Friday, October 30, 2009


My mom and I loved to be in the kitchen. Growing up, she had all of these little cute food crafts to make. These cute little ghosts were one of the many things we would make together. So, if you need a quick Halloween treat for tomorrow, be sure to try this one. OR, you can try it anytime during the year if you like :)

  • 1 package of Nutter Butter cookies
  • 12 oz Bakers White Chocolate
  • Miniature Chocolate Chips
That is it! Now, here is what you do to make them. Lay out some wax paper or parchment paper in a cookie sheet. Melt your white chocolate. I melt in 15 second increments (stirring in between) because white chocolate can burn very easily. When you have your white chocolate all melted, dip one side of all of the cookies in the melted chocolate. Lay them out on your wax/parchment paper, give them two eyes and put them in the fridge to let the chocolate harden.

Let's have a look at them:

I love easy fun things! I am taking these to a Halloween party tomorrow, along with a Spider Web Cheesecake! I will post the recipe to that (and a photo) once the cheesecake comes out of the oven, cools, and I can decorate it!

Have fun and if you celebrate Halloween, be safe while Trick or Treating.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Roasted Eggplant Pasta with Goat Cheese

Hi there!

I have a great recipe for you tonight. I found this recipe from one of Rachael Ray's cookbooks and I am GLAD I made it! It really reminded me of Eggplant Parmesan without all of the work of frying the eggplant :) The Goat Cheese (well she uses Ricotta Salata) is a nice creamy taste when combined with the eggplant pasta sauce! So want to know how to make it? It is easy! Let's get started.

  • 2 small, firm eggplants, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 6 garlic cloves, cracked from the skins (I used 9)
  • 1 lb penne rigate pasta
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped (I used red onion)
  • 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 20-25 fresh basil leaves, shredded or torn
  • 2 cups ricotta salata cheese, crumbled (any type of crumbled goat cheese will do)
Let's cook! Turn on the oven to 425F while you cut up the eggplant and crack the garlic. Place the garlic and eggplant on a baking sheet (I had to use two). Brush eggplant and garlic with 1/2 cup olive oil and lightly salt and pepper. Roast for 20 minutes (I found 18 minutes did just fine).

Cook your pasta according to package directions. While the eggplant is roasting and the pasta is cooking, chop up the onion and basil. Here is a trick I use when cutting fresh basil. I gather several leaves together and roll them up. Then slice. You have nice little strips of basil when you are finished.

Ok! Heat a large skillet over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and saute the onions. Meanwhile, the eggplant should be finished. Take it out and place it into a food processor and process into a smooth paste. Add the paste to the onions and stir in the tomatoes. Adjust salt and pepper as needed and heat the tomatoes. Right before serving, mix in the basil.

And you are finished! Easy right? And it is VERY tasty! Serve in a nice bowl and top with the goat cheese. ENJOY!

Let's have a look:

You can't see the eggplant but you sure can taste it! I recommend pairing with a nice red wine. We picked up this one from our local wine store, WineStyles. It is called Good Dog ... Bad Dog. Really nice!

Cute label right? Well, what are you waiting for? Head to the grocery, pick up these ingredients, and treat yourself to a great home cooked meal!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Pumpkin Roll

Hi there!

I am sorry I have been slack! Let me tell you why! I was asked by a local magazine to do a monthly recipe feature, featuring 5-6 recipes each month. I have been busily cooking things for the magazine and I have neglected my blog. So sorry about that!

Before I get started with my recipe, I wanted to give a shout out to my friend who has started a blog on party ideas that she has done in the past. Give her a visit or two or more if you can! She has such fab ideas on entertaining!!!

So, do you need a new festive dessert for the holidays this year???? If so, I have one for you. I found this recipe on a Pumpkin Cake Roll. Looked interested and it has CREAM CHEESE in it. I love cream cheese! I made it last night and wow! It is yummy. Let's get started!

  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 1 cup sugar, divided
  • 2/3 cup canned pumpkin
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Additional confectioners' sugar, optional
Let's put it together.

Line a 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan with waxed paper. (I used parchment paper and it turned out just fine. Also, my pan was not 1 inch thick - more like .5 inch and I had no problem). Grease the paper and set aside.

In a large bowl, beat egg yolks on high speed until thick and lemon-colored. Gradually add 1/2 cup sugar and pumpkin, beating on high until sugar is almost dissolved.

In a small bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. (If you are not sure what soft peaks are, here is how you tell. When you lift your beaters out of the mixture, the mixture lifts up but doesn't stay there). Gradually add remaining sugar, beating until stiff peaks form. Fold into egg yolk mixture. Combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; gently fold into pumpkin mixture. Spread into prepared pan.

Now you want to bake at 375°F for 12-15 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched. Mine took only 12 minutes. So, keep an eye out if you set your timer for 15 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes. Turn cake onto a kitchen towel dusted with confectioners’ sugar. Gently peel off waxed paper. (Ugh, this was frustrating for me. You just have to get the guts and flip really fast or your cake will break in half.) Roll up cake in the towel jelly-roll style, starting with a short side. Cool completely on a wire rack.

While that is cooling, beat the cream cheese, butter, confectioners sugar and vanilla until smooth.

Once the cake has cooled, you are ready to add the filling! Unroll the cake and spread the filling evenly to within 1/2 in. of edges. Roll up again. Cover and freeze until firm.

To serve: Remove from the freezer 15 minutes before you are ready to eat. Let's have a look!

See how pretty! The pumpkin flavor is so yummy and with the cream cheese filling... YUMM. You have to try this. I have not frozen this for a lengthy time, but I would assume like many cake type things, you can freeze for a few months and be just fine.

Now, get a move on it! Get in the kitchen and try something new!