Meaty Bones

Here is a fun and quick meal for Halloween. The only thing I didn’t like was I thought that there was way too much orange zest in the sauce. It’s completely overpowering. So, if I were to make this again I would only add a little orange zest, not a whole teaspoon. Other then that this recipe was super good and my kids had so much fun with the theme. Enjoy!!

Meaty Bones

  • 1/2 cup hickory-smoked barbecue sauce
  • 1/4 cup grape jelly
  • 2 tablespoons steak sauce
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange peel
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 12 chicken drumsticks, patted dry
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 12 piece or gauze (12 inches each)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine barbecue sauce, jelly, steak sauce and orange peel in small microwavable bowl. Microwave on High 1 minute or until jelly is melted. Stir until well blended. Spray broiler rack and pan with cooking spray; arrange chicken pieces on rack. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Broil 25 to 30 minutes, or until no longer pink in center cooked through (165 degrees), turning frequently. During the last 5 minutes of broiling, baste chicken with half of the sauce. Pour remaining sauce over chicken. Let stand 5 minutes to cool slightly. Wrap bottom portion of each drumstick with strip of gauze.
Makes 12 drumsticks.

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Recipe from Pil Cook Books Halloween Food, Fun & Crafts

Cherry Bars

I know it’s not even October yet, but I’m too excited. So, full swing into Halloween foods we go! I made these this last week and I thought they were super fun. Me, my hubby, and my little ones where trying to figure out a fun name to call them, but I couldn’t find anything I loved, so I left them it at Cherry Bars, but some ideas we came up with were Bleeding Cherry Bars, Vampire Bites, Epidermal Bars {my husband came up with this one, and it made me wanna gag}, Bloody Bars. Anyways you get the idea. Maybe you can come up with something you like better. But whatever you call them, they are super yummy!! It’s almost like a cherry pie/cake. I love cherry pie filling, so any recipe that includes it, I will probably always love, but this recipe in particular was really good. And my kids loved it too, which is the real test. If my kids will eat it, it is sure to be a crowd pleaser. Enjoy!!

Cherry Bars

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cans (21 ounces each) cherry pie filling


  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons milk

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the extracts. Combine flour and salt; gradually add to the creamed mixture just until combined.

Spread 3 cups batter into a greased 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan. Spread with pie filling. Drop the remaining batter by teaspoonfuls over filling.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Combine the glaze ingredients; drizzle over the top. Cut into bars. Yield: 5 dozen.

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Recipe from Taste Of Home Baking Classics

Pecan Baklava

K, so this stuff is addicting!! You take one bite, and think, “Oh, this is pretty good.” Then before you know it, you’re feeling like you need to go back for another bite, and another, and another. Ugh, it so good! It’s like those cinnamon sugar roasted pecans you get at the fair, except a million times better. The only thing I would say to do different is, the recipe says to coarsely chopped the pecans but I think it would have turned out better if the pecans were chopped up a little finer. That way the phyllo dough lays better and you don’t have such large chunks of pecans. Don’t chop then up super fine, but just into small pieces. Other then that this dessert was awesome and so befitting of Fall. And honestly, this is easier to make then you think. The phyllo dough is a little temperamental if you let it dry out, but keep it moist and it isn’t hard. You just layer the dough, brush with butter, and add your pecan mix, then repeat. A definite must try recipe!! Enjoy!


  • 1 pound (500 g) pecans, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup (100 g) sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 14 sheets phyllo dough, thawed if frozen
  • 1 cup (250 g) butter, melted
  • 2 cups (400 g) sugar
  • 2 cups (500 ml) water
  • Freshly squeezed juice of 1/2 lemon
Baklava: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch square baking pan.

Mix the pecans, sugar, and cinnamon in a large bowl. Lay the sheets of dough out flat and cover with waxed paper and a damp kitchen towel. (This will stop them from drying out.)

Fit one pastry sheet in the pan and brush with butter. Fit another sheet on top and brush with butter. Sprinkle with a little pecan mixture. Top with another pastry sheet and brush with butter. Repeat until all the filling and pastry are in the pan, finishing with a layer of phyllo brushed with butter. Chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Cut the pastry into diamond shapes about 2 inches in length. Be sure to cut through all the layers to the bottom of the pan. Drizzle with the remaining butter. Bake for about 45 minutes, or until golden brown.

Syrup: Bring the sugar, water, and lemon juice to a boil in a saucepan over medium heat. Simmer for 20 minutes. Drizzle the syrup over the hot baklava just after removing it from the oven. Cool the cake completely in the pan on a rack.

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Recipe from The Golden Book of Desserts

Chocolate Marshmallow Meltaways

The weather is starting to cool down!! And although you can’t tell here in Arizona, I’m sure some places are starting to look like Fall. This morning actually felt cool outside (which for us dessert folk means that it was in the 80’s). We are still hitting over 100 degrees daily though, but I see cool weather coming very soon. Yay!!

This cookie was really fun and totally hits the spot! I love marshmallows and my husband hates them, but this was a crowd pleaser for everyone at my house. I had to talk him into eating the first one, because it had marshmallow in it, but before I knew it he had downed 3 more. So yummy! The cookie is kind of dry and crumbly, almost like a peanut butter cookie, the marshmallow is gooey, and the frosting is smooth and creamy. It’s like the all time perfect mini dessert!! “Delicious” is all I have to say about this cookie! Enjoy 🙂


  • 1/2 cup butter-flavored shortening
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup baking cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 18 large marshmallows, halved
  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 3 tablespoons baking cocoa
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 4 to 6 tablespoons milk

In a large bowl, cream shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, milk and vanilla. Combine the flour, cocoa, salt and baking soda.

Gradually add the creamed mixture and mix well.

Drop by tablespoonfuls 2 in. apart onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 minutes.

Press a marshmallow half, cut side down, onto each cookie; bake 2 minutes longer. Remove to wire racks to cool.

In a small bowl, beat the butter, confectioners’ sugar, cocoa and salt until smooth. Add enough milk to achieve a spreading consistency. Frost cookies.
Yield: About 3 dozen cookies.

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Recipe from Taste of Home Baking Classics

Beef Stroganoff Meatballs

As a kid my mom always made Beef Stroganoff for us. So now it is one of my favorite dinners ever. This isn’t her recipe, but I’ve been wanting to try one from scratch for a while. Personally I prefer the sirloin steaks with this, but the meatballs were a close second. I really like that it was a cheaper solution to a hardy meal. Also, if you usually have noodles with your stroganoff, try it with rice for a change. We have always had it with rice and I found that it is so much more of a comfort food this way then with the noodles. A totally delicious and relatively easy recipe to make. Hope you like it!!


  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups soft bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups beef broth
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
Hot cooked noodles or rice

In a bowl, combine the egg, milk, onion and Worcestershire sauce. Stir in bread crumbs, salt and pepper. Crumble beef over mixture and mix well. Shape into 1 1/4-in. balls. Place in a lightly greased 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until meat is no longer pink.
In a saucepan, saute mushrooms and onion in butter until tender. Stir in 3 tablespoons flour and salt until blended. Gradually add broth. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook and stir for 2 minutes; reduce heat.
Combine sour cream and remaining flour until smooth; stir into mushroom mixture. Add meatballs. Simmer, uncovered, for 4-5 minutes or until heated through, stirring occasionally. Serve over noodles. Sprinkle with paprika if desired.
Yield: 6 servings.

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Recipe at Taste of Home Winning Recipes

Royal Icing

A friend of mine is having her son’s first birthday today!! So she asked that I make a couple of things for her. One of the things she wanted was baseball themed sugar cookies. Here is the finished product. I’m actually super happy with how they turned out. Especially since this is my first attempt at decorating sugar cookies. It was lots of fun. I will for sure be making Halloween sugar cookies now that I’m not so intimidated by the idea of decorating the cookies.

There is definitely some technique involved though. I found that the more I piped, the steadier my hand got, which is pretty important for pretty cookies. Here is a quick picture of how to pipe and flood your cookie {I used a Wilton #3 tip for the piping}. Your piping icing is going to be a good amount thicker then your flooding. A word of advice though. When making your icing, add the water SLOWLY!! You can always add more water, but it is hard to get back to a thicker consistency after you’ve already thinned the icing too much. I started out by adding 1/4 a cup instead of 1/2 like the recipe says, and then added water as I went.

Also, remember to have fun with this. If you are like me and this is your first time decorating sugar cookies, really your gonna learn what you like and don’t by trial and error. I had to remove frosting from my piping bag three different times to add more water just to get the consistency I wanted. So take a breath, turn on some relaxing music, and zen out. Don’t let yourself get frustrated or else you are going to hate this! Another thing I did was instead of the almond extract which I added to my sugar cookies for the flavoring, I used clear vanilla extract. I love how they turned out. You get the almond from the sugar cookies and the vanilla in the icing. They really complimented each other really well, but do what you like. And as always, Enjoy 🙂

Cooled Basic Sugar Cookies

Royal Icing

  • 4 cups (440 grams) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 3 tablespoons (30 grams) meringue powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
  • 1/2 cup – 3/4 cup (120 – 180 ml) warm water
  • Food Coloring (can be found at cake decorating or party stores)

In the bowl of you electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the sugar and meringue powder until combined. Add the water and beat on medium/high speed until glossy and stiff peaks form (about 5 minutes). If necessary, to get the right consistency, add more powdered sugar or water. Add food coloring , if desired. To cover the entire surface of the cookie with icing, the proper consistency is when you lift the beater, the ribbon of icing that falls back into the bowl remains on the surface of the icing for a few seconds before disappearing. The icing needs to be used immediately or transferred to an airtight container as it hardens when exposed to air.

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Recipe from

Tomato and Mozzarella Salad with Pesto

Hey Everyone!! I’m sure all of you are aware that Halloween is coming up soon! Yay! This happens to be my favorite holiday. Christmas comes in a close second, but Halloween has always been my favorite since I was little. So I’m gonna be decking out my posts pretty soon with all Halloween themed stuff, but before then, I wanted to hurry and post some hardy meals and sides before we get ready for the “Candy Holiday”.

So here is a healthy and delicious salad! I love dishes that taste really healthy and clean, but don’t lack in flavor, this is one of them. There are a couple things that I would change though. Really, there should be 1 pound of mozzarella balls, instead of just a half. I found that with only 8 ounces you had so much tomato and it left you hunting for the mozzarella, so double that part of the recipe. Also, I really think that 5 tablespoons of the pesto should be added, but I would add it as you go. Add the 3 tablespoons first and then if you are like me and want that extra flavor then add more as per your taste. But this recipe is so yummy, satisfying, and really super easy. A perfect first course to your meal. Enjoy!


  • 3 tablespoons basil pesto (recipe at bottom)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • about 4 cups mixed red, yellow, and orange cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 pound small, fresh mozzarella balls, such as ciliegine or bocconcino 
In a bowl, whisk together the pesto and vinegar. Whisking constantly, slowly add the oil until emulsified. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Slice the tomatoes and mozzarella balls in half, add to the bowl, and toss gently. Season with salt and pepper and mound on a serving platter. Serve at once.
Makes 4-6 servings.
Basil Pesto
  • 1 or 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
With a food processor running, drop the garlic through the feed tube and process until minced. Turn off the processor, add the pine nuts, and pulse a few times to chop. Add the basil and pulse a few times to chop coarsely. Then, with the processor running, add the oil through the feed tube in a slow, steady stream and process until a smooth, moderately thick paste forms, stopping to scrape down the bowl as needed. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the Parmesan. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Makes about 1 cup.
Recipe from Williams-Sonoma’s Comfort Food.