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Strawberry Napoleon Recipe

I’m going to let you in on a little secret.

I don’t like baked fruit.

Can’t stand it, as a matter of fact. Peach cobbler? Yuck. Apple pie? GASP—call me un-American. I just can’t stand it. Oh I’ll make these desserts, no problem. But serve me a slice, à la mode? No thanks.

However, FRESH fruit on top of desserts is an entirely different thing! There’s something about fresh berries on top of warm crème brûlée that makes my mouth water. And this…THIS recipe is one of my faves. The light, fluffy, mousse-like filling and delicious pastry layers with fresh strawberry slices…yum. It just makes springtime that much sweeter.

Strawberry Napoleon

1 small package of instant vanilla pudding and pie mix

1 cup of cold milk (for the pudding)

1 ½ cups non-dairy whipped topping, thawed

½ package of frozen puff pastry, thawed

1 pint fresh strawberries, thinly sliced

¼ cup powdered sugar

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Combine the pudding mix and cold milk according to the instructions on the package. Fold in the whipped topping and place in the refrigerator. Sprinkle a little flour onto a clean countertop or a cookie sheet and unfold the puff pastry right on top of the floury surface. Cut into 3 strips along the fold marks and then cut each strip into 4 equal pieces. Place each rectangle of puff pastry 2 inches apart on another cookie sheet and bake for 15 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from the cookie sheet and allow to cool. Carefully peel the pastry into 2 layers and set aside the 8 best-looking tops. Take the pudding mixture and spread a tablespoonful onto the 8 bottom layers. Place some sliced strawberries on top and then another spoonful of the pudding mixture. Place another pastry layer on top of that, and repeat—topping the dessert with a ‘nice-looking’ pastry top! Once you have all 8 complete, sprinkle some powdered sugar on top, and you can even garnish with a half-strawberry or drizzled chocolate!

These are delicious treats that look super fancy when served…and no one needs to know that they’re super easy to make!

Bon appétit!

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Cinco de My, oh My: Enchilada Recipe

It’s rare that a recipe comes along that everyone in my family loves. Kids, parents, grandparents—this one’s a hit, all the way around! Because everyone loves it, I don’t even mind that this takes a little bit of extra work…hey—that’s what makes it authentically awesome. This Cinco de Mayo—and any other time you need a food pairing to go with your margaritas—try this one out!

Enchiladas
Corn tortillas
Vegetable oil
2 cups of cooked chicken, diced (I use a bag of the pre-cooked, southwestern-style chicken as a shortcut!)
One bag of shredded Mexican cheese
2 cans of enchilada sauce
1 block of cream cheese, softened

In a medium-sized bowl, blend together 1 ½ cups of the shredded cheese and the cream cheese. Stir in the diced chicken. In a small pan, heat up the vegetable oil on medium-high. Drop in a corn tortilla and “flash fry”—as soon as you see one side bubbling up, flip it over with a pair of tongs and let the other side bubble up, too. Immediately spoon out some of the chicken and cheese mixture onto the tortilla in a line and fold the sides of the tortilla over the mixture. Be careful—it’s going to still be hot from the pan. Place the folded-up tortilla in a greased baking dish with the seam facing down. Repeat until you run out of the chicken-and-cheese mixture—it will more than fill up a 9×13 dish! Pour the enchilada sauce on top and bake for 25 minutes on 350 degrees. Sprinkle the remaining ½ cup of shredded cheese on top and bake for 5 more minutes.

Serve with Mexican rice, chips and salsa and you’ve got a fiesta!

Enjoy!

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Dear Mama: Olive Balls Recipe

With Mother’s Day coming up, it gave me a chance to reflect back on my own mother…and some of the things she has taught me when it comes to cooking and entertaining, and memories associated with certain foods.

Just about every holiday, my mom would make olive balls. You heard me. Olive. Balls.

Now, you might think that’s weird, but frankly I think it’s weird when someone says they’ve never even heard of these delectable little bites of heaven.

Even if you aren’t crazy about green olives, hear me out and give this one a try. They taste very similar to sausage balls, but without the sausage. And trust me and my Mama—they’ll be a hit at any occasion.

Olive Balls
1 stick of unsalted butter, melted
1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese (I soften mine up in the microwave for about 20 seconds)
1 cup of all-purpose flour
1 tsp. paprika
1 jar of green olives

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Using a hand-mixer or stand mixer, blend together the melted butter and shredded cheese. Add in the flour and paprika to make the dough. Drain the olives and put on a paper towel—this will help the olives be as dry as possible. Spoon out a teaspoon-size scoop of the dough and roll into a ball. Press your thumb into the middle of the ball and place an olive into the dent. Pinch up the dough around the olive and re-roll into a ball. Place onto an ungreased cookie sheet and repeat until you’re out of dough. Cook for 7-9 minutes and serve warm!

These are great little appetizers that everyone—all 35+ members—of my family enjoys! 😉

What are some family recipes that you love? Let us know!