Monday, August 31, 2009

Pork Chops Don Amore'

4 Pork chops Thick or thin whatever you like.
1 small can Diced tomatoes
1/2 C Giardiniera, hot or mild depending on your taste
1 clove Garlic
1/4 C Olive Oil
1/2 Small onion, diced
salt, pepper, garlic powder and oregano to taste

Season pork chops with salt, pepper and garlic powder and broil

In a 8 or 10 inch skillet, lightly brown garlic in oil
Add onion till translucent
Add tomatoes and giardiniera just till warmed
Spoon tomato mixture over broiled chops
Season with salt, pepper and oregano


Pasta and Peas (Pasta Piselli)

Simple and Delicious
1 LB Ditali Pasta (Chili Mac Pasta) You can use shells or bowties or mini penne
1 Lb Bag Frozen peas
1/4 cup Olive Oil
2 Cloves Garlic
Fresh Ground Pepper to taste
Grated Romano or Parmesan

Time the next three steps so they are all done at the same time
-Cook Pasta in pot according to to directions on box
-Cook Peas in sauce pan according to directions on bag
-In a skillet lightly brown garlic in olive oil

Drain Pasta, and return pasta to cooking pot
Add peas, (water and all) to pot with pasta
Add Garlic and Oil and Black Pepper. Toss well
Pour entire contents of pot into a Serving bowl

Serve on plates using a solid serving spoon. Make sure each plate gets some of the liquid

Sprinkle with Parmesan
Best served with hearty Italian bread
(encourage your guests to dip the bread into the liquid)

Fried Dough (Pizza Fritte)

About 1 LB Prepared Pizza Dough
(Link Below, about 1/2 recipe)

3 cups oil

Optional Toppings
Cinnamon Sugar, 1/2 cup sugar mixed with 2 tsp cinnamon
Powdered Sugar
Any Two
All Three
My favorite and our family tradition is Cinnamon Sugar

Heat Oil in skillet to about 325f to 350f

Break off pieces of dough about the size of the palm of your hand and flatten with your hands till about 3/4 an inch thick
Fry dough in oil till light brown one one side, turn over and brown other side
Drain on paper towel or brown paper bag
Sprinkle on cinnamon sugar or powdered sugar or spread on some butter
Serve Warm
This dessert brings back the happiest of memories.
I love them, My children love them. You will too.

We Can Eat: My favorite dough recipe for Pizza and Bread

We Can Eat: My favorite dough recipe for Pizza and Bread

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Smashed Potatoes

These are REALLY smashed! Using red potatoes (small ones work & look best, but I use medium sized ones), rinse them, put them in a pot and add enough water to cover them and rise 1" above them. Bring the water to a full boil, then lower the heat and cook the potatoes for 15 minutes (for smaller ones, 20 minutes for medium ones) until they're nearly cooked. Drain the water and set the potatoes aside for a couple minutes. In between 2 sheets of waxed paper, take one potato at a time and using a wooden cutting board or other hard, flat object, firmly press down and SMASH the potato until it's around 3/4" - no thinner. When they're all smashed -

Heat 1/4 C. olive oil (or vegetable oil) in a heavy stainless frying pan (I use a Cuisinart one & can't say how these will come out if you use a nonstick pan). When the oil is quite hot (not smoking hot), using a spatula, transfer the potatoes to the pan and fry them for 3-4 minutes (until golden) and then flip them and fry the other side for another 3-4 minutes. Tranfer the hot, crusty potatoes to a plate and season them with salt and freshly ground pepper. Then toss grated parmesan cheese over them and a sprinkle of parsley. Be creative- use other seasonings and cheeses! :-)

Quick & easy grilled Mediterranean chicken legs

In a one gallon ziplock bag, place 8-10 chicken legs (or other cut up chicken parts).
Pour over the chicken:
2 Tblsp. olive oil
4 Tblsp. lemon juice
2 Tblsp. grated lemon zest
2 tsp. fresh chopped oregano (or 1 tsp. dried)
8 leaves fresh chopped basil (or 1 tsp. dried)
4 cloves of minced/smashed garlic
1 tsp. kosher salt
freshly ground pepper- don't be afraid to use a lot!

Seal the bag - turn it over several times to distribute marinade. Let it marinade (in or out of the 'fridge) for a half hour, turning often. Marinate for a half hour.

Heat your BBQ grill (we use a gas Weber) until it's hot and ready. Place the chicken on the grill, leaving room between the pieces. Cover and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes. Turn and cook on the other side for another 5 minutes. Lower the heat to medium low and continue turning, cooking another 3-4 minutes on each side until the chicken is done (juices will run clear, not pink!), but not dried out

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

Preheat oven to 400 Degrees. Line 18-24 muffin tins with papers.

In a mixing bowl, combine & stir together dry ingredients and set aside:
1-2/4 C. flour
1/2 C. yellow cornmeal
1/2 C. sugar
1/3 C. poppy seeds
2 teasp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder

In another bowl, combine 'wet' ingredients:
2 large eggs @room temperature
1 C. buttermilk (don't use nonfat)
1/4 C. canola oil or vegetable oil
1/2 C. fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 Tblsp. grated lemon zest
(If you want a more 'yellow' muffin, add a couple drops of yellow food coloring)

GENTLY pour the egg/buttermilk mixture over the dry ingredients and stir to combine without mixing vigorously. When everything's incorporated, fill muffin cups 3/4 full. Bake for 18-22 minutes (test after 18 minutes) until the tops of muffins are golden.

Escarole and Beans


2-3 Tbsp. Olive oil
3 – 4 Cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 Head escarole, approximately 1 Lb., washed and chopped into bite-sized pieces
2 14 oz. cans cannellini, drained and rinsed
Salt & freshly ground black pepper
Freshly grated Parmesan
Heat a pot over medium-high heat

Cover the bottom of a soup pot with olive oil

Add garlic and sauté for a minute or so.

Add the escarole and stir to coat with the oil.

Toss in red pepper flakes and sauté, stirring occasionally, until the escarole begins to wilt.

Stir in the beans. Lower the heat, add up to a cup of water (more if you prefer it soupier), season with salt and pepper, and simmer for five to ten minutes.

Serve with a crusty Italian Bread

Saturday, August 29, 2009


Grease a standard sized loaf pan (9x5) and line it with waxed paper. Set aside.

In a small saucepan, heat 2 Tblsp. olive oil, add 1 medium chopped onion & 5 cloves minced garlic and saute over a low heat until soft & translucent.

In another medium saucepan, heat 5 cups water with 1 teasp. salt - bring it to a full boil. To the boiling water - VERY,VERY SLOWLY- whisk in (with a wire whisk) 1-1/2 cups polenta (you can use regular type or the quick cooking type). Stir continually, making sure ALL the lumps are broken up. Continue stirring with a wooden spoon after it's smooth - and cook (according to package directions) until the polenta is thickened. This will take anywhere from 10 minutes to 1/2 hour, depending on the type of polenta you're using.

When it's fully cooked, add 2/3 C. grated parmesan cheese and 1/2 cup chopped sundried tomatoes (oil packed/drained well). Add the onion/garlic mixture, stirring well and to the polenta mixture, add salt (to taste) and a generous amount of fresh ground pepper. Stir in 6 large leaves of fresh minced basil. (If you like a smoother, creamier polenta, use more water. After you've made it once or twice you'll figure out how to adjust the amount of water to your personal preference.)

Spread the polenta in the prepared pan. Cover and refrigerate for a couple hours until cooled and set. Remove from pan & cut slices of polenta - saute in a teflon pan for a few minutes on each side - or if you like it crusty, fry on a higher heat for a longer amount of time. You can also serve the polenta hot & spooned onto a plate with or without your favorite sauce/gravy. Whatever floats your boat. ;-)


This is my pesto recipe

My most favorite dish in the whole world

4 cups of fresh basil
6 cloves garlic (or your preference)
1/4 cup olive oil.........more if needed to get consistency
you desire

all into food processor

I sometimes add pine nuts
but first i toast in a non stick pan to release flavor

boil pasta to aldente
add pesto
fresh parmasano cheese
and ...manga

Friday, August 28, 2009


Classic bracciole is made with flank steak - you can use that cut of meat with the following recipe, although my family prefers a thin-cut round steak or sirloin instead.

Take 4-6 pieces of lean meat (approx. 4" x 8" each) and trim any fat off.
With meat laid out on a cutting board or work surface, get the filling ingredients together - and place the same amount of toppings down the center (the long way) of each piece of meat - leaving an inch withOUT filling at each end.

Top each piece with:
2 Tblsp. grated parmesan cheese
1 Tblsp. grated or torn up provolone cheese
1 Tblsp. unseasoned breadcrumbs
2 Tblsp. grated pepperoni (or salami, or sopressata... )
a few torn up leaves of fresh basil
season with salt and freshly ground pepper

Roll up the meat (the long way- so that you have an 8" roll) and either tie them up (using cooking thread/string) or fasten them closed using a couple toothpicks (be careful not to break them!!).

Heat 4 Tblsp. olive oil in the pan and when the oil's hot, place the meat in the pan. Turning them only once or twice (carefully, using tongs), brown the meat. When they're nearly finished browning, slice up a medium sized onion and 6 cloves of garlic. Toss into the pan with the meat, making sure the garlic/onions don't brown. Once the meat's somewhat browned (they'll finish cooking in the sauce), lower the heat to medium.

Pour over the meat:
1-1/2 cups crushed tomatoes, 2 cups diced tomatoes with juice, 4 Tblsp. tomato paste, salt & pepper (to taste). Stir everything so it's mixed well. Toss 4-6 fresh basil leaves on the top of the sauce, cover the pan tightly and simmer for 45 minutes. Remove cover and turn meat carefully. Cover again and finish cooking until tender (the time depends on the cut/tenderness of the meat - test it with a knife to check).

When the meat is cooked, remove it to a plate and carefully remove the string or toothpicks. You can either serve the bracciole whole, or cut it into slices & serve over cooked pasta, spooning the sauce over it.

Panko coated, oven fried chicken

Heat oven to 325 degrees. Coat a baking pan with nonstick spray.

Remove the skin from 10-12 chicken drumsticks, place them in a bowl and pour milk over them to cover. Let them sit for a few minutes while you mix the topping.

In another bowl, combine 1/2 cup unseasoned breadcrumbs and 1 cup Panko crumbs (found in the breadcrumb section of your grocery store, or by Oriental foods).
Add seasonings and mix well:
1/4 tsp. fresh ground pepper
1/4 tsp. garlic powder (not salt)- or more if you like it pretty garlicky
1 Tblsp. fresh or dried, chopped parsley
1/4 tsp. Emeril's "Essence of Emeril" seasoning (it has a 'BAM' factor!) - if you don't have this, use your favorite seasoned salt instead - but try "Essence" - it's great!

Take the drumsticks (one at a time) from the milk and roll them in the seasoned crumbs, making sure they're completely covered. Place them on the baking sheet. Make sure the pan's large enough so there's space between the chicken. When all the leg sections are finished, scatter any remaining crumbs over the tops.

Melt 3 Tblsp. butter and drizzle the butter over the coated chicken, then shake a bit of paprika over the top of the crumbs.

Put the chicken in the oven and bake for 50 minutes. Increase the oven temperature to 350 degrees & bake an additional 15-20 minutes, or until the coating is nice & golden

Pasta Carbonara

1 Lb Spaghetti or Fettuccine
2-3 Tbspns salt to cook pasta
1/2 Lb Bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 cloves Garlic, chopped
2 Lg Eggs, beaten
1/2 tsp Freshly Ground Pepper
1/2 C Grated Parmesan

Cook pasta in salted water
5 minutes before pasta is done cook bacon pieces in skillet till cooked but not crispy
Add garlic to bacon after fat begins to render

In your serving bowl beat eggs with pepper

Drain pasta and immediately pour into serving bowl and toss well. The hot pasta will cook the eggs on contact,
Add bacon, fat and all to pasta.
Add Parmesan and toss well.


Thursday, August 27, 2009

5 Minute Microwave Chocolate Mug Cake

Easy and Dangerous Microwavable Cake in a Coffee Mug

4 tablespoons flour
4 tablespoons sugar you can use Splenda
2 tablespoons cocoa
1 egg
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons oil
3 tablespoons chocolate chips (optional)
A small splash of vanilla extract
1 large (microwave safe) coffee or soup mug

Add dry ingredients to mug, and mix well.
Add the egg and mix thoroughly.
Pour in the milk and oil and mix well..
Add the chocolate chips (if using) and vanilla extract, and mix again.

Put your mug in the microwave and cook for 3 minutes at 1000 watts.
The cake will rise over the top of the mug, but don't be alarmed!
Allow to cool a little, and tip out onto a plate if desired.
Then EAT!
(This can serve 2 if you want to feel slightly more virtuous).

And why is this the most dangerous cake recipe in the world?
Because now we are all only 5 minutes away from chocolate cake at any time of the day or night.
Contributed by, JoAnn Giugliano

Grilled Tilapia Fillet

Tilapia Fillets (as many as you want to cook) Thawed
Salt and Pepper
Garlic powder
Chopped parsley
Crushed red pepper

Heat a grilling pan over medium heat
(This will work with a George Foreman Grill just make sure to spray top and bottom and reduce cooking time to 3 minutes total)

Sprinkle both sides of Tilapia with salt and pepper and a generous dusting of garlic powder and paprika
Lightly Spray Grilling pan with cooking spray

Place Fish on pan, Grill for 3 minutes then turn and grill for 3 more minutes

Sprinkle with parsley and red pepper flakes and serve.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Ricotta and Sausage Fritatta

1 LB Italian Sausage, cut up into pieces and cooked
1 Lb Ricotta, drained well
10 Lg Eggs
1 Clove Garlic, chopped
1 med Tomato, sliced
salt and pepper to taste

In a large bowl beat eggs, ricotta, garlic, salt and pepper
Fold in sausage and tomato

Coat a large oven safe skillet with cooking spray
Pour mixture into skillet and bake at 350f for about 35 minutes till center is firm.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Tinna made pizza using my crust recipe

Tinna made this Pizza using my Bread and Pizza dough recipe. Posted July 31, 2009
It looks wonderful.

One Layer Bourbon Chicken


4 chicken breasts

1 tsp. ground ginger

4 oz. soy sauce

1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar

3/8 cup bourbon

1/2 tsp. garlic powder


Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place chicken breasts in a 9 x 13-inch baking dish in a single layer.

In a small bowl combine ginger, soy sauce, sugar, bourbon and garlic powder.

Mix together and pour mixture over chicken.

Cover. Bake for 1 hour or until juices run clear. Remove cover during last 10 to 15 minutes before done.

Ready in 1 hour and 20 min

Makes: 4 servings

Contributed by: Jo Ann Giugliano

Pork Bracciole

Prepare Pork
2 Lbs Boneless pork loin, cut into 1/4 inch slices
Trim off all fat and pound with meat mallet between two sheets of waxed paper till doubled in size. About an 1/8 inch thick rectangle.

Prepare Stuffing:
2 Hard boiled eggs, chopped
2 Cloves garlic, finely minced
6 Basil leaves chopped coarsely (if using dried basil use about 1 Tbsp.
1/2 C seasoned bread crumbs
1/2 C Shredded Parmesan or Asiago
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Mix in small bowl.

Stuff Bracciole
One by one lay out each slice of pork.
Spread a thin layer of stuffing across loin leaving about 1/4 inch space at edges.
roll braciole up tightly and secure with a toothpick on each end or kitchen string.
Repeat till all pork is used

Cook Bracciole
You have trimmed all the fat. No need to par cook. Just drop braciole in your red gravy or sauce and simmer for about one hour.
They will be tender as butter.

Smother in gravy, sprinkle with cheese and Serve
Serves 4 to 6

Monday, August 24, 2009


For The Donuts

2 jars Nutella (13 ounces each)

1 pound ricotta cheese

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

4 teaspoons baking powder

2 cups all purpose flour

4 eggs

2 quarts Canola oil

granulated sugar

1. To make donuts: In a large mixing bowl, combine 1 jar Nutella, ricotta, salt, vanilla, baking powder, flour and eggs. Mix until smooth to form dough.

2. Drop heaping spoonfuls of dough into hot oil at 375° and cook for 3 to 4 minutes.

3. Remove donuts from hot oil, drain on paper towels for a moment, roll in granulated sugar, and fill with Nutella. Serve immediately.


Contributed by Jo Ann Giugliano

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Linguini Aglio Olio

Aglio Olio is the most basic of clear pasta sauces, The name says it all, Aglio (garlic) and Olio (oil)

1 LB Linguini
1/2 C Olive Oil
3 cloves Garlic sliced
3 Tbsn Salt to cook pasta.
1 Tbsn Parsley
Black Pepper
Parmesan and Crushed Red Pepper are optional or can be placed on the table for anyone to use who wants them.

Cook Linguini in salted water per directions on pkg
About 3 minutes before pasta is done
Heat oil in skillet
Add garlic and cook over med heat until garlic is golden brown about one minute
Remove from heat and serve over pasta in shallow serving bowl.
Toss well
Sprinkle with Parsley and Black Pepper

Double Chocolate Muffins

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Sift together in a bowl & then set aside:
1 C. cake flour
3/4 C. white flour
1/2 C. unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teasp. baking powder

In a mixing bowl, beat together:
2 large eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 C. milk
1/4 C. sour cream
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teasp. vanilla

Slowly add the sifted flour mixture into the egg mixture, folding (NOT beating roughly- that makes muffins tough & leathery) until everything is just incorporated.

Add 1 cup mini chocolate chips and 1/2 cup Ghirardelli 60% chocolate chips (or bittersweet chips) and stir together.

Fill paper lined muffin cups 2/3 full - then sprinkle tops liberally with sugar.
Bake for 20 minutes (test with toothpick to make sure centers are done).
Cook on a baking rack.

Mario's Italian Lemonade

If you're from Chicago there's a place three minutes from downtown everyone should know. It's called Mario's Italian Lemonade Stand. Simply stated, Mario's has the best Italian Lemonade I ever tasted in my life. When in the downtown area in the summertime I still go there. My children know it as someplace we'd go for a treat. Even when I lived 35 miles away on a summer evening we would drive into the city just to get some Italian Ice.

When Sammy Sosa hit his 60th Homer in 1999 I was with my kids sitting in the car on Taylor and Aberdeen eating Italian Lemonade out front of Mario's. I have loved it since my first lick. Even back when I drove a Limousine about 20 years ago, when someone visiting Chicago asked me to take them someplace that was truly Chicago. I took them to Mario's and every single person I took there was impressed.

It's in the UIC neighborhood at 1068 W. Taylor St. Close to 12th St. Beach, The United Center and US Cellular Field.

Try it, you'll love it.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Sausage Giambotta

1 1/2 LB Italian Sausage Cut into 2 inch lengths
4 med Potatoes, peeled and cut into large pieces
1 Lg Green or Red Bell Pepper
1 med Sweet Onion
1 Clove Garlic
1/4 Cup Olive Oil

Anything else, (optional) i.e. mushroom, olives, zucchini, scrambled egg, wine, sun dried tomatoes, etc...

Heat oil in large skillet
Add garlic till it starts to crisp
Add onion, sausage, potatoes, peppers and any other fresh veggies.
Toss well and cook over medium heat till sausage is cooked and potatoes are tender, turning occasionally. (about 20 minutes)
If using wine add it now and continue to cook till alcohol is cooked away. I like a white wine or sherry for this one.
After wine has cooked You can crack an egg into giambotta and slightly scramble it right in.
Toss till egg is not runny. (1 - 2 minutes)
Place in serving platter and sprinkle with Parmesan.
Serve with an nice crusty Italian bread. (see July post for "My favorite dough recipe for pizza crust and bread" if you want to bake your own.)
Feeds 4-6

Friday, August 21, 2009

Highland Fudge Bars

Preheat oven to 350-----see instructions for baking times

1 cup softened butter (2 sticks)
1/2 cup powdered sugar (make sure there are no lumps)
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups unsifted flour

Cream butter, powdered sugar and salt. Add flour and mix well.
Pat it out into a 9 x 13 cake pan with your fingers.

Bake at 350 for 15 minutes to make it into shortbread crust. Remove from oven but don't turn oven off. While crust is baking in the oven, prepare the fudge topping:

4 beaten eggs (just whip with a fork)
1 cup melted butter, cooled to room temp (2 sticks)
1 cup white sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup flour(don't bother to sift)
2 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (I use 1-1/2 C. Ghirardelli bittersweet chocolate chips and 1 C. Nestle's semisweet chips) - measure them BEFORE you melt them! If you don't want to mess with a chocolatey mess in a bowl, melt half the chips at a time on a paper plate (microwave carefully until JUST melted) before adding to the mixture.

Mix eggs with melted butter and white sugar. Add baking powder, salt and flour and mix thoroughly.

Melt the chocolate chips - when melted add them to the egg, sugar etc. mixture and mix well.

Pour this mixture over the crust you just baked and carefully spread it so all the crust is covered.

Bake it for another 25-30 minutes. Remove it from the oven. Cool for an hour and then sift 1/3 C. powdered sugar over the top of the chocolate.

Let them cool thoroughly and cut them into small brownie bars; these are RICH. You can refrigerate them, but cut them before you do. They get very solid when they're cold.

Shrimp Ala Bina

This is perfect for a dinner party.

green or yellow or combo of all
white wine
onion 1 small

While cooking 1lb of spaghetti or linguine...

In a big pan or wok style pan..

Put olive oil in pan .about 1/4 of a cup.. Saute some garlic...then onion and gr, red, yellow peppers or whatever you wish..... Then add 1/4 cup of white wine and 1/4 cup of chicken broth or you can use bouillon if you want for more flavor. (2 cubes in half cup of boiled water). in the mean time..Blanch a head of broccoli and put on the side. Add mushrooms to the simmering peppers, onion .etc.. after all of this looks well simmered ..add 1/3 stick of butter...then add the broccoli...1lb of shrimp cooked ( large or med). I season with pepper..a little Italian seasoning. If needed add a little more wine or broth. After you put everything together..I like to thicken just a little with cornstarch and water..about 1/4 cup but only add what is needed for a slight thickening... Pour on top of pasta in a big pasta bowl.. It's a very attractive presentation and very tasty too.. Serve with a nice Chardonnay.. Serves 4

Home Made Cavatelli

1 Lb Ricotta, drain well
1 Egg
1/8 tsp Salt
4 Cup Sifted Flour

Beat ricoota, egg and salt till very fluffy
Add sifted flour gradually till not sticky.
You may need more or less flour to make a firm workable dough you can roll out into a nice smooth rope.
Cover on work surface with upside down bowl to keep moist.

Rolling the dough
Cut a small piece of dough (about the size of an egg)
With the palm of your hands roll dough into a long uniform rope about 1/2 inch diameter.
cut into small pieces about 1 1/2 - 2 inches long
Shaping the cavatelli
On a well floured suface place two to three fingers on dough pieces and drag until it curls up.
Repeat with all till dough is used up.

Cook the same as you would pasta or freeze on floured cookie sheet for later use.

Serve with any sauce you like or in soup.
My favorite is Cavatelli with Vodka Sauce

Vodka Sauce

2 Large Cans Tomatoes
2 Tbsn Olive Oil
1 Clove Garlic, Chopped
1 Small Onion, Diced
2 - 4 Basil Leaves
Salt and Pepper
1/2 Cup Vodka
1/2 Cup Heavy Cream (room temp)
1/2 Cup Grated Parmesan

In a large skillet heat oil
Add Garlic Stir a few times for 15 seconds
Add Onion till tender
Add Tomatoes and Basil
Heat to boil and continue boiling for 5 minutes
Simmer for 10 more minutes
Put sauce in blender and blend till smooth

Return Sauce to skillet bring to second boil
Add Vodka
Stir till Sauce boils again and cook for another 5-6 minutes stirring occasionally
Lower heat to simmer
Stir in Cream and simmer over low heat till sauce is heated through
Stir in Parmesan till melted and remove from heat.
Salt and Pepper to taste

Serve over pasta

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Lemon Bars

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees; lightly grease a 9X13" baking pan.

In a mixing bowl, mix together until a dough forms and pat onto the bottom of the prepared pan:
12 TBLSP. soft butter
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1-1/2 C. flour

Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and prepare topping. Lower oven temperature to 300 degrees.

In a mixing bowl, combine:

6 large eggs
3 cups sugar
Beat WELL. Slowly add:

3/4 C. freshly squeezed lemon juice (3-4 lemons) - you could use bottled lemon juice, but fresh is SO much tastier!
1/2 cup SIFTED flour
1 Tblsp. grated lemon zest
Pour the lemon mixture over the partially cooked crust. Sprinkle another 1 Tblsp. lemon zest over the top.

Bake in a 300 degree oven for approx. 25-30 minutes, or until it's 'set'. Gently jiggle the pan- make sure it isn't runny or wet-looking.

Remove from oven and cool completely on a wire rack. When ready to serve, cut into squares and sprinkle with powdered sugar. You can leave these out at room temperature or keep them chilled in the 'fridge.

Creamy rice pudding

In a large, heavy saucepan or small stockpot, add 7 cups milk (I use 2%), 1/4 tsp. salt and 1-1/2 cups standard long-grained (uncooked) white rice.

Over medium low heat, let milk heat (never to a simmer & especially not a boil!) slowly - stir rice occasionally until milk begins to cook the rice. This is a VERY SLOW procedure and takes around an hour or so. Continue to let the rice cook slowly, stirring often.

In a small bowl, beat 2 eggs plus 1 extra yolk with 1/2 cup white sugar.

When rice is cooked/tender, and milk has nearly evaporated - approximately one hour - (the mixture should be creamy and thick and not runny) - remove from heat and mix in the sugar/egg. Return the pot to a low heat and continue cooking and stirring for several minutes until eggs incorporate and cook thoroughly. Turn off heat and add a teasp. of vanilla extract.

At this point you can add (only if you want to) other ingredients. For this recipe I toasted 1-1/2 cups of broken up walnuts and another cup of dried cranberries - a Tblsp. of grated orange peel finished off this dessert! Any other fruits and/or nuts combination work well. The rice pudding is delicious served warm or chilled with some heavy cream or whipped cream spooned over the top!

Prime Rib

1 Standing rib roast, 3 to 7 ribs (estimate serving 2 people per rib), bones cut away from the roast and tied back to the roast with kitchen string (ask your butcher to prepare the roast this way)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Remove roast from the refrigerator, loosely wrapped, a few hours before cooking.
Roasts should always be brought close to room temperature first, before they go in the oven.

If your butcher hasn't already done so, cut the bones away from the roast and tie them back on to the roast with string. This will make it much easier to carve the roast, while still allowing you to stand the roast on the rib bones while cooking.

Preheat your oven to 500°F, or the highest it will go. Generously sprinkle salt and pepper all over the roast.

Place the roast, fat side up, rib side down in a roasting pan in oven.

After 15 minutes on 500°F, reduce the heat to 325°F. To figure out the total cooking time, allow about 13-15 minutes per pound for rare and 15-17 minutes per pound for medium rare. The actual cooking time will depend on the shape of the roast and your particular oven. A flatter roast will cook more quickly than a thicker one. So make sure to use a meat thermometer. If in doubt guess to the rare side.

Roast in oven until thermometer registers 115°-120°F for rare or 125°-130°F for medium.

Check the temperature of the roast using a meat thermometer a half hour before you expect the roast to be done. For example, with a 10 pound roast, you would expect 2 1/2 hours of total cooking time (15 minutes at 500° and 2 1/4 hours at 325°). In this case, check after 2 hours of total cooking time, or 1 hour 45 minutes after you lowered the oven temp to 325°.

Once the roast has reached the desired internal temperature, remove it from oven and let rest 15 minutes, covered with aluminum foil, before carving. The roast will continue to cook while it is resting.

With a knife or scissors, cut the strings which attach the meat to the bones. Remove the bones. Use a carving knife to slice meat across the grain for serving, making the slices about 1/4-1/2 inch thick.


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Pasta and Broccoli

When I was a kid my mother and grandmother (Two extraordinary cooks) Never made pasta and broccoli. The first time I tasted this delight was at my best friend Nicky's house. It was one of those last minute things where his mother said. "Stay awhile, I'll make pasta and broccoli." I have always loved trying new foods but the thought of pasta and vegetables doesn't make a 13 year old Greaser exactly swoon. She went to work and within about 15 minutes it was ready. I could not believe how wonderful such a simple dish could be. It has been one of my favorites ever since. It's fast it's simple and it's delicious and very inexpensive.

1 LB Pasta. You can use any pasta you like. Shells seem to be the most commonly used.
1 Lb Bag Frozen Broccoli Florettes (Fresh is great but for this dish and the sake of simplicity I like frozen.)
1/2 C Olive Oil
2 cloves Garlic Chopped or if you prefer, sliced thin.

In your pasta pot cook pasta to directions on pkg.
In a saucepan cook Broccoli per directions on pkg.

Aglio Olio (Garlic and Oil)
Two minutes before pasta is to come out of the pot lightly brown garlic in a skillet.
(Do not let garlic get too brown, go for lightly golden.)

Drain pasta and Drain Broccoli
Place both in large bowl
Cover with aglio olio and toss well.
Sprinkle with some Parmesan and serve.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Banana Split Cake

2 cups Graham Cracker Crumbs
1 stick melted Butter
2 cups Powdered Sugar
1 tsp. Vanilla extract
2 medium eggs
2 sticks softened butter
2 or 3 bananas
1 (20 oz.) can Crushed Pineapple, drained
1 jar chopped Maraschino Cherries
1 large Cool Whip

Mix together the graham cracker crumbs and the melted butter. Press into a 9 x 13 cake pan. Combine the sugar, vanilla, eggs and softened butter in a bowl and beat for 6 to 7 minutes until fluffy. Spread mixture on top of the graham cracker crust.

Slice the bananas on top of the mixture. Add the drained pineapple on top of bananas. Spread the Cool Whip on top of the pineapple. Add the chopped cherries to the top of the Cool Whip. Chopped nuts can be added to the top.

Place in refrigerator for at least 6 to 8 hours to set.

*You can dip the banana slices in the pineapple juice before you layer them onto mixture.