Spinach Artichoke Dip

(2) 10 oz. boxes frozen spinach
¼ cup real butter
1 Tbs minced fresh garlic
2 Tbs minced onion
¼ cup flour
1 pint heavy cream
2 tsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
½ tsp hot sauce
½ tsp salt
2/3 cup grated fresh Pecorino Romano Cheese
1/3 cup sour cream
½ cup shredded Vermont white cheddar
14 oz jar artichoke hearts – coarsely chopped

  1. Thaw and squeeze all liquid from spinach; must be very dry.  Mince and set aside.
  2. In heavy saucepan, melt butter. Add garlic and onions and sauté about 3-5 minutes
  3. Add flour to make a roux.  Stir and cook about 1 minute
  4. Slowly add heavy cream, stirring with a whisk to prevent lumping.
  5. Mixture will thicken at the boiling point.  When it thickens, add lemon juice, hot sauce, salt and Pecorino Romano cheese.  Stir until cheese is melted.
  6. Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes
  7. Stir in sour cream.  Fold in dry spinach and artichoke hearts.
  8. Sprinkle white cheddar on top
  9. Microwave to melt cheese and serve or can put in a 350°F oven for a few minutes until cheese melts.

Note:  Serve with salsa, sour cream and tortilla chips for dipping.

Options:  you can use fresh spinach instead of frozen if you like.  You can steam the spinach, mince and add or add raw minced spinach and bake at 350°F for 20 minutes. 

Blue Crab Dip

8 oz. cream cheese, softned
3 Tbs heavy whipping cream
2 Tbs grated parmesan cheese – divided
2 tsp white wine
2 tsp shrimp base (see NOTES)
2 tsp diced onion
2 tsp diced red bell pepper
2 tsp diced green bell pepper
2 tsp diced roma tomatoes
2 tsp diced green onion
½ tsp Old Bay Seasoning
2 dashes dry mustard
2 splashes Tobasco sauce
5 1/3 oz. canned crab meat – drained
1 Tbs grated parmesean cheese – for garnish

  1. Fold together all ingredients, except 1 Tbs parmesean cheese
  2. Spread evenly into oven-proof baking dish
  3. Microwave on medium power for 4 minutes
  4. Transfer to oven and broil until top is slightly browned
  5. Garnish with parmesean and serve with tortilla chips for dipping

Note:  Shrimp base is a thick, paste-like bullion that can be found in the supermarket next to the bouillon and granules.  If you can’t find shrimp base I’ve used lobster base instead.

Clam Casserole
I doubled the recipe I adapted this from since I make this as part of our huge Christmas Eve dinner that is typically 15-20 people.

(5) 6.5 oz. cans minced clams with their liquid
4 Tbs lemon juice
1 medium onion minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 Tbs fresh parsley chopped, or 2 tsp dried
½ cup butter
1 tsp dried oregano
1 ¾ seasoned bread crumbs + couple Tbs for topping
4 drops hot sauce or to taste
2 Tbs parmesan cheese, grated

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F
  2. Simmer clams with their liquid and lemon juice in a covered saucepan for 5 minutes, set aside
  3. Sauté onion, garlic and parsley in butter for about 5 minutes
  4. Add oregano, bread crumbs, hot sauce and clams/lemon juice mixture
  5. Spoon into a greased casserole dish.  Sprinkle with breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese
  6. Bake at 375°F for 25-30 minutes

Makes:  16 servings

Baked Brie with Apricot Preserves

1 large round Brie Cheese
2-3 Tbs Apricot Preserves
1 tube of Pillsbury crescent roll dough sheet or 1 sheet of puff pastry dough
1 egg, beaten

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F
  2. Slice brie cheese in half across the middle
  3. Spread apricot preserved on bottom half of brie and place other half on top
  4. Roll out crescent dough, place brie in the  middle of the dough and wrap dough around cheese sealing the edges
  5. Place brie on greased cookie sheet (sealed side down) and brush with egg
  6. Bake at 350°F for about 15-20 minutes until slightly brown
  7. Let cool 10 minutes before serving

Serve with crackers and apple slices.

Note:  You can substitute other flavors of preserves/jam such as raspberry or strawberry.





French Onion Soup

3 large onions, sliced
3 Tbs butter, melted
3 Tbs flour
1 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp sugar
¼ tsp pepper
4 (14.5 oz) cans beef broth
¼ cup sherry
8 slices French bread, 1” thick
¾ c shredded mozzarella
2 Tbs shredded or grated parmesean

  1. Mix onions & butter in 3 ½ - 6 Quart slow cooker 
  2. Cover & cook on high for 1-3 hrs or until onions begin to brown slightly around the edges ( can vary based on the crock pot you have, in mine it takes 2 hrs)
  3. Whisk flour, worcestershire sauce, sugar & pepper together.
  4. Add four mixture & broth to onions
  5. Cover & cook on low heat 7-9 hrs or until onoins are very tender
  6. Fill bowl with soup.  Place 1 piece of french bread on top of soup and add shredded mozzerella & parmesaean cheese on top
  7. Set oven to broiler & broil about 5“-6“ away from heat for 3 minutes or until cheese is melted

Makes:  8 servings

Asian Ginger Beef over Bok Choy

2 Tbs Peanut Oil
1 ½ lbs boneless beef chuck roast, cut into 1-inch pieces
3 green onions cut into ½ inch slices
6 cloves garlic
1 cup chicken broth
½ cup water
¼ cup soy sauce
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp Asian chili paste
9 oz fresh udon noodles or vermicelli, cooked & drained
3 cups bok choy, trimmed, washed and cut into 1-inch pieces
½ cup minced fresh cilantro

  1. Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat until hot.  Sear beef on all sides in batches to prevent crowding, turning each piece as it browns.  Sear last batch of beef with onions & garlic
  2. Transfer to 5-6 quart slow cooker.  Add broth, water, soy sauce, ginger and chili paste.  Stir well to combine. 
  3. Cover; cook on Low 7 to 8 hours or on High 3 to 4 hours or until beef is very tender
  4. Just before serving, turn slow cooker to high.  Add noodles and stir well.  Add bok choy and stir again.  Heat on high until bok choy is tender-crisp, about 15 minutes
  5. Garnish beef with cilantro and serve while hot.

Makes:  6-8 servings


Oreo Truffles

1 package (16 oz) Oreo Cookies
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese (softened)
1 lb dark chocolate, melted (can use milk chocolate too)
½ lb white chocolate, melted

  1. Using a food processor, grind cookies to a fine powder.
  2. With a mixer, blend cookie powder, cream cheese and vanilla extract until thoroughly mixed (there should be no white traces of cream cheese and it should be a dough consistency)
  3. Roll into small balls (1 inch) and place on wax-lined cookie sheet. Refrigerate for 45-60 minutes
  4. Line two cookie sheets with wax paper. In double-boiler, melt dark chocolate. Dip balls and coat thoroughly. With slotted spoon, lift balls out of chocolate and let excess chocolate drip off. Place on wax-paper-lined cookie sheet & refrigerate 15 minutes or until chocolate is firm.
  5. In separate double boiler, melt white chocolate. Using a fork, drizzle white chocolate over balls. Refrigerate again for 15 minutes or until chocolate is firm.
  6. Store in airtight container, in refrigerator.
  1. You can modify flavors by using the vanilla or even the mint oreos
  2. Chocolate can also be melted in the microwave by heating on 50% power for a few minutes at a time & stirring
  3. When I am exceedingly lazy, I forego the chocolate 'dip' and merely roll my truffles into various mixtures - chopped nuts, chocolate sprinkles, vari-coloured candy sprinkles, cocoa powder, chocolate shavings, coloured sugars -- still pretty -- less work.  If doing this don’t refrigerate the truffles before rolling into mixtures.

Jenn’s Pumpkin Bread with Orange Glaze:

3 ½ c. flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
½ tsp salt
2 c. solid pack pumpkin
1 c. vegetable oil
3 c. sugar
3 eggs
1 c. walnuts (optional)
1 c. raisins (optional)

  1. Preheat oven to  350°F 
  2. Mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg & salt & set aside. 
  3. Combine pumpkin, oil, sugar and eggs.  Mix with electric mixer until well blended. 
  4. Slowly add dry ingredients and mix well. 
  5. By hand stir in walnuts & raisins. 
  6. Fill greased loaf pans ¾ full and bake for 50-55 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. 
  7. Cool in pans for 15 minutes, then remove & cool completely. 

Makes 2-3 loafs depending on pan size.  8 x 4 x 3 size pan yields 3 loafs; 9 x 5 x 3 size pans yields 2 loafs.

Optional Orange Glaze:
1 ½ c. confectioners sugar
1 tsp grated orange zest
6 tsp. orange juice
Additional chopped walnuts for topping

Combine all ingredients in small bowl & spoon over cooled bread.  Top with walnuts.

Chocolate Hazelnut Biscotti:

1 ½ c. hazelnuts, husked & toasted
3 c. all purpose flour
2/3 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 c. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 c. sugar
3 large eggs
1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp almond extract
1 c. semisweet chocolate chips

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F & Line heavy baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Grind ½  c toasted hazelnuts in food processor, set aside
  3. Whisk flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in large bowl
  4. Beat butter and sugar in another large bowl to blend.  Then add eggs, vanilla extract & almond extract and beat until well blended
  5. Beat in flour mixture
  6. Mix in 1 c whole toasted hazelnuts, chocolate chips & ½ c ground hazelnuts
  7. Divide dough into 2 equal pieces.  Shape each piece on parchment lined baking sheet into 2 ½ inch wide x 14 inches long log.  Be sure to space the logs  2 ½ inches apart (logs will spread during baking)
  8. Bake until logs feel firm when tops are gently pressed, about 35 minutes.
  9. Cool logs on baking sheet 15 minutes. Maintain oven temperature.
  10. Using a long wide spatula, transfer baked logs to cutting board.  Using serrated knife, cut warn logs crosswise into ½ inch thick slices.
  11. Arrange slices cut side down on 2 baking sheets
  12. Bake biscotti until firm, about 15 minutes
  13. Transfer to racks & cool completely.

Cookies can be prepared ahead of time & stored in airtight container for up to 4 days or wrap in foil and freeze in resealable plastic bags up to 3 weeks.

Yields:  4 dozen cookies



Notes on Purees:  I make all of these in large batches, freeze in ice cube/food trays and store in large freezer bags to have portions to easily defrost when it is meal time.

Apple and Pear with Cinnamon (6+ Months)  (Courtesy of Top 100 Baby Purees by Annabel Karmel)

2 Medium Apples, peeled., cored, and chopped (I like to use Royal Gala apples)
2 Medium Pears, peeled., cored, and chopped (I like to use Anjou Pears)
¼ cup unsweetened apple juice or water
Generous pinch of ground cinnamon (optional)

Put the fruit into a saucepan together with the apple juice or water and cinnamon (if using).

  1. Put the fruit into a saucepan together with the apple juice or water and cinnamon (if using).
  2. Cover, and cook over low heat for 6 minutes or until tender.
  3. Blend the fruit to a smooth puree
*Suitable for freezing

Yileds: 4 servings


Apple Turkey Loaf/Sticks (8-10+ Months)  (Courtesy of

1 lb ground turkey
1 whole egg or 2 egg yolks, beaten
½  cup pureed carrots¼  cup applesauce¼  cup unprocessed natural wheat or oat bran¼  cup bread crumbs
pinch of basil
pinch of garlic powder

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F
  2. Place ground turkey in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Add the egg/yolk, carrots, applesauce, spices, bread crumbs and bran.
  4. Mix well - If this mixture appears too dry, add more carrots or applesauce. If this mixture appears too wet, add more bran and/or bread crumbs
  5. Place mix into a lightly oiled (olive oil) loaf pan and bake at 350°F for approx. 45 minutes or until an inserted knife comes out clean. **You may wish to cover with foil to prevent the top from burning
  6. When finished baking and cooled, remove loaf from pan and slice as you would for bread. Break into small bits for finger feeding or Mash or chop gently
  7. This recipe may also be made into "Turkey Sticks" for Toddlers and older babies who are able to handle more textured/chunky finger foods.

Cook the ground turkey separately; add the other ingredients and puree

Broccoli & Cheddar Cheese Nuggets (8-10+ Months)  (Courtesy of

1 16-oz  Package frozen broccoli, cooked, drained, and chopped
1 cup Seasoned bread crumbs (you could try using baby cereal if you want, we know it works well with "baby meatballs")
1 ½ cups Shredded cheddar cheese (please use real cheese and not a "processed cheese food" product.  Try tomato & basil cheddar.)
3  Large eggs or 5 egg yolks

Note: Most pediatricians say it's ok to use whole egg in a baked good when baby is over 8-9 months old and is without allergies. We would recommend that you substitute 5 egg yolks for the whole eggs if serving this to those under 1 yr.  Ask YOUR pediatrician.

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F
  2. Lightly coat a baking sheet with olive oil and set aside.
  3. Combine all remaining ingredients and mix well.    *Add seasonings if you  like - garlic powder, pepper, extra basil & oregano for example. Add a fruit or veggie puree to substitute for the eggs if desired.
  4. Shape mixture into nuggets or fun shapes such as squares or squigglies etc..and place on baking tray.
  5. Bake at 375°F for 20 to 25 minutes, turn nuggets over after 15 minutes. Serve warm.
Be sure to crumble these if your baby needs.

Note: Suitable for those who have had the ingredients and for those who can handle texture and mash foods with their gums.  Great for Moms & Dad too.

Banana Pancakes (8-10+ Months)  (Courtesy of

1 or 2 ripe bananas (not overly ripe or mushy bananas)
Pancake Batter (try Hodgson Mills Buckwheat Pancake Mix.)

  1. Slice bananas thinly
  2. Coat with pancake batter
  3. Lightly fry in pan until golden brown
  4. Serve as Baby Finger Foods for snack or at breakfast time

Baked Apple Slices (8+ Months)  (adapted from Simply Recipes

3 cups apples, peeled and sliced (Use Fuji             or Golden delicious)
3 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 Tbsp. maple syrup
Sprinkle of cinnamon

(Note: 3 cups of apples = approx. 1 lb. or 3 apples)

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F
  2. Combine all ingredients in a bowl.
  3. Place in a greased 8”x8” baking dish
  4. Bake at 400°F for 30 minutes

Serve with frozen yogurt or whipped cream

Yileds: 6 servings
Serving Size: ½ cup

Perfect Pumpkin Pancakes (12+ Months)  (courtesy of the Nutrition Information Program of Cornell Cooperative Extension Dutchess County)

2 cups flour
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1 Tablespoon baking powder
¼  teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg ½  cup canned pumpkin
¾  cup milk, lowfat
2 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil

  1. Combine flour, brown sugar, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice and salt in a large mixing bowl.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine egg, canned pumpkin, milk and vegetable oil, mixing well.
  3. Add wet ingredients to flour mixture, stirring just until moist. Batter may be lumpy. (For thinner batter, add more milk).
  4. Lightly coat a griddle or skillet with cooking spray and heat on medium.
  5. Using a 1/4 cup measure, pour batter onto hot griddle. Cook until bubbles begin to burst, then flip pancakes and cook until golden brown, 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 minutes. Repeat with remaining batter.

Makes about 1 dozen 3 1/2 inch pancakes.

Notes: If you don't have pumpkin spice on hand, don't worry - it's just a combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves. In this recipe, you can substitute 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg and 1/8 teaspoon each of ginger and cloves for the pumpkin pie spice.
Safety Tip: You can be sure your skillet or griddle is hot enough for pancakes without burning your hand. Just sprinkle a few (3 or 4) drops of water on the surface. If they dance and sizzle, you are ready to cook.

Yields: 12 Pancakes

Baked Chicken Nuggets (12+ Months)  (courtesy of the Nutrition Information Program of Cornell Cooperative Extension Dutchess County)

1 ½ lbs. chicken thigh (boneless & skinless)
1 cup cornflakes cereal - crushed
¼ cup low fat milk
1 teaspoon paprika
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon black pepper
oil (to grease pan)

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F
  2. Lightly grease a cooking sheet.
  3. Remove skin and all visible fat from chicken.  Wash chicken thoroughly.  Cut into bite-sized pieces.
  4. Place milk in large bowl.  Add chicken pieces to coat.
  5. Place cornflakes in a plastic bag and crush by using rolling pin or by hand.
  6. Add remaining ingredients to crushed cornflakes.  Close bag tightly and shake until blended.
  7. Remove chicken from milk and place in the crumb mixture, a few pieces at a time.  Shake to coat evenly.
  8. Place chicken pieces onto the pre-greased cooking sheet.
  9. Bake until golden brown.

Yields: (4) 3oz. Servings

Toddler Macaroni & Cheese (12+ Months)

1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon plain
1 cup milk
½  cup grated cheddar cheese
¼  cups cooked macaroni

  1. Heat butter in pan, add flour cook over medium heat stirring regularly, until mixture thickens. 
  2. Gradually stir in milk, until mixture boils and thickens. 
  3. Add cheese and macaroni and mix well. Stir until cheese is melted.

Macaroni and Cheese Cupcakes (12+ Months)

8 ounce box small elbow macaroni
2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
½  cup seasoned bread crumbs
1 ½  cups whole milk
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
½  tsp. freshly ground black pepper
3 Tbsp. butter
olive oil
salt to taste

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Cook the macaroni until tender. Drain, toss with a little bit of the oil, and set aside.
  3. In a medium nonstick saucepan, whisk together the milk and cornstarch until well blended. Stirring often, bring to a boil over medium heat.
  4. Stir in the mustard, pepper, and salt. Reduce heat to low and simmer until thickened.
  5. Stir in the cheddar until it melts, then fold in the macaroni.
  6. Butter two cupcake pans and coat with the bread crumbs. (Be sure to shake off the excess.) You can also use cupcake tins to line.
  7. Spoon the macaroni mixture into the pans and top with bread crumbs to taste.
  8. Bake until golden on top, 15 to 25 minutes.

Hot Dog Nuggets (12+ Months)

7 Hot Dogs (can use turkey hot dogt)
1 can Pillsbury Crescent Seamless Dough Sheet
Ketchup for dipping

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Roll out dough on floured surface and cut into strips approx 1 ½”  x 3”
  3. Cut hot dogs into 4 equal parts
  4. Wrap each hot dog piece with the strip of dough until completely covered
  5. Place on cookie sheet that’s been sprayed with cooking spray
  6. Bake until golden on top, 15 to 20 minutes.
Makes approx. 28 nuggests

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