Sunday, April 25, 2010

Assorted Chocolate Truffles

I made a bunch of these truffles for a Young Women's thing for church recently. I made peanut butter truffles, oreo truffles, chocolate covered cheesecake balls (buy your favorite cheesecake, roll into balls, refrigerate and cover in chocolate), & apple truffles (use a melon baller to make balls from an apple, cover with chocolate and whatever other toppings you want ((nuts, coconut, caramel dots, peanut butter wafers melted, etc))

Peanut Butter Truffles

1/2 c butter, melted
1 1/2 c peanut butter
4 c powdered sugar

Combine all the ingredients. (I use my hands) Roll the mixture into 1/2 T balls. Refrigerate them for about an hour. Coat them with melted chocolate almond bark and let them set on parchment paper. On these I drizzled melted peanut butter wafers.

Oreo Truffles

1 (16 ounce) package OREO Chocolate
Sandwich Cookies
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
Chocolate Almond Bark coating

Crush the oreos in a food processor until they're fine crumbles. Add cream cheese; mix until well blended. Roll cookie mixture into 1-inch balls.

Refrigerate for about an hour.

Dip balls in chocolate; place on wax paper-covered baking sheet.

I drizzled these with a little white almond bark coating.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Popcorn Heaven!!

I got this recipe from a woman in my ward at church. It looks like she got it from Our Best Bites which is an awesome food blog. It's seriously one of those recipes that you will want to make over and over and over again. One of those recipes that you will seriously crave! It's so so good. I could have eaten the whole batch myself! I didn't use white chocolate. I used a dark chocolate wafer coating.

Cinnamon Caramel Corn with Pecans & White Chocolate

Recipe by Our Best Bites

12 C popped popcorn (about 1/2 C kernels)

1 C pecan halves, roughly chopped

1 C brown sugar

3/4 t cinnamon

1/4 C karo syrup (or honey makes a good substitution)

1 stick real butter (1/2 C)

1t vanilla

1/2 t baking soda

3 squares almond bark (about 4 oz)

Preheat oven to 250 degrees

Place popcorn and chopped pecans in a large bowl and set aside.

Combine brown sugar and cinnamon in a 2 liter capacity microwave safe bowl. Mix well. Chop butter into chunks and place on top of sugar mixture. Pour corn syrup over the top of everything. Microwave on high for 30 seconds and then stir to combine. Return to microwave and heat for 2 minutes. Remove and stir and then microwave for 2 minutes more.

Remove from microwave and add in vanilla and baking soda. Stir to combine. Mixture will foam and rise. Pour caramel mixture over popcorn and pecans and stir very well so everything is well coated.

Spread popcorn mixture onto a foil-lined jelly roll pan. Place in oven and bake for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.

Remove from oven and spread out on a large piece of parchment, waxed paper, or foil.

Melt almond bark according to package instructions. Drizzle over popcorn mixture. When almond bark is hardened and popcorn is cool, break into chunks and enjoy! (I actually like the Ghirardelli Candy Making and Dipping Bar instead of the almond bark.) I have also used a combination of melted white chocolate and melted chocolate chips or the Ghirardelli. I have melted them separately and drizzled them alternately on the warm popcorn.

Cute lunch box

We used these for a Young Women's luncheon a few weeks ago. They're called gable boxes. We had them sitting on the tables open with a sandwich, chips, cookie and an orange inside. The girls and their mom ate their lunch and then they could take some of it to go if they wanted. They were a big hit. We got them at

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Penne with Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese & Salmon Cakes

I made this last night for dinner. It was SO SO good. The penne was very unique. It was cool to make a cream sauce using goat cheese, definitely better for you. It's also a great alternative for lactose intolerant people. I think next time I will use a little less pasta because the cream sauce dried out quickly from the pasta to sauce ratio. The salmon cakes were seriously amazing! I used fat free greek yogurt and the sauce was awesome.

Penne with Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese

Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis

Prep Time:
8 min
Inactive Prep Time:
Cook Time:
1 hr 0 min
4 to 6 servings


  • Vegetable oil cooking spray
  • 1 (2-pound) butternut or kombucha squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 1 onion, diced into 1/2-inch pieces
  • Olive oil, for drizzling
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound penne pasta
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted (see Cook's Note)
  • 1 packed cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1/3 cup finely grated Parmesan


Put an oven rack in the upper third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Spray a baking sheet, liberally, with vegetable oil cooking spray. Set aside.

Mix the squash and onion together and arrange in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Bake for to 40 to 45 minutes until the vegetables are golden and cooked through. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool slightly.

While the squash mixture is cooling, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and reserve about 2 cups of the pasta water. Put the pasta, goat cheese and 1 cup of pasta water in a large serving bowl. Toss until the cheese has melted and forms a creamy sauce. Add the squash and onion mixture, the walnuts and the basil. Toss well and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Garnish with Parmesan and serve.

Cook's Note:

To toast the walnuts, arrange them in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake in a preheated 350 degree F oven until lightly toasted, about 6 to 8 minutes Cool completely before using.

Salmon Cakes with Lemon-Caper Yogurt Sauce

Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis

Prep Time:
20 min
Inactive Prep Time:
20 min
Cook Time:
15 min
6 to 8 salmon cakes



  • 1 pound skinless salmon fillet (see Cook's Note)
  • Olive oil, for drizzling
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1/3 cup (1/2-ounce) chopped fresh chives
  • 26 saltine crackers, crushed, divided
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn, thawed
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise, plus more, as needed
  • 1 tablespoon capers, rinsed and drained
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature


  • 1/2 cup full-fat plain Greek yogurt (I used fat free)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons capers, rinsed, drained and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


Salmon: Put a grill pan over medium-high heat or preheat a gas or charcoal grill. Drizzle the salmon with olive oil and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Grill until the flesh is cooked through and flakes easily with a fork, about 6 to 8 minutes on each side. Set aside to cool for 20 minutes.

Patties: Using a fork, flake the salmon into 1/2-inch pieces and put into a medium bowl. Add the egg, chives, 1/2 of the crushed crackers, the corn, mustard, mayonnaise, capers, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Mix gently until just combined. Form the mixture into 2 1/2-inch diameter patties, about 3/4 inches thick. (If the mixture is too dry to form into patties, add extra mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon at a time,) Carefully coat the patties in the remaining crushed crackers and refrigerate for 1 hour. In a large nonstick skillet, heat the oil and butter over medium heat. Add the patties and cook until golden and crispy, about 7 to 8 minutes each side. Drain on paper towels.

Sauce: In a small bowl, mix together the yogurt, capers, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Arrange the salmon cakes on a platter and serve alongside the sauce.

Cook's Note:

The salmon can also be baked in a 350 degree F oven. Drizzle the salmon with olive oil and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Put in a baking dish and bake until just cooked through, about 15 to 20 minutes

BBQ Chicken Supreme

This just added something extra to plain chicken. I cooked frozen chicken in a 350 degree oven for about 45 minutes (just until cooked through). Then I topped the chicken with a spoonful of BBQ sauce, a layer of sliced baby bella mushrooms, sliced green onions and sharp cheddar and put them back in the oven until the cheese was melted. SO good.

Mom's Simply Super Salsa!

My mom makes the BEST salsa. It's so so good and the great thing is it's SO easy. I made some last week to go along with our shredded pork tacos. For the tacos I just put 4 thick Costco pork chops, 4 oz of roasted green chilies and 1 small can of mexican style tomato sauce in the crockpot and cooked it until it would shred (about 8 hours).

Mom's Simply Super Salsa

1 large can of whole tomatoes (I think it's 28 oz)
1 small can of sliced jalapenos (I think it's 4 oz)
garlic powder (to taste)
salt (to taste)

Just put the whole tomatoes in a blender (add as much juice from the can as you want for the consistency you like). Then add the jalapenos & a few dashes of garlic and salt. Then blend and taste. Keep adding salt and garlic powder to taste (the longer it sits the more the garlic and salt will come out, so don't over season). You can also add more jalapenos if you want it spicier.

I saw this recipe in a magazine a few weeks ago and decided to try it for Sunday dinner as a side to halibut. It was delicious, unique, beautiful and nutritious!

Edamame, Black Bean & Wheat Berry Salad

Serves 6 (3/4-cup servings)

4 cups water
1/2 cup dry wheat berries
1/2 of a 15-ounce can of black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup frozen, shelled edamame, thawed
1 cup chopped tomato
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
2 Tbsp. Pompeian Red Wine Vinegar
3 Tbsp. Pompeian OlivExtra Plus

Salt and black pepper to taste

1. Combine water and wheat berries in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 55 minutes or until wheat berries are just tender.

2. Place in a fine mesh strainer and run under cold water to cool quickly, drain well.

3. Combine the wheat berries with the remaining ingredients in a medium bowl. Serve immediately or cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate up to 8 hours in advance.

Wheat berries are unprocessed wheat kernels and are sold in major supermarkets and health food stores.

Baby Boy Shower Idea

I made these for a baby boy shower I did last week. I just topped cupcakes with edible Easter basket grass (I have a ton left over if anyone wants some.) and mini robin eggs.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Easter idea - For next year! ;)

Use food coloring in your sugar cookie dough and then roll them out to make egg cookies!

Meatball and Broccoli Rabe Stoup

I made this a few weeks ago. It was really good. I used beef instead of veal and bow tie pasta instead of orecchiette. I thought it was a little too thick, so next time I will add more liquid and I think I will cook the pasta and set it aside and put it in at the last minute to keep it al dente.

Veal Meatball and Broccoli Rabe Stoup

Recipe courtesy Rachael Ray


  • 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds broccoli rabe, 1 large bunch, trimmed and cut into large bite-sized pieces
  • Salt
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, 1 minced, 3 chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 can white beans, cannellini
  • Black pepper
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 2 cups beef or vegetable stock
  • 1/3 pound orecchiette, little ear shaped pasta, or ditalini
  • 1 pound ground veal
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs, a couple of handfuls
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano or Romano, a generous handful, plus some to pass at table
  • 2 to 3 fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
  • Crusty bread, for mopping


Bring a couple of inches of water to a boil in a medium skillet. Add salt to boiling water and the broccoli rabe and cook 7 to 8 minutes. Drain rabe and reserve.

While rabe cooks, heat a medium soup pot over medium to medium high heat with 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil. Add 3 cloves chopped garlic, carrots and onions. Cook 5 to 6 minutes, add white beans and heat through, a minute. Season veggies and beans with salt and pepper. Add drained rabe and the stocks and cover pot to bring to a quick boil. Add orecchiette and stir. Reduce heat and simmer soup to a low-roll, uncovered.

Mix veal with egg, remaining clove minced garlic, bread crumbs, cheese, sage and salt and pepper. Roll into 1-inch balls and drop into stoup. Cook 5 minutes. Adjust seasonings and serve stoup in shallow bowls with crusty bread.

Brussel Sprouts with Pecans and Cranberries

I made this a few weeks ago and served it with roasted potatoes and chicken breast cooked in Italian dressing in a crockpot on low.

Brussels Sprouts with Pecans and Cranberries


  • 1 pound fresh Brussels sprouts, rinsed and trimmed
  • 3 ounces coarsely chopped pecans
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 4 ounces coarsely chopped dried cranberries


Slice the Brussels sprouts using the thinnest slicing disk of a food processor. If you do not have a food processor, you may slice thinly with a knife or a mandoline.

Set a 10-inch straight-sided saute pan over medium-high heat and add the pecans. Cook, stirring continually, until the pecans darken in color and begin to give off a toasted aroma, approximately 2 minutes. Add the butter to the pan and stir to combine. Once the butter has melted, add the Brussels sprouts, salt and pepper and cook, stirring continually, until the color brightens and the sprouts are just tender, approximately 6 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, add the cranberries, toss and serve.