Baked Fresh Pumpkin Donut Recipe and Antonio

Friday, October 31, 2014

Well this has been a fun month so far, making fresh baby foods for the grandson, then being his first Halloween we took him to the pumpkin farm this past week along to the Zoo where they had a great display of Halloween fun for the kids. Antonio seemed to have a great time at both. 


Halloween Half Moon Cake Mix Cookies

Thursday, October 30, 2014

For all of you that know me and read my blog, I am from Upstate Utica, N.Y. We have some of the best bakeries in the world there, at least to me.
In our hurried society we live in, you can enjoy these in no time at all without running out of time to make specialty treats like this one. This recipe will come in handy for all us working folks and moms who just run out of time with making things for school functions, benefits, large parties and just because they're so good. Did I mention you use a cake mix? Oh yes and you can make all kinds of flavored cake mixes and also frost them to whatever theme is going on. Fast to be a quick fix and pretty darn good!
I have to say these are definitely pretty darn good and the kids loved them!


Halloween Pumpkin Krispie Head Recipe Video

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Fun to make and eat these orange colored rice krispie treats are a blast for the kids! Easy instructions and they just need to use a little imagination to get some Halloween fun into action. I left mine goofy looking (smile) try them with other color licorice too and make them all unique~! Check out the video for quick instructions on how to make these!

Tinted orange marshmallows

The mixture is ready to mold, just remember its very hot! Don't use your hands unless you cool it off to the touch first!

Using a meatball scoop I molded these into balls for the pumpkins heads! You can also put them on popsicle sticks.

Here's all you need:

1 recipe of Rice Krispie Treats or see below:

All I do is use 1 -10 ounce bag of marshmallows, 1 stick of butter. Melt the butter add two drops red food coloring and 1 yellow. Use more red for a darker orange coloring. 

I used an ice cream or meatball size scoop  to make round balls or roll them by hand when marshmallow mixture starts too cool, way too hot to handle when first made!

Tootsie rolls for the stems

Tinted green frosting I used canned with green food coloring.

Tooth picks to make green 

Candy eyeballs found at any dollar store or specialty cake shops
red licorice or whatever colors you like for the nose and mouth.

After making them into balls, add the eyes, nose, tootsie roll and frosting, make them any way you want just use your imagination! You can dip them in white chocolate or milk chocolate. You can also make a zig zag mouth. Red frosting like blood. I kept mine less scary the kids are young and it was a fun project. You can use popsicle sticks and place them into styrofoam for a party pops also!

For more ideas on Halloween fun see links below:

Best Halloween Roundup Halloween Foods
Witches Hats
More Halloween Party Recipes

Do you love pumpkin?

Try some of these other pumpkin recipes:


Apple Mummy and Cookie Halloween Idea and Recipes 2014

Monday, October 27, 2014

If you going to make something ghoulish then hopefully it's delicious too! Here is a apple galette the kids will love to help you make, so easy, all you need is some pie dough and a plastic knife to cut some strips. 

Easy, fun delicious and terribly ghoulish! I also make a cute little cookie monster for the littler wee ones to help out and be part of the fun. Happy Hauntings. Scroll down to see what he looks like all decorated with frosting. 

Note: the above recipe for small chocolate peanut butter round cookies and large click here

Apple Mummy Galette:

3 small apples peeled, cored and sliced mixed with 3 tablespoons sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon tossed together until blended.
1- 9 inch pie shell rolled into rounds homemade or store bought
2 blueberries or raisins for eyes.
Optional: canned or homemade frosting

Roll out pie shell into a round, mound the apples in the center. Cut all around the from the edge about 1 inch of down from the circle and put aside. Pull the sides of the remaining dough and fold up towards the apples. Roll out the remaining dough and cut into strips. Place strips around the face making a mummy wrapping effect. Place the blueberries or raisins in place for eyes. Bake on 400 until browned around 40 minutes. Cool and drizzle white icing on the mummy strips for a glossy effect or leave plain either was it gruesomely delicious!

For Cookie Monster:

Make small chocolate and large cookies for the body here is a cookie recipe I made Melting Chocolate Snowman
Add a red hot for the nose
The eyeballs can be purchased at any cake decorating specialty shop or online.
Lace licorice can be purchased at any candy store or online 

For more creative ideas click links below:

For more recipes see links below for Halloween Ideas:

Best Halloween Roundup Halloween Foods
Witches Hats
More Halloween Party Recipes

Wicked Witch Halloween Cupcake Recipe Video

Tuesday, October 21, 2014
One of my favorite movies is a Classic "The Wizard Of Oz". After looking for ways to create that fun filled time in my youth I decided to recreate a little favorite memories from that film. Here is the Wicked Witch of the East for Halloween fun and these cupcakes are perfect to serve at any party. I promise these are easy to make, just sit back and watch my step by step video and lets get this party started!
Happy Halloween 2014! From the good witch of the North


Sicilian Pizza and More Pizza Recipes

Monday, October 20, 2014
Pizza is my favorite and a thick Sicilian Pizza style it the best!

A traditional go to family recipe we usually make every Sunday night which is family night. Every week my sons and their family come over to watch a variety of tv series we watch until almost midnight, one favorite being "The Walking Dead," a current popular series. This pizza we had this week was a very thick Sicilian Style pizza, the cheese may be on top or under the crust depending on how you like it.
 Neapolitan-Style New York Style Pizza is a thinner crust.  I didn't have to cook this in a very deep pan the cookie sheet I used was at least 1 1/2 inches deep. It's loaded with cheese.

 Deep dish pizza more Chicago style usually is filled with lots of Italian meats and surrounded by crust also thick and very good see link above for a grilled version.

 Of course there are bakery style Tomato pie pizza along with several other Regions that make many Traditional style pizza pies. French bread pizza is popular these days, in mine day we used English muffins and called it poor mans pizza, easy to make and quick using leftover Traditional Italian Sunday Sauce. Of course then there are Margarita Pizza which is fresh basil and fresh sliced of tomatoes, then White pizza with garlic and oil another delicious combination of flavors.  No matter what part of the world your in there is some kind of universal love for the pizza pie.

We love thin or thick crust as long as it's pizza and is loaded with lots of whole milk mozzarella.

Here are a few ideas below to get started on making your traditions in your homes.

Sicilian Pizza and More Pizza Recipes

(Click on links below for recipes)

Well there are lots more choices and topping you can choose to add to any of the above recipes enjoy your pizza journey have some fun and a delicious party!


Broccoli Rabe Sausage Mini Pizza Recipe

Sunday, October 19, 2014
One of our favorite toppings for pizza is broccoli rabe and sausage. Here's what we 
like to prepare it. 

Broccoli Rabe is a wonderful Italian Green Broccoli that is sauteed in olive oil, garlic and pinch of hot pepper. If you love greens this is a gourmet pizza fit for a king with the addition of Italian sausage on homemade pizza dough.

Maybe you remember the story on Broccoli Rabe that I posted years ago? Read more about this famous green here.

Broccoli rabe recipe
1 pizza dough recipe or store bought
sliced Italian cooked sausage
marinara sauce

mozzarella cheese
grating cheese
olive oil
red pepper flakes optional

Spread the dough into 9 inch deep cake pans that are greased. Rise to 1/4 inch thickness. Cook the dough for 10 minutes on 400 degree preheated oven. Remove from oven. Spread the top with sauce, then cooked broccoli rabe, sliced cooked sausage. Sprinkle with grating cheese generously with mozzarella shredded.
Bake at 425 degrees until the cheese starts to bubble and brown nicely on top. Add hot pepper flakes if desired.

@Claudia Lamascolo Author

Peach Upside Down Cake Video Recipe

Friday, October 17, 2014

No matter what kind of fruit you like you can throw this cake together in minutes! It's easy and the perfect dessert. You can use fresh fruits or pie filling it comes out great every time!
Top it with whipped cream or coordinate a favorite ice cream and it will be the talk at the family dinner table.

Peach Upside Down Cake Video Recipe

1 box yellow cake mix made to package instructions
1 can peach pie filling (or use 4 fresh peaches tossed with 2 tablespoons cornstarch, 3 tablespoons sugar and 1/4 cup water)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 stick butter
Optional toppings: whipped cream or ice cream sprinkled with coconut or chopped nuts.

In a 13x9 pan add the stick of butter and place inside the oven to melt on 350 degree oven. While that's melting, make the cake to package instructions. Remove the pan with melted butter. Spread out the peach filling. Sprinkle with cinnamon more or less to taste. Cover with batter and bake at 350 until the cake is set in the middle around 35 minutes.

Note: you can use any kind of fruit, bananas, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries same method above adding more or less sugar to taste or use a can of your favorite pie filling.

+claudia lamascolo  Author

S'mores Stuffed Brownie Video Recipe

Monday, October 13, 2014
Another easy brownie stuffed with graham cracker, marshmallows and chocolate chips. If your a s'mores lover these will be a must try for you they are really decadent and a chocolate lovers dream as well! Once they are cooled the marshmallows that look like they just on top blend into the top layer like magic!

S'mores Stuffed Brownie Video Recipe


Puff Pastry Red Raspberry Turnover Recipe

Sunday, October 12, 2014

A very favorite pastry I just love! Red Raspberry filled flaky pastry is one of the best desserts for me. I tore one open to show you how delicious the inside is with this puff pastry dough. 

Of course if you prefer them with frosting you can just drizzle that over the tops. I like them plain as the filling and pastry are sweet enough for me.!  Enjoy!

Puff Pastry Red Raspberry Turnover Recipe


2 cups flour
16 Tablespoons unsalted butter
2/3 cup ice cold water
pinch of salt

Topping for turnover dough: 1 egg white or whole egg beaten with 2 tablespoons water

Mix 1/4 cup of flour with 14 tablespoons softened butter to make a smooth paste. Shape into a square approximately 1/2 inch thick. Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes. In another bowl mix the cold water, 2 tablespoons of butter, and the remaining 1 3/4 cup of flour and a pinch of salt. This will be an elastic, shiny dough. Knead for about one minute. Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes. Refrigerating the dough makes this easier to roll the dough without breaking it. On a lightly floured board, roll out the shiny dough 1/4 inch thick. Place the butter dough square onto the shiny dough and wrap the ends of the shiny dough to enclose the butter dough in an envelope .Roll out the dough envelope to 1/4 inch thickness and fold in thirds like a business letter.
Roll again in the opposite direction and fold in thirds again. Refrigerate 30 minutes and repeat the process twice for a total of six times of folding in the process. This will be making many of hundreds buttery layers. Cooling the dough is very important step. After folding the dough the sixth time, refrigerate the dough once more, and then it will be ready for use for any recipe that requires puff pastry. Tip: The oven must be preheated to a high temperature, 475 then turned down to 400 while baking, when the dough is placed in the oven. If the oven is not hot, the butter will melt and the moisture will evaporate before steam can form to separate the layers. You will end up with a tough non-flaky crust. For Turnovers roll out to 1/4 inch thickness into squares, fill with filling and fold to make a triangle. Pinch edges. Brush with egg whites to seal the edges. I like to freeze mine before baking for at least an hour.  Bake in preheated oven lowering to 400 degrees until browned on tops around 25 minutes.


3 tablespoons cornstarch dissolved in cold water 3 to 4 tablespoons
3 cups red raspberries Fresh or Frozen
2/3 cups sugar
pinch of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Heat on a very low heat medium saucepan the raspberries tossed with the cornstarch mixture. Stir until it becomes thick and jam like just a few minutes until fruit is softened and comes together. Takes around 5 minutes. Cool or place in refrigerator until ready to fill your turnovers.

Optional: you can frost them with powdered sugar/water mixture and drizzle over the tops.

Slow Cooker Italian Vegetable Stock Recipe

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Here is a great vegetable stock I make lots of and freeze. You can use it in many recipes, stews, gravy to add ton of flavor to your dish no matter what its is. Great for any kind of soup as well. Strain this one for flavoring rice dishes or even pasta. Healthy and something quick for after school just add some boiled pasta, grating cheese and you have a delicious healthy meal for lunch or dinner. Many recipes require a full bodied broth well here it is!

 Slow Cooker Italian Vegetable Stock Recipe

1 onion coarsely chopped
1 leek chopped
2 carrots peels and chopped
2 celery ribs with hearts chopped
2 medium turnips peeled and sliced
5 large fresh beef steak tomatoes pureed
1 small bunch of Italian parsley chopped
1 teaspoon dried or fresh oregano
2 fresh basil leaves
4 cloves whole garlic
salt, pepper to taste
10 cups or more of cold water

Place everything in your slow cooker for 8 to 10 hours. Perfect for cooking overnight, ready in the morning to use.  For freezing: cool, strain and freeze in small container for future uses. You can also use this as the perfect vegetable base for any soup. Just leave the vegetables in there and add boiled soup pasta of your choice, add some grating cheese on top. Delicious!

If you want to cook on top of the stove, simmer around 2 hours.

Note: great base to add cooked rice, pasta, soup starter and chicken dishes.


Pineapple Pecan Bread Recipe

Friday, October 10, 2014
Here is a delightful bread that keeps that warm summer feeling alive all through fall and winter months, it has that perfect blend of tropical taste. 


Parmesan Butter Roasted Cauliflower and Broccoli Recipe

Monday, October 6, 2014

Recently on a work trip, I had one thing that stood out in my mind in Las Vegas that was a delicious side dish for lunch one day at the MGM Grand Hotel. We had cauliflower that was roasted with lots of shredded parmesan cheese. I tweaked it a little with some garlic, a little heat and a buttery flavor and added broccoli too, this was over the top outstanding and the perfect side dish for any meal!

Here's all you have to do and it's so easy!

Parmesan Butter Roasted Cauliflower and Broccoli Recipe

1 head broccoli washed and cut florets
1 head cauliflower washed and cut florets

1 cookie sheet

olive oil
3 tablespoons melted butter
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
dried oregano
dried parsley flakes
salt and pepper to taste
2/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese or more to taste

Optional cayenne pepper to taste (I used a shake or two)

Heat oven to 405 degrees hot oven.

Place the florets on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or oiled sprayed.

Sprinkle the tops with herbs and spices, brush with olive oil and butter adding half of the cheese last.

Bake until browned and soft for around 40 minutes or longer to preference. Sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan cheese when done and serve.
+claudia lamascolo  Author

Berry Cherry Deep Dish Pie

Sunday, October 5, 2014
The smell of a homemade fruit pie baking sends a warm feeling of comfort. Thinking of the days when you didn't have a care in the world while mom baked in the kitchen and you wanted dessert before dinner it smelled so good baking. Here is a pie my mom made and I think of here often with fond memories. I loved this Berry Cherry Deep Dish Pie as a child and not as an adult it means even more in her memory to bake it.


Best Ever Cheesy Mashed Potato Recipe

Saturday, October 4, 2014

The fastest, easiest and packed with flavor,  mashed potatoes you will ever eat.  Only one drawback they're a dieter's nightmare, only indulge once in a great while as these will ruin your thighs, hips and butt! Seriously one of the tastiest mashed potatoes I ever made see why below!

Cheesy Mashed Potato Recipe

3 tablespoons whipped cream cheese
whole milk
1 8 ounce container sour cream ( you can use lite)
crumbled cooked bacon around 6 strips
4 potatoes cooked and mashed ( I microwave them first then peel and mash)
1 1/2 cups to 2 cups of shredded mixed kinds of blended cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon garlic granulated and 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
salt, pepper to taste

Place the cooked mashed potatoes in a medium size bowl mix with whipped cream cheese, salt, pepper, garlic powder, parsley flakes plus add enough milk until desired thickness you like by using a fork. Leaving some lumps is fine, I leave mine thick enough that it's hard to fall off a spoon.

Place the mashed potatoes in an oil sprayed deep dish pie plate. Spread the sour cream on top, then crumbled bacon. Smoother with shredded cheese and bake or microwave until completely melted.

The best side dish ever!

Coconut Cream Tarts with Godiva Chocolate Truffle Recipe

Friday, October 3, 2014

This was so yummy and easy it's sinful to even claim to be a recipe. Wait until you read what we did to make these delectable little tart pies for each one of our guests that went crazy!

This a Dark Chocolate Godiva Truffle broken in half on top of a coconut cream pudding then garnished with whipped cream!
Coconut Cream Tarts with Godiva Chocolate Truffle

Here's all you need to make these:

Godiva Dark Chocolate Truffles 
6 graham cracker premade tart shells
shredded coconut
1 box Coconut cream instant pudding made to package instructions

1 can real whipped cream for garnish

Make the pudding and place in the refrigerator. Remove the tart shells from the packaging. Fill using a teaspoon of coconut, some pudding. Break the chocolate in half letting the middle ooze out onto the top of the cream filling. Garnish with whipped cream.

Crustless Vegetable Frittata Recipe

Wednesday, October 1, 2014
I love vegetables and this crustless vegetable frittata recipe is so versatile to whatever you like!

When I was a child growing up we would have this for dinner often mixed with sausage, pepperoni or leftover meat in the fridge even cold cuts added in.

Breakfast really consisted of pizza fritta in our house which was fried dough most of the time. Sometimes my grandmother Victoria would have coffee lots of cream, add a little sugar and then she would put in crushed  saltine crackers to her coffee for breakfast. I would just stare at that concoction and wonder where she came up with the idea. She called it ah zupa. Not sure the spelling. Grandma was from Rome Italy, broken English and grew up poor. Everything we had leftover would never go to waste. She would even freeze the leftover coffee into ice cubes. A darn good concoction it was! Great memories.

 Crustless Vegetable Frittata Recipe

(the best way to get all the vegetables you like in this is to cut them very small I will list what is in here and you add your favorites if some aren't what you like)

1/4 cup each or all:
grape tomatoes sliced
black olives sliced
sliced bell peppers
mushrooms sliced
broccoli chopped fine or cauliflower
roasted pepper
shredded zucchini, eggplant or yellow squash or white potatoes

Beat together in a small bowl:
4 eggs
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt, pepper to taste
2 teaspoons minced garlic

1 cup mozzarella mixed with fontina shredded cheese.

Pour the mixture into a buttered pie plate thats deep. Top with the vegetables and shredded cheese. Sprinkle with grating cheese.  Bake at 400 degrees until set in the middle around 45 minutes.