Chocolate Cookie Gelato Sandwich Recipe

Sunday, April 27, 2014

When it comes to Gelato and Ice cream sandwiches, I don't think it gets much better than this double chocolate dream cookie frozen. The chocolate is absolutely wonderful and the cookie is just  a perfect match! A little drizzle of a bittersweet chocolate over the top and there's the perfect dessert. Next time I will double the recipe, as these went in 60 seconds and no crumbs to be found! I wasn't sure if I would add the chocolate on top again, half loved it the other said it was over kill. You decide.

Even with the drizzled chocolate frozen they still were easy to eat and the perfect dessert I love more chocolate! Kids and Adults loved these, I just didn't make enough.

Chocolate Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches

1/2 cup flour
2 tablespoons shortening
6 tablespoons butter
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
 1 teaspoon baking powder
2 eggs
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 pints of ice cream of choice
 (I made homemade Gelato,  Chocolate flavored)
Chocolate (a good grade like Lindt) melted to drizzle

In a large mixer bowl add the sugar, cocoa, butter and shortening, beat until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, beating one at time, flour, salt and vanilla.

Drop onto parchment paper or silpat mat using a 2 tablespoons ( ice cream scooper or meatball scoopers works great). If you don't have one use 2 tablespoon mounds of cookie dough. 

Bake in a preheated 350 degree hot oven making sure only six cookies per cookie sheet as they spread out.
Bake 15 minutes or until edges are brown, middles are still soft.

Cool completely. Loose on parchment then freeze on the cookie sheet until firm. Take frozen cookies out and place ice cream flavor of your choice ( I made homemade Gelato chocolate ice cream) that has been softened to fit each center. Top with another cookie, roll into sprinkles and freeze again. When firm you can drizzle melted chocolate over the top or leave plain. Serve immediately or re-wrap individually in wax paper.

Makes around 12 cookies that makes 6 sandwiches.  

+claudia lamascolo  Author

Chocolate Torte

Saturday, April 26, 2014
 Chocolate Torte  is a cake I made for my own birthday. Every year someone surprises me with a cake I love and this year I wanted to make my own from scratch just because I had time. I was off and on vacation and needed to bake, it's my therapy.

This chocolate torte was the most decadent chocolate filled cake with ganache I ever had!  I just love the chocolate fudge ganache and filling oozing all over this cake .When I made this torte for my birthday, I thought it would be way to rich for me. Instead it was a must make every year and slice of pure chocolate heaven! It was much lighter in texture than I thought it would be for a scratch cake.

 Chocolate Torte  cake with a fudge ganache on top a cherry delicious cream filled chocolate cake on a plate for a birthday party. The cake is light in texture and made from scratch


Las Vegas Trip Reviews

Thursday, April 24, 2014
Vegas, yes sin city, the rightful name in many ways. Whatever your looking for it's here. Art work, shops, gambling, food, drinks, escorts, sightseeing, recreations of places like New York, Rome Italy, France, Mexico, just to name a few.
Las Vegas Trip Reviews

The Venetian has gondolas its a ride by reservation only. Get there early the lines are long if you would like to experience this Venice Italy ride.

Las Vegas Trip Reviews

The trip was actually my birthday present and my husband and I met up with my niece that also flew in with her husband.

Las Vegas Trip Reviews

 The whole trip was very full. We actually walked 8 miles up the strip starting from the Mirage and using my pedometer it measured 11,800 steps. We ended at the Excalibur and took the bus back.

Las Vegas Trip Reviews

My favorite is Caesars Palace. The art is amazing, sculptures and surroundings are a wonderful experience, they even give a free show every day in the afternoon you won't want to miss it. I loved walking through looking at the fine artistry and the atmosphere just shouted Roman everywhere, just beautiful.

Las Vegas Trip Reviews

As we toured each Casino, each has their own special qualities, such as the Mirage they have a Volcano show in front at dark, Treasure Island has pirate shows at dark, Venetian has gondola rides, Bellagio, MGM has the slot machine everyone stands in line for that hasn't paid out in 20 years, New York, New York, Paris we stopped in Hard Rock Cafe then as we walked we saw Planet Hollywood. We missed going into Circus Circus, Flamingo, Bally's and Luxor and several more as the sand blowing in our face with the wind was horrible this April week.

Las Vegas Trip Reviews

Las Vegas Trip Reviews

 As we walked the wind was so hard and unreal, pushing everyone all over, we had to walk backwards at times, that made us walk even slower getting everywhere. The sand and dryness of the dessert really dried the membranes in our noses, skin and lips out. I highly recommend if you go to get some saline drops and or moisturizers also wear very comfortable sneakers. The other tip if you walking is to surely stop at the local drug stores and pick up water, they charge huge amounts in the Hotels. Food and water is extremely high priced in Las Vegas. One sandwich in a Hotel was $23.00 and they charged $3.00 for sharing.

Las Vegas Trip Reviews

We were told that Hotels and food is the number driver for the economy there, then entertainment and gambling third which has declined alot over the years the local folks told me. That's why the prices in restaurants were ridiculous, Hotels fees are $25.00 and then they add taxes on which you don't know until checkout. Yes, gone are the days of the $2.99 buffets from the 90's and thinking Las Vegas can be an inexpensive get away.

Las Vegas Trip Reviews

Oh yes old Downtown Vegas on Fremont Street. This is Downtown Vegas with many walks of life to partake upon. First of all if you are going to this street party then here is a tip before you get there. We learned very quickly about the cab service in Vegas. One cab charged us $40.00 for a ride that was 10 minutes with a 20% tip and surcharge for using a charge card. The next cab another time charged us $14.00 and was less in miles. If you charge they will ask you to pick from a 20, 30 or 40% tip to add on plus charges for using a charge card. They want cash, so keep that in mind, they also make small talk to see if it's your first time there and then nail you.

Las Vegas Trip Reviews

Taking the bus is much cheaper. They have a double decker bus for $6.00 for 2 hours or $12.00 for 24 hours. Got us back and forth no problems and the ride was very pleasant stopping anywhere to all the large Hotels back on the main boulevard. There are also shuttles that will take you to and from with reservations through the Hotels Concierge.

On with downtown Vegas, less expensive for trinkets for sure, some good food that really inexpensive, deli mostly. It's a party in the street. So as for our street party the fun starts really big at 9:00 pm. The most obvious and largest part of the Fremont Street Experience is this canopy light show. The canopy towers 9- feet about the ground and spans the length of five footballs fields. This covered street ceiling light show features famous Musicians like Bon Jovi, the concert in lights is amazing. Very cool indeed.

Most every part of the street is filled with costumes, violinists, bands, interesting attires up and down to ponder. If you have been to Key West this is a similar atmosphere. party all night, lower priced drinks and music in the streets with a laid back atmosphere.

As for the gambling, these are in the Airport. I can tell you yes, I tried every Hotel for a lucky chance, nope not so lucky. Before we left to get on our plane, I decided well these machines are calling my name just one time I decided to try one more time. My first dollar I got back almost half of what I lost in the 3 days we were here. I kept playing until we boarded our plan and almost gained back all my losses. I couldn't believe the people around me that were also winning in the Airport. I found it interesting that all the same machines in the large Hotels, never hit that often once, while these machines gave back every time you pulled the lever. Was just an observation, can't wait to go back to the Airport again, hee hee.


As for the food, this pizza  was $23.00, with water and a small appetizer that bill was $43.00 with tax and tip. The restaurant was fancy in a leading Hotel and the pizza wasn't very good trying to portray Authentic Italian pizza. The sauce was dry, the crust was just soft and soggy, very disappointing besides being so small and not able to feed more than one no less two people, it was 10 inch thin crust. I did have a deli sandwich we split with a $3.00 share charge. The sandwich had at least 2 pounds of turkey and 2 pounds of bacon in it along with lettuce and tomatoes. It cost $23.00 and we split it. The average breakfast in the Hotel for 4 people with coffee and juice before tips was $93.00. Nope nothing fancy, some breakfast sandwiches, omelet, coffee, juice.

These were just some of my experiences of shock when we got there, so if you are taking a trip, make sure you have set aside double the amount of money for your food if your budgeting at all. Even a cup of coffee not at the leading coffee shops are $4.00. All and all it's a great time if you are prepared. The shows are great there and the best thing to do is walk the strip, there are places that sell you those tickets with a huge discount for the same night, don't buy them at the Hotel, you will pay much more. Hope this helps you out if your planning a trip and you set aside that gambling money or cocktail money, food is double the price, cabs and tips. If you want to cut corners take some of my tips and cut corners to have a great time in sin city!

Easter Peep Cocktail Recipe

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Wishing all my readers a Happy Healthy Easter and a little cheer for a peaceful day of great food, conversation and fun.
A salute to all.


Easy Mock Cassata Easter Cake Recipe

Saturday, April 19, 2014

I know your all wondering what in the world can this be? Well it's cake mix using a fudge marble with a layer baked on top to make this a delicious Mock Italian Cassata found at Easter time. The original version has a crusty top and bottom, filled Ricotta cheese with cherries and chocolate sometimes dried fruits and nuts according to what Region of Italy is making it. This however is a imitation version of that really rich delightful dessert. If your a hurried cook, or someone that says I am not a baker, you will want to wow your guests with this delicious semi homemade cake, look no more you just found it. Check out this simple recipe below and I have to say it's pretty darn fantastic even being a quick imitation of the best dessert on our table at Easter.

1 boxed marble cake mix
In a large mixer make the cake to you package instructions and pour into a greased 11x15 inch pan. Preheat oven to 350.


2 lbs whole milk Ricotta cheese
1/2 cup sugar
4 eggs
grated milk chocolate bar
3 tablespoon or more chopped marachino cherries drained well
Optional Using any or all: 3 tablespoons or more each chopped dried fruits(citron or pineapple medleys and pistachio nuts

Garnish is Optional:
Whipped cream
Whole Strawberries
Mini chocolate chips
Option 2:

Powdered sugar

Topping Instructions:

In another large bowl mix together the cheese, sugar, eggs, cherries and chocolate.

Pour cheese topping over the cake batter and bake on 350 degrees for 1 hour.

Cool and serve plain or choose a garnish (if desired) with whipped cream, sprinkle with mini chocolate chips and top with a strawberry.

+claudia lamascolo


Rosemary Herb Smashed Potatoes

If your a potato lover like I am, you never have enough recipes or ways to make them. Here is a delicious boiled potato with herbs and spices that can be considered low fat if your not just watching carbs. Fresh rosemary is the key to this special gourmet flavored potato mash! I highly recommend using fresh herbs.

smashed potatoes in a bowl with rosemary

Anytime winter, spring, summer or fall, treat yourself to an easy side dish and it's always perfect with any meat. The freshness of the herbs enhance the potato flavor and

buttery soft taters to another level.

Golden potatoes or white potatoes boiled in salt water until soft around 35 minutes then drained (make the amounts for your family size)
2 or 3 sprigs of fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
salt, pepper and cayenne to taste

Boil potatoes  in salt water with skins on until soft when pierced with a fork. Drain. Place in a bowl. Mash with a fork. Add all the herbs, spices, butter and olive oil. Serve warm with any meat dish.

+claudia lamascolo  Author

Marshmallow Popcorn Treats Recipe

Thursday, April 17, 2014
Reminds me of the famous Rice Krispie Treats except with popcorn and sweeter like kettle corn. It's a terrific quick snack!

1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter ( 1 stick)
1 bag large marshmallows (10 ounce)
12 cups popped popcorn (I use the microwaved method click here)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

In a heavy duty 5 quart saucepan melted butter and sugar. Add marshmallows, vanilla and stir in popcorn. Spread on a buttered cookie sheet cool and break into pieces.

+claudia lamascolo  Author

Cream of Coconut Cake Recipe

Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Here is a cake I have been making for years. This is the perfect cake to feel like you just went on vacation to a tropical island. Fresh, light, sweet and oh so decadent.

Cream of Coconut Cake
1 box coconut cake mix or yellow
3/4 cup water
3 eggs
1/3 cup oil
1 can (8 ounce) crushed pineapple with liquid

In a bowl using an electric mixer add the cake mix, pineapple with juice, water, eggs and oil. Beat till light and fluffy around 4 minutes.

Pour into a greased 13x9 sheet cake pan that has been sprayed with cooking oil.

Bake at 350 until middle is set for around 35 minutes or when toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven and poke holes in the cake evenly on top. Pour the mixture below while still hot.

1 can cream of coconut (12 ounce)
1 can (14 ounce) sweetened condensed milk (1/4 cup coconut rum optional for an adult version)

shredded coconut to sprinkle on top evenly around 1/2 cup or more
1- 8 ounce tub of whipped topping or real whipped cream

Mix the cream of coconut and condensed milk in a bowl and rum is using. Pour over hot poked cake.
Cool cake completely. Spread whipped cream topping over the cake and garnish with coconut. Refrigerate before serving.

+claudia lamascolo  Author

Fun Peep Easter Cake or Cookie Ideas

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

A childhood favorite and through adulthood I love my peeps. Even if I don't always eat them (which isn't the case) I have to decorate with them to bring out the Easter Holiday festive look to our tables. You can get as creative as you like. Cakes, cookies, cupcakes with just a few decorating idea's the kids will love these treats and it's easy for them to make too!
Fun Peep Easter Cake or Cookie Ideas


Quick and Easy Pita Pizza Recipes

Sunday, April 13, 2014

White or garlic pizza is a real treat with many Italian dishes. Garlic bread is a must with pasta. Here is a quick fix when the craving of either one arrives and all you need is some homemade pita bread to start with or store bought will work too!

For thicker pizza, stack two adding sauce and cheese in the middle. Stack them and bake with cheese on top, italian spices more sauce and drizzle with olive oil.

When I work all day and want a fast and easy dinner, this is it! If you love pizza, this is an easy satisfying fix! If you have topping available in the refrigerator great if not then a little sauce and slices of mozzarella is fine.  You can turn this pita bread into a banquet if you just have a few ingredients in the refrigerator or pantry! Things to have on hand or in the freezer tips, pita bread, frozen shredded mozzarella cheese, pepperoni, frozen veggies like peppers or spinach will be a great start!

Here's all you need to get started:

Store bought pita bread or homemade if your lucky!

Homemade Pita Bread Recipe

jar sauce of your choice

mozzarella cheese slices or shredded

topping suggestions: 

slices of tomato, fresh spinach and ricotta and fresh basil leaves, sliced olives, chopped peppers, cooked meats IE sausage crumbled, sliced pepperoni, crushed meatballs, roasted chicken, ham and pineapple, sliced mushrooms, thinly sliced zucchini or eggplant.

You can also make a white pizza (shown above)  by brushing with melted butter, 1 clove crushed garlic, fresh parsley and oregano to the top with mozzarella cheese.  Alight layer of ricotta spread on top makes this extra cheesy!
Use any of the suggestions above in any combination you like. 

Place the pita on a lightly spray piece of tin foil. Bake at 400 for around 10 minutes,  Remove from oven. Top with your favorite sauce, meat or vegetables combinations then cheese, sprinkle with grating cheese. Bake at 400 until cheese is browned and bubbling.

+claudia lamascolo  Author

Penne with Red Diavolo Seafood Sauce Recipe

Saturday, April 12, 2014

A favorite in our family is a medley of fish in our seafood. During lent, (especially on good Friday during Easter week),  we always had an abundance of fish dishes. This was one that was quick and easy. It can be inexpensive if you just use tuna in the sauce like mom did, or you can add more types of seafood you can afford. In this particular recipe, I used salmon, haddock, shrimp and tuna. The sauce was very rich in flavor and will stick well to any pasta. The dish is hearty and will satisfy any seafood lover that loves a little heat as well.  
Penne with Red Diavolo Sauce Recipe

3 cloves minced garlic 
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon or more to taste red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon each dried parsley, basil and oregano
1 teaspoon sugar
1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 28 ounce can tomato puree
1/2 can water or red wine
3 cans tuna packed in olive oil
1 cup medium cleaned and deveined shrimps no tails on
1 lb of haddock cut in small chunks
1/2  pound salmon cut in chunks
1 pound penne, rigatoni or other pasta you like
romano cheese for garnishing

In a medium sauce pot add oil and garlic saute 1 minute, add both cans of tomatoes. Add the salt, pepper, crushed red pepper to taste, herbs and sugar. Add the fish and cook for around 45 minutes on low heat.
Boil the pasta to package instructions. Top the pasta with fish sauce, sprinkle more parsley and grating cheese for garnish.

+claudia lamascolo  Author


My Favorite Desserts

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

                                                               Triple Berry Ricotta Cheesecake       

                                                               Pizza Fritta



                                                                   Cassata for Easter


Curt's Peanut Butter Molasses Cookie Recipe

Monday, April 7, 2014

Last week Curt called me and said he loved the taste of Peanut butter and gingerbread can we develop a cookie together with both ingredients. Well we got together on Sunday and this is what we came up with together. Peanut butter that look like a crinkle cookies. I know they would need to have powdered sugar but since they were messier we decided to roll them in sugar.  He was very impressed with the end results as I was. I am going to give him the credit for the recipe on Curt's Delectable Blog since he really came up with this great cookie idea and I would love for you all to get to see some of his great recipes. He is the inventor in the family!  So here is our cookie project. What do you think? Hop over and see the recipe if you like the finished product. The taste is really a great combination of flavors and an easy recipe to make! 

Click here for the recipe

Italian Shrimp, Spinach Saute Recipe

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Here is a quick throw together meal for all my seafood lovers! Shrimp, tomato, garlic and wine... with fresh spinach! A healthier version to start your way to healthier eating if your a seafood lover. I love the ease of this recipe and you can serve this many ways, the healthier version is to serve over brown rice or then the heartier way is to serve over pasta, potatoes and it's great on top of fresh crusty Italian bread!

2 pounds large shrimp cleaned and deveined tails on

1 pound fresh plum tomatoes cleaned and put through the food processor leaving chunks

3 cloves fresh minced garlic

olive oil

1/2 cup white wine

springs of fresh parsley

fresh basil

1 bag of fresh spinach around 13 to 16 ounces

Optional additions: sliced peppers, black sliced olives, sliced onions can be added with the tomatoes.

Optional ways to serve this: Cooked Pasta boiled in salt water to package directions. Top a baked potato or serve on a bed of boiled rice instead of pasta. I love this on top of Italian crusty bread as a sandwich.

In a large fry pan, add 1/4 cup olive oil, garlic and spinach. Saute until spinach has wilted. Add the white wine and tomatoes. Cook for around 15 minutes.

In the meantime boil your favorite pasta and set aside.

Add the shrimp to the pan and cook until the shrimp turns pink, around 4 to 5 minutes. Add the fresh herbs and stir.

To serve, place over a bed of brown rice or the other suggestions listed above. You can garnish with fresh cracked black pepper and long shreds of grating cheese if you like.

Glazed Marsala Mushroom Recipe

Friday, April 4, 2014
What a fabulous topping for steak or even a baked potato! The faint flavor or marsala wine in these mushrooms just make them addictive. Saute until a golden crust is formed  making the perfect side dish with any kind of meat you've prepared.  Time and time again my family asks me to make them this way and they are so easy  to make in no time with just a few ingredients.

The smell of these cooking makes the whole house smell fantastic and you just can't wait to eat them! 

Here all you need:

2 lbs of sliced fresh mushrooms
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup marsala wine
salt, pepper to taste
pinch of cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic in olive oil

In a large fry pan add the butter and oil on low heat until melted. Add the garlic, mushrooms, spices and wine and saute until they turn a crisp golden brown, around 10 minutes or so. Stir them and turning often.
Note most of the wine will reduce and glaze the mushrooms. You can add more if you like them all to crisp as some will not due to the thickness.  Then continue to cook until they are glazed and darkened as the first photo.

+claudia lamascolo  Author

Semi Homemade Pesto Pizza Recipe

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Semi homemade pizza. What a great way to enjoy homemade style pizza with any delicious topping your heart desires.
All you have to do is buy some hoagie rolls (sub rolls, submarine rolls, whatever you call them) split them in half and then add whatever toppings you love! The kids can help make them too. It will be fun creating your own personal pizza with that homemade taste. Can it get any easier? Yes it can. Rolls, sauce, cheese and your good to go unless you want some gourmet ideas then read on for some yummy suggestions.

My idea of delicious pizza is prepare it with freshest ingredients possible. Tomatoes, cheese, pesto sauce, garlic and your favorite cooked meats can make this a whole meal!

Semi Homemade Pizza:

Sub rolls (hoagie or torpedo rolls whatever you call them!) 
Tomatoes sliced thin
Store bought pesto sauce or tomato sauce or Alfredo sauce
Mozzarella shredded cheese
Olive oil
Dried oregano, basil, parsley
Black pepper
Red pepper flakes
Grating cheese

Optional topping suggestions:

 pepperoni, cooked sausage, mushrooms, spinach, ricotta cheese, thinly sliced broccoli, cappicola, meatballs crushed, thinly sliced beef, chicken, cooked shrimps, 
ham and pineapple, tuna.

Preheat the oven at 400 degrees. Brush the rolls with olive oil and sprinkle each cut side with dried herbs, bake until toasted and light brown on top.

Top with pesto, sliced tomatoes or sauces if you prefer, top with meats of choice and shredded cheese and grating cheese. Bake on 400 degrees until cheese is melted. 

Want a different pizza recipe?

Pizza Dough
Tomato Pie Upstate N.Y. Style
Pizza Classics
Crescent Roll Pizza
Grilled Pizza

+claudia lamascolo  Author

Tropical Grilled Fruit Kabobs with Rum Sauce

You really don't have to live in Florida to get a taste of the tropics. If you have ever been on a tropical vacation then this will be a treat for you. A spiced rum and toasted coconut over grilled fruits, a delicious mind get away. This is just one of those recipes that makes you sing Spring and then will carry you through the entire summer with a smile!
Enjoy, relax and watch the video, you will love the rum sauce on these Tropical Grilled Fruit Kabobs.

This is grilled fruit kabob for a barbecue in the backyard. The fruits are pineapple, cherry, strawberry with a coconut rum sauce. This is an easy dessert for the grill and great idea for a quick and easy dessert for any backyard family picnic food