Tag Archives: recipes

Friday Food Day: Peppermint White-Chocolate Fudge

17 Feb

Any day is a great day to make fudge in my book. I happened to make this little bit of heaven for Valentine’s Day but you can certainly make it for any occasion. Did you have a good week at work? Make this fudge. Did you have a bad week at work? Make this fudge. I think you get the picture.

It literally only took me about 15 minutes to put this together, and it was simply delicious. It is very rich, so a little goes a long way.


  • 1 (12 ounce) package of white chocolate chips or high-quality white chocolate bar
  • 1 (16 ounce) container vanilla frosting
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 8 drops red food coloring
  • 2 Tablespoons crushed peppermint candies


  1. Line an 8X8 pan with waxed paper.
  2. Melt white chocolate chips in a double boiler or melt in the microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring after each interval.
  3. Stir in the frosting into the white chocolate chips.
  4. Stir in peppermint extract.
  5. Spread into prepared pan evenly.
  6. Drop 8 drops of food coloring evenly spaced on top of the fudge.
  7. Using a knife swirl the food coloring.
  8. Sprinkle top of fudge with crushed peppermint candies and press down slightly.
  9. Cool for about an hour in the fridge.
  10. Once firm, turn fudge onto a cutting board and cut into small squares.



And that’s life in a nutshell … fudge makes everything okay in the end. Enjoy!


Thanksgiving Baking: Homemade Apple Pie

27 Nov

Ever since I got an electric mixer for my birthday a few years back, I have loved baking. I make peanut-butter pie quite a bit, and I recently made cupcakes for Halloween. So, when it came to Thanksgiving baking, I knew the desserts would be in my court.

So, I commissioned my aunt Debbie to set me up for a baking challenge: homemade apple pie. Debbie’s apple pie is literally famous in our family. Normally, she has to make about five at a time to keep up with the demands. With my nephew Josh by my side, we took on the famous recipe, adding a few special touches of our own along the way.

I texted Debbie several times along the way with needed direction like “Is this really the right amount of cinnamon” and “How does the crust look.” All and all, I think the end product spoke for itself: four men in complete silence eating homemade apple pie with French vanilla ice cream on top during Thanksgiving dinner.

I’m including the recipe below, along with the recipe for peanut-butter pie! Enjoy baking up these favorite for your family. I know it really made Thanksgiving dinner for me … along with the delicious spread my father-in-law and nephew made. The turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing and green-bean casserole has been haunting my dreams ever since.

Debbie’s Apple Pie

Peel and core 7­–8 Gala apples; then slice them into thin slices and place into a bowl

Add about 1 cup sugar 

Add about 1/4 cup cinnamon

Add about 2 tablespoons flour 

Stir until all apples are coated

Put apples in to a deep-dish pie crust. Just buy the frozen kind. Pet Ritz is the best. Place 3 or 4 chucks of butter randomly on top of the apples. Please another regular pie crust upside down on the top. Crimp the edges to seal the pie crusts together. Cut decorative slits in the top crust to vent. We used a cookie cutter to make leaf cuts on the top. Brush the top crust lightly with melted butter and sprinkle with a little sugar.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes. Leave it longer if you like it a little crispy. To ensure the apples are done, stick a fork in it and make sure they are soft.  If not leave it for another 15 to 20 minutes.  

 MommaNut’s Peanut-Butter Pie

2 cups heavy whipping cream

1/4 cup sugar

8 ounces cream cheese

1 cup crunchy peanut butter

1 cup 4x powdered sugar

1 graham-cracker crust

Whip cream with sugar until fluffy. Mix all other ingredients in a big electric mixer until smooth. Mix in whipped cream. Pour mix into the crust, and chill for several hours. Garnish with chocolate bits.

And that’s life in a nutshell … my favorite part of baking isn’t the final creation; it’s spending time with my family while we enjoy each and every bite of life.


Gobble Gobble: Giving Thanks on Thanksgiving

24 Nov

It’s Turkey Day, and I wanted to wish all of you a very special Thanksgiving with your family and friends. Thanksgiving is that time to reflect on your life and take pleasure in the little things that are so wonderful. It’s also an important time to test your tummy capacity and your napping skills. And I hope to accomplish all of these things today.

I’ll start with the warm, fuzzy sentiments with my “MommaNut Is Grateful For” list. So, put the apple pie in the oven, place the gravy on the warmer and sit on down to enjoy!

MommaNut Is Grateful For

  • Having the most amazing husband in the whole world who can’t wait to spend the rest of his life right by my side, even when I’m not the easiest person to live with
  • The sweet kisses I get from Peanut and Cashew after a long day at work
  • Our thoughtful, supportive family and friends who love PoppaNut and I very much
  • Having a job that I love, where I feel rewarded by my work and respected
  • Documenting my life through this blog, which always me to walk down memory lane any time I feel like it
  • Living in Oldsmar, a town I have grown to love where everyone seems to know your name
  • My Way Fitness, because I have been able to watch PoppaNut achieve some of his greatest dreams, and I can’t wait to be along to watch the rest come true
  • All the recipes my family has shared with me, because it has ignited a new passion for in cooking and baking
  • Turning 30 this year, because I know the best is yet to come
  • Scrabble, a game that PoppaNut and I like to play a few times a week
  • Sunday runs near the water, where PoppaNut and I talk about your future
  • Delicious homemade sauce that I could literally drink by the jar (I know that sounds disgusting, but you can’t judge until you try the sauce. I count down every week for it!)
  • Being able to find time to read again, even if it is while I’m on the treadmill
  • Working out, because I’m feeling better than I have in a long time
  • Long naps in the afternoon with just the hum of the dryer in the background
  • Visiting our neighbor vendor for our Halloween pumpkins and Christmas tree, which we will be picking up tomorrow
  • That the Yankees Spring Training will be here soon, because PoppaNut will be so happy
  • Having a walk-in closet filled with more shoes than my little heart could have ever dreamed of

And the best part is that this list could go on and on and on because I have so many things to be thankful for. I’m the luckiest girl in the world, and I never want to take that for granted. I hope you won’t either, so make a list for yourself. What are you really thankful for? Think of that list today as you see your family and friends. Hug each of them a little tighter and say “I love you” more often.

And that’s life in a nutshell … Thanksgiving is really about recognizing what you have in your life and being thankful for it. The food is just a bonus.


Sunday Dinner

16 May

As I mentioned last week, I had decided to make PoppaNut something very special on Saturday night for dinner. Turns out, he beat me to the punch and surprised me with an amazing date night (more to come tomorrow). So, I dusted off my old recipe book on Sunday to dream something extra special up.

Turns out, there is a dish that I haven’t made in a while that PoppaNut loves. I used to make it for him when we were dating and I was living with my cousin Ashley. It’s pretty simple, and it makes amazing leftovers.

Here is the recipe. I’ve included notes where I make exceptions.

Sunday Dinner3 cups (8 oz.) farfalle (bow-tie pasta), uncooked
4 cups  broccoli florets
3 Tbsp. KRAFT Roasted Red Pepper Italian with Parmesan Dressing
6 small  boneless skinless chicken breast halves (1-1/2 lb.) (I cut this into little pieces instead)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups  tomato-basil spaghetti sauce
4 oz. (1/2 of 8-oz. pkg.) PHILADELPHIA Neufchatel Cheese, cubed
1/4 cup  KRAFT Grated Parmesan Cheese
COOK pasta as directed on package, adding broccoli to the cooking water for the last 3 min. of the pasta cooking time. Meanwhile, heat dressing in large nonstick skillet on medium heat. Add chicken and garlic; cook 5 min. Turn chicken over; continue cooking 4 to 5 min. or until chicken is cooked through (170ºF).

DRAIN pasta mixture in colander; return to pan and set aside. Add spaghetti sauce and Neufchatel to chicken in skillet; cook on medium-low heat 2 to 3 min. or until Neufchatel is completely melted, mixture is well blended and chicken is coated with sauce, stirring occasionally. Remove chicken from skillet; keep warm. Add sauce mixture to pasta mixture; mix well. Transfer to six serving bowls.

CUT chicken crosswise into thick slices; fan out chicken over pasta mixture. Sprinkle evenly with Parmesan cheese.

So, we watched our recorded “Saturday Night Live” and hung out on the couch eating this delicious dish. And that’s life in a nutshell … eating a favorite dish with your favorite person on a Sunday evening.


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