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Sunday, December 31, 2017


We're bringing back the cheese ball with these bite-size versions of the retro party snack. Roll them in your choice of ingredients to coat and skewer each with a breadstick for a fun twist.

Portion size 25 servings:
Canadian Living Magazine: January 2016


Cheese Balls:
2 cups shredded extra-old white Cheddar cheese
1 pkg (250 g) cream cheese softened
2 tablespoons whipping cream (35%)
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
pinch pepper
fresh chives chopped
cooked bacon finely chopped
chips crushed
cranberries finely chopped
pistachios finely chopped
toasted walnuts finely chopped
dried apricots finely chopped

In food processor, whirl together Cheddar, cream cheese, cream, mustard and pepper until smooth. Scrape into bowl; refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.

Roll by 1 tbsp into balls; arrange on parchment paper–lined baking sheet. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour. (Make-ahead: Layer between waxed paper in airtight container; refrigerate for up to 3 days.) Roll in desired coatings.

Tip from The Test Kitchen: Look for apple chips, which are crispy, instead of dried apple rings, which tend to be chewier. The chips are often sold in the produce section of major supermarkets or in health food stores.

Per serving: about
Sodium91 mgProtein3 gCalories75.0Total fat7 gPotassium24 mgCholesterol22 mgSaturated fat4 gTotal carbohydrate1 g


These cute individual-size pies are delicious served either hot, as an elegant starter with a salad, or cold, eaten out of hand with a little HP sauce.

Portion size 2 servings

Canadian Living Magazine: October 2013

2 slices bacon sliced
4 cups thinly sliced leeks (white and light green parts only),about 2
2 cups thinly sliced onions (about 1)
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
pinch each salt and pepper
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 cup baby spinach coarsely chopped
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 cup shredded Gruyère cheese
half Easy Roll Pie Pastry
1 egg yolk

In large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 3 minutes. Stir in leeks, onion, thyme, salt and pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, until starting to brown, about 7 minutes.

Stir in 1/2 cup water, vinegar and mustard, scraping up browned bits; cook until onion is caramelized, about 10 minutes. Stir in spinach and peas; cook until spinach is wilted and peas are hot, about 3 minutes.

Stir in 3/4 cup of the Gruyere cheese. Let cool slightly. On lightly floured surface, roll out pastry into 16- x 12-inch (40 x 30 cm) rectangle.

Cut into twelve 4-inch (10 cm) squares; press each into muffin cup. Fill each with 1/4 cup filling, pressing firmly; sprinkle with some of the remaining cheese. Fold 4 corners of dough toward centre, pressing lightly to seal.

Whisk egg yolk with 2 tsp water; brush over top of pastry. Bake in 400 F (200 C) oven until pastry is golden and filling is bubbly, about 20 minutes. Let cool on rack for 5 minutes.

per serving: about
Fibre1 gSodium158 mgSugars2 gProtein6 gCalories213.0Total fat14 gPotassium119 mgCholesterol51 mgSaturated fat7 gTotal carbohydrate16 g


Serve these veggie patties warm or at room temperature with a dollop of sour cream or Chunky Applesauce. They're at their best when made the same day—but, if you prefer, they reheat well.

Portion size,40 servings

Canadian Living Magazine: January 2015

2 zucchinis (about 250 g)
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 yellow-fleshed potatoes peeled (about 450 g)
1/2 onion grated
1 egg lightly whisked
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
vegetable oil for frying

Using grater or food processor with shredder blade, coarsely grate zucchini. Transfer to a colander; sprinkle with half of the salt. Let stand for 30 minutes. Using tea towel or potato ricer, squeeze out and discard liquid. Transfer zucchini to a large bowl.

Using grater or food processor with shredder blade, coarsely grate potatoes. Using tea towel or potato ricer, squeeze out and discard liquid. Add potatoes to bowl with zucchini. With a fork, mix in onion, egg, flour and remaining salt.

In a large skillet, add enough oil to cover the bottom of pan; heat over medium-high heat.Shape zucchini mixture by rounded 1 tbsp; working in batches, add to skillet, flattening slightly and leaving at least 1 inch (2.5 cm) between each. Cook, turning halfway through and adding more oil as needed, until golden and edges are crisp, about 5 minutes. Transfer to paper towel-lined racks to drain. (Make-ahead: Remove paper towels; let stand on racks for up to 4 hours or cover and refrigerate on racks for up to 24 hours. Reheat on racks on baking sheets in 425 F/220 C oven for 6 to 8 minutes.)

Chunky Applesauce: In a saucepan, combine 4 apples, peeled, cored and chopped; 1/2 cup apple cider or water; and 1/4 cup granulated sugar. Bring to boil over medium heat. Reduce heat; cover and simmer, stirring, until apples are tender, about 25 minutes. Using a potato masher, mash until chunky. Stir in 1 tbsp lemon juice. Let cool to room temperature. (Make-ahead: Refrigerate in airtight container for up to 3 days.) Makes 2 cups.

per piece: about
FibretraceSodium16 mgProteintraceCalories36.0Total fat2 gCholesterol0 mgSaturated fattraceTotal carbohydrate4 g


Yields 4
Prep Time 10 min
Cook Time 40 min
Total Time 50 min

2 pounds of sweet potatoes
4 tablespoons of unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon salt

For the maple pecan sauce:
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Preheat the oven to 425F. Have ready a roasting pan.
Peel and slice the sweet potatoes into 1" thick slices, and scatter them on the roasting pan, not touching.

Melt the butter, and drizzle it on top of the sweet potatoes. Sprinkle on
the salt. Toss to coat, and then redistribute on the pan in a single layer, not touching.

Roast for 20 minutes.

Flip with tongs, and roast for another 20 minutes.

The potatoes are done when they're golden brown and crisp, and the insides are light and fluffy.

To make the maple pecan sauce: bring the maple syrup to a boil in a small saucepan.

Add the pecans.

Wait for the sauce to come back to a boil, cook for 1 minute, and then remove from heat.

Pour the sauce over the sweet potatoes and serve.

Mini Pizza Bites

Servings 4

Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 10-12 mins
These are really easy and the kids love them. Serve alongside a crisp salad for a main dish meal, or they are great appetizers.


1 1/2 cups marinara sauce
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon oregano
3/4 teaspoon salt
8 ounces shredded mozzarella
mini pepperonis
4 8-inch flour tortillas or 6-6" corn tortillas


Yield: 3 per person, or 12 appetizers

1. Preheat oven to 425F/218 C. 
2. Lightly oil a 12-cup muffin tin or coat with nonstick spray. 
3. Lay tortilla on a flat surface. Using an empty can, cut 3-4 medium circles, pressing firmly enough in a rocking motion to cut through the tortilla. 
4. Fit tortilla circle into each of 12 muffin tins 
5. Scoop 1 tablespoon pizza sauce into each muffin tin. 
6. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese 
7. Top with mini pepperonis 
8. Place into oven and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until cheese has melted. 
9. Serve immediately.


Saturday, December 30, 2017

McDonald’s Copycat Fried Apple Pie

makes 5-6 pies

for the tart shell
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons cold butter
1/4 cup ice water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar

for the filling
2 cups peeled apples, chopped to 1/2? squares
1/2 cup apple cider
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
zest and juice of 1 lemon
big pinch salt
2 tablespoons flour

In the bowl of your food processor, combine the flour, salt, and sugar by pulsing 3 times. Cut up the butter into large chunks, and add to the flour. Pulse several times, until the mixture is sandy and crumbly. Drizzle in the ice water, and pulse 2 or 3 times until the dough just holds together.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and form into a 6? disc. Wrap the disc tight in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the filling. Combine the apples, cider, sugar, zest and juice, and salt, and cook over medium heat. The mixture will bubble, and cook down. After about 15 minutes the apples will soften but still have a little texture. Stir in the flour and cook for a minute or two more. Remove from heat and set filling aside to cool.

Either in an electric skillet, deep fryer, or heavy-bottomed pan with deep sides, heat a neutral cooking oil to 350 degrees.
On a lightly floured surface roll 1/3 of the dough into a 10 – 12? oval. To make the first two pies, cut the oval in half, and carefully pile 1/3 cup of filling on one half of each semi-circle.  Quickly wet the edges, and fold over, pressing each into a turnover shape. Seal the edges with the tines of a fork. Fry the pies for a total of 3 – 4 minutes, flipping them halfway through. Remove from oil when the pies are a deep golden brown. Place on a stack of paper towels, dust with confectioners sugar and serve. Follow these steps for the other four pies.


Graham Cracker Crust:*
1 Tablespoon BROWN SUGAR
3 Tablespoons BUTTER, melted
Peanut Butter Filling:
1 8 oz./225g pkg. REGULAR CREAM CHEESE
1 cup POWDERED SUGAR, sifted
2 Tablespoons BROWN SUGAR, packed
½ teaspoon VANILLA
1 regular size (2.1 oz./60g) BUTTERFINGER CANDY BAR, finely chopped

Make the crust:
Preheat oven to 350°.
Use a food processor to crush crackers to fine crumbs. Add brown sugar and melted butter, Pulse a few more times to combine.
Press 1½ Tablespoons of the crumb mixture into the bottom of 12 4 oz. jelly jars. Place jars on a baking sheet and bake for 6 minutes. Cool completely before filling.
Make the filling:
Beat cream cheese until smooth, add sugars and beat again. Mix in peanut butter and vanilla until incorporated.
In a separate bowl, beat cream until stiff peaks form. Add 1 cup of the whipped cream to the peanut butter mixture, mix briefly at low speed. Then use a rubber spatula to fold the mixture together completely. Refrigerate remaining whipped cream.
Assemble the pies:
Sprinkle a little of the chopped butterfinger candy bar onto each crust. Divide filling among jars and sprinkle with remaining candy bar. Chill jars for at least 2 hours or overnight. Top with a dollop of whipped cream before serving.
*You could easily use mini or regular store bought graham cracker crust instead of making the crust for the jars.



Marie Stewart

Marie's Yeast Rolls

1 envelope active dry yeast
2 cups warm water
4 cups self-rising flour
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten

Dissolve the yeast in the warm water (110 F to 115 F) in a large bowl.
Add the remaining ingredients.  Stir well.  Fill the well-greased muffin cups 3/4 full.  Bake at 425 F degrees for 20 minutes, or until golden.YIELD:  3 Dozen

Cinnamon - The Gourmet Girl 


Heat oven to 400°. Peel, cube 1 pound sweet potatoes. In a bowl, toss potatoes, 1 pound baby carrots, and 2 tbsp oil, season. Spread veggies on greased baking sheet. Roast 2O min. In processor, puree veggies, 1/4 cup herb-garlic goat cheese, and 2 tbs butter until smooth. Season, stir in 1/4 cup minced chives. SERVE and ENJOY...

Meat Puff Pie

From: "The Best of Our Revamped Holiday Meals" (12/5/2016)

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Makes 8 to 10 servings

Nutrition (per 1/10th of recipe)
calories 460, total fat 32 g (saturated fat 9 g), sodium 290 mg, Carbohydrates 27 g, fiber 2 g, protein 14 g

1 onion, chopped
2 tablespoons (30 ml) butter
1 lb (455 g) lean ground pork
1/4 cup (60 ml) white wine
1 cup (250 ml) chicken broth
1/2 cup (125 ml) bread crumbs
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 cups (500 ml) chopped arugula
1/2 cup (125 ml) chopped toasted pecans
1 egg
1 tablespoon (15 ml) water
1 lb (455 ) store-bought frozen puff pastry, thawed
salt and pepper

1. In a saucepan, brown the onion in the butter. Add the meat and cook it while crumbling it with a wooden spoon. Add the white wine and reduce the liquid until almost dry.
2. Add the broth and breadcrumbs. Bring to a boil. Simmer, uncovered, for about 20 minutes. Add the garlic and arugula. Continue cooking for another 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Let the mixture cool. Then, add the pecans.
3. With the rack in the middle position, preheat the oven to 400ºF (200ºC). Linda a 17 x 12 inch (43 x 30 cm) baking sheet with parchment paper.
4. In a small bowl, combine the egg and water with a fork. Set the egg wash aside.
5. On a floured work surface, roll out the puff pastry into two 10 inch (25 cm) squares.
6. Place a square on the baking sheet. Spread the filling in the center of the square, up to 1/2 inch (1 cm) of the edges. Brush the borders with the egg wash and top with the second square of dough. Press the edges to seal the dough. If necessary, cut the excess dough to form a straight square.
7. Brush the entire surface, without piercing the dough, to create a pattern on the pastry. Make a hole in the center to allow steam to escape while baking.
8. Bake for about 35 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown.

NOTE: The meat mixture can be prepared a day or two in advance, but it is best to assemble the pie just before baking. If you want to freeze the pie, do it before baking.

Friday, December 29, 2017

Marinated Mushrooms and Artichokes

I marinate mushrooms and artichokes in fresh tarragon, thyme and seasonings so they turn out tart, tangy and irresistible. —Marcia Doyle, Pompano, Florida

TOTAL TIME: Prep: 15 minutes + marinating
YIELD: 16 servings

2 pounds medium fresh mushrooms, halved
2 cans (14 ounces/400ml each) water-packed quartered artichoke hearts, drained
1-1/2 cups water
1 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
1 bay leaf
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1-1/2 teaspoons minced fresh tarragon or 1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
1-1/2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
Additional parsley

1. In a nonreactive bowl, combine first twelve ingredients. Refrigerate, covered, to allow flavors to blend, 3-4 hours. Serve with additional parsley. Yield: 16 servings (1/2 cup each). 

Nutritional Facts: 1/2 cup: 43 calories, 1g fat (0 saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 162mg sodium, 5g carbohydrate (0 sugars, 0 fiber), 3g protein. 
Diabetic Exchanges: 1 vegetable.

Mascarpone-Mushroom Frittata Stack

When I bring this delicious egg dish to the table, I always get oohs and aahs! It looks impressive but is quite easy to prepare.—Gilda Lester, Millsboro, Delaware

TOTAL TIME: Prep: 25 minutes.
Cook: 20 minutes.
YIELD: 6 servings

8 large eggs
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup grated Romano cheese, divided
1-1/2 teaspoons salt, divided· 
5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
3/4 pound sliced fresh mushrooms
1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons minced fresh basil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 carton (8 ounces/225g) Mascarpone cheese

1. In a large bowl, whisk eggs, cream, 1/4 cup Romano cheese and 1 teaspoon salt

2. In a 10-in. skillet, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and onion; cook and stir until tender. Add basil, garlic, pepper and remaining salt; cook and stir 1 minute longer. Transfer to a bowl; stir in mascarpone cheese and remaining Romano cheese.

3. In the same pan, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat. Pour in 2/3 cup egg mixture. The mixture should set immediately at edges. As eggs set, push cooked portions toward the center, letting uncooked eggs flow underneath.

4. Let stand, covered, 5-7 minutes or until completely set. Remove to a serving platter; cover and keep warm. Repeat with remaining egg mixture making two additional frittatas, using remaining oil as needed.

5. Place one frittata on a serving platter; layer with half of the mushroom mixture. Repeat layers. Top with remaining frittata. Cut into wedges.  

Nutritional Facts: 1 wedge: 468 calories, 44g fat (18g saturated fat), 357mg cholesterol, 882mg sodium, 6g carbohydrate (3g sugars, 1g fiber), 17g protein.

Mashed Potatoes with Sauteed Mushrooms

Recipe by Paula Deen

6 cups (about 2 lbs) diced new potatoes
1 cup white wine
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh chives, chopped
1/2 cup onion, diced
1 cup fresh mushrooms, sliced
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, divided
1/2 cup sour cream
whole milk, small amount warmed

In a saucepan, melt 1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) butter and sauté mushrooms, onion, chives, and garlic. Add wine and simmer for about 15 minutes. In a pot, boil potatoes until done; drain. Mash potatoes and add remaining 1/2 stick butter, salt, pepper, sour cream, and warm milk to desired consistency. Combine all ingredients and whip until thick and creamy.

Maple-Cinnamon Peanut Butter Dip

Prep Time: 5 mins

What better way to serve apples? This healthy maple cinnamon peanut butter is delicious!


1 tablespoon natural peanut butter
1 teaspoon real maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 apple, sliced


Yield: 1 serving

Mix together the ingredients and serve with apple slices or celery sticks.


Margarita Angel Cake

Recipe By: Cooking Light, April 2003, pg. 228 
Serving Size: 12

1 cup sifted cake flour 
1 1/2 cups sugar -- divided 
12 large egg whites 
1 teaspoon cream of tartar 
1/2 teaspoon salt 
2 tablespoons grated lime rind 
2 teaspoons vanilla extract 
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lime juice 

3 tablespoons sugar 
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice 
3 tablespoons tequila 
3 tablespoons Triple Sec 
3 tablespoons water 

Preheat oven to 325 degrees 

To prepare cake: lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup, level with a knife. Combine flour and 3/4 cup sugar, stirring with a whisk. 

Place egg whites in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at high speed until foamy. Add cream of tartar and salt; beat until soft peaks form. Add 3/4 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons at a time, beating until stiff peaks form. Beat in rind, vanilla, and 1 1/2 teaspoons juice. Sift 1/4 cup flour mixture over egg mixture; fold in. Repeat procedure with remaining flour mixture, 1/4 cup at a time. 

Spoon batter into an ungreased 10-inch tube pan, spreading evenly. Break off pockets by cutting through batter with a knife. Bake at 325 degrees for 50 minutes, or until cake springs back when lightly touched. Invert pan; cool completely. Loosen cake from sides of pan using a narrow metal spatula. Invert onto a plate. 

To prepare glaze, combine 3 tablespoons sugar and remaining ingredients in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 3 minutes or until sugar dissolves, stirring occasionally. Pierce entire surface of cake liberally with a skewer; drizzle glaze over cake. Let stand 10 minutes. 

Yield: 12 servings. 

181 cal, 0.1g fat, 4.2g pro, 37.1g carb, 0.3g fiber, 0mg chol, 0.6mg iron, 154mg sod, 5mg calc. 

Source: Cooking Light-4/03 

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Magic Cake

Vanilla Magic Custard Cake - 1 batter during baking magically separates into 3 layers: dense on the bottom, custard in the middle, sponge on top

Course: Dessert
Servings: 8
Author: Kitchen Nostalgia

4 eggs, separated, at room temperature
4 drops lemon juice or white vinegar (optional)
1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons (5.3 oz; 150 g) sugar
1 Tbsp water
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 stick + 2 tsp butter, melted (125 g)
3/4 cup (4 oz; 115 g) flour
2 cups milk, lukewarm (500 ml)

Mix egg whites until stiff. You can add 4 drops of lemon juice or white vinegar to stabilize the egg whites.
In another bowl, beat the egg yolks with the sugar, water, and vanilla until light. Add melted butter and continue beating for another minute. Then add the flour and mix it in.
Add the milk (it has to be lukewarm, otherwise the butter will harden) and beat until well incorporated.
Gently fold in beaten egg whites using a spatula or a spoon. Do not use a mixer for this step because it will ruin the air bubbles trapped in beaten egg whites. Do not fully incorporate batter and egg whites. There should still be some little "clouds" of egg whites floating on top of the batter.
Pour batter into a greased and floured 8 inch x 8 inch (20 x 20 cm) square or 8 inch (20 cm) round baking dish (do not use springform because batter is too liquid and the pan could leak) and bake in preheated 325 F (160 C) oven for about 60 minutes or until the top is golden and cake is still soft, but not jiggly any more. If the top starts browning too quickly (after about 30 minutes of baking), cover the cake with aluminum foil.
Cool in the pan for at least 3 hours. Serve sprinkled with powdered sugar.

Vanilla Magic Custard Cake - 1 batter during baking magically separates into 3 layers: dense on the bottom, custard in the middle, sponge on top

Vanilla Magic Custard Cake - 1 batter during baking magically separates into 3 layers: dense on the bottom, custard in the middle, sponge on top


3 egg yolks
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
6 Tbsp. butter
1 c. Panko breadcrumbs (Japanese breadcrumbs)
1 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1 Tbsp. dried parsley
1 Tbsp. garlic powder
½ Tbsp. salt
1 Tbsp. ground black pepper
4 slices black forest ham
4 slices Swiss cheese
2 tablespoons Grey Poupon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 teaspoon yellow mustard
1 teaspoon honey

Mix together the creole mustard sauce ingredients and refrigerate.
In a small bowl, beat egg yolks with garlic. Place chicken and egg mixture in a large Ziploc bag, squeeze out all the air and seal tightly. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or overnight if possible.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Melt butter and pour into bottom of a 9x13 baking dish. Mix together the breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese, parsley, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Dip marinated chicken in crumb mixture. Place coated chicken in baking dish, and pour remaining egg mixture over the top.
Bake for 15 min on each side or until chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear. Top each piece of chicken with ham and slice of Swiss cheese. Place back in the oven for about 5 min or until cheese is melted. Remove from oven and serve with Creole Mustard Sauce.
These also make GREAT sandwiches or wraps the next day, just cut it into strips.

Mango Chutney Chicken Curry

My father dreamed up this curry and chutney combination. Now my family cooks it on road trips—in rain and sun, in the mountains, even on the beach. Adjust the curry for taste and heat. —Dina Moreno, Seattle, WA

TOTAL TIME: Prep/Total Time: 25 minutes.
YIELD: 4 servings (could have for 2)

1 tablespoon canola oil
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed
1 tablespoon curry powder
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup mango chutney
1/2 cup half-and-half cream

1. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat; brown chicken. Stir in curry powder, garlic, salt, and pepper; cook 1-2 minutes longer or until aromatic.

2. Stir in chutney and cream. Bring to boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 4-6 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink, stirring occasionally.  

Nutritional Fact: 1/2 cup: 320 calories, 9g fat (3g saturated fat), 78mg cholesterol, 558mg sodium, 30g carbohydrate (19g sugars, 1g fiber), 24g protein.

Maple Rum Balls

Makes 5 dozen small balls
1cup unsalted butter at room temp
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
2 Tablespoons rum
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup finely chopped pecans
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat together, unsalted butter, maple syrup, sugar, and rum. In another bowl, stir together, flour, chopped pecans, and salt.
Gradually stir into butter mixture. Shape dough into 1 inch balls. Place on greased baking sheet. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until golden.

Maple, Raspberry and White Chocolate Yule Log

From: "Our Best Holiday Desserts" (12/2/2016)

Prep Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Refrigeration Time: 4 hours
Serves 10-12
Freezes well

Nutrition (per 1/12th of recipe)
calories 575, total fat 31 g (saturated fat 15 g), sodium 105 mg, Carbohydrates 68 g, Fiber 1 g, protein 7 g

Ingredients Maple Cream:
1/4 cup (35 g/60 ml) cornstarch
2 tablespoons (30 ml) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups (375 ml) maple syrup
2 cups (500 ml) 35% heavy cream, divided
2 eggs
1/4 cup (55 g/60 ml) unsalted butter, cubed

Ingredients Cake:
1 cup (140 g/250 ml) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon (5 ml) baking powder
6 eggs, at room temperature
1 cup (210 g/250 ml) sugar
1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
1/4 cup (60 ml) canola oil

Ingredients Filling:
4 oz (115 g) white chocolate, melted and tempered
2 tablespoons (30 ml) maple-sugar flakes (see note)
2 tablespoons (30 ml) toasted pecans, finely chopped
1 1/4 cups (170 g/310 ml) fresh raspberries

Directions Maple Cream:
1. In a saucepan off the heat, combine the cornstarch and flour. Add the maple syrup, 1 cup (250 ml) of the cream and the eggs. Whisk the mixture until it is smooth.
2. Bring to a boil, while stirring and scraping the bottom and sides of the saucepan.
3. Turn the heat down and let the mixture simmer for 30 seconds. Strain the cream.
4. Add the butter and stir until it has melted.
5. Cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface of the maple cream and let it cool. refrigerate for about 3 hours or until it has completed chilled.

Directions Cake:
1. With the rack in the middle position, preheat the oven to 375ºF (190ºC). Line a 17 x 12 inch (43 x 30 cm) baking sheet with parchment paper, letting it hang over two sides. Generously butter & flour the paper and the unlined sides. Set aside.
2. In a bowl, combine the flour and baking powder. Set aside.
3. In another bowl, beat the eggs, sugar, and vanilla with an electric mixer until the mixture triples in volume and forms a ribbon as it falls from the beaters; about 10 minutes. At low speed, drizzle in the oil.
4. Sift the flour mixture over the egg mixture, stirring gently with a whisk (see note).
5. Spread the batter evenly on the prepared sheet.
6. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
7. Let the cake cool completely on a wire rack.

Directions Filling:
1. Line a 17 x 12 inch (43 x 30 cm) baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread the tempered chocolate in a thin layer about the same size as the sheet.
2. Sprinkle with the maple-sugar flakes and pecans. Refrigerate for about 15 minutes or until the chocolate has set.
3. Gently lift the sheet, breaking the chocolate into long strips.
4. In a bowl, whip the remaining 1 cup (250 ml) of heavy cream until firm peaks form.
5. With a whisk or a spatula, fold into the chilled maple cream. Set aside 1 1/2 cups (375 ml) of the mixture to frost the yule log. Keep the remaining cream to fill the inside of the cake.

Directions Assembly:
1. Flip the cake onto a sheet of parchment paper so it can be rolled easily. Carefully remove the parchment paper from the cake. Trim the cake ends to straighten the edges.
2. Spread the maple cream over the entire surface of the cake & add the raspberries.
3. Roll the cake from the short side. Cover completely with the reserved maple cream.
4. Place it on a serving tray. Cover with the strips of white chocolate.
5. Refrigerate for at least one hour before serving.

To keep the batter from falling when adding the flour, it is best to use a whisk to gently fold the flour into the mixture, despite the old myth that a spatula is preferable. There will be fewer lumps in the batter and it will be fluffier.
Maple-sugar flakes are maple syrup transformed into small slivers of maple sugar. They can be found in specialty stores.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Louisiana Crunch Cake

Rating: 5
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 35 minutes

An Entenmann's copycat recipe much like a coffee cake with a sweet glaze and crunchy topping.

3 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup butter, at room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar + 1/4 cup for sprinkling in pan
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1/4 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup coconut flakes
2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup melted butter
2 - 3 tablespoons heavy cream or whole milk, as needed
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup coconut flakes
1/4 cup sliced almonds

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a tube or bundt pan.
Sift together the flour, salt, baking powder, and soda. Set aside.
In a separate large bowl beat butter on medium speed until fluffy about 2 minutes. Add sugar and beat 3 more minutes until light and fluffy.
Beat in eggs one at a time. On the lowest speed beat in sour cream and vanilla.
On the lowest speed mix in 1/3 of the dry ingredients followed by 1/2 the buttermilk then repeat ending with the last third of the flour. Don't over mix or your cake will be dense!
Sprinkle the 1/4 cup of sugar over the bottom of the pan and shake so the sugar goes up the sides 2 - 3 inches. Sprinkle with the coconut flakes.
Scoop the batter into the pan and spread evenly. Bake 55 - 65 minutes or until a wooden skewer in center comes out clean.
Cool the cake in the pan on a wire rack 10 minutes, then carefully turn out onto a cake dish or platter. Cool completely.
To make the glaze whisk the confectioners' sugar, butter, milk, and vanilla together. The glaze should run off your whisk when lifted. If needed add more milk to thin it out.
Poke holes all over the top of the cake 1/2-inch apart using a skewer or toothpick. Slowly spoon the glaze over the top. Sprinkle with coconut and almonds.

Adapted from

'Mad Men' Old Fashioned

Ever wonder how to make the old-fashioned cocktail? Drink in style with this 'Mad Men' Old Fashioned recipe. Whether you watch the show or not, this recipe, originally from The Grand Central Oyster Bar in New York City is the real deal! The cocktail also plays a starring role in Season 3 of the AMC hit show.

Yields: 1 Drink

1 orange slice
1 maraschino cherry
1 teaspoon sugar
a few drops of Angostura bitters
1 splash of soda water
2 1/2 ounces rye or bourbon

In a mixing glass, muddle orange slice, cherry, sugar, bitters, and a little soda water: push around and break up cherry and orange until flavor is released.

Add soda water so cherry is wet and sugar is melted. Add rye or bourbon and serve over rocks, if desired.

Bourbon or rye may be used in the Old Fashioned. Rye was originally used, and the Grand Central Oyster Bar is starting to use rye again in these drinks; they use Michter’s, but Don would likely choose Canadian Club, the brand we often see in his office and home. Seagrams V.O. and Crown Royal were also popular in the 1960s, says Jonathan Rogers of the Grand Central Oyster Bar.

This recipe is used by permission from The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook: Inside the Kitchens, Bars, and Restaurants of Mad Men by Judy Gelman and Peter Zheutlin (Smart Pop, 2011).

Maple Fudge (The Ultimate)

From: "Our Best Holiday Desserts" (12/14/2016)

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 minutes
Cooling Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Makes 64 squares
Freezes well

Nutrition (per 4 squares, without white chocolate):
calories 195, total fat 6 g (saturated fat 3 g), sodium 12 mg, Carbohydrates 37 g, Fiber 0 g, protein 0 g

1 cup (250 ml) 35% heavy cream
1 cup (210 g/250 ml) sugar
1 cup (240 g/250 ml) lightly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup (125 ml) maple syrup
1 oz (28 g) white chocolate, chopped (optional)
1/4 teaspoon (1 ml) vanilla extract

1. Line the bottom of an 8 inch (20 cm) square pan with parchment paper, letting the paper hang over two sides. Butter the other two sides.
2. In a heavy saucepan, bring all the ingredients except for the chocolate and vanilla to a boil, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Let it simmer without stirring until a candy thermometer placed in the center of the pan reads 240ºF (115ºC).
3. Remove the saucepan from the heat & add the chocolate and vanilla without stirring.
4. Place the saucepan in a water bath. Let the mixture cool without stirring for 20 to 30 minutes or until the thermometer reads 110ºF (43ºC).
5. Remove the saucepan from the water. With an electric mixer, beat the mixture for about 2 minutes or until it is thick & looses its gloss.
6. Immediately pour the mixture into the prepared baking pan & spread it with a spatula. Cover the pan with plastic wrap & let it cool for 1 hour at room temperature for 1 hour or 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
7. Unmold the fudge and cut it into 1 inch (2.5 cm) squares.
8. Store in an airtight container. The fudge squares can be made in advance and freeze very well.

NOTE: Adding white chocolate to your maple fudge is the secret to creamy texture, it does not change the flavor. Just a small 1 oz (28 g) piece will do.


8 oz/225g rotini pasta
1/2 pound ground beef
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 tsp Worcestershire
1/2 tsp dry mustard
14.5 oz/410g can fire roasted tomatoes, drained
1 cup milk
1 1/2 tsp flour
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
3 tbs each cream cheese and chopped chives
1/4 tsp each salt and black pepper

COOK pasta according to directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain. Heat a skillet. Add beef, onion, Worcestershire, and mustard, cook until meat is done. Transfer to a bowl, stir in tomatoes. WHISK together milk and flour. Pour mixture into skillet, bring to a boil. Add cheeses, stir until melted. Remove from heat. Stir in pasta and meat mixture. Top with chives, salt, and pepper. SERVE WITH GARLIC BREAD and ENJOY...

Make Ahead Butternut Squash Gratin

Serves: 8
Source: Better Homes and Gardens

1 3/4 - 2 pounds butternut squash
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and ground black pepper
16 cups fresh spinach*
1 cup half-and-half or light cream
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup creme fraiche

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Lightly grease a 2-quart baking dish; set aside. Peel the squash. Slice 1/4-inch thick. Remove seeds from slices and halve large slices. Arrange slices in a 15x10x1-inch baking pan. Brush both sides lightly with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Remove.

Meanwhile in a 4- to 6-quart Dutch oven cook the spinach in lightly salted boiling water, half at a time, for 1 minute or until wilted. Drain and cool slightly; squeeze out excess liquid. Coarsely chop the spinach; set aside. In a medium saucepan combine half-and-half and cornstarch; cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Stir in spinach; spread mixture in bottom of prepared dish. Arrange squash over spinach mixture. Cover and chill the gratin up to 8 hours.

Preheat oven to 475 degrees F. In a small bowl stirs together the Parmesan and creme fraiche. Spread mixture over squash in dish. Bake, uncovered, for 15 minutes or until squash is tender and heated through and Parmesan mixture is lightly browned. Season to taste with salt and pepper, if desired. Makes 8 servings.

If purchased creme fraiche is unavailable you can make your own. In a small mixing bowl stir together 1/4 cup whipping cream (not ultrapasteurized) and 1/4 cup dairy sour cream. Cover with plastic wrap. Let stand at room temperature for 2 to 5 hours or until mixture thickens. When thickened, cover and chill in the refrigerator until serving time or up to 48 hours. Stir before serving.

If desired, substitute two 10-ounce packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well drained. Sprinkle with salt. Omit cooking of spinach.

Chilling step may be omitted. Bake 10 to 15 minutes for final timing.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Lighter Peppermint Pie

Recipe by Bobby Deen

20 chocolate wafer cookies, coarsely crushed (1 cup crushed)
3 tablespoons light stick butter
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
1/4 cup cold water
1 (7 1/2 oz/210ml) jar marshmallow creme
15 hard peppermint candies, crushed (1/2 cup)
2 tablespoons low-fat milk
1 1/2 cups fat-free non-dairy whipped topping

Put the cookies in a food processor and pulse until finely ground. Add the butter and process until crumbly. Press the crumb mixture evenly onto the bottom and up the side of a 9-inch pie plate.

Soften gelatin in water 5 minutes; set aside. Combine marshmallow creme, candies, and milk in small saucepan and cook, stirring occasionally, over low heat, until candy melts, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer the marshmallow mixture to a large bowl. Stir in the gelatin mixture until blended. Let cool to room temperature; fold in the whipped topping. Pour the mixture into crust. Chill until set, at least 2 hours.

Owner of The-Bake-Shop -

Lighter Sesame Chicken



1/2 cup brown rice
1/4 cup honey
2 Tablespoons sesame seeds
2 Tablespoons gluten-free Tamari or soy sauce (dish will not be GF if using soy sauce)
1 garlic clove, minced
1 egg white
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
2 small chicken breasts (12oz/340g), cut into 2" pieces
salt and pepper
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
2 green onions, chopped
2 cups broccoli florets

Prepare rice according to package directions. Meanwhile, combine honey, sesame seeds, Tamari or soy sauce, and garlic together in a small bowl then set aside. In a separate larger bowl, whisk together egg white and cornstarch until smooth. Season chicken pieces with salt and pepper then add to egg white mixture and toss to evenly coat.
In a small saucepan, steam broccoli until crisp tender then set aside.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, then carefully add chicken. Cook for 3-4 minutes a side, or until cooked through. Turn off heat and remove skillet from burner. Add prepared sauce and green onions then toss to combine. Stir in broccoli, then scoop mixture into bowls over cooked rice.

Slightly adapted from Martha Stewart


I honestly have no idea why they are called party potatoes {other than for the fact that they disappear when served at parties} but this is a dish that my mom has made for years.  I made a few changes to her method like adding liquid gold {i.e. Velveeta cheese} versus using shredded cheese.   Most people tend to think of Velveeta as only being good for making a cheese dip or macaroni and cheese but its easy melting makes it perfect for this type of dish. 

1 package frozen southern style hash browns
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 2-lb loaf of Velveeta original flavor, cubed
10 oz/300ml cream of mushroom soup {consider making your own if you have the time}
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 cups sour cream
2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 cup panko crumbs
4 Tbsp butter, melted
Cooking spray

1)  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 9×13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

2)  In a large bowl, combine hash browns and chopped onion.   Mix well.  Pour into prepared baking dish.

3)  Reserve 1/4 cup of the cubed Velveeta cheese. In another bowl, combine remaining cubed Velveeta cheese, the soup, milk, sour cream and garlic powder.
Stir to mix well and then pour on top of the hash browns in baking dish.  Stir to combine.

4)  Top with remaining cubed Velveeta cheese.

5)  In a small bowl, combine melted butter and panko crumbs.  Stir well.  Spread over the top of the prepared casserole. 

6)  Bake in 350-degree oven for 40-50 minutes until the casserole is bubbly and the panko crumbs are brown.

Loaded Crock Pot Little Potatoes

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories 800 kcal

2 lb baby potatoes halved and quartered if large
3 cups shredded cheddar
2 cloves garlic minced
1 pound bacon cooked and crumbled
1/4 cup sliced green onions
1 Tbsp. paprika
kosher salt
ground black pepper
sour cream for serving

1.  Line a 6-quart slow cooker with foil and spray with no-stick cooking spray.
2.  Add half the potatoes, cheese, garlic, cooked bacon, green onions, and paprika.
3.  Season with salt and pepper. Repeat.
4.  Fold in sides of aluminum foil around potatoes.
5.  Cover and cook on low until potatoes are tender, 2 to 3 hours.
6.  Serve with a drizzle of sour cream.

Recipe Notes
Green onions can be sprinkled on at the end of cooking or on individual servings to suit different tastes. 

Longhorn Steakhouse Mac and Cheese

Author: Stephanie Manley
Recipe Type: pasta Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Serves: 10
Longhorn Steakhouse Mac and Cheese
Enjoy this copycat recipe for the Longhorn Steakhouse Mac and Cheese at home.

1 pound cavatappi pasta
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups half and half
2 ounces Gruyere cheese, shredded
8 ounces white Cheddar, shredded
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, shredded
4 ounces Fontina cheese, shredded
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
4 pieces bacon cooked crispy and crumbled
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs

Prepare pasta according to packaged directions. Heat together in a large saucepan 2 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons of flour over medium heat. Cook until the roux becomes fragrant. Add 1/2 cup of half and half and stir until sauce thickens. Add 1/2 cup of half and half when the sauce thickens, and then add final 1 cup of half and half and stir until the sauce becomes thick.

Add cheeses to sauce slowly stirring until the cheese is blended. Sprinkle with smoked paprika. Mix pasta and sauce, and pour into a 13 x 9-inch baking dish that has been sprayed with non-stick spray. Top macaroni and cheese with crumbled bacon and panko breadcrumbs. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until panko breadcrumbs begins to brown.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Lazy Lasagna

This recipe is ready to go in about 30 minutes and costs less than $10. However, you still have all of those flavors that you find in a regular lasagna.

1 lb Johnsonville  Mild Italian Sausage (ground)
2 cups Barilla Rotini pasta
1/2 of a yellow onion
1 cup cottage cheese
1 (24 oz/675ml) jar Barilla Marinara Sauce
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook the rotini pasta according to package directions.
In the meantime, add the sausage and onion to the skillet and cook until fully browned. Drain.
When pasta in cooked and drained, add it back into the pot it was cooked in along with the cooked sausage and onion, followed but the cottage cheese and marinara sauce.
Add to a 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Top with shredded mozzarella cheese.
Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until cheese is bubbly. Serves 6.


Put in greased muffin cups. Heat in a 350º oven. When heated through, spoon hot gravy over top of stuffing when serving, if desired.

Makes a perfect serving size.

 You can also freeze these for personal lunches easily.

Leftover Turkey-Cranberry Monte Cristo Sandwich

My very most favorite way to eat leftover turkey is on a sandwich.  Preferable sour-dough.  Grilled!

Leftover Turkey-Cranberry Monte Cristo Sandwich recipe is the perfect way to use those Thanksgiving turkey leftovers for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.  Your house guests will go crazy for these sandwiches!

Recipe type: Breakfast
Cuisine: French
Prep time:   5 minutes
Cook time:   5 minutes

Total time:   10 minutes
Serves: 8-10 sandwiches

1 loaf very soft French Bread, sliced
1-1/2 cups cranberry sauce
12 oz thinly sliced Muenster cheese or cheese of your choosing thinly sliced leftover turkey
3 large eggs
2 cups whole milk
4-6 Tablespoons butter
confectioners' sugar

1. Spread cranberry sauce on each slice of bread - you can add as much or as little as you like.

2. Start building your sandwiches by taking a slice of cheese and tearing it in half.

3. Top the bread with half a cheese slice, turkey and the other half of the cheese slice.

4. Top with another slice of bread, cranberry sauce side down.

5. In a shallow pie plate, add the eggs and milk and beat the mixture with a fork until combined.

6. Briefly soak each sandwich in the mixture, about 10-20 seconds per side depending on the thickness of your bread slices. Less time for thinner bread slices. This way it won't get too soggy.

7. Over medium heat, melt 2 Tablespoons of butter in a non-stick skillet.

8. Add a few sandwiches at a time and cook until the bottoms are golden brown, about 3-4 minutes. Flip sandwiches and cook the other sides the same way.

9. Add more butter as needed to cook the rest of the sandwiches. Don't let the pan get too dry.

10. Dust lightly with confectioners' sugar before serving. Serve immediately.