Baked Goat Cheese Appetizer with Marinara

We had this  Baked Goat Cheese appetizer at one of our favorite restaurants and I had to recreate it for us at home! 

This Baked Goat Cheese Appetizer with Marinara is  just like the restaurant recipe – and it is really quick and easy to make.  I like to serve this with my French Bread Crostini.  The crostini can be made a day ahead and then wrapped in aluminum foil and reheated in the oven when you are ready to serve this.  The Goat Cheese Marinara can be assembled ahead of time and refrigerated until you pop it under the broiler.

 

Baked Goat Cheese Marinara
 
Recipe type: Appetizer
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1⅓ cups prepared marinara sauce
  • 6 oz log of goat cheese
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, thinly sliced
  • 12 slices French bread
  • Olive oil
Instructions
  1. Brush each side of the French bread slices with olive oil and place on a baking sheet. Toast each side under the broiler for 2 to 3 minutes, or until golden brown.
  2. Pour marinara sauce in the bottom of a small baking dish. Slice the goat cheese log in half and place in the center of the marinara sauce.
  3. Bake under the broiler for 4 to 6 minutes or until the goat cheese is soft and slightly golden.
  4. Sprinkle mixture with fresh basil before serving.

 

Brush each side of the bread slices with olive oil and place on a sheet pan.  Toast each side under the broiler for 2 to 3 minutes, or until golden brown.

 

Pour marinara sauce in the bottom of a small baking dish.  Slice the goat cheese log in half and place in the center of the marinara sauce.

 

Bake under the broiler for 4 to 6 minutes or until the goat cheese is soft and slightly golden.

 

 

Sprinkle mixture with fresh sliced basil before serving.

 

Serves 4 people as an appetizer.

 

“Let’s make life special by sharing great food with our family and friends!”

To download the printable recipe with how-to photos, click here:  Baked Goat Cheese Marinara

Vickie’s Lemonade Pie

My Mom gave me this Lemonade Pie recipe over 30 years ago.  It tastes just like Key Lime Pie! It is great for easy entertaining!  It will keep several days in the refrigerator — if it lasts that long!

 

  

Vickie's Lemonade Pie
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Recipe type: Dessert, Pie
Ingredients
  • 6 oz frozen lemonade concentrate, partially thawed
  • 8 oz Cool Whip, thawed
  • 1 can Sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 Graham cracker crust
  • Few drops of yellow food coloring
Instructions
  1. Mix lemonade concentrate and sweetened condensed milk together.
  2. Fold in Cool Whip and a few drops of yellow food coloring.
  3. Pour into a graham cracker crust and chill.

Directions:

Mix lemonade concentrate ( I used half of a 12 oz. can ) and sweetened condensed milk together.

Fold in Cool Whip and a few drops of yellow food coloring.

Pour into graham cracker crust and chill.

Enjoy!

To download the printable recipe with how-to photos, click here:  Vickie’s Lemonade Pie

 

Cream Cheese Whipped Potatoes

Years ago I would make this dish by first making my homemade mashed pototoes.  That involved peeling and quartering the potatoes and boiling them in salted water until done.  Then I would drain off the liquid, add butter and milk and whip them with an electric mixer – whipping in the cream cheese at the end.  THEN I started using the refrigerated prepared mashed potatoes and just stirring in the cream cheese and microwaving until heated.  What a time saver and the results are just as good!

Sometimes the simple recipes are the best!


Cream Cheese Whipped Potatoes
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Recipe type: Side Dishes
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 Container refrigerated prepared mashed potatoes
  • 8 oz Cream cheese
Instructions
  1. Mix potatoes and cream cheese together in a microwave safe bowl. Cover with waxed paper.
  2. Microwave on HIGH for 5 minutes, stirring halfway thru the cooking time.

Directions:

Stir potatoes and cream cheese together in a microwave safe bowl.

 

 

Microwave for 5 minutes, stirring halfway thru the cooking time.

 

Enjoy!

 

Tip:  You can easily double or triple this recipe if you are making it for a crowd.  I like to serve this at dinner parties because it is such an easy side dish.  I usually spend a lot of time on the meat and it’s great to have this easy go-to recipe to round out the meal.  This is also always on my Thanksgiving table and everyone always LOVES it!

To download the printable recipe with how-to photos, click here:  Cream Cheese Whipped Potatoes

 

 

Sherbet Punch

Looking for a quick and delicious punch to serve at a bridal shower or baby shower?  This is it!  The raspberry sherbet makes a pink punch and the pineapple sherbet makes a yellow punch.


Sherbet Punch
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Recipe type: Beverages - non alcoholic
Ingredients
  • 3 quarts Sherbet ( raspberry or pineapple ), partially thawed
  • 2 liters Ginger Ale, chilled
Instructions
  1. Add the Raspberry Sherbet to the punch bowl.
  2. Pour the chilled Ginger Ale over the sherbet and stir.
  3. Allow about 15 minutes for the sherbet to melt into the ginger ale before serving.
Notes
You can use either the Raspberry Sherbet OR Pineapple Sherbet but don't mix the two together.

Add Raspberry Sherbet OR Pineapple Sherbet to punch bowl.  Pour chilled Ginger Ale over the sherbet.  Stir to combine and serve.  Allow about 15 minutes for the sherbet to melt into the ginger ale before serving.

Let’s make life special by sharing great food with our family and friends!  Enjoy!

To download the printable recipe with how-to photos, click here: Sherbet Punch

Perfect Baked Potato Recipe with Baked Potato Bar

Here is a great option for EASY entertaining or just a family dinner… The Perfect Baked Potato Recipe With A Baked Potato Bar!

Baking the perfect baked potato recipe is easy and serving the baked potatoes on with baked potato bar toppings is fun for everyone!    It gets everyone involved by letting them choose all of their toppings.  Over the years I have seen many different ways to bake potatoes….wrap them in foil, don’t wrap them in foil, use a fork to poke holes in them, stick a nail in them and on and on.  I discovered the secret to what I consider “The Perfect Baked Potato” and that is this:  ramp up the oven temperature to 425 degrees and brush the potatoes with oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Bake large potatoes for 1 hour and 15 minutes and you will have the most incredible baked potato you have ever put into your mouth!

The baked potato bar is just as perfect for a cold winter day as it is for a summer BBQ by the pool.  Here I’m showing my set up for the Baked Potato Bar:

 

Perfect Baked Potatoes with Baked Potato Bar
 
Cook time
Total time
 
Recipe type: Side Dish
Ingredients
  • Large Idaho Baking Potatoes
  • Oil
  • Kosher ( coarse) salt
  • Options for Baked Potato Bar Toppings: Butter, sour cream, bacon crumbles, green onion slices - including tops, pickled jalapeno pepper slices, shredded cheddar cheese, chili - in the Fall and Winter, canned black beans - rinsed and drained, chopped fresh tomatoes, thawed frozen green peas, salsa, nacho cheese sauce, ranch salad dressing, salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. This high temperature is the secret to baking perfect baked potatoes.
  2. Line a rimmed cookie sheet with aluminum foil. Scrub the baking potatoes and pat dry. Place on foil lined sheet.
  3. Brush both sides of potatoes with oil and sprinkle both sides with kosher salt.
  4. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes ( for the extra large potatoes) or until done. Smaller potaoes will be done in about an hour.
  5. Split and serve with a variety of the options listed above.
  6. At serving time, cut the potatoes lengthwise across the top and squeeze the ends together to open up the potato. Let guests choose their own toppings.

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.   Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.  Scrub baking potatoes and pat dry.  Place on foil lined sheet.

Brush both sides of the potatoes with oil and sprinkle both sides with kosher or sea salt.

Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes ( for the extra large potatoes like I used) or until done.  Smaller potatoes will be done in about an hour.

At serving time, cut the potatoes lengthwise across the top and squeeze the ends together to open up the potato.  Serve with the topping options listed above.

I used butter, sour cream, bacon crumbles ( that I cooked in the microwave), sliced green onions – including tops, Jalapeno pepper slices, shredded cheddar cheese and salt and pepper.

”  I just love to serve food in attractive and creative ways!   Here you see the buffet set-up.  I used a round platter for the baked potatoes and matching small bowls in different bright colors for the condiments. ”

 

“Remember, let’s make life special by sharing great food with our family and friends!”

To download the printable recipe with how-to photos, click herePerfect Baked Potatoes with Baked Potato Bar

Cooker Chops

Great recipe for entertaining!  Fast, easy and tastes wonderful!  No one believes it was prepared in a crock pot.

 

Cooker Chops
 
Recipe type: Main Dish
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • Four 1½ inch thick pork chops ( loin chops with the bone in)
  • 1 can Cream of Mushroom soup
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • 2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 onion, cut into 4 slices
  • Wondra Instant flour
Instructions
  1. Spray crock pot with Pam. Put chops in the crock pot and lay a sliced onion on each chop.
  2. Combine the Cream of Mushroom soup, ketchup, and Worcestershire sauce and whisk together.
  3. Pour the mixture over the chops.
  4. Cover with the lid and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours.
  5. Remove chops. Thicken sauce with the Wondra flour.
  6. Ladle sauce over the chops.

 

To view the complete video recipe, click here:  http://youtu.be/jax2APUx7PM 

 

 

Spray the crock pot with Pam and put the pork chops in the crock pot.  Place an onion slice on each pork chop.

Combine the cream of mushroom soup, ketchup and Worcestershire sauce.  Whisk together.

Pour mixture over chops and cover with the lid.  Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours.

Remove chops to a warm serving platter.  Thicken the sauce with Wondra Instant Flour.  Use a whisk to combine the flour into the sauce.  Ladle the sauce over the pork chops.

Lets make life special by sharing great food with our family and friends!  Enjoy!

 

To download the printable recipe with how-to photos, click here:  Cooker Chops

 

 

 

Make Life Special
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Phone: 217-556-8297 Website: http://www.makelifespecial.com