Monday, August 26, 2013

Grilled Naan White Pizza Bites

Did I surprise you Aggie?  I just had to be part of the celebration.  I wouldn't have missed it for the world!  You are my sister-in-law and this virtual baby shower is for you and my nephew, Micah!  

We have an Italian themed menu in honor of you and your heritage.  I know how much pizza and Italian food has been such an influence in your life.  After all, your dad has been in the pizza and restaurant business for over 30 years.  You taught me how to make grilled Naan pizzas, so I had to make these Grilled Naan White Pizza Bites for your virtual baby shower.  We have a huge menu below to include: Appetizers, Non-Alcholic Drinks, Salads, Entrees and Desserts.

Aggie, you are so special to me.  You have inspired me in the kitchen and in life.  You encouraged me to start this blog several years ago.  Even though I haven't blogged in over a year, I still cook and bake, I still love to try new recipes, and I still love to share recipes with family and friends.  

We are sooooo happy and excited for you, Larry, Sammy and Gina!  We love you dearly and we're counting down the days (I'm sure you are too) for baby Micah to join the family.            

My funny and fabulous brother Larry, the beautiful Aggie, and my wonderful nephew and niece, Sammy and Gina!  Can't wait until Micah joins the crowd!

Grilled Naan White Pizza Bites
Recipe adapted by Food n' Focus

Serves 4-6


4 Naan Flatbreads (I used Stonefire brand, found in deli section or speciality breads)
8 tablespoons pesto, homemade or store bought (I used Classico brand)
2 large tomatoes, sliced
Fresh Mozzarella, sliced (from deli or speciality cheese section)
Ricotta Cheese
Basil, sliced thin
olive oil


Preheat grill to medium heat.  Brush one side of Naan Bread with olive oil.  Place side with olive oil down on grill rack.  Grill for a few minutes until bread starts to get light grill marks and is slightly crisp.  Take off grill, place on baking sheet(s) and set aside.

Spread 2 tablespoons pesto on each of the non-grilled sides of the bread.  Top with mozzarella cheese and tomato slices.  Place a few teaspoons of ricotta cheese around each pizza.  Close grill and cook for about 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.   

Remove from grill, sprinkle with basil and cut into slices.  

Cut into quarters for bite-size pieces

Serve as an appetizer or it's also great as a meal with a salad 

Here's the roundup of recipes from some of Aggie's Blogger friends....what a spread they put out for everyone.


Sundried Tomato Hummus from Robyn of Add a Pinch 
Melon & Prosicutto Balls from Paula of bell'alimento 
Bruschetta from Sheila of Eat2gather 
Jalapeno Poppers from Ali of Gimme Some Oven 
Grilled Naan White Pizza Bites from Jamie of Mom's Cooking Club 
Watermelon Feta Bites with Basil Olive Oil from Sandy of Reluctant Entertainer 
Pesto Caprese Fried Wontons from Julie of The Little Kitchen 
Blue Cheese Wedge Salad Crostini from Cheryl of TidyMom 


Toasted Coconut Milkshakes from Bev of Bev Cooks 
Lemon Cream Soda from Angie of Eclectic Recipes 
Peach Sorbet Bellini and Spritzers from Shaina of Food for My Family 
Non Alcoholic Berry Spritzer from Lisa of Jersey Girl Cooks 
Virgin Peach & Raspberry Bellinis from Milisa of Miss in the Kitchen
Italian Basil Sparkling Lemonade from Marly of Namely Marly
Italian Sodas from Laura of Real Mom Kitchen 
Cafe Mocha Punch / or Iced Cafe Mocha from Amy of She Wears Many Hats 


Caprese Salad with Mozzarella Crisps from Christine of Cook the Story 
Pesto Pasta Stuffed Tomatoes from Suzanne of Kokocooks 
Grilled Romaine Caesar Salad from Liz of The Lemon Bowl 
Chickpea, Avocado, & Feta Salad from Maria of Two Peas and Their Pod 
Lentil and Chickpea Layered Salad from Lisa of With Style & Grace 


Chicken Cacciatore from Meagan of A Zesty Bite 
Zucchini, Bell Pepper & Edamame Stir-Fry from Cassie of Bake Your Day
"Straw & Hay" Tagliatelle in Cream Sauce from Flavia of Flavia's Flavors 
Grilled Naan Pizza with Summer Veggies & Turkey Sausage from Kelley of Mountain Mama Cooks 
Smashed Chickpea and Avocado Panini from Kathy of Panini Happy 


Fresh Blueberry Shortbread with Lemon Cream Frosting from Sommer of A Spicy Perspective
Crostata di Mango from Lora of Cake Duchess 
Italian Ice from Kristen of Dine & Dish 
Roasted Banana and Nutella S'mores Bruschetta from Jenny of Picky Palate 
Italian Cream Cake from Deborah of Taste and Tell 
Panna cotta from Leslie of The Hungry Housewife
Fortune Cookies from Shari of Tickled Red 
Baby Vanilla Bean Scones a la Starbucks from Tara of Unsophisticook

Thank you Liz, Julie and Sandy for hosting and organizing this very special baby shower.  I know Aggie will be thrilled and touched!

Spring Break 2013 in Northern wasn't very "Springy" but we had a great day together!

Cousin time is special time!  We are looking forward to Micah in joining the dance party.

Mom's Cooking Club Lesson:  Try these other Naan Pizza's for more tastes and flavors....Enjoy!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

New Orleans Style Barbecue Shrimp

I know I haven't been blogging much this year but I have been cooking.  Sometimes life gets busy, sometimes I have other priorities and lately blogging has not been on the top of my list.  But, I still have many recipes I want to share as well as document for my own benefit.  This is one such's quick, it's easy, it's delicious.  My kind of meal, especially when shrimp is involved.  I love, love, love shrimp.  I'm always trying to find new ways to prepare it and use different flavor combinations.

There are several ways to make New Orleans Barbecue Shrimp.  It usually involves alot of butter and you cook the shrimp with the shells on.  You have to dig in with your hands and peel the shrimp.  This method uses peeled and deveined shrimp and you eat it with a fork.  Much easier.  This was a super simple dinner to make during the week.  I served it with rice.  You can also add a side vegetable or salad to round out the meal.  It was great for lunch the next day too.      

New Orleans Style Barbecue Shrimp
Recipe by Once Upon A Chef

Serves 4

  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ancho chili pepper powder or regular chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice, from one lemon
  • 3 scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
  1. Mix the paprika, ancho chili powder (or chili powder), cumin, sugar and salt together in a large bowl. Add the shrimp to the spices and toss to coat evenly. Set aside.
  2. Melt the butter over medium heat in a 12-inch skillet. Add the garlic and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, for one minute. Do not brown. Add the shrimp and continue cooking over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the shrimp are almost cooked but still opaque in spots, 3-4 minutes. Add the Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice and 2 tablespoons water and cook until shrimp are done, 1-2 minutes more. Place scallions over top and serve.


Mom's Cooking Club Lesson:  The original recipe calls for ancho chili powder.  I can't find this spice at my local store so I substituted with regular chili powder.  It worked fine in this recipe.  Recommend that you serve with rice. 

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Mini Garlic Monkey Bread

I mentioned recently that I've discovered Pinterest and I'm a little addicted to it.  Well, here's another Pinterest find.....Mini Garlic Monkey Bread.  In a word....Yummy!  

These little garlic breads are fun to make and fun to eat.  Buttery, crispy and soft, full of garlic and Parmesan cheese.  Like I said.....Yummy!

This recipe is from the site Real Mom Kitchen.

Mini Garlic Monkey Bread
Recipe by Real Mom Kitchen

12 mini monkey breads


2 cans (7.5oz) buttermilk biscuits (I used Pillsbury brand)
6 Tbsp butter, melted
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp dried parsley flakes
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese plus 2 tbsp to sprinkle on top if desired


1. Cut biscuits into 4 pieces and place in bowl.  I used pizza cutters to cut the biscuits which made it very easy.

2. Combine the melted butter, garlic, parsley and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese together.  Pour over the biscuit pieces.

3. Gently toss the biscuit pieces to evenly coat with the butter mixture.

4. Using a 12 cup muffin pan, place 6-7 biscuit pieces into a muffin cup.  Use the additional 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese to sprinkle on top of the biscuits.

5. Bake at 400 degrees for 12-14 minutes until golden brown.  Serve warm.


Mom's Cooking Club Lesson:  I am finding so many great recipes and a ton of inspiration from Pinterest.  It's a work in progress but my virtual bulletin boards are growing.  Check out my other pins by clicking on the Pinterest button below. 

Follow Me on Pinterest


Thursday, February 16, 2012

Italian Days at Publix....$25 Publix Gift Card Giveaway

***Giveaway is now closed.  Congratulations to Laura E., comment #21 chosen by  Thanks to everyone that entered.***

It's Italian Days at Publix (my favorite grocery store) and I'm happy to share some information about this event as well as offer a $25.00 Publix gift card to one of my readers.

Italian Days at Publix will be from February 16th - February 29th.  You can find great prices and coupon savings on some of your favorite brands including Progresso, Green Giant and Muir Glen.  

While visiting Italian Days at Publix from February 16th through February 29th, you can also enter the Taste the Tradition Italian Days Sweepstakes for a chance to be 1 of 500 shoppers that will win a $100 Publix® gift card, sponsored by General Mills.

To enter to win the Taste the Tradition Italian Days Sweepstakes and download great coupon savings and delicious recipes, look in-store or follow the instructions below:
  1. Click – Stay up to date with the latest General Mills promotions happening at Publix, by visiting Once you’re registered and logged in, you can participate in any the current promotions.

  2. Call – If you’d prefer to enter the sweepstakes and participate in other promotions via telephone, feel free to call the General Mills hotline, at 1.800.627.6059, and be sure to say that you want to enter the 2012 Italian Days Sweepstakes.  Please be sure to provide your complete contact information (Full name/address/zip code/phone #).

  3. Mail – If you prefer to participate via mail-in entry, print and mail your complete contact information   (Full Name/address/zip code/phone #) to 2012 Italian Days Sweepstakes, P.O. Box 44257, Atlanta, Georgia 30336.

***To enter for your chance to win the $25.00 Publix Gift Card, leave me a comment and tell me what is your favorite Italian meal.

Entries will be accepted until Friday, February 24th, 2012 and the winner will be announced shortly after.  Please leave your email address in your comment so I can contact the winner.  Also, the winner will be selected by

Note: Even if you don't live in a state that has a Publix but you have family or friends that do, you can still enter.  What a great gift to send someone that you care about.

***Giveaway open to U.S. residents only***

Disclosure:  The Publix Gift Card, information and giveaway have been provided by General Mills through MyBlogSpark.  Thank you very much.  

All other thoughts and opinions are mine.  Publix is the grocery store I shop at every week.  I love the Italian Days event.  It's a great time to stock up on some of my favorite foods and ingredients.  

Mom's Cooking Club Lesson:  Make sure to visit the website:  to enter the sweepstakes, download coupons and get some delicious recipes.    


Sunday, February 12, 2012

Garden Vegetable Frittata

Have you ever made a frittata before?  If not, it's really something you should try.  It's a one skillet meal that can be eaten for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner.  You can't say that about alot of dishes.  It's great for a Sunday breakfast or those busy weeknights.  It is truly versatile....and delicious!

I saw this recipe being made by Kelsey Nixon on The Cooking Channel.  I immediately went to my computer and bookmarked it.  I have made it several times and it's just one of those "keeper" recipes.

Garden Vegetable Frittata
Recipe by Kelsey Nixon


2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling
5 small red potatoes, sliced thin
1 cup torn baby spinach
2-3 green onions, sliced
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1 clove garlic, crushed
8 eggs
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil, plus more for garnish
1 - 2 cups shredded Asiago cheese (I've used Parmesan also)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

1. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Place potatoes in the skillet and saute for about 6-8 minutes, until tender but firm.  Remove potatoes from the skillet.  Add another tablespoon olive oil, and add the spinach, green onions, tomatoes, and garlic.  Saute for an additional 1-2 minutes or just until the spinach is wilted.  Season the vegetables with salt and pepper.  

2. In a medium bowl, beat together eggs, basil, cheese, salt, and pepper.  Pour into the skillet over the vegetables.  Reduce heat to medium-low and scramble the eggs for 1 minute.  Return the potatoes to the skillet.  Cook for an additional 2 to 3 minutes, or just until the eggs start to set around the edges.  Drizzle olive oil around the edge of the pan to ensure easy removal.

3. Finish cooking in the oven for an additional 10 to 12 minutes, until the eggs have completely set in the center.  (Check earlier so your eggs do not get overcooked)  Serve straight out of the skillet, or flip onto a serving plate.  Garnish with shredded Asiago cheese and fresh basil, if desired.  Cut into wedges. 

Protein and vegetables all in one bite.  Add a side of fruit for a super healthy meal.


Mom's Cooking Club Lesson:  You can easily change up the vegetables in this dish.  You can add mushrooms, asparagus, zucchini or yellow squash.  You can leave out the potatoes or one of the other vegetables.  Make it your own with your favorite vegetables and enjoy it all year round.


Monday, January 30, 2012

Mini Peanut Butter Brownies

I'm back!!!!!  Wow!  It's been over 2 months since I last posted anything.  I attempted to do the 12 Weeks of Christmas Cookies.  I only got to week 7.  I tried to keep up.  I wanted to add recipes to my blog.  But then, life happens.  Since August I had been studying for a huge certification exam for work.  It took over all my spare time.  There wasn't much cooking or baking going on.  Honestly, on top of all my other responsibilities (full-time job, teenage daughters, husband, home), I just couldn't blog anymore.

Well, I'm happy to report that I passed my certification test a few weeks ago.  I earned my PHR certification! (Professional in Human Resources)  It was really a big accomplishment for me.  I graduated college 25 years ago (yikes!) so it's been quite a long time since I've had to study.  But it's over and now I can get back to my "normal" life.  

I hope I still have some visitors to my blog.  Because you don't want to miss these fantastic little peanut butter and chocolate brownie bites.  Can I just say they are AWESOME!  They are very rich.  I had to down 2 glasses of milk after I just ate one.  

Perfect bite size dessert for this weekend's Super Bowl.  These will be making an appearance at my office Super Bowl food day later this week.  

I found this recipe on Pinterest.  I am new to Pinterest and it is really fun and addicting.  This is a simple recipe.  It uses a box brownie mix.  I recommend Ghirardelli Double Chocolate Brownie mix but I'm sure any boxed mix or even a from scratch recipe will work just fine.   

Mini Peanut Butter Brownies
Recipe by Baked Perfection

Makes 30-40 mini brownies


1 box of your favorite brownie mix (I used Ghirardelli Double Chocolate)
1/2 cup peanut butter chips
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray or grease 30-40 mini-muffin cups.

Prepare boxed brownie mix as directed. Spoon batter evenly into muffin cups (about 1 heaping teaspoon). Bake for 13-15 minutes or until top is set and a toothpick inserted into center comes out slightly wet. After brownies are out of the oven, wait for centers to fall. This will happen upon cooling. If not then tap the centers with the back of a teaspoon to make a hole for the peanut butter.

***I had to use a back of a spoon to push down the centers to form a well to hold the peanut butter and chips.  Do this while the brownies are still warm.

Place peanut butter in a small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 45 seconds then stir. While brownies are still warm spoon about half to one teaspoon of peanut butter into the center of each brownie. Top with semi-sweet chocolate chips and peanut butter chips. Cool completely in pan.

To remove brownies, take a sharp knife and go around edge of brownies to loosen from pan.  They will pop out easily.  They also need to cool in the pan before removing or they will fall apart. 


Mom's Cooking Club Lesson:  Here's another brownie bite recipe that brings together the perfect combination of peanut butter and chocolate.....


Sunday, November 13, 2011

Caramel Corn........Week #7 of the 12 Weeks of Christmas Cookies

I'm a little late this week getting my post up for The 12 Weeks of Christmas Cookies.  But here it is.  Not a cookie but a sweet snack worthy for any Christmas tray or Christmas food gift.  

I just love, love, love caramel corn.  Much of my childhood was growing up in Ocean City, MD and one of my favorite childhood memories is eating Fisher's Popcorn from the boardwalk.  Making your own caramel popcorn at home is easy.  Your family and friends would love to get a container of this classic favorite.  I guarantee they will ask for more.

Caramel Corn
Recipe slightly adapted from Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook


7 to 8 cups popped popcorn
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
6 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons light-colored corn syrup
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla


1. Put popped popcorn into a 17x12x2 inch baking pan. (such as a large rimmed cookie sheet) 
2. To make caramel mixture, in a medium saucepan combine brown sugar, butter and corn syrup.  Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture boils.  Continue boiling at a moderate, steady rate, without stirring, for 5 minutes more.
3.  Remove saucepan from heat.  Stir in baking soda and vanilla.  Pour caramel mixture over popcorn; stir gently to coat.  Bake in a 300 degree oven for 15 minutes.  Stir mixture and bake 5 minutes more.  Remove from oven and allow to cool.  Store tightly covered for 1 week.

Make a foodie gift: package your popcorn in a Christmas themed box or container.  They may just return it for a refill.

The blog hop is below.  For more great cookie and treat ideas, check out the individual links below.

My husband decided to sneak a few pieces as I was trying to take my photos.  He has a huge sweet tooth and is really benefiting from all my baking.


Mom's Cooking Club Lesson:  I used about 1 and a half bags of popped microwave popcorn.  Use any type of popcorn you like to make.      

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