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Broccoli Rabe with Pasta Ceci (chickpea's) in a Light Wine Sauce

Chickpeas with fresh tomatoes, broccoli rabe, orzo, all in a light wine sauce,  a whole meal in one dish...

1 or 2 cans  14.5 oz cans chick pea's or dried 2 cups fresh chickpea's made(these were fresh from the crockpot overnight) I love chick pea's so you determine  at least 2 cups though.
2 cups of whole tomatoes pulsed in the food processor till leaving chunky or 6 fresh plum tomatoes pulsed  in the food processor
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup white wine (I use Chablis)
2 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon each garlic powder, oregano, basil, parsley
3 tablespoon extra  virgin olive oil
plenty of grated cheese
1/2 cup cooked orzo
1 bunch of broccoli rabe stems cut off, cleaned, chopped and boiled till soft around 25 minutes in a pan of boiling water, drain well and set aside.

In a large saucepan add oil saute garlic. Add chick pea's and drained broccoli rabe saute around three minutes. Add tomatoes, broth, wine, herbs. Cover and cook on very low simmer for a half hour.
In a small pan boil orzo pasta. Drain add at the end. Ladle into bowls serve with garlic bread and plenty of grating cheese.

Italian Style Baked Potato Soup

2 baking potatoes
3 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup mixed carrots and celery, 3 garlic cloves all together put through a food processor ( if you like onions add 1/4 cup of those as well)
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 cups chicken stock
2 cups water
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 1/2 cups instant mashed potato flakes
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon each dried basil, parsley, garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 cup half-and-half
Optional Toppings:
1/2 cup shredded Five Italian Cheeses
 8 oz chopped up prosciutto

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake potatoes for 1 hour, or until done. Cool. Remove skins.

Melt butter in a 3 quart saucepan over medium heat. Saute veggies from the food processor about one minute. Stir in flour, and cook 5 minutes to make a roux. Pour in chicken stock and water. Add cornstarch and mashed potato flakes. Season with salt, pepper, and rest of herbs. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 5 minutes.

Cube cooled  potatoes into 1/2 inch pieces, and stir into soup, along with the half-and-half, add worcestershire sauce. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, or until thick. Spoon into bowls, and garnish with shredded cheese, prosciutto.

Blueberry Cornbread Recipe

 Here is this mornings breakfast cornbread, hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup cornmeal plus more for sprinkling
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/3 cup oil
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup fresh or fresh frozen blueberries


Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray an 8” square baking pan with non stick baking spray or brush with butter and sprinkle with a tiny bit of cornmeal and set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, corn meal, baking powder, zest and salt. In a separate large mixing bowl, whisk together milk, eggs, vanilla, oil and butter. Add to flour mixture to wet mixture and stir just until blended. Sprinkle blueberries on top.
Pour 8 inch square baking pan. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes on 350 degrees or until tooth pick comes out clean. Serve with butter.

 This was a getaway weekend gone bad. The Hotel was in tripadvisor which we never read and had 1 star. We ended up with no refund a room that had a door that wouldn't lock so we left. Found another place but it was pretty much a disaster with all the money spent and wasted full night. Well, all was not lost at least we ended up going through Daytona and took a little tour through the Harley dealership found this statue of Elvis pretty interesting... spent the rest of the day eating crab legs and drinking wine. 

Update: 3 years later that hotel there was condemned and torn down. Thank goodness noone else got screwed like we did.

Broiled Lobster with Garlic Butter

Hello everyone~ I am taking a few days off this weekend, so I wanted to tell my viewers not to wonder why I wasn't posting so often.  Will have something to post on Sunday.

We are just going to take a little break and get some fishing in and staying in a Hotel on the beach.  It's the only vacation with hubby's new job we will take this year, so I am going to make the most of it.
 Tonight before we left I decided to make one last post before taking off. Lobster is our favorite. I actually found Maine lobster this week and was so excited I had to buy it, although very pricey. So much better than Florida lobster, of course its a matter of preference.

 Here's how we make it..
2  lobster tails approx 10 oz each
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon ground paprika
sea salt to taste ground white pepper, to taste


Preheat the broiler to 450.

 In a large saucepan boil enough water to cover 2 tails. When it is at a rolling boil add tails. Boil tails for exactly 3 minutes. If you have a 12-14 oz. cook for 5 minutes.

Take the tails out of water and let them rest for a few minutes to cool on a cutting board. Use a pair of good  kitchen shears,  to slit top of shell to ½ inch from end of tail. Not all the way . Pull the meat out of shell but leave the very end attached, that would be the end in the ½ inch you didn’t cut at the shell. Push the shell together and drape meat over top of shell carefully. ½ inch inside the shell and ½ inch outside the shell. Should your shell  not be stiff enough just drape over shell, the best you can do is  push it together. This will cause the lobster to puff up nicely when cooked.
Put the tails on a wire rack over a broiler pan in your preheated oven. Make sure and put about 1 cup of water in the pan below the rack. Put on middle rack of the oven.

 Baste tails with butter seasoning above.…Cook time should be about 10 minutes after the broiler is heated up to 450 degrees  on the middle rack and watch that they don't burn, if they cook too fast lower the rack. The tail will turn opaque white from translucent white. When the tails are done, the meat will be firm. Serve with garlic butter wine sauce below.
Garlic Butter Wine Sauce
3 tablespoons butter
 2 cloves garlic, minced
 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
 1 teaspoon dried tarragon
 1/4 teaspoon salt
 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/4 cup white wine
 1 tablespoon fresh parsley

Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Add garlic cook and stir until transparent, about 3 minutes. Season with tarragon, salt and white pepper. Increase the heat to medium, and stir in the white wine and lemon juice. Bring to a simmer, then whisk for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and sprinkle in parsley.  Dip lobster tail in sauce to serve. Suggestions to serve lobster with a salad, whipped potatoes or vegetable of choice. Enjoy!

Amaretto Panna Cotta

All I can say is "What took me so long to make this!" A perfect and elegant dessert..and so delicious!

2 1/4 teaspoons unflavored gelatin (from about 2 envelopes)
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons half and half
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon Amaretto
Pour 2 tablespoons of cold half and half into a small bowl. Sprinkle gelatin over; stir to blend. Let stand 5 minutes to soften gelatin.

Heat cream, remaining half and half, and sugar in small saucepan over medium heat just until bubbles begin to form around edge of pan, stirring to dissolve sugar. Remove pan from heat and stir in gelatin mixture, Amaretto, and almond extract. Divide cream mixture among six ramekins and cool to room temperature. Chill ramekins, covered, at least 4 hours or overnight.

Dip ramekins, 1 at a time, into a bowl of hot water 3 seconds. Run a thin knife around edge of each ramekin and invert ramekin onto center of a small plate. Decorate with sliced chocolate and berries.

Tea Party with Crumpets and More!

Tea and Crumpets (see below for recipe)
Whether you fancy sweets or appetizers we have a little of everything here to make your tea party perfect!

Pistachio Tea Cakes

White Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Chicken Parm Poppers

Shrimp Stuffed Mushrooms

Coconut Shrimp

Avocado Bruschetta

 Tea and Crumpets Recipe

1/2 cup warm water
2 teaspoons sugar or honey
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour or bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups milk

In a large bowl, stir the sugar or honey into the warm water. Sprinkle the active dry yeast over the top and let it sit until it bubbles, about 5 minutes.
Stir in the remaining ingredients. Cover and let it sit for about half an hour in a warm place.

Grease a griddle or frying pan and the crumpet rings or cookie cutters. Place the rings on the cooking surface and preheat all.
Pour about 3 tablespoons of batter into each 3" ring and cook over medium low heat until set, about 10 minutes. Do not cook too quickly. The top should be full of holes when they are ready to turn.

Remove the rings from the crumpets, turn, and brown the other side, if desired, for a minute or so. Repeat until all the batter is used.
When toasting make sure your using something to heat just one side when splitting. Serve with jam, butter or both.We love Earl Grey, plain, you can add fresh slices of lemon and honey if you prefer!

Hamentashen (Jewish Cookies) Filled Fruit

Hamentashen Jewish Cookies Fruit Filled

Not bad for an Italian, but need lots more practice here!

Hamentashen are triangle fruit cookies served and eaten during the Jewish holiday of Purim which falls this year on March 20th for two days this year. They are recognizable for their three-cornered shape, a symbol of “Hamen”, a villain in the Purim. a colleague of mine requested these for her birthday, I was so excited to learn about this cultural tradition and now it will be a regular for me on my cookie tray. A delicious treat...wishing Maureen many more happy birthdays and thank you for introducing me to this wonderful cookie!

1-1/2 cups butter or margarine, softened
1 cup granulated sugar (I also tried using half brown sugar and they came out great!)
2 eggs
6 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons baking powder
4-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon orange zest

several suggestions for jams would be apricot, blackberry, strawberry, raspberry, pineapple,  blueberry, nutella, poppyseed filling  or prune.

 In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the orange juice and vanilla. Mix in the baking powder, then gradually stir in the flour until the dough forms a ball. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 375 F . Lightly grease cookie sheets and set aside.

On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut into 3-inch circles using a cookie cutter with a pretty edging  or drinking glass. Place circles directly on a parchment papered cookie sheet. Spoon 1 teaspoon of filling onto the center of each circle.To fold into the shape of a hamentashen (a triangle) see below.

Slide two fingers from left hand under left side and two fingers from right hand under right side and two thumbs under the bottom of circle.
Bring all fingers (with dough) together to form a triangle and  pinch to close. I didn't pinch hard enough!

Repeat this process with remaining circles and dough.

 Note: The cookies may be refrigerated for an hour or for a quick 15 minutes frozen on the cookie sheets if desired to help retain their shape while cooking, oh by the way had I used this tip from a friend they would have kept their shape better!

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, until light golden brown. These are best undercooked slightly. Cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely. These cookies are a wonderful Jewish tradition and very very delicious even though they aren't perfect triangles!

Zucchini Dessert Squares

Moist, delicious and you will be asked to make it again!

The cake is rich in spices, loads of rich chocolate in each bite and then sprinkled with confectinery sugar, perfect for anytime. The kids will love it, oh yea its good for you lol!

2 cups sugar
1 cup oil
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups shredded zucchini
2 cups flour
2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 cup old fashioned rolled oats
Optional: Fold in last:
1 cup milk chocolate chips or raisins, pecan and walnuts

 Beat all wet ingredients in a large bowl till blended together.Place all rest of the dry  ingredients into the same  bowl and blend for one minute except the chocolate chips or raisins.. Fold in chocolate chips or raisins Pour into brownie size pan or 13x9 pan ( I like my cake thick and high) . Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes.
I just love this recipe its so easy!

Tuscan Bean Italian Pasta Stew

A very fresh bean stew.  This has green beans, zucchini, peppers, white beans, sausage, in a rich wine tomato sauce. Add ditalini at the end and this meal is a fullfilling treat. Mom use to use whatever leftover meat she had in the refrigerator. I considered this an Italian goulash. It has lots of leftovers in one pot with pasta.

1 28 oz can of whole tomatoes put through the food processor
2 cut up fresh zucchini in square chunks
1 whole green pepper sliced into chunks
1 lb hot Italian sausage cut into pieces
1 14.5oz can of white beans or fresh
2 cups fresh blanched or canned green beans
2 cups baby bella mushrooms
2 cloves of minced garlic
1 teaspoon each of parsley, basil, oregano, salt, pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup Marsala Wine
1 cup chicken broth or water, add more if it gets too thick
1/4 cup romano cheese and extra for on top
1/2 cup of ditalini pasta cooked
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
In a large saucepot add olive oil, garlic, peppers, mushrooms, zuchnini,  sausage and any leftover meat you may want to add, saute till sausage is browned. Add tomatoes, chicken broth, wine. Simmer for around 30 minutes on low. Add cooked green beans, white beans to the tomato mixture with herbs.  Just before serving add cooked pasta. Top with grated cheese.

March 19th St. Joseph's Zeppole Celebration

Every year I try to update my photo this is from 2017 and I used a star cookie tip to make them swirled. The filling I used is the last one on this page hope you like them these were beautiful!


Zeppole are special fritters, fried doughs, or donuts, made in expectation of the Feast of St. Joseph that falls on March the 19th. They are one of the numerous recipes of the Neapolitan tradition. There are several  recipes that varies by years past and present. Here are a few we have made and loved through the years in the family.

San Guiseppe is the day for zeppole. The pastry shops and friggitorie (fried food stands) churn them out in astonishing quantity, for eating Zeppole on the 19th is another of those traditions in Italy that must be observed. Despite their size everyone eats at least two or three, or even four, because the sweet, delicate pasta bigné, flavored with a hint of cream and one or two bits of candied cherry, is so good and a creamy delight.
The current, refined version of zeppole became a tradition quite late, perhaps towards the end of the 19th century. Among the [older] cookbooks  called  "Tortanetti di pasta bigné" (1865); the zeppole for San Giuseppe are instead made from a flour-and-water dough that's fried, and dusted with sugar and powdered cinnamon or dipped in honey. It's known that this traditional version was quite ancient. It's also known that on March 19th they were made by the ton in pastry shop and frying stall, as well as at home, and that they were offered to guests and whoever else happened to come by and you were really especially lucky to  celebrate  that day if you were named Giuseppe (Joseph).

Grandma's Roman Zeppole Version( with honey  she called them Crispelles):

1 pkg. dry yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water
4 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup raisins (soaked in Brandy till plump)

Canola oil, for deep-frying (she used vegetable oil)
Honey preferred or
Powdered Sugar

Mix dry yeast with warm water in a small bowl. In a large bowl, add flour, cinnamon, and salt. Make a well in the flour with a wooden spoon, and add the eggs, water, and yeast. Mix dry ingredients into well, little by little, until it reaches bread dough consistency (if the dough still sticks to the bowl, add more flour). If using raisins drain, and fold in this point.  Cover and let rise until double in bulk.

In a dutch oven, pour oil to a depth of 2 inches and heat to 375 degrees. Fry dough by the tablespoonful in hot oil (dip spoon in flour, if necessary, to keep dough from sticking). Drain on paper towels. Place zeppole in large bowl and pour honey(grandma's style) or powder sugar over them.

Traditional Pizza Fritta click here

This is a fried Italian dough, you can fry it and add anything on it you want to.  Some like it with cinnamon and sugar, confectionery sugar, regular sugar. Some spread with butter, peanut butter or jam. At Italian feasts, this is very popular Italian  fried dough in many States. 

Zeppole (fritter style)

1 tablespoon  vanilla
1/2 cup sugar, plus 3 tablespoons
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1 stick butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup water

1 cup all-purpose flour
4 eggs
Olive oil, for frying

Add the 1/2 cup sugar and cinnamon and stir to combine. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan combine the butter, salt, 3 tablespoons of sugar, and water over medium heat. Bring to a boil. Take pan off the heat and stir in the flour. Return pan to the heat and stir continuously until mixture forms a ball, about 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer the flour mixture to a medium bowl. Using an electric hand mixer on low speed, add eggs, 1 at a time, incorporating each egg completely before adding the next. Beat until smooth. If not frying immediately, cover with plastic wrap and reserve in the refrigerator.

Meanwhile, pour enough oil into a large frying pan to reach a depth of 2 inches. Heat the oil over medium heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 375 degrees.

Using a large tablespoon carefully drop about a tablespoon of the dough into the hot olive oil, frying in batches. Turn the zeppole once or twice, cooking until golden and puffed up, about 5 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Toss with cinnamon-sugar. Arrange on a platter and serve immediately.

Sicilian Style (My husband's backround)

2-1/2 cups self rising flour  
 1- 1/2 lb. Ricotta Whole Milk( 1- 16 oz and 1- 8 oz container)
4 eggs
1/2 cup sugar 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
cinnamon and sugar mixture (enough to coat after frying) 

Heat a dutch oven 2 inches deep with vegetable oil

Beat 4 eggs, the ricotta, sugar and vanilla extract. Mix well.
Add the flour and mix well. In case batter is a little stiff add a small amount of milk and mix well.
Gently drop by tablespoons into the hot oil. Drain on paper towels.
Roll freshly fried zeppole in cinnamon and sugar mixture or powdered sugar.

Mom's Favorite Cream Puff Recipe

Zeppole DI San Giuseppe (St. Joseph's Day Cream Puffs)

 Mom's Version (Bari Style) Creamy
1 cup water
1 stick butter
1 cup flour
4 eggs
1 teaspoon grated orange peel
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel

Beat eggs in bowl set aside. Measure 1 cup flour and set aside.
In a heavy non stick saucepan, pour 1 cup water and a stick of butter (not margarine) add zests and bring to a boil on medium heat, leave on heat and add flour stirring quickly with a wooden spoon until flour is dissolved and comes together.
Remove from heat, add eggs and beat very rapidly with the wooden spoon until a ball of dough if formed...Note its very important to beat this fast.
Spoon one tablespoon of dough or teaspoon for small puffs on an ungreased cookie sheet. Shape into logs for eclairs or round for cream puffs. Bake on 400 for 1/2 hour, do not open oven or puffs will not cook correctly. When browned remove from oven, cool, cut in half to fill.
You can fill with puffs whipped cream, Italian pastry creme, vanilla pudding. Eclairs also will have chocolate frosting on top filled with vanilla pudding
Remove to rack and cool completely. Cut slit in side of each puff and fill with below filling or sweetened whipped cream:

Ricotta Filling
3 cups Ricotta cheese
1 ¼ cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons grated orange peel
2 tablespoons grated lemon peel
1/2 cup miniature chocolate chips

Combine all ingredients except chips and beat with electric mixer about 10 minutes. Fold in chocolate chips. Chill in refrigerator until ready to use.

Or Make:
Cafe Style filling this is the one I use most often:
 4 large egg yolks
 8 tablespoons or 1/2 cup granulated sugar
 6 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
 pinch of sea salt
2 cups  whole milk
1/2 tsp almond extract
2/3 cup Ricotta cheese whole milk
2 tablespoons powdered sugar

 In a small heavy weight saucepan, beat the yolks, sugar, salt and flour all at once until all lumps are gone. Slowly add  milk and whisk to make a smooth consistency. Heat slowly over medium heat till this mixture thickens stirring constantly.

 At the very start, whisk slowly and then a little quicker as the cream starts feeling thicker. Wait for a simmering boil to appear. At this point lower the heat to very low as you finish getting the perfect cream consistency. As the whisk leaves a trail as it stirs, this is the indication that the cream is ready. When the pudding has thickened remove from stove and cover with wax paper not to form a skin. Refrigerate overnight or at least 4 hours.

In a bowl add ricotta, sugar and almond flavoring, stir till completely mixed. Fold in pudding. Fill cream puffs. Keep refrigerated. These also look nice with a mixture of powdered sugar and water glaze with a cherry on top.

If you click on Wikipedia, it will show modern versions of this creamy dessert, a confection made with pastry cream and chopped cherries. Here is a recipe from Laurie Alves @Foodslove for baked zeppole.

Mom's Pistachio Tea Cakes and Happy St. Paddy's Day Treats!

A perfect little dessert for St. Paddy's Day! Check out the other delights at the end of this post to include some wonderful assorted coffee's to go 
along with these little cakes!

Pistachio Cake Recipe
1 package (18-1/4 ounces) yellow or white cake mix
1 package (3.4 ounces) instant pistachio pudding mix
1 cup 7 up or other lemon lime soda
1 cup canola oil
3 extra large eggs or 4 large
3 drops of green food coloring
1 teaspoon almond extract
pistachios shelled
Mix all together with mixer till well blended. Pour into  greased prepared pans such as petite four pan, a tube, bundt, or cupcake pan. Frost with variations below and decorate with pistachio nuts.

Perfect little cakes for afternoon  espresso, tea, coffee, or cocoa!

For Vanilla Glaze:
2 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon melted butter
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 drop of green food coloring
mix together till smooth, add a few more drops of water till thick and flowing to pour over tea cakes

For Chocolate Glaze:
4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
3 Tablespoons butter
1 Tablespoon light corn syrup
add 2 tablespoons of water to each of these glazes mix thoroughly.

Standard Frosting for Bundt cakes and cupcakes
1-1/2 cups cold milk
1 package (3.4 ounces) instant pistachio pudding mix
1 carton (8 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed
1/2 cup pistachios, toasted
Mix pudding and milk together, fold in whipped topping. Sprinkle cake with toasted pistachio's.

Happy St. Patrick's Day : here are some other treats for today!

Irish Cream Liqueur
Baileys Irish Cream Pie
Irish and Other Assorted Coffee's
Chocolate Irish Whiskey Cake
Irish Coffee and Pistachio Cookies  2010

Regular Price $19.99