Italian Apple Cake

2 eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup salted butter, melted
½ cup granulated sugar
½ tbsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract zest of 1 lemon
juice of 1 lemon
2-3 Granny Smith apples, peeled and sliced

  1. Preheat the oven to 375F, and line a 10-inch springform pan with parchment paper.
  2. Peel and slice the apples, and toss them with the lemon juice to prevent browning. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the melted butter and sugar until creamy and light. Mix in the eggs, lemon zest, and vanilla, and beat until well-incorporated.
  4. Finally, stir in the baking powder and flour. Stir in the apple slices, and pour the batter into the prepared pan. There will be almost too many apples for the cake batter, this is normal!
  5. Bake for 45-50 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  6. Serve sprinkled with powdered sugar
Twice Baked Potatoes Casserole

Twice Baked Potatoes Casserole

3 pounds medium russet potatoes, scrubbed
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
⅓ cup reduced-fat cream cheese
¼ cup sour cream
1 ½ cups whole milk
4 tbsp melted butter
1 ½ cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese, divided
5 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled, divided
¼ cup thinly sliced scallions, plus more for garnish
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground pepper

Step 1
Preheat oven to 400°F and line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil. Rub potatoes with oil and pierce all over with a fork. Place on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until tender, about 1 hour. Let cool slightly, about 10 minutes.
Step 2
Meanwhile, whisk cream cheese and sour cream together in a medium bowl until smooth; gradually whisk in milk until well incorporated.
Step 3
Coat a 9-by-13-inch ceramic baking dish with cooking spray. Cut the potatoes in half lengthwise and roughly chop the halves. Place the chopped potatoes in a large bowl and, using a potato masher, mash until mostly smooth. Gradually add the milk mixture, stirring just until incorporated, stir in butter. Add 1/2 cup Cheddar, 1/4 cup bacon, scallions, salt and pepper; stir until well combined. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 cup Cheddar.
Step 4
Bake until the cheese is melted and the edges are browned, about 25 minutes. Sprinkle with the remaining bacon. Garnish with scallions, if desired.

Sheet Pan Smoked Sausage & Fall Veggies

Sheet Pan Smoked Sausage & Fall Veggies

1 Smoked Sausage, cut into 1/2 inch slices
2 cups Honeynut Squash diced into 1/2” cubes (or butternut squash)
2 cups broccoli florets
2 cups brussels sprouts, cleaned and halved
1 red onion, cut in half and 2 halves quartered
2 cloves garlic minced
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
shaved parmesan

Preheat oven to 425. Line a large sheet pan with aluminum foil. Spray with Pam. Place sausage and veggies on sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil (I added extra olive oil) and sprinkle with spices. Toss well coating everything. Bake 30-40 minutes tossing about halfway through. Plate and top with parm.

Dump And Bake Chicken Parmesan

Dump And Bake Chicken Parmesan

1 (12 ounce) package whole wheat penne pasta
1 (24 ounce) jar pasta sauce
2–3 cups water
1 pound of chicken (cut into small pieces)
1 tsp dried Italian seasoning
1 tsp garlic powder
1tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1 cup bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray 9 x 13 baking dish with cooking spray. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in skillet, medium high heat, add chicken and sear. Only cook a couple of minutes. Chicken will finish cooking in oven. Dump uncooked noodles, pasta sauce, water, chicken, spices and 1/2 cup mozzarella in baking dish. Mix well. Make sure liquid covers pasta and chicken. Cover dish with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake for an additional 10 minutes or until chicken is cooked all the way through. Spread mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese and then bread crumbs over pasta dish. Bake uncovered for 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and bread crumbs are golden brown. Let sit 10 minutes before serving.***Note from Dick Daniels: I found the cooking time to be too short. I added 10 minutes to covered cooking time and an extra 10 minutes uncovered before adding cheese and bread crumbs.

Reese’s Peanut Butter Ball

Reese’s Peanut Butter Ball

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, chopped
1 1/2 cups Reese’s Pieces Candy
graham crackers for dipping
Add the softened cream cheese, brown sugar, peanut butter, vanilla extract, and powdered sugar into a large mixing bowl. Use a hand mixer to combine until smooth. Stir in the chopped peanut butter cups with a spoon. Mold the mixture into a ball shape, and wrap it in plastic wrap. Place it in the fridge for at least an hour so it can firm up. Decorate the cheese ball with Reese’s pieces candy around the outside. Serve with graham crackers for dipping.

Baked Hawaiian Ham & Turkey Sliders

Baked Hawaiian Ham & Turkey Sliders

24 Hawaiian bread rolls-split
12 thin slices of honey-cured deli ham, halved
12 slices Swiss cheese, halved
12 thin slices deli smoked turkey, halved
12 thin slices provolone cheese, halved
½ cup butter
¼ cup white sugar
¼ cup dried onion flakes
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
1 tablespoon honey mustard

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Arrange bottom halves of Hawaiian rolls on a baking sheet. Place a half slice each of ham, Swiss cheese, smoked turkey, and provolone cheese onto each roll bottom. Place top halves onto each bottom to make sandwiches. Melt butter in a saucepan over low heat; stir in sugar, dried onion flakes, poppy seeds, and honey mustard until mixture is smooth and sugar has dissolved, about 2 minutes; brush over the tops of each sandwich. Bake sandwiches on the preheated oven’s lower rack until tops are golden brown and fillings are hot, about 15 minutes.

Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie

Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie

2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped (6 cups)
½ cup sour cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ teaspoon salt, divided
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 cup unsalted beef broth
1 pound lean ground beef
2 medium carrots, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced into half-moons
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
3 medium cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 dried thyme
1 ½ cups frozen peas
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon ground pepper

Preheat oven to 425°F. Place sweet potatoes in a large saucepan; add water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium; simmer, undisturbed, until forktender, 10 to 12 minutes. Drain the sweet potatoes and return to the pan. Mash with a potato masher until mostly smooth. Stir in sour cream, butter and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Set aside. Whisk cornstarch and broth in a small bowl; set aside. Heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add ground beef and cook browned, breaking up the meat while cooking. Add carrots, onion and garlic; cook, stirring often, until the carrots and onion soften slightly, about 6 minutes. Add tomato paste and spices; cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Stir the cornstarch mixture and add to the beef mixture along with peas, Worcestershire, pepper and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring often, until the mixture thickens, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Pour meat mixture into casserole dish. Evenly spread the mashed sweet potato mixture over the beef mixture in the skillet. Bake until the topping is hot, 15 to 20 minutes.

Creamy Rotisserie Chicken Noodle Soup

Creamy Rotisserie Chicken Noodle Soup

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups chopped yellow onion (from 1 large onion)
1 cup chopped carrots (from 2 medium carrots)
1 cup chopped celery (from 2 large stalks)
1 ¾ teaspoons kosher salt
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 cups unsalted chicken stock, more if soup is too thick
2 cups whole milk
4 ounces uncooked whole-wheat egg noodles
3 cups coarsely chopped rotisserie chicken breast (from 2 rotisserie chickens)
1 cup frozen green peas

Melt butter with olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrots, celery and salt and cook, stirring often, until vegetables are slightly softened, 6 to 8 minutes. Add flour and stir to coat. Stir in broth and milk and let mixture come to a boil. Add uncooked noodles to boiling mixture. Cover and cook until noodles are al dente, about 8 minutes. Stir in chicken and peas and cook until pasta reaches desired doneness and chicken and peas are warmed through, about 1 to 2 more minutes. Serve immediately.

Pumpkin Spice Baked Oatmeal

Pumpkin Spice Baked Oatmeal

olive oil for greasing
2 cups rolled oats
2 teaspoons pumpkin spice
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
1 1/4 cup milk
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/3 cup honey
optional toppings: chocolate chips, nuts, raisins

Preheat the oven to 375℉ degrees. Grease a 8×8 baking dish with oil. In a medium bowl, combine oats, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, and salt. Mix to combine. Add pumpkin puree, milk, eggs, vanilla, and honey to bowl. Stir to combine. Spread into the prepared baking dish. Add toppings, if desired. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Oatmeal is done baking when it is puffed up on the edges, set in the middle and top is golden. Let cool for 5 minutes before slicing. It will be soft at first but will firm up as it cools. Enjoy warm topped with fruit and/or whipped cream or simply on its own.

Sausage Green Bean Potato Casserole

Sausage Green Bean Potato Casserole

1 package smoked sausage, sliced ¼” thick
1 lb baby red potatoes, washed, sliced in half
2 15 oz cans green beans, drained
⅛ cup vegetable oil
¼ cup butter
1 cup onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp Creole seasoning
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
¼ cup water
Preheat oven to 400° and spray a 8×8 baking dish with a non stick spray. Wash potatoes, cut in half and add to a sealable gallon size baggie. Add oil, seasonings, pepper and red pepper flakes to baggie. Shake to coat. Remove sausage from pan and when cool enough add to baggie. Melt butter in frying pan and add onions and garlic, cook until onions are translucent. Let cool for a few minutes and then when cool enough, add to baggie and shake to mix. Lastly, add green beans to baggie, shake to mix and then empty contents into prepared baking dish. Cover with foil and place in the oven. Bake for 40 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Carefully remove from oven and enjoy!