French Onion Soup

¼ cup vegetable oil
6 medium white onions, sliced
8 cups beef broth
1 cup water
2 tsp.salt
½ tsp. garlic powder
¼ tsp. black pepper
6 slices of white bread
6 slices provolone or swiss cheese
6 teaspoons shredded parmesan cheese
Small bag of croutons

Heat vegetable oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Add the sliced onions and sauté for 20 minutes until the onions begin to soften and start to become translucent. Add the beef broth, water, salt, garlic powder and pepper to the pan and bring the mixture to a boil. When soup begins to boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
When the soup is done, place a slice of bread in bottom of an oven safe bowl and spoon about 1-2 cups into them . Float a few croutons on top of the soup, then place a slice of provolone or swiss cheese on top of the crouton. Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of shredded parmesan cheese over the provolone. Place the bowl into your oven set to high broil.

Broil the soup for 5 to 6 minutes or until the cheese is melted and starting to brown. Sprinkle an additional ½  teaspoon of shredded parmesan cheese over the top of the soup and serve.

Shrimp Stuffed Mushrooms

2 pounds large mushrooms
3/4 pound cooked baby shrimp
1 cup crushed bacon flavored crackers
1 cup cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Lightly grease a medium baking dish. Remove stems from mushrooms. Finely chop stems, and set aside. Arrange caps cavity side up in the baking dish. In a medium bowl, mix mushroom stems, cooked baby shrimp, crushed bacon flavored crackers and cream cheese.  >Stuff mushroom caps generously with the mushroom stem mixture. Top with sharp Cheddar cheese. Bake in the preheated oven 8 to 10 minutes, or until cheese is melted and lightly browned.

Apple Martini

2 oz. vodka
1 oz. apple liqueur
Apple slice

Stir vodka and apple liqueur in a mixing glass with plenty of ice and pour into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a wedge of sliced green apple.

If you prefer non-alcoholic Apple Martini, use apple cider can be used in place of apple liqueur.

Roasted Asparagus

3 asparagus stalks per person
½  tsp. Garlic paste
Pinch of salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. I sprayed a nonstick pan lightly. Cut the ends of the asparagus stalks and wash. Place in pan, add in garlic paste, salt and pepper. I took a wooden and just blended the garlic, salt and pepper and pop into oven. Bake for 15 minutes and serve.

Pumpkin Gnocchi in a sage butter walnut sauce

1 cup pumpkin puree (you can obviously use fresh pumpkin puree or you can get it in the can, but make sure it is 100% pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling!)
¾ tsp. salt
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 ½ cups of almond flour

Simply start by mixing your pumpkin puree, salt, nutmeg and pumpkin pie spice in a bowl. Sift in your flour and combine, do not over mix!!
Next, flour your hands and shape the gnocchi in your hands. I recommend the equivalent of a teaspoon size shape, do not handle excessively!! Prepare a cookie sheet with parchment paper and put the gnocchi on the parchment paper, but in the refrigerator to set for an hour.
Start boiling water in a pot, salt the water. Take the gnocchi out of the freezer and check that it is firm enough to start cooking. Once the water is boiling, carefully drop the gnocchi in the water, repeat with all of them until fully cooked after around 6-8 minutes. Enjoy!!

Reader Submitted Recipe
Caroline Chirichella

Chocolate Walnut Cookies

1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups chopped walnuts
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 stick of butter
1 egg
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350.Mix all ingredients.Place spoonfuls onto cookie sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes.Cool and serve.

Salisbury Steak

½ lbs. ground beef
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
¼ cup bread crumbs
Dash of salt and pepper
2 tsp. of gravy master
2 tsp. of Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. of ketchup
1 medium onion sliced
3 tbs. of butter
1 tbs. olive oil
1 cube of 1 tsp. of beef bouillon
1 cup of water
1 tsp. of flour

Heat a large or medium fry pan (depending on how many you are making) with 2 tsp. of butter and the olive oil. In a mixing bowl, combine ground beef, mustard, bread crumbs, 1 tsp. of Worcestershire sauce, and ketchup. Make oval shaped patties out of the mixture and place in fry pan.  Keep the heat on medium low as you need them to cook all the way through without burning them. Usually 4 minutes each side. Remove the steaks from the pan and cover with foil. Add the remaining 1 tsp. of butter to the pan and then the onions. You want to cook these onions until tender. In a bowl of small drinking glass, add the cup of water with the bouillon and flour. Stir well and add into the fry pan. Blend well. Add in the other 1 tsp. of Worcestershire sauce and 2 tsp. of gravy master. Keep mixing and reduce flame to low. Add the Salisbury steaks back in to pan and heat through for about 10-20 minutes. The gravy will thicken even more and the flavors and sauce will marinate the meat.


 I served these with mashed potatoes. It was so good.  Very inexpensive and delicious. 


Beef Tenderloin with Peppercorns

4   tsp. butter
8   tsp. butter
Peppercorns, crushed
4   beef tenderloins 1-1 ½ inches thick
¾ cup flour
¾ cup light cream
½   cup horseradish mustard
Salt & Pepper
In large fry pan heat 4 tsp. butter. Salt meat on both sides and give a good coat of peppercorns to both sides of meat.  Press into the meat with your fingers.  You can cook this many ways, broil, barbecue or just in fry pan. I broiled  each side of 4-5 minutes, but I don’t like my meat pink at all.

When  cooked cover with foil and set aside. In small sauce pan melt 8 tbsp. butter, add flour, dash of salt and pepper and cream.  Stir constantly until thickened.  Add in horseradish mustard and mix well.

Place meat on each plate and pour sauce directly over meat. I served this with roasted potatoes.

Banana Pancakes

I love pancakes. My Sunday mornings growing up were full of amazing memories of my dad making my sister and I pancake's for breakfast. His pancakes were definitely worth it!

Pancake mix
1 banana, mashed for 10 pancakes
Pancake syrup

I recommend using a cast iron griddle for your pancakes, but a fry pan is fine too. Heat the pan, add a 1/2 tsp of butter and swirl around and coat the pan. This might sound dumb, but what I do first is make a tester pancake. Just place a tbs. of pancake mix in the pan. Cook for about 3 minutes on one side and then flip. Once the other side is browned, take it and throw it out. For some reason, I have always done this and my other pancakes always come out an even golden brown. I am not sure if its because the pan already had batter on it, but it seems to work. It might take time, but keep it up. I again add some butter and then take a napkin or paper towel and swirl the butter around and do not let burn. Add batter and start your stack. Top with a some slices of bananas and some syrup.

Easy Crab Dip

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 small onion, minced
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 ½  tbsps. Creamy horseradish sauce
1 (6 ounce) can crab meat, drained
1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (optional)
1 jar cocktail sauce (10-12 oz.)

In a medium size mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, onion, Worcestershire sauce,  horseradish, crab meat and hot sauce. Mix well. Spread the mixture into an 8 inch glass pie pan. Cover the cream cheese mixture with  cocktail sauce. Refrigerate until you are ready to serve.

Strawberries and Bananas with Cinnamon

1 quart of strawberries, cleaned and cut into pieces
2 bananas, sliced
1 tsp. of cinnamon
2 cups of orange juice
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl, mix and let sit in the refrigerator for at least one hour before serving. You can top with whipped cream if you want, but it’s just delicious all by itself.

Pumpkin Sangria

2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
2 tablespoons maple syrup
Six cinnamon sticks, for garnish
6 pumpkin face candies, for garnish
1 bottle chilled white wine
3 cups mango peach juice blend  
1 cup pumpkin spice liqueur, chilled
In a small bowl, combine the sugar and pumpkin pie spice and mix until well combined. Transfer to a saucer. Add the maple syrup to a second saucer. Lightly dip the rims of 6 punch glasses into the maple syrup. Then dip the rims of the glasses into the spiced sugar.
Insert the cinnamon sticks into the bottom of each pumpkin candy and set aside.
In a pitcher, combine the wine, juice and pumpkin spice liqueur. Stir and pour into the rimmed glasses. Garnish with the pumpkin candy cinnamon sticks.  

Shrimp and Chorizo Appetizer

2 Chorizos, cubed
1 lb. Cleaned and de veined shrimp (can be frozen)
6 cloves of garlic, minced
1//2 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons of Paprika
1 tablespoon of olive oil
2 tablespoons of Garlic Powder
½ teaspoon of salt
1/ teaspoon of onion powder
½ teaspoon of black pepper
1 teaspoon of ground cumin
1 teaspoon of oregano

In bowl combine shrimp, 1 tbsp. of olive oil, paprika, garlic powder, salt, onion powder, black pepper, cumin and oregano.

Heat sauté pan and heat oil. Add in Chorizo and simmer over medium heat. You will notice oil starting to turn orange.
Add in garlic and lower heat. Cook for about 10 minutes.

Add in shrimp and cook until pink. Pour into serving platter and serve with crusty bread for soaking up all the juices.

Marinated Brussel Sprouts

2 (8 oz.) boxes frozen Brussel sprouts
1 cup of craisins
Italian salad dressing
1 cup of nuts, Pecans or Walnuts
Pinch of salt
Pinch of pepper

In large bowl combine all ingredients and let marinate for 15 minutes. If there is too much liquid in mixture reserve on side before baking. You can always add as needed depending on how fast your oven cooks. Preheat oven on 375 degrees. Pour brussel sprout mixture into baking dish and bake for 35 minutes.


1 lb. of ground beef
1 16 oz. can of red kidney beans
¼ cup of chopped red peppers
¼ cup of chopped yellow peppers
1 small onion, diced
1 tsp. of chili powder
¼ tsp. onion powder
¼ tsp. garlic powder
½ tsp. chili powder
Pinch of salt
Pinch of pepper
½ package of prepared chili seasoning
1 16 oz. can of tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes. ( I used tomato sauce for this recipe)

In a few drizzles of olive oil, sauté the onions and the peppers. In separate fry pan, brown the beef. When the beef is cooked all the way through add into onion and pepper mixture and continue cooking. Then add in all remaining ingredients and cook for 1-4 hours. For me I let simmer on stove all day.

Garlic Bread

1 loaf of Italian bread
1 stick of butter, softened
1 cup of parmesan cheese
½ cup parsley flakes
½ cup of garlic powder

Slice the bread length wise and begin by spreading the butter on both sides of each loaf. Begin by sprinkling the garlic powder liberally from one end of the bread to the other. Now do the same thing with the Parmesan cheese and the parsley.

As you get really good at deciding how garlicky you like the bread, you will adjust your measurements.

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