Seasonal, Small Bites

Sausage Stuffing Bites

Now that Thanksgiving has come and gone, we all are face to face with the Leftover Problem. Well have no fear, I have the perfect solution for all the leftover stuffing. These Sausage Stuffing Bites are perfect to use leftover stuffing to make! They can be used for an appetizer at your Friendsgiving celebration. You can also make them ahead of time and keep them in the fridge until you’re ready to bake and serve them. They are perfect for parties and family gatherings during the holidays.

Ingredients

Sausage Stuffing Bites

  • 2 boxes Savory Herbs Stuffing or 2 cups leftover stuffing
  • ½ pound of hot Italian sausage
  • ½ pound of mild Italian sausage
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • ½ cup of mozzarella cheese or shredded cheese cheddar
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries, minced
  • 2 beaten eggs

Gravy Dipping Sauce

  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour 
  • ¾ stick of butter
  • 3 to 4 cups chicken broth 
  • 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt 
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, more to taste 

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. 

Brown the sausage over medium-high heat until no longer pink. Add the garlic and cranberries, mix and cook for 5 minutes. 

While the sausage is cooking, cook the stuffing.  

Once sausage and stuffing is cooked, combine all ingredients into a mixing bowl and mix with your hands. Do not ocean out the sausage pan, we will use the drippings for the gravy. 

Using a cookie scoop, (or hands) scoop the sausage balls onto a baking pan lined with parchment paper. 

Bake for 20-25 minutes, till they are browned on top.

While sausage stuffing bites are cooking, make the gravy dipping sauce. 

Over medium heat, melt the butter. Sprinkle on half the flour and stir so that the butter soaks it all up, then add more little by little. Stir it around and cook it for another minute or so, then pour in the broth, stirring constantly.

Cook the gravy, stirring frequently, until it thickens. (This may take a good 10 to 12 minutes.) Sprinkle in the salt and pepper and continue cooking until very thick and luscious. If it gets too thick too soon, just splash in another 1/2 cup of broth or more if needed. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

Place dipping sauce in a serving bowl and serve with Sausage Stuffing Bites

Recipes, Small Bites

Beer Cheese Dip

Let’s get ready for some football!! This Beer cheese dip is perfect for any game day party. 

A combination of your favorite beer, a variety of cheeses, and ranch seasonings this recipe is a welcome addition to any appetizer spread! Serve with pretzel bites, tortilla chips or even veggies!

What kind of beer do you like best? Then that is the beer you should use!

  • Dark Beers like stouts, and malts will produce a deep and bitter flavor.
  • Light Beers like ales and IPA’s will give a lighter kind of flavor (this is my personal favorite).
  • Non-Alcoholic beers work just fine in this recipe too!

Think about what you are dipping into this gooey cheesy dip and choose the flavor from there! The darker beers are best with pretzels, pretzel sticks, tortilla chips, and bread. 

For the lighter side, use carrot sticks, broccoli and cauliflower or zucchini.

I use a combination of cheddar, gruyere and cream cheese. The cheddar and gruyere add flavor while the cream cheese adds a creamy texture. Choose any cheese you like! 

This Beer Cheese Dip is super easy to make ahead! All you need to do is cool it and keep it covered in the refrigerator until you’re ready to reheat it!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 Pkg. Hidden Valley Dry Ranch Dip 
  • 2 Pkg. Cream Cheese 8 oz. each (softened)
  • 8 Oz. Beer about (1/3-1/2 Cup) 
  • 1 1/2 Cup Cheddar Cheese Shredded
  • ½ cup Gruyère Cheese, Shredded 
  • 4 Green Onions (optional) Diced

INSTRUCTIONS

In a bowl, mix the dip mix, cream cheese, beer, and cheddar cheese. Mix together.

If you want to serve this dip warm, bake in the oven at 350 until bubbling. 

Top with chopped green onion.

Recipes, Seasonal, Sunday dinner

Stuffed Acorn Squash

Happy Fall Ya’ll! We may not have the fall weather here in Florida but we can create those delicious fall flavors! 

Acorn squash gets roasted to perfection and tossed with chicken sausage, kale, cranberries, pecans and melty goat cheese for the perfect salty and sweet combo.

Ingredients

Acorn squash

  • 2 acorn squash medium
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon salt or more
  • black pepper freshly ground

Squash filling

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion small, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 pint mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon dried rosemary
  • 10 oz chicken sausage, crumbled
  • 4 oz kale, chopped 
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • ½ cup pecans, chopped
  • 4 oz goat cheese 

Instructions 

Roast acorn squash

Preheat the oven to 400 F.

Cut off the top and the bottom of each acorn squash to create a flat base. Make sure not to cut too deep into the base of the squash. 

Slice each squash in half. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and fleshy strands tangled with the seeds.

Place acorn squash cut sides up on a baking sheet. 

Drizzle the cut sides of acorn squashes with olive oil and rub the oil into the squash. Season generously with salt and pepper. 

Turn the squash over, and place it cut sides down on a baking sheet.

Roast in the preheated oven at 400 F for 30 minutes.

Make squash filling

Make the sausage filling while the squash is being roasted in the oven.

In a large skillet, heat olive oil, add diced onion and garlic, and cook it on medium-high heat for about 2 minutes until cooked and a bit charred.

Add the chopped mushrooms, and saute until soft. 

Add crumbled sausage and rosemary, cook on medium heat until the sausage is completely cooked through.

Add fresh kale and cook for another 5 minutes on medium heat until the kale wilts.

Add dried cranberries and chopped pecans and mix everything.

Season with salt and pepper. 

How to stuff acorn squash

By this time, you have roasted the acorn squash for 30 minutes. Remove them from the oven and turn cooked squash halves cut sides up.

Divide the sausage filling among the 4 halves and stuff the squash until the mixture is leveled or a little bit higher. Sprinkle each half with goat cheese. 

Bake the stuffed acorn squash in the preheated oven at 350 F for 10 or 20 more minutes until the sausage mixture is heated through.

Cookies, Seasonal, sweet tooth

Apple Whiskey Cookies

Who’s ready for fall? Buttery, soft, and oh-so-delicious, these Apple Whiskey Toffee cookies boast all your favorite fall sensations. Trust me these homemade cookies are hard to turn down.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup butter room temperature
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 apples, peeled & diced
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1 cup toffee chips
  • 1 cup whiskey 

INSTRUCTIONS

In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Stir in the eggs and vanilla.

In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. 

Add that mixture to the creamed mixture. Stir to combine.

Stir in the whiskey, applesm, chocolate and toffee. 

Refrigerate for 30-60 minutes or more. 

Heat the oven to 375F degrees.

Spoon the batter using a medium cookie scoop onto a lined cookie sheet and cook for 10-12 minutes, until golden.

Let rest for 5 minutes. Then, remove to a cookie rack to continue cooling.

Cookies, Recipes

Butter Beer Cookies

If you love Harry Potter then these cookies are definitely for you! 

But if you’re not much of a fan, no worries- you will still love them! These cookies are chewy flavored with butterscotch, vanilla and white chocolate. 

My friends and I are Universal Studio Annual pass holders so we visit the parks and Harry Potter world regularly. Butter beer is always a must when we are there so when a friend sent me a recipe for cookies, I was inspired to create my own! I hope these cookies transport you right into the wizarding world!

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 sticks Unsalted Butter Melted
  • 1 cup Light Brown Soft Sugar
  • 1 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Medium Egg
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 2 cups all purpose Flour
  • 3 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 box Butterscotch Cook & Serve Pudding
  • 1 ½ cups White Chocolate Chopped

INSTRUCTIONS

In a large bowl, using an electric/stand mixer, combine the butter and both sugars on medium speed for several minutes, until fully combined. Add the egg and vanilla and mix again.

Add the flour, baking powder, butterscotch pudding mixture and white chocolate chips, and fold until combined. 

Cover and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit .

 Line 2-3 large baking trays. Roll into about 12 balls or use a medium size cookie scoop. 

Place on lined baking sheets.

Bake 10-12 minutes, until golden and just crisping up at the edges 

Let cool on a wire rack

On the Side, Recipes

Country Squash Casserole

This recipe reminds me of visiting the Dillards House in Georgia. My family has a cabin in Franklin, North Carolina; about twenty minutes from the Dillard House. It is one of my favorite places to eat whenever I visit. Think family style with generous portions of the best homemade Southern dishes you’ve ever had. Every time we would go in the summer they would serve up this buttery summer squash casserole. 

This country squash casserole is great for a summer side dish, a cookout, a family dinner, and pretty much any other occasion where you’re feeding a crowd. Another major plus is that it requires just 5 minutes of prep time and only a handful of ingredients.

INGREDIENTS

  • 6 small yellow squash, thinly sliced
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 1 stick of butter, divided
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ cup water, or more as needed
  • 35 buttery round crackers, crushed
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese 
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. 

Melkt one tablespoon of butter on a large skillet over medium heat. Saute the onion and garlic until fragrant. 

Place squash in the skillet and stir to mix with onion and garlic. Pour in water. Cover, and cook until squash is tender, about 5 minutes. Drain well, and place in a large bowl.

Mix cracker crumbs and cheese together in a medium bowl. Stir half of the cracker mixture into the cooked squash and onions.

Mix eggs and milk together in a small bowl, then add to the squash mixture.

Stir in 4 tablespoons of melted butter, and season with salt and pepper. Spread into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with the remaining cracker mixture, and dot with the remaining butter.

Bake in the preheated oven until lightly browned, and starting to bubble and the topping is lightly golden brown in color, about 35 minutes. You can also broil on low for the last few minutes to finish browning the panko topping.

Remove from the oven and serve immediately. 

Healthy, Recipes

Shrimp Pad Thai with Spaghetti Squash

This homemade Pad Thai with spicy shrimp, spaghetti squash, peanuts and cilantro for a low carb dish you will prepare again and again. It’s super easy to make, the entire dish can be ready in 15 minutes flat.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 large Spaghetti Squash
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 lb. Shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 pint mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 Eggs Beaten
  • 3 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 Tablespoons Peanut butter
  • 2 Tablespoons Rice vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce or Coconut Aminos
  • 1 Tablespoon Sriracha
  • 1 TablespoonSesame seed oil
  • 1 Cup Bean Sprouts
  • ½ Cup Dry Roasted Peanuts
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • ½ Cup Chopped fresh cilantro

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. 

Cut squash in half and remove membrane and seeds. Then brush both sides with olive oil, inside and out. Bake on a foil lined baking sheet until tender (45 minutes) with the cut side down.

Once cooked, remove from the oven allow the squash to cool upright for 10 minutes. Using a fork, rake the inside of the squash and move the spaghetti to a bowl.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add in the shrimp and cook on each side until pink and no longer translucent.  Remove from the pan.

Add the onions to the pan and saute, about 3-5 minutes.  Push the onion to one side and add the mushrooms, saute until cooked. Mix the onion and mushrooms together, season with salt and pepper. Make well in between the vegetables, add the beaten egg.  Scramble the egg with a spatula, then combine with the vegetables.

Add in the garlic, peanut butter, rice vinegar, soy sauce,sesame oil and Sriracha.  Stir until all combined and scrape any browned bits or egg from the bottom of the skillet.

Add in the cooked spaghetti squash, peanuts, and lime juice.  Toss with tongs until combined.  Top with the cilantro and shrimp and serve.

Recipes, Sunday dinner

Truffle Salisbury Steak

Tender seasoned beef patties smothered in mushrooms & shallots baked in a rich a decadent gravy.

Salisbury steak is the ultimate comfort food. Here’s a twist on an oldie… In this recipe I made some slight changes to dress it up!

The patties are made with lean beef because it has a lot of flavor but it’s not overly greasy. The meat is mixed with truffle oil, barbeque sauce, Worcestershire sauce, cheese and seasonings, then formed into oval shaped “steaks”.

The patties are cooked to golden brown, and then a simple gravy is made with shallots, mushrooms, beef broth and a little flour which is used as a thickener.

The end result is tender flavorful patties that are just smothered in rich gravy. 

You can serve them over mashed potatoes or my favorite wild rice. 

INGREDIENTS 

Meat Mixture:

  • 1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon barbecue sauce 
  • 4 dashes Worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ cup shredded Italian blend cheese
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder 
  • ½ teaspoon dried parsley 
  • 1 egg
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon truffle oil or olive oil

Gravy:

  • 4 shallots, thinly slices 
  • 1 pint sliced mushrooms 
  • 2 cups beef broth, more if needed for thinning
  • 1 teaspoon truffle oil, if using
  • 1 tablespoon barbecue 
  • 4 dashes Worcestershire
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme 
  • 2 tablespoon flour, add more if needed
  • Salt and pepper to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

For the meat mixture: 

Combine all the ingredients. Knead until all combined. Form into 4 to 6 oval patties.

Fry the patties in a skillet with the butter and oil over medium-high heat on both sides until no longer pink in the middle. Remove from the skillet and pour off any excess grease.

For the gravy: 

Reduce the heat to medium and add in the mushrooms. Cook for 2 minutes then add in the sliced shallots. Stir and cook until golden brown and somewhat soft, for several minutes. Add the beef stock, truffle oil, barbecue, and Worcestershire. Sprinkle in the dried herbs and combine. 

Make a well in the middle of the pan and add the flour. Whisk until combined. 

Add a sprinkle of salt and pepper and more broth if needed for thinning. Then return the patties to the gravy. Spoon the gravy over the top and let them simmer and heat back up for a couple of minutes.

Serve over wild rice, white rice or mashed potatoes. 

On the Side, Recipes

Grilled Corn Salad

This corn and Shishito pepper salad gets loads of flavor from the grill. Don’t be scared away by the peppers. Shishito peppers are a mild spicy East Asian pepper that is often served in Asian restaurants as an appetizers. They incredibly versatile and work in so many different kinds of recipes. But the real star of this recipe is the summer corn, fresh from upstate New York. My best friend’s mom sent him a bunch and I was lucky enough to grab some!

Grill some chicken thighs or salmon to serve alongside. Trust me this will become your new favorite summer salad!!

Ingredients

  • 4 ears corn, husked
  • 6 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil plus 1/3 cup, divided
  • 2 shallots, rough chop
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved 
  • 6-9 shishito peppers 
  • 3 tablespoons white-wine vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground pepper
  • ½ cup crumbled feta cheese

INSTRUCTIONS 

Place a grill basket on a grill; preheat on high for 10 minutes.

Toss peppers, shallots and tomatoes with 2 teaspoons of oil in a medium bowl. Transfer to the grill basket.

Brush corn with 2 teaspoons of oil. 

Place the corn directly on the grates. 

Grill the vegetables, turning occasionally, until lightly charred in spots, 8 to 10 minutes for the corn and peppers. 

Meanwhile, whisk the remaining 1/3 cup oil, vinegar, garlic, honey, salt and pepper in a large bowl.

Cut the corn from the cobs.

Add the corn, tomatoes, and peppers to the dressing along with the feta; stir gently to combine.

Healthy, Recipes

Summer Zucchini Skillet

This quick, one-pot ground turkey skillet with zucchini, corn, tomatoes, and black beans is great for weeknight dinner or meal prep!

INGREDIENTS

  • 14 ounces from 2 medium or 1 large zucchini, quartered and sliced 3/4 inch
  • 1 pound 93% lean ground turkey
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3/4 cups corn kernels, fresh or frozen
  • 1 can diced tomato, drained 
  • 1 jalapeño, diced
  • 1 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp chopped cilantro, plus more for garnish
  • 1 teaspoon honey 
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup white wine or water
  • lime wedges, optional

INSTRUCTIONS

Spray a large skillet over high heat with oil and brown the turkey, season with 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon cumin.

Cook, breaking the meat up until the turkey is cooked through, about 5 minutes.

Push the meat to the side, add the onion and cook 1 minute.

Add the black beans, corn, tomato, jalapeño pepper, garlic, and stir with 1/4 cup wine/water.

Add the zucchini remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and cumin.

Mix and cover, cook low 4 to 5 minutes or until the zucchini is tender crisp.

Serve with lime wedges and more cilantro if desired.