Laurel’s Stuffed Mushrooms

Having made this recipe so many times, I have forgotten who Laurel actually is. What I haven’t forgotten is that is one the most requested recipes. I can’t believe I haven’t posted it.
I have tried several different variations of stuffed mushrooms, but this one is tried and true. These are often made the day before and covered with foil until ready to bake.

25 mushrooms, whole
1/4 cup of butter, melted
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup mushrooms stems, finely chopped
1/4 t. garlic salt
4 oz of cream cheese, softened

Line baking tray with foil. Wash and remove the caps from the mushrooms. Brush the tops with butter and place on the baking sheet.
In a medium bowl, combine the Parmesan cheese, mushrooms stems, garlic salt, and cream cheese, blending well. Fill the caps with the mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.
I have always been told that these could be frozen prior to baking. If you opt for this, you will bake for 20-25 minutes.

Summertime Salty Sweet Snack Mix

Angela was gracious to share this smash hit of a recipe.  Recently a group of girls sat around a fire pit sipping wine and snacking on this mix.  If you are a salty sweet kind of gal, you will love this.  This time of year so many events pop up that require bringing a snack.  I’m serving this at a pool party, bridge club (for my mom), Pokeno party, and husband’s work party.  Perfect for all.   I made a double batch and bagged it in gallon Ziploc bags.  Enjoy!


6 cups mini pretzels
2 cups of oyster crackers
2 cups of unsalted peanuts
2 cups of cashews
1 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup of canola oil
3 Tbsp dry mustard
2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp of cayenne pepper, more or less for spicy flavor
Toss together the crackers, pretzels, and nuts in a large bowl.  Stir the syrup, oil, dry mustard, salt, and cayenne pepper in a smaller bowl. Gently add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients until well coated.  Bake at 325 on 2 large cookie sheets lined with parchment paper, tossing once for 25-30 minutes. Let cool and mix.
Store at room temperature for 3 weeks. Makes 6- 2 cup portions.



Bacon Wrapped Cocktail Weiners

For the serious football fans in your household. Three ingredients, done. Bacon, enough said.
Make ahead, I’m in. Always a hit. Game on!

1 package of cocktail wieners
1 cup of brown sugar (or so)
1 package of bacon

Cover a cookie sheet with foil. Wrap 1/3 slice of bacon around cocktail wiener and secure with a toothpick. Sprinkle weenies with brown sugar….using approx a cup of brown sugar until they are lightly coated.
Baste a couple times with the juice/sugar mixture, spooning over the weenies.

Bake 350 for 40-50 minutes.

Make plenty. Your guests will lose count of how many they eat. Sometimes I make assemble the wieners/bacon the night before…and just add the sugar and bake at game time.

Sugared Cranberries


  • After three people told me about this sweet treat this week, I couldn’t wait  to try them.  Each friend had a slightly different variation.  The recipe I used comes from an old edition of Cooking Light.  They taste as good as they look.  The chrystallized cranberries will stand alone on a pretty plate or one friend served them with cheesecake.  They are my favorite treat of this holiday season.
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups fresh cranberries
  • 3/4 cup superfine sugar (this can be purchased or simply run regular sugar through a food processor until super fine)
  • Combine granulated sugar and water in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring mixture until sugar dissolves. Bring to a simmer; remove from heat. (Do not boil or the cranberries may pop when added.) Stir in cranberries; pour mixture into a bowl. Cover and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.
  • Drain cranberries in a colander over a bowl, reserving steeping liquid, if desired. Place superfine sugar in a shallow dish. Add the cranberries, rolling to coat with sugar. Spread sugared cranberries in a single layer on a baking sheet; let stand at room temperature 1 hour or until dry.
  • Note: The steeping liquid clings to the berries and helps the sugar adhere. Store in an airtight container in a cool place for up to a week.

Marinated Green Beans

Healthy can be yummy!  Lyn served these at a party as an appetizer.  She was gracious enough to share her recipe about a year ago and it has been a great addition to several menus.  I love the color, the crunch, and the simplicity.    Green beans a finger food?  Why not.  

Using a wire wisk, mix the 4 ingredients well.

1/2 cup sugar  (you can use sweetener)
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 tsp pepper flakes (I add a little extra)
1 clove garlic – chopped (I use 1 large or 2 if they are small)

Mix above early in the day and refrigerate.

Cook 1 lb. green beans for 3 minutes in boiling water. Remove and plunge in ice
water. Refrigerate beans.

About an hour before serving, pour marinade over green beans and allow to reach
room temperature. Serve. It makes a great appetizer or a side dish.

Bacon Wrapped Apricot Almond

Parties and bacon go together like,  well…..bacon goes with everything.   We love people like Caren that bring the new and different.   Put on a pretty plate with a nice pottery bowl for the sauce and wa-la,  an appetizer that will have people asking, “what is this, yum?”   These can be assembled the night before which is an added bonus!


Bacon Wrapped Apricot Almond

1 pkg of dried apricots

1/2 c. whole almonds

1 lb of bacon

1/4 c. plum/apple jelly for sayce

2 T soy sauce  for sauce

Fold the apricot around each almond .  Cut the bacon slice into thirds.  Using one third of the bacon slice,   wrap the bacon around the apricot/almond and secure with a toothpick.  Bake at 375 for 25 minutes  on a foil lined cookie sheet til crisp-turning once.  Cook jelly and soy sauce for 5 minutes over medium heat in a saucepan.  Drain apricot on a paper towel.  Serve with dipping suace.

Roasted Rosemary Pecans

I adapted this recipe from my beloved cooking show host Nigella (is it wrong to say I have a teensy crush on her?). I added sugar to balance the herby/savory taste, and I think they are great as little gifts. I usually double the recipe, as it freezes beautifully.

2 1/2 T. unsalted butter
2 T. (packed) finely chopped rosemary
1 t. Kosher salt (or 1/2 t. regular)
1/4 t. (scant) cayenne pepper
1 T. sugar
2 cups pecan halves

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Add butter to rimmed cookie sheet or baking dish, and place in oven until melted. Remove and add rosemary, salt,  and cayenne, mixing well to combine. Toss mixture with pecans until well coated, then spread out and bake for 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Crisp Rosemary Flatbread

If you want to impress your friends with a recipe that really isn’t that hard, please make this recipe. I bet you have all the ingredients on hand right now. The only tricky ingredient is rosemary. Now please don’t go buy some cut rosemary. Spend your money instead on a rosemary plant. Stick it someplace in your yard; it will change your life. It doesn’t need any special care, and you’ll find you use it all the time! Anyway, this flatbread is like a cracker, but it’s a whole different sport than what you get at the store. It’s so yummy. You can use it for a dip, but trust me that it’s delicious on its own. Roll it out super thin if you want it really crisp; but a little thicker gives it a great, chewy/crisp texture that’s awesome too. This recipe was in Gourmet in 2008.

1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon chopped rosemary plus 2 (6-inch) sprigs
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup olive oil plus more for brushing
Flaky sea salt such as Maldon

Preheat oven to 450°F with a heavy baking sheet on rack in middle.

Stir together flour, chopped rosemary, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Make a well in center, then add water and oil and gradually stir into flour with a wooden spoon until a dough forms. Knead dough gently on a work surface 4 or 5 times.

Divide dough into 3 pieces and roll out 1 piece (keep remaining pieces covered with plastic wrap) on a sheet of parchment paper into a 10-inch round (shape can be rustic; dough should be thin).

Lightly brush top with additional oil and scatter small clusters of rosemary leaves on top, pressing in slightly. Sprinkle with sea salt. Slide round (still on parchment) onto preheated baking sheet and bake until pale golden and browned in spots, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer flatbread (discard parchment) to a rack to cool, then make 2 more rounds (1 at a time) on fresh parchment (do not oil or salt until just before baking). Break into pieces.

Flatbread can be made 2 days ahead and cooled completely, then kept in an airtight container at room temperature.