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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Banana Pie Shooters

This hardly qualifies for a "recipe", but they follow the theme of mini desserts and were a hit at our Superbowl party.  

These little banana pie shooters can be made a day ahead and taste great the next day if they last that long!


10-12 Graham Crackers
2-3 tablespoons Butter (melted)
1-2 Bananas
1 container Lite Cool Whip
1 large box Banana Pudding
1% or 2% milk for pudding
*optional - chocolate candy topping


Prepare pudding according to directions on box.  Feel free to use any flavor you'd like.  French Vanilla would be great here too.

While the pudding is chilling, crush graham crackers in food processor or with a rolling pin in a ziplock bag.  Mix with 2-3 tablespoons of melted butter and press into bottom of mini-cups.

Top with 2 to 2.5 tablespoons of banana pudding and 2 slices of banana.  

Cover by piping cool whip and top with any candy you'd like - I choose whoppers this time!

Happy Cooking and Happy Styling!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Spinach Souffle in French Bread Cups

I've been on a Pillsbury Dough kick lately. . . this was the first time I used their refrigerated french bread dough and I was pleasantly surprised! 

I found this recipe on Picky Palate and adapted it just a bit.  Recipe below

These little bites puffed up and were just as delicious the 2nd and 3rd day re-heated in the toaster oven.  They are great all by themselves and super delish with spicy marinara!


*I doubled the recipe for a large batch during the Superbowl*

  • 13.3 oz roll of refrigerated french bread loaf
  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Cups baby spinach, coarsely chopped (I used 1 package frozen spinach thawed and drained)
  • 1 clove fresh garlic, minced
  • 3 oz softened cream cheese (light version works just as well)
  • 1/2 Cup light sour cream
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1/8 teaspoon Ancho Chile Pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon Garlic Salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon Sea Salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 Cup shredded mozzarella cheese


1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray 10 (for 1 batch) muffin cups with non stick cooking spray.  Unroll package of french bread loaf and slice into 10 equal size slices, about 1 inch thick.  Press each slice into about a 3 inch round, I did this by pressing in between my hands.  Press into the bottom and up sides of the muffin cup.  Set aside.

2.  Heat oil in medium skillet over medium heat.  Cook and stir spinach until wilted, about 3 minutes then add garlic, cook and stir for another minute then turn heat off.

3.  Place cream cheese, sour cream, cooked spinach and garlic, Parmesan Cheese, Ancho Chili Powder, garlic salt, salt and pepper into a medium bowl.  Mix until well combined.  With a medium cookie scoop, scoop dip into each of the centers of bread bowls.  Top evenly with shredded cheese and bake for 15-17 minutes until just turning brown on edges.  Remove and let cool for 3-5 minutes before removing from oven.

Happy Cooking and Happy Styling!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Italian Spinach Torta

The name is pretty fancy, but this Torta is quite simple to make.  
The lattice top dresses it up and makes a great appetizer
for a crowd or an entrĂ©e for 4-6.  

I whipped one of these up for Christmas Day Brunch
as well as for dinner with company.  

Leftovers, if any, re-heat well in the toaster oven!  

Now, if you have the time and desire, by all means, make your own pie crust.  
If you're looking for a shortcut, Pillsbury makes a great
refrigerated pie crust.  Just roll it out, fill 'er up and top it off.  

Fix yourself a salad and a little dessert while this
bakes up and you'll be good to go!

Original recipe found here 


box Pillsbury® refrigerated pie crusts, softened as directed on box
box (9 oz)  frozen spinach, thawed, squeezed to drain
cup ricotta cheese (I used low fat)
cup grated Parmesan cheese (I used a blend of Pecorino and Romano since that's what I had on hand)
to 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
teaspoon pepper
egg, separated
teaspoon water

Make pie crusts as directed on box for Two-Crust Pie using 10-inch tart pan with removable bottom or 9-inch glass pie pan. Place 1 pie crust in pan; press in bottom and up sides of pan. Trim edges if necessary.
  • Place oven rack in lowest rack position; heat oven to 400°F. In medium bowl, mix spinach, ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, garlic salt, pepper and egg yolk until well blended; spread evenly in crust-lined pan.
  • To make lattice top, cut remaining pie crust into 3/4-inch-wide strips; arrange in lattice design over spinach mixture. Trim and seal edges. In small bowl with fork, beat egg white and water; gently brush over lattice.
  • Bake on lowest oven rack 45 to 50 minutes or until dark golden brown. If necessary, cover torta with foil during last 5 to 10 minutes of baking to prevent excessive browning. (I covered the sides during the last 15 minutes of cooking since mine started to brown sooner) Cool 10 minutes; remove sides of pan.  (don't worry if you don't have a removable torte pan.  The crust is buttery enough that it won't stick to your glass pie 
  • dish.)

Happy Cooking and  Happy Styling!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Buttery Pecan Bars

This is one of those recipes you'll find yourself making over and over again.  These bars are sinfully delicious and easy as can be.  They are rich and decadent so cut them into small squares and watch them disappear at your next party!  

The use of boxed cake mix not only cuts down on the amount of ingredients but the amount of prep time as well.  

Butter Pecan Squares

adapted from Taste of Home

  • 1 box (18.25 ounces) Butter cake mix
  • 3 eggs (room temperature)
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups chopped pecans
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened (I used reduced fat)
  • 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the cake mix, 1 egg, butter, and pecans. Mix well. (I found it easiest to use my hands and just moosh it all together a bunch.) Press into a geased 9×13 pan.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the cream cheese, 2 remaining eggs, and the powdered sugar until well combined. Pour over the crust.
Bake for 45-50 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the center is set. It should be gooey, but not runny. Cool completely before cutting, 1-2 hours. Store in the refrigerator.

I am pretty impatient and trust me, the aroma from these bars is beyond intoxicating. . . but  you really do want the bars to cool before slicing them.  So distract yourself and go in another room so you won't be tempted! 

Golden, Buttery, Crunchy, Sweet Magical Bites!

Happy Cooking and Happy Styling!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Mini Baklava Cups

I adore Baklava, but I don't always have the patience to work with phyllo dough, so using mini  phyllo cups was the perfect fix!

These are crunchy, nutty, sweet and downright DELISH!

Recipe adapated from Sunny Anderson


·         1/2 cup pistachios
·         1/2 cup walnuts
·         1/2 cup almonds
·         1 lemon, zested (didn't have any on hand. . . thought it still tasted delish!)
·         1/4 cup, plus 3 tablespoons sugar
·         2 tablespoons butter, melted
·         1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
·         1/2 teaspoon salt
·         1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
·         2 boxes mini filo shells, 15 shells each
·         1/2 cup water 1/4 cup honey


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Arrange the pistachios, walnuts, and almonds on a baking sheet and toast in the oven until golden and fragrant, about 8 minutes. Let nuts cool slightly and add to a food processor along with the lemon zest, 3 tablespoons of sugar, butter, cinnamon, salt, and vanilla and pulse to combine.
Place mini fillo shells in wells of 2 mini cupcake pans. Add 1 teaspoon of the nut mixture into each shell. Bake until filling is hot, about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over medium heat add the water, 1/4 cup sugar and honey and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until reduced and slightly thickened, 8 to 10 minutes. Pour 1 teaspoon syrup into each cup and allow it to soak in, then repeat with another teaspoon. (I had enough syrup left over that I gave the cups closer to between 2-3 teaspoons)  Refrigerate at least 5 hours, or overnight
Serve at room temperature

Happy Cooking and Happy Styling!