Archive | January 2015

Loaded Chicken Alfredo Gnocchi Bake

It’s another recipe…
But I guarantee you it’s a good one!!!

Add a salad and you have a meal.

Loaded Chicken Alfredo Gnocchi Bake


3 cups gnocchi (17.6 oz. package)
2 cups frozen broccoli
2 cups cubed cooked chicken
1/2 cup crumbled cooked bacon
1 – 15 ounce jar Alfredo sauce
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese


Cook the gnocchi according to the package directions. Drain.
Stir together the gnocchi, broccoli, chicken, bacon, and Alfredo sauce.
Spoon into a casserole dish.
Top with mozzarella cheese.
Bake at 400 degrees for 20-22 minutes.
Turn oven to broil for 2-3 minutes or until the cheese starts to brown.
Make sure you keep an eye on it because it will brown quickly.
Serve immediately. Makes 6-8 servings.




Ham and Cheese Pastry Puffs

I made these yesterday for the game (OMFG!!!!! Can you believe the Seahawks pulled it off???!!!) and they were seriously good and easy.
I will be making these for Super Bowl.

Note: I did not use any white cheddar cheese and honestly they don’t need it.
I also didn’t have parchment paper so I just lined a baking pan with foil and sprayed it with PAM.


Ham and Cheese Pastry Puffs


Spice Blend
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 Tbsp chili powder
2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp garlic powder

1 (17.3-oz) package puff pastry, defrosted
1/4 cup dijon mustard
1/2 lb thinly sliced deli ham (Boars Head Virginia Ham)
1/2 cup swiss cheese, grated
1/2 cup white cheddar, grated
1 egg, beaten
1 Tbsp water


Preheat oven to 400. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.

Spice Blend: Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and mix well.

Pastries: Unfold pastry sheets. Cut each sheet into 9 squares.

Spread about 1/2 tsp of dijon over the puff pastry. Arrange ham and cheese down center of the pastry squares. Sprinkle with some of the spice blend. Fold two opposite corners of each square over the filling and press edges to seal. Place on prepared baking sheet.

Combine egg and water. Brush each pastry with egg wash. Sprinkle tops of pastries with more spice blend.

Bake 15-18 minutes, until golden brown. Serve warm or at room temperature.





I admit it.
I am an obsessive person.
Especially when I have creative ideas.

For 15 years I was obsessive about handmade soap.
I created my own formulas, made and sold it both retail and wholesale.
I was mesmerized by the fact that I can take a handful of ingredients and actually make something wonderful.
Every waking moment (when not working at my full time job) was filled with soap.
Making it, packaging it, selling it.
In 2012 my husband of over 32 years suddenly passed away.
Buy this time I was tired of soap and didn’t want to continue with it.
It just wouldn’t be the same without my person.
I sold my little microbusiness and don’t miss it a bit.
I still make soap for personal use and still get a charge out of doing so.

There was no way I ever wanted to bootstrap another microbusiness….

Until Now.

Yes folks.
I’m obsessed once again!

And yes I am in the process of trying to bootstrap another microbusiness.

Hard Cider and Mead
And for my personal use…

I am making various hard ciders and meads!

What I have done so far:


5 gallons of hard apple cider using a ‘kit’
Added carbonation via carb drops
Was not happy with the end result so won’t go this route again
Not enough carb and lack of flavor
Ended up with approx. 48 bottles
Fill a glass half way with the cider, the other half with Jack Daniels Tennessee Cider and I’m a happy camper

5 gallons of hard caramel apple cider from scratch using cheap store bought apple cider
Carbonated in the bottle
Am not happy with this batch
I used Nottingham yeast which gave it a sort of beer flavor
I don’t like the ‘caramel’ taste
Cheap apple juice leads to cheap tasting cider
Am TOTALLY happy with the way it carb’d all by itself after bottling!
Again approx. 48 bottles to drink…luckily it IS drinkable
And after three who cares!!!

Currently fermenting:
5 gallons of hard cider using fresh pressed, unfiltered apple juice from two different types of apples
Using a sweet wine yeast
Should be ready in three months
Looking forward to taste testing this batch!
High quality fresh juice leads to high quality tasting cider

Waiting in line to ferment:
Hard Apple Pie Cider


Conventional – using proper yeast strains
1 gallon of dry mead
Yeast did not do its thing
Dumped this batch

1 gallons of sweet mead
Fermented, then transferred to carboy for three months
Now bottled for 6-9 months
Yea….mead takes at least a year to even begin to think about tasting good

Unconventional – using bread yeast
2 gallons of sweet mead
Fermented 3 months in primary
Low and behold you can now drink this shit after only three months!
Bottled and ‘ageing’
I like sweet but this is just too sweet
I’m hoping it mellows just a bit sitting

Currently fermenting:

Conventional – using proper yeast strains
1 gallon sweet vanilla mead
Added 3 split Madagascar vanilla beans
This will not be ready for a year

Unconventional – using bread yeast
1 gallon of sweet mead
I used less honey in this one hoping to bring the sweetness down a bit
This should be drinkable in 3-4 months

1 gallon of sweet mead with 1 split Madagascar vanilla bean
I again used less honey in this
This should be drinkable in 3-4 months


Let’s talk about wine
I like sweet ‘wet’ wines
Riesling and Gewurztraminer are my favs


I tasted a friends homemade raspberry wine (yea, you know who you are!!!)

So you know what?

I’m making wine for my own personal consumption
I thought…why not
I have most everything I need anyway

Currently fermenting:

5 gallons Blackberry wine
I used a ‘kit’ this first time as it includes all the little additives you need for wine
Should be ready in 4-5 weeks

Waiting in line to ferment:
Raspberry wine again using a kit

After these two the next wines will be done from ‘scratch’ and I have so many fruit ones I want to try!

I’m hoping at some point in time (2016?) to be ready to sell the cider and mead
I already have a couple of the licenses I need and all I have to do is make one more phone call to get the city license and pay the fee for the liquor license
It was way easier than I ever thought it would be

Oh….and I have someone local working on a company logo

Will this venture ever get off the ground?
I’m going to give it my all but if it doesn’t I’m sure going to have fun trying

And yes

I’m obsessed



I’m Still Here


December 19th was the last time I posted here…….
That tells you just how busy the holidays are for me!

Well it’s now January and I’m still just as busy if not more so!

Lots of plans I have
Trying to find the time to fit everything in.

I will update more a little later.

I just wanted to pop in here to say….

I’m Still Here!