Monday, December 22, 2014

Cookie Glaze (dries hard and shiny)

Here is a great recipe for a Glaze for your cutout cookies!,,,I just recently started adding the secret ingredient to making this glaze dry hard and stay shiny,,,,it is light corn syrup!,,,,I love the way  this looks on my cutouts!,,,,I left mine white but you can add food coloring to make this any color you like, also add any sprinkles you want right after your frost, it dries really quick! I also added a drop of almond extract to mine but you could add whatever flavor you like also!,,,Here is what I did....Enjoy!

2- 1/4 cups confectioners sugar
2 Tablespoons light corn syrup
2 Tablespoons milk + more
1-2 drops almond extract
Add sugar to mixing bowl add corn syrup,,,,then add milk 2 Tablespoons at a time stirring with a fork until it comes to a spreadable consistency,,,,add extract or food coloring if you desire!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Mushroom Beef Barley Soup

I just love making soups!...They are really easy to make and they make a great dinner!....And the possibilities are endless....Here is a recipe for one of my favorites, Beef barley....here is what I did....Enjoy!!

2 T olive oil
1 pound stew meat (diced into smaller pieces)
2 carrots (diced)
2 ribs celery (diced)
1 shallot (diced
1 small onion (diced)
1- 8 oz. container fresh sliced mushrooms
1 can petite diced tomatoes
2 bay leaves
1 t dry basil
1 t salt
 1/4 t pepper
6 cups beef broth
1 cup Quick cooking barley (I used Quaker brand)
Dice stew meat and add to pot with 2 T olive oil
cook until no longer pink
add onion, shallot, carrots and celery
stir and cook a few minutes then add mushrooms, spices and then
the broth and tomatoes....stir and add the barley....let it come to a boil and then let simmer until soup thickens and vegetables are tender...about 20-30 minutes

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Avocado Hummus

Hummus is one of my favorite snacks,,,,and it is so simple to make fresh at home!....I added some avocado to this batch and it is very good, everyone really enjoyed it!......Here is what I did....Enjoy!!

1 can Garbanzo beans (drained)
3 Tablespoons olive oil
2 Tablespoons Tahini paste
1-2 cloves garlic
1-2 avocados
salt and pepper
olive oil to add while blending
you can add a squeeze of lime to prevent avocado from browning, if you are not eating right away
Place garbanzos, olive oil, tahini and garlic in blender, start pulsing add avocado and salt and pepper. blend until smooth adding more olive oil until desired consistency
serve with pita or veggies and enjoy!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Individual Pistachio Dessert

Years ago I used to make a Pistachio dessert where you made your own shortbread in a 9 x 13 dish and then add a cream cheese filling, pistachio pudding and cool whip, It was always a big hit!......Well I was looking for a way to make this as an individual dessert in my little dessert glasses, and I  I couldn't bake the shortbread like in the original, so I thought about using a cookie instead and decided to use Pecan Sandies, and it worked out perfectly. This is now my go to dessert, I have been making them for years now, and everyone looks forward to and enjoys them!!,,,,I found some cute little cappuccino spoons to serve with them!...So now with these cute little glasses and spoons, the ideas are endless of what I can make. I also use these for my Spumoni and Holy Cannoli trifles. But it is fun to come up with new ideas!....Here is what I did....Enjoy!!

Pecan Sandies cookies
Pistachio Pudding (make as directed)
Cool Whip
Layer in this order and refrigerate until ready to use!
The cookie will soften to make your shortbread crust!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Eggplant Pizzas

I just love eggplant!...and one of my husbands favorite thing I make is my eggplant parmesan. So I knew he would love these,,,,They were very good and super easy to make!....Here is what I did,,,,Enjoy!!
Pizza Sauce
Shredded Mozzarella
Wash and slice eggplant (about 1/4 to 1/2 an inch)
Place on parchment lined cookie sheet
Salt each slice
Top with pizza sauce
Add Mozzarella
Bake at 350 until cheese melts

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Chopped Tomato Cucumber Salad

Lately when I go to a restaurant and order a salad, I ask them if they can chop it. They usually will and it just makes it so much easier to eat!.....Well this tomato and cucumber salad is one of my family's favorites, so I figured why not chop that too! You could even add a can of Tuna to this and make a meal out of it!.....It turned out great, this is what I did....Enjoy!!

2 Cups diced tomatoes
2 Cups diced cucumber ( I used 1 English cucumber peeled)
2 Tablespoons diced shallot (you could use purple onion also)
4 Tablespoons olive oil
4 Tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
pepper (to taste)
Add all ingredients to a bowl and mix
Cover and refrigerate until ready to eat!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Roasted Ranch Potato Wedges

I was looking for a way to make potatoes as a side dish for the crock pot ribs we were having for dinner,,,,I came across some recipes that used ranch dressing powder and they diced the potatoes,,,I came across some other recipes that wedged potatoes, so I decided to combine a couple of different recipes to make these, They turned out amazing and everyone loved them, I will be making them this way a lot now!,,,Here is what I did,,,,Enjoy!

5  Idaho potatoes
1/4  Cup Olive Oil + more to drizzle
1 package Ranch Powder
Wash and scrub potatoes......cut in half and then 2 more times lengthwise
Place 1/4 cup olive oil in gallon size zip bag, add ranch powder then add potatoes
Zip bag and mix around to coat
Line up on a parchment lined cookie sheet and bake at 450 check after 30 minutes and cook until golden brown,,,,,towards the end of baking I drizzled with olive oil and added salt then continued to bake until desired browness

Monday, October 27, 2014

Crock Pot Ribs

Usually when we make ribs in the summer, I precook them in the oven with my rib rub and then my husband will finish them off on the grill then brush them with our home made barbecue sauce! Once summer is over we usually don't make ribs, well now with making them in the crock pot we can make them more often!,,,,I read up on a lot of different ways to make them in the crock pot and a lot of the recipes had them cooking on low for 6-8 hours!....We found ours to be pretty done at around 4 1/2 hours,(thicker ribs may take longer)  I then removed the ribs and the crockpot liner replaced with a new liner and then added some sauce and the ribs,,,I cooked on low for another hour with the sauce on and they were fall off the bone ready! About the crockpot liners....this was the first time I used them and I highly recommend for this recipe!( you can find them by the plastic wrap and foil) I actually used 2, 1 at the beginning when cooking the ribs, there will be a lot of liquid once done you toss that liner  I added a new liner placed some sauce on bottom add ribs and cover with more sauce, replace lid and continue to cook for another hour if you aren't ready to eat them yet just turn crockpot to warm, that is what I did. You can also use your favorite sauce for this recipe I used Sweet Baby Rays plus my husband added a little open pit, they were very good! Next time I may try with my home made sauce!
We will definitely be making these often this way!,,,,Here is what I did....Enjoy!!

2 slabs ribs (I used baby backs)
1 bottle Sweet Baby Rays sauce
salt and pepper
2 slow cooker liners
Preheat crock pot to low
1. Prepare ribs by removing any fat you can and on bone side we remove the skin or membrane that is over the bone
2. salt and pepper the ribs
3. add liner to crock pot
4. add ribs meat side out, bones toward the center
Cover and check after 4- 4/12 hours, if done remove ribs to a plate
toss the liner, add new liner and add sauce, then add ribs and cover with sauce
cook for another hour on low
**Note...All crock pots are a little different so the first time you make them there may be some trial and error as far as timing goes

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Acorn Squash w/ Apple Stuffing (gluten free)

One thing I always missed being Gluten Free is Stuffing!!......So a couple of years ago I decided to try to make my own, I found this Tapioca bread at the grocery store, so I cubed it up , toasted it and made my stuffing out of it, It turned out really good!.....So when I saw this apple stuffing recipe I wanted to try it and stuffed in an acorn squash it made such a nice meal....My husband actually called it a pleasant dinner. He really enjoyed it!.......So you could take any stuffing recipe you like, prepare it with these gluten free bread cubes and not have to miss out on the stuffing for the Holidays!.....Actually when I make it with my traditional stuffing recipe for Thanksgiving some people actually chose it over the regular!.....Here is what I do...Enjoy!

2 Acorn Squash
3 Tablespoons Butter
1 small onion (diced)
3 celery ribs (diced)
1 granny smith apple (peeled and diced)
1 cup dry cranberries
4 Cups cubed and toasted bread (I cubed and toasted the whole loaf of  theTapioca loaf..you will have extra you can save)
1 teaspoon sage
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1 cup chicken broth + more if needed
here is the bread I use (I stack and slice both ways to cube) it is very dense so it is perfect for this
Cube loaf of bread place on a cookie sheet and toast in 350 oven until browned
remove and set aside
Prepare squash
I heated in microwave one at a time about 2-3 minutes until soft enough to cut in half
scoop out seeds drizzle with olive oil  and place on a cookie sheet flesh side down
bake at 350 for 20 minutes
Prepare stuffing by melting butter in a dutch oven or large pan add onion, celery and apple
cook until translucent add cranberries, spices and bread pour broth over and mix together
Spoon stuffing into each squash half , add a pat of butter on top of each  then bake for another 20 minutes


Thursday, October 16, 2014

Simple Caramel Apple Crumb Pie

I am usually not much of a pie maker. But when they are this simple I am willing to give them a try! Gather your ingredients and this literally takes 5 minutes to throw together. Once the filling is made you pour it into a premade frozen crust (you don't even have to thaw the crust!)......This pie is perfect for your Fall gatherings....Here is what I did.....Enjoy!

4  Tablespoons melted butter
1 egg
3/4 Cup granulated sugar
1/4 Cup brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 Cups flour
3/4 Cups old fashioned oats
1- 21 ounce can apple pie filling
1- 9 inch premade frozen pie crust
caramel sauce (for garnish)

preheat oven to 350
In a large glass bowl, add butter and microwave until melted
let cool then add egg and whisk, add all of the sugars and spices, mix in flour and oats until incorporated
add apple filling and mix well
pour mixture into pie crust
place pie on a cookie sheet and bake for 50 - 60 minutes
remove from oven when it looks firm
let cool for 30 minutes and serve warm or refrigerate until ready to use
I took caramel apple dip from the container added to a small glass bowl and melted in microwave to drizzle on top of pie



Friday, October 3, 2014

One Pot Caprese Pasta

I have said it before and I will say it again. I Love these one pot pasta dishes!!.....The fact that you put the dry pasta in with the rest of the ingredients is just amazing! And I usually have everything on hand which makes it great for those nights when you need to get home and make a fast dinner! Here is what I did for this one....Enjoy!!

1 box Farfalle (Bowtie Pasta)
1 box (32 ounces) Chicken Broth
1 Cup Water
about 20 grape tomatoes (cut in half)
1 -14 1/2 ounce can Petite Diced Tomatoes
1/2 Cup Fresh Basil Leaves (chopped)
1 small shallot (sliced)
3 cloves garlic (minced)
salt and pepper
1 Cup shredded mozzarella
10-12 small mozzarella balls (cut in half)
Add all ingredients except cheeses to a Dutch oven or pot with a lid
bring to boil and stir, turn to simmer cover and cook for about 20-25 minutes  (stirring every 10 minutes) until liquid is absorbed and pasta is cooked
Once done  stir and add shredded mozzarella and mozzarella balls
serve and enjoy,,,you can also garnish with parmesan cheese if you like

Boozy Cider Sangria

This cocktail screams fall!!!......I really love a drink that is easy to put together for a crowd of people. And this would look so pretty in a drink dispenser, I added Honey Crisp apples and red Bartlett pears you can use green pears also but I chose the red for the color! I also used Pinot Grigio for the wine but I am sure you could use your favorite white.....Here is what I did.....Enjoy!!

1 Bottle Pinot Grigio
3 Cups fresh apple cider
1/2 Cup Spiced Rum (Captain Morgan)
1 Cup Club Soda
2-3 Chopped Honey Crisp Apples
2-3 Chopped Pears

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

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Spiedini (small meat roll)

Spiedini are an Italian dish which means small meat roll,,,,,,Everyone fills these a little different.......and you could also use chicken {pounded thin} as your meat, for mine I used chip steak which you can get at your butcher, it is just really thinly sliced meat. You bread your meat first and then layer your fillings and roll up securing with a toothpick....I use salami, provolone cheese and shallot to stuff them, you could use any onion of your choice but I prefer the flavor of shallot, some people also use diced tomato in these, the choice is yours!,,,Here is what I did...Enjoy!!
1 Cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
1/2 Cup grated parmesan
1 Tablespoon dry parsley flakes
salt and pepper
olive oil
4  pieces Chip Steak (I cut mine in half to make 8 pieces)
provolone cheese (cut in half)
1 shallot (sliced thin)
In a shallow bowl add breadcrumbs, parmesan, parsley flakes and salt and pepper
In another shallow bowl add olive oil
Dip each piece of meat in olive oil then breadcrumbs
lay flat and add salami then provolone cheese
top with sliced shallot and then roll
secure with a toothpick
place in a baking dish and lightly drizzle with olive oil cover with foil
Bake for 25-30 minutes in a 350 oven

Monday, September 29, 2014

Caramel Grapes

How adorable are these to add to your next cheese platter!!,,,,These are a cute little bite size appetizer or dessert,,,,would even be fun and easy for the kids to assemble!..And great for Fall entertaining, they look like a mini caramel apple.....Here is what I did....Enjoy!

green seedless grapes
caramel dip
chopped peanuts
Take a couple Tablespoons of caramel dip and add to a microwave safe bowl
Microwave dip in 10 second increments.....stir
add a toothpick to grape (I inserted at opposite end of where stem was so it stands up)
Dip grape into caramel and then nuts!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Chicken Pot Pie Soup with Puff Pastry Biscuits

One of my most favorite comfort foods has to be chicken pot pie!,,,,I have never attempted to make one from scratch, it always seemed a little intimidating to me. I am not very good with pie crust!
So I thought a soup might be more up my alley, I decided to take some puff pastry dough and cut it with a biscuit cutter and then bake them to serve along with this soup, but I think that pre made pie crust cut the same way and baked would be a good also!....The choice is yours...Here is what I did.....Enjoy!!

2 Tablespoons butter
1 small onion (diced)
2 carrots (diced)
3 celery ribs (diced)
2 large potatoes (diced)
2 Cups chicken broth
2-3 cups diced cooked chicken (I used rotisserie)
1 cup frozen peas
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon dry thyme
1/2 teaspoon dry parsley
salt and pepper
4 Tablespoons butter
6 Tablespoons flour
2 1/2 Cups milk
1 Package puff pastry (2)sheets thawed according to package

Remove puff pastry from package and cut out circles with biscuit or cookie cutter from each sheet, place on parchment lined baking sheet and bake at 350 for 15 minutes or until golden...set aside
In a Dutch oven or large pot add 2 T butter ..Saute onion, celery, carrot
and potatoes for 3-4 minutes
Then add broth ,chicken breast, peas and spices
bring to boil then cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes
stirring occasionally
then in a another saucepan add 4 Tablespoons butter on low add flour and stir with a whisk until mixed then add milk and whisk until smooth add this mixture to broth and vegetables,,,continue to cook and stir on low until sauce thickens
once thick add to a bowl and top each serving with biscuits

The next time I made this I used corn starch instead of flour and less butter for thickening
I used 3 Tablespoons of butter and 3 Tablespoons of cornstarch to the milk and it worked fine.....we also have used Hungry Jack Grands biscuits instead of puff pastry!


Friday, September 19, 2014

Quinoa Salad/Dip

This is a really simple Quinoa salad to make....you could use this as a side dish or serve with tortilla chips to use as a dip!......I only used tomatoes and black beans but you could add other things to this also, you could add cilantro or green onion even corn!.....Be creative and ad what you like, here are the bones to this recipe,,,Enjoy!

1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
make quinoa as directed then cool
grape tomatoes (about 15 quartered)
1 can black beans (drained)
1 clove garlic (minced)
juice of 1 small lemon
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
dash pepper
Mix cooled quinoa with the rest of the ingredients
cover and chill until ready to use

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Pumpkin Spice Muffins (gluten free)

Nothing says fall like Pumpkin!!.....I just came up with this recipe on a whim and boy are they delicious!....These would be a nice companion with a pumpkin spice latte! I just added mini chocolate chips , but I think chopped walnuts would be a great addition also, or even shelled pumpkin seeds! Add what you like, I made these gluten free, but you can also make them to be regular....Here is what I did....Enjoy!!




1- 15 ounce can 100% pure pumpkin
2 Cups Pamela's gluten free baking mix
1 Cup oatmeal (I used Bob's Red Mill gluten free)
1 egg (beaten)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon xanthum gum
pinch salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
 1 teaspoon allspice
 1/2 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350
In a bowl mix all ingredients together
Spray a muffin tin and fill 2/3 full with batter
Bake for 25 minutes
This recipe makes about 16 muffins

NOTE: I made these gluten free but I am sure you could make these regular by replacing baking mix with regular flour and use regular oatmeal...just omit the xanthum gum everything else would remain the same


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Parmesan Crusted Chicken

I love breaded chicken breast!,,,,But I wanted to see how I could make it gluten free and this is what I came up with. This is also baked not fried so that is a bonus also!.....I used gluten free flour and panko, but you could use regular if you are not concerned about it. I also sprayed the baking dish and the breaded chicken breast with cooking spray before baking. This chicken was so moist and tender, everyone loved it!!....Here is what I did....Enjoy!!

3 chicken breasts (slightly pounded)
1 egg (beaten)
1/3 Cup flour (I used Bob's Red Mill all purpose)
1/2 Cup grated parmesan cheese
4 Tablespoons panko breadcrumbs (I used gluten free)
salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 350
In a shallow dish combine parmesan cheese, panko and salt and pepper
In another dish add flour and in another the beaten egg
Slightly pound each chicken breast
 dip chicken in flour then dip in beaten egg
and then coat with parmesan mixture pressing it into breast
spray a baking dish and add breaded chicken
then spray the top of each of the coated breasts
Cover dish with foil
I baked for 60 minutes and they were perfect!!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Spinach, Feta Crustless Quiche

I have always loved Quiche!....This is very close to the frittata I make, the only difference is I start the frittata out in a frying pan on the stove and then finish it off in the oven. The quiche is baked in the oven only. And you don't have to worry about a crust!... In this quiche I used spinach, mushrooms and feta  cheese, but you could use just about any vegetable you like, broccoli or zucchini would be good also, you could add whatever you choose!,,,Here is what I did....Enjoy!!

8 ounces mushrooms (sliced)
1 small shallot (sliced)
1 clove garlic (minced)
1 12 ounce bag frozen cut leaf spinach thawed and squeezed)
2 ounces feta cheese
5 eggs
1 cup milk
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 350
saute mushrooms with shallot until golden add minced garlic at the end stir set aside add
salt and pepper
Spray a pie dish with cooking spray add spinach and then mushrooms and feta
beat eggs add milk and parmesan cheese whisk together
Pour over spinach and mushrooms
top with mozzarella cheese, place pie plate on a cookie sheet and bake for about 60 minutes until center looks cooked
let cool a bit before slicing

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Gluten~Free Beer Bread

I remember years ago making beer bread from the box, I used to buy it from those home cooking parties everyone used to have!!..... For some reason I was just thinking about that bread and how I used to love making it and cutting it into cubes to use for dips!,,,,So, I thought now that they make gluten free beer maybe I could come up with a gluten free version using g~free flours and beer and I must say this turned out great! You can cut this up to use for dips or just slice and top with butter or anything else you like,,,you won't even know this is gluten free!......If you are not worried about making this gluten free,,,use 3 cups self rising flour and regular beer, and omit the xanthum gum...Here is what I came up with....Enjoy!!


2 cups Pamela's baking mix
1 cup Bob's Red Mill all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 T baking powder
1 t xanthum gum
1 bottle (12 oz.) gluten free beer I used Redbridge
2 T butter (melted)
Preheat oven to 375
Add all dry ingredients to a bowl and whisk together
Add beer and gently mix with a wooden spoon until incorporated,,,do not over mix
batter should be thick....pour into a sprayed loaf pan top with melted butter and bake for 40 to 50 minutes and crust is browned......remove from oven and let cool until slicing

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

One Pot Taco Mac

Here is another great one pot dish!!....I didn't have any elbow macaroni on hand which is what I would usually make this recipe with, so I used penne pasta and it was still super delicious!.....Here is what I did.....Enjoy!!

1 pound ground sirloin
I small onion (diced)
salt and pepper
2 Cups Elbow Macaroni
1- 15 ounce can corn
1- 15 ounce can black beans
1- 14 1/2 ounce can petite diced tomatoes
1- 32 ounce box of chicken broth
1 package mild taco seasoning mix (I used McCormick brand)
salt and pepper
Sour Cream
Shredded cheddar cheese
Crushed tortilla chips
Brown beef and onions until beef is no longer pink add salt and pepper
Add the rest of the ingredients stir and bring to a boil
Once it comes to a boil turn to low cover and simmer
Checking and stirring every 10 minutes until pasta is cooked
add more salt and pepper to taste if needed
Garnish with sour cream, shredded cheddar and crushed tortilla chips