Noodles Romano Recipe

Friday, September 30, 2011

1/4 cup butter softened
2 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
1 tablespoon fresh chopped basil
1- 8oz package cream cheese
salt, pepper to taste
dash of red pepper flakes
2/3 cup boiling chicken broth
1/2 pound 8 oz of fettucine noodles or use your favorite pasta
1 lb of fresh baby bella mushrooms cleaned (to get all the particles out, I usually boil in water around 3 to 4 minutes) and  then sautee' in butter and add garlic powder or fresh garlic minced
1 clove minced garlic
1/4 cup butter
3/4 cup Romano cheese grated or shredded

Cream cheese sauce:
Combine 1/4 cup butter, parsley, basil and blend in cream cheese. Stir in seasonings to taste. Add chicken broth, mix well if using mushrooms add now,  and keep warm.

Cook noodles seperate in salted water, drain.

In another pan, Saute garlic in butter 2 minutes. Pour over noodles and toss. Sprinkle with  1/2 the grating cheese, spoon warm cream sauce over the top, garnish with more grating cheese and additonal parsley if desired.

Ditalini Garbanzo (Chickpea) Florentine Soup

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

2 cups cooked chickpea's canned or freshly made
2 cups ditalini pasta boiled and drained
6 plum tomatoes diced
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 can of diced tomatoes not drained
1 can tomato paste plus two cans of water
2 cloves minced garlic
1 bag fresh spinach chopped
1 16oz can chicken broth
1/2 cup white wine
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt, pepper, oregano, parsley and garlic powder
grating cheese for garnish

In a large saucepan, add oil and garlic saute till brown. Add chickpea's and spinach and saute till wilted 2 to 3 minutes. Add spices, chicken broth, tomatoes, water and wine. Simmer for around 1/2 hour. Add separately boiled pasta. If too thick add more water for desired thickness. Top with red pepper flakes and grating cheese.  Serve with garlic bread.

Baby Shower Bassinet Egg Salad Food Art

Saturday, September 24, 2011
I just want to say, all you artists out there, you can make this as creative as you want. Pipe some ruffles, a skirting around the bottom and you will have even a fancier bassinet for that perfect baby shower.

Round off the edges, cutting off the end leaving the bottom whole,
 pulling out the bread for the top of the bassinet

Slice the loaf in half, fill with your favorite filling, egg salad, tuna salad,ham or chicken are always a hit!

Secure the tops with toothpicks into the bottom loaves, proceed with frosting

My baby learned quick what the best foods were to eat!
 Pictured is his late dad ( you may have read Farewell to Ed recently R.I.P.) myself
 and our son Chad's first Thanksgiving! Precious moments, make everyone count.

Filling suggestions : egg salad, ham salad, chicken salad ( picture is egg salad)

 Here is what I used:
6 eggs
1/2 cup mayonnaise
dash of garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
3 - 8 oz packages of cream cheese

Boil eggs until hard boiled, drain, peel. I put mine through the food processor and pulse leaving chunky. In a medium bowl, add mayo, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Mix evenly.

Cut the end of full loaf off. Set aside.
Take the loaf and slice in half.
Secure the end on top of loaf with toothpicks.
In a large mixer, place the cream cheese in an industrial size mixer using a flat beater. Beat cream cheese till light and fluffy, keep adding whole milk until spreading consistency is easy.
You will now need to set the bread as show above on a nice platter. Spread with favorite filling.
Frost with a tinted whipped cream cheese covering completely.
You can use a white cream cheese and by using a piping bag with a ruffle style tip, add the cream cheese that is whipped into the bag and pipe the white ruffles to accent the bassinets. You can also write the babies name on the bassinet if known.

Hopefully the next ones I make will be for my own grand babies, but for now I made them for a very  special colleage of mine...
Always a hit and conversational piece.

Now after 31 years he is making his own desserts (Cannoli Upstate NY Style click that title for the recipe on cannoli ) and favorite foods my baby! Where or where does the time go?

Pink Ambrosia Fruit Salad

Friday, September 23, 2011

A perfect collection of color for a baby shower I had to attend. Mixture of colored marshmallows with tinted pink whipped topping, a coworker will be welcoming a little girl in a few weeks!

1 3 1/4 oz package of instant french vanilla pudding mix
1 20 oz can crushed pineapple not drained

1 - 16oz or 20 oz can fruit cocktail drained
 2 - 8 oz cans mandarin oranges drained
1 10 oz  bag colored miniature marshmallow
1 (12 ounce) container Cool Whip tinted with 1 drop of red food coloring

1/2 cup coconut tinted with 1 drop red food coloring and 1 tablespoon water mixed together set aside
maraschino cherries with stems for garnish

 In a medium size bowl add pudding with pineapple and juice evenly.  Mix all the rest of the other ingredients in order together . Fold in whipped topping. Chill and top with maraschino cherries and  sprinkle with tinted coconut.

Note: Use pistachio instant pudding for green color if the sex of the baby is unknown. You won't have to tint the whipped topping as it will all turn a light green. If you need blue proceed with blue food coloring to the whipped topping and coconut.

Very Berry Lemon Scones

Thursday, September 22, 2011
It's that cool nip in the air that brings scones to a new found appreciation, why not bake some to brighten up your day?
These are a wonderful flavor and addition to any household breakfast... give them a try you won't be sorry!

1 1/2 cups fresh blackberries
1 cup fresh strawberries sliced then in half
1/2 cup light brown sugar
pinch of cinnamon
Zest of 1  lemon
2 1/4 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup milk

Extra flour
White sugar, for topping

Heat the oven to 350 and prepare two baking sheets by lining with parchment or lightly spraying with spray oil.
Slice the strawberries into small half slices either by hand set aside. Wash blackberries pat dry and set aside. In a bowl or food processor mix all dry ingredients then add chilled cut up butter into the dry ingredients, add brown sugar and lemon zest into the food processor or bowl and mix until fine and crumbly. Stir in the beaten egg and milk. Fold in fruits.

Sprinkle the counter or a board with flour, and dump the dough out on it. It will be very wet and sticky. Mound a rectagular mound around an inch high and cut into desired shapes using any cookie cutter round.

 Sprinkle with granulated sugar.

Bake for about 25 minutes or until just getting golden. While warm drizzle with a mixture of confectionary sugar and leftover juice from the lemon to make a very thick glaze. Drizzle over the top of warm scones. Serve warm.

Easy Cake Mix Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake

Wednesday, September 21, 2011
1 (18 1/4 ounce) box yellow cake mix
1 (3 1/2 ounce) box instant vanilla pudding
8 ounces sour cream
4 eggs
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup warm water
8 ounces mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
Optional 1/2 cup course chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease your bundt pan.

In a large bowl mix all ingredients beating well (except chocolate chips) together.
Fold in the chocolate chips, pour into a heavily greased bundt pan
Bake for 45-60 minutes. Allow cake to cool completely. Sprinkle with powdered sugar if preferred.

Herb Parmesan Vegetable Penne Pasta

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

1 cup sliced julienne carrots
1 cup frozen peas
2 cups broccoli florets
1 cup diced eggplant or zucchini
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes,  and parsley
1 clove minced garlic
Saute vegetables in 2 tablespoons olive oil, garlic, season with salt pepper and herbs till desired softness, we like them soft around 6-8 minutes. Set aside.

1 box penne pasta or pasta of choice
Boil  salt water for pasta of choice.  Cook pasta and set aside.

In the meantime make herb parmesan sauce.
In a large fry pan, melt 2 tablespoon butter, 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil saute 2 cloves of minced garlic in pan on medium heat. Lower heat and add 1 1/2 cups chicken broth. Season with salt pepper and a pinch of rosemary, add 1 teaspoon chopped parsley. Add 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese. Stir all together. Add sauteed vegetables to this sauce. Serve over cooked pasta toss with more parmesan. Great over rice too.

Strawberry Banana Cream Mudslide Trifle

Sunday, September 18, 2011
A fluffy cream filling over light sponge cake saturated with Kahlua Mudslide Liqueur

Looks really fancy but a quick throw together when you have unexpected company or a pot luck to go to.

1 fresh pound of sliced strawberries
2 sliced bananas
1 pint blueberries washed
sponge cake recipe  click here (you can also use store bought lady fingers or sponge cake rounds found in the produce fruit section of your grocery store)
Kahlua Mudslide Liqueur around 1/4 cup more if you like (for non liqueur cake use strong coffee mixed with favorite flavored creamer, like Irish Cream found in your local grocery dairy sections)
1 small package instant banana cream pie filling
1 8oz container of whipped topping thawed
strawberry jam heated in the microwave till it turns to liquid around 12 seconds (or use some strawberry ice cream topping found in the ice cream section of your grocery store.)

In a medium size bowl make banana cream instant pudding using only 1-3/4 cups of whole milk. Beat till thick.  Gently fold in thawed whipped topping and set aside.

In a trifle bowl or any other deep dish bowl, line bottom with small pieces of sponge cake. Drizzle mudslide liqueur on each piece. Next layer evenly with sliced strawberries, blueberries and sliced bananas, drizzle with some strawberry syrup (just a few teaspoons on the fruits.) Spoon half of the banana cream topping over all of this. Begin again starting with the sponge cake layer, as above repeated ending with cream mixture. Garnish with strawberries, drizzle some syrup. A great dessert!

Milk Chocolate Coconut Toasted Almond Butter

Friday, September 16, 2011

1 1/2 cups unsweetened, shredded coconut (or sweetened if you have a problem finding it)
1 1/2 cups raw almonds
4 ounces milk chocolate  (I used symphony bars made by Hersheys)
pinch of kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon coconut oil, or coconut extract

Preheat your oven to 300 degrees.
Spread the almonds out on a parchment lined cookie sheet  bake for 15 minutes, stirring them every 5 minutes so they roast on both sides,  While almonds are toasting, add shredded coconut a food processor and pulse until fine texture,  about 5 minutes to 7 minutes.  After the coconut begins to become soft and fine in texture, add the coconut oil or coconut extract.  Add almonds to the coconut and  pulse in the processor while the almonds are still slightly warm.  Blend and pulse, till this all comes together.  Melt the milk chocolate (I use the microwave, melting it in 30 second increments and stirring until it’s melted) and add to the almond butter. Blend until fully incorporated.

Nut butters should be stored in the refrigerator.  I take them out about an hour or so before serving to soften, as they harden in cooler temperatures.

Danish Almond Pastry Ring Recipe

Thursday, September 15, 2011
An easy almond flavored delicious pastry a great quick dessert that goes great with coffee and tea. Even taste great without the frosting! Not too sweet, but the sliced almonds are wonderful on top!


First Step:
1 stick butter
1 cup flour
2 tablespoons water

Second Step:
1 c. water
1 stick butter
2 teaspoons pure almond extract
1 c. flour
3 eggs

Frosting Topping:

2 cup confectioners sugar
1 stick butter, softened
1 teaspoon pure almond extract
Slivered or sliced almonds toasted
Mix butter, sugar, extract, add milk to make a flowing frosting.

Recipe for pastry:

 Cut butter into flour, add water, form into a ball. Shape dough into a large donut ring. Put on large parchment lined cookie sheet and flatten. Set aside.

 Bring to a boil 1 cup water, add butter; remove from heat. Add extract, quickly beat in flour then eggs, one at a time, beating well after each egg. Spread this mixture on top of the above pastry ring on  the parchment paper.  Bake 1 hour at 350 degrees.

Cool. Make frosting, brush the top of cooled ring.  Decorate with sliced almonds

Memories, Farewell to Ed, R.I.P.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Farewell to Ed, may the Angels hold you tight and keep you smiling now.

My heart is sad for my two sons. Their dad passed away yesterday at 3pm, 9-11-2011

Their Dad's favorite tv series of all time was the original Star Trek .

I will be taking a break from blogging for a few days, this is a dedication to my two wonderful sons in the memory of their father during this sad time for them.

Ed, lost his battle to cancer.


Strawberry French Toast Waffle Recipe

I love how this thick Italian Bread transformed to a waffle french toast without all the frying mess so much easier, this really was a delicious change. Both my sons loved it, although they did add lots of butter on top. I decided to photograph them without globs of creamy butter.
 So, here I give you our version of French Toast Waffles!

Inspired and adapted by Bobby Flay

5 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
2 Tablespoons Amaretto
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt

8 slices Italian thick cut bread ( approximately 2 inches thick remove crusts if you prefer)

Nonstick cooking spray or melted butter
Berries of choice, raspberries, blackberries or strawberries
Strawberry jam

Heat waffle maker while preparing the batter for the bread.

Beat the eggs into a medium baking dish and whisk lightly. Add the milk, vanilla, Amaretto and salt and whisk until smooth.

Dip bread slices and soak in the egg mixture completely on both sides.
Place on oil sprayed waffle maker cook till browned.

In the meantime, place strawberries in the food processor with 1/4 cup strawberry jam, pulse till smooth. Heat in small saucepan for 5 minutes before serving.

Carefully remove each French toast waffle to a plate using a fork or tongs. Serve with strawberry sauce and sides of your choice, bacon, ham, sausages.

The sauce will keep in the refrigerator stored in a container with a tight fitting lid for 1 week.

Italian Shrimp Parmesan Stuffed Peppers Recipe

Saturday, September 10, 2011

6 green or red peppers cleaned and seeded and hollowed out leaving a empty cavity

1 cup of quick cooking rice raw
1 1/2 cups frozen baby shrimp thawed (easier to stuff them with but you can use larger ones if you like)
 1/4  teaspoon garlic powder, cayenne pepper, basil, oregano
 salt and pepper to taste
1 egg slightly beaten
4 tablespoons of grated cheese
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 small can of tomato sauce 4 oz
1 can tomato paste mixed with 1/2 cup water
1/2 cup white wine (extra water for the bottom of pan)
Mix in a bowl, add 4 fresh garlic cloves peeled minced fine
Set aside.
1/2 cup italian flavored panko bread crumbs
1 tablespoon pecorino romano grated cheese
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, oregano
dash of cayenne pepper
Mix all above ingredients in a bowl together and set aside
2 cups mozzarella cheese
olive oil

In a large bowl mix, egg, shrimp, tomato sauce, herbs,  raw rice, spices and cheese. Mix together well, proceed to then stuff peppers. Place in lightly sprayed baking dish. Top with bread crumb mixture. Drizzle the tops with olive oil.
Pour the tomato wine sauce on the bottom of  the baking dish with water and cloves of garlic. Spoon tomato paste wine sauce around the sides of the peppers in the pan, while baking baste the tops with sauce adding more water if it gets too thick. Bake for at least 40 minutes or until tender. Five minutes before they are done sprinkle with mozzarella, broil until cheese is browned.

I love to serve bow tie pasta on the side or whatever your favorite pasta is preferred.

No Knead 5 minute Bread Recipes and Aggression Cookies

Friday, September 9, 2011

The easiest bread you will ever make!

The most versatile dough on the web!

This dough is the most popular everywhere on the web! You can find hundreds of posts on this 5 minute bread and it's no wonder the bread is fabulous! Everyone that hasn't tried this bread before will marvel at the results. There was only one other recipe in my life that was easier than this one and we will talk about that later in this post.
This dough makes at least 3 loaves of bread, 3 pan pizzas and even some left over for tomorrow with my crew. Tonight we decided on 2 pizzas, 1 bread with sesame seeds on top and tomorrow we will finish it up the rest of the dough. This dough that will last in the refrigerator for 14 days.

Spinach, Slices of Tomato, Feta Cheese and Mozzarella
Drizzled with Olive Oil and Minced Garlic On Top
  The recipe reminded me of my first easiest oatmeal cookie I ever made, they are related in a way because they take no time at all and anyone can do this! That first cookie I made was in a class called home economics, at age 13 and they were called aggression cookies.
 Now many years later we have a easy delicious bread everyone can make with hundreds of uses.  Pizza and a dough that can literally be transformed into anything you want!
The only thing missing is your imagination... so lets get it going.  I am making two personal pan pizza's and a round loaf of sesame seeded bread.

My recipe was adapted from hundreds on the web see listed below:

My version of 5 minute Artisan Bread :
3 cups lukewarm water should feel like warm to your wrist, not hot
1 1/2 tablespoons granulated fast acting yeast (2 packets)
1 1/2 tablespoons regular salt, kosher or sea salt
1 1/2  tablespoons sugar
6 1/2 cups sifted all purpose white flour
Extra flour for your hands while molding the dough
Sesame Seeds toasted optional

You need a bowl to mix in with a cover to store it in as well.
Make sure the water is luke warm to the touch, this is very important to the rising method.
Add yeast, salt and sugar to the water in a 5 quart bowl or a plastic container with a lid.
Mix in the flour there is no kneading necessary. I put all ingredients in my Kitchen Aid mixer and cheated for 10 seconds (lazy), and then put it in the plastic container and covered it. If your doing this by hand, using a large 5 quart bowl and spoon just mix till everything is uniformly combined well. The dough should be wet and loose. I am so spoiled!

Allow to rise. Cover with a lid (not airtight). I used a cheap dollar store version that just has a loosely fitting cover. Allow the mixture to rise at room temperature until it begins to collapse (or at least flattens on top), about two hours. If you choose to rise longer its fine. I refrigerate the dough overnight (or rise at least 3 hours) before trying to shape a loaf. The dough will keep for up to 14 days in the refrigerator, I use it fresh every night. This bread is best eaten the same day, it drys out quickly.
On a floured surface shape your dough the easiest was to shape as shown like an oval and put in a cake pan. The top of the dough should be smooth.. Place the dough onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, parchment is my best friend in cooking anything, so easy to use and won't stick, it's really a must have with this recipe. Let the loaf rise for about 60 minutes uncovered. If it doesn't look like it has risen much, don't worry it will rise in the oven. Preheat oven for at least 20 minutes at 450 degrees. You can also cook on a baking stone which will give you a crisper crust. Baking stones can be found in any department store. Dust the top of your loaf with a little flour and slash the top with a razor blade. You need a very sharp knife if you don't have a razor blade.
Bake in hot oven adding a pan of water inside your oven in an oven proof pan or glass dish. Slide the bread (including the parchment paper) I sprinkle the whole sheet with the toasted sesame seeds, on your sheet or right onto the hot baking stone.

 The water creates the necessary steam to make a nice crisp crust on the bread. Bake at 430 F for about 25 - 30 minutes. Cool a few minutes if you can before drowning in creamy butter!

Margarita Pizza just a little sauce,  sliced tomato and fresh basil, olive oil, garlic and mozzarella

 For the pizza, I just stretched them into greased round or square pans for personal pan pizza. Then just add your favorite toppings, bake as directed above till browned.  Here are some other recipes around the web! If you are not on the list, then I didn't find you in search engines. Do you have a post you would like added?  Send it to me in email or comments,  I would gladly add you here to this list.

Steamy Kitchen's         Artisan Bread with Zoe         The Food of Love
Amatuer Gourmet        The Sisters Cafe                    My Baking Addiction        
Rocket Bread              Family To Go                         Sleepless Foodie             
Foodess                       Simple Bites                          Smitten Kitchen
Makes and Takes        FormerChef                            My Mans Belly
Better with Butter       Chicken in the road                Ravenous Couple
The Italian Dish          In Good Taste                        Suzie the foodie
Oh, so you wanted to know what the recipe for aggression cookies are... made by hand no mixers here, and you have to roll them by hand too (smile) fun for the kids and they love them!

My first cookie at age 12 in grade school...

 Aggression Cookies

3 cups brown sugar
3 cups butter
6 cups oatmeal
3 cups flour, all-purpose
1 tablespoon baking soda
cinnamon sugar mixture
 optional : 2 cups raisins,  chocolate chips, butterscotch chips or a mixture of both

Put the ingredients in large bowl. By hand you need to mix these together by squeezing, kneading,  until it is completely blended. Roll into small balls about 1 to 1 1/2 inches in size.

Place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Butter the bottom of a small glass and dip into white sugar and cinnamon, then pound the cookies flat.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 to 12 minutes.

Hope you enjoyed this post leave a comment share your experiences and have some fun with this bread!
Thanks for reading!

Roasted Eggplant and Garlic Dip with Toasted Pita Wedges Recipe

Thursday, September 8, 2011
                                        Roasted Eggplant and Garlic Dip with Parsley

1 large eggplant (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1 teaspoon  extra virgin olive oil plus more for brushing eggplant
1 large whole head of garlic, unpeeled
4 teaspoon fresh lemon juice, or to taste
1/3 cup tahini (sesame seed paste)
3/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley leaves ( I pulse in my food processor)
Preheat oven to 450°F.

Prick eggplant with a fork several times and on a baking sheet brush with oil to coat.
Cut off and discard top quarter of garlic heads, making sure you can see the cloves and place the garlic in middle of a large piece of parhcment paper or you can use foil however it may stick, I only use parchment. Sprinkle garlic with 1 teaspoon oil and fold the garlic completely in parchment paper face down. Place packet next to eggplant on baking sheet and roast in middle of oven, turning eggplant after 30 minutes, 45 to 50 minutes, or until eggplant is very soft and falls down. Cool.

  Transfer eggplant to cutting board. Cut off and discard stem end and halve eggplant lengthwise. Scoop flesh out into a bowl, scraping as close to skin as possible. If there is any liquid pour it out.
Squeeze roasted garlic from skins into a food processor. Add eggplant, lemon juice, tahini, parsley, and salt to taste and blend until smooth and parsley is minced fine. Dip may be made 1 day ahead and chilled,  keeping covered. Transfer dip to a bowl and serve with toasted pita wedges.

Mahi Mahi Parmesan Appetizer Bites Recipe

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

These are bite size batter dipped and fried Mahi Mahi. A delicious Florida appetizer we make often. Great anytime for snacks or just the perfect dinner appetizer.

Also great on any fish you use this batter on.

these are mahi mahi appetizers made with beer batter to dip fish in and then fried


Pina Colada Pineapple Rum Cake

Sunday, September 4, 2011
A simple cake we make every year during a holiday, tropical treat and very festive when decorated. this Pina Colada Pineapple Rum Cake is a cake that keeps well for a few days, so you can even make this one ahead of time! Moist and delicious!


Grilled Lamb Chops with Wine Garlic Mint Marinade

Thursday, September 1, 2011
I have to confess, my pictures were taking me so long to find a good shot that these chops got cold. I just love lamb. For those of you that have posted lamb recipe, you already know that. My mom and dad would treat us to a favorite restaurant called Joe's in East Utica when growing up. Oh boy, not only were they grilled to perfection, but a pile of them loaded up on a plate back then for a group of four were only $30.00  for around 20 chops can you believe that!  These have the same familiar flavors, grilled, garlic and just a wonderful aroma~

This marinade makes them so tender they rip away from the bone. The mint and garlic are a perfect spice to make them have a wonderful flavor.
I usually move the garlic and mint to another chop while flipping the cooked ones, so not to burn the toppings, then place both back on the flipped chops and continue cooking with the mint and garlic on top to enhance those flavors while grilling.
4 to 6 lamb chops shoulder
4 whole garlic cloves
6 to 8 fresh mint leaves
4 fresh basil leaves
2 sprigs of fresh oregano ( if you have it or use dried below)
1/2 teaspoon each garlic powder, black pepper, oregano, parsley, salt
1 cup of dry white wine
1/4 cup olive oil

Dad use to have a huge garden, I have herbs everywhere, tomatoes and peppers this year. The mint is in the middle,  right oregano to the side and basil to the left.. Parsley is in another pot with dill. For me, there nothing like fresh herbs. I harvest them for all year round, click here for tips.
Mix wine and herbs in a large 13x9 baking dish, place chops in there and marinate for at least 4 hours.
Preheat grill, place chops on heated grill and top with garlic cloves and mint leaves. Baste with marinade two or three times. Turn once and baste again.
For other Lamb Recipes try Leg of Lamb in White Wine