous line to me: " You are gorgeous, if you lose weight, you be a knock out." I should not let that get to me, but let's face it, it physical attraction that attracts a guy. We love to say it on the inside that counts, but come on, we live in a very shallow world, in order to know how someone is on the inside we go by what we see on the outside first. Though I will admit I do have a crush on a guy I met, we gone out once. He said he wants to have dinner at my new place once I am settled in. I know not to get my hopes up, Let's just say got a feeling he isn't that interested in me, and got a feeling he being nice about it, that it too is my weight. He is huge into diet and exercise, that kind of my clue there, that and took him since July to ask me out again.

Anyway, so lets get healthy again, by Christmas I want to lose 20lbs. I know I can do it. A good start is eating nice lean proteins. I love fish, especially tuna. What is nice about fish is, yes it is healthy, but you can flavor it so it doesn't get boring. That what I like about this Ahi Tuna recipe. It got a nice citrus flavor to it, then topped off with the pineapple salsa. Wow it will set your taste buds dancing. Best of all, it is a healthy recipe, but full of flavor.

2 cups orange juice
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/3 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch

1 pineapple, peeled, cored, and diced
2 kiwi fruits, peeled ad diced
1 red onion, diced
2 tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped

2lbs Ahi Tuna Steaks

In a small sauce pan, combine the orange juice, lemon juice, ginger, brown sugar, soy sauce, and the Worcestershire sauce together.

Bring the sauce to a boil over medium heat and then add the cornstarch to thicken it slightly. turn the heat down and let the sauce simmer for about 5 minutes. Take off the heat and let it cool.

When the sauce is cool, reserve about 1/2 cup the sauce, Add the Ahi Tuna to the remaining sauce. Cover and let sit in the fridge for about 1-2 hours, or over night if you prefer. The longer the fish marinates, the stronger the flavor of the citrus it will have.

As the fish is marinating, you can prepare the salsa. Combine all the ingredients for the salsa, and let sit in the fridge till your ready to use it.

Pre heat the oven to 425, in a baking pan place a sheet of foil. Place the tuna in the center of the foil and spoon some the marinade over the tuna. Bring up the foil around the tuna to form a packet.

Bake in the oven for about 10-15 minutes. Take the tuna out the oven and open the packet carefully, so you will not get burned. The fish will be flake very easily when it is done.

Place the Ahi Tuna steak on a plate, top it off with some the pineapple kiwi salsa, then drizzle some the reserved sauce over it, then ENJOY!

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October 8, 2014

Thank You

I am doing something special. This week I have had many milestones: 1) My birthday 2) Seduction in the Kitchen hit 6500 likes on Facebook 3) 500 Twitter followers. 4) I have a new apartment and a new energy on life.

Before I left for my hiatus for my move I left with 5600 Likes on Facebook. When I got back and posted The Crock Pot Gnocchi Chicken Soup recipe, I was overwhelmed with love from everyone. My Facebook page started blowing up with the likes and bloomed to 6500 as of today. People missed me and my posts and it I am so touched by this.

I am someone I love to help when I can. It was fellow food bloggers who help me get to this level where I go away for one month to do something personal, like moving apartments, they were the ones tweeting, pinning, and sharing some of my old recipes. So I decided I want to do something different for this post, I want to give back, so lets make a yummy, interactive post.

I am inviting food bloggers of all types to add to my "linky" party. From now till Saturday night at midnight, it will be live for bloggers to add their recipe links.  Now here is the best part for you as the readers. As you look through these recipes, you can vote on the ones you like, you can choose up to 10 per IP address. See more then 10, well you have to use your work computer to vote then. It registers per IP address for the voting. Hey if it was me I have as unlimited, but Linky sets it to 10 and per IP address. I don't have control on that.

So why would you want to vote on the food bloggers recipes? Well, the winning recipe with the most votes, the blogger will win a $20 Whole Foods Gift Certificate from me. Bloggers, why do you want to link up your recipes? Well, not only do you have a chance to win a gift certificate to Whole Foods, but also you will exposure. As a way to say thank you, every recipe will be pinned to a board on Pinterest, Linked to the Seduction in the Kitchen Facebook Wall, and Tweeted as well. Plus the Pinterest board will be sent out in The Olive and Grapevine Newsletter.

Ready to enter? Click on the An InLinkz-up to enter your recipe!

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October 6, 2014

Red Gold 2-A Day Crock Pot Giveaway

I am late on this due to my move and getting the Internet back on. It isn't easy living in a area that doesn't have a lot of choices. None the less you still have a chance to enter RedGold Tomatoes Crock pot giveaway! You can enter to win by signing up Here. You have to hurry, the giveaway ends October 8th!

I recently have a chance to work with RedGold tomatoes, Actually they sent me some tomatoes to work worth and I tried the Rustic Italian Chicken Crock pot recipe, let me tell you it is delish!!

According to the RedGold website Red Gold began as a family business in 1942. Seventy years and four generations later, we still concentrate on growing tomatoes and using them to make over a hundred different products. Day in and day out, we pursue our mission, “To produce the freshest, best-tasting tomato products in the world.”

I can tell you this, there is a definite difference n the taste with these tomatoes. In fact I am working on 2 recipes using RedGold Tomatoes, One you have seen already in my Italian Sausage and Peppers post, I made a few times and have used the RedGold in it and makes the biggest difference I think. I am also working on a chili recipe that I hope to be posting very soon and it will feature the RedGold tomatoes.

I am in love with RedGold tomatoes, and I know you will love them too once you try them. You can learn more about RedGold by checking out their website enter the giveaway to get a crock pot and stay tuned for my chili recipe with RedGold tomatoes!


October 5, 2014

Dumante Baklava Muffins

Dumante Baklava Muffins a sweet combination of flavors of #baklava in a #muffin! A #recipe from Seduction in the Kitchen
It is my birthday, yep October 6 is my birthday. I realized as I am a year older now, I have been growing and changing. With the move to the new apartment, I have felt my energies change. I know I am truly starting new. Every year I make a wish, and usually the same wish on my birthday, yes I still believe in making a wish on your birthday. This year my wish will most likely be the same, but this time I am changing it up a bit. No I wont tell you my wish, then it wont come true. I really like for it to come true, so my secret for now.

With the move, as I said my energies have changed, I finally realized I need changes, So why not start with that wish I make every year. It is time to stop waiting for things and it is time to start doing things. That is what I have come to realize as I am turning 39. I spent so much time waiting for everything, from healing my heart to putting my dreams on hold. It is time to start doing things for Dee. I have finally realized it time for Dee, not anyone else, and stop waiting for dreams to happen, go and make the dreams happen.

I realized what my real passions are, I took the month off from blogging because I was moving, in that month I realized I missed blogging. My passion is cooking and food. Everyone keeps telling me they are surprised I do not pursue a career in food. My passion is doing this blog, I been told I need to move to Wordpress platform. Maybe it is time to do the next step, go for it, see if I can make my dreams come true, which is making this, my blog a second income, so if anything happens at work I will be ok I have this. I admit I make gas money right now, nothing that is a second income. I know it can be done. I got to change it up. It part that making my dreams come true.

So let's celebrate my birthday. Dumante is one of my favorite liquors. I love the smoothness of this pistachio liquor. It is so wonderful not only in making a cocktail, but in baking too. It was the inspiration for me to recreate another favorite of mine, baklava. Traditional baklava is a lot of work, so I seen a recipe for a muffin version from Nigella Lawson. So let's mix it up add some this great Dumante liquor to it and celebrate my birthday.

1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1 tablespoon Dumante liquor

1 cup flour
7 tablespoons flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons buttermilk
1 tablespoon vanilla

1/2 cup honey
1 tablespoon Dumante liquor

Preheat oven to 400F degrees and  mix all the filling ingredients together in a small bowl, set aside.

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and sugar.

In another bowl, mix the egg, melted butter, vanilla, and buttermilk.

Then make a well in the dry ingredients and add gently mix in the wet ingredients.

Fill 12 muffin cups 1/3 full, add a tablespoon of filling, cover with more muffin mixture until 2/3 full.

Then sprinkle any remaining filling on top of the muffins and bake for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile mix the liquor and honey together, when the muffins are done, pull out and drizzle them with the honey mixture and let cool.

When they are cool enough, then ENJOY!

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All photography images and content by Deanna Samaan/Seduction in The Kitchen/Lovely Pink Diva