Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Mascarpone Chocolate Toffee Bars

If you need an impressive dessert recipe look no further, Mascarpone Chocolate Toffee Bars are the BEST, and they are so easy to make!! I took them to a party recently and the host of the party told everyone not to eat them because she wanted them all for herself. They were so good that I didn't have time to take a picture of them. This recipe was found on

  • Vegetable cooking spray
  • 1 pound refrigerated sugar cookie dough (recommended: Pillsbury)
  • 2 (1.4-ounces) chocolate-toffee candy bars, coarsely chopped, divided (recommended: Skor)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (recommended: Ghirardelli)
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted * see Cook's Note


Position an oven rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Spray a 7 by 10 3/4-inch nonstick baking pan with vegetable cooking spray. Lay a 6 by 18-inch piece of parchment paper in the pan, allowing the excess paper to overhang the sides. Spray the parchment paper lightly with cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, combine the cookie dough, 1/2 of the chopped chocolate-toffee candy pieces and vanilla extract. Using damp fingers, gently press the dough into the prepared pan. Using the tines of a fork, prick the dough all over. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes until the crust is lightly browned. Cool for 15 minutes.

Place the chocolate chips and vegetable oil in a medium bowl. Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water and stir until the chocolate has melted. Cool the chocolate mixture for 10 minutes. Whisk in the mascarpone cheese until the mixture is smooth. Using a spatula, spread the chocolate mixture over the cooled crust. Sprinkle the remaining chocolate-toffee candy pieces and sliced almonds over the chocolate mixture. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours until the chocolate layer is firm.

Peel off the parchment paper and cut into 1 1/2 by 2-inch bars. Serve at room temperature.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Whole-Wheat Pita Chips with Mascarpone-Chive Dipping Sauce

I needed a yummy savory dip to take to a party and this was perfect. Little Foodie tested it out when she got home from school and she thought it was "soooo YUMMY"! Sorry I don't have a pick but trust me it is awesome!! This recipe was found on

  • 4 whole-wheat pita breads, halved
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus extra for seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus extra for seasoning
  • 4 strips bacon, cooked until crisp, finely chopped
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives


Place an oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 450 degrees F.

Cut each pita half into 4 wedges. Arrange the pita wedges in a single layer on a baking sheet. Brush with the oil, then sprinkle with the oregano, salt and pepper. Bake for 5 to 8 minutes until crisp and golden.

In a medium bowl, combine the bacon, mascarpone cheese, sour cream, and chives. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Transfer the dip to a serving bowl.

Arrange the pita chips and dip on a platter and serve.

Monday, September 28, 2009

The Most Delicious Green Salad!!

Last year I went to a b-day party and I had the most wonderful salad, the dressing was perfect and there was a special topping that added a little crunch, so I had to have the recipe. The recipe calls for Ramen Noodles which is something I NEVER buy because the salt content in that little spice package is outrageous but this recipe only uses the crunchy noodles. I added a little grilled chicken to the top and made a meal, and yes it was a real meal according to Little Foodie because it included meat!!

1 stick butter
2 pkgs. Ramen Noddles (crunched up)
1 pkg. sunflower seeds
1 pkg. sliced almonds
1 Cup Oil ( I used canola oil)
1/2 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
3/4 Cup Sugar
3 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
Lettuce of your choice
Spring onions
Broccoli-finely chopped

Melt butter in skillet. Add Ramen Noddles, Sunflower Seeds and almonds.. Brown over Medium heat carefully! (they burn easily). Drain mixture on paper towel.
Mix Oil, Apple Cider Vinegar, Sugar and Soy Sauce in shakable container.
Toss salad broccoli and spring onions. Add dressing and Ramen Noodle Mixture and toss.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Vegetable Parmesean

As a family we are always trying to be more eco-concious, so we are attempting to be meat-free on Mondays. Now this is a fairly easy task for my hubby and I but Little Foodie is a different story!! Little Foodie is a meat eater, she says things like " I like to start the day with meat and end the day with meat" and "you mean we are only eating vegetable for dinner, how am I suppose to get full". In my search for hearty meat-free dishes I came across this one for Vegetable Parmesan on It has fennel bulbs in it and it was very interesting to watch my family open the fridge and see this giant tree like thing sitting on the shelf; it was in the fridge for a few days before Little Foodie said "mom what is that crazy plant growing in the fridge". This was a super yummy and filling dish and I am sure I will make it again :) Enjoy!


  • Butter, for greasing
  • Olive oil, for drizzling
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 medium eggplant, cut into 1/4 to 1/2-inch thick slices
  • 2 medium fennel bulbs, trimmed and sliced into 1/4-inch thick pieces
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into thirds
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, cut into thirds
  • 1 orange bell pepper, cut into thirds
  • 1 (26-ounce) jar marinara sauce
  • 3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 cup plain bread crumbs


Put a grill pan over medium-high heat or preheat a gas or charcoal grill. Put an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Butter a 13 by 9-inch glass baking dish.

Drizzle the eggplant slices, fennel slices and peppers with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Grill the vegetables for 3 to 4 minutes each side until softened.

Spoon 3/4 cup of the marinara sauce over the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Arrange the eggplant slices on top. Sprinkle with 1 cup of mozzarella cheese and 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese. Arrange the peppers in a single layer on top. Spoon 3/4 cup of marinara sauce over the peppers. Sprinkle with 1 cup of mozzarella cheese and 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese. Arrange the fennel on top and cover with the remaining sauce. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Scatter the bread crumbs over the cheese and drizzle liberally with oil. Bake until the top is golden and forms a crust, about 30 to 35 minutes

Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Cook's Note: The vegetables can also be baked in a 375 degrees F oven for 15 to 20 minutes until softened.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

CrockPot BBQ Pulled Pork

I LOVE my CrockPot, I don't use it as often as I use to, but I still LOVE it. I needed a yummy meal with not a lot of work involved so I turned to my favorite CrockPot recipe blog ( and made a deliciously easy dinner. Little Foodie is such a meat eater so she really enjoyed this dish!! The first night we ate it on homemade rolls and the second night we enjoyed it over rice, yummy!!!

4 pounds boneless pork shoulder
1 onion, sliced in rings
2 cups ketchup ( I use organic, regular ketchup has too much sugar)
1/2 cup warm water
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

The Directions.

Use a 6 quart crockpot. Trim meat, and place into your crockpot. Add sliced onion. Squeeze in 2 cups of ketchup, and then pour 1/2 cup warm water into the ketchup bottle and shake. Pour the ketchup-y water into your crock. Add vinegar, brown sugar, Worcestershire, Tabasco and salt.
Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours, or until meat shreds easily with a fork.
Serve over rice, or make sandwiches on rolls or sliced bread.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Bread, Bread and More Bread

This summer I began my mission to make bread instead of buying bread at the store, not only is it healthier it is loads of fun and a good way to get Little Foodie in the kitchen helping while she is practicing her math skills! I have tried several recipes but I was spending a lot of time waiting for dough to rise, only to get a loaf or two of bread until I found the perfect bread recipe!!! This recipe made 3 regular loaves of bread and 18 sandwich size rolls and wait for it......... it only cost me $6 ( and that was using organic flour!!!) You can find the recipe for Depression Era Bread and watch the cool video of Clara (who is 93 years young!) making the bread at Enjoy!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Chicken Parmasean minus the Parmesan

While grocery shopping I purchased a few packs of boneless skinless thin cut organic chicken breast on sale, I have learned to shop for items on sale and then plan my menu instead of planning a menu for the week and spending a fortune on groceries. I had all the ingredients at home to make Chicken Parmesan except I had a block of cheese but it wasn't parmesan but being frugal I made the dish anyway and it turned out perfect!!! * The package of chicken contained 6 chicken breasts, I cooked all of them and we had three for dinner and the next night I used the 3 leftover chicken breast to make chicken parm sandwiches on homemade rolls, more food and less work!!!*

Chicken Parm minus the Parm
Thin cut boneless skinless chicken (breast or tenders)
Panko bread crumbs (these are the best!!)
Egg, water
Olive Oil
Cheese (use your favorite easy melting cheese)
Dried basil, salt, pepper, oregano, garlic powder
Pasta ( I used a whole wheat pasta)
Pasta Sauce ( I like the Newman's Own Tomato Basil)

Cook pasta using directions on the box. Heat a few tsp of olive oil in a skillet. Set up a breading station: in one shallow dish mix the egg and a little water, in another shallow dish mix the bread crumbs and a tsp of each: dried basil, salt, pepper, oregano and garlic powder. Dip the chicken into the egg mix first and then coat with the bread crumb mix, cook chicken in skillet until cooked through. Once chicken is cooked completely and has a nice crispy crust spread a little sauce on each piece and add a little cheese to the top, cook on low till cheese is melted. Once the pasta is cooked and drained add sauce to the pasta, top the pasta with the chicken and enjoy!!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Salad and a Sandwich

Being a very budget conscious momma now a days I am always on the lookout for healthy, inexpensive dinner ideas and if at all possible I am trying to use what we have on hand and only go grocery shopping (using coupons!) every 2-3weeks. This can sometimes be tougher than it sounds! Little Foodie and I love watching shows on the Food Network and I often find great recipes that are inexpensive. I made a salad using mixed organic greens and mandarine oranges (Little Foodie is CRAZY about these), I used a little bit of the juice from the oranges along with some oil and a little bit of vinegar to make a dressing.

Remember I use mostly organic ingredients :)

French Toast Sandwich:
Bread (I used thick sliced homemade bread)
Cheese (I used swiss)
Strawberry Jam (mine was homemade!)

Break 1-2 eggs and mix them with a few tablespoons of milk in a shallow dish. Make a sandwich using the ham, cheese and strawberry jam. Dip the sandwiches in the egg mixture just like you would for french toast. Cook the sandwiches in a skillet or on a griddle until they are golden brown and the cheese has melted. Enjoy!!!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Getting back on track :)

Well the third week of school is nearly over and I think I finally have some sort of schedule/routine going on!!! Little Foodie is enjoying school and so am I, so hopefully I will be able to start adding recipes again. Keep an eye out for new recipes soon!!!

Little Foodie Thoughts/Wisdom: My husband and I talk openly to Little Foodie on where food the food we eat comes from and why we choose to eat a mostly organic diet, although I know she hears what we are saying I am not always sure she is listening to what is being said until....... One day this summer we were driving to a splash playground and Little Foodie and a friend were in the backseat, they were talking about all sorts of random things when Little Foodie's friend said look there's Taco Bell!!!! Little Foodie proceeded to tell her friend that Taco Bell is a very bad place to eat because they keep the animals in tiny cages and give them bad stuff before they are turned into food and that we only eat meat that has had a good life with lots of fresh air and places to walk around. Needless to say I was a VERY PROUD momma that day!!!