Portabello Mushroom and Chicken Marsala Sandwich

Monday, September 28, 2009

Portabello Mushrooms and Chicken Marsala Sandwich, when you need a quick delicious meal in a hurry....just in a few minutes you will have a great tasting dinner that taste like you took hours to cook

2 Boneless Chicken Breast sliced in medallions round pieces 1/4 inch thick

6 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup of Marsala wine

1/4 teaspoon each of black pepper and garlic powder

1 package 8 0z of portabello mushrooms sliced

1 fresh large ripe tomato cubed and skin off

2 tablespoons of butter

In a large fry pan saute chicken in olive oil, around 3 minute on each side till lightly browned on high heat. Add mushrooms tomato, spices, and stir fry for another 3 minutes. Add Marsala wine, butter, and simmer 5 minutes. Serve on rolls, with a salad.... enjoy!

White Cake with Red Raspberry Sauce and Whipped Cream

Friday, September 25, 2009

If there was one cake that always taste fresh this is the one I would vote for...Fresh Red Raspberries with white cake and whipped cream...definitely one of my favorites and my late Dad Carmen. Actually anything that had Raspberries on it got our vote!

12 tablespoons unsalted butter softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 extra large eggs seperated using only the whites (3/4 cup)
3/4 cup evaporated milk or half and half
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat to 350 degrees.
Butter and flour the bottoms of two 9-inch round .
In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar for about 5 minutes, until light and fluffy. Stir together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside. Combine egg whites, milk and vanilla extract. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the butter mixture then add half the milk mixture. Continue to alternate beginning and ending with flour mixture.
Pour the batter into prepared pans and smooth and slap down on the counter to evenly shake batter. Bake about 1/2 hour or until a toothpick is clean
Cool in pan on rack for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a wax paper.

Raspberry Puree:

24 oz of Fresh Raspberries or two frozen bags

2/3 cups of sugar

1 teaspoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice

Put in food processor, pulse till pureed.

You will need two large heavy cream whipped and slightly sweetened with confectionery sugar. Whip till thick and light. If you are going to decorate with this you will need to add more confectionery sugar till cream hold its shape.

One can of heavy cream to make lines on top of cake or pipe with pastry bag.

Split cake into layer by slicing in half with a sharp knife when cool.

Fill with whipped cream

Pipe whipped cream lines, fill lines in between with Raspberry Puree. Keep Refrigerated.
You can also substitute Blueberrie or Strawberries if you prefer...or all three on Patriotic Days.

Mom's Italian Style Potatoes

Thursday, September 24, 2009

You can also try variations of these with ranch dressing, melted cheese and bacon on ....delicious. Also try chili cheese fries, chili and melted cheese on top.... We just love them plain as shown.

These were always a big hit with any meat for a side dish. My mom would make these so crisp, sometimes they had the taste of a potato chip on the ends of them.


Bow Tie Pasta with Creamy Garlic Chicken and Bella Sauce

Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Interesting flavors. Baby Bella Mushrooms, Chicken, Peppers, Diced Tomatoes with White Wine, Cream.....and of course Garlic!

1 16 oz box of bow ties, boiled and tossed with olive oil....set aside.

In a large fry pan, add 1/4 cup of olive oil, 2 cloves of minced garlic, 4 chicken breast sliced in long pieces.

Add 1 pound of baby bella sliced mushrooms cleaned and washed.. Saute' until chicken is light brown.

Add 1 cup of white wine (recommended Pinot Grigio)

1 16 oz can of diced tomatoes

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/4 teaspoon oregano, 1/4 teaspoons fresh basil and dash of salt

and pepper.

Add 1 bell pepper cleaned and sliced julienne style .Cook for about an half hour till chicken is tender. Add 1/2 pint of heavy cream, 4 tablespoon of butter, simmer more 10 minutes. Pour over Bow Ties and serve with grated cheese.

Banana Rum Chip Brownie with Hot Fudge Sauce

Sunday, September 20, 2009
So many ways to dress them up. Plain, with Hot Fudge, whipped cream or just dust with powdered sugar...these are a hit every time. Kids love them, get for lunches and hold up great if traveling.

Either make homemade fudge sauce or buy a very good chocolate fudge sauce. If you use the recipe highlighted above omit Kahlua and add Rum...
1/2 cup butter
2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups mashed banana (around 4 small or 3 large)
4 teaspoons of dark rum
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
1 large 4.25 oz bar of dark chocolate chopped into medium size chunks or 1 cup of semi sweet chocolate chips.

Cream sugar and butter together, beating around 3 to 4 minutes. Beat in eggs and banana's along with flavoring. Mix well. Pour in to a 15x10 inch x 1 inch baking pan.Sprinkle chopped chocolate chunks over batter in pan. Bake at 350 degrees till brown and set around 25 minutes. Test for doneness with tooth pick. cool completely. Drizzle bottom of plate with hot fudge sauce and top with whipped cream or ice cream or serve plain and dust with confectionery sugar.

Italian Bruschetta with Fresh Basil

This is an updated photo than the ones below. Every year when the fresh tomatoes harvest I made this. It's similar to having insalata caprese which is fresh mozzarella, tomato slices and fresh basil. Not hard to make at all. Just a refreshing salad on garlic toast. Amazing flavors, just remember using the the best ingredients is key. You must use aged balsamic vinegar for a real treat and I personally love a stronger tasting olive oil as well. Make this tailored to your taste but fresh is best.

1 loaf of Italian stick bread, French bread or Cuban or any stick bread will do. This needs to be sliced at least 2 inches thick and rub with garlic on both sides.

For both sides of the bread:
garlic powder optional if you don't have the fresh garlic or use both for stronger flavoring
fresh garlic slices
olive oil
fresh mozzarella sliced or cubed very small
fresh basil leafs
large fresh tomatoes slices or chopped fine
balsamic vinegar

Make garlic toast. Take sliced bread,  brush one tablespoon of olive oil on both side of the bread or more. Sprinkle evenly with garlic powder plus add a few thinly sliced fresh garlic, sprinkle with and oregano salt and pepper on both sides (cayenne pepper if you like some heat). Bake on 430 degree hot oven until light brown, watch carefully or you will have croutons! This takes around 10 minutes or longer for harder toasted garlic bread.  Take out. Add a slice of sliced tomato then fresh Mozzarella. Sprinkle more olive oil over top,  drizzle with a really good grade balsamic vinegar(mine was aged 18 years), salt pepper to taste. Add a fresh basil leaf on each one.


Italian Style Three Bean Chili with Garlic

Friday, September 18, 2009
A pot full of tomatoes, peppers, garlic and alot of Italian goodness
Add sour cream, chips, for that Mexican flair! Italian style three bean chili and garlic!

Well the real authentic Chili of course isn't Italian, but we couldn't cook anything that doesn't have an Italian flair of some kind. So check this out, no onions because I can't eat them, but it does have garlic. My followers can see by now, I don't use onions and if I do I omit them for me...I have no idea what they taste like because as a small child we found out just by touching them it would burn my skin and make me swell. So no onions. Allergic to them , and that's that.

But you onion lovers don't have to suffer just add them in! .. So here is my onion less chili.


prep time: cook time: total time:


  • 2 cans of kidney beans
    1 can black beans
    1 can pinto beans
    1 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
    1 16 oz can cut up tomatoes
    2 clove of minced garlic
    1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
    1 package of chili seasoning mix
    1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
    2 peppers chopped in small pieces
    4 pieces of jalapenos peppers chopped
    2 pound of ground sirloin, turkey or sausage
    garnish, with sour cream, Mozzarella, Monterrey JackColby and Cheddar cheese shredded


  1. Fry meat in 4 tablespoons of olive oil, add garlic, until pink is gone. Drain off fat. Add all the rest of the ingredients and cook for at least 1 hour on low. Comes out great in a crock pot, except you will need to add 1/2 cup water put on low for 7 hours.
    Serve with tortilla chips, sour cream and shredded 4 cheeses ......
    If there are any leftovers, use over seashell pasta mozzarella cheese on top
Created using The Recipes Generator

Italian Genoa Salami and Sharp Provolone Sandwich

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Well here is my all time favorite sandwich and if salami wasn't around, pepperoni would do just fine. Easy and satisfying. This provolone is very sharp. I love a good provolone with a bite to it. Before I was born, Mom and Dad had their own Deli and knew allot about what the best meats and made the best sandwiches. So great lunch foods were made and sold there. As time went by and I came along it was to hard to keep up with the business, they gave it up. In time Mom eventually went back to work at another Deli.

There were plenty more of these local Deli's as there still in Upstate NY. Back then, we had one right down the street from us and all that went into this sandwich were all normal staples in our house . As a kid, I remember this cheese would hang in the stores in a round ball and was encased in a thick wax on it, we would have to cut off first..... Simply delicious then and now. Of course now, even though you can still find this fabulous cheese that way, most local grocery stores have it in their gourmet cheese sections already cleaned and cut.

My favorite memory of this sandwich is when Dad and I would go fishing and pack this for lunch back in 1960 something. Sometimes, he would bring just a loaf bread that we would rip off pieces, a stick of salami or pepperoni, and cheese would do..... and just cut as we needed..... amazing little lunch and still my all time favorite!

1 large full loaf of Italian bread cut a huge chunk off and then lengthwise not all the way through so the back is still in attached.
Sliced Genoa Salami
Sharp aged Provolone
Romaine Lettuce
Plum Tomato ( fresh)
Extra virgin Olive oil,
Aged Balsamic Vinegar or Red Wine vinegar if you like it better
Salt, pepper, garlic powder, oregano

Open the bread up. Sprinkle bread on the split open side down with oil and vinegar, add just a touch of all spices sprinkled lightly to taste , pile on the lettuce, tomato, salami and provolone to your preference in amounts.

Add a little more vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper and spice if you like on top of that. Enjoy!


Peanut Butter filled Chocolate Cupcakes

Sunday, September 13, 2009

These are delicious cupcakes but if you would like to take the easy way out make a whole cake!
Here is another version making two 9 inch cakes, splitting them in half and making a four layer cake with peanut butter filling, whipped cream, hot fudge on top

Cupcake Batter

2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup canola oil
1 cup boiling water
1 tsp vanilla extract or almond
2 eggs
1 cup milk or half and half

Mix flour , cocoa powder and sugar together in a large bowl, add boiling water little at a time till smooth, add rest of all ingredients in. This batter is very runny. Pour into cupcake lined tins and bake till evenly cooked, use toothpick method.

When completely cool, cut out the center of each cupcake reserving tops, and fill with peanut butter filling, put tops back on off to the side.

Use 8 oz of semi sweet chocolate chips melted in the microwave for 1/2 minute stir. Top each cupcake with melted chocolate using a fork going back and forth to make line effects on top.


You can use a chocolate cake mix and canned frosting.


1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

3/4 cup creamy peanut butter

1/4 stick of butter, softened

3 tbsp. of heavy cream
Add all ingredients in mixing bowl and beat using an electric mixer add more cream if too stiff should be fluffy enough to fill not dry.

Refrigerate left overs.

To make the four layer cake. Bake two 9 inch round cakes and cool. Using a sharp knife, split cakes in half, making four halves. Spread with peanut butter filling. Slather with whipped cream and using a fork douse with hot fudge sauce.


Fresh Pumpkin Pie

Saturday, September 12, 2009

One of my favorite times of the year. Fall. The leaves turn up North. The colors all all gorgeous, a chill in the air, and the smell of cinnamon all over the house......just a warmth of home in the smell of pumpkin pie.

I like the simple taste of pumpkin and not over bearing with spice.
No matter what diet your on, for the real pumpkin pie lover, real heavy cream topping is the way to go, you just have to cheat once a year!

You will need about a 4 lb fresh sugar pie pumpkin to make 1 - 1/2 cups of pureed pumpkin, its so easy. Buy the pumpkin put them in the oven and bake them as followed on the directions, there is always a label to tell you how to cook them, normally, sliced in half, scoop out seeds, pulp side down on a greased cookie sheet.. in the oven on 375 for about an hour and a half. When cool, take a spoon and the insides of the pumpkins will scoop easily. Mash by hand or for smooth puree put in a food processor just a few seconds. It won't take long at all and what a difference in taste, fresh is the best. Of course you can used canned in a hurry. The 15 oz size will do.

So now that we have a pumpkin lets get started:
1 lb of fresh pumpkin ( or a 15 oz can of pumpkin) if you prefer
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons of cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon of ginger
1/8 teaspoon of cloves
2 jumbo eggs
1 12 oz can of evaporated milk
1 unbaked pie shell, bought or home made.

Beat eggs in large bowl first then add everything else in the bowl with adding the milk last. Pour into a deep pie plate. Bake in a 375 oven until knife comes out clean around 45 minutes. Makes one deep dish pie. Whip a pint of heavy cream till thick using 2 tablespoons of sugar to topping.
2 cups of flour
1/2 teaspoons salt
2/3 cups shortening cut in the flour and salt
4 tablespoons ice water

Mix together till dough forms a ball, roll out dough to fit a inch pie plate. Makes one top and bottom crust. You can make an extra bottom crust for this recipe.

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


Baby Shell Pasta with Ricotta and Meat Sauce

Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Baby shell pasta prepared like mom made it just like a lasagna!


Hearts of Romaine and Italian Dressing

Monday, September 7, 2009
The Story of "Must Goes"
Nothing went to waste. I was 11 years old, came running in the house starving, and said "Mama what's for dinner tonight?" She said "must goes" I said I don't want that, it sounds like fish, what is it? She said" everything must go" we have too many leftovers....hmm always makes me laugh anyway....

She would always find a way to make a delicious dinner that can be almost classified now as gourmet, imagine that! Amazing what you can find in your refrigerator....and so healthy for you... for the love of food we made a salad!

a plastic food dish to keep salad crisp. Inside this plastic dish is snap peas, grape tomatoes, sliced peppers, garbanazo beans, roasted beets, olives, shredded cabbage, broccoli, with homemade Italian dressing. In the backround of red skinned potatoes.


The Story of Broccoli rabe (BROK-a lee RAHB)

Friday, September 4, 2009

Broccoli rabe (BROK-a lee RAHB) . Growing up in an Italian family, the fresh smell of garlic frying and olive oil would be making your mouth water. Then you would hear the spatter of the broccoli rabe hitting the pan that still had water droplets on it. You would have to be very patient as the broccoli rabe would saute' in that pan for quite awhile, and that aroma was so hard to resist not eating before they were tender enough. That sandwich between two thick pieces of crusty Italian bread was beyond describing.

Also known as broccoletti di rape, Italian broccoli, rabe, rape, brocoletto, broccoletti, cima di rabe, rapini, friarielli and American gai lan—broccoli rabe is simply a non-heading variety of broccoli. This member of the prolific mustard clan has flavorful leaves and clusters of tiny, broccoli-like buds. In Italian, broccoli rabe means “turnip-broccoli.”

Like its cousins the cabbage and the cauliflower, broccoli rabe is a vegetable with all the good that is a great source of the antioxidants that help protect against cancer. It’s high in fiber and rich in vitamins A, C and K, as well as potassium, calcium and iron. So yes, its extremely healthy to eat. Maybe that's why grandma lived to 94!

Italians love this vegetable. It has been difficult to make this a favorite vegetable in the Italian/American households because of its sometimes has a bitter bite . I can tell you from my past experiences, broccoli rabe is far superior to conventional broccoli, as many gourmets believe also.

Broccoli rabe is cooked by steaming or boiling first, then frying or sauteing in olive oil and garlic cloves, we also add a little crushed red pepper . The cleaning of this is very important as the stems are tough and should be trimmed close to the top, and remove the thick stem area's with a paring knife. The bitterness can be alleviated by, boiling slowly on low for about a half hour, then shock them, in cold water. Broccoli rabe sauteed, taste great with oil and garlic over pasta. There are many recipes that combine this delicious healthy vegetable, often missed. Hard to find sometimes, but give this one a try its a winner all the way around and who knows it may be that one you wished you tried years ago....
2 medium bunches broccoli rabe (about 1 pound), trimmed and chopped
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil first cold pressed
3 garlic cloves minced,
1/2 teaspoon salt
crushed red pepper flakes to taste
Instructions :

1. Place broccoli rabe in a large saucepan; cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook 1/2 hour, drain .
2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute garlic till just starting to turn golden, not brown. Add broccoli rabe, salt and crushed red pepper flakes ....saute' on very low, around 15 to 20 minutes, till tender. Serve on crusty Italian bread or over linguine pasta....delicious!

Italian Wedding White Peach Cupcakes with Rum Filling

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Italian Rum filled Cupcakes with Cream Cheese frosting and shaved white chocolate. A golden white cake that has a slight flavor of peach.
These were made as an alternative at brunch and cocktail weddings cupcakes. I would make wedding cakes and anniversary cakes with this same recipe, this one was always a favorite request. Add some netting, silk flowers and of course a punch bowl of fuzzy navels.... don't forget to add the rum!
1 large white chocolate candy bar, shaved with a potato peeler to make several curls, set aside and refrigerate.
Golden White Cake:
1 3/4 cups + 1 tablespoon sifted cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated white sugar, divided
2 large eggs, separated
1/2 cup milk
3 tablespoon of peach schnapps or peach juice nectar
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
Beat egg whites with 1/4 cup sugar and cream of tarter set aside.
Beat butter, 3/4 sugar and egg yolks in a separate bowl. Add milk, schnapps and peach juice.
Add flour and baking powder a little at a time, then fold the whites in with the batter together, be careful not to over mix.
Fill cupcakes tins lined with paper and bake at 350 till brown. Cool.

6 egg yolks,
3/4 sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 1/2 cup warm milk
Beat above until smooth with a mixer or food processor, heat in pan till thick stirring constantly. When thickened remove from stove add the below ingredients.

1 teaspoon peach schnapps or peach juice/nectar
2 teaspoons rum
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
*** Note not recommended to put diced peaches in with the cream it will not stay solid and will ruin the pudding. You can garnish the tops of the cupcakes with peach slices if you would like, which looks awesome. Dip them in lemon first to keep from browning if you use fresh ones.
Cream Cheese Frosting:
1/2 cup ( unsalted butter, room temperature
1 - 8 ounce cream cheese, room temperature
2 1/2 cups confectionery sugar, sifted
Beat all together until smooth.

Assembly, cut center out of cupcakes, fill with rum pudding. Frost tops with cream cheese frosting, add several white chocolate curls on top. Arrange netting around and silk flowers for presentation.