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.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Stuffed Eggplant and Spooky Pancakes

Stuffed Eggplant

  • Mini Eggplant
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Oregano
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Mozzarella Cheese
  • Sour Cream
  • Salt and Pepper


  • Cut Eggplant in half, lengthwise.
  • Scoop out the meat of the eggplant.
  • Salt the inside of the eggplant boats and let them rest.
  • Sauté the meat, onion and garlic until tender.
  • Add salt, pepper, oregano, and breadcrumbs and stir until heated and fully combined.
  • Add the cheese and sour cream stir and remove from the heat.
  • Wipe the inside of the boats dry with a paper towel and fill them with the meat mixture.
  • Bake at 350 degrees until the skin is tender.

Sunday Pancakes Turned Spooky

As you guys already know, my children celebrate Pancake Sunday each and every Sunday. This past Sunday my soon to be 5-year-old ate 8 pancakes and still wanted more.
That same little boy will be celebrating his birthday on the 16th of October. When I asked him what he wanted for his special dinner he said “ how about pancakes!”. So in honor of his birthday I’m sharing our pancakes with you guys.

  • ½ c Whole Wheat Flour
  • ½ c All- Purpose Flour
  • 1 tbsp Baking Powder
  • ½ tsp Baking soda
  • ¼ tsp Salt
  • 3 tbsp Sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • 3 tbsp oil
  • ½ C Buttermilk
  • ½ 2% Milk
  • Mix all ingredients together, don't over mixPour onto a hot skillet.
  • Flip them when they start to bubble.
  • The second side cooks much faster than the first.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Baked Spaghetti, Witch Fingers and Monster Teeth

3 recipes 1 post

It’s been raining and cold here and this baked spaghetti was a great meal to warm us all up. It’s the ultimate comfort food, fast, easy, yummy! We had ours with a nice spinach salad and warm fresh homemade bread. Life is good!

Adapted from All-recipes
· 12 ounces spaghetti
· 1 cup chopped onions
· 1 cup chopped green bell peppers
· 1 pound lean ground beef
· 1 (16 ounce) can diced tomatoes
· 1 (4.5 ounce) can mushrooms, drained
· 1 teaspoon dried oregano
· 2 cups shredded mild Cheddar cheese
· 1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
· 1/4 cup water
· 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese


1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add spaghetti, and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until al dente. Drain, and set aside.
2. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, saute the onions, green peppers and ground beef. Once beef is brown and onions and peppers softened, add the tomatoes, mushrooms and oregano. Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes.
3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9x13 inch baking dish. Place half of the cooked spaghetti into the prepared dish. Top with half of the meat mixture. Sprinkle with 1 cup of the mild Cheddar cheese. Repeat. In a medium bowl, mix together cream of mushroom soup and water until smooth; pour over casserole. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
4. Bake in preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Monster Teeth
These are a fast and easy snack to prepare for all the little monsters in your life. They always get a big smile.

  • Red Apples, any variety will do in fact green would be fun too.
  • Mini Marshmallows
  • Peanut Butter or almond butter
  • Core and section your apples
  • Spread peanut butter on one side of all the slices.
  • Stick 5 to 6 mini marshmallows on half of the apple slices.
  • Top with the other apple slices and serve.

Witch Fingers

I was not going to post these as they can be found all over the Internet and blogosphere but I’ve had too many people ask for the recipe and this is an easy way to mass distribute it.
A fun variation is to add a drop or two of green food coloring to the dough to give it a more sickly hue.

Witch Finger Cookie Recipe
Yield: 5 dozen
· 1 cup powdered sugar
· 1 cup Butter, softened
· 1 Egg
· 1 tsp Almond extract(I stopped using this)
· 1 tsp Vanilla extract
· 2 2/3 cups Flour
· 1 tsp Salt
· 3/4 cup whole Almonds, blanched
· 1 tube red decorating gel
· green food coloring

In a mixing bowl, beat together butter, sugar, egg, almond extract and vanilla; beat in the flour, and salt. Add a couple drops of green food coloring to dough, until it has a light green tint. Divide the dough into four equal parts, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 325F. Take one quarter of dough at a time from the refrigerator. Break off one heaping teaspoonful and roll it into a finger shape, then press an almond firmly into one end for a nail. Squeeze in around the middle of the finger to create a knuckle shape. Using a butter knife, make indents in several places to resemble a finger. Repeat with rest of dough. Place cookies on a lightly greased baking sheet and bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool three minutes. Gently lift up the almond; squeeze red decorating gel onto the nailbed and press the almond back in place, so gel oozes out from underneath. Remove cookies from baking sheets and let them cool on wire racks.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Cheddar Corn Chowder and Bagel Eyeballs

It’s Barefoot Bloggers day. Jill, of My Next Life, selected today’s recipe. This recipe was fabulous and really hits the spot on cold and rainy days. It’s hard for my children to manage keeping soup on their spoons all the way to their little mouths so I made some fried Chicken breast strips to go with our soup. I was thinking that the kids could use the chowder as a dip. They ended up eating all their chicken then all their chowder. The thick consistency made it much easier for them to manage. Luckily, this recipe makes enough to feed a small army so we have tons in our freezer. I did make a few changes after reading some of the recipe reviews. I used less stock, no butter, more bacon, mashed the potatoes, added nutmeg and thyme. I would make this again exactly the way I did this time. Enjoy.

Ina’s Recipe Cheddar Corn Chowder
· 8 ounces bacon, chopped
· 1/4 cup good olive oil
· 6 cups chopped yellow onions (4 large onions)
· 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
· 1/2 cup flour
· 2 teaspoons kosher salt
· 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
· 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
· 12 cups chicken stock
· 6 cups medium-diced white boiling potatoes, unpeeled (2 pounds)
· 10 cups corn kernels, fresh (10 ears) or frozen (3 pounds)
· 2 cups half-and-half
· 8 ounces sharp white cheddar cheese, grated

In a large stockpot over medium-high heat, cook the bacon and olive oil until the bacon is crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and reserve. Reduce the heat to medium, add the onions and butter to the fat, and cook for 10 minutes, until the onions are translucent.
Stir in the flour, salt, pepper, and turmeric and cook for 3 minutes. Add the chicken stock and potatoes, bring to a boil, and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes, until the potatoes are tender. If using fresh corn, cut the kernels off the cob and blanch them for 3 minutes in boiling salted water. Drain. (If using frozen corn you can skip this step.) Add the corn to the soup, then add the half-and-half and cheddar. Cook for 5 more minutes, until the cheese is melted. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Serve hot with a garnish of bacon.

Bagel Eyes
My family enjoys waking up to these eyes staring at them from their plates.

  • Bagels
  • Cream Cheese
  • Black Olives
  • Gel or icing pens
  • Toast the bagel.
  • Spread the cream cheese on top of the bagel.
  • Place an olive in the bagel hole.
  • Decorate the eye, detail with the gel/icing pens.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Loaded Baked Potato Casserole and Ghost Pears

Loaded Baked Potato Casserole

I received a cookbook in the mail from Carnation and thought I’d share one of the recipes with you all. My gang loved it. This casserole would be great to take to a football game or other fun gathering. And like all great casseroles, you can make it ahead and then even freeze it.

Recipe adapted from Carnation.

8 Medium potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes. I used baby red potatoes so that I would not have to peel them.
1 C Evaporated Milk. We like our mashed potatoes creamy so I added more milk.
½ C Sour Cream
1 tsp Kosher Salt
½ tsp Black Pepper
2 C Cheddar Cheese, Shredded
6 Slices of Bacon
6 Green Onions, chopped

Boil potatoes until tender.
Drain the water from the potatoes; add milk, sour cream, salt and pepper and mash.
Stir ½ the cheese, ½ the bacon and ½ the onions.
Spread into a greased casserole dish and bake at 350 degrees or until heated through.
Top with the remaining cheese, bacon and onions and bake a few minutes more or until the cheese is melted.

Sweet Ghosts For Your Sweets
These take just a few minutes but they are always a big hit.

6 pears
Craft Sticks or wood skewers cut in half
10-12 oz Almond Bark
Chocolate Chips


Push the sticks into the top of the pears.
Melt almond bark in a glass-measuring cup.
Hold the pears by the stick and roll them in the melted almond bark.
Let cool slightly and place the chocolate chips on the coated pear for eyes.
Place in the refrigerator for a few minutes to set.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Chimichurri Salsa and Witches Kiss

Happy October!

This month I’m going to follow each of my regular posts with a Halloween treat. They are all very easy and fun to share. Please take a minute and tell me if you would like me to continue sharing our holiday treats as we head into November and December.

Chimichurri Salsa

I use this salsa on everything! It’s great on pizza, sandwiches, pasta, rice, chicken, steak, in meatballs, stuffed shells, chips or even right off the spoon. I’ve taken to making it weekly and if you can’t guess, I love it! It only takes about 5 minutes to make.


  • 1 bunch of parsley, stems and all
  • White Wine Vinegar
  • Garlic, about 5 or 6 cloves per parsley bunch
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper


  • Wash parsley and drop into the food processor.
  • Peel the garlic and drop into with the parsley. The garlic peeling is the hardest part of this process.
  • Add vinegar oil salt and pepper and process until the parsley is fully chopped.
  • I’ve tried to measure the oil and vinegar but it’s one of those taste and add kind of recipes. If I’m not wowed I add more vinegar salt and pepper and try again until I get it where I like it.

Witches Kiss

This is a recipe that was left for me by the witch. She left it on really fun crumpled up paper that was burned on the edges. She asked that I keep her recipe a secret BUT I don’t think you’ll tell her I shared it with you.


  • Coke
  • Heavy Whipping Cream


  • Pour the coke into a glass and top with the heavy cream.
  • Don’t stir!
  • Allow it to sit a few minutes and the cream with separate from the soda creating a spooky effect.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Baked Ricotta

It time for me to post my blogger find of the month. This find is actually one that I came across a few months ago and LOVE. It’s so simple and so yummy! I found this recipe at Taste With The Eyes, home of amazing chief, photographer and blogger Lori Lynn. Please go visit her, you’ll instantly want to stay for dinner.

I’m going to post the link to Lori’s site and to the recipe so you all can go check them out. Mine was yummy but not as beautiful as hers.

Taste With The Eyes Super Summer Soiree

Sunday Suppers at Lucques By Suzanne Goin's. Recipe excerpt at Amazon.