Olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, thinly sliced
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup butternut squash, cubed
1/2 cup broccolini, trimmed
1/2 cup cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 garlic cloves, minced
1 – 12-ounce prepared pizza dough (I used this recipe!)
3 tablespoons jarred marinara sauce
1 – 4-ounce mozzarella ball (low-moisture-not water packed!)

In a medium skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add thinly sliced onions and pinch of salt. Cook onions for 30 minutes, or until onions are browned and caramelized.

While the onions are cooking, pre-heat oven to 400F. Place cubed butternut squash on a baking sheet and toss with a teaspoon of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 15 minutes, or until soft. Remove and set aside.

When onions are caramelized, add broccolini and cremini mushrooms and sauteé for 5-10 minutes. Add garlic to the top and cook just until fragrant.

Lightly flour your work surface and roll out pizza dough to a 1/8-inch thick circle. Transfer pizza dough to a piece of parchment. Add the tomato sauce to one half. Top with broccolini/mixture. Add the butternut squash and then finish it off with a few slices of mozzarella.

Fold dough in half, over filling, and crimp as desired to seal. Transfer parchment with calzone to a baking sheet. Using a knife, slice a hole in the top. This will allow steam to escape as it bakes. Place it in the oven and cook until dough is puffed up and golden brown, 15-20 minutes.

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Posted by on November 4, 2011 in Uncategorized


Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bark

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bark

Preparation: Line 8×8 pan with parchment or wax paper.

  • 8 oz dark Ghirardelli dark chocolate
  • 10 oz white Ghirardelli chocolate
  • ½ cup cocoa crisp
  • 1/3 cup of dry white cake mix
  • ½ cup mini chocolate chips


  1. Place dark chocolate in a heat proof bowl over (not on) simmering water and stir until melted. Pour melted chocolate into 8×8 pans, using an offset icing spatula smooth out chocolate until an even layer is achieved. Sprinkle cocoa pebbles on top and gently press it into the chocolate. Place pan in refrigerator for 5 minutes for chocolate to become slightly harden.
  2. Place white chocolate in a heat proof bowl over (not on) simmering water and stir until melted. Remove pan bowl from heat and fold in dry cake mix.
  3. Remove pan with chilled dark layer and pour melted white chocolate on top. Using an offset icing spatula smooth out chocolate until an even layer is achieved. Sprinkle mini chocolate chip on top and return to refrigerator for about 10-15 minutes or until bark is fully set.
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Posted by on November 4, 2011 in Uncategorized


Spaghetti with Spinach Pesto and Turkey Meatballs

Spaghetti with Spinach Pesto and Turkey Meatballs

Spinach Pesto

2 cups fresh baby spinach leaves
2 -3 garlic cloves (3, if you want it a bit spicy)
1/4 cup toasted walnuts
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 grated manchego cheese (substitute: parmesan cheese)
1/8 teaspoon salt
freshly ground pepper

Use a knife to roughly chop the garlic, then add it to a food processor.  Add the walnuts and pulse a few times.  Add the spinach and pulse a couple more times.  Slowly drizzle in the olive oil until the mixture comes together.  Remove the pesto from the food processor and add the cheese, salt and pepper, stir to combine.  Serve over hot pasta using a little pasta water to loosen the sauce slightly if needed.

Turkey Meatballs

1 pound ground turkey meat
1 1/2 slices fresh bread, crusts removed, pulsed into breadcrumbs
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup Marsala wine
2 tablespoons diced dried apricots
2 tablespoons diced dried cranberries
2 tablespoons chopped baby spinach leaves
2 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the broiler and spray a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.

In a small bowl, pour the Marsala wine over the diced dried apricots and cranberries, then set aside for 5-10 minutes.

In a medium frying pan over medium heat, saute the onions and garlic until the onions are translucent, about 6 minutes.

Combine the turkey with all other ingredients, including the apricots, cranberries, wine and the onion mixture in a large work bowl; try not to overmix the mixture, overmixing will make the meatballs tough and dry. Lightly form the mixture into 1-inch balls and place them on a baking sheet then put them under the broiler on a middle rack for about 15 minutes.  You should stay close to the oven while the meatballs are cooking since they could easily burn.  You may need to raise the meatballs to a higher rack at the end of the process to brown the tops and to ensure the meatballs are cooked through.

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Posted by on November 4, 2011 in Uncategorized


Apple Crisp Wontons


Makes 18.

1 medium apple, peeled and chopped (use a firm apple like Macoun, Cortland or Granny Smith)
1/2 cup granola (your favorite)
2 Tbsp raisins
1 Tbsp agave nectar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
Pinch each of ground cloves and nutmeg
36 wonton skins (1 package)
2-3 cups canola oil
2-3 tsp confectioners sugar

In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade, combine the chopped apple, granola, raisins, agave nectar, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. Pulse 5-6 times, until the mixture resembles very coarse meal. Set aside.

On the counter top, set out a small bowl of water, a pastry brush, and the pile of wonton skins covered loosely with a damp towel.

In the wok, heat the oil over medium heat. Test it by holding a bamboo chopstick upright, touching the bottom of the wok. When tiny bubbles appear on the surface of the oil, the oil is hot.

While the oil is heating, set out 12 wonton skins on the counter top. Working quickly, place 1 teaspoon of filling in the center of 6 of the wontons. With the brush, paint a border of water around the edge, and top each with another wonton. Press gently from the center out to eliminate air bubbles; then, press firmly to seal the edges all around, and set aside. Repeat with remaining wontons.

When the oil is hot, gently and carefully slide 3 wontons into the oil. Stir gently with a slotted spoon or spider (a bamboo-handled strainer) to make sure the wontons don’t stick together. Cook, turning once, until both sides are nicely browned, 30-60 seconds per side.

Remove the wontons from the oil with a spider or slotted spoon, and drain briefly on a plate covered with paper towels. Repeat, frying 2-3 wontons at a time, until all are cooked.

When the wontons have cooled slightly, place the powdered sugar in a fine-mesh strainer, and dust the wontons with the sugar by shaking the strainer over the wontons. Serve immediately.

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Posted by on November 4, 2011 in Uncategorized


Cookies ‘N Cream Oreo Fudge Brownies

Cookies and Cream Oreo Fudge Brownies Recipe

1 box Brownie Mix
eggs & oil (as called for by the brownie mix)
1 heaping half cup (6 oz) Cookies & Cream ice cream
1/4 Cup hot fudge topping (chilled or room temp)

Preheat oven & spray an 8×8 baking dish generously with cooking spray. Combine brownie mix, eggs, and oil as directed on the back of the box, but do not add the water. Add ice cream and hot fudge to the brownie batter and stir to combine. Pour half of the brownie batter into the baking dish, layer with Oreos, then top with remaining batter. Bake for 40-50 minutes or as directed on the back of the box.

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Posted by on November 4, 2011 in Uncategorized


Broccoli and White Cheddar Mac and Cheese

Broccoli and White Cheddar Mac and Cheese

Buy blocks of cheese and grate it yourself. It makes a world of difference! The pre-shredded stuff just doesn’t melt as smoothly. Plus, the more calories you burn shredding cheese, the more mac & cheese you can eat.


3 cups frozen baby broccoli florets
1/2 pound elbow macaroni
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 1/3 cups milk
4 ounces sharp white cheddar cheese, grated
2 ounces pepper jack cheese, grated
salt to taste


Microwave broccoli florets in a large, microwave safe bowl according to package instructions until tender (usually 4-5 minutes). Drain off any water and set aside.

Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Add elbow macaroni. Boil according to directions until al dente. Drain.

Meanwhile, melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and whisk to form a paste (roux). Cook 1-2 minutes to eliminate raw flour taste. Slowly pour in milk, whisking briskly to remove lumps. Continue cooking over medium heat, whisking constantly, until milk mixture thickens. Remove from heat and whisk in shredded cheese. Add salt to taste.

Add drained macaroni back to pot. Pour cheese sauce over macaroni, add broccoli, and stir to combine. Devour.

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Posted by on November 4, 2011 in Uncategorized


Homemade Soft Pretzel Bites

Homemade Soft Pretzel Bites


Soft Pretzels:
1 1/2 cups warm water
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 package active dry yeast
3 ounces unsalted butter, melted
2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
4 1/2 to 5 cups all-purpose flour
Vegetable oil
3 quarts water
3/4 cup baking soda
1 whole egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon cold water
Coarse sea salt

For the cheese sauce:
½ Tablespoon unsalted butter
½ Tablespoon all-purpose flour
½ cup milk
8 ounces Cheddar cheese, grated


For the Pretzels: Combine the water, sugar, yeast, and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix with the dough hook until combined. Let sit for 5 minutes.

Add the salt and flour and mix on low speed until combined. Increase the speed to medium and continue kneading until the dough is smooth and begins to pull away from the side of the bowl, about 3 to 4 minutes. If the dough appears too wet, add additional flour, 1 tablespoon at a time. Remove the dough from the bowl, place on a flat surface and knead into a ball with your hands.

Oil a bowl with vegetable oil, add the dough and turn to coat with the oil. Cover with a clean towel or plastic wrap and place in a warm spot until the dough doubles in size, about 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Bring the water to a boil in a small roasting pan over high heat and add the baking soda.

Remove the dough from the bowl and place on a flat surface. Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces, about 4 1/4 to 4 1/2 ounces each. Roll each piece into a long rope measuring 22 inches and shape. Cut the dough into one inch pieces to make the pretzel bites. Boil the pretzel bites in the water solution in batches. We did about 15 bites at a time. Boil for about 30 seconds. Remove with a large slotted spoon. Place pretzel bites on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Make sure they are not touching. Brush the tops with the egg wash and season liberally with the salt. Place into the oven and bake for 15 to 18 minutes until golden brown.

Remove to a baking rack and let rest 5 minutes before eating. Serve with cheese sauce.

To make the cheese sauce:
Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and cook 1 minute. Whisk in the milk and cook until slightly thickened. Remove from heat and stir in the Cheddar cheese until smooth and all of the cheese is melted. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

*If you want to make cinnamon and sugar pretzel bites-instead of adding salt, sprinkle the bites with cinnamon and sugar. For the frosting mix-soft cream cheese-about 3 T, powdered sugar, a teaspoon of vanilla extract, and a little bit of milk. Whisk together. Add more milk if it is too thick, if it is too thin, add more powdered sugar. I don’t measure. I just guess until the consistency is right.*

Recipe makes a lot of bites-perfect for sharing!

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Posted by on November 4, 2011 in Uncategorized