Orange Marmalade Biscotti

Saturday, November 30, 2019
This cookie recipe is near and dear to my heart and a classic old fashioned orange marmalade biscotti with a hint of anisette in them.

A very dear friend I lived across the street from gave this to me years ago.

It was my favorite cookie called Orange Marmalade Biscotti Cookies, my friend Louise always made a pot of fresh perked coffee and had a dish if these cookies on the table when I visited.

My best friend and wonderful neighbor Louise gave me this recipe and year after year a favorite cookie we all love.

When I moved away to Florida in 1994, I missed her baking and cooking so much and have wonderful treasured memories.

Of course, I had to learn how to make these myself, and I make a batch every year at Christmas time.

These cookies freeze well, so even though I cut this recipe in half, you can make a full large batch (as this makes) and freeze them.

The Italian biscotti is well known to be anisette in flavor but with the addition of the orange marmalade in them, the flavors blend together perfectly.

The cookies she makes are usually soft and can be left plain or toasted, but we love ours toasted and a great dunking cookie for coffee (if you're a dunker that is!)

If you want a soft cookie with lots of citrus flavors this is it.

We love biscotti and make several kinds like cranberry almond, lemon polenta, pistachio, and pumpkin biscotti.

The biscotti is a traditional classic cookie found in all Italian bakeries and famous all over the world.

Scroll down to the end for a printable copy of this recipe.

anisette orange marmalade cookies on christmas paper sliced on the slant


Struffoli Fried Honey Balls

Friday, November 29, 2019
Here's the story behind them behind these delicious fried Italian cookies called Struffoli.

Struffoli is an absolute requirement at the end of a Neapolitan Christmas day dinner.

For centuries they were prepared in convents by nuns and then distributed to noble families at Christmas as a thank you for their generosity.

Each convent had its own closely guarded secret recipe.

The sugary aromas drifted from the convent ovens Neapolitan's would gather near the convent gates waiting to purchase them through a barred window or the convent wheel which may explain the long-held preference for buying desserts rather than making them at home.

These deep-fried balls of dough are the size of marbles, crunchy on the outside,fluffy and light inside then covered in honey.

Some are decorated with colored sprinkles, pieces of candied orange rind or candied pumpkin.

An amazing honey glaze over delicate puffy fried dough rounds.

An Italian must make at Christmas time if they last that long before our Italian Christmas Eve traditions.

There are so many names for them beside Struffoli, like honey chichers, honey balls, fried honey cookies, pignolata, honey dipped dough balls, just to name a few from different Regions in Italy.

We love holiday foods, you may also like to scroll through our 25 Favorite Cookies and our One Stop Cookie Shop.

A traditional and classic fried cookie and it just wouldn't be Christmas without them in our family!

Buon Natale, scroll all the way down to the recipe card for printable instructions.

this is how to make struffoli it is just fried dough with drizzled honey and topped with sprinkles


Italian Covered Turkey Sandwich

Thursday, November 28, 2019
These Italian Covered Turkey Sandwiches are perfect around any Holiday like Thanksgiving for instance, where there is no time to enjoy family and friends for many various reasons.

In our case, my husband's job is open 24 hours a day, and in my case, retail stores like the one I work in is open on Thanksgiving Day.

These are suggestions on quick meal planning for those who work in an industry that and working, home alone and not wanting to cook a huge meal or even helping others with a quick meal to prepare and bring to a friend or neighbor in need.

Easy to prepare any of these, semi-homemade and perfect even for repurposing leftover turkey if you had the opportunity to make a large meal.

After working in retail for over 30 years, I learned to be thankful for a quick hot meal and had to cut corners sometime for a quick meal.

These suggestions below on how to have a delicious holiday meal without little fuss in no time really satisfied both my husband and me for many years.

If you're not a cook, alone, or work retail, this menu is the perfect solution.

Guess what, this is even a great idea for all that leftover turkey if you did make a huge meal from scratch.

We love our leftover turkey when we end up celebrating a different day to make turkey pot pies, hot pockets, and these delicious covered turkey sandwiches.

There are so many ways to repurpose turkey other than just making a simple sandwich.

This is the pure comfort food on a plate, fast, quick simple and satisfying when time is not your friend!

Scroll down to the recipe card for some quick suggestions.

this is gravy with turkey covered sandwich with gravy mashed potatoes, corn and sweet potatoes on the plate


Pistachio Almond Biscotti

Wednesday, November 27, 2019
Biscotti can be traditional or adapted to many different creations to your preference.

These Pistachio Biscotti are really delicious and more gourmet than the Traditional Anisette Biscotti, we also make them often.

Get creative, make your favorite flavors, you can even omit nuts for people who have allergies.

I love to change up a regular easy batter like this one and change it to whatever flavors my family likes.

Lemon, orange, maple, cranberry, the list goes on an on with alternative things to add to this biscotti dough recipe.

Mix in some chopped cranberries, raisins, dates, figs into the batter for creative versions.

Even red and green chopped cherries for the holiday season, just getting you started on so many possibilities!

Maybe you're a chocolate chip lover, add your heart's desire to this batter.

An easy cookie to make after slice these while warm, and put them bake in the oven to toast again, maybe dipped in white chocolate, dark, sprinkles, or plain, this is an awesome recipe.

A traditional cookie that never grows old.

If you don't like anisette flavoring, you can add lemon, orange, almond or any extract flavor you like!

Biscotti is a crunchy cookie that's great with a hot beverage like espresso or tea.

Check out the recipe for these pistachio Almond Biscotti, dipped or plain in the recipe card at the bottom and print it off.

Pistachio Almond Biscotti  on a blue dish towel that came from Rome Italy is in the photo along with shelled roasted pistachio nuts. These are cookies that are a gourmet style in Italy called pistachio biscotti


Mom's Baked Italian Style Hamburgers

Tuesday, November 26, 2019
Mom's Baked Italian Style Hamburgers are the juiciest and most flavorful burgers around.

They're easy to make and baked to perfection.

Living in Upstate New York, growing up we had more cold weather than warm, mom did most of the cooking in our oven or stovetop.

It was a treat to have burgers on a charcoal grill back in the 1960s.

We love burgers and made several kinds.

Some other favorites were Big Juicy Merlot Burgers, Garlic Parmesan Burgers, Chili Cheese Dog Topped Burgers, and her delicious Provolone Alfredo Burger.

She only used simple pantry ingredients, easy to make them and perfectly seasoned Italian style burgers are still a favorite here.

these are baked hamburgers with Italian seasoning and roasted pepper rings


Holiday Side Dish Recipes

Monday, November 25, 2019
If you're looking for festive Holiday delicious side dishes, here are some great ideas!

Decorate with dried or fresh cranberries and any side dish can become the prettiest dish on the table.

Add some sprigs of fresh mints or other herbs along with some nuts and berries and you can make a beautiful and festive fruit and nut tray.

A holiday can be delicious and fun with roasted vegetables and loaded cheesy garlic knots.

We just love a great bowl of soup to start off the meal, not a real side dish but a comforting warm start to the holiday meals.

Colorful, with fall flavors, comfort foods and so much more awaits you, don't miss this delicious roundup!

Also if you're looking for some great best soups, Thanksgiving ideas and Christmas favorites, we have a great roundup of ideas for those festive needs also.

Just scroll through these ideas for some wonderful winter and fall side dishes for all your Holiday needs.

this is roasted sweet potatoes in a roundup of Holiday recipes


Sour Cream Coffee Cake

Sunday, November 24, 2019
Yes, this is an old old vintage recipe from the 1970s called Sour Cream Coffee Cake.

This is a dense filled rich cake with pecan cinnamon layered between homemade sour cream batter, made from all-natural ingredients.

Mom used to make this at least once a month, years ago and it would be gone the same day, however, this cake stays fresh longer and moist than moist scratch cakes.

It's not an overly sweet cake and you can garnish it with powdered sugar, whipped cream, ice cream or even a drizzle of melted chocolate for extra sweetness.

We serve this plain with a good cup of coffee or tea and it's a delicious cake to start off your day if you're on the go.

The batter is rich and fragrant of cinnamon and the nuts give this cake the perfect crunch.

We love simple old fashioned cakes like this one you may have time my sheet pan coffee cake, Spanish bar cake or another one of dad's favorites almond filled coffee cake.

If you would like to print this off, scroll all the way to the bottom of the recipe card and hit print.

Thanks for stopping by and save me a seat in your kitchen when you make this one, it's my favorite coffee cake mom made.

old fashioned vintage cinnamon sour cream coffee cake with a delicious nut filling


Christmas Italian Slice and Bake Cookie

Saturday, November 23, 2019
Christmas Italian Slice and Bake Cookies are so versatile and growing up in the 1960s these were called icebox cookies.

The cookies are perfect for that unexpected guest.

All you do is slice and bake.

Slice-and-bake cookies, and what was called icebox or refrigerator cookies growing are the fastest way to fill that cookie jar and to make fabulous cookies for sharing with friends and family.

These can be left plain and edges decorated, the dough can be tinted and flavored or you can just slice and bake adding your favorite chocolate chips, raisins, nuts or whatever makes you and your family happy.

They can shout any party or holiday theme you like just by changing the dough.

A basic easy refrigerator tube of dough, that's ready to bake when you are.

Make a little or a lot!

We love the colorful cookies on our cookie tray around the Holiday.

Christmas Italian Slice and Bake Cookies are the perfect addition to any cookie exchange too!

One of the prettiest yet most delicious easy cookie you will ever make.

Take a look at how simple this is to wow your guests as it becomes a work of art in one fine cookie recipe!

Great for weddings, gender reveals baby showers, 4th of July, you pick the color and flavor you want and let's get creative.

Scroll down to the printable recipe card and check out the ideas and photos on how to make them!

this is how to make easy slice and bake cookies tinted for any holiday


Homemade Potato Gnocchi

Friday, November 22, 2019
Growing up these homemade potato gnocchi pasta was handmade by my mom and grandmother.

This is an authentic simple recipe, that's been in our family for over 100 years.

The potatoes are mashed, lightly seasoned and rolled into the gnocchi shaped pasta then topped with homemade Traditional Sunday Sauce and generously sprinkled with grated cheese.

The sauce is always a thick meat sauce and has meatballs and sausage in the pot when simmering.

Every time any holiday came around, these were first on the list of most asked for homemade pasta dishes besides lasagna.

Although they take a little time by hand, the rewards are great in flavor and everyone always raves about them

My brothers John and Luke always loved them when mom made them and continued these traditions with their children.

Since mom passed in 1999, we dedicated our holiday meals when we served gnocchi to her and grandma.

Now we had another to add, brother John passed away on November 16th, 2019 and I made these early for Thanksgiving for a tribute dinner with his sons.

Keeping the families memory alive in the kitchen is truly an important step of healing when grieving to me.

This post is a dedication to the years we spent and were blessed with my brother John and I got to spend time with his two sons Devin and Matthew.

Scroll down to the recipe card and when you make these, thank you for keeping the families memory alive your kitchens.

this is a big porcelain bowl with homemade potato gnocchi hand made topped with tomato  sauce and meats


Raspberry Pistachio Linzer Bars

Wednesday, November 20, 2019
If you love the original shortbread Linzer cookies, this Raspberry Pistachio Linzer Bar recipe will be your newest easy favorite shortcut.

It's a sure bet these will be at the top of your holiday baking list this Christmas season.

These must make easy bars are a hit every year and always on the cookie list.

These easy knockoff versions are so quick, no rolling required, and taste fantastic.

The cookies are soft but buttery with that delicious sweet jam in the center that cut easily into bars for your cookie tray or gift-giving.

It's a cookie copycat that everyone loves and the easy of bars is a time saver for sure with the same great taste!

Linzer cookie bars are so simple all in one easy pan, everyone will ask for the recipe.

This cookie bar is the perfect solution for any hurried cook with so much to do during the season.

For more copycat recipes and easy to make cookies try my 24 one-stop cookie shop.

Check out this easy recipe and scroll to the recipe printable card at the end.

these are raspberry filled shortbread bar cookies


Italian Rainbow Cookie Recipe

Tuesday, November 19, 2019
Absolutely my favorite cookie of all time, easier than I thought to make myself and a perfect addition to the Christmas cookie tray!

I always was in awe looking at these on every wedding tray when I was a little girl in Utica, New York.

It was the only cookie I picked off those trays, I loved them!

I couldn't wait to make my first batch as I grew up and that was the first cookie on the list of must makes.

There are several recipes all over on these rainbow cookies, this one I found the easiest and held up the best.

Utica is noted for great Italian foods and fabulous bakeries.

Not only did all the local Italian bakeries sell them, but many of my relatives made these cookies a tradition in their homes to make every year around the holiday season.

These cookies are famous everywhere in the world looking like an Italian flag in color and so delicious and can even be found to order online.

I am very proud to have grown up with an Italian family background and friends that kept those traditions going.

These Italian Rainbow Cookies is one that brings back the joys of childhood and I just love how these taste and look!

Plan on taking up most of the day, they're not hard but time-consuming.

Don't be intimidated to try these, they are well worth the time spent and everyone will rave about them.

Also, if you love almond paste cookies, try my bakery style recipe for almond paste crescents and also almond paste homemade from scratch.

Check out Arlene's site where I was inspired and adapted this recipe from.

This printable recipe is below, just scroll to the end and let's bake some pretty Italian rainbow cookies!

this is a triple colored cookie that looks like the rainbow in pin, green and white with chocolate melted and cut in squares


Best Italian Sesame Seed Cookies

Sunday, November 17, 2019
These are the Best Italian Sesame Cookies I have ever had.

Once you try them you'll see why no other recipe will compare to these authentic style cookies.

Grandma from Rome, Italy, made these often to go with her espresso, there was always sesame seed cookies on a tray for company.

We were spoiled and never had to ask for these cookies, once they were gone another batch was made immediately.

That is long ago, and now I carry on that same tradition and make these almost as often.

Everyone loves them in the family, lemon-flavored being the favorite flavor of choice.

If you love sesame seed Italian cookies, this will be bar none, the last recipe you will ever have to look for.

I continue to make these in Grandma's memory all year long, the best cookie on the Christmas tray that's gone first.

For years I made these for my brother John (they were his favorite cookie on earth!) but as of 11/16/2019, he became an Angel, and now I will make them in his memory along with Grandma's, as she watches over him and they are now together in heaven.

Keeping their memory alive in the kitchen is very important to me.

If you love Italian cookies, try some of the ones on my one-stop cookie shop roundup, they're delicious also!

Scroll down for Grandma's authentic Italian cookie recipe.

these are cookies on a dollie with espresso, a espresso spoon and sesame seed Italian cookies


Italian Christmas Eve

Thursday, November 14, 2019
The Feast of the Seven Fishes is part of the Italian-American Christmas Eve celebration, in Italy, it's not called a feast but it certainly is pretty much the same and they refer to this name as a "Grand Meal" for their Christmas celebration dinner.

Christmas Eve is a fasting day for any kind of meat, and only seafood is served (actually several kinds of fish is made on this day) as part of the menu.

This Italian Christmas Eve Tradition of no meat continues to stay true to an Italian American seafood feast we serve her in America.

The seafood is part of Catholic abstinence from eating meat until the feast of Christmas Day.

The "Grand Meal" (feast) consists of seven different seafood dishes and traditionally was started in Southern Italy, and known simply as The Vigil (La Vigilia).

This celebration was to wait and welcome the Vigilia di Natale, and the birth of baby Jesus.

The seafood for Roman Catholics typically is fried fish in oil and shellfish that they could afford and was freshly caught.

Among the fish were clams with pasta which we add to Cioppino which is a fish stew, a salted codfish called baccala being the most popular to serve which is a codfish in a tomato sauce or squid, white fish, and several others that were fried.

In some of the oldest Italian American families, there was no count of the number of fish dishes that were served this Christmas Eve night.

Fried smelts and other types of seafood like Calamari fried were introduced into the menu much later through the years on Christmas Eve.

Here is a sample of the most popular ones we make every year.

May you all have a blessed season upon and enjoy the Traditional we set forward to carry on with this Catholic Christmas Eve menu we made through the years.

this is a collage of fish on Italian Christmas Eve pin for later


Cinnamon Browned Butter Ball Cookies

Wednesday, November 13, 2019
These Browned Butter Cinnamon Cookies are a delicious melt in your mouth buttery flavored cookie with a touch of cinnamon.

They're one of our top favorites along with my No Bake Rum Balls or Oreo Truffles I make around the holidays.

The delicious browned butter gives this cookie a nutty taste with a cinnamon twist and a powdery sugar coating.

Such wonderful flavors just meld together into one decadent bite.

This easy buttery cookie has now become one of my all-time favorites, especially around holiday time.

The taste is nothing like I ever had before, rich, a little dense and the cinnamon powdery sugar just melts in the crevices that shout fall and holiday flavors.

If you love cinnamon and are also a fan of snickerdoodles, these are a step up with all taste but like a gourmet bakery-style flavor.

So just scroll to the end for this printable addicting cookie recipe.

these are three crinkle cookies made with cinnamon flavors and buttery cookies rolled in powdered sugar with crinkles on top


Copycat Spanish Bar

Tuesday, November 12, 2019
Spanish bar is a childhood memories spice cake that my father loved and was his favorite cake when mom came home with this one.

This cake is a scratch cake that's dense and full of cinnamon, spices, and raisins.

It's a very moist loaf cake with cream cheese frosting and a sweet treat that perfect with coffee tea or milk.

Back in the 1960s, this copycat Spanish bar was sold at various New York State area supermarkets.

If you recall this cake you may have purchased it at an A&P Supermarket back then.

This is a copycat version of that delicious loaf spice bar that we still enjoy after all these years.

I now make it often and reminisce about dad and those great memories we all shared.

If you a delicious spiced coffee cake, this is one to try.

It's definitely dense like banana bread but moister like a blueberry bread with loads of flavor.

As you know copycat recipes are experimental and I have included two recipes below for you to judge your memory on.

Both the spice flavorings are spot on, one, however, has dark molasses in it where the other doesn't, similar textures and deeper in flavor.

Scroll down and take a look at the printable recipe card and hope you try these recipes.


Nutty Cheese Ball

Friday, November 8, 2019
I have been making this vintage Nutty Cheese Ball recipe since the early 1970s.

Whenever I was asked to bring something for a New Year's Eve party, this was the first appetizer I thought about bringing.

Actually, as time went on everyone asked me to bring this, no lie it's addicting.

The cheese spreads great on anything and you can't stop eating it.

I always make two one with roasted pumpkin seeds for those who have allergies and one with my favorite, chopped pistachios on it.

You can roll the cheese ball in any nuts you like and this will be the best appetizer throughout any party, gathering or holiday.

We are huge cheese lovers but who isn't? We love mozzarella fried, blended in broccoli casseroles and even melted on pizza!

Easy to make, comes together quickly and you can serve them with the several suggestions I have below.

Scroll down to the recipe card to print off this recipe and make it for your next big get together!

this is a cheese ball rolled in nuts and has a bottle of Champagne in the back


Zucchini Cream Cheese Filled Banana Cake

Thursday, November 7, 2019
I just love this Zucchini Cream Cheese Filled Banana Cake, it's super delicious and a great addition to all my zucchini dessert recipes.

If you love zucchini bread or zucchini cakes, or even a delicious pumpkin zucchini spice bar, these cake squares are the best of both worlds.

Then, of course, repurposing those overripe bananas (which makes the best banana cookies by the way and cakes) makes them into a fabulous dessert like this zucchini cake.

I also added a little bonus inside, a very nice surprise as you bite into this decadent rich cake, there's a cream cheese filling inside!

It sounds totally gourmet for a zucchini cake but I promise you it's easy peasy!

You can also use this fantastic zucchini banana batter for muffins filled or unfilled.

There are several suggestions and additions below to add to this if you rather omit the filling no problem.

You can even dress this cake up to match the Italian colors and holiday theme with a little whipped cream and raspberry, red or green cherries and even a strawberry on top!

The cake tastes great just dusted with powder sugar or even a drizzle of cream cheese frosting recipe below!

So what are you waiting for?

Let's bake this together, I have step by step photos to show you or just scroll right to the recipe card and print this off!

A delicious cake that is filled with cream cheese inside the batter is made with zucchini and ripe bananas


Homemade Amaretto Cranberry Sauce

Wednesday, November 6, 2019
This Fresh Cranberry Sauce with Amaretto is so perfect for any kind of poultry meal.

Even though we serve this alongside Thanksgiving Turkey, it's great on anything, even on a sandwich with chicken or turkey.

The alcohol burns off but leaves that sweet and tart flavors and brings out all those delicious flavors in these cranberries of fall.

Even if you're not a fan of using alcohol it's fine, use apple juice.

If you're not a fan of Amaretto use any kind of bourbon, rum or other liqueurs you have like Frangelico.

If you love using fresh cranberries, make sure you try my cranberry almond biscotti, oatmeal white chocolate cranberry cookies, and cranberry orange muffins!

Everyone will ask you for this recipe!

this is amaretto fresh cranberry sauce


Baked Caramel Corn

Tuesday, November 5, 2019
Growing up Baked Caramel Corn was a favorite made at home.

Dad and I loved it and every time we would go to a fair or a local favorite place in Verona, Beach called Midway, which was just like a fairground with rides, food, games, etc.

Although Dad is long since passed in 1995, the fairgrounds are still there and the memories will live on forever to cherish.

That popcorn stand was the first stop we hit at that Verona, Beach fairground, every time we went there the smell just stopped us dead in tracks and dad would immediately buy some freshly made caramel corn.

It was so addicting and gone in a New York Minute!

Since that place was only opened in the spring for a short time, we had to learn to make something similar to hold us over and this was the best recipe ever to duplicate that memory.

This delicious crunchy caramel-coated popcorn back in the 1960s that was irresistible and still is today and so easy to make in your own kitchens.

Later on, we learned to make a version of this delectable popcorn at home that was easy and baked, and it's been a favorite for the last 50 years of my life.

I make this every holiday for Christmas and even sometimes at Easter along with some other treats the family loves.

Homemade candies are fabulous and from the heart and also make fond memories in the kitchen.

Having two grown sons, they both love the homemade peanut brittle, peanut butter oreo bars and this baked caramel corn is number one on that list of must makes every year without fail!

If you're a caramel corn lover, scroll to the recipe card, the first one is our favorite and the other two recipes are some we made along the way the kids loved also like marshmallow popcorn balls and Nutella popcorn, it's all in a printable recipe card below.

this is caramel corn in a see through bag for the holiday baked with also trail mix to mix in like a moose munch


All Souls Day Cookies Mom's Recipe

Saturday, November 2, 2019
These cookies are made on All Souls Day.

The cookies are a chewy spice cookie for the Catholic Holiday. Come read the story behind All Souls Day.

Italian and of course Catholic?

What is All Souls Day or All Saints Day?

It is a solemn feast in the Roman Catholic Church commemorating all of those who have died and now are in Purgatory, being cleansed of their venial sins and the temporal punishments for the mortal sins that they had confessed and atoning before entering fully into Heaven.

This is the Rome Italy version of traditional cookies baked every year in our family.

Scroll down for the recipe.

these are cookies in a red ceramic bowl for All Souls Day also All Saints Day cookies. The cookies are spiced and rolled in powdered sugar. This recipe is how to make traditional All Souls Day cookies.


Mason Jar Gift Recipes and Free Printables

Friday, November 1, 2019
The possibilities are endless when creating Mason Jar Food Gifts and these recipes are printable, free and perfect for the holiday season.

I have collected all my favorites mason jar gift ideas, all in one downloadable e-magazine for you.

These are perfect for all ages with just a little creativity and there is something for everyone to enjoy.

Perfect for family, friends, and co-workers.

I always refer to this list during the holiday and everyone looks forward to their homemade surprise.

Especially fun for the kids that love puzzles, clay and of course candy jars!

All you really need to know is the hobby or favorite food your recipient likes.

You will find anything from soup in a jar to the best dessert starters and ideas for easy homemade snacks, candies and more!

I love to make ornaments out of clay for the holiday to hang on the tree or give away. kitchen pantry items like colorful sugars to add to my any cookies I bake.

The most asked homemade gift is my Italian Amaretto Pistachio Fudge recipe, it's so creamy and delicious, I just cut it up and wrap individual pieces for my mason jar, it's just that simple!

I found one of the nicest things about these gifts is making them super personalized and handmade.

Check out these free printable links below to print off tags and cute labels to add to your jars.

Whether you are making a homemade sugar scrubs or chocolate chip cookies in the kitchen, these are the coolest ideas for any gift-giving needs.