Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Jamaican Turkey Patties

Nanci and I were together the other afternoon and decided to tackle these delicious patties.  They are commonly made with beef, not turkey but as usual we wanted to try to make it a bit healthier but still taste delicious.  I think they came out really good.  Next time we will actually make the dough from scratch instead of using pre-made dough.



2 tablespoons of margarine
1 onion chopped
1 lb of ground turkey
2 teaspoons of curry powder
1 teaspoon of dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3/4 cup of chicken broth
1/4 cup of bread crumbs
2 ready made pie dough
1 beaten egg mixed with 1 teaspoon of curry powder or tumeric for color


Melt margarine in a skillet over medium heat.
Saute onion until soft and translucent.
Stir in ground turkey.
Season with curry powder, thyme, salt, and pepper.
Cook until turkey is evenly brown, stirring constantly.
Stir in chicken broth and bread crumbs.
Simmer until liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat.
Set aside to cool a bit


Roll out pie dough and cut 6" circles using a glass bowl or a circle cutter.  Spoon equal amounts of filling into each pastry circle.  Fold over and press edges together, making a half circle.
Use a fork to press edges, and brush the top of each patty with beaten egg mixed with a little curry powder or tumeric for color.  Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until golden brown.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Mushroom Ragu with Polenta

I had a package of sliced mushrooms sitting in my fridge and didn't want them to go to waste so when Nanci came over we decided to make a mushroom ragu.  We found an easy and yummy sounding recipe that incorporated polenta.  This was very easy to make and came out delicious!!


2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 pound sliced button or crimini mushrooms
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 can (14.5 oz size) crushed tomatoes

1 1/2 cups dry instant polenta or instant couscous

Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat until hot. Add onion; cook 5 minutes or until tender and slightly golden, stirring occasionally.

Stir in mushrooms, oregano, salt and pepper; cook 5 minutes or until mushrooms are tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in tomatoes; cover. Simmer 3 to 5 minutes or until heated through.

Meanwhile, in large pot, cook polenta according to package directions.

To serve, spoon rag├╣ over polenta. Sprinkle each serving with the cheese.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Cinnamon Roll Pancakes

Thanks Jill for suggesting this recipe.  Nanci and I made a huge mess of my kitchen trying to make the perfect cinnamon roll pancake for picture sake.  OMG we almost gave up but it was the last pancake that finally worked well enough (but still isn't very pretty).  I think it's a great recipe and very tasty so if you don't care what it looks like coming off the griddle then you will love this recipe.  If you are trying to blog it,
Good Luck!

(Adaptation from Big Red Kitchen)


For the Cinnamon Filling...In a large bowl, using a hand mixer, mix until smooth:
1 stick softened butter, almost melty
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 T. cinnamon

Using a rubber spatula to scrape the sides, pour this mixture into a large pastry bag that had been opened and stood up in a tall tumbler. A large ziptop bag with the edges folded over the tumbler would work too.

For the Icing...
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
4 T. milk

Mix until smooth and pour into a second pastry bag just like you did with the cinnamon mixture above.

For the Pancakes...
In the same bowl that you used for the filling and the icing- no need to be using or washing too many bowls now- mix together:
Let's make this easy!! Use any pancake mix you desire.


In a large non-stick skillet, over medium to medium-low heat, and using a 1/4 cup dry measuring cup, ladle 2 pancakes. Snip the tip off the pastry bag containing the cinnamon filling so that the opening is a scant 1/2 inch wide, swirl over cooking pancakes in a circular motion- 3 go-a-rounds should do. Continue to cook the pancakes until bubbles form evenly through each cake.

Gently flip each pancake over and cook another 30-45 seconds, remove to a serving platter and serve immediately or keep warm covered in a warm oven. Continue with the rest of the batter.

Note- Using a damp paper towel, wipe your skillet after each pancake is made. This will keep the next pancake from sticking to any of the cinnamon filling that has leaked onto your skillet or griddle.
After I swirled each pancake with the cinnamon filling, I returned the pastry bag, tip down in the tumbler. This kept it from leaking all over.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Mint Truffles

 Truffle of the Week
Again, I can't get away from the combination of chocolate and mint, it's my favorite.  These are super easy to make and a great treat for anytime.  I made them as a dessert for my daughter's family birthday party.


1-11 oz bag of white chocolate chips (ghiradelli)
1/2 cup of heavy cream
2 drops of green food coloring
1/2 teaspoon of peppermint extract
1-11 oz bag of milk chocolate chips (ghiradelli)


Place white chocolate chips in a medium glass bowl. Heat cream, peppermint extract and food dye in a small saucepan until simmering (but not boiling).  Pour hot cream mixture of white chocolate chips and stir until chocolate is fully melted and smooth.  If needed you can put white chocolate mixture in the microwave for 30 seconds to melt completely.  Cover bowl with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hrs and up to overnight.  One mint ganache is set portion out with a small scoop and place on a silpat lined baking sheet.  Once all ganache is portioned out, roll quickly into balls and then place ganache balls in the freezer for 1 hr to hard.  Melt milk chocolate in the microwave in 30 second incremements stirring inbetween until  fully melted and smooth.  Take ganache balls out of freezer and dip in melted milk chocolate and place back on lined baking sheet.  Once all completed place truffles back in freezer or refrigerator to set.  In the meantime melt 1/4 cup of white chocolate chips in the microwave in 30 second increments until melted and smooth.  Stir in 1 drop of green food coloring until fully incorporated.  Place green colored chocolate in a small piping bag and snip of a tiny bit of the end.  Decorate the top of the truffles with a little piping of green white chocolate.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Spicy Sausage and Pepper Calzone

This was a fun dinner to make, although I am not as good at rolling out pizza dough as I thought I would be. My dough was not exactly round. It was more of a free form shape, like those cool pools that you see in famous peoples backyards. But once it came out of the oven it looked pretty damn good. And the taste was fabulous. My kids loved it!!


1 package hot Italian turkey sausage
2 large peppers sliced (I used yellow and orange)
2 small onions sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup marinara sauce
pizza dough (divided into 4 pieces)
8 oz package of shredded mozzarella cheese


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Slice sausage, onions, and peppers. Place in a glass or ceramic baking dish and drizzle with olive oil. Bake in oven until caramelized, about 45 minutes. (sausage, peppers and onions should be browned and soft). Add marinara sauce and bake 10-15 minutes longer. Remove from oven and set aside. Roll out pizza dough into a round. Sprinkle 1/4 of the cheese in the middle of the dough. Place 1/4 of the sausage mixture on top of cheese. Fold over dough to form a semi circle. Tuck ends under. Bake in the oven for approximately 20 minutes or until dough is browned.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Parpardelle with Spinach, Chives and Ricotta

This is a great, light pasta dish that is so simple to make.  I served it as a side dish with a lemon garlic turkey roast but it would be a great main dish as well.


8  ounces  uncooked pappardelle (wide ribbon pasta)
1  tablespoon  kosher salt
1/3  cup  whole-milk ricotta cheese
3  cups fresh baby spinach leaves (I used regular fresh spinach chopped)
1/4  cup  chopped fresh chives
1/4  cup  chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
3  tablespoons  grated fresh pecorino Romano cheese
2  tablespoons olive oil (I omitted this)
1/2  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
1/4  teaspoon  kosher salt


Cook pasta with 1 tablespoon kosher salt according to package directions. Drain in a colander over a bowl, and reserve 1 cup cooking liquid.  Combine 1/2 cup reserved hot cooking liquid and ricotta cheese in a food processor or blender, and process until well blended.  Combine hot pasta, cheese mixture, spinach, and remaining ingredients in a large bowl; toss gently to coat. Add additional cooking liquid to moisten, if needed

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Trifle

When I tasted this recipe at a work function, I was instantly in love!! LOL This is just the most decadent and delicious dessert ever. It totally tastes like a peanut butter cup. I made it for my niece Rachel's 16th birthday party. She is a huge fan of the peanut butter chocolate combo. It was a big hit!!


1 box fudge brownie mix
1 cup peanut butter
3 cups milk
2 boxes instant chocolate pudding mix
2 8 oz tubs Cool whip
8 Reese's PB cups, coarsely chopped


Bake brownies according to package directions, Cool completely, cut into cubes or crumble. Melt peanut butter in microwave, approximately one minute. let Cool slightly. Whisk milk into melted peanut butter and then mix in pudding mixes (it will get slightly chunky). Place half the brownies in bottom of trifle bowl. Then layer half the peanut butter mixture, 8 oz. Cool whip, and half of the peanut butter cups. repeat all layers again. let refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Peanut Butter Clusters

This is the easiest, throw together no bake, cookie/candy and it is absolutely decadent and delicious. If you like peanut butter this is for YOU!


1 package of peanut butter chips
1 cup of potato sticks
1 cup of roasted peanuts
1/2 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted for drizzling


Put peanut butter chips in a medium size glass bowl and melt in the microwave in 30 second increments stirring in between until melted and smooth. Add potato sticks and peanuts and stir to coat completely. Drop peanut butter mixture by spoonful onto a cookie sheet lined with parchments paper or another non-stick surface (I used a silpat liner). Place in the freezer to harden. Melt semi-sweet chocolate chips in a small bowl in the microwave in 30 second increments stirring inbetween until chcolate is completely melted and smooth. Place melted chocolate in a small piping bag (a zip lock plastic bag would work too). Snip off a tiny piece at the end of the pastry bag and pipe zig zag lines of chocolate on each peanut butter cluster. If necessary place clusters back in the freezer for chcolate to harden.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Guest Blogger Mondays....Shrimp Scampi Florentine by Debby



Thanks to Debby for offering to be our very first guest blogger. We are excited to have have her add to our blog of delicious family recipes.

About Debby: I am a working mother of 2. I love to cook and try to cook quick, easy meals when possible, but good meals. I love pasta dishes and chicken dishes...I want to learn more seafood/fish recipes. Love to BBQ in the summer.

Shrimp Scampi Florentine


1/3 cup butter **
1/3 cup olive oil **
2 tablespoons prepared basil pesto (such as Classico ™)
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 large plum tomatoes, seeded and diced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
black pepper to taste
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 cups fresh spinach, rinsed and stemmed
1 lb pasta -- penne, ziti or rigatoni

** You can opt to make this healthier by substituting some butter or oil with chicken stock and/or White Wine


Boil water for pasta. While boiling, prepare other ingredients. Combine the butter and the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in pesto, garlic, and tomatoes, and simmer until the tomatoes start to soften, about 2 minutes. Season with red pepper flakes and black pepper to taste. Stir the shrimp into the sauce, and cook just until they turn pink, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the spinach, and stir until wilted, about 1 minute. When pasta is done cooking, drain, set aside. Stir in pasta to shrimp/spinach mixture, let sit for 1-2 minutes so pasta can soak up sauce and warm up.

Serve immediately


Happy Purim

I have tried many many different recipes for hamentashen which is the traditional cookie eaten on the holiday of Purim. I finally found a very good one on the internet and they are a big hit with the whole family.


4 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 tsp vanilla
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
5 1/2 cups flour


Beat eggs well. Add oil and sugar, beating well. Beat in vanilla, baking powder, and salt. Gradually add flour until a dough forms. Chill dough for at least an hour. May be chilled overnight bit let it sit out a while so it is not so cold. The dough will be easier to work with. Roll the dough onto a floured board. Cut into 3 inch rounds using the top of a glass. Dough should be about 1/4 " thick.
Place a heaping teaspoon of filling in the center. Some good fillings are apricot jam, strawberry jam, nutella, chocolate chips, Solo poppyseed filling, and prune butter.
Take a little water and wet the outside edge of the circle. Draw up the sides to form a triangle and pich the corners closed. Place on parchment lined cookie sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Lemon Chocolate Truffles

Truffle of the Week
I love this combination of lemon and chocolate, really delicious.  Use good quality chocolate like Ghiradelli while making these, it makes a difference. 


1-11 oz bag Ghiradelli white chocolate chips
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon lemon zest
2 tabelspoons fresh lemon juice
1-11 oz bag Ghiradelli semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped nuts (I used pecans)
1 cup of mini Ghiradelli semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vegetable oil


Put white chocolate chips in a medium size bowl. Heat heavy cream and lemon zest in a saucepan until hot but NOT boiling.  Pour hot cream and lemon zest over white chocolate and stir until melted.  Add fresh lemon juice to white chocolate genache and stir well.  If chocolate isn't melted completely pop bowl in microwave for 30 seconds and then stir until completely melted and smooth.  Cover genache and place in refrigerator for 2 hours to harden.  Once genache is set roll into small balls with your hands and place balls on a lined cookie sheet.  (It's best to portion out genache on the lined cookie sheet first and then roll into balls quickly before genache gets to soft.  Place cookie sheet with genache balls into freezer for 1 hour to harden.  Place chopped nuts in a small bowl and mini chocolate chips in another small bowl.  Melt semi-sweet chocolate and 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil in a microwave safe bowl in 30 second increments until completely melted.   Remove genache balls from freezer and dip into melted semi-sweet chocolate and then roll in chopped nuts or mini chips or leave plain and set back on lined cookie sheet.  When all truffles are dipped place cookie sheet back in freezer to set.  Enjoy!  I leave mine in the freezer and eat them cold.

Linked to  Sweets for Saturday

Friday, March 18, 2011

Ultimate Chocolate Cake

I love this cake recipe. It is a rich chocolate cake that is easy to put together and almost impossible to mess up. I made this recently when I was invited over a friend's house for dinner. Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture of it before we cut into it, hence the huge gaping hole in the cake. Oh well, what can you do? It is also a pareve recipe which I dairy needed in this one!


2 C. sugar
1 3/4 C. all-purpose flour
3/4 C. cocoa
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 C. non-dairy creamer or soy milk
1/2 C. vegetable oil
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 C. boiling water


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour the pan of your choice: one 13x9 inch pan, two 8-inch round or square pans or a Bundt pan. Combine sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large mixing bowl, stirring until well blended. Add non dairy creamer, oil, vanilla and eggs; beat at medium speed with an electric mixer for 2 minutes, occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl. Fold in boiling water with a spoon or rubber spatula. Pour into prepared pan(s). Bake for 25 to 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Ceasar Salad

Ceasar salad is one of my husbands favorite salads and until recently I never tackled making it the traditional way.  It was very easy and the taste was so much better than just buyimg some ceasar dressing to put over romaine lettuce.  I like this recipe by Tyler Florence.  It makes a HUGE amount of salad so I would suggest using one head of romaine lettuce and  half the dressing or as much as you would like for your taste..  When I made it I used one head for dinner with friends on Staurday night and then saved half the dressing and used the 2nd head of lettuce and the rest of the dressing for for dinner for my family on Monday night.


1 clove garlic, smashed with a pinch of salt and a little olive oil
4 anchovy fillets
2 egg yolks
1 tablespoon dijon mustard 
2 lemons, juiced
2 tablespoons water
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan, plus extra for garnish 
Freshly ground black pepper
2 heads romaine lettuce


Make the dressing: Smear the garlic paste over the inside of the salad bowl. Put the anchovies, egg yolks, mustard, lemon juice, and water into a blender and process for 30 seconds until the mixture is smooth. With the blender running, pour the olive oil in slowly for the dressing to emulsify. Stir in the Parmesan, a pinch of salt and a couple of grinds of black pepper; set aside. (Refrigerate the dressing if you will not be using it right away.)

Assemble the salad: Tear the lettuce into a large bowl. Add enough dressing to coat the salad to your liking. Add some extra Parmesan and toss the salad well. Serve immediately.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Surf and Turf Kabobs

I was at a friend's house today and we decided to cook dinner together.  I used her husband's marinade for skirt steak which is delicious.  We found whatever vegetables were on hand which happened to be peppers and onions and decided to add some frozen shrimp and together we created these really yummy surf and turf kabobs.  It was great to grill for the first time this season even if it's still pretty chilly out. 
Can't wait for summer!


2 lbs of skirt steak cut into large cubes
24-30 small shrimp
1 green bell pepper cut into large chunks
2 small onions cut into large chunks
3/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup worcestershire sauce
2 cloves of garlic crushed or finely minced
1/4 cup prepared BBQ sauce
Coarse salt and fresh ground black pepper


In a large ziploc bag add soy sauce, worcestershire sauce, garlic, 1 onion sliced in chunks, fresh ground black pepper and BBQ sauce.  Mix all ingredients and add steak and marinate for 2 hours or up to overnight.  Leave tails on shrimp and coat with olive oil and season with coarse salt and fresh ground black pepper.  Skewer steak, onion, shrimp, and green bell pepper alternating until all ingredients are used.  Grill on BBQ until cooked through and steak is seared on all sides and shrimp is pink.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Cranberry Chicken

I just got this recipe from a friend of mine and when I read the recipe I thought it sounded delicious and it is!  It's also so super easy to make with only a few ingredients that most people always have on hand.


1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 lb boneless, skinless thin chicken breast fillets
1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cracked fresh pepper
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup apple juice
1/2 cup low sodium chicken stock
1 tablespoon dijon mustard


Combine cranberries, apple juice and chicken stock in a small bowl. Set aside.  In a gallon-sized plastic bag with zip top, mix flour, salt and pepper. Toss chicken breasts into bag and shake well until each breast is coated evenly with flour. Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Once oil is hot add chicken and cook for 5 minutes each side. Remove chicken to a plate and keep warm.
Pour soaked cranberries with juice and stock into the hot pan, reduce heat to low and scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Stir in mustard and add chicken back into pan.
Cook for another 6-8 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink and sauce has thickened. Serve chicken with sauce atop.

Linked to Everyday Moms Meals

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Spinach Lasagna

Who doesn't like lasagna?  I like the idea of adding a veggie to it for some more nutritional value.  That way I don't have to serve a separate veggie if I am feeling lazy.  I can make some garlic bread and be done.  You don't even need to defrost the spinach.  Just sprinkle the frozen chopped spinach on each layer and it cooks down inbetween the layers the oven.


2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 15 oz container ricotta cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg, beaten
1 jar marinara-style pasta sauce
1 box of no-boil lasagna noodles
3/4 of a bag of frozen chopped spinach
2-3 teaspoons of garlic powder (to taste)
1 teaspoon black pepper, cracked
pinch of red pepper flakes


Combine 1 cup of mozzarella cheese, ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, beaten egg and garlic powder, and red and black pepper. Set aside.

In a 9x13 inch baking dish coat the bottom of the dish with marinara sauce. Place single layer of no-boil lasagna on the sauce, covering with another thin layer of the sauce. Layer with half of the frozen chopped spinach, then half of the cheese mixture over the spinach. Repeat layers of lasagna noodles, sauce, spinach and cheese mixture. Finish with more lasagna strips and cover with remaining sauce.

Cover with aluminum foil and bake for one hour. Uncover and top with a layer of mozzarella cheese during last 15 minutes of baking.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

String Beans with Almonds


1/2 - 3/4 lb raw stringbeans (preferably Hericot Verts)
1/2 cup of sliced almonds
2 tablespoons unsalted margarine
2 teaspoons of Krazy Janes Mixed up Salt (you can use coarse salt as a substitute)


Clean String beans, snapping off end that is not pointed place in a microwave bowl and set aside.  Melt 1 tablespoon of margarine in a small frying pan, once melted add the Krazy Janes mixed up salt and stir until combined, add almonds and continue to stir over medium heat until almonds are lightly toasted.  Take pan off heat and let almonds cool.  Right before ready to serve, place string beans in the microwave and cook on high for 3-4 minutes until steamed but still crunchy.  Add 1 tablespoon of margarine to steamed string beans and toss to coat.  Top with prepared almonds and serve immediately.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Chicken with Artichokes and Sun dried tomatoes

This is an old recipe I resurrected recently when I had my sister Ellen's family over for Shabbat dinner. My brother-in-law does not like chicken on the bone so this was perfect as it uses chicken cutlets. It was a big hit...even with the kids!


1/2 C red wine vinegar
1/2 C plus one T olive oil
handful of dried oregano
1/4 C fresh parsley
1 head fresh garlic pureed
salt and pepper
1 cup olives (I used a small can of sliced black ones)
3 bay leaves
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 C red wine
8 shallots
1 T margarine
1 C sun dried tomatoes
2 16 oz. cans of artichoke hearts
8 boneless chicken breasts


Cut chicken into bite size pieces. Mix vinegar, 1/2 cup olive oil, oregano, parsley, garlic, salt and pepper, bay leaves and olives. Marinate the chicken overnight in this mixture.
Next day, transfer chicken and marinade to a baking dish and sprinkle brown sugar and red wine on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 -60 minutes.
Meanwhile slice and saute' shallots in margarine and 1 T olive oil. Pour boiling water over sun dried tomatoes and let sit for 2-3 minutes. Then drain off water and add tomatoes to pan with shallots and artichokes. Saute' another few minutes. Then pour that mixture over the chicken and cook for another 10 minutes or so.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Cous Cous with Toasted Pine Nuts

I had Shabbat dinner at Susan's on Friday night and she made a delicious meal and this was one of the side dishes that she served, it's an Ina Garten recipe.  I was happy to be put to work in her kitchen and make this one for her.  It's so easy and absolutely delicious.  2 cups of cous cous makes enough for a small army so I would halve the recipe if I was making it for my family of 5.   My kids really liked it too although I did find all the pine nuts from my 3 year old's plate neatly stored inside her napkin ring.
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
2 cups chopped yellow onion (2 onions)
3 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups couscous
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
Melt the butter in a large saucepan. Add the onion and cook over medium-low heat for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender but not browned. Add the chicken stock, salt, and pepper and bring to a full boil. Stir in the couscous, turn off the heat, cover, and allow to steam for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork, stir in the pine nuts and parsley, and serve hot.
To toast pine nuts, place them in a dry saute pan and cook over low heat for 10 minutes, tossing often, until lightly browned.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Almond Cherry Cake

This recipe is from the mother of my best friend Wendy from college.  We swaped recipes one day.  I gave her the salted toffee chocolate squares and she gave me this one.  It is an easy recipe to follow and makes a nice big amount for a dinner party. Not to mention how delicious it is!!! 



1 cup ( 2 sticks ) butter or margarine
1 1/2 cup sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp almond extract
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 can cherry pie filling 

In a large mixing bowl cream together butter and sugar add the eggs beat until light and fluffy, add the almond extract stir in the flour and baking powder . mix until smooth.

Grease a 13x9 pan and turn mixture into the pan.  Spoon the cherry filling into the cake mixture in 16 spots and bake at 350 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes or until cake is golden and the filling sinks into the cake while baking. Serve warm with whipped cream. Makes 16 generous pieces.
Linked to Sweets for Saturday on Sweet As Sugar Cookies

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Yellow Split Pea Soup

Love, love, love split pea soup.   I made this without the hamock that was in the original recipe and if you want to make it vegetarian then use vegetable stock instead of the chicken stock.  I also used yellow split peas instead of green because I loved the color.  This recipe makes a large amount of soup.  I already have a container packed up for lunch at work. YUM!


2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 onion, sliced
3 stalks celery, diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
Salt and pepper
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
8 cups chicken stock (or combination water and stock)
2 cups dried yellow split peas


Melt butter over medium-low heat in a large stockpot or Dutch Oven. Cook onion, celery and carrots with salt and pepper until onion is soft, about 7 to 10 minutes. Add the tumeric, stock and peas, and simmer, covered, about 1 hour.  Puree soup in a blender, food processor or directly in pot with an immersion blender  until smooth. Return to clean pot, and adjust the seasonings.  Cook over simmer for an additional 30 minutes - 1 hr until the are soft and the soup is thickened.  Serve immediately.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Easy Chicken Pot Pie

Chicken pot pie is one of those amazing comfort foods that I would eat all the time if it wasn't so fattening. I found a good super easy low fat way to make it at home. Reducing from a top and bottom crust to just one top crust and omitting the potatoes, really reduced the calories and did not change the flavor at all. I also used 98% fat free cream of chicken soup as well. The kids loved it. The whole pie was devoured in a matter of minutes.


1 package of Perdue short cuts carved chicken breast strips (original roasted)
1 10 oz package of mixed frozen vegetables
1 can of condensed 98% fat free cream of chicken soup
1 refrigerated pie crust
salt and pepper


Season vegetables lightly with salt and pepper and microwave for 3-4 minutes. Pull chicken strips into shreds or small chunks and place in a medium sized bowl. Add vegetables and the can of condensed soup to chicken. Mix to combine. Pour into pie plate or small casserole dish. Place pie crust on top and crimp the edges to seal the pie crust to the top of the pie plate or casserole dish. Place on a cookie sheet in a preheated 400 degree oven for approximately 20-25 minutes or until the crust is golden brown (place foil over the edges for the second half of the baking time to prevent burning).

Linked to Everyday Mom's Meals

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Rigatoni Pasta with Roasted Red Peppers, Almonds and Breadcrumbs

This is a Giada DeLaurentis recipe.  Such an easy quick dinner which is really tastey.  The only change I made to the recipe is to add a little chopped parsley for color. 


1 pound rigatoni pasta
3 cups purchased garlic-flavored croutons, (about 5 ounces)
1/4 cup slivered almonds (about 1 ounce), toasted
1 cup julienned roasted red bell peppers
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley 


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta into a large bowl.
Place the croutons and the almonds in a food processor. Pulse until it becomes the texture of bread crumbs. Add the crouton and almond mixture to the hot pasta. Add the peppers, olive oil and parsley. Toss to combine and serve.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Coconut Chicken

I wanted to make a quick and easy meal that I would be able to make in the afternoon and then reheat in the oven for dinner. This recipe was perfect for that. The coconut panko mixture gives the chicken a great crunch.


1 pound boneless skinless chicken tenders
1 cup shredded coconut
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup flour
2 eggs, beaten
salt and pepper


Place flour in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Beat eggs in a separate bowl. Combine coconut and panko bread crumbs in a third bowl. Dredge chicken tenders in flour then coat in egg. Then coat in coconut panko mixture and place on a cookie sheet lined with a silpat (If you don't have a silpat lined with foil and spray with cooking spray). Bake at 350 for approx. 25 minutes or until golden brown and chicken is cooked through.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Cheesy Italian Meatloaf

My husband wanted meatloaf for dinner but I wanted to have something different.  I settled on making a different type of meatloaf and it was really delicious.  This is my Italian interpretation of our family meatloaf.


1 lb meatloaf mix (or ground beef)
1 egg
1/4 cup ketchup
1/2 cup italian flavored bread crumbs
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup shredded asiago cheese
2 tablespoons italian seasoning
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup pasta sauce


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Mix all the ingredient until combined (do not over mix).  Shape meat mixture with your hands into a loaf and place in a loaf pan.  Spread pasta sauce over the top of the meatloaf and bake for 45 - 1 hr.  Remove from oven and let stand for 10 minutes before slicing.