Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Stuffed Mushrooms

It’s been quite a bit of time since I last posted for Barefoot Bloggers. Barefoot Bloggers are a community of bloggers that twice monthly make, taste, review and post about Ina Garten recipes. Michelle of Welcome to the Club selected this month’s recipe. Michelle picked Stuffed Mushrooms. I have been making stuffed mushroom for a long time so I decided to do my best to following Ina’s directions and break out of my comfort zone.
At first glace the recipe seems to have a lot of unnecessary fat added. I don’t “normally” add sausage or mascarpone cheese (Italian sour cream). I joined the Barefoot community to expand my cooking mind so… I basically stuck to the recipe.

My review? Well... I will go back to my regular recipe. I do think that Ina’s were delicious but I still think you can get the same flavor without all the extra calories. If you don’t mind the extra calories nor have a recipe you love, give these a try. They are Yummy!

Ina Garten recipe


Any changes I made will be in red.nocoupons

  • 16 extra-large white mushrooms (I used smaller mushrooms so the kids eat them easier)
  • 5 tablespoons good olive oil, divided
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons Marsala wine or medium sherry(I used Vigne Nuove Italian wine)
  • 3/4 pound sweet Italian sausage, removed from the casings
  • 6 scallions, white and green parts, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 2/3 cup panko crumbs
  • 5 ounces mascarpone cheese, preferably from Italy
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Remove the stems from the mushrooms and chop them finely. Set aside. Place the mushroom caps in a shallow bowl and toss with 3 tablespoons of the olive oil and Marsala. Set aside.

Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the sausage, crumbling it with the back of a wooden spoon. Cook the sausage for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until it's completely browned. Add the chopped mushroom stems and cook for 3 more minutes. Stir in the scallions and garlic and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the panko crumbs, stirring to combine evenly with all the other ingredients. Finally, swirl in the mascarpone and continue cooking until the mascarpone has melted and made the sausage mixture creamy. Off the heat, stir in the Parmesan, parsley, and season with salt and pepper, to taste, Cool slightly.

Fill each mushroom generously with the sausage mixture. Arrange the mushrooms in a baking dish large enough to hold all the mushrooms in a snug single layer. Bake until the 50 minutes, until the stuffing is browned and crusty.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Snowball Cookies

Getting my bake on!

This is one of my mom’s favorite cookies. I always think about her when I make them. Merry Christmas mom!

Snowball Cookies

Adapted from Fleishmann’s


  • 1 C Butter
  • 1 C Sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 ½ to 2 C Roughly Chopped Pecans
  • 2 C All-purpose Flour
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • Powder sugar for dusting


  • Combine all ingredients in mixing bowl and blend until creamy.
  • Shape into 1 inch ball and place on a ungreased cookie sheet.
  • Bake at 350 until they start to brown slightly.
  • Cool completely on wire rack.
  • Dust with powdered sugar.
  • Invite your mom over for cookies and milk!

Sunday, December 20, 2009


It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Every year for our Christmas dinner I buy pastries from Maria's Pastry shop. One of the items I buy is Marzipan fruit. This year I decided to try my hand at it. Not as good as Maria's but a good start. What do you guys think?

Friday, December 18, 2009

Peanut Butter Blossoms

Every magazine that I have opened in the last several months has had the same Hersery’s kisses ad and recipe. I clipped it out the first time I saw it and finally made them last night. They are very easy to make and not all that time consuming. Try them and give them to the peanut butter lovers you love.

Peanut Butter Blossoms

Adapted from"the Hersery Company"


  • 48 Hershey kisses Milk Chocolates
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 3/4 cup Creamy peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tbsp. milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • Granulated sugar


  • Heat oven to 375 F.
  • Remove wrappers from chocolates.
  • Beat shortening and peanut butter in a large bowl.
  • Add 1/3 cup granulated and brown sugar; beat until fluffy.
  • Add egg, milk and vanilla; beat well. Stir together flour, baking soda and salt; gradually beat into mixture.
  • Shape dough into 1 inch balls.
  • Roll in sugar; place on un-greased cookie sheet.
  • Bake 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned.
  • Immediately press a kiss into center of each cookie.
  • Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack.
  • Cool completely.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


I’m back! Did you miss me? Well, I missed you guys! We were displaced from our home while repairs were being made and without a computer. We survived and our house is ALMOST whole again. I’m back in my kitchen and my heart is filled with joy. We are finally getting our tree up and I made this SMIPLE treat as a welcome home for us.

If you have never made flan, do so. It really is very easy and takes little time to make. It’s one of those desserts that people think you spent your entire day working on. Truth be told, it is no harder than making rice crispy treats. I topped mine with Cranberry sauce to make them festive and because I was dying to use the fresh berries in my refrigerator.

Recipe from Better Homes and Garden Cookbook


  • 1/3 C Sugar
  • 3 Eggs, beaten
  • 1 ½ C Milk
  • 1/3 C Sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla


  • Caramelize 1/3 cup sugar in a sauce pan over med heat.
  • Slide the sugar around by shaking the pan until the sugar starts to melt.
  • Once it starts to melt reduce the heat and stir with a wooden spoon until it is all melted.
  • Pure the melted sugar into individual custard cups, or one large tart pan and set aside.
  • **This is the hardest step. If the sugar gets over cooked it can taste bitter.
  • Combine eggs, milk, 1/3-cup sugar and vanilla.
  • Beat till well combined but not foamy.
  • Pour into the custard cups.
  • Place the cups into a large baking and dish and pour boiling water into the dish until the custard dishes are surround by about an inch of water.
  • Bake at 325 degrees for 30-45 minutes or until a butter knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Remove from bath and cool on wire rack for 10 minutes. Serve warm or refrigerate.

To plate:

  • Run a butter knife around the sides of the flan.
  • Place a plate on top of the dish and flip.
  • If the flan does not instantly fall onto the plate tap the dish with the knife.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Carrot Prosciutto Wraps

This is my husband’s favorite appetizer and I love to make them this time of year. The hardest step is standing in line at the deli counter in Central Market.


  • Thinly Sliced Imported Prosciutto
  • Carrots
  • Balsamic Vinegar


  • Shred carrots.
  • Mix carrots with vinegar until the carrots are well coated but not saturated.
  • Place a stack of shredded carrots on the end of a slice of prosciutto and roll it up.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgving to all my Foodie Friends!

Following in the footsteps of my son's first grade teacher --shout out Mrs. Fowler-- I'm going to list the first five blessing that come to my mind.
  • My healthy, happy and loving children.
  • My hardworking and supportive husband.
  • My parents and extended family.
  • My friends.
  • My little spot on the internet.
Anthony's list (7-year-old)
  • My house.
  • My mom.
  • My dad.
  • My sister.
  • My brother.
Bryson's list (5-year-old)
  • My house.
  • My brother.
  • My sister.
  • My mom.
  • My dad.
Frankie's List (3-year-old)
  • The dogs at the toys store.
  • Four Kitty cats in little purses.
I would love to see your list. Want to share?
Happy cooking and Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Pioneer Woman's Lasagna

Our house is on the mend…I think. The concrete is cold and not very pretty to look at but with love from friends, family and each other we are winning the battle. I would say that our boys seem to like the adventure. Each step brings new equipment and people to explore.

Our kind and loving friends brought us lasagna for dinner one night while we were in the thick of it. Cindy, you will never know how much we appreciate your kindness. It was SO nice to have a homemade meal. And I didn’t have to jump over fans and woodpiles to prepare it.

Cindy shared that her recipe came from Pioneer Woman’s blog. If you have a friend in need or a hungry family, give it a try.

Pioneer Woman’s recipe
  • 1-½ pound Ground Beef
  • 1 pound Hot Breakfast Sausage
  • 2 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 2 cans (14.5 Ounce) Whole Tomatoes
  • 2 cans (6 Ounce) Tomato Paste
  • 2 Tablespoons Dried Parsley
  • 2 Tablespoons Dried Basil
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 3 cups Lowfat Cottage Cheese
  • 2 whole Beaten Eggs
  • ½ cups Grated (not Shredded) Parmesan Cheese
  • 2 Tablespoons Dried Parsley
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 pound Sliced Mozzarella Cheese
  • 1 package (10 Ounce) Lasagna Noodles
  • (add 1/2 Teaspoon Salt And 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil To Pasta Water)
Preparation Instructions

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet or saucepan, combine ground beef, sausage, and garlic. Cook over medium-high heat until browned. Drain half the fat; less if you’re feeling naughty. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, 2 tablespoons parsley, basil and salt. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix cottage cheese, beaten eggs, grated Parmesan, 2 more tablespoons parsley, and 1 more teaspoon salt. Stir together well. Set aside. Cook lasagna until “al dente” (not overly cooked).

To assemble:
Arrange 4 cooked lasagna noodles in the bottom of a baking pan, overlapping if necessary. Spoon half the cottage cheese mixture over the noodles. Spread evenly. Cover cottage cheese with a layer of mozzarella cheese. Spoon a little less than half the meat mixture over the top.

Repeat, ending with meat mixture. Sprinkle top generously with extra Parmesan.

Either freeze, refrigerate for up to two days, or bake immediately: 350-degree oven for 20 to 30 minutes, or until top is hot and bubbly.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Creative jucies not flowing!, Pumpkin Cupcakes and Turkeys

My creative juices are not really flowing right now! You see we had a minor flood which has caused major damage to our home. I will do my best to cook, bake, post and to visit your sites, but as the jackhammers come in and the wood flooring and walls go out I'm not sure how consistent I'll be.

I did make some yummy mini cupcakes last week that I would like to share with you guys.

Pumpkin Cupcakes
adapted from Martha Stewart.
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (added a bit extra)
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger (didn't use)
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (didn't use)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin puree


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pans with paper liners; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together, brown sugar, granulated sugar, butter, and eggs. Add dry ingredients, and whisk until smooth. Whisk in pumpkin puree.
  3. Divide batter evenly among liners, filling each about halfway. Bake until tops spring back when touched, and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes, rotating pans once if needed. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely.

Not wanting to worry about refrigerating the cupcakes I made the following icing for the cupcakes. It didn't have the same exact taste as cream cheese icing but it was close.

  • Powdered Sugar
  • 3/4 of a can of Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 1 stick of Butter
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract

My measurements are not exact except for the butter. I really just dumped everything into my bowl and added ingredients until it was the taste and consistency I wanted.

Thanksgiving Turkeys

Here is how I used the left over Oreos and Halloween candy.
they are cute and easy to make.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Butternut Squash Ravioli

As most of you know, I’m a bit of a ravioli nut. I love everything about ravioli. I love it so much that it’s the one and only food that I can eat and not think once about the number of calories in each bite. I love to see flour all over my kitchen, my 7-year-old turning the crank on the pasta press, the smell of the dough, the way they float to the top of my pot and the versatility of fillings. My blog dream is 30 days of ravioli. I could go on and on but I’ll spare you the bore and get to the recipe.


  • 1 ¼ C All purpose flour
  • ¾ C Semolina
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Olive Oil
  • 4 tbls Warm Water
  • 2 Eggs


  • I dump all the ingredients into my food processor equipped with the dough hook and let it do its thing.
  • Allow the dough to sit for 30 minutes before shaping.


  • 1 peeled, diced and roasted Butternut squash
  • 5 –6 Cloves Roasted Garlic
  • 1C Ricotta Cheese
  • Fresh Sage (didn’t measure, just dumped)
  • Salt and pepper


  • Dump and mix.

I served the ravioli with a bacon béchamel sauce, Roasted Asparagus wrapped in prosciutto, spring salad and homemade wheat rolls. YUM! I love ravioli.

You guys thought I forgot didn't you?


  • Marshmallows
  • Chocolate chips
  • Oreo Cookies
  • Icing pen


  • Melt the chocolate.
  • Separate the Oreo. Don't toss the filling side, we'll make turkeys with those.
  • Hold the marshmallow with a toothpick, dip and cover it with chocolate.
  • Place the marshmallow on the cookie.
  • Cool in the freezer.
  • Draw the buckle on with the icing pen.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Rocky Road Shortbread Cookies

My husband and our sons have been busy collecting pecans from a local park. We now have several pound in our freeze. While looking for new ways to use them I found this recipe in the latest issue of Family Circle. All I can say is YUM!This cookie will go on my favorite cookie list. The only change that I will make in the future is to omit the marshmallow. Oh, I almost forgot the original recipe calls for walnuts not pecans.

Recipe adapted from “Family Circle, November 2009 issue”


  • 1 ¼ C All-purpose Flour
  • ½ C Pecans, finely chopped
  • ¼ Salt
  • ½ C Butter
  • 1/3 C Sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • ¾ C Mini Marshmallows
  • ½ C Coarsely chopped Pecans
  • ½ C Semisweet Chocolate Chips


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Grease a cookie sheet or use silt pads.
  • Blend all ingredients until well combined.
  • Roll by the tablespoon the dough into balls.
  • Gently flatten each ball to ½ - inch thickness and smooth edges.
  • Bake for 16 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned.
  • Meanwhile melt the chocolate in the microwave for 1 minute, stirring halfway.
  • Remove cookies form the oven and spread the chocolate, then sprinkle with the marshmallows and pecans.
  • Return the cookies to the oven and bake for TWO minutes more or until the marshmallow become soft.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


Easy to make, delicious and pretty on a plate, what more can you ask for?


  • Puff Pastry Dough
  • Heavy Whipping Cream
  • Sugar
  • Cocoa


  • Wrap thawed dough around aluminum foil in the shape of a cornucopia.
  • Bake according to pastry direction.
  • Allow the cornucopias to cool then carefully pull them away from the foil.
  • Meanwhile whip the cream, sugar and cocoa until it becomes very thick.
  • Pipe into the cornucopias and serve.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween from our kitchen to yours!

Harry Potter!


Rose Princess!

Spooky Guacamole!
Use a small amount of lemon juice so that the avocados still turn black!
My kids loved dipping into this web!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Roasted Cauliflower with pasta and Witch Hats

So simple, so beautiful and so tasty.


  • Cauliflower
  • 2 Ripe Roma tomatoes
  • 3or 4 links of sweet Italian sausage
  • Fresh Parsley
  • Fresh grated cheese
  • 1LB pasta


  • Clean and remove the cauliflower florets from the stem, sprinkle with salt, pepper and olive oil.
  • Roast at 400 until tender but not mushy.
  • Sauté the sausage in a small fry pan while the pasta is cooking.
  • Add chopped tomatoes to the cooked sausage.
  • Add the roasted cauliflower to the sausage and tomato mixture.
  • Toss with the pasta.
  • Sprinkle with parsley and cheese then serve,

Witch Hats


  • 1 Package of croissant rolls
  • Cinnamon sugar


  • Unroll rolls.
  • Roll wide end and shape the pointed end.
  • Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
  • Bake according to package directions.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Cheese Soufflé and Vampire's Morning Cocktail

It’s Barefoot Bloggers time. Barefoot Bloggers are a community of bloggers that get together twice monthly to make, eat and post about Ina Garten’s recipes. Today’s recipe was chosen by Summer of Sexy Apartment. She has Chosen Blue Cheese Soufflé, which can found in Barefoot in Paris. This was my first soufflé and it was not only easy but also beautiful and delicious. My only advice is to make sure you have ALL the ingredients before you get started. I was reading as I was going and half way in realized I was short one egg white. Thank you to our wonderful friends and neighbors for coming to the rescue.

Here is Ina’s recipe.
I did make a few changes, those will be in red.


· 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing the dish
· 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan, plus extra for sprinkling
· 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
· 1 cup scalded milk
· Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
· Pinch cayenne pepper Extra pinches
· Thyme
· Pinch nutmeg
· 4 extra-large egg yolks, at room temperature
· 3 ounces good Roquefort cheese, chopped 1C Bergenost
· 5 extra-large egg whites, at room temperature
· 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Butter the inside of an 8-cup souffle dish (7 1/2 inches in diameter and 3 1/4 inches deep) and sprinkle evenly with Parmesan.
Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat. With a wooden spoon, stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Off the heat, whisk in the hot milk, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, the cayenne, and nutmeg. Cook over low heat, whisking constantly, for 1 minute, until smooth and thick.
Off the heat, while still hot, whisk in the egg yolks, one at a time. Stir in the Roquefort and the 1/4 cup of Parmesan and transfer to a large mixing bowl.
Put the egg whites, cream of tartar, and a pinch of salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on low speed for 1 minute, on medium speed for 1 minute, then finally on high speed until they form firm, glossy peaks.
Whisk 1/4 of the egg whites into the cheese sauce to lighten and then fold in the rest. Pour into the souffle dish, then smooth the top. Draw a large circle on top with the spatula to help the souffle rise evenly, and place in the middle of the oven. Turn the temperature down to 375 degrees F. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes (don't peek!) until puffed and brown. Serve immediately.

Vampire’s Morning Cocktail

  • Orange juice
  • Pineapple Juice
  • Cranberry juice (the straight stuff)
  • Ginger Ale
  • Fill a highball glass half full with a 50/50 mix of orange juice and pineapple juice.
  • Top the glass off with ginger ale.
  • Drip the cranberry juice down into the glass. It’s good for it to drip a bit on the glass for a more bloody effect.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Pear Bread and Breakfast Mummies

My good friend Kerri has been raving about this banana bread that her friend, Kay, has been making and sharing with her. Kay finally shared the recipe with her, either to quiet her or to keep from having to make bread for her weekly, who knows. Anyway, now that Kerri has the recipe and is making it, all I hear is “MMMM this is so good”. I started to feel left out then Kerri shared the recipe with me and now you guys have to hear “MMMM this is so good” from me. I didn’t have any bananas so, Kerri and Kay, I changed your recipe a bit and it is still very yummy!

Banana Bread Adapted from a recipe from Kay who thinks she got it from ALLRecipes. I'll make all my changes in red so that you guys will have both recipes.
1. 2 cups all-purpose flour
2. 1 teaspoon baking soda
3. 1/4 teaspoon salt
4. 1/2 cup butter
5. 3/4 cup brown sugar
6. 2 eggs, beaten
7. 2 1/3 cups mashed overripe bananas Cooked Pears
8. 2 Tbsp Butter
9. 1 Tbsp Cinnamon
10. 1C Chopped Pecans
11. ½ Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan.
2. Peal, core and slice pears.
3. Boil pears in the butter until they are tender.
4. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar. Stir in eggs and mashed bananas until well blended. Stir banana mixture into flour mixture; stir just to moisten. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan. I throw everything in at the same time and mix. To the mix I add the pecans, cinnamon and chocolate chips.
5. Bake in preheated oven for 60 to 65 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of the loaf comes out clean. Let bread cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack.

Breakfast Mummies

  1. Ingredients:
  2. 1 can of Crescent rolls
  3. Fully Cooked Breakfast Sausage Links


  1. Open and separate rolls.
  2. Cut the dough in half length wise.
  3. Cut a small piece off to cover the head.
  4. Wrap the dough around the majority of the sausage. Leave the top section unwrapped.
  5. Wrap the small piece around the top of the sausage leaving a small gap where eyes or a face would be.
  6. Bake according to the package directions.
  7. Mustard can be use to make small eyes.

Both of our boys celebrated their birthdays this week. Since their birthdays are only 3 days apart they usually have a combined birthday party at the park. This year they wanted to take a trip to Arkansas to visit the caves instead. Here is a picture of how we spent our weekend.