Best Recipes and Favorite Photo's Viewed In 2011

Another year has past us by. The time goes by so fast. This has been a year of many kinds of struggles for the economy and life in general. I can reflect on one thing that makes me feel the same connection, food, family and the love of good food. I am so grateful to all my readers for their continued support, constant caring and the cyber world has touched my soul once again this year with all of you.
I want to extend my sincere thank you in 2011 for all the time you have spent commenting, reading and being a part of What's Cookin' Italian Style Cuisine.. Best wishes to all of you  and your families, to have a Happy, Safe, Healthy, New Year In 2012.

Thank you all so much for your continued cyber friendship, you all make blogging worth while...

Curt's Lemon Reggiano Lemon Fried Chicken

Puttanesca Sauce with Rigatoni

Upstate NY Feast Sausage and Peppers

Porterhouse with Italian Style Chianti Butter

24 Style Chicken Wings Baked and Fried

Baked Vanilla Donuts with White Chocolate Ganache

Blueberry Cream Cheese Bars
Pumpkin Cheesecake Cake Mix Bars
Stuffed Strawberry French Toast
Italian Cannoli Cake
Wishing you all a safe and healthy New Year, thank you for all your support in 2011... Looking forward to bringing in the New Year with all my readers... thank you,  thank you, thank you all so much!

Marinade for Lamb Recipe

Marinade for Lamb makes this so tender it's amazing!

 I am so blessed to have a close and loving family, our Christmas was wonderful, despite the economy and tough times, we have each other, that's what's important to us. The season was quite tiring for all of us, we all work somewhere in retail. Lucky for us we were all off this Christmas Day and shared making some new and wonderful memories.  One of my highlights this year working in retail was to be able to actually be part of the wonderful spirit some folks had to pay off layaway. I loved that idea so much I had to do it myself, I felt more than the rewards of just watching it happen when I did this gesture myself personally.  The expressions on peoples faces when I called them to tell them to pick up their merchandise and someone had been a secret Santa, just touched my heart so much.  So I  decided, I had to do this somewhere too.
 A customer in a local retailer didn't have enough money with her to buy what her daughter wanted. After she left,  I paid it off.  I can't tell you how good it felt. It is now added to my traditions every year, I am so happy that I made someones Christmas a little brighter this year!

Mediterranean Marinade

1/3 cup olive oil
2 lemons seeded and juiced around 1/2 cup ( if you don't have lemons use white wine which we use all the time for the leg especially)
1/2 cup fresh oregano chopped or 1/4 cup dried oregano  
6 garlic cloves (chopped)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup fresh parsley chopped or 2 tablespoon dried
2 tablespoon fresh mint or 1 tablespoon dried
4 pounds leg of lamb or chops

Place the marinade in a big enough container to hold the lamb. Marinate for 4 hours or overnight before cooking.
Grill, bake or fry.
Bake the whole leg on a slow  low heat in half the juices on 250 degrees for around 1/2 hour per pound.

A very Merry bunch and more than a few good men!
( Nephew Matthew, brother John, husband Nemo, son Curt, nephew Devin and son Chad on the end)
All with hearty appetites~ my handsome bunch! Who can resist such merry men?

My son Chad's favorite!  He learned how to cook it this year and helped me too!

We hope you had a wonderful Holiday season and we all wish you a very
Happy Healthy Prosperous 2012 !


Curt's Blueberry Pancake Recipe

One favorite meal of the day is breakfast, with all the pancake recipes out there we have tried, Curt always comes back to the one he grew up with. He definitely adapted this one to be even better, with the addition of lemon juice. The texture is light and crispier than the original. I just love having my kids learn the art of cooking and starting new adaptions of their own... what a great breakfast we all had together!


Leftover Panettone Recipe Ideas

We usually get quite a few boxes of Panettone for Christmas but we also make it! You can just eat so much of this in just toast! Recipe at the bottom for this amazing bread. Here are some recipes to use with leftovers too.
Actually we love this kind of bread in these baked breakfast brunch style dishes. We usually make so much we can't possibly finish all the Panettone with just making it as toast.


Fried Polenta Croquette Appetizer

Dipped in a fresh marinara I can make these a whole meal!  

Fried Polenta Appetizer:
1/2 cup of corn-meal
 around one tablespoon butter
two tablespoons grating cheese
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder or 1 clove of minced garlic
cold water
Slice of Gruyere, provolone or mozzarella cheese

For coating
 Italian flavored breadcrumbs
grating cheese
Olive oil or Canola oil  for frying

In a small saucepan boil( using package instructions)  measure  1/2 cup of corn-meal into boiling water and cook until stiff in consistency and before removing  from the stove top add a tablespoon of butter and and the grated cheese and mix well.

Pour onto a cutting board by spoonfuls using cold water to form some golf ball size rounds. These spoonfuls will be hot, the cold water will help to mold them.  On each of these croquettes place a very thin slice of  cheese, so that the cheese will adhere to the corn-meal wrapping around them. Then allow them to cool in the refrigerator on a baking sheet. When they are cold,  dip into a beaten egg, then into breadcrumbs mixed with more grating cheese. Fry in hot oil and serve with marinara sauce.

Saucy Eggs Breakfast

Taste like pizza~ this is a real Italian style egg breakfast!
1 dozen eggs
1 cup milk
1 pound Italian sausage or pepperoni
3/4 cups Italian flavored bread crumbs
1 16 oz jar or 2 cups of homemade sauce recipe 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
herbs, oregano, garlic powder, basil, parsley (dried)

 If using sausage, cook sausage until no longer pink, then drain. Set aside.

Beat eggs and milk, add crumbs and  pepperoni or sausage and pour into 13x9 baking pan that is lightly sprayed with cooking oil.  Refrigerate over night.
Preheat the oven at 350 degrees and bake for 1 to 1 1/4 hours or until set. Remove from oven.

Spread sauce on eggs and sprinkle with cheese and a little of each of the herbs. Return to the oven until cheese is melted.

Homemade Dad's Eggnog


Italian Christmas Manger Prayer

God of every nation and people,
from the very beginning of creation
You have made manifest your love:

When our need for a Savior was great
You sent Your Son to be born of the Virgin Mary.

To our lives he brings joy and peace,
justice, mercy and love.

Lord, bless all who look upon this manger,
may it remind us of the humble birth of Jesus,
and raise up our thoughts to him,
who is God-with-us and Savior of all
and who lives and reigns for ever and ever.


Buon Natale.... May the peace and spirit of Christmas fill your homes with love today and always~ 
xoxo  Claudia @Whats Cookin Italian Cuisine....

 Dad's Eggnog Recipe

4 cups milk

5 whole cloves
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
12 egg yolks
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 1/2 cups light rum
4 cups light cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Combine milk, cloves, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, and cinnamon in a saucepan, and heat over lowest setting for 5 minutes. Slowly bring milk mixture to a boil.
In a large bowl, combine egg yolks and sugar. Whisk together until fluffy. Whisk hot milk mixture slowly into the eggs. Pour mixture into saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly for 3 minutes, or until thick. Do not allow mixture to boil. Strain to remove cloves, and let cool for about an hour.
Stir in rum, cream, 2 teaspoon vanilla, and nutmeg. Refrigerate overnight before serving.

Italian Christmas Eve and Christmas Day Recipes

From start to finish there's always alot to look forward to every year! No matter what is on our tables, it's family that counts, being together and the love for good food! CHEERS to all my readers, thank you for being part of the foodie family in 2011. Blessings and Happy Holidays from our house to yours with love from What's Cookin Italian Style Cuisine... Buon Natale~
Mom's Shrimp Cocktail
Fried Calamari Appetizer

Tortellini Wedding Soup

Homemade Sausage or Pepperoni Rolls

Seven Fish For Christmas Eve Story
Broiled Lobster Tail in Garlic Butter

Red or White Clam Sauce

Francaise Fish or Chicken

Beer Batter Fish Fry

Grandma's Homemade Noodles
Italian Style Leg of Lamb

Struffoli Honey Balls
Cannoli Upstate NY Style

24 kinds of Cookies a one stop Cookie Shop

Assorted Coffees

Nutella and Ferraro Rocher Hot Chocolate

 Here are a few more favorites you may like!  Ckick on each link below :

Holiday Honey Glazed Ham
Fried Turkey
Brined Smoked Turkey Breast
 Traditional Italian Recipes and 7 Fishes
The Story of Traditional 7 Fishes

Old Fashioned Fruitcake
Christmas Jello Shot Cake
Nutella Frangelico Ricotta Cake
Fried Dough

Buon Natale and Buon Appetito~

Chocolate Covered Coconut Macadamia Rum Balls

A great combinations of flavors to add to your cookie or candy tray!

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 1/2 cups chopped macadamia nuts
3 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 cup rum
3 1/4 cups crushed vanilla wafers
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 pkg. (12 oz.) chocolate chips
1 cup coconut
Combine crushed vanilla wafers, 3/4 cup powdered sugar, cocoa and nuts.
Mix in the corn syrup and rum.
Shape into 1-inch balls;
Melt chocolate in the microwave stirring every 30 seconds till melted. Using two fork dip each ball into the chocolate, sprinkle with coconut and place on wax paper to dry
Store in the refrigerator for a few days before serving to seep the flavors of the rum.

Festive Zucchini Cranberry Bars

If you want a festive bar for your cookie tray you just found it! A fast and delicious bar cake!

2 cups sugar
1 cup oil
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups shredded zucchini leaving some of the skin or all for the green color to come through better)
1 cup coursely chopped in food processor fresh cranberries
2 cups flour
2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 cup oatmeal (regular or instant)

 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 zucchini and cranberries. Fold them in.  Pour into brownie size pan or 13x9 pan ( I like my cake thick and high) . Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

Rocky Road Cookies and Cream Peppermint Fudge

2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) semi-sweet chocolate morsels or white chocolate chips
1 cup chocolate cookies of choice I used oreo's just the cookie top part  chopped into small pieces
1 can (14 oz.)Sweetened Condensed Milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon peppermint
3 cups miniature marshmallows
optional 1/2 cup chopped pistachio or macadamia nuts
12 small peppermint puffs crushed  (these are easier to chew and not crunchy, soft ones so much easier on the teeth) or use 4 peppermint candy canes
LINE 13 x 9-inch baking pan with parchment paper and lightly spray with cooking oil.
MICROWAVE morsels and sweetened condensed milk in large, uncovered, microwave-safe bowl on HIGH (100%) power for 1 minute; STIR. Morsels may retain some of their shape. If necessary, microwave at additional 10- to 15-second intervals, stirring until smooth. Stir in peppermint extract. Fold in marshmallows, nuts and cookie pieces.PRESS mixture into prepared baking pan.

 Sprinkle with crushed peppermint puffs or candy canes. ( I placed them in a plastic bag and hit them with a rolling pin until fine chunks.)Refrigerate until ready to serve. Lift from pan; remove foil. Cut into pieces.Makes 48 pieces


Oreo Chocolate Creme Cookie Truffles

8 ounces cream cheese room temperature
1 whole package of chocolate creme filled oreo cookies put through food processor producing fine crumbs
 optional: 4 ounces white or semisweet chocolate, melted or roll into various suggestions below

 Place the cookies in a food processor and pulse until they are fine crumbs. Whip the cream cheese with flat beater in an electric mixer bowl until light and  add the crumbs pulse again until a sticky dough forms.  Place them in the fridge to chill for at least 2 hours. Roll into balls and then into your favorite toppings.
Use your hands to form the dough into 1″ round balls and place them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment.  Suggestions: Dip into melted chocolate, white, milk etc,  or just roll them into powdered sugar, chocolate cocoa powder, chopped walnuts,  toffee chips, mini chocolate chips, coconut,  chopped cherries or crushed cookies crumbs, sprinkles or colored sugars.  Store in the refrigerator.
Anyone that loves no bake cookies will love these cookie truffles.

Italian Amaretto Pistachio Fudge

It wouldn't be the Holidays here without make Italian Amaretto Pistachio Fudge! It's a tradition in our home!

A fast fudge that everyone will love Italian Amaretto Pistachio Fudge

16 ounces of white chocolate chips
1- package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
3- 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon Amaretto liqueur
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped pistachios
4 tablespoons chopped almonds
cooking spray
parchment paper
Garnish Choices:
  whole pistachios
red and green maraschino cherries
 green food coloring is optional (I don't use it)
 Line an 8-inch square with parchment paper.  Spray parchment lightly with cooking spray.
 Melt chocolate in microwave stirring every 30 seconds.
 Beat cream cheese using an electric mixer in a medium size bowl, beat until smooth. Add sugar little by little   and beat on low speed until smooth and not grainy. Add melted chocolate, extracts and chopped almonds, ( you would add the food coloring here) mix well. Stir in chopped pistachios.

Spread evenly in prepared pan. Garnish with additional pistachios, green cherries or red.

 Refrigerate at least 1 hour or until firm. Place on a cutting board. Cut into squares. Store in the refrigerator.

Italian Christmas Eve Baccala Cod with Pasta Marinara Sauce

Lightly flour then browned.  
The  marinara sauce will stick to the fish better and compliment the fish flavors

This is the process we used.
1- pound  dry salted cod/baccala fish . This fish will have tobe soaked in water and then changed out many times in a 48 hour period  and sometimes even up to 72 hours, checking and changing out the water until it is clear. If it's not  clear, continue to change out water several more times during the day until the water is completely clear.
1 pound pasta percatelli, linguine, angel hair or your favorite
1 recipe marinara sauce recipe or store bought
3 cloves minced garlic
Fresh chopped parsley and basil
pinch of red peper flakes
olive oil

If making homemade sauce this should be started when the cod is ready to fry.
Once the cod is fully unsalted cut it into one inch chunks. Place some flour in a plastic bag and shake the cod into the flour.
In a medium size pan heat oil ,on medium heat, add minced garlic to olive oil .
Add cod , browning on both sides, fish will cook fast.
Add  marinara tomato sauce. Simmer together very low heat, for 30 minutes.  Cook the pasta of choice in a pot of salted water to your taste, we like it al dente.  Drain, place some pasta on a plate. Top the pasta with some fresh ground pepper to taste, chopped fresh basil, a pinch of red pepper.
Pour sauce over pasta. Top with chunks of baccala, drizzle with olive oil. Garnish with fresh parsley and more sauce.

If you like this recipe you may also like these:

Christmas Roundup Recipes
Christmas Eve Recipes
Our One Stop Cookie Shop
More Italian Holiday Recipes