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.