Recipe of the Week – Apple Brownies

I tried this recipe over the weekend and our guests just loved them. Then Frank and I had some warmed with ice cream and some caramel sauce on top – Oh Heaven!apple brownies with caramel
1 3/4 cup sugar
2 cups flour
3 eggs
1 cup oil
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
2 cups apples peeled and cut small
1cup pecans or walnuts
Grease 9 x13 pan. Mix all ingredients together. Spread into the baking dish. I sprinkled with cinnamon sugar on top. Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes

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Recipe of the Week — The Traveler

The Circular” (previously The Circular dining Room) is set to open next month at the Hotel Hershey. One of the additions to this renovated restaurant that everyone is most excited about: a new bar with a focus on handcrafted vintage cocktails.

The mixologists at The Circular have generously shared the recipe for one of the fabulous new drinks that will be featured. The cocktail, called “The Traveler,” is inspired by Milton Hershey and his love of travel. It features chocolate-infused bourbon blended with Italian spirits and bitters, influenced by a traditional Mexican flavor profile.
Many thanks to Frances Civello,our favorite Hershey photographer for the beautiful photo and obtaining the recipe.


The Traveler

1.25 oz Prichard’s Double Chocolate Bourbon
1.25 oz Aperol
.25 oz Sweet Vermouth
2 slices fresh orange
Dash of Chocolate Mole Bitters
Orange twist for garnish

Muddle orange slices in a cocktail shaker and then fill shaker with ice. Combine Bourbon, Aperol, Sweet Vermouth, and bitters in shaker. Shake vigorously. Strain into chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with orange twist.The Traveler Cocktail Recipe from The Circular Dining Room

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Recipe of the Week – Molten Chocolate Cakes

Molten Chocolate Cake RecipeWe love little dinner parties to brighten up the cold, long days of winter. Call up a few friends, put something tasty in crock pot, throw some logs in the fireplace –life is good! And here’s an easy dessert that is guaranteed to wow your guests.
Of course, Frank always adds ice cream.
1 cup unsalted butter (if you use salted butter do not add the pinch of salt)
8 oz. semi sweet chocolate chips
5 large eggs
½ sugar cup
pinch salt
4 tsp. flour
muffin pan lined with paper muffin cups
1 (6 oz) container of raspberries barely moistened and rolled in sugar
Melt butter and chocolate in medium heat proof  bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Remove from heat. Beat eggs, sugar and salt with hand mixer in medium bowl until sugar dissolves. Beat egg mixture into chocolate until smooth. Beat in flour until just combined. The batter can be made up to 8 hours before you plan to serve the cakes. Fill the pans with batter and refrigerate, but remember to remove the pan far enough in advance to let the batter come back to room temperature.
Before serving dinner, adjust rack to middle position and heat oven to 450. Spray muffin papers with cooking spray. Divide batter among cups.
I put them in the oven as I am clearing the table and getting coffee.
Bake until batter puffs but center is not set 8-10 minutes. Carefully lift cakes from tin and set on work surface. Pull papers away from cakes and transfer to dessert plates.
Sprinkle with powdered sugar and garnish with raspberries and if you are in our house add a generous serving of ice cream
I like to use a larger muffin tin for 8 servings but if you have only a 12 serving muffin pan it will be fine – They will bake slightly faster and some people will want seconds — (they may want seconds anyway)

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Recipe of the Week – Boeuf Bourguignon

Boeuf Bourguignon Recipe - In a Black Serving DishHere’s an easy version of a French favorite that would be so good in front of the fire.
2-1/2 lbs. bottom round cubes
12 oz baby carrots, fresh, frozen or canned
8 oz small whole mushrooms or large quartered mushrooms
3/4 tsp dried marjoram leaves
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
8 oz pearl onions, peeled, fresh, frozen, or canned
2 tsp oil
1 can 13-3/4 oz beef broth
1/4 cup water
1 cup good quality Burgundy wine
2 Tbsp cornstarch
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp chopped parsley

Trim all visible fat from meat. Combine salt, marjoram and pepper; sprinkle over bottom round cubes. Brown beef (half at a time) in oil in Dutch oven. Pour oil drippings. Add beef broth, wine and garlic, stirring to combine. Cover tightly and simmer 1 hour. Add fresh carrots, continue cooking, covered, 30 minutes. Add mushrooms and pearl onions (and carrots if using frozen or canned) and continue cooking covered, for 30 minutes. Combine water and cornstarch; gradually stir into broth and cook until thickened, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley.

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Recipe of the Week – Quick & Easy Homemade Chicken Soup

Chicken & Rice Soup - Homemade Easy RecipeThis soup is made with store-bought broth and rotisserie chicken, which shortens the preparation time considerably. (If you usually make your soup from scratch, you may be surprised at how appealing this shortcut can be when you’re rushed.)

1 (2-lb) rotisserie chicken
3 celery ribs
1 medium onion, quartered and left unpeeled
6 fresh parsley sprigs plus 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 fresh thyme sprigs
1 bay leaf
10 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth (80 fl oz)
2 medium carrots, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1/2 cup long-grain rice, rinsed


Remove meat from chicken, reserving skin and bones. Coarsely chop 1 celery rib and put in a 6- to 8-quart pot along with chicken bones and skin, onion, parsley sprigs, thyme sprigs, bay leaf, and chicken broth. Simmer, partially covered, 1 hour.

While broth is simmering, shred about half of chicken meat into 1-inch-long pieces (about 1/4 inch thick) to yield 1 1/2 cups meat, reserving remaining meat for another use. Cut remaining 2 celery ribs into 1/4-inch dice.

Pour chicken broth through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl, pressing hard on solids with back of a ladle and then discarding them. Skim fat from surface of broth.

Return strained broth to pot, then add carrots, diced celery, and rice and simmer, partially covered, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender and rice is very soft, about 30 minutes. Stir in shredded chicken and chopped parsley. Enjoy.

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Recipe of the Week – Apple Cinnamon Waffles with Cider Syrup

Heart Shaped Apple Cinnamon Waffles This is a wonderful winter breakfast that our guests love – me, too

Cider Syrup
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice or ground cinnamon
2 cups apple cider
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup butter or margarine

2 ¼ cups Bisquick® mix
1 ¼ cups milk
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 egg
1/2 cup finely chopped peeled apple

In a 2-quart saucepan, mix 1 cup sugar, 3 tablespoons cornstarch and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Stir in cider and lemon juice. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and boils. Boil and stir 1 minute; remove from heat. Stir in butter.
I’ve used  this cider syrup with lots of other things, too — Apple Bread Pudding, Pumpkin Pancakes etc., etc., etc. It is so good.

Heat waffle iron. (Waffle irons without a nonstick coating may need to be brushed with vegetable oil or sprayed with cooking spray before batter for each waffle is added.)
In large bowl, stir all waffle ingredients except apple until blended. Stir in apple. Pour batter onto center of hot waffle iron. (Check manufacturer’s directions for recommended amount of batter.) Close lid of waffle iron.
Bake about 5 minutes or until steaming stops.
Makes 6 medium sized waffles. If you have big eaters – double the recipe for the waffles

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Recipe of the Week -Tres Leches Cake

tres leches cake recipeHere is another wonderful recipe from our South American adventure. It’s a delightful finish to a spicy Latin meal.
1 ½ cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ cup unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
5 eggs
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups whole milk
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (12oz) can evaporated milk
1 ½ cups heavy whipping cream
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
Preheat Oven to 350. Spray 9 x13 with Pam or other cooking spray.
Stir flour and baking powder together and set aside.
Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add eggs and the ½ tsp of vanilla and beat well
Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture 2 tablespoons at a time. Mix until well blended. Spread batter into prepared pan.
Bake at 350 for 30minutes.When cake is out of the oven pierce all over with fork
Combine whole milk, condensed milk and evaporated milk together. Pour over top of cooled cake.
Whip whipping cream, the remaining cup of sugar and remaining vanilla together until thick. Spread on top of cake and sprinkle lightly with cinnamon. Be sure to keep refrigerated.— Enjoy and don’t tell your cardiologist what you are having for dessert.

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Recipeof the Week – Ecuadorian Potato Soup

ecuadorian potato soupThis wonderfully flavorful soup is also easy on the budget. We had a truly unforgettable trip to South America in October and one of the culinary highlights was fabulous ecuadorian potato soup. We found this recipe after we got home but it duplicates those great meals in Ecuador and brings back such good memories. We served it to friends on New Years Eve to rave reviews… but don’t wait for a special occasion. Add salad and crusty bread and you have the perfect winter meal. You might want to try  Tres Leche Cake for dessert but that’s next week’s recipe.
10 medium sized potatoes, peeled and chopped into small pieces
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 white onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp achiote powder (I found it with the Mexican foods in our local supermarket)
7 cups of water ( I used chicken stock)
1 cup of milk or more
1 cup grated or crumbled cheese – quesillo, queso fresco, mozzarella or monterey jack ( I used grated Mexican Cheese mix)
1 bunch of cilantro, leaves only, minced
Salt to taste
To serve:
1 cup of queso fresco, feta cheese, or grated mozzarella
Maiz tostado –just like Corn Nuts – In Ecuador they also frequently served popped corn with soup
Chopped scallions
Avocados, sliced or diced
Aji or hot sauce
1. Prepare a refrito or base for the soup by heating the canola oil over medium heat in a large soup pot; add the diced onions, minced garlic cloves, cumin, and achiote powder. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are tender, about 5 minutes.
2. Add the potatoes to the pot and mix until they are coated with the refrito. Continue cooking for about 5 minutes, stirring a every couple of minutes.
3. Add the water/ stock and bring to boil, cook until the potatoes are very tender. Use a potato masher to mash the potatoes in the pot, don’t mash all of them, the consistency of the soup should be creamy with small tender chunks of potatoes.
4. Turn the heat down to low, stir in the milk and let cook for about 5 more minutes. You can add more milk if the soup is too thick.
5. Add salt to taste
6. Add the grated cheese and cilantro, mix well, and remove from the heat.
7. Serve warm with the avocados, scallions, feta cheese and aji or hot sauce.

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Recipe of the Week – Apple Pie Cake

Apple Pie Cake

We always like to have some type of cake as well as cookies waiting for guests when they arrive. This cake is

perfect late in the afternoon with a cup of coffee or tea – dense, flavorful and not overwhelming sweet.



1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup butter, cut into small pieces

Apple Mixture
6 apples, peeled, thinly sliced. I used Granny Smith.
3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons lemon juice

1 box yellow cake mix
1 1/3 cups water
1/3 cup oil
3 eggs


1. Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pan). Spray bottom and sides of 13×9-inch pan with baking spray with flour.
2. In medium bowl, stir together flour, 1/2 cup brown sugar and the salt. With pastry blender or fork, cut in butter until mixture is crumbly. Set aside.
3. In another medium bowl, gently stir together Apple Mixture ingredients; set aside.
4. In large bowl, beat Cake ingredients with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds, then on medium speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Pour into pan.
5. Spread apple mixture evenly over cake batter. Sprinkle Topping evenly over top.
6. The original recipe said to ake 30 to 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. In my oven it took close to 45 minutes. I took it out when it golden brown at the edges but there were a few crumbs on the tooth pick/
7. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.
8. Sprinkle with confectioners sugar if you wish but it is not necessary.

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Recipe of the Week – Peppermint Bark Recipe

peppermint bark recipe

This is my December indulgence: Peppermint Bark Recipe! It’s ridiculously easy, and I am absolutely addicted to it. I have to give it away as soon as I make it or I would end up weighing more than Santa. It’s a great Christmas gift and fun to make with children. They love smashing the candy canes.


1 pound dark chocolate chips
1 pound white chocolate chips
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
3/4 cup crushed peppermint candies, such as Starlight mints


Line a 13 x 9 inch pan with foil.  Set aside.

In top of a double-boiler or in microwave (I used the microwave), melt dark chocolate chips.  Spread into prepared pan.  Refrigerate until JUST ABOUT set, about 15-20 minutes. The just about part is important as this will help meld your chocolate together.

In top of a double boiler or in  microwave, melt white chocolate chips.  Stir in peppermint extract.  Spread on top of dark chocolate.  Sprinkle with crushed peppermint candies.

Refrigerate until set, about an hour. Remove from pan and break into pieces.  Store at room temperature.

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