Friday, October 25, 2013

Cranberry Feta Wheels

 Cranberry Feta Wheels
 I am bringing these along tonight for a get together with friends.  They are so easy to make and the dried cranberries really add a nice flavor.  They are gone before you know it and everyone asks for the recipe! Enjoy!

1  package dried sweetened cranberries
1 container cream cheese spread
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup chopped green onion
4 large flour tortillas or 4 large wheat flour tortillas or 4 large spinach tortillas


Combine all ingredients except tortillas, mix well.
Divide and spread mixture evenly among tortillas.
Roll up tightly, wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least one hour.
To serve cut into 12 slices.
A nice variation is to add thin slices of ham on top of the spread before rolling.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Cheesy Peasy Bowtie Pasta

 Cheesy Peasy Bowtie Pasta

This meal is so simple to throw together and includes a veggie too.  This nice and creamy pasta is great on any night for a family meal.  I serve it often with a salad and crusty garlic bread.  Everyone is happy! Enjoy!
  • 1 1/3 cups half and half
  • 8 ounces dried bow tie pasta
  • 1 cup frozen green baby peas, thawed
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup grated Fontina or Fresh Parmesan
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper
  • Pinch of nutmeg (optional)
  • cooked and crumbled bacon pieces
  1. In a small saucepan, bring the half and half to a simmer.
  2. Turn off the heat but leave the saucepan on the burner. Meanwhile, cook the bow ties according to the package directions.
  3. Drain them well and stir in the peas. Keep the pasta and peas warm while you make the sauce.
  4. Melt the butter in a medium-size saucepan over medium heat. When it begins to bubble, lower the heat and whisk in the flour.
  5. Whisking constantly, cook the butter and flour together for 3 to 5 minutes or until they have thickened.
  6. Add the heated half and half and continue whisking until the mixture is smooth and reaches a full boil, about 5 minutes. Take the saucepan off the heat.
  7. Sprinkle in the cheese and bacon. Pour the sauce over the bow ties and peas, toss with the Parmesan, and season to taste (add the nutmeg if you want).

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Chunky Peanut Butter Cookies

Chunky Peanut Butter Cookies

2½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup crunchy peanut butter (not natural)
1 cup light brown sugar
¾ cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1½ cups chopped salted peanuts

½ cup granulated sugar, for rolling

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line three baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt; set aside.
3. With an electric mixer, beat the butter on medium speed for two minutes, until smooth and creamy. Add the peanut butter and beat for another minute or so until combined and creamy. Add the light brown and granulated sugar and beat for an additional 3 minutes, until light and fluffy, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating for about a minute after each addition, again scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary. Reduce the speed to low and add the dry ingredients gradually, mixing only until just combined. Mix in the chopped peanuts for about seconds.
4. Put the additional ½ cup of granulated sugar in a small bowl. Using a large cookie scoop (or about 3 tablespoons full of dough), scoop out the dough and roll into a ball. Drop the balls of dough into the sugar and roll around to coat, them place on the prepared baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches of space between them. Dip the tines of a fork in the sugar and press the tines against each ball in one direction, and then in a perpendicular directions – the balls of dough should now be flattened rounds with crisscross indentations.
5. Bake the cookies for about 10 to 11 minutes, until they are lightly browned and still a little soft. Let the cookies sit on the baking sheet for a minute before transferring them to a cooling rack.


Nutella Swirled Pound Cake

Nutella Swirled Pound Cake

 Breakfast or dessert?  This takes pound cake to a whole new level.  The Nutella is delicious and I always look for ways to add the hazelnut flavor into desserts.  Try this, your family will love you! Enjoy!


  • 1 1/2 cup(s) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoon(s) pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon(s) baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon(s) salt
  • 2 stick(s) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 cup(s) sugar
  • 1 jar(s) (13-ounce) Nutella

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly grease and flour a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan, tapping out any excess flour. In a glass measuring cup, lightly beat the eggs with the vanilla. In a medium bowl, whisk the 1 1/2 cups of flour with the baking powder and salt.
  2. In a large bowl, using a handheld mixer, beat the butter with the sugar at medium-high speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. With the mixer at medium-low speed, gradually beat in the egg mixture until fully incorporated. Add the flour mixture in 3 batches, beating at low speed between additions until just incorporated. Continue to beat for 30 seconds longer.
  3. Spread one-third of the batter in the prepared pan, then spread half of the Nutella on top. Repeat with another third of the batter and the remaining Nutella. Top with the remaining batter. Lightly swirl the Nutella into the batter with a butter knife. Do not overmix.
  4. Bake the cake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Invert the cake onto a wire rack, turn it right side up, and let cool completely, about 2 hours. Cut the cake into slices and serve.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Cheeseburger Casserole

 Cheeseburger Casserole
 Perfect for a Fall day in October.  Meaty and cheesy and hearty!  I usually make this with egg noodles, but if I don't have any on hand, I use whatever pasta I do have like penne or rotini.  I typically serve this meal with a crusty bread and a Caesar salad on the side.  It is an easy meal that can be frozen.  After you put it together, put in the freezer and not the oven.  If you cook it straight from the freezer, it will take longer to cook. Enjoy!

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for the baking dish
Kosher salt
3 cups wide egg noodles (about 5 ounces)
1 1/2 cups sour cream
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
12 ounces ground beef
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped (optional)
1 bunch scallions, finely chopped
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
One 14 1/2-ounce can petite diced tomatoes
2 cups grated Cheddar


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Oil a 2-quart baking dish.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the noodles and cook to al dente according to the package directions. Drain and put in the prepared baking dish. Toss with the sour cream, Parmesan and 1/4 teaspoon salt.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the ground beef and cook, stirring, until no longer pink, about 4 minutes. Add the bell peppers and scallions and cook until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Make a space in the pan, add the tomato paste and toast for a minute. Sprinkle with the Italian seasoning and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Add the diced tomatoes, stir and bring to a simmer. Cook until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes.

Pour the beef mixture over the noodles and sprinkle with the grated Cheddar. Bake on the middle rack until the cheese is melted and the edges are bubbling, 15 to 20 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Honey- Nut Coated Chicken

Honey- Nut Coated Chicken 


 This is for dinner tonight- always a crowd pleaser.  I love the combination of the nuts with the sweet honey.  It's got that sweet-salty thing going on and it tastes fabulous!  I serve it up with potato or rice and a veggie.  If there are any leftover, I chop them up to throw in my salad the next day.  I tend to buy chicken tenderloins for this recipe.  They are a smaller cut and are coated more easily. Enjoy!



  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 3 Tbsp. honey
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped salted peanuts or other salted nuts
  • 1-1/4 cups finely crushed cornflakes
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme leaves
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. pepper
  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Combine butter and honey in shallow pan and mix well. Combine remaining ingredients in another pan. Dip boneless, skinless chicken breasts in butter mixture, then roll in crumb mixture to coat. Place coated chicken on a wire rack on a jelly roll pan.
Bake for 19-24 minutes until chicken registers 160 degrees F on a meat thermometer. 

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Halloween Candy Bark

Halloween Candy Bark


 This is a great recipe to throw together for a Halloween treat.  Use the candies that you like and omit what you don't like for sprinkling on top of the chocolate.  Not a white chocolate fan, use all milk chocolate.  My children know that Halloween is just around the corner when I serve this- it is usually gone before Halloween ; ). This can be adapted for any holiday using the colored M and M's or Oreo Cookies that come out around the different seasons.  I use crushed peppermint for Christmas. Enjoy!


  • 1 package white chocolate chips
  • 1 package milk chocolate or semisweet chips (I prefer milk)
  • 1 snack size bag pretzels
  • 2 cups Reeses Pieces
  • chocolate sprinkles
  • orange sprinkles
  • candy corn
  • You can add crushed oreos, whoppers, milky way, snickers, m and m's  to sprinkle on top - whatever your family likes or you have on hand.
  1. Melt the milk chocolate over a double boiler or in the microwave.
  2. Spread the chocolate out onto a baking sheet lined with tin foil. Spread the chocolate fairly thin. It will be easier to break up when it chills. Cover with crushed pretzels and put in the fridge to chill.
  3. Melt the white chocolate over spread over the pretzel layer.
  4. Cover the chocolate with Reeses, orange sprinkles, chocolate sprinkles, and candy corn or any other candies you desire.  If the candy corn, isn't your thing, omit it. 
  5. Chill the bark in the refrigerator for a few hours. Break into pieces.