Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween Food Recipes and Graveyard Ghost Dirt Pie

A chocolate dirt pie for Halloween, perfect for any party!


Oreo Cookie Crust
 1 package mini marshmallows
 1 package nutter butter cookies
 1 package Oreo cookies (crush about 2 cups with a rolling pin inside of a zip lock bag.)
1 large package of instant chocolate pudding following package instuctions put in the refrigerator
2 cups whipped topping
red, blue and black pre made tube frosting
toothpicks
optional: gummy worms( to stick inside the dirt)  candy corn, or other Halloween candy of choice

Assembly:
Pour prepared  chocolate instant pudding into premade pie shell, top with whipped topping, crumble oreo cookies on top of pie. Cut nutter butters in half. Decorate with sayings of choice, initials R.I.P. etc. Let dry.
Use toothpicks to make ghosts with mini marshmallows and pipe with black icing the eyes.

Click here for more Halloween Recipe idea's and photo's to have a spooky party!  2010

More Idea's:




Happy Halloween!

From the Good Witch of the South !!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Ed's Farewell Cake Memorial with Marble Cake and Buttercream Icing

R.I.P.  Ed.......



       You may remember my post on September 11th when my sons father passed on,
                                     Farewell to Ed..
                                                                 (click above if you missed it)
Today is the funeral memorial, we are dedicating his day with his favorite "Star Trek" themes. Actually, it's kind of fitting for him in his final resting place as he is on a new trek in his afterlife journey.
I decided to make one of his favorite cakes and of course Star Trek must be included in his memory.
My talented husband drew the photo with a toothpick on the cake and I filled it in. I had taken cake decorating  classes years ago, I never did master the art of writing with frosting, but the true partnership together  today made this cake perfect and I know Ed would have loved it!

Marble cake with butter cream frosting was one of his favorites.

 Ed,

 "This one's for you whereever you are".. 

Batter:
3/4 cup butter, softened
2 eggs
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. of almond extract
1 1/4 cups milk, half and half sour milk or buttermilk
1 cup of mini chocolate chip
1/4 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
Mix the butter sugar together until light. Add flour, eggs,baking powder,baking soda, vanilla and milk. Beat till smooth, around three minutes, split batter into two bowls.
Add the unsweetened cocoa powder to one bowl mix well.
Grease the pan of your choice, o you can use a bundt pan, or two 8 inch pans using same method. Start with a small amount of vanilla cake batter on the bottom, add a dollop of chocolate batter in the center, sprinkle just the chocolate with mini chocolate chips. Continue layering until all the batter is gone. Do not stir. Bake at 350 for around 40 minutes till done, test with a toothpick if it comes out clean in the center.
Cool completely.
 Tip Note:
The easiest way to do a tranfer of a photo, is to take a cookie sheet upside down flat even side. Place on the back of a flat cookie sheet your favorite coloring book photo, tape it. Place wax paper over it and  tape securely then trace with frosting. When dry lift and place on the cake. If you are an artist like my husband you can draw the photo straight onto the cake with a tooth pick and fill in with a star tip.
You can use Royal icing or this frosting below, however its take up to three weeks to dry the one below hard enough so it won't break when lifting. The best thing about using the star tip to trace the photo even if it broke you can fix it with fresh frosting no one will know!

Butter Cream High Humidity Frosting:  Great for Florida or hot weather area's.
2 lbs powdered sugar
2/3 cup crisco
2/3 cup water
1 package of dream whip
2 tablespoons clear vanilla
Beat with a flat beat in an industrial mixer 1 package dream whip and crisco till light, gradually add the powdered sugar in and little water at a time. Whip or 12 minutes, fold in the vanilla. The frosting is thick and ready to frost a cooled cake.
In this picture I used a large star tip for the shell border, and small star tip for the enterprise. The dark m&m for the top of the ship and under ship I used chocolate rounds cut out for the bottom deflector dish.
The gray frosting was tinted with a tiny bit of black food paste, I use Wiltons coloring.
If you would like the recipe for Royal icing see below.
This is the Wiltons recipe:
2 tablespoons meringue powder
4 cups powdered sugar
6 tablespoons warm water
Mix all together in a very clean bowl with hand held mixer till this makes soft peaks 10 to 12 minutes..



And for the final ending he loved both these songs,

Precious and Few and this One's for You.... Barry Manilow.



Climax




Barry Manilow

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Shrimp Stir Fry with Broccoli and Zucchini

A quick meal, all in one pan, except the rice!


1 pound cleaned and deveined shrimp
1 sweet green pepper; cut in 3/4-inch squares
2 teaspoons fresh minced garlic
pinch or more of cayenne pepper
1 small carrot; thinly sliced 
2 cups of broccoli florets (microwave with 1 teaspoon of sugar and covered with water for 5 minutes drain)
1 zucchini cut into chunks
1 yellow squash cut into chunks
1/2 cup pineapple chunks and 1 cup liquid
1/4 cup dry sherry
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup teriyaki sauce
2 tablespoon olive oil or sesame oil


In a large wok style fry pan, add oil and all the vegetable, saute with garlic for 3 to 5 minutes we like the vegetables crisp, cook longer if you prefer. Add pineapple and sherry to pan. In a small bowl mix the pineapple juice, cornstarch and teriyaki sauce together. Add and cook till thickened.  Serve with jasmine rice or other white rice.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Pumpkin Cheese Cake Mix Bar Recipe

If you never try another bar dessert recipe again after these scrumptious ones, it won't surprise me, if your a pumpkin lover this will be the only one you'll ever make!  Taste like pumpkin pie,
 he said they're better, read on!

Crust
1 cake mix yellow, spice or white flavored
1 egg
1 teaspoon cinnamon omit if using spice cake
2 tablespoons butter, melted

Filling:
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon allspice
2 eggs
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
1/2 teaspoon salt

Cream cheese frosting to drizzle over the top
1 cup chopped pecans ( you have two options, either add to the top of the frosting, or sprinkle on top while baking.)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
 Line a brownie 14x 10  or jelly roll  pan with parchment paper or use a non-stick spray.
In a large mixing bowl, on low speed, combine cake mix, 1 egg, butter, and cinnamon until it form a dough, I used a flat beater with my electric mixer. Press onto bottom of prepared pan.
Using a  clean bowl and electric mixer, with the flat beater,  beat cream cheese until fluffy. Add in the sweetened condensed milk, remaining eggs, pumpkin,  spices, and salt mixing till evenly blended.
Pour over crust,  ( I sprinkle pecans just with half since not everyone likes nuts in my family).
Bake 35 to 40 minutes until the middle is set.
Cool, then chill in refrigerator. Cut into squares. Refrigerate leftovers. Drizzle frosting just before serving. 


 Sprinkle with nuts if desired.
My husbands newest favorite dessert, bar none!  He took one bite and said these are fabulous hide them!  (smile)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Old Fashioned Apple Crisp Recipe


A favorite comfort food for the fall, top it with a little whipped cream and a dab of hot fudge... the best apple crisp!


5 -6 mcintosh peeled, cored and sliced
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons lightly packed brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter melted

3/4 cup flour plus
2 tablespoons flour
6 tablespoons oatmeal
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg 
7 tablespoons sugar
7 tablespoons lightly packed brown sugar
12 tablespoons butter cut in small pieces

Heat oven to 375 degrees.
Put apples, sugars, and cinnamon in a buttered 1 1/2 quart casserole dish. Mix together and let sit 20 minutes to let the juices come out of the apples.
Pour melted butter over the apples.
Mix remaining ingredients until crumbly and put over the apples. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes. Serve with whipped cream and hot fudge sauce.


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Lamb Shepherds Pie Recipe and Winner



Simple easy comfort foods, I just love fall. This is a lamb bottom layer, filled with mashed potatoes and topped with cheese and corn. Pass the brown gravy and you have a very filling meal here.


1 lb ground lamb
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
1 bell pepper chopped fine
2 cloves of garlic minced
1/2 teaspoon each oregano, salt, pepper, parsley
2 lbs of  garlic mashed potatoes
1 can of vegetables of choice, peas, corn, or a mix of peas and carrots
1 cup shredded colby cheese

In a medium size bowl mix lamb, egg, bread crumbs, peppers, garlic and herbs. Press into a 3 quart casserole dish. Bake for 25 minute till lamb is brown. Filled with mashed potatoes, top with cheese, add corn to the top. Bake all together until cheese is melted. Serve with lots of hot brown gravy gravy on top.

And  now to announce the  winner is Joanne, please email me with your information and I will get this right out to you!,

Congrats and thanks form entering the giveaway! Hope you enjoy the whisk, spatula and Spice giveaway!

True Random Number Generator



8 Powered by RANDOM.ORG

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Powdered Sugar Wands (Galani) from Veneto

We have made these fried cookies for years, mom, grandmom, Aunts, friends.   Regions in Italy make many foods differently. These adopted many names over the years such as ribbons, wands, bow ties, I just knew them as the fried cookies with powdered sugar in them as a child. I couldn't eat enough of these growing up. Our Aunt Mary (RIP) used to lived in Schenectady NY, where her sisterninlaw had a corner Italian bakery, she was most popular for her powdered sugared wands. Hand made, and amazingly delicious. Check out her recipe here.  One of the first posts I ever made for this blog.

This new cookbook immediately got my attention when I saw their Regions version and I had to make them.. they are delicious too!

When I received my new cookbook I won from Claudia @ Journey of an Italian Cook  I had to try these fried cookies  fron Veneto, we make these every Holiday.

 Our version here  were from the Region of  Calabria the style and recipe a little different in flavor, we used a little vanilla and wine in ours. What a nice change in flavor using oranges in this recipe below.


During this week I then again won another wonderful giveaway from http://theessenceofwomanhood.blogspot.com/, so off I went to get my free flour to make these and stored in this beautiful container. Thank you ladies, I hope my viewers visit both your fabulous blogs~



2 eggs
juice of 2 oranges squeezed and seeded
3 cups flour more for rolling
1/2 cup melted butter
pinch of kosher salt
powdered sugar to sprinkle them with
oil for frying I used canola, however the recipe called for olive oil

Directions:
Heat oil to a low to medium heat, adjust if they get too brown, try one strip first.
Mix all ingredients together into a smooth dough, roll very thin and cut into strips. I roll this on parchment paper and cut with a fluted edged pastry cutter, (see photo)  then deep fry in hot oil,  till golden brown.

 Sprinkle with powdered sugar when cool.


For the Calabria family version click here we called them ribbons or bows and use wine in our recipe. We actually twisted ours into a bow.  Very similar. You will love how easy they are to make. The orange was a wonderful change, this ones a keeper!

Friday, October 21, 2011

A Kitchen Recipe Show and A Spice Giveaway



I was lucky enough to see the newest version of these pans,
 I have had my set for 15 years and love these pans!

Rodney and his wife look great don't they, they say it's what you eat right?  Amazing demonstration he gave us and was kind enough to give me some samples of the spices he used while cooking and a recipe book!


This is a 2 oz bottle of spice, a piggy whisk and a small spatuala~
So I am going to send one lucky reader some spice that leaves a comment and follows my blog! Thank you Rodney for the spice giveaway and hosting an awesome show, if you would like more information on this cookware email him click on his name above . Giveaway will end Monday at midnight October 27th 2011 and random.org will pick a lucky winner!  Good luck everyone! Sorry U.S. only.
A few things you can do to get an extra chance:

Follow me here on Google
Tweet the giveaway on Twitter
Follow What's Cookin Italian Cuisine on Facebook
Stumble it!
Pininterest it!

Now here is a great recipe adapted from the Waterless Cooking Americraft Cookware
Compliment to http://www.americraftcookware.com/

First picture above is the Veggie Medley:

1 pound of carrots sliced
1 pound of broccoli divided
6 corn on the cobs shuck and cut to fit the pan)

Place vegetables in the waterless cookware pan, rinse with water, drain and cover. Cook on medium until vapor escapes. Turn heat down to low and cook for 8 minutes.

Nutritional Facts: 146 calories, 1 g. fat, 0 mg cholesterol, .45mg sodium, 35g. carbohydrates, 4 g. protein.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Mom's Fried Veal Cutlet Recipe


1 1/2 lbs veal cutlets around 1/4 inch thick
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon butter (optional)
5 cloves garlic
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 cup dry Italian flavored bread crumbs or more
 (mom made her own breadcrumbs from stale bread click here)
3 tablespoons Pecorino Romano cheese, freshly grated
1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely minced
1 egg
salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 teaspoon oregano
Combine bread crumbs and  cheese in a pie plate. Add 1 clove finely minced garlic and the fresh parsley together. In another dish beat one egg with a tablespoon of water.
In a large skillet, heat the oil, and butter (optional) with the remaining whole cloves of garlic. Turn the garlic cloves until pale yellow. Mash the cloves into the oil using the tines of a fork when they become toasted, then remove.
Season the veal with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.  Dip each piece of veal egg then into the seasoned bread crumbs coating both sides well. Dip into the egg mixture once again. Roll in the bread crumbs a second time.
Pan fry the veal cutlets in the olive oil, carefully turning once, until well browned on both sides. Turn down to low heat and fry till brown and tender around 25 to 20 minutes.
 
Note:
A mixture of 1 freshly squeezed lemon juice, 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic, oregano, black pepper, salt to taste and 1 tablespoon of melted butter make a great sauce over the top.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Polenta Appetizers With Alfredo Or Marinara Sauce Recipes


Broccoli Rabe, Sausage and Fontina Cheese

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, more for oiling pan
1/2 cup whole milk
2 1/2 cups water
Salt
1 cup coarse cornmeal

Prepare pan by brushing a layer of olive oil parchment paper lined cookie sheet or brownie pan, 12x8 inch. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine milk, water and a 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Bring just about to a boil, reduce heat to medium, and add cornmeal in a steady stream, whisk quickly and the whole time to prevent lumps from forming. Turn heat to low and simmer, whisking frequently, until thick. If mixture becomes too thick, whisk some more bit water in to this, you will want a consistency of thick oatmeal.
Stir 1 tablespoon oil into cooked cornmeal (Polenta). Spread out quickly onto prepared pan, so Polenta does not stiffen; spread it to a thickness of about 1/2 inch all over the parchment paper evenly. Sprinkle lightly with garlic powder, salt and( pepper optional), cover baking sheet with plastic wrap and put it in refrigerator until it is firm, an hour or more, it doesn't matter if you leave this longer even overnight. Cut out various shapes with a cookie cutter, remove with a spatual and place on another piece of oil sprayed parchment paper lined cookie sheet. If you prefer to use just squares. Then proceed leaving whole as if you were making a pizza, you can cut it after its cooked.

Heat oven to 450 degrees F.  Spread  Polenta with sauce of choice and various topping combinations below. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, or until it crisps on edges. Sprinkle the cheese at the end just to melt. Fontina, Mozzarella, Swiss all work the best.

 Topping Variations: All spread with your favorite marinara sauce or alfredo sauce, see reccomendations


Broccoli Rabe, Sausage and Fontina Cheese ( marinara sauce)
Chicken and Mushrooms ( I have used both marinara and alfredo)
Pepperoni, Mozzarella (marinara sauce)
 Black, Green Olives with Fontina Cheese (marinara sauce)
Ham,  Cheddar or Swiss Cheese (alfredo sauce)
Peppers, Sausage with Mozzarella  (marinara sauce)
Meatball and Mozzarella (marinara sauce)
Shrimp, Scallops Chopped Tomatoes with Mozzarella (marinara or alfredo sauce)
Tomato and Basil (marinara)


Marinara Sauce Recipe:
Fresh Plum(Pomodoro) 10 Roma (plum) tomatoes, seeded and finely chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 teaspoon sea or kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup white wine.

I use a food processor for the tomatoes. (If you prefer to remove the skins, place tomatoes in boiling water for ten minutes, remove and immediately put into iced water. Peel the skins with a sharp knife, you can also squeeze out the seeds.) Saute garlic in extra virgin olive oil, add seasonings,simmer in pot for 15 minutes add wine and basil. Cook for 15 more minutes. Great on pasta, pizza.


Alfredo Sauce:

quart heavy cream
5 ounces parmesan cheese
1/4 cup Fontina cheese
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 tablespoon basil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon  white pepper
tablespoons butter

Add butter and garlic in a pan saute till garlic is soft. Add the herbs and spices, cream and stir. Simmer on very low around 15 minutes, add cheeses at the end till blended and melted.  A smooth cheese sauce goes great on pasta with chicken or shrimp added.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Baked Pecan Pumpkin Doughnuts with Cinnamon Ganache Frosting


2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cloves
1/2 cup brown sugar
4 tablespoons butter, softened
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 tablespoons milk
1 cup pumpkin purée
1/2 cup chopped pecans (Optional)

Glaze
For the Glaze:
1/4 cup butter
3 ounces white chocolate
1 3/4 cup powdered sugar
4-5 tablespoons water

Mixture of cinnamon & sugar
Optional: chopped pecans

For Glaze:  In a microwave safe bowl, add white chocolate and butter till melted. Mix in sugar and water, stir mixing just till blended, add more water if too thick. Dip donuts in ganache and sprinkle with  cinnamon and sugar. Makes 12.

Donuts:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and grease two doughnut pans. In a medium bowl, blend together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices.In another medium bowl, beat together the brown sugar and butter. Beat in the eggs one at a time, and then the vanilla extract, milk, and pumpkin puree. Slowly beat the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients just until combined. Fill doughnut pan 3/4 full with batter. Bake until the doughnuts spring back when touched. Remove from the pan and cool completely.

Dip the donuts into the ganache. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.

Here are more donut recipe you may like just click on the links below:

Baked Vanilla Donuts

Dark Baked Chocolate Donuts

Corn Fritters (Fried)

Italian  Fried Apple Fritters

Also a Big Thank You to Claudia @ Journey of an Italian Cook for sending me a authentic cookbook from Italy, I was the winner of her giveaway and so excited.. it's a great book with different Regions of wonderful recipes to try! 
Please visit her blog below! A great adventure she shares from her Italy trip with awesome photo's!
thanks Claudia!   Journey of and Italian Cook Blog... I love the book!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Mom's Italian Stuffed Pepper


Mom made her peppers with boiled egg very different stuffing than most... we just loved them!

6 to 8 peppers cleaned see below
4 boiled eggs  cleaned and chopped up
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1 egg beaten
1 1/2 pounds raw hamburger or ground turkey
1 cup raw rice
 1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon oregano, garlic powder, black pepper, salt and basil
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
small 4 oz can of tomato sauce
Sauce:
1 28 oz can whole tomatoes put through food processor with little chunks left
olive oil
1/2 cup of grated pecorino romano cheese
1/2 cup red wine
2 cloves whole garlic


Slice the top of each pepper off with a sharp knife, remove the stem leaving a circle in the top of the pepper, then slice the bottoms so they are flat when standing up ( about a 1/4 of an inch).  Scrape the inside using a melon ball scooper or spoon to make smooth. Save scraps of peppers.
Mix the raw meat with chopped eggs, rice, herbs, bread  crumbs, and small can of sauce together. In a medium size bowl, mix the  large can of tomatoes and wine together pour around the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle with grating cheese and add any scraps of peppers and whole garlic to the sauce around the pan in the sauce.  Bake at 400 for 45 minutes to an hour, if the bottom looks evaporated, add some water to the sauce.. Keep basting the tops with the sauce. Add more cheese if desired to the top when serving.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Roasted Garlic and Potato Soup Recipe


Rich, creamy and two flavors that compliment each other... served with garlic croutons is my favorite!
6 potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoon finely minced celery
1/2 cup finely chopped parsley
6 cloves garlic, peeled roasted  garlic see directions here
3 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
salt to taste 
Optional:
 grated parmesan cheese
garlic flavored croutons
Preheat oven to 425 degrees
Roasted Garlic (for instructions click here)
Place potatoes in a shallow roasting pan and drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Sprinkle with peppers, stir to coat. Bake for 25 minutes, or until potatoes are browned. Reserve 1 cup of roasted potatoes.
In a 3 quart saucepan add potatoes, celery, garlic and stir in broth and water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes.
Spoon half of broth mixture into a blender; blend until nearly smooth. Repeat with remaining mixture; return all to pot. Stir in milk, cream and season with salt to taste add parsley. Top with reserved roasted potatoes, garnish with grating cheese and garlic croutons.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Halloween Tombstone Brownie Recipe



1 package of Windmill Cookies ( I bought Voortman)
1 can chocolate icing or homemade recipe click here
1 package of your favorite brownie mix or click here for homemade recipe
1 container of pumpkin mellow cream candies
coconut tinted green
tube of black writing icing (found in baking section of the supermarket)
 optional  Halloween colored sprinkles or crushed oreo cookie crumbs

Gently break or cut cookies in half. Make brownies by package directions, cool, ice.
Assembly:
 Place cookies on wax paper outline the outter edges with icing and write letters on the tombstones R.I.P., HELP, whatever your ghostly pleasure is.  Apply a little icing to the bottom of the cookie and attach to the back of the brownie, flat side facing out. Cover the back with green coconut or crushed oreos for dirt and grass. Place candy pumpkin off to the side.

Have fun, spiders, skulls, hands..you can really get creative... !

Best Halloween Roundup   <Click link

For more Halloween Fun Recipes Click here for some party idea's  !

Grave Yard Ghost Pie


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Easy Pumpkin Spice Cheese Pie



1 cup lorna doones crushed fine or graham crackers crumbs
1/4 cup finely chopped pecans
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter (4 tablespoons melted, 4 tablespoons softened)
1-1/4 cups pumpkin purée
2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup powdered sugar, sifted

Preheat oven to 400°F. .
In a medium bowl, combine cookies, pecans or graham cracker crumbs with melted butter. Press mixture into bottom of a pie plate. Bake until golden brown and toasted, 5 minutes,  cool completely.

In a large bowl, beat pumpkin purée, remaining softened butter, cream cheese, vanilla, spices and salt using a flat bar in a heavy duty electric mixer, until smooth.  Add the sugar 1/4 cup at a time. Continue beating until smooth and creamy. Using a spatula, pour filling mixture spreading it out evenly over the crust. Cover and chill until set, about 6 hours, or overnight. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar as a garnish.



Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Crockpot Pork Mushroom Marsala with Linguine


It's that time of the year. Retail is a tough time trying to make some hearty meals having to work longer hours,(12 hour days). I never have time to cook when I get home or even want to for that matter. I want fast, ready, then off to bed I go! I don't get much down time these days.
 So the crockpot is my best friend during the holiday season!
I will be out of town for meetings the next few days, so I apologize in advance for not returning any comments  (sad face), but will catch up at the end of the week, when I get home. 
Thanks for your continued support.... have a wonderful week ahead! 
Crockpot Pork Marsala Recipe
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon dry mustard powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
pinch of cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon rosemary
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
6 boneless butterfly style pork chops
4 tablespoons canola oil
1 lb of fresh cleaned and rinsed sliced mushrooms
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 can (10.75 ounce size) condensed cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup Marsala wine
cooking spray
1 pound of your favorite cooked pasta ( cooked in salted water)
optional garlic cheddar biscuits (recipe highlighted just click on it)
grating cheese and parsley optional for garnish

Mix in a large plastic bag, flour herbs, mustard and spices. Shake the pork chops in the mixture. Shake off and excess flour. Sautee with  1 teaspoon garlic and oil turning once to brown on both sides.
Add the mushrooms, rest of garlic minced, mushroom soup and wine in a bowl mixing together. Place pork in  oil sprayed crockpot, pour marsala mixture over them and place on low 6 to 8 hours. Serve with cooked linguine and garlic cheddar biscuits.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Dark Chocolate Frosted Mocha Brownie Recipe


Dark Chocolate  Mocha Brownies


2 squares( 1-oz each) unsweetened chocolate melted in microwave or over hot water
1/4 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup all purpose flour, sifted
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon vanilla

Mix all ingredients together until well blended, around 50 strokes by hand. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes in 8x8 greased pan.  Cool.

Frosting:
2 cups confectionery sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla
old coffee

Add old morning coffee, a tablespoon at a time until desired thickness enough to spread on brownie.
add 2 tablespoon softened butter. Beat till smooth.
Make a separate batch of chocolate the same way except adding 2 tablespoons of dry cocoa powder to the bowl.
Mix until smooth and spreadable. 
Spread brownies with white frosting. Drizzle chocolate mocha on top and swirl with the tip of a knife.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Foods for Storms and Must Haves


As they say this is good weather for ducks!
Well here we are, some of us Floridians are sitting here in the dark ( over 2000 out of power in the neighborhood), lucky for us we have a generator. I am a pro at these storms. Going through Jean, Charlie, Ivan and Frances back in 2004, we had to learn how to live a different way in Florida and always prepared for the worse.
We actually have a kayak to get out of our development when the water rises too high for the cars to get out. Oh yes, we have had to use it. Hoping this time the rain will subside.

I have a storm box all ready in the garage at all times. In it you will find and old fashioned coffee pot, sterno, batteries, flashlights, a land line phone and cast iron pots and pans.  You don't need much, zip lock bags, toilet paper, weather radio and more listed at the end of this post for reminders and tips.

This morning I went outside, perked fresh coffee on the gas grill... and made breakfast on our grill. Bacon and eggs, potatoes.  I grilled the toast! You just have to get creative. It's like camping out, we are so spoiled, but roughing it once in a while isn't so bad!


I really do miss the luxuries in life when this happens but also appreciate them more every time.

I will be happy when the family all gets here later so we then be boiling water outside on the burners for our pasta and making sauce outside on the side burner, frying meatballs. My kids love to come over when the power is out, I end up having to cook everything in the freezer plus I usually have made cookies, cakes that thaw quickly, so food is in abundance.

Click here for Fried Meatballs

Then one other thing we love to cook outside is fried dough for dessert!

Click here for the recipe for homemade Fried dough! Pizza Fritte!
There are many other tips I can give you, don't be without gallons of water, canned foods and beverages, stock up on tuna, peanut butter, jelly, potato bread keeps fresh longer. We try not to buy junk food which I consider packaged cookies and snacks, but then what the heck, splurge a little with healthier style cookies and cakes, baked chips and dried fruits.

Make the best out of a bad situation, that's what mom always told us, so the power may be out, but we have each other to get through this today and hopefully this will pass quickly, if not tonight will be candle light dinner and some good old fashioned family conversation and board games!
To think this was just two days ago!
Some other useful tips during a hurricane, or any power outage storm can be found below:

Charge mobile phone and buy car charger for phone in case the power is down.
Check tire pressure, fill gas tank and top off all liquids.
Back-up computer files and keep external hard-drive and/or flash-drive in a Ziploc bag.
Store computer in the dishwasher or clothes dryer. Both appliances, when closed and locked, are airtight.
Photograph all personal property; download to a CD or flash drive. Keep one copy and send another to lawyer for safe keeping.
Create a master list of accounts, contact names and numbers for all credit/debit cards, bank and mortgage accounts and insurance policies; also include contact information for lawyer, accountant, financial adviser, friends and family. Download a copy to CD or flash drive to wear around your neck.
Keep identification on you at all times, including a small, wallet-sized card listing emergency contact numbers and insurance information.
Secure animals in a crate with their favorite toys and a long-lasting rawhide bone before, during and after the hurricane and always keep them on a leash. Pets should wear collars with current identification and also be micro-chipped.
Store a week’s supply of pet food, flea and tick and heart worm medicine, as well as some prescription pills to relax your pets during the storm, in an air-tight container.
Keep prescription medicines, spare eyeglasses, wallet, credit/debit and ATM cards, checkbooks, passport, and copies of all insurance papers (homeowners, auto and medical), as well as current HUD statements, car titles, medical records, pet licenses/vaccinations and any other valuable papers, stored in a Ziploc bag. Scan copies of the above items to a CD or flash drive.
Fill all bathtubs with water to use when flushing toilets. Note: Bottled water is best for drinking, but if you run out and need to use this cistern of water, be sure to purify with eight drops of bleach or water purification tablets.

Must-haves:

A gas grill with two or more extra tanks of fuel.
Have plenty of cash on hand; $5s, $10s and $20s are best.
In lieu of matches, purchase multi-purpose lighters.
Stock up on canned foods, ramen noodles, peanut butter, dried fruit and granola bars. Oranges, grapefruits and apples, although perishable, are a safe bet.
A large cooler and plenty of freezer packs. Disposable, rinse-free toothbrushes, liquid hand sanitizer and baby wipes are also good to have on hand.
A watertight storage container with a snap-on lid, plenty of Ziploc bags and disposable disinfecting, surface wipes.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Chicken Rigatoni with Spicy Hot Sauce


8 ounces uncooked pasta of choice
1/2 cup Frank’s hot sauce
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder plus 2 cloves of finely minced fresh garlic
salt and pepper to taste
dash cayenne
2 cups chicken that has been sauteed in olive oil and seasoned with hot sauce... cool then chopped in chunks
1 cup chopped plum tomatoes
optional : 2 small hot peppers chopped, chopped olives, 1/4 cup finely chopped celery(add to tomato mixture)
1 cup blue cheese dressing
optional: 1/4 cup blue cheese crumbles

Cook pasta according to package directions to al dente. Drain and rinse thoroughly with cold water.

Meanwhile,  in a medium size bowl, whisk together hot sauce, oil, lemon juice, garlic then garlic powder, salt and pepper cayenne to taste add chopped tomatoes and mix together till well combined.

Place pasta in large mixing bowl. Stir in chicken, blue cheese dressing. Add above sauce and toss,add more hot sauce if needed. Serve. Garnish with shredded cheese of choice.