Dec 17

Buffalo Chicken Nachos

This is one of those “let me clear out the fridge and see what I can scrounge up” kinds of dishes. We’ve all been there. And your mind changes 100 times while going through what you have. You think you’re in the mood for one thing, then another, then another…then you realize that you can never go wrong with anything buffalo.

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My only regret is that I didn’t have blue cheese. But it still hit the spot. Next time though, I’ll be sure to have it! Because really, what’s buffalo anything without blue cheese ;)

Buffalo Chicken Nachos

tortilla chips
chicken (I used leftover rotisserie chicken)
monterey jack cheese
tomatoes
scallions
Frank’s Red Hot wing sauce
other recommended toppings: blue cheese, olives, celery

Place chips on broiler pan covered with foil. Add chicken (which you can toss in wing sauce first if you like!), followed by cheese. I used the toaster oven and cooked it for about 7 minutes at 350 degrees, but time will vary depending on the amount you have. Mine was a small portion.

Remove from oven and add whatever veggies you’re using, followed by wing sauce. Serve immediately.

Posted in appetizers, cheese, chicken, leftovers, QuickAndEasy, snacks | Leave a comment
Dec 15

Almond Joy Cookies for the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…yes, aside from the holidays, it’s the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap! Hundreds of food bloggers have once again joined together, thanks to the hard work of Lindsay and Julie , to bake for a good cause. Last year, we raised over $14,000 for Cookies for Kids’ Cancer…I have no idea what this year’s total is yet, but I’m sure it will surpass it!

Each blogger is randomly assigned 3 others and sends each of them a dozen cookies. In return, you receive 3 dozen from 3 other bloggers. What’s better than finding surprise goodies on your doorstep?? We were very happy with ours – thanks again to Beth, Jenni and Vicki for our wonderful treats!

My pick this year was these delicious cookies, inspired by one of my favorite candy bars. I have the rest stored for Christmas and am having a really hard time staying away from them…

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If you’re an Almond Joy fan, you will LOVE these. And you won’t believe how easy they are to make!

Stay tuned later this week when Lindsay and Julie post the HUGE roundup of recipes from all of the participating bloggers! Just in time for your holiday baking :)

Almond Joy Cookies
from Cooking Mamas

1 cup butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
4 eggs
4 teasponns pure vanilla extract
4 1/2 cups AP flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
5 cups semi-sweet chocolate chunks
2 cups flaked coconut
2 cups chopped almonds

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, cream together butter, sugar and brown sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs, one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Combine flour, baking soda and salt. Stir into mixture until well blended.

Add chocolate chips, coconut and almonds and stir. Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto baking sheets.

Bake for 8-10 minutes. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before placing on wire rack to cool completely.

Makes approximately 8 dozen cookies.

Posted in almonds, chocolate, coconut, cookies, dessert, Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap | Leave a comment
Dec 12

Asparagus Gruyere Tart

This post is courtesy of my niece, who made this delicious appetizer for Thanksgiving. It’s almost as gorgeous as she is!

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This is a great dish to keep in mind for the upcoming holidays, especially if you’re looking for something easy. I’m definitely going to experiment with different toppings. Any suggestions on what I should use?

Hope everyone has a great weekend! Oh, and don’t forget to enter my latest giveaway!

Asparagus Gruyere Tart
from Martha Stewart

bench flour
1 sheet frozen puff pastry
2 cups Gruyere cheese, shredded
1 1/2 pounds thick asparagus
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Sprinkle flour on work surface and roll puff pastry into a 16×10 inch triangle. Trim and place on baking sheet.

Score dough one inch around edges with a sharp knife to mark a rectangle. Using a fork, score dough in half inch intervals inside the rectangle. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden.

Remove pastry from oven and sprinkle with cheese. Trim bottoms of asparagus to fit inside shell. Arrange in a single layer, alternating ends and tips. Brush with oil, then season with salt and pepper. Bake until asparagus is tender, 20-25 minutes.

Posted in appetizers, asparagus, cheese | 1 Comment
Dec 8

EZ Tofu Press Giveaway!

Hope everyone had a great weekend! So, how is December treating you so far? Is the holiday craziness getting to you yet? So much to do, so little time.

I know there are plenty of you out there trying to “behave” yourselves so you can indulge during your parties and celebrations. Or, maybe you’re planning on kicking off the New Year with better eating habits. Well then, this giveaway is the perfect one for you!

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Tofu is a healthy eater’s delight, and this tool makes preparing it simple as can be. It allows you to condense tofu and release its moisture to allow better results when cooking. No more piling heavy objects on pans, or whatever other crazy method you had…it’s easy to use, clean and store! Plus, it comes with this a cool measuring tool so you know exactly how thick your tofu is after pressing.

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The folks at EZ Tofu Press sent me their product to try, and they’ve also generously offered to give one to a lucky reader!

To enter, simply leave a comment on this post telling me your favorite way to prepare tofu. And, if you’d like to earn bonus entries:

1- Leave a separate comment telling me you follow me on Instagram (please leave your IG user name in the comment).
2- Leave another comment if you follow me on Pinterest (again, leave your user name in the comment).
3- Share this post on Facebook and leave the link from your page in a separate comment.

Enter now…you don’t want to miss out on this great product!

And speaking of great products, the Thai Red Curry sauce from Trader Joe’s was what I used to prepare this tofu, and it was so good!! Sauteed with whatever veggies you have on hand, it’s the perfect meatless meal. Satisfying and delicious!!

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This giveaway is limited to US residents only and will end on Sunday, December 14th at 6pm EST. The winner will be notified by email and will have 24 hours to respond, otherwise another winner will be randomly chosen.

Good luck!

Posted in giveaway | 16 Comments
Dec 5

Peas & Onions with Leftover Ham

I know lots of people are starting to plan their holiday menus right now, so I bring you one of the dishes I made for Thanksgiving. It’s perfect when you’re pressed for time since it takes only minutes to make, and can even be made ahead.

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I’ve been making this for years and it always gets wiped out. The ham was a quick addition since I’d baked one a few days before and had lots leftover. But, it’s great without ham, too!

It’s delicious, it’s SUPER easy, and it’s cheap!

Peas & Onions with Leftover Ham

3 cups frozen peas, thawed
3 onions, sliced
extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
crushed red pepper
leftover ham (optional)

Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a large deep skillet. Add crushed red pepper to oil (however much you can handle) and cook for around 30 seconds, then add onions and stir. Cook until slightly browned then add peas. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Cook peas for just a few minutes…you don’t want them to get too mushy! Add ham and stir through.

Serve immediately or refrigerate and reheat before serving.

Posted in make ahead, peas, QuickAndEasy, side dishes | Leave a comment
Dec 1

Rainbow Cookies and $100 PayPal Cash Giveaway!

Virtual Cookie Swap Party Momma Lew and her blogger buddies are having a Holiday Cookie Swap Party and you are all invited! Grab a cup of coffee and enjoy the cookies that each blogger has prepared for you!

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Rainbow Cookies
from Lidia Bastianich

2 1/2 sticks butter, cut into pieces and softened, plus more for the pans
2 cups AP flour, plus more for the pans
8 ounces almond paste
1 cup sugar
4 large eggs, separated
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
red and green food coloring (gel preferred)
1 (15 ounce) jar smooth apricot jam
cooking spray
1 pound bittersweet chocolate, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Butter and flour three 9×12 jelly roll pans or rimmed baking sheets and line with parchment paper. Combine almond paste and 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar in a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Mix on medium until mixture is in fine crumbles.

Beat in butter, a few pieces at a time, until combined. Beat in the egg yolks, one at a time, until smooth. Sift 2 cups flour onto a sheet of parchment and sprinkle the salt on top. Add to mixer bowl and beat until just combined.

In another bowl, whisk egg whites until foamy, then while whisking slowly add remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and whisk until firm peaks form. Fold about 1/3 of egg white mixture into batter with a rubber spatula, then gently fold in the rest. Batter should be fluffy.

Divide batter evenly among 3 bowls. Stir enough red food coloring into one bowl to make a deep salmon color. Stir enough green food coloring into another bowl to make a medium green color. Leave third bowl uncolored.

Transfer batter to prepared pans (one pan for each color). Dip an offset spatula in water and spread batter to the edge of each pan, smoothing the tops. Bake, switching the position of the pans halfway through, until cakes are cooked through and just beginning to brown around the edges, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool completely in pans on wire racks.

Spread half of the jam evenly over the green cake layer almost to edges. Unmold the plain cake layer by inverting it onto another pan or cutting board, then peel off parchment. Slide the plain layer onto the green layer (use a wide offset spatula to help you if needed). Spread remaining jam on top of the plain layer.

Unmold the red cake layer and slide it onto the plain layer. Cover cake with plastic wrap and top with one of the empty pans; place several heavy cans on top to weigh down layers. Refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.

Remove cans and plastic wrap. Place a cutting board on top of the cake and flip to unmold it onto cutting board. Remove parchment from the top of the green layer. Trim sides with a knife to make straight edges. Spray a wire rack with cooking spray, then set rack over a baking sheet. Carefully slide the cake onto the rack.

Melt chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water, then pour over the cake. Dip an offset spatula in the hot water and smooth the top and sides. Let set slightly. Scrape wavy lines into the chocolate with a fork. Let cool a few more minutes until the chocolate is mostly set but still slightly tacky (If the lines in the chocolate don’t hold their shape, let the chocolate set a little longer and try again)

Slide cake back onto cutting board. Slice crosswise into 6 strips, then cut each strip into 8 rectangular pieces. For clean edges, dip knife in warm water and wipe it with a cloth between cuts. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one week.

When you are finished enjoying your cookies, we have a great giveaway for you to enter! One lucky reader will win a prize of $100 PayPal Cash to help with your holiday shopping!

Honeycomb(1) This giveaway is open to U.S. Residents, 18+ and one entry per household. Giveaway will end on 12/15 at 11:59pm EST.

Momma Lew is responsible for prize fulfillment. This is a blogger sponsored giveaway.

Posted in chocolate, Christmas, cookies, dessert, giveaway, Lidia, make ahead, Uncategorized | 3 Comments
Nov 25

Pumpkin Pie with Southern Comfort Whipped Cream

The big day is almost here! I thought I’d throw in one more recipe for you to consider putting on your menu. It’s a great way to jazz up an ordinary Thanksgiving day dessert.

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This pie takes no time at all to make, and the whipped cream can be made while it’s in the oven. You’ll be shocked by how easy it is!

Pumpkin Pie with Southern Comfort Whipped Cream
pie recipe slightly adapted from Allrecipes

For the pie:
One pie crust (store bought or homemade), unbaked
2 eggs
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

For the whipped cream:
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup Southern Comfort
1 1/4 cups sugar

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Fit pie crust into a 9 inch pie plate.

Combine remaining ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix well. Pour into pie crust. Place pie on baking sheet.

Bake for 15 minutes then reduce temperature to 350 degrees. Bake until filling is set, around 35-40 minutes. Let cool completely before cutting and top with whipped cream.

To make the whipped cream, combine all ingredients and beat on high speed until stiff peaks form. Refrigerate until use.

Posted in condiments, dessert, make ahead, pie, pumpkin, QuickAndEasy, Thanksgiving | Leave a comment
Nov 18

Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll Cake

It’s a good thing this cake tastes way better than it looks!

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Are you a pumpkin fan? Cinnamon roll fan? If so, you’ve found your next favorite cake. And wait until you see how easy the recipe is.

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It was a huge hit among friends, and it feeds a crowd…so bring it along to your next holiday get together. You’ll all see exactly what I’m talking about! Can’t wait to make it again…this time, for brunch :)

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Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll Cake
slightly adapted from Call Me PMC

1 box yellow cake mix
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
2 eggs
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray or grease a 9×13 baking pan.

Combine cake mix, pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice and eggs in a bowl, and mix until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Pour half the batter into prepared pan.

Add brown sugar and cinnamon to remaining batter and mix until combined. Pour over batter in pan. Smooth the top flat.

Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out of the middle dry.

Combine heavy cream, confectioners’ sugar and vanilla until smooth. Pour over cake once it’s completely cooled. Sprinkle a little cinnamon on top. Refrigerate if not serving immediately.

Posted in cake, dessert, make ahead, pumpkin, QuickAndEasy | Leave a comment
Nov 12

Greek Salad

This is one of my favorite salads, especially paired with the avgolemono soup I posted the other day. Normally you’d see kalamata olives in it, but I ran out…and yes, there was feta cheese…I just didn’t sprinkle it on until right before eating it.

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Stuffed grape leaves are very easy to find these days – even Trader Joe’s carries them. This salad is delicious, fresh and good for you! Pair it with your favorite vinaigrette – I actually made one with some of the juice from the grape leaves.

Greek Salad

romaine lettuce
tomatoes
cucumber
kalamata olives
green pepper
red onion
feta cheese
stuffed grape leaves

Chop/slice all ingredients besides feta and stuffed grape leaves and place in a bowl (amounts of all ingredients depend on how many people you are feeding). Place grape leaves around the perimeter of the dish and top with feta. Serve with your favorite dressing.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
Nov 10

Avgolemono

This soup not only warms my belly and cures most ailments, but it reminds me SO MUCH of my Nana. She made it often as a first course leading up to another Greek dish that was equally delicious. My mom also made it when we weren’t feeling well. It’s family and comfort food rolled into one, and it’s very easy to make!

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Feel free to add chicken to it if you like…I didn’t have any that was leftover, but it’s always a nice way to make the soup a little more hearty.

Avgolemono
from Nana

6 cups chicken stock/broth
3/4 cup rice
3 eggs
juice from 1-2 lemons (taste as you go – I prefer 2 lemons worth)
salt and pepper

Bring stock to a boil, then add rice. Lower heat to medium, cover, and let cook for around 15-20 minutes.

In the meantime, beat eggs and lemon juice together in a bowl. Remove soup from heat. Ladle a small amount of soup into the eggs slowly while whisking them together. Add another ladle slowly and whisk while adding.

Add egg mixture to soup and mix until heated through (do not turn on heat). Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

Serves 4-6.

Posted in eggs, family, Greek, lemon, QuickAndEasy, rice, soup | 1 Comment