Monthly Archives: December 2017

Puff Pastry Hot Dogs

Talk about a fun appetizer or quick fun dinner. These puff pastry hot dogs are quick to make and simply delicious. This is sure to be a hit at any gathering. You can cut the hot dogs in half to make smaller ones vs the full hot dogs. Check out the recipe below.

Puff Pastry Hot Dogs

8 hot dogs, any kind
1 sheet pre-made puff pastry, thawed but cold
1 egg
Sprinkle: coarse salt
Mustard for serving

Directions: Preheat oven 400. Roll out puff pastry to make it slightly bigger. Pat dry the hot dogs. Using a knife or a pizza cutter cut into half inch strips. Using 2 strips of the puff pastry wrap the hot dog, slightly overlapping. You can also just use thicker strips of the puff pastry if you’d rather. Place on a greased baking dish.

Once all the hot dogs are wrapped place in the refrigerator for 15-30 minutes for the puff pastry to slightly chill again.

Whisk egg in small bowl. Remove the hot dogs from the refrigerator and brush the puff pastry with the egg and sprinkle with coarse salt. Bake in the oven 20 minutes until golden brown. Serve immediately with a side of mustard.






Dad’s Clam Dip with Dill

I’m going to talk as about my Dad a bit. I got my ability to throw together a great dish from him. He was very good at just putting ingredients together and coming up with something that tasted amazing. He didn’t always write down his recipes (also something I got from him.) So, when he passed away unfortunately, there was a lot of dishes we wished we had the recipes for. One was his clam dip. It’s so good and something I never liked at first and now I love.

I know it sounds weird but it is simply delicious. One day I had decided to try and remember the taste and just started experimenting with ingredients. I was able to make it and the taste was just like when my Dad made it. I was so happy I was able to recreate it just like his.

I wanted to share the recipe with my followers. I hope you enjoy it as much as my family and I.

Dad’s Clam Dip

8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups sour cream
1 T Worcestershire sauce
2 10 oz cans chopped clams (drained, reserve 1 T of liquid)
1 t salt
1/2-1 T Dill (More for topping)

Directions: In a medium bowl add in the cream cheese. With a fork smash the cream cheese for 2 minutes to soften more. Add in the sour cream and mix well. Next add in chopped clams, the reserved liquid and the Worcestershire sauce. Mix well. Season with the dill and salt. Mix well. Refrigerate at least 1 hour. Add more dill if you’d like. I like extra dill. Sprinkle dill over the top of dip to serve. Serve with your choice of chips or crackers.



Garlic and Herb Prime Rib

One of my favorite beef roast to make is Prime Rib. We always have on Christmas Day and I wanted to share with you my recipe and method of cooking. It’s such a wonderful cut of meat and when prepared the correct way can be simply amazing. It’s great for an elevated meal and really is rather simple to do. Just watch the temperature as to not overcook it.

Give it a try! This is a perfect meal for a large or small dinner party. Enjoy!

Happy New Year!

Garlic & Herb Prime Rib

6-8 lb bone in prime rib
1 1/2 sticks soften butter
6 garlic cloves, grated
1 T dried parsley (or fresh)
1 T dried rosemary (or fresh)
2-3 t kosher salt

Quick Horseradish Sauce

1 cup sour cream
3-4 T horseradish (more depending on taste)

Directions: Preheat oven to 450°. In a small bowl mix together sour cream and horseradish, place in refrigerator until ready to use. Pat the roast dry . Season liberally with salt. In a bowl mix together butter, garlic and herbs. Evenly spread/massage the butter mixture over the entire roast. Don’t forget the sides. Place in oven safe pan and bake in oven for 25 minutes at 450. Reduce heat to 325° and the cook about 12-14 minutes per pound. Start with less time vs. longer time. You can always cook longer but there is no coming back from over cooked prime rib.

For medium rare you want the temperature to be 120°, for medium you want temperature to be 130°. When you remove from the oven and let rest the meat should rise up another 10 degrees or so. The final temperature for medium rare will be 130° and for medium 140°. Let roast rest at least 25-30 minutes before carving. Serve with horseradish sauce and your choice of sides.

Notes: This recipe will work for any size prime rib. The length of time cooking at 325° will be less for smaller roasts and longer for bigger roasts. Feel free to use other herbs to season the meat with. I forgot to get fresh herbs and dry herbs worked just fine. Really let the meat rest as this will help the meat come to final temp and be extra juicy. Make extra horseradish sauce if your like me and LOVE IT.


Scallop Gratin with Crispy Prosciutto

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday. In my family we always do seafood on Christmas Eve. We are Italian and it’s been a tradition for as long as I can remember. I made this scallop dish and it was a hit and super delicious and rather simple.

Scallops are one food item I have gotten a lot of questions about. People are worried about overcooking the scallops. That’s a common thing actually. If you are searing them, it’s a hot pan for 2-3 minutes on each side. You want the inside glistening when you cut into it. For these they are baked an take a little longer. There is so many different ways to use scallops. Check my recipes for seafood and you’ll find the scallop tacos. They are to die for as well.

For now, check out this upscale simple recipe!

Scallop Gratin with Crispy Prosciutto

4 oz prosciutto or par-cooked bacon, minced or rough chopped
1/4 cup white wine
1 1/2- 2lbs bay scallops, rinsed, dried and mussel removed

1 stick butter, soften
¾ cup plan panko breadcrumbs
3 T fresh lemon juice
3 garlic cloves, minced or grated
3 T olive oil
2 medium shallots, small diced
¼ cup parsley, chopped
2 t garlic powder
2 t onion powder
2 t kosher salt
1 t pepper

Directions: Heat oven 425°. In a medium baking dish add the wine and top with the scallops. In a medium bowl add all ingredients for the topping and mix well till incorporated. I used a fork to mash the butter and get everything fully mixed. Add mixture evenly on top of the scallops. Sprinkle with prosciutto or bacon. Bake in oven 12-16 minutes. Serve hot. Feel free to serve with bread for dipping in butter mixture.


Mom’s Banana Bread

Ever since I could remember my Mom has been making banana bread.  I remember the smell of the house while it’s baking.  So amazing.  She always makes it around the holidays and we use to have it when we opened our presents on Christmas morning before we had breakfast.  It’s become a favorite of mine and I wanted to share it.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Mom’s Banana Bread

3 1/2 C flour
1 1/2 t salt
1 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup water
2 t baking soda
3 C white sugar
4 eggs
4-5 bananas, overly ripened and mashed
1 T lemon juice
3/4 cup chopped walnuts

Directions: Add dry ingredients to a large bowl.  Make a well and add in wet ingredients and mix well.  Pour into greased and floured mini loaf pans.  Fill a little over half full.  Bake in oven 350 for 1 hour until top is golden brown.




White Chocolate Clusters

It’s almost time for the holidays. Growing up my Mom always made several cookies and candies. Over the years we’ve changed some up and not made other because she always made way to many we had so many leftover. This first recipe I’m going to share is one we’ve been making for the past several years and it’s one of my family’s favorites.

It’s more of a candy vs a cookie. But I always call it a cookie. These are super simple. They aren’t the the prettiest cookies but the fact that they are so good makes up for it. The color doesn’t scream holiday. Over the years to try and make it more holiday I added some food coloring to the almond bark and honestly, it didn’t come out looking good at all. So, I just make it the regular way.

Check out these awesome cookie/candy.

White Chocolate Clusters

1 1/2 lbs almond bark, vanilla flavor (1 whole block)
1 3/4 cup crunchy peanut butter
1 3/4 cup dry roasted peanuts
1 3/4 cup rice crispy cereal
1 3/4 cup mini marshmallow

Parchment paper/wax paper

Directions: Preheat over 275°. In a large baking dish add the almond bark and place in the oven 7-9 minutes to melt. Check after the time is up and mix the almond bark and put back in the oven if still not fully melted. Keep an eye on the almond bark as it can burn quickly. If there is a few chunks left take out and mix until they melt in.

After almond bark is melted, quickly add in the other ingredients in the order above. First, add in chunky peanut butter and mix well. Then add in the peanuts, rice crispy cereal and marshmallows and mix until fully coated.

Lay out wax paper or parchment paper and drop spoonfuls of the mixture. Make them as big or small as you like. I’d prefer them smaller. Let the candy harden up and then store in an airtight container in a cool place. Eat within 4-6 weeks. Enjoy!


Creamy Chicken Tacos

I’m a day late for Taco Tuesday!  Tonight was taco night in my house.  Years ago when I was in culinary school I made chicken tacos that were so delicious my Mom still talks about them.  I had made them for my whole family and made them several times.  Problem is I never wrote down the recipe.  I have a habit of doing that.  I’ve since learned my lesson and try and jot down the ingredients.   So, tonight I made chicken tacos and it was just like ones I made all those years ago.  They came out A…MAZING!  Completely delicious!!

This recipe is super simple and can be made in less than 30 minutes.  Check out the recipe!

Creamy Chicken Tacos

1 lb chicken breasts, diced
1 large red pepper, diced
1 jalapeño, diced (seeds removed)
1 bunch cilantro, stems removed, chopped (reserve 4 T for topping)
1 lime, juiced
1 taco seasoning packet
1/2 T garlic powder
1/2 T onion powder
2 t chili powder
3 T olive oil
1 t salt
1 t pepper
1/3 cup sour cream
8-10 taco tortillas

4T chopped cilantro
6-8 oz queso fresco, crumbled
1 small onion, thinly sliced

Directions: Place chicken in a medium bowl.  Add in seasoning, spices, cilantro, 2 T olive oil and half the lime juice. Mix well.  Cover and let marinade at least 1 hour.

Once ready to cook, heat a medium size saute pan on high heat.  Add in 1 T of olive oil and then the red pepper and jalapeño and cook till tender.  Add in the chicken and cook 10-12 minutes on high heat mixing often.  Add in the juice from other half of the lime and mix well.  Once chicken is almost fully cooked, add in sour cream and stir to fully coated.  Let cook 2-3 more minutes.

Heat tortillas 40-45 seconds in the microwave.  To assemble the tacos, add 2-3 spoonfuls of the chicken mixture to tortillas, top with red onion, crumbled queso fresco and sprinkle with remaining cilantro.  Serve and enjoy!