A Bridal Shower and Pizza Puffs

Last weekend we threw a bridal shower for my sister so I had an opportunity to try a few new recipes. We featured mostly finger foods so guests could enjoy them while playing games and sipping on our signature cocktail for the afternoon. The spread included:

Nummy Pesto Sammie
Pizza Puffs
Double Broccoli Quinoa
Prosciutto & Gruyere Palmiers
Orzo with Everything Salad
Raspberry Lemonade Mini Cupcakes
Brownie Pops

These pizza puffs were well received and I personally enjoyed the bite size pizzas almost more then a regular pizza - which further supports my infatuation for all things cute and little. These would be great to serve for any party as an appetizer and they come together fast. The best thing is they freeze beautifully and your guests will never know :)

The bridal shower was a success and the bride was B&B (beautiful & buzzed) opening gifts and spending her last days as a single woman with good friends.

Pepperoni Pizza Puffs
24 mini pizza puffs
Recipe from Rachael Ray

3/4 cup all purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup 2% milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
4 oz about 1 cup 4-cheese blend (Trader Joes) can sub mozzarella
4 oz pepperoni, small dice
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup pizza sauce (Trader Joes)

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder. Mix in the milk and egg. Stir in cheese and pepperoni. Turn oven to 375 degrees and let batter sit for 10 minutes while oven heats to temp.
When oven is ready, stir batter and fill 24 mini-cup greased muffin cups about 3/4 way full – sprinkle tops with parm cheese. Bake 20 - 25 minutes. Serve pizza sauce on the side for dipping.
Note: These can be made ahead of time. Place baked puffs on a baking sheet and put in the freezer until frozen about 25 minutes. Transfer to a storage bag. When ready to eat, preheat oven to 350 degrees, place puffs on a baking sheet, and bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until warm and heated through.

Orange Sherbert

One of my favorite ice cream flavors growing up was orange sherbert. There was always something about that bright vibrant hue of orange that would catch my eye. Back in the day when an ice cream cone was .35 cents was a real treat, now you can pay anywhere up to $5 bucks for it! My goodness - how old do I sound! Making it at home brought back all those loving childhood memories and then some. The sherbert was very refreshing and sweet but with a bit of tartness. Not so tart where your lips pucker, but just the perfect amount. I had an abundance of super tart oranges that were going to waste since they were too sour to eat, but made for the perfect sherbert. So depending on how sweet your oranges are, the results may vary a bit, but will be fantastic nonetheless. Enjoy!

Orange Sherbert

Recipe from Alton Brown
Makes about 1 quart

  • 7 ounces sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons finely grated orange zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups freshly squeezed orange juice, approximately 2 to 3 pounds oranges
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups very cold whole milk*


In the bowl of a food processor combine all of the ingredients except the milk and process until the sugar is dissolved, approximately 1 minute. Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl and whisk in the milk. Cover the bowl and place in the refrigerator until the mixture reaches 40 degrees F or below, approximately 1 hour.

Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker and process until it is the consistency of soft serve ice cream. You may serve now or transfer to a lidded container and place in freezer until firm, approximately 3 hours.

*I used 2%

Grilled Portobello "Benedict"

As I've mentioned before, breakfast is one of my favorite meals and this portobello "benedict" reminded me of the many reasons why I enjoy it so much. Anytime I order eggs benedict I can never seem to get past the over easy egg and always find myself eating around the yolk. This "benedict" however was right up my alley with the addition of pesto and scrambled eggs - YUM MAY! Substituting the english muffin for the portobello mushroom was a brilliant idea as well and added a bit of "meatyness" to the dish. Make your breakfast a little extra special and give this a try :)

Grilled Portobello "Benedict"

Adapted from Ellie Krieger, So Easy via Apple a Day Blog

cooking spray
2 portobello caps (about 4 oz. each)
1 tsp olive oil
4 slices Canadian bacon (1/8" thick)
Store-bought or homemade pesto, to taste
2 large eggs
4 large egg whites
1 TBSP milk or water
freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
2 tbs. freshly-grated Parmesan cheese
3-4 fresh basil leaves, chiffonade

1. Preheat a grill or grill pan sprayed with cooking spray over medium-high heat.

2. With a spoon, gently scrape out the gills from the inside of the mushroom caps, taking care not to break the caps. Brush both sides with the oil or spray with PAM olive oil and sprinkle both side with S&P. Grill the mushrooms until they are tender and their juices begin to release, about seven minutes per side or until cooked all the way through. Transfer each mushroom to a plate, top side down.

3. One the same grill or grill pan, cook the Canadian bacon slices until they are warm and grill marks have formed, about 1 minute per side. Place one to two slices of bacon on each mushroom cap. Spread pesto over the Canadian bacon.

4. While the mushrooms are grilling, whisk the eggs, egg whites, and water/milk together in a medium bowl until well combined. In a medium-sized skillet over medium-low heat, scramble the eggs until cooked through. Mine took about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and add basil and cheese.

5. Divide the scrambled eggs over the pesto and if so desired, sprinkle more cheese. Serve immediately.

Involtini di Pesce Spada - Stuffed Swordfish Rolls

I've been eating an obscene amount of glutinous food lately so I thought I'd make something healthier for a change. Apparently I'm trying to eat my way to utter oblivion so this dish stopped the madness. I had this meal for the first time when lobster and I were in Rome on our honeymoon. We ate at a restaurant called Sicilianbocca and the food was absolutely AMAZING. I still dream about our meals till this day. One dish I remember in particular were these stuffed swordfish rolls. They were thin slices of swordfish stuffed with raisins, pine nuts and cheese. I found a similar recipe online and it was a close rendition of the original but does not compare to the dish we had in Rome. Nonetheless, it was tasty, light and good for the waistline.

Involtini di Pesce Spada
Adapted from Epicurious
3 to 4 servings

For the involtini:
1/2 cup of breadcrumbs (freshly ground, if possible, made with day old bread with crust removed)
1 tbs of fresh young Pecorino cheese
2 tbs of grated Parmigiano reggiano
1 tablespoons pine nuts (pignoli), toasted
1 tablespoons raisins
1 cloves of garlic, diced
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
Freshly ground pepper
About 1 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/4 pounds swordfish steaks, pounded thin*
Olive oil to fry

1. Place the breadcrumbs in a medium sized bowl. Add the Pecorino, parmigiano, pine nuts, raisins, garlic and parsley into a food processor and chop very finely. Toss together and season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper.
2. Drizzle the mixture while tossing with 1 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and toss. The olive oil will help to hold the filling together but should not leave the filling soaked – use your discretion.
3. Flatten the swordfish slices further between 2 pieces of wax paper, pounding with the side of a mallet or heavy cleaver very gently so you don’t break through the flesh. Each slice should be about 5 1/2 x 3 1/2 inches.
4. Season each slice of fish with salt and pepper and spoon about 2 tablespoons of the filling on top of the fish. Be careful not to overdo it with the filling….a little goes a long way.
5. Fold in the sides of the fish. Tuck in the end nearest you and roll up the slice. Secure with a toothpick or kitchen twine
6. Repeat for remaining slices.
7. Brush some olive oil all over swordfish and season with salt and pepper. Prepare skillet at medium high and cook fish for two-three minutes. Rotate 90 degrees and cook one to two more minutes, then repeat twice to cook on all sides.
8. Plate and serve with slices of lemon

*Next time I think I'll try to freeze the fish for about thirty minutes and then slice it. Let me know if you try the recipe and it works out for you. Or ask the fish monger to slice it as thin as possible

Mesclun Salad Vinaigrette
Adapted from Ina Garten

2 tablespoons good olive oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Mix all ingredients together.

Feta Sun-Dried Tomato Turkey Burger Sliders

Feta, sun-dried tomatoes, and turkey. I don't know why I didn't realize I've made something similar to this in the past. I guess when you try a different recipe for every meal, some of them are bound to overlap - especially when they feature my favorite ingredients. If you've ever tried The Ultimate Meatloaf Sammie or the infamous 50,000 Burger, then you are sure to love these sliders. While the recipes are quite similar, the preparation and condiments are different so I thought it deserved its own NuM NuM post. These little sliders would make great party food and I think all things served in "mini-me" versions always please a crowd - or maybe just pleases me :D

While the burgers were full of flavor, I wasn't really a fan of the slider buns. While they were cute to look at, they were really dense so we removed some of the crumb and turned our sliders into turkey cups, which gave a better burger to bread ratio. These are also delicious topped with Trader Joe's Cheddar Jalapeno Pub Cheese which is HIGHLY ADDICTING if you wanted to forgo the aioli! Enjoy!

Feta Sun-Dried Tomato Turkey Burger Sliders
Adapted from Picky Palate
Makes about 10 sliders

1 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
10 oz ground turkey
1/4 Cup + 1 tbs crumbled feta cheese
2.5 tbs sun-dried tomatoes, jarred in olive oil, drained and finely chopped
1/4 Cup+1 tbs fresh baby spinach leaves, chopped
Pinch of Kosher salt, fresh cracked pepper and Garlic Powder with Parsley

Sun-Dried Tomato Aioli
1/4 Cup mayonnaise
1 Tablespoons sun-dried tomatoes, packed in olive oil, drained finely chopped
Baby hamburger buns or dinner rolls, split and warmed (Trader Joe's slider buns)
1/2 Cups fresh baby spinach leaves

1. Place turkey, feta, sun dried tomato, spinach and seasonings into a mixing bowl. Mix until just combined. Make a test patty and cook and check for seasonings. I had to add more garlic powder and S&P. Using a heavy duty baking sheet, remove meat from bowl and pat it down into a square using the baking sheet as your guide to about ¾-inch thick. Using a 2 inch cookie cutter cut out meat. Or you can also use a 1/4 cup measuring cup and shape into little patty’s and place onto a cookie sheet. Once all are formed, place under broiler and cook to 165. To broil burgers, turn the broiler to high in stove and let it heat up for a few minutes. Put the patties on the broiling pan and position the pan about 4 to 5 inches below the broiler. Flip the burgers once the first side gets brown, maybe about three minutes. Cook until the inside reaches the desired temperature. Or you can cook these on a grill or skillet using the 1 tbs of EVOO.

2. Toast buns then place mayonnaise and tomatoes into a bowl; mix to combine. Spread over insides of toasted warm rolls. Layer bottom roll with spinach and the burger. Close with top roll and eat.