Friday, September 11, 2015

Double Chocolate Mousse

Mousse is such an easy and elegant dessert to make and everyone loves it. I decided to combine two of my favorites together to make a striking presentation. My friends loved it!

Double Chocolate Mousse

For the milk chocolate mousse

 1 cup chopped bittersweet chocolate
1 stick unsalted butter
4 egg yolks
5 egg whites (see note below)
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 cup chilled heavy whipping cream
Chopped nuts, to serve
Freshly whipped cream

Melt chocolate and butter in a double boiler over low heat, stirring until no lumps remain. Remove from heat, transfer to a large bowl and allow to cool slightly. Whisk in egg yolks one at a time until well combined. Set aside.

In a second large bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Slowly beat in the sugar and continue to beat until stiff peaks form. Fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture and set aside to further cool.

In a medium bowl, whip cream until soft peaks form. Once chocolate mixture is cool, fold in whipped cream until no white streaks remain. Chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

NOTE...  For those of you who are worried about using raw egg whites in your mousse:   You can whip a cup of heavy cream and fold that in your chocolate instead. But the secret is to FOLD it and not STIR it in

White Chocolate Mousse

1 cup of good quality white chocolate
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups heavy whipping cream (full cream)
1 egg white
2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
4 tablespoons cold water
4 tablespoons boiling water

Break the white chocolate into pieces and place into the blender but do not start the blender yet. In a small saucepan, heat the whipping cream until it just begins to boil, stirring occasionally. Pour it into the blender over the chopped chocolate and blend on medium high speed until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth and creamy...about 2-3 minutes. Add the pure vanilla and blend for another 20 seconds. Turn off the blender and let the mixture cool for about 10 minutes.

In a small bow, sprinkle gelatin over 4 tablespoons of cold water and mix well. Add the 4 tablespoons of boiling water and stir constantly until dissolved. Set gelatin mixture aside. Next, beat the egg white for 2-3 minutes. Add the slightly cooled chocolate cream mixture and dissolved gelatin to the beaten egg white and mix well. Chill mousse in the refrigerator until set and ready to serve.

When ready to serve, spoon dark chocolate mousse into a bowl and then lightly fold in white chocolate. Sprinkle with chocolate chips or curls.

  Photograph is copyrighted and the property of ©Welcome Home.
Print Friendly and PDF

Thursday, September 03, 2015

Easy Spinach Artichoke Dip

There’s something about Spinach Artichoke Dip that makes you feel like you’re eating healthy.  Never mind about the cream cheese, sour cream and mayo, we won’t think about that!  Let’s just think about the healthy spinach and artichokes and how creamy and savory it is on some crackers, chips or these little baguette rounds.  Spread it on your bagel in the morning for a real treat.  I like mine a little on the chunky side…sort of a cross between a spread and a dip. Why? Because I like to taste those delicious artichokes.  Especially when they are Cara Mia brand Artichokes. They just taste better! 

Easy Spinach Artichoke Dip

9 oz package fresh baby spinach
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups Cara Mia Artichoke Hearts in Water, coarsely chopped
6 ounces cream cheese
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup good mayonnaise (I use Hellman’s or Dukes)
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon salt

In a large skillet, saute the garlic and spinach until wilted. Remove the spinach from the pan, and when it's cool enough, squeeze out all the water from the spinach, so your dip isn’t too wet or watery. 

NOTE: You can use a cup of thawed, chopped frozen spinach that has been squeezed out, but I prefer fresh. 

Coarsely chop artichokes and put them in a medium bowl.

Heat cream cheese in the microwave for about one minute or until warm and soft.

Add the cooked spinach with the chopped artichokes. Next, add mayonnaise, Parmesan cheese, and red pepper flakes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.  

Serve hot with baguettes, chips, or crackers. Enjoy!

Cara Mia Artichoke Hearts in Water 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!  
Print Friendly and PDF

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Did you know that there is a Welcome Home Online Cooking Magazine?

Did you know that there is a Welcome Home Online Cooking Magazine?

For as little as $2 a month, you can find over 400 of my recipes that have never been seen before? Not on Facebook or the blog or any place else except my online magazine.  Did you know that if you subscribe now, you will get those 400+ recipes plus another 350 exclusive recipes over the next 12 months!

Recipes and photography like the ones you see here. As a matter of fact the brand new September issue just came out this morning and when you sign up for a new subscription, you can have access to all those recipes in minutes.

It's not a paper magazine. No need to wait for it to come to you. It's an Internet or online magazine and you can simply click on a link and see it anytime you want. doesn't come in your mailbox. You view it on your computer, laptop, iPhone, iPad, Smart Phone, tablet, Kindle or any other device you get the Internet on.

The Welcome Home Online Cooking Magazine is the perfect choice for those true followers of Welcome Home. If you love my home style cooking then you'll definitely want to subscribe to my Online Cooking Magazine.

When you subscribe you will have instant access to over 400 exclusive recipes for members only. Recipes you won't find anywhere else. Page after page of big beautiful color photos.... many with photographed step by step instructions.

And each month, for the next 12 months, you get to see another 25-30 more. And you get a free membership to the private Welcome Home Magazine Fan club....where you'll find even more recipes, and cooking tips and contests and lots of fun.

The best part is that by subscribing you help me feed and clothe the hungry and those less fortunate that have no place to go. You help me save the lives of dogs and cats that are killed in shelters.
Over 6 millions dogs and cats are killed every year because no one gets there in time. My goal is to get them out of kill shelters and into temporary homes that can take care of them until someone comes along to give them a forever home. I personally buy them food, vitamins, toys, and bedding. I prepay for veterinary services and do whatever I can to help them while they wait.

The value is there my friends. So what are you waiting for? Click here to subscribe to the Welcome Home Online Cooking Magazine. I promise you won't regret that decision. You'll love it!

Print Friendly and PDF

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Mom's Southern Fried Chicken

I am convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that no one made fried chicken like my Mom. I can close my eyes and still see her hands dropping those battered chicken pieces in that hot oil in her big old cast iron skillet. I can still hear the sizzle of that hot oil and seeing her nod of approval as she flipped each piece over to expose that beautiful golden brown skin. My Dad always gets tears in his... eyes when I make it....he remembers too.

Mom's Southern Fried Chicken

1 (5 pound) whole frying chicken, cut into pieces
1 quart whole buttermilk (secret to moist, tender chicken)
vegetable oil or Peanut Oil for frying
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
a pinch of cayenne pepper (more if you want a kick)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper

In a large bowl, combine chicken and buttermilk. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours. In a large cast-iron skillet, add enough oil over low heat to come 1 inch up side of skillet.

In a shallow dish, combine flour, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne, salt, and pepper. Shake buttermilk off chicken and discard. Dredge chicken in flour mixture to coat, gently shaking off excess.

Turn heat up to medium high. Place chicken in skillet, arranging thighs in the center and breasts and legs around edges. Fry chicken for 10 to 12 minutes per side or until golden brown. Turn down heat to low and cover with a tight fitting lid. Cook for about 40 minutes until chicken is cooked through.

Turn heat back up to medium high and allow chicken to get as crispy as you like it. Serve and enjoy!

Photograph is copyrighted and the property of ©Welcome Home.
Print Friendly and PDF

Monday, August 17, 2015

Apple and Fennel Salad with White Balsamic Vinaigrette

Apple and Fennel Salad

1 1/2 pounds Granny Smith apples (about 3-4)
2  fennel bulbs 
1 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup celery, chopped or sliced thin

Slice apples into quarters, remove seeds. Slice thinly and place in a large mixing bowl. Thinly slice fennel crosswise and chop celery and add to apples. Stir in raisins, set aside.

White Balsamic Vinaigrette 

2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/4 cup white sugar 
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

In a separate bowl combine balsamic vinegar and lemon juice and whisk until well combined.  Slowly whisk in olive oil until smooth. Whisk in sugar and season to taste with salt and pepper. 

Put apple mixture in a gallon-sized Ziploc bag, pour in vinaigrette and seal tightly. Lay the bag flat in a baking dish and Refrigerate for 1-2 hours, turning Ziploc bag after a half hour or so to ensure vinaigrette gets distributed evenly.  

Serve salad cold and garnish with fennel leaves.

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

Look for STAR Extra Virgin Olive Oil in the olive oil section of our local grocery store or 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!

STAR Golden Balsamic Vinegar is available at Safeway (Northern California), Acme, Roundy’s, Schnucks, Bashas, Kroger, King Soopers, Ralphs, Smiths, Supervalu, select Walmart stores and online at

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!

Print Friendly and PDF

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Peanut Butter Pie

Who doesn't like peanut butter pie? My mom loved baking pies and I think this was one of my favorites. She would chop up frozen candy bars for the top and drizzle it with thick chocolate...this is her recipe.

Peanut Butter Pie


2 cups. graham cracker... crumbs
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 cup finely chopped honey-roasted peanuts
1/2 cup butter, melted

In a medium bowl, mix graham cracker crumbs, cinnamon, very finely chopped peanuts with the melted butter. Grease a 9-inch pie plate or spray with non-stick cooking spray and then firmly press the graham cracker crumb mixture into the bottom and up the sides of the pie plate. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 - 12 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove from the oven and cool completely.


1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened
1 cup of any brand creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 2/3 cup whipping cream, divided

Beat cream cheese, peanut butter, brown sugar, and 1/4 cup of whipping cream with an electric mixer at medium speed until mixture is light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Beat remaining whipping cream and vanilla extract at high speed until stiff peaks form. Fold about one-third of the whipped cream into the peanut butter mixture to loosen it up; then fold in the remaining whipped cream. Spread the peanut butter mixture in the baked pie crust. Cover and chill at least 8 hours before serving.


2 frozen Reese's peanut butter cups, chopped
1 tablespoon honey roasted peanuts chopped fine
1 tablespoon of peanut butter chips or butterscotch or caramel chips
1 tablespoon chocolate chips
Chocolate syrup or chocolate Shell for drizzle

You can use any topping you wish for this pie. I like to freeze candy bars and then chop them up to sprinkle on top. Then drizzle with chocolate syrup or better yet, Reese's Chocolate Shell. Oh My Gosh!

Photograph is copyrighted and the property of ©Welcome Home.
Print Friendly and PDF

Monday, August 10, 2015

The Perfect Size Cakes By Duncan Hines! Red Velvet Cream

How many times have you felt like baking a cake but knew it wouldn't all get eaten? Like when you bake that Birthday layer cake or sheet cake for that one person knowing it’s just too much cake for one. How about that anniversary cake you wanted to bake for just the two of you knowing that you both would get tired of the same cake day after day.

Have you ever gone out to dinner with another couple and wanted to invite them back to your place for coffee and dessert but didn't want to keep the leftovers around for days? 

Well now you can put all the hesitation to rest because our friends over at Duncan Hines have created the Perfect Size Cakes! Why make a whole cake when you can make delicious little cakes that are the perfect size for 2-4 people. These are the right sized cake for that small luncheon with the girls, family game night, or for any occasion or celebration. 

Duncan Hines Perfect Sized Cakes. The name says it all. They bring us the perfect solution for those times when a full size cake is too much. Each kit comes with a cake mix, frosting mix, and a disposable 6-inch round pan made just for the cake. Simply prepare as directed for a moist and delicious cake that is topped with a rich, smooth and creamy frosting. Now you can enjoy a fresh baked cake anytime! All you have to add is an egg, water and butter and what you get is better than just an easy boxed's a moist, buttery cake with delicious creamy frosting!

But there’s more! Duncan Hines has made life easy because in every box you not only get the cake mix, and the frosting but also a perfect 6” disposable non-stick pan that has a push up bottom to release your cake!  There’s no need to buy a special pan to make these perfectly sized cakes and there’s no pan to clean up.

Here's how I made the Red Velvet Dream Perfect Cake. Pour your package of cake mix to a large bowl. Add an egg, some water, and 2 tablespoons of butter. Mix it all up with an electric mixer.

Mix the cake mix, butter, egg and water.  Then pour the batter into the perfect non-stick pan included in the kit and bake it for a little over 30 minutes.

Remove from oven and using the disc on the bottom of the pan, push it up and out of the pan. Genius idea Duncan Hines!

Place cake on a wire rack to cool. It has to cool completely before frosting. When cooled place it on a serving plate. Next make your frosting. Using an electric mixer, beat your butter until fluffy. Add your packet of frosting mix and some water and beat until thick and creamy. 

Using an off set knife or spatula, spread the frosting evenly over the top and sides of the cake.  I used leftover crumbs from my pan to decorate my cake.

A moist and delicious Red Velvet Cake for any special occasion!  Why waste a big layer cake or sheet cake when you can make the perfect sized cake for two or four people?

Now you can celebrate the little things in life with a perfect-sized cake for two, not ten. I love these cakes! So far I have made the Lemon Bliss and this Strawberries and Cream and I can say they are PERFECT!

Try all 5 flavors and see for yourself!

Golden Fudge (golden cake with chocolate frosting)

Chocolate Lover’s (chocolate cake with chocolate frosting)

Lemon Bliss (lemon cake with lemon frosting)

Red Velvet Dream (red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting)

Strawberries & Crème (strawberry cake with cream cheese frosting)

Sold in your grocer’s baking aisle

Photography is the property of and copyrighted to Welcome Home.
Print Friendly and PDF

Friday, August 07, 2015

Stuffed Peppers

I can remember when I was a little girl and I would come home from school and walk into the house to find the most incredible aroma coming out of the kitchen.  My Mom was making stuffed peppers and I knew that smell well. I also knew that my Dad would be hanging around the kitchen asking her over and over again,  how long would it be until they were ready.  Stuffed Peppers were his favorite.  Tonight I made these and took them to my Dad.  He was so excited he had tears in his eyes!

Stuffed Peppers

6 bell peppers, tops cut away and seeds removed
2 tablespoons vegetable oil 1 cup finely chopped yellow onions
1/2 pound ground beef
1/2 pound ground pork
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Pinch red pepper flakes
2 cups white rice, cooked
8 ounces tomato sauce
1 cups mozzarella or  provolone cheese, shredded
1/2 cup cheddar, shredded

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large pot of boiling water, boil the cleaned peppers for about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove and dry on paper towels. In a large skillet, over medium-high heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook, stirring, until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the beef, pork, salt, black pepper, and a pinch of red pepper flakes. 

Cook until the meat is no longer pink and break up lumps while browning. I usually cook mine about 5-6 minutes. Add parsley, rice and tomato sauce and stir. Taste mixture and add more salt and pepper as needed. Pour enough water into the bottom of a baking dish to about 1/8-inch deep.

Stuff the bell peppers with the rice mixture and place in the baking dish. Cover tightly with foil and bake until the peppers are very tender and the filling is heated through, 35 to 40 minutes. 

Hint: crinkle up small pieces of aluminum foil and tuck between peppers if you are having a problem with them sitting upright. Then tightly cover with foil 

Remove from the oven sprinkle with both cheddar and mozzarella a cheese on each pepper. Place back in the oven and broil until cheese is bubbly and lightly browned. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Photography owned and copyrighted to ©Welcome Home
Print Friendly and PDF