Spaghetti Pie Casserole Recipe

Thursday, July 30, 2015
This is a totally delicious casserole that the kids and adults just loved. It's an American version called poor mans lasagna. All in all it's one of the tastiest casseroles I have ever made. I love the fact that its packed with delicious cheeses and amazing Italian sauce. Homemade or semi homemade sauces this will be a hit on your tables.

Spaghetti Pie Casserole Recipe

1 pound ground beef or turkey

olive oil

grated cheese

fennel seed

salt, pepper

1/2 pound cooked spaghetti drained al dente

2 eggs

3 cups shredded mozzarella

1 15 ounce container Ricotta cheese

granulated garlic

2 cloves minced garlic

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1- 28 ounce can tomato sauce, crushed or diced with juice or sauce made homemade

Optional: you can add dried oregano and basil to your sauce if you like it 1 teaspoon each

Cook and drain pasta. Place in a large bowl. Add eggs, 1 teaspoon granulated garlic and 1 clove minced garlic mix together. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon chopped parsley, 3 tablespoons grated cheese, salt, pepper to taste. Set aside.

Greased a deep dish pie casserole dish I use 13x9.

In the meantime saute the meat in 2 tablespoon olive oil Add 1/2 teaspoon fennel seed, tablespoon chopped parsley, last clove of garlic and 1 teaspoon granulated garlic mix together. Stir saute until all the pink is gone. Add salt pepper to taste. Stir in the tomatoes. Cook for half hour on low heat.

Spread the spaghetti mixture into the greased pan. Then spread the Ricotta cheese on top sprinkling the cheese with parsley, granulated garlic and grating cheese evenly over the top, ending with the meat sauce over the entire casserole. Top generously with grated cheese and mozzarella. Bake at 400 degrees for 35 minutes until cheese melts then broil until cheese browns, watch it carefully don't leave it as you broil it. It looks like a pizza when you cut it!


Peanut Butter Bar Recipe

Wednesday, July 29, 2015
This is an easy throw together recipe great to take on trips, potlucks, picnics and something mom would make when we had lots of peanut butter in the house!


Zucchini Spaghetti Recipe

Sunday, July 26, 2015

A light olive oil white sauce with delicious grated cheese makes this the perfect alternative for pasta lovers. If you are watching your calorie intake this one is 60 calories for 2 small grated zucchini and the taste is just perfect! This is an easy meal or side dish to make when you are in a hurry. 

Zucchini Spaghetti Recipe

2 zucchini peeled and shredded in long strands (I used a long hand held grater to make it. I actually tried the plastic one that is used to make zucchini spaghetti and it was more work!)
2 cloves minced fresh garlic
salt, pepper to taste
cayenne pepper just a dash
2 to 3 tablespoon wide shredded Parmesan grated cheese 
1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 chopped fresh basil leaf
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil divided
optional: 2 tablespoon white wine

Place the zucchini shreds in a microwave bowl with water to cover or use a small saucepan for top of stove. Bring to boil.  Cook around 10 to 12 minutes adding a pinch of salt to the water. Check for softness.  Drain.
Saute garlic in oil for 2 minutes in 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add all the spices, herbs (and wine if using) then the zucchini until blended. Mix in the cheese as much as you like. Add one or two more tablespoon of olive oil, stir.  Serve immediately.

Option: You can add fresh tomato sauce on top of the zucchini then top with more cheese,  this was a white sauce version.

Another option is to add boiled cooked shrimps on top.


Italian Style Chicken Tortilla Recipe

Saturday, July 25, 2015
You've heard of Tex Mex before? Well this is an Italian tortilla combination which equals, Italian Mex. Whatever you call this, it's perfect for the lighter eater or anyone who loves salad in a sandwich. This can be served open faced or rolled up using tortilla or filled pita. Great for brunches, lunches and dinners.  Here is a great recipe filling full of flavor and a little different than what your use to. These chicken filled tortilla's are sauteed with garlic and peppers, topped with salad and vinaigrette dressing. These have a great taste bursting with freshness. 

Italian Style Chicken Filling Flour Tortilla Recipe

3 boneless Chicken breast cubed
2 bell peppers diced
1 or 2 cloves minced garlic
olive oil

Tortilla warmed or use pita bread

1/2 teaspoon oregano, parsley, garlic powder 
salt, pepper and cayenne pepper to taste

Saute  the chicken, peppers and garlic in a medium sized pan with 2 tablespoons olive oil. When the juices run clear in the chicken toss the seasonings in.

Tomato and Cucumber Salad Topping:

Shredded lettuce
Chopped tomatoes
Chopped cucumbers seeds removed
1/4 cup kalamata olives sliced

Italian Homemade Salad Dressing Recipe:

1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon each of fresh preferred, (dried when not available) basil leaves, parsley chopped, oregano, 2 cloves garlic or 1 teaspoon powder,  dash cayenne pepper, salt and black pepper to taste, and 2 tablespoon grated Romano cheese
1/4 cup good grade Balsamic Vinegar

Mix all ingredients above for dressing in a bowl and whisk to blend together.

Place the tortilla or pita on a plate, fill with some of the chicken mixture. Then top with the salad. Drizzle with salad dressing and roll up or leave open faced. Enjoy!


Make Your Own Brown Sugar Recipe

Thursday, July 23, 2015

How many times you want to make that recipe and out of brown sugar? Well here is the simple solution. You just need two ingredients. Mix in a bowl, store in an airtight container!

To keep it soft add an apple slice or piece of bread to the container, it's amazing that neither gets moldy! If you prefer to use a terra cotta clay disk, its around $7.00 at a baking shop. That will do the trick on preserving the brown sugar from getting hard as a rock just add it to the container.

Make Your Own Brown Sugar Recipe

Light Brown
2 tablespoons molasses
1 cup white sugar

Dark Brown
3 tablespoons molasses
1 cup white sugar


Butterscotch Pudding Cake Recipe

Tuesday, July 21, 2015
A delicious confection with a buttery flavor so easy to make and a great dessert.


Self Rising Flour Recipe

Monday, July 20, 2015

Don't go out an buy something you already can make in seconds! Spend less by doing this!

When A Recipe Calls For Self Rising Flour Recipe

1 cup flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Mix together, use as needed!

Best Ever Mango Muffin Recipe

Sunday, July 19, 2015
A delicious tropical fruit I see often in recipes for salsa, cakes and other wonderful confections. This recipe base was originally from my grandmother's muffin recipe for fruit and it worked fabulously with mango they were all eaten the first day I made them as they will not last long I promise. For those living in Florida with a tree it will be your newest favorite recipe!

These are muffins baked with a tropical mango chopped fruit inside. The muffins are in cupcake tins cooling


Cake Flour Recipe Do It Yourself

Saturday, July 18, 2015

After researching what was in cake flour and finding out it's a cinch to do, I decided to let you in on this little secret. Why pay more money for something that takes no time to do? Check it out!

How many recipes call for Cake Flour? Then you go out and buy this expensive addition for your pantry for nothing. Why?  Because you didn't know how easy it is was to make it yourself. Let's get started shall we?

Recipe for Cake Flour

1 cup all purpose flour minus 2 tablespoons
2 tablespoons cornstarch
Now put through a sifter and you got it! 

To make a great tasting cake check out this recipe below!

Cake Recipe:

2 1/2 cups cake flour see above for recipe
1 cup sour cream
3 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2/3 cup finely ground almonds
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons orange, lemon or lime peel zest
1 cup unsalted butter softened

Process zest, almonds and sugar in food processor set aside.
Mix egg, vanilla and sour cream stir together set aside.
Cream butter and sugar, zest mixture together in a large mixing bowl around 2 minutes. Slowly add the sour cream and eggs one at a time then stirring in with all the dry ingredients left.
Bake in two greased 9 inch or bundt pan on 350 degrees for around 30 to 55 minutes depending on the pans you are using.


Homemade Italian Almond Paste Recipe

Friday, July 17, 2015
Almond paste is a rich almond thick confection used in cakes, cookies and other Italian speciality pastries. It's easy to make however a candy thermometer is a must have to make it right. Remember to use whole blanched almonds as the skins will make it bitter. Nothing but the best ingredients. This recipe makes 3 pounds and well worth the time it takes and
don't worry it freezes well for 1 year!

Homemade Italian Almond Paste Recipe

1 pound of blanched almonds
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 cups sugar
1 cup water
1 teaspoon almond extract

Process almonds in the food processor until it looks like cornmeal no chunks.
Add the almond extract and lemon juice, pulse till combined. Place in a heat safe bowl.
Add the sugar and water to a small saucepan and boil till 240 degrees on your candy thermometer.
Pour this into your bowl of almond and stir gently together careful it's hot! Cool until easy to touch.
Place all of this into a electric mixer bowl that has a dough hook attachment and let the mixer knead this dough for around 4 minutes. Or if you have a big enough food processor place it all back into that for around 30 to 40 seconds. Roll into logs and into storage bags with plastic wrap around it or place in a glass jar with lid and stored in the refrigerator for 1 month.  It makes 3 pounds. 
This will last up to a year making them into logs and vacuum sealing them or freeze them wrapping them twice in plastic wrap then freezer bags. Since there isn't anything in it to spoil you can thaw out on your table until room temperature before using.

Here are some recipes to use it in:

Almond Paste Cookies
Almond Paste Cake
Almond Paste Coffee Cake
Amaretto Mascarpone Cake

Homemade Lemon Extract Recipe

Thursday, July 16, 2015

You may remember my vanilla extract recipe homemade? Well this is one I use often in my sesame seed cookie recipe that my family can't get enough of. When I saw the price of the lemon extract I decided it was high time to make my own and this one is better than the flavor I have purchased in stores.
So easy to make too. I love it. Makes the best tasting cookies and great in cakes! Lets get started!

Lemon Extract Recipe

1 cup vodka
6 whole lemon peeled and washed and peel with no white part of the rind
Slice up the rind in string form and add to the vodka place into a medium size sauce pan.
Heat to boiling then cool and add to a glass jar. Store for 4 weeks in a dark cupboard area. Shake occasionally.
Use without rind in it by straining it into a clean glass covered jar. Then store in the refrigerator or dark cabinet area.
Use as needed in cakes, cookies and other recipes calling for lemon extract.

Homemade Baking Powder Recipe

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Did you know the kind of baking powder you buy in the store has aluminum in it and if you have a sensitivity to it then it is something you should be eliminating right ? Well this is not hard to put together. I leave mine in a glass jar and keep it on hand by making only 1/2 cup at a time. Happy baking!

Homemade Baking Powder Recipe
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons baking soda
4 tablespoons cream of tarter
Mix together and store in an airtight jar or in airtight plastic container.

Don't forget to do the test on it when you keep it a long period of time or better yet date it!
TEST TIP:  If you need to check and see if your powder is still actively working at maximum capacity do this: add a half teaspoon to 1/2 cup hot water and if it bubbles it's still active. 

Just Add Water Baked Pancake Mix Recipe

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

I don't like standing over a hot stove especially in summer. These can be the perfect solution for your camping needs as well. The mix is easy to put together, lasts around a year I keep mine in the refrigerator but you can store in the pantry. I make four good size pie tins baked out of this mix or for each batch mixed around 8 pancakes. Then by adding fruit to the top with some cinnamon, sugar and butter you have the perfect baked pancake in the oven or grill! Of course cooked meats can be added to for the complete breakfast.
Note: for those of you wanting to really cut time just buy the complete mixes at the supermarket. Follow package instructions making the batter a little thinner with adding 3 tablespoons more water than recipe calls for. Proceed to bake and use topping suggestions with instructions below.

Just Add Water Baked Pancake Mix Recipe

2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups cake flour
1 cup powdered milk
3/4 cup instant malted milk powder
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup butter powder
1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons egg powder
3/4 cup buttermilk powder

Garnish suggestions:

Sliced fresh apples, blueberries, sliced peaches or pitted sliced cherries
Mix all dry ingredients into a large container or use a freezer ziplock bag and shake all together.

maple syrup
Cooked pork sausages, bacon or ham slices

Disposable pie tins
Cooking spray

When ready to make your pancake add 2 1/4 cups dry mix with around 3/4 cup water or more I like it thinner batter. Depending on the altitudes you may need a little more water. 

Pour into greased pie tins. Top with fruit if using then sprinkle with cinnamon sugar, dot with butter.

Bake in preheated oven at 375 degrees until browned on top around 20 minutes.

If using the outdoor grill,  place tin and batter on low heat with the grill cover down for 10 to 15 minutes. 


Grilled Glazed Bourbon Ham Steak Recipe

Monday, July 13, 2015

Whether you are using ham steaks, a spiral ham or any kind of meat, this is a great barbecue sauce that glistens with sweetness. Grilled or baked it's the perfect sauce! I have used this sauce on chicken, ribs, burgers and even hot dogs!

Grilled Glazed Bourbon Ham Steak Recipe

1/2 cup bourbon

2 cups barbecue sauce

2 cloves minced garlic

1/4 cup honey

1/2 tablespoon dijon mustard

Simmer all ingredients in a pan for 5 minutes whisking together.

Brush over ham steaks while grilling until glaze is browning and shines.

Pear Pancake Recipe

Sunday, July 12, 2015

What a delightful change using pears. These are so good we just can't make them often enough! I usually use apples but this is a great change that bursts with flavor.

Pear Pancake Recipe

2 cups biscuit mix
1 egg beaten
1 1/3 cups whole milk
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup thin sliced pears

Pear Syrup

1 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup unsweetened apple juice
3 tablespoons butter
 pinch cinnamon

In a small saucepan,  add the syrup ingredients over medium heat. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 4 minutes uncovered.


Place biscuit mix in bowl. Add the eggs, milk, cinnamon and stir until moistened. Fold in the pears.

Pour batter by 1/4 cup full onto a hot griddle and turn when bubbles form on top.

Serve syrup over pancakes.

Shrimp Quesadilla Appetizer Recipe

Saturday, July 11, 2015
This is a really easy dinner appetizer to make for any party and even great to bring to the office. This one travels well and reheats easily. If you don't like shrimp try these with bacon or pepperoni. Either way you are sure to please your family and friends.


Best Italian Cannoli Ice Cream

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

I had always wanted to try making this myself but thought it was going to be way to rich and pretty much phony in flavor when it comes to a favorite dessert in our house. I waited patiently to see what the critics in my Italian household would say and the verdict was wow this is awesome!

this is an ice cream that taste like a cannoli cream inside an Italian pastry. Its a decadent gourmet ice cream with lots of delicious marsala flavors and ricotta creamy cheese


Italian Rice with Beans

Sunday, July 5, 2015
For those days you just want to make a great side dish with that leftover sauce this is a delicious  Italian rice, beans are a perfect combination of flavors.  This dish goes with any kind of meat or a whole meal just plain with a nice chunk of crusty Italian bread. I had some leftover Traditional Italian Sunday Sauce and here is what I made with this for our last barbecue.


Healthier Baked Barbecued Chicken Leg Recipe

Saturday, July 4, 2015

A little trick I use to get the fat out then pour your favorite sauce on top and then find out what else I do to make these healthier baked chicken legs over the top delicious!

Healthier Baked Barbecued Chicken Leg Recipe

12 to 24 Chicken legs skinless (or with skin on I make both as I do not eat the skin some people love the skin crispy.)

Salt, pepper, granulated garlic powder

In a large saucepot to accommodate all your legs, add water to the pot and boil the legs for around 40 minutes simmering on low. Save the broth for soup later.
Place precooked legs on a large aluminium foil oil sprayed baking sheet adding the spices.
Bake around 10 minutes at 400 degrees. Add the barbecue sauce of choice and broil the tops until its starts to get almost a sizzling grilled look. Cook longer for crispy skin if you leave it on.


4th of July Cheesecake Flag Pie

Friday, July 3, 2015

Every year I try to make some festive desserts. Usually cupcakes, cookies or filled watermelons. This year I thought everyone would enjoy cheese pie since its easy to throw together and refreshing. Wishing all my readers a safe Holiday weekend.

A no bake cheesecake flag pie with just baked strips of pie crusts and stars made seperately for decorating on the 4th of july, memorial day or any patriotic event


Jack Daniels Barbecue Sauce Recipe

Thursday, July 2, 2015

I finally just started making only this sauce that came from my son's blog a few years back. It's great on chicken, ribs, steaks and love it even on salmon.  Grilled, baked or used in the slow cooker this sauce is perfect! Give this one a try it surely its a big hit especially grilling season. Here is the original recipe on his blog Curt's Delectables.

Jack Daniels Barbecue Sauce

1 cup ketchup
1 cup Jack Daniel's Whiskey
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon garlic granulated
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons hot sauce
Combine a saucepan, bring to a boil and simmer on low 30 minutes until slightly thickens!


Pork Sauce Peppers and Pasta Recipe

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

This sauce is rich in flavor and perfect to throw together in minutes! Just boil your favorite pasta and top it with a hearty meat sauce with peppers or you can add mushrooms, zucchini, eggplant or anything else you love to it too! Taste like homemade sausage in your tomato sauce with these ingredients below read on for a quick delicious Italian meal!

Pork Sauce Peppers and Pasta Recipe

2 pounds ground pork
olive oil
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1 tablespoon fennel seed
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste
2 bell peppers sliced

Optional: eggplant cubes, zucchini cubed, sliced mushrooms

In a medium size fry pan add 3 tablespoons olive oil add the ground pork and all the seasonings. Saute until all the pink is gone.

Add 2 - 28 ounce cans plum tomatoes pureed with still small chunks also add 1/2 cup red wine of your choice. Add the meat mixture and simmer around 30 minutes. Pour over your favorite cooked pasta made according to package instructions.