On the Menu: Cannoli Cake

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This is one of my go to desserts! I made it recently for our staff Christmas Party and everyone loved it!! (Especially the guys!) It really is delicious!!

  • 1 Box White Cake Mix, plus ingredients on the cake mix box
  • 1 cup Mini Chocolate Chips
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 2 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 1 Can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups marscarpone cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Instructions

Bake white cake according to instructions on the box for a 9×13 pan. I use my red one so you can’t see inside the dish like you can with a clear one. The cake will stay in this pan, so it will be the one you are serving from.

Remove the cake from oven and poke holes in it with a straw. (Feel free to eat the cake that gets poked up into the straw.)

Open the can of sweetened condensed milk and save 1/2 a cup of it for later. Pour the rest over the cake, filling in the holes as best you can.

Place the cake in the fridge for 1 hour.

After cake has cooled for an hour in the fridge, in a mixer bowl mix together Vanilla Extract, Marscarpone Cheese and Ricotta cheese.

Add Cinnamon and powdered sugar, mix together well.

Add the 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk to the mixture and mix well.

 

Spread the cannoli icing over the cake. (The consistency is much more like cannoli filling than traditional icing, if you would like it a little thicker, add more powdered sugar.)

Sprinkle the mini chocolate chips over the top.

Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. ENJOY!!!

Christmas Eve Pasta

I make this every year on Christmas Eve. It was originally a Racheal Ray recipe that I adapted over the years. Hope you enjoy!!

 

Salt
1 pound rigatoni or penne
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 pound pancetta
1/4 pound bulk hot Italian sausage
1/4 pound bulk sweet Italian sausage
1/2 pound ground sirloin
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
Coarse black pepper
1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and chopped
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 cup dry red wine
1 cup beef stock
1 (28-oz.) can crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup grated Romano cheese

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt it. Add the pasta. Heat a large pot over medium high heat. Add 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil. Add the pancetta to one half of the pan; the sausage, both hot and sweet, to the other. Break up the sausage into bits and brown while the pancetta cooks for a few minutes, then combine and cook together another minute or so.

Add the remaining tablespoon of Olive Oil, then the sirloin. Brown and crumble the meat  and season with allspice, salt and pepper.

Add the carrots, onions and garlic and cook another 5 to 6 minutes to soften . Stir in the wine. Stir in the stock, then the tomatoes. Simmer over low heat at least 10 minutes.

Drain the pasta and add back to the hot pot. Put a few large spoonfuls of the sauce over the pasta and add a couple of handfuls of the Romano cheese on top of the sauce.

Transfer to a large serving dish or individual bowls and top with the remaining sauce. Have some extra Romano on hand!

Merry Christmas Eve Pasta!

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10 Tips for Hosting Thanksgiving Dinner

Thanksgiving is one my favorite holidays!! To me, it is the kick off to the most magical time of the year. I love gathering together, celebrating what we are grateful and eating the most amazing food!

However, for the host Thanksgiving can be an exhausted, frustrating and stressful event! Here are some tips to help you enjoy hosting Thanksgiving!

  1.  Plan ahead!! Know your menu. Have a shopping list ready. Plan what bakeware and cookware you are using. Plan what dishes, napkins and silverware you are using. Be sure to have guests RSVP so you will know who all will be there.
  2. Don’t experiment!!! I love Paula Deen Christmas and Thanksgiving magazines, but the Thanksgiving meal is not time to experiment with a recipe that you haven’t tried yet. Stick to what you know works!
  3. Turkey! Order your turkey!! You will need about 3/4 to 1 pound of turkey per person!
  4. Buy some store-bought goodies!! It is perfectly acceptable to buy a few things that are already pre-made. If you don’t want to make a pie, Marie Calendar’s pumpkin pie is amazing!! Some grocery store delis have awesome prepared side dishes. No shame in that game!
  5. Make some dishes in advance! Some things can be prepared and kept in the fridge a few days before baking. Doing some of the dishes ahead of time will save a ton of time.
  6. Don’t make a big deal over appetizers. Set out some bread and cheese and be done. People are there for the main meal, don’t stress over appetizers at Thanksgiving dinner.
  7. ASK FOR HELP! Don’t feel bad about asking people to bring food, drink or even to come early and help out. Taking on the whole burden of Thanksgiving prep is a lot of work. Whatever you do, if someone asks if they can help; say yes! You already know your menu and what you could use more of. People usually don’t mind helping if they just know what you need. Delegate!!!
  8. The night before: Go to bed early!!! This is not the night to stay up late watching Christmas movies. Get plenty of rest so you can wake up ready to rock Thanksgiving.
  9. The day of: Get up early!! You went to bed early, now get up early! Enjoy your coffee and few minutes of peace and then get to it. Time always goes by faster than you think and there is always that person that shows up early!
  10. People over perfection!! Thanksgiving is about being grateful, not being perfect. When inviting people into your home, it is not so you can impress them but so you can make them feel they have a warm and loving place to belong. Don’t stress about things being perfect, enjoy the people who are there.

If you are not hosting; call the host right now and ask what you can do!!! If they have nothing for you to do, show up with a hostess gift! Us southerners never show up empty-handed! image1 2.JPG

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!!

On the Menu: Cornbread Dressing

Cornbread dressing is one of the things I bring to all of our Thanksgiving dinners. I have tweaked it over the last five years and this is now my FAVORITE dressing recipe!

Let me first go ahead and say that I make my own cream of onion soup because I have a soy allergy and the canned stuff has lots of soy protein. But, you can use the canned and it is just as good!

Ingredients

2 cups chopped onion
2 cups chopped carrot
1 tablespoon minced garlic
3 cups chicken stock
1 can (10 ounces) cream of onion soup
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup butter
2 packages (6 ounce each) buttermilk cornbread muffin mix
1 1/3 cups whole milk
3 large eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon poultry seasoning
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Put 2 tablespoons butter in a 10 inch skillet, place skillet in oven until butter is melted and the skillet is hot. Remove from oven. (You can also use a different 10 inch dish if you do not have a skillet. Just spray with a non-stick cooking spray.)

Combine cornbread mix and milk in a medium mixing bowl. Pour batter into skillet and bake for about 10 minutes or until golden brown. Give the cornbread time to cool then crumble it and set it aside.

Reduce oven temp to 350 degrees.

In a large skillet, melt 1/2 cup butter over medium heat. Add onion, carrot and garlic. Cook for about 10 minutes or until veggies are tender.

Spray a 13X9 inch baking pan with non-stick spray.

In a large mixing bowl, combine crumbled cornbread, veggie mixture, chicken stock, cream of onion soup, eggs, poultry seasoning, salt and pepper. Stir until well combined.

Spoon over into prepared baking dish and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until the center is set.

This recipe makes 10 to 12 servings.

Enjoy!!!

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On the Menu: A Few Ideas for You!

Here are a few of my favorite dishes from the past few weeks!! I hope you try them and enjoy! Just click on them to be taken to the recipe!

 

  • Rachael Ray: Bangers and Mash // This is a FAVORITE at my house!!! I usually use Bratwurst. You can substitute and use turkey polish sausage as well.

 

 

  • Crock Pot Bourbon Chicken // This is perfect served over rice. I LOVE my rice cooker, if you haven’t invested in one yet you should consider it!!

 

Hope this helps you plan a few yummy fall meals!

On the Menu: Pumpkin Bread

Heading to some holiday parties? Don’t show up empty handed!!! Take your host some pumpkin bread! Each batch makes 3 loaves or 6 mini loaves so you can also give some away to friends! Make some bread and warm a heart with this super easy Pumpkin Bread recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 3 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 4 eggs (beaten)
  • 1 can pumpkin
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup water

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 3 regular (or 6 mini) loaf pans.

Combine all ingredients ( You can mix by hand or in mixer). Mixture should be a little lumpy. Pour into pans, even out and sprinkle with cinnamon. Bake for 45 minutes.

Let your bread cool a little, wrap in cling wrap, tie string around it and attach a cute tag.

Share or enjoy! fontcandy 2.jpg

On the Menu

I thought I would share a few things I love and my recipes for them. Then, below will be the regular “on the menu” post for this week.

Friday morning Ethan was out of school for Fall Break so I made Pumpkin Spice pancakes!! All you do is add pumpkin pie spice to your pancake batter!!! This is a fall favorite in my kitchen and it is super easy!

French Toast: Saturday morning we had French Toast. Below is my recipe!

8 slices Sourdough bread

3 eggs, beaten

1 cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

butter

Confectioners Sugar (optional)

Maple Syrup (optional)

Melt 1/2 teaspoon of butter on a non-stick griddle over medium high heat. Beat eggs, milk and vanilla together. Dip  sourdough bread in egg mixture (dip enough to cover bread on each side but not soak all the way through) and then place on griddle. Cook on each side until egg mixture is cooked through and beginning to brown; about 3 minutes on each side. Remove from griddle, serve immediately sprinkled with Confectioners sugar and drizzled with maple syrup.

 

On The Menu this week: Click the item to be taken to the recipe!

Paula Deen’s Chicken Cakes with Creole Sauce


Rachael Ray’s Super-Grilled Steak Sandwich with Horseradish -Dijon Cream and Spicy Greens

One Pot Chili Mac

 

Have a great week and don’t forget to light those candles!! Who and what were you waiting for anyway?