Cannolis are an Italian dessert but the first time I tried one was about a year ago at the Greek Festival. Luke and I always go to the annual Greek Festival because we both love Greek food. Plus, we enjoy experiencing other cultures. We always try to order as many different foods as we can so we’re able to try pretty much everything they have to offer which includes desserts, of course!
I always get baklava because it is one of my favorite desserts, but last year, they’d actually run out of baklava. Needless to say, I was disappointed so I almost told Luke that I just wouldn’t get anything. Why waste the calories on something I didn’t really want? Then Luke suggested we split something. We looked and looked and finally I suggested a cannoli. He looked surprised and ask if I was sure so I nodded. Then he asked if I’d ever eaten one before so I told him no. I’d always been curious about them but was never interested enough to actually try one.
A few weeks ago, I decided I needed to create a cannoli recipe so we can eat them more often so I came up with this. Since these are mini pies, they’re definitely not your traditional cannolis but the filling tastes fairly traditional. It’s super creamy and actually very light and airy.
Servings: 24 mini pies
1 cup mascarpone cheese
3/4 cup confectioner sugar, sifted
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
1. Preheat the oven according to the pie crust package instructions. Roll out the 2 pie crusts one at a time onto a floured surface. Use a rolling pin to make the crust even. Use a round cookie cutter to cut the crusts into individual mini pie crusts. Place each mini pie crusts into greased muffin tins. Bake according to the package instructions. Then set aside to cool.
2. In a large mixing bowl, beat the mascarpone cheese, confectioner sugar, vanilla extract and whipping cream together. Start on a slow speed and as it thickens slowly add the milk and continue to beat. Gradually increase the speed of the mixer to high until it thickens. Fold the mini chocolate chips into the mixture. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
3. After the pie crusts have cooled and the cannoli filling has chilled for at least 2 hours, fill each mini pie crust with the cannoli filling. Top with additional mini chocolate chips, if desired.
I hope you all had a great weekend! I wish it wasn’t over already! We had a much needed quiet weekend at home. Saturday morning, I woke up and realized I didn’t have anything I had to do or anywhere I had to be. That is such a wonderful feeling! I wish there were more weekends like that!
Since I could relax and enjoy my morning, I decided to treat myself to a homemade breakfast. I opened the pantry and decided I hadn’t eaten pancakes in a while so I reached for the Bisquick Pancake and Baking Mix and almost put it back because I didn’t know what kind of pancakes I wanted to make. I knew I didn’t want a plain pancake and I wasn’t in the mood for a rich chocolate chip pancake. Then I spotted the unsweetened applesauce and decided I’d make apple pancakes. What goes with apples? Cinnamon! To add a little extra sweetness to the pancakes I decided to add some vanilla extract.
Oh my, these were some of the best pancakes I’ve ever eaten. They were light and fluffy and the vanilla extract gave the pancakes the most amazing flavor.
I served the pancakes with a dollop of butter and warm maple syrup. Yum!
I cooked the pancakes on a griddle pan, but if you don’t have one, you can cook them in a large skillet. Warm the griddle pan/skillet. Pour a tablespoon of vegetable oil onto the griddle pan (spread with a paper towel). If using a skillet, pour the vegetable oil into the skillet. Whisk the Bisquick mix, cinnamon, applesauce, milk and vanilla extract together. Once combined, pour the pancake batter onto the griddle pan or in the skillet.
Since I made large pancakes, I only cooked two at a time. Once the top of the pancakes start to bubble all over, it’s time to flip them.
Cook the other side for a minute or two until it’s golden brown.
Serve with or without butter and warm maple syrup (only a tablespoon or two) and you have one delicious, satisfying breakfast. Hmm, yum!
Apple Cinnamon Pancakes
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 1/4 cup milk
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1. Pour a tablespoon onto a 350 degree griddle pan or large skillet over medium high heat. If using a griddle pan, spread the vegetable oil over the griddle pan with a paper towel.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk the Bisquick mix, ground cinnamon, vanilla extract, milk and apple sauce together.
3. Using a ladle, pour the pancake mix onto the griddle pan/skillet making 2 pancakes at a time. Once bubbles form across the top of the pancakes (takes about 2 minutes), flip the pancakes to cook on the other side for another minute or until golden brown. Remove from the griddle pan/skillet. Repeat until the batter is gone. This recipe makes 6 large pancakes or 12 medium pancakes.
Serve with (or without) a dollop of butter and warm maple syrup and enjoy!
Happy Friday to everyone! We are going to start the weekend off with this colorful fruity rum punch! Jamie sent me a text in the middle of the day yesterday that said “do we have any rum? Saturday is national rum day.” I was like “of course you keep the cabinet stocked better than the local bar!” Her response was “we’ve got to make a rum drink for the blog this weekend”. So we made mango rum punch!
We’ve vacationed in the Caribbean several times and you can always count on rum punch in the Caribbean so Jamie had her heart set on making a rum punch for National Rum Day. Rum punch is a very refreshing, fruity drink so you can’t go wrong with this in the summertime heat, but don’t drink too much!! It’s easy to forget it’s got rum in it because it’s so refreshing, and you’ll want to keep drinking it!
To celebrate National Rum Day on Saturday, we recommend you have a few friends over to enjoy our rum punch!
This recipe serves 4 – 6. Chill the rum punch in the refrigerator for at least an hour before serving, and depending on your preference, you can serve it over ice or not. Jamie doesn’t like ice in her’s because she says it waters her drink down but I prefer ice in mine.
2 cups of Bacardi light rum
3 cups of pineapple juice
1 cup of orange juice
1 cup of mango juice
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1/2 cup of grenadine
1/4 cup of cherry juice
Pour all ingredients into a pitcher and stir to combine. Chill in the refrigerator before serving. Once chilled, serve in your glass of choice with or without ice and enjoy!
Have a great weekend and Happy National Rum Day!!!
Who doesn’t like a quick dinner that can be on your dinner table in less than 20 minutes? Now that school is starting back, everyone’s schedules are a little more hectic and everyone is in need of a quick and delicious meal.
Our homemade personal size pizzas are a quick and tasty dinner that you and your family can throw together any night of the week. Most people love pizza, but a lot of people don’t think of making it at home. It’s actually really quick to make and it’s a cheap and filling meal for your family. When you make personal size pizzas at home, each person can make their own pizzas with their favorite toppings.
I love Marco’s Pizza. If you’ve never tried it, you’re truly missing out! Even Luke loves it which says a lot because he’s ridiculously picky about pizza. I always order Marco’s Garden Pizza which has mushroom, onion, green bell pepper, feta and mozzarella so those are the ingredients I like on my homemade pizza. I have to make my homemade pizza as close to Marco’s Garden Pizza as I possibly can.
When we were in college, Luke spent a summer playing baseball in upstate New York. He said the pizza there totally spoiled him so he didn’t want pizza when he first came back to the south. He says there is nothing like NY pizza. I’ve never been to NY so I’ll just have to take his word for it.
Luke likes Marco’s Meat Supremo Pizza which, if the name doesn’t give it away, is loaded down with meat including bacon. When we make our homemade pizzas, Luke only puts a few different meats on his pizza along with some of my veggies.
What are your favorite pizza toppings?
Cook your veggies in some extra virgin olive oil until the veggies are tender.
Season the cooked veggies with dried basil, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper.
Place your pizza crust on a greased baking sheet and bake per the package instructions. We used the Flatout Flatbread Rustic White Thin Pizza Crust.
Spoon your marinara sauce on the pizza crust.
Add your pizza toppings to your pizza crust.
Top with cheese and bake for 2 minutes (until cheese is melted).
This recipe makes 4 personal size pizzas. We made 2 veggie pizzas and 2 veggie meat pizzas.
Ingredients for veggie pizza:
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 green bell peppers, thinly sliced
1 large tomato, thinly sliced
1 8 oz. package mushrooms
2 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
4 tbsp black olives (1 tablespoon per pizza)
1/2 cup marinara sauce, per personal sized pizza
2 tbsp feta cheese, per personal sized pizza
1/4 cup mozzarella, per personal sized pizza
4 personal size pizza crust
1. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of EVOO. Then add the sliced onion, green bell pepper, and mushrooms to skillet and saute until veggies become tender. Once tender, season the veggies with the dried basil, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper.
2. On a greased baking sheet, bake the pizza crust per the package instructions. Then remove from oven and add the marinara sauce, the cooked and seasoned veggies, the black olives, feta and mozzarella cheese. I put about a cup of veggies on my pizza. Bake for at least 2 minutes or until the cheese melts.
Luke’s version was basically the same as mine except his pizza had less veggies and no feta cheese. The difference was his pizza had about 1/3 cup of veggies and 1/2 cup mozzarella, 2 pieces of cooked bacon and a few slices of pepperoni.
If you load your pizza down with a lot of toppings, you may have to eat it with a fork because it may fall apart on you.
First, I wanted to share that this past weekend was my 2 year anniversary of being a pescatarian! It feels like it’s been so much longer but I couldn’t be happier with the choice I made to change my diet. I’ll share more about that in a future post.
This past weekend Luke and I went to Georgia to visit his family. We had a rough drive there though because we went through several storms. I love a good summer storm when I’m safe in my house with no where to go, but I don’t like traveling in one! Needless to say, Luke and I didn’t enjoy the summer storms we drove through Friday night. When we finally got to his parents’ house, Luke said he didn’t think he’d ever had that bad of a drive to his parents’ house before. Hopefully, that was the first and the last time that happens!
We had a nice weekend with his family. Luke’s sister and her daughter, Aubrey, were there too because Saturday was Luke’s mom’s birthday and Sunday was their annual family reunion.
I swear our niece, Aubrey, is so much like I was as a child. I tell Luke all of the time that she should be my blood relative instead of his. She is so much like me! She even loves to cook so we gave her an apron with “Chef Aubrey” monogrammed on it and she LOVED it.
Saturday, Luke and I decided we’d make macaroni and cheese for the family reunion. Aubrey told us she wanted to help so she put her apron on and helped me shred the cheddar cheese for the macaroni and cheese. Then Sunday morning, Luke and I went into the kitchen to start making the macaroni and cheese and Aubrey followed us into the kitchen and put her apron on and pulled the step stool over to the stove so she could help us.
Luke and I bickered the entire time we were making the cheese sauce because he said it was too thin so he kept adding cheese. I kept telling him it would thicken but he wouldn’t listen to me. I finally looked at Aubrey and said “he’s driving me nuts.” She smiled and nodded her head agreeing with me. Then Luke’s mom started laughing and said, “I see where the feud with food came from!”
Just so you know, I was right and Luke was wrong. The cheese sauce thickened up and the macaroni and cheese was a huge success. It was the first dish devoured at the family reunion.
These are just a few pictures from our weekend. We’ll be back tomorrow with a quick recipe idea for you.
Aubrey and Izzy. Izzy loves Aubrey!
Luke’s parents’ neighbors have horses so of course we had to go see the horses!
Aubrey wearing her apron and helping me shred cheddar cheese.
Aubrey and me at the family reunion.
Luke and his sister, Brooke.
Luke and me with his parents.
We’ll be back tomorrow with a quick recipe that’s perfect for a busy weeknight dinner!
Well this recipe pretty much came out of nowhere. Jamie decided that she was in the mood for a cherry flavored drink so she bought this terrible cherry juice concentrate. It was so bad that I poured it down the drain. So I had to go back to the store and purchase some pure black cherry juice to make our wonderful drink.
I also had to go to the liquor store in order to make this drink because we were almost out of Gin and Jamie wanted Gin in the cherry drink. The thing about Jamie is she doesn’t pay any attention to what liquors we have or how much of each liquor we have when she comes up with these random drink ideas. She only keeps up with her wine.
After running around getting the ingredients necessary to make the drink, I threw this drink together and it turned out delicious!
Ingredients per serving:
3 oz of Gin
2 oz of Grand Marnier
2 oz of black cherry juice
1 oz of lemonade
Pour all ingredients into a shaker with ice. Shake, pour and enjoy!
I love cheesy pasta! Give me manicotti, cheese tortellini, or any cheese stuffed pasta, for that matter, any day of the week and I’m a happy girl! Really, who doesn’t love cheese and pasta?!!
Luke and I decided it was time for another food competition so we made our stuffed pasta shells. You’re the judge of this competition so tell us who you think should win the stuffed pasta shells competition.
Let me just say, I used plenty of cheese in my recipe without going overboard but not Luke. He went all in with the cheese! He even added extra mozzarella to the ricotta filling that already had Parmesan in it. Mine is good enough without the extra cheese.
These recipes are super easy to make and delicious! I have to say both of these are good but obviously you put meat with pasta and cheese and more cheese than it is going to be wonderful. Jamie once again has no chance of winning this comp. Meat or Spinach? Popeye is the only person who is going to pick Jamie’s (even though it is good).
For the meaty stuffed shells you can use whatever ground meat you prefer. I used ground pork that I cooked and seasoned. You could use Italian sausage, ground beef, or ground chicken.
Meat Stuffed Pasta Shells:
1 lb of ground meat (pork, beef, Italian sausage or chicken)
1 small onion, diced
1 small green bell pepper, diced
15 oz of ricotta
1 1/4 cup of mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/4 cup of parmesan cheese, grated
1 tablespoon of crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1 clove of garlic, grated
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 16 oz. package of jumbo pasta shells
2 26 oz. jars of marinara sauce
Add one tablespoon of EVOO to a large skillet and brown meat. Once browned, add the onion and pepper to the skillet and saute until tender. Add in the garlic and cook for another minute. Add in the salt, pepper, crushed red pepper flakes and Italian seasoning.
In a large bowl, combine the cooked meat, ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese, and egg. Pour about 1/2 cup of marinara sauce in the crock pot. Stuff about 1 – 1 1/2 tablespoons of filling into each pasta shell and place the stuffed shells in the crock pot. Pour about 1 1/2 – 2 cups of marinara sauce over the stuffed shells and start filling the remaining shells. Then pour the remaining marinara sauce over the shells and top with 1 cup of mozzarella cheese.
Put the lid on the crock pot and turn the crock pot on high and cook for 3 hours. Then serve and enjoy!
Veggie Stuffed Pasta Shells:
1 16 oz. package jumbo pasta shells
1 15 oz. container ricotta cheese
1 10 oz. package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 garlic clove, minced
1 small onion, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 26 oz. jars marinara sauce
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
1. Cook the pasta shells according to the package directions. Thaw and drain the spinach. In a large bowl, combine the spinach with the ricotta, parmesan, minced garlic and minced onion, salt, pepper, and egg.
2. Pour about 1/2 cup marinara sauce into the crock pot. Then spoon about 1 – 1 1/2 tablespoons of the ricotta mixture into each shell and place in the crock pot. Once you have a single layer, pour about 1 1/2 – 2 cups of marinara sauce over the stuffed pasta shells. Then spoon the remaining pasta shells with the ricotta mixture and place in the crock pot. Once all of the shells are filled, pour the remaining marinara sauce over the pasta shells and top with the mozzarella cheese.
3. Place the lid on top of the crock pot and turn the crock pot on high. Cook for 3 – 3 1/2 hours. Then serve and enjoy!
My veggie stuffed shells is adapted from my “Vegetarian 3 Books in 1″ cookbook.
The Snickerdoodle Cream Cheese Danish fresh out of the oven…yum!
The next time you have friends or family over for a visit, I highly recommend baking these Snickerdoodle Cream Cheese Danishes. They’re perfect for breakfast, brunch or a snack. They are so sweet and delicious. Plus I have a weakness for cream cheese danishes so these are the perfect treat in my opinion.
These Snickerdoodle Cream Cheese Danishes are worth getting out of bed in the morning to eat for breakfast. If you’d rather eat them as an afternoon snack, I personally don’t think you can eat a much better snack than this. Heck, why not eat them for breakfast and then later for a snack!?! Sounds ideal to me!
The other day Luke told me he was going to start gaining weight because of all of the sweet treats I’ve been making. You’d think I’d stop baking so much or he’d stop eating all of the sweet treats but oh no, neither are going to happen.
Let me break this down for you. Baking is therapeutic for me and Luke has a sweet tooth the size of Texas so the sweet treats will keep coming and they’ll continue to be eaten and enjoyed by Luke. Don’t think he keeps the sweets to himself though. He does share them with his co-workers and friends and I also share with my co-workers and friends. So he does have some help eating the baked goodies.
2 8 oz. packages cream cheese
4 egg yolks
2 tbsp sour cream
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp lemon juice
2 cans original crescents
2 tbsp cinnamon sugar (you can definitely add more, if you want more of a snickerdoodle taste)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 x 13 pan.
2. Beat the cream cheese and sugar together.
3. Add the egg yolks, sour cream, vanilla extract, salt and lemon juice. Beat until combined.
4. Press one can of crescents into the bottom of the greased pan and sprinkle 1 tablespoon of cinnamon sugar on top of the crescent.
5. Pour and spread the cream cheese mixture over the crescent.
6. On a floured surface, press the second can of crescents out until it is about the size of the 9 x 13 pan. Then place on top of the cream cheese mixture and sprinkle the top with 1 tablespoon of cinnamon sugar.
7. Bake at 350 degrees for 22 – 26 minutes. Remove from oven to cool and refrigerate. Serve chilled or warm each serving in the microwave for about 8 – 10 seconds. Either way it’s delicious! Enjoy!
When you say BBQ in the south, there is only one thing you think of and that’s BBQ pork. How you make that BBQ is totally up to you. See in the south, every southern state makes their BBQ a little different. Each state uses different cuts of meat, different types of BBQ sauces (mustard based,vinegar based, ketchup based and even mayo based) and some use dry rubs.
Being from Georgia, I had never heard of or tasted a mustard based BBQ sauce until Jamie and I moved to the Columbia area of SC. I tell you, Jamie and I hated it. I never want to eat it again. Not all of SC is known for the mustard based BBQ. It seems to be more common in the central part of SC. The part of SC where Jamie grew up is more known for the vinegar based BBQ which is what Jamie and I both prefer, but I also like a some ketchup mixed in there as well. This BBQ recipe is combination of the vinegarbased and ketchup based BBQ.
Ingredients for the sauce:
1 small onion, diced
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 tbsp of vegetable oil
2 cups of ketchup
1/3 cup of balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup of white vinegar
1/4 cup of mollasses
1/4 cup of honey
1/3 cup of Bourbon
Ingredients for meat:
3 – 4 lb Boston butt
2 – 3 tbsp vegetable oil
salt and pepper or dry rub
In a medium sauce pan over medium high heat, add about a tablespoon of vegetable oil to the pan. Add the diced onion to the pan and cook for about 5 minutes or until tender. Then add the minced garlic and cook for another 1-2 minutes. At this point, you will add all the other ingredients into the pan and bring to boil. Once it comes to a boil, turn the temperature down to low and simmer for about 15-30 minutes.
While the sauce is simmering, brown the pork butt in a medium or large skillet with 2 – 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil. Brown each side the butt for about 4-5 min on fairly high heat. I used a BBQ rub on it to give it a nice charred crust but you don’t have to. You can use just salt and pepper and brown each side like you normally would a pork roast.
Turn crock pot on low. Pour enough sauce in the crock pot until the bottom of the crock pot is coated with the BBQ sauce. Then put the meat in and then pour about 3/4 of the sauce into the crock pot (enough to cover about half the pork butt). Cook for about 7-8 hours on low or until the pork become tender enough to shred with a fork.
******Reserve enough sauce to add to each serving. I added extra sauce to the BBQ sandwich and the BBQ quesadilla.******
To change it up, I also made a BBQ quesadilla. Throw a little coleslaw and some spicy cheese in there and you have one delicious and unique quesadilla.
Happy National Cheesecake Day! I can’t even begin to tell you how thrilled I am there is a National Cheesecake Day! Me and my oblivious self didn’t know there was such a thing but I’m super happy it exists!
I don’t know about you but I love cheesecake. So when Luke told me about National Cheesecake Day, my mind started going full speed ahead thinking of all of the different cheesecakes I could make. After going back and forth with several different cheesecake ideas, I finally decided on a Snickers cheesecake.
This cheesecake is so fabulous and so delicious! It’s fabulicious! Yes, you read that correctly and yes, you can totally make fun of me for saying that. Oh gosh, when Luke reads this I’m never going to live it down but really, that’s the best word to describe this wonderful cheesecake.
I mean really, how can you possibly go wrong with a Snickers cheesecake? With the chocolate, caramel and peanuts from the Snickers, you have everything you could possible want in a cheesecake, at least in my opinion.
While brainstorming about the cheesecake with some of my co-workers, one of my co-workers mentioned her husband makes a Snickers cheesecake. She said his Snickers cheesecake has a chocolate crust that’s made with Chocolate Teddy Grahams. When she told me that, I knew that’s the kind of crust I’d make for my Snickers cheesecake. I’d never thought to use Teddy Grahams but what a great idea! Thanks for the idea, Angie!
Now let’s talk about how to make this fabulous cheesecake! Let’s start with the crust. Ground the Chocolate Teddy Grahams in the food processor and slowly pour in the melted butter. Once combined, pour the Teddy Graham mixture into a greased springform pan and press the mixture down and along the sides of the pan. I used a measuring cup to press it down to get a more even layer. Then place in the refrigerator to chill while you start on your cheesecake.
Quarter each of the Snickers Minis. Try not to eat them all in the process. Next, start on the cheesecake mixture.
Once the cheesecake mixture is combined. Pour half of it into your springform pan and drop the quartered Snickers Minis on top of the cheesecake layer.
Pour the rest of the cheesecake mixture over the Snickers Minis layer.
Place the springform pan onto a sheet of tin foil and wrap the tin foil around the sides of the pan. Then place the springform pan in the center of a roasting pan or baking sheet and put in the oven. Then pour boiling water into the roasting pan or baking sheet around the cheesecake. Use enough water to fill the roasting pan or baking sheet half full. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 – 45 minutes.
Remove from oven to cool. Once cooled, refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving.
I also made 12 mini Snickers cheesecakes. They didn’t turn out as pretty but they sure were equally delicious!
1 10 oz. box Chocolate Teddy Grahams (approximately 4 cups)
4 – 6 tbsp butter/margarine, melted
2 package cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup sour cream
3/4 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
40 (or more, if you want) Snickers Minis, quartered
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
1. Using a food processor, finely ground the Chocolate Teddy Grahams. Slowly add the melted butter to the ground Teddy Grahams. Once combined, pour the mixture into a greased springform pan and press down. Refrigerate for at least 5 minutes.
2. Beat the cream cheese, sour cream and eggs. Add the sugar and the vanilla extract.
3. Pour half of the cheesecake mixture into the springform pan. Then drop the quartered Snickers Minis on top of the cheesecake layer. Then pour the remaining cheesecake mixture over the Snickers layer. Place the springform pan onto a sheet of tin foil and wrap the tin foil up the sides of the pan. Place the springform pan in the center of a roasting pan or baking sheet and place in the oven. Pour boiling water into the roasting pan or baking sheet around the cheesecake.
4. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 – 45 minutes. Remove from oven to cool. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving. Run a knife around the edges of the cheesecake to make sure the crust doesn’t stick to the sides of the springform pan. Then remove from the springform pan and slice and serve.
Enjoy and happy National Cheesecake Day!!!!!!!