Half Moon Chocolate Cake Mix Cookies

Wednesday, October 31, 2018
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.

These are a semi-homemade Halfmoon and if you have followed me in the past know, I always make mine from scratch.

If you are in a huge hurry and want a quick fix and not a baker then this is the recipe for you.

You can enjoy these in no time at all without running out of time to make special 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!

Also, use coordinating tinted frostings for the cake mixes you choose to use.

I have to say these are definitely pretty darn good and the kids loved them!

Cake Mix Recipes are fun, we love creating quick recipes from doctored cake mixes like this Dark Fudge Chocolate Cake or Carrot Cake that taste like it was baked from scratch.

I love the spice cake with an orange-tinted cream cheese frosting and a little sprinkle of cinnamon and sugar on top, the perfect fall flavors!

Well, I know what you're thinking about a cake mix, so here is the original recipe just in case this isn't your idea of homemade at all.

Do try the original recipes when you have time and as always thanks for visiting me today.

half moons make with a chocolate cake mix iced with chocolate and vanilla frosting


Mom's Mushroom Stew Upstate New York Style Recipe

Many years ago mom would make this Mushroom Stew many times during cold wintery snow days

We would pour this fabulous sauce over homemade crusty Italian bread, a vintage old recipe from childhood in Upstate New York.

It was actually a specialty in many local Italian Restaurants there in Utica, New York and still is.

Always a Tuesday special somewhere in good ole Utica also referred to as "Little Italy".

Lucky for us our mom Margaret Ann Fanelli Colenzo was such a great cook we never had to visit those local establishments.

Well to date I still make this even though the recipe now if around 90 years old because she learned from her mom.

Amazing the years that go by we still can remember through home-cooked meals the wonderful memories, aroma's and keep them going generation to generation.

Simple, easy and just plain delicious.

The second recipe is from my late Aunt Mary Di Orio.

I have both recipes in the printable recipe card below, just scroll to the end to print it off.


Italian Raspberry Jam Filled Cookies

Italian Raspberry Jam Filled Shortbread Cookie is the most asked for cookies I make around the holiday.

The cookie freezes well to make ahead of time, travel great without crumbling and taste fabulous any time of the day.

Another perfect thing about this cookie is the dough.

You can use a cookie cutter into any shape you like.

These were made to look a lot like Linzer cookies because of the little cutout in the middles.

You can shape them into stars, snowflakes or even as a snowman for the holiday season.

The dough is versatile, any jams will go great, we just happen to love raspberry jam and it's perfect in color for the holiday.

I do keep this one special for my Christmas cookie tray.

It's so festive with a little powdery sugar and reminds me of snow, and really adds a warm holiday spirit to my cookie trays.

Mom and I use to make these shortbreads when I was a little girl and being raspberry, we had tried all kinds of other jams but always came back to raspberry.

I hope your family likes them as much as we do, enjoy this recipe.

Please share the joy of the season with others.

Print this out at the end, a great way to give a cookie tray with the recipe attached for gift giving.

this is a linzer cookie filled with raspberry jam in a christmas paper liner with Santa on it


Chicken and Potatoes Pizza Style Casserole

Sunday, October 21, 2018
Chicken and Potatoes Pizza Style Casserole is one of our favorite all in one pan meal!

If you love pizza, then this easy pizza chicken and potato casserole will be a new family favorite.

It combines all the great tastes of a loaded cheese pizza with adding chicken and potatoes to the mix.

Now it's the most asked for a chicken dish.

If your family loves pizza or even chicken parmesan, this is the best of both worlds.

This chicken is cooked in a rich tomato sauce layered with cheeses, spices, and potatoes.

The bonus is added pepperoni to taste like a pepperoni chicken pizza.

The meal is all in one pan and so easy to make.

This is one of the kids and the whole family will love and ask for again and again.

A family favorite for years that is done in no time.

This recipe is featured in Tuscany School of Cooking and mentioned as one of the Top Italian Food Bloggers, I am very proud of my heritage and thank them for acknowledging this recipe

Scroll down to see this easy recipe, and do tell me how you like it after you try this!

this is a pan of chicken and potatoes make like a pizza all in one pan easy meal. It is topped with mozzarella cheese and baked until crispy. Pepperoni is also added.


Fried Bologna and Caponata

Another one of those childhood memories, fried bologna, and caponata.

Mom would start to make the Caponata fresh from scratch and Dad would fry the Bologna.

There are many versions from many different kinds made of Caponata, we always added bologna too ours.

Every part of Italy seems to make this a little different.

This was the Bari style, where mom's family was from.

Dad was from Rome, not sure who started adding the fried bologna, as that came later, but we loved it.

The Caponata could be served so many different ways after it was cooked, over pasta, in the best hot crusty Italian Ciabatta bread or even with rice.

Mom worked at a local supermarket and sometimes would bring home their bread. It was always so funny to see Dad's face.

Dad would always check the inside of the bread and pull out a piece from the middle and if he could roll it in a ball.

Then he would say "this isn't cooked it doughy" and off he'd walk to get us another loaf fresh, from a local bakery.

The filling if amazing but the bread makes even a better sandwich.

this is a fried bologna and eggplant appetizer sandwich with olives and sauce in a hard crusted Italian roll. This is on a dish by a picture window.


Apples,Tips Facts and Recipe

Two red delicious apples


Fried Cauliflower

Monday, October 15, 2018
This fried cauliflower, and a huge favorite appetizer in our Italian family. The herbs, spices in this batter compliments the cauliflower perfectly.

It has a nice crisp crunch on the outside and soft fried cauliflower inside. These appetizers taste great plain or dipped in your favorite sauces.

Growing up in East Utica, New York, my mom made these often for an appetizer before a big Holiday Italian meal.

Now, I carry on that same tradition with my family.

I think of my mom and dad often in the kitchen and the foods we grew up on and keeps them alive in the kitchen. This is a favorite appetizer of mine now but not so much as a kid.

This little appetizer is just perfect for the Holiday season, I always make them on Thanksgiving and around Christmas time. That's when most of the family gets together for a big meal.

But now, everyone loved them so much, we make them all year round!

These really are addicting!

If you want an appetizer that will fly off the plates, this is it!

Scroll down to see this easy cauliflower recipe, it's perfect with any meal.

This is how to make a crispy coated batter fried cauliflower with herbs and spices as an appetizer. The cauliflower is cut up into small bite size pieces and then coated with a tempura batter and pan fried


Apple Cake Cups

Monday, October 8, 2018
These apple cake cups are a great little dessert made in cupcake tins.

The cake batter is all homemade from scratch and the apple topping can be made fresh or using pie filling.

The cake is much like a homemade pound cake and delicious in texture and flavor.

These little gems are the perfect fall treat when you're an apple lover. It was mom's favorite "go-to" recipe, in apple season.

This apple cake cup recipe is over 100 years old and been in our family for a very long time.

We grew up with orchards in Upstate New York and apples were plentiful.

I love this recipe and wanted to share mom's recipe with my readers and hope you enjoy it as much as we have through the years.

They are perfect for one person, parties, a family gets together or when unexpected arrives and you need a quick delicious and decadent apple dessert.

These little apple cups are the perfect quick dessert because they are individual treats that can be frozen and thawed in no time.

With a pretty garnish of whipped cream or ice cream, they turn into pretty ending to your fine meal.

Check out all my tips before you scroll down to the recipe.

this is a muffin tin with apples and butter on the bottom then a layer of homemade cake batter on top getting ready to be baked in the oven


Best Ever Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Monday, October 1, 2018
Well, of course, you already know these two are a perfect combination of flavors for these Best Ever Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies.

These buttery cookies are so addicting.

They have a delicious peanut butter buttery crunch to them and better than any kind of cookie I have ever made.

The texture is just perfect.

When warm, biting into those gooey melted chocolate chips are fabulous.

Come see why these Best Ever Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies are the best! Try this recipe you will love it!

Everyone knows peanut butter and chocolate are the perfect matches, scroll down for this deliciously easy recipe.

these are a buttery peanut butter homemade from scratch cookie with chocolate chips in them. These are how to make the best ever peanut butter chocolate chips cookies. These cookies are on a cookie sheet with parchment paper on them so they wont stick and are easy to remove after cooling.


Easy Eggnog Cake Using A Cake Mix

Making this semi-homemade Eggnog cake is so easy!

Starting with a mix and fooling everyone it was made from scratch what can be easier?

Really just the title of Eggnog Cake shouts Holiday!

Who has time to bake from scratch? Not me, working 12 hour days or more.

If you're a busy homemaker that works from home with kids, a job or outside the home this recipe is the perfect delicious holiday cake.

Even if you don't decorate it, this cake tastes marvelous!

I love it with powdered sugar or a creamy buttercream rum frosting with eggnog in it!

This eggnog cake taste great plain or frosted and just shouts Holiday!

If you want my Dad's recipe for eggnog click here or grandma's eggnog bread pudding click here.

You're going to get lots of compliments on this one for sure!

Scroll down to the recipe card to print this off and pin it for later when you need a great recipe like this one!