Aglio Olio with Mushrooms

A long time ago I had a friend that loved to cook Italian foods.  Spaghetti Aglio Olio, a.k.a garlic pasta,  and a red meatless “gravy” were the only two thing I ever cooked with that friend.

If you have read any of my other posts, you know that I can never leave well enough alone in a recipe and have taken liberties over the years to adjust this recipe to my own preferences.  I think this is the way most folks cook Aglio Olio, as no two recipes ever seem the same.

The way I learned to cook Aglio Olio was to start with olive oil, garlic, and anchovies.  I know that the anchovies are supposed to melt into the sauce and provide a rich flavor.  I find it leaves too fishy of a taste for me and have chosen to not use them.  If you like that flavor, all you have to do is add 4 to 6 anchovy filets to the cold skillet with the garlic and oil when you first start the dish.

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Lazy Cream Horns

Lazy Cream Horns were just an experiment in the kitchen to recreate cream horn flavor without having baking tubes handy.  I could have ordered them online, and maybe one day I will, but for now I do not own any.

It is kind of like a Napoleon pastry, but instead of being filled with whipped cream or pastry cream, it is filed with a cream horn filling.

I had never heard of a cream horn before I met my husband.  I never ate one until our first trip to Florida together.  If I remember right, he found them at a gas station, wrapped individually.  They seemed to be pretty elusive back then.

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Spicy Pretzels with a Kick

This recipe is a close relative of spiced crackers.  The only real difference here is the choice of spice add in used.  I prefer to keep the cayenne pepper out of my spiced crackers, but it pairs well with pretzels, at least in my mind.

Spicy Pretzels with a Kick pairs well with beer because of the kick.  I like to serve these when we are having a few folks over to watch football games.

These pretzels also serve well as hostess gifts just like Peppermint Crunch and Spiced Crackers do.

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Peppermint Crunch

Everyone needs an easy go to Holiday treat recipe.  One that requires minimal ingredients and minimal time to make.  Peppermint Crunch fits that bill.

It only has 3 ingredients.  4 ingredients if you decide to add peppermint flavoring to either chocolate layers.

Just like spiced crackers, this recipe makes great hostess gifts.  It cost a bit more than crackers, but who doesn’t love chocolate and peppermint during the holidays.  This is probably why we gain up to 5% of our weight over the holidays.  I don’t deny that nuts, caramel, and cinnamon flavored treats are part of the problem.

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Spiced Crackers

Spiced crackers have many versions and many names across the cooking blogosphere and home kitchens.  These are probably called “those crackers you make for Christmas gifts” more than any other name in my house.  But, these are good anytime and I didn’t want to ban them other people’s houses just during the holiday season.

These crackers are very easy to make and definitely more frugal than anything loaded with chocolate or nuts.  Packed into small baggies, the crackers make a great filler for a cookie tray that has a small space left and you are out of cookie cooking or candy making steam.

Larger containers of spiced crackers can work as a stand-alone hostess gift.  I have used these crackers for both purposes.

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New Orleans Style Bread Pudding

New Orleans Style Bread Pudding is my kind of bread pudding.  This bread pudding does not have large pieces of bread hanging out.  This is creamier than other bread puddings, but not too egg-y.

It can be made with any kind of leftover bread that you have laying around.  One day I would like to try this with stale cinnamon rolls. But, that would mean there were leftovers………..

I prefer making this with some dried out quick yeast rolls.  I’m able to crumble them pretty quickly and these rolls absorb the liquid pretty easily.  As you are mixing up this bread pudding, the consistency will look like really wet oatmeal.  No worries, this will bake up and set just fine.  If it needs a little extra baking time, that’s OK too.  It just means crispier edges, which in my opinion is the best part.

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Beef Salad

Beef Salad is perfect for elegant cocktail parties and casual get-togethers.  It’s all in the presentation with this one.

It is easy enough that even beginners should be able to pull off beef salad so long as they own a food processor or blender.  I might be possible to mince the meat with a knife, but I have never done it.  I am too lazy for all of that, and patience is NOT by strong suit.

This recipe can be scaled down to use leftover roast beef.  I used to make it this way until I discovered that so many people liked it that I actually needed to make a full roast just for beef salad.  This is another one of those dishes that I carry to others’ parties as an appetizer.

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Witch’s Stew

Witch’s Stew is just a Halloween party variation of Frog Eye Soup.

Frog Eye Soup is just a variation of chicken and pasta that had been started as a soup recipe and turned into more of a pasta dish.  But the name has stuck in our family for about 20 years.

Frog Eye Soup got its name from the pasta shape that I had on hand for a Frog Eye Salad.  For those of you who have never heard of Frog Eye Salad, it is kind of a sweet dish in which ambrosia and pasta salad got mixed up in the same bowl.  It was very popular in the 60’s and 70’s.

I’ll try to make some in time for the spring holidays.  Right now, my house is in full fall and winter holiday prep.  For the blog anyway, you won’t find any carved pumpkins, graveyard scenes, or Christmas trees in the house just yet.  But give it another month and you might.

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Peach Crumble

Peach Crumble is a recipe I saw on the local news when they were doing one of their featured recipe clips.  You know the ones I am talking about, every TV station seems to have one of those.  I usually don’t watch a whole lot of TV.  It tends to be running in the background though when others are in the house.

I have been so focused on fall recipes that it seems I have forgotten it is actually the end of summer.  Porter peaches are a pretty big deal around these parts.  I managed to miss that whole season and did not get one single Porter peach this year.  Shame too, they are actually really good!

Luckily, this recipe uses frozen peaches.  It also uses oats, and if you have read my apple crisp post, you know oats are not one of the things I like in my desserts. But, Andy did like it.  Said it reminded him of granola.  He likes that kind of thing.

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Pina Colada Pie

Pina Colada Pie is in the regular dessert rotation at my house.  It is a newer recipe and not one that I have lugged around for years or anything.

It actually turned up in my life through a Facebook post of a friend who had found a recipe online and had posted to her timeline for someone to make it for her.  Whew, that was a long run-on sentence.

Being who I am, I bought the stuff for it during my next trip to the grocery store.  As time went on, I forgot about the recipe.  I stumbled over the cream of coconut in the pantry and remembered why I had it and why it was sitting on top of a package of a package of store bought cookies.

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