Mushroom, Onion and Fontina Bruschetta

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This bruschetta is one of the two that I made for our daughter’s birthday party.  The other one that I made is already posted here ~ Spectacular Bruschetta.

This particular recipe was very easy to make.  The bread is toasted before adding the topping so when it goes back in the oven to melt the cheese, it is only for a couple of minutes. I doubled (or maybe tripled?) the ingredients for the party.

I found this recipe in an ad in a magazine.  I don’t remember what the ad was for…maybe olive oil?

Mushroom, Onion, Fontina Bruschetta

Mushroom, Onion, and Fontina Bruschetta

1/4 sweet onion, sliced thin
4 ozs mushrooms, sliced ~ I used cremini mushrooms for more flavor
1/2 cup shredded Fontina cheese
salt and pepper to taste
a couple of inches of thyme
2-3 tbsps of olive oil
Toasted thin slices of baguette

Heat oven to 350º. Toast the slices of baguette on a cookie sheet for a couple of minutes.

In a skillet, add the olive oil and bring up to a medium heat. Add the onions and saute until they are soft and a light golden color. Add the mushrooms and stir in the salt, pepper, and thyme and saute on low heat for about 10 minutes or until mushrooms are browned.

Lay out the toasted slices of baguette and top each slice with some of the mushroom/onion mixture ~ about 1 tbsp per slice. Add a sprinkle of cheese to the top of each and toast in the oven at 350º for a couple of minutes until the cheese melts making sure they do not burn.

Makes 6-8 servings.

Happy Cooking!

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Pasta Bar Birthday Party!


This past Saturday, we had a pasta bar birthday party for my daughter’s 30th birthday.  It was a fairly easy, inexpensive way to feed lots of people and, best of all, it was delicious!

I have some new recipes to post from the party which I will be doing this week and in this post I’ll tell you how we put it together.

My daughter lives about an hour and a half away.  She bought the perishables and I bought and packed up to her house the produce and a bunch of odds and ends.  I bought buffet pans to keep everything warm after cooking and we used crockpots.  Some things didn’t need to stay warm as well.

For starters we had tortellini with pesto, mushroom, onion, fontina bruschetta, spectacular bruschetta, and bacon wrapped pretzels.

We made 3 types of pasta but found it was too hard to eat spaghetti on your lap so almost all of that was leftover.  The farfalle and penne were gone.  We made sauce with meatballs and plain sauce and alfredo sauce.  Mr. Meat Eater grilled up chicken and sausage which we sliced so each could be added to the plain sauce or the alfredo.  I also sauteed up a big pan of mushrooms.

We had Greek salad and Caesar salad and Tuscan asparagus on the side.  I can’t forget the garlic bread either!

Pasta Bar 1

The starter bar ~ (left to right) tortellini with pesto, mushroom, onion, fontina bruschetta,  spectacular bruschetta, bacon wrapped pretzels.

Party 1

The Alfredo sauce is in the crockpot.  I’m not sure what the glass baking dish has in it ~ one of my daughter’s friends brought it ~ but it was delicious!

Pasta Bar 3

Chicken, sausage (hot and mild), and sauteed mushrooms.

Pasta Bar 4

Greek salad (left), my Mom’s meatballs with sauce (crockpot), Caesar salad.  The asparagus is behind the Greek salad.

Happy Birthday!

This was a fun party to do and I would do it again.  Recipes will be coming this week!

Happy Cooking!

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Big Game Snack Mix

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I’m always looking for something different that Mr. Meat Eater can munch on while watching sports on TV.  If I don’t, he will eat me out of house and home.

I found this recipe in a small community cookbook and while I knew I would like it, I wasn’t sure if Meat Eater would.  The reason?  It’s on the sweet side.  He likes snacks that are SPICY and make him sweat.   I was pleasantly surprised when he loved it.  I think it’s the combination of ingredients mixed with the honey that makes it so good.

It’s perfect for parties, tailgating, and just plain snacking!

Big Game Snack Mix

Big Game Snack Mix

4 cups rice or corn chex cereal~ I used rice chex
1 1/2 cups mini pretzels
1 cup pecan halves
1/3 cup butter
1/4 cup honey

Preheat oven to 350º.

In a large baking dish, combine the cereal, pretzels, and pecans and set aside. I used a disposable aluminum baking pan.

Melt butter in a small saucepan. Stir in the honey and blend well.

Pour over cereal mix in the pan and stir carefully making sure all ingredients are well coated.

Bake for 12-15 minutes or until all ingredients are lightly glazed, stirring occasionally.

Remove from oven and let cool slightly; then spread on wax paper to cool completely. I spread mine on a parchment paper lined baking sheet until it was completely cool. I stored it in a Rubbermaid container.

Makes about 6.5 cups

Source:  A Bordertown Jubilee

Happy Cooking!

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Little Piggies ~ Hometown Harvest

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GBP Hometown Harvest

The second recipe I chose to make from Hometown Harvest is really a retro recipe. These were a popular party food in the 60s, 70s, 80s. Well, I still like them and make them for parties occasionally. They are always the first to go. I’ve made them for lunch once in a great while for my kids when they were still at home. Cut up hot dogs can be used instead of the smokies. I use all beef smokies and spicy mustard.  I haven’t made them in years so that’s why I chose this recipe to try.

Don’t forget to comment on THIS POST (PLEASE CLICK HERE)  for a chance to win a copy of HOMETOWN HARVEST generously donated by Gooseberry Patch.  Also, read through the comments already posted as there are some great ideas for fall cooking and some wonderful memories of fall.

Piggies 1

Piggies 2

Submitted by Kendra Hull, Sterling, IL

2 (8 oz) tubes refrigerated crescent rolls
1 (14 oz) pkg mini smoked sausages
Mustard or condiment of your choice

Unroll one tube of crescents and separate into 4 rectangles. Pinch seams together. Cut eacy rectangle into 4 strips. Place a sausage on each strip and roll up. I do mine a little differently. I cut the rectangles into 6 or 8 strips and roll up. I only use 1 tube of crescents and have a few sausages leftover.

Place seam side down on ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 375º for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden.

Serve with mustard or other condiment.

Makes 8-12 servings.

Happy Cooking!

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Guacamole Nachos

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One of the foods I love most in this world is guacamole.  One of the foods Mr. Meat Eater hates most in this world is guacamole.  If I make guacamole nachos, I can also make nachos the way he likes them at the same time.  We are both happy!

This “recipe” is really a method I guess.  There isn’t much to it but it took me forever to hit on it so I thought that there may be others who haven’t thought of it yet.

My favorite tortilla chips are the new Tostito’s Thin and Crispy chips.  They taste just like the kind you get in Mexican restaurant.  Very, very good.  You will have to be careful with these chips since they break easy.  Use your favorite homemade guacamole recipe ~ here’s mine ~ Easy Guacamole.  However, I used Calvado Pico de Gallo Guacamole on these particular nachos.  Wholly Guacamole also makes really good guacamole.  I usually use taco cheese if I have it or sharp cheddar.

Guacamole Nachos 3

Guacamole Nachos 2

Guacamole Nachos

Tortilla chips
1 recipe guacamole ~ homemade or purchased
Taco or cheddar cheese, shredded
Sliced jalapenos, optional

Heat oven to 350º. Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil.

Place chips on sheet. Place about a tbsp of guacamole on each chip. Sprinkle with shredded cheese.

Bake for 5-10 minutes until the cheese is melted and chips crisp.

Before servings, add a slice of jalapeno on the top.

Makes as many as you want.

Guacamole Nachos 1

Happy Cooking!

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Julie’s Ranch Pretzels

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Julie has a great blog called Julie’s Eats and Treats.  I came across her blog’s page on Facebook and she had posted these delectable goodies.  I was looking for a snack for Easter weekend and decided these would be perfect.

Ranch Pretzels

I made them as Julie posted on her blog and while they were a bit salty, we could NOT stop eating them.  In fact, my daughter took what was left for her get-together on Sunday night.  They are highly addictive.

Somehow, I don’t think Virginia is the hotbed of pretzels since it took forever to find them.  Mr. Meat Eater found them eventually.  Don’t use the skinny little pretzel sticks,  Utz brand makes a bigger stick pretzel ~ plain and buttery.

Ranch Pretzels 2

Click on the link to Julie’s blog for the recipe ~ Julie’s Ranch Pretzels

Happy Cooking!

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Emeril’s Roasted Asian-Style Chicken Wings

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Wow were these wings delicious!  I’m sorry to say I made them for the Super Bowl and it’s taken me this long to post them.  I can be a  terrible procrastinator!

These were not hard to make but did take some time and planning around the other things I had in the oven.  The only ingredient that might be difficult to find is the mirin.  My grocery store happens to have a well-stocked Asian foods section so it was easy for me to find.  If you can’t find it, I would just leave it out.

Chicken Wings 1

Emeril’s Roasted Asian-Style Chicken Wings

5 lbs chicken drummettes
1 tbsp Emeril’s Original Essence
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
2 cups orange juice
1 cup pineapple juice
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup soy sauce (use low sodium if you can)
1/2 cup mirin
2 tbsps grated orange peel
2 tbsps minced garlic
2 tbsps minced fresh garlic
1 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsps minced green onions
3/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
2 tbsps sesame seeds
2 tbsps chopped fresh cilantro (I left this out because it tastes like soap to me)

Preheat oven to 425º. Line a baking sheet with 1-inch sides with aluminum foil.

In a large bowl, season the wings with the Emeril’s Essence, salt and pepper. Toss to coat the wings all over. Place the wings evenly in the foil-lined pan and bake until brown, about 15 minutes.

While the wings are baking, in a large skillet, combine the orange juice, pineapple juice, sugar, soy sauce, mirin, orange zest, garlic, ginger, oil, green onion and red pepper. Over medium-high heat, bring to a boil, stirring occasionally until the sugar dissolves and the liquid has become syrup-y, about 7-8 minutes. Remove from heat and cover the pan with foil.

Remove wings from oven and reduce temperature to 350º. Place wings in a large, heatproof bowl. Drizzle half the prepared sauce over the wings and set the other half aside. Toss the wings in the bowl to coat and toss with sesame seeds. Take the old foil off the baking sheet, reline with foil, place a wire rack on top of the foil, and place the coated wings on the rack. Return to the oven and bake 20-25 more minutes or until cooked through and crispy.

Arrange wings on a serving platter; top with cilantro.

Serve with remaining sauce for dipping.

Makes 4-6 servings.

Adapted from Emeril Legasse in Parade Magazine.

Chicken Wings 2

Happy Cooking!

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Cranberry Nut Chocolate Bark


Something I  made when we had a few friends over before Christmas was this bark.  I saw the recipe on King Arthur Flour and it looked so delicious to me that I had to try it.

It’s easy to make even though it may not look that way.  Just make sure to follow the steps and yours will turn out great, too.

The recipe called for semisweet and white chocolate but I used the packages of chocolate and white bark that you can buy in the grocery store. They melt easily and then harden back up easily and they taste good.

Chocolate, Pecan, Cranberry Bark

Cranberry Nut Chocolate Bark

1 cup dried cranberries
3/4 cup toasted pecans
1 pkg chocolate bark, melted
1 pkg white chocolate bark, melted

In a small bowl, mix the cranberries and toasted pecans together and set aside.

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Melt the chocolate bark according to the pkg directions. Spread into an oval on the parchment paper-lined cookie sheet and let set.

Melt the white chocolate according to the pkg directions and carefully spread over the chocolate layer. Before the white chocolate sets, sprinkle the cranberry and nut mixture over the top and press in lightly.

Let the chocolate harden for several hours and then break into chunks. If you are having trouble getting the chocolate to harden, put the pan in the refrigerator until hard.

Makes about 24 pieces.

Happy Cooking!

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Panko Mushrooms


I found this recipe on Pinterest and my daughter tried it and loved it so I tried it as well.  It’s so good!

I took my daughter’s advice and added some grated Parmesan cheese to the Panko and I think I would do that from now on.   They are easy to make and I think they would be good for a party and are a great way to use up mushrooms that are starting to look a little sad.

Originally, the recipe came from Food & Wine.

***Adding here that The Low Fat Chick tried this recipe and baked them which is a GREAT option ~ here is the link to how she did it ~ Chives and Asiago Mushrooms.  She has an awesome blog so I hope you will check it out!

Panko Mushrooms


2 eggs, beaten
2 cups Panko
12 large mushrooms, cleaned and stems discarded
Vegetable oil for frying

In a skillet, heat the oil until it starts to shimmer.

Put the Panko (and Parmesan, if using) onto a plate and beaten eggs into a bowl. Dip the mushrooms into the egg, then the Panko.

Fry the mushrooms until golden, over medium high heat being careful not to let them burn. They only take a minute or two to cook. Make sure you roll them over so all sides get brown.

Drain on paper towels and season with salt.

Serve right away.

Makes 4 servings

Happy Cooking!

Caramelized Chicken Wings


Every once in awhile, I like making wings for dinner ~ they are easy to make and there is a million and one recipes for them.  I’ve made this recipe a few times in the past and it’s a favorite or ours.  I especially like it because it’s baked and not fried.

I use a bit less than one cup of honey ~ probably about 3/4 cups ~ but I usually don’t measure anything.  I just dump everything in a bowl and mix.

The picture makes the wings look burnt but they weren’t at all.

I’ve had this recipe for so long that I don’t remember where I got it from ~ probably a community cookbook.

Caramelized Chicken Wings

3 pounds chicken wings ~ I use drumettes
2 tbsps olive oil
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 tbsps ketchup
1 cup honey
1 clove garlic, minced ~ we like garlic so I use 2 or 3 depending on how big the cloves are
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375º.

Place chicken in a 9×13 baking pan.

Mix together all the rest of the ingredients and pour over the wings. Using tongs, turn the wings over so that all sides are covered.

Bake for 1 hour or until caramelized. I usually turn mine over at the 1/2 hour mark but you don’t have to.

Makes 6 servings.


Happy Cooking!