Italian Tuna Skillet Recipe


Dressed up a little, this classic dish is no where near what you would expect in a tuna casserole it's better than ever Italian style. The flavors are rich and delicious almost Alfredo style but even creamier.  I love the  Italian twist we put int this one and the addition of the tuna, peas adds an abundance of flavors.
Quick and easy to make in a matter of minutes!

Italian Tuna Skillet Recipe

1 pound fettuccine
3 tablespoons olive oil extra virgin
4 garlic cloves minced fine
2 cans of Italian tuna packed in olive oil drained or Smoked Salmon works great!
1/2 cup sundried tomatoes or fresh diced plum tomatoes (optional)
1/2 cup Pinot Grigio white wine
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup fresh peas or frozen
1/2 cup Romano/Parmesano cheese grated
salt, pepper and red pepper to taste
1 cup chopped fresh basil for garnish

Cook the pasta in boiling salt water until al dente.
In a deep non stick skilled saute the garlic for 3 minutes with the extra virgin olive oil. Add the tuna and tomatoes stir to heat them through. Add the wine and cook one minute then add the cream. When bubbles start to form, stir in the cheese, add all seasonings to taste. Fold in the peas and then toss the drained hot pasta with the sauce. Sprinkle with more grating cheese and garnish with chopped basil. 

Spinach Vegetable Soup Recipe

I don't make many all vegetable soups recipes with the meat lovers in my home but this is one we love because of it's hearty bold flavor. It you love beans this one is for you!  It's also much lower in fat and will be favorable on your waistline!

Spinach Vegetable Soup Recipe

1 cup finger carrots
1 can drained corn
4 cups fresh spinach
1 small can tomato sauce 4 ounces
1 lb diced fresh tomatoes or use a 28 ounce can
3 tablespoons chopped celery
1 can kidney beans or black beans
1 can great white northern beans
1 can drained peas
1 can chick peas drained and rinsed
1 cleaned and cubed potato
1- 8 ounce package fresh mushrooms
1 medium zucchini chopped in chunks
Optional: 2 cups finely sliced cabbage and 1 minced onion

8 quarts of water or more if needed while cooking and evaporates
2 teaspoons granulated garlic, basil, parsley, oregano, salt and pepper or more to taste

In a 5 quart of larger saucepan, saute garlic in 4 tablespoons oil then add all ingredients. Simmer on low for at least 3 hours until all vegetables are soft and cooked.

You can boil and cook your favorite noodles in a pan and add the drained pasta to this pot after this soup is cooked,  if desired.

+claudia lamascolo  Author

Greek Roasted Eggplant Recipe



Full of flavor and not the fat! Eggplant roasted with herbs, spices and topped with feta cheese. Here is one dish I make often and even great in a sandwich with pita bread! 
 

Here is all you need:

Eggplant sliced thick lengthwise
Sliced plum tomatoes
Sliced bell peppers
Feta Cheese
Granulated garlic
Oregano dried
Salt, Pepper to taste
Olive oil
Lemon slices

Of course you can add what you like in spices. I usually add a little cayenne pepper for some heat.

Lay the eggplant on a prepared cookie sheet lined with foil, parchment or silpat mat.
Place sliced tomatoes, peppers and feta on top of the eggplant. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with seasonings to taste. Roast at 375  degree hot oven until the vegetables get soft around 20 minutes. Drizzle with freshly squeezed lemon.

Serve warm. This also taste great in pita bread.

Peanut Butter Chip Brownie Recipe


I found that these are just the perfect sweetness when your sweet tooth calls. Just a small wedge will satisfy you.  For the peanut butter and chocolate lovers,  this is a nice treat to indulge with that ice cold glass of milk or even some hot cocoa.

Peanut Butter Chip Brownie Recipe

1 cup butter softened
1 cup crunchy peanut butter
3/4 cup each brown sugar and white sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 eggs
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup chocolate chunks
1/2 cup peanut butter chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 13 x 9 cake pan or use a 12x9 brownie pan.
Beat the butter and sugars until creamy around 2 minutes. Add the egg one at a time beating after each addition. Then add the vanilla the peanut butter and mix till well combined. In another bowl mix the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt together then add this to the peanut butter mixture and stir until blended. Fold in the chips.
Spread into prepared pan and bake for around 25 to 30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean in the center.

Italian Amaretto Hot Toddy Recipe


Well here is Claudia's answer and remedy to a cold blustery winter's day to warm you up and great stress reliever. I am all souped out! Stress has taken over between work, weather and winter blues. Here is a comforting drink to warm you from your head to your toes and takes you to a cozier state of mind! It's been a tough winter here in 2015 for most of the country. With the flu season upon us this makes a great Italian hot toddy so whose in? If you want to warm your soul this one's for you where ever you are!

HOT TODDY GODFATHER STYLE   


 Italian Amaretto Hot Toddy Recipe



1- 1/2 ounces Amaretto or Frangelico Liqueur
1 oz white rum
1/2 teaspoon sugar
3 oz boiling water

Pour everything into a mug and stir until sugar is dissolved. 
Garnish with a wedge of lemon.

Japanese Steakhouse Mushroom Soup Recipe


Often referred to as clear Japanese soup in restaurants. I just love the taste of this. Mine has a little more flavor of soy, ginger and garlic. A great tasting soup with lots of mushrooms in it. If you like this soup it isn't exactly the same as those steakhouses but sure to satisfy in a pinch. Very easy to make and takes no time.

Japanese Steakhouse Mushroom Soup Recipe

8 thinly sliced mushrooms preferably shiitake
1 cup thinly sliced portobello mushrooms
6 cups chicken broth
2 cups beef broth
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 onion cleaned and cut in half
2 cloves whole garlic cleaned
whole carrots and 3 stalks celery
1 tablespoon large piece for flavor of ginger
3 tablespoons chopped parsley

Place all vegetables in the pot and simmer for 45 minutes on low. Strain all the vegetables out that you don't want to eat with a strainer spoon ( I remove the celery and ginger onion and garlic). Ladle into bowls served with chopped green onions. 

Note:  If making your own chicken stock use chicken breasts and boil until all the foam at the top is gone and been removed. Use chicken for another meal.

Nutella Heart Brownie with Frangelico Hot Fudge Sauce


Maybe you've heard of this 2 ingredient Nutella Brownie? I saw this recipe over at Diethood and then on Comfy Cuisine. I just had to try them right away and what better time than Valentines Day to surprise my dear hubby with such a decadent dessert and so easy too for me! I whipped up a batch of my hot fudge sauce and added Frangelico for that wow topping, then dipped my strawberry in the fudgy sauce to top it off. Thank you ladies for posting this recipe, it's a keeper! Stop by their blog and say hello!


Nutella Heart Brownie with Frangelico Hot Fudge Sauce 

4 eggs 

1 cup Nutella

Optional:

Powdered sugar

Frangelico Hot Fudge Sauce recipe follows

Dipped Fresh Strawberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Heavily grease the pan of choice (I used heart shaped small tins.) The recipe calls for an 8x8 greased pan.

In a medium size bowl beat the eggs for 8 minutes or until tripled in volume.

Heat the Nutella in a microwave proof dish then place in the microwave for 60 seconds, stir.

Slowly pour the Nutella into the eggs and beat until well blended. Bake on 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

I wait around 4 minutes and turn onto a wax paper lined cutting board. When cooled cut into squares if using  8x8 pan.

For the heart shaped version:

Place brownie on a pretty plate. Drizzle with the hot fudge that's still warm and topped with a freshly dipped strawberry. Dust with powdered sugar.



Frangelico Hot Fudge Topping:

1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

2 (1 ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate, chopped


1/8 teaspoon salt


1/3 cup water


1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla


1 tablespoon of Frangelico  (hazelnut liqueur)



Combine condensed milk, chocolate and salt in top of double 

boiler over rapidly boiling 

water. Stir and cook until chocolate melts and mixture 

thickens, about 10 minutes.

Remove from heat and stir in water, a little at a time, until 

sauce reaches desired 

consistency. 

Cool slightly and stir in vanilla add Frangelico. 

Store leftovers in a glass mason jar will keep 3 months in the 

refrigerator.

Slow Cooker Asian Style Beef Recipe

First thing that you need to buy is your favorite meat. Whether it is a melt in your mouth beef, pork or chicken this recipe will make you and your family and friends the perfect sandwich.  This recipe will be the best way you'll ever cook meat and to perfection every time. I use either a 5 to 7 quart crock pot, some great seasoning ingredients and then this special Asian sauce that makes a perfect blend of flavors so let's get started.


 Slow Cooker Asian Style Beef Recipe



You will need your choice of:



4 pound boneless roast rump or eye of round or 4 pounds boneless chicken breast or 4 pounds pork tenderloin

1/2 cup bourbon
1/2 cup beef broth or chicken broth
4 cloves finely minced garlic

Toasted Hard Rolls

Note: you can use all beef broth, chicken broth instead of bourbon

In a 5 or 7 quart crock pot place the meat of choice, garlic, bourbon and broth in the pot and cook until tender around 4 or 5 hours on high or 6 to 8 on high. Shred with two forks. Use a slotted spoon to drain the juice then add to a toasted hard roll. Add the sauce over the top and serve.

In the mean time get the sauce recipe below ready.

Asian Sauce:

1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup hoisin sauce
3 tablespoons ketchup
4 tablespoon hot chili sauce or chili sauce mild
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
1/4 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 1/2 teaspoons grated and peeled fresh ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons Chinese 5 spice powder
2 teaspoons sesame oil
salt and pepper to taste

In a small saucepan combine all ingredients, simmer around 10 minutes. 

Place the shredded beef, chicken or pork on the bun, add the sauce and serve.





Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese


Here is a really tasty dish that turns pasta and chicken into a whole meal. This is our go to recipe when we have leftover roasted chicken. I really love this dish using grilled chicken also when we have leftover grilled boneless chicken but rotisserie chicken work just fine too. Either way you will be asked to make this again and again for all those buffalo chicken fans!

Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
Salt, pepper and cayenne to taste
1/2 pound baby shells or elbow macaroni
1 1/2 cups shredded boneless chicken (I used a rotisserie chicken)
1 clove garlic, minced
3/4 cup Frank's hot sauce, divided
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon dry mustard powder
1 cup milk or half and half
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 1/4 cup  shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
1/3 cup sour cream
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs or ritz crackers crushed
1/2 cup crumbled bleu cheese

granulated garlic 

Instructions:


Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a large casserole dish.
Bring a pot of water to a boil, season with salt, and add the pasta and cook until al dente.
Drain and set aside.
In the meantime, in a large skillet over medium high heat, melt 2 tbsp. of butter and stir in the
chicken and garlic. Cook for a couple minutes then add 1/4 cup of the hot sauce and mix it all
together until well combined. Put the chicken mixture in a bowl and set aside.
Melt 2 tbsp. butter in the skillet over medium heat and whisk in the flour and mustard powder
until smooth. Then whisk in the milk and cream and add the remaining 1/2 cup of hot sauce
and stir until thick. Whisk in the cheddar and pepper jack cheese until melted and smooth then whisk in the sour cream until all evenly blended.

In the buttered baking dish, spread half of the macaroni in the bottom of the dish then top
with the buffalo chicken mixture and then the remaining macaroni. Pour on the cheese sauce evenly on top.
Put the remaining 2 tbsp. of butter in a small bowl in the microwave to melt. Stir in the panko, sprinkle granulated garlic over the top (or if using the crackers ) then add the  bleu cheese over the macaroni.


Bake for ­40 minutes or until browned and bubbly. I like to broil it a few seconds to get really brown on top.

Cutting and Roasting Butternut Squash Tips


One the the easiest vegetables I ever made. This roasted squash and it's not only delicious plain but the whole squash is only around 60 calories to eat.
I love that it's healthier to roast and a great alternative to boiling and cutting it up in little pieces to get this great side dish! See below what I did that made it so easy to cut through and then how quick it cooked. You can then make soups, freeze it or just enjoy it as a side dish.





Butternut, Acorn, Spaghetti Squash.  Calabaza Squash or Pumpkin
Sharp knife
Parchment lined cookie sheet

Options to add to the squash after roasted:
Cinnamon, Butter, salt pepper to taste

First microwave your desired squash for 6 to 8 minutes depending on size. Cool slightly and using a sharp knife cut in half. Remove seeds using a tablespoon.
Place the cut squash with seeds removed using a tablespoon and discarded. Place squash on a cookie sheet lined with parchment. Roast for 40 to 45 minutes until soft when pierced with a fork. After the squash is cooked just scoop into a bowl and prepare however you like or eat it plain.

Click here for a great Butternut soup recipe 
Click here for Amaretto Butternut Squash Recipe
Click here for  Apple Baked Butternut Cinnamon Squash




Swirly Marble Pound Cake Recipe



One of my all time favorite gifts for Christmas is to shop online for new kitchen toys, pans and gadgets. I got two of them last year and first thing I saw was this creative style pan to add to my large collection. Everyone complimented me on this cake it came out just perfect and we all love pound cake.
This was the perfect recipe for this pan.



It's called a swirly pan.  This pound cake came out so pretty I didn't want to cut it! It was really delicious and didn't need a bit of frosting. If you love pound cake you will love this version of my marble pound cake. 


A little dusting of powdered sugar is all that's needed. This can be served with various fresh fruit and sweetened whipped cream too and would make it another fabulous dessert!



Swirly Marble Pound Cake Recipe


2 cups butter softened
3 cups sugar
6 large eggs
4 cups flour
3/4 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup chocolate syrup

Powdered Sugar
Swirly Pan or Bundt Pan

 Using and electric mixer, beat the butter for 2 minutes. Add the sugar and beat for 6 more minutes.  Add the eggs one at a time until the yellow disappears. On low speed,  add the flour to this butter mixture alternating with the milk then fold in vanilla. 
Combine 1 cup of the batter with the chocolate syrup and stir until blended.

Heavily grease and flour your swirly pan or bundt pan. First start with yellow batter on the bottom, add the chocolate batter on top, finishing with yellow batter. Swirl with a knife. Bake in a preheated 300 degree oven for 1 hour and 40 minutes or until the toothpick comes clean in the center.

Cool completely on wire rack then dust with powdered sugar.


Cheesy Frankfurters Potatoes and Peppers Recipe


We use to go nuts for potatoes and hot dogs when I was a kid. My dad would always make them for us. Then when I had kids and we were on a strict budget I would make them. The kids went nuts when I added the blends of cheddar over the top. Easy throw together meal and they were over the moon for this one!



Small cubes of potatoes 
Hotdogs cut up you decide how many per family
Cheddar shredded cheese to cover the top
Bell pepper slices 
Olive oil for drizzling
Garlic powder
Cayenne pepper
Chili powder
 Salt and Pepper to taste

Optional:  Add  1 cup of sauerkraut on top with 4 tablespoons of Thousand Island dressing for a Reuben style casserole. Substitute swiss cheese instead of cheddar.

In a bowl add the cubed potatoes, cut up hot dogs, slices of bell pepper, salt, pepper and cayenne to taste.
Arrange in your greased baking pan to fit. Drizzle the top with olive oil and sprinkle with chili powder.
Bake on 400 degrees until the potatoes are browned on top and hot dogs begin to brown. Top with shredded cheese and bake till melted. ( add the sauerkraut before the cheese and dressing if using and  top with  swiss cheese last.)

Everything But The Kitchen Sink Soup Recipe


This soup gets it's name for various reasons. Number one, usually throughout the winter months a collections of frozen vegetables are in desperate need to cook up. Then I usually buy fresh vegetables and can't use them up fast enough. This is a soup that everything goes into the pot! We throw in whatever we have. You can choose what your family likes but in this case I have mixed vegetables, green beans, cannellini beans and the list goes on and on as you can see. Two kinds of pasta and rice. Now I probably just made the heartiest soup you may ever heat! Enjoy!


Everything But The Kitchen Sink Soup Recipe

4 chicken thighs or breast preferably boneless
1 cup instant rice
1 cup pasta for soup of choice cooked and drained (you can use broken up spaghetti if you have some laying around, I usually have a half a box in the cupboard)
2 cups tortellini cooked separate and drained
2 cups mixed vegetables
1 cup cut frozen green beans
1 10 ounce frozen package chopped spinach
1 cubed potato
1 cubed zucchini
1 can of cannellini beans
1 15 ounce can diced tomatoes
2 stalks diced celery with leaves
1 fresh basil leaf
salt, pepper, cayenne, basil, parsley and granulated garlic to taste
1 diced onion
4 quarts water
grating cheese

Optional suggestions:  finger carrots, sliced mushrooms, chopped fennel, kidney beans, shredded cabbage, sliced sausage, cubed ham, leftover steak pieces, mini meatballs, chopped escarole, kale or swiss chard.


In a large deep saucepan add the chicken and water. Simmer for around half hour skimming off the top as it cooks. After the broth is clear put everything in the soup pot except pasta, you can add the rice around 1/2 hour before it's completed. Simmer around 2 hours on low.
Add to your taste,  salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, parsley, basil, granulated garlic and 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese to the soup.

Add the cooked pasta of choice when soup is completely cooked. 

Take the whole chicken pieces out of the pot and when slightly cooled cube the chicken up and place back in the pot. Ladle into bowls, serve with more grating cheese 

Tomato Basil Spinach Soup Recipe




Another easy and ready in 15 minute soup recipe with a special addition homemade garlic cheesy croutons and fresh chopped spinach. Perfect any day of the week but comforting for me when you need to get that chill out because of the weather! Perfect to leave in a slow cooker after you make on the stove top too! 


Tomato Basil Spinach Soup Recipe

1 tablespoon butter 
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small finely minced onion
1 tablespoons minced garlic
1 1/2 cups half and half
1 28 ounce can tomato puree
 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
2 cups triple washed fresh spinach chopped
1/4 cup fresh chopped Italian style basil
salt, pepper to taste fresh ground 

Garnish:
Parmesan and Romano cheese blend
Garlic cheese croutons store bought or homemade see below

In a medium size saucepan, add the butter, oil. Saute the garlic and onion for 2 minutes. Add all the rest of the ingredients in except for spinach and basil and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the basil and spinach for 2 more minutes. Garnish with a sprinkle of cheese and top with croutons.

Garlic Cheese Croutons

(I make these first)

5 thick slices of bread cut in cubes edges cut off ( I use pumpernickel and Italian combined)
5 tablespoons melted butter
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon oregano
salt pepper to taste
2 tablespoons parmesan romano blended cheese

Toss cubes in a bowl with all the other ingredients. Place single on a parchment lined cookie sheet.  Bake at 350 degrees turning often for 15 minutes. Store in airtight container when cooled.

Raspberry 5 minute Heart Trifle Recipe


Here is a great way to use up leftover pound cake or regular cake, with some other simple ingredients you will have the perfect dessert for Valentines Day or "just because" for your significant other. Of course you can choose to make this for yourself too,
I won't tell anyone!



Raspberry 5 minute Heart Trifle Recipe

Here's all you need for a quick dessert:
(Make 1 individual serving below)

Store bought pound cake or your own leftover cake
1 small heart shape cookie cutter 
1 container snack pack size of vanilla pudding
Raspberry syrup, preserves or canned pie filling (or use any flavor you like strawberry, blueberry or use hot fudge, caramel and marshmallow toppings)
canned whipped cream
miniature chocolate candy bars cut into pieces
clear trifle mini cups or use shot glasses

On a cutting board cut cake into 1 inch high slices of pound cake or other cake your using. Using the cookie cutter, cut out heart shaped pieces of cake as many as you need for the bottom and top. Set aside. 
Add raspberry syrup, preserves or pie filling, a teaspoon at a time stirring into your vanilla pudding cup and still until pink ( I used around 1 tablespoon).
Layer starting with the cake, then raspberry flavored pudding, more cake. Top with more pudding, whipped cream. Arrange heart shaped cake along the top. Drizzle with a small teaspoon of raspberry syrup and garnish with chocolate pieces. 
Very simple dessert. Of course you can adapt to any flavors using strawberries, blueberries or other syrup and preserve flavors mixed in the pudding.

This was a quick pink heart Valentines Day dessert I threw together in 5 minutes. You don't have to be a baker to impress someone with this delightful dessert!

No Bake Chocolate Chip Mascarpone Cheesecake Recipe


If you love easy desserts here is one you're going to love. It's a rich delicious dessert that comes together in minutes!
Anytime I am in a hurry this is my go to dessert. Oh course if you don't want to add the chocolate try it with sliced
fresh strawberries or other fruit you love!
  This is a versatile recipe you will make again!


No Bake Chocolate Chip Mascarpone Cheesecake Recipe


1 - 8 ounce package cream cheese room temperature
1 - 8 ounce container of mascarpone cheese
1/3 cup sugar plus 1 tablespoon
1 1/4 cups heavy cream whipped and chilled
1 teaspoon marsala wine
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

3 tablespoons mini chocolate chips more for garnish
6 to 8 pie mini crust shells or use 1 - 9 inch pie shell cooked (graham cracker or regular pie dough)

In a medium bowl whip the room temperature cheeses together and set aside. Whip the heavy cream with the sugar. Blend the cheese and whipped heavy cream together then gently fold in the the  mini chips, vanilla and marsala wine.  Spoon into your favorite prepared crust or homemade pie crusts shells. Garnish with mini chips.