Sunday, February 12, 2012

Homemade Valentine's Day Oreos

I wanted to make a Valentine's Day treat, but all the recipes out there include a heart shape cutter and I don't have one. Instead of making something in the shape of a heart I made homemade Oreos with pink filling. This recipe was adapted from

Recipe: Homemade Valentine's Day Oreos
1 1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
10 Tbsp. Butter at room temperature
1 large egg

2 Tbsp. butter at room temperature
1/4 cup cream cheese at room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
20 drops red food coloring

Preheat over to 375 degrees F.

In a medium bowl mix flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and sugar. (It you want to make  chocolate and white cookies, cut the recipe in half for each flavor. Do not add cocoa to the white cookie mixture, but do add an extra 1/4 cup flour to it. Also cut the cocoa for the chocolate cookies to 1/4 cup cocoa.)

Add butter and egg to the dry mix (mixes) until well blended.

Drop tsp sized balls onto parchment lined cookie sheets. Place 2 inches apart from one another.

Bake for 8-9 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool on cookie sheet for 2 minutes. Remove to wire rack to finish cooling.

To make cream cheese filling mix cream cheese and butter. Add vanilla and food coloring, mix. Add powdered sugar and mix until blended.

Once cookies have cooled spread layer of filling onto one cookie and top with another cookie.

Mini Football Pizza Pockets

This is what I made for Superbowl Sunday. I think it was enjoyed by others because by halftime they were gone. I will caution these do take a bit of prep, but the product is rewarding.

Recipe: Pizza Pockets
2 sheets pie crust, store bought or homemade
1 cup pizza or pasta sauce
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
3/4 cup chopped mushrooms
1/4 cup diced green pepper
1/4 cup diced onion
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
salt and pepper to taste
1 egg
1 Tbsp Water

Preheat over to 425 degrees F.

Saute green peppers in olive oil over medium heat for 2 minutes. Add onions and mushrooms. Continue to cook until vegetables are tender. Add garlic salt, pepper and salt to taste. Set aside.

Mix mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses in a small bowl. Set aside.

Roll out pie crusts. Place one sheet on top of the other. Cut crust into desired shape. Make sure the pieces are at least 3 inches in diameter. This will be enough room for the filling.

Mix egg and water. Set aside.

Take two matching cut outs and place side to side. Place 1 tsp pizza sauce in the center of one of the pieces. Top with 1/2 tsp ricotta cheese, 1 tsp veggie mix, and 1 tsp cheese mix. Make sure to leave 1/2 in of so clear ring around filling.

Brush the outside ring of the crust with egg and water mixture. Place matching crust cutout on top. To seal the pieces together, take a fork and press the edges.

Place each pocket, in a single layer, into a greased baking dish.

Cut slits into the top of each pocket for venting. If you are making footballs this will help to create that look.

Brush the tops of each pocket with egg and water mixture.

Bake in over for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned.

Serve with pizza dipping sauce. Enjoy!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Veggie Ricotta Bake

This was one of the dishes I pulled out of no where. I had a dinner party to go to, actually a going away party. I  had forgotten that I needed to bring something, so I whipped this up. I will do my best to create the correct ingredient portions, but like I said I just threw it together, no measuring necessary.

Recipe: Veggie Ricotta Bake
Pie crust (use your favorite recipe for pie crust or use 1 sheet of the premade)
3/4 cup ricotta cheese
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 eggs
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tsp basil seasoning or fresh chopped basil
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/4 cup cooked whole wheat or regular couscous
1/2 cup chopped broccoli
1 chopped tomato
2 chopped green onions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix Ricotta, garlic, 1 egg, salt and pepper, basil, mayonnaise, mozzarella, and couscous. Set aside.

Roll out pie crust. Spread cheese mixture out over the crust, leaving a 1 1/2" ring free of mixture.

Roll the ring of crust over onto mixture, fold as necessary.

Sprinkle veggies on top of cheese mixture that is not covered by the crust.

Mix 1 egg yolk and 1 tbsp water. Spread over visible crust.

Place in over and back for 25-35 minutes or until edges are golden brown.

Mini Taco Cups

I love creative and different appetizers. Here's one that is super easy and can easily be vegetarian or made with meat. I made this last night for a ladies night dinner party at my friend Suzanne's. Thanks Suzanne!

Recipe: Mini Taco Cups

24 won ton wrappers
1/2 lb ground meat (I used elk)
1/2 can low fat re-fried beans
1/2 package taco seasoning
1/3 cup water
1/2 cup shredded cheese, of your choice (I used Mexican blend)
1/4 cup salsa
1/2 avocado
1/4 cup sour cream
2 Tbsp. chopped cilantro

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Cook meat in a medium pan until well browned. Add taco seasoning and water. Mix.

Add re-fried beans to meat and mix well, set aside.

Take your won ton wrappers and place them into an ungreased mini muffin pan. Fold each wrapper gently so it makes a cup inside each mini muffin cup.

Place 1/2-1 Tbsp. of meat mixture into the bottom of each won ton wrapper. Top each cup with a pinch of shredded cheese and a small drop of salsa.

Place in oven and bake on middle rack for approximately 8 minutes or until edges of won tons are golden brown.

Meanwhile, place 1/2 an avocado into a small zip-lock bag. Use your had to smash it. Once smashed add sour cream to the bag. Again mix with your had by smashing. Once it is well mixed, cut a small hole in one of the bottom corners of the bag.

Squeeze a small dollop of avocado mixture onto each taco cup.

Next place a sprinkle of chopped cilantro on each taco cup.

Makes 24 appetizers.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles

If you haven't noticed yet I have a sweet tooth. I can remember Carah Carlman's basement freezer had cookie dough stocked in it at all times. It was a wonderful afternoon treat. Ah, the days when you could eat whatever and not have to work for it. I caution you, these taste like they need a good workout following their consumption. Be careful, but enjoy every bite!

Recipe: Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup milk or soy milk
1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
14 oz dark chocolate candy coating

Mix butter and sugars until fluffy. Add vanilla and soymilk. Mix well. Add dry ingredients and mix until combined.
Fold in chocolate chips.
Place dough in a covered container into fridge for 1 hr.
Remove from fridge and roll dough into 1" balls. Place balls onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Place sheet in freezer for 30 minutes.
Melt chocolate candy coating according to package directions.
Remove balls from freezer. Using a fork dip each ball into melted chocolate. Shake any extra chocolate off. Place chocolate covered ball back onto parchment paper or into individual mini muffin liners.
Keep dough balls chilled and until ready to serve. Enjoy!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Roasted Grape Crostini

Recipe: Roasted Grape Crostini

1 lb. red grapes, no seeds, stems removed
1/3 cup blue cheese or goat cheese
1/4 cup agave nectar
1 baguette
2 Tbsp olive oil

Preheat over to 400 degrees F.

Place grapes on  baking sheet. Drizzle olive oil over grapes. Place in preheated oven for 25-30min or until grapes are slightly wilted. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

Meanwhile, slice baguette into 1-2" slices. Once grapes have cooled, place 2-3 grapes on each bread slice.

Sprinkle each slice with cheese and drizzle agave nectar over each slice.

Before serving place slices on a baking sheet and warm in the oven for 5 min at 350 degrees F.