Friday, March 27, 2015

Crock-Pot Stuffed Peppers

This is a pretty simple and delicious way to cook stuffed peppers.  I don't know about you but I  love Crock-Pot cooking. I love coming home and having my entire house smell like I've been cooking all day.  There are so many different ways to cook stuffed peppers. Some people cook the beef and rice ahead of time but I really think that  the way you do it in this recipe is the best.   Because they simmer in the sauce all day the peppers and the stuffing end up with the perfect texture and flavor.   Just make sure to use instant rice with this recipe so you don't end up with crunchy rice..  
Oh, and one more thing .... I never know what to serve as side dishes with stuffed peppers.  You already have your meat, rice and vegetable but it just not enough to make a complete meal.  Tonight I'm serving the peppers with a side salad, fresh rolls and spaghetti. Spaghetti is the perfect side dish because you have all that extra yummy sauce in the bottom of your Crock-Pot!  Enjoy..
P.S.  This time around I threw in some Dried Cranberries, just because I love them.  


4 Large Bells peppers, ( Red, Orange, Yellow or Green)
Olive Oil 
1 Small Onion Diced
2 Cloves Garlic, Finely chopped
28 Ounce Can of Ground Peeled Tomatoes 
1 Cup of Water
1 Tablespoon Tomato Paste
2 Tablespoons Fresh Chopped Basil
1 Tablespoon Sugar
1 Teaspoon Salt 
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
1 Lb Lean Ground Beef ( at least 90%)
3/4  Cups Instant Uncooked Rice
1/4 Grated Parmesan Cheese 


1.  Slice the tops off of the peppers and remove the ribs and seeds.  Set these aside.

2.  In a medium size skillet, drizzle enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan.  heat to medium low and add diced onion and chopped garlic.  Saute until onion is translucent being careful not to burn ( a few minutes ).   Remove from heat and set aside.

3.  In a medium bowl, add ground peeled tomatoes, cooked onions and garlic, tomato paste, fresh basil, sugar, salt and pepper.  Stir until combined.  

4. Set two cups of this prepared sauce to the side.. pour the remainder of the sauce in the bottom of your  5-6 Quart Crock-Pot. Add one cup of water to the bottom of the Crock-Pot and stir until combined.   

6.  To the remaining 2 cups of sauce that you put to the side,  add the ground beef, instant rice and Parmesan cheese.  Mix with your hands until well incorporated.  

7.  Divide meat mixture evenly and stuff into each of the bell peppers.

8.  Place each pepper in Crock-Pot and bake on high for 3- 4 hours or on Low for 5-6 Hours.

Print Here

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Old Fashioned Apple Pie

This is my favorite apple pie recipe and it's is taken right off the pie plate.  I love an imperfect looking apple pie, plus it's the only way mine ever come out. Lots of craters, sloppy edges and a few holes here and there!  

A couple of things about baking a pie:  

1.  If the crust looks like it's getting to brown, take a piece of aluminum foil and place it on the top of the pie, this will keep it from browning any further.  Some people think you need to wrap the foil around the edges but all you really need to do is just place it on the top. 

2.  One good way to know if the pie is ready to take out of the oven is to check and see if the filling is bubbling.  You should be able to see this through the slashes you made in the crust.  


This is the pie plate I found in a thrift shop, it's made by Royal China Jeannette USA. 


Pastry For a 2 Crust Pie
4 cups Sliced Apples
1 Cup Sugar
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon
Grated Rind of 1/2 Lemon
1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
Some Chilled Butter


Divide Pastry for a 2 crust pie in half, line pan with half, save 2nd half for top, refrigerate both.  Slice 4 cups apples, mix with 1 cups sugar, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, grated rind of 1/2 lemon, 1 tbs. lemon juice.  Arrange slices inside chilled shell, 1/2 " from edge, working toward center till shell is covered.  Pile remaining slices on top.  Dot with butter, cover with top crust slashed in several places.  Seal edges and crimp.  Bake in preheated 450 oven for 10 minutes, reduce heat to 350, bake 30 minutes.   

Print Here

Monday, February 16, 2015

Sundae Brownie Bowl

 Sometimes I stumble upon a recipe that is so simple and so clever I find myself saying "why didn't I think of that?"   I've been eating brownie sundaes my entire life, it's one of my favorite desserts and I never thought of turning the brownie into a bowl. 
Sundae Brownie Bowl



You will need
1 Box of your favorite Brownie Mix ( I used Ghirardelli triple chocolate)
Cooking Spray
Ice cream ( your favorite flavor)
Chocolate Sauce

1.  Follow the directions on your brownie mix.
2.  Spray the muffin tin, then add prepared brownie until they are about 2/3 full
3.  Cook according to directions on box. ( about 30-35 minutes)
4.  When brownies come out of the oven and while they are still hot, create an indentation in each brownie.  I used a small ladle to do this. Cool brownies in the pan.

5.  When cooled, remove from pan, fill with ice cream, chocolate sauce and sprinkles. Simple as that !

Recipe Adapted from Dreyers Super Sundae Brownie Bowl

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Mrs. Tigani's Chocolate and Black Pepper Cookies

It's just not Christmas in my house without a fresh batch of these wonderful Italian cookies.  They're so easy to make and you probably have all the ingredients in stock.  There's a secret ingredient which I thought was really strange the first time I made them. ( I almost left it out).   It's freshly ground black pepper. That's right... black pepper.   You can barely taste it in the cookies but they just wouldn't be the same without it so don't leave it out.    Merry Christmas to all and happy baking!!

Mrs. Tigani's Chocolate and Black Pepper Cookies

Recipe from Ciao Italia 


Walnut-studded chocolate drop cookies are always found on a wedding cookie cake because they are firm and provide a good color contrast to the lighter cookies. This recipe has changed hands and ingredients many times in my family, but the one thing that remains constant is the black pepper in the dough. These freeze beautifully.


3 1/4 cups King Arthur™ Unbleached, All-Purpose Flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 1/4 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cloves
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup solid vegetable shortening
1/2 to 2/3 cup milk
2/3 cup chopped walnuts
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
3 to 3 1/2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon rum extract
Colored sprinkles


Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Lightly grease two cookie sheets. Sift all the dry ingredients together into a bowl. Work in the shortening with your hands until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Add 1/2 cup milk and the nuts and mix with your hands until well blended. If the mixture seems too dry and does not hold together, add just enough additional milk so the dough holds together.

Pinch off 1-inch pieces of dough and roll them into balls. Place 1 inch apart on the cookie sheets. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until firm.

While the cookies bake, make the frosting. In a bowl, combine the confectioners' sugar, 3 tablespoons milk, and the rum extract and beat until smooth. Add additional milk if necessary to make a thin frosting.

Let the cookies cool on racks only until warm. Dip the tops into the icing, place on the racks, and sprinkle with colored sprinkles. Let the frosting dry completely before layering the cookies between wax paper. These will keep in an airtight container for up to 1 week or can be frozen for up to 2 months.

Print Here