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!