Tag: pittsburgh

Party Time With Athens Mini Fillo Shells!!

A fillo shell is a simple, flaky, bite- sized vessel that is neither savory nor sweet. Fully baked with a perfect crunch, the fillo shells can be absolutely priceless in comparison to working with thin sheets of fillo dough. The tedious process also includes adding butter to the dough sheets- definitely unwanted calories! Mini fillo shells are an easy button time saver without losing quality, crispness or taste!


My favorite ready made shells are Athens mini fillo shells! With just two or three ingredients, you can make the most amazing party appetizers or desserts! As Athens puts it, “Just fill ’em!” The first time I ever used Athens mini fillo shells I filled them with goat cheese and caramelized onions and popped them in the toaster oven for 10 minutes! Everybody loved them!

Here are a few of my easy and delicious mini fillo shell recipes!


Chocolate Chip Cannoli

1 package Athens mini fillo shells, contains 15 shells
1/2 cup ricotta
1/4 cup mascarpone cheese
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tbsp. cinnamon
1 tbsp. sugar
1/4 cup mini or full size chocolate chips (1/2 for filling and 1/2 for topping)

Whip all ingredients, except chocolate chips until light and fluffy.
Fold in 1/2 chocolate chips.
Fill shells and top with extra chocolate chips


Ham and Goat Cheese

1 package Athens mini fillo shells, contains 15 shells
Crumbled goat cheese
Your favorite cooked ham, diced
Chopped parsely for garnish

Carefully fill shells with ham and goat cheese.
Bake or broil in toaster oven for 7-10 mins. until cheese melts.
Top with chopped parsley.


Pulled Pork Taco

1 package Athens mini fillo shells, contains 15 shells
1/3 cup pulled pork (Slow cook pork shoulder roast all day seasoned with chili powder, cumin, cinnamon, or your favorite taco seasoning. Definitely can be made the day before and refrigerated.)
1 small tomato, chopped
1 tbsp. Mexican cheese blend
cilantro for garnish
sour cream, optional

To serve warm, carefully fill shells with all ingredients, except sour cream or cilantro.
Bake or broil in toaster oven 7-10 mins. until cheese is melted.
Top with sour cream and cilantro.

To serve cold, fill shells with all ingredients.


All opinions expressed belong to Parmesan Princess! I seriously love Athens mini fillo shells and would love to share more easy and delicious small bite recipes with you soon!



Connect with Athens Foods on Facebook for even more mini fillo recipes!

Cherry Goat Cheese Pastry!

Sometimes the most simple recipes are the best! Do you glance at a recipe and move on when you see a super long list of weird ingredients not to mention weird kitchen instruments you have never heard of? If I’m trying to find recipe inspiration, I tend to skim to something more basic, a recipe where I can taste the list of ingredients. (And totally tell what ingredients I would swap and change!)

As an appetizer, brunch pastry, or dessert, these cherry goat cheese pastries are simply perfect! I hope you enjoy them as much as we do!


Cherry Goat Cheese Pastry
Makes 6 servings


2 sheets frozen puff pastry -1 roll fillo dough- fillo shells already cooked
10 oz. crumbled goat cheese
1 lb. fresh cherries, pitted and quartered mixed with 2 tbsp. sugar and 1 tsp. lemon juice OR 1 21oz. can cherry pie filling
1 large egg yolk
2 tsp. heavy cream
Granulated sugar for sprinkling


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Pit and quarter your fresh cherries and mix with sugar and lemon juice Set aside until juice thickens.


Flour work surface and lightly roll out puff pastry to be 1/2″ longer on all sides.

Cut dough into an even number of squares or circles.

Divide the cherry filling and goat cheese evenly and place on half of the shapes.

Cover with another shape. press sides and pinch to close.

Beat egg and heavy cream together and brush to seal and coat top of pastry.


(If using Fillo dough, keep dough damp so it doesn’t dry up. Fill, cut into rectangles and fold like a present. Brush with egg mixture to keep closed. )

SUPER EASY BUTTON!! (If using Fillo shells, just fill with cherry and goat cheese filling and bake to melt until golden and bubbly.)

Slice 2 slits on the top and sprinkle with sugar.

Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Bake for 20-25 mins. until golden brown and puffy.

Don’t burn your mouth! Let cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.

For dessert, I topped my pastry with ice cream, whipped cream, and chocolate syrup!




Greek Quinoa Salad!

Ready for the long weekend? Memorial Day picnics require the perfect picnic sides. Cold side salads are always a hit. One of my favorites is a Greek quinoa salad! A healthy, quick and easy salad bursting with the traditional and refreshing Greek flavors we love.


Tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, feta cheese, and a whole lotta squeezed lemon!

This heathy Greek quinoa salad can be served alone or alongside grilled favorites! No guilt and totally healthy, superfood quinoa is a protein powerhouse. Give this salad a try!


Greek Quinoa Salad

1-1/2 cups quinoa
3 cups water
3/4 cup tomatoes, chopped
3/4 cup cucumber, chopped
1 small/medium red onion, chopped
1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, chopped
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
4 lemons, squeezed
Fresh parsley, chopped

Rinse quinoa in a strainer to remove any sediment.

In a medium saucepan, add water and quinoa.

Being to a boil and summer for 12-18 minutes or until quinoa is soft but still firm to the bite.

Drain quinoa well and cool.

Once the quinoa is cool, add all other ingredients to a large mixing bowl.

Squeeze lemon juice and add oregano, salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with fresh parsley and/or chop some and throw it in.



Strawberry Lime Mascarpone Tart!

A fruity, refreshing tart is totally Spring- totally Summer! Do you ever switch it up? Instead of the usual strawberry blueberry sweet tart, how about a sweet and tangy strawberry lime tart?

Today’s recipe is just that- A step outside the usual, a hint of lime and creamy whipped mascarpone cheese. I don’t think a fruit dessert can get any better. At heart, I’m really a chocolate girl! Shhhhh!

Enjoy this recipe!


Strawberry Lime Tart
(Makes one 8 inch tart)

Tart Crust:
1 cup flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 cold stick butter cut into squares

1-8oz. Mascarpone cheese
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. lime juice

Strawberries – Lime Zest


Heat oven to 325 degrees.

Grease a tart pan or a 1/2″ inch thick 8″ round cake pan.

Whisk together flour and powdered sugar.

Add in chunks of butter and work with your fingers until it starts to stick together and forms a dough.

Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 30 mins. in refrigerator.

Roll out into an 8 inch circle.

Press into pan. If using cake pan leave a small overhang to be folded over.


Bake crust 10-12 mins or until golden.

Let cool.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together mascarpone cheese, powdered sugar, and 1 tsp. lime juice.

Add filling and top with sliced strawberries and lime zest!
Get creative! Make a beautiful design or mass chaos. Either way, it tastes the same!




Banana And Coconut Skinny Muffins Scream Summer!!

Sometimes we need an easy to make, low fat, healthy muffin… that reminds us of vacation! Because summer is so close we can taste it, literally. One of my favorite baking opportunities occurs when super ripe bananas are staring at me. I can’t help but think about the delicious possibilities!!


Usually a healthy muffin is hard as a rock, because of the wheat flour, and dry, because we take out all of the fat and sugars. These muffins are sweetened with honey and the natural sweetness of the super ripe bananas! A little brown sugar and cinnamon even out the sugar profile and add a pop of flavor! They taste totally tropical! Hmmm… maybe some rum next time 😉


Guilt Free and Fabulous! Here is the Recipe!

Banana Coconut Muffins
(Makes 12 muffins)

2 cups flour- 1/2 whole wheat and 1/2 white or all white (If all whole wheat they will be hard)
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 tbsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 cup honey
1 tbsp. vanilla
2 super ripe bananas- smashed
1/4 cup almond milk or cow’s milk
1 large egg, beaten
1/2 cup shredded coconut + 2 tbsp. for sprinkling on top


Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Grease and flour your favorite muffin tin. Mine is USA Pans! They are fabulous!

In a mixing bowl, sift flour, baking soda, light brown sugar, and cinnamon.


Add the honey, vanilla, mashed bananas, egg, and coconut.

Slowly and gently fold in the ingredients, breaking and chunks apart.

Add the milk. It will thin out the batter, but it will still be a nice, thick consistency.



Fill muffin tins 3/4 full.


Bake 15-17 minutes. Rotate pan and sprinkle with coconut after 10 minutes.


Bake until the toothpick test shows a clean toothpick. Insert into center to test.



Vegetable Lemon Garlic Quinoa!

Spring has Sprung!


Here in Western PA we are looking at warmer temperatures and hopefully no more snow!!! I look forward to cooking with Spring vegetables and making beautiful, colorful, healthy dishes. I think this was the longest winer vegetable season ever!

Ready for the pool?
Bathing Suits in less than 2 months! What A great reason to fill our bellies with healthy foods!

Quinoa is a favorite superfood, protein-packed seed grown in the Andes Mountains in South America. Packed with essential amino acids, quinoa is essential to many vegetarian and vegan diets. I often substitute quinoa for rice or pasta for an extra healthy dish!


Butternut Squash And Tomato Lemon Garlic Quinoa
1 cup quinoa
1-1/2 cup water
2 tbsp. olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 cups butternut squash, chopped
1 cup tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup parsley
1 lemon squeezed

Boil quinoa in water according to directions.

Meanwhile, Heat olive oil in a large pan.

Add garlic and cook until golden and softened (3-5mins)

Add butternut squash, tomatoes, garlic and cook until heated through.


Add drained quinoa.

Top with salt and pepper and stir.
Throw in parsley and squeezed lemon.

Mix well and serve!




Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Overnight Oats! Guest Post by The Almond Eater!

Today’s post comes from Erin of The Almond Eater blog, and is part of a special day of shenanigans from other Pittsburgh Bloggers.  You can see my post over on Yum Yum Pgh, where I share my homemade, easy, and delicious Pad Thai recipe!

Here is Erin’s Post!

Hi Parmesan Princess readers! Today I want to share my new favorite overnight oats recipe: Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Overnight Oats! After all, who doesn’t love a good oatmeal raisin cookie? Also, anyone who says cookies aren’t for breakfast is wrong.

I love overnight oats for 45 reasons, but the main reason is because they’re ready to go when I wake up in the morning, meaning no prep work is involved! This is great, especially mornings when I literally don’t have time to make breakfast—they’re the perfect grab-n-go option.

Oatmeal Raisin Overnight Oats 1


I tried overnight oats for the first time two years ago and it was love at first bite. I made them every morning for a very long time, until my body/taste buds were like STOP IT. Now, I try to eat a variety of breakfasts, but still include oats in the line up at least once a week. It’s all about balance :) If you’ve never had overnight oats before, they’re just like oatmeal only cold and the texture differs depending on how much milk you include. I personally don’t enjoy soggy/mushy oats (ew), so I don’t use a ton of milk in mine. HOWEVER, if that’s your thing, go for it—the flavor will be just as good.

Oatmeal Raisin Overnight Oats 2


These particular oats are only SEVEN ingredients, and if I’m being honest, you could probably get away with only using five if you don’t have all of the ingredients and don’t feel like running to the store (this happens to me every other day). I totally get it. If you doooo want to/have to leave out any ingredients, I’d suggest the nutmeg and/or vanilla. I don’t recommend it, but if you’re completely out, those things add to the flavor but they aren’t the core of the flavor…. if that makes any sense.

Whatever you do, you’re going to want to whip up these oats TONIGHT so you’ll have something to look forward to in the morning. And when I say “something” I mean and oatmeal raisin cookie in the form of oats. NOM.

Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Overnight Oats!
2 cups oats
2 cups almond milk
3 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 cinnamon stick OR 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Combine ingredients in a bowl/mason jar and let sit for at least 6 hours. Typically, it’s easiest to prepare these the night before and let them sit in the refrigerator overnight (hence the name ‘overnight oats’.) Enjoy!

Oatmeal Raisin Overnight Oats 5


Thanks for reading—for more recipes and things that I find amusing, like The Almond Eater on Facebook or follow me in Instagram  Xoxo


Thank you, Erin! We can’t wait to try these oatmeal raisin overnight oats!

Rice Krispies Treats Easter Eggs! Adorable And Fun Treats!

Is it the crispy bite or the gooey yummy marshmallow we love so much about Rice Krispies treats? Loved by children and super easy to make, Rice Krispies treats can be made fun and festive with a drop of food coloring or an addition of colored sprinkles!


To make the colorful treats, divide the butter/marshmallow mixture into thirds and added yellow, green, and purple (red and blue) coloring. Then add the cereal, mix well, and mold into a nonstick coated plastic egg! These can be a sticky mess so be sure to also grease your hands!
Enjoy making these treats everyone will love!

Rice Krispies Treat Easter Eggs
(Makes approx. 30 1-1/2 inch Eggs)

6 cups Rice Krispies cereal
3 tbsp. butter
1 10 oz. bag mini marshmallows
food coloring

Melt butter in a saucepan over low to medium heat so it doesn’t burn.

Add marshmallows and stir until melted and the ingredients are incorporated.

Remove from heat and separate into thirds- three mixing bowls.


Add food coloring to reach desired colors.

**It is important to work quickly at this point. Mix in the cereal before the marshmallow starts to harden.

Add 2 cups of cereal to each bowl. Stir with a wooden spoon until cereal is coated.


Grease hands and a plastic Easter egg. Press the cereal into the egg. After a few seconds, remove the cereal egg and place it on a piece of waxed paper.


Serve in an egg carton or in the plastic eggs!




Hellooo Friday!! Start The Weekend With A S’mores Cake!!

Sometimes we NEED chocolate! Don’t you?


S’mores Cake

You favorite boxed cake mix
OR up your baking game and try…

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
2 cups sugar
3/4 cups good cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee

Filling and Frosting
Your favorite chocolate buttercream frosting
Beat 1/2 cup cocoa
1 cup butter, softened
3 cups powdered sugar
1-2 tbsp. milk or half and half
Add more sugar or milk until desired consistency

1-2 cups Marshmallow Creme
2 sleeves 12 grahm crackers crushed to crumbs in a Ziploc bag


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter two 8-inch /9-inch x 2-inch round or square cake pans.
Grease pans with Crisco and light flour.

Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a mixing bowl.

Using an electric mixer, mix on until well combined and smooth.

In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla.

With the mixer on low, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry.

With mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula.


Whether using boxed cake mix or homemade, pour the batter into the greased pans and bake for approximately 35 minutes or until a toothpick tester comes out clean.


Let the cake cool completely before icing.

Slide a knife along edges of cake pans. Cake should have pulled away from the pan. Flip upside down and tap with a knife until cake comes loose.

Place on platter rough side down.
Frost the first layer with chocolate frosting, add a layer of marshmallow creme. Sprinkle a layer of crackers.


Remove the second layer of cake from the pan.
Place on top so the smooth side is facing up.
Frost the top of the cake and sprinkle the remaining crackers.



Meat Sauce featuring Clarion Farms Beef!

We would all love to meet the farmer that feeds and raises the cows that supply our beef, right?
You should and you can!!

Photo Courtesy of Clarion Farms Beef. John and son John-Scott hanging out!

If you are in Pittsburgh, Clarion Farms Beef sells their family farm beef at the Pittsburgh Public Market on Saturdays. Shop local and buy fresh, no hormone, no antibiotic beef from a local family farm. True farm to table and focused on sustainability, Clarion Farms Beef sources local feed and mixed it fresh on the farm. Go see John-Scott! Bonus, the prices are incredible!

I paid $4 for the 80% ground beef (that yields about 2 tsp. of fat!! So technically its a grocery store’s 95% lean?)
And $5 for the most lean ground beef! (That yields about 1 tsp. of fat- which is 98% lean or almost no fat?)

The ox tail ($5) for a 1lb. package. Cook it all day for a tender finish!!

The steak? Amazing!! Just buy some, seriously, I have no words. (Imagine that!) Timmy Reynolds from Penn Avenue Fish Co. and I made Clarion Farms Beef filets and lobster live for Valentine’s Day at the Pittsburgh Public Market ‘s Ikea kitchen!

I bought some ground beef this weekend and put it to the test in a quick and classic bolognese sauce. Local, fresh, and delicious! This beef did not disappoint!!


20 Minute Meat Sauce
1 32oz. can Ciao San Marzano tomatoes
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 small onion finely chopped
1 lb. Clarion Farms Beef ground beef
1 lb. of your favorite pasta, boiled until al dente and drained
1 tbsp. chopped basil
1 tbsp. chopped rosemary
1 tsp. olive oil
parsley for garnish



In your largest, deepest frying pan, heat olive oil and golden the chopped garlic.

Add onion and cook until softened and light.

In a separate pan, brown beef and drain.


Add beef, tomatoes, herbs, salt and pepper to garlic and onion mixture. apart

Break apart whole tomatoes with a wooden spoon.

Cook for 8-10 minutes until heated through and bubbling.

Spoon sauce onto your favorite pasta.

Always top with fresh grated parmesan cheese and Enjoy!



Clarion Farms Beef
On Farm Store The Beef Barn
82 Port Farm Lane
Clarion, PA 16214
Hours: Tuesday -Friday 10-5
Saturday 8-5
Pittsburgh Public Market
Saturdays 9-5

Visit on Facebook