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Mini Coconut Almond Joy Biscotti Recipe

I love coconut almonds and chocolate. Well here is my Grandmother's biscotti recipe that usually calls for just anisette but these have gone to a gourmet version. I put those ingredients into her basic recipe and got another fantastic cookie recipe. Hope if you like the combinations you will love these too!

Mini Coconut Almond Joy Biscotti

6 eggs
1 cup oil
1 teaspoons almond extract
1 drop coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cup sugar
4 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup coconut put through the food processor

Mix all ingredients in a large mixing bowl using an electric mixer beating until dough forms a ball and is blended evenly.

Coating before baking:
sliced almonds for rolling 
In a small bowl:
1 egg beaten
1 drop coconut oil
Mix all together. You will brush that on before baking then sprinkle the dough with sliced almonds

Bittersweet melted chocolate or any good grade chocolate of your choice

Roll into long ropes about 1 1/2 inches wide, brush one side with egg wash roll in almonds flip the rolls and then add more almonds.
Bake on 350 until browned on the bottom and tops are set around 30 minutes. Cool, slice on the diagonal about every 1 1/2 inches wide and then toast them in  a 400 degree hot oven,  until browned watching to not burn them.
Drizzle chocolate over the tops or dip the bottoms in chocolate whichever your prefer.
+claudia lamascolo  Author

Italian Turkey Covered Sandwich Recipe

For those of you that have to work a job that is open on any Holiday like Thanksgiving for instance, here was my alternative for Thanksgiving Day dinner with no time to cook! Guess what ? If you didn't have to work you have leftover turkey maybe? Ok  then you can do this with your leftover Turkey ( if you were fortunate to have a big turkey dinner with leftovers!)

 This was for two people, my husband and I,  as we both work retail with extra long hours had to go to work at 2:00 pm to open our stores by 4:00 pm.  This didn't stop us from having a thankful and wonderful brunch. Was a totally appreciated brunch and still gave us much needed holiday cheer.

 This little dinner compromise was just perfect and we didn't get tired from that huge turkey dinner 
(that usually required a nap later ) 
We made it through the
 14 hour + work day without a problem!

Italian Turkey Covered Sandwich Recipe

1 pound of thick sliced oven roasted deli turkey
2 jars of turkey gravy
3 tablespoon white wine (Chablis)
2 cups frozen corn
1 small can sweet potatoes drained
1 pound store bought garlic mashed potatoes
1 whole loaf of Italian bread thick sliced 

Other quick food suggestions: boxed stuffing,  canned cranberries

Garnishes that are optional for sweet potatoes: marshmallows, butter, cinnamon, brown sugar

Place the turkey sliced in a oven proof  2 quart dish. Pour both jars of the gravy over it adding the white wine ( I used Chablis).

Add some butter to the corn to another oven proof dish. Heat in the microwave or oven.

In a medium sized oven proof dish, add the sweet potatoes and mash with a fork. Add 1 tablespoon each brown sugar, butter and a pinch of cinnamon and stir together. Add some marshmallows to cover the top. Bake the sweet potatoes until warm and top of marshmallows are browned.

Heat the store bought potatoes in the microwave until hot or make your own.

Place one thick slice of bread on the plate. Top with turkey and  some gravy poured on top of the bread. Add another thick slice of bread on top,  add more gravy.  Place the potatoes on the plate next to the sandwich, making a well in the center, add gravy to the center well.  
Of course you can make some stuffing from a store bought package as well to add to the festive plate.

Fresh Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookie Recipe

My future daughter in law Jenni brought our grandson Antonio over today and we decided to make something with fresh cranberries to kick off the cookie baking season. Antonio is now 9 months old today as we approach Thanksgiving, we are very grateful to have him in our lives! How fast the time goes by! 
Our grandsons first Thanksgiving and Baby's First Christmas. It's so exciting to see him look at the lights on the tree we put it up early we just couldn't wait.
He is such a joy to watch his first time for everything!

Fresh Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookie 

2/3 brown sugar
2/3 cup butter
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups oatmeal
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup fresh chopped cranberries blotted dry
2/3 white chocolate chips

Garnish with cinnamon and sugar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large mixing bowl beat sugar and butter together for around 2 minutes. Add the eggs, salt and baking soda. Stir in oatmeal and flour.

 Fold in the cranberries and white chocolate chips.

Bake at 375 degree hot oven on a parchment paper lined or silpat mat cookie sheet 10 to 12 minutes until set. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar while still warm. These cookies are wonderful warm or cold, they aren't overly sweet, feel free to add more sugar to your recipe if you like. They have the perfect blend of flavors.

Happy Holidays to everyone from Antonio Jenni and Claudia!

Peanut Butter Cup Banana Bread Recipe

What a great combination of flavors, bananas, chocolate and peanut butter. Best banana bread I have ever had. Love the  idea using peanut butter cups as it add just the right balance without having to figure a thing out!  When I was growing up I loved chocolate covered bananas. I still do. I also loved bananas in my peanut butter sandwich, what a perfect treat this is!

Peanut Butter Cup Banana Bread Recipe

2 1/2 cups of flour
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
In another bowl beat well:
1 cup shortening
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 cups mashed banana's
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
4 eggs

4 to 5 regular size peanut butter cups broken into pieces (use more if you like)

 In a medium sized bowl, add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, mix till all are incorporated. Fold the peanut butter cups gently into the batter last.

Break up the peanut butter cups into chunks and just fold into the batter at the end.

Pour into two well greased loaf pans or make muffins. Bake on 350 for 30 to 35 minutes or until brown and middle is dry when tested with a toothpick.

Southern Cracker Stuffing Recipe

A different kind of dressing that goes well with any meal. I like the sweet and savory flavors, this has it all!

 Southern Cracker Stuffing Recipe

7 cups coarsely crushed butter flavored crackers (around 5 sleeves)  reserving 1/2 cup
5 slices of bacon cooked and crumbled reserving 3 tablespoons of bacon fat
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/4 finely chopped celery
1/2 cup dried cranberries or chopped dates
2 cups chicken broth
2 eggs beaten
optional: pinch of cayenne pepper or use 1 teaspoon hot sauce
2 tablespoons minced garlic in olive oil
2 cups shredded cheddar

Butter a 2 to 3 quart baking dish. Cook bacon setting aside 3 tablespoon fat. In that pan add the garlic cook for 45 seconds.  Add the bacon and garlic to the pan.  Add the rest of the ingredients except broth and eggs and toss together. Whisk in eggs and broth. Add that mixture to the butter baking dish. Sprinkle top with cheddar and additional cracker crumbs  Cover with oil sprayed foil and bake for 40 minutes until its hot in the center and crisp on top.

Baked Potatoes and Cheese Mash Recipe

If you're a macaroni and cheese lover and love potatoes  then this one's for you! Here is the easiest side dish that goes with everything it's a potato and cheese casserole that taste like mac and cheese! It is the best side dish to go with everything and so fast and easy it will be your go to recipe often. The family will love this one I promise!

4 potatoes microwaved
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 cup heavy cream or use whole milk
4 ounces extra sharp cheddar cut int small slices
salt pepper to taste
sprinkle with dried parsley

Microwave the potatoes until soft. It's up to you if you like the skins left on,  I remove them.  Add the rest of the ingredients except the cheese and smash with a fork. Add the cheese, microwave again until the cheese is melts and just stir keeping the potatoes lumpy.
Sprinkle with dried parsley.

Slow Cooker Cranberry Spiced Glazed Meatball Appetizers

Here is the perfect appetizer with a little sweetness to kick off the holiday tables. This is an appetizer everyone loves, it's bursting with fall and has a little kick to it too! Hope you enjoy them. Keep them on warm in the slow cooker for all day appetizers especially on game day. Check out the recipe below!

Slow Cooker Cranberry Spiced Glazed Meatball Appetizers

Meatball Recipe:

4 pounds of lean ground beef 
4 slices soft bread crust removed
1 tablespoons Italian seasoning
3 tablespoon grating cheese
2 eggs
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
cayenne pepper to taste 
 Place the bread into a food processor until fine. Mix everything together in a bowl with the crumbs. Form into 1 inch balls and bake on a foil lined greased pan on 350 degree hot oven,  until they are  cooked around 35 minutes. In the mean time make the sauce.

Sauce for the Slow cooker

2 cans cranberry jelly
3 cups barbecue sauce
dash of cayenne pepper
1/2 cup bourbon or (orange juice if for kids)
2 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
pinch of cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg

Add all ingredients into the slow cooker. I use a liner so they don't stick. Add the meatballs, place on high for around 1 1/2 hours. They will keep all day on warm and gets better by the day with flavor.

Plum Tomato Garlic Pizza Recipe

Here is my favorite way to make pizza with many fresh ingredients. Homemade pizza dough, whole milk mozzarella, freshly slice plum tomatoes and a load of herbs and spices.

Every once in a while and more often for me than most, I love this version to make for pizza. Crisp think crust, with a buttery topped garlic and herb flavor, bring on the vino and a great antipasto salad and I am happy!

1 recipe of my homemade pizza dough or your favorite store bought
2 tablespoons melted butter
olive oil
grating cheese
dried oregano and parsley
fresh basil leaves torn
1 or 2 thinly sliced roma tomatoes
1 teaspoon minced garlic
granulated garlic to sprinkle on the rim of the crust
Whole milk mozzarella slices
cayenne pepper and black pepper to taste 

Stretch homemade pizza dough onto a round pizza pan that is heavy greased with shortening(it won't shrink). Let dough rise 1/2 hour. Sprinkle the edges with granulated garlic. Drizzle the whole pie with butter. Add a generous amount of grating cheese,
Sprinkle evenly with dried herbs all over the top. Put the slice tomatoes on top adding some minced garlic to each tomato. Add the basil to the tomatoes. Place slices of mozzarella all over the top to cover. Drizzle with olive oil. I add the cayenne and black pepper on top last.  Bake on a preheated 430 degree hot oven until mozzarella starts to brown and crust edges are browned.

Chicken Chili Cannellini Bean Soup Recipe

Here is a fast easy,  inexpensive way to feed many people in a group or family. This is packed with flavor and when it's rainy and cold very much a go to recipe for me. The flavor is somewhat like chili however the white beans, tomatoes and chicken makes this a whole meal. Served with cornbread or tortilla chips topped with extra sharp shredded cheddar cheese and sour cream it's all a match made in one heck of a great bowl of soup! Enjoy!
Make fresh beans from scratch click here

Chicken Chili Cannellini Bean Soup Recipe

1 package chili seasoning
3 large or 4 small boneless chicken breast cubed
1 large box or can of  chicken broth
6 cups water or more of water
1 large can diced tomatoes
1 can chilies
cannellini beans fresh cooked or canned (4 cans 15,5 ounce cans drained)
1 tablespoon garlic powder
salt, pepper to taste
cayenne pepper to taste
optional: add more chili powder and cumin around 1 teaspoon each or more to taste if like a stronger flavor
Garnish with sour cream, broken tortilla chips and shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese or make a big batch of  broccoli cornbread check out one of my delicious recipes click here.

In a large sauce pot of slow cooker, add all the ingredients and simmer on low until the chicken is tender and falls apart. Top of stove around 2 hours, slow cooker around 6 hours on high.

Optional: add boiled cooked rice or pasta to the pot of soup just before serving.

 Pasta Fasoli
Italian Style 3 Bean Chili
Italian White Chicken Chili
 Escarole, Chickpeas and Pasta
Chickpea Shrimp Diavolo
Grandma's Ham, Bacon and Lentil Soup
Depression Bean Soup
Best Split Pea Soup
Lamb Chili and Burgundy Wine
Italian Chili Mac

Pumpkin Tart with Pecan Crust Video Recipe

I love easy recipes and here is another one I just had to share with you guys! Three main ingredients in this filling. The crust has just a few ingredients too! I try to keep everything on hand. You can throw this together in no time and if your pumpkin lovers like us your going keep this one on the top of your list to make.
 The only thing I recommend you using is a removable bottom tart pan, this makes it easy to serve!

The removable ring on this tart pan makes it so much easier to bake and serve all in one perfect tart!

Prepare Pan:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Make crust below using a removable bottom tart pan that has been oil sprayed or greased.


2 1/2 cups crushed cinnamon flavored graham cracker (two packages of crackers) you can also use vanilla wafers or ginger snaps instead
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice or more to your taste
1/2 cup pecans
6 tablespoons butter melted
Place everything except butter,  in a food processor and blend together.
Mix the butter with the pecan crumb mixture.
Line the greased removable bottom tart pan with this pecan mixture into the pan. Bake for 10 minutes and cool. In the meantime make the filling.


1- 15 ounce can pumpkin 
1 can sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated)
2 eggs yolks
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
pinch of salt

Mix everything in a bowl and set aside while crust is baking. Pour into cooled crust and bake for 30 minutes or until set in the middle.

Refrigerate at least 1 hour in tart pan. Remove the outer ring before serving.

For more pumpkin recipes visit some of the links below:

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

Almond Coconut Chip Cookie Recipe

I think two of the best combinations are coconut and chocolate. These cookies are rich with flavor of both and the bonus is they are rolled in sliced almonds before baking with that toasted coating to finish them off to be the best cookie that bursts with all the perfect flavors that I love. 
Hope you like this one. Perfect for a cookie tray! Come check out the recipe below.

Almond Coconut Chip Cookie Recipe

2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup softened butter
3/4 cup each of brown sugar and white sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon coconut extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups coconut
2 cup chunk chocolate pieces or chips
1 1/2 cups sliced almonds

Preheat oven to 325 degrees and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper or use a silpat mat.

Beat the sugars and the butter together around 3 minutes till light.  Then add the egg, extracts. Add the flour, baking soda and salt.  Fold in the coconut and chocolate. Drop by tablespoonfuls and arrange the sliced almonds on the tops (I actually dunk the spoon into the almonds). Bake on lined cookie sheets until set around 15 to 18 minutes.

How to Cook Raw Shrimp and Recipes

Calling all shrimp lovers. This is how to make the perfect cooked shrimp. Once you've cleaned and boiled raw shrimp it's ready for your favorite dish and it doesn't have to be a chore.  Shrimp can be turned into so many wonderful dishes too. Fried, with cocktail sauce cold or any other style you have in mind. Here is the first steps to take to make sure they are the perfect shrimp
 for your recipe.

How to Cook Raw Shrimp

First step: Peel and devein the shrimp. Easier than you think.  Open the shell length wise on it's belly ( the inside that curved). Starting at the head end pull back the shell. Gently pull back the tail or leave the tail on if you prefer.

Second step:  Cut a slit on the back side of the shrimp from the head to the tail with a sharp knife.

Third step: Using the tip of the knife locate the vein place the tip of the knife under it to remove. Rinse under cold water. 
Note: the vein is actually the intestinal tract that can impact the flavor immensely.

How to cook shrimp: In a large sauce pot of water add a sprinkle of salt. Bring to a boil. Add shrimp. Cook in boiling water 1 to 3 minutes until the shrimp turns pink. Drain and rinse shrimp under cold water.
They are now ready to use for many favorite recipes to include fried, cocktail, broiled, grilled just to name a few. 

See some of the suggestions below recipe links:

Tuscan Roasted Brussels Sprouts Recipe

A great side dish with any meal! Tuscan Roasted Brussels Sprouts are so buttery and soft!   

Tuscan Roasted Brussels Sprouts Recipe

2 pounds Brussels Sprouts cleaned and washed or use assorted vegetables of your choice ( eggplant, carrots, green beans, broccoli, cauliflower and slices of zucchini green or yellow, peppers)

sea salt and pepper to taste

3 tablespoons butter 

juice of 1 fresh lemon

1/2 teaspoon minced garlic 

1 or 2 sprig of fresh rosemary

Optional: add a little cayenne pepper if you like a little heat and sprinkle with granulated garlic for more garlicky flavor.


Toss the Brussels sprouts in a medium size bowl with butter to coat evenly add minced garlic, rosemary, lemon juice and sea salt. Spread on a parchment or silpat mat lined cookie sheet.

Roast in a preheated oven at 400 degrees until soft when pierced with a fork around 35 minutes or browned.
Salt and pepper to taste.

Antipasto Submarine Salad Sandwich Recipe

My son Chad said to me this past week, no one except you and I eat the antipasto salad, maybe if you make it into a sandwich the family will eat everything in it.

We love a great salad and in a this huge submarine garlic toasted bread antipasto style, all I can say it wow he was right, they all loved it.  As packed as this was with meat, lettuce and cheeses, it went in a New York second! I had to make a second one! So not only was it a great idea, it worked like a charm and everything in our normal salad is in this wonderful sangwich(that's how we say it in New York)!  Thanks Chad!

Can you tell Chad loves Italian Food!

You can put what you like in it. I love my capicola and genoa salami and it's loaded! Triple layered full of delicious Antipasto flavors!

I sliced the bread in three layers, toasted it with olive oil, garlic, grating cheese and sprinkled with oregano.

Here's what we like in it:

Sliced Mortadella ( Italian style bologna)

Genoa Salami or Hard Salami
Sliced Mozzarella
Sliced Provolone sharp or mild
Sandwich Pepperoni
Peperoncini left whole or slcied
Sliced Plum Tomatoes
Romaine Lettuce
Sliced Black Olives cured, green or calamatta
Hot Peppers or Roasted Peppers
1 Whole loaf unsliced Italian Bread
Vinegar, olive oil
salt, pepper, oregano, basil, minced garlic, grating cheese
Optional: cayenne pepper

Other sandwich options: chopped artichoke hearts, prosciutto, boiled eggs slices, sliced cucumbers, chick peas, tuna, capers, green or black olives, cooked eggplant slices or zucchini,  sliced mushrooms, sliced onions, anchovies

Slice the bread in 3 layers, brush each layer with olive oil, add herbs, spices and minced garlic to each top layer. Sprinkle with grating cheese. Broil each layer a few minutes until browned, watching carefully not to burn.

You can add whatever you put into your salad on here. We even made the second one with olive oil packed Tuna on it. Delicious!

After you have stacked each sliced layer with whatever you like, drizzle with vinegar, olive oil, sprinkle with basil, oregano, grating cheese and mangia!

London Broil and Meatball Barley Soup Recipe

One of my favorite soups has always been beef barley. I don't make it often enough. This week I had such a craving for beef soup instead of the traditional chicken soup so I went out and got lucky enough to find this london broil on sale and was perfect for my soup. Not greasy like some of the lower cuts of meat, full of flavor and perfectly tender beef in my soup after simmering. I grew up using beef soup bones, using beef ribs or shanks most of the time leftover from whatever was in Sunday's sauce that was simmered for macaroni. We would use the bone in the sauce pot to make a beef soup. Sometimes that bone would be used more than once. Those were the depression days when grandma and mom knew how to stretch a meal. The beef bone sure would make a  rich tasty soup but not much meat in it.  This soup is packed with tender london broil and was very lean and flavorful.  I am so glad I made this beef soup as it brought back many fond memories of childhood when we had this often.

London Broil and Meatball Barley Soup Recipe

1 pound london broil
1 cup finger carrots
1 bag frozen mixed vegetables
1 8 ounce can tomato sauce
1 cup instant quick cooking barley
1 cup pastine
1 large bag frozen chopped spinach or 1 head of chopped escarole
1 celery stalk
1/2 cup grating cheese
 cayenne pepper, salt and pepper to taste 

Meatball mixture:

1/2 pound ground chuck
1 egg
1 1/2 teaspoons granulated garlic
1/4 cup Italian flavored bread crumbs
1 tablespoon grating cheese
salt, pepper, cayenne pepper to taste

Mix all together and set aside.

In an 8 quart sauce pot, fill with water 3 inches from the top. Add the whole piece of london broil, carrots, celery, frozen vegetables. Boil around 1 hour until meat is tender. Remove meat, cool, slice and place back into pot. Make the meatballs. Drop tiny rolled meatballs into the boiling soup. Add the barley, spinach, pastine and cook around 1/2 hour. Remove celery or if you like it leave it in there. We don't like the taste of it, just the flavoring. Continue cooking until meat is tender,  adding water if necessary if getting too thick. Taste for salt and pepper balance.  Stir in the grating cheese at the end.  Ladle into bowls and serve.

Chicken, Chickpeas in Tomato Burgundy Sauce Over Pasta Recipe

A great blend of Italian flavors. Fresh plum tomatoes, garlic, olive oil in a chicken with chickpea sauce over your favorite pasta. Sound good? It's not to be missed. If you love these little Italian  chick peas this is a dish worth making right now as you're reading. You won't be sorry.  The wine compliments the fresh tomato flavors. Love wine, add more. There is no right or wrong way just your personal taste. Adapt with any kind of pasta you like. We love the shells. The peas seem to fit perfectly inside them. A pearl of treasures. Ditalini will work fine along with bow ties I make what I have. Remember wagon wheel pasta another great choice!  Enjoy!

 Mom always made food so interesting and this is one of my favorite recipes she made when I was a kid!

Chicken, Chickpeas in Tomato Burgundy Sauce Over Pasta

4 boneless chicken breasts cut into chunks
2 -16 ounce cans or make fresh chick peas
2 1/2 pounds fresh plum tomatoes pureed in a blender
1 can tomato paste
1 empty can of tomato paste filled with Burgundy wine
pinch of sugar
salt and pepper to taste
cayenne pepper Optional
1 teaspoon each dried oregano, parsley (use 2 tablespoons fresh parsley if you have it, taste is much better)
1/4 olive oil
4 cloves crushed garlic
grating cheese or and mozzarella shredded

In a large 5 quart saucepan, add oil and sauté chicken pieces till brown on both sides. Add the garlic and cook in the same pan 1 more minute. Add the paste and wine. Add the tomatoes, herbs, spices and beans. I then add around 1 to 2 cups water or chicken broth and simmer on low for around 2 hours or till chicken is tender and falls apart.
Cook your favorite pasta to package instructions. Drain. Place the pasta in a plate. Top with the Chicken and Chickpea Sauce. Sprinkle with grating cheese or mozzarella. Garnish with more parsley.

+claudia lamascolo  Author