Tomato Toast

I cannot walk past a display of farm fresh ripe tomatoes this time of year.  I am such a huge tomato fan, my husband is convinced that I could eat them everyday for every meal.  He is pretty much on target with that comment.  Tomato Toast is my latest tomato creation.  Crispy grilled bread, cheese filling, topped with tomato slices – perfect for an appetizer or side dish.  

tomato toast

Tomato Toast
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  1. 4 slices of crusty bread cut 1/2 inch thick
  2. olive oil
  3. 1 large tomato, sliced
  4. 1/4 cup ricotta cheese
  5. 2 tablespoons pesto
  6. 1 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese
  7. salt and pepper
  1. Prepare grill or grill pan. Brush both sides of bread with olive oil. Slice tomato. Combine ricotta cheese, pesto and parmesan cheese. Grill one side of bread until golden brown and crusty, turn bread slices. Spread grilled sides of bread with ricotta cheese mixture. Cover grill and heat until hot. Remove from grill. Top with sliced tomatoes, salt and pepper, and drizzle with olive oil. Serve
A Passion for Entertaining

Poppyseed Orange Blueberry Bread

In my previous posts I mention our love for poppy seed bread.  Specifically because that is what I made for a picnic on the day I met my husband.  I am always trying new things with poppyseed bread.  The addition of blueberries and orange was a sweet success. 

poppyseed orange


Poppyseed Orange Blueberry Bread
Yields 1
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  1. 3/4 cup milk
  2. 1/4 cup canola oil
  3. 1 egg, beaten
  4. 1 tablespoon finely grated orange peel
  5. 1 tablespoon orange juice
  6. 1 3/4 cup flour
  7. 1/2 cup sugar
  8. 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  9. 1 tablespoon poppyseeds
  10. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  11. 1 cup fresh blueberries
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl combine milk, oil, egg, orange peel and orange juice. Stir in dry ingredients, mix until all combined. Fold in blueberries.
  3. Pour into a greased 8x4 inch loaf pan. Bake 45 - 50 minutes. Cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and cool on wire rack.
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Chocolate Chip Muffins

Recently, we spent a delightful weekend in Charleston, SC.  Charleston is a great food town with lots of various eateries to try.  One of our friends recommended the Fat Hen on St. John’s Island for brunch.  After a fun evening celebrating at a wedding and a late Sunday morning start, the idea of coffee and brunch was just what we needed.  When we arrived at the Fat Hen, we were asked if we would like to start with their bakery basket.  Well, of course, we were definitely interested.  The bakery item of the day was chocolate chip muffins.  What a wonderful way to start brunch with a great cup of coffee.  I decided it was time to bake some chocolate chip muffins.  Time to brew some coffee!

chocolate chip muffins



Chocolate Chip Muffins
Yields 12
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  1. 6 tablespoons butter, softened
  2. 1 1/4 cups sugar
  3. 2 large eggs
  4. 2 cups flour
  5. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  6. 2 teaspoons baking powder
  7. 1/2 cup milk
  8. 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease 12 muffins cups.
  2. Cream the butter with the sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time and beat well. Whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder and add to the egg mixture alternately with the milk. Fold in the chocolate chips. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake for 20 minutes. Cool. Sprinkle with powdered sugar prior to serving.
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Orange Twist Rolls

These yeast rolls are not your everyday rolls, these are the rolls to bake when you have a special occasion, brunch, or luncheon.  They are over the top delicious with the orange filling and orange glaze.  If you want a show stopper recipe, Orange Twist Rolls are just what you are looking for.  Serve these for breakfast or brunch, it will be hard to eat only one!

orange twist rolls


Orange Twist Rolls
Yields 24
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Dough ingredients
  1. 1 package active dry yeast
  2. 1/4 cup warm water
  3. 1/4 cup sugar
  4. 1 teaspoon salt
  5. 2 eggs
  6. 1/2 cup sour cream
  7. 6 tablespoons melted butter
  8. 3 cups flour
  9. Filling
  10. 2 tablespoons melted butter
  11. 3/4 cup sugar
  12. 2 tablespoons grated orange rind
  13. Glaze
  14. 3/4 cup sugar
  15. 1/2 cup heavy cream
  16. 2 tablespoons orange juice
  17. 4 tablespoons butter
  1. Dissolve the yeast in the warm water in a small bowl. In the large bowl of electric mixer using the dough hook, combine 1/4 cup sugar, salt, eggs, sour cream, yeast mixture and butter. Add the flour and combine until a soft dough forms. Let dough rise in a warm place for 2 hours. Turn the dough out onto a floured board and knead 15 times. Divide dough in half. Roll each half into a 12-inch circle. Combine the sugar and orange rind in a small bowl. Brush each circle with 1/2 of the melted butter and sprinkle with 1/2 of the sugar mixture. Cut the circle into 12 wedges. Roll up staring with the wide end and place rolls in a greased 9 x 13 baking dish with the points down. Repeat with the other half of dough. Cover rolls and let rise 1 hour.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake the rolls for 20 - 30 minutes until golden brown. Top with glaze while warm.
  1. Glaze
  2. Combine the sugar, cream, orange juice, and butter in a saucepan and boil for 3 minutes, stir constantly. Pour over the rolls when removed from the oven. Cool rolls slightly; serve warm or at room temperature.
A Passion for Entertaining

Two Quick Breads

Both of these recipes are quick to prepare and are great gifts, office treats, weekend breakfast goodies, afternoon tea accompaniment, after school snack, …..

I could go on and on – let’s just say, they are terrific for any occasion.

two quick breads


Apricot Bread
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  1. 6 oz. chopped dried apricots
  2. 1 cup sugar
  3. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  4. 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  5. 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  6. 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  7. 1 cup water
  8. 6 tablespoons shortening
  9. 1 egg, beaten
  10. 2 cups flour
  11. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 8 x 4 inch loaf pan with foil. In a medium saucepan, cook apricots, sugar, spices and water over medium heat for 5 minutes. Stir in shortening. Cool completely. Blend in egg. Combine flour and baking soda, add to fruit mixture and mix well. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 - 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove to a rack and cool completely.
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Cinnamon Sour Cream Bread
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  1. Bread
  2. 2 cups flour
  3. 1 teaspoon baking powder
  4. 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  5. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  6. 1 cup butter, room temperature
  7. 1 1/2 cup sugar
  8. 2 eggs
  9. 1 cup sour cream
  10. 1 teaspoon vanilla
  11. Topping
  12. 1/2 cup sugar
  13. 1/2 cup chopped nuts
  14. 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 9 x 5 inch loaf pan
  2. Combine topping ingredients and set aside.
  3. Combine flour, baking powder, soda and salt in a medium bowl. Cream butter and 1 1/2 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Fold in sour cream and vanilla. Stir in flour mixture.
  4. Spoon 1/2 of the batter into the prepared loaf pan, top with 1/2 of the topping. Repeat with dough and finish with topping. Bake 350 degrees for 50 - 60 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pan. Remove from pan and cool completely.
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Baked Doughnuts

Every once in awhile it is fun to make something unexpected.  Baked Doughnuts are the perfect thing to make when you want to experiment in the kitchen and serve an unexpected delight.  I want to think these are a bit healthier than traditional fried doughnuts since these are baked.   So, when you want to make something special, these are the perfect treat!

baked doughnuts


Baked Doughnuts
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  1. 2 packages active dry yeast
  2. 1/4 cup water
  3. 1 1/2 lukewarm milk
  4. 1/2 cup sugar
  5. 1 teaspoon salt
  6. 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  7. 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  8. 2 eggs
  9. 1/3 cup shortening
  10. 4 1/2 - 5 cups flour
  11. 1/4 cup butter, melted
  1. In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add warm milk, sugar, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, eggs, shortening and two cups flour. Blend 1/2 minute on low speed, scraping bowl frequently. Beat for 2 minutes. Stir in remaining flour until smooth (start with 4 1/2 cups flour and add additional until you have a smooth dough). Cover and let rise in a warm place or until double (50 - 60 minutes). Turn dough onto floured board, knead lightly until smooth. Dough will be soft. Roll dough out to 1/2 inch thickness. Cut out with doughnut cutter or two different sizes of round cutters (inside cutter should be about the size of a thimble). Lift cut-out doughnuts to a parchment lined baking sheet. Brush with melted butter. Cover and let rise until double in size approx.20 minutes. Heat oven to 425 degrees. After doughnuts have doubled in size, bake 8 - 10 minutes. Brush with additional butter after baking and shake in cinnamon sugar, plain sugar or confectioner's sugar. Makes approx. 2 dozen.
  1. Bake your doughnuts holes too, just watch when baking and remove from the baking sheet as soon are they are golden brown. They will cook much quicker than your doughnuts.
A Passion for Entertaining



Berry Scones

I remember years ago the small bakery in England where we had scones during afternoon tea.  After that day, I became a huge fan of scones.  I had some fresh blueberries in the refrigerator, dried cranberries and cherries in the pantry.  A cool winter afternoon and I thought what a great day for scones.  My house smells delightful and I am ready to bring out the tea pot. 

berry scones


Berry Scones
Serves 8
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  1. 2 1/2 cups flour
  2. 1/4 cup sugar
  3. 2 teaspoons baking powder
  4. 1/2 cup unsalted butter, well chilled
  5. 1 1/4 mixed berries, fresh or dried
  6. 1/8 teaspoon salt
  7. 1 large egg, beaten
  8. 1 1/4 cup heavy cream
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment or grease the baking sheet.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, mix flour, sugar and baking powder. Cut butter into small cubes and add to dry mixture, using a pastry blender or your fingers combine until butter is in very small pieces. Stir in fruit. Add egg and cream and mix until combined. I use my hands to incorporate the last amount of flour mixture. Place dough in the center of the baking sheet and pat into a circle approximately 1 inch thick. Mound slightly in the center. Brush top with additional cream and sprinkle with coarse sugar, if desired. Score circle into eight wedges. Bake in preheated oven for 20 - 25 minutes. Remove from baking sheet.
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Orange Date Crumble Cake

Put the coffee pot on!  This cake is just perfect to serve for breakfast or brunch.  The brown sugar crumble tops a moist orange cake studded with dates.  Just too good to pass up.  Time to sit, relax and enjoy this wonderful cake with friends and family.

As a side note – I sent this crumble cake to my husband’s office – First comments on the coffee cake, “These are ridiculous!” and “Best coffee cake – ever!”

orange date crumble cake

Orange Date Crumble Cake
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  1. 2 cups flour
  2. 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  3. 1 tablespoon baking powder
  4. 1 egg, beaten
  5. 1/2 cup milk
  6. 1/2 cup canola oil
  7. 1/2 cup dates, diced
  8. 3 teaspoons finely grated orange peel
  9. 1/2 cup orange juice
  10. 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  11. 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  12. 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  13. 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl combine flour, sugar and baking powder. Mix well. Add egg, milk and oil, stir just until all dry ingredients are incorporated. Add egg, orange juice and dates. Stir until batter is just blended. Pour into a greased 9 inch square pan. Combine brown sugar, butter and cinnamon with a pastry blender or 2 knives until the butter is cut into small pieces. Stir in the walnuts. Sprinkle over batter. Bake 375 for 30 minutes.
A Passion for Entertaining

Are You Ready for the Big Game?

Looking for recipes for this weekend ? 

A Passion for Entertaining’s popular recipes that would be perfect to serve at your Super Bowl party


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pulled pork sandwich

GAme Day Wings




The recent snowfall gave me the opportunity to go though my recipe collection.   Here is one that you must try. Piadina is a thin Italian flat bread or sometimes referred to as a griddle flat bread.  They are typically filled with a variety of cheeses, cold cuts and vegetables, but also with sweet fillings such as jam or Nutella.  They are quick and easy to make, I make the dough in my food processor and the dough is done in a flash. After you make the dough, you simply divide the dough in 5 pieces, roll them into thin circles and quickly cook them.  Absolutely delicious served warm. 

dough 1.   dough 2

             Roll dough into circles                              Cook in large hot skillet or griddle



piadina sandwich  

    Delicious served with meat and cheeses. (also fantastic with Nutella)

Yields 5
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  1. 3 cups flour
  2. 3 tablespoons vegetable shortening
  3. 1 tablespoon salt
  4. 2 teaspoons baking powder
  5. 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  6. 1 cup cold water
  1. Mix all ingredients together to form a dough ( I make mine in the food processor, you can also combine in a large mixing bowl and knead lightly). Cut into five pieces. Roll each piece into a thin circle approximately 8 inches in diameter. Heat a cast iron skillet or griddle until hot, brush with olive oil. When hot add one circle at a time. Watch carefully, as soon as it is golden brown, flip with a spatula a cook the other side. Be careful not to burn, these cook very fast. I brush the skillet with oil prior to cooking each Piadina.
A Passion for Entertaining