Tuxedo Brownie Cups

Craving chocolate?  This is the recipe for you.  These little brownie cups are decadent, chocolate filled little cups of pleasure! 


Tuxedo Brownie Cups – Source:  Pampered Chef


   Nonstick cooking spray with flour
1   pkg (18-21 oz or 450 g) fudge brownie mix (plus ingredients to make cake-like brownies)
2   square (1 oz/30 g) white chocolate for baking*
2   tbsp (30 mL) milk
8   oz (250 g) cream cheese, softened
1/4   cup (50 mL) powdered sugar
1   cup (250 mL) thawed, frozen whipped topping
1   pint small strawberries, sliced

*I substituted semi-sweet chocolate instead of the white chocolate – decadent double chocolate!!


  1. Preheat oven to 325°F (160°C). Spray cups of Deluxe Mini-Muffin Pan with nonstick cooking spray with flour. Prepare brownie mix according to package directions for cake-like brownies. Fill wells of pan two-thirds full. Bake 14 minutes or until edges are set. (Do not overbake.) Remove pan from oven; immediately press tops of brownies to make indentations. Cool in pan 15 minutes. Remove brownies from pan; cool completely. Wash pan; repeat with remaining batter.
  1. Combine white chocolate and milk in large microwave-safe bowl; microwave on HIGH 1 minute. Stir until smooth; cool slightly. In large mixing bowl, combine cream cheese and sugar; mix well. Gradually stir in white chocolate mixture until smooth. Fold in whipped topping.


  1. Pipe cream cheese mixture into brownie cups; top with strawberries. Refrigerate 1-3 hours before serving.


Yield: 4 dozen brownie cups



Veggie Pizza

I have had an on again and off again love affair . . . with pizza that is!  Quite a few years ago I lived in Westchester County, New York and the Jersey Shore and truly awesome pizza was abundant; my love affair with pizza was steamy!  Living in Northeastern Ohio I have been hard pressed to find a great pizza so my love affair has sizzled; that is until I started making my own pizza and dough.  My love affair with pizza is reaching heights I never imagined.  The possibilities are endless.

This particular pizza is a white (no red sauce) veggie pizza.  I brushed olive oil on the bottom of the crust and layered it with crushed garlic, fresh basil, tomatoes, red peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, mushrooms and a mixture of mozzarella and parmesan cheese.

Pizza Dough

Yields:  2 large pizzas

  • 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
  • 2 cups warm water (110 degrees to 115 degrees)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 4-5 cups all-purpose flour

In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water.  Let stand 5 minutes or until creamy.  Add oil, salt, and 4 cups flour. Beat on medium speed for 3 minutes. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.  Replace with dough hook and knead an additional 6 minutes until dough is smooth and elastic.  Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rest in a warm place for 10 minutes.

Bake 425 for 20 minutes.

Mmmmm it smells wonderful!

Homemade Bowtie Pasta


Homemade bowtie pasta is easier and less time-consuming to make than you may think! You can be as creative as you desire with stripes and colors, or keep it simple with plain dough.  When I have some extra time I like to make colors and stripes!

Pasta Dough

  • 2-1/4 Cups Flour
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 3-4 Tablespoons Water
  • Dash of Salt

Combine flour and salt in mixing bowl. Make a well in the middle of the flour. 

Add to the middle well of flour the eggs, olive oil, and water.  Add flour or extra water to dough as needed – consistency should not be sticky. With beater attachment, beat on low for 1 minute. Switch to dough hook and mix for 6 minutes. Take dough and cover in plastic wrap and let rest for at least 10 minutes.

I made orange (carrot) and green (spinach) pasta.  If you choose to do colors simply add 1/2 – 1 cup cooked vegetables to the eggs and process in a food processor until smooth, then add to the flour.  Decrease the amount of water and increase flour accordingly so that your dough is not sticky.

After dough has rested, put through your pasta press to desired thickness.  If adding stripes, press dough and put one color through the fettuccine press and place stripes on other piece of dough, pressing to adhere and then run through the pasta press one more time to create the striped sheet.

Cut your sheet into 2-1/2″ x 1 inch squares.  Place your index finger in the middle of the square and then bring the top and bottom to meet your finger, and press to seal the middle, making your bow!  That’s all there is to it.  Once you do a few it goes quickly.

Once the water has boiled it only takes 3-4 minute for the bow tie pasta to be done!  When they float to the top, put into a colander and drain.  Tip:  If you save 1/4 cup of the water and add it to your sauce, it will thicken the sauce.  Happy pasta making!


Grilled Chicken Tequila Burgers

My husband and I enjoy grilled turkey burgers.  I have discovered that I actually prefer them over a hamburger!  I hadn’t thought of making chicken burgers until I came across this recipe at Annie’s Eats.  She has a great site with fabulous recipes – check it out!  This is the 2nd recipe I’ve tried from her site that has been wonderful!  Thanks Annie, for giving me my favorite new burger!!  I changed it slightly by adding the juice of a lime and put the chicken breasts through my meat grinder instead of using the food processor.  I love the taste produced by the grill, so I took these to the grill and I wasn’t disappointed!  Either way, you’re in for a treat with these burgers!  An added bonus is that they freeze well for a quick weeknight dinner. 

Grilled Chicken Tequila Burgers


2 cloves garlic, chopped
½-1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
1 lb ground chicken breast
3-4 tbsp. cilantro
Zest of ½ a lime
Juice of ½ a lime
1 oz. tequila
Dash of soy sauce
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
½ cup panko bread crumbs

For serving:

Burger buns









Preheat the grill.   Combine all ingredients with the ground chicken until well blended.  Form the mixture into 4-5 patties. Grill approximately 10 minutes per side.  Serve on buns with mayo, spinach, tomato or desired toppings.  Enjoy!!

Girlie Girl Aprons

I love girlie girl things and couldn’t resist these aprons.  These are certainly not your grandmother’s aprons!

WIth this apron I feel as though I should be looking out my window at palm trees and the ocean!

And one to match my kitchen.

And one for “a night on the town”

Bling …

These aprons are fun and flirty … who can resist girlie girl aprons!

Chicken Marsala Ravioli Filling with Rosemary Cream Sauce

In my continuing obsession with making homemade ravioli and looking for different fillings I came across this recipe on Food Network from Tyler Florence.  I didn’t have any sage on hand so I changed the recipe and added some fresh rosemary from my garden.

This has become one of my favorite fillings!  Ravioli freeze well and make a quick elegant dinner.  Take them out of the freezer, drop into boiling water and they are done in approximately 5 minutes!  Once the ravioli float to the top they are ready to eat.

Chicken Marsala Ravioli Filling

Recipe courtesy Tyler Florence


  • 8 ounces chicken breast, cut in strips
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1/4 cup Marsala wine or chicken broth
  • 4 thin slices prosciutto, sliced
  • 4 bay leaves
  • Fresh thyme and parsley leaves
  • 2 tablespoons bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated, divided
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream


Brown chicken in 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add shallot and garlic. Deglaze with Marsala. Take pan away from heat source and flambe. Return pan to stove, flame will go out in about 1 minute. Add prosciutto and herbs. Sprinkle in bread crumbs and 1 tablespoon Parmesan. Drizzle in 1 tablespoon of olive oil to keep moist. Discard bay leaves. Pulse together all ingredients in a food processor. Add egg, cream, remaining Parmesan and olive oil. Pulse again. Chill before filling ravioli.

For the sauce I substituted the sage with fresh rosemary, used Half and Half  and added a ½ Cup of parmesan cheese.

Mushroom Cream Sauce

Recipe courtesy Tyler Florence


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 5 sage leaves
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 6 ounces portobello mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 leek, roughly chopped


Melt butter in a saute pan over low heat. Add garlic and sage. Season with salt and pepper. Add the mushrooms, cook 5 minutes until slightly softened. Pour in cream and heat slowly. When the sauce has reached a velvety smooth consistency, remove from stove. Stir in leek and serve immediately with chicken Marsala ravioli.

Now . . . light a couple of candles, put on some nice music and enjoy!

Purple Potatoes

Wow … purple potatoes!  When I showed these to my friend her reaction was “they look weird”.  My husband’s reaction was “I’m not eating those”!  I happen to like the way they look.  I think purple potatoes are a visual feast; they add color and interest to a plate of boring colors.  What do you think?

Read about the history and nutritional benefits of purple potatoes.

Making Pasta – From Scared to Obsessed!


This is my story of how I became the “Pasta Princess” and went from scared to obsessed!


The Seed Was Planted . . .

The seed was planted one weekend when my husband and I went on a road trip to the West Side Market in Cleveland.   It’s a wonderful bustling market alive with sights, sounds, smells – everything that delights and excites the senses!  You can find fruit and vegetables, meats, breads, cheeses, spices, pasta, coffee, international foods among other items!  If you are ever in the Cleveland, Ohio area, the West Side Market is a must do!  One of our first stops in the market was Ohio City Pasta.  Wow!  What a selection of amazing homemade pasta!  Looking at the various pastas in the display case it was so hard to choose – I wanted everything!  We finally decided on a lobster filled ravioli.  YUM!  After a few hours of browsing, drooling, buying and filling our coolers with goodies we stopped for lunch and headed home.

Of course I couldn’t wait to cook the ravioli for dinner!  My husband and I are quite different in many ways.  This is very apparent when we’re eating dinner together.  He eats his food and doesn’t comment on it.  When I ask him if he likes what I made he says “I’m eating it aren’t I?  If I wasn’t eating it you’d know I didn’t like it.”  “There has been only one thing you’ve made that I didn’t like, you’re a great cook.”  Lately I have noticed as he takes his first bite and likes it he nods his head and says “Uh huh”, his version of this is really good!  Now, on the other half of this equation is me, who is always quite vocal about what I’m eating.  For some reason I feel the need to comment on the taste and presentation of the food.  So when I cooked the scrumptious looking lobster ravioli along with a sun-dried tomato cream sauce for dinner and took my first bite, closed my eyes to savor the taste, and said OMG this is sooo good!  My husband just rolled his eyes, said “here we go again” and knew I would be saying this a number of times as I took another bite and another and another.  Homemade pasta is simply delicious and once you eat it you will never want to buy dried pasta in a box again!

The beginning of my obsession . . .

The seed was planted now and got me thinking about making my own ravioli.  This idea seemed daunting to me and it resided in the back of my mind for a few months.  Then, the seedling started to grow … in came my “baby”, my brand new shiny Kitchenaid mixer!  Now, you have to understand, never in my life have I been excited about appliances … until now!  OMG I love my Kitchenaid mixer!  Anything that will make my life easier is a blessing!  A few weeks later along came the pasta maker attachments!  I was almost ready to take action!  I scoured the internet for articles on making ravioli, searching for tips and tricks that others have discovered.  Of course some of this information only fueled the fear further as I read such things as “if you have air pockets in your ravioli they will burst when you cook them”, “if your filling is too mushy the ravioli will not seal”, “be careful that your dough doesn’t become like leather”.  Yikes!!  Equipped with the knowledge of how to make ravioli the weekend finally arrived and there was no stopping me!  I took out the attachments with excitement as I gathered my ingredients of  flour, salt, olive oil, eggs and water.  Making the dough was a breeze – I just poured all ingredients into my mixer and let it do the work.  So far, so good!  After the dough rested I took out my dough rolling attachment and hooked it onto my Kitchenaid and marveled at how quick and easy it was to turn a glob of dough into a nice long thin sheet of pasta!  I must admit, it took a few tries of putting the dough through the roller and having it come out with holes in it until I realized that I needed to dust the dough with some flour before sending it through the roller – problem solved!!  I had purchased a ravioli form and was so excited to make my first batch of 12.  My filling was in the fridge and ready.  Previously I had prepared Tyler Florence’s  Chicken Marsala Ravioli Filling  so I was good to go!  I laid out my dough over the mold, filled the pockets, placed another layer of dough on top and rolled it with a rolling-pin to seal and remove any air pockets, flipped the mold to the other side and out popped perfect looking ravioli!

Now fast forward to dinner time … the anticipation was building!!   I put a large pot of water on the stove to boil and prepared a rosemary mushroom cream sauce to accompany the ravioli.  The water was at a full boil, the sauce was ready and here I was standing by the stove staring at the boiling water and the plate of freshly made ravioli ready to hit the water.   All that kept going through my head was OMG what if they have air pockets and burst after all that work!!  I must have stood there like that for about 5 minutes.  I dropped the first ravioli in, and then the 2nd and the 3rd and then the rest and not a one burst!  I couldn’t have been more excited!  I plated the ravioli with the sauce and we sat down to eat.  I’m sure all night my husband kept hearing the echos of my voice saying “OMG … this is sooo good!”

Full Blown Pasta Obsession

It seems funny now, but I was actually a bit nervous and apprehensive mixed in with excitement.  I still don’t understand why making  pasta scared me!  I guess I just always assumed it would be difficult, and you all know what they say about “ASSUMING”.

Isn’t it funny how something that we approach apprehensively and fearfully, becomes that which we are really good at, becomes an addiction and wasn’t nearly as hard as we thought!  I’ve caught the pasta making fever!  Four months later I have made over 400 ravioli in different colors, stripes and designs!  I  now find myself contemplating what color, shape and design of ravioli I will be making next!

After having made over 400 ravioli I have now officially become the “Pasta Princessand more of my world!