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.

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Wednesday, August 05, 2015

The Perfect Size Cakes By Duncan Hines! What Would You celebrate with the perfect sized cake?

This post brought to you by Duncan Hines. The content and opinions expressed below are that of Welcome Home.

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.

How many times have you 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? And how about that time when you wanted to bake a thank you cake for a single friend, neighbor or teacher and knew a whole cake would just be too much?

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!

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.

All you have to add is an egg, water, and butter. And what you get is better than just an easy to make boxed cake….it's a moist, buttery cake with delicious creamy frosting!

Not only are they the Perfect Size, these cakes are super easy to make. Here's how I made the Strawberries & Crème 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.

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.

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

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Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Pigs In A Blanket

I know what you're thinking.  Why is she putting up a recipe that everyone knows how to make already?  Who doesn't know how to make Pigs in A Blanket, right?   Well, I'll have you know I take my Pigs In A Blanket, Hogs in a Sleeping Bag, Dogs in an Overcoat or whatever you want to call them very seriously! After all I'm putting them out as an appetizer for my guests at a party or making a snack for friends.  Why wouldn't I want them to be the talk of the night? Why wouldn't I want my friends to ask for more?

You're probably thinking that there’s not much to making these wonderful little bites.  A package of canned dough, mini cocktail franks, and a side of mustard for dipping and you’ve got yourself a dish, right?  I beg to differ. 

Pigs In A Blanket

1 pkg cocktail franks, breakfast sausage links or reg dogs cut into thirds1 package of puff pastry sheets, thawed but still coldDijon mustard, as neededcooking spray2 eggs, beaten
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Remove the cocktail franks from their package and pat them dry with a paper towel. Poke 1-2 small holes in each frank and set aside.

Unroll each pastry sheet onto a clean work surface. Take a cocktail frank (or sausage link or third of your regular sized hot dog) and measure out a little less than the width of it on the pastry sheet and cut the sheet into long, thin strips. Divide the strips into 3-inch pieces that are long enough to wrap around the whole frank or sausage link.

 To assemble,  wrap each pastry strip around a cocktail frank. Press the seam with your fingers to seal, and then set it seam side down on a baking sheet greased with cooking spray or lined with parchment paper or a silicon mat. Continue to assemble the rest of the cocktail franks with the pastry strips.

Add 2 tablespoons of water to the beaten eggs and whisk quickly to combine. Using a pastry brush, brush each miniature hot dog with the egg wash, then bake in the oven until the puff pastry is golden brown, about 15 minutes. Dip in your favorite mustard or other sauce and enjoy!

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Monday, August 03, 2015

Skillet Teriyaki Chicken Thighs

No need to heat up the oven or fire up the grill for this recipe.  My Skillet Teriyaki Thighs are so delicious. I made this incredible sauce with Star Fine Foods Modena Creamy Balsamic Vinegar Glaze which gives it so much flavor! Tender chicken thighs with a delicious sticky glaze served over sticky rice. Oh Yum! 

Skillet Teriyaki Chicken Thighs

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
2 tablespoons Star Fine Foods Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 tablespoons butter 
3 tablespoons Star Fine Foods Creamy Balsamic Vinegar Glaze
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
1/2 cup honey
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon cornstarch

In a large Ziploc bag, whisk together the balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, honey, olive oil, minced garlic, chopped scallions and salt. Add the chicken, seal the bag, and then carefully move the chicken around in the bag until it's thoroughly coated. Place the chicken in the fridge to marinate overnight or for a minimum of 2 hours.  Remove the chicken from the bag and shake off excess marinade. Reserve the marinade for later. 

  1. In a large non-stick skillet, add 2 tablespoons Star Fine Foods Extra Virgin Olive oil and two tablespoons of butter and heat over medium high heat. Sear chicken on all sides until nicely browned and caramelized. 

  1. Cover skillet and turn the heat down to medium and cook for about 25 minutes or until thighs are done. Chicken should reach a temperature of 165 degrees.  When done, remove from heat and set aside. 

Transfer the marinade to a saucepan. Whisk in cornstarch and two tablespoons water.  Turn heat to medium high and bring sauce to a low boil until sauce begins to thicken and look like syrup. You want to stir frequently to make sure it doesn't burn. Remove from heat and set aside.
Pour or brush sauce over chicken and serve over fluffy rice. Enjoy!

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

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!

You can get Star Fine Foods Creamy Balsamic Glaze at 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!

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Saturday, July 18, 2015

Just wanted to stop by and say.....

I have been so busy today working on the magazine and doing my best to make this the best issue yet. After all, It's the first issue to start a whole new year of new recipes and I want to make sure you like each issue better than the last. So I have been at it now for 12 straight hours today and have finally loaded all the photographs in. Now comes the hard part...writing all those recipes! That will take another two weeks and bring me right down to the wire as it does every month.
That's not why I stopped by. I wanted to stop for a minute and say something to those of you who have already renewed your subscription. I want you to know that you touch my heart in the most profound way. I am so deeply humbled each time I see any of your names come up in my email when you renew your subscription for another year. I am amazed at the kindness and generosity of the people here and feel loved and surrounded by friends.
For those of you who have renewed, you need to know that I am flattered beyond words. You couldn't compliment me more than when you invest in my work. It says you love my cooking, my recipes, my photography, and my writings about my life with my Mom. To know you trust me and believe in me and stand by me means more than you know.
Oh I know it's not just about a cooking magazine. It's not just about food and pictures and stories. It goes way beyond that. Let's face it, there are thousands of bloggers out there putting out recipes. You didn't invest in the magazine just for that reason. You're not here just for that. Your renewal says so much more....
It says, I want to walk with you on this journey to help others. I want to be a part of the efforts you take to make sure that those who have lost their way can find hope again. It says, I'm right there with you in spirit and I am part of the reason you can take food and warm clothes to those that are hungry and poor.
It says you want to share my joy as I watch fur babies walk happily out the front door of these horrible kill shelters, instead of never walking out because no one got there in time. It says you are with me in mind and spirit and want to continue to walk this journey with me.
So thank you my friends. Thank you from my heart. Who knew I would find such good people in my life. Who knew God would bless me with such incredible friendship. Our paths have crossed for a reason.
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Friday, July 17, 2015

Chicken Parmesan Bake over Farfalle

What a quick and easy recipe for a classic meal.  Now and then I take shortcuts just like everyone else when it comes to making good food.  This time I used ready made store bought ingredients to put together a quick delicious meal.  Your friends and family will never know!

Chicken Parmesan Bake over Farfalle 

4 Tyson Chicken Breaded, chicken breasts (about 2 pounds)
1 (8-ounce) ball fresh mozzarella cheese
freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 26 ounce jar of Ragu Chunky Tomato, Garlic and Onion Sauce
1 pound farfalle or bow tie pasta

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Open sauce and heat in a saucepan over low heat until heated through.

Lay chicken breasts on a baking sheet and bake at 350 according to package instructions. Once chicken is golden brown, remove from oven.
Sprinkle a tablespoon of Parmesan cheese on each breast and then cover with a slice of mozzarella cheese.

Prepare pasta as directed on package and drain well.  Pour hot pasta onto plate or serving bowl and ladle warm sauce over it.  Place chicken breast on top of pasta and serve.

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