Recipe of the Week – Spinach Stuffed Mushroom Caps

From the Appetizer Collection at


Spinach Stuffed Mushroom Caps

Spinach Stuffed Mushroom Caps

This recipe is another that we developed for our New Jersey trip.  Feeding a small army who have different food allergies is a challenge and the easiest way to get around the gluten-free problem was to adapt recipes to fit into the gluten-free theme.  While this recipe reflects using flour; we have the gluten-free recipe on our site at

These disappeared from the plate almost as fast as the mapled bacon appetizers posted last week.

Spinach Stuffed Mushroom Caps

Recipe Summary
Complexity: Easy
Serves: 10
Category: Appetizer
Meal: other (General)
2 Tb oil, olive
1 lb spinach, fresh
1 medium shallot, minced
0.33 cup currants
1 lb mushrooms, baby portabella
4 Tb oil, olive
3 pinch salt and pepper to taste
1 Tb butter, salted
1 Tb flour, all-purpose
0.25 cup milk, 2 %
0.33 cup panko breadcrumbs
0.25 cup cheese, Romano, grated

Wash spinach, remove stems. Heat oil in a sauté pan. Remove stems from the mushrooms and reserve. Dip mushroom caps in oil; being sure to cover inside and outside of the mushrooms. Add salt and pepper. Chop mushroom stems into small dice and add to spinach. Add spinach, shallot, currants and stems and cook until wilted.

In a separate pan heat flour until just turning brown, add butter and stir. Add milk and stir until thickened. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add the mixture to the spinach, adding just enough to thicken the spinach.

Place mushrooms caps on a parchment lined baking sheet. Stuff caps with the spinach mixture. Sprinkle the panko liberally on top of each mushroom cap; sprinkle the tops with the Romano cheese.

Bake at 350 for 8 – 10 minutes until tops are starting to brown. May be served warm or at room temperature.

Find these and many more appetizing ideas at

May 25, 2015 at 12:59 pm Leave a comment

Recipe of the Week – Mapled Bacon

From the Appetizer Collection at

Mapled Bacon

Mapled Bacon

We are back in New Jersey celebrating my mother-in-law’s 92 birthday.  As  these gatherings always involve large dinners with plenty of good conversations. I thought I would make an appetizer for her that was on target with her love of bacon.  I made it in advance and froze it to reheat at one of the dinners.  The only problem was that it disappeared from the plate faster then we could get a photo of it for the website. I had to remake some the next night; taking the photo before I served it.

I guess at 92 you deserve to have bacon two nights in a row.

Mapled Bacon

Recipe Summary
Complexity: Easy
Serves: 8
Category: Appetizer
Meal: other (General)
0.5 lb bacon, thick sliced
0.5 cup sugar, brown
0.5 cup pecans, chopped
2 tsp salt, kosher
1 tsp pepper, fresh cracked
0.33 cup maple syrup

Cut bacon into 2 inch pieces. Add brown sugar, pecans and salt and pepper to a food processor. Pulse until mixed. Add the maple syrup and pulse to form a paste. Place bacon on a rack in a baking sheet. Place a tsp of the sugar mixture on each piece and spread evenly. Bake at 375 for 22 – 30 minutes until brown sugar and bacon are crisp. Serve at room temperature.

This appetizer is gluten-free.  Find more great gluten-free recipes at



May 19, 2015 at 5:56 am Leave a comment

Recipe of the Week – Waffles with Chicken Fingers

From the Breakfast Collection at

Waffles with Chicken Fingers

Waffles with Chicken Fingers

Going a little trendy on you today.  Brunches are back; people are getting together again to sit around, drink coffee and eat a slow, comfortable meal.  With that in mind it seems that everywhere I go I see waffles and chicken on the brunch menus.  Seems strange to mix chicken with the waffles but if you think about it you have the sweet of the syrup and the salty of the chicken, a great combination.

While this seems like a lot of work you can prepare it in advance before your guests get there.  If pushed for time you can buy the chicken fingers.

Waffles with Chicken Fingers

Recipe Summary
Complexity: Easy
Serves: 4
Category: Breakfast
Meal: other (General)
2 cups flour, all-purpose
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
0.5 tsp salt, kosher
4 large egg, separated
2 cups buttermilk
0.5 tsp cream of tartar
4 Tb butter, unsalted, melted
1 tsp vanilla
6 oz maple syrup
8 medium chicken strips, cooked

Preheat the waffle iron. Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together. In a separate bowl whisk the egg yolks and buttermilk together. Beat the egg whites with the cream of tarter until stiff peaks. Gently add the yolk mixture to the flour, don’t over mix. Stir in butter and vanilla; gently fold in the egg whites. Place 1/2 cup of the mixture into each side of the waffle maker, cook until golden. (keep warm in a 200 degree oven until ready to serve) Serve with maple syrup and top with the chicken strips. Makes about 10 waffles.

The chicken fingers recipe is available at our website along with many more breakfast ideas.


May 11, 2015 at 11:06 am Leave a comment

Recipe of the Week – Blue Cheese Stuffed Baby Portabellas

From the Appetizer Collection at

Blue Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms

Blue Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms

I feel a little “cheesy” writing about this recipe as it is so easy I feel as if I am phoning it in.  It is the time of the year that friends call you to come over for a impromptu cocktail party and you are requested to bring an appetizer to pass.  As the ingredients are readily available, probably right in your fridge, you can put this together in record time and be the hit of the party.

Pass the tray and watch how fast these disappear.

Blue Cheese Stuffed Baby Portabellas

Recipe Summary
Complexity: Easy
Serves: 6
Category: Appetizer
Meal: Veggie – Easy Italian Night (Theme Meal Plans)
0.5 lb mushrooms, baby portabella
2 Tb oil, olive
4 oz cheese, blue
1 tsp pepper, fresh cracked

Remove stems from mushrooms, wipe with damp cloth to clean. Brush with oil, stuff with blue cheese, sprinkle with pepper. Place on baking sheet, bake at 325 degrees for 3-5 minutes until mushrooms are tender.

More great appetizer ideas at



May 4, 2015 at 8:54 am Leave a comment

Recipe of the Week – Pork Cutlets

(From The Other White Meat Entrée Collection at

Pork Cutlets

Pork Cutlets

Last month one of my nieces asked me if I remembered the cutlets my mother made with brown gravy over macaroni.  She said it was a favorite of hers, as it was of mine and asked if I had the recipe.  I gave her the recipe and she made it for her family and said it brought back good memories of comfort food growing up.

Last night I couldn’t decide what to make so I made the cutlets.  I can tell you they are just like my mom’s and still a welcome comfort food at our house.

Pork Cutlets

Recipe Summary
Complexity: Easy
Serves: 4
Category: The Other Meat Entrée
Meal: other (General)
1 Tb oil, olive
4 medium pork, cutlet
5 medium mushrooms, sliced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 10 oz can beef consommé
1 Tb cornstarch
1 pinch salt and pepper to taste

Have the butcher run thin, boneless, center cut pork chops through the tenderizer. (used for beef cutlets) Place the oil in a saute pan and heat until shimmering. Place the cutlets in the pan and cook for about 4 minutes per side, until browned, remove to a platter and keep warm. Add the mushrooms and garlic and saute for 2 minutes, add the consomme and stir. Put the cornstarch in a cup and add 2 Tb of water, mix. Add to the pan and stir to mix, increase heat while stirring until the gravy is dark brown. Add the cutlets back to the pan and warm through.

Serve over pasta.

You may have to actually ask the guys behind the butcher counter at your grocery to make these for you; don’t hesitate to do so, you won’t be disappointed.

More comfort food at

April 27, 2015 at 11:22 am Leave a comment

Recipe of the Week – Lemon Meringue Tart

From the Dessert Collection at

Lemon Meringue Tart

Lemon Meringue Tart

Looking for a fairly easy but impressive dessert?  This lemon meringue tart may be just the right ticket for that informal dinner party or a special treat for your family. With just the right mixture of sweet and tart; not too filling and great presentation; the lemon tart compliments a roasted chicken dinner or fits nicely into a Sunday brunch menu.

We like to add a little excitement to our meal by browning the meringue at the table using a plumber’s touch.


Lemon Meringue Tart

Recipe Summary
Complexity: Easy
Serves: 8
Category: Dessert
Meal: Brunch Anyone? (Distinctive Dinners)
2 Tb lemon, zest, grated
1 cup sugar, granulated
12 Tb butter, unsalted
0.5 cup lemon, juice of
4 large egg
1 large egg, yolks
1 recipe Tart Dough
1 recipe Italian meringue

Place lemon zest and sugar in a bowl, mix together. Cut butter into 12 pieces. Place lemon juice, sugar, butter, and all the eggs into a non-reactive sauce pan. Whisk together. Set pan over medium heat and stir until thick and hot to the touch. Remove from heat, strain into bowl and refrigerate for 1/2 hour.

Use pre-baked tart shell, fill with lemon filling. Spoon Italian meringue on top, smooth, then lift your spatula to form peaks. Place in broiler for only 2 minutes to color. (Watch this step, the meringue browns very quickly. Refrigerate until served.

Note: Be sure to add the Tart dough recipe to your shopping list.

You can find a wonderful tart shell recipe along with the Italian Meringue recipe at

April 20, 2015 at 12:36 pm Leave a comment

Recipe of the Week – Asparagus Lasagna

From Starch / Pasta Collection at

Capt. Jim's Asparagus Lagasna

Capt. Jim’s Asparagus Lasagna

I planned this meal a little backwards.  I wanted something light and wanted to pair it with a nice bottle of white wine and a salad. So instead of deciding on the main attraction I focused on what would go with the wine.  Remembering this recipe sent by a good friend and good cook it seemed like just the right touch for a Spring dinner.

Give this a try when you are looking for something different.  Add that good bottle of wine, a vinaigrette  salad and some crunchy French bread for a very good and satisfying dinner.

 Capt Jim’s Asparagus Lasagna

Recipe Summary
Complexity: Easy
Serves: 8
Category: Starch / Pasta
Meal: other (General)
2 Tb oil, olive
9 sheets lasagna noodles
16 oz sun-dried tomatoes, in oil
1.5 cups basil leaves, whole
1.25 cups cheese, parmesan, grated
0.25 lb pancetta
1 medium onions, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb asparagus
1 16 oz. container cheese, ricotta
1 tsp salt, kosher
0.5 tsp pepper, fresh cracked
2 cups cheese, mozzarella, shredded
2 Tb butter, unsalted

Boil salted water; add 1 TB olive oil and pasta and cook for 5 minutes. Rinse and drain pasta; separate sheets. Combine sun-dried tomatoes and basil in a food processor; remove to a bowl and stir in 1/2 cup of the Parmesan cheese. Brown pancetta in a sauce pan; remove when done. Add the remaining olive oil to the pan, add the onions and garlic and saute the until tender. Cut the asparagus into 1 inch pieces and add to the pan and cook until tender. Remove asparagus and onions from the pan to a large mixing bowl. Stir in the ricotta, salt and pepper. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sprinkle some of the sun-dried tomato mixture over the bottom of a 9 X 13 baking pan. Place a layer of the lasagna sheets in the pan; add half of the asparagus mixture; spread evenly over the pasta. Sprinkle 1/3rd of the mozzarella and 1/3rd of the remaining Parmesan on top; repeat the pasta and mixtures; ending with the a pasta layer and the remaining mozzarella and Parmesan. Dot the top with the butter and bake until heated through and golden. Allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Note: You may substitute any good ham for the pancetta and a good low-moisture cottage cheese for the ricotta.

Want the vinaigrette recipe and more; come over to

April 13, 2015 at 7:39 am Leave a comment

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