New Years Eve 2011,Tropical Pom Rum Runner

Tropical Pom Rum Runner 2011 Happy New Year Cocktail

Raspberry Champagne Cocktail  Last Year 2010 Farewell Drink!

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

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.

Crockpot Ham and Cabbage

When I was growing up, ham and cabbage in the crockpot was a staple in our home.  Mom was great at making inexpensive meals that would stretch our budget for the week. This one one that fed many of us. Being Italian we always had a houseful at dinner time.

delicious ham and cabbage slow cooked

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!! 


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  ....
Printable Recipe

Crockpot Candy Cup Bites

2 pounds chocolate , broken into small pieces (you can use  chocolate chips as well) if your in a hurry you can obviously use a microwave to melt the chocolate, I make these while wrapping presents, crockpot is perfect for me!~

1 1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
4 cups Cap'n Crunch cereal
4 cups crisped rice cereal
4 cups miniature marshmallows
Nuts Optional

Place candy in crockpot. Cover and cook on high for 1 hour. Add peanut butter. Stir in extract.

In a large bowl, combine the cereals and marshmallows. Stir in the peanut butter mixture and nuts until well coated.
Drop by tablespoonfuls onto lined mini muffin candy cups. Let stand until set. Store at room temperature.

Pecan Turtle Thumbprint or Jam Thumbprint Cookies

Just when I thought I made my last favorite cookie, I find another one I love I forgot on this large list of cookies, thumprints. This year I thought lets try a different filling. My husband loves the combo of caramel and chocolate. I tried one cookie filled with that mixture, the next thing I knew, the jam thumprints got only one pan made of them and the rest became the turtle cookies...I personally love the red raspberry , but he said nope turtles all the way!
3 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1  cup butter, softened
1/3 cup butter flavored crisco
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup heavy cream plus two tablespoons
1 egg yolk
Jams of choice, red raspberry, strawberry, blackberry, pineapple, lemon curd, orange marmalade, cherry perserves, etc. I  love these filled with 1/4 of a  caramel ( cut a whole square into four pieces),  mini chocolate chips, and  pecans, its like a turtle cookie, after baking for 10 minutes, fill with the turtle filling, put back into oven until caramel melts, around 7 more minutes.
Cookie Dough:
Combine all ingredients and mix together, until it forms a perfect ball. No refrigeration neccessary.

 Preheat oven to 350 F.
Roll into balls. With the bottom of a floured finger make an indentation in the center. Place on parchment paper. Bake for 10 minutes. Fill with jam, perserves or  my second favorite: add one cut piece of solid square caramels( cut in four pieces) , a few mini chocolate chips and  topped with chopped  pecans!  Then bake for another 5 minutes till set not browned. Cool, sprinkle with powdered sugar.

For 24 different cookies recipes click here...... Happy baking!

Festive Three Cheese Dip for Veggies

1 cup Sharp Cheddar
1/4 cup Cream Cheese
1/4 cup Colby Cheese
1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
dash of cayenne pepper
4 tablespoons half and half or heavy cream
red pepper strips, olives, parsley for garnish

With a flat beater in a heavy duty mixer beat cheeses, cream and spices,  all together till smooth and creamy. If too thick add more cream. Place in bowl, garnish with parsley, sliced olives and red pepper strips. Serve with crackers or veggies of choice.

Candy Bar Dream Chocolate Cake Recipe

You will need 1 8oz package of cream cheese, cool whip, 1 package of chocolate pudding, Baileys Irish cream, confectionery sugar, milk to make pudding,
Assorted Candy Bars (pictured, Musketeer bars, Snickers, Nestles Crunch, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, Kit Kat) others to include Mounds, Milky Way, Ferrara Rocher, Heath, Hersheys Almond, Malted Milk Balls, Butterfingers, Baby Ruth, etc.... just to name a few!
 1 baked favorite cake mix prepared by box directions  using a 13x9 sheet cake  greased pan  ( this is devils food chocolate cooled)
First Layer:
Cream cheese filling:
In a medium size bowl, blend together the first layer below set aside
1 package of cream cheese
1/2 cup confectionery sugar
3 tablespoons Baileys Irish Creme
Mix all together set aside.
Second layer:
1 package of chocolate instant pudding prepared by directions or regular cooked pudding

Third Layer Cool Whip Topping

Fourth Layer Candy Bars Crumbled

Bake cake, cool. Spread with cream cheese mixture on top. Add evenly across whole cake then the chocolate pudding on top of cream cheese filling. Spread with cool whip. Add crumbled candy bars in sections of each kind. One row of each kind. Refrigerate till ready to serve.

Fish, Chicken or Veal Francese Recipe

Every Christmas Eve its a tradition to make 7 kinds of fish and we usually have more varieties than that. Since Chicken Francese is a favorite in our house or Veal, I decided to make both, just make sure you fry the chicken first! Otherwise the oil will taste like fish and so will the Chicken. We were not disappointed with the fish, it was wonderful. So, this year I will be adding Fish Francese to the menu of seafood dishes. I made 4 pretty large pieces and two of us ate it all. The best results are with fresh ingredients.

1 pound white fish (flounder, perch, haddock, sea bass, mahi or other you like

For Chicken or Veal you must pound the slices for tenderness first Using one pound of either on

3 large eggs, lightly beaten
3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup corn starch
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 to 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, as needed
Vegetable oil for frying the herbs
1/2 cup mixed fresh parsley leaves, rosemary leaves, and small thyme sprigs ...(a wonderful flavored butter will be created.)
Additional kosher salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
4 tablespoons white wine
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, or to taste
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
Additional freshly ground black pepper

By adding the below, these are other Regions Styles of making this dish:
Canned Artichokes optional (Roman Style Dish )
Chopped Fresh Tomatoes optional (Roman Style Dish)
Capers (by pounding chicken or veal thinly becomes a Picatta) optional ( Bari Style Dish )
Lemon slices for garnish optional
Suggestion to serve with: 1/2 pound boiled pasta linguine or bow ties

Pat Fish dry if frozen with paper towels

Beat the eggs with the cheese in a large bowl to blend. Mix the flour with the salt and pepper in a shallow pie plate. Place the fish in the flour, cornstarch and turn to coat on all sides. Dip into the egg mixture and lift to let the excess drip off. Return to the flour and turn again to coat on all sides.Note: (When dipping the chicken, I dip in egg again and back into the flour, so it's double dipped)

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in large skillet on medium heat. Cook until gold brown 5 minutes per side. Transfer to large platter. Cover with foil.
Heat about 2 inches of oil in deep saucepan over medium heat.
Working in batches, add the herbs, until crisp about 10 seconds each side.
Sprinkle with salt.

Add the butter, wine, lemon juice, parsley to skillet and heat till bubbling. Season with salt, pepper. Add capers if using. Spoon a small amount of sauce over each piece of fish top with fried herbs. A great side dish is pasta with extra sauce.


Christmas Cutout Butter Cookies


This is just a perfect  easy tasting butter cookie, and basic recipe you can use anytime of the year~ I always make Palm Tree's for living in Florida, of course my NY State State of mind style and the rest of the world's style tree's (smile), just a little Tropical flair there...
Christmas Cutout Butter Cookies

2 cups all-purpose flour
pinch of salt
1 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Mix all together and refrigerate overnight or for at least one hour. Roll out cut into shapes of your choice and bake on a greased cookie sheet at 350 for 8 minutes or until edges are slightly browned.

For those that love them frosted:

2 1/2 cups of confectioners sugar

food coloring optional
1/4 cup of water
1/3 cup of white Crisco shortening
2 tablespoons of butter
2 tablespoons of dry powdered milk
Beat until smooth, add more water if too stiff, needs to spread easily.
Separate into bowls coordinate food coloring and flavoring in each bowl . Frost cookies let dry for about an hour


Ricotta Nutella Chocolate Frangelico Cheesecake

Life is good, Nutella, Frangelico, Ricotta, cookie cake an amazing it is! I usually don't give reviews on my own desserts, but this one is by far the best dessert, bar none,  I have ever if you like Italian Cassata or  Cannoli and you love chocolate and Nutella,  you can't afford to miss this one, seriously this is awesome and I can't wait till you try this one! It has the cruncy of cannoli but in a bar form !!!
I have no idea what took me so long to figure out this one, something like Cassata but with Nutella and then with a shot of Frangelico, if your a lover of these flavors like me, this will be your new found love of desserts~

2-1/3 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup cold butter cut up
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 egg
1 Tablespoon milk
1 Tablespoon Marsala wine

For the filling:
14 oz.  Homemade fresh Ricotta or store bought
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup mini chocolate chips
1 shot of Frangelico or other hazelnut liqueur
1/2 cup Nutella

In a large bowl mix the ingredients for the crust, I microwave the butter for 20 second, then add it to the dry ingredients. Mix this quickly not to over mix the dough.  I then use two pans that are fudge size tins to make two of these pans. Spread the dough around 1/2 thick on the bottom of greased  pans and refrigerate for 30 minutes. You will use the remainder of this dough to crumble on top. Refrigerate that separately.
Mix the Ricotta and sugar with a fork.
 Add the chocolate chips and mix again and then evenly spread it on top of the crust. Spread with teaspoons of Nutella over this mixture. Add 1/2 a shot of Frangelico over  each of the tops of  the two tin mixtures.
 Take the remainder of the crust and crumble it with your hands letting the pieces fall over the filling. Press it down gently  Bake in a preheated oven for 50 to 60 minutes at 320°. Serve it at room temperature with  real whipped cream topping ....or just plain...
A must try, keep this on your list,  you won't be sorry.... a great surprise for any occassion.....