Baked Haddock With Lime Butter Recipe

Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Here is a delicious lime butter haddock, baked to perfection with a little spice.

A Cajun yet tropical flavor sure to delight any fish lover! Here is one we make often.


Microwave Bagged Popcorn Recipe Plus Video

Sunday, January 29, 2012
I grew up on Jiffy Pop on the stovetop, shaking it away, pulling open the foil and the great smell through the house, it was so much fun back then in the '70s. Then my brother Luke, became the guru so to speak on making popcorn on the stove with grandma's old saucepan and boy was it ever the best to eat, fresh-popped, butter salt, buttery flavored oil, with age it became the best-seasoned pan in the world to make popcorn in. Then somehow we got into the microwave age and the fast and furious was born.

While going out to shop, I noticed Orville's jar corn to be quite a bit more expensive today than Jolly Time in the resealable bag. Orvilles was 4.99 for a one-pound nice jar. Jolly Time was 4.49 and for a two-pound bag, so who cares about the jar with that much more popcorn and a real money saver?

So, guess what, being the thrifty shopper and lover of my good ole faithful, Jolly Time came home with me. Now I can use my great new mason's jars to put that popcorn in with double the popcorn for my money!

1 brown paper bag (I bought 50 for $.99 at my local grocery) Note: in the photo I used the red for presentation and poured the cooked corn into the bag after it was popped as shown in the video... the Hallmark red bags are perfect to send off to school lunches found in the card sections of the supermarket. I wouldn't try using them to pop with because of the dye on the bags. Again you will see that in the video below.

1/2 cup raw popcorn

microwave on high for 3 minutes (depending on wattage mine is 1000 watts)

Add the popcorn to the bag, fold down the top of the bag twice, do not tape or staple.

Microwave for around 2 1/2 minutes and listen if and when the popcorn slows down considerably popping then just shut off the microwave, 3 minutes may be too long and make it burn.

You can add salt or whatever you want. I already have a hot air popper but lazy to get it out since this is fast easy works and considered safer, it's all I need in a hurry. I spray it with some no-calorie butter spray, salt, and pepper and good to go.

There are plenty of toppings to try, my favorite is sprinkling Parmesan cheese mixed with a dash of garlic powder and dash of cayenne pepper.

Other suggestions with seasonings you can choose are Cajun seasonings, white cheddar, there are refrigerated butter sprays that are calorie-free or even sprinkle with a mixture of cinnamon and sugar while it's still warm for mock kettle corn.


If using thin cheap bags, double bag it.

Bags are reusable, just dump old kernels and fill again.

Always make sure you turn over the folds more than two or three times so the edges on face down tightly secured or bag with stand up and pop all over the place


Curt's Roasted Red Skin Potato Recipe

Friday, January 27, 2012

 4 or 5 Red Skin Potatoes washed
Olive oil
1/2 teaspoon each of dried herbs: parsley, basil, oregano, garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon each of cayenne pepper, rosemary, cajun seasoning, chili powder (you can add more if you love spicy hot!)
salt, pepper to taste

After washing potatoes, cut into long slice wedges leaving the skins on. Place in a large bowl or plastic bag.  Place around 3 tablespoons of olive oil in the bag all the herb and spices, salt and pepper to taste, then potatoes stir or shake to coat evenly.
On a large cookie sheet lined with parchment or  oil sprayed foil,  place potatoes on the cookie sheet.  Drizzle a little more olive oil over the top.
Bake on 400 degree hot oven until browned and crispy, around 1 hour or so depending on thickness.

This are great for a large crowd and you can keep them warm in the crockpot after cooked on low.

Always nice to see the next generations of cook coming up with their idea's. A proud mama I am for sure!

Fancy Salad Greens, Goat Cheese, Pecans, Dates and More

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

I absolutely love fancy greens. I thought I would mix them with a bit of spinach. All organic. Added some
dates, pecans, dried cranberries, goat cheese and pureed some fresh raspberries, added a bit of balsamic vinegar. Add some other fruits and vegetables for sweetness that will wow your salad!  Try this healthy recipe, you will be surprised how delicious this one is.

Not only pretty but pretty tasty too!
A healthy lunch. For a whole meal you can add 4 oz of grilled salmon, blackened mahi mahi or grilled lemon chicken , goes very well with this salad.
Maybe you remember our Buffalo Chicken Salad click here
A real winner of choice here for us as well!

Healthy eating has to start with you. It's a commitment. Hard to stick by unless you have a long term goal in mind, hopefully it's to prolong you life.  Remember to drink lots of water remembering lemon is very healthy for you too.

Raspberries have many health benefits, helps prevent cancer, great source of fiber that helps burn fat and the best part they taste great. Using Organic mixed greens are grown without pesticides. Dates are also high in vitamins, helps prevent abdominal cancers and a great source of fiber as well.
Goat cheese had a tangy flavor and has allot less fat than regular cheese made with cows milk.

2 cups organic mixed salad greens
 1 tablespoon crumbled goat cheese
1 tablespoons chopped pecans
1 tablespoon dried cranberries
1 tablespoon dates
1/2 cup pureed fresh raspberries adding water or pure apple juice to thin down
optional: 2 or 3 teaspoons of lemon juice or balsamic vinegar
freshly cracked ground pepper
salt to taste if you prefer

 Arrange greens on a plate, top with cheese, pecans, dried cranberries, dates. Serve with raspberry sauce on the side, sprinkles with vinegar or lemon juice. (For recipes on fish and chicken click on the links above).

For other suggestion combinations:

Antipasto Salad : Use Romaine lettuce, cappicola, artichoke hearts, roasted peppers, extra sharp block provolone, black crinkles olives, green olives in  crushed red pepper, genoa salami, tomatoes sliced, parmesan long shredds of cheese, buffalo milk chunks of mozzarella. Make an Italian vinegar and oil  Italian salad dressing.

Some other suggestions for salads, substitute low fat ingredients for healthier salads.

BLT Salad:  Preferred lettuce is ice berg, chopped tomatoes, crumbled crisp bacon, top with croutons. Creamy dressing. Combine mayonaise, pinch of garlic powder, pepper,  salt to taste and little milk to thin, beat till combined.

Black Bean Salad:   Start with iceberg lettuce, top with black beans, avocado chopped, tomato, cucumbers, chopped jalapeno's, and thawed mexican or frozen corn Top with crushed tortilla chips,  mexican blend cheeses and salsa.

Traditional Chef Salad:  Chopped lettuce, boiled eggs sliced, ham, american cheese, small chunks of tomato, cucumbers, celery, bacon bits. Top with your favorite dressing and croutons.


Mock Brownie Tiramisu

Tuesday, January 24, 2012
This was a winning recipe featured on The Balancing Act and it was my Mock Brownie Tiramisu.

The recipe is a layered brownie with a delicious instant cheesecake creamy filling, hot fudge sauce, whipped cream and topped with fresh strawberries.

With just a few pantry ingredients you can make the easiest chocolate brownie recipe in no time or just use your favorite store-bought mix.

I was inspired to do the contest since I was a huge fan of baker's chocolate and have used it since that was all my mom used in the 1960s to bake with.

If you're a brownie fan you can also try my Layered Peanut Butter Brownies and my fabulous 2 Ingredient Nutella Brownies.

Scroll down to print off this easy winning dessert recipe.

this is a contest winning brownie tiramisu in a mason jar sponsored by Kraft and Bakers Chocolate


Corkscrew Fusillioni Pasta with Sausage

Sunday, January 22, 2012
Here's a perfect Sunday quick Italian meal... a little fattening, just once in awhile

you just have to splurge. I love the sun-dried tomatoes and cream!!


Baked Stuffed Figs with Goat Cheese and Pecans Recipe

Friday, January 20, 2012

I was so skeptical to try these, mom use to make them years ago. Such a simple appetizer and I never tired them. I was missing out these are addicting and much better than I ever dreamed. What ever took me so long is beyond me... If you love figs and goat cheese, this will be a winner for you too!

 12 Dried or Fresh Figs
 (Fresh is best Black mission figs or Brown Turkish) Shown are Dried Kalamatta
  from Greece
 8 ounces Soft Goat cheese or Gorgonzola at room temperature
 Chopped pecans
 High quality Balsamic vinegar

Heat oven to 350 degree

Slice the figs in half lengthwise in half exposing the fig seeds, removing the stem and place on some parchment paper on a cookie sheet or use a ceramic style dish, lightly oil sprayed. Press down in the middle of each fig. Drizzle some balsamic vinegar, just a few drops each and a small grind of sea salt on top.

Fill each fig with  soft goat cheese and chopped pecans. Bake for 7 minutes at 350 degree oven or until the cheese is hot and bubbly! Serve with your favorite wine and crackers.


Amaretto Shot Chocolate Mug Cake

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Amaretto Shot Mug Cake not at all like other mug cake, this one actually will surprise you!
Watch video below for more instructions
1 egg
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons peanut butter
1 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon cocoa
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 to 3 tablespoons peanut butter chips or milk chocolate chips
 Amaretto 1 shot  more or less
chocolate syrup or hot fudge ice cream topping
whipped cream for garnishing
optional mini chocolate chips for garnishing

In a small bowl, stir the egg, brown sugar, peanut butter, flour, cocoa and baking powder with a fork. Stir in the chocolate chips and pour batter into a oil sprayed or greased ramekin or mug.

Microwave for about 1 minute depending on wattage up to 1 minute 10 seconds for over 1000 watt microwave.  Cooking may vary.

 Top with Amaretto first then ice cream or whipped topping and a little chocolate fudge sauce. You can also place this immediately onto a plate to serve or eat right from the mug.

Note: If you don't like peanut butter or have allergies, add half the cake batter then some caramel ice cream topping, end with more cake batter. Proceed to cook no longer than minute.
I hope you smile at these video's I am trying to make.  I find them fun to be able to show how the recipe is done, it's seems a little easier to understand, even though I leave in all the bloopers!  Hope you enjoy making this quick delicious and easy recipe! I needed a little more Amaretto after this movie (smile)


Roasted Spicy Shrimp with Broccoli Florets Recipe

Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Roasted Broccoli with Shrimp over Brown Rice. I have made roasted vegetables before maybe you remember that one.


Baked Upsidedown Blueberry Crumb Doughnuts with Cinnamon Ganache Glaze

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Upside down is right! Oh yes,  but yet another donut, this is now the third kind of my baked donut frenzy, we just love them!  I really wasn't thinking when I decided to do these crumb topped donuts!  I forgot that the tops were the bottoms when flipping the donut pan, so now I have the best of both worlds here!  Crumb bottoms and glazed tops!  A wonderful mistake!

Batter for Donuts:

1/ 3/4 cup all-purpose flour + 1/4 cup cornstarch
3/4 cup  brown sugar
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup  fresh blueberries or drained canned blueberries (save some extra for garnishing)
pinch of cinnamon

Crumb topping:

1/2 cup white sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup butter, cubed (half a stick) cold
 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
I put through a food processor for even blending of crumbs or use a fork to cut into this mixtures till fine crumbs.

Cinnamon Ganache Glaze

1/4 cup butter
3 ounces white chocolate
melt chocolate and butter in the microwave for one minute
1 3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
4-5 tablespoons milk or more till free flowing

Blend together the flour, cornstarch,  sugar, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. Pour in the milk, eggs, butter and vanilla extract and cinnamon. Batter is similar to a muffin, so do not over mix. Fold in the  blueberries till evenly blended. Lightly grease a doughnut pan with non-stick cooking spray.

 Fill a ziplock bag with batter, snip the end slightly not too big! Pipe into the doughnut pan, filling each one halfway. Bake the doughnuts at 400 degrees for 8-9 minutes. The donuts are done when they spring back, or come out clean with a toothpick. Turn immediately onto parchment paper.
While they cool, make glaze.

These don't keep well with leftovers.  I suggest you eat them all in one day. The moisture content will make them soggy. The recipe makes 12.

In a large bowl add powdered sugar. Mix in the  melted butter and white chocolate mixture , cinnamon, milk and vanilla extract. Beat until smooth to combine. If the glaze is too thick, add additional  milk, 1/2 teaspoon at a time until it flows freely.  Cool and drizzle glaze over the top.  Allow the glaze on the doughnuts to dry.

Not quite the one you were looking for ?

Try these other recipes for now and more to come!!!!  Stay tuned!

Baked Vanilla Donuts with White Chocolate Ganache Glaze

Dark Chocolate Baked Donuts with Dark Chocolate Ganache Glaze

Grandma's Conchiglie and Piselli Italian Zuppa Recipe

Saturday, January 14, 2012

This is Italian Style Peas and Baby Shell Pasta, growing up this was another meal that was referred to as "depression day food". Economical fed allot of us and today it's to be a rare find on any menu. This meal continues to adorn our tables no matter what time period was in as long as I am alive. I will always remember the aroma of that garlic sauteed in oil coming home from school. Grandma lived with us, she made everything taste like it was a banquet feast.. this one takes no back seat. Now a must make during the cool chilly months, we will long live in her memory with this great recipe.

Thanks, Grandma Victoria we love this one and miss your special love that went into every pot!

She was 92 here, my nieces Alicia, Pamela and Mary there to help celebrate in 1978.

This here was her last birthday photo R.I.P.

Thank goodness for modern day cooking! I know she wished to have a food processor in hand!

Happy cooking!


Baked Barbecued Honey Orange Chicken

Thursday, January 12, 2012

1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup hot sauce
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
1 4 lb to 5 lb whole chicken
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange Juice
1/4 cup homemade bbq sauce or your favorite store bought
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
2 tablespoons spicy mustard 
1/4 teaspoon allspice

Mix the orange juice, olive oil, hot sauce, mustard and zest together in a bowl. Add the chicken combine the sauce all over. Cover with plastic wrap, marinate for at least an hour but better overnight if you can in the refrigerator.

Drain the chicken from the marinade. Bake whole chicken in a heavily spray roasting pan on 400 degree hot oven for 25 minutes.  Brush chicken on both sides with glaze and continue baking until chicken juices run clear  about another hour
While the chicken is baking, melt the butter in saucepan or microwave.  Whisk in the honey, orange juice,
 bbq sauce, zest, mustard and allspice. Put some of the glaze in a small dish for serving to dip the chicken in.

Brush the chicken with glaze, flip and brush second side of the chicken . Serve chicken with reserved sauce.

Want more Chicken recipes?

Eggplant, Peppers, Mushrooms and Olives Italian Sauce Recipe

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

1 medium eggplant
1 medium green, yellow or red pepper, chopped
1 (28 ounce) can Italian style tomatoes, cut up
1 (6 ounce) can Italian style tomato paste
1 8 oz can sliced mushrooms, drained or washed fresh mushrooms
2 cloves, minced garlic
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 cup pitted calamata olives, sliced
2 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
4 cups hot cooked penne pasta
Optional: 2 cups cubed cooked pork, chicken or beef
1/3 cup grated or shredded parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts (optional)

Peel eggplant, then cut into 1-inch cubes.

In a large size crockpot around 5 quarts,  combine eggplant, garlic, peppers, undrained tomatoes, tomato paste, mushrooms, garlic, water and oregano (add meat if using). Cook on low 7 to 8 hours. Stir in olives and parsley. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Serve over pasta with parmesan cheese. Garnish with toasted pine nuts

Pizza Potatoes in the Crockpot

Sunday, January 8, 2012

6 medium potatoes, peeled and sliced in rounds

2 cloves finely minced garlic

1/2 teaspoon oregano, basil, parsley and garlic powder

pinch of red pepper flakes

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 packed cup of sliced pepperoni

1 to 2 cups shredded Italian blend of cheese or mozzarella cheese mixed with shredded provolone and 4 tablespoon pecorino romano grating cheese

Salt and pepper to taste

1 cup pizza sauce or use crushed tomatoes
 Saute potato slices in a medium size fry pan adding the garlic and oil. Fry stirring constantly to prevent browning. Combine potatoes garlic mixture with pepperoni,  1 cup of blended cheeses, salt and pepper in crock pot. Pour pizza sauce over top, add the rest of the cheese on top. Cover and cook on low for 6-10 hours in crock pot heavily sprayed with cooking oil.

Beef Burgundy Zucchini Stew Recipe

Friday, January 6, 2012

One of my favorite wines to use to marinate is Burgundy. I used a lean cut of meat London broil, cut it up, then add spices and wine to marinate overnight. This recipe is easy, feeds alot of people and they will be asking for this again. The vegetables take on the flavors and the sauce is just perfect for sopping up with a hunk of Italian bread...  I always think of Julia Childs when cooking with burgundy wine... what an inspiration and amazing cook, oh yes, I sip it while cooking too ( after all isn't that the best part?)

I envy the butter she ate and stayed so healthy, amazing woman!

2 pounds of London Broil beef cut into cubes or stew meat of choice
1 cup Burgundy wine
3 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
Salt, pepper, oregano, parsley

In a large plastic covered bowl, add the wine to the bowl then cubes of beef add a few shakes of salt, oil, pepper, lemon juice and shake all spices over the meat to coat. Refrigerate overnight.

Next day prepare your vegetables:
3 zucchini washed and cut into chunks
3 peeled white potatoes cut into slices of cubes
1/2 cup carrots
2 cups fresh, canned or frozen green cut beans or peas
1 cup mushrooms (optional)
1 - 28 ounce can or whole Tomatoes put through the food processor until slightly chunky
1 small can tomato paste
1/2 cup water
4 cloves minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon each basil, garlic powder, parsley
salt and pepper to taste
pinch of cayenne pepper

When ready to start cooking drain meat into another bowl reserving the juices.
In a large dutch oven saucepan add two teaspoons of olive oil, place beef in the pan and brown ( have a cover handy if it's starts to spatter from the wine). Add garlic being careful not to brown it, as it will get bitter. Saute for a few minutes. Add the tomatoes,  paste, water, reserved wine and the spices. Simmer 1/2 hour, then add all the vegetables you plan on using. Simmer on low for 2 1/2 hours or until sauce is thick. If it gets too thick add more water or wine.  Serve with thick hard crust Italian bread.


Sesame Ginger Peach Salmon Recipe

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Eating healthy this year can a delicious adventure in your diet. Salmon is important for heart health and the Omega-3 Fatty Acids in it help reduce cholesterol, maintain flexibility of arteries and veins and strengthen cardiac muscles, the essential amino acids repair damages to the cardio-vascular tissues. They help reduce the blood pressure too, as they lower cholesterol level and prevent hardening of walls of arteries and veins, thereby considerably reducing the chances of heart attack.


Italian Style Rice and White Beans Recipe

Tuesday, January 3, 2012
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup white wine
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
2 green bell peppers, chopped
3/4 cup uncooked rice
2 (16 ounce) cans  white kidney beans, undrained
1 (16 ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, undrained
a few shakes of dried oregano, parsley, basil
 Few drops red pepper sauce (optional)
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
 Optional: leftover sausage, meatballs mashed, or cooked leftover chicken
Heat oven to 350 degrees .

In a large heavy skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add  garlic, mushrooms, and peppers; simmer, stirring often, until tender, about 10 minutes.

Mix rice, with beans, tomatoes, spices, salt, pepper to taste,wine and hot sauce cover and simmer about 25 minutes or until rice is tender and most liquid is absorbed. Stir frequently.

Transfer to a 2-qt baking dish.  Top with mashed meatballs or sausage. Sprinkle with  shredded cheese. Bake 15 minutes,  or until cheese is melted and meat is heated through.


Italian Loaded Vegetable Soup

Monday, January 2, 2012

Only the finest ingredients to compliment this soup, in addition to the escarole, use only the best grating cheese, fresh chicken stock, fresh diced tomatoes and homemade mini meatballs are what enhances the flavors in this soup. 

Escarole is a main staple in our home now and when I was growing up. We added escarole to many recipes, to include Upstate NY Utica Greens, where I was from those are famous there. Soup was the most popular use, but grandma use to also make Greens and White Beans over day old bread, another one of my Italian favorites. This soup hits the spot on a cool or blustery day up North. Wedding soup is very popular without the  mixed vegetables and beans this would be it!

Escarole Vegetable Soup
1 Chicken Broth Soup recipe ( click here for recipe)  use 3 to 4 quarts vegetable broth for a pure vegetable soup or (just use store bought chicken broth if you don't have time to make your own chicken soup broth)

1 head of cleaned chopped escarole boiled separately for a half hour to ensure its cleaned properly
2 stalks of celery chopped
1 cup chopped fennel
1 package of frozen mixed vegetables(corn, peas, green beans, carrots)
1 can of great northern white beans rinsed or use black, red kidney and kind you prefer
1 can chickpeas
1lb of diced fresh tomatoes ( or canned)
 1 teaspoon each oregano, basil, parsley, garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
To make a true vegetable soup you would omit the pasta and the meatballs.
 1 lb box of pasta (pastine of choice shown is acini de pepe and baby sea shells) (1/2 box boiled in salt water separately)

Optional meatballs below for a heartier soup for meat lovers:

1/2 pound ground chuck
2 cloves chopped garlic
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1 tablespoon parsley
1 tablespoon grating cheese
mix all together and set aside

In a 5 to 8 quart sauce pot add water to fill about three inches below the top of the pan proceed by making chicken soup broth first. Strain the broth to take out any impurities you may add the chicken pulled off the bone or use that for chicken salad if you want just a vegetable soup broth. Chicken broth is very low in calories and make a good base for the soups flavor.  Place all the canned and packaged vegetables in the pot along with tomatoes, fennel, celery etc,  everything except the cheese and pasta.( If using meatballs. Drop raw meatballs into boiling soup to cook.) Add the escarole and simmer until all vegetables are tender around 1 hour or more. Cook pasta at this point if using separately, add at this point.  Ladle into bowls and top with grating cheese. Delicious served with garlic bread to dunk with!