Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies

Yummy and fun to decorate!


  • 1 Cup white sugar
  • 1 Cup butter, softened
  • 1 (3 oz) package cream cheese, softened
  • ½ Tsp salt
  • ½ Tsp almond extract
  • ½ Tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Egg yolk
  • 2 ¼ Cups all-purpose flour

Cooking Directions

1. In a large bowl, combine the sugar, butter, cream cheese, salt, almond and vanilla extracts, and egg yolk. Beat until smooth. Stir in flour until well blended. Chill the dough for 8 hours, or overnight.

2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

3. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough 1/3 at a time to 1/8 inch thickness, refrigerating remaining dough until ready to use. Cut into desired shapes with lightly floured cookie cutters. Place 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Leave cookies plain for frosting, or brush with slightly beaten egg white and sprinkle with candy sprinkles or colored sugar.

4. Bake for 7 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until light and golden brown. Cool cookies completely before frosting.

Beef Stew in Red Wine

Beef stew in itself is amazing, add wine and it becomes better! Thanks to Jacques Pepin for the original recipe! Original recipe found here!


  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 Tbsp Olive oil
  • 2 Lbs trimmed beef flatiron steak or chuck, cut into 8 pieces
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 Tbsp finely chopped garlic
  • 1 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • One 750-milliliter bottle dry red wine (Menage a Trois: Midnight)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 Thyme sprig
  • One 5-oz piece of Pancetta
  • 15 pearl or small cipollini onions, peeled
  • 15 Cremini mushrooms
  • 15 baby Carrots, peeled
  • Sugar
  • Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

Cooking Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. In a large enameled cast-iron casserole, melt the butter in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Arrange the meat in the casserole in a single layer and season with salt and pepper. Cook over moderately high heat, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides, 8 minutes. Add the chopped onion and garlic and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened, 5 minutes. Add the flour and stir to coat the meat with it. Add the wine, bay leaves and thyme, season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve any brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pot.
  2. Cover the casserole and transfer it to the oven. Cook the stew for 1 1/2 hours, until the meat is very tender and the sauce is flavorful.
  3. Meanwhile, in a saucepan, cover the pancetta with 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Drain the pancetta and slice it 1/2 inch thick, then cut the slices into 1-inch-wide lardons.
  4. In a large skillet, combine the pancetta, pearl onions, mushrooms and carrots. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1/4 cup of water and a large pinch each of sugar, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer until almost all of the water has evaporated, 15 minutes. Uncover and cook over high heat, tossing, until the vegetables are tender and nicely browned, about 4 minutes.
  5. To serve, stir some of the vegetables and lardons into the stew and scatter the rest on top as a garnish. Top with a little chopped parsley and serve.

Chicken and Dumplings

One of my favorite comfort foods, as my buddy Boyd would say, “It’s stick to your ribs good!”


  • 2 Cups Flour
  • 1/2 Tsp Baking powder
  • 1 pinch Salt
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 Cup milk
  • 2 Qts Chicken broth
  • 3 Cups cooked chicken (preferably leftover rotisserie chicken)

Cooking Directions

1. In a bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cut the butter into the dry ingredients with a fork or pastry blender. Stir in the milk, mixing with a fork until the dough forms a ball.

2. Heavily flour a work surface. You’ll need a rolling pin and something to cut the dumplings with. I like to use a pizza cutter. I also like to use a small spatula to lift the dumplings off the cutting surface.

3. Roll the dough out thin with a heavily floured rolling pin. Dip your cutter in flour and cut the dumplings in squares about 2×2-inches each. It’s okay for them not to be exact. Just eye ball it. Some will be bigger, some smaller, and some might be shaped funny.

4. Use the floured spatula to put them on a heavily floured plate. Just keep flouring between the layers of dumplings.

5. To cook them, bring the broth to a boil. Drop the dumplings in one at a time, stirring while you add them. The extra flour on them will help thicken the broth.

6. Cook them for about 15 to 20 minutes or until they don’t taste doughy.

7. Add the cooked chicken to the pot and serve.

Chimichurri Sauce

Always a favorite recipe to go with steaks with adding a Spanish or South American Flair, original recipe found here!


  • 1 1/2 Cups well packed FRESH Parsley
  • 1/2 Cup well packed FRESH Cilantro
  • 1/4 Cup FRESH Oregano
  • 1/4 small Red Onion
  • 3 Cloves Garlic
  • 3 Tbsp Red Wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp Lemon juice
  • 1/2 Tsp salt
  • 1/4 Tsp Red Pepper flakes
  • 3/4 Cup Olive Oil

Cooking Directions

1. Add red onion, garlic, red wine vinegar, lemon juice and salt to a food processor. Pulse, stopping and scraping down sides occasionally until finely minced.

2. Add in parsley, cilantro, oregano and red pepper flakes then pour in olive oil while pulsing several times until herb leaves are finely minced.

3. Spoon over meat when served at dinner or use in a marinade as you see fit.

Cheesy Chicken and bean skillet bake

This recipe is from my “Tasty Every Day” Cookbook on page 80. “This Cheesy Chicken and Bean Skillet Bake comes from Tasty’s Everyday Cookbook. It’s loaded with chicken, onions, beans, tomatoes and cheese. Probably ingredients that you have in your refrigerator right now and you can whip it up any night of the week under an hour. “


2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
2 1/2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2” pieces
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 small white onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. chili powder
1 Tbsp. flour
2 Tsp. ground coriander
1 Tsp. ground cumin
2 15 Oz. cans of pinto beans, drained and rinsed
2 10 Oz. cans of diced tomatoes with chiles, such as Ro-Tel
3 Cups (12 Oz.) shredded Monterey or Pepper Jack cheese
Fresh cilantro leaves, garnish (optional)

Cooking Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425F.
  2. In an oven proof skillet heat the vegetable oil over med/high heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper, to taste then add the chicken to skillet and cook, stir until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Add the onion and garlic; cook stirring until onion is tender and chicken is cooked through, about another 5 minutes. Stir in chili powder, flour, coriander and cumin. 
  3. Remove skillet from heat and stir in the beans and Ro-Tel tomatoes with chilies. Top evenly with the shredded cheese then bake until bubbly in the center and the cheese has melted, about 10 minutes. 
  4. Remove the skillet from the oven and garnish with cilantro, if you like, before serving.

Kahlua Cheesecake

I had seen a video recipe on reddit, and I couldnt find it again when I wanted to make this, so I experimented. I have made this about 5 times now, this one tastes the best in my opinion. While it was my first time making a gelatin based cheesecake, I was really happy with the flavor and texture. Very hard to eat only one slice!


  • 1 Packet of Gelatine (I used “Knox Original” )
  • 1/2 Cup Sugar
  • 1 Cup Boiling Kahlua Coffee & Rum Liquor (for cheesecake)
  • 2 8oz. Packages Philadelphia Cream Cheese, softened
  • 1 Tsp. Vanilla
  • 1 Ready-to-use graham cracker crumb crust 6 Oz (I used a chocolate oreo )
  • 3 Oz semi-sweet chocolate chips (for ganache topping)
  • 1/3 Cup Heavy Cream (for ganache topping)
  • 1 Tsp Kahlua (for ganache topping)
  • Chocolate Shavings for garnish (optional)

Cooking Directions

  1. Combine sugar, and gelatin in a medium bowl, mix to combine. Add boiling Kahlua; stir for 5 min. or until gelatine is completely dissolved.
  2. Beat cream cheese and vanilla in a large bowl with a hand mixer until blended. Gradually beat in gelatin mixture.
  3. Once fully combined, pour mixture into prepared crust, let stand while making chocolate ganache topping.
  4. Heat heavy cream in a sauce pan until a gentle boil has started. Add chocolate chips and rum. Stir until all chocolate has melted.
  5. Pour chocolate ganache over cheese cake and then place in fridge to chill for 1 hour.
  6. Enjoy!

Optional: Add shaved chocolate to top of cheesecake and liberally or generously as you desire right before serving.

Soft Pretzel

Took a online cooking class with my cousin to make soft Pretzels, loved the outcome so much that I am adding the recipe on here. Original Recipe from Becky’s Mindful Kitchen! Love these with a cheese sauce (Cheesy beer sauce) or spicy mustard.


  • 1 1/2 Cup warm water (for yeast)
  • 2 Tbsp sugar or honey (for yeast)
  • 1 Tbsp salt (for dough)
  • 1 Pkg yeast (2 1/4 tsp) active yeast
  • 4 1/2 Cup all purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp melted butter
  • 10 c boiling water plus 2/3 c baking soda (for less salty pretzels, use 1/3c baking soda)
  • 1 Egg beaten plus 1 Tbsp water for egg wash
  • Coarse seat salt for topping pretzels, or cinnamon sugar, etc.
  • Melted butter or Butter olive oil for brushing on top after baking

Cooking Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F
  2. Take 1 1/2 Cup warm water add 2 Tbsp sugar and 1 packet of yeast. Allow to sit for 5 min to activate yeast.
  3. In a stand mixer combine Flour, 1Tbsp salt, melted butter, and activated yeast. Mix with a dough hook on low to medium low speed until dough has formed.
  4. Cover with a warm damp cloth and allow dough to rise for 1 hr.
  5. Remove dough and form into pretzel shapes. You can also make 3 long strands and braid them together which is what I did in the picture above. (How to fold a pretzel)
  6. Brush on egg wash (1 beaten egg + 1 Tbsp Water) then cover pretzel with coarse salt or cinnamon sugar topping.
  7. Place in oven and bake for 12-15 until golden brown – brown in color. (Your preference)
  8. Remove from oven and enjoy immediately or place on a cooling rack and enjoy later.


Simple, sweet and comforting… and with a few additions here and there, full of limitless possibilities! I may not be from the New England area, but a book series (Expeditionary Force: Columbus Day) that I love introduced me to this comforting snack and I was blown away at the yummy goodness that it is! Especially a grilled Fluffernutter!


  • Creamy Peanut Butter
  • Marshmallow Fluff
  • Nutella **
  • Banana Slices **
  • Honey **

Cooking Directions

1. Take 2 slices of white bread and apply creamy peanut butter to one slice and marshmallow fluff to other slice. Combine slices into a sandwich and enjoy!

** Optional ingredients, I love adding honey and banana. The Nutella goes great with the peanut butter as well and reminds me of a Reese’s peanut butter cup.

*** A Grilled Fluffernutter (using butter much like a grilled cheese) is AWESOME!

Oatmeal Cookies

Soft and chewy with that trademark homemade flavor, these are the best soft and chewy oatmeal raisin cookies.” — Sally’s Baking Addiction (Original Recipe)


  • 1 Cup Unsalted Butter, room temp.
  • 1 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup Sugar
  • 2 large Eggs, room temp.
  • 1 Tbsp Vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp Molasses
  • 1 1/2 Cup Flour, all-purpose
  • 1 Tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 1/2 Tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/2 Tsp Salt
  • 3 Cups old-fashioned whole rolled oats
  • 1 Cup Raisins (soaked for 10 min in warm water then blotted dry)
  • optional: 1/2 Cup Walnuts, Chopped

Cooking Directions

1. Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream the softened butter and both sugars together on medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs and mix on high until combined, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Add the vanilla and molasses and mix on high until combined. Set aside.

2. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt together. Add to the wet ingredients and mix on low until combined. Beat in the oats, raisins, and walnuts (if using) on low speed. Dough will be thick, yet very sticky. Chill the dough for 30-60 minutes in the refrigerator (do the full hour if you’re afraid of the cookies spreading too much). If chilling for longer (up to 2 days), allow to sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before rolling and baking.

3. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.

4. Roll balls of dough (about 2 tablespoons of dough per cookie) and place 2 inches apart on the baking sheets. I recommend using a cookie scoop since the dough can be sticky. Bake for 12-14 minutes until lightly browned on the sides. The centers will look very soft and under-baked. Remove from the oven and let cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. The cookies will continue to “set” on the baking sheet during this time.

Creamy Tortellini Soup

Super easy to make and twice as easy to eat! Comfort food that warms your soul! The original recipe can be found here and comes with a option to use a instant pot!



  • 1 Tbsp Vegetable oil
  • 1 Yellow onion, diced
  • 2 Carrots, diced
  • 4 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 15-oz. Can diced Tomatoes
  • 3 Cups Vegetable stock
  • ½ Tsp dried Basil
  • ½ Tsp dried Oregano
  • ¼ Tsp dried Thyme
  • 1 Tsp Salt
  • ½ Tsp ground Black Pepper
  • 10 oz (300 grams) fresh Tortellini (I used cheese-filled tortellini)
  • ½ Cup Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 2 Cups Baby Spinach leaves


Cooking Directions

1. Heat oil in a pot, and add diced onion followed by the carrot. Cook for a few minutes, then add the garlic and cook for a minute while stirring with a wooden spoon.

2. Add diced tomatoes, vegetable stock, and all the seasonings to the pot. Cover with the lid and simmer for 10 minutes.

3. Open the lid, and add the fresh tortellini and cook for 3 minutes.

4. Stir in the cream, and add the baby spinach leaves. Cover with the lid to let the spinach wilt. Once the spinach is wilted, serve warm with some Parmesan cheese.


**You can add Italian sausage (1/2Lb.) if you like. Just crumble it and saute it lightly after you cook the onion and garlic. Or you can use ground turkey meat or any other ground meat.