Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Prosciutto Pear Cups Appetizer

I went searching for a new appetizer to serve to my guests on New Year's Eve and I stumbled upon this little gem! I love that it's easy to make but looks very gourmet!  I also love that the prosciutto is cooked because I'm just not a fan of raw prosciutto! The flavors are perfect...slightly sweet with a touch of saltiness! I found this recipe on a food site called Spinach Tiger. I tweaked the ingredients and preparation to suit my taste. I used thyme instead of sage and I omitted the ginger. I wrapped the prosciutto around the outside of the mini muffin pan instead of placing the prosciutto on the inside of the mini muffin cups. This made the cups a perfect size for the pear chunks. I'll be making this often from now on!

Prosciutto Pear Cups
makes about 16 cups

1/2 lb. very thinly sliced prosciutto
2 pears, peeled, cored and cut into small chunks
2 tbls. butter
1 tsp. fresh thyme

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Turn a mini muffin pan upside-down and wrap each prosciutto slice around each mini muffin cup to form prosciutto cups.
 You should have about 16 cups.
Bake for 10 minutes.
While the cups are baking sauté the pear cubes in a small sauce pan with the butter and thyme. Saute until heated through. Remove from heat.
Carefully remove each prosciutto cup from the mini muffin pan and fill with the sauteed pears. Best served warm or room temp.

This post belongs to My Recipe Journey food blog.

Monday, December 30, 2013

4 Ingredient Stove Top Pizza

I never knew that making pizza could be so easy! The way I usually make it takes A LOT more time and effort! But this recipe was ready in about 20 minutes from start to finish! This pizza doesn't taste like the kind you get from your favorite take-out place, but it's very good! This pizza tastes similar to French bread pizza or English muffin pizza because the crust is very light and fluffy. This recipe makes one small 9 inch pizza, perfect for one person! But this recipe is so quick...you can make 2 in 40 minutes! I know I'll be making this often and maybe I'll add a 5th ingredient for a topping such as pepperoni or mushrooms! Perfect pizza for a light snack or lunch!

I found this very cool recipe on a website called Fuss Free Cooking. I tweaked the preparation and cooking time to make it work just right!
4 Ingredient Stove Top Pizza

1 cup self rising flour with 1/4 tsp. salt
2 Tbls. olive oil
4 Tbls. pizza sauce
shredded mozzarella - about a handful

Preheat a 9 inch non stick pan on medium heat.
 I set the stove dial to number 4 out of 10.
In a small bowl using a rubber spatula, mix together the first 2 ingredients with 2/3 cup of water. It will be very sticky but that's okay. Spread this mixture evenly into the preheated pan making sure to cover the entire bottom of the pan.
Then add the pizza sauce, spreading it right to the edge.
Then add the shredded mozz. Cover and cook for about 18-20 minutes or until the bottom is lightly browned. You can lift it up to check the bottom of the crust.
Serve warm.
Makes one 9 inch pizza.

This post belongs to My Recipe Journey food blog.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Champagne Cookies

Got Champagne? Then make some cookies! That's what I did with some leftover pink champagne from New Years Eve! These cookies taste very similar to a sweet bread...not too sweet, nice and soft with slightly crunchy edges. And I love how pretty they look! These cookies taste great when eaten with a glass of champagne...or a cup of coffee! You can use any champagne, but I suggest using a not so dry one so that the cookies have some sweetness.

I found this recipe **here** and have made them a few times per my families request!

Ready for the oven!

Champagne Cookies

1/2 cup multicolored candy sprinkles
1/2 cup shortening or butter
1 cup white sugar
1 cup champagne
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
4 drops red food coloring, or as needed

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Beat the shortening and sugar in a bowl with an electric mixer until the mixture is light and creamy. Pour in the champagne, and mix for about 1 minute on low speed. Mixture will be lumpy. Mix in the baking powder, and stir in flour to make a smooth dough. Stir in red food coloring by drops until the mixture is desired shade of pink.
Scoop the dough with a tablespoon measure melon baller and place on parchment lined cookie sheet, leaving room between each cookie because the cookies will spread. Add sprinkles.
Bake in the preheated oven until the edges of the cookies are very lightly browned and the cookies are crisp, 12 to 14 minutes. Let cookies cool completely before moving them to a serving platter or container.
When cooled, cookies will be soft with slightly crunchy edges. These cookies are not very sweet. They are similar to a sweet bread. Perfect with a glass of champagne or a cup of coffee/tea.

Makes about 20-24 cookies.

Recipe from Allrecipes.com
This post belongs to My Recipe Journey food blog.


Monday, December 16, 2013

Cream Cheese Penguins

These are almost too cute too eat! But they're delicious so eat them! I've made these many times for parties and they are always a huge hit! I've even made them in a Super Bowl theme with a football shaped cheeseball surrounded by these penguins. Also a huge hit especially with the men! I found this recipe on Allrecipes.com.  I added the dry ranch dressing to the cream cheese for more flavor.

These penguins are tedious to make but so very worth it! Just a few simple ingredients needed to create these little cuties. Give it a try and impress your guests!

18 jumbo black olives, pitted - for the body
18 small black olives, pitted - for the head
1 large carrot - for the feet and beaks
1 jarred roasted sweet red pepper - for the scarves
8 oz. package cream cheese, softened
1/2  packet dry ranch salad dressing
18 sandwich picks
Mix together the cream cheese and dry ranch dressing. Set aside.
Cut a slit from top to bottom in each jumbo olive.
This is so you can stuff the jumbo olive with the cream cheese mixture.
Cut the carrot into 18 thin disks. And cut a 'v' shaped pie slice into each carrot disk. Save the 'v' shaped wedge to use for the penguin beak. Insert the beaks into the 'x' sliced area of the small olives. This area is where the pit was removed.
Slice the jarred sweet red pepper into 18 long thin strips for the scarves.
Fill the jumbo olives with the cream cheese mixture.
Place the filled olives on top of the carrot disks.
Insert the sandwich picks through the top of the filled olives and into the carrot disks. Part of the sandwich pick should be sticking out the top of the jumbo olive.
Place the small olive on top of the jumbo olive through the sandwich pick that is sticking out.
Now wrap a piece of the thin sliced red pepper around the penguin necks as seen in the top photo.
Cover and chill until ready to serve.
These can be made up to 24 hours in advance.
Here is a video link showing how the penguins are made. I didn't use the candy eyes because I think they look better without them, but you can add them if you want.

 This post belongs to My Recipe Journey food blog.

Sunday, December 15, 2013


Doesn't this look like a big bowl of creamy pasta goodness?

Roasted Squash Seeds
Well it sort of is...except it's not pasta! This is a spaghetti squash that it cut in half then seeded and baked in the oven for about 1 hour. Then the inside of the baked squash magically shreds so easily with a fork...that was my favorite part! Then just pour on the creamy alfredo sauce and top it with some grated parm and parsley. Put it back in the oven to brown the cheese. Next you find yourself devouring this delicious veggie while feeling good about the fact that your eating something healthy! I even roasted the squash seeds with some seasoned salt and ate them shells and all! My new favorite roasted seeds...even better than regular pumpkin seeds because they have a stronger nutty taste. 

I found this recipe on a food site called The Comfort of Cooking, but I tweaked it slightly by adding more garlic and I seasoned the cooked squash with salt before topping it with the alfredo sauce because it really needed it. Just like you would add salt to the pasta water when cooking the pasta. I'm craving this again right now...yum! I think I'll try this next time with a creamy cheddar cheese sauce! And maybe again with a tomato sauce! There are so many variations that I know would work with spaghetti squash! Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Spaghetti Squash Alfredo

1 medium sized spaghetti squash
2 tbls. butter
4 large cloves garlic, minced
2 tbls. flour
1 1/2 cups milk - I used low fat
1 tbls. cream cheese - I used fat free
3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus extra for topping
1/4 tsp. kosher salt, plus more for seasoning baked squash
1/8 tsp. pepper
2 tbls. fresh chopped parsley

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Cut squash in half lengthwise using a very large knife.
With a spoon, scrape out the seeds and stringy pulp attached to the seeds.
Discard the seeds or save for roasting.
Place both halves of the squash, cut side down, on a baking sheet with about 1/2 inch of water in the pan. Bake on middle rack uncovered for about 1 hour or until very tender. Mine took 1 hour and 10 minutes. Then remove from oven and turn the squash over. Sprinkle the inside of each squash with about 1/4 tsp. of kosher salt. Then gently scrape the inside of the squash with a fork to shred the pulp into 'spaghetti' strands.
Keep the squash warm while you make the alfredo sauce.
In a small pot over medium heat melt the butter and add the garlic, stirring for about 1 minute. Then whisk in the flour. Cook the flour for about 1 minute. Then whisk in the milk. Keep whisking until all the flour is dissolved and the milk is heated through. Then add in the cream cheese, grated parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Keep whisking until the sauce thickens to your liking. The longer you cook it, the more thick it will become. Pour half the creamy alfredo sauce into each cooked and shredded squash half. Toss to coat. Top with extra grated cheese, sprinkle with fresh parsley and put it under the broiler for about 2-3 minutes to brown the cheese.
Serve warm and enjoy!
Serves 2

To roast the squash seeds...remove all the attached strands. You can run the seeds under water if needed. Pat them dry and lay the seeds on a parchment lined baking sheet. Sprinkle the seeds lightly with seasoned salt and bake at 350 degrees F for about 15 minutes or until the seeds are crunchy. Let seeds cool completely, then munch and enjoy!

Recipe adapted from The Comfort of Cooking website.
This blog post belongs to My Recipe Journey food blog


Saturday, December 14, 2013

Cannoli Crumb Pie

I can never say 'no' to a new way to make cannoli. I've made Cannoli Dip and a parfait called Cannoli Cream Dessert. So why not make a Cannoli Crumb Pie? This pie got rave reviews from a food friend of mine, so that was even more incentive for me to try it!

This pie was so very easy to make and so very delicious! My hubby loved it so much that he asked me to make a second pie for his office Christmas party! His co-workers loved it also! My daughter loved it so much that she requested I make it again for Christmas Eve! And I will probably make it again for New Years Eve too! Soon I'll be able to make this pie with my eyes closed!

This recipe is from a fellow food friend named Kim Mancuso from the Kim's Cooking Now food blog. I made her recipe as written except I added 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract to the cannoli filling. And I didn't use my food processor to make the crumb mixture. I just mixed it together with a fork and crumbled it with my hands! The crumb mixture was so silky, light and fluffy! I loved running my fingers through it! It was very therapeutic! Try it and you'll see what I mean. It must be because of these 2 unique Italian ingredients. I ordered them online and received them in 2 days! These ingredients only cost about $1.50 per pie.

You can order these ingredients *HERE*

Give this pie a try and you'll be in love with it too!
I'm writing the recipe with my slight changes.
Cannoli Crumb Pie
 Crumb Ingredients:
2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 (16gr.) packet Paneangeli Lievito Pane Degli Angeli
1 packet Paneangeli Vanillina
1/8 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 large egg, slightly beaten
Cannoli Filling Ingredients:
15 oz. ricotta cheese - I used part skim
1/2 tsp. pure almond extract
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Butter a deep dish baking pie pan.
In a large bowl, mix together all the crumb
ingredients with fork.
Mix thoroughly and crumble the mixture between your fingers.
Sprinkle half of this crumb mixture into the bottom of the prepared pie pan.
Do not press down on the mixture.
In a medium size bowl, mix together all the cannoli filling ingredients.
Pour the cannoli filling on top of the crumb
mixture in the pie pan.
Sprinkle the remaining crumb mixture on top,
covering the cannoli filling completely.
Bake uncovered on middle rack for 25 minutes. Then turn the oven to broil and bake another 3 minutes to brown the crumbs. Remove from oven and let cool completely.
Chill until ready to serve.
Serves 8
Thank you to Kim Mancuso from Kim's Cooking Now for this wonderfully delicious recipe!
This post belongs to My Recipe Journey food blog.


Friday, December 13, 2013

Werther's Caramel Apple Tart

My Werther's Prize Pack!
I won that prize from the Werther's Caramel website! The Werther's company was asking folks to upload their favorite caramel recipes to their website. I had a few recipes, so that's exactly what I did! Well, Werther's kindly chose me as the recipient of that generous prize! I was so thrilled! Check out their site and see some of the deliciously creative caramel recipes posted by other home cooks including myself. 

Included in that prize was a recipe for a Caramel Apple Tart. I had all the ingredients so I whipped it up real quick! It was done in less than 30 minutes! And It was heavenly!

I've always loved Werther's baking caramels because they're so very creamy! And I love that they're so easy to unwrap because of the twisted paper ends!

I can't wait to make lots more caramel treats using Werther's caramels!  But for now I'm going to thoroughly enjoy this Caramel Apple Tart before it's all gone!
Thank you Werther's for this generous and delicious prize!

1 sheet refrigerator pie dough
3 medium apples, peeled and cored
2 tbls. butter
1/2 tsp. cinnamon powder
14 Werther's caramels, unwrapped
2 tsp. milk
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Lay the pie crust on a parchment lined baking sheet.
Bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.
Then remove from oven and set aside.
Meanwhile cut each apple into 8 equal slices.
Heat butter in a skillet on medium heat.
Add apples, stirring and cooking until apples begin to soften.
Remove from skillet and set aside.
Then add in cinnamon powder, caramels and milk.
Stir and cook until caramels are melted.
Then add back the cooked apples and toss to coat.
Pour this caramel apple mixture evenly over the cooked pie crust.
Slice and serve warm or room temperature.
Best eaten the same day.
Serves 6 - 8

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Cauliflower Breadsticks

I've seen this recipe and similar recipes like this one, floating around the Internet for quite a while now! It has been on just about every food page I've visited. I took it as a sign that I need to try it...and so I did!

This was very easy to make. It tastes more like a veggie pizza than breadsticks, but it was still very good considering it doesn't contain any bread!  And it's healthy too. It's very low on calories and carbs! I tweaked the original recipe by increasing the garlic and double baking the breadsticks after I sliced them to get them more crisp. A tasty little snack, appetizer or side dish! I think I'll try it with broccoli and cheddar next time.

I found the recipe on a Facebook page called Healthy Habit Lady. I'm posting the recipe with my changes.

Cauliflower Breadsticks

1 large head of cauliflower, chopped
3 large cloves garlic, chopped
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
4 oz. part skim shredded mozzarella
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Microwave cauliflower for about 5 minutes on high.
Place the cooked cauliflower and garlic into a food processor and pulse until it has the texture of mashed potatoes. Place into a medium size bowl and add in the eggs, mozzarella, onion powder, salt & pepper. Mix until well combined. Spread evenly onto the cookie sheet to 1/2 inch thickness.
Bake for 25 minutes or until very brown.
Remove from oven and sprinkle lightly with more shredded mozzarella.
Slice into thin strips and bake again for another 5-10 minutes to make them a little more crisp. Serve warm.
This post belongs to My Recipe Journey food blog.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Amazing 3 Ingredient Crock-Pot Pork

Don't you just love delicious recipes that only contain a few simple ingredients? I purposely search out these kinds of recipes lately! They're so much fun to try and always a great surprise when they taste so darn good! I found this cool recipe on a website called
Average Mom's Wear Capes by Christie O. This recipe is made with a boneless Boston Butt Pork Roast, 1 large onion and a can of cream of chicken soup. It cooks in the crock-pot on low for 6 hours. Then you pull apart the pork into chunks and discard most of the fat. The pork just melts in your mouth! I served mine with pan fried potatoes and mushrooms. A very hearty meat and potato main dish.

Amazing 3 Ingredient Crock-Pot Pork

3-4 lb. boneless Boston butt pork roast
1 very large onion, sliced thin
1 can cream of chicken soup

Place the onions on the bottom of the crock-pot.
Season the pork on all side with salt & pepper.
Place the pork on top of the onions.
Pour the cream of chicken soup on top of the pork.
Cover and cook on low for 6 hours.
After 6 hours remove the pork from the crock-pot and
allow to cool until able to handle. Tear the pork into bite sized chunks, removing the large pieces of fat. Discard fat.
Serve pork with potatoes and vegetables. I served the pork with pan fried potatoes and mushrooms. Pour the juices over the pork before serving.
Serves 4-6
This post belongs to My Recipe Journey food blog.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Classic Stuffing

I know Thanksgiving has come and gone but stuffing is great any day of the year! I make this as a side dish to chicken, pork chops, ham and even fish! This can also be used as a layer for so many different kinds of savory casseroles! So don't just think of stuffing as a Thanksgiving food! Try it for your everyday meals also! I love to surprise my family with this delicious and easy side dish throughout the year! This is ready in minutes with just these 4 ingredients plus salt, pepper and water! I always make the full bag because my family likes to eat large portions...and they always want leftovers the next day!

Classic Stuffing

3 ribs celery - diced
1 large onion - diced
2 tbls. butter + another 4 tbls
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 cups water
14 oz. bag seasoned stuffing cubes - I use Arnold or Pepperidge Farm

In a very large pan over medium heat melt 2 tbls. butter.
Saute the celery and onions in the butter with the salt and pepper, until very tender.
Then remove from pan and set aside.
In the same pan melt the remaining 4 tbls. butter.
Then add in the water and bring to a boil. Once boiling remove from heat and add in the
the entire bag of seasoned stuffing cubes, tossing to coat evenly. Then add back the sautéed celery and onions and toss again to combine.
Serve immediately or keep warm in oven until ready to serve.
Serves 8-10

This post belongs to My Recipe Journey food blog.