Reuben Dip with Dark Rye Toasts

If you find joy in a Reuben sandwich then you’ll love this month’s Reuben dip! Just in time for the St. Patrick’s Day, add this make ahead recipe to your party to do list. Slainte!

Serves: Approximately 10 appetizer servings | Courtesy of


  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons prepared horseradish that has been drained
  • ⅓ cup thousand island dressing
  • 2 tablespoons sweet relish or salad cubes, drained
  • 8 ounces deli sliced corned beef, diced
  • 16 ounces sauerkraut, very well drained
  • 4 ounces shredded Swiss cheese (about 2-1/4 cups)



  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together cream cheese, horseradish, thousand island dressing and relish until mixed well. Stir in corned beef, sauerkraut and shredded cheese.
  3. Transfer to a baking or casserole dish and bake for 20 minutes, or until hot and edges are bubbling.


Red Velvet Whoopie Pies

Courtesy of

Looking for the perfect homemade love gift this Valentine’s Day? This month’s recipe is a new spin on a classic dessert. The rich red velvet cookie with cream cheese, marshmallow frosting is guaranteed to lift an eyebrow or two. Enjoy!


  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ¾ cup light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • One 1-ounce bottle red food coloring
  • 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup buttermilk


  • One 8-ounce package cream cheese, at room temperature
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • One 16-ounce jar marshmallow fluff


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. MAKE THE CAKES: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter with both sugars until light and fluffy, 4 to 5 minutes.
  3. Add the egg, vanilla extract and food coloring; mix well to combine.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour with the cocoa powder, baking soda and salt to combine. Add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture and mix to combine. Add the buttermilk and mix until a smooth batter forms. Scrape the bowl well to make sure the ingredients are fully combined.
  5. Using an ice-cream scoop or two spoons, scoop ¼ cup mounds of batter onto the prepared baking sheets, leaving at least an inch between each mound.
  6. Bake until the cakes begin to brown around the edges and a toothpick inserted into the center of a cake comes out clean, 12 to 15 minutes. Cool completely.
  7. MAKE THE FILLING: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whip attachment, whip the cream cheese with the butter and marshmallow fluff to combine.
  8. ASSEMBLE THE PIES: Turn half the cakes upside down, spoon 3 to 4 tablespoons of filling onto the center and top with another cake. Press gently to spread the filling to the edge of the cake. Repeat with the remaining cakes. Serve immediately. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Slow Cooker Beef Bourguignon

You don’t have to be Julia Child or a Master of French cooking to make this winter favorite. Just plug in your slow cooker and heat up the iron skillet to create this month’s wonderful beef stew. Our take on this classic dish raises the bar from a simple stew to an art form. Enjoy!


  • 5 slices bacon, finely chopped
  • 3 lbs. boneless beef chuck, cut to 1 inch cubes
  • 1 cup red cooking wine
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • ½ cup tomato sauce
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons thyme, finely chopped
  • 5 Medium Carrots, sliced
  • 1 pound baby potatoes (I used tri color)
  • 8 ounce fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • fresh chopped parsley for garnish


  1. In a large skillet cook bacon over medium high heat until crisp. Put bacon in slow cooker. Salt and pepper the beef and add to the skillet and sear on each side for 2-3 minutes. Transfer beef to the slow cooker.
  2. Add the red wine to the skillet scraping down the brown bits on the side. Allow it to simmer and reduce and slowly add chicken broth, and tomato sauce, and soy sauce. Slowly whisk in the flour. Add the sauce to the slow cooker.
  3. Add garlic, thyme, carrots, potatoes, and mushrooms to the slow cooker. Give it a good stir and cook on low until beef is tender for 8-10 hours or high for 6-8. Garnish with fresh parsley and serve with mashed potatoes if desired.

Chocolate Peppermint Ganache Cookies

Make your next holiday event even sweeter by adding this amazing Chocolate Peppermint Ganache Cookie to your baking list!

Recipe Courtesy of

Ingredients for the Cookies:

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chunks or chips
  • 3/4 cup Dutch processed cocoa
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Ganache:

  • 16 oz semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup crushed candy cane pieces


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Whisk together flour, baking soda, sea salt, and cocoa. Set aside. Cream butter and sugars together until smooth. Add in eggs, one at a time. Add in vanilla and mix until combined.

Gradually add flour mixture and beat until combined. Stir in the chocolate chunks or chips. Scoop the dough into rounded tablespoons and place on prepared baking sheet, 2 inches apart. Bake cookies for 10 minutes, or until cookies are set with a soft center.  Cool completely.

To make the ganache, first add the chocolate to a large bowl. Heat the cream in a small saucepan over medium heat just until it bubbles around the edges. Remove the cream from the heat and pour over the chocolate. Let the mixture stand for 30-45 seconds, then stir until the chocolate melts and a smooth ganache comes together, about 1-2 minutes.

Lay out wax paper. Dip the cookies, halfway, into the warm ganache. Place the dipped cookies on paper.  Sprinkle with candy cane pieces. Let cookies sit until ganache hardens, about 2 hours. Enjoy!

Roasted Butternut Squash & Bacon Soup

Recipe Courtesy of Chungah Rhee,

MVP of the gourd world, the butternut squash might be fall’s most versatile (and beloved!) vegetable. This creamy comforting soup will be the perfect starter to your Thanksgiving feast and a great nutritious low-calorie option.


  • 1 butternut squash (about 3 pounds), peeled, seeded and cut in 1-inch chunks
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 4 slices bacon, diced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  • 4 slices bacon, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken stock, or more, to taste
  • 1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly oil a baking sheet or coat with nonstick spray.
  2. Place butternut squash, onion, bell pepper and bacon in a single layer onto the prepared baking sheet. Add olive oil and garlic; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Gently toss to combine.
  3. Place into oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until butternut squash is tender, stirring at half-time.*
  4. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add bacon and cook until brown and crispy, about 6-8 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.
  5. Heat a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add butternut squash mixture and thyme, and cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Stir in chicken stock and puree with an immersion blender. If you do not have an immersion blender a regular blender will do the trick.
  6. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until slightly thickened, about 5-10 minutes. If the soup is too thick, add more chicken stock as needed until desired consistency is reached.
  7. Serve immediately, garnished with bacon, goat cheese and chives, if desired.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Layered Dessert

Recipe Courtesy of Joanna Saltz of

Ready or not we have pumpkin! Frightfully simple no bake pumpkin layered dessert served with a homemade caramel that you can set and forget. Surprise your guests with this unforgettable seasonal treat for a ghoulishly good time.


  • 1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 c. sugar
  • 1 1/2 c. heavy cream
  • 2 c. milk
  • 3 small packages vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 c. pumpkin purée
  • 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 10 graham cracker sheets
  • 1/4 c. Caramel
  • Pecans, for garnish


  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and ¼ cup sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Slowly add in 1 1/2 cups heavy cream and beat until stiff peaks form.
  2. In another medium bowl, beat milk, pudding mix, pumpkin, and pumpkin pie spice until well-mixed and thick. (Start with 1 1/2 cups milk and beat until it’s the consistency of a pudding—if it’s too thick, continue to add the rest of the milk.)
  3. Layering: Spread a thin layer of cream cheese mixture in a 9″-x-13″ baking dish. Top with a layer of graham crackers. Add half the pudding mixture and top with a layer of half the cream cheese mixture. Drizzle with caramel and repeat, ending with the cream cheese layer (hold the caramel until ready to serve).
  4. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 4 hours and up to overnight.
  5. Drizzle with caramel and garnish with pecans before serving.

How to Make Caramel from Sweetened Condensed Milk

Ingredient: 1 14-oz. can (396 g) sweetened, condensed milk

  1. Remove the label from the can. Make sure that it’s sealed.
  2. Place the can in a pot and cover it with 2 inches (5 centimeters) of water.
  3. Bring the water to a simmer over high heat.
  4. Reduce the heat for medium.
  5. Allow it to cook for 2 to 3 hours. Add more water as needed.
  6. Remove the can using tongs.
  7. Let it reach room temperature before opening it.


Deviled Egg Macaroni Salad

Recipe Courtesy of

September’s deviled egg macaroni salad is sure to be a hit at your Labor Day brunch or next beach barbecue. It’s a super easy recipe with just a few simple ingredients, packed with deviled eggs and combined with creamy pasta. Make ahead so you can chill out and enjoy your day!


  • 16 oz. salad macaroni or Ditalini pasta
  • 1½ cups Mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons mustard
  • 2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
  • 6 hard boiled eggs sliced
  • 2-3 ribs celery finely chopped
  • ½ cup black olives sliced
  • 4 oz jar pimientos drained
  • 3 tablespoons fresh dill chopped
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Garnish with green onions


  1. Prepare pasta according to the directions, drain and let cool completely
  2. Prepare hard boiled eggs, let cool and slice
  3. In a large mixing bowl combine all the ingredients except eggs and mix with pasta until blended. Gently fold in eggs. Garnish with green onions
  4. Chill until ready to serve

Summer Squash Casserole

Recipe Courtesy of 

At its peak, fresh summer squash is coming out of our local gardens and displayed in abundance at the farmers market and on grocery shelves. Try this month’s healthy side dish wonderfully crafted with a Ritz cracker crust. You will find it to be the perfect complement to any meal or offering at your next family gathering.


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 6 medium yellow squash, thinly sliced
  • 1 large Vidalia onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 sleeve buttery crackers, crushed medium to fine


Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease a 2-quart casserole dish.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté the squash, onion, and butter until soft. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the Parmesan, cheddar and sour cream. Add salt and pepper, to taste.

Place in the prepared casserole dish and sprinkle the cracker crumbs evenly over the top. Bake for 20 minutes or until the top is golden and bubbly.

Strawberry Lemonade Cake

Recipe Courtesy of

Enjoy the fresh appeal of this month’s ultra-moist southern strawberry cake, with its little extra punch of lemon. The fresh strawberries between the cake layers are a sweet surprise when you cut it open. Perfect for summer events, this cake can sit out covered at room temp for 3 days!


For the Fresh Strawberry Lemonade Cake:

  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 3/4 cups cake flour (2 1/2 cups AP flour + 1/4 cup cornstarch)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon strawberry extract
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Zest of two lemons
  • 3-9 drops red food coloring (optional)
  • 40 small fresh ripe strawberries, trimmed

For the Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 16 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 5-7 cups powdered sugar


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two9-inch cake pans with parchment paper circles then spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. For the Cake: In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, cream the sugar and butter on high until light and fluffy, 3-5 minutes. Scrape the bowl with a spatula. Turn the mixer on low and add in the baking powder, salt, eggs, strawberry and vanilla extracts, and lemon zest. Scrape the bowl again and slowly beat in the flour and milk. Mix in food coloring if desired.
  3. Once smooth, pour the batter into the two cake pans. Bake for approximately 25 minutes, until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes in the pans. Then flip the cakes out onto a cooling rack, remove the parchment paper, and cool completely.
  4. For the Frosting: In a clean mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese until light and fluffy. Scrape the bowl and beat in the butter. (Do this separately to avoid clumps.) Turn the mixer on low and slowly add the lemon juice. One cup at a time, beat in the powdered sugar, until you reach your desired consistency. Scrape the bowl and beat again until very smooth.
  5. To Assemble: Place one cake layer on a cake stand. Spread frosting over the cake in a thin layer. Press the strawberries, trimmed side down, over the surface of the cake Then slather more frosting over the berries, filling the spaces in between. Set the top cake layer over the strawberries and press to level. Dollop frosting over the top and spread in out and down over the sides.
  6. For Hombre Frosting Effect: Leave 1/2+ cup frosting in the mixing bowl. Add 1-3 drop red food coloring into the frosting and beat until the color is consistent. Starting at the bottom, spread the frosting around the edges. Then move upward in sweeping motions. Spread a little pink over the top if desired.

Bakers Tip:

The easiest way to level and frost a cake is to take the time to freeze the cake layers first. Wrap each layer in plastic and freeze for at least 2 hours. Then stack, level, and frost the cake as directed. Set the cake out on the counter for another 2-3 hours to thaw and soften. This helps ward off broken cake layers, slanted cakes, and crumbs in the frosting. This cake can sit out at room temperature, covered, for up to 3 days.

Grilled Watermelon, Feta, and Basil Salad

Recipe Courtesy of

Sweet juicy watermelon paired with salty feta, fresh basil, and tart lime juice is a refreshing and easy to make summer salad. Amazingly simple, this healthy summer treat is sure to please friends and family on warm evenings or casual events.


  • 1 whole mini/baby watermelon
  • 4 ounces feta cheese, cut into cubes
  • Juice of 1/2 a lime
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, sliced thin
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Black pepper to taste
  • Balsamic reduction for drizzling, I used the one in
    this recipe or you can buy pre-made at Trader Joe’s


  1. Cut the watermelon into 1 inch thick slabs and lightly brush them with olive oil.
  2. Place the slabs of watermelon cut side down onto a heated grill and grill for
    about 2-3 minutes per side or until marked and warm.
  3. Remove from the grill and cut off the rind, then cut into 1 inch cubes.
  4. Toss the grilled watermelon with the basil, salt, pepper, and lime juice.
  5. Gently fold in the cubed feta being careful not to break it up.
  6. Drizzle the salad with the balsamic reduction before serving.