Category Archives: Family Recipes

Seriously Delicious Taco Pizza

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Taco Pizza

I’ve been on a spicy food kick lately. Maybe it’s the pseudo-Spring weather. Or maybe I’m just addicted. I decided to make a fun twist on pizza and make a seriously delicious Taco Pizza. Yes, TACOS. And PIZZA. All baked into a bubbling pile of goodness. This Taco Pizza is the easiest thing to make, and the best tasting thing on the planet. Like a fiesta in your mouth.

Taco Pizza 2

I had a bunch of Pillsbury Crescent Dough in the fridge, as well as a ton of fresh ingredients I wanted to use up. Yes, I could have made Nachos. Or Burritos. Or Enchiladas. Or even a Taco Salad. But why not make a Taco Pizza? It was Friday after all. And Fridays are made for FUN FOOD, arent’ they?

Taco Pizza_OH 2

The crust is super buttery and flaky and a delicious canvas for this Taco Monster creation.

Toppings 1

The pizza is topped with all the goodies you would make tacos with – salsa, ground beef, taco seasoning, black beans and onions,

Toppings 2

with a layer of fresh veggies like black olives, tomatoes, jalapenos; and of course plenty of shredded cheddar cheese.

Taco Pizza 3

Just layer all the goods on the dough, pop it in a 375 degree oven and bake for about 13-16 minutes until the crust is golden and the cheese is melty-ooey-gooey.

Taco Pizza 5

Then, top it with some chopped cilantro, a few dabs of sour cream and some wavy corn chips for extra crunch.

Serious YUM. And perfect for a Friday afternoon. With a margarita or two, of course. :)

Seriously Delicious Taco Pizza

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 1-2 slices/squares

A seriously delicious Taco Pizza made with ground beef, tomatoes, jalapenos, olives, black beans and cheese, topped with sour cream, cilantro and crunchy corn chips baked on a crescent dough crust.

Ingredients

  • 2 cans (8 ounce) Pillsbury crescent dough
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 small onion, chopped (or 1 tablespoon minced dried onion)
  • 1 package taco seasoning
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup black beans, rinsed
  • 1 cup chunky salsa
  • 10-12 cherry or plum tomatoes, halved
  • 1 jalapeno, sliced
  • 1/2 cup black olives, sliced
  • 2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup wavy corn chips, for garnish
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped, for garnish
  • 1/2 cup sour cream, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Separate dough into 2 long rectangles and place on ungreased cookie sheet. Press perforations to seal into one large rectangle of dough. Repeat for second pizza.
  3. In a large skillet, saute ground beef, onions and black beans until cooked through and meat is no longer pink. Drain grease, and add taco seasoning and 1/4 cup of water, mix together well and keep warm, covered.
  4. Prep the veggies and pizza topping ingredients.
  5. Layer the dough with the salsa, 1/2 cup for each pizza.
  6. Top dough with the taco beef and bean mixture, olives, tomatoes, jalapenos and shredded cheese on both sheets.
  7. Bake for 13-16 minutes until cheese is bubbly and crust is golden brown.
  8. Garnish pizzas with corn chips, sour cream and fresh cilantro.
  9. Cut each pizza into 6 squares and serve hot.

Notes

You can also substitute shredded chicken, ground chicken or turkey or pulled pork for the ground beef. A regular pizza dough crust can also be used in place of the crescent dough.

http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2015/03/28/seriously-delicious-taco-pizza/

All recipes, photographs, copy and content on this post and website are copyrighted © 2010-2015 by Kristen Hess/The Artful Gourmet. Please do not use, share or distribute this content in any way without expressed permission from me first.

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Top Ten {Things I Love} :: Holiday 2014

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Things I Love-holiday 2014

These are a few of my favorite things…food, wine, cooking tools, home and barware, recipes, cookbooks, etc…just simply places and things I love that I think are notable and worth a big shout out for their awesomeness! And they make great gifts for the holidays as well..Happy Holidays everyone! 

Kitchen in France Cookbook

1. A Kitchen in France: A year of cooking in my farmhouse – cookbook by Mimi Thorisson

This is a gorgeous full color cookbook by Mimi Thorisson of Manger, one of my favorite food bloggers. It’s full of beautiful photos by her husband and lovely recipes from her farmhouse in France. Enough to make you want to quit your job and move there and bake tarts all day long.

Grab a copy on Amazon.com here.

west elm pillows

2. West Elm Velvet, Metallic and Mongolian Lamb Pillows

These beautiful pillows by West Elm are a great gift idea for that person who has everything – a little indulgent, but so pretty and festive for the cold Winter months.

Pick up a few of these beauties online here.

english toffee

3. English Toffee

English Toffee is one of those things I absolutely crave during the holidays! It’s rich, buttery, crunchy and chocolatey and makes the perfect gift, whether you make your own or get some pre-made it’s absolutely delicious and addicting. In fact, I’m planning to make some myself this year for stocking stuffers!

Here’s a great recipe for it on Food.com, or pick up a batch at Williams-Sonoma which comes in a festive holiday tin.

photo: Delicious as it Looks

holiday cocktail party set - Mouth.com

4. Holiday Cocktail Party Collection – Mouth.com

Everyone loves a cocktail party but sometimes it’s more work than  you expect it to be. Mouth.com, a specialty indie food store has a Holiday Cocktail Party set that has all the essentials packaged up by local food producers to get your holiday party in gear. It comes with a variety of cheeses, Ginger Caramels, Old Bay peanuts, Vanilla Pickled Cherries, Sesame Lavish Crackers, Dark Chocolates and more. YUM.

Pick one up online here, and check out their other fun collections while you’re at it!

beaded table linens Neiman Marcus

5. Capiz Shell Beaded Table Linens – Neiman Marcus

Absolutely love these gorgeous Capiz shell beaded table linens by Kim Seybert at Neiman Marcus. It comes in a table runner and placemats with matching napkin rings. Festive enough to feast at Christmas like Queen Victoria. LOVE.

Get them online here.

Il Buco Vita

6. Il Buco Vita 

Il Buco Vita is a hidden gem, above the Il Buco Italian restaurant in NoHo NYC. It’s a showroom full of gorgeous handmade Italian and Mediterranean ceramics, linens, glassware, home furnishings and antiques that will make you swoon.

Visit their store online here and their showroom at 51 Bond Street, NYC

Swedish Meatballs

7. Swedish Meatballs

Swedish Meatballs are one of those appetizer dishes perfect for a holiday cocktail party. My Mom makes them every year for New Years Eve and I just can’t get enough of them. Try this recipe by BBCGoodFood, Bon Appetit or Food & Wine. For a cool twist, try this recipe for Nut-and-Seed Crusted Sausage Meatballs with Mustard Sauce. Totally indulgent and pure YUM.

Caramel Chocolate Tart

8. Dorie Greenspan’s Golden Caramel and Chocolate Tart

I love making tarts during the holidays, especially luscious ones made with caramel and chocolate. Dorie’s has a simple recipe for making a perfect tart dough, and the filling is perfect too, with melted bittersweet chocolate lining the crust with a silky, creamy homemade golden caramel on top. Divine.

Get the recipe here

foodie dice

9. Foodie Dice and Mixology Dice

As foodies, I know we all love to cook. But sometimes we get stuck in a rut and need a boost for some new creative ideas for our cooking. Same goes for cocktails – we drink the same old thing and how fun would it be to toss a few dice and get some fresh ideas for your mixology? Check out the Foodie Dice and Mixology Dice – with just a simple toss, you’ll get suggestions for making your own fab creations with fresh ingredients and combinations of your own.

Get ’em online here.

vintage champagne flutes

10. Vintage Etched Champagne Flutes – Williams Sonoma

What kind of holiday celebration would it be without some bubbly? Get these gorgeous vintage etched champagne flutes from Williams-Sonoma for the party, and while you’re at it, don’t forget to pick up some bubbly to fill them with! If you’re in the mood to splurge, try a vintage 2004 Dom Perignon ($160), or try a Cremant de Bourgogne, a little less expensive than Champagne made in a Brut Rose, but just as tasty and bubbly ($24). Or try some sparkling wine (Blanc de Blancs) as an option- Gloria Ferrer has a great one from Sonoma CA.

 

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Sinfully Good: Pierogi Casserole

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Pierogie Casserole

Today is one of those dreary Fall days where it’s cold and rainy and I’m in need of a little pick me up from some classic comfort food. One that involves BACON. And CHEESE. And PASTA. And all those yummy yums that aren’t that good for you. I was looking through some of my family recipes and this one came up that looked perfect for the mood I’m in today. It’s a sinfully good baked Pierogi casserole that my family used to make around the holidays – I remember sitting around the table with my family devouring this tasty dish with absolutely no shame. It’s not fancy. It’s easy to make. Has layers of flavor from the crispy bacon, earthy mushrooms, creamy sauce and tangy sauerkraut. And it’s so darn GOOD.

Traditional Pierogies are like Polish or Ukrainian Ravioli, made with fresh made dough that is filled with potatoes and cheese, meat or sauerkraut, and usually boiled or sauteed in butter with golden brown fried onions. This recipe takes the main ingredients of Pierogi (butter, mushrooms, sauerkraut, bacon, fried onions, pasta and cheese) and blends them together into a bubbling baked one-pot dish of goodness you’re gonna die for. It’s the ultimate comfort food perfect for a chilly dreary day that will keep you coming back for more…trust me.

Sinfully Good: Pierogi Casserole

Yield: 8

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. spiral pasta or Girelle (little spiral tops)
  • 6-8 strips bacon, fried and crumbled
  • 1 large sweet onion (Vidalia), chopped
  • 1 stick (8 ounces) butter, divided
  • 4 oz. fresh mushrooms, chopped
  • 1-14 ounce package sauerkraut, rinsed well
  • 2 cans Cream of Mushroom soup
  • 1 cup 2% milk
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • Fresh ground pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Boil pasta 7-9 minutes and drain, set aside.
  3. In a large saute pan, fry bacon over medium heat about 6-8 minutes until crispy, drain and crumble, set aside.
  4. Sauté onions in same saute pan with 1/2 stick of butter for another 7-8 minutes until soft and translucent. Remove from pan and set aside.
  5. Add the other 1/2 stick of butter and and sauté mushrooms about 8 minutes until tender.
  6. Stir all ingredients together in large mixing bowl, adding soup and 2% milk, sauerkraut, sautéed onions and mushrooms, shredded cheese, and fresh ground pepper to taste.
  7. Pour mixture over cooked pasta into a greased rectangle casserole dish, mix thoroughly and cover with foil.
  8. Bake at 375 degrees for 45 mins.
  9. Remove foil and turn up oven to 500 degrees, bake for another 5-10 minutes until top gets golden brown.
  10. Let cool before serving.
http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2013/10/11/sinfully-good-pierogi-casserole/

Bacon

Fry the bacon until crispy.

Saute Mushrooms

Saute the mushrooms in some butter until soft and golden.

Bacon with Mixture

Mix together crumbled bacon, sauteed mushrooms, sauerkraut, mushroom soup, milk and black pepper, stir.

Mixture

Add the shredded cheese and mix together well. Pour over cooked noodles in the casserole dish and stir it all together.

Pierogie Casserole

Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes at 375. Uncover and bake another 10 minutes on 500 until it gets crispy and golden on top. Let cool.

Devour.

—–

Other recipes you may enjoy:

All Recipes Pierogi Casserole

How Sweet Eats Pierogi Casserole

Kraft Easy Pierogi Casserole

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Homemade Rustic Pizzas: Chicken, Garlic, Spinach & Sundried Tomatoes :: Pepperoni, Ham, & Sauteed Veggies

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Rustic Pizza

Pizza is probably one of my most favorite things on the planet. Seriously. Who can resist that crispy crunchy crust topped with melted gooey cheese and fresh, savory baked toppings? A pizza is a creative endeavor that is only limited to your imagination. The pizza dough is like a blank canvas just waiting for the artist to paint a masterpiece on.

Speaking of dough, you can certainly take a stab at making your own – here is a basic pizza dough recipe that’s easy enough to make. If you don’t want to bother making your own and want to save time, you can use pre-made refrigerated pizza dough from the grocery store (I get mine from Fairway stores, or you can try Pillsbury pizza dough which is inexpensive and easy to use. They even have Artisan, thin and gluten-free crusts now which is kinda cool.)

I made these rustic pizzas the other day in an attempt to use up some fresh veggies, pizza dough and ingredients from my kids cooking show I taped last week – we made all kinds of fun pizza on set but i couldn’t bear to waste the leftovers!

So here’s how easy these babies are to make…I divided the pizza dough and patted out the dough on to pizza pans to make four rustic pizzas – one of them topped with sauteed garlic, spinach, olive oil, savory chicken,  sun dried tomatoes and plenty of mozzarella gooey cheese. The other one I made with sauteed bell peppers in different colors, broccoli, pepperoni, ham, tomato sauce and two gooey cheeses – mozzarella and muenster, great for melting. The trick to a great pizza in my experience is to saute your veggies in some olive oil and garlic BEFORE you put them on the pizza (the chicken too!). This gives them a deeper flavor and keeps them from drying out in the oven when you bake the pizzas. Throw them in a preheated oven on 400 degrees for about 15-17 minutes, let them cool on a baking rack for about 5 minutes, and then top them with some fresh torn basil, some extra parmesan cheese and pepper flakes and you’ve got some serious deliciousness going on.

Sauteed Chicken, Garlic, Spinach & Sundried Tomato Pizza

Chicken, Spinach, Garlic and Sundried Tomato Pizza

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 2-4

This is a tasty and healthy pizza made with sauteed garlic and spinach, red pepper flakes, sauteed chicken breast, sundried tomatoes and Parmesan and Mozzarella cheese.

Ingredients

  • 1 package refrigerated pizza dough (or handmade)
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 package fresh spinach, chopped
  • 6-8 thin chicken cutlets, cut into 1" chunks
  • 1 tablespoon seasoned salt or poultry seasoning
  • Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup sundried tomatoes, julienned (thin strips)
  • 1 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Divide pizza dough in half and shape into two oval or rectangular pizzas on a greased pizza pan.
  3. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese on to the base of each pizza dough.
  4. Heat an additional tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat in a large saute pan and saute minced garlic and red pepper flakes for about a minute.
  5. Add chopped spinach and stir. Saute together for another 3-4 minutes until spinach starts to wilt.
  6. Remove spinach garlic mixture from pan and set aside in a mixing bowl.
  7. Heat additional 2 tablespoons olive oil in the same pan, add seasonings and saute the chicken for approximately 8 minutes until golden brown. Remove pan from heat.
  8. Top pizza crusts with spinach-pepper-garlic mixture, sundried tomatoes and sauteed chicken (divided into equal portions for both pizzas).
  9. Top both pizzas with shredded mozzarella cheese and place pizza pan in oven.
  10. Bake for 15-17 minutes until cheese starts to get bubbly and golden brown.
http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2013/10/02/homemade-rustic-pizzas-chicken-spinach-garlic-sundried-tomato-pizza-pepperoni-ham-sauteed-veggie-pizza/

Pepperoni, Ham & Sauteed Veggie Pizza

Pepperoni, Ham, & Sauteed Veggie Pizza

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 2-4

This is a healthy and hearty version of classic pizza made with sauteed garlic, bell peppers and broccoli with diced ham and pepperoni topped with gooey mozzarella and muenster cheese.

Ingredients

  • 1 package refrigerated pizza dough (or handmade)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/4 cup orange bell pepper, diced
  • 1/4 cup yellow pepper, diced
  • 1/4 cup green bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup broccoli florets, chopped
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup tomato sauce or puree
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/4 cup pepperoni, chopped
  • 1/4 cup ham, chopped
  • 1 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup Muenster cheese, torn into pieces
  • 1 tablespoon garlic salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Divide pizza dough in half and shape into two oval or rectangular pizzas on a greased pizza pan.
  3. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large saute pan and saute minced garlic for about a minute.
  4. Add diced bell peppers, chopped broccoli, salt and pepper and stir. Saute together for 5-7 minutes until vegetables get tender and soft.
  5. Remove pan from heat.
  6. In a small mixing bowl, mix together tomato sauce, tomato paste, Italian seasoning and garlic salt to make tomato sauce for pizzas.
  7. Top pizza crusts with tomato sauce, pepperoni, ham and sauteed vegetables (divided into equal portions for both pizzas).
  8. Top both pizzas with shredded mozzarella and muenster cheeses, sprinkle with garlic salt and place pizza pan in oven.
  9. Bake for 15-17 minutes until cheese starts to get bubbly and golden brown.
http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2013/10/02/homemade-rustic-pizzas-chicken-spinach-garlic-sundried-tomato-pizza-pepperoni-ham-sauteed-veggie-pizza/

***Stay tuned for my new cooking show – Cooking with Color 4 Kids© airs live on Oct 26th at 9:30 am EST on cable TV in NYC!!

Cooking with Color 4 Kids© by Kristen Hess

Channels: Time Warner 34/ Cablevision 67/ RCN 82/ Verizon 42 and the Internet: Channel 1
BCAT TV Network cablecasts in all five boroughs of NYC on Verizon FIOS cable.

If you don’t live in NYC and want to watch the show live online on 10/26, please use this link and watch Channel 1:
http://bricartsmedia.org/community-media/watch-brooklyn-public-network

CLICK HERE TO SEE ALL THE PHOTOS FROM THE PILOT TV COOKING SHOW TAPING

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Cooking with Color 4 Kids© – a new live interactive cooking program launched at Madiba Restaurant in Brooklyn NY

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Kristen Hess, The Artful Gourmet

Cooking with Color 4 Kids by Kristen Hess

This past week on June 27, Kristen launched a new cooking program for kids called Cooking with Color 4 Kids © with eDiningNews at Madiba Restaurant in Brooklyn. This interactive, hands-on cooking class is designed for the whole family, as Kristen teaches kids and parents how to cook colorful, healthy recipes through the color palette, ripe with fruits and vegetables and fresh, natural ingredients.

Food Color Wheel
Food Color Wheel

The class began with an introduction to the color wheel and the various benefits of eating colorful fruits and vegetables in the spectrum. Kristen had the kids name some of their favorite Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue and Violet foods and discussed ways to add more color into your cooking. Instead of just making a cheese pizza, add some spinach and fresh tomatoes or basil. Make your Macaroni and Cheese healthier by adding some broccoli to it. Perhaps these photos will inspire you to explore home grown veggies or to learn how to grow your own food.

Madiba Restaurant, Brooklyn NY
Madiba Restaurant, Brooklyn NY

Lots of fun colorful ideas were exchanged as the kids got ready to start making some of their own colorful recipes from the South African Restaurant Madiba in Brooklyn.

Students making South African Pap Cornmeal with Monkey Gland Sauce and Tomato Onion Gravy
Students making South African Pap Cornmeal with Monkey Gland Sauce and Tomato Onion Gravy
Kristen with students and parents after Cooking with Color 4 Kids class at Madiba Restaurant
Kristen with students and parents after Cooking with Color 4 Kids class at Madiba Restaurant
Kristen with students and parents after Cooking with Color 4 Kids class at Madiba Restaurant
Kristen with students and parents after Cooking with Color 4 Kids class at Madiba Restaurant
Students and parents after Cooking with Color 4 Kids class at Madiba Restaurant
Students and parents after Cooking with Color 4 Kids class at Madiba Restaurant

On the cooking program menu were South African specialties such as: South African Pap Cornmeal with Tomato-Onion Gravy and Monkey Gland Sauce made with apricots, red wine, tomato and raisins, Sweet Corn and Pumpkin Salad, Pumpkin Fritters, Shebeen Salad with house wild greens, papaya, mango, summer berries, avocado, and nuts, and Rooibos Tea.

South African Pap Cornmeal with Tomato Onion Gravy

South African Chakalaka
South African Chakalaka
South African Monkey Gland Sauce
South African Monkey Gland Sauce
Shebeen Salad with Wild Greens, Papaya, Mango, Berries, Avocado and Nuts
Shebeen Salad with Wild Greens, Papaya, Mango, Berries, Avocado and Nuts
Pumpkin Fritters
Pumpkin Fritters
Pumpkin and Corn Salad
Pumpkin and Corn Salad
Rooibos Tea
Rooibos Tea

The class was videotaped live on Livestream by eDiningNews, and the video is featured online and also below for those who missed the class. All in all, it was a fun, interactive class that the kids and parents loved. And most of all a rewarding experience for me as I got to teach kids how to cook and eat healthy by adding colorful fruits and vegetables to their everyday cooking.

Stay tuned for more class locations and dates as the cooking program grows around NYC!

More fun photos from the event!

[easyrotator]erc_82_1375747351[/easyrotator]

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Mushroom, Ham and Cheese Strata: Best Brunch Casserole. EVER.

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Mushroom, Ham and Cheese Strata
Mushroom, Ham and Cheese Strata

I love waking up in the morning to the smell of fresh brewed coffee and breakfast cooking in the kitchen. This is a delicious brunch casserole that’s perfect for the holidays and feeding a crowd. It’s filled with delicious sauteed ham, onions, baby bella mushrooms, garlic and dill, over a thin layer of torn whole grain bread (I use low carb bread and only 4-5 slices instead of a whole loaf of bread, and you can actually skip the bread all together if you want it to be more of a frittata), then topped with lots of gooey cheddar cheese. Bake the casserole until its light and puffy, let cool and then serve cut into squares with a green salad or fruit salad and whole grain toast. If you want to switch up the herbs, try Herbs de Provence or Fines Herbes instead. Experiment with different cheeses or meats if you like too (Brie, Monterey Jack, Bacon or Sausage), or spice it up with some red pepper flakes or a dash of Tabasco.What’s great is you can reheat it easily and have some yummy brunch/breakfast for a couple of days if you’re only cooking for a few people. Delish!

Mushroom, Ham and Cheese Strata: Best Brunch Casserole. EVER.

Recipe Type: Breakfast, Brunch
Cuisine: American
Author: Kristen Hess
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 8
This is a super easy and quick brunch casserole that’s perfect for the holidays. It’s filled with delicious sauteed ham, onions, baby bellas, garlic and dill topped with lots of gooey cheddar cheese. Make it a meal with a green salad or fruit salad and whole grain toast.
Ingredients
  • 8 eggs
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons of milk
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 4-5 slices of whole grain bread
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, chopped (or 1/2 teaspoon powder)
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 cups of cubed ham
  • 2 cups of baby bella mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dill
  • 2 cups of shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Instructions
  1. Preheat a medium saute pan over medium heat.
  2. Tear bread into medium size pieces and layer in the bottom of a 9″ x 13″ greased casserole dish.
  3. Whisk together eggs, milk and cream of mushroom soup in a large mixing bowl.
  4. Saute onions, garlic, ham, mushrooms and dill until soft and tender about 5-7 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Layer the ham, mushroom and onion mixture over the bread in casserole dish.
  6. Top with egg mixture evenly.
  7. Sprinkle shredded cheese over the top in an even layer.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes until strata is puffy and cooked through.
  9. Let cool for 5 minutes, cut into squares for serving.

Recipe adapted from Taste and See, Calvary Chapel Finger Lakes.

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Wishing all of you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! xo

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Wishing all of you a Merry Christmas and Delicious New Year!

Looking back on this past year, and all of the tragedies our country has endured with natural disasters and shootings and other acts of destruction – it makes me wish for people to remember what Christmas and the holidays are REALLY all about: joy, sharing, laughter, warmth, peace, giving and most of all LOVE for others. I sincerely wish all of you a holiday filled with these things – and a New Year filled with promise, prosperity and wonderfulness. Merry Christmas. xo

Mom’s Holiday Cutout Cookies

Recipe Type: Holiday, Baking, Sweets, Desserts
Author: Kristen Hess
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 50-60 cookies
This is a recipe for my Mom’s Holiday Cutout cookies – a recipe that she got from my Grandmother that we still use today every year for the holidays. The cookies are crisp and thin with a delicious vanilla almond flavor in the cookie and the icing. They are the most popular and addicting cookies on our holiday table every year. Enjoy!
Ingredients
  • COOKIES:
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • BUTTERCREAM FROSTING:
  • 1/3 c. soft butter or margarine
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups sifted confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/8 to 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Instructions
  1. COOKIES:
  2. In a large mixing bowl, thoroughly cream the butter, sugar, and vanilla extract.
  3. Add 1 egg and water, and beat until light and fluffy.
  4. Combine flour, baking powder and salt; blend into creamed mixture.
  5. Divide dough in half; chill 1 hour.
  6. On lightly floured surface, roll dough to 1/8″ thickness.
  7. Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters.
  8. Bake on greased cookie sheet at 375 degrees about 6-8 minutes.
  9. Cool slightly; remove from pan and glaze with buttercream frosting and top with sprinkles and decorative toppings.
  10. Let cookies chill and cool overnight, store in a container in layers of wax paper to prevent cookies from sticking.
  11. BUTTERCREAM FROSTING:
  12. Mix together all ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
  13. Divide frosting into separate medium bowls, add food coloring of your choice.
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Pot of Gold: Mom’s Chicken Noodle Soup

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Mom's Chicken Noodle Soup
Mom’s Chicken Noodle Soup

I love coming home for the holidays, not only to spend some quality time with family and friends but for some of Mom’s cooking! With all this crazy weather lately I haven’t been feeling so hot and of course, just in time for Thanksgiving. I flew home to stay with my parents earlier this week, and Mom had the perfect remedy – a big ol’ pot of her homemade Chicken Noodle Soup. I could smell the delicious golden aroma brewing on the stovetop the second I walked in the door and  knew I was home.

My Grandmother used to make this recipe with a secret ingredient called George Washington Golden Seasoning, a powdered chicken soup base with chicken fat and seasonings that gives an extra savory, golden chicken-y flavor to the soup broth, developed by a distant relative of George Washington. I’m not sure if this is even around anymore, but my Mom uses Lisa Marie chicken base (a brand from Syracuse, NY). If you can’t find this brand, use a few tablespoons of any quality chicken bouillon or chicken soup base to bump up the flavor of the chicken broth – you can find plenty of these at your grocery store or at Amazon online. Make sure to add plenty of fresh veggies (carrots, celery and onion) and let the soup simmer to it’s shimmering, golden delicious state for at least a few hours to let the flavors meld.

One tip: we always keep the egg noodles and cooked, pulled chicken separate from the broth to avoid the broth getting cloudy – this also ensures the noodles don’t get soggy and you are left with an absolute pure and delicious golden broth that will warm your bones and lift your spirits.

All I can say is three words: Pot. Of. Gold.

A Pot of Gold: Mom’s Chicken Noodle Soup

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 3 hours

Total Time: 3 hours, 30 minutes

Yield: 6 quarts

Ingredients

  • 1 (5-6 pound) whole stewing chicken
  • Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 2-3 tablespoons Chicken Soup Base seasoning (or quality chicken bouillon)
  • 4 carrots, sliced into 1/2 inch thick rounds
  • 4 stalks celery, halved length-wise, sliced thin
  • 2 small onion, diced
  • 1 handful fresh parsley, finely chopped, for garnish
  • 1 package dried wide egg noodles

Instructions

  1. Wash and drain chicken, put in large soup kettle. Cover with water, heat to a boil.
  2. Remove scum before complete boiling starts and add seasonings.
  3. Let simmer until chicken is half cooked, about 1 hour.
  4. Add vegetables and cook until tender, another 2 hours.
  5. Remove chicken and take all white and dark meat off the bone, set aside in a separate bowl.
  6. Boil noodles separately according to package directions and drain.
  7. Ladle soup broth over chicken and noodles, garnish with fresh parsley and additional salt and pepper, to taste.
  8. Serve with crackers or fresh crusty bread.

Notes

This recipe makes a double batch which serves 8-10. Cut recipe in half for a smaller crowd.

http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2012/11/21/pot-of-gold-moms-chicken-noodle-soup/

Other Chicken Soup recipes you may enjoy:

Pioneer Woman’s Chunky Chicken Soup

How Sweet Eats Healthy Harvest Soup

Kalyn’s Kitchen Chicken Barley Soup

Tyler Florence’s Chicken Noodle Soup

Ina Garten’s Chicken Noodle Soup

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Treasured Recipes from the Past: Classic Summer Side Salads

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Gram's Recipes

Summer is my favorite time of year – family picnics, outdoor BBQs, trips to the park or lake, birthday and graduation parties and alfresco dining on the back patio. On a recent trip home to visit my family, I found a treasured recipe book of my Grandmother’s family recipes that I grew up with and I couldn’t resist sharing some of them with you.

Grams Recipe Book

I found a few classic summer side salads that are perfect for an outdoor picnic or BBQ – fresh, tasty and most of all they remind me of home when my family made these for our own Summer parties gathered around the table. In fact, the Broccoli Salad was such a hit that it made it to TWO parties in one week! Enjoy. (and stay tuned for future posts with more of my Grandma’s recipes!)

Broccoli Salad
Broccoli Salad

Broccoli Salad

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 4-6

Ingredients

  • 2 bunches fresh broccoli
  • 8 slices bacon
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • Sunflower Seeds, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Cut raw broccoli into bite-sized pieces. Cook bacon until crisp and crumble. Add onion and raisins. Mix mayonnaise, sugar and vinegar together and add to other ingredients. Garnish with sunflower seeds. Must be made the night before. Stir occasionally to blend flavors.
  2. Note: Peel broccoli stalks and then cut into thin slices and add to the other mixture. Dressing may seem dry but don't add extra as it will get mushy from moisture in the broccoli while marinating.
http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2012/07/10/treasured-recipes-from-the-past-classic-summer-side-salads/

Antipasto Salad
Antipasto Salad

Antipasto Salad

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 4-6

Ingredients

  • 1 pound medium shells or rotini pasta
  • 1/2 pound provolone or fontina cheese
  • 1/4 pound hard salami
  • 1/4 pound pepperoni
  • 1/4 pound prosciutto
  • 1 small can black olives
  • 1 small jar green or kalamata olives
  • 3 tomatoes (sub Sun-dried tomatoes, chopped)
  • 1 green or red pepper, diced
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 small sweet onion, diced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup cider or wine vinegar
  • Fresh basil or oregano leaves for garnish

Instructions

  1. Cook macaroni. Cut provolone, salami, and pepperoni into small bite size pieces. Slice olives. Cut tomatoes into bite-size pieces. Chop onion, pepper and celery. Combine all ingredients, toss and chill overnight. Add provolone cheese and a sprinkle of parmesan, basil or oregano leaves just before serving and season with salt and pepper to taste.
http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2012/07/10/treasured-recipes-from-the-past-classic-summer-side-salads/

 

Italian Potato Salad
Italian Potato Salad

Italian Potato Salad

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 4-6

Ingredients

  • 6-8 medium Salt or Red Potatoes, skin on and cut into halves or wedges.
  • 1 can drained green beans
  • 1 sliced large red or vidalia onion
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano or Italian seasoning
  • Sliced green onions, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Boil potatoes in salted water and drain, cool and set aside. Cut cooled potatoes into halves or wedges and add green beans and onion. Drizzle mixture with olive oil, red wine vinegar and a small amount of balsamic vinegar, to taste. Add salt and pepper, oregano or Italian seasoning, and blend well into the salad. Let salad marinate in the refrigerator and serve room temperature garnished with green onions.
http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2012/07/10/treasured-recipes-from-the-past-classic-summer-side-salads/

 


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Sinfully Good: Pierogi Casserole

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Pierogie Casserole

Today is one of those dreary Fall days where it’s cold and rainy and I’m in need of a little pick me up from some classic comfort food. One that involves BACON. And CHEESE. And PASTA. And all those yummy yums that aren’t that good for you. I was looking through some of my family recipes and this one came up that looked perfect for the mood I’m in today. It’s a sinfully good baked Pierogi casserole that my family used to make around the holidays – I remember sitting around the table with my family devouring this tasty dish with absolutely no shame. It’s not fancy. It’s easy to make. Has layers of flavor from the crispy bacon, earthy mushrooms, creamy sauce and tangy sauerkraut. And it’s so darn GOOD.

Traditional Pierogies are like Polish or Ukrainian Ravioli, made with fresh made dough that is filled with potatoes and cheese, meat or sauerkraut, and usually boiled or sauteed in butter with golden brown fried onions. This recipe takes the main ingredients of Pierogi (butter, mushrooms, sauerkraut, bacon, pasta and cheese) and blends them together into a bubbling baked one-pot dish you’re gonna die for. It’s the ultimate comfort food perfect for a chilly dreary day that will keep you coming back for more…trust me.

Sinfully Good: Pierogi Casserole

Yield: 8

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. spiral pasta or Girelle (little spiral tops)
  • 6-8 strips bacon, fried and crumbled
  • 1 large sweet onion (Vidalia), chopped
  • 1 stick (8 ounces) butter, divided
  • 4 oz. fresh mushrooms, chopped
  • 1-14 ounce package sauerkraut, rinsed well
  • 2 cans Cream of Mushroom soup
  • 1 cup 2% milk
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • Fresh ground pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Boil pasta 7-9 minutes and drain, set aside.
  3. In a large saute pan, fry bacon over medium heat about 6-8 minutes until crispy, drain and crumble, set aside.
  4. Sauté onions in same saute pan with 1/2 stick of butter for another 7-8 minutes until soft and translucent. Remove from pan and set aside.
  5. Add the other 1/2 stick of butter and and sauté mushrooms about 8 minutes until tender.
  6. Stir all ingredients together in large mixing bowl, adding soup and 2% milk, sauerkraut, sautéed onions and mushrooms, shredded cheese, and fresh ground pepper to taste.
  7. Pour mixture over cooked pasta into a greased rectangle casserole dish, mix thoroughly and cover with foil.
  8. Bake at 375 degrees for 45 mins.
  9. Remove foil and turn up oven to 500 degrees, bake for another 5-10 minutes until top gets golden brown.
  10. Let cool before serving.
http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2011/11/23/sinfully-good-pierogie-casserole/

Bacon

Fry the bacon until crispy.

Saute Mushrooms

Saute the mushrooms in some butter until soft and golden.

Bacon with Mixture

Mix together crumbled bacon, sauteed mushrooms, sauerkraut, mushroom soup, milk and black pepper, stir.

Mixture

Add the shredded cheese and mix together well. Pour over cooked noodles in the casserole dish and stir it all together.

Pierogie Casserole

Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes at 375. Uncover and bake another 10 minutes on 500 until it gets crispy and golden on top. Let cool.

Devour.

—–

Other recipes you may enjoy:

All Recipes Pierogi Casserole

How Sweet Eats Pierogi Casserole

Kraft Easy Pierogi Casserole

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