Friday, December 30, 2011

New Years Eve - Happy Birthday Fred

New years eve is coming up tomorrow.  My husband Fred's birthday.  Everyone celebrates his birthday!  I'm making one of his favorite dishes for dinner tonight.  Ravioli Casserole.  I love easy recipes and this one is made with frozen cheese ravioli, enhanced jar tomato sauce, grated romano cheese and meatball filling in between. 
I make my meatball recipe and use it crumbled up between each layer of ravioli.  The ravioli are placed in the casserole dish frozen with tomato sauce, making layers of ravioli, meat, sauce, cheese and ravioli again.  Baked for 35 minutes covered, and an additional 15 minutes uncovered. Serve with some fresh crusty italian bread and you will agree that  these are the best tasting ravioli you will ever have. 

Happy Birthday my sweet and HAPPY NEW YEAR  to everyone!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Holiday Sandwich Butter Cookies

Do you have a favorite butter cookie recipe that only comes out on holidays?  I know I do.  I did something a little different this year.  I put two of them together to make a sandwich cookie with vanilla icing in between.  Very pretty to look at and the icing makes the butter cookie just a little sweeter and delicious.  Try this sometime and you may be looking at butter cookies in a different way.....Merry Christmas, happy eating!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Easy Almond Crescents

Happy Holidays! Did you ever want to have something sweet, light and warm for breakfast?  Having out of town guests for the holidays?  Try these easy Almond Cresents.  Three ingredients:  refrigerated crescent rolls,  1 can almond filling (solo) and powdered sugar frosting.  Almonds as garnish add to the flavor. 
Unroll the crescents,  spread a little of the almond filling on each one,  roll and bake according to package directions.  While they are warm,  drizzle them with powder sugar frosting and sprinkle slivered almonds on top.  Your guests will be amazed and you will have done very little to give them a warm sweet for breakfast.  You don't have to stop at almond,  raspberry or apricot are also delicious.  Happy eating!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Christmas Cannoli

Here is a different twist on the Italian traditional cannoli.   My mom used to make these shells by hand and we would help her take the fried dough off the hot sticks and watch them cool.  Then we would help her take the ricotta cheese, cream, candied fruit and powdered sugar to make the filling.  They were (and still are) delicious.  But,  to try something different,  I bought the shells already made, and made my filing with mascarpone cheese and whipping cream.  Dipped them into red and green jimmies for Christmas and wow,  these are great!

Christmas Cannoli

2 cups heavy cream
2/3 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
15 ounces mascarpone cheese
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
12 store bought cannoli shells
Red and green jimmies for garnish

Pour the cream in mixing bowl. Beat until slightly thick. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla, and mascarpone cheese. Whip the cream mixture until thick and creamy. Fold in the walnuts before filling the cannoli. Take each cannoli shell and fill it with the filling from both sides of the shell. When filled, dip the edges into Christmas red and green sprinkles, arrange on plate, put in the refrigerator for 30 minutes, and serve. Can be refrigerated up to 3 days.
Note:  add a little rum or amaretto to the filling to make this a festive dessert!!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Been a long time!

Well,  I've finally got my blog back!  It was not working for a few weeks.  I've been very busy baking for Thanksgiving and again for Christmas.  I'll be making cookie trays for Christmas gifts and making tiramisu, bundt cakes and a lot of other things.  I love this time of the year.  Hopefully, I will be able to chat more each day now! 

Friday, November 11, 2011

Cheese Enchiladas

I used to love to make enchiladas when I was in Mexico.  We would buy fresh tortillas from the local merchant and freshly cooked chicken.  Enchiladas are easy and delicious.  My husband prefers all cheese enchiladas, so I used the Mexican queso blanco as well as the new Kraft shredded cheddar with a touch of Philadelphia cream cheese.  These did turn out amazing.  I made 6 of them and all 6 of them were gone at one sitting!   I bought taco sauce in the jar because I couldn't find enchilada sauce and it worked great.  Served it with brown rice that I mixed with Rotel spicy tomatoes and added corn to it.   It's so much fun to invent things, especially when they turn out delicious!  Enjoy....

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

A Fond Memory of my Mother

My mother used to love to bake and cook.  She especially liked baking.  She would make all kinds of desserts that we all loved.  One thing she made was an Italian cookie called Taralli.  These little cookies resembled a pretzel and got very hard.  It was a great thing to snack on and it would last a long time.  She used to give my nieces these cookies when they were kids and they loved them.  The process is interesting.  First you make the dough, cut and roll the dough into pencil like logs and twist them on themselves.  Now here is the interesting part,  you put them in a pan of boiling water for about 15 seconds.  They float to the top and are done.  Take them out and lay them on a kitchen towel to dry.  Then put them on a cookie sheet and bake them for 20 minutes at 375.  I tried to make these cookies for the first time and mine really don't resemble my mothers,  but,  she had a lot of experience making them.... I will try them again to get them a bit thinner and more uniform.  They really aren't like a hard pretzel , but more like a soft pretzel.  I suppose if I had added course salt to them before baking,  I could have a delicious soft pretzel. 

Well, mom,  I am not giving up!  I will bake them again and do better!  I remember you having these in the cookie jar in your kitchen and enjoying them with a cup of tea.  Fond memories!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Rich, delicious Turtle Candies

Saw these made on television and decided to try them using what I had on hand.  WoooHooo!  They are delicious.  Mini muffin pan sprayed with non stick spray,  Kraft caramels melted,  whole pecans, and melted milk chocolate chips.   Melt the caramels with a few tsp water,  then put a spoon or so on the bottom of the muffin tins.  Put the pecans on top and put another spoon of chocolate on top to fill the cup.  Now put them in the fridge for about 30 minutes.  Take them out and serve.  They become more tasty as they get more towards room temperature - if they last that long!  Enjoy....

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Halloween's a Comin'

It's getting colder, it's getting darker earlier and this weekend the trick or treaters will be out gathering all the loot they can.  I was fooling around in the kitchen again and made some caramel apples and some cupcakes to resemble caramel apples.  I drizzled the cupcakes with chocolate and they are pretty good.  Used spice cake for the cake part!  It's fun to make different things for the holidays.  These cupcakes and apples will definitely be done again!  Happy Halloween.....BOOOO!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Halloween Party

Last night I had my annual Halloween Party and it was a blast.  I think my guests ate and drank until they could bust!  We had a lot of good food and desserts.  Great costumes and a lot of friendship and fun!  I love Halloween I think even better than Christmas!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Why is it when it rains, it pours?

I guess all of us are having problems in this economy, but did you ever notice how when one thing goes wrong, it tends to snowball and alot of things go wrong?  Wonder why that is.  I guess the Lord won't lead you to it, unless He gets you through it!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Zebra, zebra, zebra!

I made the most unusual cake for my great niece over the weekend.  She wanted a zebra theme.  Hmm,  what could I do?  So, I checked the Wilton cake decorating site and found some interesting ideas.  I then went to my local Wal-Mart and discovered a whole section of Wilton decorating items.  Low and behold, there it was.    A zebra pattern to put on cakes.  Edible sugar that is in the pattern of zebras.  It was sent to me!  The cake turned out really cute,  thanks to Wal-Mart and Wilton!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Just love Pumpkins!

I'm so much in the spirit of Halloween now, I just can't stop making things with pumpkin.  Pumpkin pie, pumpkin pecan pie and I just tried pumpkin biscotti!  Delicious!

I even found pumpkin shaped marshmallows! 

Pumpkin Biscotti

1 box spice cake mix
1 cup flour
2 eggs
1 stick butter melted
1/2 c pumpkin puree
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 c chopped pecans (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350.  Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper
2. Combine cake mix, flour, 2 eggs, melted butter, pumpkin, and spices and mix until dough comes together, about 2 minutes.
3. Divide dough into two pieces and transfer to cookie sheet.
4. Shape into two rectangle logs - approximately 1 inch high.
5. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes.  Remove from oven.  Let cool for 10 minutes.
6. Slice each rectangle into 1/2 inch thick slices.  I usually cut them on an angle to get a good cookie.
7. Lay each slice on their side and bake 5 minutes more.  Cool completely.
8. Use frosting glaze tinted orange to drizzle over biscotti.

These are great for dunking in your favorite cup of coffee or tea.  Enjoy!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Pumpkin Bread Pudding

I love the pumpkins this time of the year.  I keep saying I would eat pumpkin all year round, except once Thanksgiving passes,  the pumpkins go bye bye!  Pumpkins are very low in calories and an excellent source of Vitamin A, C and E.  It is loaded with antioxidents and fiber.  I made a Pumpkin Bread Pudding tonight.  Never made it before,  however,  the pumpkin gave this bread pudding a real kick!  I will definitely make it again.  It doesn't even need to soak overnight!

Pumpkin Bread Pudding
2 cups milk
2 eggs
1 can pumpkin 15 oz.
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp cinnamon
5-6 cups torn up sourdough bread
1/4 cup sugared pecans
Powdered sugar glaze

Tear the bread up into bite size pieces.  Set in large bowl. 
Mix the eggs, milk, pumpkin, brown sugar, vanilla, pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon together.  Beat by hand until mixed.
Pour the custard over the bread and get all the bread wet.
Let it stand for 20 minutes.
Pour the entire mixture in 11 x 7 inch glass dish.
Add the pecans randomly on the top.
Bake 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes.
Mix 1/4 c powdered sugar with about 1/4 c milk until smooth.  Add more sugar if necessary to get a thicker consistency.
Pour the glaze over the entire pudding before scooping or cutting. 
The bread pudding is best served warm, but can be refrigerated.  Serves about 8 people.

You can add raisins or any other type of dried fruit to this recipe and I'm sure it will be delightful!  Enjoy pumpkin now, while we can!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Interesting Cheese Store

Today we explored and found an interesting cheese store.  This store is named the same as an ethnic (Italian) store we have in the area, but even though it is the same family name, the store is a different family members.  It is a no frills store that has a deli, bakery, cafe and a huge cheese store.  All sorts of imported and domestic cheeses.  It was amazing.  I had to buy some pecorino romano cheese to grate myself because the price was so reasonable, I couldn't pass it up!  My husband loves gorganzola cheese and again the price was too good to pass up.  Caputo's Cheese Market will be one of our regular places even though it is a bit far from where we live.  On a beautiful day like it was today,  this store is worth the trip.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Unusual Salmon Patties

Tonight I made salmon patties for dinner.  I never make them the same twice!  Tonight I used canned pink salmon, creamed corn, ritz crackers, onions, ketchup and fried them in butter.  They were lucious.  The corn kept them moist and the crackers made them buttery rich.  Frying them until they were really browned made them crispy and delicious. 

Salmon Patties:
1 can pink salmon
1/2 can creamed corn
1 T dehydrated onions
10 crushed ritz crackers
salt, pepper to taste
butter for fying.

Mix the salmon with all the other ingredients and fry for about 10 minutes on each side until brown and crisp around the edges.  Makes 4 -6 patties depending on how big you make them.  Serve them with ketchup and a side of veggies for a great, easy meal.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Soup Weather

It's so autumn here.  Just like that the summer heat disappeared and we are seeing leaves changing and falling all over the place.    Good time for soup supper.  Here's a good one I just threw together.  Great Northern beans with ham and potatoes.  Really good! 


¼ lb sliced ham
1 onion
2 cans cannelloni beans
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 potatoes diced
Granulated garlic
Vegetable stock 1 quart
1 T olive oil

Heat oil in pan.
Dice ham and put in pot.
Cut the onion in wedges and put in pot.
Cook for about 3-4 minutes
Add the cannelloni beans liquid and all
Add the tomato paste
Pour in a quart of vegetable stock
Bring to boil
Cut up the potatoes into small pieces and add to the liquid
Add salt, pepper and garlic to taste
Simmer about 35 minutes.

Makes about 6 bowls
Prep 15
Cook 35

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

It finally happened!

Well,  I've been trying for over a year now to enter recipes in contests and win some money.  OK, don't be as shocked as I was, but I won a prize for my Chiquito Chilis stuffed with cream cheese and Mexican cheese and other spices.  I was the first announced winner of the Veggie Revival Side Dish contest!  I am so, so happy.  I guess perseverence pays off sometimes.  The announcement is on youtube under First Veggie Revival Side Dish Winner.....

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Pumpkin Spice Cream Filled Cupcakes

Today was a great day to bake.  I wanted to make something a little more for fall.  Using ingredients that I had on hand,  I made a box spice cake and made a filling of pumpkin and cream cheese.   The recipe will follow.  They were really great, especially topped with carmalized pecans.  The leaves are starting to change and the pumpkin desserts are on the way in.


1 box mix spice cake (bake with ingredients on box)
8 oz Philadelphia Whipped Cream Cheese
1 can pumpkin 15 oz
1 container Cool Whip
½ c powdered sugar
½  tsp pumpkin pie spic
½ c chopped pecans
1/3 c sugar
2 T butter

Make cake according to directions on the box.
Make 24 cupcakes, bake 25 min. 350 degrees.
While cakes are baking, mix the softened cream cheese with the pumpkin.
Add the powdered sugar.
Add the pie spice.
Last add the cool whip and beat until totally mixed.
Set this filling aside.
Melt 2 T butter in small fry pan
Add the chopped pecans and sugar.
Stir until coated. Keep your eye on this for about 3-4 minutes, stirring often.
When the pecans begin to caramelize, turn off the heat.

Pluck out the center of each cupcake.
Pipe the cream filling into the center hole and around the top.
Top with crushed sweetened pecans.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Something Different

Last night I decided to try something different.  I've been thinking of my mom a lot lately, probably because the anniversary of her passing was a week ago or so.  She would have been 106 this year if she was still alive!  Knowing how my mom was,  she would still be in the kitchen baking something!  So, I took her recipe for Pizza Dolce (sweet pie) and decided to make it into a cheesecake instead of a pie with no crust.  I also changed her ingredient of using Anisette liquor to using Amaretto and leaving the chocolate chips out. 
It was really good.  Fred loved it and he is not one to like desserts made with Ricotta cheese.  So, mom, this one is dedicated to you....we love you.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Vegetable Soup

Every Monday night used to be soup night in my house.  My mother would make some kind of soup - chicken, vegetable or bean, it always had an Italian flair to it!  My mom was a wonderful cook and I am glad I am sort of following in her footsteps.    I make chicken soup a lot, but tonight I made an "Italian" vegetable soup.  This one is anything you have on hand and then some!   I started with carrots, onion and potatoes.  Cooked them in a little water.  Added vegetable stock and chicken stock to them.  Brought it to a boil and cut up a zucchini and added cut up cabbage. Last opened up a can of chopped tomatoes.   Let it boil until all the veggies are tender.  I tasted it and something was missing.  I added oregano, garlic, salt and pepper.  Nope,  still not the best.  Well, I found some Worcestershire sauce in my cabinet.  First added a few drops....nothing changed.  Then added about 1/4 cup to the soup and wow,  it now had a great flavor.  I let it cook a little more and served it to my husband.  It was quite a different taste, but a very good taste.  I will definitely do it again for vegetable soup!  Of course soup wouldn't be complete with out a shake or two of parmesan cheese.  Enjoy....

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Double Decker Quesadilla

Whipping up a fast, easy 5-ingredient meal tonight for Philadelphia Cooking Creme.  I made a double decker quesadilla.  5 ingredients:  torillas, Philadelphia Cooking Creme, can of black beans, shredded cooked chicken and Mexican Chihuahua crumbled cheese.  Bake it for 15 minutes and be amazed how good it tastes.  If you are a fan of quesadillas,  you will love this one!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Holy Stromboli!

Stromboli is a rolled up sandwich of sorts filled with all kinds of interesting stuff.  Today I was fooling around and came up with a salami and cheese stromboli.  It was really easy and delicious.  Rolled pizza dough, cut up salami, cooking creme, sliced tomatoes, and shredded mozarella cheese.  It was really good.  Served it with a green salad and it was a very good, light, dinner!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Friends from Afar!

Went to Wheaton last night to meet friends in from California.  Haven't seen them in about 1 1/2 years.  The two boys have gotten older and more handsome than they were, and their father never seems to change a bit.    Met them at a Mexican Restaurant for dinner and had a great time.

Today I was experimenting with vegetables and came up with a delicious Onion and Mushroom Crostada.
A Crostada is an Italian open faced pie.  My mom used to make delicious "Onion Pie" when we were growing up.  She used to make a bottom crust and a top crust like a traditional pie.  I thought I might add mushrooms and some cream cheese to the mix to make it different.  It turned out very, very good. 

Of course I had extra dough so I also made a blueberry Crostada with struesel topping on it.  My hubby gobbled it up quickly.  A good day today to bake and try new things.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

A Wonderful Dinner Party last night!

Last night, we had a few friends over for dinner.  It was the first time they had ever been to our house.  We started with appetizers while waiting for all to arrive.  Spanikopita - spinach pie, artichoke and garlic filled dough cups and crackers and cheese.

After drinks and conversation,  we sat down to dinner:
Began with antipasto salad- Lazy susan with lettuce bowl in the center and all the fun stuff an Italian antipasto salad has around the bowl.  Everyone was able to take the lettuce and put all the other things on it that they wanted.  This went very well with rosemary breadsticks.

Next we had Lasagna Rolls and Chicken Italiano.  Garlic bread and tomato and fresh mozarella cheese mix.  Fresh cauliflower as a veggie.

After an hour and half of eating,  coffee and chocolate cake were served.  I think everyone went home totally satified and full!!  I love to entertain this way and have dinner parties.  They all said they would come back again anytime I want to cook for them!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A quick delicious Goulash!

I was gone most of the day yesterday and when I came home,  my husband was hungry!  Luckily, before I left the house,  I put a piece of round steak in the crock pot with an onion, and water to slow cook all day.

By the time I got home,  it was really tender and done.  I decided to add some stuff to make a Goulash!
Never made this before, but remember the delicious taste of goulash I've had in restaurants, so,  I improvised and created a great tasting dish.  All I did was add a little water to the crock pot,  then put in about 1/4 cup of brown sugar, about 1/4 cup of ketchup, and 3 tablespoons of red wine vinegar.  Stirred it up and let it cook about 10 more minutes on high,  while I boiled up some wide noodles.  Drained the noodles,  added the Goulash,  added papprika, salt and pepper and boy, oh boy, it was great!  My friend dropped in and had some along with us and agreed it was a fast, easy, delicious meal.  Sometimes things work out well..  Have a great Tuesday!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Ok, so many of you have asked me for the recipe - Here it is!

Chocolate Hazelnut Cake with Strawberries

1 chocolate cake mix. (made with ingredients on box)
2 cups heavy whipping cream
¼ c nutella spread
8 oz softened cream cheese
¾ c powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
Additional nutella to spread on cake
½ pint fresh strawberries (optional)
Bake the cake in 9” layer cake pan according to directions on box.
Allow to cool completely.
Make the frosting and filling.
Beat the whipping cream until soft peaks
Add the vanilla, cream cheese, powdered sugar and nutella
Beat until it gets stiff peaks
Assemble the cake:
Take the first layer of cake and put on serving plate.
Spread nutella out of the jar on to the cake 10 seconds in micro will make it easier
to spread.
Add sliced strawberries on to the nutella (optional)
Spread the frosting/filling over the strawberries.
Put the second layer of cake on top of first.
Spread the top of the cake with nutella.
Frost with remaining frosting and garnish with chocolate dipped strawberries

Saturday, August 27, 2011

New and Different Appetizer

OK,  today I tried a new appetizer.  I decided to call it Greek Cheese Puffs!  Easy and creamy filling inside crispy phyllo dough topped off with apricot jam!  Really good.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Creamy Pizza Dip

Wow!  Like pizza but don't want to make or buy a big one?  Well, here's your answer.  Pizza Dip.  That's right, close your eyes and taste the wonderful taste of pizza in your mouth.  Serve it on bread rounds or crackers and boy, oh boy, it's great!  Easy to make.  Cream cheese as "crust", tomato sauce on top, italian seasonings, parmesan cheese, chopped olives, chopped artichokes and shredded mozarella cheese.  Put in pan, bake 10 min at 400 degrees,  mix it all together and put it in a serving dish.  WooHoo!  This one is a keeper!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Catching Up!

Let's see,  the last post was Tuesday.  Wednesday we had an italian favorite of mine from childhood.  Thin spaghetti and brocolirabe.  My mom used to make this for us and it is so good.  Cook the spaghetti and add the brocoli to the water.  Cook it all together,  drain,  and add chopped garlic that has been cooked in olive oil.  Add a little cheese and my mouth is watering!

Leftover pasta Thursday night.  Make it into a spaghetti pie!  Goat cheese and asparagus make this one different!

Can't forget dessert!  Brownie bites made for a workshop.   MMMMM good.  Never made brownies in mini cupcake pans.  They were wonderful and easy to eat.  Bye for now.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Summer is on it's way out!

Beautiful day today, sunshine, cooler than last week.  The evenings have been in the 60's and great to sleep.
Tonight I made Chili for dinner.  Ground beef, onions, kidney beans, black beans and tomatoes.  I added a can of Rotel spicy tomatoes along with my chili seasoning.  It was really good.  Just enough heat.  Served it with cheddar cheese, crackers and a dab of sour cream.  MMMMM......

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Beautiful - cool, Chicken Soup weather

Chicken dumpling soup is one of my husbands favorite dishes.  It is very tasty!  Cool weather brings on the soup.  :)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Beautiful, Cool Day today. Great for baking!

Went to the country last weekend so brought back some great garden vegetables.  Zucchini, corn, tomatoes.  Perfect weather to make a zucchini cake.  Spicy, with cinnamon, walnuts and zucchini.  MMMM.
Fred will be pleased and surprised when he comes home tonight to find it waiting for him.....

Monday, August 8, 2011

A break in the weather!

Now that the weather is a little cooler,  I have no cheesecakes to bake!  Oh well, they all made it to their destination Friday and all were happy.  Baked 19 total.....

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Too Hot to Eat!

This weather is really hot.  Almost too hot to eat!  I think eating lighter makes a lot of sense in this type of weather.  Salads are great, and adding fruit to them makes them even better.  Try this simple one using iceberg lettuce cut into large shreds, adding fresh strawberries and mandarin oranges.  Make a light cramy dressing using that new product, Philadelphia Cooking Creme - original flavor, a little red wine vinegar, a bit of sugar, and a couple of tablespoons of orange juice.  Salt and pepper, and a few sllivered almonds makes this one a keeper! 

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Cheesecakes Galore!

What a week to be baking 17 cheesecakes before Friday!   Hot outside and hot inside....bless air conditioning.   
So glad to be baking them.  Could use some extra money!!!   Amaretto Choc Chip,  Raspberry Swirl,  Fudge Swirl,  Blueberry Swirl,  Snickers,  Reese Peanut Butter and can''t forget Turtle!  Yummmmm.
Talk to you next when I'm done baking.....

Friday, July 29, 2011

New Appetizers!

Well, last night I experimented with some new appetizers using Philadelphia Cream cheese.  The one I thought turned out really good was "Fruity Rollups".  This was so easy, I was really surprised.  I've been making tortilla rollups for my husbands workshops as a snack using cream cheese and ham and turkey.  Well, I decided to use the fruit flavored cheese and garnish with fresh fruit that matched.  Strawberry cheese with fresh strawberry on it,  blueberry cheese with fresh blueberry on it and pineapple cheese with fresh pineapple on it.  I cut them, added the fruit to each and wow,  they were fantastic.  Made just a few and my neighbor happened to ring the bell to see Fred.  OK,  they were all gone between the three of us in just a very few minutes.  I will definitely be making these little babies for my next party!  Try them,  they are great!  Oh by the way,  if you don't know what rollups are,  take a soft flour torilla, spread it with a good amount of cream cheese,  roll it up and cut it.  After the slices are on the plate,  add the fruit.  YUMMY..  till next time.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

"How about a strawberry pie?"

Went to the store today and saw fresh strawberries $.79 per quart container.  Bought two of them, brought them home, put them on the counter when my husband says "how about strawberry pie for dessert?"
I have to say these strawberries were just ripe enough to make a pie.  Never having done one before,  I washed and cut the strawberries,  took out a frozen pie crust, and added sugar, and flour to the berries.  I figured it works well with apples why not strawberries?  It turned out yummy!  I'll have to make another one soon as strawberries are at the height of the season now.  My husband Fred was very happy with his strawberry pie....Till next time....

Friday, July 22, 2011

Summer is flying by! It's Friday and I haven't written anything for a whole week.

It has been soooo hot here this week. I didn't feel much like cooking.  I used the grill tonight and could barely stand the heat outside while my food cooked!  Steaks marinated in olive oil and steak seasoning, cooked about 8 minutes on each side for medium rare.  Thermometer registered 165 degrees.  Perfectly done.  Don't forget the grilled zucchini and red peppers.   Sweet potatoes are a real treat this time of year.  The salad made with romaine lettuce, grape tomatoes, black olives and smoked mozarella cheese made the dish a refreshing summertime meal.  It was delicious...Stay cool,  grill outside and enjoy the summer while we can.  Until next time!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Sunday Night Easy!

Here is an easy one for you to try.  Asparagus Frittata.  My mom used to make this all the time, and it is a really light, easy meal to serve with some warm bread.  Try it sometime.

1 bunch fresh asparagus
4 eggs beaten
1/2 cup grated parmesian cheese
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp granulated garlic
1 T olive oil

Cook the asparagus until slightly softened.  
Beat the eggs, add salt and pepper
Cut the asparagus into bite size pieces
Add the cheese, garlic and asparagus to the egg mixture.
Put olive oil into skillet.  Heat on medium.
Pour the egg mixture in the pan
Let it cook approximately 7 minutes (be sure the eggs are cooking through)
Flip the frittata by loosening the edges,  put a plate over the skillet, flip the whole pan over and put the eggs back in the pan and finish cooking.

This is a great Italian Omelet!  Ciao!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Saturday Night fun!

Went to our friends house for dinner last night.  It was so much fun and I got to eat "adobo" a traditional phillapino dish.  Chicken and rice with adobo sauce was absolutely great.  I made a chocolate raspberry bundt cake and we all had a great time.  Two more of his friends came over the last minute and it was wonderful.  Sorry, no picture of the bundt cake.  :(

Thursday, July 14, 2011

OMG it's Thursday already!

I haven't gotten to the grocery store yet this week.  What to have for dinner?  Well,  I have some pasta, I have cream of mushroom soup,  I have a can of chicken.  Oh what the heck,  let's make a chicken casserole.

This is an easy, fast and delicious dinner.   Boil the pasta (1 lb), mix 2 cans cream of mushroom soup with 1/2 cup of heavy cream.  Add frozen peas and mushrooms for extra flavor,  granulated garlic and some dehydrated onions.    Mix it all together and then add the chicken.  When the noodles are done,  put it all together and top it with French Fried Onions.  Bake it for about 30 minutes and serve!  Delicious.  It will serve about 6-8 people.  Try it you'll like it.....

Monday, July 11, 2011

Busy Weekend

Saturday was a  busy, busy day for us.  Went to an open house for a dear couple we know in the afternoon, and then were invited to a birthday party in a beautiful lake home in Glenview.  Live entertainment and a lot of food and drink flowing!  Had a fun time.

Sunday - rested around the house today after that busy day yesterday.  Made lasagna for dinner.  Had all the ingredients in the house so, why not?  Turned out really good.  Infact, we will have it again for dinner tonight.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Friday Night

Friday night,  hot outside,  not really hungry, what to make?    I have some Barese sausage in the fridge and three green peppers I bought and didn't use yet.  OK,  Sausage and peppers with fresh tomatoes.  MMMM good.  I found 2 ciabatta rolls frozen (don't you love to find things you forgot you had in the freezer?) and put them in the convection oven for a few minutes.  A light dinner,  but a good one.   Sausage and Pepper sandwiches.  Tomato and mozarrella salad along with it and that's it.  Mangia!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Ahhh, Eggplant Parmesiana!

Tonight, I made eggplant parmesiana.  The best I have ever made.  I deviated from my mom's recipe a bit, and boy she would be proud!!
Here is the recipe:

1 medium eggplant
3 eggs beaten
¼ c parmesian cheese grated
½ c flour
1 ½ c panko breadcrumbs Italian flavored
1 small jar of tomato sauce
1 c water
2 c shredded cheddar cheese
¾ c olive oil

  1. Peel and slice the eggplant into thin slices
  2. Lay the slices out on a cookie sheet
  3. Sprinkle salt on the eggplant
  4. Take the jar of tomato sauce and mix the whole thing with 1 cup water in a bowl. It needs to be thin.
  5. Beat the eggs with ¼ c parmesian cheese
  6. Have 3 dishes ready – flour, egg mixture, bread crumbs
  7. Rinse the eggplant quickly to remove some of the salt
  8. Have glass casserole dish ready.  Pour a little sauce on bottom.
  9. Put ½ c olive oil in skillet and heat
  10. Dip the eggplant slices in flour, egg mixture and then in bread crumbs.
  11. Fry them in skillet until brown
  12. Layer them on the bottom of the casserole dish in single layer
  13. Sprinkle shredded cheddar cheese over eggplant
  14. Ladle sauce over the layer.
  15. Continue to fry the eggplant and make layers until all cooked up.  Add more olive oil as needed.
  16. Pour sauce over top and more shredded cheese.
  17. Bake in 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes until bubbly.

Makes about 6 servings.  Cook time 35 -45 minutes.

Try this, I'm sure you'll like it!  Until next time....mangia!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Meatless Monday

Today was a beautiful day.  I didn't know what to make for dinner.  I found a bag of salad shrimp in the freezer and remembered I had bought flour torillas last week.  WaLa!  Why not shrimp tacos?  Never made them before so I experimented.
I sauteed 1/2 onion in olive oil in skillet.
Added the shrimp.  Let them simmer
Added some cajun spice about 1 1/2 tsp, and 1 tsp cayenne pepper.
Cut up a tomato, shredded some cheese, shredded some lettuce, and pulled out the sour cream.
Heated the tortilla in a skillet, filled them with the shrimp mixture and topped them with the condiments. 
Served it with black beans and rice on the side.  What a delicious, quick dinner my husband loved.
I'm getting so good with quick meals.  I forget to plan ahead sometimes and have to improvise... 

what a busy weekend!

Had guests over this weekend and served this refreshing Cran-Raspberry Mousse dessert.  Easy and actually tastes like cranberry jello!   Served them in stem glasses to make them look classier then they were!
Enjoyed by all. 
Graduation parties are plentiful this month.  Congratulations to anyone who has a graduate. 

Friday, June 24, 2011

Goodies for the Workshop!

Wednesday night my husband Fred did a workshop in Past Life Regression and I provided the refreshments.  It was a nice evening.  I provided homemade chocolate chocolate chip cookies, peanut butter cookies, tortilla rollups of various kinds and crabmeat dip with crackers.   The people who attended really seemed to appreciate the goody table and I enjoyed making all the food!  I can't wait until the next one next Wednesday.  Maybe I'll make some different kinds of things.