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Creamy Springtime Risotto Primavera. 

Hey guys, it’s been a while since I’ve posted some of my recipes but, with working and all other of life’s hassles it’s been somewhat of a challenge.. Anyway,  I am SUPER excited to bring you this wonderful “Springtime” dish that is as pretty to look at as it is delicious to eat.  Risotto is something that I make a few times a month to swap out your usual side dishes. It does take a lot of babysitting while cooking but, it’s so worth the wait I tell you.  This is a simple variation of one of my most favorite side dishes and can really go with just about any protein or simply just by itself as a wonderful vegetarian dish. Hope you guys enjoy this goodie as much as my family and I did.
2 cups Orzo pasta
6 cups Chicken Stock
4 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan
2 cups frozen peas
2 large carrots diced
3 cloves Garlic ( grated)
Salt and pepper
Fresh or dry Parsley for garnish

In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add in grated garlic and diced carrots. Cook garlic and carrots for about 2 minutes. Turn heat to medium high and add in Orzo. Cook Orzo for roughly 2 mins. Add in 1 cup of chicken stock and continue stirring till most of the liquid evaporates ( make sure to scrap the bottom of the pan each time you stir). Once Orzo has completely absorbed the first cup of chicken stock, you will now add in the second cup you will do this step till all 6 cups of chicken stock has been used ( after each cup has been absorbed into the Orzo, you will then add the next cup of stock) . Once Orzo has a super Creamy and thick texture turn heat to low and add your freshly grated Parmesan and frozen peas. Stir and combine till peas are fully cooked though. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add to a large serving dish and sprinkle with either fresh chopped parsley or dry Parsley and serve.
Cooking time: approx 25 mins
Serves 6 peeps

Red Velvet Valentine Truffles 

These little cuties are perfect for any Valentine’s Day party or just handing them out to those special people in your life that mean the most. They’re super easy to make and totally kid friendly. Now, you don’t have to over pay for those big gigantic boxes of chocolates, when you can literally make these for a fraction of what you would pay in the stores. Wicked cute and wicked GOOD!!! 

1 box Red Velvet cake mix 
1 8oz container of softened cream cheese at room temp
2 bags White Chocolate chips
Colored candy or sprinkles for garnish

Make cake mix as directed (Note:I always add “hot” water to any boxed “chocolate” cake mix instead of using cold, this step really helps bring the chocolate to life in the cake mix. When cake is done, cool the cake completely. Once cake has cooled, crumble cake into fine pieces into a large bowl. Fold in cream cheese ( I usually just use my hands using latex gloves to mix cake pieces and cream cheese) mix till cream cheese is fully incorporated.  
Once combined, take mixture and start forming “meatball” sized balls ( you should be able to get 24 out of mixture) and place each one on a small baking sheet. Refrigerate for 1 hr. 
Melt 1 bag of the white Chocolate in the microwave for about 1 1/2 mins, removing every 15 secs to stir. Stir in the 2nd bag of chocolate a little at a time till the whole bag is combined with the 1st ( you possibly might need a little bit more cooking time in the microwave for this step if the bowl holding the chocolate isn’t warm enough. Once chocolate is melted, dip each truffle into the melted white chocolate making sure to coat the entire truffle. Place each one back on top a parchment covered baking sheet and add colored candy or sprinkles on top immediately after dipping..Let the melted chocolate dry for about 15 mins before handling. 
Cooking time: about 15 mins
Prep time about 20 mins 
Makes 24 truffles 

Cheesy Sweet potato and chicken Taquitos

There is really only just one word for this recipe!! DELISH.. This idea actually came to me in a dream which is something that happens quite a bit to me.  This dish is completely Gluten free and a real crowd pleaser. My little 6 yr old Emma is SUPER picky about her food choices. Getting this kid to eat a fruit or vegetable is sometimes rather challenging so, sneaking them in is sometimes the best way to for me to get her to actually eat any veggie or fruit.  These are quite easy to make.  Some may think the flavor combo might be a little strange but, let me tell you it’s one of best recipes I have wrote in a while.  Creamy, Cheesy a tad bit sweet and a whole lot of crunch. Crunchified is the correct word for these babies. 
1 lb boneless chicken tenders ( boiled, cooled and shredded) 

1 sweet potato ( cubed) 

12 corn tortillas 

1 1/2 cups shredded Sharp Cheddar cheese

3/4 cup sour cream

1 tsp coriander 

1 tsp cumin 

1 tsp chili powder 

1 tsp smoked paprika 

3 tbsp butter 

Salt and pepper 

Canola oil cooking spray

Boil chicken in water till cooked ( about 10-12 mins). Let cool and shred. Boil cubed potato till softened. Drain and add back to pot. Add butter, above spices and season with salt and pepper. ( make sure to taste for seasoning before adding cheese). Whip on medium speed till completely creamy. Add in shredded cheddar, sour cream and shredded chicken and combine again tasting for seasoning. 
Microwave tortillas between 2 dampened paper towels on high for 20 secs. This makes the tortillas flexible enough to roll. Place warm tortilla on a flat surface leaving the rest between paper towels. Place about 1 large tbsp of filling on one side of tortilla dragging filling down from top to end with a spoon. Roll and place each one cut side down on a greased baking sheet. Spray tops of taquitos with canola or vegetable cooking. Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 20 mins. Remove, season tops with salt and plate up alongside your favorite salsa and sour cream. 
Cooking time: 20 mins 

Stuffed Pepperoni and Cheese loaf. 

So I’ve always heard that brown food means good food right?? Well, according to Chef Anne Burrell this statement is completely true.  While shopping today, I came across this beautiful Pepperoni and Cheese loaf and after 10 mins of drooling, I picked it up, threw it in my cart and knew right away exactly what so was going to do with. Well, that was a perfect example of a run-on sentence.  Basically this is a bread loaf that has layers of pepperoni and cheese on the inside.  So I decided to really amp up the “Pep and Cheese game and yes, more pepperoni and cheese.  This is a wonderful party app just as it is a great way to start any “game” day festivity!! And hey, I’m a New England girl and with the “Pats” playing,  this is a SURE winner!! 

1 loaf of pepperoni and cheese bread
2 cups 5 blend cheese (Mozz,provolone,asiago,Parm, Romano)
1 small bag of mini pepperoni
1 tsp dry oregano
1 tsp dry basil
1 tsp dry parsley
Olive oil
Preheat oven to 425

Cut a large circle out of the top middle of loaf. Fill with 1 cup of cheese blend, pepperoni and then lastly the other 1 cup of cheese and top the rest with pepperoni. Drizzle top with olive oil and sprinkle on dry herbs. 
Bake for 15 mins. Once top crust and Cheese are golden brown, remove, cut into slices and serve with your favorite marinara. 
Prep time: 3 mins
Cooking time: approx 15 mins

Roasted Pistachio Pilaf with Orzo and Vermicelli 

I learned to make homemade Pilaf way back in the day from no other than the wonderful Rachael Ray. When I decided to learn how to cook again, pilaf was the very first recipe of hers that I had tried to make. It came out fantastic and I was stoked that I didn’t have to buy the box stuff in the store anymore.  SO of course I decided to incorporate all kinds of things into my homemade Pilaf. Nuts, dried fruits ( dried cranberries is SO good in this recipe) mushrooms, you name it and I added it.  This recipe takes no time to make and is a great side dish to any protein or simply just by itself. 

1/2 box of Vermicelli pasta broken into 1 inch pieces 

1 cup Orzo

2 tbsp butter

1 3/4 cup chicken stock 

1 cup unsalted Chopped pistachios 

Salt and pepper

Finely chopped flat leaf parsley 

Chop pistachios into bits. Spread evenly on a baking sheet and roast for 5 mins at 350. Once you can actually “smell” that wonderful roasted nut aroma, remove from oven and set aside. 

In a medium pan on medium heat, add butter, broken Vermicelli and Orzo. Stir and cook till brown  about 4 mins. Reduce heat to medium low heat and add chicken stock. Cover and simmer for about 15 -20 mins.  Add salt, pepper, chopped parsley and  Pistachios. Stir, taste for seasoning and serve alongside your favorite protein. 
Cooking time: about 25 mins

Serves 4 peeps. 

Super Cheesy Hasselback potatoes 

This is one interesting spud too look at I tell ya. I made this for one of the most dreaded days of the week, dun, dun,dun,DUN….MONDAY!!! This is a GREAT meal or starter to get through the Monday blues and to cheer up any of you carb crazy folks out there.  Meatless Monday? DONE!! With a yummy Gluten free touch. There are endless possibilities of topping for these yummy spuds but, it’s Monday, it’s meatless and it’s just so darn GOOD!! 

6 Idaho potatoes ( washed, lightly scrubbed and dried with a paper towel) 

 1/4 cup olive oil

2 garlic cloves grated

2 1/2 cups shredded Sharp Cheddar 🧀 

Salt and pepper

Salsa and sour cream for topping

Preheat oven to 450

In a small bowl, whisk olive oil and grated garlic and set aside.  Wash and scrub each Potato and dry with paper towels. 

Cut about 18-20 1/8 inch slices ( Note: depending on what size potatoes you  use, slices could be shorter or longer in length) going across each Potato making sure not to cut all the way down to the bottom of each Potato with each slice (leave about 1/4 inches to the bottom). With a pasty brush, brush all potatoes with garlic oil inside and out. Sprinkle with salt and pepper again, making sure to get the insides and the outsides. 

Bake  potatoes for approx 1 hr till potatoes are golden brown and crisp on the outsides.  Once potatoes are crisp and brown, sprinkle about 1/4 cup of cheese on the insides and on the top of the potatoes. Place back into the oven for approx 3-4 mins just till Cheese has melted. Pull potatoes from the oven and add your favorite sour cream and salsa on top and serve. 
Cooking time: approx 1 hr

Serves 6 peeps. 


Pumpkin Chocolate toffee bread 

Can I just say that I am super stoked that its finally fall. Not only was this summer a scorcher but it’s actually rather nice to be able to put my hoodie ( hooded sweatshirt for all you non-Boston peeps) sweatpants and fuzzy socks back on again.  Fall to me means pumpkin. Pumpkin EVERYTHING!! Pumpkin bread, muffins, cakes, pasta, coffee, candles,  car fresher…. Yes I actually did purchase a Dunkin’ Donuts Pumpkin latte car fresher for my car and I’m not ashamed to say it! My love for pumpkin is rather deep so this recipe was totally right up my alley!! Super MOIST and oh so pumpkin satisfying!! 😋🎃❤️
Pumpkin Chocolate toffee bread 

2 cups all purpose flour

2 cups granulated sugar

1 can pumpkin purée 

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground nutmeg 

1 tsp baking soda 

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

2 eggs 

3/4 cups butter ( at room temp) 

1 bag of Chocolate toffee bits

Preheat oven to 325

Wet ingredients: In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together. Mix in pumpkin purée, cinnamon and nutmeg and lastly 2 eggs. Mix on medium speed till fully combined. 
Dry ingredients:

In a separate bowl, add 2 cups leveled flour, salt, baking soda and powder. Sift together with a fork. 
Add half of the dry ingredients to wet and mix on low speed. Once mostly combined add the other half of dry ingredients to the mixture. Once mixture is fully combined, fold in toffee bits. 
Using a standard bread pan, grease all sides and bottom with butter and pat flour in and on all sides or you can of course just use a non stick spray. Add pumpkin mixture and fill to the top. 
Bake pumpkin bread for approx 65-70 mins checking with a tooth pick between 50-55 mins. Depending on your “own” ovens temp, bread could have a longer or shorter cooking time. Remove, cool and serve. 
Cooking time: approx 65-70 mins