Caramel Banana Flan

Monday, February 25, 2013
Well let me start out saying, I had never made flan before.  My son said he loves flan and wanted me to give it a go.  This makes it's own light caramel sauce all in one pan and this caramel banana flan was over the top delicious!

caramel and banana flan that is oozing with rich caramel over the time baked right in the pan. Buttery and delicious


Sausage and Ditalini Stew

Sunday, February 24, 2013
SAUSAGE AND DITALINI STEW is a quick easy meal we use to dunk our crusty Italian bread in. Sometimes if we were lucky enough in the old days, we had shredded mozzarella to add to the top of this dish and that was a huge bonus. We often called this stoup, it's kind of a stew soup. A hearty one bowl meal that went a long way on a small budget!

Sausage and Ditalini Stew Recipe


Twinkie Cupcake Recipe

Saturday, February 23, 2013
A retired for a good old faithful friend of the past, the Twinkie. A taste from those childhood years.

A cake that came in a box that was back then a wonderful treat to have. We didn't have them very often as that was not part of the budget.

For me, that delicious delicate sponge cake, filled with a marshmallow buttercream kind of frosting was what I asked for when we had that extra money.


Mom's Risotto Shrimp Scampi Recipe

Friday, February 22, 2013
I love Risotto. My favorite is with white wine and seafood. Sometimes I just reminisce about those good ole days mom would make this. It's one of those comforting Italian foods when I was growing up. I would come home from school and oh that smell of sauteed garlic hits me in the face on a cold blustery Upstate N.Y. day that would put a huge smile on my face
This is the recipe that made that happen.

1 pound extra large cleaned, deveined shrimps tails off
5 ounces Risotto (Aborio Rice)
31/2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup white wine
3 cloves crushed garlic cloves
3 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt, pepper to taste
pinch of cayenne pepper
Optional: 2 tablespoon pesto sauce
1 tablespoon chopped parsley for garnish

Combine the wine and chicken broth and set aside.
In a large fry pan on low heat, add butter and oil saute garlic 1 minute. Add the rice saute until golden brown, around 6 to 8 minutes. Add half the broth/wine mixture and stir constantly adding a little more of the broth mixture leaving around 1/4 cup of the mixture for the shrimp. Cook rice until it continues to absorb the broth mixture and it thick and creamy, (if using the pesto add now). The rice should continuously be stirred. It is cooked when it is neither too hard or too soft. This took around 40 minutes total. Turn off the heat and let rest.

In the meantime:
In a another fry pan melt 2 tablespoons butter, 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil add 3 teaspoons crushed garlic, saute 1 minute. Add the shrimp and 1/4 cup of broth mixture. Cook around 5 minutes or until shrimps turn pink.

To serve:
Scoop rice onto a plate, top generously with shrimp. Garnish with parsley and serve.
+claudia lamascolo  Author


Chilean Sea Bass With Pineapple and Lime Butter

Thursday, February 21, 2013
A delicious way to prepare  Chilean Sea Bass you will love this dining experience with this wonderful light tasting fish. Buttery wine flaky fish/

Chilean Sea Bass With Pineapple and Lime Butter

Amaretto, Kahlua Coffee

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

this is coffee with Amaretto and Kahlua Liqueurs topped with cream and almonds


Rum Banana Bread Pudding Recipe

Saturday, February 16, 2013

When we have leftover bananas (sometimes banana bread gets old and you need a change, well here it is), we like this alternative. Yet another cooler weather comfort food so easy it's hard to write it as a recipe since there is nothing to it. You really can't mess it up if you add too much or too little it will still taste great! I always have to double the recipe and have another one to go home with my son when he's here!

3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoon brown sugar
6 slices of cinnamon bread cubed
3 banana's sliced lengthwise then in halves
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 tablespoon dark rum
4 eggs
1 cup whole milk
3 tablespoons butter melted
1/2 cup half and half or heavy cream

In a bowl beat eggs, add both the milk and cream. Add vanilla, spices, butter and rum last. In a deep casserole dish or large loaf pan, greased heavy with butter or spray with cooking oil.  Place cubes of bread in the bottom then banana and keep layering until all gone. Pour the pudding mixture over the bread and bananas. Bake on 350 degrees until browned and set in the center around 1 hour or more.
Serve with sweet whipped cream or a caramel ice cream topping or both!

Caramel Sauce:

1 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons rum (Optional)
4 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup half and half

Add everything but the vanilla and rum. Cook for 5 minutes until it gets thicker, add the rum if not using add 1 tablespoon of the vanilla instead if using rum add both now and cook a few minutes longer. Store unused in the refrigerator.
+claudia lamascolo  Author

Crockpot Manhattan Clam Chowder Mom's Recipe

Friday, February 15, 2013

Mom never used a crockpot in her day but I tried this in the crock pot and it came out great! So here is her version of this amazing soup of course you can still make it in a regular pot as well. My dad never liked cream soups, so this was one of his favorites. She often added Shrimp to this as well along with the clams occasionally for a special treat!

4 slices of bacon chopped
2 stalks of chopped celery
2 cups water
3/4 cup vegetable broth or chicken
2 chopped onions
3 tablespoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons tomato paste
28 ounces of Stewed Tomatoes chopped undrained
4 small potatoes diced
1 cup sliced carrots
1/2 teaspoon thyme and black pepper
salt to taste
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
dash of Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon hot sauce
1 1/2  pounds fresh minced clams (add the last 30 minutes of cooking)
or if your using cans you will need 6- 6 1/2 ounce cans)

Pour everything into the crockpot except the clams stirring together. Place on high 4 to 6 hours. Add the clams in the last 30 minutes. If using a large stock pot, cook on medium heat for 2 hours.
+claudia lamascolo  Author

Valentine's Day Heart

Thursday, February 14, 2013


1 recipe of:

1 pie crust recipe or store bought baked into a 8 or 9 inch heart shaped pan (spray with light cooking oil) cooled, remove from pan

1 jar of triple berry ice cream topping or blackberry jam warmed for 30 seconds in the microwave
fresh blueberries, raspberries, blackberries or strawberries

1 package of homemade coconut cream pudding or packaged vanilla cooked with 1/2 cup coconut added cooled

1 container of whipped topping

Fill heart cooled crust with pudding. Top with fresh berries, sliced thin and arrange on top of pudding, brush with triple berry topping. In a small zip lock bag snip one end and add whipped cream piped around the heart, sprinkle with colored sugar and serve.


Red Velvet Pancake Recipe For Valentines Day

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

I have never had anything red velvet ever! After seeing so much hype on the lovely cakes, cupcakes and pretty batters, I decided this is what hubby was getting for a special breakfast this Valentine's Day! To our surprise they were quite different than any other flavor we have tried in the past. Not exactly sure even how to describe the taste but really good. I added some black red cherries, a little cream cheese and they were the perfect sweetness.

You can use any cookie cutter shapes but I thought hearts were the perfect touch! Enjoy.

Red Velvet Pancake Recipe

2 cups flour
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
Mix in a bowl all the above ingredients and set aside

In another bowl add:

1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1- 1/2 cups buttermilk or evaporated milk
2 eggs
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons red food coloring

Whisk these above ingredients together blending evenly.

Now pour the wet mixture into the dry and folding until moistened and still lumps remaining.

Heat your griddle on medium low heat. Spray with cooking oil. Also if using a heart shaped cookie cutter for the heart red velvet shaped pancakes, spray the interior of the cookie cutter.  Fill the cookie cutter with batter until 2/3 thirds full, cook 1 minute and bubbles appear flip (note you can use cooking tongs to remove the cookie cutter. Cook until lightly golden another minute or so.


5 Minute Trifle and Video Hangout Recipes

Monday, February 11, 2013
5 minute trifles are all about easy to make desserts for every individual taste.
You can choose from the chocolate lover to the decadent cheesecake or sponge cake lovers. The secret is to start with the crust of your favorite cookie, cake or brownie, build your dessert with fruits, puddings and toppings your love. Interested yet? Watch our first video below. My son and I will give you plenty of ideas and I am sure you will taylor them to your families cravings. Using cookies, fruits, nuts coconut, chocolates and more!


Nutella Dipped Strawberries and Buttercream Frosted Nutella Cupcakes Recipe

Saturday, February 9, 2013
Dipped Strawberries in Nutella with a Nutella chocolate cupcake and Nutella Frosting.

Hard to resist this perfect easy treat for your Valentine and the special night needs a great ending!

For all those lovers out there that don't want to cook..

Have a Romantic evening! It doesn't have to be Valentines Day!

Nutella Batter For Cupcakes Recipe Below:
(Or use a Chocolate Cake Mix if your in a hurry follow your package directions)

2 3/4  cups flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup softened unsalted butter
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup Nutella

Prepare cupcake tins with liners and preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large mixing bowl add the sugar and butter to cream. Beat in eggs one at a time. Add the vanilla, Nutella and blend together. Gradually add the flour a little at a time with the baking powder, salt and beat until smooth.  Pour into liners and bake at 350 for 25 minutes or until the middles spring back. Cool completely.

Strawberry Garnish:

1 quart fresh strawberries washed and dryed
1 jar Nutella
Dip bottoms of the strawberries and half way up just before placing on the top of cupcake.

Nutella Buttercream Frosting:

1 cup Nutella
1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup softened butter
2 or 3 tablespoons heavy cream or half and half

In a large mixing bowl beat the butter with half the sugar. Add the cocoa, nutella rest of the powdered sugar and heavy cream beat until light and fluffy. If too thick add more milk.  Set aside. Cover with a wet paper towel to keep from crusting.  When cupcakes are cooled pipe a small amount of frosting on the cupcake then top with a Nutella dipped strawberries before serving/

+claudia lamascolo Author

Mom's Soft Italian Cutout Cookie Recipe

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Valentines Day

The Holiday would never have been the same without mom's Italian style  cutout cookies,
soft Italian cookies, not too sweet just right! Christmas or your favorite Holiday this is a versatile recipe you can make  anytime of the year and these will always be a hit anywhere!
(Actually these are the best cutouts cookies I have ever had for any Holiday! I embeded links to the events for more recipes for those Holidays a well) Enjoy!
3 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 stick butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla, almond or lemon extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup Ricotta or  Sour cream

Mix everything until smooth with an electric mixer. Roll out on floured board 1/2 inch thick using your favorite cookie cutter shapes whatever holiday or occasion it is.

 Bake at 400 until edges are set,  around 8 to 10 minutes. Cool.  Frost with homemade or canned frosting.


1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons heavy cream
drops food coloring optional 
garnish with sprinkle candies or other toppings of choice

                                                                       4th of July?

Nutella Coconut Mallow Turnovers Recipe World Nutella Day February 5th

Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Celebrating World Nutella Day Sara from Ms. Adventures in Italy and Michelle from Bleeding Espresso solemnly declare Saturday, February 5th “World Nutella Day 2013″ – a day to celebrate, to get creative with, and most importantly, to EAT Nutella !!!

One of my favorite candies is Mallo Cups, so this is a treat for me since it has a similar flavor inside!

Here is an easy fix for that craving!

1 package puff pastry, 2 pastry sheets thawed
1 Cup Nutella spread
1/2 cup toasted coconut
1 Cup mini marshmallows
1/4 cup toasted coconut (toasted spread on a paper plate for 1 minutes turning every 20 seconds)
grated chocolate or mini chocolate chips optional
Confectionary sugar and water glaze

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cut each square of pastry into 4 equal size pieces. Spread two tablespoons of Nutella spread onto the center of each pastry leaving 1/2 inch border around edges.  Top each with about 12  mini marshmallows, sprinkle with toasted coconut and fold over to form a little triangle. Close edges with a fork. Bake for 22-25 minutes or until pastry just turns golden. Remove and let cool for 5 minutes. Use a confectionary sugar and water glaze for the top, sprinkle with grated chocolate or mini chocolate chips.

Toasting Coconut:
Place coconut spread out in one thin layer on a paper plate and microwave it stirring every 10 seconds till brown. (Or you can do this is the oven on parchment paper on 350 till brown keep turning!)

Here are more Nutella Recipe for all of us Nutella Fans out there!

 Bread Pudding Nutella 2011 Latest Food Craze
Ricotta Frangelico Nutella Cake
Nutella Hazelnut Truffles
Nutella Mousse Tart
Nutella Ferrero Rocher Hot Cocoa
Nutella Milano Cookies
Nutella Chocolate Banana Crepes
Nutella No Name Cupcakes
Raspberry Nutella Crepe
Nutella Chocolate Chip Bars
Melting Moments
Nutella Rugelach
Nutella Gourmet Brownies
Nutella Dipped Frozen Banana
Nutella Drizzeled Rice Krispie Treats
Adult Nutella Pudding Shots
Homemade Nutella
Nutella Filled Ricotta Tarts
Wontons filled Nutella Baked

+claudia lamascolo Author

Meatball and Sausage Stuffed Bread Recipe

Monday, February 4, 2013


Crockpot Chicken Puttanesca Pepper Sauce Recipe

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Crockpot Chicken Puttanesca Pepper Sauce is a delicious sauce with fresh plum tomatoes and pitted Kalamata olives. I have to say sometimes crock pot cooking even astounds me, this recipe was so much like old fashioned stove top I was over joyed by the results. Next time I would serve this wonderful sauce and chicken over a favorite pasta.