Famous Focaccia Bread

I purchased a three pack of focaccia bread. I had never had it nor did I really know what to do with it. So between my husband and I we came up with this excellent bread that leaves you craving more. We served it at a spaghetti dinner we were having, and it was a total hit. I hope you like it too. 

Ingredients:

  • Focaccia Bread (you can make your own click here for the recipe)
  • 1 ounce Domestic feta cheese (This is a little saltier than regular feta) crumbled
  • 2 ounces of grated Whole milk mozzarella
  • 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
  2. In a small sauce pan add olive oil, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, basil, thyme, salt and red pepper flakes, and heat until it’s simmering.
  3. Place your focaccia on a lined cookie sheet
  4. Brush the focaccia heavily with the olive oil mixture (cover the entire bread round) 
  5. Top bread with mozzarella and feta
  6. Bake on 350 for 8-10 minutes (depending on your over) until mozzarella cheese is melted (feta won’t melt)
  7. With a pizza cutter cut into slices

Spinach Rice Balls (Leftover Rice Recipe)

I really love this recipe. I hate having left over rice because it’s such a waste, and I always make too much. I normally freeze it and find something else to do with it. Normally I use it to speed up cooking time by just pulling it out of the freezer instead of making more. In the last Woman’s Day magazine I got in the mail, they had an article with this recipe in it. It sounded so good I had to try it. It has a very delicate flavor. The spinach is very mild for all of you spinach haters (yep that includes me) and the parmesan cheese is not as overwhelming as I figured it would be. I am going to find a nice parmesan-mozzarella cheese dip to go with this recipe next time. I think it would add a nice touch.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tsp oil
  • 1 cup thawed frozen cut-leaf spinach
  • 1/2 small onion
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 cup rice (3 cups cooked)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/8 tsp pepper

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 350ºF. Line baking sheet with nonstick foil. Heat 2 tsp oil in skillet over medium heat. Add 1 cup thawed frozen cut-leaf spinach, 1/2 small onion, diced, and 1/2 tsp minced garlic; cook 2 minutes until spinach is tender. 
  2. Stir into spinach mixture 1 cup cooked rice, 1/4 cup grated Parmesan, 1 large egg and 1/8 tsp pepper.
  3. Drop rounded tbsp. onto prepared baking sheet. Bake 20 minutes or until firm. Serve with marinara. Makes about 10.

Beer Batter Onion Rings


These are divine!! I love them. They are well worth making over and over again! I can swear to that!! The flavor is amazing, they are crunchy, and hold their crunch! I haven’t made them in forever but they are certain going back in the rotation!!

 

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup beer (I used Leinenkugel Summer Wheat)
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. white pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 large onions (I used white because they were on sale)
  • vegetable oil for frying
Directions:
  1. Combine all ingredients (except for the oil) in a bowl and mix all together.
  2. Refrigerate for at least one hour. (I have done it without refrigerating and it works fine too if you don’t have time to wait)
  3. Peel onions and cut crosswise 1/3 inch thick and separate into rings.
  4. Dust the onion rings with the some additional flour, shaking off the excess, and coat them with the batter.
  5. Working in batches, fry the onion rings in 2 inches of preheated 370 degrees, oil until they are golden.
  6. Transfer them with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain and sprinkle them with salt to taste.

Creamy Potatoes and Carrots


I love this recipe. I lost it a long time ago, and just happened to find it again. It’s an excellent recipe and makes a tasty side dish. Although the picture does it no justice (old picture) this recipe is delicious!

Ingredients: 
  • 3-4 potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 1 lb. pre-cut baby carrot
  • 1/2 onion, sliced and quartered
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 (10 1/2 ounce) can cream of mushroom soup
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Directions:

  1. Spray roasting pan with nonstick spray.
  2. Place potatoes, carrots and onions on pan.
  3. Add cream of mushroom soup.
  4. Mix in the water
  5. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Bake covered 350 for 1 hour.

Fiesta Pinwheels

Fiesta Pinwheels

This recipe is delicious! At first I wasn’t going to add the chopped black olives, because I am not really a fan. The good news is that I decided to leave them in. I am so thankful I did. You don’t taste the olives at all. They are actually there for the added saltiness that is needed to bring the recipe together. As much as you might want to leave them out or any other ingredient in this recipe I wouldn’t, unless you are allergic to something then leave it in! You won’t regret making these. 

My tip on these would be to make the filling up a few days ahead because the longer they hand out the better the flavor. I found that not only can you make it up on the weekend if you need it during the week but you can keep the filling in the refrigerator and just make a roll when you are in the mood or have guest coming over. This makes enough to feed a lot of people!! I would say at least 48 pinwheels  Enjoy!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 package (8 ounces) neufchatel or cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup picante sauce
  • 2 tablespoons taco seasoning
  • Dash garlic powder
  • 1 can (4-1/2 ounces) finely chopped ripe olives, drained
  • 1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chilies
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) finely shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
  • 8 flour tortillas (10 inches)

Directions:

  1. In a small bowl, beat cream cheese, sour cream, picante sauce, taco seasoning and garlic powder until smooth. Stir in olives, chilies, cheese and onions.
  2. Allow to set for at least 24 hours before you are ready to use the spread.
  3. Spread about 1/2 cup on each tortilla.
  4. Roll up jelly-roll style; wrap in plastic.
  5. Refrigerate for at least 24 hours. Slice into 1-in. pieces. 

Original Recipe Source

(Left Over) Mashed Potato Soup

 
This is a really great way to use up extra mashed potatoes, or to pre-plan a second meal piggy backing off a side dish.  This really doesn’t cost much, and it’s easy. It literally took me ten minutes to put together. It’s a nice warm, hearty, and quick meal for a week night dinner. 

Ingredients

  • 3 (packed) cups of left over mashed potatoes 
  • 3 tbs bacon bits (do not use Baco’s)
  • 4  tablespoons  unsalted butter
  • 3 cans of carnation canned milk or about 4 1/2 cups of milk
  • 3  ounces shredded cheddar
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 thinly sliced green onions (scallions)
  • Top with green onions, cheese, bacon bits, or all!

Directions:

  1. In a sauce pan melt butter 
  2. To the butter add bacon bits, and green onions cook until the green onions are soft 
  3. Add mashed potatoes to the pot and start slowly adding each can of milk one at a time using a whisk to mix together mixture in the pot. 
  4. Once each can is added and the mixture is well mix together bring to a boil, but continue to mix together so you don’t burn the soup. 
  5. Once the soup comes to a boil add the cheddar. 
  6. Add salt and pepper to taste at this point. 
  7. Turn down the temperature and simmer and serve when you are ready.

Cannoli Dip

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This dip is incredibly delicious. It will make you think you are having a real Italian Cannoli. Don’t get me wrong I would rather have a real one but this is a great alternative and a lot less work. I used Crispy Coconut Rolls from Costco as the dippers. This makes a great appetizer for any get together. It’s not only delicious but it also make a nice presentation. I made it as a spur of the moment dessert for a dessert buffet. It was a great hit with no leftovers.

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Ingredients:

  • 2 cups ricotta cheese
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
  • 1-1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Beat ricotta cheese and cream cheese together in a bowl until smooth; add sugar and vanilla.
  2. Continue to stir mixture until sugar is completely incorporated. I used a stand mixer to make my life easier but that is up to you.
  3. Fold chocolate chips through the cheese mixture. I used regular sized chocolate chips but you can use mini. I just used what I had on hand.
  4. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, at least 10 minutes. I recommend at least a few hours!

Original Recipe Source 

Avocado Chicken Tortilla Soup

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I thought this soup was delicious, but it was not a favorite of my families. I think the color didn’t set well with everyone. I don’t think they could get past it. I thought it was a beautiful color of green and it was super creamy! I loved the creaminess and the delicious flavor. I love the idea of adding avocados to a recipe to make it creamy! Quick, and delicious!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts (Cut into bite size pieces)
  • 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 cup chopped green onions
  • 1 jalapeño, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 32 oz. carton chicken broth
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt or to taste
  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
  • 3 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • 2 large avocados, pits removed, scooped out of the shell
  • 1 Roma tomato, diced

Directions:

  1. Heat the oil in a large sauce pot over medium heat.
    Add the onions, jalapeño and garlic. Sauté about 2 minutes until the onion has started to soften.
    Add in the chicken breasts, cumin, and chicken broth. Let simmer until the chicken is cooked through, 10-15 minutes
  2. Remove the chicken from the pot, then shred it into smaller pieces when it has cooled enough to handle.
  3. In a glass blender jar, puree the cilantro and 1 ½ of the avocados with a portion of the broth until creamy. Add the rest of the broth and pulse a few times to combine.
  4. Season to taste with salt and pepper (I added 1/2 tsp kosher salt but add more if you use reduced-sodium broth). Add the broth back to the pot if you used a regular blender.
    Stir in the chicken and lime juice.

Original Recipe Source

Roasted Garlic Compound Butter


I love to keep compound better in the refrigerator. It comes in handy when I make garlic bread or toasted or when I want a few crackers as snack. It keeps for a few months so it’s something you can keep on hand.
 
What’s great about compound butter is you can make it any way you want it. If you like chives, onion, green onion, thyme, basil, or whatever you can add it to your butter.  I have found that the longer the butter sets the better it will taste.  
 
If you have ever purchased pre-made compound butter at a specialty store or a deli you know how expensive it is. You are simply paying for the convenience of someone else making it. Make it yourself, customize it the way you like it, and save a lot of money. The big bonus is you know what’s in it!
 


Ingredients:

  • Roasted Garlic Compound Butter
  • 1 stick salted butter (softened)
  • 1 bulb of garlic
  • *any other spices that you want to add*

Directions for Roasting the Garlic:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Peel away the outer layers of the garlic bulb skin, leaving the skins of the individual cloves intact. Using a knife, cut off 1/4 to a 1/2 inch of the top of cloves, exposing the individual cloves of garlic.
  3. Place the garlic heads in a piece of foil. Drizzle a couple teaspoons of olive oil over each head, using your fingers to make sure the garlic head is well coated. Cover with aluminum foil.
  4. Bake at 400°F for 30-35 minutes, or until the cloves feel soft when pressed.
  5. Allow the garlic to cool enough so you can touch it without burning yourself.
  6. Use a small knife cut the skin slightly around each clove. Use a fork or your fingers to pull or squeeze the roasted garlic cloves out of their skins. 


Compound butter directions:

  1. Once your garlic has completely cool add it to the room temperature butter and make sure it is mixed well. 
  2. Once everything is mixed well together scoop the butter onto a piece of wax paper and form the butter into a stick or into the shape that makes you happy. 
  3. Place in a freezer for 30 minutes to set the butter, then refrigerator after and use as needed. 

Chewy Cafe’ Style Chocolate Chip Cookies

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I am not a big chocolate chip cookie fan. My Mom would always make Tollhouse cookies when I was a kids but they were never my favorite. I never liked how flat and plan they tasted. I don’t normally make chocolate chip cookies because of that very reason. I have never found a recipe that I actually liked… until now! My husband was craving cookies so I decided to search for a chocolate chip cookie recipe that had fantastic reviews and this was certainly the one.

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After my first bite of these cookies I knew why the reviews were so good. You will love this recipe because they actually poof up and are chewy! I love them so much! I am going to add peanut butter chips to them the next time I make them for a different version. Delicious!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1-½ sticks butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1-1/4 cups chocolate chips
  • ¼ cup walnuts

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, cornstarch, and salt. Set aside.
  2. In a stand mixer bowl or a large bowl, mix together melted butter and the sugars mix for about one minute. Next, add in the eggs and vanilla extract. Mix until combined.
  3. Mix dry ingredients in with the wet ingredients and mix only as needed. Fold in the chocolate chips and walnuts.
  4. Cover with plastic wrap or a lid and refrigerate the dough for one hour. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  5. Place 1 inch dough balls on a greased pan baking 2 inches apart. Bake 8-12 minutes depending on your oven. Check on them every few minutes until you reach your desired cookie.

Original Recipe Source