Category Archives: Recipes

Molten Chocolate Lava Cakes

Ingredients

2 ounces dark chocolate or bittersweet baking chocolate (I used Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Bar; I prefer bars or baking chocolate to chocolate chips)
1/4 cup unsalted butter (1/2 of 1 stick)
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 large egg + 1 egg yolk (discard white or save for another use)
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon instant espresso coffee granules, optional but recommended (doesn’t make cakes taste like coffee and serves to enhance the chocolate flavor)
ice cream for serving, optional but recommended
hot fudge for serving (homemade or storebought), optional but recommended

Directions

Preheat oven to 425F and spray two ramekins (about 3-4 inches in diameter or about 4 ounces each) with cooking spray, place ramekins on a baking sheet; set aside.

To a medium microwave-safe bowl, add the chocolate, butter, and heat on high power to melt, about 1 minute. Stop to whisk until smooth. If needed, return bowl to micro and heat in 15-second increments until chocolate can be whisked smooth.

Add the sugar, egg, egg yolk, and whisk until smooth.

Add the flour, optional espresso granules, and stir until just combined; don’t overmix.

Pour batter into prepared ramekins, divided evenly.

Bake for about 12 minutes, or until edges are set but center is still soft; don’t overbake. Baking times will vary based on oven, ramekins, and climate variances; bake until as done as desired.

Allow cakes to cool in ramekins for about 1 minute, gently rim the edges of ramekins with a paring knife, and invert over serving dishes to dislodge cakes.

Optionally top with ice cream, hot fudge, and serve immediately. Cakes are best warm and fresh.
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Bacon Wrapped BBQ Meatloaf Stuffed with Cheese

Ingredients

Meatloaf

1 lb ground beef
1 egg
2 Tbsp bbq sauce
1/4 c dry seasoned bread crumbs
1 1/2 tsp Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp sea salt, optional
2 cloves garlic zested or minced
1/4 tsp rounded, dry mustard
1/4 tsp rounded, oregano
1/4 tsp rounded, basil
1/4 tsp rounded, black pepper fresh ground
2-3 green onions, white and green part, chopped finely
1/2 small green bell pepper, small dice
1 c shredded sharp cheddar cheese (reserve 1/4c for on top)

Topping

3 slice bacon cut in half (6 smaller slices total)
2 Tbsp bbq sauce
1 Tbsp rounded, light brown sugar not packed

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 F. Get out a 9×13 baking pan. Do not use a bread pan. You can line this with foil to help with clean up, or just spray with a non-stick spray. Set aside.

Keep hamburger in the refrigerator until the last minute. In a bowl, combine the bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, salt, minced garlic, dry mustard, oregano, basil, pepper, onion and bell pepper. Stir it around a bit to get everything mixed. Add the 2 tsp bbq sauce and egg; mix.

Grab the rest of the ingredients, this will go quickly so the “loaf” holds its shape.

Take the hamburger and add this to the bowl, quickly mix together with clean hands, forget the spoon.

Place 1/2 of the hamburger mix in the center of your pan. Make a “well” with your hand so it looks like a hollowed out 1/2 potato. Add 3/4 cup of the cheese and gently press it in.

Add the second half of the hamburger on top and press it together and shape like a log.

Lay the bacon strips on top of the loaf.

Smear the last 2 tbsp of bbq sauce on top of the bacon. Sprinkle brown sugar on top of the sauce and put this into the oven for 60 minutes. (temp should be 160°F internally)

After 60 minutes, you can sprinkle the remaining 1/4 c cheese on top and return it to the oven for 5 minutes, just to let the cheese melt. If you don’t want to to this, you can just stuff all the cheese inside and leave the outside to the bacon and bbq sauce.
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Jalapeno Chicken Breasts


Makes 6 Servings

Ingredients

6 bone-in chicken breast halves, skinned
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/3 cup sliced pickled jalapeno chile pepper, drained
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon cold water
1 8 ounce package reduced-fat cream cheese, softened and cut into cubes
2 slices turkey bacon, crisp-cooked, drained, and crumbled (optional)

Directions

Sprinkle chicken with chili powder and salt. Arrange chicken, bone sides down, in a 4 1/2- to 6-quart slow cooker. Pour broth and lemon juice around chicken. Top with drained jalapeno pepper.

Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 5 to 6 hours or on high-heat setting for 2 1/2 to 3 hours.

Transfer chicken and jalapeno pepper to a serving platter, reserving cooking liquid. Cover chicken and keep warm.

If using low-heat setting, turn to high-heat setting. For sauce, in a small bowl, combine cornstarch and the water; stir into cooking liquid. Add cream cheese, whisking until combined. Cover and cook about 15 minutes more or until thickened. Serve chicken with sauce. If desired, sprinkle with bacon.
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Pink Lady Apple Pie


Serves 8

Ingredients

Shortcrust Pastry

2 cups plain flour
1/3 cup confectioners sugar
1 1/4 sticks (10 Tbl) butter, cubed
2-3 tablespoons iced water

Apple filling

8 peeled, cored and thinly sliced Pink Lady Apples
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp Cinnamon
Juice of half a lemon
2 tbsp. cornflour
1/2 tsp salt

Crust topping

1 egg, beaten
2 tbsp. granulated sugar

Directions

Add the flour, sugar and cubes of butter to your food processor and pulse until the mixture has a breadcrumb consistency.

With the processor on, slowly add iced water until the dough comes together in a smooth ball.

Lightly knead then wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375°F

Remove pastry from fridge and roll out between two sheets of baking paper to 3mm thickness. Cut pastry base to size to line a greased pie dish and roll the remaining pastry into a ball and wrap. Place pastry into pie dish and prick all over with a fork. Line with foil and weigh down with pie weights or dried beans. Cook for 15 minutes then.

Remove from oven, take out the weights and foil lining and allow to cool.

Mix all filling ingredients in a large bowl. Place filling inside the pie base and roll out the remaining pastry to cover (you may have to brush the edges of the pie base with water to help it stick). Crimp edges together.

Cut vents in the top crust to let steam escape. Brush lid of pie with beaten egg and sprinkle with sugar. Chill in freezer for 15 minutes to ensure a flaky pastry.

Bake at 375F for 45 minutes or until golden. Cool for at least an hour before serving to allow filling to cool.

Serving suggestion: Serve warm or cool with vanilla ice cream or triple cream.
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Crock Pot Creamy Ranch Chicken

Ingredients

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
6 medium Russet potatoes, cut into 2-inch pieces
2 cups baby carrots
1 large (23 oz.) can condensed cream of chicken soup
1 (1 oz.) packet dry ranch dressing mix
1/2 cup milk
fresh chopped parsley (optional)

Directions

Spray a large crockpot (I use a 7 quart) with non-stick spray. Place cut potatoes and baby carrots in the bottom of crockpot. Lay chicken breasts over the top.

In a medium bowl, whisk together cream of chicken soup, dry ranch dressing mix and milk. Pour this mixture evenly over the chicken. Cover with lid and cook on High heat 5 to 6 hours OR on Low heat 8 to 9 hours.

Top each serving with fresh chopped parsley, if desired.
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Mushroom Bacon Potato Gratin

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
1 pound thick-cut bacon, chopped
12 oz. mushrooms, sliced (white, porcini, cremini, etc.)
1 1/2 cups Gruyere cheese, grated
1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
1 1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup milk
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
fresh dill, chopped, garnish, optional

Directions

Preheat oven to 350F and lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking dish.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook bacon until crispy, then remove to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.

Reserving only 2 tablespoons, pour off bacon grease and return skillet to heat.

Add mushrooms and cook until they’ve released all moisture and liquid has evaporated. 8-10 minutes.

During the last 1-2 minutes, add minced garlic (stir frequently so garlic doesn’t burn), and season with salt and pepper.

Remove skillet from heat and return chopped bacon to pan.

In a medium saucepan over low heat, combine cream, milk and nutmeg together and bring to a simmer—don’t let it boil.

Once scalded (heated to just before the boiling point), remove from heat and pour 2 tablespoons into baking dish.

Take 1/2 of your potato slices and create an even, overlapping layer that covers the bottom of the dish.

Spread 1/2 of bacon mushroom mixture evenly on top of the potatoes and then sprinkle 1 1/4 cups mixed cheeses over the bottom layers.

Repeat with remaining potatoes, bacon and mushrooms, then pour hot cream evenly over everything, making sure to moisten all potatoes.

Sprinkle remaining cheese evenly over the top.

Cover baking dish with aluminum foil and bake for 50-60 minutes, or until potatoes are fork tender. Then uncover and bake for another 15-20, or until cheese is melted and golden.

Remove from oven, let rest 10 minutes and serve hot, garnished with fresh dill (optional).
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Peanut Butter S’mores Turnovers


Makes: 12

Ingredients

1 box Puff Pastry (2 sheets), thawed
3 whole graham crackers, gently broken into fourths
12 fun-size hershey’s milk chocolate bars
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
small bowl of water
1 egg whisked with 1 Tablespoon water (to make egg wash)
1/2 cup jarred Marshmallow Creme (or Fluff)

Directions

Preheat oven to 400F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or spray with nonstick spray.

Lay Puff Pastry on cutting board. Working with one sheet of Puff Pastry at a time, cut on three folds, creating 3 rectangles (about 3″ x 10″ each). Cut each 3 x 10 rectangle in half. You’ll have 6 pieces to work with for each sheet of Puff Pastry.

Assemble turnovers: Lay graham cracker on 1/2 of each square, top with chocolate bar. Scoop a scant 1 Tablespoon peanut butter on top of each chocolate bar.

Working with one turnover at a time, wet edges of Puff Pastry and fold (over) in half to meet opposite edges. Gently push edges together to stick; use fork to seal edges together and create ridged pattern. Repeat with each turnover until all are sealed up.

Gently move sealed turnovers to baking sheet with a small spatula. (At this point, the turnovers may be refrigerated for up to an hour before baking- cover baking sheet with plastic wrap- when ready to bake, remove from refrigerator and continue with instructions).

Brush turnovers lightly with egg wash, then use a sharp knife to cut two small slits into the top of each turnover.

Bake 15 minutes, or until turnovers are puffed and golden. Remove from oven. Let cool for 5 minutes.

Scoop marshmallow creme into a zip baggie (don’t zip). Microwave for 8 seconds to soften. Zip bag and snip a small piece off of the corner of the bag. Drizzle marshmallow onto the top of each turnover. Serve immediately.
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