Charming Chocolate Mice

Chocolate mice
Take a look at the little chocolate mice we made in my children’s Holiday Magic cooking class. So darling and so easy, even a child can do it!
Take some time to get your kids in the kitchen, you will be glad you did!

Chocolate Mice
1 box chocolate covered cherries stems on
1 package Hershey’s kisses unwrapped
1/2 cup melted chocolate
¼ cup slivered almonds

Use the melted chocolate to glue a kiss as the face of the mouse to a cherry as the body of the mouse. Before chocolate hardens, slip 2 almonds in between on each side of the face forming the ears.

Register your kids today for Valentine FUN!

February 7th Chocolate Heaven for KIDS Ages 8-14 12:30-2:30
Kids will have a fantastic time in this fun hands on class centered on Valentine’s Day. If your child is a Chocolatarian, like me, this class will leave them spellbound. The fun begins as we create a savory dish of Chocolate Barbeque Sauced Chicken Sliders. Next, the perfect delectable Chocolate Lava Cake will Amaze the kids. Double Chocolate Cookies take on new meaning as we stuff them with salted caramel and Creamy Chocolate Almond Pate served with freshly baked Butter Cookies will delight. We will become chocolatiers as we craft handmade chocolate cups to be filled with Chantilly Cream and Berries and last but not least we will try our hand at preparing darling Meringue Mushrooms, perfect as a crunchy treat or a garnish for desserts. Peppermint and white chocolate unite to make the best take home treat ever, peppermint heart pops. Class Fee $32.00

3 Simple appetizers on Good Day!
Having friends over during the holidays does not have to be difficult, with a few
GO TO recipes in your hip pocket, you can make entertaining a snap! Remember to plan a vegetarian option, something that is pure protein for the meat lovers and a nice bread for a filler. Add a a veggie tray and cheese and crackers and you have a party on your hands!

Enjoy party season this year with simple, tasty appetizers and click on the above to see me making these dishes on FOX 4 Good Day.
Jalapeno Cheddar Muffins, Candied Bacon Strips and Tomato Gruyere Tart
Tomato and Gruyere Tart
1 sheet puff pastry
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic minced
4 medium or 3 large ripe tomatoes
1 cup grated gruyere cheese
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
¼ cup fresh basil cut in a chiffonade
½ teaspoon fresh thyme
Fresh ground pepper and salt to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare pastry by pushing it into a tart shell and cut off any dough hanging over the edge. In a small bowl, combine mustard and garlic. Using a pastry brush, paint the bottom of the tart with the mustard mixture. Dock the bottom of the pastry by pricking it with a fork. Sprinkle half of the gruyere cheese onto the crust. Slice tomatoes about ¼ inch thick and layer them around the tart season with salt, pepper and herbs. Add remaining gruyere cheese and parmesan cheese. Bake for 30-35 minutes until crust is browned and cheese is browning and bubbly.

Cinnamon Candied Bacon Sticks
1 pound Applewood smoked bacon
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a small bowl; mix sugar, cinnamon and salt. Place a wire rack in the center of a metal baking pan. Dredge each slice of bacon in sugar mixture. Lay bacon out on rack and bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove bacon from racks and lay out on paper towels until cooled.

Jalapeno Cheddar Bread
3 ¾ cup prepared biscuit mix
1 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 ½ cups milk
1 egg
2-3 jalapeno peppers seeded and chopped
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 18 muffin cups with non-stick spray. Mix all ingredients in a bowl and scoop into muffin tins. Bake for 18-22 minutes until muffins are puffed and beginning to brown.

It’s Christmas Tree Cookie Time!

Christmas Tree Cookies
Christmas Tree Cookies are a holiday tradition at our house. Take sometime to get your kids in the kitchen this Holiday season and craft some tasty Christmas Tree Cookies! You will be glad you did!

For a special treat, register your children to join me for a holiday cooking class. There is still space available!
Holiday Magic
December 13th Ages 7-13
10:00-12:00 space available
12:30-2:30 SOLD OUT

Kids will have a great time in this hands on cooking experience where they will learn real time cooking skills. The fun will begin with yummy breakfast cupcakes loved by all and Bacon pancake sticks will surly delight. We will make homemade hot chocolate and set it up in a bar for delicious add ins. Savory Flat Bread Pizzas will be a hit with the kids. Cherry Chocolate Reindeer granola will keep our energy going throughout the class Next we will ramp up the fun by creating an edible peppermint platter to use for serving many of our delicious treats. Delightful chocolate mice are fun to make and too cute to eat. Cinnamon Roll Waffles with cream cheese frosting drizzled on top are out of this world. For the cutest take home treat ever, kids will make white chocolate dipped snowman cookie pops. Class Fee $28.00

Christmas Tree Cookies
2 cups butter
3 cups powdered sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon almond extract
5 cups flour
2 teaspoons soda

Using an electric mixer cream butter and sugar, add eggs one at a time until combined. Add vanilla and almond extract. Combine dry ingredients in a bowl and add slowly mixing to incorporate. To make rolling faster and easier, separate dough into 2 large zip lock bags. Press dough flat into the bags. Chill dough for 1 hour. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut bags off of chilled dough. Roll and cut on floured surface. Bake cookies on greased cookie sheets 7-11 minutes.

Butter Cream Frosting
1 ½ sticks butter, at room temperature
6 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon of vanilla
1 teaspoon almond extract
¼-1/2 cup milk or heavy cream
Green and yellow food coloring

Using an electric mixer, combine butter, sugar, extracts and several teaspoons of milk on low speed continue to add milk as needed to get the proper consistency for spreading. Mix on high speed for 5-7 minutes to create a fluffy frosting. Do not leave the mixer unattended. Color ½ cup frosting bright yellow and color the remaining frosting bright green. Spread the green frosting onto the Christmas trees. Place yellow frosting into a pastry bag fitted with a star tip and pipe stars at the top of each cookie.

O&V Thanksgiving Sides!

Truffled Mashed Potatoes
3 pounds baking potatoes peeled and diced
2 cups chicken stock
½ cup heavy cream
4 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon Truffle Cream
2 tablespoons Black truffle oil
Finish with Truffle Salt

In a heavy bottom sauce pan, heat potatoes in chicken stock. Cook until potatoes are fork tender. Drain all but about ½ cup of liquid off of potatoes. Mash potatoes with cream, butter and truffle cream until smooth and creamy. Drizzle truffle oil over potatoes and finish with truffle salt
just prior to serving.

Lemon Fig Squash
3-4 pounds butternut squash peeled and chopped into wedges
1/3 cup Fig Balsam vinegar
1/3 cup Lemon EVOO
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
½ cup chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss squash with oil and vinegar, salt and pepper and place on baking sheet. Roast for 20 minutes, then flip the squash and cook another 15 minutes remove and toss again this time adding pecan. Return to oven for another 2-4 minutes.

Strawberry Jam Cranberries
1 12 ounce package of fresh cranberries
¾ cup sugar
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 jar Strawberry Champagne Jam

Place all ingredients into a heavy bottom sauce pan. Cook over low heat for about 10 minutes until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to medium and continue to cook until cranberries pop and mixture is thick. Pour cranberry mixture into a bowl and chill for at least 2 hours before serving.

Green Beans
2 pounds fresh green beans cleaned
1 teaspoon Herb Butter Provence
¼ cup Basil EVOO
¼ cup Cranberry Vinegar
½ jar Sun Dried Tomatoes

Steam green beans until tender crisp about 10 minutes. In a small bowl whisk oil, vinegar and herbs together pour over warm green beans and toss with tomatoes.

Thanksgiving Sides at Oil & Vinegar TODAY!

Still wondering what you are going to serve to go alongside the bird on Thanksgiving Day? Join me today at Oil & Vinegar at Waters Creek from 1:00-3:00 to see and taste what will be on my table this year! An added bonus, O & V is going to take 20% off the ingredient list for these yummy side dishes
Truffeled Mashed Potatoes
Strawberry Champagne Cranberry Sauce
Roasted Butternut Squash with Fig and Pecans
Festive Green Beans with Herbs and Sun-dried Tomatoes
See you soon!

A Tasting Trip of a Lifetime


Our Culinary adventure has begun!
The group of lovely women traveling with me for a tasting tour of Paris, assembled at my home in October for our first planning session. We will be heading to Paris in April so it is time to make a plan food and fun!

I served a simple dinner, on the menu, Parisian fare of course!
Traditional Quiche Loraine
Simple Green Salad with a Vinaigrette
French bread with freshly churned European style butter
and for Dessert Coeur a la Creme with Raspberry Coulis and fresh berries

I was excited to share that we are booked for a private class at the famed Le Cordon Blue where we will learn to make and assortment of French Viennoiserie. This is just 1 of 3 formal cooking classes we will be taking while in Paris, along with a host of other tasting experiences.

Stay tuned as more exciting details are revealed and contact me if you would like more information about future trips to Paris.


Quiche Lorraine

1 sheet puff pastry

10 eggs

1/3 cup milk or cream

1 cup grated Gruyere or Swiss cheese

1 ½ cups cubed ham

¼ teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degree.  Unfold puff pastry sheet, using a rolling pin on a floured surface, eliminate the creases in the dough.  Place the dough into a 9 inch pie plate allowing the corners to hang over.  Sprinkle cheese and ham evenly over the bottom of the pie plate.  In a mixing bowl combine eggs, salt, pepper and milk and beat until well blended.  Pour egg mixture into the pie plate.  Fold the corners of the pastry over the filling and bake for 40-45 minutes or until pastry is golden brown.

Jack-O-Lantern Cookies

pumpkin group cookies

You are never to old to have some fun in the kitchen with mom! Making Jack-o-Lantern cookies has always been a tradition at my house. Take a little time to get in the kitchen with your little pumpkins!  You’ll be glad you did!

Cute Jack O Lantern Sugar Cookies
Sturdy Sugar Cookie Dough
4 cups flour
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup unsalted butter
2 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a large bowl mix dry ingredients together. Cream butter and sugar together using an electric mixer, for about 2 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time. Add vanilla. Add dry ingredients slowly until combined. Separate dough into 2 gallon zip locks. Flatten dough and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Turn dough out on to a floured surface and roll out dough to 1/8 inch thickness. Cut out pumpkin shapes and bake on greased cookie sheet for 13-15 minutes.

Butter Cream Frosting
1 ½ sticks butter at room temperature
6 cups of powdered sugar
1 tablespoon of vanilla
1 teaspoon almond extract
Milk or heavy cream
Orange, green and yellow food coloring
Assorted candies if desired

Using an electric mixer, combine butter, sugar, extracts and several teaspoons of milk on low speed, continue to add milk as needed to get the proper consistency for spreading. Whip on high speed for 5-7 minutes to create a fluffy frosting. Do not leave the mixer unattended. Put about ½ cup frosting into two separate bowls. Add yellow food coloring to one bowl and green to the other and mix well. Add orange food coloring to remaining frosting. Spread each cookie with orange coloring. Place yellow and green frosting into pastry bags fitted with plain or leaf style tips. Pipe faces, leaves and stems onto cookies.

Mediterranean Flavors at Oil & Vinegar Friday

pasta-salad-ay-1875654-lStop by Oil & Vinegar at Waters Creek in Allen this Friday, from 4:00-6:00 to see me demo 3 fantastic recipes highlighting Mediterranean flavors. The best part will be taste testing!

Fall and Holiday classes have been filling so fast, I have added a few additional titles, a second date for French Food Workshop and Holiday Entertaining complete with a yummy cocktail! Sign up today!

French Food Workshop Part I October 30th 6:00-9:00
Join me in this entertaining hands on cooking class as we explore regional French cuisine. Making French classics does not have to be difficult and after studding cooking in Paris, many tips and trick will be shared. We will begin with Fromage Soufflé, cheese soufflé; students will be amazed to see just how high they will rise. Rich French Onion Soup is always a savory favorite. Traditional Coc au Vin is delicious and satisfying especially when served with creamy and delicious Tartiflette, a potato and cheese dish coming from the French Alp’s region. Flavorful Whitefish Meuniere will truly become and family favorite especially when paired with traditional taste tingling Ratatoulle. Of course we need to prepare desserts we will start the fun with time honored Crepe Suzette and for the icing on the cake…Chocolate Almond Dacquoise, this delicate delectable dessert will make you say oh la la for sure! Class size is very limited, fee $58.00 To register email or call/text 214 551 9630

Holiday Entertaining in Style November 13th 6:30-9:00
Attend my holiday entertaining class and you will be enticed with an array of sumptuous savory and sweet tidbits. Learn tried and true tricks for easy entertaining including time saving techniques, fluffing your buffet, food as the centerpieces and more along with sensational recipes. Sip on a Crimson Crush, our signature martini loaded with pomegranate and grapefruit, so refreshing while we prepare and taste holiday favorites. Join in the cooking process or sit back and watch the show. We will start the fun with Gorgeous Brie En croute with apples and walnuts, scrumptious Shrimp and Dill in cucumber cups will pack a delightful punch of flavor. Darling Chicken and Waffle Sliders with honey mustard sauce will surely be a hit with everyone. Focaccia bread is tender and satisfying especially when served with taste tingling Tomato Jam. Blue Cheese, Pecans and Endive come together in a show stopping dish that is easy to make. For a sweet finish we will prepare silky Caramel Dip served with apple wedges and creamy dreamy mini Crème Brulee Entertaining has never been more fun! Class fee $55.00. To register email or call/text 214 551 9630

Bountiful Banana Bread

banana bread
It warmed my heart this weekend when my daughter, whose off at college, sent me a picture of the banana bread she baked to share with her roommates. It was like a little hug bringing us close together again even though there are many miles between us.
The recipe she used is the same one I made for my children when they were little lovingly shared by my mother in law. Three generations baking banana bread makes this recipe extra special!
I have always been a firm believer in adding nuts to banana bread, however, tested both ways, I really think this one is better without!
Make some for your kids TODAY and create those lifelong family connections!
Bountiful Banana Bread
1 stick of butter melted
3 cups sugar
3 eggs
7 ripe bananas mashed
½ cup applesauce
½ teaspoon salt
4 ½ cups flour
3 teaspoon baking soda
1 ½ cups sour cream
2 teaspoons vanilla

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Mix melted butter, sugar, eggs, mashed bananas, sour cream, applesauce and vanilla until smooth, add flour soda and salt. Bake in 3 9×5 loaf pans for 1 hour.

Pork Loin 2 Ways

Citrus Marinade Pork Loin
Juice and zest of one orange
1 garlic clove crushed
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon teriyaki sauce
1 teaspoon dried mustard
½ teaspoon dried ginger

Mix ingredients in a zip top bag, add pork loin and let marinate in the refrigerator for 2-4 hours. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove meat from marinade, and sear meat on a hot grill pan. Place meat in a glass baking dish and cook for 24-35 minutes until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.

Barbeque Pork Tenderloin Pizza
1 package prepared pizza dough or your favorite dough recipe
¼ cup cornmeal
1 precooked pork tenderloin, sliced very thin
1/3 cup sweet and spicy prepared barbeque sauce, I use KC Masterpiece Original
1 red bell pepper cut into slices
1 ½ cusp shredded mozzarella cheese
¼ cup parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Sprinkle cornmeal onto work surface and roll crust to desired size. Put prepared crust onto a baking sheet or stone and add toppings. Start by coating the crust with barbeque sauce, next add pork and peppers, sprinkle on the cheese and bake the pizza for 9-12 minutes until cheese is bubbling and crust is beginning to brown.