Thursday, June 30, 2011

Peanut Butter- Banana Mini Muffins with Brown Sugar Glazed Bacon

Let's call these Elvis Muffins!! I don't know why, but you can ask Nanci.....I've been wanting to make a muffin with peanut butter, banana and bacon and finally I came up with these.  I think they are really yummy and a great balance of sweet and savory....all wrapped up in a bite sized treat.


1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large ripe bananas, mashed
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

Brown Sugar Bacon
6 slices of bacon, cooked and broken into bite sized pieces
1 Tablespoon brown sugar


In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients. Combine bananas, sugar, egg and butter and peanut butter; mix well. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fill greased or paper-lined mini muffin cups three-fourths full.  Bake at 375 degrees F for 18-20 minutes or until muffins test done. Cool in pan 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack.

Put bacon pieces in a small frying pan and sprinkle with brown sugar, heat on med/hi and constantly toss the bacon and the sugar together until the sugar is melted and the bacon looks shiny.  Remove to a greased surface or parchment paper to cool in a single layer.  Once cooled place a tiny dot of peanut butter on top of each mini muffin and then place a piece of sugared bacon on top.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Mini Pumpkin Muffins

Now this is an EASY recipe and they are delicious!


1 box of yellow cake mix
1 small can of pure pumkin puree (14 oz)
3 eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
sunflower seeds (optional)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease mini muffin tins (or line with paper liners). Mix the first 4 ingredients together in a medium bowl.  Spoon mixture into greased mini muffin tins and *optional: sprinkle the tops with sunflower seeds.  Bake for 15-20 minutes or until muffins are firm to the touch.  Cool muffins before removing from the tins.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Spiced Rubbed Pork Loin Roast

Honestly, I don't really love pork roast but this spice rub is delicious and would be great on chicken or turkey too. I think next time I will follow this exact recipe but use a turkey roast instead.


1  tablespoon ground cumin
1  tablespoon brown sugar
2  teaspoons chili powder
1  teaspoon ground cinnamon
1  teaspoon red pepper flakes
1  teaspoon coarse salt
1  teaspoon ground black pepper
1  2-pound boneless pork top loin roast (single loin)


In a small screw-top jar combine cumin, brown sugar, chili powder, cinnamon, red pepper flakes, coarse salt and black pepper. Cover and shake well to combine. Remove 2 tablespoons for this recipe. Store remaining rub, covered, at room temperature for up to 1 month.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Trim fat from pork roast. Rub 2 tablespoons seasonings blend over all surfaces of the pork roast. Place roast on a rack in a shallow pan and insert an oven-going thermometer. Roast for 1 hour or until thermometer registers 155 degrees F. Remove from oven. Cover meat with foil; let stand 15 minutes. The temperature of the meat after standing should be 160 degrees

Monday, June 27, 2011

Breaded Baked Chicken Wings

Delicious baked chicken that is as crispy as fried chicken.  Such a fast easy recipe that takes just a minute to prepare.  The oven does all the work!


1 1/2 cups plain bread crumbs 
teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon dried basil 
1 teaspoon teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon paprika
1 egg
1 tablespoon water
3 lbs of chicken wing parts (drumettes and wingettes)


In a large resealable plastic bag, combine the bread crumbs, onion powder, basil, garlic salt and paprika.
In a small bowl, whisk egg and water.  Dip wings in egg, then place in bag and shake to coat. Place on a greased 15 x 10" baking pan. Bake at 425° for 30-35 minutes or until juices run clear, turning once (it's important to flip each piece of chicken over half way through cooking).  Can be served hot, room temperature or cold.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Everyday Sisters Sharing Sundays #1

We have been searching around many blogs and love participating in all the Blog Hops and Linky Parties out there so we decided that we MUST start our own themed blog hop.  It's called Everyday Sisters Sharing Sundays,  Every Sunday we will invite anyone who would like to post a recipe and a picture from your blog which relates to the "weekly theme".

Our Rules:
1.  Please share a link back to your actual recipe post, not to your main blog page.
2.  Please link back to our blog so others can join in the fun.
3.  Leave us a comment about what recipe you are linking up.
4. Have fun!

So week 1's theme is................................Drum roll please..........................!!!!!


One of our favorite appetizers is our Tomato Tartlets.  Such and easy and super yummy recipe.  Click on the link below to get the  recipe from our blog.

Please post a favorite recipe for an appetizer, hors d'œuvre, amuse-bouche, canape, or finger food! You get the idea.  Let's get linking!!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Peanut Butter Fudge


8 ounces unsalted butter, plus more for greasing pan
1 cup smooth peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pound powdered sugar
1/2 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips *optional (for decorating) 


Combine the butter and peanut butter in a 4-quart microwave-safe bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Microwave for 2 minutes on high. Stir and microwave on high for 2 more minutes. Add the vanilla and powdered sugar to the peanut butter mixture and stir to combine with a wooden spoon. The mixture will become hard to stir and lose its sheen. Spread into a buttered 8 by 8-inch pan lined with parchment paper.  (* Optional *Melt chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl in 30 second increments until smooth.  Drop by teasponfuls on top of the spread out fudge.  Take a knive and dip the tip of the knife into the melted chocolate on top of the fudge and pull through in zig zag fashion to make a marble effect across the top of the fudge.)  Fold the excess parchment paper so it covers the surface of the fudge and refrigerate until cool, about 2 hours. Cut into 1-inch pieces and store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.

Linked to Sweets for Saturday 

Friday, June 24, 2011

White Zinfandel Sangria

It's FRIDAY!  How about a yummy sweet cocktail?

This sangria recipe never disappoints.  It's sweet, fruity and refreshing.  You can definitely change it up by adding a different flavor schnapps and/or wine and any type of fresh fruit that you would like.  Nanci and I made it recently with sauvignon blanc, sweet/sour watermelon schnapps and peaches, plums, lemons and grapes.  Delicious!


1 750 ml bottle of chilled White Zinfandel
1/2 C peach schnapps
2 T Cointreau
2T sugar
2 cinnamon sticks, broken in half
1 lemon, sliced
1 orange, sliced
1 peach, sliced
1 10 oz bottle of chilled club soda
ice cubes


Mix first 8 ingredients in tall pitcher. Refrigerate at least 30 min to allow flavors to blend. Mix ib club soda. Pour over ice. Makes 6 servings.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Pretzel Fudge

Here's another fudge recipe that Ellen and I made for our birthday brunch. Crunchy, salty pretzels with sweet and creamy fudge is a great combo and it looks pretty too!!


1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
3 cups semisweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups broken pretzel pieces


Lightly grease a 9-inch square pan; line with a piece of plastic wrap, parchment paper, or aluminum foil about 18 to 24 inches in length, leaving the ends out to cover the finished fudge. (The ends will also serve as "handles" which will help you lift the fudge out of the pan).

Heat the condensed milk, chocolate chips, butter, and vanilla in the microwave 30 seconds at a time. Stir until the chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. This should only take 1-2 minutes. Stir in pretzels. Pour into the prepared pan. Spread gently then cover lightly with the ends of the plastic wrap. Top with more pretzel pieces. Chill until firm. Lift out of the pan and cut into small squares.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Blue Cheese and Almond Crackers

This is an Ina Garten recipe.  Her recipe calls for walnuts but I didn't have any on hand so I ground up some whole roasted almonds instead.  Really delicious savory shortbread cracker.  Slice crackers thinner to get a crisper cracker, just be careful not to get them too brown when cooking.


1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter at room temperature
8 ounces blue cheese, crumbled, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon of kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup of roasted, ground almonds
1 egg, beaten for egg wash

Using a hand mixer, cream the butter and blue cheese together for 1 minute, or until smooth. With the mixer on low speed at the flour, salt and pepper and mix until it's in large crumbles, about 1 minute.  Add 1 tablespoon of water and mix until combined.

Dump the dough onto a floured board, press it into a ball, and roll into a 12-inch long log. Brush the log completely with the egg wash. Spread the walnuts in a square on a cutting board and roll the log back and forth in the walnuts, pressing lightly, and distributing them evenly on the outside of the log. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or for up to 4 days

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Cut the log 3/8ths-inch thick with a small, sharp knife and place the crackers on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Bake for 22 minutes until very lightly browned. Rotate the pan once during baking. Cool and serve at room temperature.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Rocky Road Fudge

For a recent brunch, Ellen and I decided to make an assortment of fudge to serve for dessert. We had a lot of fun creating different flavor combinations. I love the way rocky road fudge tastes and looks. Serving this one was a no brainier. We ran out of parchment paper and decided to go ahead with the fudge anyway. I DON'T recommended doing this. It took us forever to wedge that fudge out of the pan. LOL


3 C. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 14 oz can of sweetened condensed (not evaporated) milk
2 Tbsp. butter
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 C. marshmallow creme
1 C. chopped hazelnuts (reserve 1/4 cup for top)

Lightly grease a 9 x 9 inch loaf pan. Line with waxed paper or parchment paper, then lightly grease paper. Put chips, sweetened condensed milk and butter into a microwave safe bowl and microwave on high 1 to 1 1/2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds, until just melted melted.

Stir in vanilla, and 3/4 cup of the nuts. Spread evenly in prepared pan. Pour six "blobs" of marshmallow creme on top of fudge and swirl into fudge with a knife. Sprinkle remaining nuts on top. Chill about 4 hours or until firm enough to cut. Lift waxed paper by ends onto cutting board. Cut fudge into 1 inch squares. Store in an air tight container and keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

Linked to Sweets for Saturday
Linked to This Chick Cooks
Linked to Sweet Treats Thursdays

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Bok Choy Salad

My family has been making this salad for a very long time and it never disappoints. This a classic Susie Fischbein recipe from the original Kosher Palate cookbook. There a very few ingredients which makes it easy to throw together for a get together or to bring to someone's barbecue. The dressing is made from regular pantry ingredients (with the only exception of the oriental ramen noodles). This salad components can be prepared the day before and left in the refrigerator overnight. A couple of tips: Leave the sunflower seeds, ramen noodles and almonds off the salad until just before serving so they stay nice and crunchy. I never use the entire bottle of dressing on the salad. I use approximately 2/3 of it. I think it is better lightly dressed. Another good tip is to toast up the ramen noodles in a dry frying pan until lightly browned. I personally think they taste better that way.


2 pkg ramen noodles (oriental flavor)
3/4 C. sugar
3/4 C. olive oil
1/3 C. white vinegar (apple cider vinegar works well too)
2 tsp. soy sauce
3 heads bok choy
2 bunches of scallions, chopped
1 (7.25 oz) jar of sunflower seeds
3 c. sliced almonds


Removing seasoning packets from ramen noodles and set noodles aside.  Combine seasoning packets, sugar, oil, vinegar, and soy sauce in a cruet or jar.  Cover tightly and shake vigorously (dressing may be prepared in advance). Slice bok choy into bite size pieces, including the stems.  Combine bok choy, scallions, sunflower seeds, and almonds in a large bowl.  Toss gently with dressing. Top with ramen noodles and toss.

Linked to Salad Round Up at Seaside Simplicity

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Raspberry- Lemon Trifle

I am definitely on a trifle kick lately. It is fun to create different flavor combinations and make a delicious dessert that is a crowd pleaser. This one looks really pretty and the flavors of lemon curd and whipped cream remind me of lemon meringue pie (one of my favorite desserts). Trifles are great to make for a party since it serves a lot of people and does not require any actually baking. If you want you can certainly bake your own cake and make lemon curd from scratch but they make perfectly good pre-made ingredients that you can find in your local market. This particular trifle was made in a small trifle bowl. If you have a large bowl you will need to double your ingredients.


1 Entemann's lemon pound cake, cubed
1- 1 1/2 cups of strawberry or raspberry preserves
1- 1 1/2 cups of lemon curd or lemon pie filling
2 pints of raspberries
1 tub of cool whip


Place a layer of cake cubes at the bottom of a trifle bowl. Spread strawberry jam over cake layer. Then a layer of raspberries. Next a layer of cool whip. Then more cake, lemon curd, raspberries and cool whip!!

Linked to This Chick Cooks
Linked to Made it on Monday
Linked to Melt in your Mouth Monday
Linked to Cast Party Wednesday
Linked to Sweet Treats Thursday
Linked to Foodie Friday
Linked to Sweets for Saturday

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Sun-dried Tomato Pesto Cheescake

I created my own recipe for a savory cheesecake and served it at a birthday brunch that Ellen and I hosted for ourselves this past weekend. I used fat free cream cheese and fat free sour cream and you just can't tell. It is a smooth, creamy, and flavorful cheesecake that is good on bread, bagels, crackers, veggies or just about anything!


2 8 oz tubs of fat free cream cheese
3/4 cup fat free sour cream
1/2 cup prepared pesto
10-12 sun dried tomatoes chopped
2 eggs


Preheat oven to 425 degrees (yes, 425). In a mixer blend all ingredients. Pour into greased spring form pan. Bake for 20 minutes. Turn off heat and open oven door slightly. Let bake for an additional 1 1/2 hours. Refrigerate overnight (don't skip the refrigerating step. It needs to fully chill to be set). Un-mold from spring form pan before serving

Monday, June 13, 2011

Goat Cheese, Rosemary and Lemon Basil Crackers

These crackers are a savory shortbread recipe.  I adapated Ina Garten's recipe for Blue Cheese and Walnut crackers by changing the cheese and adding some fresh herbs and omitting the nuts.  Nanci and I served them at a Brunch we hosted served alongside some delicious savory cheesecake (recipe to follow).


1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter at room temperature
8 ounces goat cheese, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon of kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon of fresh chopped rosemary
1 tablespoon of fresh chopped lemon basil

Using a hand mixer, cream the butter and goat cheese together for 1 minute, or until smooth.  Add in the chopped herbs and beat just until combined.  With the mixer on low speed at the flour, salt and pepper and mix until it's in large crumbles, about 1 minute.  Add 1 tablespoon of water and mix until combined.

Dump the dough onto a floured board, press it into a ball, and roll into a 12-inch long log. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or for up to 4 days.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Cut the log 3/8ths-inch thick with a small, sharp knife and place the crackers on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Bake for 22 minutes until very lightly browned. Rotate the pan once during baking. Cool and serve at room temperature.

Linked to This Chick Cooks
Llinked to Melt in your Mouth Monday

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Rainbow Cupcakes

And the birthday celebration continues.  Since I had Charlotte's 4th Birthday Party 10 days before her actual birthday I still needed to make cupcakes for her school parties.  I haven't made these cupcakes in long time but I knew they would be a big hit with the 4 year olds (and the adults too).  Everyone LOVED them!


1 box of white cake mix
Red food dye
Yellow food dye
Green food dye
Purple food dye
Blue food dye
1 tub of white frosting
Rainbow sprinkles


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Prepare cake mix according to package directions.  Separate prepared cake batter into 5 separate bowls.  Add one color of food dye to each bowl.  Use enough dye to make the colors fairly dark so they will bake up nice and vibrant.  (Gel food dye works the best).  Mix food dye into cake batter until combined well and the color is nice and bright.  Add more food color if nessary to get your desired color.  Line 24 muffin tins with cupcake liners.  Starting with the blue cake batter spoon one tablespoon into the bottom of the liner.  Next add one tablespoon of the purple batter on top of the blue, next add one tablespoon green on top of the purple.  Do the same with the yellow and then red.  The liners should be filled at least halfway.  If you want just a tie dyed effect you can add the colored batter in any order and any fashion.  If you don't mix it together the colors will bake up separate.  Bake cupcakes according to box directions.  Cool completely before frosting/decorating.

Linked to Sweets for Saturday
Linked to Sweet Tooth Friday
Linked to Made it on Monday
Linked to This Chick Cooks

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Chicken Salad with Herbs and Carrots

This was one of those times that I wanted to make a quick lunch and just pulled out whatever fresh ingredients that I had along with some herbs from my garden (well my big pot on the deck with fresh herbs).  This came out so delicious that it will definitely be a new favorite at my house.  My kids absolutely LOVED it.


3 cups shredded white meat chicken (I used the breast from a rotisserie chicken)
1/4 cup finely chopped carrot
1 Tablespoon chopped flat leaf parsley
1 Tablespoon chopped chives
1 Tablespoon chopped dill (or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried dill)
1 Tablespoon dried minced onion
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup light mayonnaise


Mix all ingredients until combined well.  Can be made ahead and served cold or room temperature.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Guest Blogger Mondays......Chicken Marsala with Pancetta and Cream by Farah

About Farah: Hi, I'm Farah. I'm a wife of almost 9 years and a stay-at-home mom of two with a baby due in November.  I started enjoying cooking soon after I got married and it has developed into a true passion of mine.  Learning and trying out new recipes has become one of my favorite hobbies, and I find it to be a huge stress release, especially after tough days taking care of small children.  This Chicken Marsala recipe was given to me by a friend and my whole family really enjoys it.  Hope you enjoy too!
Chicken Marsala with Pancetta and Cream

Olive oil
2 oz of pancetta (about 1/4 inch think slice) cut into 1/4 inch dice
Flour for dredging (about 1/2 cup)
4 thin chicken breast cutlets, about 1/2 lb total
Coarse salt
Freshly ground pepper, preferably on the coarse side
1/2 cup dry Marsala wine
2 to 4 tbsp heavy cream
Minced fresh flat-leaf parsley (optional)
Sliced or chopped mushroom (optional)
Coat a large skillet lightly with olive oil and set it over medium-high heat. Add the pancetta and cook until just crisp and lightly browned. Remove with a slotted spoon, leaving the fat in the pan, and set aside.
Put the flour on a plate. Pat the cutlets dry. Season them on both sides lightly with salt and amply with pepper. Heat the skillet with the pancetta fat over medium high. Add more olive oil, if needed, to get about 2 tbsp. fat in the pan.  When the fat is hot, dredge a cutlet through the flour on both sides. Shake off the excess flour and immediately put the cutlet in the pan. Do the same with as many cutlets as will fit in the pan without touching. Sauté the cutlets, turning once, until browned on both sides; if thin, they should cook through in just a few minutes total. Transfer the cooked cutlets to a plate and continue sautéing the rest, adding more oil if necessary. Transfer these to the plate as well.  Pour off the excess fat. With the pan over medium-high heat, add the Marsala and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Cook until the Marsala is reduced by about a quarter. Stir in the cream and boil until you get a nicely thickened sauce. if you choose to include mushroom, add them to the sauce.  Return the chicken and pancetta to the pan and turn the cutlets over to coat. Let them reheat for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Serve with the sauce and a sprinkling of parsley, if you like. Best served on a bed of white rice.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Antipasto Pasta Salad

I wanted to make a pasta salad and my husband wanted me to make an antipasto so this is my compromise.  The best of both worlds!


1 lb of pasta (I like curly pasta for this like fusilli, rotini etc.)
1 cup of sliced green and black olives
1 12 oz jar of roasted red peppers julienned
2 cups of pre-made italian salad dressing
1/2 lb of genoa salami cubed
1/2 lb of pepperoni cubed
1 lb of provolone cheese cubed


Boil pasta according to package directions, drain and put in a large bowl.  Drizzle pasta with a little olive oil to prevent sticking.  Add sliced olives and roasted red peppers to pasta and salad dressing.  Toss well to coat.  Cover and refrigerate until pasta is completely cooled.  Once cooled add cubbed meats and cheese and toss to combine.  Serve cold.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Red Velvet Cake Pops

Happy 4th Birthday Charlotte

A sweet treat (one of many) for my daughter, Charlotte's 4th Birthday Party.  I've been wanting to attempt to make cake pops and it was much more difficult than I thought it would be.  I need more practice to make them look prettier but they tasted absolutely delicious!  Here is my first attempt.
Melt a small amount of chocolate to dip each lolipop stick in and insert into cake balls
Let harden in a cool, dry place to set the chocolate before dipping the cake balls in more chocolate.
Coat each cake ball in melted chocolate and decorate with sprinkles.


1 box of red velvet cake mix
1/2 a container of cream cheese frosting
2 bags of pink melting chocolate (or white chocolate chips and red food gel dye)
40 lolipop sticks
1 small container of pearl sprinkles (or any that you like)
1/4 cup of vegetable oil (or one big spoonful of crisco to thin out chocolate for dipping) 


Mix cake according to package directions and bake in a shallow large baking dish or on a baking sheet.  The cake will take less time since you are baking a thin cake.  Check peridically for doneness with a tooth pick or clean sharp knife. (inset a tooth pick in the middle of the cake and when it comes out clean the cake it done).  Cool the cake completely and then break cake up and place in a large mixing bowl.  Crumble the cake into fine crumbs using your hands.  Once crumbled add 1/2 a the container of frosting and mix until completely combined with a fork (or your hands if you prefer).  Line a cookie sheet with foil or parchment paper and roll cake mix into small balls with your hands and place on cookie sheet.  Melt a small amount of the pink chocolate in a microwave bowl.  Dip a lolipop stick in the melted chocolate and then insert immediately into the middle of a cake ball. The sticks should be facing up (see picture above).  Repeat that step until all the cake balls have stick inserted with melted chocolate.  Set cookie sheet aside in a cool spot to harden. (DO NOT put the cake balls in the freezer to harden because the cake will become damp and hard to work wirh once it begins to thaw).  

NOW THIS IS WHERE I NEED TO WORK ON MY TECHNIQUE.  The next step is to dip and coat each cake ball in melted chocolate and decorate.  Getting the right consistency for the chocolate to dip and finding the right technique to coat each cake pop evenly and neatly is not easy.  I think practice makes perfect (or in my case, makes it good enough).

Melt the remaining chocolate in a large microwave safe bowl.  (melt in 30 second increments, stirring in between until melted and smooth).  Add vegetable oil or crisco and stir again until combined and smooth.  You want a thin enough consistency so the chocolate can pour off the spoon easily.  Carefully dip each cake ball by holding the lolipop stick and using a spoon to help coat the bottom of the cake pop.  Immediately sprinkle with your decorative sprinkles.  Place each cake pop, lolipop stick side down into a piece of stryofoam covered with plastic wrap to cool and harden.