Baked Brie Fruit & Nut Tartlets

Baked Brie Fruit & Nut Tartlets  |  Lemon & Mocha

Sometimes the tastiest recipes are born out of a classic fridge and freezer clean-out. Last month I was trying to clear out our freezer to have space for all the freezer meals I prepped in anticipation of our little guy’s arrival. Side note: I plan to do a detailed freezer meal prep post when I’m back from my maternity leave so stay tuned!

Baked Brie Fruit & Nut Tartlets  |  Lemon & Mocha

Anyways, the freezer was stuffed with all sorts of odds and ends, one of which was a package of these frozen mini fillo shells. I can’t for the life of me remember why I bought them, but it was clearly for some recipe that never came to be. While I was brainstorming what to stuff the flaky tartlet shells with I thought about how much I love baked brie, especially in the fall when it starts getting chilly outside.

Baked Brie Fruit & Nut Tartlets  |  Lemon & Mocha

These bites are a take on a baked brie that’s been cooked until gooey and smothered with warm nuts and dried fruit. The first time I made them they were really good, but they needed more of that gooey brie so I adjusted the recipe to ensure you won’t be missing the cheese in your tartlets.

Baked Brie Fruit & Nut Tartlets  |  Lemon & Mocha

For the topping, we’re combining crunchy toasted pecans, tart dried cranberries, dried apricots and some apricot preserves for a little sweetness. This mixture gets dolloped on top of the brie in the fillo shells before being baked for just ten minutes. These is a great mini appetizer for Thanksgiving or a Christmas party, especially because it is so incredibly quick to throw together.

Baked Brie Fruit & Nut Tartlets  |  Lemon & Mocha

Now, I hope you all have enjoyed the last several savory recipes because from this Friday until Christmas Lemon & Mocha is going to be all about the sweets! I’m doing something fun and exciting this holiday season: Lemon & Mocha’s 12 Days of Cookies. I have so many must-make cookie recipes to share and I can’t wait for you to see them all!

Baked Brie Fruit & Nut Tartlets  |  Lemon & Mocha

Baked Brie Fruit & Nut Tartlets
 
Yield: 15 tartlets
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup chopped pecans
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries
  • 4 dried apricots, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons apricot preserves
  • 6 ounces brie, rind removed
  • 15 frozen mini fillo shells (Athens brand)
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Toast the pecans. Place the chopped pecans on a baking sheet then bake for 3-5 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the toasted pecans, dried cranberries, chopped apricots and apricot preserves. Set aside.
  4. Place the tartlet shells on a baking sheet. Cut the brie so you can put a small wedge into the bottom of each tartlet shell. Cover the brie in the tartlet shell with a spoonful of the apricot mixture. Bake for 10 minutes. Serve hot.

 

Italian Wedding Soup

Italian Wedding Soup  |  Lemon & Mocha

Happy Friday! Today I’m sharing a recipe that will keep you cozy all weekend long. This is another recipe that I’ve been making for a while, but I’m just getting around to sharing it on Lemon & Mocha.

Italian Wedding Soup  |  Lemon & Mocha

I’m not a big soup person, but when I find one I really love, like the Roast Cauliflower and Garlic Soup or the Healthy Creamy Roasted Carrot Soup, then I just want to eat it all the time. This Italian Wedding Soup is now in my top three along with the two I previously mentioned because it’s packed with hearty flavors.

Italian Wedding Soup  |  Lemon & Mocha

There’s mini beef meatballs, little pasta noodles, spinach and even shredded chicken so a bowl of this soup will not leave you hungry. It tastes like a really awesome chicken noodle soup with added spinach and the cutest little meatballs.

Italian Wedding Soup  |  Lemon & Mocha

One of the reasons this Italian Wedding Soup gets made frequently in our house is because it’s really simple. You could certainly make your own mini meatballs and throw them in to cook in the broth, but I buy frozen mini meatballs from Earth’s Best brand to keep things easy. Plus they taste delicious and are the perfect tiny size for the soup so it’s a no-brainer.

Italian Wedding Soup  |  Lemon & Mocha

Any type of small pasta you prefer can be used; or whatever type you have on hand, which for me on the day I photographed this recipe was alphabet letter pasta. I hope you all try this one soon so you can enjoy it all fall and winter long!

Italian Wedding Soup  |  Lemon & Mocha

Also, an update: My due date is next week so I am currently on a blog break! I have posts that I have been working hard on for the last few months scheduled to post twice a week throughout November and December. I will check in on comments and emails every now and then, but for the most part if you don’t hear from me it’s because I’ll be spending time with my family after the birth of our baby boy. I’ll be sure to check in with you all at some point to give you an update, but in the meantime I hope you all enjoy the posts I have planned and have a wonderful holiday with your family and friends!

Italian Wedding Soup
 
Yield: 8 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 small yellow onion, small diced
  • 2 carrots, peeled then thinly sliced
  • 2 stalks celery, trimmed then thinly sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 12 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • ¾ cup small pasta
  • 8 ounces chopped fresh spinach
  • 14-16 ounces frozen mini beef meatballs (I use Earth’s Best)
  • Salt and fresh ground black pepper
Directions
  1. Place the chicken in a medium saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil and boil for 15 minutes. Chicken should have an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. Remove the chicken from the saucepan and shred once cool enough to handle. No need to save the water it cooked in; it was a boneless skinless breast so the water won’t be flavorful or broth-like.
  2. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery and garlic and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.
  3. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
  4. Season with salt and pepper to taste then add the pasta and cook for 6 minutes. Add the spinach and cook for 3 more minutes. Add the shredded chicken and the frozen mini meatballs. Cover and simmer on low for 30 minutes.

Recipe slightly adapted from Brown Eyed Baker.

Freezer Friendly Easy Baked Chicken Nuggets

Freezer Friendly Easy Baked Chicken Nuggets  |  Lemon & Mocha

This is one of those simple recipes that I make regularly at our house and I’m finally getting around to sharing with you all. Whether you’re a kid or an adult it’s hard to beat a satisfying quick meal of crunchy chicken nuggets!

Freezer Friendly Easy Baked Chicken Nuggets  |  Lemon & Mocha

Although grocery stores are loaded with plenty of chicken nugget options, it’s super easy to make a batch of homemade chicken nuggets to stash in your freezer for quick lunches and weeknight dinners. Baking them ourselves is also healthier and cleaner eating since we’re using just four ingredients (if you don’t count the seasonings).

Freezer Friendly Easy Baked Chicken Nuggets  |  Lemon & Mocha

These little baked nuggets are crunchy, tender and ready for dipping into ketchup, honey mustard or whatever your preferred chicken nugget dipping sauce is! Now I’m sure most of you are curious about the crispiness and the freezing aspect so let’s dive right in.

Freezer Friendly Easy Baked Chicken Nuggets  |  Lemon & Mocha

Are the chicken nuggets crispy?

Yes! So, so crispy! The nuggets get cooked on a wire cooling rack set on a baking sheet. The reason we do this is that, much like an air fryer, it allows the heat from the oven to circulate all around the chicken nuggets. This ensures the whole nugget is crispy. The nuggets are also crispy from the whole wheat panko breadcrumbs. Panko breadcrumbs are bigger, flakier and airier than regular breadcrumbs, giving the coating a great crunch. I like using whole wheat panko breadcrumbs for the chicken nuggets because they’re a little healthier and because they have a nice golden color to them. If you use regular panko breadcrumbs the chicken nuggets will still taste just as good, but they will be very pale.

Freezer Friendly Easy Baked Chicken Nuggets  |  Lemon & Mocha

How do you freeze and reheat the chicken nuggets?

You can either freeze the chicken nuggets raw or cooked. I prefer to freeze them cooked to drastically cut down on reheating time since I make these for us to have as a quick meal. If you want to freeze the cooked chicken nuggets, let them cool completely then put in a freezer bag or freezer safe container. When you’re ready to reheat the cooked nuggets, bake in a 400 degree F oven until warm, about 10 minutes. No need to do the whole cooling rack/baking sheet thing for reheating; simply reheat on a baking sheet. Or, since they’re already cooked you could reheat them in the microwave for a super quick meal, but they will lose a lot of their crispiness. If you want to the freeze the nuggets raw, place the breaded nuggets on a parchment lined baking sheet then freeze until solid. Once frozen, place in a freezer bag or freezer safe container. To bake them raw from frozen, follow the same baking instructions, but you will have to add cook time to reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees F since you’re baking them from frozen.

Freezer Friendly Easy Baked Chicken Nuggets  |  Lemon & MochaFreezer Friendly Easy Baked Chicken Nuggets  |  Lemon & Mocha

Freezer Friendly Easy Baked Chicken Nuggets
 
Yield: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into cubes
  • 2 eggs
  • 1¼ cup whole wheat panko breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • Salt, pepper and garlic powder for seasoning
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Set a wire cooling rack over a baking sheet and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. Set up your breading station. In one shallow bowl, beat the eggs. Place the panko in a second shallow bowl. In a third shallow bowl, add the flour then season with salt, pepper and garlic powder.
  3. Bread the chicken nuggets. First, coat completely in the flour mixture, shaking off any excess. Then coat completely in the egg mixture, letting any excess drip off. Finally, coat completely in the panko mixture then place on the prepared wire rack. Repeat for the remaining chicken nuggets. I usually do about 6 pieces at a time. Bake the chicken nuggets for 20 minutes, or until they reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
  4. If freezing, let the nuggets cool completely. Then store in a freezer bag or freezer safe container. When ready to eat, bake on 400 degrees F until warm, about 10 minutes.

 

Olive Oil Rosemary Bread

Olive Oil Rosemary Bread  |  Lemon & Mocha

Halloween is over, which means I guesssss it’s okay to start planning for the holidays. I hate when Thanksgiving and Christmas prep creeps before Halloween because it feels like everyone’s trying to rush through October. Here in New England, November and December weather is kind of crummy so I don’t know what the rush is!

Olive Oil Rosemary Bread  |  Lemon & Mocha

However, once October is done, I’m perfectly fine with gearing up for the holidays because they’re fun, bright spots during these next dreary couple of months. Matt and I are taking the holiday season one day at a time since it’s right when our little one will be arriving, but just because I’m not planning my own meals doesn’t mean I can’t help you all plan yours!

Olive Oil Rosemary Bread  |  Lemon & Mocha

Whenever I’m hosting a big meal, some sort of bread, roll or biscuit situation is a necessity. The easiest solution for this also happens to be the most delicious so there’s really no going wrong here. What I’m talking about is this Olive Oil Rosemary Bread that I make in my bread maker. Now before you start asking all kinds of questions, I’ll get right to the point: this recipe is for use in a bread maker, specifically the Breville Custom Loaf bread maker. I am not well versed in bread making so although I would assume you could use this recipe to proof, rise, knead and bake your own loaf without a bread maker, and I would assume you could use this same recipe in a different type of bread maker, I’ve never tried it so I really can’t say with any sort of certainty.

Olive Oil Rosemary Bread  |  Lemon & Mocha

What I can say is that when I follow this recipe, which involves dumping a small list of ingredients in a set order into my bread maker, and pull out a loaf of this crusty, soft and melt-in-your mouth Olive Oil Rosemary Bread it becomes the star of the meal every single time. Dip some into a little olive oil sprinkled with some seasoning salt and you will be in absolute carb-heaven. If you are looking to invest a bread maker, I highly recommend the Breville Custom Loaf bread maker, which I’ve been using for the last four years. Even if it’s only to make this bread over and over again – worth it!

Olive Oil Rosemary Bread  |  Lemon & Mocha

Olive Oil Rosemary Bread
 
Yield: 1 loaf
Ingredients
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons water, 80 degrees F
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 2 teaspoons vital wheat gluten
  • 2½ tablespoons dried rosemary
  • 1¾ teaspoons active dry yeast (see note)
  • 1 egg
  • Additional dried rosemary and coarse sea salt, optional
Directions
  1. Make sure the collapsible paddle is attached and in the upright position. Add ingredients to the bread machine, one at a time, in the order they’re listed in the recipe. Select “basic” setting, medium crust color and 1.5 lb size. Press start.
  2. Beat the egg with 1 tablespoon of water. When the dough is at the end of the final rise (right before the bake step), brush the top of the dough with the egg wash then sprinkle with additional dried rosemary and coarse sea salt (if using).
  3. When the bread is done, use oven mitts to carefully remove from the bread machine and place on a wire rack to cool. Let cool 5-10 minutes before slicing.
  4. To reheat to serve warm, wrap the loaf completely in aluminum foil and bake on a low oven temperature for 10-20 minutes until warm.
Notes
If using the “basic rapid” setting, use 2½ teaspoons of instant yeast instead. Also can be called quick-rise, rapid rise, or bread machine yeast).

Recipe from Breville.

Halloween Monster Turkey Burger Sliders

Halloween Monster Turkey Burger Sliders  |  Lemon & Mocha

Halloween is tomorrow! Yay! As I’ve mentioned on Lemon & Mocha numerous times before, I love Halloween! I have so many fun childhood memories of Halloween and I can’t wait to start making Halloween memories with our little guy on the way.

Halloween Monster Turkey Burger Sliders  |  Lemon & Mocha

We went back and forth on whether we should put up Halloween decorations with me being just a couple weeks away from my due date, but ultimately I just couldn’t not put them up, even though I felt a little crazy for doing it. Do you decorate your house for Halloween?

Halloween Monster Turkey Burger Sliders  |  Lemon & Mocha

I usually post a chocolatey treat for Halloween, but since Matt and I are up to our eyeballs with all the desserts I’ve been baking I busted out a cute savory treat instead.

Halloween Monster Turkey Burger Sliders  |  Lemon & Mocha

Turkey sliders have been fashioned into silly Halloween monsters, complete with cucumber eyeballs and pickle tongues! As fun as these Halloween Monster Turkey Burger Sliders are, they’re also so good! The turkey patties are juicy and packed with flavor because we’ve added a minced mixture of mushrooms, shallot and parsley to the ground turkey.

Halloween Monster Turkey Burger Sliders  |  Lemon & Mocha

Throw in a little olive oil, Worcestershire sauce and seasoning and then they are grilled or pan-seared to perfection. Since they’re so tiny they cook really quickly; just about four minutes on each side. Top it all off with some melty cheese and fresh veggies for a delicious dinner the whole family will love. Just don’t forget to cut pointy teeth marks into your sliced cheese! Happy Halloween, everyone!

Halloween Monster Turkey Burger Sliders  |  Lemon & Mocha

Looking for some more Halloween treat inspiration? I have a few recipes below to get you started:

Boozy Pumpkin Nutella Hot Chocolate  |  Lemon & Mocha

Boozy Pumpkin Nutella Hot Chocolate

Leftover Halloween Candy Chocolate Lasagna

Leftover Halloween Candy Chocolate Lasagna

Halloween Witch Chocolate Cupcakes

Halloween Witch Chocolate Cupcakes

Chocolate Marshmallow Monster Cookie Sandwiches

Chocolate Marshmallow Monster Cookie Sandwiches

Halloween Witches' Cauldron Cupcakes

Halloween Witches’ Cauldron Cupcakes

Leftover Halloween Candy Cookies

Leftover Halloween Candy Cookies

Halloween Monster Turkey Burger Sliders
 
Yield: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 5-6 cremini mushrooms, stems removed, plus more for eyes
  • ½ shallot
  • 3 tablespoons fresh parsley
  • 1 pound ground turkey, 90% lean
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 English cucumber
  • 16 toothpicks
  • 4 slices deli cheddar or American cheese
  • 8 slider buns
  • 8 small pieces of romaine lettuce
  • 8 small slices of tomato
  • 4 pickle sandwich slices, cut in half
  • Ketchup
Directions
  1. Add the cremini mushrooms, shallot and parsley to a food processor. Process until finely chopped. If you don’t have a food processor, finely chop by hand.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the mushroom mixture, ground turkey, olive oil, Worcestershire, salt and pepper, being sure not to over-mix. Divide the mixture into 8 even portions and form into slider patties, roughly a little bigger than the size of your slider buns. Let patties set in the fridge, covered, for 30 minutes.
  3. While the patties are in the fridge, prep your monster eyes and cheese teeth. Slice the English cucumber so you have 16 rounds. The slices can be thin, but not so thin that you’ll have difficulty securing them with a toothpick. Use extra cremini mushrooms to cut out little circles that will be the center of the eyes. Carve a little round out of the center of an English cucumber slice the size of one of your mushroom eye centers. Stick the mushroom center into the hole in the cucumber and stick a toothpick up through the cucumber and the mushroom piece securing it in place. Repeat for the remaining 15 eyes. For the cheese teeth, cut each slice of cheese in half then cut little teeth points at the edge of each slice. Repeat until you have 8 cheese teeth slices.
  4. Lightly spray a grill pan or nonstick sauté pan with olive oil cooking spray and heat over medium-high heat. Cook the slider patties for 4 minutes on each side, or until they reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. Remove from the heat and add a cheese teeth slice to each slider so that the teeth prongs overhang a little.
  5. To assemble a slider, place a piece of lettuce on the bottom slider bun. Top with a tomato slice then the cheese-topped patty. Lift up the cheese a little to tuck the pickle half underneath so it sticks out like a tongue. Top with some ketchup then the top slider bun. Stick two cucumber toothpick eyeballs into the top. Repeat for the remaining sliders.