Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Pierogi and Kielbasa Bake

This first caught my eye because I love pierogies. I knew it needed a little some more to make it stretch and fill people up. My version came out perfect! I could seriously eat this every week. It was simple to make and very satisfying.

Adapted from Cooking Light


2 (16-ounce) packages frozen potato and cheese pierogies (such as Mrs. T's)
cooking spray
2 garlic cloves, minced
8 ounces cream cheese
1 pound kielbasa, cut into small pieces
1 cup fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 can diced tomatoes, drained
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Preheat oven to 400°.

Arrange the pierogies in two 11 x 7-inch glass baking dishes coated with cooking spray.

Warm cream cheese, pepper and garlic in pan, and cook for 1 minute or until cream cheese begins to melt, stirring frequently. Gradually add chicken broth to pan, stirring with a whisk until smooth. Stir in tomatoes. Divide kielbasa and equally scatter over each pan of pierogies. Pour the cream cheese mixture evenly over each pan of pierogies and kielbasa. Top each pan with 1/2 cup of shredded cheese. Bake at 400° for 20 minutes or until bubbly and thoroughly heated.

One year ago: Cream Cheese Pie

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Pizza Roll-Ups

I have always liked tortilla roll-ups for gatherings. They are perfect to just pick up and go. I really didn't measure the sauce, spinach and cheese. But if I had to guess it was about 1.5-2 tablespoons of sauce, 1/4 cup loosely packed spinach and 2-3 tablespoons shredded cheese.


8-8 inch flour tortillas
48 sandwich deli slices pepperoni
pizza sauce
mozzarella cheese, shredded
fresh spinach leaves, torn
extra pizza sauce for serving


Lay out tortilla and arrange 6 slices of pepperoni. Spread pizza over pepperoni, top with spinach and cheese. Roll tortilla up tightly and roll up in plastic wrap. Repeat until done.

Place wrapped tortillas on refrigerator for at least two hours. Before serving, unwrap and slice. Serve with with extra pizza sauce.

One year ago: Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

Monday, November 22, 2010

Key Lime Cheesecake Ball

I made a lemon version of this and it was great. My Mom loves key lime so I thought I would give that a try. This was so good people thought I bought it pre-made.


10 ounces cream cheese
zest of 4 key limes
6 teaspoons fresh key lime juice
2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
dash of vanilla extract
3 graham crackers, crushed
graham crackers/fruit for serving


Stir cream cheese and sugar together in a medium bowl until well blended. Add key lime zest, juice and vanilla extract and combine until smooth.

Form the key lime and cheese mixture into a round ball on plastic wrap and wrap up. This cheese mixture is soft, so making a perfect ball shape may not be possible until the mixture in completely chilled. Refrigerate 3 hours or overnight.

Place crushed graham crackers on a plate. Form cheese ball again. Roll cheese ball in graham crackers until well coated. Refrigerate until ready to use.

One year ago: Artichoke Tapenade and Spinach Stuffed Shells

Friday, November 19, 2010

Cucumber Bites

I love this idea for a fun vegetable appetizer. They were a huge hit and people thought they were so cute.

From Kraft Foods

1 carrot, shredded (about 1/2 cup), divided
1/2 cup Chive & Onion cream cheese
2 cucumbers, cut lengthwise in half, seeded


Reserve 2 tablespoons carrots. Mix remaining carrots with cream cheese; spoon into cucumber shells. Top with reserved carrots.

Cut each cucumber half into 5 pieces to serve.

One year ago: Pasta with Italian Style Pumpkin Sauce

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Oreo Cookie Bars

This is the third version I have made of this recipe…are they are wonderful every time. This may be my favorite, but it is really hard to pick. I used the holiday Oreos simply because they were available and looked festive.

Adapted from Kraft Foods


package of Oreo cookies, 1.5 cups crushed and 2 cups coarsely broken
1 stick butter
1 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350.

Melt butter in a foil-lined 9x13 baking pan.

Once melted remove pan and sprinkle in 1.5 cups crushed cookies. Pour in sweetened condensed milk; sprinkle with 2 cups coarsely broken cookies and 1 cup chocolate chips.

Bake 25-30 minutes. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack. Cut into 32 bars and serve. (I like to put mine in the refrigerator after they cool so they are easier to cut.)

One year ago: Fruit Salad

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Spicy Bean Salsa

This was a hit! It was nice alternative to set out at a party instead if normal salsa. My version was not really spicy since I used canned chilies instead of jalapenos to make it more crowd-friendly. So don’t let the title scare you off.

Adapted from All Recipes


1 15 ounce can black-eyed peas, drained
1 15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 15 ounce can whole kernel corn, drained
½ cup chopped roasted red pepper
1 4 ounce can green chilies, drained
1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
1 cup zesty Italian dressing
½ teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
couple dashes of hot sauce
Tortilla chips for serving


Combine all ingredients, except chips, and mix well. Cover and refrigerate overnight to let flavors blend.

One year ago: Lemon Spaghetti

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Italian Spinach Spread

People always seem to love spinach dip at parties. This was a nice changed from the mayonnaise version that you may be use too.

Adapted from Kraft Foods


1 ¼ cup sour cream
1 envelope zesty Italian dressing mix (Good Season’s brand is good)
1 10 ounce package chopped spinach, thawed and well drained
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
½ cup chopped roasted red pepper
crackers for serving (I used reduced-fat Triscuits)


Combine sour cream and dressing. Mix in spinach, cheese and red pepper. Cover and refrigerate several hours or until chilled.

One year ago: Chicken and Rice Layer Fiesta Bake

Monday, November 15, 2010

Savory Shortbread

Um...I know these look like chicken nuggets, but they are not, lol! I thought this would be something nice and different to put out for a party. Although, I will admit that recipes with “chilled butter” scare me a little. I always think I am going to screw something up…but I didn’t! These are good, but a little on the bland side. I suggest serving them with some type of dip or spread to kick them up a notch.

From Martha Stewart


2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
½ cup milk
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce


To the bowl of a food processor, add flour and cayenne pepper; pulse to combine. Add butter, and pulse until the mixture resembles course meal, 8 to 10 seconds.

Add cheese to the food processor; pulse until combined. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl.
Using a fork, stir in milk and Worcestershire sauce until well combined. Have ready several pieces of parchment paper.

Form mixture into two 1-inch-diameter logs, and wrap in parchment. Transfer the logs to the refrigerator, and chill until very firm, at least 1 hour.

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Remove logs from refrigerator, and cut each one into 1/4-inch-thick rounds. Place the rounds on prepared baking sheets, spaced 1 inch apart.

Bake the shortbread until golden, about 12 minutes, rotating baking sheets between shelves halfway through baking.

Transfer shortbread to wire racks to cool. Bake remaining dough. Store in an airtight container up to 2 days.

One year ago: Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

Hot Virginia Ham Dip

This is a dip my mom has at a Christmas party every year and always raves about. She wasn’t able to get the exact recipe, but we came up with our own version. Now, Virginia ham is not Virginia baked ham. It is that fabulous salty country ham your find on southern style ham biscuits. Make sure you get the right ham if you make this…and you will want to because it is so good and different. And don’t even think about adding salt to this, the ham takes care of that.


10 ounces Virginia/country ham from the deli, chopped and fat removed
14 ounces cream cheese, softened
1.5 cups sour cream
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon white pepper
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
4 ounces pecans, toasted and chopped
Ritz crackers for serving


Preheat oven to 350 degress.

Blend together cream cheese and sour cream. Mix in remaining ingredients, except pecans.Put mixture into a 2 quart baking dish, top with pecans and bake for about 25 minutes, until heated through.

One year ago: Thai Peanut Chicken Burgers

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

White Lasagna Toss

I had a random jar of alfredo in cabinet getting ready to expire. At first I thought about using it to make a white lasagna but I didn't have any ricotta or a lot of cheese on hand. I came up with this interpretation instead.


12-16 ounces of pasta, cooked to your desired preference
1 jar Alfredo sauce
1 pound ground chicken
1 box frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
4 carrots, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 cups shredded Italian cheese blend, divided
salt and pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large pan saute carrots with olive oil for about 5 minutes. Add in ground chicken, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper and cook chicken though. Stir in spinach and check seasonings.

To your cooked pasta stir in your alfredo sauce, sour cream and 1 cup of shredded cheese. When that is well combined add in the meat mixture and mix, check seasonings.

Place mixture in a 9x13 baking dish, top with 1/2 cup of shredded cheese and bake for 20-25 minutes until pasta it warmed though and cheese is melted.

One year ago: Baked Lemon Pasta

Monday, October 11, 2010

Chocolate Covered Oreo Cookie Cake

This is probably the best cake I have had that came from a box. It is fulfilling on every level. I could go on and on about it...but give it a try for yourself....TODAY! I would like to add it can be a pain to cut once the chocolate on top hardens from being refrigerated. Other than that, this cake is perfect.

From Kraft


1 box mix (2-layer size) devil's food chocolate cake mix
4 squares semi-sweet chocolate
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups thawed whipped topping
12 Oreo cookies, coarsely crushed


Heat oven to 350ºF.

Prepare cake batter and bake in 2 (9-inch) round pans as directed on package. Cool cakes in pans 10 min. Invert cakes onto wire racks; gently remove pans. Cool cakes completely.

Microwave chocolate and butter in small microwaveable bowl on high 2 min. or until butter is melted. Stir until chocolate is completely melted. Cool 5 min.

Meanwhile, beat cream cheese and sugar in large bowl with mixer until blended. Gently stir in whipped topping and crushed cookies. Stack cake layers on plate, spreading cream cheese mixture between layers. Spread top with chocolate glaze; let stand until firm. Keep refrigerated.

One year ago: Lemon Risotto with Lime Basil Shrimp

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Italian Spinach Pie

I was looking for budget friendly healthy recipes and came across this one. To be honest I wasn't sure about the whole cottage thing...but it came out great. It even tasted better the second day after it had time to set and flavors were able to come out. The original recipe seemed a little bland so I added some spices and I think that helps this dish a lot.

Adapted from Kraft


1 container (16 oz.) 2% cottage cheese
1 package (10 oz.) frozen chopped spinach, thawed, well drained
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
4 eggs, lightly beaten
4 ounces roasted red peppers, well drained, chopped
1/3 cup chopped and seeded tomatoes
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
salt and pepper


Preheat oven to 350ºF.

Mix all ingredients until well blended. Pour into greased 9-inch pie plate.

Bake 40 minutes or until center is set.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Creamy Chicken Sausage Pasta Bake

This is one of those recipes that I make up as I go using what I have on hand. I always have pasta and canned tomato products around so this was a great way to use some of it. The chicken sausage hand been sitting in the freezer and the sour cream was leftover in the refrigerator waiting for a purpose.

1 pound of pasta
5 links chicken sausage, cut into pieces (I used spinach and feta)
26.5 ounces of prepared spaghetti sauce
15 ounce can of tomato sauce
¼ cup sour cream
½ cup grated parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cook pasta in salted water to your desired preference.

While pasta is cooking combine chicken sausage, spaghetti sauce and tomato in a pan and heat through.

Combine cooked pasta and chicken sausage mixture and stir in sour cream. Transfer to a 9x13 dish, top with parmesan cheese.

Cook in oven for about 25 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbly.

One year ago: Lemon Yogurt Cake

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Manly Meaty Pasta Salad

This pasta is perfect for a group of hungry guys. It is full of meat that you would find on a big Italian sub! And if you are a fan of peppers and onions, which I am not, I am sure they would be great in here as well.

1 pound of pasta
2 ¼ inch deli slices of ham
2 ¼ inch deli slices of pepperoni
2 ¼ inch deli slices of salami
8 ounce block of mozzarella cheese
1 pint cherry tomatoes
1 can sliced black olives
1 16 ounce bottle Zesty Italian Dressing

Cook pasta in salted water.

While pasta is cooking, cut up ham, pepperoni, salami, mozzarella and tomatoes.

Drain pasta and mix in all but 1/3 cup of dressing. When the pasta has cooled down some, mix in your ham, pepperoni, salami, mozzarella, tomatoes and olives. (You do not want to mix everything in with the pasta still hot because it will start to melt the cheese).

Set pasta mixture in the refrigerator overnight or for at least a few hours. Right before serving mix in the reserved 1/3 cup of dressing.

One year ago: Party Meatballs

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Southwestern Pulled Brisket

I was really craving something Mexican and after searching the web I stumbled across this recipe. I had never made brisket like this before and I was little worried it may end up tough...but it turned out wonderful! Mine was served on chipotle corn tortillas and Chili Lime Rice.

From: Food Network


3 pounds beef brisket
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
5 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1 Spanish onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 cups water
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, with their juices
2 whole canned chipotle chiles en adobo (2 chiles-not 2 cans)
2 bay leaves
3 tablespoons molasses
pickled jalapenos/cheese/sour cream/rice* optional for serving


Season the beef generously with salt and pepper, to taste. Heat a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil and heat just until beginning to smoke. Add the meat and cook, turning once, until browned on both sides, about 10 minutes total. Transfer the meat to the slow cooker; leave the skillet on the heat.

Add garlic, onion, chili powder, coriander, and cumin to drippings in the skillet and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add vinegar and boil until it's almost gone, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Stir in water and pour the mixture over the brisket. Crush the tomatoes through your fingers into the slow cooker; add the tomato juices, chipotles, bay leaves, and molasses. Cover the cooker, set it on LOW, and cook the brisket until it pulls apart easily with a fork, about 8 hours (I cooked mine for 10 hours).

To serve, leave the meat in the slow cooker and use 2 forks to pull it apart and stir it evenly into the sauce; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Remove and discard bay leaves. Pile the meat on sandwich buns or tortillas and serve with jalapenos, cheese, sour cream and/or rice.

One year ago: Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

S'more Brownies

Summer and S'mores just go together to me. These brownies were a huge hit, and every single one was devoured. You have a crispy graham cracker layer, a rich fudge brownie layer and a gooey marshmallow topping with more chocolate and grahams crackers to enjoy. These are perfect to bring to your next summer celebration.

From Kraft


10 HONEY MAID* Honey Grahams, broken in half (20 squares), divided
3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) butter or margarine
4 squares unsweetened Chocolate
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1 cup flour
2-1/2 cups miniature marshmallows
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chunks


Preheat oven to 350°F.

Line 13x9-inch pan with foil; grease foil. Place 15 grahams in pan, with sides overlapping slightly. Break remaining grahams into pieces.

Microwave butter and chocolate squares in large microwaveable bowl on HIGH 2 min.; stir until chocolate is completely melted. Add sugar, eggs and vanilla; mix well. Stir in flour. Pour over grahams in pan.

Bake 30 to 32 min. or until toothpick inserted in center comes out with fudgy crumbs. (Do not overbake.) Sprinkle with marshmallows and chocolate chunks. Bake 3 to 5 min. or until marshmallows begin to puff. Press reserved graham pieces gently into marshmallows. Cool. Use foil to remove brownies from pan before cutting to serve.

*Even thought I love to buy generic items I do suggest you get the name brand graham crackers so the fit properly in your pan.

One year ago: Pepperoni and Parmesan Pasta Salad

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Baked Southwest Eggrolls

I love the deep fried version of these, but I avoid deep frying things at home. When I saw this recipe the requires you to bake them I knew I had to give them a try. This was my first time ever using egg roll wrappers. I was worried I would screw something up...but it was actually fun working with them! There are already ideas in my head for future uses with them.

Adapted from Annie's Eats, orginially from Ezra Pound Cake


2 cups frozen corn, thawed
1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1/4 cup diced roasted red peppers
2 cup shredded reduced-fat Mexican cheese blend
1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chiles, drained
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 package egg roll wrappers (I made 23 total)

salsa/guacamole/ranch dressing for serving


Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine everything but the egg roll wrappers and dips for serving. Place 1/4 cup mixture in the center of one egg roll wrapper. Fold bottom corner over filling. Fold sides toward center over filling. Moisten remaining corner with water and roll up tightly to seal. Repeat with remaininf mixture and wrappers.

Place seam-side down on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Spray tops of egg rolls with cooking spray. Bake at 425 degrees for 10-15 minutes until lightly brown. Turn them halfway through baking.

Serve with salsa/guacamole/ranch dressing.

One year ago: Spinach Dip

Creamy and Zesty Black Beans with Corn

I made this to go over my Chili Lime Rice and it was fantastic. I pretty much just used some random ingredients that I had on hand. It can out wonderful and full of flavor. Usually I would top something like this cheese or sour cream...but it didn't even need it.


1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
3/4 cup frozen corn
1/2 cup salsa
3 ounces cream cheese
1 teaspoon cumin
salt and pepper
a few dashes of hot sauce
a good squeeze of half a lime


Combine all the ingredients (except lime) in a pan and cook on medium until everything it warmed through and the cream cheese is melted; stir occasionally. Squeeze some lime juice over it before serving.

Serve over rice.

One year ago: Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars

Chili Lime Rice

I have seen cilantro lime rice pop up all over, but I am not a big fan of cilantro. I wanted to do something with lime and rice, so chili lime rice was created! Now, when it comes to lemon and lime I like the flavor to really be there. So if you prefer just a hint, I would suggest to cut back a little on the lime.


1 cup white rice
2 cups of chicken broth/stock
3/4 tablespoon chili powder
zest of of 1 lime
juice of 2 limes
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper


Combine rice, water and chili powder in a pan, bring to a boil, cover and reduce to low. Cook about 20 minutes, or until rice is tender.

While rice is cooking whisk together the lime zest, juice, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper. Add this mixture to cooked rice and coat well.

One year ago: Pepperoni and Parmesan Pasta Salad

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

White Bean and Roasted Red Pepper Dip

I have had a can of cannellini beans sitting in the cabinet with no plans of what to do with them. Over the weekend I wanted a healthy dip and remembered seeing dips made from these beans. So this is what I came up with. It came out great...give it a try!


1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup roasted red peppers (if using jarred peppers, pat them dry)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
salt and pepper to taste
optional-hot sauce (I used a few dashes of garlic and chipotle hot sauce)
tortilla chips/pita chips for serving


Combine everything (except chips/pita) in a food processor and mix until smooth.

One year ago: BLT Roll-ups

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Overnight French Toast

I didn't measure, but I added some cinnamon and nutmeg to the egg mixture to give a little more flavor.

From Homemade By Holman, Originally from Bon Appetit


2 T butter, softened
12 - 3/4" thick slices of bread (I used French bread)
6 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1/4 cup sugar
2 T maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt

1/4 - 1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 - 1 1/2 cups maple syrup


Spread softened butter in a thick coating over a large rimmed (about 1" sides) heavy baking sheet. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together eggs and sugar, add maple syrup, vanilla extract, and salt and whisk together. Add milk and continue whisking until well combined. Lay out bread slices on baking sheet. Pour milk mixture over the bread. Turn each slice, coating both sides. Cover the baking sheet with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

The next morning, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake French toast for approximately 10 minutes and then flip each slice of bread. Bake another 5-10 minutes, flipping again if necessary until both sides are golden brown and crisped.

Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve with warmed maple syrup and other toppings as desired.

One year ago: Chessy Tomato and Roasted Red Pepper Rice

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Chicken and Orzo

My variation of this Ina recipe tasted a lot like another dish that I love. The original recipe calls for roasted shrimp and I am sure that would be wonderful in this dish. But since chicken was on sale I opted for that and it was delicious! This is a must try for the warm summer season approaching us.

Adapted from: Ina Garten


2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
3/4 pound orzo pasta (rice-shaped pasta)
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2-3 lemons)
zest of one lemon
2 pounds cooked chicken, cut into small pieces
1 cup chopped fresh dill
1 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
3/4 pound feta cheese, crumbled


Fill a large pot with water, add 1 tablespoon of salt and a splash of oil, and bring the water to a boil. Add the orzo and simmer for 9 to 11 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it's cooked al dente. Drain and pour into a large bowl. Whisk together the lemon juice, 1/2 cup olive oil, 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper. Pour over the hot pasta and stir well.

Add the chicken to the orzo and then add the dill, and parsley. Toss well. Add the feta and stir carefully. Set aside at room temperature for 1 hour to allow the flavors to blend, or refrigerate overnight. If refrigerated, taste again for seasonings and bring back to room temperature before serving.

One year ago: Tomato, Olive, Spinach and Feta Pasta

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Chocolate Fluffernutter Bars

I wanted a simple dessert recipe that had "fluffernutter" qualities. For anyone who does not know what a fluffernutter is...it is amazing. Think of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Now replace the jelly with marshmallow fluff and you have just entered another world of amazing. These bars were so incredible and hard to stop snacking on.

Adapted from: Marshmallow Fluff


1 7 ounce jar marshmallow fluff
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 cup chopped roasted peanuts
3 cups Honey Nut Cheerios cereal
1 12 ounce package semisweet-chocolate pieces


Line a 9 x 9- inch baking pan, spray will cooking spray and set aside.

Place Marshmallow Fluff and butter in a microwave safe bowl. Cook on high* 1 minute; stir and cook on high* 1 minute more. Stir in peanut butter; cook on high* 1 more minute. (Or, combine Fluff and butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring constantly until Fluff boils. Stir in peanut butter and cook 1 minute.)

Combine Cheerios, peanuts and half of chocolate pieces in large bowl. Fold in peanut butter-Fluff mixture to coat . Turn into pan. Cover with waxed paper or plastic wrap and press firmly into pan.

Melt remaining chocolate morsels. Spread on top of bars. Set aside to cool completely. I put mine in the refrigerator for awhile.

Lift out of pan, peel away foil and cut into bars. Makes 12 bars. (I cut mine smaller so I had more to go around)

* Based on a 600-watt oven.

One year ago: Pimento Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Friday, May 28, 2010

Chewy, Fudgy Triple Chocolate Brownies

WOW...these brownies really live up to their name. I was searching for a brownie recipe and when I saw this one called for melted butter it was the winner. I usually don't plan ahead and don't like to take the time to cream softened butter. These are a must try for all you chocolate and brownie lovers out there!

From: Annie's Eats, originally from Baking Illustrated


5 ounces semisweet chocolate or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into quarters (1 stick)
3 tablespoons cocoa powder

3 large eggs
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup all purpose flour


Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 350°F Spray 8-inch square baking pan with nonstick vegetable cooking spray.

Fold two 12-inch pieces of foil lengthwise so that they measure 7 inches wide. Fit one sheet in bottom of greased pan, pushing it into corners and up sides of pan; overhang will help in removal of baked brownies. Spray foil with nonstick cooking spray.

In a double-boiler, or medium heatproof bowl set over a pan of almost-simmering water, melt chocolates and butter, stirring occasionally until mixture is smooth. Whisk in cocoa until smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.

Whisk together eggs, sugar, vanilla, and salt in medium bowl until combined, about 15 seconds.

Whisk warm chocolate mixture into egg mixture; then stir in flour with wooden spoon until just combined. Pour mixture into prepared pan, spread into corners, and level surface with rubber spatula; bake until slightly puffed and toothpick inserted in center comes out with a small amount of sticky crumbs clinging to it, 35 to 40 minutes.

Cool on wire rack to room temperature, about 2 hours, then remove brownies from pan using foil handles.

Cut into squares and serve. The original recipes calls for the brownies to be cut into 64 squares. I cut mine into 36 squares and cannot imagine them being any smaller than that. Store in an air-tight container.

I have had this double boiler for almost 4 years now and I finally got around to using it.

One year ago: Honey Vanilla Pound Cake

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Cheesecake Stuffed Strawberries

Is there anything better than cheesecake and fresh strawberries?? I didn't think so. These are easy and impressive, but take a little time to make.

Adapted from Allrecipes.com


1 pint fresh strawberries
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar, or to taste
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
crushed graham crackers


Cut the tops off of the strawberries and stand upright on the cut side. Make a cut 3/4 of the way down from the tip of the strawberry towards the bottom in a crisscross pattern.

Beat together the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth in a mixer or a food processor. Place into a piping bag with a star tip. Pipe into each strawberry and arrange on a serving platter.

Garish with crushed graham crackers.

One year ago: Mediterranean Style Pasta Salad

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Mediterranean Quinoa

I have been wanting to try quinoa for a while, but it was either hard to find or too expensive. Luckily a trip to the local farmer's market changed that. They bag theirs by weight and cut out the middle man. I decided to go with Mediterranean flavors since I wasn't sure what else to do. It came out great! I certainly plan on trying other flavor combinations. Any suggestions?


1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
1 cup of chopped cucumber
1/4 cup sundried tomatoes, cup up
1/4 kalamata olives, cup up
1/3 cup feta cheese, crumbled
2 tablespoons chopped basil
zest of one lemon
juice of one lemon
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar


In a mesh strained rise quinoa. Add quinoa and water in a pan, bring to a boil, cover and cook on low for 20 minutes. Let quinoa sit and cool and allow any additional liquid to absorb.

To make your dressing combine lemon zest, juice, red wine vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly.

Add dressing to quinoa and mix in cucumber, sundried tomatoes, kalamata olives, feta and basil.

Can be served cold of room temperature.

One year ago: Melissa's Homemade Mac and Cheese

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Roasted Asparagus and Tomato Salad

To celebrate my step-moms birthday I wanted to make a dish with asparagus because she loves it. But due to the timing of everything it had to be something that could be served cold or room temperature. Also, I do not even like asparagus so I talked with my mom to see if this idea would even work and she gave it the go-ahead. Everyone really did enjoy. I did try a piece of asparagus after roasting it and yeah, I still do not like it. I wanted to use cherry or grape tomatoes for this, but the store was out.


1 bundle asparagus, cleaned and trimmed
3 tomatoes seeded and chopped
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon onion powder
1 tablespoon chopped basil


Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Coat the asparagus in olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Arrange asparagus on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Cool and cut in half on a diagonal. (I cooked mine a little longer because the people I was serving do not like the asparagus to have a bite to it.)

Combine balsamic vinegar, garlic and onion powder and set aside. Gently mix together asparagus and tomatoes and stir in vinegar mixture. Garnish with fresh basil. (I accidentally took my photo before adding the basil, oops!)

One year ago: Brownie Pudding

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Creamy Taco Mac

If you thought making hamburger helper was easy, then try this and you will not be disappointed. It is tasty, quick and easy. And it doesn’t hurt that you get comfort food and know all the ingredients that are in it.

Adapted from Delish


12 ounces small pasta
1.25 pounds ground turkey
1 can tomato sauce
1 can diced tomatoes
8 ounces cream cheese
¼ cup taco seasoning
shredded cheese, sour cream and hot sauce (optional)


Boil pasta in salted water until done to your preference.

While the pasta is boiling brown turkey (drain fat if necessary). When the turkey is cooked add in tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, cream cheese and taco seasoning. Let simmer until the cream cheese is melted and it is warmed though, stir occasionally. Add pasta to sauce and mix well. Garnish with shredded cheese, sour cream or hot sauce.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Kielbasa and Roasted Pepper Trio

Once again we have another "no recipe" recipe using my slow cooker. I chose to make this because it was something I could make ahead of time and it gave a great secondary meat option at a gathering. To prep this ahead of time I roasted some cubanelle, poblano and red peppers. When they were cooled I removed the skin and seeds and cut them into strips. Next I prepped my kielbasa by cutting it into pieces. The next day I browned the kielbasa pieces in a pan (in batches) and combined that with the peppers in the slow cooker. Once it is warmed through people can dig in. You can also serve this with some small rolls so people can make mini sandwiches.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Buffalo Style Meatballs

Now I realize this is hardly and recipe and some people may not even think it is blog-worthy. But when I made these they were a big hit. Plus I know people are always looking for another way to serve meatballs in the slow cooker for parties. I thought it as a nice alternative to buffalo chicken wings. I have also come to realize that I like putting wing sauce in traditional recipes =). All I did was throw some frozen meatballs in, poured in some buffalo wing sauce (I used Texas Pete brand) and stirred. Then I followed the cooking directions from the meatball package.

One year ago: Taco Bake

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Creamy Goat Cheese Pasta with Sundried Tomatoes and Chicken

I had some goat cheese sitting my refrigerator and was not sure what to do with….but I knew I wanted to make a meal out of it. This dish would also be good with some chickpeas in place of the chicken.


5 ounces goat cheese log, crumbled
½ cup sundried tomatoes in oil, drained and chopped
¾ pound chicken, cooked and chopped
3/4 pound angel hair pasta*
reserved pasta water
salt and pepper


Boil pasta in salted water. When pasta is done remove from water into a serving and reserve your pasta water.

While the pasta is still warm sprinkle in the goat cheese and stir. Add in some reserved pasta water (about a ¼ cup at a time) and until the pasta a nice consistency and the goat is mixed in thoroughly. (I used about a cup of pasta water total).

Toss in the warm chicken and sundried tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

*The pasta amount stated about is only an approximate amount. I was using up two boxes that had already been opened.

One year ago: Salsa Chicken

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Chicken Gyros

I have seen this on numerous blogs, but never got around to it because it required planning and prepping. I usually just cook whatever I am in the mood for at that time. That was until I lost my voice and could not go to work. That gave me plenty of time. It was nice to be off of work “sick” but still feel great and be able to whatever I want (expect speak).

From Elly Says Opa


3 chicken breasts
4 cloves garlic, smashed
Juice of 1 lemon
2 teaspoons
red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 heaping tablespoons plain yogurt
1 tablespoon dried oregano
salt and pepper
tzatiki *see post below
sliced tomatoes


Whisk together the garlic, lemon juice, vinegar, oil, yogurt, and oregano in a bowl. Add the chicken and rub the marinade in a resealable bag. Place in the refrigerator for about an hour.

Preheat the broiler. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper on both sides, and then broil until cooked through, about 7 minutes per side, depending what size/type chicken you are using.

Allow the chicken to rest for a few minutes before slicing into strips.

Heat your pitas to make them pliable. Stuff the pita with the chicken, tzatziki and tomatoes.

One year ago: Irish Beef Hand Pies


I made this to go some Chicken Gyros. My mom loved it so much she was eating as a dip!

Adapted from Elly Says Opa


16 ounces plain yogurt (not fat free)
1 hothouse cucumber or 2 regular cucumbers, seeded
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1-2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
salt and pepper
squeeze of fresh lemon juice
drizzle of extra virgin olive oil


Strain yogurt using a cheesecloth (I used a paper towel that I set in a mesh strainer) over a bowl for several hours or overnight to get out as much moisture as possible.

Peel and seed the cucumber. Shred the cucumbers and then squeeze them to get rid of as much excess moisture as possible. I used a paper towel to do this.

Mix together the strained yogurt, shredded cucumbers, garlic, vinegar and lemon juice (if desired). Salt and pepper to taste. It’s best to refrigerate for 30 minutes or more before serving, so flavors can meld.

Drizzle a little olive oil over the top

One year ago: Basic Blondies

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Black Bean and Salsa Soup

I came across this recipe and had to give it a try because I always have the ingredients on hand. It was wonderful and kept me full all night. If you are like me and don’t pay attention to the “fill” line on your food processor you may want to use your blender. I made a big mess with my food processor…oops!

Adapted from Newlywed Nibbles, originally from All Recipes


2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth to make it vegetarian)
1 cup chunky salsa
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
hot sauce
salt and pepper
sour cream, shredded cheese


In an electric food processor or blender, combine beans, broth, salsa, cumin, smoked paprika, hot sauce, salt and pepper. Blend until fairly smooth.

Heat the bean mixture in a saucepan over medium heat until thoroughly heated.

Garnish your serving with sour cream and shredded cheese.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Honey-Mustard Pork Roast with Bacon

Does it get any better than pork wrapped in pork? The meat was incredibly moist...that may have to do with the bacon fat though =). I was reading over the reviews after I made it and one person mentioned wrapping the bacon in the other direction so it makes it easier when you cut. I would suggest trying that if you make it.

From Giada De Laurentiis


1/4 cup Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
2 tablespoons honey
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1 (3 1/2-pound) center-cut, boneless, pork loin roast
12 slices bacon (about 1 pound)


Special equipment: kitchen twine

For the pork: Put an oven rack in the lower 1/3 of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a small bowl, add the Dijon mustard, whole-grain mustard, honey, garlic, and rosemary and mix together until smooth.

Arrange the pork, over three pieces of kitchen twine, in a 9 by 13-inch baking pan and spread the mustard mixture evenly over the pork. Starting on 1 side, lay a piece of bacon, lengthwise, on the pork. Lay another slice of bacon on the pork making sure to slightly overlap the first piece. Continue with the remaining bacon, until the pork is fully covered in bacon. Using 3 pieces of kitchen twine, secure the bacon in place. Roast for 1 hour. Cover the pan, loosely, with foil and roast for another 10 to 20 minutes until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the pork registers 160 degrees F. Remove the pan from the oven and transfer the roast to a cutting board. Cover the pan with foil and allow the pork to rest for 20 minutes. Remove the kitchen twine and slice the pork into 1/2-inch thick slices

One year ago: Roasted Butternut Squash

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Corned Beef and Cabbage

I should start by saying I have a pretty large (6.5 quart) slow cooker and it was full. You may want to adjust the amounts if you have a smaller slow cooker, don’t have a ton of people to feed or don’t want leftovers. This was the first time I have ever made corned beef and cabbage. I think it will be a St. Patrick’s Day tradition from here on out. For one, corned beef and cabbage are on sale this time of year, two, it is so easy and three is it good! I got the idea to use vinegar, sugar and a bay leaf from a recipe I found on All Recipes.


3.3 pounds corned beef with spice packet
24 ounces baby red potatoes, cleaned
1 pound carrots, peeled and cut in half
1 small to medium cabbage, cored and cut in quarters
1 quart beef broth
2 tablespoons vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
1 bay leaf


Mix together beef broth, spice packet, vinegar and sugar, set aside.

Place carrots in the bottom of the slow cooker and top with corned beef. Place potatoes around your corned beef (it is ok if some are on top). Pour beef broth mixture over corned beef and add in the bay leaf. If the corned beef is not covered in liquid add some water. Top with cabbage wedges and cook on low for 8 hours.

One year ago: Eggs In Purgatory

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Croissant and Chocolate Bread Pudding

I had never had bread pudding. It had never really appealed to me...until I saw this recipe. I tried it when I first came out of oven and I still wasn't sold on it. BUT once it sat and cooled and the liquid absorbed more, I was a fan! The buttery croissants and rich chocolate are a great pair.

From Noble Pig, who adapted it from Real Simple, best recipes


Unsalted butter for the baking dish
6 large egg yolks
2 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
6 croissants, cut into 1-inch pieces (about 1 pound)
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate (70% cacao), cut into chunks


In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, milk, cream, sugar, vanilla, salt and nutmeg. Add the croissants and chocolate and mix to combine.

Transfer the mixture to a buttered, 8-inch square baking dish and bake in a 375 degree oven until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean, 30-40 minutes.

Serve warm or room temperature.

One year ago: Pepper Cheese Muffins

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Creamy Black Bean Burritos

This was probably the fastest meal I ever made. I had some leftover cream cheese I wanted to use up and thought mixing it with black beans would make a great burrito filling. This mixture was so good you could also serve it as a dip with some tortilla chips. Feel free to serve these with some taco sauce, hot sauce, shredded cheese and jalapeno slices….the additions are endless.


1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can Rotel, drained
6 ounces cream cheese
½ teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon chili powder
¼ teaspoon onion powder
hot sauce to taste
salt and pepper
flour tortillas


Combine beans, Rotel, cream cheese, cumin, chili powder, onion powder, hot sauce, salt and pepper in a pan over medium heat and cook until heat through. Stir occasionally to incorporate cream cheese. (As another option you can mash some of the black beans for a thicker end result).

Place mixture into tortilla, add whatever else you would like and enjoy.

One year ago: Pink Rice Krispie Treats

Friday, March 5, 2010

Italian Drip Beef

This was the first thing I made in my dutch oven I received for Christmas...and what a great way to break it in. I could eat this every week and not get tired of it. Don't let the peppers scare you away if you are not into spicy foods. The flavor was fantastic. I however do like spicy food, so I will add more peppers next time. I would have to say that the worst part of making this was having to smell it all day and not be able to tear into it. It smelled amazing!


1 whole Beef Chuck Roast, 2.5 To 4 Pounds
1 can Beef Consomme
3 Tablespoons (heaping) Italian Seasoning
1 teaspoon Salt
¼ cups Water
½ jar (16 Oz) Pepperoncini Peppers, With Juice
Buttered, Toasted Deli Rolls


Combine all ingredients (except rolls) in a heavy pot or dutch oven. Stir lightly to combine seasoning with the liquid.

Cover and bake in a 275 degree oven* for 5 to 6 hours, or until meat is fork-tender and falling apart. **If meat is not yet tender, return to oven for 30 minute intervals till it’s tender!**

Remove from oven. With two forks, completely shred all meat, leaving no large chunks behind. Serve immediately, or keep warm over a simmer on the stove.

May make the day before, then store in the refrigerator. Remove the hardened fat from the top before reheating.

Serve on buttered, toasted rolls. Top with cheese and melt under the broiler if desired. Serve with juices from the pot.

One year ago: Strawberry Cupcakes

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Cauliflower Pie with Grated Potato Crust

This is neat way to use cauliflower. I did have a little mishap since my springform pan decided to leak once I poured in the milk and egg mixture. Next time I will use a pie plate. I did learn it was really easy to shred potatoes with my food processor...I see lots of hash browns in my future.

Adapted from Branny Boils Over, who adapted from The Moosewood Cookbook


For the potato crust
2 cups packed grated raw potatoes (red potatoes)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg white, beaten

For the Filling
1 cup packed grated strong cheddar cheese, divided
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (or more cheddar)
1 medium cauliflower, broken into small florets
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 cup chopped onion
1 dash thyme
1/2 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup milk
black pepper


Combine grated potato with salt, onion, and beaten egg. Press into a 9″ pan (I used a 10″ springform) that has been brushed with oil. Bake in a preheated 400* oven for 30-40 minutes until it browns. Remove from oven and lower temperature to 350*.
Sprinkle 1/4 cup of cheddar cheese over pie crust.

Meanwhile, saute chopped onion in a nonstick pan with thyme, basil, and salt. Add garlic and cook lightly. Add pepper to taste. Break cauliflower up into small florets Combine onion mixture with cauliflower and remaining cheddar cheese. Pour into prepared pie crust. Beat together milk with egg and pour over vegetable mixture. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top. Filling will appear dry.

Bake for 40 minutes until tender and delicious. Let set 5-10 minutes before unmolding (if using a springform pan

Monday, March 1, 2010

Cheddar Ale Spread

I do not even like beer and I found this spread addicting. The hint of beer flavor and everything else combined just works so well together. Next time I will probably add some extra hot sauce so it has a little more kick to it.

From Culinary Concoctions by Peabody


8 ounces cream cheese
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 ½ cups shredded extra-sharp Cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons heavy cream
¼ teaspoon hot sauce
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ cup flavorful beer (I used Sam Adams)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley


Combine the cream cheese, mustard, Cheddar, cream, hot sauce, and salt in a food processor. Process for about 30 seconds, add the beer, and continue processing until very smooth. Pulse in the parsley until just dispersed.

Can be stored in fridge for up to 4 days. You will want to take it out an hour before serving if you do refrigerate.

One year ago: Crash Hot Potatoes

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Lemon Cheesecake Ball

This is truly a prefect dessert to go with heavy appetizers. It is light, fresh and best of all, lemon!

Adapted from Annie's Eats, Originally from NPR


10 ounces cream cheese
zest if one large lemon
4 teaspoons tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
dash of vanilla extract
3 graham crackers
graham crackers/fresh fruit for serving


Stir cream cheese and sugar together in a medium sized bowl until well blended. Add lemon zest, juice and vanilla extract and combine until smooth. Although it is a sweet cheese ball, the lemon should taste zingy and fresh. Add more lemon juice if you prefer it more tart. **Next time I will add 1 or 2 more teaspoons.

Form the lemon and cheese mixture into round ball on plastic wrap and wrap up. This cheese mixture is especially soft, so making a perfect ball shape may not be possible until the mixture is chilled completely. Refrigerate for at least three hours or overnight.

Crush graham crackers and put on a plate. Set aside. Form cheese ball again. Roll until well-coated with crumbs. Refrigerate until ready to use.

One year ago: Crispy Black Bean Tacos with Feta and Slaw

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Warm Bacon Potato Salad

As much as I may like foods wrapped in mayonnaise, I do not like your typical potato salad. I decided to give this recipe a try and I am glad I did. I officially like potato salad now! One of the best things about this dish is you can eat it warm, room temperature or cold and it still tastes great. This is also a perfect dish for a hot summer cook-out (which I can NOT wait for). And as always, sorry for the crappy photo. It was not being very photogenic and I was trying to get it served.


½ cup white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon coarse-grained mustard
1 tablespoon sugar
2 1/2 pounds red potatoes, diced into 1-inch cubes
6 bacon slices, chopped
1 medium sized red onion, diced (you should know by now I did not add this in)
freshly ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup freshly chopped dill leaves, plus more for garnish


For the vinaigrette:
Mix together the white wine, vinegar, mustard and sugar in a small bowl and set aside.

Add potatoes to pot of salted cold water. Bring to a boil, over high heat, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes until tender. Drain and place in a large bowl. Cover with foil to keep warm, if necessary.

Add bacon to large sauté pan and cook until crisp over medium heat. Remove to a paper towel-lined sheet tray and reserve. Add onion, dash of pepper and garlic to bacon grease and sauté until tender, about 3 minutes. Add vinaigrette to vegetables. Let cook until reduced and thickened, about 2 to 3 minutes.

Add potatoes, dill and bacon to the pan and toss to coat with dressing. Allow to cook for 3 minutes. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Transfer potato salad to a serving platter and sprinkle with chopped fresh dill.

One year ago: Penne with Sundried Tomato Pesto

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Chicken Enchilada Roll-Ups

I am a big fan of roll-up type appetizers, but sometimes finding a unique recipe is not so easy. These were a huge hit and were gobbled up in no time. You must try these out for your next gathering.

Adapted from Sing For Your Supper, Originally from Gooseberry Patch “Come on Over”


2 - 8 ounce packages cream cheese, softened
1 1/3 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese
1 teaspoon garlic, finely minced
1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
cayenne pepper to taste
salt to taste
3 cooked boneless skinless chicken breasts, chopped or shredded
1/2 bunch parsley, chopped
4 green onions, chopped (I used some onion powder)
10 ounce can Rotel tomatoes, drained
1 package jalapeno cheddar tortillas


Mix everything, except the chicken and tortillas, together until well blended. Mix chicken in to mixture. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour.

Portion out mixture on to 6 tortillas. Spread to edges, roll and cut into slices.

One year ago: Buffalo Blue Cheese Meatballs