Saturday, December 4, 2010

Cupcake Cones

1 box cake mix

Water, vegetable oil and eggs called for on cake mix box
24 flat-bottom ice cream cones

Frosting (any flavour)
  1. Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pans). Place paper baking cup in each of 24 regular-size muffin cups.
  2. Make cake batter as directed on box. Fill each cup 2/3 full of batter (1 heaping tablespoon each). Place ice cream cone upside down on batter in each cup.
  3. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in cake comes out clean (cones may tilt on batter). Cool completely, about 30 minutes. Remove paper baking cups. Generously frost cake with frosting, and decorate as desired. Store loosely covered.

Turkey Treats Rice Krispies

  • 3 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 1 package (10 oz., about 40) marshmallows
  • - OR -
  • 4 cups miniature marshmallows
  • 6 cups Cocoa Rice Krispies®
  • Creamy peanut butter
  • Kellogg's® Cocoa Krispies® cereal
  • Pretzel twists
  • Pretzel sticks
  • Canned frosting or decorating gel
  • Assorted candies
1. In large saucepan melt butter over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat.

2. Add 6 cups KELLOGG'S COCOA KRISPIES cereal. Stir until well coated. Cool slightly. Cut warm cereal mixture into two different sized circles using two sizes of circle cookie cutters for the turkey bodies (depending on size of cutters). Cool.

3. Spread peanut butter on bottom of the smaller circular pieces; attach this to a larger circular piece to form the turkey body. Insert pretzel twists into body for tail feathers. Insert pretzel sticks for legs. Use frosting to attach candies for eyes and beak. Best if served the same day.

In microwave-safe bowl heat butter and marshmallows on HIGH for 3 minutes, stirring after 2 minutes. Stir until smooth. Follow steps 2 and 3 above. Microwave cooking times may vary.


For best results, use fresh marshmallows.
1 jar (7 oz.) marshmallow crème can be substituted for marshmallows.
Diet, reduced calorie or tub margarine is not recommended.
Store no more than two days at room temperature in airtight container. To freeze, place in single layer on wax paper in airtight container. Freeze for up to 6 weeks. Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes before serving.

Baked Rigatoni Cake

Baked Rigatoni Cake

You'll need a pound of ground meat to get the sauce started - be it beef, pork, chicken or turkey... even a mix of those would be good. Because this is going to be fairly heavy with the pasta and cheeses, I went the lighter route by using turkey, but I decided on a combo of ground turkey and hot Italian turkey sausage to juice up the mix. Browned in a slick of oil, we tossed in a couple cloves of garlic and a mess of fire-roasted crushed tomatoes. Brought up to boil to get the process started, the heat was then lowered to a bare simmer and we let the pot bubble away until the sauce had thickened.

While that was happening, I used the downtime to drizzle a pound of rigatoni, that we cooked and cooled down, with olive oil, then tossed it around with a generous shower of fresh grated Parmesan cheese. Those coated tubes were then packed into the mentioned springform as tightly as possible, standing each on their flat side, taking care not to collapse any of them.

You want the tubes open and waiting because we're about to take a couple cups worth of the meat sauce we prepared and slather it all over the top, using lots of pressure to fill up the centers of the rigatoni! You don't need to try and push all of sauce in, just use the amount called for - yes, you'll have some leftover, but don't worry, we'll be using it later! About halfway through the total time needed to bake this pasta cake, we took out the springform pan and concealed the sauce on top by scattering over coarse shreds of mozzarella cheese. Bake again to melt and brown the cheese. Plan on giving this at least 15 minutes to cool down before you try and serve - this will give the dish time to set, allowing you to remove the sides of the pan and pull out tidy pieces that don't fall apart.

Besides the fact that this won us over on taste alone, taking the entire piece to the table and having the "wow" factor of cutting it to serve, with that layer of gooey cheese on top, was worth making this dish by itself! I do have a couple notes on the sauce - it is fairly mild and did end up being fine as the hot Italian turkey sausage did wonders for the background. However, I do think it could easily be tinkered with - crushed red pepper, a little red wine and throwing in basil, oregano or your favorite marinara seasonings would help to add a little pizazz. I didn't forget about that leftover sauce either... warm that sucker right back up and serve it over the top!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Mom's Stuffed Eggplant


  • 1 large eggplant
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 onion, small diced
  • 1 red pepper, small diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup freshly chopped parsley leaves
  • 1/2 cup freshly chopped basil leaves, chopped
  • 1 1/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano, divided
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 2 chopped tomatoes


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Cut the eggplant in half and scoop out the center, leaving enough meat inside the skin so that it holds its shape when baked. Boil the scooped-out center part until very soft, about 10 to 12 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a medium saute pan heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Season the beef with salt and pepper. Add the seasoned ground beef to the pan and saute until all of its liquid is evaporated and the beef begins to brown slightly. Drain the beef, removing the extra, unnecessary fat. Let cool briefly and chop the cooked beef so that there are no large chunks of meat. In another medium saute pan over medium heat add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and saute the onions, peppers and garlic together.

In a bowl mix together the cooked eggplant, vegetables, cooked beef, herbs, 1 cup of the cheese, bread crumbs, and the egg.

Fill the scooped-out eggplant halves with this mixture, dividing it evenly among the 2 halves.

Top with chopped tomatoes and the remaining 1/4 cup of grated cheese, season with salt and pepper, place on an oiled oven tray or baking dish, and bake for 50 minutes in preheated oven. Let cool briefly, slice widthwise and serve.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Classic Sweet Potato Casserole

Hands-on Time: 20 min.; Total Time: 2 hr. 40 min. This mouthwatering casserole will satisfy lovers of crunchy pecans and cornflakes as well as marshmallows.

Yield: Makes 6 to 8 servings


  • 4 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups cornflakes cereal, crushed
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups miniature marshmallows


1. Preheat oven to 400°. Bake sweet potatoes at 400° for 1 hour or until tender. Let stand until cool to touch (about 20 minutes); peel and mash sweet potatoes. Reduce oven temperature to 350°.

2. Beat mashed sweet potatoes, granulated sugar, and next 5 ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Spoon potato mixture into a greased 11- x 7-inch baking dish.

3. Combine cornflakes cereal and next 3 ingredients in a small bowl. Sprinkle over casserole in diagonal rows 2 inches apart.

4. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes. Remove from oven; let stand 10 minutes. Sprinkle marshmallows in alternate rows between cornflake mixture; bake 10 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

The Best Brownie EVER!!!!


  • 1 pkg. (18.25 oz.) chocolate cake mix
  • 1 cup chopped nuts ( Optional )
  • 1 cup Evaporated Milk
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, melted
  • 35 (10-oz. pkg.) caramels, unwrapped
  • 2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels


  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. Combine cake mix and nuts in large bowl. Stir in 2/3 cup evaporated milk and butter (batter will be thick). Spread half of batter into ungreased 13 x 9-inch baking pan.
  3. Bake for 15 minutes.
  4. Heat caramels and remaining evaporated milk in small saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly, until caramels are melted. Sprinkle morsels over brownie; drizzle with caramel mixture.
  5. Drop remaining batter by heaping teaspoon over caramel mixture.
  6. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until center is set.
  7. Cool in pan on wire rack.
  8. ENJOY!

Sausage & Leek Casserole


  • Oil
  • 2 cups leeks, cut in rings, rinsed thoroughly
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 pound ground pork sausage
  • 1/2 loaf French baguette
  • 1 cup grated Cheddar
  • 1 cup pepper jack cheese
  • 6 each large eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream


Heat oil in a heavy bottomed skillet on medium-high heat. Saute the leeks with a pinch of salt and pepper, red pepper flakes, and 1/8 teaspoon cayenne. When the leeks are translucent raise the heat to high and add the sausage and cook for 8 minutes or until browned. Remove from heat and allow the mixture to cool.

In a separate bowl whisk the eggs together with the cream, milk, the remaining cayenne, a pinch of black pepper and salt.

Cut the baguette into cubes and put in the bottom of a 9 by 9-inch glass casserole dish. Sprinkle the bread with the Cheddar cheese. Pour the sausage and leek mixture and egg mixture on top. Top with pepper jack cheese. Cover tightly and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

The next morning remove from refrigerator. Put in the middle of the oven and bake for 45 minutes or until a knife is removed cleanly from the middle. Remove from oven and allow the casserole to stand for 10 minutes before cutting and serving.