Sunday, October 4, 2015

Parmesean Baked Potato Halves

Over the past few weeks these have become my go to potato recipe.  They're easy and delicious.  A great recipe for Sunday family night dinner or dinner guests.  Baking them side down, creates a moist delicious potato.  You can serve these with a side of ranch dressing or sour cream.  We normally enjoy them just as they are when they come out of the oven.

Parmesan Baked Potato Halves
Recipe courtesy of Favorite Family Recipes
  • 6 small potatoes, scrubbed and cut in half
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • grated parmesan cheese
  • garlic powder
  • other seasonings (to personal preference)
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Melt butter and pour into a 9x13 inch pan and spread evenly across the bottom. Generously sprinkle Parmesan cheese and lightly sprinkle other seasonings all over the butter. Place potato halves face down on the butter and seasonings. Place in preheated oven and bake for 40 to 45 minutes. Cool for at least a FULL 5 minutes before removing from the pan, otherwise the Parmesan crust won't stick to the potato. Serve on a plate with a side of sour cream for dipping.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Football Cookie Dough Dip

Tis the season, no not that season yet .... football season!  Are you having beautiful fall weather where you live?  I hope so, it has been so beautiful here the past two weekends.  Nothing says fall like football and a tailgate party!

Along with a neighbor, I helped host our neighborhood September BUNCO!  Perfect for the month of September, we decided on a football theme.  One of the things I made was a fun football dip.  Not only is it easy to make, it's delicious!! 

Cookie Dough Dip

  • 1 8-ounce package cream cheese
  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 cups mini chocolate chips
  • Frosting for laces 
For serving:
  • graham crackers
  • chocolate graham crackers
  • vanilla wafers
  • pretzels
  • apple slices
  1. Prepare cookie dough dip according to the recipe instructions. Chill for at least two hours,
  2. Pour into a mound on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Using the parchment paper, shape the mound of cookie dough dip into the shape of a football. Or use a football shaped for shaping.
  3. Press additional cup of chocolate chips onto the outside of the football shaped cookie dough dip.
  4. Place frosting into a piping bag or a small sandwich bag with the tip snipped off. Pipe lines onto the top of the cookie dough dip football to resemble laces.
  5. Store in the refrigerator until about 15 minutes prior to serving. Serve with an assortment of crackers, pretzels, and/ or apple slices.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

BBQ Mac and Cheese

Happy Fall!  Fall and Spring are my two favorite seasons.  Living in the midwest, we enjoy the seasonable weather during those two seasons.  As an added bonus, we have beautiful Fall color in our trees.  The trees are just starting to turn here.  We're getting some cooler nights, so full blown color will be soon!  Can't wait!

I say this every month but hard to believe it's Secret Recipe reveal day again.  The third Monday of the month, brings us Secret Recipe Club.  Not familiar with this fun blogging group?  You can find out everything here!

For the month of September, I was assigned Living The Gourmet.  Catherine  has a beautiful blog, filled with amazing recipes.

Catherine says, "The heart of our home lies within the kitchen.
For us, it is so much more than a place where meals are created; it is where memories are made over meals that are meant to be shared."  

 So true for all of us who enjoy cooking and sharing it with friends and family. 

At our house, we love BBQ and mac and cheese, how about a recipe that combines the two?  Yum! 
This is a delicious version of mac and cheese, perfect to go with burgers for a weekend bbq.

BBQ Mac and Cheese
Recipe Courtesy of Living The Gourmet

Serves: 6 Servings
  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • 1 tsp. brown sugar
  • ½ jalapeño (I omitted this)
  • ½ cup Italian parsley
  • 1¼ cup milk
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 onion – diced
  • ¾ tsp. ground cumin
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. black pepper
  • 2-3 tbs. butter
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese shredded or your favorite
  • ¼ cup Italian style breadcrumbs or homemade breadcrumbs
  • 1 lb. of your favorite macaroni
  1. Prepare the macaroni as directed.
  2. Combine in a food processor the cottage cheese, milk, Parmesan cheese, ketchup, brown sugar, jalapeño, garlic, parsley and seasonings.
  3. Heat a frying pan with butter and sauté the onions until softened and transparent.
  4. Heat another frying pan with a pat of butter; add the bread crumbs; toss and brown a bit.
  5. Preheat Oven 325 degrees:
  6. Butter a baking dish. Add the macaroni, the mixture from the food processor, the shredded cheese, the onions and toss.
  7. Top with the bread crumbs a few pats of butter and grated Parmesan cheese and a little shredded cheese.
  8. Bake 25 – 30 minutes; until slightly golden.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Aronia Berry Oatmeal Cookies

Tim and I had been looking at an Aronia Berry bush for the yard at the Farmer's Market.  If you're not familiar with Aronia Berries, you can read about them here.  They're very good for you and tasty, too! 

Our bush had just enough berries on it to make these cookies.  You could substitute these for any recipe containing blueberries. 

Oatmeal Aronia Cookies
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray or use your margarine wrappers to grease 2 baking sheets.
  2. Stir the flour, baking soda and salt together in a small bowl. Set aside.
  3. In a bowl of a stand mixer w/paddle or hand mixer, cream margarine, sugars until smooth.
  4. Add eggs one at a time, mixing thoroughly after each. Stir in vanilla.
  5. Important: Mix on low and add dry ingredients only until incorporated. Over beating will make flat cookies.
  6. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the oats, then pecans and coconut.
  7. Add frozen aronia and fold quickly. This will keep the cookies from turning purple.
  8. Spoon uniform 1 1/2" balls on baking sheet with 2" spacing.
  9. Bake for 6 to 9 minutes. Remove when edges begin to turn. Cookie will continue to bake while cooling. After 5 minutes on baking sheet, remove to wire cooling rack.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Best Sugar Cookies with Cornmeal

  If you like sugar cookies, give this recipe a try.  The cornmeal adds a nice crunch to the already delicious sugar cookie.  The original recipe called for the zest of a lime.  No limes in my frig, so I used lemon.  Lemon and sugar cookies are the perfect combination of flavors!!

 Recipe Courtesy of A Spicy Perspective
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened (1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • Zest of one lime  (I used lemon)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup 100% yellow cornmeal + extra for rolling (not cornmeal mix)


  1. Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, 3-5  minutes. Then beat in the salt, lime zest, egg, and vanilla. Once blended, slowly add the flour, followed by the cornmeal. Scrape the bowl and beat again for just a few seconds to combine.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (or 350 convection) and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Dump the dough out onto large piece of foil and use the foil to shape the dough into a 9 1/2 inch log, about 2 inches thick. Wrap well and freeze for at least 30 minutes to firm up the dough.
  3. When ready to bake, open the foil and sprinkle cornmeal over and around the dough log. Roll it back-and-forth to coat the log on all sides. Then cut the log into 16-18 equal slices. Lay the cookies on the prepared baking sheet 2 inches apart. Bake for 8-10 minutes until just barley golden on the edges, but soft in the middle. (7-8 minutes convection.) Allow the cookies to cool on the cookie sheet completely before moving.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Pimento Cheese Mini Burgers

How do you make something that's already good even better?  Add more of it, of course.  That's just what we've done with Secret Recipe Club,  the months where there are 5 Monday's, we will have a reveal day with a theme!  Our first one, Tailgate Recipes, starts now!  What a great theme for the start of football season!  Tailgating and football go hand in hand. 

My assigned blogger is Nicole of I am a Honey Bee.  On her About Me page Nicole shares 28 random things about her.  How fun is that?  I might just borrow this idea.  Okay?  Here's just the first five ....

1. Peridot is my favorite stone although garnet is my birth stone
2. I have 3 tattoos and plan on getting more
3.  I’m from Greenwich, CT
4. I hate the cold, REALLY hate the cold, but I like snow.
5. I really like NASCAR… Go Kasey Kahne!

To read the rest of the 28 and see all of Nicole's great recipes, visit her blog here.  I also love that she has done a Clean 30 several times. 

These Pimento Cheese Burgers would be perfect for tailgate or backyard bbq.  The leftover cheese made delicious grilled cheese sandwiches!!!

Pimento Cheese Mini Burgers

Recipe Courtesy of I am a Honey Bee 

Makes 6 sliders
Pimento Cheese
  • 8 ounces of shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 4 ounce jar of diced pimentos, drained
  • 1/3- 1/2 cup mayonnaise 
  • cayenne and black pepper to taste
  • 1 pound of 85/15 ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon of Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
  • pinch of black pepper
  • 6 whole wheat dinner rolls
  1. To make the Pimento Cheese, combine the cheese, pimentos, and mayo. Mix thoroughly. Add the cayenne and pepper to taste. Set aside to chill for at least 1 hour.
  2. In a large bowl combine the ground beef and the Seasoned Salt and black pepper. Evenly divide the burgers into 6 rounds. Shape and flatten each burger so they are slightly thicker than 1/4″.
  3. Cook the burgers until desired doneness.
  4. Slice the dinner rolls in half. Place each burger on the bottom portion of the buns, then scoop about 2 tablespoons of the pimento cheese on each burger, and top off with the rest of the bun.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Maple Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies

Who doesn't love bacon? I've been wanting to try a chocolate chip bacon combo for a while. This recipe with the addition of maple to the bacon caught my eye. Candied bacon is easy to make in the oven. It does take some time but the end result is so good. The combination of these sweet chocolate chip cookies with the maple bacon flavor is delicious. You can't just eat one!!

These taste better than this picture would appear.  I made these for Tim to take on a guys golf trip and we were snapping a picture in the predawn hours before he left.  They were a hit with the golfers and will be added to my regular cookie rotation!

Milk Chocolate Chip Maple Syrup Glazed Bacon Cookies
Recipe Courtesy of Nadia G
  • 12 bacon slices, minced
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup


Position an oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
For the bacon: In a medium frying pan, saute the bacon until the fat has rendered and the bacon is crisp. Drain the fat from the pan, add the maple syrup and stir to blend. Saute until the maple syrup becomes thick, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer immediately to a small bowl and let cool.
For the batter: With a standing or handheld mixer, blend the butter and sugars until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the egg and beat until well blended, 1 minute. Add the vanilla and beat for 30 seconds more. Stir in the flour and baking soda with a wooden spoon. Add the bacon and chocolate and stir to combine. Scoop heaping teaspoons of dough onto the prepared baking sheet and sprinkle with sea salt. Bake until golden around the edges, 9 to 10 minutes.
Let the cookies cool for 1 minute, and then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.