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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. 
VEG, KF EDF

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. 

GF,VEG, KF 

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 

Banana Cream Puffs


Can I just tell you how happy these little Puffs of love made me this morning? WICKED HAPPY!! These are super simple too make but, literally look like they took hours on end to make. Traditionally you would use a “vanilla” base for this recipe but, because I’m a huge banana cream pie fan, I had decided to make my Puffs taste just like THAT!!  Creamy, delicious and let me tell you, there’s NO way you could just eat one!! Pop’em till ya drop. 😄 

Puffs:

1 cup water
1 stick butter
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoons salt
4 eggs

Banana cream filling: 
1 package instant banana pudding mix
1 cup milk
2 cups heavy whipping cream

Directions:
Bring water and butter to boil in a medium pan. Once boiling, remove from stove and add flour and salt. Stir till mixture forms a large ball. Transfer mixture to a mixing bowl. Start your mixture on med high speed and add all 4 eggs at the same time. Mix till smooth. Scoop mixture into a piping bag   (you could also use a plastic food storage bag and just cut the tip off) making sure to squeeze all of the air out of the piping bag. Pipe out each puff on a large parchment covered baking sheet making a swirl ( make your puffs about medium meatball size) . Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for approximately 30 mins till slightly golden brown. Cool puffs for about 20 mins before filling. 

Banana cream filling: 
Add pudding mix  and milk and mix on low speed till smooth. Add whipping cream and mix on high for about 2 minutes till cream forms stiff peaks. Cut the tops off each puff and remove the insides. Fill each puff to the top with cream and place the tops back on. Refrigerate for about 1/2 hr and serve. 

Note: If desired, Drizzle melted chocolate and dust some powder sugar on tops of puffs. 

Cooking time: approx 30 mins

Prep time: approx 15 mins
Makes 2 dozen puffs. 

Bacon and Sausage Mac and Cheese stuffed Reds. 

Holy COW, these right here are probably one of the best stuffed pepper recipes I have ever created. Bacon and sausage Mac and CHEESE stuffed peppers!! Let me tell y’all something.. The flavor of these beautiful red bell peps running through this dish is a sure fire WINNER!! INSANE… This is such a fantastic combo I can’t believe I had t come up with it SOONER???? 

6 cups cups Sharp White cheddar ( 4 cups for cheese sauce and 2 cups for melting on tops of peppers 
6 red bell peppers cut lengthwise with seeds and ribs removed
1 lb Cavatappi pasta
12 slices of bacon diced
1/2 lb ground Italian sausage 
3 cups cream
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons Flour 
2 teaspoons dry mustard 
2 teaspoons Smoked paprika
2 garlic cloves grated 
Salt and pepper to taste 

Cut peppers lengthwise and remove ribs and seeds. Lay each half on a large baking sheet, salt and pepper each half and put to the side. 

In a large skillet, heat on med high heat. Add diced bacon and render till “almost” crisp. Add in ground sausage and cook till bacon has completely rendered and sausage has browned, add bacon as sausage mixture to a paper towel covered plate to remove the excess grease. 

Bring a large pot to a boil making sure to salt your water liberally before dropping your pasta. While your bring your water to a boil, grab another medium sized pot and melt butter and grate in garlic on med heat. Once butter is bubbling, whisk in your flour one tablespoon at a time. Cook your whisked in flour for about a 30 secs to cook out your flour. Add in cream and reduce heat to med low. Once mixture has thickened and coats the back of your wooden spoon, whisk in your cheese and stir in a figure eight motion. Add in dry mustard, smoked paprika, salt and pepper and check for seasoning. 

Drain pasta and add to back to pot. Pour in Cheese sauce and add cooked bacon, sausage and combine. Fill each pepper half with mixture and top with some extra cheese. Once all peppers are stuffed, cover peppers with tin foil and place in a pre-heated 375 degree oven for about 25-30 mins. This helps peppers to soften without over cooking. Remove tinfoil and turn oven to broil. Broil peppers “just” till the Cheese is golden brown on top ( about 3-4 mins) 
Remove and enjoy. 

Cooking time total: approx 35 mins
Serves 6-12 peeps 

Lemony Italian Christmas cookies

These cookie literally are a childhood staple for the holidays for me. My mom made these by the dozens for Christmas every year and they literally were and still are my favorite cookie to eat around the holiday or basically ANYTIME! Not only are they super fun and easy to make, but even more fun to eat. 

Emma always offering help when it comes to cookie making. 


Ingredients: 

4 eggs ( room temp)

3 1/2 cups flour

3 tablespoons baking powder

1 tablespoon vanilla

1 cup granulated sugar 

1 stick butter ( room temp)

Zest of 1 lemon

Icing:

2 cups powdered sugar ( sifted)  

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice ( usually 
2 squeezed lemons) 

1 tablespoons vanilla
Cookie directions: 

Cream butter, sugar, vanilla and lemon zest on medium speed till creamy. Add eggs slowly, one at a time. Once mixed, Sift dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Add half of dry ingredients to wet and mix. Scrape down the bowl with a rubber spatula and add the other half of dry ingredients. 

Once combined. Place a piece of parchment paper on your counter top. Add about a cup of flour and spread over the top of parchment. Scoop out cookie dough onto flour. Pat flour on your hand before kneading your dough to form a ball . Keep patting more flour on your hands when needed so dough doesn’t stick to your hands. Make a ball ( make dough balls a little smaller than you would a regular sized meatball) and roll the into into a 1 inch log. Twist each log to form a spiral and lay each on on a large parchment covered cookie sheet spreading apart each cookie about an inch. Bake for 10-12 mins at a preheated 350 oven. Remove and cool. 

Icing: 

Directions: mix all ingredients in a medium bowl till smooth and glossy. 
Dip each “cooled” cookie into icing mixture and lay each one on another piece of parchment paper, sprinkle non-pareils over tops of cookies. Let icing set for 45 mins or refrigerate till icing is firm ( 10 mins) 

Yields about 2 dozen

Cooking time: 10-12 mins