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Saturday, December 26, 2009

Brie and Cherry Pastry Cups


Brie Cups

I made these for company on Christmas Eve. They were a hit, but It was just my mom and my sister, so they probably wouldn’t tell me if they tasted awful. My mom did take the recipe and all of my leftover ingredients to make them for her company, so I think she liked them.

I thought they were quite tasty, and took minimal effort – perfect for busy holiday times. This recipe is from my friend Betty at this site.


1 sheet frozen puff pastry (from 17.3-ounce package), thawed

1/3 to 1/2 cup red cherry preserves (see substitution note)

4 ounces Brie cheese, cut into 1/2x1/2-inch pieces (36 pieces)

1/4 cup chopped pecans

2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives (I didn’t add these)



Heat oven to 375°. Spray 36 miniature muffin cups with cooking spray. Cut pastry into 36 (1 1/2-inch) squares. Slightly press each square into muffin cup; press center with finger.

Bake 10 minutes. They will be all puffed up, so press the center with handle of a wooden spoon (I used the handle of my whisk – it was the perfect shape). Bake 6 to 8 minutes longer or until golden brown. Immediately press again in center. Fill each with about 1/2 teaspoon preserves. Top with cheese piece, pecans and chives.

Bake 3 to 5 minutes or until cheese is melted. Serve warm.


If you like spicy foods, try substituting red or green jalapeño jelly for the cherry preserves. It's a delicious touch of sweet and spice!

(I used green jalapeño jelly – not too spicy, just a little bit of heat like an after burn. We liked these more than the cherry ones.)

Also, since there was extra jalapeño jelly I poured some on top of a brick of cream cheese and we spread this on crackers – good stuff!


Go ahead and assemble the cups and bake up to 4 hours in advance, omitting the final bake time for melting the cheese. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to bake. Right before serving, heat at 375° just until warm and cheese is melted.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Spinach Artichoke Salad

Heather requested this recipe so I don't have a picture. I don't know why I have not made this salad in such a long time. As I was typing the directions my mouth was watering just thinking about how good this salad is. This salad really does taste better if you make it the day before, so if you can plan ahead your taste buds will thank you.

1 small pkg. cheese filled tortellini
1/4 -1/2 lb. fresh baby spinach
1 (15 oz.) can baby artichoke hearts in water, drained and chopped
1 roasted red pepper, drained and chopped
1/2 small red onion
1 clove garlic, cracked from skin
1 lemon, zested
2 tsp. lemon juice
2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp. fresh thyme leaved, chopped or 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
Black pepper
Handful of sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, coarsely chopped

Boil tortellini according to package direction. Remember to salt the water. Cool tortellini on cookie sheet in a single layer. Coarsely chop baby spinach. Combine with artichoke pieces, roasted red pepper and red onion. Chop garlic, then add salt to it and mash it into a paste with the flat of your knife. Transfer garlic paste to a small bowl and add lemon zest, lemon juice and vinegar to it. Whisk in oil, thyme and pepper. Add pasta and sun-dried tomatoes to the salad. Dress salad and gently toss.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Choco Bake

Heather Turner sent me a message and asked me if I would give her the recipe for this cake. I figured I would post it here just in case it sounds good to anyone else. This cake is similar to a Texas sheet cake but better because it has a layer of marshmallow cream in between the cake and the frosting. The frosting is thinner than a Texas sheet cake frosting. If you prefer the thicker frosting I am sure you could substitute your favorite chocolate frosting.

1 stick of butter
1/2 c. oil
3 Tbsp. cocoa powder
1 C. water
Boil together. Pour boiling mixture over the following ingredients:

2 C. flour
2 C. sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1/2 c. buttermilk
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla

Mix all ingredients together. Pour batter into a greased and floured jelly roll pan. Bake at 375 for 25 min. Let cool for 5 min. Spread 1 small jar of marshmallow cream over the top. (To help the marshmallow cream spread easier, put it in the microwave for about 1 min. to help soften.) Let the marshmallow cream set up on the cake.

1/2 C. butter
2 Tbsp. cocoa
6 Tbsp. milk
2 1/2 - 3 C. powdered sugar

Beat until smooth in a saucepan over medium heat. Frost cake

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Lion House Gingerbread

Gingerbread is one of my favorite holiday desserts. I'm not talking about the cookies, but the actual gingerbread itself. It is dense and full of flavor. I love it so much we served it at our wedding, because, yes, we were crazy enough to get married in December. So to celebrate our anniversary here is the recipe.

Lion House Gingerbread

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 eggs-well beaten
1 cups molasses
1/2 t. salt
2 1/2 cups sifted flour
1 1/2 t. baking soda
1 t. cinnamon
1 t. ginger
1/2 t. powdered cloves
1 cups hot water

Cream butter and sugar well, about 3-4 minutes in an electric mixer. Add eggs and molasses. Beat well. Sift dry ingredients together in a separate and add to creamed mixture. Add hot water and beat until smooth. Pour into a greased and floured 9x13 pan. Bake 30-35 minutes minutes at 350. You can serve it with fresh whipped cream, sliced bananas, powdered sugar, or just plain.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Coconut Macaroons


Coconut Macaroon

This recipe comes from Alton Brown.

Click HERE to see him make them. I found this video to be helpful.

I made these for neighbor gifts last year. It’s a good thing I gave them away, or else I would have eaten every one of them myself. I didn’t top mine with chocolate – they were quite tasty with out it. These cookies do not taste like the macaroons you get from the store – they are so much better!

P.S. I converted some of Alton’s measurements to cups so that they are easier to measure. 


2 (7 to 8-ounce) packages sweetened shredded coconut
1/4 C sweetened condensed milk
Pinch kosher salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 large egg whites at room temperature 
2/3 granulated sugar

12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
1 ounce vegetable shortening
2 ounces finely chopped dry-roasted macadamia nuts


Preheat the oven to 325

Combine the coconut with the sweetened condensed milk, salt and vanilla in a medium mixing bowl. Alton used his hands, but I found a wooden spoon to be sufficient.

In the bowl of a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on medium speed until foamy. Gradually add the sugar and continue to whip the whites until medium peaks form, 6 to 7 minutes.

Gently fold the egg whites into the coconut mixture. Scoop tablespoon-sized mounds onto a parchment-lined half sheet pan and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Immediately transfer the parchment with the macaroons to a cooling rack. Cool completely before topping.

Combine the chocolate chips and shortening in a small bowl and microwave until melted.

Dip the cooled cookies in the chocolate mixture, sprinkle with the chopped macadamia nuts and place on parchment paper to set, about 30 minutes.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

New Categories/Labels

Some new categories have been added to the right - I have tried to add labels to most of the existing recipes, but if you feel that your recipe should have an additional label, just edit your post and add the label at the bottom.

Caramel Popcorn

This recipe is so easy, and I always have the ingredients on hand. I can have this stuff made in about 15 minutes. We can't stay out of it and it's usually gone in one sitting. I like it because it makes a big batch and I can divy it up and give some away to the neighbors for Christmas.


4 quarts popped popcorn (1/2 C Kernels)
1/2 C butter
1 C brown sugar
15 lg. marshmallows - or 2 C mini

In a medium sauce pan, melt butter. Add sugar and marshmallows and stir over medium/hight heat until mixture comes to a boil. Pour over popcorn and mix until the popcorn is evenly coated.

We eat it right out of the bowl, but you could spread it out on a cookies sheet so that it will cool and can be put into some type of a container to give away.