Halloween Food Recipes and Graveyard Ghost Dirt Pie

Monday, October 31, 2011
A chocolate dirt pie for Halloween, perfect for any party!

Oreo Cookie Crust
 1 package mini marshmallows
 1 package nutter butter cookies
 1 package Oreo cookies (crush about 2 cups with a rolling pin inside of a zip lock bag.)
1 large package of instant chocolate pudding following package instuctions put in the refrigerator
2 cups whipped topping
red, blue and black pre made tube frosting
optional: gummy worms( to stick inside the dirt)  candy corn, or other Halloween candy of choice

Pour prepared  chocolate instant pudding into premade pie shell, top with whipped topping, crumble oreo cookies on top of pie. Cut nutter butters in half. Decorate with sayings of choice, initials R.I.P. etc. Let dry.
Use toothpicks to make ghosts with mini marshmallows and pipe with black icing the eyes.

Click here for more Halloween Recipe idea's and photo's to have a spooky party!  2010

More Idea's:

Happy Halloween!

From the Good Witch of the North that rode South !!


Ed's Farewell Cake Memorial with Marble Cake and Buttercream Icing

Sunday, October 30, 2011
Today is the funeral memorial, we are dedicating his day with his favorite "Star Trek" themes. Actually, it's kind of fitting for him in his final resting place as he is on a new trek in his afterlife journey.

I decided to make one of his favorite cakes and of course Star Trek must be included in his memory.

My talented husband drew the photo with a toothpick on the cake and I filled it in. I had taken cake decorating classes years ago, I never did master the art of writing with frosting, but the true partnership together today made this cake perfect and I know Ed would have loved it!

Marble cake with butter cream frosting was one of his favorites.

R.I.P Ed,

Today is the funeral memorial, we are dedicating his day with his favorite "Star Trek" themes. Actually, it's kind of fitting for him in his final resting place as he is on a new trek in his afterlife journey.
I decided to make one of his favorite cakes and of course Star Trek must be included in his memory.
My talented husband drew the photo with a toothpick on the cake and I filled it in. I had taken cake decorating  classes years ago, I never did master the art of writing with frosting, but the true partnership together  today made this cake perfect and I know Ed would have loved it!

Marble cake with butter cream frosting was one of his favorites.


 "This one's for you whereever you are".. 

3/4 cup butter, softened
2 eggs
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. of almond extract
1 1/4 cups milk, half and half sour milk or buttermilk
1 cup of mini chocolate chip
1/4 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
Mix the butter sugar together until light. Add flour, eggs,baking powder,baking soda, vanilla and milk. Beat till smooth, around three minutes, split batter into two bowls.
Add the unsweetened cocoa powder to one bowl mix well.
Grease the pan of your choice, o you can use a bundt pan, or two 8 inch pans using same method. Start with a small amount of vanilla cake batter on the bottom, add a dollop of chocolate batter in the center, sprinkle just the chocolate with mini chocolate chips. Continue layering until all the batter is gone. Do not stir. Bake at 350 for around 40 minutes till done, test with a toothpick if it comes out clean in the center.
Cool completely.
 Tip Note:
The easiest way to do a tranfer of a photo, is to take a cookie sheet upside down flat even side. Place on the back of a flat cookie sheet your favorite coloring book photo, tape it. Place wax paper over it and  tape securely then trace with frosting. When dry lift and place on the cake. If you are an artist like my husband you can draw the photo straight onto the cake with a tooth pick and fill in with a star tip.
You can use Royal icing or this frosting below, however its take up to three weeks to dry the one below hard enough so it won't break when lifting. The best thing about using the star tip to trace the photo even if it broke you can fix it with fresh frosting no one will know!

Butter Cream High Humidity Frosting:  Great for Florida or hot weather area's.
2 lbs powdered sugar
2/3 cup crisco
2/3 cup water
1 package of dream whip
2 tablespoons clear vanilla
Beat with a flat beat in an industrial mixer 1 package dream whip and crisco till light, gradually add the powdered sugar in and little water at a time. Whip or 12 minutes, fold in the vanilla. The frosting is thick and ready to frost a cooled cake.
In this picture I used a large star tip for the shell border, and small star tip for the enterprise. The dark m&m for the top of the ship and under ship I used chocolate rounds cut out for the bottom deflector dish.
The gray frosting was tinted with a tiny bit of black food paste, I use Wiltons coloring.
If you would like the recipe for Royal icing see below.
This is the Wiltons recipe:
2 tablespoons meringue powder
4 cups powdered sugar
6 tablespoons warm water
Mix all together in a very clean bowl with hand held mixer till this makes soft peaks 10 to 12 minutes..

 You may remember my post on September 11th when my sons father passed on,
                                     Farewell to Ed..


Shrimp Stir Fry with Broccoli and Zucchini

Saturday, October 29, 2011
A quick meal, all in one pan, except the rice!

1 pound cleaned and deveined shrimp
1 sweet green pepper; cut in 3/4-inch squares
2 teaspoons fresh minced garlic
pinch or more of cayenne pepper
1 small carrot; thinly sliced 
2 cups of broccoli florets (microwave with 1 teaspoon of sugar and covered with water for 5 minutes drain)
1 zucchini cut into chunks
1 yellow squash cut into chunks
1/2 cup pineapple chunks and 1 cup liquid
1/4 cup dry sherry
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup teriyaki sauce
2 tablespoon olive oil or sesame oil

In a large wok style fry pan, add oil and all the vegetable, saute with garlic for 3 to 5 minutes we like the vegetables crisp, cook longer if you prefer. Add pineapple and sherry to pan. In a small bowl mix the pineapple juice, cornstarch and teriyaki sauce together. Add and cook till thickened.  Serve with jasmine rice or other white rice.


Pumpkin Cheese Cake Mix Bar Recipe

Thursday, October 27, 2011
If you never try another bar dessert recipe again after these scrumptious ones, it won't surprise me, if your a pumpkin lover this will be the only one you'll ever make!


Old Fashioned Apple Crisp Recipe

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A favorite comfort food for the fall, top it with a little whipped cream and a dab of hot fudge... the best apple crisp!

5 -6 mcintosh peeled, cored and sliced
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons lightly packed brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter melted

3/4 cup flour plus
2 tablespoons flour
6 tablespoons oatmeal
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg 
7 tablespoons sugar
7 tablespoons lightly packed brown sugar
12 tablespoons butter cut in small pieces

Heat oven to 375 degrees.
Put apples, sugars, and cinnamon in a buttered 1 1/2 quart casserole dish. Mix together and let sit 20 minutes to let the juices come out of the apples.
Pour melted butter over the apples.
Mix remaining ingredients until crumbly and put over the apples. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes. Serve with whipped cream and hot fudge sauce.


Lamb Shepherds Pie Recipe

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Simple easy comfort foods, I just love fall. This is a lamb bottom layer, filled with mashed potatoes and topped with cheese and corn. Pass the brown gravy and you have a very filling meal here.

1 lb ground lamb
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
1 bell pepper chopped fine
2 cloves of garlic minced
1/2 teaspoon each oregano, salt, pepper, parsley
2 lbs of  garlic mashed potatoes
1 can of vegetables of choice, peas, corn, or a mix of peas and carrots
1 cup shredded colby cheese

In a medium size bowl mix lamb, egg, bread crumbs, peppers, garlic and herbs. Press into a 3 quart casserole dish. Bake for 25 minute till lamb is brown. Filled with mashed potatoes, top with cheese, add corn to the top. Bake all together until cheese is melted. Serve with lots of hot brown gravy gravy on top.


Powdered Sugar Wands (Galani) from Veneto

Sunday, October 23, 2011
We have made these fried cookies for years, mom, grandmom, Aunts, friends. Regions in Italy make many foods differently. These adopted many names over the years such as ribbons, wands, bow ties, I just knew them as the fried cookies with powdered sugar in them as a child.

 I couldn't eat enough of these growing up. Our Aunt Mary (RIP) used to lived in Schenectady NY, where her sisterinlaw had a corner Italian bakery, she was most popular for her powdered sugared wands. Hand made, and amazingly delicious. 

Powdered Sugar Wands (Galani) from Veneto

Powdered Sugar Wands (Galani) from Veneto
2 eggs
juice of 2 oranges squeezed and seeded
3 cups flour more for rolling
1/2 cup melted butter
pinch of kosher salt
powdered sugar to sprinkle them with
oil for frying I used canola, however the recipe called for olive oil

Heat oil to a low to medium heat, adjust if they get too brown, try one strip first.
Mix all ingredients together into a smooth dough, roll very thin and cut into strips. I roll this on parchment paper and cut with a fluted edged pastry cutter, (see photo)  then deep fry in hot oil,  till golden brown.

 Sprinkle with powdered sugar when cool.

For the Calabria family version click here we called them ribbons or bows and use wine in our recipe. We actually twisted ours into a bow.  Very similar. You will love how easy they are to make. The orange was a wonderful change, this ones a keeper!

Mom's Fried Veal Cutlet Recipe

Thursday, October 20, 2011

1 1/2 lbs veal cutlets around 1/4 inch thick
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon butter (optional)
5 cloves garlic
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 cup dry Italian flavored bread crumbs or more
 (mom made her own breadcrumbs from stale bread click here)
3 tablespoons Pecorino Romano cheese, freshly grated
1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely minced
1 egg
salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 teaspoon oregano
Combine bread crumbs and  cheese in a pie plate. Add 1 clove finely minced garlic and the fresh parsley together. In another dish beat one egg with a tablespoon of water.
In a large skillet, heat the oil, and butter (optional) with the remaining whole cloves of garlic. Turn the garlic cloves until pale yellow. Mash the cloves into the oil using the tines of a fork when they become toasted, then remove.
Season the veal with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.  Dip each piece of veal egg then into the seasoned bread crumbs coating both sides well. Dip into the egg mixture once again. Roll in the bread crumbs a second time.
Pan fry the veal cutlets in the olive oil, carefully turning once, until well browned on both sides. Turn down to low heat and fry till brown and tender around 25 to 20 minutes.
A mixture of 1 freshly squeezed lemon juice, 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic, oregano, black pepper, salt to taste and 1 tablespoon of melted butter make a great sauce over the top.

Polenta Appetizers With Alfredo Or Marinara Sauce Recipes

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Broccoli Rabe, Sausage and Fontina Cheese

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, more for oiling pan
1/2 cup whole milk
2 1/2 cups water
1 cup coarse cornmeal

Prepare pan by brushing a layer of olive oil parchment paper lined cookie sheet or brownie pan, 12x8 inch. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine milk, water and a 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Bring just about to a boil, reduce heat to medium, and add cornmeal in a steady stream, whisk quickly and the whole time to prevent lumps from forming. Turn heat to low and simmer, whisking frequently, until thick. If mixture becomes too thick, whisk some more bit water in to this, you will want a consistency of thick oatmeal.
Stir 1 tablespoon oil into cooked cornmeal (Polenta). Spread out quickly onto prepared pan, so Polenta does not stiffen; spread it to a thickness of about 1/2 inch all over the parchment paper evenly. Sprinkle lightly with garlic powder, salt and( pepper optional), cover baking sheet with plastic wrap and put it in refrigerator until it is firm, an hour or more, it doesn't matter if you leave this longer even overnight. Cut out various shapes with a cookie cutter, remove with a spatual and place on another piece of oil sprayed parchment paper lined cookie sheet. If you prefer to use just squares. Then proceed leaving whole as if you were making a pizza, you can cut it after its cooked.

Heat oven to 450 degrees F.  Spread  Polenta with sauce of choice and various topping combinations below. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, or until it crisps on edges. Sprinkle the cheese at the end just to melt. Fontina, Mozzarella, Swiss all work the best.

 Topping Variations: All spread with your favorite marinara sauce or alfredo sauce, see reccomendations

Broccoli Rabe, Sausage and Fontina Cheese ( marinara sauce)
Chicken and Mushrooms ( I have used both marinara and alfredo)
Pepperoni, Mozzarella (marinara sauce)
 Black, Green Olives with Fontina Cheese (marinara sauce)
Ham,  Cheddar or Swiss Cheese (alfredo sauce)
Peppers, Sausage with Mozzarella  (marinara sauce)
Meatball and Mozzarella (marinara sauce)
Shrimp, Scallops Chopped Tomatoes with Mozzarella (marinara or alfredo sauce)
Tomato and Basil (marinara)

Marinara Sauce Recipe:
Fresh Plum(Pomodoro) 10 Roma (plum) tomatoes, seeded and finely chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 teaspoon sea or kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup white wine.

I use a food processor for the tomatoes. (If you prefer to remove the skins, place tomatoes in boiling water for ten minutes, remove and immediately put into iced water. Peel the skins with a sharp knife, you can also squeeze out the seeds.) Saute garlic in extra virgin olive oil, add seasonings,simmer in pot for 15 minutes add wine and basil. Cook for 15 more minutes. Great on pasta, pizza.

Alfredo Sauce:

quart heavy cream
5 ounces parmesan cheese
1/4 cup Fontina cheese
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 tablespoon basil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon  white pepper
tablespoons butter

Add butter and garlic in a pan saute till garlic is soft. Add the herbs and spices, cream and stir. Simmer on very low around 15 minutes, add cheeses at the end till blended and melted.  A smooth cheese sauce goes great on pasta with chicken or shrimp added.

Pecan Pumpkin Donuts with Cinnamon Ganache Frosting

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

One of the best things about fall is pumpkin and cinnamon! They both bring comfort to the cooler season. This is one delicious treat that will give you that warm feeling!

Baked  Pecan Pumpkin Doughnuts with Cinnamon Ganache Frosting

2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cloves
1/2 cup brown sugar
4 tablespoons butter, softened
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 tablespoons milk
1 cup pumpkin purée
1/2 cup chopped pecans (Optional)

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

Mixture of cinnamon & sugar
Optional: chopped pecans

For Glaze:  In a microwave safe bowl, add white chocolate and butter till melted. Mix in sugar and water, stir mixing just till blended, add more water if too thick. Dip donuts in ganache and sprinkle with  cinnamon and sugar. Makes 12.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and grease two doughnut pans. In a medium bowl, blend together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices.In another medium bowl, beat together the brown sugar and butter. Beat in the eggs one at a time, and then the vanilla extract, milk, and pumpkin puree. Slowly beat the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients just until combined. Fill doughnut pan 3/4 full with batter. Bake until the doughnuts spring back when touched. Remove from the pan and cool completely.

Dip the donuts into the ganache. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.

Here are more donut recipe you may like just click on the links below:

Baked Vanilla Donuts

Dark Baked Chocolate Donuts

Corn Fritters (Fried)

Italian  Fried Apple Fritters

For more pumpkin recipes visit some of the links below:

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


Mom's Italian Stuffed Pepper

Monday, October 17, 2011

Mom made her peppers with boiled egg very different stuffing than most... we just loved them!


Roasted Garlic and Potato Soup Recipe

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Rich, creamy and two flavors that compliment each other... served with garlic croutons is my favorite!
6 potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoon finely minced celery
1/2 cup finely chopped parsley
6 cloves garlic, peeled roasted  garlic see directions here
3 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
salt to taste 
 grated parmesan cheese
garlic flavored croutons
Preheat oven to 425 degrees
Roasted Garlic (for instructions click here)
Place potatoes in a shallow roasting pan and drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Sprinkle with peppers, stir to coat. Bake for 25 minutes, or until potatoes are browned. Reserve 1 cup of roasted potatoes.
In a 3 quart saucepan add potatoes, celery, garlic and stir in broth and water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes.
Spoon half of broth mixture into a blender; blend until nearly smooth. Repeat with remaining mixture; return all to pot. Stir in milk, cream and season with salt to taste add parsley. Top with reserved roasted potatoes, garnish with grating cheese and garlic croutons.

Halloween Tombstone Brownie Recipe

Friday, October 14, 2011

1 package of Windmill Cookies ( I bought Voortman)
1 can chocolate icing or homemade recipe click here
1 package of your favorite brownie mix or click here for homemade recipe
1 container of pumpkin mellow cream candies
coconut tinted green
tube of black writing icing (found in baking section of the supermarket)
 optional  Halloween colored sprinkles or crushed oreo cookie crumbs

Gently break or cut cookies in half. Make brownies by package directions, cool, ice.
 Place cookies on wax paper outline the outter edges with icing and write letters on the tombstones R.I.P., HELP, whatever your ghostly pleasure is.  Apply a little icing to the bottom of the cookie and attach to the back of the brownie, flat side facing out. Cover the back with green coconut or crushed oreos for dirt and grass. Place candy pumpkin off to the side.

Have fun, spiders, skulls, hands..you can really get creative... !

Best Halloween Roundup   <Click link

For more Halloween Fun Recipes Click here for some party idea's  !

Grave Yard Ghost Pie


Easy Pumpkin Spice Cheese Pie

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

1 cup lorna doones crushed fine or graham crackers crumbs
1/4 cup finely chopped pecans
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter (4 tablespoons melted, 4 tablespoons softened)
1-1/4 cups pumpkin purée
2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup powdered sugar, sifted

Preheat oven to 400°F. .
In a medium bowl, combine cookies, pecans or graham cracker crumbs with melted butter. Press mixture into bottom of a pie plate. Bake until golden brown and toasted, 5 minutes,  cool completely.

In a large bowl, beat pumpkin purée, remaining softened butter, cream cheese, vanilla, spices and salt using a flat bar in a heavy duty electric mixer, until smooth.  Add the sugar 1/4 cup at a time. Continue beating until smooth and creamy. Using a spatula, pour filling mixture spreading it out evenly over the crust. Cover and chill until set, about 6 hours, or overnight. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar as a garnish.


Crockpot Pork Mushroom Marsala with Linguine

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


Dark Chocolate Frosted Mocha Brownie Recipe

Monday, October 10, 2011

Dark Chocolate  Mocha Brownies

2 squares( 1-oz each) unsweetened chocolate melted in microwave or over hot water
1/4 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup all purpose flour, sifted
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon vanilla

Mix all ingredients together until well blended, around 50 strokes by hand. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes in 8x8 greased pan.  Cool.

2 cups confectionery sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla
old coffee

Add old morning coffee, a tablespoon at a time until desired thickness enough to spread on brownie.
add 2 tablespoon softened butter. Beat till smooth.
Make a separate batch of chocolate the same way except adding 2 tablespoons of dry cocoa powder to the bowl.
Mix until smooth and spreadable. 
Spread brownies with white frosting. Drizzle chocolate mocha on top and swirl with the tip of a knife.

Foods for Storms and Hurricane Must Haves

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Here is an updated version.  We are now facing Hurricane Irma that is the biggest Cat 5 storm with 180 mile an hour winds in 2017. Today is 9/5/2017 no one knows where the eye will hit yet we are all preparing here in Florida. 

Today is 9/12/2017.  Irma pounded us for more than 15 hours. We experienced 20 tornado activity in Brevard county. Lots of floods, mobile homes ripped to sheds. Fish thrown from the rivers and alligators walking across the street in downtown Melbourne. We just got our power back on and very grateful with minimal damages. God Bless Florida and pray for all with the devastation throughout the entire state. We are grateful in Melbourne Florida. This time we had lots more of frozen plastic water bottles and containers replacing the food in our freezer to keep coldcuts, cheeses safe during the outage.  I also had bread dough made ahead of time to use out side on the grill to make pizza in cast iron skillet, fried dough and the old fashioned coffee pot didn't fail me. Perfect must haves with no power. This was the first time we had plenty of days to prepare using the tips below. 

Last Year: Today we are waiting in 2016 for Matthew to hit on October 6th and 7th. Preparing the doors, getting everything necessary to stay inside for a few days is a bit stressful to say the least.  To all my family and friends in it's path I pray for everyone's safety. This Post was originally wrote on the last Hurricane we went through. We again will sit and wait for this and pray for this pass us and some of things below were what we did to prepare. Good luck to all. 
Well here we are, some of us Floridians are sitting here in the dark ( over 2000 out of power in the neighborhood), lucky for us we have a generator. I am a pro at these storms. Going through Jean, Charles, Ivan and Frances back in 2004, we had to learn how to live a different way in Florida and always prepared for the worse.
We actually have a kayak to get out of our development when the water rises too high for the cars to get out. Oh yes, we have had to use it. Hoping this time the rain will subside.

I have a storm box all ready in the garage at all times. In it you will find and old fashioned coffee pot, sterno, batteries, flashlights, a land line phone and cast iron pots and pans.  You don't need much, zip lock bags, toilet paper, weather radio and more listed at the end of this post for reminders and tips. Cell phone portable chargers. Remember you won't have any clean water. Paper plates, cups and disposable plastic wear will come in handy!

This morning I went outside, perked fresh coffee on the gas grill... and made breakfast on our grill. Bacon and eggs, potatoes.  I grilled the toast! You just have to get creative. It's like camping out, we are so spoiled, but roughing it once in awhile isn't so bad! Still it's scary but you have to make the best of it. 

I really do miss the luxuries in life when this happens but also appreciate them more every time.

I will be happy when the family all gets here later so we then will be boiling water outside on the burners for our pasta and making sauce outside on the side burner, frying meatballs. My kids love to come over when the power is out, I end up having to cook everything in the freezer plus I usually have made cookies, cakes that thaw quickly, so food is in abundance.

Click here for Fried Meatballs

Then one other thing we love to cook outside is fried dough for dessert!

Click here for the recipe for homemade Fried dough! Pizza Fritte!
There are many other tips I can give you, don't be without gallons of water, canned foods and beverages, stock up on tuna, peanut butter, jelly, potato bread keeps fresh longer. We try not to buy junk food which I consider packaged cookies and snacks, but then what the heck, splurge a little with healthier style cookies and cakes, baked chips and dried fruits at least they last longer and no refrigeration is needed. Remember not to buy cans unless the lids come off easy usually you will have no power and if you forget a can opener you will be sorry.

Make the best out of a bad situation, that's what mom always told us, so the power may be out, but we have each other to get through this today and hopefully this will pass quickly, if not tonight will be candle light dinner and some good old fashioned family conversation and board games!
To think this was just two days ago!
Some other useful tips during a hurricane, or any power outage storm can be found below:

Here's my go to list!  :

Charge mobile phone and buy car charger for phone in case the power is down.
Check tire pressure, fill gas tank and top off all liquids.
Back-up computer files and keep external hard-drive and/or flash-drive in a Ziploc bag. Unplug everything except tv and refrigerator you need to keep it cold as long as possible.
Freeze bottles of water and keep them in the freezer it will keep the food frozen longer then you still have drinking water later.
Bring electronics with you if you can. If outside water gets in still backs up through the pipes and will damage expensive electronics.  
Photograph or video all personal property that's expensive like jewelry if you can't take it with you. video every room, closet, use a tablet or your cell phone. Video even the food in your freezer for proof insurance will need; download to a thumb drive. Keep one copy and send another to a lawyer or family member for safe keeping. 
Create a master list of accounts, contact names and numbers for all credit/debit cards, bank and mortgage accounts and insurance policies; also include contact information for lawyer, accountant, financial adviser, friends and family. Download a copy to CD or flash drive to wear around your neck.
Keep identification on you at all times, including a small, wallet-sized card listing emergency contact numbers and insurance information and social security.
Secure animals in a crate with their favorite toys and a long-lasting rawhide bone before, during and after the hurricane and always keep them on a leash. Pets should wear collars with current identification and also be micro-chipped.
Store a week’s supply of pet food, flea and tick and heart worm medicine, as well as some prescription pills to relax your pets during the storm, in an air-tight container.
Keep prescription medicines, spare eyeglasses, wallet, credit/debit and ATM cards, checkbooks, passport, and copies of all insurance papers (homeowners, auto and medical), as well as current HUD statements, car titles, medical records, pet licenses/vaccinations and any other valuable papers, stored in a Ziploc bag. Scan copies of the above items to a thumb drive.
Fill all bathtubs with water to use when flushing toilets. 

Note: You can use tap water until the storm hits.Bottled water is best for drinking,  if you run out of clean fresh water, be sure to purify with eight drops of bleach or water purification tablets.

Again you will not remember everything you own
VIDEO TAPE YOUR HOUSE whole house for insurance. I will keep reminding you. Insurance companies are not your friend!


A gas grill with two or more extra tanks of fuel.
Have plenty of cash on hand;$1's, $5s, $10s and $20s are best.
In lieu of matches, purchase multi-purpose lighters.
Stock up on canned foods,  peanut butter, dried fruit and granola bars.  Canned Oranges, raisins, snack bars, crackers and apples dried or fresh. Hand canopener.
A large cooler and plenty of freezer packs. Disposable, rinse-free toothbrushes, liquid hand sanitizer and baby wipes are also good to have on hand.
A watertight storage container with a snap-on lid, plenty of Ziploc bags and disposable disinfecting, surface wipes.
Freezers should be jam packed with container of frozen water with lids. To keep it cold if power goes out and you can drink it later.
Tubs full of water to flush toilets.
Ply wood or storm shutters up on all windows.
Ziplock bags with all important papers, insurance, birth certificates,  anything important so they don't get wet.
Old fashioned coffee pot to use on a grill to make coffee.

Get ready ahead of time and plan leave if it's mandatory take no chances.
Take all valuable jewelry there will be looters.
Fill empty jugs with water to drink most places are out save milk, soda and 2 liter bottles with it. Freeze it until ready to leave or place the refrigerator frozen to thaw and keep cold in an outage.
Propane tanks filled,
Extra Gas cans filled extra you will get stuck in traffic sometimes for hours when trying to evacuate.
Generator: if you can get one make sure it works in May not when a hurricane strikes in the season!
Every food you can eat that is ready made such as peanut butter, jam, breads, snacks, soda, tuna, dried meats etc.
Bleach you will need this to disinfect if any sewer water gets into the home
Batteries for everything flashlights, electronic candles
candles, matches
Pack a suitcase with lots of clothes you wont know how long you may be gone or what you come back too
Pills do not forget medications
Pet carriers and don't forget them!
Full tank of GAS days before they run out with gas cans full

If you leave:

Unplug everything, TV, shut off hot water tank ( we made the mistake of leaving it on and it got hit by lightening, flooded the whole house, because it's inside the wash room)
Bring extra phone chargers for the car. Get extended battery packs for your phones.
Finally to all good luck and god bless, leave a message if you have any tips for us..


Chicken Rigatoni with Spicy Hot Sauce

Saturday, October 8, 2011

8 ounces uncooked pasta of choice
1/2 cup Frank’s hot sauce
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder plus 2 cloves of finely minced fresh garlic
salt and pepper to taste
dash cayenne
2 cups chicken that has been sauteed in olive oil and seasoned with hot sauce... cool then chopped in chunks
1 cup chopped plum tomatoes
optional : 2 small hot peppers chopped, chopped olives, 1/4 cup finely chopped celery(add to tomato mixture)
1 cup blue cheese dressing
optional: 1/4 cup blue cheese crumbles

Cook pasta according to package directions to al dente. Drain and rinse thoroughly with cold water.

Meanwhile,  in a medium size bowl, whisk together hot sauce, oil, lemon juice, garlic then garlic powder, salt and pepper cayenne to taste add chopped tomatoes and mix together till well combined.

Place pasta in large mixing bowl. Stir in chicken, blue cheese dressing. Add above sauce and toss,add more hot sauce if needed. Serve. Garnish with shredded cheese of choice.

Fall Comfort Food Recipes

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Through the years, you have summer and fall foods that you grow up with and as a cook we tend to make these foods certain times of the year, when it feels right, a craving, we all can relate to growing up when it's just that time of the year to dig out the crock pot, grandma's old pot, or just a mood you have to have that stew, soup, chili or casserole. Here are our favorites, hope you enjoy them~ Click on the names under the photo's for the recipes~ 

If you want the Autumn Apple Trifle Recipe above 

Apple Cinnamon Baked French Toast
New York Style Apple Pie
Amaretto Coffee and more
Crockpot Italian Style Mac and Cheese

Italian Style Meatloaf

Italian Style Chili

 Rigatoni with Puttanesca Sauce

Upstate NY Utica Greens
Chicken & Rice Mushroom Marsala Casserole
Tortellini Wedding Soup

Stuffed Cabbage Italian Style

Traditional Sunday Sauce with Italian Meatballs

Wagon Wheels Broccoli Rabe and Sausage
One Pot London Broil

And of course I couldn't end this without our all time favorite!  Grandma's Pasta Fazool!!!! Our very  favorite of all time and my very first post!

Thanks for reading and have a  healthy, happy, and safe winter ahead!