Healthy, Recipes

Keto Meatball Casserole

Juicy, flavorful meatballs cooked until golden and then covered with tomato sauce and cheese.

If you are looking for a new dinner this Keto Meatball Casserole should be it. 

I love this keto friendly meatball casserole because it’s really simple to make and delicious.  It’s also great for meal prep!

I took my grandparent’s meatball recipe, made a couple of changes to make these keto/low carb meatballs. They make epic leftovers… so great for meal prepping! 

The Meat

My personal favorite meat combo when it comes to meatballs is a fifty-fifty of ground beef and Italian sausage. 

The Breadcrumbs

As you know, meatballs traditionally call for breadcrumbs for the binder. It’s purpose is to add moisture and keep the proteins in the meat from shrinking and becoming tough. I used crushed pork rinds! They work surprisingly well in lieu of breadcrumbs and they really play up the flavors.

To Pan-fry or to bake?

This is a great debate between Italian cooks – whether meatballs should be baked or pan fried. 

I grew up watching my grandmother, Meme pan-fry her meatballs. So in this house, we pan fry! Pan frying meatballs produces superior caramelization and a flavorful outer crust. You really do get the best flavor. 

Having said that, you can definitely bake up these too. 

The Sauce

Nothing fancy here, just simple and delicious! One can of crushed tomatoes and ¼ cup of red wine, I recommend Scout & Cellar Gallivant Cabernet Sauvignon

The Cheese

You choose the shredded cheese… Mozzarella, Provolone, Monterrey Jack, Cheddar… I personally like a combination of Mozzarella and Provolone. 

Serve warm on top of zucchini noodles or your with a side of your favorite vegetable. 

Ingredients

Meatball Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 lb. Italian sausage
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella
  • ⅓ cup grated or shredded parmesan
  • 2/3 cup crushed pork rinds
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp dried minced onion
  • 2 tsp dried minced garlic
  • 2 tsp dried Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp Salt and Pepper

Casserole Ingredients:

Instructions 

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. 

Combine all the ingredients for the meatballs and mix thoroughly. 

Make about 24 meatballs

Heat an oven safe skillet over medium heat. (I used my cast iron skillet)

Drizzle one tablespoon in the skillet. 

Place meatballs into the skillet and cook for two-three minutes, then flip and cook for another 2 minutes. 

Place the skillet into the preheated oven and bake for ten minutes. 

Carefully remove the skillet from the oven, pour the crushed tomatoes and wine over the meatballs. Return the skillet to the oven and bake for another ten minutes. 

Once the sauce is bubbling, sprinkle the cheese over the top and bake for an additional 8 minutes until the cheese is melted. 

Optional: I broiled for 3-4 minutes at the end to toast the cheese. Watch it carefully if you put it under the broiler. The cheese can burn easily.

Recipes, Soups

Keto Loaded “Baked Potato” Soup

Thick, creamy, and a low-carb alternative to Baked Potato Soup!

Loaded baked potato soup is prime comfort food, but it’s also loaded with calories. My lightened-up version swaps the potatoes for cauliflower while keeping all of the comforting appeal. Roasting the cauliflower takes this soup to the next level. Topped with all your favorite fixings, there’s nothing potato soup can do that this soup can’t.

Ingredients

  • 2 heads cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 sprigs thyme, divided
  • 4 slices bacon
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, diced 
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup Scout and Cellar Dove Hunt Dog Chardonnay
  • 6 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 Tbsp. sour cream
  • crispy bacon, crumbled
  • cheddar cheese
  • sliced scallions or green onion

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 425°. 

Divide cauliflower between two large baking sheets. Drizzle each baking sheet with a tablespoon of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine and scatter 4 thyme sprigs on top.

Bake until cauliflower is golden and tender, about 20 minutes.

In a large pot (or dutch oven) over medium heat, cook bacon until crispy, about 8 minutes. Drain cooked bacon slices on a paper towel-lined plate, reserving fat in the pot, then chop bacon into small pieces.

Add onion and celery to bacon fat and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, another minute, then pour in wine. Cook until wine has mostly reduced down, about 2 minutes.

Add roasted cauliflower to the pot and pour over chicken broth. Add bay leaf, all seasonings and remaining thyme sprigs. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until the cauliflower is falling apart, about 20 minutes. 

Remove bay leaf and thyme sprigs from soup. Let the mixture cool slightly then carefully pour it into a blender. Cover that center opening with a towel, holding your hand over the towel, and process the soup mixture on low at first (gradually increasing the speed) until completely smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. 

Pour the smooth soup back into the Dutch oven on the stovetop. 

Whisk in the heavy cream and sour cream.

Set it over medium heat to let it warm through, about 5 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding more salt and pepper, if needed

Serve warm with cheddar, chopped bacon, and chives.

Recipes, Soups

Creamy Mushroom Soup

A rich, delicious, hearty soup for cold winter days.

The deep earthy flavors of a classic home-made cream of mushroom soup recipe can’t be beat, especially when it’s ready in minutes. You’ll never open a can of mushroom soup after trying our recipe!

What makes this mushroom soup so good?

The additional flavors of:

Garlic– fresh garlic is best, but you can use minced if that’s all you have on hand.

Shallots– I LOVE including these in this soup , as the flavor really shines. 

Coconut milk– It is an amazing base liquid for all kinds of soups – it gives you a warmer, richer, creamier taste!

Wine — dry red or white wines are perfect in this and add an incredible taste. If you prefer to leave wine out, you’re more than welcome to do so. There’s no need to replace it with extra broth or stock.

If using a RED, I recommend a Scout and Cellar Gallivant Cabernet Sauvignon, or Fieldhouse Pinot Noir.

For WHITE I love Scout and Cellar Che Fico Pinot Grigio or TangoTango Sauv Blanc.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lbs Portobello mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup shallots, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 quart low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 14 oz can full-fat, unsweetened coconut milk

Toppings:

  • 1 pint cremini mushrooms – for a crispy topping
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • microgreens as garnishment (I used sweet basil microgreens)

Instructions 

Wash and roughly chop the cremini mushrooms. Add the Portobello mushrooms to a large, deep-sided skillet and simmer with the red wine until the wine has cooked off.  About 6-8 minutes. 

While the Portobello mushrooms are simmering, heat the olive oil in a large stockpot. When shimmering, add the shallots and garlic and sauté on medium-low heat until golden brown. This takes a few extra minutes, but adds a lot of flavor.

Add the oregano, thyme and rosemary. Stir to combine and toast until fragrant. About 1 minute. Then add the tomato paste and toast until it becomes a deep red.

Next add the salt, pepper, vegetable broth and coconut milk. Add the cremini mushrooms to the broth and wipe out the skillet. Bring the broth to a simmer.

While the broth is simmering, trim the mushrooms. Wash and wipe off any dirt and tear the mushrooms into smaller pieces. 

Simmer the cremini mushrooms in ¼ cup of water until the water has cooked off. Add the olive oil and sauté on medium heat until crispy. Set aside on a paper towel to drain any excess oil.

Using an immersion blender, blend the soup until it is smooth. If you are using a standard standing blender, carefully blend the soup in small batches.

Serve immediately with a drizzle of olive oil, the crispy mushrooms and microgreens.

Recipes, Soups

Keto Friendly Stuffed Pepper Soup

This Keto Friendly soup is made with basic ingredients like ground sausage, peppers, tomatoes and cauliflower rice. It’s a delicious soup everyone will love!

Keto stuffed pepper soup is packed with veggies and flavor plus it’s ready in 30 minutes! 

When you’re craving stuffed peppers but don’t want all the work of making them, this easy stuffed pepper soup recipe is your answer! It’s hearty, full of vegetables, and a cozy meal for cool nights.

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves Garlic (minced)
  • 1 lb Ground Italian sausage 
  • 3 medium Bell peppers (diced)
  • 1 14.5-oz cans Diced tomatoes with green chiles (with liquid, do not drain)
  • 1 14.5-oz cans Diced tomatoes with basil, oregano & garlic (with liquid, do not drain)
  • 1 29-oz can Tomato sauce
  • 4 cups Beef broth
  • 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • ¼ cup red wine such as Scout and Cellar Bookbinder Apprentice Red Wine
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 12 oz Cauliflower rice (fresh or frozen) or white rice

Instructions

Heat olive oil in a dutch oven over medium-high heat, until shimmering. 

Add the ground beef. Cook, breaking up with a spatula, for 8-10 minutes, until browned. Remove meat from the pot, adn set aside. 

Wipe the pot with a paper towel and add olive oil. 

Add the onion and minced garlic and saute for about a minute, until fragrant. Then add the paprika and red pepper flakes, stir and saute for another minute. 

Add the bell peppers and saute for about a minute, until fragrant.

Add sausage, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, broth and Italian seasoning. Bring to a boil.

Add the red wine and sugar, stirt. 

Reduce heat and simmer for about 10-15 minutes, until the peppers are tender.

Add the cauliflower rice. Cook for 3-4 minutes, until cauliflower rice is tender.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Recipes, Soups

Thai Crispy Tofu Soup

The broth is simmered with ginger and lemongrass and topped with crispy tofu, peanuts, scallions and cilantro.

This flavorful and versatile soup is inspired by some of my favorite Thai flavors – ginger & lemongrass with coconut milk and crispy pan-fried tofu. If you are not a coconut milk fan, use a one cup of heavy cream or not a tofu fan, use cooked chicken chunks. Either way this soup is so cozy, comforting and fragrant and it comes together incredibly quickly. 

The ginger and lemongrass pack this broth full of flavor that is mellowed out a bit by the sweet flavor and creamy coconut milk. The crispy tofu, wild rice, and herbs make it a delicious meal that gets even better as the flavors mingle together overnight. Just remember the rice will soak up some of the broth in the frig, so keep the cooked rice in a separate container.

Where can I find fresh lemongrass?
I have actually been able to find it at Publix or my favorite market in Tampa, Sanwa. Lemongrass is usually near the fresh herbs. You can also look at an Asian market. But don’t worry if you can not find it, you can always use the zest of one lemon. 

I love adding toppings to each bowl of soup! In this recipe, I added chopped peanuts for a little crunch, scallions and cilantro. 

Can’t wait for you guys to try it!

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoon coconut oil, divided
  • 1 package of extra firm tofu or 1 lb. chicken breast, diced
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped 
  • 1 bunch scallions, chopped and divided into two piles
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and minced
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, leave whole and cut an x in the bottom of the root end (this will help release the lemongrass flavor)
  • 3 cups vegetable broth or water
  • 1 can full fat coconut milk or heavy cream
  • zest and juice on 1 lime

Toppings

  • Cilantro
  • Peanuts
  • 4 cups cooked wild or white rice

Instructions:

Cut tofu into cubes and place them in a medium sized bowl. If using chicken, dice. 

Whisk soy sauce, honey, and sesame oil together in a small bowl. 

In a large dutch oven or soup pot heat 1 teaspoon coconut oil over medium heat. 

Pour soy sauce mixture over cubed tofu, or chicken  and toss to make sure each piece is evenly coated. 

Add tofu/chicken to the hot pan and brown on all sides, about 15 minutes. 

Remove the tofu/chicken from the pan and set aside.

Heat the remaining 1 teaspoon coconut oil. 

Add onion and carrot and cook until soft and fragrant. 

Add half of the chopped scallions (reserve the rest for garnish), garlic, ginger, and lemongrass. Cook for 2-3 minutes until very fragrant. 

Add the broth and coconut milk and bring the mixture to a boil. 

Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes.

Remove lemongrass from the pan and toss it. 

Season the soup broth with salt and pepper to taste and add the lime zest and juice. 

Place a serving of rice in each bowl, pour the soup broth over the rice, and top with tofu/chicken, scallions, cilantro, and peanuts. 

Recipes, Soups

Lasagna Soup Remix

The ultimate comfort food in a bowl!

Who doesn’t love lasagna and a nice salad for dinner? Well how about that dinner but in soup form… that’s exactly what this soup is! I received my inspiration for this recipe from a Publix Apron’s recipe. It’s a quick and easy recipe with easily-found ingredients.

The broth of this soup consists of chicken broth and a jar of your favorite pasta sauce! I mean it doesn’t get much easier than a jar of pasta sauce. When my grandparents, Papa and Meme were not making their own homemade sauce, my Meme would have my Papa buy a jar of Ragu. I know, can you believe it… Ragu! Now, for me my go-to jar is Barilla. But this is your creation so you pick what your go-to sauce is. No judgement!

After browning the ground sausage, you start with “humble beginnings”. Have you ever heard of that? Maybe you have heard of Sofrito, Mirepoix, or the Holy Trinity of cooking. These are all the foundation of some of the world’s greatest dishes. It’s simply a group of vegetables sauteed together, disappearing into the dish as it cooks. But their flavors linger and would most definitely be missed if left out. In this soup, we make a “humble beginnings” of carrot, celery, onion, bell pepper, and garlic to start the soup. 

Most lasagna soup calls for lasagna noodles, you know the long thick noodles that are for a baked lasagna. Well I just don’t agree that those noodles should be in a soup, they end up taking up the whole bowl. So I used a package of Buitoni Three Cheese Tortellini, it usually can be found in the refrigerated section near the cheese. These little tortellinis are stuffed with creamy ricotta, aged Parmesan and Romano. You simply plop them into the soup and you have the noodle and all the delicious cheeses in one bite. 

Do not skip the salad kit’s toppings and dressing, trust me!. I used the Fresh Express Sweet Kale salad kit, it comes with broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, chicory, dried cranberries, roasted pumpkin seeds, poppyseed dressing. That’s 7 superfoods! The cranberries and the poppyseed dressing give the soup a sweet tangy twist, that cuts through the acid from the tomatoes, it’s a delicious combination!! But you can use any salad mix, a Cesar salad kit would be tasty too. If you buy a kit, it comes with everything which means you don’t have to buy a bunch of different ingredients. 

Lastly you plop a nice size dollop of Ricotta cheese into the bowl and you have yourself the perfect one-bowl meal!

Serve on a cold night with a crusty baguette, a glass of Scout and Cellar Fieldhouse Pinot Noir and you are set!

Ingredients

  • 1lb mild ground Italian sausage
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning. 
  • 3 cups or  24 ounce of your favorite  jar pasta sauce
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup sun-dried tomato pesto
  • 1 (9 oz) package cheese ravioli
  • 1 (12 oz) Fresh Express Sweet Kale salad kit
  • 1 (12 oz.) low fat ricotta cheese

Instructions

Preheat a large stockpot 2–3 minutes on medium-high. 

Brown sausage 5–7 minutes, stirring to crumble meat, until no pink remains.

Remove sausage and drain pot. 

Add a teaspoon of olive oil to the pot.  

Saute the veggies for about 4 minutes.

Reduce heat to medium-low. 

Stir in pasta sauce, broth, and pesto; simmer 8–10 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until hot.

Stir ravioli into soup; cook 4–5 minutes or until ravioli is tender 

Add sausage back to the pot and simmer for one hour. 

Meanwhile, mix the salad kit together, expect the dressing. I personally like to drizzle the dressing over the soup but again totally up to you. This is your creation!

Divide soup evenly among bowls. 

Top each bowl with even amounts salad greens and salad toppings, 

Drizzle the dressing over the top. 

Place a dollop about a tablespoon of ricotta cheese on top and serve.

Recipes, Soups

Keto Friendly Taco Soup

Warm, cozy, easy winter soup that is rich with delicious Mexican flavors. 

This soup is the perfect way to enjoy tacos without the added carbs! 

I’m all about quick and easy one-bowl meals this time of year and this taco soup is at the top of the list. It’s made with my favorite taco ingredients and loaded with mildly spicy & zesty flavors that will keep you coming back for more.

It comes together quickly, with simple ingredients, and minimal effort. You will have a delicious dinner on the table in less than 30 minutes. Oh and this meal is totally affordable… you can get everything for under $20. 

Looking for a wine pairing?

Scout & Cellar 2019 ETNICO CHARDONNAY will pair beautifully with this spicy and zest soup. ETNICO Chardonnay is bright and refreshing with lemon zest, underripe pear, and a touch of pineapple balanced by white flowers and a hint of herbs with a zesty texture.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground beef 
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced (I used red but green works good too)
  • 1 (10 oz) can diced tomatoes 
  • 8 oz cream cheese (I used low fat and cut into fours, it helps it melt faster)
  • 1 Taco seasoning packet
  • Zest and juice of one medium sized lime
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups beef broth

Optional toppings:

sliced avocado, sour cream, shredded cheese, freshly minced cilantro, jalapeno, and a drizzle of lime

Instructions

Add olive oil to a large pot, brown beef, remove meat from pot and discard liquid. 

In the same pot, saute onion, and garlic over medium-high heat for 7-8 minutes.

Add the bell pepper, diced tomatoes and saute until pepper and tomatoes are soft and tender.

Add the lime zest taco seasoning packet and stir to combine. 

Add lime juice and cream cheese, until cream cheese is melted and mixed through.

Add beef back to the pot and stir to combine. 

Pour in beef broth and reduce heat to low-medium. 

Simmer for 15-20 minutes.

Cakes & Pies, Recipes

Orange Chocolate Chai Roll

I’ve always wanted to make a swiss roll cake. Every time I watch a baking show on Food Network or my favorite show the Great British Baking Show, I’m memorized how they roll the cake and fill it with deliciousness. So when my friend Adam told me he made one, we started talking about different flavors to put together for a Christmas one. He inspired me to create my own. 

I used cocoa powder, brewed chai tea, and orange zest for the cake batter. For the filing, I used cream cheese, pumpkin spice seasoning, more zest and orange juice. 

When I sliced into the orange to add the juice, I realized I accidentally bought blood oranges at the market. I was so excited, I actually did a little dance. When my Papa and I were in Sicily, we would eat a blood orange every morning with breakfast. It was like he was sending me a little sign from heaven! 

INGREDIENTS

CAKE:

  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons chai tea
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup orange zest
  • 3 tablespoons juice from orange
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon 
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • Powdered sugar to aid in rolling

FILING 

  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Heavy whipping cream

INSTRUCTIONS

MAKE THE CAKE:

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line (10×15”) pan with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray.

Beat eggs at high speed for 3 minutes, until frothy and dark yellow. 

Beat in sugar, tea, and vanilla extract.

In a separate bowl, whisk together cocoa, salt, baking powder, and flour. 

Blend the dry ingredients into wet ingredients.

Spread in the prepared pan. Batter will be in a very thin layer and you will need to use a wooden spoon or spatula to spread it to all the corners of the pan. 

Bake for 10-15 minutes. You’ll know it’s done because if you lightly poke the top with your fingertip it will slightly bounce back.

While the cake is baking, set a clean kitchen towel out on a large work surface, lay a sheet of parchment paper on top of the towel. Sprinkle liberally with powdered sugar and cocoa powder (about ¼ cup). 

As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, turn it over on the kitchen towel sprinkled with powdered sugar and cocoa. Remove parchment paper carefully.

Working at the short end, fold the edge of the towel over the cake. Roll tightly, rolling up the cake into the towel. Let cool completely while rolled, at least one hour (or you can wrap it and chill it overnight).

MAKE THE FILING

Combine cream cheese, pumpkin pie spice, and 1 teaspoon orange zest in a medium bowl. Beat at medium speed until well mixed. 

Gradually add 2 cups powdered sugar and heavy whipping cream, beating well after each addition until smooth and creamy.

Gently unroll cooled cake. Spread filling over cake to 1/2 inch from all edges. 

Starting at the 10-inch side, gently roll up the cake. 

Sprinkle with additional orange zest just before serving. 

Cut into slices. 

Recipes, Small Bites

Festive Italian Dip

Creamy, spicy, addictive sausage dip that takes just minutes to throw together.

This dip is so good, it will be the hit of the party! Honestly you can even serve this dip mixed with pasta and have a hearty pasta dinner! There is so much packed into this dip, from the spicy Italian sausage to the gooey cream cheese!

The base for this dip is Hot Italian sausage. Don’t worry if spicy food isn’t your thing, this sausage honestly isn’t very spicy, it adds a nice flavor punch. Plus, paired with the cream cheese, it all balances out perfectly. I started by cooking the sausage in a large skillet. Once the sausage was cooked, I transferred it to a plate lined with a paper towel to soak up some of the grease. Cutting out some extra fat. 

Next, I wiped the same skillet clean, getting rid of some of the sausage grease but not all of it. Sauté up some onions, red peppers, tomatoes and garlic. Oh and add in a little Italian seasoning for good measure. And don’t forget the… WINE! I used Scout and Cellar Field House Chardonnay. It adds a zesty flavor!

Roughly chop up some baby spinach, it doesn’t have to be perfect. Honestly I just grab a handful from the bag, throw it on the cutting board and run my knife over it a few times, making sure there are no huge pieces. I used the whole 6 ounce bag of baby spinach. 

Then grab the cream cheese. I cut mine into four squares so it melts quickly. Make sure to grab the shredded mozzarella and parmesan cheese too. Add all that cheese right into the skillet and stir. 

At this point I strongly encourage you to grab a spoon and taste! Mmmmmm!

Now, pour the mixture in a casserole dish. Sprinkle some more cheese on top, cover the whole top!

Bake it to perfection until the cheese is golden brown and the sides are bubbly. Your kitchen will smell like heaven! Serve with a baguette or crackers.

So let’s get cooking! 

Ingredients 

  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 pound hot Italian ground sausage
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 8-oz. package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 6-oz package fresh spinach, rough chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup diced tomato
  • 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Instructions 

Preheat the oven to 375 F degrees. 

In a bowl, mix together the two cheeses and set aside. 

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook the sausage. Once cooked, remove from the skillet and place on a plate lined with a paper towel. 

Using a paper towel, wipe the skillet clean and saute the onions and red pepper in the same skillet, for 3-5 minutes, until translucent. 

Stir in tomatoes, and Italian seasoning; cook for 1 minute. 

Add the cooked sausage back to the skillet and stir to combine, cook together for 2 minutes. 

Stir in wine; cook 2 minutes or until liquid has almost completely evaporated.

Stir in spinach and salt, and cook for 2 minutes or until spinach is slightly wilted. 

Reduce heat to medium; add cream cheese and 1 cup of the shredded cheese mixture. 

Cook and stir mixture until cheese is melted.

Pour mixture into a 2-qt. baking dish; sprinkle with the rest of the cheeses.

Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes or cheese is bubbly and golden brown. 

Serve with crostini or crackers.

http://www.scoutandcellar.com/whiskawaykitchen.
Cookies, Recipes

Chocolate Peppermint Cookies

A soft and chewy, chocolate cookie topped a chocolate mint drizzle and a sprinkling of crushed candy canes. 

Chocolate and peppermint is a popular combo, especially during the holiday months. This is another recipe that I created for my brother. He loves chocolate and peppermint! I basically took my red velvet cookie recipe that I adapted from Paula Deen, and just switched out cake box mix and the topping!

These chocolate cookies are soft, chewy, and a bit fudgy in the center. I love the addition of the peppermint flavor because it really awakens the cookie. Crushed peppermint candies make a festive, crunchy topping for these festive cookies. They are the perfect holiday cookie and  will get you in the holiday spirit ASAP. Perfect for cookie exchanges, holiday gatherings or alongside a cup of iced cold milk. 

Ingredients 

  • 1 (18 oz) box moist chocolate cake mix
  • 1 (8 oz) package room temperature cream cheese
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • 1 egg
  • 1 stick room temperature butter

Chocolate Drizzle 

  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract 
  • 2 large candy canes, crushed

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350 °F. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, cream the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Beat in the egg. 

Then beat in the vanilla extract. Beat in the cake mix. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours to firm up so that you can roll the batter into balls. 

Roll the chilled batter into tablespoon sized balls. 

Place on an ungreased cookie sheet, 2 inches apart. Bake for 12 minutes. 

The cookies will remain soft and gooey. 

Cool completely 

Melt semi sweet chocolate in a double boiler (or in the microwave, just be careful to stir frequently so chocolate doesn’t burn) until it’s smooth.

Add peppermint extract and whisk together. 

Drizzle a dollop of semi-sweet chocolate over each cookie.

Sprinkle a few pieces of crushed candy cane on top of the chocolate cookie centers while the chocolate is still warm. Let chocolate set for 30 minutes to an hour.