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Category — Recipes

Christmas Potluck Recipe 5

Back to the appetizer recipes! Lori made these meatballs and they were delicious. So tangy sweet and savory little balls of yum.

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January 16, 2023   No Comments

Christmas Potluck Cocktails

We’re about one-third of the way through with the appetizer recipes, so how about a cute beverage idea for your next holiday gathering?

By far the most popular part of the annual party was this setup of desserts and shots. Let’s zoom in…

The Lighted Christmas trees with Ornament Shots were the bomb! I had purchased the round ornament shot glasses last year in the Target Dollar Spot but had yet to use them. Then Marissa sent me the TikTok idea of hanging them on these simple lighted trees. It’s a winner!

I’ve linked the trees and shot ornaments below. As for the shots themselves, do whatever you’d like. The most popular at our party was the Rum Chata & Fireball shot, which tastes like Cinnamon Toast Crunch. So good! I also made Bailey’s Irish Cream shots, Cranberry-Tequila shots, and Skrewball Peanut Butter Whiskey shots.

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January 13, 2023   2 Comments

Christmas Potluck Recipe 4

This recipe may be one you want to have in your back pocket and wait to make. Why? Because it is for deviled eggs.

Eggs! What is happening with eggs!?! If you live in a cave or maybe you’re a vegan and don’t know but there is a world-wide egg shortage. They are hard to find in stores and may cost up to $10 a dozen for organic right now!

The Avian flu is the cause. It is predicted to last into the first month or two of this year. I believe the shortage hit right around the time of our party (12/18/22). I don’t think Peggy, who made this recipe, had a problem, but it would have been an issue a week or so later. These devils are darn good, so how about you bookmark this and save it for Easter?

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January 11, 2023   No Comments

Christmas Potluck Recipe 3

A little whiskey, a little bacon, who wouldn’t love it!?! Laura made this delicious pot of gold.

This recipe comes together easily, once you have the 8 shallots peeled and chopped and it makes a lot. Plenty to bring to a party and plenty to keep for yourself. The original recipe calls for paprika, but I prefer smoked paprika. Be sure to follow the recipe when it tells you to remove from the heat before adding the whiskey. No one needs a surprise flambe.

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January 9, 2023   No Comments

Christmas Potluck Recipe 2

April make this yummy dip. It was a big hit and it is full of protein to keep the party going. The recipe and the photo come from Taste of Home.

*** As an added bonus to these potluck recipes, I’m adding a Little Known Amazing Random Fact at the end of the post. I found these on a page I follow on Instagram and I can honestly say, I knew none of them! Be sure to check them out and let me know if you knew any.

Tuscan Sausage & Bean Dip

  • 1 pound bulk hot Italian sausage
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine or chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 8-ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 package (6 ounces) fresh baby spinach, coarsely chopped
  • 15-ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup chopped seeded tomatoes
  • 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • Assorted crackers or toasted French bread baguette slices
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January 7, 2023   No Comments

2022 Christmas Potluck

I hosted my annual Christmas Appetizer Potluck on Sunday, December 18th. Marissa, Jeff and Max had arrived the afternoon before. I was pretty upfront with my friends/guests that this was as much the annual gathering as it was a “Come Meet Max!” Party.

I took not one photo of the food or beverages that night. In fact, the photo above of Max and Tram is the only photo I took. Poor Max is so tired. He did his best to stay up and meet everyone. Such a sweet little trooper.

Since there are no photos of the food, I’ll be lifting the photos from the websites I found the recipes on. This one is from Inspired by Charm.

In case you don’t recall how my Christmas Potluck works, I send out the invite and when I have a good idea of how many will attend, I send out an email with the selection of recipes to choose from with links to each recipe. It’s a strictly enforced, “first come, first served.” Each guest “replies to all” with the recipe they will be making. This year was a new record – 70% of the guests responded within 4 minutes of that email going out!

Stay tuned in the days to follow, there will be another dozen recipes along with the super fun and festive cocktails I served. And the best part, there are photos of those! Thanks to my girl, Mary, who took some great pics! Thank you, Mary! xoxo

Below is my son, Connor’s, recipe choice. So cute!

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January 5, 2023   2 Comments

a new Thanksgiving recipe!

Here we are, 4 days until Christmas and I’m finally posting a Thanksgiving recipe. Obviously, it would be great for Christmas too, so if you’re still searching for a new side dish, I highly recommend this one! I found it on Instagram, posted by one of my favorite cheese providers, Murray’s Cheese. The recipe calls for hot honey and burrata.

Burrata is an Italian cow’s milk cheese made from mozzarella and cream. The outer casing is solid mozzarella, while the inside is stracciatella and cream, making it extremely luxurious and delicious when broken open.

I’m posting both Murray’s photo and my own. Murray’s used kabocha squash and shows the burrata still in its whole form. While I used acorn squash and broke up my burrata a bit more and scattered mine throughout the platter, ensuring all guests were able to have some on their plates. Also, the lighting in my photo is atrocious, taking on the stove, under the stove light! Terrible!

If you’ve never had hot honey, you’re really missing out! The brand most popular is Mike’s Hot Honey, which you can find at most grocery stores. Trader Joe’s has their own brand and you can also easily find burrata there.

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December 21, 2022   No Comments


December 12, 2022   No Comments

Lasagna Rolls

I have so much information to give you about this recipe before you even look at the recipe! So please read the important note below. First, I have a question for you. Did you know that crème brûlée was supposedly a mistake? Legend has it that nuns invented it for the occasion of a visiting bishop: originally it was supposed to be a pudding, but it came out too runny and so they sprinkled some hot caramelized sugar on top in order to hide the mistake. I figure if a cooking mistake made by nuns turns into a triumph, why can’t I do it too!

Please read this * IMPORTANT NOTE! My mistake was buying the wrong type of lasagna noodles for the recipe I wanted to make. It wasn’t until I was knee-deep in making this lasagna that I noticed the noodles I’d purchased at Trader Joe’s were the no-boil type. I very much needed the noodles to be at least semi-boiled so that they would be soft and pliable enough to roll. So I threw caution to the wind and threw the entire package of noodles into a boiling pot of water. This was mistake number two! Almost immediately, they began to stick together. No-boil noodles are large and flat, they don’t have the curly edges that lasagna noodles are famous for. I tediously lifted little piles of stuck noodles out of the boiling water and began peeling them apart. Fingers burning and much swearing ensued. As I separated them, I carefully put them, one by one, back into the water, taking great care to stir the pot to ensure they wouldn’t stick a second time. It worked! I did not cook them fully. I cooked them to the point of barely pliable and nowhere near toothsome or al dente. They will continue to cook and soften fully while in the oven with all the sauce, as intended.

All this being said, you are welcome to use traditional curly lasagna noodles, but you will get nowhere near the amount of filling on each and they are in grave danger of tearing, as traditional noodles tend to do. The no-boil noodles are stronger, nice and flat, and substantially larger, holding a lovely amount of tasty filling.

Rolled Lasagna Florentine

Ground Beef Base

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • ½ cup chopped onions
  • 1/4 cup peeled and diced carrots
  • 1/4 cup chopped celery
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Tomato Base

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • Two 28-ounce cans diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 1/3 cup tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 15-ounce carton ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 12-ounce package shredded Italian cheese blend
  • 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 1 package no-boil lasagna noodles (I used Trader Joe’s brand) * important see the note above
  • 2 cups Tomato Base (from above)
  • Ground Beef Base (from above)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
  • Fresh parsley, for garnish
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December 8, 2022   No Comments

Instant Pot vs. Slow Cooker

At my house, I have an Instant Pot and a slow cooker, also known by the brand name, Crockpot.

As far as small electric kitchen appliances go, I also have a food dehydrator, an air-fryer, a countertop grill, a rice cooker, a waffle iron, a citrus juicer, an extractor juicer, an immersion blender, a Vitamix blender, a three-bowl hot pot, an ice cream maker, an electric skillet, a Cuisinart food processor, a KitchenAid stand mixer, 2 hand mixers, a deep fryer, a commercial coffee maker, a popcorn popper, an electric kettle, a 4-slot toaster, a Raclette grill, a sous vide, and the list goes on and on.

I bring this up not to brag about my plethora of appliances. The opposite, actually. If I hadn’t previously owned a cooking school, this would be embarrassing. The fact that the cooking school has been closed for coming up on 10 years makes it ridiculous! When I return to Arizona I plan to do some purging. One of the first things to go will be the Crockpot. When you have an Instant Pot, the slow cooker becomes redundant. In fact, all of the slow cooker recipes I’ve been posting these last two weeks have been made in Marissa’s Instant Pot on the slow cooker setting. Another thing that will be going to charity will be the popcorn popper. I bet that thing hasn’t been used for 25+ years!

As for the recipe below, Marissa and I discussed how to zip it up a bit more and decided that the addition of a diced bell pepper would be a good addition. That is added to the recipe below, though you won’t see it in the accompanying photos.

Instant Pot Lickity-Split Chicken Burrito Bowls

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves peeled and minced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 2 (1.25-ounce) packages taco seasoning
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans corn kernels, drained
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups fresh salsa, homemade or store-bought
  • 2 (4.5-ounce) cans chopped green chiles
  • 2 cups long-grain rice
  • 2 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese, additional for garnish
  • Sour cream, garnish
  • 1 diced tomato, garnish
  • 1 sliced green onion, garnish
  • Chopped fresh cilantro leaves, garnish
  • Hot sauce, garnish

Set a 6-qt Instant Pot to “sauté” and adjust to “high” or “more”. Add oil, when heated, add onion and bell pepper and sauté until soft and translucent. Season with salt and pepper, add the garlic, and turn off the pot.

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December 5, 2022   1 Comment