Friday, January 29, 2010


Busy day today.  Tomorrow we are celebrating my Grandson Christopher's 16th Birthday.  His Birthday is actually the 7th of February, but being Super Bowl Sunday we could not all get together on that day.  So tomorrow will be the day.  One of his favorite things for his Birthday dinner are Baby Back Ribs.  But this year he asked for Tri Tip.  When I was thinking of a recipe to give you today. I thought of the Ribs.  Even though we are not having them this time I am going to share my recipe with you.  They are a huge hit every time I make them.


3 to 4 slabs of Ribs
3 cups of Heinz 57 Ketchup (it has to be Heinz)
1 cup of Brown Sugar
1 tsp dry Mustard
1 tablespoon Worchestershire Sauce
1/2 tablespoon Vinegar
1 large Onion chopped very fine
3 tablespoons Butter
1/2 cup White Wine

I cut the ribs into serving sized pieces but you can leave them whole.  (it is easier to get them fully coated with the sauce when they are in pieces).
Chop the onion as finely as possible.  Add the butter to a saucepan.  When hot but not browned, add the onions and saute until very tender.  Add all the other ingredients and cook over low heat until thick.  About 45 minutes.

Put the ribs in a single layer in a large shallow pan.  Add 1 cup of water and 1/2 cup dry white wine to the pan.  Cove with foil and bake in the oven at 275 degrees for 2 1/2 hours or until the ribs are fork tender.  Remove the ribs from the pan and drain out the juice.  Dip each piece into the sauce and put back into the pan in a single layer.  Put them back into the oven and bake (uncovered) for another 3/4 hour until the sauce has thickened onto the ribs.  Remove from the oven and put onto a platter and dig in. Once you make these you will make them again and again.  And if you make them as I do in pieces you will see how much more sauce adheres to them.  This is how we do ribs at Grayce's.  Mangia!

Thanks for stopping in today.  Have a great weekend

Thursday, January 28, 2010


Hi everyone.  Another great day with sunshine.  Hopefully this will be on the weather agenda for awhile now.  Things are just really starting to dry out a bit.  Today I have an easy little dessert recipe for you.  Great for the kids and even if you are on your New Year diet, you can enjoy this refreshing treat.  Also great if you have served a heavy meal and feel like you can't eat another bite.  Here in California we are starting to see Peaches in our markets so you can make it soon, or tuck it away for summertime.


1 cup of water
1/4 cup of sugar
about 10 fresh basil leaves
4 ripe peaches
1 lemon
about 5 or 6 basil leaves
1 quart lemon sorbet

Put the sugar and water into a saucepan and heat until the sugar is dissolved.  Cook for a minute or two.  Remove from heat and add the 10 whole basil leaves.  When cool, remove the basil leaves.  Zest the lemon and add to the syrup. Slice the peaches into a bowl and mix with the syrup and lemon. Divide into 4 bowls, put 4 small scoops of sorbet in each and sprinkle with thin slivers of fresh basil.

This sweet and tart dessert is the perfect end to a big meal.  Or a light lunch.

Thanks for stopping in today

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Here it is Ron.  Enjoy!

Ron asked for an Apple Dumpling Recipe.  I believe this one was put out by Crisco.  I have been using it for years.

1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
2 tbls butter Put all ingred. except butter in a small saucepan.  bring to boiling.  Add butter.  Remove from heat and set aside.

2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2/3 cups crisco
1/2 cup of milk

Pre heat the oven to 375 degrees.  Lightly grease a 9"x13"x1 1/2" baking dish.
Put flour, baking powder and salt in med sized bowl and mix with a fork.  Add shortening and cut into flour.  Add milk all at once and use a fork to blend in.  Roll out large enough to cut into 6 pieces.  Peel
6 apples and core them.  Cut in half.  Cut the dough into 6 pieces.  Put half of the apple on the dough, fill with some sugar,  cinnamon and nutmeg. Put a pat of butter on top.  Put the other half on top .  Fold up the four corners of the dough and pinch together.  Make sure it is well sealed.  (Brush the edges of the dough with a little water, this will make it seal tight).  Place apples in baking dish, pour the sauce over them and sprinkle with sugar.  Bake at 375 degrees for 35 minutes.


Use small Macintosh apples


Good Morning.  Looks like more rain this afternoon.  I am hoping it holds off until tonight so I am not driving home from Los Angeles this afternoon in the rain.  Ugh!  Hopefully it will be over before tomorrow.

Today's recipe is one that I used to make for my family all the time.  It can be a side dish or a great lunch with a salad.  Easy and quick.  I think everyone in your family will love this.  Especially if they like Potatoes, and Bacon and Eggs.  It is also one of those comfort foods and perfect for the kind of weather we are having lately.


1 pie crust (store bought or your own)
3 scallions
3 large eggs
1/2  cup cream
6 slices of bacon (or Pancetta) cut into small pieces and fried crisp
2 large Russet potatoes sliced very thin
salt and pepper
1 tart pan

Set oven to 425 degrees

Put 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet and fry the bacon until crisp.  Remove from pan and drain on a paper towel.  Slice the potatoes and set aside.  Chop the scallions.  Beat the eggs and the cream together. Spray your tart pan lightly with cooking spray.  Put the pie crust into the tart pan.  Press the crust into the sides and bottom of the pan.  Cut of excess with a knife or roll your rolling pin over the top.  Put one layer of potatoes into pie pan dot with 1 tsp of butter, a little sprinkle of salt and some ground black pepper.  Sprinkle some of the bacon bits and some of the chopped green onions over that.  Repeat and end up with a layer of potatoes.  Pour the egg and cream mixture over the top.  Bake at 425 degrees for 45 minutes or until set and the potatoes are done.  Remove from the oven, let set for about 6 or 7 minutes.  Serve warm.

Great with just about meat dish or alone with a salad.

Thanks for stopping in today

Monday, January 25, 2010


OH MY GOSH!  Two awesome Football games in one day.  I hope your team won.  I don't know about you but I am exhausted from those two games.  Now it's time to get ready for the Big One.  If it is anything like the playoff games have been, it is sure to be a great one.  Don't forget to make some of those yummy snacks I have been posting for you.

We are in for more rain in the next couple of days.  I am hoping that it is light and not the barrage that we had last week.  Also, I think it has been the coldest weather I have ever experienced in all my years in California.  Personally I am ready for Summer.  But alas, today is going to be cold too so I have a good cold weather recipe for you.  Try it tonight, it is one of my favorites.


Serves 4

1 lb Yukon Gold Potatoes
Fresh Rosemary
Olive Oil
4 thick, bone in Pork Chops
Heat oven to 350
Cover potatoes with water (salted) in a large sauce pan.  Simmer about 20 minutes or until tender.  Remove from pan and let cool.  When cool enough to handle, peel and cut into quarters.  Put 2 tablespoons of oil into a large skillet, when hot saute the potatoes gently.  Salt and pepper them.  Remove from the pan and set aside.  Salt and pepper the pork chops.  Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of oil to the pan.  When hot add 3 cloves of thinly sliced garlic, add two of the chops and brown on both sides.  Remove from the pan and cook the other two chops just till almost done and nicely browned.  Add the other two chops and the potatoes to the skillet.  Settle the potatoes in and around the chops.  Sprinkle all with some chopped rosemary.  Drizzle with a little more olive oil.  Bake in the oven for about 8 to 10 minutes until the pork chops are cooked through.

Just the aroma of this dish will make your mouth water.

Well let us hope we stay dry today, thanks for stopping in.


Friday, January 22, 2010


Good heavens!  I don't think the ground can take much more rain.  Everything is flooded.  I can't wait until tomorrow because it is supposed to stop by then.  This is the time of year when you really wish you did not have a dog.  Having to walk around in the rain at 6:30 in the morning.  Not exactly my idea of fun.  But then it is weather like this that really brings on the cooking, baking and treat making.  So today I am in one of those moods and am going to make Apple Fritters.  So yummy.  Make them for your family, they will gobble them up faster than you can say, rain, rain, go away.


6 apples (Granny Smith or other semi tart, crisp apple)
5 to 7 tablespoons sugar  (plus 4 tablespoons to sprinkle on the apples)
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
about 1/2 cup of milk
2 eggs
1 cup of Amaretto Disarrono (you can omit this, but why would you :)  )

Peel and core the apples, and then cut them into thick slices.  Sprinkle with the sugar (3 or 4 tablespoons and the Amaretto (or not).  Let them set for 15 to 30 minutes, turning occasionally.  In a bowl, mix the flour, salt, milk, sugar and eggs to make a batter.  Drain the apple rings.  Dip into the batter and fry in a good vegetable oil until nicely browned but not dark or burned.  Drain on paper towels.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar.  Also great with a scoop of Vanilla Ice Cream on top!

That is it for this week.  Have a wonderful weekend.  Football is almost over :( so enjoy Sunday with your family and friends and make some of the wonderful treats from this week.  See you Monday.  Try to stay dry.


Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Good Heavens.  How much rain can the earth absorb?  Hard rain all day today.  It has finally stopped.  By the weekend it should all be over and we will be back to a state of warm sunshine. All my bark dressing in my front walkway has been washed away out to the street.  Swept it all back this morning and now it is all out to the street again.  Oh Summer, I'm calling you, get here soon.

Time to talk Football Food.  With the playoffs Sunday and the Super Bowl around the corner I thought I would give you a good halftime snack to serve.  My Grandmother used to make this and serve it up on a platter all together.  I decided it would be great on a skewer.  So this is how I am going to make it for our Super Bowl get together.  I have made it this way before to the delight of all my guests and family.  It really is a taste treat.


4 or 5 Mild or Hot Italian Sausages. (your choice)
1 Green Pepper and 1 Red Pepper (for color)
Olive Oil
Balsamic Vinegar
1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese

Cook the sausages in a little olive oil in a skillet until browned and cooked through. Remove from the pan and cook the pepper pieces just until slightly tender. Make the polenta.  Add 1 tablespoon of butter and 1/4 cup of Parmesan to the polenta. Pour out on cookie sheet to about 1/2" thick.  Cut the peppers into square pieces. Cut the sausages into 1" pieces.  When the polenta is cooled cut into cubes.  Starting with a piece of sausage put it onto a wooden skewer.  Then a piece of polenta, then a pepper.  Repeat two more times ending with a piece of sausage.  Put all on a cookie sheet and bake in a 450 degree oven for about 5 minutes.  In the meantime, put 1/2 cup of Balsamic vinegar into a small saucepan.  Cook over low heat until reduced by half.  It will be like a light syrup.  Remove the skewers from the oven and drizzle the vinegar over the top.  Serve hot.

Trust me, once you make these, you will make them again and again.  They are awesome!

Thanks for stopping in today.  One more day until the weekend.  Yea!



HOLY CROW!  Did it rain yesterday!  I thought we would float away.  And thunder and lightning!  Just as I was feeling sorry for us in California, I stopped to watch the really horrible happenings in Haiti.  And now another 6.1 after shock.  I realized that our rain was really minor in the great scope of things, and how lucky we are, and how much we have to be thankful for in this country.  Please do whatever you can to help the situation in Haiti.  The smallest donation can help.

Now onto the recipe of the day.  This is just a simple way to fix potatoes.  My Grandmother made this a lot for us.  She mostly made it in the morning before she and my Grandfather and my Dad and Uncles went to pick the vegetables and take them out on the truck.  You can make it to accompany any meal.  If you love potatoes, you will love this dish.


4 or 5 Yukon Gold Potatoes
Pancetta (have your grocer slice a 1/4" round of Pancetta) or if you have a Trader Joe's nearby, they sell it already cut up
1 onion
1 green pepper diced
1/2 tsp hot red pepper or to your taste
about a 1/4 to 1/2 cup of chicken broth
olive oil

Peel the potatoes and boil until fork tender.  Chop the onion and the pepper and cut the pancetta into small pieces. (diced)  In a skillet put about 4 or 5 tablespoons of olive oil, when hot, saute the onions, the peppers, and the pancetta until the pancetta is crisp. Add the hot pepper.  Drain the potatoes and give them a little mash with a fork.  Add the chicken broth to the potatoes and mix and then add them to the skillet.  Add just a pinch of salt (pancetta is a little salty) and some freshly ground pepper.  Mix it all together.  Cook until the bottom is crispy and nicely browned and turn out onto a platter.

Great in the morning with eggs or as a side dish for dinner.  Mangia!

In those days living with my Grandparents, we didn't have much money, but we always had plenty of good food, thanks to our vegetable garden.  I guess that is why I love any kind of vegetable.  But even in Italy, my Mother and Grandmother always said, vegetables are the star of the table!

Thanks for stopping in today

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Wow!  Did it rain yesterday.  Then it stopped late in the afternoon and the sun came peeking through, but I know we are going to get more.  Made a great Beef Stew for dinner last night.  Yummy!  Perfect for a rainy day.  Something was missing though, and I know just what it was.  Something sweet for later.  I don't want to take any chances of that happening again so today I am going to make a cake that I call "LINDA'S CHOCOLATE CAKE" because it is a recipe that my sister came up with.  She makes it all the time and to quote "this is such an easy recipe, it has been a favorite for so many years, people continue to ask for it.  It is timeless".
So today I am sharing it with you.  I hope you will try it soon, it is amazing.


1 stick of butter (no substitutes)
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream (not Cool Whip)
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
3/4 cup roasted, chopped pecans
your favorite Chocolate Cake recipe (a box cake will work)
1 cup heavy whipping cream, 1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 square of semisweet chocolate to shave on top

You can make this a layered cake or a 9x13 (which I prefer) especially in the summer time
Place the first 4 ingredients into a heavy sauce pan.  Cook for three minutes until the butter, pecans and cream are all well blended.  Pour this mixture into the bottom of your pan. If using 9" rounds divide evenly.  Prepare your cake batter and pour over the mixture.  Cook according to directions.  Do not over bake, cake should be moist but well done.  Let cool for 10 minutes and invert on cake dish with the Praline side up.  Cool completely.  Prepare the whipped cream and powdered sugar.  Frost the cake and shave the semisweet chocolate over the top.

To quote, "Oh boy...get ready for this's a show stopper."

Sounds great to me Linda.  I am making it today.


Thanks for stopping in today

Friday, January 15, 2010


Wow!  Yesterday was another warm, beautiful day.  The forecast calls for a couple more like it and then that 4 days of rain.  Enjoy it while you can.  A couple of years after we moved to California, we went to a Super Bowl Party at a friends home.  She had made Ensenada Crepes for dinner.  They were so amazing.  I asked her for the recipe.  Everyone in my family hungers for this particular dinner.  All the kids love it as well.  The best part is that if, and I say IF, you have any left over , just pop in the Microwave for a minute or two and they are just as good.  You can make them the night before, and just put them in the oven when ready to eat.


4 Bonlless chicken breast filets (I just buy a cooked chicken at the market sometimes and use that)
12 small flour tortillas
12 slices of "DAK" or other thinly sliced ham
12 6" fingers of Jack Cheese
about 1 1/2 cups shredded Jack Cheese for the sauce
Chicken broth (2 cups)
1 small can of Diced Chiles

Place 1 slice of ham, some chicken and 1 piece of cheese on a Tortilla and roll up.  Put into a buttered cake pan or pyrex pan.  Do the same with the remaining Chicken, Ham and Tortillas.  Lay seam side down next to each other.

Make a roux of 1/4 cup of butter and 1/4 cup of flour.  Mix until bubbly, add 2 cups Chicken broth and the Jack Cheese, the Chiles and stir until thickened.  Pour over the roll ups. Sprinkle with some Parmesan Cheese.  Bake at 350 degrees until bubbly.  Let set for about five minutes before serving.  These are truly amazing.  I usually double the sauce recipe or make it 1 and 1/2 so we have plenty of the sauce.

Thanks for stopping in today

Thursday, January 14, 2010


Well the rain has not hit us as yet, but it is predicted for Sunday and for at least four days next week.  A lot of the time, we don't get all the rain here in Mission Viejo.  But we need it so it will be a good time to clean closets, re-arrange dressers, cupboards and clean out garages.  Do some cooking and baking.  Now that part I can go with for sure. Speaking of cooking and baking, I have a recipe for you today that is quick and easy and will put a little different spin on your everyday chicken.  You could get this ready the night before and cook it the next night.


2 whole plump Chicken Breasts skin on and cut in half
3/4 cup Ricotta Cheese
2 tblsp dried Cranberries (soak in warm water for 10 mins to plump up) drained
3 tblsp crumbled Gorgonzola Cheese
2 tblsp chopped Basil
1/4 cup coarsly chopped Walnuts

Mix all ingredients together, divide into fourths and stuff under the skin of the Chicken Breasts.  In a large skillet, put about 4 tablespoons of Olive Oil.  When hot put the breasts skin side down and saute until nice and browned.  Turn and brown on the other side.  Remove from the pan and set aside.  Add 1/2 cup of White Wine and 2 tblsp of butter to the pan, stir just to mix, add the Chicken back into the pan and cover.  Cook over low heat until the Chicken has no pink left about 35 to 45 minutes.

While the Chicken cooks, make a salad of Arugula.  Take 2 bunches of Arugula, make a dressing of lemon juice, olive oil and salt and pepper.  Place even amounts on four plates.  When Chicken is done cooking, let rest for about 5 minutes.  Place on cutting board and slice into 1/2" slices.  Place on top of the Arugula Salad.  Fit for a King or a Queen!  Mangia!

Thanks for stopping in today

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Unbelievable but true.  It rained in Southern California last night.  Taking the puppies for a walk this morning and the air is fresh and warm.  The weather report says that we are going to get more rain next week.  Personally, I am not a big fan of rain, only if it rains during the night when I am sleeping.  However, California is always in need of some good rain, so I just grin and bear it.

I am always trying to think of new ways to make Pasta and one of my favorites is Pasta with Shrimp, Tomatoes, and in a Lemon Sauce.  It is one of those meals that takes about 20 minutes, but is elegant enough for company.


1 lb of Barilla Thick Spaghetti
20 extra large Shrimp (raw and deveined)
1 Lemon
2 cloves of Garlic minced
1/2 tsp Hot Pepper Flakes (or to your taste)
Olive Oil
1 tsp of drained and rinsed Capers
2 Roma Tomatoes seeded and chopped
Fresh Basil

Seed and chop the tomatoes and set aside.  Zest the lemon and squeeze out all the juice, mix together and set aside.  Drain and rinse the capers.  Put the water on to boil.  Put the pasta on to cook.  About 10 minutes or until just al dente.  In a large skillet put about 3 tablespoons of Olive Oil.  When hot, add the garlic and the Shrimp.  Saute just until the Shrimp are pink and done.  Add the pepper flakes and stir.  Turn the heat very low, drain the Pasta and put into a large shallow bowl.  Pour the Lemon and zest and about 1/4 cup of Olive Oil onto the Pasta.  Quickly add the Shrimp, the Capers and toss gently.  Top with the Tomatoes and a sprinkle of freshly chopped Basil.

A really wonderful way to serve Pasta.  A crisp green Salad and some grilled Ciabatta, a glass of White Wine.  Mangia!

Thanks for stopping in today
Ciao for now

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


Hi everyone.  Every once in awhile I get out all my old pictures from when I was little and lived in the "Big House" with my Grandparents and cousins.  The result of that always ends up with the same results, a lot of smiles and also some tears. And always with many long forgotten memories.  It brought to mind one of my favorites.  After my Grandmother was done with all her labors of the day, working in the garden for hours, cooking etc., she would sit out on the porch or in a chair under one of the big cherry trees, and my two cousins and I would pull out her gray hairs.  She only had a few at the time.  I remember thinking she must be very old when in fact she was in her early forties.  The sun would be shining, and she would sing us songs in Italian while we searched for the elusive gray hairs.  Then as a treat, she would take us by the hand and we would all walk into the garden and pick the flowers from the Zucchini.  We knew we were about to get a mouth watering treat.  Back to the house and the kitchen and there she would fry up the most delectable, heavenly treat of all.  Zucchini Flowers.  So today I will share them with you.  My kids and my Grand children are all wild for these also.


Salt and pepper
Olive Oil
Mozzarella Cheese for a variation

Make a batter of eggs and flour.  It should be like pancake batter. (on the thick side but not too thick)  Gently hold the flower by the end and dip into the batter.  Fry quickly in hot olive oil.  Just until lightly browned on both sides.  Remove, let drain on a paper towel, salt and pepper and eat while hot.
You can also insert a finger of Mozzarella into the flower, dip in the batter and fry.  Can also be served with Marinara sauce.  But just plain with salt and pepper and hot out of the pan is my favorite.

Enjoy this dish for a snack or a side for dinner.  Get the flowers at your Farmers Market starting in the late Spring and Summer.  Or grow your own.

How lucky we were to have grown up in such a time.  When treats were those amazing Flowers instead of candy.  Personally I could eat them until I fall over.  I hope you will try them when they are available.

Thanks for stopping in today.

Monday, January 11, 2010


What a weekend of Football.  Especially Sunday, two of the most exciting games.  Let us hope that in the end the Super Bowl will be a great game too.  It seems that sometimes when we finally get to it, it turns out to be a real dud.  Hopefully this year we get a game like the ones we saw yesterday.

Today I have a recipe using sun dried tomatoes and little cherry tomatoes.  Quick and easy but with a little different taste.  Pair this with a nice salad and bread, and a glass of wine and it's good enough for company.

1 lb of Barilla thick Spaghetti
1 container of little Grape Tomatoes or Cherry Tomatoes
3/4 cup Sun Dried Tomatoes
Fresh Basil
1/4 cup freshly grated Romano Cheese
Olive Oil about 1/3 cup
Salt and Pepper

Cook the Pasta just until al dente.  Drain well.  In a blender, put the Sun Dried Tomatoes and the Cherry Tomatoes, blend with a little of the Olive Oil.  Blend well.  Add a little salt and freshly ground pepper.  Add the remainder of the Olive Oil and give one quick blend.  Put the Pasta into a large bowl, pour the sauce over all, add the Cheese and toss.  Top with chopped fresh Basil.  Mangia!

Friday, January 8, 2010


Good Morning.  Whew!  Yesterday after bringing the girls back home, I came home and tackled the job of taking down the Christmas Tree and all the decorations.  What a job!  But now it is all done and today I will take down the outside lights.  The house seems bare but at the same time, all neat and clean and ready for another fresh start.  It is really a bitter sweet time of the year.  Christmas and all it brings has so much Love and Beauty.  Then when it is gone there is a sort of sadness that prevails.  But at the same time another kind of feeling sets in from the house being set back in order and looking forward to Spring and a New Year.  Like I said "Bitter Sweet".

Today I have a wonderful, tasty side dish for any of your meals.  Polenta with Mushrooms.  Yummy.  I could have just this for a meal.  Tasty and good for you.


Make Polenta according to directions, adding 1 tablespoon of butter and 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese.  Pour out onto a cookie sheet or platter, level it out and refrigerate till set.  Or just leave it out on the counter until cooled and set.  In the meantime cut 2 large Portobello Mushrooms into pieces.  (slice into thick slices and then into pieces) or use 1 pkg. of sliced white mushrooms from the market.  Or slice your own.  Saute these in 1 tablespoon of butter and 1/4 cup of olive oil.  Saute quickly until nicely browned and tender.  Add 1 tablespoon of Marsala wine, cook until absorbed.  Cut the Polenta into 2" squares or triangles.  Saute in a little olive oil until browned on both sides.  Arrange the Polenta on a platter and spoon the Mushrooms into the center on top.  Sprinkle with fresh, chopped,  Italian Parsley.

This is a great side dish for any meal.  I hope you will try it soon.

Thanks for stopping in today

Thursday, January 7, 2010


Good morning everyone.  Another beautiful day in Southern California.  Well today I take the girls back to their parents :( which always makes me sad.  Then home to start taking down all the Christmas lights and decorations.  Another sad day.  I never take my tree down until January 6th, the Feast of the Three Kings.  Then a big football weekend.  Today I have another recipe from my grandmother.  She used to make this with Beef, Chicken or Veal, whichever was on hand at the time.  I like it with all three meats, and you can choose your favorite too.


1 small onion
1 lb of Filet sliced thin
1 cup of baby Bella Mushrooms sliced
1 cup of dried Porcini Mushrooms
4 or 5 figs (fresh)
dry White Wine
Beef Bouillon
Olive oil
freshly ground pepper

Chop the onion and in a large skillet add about 3 tablespoons of olive oil.  Saute the onions until softened.  Slice the filet into thin slices, dip into the flour and add to the pan.  Quickly cook until browned.  Soften the dried mushrooms in about a cup of water.  Add the dry mushrooms, the Baby Bellas and the cut up figs to the skillet.  Cook all together until nicely browned. Heat about 1/2 cup of beef bouillon and 1/4 cup of wine.  Add to the meat mixture.  Add salt and pepper and cook over high heat for about 10 minutes.

There you have it.  Dinner in less than 1/2 hour.  Serve with buttered Fettuccine or over Rice.  Add a nice green salad and some hot bread.  Don't forget a glass of Wine :)

Thanks for stopping in today

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


Good morning.  I am posting a little late this week because I have my two Beautiful Grand Daughters here for four days.  Can I tell you I am in Heaven with them here!  Anyway, today I have a Pasta recipe for you.  I don't know if you have ever used Pappardelle, but it is a big flat pasta and is wonderful with Veggies and different sauces.  Today's recipe is simple, but tasty, and I know that your family will welcome a little change of regular Pasta.  Also, it is a healthy choice.  My Grandmother used to make this often.  She would use whatever peppers were in the garden at the time.  But only the red ones as they are sweeter.  She also used her fresh Basil and whatever Olives were being cured at the time.


 2 or 3 Red Bell Peppers or mix red and orange
1 large sweet Vidalia onion
1/2 cup of sliced and pitted green olives (or Kalamata)
2 cloves of garlic sliced
1 box of Pappardelle
salt, pepper
olive oil
Fresh Basil

Cut the Peppers into thick slices after you remove the inside and all the seeds.  Then cut them into cubes.  Cut the Onion in half and then into pieces about as big as the Pepper cubes.  Saute the Onion in the Olive Oil until it becomes a little soft then add the Peppers  and the Garlic.  Add a sprinkle of salt and a couple twists of freshly ground pepper.  Cook until the Peppers and Onions are tender.  Cook the Pasta just until Al dente, drain well and quickly add to the Peppers and Onions. Add the olives.   Give it a quick toss and top with chopped, fresh Basil.  Mangia!

This is a really wonderful way to serve a different type of Pasta.  You will love it.

Thanks for stopping in today
Ciao for now

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


Hi everyone.  I know the Super Bowl is still a few weeks away but there is still a lot of good football coming up in the next few weeks.  So I am going to pass on a few good "bites" that you can serve to your family and guests.  The first one is an awesome little tidbit that we enjoyed at the wedding this past weekend.  Small sea scallops wrapped in bacon, rolled in brown sugar and baked until crisp.  I think I ate about 15 of them.  YUM!  Anyway, if you are like me, you like to serve different snacks from time to time, so hopefully you will add some of these to your coming football viewing parties.


Crunchy Mozzarella
Dip small balls of Mozzarella (not the fresh) into flour, then into beaten egg, then bread crumbs.  Fry quickly in hot oil.  When lightly browned and crunchy, remove from oil and serve with your favorite Marinara Sauce.

Polenta Squares
Make Polenta, let cool and then cut into squares.  Shave some good Parmesana Reggiano and top the squares with two or three pieces.  Drizzle with honey.  YUM!

Grana Padano with Ham, Olives
On a cookie sheet, put a tablespoon of grated cheese (Grana Padano, Parmesan, or Romano).  Repeat and put as many as you can.  (they will spread out).  Bake in a 350 degree oven until melted into disks.  Top with a thin cube of ham and half of an olive.

Small sea Scallops
Get the tiny Scallops, wrap in a piece of bacon (about 3 1/2") , secure with a toothpick, roll in brown sugar and let set for about 10 minutes.  Heat oven to 450 degrees, place Scallops on a cookie sheet and bake until the bacon is crisp.  These are to die for, trust me.

I hope you will try some or all of these, and add them to your collections of snacks. They are all simple to make and are really tasty.

Thanks for stopping in today.
Ciao for now

Monday, January 4, 2010


Hi everyone.  Welcome to 2010.  Another year ahead.  Hopefully it will bring Love, Peace, and Good Health to everyone.  You can start on the healthy for the New Year with this wonderful Quinoa (pronounced Keen-wah) Salad.  This makes a really good lunch plate or a smaller one for dinner with a piece of grilled Chicken or Fish.  Quinoa is a power grain, it is much like couscous, etc.  New Year's resolutions always include, "lose weight, get moving, eat healthier".  So today, I am going to start you all off right with this great Salad.


Serves two for Lunch

1 bag of Romaine
1 Avocado
1 1/2 cups fresh Pineapple cut into chunks
1 cup orange slices (canned Mandarins are fine)
1 diced Cucumber
2 diced Roma Tomatoes
2 cups of cooked Quinoa
Juice of one orange
about 1/2 cup of olive oil

Cook the Quinoa according to directions and let it cool completely.  When cool, divide into portions on two dinner plates.  Divide the Romaine, place on top of the Quinoa.  Divide the Pineapple and arrange on top of the lettuce, do the same with the Orange slices. Add the Tomato and Cucumber on top.  Slice the Avocado and arrange on top of the Salad.  Zest one large Orange, then squeeze out the juice, mix this into the olive oil.  Add a little salt and pepper.  Mix with a wire whip.  Pour over the Salads.

There you have it.  A delicious, filling, healthy lunch.  Try it soon.  Pack it up for lunch at work.

Thanks for stopping in today.
Looking forward to a most wonderful New Year!