Italian Herb Crusted Bottom Round Roast

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Mom always said the way to flavor the meat is to cut slits in the roast and stuff it with garlic and then rub it with oil, herbs and slow cook it. Here's
what that kind of roast ends up looking like. The taste is melt in your mouth fall apart meat, that has a wonderful moist Italian flavored crusty coating.

I love to add more than normal amounts, the more the merrier, you will have to choose how much flavor you like for the herb crust.

3 to 4 pound bottom round, rump roast, or any cut you prefer.
white wine
Ariosto Seasoning for  Roasted Meats  and Grilled Chicken ( Salt, rosemary, garlic, sage, juniper, laurel, oregano, thyme, marjoram, basil that is what is in the seasoning.) generously sprinkled over the top of meat about 2 tablespoons
5 or 6 cloves of whole garlic cut in half
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
 pepper to taste
extra virgin olive oil
cooking spray
aluminum foil

Place meat on a cutting board, make 1/2 inch slits to fit the garlic random places all over the meat.

In a large plastic bag that will fit the roast, place meat in bag add 1 cup of wine, and all the seasoning, let marinate for at least 4 to 5 hours or overnight. Remove roast and juice and transfer to a roasting pan  (or in a slow cooker to manufacturer instructions per pound).
Bake on 325 in baking pan around 1/2 per pound or to your preference in doneness.
Let meat rest around 5 minutes before slicing.

Soft Oatmeal Cookies

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

One of our favorite cookies when there's a chill in the air for fall. These could be made ahead of time, freeze very well, if they last long enough, and a versatile cookie recipe. Sure to please the little ones. A little healthier than most kinds of cookies, a true classic recipe. Our family has enjoyed these for many years, hope you will too! We love them soft or crispy you can choose by the baking time~
Soft Oatmeal Cookies
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 cups quick cooking oats

In a medium bowl, cream together butter, white sugar, and brown sugar. Beat in eggs one at a time, then stir in vanilla. Combine flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon; stir into the creamed mixture. Mix in oats. Cover, and chill dough for at least one hour.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease cookie sheets. Roll the dough into walnut sized balls, and place 2 inches apart on cookie sheets. Press slightly down, not too too much, with your palm. To keep cookies soft you will need a thicker cookie. Press down alot for thinner crisp cookies. Also, I like to divide the dough, add chocolate chip to some, raisins, and even some m&m red and green for christmas time. I also find that if you want a lighter dough you can put the oatmeal through the food processer first and it makes a great dough to sandwich with ice cream in the middle after making the cookies. A very versatile cookie for sure!
Bake for 6 to 8 minutes for soft and up to 10 minutes for crispier cookies, in preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Printable Recipe

+claudia lamascolo  Author

Nutella Chocolate Chip Bars

Monday, September 27, 2010

These pack well for lunches, great for traveling and for mailing to someone you love! A chocolate lovers dream bar!

a chocolate chip bar cookie!


Crab and Shrimp Omelette and Egg

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Shrimp and Crab Omelette with a creamy sauce

The Omelette
1 tablespoon butter or olive oil
3 eggs
2 teaspoons half and half or heavy cream
2 teaspoons unsalted butter

Combine the eggs, half & half and a pinch of salt, then whisk together.
Heat a skillet over medium heat and add butter.
When the skillet is very hot, add the egg mixture.
Cook without stirring, but gently tilt the skillet a little to allow the uncooked egg to run off.
Flip and cook the other side for 1 minute, then remove from skillet.
Put the filling in the center; fold, add more to the top and serve.
4 oz of fresh lump crab meat
1/2 cup small shrimp ( I used frozen, thawed out)
1/4 cup heavy cream or substiture half and half but you will have to cook longer to reduce for thickness.
2 tablespoon butter
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste
Melt butter in a medium size fry pan, add heavy cream, add fish, spices, bring to a boil, reduce till a light creamy mixture forms. Add a few tablespoons to the center of omelette, more on top serve immediately.

Printable Recipe

Avocado's Grilled and Filled Recipe!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Just cut your avocado in half, remove the seed, and brush it with some lime juice and olive oil. Place it flesh-side down on your hot grill for about 5 to 7 minutes, grill cover down.

Remove it from your grill and fill the hole with your favorite salsa and top that with a dollap of sour cream. Add some chopped cilantro, a good sprinkling of sea salt and drizzle lime juice over all of it. The avocado meat gets a little soft and warm and smoky, its super delicious. Grab those favorite tortilla chips and scoop away! chips.

Salsa Dip
1 bottle or can of fire-roasted tomatoes
1/8 diced onion
3 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon lime juice

¼ teaspoon cayenne or crushed red pepper(you can also throw in a jalapeno's if you want I do!!!)
½ teasoon kosher or seasalt
3 or 4 sprigs of cilantro,

Optional I love peppers so add them if you love peppers!

Dump it all in the blender and process until it becomes a perfect blend for your dipping needs~

Taste and add more salt, cayenne or cilantro if needed.  Fill the grilled avocado and dip away!


Fried Zucchini Grandma's Recipe

Friday, September 24, 2010

Fried Zucchini Recipe
Grandma always fried everything! She would make these when we had tons of zucchini growing in the yard, we would have them the whole month of September! Treat yourself, I have made them baked, broiled, grilled and fried. Healthy versions are best for your heart, but Grandma fried everything in vegetable oil and lived to 94! Amazing, everything fried was what we were brought up on...and now we all have to worry about cholesterol and staying healthy, go figure! So treat yourself just once in awhile, this is worth going off the reservation just once!

Fried Zucchini Grandma's Recipe
Vegetable oil, or Canola for frying
2 to 3 large zucchini or 3 to 4 small zucchini, cut into 1/4 to 1/2-inch rounds 
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups Italian homemade breadcrumbs or  Italian flavored store bought
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic plus granulated garlic around 1 teaspoon
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup water
cayenne pepper for a little heat

Measure flour into a pie plate. In another pie plate combine crumbs and salt and peppers, to taste. In a third plate add eggs and water. Dredge the zucchini in the flour, followed by the egg wash and finally in the crumbs. Press crumbs into the zucchini rounds.

Working in batches, place the breaded zucchini slices in the hot oil and fry until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain on a paper towel lined sheet tray and immediately season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with grating cheese, or dip in tomato sauce if you like.

Crockpot Chicken and Dumpling Mushroom Marsala

Thursday, September 23, 2010
Crockpot Chicken & Dumpling  Mushroom Marsala
3 cloves garlic, minced
1lb sliced mushrooms
4 cups low sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup marsala wine
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dried thyme leaves
1/8 tsp. pepper and red pepper flakes
2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts
1 can cream of mushroom soup
pasta of choice optional
Dumpling recipe to follow

In a 4 to 5 quart crockpot, lightly sprayed with cooking oil,  add garlic, and mushrooms. In medium bowl, combine soup, chicken broth, flour and seasoning and mix until smooth. Pour over mushrooms in crockpot. Add chicken.
Cover crockpot and cook on LOW for 6-8 hours until chicken is thoroughly cooked and no longer pink in center. If not enough liquid add more chicken broth, and cook on high till hot for dumpling, otherwise proceed to making the dumplings.

Dumpling Recipe

 1-1/2 cups flour
 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1 tablespoon sharp cheddar cheese, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, in a small bowl.
 Melt 6 tablespoons butter and mix with 1/2 cup milk; add to flour mixture and stir just until combined.

Drop dumplings by tablespoons onto hot, bubbling chicken mixture in crockpot, adding more liquid depending on how many dumplings you are making ( I will usually add more wine at the end. Cover and cook on HIGH for 20-25 minutes until dumplings are cooked through, fluffy, and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
 In a seperate pot of salted water, boil 1/2 pound of linguine or favorite pasta, serve chicken on top of pasta, with a dumpling on the side. Sprinkle with parsley and grating cheese.

Cloud Souffle Breakfast Recipe Repost

Tuesday, September 21, 2010
 These were the perfect size to make this elegant breakfast for my wonderful husband to start his day..I was amazed how easy they were and most  important deliciously impressive!

My husband was very impressed with the presentation of this fabulous breakfast, he was afraid to dig in it was so delicate looking and pretty. Thought it would totally deflate, but it was perfect. I cooked mine a little longer than the original recipe, this reminds me of a poached egg in flavor. The bacon just made this dish perfect with the offset of flavors, so he crumbled his bacon into the middle with the cheese and yolk...  dipped some Italian toast into it and oh so delicious!

                              This was just so perfect to say 
                    "I love you honey, Happy Anniversary"                                                                                                                                       

I really can't wait to make this again, and will try adding some other things to the middle, the gooey cheese inside was such a nice surprise to him. He was expecting just egg...

Serves 2

4 eggs, separated
Sea salt to taste
grated provolone cheese (1 1 /2 oz)
Freshly ground black pepper
(1/2 oz) unsalted butter
crumbled crispy bacon strips optional
buttered Italian toast
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Butter two good size individual ramekins. Beat the egg whites. When they start to become stiff, add salt to taste. Continue beating until they hold their peaks well not stiff.

Spoon the egg whites into the ramekin. With the back of a soup spoon, make a well in the middle of the egg whites, pushing the egg whites up the sides of the ramekin. Carefully drop the 2 egg yolks into the well.
Then add the provolone and grind over some black pepper .Smooth the egg whites back over the hole.

Bake in the oven for 6 to 8 minutes. The top should be lightly golden, and when you break the crust, the yolks and cheese will blend together
Serve with Italian toast and crisp bacon.
Crumble crisp bacon in the center and dip your Italian bread buttered toast  in  the center and enjoy!
Printable Recipe


Peach Crostata with Homemade Puff Pastry Recipe

Monday, September 20, 2010
Peaches are still plentiful right now, and I love puff pastry with just about any kind of fruit, this is one of our favorites, the filling is simple....the pastry, little time consuming but well worth the trouble. I wanted to make something special in my brand new kitchen remodeled.
Trina got bored with me and didn't make it waiting for this dough to be ready to use in this recipe, so she slept through the whole thing... after a long cat nap she woke up and everything was all done, how nice to be a cat... she's my only girl, and gets away with doing nothing!

I had a few strawberries left over scraps of dough that will never go to waste, so it became a lone strawberry and cream cheese crostata.
The easiest part is the filling, not many ingredients and comes out perfect every time!
I like to prepare the peach filling just before we are ready to fill the crust at the end, wished sometimes I had a helping hand, but that cat Trina is so lazy!

Let's begin with the flaky puff pastry dough!

2 cups flour
16 Tablespoons unsalted butter
2/3 cup ice cold water
pinch of salt

Mix 1/4 cup of flour with 14 tablespoons softened butter to make a smooth paste. Shape into a square approximately 1/2 inch thick. Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes. In another bowl mix the cold water, 2 tablespoons of butter, and the remaining 1 3/4 cup of flour and a pinch of salt. This will be an elastic, shiny dough. Knead for about one minute. Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes. Refrigerating the dough makes this easier to roll the dough without breaking it. On a lightly floured board, roll out the shiny dough 1/4 inch thick. Place the butter dough square onto the shiny dough and wrap the ends of the shiny dough to enclose the butter dough in an envelope .Roll out the dough envelope to 1/4 inch thickness and fold in thirds like a business letter.
Roll again in the opposite direction and fold in thirds again. Refrigerate 30 minutes and repeat the process twice for a total of six times of folding in the process. This will be making many of hundreds buttery layers. Cooling the dough is very important step. After folding the dough the sixth time, refrigerate the dough once more, and then it will be ready for use for any recipe that requires puff pastry. Tip: The oven must be preheated to a high temperature, 400 or as high 450, when the dough is placed in the oven. If the oven is not hot, the butter will melt and the moisture will evaporate before steam can form to separate the layers. You will end up with a tough non-flaky crust and Crostata.
Peach or any other fruit filling:
4 peaches peeled and cubed...throw the pit away
2 heaping tablespoons of peach jam, apricot or pineapple ( depending on the type of fruit, use coordinating jam) use more if you like sweet
2 teaspoon of cornstarch or  wondra flour
1/2 teaspoon peach schnapps or (vanilla extract if you don't have any on hand)
optional pinch of cinnamon
 melted butter
Mix all together the flour will thicken this mixture perfectly
Roll out your dough 1/8 inch thick cutting the edges to make it round.
Pile the fruit in the middle, fold the edges towards the middle leaving the fruit center showing, but the dough tucked around it. Brush with butter.
Bake in a hot oven on 415 degrees or higher till browned nicely.
Note: For Cream Cheese and Fruit.... add 1/3 cup cream cheese 1 egg yolk and 1 teaspoon of vanilla, beat all together, add to the bottom of the crust. Top crust with fruit and jam mixture from the above recipe.


Kitchen Remodeling and A Tail of Two Cats

Sunday, September 19, 2010

 Welcome to my New Toy Shop!!! @What's Cookin' Italian Cuisine

    This was a long month to go without water, but well worth the inconvience

Fonzo decided that anything new in the house would have to be inspected for comfort first, so after the cupboards were installed, he slept in them for three weeks while the granite countertops were being made!

Before Pictures!

This original kitchen had white formica cabinets, blue countertops and around 15 years old. From start to finish, between measuring, ordering, making the granite and installation, it's been took a little over a month now. We were without a dishwasher, kitchen sink, cabinets, stove and since its so hard to wash dishes in a tiny sink in your bathroom, or bend over in the bathtub we used paper plates, cups and plastic utensils. Disposable cooking bags for crockpot, aluminum foil for grilling and lots of styrofoam serving bowls.

Once they got everything ripped out of the kitchen, everything went in smoothly.

Catrina was not happy having to be on the porch missing out on all the loud hammering, drilling, to her normal quiet house . She sat there outside on the screen porch,  just starring at the workers all the time they were there.

Wine and Coffee Bar
 My favorite new addition and piece of my new kitchen.  Lots of counterspace to make new and exciting dishes, cappicino/coffee bar,  plus my relaxing shop for the last stop of the day,  wine!  Hope you enjoyed my new journey and got some idea's what a kitchen remodel is like....


Italian Crab and Shrimp Cake Appetizer

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Calling all seafood and crab cake lovers! One of my favorite appetizers, an amazing combo of flavors sure to please any seafood lover. This crab cake even taste great the next day. Serve plain or with tarter sauce you will be amazed what a great recipe this is!

Italian Crab and Shrimp Cake Appetizer

1 pound crab meat, jumbo, lump or back-fin
1/2 cup shrimp clean deveined and cut up
2 heaping tablespoons mayonnaise
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon chopped red bell pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 to 4 cloves of minced garlic
1/2 tablespoon mustard powder
18  buttery flavored crackers, crumbled


Combine all ingredients except the crackers. Add crackers crumbs in as close to sauteing as possible so that the crab cakes don’t get too moist from the other ingredients. Form into patties the size of hamburger patties.

Saute in frying pan over medium-to-high heat in butter, 10 minutes per side. Make sure that it’s crispy outside but moist and juicy inside. Serve with tarter sauce and  butter sauce.

Serve with butter sauce:
1/3 cup white wine
1/2 cup heavy cream
4 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder or 1 clove finely minced chopped garlic
1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley

Place wine in a small saucepan, simmer over low to medium heat until reduced by half.

Add cream and simmer gently until mixture reaches a sauce-like consistency.

Add butter, garlic, lemon juice and parsley and stir until butter is melted and mixture is smooth. If the sauce is a little thin, simmer, stirring constantly, until it reaches the desired consistency. If the sauce is too thick and/or separated, add a little water (one teaspoon at a time) and stir or whisk vigorously until sauce is fixed. Serve immediately.
Printable Recipe

Macadamia Crusted Stuffed Flounder in Butter Wine Sauce

Thursday, September 16, 2010

It's that time of the year when I love making baked fish, it's one of my favorite ways to prepare it. Baked fish filets are always a better choice than fried for healthier cooking. If you can't find flounder try any kind of mild fish as an alternative.

Flounder layered with Shrimp and bread crumb filling, with a splash of white wine.

flounder crusted with macadamia nuts with a shrimp stuffing in butter sauce


Grilled Italian Herb Crusted Chicken Breasts

Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Herb Crusted Chicken on the Grill. Easy to make, juicy and makes great leftovers for lunch on top of a healthy salad From Blogs Got Heart.

A perfect side dish with this chicken is Eggplant Grilled with Parmesan Marinara

4 Chicken Breast with bone or boneless
1 teaspoon each garlic powder, basil, oregano, parsley
1 clove minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon rosemary, black pepper, salt
1/4 teaspoon thyme, sage
olive oil
Mix all herbs together.

Italian Flavored bread crumbs
Grating cheese
In a large bowl place chicken in the bowl with 1/4 cup olive oil, add herbs and garlic.  Marinate chicken for  at least 4 hours or overnight.

Place marinaded chicken on oil sprayed aluminum foil, or a grilling rack  , sprinkle with Italian flavored bread crumbs and grating cheese.  Cook over medium heat with  grill cover down until chicken is browned and crispy.
Printable Recipe

Italian Foods Where it All Began!

Monday, September 13, 2010
My journey started out to give my kids, grandchildren and generations in the future the history of our ancestors and where it all began on cooking tradition and recipes to live on through us long after we are gone. Cooking is like music, its a universal language, no right or wrong just different to the individual families. The bonding comes from teaching, tradition and the love for cooking. From grandmothers handing down secret favorite recipes from generation to generation we all live in the wonderful visions of what was to recreate.   Food becomes the common bond and my past of fabulous memories and teachings from my grandmother and mom gives me the continued passion to live in their memory.
Pizzelles an Italian Favorite~
My quest is to provide that guidance to my two sons and future generations. Every recipe has been made with love and inspiration. The love for cooking and creating the future, that is the universal language. My recipes will be here long after I am gone, a wonderful way to be remembered and talked about years to come, at the dinner table.
What a wonderful thought, the next food star . The food industry was always my first love and passion to cook was inherited for sure. Grandma came from Italy with the golden spoon in her hand. My mom had her own catering and deli business. So when I was born I instantly bonded with wanting to create something delicious. At 3 years old I had my first easy bake oven. I didn't just make cakes with this, when the cake mixes ran out, I got creative and used things from the kitchen experimenting. It always amazed me that a light bulb could cook that cake!
I always wanted to show everyone what a good cook I was as a child. By the time I was 11 I was making roasts, parsley potatoes and brownies with mocha frosting. Here I am 40 years later, blogging my passion.
My mom inside the window watching me , our house was her business called  Mac's Deli, what more inspiration did  I need, it's in the blood~ 
Always had demitasse at the end of a meal with Sambuca~
 I love watching people enjoy eating,  with cooking the most important factor, is my family and friends  who inspire me to continue.   Everyone can make these dishes and  will always be loved by anyone that joins your table. Our foods are basic, Italian foods, desserts to indulge on and sharing that food with everyone that touches our lives.
The piece of resistance....the Margarita Pizza...

Crockpot Italian Style Chicken Mushroom Stew

Saturday, September 11, 2010
Special Prayers go out today for all the victims and families of 911, RIP.

To all my readers,  a  tribute and moment of silence  starting at 9:11 am this morning will be held and for the rest of today special thoughts and prayers. If you happen to be viewing this blog please join us in remembering all the families and victims of this tragic day, nine years ago today.

"Those we love must someday pass
beyond our present sight...
Must leave us and the world we
know without their radiant light.
But we know that like a candle
their lovely light will surely shine
To brighten up another place
more perfect... more divine.
And in the realm of Heaven
where they shine so warm and bright
Our loved ones live forever more in God ’s eternal light."


Here is a great meal for anytime of the year. Great over pasta, rice or even mashed potatoes

4 boneless chicken breasts left whole or cut into chunks (if you're in a hurry like me leave them whole) this will fall apart easily later to cut up.
1 lb  can diced tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon each dried herbs thyme, rosemary, (cayenne pepper optional if you like the heat like we do), black pepper, salt, oregano, parsley, basil, add more or less of each to taste if  you like , and any other kinds of herbs you prefer.
1 lb sliced fresh mushrooms washed
2 tablespoon or more of wondra flour mixed with a little water to make a paste for the end
1/2 cup white wine
grating cheese and parsley for garnish

In a 4 to 5 quart crock pot, sprayed lightly or using disposable liners, add chicken first. Sprinkle with herbs, add tomatoes, wine, mushrooms.
Cook on low till done, I left this on for 7 hours. Came home and the chicken fell apart! Moist and perfect. Take the wonder flour add at the end to thicken. Add more if too watery one tablespoon mixed with water at a time.  Can be served over rice, pasta, bread or just the way it is. Sprinkle with grated cheese, and serve.

Fresh Peach and Pineapple Grilled Ham Recipe

Friday, September 10, 2010

Peach and Pineapple Grilled Ham

I just love the taste of fresh fruit on ham.
So here is a combined version of  two great fruits, peaches and pineapple,  for a fabulous grilled ham, with a hint of red wine, a perfect flavoring for your ham steaks, or whole ham dinner.

1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup dry red wine
1/2 cup pineapple chunks
1 peach or nectarine cut in chunks
1 clove garlic, minced

4 large cooked ham slices cut in half or you can use this over a medium size ham and bake it in the oven.

In a food processor add fruit and puree. In a large bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, honey, red wine, pineapple, peach and garlic. Place the ham in the marinade, turn to coat it, marinade up to 4 hours, or cover and refrigerate overnight. Turn the ham in the marinade as many times as you remember to do so.
On a hot preheated grill, cook ham slices until grill marks on both sides are dark and ham looks like its glazed. If using a whole ham bake as directed on ham instructions using the glaze for the whole ham.

Crockpot Stuffed Zucchini Recipe in Memory of my Aunt Esther

Monday, September 6, 2010
Crockpot Stuffed Zucchini
Can't believe its already Labor Day, hope all my readers have a wonderful safe one. I got up at 5am, scrubbed these zucchini's  in the bath tube,  stuffed them, put them in a lined crockpot and will wait for my family to come over later, lucky for me that they make those liners now, I used the crockpot plastic liners, so will just throw out the empty bag tonight when they are all gone!! Perfect for people like me having a kitchen remodel.

Had all these zukes in my fridge for a few days now, got them at the farmers market and thought I needed to make a recipe inspired by my Aunt Esther (RIP) I didn't have her recipe, so I made it as close to my memory as possible...these were always my favorite, I used to watch her as a kid make them,  she made the best stuffed zucchini in the world! My Aunt owned a farm in Whitesboro NY and they raised their own squash. Her husband, my Uncle Dave, had seeds called Kusa. These seeds were a breed of their own, the squash was a light pale green in color and cross between green and yellow squash. I so wish to have them again, but long since their passing that taste remains etched in my memory. I had purchased these yellow squash and some green zukes, and began my journey into the past in hopes to recreate these in similarity. Of course this isn't the exact recipe, but diffinitely satisfied with my fabulous memories of these and made me miss my  Aunt Esther (my mom's sister) even more if that is possible...I loved her dearly and always will. What a fabulous cook she was.

Although she would stuff the whole squash and not separate halves, I did it the easy way, she didn't use a crockpot either, old fashioned in a huge pot on the stove top,  it really difficult  not to make a mess with no counter tops except for the bathroom, with this remodel. I sliced them in half stuffed them, put them in the crock pot and on to other projects!  A great meal to come home to and its labor day weekend, so as everyone else  will be grilling the next few days,  these can also make a great side dish for anything you cook!

When I got home the whole house had a fabulous aroma of allspice, cinnamon and that simmering sauce.

They were tender, with just the perfect blend of flavors.

I was just so happy to have some of the past back and just for a moment felt like she was here with me. Just having that similar taste so comforting. They were such a wonderful treat when she made these. Thanks Aunt Esther....for some wonderful food memories~!

1 lb of ground lamb, hamburger or turkey
1 cup of raw quick cooking rice
1 teaspoon of minced garlic
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon dry basil
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 whole fresh basil leaf
2 sprigs of fresh mint
8 to 10 small assorted colored zucchini's dark green, yellow or green squash ... if your lucky enough to cultivate Kusa's from seeds those are the best squash to use!
1 28oz can of tomato sauce, crushed tomatoes or whole tomatoes pureed
 Add water to just below the stuffed zucchini in the crockpot.
Add 1/2 cup white wine.

Slice squash in half. With a spoon hollow out the centers with a small spoon, not to far in so not to rip them. ( I use the scooped out insides to make zucchini breads or use for filling omelets. You can also freeze these leftovers,  place the raw zucchini in a freezer bag and freeze up to 3 months.). In a bowl mix meat, rice and all spices except bay leaves. Stuff raw hamburg/rice mixture into each half. Lay each one in the crock pot. Add water, wine and  tomato sauce,  put on low for at least 8 hours, around the last two hours, add the fresh basil and mint...that's it!!  serve this with  Homemade pita bread and enjoy! If you prefer to use the stove top or baking them,  no problem, set on low or (300 degree in oven) in a large dutch oven style pan, cover with water, cook till tender Have a safe and wonderful weekend and thanks for reading!

Incredible Spinach and Artichoke dip

Saturday, September 4, 2010
Just a perfect appetizer for kickoff day! Football season is in the air....Let's go JETS JETS JETS ....lucky for me our team kicks off Monday night!

Spinach Dip

(10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1 (14 ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and almost pureed
1 cup shredded Italian cheese blend mozzarella, asagio etc.
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 cup Alfredo sauce homemade or bottled
4 teaspoons parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoons garlic powder

Italian Bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
In a small casserole dish, mix the spinach, artichoke hearts, cheeses, powder, mayonnaise, and Alfredo sauce. Sprinkle with bread crumbs.
Bake 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until lightly bubbly and lightly browned.
Note: to make homemade alfredo, take 1 cup of heavy cream, 1/4 cup of grating cheese and three tablespoons of butter. Melt butter, add cream, cheese and stir.

Football 2