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It's Just Another New Years Eve 2011,Tropical Pom Rum Runner and Happy Birthday!

Tropical Pom Rum Runner 2011 Happy New Year Cocktail

Raspberry Champagne Cocktail  Last Year 2010 Farewell Drink!

Lots of fireworks in our backyard for tonight, we had lots leftover from the 4th of July that lit up the sky!

This Year is a milestone for my handsome dear husband, it's his 40th birthday on New Years Eve...It's so hard to plan a party. Dangerous to drive during the holiday, family all in NY. So, here's are agenda for the BIG 40!!  Starting with breakfast.

I made scrambled eggs with sharp cheddar, bacon on a homemade crossaint by evilshenanigans. Then I made his favorite potatoes,  Italian style homefries on the side  for his birthday breakfast...

Raspberry Ricotta Cheesecake
 This is for later tonight, so we will be spending the day at Seaworld, but the cheesecake is waiting for us in the refrigerator. We will see penquins, dolphins, of course Shamu. One of our favorite themeparks here in Florida.

 Later tonight come home after having dinner somewhere in Seaworld  have our dessert, then build a cozy fire in the yard, shoot of some fireworks off to bring in the New Year in and make a toast... a full day for us!  Hope you have all have a Safe, Healthy  Happy 2011!!!!

Outside roaring  firepit... Have a great evening everyone~ Cheers~!!!!

Recipe for Tropical Pom Rum Runner

2 oz Pom (Pomegranate) Juice
2 oz Pineapple Juice
1 oz Dr. McGillicuddy's Lemon Drop Schnapps
2 oz Banana Rum

In a shaker, add ice cubes and above ingredients. Shake and strain. Pour into a sugar rimmed martini glass. Garnish with fruit kabob.

A special thanks goes out to my son Curt that created this delicious drink for our special 2011 New Year Eve and birthday. Great job Curt!!!  Thank you to my niece Alicia ( in Upstate NY) who sent me Lemon Drops for Christmas!

Leftover Prime Rib Marsala or Beef Marsala Pot Pie

Leftover Prime, or other Beef Any Beef Roast pieces around 3 cups
2 1/2  cups assorted vegetable suggestions: carrots, pea's mushrooms, corn,  or other leftover vegetables you may have on hand
One or more cups cubed potatoes
1 1/2 cups of beef gravy homemade or canned gravy mixed with 1/4 cup of marsala wine
pastry for a two crust pie
heavy cream or milk, and butter, to brush on top of crust

Mom's pie crust recipe:

2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt mix together with flour
2/3 cups shortening cut into the flour then add
4 1/2 tablespoons ice water
Mix till dough forms a ball...Roll out on floured board two 9 inch crust and line pie plate.
Brush bottom of crust with 1 tablespoon butter.

Homemade gravy:
2 tablespoons beef fat and juices
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup beef stock (omit 1/4 cup beef stock if using Marsala)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, pinch of pepper and salt
1/4 cup of Marsala optional

Pour beef juices into a small saucepan and add an equal amount of flour to the juices. Mix them together well. Then turn on a very low heat and stir constantly so the gravy doesn't burn. You need to continue stirring and cooking this mixture until it turns brown and starts to bubble a little. The flour needs to be cooked properly, otherwise your gravy will taste raw.

Remove the flour mixture from the heat and very slowly add the beef stock in small amounts. I add everything to a food processor to make a smooth gravy. Then put back on heat.  Don't leave your gravy unattended. Continue stirring until it reaches the thickness you desire and then serve immediately or use for pot pie.
Line pie plate with rolled out dough. Place chunks of meat and mixed vegetables on top of crust. Pour gravy mixed with marsala,  on top of meat and vegetable mixture. Place another piece of rolled dough to fit  over the top. Brush with melted butter. Bake at 400 till brown and bubbly around 45 minutes to an hour. Serve.

Crockpot Italian Ham ,Cabbage, Potatoes and Carrots

When I was growing up, this is what mom made this all time with leftover its the perfect comfort food that warms your soul on a cold winters day. Dip your bread into this broth it's wonderful.

When we lived in Upstate NY, this was soothing and warming on those cold blustery days ..just love leftovers mom knew how to make an inexpensive meal a banquet

Leftover Ham with bone (if it has honey or glaze on it rinse it off with cold water) pull chunks off and add to the pot along with the bone.
1 large onion optional
6 carrots cleaned and sliced or 1 cup of  finger carrots
8 potatoes, peeled and cubed
5 or 6 cut up plum tomatoes fresh or canned
2 cloves minced garlic
1 head cabbage, cut into quarters
1 can chicken broth
1/2 white wine
1/2 teaspoon each oregano, basil, garlic powder, thyme, parsley
salt and pepper to taste

I par boil the potatoes and carrots in the microwave for 5 minutes, before adding  them to the slow cooker bags for the crockpot (they are sold same place where you would buy oven roasting bags in the grocery store).  Place tomatoes on top, cabbage then ham bone and chunks last. Sprinkle with herbs cover with broth and water to just above the mixture of cabbage. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.  Put crockpot on high for at least eight hour, add more water if this absorbs too quickly.  Remove bone. Serve with crusty Italian bread broken up in the bowl... or just dunk it!

Marinated Burgundy Prime Rib

Prime Rib (pick one for your party size)

six (6) people - three (3) rib roast
eight (8) people - four (4) rib roast
ten (10) people - five (5) rib roast
twelve (12) people - six (6) rib roast
fourteen (14) people - seven (7) rib roast

Prime Rib marinade day before cooking:
Blend together herbs 1/2 teaspoon each oregano, basil, parsley, minced garlic. With rib roast rib side up, add 2 tablespoon of butter and smear all over the prime rib first. Sprinkle with herbs. Pour 1/4 cup of red wine on the bottom of the pan. Marinade overnight.
Place meat in roasting pan. Sear meat on a hot heated oven at 450 degrees for 15 minutes then lower to 325 to cook for the remaining of the time . Do not cover, baste every 15 minutes I use a meat digital thermometer. .The thermometer reading should be at least 140 degrees F (60 degrees C) for medium-rare, and 170 degrees F (76 degrees C) for well done. Remove roasting pan from oven, place aluminum foil over roast, and let rest for about 30 minutes before slicing.

Serve with Au Jus.

Au Jus is a French term meaning with juice. The term is used to describe the serving of meat, most often prime rib roast, surrounded in or served with a container of the natural juices that were produced as drippings while the meat while being cooked. It is not sauce or gravy. I use a red burgundy wine in mine. Beef drippings from cooked Prime Rib Roast, Beef broth/stock canned and Red wine (of your choice) you have to determine how much you need by the number of people. Add those three ingredients together and heat.. Add a little garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

Sweet Potato with Brown Sugar Cinnamon Banana and Walnuts

Sweet Potato with Brown Sugar Cinnamon Banana and  Walnuts

 Easy to make, delicious to serve and a great way to display these on your plate with just about any meat.

1 to 2 pounds sweet potatoes, washed

2 medium bananas, peeled and halved
2 tablespoons orange juice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 tablespoons brown sugar or less if preferred
walnuts or almonds *optional

Preheat the oven to 375 F. Lightly coat a baking dish with cooking spray.
Using a fork, poke several holes in the sweet potatoes. Microwave until the potatoes are soft, about 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from the microwave oven and set aside. Cut lengthwise in halves and when cool to the touch, scoop out the potatoe with a spoon, and set aside in a bowl, reserving the jackets.
Place the banana halves in the prepared baking dish above. Bake uncovered until the fruit is soft and juicy, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and pour the orange juice over the bananas. Stir to scrape the drippings and mash the bananas well.
In a large mixing bowl, add the bananas, sweet potatoes, spices, extract and brown sugar. Using an electric mixer, or hand masher, blend until smooth.
Transfer to the reserved jackets and return to the oven. *Top with nuts and bake until warmed through sprinkle with more cinnamon.

Italian Herb and Garlic Vegetable Medley Recipe

Herbs, olive oil and garlic make these vegetables a perfect side for any dish you serve!
Italian Vegetables:
 zucchini sliced
 yellow squash sliced
 crinkle style carrots
green beans
Whatever else you like is fine. Steam vegetables till your preference. We like them soft.
In a large fry pan add 4 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon butter, 2 minced garlic cloves. Saute till garlic is starting to light golden brown.  Turn off heat. Add 4 tablespoons of lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon each oregano, basil, parsley.
Place mixed vegetables in a large bowl, pour Italian herb sauce over the veggies and serve warm.

Buon Natale! Italian Christmas Day Menu From What's Cookin Italian Cuisine

Waking up to the smell of fresh coffee isn't the usual today, nope, it's the  garlicy smell of that Leg of Lamb roasting in a low oven , that started out cooking around  midnight.  Herbs smells, sauce bubbling, meatballs frying, these are what  surroundings are like this morning.  A warm feeling I can't begin to describe when thinking back to  special moments in time with  Mom, Dad, Grandma and  my two brothers growing up. Today is just different without them but a smile in my heart knowing they started this all and we carry on those traditions to our children. .... Buon Natale to all my family and friends may your table be full of fine food and  made with love!!

                                    Can it be possible that 30 yrs. just flew by?

All Grown up, so proud of my two men!

 The only thing missing now,  is some little feet running around to tear open the presents, oh how I miss those days!  Now waiting for the grand kids to come~ someday.
Our day will be starting with breakfast around 10am.

Gnocchi or
Lasagna (Traditionally served Christmas Day) we have both this year!

Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake

I can't begin to count my blessings. I hope you and yours have the most loving, amazing family Christmas holiday making the most  of every minute, cherishing the memories that will be etched in your mind throughout your lifetime and talked about for generations to come....Buon Natale Ciao,  Claudia and Family Curt, Jenni, Nemo, Claudia and Chad ... from What's Cookin Italian Cuisine

Feast of 7 Fishes Italian Menu For Christmas Eve With What's Cookin' Italian Style Cuisine

Amazing how fast the time can fly. It feels like we just started 2010 and here it is gone and a new year to begin. Last year I added a bit of History with Christmas Eve here. So many Fishes are made on the Eve, suggestions  can be mussels, crab, lobster, scallops, rock shrimp, stone crab, shrimp, calamari, eel, snails,  tuna, salmon, walleye, haddock,  smelts, sardines and scungilli the list goes on an on. I put together what my family loves.

 I have made some wonderful fabulous foodie friends this year and am thankful for every one that visits, comments and enjoys reading my blog this is so addicting and the common bond is we all love to eat and cook! The other wonder of cooking online together is the admiration we all have for each other, you can feel the excitement when you have really had a great post in your comments, words and it's just a fabulous gift! Your all a  wonderful supportive group of amazing bloggers. Some of the most rewarding friendships come from the universal bond of cooking together!  I want to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of my readers in appreciation for all the time you have made to come here in 2010, read, comment.  Your support has brought me a great sense of joy to move into the new year with such a wonderful audience of family and foodie friends. I can't thank you all enough for all your lovely awards and thoughtfulness.  I hope I have returned that thankfulness in this heartfelt note.

Here's a blessing to share with  you and all your families, our troops and those less fortunate this holiday season,"May Peace be your gift at Christmas and your blessing all year through!  ~

 May you all have a healthy, happy and delicious  New Year! Hoping for best for all of you in 2011. Here's to all of you to have the best blogging year to come ever, I look forward to all your new creations in 2011 with all my continued foodie love coming your way!

Now off to eat these wonderful Italian Style Christmas Eve dinners, watch the movie  Christmas Vacation... and wait for Santa (smile)....

Our  Italian 7 Fish Tradition

Now for my menu this Holiday season with recipes below:

( click on all the black links for the recipes)

Christmas Eve:


                                                       Italian Seafood Fish Chowder Click for recipe

Main Dishes:

                                              Mussels, Shrimp, Calamari Over Linguine Click for recipe

Recipes Click links below:
 Seas Scallops Insalata Caprese
 Shrimp Cocktail
 Fried Shrimp
 Fried Calamari
 Coconut Shrimp
 Baked Haddock With Buttery Lobster and Wine Sauce
 Best Ever Fish Fry Recipes

Basic Recipe for Fish Fry:
With any basic coating you can fry any types of Fish or Shrimp here is one we love its so simple:

1 large plastic bag add below
1 cup of flour
1/4 cup corn starch
seasonings 1/2 teaspoon of each parsley, dill, basil, oregano, salt pepper, cayenne, garlic powder
Shake rinsed off fish wet fish into the bag of seasoned flour, fry in hot oil, drain on paper towels.

Buttery Garlic Lobster Click for recipe


                                                                     Jello Shot Cake Click for recipe

                                                          Assorted Coffees and Drinks Click for recipe

Wishing you all a very Merry,  Healthy Christmas and hoping Santa brings all of you this year the most important thing, the LOVE and Togetherness of your family~   Many Regards to all from Claudia @ What's Cookin' Italian Cuisine

Alfonzo and Catrina Wish you  all a Very Merry Christmas!~

Chocolate Peanut Butter Surprise Cookie Recipe

If you are a peanut butter lover ~ this is a chocolate cookie filled with peanut butter then you are going to love this one~  I thought maybe they would be difficult, but the filling rolls into a ball easily to mold around the cookie batter.

Roll the dough into a ball and flatten it in the palm of you hand then add the peanut butter ball, viola you have a filled cookie that is awesome!

Flatten with the palm of your hand and watch them transform into a delightful taste of a perfect cookie in every bite.

These are also great travelers and pack well.

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar-packed
1/2 cup unsalted butter-softened
1/4 cup peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
2 tablespoons of milk
3/4 cup confectioners sugar
3/4 cup peanut butter
Mix both together till smooth and make 28 small round balls and place on a cookie sheet refrigerate till ready to use.
Heat oven to 375 degrees.
In a large bowl, blend flour, cocoa, and baking soda.
Add white sugar, brown sugar, butter and 1/4 cup peanut butter, beat in mixer with a flat beater attachment until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and egg, beat until blended. Stir in flour mixture until blended. Set aside.

Roll dough into 28 round pieces, using about a tablespoon of dough. Flatten each piece in the palm of your hand, add a small peanut butter ball to the center, pull dough around the ball and when covered in chocolate roll into a ball. Flatten with the back of a glass or palm of your hand. Keep washing your hands if they become sticky. Place 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake at 375 degrees until set around  6 to8 minutes do not overbake, or the cookie will be dry . Cool completely, dust with confectionery sugar. I didn't use alot in the picture so you can see the cookie but I like these cookies dipped in the confectionery sugar twice!  Once while warm once cooled just a tip  ....
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