Italian Shepherd's Pie

Friday, September 27, 2019
Shepherds Pie is one of those comfort foods that you love or hate. This is one of my son's favorite recipes, and of course, I Italianized it!

If that's even a word, I just love the way this Italian American Shepherds Pie taste, it's bursting with a delicious brown wine gravy and smothered in many kinds of cheeses.

I guess my spin is quite different than most, but it sure is delicious and the best in comfort foods.

When my son Curt was a little boy ( now a grown man with his own family) he made his own shepherds pie on his plate? How you ask?

Well on Italian meatloaf night he took a slice of meatloaf, topped it with mashed potatoes and mashed corn on top of it.

Psst, don't tell anyone, but almost 40 years later he still does this and I love the flood memories it gives me when I watch him.

Time marches on but foods stay pretty much the same no matter what you change.

Scroll down to see this delicious style of Shepherds Pie and give it a try, it's an easy all in one pan meal!


Oatmeal Pumpkin Spice Bars

Thursday, September 26, 2019
Pumpkin season is my favorite time of the year and these Oatmeal Pumpkin Spice Bars are the first dessert delight I make to kick it off with!

The orange beauties are harvested in September and October, pumpkins are an autumn favorite for Americans.

It has been a fact, that the U.S. is one of the top producers of pumpkins in the world, I thought that was a cool fun trivia question!

Morton, Illinois, is the self-proclaimed "Pumpkin Capital."

These pumpkin bars are creamy with a little crunch of oatmeal on the bottom and the cinnamon spice is the perfect combination of flavors.

Easy to throw together and they stay fresh in the refrigerator for longer than most desserts if they last longer than a week, psst, they don't in my house!

The great thing about buying a fresh pumpkin and making a puree is the seeds that are edible when baked and delicious.

Top these bars off with some Pumpkin Spiced Latte in the slow cooker and fall will be in full swing!

I am pretty sure most my readers know I love pumpkin since I have so many recipes in the index using this vegetable and besides this recipe, my 4 ingredient pumpkin cake  is on top of that list of yummy!

Scroll down to the recipe card and print off this delicious little creamy pumpkin bite.

This is a pumpkin spice creamy square bar with whipped cream on top on a white plate


Italian Garlic Knots

Wednesday, September 25, 2019
Italian Garlic knots are one of those guilty bread pleasures you can't stop eating.

These are an authentic homemade version not to be confused with imitation styles made with refrigerator dough or American style bread dough which has milk as an ingredient in the dough.

This is a hard-crusted Italian dough brushed with seasoned garlic butter and olive oil, then dipped into a favorite homemade sauce.

If you want the real deal just like making homemade bread, garlic bread, or one of the best appetizers on the planet, then spend the extra time to make these from scratch.

It's certainly easier to buy the dough, just be sure it's from an Italian bakery, and not that frozen stuff in the supermarket!

The experience of eating these garlic knots must be made from scratch for the best results and I can't stress that enough.

Certainly it's a matter of preference, but I promise you one taste and you won't go back to that restaurant you order these at, oh and by the way, make 3 batches they won't last long!

Try my homemade pizza dough for a real Authentic Italian Pizza dough.

Scroll down to the recipe card and print this off, you won't want to lose this one.

this is a photo of garlic knots being dipped into marinara sauce on a checkboard of red and white paper. There is a bottle of wine with a straw bottom, tomato and garlic in the background


Italian Lentil Soup

Monday, September 23, 2019
On a cold winter day in Upstate N.Y., Grandma and I would sit there sorting these tiny rocks from a bag of dried lentils to make this delicious Italian Lentil Soup.

She would wash them over and over again to make sure these beans in that package were clean and perfect for her soup, then soak overnight.

Grandma always wanted to make sure all the impurities on them were gone.

Soaking is still a must as well as sorting, but you can soak lentils in the crockpot to speed up the process but it really isn't necessary if you patiently wait for them to cook.

This was a typical soup we had on New Year's Eve and we have many soup recipes we love you can find many of our Best Soup Recipes Here.

Italians celebrate the New Year as lentils symbolize good luck and made a hearty meal with lentils and added sausage.

Traditionally lentils are a natural symbol for abundance, and have come to represent money and good fortune with it!

Grandma, back in the 1960s, would always cook everything from scratch and didn't have fancy appliances like we do today.

This soup is easier and quicker to make now than what I remember using newer methods.

I still carry her lentil soup recipe traditions, it's the best along with another family favorite, her love her chicken soup

If you would like a printable copy scroll all the way down to my recipe card and hit print.


Easy Chicken Marsala Sauce

Sunday, September 22, 2019
I love simplified recipes like this Easy Chicken Marsala Recipe.

The sauce is light, easy to make and so delicious.

The flavors are with a buttery marsala sauce and garlic.

Mushrooms can be added and it can be served alone or with the addition of pasta or rice on the side.

This is a very old version of the popular dish you may find in Resturants that are laced with thick brown gravy, you won't find that here.

The chicken is coated with a lightly seasoned flour, sauteed to perfection and fork-tender in a mouth-watering delicious sauce.

Through the years we adapted the recipe to be less complicated just like our Baked Lemon Cutlet recipe and Parmesan Crusted Chicken, both two family favorites.

Give my version a try, and scroll down to this simple recipe we all love in our home.

This is a pan of chicken marsala with frying in a large chicken skillet and spaghetti in a clear glass bowl with a glass lid


4 Ingredient Pumpkin Cake

Friday, September 20, 2019
This 4 ingredient Pumpkin Cake is the easiest pumpkin cake ever!

Not only is this cake super moist and simple to make, but it really shouts fall flavors.

What can be better than easy and delicious?

I also have recipe suggestions listed below to even make different versions like a coffee cake style, rum sauce or slathered in cream cheese frosting so take your pick.

Of course, this pumpkin spice cake tastes great plain dusted with powdered sugar so the skies the limit of possibilities!

If you love pumpkin, then don't miss this one, everyone will rave about this cake thinking you make it from scratch too, and ask for the recipe!

Scroll down to get the printable recipe card and tell me what you think after you make it in the comment box.

I can't wait for you to try this one!

If you love easy recipes, also try my pumpkin cake mix cookies, pumpkin cheesecake squares and some slow cooker pumpkin spice latte, to go with all these recipes!

Psst, my favorite is the rum cake adult version, but that's between you and me!

this is a slice of cake with cream cheese frosting sprinkled with mini chocolate chips and a plastic pumpkin pick on top


Italian Sauce Steak

Thursday, September 19, 2019
Italian Sauce Steak is the name my boys Chad and Curt named this dish.

The name stuck with them all through adulthood.

It's a delicious inexpensive cut of meat using either round steaks or cube steaks, and I would make them often when they were little.

At the time they were 5 years old and 3 years of age, ( now in their late 30s) this is one of the most requested meals when they visit me!

The dish is cooked in wine, crushed tomatoes, spices with a round steak or cube steaks, simmered slow, in a pan will make this so tender it falls apart.

I would put huge chunks of peppers and mushrooms in and since they were so picky, would remove the peppers at the end but those are the ingredients that make the wonderful flavors this has.

Now I can't put enough peppers in there or those whole button mushrooms in it, they love both!

I usually never have leftover but when I do, the meat is even awesome in a hard roll or buttered garlic bread then sprinkled with shredded mozzarella, oh it's so good!

After all these years, it brings great memories, childhood favorites are the best memories when cooking and it's nice to have
more than one recipe they remember like hotdogs and potatoes or another favorite was grandmas hamburgers.

Scroll down to check out this simple recipe even your kids will love!

These are rounds steaks smothered in sauce peppers, garlic and mushrooms


Italian Minestrone Soup

Wednesday, September 18, 2019
Italian Minestrone Soup is packed with everything under the sun delicious in it and can be either all vegetarian or made with several kinds of meat!

This soup really hits the spot on a chilly day and sure is a healthy addition to your diet!

This is thick bursting with fresh flavors, in a rich broth.

The meat can be ground, cubed or chunky and even omitted.

Making this soup can be adapted to using the ingredients you love.

We like all kinds of vegetables added and it is basically a meal all in one bowl.

I usually make two pans, one for me with only vegetables and one with the addition of meat.

Mom used whatever we had in the house,  garden vegetables, stew meat, hamburger anything goes, minestrone was the everything soup to me that happened to be leftover.

If she only had chicken she used chicken.

Fresh whole chunks of tomatoes, celery, carrots, mixed vegetables and whatever kind of pasta she happened to have in the pantry went in mom's soup and it was always fabulous.

Mom made this soup all winter long, it warmed us all up immediately and pure comfort food.

Back then we always had a loaf of homemade Italian bread on the table to sop up the broth, it has such a wonderful flavor.

You can't beat good homemade soup and these two recipes below are my favorites.

Scroll down and get two versions of Mom's Recipe, both are just a little different.

This is a white soup dish with minestrone soup in it along with grated cheese in the background, oregano in a mason jar, sprigs of rosemary and large yeast rolls in a wicker basket there are also red kidney beans that are raw on the wooden grey table


Copycat Recipe Roundup

Tuesday, September 17, 2019
I just love popular copycat recipes like Disneys Pineapple Dole Whip or famous menu items from popular restaurants, like this marvelous roundup of 25 recipes below.

Some are very famous and popular Nationally.

Through the years I recreated many of what I loved and the most popular and they're all spot-on amazing!

It became an obsession to duplicate the recipes I enjoyed until they were perfect.

I certainly love a good challenge in the kitchen.

Some of the recipes in this roundup may be very familiar and some are from my hometown bakeries where I grew up.

Starting out with Captain Crunch chicken that was a famous deep-fried chicken from Stallone's Planet Hollywood back in the 1980s. Its sweet coating became addicting after one bite and the chicken is dipped in homemade honey mustard.

Then on to present-day Longhorns Parmesan Crusted Chicken where it's smothered in melted cheese, ranch, and a crunchy parmesan topping and a favorite menu item.

I then have a love for the food court delicious bourbon chicken which I thought was the best mall food!!

Decadent desserts came easy, the one we really loved was at BJs brewhouse called pizooki, a warm macadamia nut cookie made into an ice cream sundae.

Last but not least my latest copycat Dole Whip From Disney's Theme Park in Orlando, a simple frozen fruity recipe that's printable at the bottom of this post, it's so refreshing and delicious!

this is a piece of cheesecake with whole strawberries on top


Chocolate Skillet Cookie

Sunday, September 15, 2019
I just love using a cast iron skillet and this chocolate skillet cookie is an all-time favorite vintage recipe!

The memories flood back to the days where I was a little girl and always licking the batter off the spatula.

Mom loved baking and this cookie always seemed to have my heart when it came chocolate cookies recipes.

I guess because it was such a great dessert and had different topping all the time and made it so special.

As a kid, I was so impressed and not knowing it was the same cookie that mom topped with bananas and ice cream to make a cookie banana split or different flavored ice cream with sprinkles.

Dad's favorite was always the banana split version and mom liked hers with shredded coconut and Hershey chocolate syrup in a can drizzled over the top!

Whatever your favorite way to serve a cookie with ice cream, this is the perfect recipe.

You may remember my summer favorite strawberry buttermilk skillet shortcake and grandma always made everything in cast iron like her  Italian skillet hamburgers were always on the table once a week and mom loved deep dish skillet pizza on our charcoal grill!

If you love a plain chocolate buttery flavored cookies, this will be your new favorite dessert and there is also a Keto version written for those who are diabetic or on a low carb diet.

Scroll down for this printable easy recipe and enjoy a vintage treat!


Fried Provolone or Mozzarella Sticks

Wednesday, September 11, 2019
Fried Provolone is my favorite Italian appetizer of all time.

These cheese sticks are delicious before dinner snack, party food and one of the requests for me too make during gameday gatherings.

Everyone raves about using this cheese and being so tasty with provolone instead of mozzarella.

You may be more familiar with fried cheese sticks being made with mozzarella only?

Well, I am here to tell you both are fabulous, and it's a hard decision to choose which is better since we are talking about crunchy melted fried cheese right?!

I happened to be introduced to the provolone version long-ago at a favorite restaurant in Utica NY.

Back in the 1980s, there was a little place in Charlestown Mall that had a restaurant that had them on their menu.

When I saw them I was a little skeptical since they were always made with mozzarella, at least that's what I thought back then.

The soft provolone melty cheese was superb and better than anything I ever had, I decided to venture out and make a copycat of them and the first bite gave me a flood of wonderful memories because this was perfect as I remembered them!

The marinara is freshly made and I also use my recipe for fried cauliflower, fried zucchini and of course another family favorite, panzarotti.

Scroll down and follow my easy copycat printable recipe for Fried Provolone Cheese Sticks.


Italian Lemon Chicken with Pasta

Tuesday, September 10, 2019
Italian Lemon chicken is one of the most popular meals I make and you can make whatever pasta you prefer.

We really love the fresh lemon, wine and light sauce this has that make the pasta a perfect side dish with this popular Italian style chicken/

The chicken is juicy, fork-tender with a flour seasoned coating.

I could eat this every day! The flavors are amazing rich with butter, wine, with that citrus lemon tang.

This is the most requested meal in my home and even the grandkids love it.

It's simple to make and takes hardly any time at all.

Scroll down to get this printable scrumptious lemon chicken recipe.

this is a bowl of penne pasta and lemons with fried chicken


Eggplant Parmesan

This Eggplant Parmesan takes a little work but 100% worth it.

The crispy fried vegetable slices are delicious and smothered with meaty flavored tomato sauce and mozzarella melted cheese.

Great in a casserole as a whole meal and leftovers are over the top delicious in a sandwich.

Grandma made the best-fried eggplant parmesan and always cooked hers in a cast-iron skillet.

I loved the eggplant fried plain also, it's like eating popcorn and addicting.

My other favorite eggplant casseroles are done with ricotta cheese and also love it stuffed and baked.

Dad always used eggplant in a caponata with fried bologna, so we have grown up with freshly grown eggplants in our garden.

Fresh is best, so if you get a chance to get them at a farmers market I highly recommend them over grocery stores.

Scroll down and print grandma's over 100-year-old recipe, it's a fabulous addition to any eggplant recipe!

This is an Italian baked casserole with tomato sauce, Parmesan Cheese and shredded layers of Mozzarella and eggplant called Eggplant Parmesan


Baked Chicken Kabobs

Sunday, September 8, 2019
Baked Chicken Kabobs are the best of the best healthier style grilling indoor shortcut for party appetizers!

Yes, I know it's cheating but this shortcut is great!

Inside grilled in the oven is healthier and fun to serve.

Whether you use a grided cast iron skillet for your oven, baked on a cookies sheet or even on a throwaway disposable pan.

These Baked Chicken Kabobs are baked not grilled and not fried and perfect for those carb watchers and calorie watchers!

Yes, I know it's cheating but when you can't grill this is a fabulous alternative!.

Psst, they are healthier and delicious no one will ever know you cook them inside and they look and taste great, so who cares?!

Check out this marinade I make, then freeze it until I need it for a quick dinner or perfect for get together with family and friends!

Tender juicy chicken, beef or even use kielbasa, are great finger food skewers for any party!

I made them all the time along with this baked sausage and meatballs skewers and they are perfect to take along to any holiday gathering or party you have!

Baked chicken kabobs marinated, baked then skewered on a plate with dried parsley for a backyard picnic


Copycat Bourbon Chicken

This mall food copycat bourbon chicken is a favorite every time we visit the food court.

Maybe you've tried it and loved it, but haven't thought of making it at home?

This version homemade without all the additives is 100 times better, and you're in for a treat!

With all the different fast food places, it's the one meal that everyone wants here in our home.

This flavorful cubed chicken is perfect over just plain white rice, stir-fried rice or coconut rice.

The bourbon really makes this Asian chicken deliciously prepared in no time, it's so simple.

The best part about this, it's homemade without that MSG that gives everyone problems.

Wholesome ingredients that are worry-free from things you can't pronounce and perfect every time with hardly any cooking skills needed.

We love Asian flavors and make a delicious Pineapple Teriyaki Salmon, and another favorite is slow cooker beef broccoli that's also so good!

This copycat recipe is spot on and you will never order it out again!

Scroll down to this super simple recipe and make it yourself!

this is a bourbon chicken found in most Asian food courts in a mall copycat recipe


Caprese Tortellini Salad

Friday, September 6, 2019
Caprese salad is one of my favorite pasta salads, and a simple side dish to make.

When fresh tortellini goes on sale, I always have this recipe in mind to make.

I have loads of fresh basil growing in my garden here in Florida and besides making pesto with it this is the next best way to use it up.

This caprese tortellini salad is perfect for outdoor barbecues and I have to admit, it's very pretty to serve with the green and red colors around the Christmas holiday too!

Mom always made her Tortellini homemade by hand.

She also made delicious Steak cutlets Caprese and often topped toasted bread called Bruschetta with similar ingredients added on top.

The combination of dressing over tomatoes and mozzarella is great with so many ways to prepare the two.

Scroll down to the bottom to print off this super yummy recipe.

I am sure you will make this pretty salad over and over again!

This is fresh tortellini pasta with Italian dressing, mozzarella, tomatoes and fresh basil on top in a white pasta dish


Mississippi London Broil Pot Roast

Sunday, September 1, 2019
Mississippi Pot Roast is probably the number one most flavorful pot roast recipe of all time featured everywhere over the world wide web.

This recipe was even posted in the New York Times and where I originally found this beef roast recipe.

The meat is usually done with a chuck roast, I prefer London Broil or even eye of the round.

I have now tried using chicken, pork, venison, and lamb with this cooking method and fabulous easy ingredients, everything is spot on every time!

Just a few pantry ingredients to include ranch dressing, au jus, pepperoncini peppers, and some butter and your meal it on it's the way to a mouth-watering meal.

The juice flavors are the best I have ever had!

There are many methods to cook this pot roast.

You can either make this in the instant pot on the slow cooker mode or pressure cooker.

Also, you can cook this in the oven on low heat using an oven bag, I used my crockpot today.

Either way, you choose, it's a low and slow process that will result in an incredibly delicious pot roast!

The recipe is all over Pinterest and in slow cooker cookbooks, I finally had to try this to see what all the hype was about!

It's now the only way I prepare a lesser cut of meat from now on.

My beer pork roast pressure cooked is awesome, you will also love slow cooker chicken cacciatore, chicken wing stew, and marinated burgundy prime rib is our favorite around the holiday.

What took me so long? Not sure, I have now made this recipe more than 6 times since the first try.

Don't wait another minute to try this, scroll down and print off the recipe!

this is a pot roast using london broil beef and slow cooking it in a slow cooker for 10 hours. The beef has peppers, butter and makes a delicious au jus.