Friday, March 30, 2012

A Little Dessert

I am very pleased to turn my Dish Diary spotlight on a little dessert!

Actually..."A Little Dessert" is a not-so-little but oh-so-sweet endeavor whipped up by a mother-daughter team...and with those two ingredients what's not to love! Janis Spidle and her daughter Kait have combined their culinary, business, and artistic talents to create a dessert catering business.  They specialize in baking and displaying dessert tables for small events in the Kansas City area.

Janis learned to bake by watching her mother (now 80 years old and still working her magic in the kitchen) she always encouraged her to do her own own thing, a tradition that Janis has passed on to Kait. As a child,  Janis would give her extra dough to make her own cookies and frosting in decorating bags so she could create her own designs.

This inherited love of baking has deemed Kait the "Cheesecake Queen" - her mom admits that her daughter makes a better cheesecake than she ever could - Kait is also putting together a fantastic lineup of individual parfaits, some of which will have a coffee house theme.  

Janis handles fruit and cream tarts, mousse-filled chocolate cups and a whole host of other items. And she has recently become very excited about recipes for scratch cakes, the kind our grandmothers used to make and she is on the hunt for family recipes.  (If anyone has a tried-and-true recipe that they'd like to share with them, that would be most welcomed).

A Little Dessert was created to expand both mom and daughter's horizons as bakers but not limit themselves to one item like cakes or cookies.  They do everything from scratch and do not cut corners. However, they also help their clients do things on a budget.

You name it, A Little Dessert can do it!  Their goal is to put a little passion on everyone's plate! 

Here are a few of their more popular and eye-catching yummies:

- Chocolate Mousse Cups
- Cherry Pear Tarts
- Cheesecake Bites
- Two-Tiered Cakes
- Frosted Sugar Cookies
- Cupcakes galore

Please consider my friendly dynamic duo for your next event and "like" them on FB!  A Little Dessert.  You can contact Janis directly at 816-654-3051.

"Life is uncertain. Eat dessert first." - Ernestine Ulmer

Monday, March 19, 2012

Southwestern Stuffed Peppers

Southwestern Stuffed Peppers from

I used a little over a pound of ground beef, and only a 1/2 cup of the corn, and I also had a little bit of shredded Pepper Jack cheese to  in add for some kick!  Oh...and I also added some freshly chopped cilantro and parsley to the mix.  The yogurt drizzle to top it off...yummy!!!  It gives it a special creaminess that you usually don't get with stuffed bell peppers!   With my changes, this made 6 deliciously stuffed babies!  


Southwestern Stuffed Peppers



  1. Heat oven to 375° F. Cook the rice according to the package directions.
  2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the scallion whites and beef and cook, breaking the beef up with a spoon, until no longer pink, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the corn, chilies, cumin, cooked rice, ½ cup of the Monterey Jack, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon black pepper.
  3. Arrange the bell peppers, cut-side up, in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish or pan. Divide the beef mixture among the bell peppers, add ½ cup water to the dish, tightly cover the dish with foil, and bake until the bell peppers are soft, 30 to 40 minutes. Uncover, sprinkle with the remaining ½ cup of Monterey Jack, and bake until browned, 5 to 7 minutes more.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt and ¼ cup water. Drizzle over the bell peppers and top with the salsa and scallion greens.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Crunchy Avocado Salad

Bobby Flay's Crunchy Avocado Salad

I do a couple of things different from Bobby Flay's recipe.  I add cilantro along with parsley, and I use black olives, and as far as the champagne vinegar goes, I use whatever flavor of vinegar I happen to have (raspberry vinegar is pretty yummy in it).  And last time I made this I used taco flavor chips.  However you make it, I think the cumin in the dressing is a key ingredient.  

A lot of times, I make this ahead of time and then just add the avocados and chips right before dinner.

Try it soon!  You will be so glad that you did!


Crunchy Avocado Salad


  • 2 ripe avocados, peeled, pitted and diced
  • 2 ripe beefsteak tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 cup pitted nicoise olives, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup canned chickpeas, drained, rinsed and drained again
  • 2 tablespoons roughly torn flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/4 cup champagne vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 ounces blue corn tortilla chips


Gently toss the avocados, tomatoes, olives, chickpeas, parsley, vinegar, olive oil, cumin, paprika, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Crumble the chips over the top and serve.

Grilled Mozzarella Cheese Sandwich w/pesto & tomato

Grilled Mozzarella Cheese Sandwich with pesto and tomato  

Since I started making grilled cheese this way, I haven't gone back to the same old grilled cheese. It's simple and fast and good!

Grilled Mozzarella Cheese Sandwich with pesto and tomato


Olive oil
Butter (or soft margarine)
Sourdough bread (sliced)
Basil pesto (I used store-bought in a jar)
Mozzarella cheese ball (thinly sliced)
Tomatoes (thinly sliced)


In a medium skillet heat up about 1 tablespoon of oil mixed with a little bit of butter on medium high heat.

For each sandwich that you make, butter one side of  two slices of bread with butter or margarine and on the opposite side of bread spread a generous amount of pesto.  When skillet is hot, place one slice of bread butter side down.  Place 2-3 slices of mozzarella on top of the pesto side, then add 1-2 slices of tomatoes.  Place the second slice of bread pesto side down.  Cook bottom of sandwich until the bread is golden brown and then flip to brown the other side.  Yumyum!