Friday, April 30, 2010


Happy Friday everyone.  Looks like a beautiful weekend.  I hope so because Tomorrow will be May 1st and it should be warm and beautiful in Southern California.

Today I have a recipe that my kids used to love.  Rock Cornish Game Hens, which are not really game hens at all, but chickens that are only 5 to 6 weeks old.  They thought it was the biggest treat in the world when they were young and got a whole half of chicken.  Then in a couple of years when they were a little older and got a whole hen for themselves.  Well, it just did not get any better than that.  At that point in their lives, life was really great!  A whole chicken all their own.  I wish that's all it would take to make a kid thrilled today.  And maybe it would.  Try it for your family this weekend.


This recipe is for two Hens.  Just adjust to make more

2 Rock Cornish Hens
2 cups of stale bread cut into cubes or( store bought stuffing follow directions on pkg)
1 egg
4 tablespoons melted butter
1/4 cup diced celery
1/2 small onion diced
1/8 tsp ground sage
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix the ingredients to make stuffing.  Divide in half and stuff the hens.  Brush them with a little olive oil and salt and pepper them all around.  Place on a shallow rack in the oven and bake 400 degrees for about an hour.  In the meantime, in a sauce pan, put one cup Balsamic vinegar, 1 tsp sugar and cook until reduced by half.  Turn off heat.  Add 1 1/2 cups of Blackberries and just stir to warm.  When the hens are about 5 minutes from being done, spoon some of the sauce over them.  Remove them from the oven and let them set for about 5 minutes.  Just before serving, cut the hens in half slightly placing one half over the other and pour the rest of the sauce and the berries over the top and serve.

Have a great weekend everyone

Thursday, April 29, 2010


Thursday already!  Did I mention time is flying?  If you think you just read that then you know what I mean.  It seems like I just said it yesterday.

Anyway, today I have another recipe that I developed in my own kitchen.  Such fun.  I am always trying to find new ways to make Chicken.  This dish turned out to be really tasty.  I think you will like it as much as we all did.

4 Chicken breast halves (boneless or bone in whichever you prefer)
4 Roma tomatoes chopped
1 pkg sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup Gorgonzola cheese
2 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 cups chicken broth
1 cup of cream
2 cloves of garlic sliced
salt and pepper

Make a roux of the butter and flour, slowly add the warm chicken broth and cream.  Cook for about 5 or 6 minutes until it thickens a little.
In a skillet put 3 or 4 tablespoons olive oil. Add the mushrooms and garlic and saute for a minute or two.  Salt and pepper the chicken. Add it to the skillet and brown on both sides.  Add the sauce and lower the heat.  Cover and cook for about 25 minutes.  Add the chopped tomatoes and the gorgonzola on top of the chicken for the last the last 3 or 4 minutes.  Adjust the salt and pepper.  Serve over a bed of your favorite pasta.

Thanks for stopping in today.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


Raindrops keep falling on my head........but not too many.  It looks like it may stop very soon.  It was like a fresh Spring day when I took my puppies out for a walk this morning.  Just a light drizzle and that fresh, spring air smell that just makes everything wonderful.

Reminds of when I was little and it would be raining and my Grandmother would go out to the garden and pick fresh vegetables for the day.  The smell of the wet Basil, the glistening of the raindrops on the big red and green Peppers.  The earthy smell of Mushrooms, all filling up your senses.  I could tell that there would be something wonderful for dinner that night.  Today I have one of those recipes.  Because my Maternal Grandparents were from Rome and Naples, I call her Pork Chop dish, Neopolitan Pork Chops.  She just said it was "braciole di maiole con le verdure."  Today is a good day for this dish.  Try it for dinner tonight.


4 to 6 Pork chops, bone in (I think they have more flavor for this dish)
1/2 of a 6 oz can of Tomato Paste
1 Green Pepper diced
3 cloves of garlic slivered
1 pkg sliced Mushrooms
Fresh Basil
White Wine
Salt and Pepper

In a large skillet that has a cover, put about 4 tablespoons of olive oil.  Add the garlic and saute just until tender but not brown.  Remove it and set aside.  Salt and pepper the chops on both sides and put them into the skillet and brown on both sides.  Mix the tomato paste with 1/2 cup white wine and pour over the chops.  Finely chop the pepper and add with the mushrooms.  Add the garlic cloves back into the pan.  Lower the heat, cover and cook  for about 25 minutes until the chops are cooked through.  Arrange on a large platter, pour the juice over all and top with freshly chopped basil.

This is really a quick dish and so tasty.  I hope you try it soon.

Thanks for stopping in today.  Keep dry.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


Hi everyone.  Can you believe that in three days it will be May?  Slow down world.  I feel like I am on a Merry-Go-Round time is going by so quickly.  It will really fly now.  We have so many big events coming up in the next two months, I can hardly believe they are here already.  Christina is making her First Holy Communion on May 8th, Kate is graduating from 8th grade in June, and Nick is graduating from High School in June.  It will be July in a blink of an eye.  I am breathless!

Anyway, today I have one of my Grandmother's recipes.  She was so good at making great dishes out of whatever she had.  What ingenuity!  So here is how I remember her making this delightful dinner.


2 cups of whole milk Ricotta cheese
1/4 cup sour cream
2 3/4 cups mashed potatoes
2 green onions chopped
3/4" thick slice of Pancetta.  Have your Deli slice a thick piece of Pancetta, cut it into little pieces
1/4 cup Parmesan
1 pie crust
1/2 tsp salt
dash of pepper

In a frypan cook the pancetta until crisp.  Drain well.
Stir the Ricotta until smooth, add the sour cream and mix.  Add the hot mashed potatoes, salt, green onions and parmesan.  Mix well.  Add the pancetta.  Mix.  Line a pie plate with the pie dough.  Fill with the mixture.  Dot with a little soft butter and bake in the oven at 350 degrees for about 50 minutes or until the crust is browned and the filling is hot.  Remove from the oven and let set for 5 minutes.  Serve hot with a nice green salad.

Did I mention a glass of chilled White Wine is also great with this dish.  Or Red which is what we always have.  Mangia!

Thanks for stopping in today

Monday, April 26, 2010


Well it was a great day at the Ballpark yesterday, even though my team lost.  What a fun day!  I mean it just does not get any better than a hot day, hot dogs and beer, and a Yankee game.  Thanks again to Linda and Jody for such a special treat!

Today I have a recipe for a rolled Pork roast.  The "other white meat".  Pork is really full of good things for you and is so tasty.  This recipe is really wonderful.  There is nothing like the wonderful smells that come from your oven when you are making roast Pork.


Will serve 4 or 5

1- 3 1/2 pound loin of pork butterflied
1 package frozen chopped spinach, defrosted, and drained of all water
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chopped roasted red peppers
2 cloves of minced garlic
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper

In a small saucepan put the vinegar and cook over low heat until reduced by 1/2.  Set aside.

Mix all the ingredients together.  Lay the pork out, fat side down.  Salt and pepper it.  Spread the filling evenly over the pork.  Roll the pork up lengthwise.  Tie both ends with butcher string and once in the middle.  Put on a rack fat side up.  Rub the whole roast with a little olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Put into a 425 degree oven for about 30 to 35 minutes.   Drizzle the balsamic vinegar over the top of the roast. Lower the heat to 350 degrees and continue cooking for about 45 minutes or until the roast is cooked through.  It should read 137 degrees on your meat thermometer.  Be sure the thermometer is in the meat not the stuffing.  Remove from the oven, cover with foil and let rest for about 10 to 15 minutes.  Gently remove the strings and cut into thick slices and serve.  Serve with garlic mashed potatoes.

Thanks for stopping in today

Friday, April 23, 2010


Yeah!  The weekend is here.  Today starts the Yankee's and Angel's three day series.  I am in heaven.  And Sunday my daughter and I will be at the game.  I am in Yankee heaven.  The weather will be warm and sunny, what more could you ask.  Oh, that the Yankees win!

Today I have a recipe that my Grandmother used to make.  I had almost forgotten about this dish.  It is another way to make Chicken.  I think you will like it.


3 whole chicken breasts w/skin cut in half (without skin if you prefer)
1 1/2 cups mushrooms (sliced)
4 or 5 thin, thin slices of lemon
2 tablespoons of capers
5 or 6 slices of Prosciutto
Romaine 1 head
2 cloves of garlic
White Wine
Salt and Pepper

Cut the chicken breasts in half, salt and pepper on each side, and dredge in flour.  In a skillet put a little olive oil and just brown the breasts on each side.  In a casserole with a cover, rub the inside with a little butter all around.  Arrange the breasts on the bottom.  Put the thin slices of lemon on top. Thinly slice the garlic and add to the capers and the mushrooms and cover the breasts with the mixture.  Lay the prosciutto on top of the mushrooms.  Cut the end off of the lettuce and put the leaves evenly over the top. Drizzle with a little olive oil. Pour the white wine just until it covers all.  Cover the casserole and bake in a 350 degree oven for about 1 hour and 15 minutes.  Serve hot with rice or noodles.

Thanks for stopping in today, have a great weekend!

Thursday, April 22, 2010


What an absolutely beautiful day in Southern California.  The rain and cold are gone and the sun is shining and it looks to be a warm day.  Today is going to be a jelly making day.  Strawberry in the choice of the day.  I hope to make about 32 jars.  Love that Strawberry.  Everyone in my family has their favorite. Mine is the Peach Marmalade.  But that comes later in the season.

Today I have an old recipe that my Mom used to make.  I don't know where she got it, but probably from a magazine since it uses Campbells, and Pepperidge Farm ingredients.  Anyway, it is truly an awesome dish. Something different to do with Pork Chops.

1 can Campbells Golden Corn Soup
1 1/2 cups Pepperidge Farm Corn Bread Stuffing
1/4 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 tsp Paprika
4 thick boneless Pork Chops
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tsp Dijon Mustard

Combine soup, stuffing, celery, onion and paprika.  Put into a 9" greased pie plate.  Put the chops on top and press into the stuffing a little.  Combine sugar and mustard.  Spread over the chops.  Bake in the oven at 400 degrees for 1 hour until chops are done.

Quick and easy.  Wonderful comfort food.  Serve with a salad and you have a great meal in a little over an hour.

Thanks for stopping in today

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


Hi and welcome to my blog today.  Well the jelly making has begun at my house.  Yesterday I made 14 jars of Blackberry Jam.  And that is just the beginning.  Now it will be Strawberry, Blackberry, Red Raspberry and then Peach Marmalade.  Non stop Jam making until July.  Last year I made about 160 jars.  It is so easy.  Each batch makes 7 jars, sometimes 8.  Everyone should try their hand at it at least once.  It is so worth the effort.

Today I have a recipe from my good friends, Gayle and Fred.  They are a couple of kindred Hippie Souls who my son Ed met while going to Fresno State.  Gayle can't remember if it was her recipe or Fred's but they have been making it for years.  I first had it years ago when I was visiting my Son in Fresno while he was going to school.  It is so simple but so delicious that I encourage everyone to try it at least once. Even after eating a big meal you can have this dessert.   Fred always says, "Persimmon Pudding makes it's own room." And it is true.  No matter how full you feel, you always have room for this delicious treat!


3/4 cup pureed Persimmons
1/2 stick of Butter
1 1/2 cups of Milk
1/2 cup of Honey
1 Egg

1 cup of Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp Cinnamon

Blend the wet ingredients until smooth.  Mix the dry ingredients together and whisk into the Persimmon mixture.
Bake in a 9" square pan at 375 degrees for 1 hour until brown and sunken.
Serve warm with whipped cream.

Let me just say, if you make it once, you will definitely make it time and time again.  Note:  The Persimmons must be very, very, soft and ripe for this recipe.  Use only the "FUYU" PERSIMMONS. They are the big deep orange ones.

Thanks for stopping in today

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


Yes this is still grayces  cucina italiana, but today I am making Shrimp Tacos, so that is the recipe I am giving you.  I love these Tacos.  They are so easy to make and really pretty healthy since nothing is fried.  Now with warm weather coming and daylight sticking around until 7:30 or later you have more time to get outside and do some grilling.


2 or 3 cloves of garlic chopped
1/2 cup roasted red peppers (packed in water and drained)
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
1/3 cup of Mayo salt and pepper to taste
Put into a blender and blend until smooth.  Set aside

1 package of Shredded Cabbage or shred your own
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1 tsp sugar
about 1/3 cup of olive oil
Mix these and set aside

Tortillas and Med sized Shrimp.  Put the shrimp in a plastic bag and add a little olive oil and Paprika (about 1/2 tsp).  Shake the bag to coat the shrimp. Put the shrimp on wooden skewers that have been soaked in water for at least 10 minutes.  Grill on your stovetop grill or outside on the grill for just a couple of minutes on each side.  Put 4 or 5 shrimp into a warm tortilla, spoon some sauce over them and top with the shredded cabbage.  Awesome!

You could make these for CINCO DE MAYO coming up soon on May 5th.

Thanks for stopping in today

Monday, April 19, 2010


Well we now begin another week.  I cannot believe that time is passing so quickly.  In just days it will be May.  It seems like it was just February.  Hang on, Summer is just around the corner.  My favorite time of year.

We are very lucky here in California to have good fresh vegetables pretty much all year.  I grew up eating fresh vegetables all the time, and a lot of the Pasta dishes would have vegetables mixed it.  I find that it is a good, healthy way to get a balanced meal.  And to get picky eaters to eat more veggies.  Not that I had any picky eaters.  Thankfully, my kids ate everything.

Today's dish is another Pasta dish that I think you will like.  Try it soon. You can serve this hot or at room temperature.


1 pound of Farfalle
1 or 2 bunches of Broccolini
1 pkg sliced Mushrooms
1 Carrot cut into matchstick pieces
1 cup frozen or fresh peas
1 container of small Mozzarella balls packed in water
2 tablespoons of butter
Olive oil
Freshly grated Parmesan
Salt and pepper

Cut the Broccolini into 1 or 1/12 inch pieces.  Put into a plate with a couple of tablespoons of water and microwave for 5 minutes.  Set aside.  Put a large pan full of water on to boil to cook the Farfalle.  In a large skillet, put the butter and about 1/2 cup of olive oil.  Chop 2 to 3 cloves of garlic and saute.  Do not let it get brown or burned.  Add the Mushrooms and Carrots.  Saute for about 2 minutes.  Add the Broccolini and the Peas.  Salt and pepper all.  When the Farfalle is al dente, drain and reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water.  Add the Farfalle to the veggies, add the pasta water.  Cook over low heat until the water is all absorbed.  Pour into a large serving bowl and add the Mozzarella.  Toss gently.  Serve with Parmesan Cheese.  The hot Pasta will melt the Mozzarela a little.  Yummy.  If you want to serve it at room temperature, add the Mozzarella just before serving.

This dish is great hot or at room Temperature.

Thanks for stopping in today.


Friday, April 16, 2010


Welcome to finally "it's Friday".  This just seemed like a long week to me.  I am getting ready for Company on Sunday so I will be cooking some of my best recipes.  I hope they will enjoy eating them as much I will enjoy making them.

Looks a little gloomy today and they are forecasting rain.  Again on the weekend.  Hopefully, Sunday will have some sunshine.

Today I have another recipe from my sister Linda.  An Italian pie.  It is perfect for a day like today or tomorrow.  Real comfort food.  I know you will enjoy this one as much as I have.

"Grafico a Torta Italiano degli Spinachi e della Salsiccia"

1 lb of bulk Italian sausage (sweet or hot or 1/2 and 1/2)
1 med onion chopped
6 eggs beaten
2 pkgs of frozen chopped spinach
4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 tsp granulated garlic
1/2 tsp black pepper
Salt to taste

Pastry for a 2 crust pie.  Home made or store bought.

In a heavy skillet brown the sausage and onion until the sausage is done and onion is tender.  Drain. Separate one egg and set the yolk aside.  In a mixing bowl, beat the remaining eggs including the extra white.  Stir in all the other ingredients.  This will fill a 9" pie plate and a 10" is even better.  Make sure to defrost store bought crusts.  Pour mixture into pie crust, put second crust on top and be sure to seal the edges.  In a small bowl whip the extra egg yolk and 1 tsp of water and brush the crust to make a shiny, crisp top when the pie is done baking. Make a small slit on top to let out the steam.  Bake at 375 degrees for 50 minutes or until golden brown.  Let stand for 10 minutes before you serve so it has a chance to set.

Serve with a nice salad and hot crusty bread.  Thanks Linda for another great recipe!

Thanks for stopping in today have a great weekend.

Thursday, April 15, 2010


Well today is the last day to get your taxes done, for those of you that may have been putting it off until the last hour. Thankfully, I was a real early bird this year.  Done the first of February.  Now I can relax.
You can also take your cup to Starbucks today, all day, and they will give you a free cup of coffee.

Today I have a wonderful home made soup recipe that comes from my sister, Linda.  Talk about comfort foods, this is really at the top of that list.  So easy and so good.  Once you make this, I can promise you will make it a lot in the future.  Your whole family will love it.


5 Strips of bacon cut into 1" pieces
3 large leeks sliced into 1/2" pieces
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion diced
4 medium Yukon Gold potatoes cut into 1" cubes
1 1/2 cups cut up carrots
2.5 quarts of chicken stock
1/2 cup uncooked brown rice
1 lb fresh asparagus cut into 1" pieces
1/2 lb fresh baby spinach
1 cup heavy cream (optional)
salt and pepper to taste

In a heavy pan, put the olive oil,   Add the bacon and cook.  Add the Leeks and onions and saute until tender. Add the carrots, asparagus, potatoes and chicken stock and rice.  Cover and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer for ten minutes or until the carrots and potatoes are tender.  Add the spinach and cream and salt and pepper.  Makes about 4 to 5 quarts of wonderful soup.  Freezes well.

If you want to eliminate the cream, you can use an immersion blender and cream some, not all the veggies, this will thicken the soup.  I heartily recommend that you splurge and use the cream.  This soup is a meal and therefore, you can justify the use of the cream.  Serve with a crusty bread.  I will tell you, our Mother adored this soup.

Thanks Linda for this recipe.  I know Mother loved this soup.  And you are right it should be made with cream.

Thanks for stopping in today

There is a small change to the first line of this post from 2 days ago.  Be sure to change it before you make this soup  I have corrected on the blog.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


This recipe today was one of my Mom's very favorite dishes.  She had been making it since my sister and I were just little girls.  I think it was a recipe she found somewhere and then added some things of her own to it.  Anyway it is a wonderful dish and I think that once you try it you will want to have it often.  It is one of those wonderful "comfort foods".


4 to 5 boneless chicken breasts.  (skinless or skin on) salt and pepper on both sides
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 pkg sliced mushrooms
1 large can artichoke hearts packed in water.  Slice in half.

In a little olive oil saute the mushrooms just until tender.  Remove from the skillet and set aside.  Add a little more olive oil and one tablespoon of butter to the skillet and brown the chicken on all sides.  In a sauce pan, add the mushroom soup, the cream, the white wine and stir until warm and mixed well.  Add the mushrooms.  Pour over the chicken, cover and bake in the oven at 350 degrees for about an hour until the chicken is done.  Serve over rice or pasta.

Serve with a nice green salad and hot crusty bread.  Can't you just taste it now!  Don't forget a glass of chilled white wine.

Thanks for stopping in today

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


Hi everyone.  Today I have a recipe for Chili that was my Mother's.  We have been making this Chili recipe for as long as I can remember.  It isn't anything fancy or complicated but anyone who has ever had it says it is the best.  The reason for putting it up today is that I have had a request.  It comes from Michelle, who was one of Kate's teachers at Sherman Oaks Elementary.  She is a huge Johnny Depp fan, as am I, so her request takes priority today on my blog.  So Michelle, for you and all Chili fans, and all Johnny Depp fans, here is my recipe.


This serves 4
Just double or triple it to serve a crowd

1 lb of ground beef
1 large can of tomato sauce (15 0z)
1 large can Campbell's tomato soup
2 large cans of red kidney beans
1 green pepper chopped
1 small onion chopped
Chili powder to taste
Salt and pepper
Cheddar cheese
chopped onions

Finely chop the onion and the green pepper. In a pot put about 1/4 cup of olive oil.  Saute the vegetables until tender.  Add the ground beef and break up and saute until nicely browned.  Add the tomato soup and the sauce and the beans.  Stir to mix well.  Add chili powder to taste.  Mild or hot.  Add just a little salt.  Add the pepper.  Cook over low heat until thickened.  About an hour and forty five minutes.
Top with cheese and onions.

Sounds simple and it is, but it is the best Chili ever!  Enjoy!

Thanks for stopping in today

Monday, April 12, 2010


I'm over all this weather now.  I am truly ready for the real summer to start.  Not this hot for a day or two then cold and rain.  It actually rained all night and now the sun it out so it looks to be a beautiful day.  Just the way I like it to be.

I will be out today so I am going to make a one pot dinner.  It is really tasty and easy.  Perfect for a day that you are going to be gone or just really busy.  I think you will make this often.


You will need a large skillet with a cover or a chicken fryer.

4 to 6 Pork Chops
4 tablespoons Butter
1 Acorn squash
1 can of Frozen Orange Juice thawed
3 tablespoons Brown Sugar
1 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
2 stems of fresh Rosemary finely chopped
1 can of Mandarin Oranges

Melt the butter in the pan.  Brown the pork chops nicely on both sides.  Cut the ends off of the squash and then cut it into 1/2" rings, cut those in half, then cut in half again.  Arrange the squash around the chops in the pan.  Mix the brown sugar, orange juice, cinnamon, rosemary and red pepper flakes together and then pour over the chops and squash.  Cover the pan and cook over low heat for about and hour and 15 minutes or until the chops are tender and cooked through.  About 3 or 4 minutes before they are done add the drained mandarin oranges.  Serve hot with a side of rice.  Yummy!

Thanks for stopping in today

Friday, April 9, 2010


No post today.  Have a most wonderful weekend.  See you all Monday

Thursday, April 8, 2010


Good morning.  Looks like another beautiful day in sunny California.  I have talked to you before about Polenta.  It really is a staple in many parts of Italy.  There are so many ways that you can prepare this wonderful dish.  You can use the standard long cooking kind or the instant which is so easy, there really is no reason to have it often.  This recipe today, is one that my Grandmother made a lot for us.  It is the Italian version of mashed potatoes and gravy.  A real dish of comfort food.


3 cups of water
1/2 cup cream
1 cup of Polenta
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 tsp of salt
1/2 cup Parmesan
(Or you can use the instant polenta adding butter and parmesan and cream)
Marinara sauce (make your own or use your favorite kind)

   Bring the water to a boil.  Add the salt.  Add the polenta stirring constantly with a wire whip.  If it thickens too much add a little more water (or some cream).  The polenta should be very creamy not stiff. When done add the butter and cheese.
   The polenta should be very creamy.  In individual serving bowls, add a scoop of polenta, some sauce, then another scoop of polenta, some more sauce, and top with freshly grated parmesan.

Talk about comfort food, this is it.  I guarantee your family will like it.  Plus you will be bringing something new to the table.

Thanks for stopping in today

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


One of my very favorite dishes that we used to have when the Peas were ready in the garden, was Pasta with Peas in a luscious cream sauce.  Sometimes it was with Peas, sometimes with Peas and Carrots and sometime with the fresh Asparagus.  Sometimes with Penne, or Fettuccine.  Whatever was available.  Always with fresh vegetables from the garden.  Sometimes I just use all the fresh vegetables and then I don't feel that guilty about the sauce.  Alfredo sauce is very rich.  You can substitute half and half for the heavy cream.  But if you are only having this dish once in awhile, I say go for it.  You can go to the gym or for a long walk tomorrow.


Serves 4 or 5

1 lb of Penne
1/2 cup butter
2 cloves of garlic
2 cups of heavy Cream
1 cup of Parmesan
1 cup of fresh Peas
1 cup of baby Carrots
Salt and Pepper

Put a pot of water on to boil.  Add the Penne and cook just until  al dente.  Blanch the peas just for a minute.  Blanch the baby carrots just for about 2 minutes.  Set vegetables aside. When the penne is done, drain and put into a large bowl. Add the peas and carrots.  In a sauce pan melt the butter over low heat, crush the garlic and add to the butter.  Add the cream and when hot add the parmesan cheese.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Whisk until mixed and hot, being careful not to scorch the mixture.  Add the mixture to the bowl with the penne and vegetables and toss.  Serve immediately.

As I said you can make this with Asparagus and Carrots, or just Asparagus.  Also, with shrimp and a vegetable.  And of course you can make it without vegetables and just make Fettuccine Alfredo.  Make up your own version.  Anyway you make it MOLTE BENE!

Thanks for stopping in today


Tuesday, April 6, 2010


Hi everyone.  We are in for a few really nice days here in Southern California.  Good day to get out, go for a long walk.  Get moving.  Summer is on the Horizon.  Anyway it has me thinking warm weather, tropical breezes and food.  So today I have a recipe of mine that will take you away to the Islands at least for the dinner hour.

Full of good vegetables and a real taste treat.


3 to 4 cups cooked Jasmine Rice
2 1/2 to 3 cups cooked Chicken (I use one of the cooked chickens from the market)
1 can Black Beans drained
1 can Niblets Corn drained
4 Green Onions chopped
1 Red Pepper chopped
1 can of Pineapple Chunks (drain and reserve the juice)
1/2 cup Orange Juice
2 tablespoons Brown Sugar
1 tablespoon Tomato Paste
2 cloves Garlic chopped
1 or 2 tsp of Chili Powder
Salt and pepper to taste
Olive Oil

Cook the rice and set aside.  In a large skillet put about 1/4 cup of olive oil.  Add the pepper, onions and garlic and saute until tender.  Add the chili powder.  Add the beans and the corn.  Add the tomato paste. Stir and cook just until warmed. Mix 1 tablespoon of cornstarch to the juice from the pineapple.  Add the orange juice. Add the brown sugar.  Mix into the skillet. Cook for about two minutes.  Add the cooked chicken. Add the pineapple chunks. Cook over low heat until heated through.  Serve over the hot rice.

I think the family will love this dish.  Quick and easy.

Thanks for stopping in today.

Monday, April 5, 2010


Welcome back.  I hope everyone had a nice Easter and Passover.  The weather held out and we had sunshine all weekend.  Woke up to a little drizzle but surprisingly warm outside.  Felt quite a bit of shaking from the earthquake.  We were at the movies at Universal Studios and there was some good shaking there. When I got back home last night to my house CD's were on the floor, and a couple of cabinets were open so I know it must have shaken here pretty good. Otherwise, it seems we escaped any real damage.  When you live in California, the threat is always there.  But it still is not as bad as all the hurricanes, tornados etc that go on in the rest of the country.

Today I have a great side dish for you.  A good way to get your family to eat things they may not like.  I came up with this recipe just to make plain old rice into a colorful, tasty offering.  I think you will like it a lot.


3 cups of cooked brown rice
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup dried cranberries
Spinach (I use the washed, baby spinach in a bag) use 1 bag
2 cloves of garlic
olive oil

Soak the cranberries in one cup of warm water for about 10 minutes.  Drain and set aside.  Cook the rice and set aside.  In a large skillet put about 4 to 5 tablespoons of olive oil.  Sliver the garlic and saute in the oil.  As soon as it begins to brown add the spinach.  Saute quickly. Salt and pepper to taste.  Add the rice and the cranberries and the pine nuts.  Mix well.  Serve immediately.

Another take on "Grayce's Spinach" that I posted in December.  Spinach and Rice are a good combination and you can add all kinds of things to make it different and interesting.  You could also use diced Apricots in place of the Cranberries.  You could also use CousCous in place of rice.

Thanks for stopping in today.

Friday, April 2, 2010


I am going to be publishing my own cookbook.  I don't know when it will be finished.  It is a long process.  I am shooting for early Fall.  Thanks to my followers and to all of you who follow on Facebook.

Thursday, April 1, 2010


Hi everyone.  This will be the last post until Monday.  Today I bring you an old family recipe for Italian Easter Bread.  My Grandmother made it every Easter, my Mom made it every Easter, and I have made it every Easter.  I can't imagine Easter morning without this bread.  Since I will be at my daughter's house this Easter I will make it there for all of us.  You can use any bread recipe you like just add the almonds, fruit and anise seed.  Also the colored eggs.  If you don't make your own bread get Frozen bread at the market and you can use that.


About 3 to 3 1/2 cups of flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 pkg dry yeast
1 tsp salt
2/3 cup warm milk
2 tablespoons really soft butter
7 or 8 eggs
1/3 cups of slivered almonds
1 tsp anise seed
3/4 cup of mixed diced dried fruit.  I use raisins and cut up dried apricots.  Sometimes just the raisins.  And sometimes 1/2 cup mixed candied fruit.  My Grandmother used just raisins, almonds and anise seed so I almost always make it like that.

In a large bowl add 1 cup of flour, the sugar, yeast and salt.  Add warm milk and butter and beat for a few minutes.  Add about 1/2 cup flour and 2 eggs and beat on high for about 3 minutes.  Add the fruit, nuts and anise seed.  Mix together well.  Add enough flour to make a soft dough.

Turn it out on a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic and shiny.  This will take about 8 to 10 minutes.  Lightly grease a large bowl with a little olive oil.  Place the ball of dough into the bowl and turn once or twice then cover with a clean dish towel and place in a warm spot to let it rise until doubled.  About an hour or a little more.

Color the remaining 6 or 7 eggs (do not cook).  When the are dry rub with a little olive oil.  When the dough is doubled punch it down and divide in half.  Roll each piece into a rope.  Loosely twist the rope and form into a circle.  Add the eggs into the openings.  (do this on your parchment lined cookie sheet).  Cover with the towel and let rise until doubled.  This will take around 30 minutes.  Brush the dough lightly with melted butter and bake at 350 degrees for about 35 minutes.  Remove from oven and put on a cooling rack.  When cool, make a mixture of powdered sugar and water and 1/8 tsp almond extract.  Frost the bread with this mixture.

I hope you make this for your family.  I can't imagine Easter without having this special Italian Treat!

Thanks for stopping in today.  Have a great weekend.  PASQUA FELICE!