Tuesday, November 25, 2014


Dressing is one of my favorites!  

Easy and delicious! Putting this dressing or your own dressing recipe in puff pastry is such a great idea as a side dish or appetizer.

I have been seeing many recipes made into individual servings by placing the pastry in muffin tins, filled with whatever filling you wish.  This recipe would work with that technique.


    • 1/2 of a 17.3-ounce package Pepperidge Farm® Puff Pastry Sheets (1 sheet), thawed
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 tbsp. water
    • 1/2 lb. bulk pork sausage
    • 1 cup Pepperidge Farm® Herb Seasoned Stuffing
    • 1 small onion, chopped (about 1/4 cup)
    • 1 cup chopped mushrooms (about 3 ounces)


Heat the oven to 375°F. 

Beat water and 1 egg in a small bowl with a fork or whisk.

In a large bowl, mix the sausage, stuffing, remaining egg, onion and mushrooms.

Unfold the pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface and cut slits 1-inch apart from the outer edge to the fold mark on each side of the pastry sheet. 

Spoon the dressing mixture down the center of the pastry. 

Starting at one end, fold the pastry strips over the dressing mixture, alternating sides, to cover the dressing mixture. 

Place the pastry onto a baking sheet and brush with the egg mixture.

Bake for 35 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown and the sausage is cooked through. Let the pastry cool on the baking sheet on a wire rack for 10 minutes.

Tip: Serves 8 as an appetizer.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Chocolate Walnut Strudel

Puff pastry has got to be one of my favorite tricks for semi-homemade cooking . . . actually, The Captain introduced me to cooking with puff pastry.

It is an awesome versatile product that can be used in so many ways.  The result is a very quick, easy and delicious dessert, like this recipe from Pepperidge Farm, that makes such a beautiful and impressive presentation.

Puff pastry has become a regular on my grocery list and I will be posting more recipes from Pepperidge Farm and other sources, as well as those recipes that we create.


    • 1 egg
    • 1 tbsp. water
    • 4 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
    • 2 tbsp. milk
    • 1 tbsp. butter
    • 1/2 pkg. Pepperidge Farm® Puff Pastry Sheets (1 sheet), thawed
    • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
    • 1 tbsp. confectioners' sugar


Heat the oven to 375°F. 

In a small bowl, beat egg and water with a fork.

In a medium microwaveable bowl, microwave the chocolate, milk and butter together on a medium setting for 30 seconds. 

Stir until the mixture is melted and smooth.

Unfold the pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface. 

Roll the pastry sheet into a 16x12-inch rectangle. 

Spread chocolate mixture on the pastry to within 1 1/2 inches of the edge and sprinkle with walnuts. 

Start at the short side and roll up like a jelly roll. Place seam-side down onto a baking sheet and tuck the ends under to seal with the egg mixture.

Bake for 35 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown. 

Cool the strudel on baking sheet placed on a wire rack for 30 minutes. 

Sprinkle with the confectioners' sugar.

Notes from Pepperidge Farm

To decorate the strudel, thaw and roll out another pastry sheet into a 12-inch square. Cut the pastry into shapes using a cookie cutter. Press the cut-outs onto the top of the unbaked strudel and brush with the egg mixture. Bake as directed above.

Apple-Cinnamon Shortcakes

The aroma of apples and cinnamon 
baking in the oven is intoxicating!


2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons sugar, divided
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup plus 4 teaspoons melted butter, divided


1/4 cup butter, cubed
4 large tart apples, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg


Combine flour, 2 tablespoons sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt 
in a large bowl

in a small bowl Combine cream and 1/2 cup butter in a small bowl and stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.

Drop dough by 1/4 cupfuls onto a greased baking sheet 2 inches apart

Brush on remaining butter and sprinkle with remaining sugar. 

Bake at 375° for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown. 

Cool slightly.


Melt butter in a large skillet. 

Add apples and saute until tender. 

Stir in brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. 

Split warm shortcakes in half horizontally, top bottom halves with apple mixture and replace tops. 

Serve immediately. 

Yield: 8 servings.

Nutritional Facts

1 shortcake with 1/3 cup filling equals 496 calories, 30 g fat (19 g saturated fat), 91 mg cholesterol, 449 mg sodium, 54 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 4 g protein.

Originally published as Apple-Cinnamon Shortcakes in Taste of Home's Holiday & Celebrations Cookbook Annual 2011, p133


Baked Apple Fritters

There is nothing like fritters or muffins with a cup of coffee for a quick and delicious breakfast.

This recipe for Baked Apple Fritters comes from the kitchens of Gold Metal Flour . . . check out their website for more delicious recipes.


    • 1-1/2 cups Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
    • 2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
    • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
    • 6 tablespoons cold butter
    • 1 large egg
    • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
    • 1 (6 ounce) container Yoplait very vanilla yogurt
    • 1 cup chopped apple (about 1 large apple)
    • 1/2 cup shredded apple (about 1 small apple)
    • 2 cups powdered sugar
    • 1/3 cup apple cider


Preheat oven to 350°F. 

Using non-stick cooking spray, lightly spray two mini muffin pans.

Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg 
in a large bowl

Using a pastry blender or two knives, cut in the butter until coarse crumbs form.

Whisk together the egg, vanilla and yogurt 
in a small bowl

Combine the yogurt mixture and flour mixture and until well mixed. 

Fold in apples.

Place batter in each muffin cup, 
a few teaspoons at a time . 

Bake 15 minutes or until they just start to brown.

Remove from the oven and turn the oven broiler on high. 

Transfer the fritters to the cookie sheets lined with parchment paper.

Whisk together 1 cup powdered sugar and 4 tablespoons apple cider 
in a small bowl. The glaze should be very thin. 

Brush the glaze over each fritter, letting it drip down the sides. 

Return the fritters to the oven . . . broil for 2-4 minutes until the glaze starts to caramelize the tops of each fritter. 

Rotate the baking sheets every minute so they don’t blacken and burn.

Remove fritters from the oven. 

Whisk remaining powdered sugar and apple cider into leftover glaze until it’s smooth and thick . . . brush glaze evenly over broiled fritters. 

Let glaze harden on cookie sheets until set . . . about 15 minutes.


Store in the refrigerator. Reheat in the microwave for 15-20 seconds or in the oven at 350°F for 5-10 minutes.

Servings: 48 fritters

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Baking Time: 20 minutes

Total Time (start to finish): 45 minutes


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Cream Cheese Deviled Eggs Recipe

Deviled eggs are always a great choice for an appetizer for a party of your own, to take to someone else's party for the appetizer table or as a side for an informal lunch.

This recipe is a total departure from my regular deviled egg recipe and I love the addition of cream cheese. However, I would definitely not add the peas and can't imagine deviled eggs without mayonnaise (and I'm not fond of mustard).  So . . . for me, this recipe will be used as a guide.

Let me know what you think if you use this recipe!


8 hard-cooked eggs
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup frozen peas, thawed
3 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled


Cut eggs in half lengthwise. 

Remove yolks; set whites aside. 

In a small bowl, mash yolks. Add the cream cheese, mustard, salt and pepper; beat until blended. 

Stir in peas.
Stuff or pipe mixture into egg whites. Sprinkle with bacon. Refrigerate until serving. 

Yield: 16 appetizers.

Nutritional Facts

1 stuffed egg half equals 97 calories, 8 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 123 mg cholesterol, 155 mg sodium, 1 g carbohydrate, trace fiber, 5 g protein.

Originally published as Cream Cheese Deviled Eggs in Country June/July 2008, p51

Butter Pecan Cheesecake

One of my favorite ice cream flavors is rich and buttery butter pecan . . . I can imagine a cheesecake with that awesome flavor!

This cheesecake, which comes from Taste of Home, is a strong contender for our holiday dessert table this year.  We just might make it before the holidays!

Let me know if you try it out!


1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter, melted


3 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
1-1/2 cups sugar
2 cups (16 ounces) sour cream
1 teaspoon McCormick® Pure Vanilla Extract
1/2 teaspoon butter flavoring
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup finely chopped pecans


Combine the cracker crumbs, pecans, sugar and butter 
in a large bowl.  

Set aside 1/3 cup for topping. 

Press remaining crumb mixture onto the bottom and 1 in. up the sides of a greased 9-in. springform pan.

Place springform pan on a double thickness of heavy-duty foil and securely wrap foil around pan.

Beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth 
in a large bowl

Beat in the sour cream, vanilla and butter flavoring. 

Add eggs, beating on low speed until combined. Fold in pecans. 

Pour into crust and sprinkle with reserved crumb mixture. 

Place springform pan in a large baking pan; add 1 in. of hot water to larger pan (I've never done this step when making cheesecake).

Bake at 325° for 70-80 minutes or until center is almost set. 

Remove springform pan from water bath. 

Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen.  Cool 1 hour longer. 

Refrigerate overnight. Remove sides of pan. 

Yield: 16 servings.

Originally published as Butter Pecan Cheesecake in Country Woman October/November 2011, p32

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Coconut-Pecan German Chocolate Pie

Going through recipes and picking out what to make for the holidays is always fun.  Here is a recipe for a pie that is a contender for our holiday dessert table from Taste of Home.

Doesn't it look delicious?


    • 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 6 tablespoons cold lard
    • 3 to 4 tablespoons ice water

    • 4 ounces German sweet chocolate, chopped
    • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
    • 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
    • 4 egg yolks
    • 1 teaspoon McCormick® Pure Vanilla Extract
    • 1 cup chopped pecans

    • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
    • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
    • 1/4 cup butter, cubed
    • 2 egg yolks
    • 1 cup flaked coconut
    • 1 teaspoon McCormick® Pure Vanilla Extract
    • 1/4 cup chopped pecans


Mix flour and salt in a small bowl . . . blend lard in until crumbly.  Add ice water gradually, toss until dough holds together.  Shape into a disk and refrigerate 30 minutes or overnight wrapped in plastic wrap.

Preheat oven to 400°. 

Roll dough to a 1/8-in.-thick circle on a lightly floured surface.  Transfer dough to a 9-in. pie plate. Trim pastry to 1/2 in. beyond rim of plate and flute edge. Line unpricked pastry with a double thickness of foil and fill with pie weights, dried beans or uncooked rice.

Bake 11-13 minutes or until bottom is lightly browned. Remove foil and weights . . . bake 6-8 minutes longer or until light brown. Cool on a wire rack. 

Reduce oven setting to 350°.

Melt chocolates in a large bowl in the microwave and stir until smooth. Cool slightly. Whisk in milk, egg yolks and vanilla until well blended.  Stir in pecans. Pour into crust. 

Bake 16-19 minutes or until set. 

Cool 1 hour on a wire rack.

Meanwhile . . . combine brown sugar, cream and butter in a small heavy saucepan.  On medium heat, bring to a boil, while stirring to dissolve sugar. Remove from heat.

Whisk a small amount of hot mixture into egg yolks in a small bowl.  Return all to pan and whisk constantly, cook 2-3 minutes or until mixture thickens and a thermometer reads 160°. Remove from heat. Stir in coconut and vanilla; cool 10 minutes.

Pour over filling; sprinkle with pecans. Refrigerate 4 hours or until cold. 

Yield: 8 servings.

Visit Our Etsy Shop