Sour Cream Twists

Sour Cream Twists

Sour Cream Twists are a quick and easy pastry-like treat that anyone can make. These soft, yet flaky, twists are great with coffee, tea or as an unexpected addition to a bowl of vanilla ice cream. They’re rich, yet light, and can be frozen beautifully.

This is a recipe that will make those of you who shy away from making pastry dough from scratch very happy!

Sour Cream Twists Are An Easy and Quick Pastry Recipe!

Continue reading Sour Cream Twists at Cookies and Cups.

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More Fall Flavors

Pear & Celery Salad


4 stalks celery, trimmed and cut in half crosswise
2 tablespoons cider, pear, raspberry or other fruit vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 ripe pears, preferably red Bartlett or Anjou, diced
Half shallot
1 cup finely diced white Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted (see Tip)
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
6 large leaves butterhead or other lettuce


Soak celery in a bowl of ice water for 15 minutes. Drain and pat dry. Cut into 1/2-inch pieces.
Whisk vinegar, honey, and salt in a large bowl until blended. Add pears; gently stir to coat. Add the celery, cheese, and pecans; stir to combine. Season with pepper. Divide the lettuce leaves among 6 plates and top with a portion of salad. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

Make-Ahead Tip: Prepare salad without pecans up to 2 hours ahead. Stir in pecans just before serving.
Tip: To toast chopped pecans, cook in a small dry skillet over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant and lightly browned, 2 to 4 minutes.

Roasted Pumpkin Soup


1 medium cooking pumpkin, about 3 ½ – 4 cups roasted pumpkin flesh
1 tablespoon olive oil
3/4 cup chopped leeks
2 celery stalks, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups vegetable stock
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
½ teaspoon of sea salt
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 ½ cups whole milk
1-2 teaspoons honey
Chopped chives for garnish


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place a sheet of parchment on a baking sheet with sides.

Cut the pumpkin in half and remove the seeds. Fill the pumpkin wells halfway with water and place them on the prepared baking sheet.
Place in the oven and roast until tender, about 45 minutes. Cool and then scrape out the pumpkin into a bowl. Set aside,

Pour the olive oil into a Dutch Oven and heat over medium-high heat.

Add leeks, celery, and garlic; cook and stir until the vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally.

Stir in the pumpkin, broth, pepper, salt, and spices. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from heat.

Process with a hand immersion blender in the saucepan or transfer half of the pumpkin mixture to a blender or food processor; cover and blend or process until smooth. Repeat with the remaining half of the pumpkin mixture. Return all of the pureed mixture to the saucepan.

Stir in the milk and heat through, but do not boil. Stir in enough of the honey to sweeten the mixture to taste.

Serve warm garnished with chopped chives. Makes 6 (3/4-cup) servings.

Twice Baked Potatoes

Make-Ahead Tip: The potatoes can be baked a day before or early in the day.T hey can be filled, covered and refrigerated until close to serving time. Take them out of the refrigerator two hours before you want to serve them. Let the stuffed potatoes come to room temperature for one hour. Then reheat in the oven uncovered, for one hour.

4 servings


2 large russet potatoes about 14 -16 oz each, scrubbed
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons sour cream
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon kosher sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese
Paprika and chopped chives for garnish


Heat oven to 375°F. Gently scrub potatoes, but do not peel. Pierce potatoes several times with a fork to allow steam to escape while the potatoes bake. Wrap in heavy-duty foil.

Bake 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender when lightly squeezed.

When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut lengthwise in half; scoop out the inside, leaving a thin shell.

In a mixing bowl, mash the potatoes. Add the butter, salt, and pepper; mix until the potatoes are light and fluffy.

Stir in the sour cream , heavy cream, and cheddar cheese. Fill the potato shells and place them in a baking dish.

Sprinkle with paprika and chives. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

Take them out of the refrigerator two hours before you want to serve them. Let the stuffed potatoes come to room temperature for one hour.

Then bake in a 375°F. oven uncovered, for one hour.

Pear Tart


1/2 cup sugar, divided
3/4 cup almond flour (finely ground blanched almonds)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon almond extract
1 sheet frozen Puff Pastry
3 firm-ripe Bosc or Anjou pears
Egg white


Thaw the puff pastry according to package directions. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry to a 12×12 inch rectangle.

Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. (I use an attractive baking pan that can also be used for serving.)  Prick pastry with a fork.

Build up the sides slightly by folding in about 1/2 inch of the pastry on the edges. Brush edges with egg white.

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Combine 1/4 cup sugar with the almond flour and all-purpose flour. Set aside.

Beat together the butter and the remaining 1/4 cup sugar with an electric mixer at moderately high speed until pale and fluffy.

Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition, then beat in the flavored extracts.

Reduce the speed to low and mix in the flour mixture just until combined.

Spread the almond filling evenly over the tart shell.

Peel, halve and core pears, then cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Arrange pears decoratively on top of the illing.

Brush the pears with the egg white.

Bake until the pears are golden and the filling is puffed up around the pears and golden brown, about 45 minutes.

Cool tart completely in the baking pan on a rack, then slide the parchment out from under the tart. Leave at room temperature until serving time.

Garnish with frozen yogurt or whipped cream, if desired.

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A New House Macheesmo

We purchased our home in downtown Denver over five years ago and have absolutely loved it. We love the location, love the city, and we are close to friends and family. The house we purchased was on the market for a long time and had kind of a weird layout. It has an old shed […]

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Simple Sunday Meatloaf Recipe

This is the BEST Classic Meatloaf Recipe out there! Moist and delicious, this easy to make meatloaf will leave you wanting more.

You’re ten ingredients away from making the best Meatloaf ever. This is a classic recipe that is easy to make. If you’re hesitant, don’t worry, I’ll walk you through some common troubles people face when trying to make meatloaf and guide you through it. Plus I have some killer side dish recommendations to round out this protein-packed dinner.


Meatloaf Recipe

First, let’s gather up our ingredients. Ten simple pantry staples are all it takes to make this divine meatloaf recipe.

  • Olive Oil – this is used to saute the onions.
  • Yellow Onion – if you want a stronger onion taste, try using white onions instead of yellow.
  • Ground Beef – I used 90/10 here. Different fat contents cook differently so choose wisely. More information is down below on that.
  • Bread Crumbs – plain breadcrumbs. You can also use Italian Breadcrumbs here if you don’t have plain on hand.
  • Eggs – this is used for binding all the ingredients together.
  • Milk – to keep the meatloaf moist.
  • Salt and Pepper – season to taste.
  • Ketchup – for flavor and moisture.
  • Worcestershire Sauce – more flavor and moisture.
  • Parsley – to garnish.

Meatloaf Tips and Tricks

Fat Content. There’s already enough ingredients that bring moisture to this meatloaf recipe so getting beef with a higher fat content is unnecessary. Stick to a 90/10 or leaner.

Falling Apart. To keep your meatloaf from falling apart make sure you measure everything correctly. All of these binding ingredients (like breadcrumbs) are super important.

Or you sliced into it while it was still piping hot. Let it rest for ten minutes before cutting.

Overbaking. This can lead to a dry meatloaf. Use a meat thermometer to help determine when it’s done. More on that below.

How to Make Meatloaf

How Long to Cook Meatloaf

The general rule of thumb here is to cook a meatloaf 30 minutes per pound of beef. This is at the oven temperature of 350 degrees. Cooking times will vary because no two ovens are alike. Plus the thinner and flatter you make your loaf the quicker it will cook.

I baked mine for about an hour, you may need more time. To check when your meatloaf is done, stick it with a meat thermometer. If it reads 160 degrees or more, you’re good to go. Overbaking can dry out your meatloaf though, so watch it.

How to Make Meatloaf

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line half sheet pan with heavy-duty foil, spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a large skillet, saute onions in olive oil until tender and browned, about 10 minutes. Pour into a large bowl.
  3. To the onions, add in ground beef, bread crumbs, eggs, milk, salt, pepper, 1 cup ketchup, and Worcestershire sauce. Mix well until completely combined.
  4. Form into a long log on the prepared baking sheet and flatten the top. Spread with remaining ketchup.
  5. Bake 45 minutes to 1 hour or until cooked thoroughly. Top with chopped parsley and serve.
  6. Cover meatloaf leftovers with plastic wrap and store in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Meatloaf Recipe


Besides measuring ingredients and mixing them together, the only other thing you have to do is saute onions. This is why this meatloaf recipe is such an easy one. It is perfect for any night of the week and can even be made ahead of time!

Simply mix the meat mixture together in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until ready to use. When you’re ready, uncover it and let it come to room temperature while the oven preheats. Form that log shape on a prepared pan and top it with the sauce right before baking.

Freeze This Meatloaf Recipe

You can also make this meatloaf recipe ahead of time by freezing after baking! With this method, your meatloaf can last up to four months in the freezer.

Freeze. After baking, let your meatloaf cool to room temperature. Cover in foil, then seal it in a plastic freezer bag.

Reheat. Let thaw for 24 hours in your fridge before baking. Then bake at 350 degrees until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees.

Meatloaf Recipe Best

Meatloaf Recipe Side Dishes

The Best Meatloaf Recipe deserves to be served with the best side dishes. So I’ve rounded up a few that go perfectly with meatloaf.

Mashed Potatoes Recipe – for a hearty comforting meal pair meatloaf with mashed potatoes.

Roasted Cauliflower Recipe – this is on the lighter side but is packed full of flavor.

Vegetable Rice Pilaf – basically flavored rice with vegetables, for a healthy balanced meal.

Classic Coleslaw Recipe with Homemade Coleslaw Dressing – you can’t go wrong with this amazing coleslaw recipe.

More Dinner Recipes to Try!

  • Turkey Meatloaf Recipe
  • Beef Stew (Crockpot Recipe)
  • Favorite Beef Stroganoff Recipe
  • Thanksgiving Turkey Meatloaf Recipe
  • Korean Beef

Classic Meatloaf Recipe

This is the BEST Classic Meatloaf Recipe out there! Moist and delicious, this easy to make meatloaf will leave you wanting more.

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups yellow onion (diced)
  • 3 pounds ground beef ((I used 90/10))
  • 1 cup plain bread crumbs
  • 3 large eggs (beaten)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • salt & pepper (to taste)
  • 2 1/2 cups ketchup (divided)
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 tablespoons parsley (chopped)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line half sheet pan with heavy-duty foil, spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

  2. In a large skillet, saute onions in olive oil until tender and browned, about 10 minutes. Pour into a large bowl.

  3. To the onions, add in ground beef, bread crumbs, eggs, milk, salt, pepper, 1 cup ketchup, and Worcestershire sauce. Mix well until completely combined.

  4. Form into a long log on the prepared baking sheet and flatten the top. Spread with remaining ketchup and bake 45 minutes to 1 hour or until cooked thoroughly. Top with chopped parsley and serve.

The post Simple Sunday Meatloaf Recipe appeared first on Lauren's Latest.

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The Grill That Gave ’90s Kids Their Kitchen Training Wheels

The George Foreman Grill may have been advertised as a fat-fighting machine and used as fuel for jokes, but it also got people to cook. The contenders were formidable. In one corner, the Real Deal Grill, from four-time heavyweight champion Evander “the Real Deal” Holyfield. In another, the Family Size Health Grill from nine-time Olympic […]

The post The Grill That Gave ’90s Kids Their Kitchen Training Wheels appeared first on TASTE.

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The Very Best Natural Creamy Peanut Butter

Overwhelmed with the number of peanut butter choices? The Simply team has you covered! We tested some of the top brands, and are excited to share our favorites with you!

Continue reading “The Very Best Natural Creamy Peanut Butter” »

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Vegan Sloppy Joes

These Vegan Sloppy Joes are made with green lentils and a spice blend so good you’ll be licking the plate. You won’t miss the meat! Great make-ahead or freezer meal, too.

Continue reading “Vegan Sloppy Joes” »

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Easy Graham Cracker Crust

Putting together a graham cracker crust is not hard at all—and it comes together quickly. Use this recipe to make cream pies, key lime pie, cheesecake, or any other pie that could use a graham cracker crust!

Continue reading “Easy Graham Cracker Crust” »

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Creamy Pesto Mac and Cheese

Pesto Mac and Cheese takes your mac and cheese game to the next level! This fun twist on a traditional mac and cheese recipe is made with creamy havarti and a couple of spoonfuls of pesto for a great flavor boost! 

Get creative and add in your favorites; chicken, bacon, broccoli or any mix-ins you have in the fridge or pantry! Think of the ‘pasta-bilities!’

Pesto mac and cheese in a serving bowl with a serving spoon, garnished with basil.

A New Favorite

I’m so excited to be sharing this recipe with you today because it’s one of many recipes I’ve fallen in love with from my newest gem in my cookbook collection!

This bowl of love is from The Two Peas & Their Pod Cookbook written by my good friend Maria who blogs over at Two Peas and Their Pod.

I’ve waited so long to get my hands on a copy and it was well worth the wait! This book is filled with amazing fresh recipes that are not only easy to make, they’re family friendly! I love that most of the ingredients are things you likely have on hand (just like this mac and cheese, which is crazy easy and insanely delish)!

Two Peas & Their Pod Cookbook has easy to follow recipes with gorgeous photos that your entire family is going to love! I’ve got a big ol’ list of recipes dog eared in this book already!

Two peas & their pod cookbook with pesto mac and cheese ingredients around it.

What is Pesto?

Most people think of basil pesto but, pesto is a style of sauce, and can be made with nearly any herb or vegetable. Spinach and basil are the most common kinds of pesto, but it can also be made with sundried tomatoes, bell peppers, and even mushrooms!

How to Make Pesto Mac and Cheese

This easy pasta dish is so creamy and it’s a quick and delicious family meal.

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  2. Combine butter and flour in a stockpot to make a roux (see recipe below). Whisk in milk and cook until thickened.
  3. Stir in shredded cheese until sauce is smooth and creamy.
  4. Gently fold in the pasta and enjoy!

Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately. This mac and cheese dish is delicious served with a slice of homemade garlic bread or cheesy garlic breadstick to soak up every drop of that yummy sauce.

Two images showing the steps to create the pesto mac and cheese sauce.

My Favorite Add-Ins

This recipe is super flavorful made as written but Maria also has lots of great add-in suggestions; it’s will be like a new recipe every time!

  • Veggies: steamed broccoli, sliced zucchini, mushrooms, or sundried tomatoes
  • Protein: cooked sausage, leftover chicken breasts, bacon (of course)
  • Extra Crunch: water chestnuts or toasted walnuts

Close up of pesto mac and cheese being scooped out of serving dish.

How To Store Mac and Cheese

Pesto mac and cheese is easily stored in the fridge in a zippered bag or airtight container.

  • Freeze it the same way, use a zippered bag or airtight container. Be sure to write the date on the outside of the bag or container.
  • Thaw in the fridge overnight. Pesto mac and cheese might not be as firm because the freezing process breaks down the pasta, but it can still be refreshed by draining any liquid that may have accumulated.
  • Reheat by putting the mac and cheese in a pot and heating gently. Refresh the flavors by adding a little salt and pepper or some new add-ins and it’s a whole new recipe!

Mac and Cheese Lover Recipes

  • Baked Mac and Cheese – baked until hot & bubbly
  • Homemade Mac and Cheese Casserole – a show stopper!
  • Creamy Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese – boiled in milk
  • Grilled Mac and Cheese Sandwich – great lunchtime treat
  • Instant Pot Mac and Cheese – ready in under 30 mins!
  • Crock Pot Mac and Cheese – favorite comfort food!

Pesto Mac and Cheese

This stovetop mac and cheese is super creamy, cheesy, and full of flavor! It is easy to make but tastes gourmet! 

  • 12 ounces elbow macaroni
  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole milk (at room temperature)
  • 2 cups Havarti ( or mozzarella cheese, shredded)
  • 3 Tablespoons pesto (or store bought basil pesto)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook just until al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain the pasta and set aside.
  2. In a large pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low and whisk in the flour to create a paste.

  3. Add the milk and whisk until smooth. Increase the heat to medium and continue whisking until the sauce starts to thicken, about 2 minutes.

  4. Stir in the shredded cheese and continue stirring until the cheese is melted and the sauce is smooth. Fold in the pesto.

  5. Add the pasta, stirring to combine, and cook just until the pasta is warmed through.

  6. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

Recipe published with permission from Two Peas & Their Pod Cookbook.

Pesto Mac and Cheese in a white bowl.
Pesto Mac and Cheese in a white bowl.
Top photo - Pesto Mac and Cheese in a white bowl. Bottom photo - Pesto sauce being made in a saucepan.

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Moist & Delicious Blueberry Muffins

The best Blueberry Muffins are made from scratch, so get out your mixing bowls and let’s get baking! Plump, juicy blueberries are surrounded by a moist, tender batter and topped with a scrumptious cinnamon-spiced crumble.

Just like lemon blueberry bread or blueberry pie bars, your family will eagerly gather at the table when they smell these beauties baking!

Blueberry muffins on parchment paper.

Fresh vs. Frozen Berries

For this recipe, both fresh and frozen blueberries will work! Meaning you can enjoy this recipe all year round. However, using fresh or frozen berries can differ slightly.

  • Fresh blueberries have a tendency to sink and clump at the bottom of baked goods. To ensure they float in the batter and stay intact toss berries with a tablespoon of flour to coat before adding to the batter.
  • Freezing blueberries forces their delicate skins to burst and the berries to release some of their juices. So when baking with them, you may notice the color bleeds a bit more.
      • Do Not Thaw
      • Rinse frozen berries several times in a strainer until the water runs clear.
      • Drain and dab dry on paper towels, then add to batter.

Blueberry muffin batter in a lined muffin tin with a crumble on top.

Blueberry Muffins From Scratch

These muffins are a delicious snack made with a handful of staple pantry ingredients! They are perfect to whip up for a quick snack or to pack in a lunch box!

To Make the Blueberry Muffin Batter:

  1. Combine dry and wet ingredients in separate bowls (per the recipe below).
  2. Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients. Stir mixture just until moistened. Overmixing causes a dense batter.
  3. Gently fold blueberries into the batter.

Divide the batter among greased or lined muffin tins and top with streusel before baking! Bake until puffed up, slightly browned and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Now if you can, let them cool before sampling a few to ensure quality! 😉

Two blueberry muffins stacked on top of each other.

Storing and Freezing

Blueberry muffins freeze beautifully. To do so, make sure they are completely cooled first to prevent the tops from getting soggy and sticky when they thaw. Store in freezer containers or bags. They’ll keep for 3-4 months.

Defrosting Blueberry Muffins

Blueberry muffins can be thawed at room temperature. You can also take them straight from the freezer and warm them on a napkin in a microwave for about 30 seconds. Or, wrap in foil and place in a 350°F oven for 10 – 15 minutes.

This is a reliable and crowd-pleasing recipe you can enjoy year-round thanks to abundant fresh blueberries in season or frozen ones in winter.

So Many Muffins!

  • Blueberry Bran Muffins – hearty, wholesome and delicious
  • Banana Muffins – ready in less than 30 mins!
  • Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins – sweet, tart & easy to make!
  • Easy Pumpkin Muffins – soft, moist & flavorful
  • Gingerbread Muffins – with a spiced crumble topping

Blueberry Muffins

These tasty muffins are a great snack or breakfast on the go!

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup butter (softened)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg (room temperature)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 cups blueberries
  • 1 Tablespoon flour


  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line a muffin pan with liners.

  2. Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl. In another bowl, beat butter and sugar until fluffy. Mix in egg, vanilla, and milk.

  3. Add flour mixture to milk mixture and stir just until moistened. Toss blueberries with remaining flour and fold into batter. Do not overmix.

  4. Combine topping ingredients in a small bowl. Sprinkle over muffins.
  5. Bake 22-26 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in the pan 5 minutes, remove from pan and cool completely.

Two blueberry muffins on top of each other. The top one has a bite missing.
Two blueberry muffins on top of each other. The top one has a bite missing.
Top image - A blueberry muffin on it's side with a bite taken out. Bottom image - Blueberry muffin batter scooped into a muffin tin.

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A Delicious Sesame Ramen Noodle

Sesame Ramen Noodles are a flavorful quick dish and it may just become a lunchtime staple for you! Tender crisp green onions are sauteed in sesame oil and tossed with instant ramen in a delicious ginger sauce!

You can try serving this dish as a companion to easy pepper steak or pineapple teriyaki chicken. Or, serve it up alongside garlic grilled shrimp, and make several other pretty side dishes to go with it for a fun Japanese-themed supper!

Sesame ramen noodles prepared in a serving dish.

To Make Ramen Noodle Sauce

It’s best to have all your ingredients ready ahead of time so that you can just toss everything in the hot pan.

  1. Prepare green onions, garlic, and ginger.
  2. Boil the instant ramen (see recipe below).
  3. Make the sauce and toss with the noodles. Top with extra green onion and sesame seeds

Two images showing the steps to prepare sesame ginger sauce with noodles.

How to Toast Sesame Seeds

When it comes to sesame seeds, toasted definitely has the best flavor. You can also purchase toasted seeds to keep on hand.

To start, preheat a dry skillet on medium. To save dishes, use the same pan you plan to make the noodles in.

  • When hot, sprinkle the raw sesame seeds in the pan and shake or move the seeds around with a spatula until they start to turn slightly brown. Watch carefully that the seeds don’t burn. This should only take about 30 seconds to a minute.
  • Once you see a color change, scrape the seeds into a bowl immediately.

Try making enough to keep on hand in the freezer in a ziplock bag, so that next time, you can skip this step!

What to Add to Sesame Ramen Noodles

Though these noodles are so delicious they need no additions and I often serve them as a side dish but of course you can add proteins and veggies to make a ramen stir fry.  Feel free to mix it up any way you choose!

  • Try adding in some thinly sliced beef, or some shredded chicken.
  • Bamboo shoots or baby corn would taste so authentic!
  • Spicy chili bean paste…why not?
  • Add lots of broth and a soft boiled egg with a drizzle of tamari on top for the perfect meal!

Overview of sesame ramen noodles prepared in a pan.

More Amazing Asian Dishes

  • Easy Ramen Stir Fry – easy, inexpensive & flavorful
  • Asian Noodle Salad – packed with raw veggies
  • Teriyaki Chicken – ready in 25 minutes!
  • Cashew Chicken Stir Fry – simple take out classic
  • Sweet and Sour Pork – easy at-home dinner

Sesame Ramen Noodles

This recipe has all the incredible umami flavor of a Japanese noodle house; you’ll want to make it again and again!

  • 2 packages ramen noodles (seasoning packets discarded)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh grated ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3 green onions (finely sliced & whites/greens divided)
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Toasted sesame seeds (for serving)


  • 1 1/2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar (or honey)
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes (or sriracha)
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
  1. Boil ramen noodles 3 minutes or just until tender, drain well. Do not overcook. Meanwhile, whisk sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside.

  2. Heat oil over medium-high heat. Add ginger, garlic and whites of green onions. Cook just until fragrant, 1-2 minutes.
  3. Add remaining sauce ingredients and 1/2 of the remaining green onions. Simmer 1 minute.
  4. Stir in ramen, cook 1-2 minutes or until heated through. Top with remaining green onions and sesame seeds.
  • Vegetables are great added to this recipe. Simply stir fry cabbage or other favorite veggies before adding the sauce.
  • Leftover protein can be added to make this a full meal.
  • Ramen noodles can be substituted with an equal amount of any other thin noodle.

Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit


Sesame ramen noodles in a white serving dish.
Sesame Ramen Noodles in a white serving dish.
Top image - sesame ramen noodles in a white serving dish. Bottom dish - sesame ramen noodles in a frying pan, garnished with green onions.

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Pumpkin Cheesecake Crumble Squares

Pumpkin Cheesecake Crumble Squares are a delicious, three-layer, fall dessert recipe!

Pumpkin Cheesecake Crumble Squares

These amazing cheesecake squares originally appeared in Bon Appetit magazine a long time ago. This dessert is made up of three layers: crust, pumpkin filling and a sweet sour cream topping. It’s a great addition to a fall dessert table.  You can cut them into 16 small squares.  They’re a yummy, grab-and-go treat. If you’re a lover of pumpkin cheesecake, that filling in the middle is completely amazing. 

crust for Pumpkin Cheesecake Crumble Squares

How to make Pumpkin Cheesecake Crumble Squares:

The crust: 

It’s a buttery, pecan-oat crust.  You’ll mix the ingredients and then take out a bit of the crust crumbs to set aside.  The rest are pressed into the bottom of a square pan.  The crumbs you set aside will be baked too– on a separate baking sheet.  Those will act as the crumbly topping for these pumpkin cheesecake crumble squares.

pumpkin filling for pumpkin cheesecake crumble squares

The pumpkin filling:

It’s basically pumpkin cheesecake in the middle.  You’ll combine the ingredients, spread them over the baked crust, and then you’ll bake it again.

Sour cream topping on pumpkin cheesecake crumble squares

The topping:

Every good, classic cheesecake has a sweetened sour cream topping, and that’s what this is. It’s a simple mix of sour cream, sugar and vanilla.  It’s mixed and spread on top of the pumpkin cheesecake layer.  Then it’s baked for just 5 minutes.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Crumble Squares

Finally, those crust crumbs that you cooked in the beginning are sprinkled on top and pressed in gently. At this point, the pan should be refrigerated for a least a couple of hours– just until everything is set.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Crumble Squares

Then you can cut it into squares.  The photo shows nine squares, but that a very generous serving!  It’s better to cut them into 16 squares.  The dessert is rich, so a smaller square serving is just perfect.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Crumble Squares

You can prepare this dessert up to two days ahead of serving.  Just keep plastic wrap over them in the refrigerator, and they’ll be just fine.  I’d cut them right before you want to serve them.  Enjoy!

Here are a few more pumpkin desserts you might like to try:

  • Chocolate Pumpkin Brownies
  • Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream
  • No Bake Pumpkin Shortbread Bars
  • Pumpkin Blondies
  • Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Squares
  • Golden Cinnamon Pumpkin Bars
  • Pumpkin Snickerdoodles
  • Patterned Pumpkin Roll

Pumpkin Cheesecake Crumble Squares

Popular layered bar recipe!


  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, (diced)
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) pecan halves
  • 3/4 cup old fashioned rolled oats.


  • One 8-ounce package cream cheese, (at room temperature)
  • 3/4 cup canned unsweetened pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger


  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons granulated white sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Generously butter a 9x9x2-inch metal baking pan. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment. Using on/off turns, blend the first crust 4 ingredients in your food processor until a coarse meal forms. Add the pecans; using on/off turns, and process until the nuts are chopped. Add the oats; process using on/off turns until the mixture is moistened but not clumping. Press 3 1/2 cups crumbs onto the bottom of the prepared square pan (do not clean the processor). Transfer the remaining crumbs to the lined baking sheet. Bake the crumbs on the baking sheet until golden, stirring once, about 8 minutes. Cool the crumbs. Bake the crust until golden, about 30 minutes. Remove the crust from the oven while preparing the filling. Maintain the oven temperature.


  1. Blend all of the ingredients in the same processor until smooth. Spread the filling over the warm crust; bake until set, dry in the center, and beginning to rise at the edges, about 20 minutes. Continue to maintain the oven temperature.


  1. Mix all of the ingredients in a small bowl. Spread evenly over the hot filling. Bake until the topping sets and bubbles at the edges, about 5 minutes. Cool completely in the pan on a rack. Sprinkle the baked crumbs over the topping; gently press into the topping.

  2. Lightly cover with plastic wrap; chill until cold, about 2 hours before slicing.

  • *These may be prepared up to 2 days ahead. Keep chilled. Cut into squares. The photos show them cut into 9 squares.  You’ll be happier cutting them into 16 squares as they are rich and perfect when served as a smaller bar.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Crumble Squares


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Kombucha Dark and Stormy

Classic cocktail enthusiasts might want to look away. This is my take on the Dark n’ Stormy cocktail from Bermuda (which is a trademarked mix of Gosling’s rum, and spicy ginger beer). I like a Dark n’ Stormy – they’re invigorating, easy drinking, simple to make, and equally tasty on a beach or in an urban bar. I like them in summer, and I like them right now. Kombucha Dark and Stormy Cocktail Recipe

My Little Tweak

Some while back I stopped using ginger beer, and switched to kombucha. And not just any kombucha, I now make them with the spiciest ginger kombucha I can find, bonus points if I can find the ginger-cayenne variety. So incredibly tasty. To make the drink, you take a splash of dark, flavorful rum, and top it off with kombucha (or ginger beer if you want to play it straight). At any rate, I thought it’d be a great Halloween cocktail for you to try – because, well, the name. But also, because it’s a cocktail everyone loves!

Kombucha Dark and Stormy Cocktail Recipe

A Variation

I’ll throw one optional wildcard in here, only because we have a prolific makrut lime tree. You can infuse the rum with a couple of lime leaves (for five minutes or so), and it perfumes the rum subtly. A lot of bartenders serve Dark n’ Stormy cocktails with a brightening splash of fresh lime juice. This adds another layer. So, to do this version, infuse the rum and then proceed with the recipe as written.

Kombucha Dark and Stormy Cocktail Recipe


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Stracotto (Pot-Roast Italian Style)

The photos show more than indicated in the recipe because I made this for guests and doubled the ingredients. You may want to do that so you have lots of leftover pot roast.

Pot Roast Italian Style


4-pound rump or chuck beef roast
1 teaspoon salt plus more to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 large carrot, diced (about 1 cup)
1 large celery stalk, diced (about 1 cup)
1 medium red onion, diced (1 to 1 1/2 cups)
2 garlic cloves, finely minced plus extra for the roast
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage
1 ½ cups low sodium beef broth
1 1/2 cups medium-bodied Italian red wine
One 28-ounce can Italian whole cherry tomatoes (Cento brand)

Preparing the meat

With a sharp paring knife, cut 4 slits in the roast and stuff slits with garlic slices. Pat dry with paper towels. Season generously with the salt and pepper. Tie the meat with kitchen string in several places to keep it from falling apart.

Heat the oil in a large, heavy pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, shimmering but not smoking, add the meat and cook, turning it a few times, until it is brown on all sides, 10-12 minutes. Transfer the meat to a platter.

Reduce the heat to medium. Add the carrot, celery, and onion. Cook, stirring occasionally until the vegetables are tender, 10-12 minutes. Add the garlic, parsley, and sage, and stir until the herbs are lightly colored about 1 minute. Add 1 cup of the wine and stir quickly, lifting up the richly browned caramelized vegetables that stick to the bottom of the pan. When the wine is almost all evaporated and thickly coats the vegetables, return the meat to the pan and turn it over a few times to coat it with the savory base.

Preheat the oven 350°F.
Raise the heat to high, adding the remaining wine, beef broth. the bay leaf, and the tomatoes, and bring to a boil. Cover the pot and place in the preheated oven.

Roast for one hour and reduce the oven temperature to 300°F.
Turning and baste the meat every hour until the meat is very tender and flakes away when pierced with a fork, 3-4 hours. Remove the meat from the pot and place it on a cutting board, covered loosely with aluminum foil. If the sauce is too thin, bring it to a hard boil and reduce it until it has a medium-thick consistency. Taste and adjust seasoning.
Remove the strings and cut the meat into thick slices (it will probably fall apart), and place on a warm serving dish. Spoon the sauce over the meat and serve hot.

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Go On, Get the MSG

Padded with plenty of kosher salt, the seasoning can be the wind beneath your dinner’s wings. In 1968, a letter published in the New England Journal of Medicine erroneously linked MSG—short for monosodium glutamate—to headaches and musculature pain. The article spawned a 50-year xenophobic attack on the safety of MSG and catalyzed a public health […]

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Skeleton Cake Pops

Skeleton cake pops just in time for Halloween! If you’ve always wanted to try your hand at cake pops, our version made with real chocolate milk is soon to become a family favorite!

Continue reading “Skeleton Cake Pops” »

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The Best Way to Mix Natural Peanut Butter

Tired of stirring your natural peanut butter? We tried four other methods to mix it up and found a definite winner. It’s practically hands-off and totally mess-free!

Continue reading “The Best Way to Mix Natural Peanut Butter” »

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Marge Perry and David Bonom’s Easy Skillet Lasagna

How about a quicker, easier lasagna? Pull pasta and canned tomatoes out of the pantry, frozen spinach from the freezer, pick up some cheese on the way home, and you’re on your way to lasagna in an hour.

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Veal Piccata

Veal Piccata is another classic Italian recipe.

Veal Piccata served with pasta

If you’re like me, you probably don’t really think about cooking veal all that often.  It’s not an “everyday” meat.  But veal deserves its time in the spotlight every once in a while.  If you’re looking for an extremely easy recipe to make for dinner that is a little bit impressive too, try making this Veal Piccata.  It literally only takes about 10 minutes to cook.  Serve it by itself with sauce drizzled over and some veggies.  Or serve it with pasta as it shows in the photos.

cooking Veal Piccata

What kind of veal do you use for Veal Piccata?

Look for veal cutlets.  If you get lucky, you might be able to spot thin veal cutlets that have already been pounded down and are ready for making veal piccata.  If you just find regular cutlets, then put them between two pieces of plastic wrap and pound them down until they are quite thin.

The cutlets are tossed in a simple mix of flour, salt and pepper– just to coat them.

Veal Piccata served with pasta

The coated veal cutlets are sauteed in a mixture of olive oil and butter, until browned. Then the veal is removed from the pan and kept warm on a foil-covered plate while you make the sauce.

Preparation of the sauce begins by adding lemon juice and white wine to the pan. There isn’t really a good alternative to using wine in this recipe… so stick with wine!  I recommend using pinot grigio or sauvignon blanc.  Salt, pepper, capers and fresh parsley are added in next.  Then the veal is added back to the pan to soak up some of that wonderful sauce.

Veal Piccata served with pasta

Individual servings are topped with the sauce.  Veal piccata is really good served with fresh cooked pasta.  The pasta will benefit from mixing with the lemony caper sauce too.

Here are a few more veal recipes you might like to try:

  • Veal Scallops with Capers, Vermouth and Dill
  • Veal Parmesan
  • Spinach and Prosciutto Stuffed Veal Rolls
  • Veal Marsala Scaloppine
  • Easy Italian Veal Chops
  • Veal Chops with Caramelized Onion and Stilton Sauce
  • Veal Saltimbocca

Veal Piccata

Great version of this classic Italian dish…

  • 1 cup all purpose flour ((sprinkled with salt and pepper))
  • 1 pound veal cutlets ((pounded thin))
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 large lemon, (juiced)
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons capers, (rinsed)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
  1. Place the seasoned flour in a large plastic zip baggie and add the veal cutlets. Shake until they are well coated. Set aside.

  2. In a large sauté pan, heat the oil and butter until melted and hot. Add the coated veal cutlets and cook just until golden brown, about one minute or so per side. Remove the veal to a plate and keep warm (wrap in foil).

  3. Add the lemon juice to the pan. Then add the wine and cook until the sauce has reduced and thickened. Taste and add salt and pepper, as needed. Stir in the capers and parsley. Return the veal cutlets to the pan and cook briefly in the sauce to coat.

  4. Serve the veal topped with the sauce.

  • The cutlets should be pounded to about 1/8″ thick. 
  • A bit of pasta on the side is a good addition to soak up the extra sauce.

Veal Piccata

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Crispy Rosemary Butter Roasted Potatoes.

Crispy Rosemary Butter Roasted Potatoes | #potatoes #fall #autumn #Thanksgiving #Christmas

Crispy Rosemary Butter Roasted Potatoes.

The most perfect Crispy Rosemary Butter Roasted Potatoes. Made simply with Yukon gold potatoes, butter, rosemary, garlic, plenty of flaky sea salt and black pepper. Each bite is perfect and so delicious. The secret? Thinly slicing the potatoes into a “Hasselback” and roasting them at high heat. The potatoes come out of the oven buttery, […]

READ: Crispy Rosemary Butter Roasted Potatoes.

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