Roasted Tomatoes with Stuffed Italian Meatball, Melted Provolone Curt's Guest Post

Saturday, June 30, 2012

My son called me and said Mom I got an idea for a stuffed tomato recipe and this was  a huge success and over the top delicious!  We were both so excited with the results I couldn't wait to share it with the world.  He really aced this one, it was a hit with the whole family.


Bleu Cheese Crackers Recipe

Friday, June 29, 2012

2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup crumbled bleu cheese
1/4 cup butter
1 egg
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon rosemary
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 to 2 tablespoons water

Mix all ingredients together, knead and form into two logs. Wrap in plastic wrap or zip lock bag.  Refrigerate overnight.  Roll out for thickness for squares, rectangles and cut with a pastry cutter for the pretty edges or just slice logs in 1/4 inch thick rounds. To get them shine brush with a beaten egg yolk or egg beaters work well too.  Bake at 400 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes.

Leftover Broccoli Fritters Recipe

Thursday, June 28, 2012

1/2 all purpose cup flour
1 egg
2 teaspoons finely minced garlic
3 cups chopped steamed leftover broccoli
1/4 teaspoon each oregano, basil, garlic powder
1 tablespoon freshly chopped parsley
salt, pepper to taste
pinch of cayenne optional
1/4 cup grating cheese Romano preferred
Canola oil for frying
Heat the oil in a large fry pan around 1/2 inch deep on medium heat.

In a pie plate mix the egg and flour adding the spices and herbs adding the cheese last and beat till smooth.
Stir in the broccoli into the egg mixture. Use a tablespoon or melon scooper to makes rounds of the broccoli fritters and drop frying into the hot oil. Fry till golden brown. Absorb the grease on paper towels. These are delicious plain or dipped in melted cheese,  marina tomato sauce or hot sauce.

Note alternate baking for dieters and healthy version: I have baked these many times. Just use a parchment lined cookie sheet. Drop by spoonfuls on the cookie sheet. (They will look anemic as mom would say compared to fried) Drizzle a little bit of olive oil on the top of each one and bake on 400 degree hot oven till crispy.

Try some of these other appetizers:

Fried Potato and Tuna Cakes
Fried Avocado
Fried Polenta


Quick Baked Zucchini and Yellow Squash Parmigano Recipe

Wednesday, June 27, 2012
This quick baked zucchini and yellow squash parmigano recipe is delicious in so many ways!

You can eat it as a side dish, in a sandwich or just as it is for a lunch with a salad! It all bakes together and delicious. Dad used to have a wonderful garden growing up so mom had many creative ways to cook zucchini.

Quick Baked Zucchini and Yellow Squash Parmigano Recipe

1 or 2 green zucchini
2 or 3 small summer yellow squash (or use all the same green or yellow doesn't matter)
Italian style bread crumbs
2 cups of prepared tomato marinara sauce fresh or store bought
1/4 teaspoon each garlic powder, oregano, parsley ,fennel seed
salt pepper to taste
cayenne pepper if you like a little heat
long shredded grating cheese
shredded mozzarella
olive oil
Optional: add some crushed meatballs to the sauce make a bolognese sauce click here for this dish and it's a full meal all in one!

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Clean ( I lightly scrape some of the seeds out of the squash) wash and slice zucchini in coins, around 1/4 inch thick. Cut the tail ends off the yellow squash and cut them lengthwise, 1/4 inch thick slices.
In a aluminum throw away pan, single layer some yellow and green sliced squash, evenly sprinkle with bread crumbs, herbs, spices, mozzarella and  top with sauce. drizzle with a few tablespoons of olive oil. Repeat until you have only around 1/2 inch left to the top. When your around 1/2 inch from the top, add more sauce if needed, shredded mozzarella and grating cheeses, sprinkle with herbs and spices, end with bread crumbs and drizzle more olive oil.

Bake and cover with foil for around 15 minutes. Take foil off and continue to  cook on 400 degrees until the fork goes through the squash easily and the mozzarella is brown, around 25 more minutes.

Rainier Cherry Baked Skillet Crumble Recipe

Monday, June 25, 2012
A crumble that will be a great addition to your dessert recipes!


Cake Vodka Banana Chocolate Nut Martini

Sunday, June 24, 2012

2 oz cake vodka
2 oz banana rum
2 oz heavy cream or half and half
1/4 crushed ice
1 banana cut into chunks
chocolate fudge syrup
crushed nuts
Prepare glass and banana before mixing drink.
Dip a martini glass rim in chocolate syrup and coat the rim with crushed nuts. Cut banana into chunks. Dip banana into chocolate syrup then into crushed nuts secure with two toothpicks for garnish at the end.
In a shaker, place liqueurs, ice and cream. Shake, strain. Pour into prepared martini glass. Garnish using the chocolate nut coated banana over the top secured with toothpicks. Some freshly chilled whipped cream is an optional addition. Enjoy!

If you like this recipe try other recipes using cake vodka below:

Cake Vodka Coconut Cream Martini
Cake Vodka Smores Nutella Martini

Coconut Grove, Whining and Great Dining Review and Coconut Custard Tarts

Friday, June 22, 2012
The photo above is my brother John Colenzo and I at the Village Of Merrick Park in Coconut Grove, Florida. John suggested this would be a treat to see all the fine cars and retailers here. John, besides being my brother, is a music entertainer in Fisher Island (not too far from here) and has some great friends in the area who you'll meet further down the article posted below.

Merrick Park has several Retailers here to see, to include and name a few are anchors Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom's. Quite some interesting finds here. If you are lucky enough to own a Lexus (my favorite car) it's free valet parking. The rest of the vehicles would have a fee. Some very impressive vehicles we saw were the Bentley, Ferrari and the least expensive, a Corvette (still very respectable)! A car buff and lovers dream place to visit here!


Chicken Penne Mozzarella Marinara

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Light Italian chicken marinara, a perfect summer dinner!

This is an Italian pasta dish made with penne pasta, tomatoes and mozzarella like a  caprese style sauce over pasta with fresh basil


Grilled Brown Sugar and Pineapple Salmon

Tuesday, June 19, 2012
If you are a Salmon lover, this is a sweet pineapple topping that totally compliments this fish. We just love fish, salmon is a healthy fish full of healthy oil. We make this often on the grill wrapped in foil. I love how the pineapple takes you to the tropics in taste.


Chad and Curt's Birthday Menu

Wednesday, June 13, 2012
My two son's have a birthday this month June 12th  for Chad and June 19th for Curt.

I decided to make their favorite's  tonight for both of them...

Breadsticks, chicken cordon bleu, chicken parmesano, bread sticks, percatelli pasta, margarita pizza

A great birthday celebration, we had a great night, everyone was stuffed and watched a movie together ... life is great and we are blessed to all be together... so grateful. 


Chad's favorite:

Chicken Parmesan
avocado tomato cucumber appetizers
homemade marinara sauce and meatballs
pasta of choice on the side
bread sticks (artisian bread recipe)
margarita pizza
Italian flag cake (marble cake)

Curt's favorite:

Chicken Cordon Bleu Style
avocado tomato cucumber appetizers
homemade marinara sauce and meatballs
pasta of choice on the side (grandma's noodles)
bread sticks (Artisian bread recipe)
margarita pizza
Italian flag cake (marble cake)

I love my boys!


Avocado Cucumber Tomato Appetizers

Monday, June 11, 2012

1 avocado peeled and mashed
1 cucumber cut into thick slices
1 lime juiced
seasalt or kosher salt
freshly cracked black pepper
grape tomatoes slices
garlic powder

Wash all vegetables and fruit. Juice lime. Peel avocado and remove skin. Mash avocado in a small bowl, add the juice of one lime, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, freshly grated black pepper and salt to taste. Smash with a fork leaving some chunks. Slice cucumber in thick slices and slice the grape tomatoes thick round to place on top.

Start with cucumber on the bottom, add a tablespoon of avocado mixture, top with sliced tomato.Pretty delicious, healthy and quick appetizers. Serve them on chilled romaine lettuce for presentation (if you don't eat them all before they hit the plate!)

Cake Vodka Nutella S'more Martini Recipe

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Cake Vodka and Godiva liqueur with Nutella what can be better to start off your day? I got this idea after making last week Cake Vodka Coconut Cream Martini and seeing that I love S'mores so much and my good friend Claudia at Journey of an Italian Cook made some rockin' marshmallow pop treats... check them out here.
 I had to come up with a flavors that I love but with the addition of Nutella, Cake Vodka into a
S'more Martini. So here it is hope you love it too!

2 oz Godiva Chocolate Liqueur
2 oz heavy cream
2 oz Cake Vodka
1/4 cup ice
1 teaspoon Nutella
crushed regular or chocolate covered graham crackers
toasted large marshmallows
wooden skewers
Nutella for the rim
Whipped Cream in a can

Toast large marshmallows on wooden skewers, cool. Dip cooled marshmallows half way into some Nutella and coat with crushed graham crackers set aside.

Dip the rim of the martini glass into some Nutella all around the top ridge (about 1/4 inch). Roll in crushed graham crackers, set glass aside. Place all liqueur, Nutella and  heavy cream in a shaker with the ice. Strain into a Martini glass. Top with some whipped cream.  Sprinkle with crushed grahams and a toasted s'more Nutella marshmallow.
If you like this recipe and Cake Vodka, try this Coconut Cream Martini Version
 by clicking here...

@claudia lamascolo Author

Garlic Pasta with Artichokes Sundried Tomatoes and Toasted Almonds

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

1 lb pasta of choice
14 oz jar marinated drained and washed artichoke hearts chopped
1/2 cup sundried tomatoes well drained reserving oil
1/4 cup chopped roasted pepper
1 cup toasted almonds ( sauteed in a heated pan on top of stove, cool set aside.)
1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice seeds removed
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons olive oil
pinch of cayenne pepper
Italian Style bread crumbs

Cook pasta to al dente. Drain set aside.  Place the cut marinated artichoke hearts, the chopped sun-dried tomatoes, the toasted almonds, and lemon zest in a large bowl.
Add the pasta into the bowl with the artichoke hearts, peppers and sun-dried tomatoes. Sprinkle lemon juice, parsley, and black pepper, spice had herbs over the pasta, toss to mix. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of the sun-dried tomato oil in a small fry pan, saute garlic 2 minutes. Add to the pasta along with 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil. Toss all together and serve. Sprinkle with bread crumbs.

Italian Limoncello Bread Pudding

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Elegantly served with simple syrup and sorbet.

This is a lemon's lovers bread pudding turned gourmet!

this is a lemon pudding baked in the oven called limoncello bread pudding


Chocolate Coconut Cream Whoopie Pie Recipe

Monday, June 4, 2012

these are a coconut cream filled chocolate whoopie pie


Cake Vodka Coconut Cream Martini Video Recipe

Sunday, June 3, 2012

My brother, who lives in Upstate NY told me about Cake Vodka (it really does taste like cake) on my recent trip.He recommended me to try mixing it with Amaretto to make an almond paste cookie flavor, I adapted that below, also some delightful combination of flavors. Now that I was introduced to Cake Vodka, I imagined the endless possibilities so I decided since Coconut Cream Cakeand Old Fashioned Coconut Cream Pie are my favorite desserts, I would come up with a new drink to love for the summer months ,or anytime of the year for me!

this is coconut cream and cake vodka mixed in a martini glass


Baked Artichoke Spinach and Cheese Appetizers

Saturday, June 2, 2012

1 recipe artichoke and spinach dip (put in the freezer until partially frozen just a few hours)
1 cup flour
1 or 2 eggs beaten
2 tablespoons water

Panko preferred or regular Italian flavored breadcrumbs
cooking spray

In three separate bowls add flour in one (about 1 cup), in another bowl, 1 beaten egg with 2 tablespoons of water in it and the last plate or bowl pour in about 2 cups of bread crumbs for easy rolling.  Roll the artichoke dip into walnut size balls, or use a melon ball scooper, then dip into flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs.  Set on a piece of wax paper until all are molded.  On a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet, spray with oil or use a light coating of olive oil to coat the paper. Place the artichoke balls on the sheet.  Bake at 400-degree hot oven until browned. These do not need to be flipped over. Enjoy with some dipping sauce ...  light lower fat Alfredo sauce (see recipe below) goes fabulous with these!

Artichoke Spinach Dip Recipe

( omit the last part of this recipe for the baking instructions and shredded cheese for the top. Just refrigerate after all ingredients are blended overnight.)

1 (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and put through food processor will just a little chunky

1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained and squeezed out dry

1 1/4 cups finely shredded or grated Parmesan cheese

1 1/4 cups shredded 5 blend Italian shredded cheese

4 ounces cream cheese, softened

2/3 cup sour cream

1/3 cup mayonnaise

2 garlic cloves, finely minced

1/2 cup shredded Fontina cheese for the top

cayenne pepper to taste (optional)

bread crumbs or cracker crumb (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Press the excess moisture from the spinach.

Combine the artichokes, spinach, cheeses, cream cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise, and garlic in a bowl and mix well.

Spoon the artichoke mixture into an ovenproof bowl (sprinkle with bread crumbs or cracker crumbs) that you can bake this in. Bake at 350 topped with Fontina for thirty minutes until bubbly. Serve warm with tortilla or pita chips, crackers or vegetables.

Low Fat Alfredo Sauce:

1 tablespoon butter

1/4 cup flour

1 teaspoon salt

pinch nutmeg

3/4 cup grated Romano and Parmesan blended cheeses

3 cups 1 % low-fat milk

1/2 teaspoon white pepper

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add flour; cook, stirring, 1 minute. Whisk in milk, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Bring to a boil, whisking; reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Shut off heat and stir in the cheese.

Grilled Glazed Sweet Potato Kabobs Plus Video

Friday, June 1, 2012

If you love sweet potatoes as we do and want to try a fun easy way to eat them, here's your recipe!

See Video below... these are so easy!
3 to 4 sweet potatoes washed and microwave for 3 to 4 minutes
maple syrup
wooden or metal skewers
cooking oil spray
optional: coconut

Heat grill on high. Microwave and cool potatoes. Remove skins, then slice potato in half then in cubes. Thread on skewers. Place on hot grill and continue to cook around 10 minutes until cooked and grill lines form.

Brush with a mixture of 1/2 cup of maple syrup and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon. Cook 1 more minute, you can also add the coconut and toast a few minutes, watch carefully or it will burn.  Remove from grill.

Brush again with more syrup if preferred extra sweet and sprinkle with coconut.