Archives for March 2011

Parmesan Lemon Tilapia with Capers

Diva Entertains Lemon Tilapia

We have tilapia quite a bit in our house.  It is relatively inexpensive, the frozen fillets are usually of excellent quality and the mild flavor of the fish is complimented by whatever sauce is served with it.

This is a pan sauce meaning that it is quickly made right after the tilipia is pan-sauteed.  You remove the fish, make the sauce, and then serve the fish with the sauce spooned over it.  Or, after you make the sauce, you can return the fish to pan so that it is ‘sauced’ in the pan.  I like to serve this meal with rice and spoon any remaining sauce over the rice.

Instead of dipping the fish in butter or an (whole) egg before dredging it in the Parmesan-flour coating, this recipe calls for dipping it in an egg white.  Egg whites produce an incredibly crispy coating which is why I employ this method so often while pan-sauteing fish.  Although this is a wonderfully quick dish for a weekday meal, it is also a great dish for entertaining.   Simply double or triple the quantities listed below.

*I save the clear, plastic bags that I put fruit and vegetables in at the grocery store and use them for times like this. Anytime that I need to dredge something in flour (typically fish or chicken) I mix the coating in the bag and then add the the fish (or chicken) to the bag and shake to have the coating adhere to it.

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Glazed Sugar Cookies

Diva Entertains Sugar Cookies Mini

Although my choice of frosting color may have been a poor choice (green? what was I thinking?), making these scrumptious glazed sugar cookies won’t be!  Different that most sugar cookies, these are thicker, have wonderful flavor from a hint of lemon extract (optional), are softish in the center and dipped in the glaze for full top-of-cookie coverage (When it comes to frosting I do not believe in the “less-is-more” theory).

Unlike so many sugar cookie recipes, this dough is a pleasure to work with.  It doesn’t need to be chilled once made in order to be rolled out – you can start cutting out your cookies immediately.  And as long as you keep your work surface lightly floured there are no ‘sticking’ issues.  The frosting/glaze is delicious and hardens nicely for bagging but is not at all rock hard like royal icing.  I’m sure you’ll love it!

Whenever I made these cookies I make them in two sizes:  I use a round, 2 1/2″ diameter cooking cutter for the large and a round 1 1/2″ diameter cooking cutter for the small.  I love having small ones in my freezer – they are perfectly sized when I’m craving something sweet but don’t want to overindulge on the calorie count.

The sugar cookie recipe comes from an excellent baker friend of mine that posted her recipe at  along with the frosting recipe. I’ve modified the recipe below to include an extra egg yolk and to call for lemon extract instead of the original almond.

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Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe – with Butterfinger Crunchies!

Diva Entertains Peanut Butterfinger Cookies

I’ve always loved Butterfinger candy bars.  The mixture of a chewy, peanut buttery confection covered in chocolate – scrumptious!  And when I saw this Bon Appetit recipe for Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies that included Butterfinger candy bar pieces in the batter I just had to try it.  So glad that I did.  All my taste testers (family, friends, our postwoman, our local pharmacy staff…well, you get it.  I always bring baked goods where ever I go:) were too – they loved it.

Keys to Success: 1) I think using a natural peanut butter really makes a difference.  For baking, your best option is a ‘no-stir’ natural peanut butter (otherwise you have to hand mix the jar of peanut butter which can be quite a pain), and 2) I prefer using unsalted butter for baking since it allows me to control the salt added to a recipe.

Also, I prefer to have my cookies a bit thick and a tad soft in the middle.  That doesn’t typically happen when you bake the cookies immediately after making the cookie dough – the cookies tend to be more flat.  If you would prefer a thicker cookie simply shape the cookie into balls (about 1 1/2″ to 2″ balls, depending on the size you want the cookies to be) and refrigerate the balls for about an hour prior to baking.  Flatten slightly before baking.

Finally, – these cookies are awesome as is, but if you would like, you can sprinkle the tops of the cookie with turbinado (raw) sugar prior to baking.  The cookie on the left has had some sprinkled on it.

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Peanut Butter Cream Brownies

I invented this peanut butter recipe recently.  Well, I actually borrowed most of it from my Chocolate “Ganach-ed” Cream Cheese Brownies.  The difference is I developed a super creamy, luscious peanut butter cream filling.  And so easy to make – just 1 stick of butter, one cup of peanut butter and one cup of powdered sugar!

After you take the brownie base out of the oven, let it cool for at least 30 minutes.  Otherwise, if you spread the peanut butter creme over it the butter in the mixture would melt and you don’t want that.  Then put the peanut butter brownies in the fridge for 30 minutes before you pour the chocolate ganache over it.

If you want to ‘fancy up’ the presentation of your brownies, a bit of chopped Reese’s candies or peanuts will do the trick!  Add immediately after you pour the ganache.


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