I adapted the recipe from  This recipe was easy and the soup was fantastic!! It makes a mild, somewhat sweet broth, not quite as dark as a traditional Onion Soup. We loved it, as it reminded us of the French Onion soup at one of our favorite little French Restaurants in NYC, Parigot, located in SoHo.

The ingredients I used include:
4 Tablespoons butter                                
1 teaspoon salt                                          
2 large red onions, thinly sliced                
2 large sweet onions, thinly sliced          
48 oz organic chicken broth                      
14 oz organic beef broth                            
1/2 cup red wine                                      
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce          
2 sprigs fresh parsley
1 sprig fresh thyme leaves
1 bay leaf
1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
 salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
4 thick slices French or Italian bread
8 slices Gruyere cheese, thinly sliced, room temp
1/2 cup shredded asiago cheese, room temp
4 pinches paprika


First, melt the butter in a large pot over med-high heat. Stir in salt, red onions and sweet onions. (I used a mandolin to slice my onions thin enough). Cook 35 minutes until the onions caramelize and form somewhat of a syrup, continue to stir.



Next, mix in the chicken broth, beef broth, red wine and worcestershire sauce. Bundle the fresh herbs, the parsley, thyme and bay leaf, together with twine and place in the pot. Simmer over medium heat for 20 minutes, continuing to stir. Remove and discard the herbs. Reduce heat to low, add vinegar as well as salt and pepper. Cover and simmer while bread is prepared.



Preheat broiler. Arranged bread slices on a baking sheet and broil for three minutes, turning once, until toasted on both sides. Remove from heat, leaving broiler on.


Arrange 4 large oven safe bowls on a rimmed baking sheet. Fill each 2/3 full with soup and top with a slice of toasted bread.


Thinly slice Gruyere cheese and place on top of toasted bread. Sprinkle 1/4 of the asiago over it. Sprinkle each with paprika.


Broil for 5 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown. Serve hot.


My crocks are small, so there was quite a bit of soup left over. I toasted extra slices of bread and stored them in an airtight container for the next day. I reheated the soup, placed the toast on top and added the cheese. I then placed them under the broiler and it made for an awesome lunch the next day! I hope you give it a try!!

Homemade Granola Bars 

Homemade Granola Bars

Homemade Granola Bars

Homemade Granola Bars

Homemade Granola Bars

1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup honey
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 cups QUICK-COOKING oats (not rolled oats)
1 cup crispy rice cereal
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons mini chocolate chips

In a large bowl, stir together the oats and rice cereal. Set aside. In a small saucepan, melt butter, honey and brown sugar over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook 2 minutes. Pour in vanilla and stir. Pour mixture over dry ingredients and mix well to moisten all ingredients. Pour into lightly greased small jelly roll pan (12 x 8 x 1) and press bars to about 3/4-inch thickness. Press them down well so they stick together. Sprinkle mini chocolate chips over top and press down lightly. Cool to room temperature for two hours or until chocolate chips are set before cutting the bars. Store at room temperature in an air-tight container. 

raspberry tart with clip

framed tart with tape

Raspberry Sour Cream Tart title
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This is easily one of my very favorite dessert recipes. I recently made this for my daughter's middle school teacher appreciation luncheon. It always seems to be a favorite wherever I take it. As a matter of fact, any time I make it, I have to make two. My girls tell me I'm not allowed to make it for someone else without also making one to keep at home. 

The tart is easy to make and always gives a beautiful presentation. I adapted the recipe from Bon Appetit

Raspberry Sour Cream Tart 
For the crust: 
8 graham crackers, coarsely broken
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted

Filling and Topping:
6 oz cream cheese at room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 sour cream
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-1/2 pint containers raspberries
1/4 cup seedless raspberry jam

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a food processor, grind graham crackers and sugar until coarse crumbs form. Add butter, process until evenly moistened. Press firmly up bottom and sides of a 9" tart pan with removable bottom. Bake until firm, about 8 minutes. Cool. 

Using mixer, beat together sour cream, lemon juice and vanilla. Spread filling in cooled crust. Chill until firm, at least 4 hours. (Can be made a day ahead, cover and keep chilled). Arrange berries over filling. Whisk jam in small bowl to loose consistency. Drizzle over berries. Serve immediately or chill up to 3 hours. 


Hungry for a cupcake, but looking for something a little different than the ordinary chocolate or vanilla cupcake? Well, this Snickerdoodle Cupcake is sure to do the trick! My girls wanted some cupcakes, I, however, wanted to be a bit more adventurous in my baking. I found this recipe from Martha Stewart and let me tell you ... the cupcakes were outstanding! 

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I wasn't sure if I'd be able to make the icing fancy, but Martha gives clear, easy directions on how to do it and really, it couldn't have been any simpler. If you don't have a pastry bag, you can use a ziplock bag. Cut the corner off the bag and slip your large plain icing tip through the hole. Fill the bag 3/4 full of icing, get the air out of the bag and roll the top down tight. Then, just squeeze to create the little dome and pull up to make the little peak. Easy, peasy. 

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Just dust your cinnamon sugar on top and they're done! 

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The cupcakes were actually even better than I thought they would be. The recipe makes a lot, which is nice. We had plenty to satisfy everyone here at home and we even had some to share. The cake was moist and flavorful and the icing was the perfect addition. It's light - a mix between a meringue and a marshmallow, a little crisp on the outside and fluffy on the inside. For a brief minute, I thought about using a traditional frosting, but I am so happy I did not. After tasting them, I don't feel that any other type frosting would compliment the cupcake quite as well. 

I've included the recipe below as well as a link to download it as a jpeg to your computer here. You can then print it out on cardstock, if you choose, and store it with your other favorite dessert recipes. 

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Homemade Blueberry Muffins








Blueberry Muffins
Serves 12. 

4 Tbs butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg, separated
2/3 cup milk
1-3/4 cup flour
1/4 tsp vanilla
3 tsp baking powder
1 cup blueberries

1. Preheat oven to 350-degrees.
2. Melt 4 tsp of butter and add to 3/4 cup sugar, 1 egg yolk and   
   2/3 cup milk. Mix on low-medium. Add 1/4 tsp vanilla. 
3. Mix together 1-3/4 cups of flour and 3 tsp baking powder. 
4. Pour flour mixture gradually into sugar mixture. 
5. Gently mix in 1 cup blueberries. 
6. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form and fold into mixture. 
7. Pour batter into cupcake papers. 
8. Bake until done, 15-18 minutes. 

Let me know if you try the recipe and how you liked them. :D 

Seafood Paella
Recipe Adapted from Giada DeLaurentis







Photobucket6 servings. 
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 
3 sweet Italian sausages (about 12 ounces), casings removed
1 skinless boneless chicken breast (about 6 oz), cut into 3/4-inch cubes
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus extra for seasonings
1 medium fennel bulb, chopped
1 medium bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, diced
1 small onion chopped 
6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
3 (8 ounce) bottles clam juice
1 15-oz can diced tomatoes in juice
3 Turkish bay leaves
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon finely crumbled stem saffron
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
8 ounces Arborio Rice
12 small Little Neck Clams, scrubbed
12 large shrimp peeled and deveined
8 1-inch cubes Halibut filet (about 8 ounces) 
In a 6-quart Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the sausage. Stir, breaking up sausage into small pieces with a wooden spoon, until cooked through, about 4 minutes. Add chicken to the skillet and season with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook until no longer pink on outside, 1-2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer chicken and sausage to medium bowl. 
Add the fennel, bell pepper, onion and garlic to pan. Season with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook until almost tender, about 5 minutes. Add the clam juice, tomatoes with juices, bay leaves, paprika, saffron and 1/8 tsp cayenne. Add Arborio rice and cook, uncovered, until almost tender, stirring occasionally. Return chicken and sausage to the pot. Bring sauce to a simmer. Add 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add clams, shrimp and halibut. Cover and cook until clams open, 4-5 minutes (discard any unopened clams). Remove the cover, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer gently until fish, shrimp and chicken are just tender, 4-5 minutes. Remove bay leaves and discard. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Mix in parley and serve. 

Deep Dark Chocolate Cookies

recipe adapted from Epicurious

What you will need: 
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1-1/2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips (about 9 oz), divided
  • 3 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 2-1/2 cups powdered sugar, divided
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly spray two cookies sheets with nonstick cooking spray. Melt 1 cup of chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl for 2 minutes in the microwave, stirring twice. Cool slightly. 
Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites until soft peaks form.
PhotobucketGradually beat in 1 cup of the powdered sugar (I cut the sugar down and instead used 1/2 cup). Continue beating until mixture resembles soft marshmallow cream.
Whisk 1 cup sugar, cocoa, cornstarch, and salt in medium bowl to blend. On low speed, beat dry ingredients into meringue. Stir in lukewarm chocolate and 1/2 cup chocolate chips (dough will become very stiff).
Place 1/2 cup sugar in bowl. Use about a tablespoon of dough and roll into a ball. Next, roll it in sugar, coating thickly. Place on cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining dough.

Bake until puffed and tops crack, about 10 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes before transferring to cooling rack. 



Chicken Pasta Salad

I have made the same pasta salad for the past 16 years. Our family loves it and it always gets eaten if I take it to a picnic. Its simple and quick, which makes it nice to whip up and have on hand for a quick side dish or snack. HOWEVER, I needed something different. Something without the traditional italian dressing tossed over noodles. My search landed me at where I found the Chicken Pasta Salad recipe. It's a bit more time-consuming than my old standby, but so completely worth the time and effort! I love the fresh greens mixed in with the pasta noodles. The vinaigrette is so light and the bacon adds a nice touch of flavor. We loved the salad and will definitely be serving it this summer! 

adapted from

16 oz. bow tie pasta, cooked and drained

4 large chicken breast halves, boneless, skinless
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 clove garlic, minced

3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 cup freshly-squeezed lemon juice
4 teaspoons granulated white sugar
4 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 cloves chopped garlic
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary, to taste

Salad Ingredients:
1 pound mixed salad greens
1/2 cup chopped fresh italian parsley
1 bunch green onions, sliced (1/2 to 3/4 cup)
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup crumbled, cooked bacon
1 cup toasted pine nuts 

*I did not use the sun-dried tomatoes - I have two people in my family who do NOT like tomatoes of any kind. Also, I substituted purple onions for the green onions as I did not have any green onions at the moment. I also skipped out on the pine nuts, as there are not many nut-lovers in my household either.

1.  Prepare the chicken. Saute chicken with onion, rosemary and garlic in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat until chicken is cooked throughout. Remove from pan and slice into thin bite-size pieces. Discard onion. Set chicken aside. 
2.  Dressing. Whisk dressing ingredients together. Pour dressing over cooked noodles and chicken. Cover and marinate overnight in refrigerator. 
3.  Just before serving, add remaining salad ingredients and toss.

Grilled Asparagus
You will need 1 bunch asparagus. Clean and cut off the "woody" ends.

Next, coat lightly with olive oil and season with sea salt.
Drizzle with balsamic vinegar. 

Place on grill; low heat.

Grill until tender, retaining a slight crunch.

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