Cheese Puffs

Cheese Puffs

For Easter Sunday, how about something elegant such as these Cheese Puffs, similar to a gougère, a French baked pastry dough filled typically with GruyèreComté, or Emmentaler cheese? My sister is headed to France so I made them in her honor. Sometimes they are even filled with mushrooms, beef or ham. These Cheese Puffs are as fabulous as they look and have the secret ingredient, Colman’s Mustardwhich gives it an extra zesty flavor. These are perfect for Easter and any holiday or spring or summer party. Happy holidays this weekend and enjoy! 🙂

Feta and Roasted Red Pepper Dip

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If you’re like me, you can never have enough recipes as the holidays near. Dips and salsas are perfect for getting a party off to a great start. This Feta and Roasted Red Pepper Dip recipe is only 3 ingredients. If you have the ingredients on hand, this tasty dip can be ready to serve in about 5 minutes. Serve it with crudités, crackers or pumpernickel rounds for an elegant appetizer. Tip: Use creamy feta cheese. The lower-fat versions produce a drier dip. If your results seem dry, add 1 teaspoon or so of extra virgin olive oil and pulse.

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This recipe comes from 150 Best Dips & Salsas from my cookbook publisher Robert Rose. Most of the dips and salsas in this book can be prepared ahead of time, are simple, and are made from the freshest ingredients. They cater to different tastes, dietary preferences, including vegetarians (such as this recipe). This book is the ultimate party dip and salsa resource! Enjoy this appetizer recipe for Thanksgiving, Christmas or any holiday or weeknight parties.

Marinated Shrimp: Summer Recipe

I can’t believe summer is here, but I am so glad. I have been ready for the kids to be out of school, and for all of the cool, fresh summer dishes, such as this Marinated Shrimp recipe. This shrimp dish is perfect for a summer appetizer, layered over some fresh greens or arugula or just served along some quinoa and grilled asparagus. It makes a great party, shower or summer afternoon recipe. It’s so easy, taking only 20 minutes to prepare. I used frozen, fresh shrimp which saved me even more time and money. For more ways to use frozen foods visit Easy Home Meals. This is the kind of recipe I crave this time of year, and my 3 kids love it too! By the way, this recipe was adapted from the May issue of Southern Living. See great storage containers for summer recipes at Shopbot.ca. I hope everyone has a great week ahead and happy summer! 🙂

10 Summery & Refreshing Watermelon Recipes

When I posted this Watermelon Margarita last week on Facebook, I had such a huge response. I decided to share 10 of my favorite summer refreshingly cool watermelon recipes that I have have come across lately. See my Watermelon Pinterest page for more summer watermelon recipe inspirations.

Superfoods Salad via Ingredients, Inc.

Watermelon Daiquiri via My Recipes

Watermelon Pops via Kraft

Watermelon Jello Shots via That’s So Michelle

Watermelon Mojitos from Inspiring the Everyday

Watermelon Frosty from

Watermelon Granita via Homemade Simple

Watermelon Mojito Popsicles via Bakers Royale

Watermelon Sorbetto via Indochine Kitchen

Cookie Cutter Fruit Salad via Wit & Whistle

Homemade Kale Chips

Last week I was talking about making kale chips on twitter, and so many people asked me about it, so I was excited to do a segment on NBC 13 Daytime Alabama showing how simple it is. I also talked about some of my favorite Power Foods, so tune in this Wednesday on NBC at 11:30 CST. My daughter, Leigh, can even make these on her own, so I promise that it’s a breeze. They are as healthy as they are delicious, and they work great as an appetizer or side dish.

Beetroot, Goat Cheese Hazelnut Tart

Beets are so incredibly healthy, and one of my favorite root vegetables. Just 3 baby beets equals one serving of your 5 vegetables and fruits you should have a day. They are also so versatile in cooking, and I love them in this Beetroot Goat Cheese and Hazelnut Tart. This recipe is very simple to prepare, and it makes a show-stopping appetizer or side dish. It’s perfect for holiday season entertaining. Check out LoveBeets which are ready-to-eat, cooked beets. You can find them in your local grocery such as Whole Foods Market. They make life so much easier, and they taste so fresh.

Here are just a few of their powerful health benefits.

1. Beets are one of the richest sources of folic acid essential for normal tissue growth.

2. Research has showed that beets can help lower blood pressure and blood sugar.

3. Beets have been said to lessen chances of skin and lung cancer.

4. The high iron content in beets helps fight fatigue and anemia.

5. Beets contain high amounts of Boron which is related to production of human sex hormones, thus increasing sex drive. 

Tomato, Fresh Herbs and Feta Crostini for Mother’s Day

Since Mother’s Day is this weekend, I thought I would share a super easy recipe from my new cookbook, “400 Best Sandwiches: From Burgers & Classics to Wraps & Condiments”. These Tomato, Fresh Herbs and Feta Crostini would be considered an open-face sandwich and a simple spring appetizer that is pretty, fresh and versatile with a brunch, lunch or dinner menu. I am making this recipe today along with 4 other recipes on Nashville’s Newschannel 5 “Talk of the Town”. My television segment will air at 11 a.m. central as well as on Comcast channel 50 at 12 p.m., 4 p.m. on Friday and 9 a.m. on Monday. I hope everyone has a great weekend and Mother’s day celebration.

Charoseth or Haroseth Traditional for Passover

I have to apologize that I am slightly behind on my Passover recipes to share with you. I was at the Mom 2 Summit conference last week in New Orleans attending and speaking, and I honestly got behind. Many friends have been asking me about traditional Passover foods and the Passover Seder, so I must share this simple recipe for Haroseth (also spelled and pronounced Charoseth). This mixture of wine, nuts and apples is a symbol of the mortar used by the Israelites to bond bricks while they were in slavery in Egypt. It is traditional to serve this with matzoh during the Seder meal with, and without, horseradish. It has an awesome flavor, and it is always is a hit!

5 Ingredient Appetizer: Fig and Walnut Chutney

In honor of the “Oscars” tonight, here’s a simple and quick appetizer recipe that is sure to please. With only 5 ingredients, This Fig and Walnut Chutney is awesome served with sliced apples, grapes, crackers and Gorgonzola cheese. In under 20 minutes, you will have a superstar appetizer that your guests (and/or family) will love. This recipe also works well with goat or feta cheese so feel free to substitute your favorite. Not only is this appetizer healthy, but it’s low in fat. It’s a great, quick appetizer recipe to serve for any holiday or entertaining occasion. Happy Oscars night everyone, and I hope your movies/actors win!

Weekend Appetizer: Fresh Herb and Tomato Crostini

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Since it’s Memorial Day next week, I thought I would feature a really simple appetizer that looks and tastes like summer. You can’t go wrong using fresh garlic, basil, parsley and tomatoes. These Fresh Herb and Tomato Crostini start off your dinner or party right and are versatile to accompany any menu.