Monday, October 31, 2011

Pumpkin S'Mores Bars ~ Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!!! My toddler's school is having a costume parade & party. I was asked to bring my S'Mores Bars. I am always tinkering with my recipes, looking for ways to make them different & ways on how to make them new. I thought, yum, how about pumpkin s'mores?! And this came about. It is slightly more cake-y than the original Lishie S'Mores but as yummy & ooey-gooey!!!! You.must.try.these... now! Everyone have a sage, & happy, Halloween! Boo!
<3 Lishie

Pumpkin S'Mores Bars

Ready to travel!

  • 1 & 1/2 sticks Butter, @ room temperature
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2/3 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 4 cups crushed (food processor) graham crackers 
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups chocolate chips
  • 3 cups mini marshmallows or 1/2 bag of large marshmallows
Pre-heat oven to 350°, grease or spray 13x9x2-inch baking pan (or two, 8x8 brownie pans).

Beat butter & sugar with electric mixer on medium speed until light & fluffy. Beat in egg until combined. Add in pumpkin, then vanilla. 

With the children's pumpkin treat bags!

In a separate bowl, mix together crushed graham crackers, flour, cinnamon & salt. Stir the graham cracker mixture into the butter/sugar/egg/vanilla mixture. Should become one, big, slightly liquidy, crumbly clump.

Press the graham cracker mix over the bottom of the greased 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Sprinkle the chocolate chips & 
marshmallows on top.  

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until brown.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Pumpkin Seeds

Happy Halloween! WOW, here in the Northeast, NJ especially we've gotten a White Halloween! So strange to have snow in October for Halloween. My tot & I picked our large, gorgeous pumpkin off of the porch to allow "Jack" to defrost ;) & to carve him. Boy how is it I forget how seriously slimy, squishy & gross those orange innards are every year till that first handful?! And this year, they were freezing cold to boot! 

Don't throw those seeds out when you carve your Jack O'Lantern!!! They are the best kept secret for some. Roast them & toss 'em with spices & you have the best snack! Stay safe out there y'all!!!
<3 Lishie

Pumpkin Seeds

  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Sea Salt

Rinse the seeds under cold water in a colander & pick out the pulp, goo & strings. 

Place the pumpkin seeds in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Jack's saying, "Snow?!"
Sprinkle with sea salt & bake at 300 degrees F until toasted, about 30 minutes, checking & stirring after 10 minutes.

Friday, October 28, 2011

White Cheddar Pasta & Broccoli

Sometimes I just want quick pasta & cheese. And this was one of those sometimes. Add a little green friendliness in the form of broccoli & I'm truly happy. Cavatappi, or "Corkscrew" is one of those great pasta shapes that I love to use for "no~name" pasta meals. It is fun, has a great texture & holds well if baked (although this meal was a no~bake). Enjoy! 
<3 Lishie

White Cheddar Pasta
adapted from Homemade by Holman
  • 1 pound cavatappi
  • 2 TBSp butter
  • 2 TBSp flour
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 TBSp Dijon mustard
  • 8 oz sharp white cheddar cheese, grated
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 TBSp fresh thyme
  • 1 T fresh oregano
  • 1-2 cups Broccoli, finely chopped (can be uncooked or steamed first)
  • Parmesan cheese to taste
Cook pasta al dente, according to directions. Meanwhile, melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add flour and whisk to combine. Add wine, garlic, onions, and mustard. Cook about 5 minutes, until onions are translucent. Reduce heat to low and slowly add milk, stirring to combine. Cook about 5-7 minutes more until mixture begins to thicken. Add cheese and stir to melt. Add broccoli and pasta and toss to incorporate sauce. Mix in parmesan cheese.

Thursday, October 27, 2011


OK, that one item must exist for everyone... you know, the one thing that you must order at any given place? For my hubby, at Outback, it is the Shrooms. (Yes, we also get the Bloomin' Onion!) He is obsessed with mushrooms to begin with, but add steak & it is a must have side. A long while back I had done a search & came up with this copycat recipe.... such a simple recipe yet my hubby says it tastes just like the restaurant's!

Outback Steakhouse Shrooms 

  • 1 (10 1/2 ounce) can beef broth
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced
  • 2 (16 ounce) cans small button mushrooms (plus the juice of one can)
  • 1/3 cup dry red wine
  • Place beef broth in a saucepan and simmer onion for 15 minutes.
  • Add mushrooms, along with juice from 1 can or jar and wine.
  • Simmer another 15 minutes.

  • Wednesday, October 26, 2011

    Kung Pao Chicken

    Kung Pao Chicken
    adapted from  She's Cookin' (Foodbuzz)
    • 1 & 1/2 pounds of boneless chicken, cut into pieces
    • 2/3 cup low-sodium, chicken stock
    • 3 TBSp low-sodium soy sauce
    • 2 TBSp mirin (Japanese rice wine) or dry sherry
    • 1 TBSp honey
    • 1 TBSp cornstarch
    • 1 TBSp vegetable oil, preferably peanut
    • red pepper flakes
    • 2 TBSp ginger, finely chopped or zested
    • 2 TBSp garlic, minced
    • 2 cups Mushrooms, sliced (I use button)
    • ½ lb. Sugar Snap Peas
    • ½ c. water
    Combine the stock, soy sauce, mirin, honey, & cornstarch and whisk to break up lumps.

    Prepare everything to have at the ready, next to the stove.

    Place the vegetable oil in the seasoned wok or skillet over high heat. Let it get very, very hot.  Add the chicken & stir fry, allowing it to brown, cooking it halfway. Add the red pepper flakes and stir-fry for another minute.

    Add the ginger & garlic, and stir-fry for 10-20 seconds. Add the  mushrooms, stir-fry for a minute. Add the sugar snap peas, stir-fry for 10 seconds, then add the water & immediately put the lid on. Let steam over very high heat until veggies are crisp-tender and the water has almost evaporated, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove the lid, allow any remaining water to boil off. Toss in the green onions, stir-fry for 20 seconds.

    Stir the sauce mixture to re-blend and pour into the hot pan. Cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce becomes a clear, thick glaze – about 30 seconds. Serve immediately, over rice. 

    This is a quick & delicious weeknight meal that tastes like takeaway Chinese without the wait! 
    <3 Lishie

    Tuesday, October 25, 2011

    Monday, October 24, 2011

    Patatas Bravas

    Everyone seems to love tapas, Spanish appetizers. Well, I sure do! And I love Spanish food. (See my Delish Spanish Torta!) These potatoes were delicious in Spain & truly easy to capture the authenticate taste at home.These can be a side or an appetizer. The name of the recipe roughly translates into "fierce" or "angry" potatoes. But I promise you, you won't be angry after eating them!

    <3 Lishie

    Spanish Roasted Potatoes with Tomato Sauce
    Slightly adapted from Simply Recipes
    • 2 pounds potatoes peeled, cut into 1 to 1 1/2-inch chunks
    • Olive oil
    • Salt
    • 1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped
    • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
    • 1/2 cup white wine (can substitute stock)
    • 2 TBSp tomato paste
    • A 14-ounce can of crushed tomatoes
    • 2 tsp Tabasco or other hot sauce
    • 1 tsp smoked paprika (or sweet paprika)
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 1 tsp sugar
    Preheat oven to 375°F. Toss the potatoes with 3 tablespoons of olive oil & salt well. Arrange in one layer in a casserole pan or rimmed baking tray & roast until browned, about 50 minutes.

    While the potatoes are roasting, make the sauce. Heat 2 TBSp of olive oil in a medium pot set over medium-high heat. Sauté the chopped onions, stirring occasionally, for 4-5 minutes, or until they begin to brown on the edges. Add the garlic & sauté another 2 minutes.  

    Add the white wine to the pan & turn the heat to high. Boil on a high boil until the wine is reduced by half, then add the tomato paste & stir to combine. Add the crushed tomatoes, Tabasco sauce, salt, sugar and smoked paprika. Stir well & reduce the heat to a bare simmer. Let the sauce cook slowly while the potatoes roast.

    When the potatoes are well browned, toss with the tomato sauce and return to the casserole pan. Continue to roast until the tomato sauce dries out a bit on the potatoes and caramelizes, about 10 minutes. 

    Serve with the remaining tomato sauce as an appetizer or side dish.

    Friday, October 21, 2011

    Zombie~Eaten Skeleton men

    These came out very cute! I got the idea from Kraft. Then I saw them on Disney Family.  I am not the best decorator but you can get the picture :)
    And isn't it mostly about having fun?!  I used my Already Been Chewed (ABC) cookie cutters for that optimum zombie affect! But of course, go ahead & use gingerbread men & women, the "normal"variety. I did use my Halloween cat cutter. Ha ha... if you are having a young adult or grownup fright~fest, a little red food coloring can make these absolutely garish! Go for it!!!

    My all-purpose cookie recipe below is great because it is easy, not sweet & you can make so many shapes with it. I think next time I may add some cocoa to darken the dough so them bones show better!

    For MORE fun Halloween ideas, click HERE: Ghoul-Lish-ly FUN!

    Easy All-Purpose Cookie Dough
    from Sesame Street's Yummy Cookies Cookbook

    • 1 cup Butter
    • 1/2 cup Confectioner's Sugar
    • 2 TBSp light brown Sugar
    • 1/4 tsp Salt
    • 1 Egg
    • 2 cups A-P Flour

    Mix the butter, sugars, & salt in a large bowl at medium speed for 2 minutes until light & fluffy. Add the egg & beat until well blended.

    Add the flour, 1/2 cup at a time, beating after each addition. Shape the dough into a disc & wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate the dough at least 1 hour so that it is firm.

    Preheat oven to 300 degrees. 

    Roll out the dough on a floured surface. Cut into desired shapes. Bake for 15-17 minutes or until the cookies edges are browned slightly. Allow to cool & ice.


    • 1/4 cup white chocolate or melting candy
    • 1-2 TBSp Milk
    • 1 TBSp Confectioner's Sugar. 

    Melt the chocolate then combine all three ingredients. Decorate the cookies.

    For MORE fun Halloween ideas, click HERE: Ghoul-Lish-ly FUN!

    Thursday, October 20, 2011

    Leek & Potato Soup

    I love leeks. And I love potatoes. You know where this love note is going... I especially LOVE  leek & potato soup! This Saveur Magazine recipe is so simple yet delicious. Warning, I drain the water so I get a really thick soup. I like it that way- you may want to thin it out. I add grated parmesan but the suggested fresh chives would also be good. This is a hearty & easy soup for a very rainy, wet Autumn working night! <3 Lishie

    Leek & Potato Soup
    from Saveur Magazine
    • 3 russet potatoes, peeled and sliced or diced
    • 5 leeks, trimmed, cleaned, then thinly sliced, including 
    •    the tender green part
    • Salt
    • 4–6 tbsp. whipping cream
    Put potatoes, leeks, salt to taste, and 8 cups of water in a large saucepan over medium heat & simmer, partially covered, until vegetables are tender, 40–50 minutes.

    Mash vegetables in the soup with a fork, or pass the soup through a food mill. Correct seasoning with salt.

    Off heat, just before serving, stir in the cream by spoonfuls. Pour soup into a tureen or soup bowls. 
    *Here I added a little freshly grated parmesan cheese. YUM!

    Wednesday, October 19, 2011

    Recipe Swap~ Basil Dumplings & Chicken Soup

    Another successful swap! The theme this time was Soup. I submitted my Broccoli~Cheddar & got this yummy deliciousness in return from Melissa at "Delicious Meliscious". When I read about her work to mommy at night day, I really could sympathize. I feel the same way... I awake @5:30am, shower, dress... run to catch my 6am commuter bus to NYC. I walk a mile to work, grab breakfast then leave at 3pm... walk the mile back to my commuter bus * get home hopefully by 4:30! Spend a few minutes with my toddler & prepare dinner & eat... cleanup then get every thing ready for the next day... bath-time for tot, reading, bed... Whoa. I am exhausted just typing my schedule! So for this soup, I prepped all of the veg on Sunday- Washed, cleaned & peeled & chopped. You can get a homemade dinner on the table working moms~ take it from me. It just takes planning, prep & organization. 

    I used my dutch oven for the soup rather than my crock-pot. And I used a "soup starter kit" from the grocery store produce section. Do you know what that is? Our store has a package with each one of these items:  Onion, carrot, parsnip, celery, turnip & potato.. it also came with a leek (which I'll be using for another recipe this week). These kits are money-savers in my opinion & allow me to use all the veg I'd want in my soup as well as my added dill, which is such a yummy herb. Because of the starch from the potato, I didn't need to use the cornstarch. I still had a thick & satisfying broth.

    I stayed exactly on point with the provided dumpling recipe originally adapted from Cooking Light, although I did create buttermilk mixing vinegar & milk. They came out so good!!!

    Thank you so much, Melissa for such a wonderful & warming Fall swap choice. I'll put this on my rotation now! YUMMM for leftovers too...

    Chicken & Basil Dumplings
    adapted from Delicious Meliscious

    Soup Ingredients:
    • 1-2 TBSp Olive Oil
    • 1 medium onion, chopped
    • 1 large carrot, cut into  2" pieces
    • 1 small parsnip, cut into  2" pieces
    • 1 celery stalk, chopped into 2" pieces
    • 1 small turnip, chopped into 2" pieces
    • 1 medium, red Potato, skin on, chopped into 2" pieces 
    • 64 oz. low sodium Chicken broth
    • S & P
    • 2 split Chicken breasts, bone in, skin on 
    • fresh Dill, chopped
    • fresh Parsley, chopped

    Soup Directions:

    Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onions &  cook for 3-4 minutes or until softened. Add the carrot, parsnip, celery, turnip & potato.  Cook, stirring constantly for about a minute. Add the chicken broth & S&P. Cover and cook on medium low for 45 minutes or until the vegetables are soft.

    Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degree. take the chicken breasts, skin side up, on a baking sheet & rub them with olive oil. sprinkle with s & p.Roast for 35-40 minutes, until chicken is cooked through. Set aside to cool. When cooled, remove the chicken from the bone & shred it (getting rid of skin & bones.) Add the shredded chicken to the soup, along with the chopped dill.

    • 1 1/4 cups of flour
    • 1/2 tsp dried basil
    • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • 2 tsp baking powder
    • 2 tbsp butter, softened
    • 1/2 cup 2% Milk
    • 1 tsp White Vinegar
    • 1 large egg, lightly beaten

    Combine the flour with basil, garlic powder, salt, & baking powder in a large bowl. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender (or back of a fork) until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Whisk together milk, vinegar & egg. Add milk mixture to flour mixture, stirring until just combined.

    Drop dumpling dough, 1-2 tsp per dumpling, into the chicken soup.Cover and cook for 7 minutes (DO NOT LET THE BROTH BOIL).  Add the chopped parsley to the soup & enjoy!
    <3 Lishie

    Tuesday, October 18, 2011

    Cheerio Bars

    Does your child LOVE Cheerios? Is this a rhetorical question? Gabriel could eat them all day long if I let him. And, I am ok with that. They are a great source of fiber & nutrients for him & oh so much better than some of the other, sweeter boxed cereals. I wanted to take this obsession of my toddlers & run with it by making a cereal bar. I did. The sad part about this is, the little tot will not eat chocolate! So these were wasted on him. Perhaps this recipe won't be wasted on you?  
    <3 Lishie

    Cheerio Bars

    • 3 cups Cheerios
    • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 1/2 cup honey
    • 1/2 cup peanut butter
    Grease a 9-inch square pan & set aside.

    In a large bowl combine the cereal & chocolate chips- set aside.

    In a small sauce pan, set over medium heat, bring the sugar and honey to a boil, stirring constantly. Continue to cook until the sugar is completely dissolved then remove from the heat.

    Add the peanut butter and stir until the mixture is smooth.

    Pour the sugar, honey, peanut butter mixture over the cereal mixture and mix until everything is well coated.

    Immediately press the cereal mixture into the buttered pan*
    *Lishie tip~ use a cooking spray coated spatula. 

    Cool completely.

    Cut into desired size and shape bars.

    Recently Gabriel got to see Sesame Street Live & he wore his favorite Bert & Ernie t-shirt. Unfortunately, we also discovered the shirt had grown too tight so I created this keep sake, tooth fairy pillow for him out of it:
    Bert & Ernie pillow presented by, well, Bert & Ernie!
    Back Pocket for the tooth!

    Monday, October 17, 2011

    Thanksgiving Sandwich

    A gorgeous autumn day that is cool but not too cool calls for something yummy & very Fall-like but not too winter-like. What to make? We had a busy Sunday. Began with church, then some errands, a visit to a friend, mommy-to-salon... Then we watched our town's Columbus Day Parade. After, grocery shopping with toddler in tow... & regular food prep. I truly was tuckered out & wanted to remain awake for Dexter! 

    Sandwiches make a hearty, all-in-one dinner sometimes. Just make sure you have all of the components! This is a great way to have a little Thanksgiving other times of the year. And this is a great way to utilize those turkey day leftovers in November!

    So... this is what we dined on:

    Thanksgiving Sandwich
    • Deli, thick-cut roasted Turkey
    • Dressing (stuffing~ I cheated & used reduce-sodium Stove-top Stuffing made with chicken stock & butter)
    • Cranberry Sauce (we actually prefer the canned jellied one)
    • Fresh kaiser rolls
    Stack the turkey & dressing on the roll, spread the cranberry sauce as the condiment. Enjoy!
    <3 Lishie

    Friday, October 14, 2011

    An Apple a Day...

    Because of the weird September rainy weather up here in the Northeast, apple picking season has continued into October. Normally, by the end of September, the orchards are picked bare (in a good way!) I thought I'd compile a lot of the apple-y-goodness of my blog into one post so if you are searching for something to make with those bounty of apples you've picked, my recipes are easy to find. Next up, I'll be getting into my pumpkin kick :)
    <3 Lishie

    Apples everywhere!

    Rustic Apple Turnovers...

     Caramelized Apple Tarte Tatin

    Apple Streussal Coffee Cake
    Apple Pie

    Mini Apple Pies
    Apple Oatmeal Cookies
    Apple Sauce

    Apple-Cheddar Appy

    Warm Brussels Sprouts & Apple Slaw

    For Halloween ideas, visit : Ghoul~Lishly~Fun

    Thursday, October 13, 2011

    Pumpkin Butter

    There's a whymsically wonderful little cafe in Greenwich Village, NYC called Peanut Butter & Co. It is everything peanut butter. And the peanut butter is freshly made ~ smooth (my pref!) or crunchy. And it is fun. I love grabbing lunch there every once in a while because it makes me smile... I usually always have the fluffernutter sandwich & a vanilla diet coke but they have a new item for Halloween & fall... ready for it? It's a Peanut Butter & Pumpkin Butter Sandwich. & it is scrumptious. Here's how you can make home-made pumpkin butter:

    Pumpkin Butter 
    (Slow Cooker Method)
    adapted from:Eastern European Food
    • 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin
    • 1/2 cup water
    • 1/2 to 1 cup sugar
    • 1 tsp cinnamon
    • 1/4 tsp ginger
    • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
    • 1/8 tsp cloves
    Combine pumpkin puree with sugar & spices, and choose one of the following cooking methods.
    Slow Cooker: Place sweetened pulp in a slow cooker with lid partially off to let steam escape. Set at low and cook, stirring occasionally, for 6-12 hours or overnight, or until thick enough so the butter doesn't run off a spoon when turned upside down. 

    <3 Lishie

    Wednesday, October 12, 2011

    Rustic Apple Turnovers

    Autumn means an abundance of apples & I cannot be happier. I sure hope you all are not thinking, "when will Lishie's apple recipes end?" Because, sorry to disappoint, but they won't :) This is another timeless recipe, that I have been making since I can remember. I have to add the "rustic" to the title because, while mine aren't perfect but they are surely mouth-wateringly scrumptious. This recipe is so simple, the biggest bother is trying not to snack on all of the filling before it gets placed on the puff pastry to bake! 

    Rustic Apple Turnovers

    • 2 medium baking apples (again, I used my favorite~ Honeycrisp)
    • Juice of 1/2 Lemon
    • 1/2 cup Brown Sugar (light or dark~ I used dark)
    • 1 TBsp AP Flour
    • 1/2 tsp Vanilla
    • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
    • Pinch of Nutmeg
    • Pinch of Salt
    • 1 Package of Puff Pastry Sheets
    • 1 Egg
    • 1 TBSp Sugar

    Filling: Peel, core & slice then chop the apples. In a medium bowl, toss the apples, lemon juice, brown sugar, flour, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg & salt together very well. 

    Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, set aside.

    Sprinkle some flour on a pastry board or clean countertop. Place one sheet of puff pastry into the refrigerator while working with the other. The trick is to keep the pastry chilled. Carefully roll out the first sheet of puff pastry. Using a ravioli or pizza cutter, create four squares.  Spoon about 1/4 cup of the filling into each square. 

    In a small bowl, beat the egg with a fork. Using a pastry brush, brush the egg along 2 sides of a square. Take the other two sides of the square & "glue" them to the egg-washed sides to form a triangle. Crimp the sides shut by pressing the fork down along the two edges to seal. Place the triangle on the baking sheet. Poke a hole in the triangle with the fork (to release air while cooking). Brush the top of the triangle with egg, then sprinkle with a little sugar. Repeat with the other three remaining squares of pastry. Repeat all again with second sheet of puff pastry from the refrigerator.

    Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the pastries are golden brown.

    <3 Lishie

    Tuesday, October 11, 2011

    Ghoul~Lish~Ly FUN

    October really gets the creativity flowing especially with a little one. Between the holiday & nature's bounty of autumnal produce, so much abounds to use in recipes. This post is to highlight a couple of my favorite ideas to help you prepare now for those fun costume parties & kid's birthdays. I will have more posts to come with more ideas. 

    <3 Lishie

    Graveyard Cake

    One of my favorite, & easiest, Halloween treats is the Graveyard Cake.

    Any Cake Flavor (yes, you can even use a box mix here ;) but my cake of choice is: HERSHEY'S "PERFECTLY CHOCOLATE" Chocolate Cake
    Frosting~ Works best with a darker, chocolaty frosting (again, see above)
    Graveyard Cake

    For the "dirt"~ You can use any of the following: 
    Crushed Oreos or gingersnaps, Ground Chocolate Graham Crackers, or Shaved Chocolate (take a vegetable peeler or a box grater to the chocolate)

    For the "gravestones" ~ Use Any oval, round or square cookie (here I've used vienna fingers & oreos). Write on the cookies using cake frosting. After "writing" on them, insert halfway into the "dirt".

    Added touch ~ Candied pumpkins & candy corn. Or....

    Chocolate Molded Candy

    OK, this is my greatest idea yet for all holidays. Know those wonderful, fun & CHEAP silicone ice trays that have come out everywhere? Well they double fantastically as reusable candy molds! Just get Candy melts like I used here for the Chocolate-dipped Pretzels... Melt according to the package directions. Spray the clean mold with cooking spray (only original or canola oil flavored)... & fill the compartments in the "ice" tray with the melted chocolate candy. Allow to form & harden, then pop 'em out. Yummy, um, candy skulls... or pumpkins, etc.  
    Inexpensive Silicone Ice Trays
    And, of course, there are always the Worm Cupcakes:
    Worms in Dirt
    A Gabriel, easy, baby or toddler craft