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Amaretto Cheesecake Cupcakes with Fresh Fruits

Fresh raspberries or strawberries you pick... Amaretto in cupcake tins making them little mini cheesecakes. Perfect for those summer outings or great take alongs for those road trips, just bring the topping in a separete bowl and add last, these travel well on ice always be safe and keep them cold.

This make around 24 mini cheesecake cupcakes. Perfect for a quick dessert that will wow your friend, co workers, or family. Great to take on picnics, will be an asked for recipe everytime.

The batter is really thin, it helps to use a gravy ladel to spoon it into the cups.

The graham cracker crust has a nice spice added to it by using the cinnamon flavored crackers.

2 packages 8oz  each of cream cheese softened
2 eggs
2 tablespoons Amaretto liqueur
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup sugar plus 1 tablespoon
1/2 cup crushed fine almonds
1 package of almond flavored cookies crushed or  cinnamon flavored graham crackers crushed (about 1 1/2 cups of crumbs.)
1 stick cut in half of butter or margarine melted (use only 1/2 the stick)

Melt butter in microwave or stovetop in a pan and mix melted butter into a bowl with crushed graham crackers and almonds ( I put mine into a food processor till fine for both the almonds and crackers). Mix all together till mixed. Add paper liners to cupcake tins. Put a teaspoon of mixtures into each cup and press down with fingers.
In a seperate bowl mix cream cheese, eggs, sugar and flavorings and beat till smooth and creamy no lumps.
Using a ladle spoon onto crust. Bake at 350 till the center is solid around 25 to 30 minutes.

Top with fresh fruits of your choice, suggestions would be strawberries, raspberries, peache slices. For a shiney glaze,( microwave a jelly that matches the fruit of choice) till melted and brush on fruits.
Printable Recipe

Game Day Spectacular Wing Showcase

The build up, the excitement of your favorite team making it to the finish of the season or even better win!  Whether your a fan of professional, college, or your own loved high school teams, its fun to root for your family, friends and admired professional stars. It becomes an addiction for love of your team. Hockey, football, baseball, soccer, basketball, track and field athletics, volleyball,  pool, bowling, swim,  motor car racing, boxing or a numerous many other sporting competitions, we are there to win! We all love to get together to partake in food and drink. It's all part of the fun on game day, so let's get your game on!

It's just in time for Superbowl! I am featuring 24 special  wing sauces. Grilled wings, baked or fried, there's something for everyone! We are wing and sports fanatics here. In the past year we have actually  experimented and adapted many sauces for our favorite past time to our taste, my son has been a wonderful inspiration in the kitchen helping me create new ways to enhance flavors with these sauces. For us Sunday is game day, but any day can be sports day!

 I wish all of you and your teams great success in 2011 Enjoy your kick off party with  inspiration to try some new flavored sauces and cook up some delicious wings and get your game on!

First up, a super variety that hits your wings out of the ball park ( no pun intended ).

Here's the lineup: (this is getting old huh?) Remember all highlighted foods are direct links to the recipes!

We start out with our table of wings fried, grilled or baked. First marinated  before grilling, coated before baking and naked fried. It's you preference how you want to prepare them for your game day. We do a variety of all three!

Naked Fried Wings

Grilled Wings(  marinated overnight)

Baked Wings

Homemade French Fries (this crinkle cutting tool  was my late mom's french fry cutter, it's been in the family for more than 50 years!) Just cut your potatoes thick or thin the way you like them (I am sure you have innovations on your food processors , but  I do hand cuts the old fashioned way for sentimental reasons) Just  deep fry in hot oil till brown,  sprinkle with seasoned salt or kosher salt, the perfect side for game day!

Grilled Wings with  Cajun Remoulade Sauce

Fried Spicy Garlic Marsala

Baked Wings with Lemon Pepper Sauce

 Fried Italian Gold Roasted Garlic Wings

Batter Fried  Buffalo Wings with Ranch Sauce

  Battered Fried Buffalo Wings

Baked with Mexican Salsa Sauce

 Fried Garlic Herb Parmesan

Fried Wings with Chili Lime Sauce

Baked Italian Chicken Wings  great with Garlic 
Herb Parmesan or Alfredo Sauce)

Grilled Wings with Bourbon Sauce

Baked Wings with Apricot Sauce

Click on any one of these below for the recipes pick your favorite wonderful dipping sauces as listed below:

You can choose to coat your wings with one of these sauces,  after using one of the cooking methods above.  Note: Dipping sauces that are very thick will not be a good coating for your wings and you should use separately for dipping your wings or garnishing.

We always need a dessert for that after the game victory or loss, this is the perfect happy ending!

 Italian Cannoli Filled Tarts

Wishing all teams continued success in 2011! Thanks for Reading!

Mexican Cornmeal Baked Chicken Wings With Pace Picante Salsa

Coating for wings:

2 1/2 pounds chicken wings
1/4 cup cornmeal
1 envelope taco seasoning mix
2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
3/4 teaspoon salt


 In a resealable plastic bag, combine the ingredients. Add chicken wings, a few at a time, and shake to coat.

Place in a single layer on two greased cookie sheet style baking pans. Bake at 350° until the wings are crispy or on the grill  if you live in an area you can grill all year.

Salsa sauce:
1 jar Mild Pace Picante Salsa
2 to 3 tablespoons minced cilantro
1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons lime juice
salt and pepper

Take 1/2 cup of pace picante salsa add lime juice. Serve with chicken wings, pour sauce directly over wings, or use as a dip,  garnish with cilantro.
Want more Chicken Wing Recipes?  Click Here

+claudia lamascolo  Author

Italian Sauce Wings, with Mushrooms Chickpea's and Peppers

One of my  late dad's favorites, easy and finger licking good!

This is actually a funny story. Dad use to make these all the time, long after his mom passed away. Every time he made them, he would say, the sauce isn't right until your fingers stick to the napkin after eating the wings. He literally would have tiny pieces of napkin stuck to his fingers, that's how he knew the sauce was thick enough and had that texture grandma made.  I will always remember that, so make sure you have thick, stick to your fingers sauce here!

2 bell peppers cut in strips
1 can garbanzo beans
1 large can of tomato sauce
1 teaspoon chopped parsley
1/2 teaspoon oregano
salt and pepper to taste
pinch of cayenne
1 lb mushrooms
1/2 cup burgundy wine
1 clove minced garlic
extra virgin olive oil
8 to 12 fresh or frozen thawed wings
In a large saucepan, saute wings  and garlic in 4 tablespoon of olive oil till golden brown on each side. Add garbanzo beans, and stir. Add sauce, wine, herbs, mushrooms to pot. Simmer at least 1 hour, till sauce thickens. Serve in bowls with Italian bread.
More wing recipes?   Click here

Cajun Shrimp with Linguine and Creamy Parmesan from Grumpy's Honeybunch

 Click > Cajun Shrimp with Linguine and Creamy Parmesan Sauce  The Life's and Loves of Grumpys Honeybunch
This is Shelby's version of a recent post on Chicken with Bow Tie Pasta and Creamy Parmesan Sauce Her adaption with shrimp and linguine is perfection and a seafood lovers dream!  That's her awesome picture above... please hop over to her site, just click on the recipe name and see her fabulous blog. It has crisp clear photo's, wonderful easy to follow recipes, a wonderful read and she is a constant supporter in the blogging world. If you haven't experienced  Click > The Life's and Loves of Grumpys Honeybunch your missing out~ thank you Shelby for posting this wonderful version. I can't wait to try your's. Shrimp awaits me Shelby, this is going to be awesome!

Grandma Victoria's Baked Chicken Mushroom Pomodoro with Penne Guest Post

I was honored when Cajun Chef Ryan asked me to guest post! He has so many wonderful creations, delicious recipes but most of all one of the kindness supporters in blogging! Everyone that reads his blog and follows him will see the genuine traditional foods values he has. Mardi Gras is huge and he has fabulous recipes in tribute of that festive occasion! Love the culture behind his blog. A great read, wealth of information and you will have a unbelieveable culinary experience...

Grandma Victoria's Baked Chicken Mushroom Pomodoro with Penne
Chicken sliced thin, with a buttery white wine sauce, peppers, cherry tomatoes, mushrooms sprinkled with Italian flavored bread crumbs, over penne.

If you would like the recipe and the scoop on how to make this,  go on over to ( Click on link) > Cajun Chef Ryan's Blog to see yours truly's guest post today, you won't be sorry,  you'll stumble across many  new wonderful recipes there he has created that will enhance your menu's!

Italian Style Shepherds Pie Recipe

There are some times in our lives we really need our comfort foods. Sitting here today with a new( what seems as a common obstacle to face these days) my wonderful fun loving husband had his job eliminated.  Not something you ever really are totally prepared for, downsizing, company realignments and job eliminations continue to be an everyday occurrence. We are thankful it wasn't worse news as we will recover from this a bump in the road of life. But in this country the most stressful times can be the most common life changes that we just need some comfort foods.  So, it's our turn. I am thankful we have been blessed for so long with many years of stable incomes, but now, we look to the future with hopes to see an end to this struggling economy.
Italian Style Shepherds Pie

Now your probably thinking, she's got to be kidding me Italian Shepherd's pie? Well, you know I had to adapt it Italiano style right?  Did I tell you garlic was good for you? Italian vegetables seem to always end up somewhere in our family here's our version, we love it and we are celebrating a new beginning. A new future with hope and we will get through anything because we together will find a way too. Family, good friends and determination not to let this get us down. So when times get tough,  the tough get cooking, just a little more frugal but it's great therapy!

Layered with zucchini, mushrooms, corn and mash potatoes fill this meat crust.

1/2 pound ground hamburger, lamb or turkey or use leftover cooked chicken ground in the food processor
1/4 cup tomato sauce
2 tablespoons chopped green bell peppers
1/2 teaspoon garlic fresh minced and powder
black pepper and salt to taste
1 tablespoon grating cheese
1 egg
1/4 Italian flavored bread crumbs
Mix this all together in any order all in one large bowl, then line a pie plate with mixture, bake at 350 till browned. Drain oil off the top by using several paper towels to absorb any grease and proceed to fill with recipe below.

2 cups of  Roasted garlic mashed potatoes, plain or Italian Cream Cheese, Herb Parmesan Mashed Potato Recipes ( just click on the highlighted and underlined to get the recipes)
1/2 cup canned or frozen corn
1/2 cup grated zucchini
1 1/2 cup shredded four cheeses
1 can, jar or beef flavored gravy
1/4 cup of sliced mushrooms
grating cheese

Fill baked meat crust with potatoes. Next add, zucchini, mushrooms then corn, season with a sprinkle of garlic powder, cayenne pepper black pepper, parsley and salt Add grating cheese all over the top. Top with gravy, add shredded cheese over the entire top and bake for 1/2 hour on 400 till cheese is brown and bubbly.

Italian Cream Cheese Herb and Parmesan Mashed Potato Recipe

Always goes great with Ham, Pork or Poultry~ not much to say these go great with every meat! Even leftovers are great to use in croquettes or topping for a Sheperd's Pie!

 5  creamy white boiling potatoes peeled cut up and boiled till soft
 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
 4 tablespoons sour cream
 3 tablespoon cream cheese
 1 stick of butter
1/2 teaspoon each, parsley, garlic powder, salt, pepper
1/4 teaspoon oregano, basil and dash of cayenne pepper
1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
 1/2 cup milk, heavy cream, half and half (light or regular any will work fine)
Italian bread crumbs and shredded mozzarella optional
In a heavy industrial mixer, add cooked potatoes, sour cream, cream cheese, herbs, 1/2 stick of butter and garlic. Beat till smooth, add a little milk at a time to reach desired consistency.  Top with a Tablespoon of butter and more parsley and cheese.Optional:( Sprinkle with Italian Bread crumbs mixed with melted butter for a crunchy topping)... Bake in the oven or microwave until reheated.

Cannoli Tarts Recipe

Mom was the best baker and her cannoli tarts were the perfect substitute when we had company. You can prepare these quick cannoli tarts that still has the same great taste. The cups are baked not fried!

A Perfect Dessert When Your A Cannoli Lover for a quicker version!!

You can make the shells ahead of time and just fill them later too when needed! How fun to be able to serve these at a shower, wedding reception or gathering.

Take a zip lock (above photo), fill the bag, snip the end off of the bag and pipe the filling in the tart.

Made with your favorite pie crust brushed with butter and Marsala wine

Tired of making shells from scratch , here's a quick fix to your cannoli craving. I thought hmmm,  lets experient on a cannoli baked, still with a great taste of marsala dough and in a tart form. So I decided to try this in cupcake tins, used mom's favorite pie crust recipe (Click Here). Then to get a good flavor on the dough, I brushed the molded tart crusts with a mixture of butter and marsala wine. Used the same recipe to fill with a cannoli filling and viola! These were quick easy and delicious!

Here's how I did it...

1 recipe of your favorite  homemade pie crust dough or store bought frozen or refrigerater pie dough
1 tablespoon melted butter mixed with 1 tablespoon of Marsala wine
1 cupcake tin (12 cup) medium size tray
1 can of cooking spray
Make dough. Spray each cupcake tart in your pan with  cooking spray, lightly coating. Take a small piece of dough to fit the size of each cupcake tin, rolling out around 1/4 inch thick. Use a fork to poke holes on the bottom of each cupcake tart. Brush each cannoli tart with mixture of butter and Marsala.
Bake crust until golden brown, around 20 minutes. Cool completely.
When cool, fill with cannoli filling below.

1 lb of Whole Milk Ricotta cheese storebought or homemade
1/4 cup or more to taste of mini chocolate chips
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons of quick cooking tapioca
Mix all together and refrigerate at least two hours. In the meantime. Dip each tart rim  in melted chocolate place on wax paper to dry. Fill each cooked tart shell. To our surprise on my first try, these were fantastic substitutes for cannoli pastry!
If you have leftovers refrigerate them.

Italian Parmesan Style Meatloaf

Little Italian Style Meatloaves perfect for game day and any party appetizers!

Make small individual loaves your kids will love these!
Italian Parmesan Style Meatloaf

1 1/2 pounds ground beef or ground turkey
2 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup dry Italian style flavored bread crumbs
1/4 cup tomato sauce or ketchup
1/4 grating cheese
1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon fennel seed (optional)
2 cloves of minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 diced tomato
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
2 bell peppers diced
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
In a large bowl, mix together ground beef or turkey, eggs, bread crumbs, grating cheese and sauce. Add oregano, basil, garlic powder, half the diced peppers and 1 diced tomato. Press into loaf pan or form individual ones in the shape of footballs, top with more add more grating cheese bake till crispy looking then 15 minutes before cooked add more fresh chopped garlic, mozzarella,( optional: peppers and tomato,) cover loosely with foil till cheese is melted and serve.

Bake in the preheated oven approximately 1/2 hour remove foil until browned and crisp on top.
Printable Recipe

Frosted Cranberry Orange Cookies

Frosted Cranberry Orange Cookies

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon of cinnamon (I used more since we love it!)
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
2 tablespoons orange juice
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups chopped cranberries
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Drizzle Glaze
1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest
3 tablespoons orange juice
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees 

In a large bowl, cream together the butter, white sugar and brown sugar until smooth. Beat in the egg until well blended. Mix in 1 teaspoon orange zest and 2 tablespoons orange juice. Combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; stir into the orange mixture. Mix in cranberries, walnuts . Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Cookies should be spaced at least 2 inches apart.

Bake for 12 to 14 minutes in the preheated oven, until the edges are golden. Cool. cookies on a wire rack.
In a small bowl, mix together 1/2 teaspoon orange zest, 3 tablespoons orange juice and confectioners' sugar until smooth. Spread over the tops of cooled cookies. Let stand until set.

Baked Italian Chicken Wings

Baked Italian Chicken Wings

Healthier and a delicious alternative to fried! Most of the time we enjoy ours this way, I marinade them, then use one of our many styles of dipping sauces! These go great with these wings... take a look at the many sauces to choose from Click HERE

2 1/2 pounds chicken wings (if using frozen thaw ice remove and dry off with paper towels)
In a large bowl add:
3 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 cloves of minced garlic
pinch of black pepper and cayenne pepper
Toss wings to coat, cover with plastic wrap for at least three hours or overnight.
Place in a 400 degree hot oven on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper bake turning often till crispy.

After wings are  completely cooked and crispy looking,  immediately brush with sauce below:

2 tablespoon melted butter
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 tablespoon parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Drizzle or brush sauce over hot crispy wings and serve...

Want more wings recipes?  Click here

Game Day Wing Spectacular