Red Raspberry Dark Chocolate Puff Pastry Tarts

Red Raspberry Dark Chocolate Puff Pastry Tarts.

Phew!¬† That name is a mouthful….

But it really does say it all!

And I’m betting you would love a mouthful of these simple, but elegant and amazingly delicious treats!

I made these this past weekend for a Sunday family football dinner.

Would you believe me if I told you there are only three ingredients?!?!

Well – four if you count the powdered sugar you sprinkle on top.

Puff Pastry is such a dream to work with!

Keep these ingredients on hand and this recipe up your sleeve when you need a quick, but fabulous dessert or treat.

I’m betting you won’t be sorry. ūüėČ

Red Raspberry Dark Chocolate Puff Pastry Tarts

Ingredients:

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Roll out one sheet of puff pastry, and cut into 9 squares approximately 3 1/2 x 3 1/2 inches.  Place a teaspoon of raspberry jam in center of each square.  Top with a piece of dark chocolate.  Pull all four corners to center and pinch to seal.

Bake for 15-18 minutes on baking stone or cookie sheet until puffed and lightly browned.    Remove to cooling rack.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Serve warm or cold.  

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Easy Sausage & Vegetable Quiche

 

Easy Sausage and Vegetable Quiche.

For those days when you want a hearty, substantial supper, but don’t feel like putting a lot of time and effort into it, this simple recipe is just the ticket.

It’s full of protein and veggies and could really be eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner!

The secret to it being easy is in the fact that you don’t have to prepare a crust.¬† You simply use a little bit of baking mix (like Biquick) to create an almost crust-like texture.

And the options are limitless for what you can put in for your protein and veggies.¬† Exchange the sausage for bacon or chicken or turkey or ground beef.¬† ¬†You could even leave the meat out and just add more veggies.¬† Throw in any favorite vegetables you have in your fridge – mushrooms, asparagus, cauliflower, spinach, kale, tomatoes…..¬† And use any kind of cheese you love.¬† Exchange the cheddar for Swiss or muenster or provolone or mozzarella or even blue cheese or feta.

You get the idea…¬† right?¬† Toss in whatever you like, and you can have a wide variety of quick and easy meals.

I was recently reminded of this recipe when I came across a version of it at The Speckled Pumpkin.¬† It reminded me of years ago making all of those “impossible” pies….¬† Impossible Cheeseburger Pie, Impossible Taco Pie, Impossible Lasagna Pie, Impossible Tuna Pie….¬† Anybody else remember the Impossible Pie craze?¬† I may be back in the mood for these!

Serve it with a salad or side of roasted potatoes or even some chunky applesauce.

Here is how I made mine for our Sunday Supper last night.

Easy Sausage and Vegetable Quiche

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb pork sausage, cooked and crumbled
  • 1/2 medium sweet onion, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped fresh broccoli
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup Bisquick baking mix (or your favorite)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Put sausage in bottom of stoneware deep dish baker or your favorite 2-quart round casserole dish or deep dish pie pan.  Top with chopped onions, pepper, broccoli, and cheese.

In a medium bowl, beat the eggs, milk and baking mix with a wire whisk until well blended.  Pour over sausage, veggies and cheese.

Bake for approximately 40 minutes until knife inserted in center comes out clean. 

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 

 

Perfect Prime Rib Roast

Perfect Prime Rib Roast.

On Christmas Eve this year, we decided on a Simple Surf and Turf Dinner menu to have with the family.  The Surf was Bacon Wrapped Scallops.  The Turf was Prime Rib.  Both were prepared simply, and turned out delish!  Baked potatoes, Roasted Brussels Sprouts and a Salad of romaine lettuce, apples, dried cranberries and walnuts accompanied the entrees.

I managed to quickly snap this iPhone photo of Hubby cutting the prime rib.  Not the best photo, but this recipe I found and slightly modified is such a keeper, I had to share!  The roasted vegetables not only help to make the perfect base for the au jus, they also taste great too as an extra veggie.

Whenever you want a simple, but elegant entree, this is a winner you will want to try.

Perfect Prime Rib Roast

Ingredients:

  • 7-8 lb Prime Rib Roast (with bones)
  • 1-2 Tbsp Horseradish
  • 1-2 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
  • 2 tsp coarse salt
  • 2 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
  • 4 tsp fresh thyme
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 4-6 stalks celery, cut into 1-2 inch pieces
  • 1 cup carrots, cut into 1-2 inch pieces
  • 1 large sweet onion, quartered
  • 2 beef bouillon cubes
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp water

Directions:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.  Rub roast with horseradish and mustard.

Combine salt, pepper thyme and garlic powder, and sprinkle over roast.

Place celery, carrot, and onion chunks in the bottom of a large roasting pan.  Place roast on top of vegetables.

Roast for 30 mins.  Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F, and roast until meat is 135 degrees F.

Remove from oven, cover with foil, and allow to rest for 30 mins.

Make  au jus sauce by placing pan drippings in roasting pan (veggies removed and reserved to serve) over a burner set to medium.  Stir in beef bouillon and water.  Bring to a boil.  Combine cornstarch and water, and whisk into sauce.  Allow sauce to thicken slightly, and serve with roast.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Herb and Garlic Roasted Spaghetti Squash

Herb and Garlic Roasted Spaghetti Squash.

Simple.
Healthy.
Amazingly Delicious!

I thought I was going to make something a bit more extravagant when I decided to roast some spaghetti squash by simply drizzling with olive oil, sprinkling with coarse ground pepper and salt, and topping with some garlic cloves and fresh herbs.

But when it came out of the oven looking like this….

And I took a teensy taste when scraping the flesh with a fork….

I ended up eating an entire half for my lunch!

I adore spaghetti squash, and have made it a number of ways that I’ve shared here:

Four Cheese Garlic Spaghetti Squash

Parmesan Garlic Roasted Spaghetti Squash

Italian Spaghetti Squash

But this super simple, quick and easy way is my new fave…..¬† ¬†at least for today!

Here is how I made it:

Herb & Garlic Roasted Spaghetti Squash

Ingredients:

  • 1 Spaghetti Squash
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 4-6 cloves garlic
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Fresh Herbs

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Cut spaghetti squash in half, and scoop out seeds.  Place in cast iron skillet.  Drizzle liberally with extra virgin olive oil, toss garlic cloves and fresh herbs on top (I used fresh parsley and rosemary), and sprinkle liberally with fresh ground pepper and salt.

Roast for 45-55 minutes.

Remove from oven, and scrape flesh with fork to create spaghetti.  Serve immediately.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 

Distant Memories

A Distant Ship from Shore Watercolor

A Distant Ship from Shore Watercolor

Distant memories.

I’m not much of a landscape artist.
I try, and I struggle, but I’m going to keep on trying.

One day I was practicing skies and clouds as a warm-up,
and came up with this super quick, simple little study.

It just kind of turned into a beach scene
with sea and sand and tall grasses.

It reminds me of lazy summer family vacations spent
when the boys were young (and so were we!)

It reminds me of Nagshead and Corolla and the Outer Banks in North Carolina.
It reminds me of Myrtle Beach and Hilton Head in South Carolina.

It reminds me of Ocean City, New Jersey and Maryland.
Of hot sand and cool breezes and refreshing, salty water.

Distant, joy-filled memories
like this distant ship from shore.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

#WorldWatercolorMonth

Lemon Butter Scallops

Sizzling Lemon Butter Scallops in Skillet

Sizzling Lemon Butter Scallops in Skillet

Lemon Butter Scallops.

If you are looking for a super quick and easy and even more super delicious scallop recipe, I’ve got a winner for you!

I picked up a 12oz bag of “Specially Selected Premium Jumbo Scallops” at Aldi the other day to make something a little different for dinner for hubby and me.

As a quick side note – I am such a super fan of Aldi.¬† I am a bit late to the game and was really not sure about it at first, but now…. every time I go, I love it more! ¬†I swear it costs half of what I pay at our other local supermarkets. I am always astonished when I walk out with a cart full of food for $100 or so. ¬†And not only is it so greatly priced, but the quality is amazing. ¬†The produce is fresh, the selection is nice, and I feel like I am being environmentally conscientious when I pack my own bags instead of coming home with 20 more plastic bags.

These scallops were absolutely delicious, and if I recall correctly, they were less than $10. ¬†I didn’t realize what a great source of protein they are. ¬†A 4-ounce serving has 19 grams of protein, 100 calories and 1 gram of fat (0 saturated fat).

So here is the way I made them.  (Enough rambling Рright??!!) Simple yet delectable.  We had them with some butternut squash risotto (which I also picked up at Aldi) and a fresh green salad.  (And no I am not being paid by Aldi Рthough I should inquire! wink!)

Lemon Butter Scallops

Ingredients:

  • 12 oz. Jumbo Scallops
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • Salt & pepper
  • 3 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 Tbsp. freshly minced rosemary

Directions:

Heat 2 Tbsp. olive oil in a 12-inch skillet, add garlic and cook 1 minute.  Add scallops in a single layer to hot oil in skillet.  Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.  Brown 1-2 minutes and then turn.  Sprinkle with additional salt and pepper.  Add butter and allow to melt.  Add lemon juice, and flip scallops again to coat with lemon, butter, and garlic.  Sprinkle with freshly minced rosemary, and serve immediately.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Crockpot Honey Balsamic Pork Roast

crockpot-honey-balsamic-pork-roast-with-onions

Crockpot Honey Balsamic Pork Roast.

Oh my dear programmable crockpot – how do I love thee?
Let me count the ways….

All kidding aside, I do love cooking in the crockpot, and I love this new one I got that is programmable and then keeps dinner warm once its done cooking.  They have come such a long way since the first one I got oh so many years ago as a newlywed.  I use it at least once a week Рespecially in the colder weather months.

This past Sunday was a bit of a cold, lazy day, so this Honey Balsamic Pork Roast was just the ticket for dinner.  That hubby of mine is going to make a pork lover out of me yet!

crockpot-honey-balsamic-pork-roast-plated

A tender white meat pork loin with a full flavored simple sauce that turns into a rich, easy gravy warmed up and filled our tummies – especially with a dollop of mashed potatoes and healthy serving of steamed broccoli.

Just look at that yumminess! ¬†I am beginning to think pork is the “other white meat” Hubby keeps trying to convince chicken-lover me into believing.

crockpot-honey-balsamic-pork-roast-close-up

Here is the simple, yet hearty and flavorful recipe I slightly adapted from SixSisterStuff. ¬† Hope you’ll give it a try.

Crockpot Honey Balsamic Pork Roast

Ingredients:crockpot-honey-balsamic-pork-roast-with-onions

  • 2-3 lb. pork loin roast
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 cup beef broth (I made using 1 cup water and 1 beef bouillon cube)
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar (I realized I was out, so used Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing – I am the queen of improvising!)
  • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced (optional)
  • 1 large sweet onion, sliced (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup flour

Directions:

Place pork roast in crockpot and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.  Drizzle honey over top of roast.  Add rest of ingredients except for the last two (butter and flour).  Cook on low for 8-10 hours or high for 4-6 hours.

When ready to serve, remove roast to cutting board to rest.  In a small saucepan, melt butter, then whisk in flour to create a roux.  When thickened, pour juice from crockpot into roux, and stir to incorporate and thicken into gravy.  Slice roast and serve with gravy.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Crockpot Cuban Shredded Beef

crockpot-cuban-shredded-beef

It was so cold this past Sunday and hunkering in was the order of the day.  While watching football playoffs (our Pittsburgh Steelers won!), I wanted a no fuss, but warm and comforting dinner to eat afterwards.

Beef chuck roasts are so versatile and cook so tender and juicy in the crockpot. ¬†I make them a variety of ways, but wanted to try something new and different, and this Cuban Shredded Beef was just the ticket! ¬†So yummy over a bed of rice with beans! ¬†We’ll surely be eating them wrapped in tortillas this week too.

A tiny bit of a spicy kick and tons and tons of flavor make this easy recipe a new winner in my book. ¬†And if you can’t get warmed up on the outside, this one will warm you up from the inside out!

I adapted this recipe slightly from Little Spice Jar.

Crockpot Cuban Shredded Beef

Ingredientscrockpot-cuban-shredded-beef

  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 3 1/2 lbs. beef chuck roast
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. oil
  • 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup diced sweet bell peppers
  • 1 large sweet onion, sliced
  • 2 4-oz. cans chopped green chilies
  • 2 Tbsp. dried oregano
  • 1 Tbsp. salt
  • 2 ¬†Tbsp. ground cumin
  • 2 Tbsp. white vinegar
  • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 lime

Directions:

Make 3 deep “x” cuts into the chuck roast. Insert 3 whole garlic cloves into the cuts. Season both sides of the meat with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large, deep skillet. Add the chuck roast and fry on each side for 5 minutes to sear. ¬†Don‚Äôt cover the pan as the meat will end up steaming rather than searing.

Chop the remaining 3 cloves of garlic, and add to crockpot along with all the remaining ingredients except for the lime. Cover and let cook on the low setting for 7-8 hours or high for 4-5 hours. When the beef falls apart easily when pulled with two forks, it’s done. Shred the beef with the forks and stir.

Serve over a bed of rice with beans on the side topped with additional cilantro and a few lime wedges. You can also use the shredded beef for burritos, quesadillas or tacos.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Just Be

snowy-pine-way-winter

Snowy Pine Tree Way, Mars, PA – December, 2016

Just be…

whatever it is
you were meant to be.

Just be.

During this time of year, so many of us push ourselves beyond what any human is capable of doing.
Others suffer with stinging depression because their life is not like the “Hallmark” Christmas card or movie.
Remember to just be…
It’s okay…
It is actually more than okay!
It is what you are meant to be.
Let it go – let it be – and just be.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi