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Ham Escarole and Bean Stoup Recipe

Here is one of those comfort foods. Ham, escarole and beans, a thick than soup called stoup. I especially like to make on a rainy or cool day. Grandma always had a pot simmering on her old fashioned gas stove. I can still remember her lighting that stove with a match. Memories of years gone by, they go by so fast. Those days keep her memory alive.  Thanks for stopping by, Claudia

I don't care what you put in the pot with meat and boiling water,  I love soups like these. No it's not a typo, it's called Stoup. Stoup is a soup and stew combination because it's so thick and hardy. This is so meat, escarole,  full of beans, and vegetables it's thicker than just soup, just perfect for those cooler days when you need something to warm you up but also comforting for most of us on a budget it will feed many family members if you'll share it.  All you need is a dense loaf of rustic Italian bread and you will be getting the best experience!

Ham Escarole and Bean Stoup Recipe
1 Ham bone leftover with meat still attached (from your Holiday spiral ham or any other kind ham bone)
Water around 4 Quarts
1 cup of diced potatoes
1 bunch of escarole washed chopped and soaked making sure all the dirt is out ( best way is to boil it for 5 minutes)
1 cup finger carrots
3 or 4 chopped plum tomatoes
2 stalks of celery with leaves
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
olive oil
chopped minced garlic ( around 2 cloves)
2 cups cooked cannellini beans
salt, pepper and cayenne to taste
Place the ham bone in the water, bring to a boil and simmer until all the meat comes off that bone.
Take the meat off and remove bone. Add all the vegetables escarole and spices. Simmer until the stoop is fragrant around 45 minutes on low. Serve with crusty Italian bread. Delicious!

Strawberry Blueberry Banana Poundcake Recipe

I love the combination of flavors in this cake. Strawberry, blueberry and banana always put a smile on everyone face when I make this. Summer bonus every year. Thanks for stopping by, Claudia

This is one of my favorite fresh fruit summer cakes. Strawberries, bananas and blueberries all baked inside this cake with a secret ingredient you will see as you read the recipe. This is easy and festive anytime of the year. Keep reading to find out what an amazing cake this is for any occasion!.

Strawberry Blueberry Banana Poundcake Recipe

1 yellow cake mix
4 large eggs
1 package 3 ounce sugar free strawberry jello or regular (my secret ingredient) you can use any flavor!
1 cup oil

Fruits I have used below sliced thin and blended into the batter:

sliced fresh strawberries 
fresh blueberries
sliced bananas

Other options: peach jello and sliced peaches, fresh raspberries and raspberry jello, pineapple and pineapple jello, sliced apples and apple jello

Note: save some of the fresh fruit for garnishing

Frosting:  Use whipped topping or beat real heavy cream and a few tablespoons of sugar together over cooled cake. Keep cake covered and refrigerated.

In a large bowl using an electric mixer, add the oil, jello cake mix and eggs, beat until well blended.

Pour into a brownie size pan lined with parchment paper. 

Sprinkle randomly over the top evenly with  all three sliced fruits.

Bake at 350 until the middle is cooked and tooth pick comes clean around 35 minutes.

Cool completely. Garnish with whipped cream and more fruit.

Pancakes Patriotic Style Recipe

Getting in a festive mood is what I am all about! I love to make food look pretty even though it's gets eaten faster than I can prepare it, isn't that the truth! Well I still love to make these pancakes patriotic style every chance I get around the patriotic holiday. They are so delicious too! Thanks for stopping by, Claudia

If you want to start your day off in a Patriotic fashion this is one of the breakfasts to celebrate that day with!
I love these 3 fruits together. They are festive and sure to add a smile to anyone's face. I have provided my link below for homemade pancake recipes, however you can use a mix to save time. Have a safe and enjoyable Holiday!

Fresh Blueberries
Fresh Sliced Bananas and Strawberries
1 recipe of homemade pancakes Click HERE
Mint springs optional for garnish

Make your favorite pancake recipe or use mine above and click on the highlighted link. (you can use a premixed brand also to package instructions)
I like to cook them on a griddle coated with butter in small medallion rounds. 
Place the stack in the middle of the plate.
Arrange slices of fruits as you see in the photo.
Serve with fruit flavored syrups or maple syrup.

Optional: dollops of whipped cream.

Zucchini Chocolate Chip Bar Recipe

If you love zucchini you will love these bars. So easy and perfect for picnics! The best part is you can freeze these for later and have fresh zucchini bars all year long! We love these. Perfect treat! I even like them from the freezer and microwaved for a few second to warm them and the chips melt. They are so delicious that way! I also like to dress them up for company with a little whipped cream and some fresh berries! Check out the secret ingredient in this recipe that makes them so great!

Zucchini Chocolate Chip Bar Recipe
2 cups sugar
1 cup oil
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups shredded zucchini
2 cups flour
2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 cup old fashioned rolled oats (secret ingredient!)

Optional: Fold in last:

1 cup milk chocolate chips, semi sweet or any other kind I have used lemon chips and white chocolate chips they are delicious too! (tip so they don't sink roll the chips in flour first) or raisins, pecan and walnuts

 Beat all wet ingredients in a large bowl till blended together.Place all rest of the dry  ingredients into the same  bowl and blend for one minute except the chocolate chips or raisins.. Fold in chocolate chips or raisins Pour into brownie size pan or 13x9 pan ( I like my cake thick and high) . Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

Raspberry Lemon Tart Recipe

I wanted to make something very special for the occasion. My son Curt graduated college and received his bachelors degree and we are all very proud of him. We are also celebrating his birthday on June 19th, so today needs to be special all the way around. I needed something over the top beautiful to serve. Since he loves lemon and berries I created this tart. Can't wait to find out how he likes it. You're getting the recipe and photos before he even sees it! So what do you think? I hope you love it too!

1 recipe of Lemon Pudding around 2 cups homemade below or to store bought package instructions
Triple Berry Sauce see recipe below or use canned
Fresh red raspberries for the edges
1 Tart Crust see recipe below
Garnish with fresh strawberries with stems washed in the middle
1 removable bottom tart pan
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350. Spray the tart pan with  cooking spray. Roll out the dough to fit the pan. 
Recipe below make 1 crust. Poke holes in the dough bake at 350 until edges are brown. Cool.
Fill with pudding first. Pour the sauce in the middle, spreading out with the spatula or flat knife almost to the edges.  Trim edges with berries. Place a few strawberries in the center. I like to dip the berries in the sauce for glazing.

Tart Crust Recipe:

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup salted butter softened
1/4 cup granulated white sugar
1 large egg, lightly beaten
Mix all together until it forms a ball.

Lemon Pudding:

1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cups water
2 medium sized lemons juiced and zested
2 tablespoons butter 

In a medium sized saucepan over medium heat add everything but the egg yolks and butter, in the pan. Keep stirring until well blended and mixture start to thicken add the butter. Add two of the  egg yolks beating into this sugar mixture until well blended then the other two until lemony looking and thick.

Triple Berry Sauce:

 1 cup red raspberries
1 cup blackberries
1 cup strawberries or blueberries
 1/2 cup granulated white sugar,  
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
 water or Chambord (optional) 2 teaspoons

 Put berries, sugar, flavoring in food processor pulse puree leaving some chunks. Add water and cornstarch in a cup and stir till smooth.
Place berries in a saucepan heat till boiling, add the cornstarch, cook another minute until thickens, just a few minutes. Cool.

Leftover Broccoli Cauliflower Appetizers

I just made the best ever appetizers with leftover broccoli and cauliflower. I don't think I will ever eat broccoli and cauliflower any other way again!
Actually a perfect side dish they remind me of a vegetable meatball. So addicting!

 Leftover Broccoli Cauliflower Appetizers
(recipe can be doubled)
1 cup coarsely chopped steamed leftover broccoli and cauliflower
1 egg
1/2 cup Italian flavored bread crumbs
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup sharp cheese (provolone, cheddar or any other you like)
freshly cracked pepper
olive oil

Place everything in a bowl mix until it comes together except olive oil. Roll into balls. Place on parchment or silpat mat. Drizzle lightly with olive oil.  Bake at 400 degrees around 25 minutes until started to brown.

Penne with Vegetables Pasta Recipe

This is the perfect light summer pasta meal. Of course I get to eat this all year long in Florida but this just shouts warm weather and a great change with a garlic butter sauce. I really think it's easy to get into eating heavy all the time coming out of winter. If you are a pasta lover like our family this one is a much healthier version than the heavier sauces for your pasta cravings!

Penne with Vegetables Pasta Recipe
Slice plum tomatoes
Feta Cheese crumbled
Fresh Basil
Steamed Broccoli
Sliced Green peppers
Sliced Kalamata Olives
Olive oil
Freshly minced garlic
Penne Pasta cooked to package instructions
White wine 

Slice the tomatoes, peppers and add to a bowl. Place some fresh basil, the olives and steamed broccoli in the bowl. Toss with 3 tablespoon olive oil or melted butter. Salt, pepper to taste.

In a small fry pan, saute two teaspoons of minced garlic on low with 1/4 cup olive oil just till fragrant around 1 minute. Add 1/4 cup white wine and 2 tablespoon of butter to this.  Simmer 3 minutes.

Cook pasta to package instructions drain.  In a large serving dish to add the pasta the pour the vegetables into the pasta mixture. Pour the garlic wine sauce over the pasta and vegetables. Serve immediately. Sprinkle with feta cheese.

My Favorite Macaroni Salad Recipe

One of my favorites is macaroni salad with tuna or shrimp of course you can leave it out but if you love seafood this is a must try for you! This is how my mom made it. I have also had this with crab meat which is over the top if your a seafood lover and a little more pricey.

My Favorite Macaroni Salad Recipe

1 lb elbow macaroni cooked al dente to package instructions
boiled eggs for garnish
1 stalk celery
1 small carrot
1 can tuna in olive oil drained ,1 cup small baby shrimp use canned or frozen sometimes I use both or shredded fresh crab meat
1 small bell pepper
granulated garlic
parsley flakes dried for the top to garnish
salt, pepper to taste
1 tablespoon or more to taste of sweet pickle relish
optional: green chopped olives or black olives

Drain the pasta, add the can of tuna or shrimp. In a food processor, add the celery, carrot and pepper. Pulse till finely chopped. Add to the pasta. Stir in the herbs, spices and relish to taste add mayonnaise until the mixture is coated completely around 2 cups.
Slice eggs for the top and garnish with dried parsley.

Baked Haddock Shrimp Zucchini Recipe

I always loved the freshness of this dish. Shrimp topped haddock with a splash or olive oil, butter and Pinot Grigio. All baked to perfection. The flavors all compliment each other. I just love the colorful elegant plate this makes especially for company. You will just get raves on this dish. A seafood lovers delight.

Just check out how easy this one is to prepare. 

 Baked Haddock Shrimp Zucchini Recipe

2 pounds white fish (haddock, cod, sea bass, flounder, all work well)
1 cup medium sized shrimp
1/2 cup Italian flavored bread crumbs
2 cloves of fresh minced garlic
 garlic powder, parsley, salt, pepper
fresh basil, oregano, rosemary or use dried around 1/2 teaspoon each
salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste
 cayenne pepper optional
extra virgin olive oil
1 small zucchini  sliced
1 small yellow squash sliced
1 large tomato sliced 
(you can use plum, grape tomatoes, or beefsteak)
1/2 cup Pinot Grigio wine
3 tablespoons butter melted

In a large size baking pan at least 2 inch deep, lay fillets in pan that was lightly sprayed with cooking oil or on parchment paper.

On each fillet sprinkle with a little of each herb, salt, pepper and spices to taste evenly over the top of the bread crumbs.  Drizzle olive oil over each fillet around a tablespoon each and butter . 

Sprinkle each fillet generously with Italian flavored breadcrumbs. 

Pour around 1/2 cup of wine around the bottom and bake until fish flakes easily and vegetables are tender, around 40  minutes on 400 degree oven.

Easy Peanut Butter Chip Bars

My easy go to bar when someone is bugging me to make something sweet and I am not in the mood to bake. This is so easy to throw all in  one bowl,  bake and make them happy. Peanut butter and chocolate are of course the perfect pair . So when someone in your household is wanting  something sweet and delicious you just found the perfect recipe!

Easy Peanut Butter Chip Bars

1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon peanut butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter or shortening
1 egg
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup old fashioned oats
pinch of salt
1 cup or more if you like lots of chocolate chips

Mix everything together till smooth, except the chips. Fold them in the end when the batter is well blended.

Pour into a 9 x 9 pan and bake at 350 for 25 to 30 minutes.

Tips: the chips won't sink if you toss them into flour first.

Lemon Chicken with Linguine Pasta Recipe

I could eat this everyday! The flavors are amazing rich with butter, wine and lemon. The chicken is tender and twice cooked. See below what a delightful recipe this is one everyone will rave about! The best part about it? It's simple to make and will impress everyone you make it for! Mom use to throw this together after a long hard day at work back in the 1970's, it's still a classic dish I make once a month in my home. Don't miss trying this one if you're a lemon lover or have someone in your family that loves lemon this will be your go to recipe.  
Thanks for stopping by, Ciao Claudia

Lemon Chicken with Linguine Pasta  Recipe

1 lb Linguine (or any pasta you like) cooked al dente to package instructions drained
3 boneless chicken breasts sliced thin 
1 1/2 cups Flour seasoned with 2 teaspoons each granulated garlic, salt,  pepper, parsley and oregano ( place in a large plastic zip lock bag)
canola oil for frying
2 tablespoon butter 
1/2 cup white wine
2 fresh lemons juiced then sliced
2 cloves minced garlic
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

For Pasta:
Grated cheese
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic in oil
pasta water see below

Shake the chicken into the flour mixture. Fry on high until browned on each side around 2 minutes on each side. Place in a  baking dish.
In a small sauce pan, add the lemon juice, wine, butter, olive oil. Also add mince garlic and bring to a boil.
Pour over the chicken and place the lemon slices on top. Place in a preheated oven of 400 degrees for 25 minutes.
In the meantime cook the pasta to package instructions.
Drain leaving around 1/2 cup pasta water in the pan.
Toss with 1/2 cup grated parmesan or romano cheese, garlic, oil and butter. Salt, pepper to taste.

To serve place pasta on a plate with chicken and lemon sauce over the top.

Italian Fried Steak Recipe

Let me just say you can use any kind of meat here. Steak, chicken, cube steaks, turkey. Doesn't matter this is a basic coating that is fantastic on every meat you want to fry. No matter what you use for the meat it always is delicious and the smell frying is mouth watering.


1 cup any good tasting white wine if it not a good tasting wine don't use it!
3 cloves minced garlic
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt, pepper, cayenne
dash of dried Italian herbs 
add some fresh basil and rosemary if you like it
3 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Meat I prefer:

Steak boneless: (New York Strip, Boneless Ribeyes or whatever you prefer these are the most tender) sliced in long pieces or substitute chicken, cube steaks, veal, or even fish.

Coating mixture:

1 egg
1 cup flour
Italian flavored bread crumbs
Parmesan cheese added to bread crumbs two or three tablespoons

herbs: dried oregano, basil, parsley, salt, pepper, granulated garlic

Marinate the meat  for at least 3 hours or overnight.

Slice the drained meat around 1/2 thick pieces.

Shake into all purpose seasoned flour in a ziplock bag around 1 cup flour and around 1 teaspoon each of herbs and seasonings.

Place bread crumbs in a pie plate with seasonings.

Beat an egg and 1/4 cup water in a pie plate set aside.

Dip each floured cutlet into the beaten egg water mixture and then 
into Italian flavored breadcrumbs.

In a large fry pan add 2 tablespoons butter and canola or vegetable oil to cover the bottom of the pan and heat to medium heat. Saute steaks on one side till golden brown then turn and cook till golden brown on the other side.  Place on paper towel to drain off oil.

Serve immediately.