Soft Pretzel Bites

Here in Philadelphia we LOVE soft pretzels. They are everywhere. You can get them on the street corner, in convenience stores, and in a lot of restaurants. You can get a variety of dipping sauces, but I love just a basic spicy mustard to dip my pretzel into. Sometimes I can get down with a cheese sauce, but sometimes that’s just too heavy for a light & fluffy soft pretzel. And other times – I like them by themselves. Nothing on them. Plain Jane.

Believe it or not, soft pretzels are really easy to make at home.  They may seem really difficult, but they aren’t. If you’ve never had a real soft pretzel you’ve gotta try making these at home. They are so good. And they are much better than Auntie Anne’s pretzels. Those are just so heavy with all of that butter on them. Don’t get me wrong, I like butter. But wow. They are just too buttery for me.

Look at these. Aren’t they cute?! [Read more…]

Turkey Pepperoni & Sausage Pizza Puffs

So yesterday was Super Bowl Sunday! I’m still in disbelief that it’s already February. Where has the time gone?!  We decided to just do some snack type foods for the big game.  So we had some of our favorite appetizer foods:  Chicken FingersPotato Skins and Chips & Dip! We also added a new kid to the block and tried something new:  Turkey Pepperoni & Sausage Pizza Puffs! I found the recipe on Pinterest and I thought they looked delicious! We ended the night with some Mini Cupcakes – just how I like it! 🙂

(Recipe from Plain Chicken)


  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 3/4 cup whole milk (I used 2%)
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 4 oz mozzarella cheese, shredded (about 1 cup)
  • 2 oz mini turkey pepperoni, (about 1/2 cup)
  • 4 oz low-fat sausage, cooked and crumbled (I used Turkey Sausage Crumbles)
  • 1/2 cup pizza sauce


Preheat the oven to 375°. Grease a 24-cup mini-muffin pan. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, garlic powder and baking powder; whisk in the milk and egg.

Stir in the mozzarella, sausage and pepperoni.

Let stand for 10 minutes.

Stir the batter and divide among the mini-muffin cups.

Bake until puffed and golden, 20 to 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, microwave the pizza sauce until warmed through. Serve the puffs with the pizza sauce for dipping.

I thought these were so good! They were kind of a pain to get out of the mini muffin pan, and I even greased the pan very good before putting the batter in there. I just had to run a knife around the edges of each of them. No big deal though. Otherwise these were so simple and easy to make. Next time I may try putting half of the shredded mozzarella cheese in the batter and then topping the puffs with the other half of the cheese after they bake for about 20 minutes.

It was a wonderful finger food for the big game!

What did you eat during the Super Bowl?

5 Ingredient Friday: Tomato, Basil & Mozzarella Salad

This week’s 5 Ingredient Friday recipe is inspired by my CSA box! We’re on a Tomato and Basil overload this week, so I figured I’d make a delicious Tomato, Basil & Mozzarella Salad for dinner one night. We had both Red Grape Tomatoes and Yellow Grape Tomatoes on hand, as well as a few Heirloom Tomatoes. You can use whatever kind of Tomatoes you have on hand as long as they are delicious!  This is so simple to make, and it tastes so fresh! And it’s a bonus that everything is organic and local.


  • Tomatoes (I used Red Grape Tomatoes & Yellow Grape Tomatoes)
  • Fresh Basil
  • Fresh Mozzarella Cheese
  • Salt & Pepper (freebies!)
  • Olive Oil
  • Balsamic Vinegar Reduction


Slice up the tomatoes and place them in a bowl. Slice the Mozzarella and then cut up into chunks. Place the cheese in the bowl around the tomatoes. Cut up the fresh Basil and sprinkle all over the Tomatoes and Mozzarella.  Drizzle some olive oil all over the salad. To finish it off, drizzle some of the Balsamic Vinegar Reduction all over. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

This salad is so delicious and fresh tasting, it’s great for during the summer when you don’t want to turn on the stove or the oven.  We have so many tomatoes from our CSA that I didn’t know what to do with them all. But this was the perfect solution. And who doesn’t love an excuse to eat some fresh mozzarella?!

5 Ingredient Friday: Cheesesteak Empanadas

This week’s 5 Ingredient Friday recipe is Cheesesteak Empanadas.


  [em-puh-nahduh; Sp. em-pah-nahth ah]

noun Latin-American Cookery . a turnover or mold of pastry filled with chopped or ground meat, vegetables, fruit, etc., and usually baked or fried. []

There was a Food Truck here in Philadelphia that was called Far From Home Cafe.  They served a number of items such as Burgers, Tacos, Fries, Sweets, and Empanadas. Their Empanadas were a HUGE hit. That’s all you heard people talk about…how wonderful they were. They had a bunch of different flavors and they all sounded delicious.  Unfortunately [for Philly] they’ve recently closed up shop to pursue a book deal and consulting opportunity [but good for them!]. I never had a chance to try their Empanadas, but I can imagine they were out of this world.  I came across Empanada discs at the grocery story and I figured I’d try to make them myself!

We really enjoyed the Cheesesteak Egg Rolls that we made a while back, so I figured I’d use that same idea to make the Empanadas. They ended up turning out great and I loved the flavor.


  • 1 Pack of Empanada Discs (found in the frozen food section near Goya)
  •  Beef  (whatever you use to make Cheesesteaks – I used Philly Gourmet Steaks)
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • American Cheese (shredded or slices)
  • 1 egg, beaten


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Cook the steak in a large pan. When it’s fully cooked, put the beef in a strainer with a bowl beneath so that the fat drains out.

Cook the onions in a tiny bit of the fat until they are a light golden brown. Add the steak in and incorporate the onions and the steak. 

You have a few options for the cheese – you can either add it in with the steak and onions, or you can put it on top of the beef as you are making the Empanadas. I did a little of both – you can never have to much cheese! 😉

Roll out the Empanada disc from top to bottom (I usually only do it once; you don’t want it to get too thin).

Place some of the steak & onion mixture in the center of the Empanada disc. Add some cheese if you desire.

 Fold the shell over into a half moon shape. Push the edges together with your fingers and then seal it with a fork.

Place the Empanada on a baking sheet lined with Parchment paper. Brush the outside with the egg wash.  Repeat until you’ve used up all of the steak and Empanada discs.

Place the Empanadas  in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes, until they are golden brown.

Place on a dish lined with a paper towel and allow to cool for about 5 minutes or so.  Enjoy!

I really loved these. Since they were baked, they weren’t greasy at all. They browned very nicely and turned out great.  These can be fried, but for a healthier option you should bake them. These are definitely going in my recipe box. They would make wonderful appetizers for get-togethers.