Friday, April 03, 2015

Mini Cherry Danish

How cute are these? I am a gadget freak and I own every sort of kitchen gadget you can imagine. So when I saw this little pastry cutting roller the other day, I had to have it. And when it came in the mail, I had to use it. So I made these little pastries and they were delicious and pretty too! 

Mini Cherry Lattice Danish

1 pkg. (17.3 ounces) Pepperidge Farm® Puff Pastry Sheets, thawed
1 egg
1 tbsp. water
1 can (21 ounces) Cherry or any fruit pie filling
Course sugar for topping

Heat the oven to 400°F. Beat the egg and water in a small bowl with a fork or whisk and set aside.

Unfold 1 pastry sheet on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cut into squares (whatever size you want). On each square spread a little pie filling to within 1 inch of the edge. Brush the edges with the egg mixture. 

Unfold the remaining pastry sheet and cut into the same size squares. You can simply place them on top and crimp the edges or if you want a pretty presentation you can make a lattice top with a pastry roller cutter like the one I used (see comments) or you can use a pizza or ravioli cutter and cut thin strips of dough to create a lattice pattern on top.

Once you have put on the top layer then crimp the edges with a fork or pinch the edges with your fingers to seal. Brush tops with the egg mixture and sprinkle coarse sugar on tops. If not using lattice top, make sure you cut several slits in the top of the pastry and then sprinkle with course sugar.

Bake on parchment lined baking sheet for 30 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown. Cool the pastry on the baking sheet on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Sprinkle with additional sugar if desired.

Photography is copyrighted and the property of ©Welcome Home.

Get my new mini pastry roller at

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Thursday, April 02, 2015


The gates are now open my friends.... Books are now only $11.99 to any Welcome Home follower when you click on the links below to buy them. First 100 people will get this special pricing so you need to act quickly. We will help you download to a desktop computer, laptop, iPhone, iPad, and/or your Android Smart phone.

Here are the links:

My most poplular book, Home is Where The Heart Is.....

My first book, Welcome Home Cooking....

 One of my favorites, Home For Dinner....

My dessert book, Home Sweet Home....

 And my most popular book, There's No Place Like Home.....

My newest cookbook, Memories of Home...

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Cheesy Potatoes with Bacon

You can't get much easier than this. Tender cheesy potatoes with smokey bacon....Oh Yum.

Cheesy Potatoes with Bacon

8-10 medium potatoes (cut into ½” cubes)
1 can cream of mushroom soup (undiluted).
1 ½ cups half and half or cream
1 envelope Hidden Valley ranch dressing mix
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (divided)
salt and pepper
6 bacon slices (cooked until crispy and crumbled)

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 x 13 inch casserole dish and set aside.

Add potatoes to a large pot. Add enough water to cover the potatoes and bring to a boil over high heat. Cook for 10-12 minutes or until the potatoes are almost tender. Then drain well and pour into the casserole dish.

In a bowl mix together cream of mushroom soup, half and half (half milk and half cream), ranch dressing, 1 cup of the cheese, salt and pepper. Pour over potatoes in the casserole dish. Sprinkle remaining cup of shredded cheddar cheese and the crumbled bacon over the top.

Place into the oven and bake uncovered for 25-30 minutes or until the potatoes are tender and sauce is bubbly. Sprinkle with extra bacon and additional salt and pepper to taste.

Photograph is copyrighted and the property of ©Welcome Home
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Artichoke Flans

When we think of flans we always think of a wonderful pudding-like dessert that is rich and decadent.  But there are savory flans too and they are a perfect and elegant side dish for any meal. I make a wonderful corn and leek savory vegetable flan and one of my favorites is a spinach flan that is to die for.  There's just something about that creamy custard whether sweet or savory. Today I bring you my artichoke flans that would be perfect for your Easter dinner this year! 

Artichoke Flans

1 cup Cara Mia Artichoke Hearts in water, marinated or grilled
1 tablespoon Olive Oil 
2 cups heavy Cream 
5  large eggs 
1 tsp  salt
black pepper to taste 
2 tsp chopped Italian Parsley 
non stick cooking spray
8 ramekins

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Chop artichokes to bite sized pieces.

In a medium skillet, heat oil until sizzling over medium high heat.  Add chopped artichokes and saute for about 3 minutes or until lightly browned.  Set aside.
In a separate bowl, whisk together heavy cream and eggs and season with salt and pepper.  Stir in the chopped parsley.  Spray ramekins with cooking spray, making sure to coat them well. Spoon artichokes into the bottom of each ramekin, portioning evenly.  Next, pour your custard mixture over the artichokes. Do not overfill ramekins. 

Transfer ramekins onto a 9 x 13 rimmed baking sheet that is lined with parchment paper and bake for 35-40 minutes or until tops are lightly brown and egg custard is set.   Set aside to cool for about 10 minutes before unmolding.

Once cooled, insert the tip of a pairing knife around the inside edges of the ramekin to loosen.  Then cover the ramekin with a small plate and flip.  Then lay your serving plate over small plate and flip again to see the nicely browned tops. Garnish with extra parsley and serve.

Photography is  the property of and copyrighted to ©Welcome Home. 

Cara Mia Marinated Artichoke Hearts can be found at select grocery stores nationwide either in the produce section or the canned vegetable aisle and online at

Star Fine Foods now has a promo code for all Welcome Home fans that will give you a 10% discount on anything you order online. Just enter WELCOMEHOME10 at checkout!

Disclaimer: I have an ongoing relationship with STAR Fine Foods for my recipes and photography using their wonderful products. This post is sponsored by STAR. I am compensated for my time and work and I am sent products as I request them. However, all opinions of the product stated in this post are 100% my own. I truly love their products!
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Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Lemon Pound Cake with Lemon Icing

There's only one thing that can be said about this pound cake.  A hot steaming cup of coffee on a warm spring morning.  Ah lemon in the spring time!

Lemon Pound Cake with Lemon Icing

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
Finely grated zest of 2 lemons
1 cup fresh lemon juice (5 to 6 lemons)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups sugar
5 large eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare two 6 cup loaf pans (4 1/2-by-8 inch) by brushing with butter and then dust with flour, tapping out excess.

In a small bowl, combine buttermilk with vanilla extract and lemon extract. Add the lemon zest and juice. Set aside. Next, in a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.
With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until incorporated after each and scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture a little at a time, alternating with the buttermilk and beat until just smooth (do not over mix).

Divide your batter evenly between pans; shake and top on counter to smooth tops and get rid of air bubbles. Bake until a toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean, 50 to 60 minutes. Start checking them a little earlier to make sure they are not getting too brown. If they are, lay a piece of aluminum foil on top. Cool 15 minutes in pan, then turn out onto a rack to cool completely.

Lemon Icing:

1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 to 2 tablespoons milk

Stir together powdered sugar, 2 teaspoons lemon juice and enough milk for desired glazing consistency in small bowl. Drizzle over cooled cake.

Photography is the property of and copyrighted to ©Welcome Home.
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Cream Cheese Brownies with Toffee Topping

Sometimes you want something rich and chewy and creamy and nutty all at the same time.  This one pretty much does the trick my friends! 

Cream Cheese Brownies with Toffee Topping 

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted

2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoon whole milk

Cream Cheese Frosting

5 oz cream cheese, softened
3 Tbsp butter, softened
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 cups powdered sugar


1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted
1/4 cup chopped Heath Bar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8 x 8 baking dish with parchment paper and then spray with non stick cooking spray.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt, set aside. In a separate mixing bowl, using a wooden spoon, mix together granulated sugar, light-brown sugar and melted butter until combine. Stir in eggs and vanilla extract and mix until blended. Add in half of the flour mixture and mix just until combine, add in milk and mix just until combine, then add remaining flour mixture and mix just until combine (batter will be very thick).

Pour batter into prepared 8 x 8 baking dish and spread into an even layer. Bake for 40 - 45 minutes until center is nearly set. Allow to cool completely before frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting 
In a mixing bowl, using an electric hand mixer on medium speed, whip together cream cheese and butter until smooth and fluffy, about 1 minute. Add in vanilla and powdered sugar and continue to beat until smooth, about 1 minute.


Once brownies are frosted, drizzle melted chocolate on top and then sprinkle on chopped Heath Bar. Makes 12 brownies.

Photograph is copyrighted and the property of ©Welcome 
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♥ Lemon Cake with Lemon Vanilla Glaze

I love this cake...probably one of the prettiest and most delicious cakes my Mom every taught me how to make. And it is my most requested cake for birthdays and other celebrations. Just a simple lemon cream cake with a lemon vanilla glaze but it makes such a beautiful presentation. It is just as moist as it looks in this picture!

Lemon Cake with Lemon Vanilla Glaze

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon table salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 lemons, zested
3 tablespoons lemon juice
3/4 cup buttermilk
3 large eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons butter, room temp (2 1/4 sticks)
2 cups sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously spray 12-cup Bundt pan with nonstick baking spray or brush the pan with butter and sprinkle with flour. Zest lemons until you have 2 tablespoons. Squeeze lemons to get 3 tablespoons. Combine lemon juice and zest in a small bowl and set aside.

Next, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in large bowl. In a separate medium bowl, mix together your lemon/zest mixture, vanilla, and buttermilk. In small bowl, gently whisk eggs and yolk to combine. With electric mixer, cream butter and sugar at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes; scrape down sides of bowl with rubber spatula. Then at medium speed add the eggs, mixing until incorporated. Reduce to mixer to low speed and alternate adding flour and then buttermilk, mixing until just incorporated. Then mix at medium-low speed until batter is thoroughly combined, . Pour batter into prepared bundt pan.

Bake on center rack until top is golden brown and wooden skewer or toothpick inserted into center comes out with no crumbs attached, 45 to 50 minutes. Cool cake in pan on a wire rack set over baking sheet for 10 minutes, then invert cake directly onto rack.

Vanilla Glaze                                                                              

2-3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 cups confectioners' sugar (8 ounces)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla

Whisk 2 tablespoons lemon juice, melted butter, vanilla, and confectioners' sugar until smooth, adding more lemon juice gradually as needed until glaze is thick but still pourable. Once cake has cooled, pour half of glaze over warm cake and let cool for 1 hour. Come back after an hour and pour the remaining glaze evenly over top of cake and continue to cool to room temperature. Cut cake into slices and enjoy!

NOTE: This recipe calls for a 12 cup bundt or tube pan. For the cake in the photo I used two 7 inch mini tube pans which was a perfect size to share one and keep one. Here is the link for the Daddio 7 inch tube pan I used. It's only $9.99 at Amazon. Keep in mind whatever you purchase from Amazon through Welcome Home, you donate to the NO KILL Advocacy group to save the lives of dogs and cats who are killed unnecessarily while waiting for their forever home.

Photography is the  property of and copyrighted to ©Welcome Home
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Monday, March 30, 2015

Mushroom Swiss Sliders


Don't you just love sliders?  There's just something that makes them so much better than eating those bigger burgers. These little juicy morsels are a huge favorite among my friends.  Tender juicy little burgers filled with cheese and just the right amount of zest that give them even more flavor. These have been a huge success!

Mushroom Swiss Sliders

1 pound ground Chuck 
1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
2 tablespoons of heavy cream or evaporated milk
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper to taste
8 small dinner rolls or potato rolls

Add chopped mushrooms in a small bowl and add shredded Swiss cheese and set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix ground chuck with Worcestershire sauce, cream, salt and pepper. Lightly mix in the chopped mushrooms and the cheese and form mixture into sliders. Make a depression in each burger with your thumb so they continue to lay flat while cooking.  Season both sides of each burger with salt and pepper.

Pan frying in cast iron or heavy skillet: Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter to 12 inch cast iron skillet. Sear burgers over medium-high heat for about 3-4 minutes per side for medium rare.

NOTE: Top each burger with a little more shredded cheese and cover with a sheet of aluminum foil to help melt the cheese before putting the burgers on buns. Then top with your favorite toppings. 

Photograph is copyrighted and the property of ©Welcome Home.

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My Mom's Famous Lemon Bars

My Mom made the best lemon bars. They just had the perfect blend of sweet and tart and everyone loved them...especially my Dad. So this past weekend, I wanted to make him something special for a summer treat. I made these and he was so thrilled that I had remembered they were his favorite. I know you will love these lemon bars. Friends have said they are the best they've ever had.

My Mom's Famous Lemon Bars


 6 whole eggs
3 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
zest from 2-3 lemons (2 tablespoons)


 3 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 cups of butter (3 sticks) melted

Filling: In a large bowl, whisk the eggs until light in color. Add in the sugar, baking powder and flour and stir until combined. Add the lemon zest and the lemon fresh lemon juice and stir well. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray a 9 x 13 baking pan with cooking spray.

Crust: Mix flour and powdered sugar together. Add the melted butter and mix until just crumbly. Press the crumbs firmly into the pan making an even layer. Bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove crust from oven and pour your lemon filling over the crust making sure you get an even layer. Bake for an additional 45 minutes until lemon filling is set and no longer jiggles in the middle.

 You can just use powdered sugar for your topping but I usually reserve 1/4 cup crust mixture and mix it with an additional 2 teaspoons of flour and 2 teaspoons of sugar and crumble it up with my fingers until fine. Then I sprinkle the mixture over the top of lemon filling before baking. After baking, I then sprinkle with more powdered sugar before cutting into squares.

Important note: Let this cool completely before you cut it. Then dust and cut into squares. Keep refrigerated until gone....which isn't long around here! 

Photograph is copyrighted and the property of ©Welcome Home.
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Lettuce Wedge with Blue Cheese Dressing and Bacon

I love lettuce wedges instead of your traditional salad. Okay, I know they all taste the same....but there is something about a wedge of cold crisp iceberg lettuce with homemade creamy blue cheese dressing and sweet little ripe cherry tomatoes with warm crunchy fried bacon on top. Did that just make you hungry? 

Lettuce Wedge with Blue Cheese Dressing and Bacon

1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup sour cream
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
6 ounces blue cheese, crumbled (about 1 1/2 cups)
4 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice

Wedge Salad

1 head iceberg lettuce, cored and cut into quartered wedges
6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/2 cup sliced cherry tomatoes or 1 medium tomato, finely diced
salt and pepper to taste

Blue Cheese Dressing

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the lemon juice, mayonnaise, buttermilk, sour cream, garlic powder and onion powder. Whisk the mixture together until smooth. Add the cheese and mix just until blended. Chill in an airtight container in the refrigerator at least 2 hours before serving.

Serve a generous amount of dressing over each lettuce wedge and top with the bacon and tomato. Season with salt and pepper.

Photography is copyrighted and the property of ©Welcome Home.
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