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Italian Amaretto Chocolate Ricotta Cheesecake

Italian Ricotta Chocolate Cheesecake (pictured with chocolate whipped cream and chocolate shavings, a chocolate lovers delight!)

Using Chocolate Graham Crackers and butter, a perfect crust!

12 chocolate graham crackers
6 tablespoons melted butter

Exceptionally creamy with Ricotta Cheese in this one!

2 - 8oz cream cheese
1 pound of Homemade Ricotta,  or store bought Whole Milk drained
4 tablespoons of heavy whipping cream
10 oz melted semi sweet or milk chocolate (melt in microwave for one minutes stir, if still not melted do in 30 second intervals)
2 tablespoons Amaretto
1 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
4 eggs
1 1/4 cup sugar

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees

Using a food processor, crush the crackers into fine crumbs
Slowly add the melted butter and pulse  a few more times.
Press the crumbs in the bottom of a 9 and 1/2 inch spring form pan.
Bake 8 to 10 minutes
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees

In a large mixing bowl, blend together the cream cheese, well drained ricotta, whipping cream, melted  chocolate, Amaretto,  vanilla extract with a heavy duty beat till smooth and creamy looking, till well blended, add in the eggs then sugar, about 3 to 4 more minutes.
Pour the mixture into  a parchment lined and lightly sprayed first with cooking oil spring form pan.

Bake for around 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Chill the cheesecake for at least 5 hours.
Remove from the pan. Serving suggestions: drizzle with hot fudge sauce ,chocolate shavings, a dollop of whipped cream or serve plain.

One Stop Cookie Shop Recipes

Here are 24 cookie recipes! Your one stop cookie shop!

Your One Stop Cookie Shop for the Holiday 2010

 Building traditions, bonding with family and making memories that  will last through generations to come and through our lifetimes. This is what we all look forward to every year in our families by getting together to bake  all our favorite cookies!  My late mom, Margaret, taught us to cherish those moments  through our cooking and baking as a family. No matter where we live,  whether we're all separated by different states or live close by, we continue to enjoy this time of the year making cookies, sharing the fun with family and friends,  making new memories, reminiscing  over the past years with wonderful stories when we were younger to pass down to the our children and hopefully  in times to come they will with their children too.  In this segment and special edition, I will showcase 24  different cookies we traditionally make year after year together. Some vintage favorites and  newer additions from the next generation of  family bakers. Both families shown,  are my brother's from New York and his children, friends and family and in Florida, my children, friends and family.  In our annual cookie feast this year, we were lucky that all of us have SKYPE,  an online video cam web service, to bake together through our cyberspace online  and watch each other bake and get to  converse back and forth, it's awesome!  After we complete making  all our cookies each year, we send out a care package to one another the week of Christmas. All cookies freeze and travel (with some good packing) very well.  Mom's Italian cookie recipes have been with us year after year, generation after generation and her legacy and love continues through all of us that enjoy baking them.  These are just a few of the many different varieties I hope you all enjoy them as much as we do.

From the Sunshine State  Family Florida Bakers

Our Family Bakers From Upstate NY
 Click the name of the cookie for recipes below:
Soft Italian Old Fashion Wedding Tray Cookies

Italian Raspberry Filled Shortbread

Cafe Italian Almond Paste
Grandma's Italian Chocolate Spice

Italian Pizzelle Cookies

Italian Amaretto Butter Cookies

Chocolate Hazelnut Rum Balls

Struffoli an Italian Honey Coated Favorite

 Anisette Biscotti Regular or Dipped in Chocolate
Chocolate Covered Coconut Cream Rum 


Thin Mints
Peanut Butter Patties

Caramel Delites

Oatmeal Cremes
Lemon Coolers

Cinnabon  Roll
Dark Chocolate Brownie Bites
Nutella Ganache Milano

Bakery Style Chocolate Chips

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

Double  Fudge for the Chocoholic Cookies
 Coconut Lemon Pie Squares

Holiday Assorted Coffees, Irish Cremes, Latte, or Cocktail

Twas the night before Christmas Story and  Sugar cookies!

Nutella Hot Cocoa


 Wishing you all  a Happy Healthy  Holiday from our houses to yours!

The next Generation of little bakers our little Upstate New York  Cookie Helpers ( My "great" nieces, Samantha and Adriana!)
  A special thanks to our late mom Margaret Ann Fanelli Colenzo, where it all began, we love and will miss you  always!

Ciao,Happy Holiday's From Claudia 


Marinade for Lemon and Garlic Herb Crusted Pork Tenderloin

Lemon Herb Pork Loin Roast  done in a slow cooker, oven or grilled this is a wonderful flavored pork tenderloin!

                                    Lemon and Herb Pork Tenderloin
1 1/2 lb pork tenderloin
2 cloves of fresh minced garlic
1 tablespoon of honey
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon each  oregano, basil, parsley
pinch of rosemary
salt and pepper to taste
juice of one lemon
1 teaspoon of lemon zest
Place all ingredients in a large plastic bag and marinate overnight or up to 4 hours. 

NOTE:  If using a slow cooker, sear meat in a fry pan on both sides in some olive oil and butter till brown and flip over. Place browned pork in a slow cooker with 6 to 8 hours on low.
Oven Method:
Bake in oven covered the first 20 minutes,  in roasting pan with juices. Uncover and cook another 35 minutes  until browned, and pork is cooked all the way through.
Cook pork for 20 to 30 minutes.
Alternative, you can also grill this outside when weather permits, slice the tenderloin into pork loin steaks and cook on the grill till browned and thoroughly cooked on both sides.

How to Deep Fry A Turkey with Herb Flavored Injection Recipe

Deep Fried Turkey, I have to tell you when I saw them pull this bird out of the fryer, all I can think of was the Griswald Family Christmas Turkey from Christmas Vacation movie! I was so scared with no back up plan!

I was absolutely amazed how the juices ran out of this bird, and the smell of the marinade was mouth watering, buttery, juicy and believe me, it didn't last long! I was a newbee to the fried turkey world. A southern tradition I was not accustomed to at all. We always slow roast our turkey overnight and wake up to the aroma in the house on Thanksgiving morning. Since this year I had to work and couldn't cook, this idea turned out to be a fantastic alternative for sure!

My husband Nemo and son Curt were my Iron Chefs as they prepared our Thanksgiving feast of Fried Turkey this year!

Curt was checking to see if it was done, 14 pounds in 45 minutes, the fryer was set on 350 F degrees, he heat the oil first around 30 minutes before dropping this bad boy inside the peanut oil.

 Curt kept his eye on the heat setting  making sure it stayed a constant  350f degrees.

After watching several food stations on the best methods, my husband bought a rope, used around a 12ft  ladder and hang the rope over the top step through the middle of the ladder.He tied the rope to the hook that was furnished by the fryer and attached it tightly to that hook. This allowed them to lower the basket (also part of the fryer) to lower this safely into the oil.

Lower this very carefully as the oil can spill over, splash and can be very dangerous, never ever use a frozen Turkey there is way to much ice and water in it, the splash could be very dangerous. We used a fresh Turkey and took it out of the refrigerator for around 1/2 hour while waiting for the oil to heat to 350F degrees.

Preparation is very important getting the oil heated to 350F degrees,  if it's not hot enough oil the turkey will be greasy and not cook evenly.

Slowly lower the turkey into the oil. Very slow.

I was a wreck worried we would need a back up plan, boy was I wrong! My husband was so sure of himself and confident he was going to Ace this one!  I should have had more faith in him! Since this was his first time, I felt lost not being in the kitchen this year and allowing them to both take over for the holiday.... After this experience, I am loving it!
I know fried foods aren't healthy! But this was our first time trying out fried turkey.. and wow, was I impressed. This was juicy, flavorful, and like a huge chicken wing ....only thing missing was hot sauce ( smile). Of course, everything in moderation, I wouldn't eat this amazing bird everyday but I have to tell you, it was nothing like I expected. I thought it would be greasy and flavorless. However, after talking to several fried turkey lovers, I found out that the best way to prepare this was injection, marinading for three days, then deep fried perfection is in your future. Just an amazing taste!~

1 turkey (fresh preferable), 12-15 lbs, thawed blotted dry (frozen not recommended)
3 gallons peanut oil
3 cloves minced garlic
4 tablespoons of olive oil
1 stick butter
4 teaspoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper
1 large outdoor turkey fryer
Basket and hook included with fryer
1 turkey injector to inject marinade
In a food processor place 3 minced cloves of garlic, 1 teaspoon peanut oil or sesame oil, olive oil, butter, soy sauce and paprika. When butter has melted. This mixture is used to inject the turkey before frying.  Two ounces per pound of turkey. Inject the turkey about 5 inches apart, having the injector go in different directions several times for each hole made. the turkey.
If there is a removeable pop-up timer in your turkey take it out and throw it away. I use a roasting disposable pan to place the turkey with marinade injection in and refrigerate overnight, up to two days if you want too, you can also use a large bag as well.

Frying the Turkey:
Thirty minutes before cooking, remove the turkey from the refrigerator and let sit at room temperature. Bring the oil temperature to 350F degrees. Pat the turkey dry with a clean towel.
Put the turkey in the frying basket, breast side (neck end) facing down. With a hot mitt covered hand, stand away from the oil using the method above and carefully lower the turkey into the cooker. Allow the oil temperature  to stay consistant heat at 350F and continue frying, allowing 3 1/2 minutes per pound  this is what was recommended. Our 14 pound Turkey took 45 minutes to cook.

We bought our  peanut oil at a  local big box style warehouse  store, pour up to the line on the inside of your turkey fryer (or see your manufacturer's instructions for recommended quantity of oil). Please make sure there is no water or ice on this turkey for safety of exploding in the oil with water or ice. Again this turkey  is fresh, not frozen.
The turkey will turn a deep brown when done and will be crisp. The temperature in the thickest portion of a thigh should read 175 F using a meat thermometer.

Remove the turkey to a clean large Turkey pan. Then allow it to cool, a few minutes before slicing. That didn't happen here! They ate this bird so fast, I have never had a whole Turkey eaten that quick~

I don't think my son wanted to give up this beautiful turkey, he got  crazy eyes while slicing it (smile)!
They all devoured this whole bird, no leftovers!
 Hope you got some tips on how to make this great fried turkey. It's a definite make again recipe! Try it at least once you won't be sorry! Thank's to my two great Iron Chefs  for my wonderful Thanksgiving Day Turkey dinner! Happy Thanksgiving 2010, a very memorable one for me, as I didn't have to cook this year!!!!! Off to sleep, Black Friday is among us, and I have to be to work at 1:30 am and that's right now 4 1/2 hours from now...goodnight have at least a 15 hour work day tomorrow, hope your family had a wonderful holiday!
From our house to yours,  Claudia and Family
 @Whats Cookin Italian Cuisine

Try some side dishes