Friday, February 25, 2011

Easy Apple Strudel

This was K-man's request for a dessert. I asked him what he wanted for dessert...."something crunchy, appley, cinnamony, and raisiny"....I went 'trolling around' to see what I could find under EASY. Always trolling for 'easy'. lol

Easy Apple Strudel2

I took a few ideas from this recipe, and from that recipe.

1. Puff pastry a must....very easy and flaky just like a strudel.
2. Recipes using panko crumbs....hmm good idea...helps absorb the juices so it's not all runny.
3. Plain apple filling or apple cinnamon...K-man likes apples and cinnamon so it won't be authentic strudel....who cares?

So my taking a bit of this and that....this is what I came up with.....

Easy-Peasey Apple Strudel
JennyMac Lipsmack Creation

1 Granny Smith apple - peeled, cored and coarsely shredded
3 Granny Smith apples - peeled, cored and sliced
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup raisins
3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
2 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 egg
1/4 cup milk
sugar for sprinkling


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Place apples in a large bowl. Stir in cinnamon, brown sugar, raisins and bread crumbs; set aside. Place puff pastry on baking sheet. Roll lightly with a rolling pin. Arrange apple filling down the middle of the pastry lengthwise (taking up 1/3) . Snip with kitchen shears, one inch strips on either side of filling. Fold the pastry lengthwise around the mixture, alternating strips. Left, then right. Repeat. Whisk egg and milk together, and brush onto top of pastry. Sprinkle with sugar.
3. Bake in preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until golden brown.

Cook's Notes:
1. These had to be made on two separate cookie sheets. Make sure you alternate the sheets midway through cooking time. Clearly I got a bit distracted and one was a lil darker than the other.
2. The panko was SPOT absorbs the juices so it was not wet and drippy in the least....very moist, held together.
3. Used the large decorator's sugar for the "sparkly effect." Very pretty. K-man gave "three thumbs up" he said. LOL
4. Use whatever apple you prefer....we like the tart to offset the sweetness. Just recommend a firm apple so it doesn't go 'mushy' on you.

Easy Apple Strudel


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Smoked Mozzarella Sausage Pizza

I don't know about you but finding smoked cheeses has been hit or miss around here lately. Sometimes I can find the smoked gouda or cheddar and smoked mozzarella is always around. I guess I need to venture farther than my local Harris Teeter? lol

S, M and SM Pizza

I am ALL about making our own pizza. Sorry I won't do frozen pizza from a box anymore OR calling any local pizza chain either. If we are going to splurge on pizza I am going to make it. Fresh meats, homemade sauce and fresh veggies. The only cheat.....frozen pizza dough. Yup. I am not TOTALLY out of my mind here....gotta have some compromise, right?

I love fresh mozzarella. A very different affect on your pizza if you use fresh over the block stuff and two steps above if you use the 'already shredded' stuff (sorry, I gave up the preshredded stuff too when I found out they add stuff to it to keep it from sticking....I grate my own now too).
I wanted to try the 'smokey stuff' with our sausage to mix it up in our pizza makings....I was great and easy too.

Smoked Mozzarella Sausage Pizza
Lipsmack creation

1 Frozen Pizza Dough (New York Pizza Deli brand puts two in a box, they also make Whole Wheat)
Your favorite sauce (I just used a can of 29 oz store brand plain tomato sauce with 2 T of Italian seasons and some garlic)
1 lb hot italian sausage, browned
1 pint of mushrooms, cooked
1 onion, chopped and cooked
1 lb. smoked fresh mozzarella (found usually in your gourmet cheese section of grocery), sliced
fresh parmesan

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Brown your sausage. Remove from pan. In sausage drippings, saute the mushrooms and onions. Add sauce and sausage. Add fresh garlic if you like. Simmer.

While sauce is cooking, roll out dough on parchment paper. If you do not have a pizza stone, turn over a cookie sheet and that will work (WHY haven't you gotten a pizza stone yet? Just keep in in the oven 24/7 like I's too heavy to take in and out....just leave it be. Actually I take it out only for T-day feast cooking). Rectangle or circle, roll out that dough. Place in oven to parbake (I sometimes have to keep a skewer handy to POP the bubbles). Just cook about 8-10 minutes to cook it through. Remove from oven.

Place sliced mozzarella on baked crust (yes you heard me right, cheese first, don't argue with me!). Place sausage/veggie sauce on cheese. Slide dough back into oven until crust is browned, cheese is melted and bubbly.

Cut into 8 slices and add fresh parmesan on top before serving.

Sausage, Mushroom & Smoked Mozzarella Pizza

Look at that thing of beauty. You couldn't get a tastier pizza from any box or restaurant, trust me. Homemade pizza rocks. The little extra effort is soooooooooooooo WORTH it!

Commanding you to make more homemade pizza,

Monday, February 21, 2011

Coconut Balls

If you like those little Mexican Wedding Cakes or Russian Tea Cakes, (why they have so many names is beyond me) here is a variation I found on

I love a buttery shortbread and any variation of that. So if you love shortbread and coconut, this little sweet treat is for you. Pardon my fingerprints.

Coconut Balls

Coconut Balls
Makes about 36

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup confectioner's sugar, plus more for dusting
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups sweetened flaked coconut

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter with 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar until fluffy. Mix in flour and salt until they're just combined. Stir in coconut.
Roll dough into 1-inch balls; place 2 inches apart on a baking sheet. Bake until just starting to brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Roll the warm cookies in confectioners' sugar; let cool completely.

Coconut Balls1

Very easy, whether you want ground nuts or coconut, they are awesome. For a fancy party or even something like a "quick pop in your mouth" Super Bowl treat, it fills the bill.

Try it, you'll like it

Saturday, February 5, 2011

There is always time for brownies!

Especially before the BIG Game!

Orange Brownie Football

Aren't these little footballs just adorable?

I too, am busy making my little treats for the Super Bowl. Sorry I am not one of those bloggers who can be timely and post all my recipes BEFORE the big game for you to shop and make beforehand. Unfortunately, I don't cook like that or perhaps I am not the best blogger in the world. However, I want my goodies FOR the game, not one/two weeks before the game just for a blogging post. I am not a millionaire, you know.....LOL. I look at it this way, if you just LOVE what I post in the next few days for Super Bowl treats....then print it out for next year. This way you will be WAY ahead for next year's game!

After all the prep, and chopping for the food for the main kinda want sometime easy for the sweet. I know you already have a box of brownies in the cabinet for emergencies....go ahead take it out.

Orange Brownies

Orange Brownie Football Bites
by JennyMac's Lipsmack
Makes 12-14 Footballs

1 box of your favorite brownie mix (and whatever else it calls for: water, oil and eggs)
1 small can mandarin oranges, drained
zest of one orange
6oz of chocolate chips
1 tsp. oil
prepared white frosting in a tube or powdered sugar

Preheat the oven according to your brownie mix directions.

Place brownie mix in bowl. Drain oranges and chop into pieces.

Place oil in measuring cup and add oranges into the oil in the cup. Add water to the oil and oranges to make up to the total amount of liquid. For example: My box called for 1/2 cup water and 1/4 cup oil. I put 1/4 cup oil and added oranges and filled water until it reached 3/4 cup. Wasn't much water to add for there is plenty of orange juice in those oranges.

Pour orange/oil/water mixture onto brownie mix, add orange zest and mix.

Pour into 9X13 baking pan. I always line mine with foil for easy "lift-out". Bake according to box.

Cool brownies and cut into ovals. If you have a football shaped cookie cutter GREAT. But I didn't so I used a biscuit cutter. Cut one side of circle into brownie and lifted it out and cut the other side into the other half circle making a 'somewhat oval'. You will have alot of scraps but if you have kids...I am sure they won't mind eating THESE!

Melt chocolate chips and tsp of oil in microwave until smooth. Dip ovals into chocolate and put on parchment paper either a tray or cookie sheet will do. Place in

Draw lines on your footballs when chocolate has set.

This can be done with just a plain brownie mix if you like. K-man loves the chocolate and orange I created this for him. It's all about the football tomorrow right? Not what flavor it is. LOL

Brownie Footballs

Cook's Notes:
1. If you do not have prepared white frosting on hand. Place powdered sugar in a ziploc bag and add just mere DROPS of milk until you get the right consistency. Cut the corner of the bag and draw your white lines. I used the convenience Betty Crocker stuff in a bag with a tip on it....and I was NOT happy the way the lines turned out....those little tails wouldn't stop. My white lines look a hot mess. I really am not THAT sloppy, HONEST!

Good Luck to whatever team you are rooting for. If it ain't the Skins playin'...I am there for the commercials! LOL

Snack Well!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

I have this problem....

I am either a rebel and can't follow the rules OR way too creative to respect a recipe 'as is'.

Hello, I am JennyMac and I am a rebel....

Perhaps my rebelliousness is due to the fact when I have it in my head, "I am going to make this recipe" I go to the kitchen I and I don't have EXACTLY everything the recipe calls for. The rebel in me says something like "I don't need no stinkin' 3 bananas....I can manage with only 2"

Banana Bread

I have made and eaten lots of banana bread. I don't like making banana bread for it always comes out very flat. Although it tastes great....looks aren't it's biggest appeal.

Found on Cutting Edge of Ordinary, I am dovetailing on Lisa's revelation of a 'secret technique' for banana bread and my rebellious change of her recipe. She used dates....I used apples. Ehhh. Dates, Shmates. Apple, Smapples. It's fruit. lol Regardless of the extra fruit....make this recipe for the SECRET's works!

Lisa said she found in an old Yankee Magazine back from the turn of the century. Lucky, Yankee Magazine has all their old recipe online now. Lisa gets props for bringing this to my attention. This is the original recipe from Yankee.

Banana Bread

3 large bananas
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla (sorry, I had add this - I make my own vanilla, I like to use it, so kill me)
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon soda
1/4 cups nuts if desired (also chopped dates- I used chopped dried apples)

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Crush bananas and whip until very light. Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, then flour, soda, and nuts. Add bananas last. Turn into well-greased bread pan. Bake slowly about 1 hour.

Banana Bread2

SECRET TECHNIQUE: The bananas end up liquefied, which may be why this bread does indeed have a very delicate texture.

My REBELLION: I had only 2 bananas in my freezer....dangit...I wanted banana bread now. OH well, time to be creative then....moist fruit.....I took a handful of dried apple rings....soaked them 1/4 cup spiced rum. Pureed them in the mini chopper (with the rum) and added them to the bananas and whipped some more.

Cook's Notes:
1. Toast your nuts- always! Flavors are best this way.
2. Sprinkle top of loaf with sugar....makes it "sparkly" and a nice crunchy sweetness on top when bitten.

Be a Rebel- Go Bananas!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Spinach Stuffed Chicken

I love when I can get my protein and veggies in one dish. One stop cooking is ideal some days. The versatility of this recipe is that you can change up the cheese or seasoning to tailor the dish to your tastes.

Spinach Stuffed Chicken

Spinach Stuffed Chicken
by JennyMac Lipsmack

olive oil
1/2 medium onion, chopped or 1/2 cup green onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced (make two piles: 2/3 and 1/3)
10 ounces boxed spinach, thawed
1/2 cup cheese (feta, monterry jack, cheddar, swiss -your preference)
salt and pepper to taste
3 Tbsp. butter
1 cup breadcrumbs (italian, plain, panko, cracker- whatever you have on hand)
1 tsp. oregano (basil, rosemary, sage- whatever floats your boat)
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast (split in half lengthwise)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in small pan on medium heat. Add the onion and 2/3 of the reserved garlic, cook until softened 3-4 minutes. Place cooled onions in bowl with thawed spinach, cheese and season with salt and pepper. Melt butter in pan used for onions, turn off heat and add crumbs, herbs and remaining garlic. Toss around to mix herbs, crumb and butter.

Drizzle a baking dish with another 1 Tbsp of olive oil. Split each chicken breast lengthwise but not all the way (like a book). Stuff with spinach and cheese mixture, letting the stuffing overflow at the edges. Place the chicken pieces in the baking dish and top with breadcrumbs. Bake until juices run clear or internal temperature is 165 degrees or about 20 minutes.

Serves 4.

Spinach Stuffed Chicken1

Serve with a some bread and a leafy salad and you are good. This was delicious. I can't wait for the leftovers tomorrow!

Go stuff yourself!