Are you hungry?

Having company this weekend and went surfing for some new  tidbits to make………I’m getting somewhat tired of the same old food that I always feel safe making…..not this weekend……we are going “Outside the Box”! Here are a few “Tidbits” that are going to make it onto  the menu!

Parmesan Bacon Gougères

by Donald Link “Down South” cookbook

                                               Makes 2 dozen


4 strips of thick-sliced bacon 1/2 cup whole milk 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter 1 teaspoon kosher salt 1 teaspoon onion powder 1/2 teaspoon sugar 1/8 teaspoon cayenne 1-1/4 cups bread flour, sifted 3 large eggs 1-1/4 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Heat the oven to 425˚F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium-low heat until crisp but not too dark. Transfer the bacon to a plate lined with paper towels, and reserve 1/4 cup of the rendered fat. When the bacon is cool, chop to make 1/2 cup.
  3. Bring the milk, 1/2 cup water, the butter, and the reserved bacon fat to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the salt, onion powder, sugar, and cayenne. Add the flour and, using a wooden spoon, stir very quickly in one direction. The flour will quickly absorb the liquid and form a dough. Continue stirring to cook the flour (and remove its “raw” taste) and simmer off more of the moisture until the dough pulls away from the sides of the saucepan, an additional minute or two.
  4. Transfer the dough to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
  5. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing on medium speed until each is incorporated into the dough, which will change from shiny to sticky as the eggs are worked in. On low speed, stir in 1 cup of the Parmesan and the bacon until just combined.
  6. Using a small ice cream scoop (about 2 inches in diameter), scoop the dough onto the prepared baking sheets. Top the gougères with an equal amount of the remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan.
  7. Bake until puffed and golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Serve warm.

Chicken Pesto Sandwich

Chicken Pesto Sandwich - Lightened up with Greek yogurt, this hearty sandwich is one of the quickest, most tastiest meals you'll ever have!


    • 2 cups shredded chicken breast
    • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
    • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
    • 1 baguette, cut into 3-4 equal pieces, toasted, for serving
    • 2 cups arugula, for serving
    • 2 Roma tomatoes, thinly sliced, for serving
    • 8 ounces mozzarella, sliced
For the basil pesto
  • 3/4 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/3 cup olive oil


  • To make the pesto, combine basil, garlic, pine nuts and Parmesan in the bowl of a food processor; season with salt and pepper, to taste. With the motor running, add olive oil in a slow stream until emulsified; set aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine chicken, 1/2 cup pesto, Greek yogurt, salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Serve sandwiches on baguette with arugula, tomatoes, mozzarella and chicken pesto mixture.


                                     Reuben Rolls


  • 3/4 cup Thousand Island dressing
  • 1/4 cup Dusseldorf mustard
  • 2 tablespoons wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon plus 1/4 cup minced onion (divided)
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • Dash of Worcestershire sauce
  • Dash of hot pepper sauce
  • 8 ounces corned beef (ground or shredded)
  • 6 ounces shredded Swiss cheese
  • 1/2 cup sauerkraut, rinsed and drained
  • 12 to 15 egg roll wrappers
  • Vegetable oil

Make dipping sauce by combining dressing, mustard, vinegar, 1 teaspoon minced onion, the garlic, Worcestershire sauce and hot pepper sauce. Set aside.
To make rolls: Combine corned beef, cheese, sauerkraut and remaining 1/4 cup onion and mix well. Place about 2 tablespoons of the mixture in the center of an egg roll wrapper. Roll up as directed on package, sealing edges with a little water.
Deep-fry rolls in 2 to 3 inches of vegetable oil, heated to 325 to 350 degrees, until golden brown, about 3 to 4 minutes, turning to brown evenly. When done, remove from oil with slotted spoon and drain on paper towel. Serve with dipping sauce.
Makes 12 to 15 rolls.

 And finally! The dessert……

            Cappuccino Fudge Cheesecake
Cappuccino Fudge Cheesecake


Yield: about 16 servings

For the crust: 32 chocolate sandwich cookies, finely processed into crumbs 5 1/3 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and cooled Small pinch of salt

For the ganache: 1½ cups heavy cream 20 oz. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped ¼ cup coffee flavored liqueur

For the filling: 3 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, at room temperature 1 cup sugar 1½ tbsp. all-purpose flour 1½ tbsp. dark rum 2 tbsp. instant espresso powder 2 tsp. vanilla extract 1½ tsp. mild-flavored (light) molasses 3 large eggs

For the topping: 1½ cups sour cream 1/3 cup sugar 2 tsp. vanilla extract


  • To make the crust, butter a 9-inch springform pan and place it on a baking sheet.  Combine the chocolate cookie crumbs, melted butter and salt in a small bowl.  Toss with a fork to moisten all of the crumbs.  Press into a thin layer covering the bottom and sides of the springform pan (at least 3 inches up the sides).
  • Bring the cream to a simmer in a medium saucepan.  Place the chocolate in a medium bowl.  Once the cream reaches a simmer, pour the cream over the chocolate and let stand 1-2 minutes.  Add the coffee flavored liqueur and whisk in small circles until a smooth ganache has formed.  Pour 2 cups of the ganache over the bottom of the crust.  Freeze until the ganache layer is firm, about 30 minutes.  Reserve the remaining ganache; cover and let stand at room temperature for later decorating.
  • Preheat the oven to 350˚ F and position a rack in the middle of the oven.  In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and sugar on medium-high speed until well blended.  Beat in the flour.  In a small bowl, combine the rum, espresso powder, vanilla and molasses, stirring until the espresso powder dissolves.  Add to the cream cheese mixture and beat until well incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.  Beat in the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl between each addition.
  • Pour the filling over the cold ganache in the crust.  Place the springform pan on a rimmed baking sheet.  Bake until the top is lightly browned, puffed and cracked at the edges, and the center moves only very slightly when the pan is lightly shaken, about 1 hour.  Transfer to a wire cooling rack.  Cool 15 minutes while preparing the topping (maintaining the oven temperature.)
  • To make the topping, whisk together the sour cream, sugar and vanilla in a small bowl.  Pour the topping over the hot cheesecake, spreading to cover the filling completely.  Bake until the topping is set, about 10-15 minutes.  Return to the cooling rack and let cool at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.  Transfer to the refrigerator and let cool at least 3 hours, until completely chilled and set.
  • To finish, wrap a warm towel around the outside of the springform pan to help loosen the crust from the sides.  Carefully remove the springform.  Transfer the cake to a serving platter.  Place the reserved ganache in a pastry bag fitted with a decorative tip and use to garnish the top of the cake as desired.  Garnish with chocolate-covered espresso beans as desired.  Chill until the ganache is completely firm, at least 6 hours.


So what do you think? Should I add these to my menu? sounds good to me too!

Happy Friday……


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  1. I would definitely add them to a menu! I love gougères…yummy! The chicken pesto sandwich sounds delicious, but so do the reuben rolls…personally, I would go for the chicken pesto. You can’t really go wrong with a dessert that incorporates chocolate! Whatever you decide, enjoy your guests.

    • You are so right!!! How can anything be wrong with chocolate! and I am going for the chicken pesto…..will let you know how it comes out….have a fab weekend!


  2. I am now! You are the best! Thanks so much for the delicious recipes!

    Happy day friend!

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