True Colors

‘Tis the season for red and green and easy-to-carry party food. Spinach stuffed tomatoes provide all the color you need and this dish is easy to make ahead (even the day before) and bake when you need it. This tasty veggie dish is also a hit when you have to take something to a party because baked-ahead tomatoes can be eaten at room temp.

Spinach Stuffed Tomatoes

  • 10 Roma tomatoes
  • 1 package frozen spinach
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion of your choice (I use chopped shallots or finely-minced red onion)
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese mixed with 1/4 cup Panko bread crumbs and 2 tablespoons of melted butter

Wash tomatoes and slice a small slice off the stem end so the tomato will sit upright in a baking dish. Cut off the top of the tomato and scoop out the pulp. Lightly sprinkle the inside of the tomatoes with a little salt. Spray baking dish with cooking spray and place cored tomatoes in dish.

Cook spinach according to package directions, drain and squeeze all water out

Add butter, cream cheese, onions, salt and pepper and combine until butter and cheese is melted.

Spoon spinach mixture into tomatoes. Top with parmesan/bread crumb mixture.

Bake for 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

Can make ahead and hold in refrigerator for two days before baking.

 

 

 

 

 

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[Almond] Joy to the World!

My memories of Christmas are mostly about the cookies mom made every year. There was frenetic baking starting after Thanksgiving and frenetic nibbling by me.

I’ve been making her cookies for years, but I’ve decided to add some new ones to mom’s repertoire. Our son loves Almond Joy candy bars, so I know this is one he’ll never forget. I hope he has memories of home-made Christmas cookies like I do.

This recipe is from Chef in Training. Check it out – Nikki has a long list of fun and yummy cookies. This one is a keeper.

Almond Joy Pudding Cookies

This chewy cookie has all the ingredients of the famous candy bar.

INGREDIENTS FOR THE COOKIES

  • 2-1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 small box of instant chocolate pudding mix
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1-1/2 cups chocolate chips
  • I cup almonds, sliced
  • 4 ounces melted chocolate for drizzle (can use candy melts or chocolate chips)

INGREDIENTS FOR THE COCONT ICING

  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 12 large marshmallows
  • 5 ounces coconut (about 1 cup)
  • 3 cups powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift together flour and baking soda and set aside.

In large bowl, cream butter and sugars. Add pudding package and beat until well blended. Add eggs, vanilla and almond extract and beat until well incorporated. Add flour mixture slowly until well incorporated. Stir in chocolate chips. Roll into one-inch balls and place on greased baking sheet.

Bake at 350 degrees for 8-12 minutes. Cool cookies before icing.

Icing:

In a medium saucepan, add evaporated milk and sugar and bring to a boil being careful not to burn. Once it reaches a boil, remove from heat and stir in marshmallows until melted. You can keep the heat on low until the marshmallows are melted. Once marshmallows are melted add coconut and stir. Add powdered sugar and beat until smooth.

Frost cooled cookies with icing.

Sprinkle almonds on top.

Drizzle melted chocolate over the tops.