Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Ma! The meatloaf!!

When I told the husband that meatloaf was on this week's menu I heard an under breath groan and it made me realize how meatloaf has a bad wrap. At that point I decided that I needed to do something to spark the husband's interest and get him excited about meatloaf (can one REALLY get excited about meatloaf?).

I decided to jazz up the boring old meatloaf with chunks of sharp cheddar cheese, caramelized onions, and a brown sugar glaze. The result? A meatloaf that husband was asking if he could take the leftovers for lunch. If that isn't someone who is excited about a meatloaf, I don't know what is.

Enjoy :)

Tana's Jazzed Up Meatloaf

For the loaf:
1 1/2 pounds ground beef OR a mix of beef, veal, pork totaling 1 1/2 pounds
1 egg
1 onion, sliced
2 tbsp butter
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup milk
1 cup dried bread crumbs
1 cup cheddar cheese cubes
2 tsp worschister sauce
salt and pepper to taste

For the glaze:
1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup light brown sugar
2 tsp worschister sauce

In a large skillet, combine sliced onion with 2 tbsp butter and 1 teaspoon sugar. Allow to caramalize then let cool.

In a large bowl, combine the beef, egg, onion, milk, worsticher sauce, and dried bread crumbs. Add cheese cubes. Season with salt and pepper to taste and place in a lightly greased 5x9 inch loaf pan.

Mix the ketchup, worschister sauce, and brown sugar together until combined. Slater over the meatloaf.

Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Turkey Day Apple Pie - Take 1.

This week I've been doing some trail runs for my Thanksgiving Day desserts, to which my husband has declared as his best week ever. Last night's trial run was for the Apple Crumb Pie and it is a winner. The addition of raisins and walnuts add a touch of unexpected deliciousness and coupled with the most delicious pie crust I have ever made (thanks to fellow blogger Holly over at Becoming Mrs. Allan for the heads up on the recipe), I'm confident that it will be a hit next Thursday!

Enjoy :)

Apple Crumb Pie
(adapted from

1 (9 inch) pie crust, unbaked (see below for recipe)
6 apples, cored and thinly sliced (I used 3 granny smith & 3 macintosh for a tart and sweet combo)
3/4 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons butter

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

In a large bowl, mix together white sugar, 2 tablespoons flour, cinnamon, and allspice. Stir in raisins and walnuts. Add sliced apples to the bowl and toss until they are evenly coated. Spoon mixture into pie shell.

In a small bowl mix together 1/2 cup flour and brown sugar. Cut in butter or margarine until mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle mixture over apple filling. Cover top of the pie loosely with aluminum foil.

Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 35 minutes, until top is golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.

Pie Crust
(adapted from

3/4 cup cake flour
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
5 tablespoons shortening
1 egg yolk
2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar
3 cubes ice
1/2 cup cold water

Measure butter & shortening onto a plate, put into freezer for about 20 minutes.

Measure cake flour, all-purpose flour, sugar, salt and baking powder into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse for a few seconds to mix.

Take 1/2 of the cold butter and 1/2 of the cold shortening, put into processor with dry ingredients and pulse off and on for about 1 minute. Scrape down twice while doing this.

Take remainder of the cold butter & cold shortening and cut in very briefly with the processor, leaving visible pea-sized chunks. Do not over process at this stage!

In a measuring cup, mix egg yolk and vinegar together, add ice cubes and water. Let this get chilled, about 3 to 4 minutes.

Remove mixed flours and shortening from processor, put into a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle approximately 2 tablespoons of this egg, water, vinegar mixture, a little at a time, mixing gently with a fork. The key to this is, you do not want a wet dough, and you do not want to overmix.

Place this dough into plastic wrap or plastic bag, chill in refrigerator for a few minutes. (May also be frozen for a few weeks at this stage for future use).

Lemons and Walnuts and Carbonara Sauce... oh my!

Every time the husband and I go to our favorite Italian restaurant I order the tortelloni with carbonara sauce. I "ooh" and "ahh" over the rich, creamy sauce. I sop up every last drop with a hunk of bread. I always tell my husband "this sauce is all I need for the rest of my life" to which he literally laughs out loud at me. But do I care? No way. Because I'm in love with carbonara sauce.

Truth be told, I have always been a bit apprehensive about making it at home. I consider myself a fairly good home cook but the thought of my dream meal turning in to pasta with scrambled eggs in a cream sauce worried my little carbonara loving heart. Then there was last night when I decided to go for the gold and let me tell you... I sure am glad that I did. The sauce came together beautifully with it's decadent heavy cream and panchetta base. I did, however, varry slightly from the traditional sauce and added some lemon zest & juice as well as some walnuts for that extra little crunch. I also knew that my meat loving husband would need some form of protein so I baked off a few boneless, skinless chicken breasts (seasoned with olive oil, salt & pepper) and then shredded them and added them into the mix.

Enjoy :)

Lemon Walnut Chicken Carbonara
(adapted from Giada DeLaurentis)

2 teaspoons olive oil
4 ounces thinly sliced pancetta, chopped
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 pint heavy cream
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
4 egg yolks
1 tbsp dried basil
1 tbsp dried parsley
1 pound pasta (I used mezza rigatoni)
3 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
zest from 1 lemon
juice from 1/2 a lemon

Heat the oil in a heavy large frying pan over medium heat. Add the pancetta and garlic and saute until it is brown and crisp, about 8 minutes. Cool slightly.

In a large bowl, whisk together the cream, cheese, yolks, basil, and parsley to blend.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until it is just tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Drain.

Add the chicken to the pan with the pancetta and stir to combine. Next, add the cream mixture and toss over medium-low heat until the chicken is heated through.

Sprinkle the lemon zest, walnuts, and juice from the 1/2 lemon. Stir to combine. Add the cooked pasta to the pan and toss so that the pasta is coated with sauce (do not boil or you might end up scrambling the eggs). Let simmer on low heat for 5 minutes before serving.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Some recipes are a little corny...

Excuse the cheesy title - being witty isn't always do-able after a long day! However, whipping up a yummy chipotle Corn Chowder IS do-able. I spotted the recipe for this soup on one of my favorite blogs, The Pioneer Woman, and knew I'd have to give it a whirl. I won't lie, I was a bit hesitant since I'm married to a man who thinks red meat deserves it's due justice morning, noon, and night, so a meal that is basically all veggies? Ehhh... I knew it would have to be top notch to win him over. And guess what? It was! I adjusted the original recipe slightly by using frozen corn, adding a chipotle pepper, adding more cream, and playing with the amount of cornmeal but myself and my dinner dates (my dear husband and culinary guru father!) agreed that it was quite delicious and a perfect soup for a crisp fall night.

Also - This could easily be made vegetarian by omitting the bacon and using vegetable stock instead of chicken. I don't know why you WOULD omit the bacon but I won't judge you if you do :)


Chipotle Corn Chowder
(adapted from The Pioneer Woman)

2 slices bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 large yellow onion, finely diced
32 ounces frozen corn, thawed
3 whole chipotle peppers In adobo sauce, finely diced + 2 tablespoons of the adobo sauce
1 whole 4-ounce can diced green chilies
32 ounces, fluid low sodium chicken broth
2 cups heavy cream
½ teaspoons kosher salt
6 tablespoons corn meal
1/2 cup water

Add bacon pieces to a pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Cook for a couple of minutes. Throw in diced onion and stir, cooking the onion for 3 to 4 minutes. Add butter and melt. Add corn. Stir and cook for one minute. Add both kinds of chilies and stir.

Pour in chicken broth and cream. Add salt. Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low.

Combine cornmeal with water. Stir to combine, then pour into the chowder. Cover and cook for 15 minutes over low heat. If chowder needs more thickening, add another tablespoon of cornmeal mixed with water. Cook for another ten minutes.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

This bread is BANANAS... B-A-N-A-N-A-S.

Before you start, I'm well aware that I have been a delinquent blogger so there is no need to remind me ;) At least I have a decent excuse... The photography business that the husband and I started has taken off like gangbusters leaving little to no free time. But fear not! Today starts our "off" season so I shall be back to my food blogging ways with a vengeance. You've been warned.

To kick us off right, I want to share with you the most AMAZING banana bread that I've ever eaten. The husband is typically not a fan of banana bread so he was a bit hesitant to try this one at first. But then I told him that there was delicious dark rum in the bread. And he managed to woof down a piece like there was no tomorrow.

Without further ado, I present to you Bananas Foster Banana Bread. Moist. Decadent. Rich. And shockingly a recipe that I adapted from Cooking Light.

Enjoy :)

Bananas Foster Banana Bread
(adapted from Cooking Light)

4 ripe bananas, mashed
1 cup packed brown sugar, divided
6 tablespoons butter, melted and divided
1/4 cup dark rum, divided
1/3 cup plain fat-free yogurt
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
Cooking spray
1/3 cup powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350°.

Combine banana, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 5 tablespoons butter, and 3 tablespoons dark rum in a nonstick skillet. Cook over medium heat until mixture begins to bubble. Remove from heat; cool. Place banana mixture in a large bowl. Add yogurt, remaining 1/2 cup brown sugar, and egg. Beat with a mixer at medium speed.

Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 5 ingredients (through allspice) in a small bowl. Add flour mixture to banana mixture; beat just until blended. Pour batter into a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.

Remove from oven; cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack. Remove bread from pan; place on wire rack.

Combine remaining 1 tablespoon melted butter, remaining 1 tablespoon cognac, and powdered sugar; stir until well blended. Drizzle over the warm bread.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Lemony goodness

Lemon squares are such a time honored dessert that I thought I had a great recipe already. That is until I found this beauty on this fabulous blog, Noble Pig. Although it sounds like a rather peculiar title for a blog, it is a blog that I keep turning to again and again for my beloved food porn (and that's a good thing!).

This past weekend, Mr. M and I celebrated his birthday with the help of our closest friends and family members. Since we were just having a small get together, I decided to just do desserts. I decided upon Lemon Squares because a) Mr. M likes them & b) I like them. Bet you can't guess which reason really made me decide to make them ;)

I'm sort of picky when it comes to my lemon squares. No gelatin, slimy lemon filling will do. I like substance in my squares and this recipe, does just the trick. Per usual, I made a few small adaptations and, if I may say so myself, it only enhanced the beautiful recipe by Ms. Noble Pig :)


Lemon Squares
(adapted from Noble Pig)

2 cups of flour plus 4 Tablespoons
1/2 cup of powdered sugar plus more for sprinkling
1 cup of butter (melted)
4 eggs
2 cups of sugar
the zest from 2 lemons
the juice from 2 lemons
1 teaspoon baking powder
Dash of salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease a 9 x 13 pan with cooking spray.

Combine 2 cups of flour, 1/2 cup powdered sugar and butter. Make into a dough and press into a 9 x 13 pan. Bake for 20 minutes until edges are golden brown. Let completely cool.

Combine eggs, granulated sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest and salt. Whisk together. Fold in 4 Tablespoons of flour and baking powder until combined. Poor mixture over all ready cooled crust and bake at the same temperature for 25 minutes; make sure it is fully baked before removing from the oven in all spots otherwise it will be runny.

Sprinkle powdered sugar over the baked lemon squares while still hot from the oven. Sprinkle again once the squares have cooled.

When completely cooled, cut into squares.

Beef, it's what's for dinner.

The darling Mr. TL rarely gets red meat prepared at home. Why you ask... well, it's not my favorite. Unless you're taking about a tender, medium cooked filet mignon with a Gorgonzola sherry cream sauce, then I'm pretty much never going to be in favor of red meat. However, when I read rave reviews about this gem of a recipe, I figured I could appease the darling husband for one meal... with a big bun full of meat (with lots of sharp provolone melted over the top!).

I'll be the first to admit that this recipe was over the top incredible. Apparently the Pioneer Woman actually does know what she is taking about ;) I adapted my recipe slightly by utilizing my favorite kitchen gadget, the slow cooker, and allowing the beef to become magical by cooking all day. I'm not sure if it is a bonus or torture that you get to smell the delicious scent of it all day, but ya do. So deal with it and Enjoy :)

Italian Drip Beef
(adapted from The Pioneer Woman Cooks)

1 whole Beef Chuck Roast, 2.5 To 4 Pounds
1 can Beef Broth
1 packet of Good Seasons Italian Dressing
1 teaspoon Salt
1/4 cup Water
16 Oz Pepperoncini Peppers, With Juice
Buttered, Toasted Deli Rolls
4-6 slices of sharp provolone (but any cheese will do)

Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker. Stir lightly to combine seasoning with the liquid. Cover and turn on low for 6 hours.

When 6 hours is up (or when you can't stop salivating at the smell) completely shred all meat with two forks, leaving no large chunks behind. Serve immediately, or keep warm over a simmer on the stove.

You may make the day before, then store in the refrigerator. Remove the hardened fat from the top before reheating.

Serve on buttered, toasted rolls. Top with cheese (sharp provolone is recommended) and melt under the broiler if desired (and believe me, you'll desire it).

The way to my husbands heart...

Is via buffalo wing flavored items... buffalo chicken dip, buffalo chicken pizza, buffalo chicken cookies... ok, maybe not that last one, but you get the point. Mr. M loves him any meal inspired by the famous chicken wing and this meal, was no exception. And bonus points for the recipe being derived from Cooking Light!

I am a huge blue cheese fan so after one read through of the recipe, I knew I had to have it. The cheese, once folded with light cream cheese, became very easy to stuff into the butterflied breast and stayed intact surprisingly well during the browning and then sub sequential baking process. That is, until I cut into it, and had a blue cheese moat on my plate. That my friends, is pure heaven.

I made a few minor adaptations to the original recipe, which I've noted below and would make it with the same adaptations again in the future!

Enjoy :)

Blue Cheese-Stuffed Chicken with Buffalo Sauce

(adapted from Cooking Light)

3/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
2 tablespoons fat free cream cheese
1 teaspoon lime juice
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 skinless, boneless chicken breast
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons 1% reduced-fat milk
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 1/2 tablespoons butter, divided
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons water
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
2 teaspoons hot sauce
2 tablespoons buffalo sauce

Preheat oven to 350°.

Combine first 4 ingredients in a small bowl. Cut a horizontal slit through thickest portion of each chicken breast to form a pocket. Stuff cheese mixture evenly into pocket.

Place flour in a shallow dish. Combine milk and egg in a shallow dish, stirring well with a whisk. Place panko in a shallow dish. Working with 1 chicken breast half at a time, dredge chicken in flour, then dip in egg mixture; dredge in panko. Repeat procedure with remaining chicken, flour, egg mixture, and panko.

Heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon butter and extra virgin olive oil to pan; swirl until butter melts. Arrange chicken in pan; cook 4 minutes or until browned. Turn chicken over and allow to brown another 4 minutes.

Place skillet in oven. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until done.

While chicken bakes, combine remaining butter, water, Worcestershire, and garlic in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer; cook until butter melts. Remove from heat, and stir in hot sauce and buffalo sauce. Serve sauce with chicken.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Blondes have WAY more fun!

Baked goods and pastries are my arch nemesis. Brownies, especially, are my weakness. This past weekend I had some of my best girlfriends over for our monthly girls night and I decided to mix up the traditional brownie dessert recipe and whip up some delicious blondies!

I found this recipe after a quick google search and adapted it accordingly. I served it with vanilla bean ice cream + homemade caramel sauce (a post for another day!).

Enjoy :)

Butterscotch Walnut Blondies
(adapted from SimplyRecipes)

1 cup of butter, melted
2 cups of tightly packed dark brown sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 teaspoon of vanilla
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon of baking soda
Pinch of salt
2 cups of all-purpose flour
1/2 cup of butterscotch chips
1/2 cup of chopped walnuts

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly butter and flour an 9x13 pan. Whisk together the melted butter and sugar in a bowl.

Add the egg and vanilla extract and whisk.

Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt, mix it all together. Add the butterscotch chips or other mix-ins.

Pour into the pan and spread evenly. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool. Cut into squares and serve.

One of my favorite snack foods...

... is a big soft pretzel. Preferably with a side of honey mustard to dunk it in. Clearly, this isn't exactly a healthy snack but thanks to my friend Katy and her find in the Hungry Girl 1-2-3 Cookbook, I was able to include my love of pretzels + honey mustard into this evenings dinner!

I adapted the recipe slightly and have included the adaptations below. The result was a very tasty chicken finger that didn't even need a dunking sauce and is moderatley good for you!

Enjoy :)

Pretzel Coated Honey Mustard Chicken Fingers

(adapted from Hungry Girl 1-2-3 cookbook)

3 tbsp clover honey

3 tbsp grainy mustard

2 egg whites

1 pound boneless chicken tenderloins

2 dashes salt

2 dashes black pepper

8 ounces hard salted pretzels,finely crushed

2 packets of Splenda (any sugar substitute will do)

Preheat oven to 350 F

Mix honey, mustard and egg whites together in a small bowl.

Season chicken strips with salt and pepper and then submerge in the mustard-egg mixture. Set aside to marinate for at least 5 minutes (I let mine marinate for 8 hours).

Mix crushed pretzels with Splenda and spread mixture out on a plate. Spray a baking rack with nonstick spray.

Thoroughly coat chicken strips with the pretzel mixture, and then transfer to the baking rack sheet. (Discard excess mustard-egg mixture.) Mist the tops of the strips with nonstick spray.

Bake in the oven for 30 minutes.

Friday, January 8, 2010

So about that eating healthy...

I flagged this recipe on The Food Network website from Sunny Anderson a few months ago and knew that when the husband and I wanted to indulge, this would be the meal. Fried fish... big, crusty sourdough rolls... cheesy, creamy pasta. Yum yum yum.

Tonight was the night to indulge! Next week we get into the full swing of healthy eating, gym going, and spin classes so it was the perfect evening to go for it.

The batter on the fish is so perfect (LOVE the cornmeal!) and the mac and cheese is sharp and delicious. The original recipe called for catfish but I used locally caught pollock, which is a nice, dense fish that holds up really well to frying. The mac & cheese also called for onion and while I loooove onion, the Mr. does not, so I sub in shallots whenever a recipe calls for an onion (which makes the onion taste more mild).


Crunchy Fish Sandwiches and Stove Top Mac & Cheese


Ingredients for Spicy Tarter Sauce:

1 cup mayonnaise 1 lemon, juiced
3 teaspoons prepared horseradish
2 teaspoons hot sauce
2 tablespoons dill relish
Pinch kosher salt
Pinch ground pepper

Ingredients for Fish:

Oil, for frying
2 eggs
3 dashes hot sauce
2 teaspoons Old Bay
1 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
4 fish filets
4 sourdough sandwich rolls
4 tablespoons butter, softened

To make the Spicy Tartar Sauce:

Mix all the sauce ingredients in a small bowl until well combined. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

To make the Fish:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a deep 12-inch pan set over medium-high heat, add enough oil so it comes 1/3 of the way up the sides. Heat the oil to 375 degrees F.

In a wide-mouth bowl, whisk the eggs with the hot sauce, Old Bay and a pinch of salt. In a small paper bag, mix together the cornmeal, flour, cornstarch, and salt and pepper, to taste. Dredge the fish in egg mixture, then in the flour mixture. Gently shake off excess flour. Set aside and repeat with remaining flounder. Fry the fish in batches until golden, about 2 to 3 minutes each side, being careful to keep the temperature at 375 degrees F. Remove fish to a paper towel to drain and immediately season
with salt.

Slice the sandwich rolls in half, slather the cut sides with butter and season with salt. Arrange, cut side up, on a baking sheet and toast in the oven until lightly golden, about 8 minutes. An alternate is to put them, buttered side down, on a griddle or under a broiler, and toast until golden. Set aside.

To assemble sandwiches, slather the rolls with the Spicy Tartar Sauce, top with fish, and serve.

Stove Top Mac & Cheese

2 tablespoons butter
2 shallots, grated with juices retained
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon paprika
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups heavy cream
8 ounces Colby Jack cheese, shredded
4 ounces sharp Cheddar, shredded
1 pound baby shell pasta, cooked al dente

In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the shallots, including juices, and cook until tender, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic, white pepper, paprika, and salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste. Cook for a few minutes to let the flavors bloom, and then slowly stir in the heavy cream. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally, and cook until slightly thickened, about 8 minutes. Add the cheeses and stir until melted, then remove from heat. Stir in the pasta and toss until thoroughly combined. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve warm.

Hola! Mi llamo Mexican Chicken Meatloaf!

In my hunt for healthy recipes, I came across a meatloaf recipe that called for ground beef that caught my eye... I knew I could just sub in ground chicken for the beef and make it that much better. It turned out quite tasty and moist and it satisfied my love of Mexican flavors!


Mexican Chicken Meatloaf


1 lb. ground chicken
1 cup crushed Doritos
1 egg - beaten
1 packet taco seasoning

1 1/2 cups shredded colby/jack cheese - divided
1 1/2 cups salsa
- divided
1/2 can refried beans

Combine first 4 ingredients, 1/2 cup of the cheese, and 1 cup of the salsa.

Form mixture into a loaf and place in a greased loaf pan.

Spread refried beans over the top of the meat loaf.

Drizzle remaining salsa over top.

Bake in 400 degree oven for 50 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees.

Sprinkle remaining cheese on top.

Bake additional 5 minutes to melt the cheese.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Happy New Year!

We spent our New Year's Eve between two parties and where there are parties, there are, of course, yummy snacks!

I chose to bring two types of Sweet Onion Tartletts to the first party and Beer Dip & Easy Goat Cheese Spreads to the second. Everything turned out really very tasty and I would make it all again in a heartbeat.

Sweet Onion Tartletts (Thanks to my girl Emily for the inspiration!!)

Top: Sweet Onion Tartletts with Blue Cheese, Bottom: Sweet Onion Tartletts with Baby Swiss Cheese

OnionTartlett1 OnionTartlett2


4 large red onions, peeled and sliced into half moons

1 stick of unsalted butter

6 packets of sweet & low

1 package of phyllo dough

salt & pepper to taste

2 tbsp melted butter

8 ounces shredded swiss

8 ounces blue cheese crumbles


In a large dutch oven, melt the stick of butter. Add onions and stir to coat with butter. Add sweet & low. Cover & let onions sweat out for 20-25 minutes on medium heat, stirring occasionally. Once the onions are soft & brown, season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove onions from heat. (At this point, you can choose to leave them as is, or stir in cheese. I took half of my onions and stirred in shredded swiss and left the other half plain, and once they were in the cups, then topped them with crumbled blue cheese)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Cut your phyllo dough into 2 inch
squares. Spray a mini muffin pan with Pam. Place 2 pieces of phyllo in the cup, pressing down. Use a small pastry brush and brush a small amount of melted butter onto the phyllo. Cover the butter coated phyllo with 1 more square of phyllo.

Fill each phyllo cup to the top with desired onion mixture. If you are going to top your onions with cheese, sprinkle the cheese on top of the onion filled phyllo cup.

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until browned and bubbley!


Beer Dip (I adapted this recipe from one on a RI Nestie's fabulous recipe site and it will ABSOLUTELY become a recipe that I will make again)



16 ounces softened cream cheese
1/2 cup beer
1 envelope ranch dressing mix
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese


In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese and ranch dressing mix until smooth. Beat in cheese. With your mixer on low, pour in beer in a steady stream. Mix until well combined. Serve with pretzels.


Easy Goat Cheese Spreads (I bookmarked this recipe from the Pioneer Woman many moons ago and had been waiting for the perfect time to debut it! Nexttime I want to try poppy or sesame seeds... and the dill was by far my favorite!)



2 packages (11 Ounce) Fresh Goat Cheese

6 Tablespoons Fresh Dill (or More If Needed)

6 Tablespoons Paprika (or More If Needed)


Finely chop your fresh dill and spread it out a bit on a piece of saran wrap.

Carefully remove the goat cheese from the packaging and gently roll it over the fresh dill, coating it almost completely.

Pour some Paprika onto a second piece of saran wrap. Roll the second cylinder of goat cheese in the paprika until it is covered completely.

Carefully wrap each roll snugly in plastic wrap and chill until it’s time to serve. (The Paprika Goat Cheese will not do well if kept for longer than one to two hours so don’t make it too far in advance).

Serve with crostini or crackers.