December 8, 2014

Let's Bake! Butterscotch Tassies {recipe}

What a weekend of baking I had!  The weather was cold and wet, so it was the perfect time to spend a bit of time in the kitchen getting my treats ready!

I ended up making two batches of these adorable Butterscotch Tassies over the weekend.  I had these marked to make last year and just ran out of time.  I love that they can be frozen for up to three months... that means I can make a batch or two and put aside for another time when we are heading off to see a friend or someone unexpectedly comes over to hang out for the evening.

Butterscotch Tassies 12082014

December 1, 2014

Let's Bake! White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies {recipe}

It's been awhile hasn't it?  Between lack of cooking/baking mojo and life just being busy, I haven't had much time to share in my little corner of the internet.  That's the benefit of this little 'ole blog being something I do for enjoyment rather than to pay my bills.... if I need to take a break, I do it.  Then, I come on back when I'm able to... I just hope that you'll continue to stop by and see what's new around here.

Of course, we are in the festive month of December where everyone is gearing up for Hanukkah and Christmas.  The signs are everywhere!  Throughout the neighborhoods we have decorations to look at as we drive through and ooh and aah over each evening.  The stores are bustling with people searching out the best deals and the perfect gifts.

Then, there's me... planning my baking extravaganza!  This year, I got back to what I used to do and I planned out a number of recipes - mixing old favorites with new recipes.  I marked those that could be baked and frozen ahead of time so that I could begin the fun earlier and not stress about getting it all done in time to deliver the treats!

White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies 12012014

I always select a variety of flavors and textures when it comes to treats to share in gift baskets.  I like to ensure I've covered all the popular flavors:  chocolate, cinnamon, peppermint and for fun... I threw in a cookie that had dried fruit in it this year.  What a perfect way to change things up a bit!  Adding dried cranberries and white chocolate makes this cookie a sweet surprise, but also adds a twist to the old standby of raisins or chocolate chips.

October 22, 2014

Blueberry White Chocolate Chip Muffins

What's better than starting the day with the scent of blueberry muffins baking?  Ok, so there may be some other breakfast foods that will have the family scrambling downstairs to see what's for breakfast, but these muffins baking will also do the trick!

I have always loved blueberry muffins since I was a kid and My Mom made them whenever we had my friends sleepover.  Such fond memories of eating them still warm from the oven!

Blueberry White Chocolate Chip Muffins

October 20, 2014

Chippy Blondies {Recipe}

While it's been quiet around here, I've been busy between helping with middle school homework and getting certified to belay for My Oldest when he's doing his indoor rock climbing... oh, and also working on a fundraising project for our temple.  Yes, life has been a bit hectic lately!

Last weekend was no different, but I did find time Sunday evening to bake a sweet treat to have on hand for the new week.  I usually bake cookies, but I wanted to switch things up a little bit by baking blondies.  Baking makes me happy and is something I like to do to wind down after a busy weekend. I also love knowing that I have a homemade treat that we can enjoy during the coming week.

I would have made brownies, but I've had My Boys tell me often enough that they prefer vanilla to chocolate (shocking considering I am a huge chocoholic!), that I knew blondies would be well received.

Chippy Blondies |

October 13, 2014

Stuffed Chicken in Phyllo

Originally posted in December 2008.  I decided to take a newer photo and repost with a slight edit to the recipe.  I remade these recently to share with friends, and as always, they were a huge hit and enjoyed by everyone.  They do reheat beautifully, especially if you have a toaster oven so that they can crisp up again without being over cooked.

Now, for the original post: 

I’m about to share a secret with you. It’s a recipe that my mother-in-law makes every year for Rosh Hashanah. It’s a once a year thing she makes. I fell in love with her Stuffed Chicken in Phyllo the first time I tried it. It looks very impressive when it’s served and the chicken is moist and cooked perfectly. This is something that is perfect for a holiday meal or for serving to guests in the fall or early spring months.

Now, I had to have her actually show me how she rolls the chicken and then wraps it in phyllo dough as I had never worked with it before. Many people are intimidated by phyllo dough because it can rip very easily. She makes a special trip to The Greek Store (yes, that really is the name!) to get fresh phyllo rather than the frozen kind you buy at the regular grocery. If you can get fresh, that is the easiest to work with because it has not had to be frozen and defrosted. If you don’t have a place that sells fresh, go ahead and work with the frozen dough, just buy a couple of extra boxes so that you will have plenty to work with when wrapping the chicken.

As for the stuffing, you could use your own homemade stuffing but we pick up a box of Stovetop to keep it simple. If you are making about 12-15 pieces one box should be more than enough for filling them adequately.

Edited to add a nicer photo than appeared originally on this post.  

A family favorite: stuffed chicken in phyllo.

I served these last Saturday when we had some friends over for dinner and they were well-liked by everyone – in spite of them not being as browned as I would have liked. They were cooked perfectly! I will be sharing another recipe from that evening later this week.

Check out these recipes from around the food blogging world:
The Dinner Rolls Judy made at No Fear Entertaining would be a wonderful addition to this meal.
A quick dinner of Rigatoni with Sausage and Smoked Mozzarella from Elly Says Opa! Looks like true comfort food.

Happy Holidays and Happy Cooking! More to come from the dinner from last weekend so, check back in to see what else I made!

Stuffed Chicken in Phyllo
Source: Family recipe, Momk

  • 8 boneless skinless chicken breast halves, sliced in half and then, pounded to about 1/4 inch thickness
  • 1 box of Stovetop Stuffing (prepared & cooled - or you can make your own)
  • Several boxes of fresh phyllo dough (if you can find it, I have only found frozen, and the extra boxes are key when the sheets rip!)
  • melted butter - approximately 1 cup
  • plain bread crumbs - approximately 1/2 cup

  1. Lay the chicken breast flat, and put about 2-3 tablespoons of the stuffing toward one end of it. Roll up the chicken breast and set aside in a dish. Repeat with all breasts.
  2. Lay out one sheet of phyllo dough, brush with butter and sprinkle with bread crumbs. 
  3. Add a 2nd sheet on top of the first and repeat with the butter and bread crumbs. 
  4. Finally, add a 3rd sheet on top and only brush on the butter. 
  5. Next, place one of the rolled chicken breasts at one end and carefully enclose it (kind of like making a paper envelope, just keep folding the ends in until you get to the end of the sheet).
  6. Brush with butter one last time and place on a foil covered baking sheet.
  7. Bake in a pre-heated oven (350 degrees) for 25 minutes. Then, cover with foil lightly to prevent over-browning and continue to bake for an additional 15-20 minutes.

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September 21, 2014

Banana Coffee Cake {Recipe}

Last week, I had some really ripe, brown bananas staring at me.  I usually go to one of my favorite banana bread recipes, but this time... I just wanted to make something different.

My Husband and My Oldest both love coffee cake... and it's not uncommon for them to dig into a package of Drake's coffee cakes every once in awhile.  It's comfort food for them...

I'm not sure why I haven't really made coffee cake before, but when I was trying to decide how to use those fabulous, brown bananas I decided that coffee cake was the way to go this time.

Banana coffee cake

September 17, 2014

Pasta with Chicken and Veggies {Recipe}

A few months ago, I was stuck in bed with some pretty intense back pain. Once it started to subside and I started to regain thoughts of cooking dinner again, I ordered a couple of new cookbooks. One that I have been marking recipes in is from Ellie Krieger - her latest Weeknight Wonders: Delicious, Healthy Dinners in 30 Minutes or Less.

When I found her new book, a few things appealed to me right away.  First, she always focuses on the healthy aspect and not denying yourself treats.  It's all about balance with her cookbooks.  Another thing that I love is that her recipes are easy to read and follow - the steps are nicely laid out and make sense.  Finally, there are many photos in her cookbooks (this is the 3rd book I've purchased of hers), and that is a major selling point when I may be on the fence with a recipe that I'm not too sure about upon just reading the description.  There is so much truth in the saying that you "eat with your eyes first".

Penne with chicken and veggies

September 14, 2014

Seared Scallops with Thyme Lemon Butter Sauce {Recipe}

Where did last week go?  It was the first full week of school for our boys, and I honestly can't tell you where the time went!  We are starting to get into the groove of the routine, but it was not easy.  Getting up and moving a bit earlier in the morning was a challenge, to say the very least.

This week is going to be equally busy, but I've got everything added to the calendar so I can at least plan things out.  I've got dinner planned for nearly all nights which will be a huge help as we move from one thing to another.

Since I have more time on Sunday, today I decided it was a good time to make something a little different for dinner.  I picked up some sea scallops to go along with some frozen snow crab legs that we had in the freezer.  I knew the crab legs wouldn't be filling enough on their own, so adding sea scallops over pasta seemed like a good way to fill out the meal.

I've left searing sea scallops to My Husband in the past, but today I wanted to do it myself.  It really does take patience to ensure that you get that nice brown crust on the scallops.

Scallops with thyme butter sauce - perfectly seared

September 7, 2014

Soft Chocolate Sprinkle Cookies {recipe}

Do you ever get an idea in your head and you can't stop thinking about it until you put it into action?  My need to bake cookies, is a normal thing... but, I've gotten tired of doing the same old chocolate chip cookies or some spin on it that incorporates cocoa or something like that.   Sometimes you just want something different.

I began making a sugar cookie recipe back when I was in high school... I really don't know where the recipe came from, but it was easy to make and always came out perfectly.  Today, I fiddled around with the recipe and changed it in such a way that I got some of the best compliments from both of My Boys after they sampled them!  Nothing better than a soft cookie that is studded with chocolate sprinkles to put smiles on their faces and resulted in some of the best hugs I could have hoped for today!

Soft chocolate sprinkle cookies

September 4, 2014

Apple Crisp Featuring Zestar Apples

Last week, I had the day off from work and My Boys were still waiting for school to start, so we took a trip out to Alstede Farms and had some Pick Your Own fun!

After checking their website to see what was ready for picking, we narrowed our choices down to raspberries, peaches and apples!  Yes, they had Zestar, early season, apples ready for picking.  I hadn't heard of them before, but we were ready to give them a try and see what they were like.

Alstede Farms is a great local place to visit with the family and enjoy some farm animals and pick your own produce.  It varies according to the growing season, so you can head out there throughout the spring, summer and fall to pick fresh fruit and veggies and enjoy a hay wagon ride around the farm.

Zestar apples for a fresh apple crisp #jerseyfresh |

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