Chicken Bellagio (Cheesecake Factory)

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Ahhhh… thin spaghetti with chicken and basil cream sauce, topped with arugula, does it get any better than that? When I went to the Cheesecake Factory about a month ago, I had the Chicken Bellagio. I loved it, and so did everyone who tried it at my table. It is seriously amazing. I LOVE fried chicken, cream sauce, and noodles… just thinking about it makes my mouth water. This recipe I found online and then edited it. I hope you like it!

For the chicken:
  • 3-6 Chicken Breasts
  • 1 C Flour
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 C Italian Seasoned Bread Crumbs
  • 1 C Parmesan Cheese
  • Oil {Vegetable oil works great, but olive or grape seed oil is a nice alternative}
You will need 3 bowls. In first bowl place flour. The second whisk the eggs and third combine bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese. Set aside. If chicken is frozen, allow to thaw completely. Butterfly the cutlets, or cut them in half by cutting through the middle of the meat so you have 2 thinner pieces. Then place in a large sturdy zip-lock bag and with a meat mallet gently hammer chicken so that the piece is an even and thickness. About this time, begin to heat your oil in a large skillet over medium -medium/high heat. You will want to fill your skillet about 3/4 inch deep with oil. You will know when ready if you flick a few drops of water on the oil and it crackles. Take each piece of chicken and first coat them with flour, then dip in the egg, then last coat with bread crumb mixture. Do this to each piece. Then place 2-3 pieces of chicken at a time in skillet. This will depend on how big your skillet is. Don’t over crowd. Allow to cook a few minutes, sides will start to turn a golden brown. Then flip and cook the other side. When finished remove and place on paper towels to drain excess oil. Repeat with remaining pieces.
For the sauce:
  • 2 Cup Heavy Cream
  • 2 tsp Minced Garlic
  • 3/4 C Fresh Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 5-6 Fresh Basil Leaves Minced
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon
  • salt and pepper
Whisk heavy cream and garlic in sauce pan over medium-high heat until it begins to thicken. Add in Parmesan cheese and whisk til incorporated. Lower heat to medium-low careful not to scorch. Add in basil, lemon juice and salt and pepper. Whisk thoroughly and reduce to a low heat to keep warm.

For the plating:

  • Arugula Lettuce  (if you can’t find arugula, use a mix with arugula in it)
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Lemon
  • 1 pkg. Thin Spaghetti or Angle Hair, cooked
Place generous serving of pasta in middle of plate. Layer with two pieces of chicken side by side.  Spoon the cream sauce over the chicken and pasta. Put a handful of arugula over the chicken. Drizzle a little olive oil over arugula followed by juice of a lemon half.
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Football Cake Pops

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I have been interested in cake pops for a long time, but I could never seem to make them work. I even got a cake pop maker but still could not manage to make the cake pops stay on the sticks. After reading from multiple websites, watching videos, and looking through my cake pop cookbook: Crazy For Cake Pops by Molly Bakes (I like it because it has ideas AND recipes), I came up with a great cake pop recipe which stays on the stick, looks cute, and tastes great. For those of you who are unaware, cake pops are a mixture of crumbled cake and frosting, rolled into balls (or footballs in this case), and covered in melted chocolate or candy melts (YUM). I don’t recommend using this cake recipe for just plain cake, it works well for cake pops because it crumbles easily. Here’s how you make these tasty treats:

For the cake:

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 1/3 cups self-rising flour (or you can whisk 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour with 2 tsp. baking powder and 1/2 tsp. salt)
  • 4 Tbsp. milk, at room temperature

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Lightly grease and flour a 10-in. round cake tin or a 8-in. square cake tin. 2.Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla extract and then the eggs, one at a time, mixing well between each addition. 3. Add half the flour and half the milk and mix until combined. Repeat with the rest of the flour and milk. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. 4.Bake the cake for 35-45 minuter, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool the cake in the pan 20 minutes before removing to cool comepletely.

For the frosting:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 1/3 cups chocolate chips
  • 1/2 Tbsp. shortening

1. Melt the chocolate chips with the shortening in 30-second periods in the microwave, stirring after each period until the chocolate is melted. Allow to cool. 2.Cream the butter. Gradually add the powdered sugar and then the chocolate until combined.

Assembling the cake pops:

  • 1 (8-10 in.) cake, cooled
  • frosting (amounts vary)
  • chocolate or candy melts
  • lollipop sticks
  • styrofoam block or cake pop stand

1.For the cake pop batter, crumble the cake as thoroughly as you can with you hands, until the cake has no large pieces. Mix in frosting, a little at a time, until the cake pop batter can be formed into a large ball that doesn’t crumble and doesn’t loose it’s shape. 2.Roll into football shapes. Refrigerate for about half an hour (or pop them into the freezer for about 10 minutes), or until firm. 3.Melt the chocolate or candy melts and dip the lollypop sticks into the melted chocolate or candy melts about 1/2-1 in. and insert them immediately halfway into the chilled cake balls. Refrigerate until the candy has hardened. 4. Dip the cake pops into the melted candy and tap the cake pop on the bowl to remove any extra candy. Stick the stick in the styrofoam block or cake pop stand and allow the candy melts or chocolate to cool completely. You then can frost the lace on the footballs with white frosting (you can save a little of the white frosting before you add the chocolate. *You can store the cake pops in the refrigerator but you don’t have to- they won’t fall apart and melt either way.*

Chocolate Cake, Mocha Mousse, & Frosting

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My friend’s 3-year-old brother wanted a chocolate Lightening McQueen birthday cake. I decided to do a mocha mousse with a chocolate cake. For the outside I simply frosted a black 3 for the racetrack and put white lines and a finish line on it. I bought mini Cars figures and placed them on the racetrack (Lightening McQueen won, of course) and put M&M’s around the cake for all Lightening McQueen’s “fans”. He loved the cake, and so did everyone who tried it, I was told it tasted like a cake from a bakery, and those things are AMAZING. Here’s the recipe if you want to try this AMAZING cake:

For the cake:

  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour two 9 in. cake pans (you can also use the special cake pans for filling). 2. In a medium bowl combine the sugar, flour, baking powder, baking soda,  and salt. Add the eggs, milk, oil and vanilla and beat with an electric mixer for three minutes. Whisk together the boiling water and cocoa powder and then mix it into the cake batter by hand. Pour the batter into the prepared pans. 3. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes in the pan before removing to cool completely.

For the mocha mousse:

  • 3/4 cup whipping cream
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1/3 cup coffee liqueur
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tsp. vanilla

1. In a 2-quart saucepan, mix 1/4 cup of the whipping cream with the sugar and coffee liqueur. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until dissolved and then remove from heat and whisk  in the chocolate chips until melted and then stir in the vanilla. Pour the mixture into a large bowl and cool for about 1o minutes. 2.In a chilled small bowl, beat 1/2 cup whipping cream with an electric mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form. Fold the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture. 4. Fill the cooled cake with the filling and refrigerate.

For the frosting:

  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. milk
  • 2 Tbsp. cocoa powder (if you want chocolate frosting)
  • food coloring (optional)

1. Cream powdered sugar, butter and vanilla. Add 1-2 tablespoons of milk. Add food coloring or cocoa powder if desired. (you can add more sugar or milk if the frosting is too sweet, thin, or thick. 2. Frost the cake.

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Fondant (Zebra Stripes)

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For my birthday earlier this year, I wanted to do a cake with zebra stripes. I did tons of research and experimented with two different kinds of fondant with my friend, we both ended up with stomach aches- too much sugar. Fondant isn’t exactly delicious, but it is like an edible play-dough and is very handy for giving cakes a smooth finish. So the recipe for this fondant is most likely the tastiest fondant recipe you will ever come across.

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