Best Ever Ricotta Raspberry Cake

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A perfect cake for two people, you and your husband or significant other... or maybe a really really good friend! The cake is light flavored with a wonderful blend of fruit. I have made this with peaches, blueberries, blackberries and cherries... The fresh fruit is mixed with fruit jam of choice. Just amazing cheesecake you will love this!

Cookie Crust bottom:

1 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup milk
1/4 cup butter softened
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
Mix together until well blended.

In another bowl:

Beat together till smooth:
2 large eggs
1 1/4 cups ricotta cheese
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla
Beat this for 5 minutes


3/4 cup fresh whole raspberries
mixed with 2 tablespoon raspberry seedless jam warmed for 10 seconds in the microwave

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 9 x 9 x 2-inch pan ( a springform pan) line with parchment paper, cutting a piece for the bottom and making a neck collar then and spray with cooking oil anywhere metal is exposed..
Spoon the first batter into a greased 9 x 9 x 2-inch pan, using floured hands to push up the sides of the pan and spread the dough around evenly.   Add the ricotta filling to the top of the cookie batter. Carefully spoon together raspberries and jam mixture evenly on the batter. To make it swirled you would need to puree slightly the berries then run a knife through the batter in an S formation.   Bake at 350 for at least 50 minutes or until middle is clean with a toothpick.  I add a large pot of water and place inside the oven on another rack above the cheesecake, this keeps it moist. Cool cake completely before removing from the pan. Delicious served plain or with whipped cream.  Refrigerate any leftovers.


Breakfast Peach and Cranberry Scones

Sunday, August 28, 2011
2 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, cold softened
3 ripe peaches, peeled and pulse in a food processor into small chunks or chopped by hand
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup fresh chopped cranberries or craisins

 Heat oven to 400 degrees.
In a large bowl, mix dry ingredients together.  Place these ingredients with the butter into the bowl and mix together evenly like course cornmeal.
Mix together the cream,  milk and vanilla in a seperate bowl. Slowly add the liquid to the dry ingredients, fold in peaches and craisins.
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead a couple of times. Flatten the dough out until it is about 1 1/2 inches thick. Cut into 8 to 10 triangles and transfer the wedges to a baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper.

Brush the top of each scone with a little heavy cream and sprinkle with sugar.  Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown.

Baked Halibut Cashew Crusted

1/3 cup chopped toasted cashews
4 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons Italian seasoned bread crumbs (panko style preferred)
1/2 tsp crushed fresh garlic
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
pinch of cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
 4 white fish filet's ( halibut, cod, haddock)
2 tablespoon soy sauce mixed with
2 teaspoons olive oil or sesame oil
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or baking pan and spray with cooking spray.

Place the cashews, in the food processor and process until coarsely ground.  In a bowl add the nuts stir the cheese, oil, juice and garlic, garlic powder, cayenne and pepper.
Place the fish on the prepared 2 inch deep pan lined with parchment paper  and divide the nut mixture over the tops pressing into each fillet to make sure it adheres, sprinkle with bread crumbs last. Pour soy sauce, olive oil around the fish not touch the topping and  Bake until the fish flakes easily when pierced with a fork. Four pieces at approximately 1/4 inch thickness took 11 minutes.

Nutella Gourmet Double Chocolate Brownies with Mocha Nutella Frosting Recipe

Saturday, August 27, 2011
4 - 1 ounce squares unsweetened chocolate
1 cup butter
2 1/2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup all purpose white flour
1 cup chocolate chips

Frosting Ingredients:
Heavy cream or milk
Confectionery sugar
pure  vanilla
instant coffee
optional  chocolate curls (made with shaved milk chocolate candy bars) or chopped hazelnuts

350 degrees hot oven

Melt unsweetened chocolate and butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.
Stir in sugar until well mixed.
Add eggs, vanilla and salt and beat well until combined.
Fold in flour and mix just until smooth add chocolate chips.
Pour into a 9 inch square buttered and floured pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until knife comes out clean.

Cool completely frost with recipe below.  Let dry a few hours before cutting, or if you can't wait like us, place on a plate drizzle the frosting over the top and enjoy!

Mocha Nutella Frosting
1 tablespoon heavy cream or milk add more for easy flow of frosting. 
1 teaspoon dried instant coffee
2 tablespoons butter, softened
2 tablespoons Nutella
1 1/2 cups confectionery sugar
1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla

Combine 1 tablespoon milk with 1 teaspoon instant coffee and stir until coffee is dissolved.
In a medium size bowl add Nutella, sugar, vanilla, and the 1 tablespoon coffee-milk mixture. Mix well with an electric mixer, adding more milk if necessary for easy flow of frosting. Spread over brownies. Sprinkle with chocolate curls or chopped hazelnuts.

Best Georgia Peach Pecan Loaf and Best Peach Coffee Crumb Cake Recipes

Friday, August 26, 2011

A Best Georgia Peach Pecan Crumb Coffee Cake that compliments any good cup of coffee!

Here's the recipe for this great moist cake!

1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup shortening
2 eggs
2 1/4 cups peaches ( put through the food processor pureed but  leaving little chunks of peaches)

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup chopped pecans

Cream sugar and shortening together till fluffy. Add eggs and mix and combine until smooth. Add peach and rest of dry ingredients. Mix thoroughly. Add vanilla and chopped pecans and stir until blended. Pour into two pans that have been well greased (one round 8 inch and one loaf style pan). Pour batter equally into both pans. You now can make the crumb topping, add to the tops of both or just the round coffee cake. I always leave the bread loaf plain to serve with peaches and whipped cream like a shortcake. You can decide how your family will like these.

Crumb Topping Recipe:
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons cold butter
1/2 cup chopped pecans optional
Mix ingredients all together until well combined adding nuts last if using.  Sprinkle on top of cake before baking.

Bake on 325 degree preheated oven till browned around an hour. Test the middle when tooth pick comes out clean they are done. Wait 5 minutes before removing from loaf pan.


Simple Homemade Sundried Tomato Recipe and Other Tomato Tips

Thursday, August 25, 2011
Sundried tomatoes are great homemade and have so many uses. Here is some tips and recipe ideas for making simple homemade Sundried Tomatoes when you have an abundance of tomatoes and its summer time!


Nutella Dipped Frozen Bananas Recipe

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Nutella dipped frozen bananas are one of the best treats especially on a hot day! I like to think they are a frozen ice cream treat but better!


Upstate NY Chicken Riggie Fest Roundup of Recipes

Monday, August 22, 2011
Here are several different recipes that were sent to me on my Utica/Rome facebook group. I wanted to share these with all  you Riggie lovers from various Riggie Fests.  Click on  my version of  Chicken Riggies  as shown in the picture below. Also checkout another great roundup of recipes from a fellow blogger friend's post,  Joanne @Apple Crumbles  A Taste of Utica Riggies. 

If you have a favorite CHICKEN RIGGIES recipe.  Send it along to me in an email with pictures  and I will  gladly link you up to our favorite recipes here. All recipes below were submitted from Riggie lovers and fans anonymously.

 Chicken Riggies 1
1 tablespoon olive oil
5 garlic cloves, chopped
1 white onion, chopped
3 or 4 jars hot cherry peppers seeded and chopped
1 can tomato paste
2 cans (28 oz. or so) diced tomatoes
4 leaves freshly chopped basil, or 1 tablespoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
1/4 cup sherry (can use cooking sherry)
4 to 5 chicken breasts, grilled and cut into bite-size pieces*
salt to taste
freshly ground pepper to taste
1/2 to 2/3 cup light cream
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
2 1-lb. boxes of penne rigate or rigatoni

In olive oil, gently saute the garlic and onion until tender.
Add the cherry peppers, tomato paste, and canned tomatoes.
Cook on low for 20 to 25 minutes.Add chicken, sherry, low for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the light cream and Parmesan cheese, and stir in until lightly blended.
Pour mixture over hot cooked pasta. Top with mozzarella cheese.

Chicken Riggies My Recipe

5 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 cup grated Reggiano cheese
1/2 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
3 or 4 jars hot cherry peppers seeded and chopped
4 to 5 chicken breasts cubed in small pieces
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup heavy cream
2 cans (28 oz. or so) diced tomatoes
4 leaves freshly chopped basil, or 1 tablespoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
red pepper flakes

In large skillet, heat oil and butter over medium heat. Add garlic and saute until soft, around 1 minutes then add chicken, season with salt & pepper to taste and saute for 10 minutes, or until halfway cooked. Add everything but sherry until chicken is cooked.  Add sherry. Simmer 10 min.

Cook pasta and toss in the sauce. Sprinkle with more cheese. Also great with shredded mozzarella on top.

Chicken Riggies 3
Saute the following:
1 stick of real butter
1 red onion, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
24 oz. jar of roasted peppers in olive oil, sliced
5 sliced cherry peppers, mild or hot, depending on your taste
After those are sauteed, add:
1 cup Parmesan cheese
2 lbs boneless chicken breast, cubed
1 can chicken broth
1 can tomato sauce (15 oz)
1 can Alfredo sauce
Cook on stove for an hour or so, stirring so it won't burn, then serve over Rigatoni.

Chicken Riggies 4
(makes 8 servings)
2-4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cubed
1 cup tomato sauce
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup butter
8 cloves garlic, minced
8 sliced large shallots
salt and pepper to taste
1 (8 oz jar) sweet red peppers, drained & julienned
1/2 cup Sherry
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 (16oz box) Rigatoni pasta
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 8oz pk sliced fresh mushrooms
1 (2.5oz can) sliced black olives
1 cup Parmesan/Romano cheese
In large skillet, heat oil and butter over medium heat. Add garlic and shallots and saute until soft, then add chicken, season with salt & pepper to taste and saute for 10 minutes, or until halfway cooked. Add every thing but sherry cook 10 min. Add sherry. Simmer 10 min.
Cook pasta toss.

 Chicken Riggies 5
1 Bottle of State Farm BBQ Sauce
5 pounds chicken cut up in chunks
½ Cup of White Wine
Pint of Heavy Cream
16 oz of Grated Cheese
Large Can of Tomato Sauce
Large Can of Diced Tomatoes - Petite
8oz Can of Tomato Paste
5-6 Cloves of Garlic
2 Medium Onions Chopped
4-5 Cherry Peppers
Small container of Mushrooms
2-3 Chopped Red or Green Peppers
1 Teaspoon each of Parsley, Oregano and Basil
Olives to Taste at the end
Marinate the chicken in the BBQ sauce for at least three hours.
Add a few tablespoons of olive oil to a pan and saute the chopped garlic and onions. Don't burn! Add in, wine, Tomato sauce, diced and paste. Include the dry spices. Cover and simmer. Add in peppers and mushrooms.
Fry chicken but do not discard the BBQ sauce. Add cooked chicken to the red sauce.
In another pan mix BBQ sauce, cream and grated cheese. Slowly bring to a boil until the sauce is thick-smooth.
Mix the two sauces together and cook together for a few minutes.


Flounder Francese (Egg Coated Recipe)

Saturday, August 20, 2011

4 flounder fillets, 6 to 8 ounces each
Salt and pepper
3 large eggs
3 tablespoons heavy cream
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
3 tablespoons butter, divided
1/2 cup dry white wine
fresh parsley, finely chopped or dried
1 lemon, zest and juiced
3 tablespoons capers optional for us
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

Preheat a large nonstick skillet over medium to medium high heat. Season the fish with salt and pepper. Beat eggs with cream. Add 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil to the skillet, add 2 tablespoons butter, cut into chunks. Dip the fish into the egg and cream mixture and cook on both sides until just golden, 5 to 6 minutes total. Transfer fish to an oven proof dish, cover and put oven on lowest temperature to keep warm.
Add wine to the pan and reduce by half, 1 minute, then add 1 tablespoon butter and a handful of parsley to the pan. Stir in the lemon juice and zest and the capers if using. Turn off heat. Pour sauce over fish. Spinach is a nice side dish for  flounder.

For recipe click on " Spinach" above


Chocolate on Chocolate Boston Cream Pie

Friday, August 19, 2011
Today I had to make something special for the love of my life as we are celebrating our 11th wedding anniversary. The best 11 years of my life, my best friend, my equal, my love is forever lasting.

Chocolate on Chocolate Boston Cream Pie

Using cocoa powder on the bottom of a greased pan looks so much better on chocolate cakes!


A Special 90th Birthday to a Dear Friend

Happy 90th Birthday Jim.  Wishing You Many More Happy, Healthy Years Ahead ...With the many more accomplishments your yet to achieve! Your an amazing man.  We all can just hope to learn the secret of  your youth you have with your continued wisdom. As they say you look marvelous my dear!  Congratulations and Best Wishes to you today and always!

Missing you both!

I know chocolate is your favorite so this piece I saved for you! 

Samoas Knockoff Cookie Bars

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

If you love Samoa Girl Scout cookies then this easy bar cookie is for you. What an awesome treat. I have to say this is genius easy! Enjoy! Samoas Knockoff Cookie Bars are so much easier

These are a famous knockoff girlscout cookie called samoas in a bar cookie.


Zucchini Coconut Quick Bread Recipe

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

1 egg
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup white sugar
1 cup grated zucchini
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 cup flaked coconut
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup dried apples, raisins, craisins or if your a chocoholic 1/2 cup milk or semi sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease one 9x5x3 inch loaf pan.
If using craisins or raisins, in  small pan boil one cup water. Add  craisins, and boil for two minutes. Drain.

In mixing bowl beat egg, oil, and sugar. Stir in zucchini and vanilla.
In another bowl, measure flour, baking powder, soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, coconut, pecans, and apples.
 ( craisins, raisins or chocolate if using go in place of the apples). Stir to combine thoroughly. Pour all at once over batter in mixing bowl. Stir to moisten. Turn into greased 9x5x3 inch loaf pan.
Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 1 hour until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Turn out on rack. Cool and wrap.

Milk Chocolate Coconut Zucchini batter~
Coconut and Milk Chocolate Chips are an awesome combo. If you double this recipe (as I always do) you can split the batter to make a few different kinds!


Baked Vanilla Doughnuts with White Chocolate Ganache Glaze

Monday, August 15, 2011

I just love my new donut pan!  If you haven't tried baked donuts, they are so easy, light and actually fun even if you hate baking!  I made the chocolate one's first this time these are a cinnamon vanilla flavor. (I put rum in the ganache) Here's a great recipe that actually came with the pan ....

Baked Vanilla Doughnuts with White Chocolate Ganache Glaze

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon rice vinegar or you can use white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 egg
4 tablespoons butter, softened

For the Glaze:
1/4 cup butter
3 ounces white chocolate
1 3/4 cup powdered sugar
4-5 tablespoons rum or water

 Colored Sprinkles
Mixture of Cinnamon & Sugar

Melt the butter in a microwave proof large bowl. Add the vinegar, milk, vanilla and stir, I love to watch that thicken as it curdles. Whisk in egg. Then add all the dry ingredients till well blended. Lightly spray donut pans.

Taking a sturdy zip lock bag fill it with the batter, snip a little piece of the end off and pipe the donuts into the pans to fill about 2/3 full each. Bake for 8 minutes or until tops spring back when lightly touched. Cool on parchment paper.

For Glaze:  In a microwave safe bowl, add white chocolate and butter till melted. Mix in sugar and water, stir mixing till blended. Dip donuts in ganache and sprinkle with either colored sprinkles or cinnamon and sugar. Makes 12.

Do you like Chocolate Donuts Better Click here > Dark Chocolate Baked Donuts


Seven Links Of Your Food Recipes and Blogging Experiences GAME~

Sunday, August 14, 2011
There is a game going around the Blogging world called Seven Links. Basically there are 7 questions, that you answer using previous posts of yours. 
Lizzy (a very talented fabulous baker and cook! Thank you for tagging me I really enjoyed this one!)
 @ Thatskinnychickcanbake~ tagged me, so it's my turn to tell you of my experiences, failures and successes  :)  I really believe we have no failures as they are successes because we can only learn from them!

Here are my Seven Links:
(all have links for the recipes included with their title names just click on them)

1. Most Beautiful Post Italian Style Shrimp Cocktail: My mom RIP was my dearest friend, her memory lives on in her fabulous recipes and this one came out beautiful, I think it was her hand of inspiration with love that led the way here.

2. Most Popular Post: Nutella No Name Cupcakes to date this Nutella filled cupcake has the most hits over any other recipes or entry. This cupcake got the most reposts and comments as well as stumbled traffic then anything else.

3. Most Controversial Post: Chocolate Nutella Crepe: This  one is a little embarassing, as this one got reposted on just about every food porn site. I couldn't believe the traffic it got, very risque' comments. Especially on Reddit and This is why your huge, just to name a few. Many comments referred to this as it looked like a private part of the body (you get the message). I hate to say this but I hope I never post anything that gets that kind of attention again ever!


4. The Most Helpful Post: How To Fry a Turkey: I have to give credit to my wonderful husband and son that developed a safe way to fry a Turkey rigging up a ladder and rope for this great tutorial!

5. Post that was surprisingly successful: Avocado Fries: These were so simple nothing to it, figured they didn't sound good to anyone unless they were avocado lovers like me and  they looked kind of weird. They ended up having more comments and still do along with stumbles.

6. Post that did not get the attention it deserved NY Style Cheesecake: There are some recipes we give up that are so special, handed down through generations. Sometimes it's us that really knows that meaning when we share those recipes from the heart. This was one. I was dissappointed on the reception of views, hardly none It was my husband's 40th, but the importance comes from sharing moments together we often miss as bloggers.

7. Post you are most proud of: Traditional Sunday Sauce the next generation: My son Curts  first attempt to make grandma's sauce. He adapted it to his own way by adding what he loves the taste more of.  We also made homemade cavatelli that day, and he learned so quick. I was over joyed by the outcome, his sauce was fantastic, the cavatelli was fun to make together. Some have daughters to help in the kitchen, both my sons cook and make me proud they carry on the traditions that I grew up with they make me so proud as I am sure mom and dad are looking down smiling too! 

There are 2 rules. One link per category. And a tag  to 5 bloggers who will recreate their fabulous posts.

 Here are my 5 Tags your it!

Fine Dining at its best!

Catherine @Living the Gourmet  

Laurie May-Alves @Food is Love

Tracey @Tasty Trix

Victoria @Mission Food

Drick @Dricks Rambling Cafe'

Don't Forget to check out these other AMAZING FOOD BLOGGERS CLICK HERE!


Maple Filled Whoopie Pie Cookie Recipe

Saturday, August 13, 2011

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup oatmeal pulsed through a food processor till fine
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon maple flavoring
2 large eggs
 optional: 3/4 cup  finely chopped walnuts

Mix sugar and butter together till fluffy. Add flour, oatmeal, eggs then rest of dry ingredients together till well blended. Fold in nut.
Roll in a ball and flatten onto parchment lined cookie sheet and bake for 8 to11 minutes at 350 degree oven till set.
Cool on wire rack.


8 ounces cream cheese
4 cups confectioners' sugar
1/4 teaspoon maple flavoring

In the meantime combine in a bowl cream cheese, sugar and flavoring blend until smooth.
When cookies are cool sandwich together with this filling. Cookies will store better in the freezer if you don't eat them all at once. Take them out as needed or they will dry out.

Recipes In Review Summer Fun Is Almost Over

Friday, August 12, 2011
Warm weather seems to bring out the best in all of us, we cook our favorite foods, visit our favorite places, hopefully have quality time with family and friends. Unfortunately it goes by way to fast. Hopefully you all have enjoyed every minute and it was an eventful summer. Living in Florida it's all year round. But school started this past Monday, so traffic is back to being unbelieveable in the mornings and for us, the feeling of summer, quiet and parties are pretty much over.

 We start thinking about holiday planning, here is some of the foods we had enjoyed with you here this year @What's Cookin', enjoy the rest of your summer everyone!

 These were the most viewed for the last two months ... thank you and enjoy the last month of summer!  HAPPY COOKING :)  Just click on high lighted titles for the recipes!

 How to prepare Broiled Lobster with Garlic Butter
Italian Style Grilled Wings

Grilled Porterhouse with Chianti Butter

Buffalo Baked Potatoes

NY Style Feast Sausage and Peppers
Grilled Lemon Salmon
Grilled Eggplant

Avocado Fries
Pork Rib Roast with Jack Daniels Glaze
 Italian Prosciutto  Plum Tomato  Pie

Blackberry Cobbler

Italian Cannoli Cake

Pina Colada Frozen Gelato