Friday, December 30, 2011


The end of the year, WOW!!!!.....It's been cold outside and I thought I would make Taralli.  They go great with wine as a munchie and are so easy to make.  You will need a scale for this recipe.  These are very typical from Puglia, Italy,and other regions as well.   They are in most bakeries in Italy.  You can make these with hot pepper, black pepper or fennel seeds.

You will need:

A scale that does metric
Oven paper (parchment paper)
500g Farina '00'(this is Italian flour), if you can't find this, use all-purpose flour
200 ml dry white wine
125 ml extra virgin olive
10 g salt
2 sheet pans (cookie sheet)
clean dish towels
Large pot of boiling water

You can add black pepper or red pepper or fennel seeds


1.  Preheat oven to 400F (200C).
2.  Mix the flour, olive oil, wine and salt in a stand up mixer.  Mix till it forms a nice ball.
3.  Remove and work the dough just a little, then place into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap and let it sit for 30 minutes.
4.  Cut a piece off the ball and roll it into a log, then cut into small pieces.  Roll the pieces out then fold and pinch the ends together into rounds and place onto the sheet pan with the clean dish towel.
5.  As the water is at a simmer, almost a boil, add about 10 of the taralli's when then float remove and place on the towel, continue till they are all done.  
6. Place the taralli's onto the parchment paper and place into the oven, bake about 30 minutes, you want them a little brown.

These are wonderful with wine.  Taralli's are the Italian version of pretzels


Sunday, December 11, 2011

Cherry Tomatoes stuffed with Chèvre Cheese

I have been playing with different ideas for appetizers, and when I saw these Tomatoes in the Market, I just did it!  I have stuffed smaller tomatoes, but when I saw these, I thought this is it.
Really easy  and any cheese will do, I used chèvre with a little extra virgin olive oil and chives. YUM!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Peanut Butter Cookies with Almonds

It's the holiday time of the year and time to make cookies and things.  So, I decided to try some peanut butter cookies, found this recipe and decided to make them.  I usually don't bake that often except for my Mom's Pizzelle's, however, these are wonderful and easy to make.  You will need a scale to weigh out the ingredients.

Here is what you will need.

Non-stick oven paper (parchment), sheet pans (cookie sheet pan)
100 g unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
140 g peanut butter, use the natural peanut butter with nothing but peanuts for an ingredient
220 g brown sugar
1 egg
185 g all-purpose flour, sifted
1/4 teaspoon carbonate of (baking soda), sifted
whole almonds, for decorating

Preheat oven to 180 C.  Put the but softened butter, peanut butter, vanilla and brown sugar in a mixer and beat for 8 - 10 minutes or until well combined.  Add the eggs and beat till pale and fluffy.  Add the sifted flour and bicarbonate of soda and beat until smooth.  Get two pieces of non-stick parchment paper, and roll out the dough to 5 mm (0.2 inches), refrigerate for about 30 minutes.  With a 7 cm (3 inch) round cookie cutter, cut out about 20 cookies.  Place the cookies on lightly greased parchment, leave room for the cookies to spread.  Place almonds on top of the cookies to decorate and bak about 14 min, or until the edges are golden.
Cool on wire racks.   Makes about 20 -22 cookies.....YUM!!!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Polenta Batons with Sage Salt

 Getting ready

Polenta is a great thing and so easy to do, only takes a few minutes.  I have made it with Parmigiano, Rosemary, but this recipe is really delicious. I made these for an appetizer for Sunday dinner, put them on the kitchen table and before we ate dinner they were gone!

500 ml (2 cups) chicken stock
170 g (1 cup) instant polenta
80g (1 cup) finely created parmigiano
25 g unsalted butter
1/2 cup fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
sea salt and cracked black pepper
200 g ricotta
olive oil, for frying
2 tablespoons Maldon sea salt flakes
1 tablespoon fresh sage, chopped


1.  Make the sea salt by mixing the sea salt and sage together and set aside.

2.  Bring to a boil the chicken stock, add the polenta constantly whisking constantly for about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the parmigiano, butter, rosemary and salt & pepper.  Fold in the ricotta,

3.  Pour the polenta into an oiled container and spread it out.  Let the polenta cool and place into the refrigerator covered.

4.  When ready, heat a non stick pan, cut the polenta into baton pieces, and with a small amount of olive oil, brown on all sides.  When browned remove to a plate and serve with the sage salt.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Orecchiette w/Broccoli Rabe and Sausage

So today was a beautiful day and instead of grilling, I made Orechiette with Broccoli Rabe and ground Pork.  I am trying to finish the book of family recipes and thought it  might be a good idea to move forward with the project.  This is a great dish and when we had it, I always had to have extra.   So, you might want to make extra...
Very simple to prepare, just remember it's all about the ingredients.


200 g (7 oz) orechiette 
1 bunch of broccoli rabe
400 g (14 oz) ground pork, you can use sausages, but remove them from the casing
Parmigiano grated
Olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced


Clean the broccoli rate, blanch it and sauté with garlic and olive oil.

Cook the ground pork in a small amount of olive oil.

In a large pot of boiling water, add the pasta and cook till al dente.  When pasta is done, drain and combine the pasta with the cooked ground pork and broccoli rabe.   Grate a generous amount of Parmigiano over the top.


Saturday, September 3, 2011

Stuffed Peppers

I know it's been a while since I have posted; it's been a great summer!  Have cooked a lot and did take fotos, however, I never got around to posting them.  So, today I am sharing my stuffed peppers.  I love the red and yellow peppers (hardly use the green ones).
Actually, I made these several this summer and the recipe has varied, I have stuffed them with just ground meat, basmati rice and ground pork or orzo and ground pork and that is what I did with these.  It is really simple and makes an awesome lunch.
4 peppers, yellow or red or a mix
ground pork, about 500 g (1lb)
whole wheat orzo 150 g (5 oz)
flat leaf parsley, chopped ( to taste)
olive oil
salt & pepper - to taste

Sautè the ground pork until cooked, you might want to add a little olive oil.  While the pork is cooking, cook the orzo, when the orzo is cooked, drain and add to a bowl.  When the pork is done, combine with the orzo and the rest of the ingredients.

Take the peppers, cut off the tops and core out the peppers, save the tops
Boil water in a pot, when boiling add the peppers for about 2 - 3 minutes (this softens them up).  Remove, and drain the water out of the peppers.

To make stuffing, add all the ingredients and mix well.
Take the peppers and rub olive oil on the outside and then stuff with the filling.
Preheat oven to 175C (350F).  When oven is ready place into the oven for about 15 - 20 minutes.
Enjoy hot or a room temperature and serve with a salad for a perfect lunch

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Stuffed Artichokes

Stuffed Artichokes are awesome anytime and my Dad made the best, well at least that is we all believed. Remember when you purchase the artichokes they should be firm. I always use 8 artichokes when I make because that is what fits in the pan. Also, you want equal amounts of breadcrumbs and grated cheese, for this recipe, I use 1 cup of each. If you do not use all the stuffing, you can freeze it for the next time

8 artichokes
breadcrumbs (1 cup)
grated romano cheese (1 cup)
parsley (a handful, more if you want)
italian dried salami, like a soppressatta, 3 oz (90g), cut into small pieces (you can put more if you wish)
olive oil
1 small tin anchovies (don't make a face this is what makes them)
4 garlic cloves, peeled
3 bay leaves
In a bowl, mix together the breadcrumbs, grated romano, parsley, salami. Remove the anchovies from the tin and save the oil, mince up the anchovies and mix them into the breadcurmb mixture; really work them into the breadcrumbs.

For the artichokes, remove some of the outer leaves, cut of a bit of the top and remove the stem (save the stem). Separate the the leaves of the artichoke and stuff them with the stuffing, do this with the remaining artichokes. For the stems, with a sharp knife clean the stems, just remove a little of the outer stem.

Place the artichokes into a heavy bottom pan, put the garlic and bay leaves into pot and also the stems. Put in enough water to come half way up the artichoke.

Pour olive oil over the artichokes, then pour the anchovy oil over the artichokes.

Bring the pot to a boil, once boiling, bring to a simmer, cover and let them cook for about 30 to 40 minutes. You will want to check them with a sharp knife. Once the knife goes easy into the artichoke, they are done. Remove from the pan and put onto a serving plate, they can be eaten at room temperature.

Saturday, March 19, 2011


These are really yummy! I first tasted these in France over 5 years ago and immediately bought two copper molds, however, it took me over 5 years to finally make these goodies. I was on line and found the 18 mini-cannele mold and immediately bought it. I brought my recipe and mold to the West Coast while visiting friends. They had never heard or tasted them....then I made them and made 4 times because they were such a big hit. They easy to make, so give it a try! Here is the recipe:
1 cup (250ml) milk
2 tablespoons butter, unsalted, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup (63g) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (100g) plus 1 tablespoon sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon rum
18 mini cannele mold (see foto)
1. Mix the flour and sugar together in a bowl. Beat the egg and egg yolk in another bowl and add the vanilla and rum to the egg mixture.
2. Bring the milk and butter to a boil in a sauce pan, while whisking incorporate the milk mixture into the flour mixture, this will thin and like a crepe batter. Whisk to ensure that it is smooth and lump free.
3. Cover the batter with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for several hours or overnight.
4. Preheat oven to 450F(230C).
5. Pour the batter into the molds only 3/4 full (they will rise while cooking). Bake 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350F(175C) for another 45 minutes. The cakes should be dark on the outside.
6. When done, cool slightly and remove from the mold....enjoy!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


Today is Ash Wednesday, so it's a fish day for me and I thought I would make smelts, yes, I am sure lot's of you are probably shaking your head and saying no.....but give them a chance, when fresh, they are delicious and easy to prepare. This is my Dad's recipe, and this is how he prepared them.

1/2 cup all-purpose flour (I use King Arthur)
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1/2 lb (250g) fresh smelts
vegetable oil
cast iron pan

Mix the flour and cornmeal in equal amounts in one pan.
Prepare the eggwash with the eggs and milk
Heat the cast iron pan with enough vegetable oil to cover the bottom
Dredge the smelts in the egg wash then into the flour/cornmeal mixture, place into the hot oil and cook till brown on both sides.
Place on a plate with paper towel and enjoy!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Cannellini Beans & Italian Tuna

Cannellini Beans are great on there own but adding Italian Tuna, celery, onion and parsley are a great combination for lunch, easy and fast. The Italian Tuna is great on it's own, but adding it to the cannellini beans kicks it up.


1 can cannellini beans drained and rinsed
1/2 red onion diced small
1 celery stalk, washed, sliced and diced
2 tablespoons of flat leaf parsley, minced
1 small can Italian Tuna in olive oil 80 g (2.8 ounces), drain the oil off
really good extra virgin olive oil, about 2 tablespoons or what you like
salt & pepper to taste


Mix all the ingredients together, taste for seasoning and enjoy.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Dad's Frittata

I am putting together a book with my Dad's recipes, he was a great cook and made so many wonderful meals. On Saturdays we would have this frittata for lunch with a salad and of course a glass of wine. He often used whatever was left over in the fridge to prepare this fritatta, this is one version.

1/4 red pepper cut into small pieces
1/4 green pepper cut into small pieces
1/4 sweet onion, cut into small pie es
Fresh Parsley, chopped fine
Grated Parmigiano or Romano Cheese
Salt & black pepper to taste
Extra virgin olive oil
3 to 4 eggs (you can use egg whites if you want)
One good non-stick pan
Pam Spray

1. Have everything ready to go, Take the eggs and beat well, add salt and pepper, parsley & cheese. Put this aside.
2. Cook the peppers and onions in the non stick pan, once they have cooked, add the egg mixture.
3. With a spatula, push the egg mixture in, so that the eggs will cook. Once this is done, flip the frittata with a large plate and return the frittata to the pan so that the other side can cook.
4. Once done, place the cooked frittata onto a plate and garnish with parsley and more cheese if you wish.

Saturday, February 5, 2011


It's been a long week of shoveling snow, and on Friday didn't really feel like cooking; however looking through some magazines etc., I found a lower calorie pan seared fish. I used Tilipia, but you could you Flounder and Cod. The recipe is really simple, as always have everything ready to go. Instead of a creasy fried frish, this was dry and crunchy.

2 pieces of Tilipia (or other white fish fillets)
1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard
2 eggwhites, whipped
1/4 cup of cornmeal
2 tablespoon of Parmigiano grated
salt & pepper to taste
Cooking spray, I used Canola, but you can use whatever you like
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 lemon zest


1. Rinse the fillets and pat dry. Spread mustard on both sides of the fish and set aside.
2. Mix the cornmeal, parmigiano, lemon zest, salt & pepper together, whip the eggwhite in a separate bowl.
3. Place the fillets into the eggwhite, then into the cornmeal mixture on both sides.
4. In a nonstick pan, spray with the canola and the olive oil, heat over medium heat till hot and add the fillets. Cook on one side for about 2-3 minutes (this will depend on the thickness of the fillet), then turn and cook on the other.
5. Remove the cooked fillets, and enjoy. I served broccoli rabe with mine. It was wonderful, a light meal, but filling.

Now onto the Superbowl menu