Sunday, March 27, 2016


I had not tried these until fairly recently, but I always thought they looked good.  Well, guess what?  They are better than good, they are fabulous!  Olivia made these and raved about them.  The recipe calls for deli ham but if you have a bit of Easter ham left from the family festivities, this recipe would be a great way to reinvent the ham.  The combination of the Worcestershire sauce combined with the poppy seeds and the Dijon mustard make a killer combination.  That zesty flavor is beautifully balanced by the smooth flavor of the Swiss cheese and the sweetness of the Hawaiian bread.  If you make these and combine them with a bowl of salad or soup, you will have a great, quick meal. 

Olivia and I hope you and your family and friends had a great and blessed Easter.  This is one of our favorite holidays not only because it celebrates the resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, but because it heralds the warmth and rebirth of Spring.  We hope you feel the same way.  Happy eating!



  • cooking spray 
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds

  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce, or more to taste
  • 1 (12 count) package Hawaiian sweet rolls, split, or more as needed
  • 1 pound sliced deli ham, or more as needed
  • 8 slices Swiss cheese, or more as needed


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spray a 9x13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat; cook and stir onion until softened, 5 to 10 minutes. Add mustard, poppy seeds, and Worcestershire sauce; cook and stir for 5 minutes.
  3. Arrange the bottoms from each roll in the prepared baking dish. Spoon 2/3 the onion mixture over the roll bottoms. Add ham and Swiss cheese to each roll. Put tops of rolls over the Swiss cheese layer. Brush the remaining 1/3 onion mixture over tops of rolls. Cover dish with aluminum foil.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes. Remove aluminum foil and bake until tops of rolls are lightly browned, 5 to 10 minutes.

Sunday, March 20, 2016


Easter is without a doubt one of my favorite holidays; not only for its religious significance but because it doesn't carry with it the added stress that Christmas does and it also celebrates the rebirth of the Spring season.  Planning the Easter menu can be a bit of a challenge.  There are always the traditional favorites you want to include, but it is also nice to find something a little different to perhaps mix it up a bit.  If that is what you are looking for, this cheesecake might just be what you need.  

Olivia found this wonderful recipe that offers you options whether to make it semi-homemade by using store bought cookie dough and store bought cookies, or going totally homemade.  You decide!  

We hope whatever your Easter menu includes it includes the warmth of friends and/or family and the hope and possibilities this fresh, new time of year affords.


  • 12 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, softened
  • 2 cups frozen non-dairy whipped topping, thawed
  • 1 ½ cups chocolate chip dough chunks, use the following recipe (OR STORE BOUGHT)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups chocolate chip cookie crumbs, use the following recipe (OR STORE BOUGHT)
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted
  • Store bought hot fudge sauce
  1. Make the crust: in a medium mixing bowl combine chocolate chip cookie crumbs, brown sugar, and melted butter. Stir together until combined.
  2. Press the mixture into the bottom of a 9-inch cheesecake pan or spring form pan. Make sure to firmly press to make the crust compact, as not to crumble when the cheesecake is complete. Set aside in the refrigerator while you prepare the rest of the no-bake cheesecake.
  3. In a small bow add chocolate chips and heat in microwave for 1-minute. Stir, and then heat in 30 second intervals stirring in between until chocolate is completely smooth and melted. Set aside to cool.
  4. Beat together cream cheese, sugar and butter in large bowl on medium speed until smooth and creamy. I used my KitchenAid mixer for this. Slowly add in cooled melted chocolate chips, stirring until well blended. Then fold in whipped topping until blended, I get a little inpatient and usually start to beat it.
  5. Add chocolate chip cookie dough chunks and fold in until incorporated. Spread on top of prepared crust. Set the no bake cheesecake in the refrigerator for 60 minutes.
  6. When ready to serve make homemade fudge sauce here. Or use store bought.
  7. Cut the cheesecake into slices and serve, drizzle with hot fudge sauce and sprinkle with chocolate chip cookie dough crumbles.


    • ¾ cup unsalted butter, melted
    • 1 ¼ cup brown sugar, loosely packed
    • ¼ cup granulated sugar
    • ¼ cup milk (feel free to substitute soy milk, almond milk, rice milk or coconut milk)
    • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
    • 2 cups + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (you can substitute all-purpose gluten-free flour, if desired)
    • ½ teaspoon sea salt
    • 1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips (mini, regular or chunks depending on your chocolate addiction)
  • Toss together flour and salt in a bowl. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk the melted butter, brown sugar and white sugar together until completely smooth - no brown sugar lumps should remain.
  • Whisk in the milk until combined, then add vanilla. Stir until completely mixed.
  • Slowly add in flour mixture and stir with a rubber spatula until smooth.
  • Fold in chocolate chips (or your favorite mix-ins — see below).
  • Enjoy! Eat by the spoonful or use however your sweet tooth desires.



Sunday, March 13, 2016


Olivia loves to search for new and delicious recipes.  She also loves to do what I call a "souped up" version of many recipes she finds.  She likes to fine tune them to her specific tastes and experiment with flavor combinations.  This recipe is one such find.  She made several changes from the original recipe.  She used ground turkey instead of ground beef and doubled the amount of sauce.  To make it even tastier, she added a bag of frozen cauliflower and a bag of frozen broccoli so it was a complete meal.  Being a person who likes easy and efficiency when cooking, I like that idea very much.

When you have a recipe that includes brown sugar, sesame oil (always warm and nutty in flavor), with garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes, I'm thinking you can't go wrong.  This beautiful flavor extravaganza served over rice, is a real treat.  Hope you like it!

Korean Beef


Sunday, March 6, 2016



I have not had these, but I have to say they look amazing and pretty simple!  I love brie and I love apricots so this is a no brainer.  Olivia made these delightful bites of sweet and creamy deliciousness and I'm sure you will want to try them.  This might possibly be a lovely appetizer for your Easter meal or a light snack for a party or carry-in.  

This recipe brings back wonderful memories from when I was a child and my grandparents used to get bushels of apricots from Michigan and send them to somewhere to have them canned in metal cans.  I can remember going to their basement when I went to their house as a child and bringing a can upstairs to open.  Inside was the sweetest, ripest, most wonderful fruit you can imagine.  If you are as big a fan of apricots as I am, you can't go wrong with this winning recipe.  

BRIE BITES ready to go into the oven...

 Deliciously warm BRIE BITES

apricot brie bites
  • 2 sheets of Puff Pastry
  • 1 (6 oz) wheel of Brie, with the casing removed 
  • 1/2 cup apricot preserves
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF and grease a mini muffin tin.
  2. Let the Puff Pastry thaw according to package directions and then cut each sheet into 9 pieces. Shape the squares into the muffin tins.
  3. Cut the brie into 1-inch pieces and place one each of the puff pastries.
  4. Top with about a teaspoon of apricot preserves.
  5. Bake for 10-13 minutes, or until Puff Pastry is lightly golden.