Tuesday, December 31, 2013


I have been wanting to make cannoli's since an Aunt left me her cannoli tubes and they are metal which is even better. When a friend of mine made them this summer and I saw that it was not as time comsuming as I thought, I then dove in and made them.  They are easy and the shells can stay for a few weeks in a closed container.

I even made my own ricotta cheese, although this time with the chaos of Christmas, I went the easy route and bought really good ricotta.

You will need a thermometer for the oil, 9 cm round rings to cut the dough and the metal tubes for the dough. 

You will need, 9 cm rings to cut the dough

Also, metal tubes for the dough

Dough Recipe:

250 g all purpose flour
5 g      cacao powder
1 tsp   Italian coffee, fine ground
30 ml  Marsala wine
30 g    confectioner sugar (powder sugar)
1 tsp   salt
1 large egg (50g) 
50 g    crisco (lard)
1 tsp   cinnamon
30 ml  white wine
Peanut oil is best, you can use vegetable oil if you wish

Candy thermometer

You will also need metal molds for the shells and a 9 cm round to cut the dough


Mix the flour, cacao powder, Italian coffee, Marsala wine, salt, crisco, cinnamon, white wine and egg.  Mix until it forms a soft ball, I did this by hand it was fast and easy.  Once the dough is formed, wrap in plastic wrap and place into the refrigerator for an hour or overnight.

Once the dough has rested, remove from the refrigerator and cut a piece off and roll it out, you can do this with a pasta machine.

Cut the dough into 9 cm rounds and wrap around the mold securing with an egg wash.  Once you have these done you are ready to fry them. 

In a heavy bottom pan or you could use a fryer if you have one, fill halfway with the oil and heat the oil, once the temperature reaches 170-180 C, you are ready to go.  Put two in at a time.. this will only take a few minutes, move them with tongs and once they have color remove and let cool completely before removing the shells.

You can store the shells in a container for a few weeks if you wish.

To make the filling:

750 g Ricotta cheese
300g Confectioner sugar

Mix this well and place into a pipping bag and then the refrigerator till you are ready to fill the shells.

It's best to fill these just before you serve them…  Thanks Joanne for your help.

Monday, December 16, 2013


Getting ready for Christmas and one of the jobs that I like to do first is to get the Pizzelles done.  Yes they are a little labor intensive, but it is a labor of love and so important to have these.  As a friend suggested to me " Keeping the Traditions Going", she is so correct.

My Mom often made batches of these and not just for Christmas, Easter and other events.  She loved making them and when my nieces were young, she would make them and form them into bowls so that they could put ice cream in them.  Oh and I should say that she would hide the pizzelle  from us so that we would not eat them before Christmas…Sometimes we did find the hiding spots. Will post recipe soon, getting ready to make Cannoli shells.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Getting ready for Christmas - "Keeping the Traditions Going"

It's just a few weeks before Christmas and a very busy time of the year!  Last evening my brother (Joe), sister-in-law (Lorraine) and myself carried on the tradition on making the Raviolis for Christmas.  This is something that my Mom did and I so enjoyed watching and helping her, now that she is not here, we have been making the Raviolis every year since her death..to carry the tradition for the next generation.

I will be posting more as we get closer to Christmas, making the Pizzelles, Canolis, Bread etc.

However, last evening at my brothers house we made the Raviolis, and it was snowing which made it feel more like Christmas. Joe's job is to mix the dough, Lorraine makes the filling and assembles the Raviolis, my job is to roll out the dough, this  takes us about a little over an hour and we made about 120 Raviolis, plenty for Chistmas and some left over for the freezer to be used at another time.  Oh and of course when done we had to cook a few to do a taste test.

In the beginning!!! 

The flour goes on the table, then the eggs…..
The dough is then combined till all is mixed well together, then it is left to rest under a bowl for about 20 minutes or so
While the dough is resting we get the trays ready, putting a little cornmeal on the trays so that the Raviolis don't stick.
Now we roll out the dough and begin to fill the Raviolis.  
Here they are in the tray ready for the freezer.
We fill several trays, then put them into the freezer!
There they are all lined up.  Once they are frozen they will be placed into heavy zip lock bags till ready to be used.
They look so happy!
Then we sat by the tree and had a Martini to toast our parents and tell stories………
And now the finale….
Yes the Martini was cold and so yummy

Another successful Ravioli making tradition…….Stay tuned for more Christmas traditions

Friday, December 6, 2013


I love sushi and have it often, and also have my favorite sushi place, I am lucky to have one of the best Sushi  places within walking distance of my house.

 This week I had an awful cold and could only think of sushi, so, today when I woke up it  was the only thing on my mind, and it was a dreary day outside, warm for this time of the year.

Off I went…..

So, had a wonderful lunch.  I usually get an order of sushi pizza, but decided to change and get something different.

So, I ordered spicy tuna on crunchy rice

Then I got a spicy tuna roll, sea urchin (uni), which I love, blue fin tuna, it was so yummy!!!
I did have a hot sake, medicinal purposes and then my fortune cookie…..

Such a great fortune cookie….great lunch, sorry I didn't get my usual "sushi pizza"….just have to go back before the holidays.