Saturday, December 19, 2009

Stuffed Mushrooms- Tiny Stuff for Dinner

Little Foodie LOVES, LOVES, LOVES anything tiny so appetizers for dinner makes everyone happy! Appetizers are the perfect dinner for kids, I am not talking about frozen mozzarella sticks but any homemade meal made smaller. Tiny pizzas or Tiny homemade turkey burgers, if you have a picky eater try making them a tiny meal tonight. I adapted this recipe from one found on, enjoy!

  • 12 large fresh mushrooms, stems removed
  • 1 (6 ounce) package chicken flavored dry stuffing mix
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 pound cooked sasuage ( I used organic chicken sausage)
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup chicken or veggie stock
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • garlic powder to taste
  • crushed red pepper to taste


  1. Arrange mushroom caps on a medium baking sheet, bottoms up.
  2. Prepare chicken flavored dry stuffing mix according to package directions.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  4. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Mix in garlic and stock and cook until garlic is tender, about 5 minutes.
  5. In a medium bowl, mix together prepared dry stuffing mix, cream cheese and cooked sausage. Liberally stuff mushrooms with the mixture. Drizzle with the buttery mixture. Season with salt, pepper, garlic powder and crushed red pepper.
  6. Bake uncovered in the preheated oven 10 to 12 minutes, or until stuffing is lightly browned.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Chocolate Covered Cherries

If you are easily frustrated in the kitchen then read no further! In the spirit of making more homemade/handmade items this Christmas I decided to make a big batch of chocolate covered cherries (they are my dads FAVORITE), really how hard could it be. The recipe sounded easy so I thought I would give it a try, half way through the batch I was ready to give up but I didn't because I hate to waste ingredients. In the end they turned out really ugly but Little Foodie and my hubby insisted that they taste yummy, I didn't taste them they are my least favorite candy which could be the reason why I was so easily frustrated while making them; I am sure I will try to make them again next year :) I found the recipe on

* I sprayed my hands with a little nonstick cooking spray before rolling the cherries into the dough, it helped with the sticky mess that was happening to my hands before I coated them.
  • 60 maraschino cherries with stems
  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 3 tablespoons corn syrup
  • 2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
  • 1 pound chocolate confectioners' coating
  1. Drain cherries and set on paper towels to dry.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine butter and corn syrup until smooth. Stir in confectioners' sugar and knead to form a dough. Chill to stiffen if necessary. Wrap each cherry in about 1 teaspoon of dough. Chill until firm.
  3. Melt confectioners' coating in a heavy saucepan over low heat. Dip each cherry in by its stem, and place on waxed paper lined sheets. Chill until completely set. Store in an airtight container in a cool place. Best after 1 or 2 weeks.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Baked Ziti with a Twist

I had a bunch of kale in my veggie crisper that we picked up at the local farmers market and I need a creative way to use it- I stumbled across this recipe on My hubby and I really enjoyed it but Little Foodie just picked at it, she is not a huge fan of pasta. Great dinner for a cold winter night, I made mine meat free but you could add sausage if you like. Enjoy!

  • 1 pound ziti noodles
  • 1 cup organic kale leaves, torn
  • 4-5 cloves garlic
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 3 organic carrots, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoon oregano
  • 28 ounces crushed tomatoes
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 pound whole milk ricotta
  • 1 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella, romano and parmesan cheeses

Instructions: Bring water to boil in a large stock pot.

Heat oil in dutch oven over medium heat. Add sausage and cook until evenly browned. Remove sausage from pan and set aside, covered.

Lower heat to medium low and add garlic and onion. Cook 2-3 minutes until translucent. Add carrots and cook another 2 minutes. Stir in oregano and tomatoes and simmer for 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

While sauce simmers, cook pasta for 6 minutes (or 2/3 of minimum recommended cooking), adding kale for the last minute. Drain.

Stir together pasta, kale, ricotta and 1/2 of the sauce. Pour into 9×13-inch baking pan. Pour remaining sauce over top, then spead shredded cheeses evenly over top. Bake at 400 degrees for 35-40 minutes, until cheese is golden. Makes 10-12 servings. Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Great cookie recipe, super moist and a little bit chewy. I found a lot of cute cookie/candy containers at my local $ store, place a few different kinds of sweet treats inside and you have the prefect holiday gift! I adapted this recipe from one found on Enjoy!

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, butter flavored shortening, brown sugar, white sugar, eggs, and vanilla until smooth. Combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt; stir into the sugar mixture. Stir in the oats, raisins and walnuts. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.
  3. Bake 8-10 minutes until light and golden. Do not overbake. Let them cool for 2 minutes before removing from cookie sheets to cool completely. Store in airtight container. Make sure you get some, because they don't last long!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Sweet Treats

This year I am trying to make more homemade and handmade items to give as gifts. This is a super simple recipe that tastes very yummy!! I found this recipe on, enjoy!

35 Saltine Crackers
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 pkg. (8 squares) Semi-Sweet Chocolate, chopped
1 cup chopped Walnuts, toasted or crushed candy canes

HEAT oven to 400ºF.

PLACE crackers in single layer in foil-lined 15x10x1-inch pan.

COOK butter and sugar in saucepan on medium-high heat until butter is melted and mixture is well blended, stirring occasionally. Bring to boil; cook 3 min. without stirring. Spread onto crackers.

BAKE 5 to 7 min. or until topping is golden brown. Immediately sprinkle with chocolate; let stand 5 min. or until chocolate is softened. Spread chocolate over ingredients in pan; sprinkle with nuts. Cool. Break into pieces.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Brussels Sprouts w/Walnuts and Dried Cranberries

I am a big fan of the Brussels Sprout, they are tiny packages of yummy goodness!!! Little Foodie on the other hand is always a little skeptical when I say I am making yummy Brussels sprouts for dinner, she use to call them stinky baby cabbages :) . On a recent trip to the grocery store Little Foodie spotted the Brussels sprouts still on a giant stalk and said we had to buy them because she had a plan. When we got home with our giant stalk o' Brussels Little Foodie promptly picked all the sprouts off of the stalk and put them in a container and then she took the stalk out back and stood it up in our compost bin, she said it was our family flag, what can I say she is a strange kid sometimes. I found this yummy recipe on the Vegetarian Times website; my hubby and the skeptical Little Foodie loved it and I plan on making it as a side-dish for Christmas dinner. Enjoy!
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped walnuts
  • 1½ lb. Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
  • 2 medium shallots, halved and sliced (¼ cup)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced (1 tsp.)
  • ¼ cup coarsely chopped dried cranberries
  • 1 Tbs. agave syrup
  • 1 Tbs. walnut oil
1. Heat large skillet over medium-high heat. Add walnuts, and toast 3 to 4 minutes, or until fragrant. Transfer to plate, and set aside.

2. Wipe out skillet, and return to heat. Add olive oil, and swirl skillet to coat bottom. Add Brussels sprouts, and cook 5 minutes, or until browned, stirring occasionally. Add shallots and garlic, and cook 1 minute more.

3. Stir in cranberries, agave, and 1 cup water. Partially cover pot, reduce heat to medium, and simmer 5 to 7 minutes, or until most of liquid has evaporated and Brussels sprouts are just tender, but not soft. Transfer to serving bowl. Stir in walnut oil and toasted walnuts, and season with salt and pepper, if desired.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The BEST Banana Bread!!

This is the BEST banana bread in the entire world, I know this because I have made banana bread a million different ways and this one is AMAZING!!! I wanted to make a yummy breakfast treat to take to class to share with my professor (who is the best!) and the students in the class; I had 4 bananas in my freezer and all I needed was the perfect recipe. I adapted this recipe from one found on Enjoy!

  • 1/4 cup cold butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup quick cooking oats
  • 1 1/4 cups white sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 4-5 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (or nutmeg)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup chopped nuts (optional)


  1. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease 2 loaf pans, 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 inches.
  2. To make the streusel topping, mix 1/4 cup of cut-up butter, 1/2 cup flour, brown sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and oats in a bowl until crumbly. Set aside.
  3. Cream the sugar and butter together in a bowl, and stir in the eggs. Add the bananas, milk, and vanilla extract, and stir until the mixture is well blended. Beat in the flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, cinnamon, and nuts.
  4. Scoop the batter into the prepared loaf pans. Sprinkle the top of each loaf with half the streusel topping.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes, until the loaves have risen and the topping is browned. Let the banana bread cool in the pans for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to finish cooling.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Pizza, Pizza, Pizza

Who doesn't like pizza, it is always a favorite meal at our house. We are not an order in/take-out kind of family so I am always on the lookout for for easy pizza dough recipes. This one was created by Fleischmann's Yeast and it is really easy and super delicious; the crust was crispy on the bottom and soft/chewy in the middle! I used the footnote below for the active dry yeast and I added a little oregano and basil to the mix. Next time you are in the mood for pizza try this recipe instead of picking up the phone and placing a pizza order :) !! Enjoy

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, or as needed
  • 1 envelope Fleischmann's® RapidRise Yeast*
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup very warm water (120 degrees F to 130 degrees F)
  • 2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
  • Cornmeal


  1. In a large bowl, combine 2 cups flour, undissolved yeast, and salt. Stir very warm water and olive oil into flour mixture. Stir in enough remaining flour to make soft dough. Knead on lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 4 to 6 minutes. Cover; let rest on floured surface 10 minutes.
  2. Lightly oil 1 (14-inch) or 2 (12-inch) round pizza pan(s).** Sprinkle with cornmeal. Shape dough into smooth ball. Divide and roll dough to fit desired pan(s). Top pizza as desired.
  3. Bake at 400 degrees F for 20 to 30 minutes or until done. Baking time depends on size and thickness of crust and selected toppings.


  • *To use Fleischmann's® Active Dry Yeast: Use 1 package Active Dry Yeast, 1 cup warm water (100 to 110 degrees F) and flour, salt and oil listed above. Place 1/4 cup of the warm water in large warm bowl. Sprinkle with yeast; stir until undissolved. Add remaining water, salt, oil and 2 cups all-purpose flour; stir well. Stir in enough remaining flour to make soft dough.
  • Knead as directed. Place in greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover; let rise in warm place until doubled, about 30 to 60 minutes. Punch dough down. Remove dough to lightly floured surface. Shape, top and bake as desired.
  • **Master Pizza Dough fits the following pans: 1 (15 x 10-inch) baking pan, 1 (13 x 9-inch) baking pan, 1 (14-inch) or 2 (9-inch) deep-dish pan(s). For individual pizzas, shape dough into 6 or 8 (7-inch) rounds and place on 2 greased baking sheets.
  • Garlic and Herb Pizza Dough: add 2 teaspoons Spice Islands® Sweet Basil, Oregano (leaves), or Rosemary and 1 clove finely minced garlic along with dry ingredients.
  • Cornmeal Pizza Dough: Replace 1/2 cup all-purpose flour with cornmeal.
  • Whole Wheat Pizza Dough: Replace 1 cup all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Chicken Soup with Kale and Homemade Egg Noodles

Little Foodie and I visit our local farmers market often, even in the chilly fall months. At the weekend farmers market we picked up a HUGE bunch of kale (for only $1.50) and 3 turnips. Kale is a wonderful dark leafy green and it holds up well in soup. I used turnips in my recipe but you can omit them and use potatoes. I adapted this recipe from one found on Enjoy!
  • For Egg Noodles
  • 2 1/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons of butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 egg yolks
  • For Soup:
  • 1 bunch fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 bunch kale, torn into small pieces
  • 3 Turnips peeled cut in chunks (or potatoes)
  • 1 small onion sliced
  • 4 sliced carrots
  • 1-2 containers of veggie or chicken stock (as much as your crockpot will hold)
  • 2 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 2 tablespoon curry powder
  • 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • salt and cracked black pepper to taste
  1. Place all SOUP ingredients into a crockpot and set on low. Soup should cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 4-6 hours.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together butter, flour and salt to form a mealy mixture. Beat in eggs and egg yolks to form a stiff dough. Divide dough into thirds and roll each third out onto a floured surface to 1/8 inch (3 mm) thickness. Let rolled pieces of dough rest on racks for 20 minutes.
  3. Slice the noodle dough into 1/2-inch (1.2 cm) widths. At the end of the soups cooking time drop noodles into the soup a few at a time. Cook until noodles are tender, 5 minutes.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Apple Squares

I have a huge collection of apple recipes and pull them out in the fall during apple season. This recipe is yummy and makes your house smell great while it is baking! I adapted this recipe from one found on Enjoy!
  • 1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chopped apple
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9x9 inch pan. Sift together flour, baking powder, salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together melted butter, brown sugar, and 1/2 cup of white sugar with a wooden spoon until smooth. Stir in the egg and vanilla. Blend in the flour mixture until just combined, then stir in the apples and walnuts. Spread the mixture evenly into the prepared pan. In a cup or small bowl, stir together the remaining cinnamon and sugar; sprinkle over the top of the bars.
  3. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in preheated oven; finished bars should spring back when lightly touched. Cool in the pan, and cut into squares.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Sweet Corn Cake

My hubby and my dear Little Foodie LOVE Mexican food so we have a make your own taco night a few times a month. One night while making tacos I had a hankering for the corn cake that Mexican restaurants sometimes serve with their meals. My hubby and Little Foodie loved it and now it will be a staple alongside our taco night meals! I adapted this recipe from one found on Enjoy!

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup flour (white or whole wheat)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen whole-kernel corn, thawed
  • 1/4 cup cornmeal
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

  1. In a medium bowl beat butter until it is creamy. Add the flour and water and beat until well mixed.
  2. Using a food processor, process thawed corn, but leave chunky. Stir into the butter mixture.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix cornmeal, sugar, cream, salt, and baking powder. Add to corn flour mixture and stir to combine. Pour batter into an ungreased 8x8 inch baking pan. Smooth batter and cover with aluminum foil. Place pan into a 9x13 inch baking dish that is filled a third of the way with water.
  4. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven F (175 degrees C) oven for 50 to 60 minutes. Allow to cool for 10 minutes. Use an ice cream scoop for easy removal from pan.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Stuffed Acorn Squash

I LOVE fall/winter veggies, cooked squash is so yummy and very good for you!!! You can find all different kinds of squash at your local grocery store and they can all be cooked the same way. First you will need to split the squash open-sharp knife and muscles will be needed for this task-next you will need to scrape all the seeds out just like you would with a pumpkin. Oil the squash up with a little EVOO and add salt and pepper. Cook the squash at 400 degrees, face down for the first 20 minutes and then flip and cook for another 20 minutes. I had a little left-0ver chicken and some stuffing that I mixed together and placed in the squash. Little Foodie is always impressed when I serve food in edible containers. Enjoy!!

Monday, December 7, 2009

I'm Back!!!!

I can't believe that I haven't posted anything in a month, bad food blogger!! It's not that I haven't been cooking or taking food pics, I have been busy with school. This is my last week, finals week, so hopefully I can post a lot during my month off from school!!! Keep an eye out for some new recipes!