Baked Rigatoni

Baked Rigatoni

I go through stages with pasta. Sometimes I can’t get enough of it and others I can go for months without having any pasta at all. This spring was one of those times when I was on the pasta train headed toward the corner of noodles and cheese.

Yes I went there.

Anyway….

In March my sister broke her hip ice skating. My mom and dad just happened to be visiting at the time and my mom ended up staying with my sister to help out for a while. On the weekends Mom would come over to spend time with us to give her a little break. She joked that since we live in the mountains of Central Maryland that we were her “Camp David”. I joked back if we were then we needed an indoor pool. I’m not even sure if the actual Camp David has a pool, but when I dream I dream big. Why not?

When she was visiting I made a few things that I had wanted to try and this rigatoni had been simmering in the back of my head for quite a while. When I made it the first time I forgot to put the goat cheese in and it was good, but it was missing something. The next time I made it I added in goat cheese and it was perfect!

This is a relatively easy, hearty, comfort food dish that is fabulous with a side salad and some garlic bread. If you’re going to go pasta, why not go all out?

What You’ll Need:
1 – 16 ounce package of rigatoni, cooked
Extra virgin olive oil
1 small container of mushrooms, sliced
4-6 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 a large red onions, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped (Note: You can use whatever color you like.)
1 tablespoon of dried oregano
1 teaspoon of dried basil
A generous pinch of sea salt
Finely ground black pepper
1 jar of marinara sauce
1 cup of ricotta
1 cup of finely grated Parmesan
16 ounces of goat cheese, crumbled
16 ounces of fresh mozzarella cut into small cubes
More mozzarella and Parmesan to top

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Cook rigatoni according to package directions. Drain and set aside:

Baked Rigatoni: Rigatoni

In a large skillet over medium heat saute mushrooms, garlic, onion and bell pepper, with oregano, basil, sea salt and black pepper in a little extra virgin olive oil until tender:

Baked Rigatoni: Vegetables

In a very large bowl mix together pasta, vegetable mixture, marinara, cheeses and a little more salt and pepper until incorporated:

Baked Rigatoni: Ready for Baking Dish

Brush a large baking dish with olive oil and pour mixture in to the dish and then top with shredded mozzarella and Parmesan:

Baked Rigatoni: Ready to Bake

Bake covered in preheated oven for 35-45 minutes until hot and bubbly:

Baked Rigatoni: Baked

Let sit for 5 minutes before serving.

Notes: I like to take the covering off for the last 10 or 15 minutes of cooking. You could add meat if you wanted, but I prefer this without.

Chicken and Noodles

Chicken and Noodles

A few years ago my mom and Darlene were visiting from Tennessee and we popped over to Amish country in Pennsylvania. We often take day trips when they are here and Amish country is one of my favorite places to go! It’s quaint, beautiful and you can see a lot of handmade crafts and treasures, including quilts, which I’m particularity fond of.

On this trip we decided to eat at a family style restaurant where you sit with other people and pass dishes just as you would at home. Sadly I don’t remember the name of this place, or it’s exact location, but they served a chicken and noodle dish that was very satisfying and late last fall (Still working through that backlog!) I decided I wanted to make something similar.

This dish is the very epitome of comfort food. It’s simple, quick, hearty and delicious. You can serve it plain or top it with shredded Parmesan, but anyway you have it it’s quite enjoyable!

What You’ll Need:
1/2 a package of egg noodles, cooked according to package directions
2-3 cups of chicken broth
2 cups of cooked chicken, chopped (Note: A good way to use left over chicken!)
1 cup of half and half
A pinch of sea salt
Finely ground black pepper
1/4 cup of potato flour
Grated Parmesan to top if desired

Cook egg noodles according to package directions and set aside.

In a large pot add chicken broth, chicken, salt and pepper and stir to mix. Bring to a quick boil and then reduce heat to a simmer.

Whisk together the half & half and the potato flour until smooth. Pour mixture in to the pot and cook stirring often until the mixtures thickens slightly.

Once mixture is slightly thick stir in noodles and cook for an additional 2 minutes.

Remove from heat and let sit 5 minutes before serving. Top with shredded Parmesan if desired.

Chicken and Noodles: Sprinkled With Parmesan

Notes: You can make additions to this dish, like adding peas and/or carrots. Or how about some sauteed mushrooms? I think some toasted bread crumbs would also be a good addition. This is a very versatile and forgiving dish. There are no wrong answers.

Eggplant Parmesan

Eggplant Parmesan

I first had eggplant in college. Being a poor college student, when I went out with friends and they chose Olive Garden, I would often order the Eggplant Parmesan because at the time it was the cheapest main course on their menu. I wasn’t sure what I thought about eggplant at first and I never actually bought one and tried other things with them until a few years ago. I didn’t know what I was missing!

Eggplant is a really versatile little fruit, which most people call a vegetable, and is a very good source of fiber. You can use it in soups, in casseroles, in salads, pretty much any way you can think of. Eggplant Parmesan isn’t exactly an every day food, but it’s a really great treat from time to time!

Eggplant Parmesan does take a bit to put together, but it’s worth it and it isn’t difficult at all. You basically set up an assembly line and go! Plus it isn’t an exact science. You can use as much of the things that are in the dish as you want. You can make a big dish, or a small dish. It all depends on how many you’re feeding. Alexis loves helping with these sorts of things, so it’s a good dish to get the kids in the kitchen too and that’s always a good thing!

What You’ll Need:
1-2 large eggplants, sliced
2 cups of Panko bread crumbs
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1 teaspoon of finely ground black pepper
2 tablespoons of dried oregano
1 tablespoon of garlic powder
1 tablespoon of dried basil
3 eggs, beaten
Extra virgin olive oil
Marinara sauce (Note: I like Organic Newman’s Own Marinara sauce, but you could make your own if you wanted.)
Shredded mozzarella
Shredded Parmesan

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Slice the eggplant into rounds and set aside:

Eggplant Parmesan: Eggplant

Next put the bread crumbs, salt, herbs and spices in a pie dish and stir to mix:

Eggplant Parmesan: Breading

Then add eggs to a separate pie dish and beat until mixed. Once the eggs are beaten set up your assemble line:

Eggplant Parmesan: Assembly Line Set Up and Ready to Go

Once the assembly line is set up you’re ready to bread!

First place a thin layer of extra virgin olive oil in the bottom of a large skillet and turn heat to medium. Let the oil heat up as you’re breading your eggplant.

Next take a slice of eggplant and dip both sides in to your beaten eggs:

Eggplant Parmesan: Egging

Now it’s time to dip the the egg covered eggplant into the breading mixture:

Eggplant Parmesan: Breading

Make sure both sides of the eggplant are covered with the breading mixture like this:

Eggplant Parmesan: Breaded and Ready to Fry

Now it’s time to start frying!

Continue breading your eggplant slices as the other slices that are ready are fried and repeat the process of breading until you run out of eggplant.

Place the eggplant slices in the skillet:

Eggplant Parmesan: Frying

And then brown both sides:

Eggplant Parmesan: Eggplant frying

Once browned on both sides remove from the skillet and drain on a few paper towels:

Eggplant Parmesan: Eggplant Draining

Continue frying until all of the eggplant is browned.

Now you’re ready to assemble the Eggplant Parmesan! I usually start doing this as the eggplants have drained, while I’m still frying the other pieces to speed the process along.

Spray a baking dish with non-stick spray or brush it with olive oil. Choose a baking dish based off of the amount of eggplant you’ve prepared. I used a medium sized dish for this batch.

Place a layer of eggplant on the bottom of the dish:

Eggplant Parmesan: First Layer

It’s OK to cut the eggplant in half to fill the corners if you need to.

Next a a little marinara:

Eggplant Parmesan: Middle Layer

Again it doesn’t have to be perfect. Just make sure most of the eggplant is covered.

Now you add a layer of Parmesan Cheese:

Eggplant Parmesan: First Layer

Continue this process until you get to the top of your dish:

Eggplant Parmesan: Last Layer

The top layer will be topped a bit differently. Add Parmesan AND mozzarella cheese:

Eggplant Parmesan: Ready to Bake

Place Eggplant Parmesan on a baking sheet and cover with foil. Bake in a preheated oven for 35-40 minutes. Remove foil for the last 20 minutes of baking.

Eggplant Parmesan: Baked

Remove from oven and let sit 5 minutes before serving.

This is just perfect with a side salad and a slice of garlic bread.

Notes: I have wanted to try this process with Portabella mushrooms, but I haven’t gotten around to it yet. Remember you can make this as big or as small as you like.

Sinfully Easy Scalloped Potatoes

Sinfully Easy Scalloped Potatoes

I have always loved scalloped potatoes. I mean what’s not to like? Potatoes, cheese? It’s the perfect comfort food! I always had this impression that they would be hard to make. It’s another one of those things I just assumed was difficult and well you know what they say about assuming….

Lately I’ve grown tired of mashed potatoes because Jamison eats way too many of them so I thought I’d play around with this mixture and see what I came up with. The result? The result is a creamy, savory bite of fabulousness! Even Jamison liked these and that’s saying something!

This dish is simple, quick and makes a really great side dish that is just perfect for a holiday or even a weeknight dinner. Try it and see!

What You’ll Need:
Extra virgin olive oil
Russet potatoes, sliced into 1/4 inch thick slices
Sea salt
Black pepper
Cheddar, shredded
Half and half or heavy cream

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Brush a baking dish with olive oil to prevent sticking.

Add a layer of potatoes to the bottom of the dish:

Sinfully Easy Scalloped Potatoes: Potatoes

Next sprinkle with sea salt and finely ground black pepper:

Sinfully Easy Scalloped Potatoes: Sea Salt and Pepper

Top with a layer of cheese:

Sinfully Easy Scalloped Potatoes: Cheese

Repeat this process until you reach the top of your baking dish and top with a thick layer of cheddar.

Next pour half and half or heavy cream over the entire mixture until 1/4th of the dish is filled with the liquid. Makes sure you spread it out all over the top as you pour.

Place on a baking sheet to prevent spills and bake for 35-45 minutes until fork tender:

Sinfully Easy Scalloped Potatoes

Let sit for 5-10 minutes and then serve.

Notes: You can use a mix of different cheeses if you like. Monterrey Jack, Gruyere, Parmesan, Gouda, etc. I like to bake this in individual serving dishes sometimes.

Grown Up Tuna Casserole

Grown Up Tuna Casserole

I have to admit I didn’t grow up with tuna casserole. My mom wasn’t a fan, so we skipped over that version of culinary “delight” but many of my friends complained about their mother’s subjecting them to the horror that was tuna casserole.

I never actually encountered a tuna casserole until the last full year I lived in Knoxville, Tennessee, which would have been 1996. I worked at this really horrible, hole in the wall sort of preschool/daycare. It was a definite step down from the preschool/daycare I had worked at before, but this place actually had a cook on staff. Most of what she made was very good, but I dreaded, as did the children, the days that tuna casserole would make an appearance on the menu. It was a sloppy, icky mess, and even back then my mind went in to gear and I thought there had to be a better way to make a tuna casserole that was actually good.

Years passed, and that little thought was filed away into the “I’ll do that someday!” file and I never got around to getting back to the idea. Recently I decided it might be time to pull out that little thought, dust it off and see if I couldn’t come up with something a little more sophisticated than the standard tuna casserole fare. And you know what? It worked! If you want a tuna casserole that is a little more grown up and not a big old sloppy mess, this is the casserole for you!

What You’ll Need:
4 cups of uncooked egg noodles, cooked according to package directions
Extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt
Finely ground black pepper
1 large tuna steak
1/2 a large red onion, chopped
6-8 Crimini mushrooms, chopped
1/2 – 16 ounce package of frozen peas
1/2 cup of half and half
1/3 cup of light sour cream
1 cup of Parmesan
Harvati cheese, shredded
Panko bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Cook egg noodles, drain and set aside:

Grown Up Tuna Casserole: Egg Noodles

In skillet add a little extra virgin olive oil and place your tuna steak in the heated pan sprinkling it with some sea salt and a little finely ground black pepper:

Grown Up Tuna Casserole: Tuna Steak Cooking

Cook tuna steak until it is browned on both sides and mostly done through:

Grown Up Tuna Casserole: Tuna Steak

Once tuna steak is cooked use a fork and flake the steak into pieces:

Grown Up Tuna Casserole: Flaked Tuna

In the same pan that you cooked your tuna steak add a little bit more olive oil and saute your mushrooms and onions with a little sea salt and some finely ground black pepper until tender:

Grown Up Tuna Casserole: Onions and Mushrooms

Next stir in peas and cook for 2-3 minutes until mostly thawed:

Grown Up Tuna Casserole: Veggies

Stir flaked tuna in to the vegetable mixture:

Grown Up Tuna Casserole: Tuna and Vegetables

Next mix tuna/vegetable mixture with noodles and stir to mix. Add sour cream, half and half and Parmesan and stir to incorporate:

Grown Up Tuna Casserole: Filling

Pour mixture into a baking dish that has been brushed with olive oil:

Grown Up Tuna Casserole: Ready for Cheese

Sprinkle with Harvati cheese:

Grown Up Tuna Casserole: Havrati

Then sprinkle with Panko bread crumbs:

Grown Up Tuna Casserole: Ready to Bake

Bake for 25-30 minutes until slightly browned:

Grown Up Tuna Casserole: Baked

Serve immediately.

Note: You could add other vegetables if you liked. This method could be used with a salmon steak too, but I’d add in some dill if you were using salmon.

Roasted Garlic and Rosemary Potatoes

Roasted Garlic and Rosemary Mashed Potatoes

Mashed potatoes are one of those quintessential sides dishes that often grace dinner tables across the world. Don’t get me wrong, a basic mashed potato has its place, but it’s also fun to shake them up a bit! Jamison is a strictly plain mashed potato sort of guy and Alexis actually doesn’t care for mashed potatoes, so I don’t shake them up often, but when I do oh my!

Rosemary is one of my favorite all time things. I can’t even begin to explain to you my adoration for rosemary. I like it dried, I like it fresh and oh my the smell of rosemary can just perk me right up on the weariest of days! In other words rosemary is good!

By pairing two simple ingredients garlic and rosemary, with a little Parmesan, you end up with a really fabulous, really delicious side dish that really hits the spot. What is better than that?

What You’ll Need:
1 bulb of garlic
Extra virgin olive oil
2 pounds of red skinned potatoes
2 tablespoons of butter
1/3 cup of fat free half and half (or any other type of dairy)
1 tablespoon of crushed Rosemary or 2 tablespoon of freshly chopped rosemary
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup of Parmesan cheese (the kind you shred yourself)

Preheat oven toe 425 F.

Cut the top of the bulb of garlic off and place on a piece of foil. Drizzle with olive oil and then wrap up the foil around the bulb. Place in a preheat oven for 20-30 minutes, until garlic sticks tender.

Let cool and then squeeze the roasted cloves of garlic out of the skin. Set aside.

Cut red skinned potatoes into chunks (don’t remove the skins) and place in a pot with salted water. Bring to a boil and cook until fork tender.

While the potatoes are cooking place butter and half and half in a large glass bowl and microwave for 30 seconds or so until butter is melted and half and half is warm. Add roasted garlic, rosemary, a generous pinch of sea salt and some freshly ground black pepper and stir until incorporated. If your garlic is chunky then mash it a bit to make it a bit more smooth.

When potatoes are done drain well and add them to the bowl with the butter mixture along with the Parmesan. Using a potato masher, mash the potatoes and stir to mix in the ingredients from the bowl. I like the texture to be a bit chunky, but you can mash them as fine as you like.

Roasted Garlic and Rosemary Mashed Potatoes

Serve immediately.

Notes: The garlic can be roasted and stored in the fridge for up to a week. You could also sprinkle on some chopped parsley on top if you liked.

The Perfect Brownie

The Perfect Brownie

I love brownies. Seriously what’s not to like about a chewy, chocolatety bit of heaven? Jamison was never a fan before Celiacs reared it ugly head (I know, I know…My culinary talents are lost on that boy! ;oP) so I didn’t make them that often, but when I saw this recipe at I Am Baker and the resulting pictures I was immediately drawn to the brownie goodness!

As you’ll see I didn’t make them exactly the same, but trust me these are really, really amazing, really, really awesome brownies! If you’re a fan of brownies then you really have found the perfect brownie. They are chocolatey, chewy and just perfect! What’s not to like about that?

What You’ll Need:
2/3 cup of butter
1 cup of bittersweet chocolate chips
1 3/4 cups of organic cane sugar
1 tablespoon of vanilla
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1 cup unbleached all purpose flour

In a medium sized sauce pan melt butter and chocolate chips stirring often until completely smooth. Set aside and let cool.

Place oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 F.

Mix together sugar, vanilla, eggs and sea salt and beat on high for 5 minutes. Slowly add cooled chocolate mixture to the egg mixture and stir until mixed. Add flour a little at a time and mix until just incorporated.

Pour batter into an 8 X 12 inch baking dish that has been sprayed with non-stick spray. Bake for 30-35 minutes until brownies are slightly crackly on top. Let cool and cut and serve.

Notes: You could add chocolate chips to the batter or nuts, but really they are just perfect as they are!

Classic Pecan Pie

Classic Pecan Pie

I love pecan pie, but I rarely eat it because yum, but oh my on the fat content! For Thanksgiving though I thought I’d try my hand at making one since I never had before. For some reason I assumed that they were difficult to make, but it truly is just a dump, stir and pour kind of recipe. Not only is it easy, but it’s delicious to boot! This isn’t something you would make every day, and is most definitely a sometimes kind of food, but oh what a sometimes it is! This my friends is comfort food at its finest!

What You’ll Need:
1 – 9 inch pie shell (Note: Sometimes I make my own pie crust, but this time I took the easy way out and got one out of the freezer section.)
1 cup of corn syrup (Note: Look for a version that isn’t made with high fructose corn syrup.)
1 cup of organic cane sugar
1 teaspoon of sea salt
3 tablespoons of melted butter, cooled
3 eggs
2 teaspoons of vanilla
2 cups of pecans

Preheat oven to 350 F.

In a large bowl stir together corn syrup, sugar, salt, butter, eggs and vanilla until smooth. Add pecans and stir until incorporated. Pour mixture into a pie shell and sit the dish on a baking sheet just in case it runs over.

Bake for 1 hour. Remove from oven and let cool before serving.

Classic Pecan Pie

Notes: No notes for this one.

Creamy Spinach Noodles

Creamy Spinach Noodles

Last week when Jamison was in class Alexis wanted noodles. I had my mouth all set for a really basic egg noodle with butter and chopped parsley when I realized I was out of butter. Not wanting to venture out in the cold, dark, rainy night I decided there had to be something I had on hand that while not exactly what I wanted, would fit the bill and this dish came in to being.

Was it good? Yes! Was it even better that what I originally planned? You betcha! I was really pleased with the outcome. With a few simple ingredients you have a really great, hearty, comforting pasta dish that comes together in no time. And the left overs? Well the leftovers were even better the next day. This will definitely be seen again at my house.

Oh and be sure and stop over at the Greenists today and see my post about making your own holiday gifts!

Now let’s talk a little pasta!

What You’ll Need:
1/2 of a large bag of egg noodles, cooked according to package directions
Extra virgin olive oil
1/2 a red onion, chopped
4-6 cloves of garlic, minced
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 large bag of frozen spinach, thawed and drained
1/2 cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup of fat free half and half (Note: Regular half and half or heavy cream would work as well.)

Cook noodles, drain and set aside.

While noodles are cooking saute onion and garlic until onions with a pinch of sea salt and some freshly ground pepper until they are tender. Stir in spinach and cook for 2-3 minutes to heat through. Add cheese and half and half and stir until cheese has melted. Pour spinach mixture over noodles and toss to coat. Serve immediately.

How easy what that?

Notes: You could use any type of onion, scallion, shallot, etc. You could also add other vegetables if desired.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

For the past few weeks Jamison has been teaching classes at work. We went to Connecticut so he could teach class and when we got back to Maryland he’s been teaching classes each day. I think he’s teaching classes next week too, so he’s had a whole lot of teaching going on!

We were discussing it the other day and he asked if I could make something to send in on one of the days he was teaching. I used to do this quite often, but when he started working from home a lot I sort of fell out of the habit. He brought up the idea of cinnamon rolls and that made me wonder…Why not make a pumpkin cinnamon roll?

I started thinking about the whole process and at first I thought maybe it would be neat to just add a layer of pumpkin in with the cinnamon and sugar before rolling the dough, but then I decided I wanted to actually put pumpkin in the dough itself! In the future I may go back and try the other idea, but I have to say I was quite pleased with how this version turned out!

The cinnamon rolls turned out with a nice subtle pumpkin flavor. Overall the flavor just melds together perfectly! These are just the thing for a lazy fall morning!

What You’ll Need for the Dough:
2 cups of mashed pumpkin, warmed (Note: I used some I had roasted myself, but canned will work as well.)
1 stick of butter, mostly melted
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1/2 cup of organic cane sugar
2 eggs
1 tablespoon of yeast
4-6 cups of unbleached all purpose flour

Place pumpkin in a glass bowl and microwave for 30-40 seconds until just warm. You want it to be warm, but not hot to the touch.

Melt the butter in a similar manner. Again you want it just warm, not hot. Mushy chunks of butter throughout are fine. You basically just want to soften it up a bit and give it a bit of warmth to help the yeast along.

Place pumpkin, butter, sea salt, sugar, eggs and yeast in a mixer bowl and mix until blended.

Add 1 cup of flour and mix until incorporated. Beat on medium for 2 minutes.

After two minutes put the mixer back on low and slowly add flour until dough ball forms. You want a nice dough that isn’t too sticky. Turn mixer back to medium speed and let mix for 3 minutes. Your mixer is doing the kneading work for you.

Once 3 minutes has passed move dough to a well oil or buttered bowl:

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls: Dough

Let rise for one hour. (Note: Due to the pumpkin this dough isn’t going to double in size or anything like that. After an hour it should be ready to go. It should be springy when touched.) Once the dough is risen you’re reading for your next step.

What You’ll Need for the Filling:
1 stick of melted butter, divided
Organic cane sugar
Natural brown sugar
Cinnamon

Punch down dough and on a floured surface roll out to 1/4 an inch thickness:

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls: Ready to be Brushed with Butter

Next brush the dough with half of the melted butter:

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls: Butter

Sprinkle with some organic cane sugar:

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls: Sugar

Then sprinkle some natural brown sugar:

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls: Brown Sugar

And last but not least cinnamon!:

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls: Cinnamon

I went heavy on the cinnamon because I’m a big fan, but you can go a bit lighter if you like.

Slowly roll the dough into a long roll:

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls: Rolled

Cut roll into 1/2 inch slices:

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls: Sliced

Place slices on a baking sheet that has been lined with a silicone baking sheet or parchment paper. Continue until roll is completely sliced:

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls: Ready for Butter and Sugar

Next brush the tops of each roll with the remaining melted butter and then dust with more organic cane sugar:

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls: Butter and Sugar

Place in a warm place and let rise for 1 hour:

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls: Risen

The rise on these isn’t going to be much. But letting them sit allows them to just breath and get ready for baking.

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Bake for 20-22 minutes until golden brown:

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls: Baked

Let cool for 5 minutes and then frost (see below).

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls: Ready for Frosting

What You’ll Need for the Maple Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 – 8 ounce package of cream cheese, softened
1 stick of butter, softened
1/4 cup of maple syrup
2 cups of powdered sugar

In the bowl of a mixer mix together cream cheese and butter until well blended. Add maple syrup and mix until incorporated. Slowly add sugar and mix until smooth. Use to ice cinnamon rolls above.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls: The Inside

Notes: The pumpkin I used was very pale in color, so it didn’t really give an orange glow to these cinnamon rolls. Canned pumpkin would most likely give them a bit more of an orange flare. If you wanted you could add a little grated nutmeg to the filling, but I like to use just cinnamon and sugar.