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Baked Fresh Pumpkin Donut Recipe and Antonio

Well this has been a fun month so far, making fresh baby foods for the grandson, then being his first Halloween we took him to the pumpkin farm this past week along to the Zoo where they had a great display of Halloween fun for the kids. Antonio seemed to have a great time at both. After coming home with some small and huge pumpkins I decided to roast one. I had so much pumpkin left over I froze some, gave Antonio some which he loved mashed and then made this delicious pumpkin donuts made with some of the puree. Keep reading for the recipe after all the fun photos! i wouldn't miss trying this recipe they're amazing. Dont worry if you don't have fresh pumpkin used canned.

These are great just shaken in powdered cinnamon sugar. Did I tell you they're also addicting?

This is my precious grandson Antonio at the pumpkin farm,  oh and that other good looking guy is +Curt Iffert my son sitting next to me,  you probably know him from Curt's Delectables.

 Happy Halloween 

This pumpkin roasted gave me over 9 cups of puree and I will be making lots of recipes with it! If you interested learning how to roast one and making pumpkin seeds click here

It was a great day watching Antonio with his first time picking out his pumpkin

Antonio, his mom Jennifer and me

Baked Fresh Pumpkin Donuts Recipe

In a large bowl beat:
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon each ginger, nutmeg
1 1/2 cup pumpkin puree either fresh or canned

Beat all together then add:
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups flour plus 2 tablespoons

Keep stirring until smooth.

Spray your non stick donut pan with oil. Add 2 tablespoons of batter for each donut.
Bake at 350 degrees in a preheated oven. Cook for 10 to 12 minutes. While still warm shake in a bag mixed with 1 teaspoon cinnamon and 1 cup powdered sugar. You may have to do that twice to coat well.

If your doing these for Halloween and want to be festive, I use vanilla to frost the donuts,  orange tinted vanilla frosting for that drizzled look along with chocolate frosting.

Try these other pumpkin favorites!
Fresh Italian Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin Pistachio Biscotti
Pumpkin Whip Dip Recipe
Glazed Pumpkin Spiced Breakfast Scones
Pumpkin Spice  Rum Cookies
Pumpkin Mini Turnovers
Baked Mini Pumpkin Donuts
French Pumpkin Mini Muffin Puffs
 Italian Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin Smoothie
Pumpkin Cake Mix Cookies
Pumpkin Soup
Tex Mex Pumpkin Corn Muffins
Pumpkin  and Sausage Bow Tie Pasta
Pumpkin Rum Shortcake with Caramel
Pumpkin Drop Cookies
Pumpkin Bread Pudding
Crockpot Pumpkin Spiced Latte
Pumpkin Whoopie Pies
Amaretto Pumpkin Cheesecake
Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars
Roasted Pumpkin Puree
Savory Pumpkin Cheddar Scones
Pumpkin Pie
Easy Pumpkin Cheese Pie
Best Ever Pumpkin Spice Ice Cream
Pumpkin Fritters
Baked Pumpkin Pecan Donuts

Halloween Half Moon Cake Mix Cookies

For all of you that know me and read my blog, I am from Upstate  Utica, N.Y. We have some of the best bakeries in the world there, at least to me. Here is a recipe I would usually not post, ( I always make the original half moon cookie from scratch and is over the top fabulous). 

In our  hurried society we live in, you can enjoy these in no time at all without running out of time to make specialty treats like this one. This recipe will come in handy for all us working folks and moms who just run out of time with making things for school functions, benefits, large parties and just because they're so good. Did I mention you use a cake mix? Oh yes and you can make all kinds of flavored cake mixes and also frost them to whatever theme is going on. Fast to be a quick fix and pretty darn good!

 I have to say these are definitely pretty darn good and the kids loved them! If you want the original from scratch recipe along with my how to video please click here

These are so easy I feel guilty posting them!

1 white (18 oz box size) or any chocolate cake mix if you want chocolate moons (I even made spice ones!) 
Note: do not use a mix with pudding in it.

2/3 cup oil ( I used vegetable)
1 can white frosting

1 can chocolate frosting ( I prefer homemade click here)
or make my recipes on the 
original half moons recipe site click this link to site
optional: tint frosting orange with food coloring

Sprinkles if using
Preheat oven to 350. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. Combine all ingredients in a bowl mix until well blended.

Drop onto the cookie sheet in 2 tablespoon increments. I then take the back of a spoon to make sure they are smooth on top and round the sides to make perfect circles. They spread out just a little and the perfect thickness too! Bake at 350 until middles are set.

Cool completely. Frost flat sides,  half white half chocolate.
Note: tinted frosting is using 1 drop red food coloring 1 drop yellow. 
Some other ideas: baby showers, Christmas, breast cancer benefits, 4th of July and flag colors. Remember you can make these to whatever functions you have just tint them and decorate them any way you want! Have fun and enjoy. They are really delicious and I can't wait for you to try these!

Original Half Moons from SCRATCH RECIPE

Best Halloween Roundup Halloween Foods
Witches Hats
More Halloween Party Recipes

Do you love pumpkin?

Try some of these other pumpkin recipes:

+claudia lamascolo  Author

Halloween Pumpkin Krispie Head Recipe Video

Fun to make and eat these orange colored rice krispie treats are a blast for the kids! Easy instructions and they just need to use a little imagination to get some Halloween fun into action. I left mine goofy looking (smile) try them with other color licorice too and make them all unique~! Check out the video for quick instructions on how to make these!

Tinted orange marshmallows

The mixture is ready to mold, just remember its very hot! Don't use your hands unless you cool it off to the touch first!

Using a meatball scoop I molded these into balls for the pumpkins heads! You can also put them on popsicle sticks.

Here's all you need:

1 recipe of Rice Krispie Treats or see below:

All I do is use 1 -10 ounce bag of marshmallows, 1 stick of butter. Melt the butter add two drops red food coloring and 1 yellow. Use more red for a darker orange coloring. 

I used an ice cream or meatball size scoop  to make round balls or roll them by hand when marshmallow mixture starts too cool, way too hot to handle when first made!

Tootsie rolls for the stems

Tinted green frosting I used canned with green food coloring.

Tooth picks to make green 

Candy eyeballs found at any dollar store or specialty cake shops
red licorice or whatever colors you like for the nose and mouth.

After making them into balls, add the eyes, nose, tootsie roll and frosting, make them any way you want just use your imagination! You can dip them in white chocolate or milk chocolate. You can also make a zig zag mouth. Red frosting like blood. I kept mine less scary the kids are young and it was a fun project. You can use popsicle sticks and place them into styrofoam for a party pops also!

For more ideas on Halloween fun see links below:

Best Halloween Roundup Halloween Foods
Witches Hats
More Halloween Party Recipes

Do you love pumpkin?

Try some of these other pumpkin recipes:

Apple Mummy and Cookie Halloween Idea and Recipes 2014

If you going to make something ghoulish then hopefully it's delicious too! Here is a apple galette the kids will love to help you make, so easy, all you need is some pie dough and a plastic knife to cut some strips. 

Easy, fun delicious and terribly ghoulish! I also make a cute little cookie monster for the littler wee ones to help out and be part of the fun. Happy Hauntings. Scroll down to see what he looks like all decorated with frosting. 

Note: the above recipe for small chocolate peanut butter round cookies and large click here

Apple Mummy Galette:

3 small apples peeled, cored and sliced mixed with 3 tablespoons sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon tossed together until blended.
1- 9 inch pie shell rolled into rounds homemade or store bought
2 blueberries or raisins for eyes.
Optional: canned or homemade frosting

Roll out pie shell into a round, mound the apples in the center. Cut all around the from the edge about 1 inch of down from the circle and put aside. Pull the sides of the remaining dough and fold up towards the apples. Roll out the remaining dough and cut into strips. Place strips around the face making a mummy wrapping effect. Place the blueberries or raisins in place for eyes. Bake on 400 until browned around 40 minutes. Cool and drizzle white icing on the mummy strips for a glossy effect or leave plain either was it gruesomely delicious!

For Cookie Monster:

Make small chocolate and large cookies for the body here is a cookie recipe I made Melting Chocolate Snowman
Add a red hot for the nose
The eyeballs can be purchased at any cake decorating specialty shop or online.
Lace licorice can be purchased at any candy store or online 

For more creative ideas click links below:

For more recipes see links below for Halloween Ideas:

Best Halloween Roundup Halloween Foods
Witches Hats
More Halloween Party Recipes

Copycat Captain Crunch Chicken Recipe

Many years ago maybe 15 years or so, my kids and I went to Planet Hollywood and ordered their Captain Crunch chicken. We were really amazed how delicious it was as it didn't sound that interesting to me. Well the boys loved it, so I tried many times to make it and deep frying (as all the recipes out there stated) made the coating a sugary cereal sticky and candy like mess. Well I finally made a method work for us and yes it's baked but everyone loved it,  though not the original way the recipe stated and to fry it. However the way I made it, this for sure won't stick to your teeth or the pan. It's tender, delicious and moist chicken with a little sugary bite to it. This is a keeper for us and hope for you too.

Here's what I did:

 Copycat Captain Crunch Chicken Recipe

4 boneless chicken breast cut into strips
2 cups of corn flakes put through the food processor to look like flour
4 cups Captain Crunch cereal placed into a large ziplock bag and crushed with a rolling pin with chunks still remaining.
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon black pepper
vegetable oil
parchment paper

In a large bowl place the chicken strips into the bowl and cover with milk. Place in the refrigerator for around an hour.

In a pie plate add the corn flake powder, garlic powder, black pepper and cereal that was crushed. Mix together.

 Take one piece of chicken at a time out of the milk. Roll each piece of chicken into the cereal mixture until coated on both side. Place on a parchment lined cookie sheet. When all the chicken is coated drizzle each piece over the top with oil lightly.

Bake in a preheated oven of 400 degrees until browned around 30 minutes do not turn.

Serve with honey mustard.

Wicked Witch Halloween Cupcake Recipe Video

One of my favorite movies is a Classic "The Wizard Of Oz".  After looking for ways to create that fun filled time in my youth I decided to recreate a little favorite memories from that film. Here is the Wicked Witch of the East for Halloween fun and these cupcakes are perfect to serve at any party.  I promise these are easy to make, just sit back and watch my step by step video and lets get this party started!
Happy Halloween 2014! From the good witch of the North +claudia lamascolo


Wicked Witch Halloween Cupcake Recipe Video

 1 batch of baked cupcakes (chocolate or vanilla baked and cooled.

 Use your favorite cake mix it really doesn't matter what flavor, you can even buy cupcakes already made.

1 bag coconut I used 1 cup with 2 teaspoons water and 1 drop green food coloring to make it tinted green.

Candy corn the yellow part cut off and cut again in half for the shoe buckle.

Peppermint sticks, these I found at the dollar tree small sticks cut in half make the perfect size for the legs.

mini tootsie rolls unwrap leaving on the paper microwave 6 seconds to soften.

1 can of white frosting

Spread the frosting on the cupcake. Add the coconut. Wrap the tootsie roll that is softened from microwaving around the halved peppermint stick and shape into a boot. Add the yellow candy corn for the buckle and stick into the cupcake. Repeat with the other half of your peppermint stick.

Have a safe Halloween.! Happy Hauntings.

For more recipes see links below for Halloween Ideas:
Halloween Foods
Witches Hats
More Halloween Party Recipes

Sicilian Pizza and More Pizza Recipes

Pizza is my favorite and a thick Sicilian Pizza style it the best!

A traditional go to family recipe we usually make every Sunday night which is family night. Every week my sons and their family come over to watch a variety of tv series we watch until almost midnight, one favorite being "The Walking Dead," a current popular series. This pizza we had this week was a very thick Sicilian Style pizza, the cheese may be on top or under the crust depending on how you like it.
 Neapolitan-Style New York Style Pizza is a thinner crust.  I didn't have to cook this in a very deep pan the cookie sheet I used was at least 1 1/2 inches deep. It's loaded with cheese.

 Deep dish pizza more Chicago style usually is filled with lots of Italian meats and surrounded by crust also thick and very good see link above for a grilled version.

 Of course there are bakery style Tomato pie pizza along with several other Regions that make many Traditional style pizza pies. French bread pizza is popular these days, in mine day we used English muffins and called it poor mans pizza, easy to make and quick using leftover Traditional Italian Sunday Sauce. Of course then there are Margarita Pizza which is fresh basil and fresh sliced of tomatoes, then White pizza with garlic and oil another delicious combination of flavors.  No matter what part of the world your in there is some kind of universal love for the pizza pie.

We love thin or thick crust as long as it's pizza and is loaded with lots of whole milk mozzarella.

Here are a few ideas below to get started on making your traditions in your homes.

Sicilian Pizza and More Pizza Recipes

(Click on links below for recipes)

Well there are lots more choices and topping you can choose to add to any of the above recipes enjoy your pizza journey have some fun and a delicious party!

Broccoli Rabe Sausage Mini Pizza Recipe

One of our favorite toppings for pizza is broccoli rabe and sausage. Here's what we 
like to prepare it. 

Broccoli Rabe is a wonderful Italian Green Broccoli that is sauteed in olive oil, garlic and pinch of hot pepper. If you love greens this is a gourmet pizza fit for a king with the addition of Italian sausage on homemade pizza dough.

Maybe you remember the story on Broccoli Rabe that I posted years ago? Read more about this famous green here.

Broccoli rabe recipe
1 pizza dough recipe or store bought
sliced Italian cooked sausage
marinara sauce

mozzarella cheese
grating cheese
olive oil
red pepper flakes optional

Spread the dough into 9 inch deep cake pans that are greased. Rise to 1/4 inch thickness. Cook the dough for 10 minutes on 400 degree preheated oven. Remove from oven. Spread the top with sauce, then cooked broccoli rabe, sliced cooked sausage. Sprinkle with grating cheese generously with mozzarella shredded.
Bake at 425 degrees until the cheese starts to bubble and brown nicely on top. Add hot pepper flakes if desired.

@Claudia Lamascolo Author

Peach Upside Down Cake Video Recipe

No matter what kind of fruit you like you can throw this cake together in minutes! It's easy and the perfect dessert. You can use fresh fruits or pie filling it comes out great every time!
Top it with whipped cream or coordinate a favorite ice cream and it will be the talk at the family dinner table.

Peach Upside Down Cake Video Recipe

1 box yellow cake mix made to package instructions
1 can peach pie filling (or use 4 fresh peaches tossed with 2 tablespoons cornstarch, 3 tablespoons sugar and 1/4 cup water)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 stick butter
Optional toppings: whipped cream or ice cream sprinkled with coconut or chopped nuts.

In a 13x9 pan add the stick of butter and place inside the oven to melt on 350 degree oven. While that's melting, make the cake to package instructions. Remove the pan with melted butter. Spread out the peach filling. Sprinkle with cinnamon more or less to taste. Cover with batter and bake at 350 until the cake is set in the middle around 35 minutes.

Note: you can use any kind of fruit, bananas, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries same method above adding more or less sugar to taste or use a can of your favorite pie filling.

+claudia lamascolo  Author

S'mores Stuffed Brownie Video Recipe

Another easy brownie stuffed with graham cracker, marshmallows and chocolate chips. If your a s'mores lover these will be a must try for you they are really decadent and a chocolate lovers dream as well!  Once they are cooled the marshmallows that look like they just on top blend into the top layer like magic!

They deflate as they cool and in the video they were still very hot so the first photo is the end result of cutting them into squares.

S'mores Stuffed Brownie Video Recipe

Here's all you need:
1 bag large marshmallows cut into half
1/4 cup chocolate chips
Your favorite brownie mix ( I made cake like brownies to the package instructions.
1 package of chocolate flavored graham crackers.
parchment paper

Line you brownie pan with parchment paper. Place the chocolate graham crackers to fill the bottom of you pan.

 Place a cut marshmallow every 1/2 inch. Press chocolate chips into the marshmallows. Pour the prepared boxed brownie mix to package instructions covering the marshmallows and grahams crackers.
Bake in a 350 degree preheated oven until set around 25 to 30 minutes.

Puff Pastry Red Raspberry Turnover Recipe

A very favorite pastry I just love! Red Raspberry filled flaky pastry is one of the best desserts for me. I tore one open to show you how delicious the inside is with this puff pastry dough. 

Of course if you prefer them with frosting you can just drizzle that over the tops. I like them plain as the filling and pastry are sweet enough for me.!  Enjoy!

Puff Pastry Red Raspberry Turnover Recipe


2 cups flour
16 Tablespoons unsalted butter
2/3 cup ice cold water
pinch of salt

Topping for turnover dough: 1 egg white or whole egg beaten with 2 tablespoons water

Mix 1/4 cup of flour with 14 tablespoons softened butter to make a smooth paste. Shape into a square approximately 1/2 inch thick. Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes. In another bowl mix the cold water, 2 tablespoons of butter, and the remaining 1 3/4 cup of flour and a pinch of salt. This will be an elastic, shiny dough. Knead for about one minute. Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes. Refrigerating the dough makes this easier to roll the dough without breaking it. On a lightly floured board, roll out the shiny dough 1/4 inch thick. Place the butter dough square onto the shiny dough and wrap the ends of the shiny dough to enclose the butter dough in an envelope .Roll out the dough envelope to 1/4 inch thickness and fold in thirds like a business letter.
Roll again in the opposite direction and fold in thirds again. Refrigerate 30 minutes and repeat the process twice for a total of six times of folding in the process. This will be making many of hundreds buttery layers. Cooling the dough is very important step. After folding the dough the sixth time, refrigerate the dough once more, and then it will be ready for use for any recipe that requires puff pastry. Tip: The oven must be preheated to a high temperature, 475 then turned down to 400 while baking, when the dough is placed in the oven. If the oven is not hot, the butter will melt and the moisture will evaporate before steam can form to separate the layers. You will end up with a tough non-flaky crust. For Turnovers roll out to 1/4 inch thickness into squares, fill with filling and fold to make a triangle. Pinch edges. Brush with egg whites to seal the edges. I like to freeze mine before baking for at least an hour.  Bake in preheated oven lowering to 400 degrees until browned on tops around 25 minutes.


3 tablespoons cornstarch dissolved in cold water 3 to 4 tablespoons
3 cups red raspberries Fresh or Frozen
2/3 cups sugar
pinch of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Heat on a very low heat medium saucepan the raspberries tossed with the cornstarch mixture. Stir until it becomes thick and jam like just a few minutes until fruit is softened and comes together. Takes around 5 minutes. Cool or place in refrigerator until ready to fill your turnovers.

Optional: you can frost them with powdered sugar/water mixture and drizzle over the tops.

Slow Cooker Italian Vegetable Stock Recipe

Here is a great vegetable stock I make lots of and freeze. You can use it in many recipes, stews, gravy to add ton of flavor to your dish no matter what its is. Great for any kind of soup as well. Strain this one for flavoring rice dishes or even pasta. Healthy and something quick for after school just add some boiled pasta, grating cheese and you have a delicious healthy meal for lunch or dinner. Many recipes require a full bodied broth well here it is!

 Slow Cooker Italian Vegetable Stock Recipe

1 onion coarsely chopped
1 leek chopped
2 carrots peels and chopped
2 celery ribs with hearts chopped
2 medium turnips peeled and sliced
5 large fresh beef steak tomatoes pureed
1 small bunch of Italian parsley chopped
1 teaspoon dried or fresh oregano
2 fresh basil leaves
4 cloves whole garlic
salt, pepper to taste
10 cups or more of cold water

Place everything in your slow cooker for 8 to 10 hours. Perfect for cooking overnight, ready in the morning to use.  For freezing: cool, strain and freeze in small container for future uses. You can also use this as the perfect vegetable base for any soup. Just leave the vegetables in there and add boiled soup pasta of your choice, add some grating cheese on top. Delicious!

If you want to cook on top of the stove, simmer around 2 hours.

Note: great base to add cooked rice, pasta, soup starter and chicken dishes.

Pineapple Pecan Bread Recipe

Here is a delightful bread that keeps that warm summer feeling alive all through fall and winter months, it has that perfect blend of tropical taste. Pineapple always seems to make me feel like I am having a slice of the the tropics. Here is the perfect quick bread for fall and gift giving around the holidays. Everyone always looks forward to receiving one of these breads at work. We just love them. They freeze well so you can make them ahead of time too. Perfect for that holiday baking!

Pineapple Pecan Bread Recipe

3 cups flour
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
3 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder 
1 teaspoon salt
pinch of cloves
pinch of nutmeg
pinch of ginger
1 cup oil
1 cup crushed pineapple drained and blotted with paper towel
3 eggs
2 tablespoons coconut or pineapple rum
3 eggs
1/2 cup chopped maraschino cherries well drained and blotted dry
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
1/2 cup golden and dark mixed raisins

Place all the dry ingredients in one bowl and the wet in another including pineapple and cherries. Add them in together gently mixing together without over mixing. Fold in nuts and raisins.

Pour into a heavy greased loaf pan, mini loaf pans or muffin tins. Bake at 325 preheated oven for around an hour or until light brown and toothpick comes out clean in the center.

Best Ever New York Style Bagels Recipe

It's been a little over 20 years since I thought about making bagels again. When my kids were little these were a once a week staple in our home but that was when we still lived in Upstate New York. In the middle of a snowy winter when I needed warm up the house with the oven on to keep the warm. There was no better aroma than making New York Style bagels with cinnamon and raisins.

When we moved to Florida I just never got inspired again to make them since it's always so hot here. Then today my son Chad my oldest son, inspired me. He always loads up with bagels when visiting home in Utica New York. He headed right for the Bagel Grove, buying a bakers dozen of 13. He is a huge fan of their bagels and claims they're the best, maybe until now (smile).

 He forgot that mom knew how to make them so here I am in Florida it's 87 degrees out satisfying his craving today. There will always be foods we miss and there is no doubt if your looking for great foods you always can count of our hometown to deliver that promise of having the best. This one's for you Chad, enjoy until you visit home again these will have to do!

Best Ever New York Style Bagels Recipe

1 1/3 cups lukewarm water
1 package yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons sugar
3 1/2 cups flour and more handling

Water for boiling plus 3 tablespoons of sugar 

1 egg whites or 1 whole egg beaten and toppings (if using them)

Note: toppings will not stick unless you brush them first with egg whites, then add what you like (ie: sesame seeds, caraway seeds, herb and garlic use 1 teaspoon mixed herbs along with 1 teaspoon dried onion or granulated garlic) or add Asiago cheese before baking, just on tops of the dough

 For Cinnamon Raisin: Add 1/4 cup raisins and 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons cinnamon added in the sugar / salt stage of this recipe. See photo below this is one batch of dough:

Note: I didn't split the dough in half
 these are two separate batches of dough.


Add the water and yeast together and sit for 5 minutes. Add next the sugar and salt. Mix in the flour until mixed together. Knead for 10 minutes, dough should be firm but a little moist, (add a few more tablespoon of warm water if too dry).

 Cover  with a dampened towel and let rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size.  

Punch down let rest around 15 minutes.

Roll dough onto a floured board into small balls approximately 8 to 10 pieces.

 Place floured finger in the center and make a 1/2 in diameter hole stretch as necessary.

Put  them on a cookie sheet that has been oil sprayed or on to parchment paper. Cover again with a damp towel for 10 minutes.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Bring a large saucepan of water (around 3 quarts) to a boil with 3 tablespoons of sugar.

Drop one bagel at a time in the boiling water, (don't crowd them) cooking for 1 minute on each side, (2 minutes on each side for chewier bagels).

Remove with slotted spoon and place on parchment lined cookie sheet. Brush with egg whites and sprinkle with whatever topping you choose or just brush them making them plain as we like them.

Bake at 425 degree hot oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden browned.

Note: you can make this dough, shape into rings and freeze it , thaw overnight and then boil them to make fresh anytime.

Eat them within 2 days or freeze  them for freshest results. Also when storing place in a paper bag lined with wax paper.

My son Chad said he doesn't have to fly home to get them anymore he loved them and so did my grandson Antonio! 

+claudia lamascolo  Author