About Me

My photo
I am a Jill of all trades , SAHM and lover of all crafts. I think my middle name is Creating :) Each day I try to invision some new detail or put together some stiches I have never done before for a new look. I can`t wait to see what tomorrow will bring . Feel free to leave a comment and let me know how I am doing.

Monday, December 28, 2009

General Mills Cereals = Less Sugar = Healthier Breakfast

I was given 4 free coupons  to try General Mills Cereal through Myblogspark and found this very fascinating ...

General Mills announced a commitment to further reduce sugar in cereals advertised to kids under 12 to single digit grams of sugar per serving. The company has already been reducing sugar in cereals while increasing key nutrients, such as calcium and vitamin D, and providing whole grain . thank you General Mills ! :)

Did you know that ready-to-eat cereal eaters consume less fat, less cholesterol and more fiber than non-cereal eaters? Cereals also deliver important vitamins, minerals and other essential nutrients, making cereal a top source of key nutrients in children’s diets. I am glad my kids love cereal.

Other cereal benefits:
Ready-to-eat cereals, including presweetened cereals, account for only 5% of sugar in children’s diets.

Ready-to-eat cereal is the No. 1 source of whole grains in a child’s diet today. This I never new before reading this article from General Mills .

More frequent cereal eaters tend to have healthier body weights and lower Body Mass Index measures.
Studies also demonstrate the benefits of eating breakfast. A 1998 study showed that children who eat breakfast tend to perform better at school. Compared to children who skip breakfast, children who eat breakfast score higher on tests, are less likely to miss class or be tardy, have fewer reported discipline problems, and make fewer trips to the office. Our schools always said these very things to us every year. I truly believe in this . 
For more information about kids and cereals, please visit Cereal Health and Wellness.

Right now if you visit here you will find a $1 off coupon for one of four General Mills cereals to help your family come together at the breakfast table every morning.

DISCLOSURE : All this information and free cereal coupons were all provided to me  by General Mills through MyBlogSpark.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

GIVEAWAY This Month... 3 serving platters and 2 Coupons for Pillsbury Crescent rolls

Win It: One lucky reader will win the 3 serving platters as pictured above and 2 Coupons for Pillsbury Crescent rolls (valid only in the US) .

 I need your help! I have been asked by MyBlogSpark to make an appetizer using Pillsbury Crescent rolls. I have 3 appetizers to choose from and add my own creativity on it, And if it turns out sensational I could even be featured on Pillsbury.com ! :)

Here are my 3 choices:

1 - Crescent Holiday Tree


2 - Crescent Wrapped Brie


3 - Crescent Bacon-Cheese Tartlets


I was sent 3 serving plattersTo serve my appetizers on and 2 coupons for Pillsbury Crescent rolls . . I can't wait to make one of the above appetizers.

Mandatory entry: Visit the links provided above for the 3 different appetizers. Then come back here and tell me which appetizer you think I should make , and leave me your e`mail address so i can notify you if you are the winner.

1. Follow my blog (publicly)

RULES: Giveaway is open to US Residents only. Giveaway ends December 27, 2009 at 11:59 PM. Winner will be chosen via Random. Must have valid email in blog profile or leave email in comments otherwise you will be disqualified. Winner will have 48 hrs. to confirm by email, If no confirmation in that time frame a new winner will be chosen.

Disclaimer: Pillsbury provided me with the free product, information, and gift packs through MyBlogSpark.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Remarkable cakes by Fran

 # 18
This has got to be my all time favorite
She is coming to a cookie swap and she
has put her cookies in the cake box
( Yes the box is a cake ! :)    )  Now How
original is that ? Can you imagine how nice
to use a cake box like this to propose to someone ? 
I think that would be so cool!


















I just had to share these cakes with everyone .
What she makes is just amazing ! and if these beauties  aren`t enough , she will make you anything you could imagine . If your having a special party and want a unique cake like one of these beauties please leave a comment below with your e`mail and the number of the cake you are inquiring about ,  and I will get Fran to contact you to make all the arrangement for your special occasion . She is located in Long Island,  NY . At the moment she is only catering to the local area .

These awesome cakes range from $100.00 to $200.00 depending on the size and the amount of  details the cake has.

Friday, December 4, 2009




1 to 1 1/2 lb. ground beef
1Sm onion chopped
1 red bell pepper chopped
3 hot green chilies finely chopped
3 garlic cloves finely chopped
1 chopped carrot
1/2 cup chopped celery

1 bag dried kidney beans ( rinsed )

1 lrg can tomato puree plus 2 cans of water (using the tomatoe cans to measure )

seasoning ... 4 heaping TBSP cumin powder
2 TBSP Garam masala
1 TBSP hot chili powder
1 tsp garlic powder
salt & pepper to taste
I do this in my pressure cooker ....
brown beef w/ 1 tablespoon corn oil , stirring and mashing the meat once browned add remainder of the ingredients in STEP 1 ..cook for 5 to 10 minutes

add all the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil ... lower to medium heat and place cover when the pot starts to whistle time it for 15 minutes and turn it off but leave it on the burner ....wait for 30 minutes and then open the pot ... check if the seasoning is okay and serve.

Can be served with some rice but I love it just as is .

** if cooking in a regular pot ... you may want to soak your beans over night and simmer the chili for about 1 1/2 to 2 hrs.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Fried peppers

In my family , we just love the spicy hot peppers with every meal so I fry peppers every few days . You can cook up a big batch because they keep well in the fridge .

I start with either the Italian long hot peppers or the cherry hot peppers ... remove the stems and cut peppers in half , you want the flavor of the garlic and the oil in the pepper .

5 cloves garlic peeled and left whole.

put about 1/8 inch of oil in a heavy skillet on medium high heat , add the garlic and the peppers and fry till brown turn them over and cook on other side  ... Garlic should be cooked at the same time as the peppers ... place in a plate and sprinkle with salt plus when the oil cools a bit , add some of the oil into the peppers , It is great for dipping bread or if you boil some potatoes and serve the peppers and some oil right over the potatoes .

They are great in a sandwich or accompanied with any Italian meal ... Italian bread is a must when serving these peppers ...It help take some of the heat off your burning tongue :)

Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving Turkey & stuffing

Turkey and Stuffing

My Turkey this year was the best I have ever cooked .

It was a 22 pounder and this years stuffing , I used ----
1 lb chopped pork meat ( I get it from the butcher )
saute w/a TBSP of oil in a large fry pan.
add the following to the fry pan
1 cup chopped celery
1 large chopped onion
1 chopped carrot
2 cups chopped mushrooms
saute the above with the pork  just till onion gets translucent then add 3 tablespoons butter

add in 1/2 cup chopped  cooked chestnuts 
cool it down and mix
2 apples ...peeled , cored and chopped
refrigerate till ready to stuff the turkey next morning .

In the morning rinse your turkey inside and out , pat dry w/paper towel and rub it with butter sprinkle w/salt & pepper

take out your stuffing from the night before  and add in a box of corn bread stuffing to it , and 1 box of herb stuffing , 1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley ( 1 or 2 eggs are optional ) and enough chicken broth (store bought) to moisten the stuffing ... stuff turkey lightly ....if you have to much stuffing bake that separate .

place turkey in  a heated 4 25 oven for 40 minutes , baste the turkey ( cover the turkey w/foil  and lower oven to 325 and bake for an additional 4 hours and 20 minutes ...basting every hour and check turkey 30 minutes before time it should be done so that if the color is not quite as dark as you like , you can remove the foil if needed to get more color in the last 30 minutes.

A thermometer should reach 170 including the stuffing for it to be done properly .

Sunday, November 22, 2009


They are so easy to make and look so good on a plate.
I made these to take to a party we are invited to today.

These stuffed mushrooms are a big hit every time ,

1 teaspoon veg oil for frying
1 medium onion- chopped
1 celery stalk - strings removed - chopped fine
1 carrot- finely chopped
1 chili pepper - finely minced

bullion cube ( I use chicken but if your a vegan you can use vegetable )
1 LB mushrooms( cleaned and tops taken out and chopped-
set tops aside )

2 Tablespoon butter
grated cheese - your favorite - 4 heaping tablespoons
parsley - 1 Tbsp - finely chopped
seasoned breadcrumbs - 3 tablespoons
black pepper to taste

in a fry pan add the oil onion,celery,carrot,chili pepper and saute on medium heat till the onion is translucent, add in the bullion and mushroom stems ... as the mushrooms start to cook they will give out water cook for 1 minute and add the butter , grated cheese,parsley, breadcrumbs, blk pepper and stir .... if its to wet continue stirring and cooking till the water absorbs ... mixture should be moist...set aside to cool 

heat oven to 500
while oven is heating start filling your mushroom tops ....spray a baking pan with Pam and place mushroom so they do not touch another in the pan .
 bake for 10 to 15 minutes ... till you get a nice color on top ...place on your serving plate and sprinkle w/paprika and a little more parsley

Monday, November 16, 2009

Nescafe` Tasters Choice

Don`t forget some me time now that we are getting closer to the Holidays .  We tend to run ourselves ragged . Take A 5 minutes break  with a quick cup of Nescafe Tasters choice ( I like turning mine into a nice cappucino ! ) , they have so many nice flavors to choose from :) and if your not quite sure if your going to like the flavor or not just go ahead and order yourself a sample pack . They will send you 5 different flavors to try right in your  mail box ! 

You can get your samples from here -  http://www.tasterschoice.com/varietysample.aspx

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Artichoke Salad

2 cans artichokes , rinsed and squeezed to remove the excess water.
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 onion sliced in very thin rounds
1 pimento 
4 tablespoon Olive Oil
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 tablespoon lemon juice ( fresh is best )
Outer leafs of romaine lettuce washed and dried

salt & pepper to taste

take all the ingredients except for the lettuce and place them all in a large bowl and gently toss  together .

In the serving platter arrange the lettuce leaves on the bottom and around the platter ...( I like putting extra chopped romaine in the bottom of my platter )   place the artichokes over the lettuce and try to arrange some of the onion and pimento so the dish looks appealing to you .  garnish w/more chopped parsley right before serving .

serves 4 to 6 people

Saturday, November 7, 2009


This can make a very nice side dish or you can turn it into a meal by adding some fried or roasted chicken , pork or beef .

6 large potatoes - peeled , cut in half and sliced about 1/8th inch thickness

6 vinegar peppers plus 1/4 cup of the vinegar from the peppers( hot , sweet or mixed- I prefer all hot ! )  take stems off the peppers and slice in quarters ( I love my seeds for more flavor ...if you can`t eat the seeds just take them out .) 

oil for frying

salt to taste

In a big fry pan add about 1/2 inch inch of oil and  heat on high and add your potatoes ( do not over crowd the potatoes ..cook them in batches  if needed ) cook them to a nice dark golden color and place on a platter lined w/paper towels  to remove the excess oil and remove paper towel. 

In a small fry pan take 4 tablespoons of the oil you just fried the potatoes in and fry your peppers on medium heat ( careful because the seeds pop out at you ! ) . The vinegar peppers cook pretty fast  so keep a close watch on them ,turn them and add the vinegar and salt , heat to a boil and mix them w/the potatoes. 

serves about 4 people

Thursday, November 5, 2009


Now that Halloween is over . What to do with all those pumpkins ??

Here is what My Mom did with all her Pumpkins .( keep in mind she is Italian and grew all her vegetables)

Take the pumkins (we grew tons of them ! ) and remove the insides , peeled them and then cut them into long showstrings , We then hung them to dry over plastic hangers in our boiler room . ..then we kept them in our fridge or freezer in zip lock baggies to use all year round and especially on Holidays .

when it comes time to use them ... Take some pumpkin cut them into bite size pieces and soak them in water for about 15 to 30 minutes .drain the water out and fry them like you would fry potatoes only crispier ( med high )...then fry some dry hot peppers with whole garlic cloves and mix the two , add salt to taste and that would be our added vegetable for our Italian Thanksgiving meal .

What do you do with your pumpkins besides making pies ?

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Chicken Catchiatore (different take )

 Chicken Catchiatore (PHOTO TO FOLLOW)

This is not your typical take on Chicken Catchiatore .
I take left over breaded chicken cutlets ( or make them fresh from my previous blog recipe)

 5 TBSP oil for frying (I use 1/2 olive oil 1/2 corn oil ... If you use all olive oil you will have to cook on low heat ))
1/2 medium onion sliced thin
1 red bell pepper julienned
 6  hot vinegar peppers  chopped w/4 to 6  tablespoons of the vinegar included
1/2 package of sliced mushrooms
2 garlic cloves chopped
10 calamate olives pitted and sliced thin
1 lrg can pealed tomatoes  w/puree  (28 ounce ) (blend it in blender for a minute )
20 ounces water
1/2 cup red wine( when choosing a wine to cook with , use what you like to drink and you will never go wrong )
6 to 7 cutlets...Cut them into bite size pieces.

basil,blk pepper & salt to taste

In a large skillet place your oil on med high heat and fry the onion , soon as they start to brown add bell pepper cook 3 minutes and add the vinegar peppers and soon as they start to brown add your mushrooms  cook for 2 minutes add in the garlic to the bottom of pan let it cook a minute and stir well add the olives and tomatoes , cook for a few minutes and add the water , vinegar and red wine , stir well soon as sauce starts to thicken ( about 10 minutes )  add your spices and the cutlets and stir well ... if sauce is to thick add more water--- if sauce is to thin just cook awhile longer .

This is served best over spaghetti .

( will serve about 4 to 6 people)


1 lb . string beans washed and ends removed
1/2 lb carrots julined
3tbs oil for frying
3 tbs finely minced ginger
3 Tbsp finely minced garlic
1/4 cup soy sauce
( you can add any other vegetable to this ... I love to add broccoli )

Place oil in a wock or heavy skillet that has a lid
add the ginger , string beans and fry on high till you see some brown spots from frying on the beans , add the carrots and continue to fry on high and stir ,soon as you see the carrots start to get some brown spots from frying add your garlic and stir ...place a tight fitting lid and reduce heat stir acasionally . cook for 5 minutes , test one of the string beans .. soon as its crunchy on the outside but softer in the middle add your soysauce turn off the heat give it a nice stir to coat all the vegetables place on a surving platter and pour the pan drippings over the top .

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

DIWALI (Indian festival of lights)

top left corner = Dal        top right corner = Chicken Tandori
bottom left = chicken curry        top right = lamb curry   
 far right is the nan bread

top left = salad       top right = eggplant burta
bottom left = rice pulao     bottom right = paneer tikka masala

I invited my family over to help my husband celebrate Diwali . He is always a little home sick this time of year, but with friends and family around him this year he looked very happy . 

Diwali is one of the biggest festival of Hindus, celebrated with great enthusiasm and happiness in India. The festival is celebrated for five continuous days, where the third days is celebrated as the main Diwali festival or 'Festival of lights'. Many colorful varieties of fireworks are always associated with this festival. On this auspicious day, people light up diyas and candles all around their house. They perform Laxmi Puja in the evening and seek divine blessings of Goddess of Wealth. The festival is never complete without the exchange of gifts. People present gifts to all their dear ones.

The exact day of the festival is decided by the position of the moon. According to the Hindu calendar, Amavasya or 'no moon day' is considered as the perfect day to celebrate. This dark night comes after every fortnight and in the month of Kartik, it marks this festival of lights and diyas. As per the English calendar, the festival generally comes in the month of November and December. For Hindu people, the festival holds an imperative meaning since the festival is reckoned with Lord Rama's victory as the King of Ayodhya after his return to the kingdom from 14 years of exile along with his wife Sita & brother Laxman after killing the demon, King Ravana. The festival is celebrated by lighting diyas and candles to drive away the darkness of Amavasya.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Tip for saving time in the kitchen

Once a week I peel a few potatoes ,  cover them with water and place them in the fridge .  As I need them during the week it saves me so much time , I just slice them the way I like and cooking is a breeze. 

  My husband loves potatoes with his breakfast every day , so having them all peeled for me and ready when I need them makes the morning go a whole lot smoother for me .

I just change the water every 3rd day and they keep in the fridge for more than a week with no problem .

got any time saving tips you would like to share ? leave it in the comment section .

Thursday, October 15, 2009



4 TBSP oil
2 large chopped onion
1  chopped garlic clove
3 lbs cubed beef
3 stalks sliced celery ( washed with strings removed )
3 Tbsp gravy master
1 - 16 ounce can of pealed tomatoes w/puree
4 cups water
1 lb bag of mixed frozen veggies (corn,carrots,peas,string beans,Lima beans )
4 large pealed potatoes - cut in cubes

2 TBSP flour mixed with 1/4 cup water
salt & pepper to taste

I have been using my pressure cooker but you can use either , the regular method just takes hours to cook .

I start out by adding the oil to my pressure cooker and put in the onion , fry on med high flame till the onions brown and start to stick to the bottom , add the garlic , stir and add in the beef , cook on high till the beef starts to stick to the bottom of pan , keep cooking and stirring . You want it to stick to the bottom real good :) , this may take 30 minutes depending on how  much juice comes out of the beef .  Add in the celery and stir till it starts to get translucent . add in the gravy master and stir ,  add in the can of tomatoes and the water and close the lid  after3 whistles on the pressure cooker( If using regular stove top method bring it to a boil and reduce heat to low and cook for  1 1/2 hours ) cool it and open the lid . Add in the frozen vegetables and the potatoes and close the lid again ( wait for 3 whistles , cool and open lid again .( reg method just simmer for another 30 minutes )  stir in the flour that's mixed with water and simmer for 3 minutes . add the salt & pepper to taste 

This will serve about 8 hungry people

Thursday, October 8, 2009

pickling - hot cherry peppers


I bought these peppers about 2 weeks ago ... I like to wash & dry them and then placing them in a cool dry place in a single layer till they start to wrinkle then I take my jars ( I prefer using the quart size unlike most people that do the gallon size because once you open the jar if you keep them to long in the opened jar  they will go bad on you . ) I put a garlic clove and 1/4 tsp salt in the jar then put in as many peppers as you can get in there put a splash of water and top with distilled white vinegar making sure the peppers are completely immersed under the vinegar . seal the jars tightly and within 3 weeks you can start enjoying the peppers . 

Keep in a cool dry place or spare fridge if you have.(they keep well for 1 to 2 years )

once the jar is opened you must keep them in the fridge and use within 2 weeks of opening the jar for best flavor . 

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Gobi (cauliflower) Manchurian

cauliflower Manchurian is a mix of Indian/Chinese cuisine

1 cup all purpose  flour
3 Tbsp corn flour
2 tsp corn starch
pinch of blk pepper
1/3 cup water ...more or less as needed

mix everything  with a fork ...batter  should be like a pancake mix ...adjust water accordingly 

1 head of cauliflower 9( cut florets into medium size florets)
 oil for frying
mix cauliflower in the  batter and deep fry  on high till golden crisp ( * save the batter to use
in the sauce in the next step )


3 tbsp oil
1 chili pepper
1/2 chopped onion
3 minced garlic cloves
3Tbsp minced ginger

3 tbsp minced curry leaves 
3 Tbsp chopped cilantro
3 Tbsp ketchup
4 Tbsp garlic/pepper sauce

1/4  cup soy sauce
1/2 cup water (stir in  * 3 Tbsp of the leftover batter)

In a skillet add the oil and fry the 1st four ingredients till onions become translucent .. add the next 4 ingredients and cook and stir for 1 minute ... add the soy sauce and water mix and cook another min or so.. till sauce thickens  ..add the cauliflower and coat well .  If sauce gets to dry add a little more water to it.

serve over Basmati rice

serves 4

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Chili Paneer (Indian cheese)

1 - 8 ounce  paneer cheese - cut in cubes

1  large sweet pepper and 1 hot  jalapeno pepper - julienne

3 carrots - julienne

1/2 small onion - chopped

1 scallion -sliced leaving some of the green part as well
1 tsp corn starch
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup water

1/8 cup oil for frying

blk pepper to taste

add oil in fry pan and heat on medium high heat, place paneer(in a single layer ) in fry pan and cook 3 minutes  on each side... It will splatter as it cooks so be careful . when turning use a spatula and scrape the bottom as it will stick . take the paneer  out and place on a paper towel 

in the same fry pan add in the peppers, carrots and onion and fry for 6 minutes , move veggies aside and add the corn starch and continue to cook another 2 minutes . add in the blk pepper, soy sauce and water and soon as it starts to evaporate add in the paneer and mix ( you need it to have a little sauce so if it gets to dry add more water and a little more soy sauce .
serve over basmati rice.

this dish will serve 2 people

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Potato salad (Italian )

Italian Potato Salad

4 Boiled and pealed  potatoes..cut in half then sliced  ( I love using Idaho potatoes )
1 pepper- cut in strips ( sweat or hot depending on your preference )
2 celery stalks- remove strings then cut in small bite sized pieces 
2 plum tomatoes sliced
1 TBSP fresh chopped parsley
1 tsp fresh chopped basil
salt,pepper,oregano to taste
4 TBSP of extra virgin olive oil

Place everything in a serving bowl and just toss gently to coat with the oil & spices 

serve chilled- serves 4

Friday, September 11, 2009

Stuffed hot cherry peppers

These stuffed peppers make my mouth water as I fry them :)

for the filling:

4 cups flavored bread crumb
3/4 cup of grated Parmesan and Romano cheese
3 to 4 finely minced garlic cloves
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 cup of finely chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 tsp oregano
few leaves of fresh chopped Basil or 1/2 tsp dry flakes
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 eggs
3/4 cup water ( more or less as needed

Mix everything in a large bowl , hands work best ... the mix should just hold together ... if to dry add a little more water if its to soft add more bread crumbs 

2 dozen hot cherry peppers- remove the stems , cut in half and scoop out seeds 

Stuff the filling in the peppers and press filling down and smooth the top 

In a heavy metal fry pan add 1/4  inch  vegetable oil and heat on medium high heat, place the peppers when the oil is heated with the filled side down ( you should hear the frying as you place pepper in the hot oil if not wait till oil is hot enough ) ...LOWER heat to just medium and cook about 5 minutes shake the pan gently and the peppers should be moving freely without sticking  ... turn pepper( should be a nice dark golden color ) and continue  frying till pepper cooked on other side (about 5 minutes )

place them on a serving platter and sprinkle w/grated cheese and parsley

southwestern Skiillet meal

3 Tbsp corn oil
1 pound boneless skinless chicken(Dark or light meat) , cut into 1-inch pieces
1 head broccoli - cut into small pieces ,
1 red pepper (plus  1 jalapeno if you like it spicy ) ,  cut in thin long strips
1 small onion , sliced in thin long strips 
1 carrot , cut in long thin strips
Salt,pepper to taste, and 1 tsp cumin

1 cup frozen corn
1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup of your favorite  Chunky salsa
1 pkg 11 1/2 ounces  corn ( or flour )tortilla, cut into  thin strips ( bake in oven ( 350 - 375) for about 10 minutes ... till they get crunchy )

 4 to 6 ounces of shredded Mexican blend cheese  ( Monterrey jack, cheddar,Quesadilla, Asadero, or any other good melting cheese you like )

In a very large non stick skillet add your oil and fry chicken for 3 minutes ( half cooked ) add all the vegetables( except the corn and black beans ) and stir fry till the vegetables are crisp tender ( I like mine very crisp )  add the spices. 

Add in the corn, black beans, and  salsa and mix it all up lower the heat and spread the tortilla strips evenly over the top , add the cheese mix and cover and simmer for 3 minutes or until cheese is all melted .

serve with some guacamole and sour cream

Sunday, September 6, 2009


( this will make 2 pizza`s)
4 cups flour
1 pkg yeast
1 tsp salt

8 fresh tomatoes sliced thin
4 cups mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated cheese
1/4 cup oil


warm water (amount will vary )till you get the right consistancy ( you want it soft enough to work with but not sticky .

I place my flour and 1/8 cup of oil in a large bowl ( big enough for dough to grow double the size.)

in a 4 cup measuring cup add the yeast and salt and add about 2 cups luke warm water ..stir the yeast and salt till it disolves completely ...make a hole in the flour with a wooden spoon and add the water , mix it around and when its to hard to work it with the wooden spoon start working the dough with your hands . kneed dough well and then cover with a couple kitchen towels ...let it rise to double the size .... cut the dough in half and roll it into a ball and start to flatten it into the shape of the pan you will be baking it in ...(oil the pan) cover again with kitchen towels let it rise again for 20 minutes or so.

preheat oven to 400
rub remaining oil over the dough
layer the tomatoes on top and bake for 25 minutes
take pizza out of oven and layer the mozzarella cheese on top then with a brush brush the crust with oil and sprinkle with grates cheese return to oven till mozzarella cheese gets nice and bubbly ( about 10 minutes .)

Friday, September 4, 2009

Fruit Salad

Fruit Salad, Its all about color .

I try to use any fruit that is in season at the time .
This one consists of watermelon, pear, peach, cantaloupe,
casaba melon, grapes, banana, plum, and juice from
1/2 a lemon . When you use the seasonal fruits it
will be  sweeter on the mouth and easier on the pocket.

This is one way to get everyone to eat more fruit because when
they see all the different colors it appeals to them so much more.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Roasted peanuts

My husband came home with a bag of fresh peanuts today . I dry roasted them in a heavy skillet over medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes while turning them constantly , sprinkled salt and a touch of chili pepper and YUMMY !!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Cooking With Cheese 101

Tips for Cooking with cheese

Before cooking with cheese, it's helpful to know which cheeses are best suited to high and low temperatures as well as mechanical manipulation, such as shredding and grating. Following these guidelines will help you cook old recipe favorites as well as concoct new creations using Cheese.

High heat is the enemy of cheese. Hard cheeses tolerate high temperatures better than the  soft cheeses. However, exposing any cheese to high heat for too long can cause it to curdle toughen and separate. Keep cheese warm over low or indirect heat.

When cubing, shredding or grating, remember cheese is best handled cold (Place in the freezer for 30 minutes before cutting /shreading ). Semi-soft and hard cheeses are best for these methods, while soft cheeses should be used for spooning or spreading.

When broiling foods with cheese toppings, place the pan so the food is about 4 to 6 inches from the heat and broil until the cheese is just melted.

Friday, August 28, 2009

``Bananas Hawaiin``

My Old time favorite dessert  !  rich and delicious !

2 cup sweetened flaked coconut
4 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 firm bananas sliced (nice and thick not paper thin )
8 tablespoons dark rum
8 scoops vanilla ice cream ( 1 scoop per portion )

Brown coconut in the oven or in a skillet over medium heat, stirring constantly. Remove from pan; cool and set aside.

Combine the butter, brown sugar and cinnamon in a skillet. cook over low heat stirring until the sugar dissolves.
 place the bananas in the pan. When the bananas heat through ( 1 minute ) and begin to brown, carefully add the rum. Continue to cook the sauce until the rum is hot, then tip the pan slightly to ignite the rum( be very careful and keep face away as you light the rum and hold it away from you .. flames can get high )
When the flames subside,  scoop the bananas  over the ice cream in individual servings . Generously spoon warm sauce over the top of the ice cream, sprinkle with the toasted coconut and serve immediately.

Makes 8 servings.

 Tip: Scoop the balls of ice cream ahead of time and freeze until  your ready to use.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Chicken Curry Salad

1 Whole chicken ( boil and clean meat off the bones .... cut up in cubes ) 
 juice from 1/2 a lemon
3 cups green and red  grapes ( cut in half if grapes are huge )
1 cup shelled walnuts ( leave in bite size pieces ) 
1 cup mayonaise
1/4 tsp mustard
1/4 cup chopped cellery
1/4 cup chopped onion
3 tsp curry spice
salt & pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients and chill for at least 1 hour before serving .  Best served in a toasted  pita pocket

Friday, August 21, 2009

Breaded Asparagus

1 bunch of asparagus
a dish with 1 cup flour
a dish w/1 egg and a/splash of milk ( whip with a fork )
a dish w/3 cups seasoned bread crumbs plus 1/4 cup grated cheese (mix together)
cooking spray

Preheat oven to 400
wash and cut ends of asparagus  ( peel stems if they are to tough )
dip asparagus  first in flour...then in the egg and then coat with the bread crumb ...place in a shallow baking pan sprayed with Pam (I use the olive oil Pam ...you can also just grease the pan with regular oil if you don`t have pam in the house .) in a single layer  ...spray more pam over the top and place in the oven on the top rack ..bake 10 minutes turn and bake another 10 minutes or till they get nice and golden  in color.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

quick sauce = quick meal ! :)

There is nothing better than when your garden starts to produce vegetables ... I love the taste of a fresh tomatoe & the smell of freshly picked basile....

Today I picked a handful of fresh basile from my garden , 2 tomatoes , 1 scallion , 1 fresh garlic  and 2 peppers and made a quick sauce.... chop everything and start with a good extra virgin olive oil to coat the bottom of a heavy fry pan add in the scallion till it starts to brown then add the pepper , and the rest of ingredients except for the tomatoes . cook & stir over medium heat a few minutes and add in the tomatoes when the liquid is evaporated add in 1/4 of a boulion and let it stick to the pan but not burnt ... add in 1/4 cup water and cook a few minutes longer .... mix your favorite pasta and toss till well coated and serve with your favorited grated cheese ... My favorite is reggiano, parmigiano.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

easy egg rolls my way

When my kids were smaller they didn`t eat many vegetables so to fool them into eating them I gave it to them in an egg roll .

I used the store bought egg roll pasta shells that they sell @any supermarket .    

for the filling , I stir fried( use very little oil ) very thinly sliced cabbage, onion , carrots , cellery , peppers and some peas,   add salt & black pepper and a little soy sauce to taste
( You can use any vegetables you like , even bean sprouts ! )

 then just fill them roll them and fry to a golden brown.  serve w/ duck sauce 

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


The incredible edible egg or not so edible LOL

When my motherboiled her eggs back in the days she would boil them for about 30 minutes and when we ate them we always felt like we would choke on the yoke ... now I know better and boiled eggs are not so bad and never do I feel like I am choking when I eat the yoke . The key is to place your eggs in water and bring them to a boil ... BOIL JUST FOR 1 MINUTE , take it off the heat and put a lid on the pan ... wait 10 minutes and peel your eggs ... they will cook perfect all the time . No more choky egg yokes .

A tip for Fried eggs...... If you fry your eggs on high heat the eggwhite will get hard and cutting them with a fork becomes imposible at times ..... try frying on medium heat and your eggs will be perfect every time . they practically melt in your mouth . I guarantee your kids will like them better that way to.

Monday, August 10, 2009

canolie filled cake w/ coffee cream icing

This recipe is for Christina :)

I take short cuts so I use store bought cake mixes to save time in the kitchen .

to make a 9 inch round cake
1 cake mix... I try to use one with a pudding in the mix or extra moist but any one will work great. ... follow the box for directions ... you can bake your cake days in advance and wrap it in plastic and keep in the fridge . depending on how many layers you want ... you can divide the batter and  bake them in separate pans so you don`t have to try to slice an even layer .

For the filling... ( enough to make 2 layers )

2 lbs riccotta cheese
1 cup confectionary sugar ( I don`t like mine to sweet ... add another 1/4 cup sugar if you like it sweet)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

.... in your mixer add riccotta cheese , sugar, vanilla ...mix well  turn off the mixer and add the chocolate chips and stir in with a rubber  spatula .  ... spread onto your layers of cake . 

for the topping....

1 sm container heavy whipping cream 
an equal amount of milk
4 tsp instant pudding mix(chocolate)
3 tsp of instant expresso coffee

whip everything together till you can stand a spoon upright without it tipping over ... don`t over whip or you will have butter .

spread over the top and sides of cake and decorate any way you like

Monday, August 3, 2009

chicken fajitas

Today I was running around all morning with my son Johnny, taking him to his Gastro specialist and pharmacy , to the bank ....that when we finally got home it was already after 1:00 ...My younger son`s Joseph & Adam ask ..... What are we eating for lunch Ma ????? we didn`t even get in past the doorway yet ! LOL

A quick look in my fridge I grabbed the grilled Chicken left from last nights dinner , cheese out of my freezer , can of beans and some salsa which I already had in the fridge and My sister N law was nice enough to give me some tortillas a few days ago and I put together lunch in less than 10 minutes flat !

You just gotta love these quick meals . :)