Sunday, December 11, 2016

Peppermint Bark~~ two versions

I have two recipes for you this time. One is only 4 ingredients and the other is only 3. Don't you just love that!

I found the Red Bird mints at my local dollar store, my regular grocery store sells them for $2.69 a bag. I prefer the softer mint to bite into, but if you want more crunch you can break up some candy canes. I must confess my weakest link is candy making. We can conquer our candy making skills together!

Peppermint Bark is a seasonal tradition over the Holidays and I'm going to show you one of the easiest candy recipes ever. Most folks love getting homemade scrumptious goodies over the Holidays. Share the love with your friends and family. Enjoy!


  • 1 1/2 cups Ghirardelli dark melting wafers
  •  3/4 tsp. plus another 3/4 tsp Pure Peppermint Extract
  • 2 cups Ghirardelli white melting wafers
  • 2, 4 oz bags of Red Bird soft peppermint puffs
  • mini Christmas designed paper candy cups.
You will need 1 qt zip lock bags and a meat mallet to break up candy pieces.

1) Open Peppermint candies and place inside a qt size zip lock bag, then place on top of a cutting board. Now break candy into tiny pieces using the flat side of a meat mallet, set aside.

2) Open paper cups and place one each inside the mini muffin tin, set aside.

3) Make a double boiler (one small saucepan inside a medium size saucepan with about 2 inches of hot water in the Medium pan), heating over low heat, now add the dark wafers. Stirring  occasionally with a wire whisk until chocolate is completely melted, it melt quickly. Once chocolate is melted add 3/4 tsp of the peppermint extract and whisk together until it is blended well. 

4) Add the chocolate mixture to the zip lock bag, squeeze out excess air then seal it off. Cut off one corner of the bag and fill each paper cup 1/3 full. It will flow easily and you will not need to squeeze the bag to release it. As a matter of fact it will flow fast and you need to be careful it does not come out to quickly. Set aside, do not refrigerate.

5) Repeat step #3 only using the 2 cups of white chocolate. Then fill paper cups almost to the top with the white chocolate mixture.

6) Sprinkle candy crumbs on top and gently press into the melted chocolate. I used a small iced tea spoon to sprinkle candy crumbs on top. 

7) Cool for about 1 hour then place into a airtight container for later or you may eat some right now.

  • 2 cups Ghirardelli white melting wafers
  • Red Bird soft peppermint puffs, leftover from above recipe.
  • 3/4 tsp. Pure Peppermint Extract
You will also need a sheet of wax paper and a cookie sheet.

1) Repeat above directions from step #3 on mini peppermint bark cups, but using 2 cups of white wafers.

2) Line cookie sheet with wax paper and spread about a 1/4 inch layer of the chocolate on top.

3) Gently drop crushed peppermints on top of melted chocolate and gently press into chocolate. Place in refrigerator for about 45 minutes or until chocolate has completely hardened.

4) Break bark into uneven portions and place in an airtight container to eat later or you may enjoy some now.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016


Mom's Manicotti! This recipe has been in my family for many generations. My Italian Great Grandmother taught my Mom how to make these delicious treasures. In turn my Mom shared this recipe with me and you have been chosen to reap the rewards of this family tradition. These babies are so light and tasty in your mouth, but surprisingly filling. It's a little extra work, but oh so worth it. Also this is one of my most requested recipes from my family and friends. It's a favorite of mine as well. I say it's time to spoil those special people in your life. Let those fat cells sing!


  • 2 cups all purpose sifted flour
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 8 eggs, beaten
  • oil cooking spray, I use the olive oil one

To make pancakes, combine flour, water, and salt. Beat with whisk until smooth, then beat in eggs. Preheat two 5-6 inch nonstick skillets on med low heat and spray with oil. You do not need to oil every time. Put in ¼ cup batter and roll around to distribute evenly. Cook until firm, do not brown. Turn & cook lightly on other side, they cook quickly. Just stack pancakes on a plate, they will not stick together. Continue until all batter is used, this will make about 24 pancakes.


  • 2 lbs part skim ricotta
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese and some extra to top off later
  • 8 oz grated Italian cheese blend, I use reduced fat Sargento
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together above ingredients well. Place about 2 heaping Tbsp of filling and roll up. Spray large roasting pan with oil and coat bottom of pan with 1 ½ cup spaghetti sauce. Place Manicotti seam side down. Cover lightly with sauce and sprinkle on some more Parmesan cheese. Bake for 45 minutes covered with foil. Makes about 24 Manicotti.

This recipe was a favorite when I was growing up. It is an old family recipe. You can save time by making the pancakes a day in advance, just stack them up, cover and refrigerate.