1 package active dry yeast (1/4 ounce)
1/4 cup warm water
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup buttermilk
Add the yeast to the 1/4 cup warm water and set aside.  Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, and sugar in a large bowl.  Cut in the shortening untill the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Make sure the yeast is dissolved in the water and add to the dough along with the buttermilk.  Mix everything together with a spoon, turn out onto floured surface, knead several times.  Roll out the dough to about 1/4 inch thick, cut out biscuits and place on a sprayed baking sheet.  Let rise about 30 minutes. (They will not rise very much)   Bake in preheated 400 degree oven about 15 minutes until golden brown.  Makes about 2 dozen biscuits.

Basil Garlic Goat Cheese Schmear
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

Savings in Fremont, CA 94536  Change Zip

  • 1 tube (8 ounces) refrigerated crescent rolls
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 packages (3 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon dill weed
  • 1/4 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 1 can (14 ounces) water-packed artichoke hearts, rinsed, drained and chopped
  • 1/3 cup thinly chopped green onions
  • 1 jar (2 ounces) diced pimientos, drained


  • Unroll crescent dough and press onto the bottom and 1/2 in. up the sides of an ungreased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish; seal seams and perforations. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake at 375° for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned.
  • Meanwhile, in a small bowl, beat the cream cheese, sour cream and egg until smooth. Stir in dill and seasoned salt. Spread over crust. Sprinkle with artichokes, green onions and pimientos.
  • Bake 15-20 minutes longer or until edges are golden brown. Cut into squares. Yield: about 2 dozen.
Basil Garlic Goat Cheese Schmear
  • 1 - 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped fine
  • 1 8-oz. package of goat cheese
  • About 3 tablespoons of fresh basil leaves and/or flowers, chopped fine (I used a mix of green and purple leaves)
  • A few other fresh herbs: rosemary, thyme, oregano
  1. In a small bowl, mix together the garlic, goat cheese, and fresh herbs until well mixed. (If the goat cheese is giving you any trouble, try microwaving it for about 30 seconds to soften it up a bit.) Put the spread in a covered container and refrigerate until serving time. This schmear is best if made an hour or more before serving so the flavors have to time to permeate through the goat cheese. Serve with crackers or crudites.

1 lb ground beef or 1 lb ground turkey
1 (1 1/4 ounce) packet taco seasoning
1 cup water
1 (26 ounce) jar spaghetti sauce
1 (8 ounce) box spaghetti noodles
12 hard taco shells
salsa (optional)
cheddar cheese (optional)
lettuce (optional)

Prepare noodles according to package directions. Drain and return to pot.
Brown meat in pan until no longer pink. Add taco seasoning and water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5-6 minutes, until sauce thickens. Add spaghetti sauce and cook until warmed. Add to noodles and mix thoroughly.
To assemble the tacos, place a spoonful of salsa in the shell. Sprinkle with a small amount of cheese. Finally, finish filling the shell with spaghetti. Add lettuce on top, if desired.
Very messy, but very yummy!

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Garlic Cheese Bread

Bread Ingredients
Hasselback Bread Final 2
 Into a mixer bowl, add in your water, yeast and honey. Stir it all in and leave it alone for 5-10 minutes. You want to make sure your yeast is alive and kickin’

Once your yeast has gotten foamy, stir in the salt and the flour in 1/4 cup increments. PS-You never want to go above level 2 {stir} when using a Kitchenaid Mixer. I just just read that in the instructions manual. Making dough=slow speed. 

 Once the dough starts pulling away from the sides and the bowl is looking pretty clean, then it’s time to set the timer and walk away. 5 minutes later your dough should be tacky and smooth. Like, it should feel a little sticky, but leave nothing on your fingers when you poke at it. Grease your bowl and dough. Cover the whole thing with a towel or plastic wrap and let it rise for an hour or until it’s doubled in size.

 One hour later, I got me some purdy lookin’ dough! 

 Punch that dough down and divide into two equal balls.Roll those dough balls into two baguette shapes the length of your baking sheet. I like to twist mine because {1}they look cool and {2}it helps keep them from shrinking.

Cover with plastic wrap and let it rise for 30 minutes. Then preheat your oven to 400 degrees and place the pan nearby to get all that extra warmth seeping from your oven.

They should have doubled by the time the oven is preheated {about 45 minutes later}. Reduce the oven temp to 350 and bake for 20 minutes.

In the mean time, grab some of your garlic herb butter

And melt it down. It’s so much faster working with melted butter.

You’re gonna want to slice some cheese too. I used a sharp white cheddar. OH yeah.After 20 minutes, your french loaves should start to golden. Take them out of the oven and brush with some melted butter. Bake another 5-7 minutes or until perfectly golden. Remove from oven and cool 15 minutes. Now, we could stop here and have two lovely french loaves of bread but I’m insane and must add butter and cheese. So, lets keep going!

Slice your bread into 1 inch slices 3/4 of the way down. It’s important to let your bread cool at least 15 minutes so that when you cut it it doesn’t squash the loaf right down. Make sure you use a bread knife too! *Important*

Once your bread is sliced, take that garlic butter and slather it on top and in between all those cracks. Be generous!

Then put your slices of cheese into those cracks and bake it another 5 minutes or until all that cheese is melted.

Grilled Goat Cheese and Pesto Pizza

Get the perfect pizza crust with Jenna Weber's's recipe for grilled goat cheese and pesto pizza in a full post on the Fresh Tastes blog.


  • For Pesto
  • 3 cups lightly packed basil leaves
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp toasted pine nuts (toast pine nuts in a dry skillet over medium/high until toasty)
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • For Pizza
  • Pizza dough for one pizza (make your own or grab some prepared dough from your favorite pizza place!)
  • 5 oz fresh goat cheese
  • Toppings of choice: I used sliced tomato and sautéed cremini mushrooms


  1. First, make your pesto. Combine basil leaves, garlic, pine nuts and two tablespoons of the olive oil in a food processor and process until just slightly chunky. With the motor running, slowly drizzle in the remaining olive oil in a steady stream. Add lemon juice, Parmesan cheese, sea salt and pepper and continue processing until smooth.
  2. To prepare your pizza, heat up your grill (either gas or charcoal is fine) and spray the grates well with non-stick spray. Also, spray the BACK of a cookie sheet well with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
  3. Roll out your dough on a lightly floured surface to roughly about 12” in diameter. It doesn’t have to be perfect! Carefully transfer the pizza dough to the back of the greased cookie sheet and carry outside to the grill.
  4. Gently, lift the dough off the back of the cookie sheet and onto the grill. Close the grill and cook for about 5 minutes, checking occasionally. The dough should be starting to bubble up and if you check the bottom, it should be looking a little charred.
  5. Slide the dough off the grill and back onto the back of the cookie sheet. Flip pizza so the charred side is on top then spread pesto all over the top. Add toppings of your choice (I used sautéed mushrooms and thin tomato slices and it was great) followed by soft mounds of goat cheese.
  6. Carefully slide dough back onto the grill, close top and cook for another 5-6 minutes, checking often. When done, the crust should be puffy, the bottom slightly charred and the cheese melted.
  7. Slide your finished pizza back onto your cookie sheet, let cool and slice up!
Yield: one 12” pizza

1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
Weight Watchers Parmesan Chicken Cutlets. Photo by ~Nimz~2 tablespoons dried Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
1/8 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 1 pound)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In resealable plastic bag, combine cheese, crumbs and all seasonings; shake well.
Transfer mixture to plate; dip each chicken breast in cheese mixture, turning to coat all sides.
Arrange on nonstick baking sheet.
Bake until chicken is cooked through, 20-25 minutes.
4 points per serving.

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Old-Fashioned Butter Mints (no-bake, gluten-free)
Makes about 200 bite-sized mints
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar plus 1/4 cup+, if needed
1/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract*
food coloring, optional
To the bowl of stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine butter and salt and beat for 1 minute on medium-high speed. Add 3 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar, milk, peppermint, and beat on medium-low speed until a dough forms. If the dough seems wet, add additional confectioners’ sugar until dough combines (I use 3 1/2 cups sugar). The dough will be crumbly but will come together when pinched and squeezed into a ball.
Taste the batter. If you want a more intense mint flavor, add additional mint extract, to taste.* Be very careful how much mint you add; you cannot un-do this. I repeat, be very, very careful with how much you add. Even 1/8th teaspoon peppermint extract can change flavors, dramatically.
Remove dough from the mixer, separate it into 1 to 4 smaller balls, and add one ball back into the mixer. Add the food coloring of your choice to the ball by squirting the droplets on top of the dough (careful when you turn on the mixer), and paddle on low speed until coloring is well-blended. Coloring will not blend completely into each and every speck of dough if examined extremely closely, but overall, mix until color is uniform. (I separated approximately two-thirds of the dough and made it green using about 15 drops green food coloring and made one-third of the dough red-pink by using about 7 drops red food coloring).
Wash the mixing bowl and the paddle in between each color change and repeat until all the balls are colored. After the dough has been colored, either wrap it with plastic wrap and place it in an airtight container in the refrigerator to be rolled out later or roll it immediately.
Place a golf-ball sized amount of dough in your hands and roll dough into long thin cylinders about 1 centimeter wide. Place cylinders on countertop and with a pizza cutter (or knife – be careful of your counter), slice cylinders into bite-sized pieces, approximately 1 centimeter long. Store mints in an airtight container in the refrigerator where they will keep for many weeks.


Creamy Avocado Yogurt Dip

Yield: Serves 4
This healthy Creamy Avocado Yogurt Dip is simple to make and is great for parties or snack time. Serve with pita chips, tortilla chips, or cut up vegetables.


1/2 cup plain fat-free Greek yogurt (I use Chobani)
2 ripe avocados, peeled and seeded
1 clove garlic, minced
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon finely chopped seeded jalapeño pepper
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
Pita chips, tortilla chips, cut up veggies-for serving


1. Place the yogurt, avocados, garlic, cilantro, jalapeño, lime juice, and cumin in a blender or food processor. Mix until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
2. Scrape dip into a serving bowl and serve with pita chips, tortilla chips, or cut up veggies.


S’mores Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies  source: idea and method inspired by Picky Palate
I made my own graham crackers for these s’mores stuffed cookies, but you can certainly use store-bought crackers if you’re pressed for time or you know, not crazy like me. :)   You’ll need 4 approximately 1 1/2″ by 3″ pieces which for store-bought graham crackers means half of a graham square.  If you decide to make your own graham crackers (go for it!), cut them to fit.  This recipe yields 4 gigantic cookies.  Feel free to double the recipe and/or make smaller cookies by using smaller graham crackers and just half of a marshmallow for each cookie.

  • 2 cups plus 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 12 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled until warm
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
For assembly:
  • 1 cookie dough recipe, at room temperature
  • 8 graham cracker squares, broken into halves (see header note above)
  • 4 marshmallows, snipped in half lengthwise
  • 1 full-size Hershey’s bar, divided between each of the prospective cookies
  1. To make the cookie dough: Whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl; set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or by hand, mix butter and sugars until thoroughly combined.  Beat in the egg, yolk, and vanilla until combined.  Add dry ingredients and beat at low-speed just until combined – the batter should look a little lumpy.  Stir in chocolate chips.
  2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  3. To assemble and bake: Lay half of the graham crackers out on the baking sheets – two crackers per sheet.  Top each cracker with 3-4 pieces of chocolate then top the chocolate with two marshmallow halves, laying them side-by-side.  Lay the remaining graham crackers on top of the assemble s’mores.  Sandwich the s’mores between two large spoonfuls of cookie dough and using the remaining dough to wrap around each of the s’mores; the result should resemble a small cookie brick.
  4. Space the cookies at least 4 inches apart on the two baking sheets.  Bake for 20-24 minutes or until the tops and edges are lightly browned and the edges just lift off the pan with a spatula.  (While baking, the s’mores will press down under the weight of the cookie dough and will sink further while cooling.  Don’t worry if the cookies don’t end up completely covering the s’mores – it only adds to the charm here.)  Transfer the baking sheets to wire racks and cool the cookies on the sheets for at least 5 minutes.  Transfer the cookies to the wire racks and cool for another 5-10 minutes before serving.  Serve warm or at room temperature.


Tomato, Basil and Smoked Mozzarella Pasta Salad

Prep time 15 min      Cook time 9 min     feeds 6



  • Cook pasta according to package directions; drain and transfer to a large bowl. Add vinegar, oil and oregano; toss to coat.
  • Fold in tomatoes, basil and mozzarella; season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve warm or chilled. Yields about 1 cup per serving.


  Monster Cookie Dough Dip               

Source: slightly adapted from Something Swanky
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
½ cup butter, slightly softened 
1 cup creamy peanut butter 
2 cups powdered sugar 
3 Tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla 
2 ½ cups rolled oats, old fashioned or quick (see Note)
2/3 cup plain M&Ms (give or take)
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1. With a hand mixer or stand mixer, beat the cream cheese, butter, and peanut butter until smooth. 
2. Add in the powdered sugar, brown sugar, flour, and vanilla.
3. Using the paddle attachment on your stand mixer or just a wooden spoon, mix in the oats. You may want to use more or less here. I really like the oats in it and a thicker dip so I added a lot. Remember that the dip will also firm up a bit in the fridge.
4. Add the M&Ms and chocolate chips.
5. Store in the refrigerator until serving. Serve with pretzels, graham crackers, or apple slices. You can dip or spread this depending on how thick you made your dip. Try not to eat it all like I did!
6. Note: You can use more or less oats to adjust the thickness of your dip. Start with about 1 1/2 cups oats and keep adding until you reach your desired thickness. If you use quick oats you might use less since it's finer and will make the dough .



Total Time:
10 min
10 min
Approximately 1 to 1 1/2 cups

  • 1/2 pound pitted mixed olives
  • anchovy fillets, rinsed
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • 2 to 3 fresh basil leaves
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil


Thoroughly rinse the olives in cool water. Place all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor. Process to combine, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl, until the mixture becomes a coarse paste, approximately 1 to 2 minutes total. Transfer to a bowl and serve

              southern fried chicken

Total Time:
20 min
7 min
13 min
4 servings

House Seasoning:

  1 cup salt

  • 1/4 cup black pepper
  • 1/4 cup garlic powder

Southern Fried Chicken:


To make the House Seasoning, mix ingredients together and store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.
In a medium size bowl, beat the eggs with the water. Add enough hot sauce so the egg mixture is bright orange. In another bowl, combine the flour and pepper. Season the chicken with the House Seasoning. Dip the seasonedchicken in the egg, and then coat well in the flour mixture.
Heat the oil to 350 degrees F in a deep pot. Do not fill the pot more than 1/2 full with oil.
Fry the chicken in the oil until brown and crisp. Dark meat takes longer than white meat. It should take dark meat about 13 to 14 minutes, white meat around 8 to 10 min.


         Coming soon my new cookbook 

Cookie Ornament CupsCookie Ornament Cups

30 mins
15 mins
24 cups


  • 1 pkg. (16.5 oz.) NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Refrigerated Chocolate Chip Cookie Bar Dough
  • 1 container (16 oz.) prepared white frosting,divided
  • Red food coloring
  • 2 quart-size plastic food storage bags
  • Frosty WONKA® NERDS®, various holiday sprinkles, sugars and/or decorating gels
  • Mini pretzel twists, broken for ornament hook (24 hooks are needed)
  • 24 NESTLÉ® Jingles, any flavor, unwrapped


PREHEAT oven to 350º F. Grease 24 mini-muffin cups. Place one square of cookie dough into each cup. BAKE for 15 to 17 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely in pan(s) on wire rack. With tip of butter knife, remove cookie cups from muffin pan(s). SPOON half of frosting into plastic bag; seal. Stir food coloring into remaining frosting in container until desired color is reached. Fill other plastic bag with colored frosting; seal. Cut 1/2-inch from corner of each bag. Squeeze bags lightly to pipe frosting on top of each cookie cup to form rounded ornament shape. Decorate with Nerds, sprinkles, sugars and/or gels. Place Nestlé Jingle on top of each. To adhere hook, use a small amount of icing. Make Ahead Tip: • Cookie bases can be made ahead and stored covered at room temperature for up to a day. Frosty WONKA® NERDS® and NESTLÉ® Jingles are available mid-November through December. 
Hands-on Time: 15 minutes Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes (includes cooling time) Makes: 4 dozen crackers or 
  • 2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  1. In a food processor, combine all the ingredients until the dough is soft and pliable, with a claylike consistency, 45 to 60 seconds.
  2. Transfer the dough to a clean, lightly floured work surface. Lightly flour your hands and shape the dough into two 1 1/2- by 8-inch logs. Wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and chill until firm, about 1 hour.
  3. Position your oven racks at the top and bottom thirds of the oven. Heat the oven to 350° and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  4. For the crackers (bottom): Using a sharp, lightly floured knife, cut the logs of dough into 1/4-inch slices and place them an inch apart on the prepared baking sheets.

    Bake the crackers, rotating the sheets once, until they are lightly browned on the edges, about 20 minutes. Set the baking sheets on a wire rack to cool slightly, then transfer the crackers to the rack to cool completely*.
  5. For the sticks (top): Using a sharp, lightly floured knife, cut each log in half crosswise, then lengthwise, creating four 4-inch-long pieces. Roll each piece into a 12-inch-long rope with your hands (if the rope breaks, just pinch it back together). Cut each rope into 1 1/2-inch sticks and place them an inch apart on the prepared baking sheets. Using the tines of a lightly floured fork, gently press on the sticks to indent the dough.

    Bake the sticks, rotating the baking sheets once, until they are lightly browned on the edges, about 15 minutes. Set the baking sheets on a wire rack to cool slightly, then transfer the sticks to the rack to cool completely*.

    8 dozen sticks 

    There are two ways to prepare these savory treats. The two versions are equally tasty, and both look merry presented in glass jars decorated with red ribbon.


Best Hot Cocoa Mix

  • 2 cups nonfat dry milk powder
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/2 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup powdered nondairy creamer
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  1. Measure all of the ingredients into a mixing bowl and whisk them until they are evenly blended.
  2. Store the mix in a tightly covered container at room temperature until you're ready to package it. Makes about 4 cups of mix.

    3. But in mug with candy canes and ribbon 

recipe for the contest


• 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
• 1 1/3 cups sugar
• 3 teaspoons baking powder
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 cup shortening
• 1 cup milk
• 1 teaspoon vanilla
• 2 large eggs

Easy Cupcake Recipe Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line cupcake pans with paper liners.
Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl.  Add shortening, milk, and vanilla.  Beat for 1 minute on medium speed.  Scrape side of bowl with a spatula.
Add eggs to the mixture.  Beat for 1 minute on medium speed.  Scrape bowl again.  Beat on high speed for 1 minute 30 seconds until well mixed.
Spoon cupcake batter into paper liners until 1/2 to 2/3 full.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Cool 5 minutes in pans then remove and place on wire racks to cool completely.
Once cupcakes are completely cooled, frost with your favorite frosting recipe or decorate as you desire.

Just some ideas for the coming contest.




  • 12 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 (8 ounce) package shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1 tablespoon bacon bits
  • 12 ounces jalapeno peppers, seeded and halved
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup dry bread crumbs
  • 2 quarts oil for frying


  1. In a medium bowl, mix the cream cheese, Cheddar cheese and bacon bits. Spoon this mixture into the jalapeno pepper halves.
  2. Put the milk and flour into two separate small bowls. Dip the stuffed jalapenos first into the milk then into the flour, making sure they are well coated with each. Allow the coated jalapenos to dry for about 10 minutes.
  3. Dip the jalapenos in milk again and roll them through the breadcrumbs. Allow them to dry, then repeat to ensure the entire surface of the jalapeno is coated.
  4. In a medium skillet, heat the oil to 365 degrees F ( 180 degrees C). Deep fry the coated jalapenos 2 to 3 minutes each, until golden brown. Remove and let drain on a paper towel.