Category Archives: Recipes

With all the cold weather we’ve been having here in the Northeast we’ve been enjoying a lot of soup! Recently, I have some broccoli and cauliflower in the refrigerator, and decided to make a roasted broccoli-cauliflower soup. Don’t be put off by the color, adding the roasted broccoli to the cauliflower gave it a darker green white color, but this roasted broccoli-cauliflower soup is hearty and delicious. Perfect to enjoy on a cold snowy day!Roasted Broccoli-Cauliflower Soup


Roasted Broccoli and Cauliflower Soup




8 Cups of Cauliflower and Broccoli, cut into small pieces

1 head of garlic

3 Tbsp. Olive oil

1 onion, chopped

1 carrot, peeled and chopped

1 rib of celery

2 tsp. Thyme

4 Cups of homemade chicken broth

1 tsp. Salt

1 Cup of milk




Preheat your oven to 425. Toss the broccoli and cauliflower with olive oil to coat, about 1 tablespoon. Place the pieces on a large baking sheet and roast for 20-30 minutes or until lightly golden.Roasted Broccoli-Cauliflower Soup


To roast the garlic cut the top off the garlic and wrap in aluminum foil, before sealing the foil drizzle the top with a tablespoon of olive oil. Seal the top and place in the baking pan with the broccoli and cauliflower. The garlic may take twice as long to roast.


While the vegetables are roasting heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large soup pot. Add the onion and cook until soft. Add the carrot, celery, thyme, stock and salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer. Add the broccoli and cauliflower and simmer for another twenty minutes. After the garlic is done roasting and has cooled, squeeze the head and add the cloves to the soup pot.


Use your immersion blender and puree the soup for a minute until completely smooth. Add the milk and season with salt and pepper. Serve warm.


The flavors of this Roasted Broccoli-Cauliflower Soup intensify after a day. Serve with bread and a salad and you’ve got a dinner! I’m sure this soup would freeze well but we managed to enjoy for several lunches and didn’t have any to put in the freezer.Roasted Broccoli-Cauliflower Soup


This recipe has been adapted from one I found on Sweet Peas and Saffron.

Are you planing on hosting a New Year’s party this year? Wondering what fun festive appetizers you can serve? I have gathered all my appetizer recipes in one spot. Now you can celebrate the New Year in style with these festive appetizers! Some of these appetizers can be made ahead while others are best made the day of your party.


Fun Festive Appetizers


Antipasto Kabobs

My husband and I love to entertain. However, when we have company I like to enjoy the company and not spend all my time in the kitchen! I am always looking for recipes that I can make ahead or at least reduce my time in the kitchen. I really don’t want to be spending time cooking in the kitchen when I could be enjoying our company. These antipasto kabobs are the perfect solution!Antipasto Kabobs


Brie Leek Tartlets

I love making appetizers using the frozen miniature phyllo tart shells. They come together in no time at all and make such a nice presentation. These little appetizers are always a hit every time I serve them!Brie Leek Tartlets


Cherry Tomatoes Stuffed with Feta

I love appetizers that can be made ahead and just pulled out as the company arrives. This simple recipe makes 4-6 servings depending on appetites! They are the perfect fun festive appetizer to enjoy at your next festive appetizers


Maple Glazed Snack Mix

Similar to the regular Chex Mix but made with maple syrup – what’s not to love? Plus it’s a wonderful way to use up leftover cereal!fun festive appetizers


Snax Mix

This recipe was handed down from my mother-in-law and I make it every year at Christmas. Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas without making my mother-in-law’s famous Snax Mix. Not only do we enjoy eating this ourselves but I usually make an extra batch to give away to friends and family.festive fun appetizers


Hot Feta Artichoke Dip

There are many variations of the hot artichoke dip, but this one is my favorite. It is easy to mix up; you can mix it up ahead of time and then pop it into the oven just before your company arrives. Every time I have made this dip it’s been a big hit. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!fun festive appetizers


Homemade Crackers

I love making Homemade Crackers. I’ve tried several recipes before but this recipe is a real winner. My daughter shared this  recipe for homemade goldfish crackers over a year ago. She is very good about cooking from scratch and making sure she knows exactly what her children are eating. These crackers are perfect for snacking or enjoying with a glass of wine. No matter how you enjoy them I can guarantee they won’t last long! They also are easy to make and you can whip up a batch in no festive appetizers


Veggie Nachos

Perhaps when you think of nachos you think of oozing cheese and lots of calories, but you can enjoy nachos and not have all the fat and calories! This is a quick fun festive appetizer or we often eat it for dinner. If you have left overs the next days the bean–corn mixture is wonderful added to a salad!fun festive appetizers


Blue Cheese and Artichoke Dip

I’ve mentioned before the wonderful cooks that are in my husband’s family. I love visiting my mother-in-law because she is always trying new recipes and passing them along. On one of our visits my mother-in-law gave me this Blue Cheese Artichoke Dip. It sounded delicious and even fairly healthy! The only ingredient that wasn’t completely good for you was the blue cheese! When we had company recently I decided to mix up a batch and see how it went over. It was a big hit and there wasn’t any left at the end of the evening. I served it with pita chips and baked tortilla chips. I’m sure you could also serve it with vegetables as festive appetizers


Crispy Cheese Crackers

Did you ever see a recipe in a magazine and think… “that looks yummy, I think I will make it?” Most of the time when I do this I have good luck and the recipe comes out just as pictured. I received the latest issue of Taste of Home and saw a recipe for Cheese Crispies. We had company coming for dinner in a few days and I decided I would make this appetizer. Unfortunately it didn’t come out quite as expected!Crispy Cheese Crackers


Cheese Toast


My sister-in-law is an amazing woman. Not only is she a successful business woman but she is a fabulous cook. Many of her recipes have become favorites of ours including her recipe for Cheese Toast. Thankfully the recipe only makes 12 pieces, although you could double it for larger crowds. It is so delicious you might be tempted to eat more than you should!festive fun appetizers


Spiced Nuts


Are you a fan of spiced nuts? How about candied nuts on top of a salad? Spiced and candied nuts made great gifts. They are also a delicious, portable snack. Did you know you could make them yourself? Here are a few recipes for a no-fail method for a crunchy treat that will take you minutes to make in your kitchen!

If you have a membership to a food club like Costco or BJ’s I would suggest stocking up on a large bag of nuts. My favorites are peanuts or pecans. You could also use almonds or cashews. You can make the nuts sweetened or spiced depending on whether you are using cinnamon and sugar or spices such as cayenne pepper and garlic salt. Try a few of the recipes, enjoy them as a family or give them away as gifts!nuts, homemade candied pecans, recipes, prudent living, frugal tips

It may be cold and snowy outside, at least where we live but it is a perfect time of year to enjoy this Christmas Ice Cream Cake. I was hoping to use Peppermint Stick Ice Cream but it seems to be getting harder and harder to find so instead I used Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream and I have to say it was very good! This Christmas Ice Cream Cake is good enough for company and simple enough to make for a weekend treat. You can use any type of ice cream you want so the recipe is very versatile. The cake is made ahead of time and put in your freezer. Before serving unmold onto a plate, cover with your whipped topping and it’s ready to serve! It’s quick to put together taking only about 15 minutes or so!ice cream cake


Christmas Ice Cream Cake




2 packages (10 oz. each) of individual cream filled chocolate cakes (Devil Dogs, Little Debbie Devil Cremes)

3 cups of ice cream, softened, I used mint chocolate chip

12 Oreo cookies, crushed and divided

2 cups of whipped topping, I used Cool Whip




Line a 9×5 loaf pan with plastic wrap. Place six chocolate cakes in the pan, completely covering the cream cake Spread ice cream over the cakes and sprinkles with half of the crushed Oreo crumbs. Press the remaining chocolate cakes on top. Cover and freeze for at least three cream cake


Just before serving, remove from the freezer and invert onto a serving plate. Remove the pan and plastic wrap. Frost the top and sides of the cake with the whipped cream cake Sprinkle with the remaining cookie crumbs and serve. ice cream cakeServes 8-10 people depending on the size of the cream cake


This Christmas Ice Cream Cake was the perfect dessert to serve our company. I was able to make it ahead of time and frost just before serving. It was a big hit.


Broccoli SoupJust tried this broccoli soup recipe and it’s a winner. The recipe is an adaptation from one of my favorite cookbooks, Cold Weather Cooking by Sarah Leah Chase. I’ve never had a failure with one of her recipes they are always so good. Adding mustard seeds to a soup was a new twist but they not only add a nice flavor but a little crunch as well. The flavor of this soup becomes more pronounced as the soup sits, so you may want to make the soup a day or so in advance.broccoli Soup


Broccoli Soup with Mustard Seeds




6 Tbsp. butter

2 medium onions, diced

2 large potatoes, peeled and diced

1 large bunch of broccoli, trimmed and chopped

6 cups of homemade chicken broth

1 cup of whipping cream

¼ cup golden mustard seeds

1 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated




Melt the butter in a large stockpot over medium high heat. Add the onion and sauté until soft and translucent, about 10 minutes. Stir in the potatoes and broccoli, cover with the chicken broth, and season with salt and pepper. Simmer uncovered until the vegetables are very tender, about 30-40 minutes.


Add the cream and use an emersion blender to puree the soup. Stir in the mustard seeds and Parmesan cheese.Broccoli Soup If the soup seems too thick you may add a little milk. Serve hot! Makes 6-8 servingsBroccoli Soup



Do you still have cranberry cravings? These Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies will be sure to satisfy them. These pretty, ruby speckled oatmeal cookies are not only delicious, but make a wonderful addition to you holiday table. Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies also make a wonderful hostess gift. Tie them up with a ribbon or gift them in a pretty box, they are sure to be enjoyed!cranberry oatmeal cookies


Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies




1 ½ cups of butter

1 ¾ cups brown sugar

2 large eggs

1 ½ Tbsp. honey

2 tsp. vanilla

½ tsp. salt

2 cups flour

18 ounces old-fashioned oats

12 ounces fresh cranberries, coarsely chopped

½ cup raisins

Finely chopped zest of 1 orange

1 ¼ cups coarsely chopped walnuts




Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line your baking sheets with parchment paper. Cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl until smooth. Add the eggs, honey, vanilla and salt and beat until smooth and creamy. Using a large wooden spoon or your hands, work in the flour and oats until well combined. Add the cranberries, raisins, orange zest and walnuts; mix until every thing is combined.


I used my Kitchen Aid mixer which did the job of mixing everything up really well.


With your hands, form the dough into patties that are ½ inch thick and 2 ½ inches in diameter. Bake the cookies until lightly browned but still a little soft at the center, 15-20 minutes. Cool on wire racks. Makes about 25-30 cookies.cranberry oatmeal cookies


These cookies are almost more like a soft granola bar and are not overly sweet. I’m trying to convince myself that they would be a wonderful addition to my breakfast. I did have to put some in the freezer or they would have been gone in a few days!cranberry oatmeal cookies


These cookies freeze well so you can make them ahead of the holidays.cranberry oatmeal cookies

Good New England apple cider from a local apple orchard is one of my very favorite beverages. Nothing says fall to me than a glass of apple cider. Mulled cider is even better. Mulling cider with a select mixture of spices perfumes the house with wonderful aromas and makes for the most comforting warm winter drink. Children love the cider warm from the pot “as is”, while adults often enjoy the added kick of a jigger of rum, brandy or Calvados. We’ve often taken a thermos of mulled cider with us when we’re snow shoeing in the winter. Nothing warms you up more than a mug of mulled cider!mulled cider


Whether you enjoy mulled cider as is or with an added kick I think you will enjoy this recipe. You can make it ahead of time and keep it warm in your crock pot. Your house will be filled with the wonderful aromas as your company arrives.mulled cider


I’ve often ordered mulled cider when we go out to eat, but it is so easy to make at home!mulled cider


Mulled Cider




2 quarts fresh apple cider

1/4 cup brown sugar

2 bay leaves

2 cinnamon sticks (about two inches each)

½ tsp. whole cloves

½ tsp. ground cardamom

½ tsp. grated nutmeg

Zest of one orange, peeled in a continuous spiral if possible.

1 ounce per serving of rum, brandy or Calvados (optional)




Combine the cider, brown sugar, bay leaves, cinnamon sticks, cloves, cardamom, nutmeg and orange zest in a large pan. Bring to a boil, then simmer uncovered for 30 minutes. Strain the spices from the mulled cider mixture and discard. Return the cider to the pan and keep warm. You can also transfer the mulled cider to a crock pot to keep warm. The cider is ready to be served as is. If spiking it, pour 1 ounce of the preferred liquor into each serving mug and fill with the hot cider.mulled cider

Makes about 8 servings

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