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Spinach and Cheese Calzone Recipe

A favorite calzone with Spinach and Ricotta. Loads of cheese and sure to please! Of course you can add meat to your meat lovers out there calzones. See below for some suggestions.

Spinach and Cheese Calzone Recipe

1 recipe of fresh pizza dough or at least 2 pounds of store bought
2 bags of fresh spinach or 2 10 oz packages frozen thawed,drained and water squeezed out
3 teaspoons of minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 cup Ricotta cheese seasoned with salt, pepper and 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
olive oil
slices of provolone cheese and slices of mozzarella cheese

You can make one large one or individual small ones.

In a large fry pan saute garlic in 1/4 cup of olive oil till golden brown, add spinach and cook till tender. Cool. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes

Take a handful of dough and roll out with your hand till flat. Add 2 slices of provolone cheese on the bottom of dough. Spread with Ricotta cheese.  Put spinach in the center of dough,  top with 2 slices of mozzarella. Roll up leaving each end open. Bake in 400 degree hot oven on a baking pan drizzle olive oil on the pan and on the top of calzones. Bake until golden brown. Make slices on top cutting open for easy of eating, serve with marinara sauce.

Optional: you can make the with whatever you like on top of the Ricotta cheese to include mushrooms, olives, sausage, pepperoni, chopped ham, peppers, eggplant slices, chopped broccoli or anything you like in making calzones

Grandma's Old Fashioned Shortcake Recipe

Making the biscuits fresh was always the best, Grandma always made them from scratch. We would never be satisfied with anything but that crunchy, buttery tasting biscuit that had a flaky goodness. Fresh whipped cream and cut strawberries the perfect dessert back in the old days and now! I can eat this for breakfast.


 2 cups all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter
3/4 cup milk,  half and half
pinch of cinnamon

In a bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Soften butter in microwave for 20 seconds, and then cut into the mixture with a pastry cutter or fork. Cut into a course mixture mix till pea size starts to form. In the center of the mixture, form a well and pour the cream into it. Stir in only until the dough is moist. Till dough holds together, do not over mix. Let sit for a minute while you prepare and flour your board . Carefully turn the dough out onto the floured board, and knead it just a few times until it is just holding together and not quite so wet. Take care not to work the dough too much, or your shortbread will not rise well.

Roll dough out on a floured board, cut rounds 2 inch inches thick using a round biscuit or donut cutter.

Bake till golden brown around 10 minutes on 425 degree oven. 
Cool split and serve with strawberries and whipped cream.

Strawberry Filling
1 quart fresh strawberries 1/2 cup sugar or less , rinsed and cleaned cut in halves set aside for around an hour. Add about 4 tablespoons of water.

Whipped Cream:
1 pint heavy whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup powdered sugar

 Beat together with electric mixer until soft peaks form.

Serve on top of cooled shortcakes with sliced strawberries and cream.

Flour Tortilla Raspberry Turnover Recipe

One of the easiest desserts I have ever made and so freaking delicious! You can really add anything inside these tortilla you like for a filling. Mine favorite is red raspberry. Go ahead and use your imagination! Since it's my birthday week I went and made these for myself and will make again and again so will you!

Here is what I used:

Low carb flour tortilla one per person
Triple berry pie filling 2 to 3 tablespoons
Powdered Sugar
Fresh Red Raspberries 

Options:  around 2 tablespoons of filling to a tortilla, Nutella, Blueberry pie filling, Apple Pie filling, Lemon curd, Vanilla or Chocolate pudding, Bananas, cinnamon and nuts, strawberries sliced with strawberry jam or any fresh fruit mixed with same kind of jam flavor, 1 tablespoon cream cheese and cubed pineapple)

Directions: Place the tortilla on a cutting board or clean surface. Add whatever you like to the center of the tortilla and fold into a triangular shape. 
In a medium size fry pan, melt butter. 
Place folded down tortilla into the melted butter and saute until brown on one side and flip. Brown on the other side.

Serve with same fruit for garnish, ice cream, whipped cream or just powdered sugar on top.

Italian Green Bean and Tomato Salad Recipe

The dressing on this makes these beans super delicious. You can add as much as you like to taste. Perfect spring or summer salad. Add some garlic bread and a glass of vino and you have a great little lunch for my dieting friends and this is so healthy!  Add whatever other vegetables you like. I will give you some suggestions below.

Cubed plum tomatoes or vine ripe tomatoes
Extra Virgin olive oil
Freshly cleaned and steamed green beans keep warm
Salt, pepper
Granulated garlic
Good grade Balsamic vinegar (mine is 18 year aged)
pinch of cayenne to taste
Grated cheese 

Optional additions that go great in this salad: sliced boiled eggs, chickpeas, sliced olives, feta cheese, mozzarella balls, crumbled bacon, any kind of cold cut meats, cubed provolone, sliced mushrooms, chopped broccoli or cauliflower, grilled eggplant or zucchini, croutons.

Place the beans in a bowl, top with cubed tomatoes ( or whatever else you like). Sprinkle with herbs and spices to taste. Drizzle with EVOO and Balsamic to taste. Sprinkle with grated cheese.  This is good cold or warm.

Baked Potato Wedges and Sausage Recipe

Easy throw together side dish in no time. Everything goes onto this parchment paper in the oven with no mess to clean. Next time I will throw in some peppers an tomatoes to give it some color!

 Baked Potato Wedges and Sausage Recipe

2 pounds sausage cut into small pieces ( you can use chunks of pepperoni also)
potatoes sliced in wedges
dried oregano, basil, parsley and granulated garlic 
Italian bread crumbs
Parmesan Romano grated cheese
Olive oil

Optional additions:  halves of plum tomatoes with bread crumbs, sliced hot or any color bell peppers, onion sliced, mushrooms sliced, eggplant, zucchini.

Place the sausage and wedges in a bowl and any of the optional items, coat with three to four tablespoon olive oil. Spread on the parchment paper.
Sprinkle evenly with all spices including salt pepper to taste. Top with bread crumbs, cheese and drizzle with more olive oil just a little.
Bake at 400 degrees until wedges are browned and crispy.

Slow Cooker Asian Chicken Broccoli Recipe

One of those easy recipe just throw everything in the slow cooker then make the steamed broccoli and rice when you get home from work! I love this recipe great with beef too!

I love using the slow cooker bags making clean up a breeze!

Slow Cooker Asian Chicken Broccoli Recipe

2 pounds boneless chicken breasts
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup soy sauce
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon chili flakes 
dash cayenne pepper
freshly cracked black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons minced garlic or 2 teaspoons granulated garlic
2 tablespoons sesame oil
4 cups steamed broccoli florets
White Rice cooked

Add into a bowl and mix (then into the slow cooker) broth, sesame oil, garlic,flakes, soy sauce, brown sugar and cornstarch.

Add the chicken whole boneless breasts TIP: ( I slice it up after it's cooked. The chicken stays juicy if left whole breasts)

Cover and cook on high 3 to 4 hours or low 5 to 6 hours.  Add the steamed broccoli and serve over cooked rice.

Chocolate Chip Pie Recipe

If you are a chocolate chip cookie lover than this is a must make for you or significant other! AMAZING pie you will make over and over again. Make someone swoon over this fabulous dessert!

Chocolate Chip Pie Recipe 

2 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour 
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup butter melted
2 tablespoons Rum, Kahlua or Vanilla extract
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1 cup nuts chopped,  I used pecans (walnuts, pistachio,  pecans or hazelnuts)

1 9 inch unbaked pie shell store bought or homemade

Preheat oven at 350 and bake pie shell for 10 minutes. Take out of oven.

While that's cooking. Beat eggs and sugar till light. Add flour butter and flavoring of choice.

Stir in chips and nuts. Pour into pie shell.  Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour.

When cooled, slice in pie wedges. Serve with ice cream or fudge topping and whipped cream. Sprinkle with chopped nuts or shaved chocolate.

Bundt Pan Roasted Chicken Recipe

I personally think this chicken came out great! It's juicy, moist and very flavorful. There are a few things I changed from what I saw online that others tried that worked great. Check out some of the tips below. I love using this chicken on top of salads, sandwiches like paninis and the best way is fresh out of the oven. If you are lucky enough to have leftovers count on the best 
chicken salad you will ever make! Great flavors and so tender.

You can also add the vegetables in the bottom!

Bundt Pan Roasted Chicken Recipe

Prepare the bundt pan with heavy duty foil and then parchment paper over the top hole of the bundt pan
Clean and wash the chicken
Place over the hole
Spray the chicken with Butter flavored oil spray
Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil

For Italian Style: Rub a fresh clove of garlic all over the skin of the chicken or if you like you can just sprinkle it with granulated garlic, salt, pepper, oregano, fresh chopped basil, fresh chopped parsley, fresh sprigs of rosemary,  2 - fresh lemons juiced, rosemary and Parmesan cheese all over the bird before baking. Note: always use fresh herbs when you can.

I add beer or white wine on the bottom and keep the pan moist.
You can also add lemon juice and water if you prefer.

Other Options to brush on top and assorted flavored chicken: 
Barbecue sauce, Soy Sauce and water mixed, Ranch dressing or Duck Sauce and grated orange rind. Or just sprinkle with whatever seasonings you like. This one has creole seasoning, salt, pepper, granulated garlic, cayenne pepper is what is in the second picture. The cooked one in the first picture is lemon and garlic roasted with herbs Italian style.

Roast the chicken on 425 degrees until crispy around 1 hour or until juices run clear.

Two Ingredient Coconut Rice Recipe

Rice Cookers are amazing. If you love rice then
you will love how perfect it will always come out. 

 Two Ingredient Coconut Rice Recipe

Use all unsweetened Coconut milk or you can use half water and half coconut milk (1 can)

Rice any kind

Using a rice cooker follow the instructions using coconut milk for whatever water content is instructed or half coconut milk and half water. Add the rice to instructions of  rice cooker. Usually (it's two cups of  liquid) milk or water and 3/4 cup rice but check for cooking instructions with your rice cooker. This makes enough rice for two people or more.


For regular cooking use 2 cups Jasmine rice or any kind you like.
1 cup (can) unsweetened coconut milk
1 1//2 cup water
dash salt
dash sugar

Rinse and drain rice.  Place in saucepan, rice, milk and water.  Bring to boil add salt. Cook for around 15 minutes with a lid with the lowest possible heat until water is reduced then fluff rice with  a fork. This makes alot of rice.

Italian S Cookies or Greek Cookie Recipe

There are many versions of these cookies. 

These are considered a shortbread cookie.

Thanks for stopping by:
Ciao Claudia

These cookies are traditional to the Island of Burano in Venice. They are sold unfrosted in bags.  Some folks these dip them in sweet wine. A perfect accompaniment for coffee here in America or with espresso.  Originally these cookies were only baked on Easter Sunday now they are available in Burano all year round. Many woman in that village would make the dough and bring them to the local bakeries to be baked and packaged to be sent off with their husbands that would be gone for long periods of time fishing and out to sea. These cookies hold up and travel well. They come in various shapes not only S shaped. Basic simple biscotti in ring shaped also with a nice crunch to them. They are never sold frosted in Burano. I chose to add a glaze and sprinkle as it gave it a nice bit of sweetness. Original cookies do not have frosting. This became a favorite of ours. 

Delicious Venetian Cookies
(Bussola Buranello Cookies) 

1/2 cup unsalted butter

1/2 cup sugar
Beat together until light around 3 minutes.

Add to the butter mixture:

4 large egg yolks
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons vanilla (I love lemon so I use 1  teaspoon vanilla and 1 teaspoon lemon extract) or of course you can skip lemon all together and use anise flavoring that's what my grandmother loved to use
2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon peel
Mix all together until the dough blends together in a ball. If the dough is too dry add a few drops of cream or water. All moisture comes from the eggs.
Wrap in plastic for 1 hour. Roll dough out into S shapes, making long ropes and bending the dough to shape into S forms.

Bake at 350 for 13 to 17 minutes. Leave plain or frost with a mixture of powdered sugar and water glaze then use sprinkles on top if you like.

Very buttery cookie with spices This version is a 

1 cup butter softened
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon anise or almond extract
2 1/4 cups flour
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract or lemon extract
pinch of cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg
Powdered sugar for garnish

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Cream the sugar in a large bowl with butter until light. Add all the rest of the ingredients except powdered sugar until ball forms.
Using around 2 teaspoons of dough roll into a log then form S shapes placing on cookie sheets. Bake until slightly browned edges form on the sides around 10 minutes. Cool completely then sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Note: these are more of a butter cookie on wedding cookie trays.

If you want the dense heavy version try this recipe click link below:

Orange Juice Italian Cookies Proceed making S shaped cookies using floured hands. Then frost.

These are another version made with baking powder.

Venison Fried Rice Recipe

For those Venison lovers that follow me here is my latest! 
You can use leftover Venison from even a stew, roast or any other version you may of made. If you don't have Venison meat use New York Strip Steak or any leftover beef. Check out my other Venison recipes below. I have quite a collection.

Venison Fried Rice Recipe

3 cups instant rice cooked and drained or steamed regular rice cooked
2 cups leftover cubed Venison or Beef
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup frozen peas and carrots mix
1 egg beaten

In a large fry pan melt butter. Add garlic and egg stir until completely cooked. Add rice saute until rice is browned around 10 minutes or more flipping rice to brown on both side. Add the meat and vegetable mixture. Continue to cook until browned rice and everything is heated just a few minutes. Remove from heat.  Mix the soy sauce and water together add to the pan and stir. Serve

Venison Merlot Stew
Venison Cacciatore
Venison Stew Old Fashioned
Fried Venison
Vension with corn potatoes and carrot stew

Copycat O'scugnizzo Pizza Recipe

I grew up on this pizza. The pizzeria is in Utica New York and still open to date, it was founded in 1914 and many ex Uticans immediately go there that moved away when they go back home to visit! This was my favorite hang out when I was 14 years old. The pizza is famous for being an upside down pizza (if you will) kind of interesting when it's assembled so different than than a normal pizza you're use to. The taste is nothing like anything else you have had before or the making of regular pizza.  For those who know it well and moved away this is as close as it gets to being the original. Most fans of this pizza who moved away may be a little critical but hey until you get home to get the real deal you will be pleasantly surprised. All comments welcome good or bad.

Here are the ingredients to get started on my copycat version:

My dough recipe or if you choose to buy it then 1 1/2 pounds of store bought dough. I use a cookie sheet which is in rectangular style and the sides are around 2 inches high on the sides of my pan.

For a  sausage pizza around 1 pound ( I hear they put it on raw and that will give the middles of the pizza much more soggy)
I prefer to cook mine first and not have soggy middles so you choose. You can use whatever kind  of sausage you like.

 For the sauce I use either Tomato Magic sauce or Don Peppino canned you can find on the internet. I have tried San Marzano crushed tomatoes which are awesome but not the same in flavor.

Use only whole milk good grade mozzarella sliced thick. I used Sorrento and sliced it around 1/2 inch thick.

Toppings choice suggestions: Sliced peppers, olives, pepperoni, eggplant, spinach, ricotta, mushrooms, anchovies, hot peppers, zucchini slices, shrimp and all kinds of cheeses you prefer like provolone, fontina, feta whatever your family likes. Make the combinations your family loves.

First I  stretch the dough out and use olive oil and flour so it stays in place, of course olive oil is the first choice on the cookie sheet but lard will keep it in the stretch position  and rise until its around 1 inch in thickness if you use that instead. (Also to eliminate calories stretch it out on parchment paper which is my personal first choice.) Either way the taste isn't effected because you will be brushing the dough with olive oil later in the recipe. 

 Then cook it at 430 degrees until its light brown on top around 15 minutes. In the meantime cook the sausage (although the original way is to add it raw first, then the cheese on the dough. Bake and add the sauce after its cooked)  if you are making it pictured above. Much more flavor using the raw version in which again I have heard that is how they make it.  Set aside cooked sausage in a bowl.  Remove cooked dough from oven. If you prefer a softer crust don't cook it first and that the the way they do it raw dough, that's how you get the soggy middles if you like them.  I love crispy bottoms pizza.

They have hot high heated pizza ovens and that makes a huge difference in the crust crispiness that's why I bake mine first also.

Now preheat oven to 475 degrees. 


Place cooked dough into a prepared pan  brushed with olive oil on the bottom. Add thick slices of mozzarella cheese on top of the dough. Add the cooked sausage or raw if you like and any other of  your favorite toppings you want to add (my favorite is the number 8 sausage pizza). Do not add the sauce yet.

Bake at 475 degrees until the pizza is cooked around 14 minutes or when cheese is perfectly melted. Immediately add the sauce on top straight out of the oven and a generous amount of parmesan romano cheese on top. Cut into 12 pieces and mangia! 
No it's not exactly like the best pizza in town but sure is close very close and will hold you over till you get to the best pizza in town!

Rum Butter Banana Pecan Cake Recipe

If you want an easy cake recipe that everyone raves about look no more. Rum butter and banana, a taste of the tropics will astound your guests, family and friends. I left off the garnish on these photos to tell you I didn't even need the whipped cream or pecans, this cake is awesome without it. But if you want pretty then scroll down to see the finished product!

If this doesn't make you want a piece of this nothing will! Light and moist you must try it take my word for it!

Rum Butter Banana Pecan Cake Recipe

1 box yellow cake mix
3 eggs
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 very ripe bananas
1 stick butter
2/3 cup milk with 1 teaspoon lemon juice added set aside
pinch cinnamon

Mix all ingredients with electric mixer till well combined and blended and bake in either a 13x9 pan or two square 9 inch pans.

Rum Syrup:

1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup banana rum
1/4 cup myers rum
1/2  cup sugar

In a medium saucepan, place the butter, water, sugar in the pan and cook until sugar dissolve around 4 minutes.
Remove from heat stir in the rum. Pour over warm cakes.

Top with whipped cream and pecans.

Leftover Italian Meat Sauce Goulash Recipe

Besides making meatball covered sandwiches, using the crushed leftover meat in Sunday Italian sauce, this delicious dish is a whole wonderful meal we all love. Ditalini cooked and beans in Sunday Sauce is comforting and the perfect Italian meal using up those leftovers.
Not an American goulash by any stretch of the imagination.

Leftover Italian Meat Sauce Goulash Recipe

2 cans cannellini beans rinsed
1 1/2 cups cooked ditalini drained
around 4 to 5 meatballs crushed 4 pieces of sausage cut up into pieces or more
1/2 cup red wine 
leftover Traditional Sunday Italian Sauce with meat
grated cheese to sprinkle on top
red pepper flakes

Boil pasta to package instructions al dente drain and set aside.
Crushed the meat in a bowl and chop the sausage links into small chunks. Add the wine, around 3 cups sauce and meat with rinsed beans to a saucepan.
Heat all together.
Stir in cooked pasta.
Serve with grated cheese on top and red pepper flakes.

Mushroom Ricotta Penne Pasta Recipe

The flavors are perfect together. Any pasta you make will do well with this hearty pasta dish.

2 cloves garlic
1/4 olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 lb fresh cleaned sliced mushrooms
black pepper and red to taste
salt to taste
Marsala wine
1 cup Ricotta 
1/4 cup Parmesan
1 pound Penne pasta or any kind you like

In a large fry pan, saute two cloves of minced garlic and 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil. Add two tablespoons of butter. Saute for around three minutes. Add 1 lb of sliced fresh mushrooms to the oil and garlic.

Add 1/4 teaspoon of black and red pepper, pinch of salt, and add 1 cup of Marsala wine. Simmer for eight minutes.

 In the meantime prepare pasta to package instructions al dente, reserve one cup of pasta water when pasta is done. Add the one cup of pasta water to the mushroom sauce and add four tablespoons of butter. You can add salt and pepper to taste at this time.

 In a bowl mix 1 cup of Ricotta cheese and 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese mixed together

Add cheeses to hot pasta and mix evenly in large pasta dish.

Spoon sauce over the pasta  and Ricotta mixture, sprinkle with fresh parsley, basil, grating cheese.