Thursday, December 30, 2010

Leftover Oatmeal Banana Bread


1 c prepared, leftover oatmeal
1 ripe banana
2 eggs
4 Tbs butter, softened
1/2 c whole milk
1 tsp vanilla
2 c flour
1 1/2 c sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray two loaf pans or one larger baking dish with cooking spray.  In blender combine oatmeal, banana, eggs, butter, milk, vanilla.  Blend on high until complete mixed.  In separate bowl mix flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and cinnamon.  Add oatmeal mixture to dry mixture in bowl, mix.  Pour into baking dish and bake approx 35-45 mins (depending on baking dish used), or poke center with thin knife, done when knife comes out clean.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Kid Friendly Beef and Spaghetti

1/2 lb ground beef
1 can tomato soup
1 can water
1/4 c grated cheese, plus extra for topping
salt and pepper to taste

Brown ground beef in medium pan (medium heat).   Add can of tomato soup and water.  Simmer for 10 mins, add 1/4 c grated cheese and salt/pepper to taste.  Serve with favorite pasta, top w/grated cheese.

Chicken Strips w/Ma'mu'ke Sauce

3 boneless chicken breasts, cut into strips
oil for frying
1 beaten egg
1 c seasoned bread crumbs
1 tbs grated cheese
1/2 tsp dry basil

In small bowl combine bread crumbs, cheese and basil.  In another small bowl break egg and beat.  In medium pan, heat oil on medium.  Dip strips in egg mixture then into bread crumb mixture.  Place into hot oil, brown.  Turn over and brown other side.  Drain on paper towels on large plate.

Ma'mu'ke Sauce:
2 parts mayo
1 part mustard
1 part ketchup
(For Adults: add Horseradish, opt)

Broccoli/Cauliflower e Spaghetti

Broccoli/Cauliflower e Spaghetti

1 - 1/2 lbs spaghetti or favorite pasta
1 lb fresh broccoli florets
1 lb fresh cauliflower florets
3 tbs veg or olive oil (for frying)
1 stick butter
1 chopped small onion
6 garlic cloves
3 Tbs cooking wine
1/2 tsp chicken base (found in soup isle at grocery store)
substitute chicken base for 1 can chicken broth, but eliminate water in recipe.
3/4 c water
3 Tbs grated cheese, plus extra for topping.
1/2 tsp black pepper
salt, to taste

Wash, chop broccoli and cauliflower.  In large skillet on med heat saute in oil and butter.  In blender combine onion, garlic, wine, chicken base, water, cheese and pepper.  Blend until completely mixed, add to skillet.  Cook until tender, mix with favorite pasta.  Top with grated cheese.

Mini Sliders w/Ma'mu'ke Sauce

1 lb ground beef
11 slices american bread
4 slices american cheese
1 cucumber, peeled and sliced into 16 pieces

Roll 1 oz balls of ground beef, flatten into patties.  Place patties into large preheated skillet (med heat).  Brown on each side until no longer red in center.  Toast bread. With cookie cutter or round object, cut 2-2 1/2 inch rings, put aside.  Wash, peel and slice cucumber into 16 slices.  Assemble, enjoy!!!!

Ma'mu'ke Sauce:
1/2 c mayo
1/4 c mustard
1/4 c ketchup
mix all ingredients in small bowl.  Refrigerate any leftovers.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Artichoke and Spinach Dip

1/2 small onion, chopped small
1 tbs butter
1 pkg. frozen spinach thawed, drained (squeeze out water)
1 jar marinated artichokes, chopped
8 oz. Philly cream cheese
8 oz. sour cream
3/4 c. shredded Parmesan cheese

dash red pepper flakes
dash salt8 oz. shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/2 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350.  In small frying pan saute onions in butter on low.  Add spinach and saute for about 5 mins more.  Add spinach and onion to mixing bowl.  Add artichokes, cream cheese, sour cream, Parm cheese, Monterey Jack cheese and dash of red pepper flakes and salt.  Pour into baking dish and top with shredded Mozz cheese.  Bake until hot and cheese melts and starts to brown.

Zuppa di fagioli e prosciutto (Red Bean and Ham Soup)

12 cups water
1 large ham bone
1 pkg dry red kidney beans
6 stalks celery, clean and diced
3 bay leaves
1 small onion, diced
6 cloves garlic, chopped
1 can tomato paste
1/4 cup grated cheese
black pepper, to taste

Boil ham bone (with left over ham) in large pot with water.  Bring to boil then reduce to medium heat.  Remove bone and pick any remaining meat.  Add meat to pot and discard bone.  Add dry beans, celery, onion, garlic, bay leaves, 2 hours.  Stirring often to prevent beans from sticking to bottom of pot.  Add paste, grated cheese and blk pepper.  Can be served with cooked pasta or rice.  Serves approx. 12.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Bolognese Sauce



  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped cooked bacon or pancetta
  • 1 cup onion, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 2 carrots, shredded
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1 (28 ounce) can Italian plum tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1 tsp fresh basil
  • 1 tsp fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup milk or half and half (warm)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 pound pasta
  • Grated cheese for top


  1. In a large skillet, warm oil over medium heat and saute bacon, onion and garlic until bacon is browned and crisp; set aside.
  2. In large saucepan, brown beef and pork. Drain off excess fat. Stir in bacon mixture, carrots, celery, tomatoes, tomato sauce, wine, stock, basil, parsley, milk, salt and pepper to saucepan. Cover, reduce heat and simmer one hour, stirring occasionally.
  3. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.
  4. Serve sauce over hot pasta.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Asian Chicken Soup

This recipe is special to me because the ingredients have roots coming from very dear friends I have.  I have friends from different ethnic backgrounds.  One day I was given some stalks of lemongrass that was growing in my friends backyard.  I was so excited to use it.  I went crazy researching ingredients I thought would work in a chicken soup.  They had also introduced me to Sticky Rice.  An Asian rice cooked in a bamboo basket that anyone can purchase at any Asian Market.  What a great combination of the two together.  I have been making this soup for years and is a very special favorite among old and new friends.

3 lbs picked boneless chicken thighs
64 ounces water
64 ounces (low sodium) chicken broth
2 cups each, diced carrots, celery and onion
5 crushed garlic cloves
2 tbs grated fresh ginger
3 tbs grated Lemon Grass
1/4 cup sweet chili sauce
1/4 cup Oyster Sauce
1 TBS sliced jalapeno pepper
1 pkg fresh spinach
1/4 cup grated cheese
1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves

1.  Cook chicken in large sauce pot with water and  broth  on high heat until fully cooked.  Approx. 20 mins.
2.  Add carrots, celery, onions, garlic, ginger and lemon grass.  Lower temperature to med heat.  Cook until veggies are soft.  Approx 20 mins.
3.  Add chili sauce, oyster sauce, jalapeno, spinach, cheese, cilantro and basil.  Simmer for additional 15 mins.
Serve with Asian Sticky Rice or favorite white rice

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

"Not Your Kids" Mac & Cheese

4 cups cooked Elbows (al dente)
5 large sun dried tomatoes, finely diced
2 TBS olive oil
1 garlic clove, finely diced
1/4 cup white cooking wine
1/2 tsp chicken base, plus 1/2 cup water (equal to 1/2 cup chicken broth)
1/2 cup half/half
1 TBS butter
2 cups Velveeta (shredded)
1/4 cup grated Romano/Parmesan Cheese
salt and pepper, to taste

In medium size sauce pan saute tomatoes and garlic in olive oil for 2 mins.  Add wine, chicken base, water, half and half and butter.  Stir until combined.  Add shredded Velveeta and grated cheese.  Stir well.  Add to drained elbows, mix well.  Taste...then add salt and pepper to your liking.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Asian Ginger/Sweet Chili Chicken

4 large Chicken Breasts
4 TBS cooking oil
1/4 cup syrup
1/4 cup oyster sauce
1 TBS Fresh grated ginger root
1 lime (juiced)
1 large garlic clove
1 TBS grated onion
1 TBS sweet chili sauce

Heat oil in medium size frying pan on medium heat  Add chicken, when brown flip and brown other side.  Remove from pan and place in covered dish.
In same frying pan, whisk together all other ingredients.  Heat on medium until starts to boil.  Lower temperature to low heat and simmer reducing liquid (sauce will start to thicken).  Place chicken breasts back into frying pan coating chicken with sauce.  Cook till 165 degrees.

Pictured with Sweet Pea Risotto

Blue Crab Sauce and Spaghetti

1 Dozen medium size fresh Blue Crab, cleaned
1/3 cup cooking oil
4 large cloves chopped garlic
3 (28 oz) cans crushed tomatoes
1/2  Tbs crushed red pepper flakes (opt)

In large sauce pot heat oil on medium heat.  Add crabs, lower heat, cover and simmer for approx 20 mins or until crabs turn pink in color.  Add garlic to oil at bottom of pot, stirring so crabs do not burn.  Add tomatoes, pepper and salt.  Simmer on med/low for 1 1/2 hours.  Serve on top of spaghetti.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Carbonara Sauce

1 lb gnocchi or spaghetti
1 lb bacon, cooked and diced (reserve 3 Tbs bacon grease)
2 large cloves chopped garlic
1 stick butter
salt and pepper
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup grated cheese
3 Tbs chopped parsley

In large pot bring to boil water for pasta.  Cook pasta and drain.
In large skillet melt butter on medium heat, add garlic, diced bacon and bacon grease.  In small bowl beat egg and add grated cheese to egg mixture.  Add pasta to skillet, add salt and pepper, mixing and heat for 30 seconds.  Remove from heat and place pasta in serving bowl.  Pour egg mixture on top of pasta and toss.  Top with fresh parsley.  Serve with extra grated cheese.

Chicken Cutlet Parmesan

6 thin Chicken Breasts
oil for frying
1 cup seasoned bread crumbs
2 beaten eggs
2 TBS grated Parmesan Cheese
salt and pepper
1 can crushed tomatoes
2 crushed garlic cloves
1 cup shredded Mozzarella Cheese
chopped fresh parsely

In large skillet heat oil on medium.  Place bread crumbs in flat dish.  Beat eggs in small bowl.  Dip each piece of chicken in egg and then in crumbs, place in skillet.  Cook until lightly browned on each side.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place cooked chicken in baking dish.  Pour tomatoes on top.  Add garlic, cheese, salt and pepper.  Add mozzarella cheese and top with parsley.  Bake for approx 20 mins.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Hummus Dip

1 can Chick Peas
1 large ripe tomato, chopped
1/8 cup chopped red onion
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 lime (juiced)
1 Tbs olive oil
1/2 tsp tumeric, optional
salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients into food processor, blend until smooth.  Place into serving bowl and sprinkle fresh cilantro on top for garnish.  Spread on favorite toasted bread

Chic Pea Salad

1 can Chick Peas
1 large ripe tomato, chopped
1/8 cup chopped red onion
1 garlic clove, chopped
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 lime, juice and zest
1 Tbs olive oil
1 Tbs Balsamic Vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tsp tumeric, optional

In medium bowl, combine all ingredients

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Buttermilk Spinach Sauce (for pasta or gnocchi)

Olive oil to cook with
2-3 Tbs butter
2 cloves garlic
2 Tbs chopped onion
1/4 tsp ground sage
4 Tbs grated cheese
3 Tbs honey
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 Cup buttermilk (warmed in microwave)
1 bag fresh spinach

In large sauce pan, on medium heat add oil and butter.  Add chopped garlic, oniion, sage, cheese, honey, salt, pepper, whisk.  Add warm buttermilk, whisk.  Add fresh spinach and mix until wilted down.  Pour on top of gnocchi.

Lemon Butter Spinach Sweet Potato Gnocchi

1 cup sweet potato, mashed
1/3 cup ricotta cheese
2-3 cups flour
1 egg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp blk pepper

Whisk together potato, ricotta and egg.  In separate bowl mix 2 cups flour, cinn, salt and pepper.  Add to potato mixture.  Mix and knead until ball forms.  Dough will be wet.  Remove from bowl.  With remaining flour dust counter and knead dough into flour.  Keep adding flour and kneading until dough is firm enough to roll into ball without being sticky.  Separate into 4 pieces.  Roll each piece into long strips.  Cut 3/4 inch to 1 inch pieces throughout long strip.   When all strips and cut in small pieces then they are ready to roll into the gnocchi.

Rolling Gnocchi:  Flip over fork so the tines are face down facing you.  Place small piece of dough in center of tines and gently press down creating dents in dough from fork.  At same time gently roll dough downward folding  dough over to create a moon crater shape, repeat.  Dry on floured sheet pan.

Cook in boiling water until pasta floats to top of pot.  Remove gnocchi with slotted spoon to drain  Mix with favorite sauce. (Lemon Butter Recipe Below)

Lemon Butter Sauce:
  2 cups fresh spinach, washed
  2 stick melted butter, salted
  2 Tbs olive oil
  1 lemon, juiced
  2 Tbs white wine
  garnish with fresh sage and lemon zest

Saute heat butter and oil on medium heat.  Add spinach until cooked.  Add lemon and wine, stirring.  Toss with pasta and garnish.

Mussels and Spaghetti

2 lbs mussels, cleaned
oil for steaming
4 chopped cloves garlic
3 Tbs chopped red onion
1 bay leaf
3 Tbs chopped red bell pepper
1 1/2 cups butter
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/8 cup white cooking wine

In large pot add oil, heat on medium for 2 mins.  Add garlic, onion, bay leaf and red bell pepper.  Cook for 2-3 mins.  Add mussels, butter, broth and wine and cover.  simmer until mussels open.  Serve on top of favorite pasta.

Pork Breakfast Sausage

2 lbs ground Pork
1/3 c brown sugar
2 Tbs ground sage
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground pepper

In large skillet add fresh ground pork.  In small bowl mix all dry ingredients then add to pork.  Saute on medium heat until completely cooked.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Cranberry Chicken

4-6 Fresh Chicken Breast
1 can Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce
8 ozs Catalina French Dressing or California French
1 envelope Lipton Onion Soup mix

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Heat sauce, dressing and soup mix in small sauce pan on medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring.  Place chicken in baking dish.  Pour sauce mixture over chicken and bake for approx. 40 min

Serve on top of rice.

Pico de Gallo with avocado

!/2 cup chopped avocado
1/2 cup tomatoes
2-3 TBS diced red onion
1/8 cup fresh, finely minced Cilantro
2 Tbs Wishbone Italian Dressing (shake well)
1 lime, juiced
1/2 tsp sea salt

Combine all ingredients in medium size bowl.  Slice and squeeze juice from lime, sprinkle with sea salt.  Mix and chill until ready to serve.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Cauliflower Au Gratin

1 head cauliflower
8 ozs Philadelphia cream cheese
8 ozs chicken broth
1 cup water
1/2 cup chopped onion
3 garlic cloves
1/2 cup grated cheese, divided
salt and pepper (to taste)

1/3 cup diced red bell pepper
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
2 cups seasoned bread crumbs
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 stick melted butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Chop cauliflower and place in large, greased baking dish, sprinkle salt and pepper.   In blender or food processor, add cream cheese, broth, water, onion, garlic, 1/4 cup grated cheese.  Blend until creamy.  Pour on top of cauliflower.  Add diced red bell pepper, cheddar, bread crumb remaining grated cheese and parsley.  Top with melted butter.  Bake approx 60 mins.

Date Nut Bread

Date Nut Bread

1 1/2 cups sugar
1 Tblsp. melted butter

1/3 cup sour cream
1 egg
1 cup chopped dates
1 1/2 cups boiling water
1 cup chopped walnuts 
 1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp cinnamon 
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour

Pour the boiling water over the dates into blender. Let sit while mixing other

Cream together the sugar, butter, eggs and vanilla. Blend dates and water in blender until creamy.  Add to sugar mixture. Add dry ingredients mixing well by hand.
Pour into a greased bundt pan or two loaf pans.  
Bake for 55 to 60 min. on a 350 degree oven.  Less baking time is required for loaf pans.

Butternut Squash Gratin

1 tablespoon butter; more for the gratin dish
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 large onions, chopped into 1-inch squares (about 4 cups)
3 tablespoons chopped fresh sage or 1 tablespoon dried
3 pounds butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 8 cups)
2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream, heated until warm
1 cup fresh bread crumb
1 1/2 tablespoons melted butter

Friday, November 26, 2010

Italian Lentil Soup

Lentil Soup

left over ham bone with meat still on it.
boil in pot of water with package of dry lentil beans.
onion, celery, carrots, garlic and 3 links Italian sausage...diced.
1 can diced tomatoes, can be seasoned
beef or chicken broth, I use the paste.
crushed red pepper flakes (to taste) optional
fresh basil
2 large bay leaves
grated parm/romano cheese (I add this at the end)
salt and black pepper to taste

Chocolate Nutella Cream Cheese Lava Cakes

Chocolate Batter:
6 oz. Semi-Sweet Baking Chocolate 
6 oz. Butter (diced, room temperature)
3 Eggs
1/2 cup Granulated Sugar
1/3 cup Flour.

Cream Cheese Mix:
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Mix all ingredients in bowl with electric mixer.
How to Make It:

Preheat oven to 350°F
1. Melt chocolate on low flame in a (double boiler). When melted, take of flame, and…
2. Stir in diced butter, until it melts.
3. In another bowl, beat eggs and sugar, until it starts to whiten.
4. Stir in melted chocolate and then the flour.
5. Butter 12 small cupcake wells, spoon cream cheese mixture evenly into bottom of cupcake wells. Pour chocolate batter on top of cream cheese mixture.
6. Cook for about 15 minutes.
7. Tip cupcakes upside down to remove from tin.    Insert a spoonful of Nutella into bottom of cupcake and place onto individual serving dishes.

Top with Vanilla Ice Cream

Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

4 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley 
1 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons onion (chopped)
1 quart mayonnaise
1 pint sour cream
1 teaspoon garlic (chopped)
1 teaspoon salt
1 pint buttermilk

Combine all ingredients in blender until smooth. Allow flavors to blend overnight. Reduce recipe in half if desired. 

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Fudge Brownies

  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9x9 inch baking pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together the oil, sugar, and vanilla. Beat in eggs. Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt; gradually stir into the egg mixture until well blended. Stir in walnuts, if desired. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan.
  3. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the brownie begins to pull away from edges of pan. Let cool on a wire rack before cutting into squares.

Cream Cheese Tart Shells

  • 3 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour


  1. Blend cream cheese and butter or margarine. Stir in flour just until blended. Chill about 1 hour. This can be made ahead and chilled for up to 24 hours.
  2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
  3. Shape dough into 24 one-inch balls and press into ungreased 1 1/2 inch muffin cups (mini-muffin size) to make a shallow shell. Fill with your favorite filling and bake for 20 minutes, or until light brown.

Three Cheese Potato Frittata

4-5 med red skin potatoes, diced
approx 4 cups chicken broth
2 Tbs cooking oil
3 Tbs butter
3 garlic cloves
1 small onion, diced
6 large eggs (beaten)
1 small tomato, diced
2 Tbs grated parm cheese
salt and pepper 
3 Tbs fresh chopped parsley
1 cup shredded cheddar (I like velveeta)
2 ozs feta cheese

In medium pan cook potatoes in chicken broth until soft, drain.  In large frying pan heat oil/butter.saute onions and garlic, add cooked potatoes until lightly brown.  Add eggs, mixing and cook until done.  Sprinkle parm cheese, salt, pepper, 1/2 of parsley..stir.  Add shredded cheddar, feta and remaining parsley.  Remove from heat and cover with lid to melt cheeses.  Serves 4-6

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Tarragon Tuna Pasta Salad

1 pound elbows (cooked al dente) or any other type of pasta
2 cups mayonnaise
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp vinegar
2 Tbs chopped scallions
2 Tbs red onion, chopped
2 cans sweet peas, drained
2 cans tuna, drained
3 large fresh basil leaves, chopped
small handful fresh parsley, chopped
1/8 c grated cheese
1/2 tsp ground tarragon
salt and pepper to taste

Cook and drain pasta.  In large bowl mix mayo, sugar, scallions, red onion, peas, tuna, basil, parsley, cheese, tarragon, salt and pepper.
Add pasta and refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving.

Ricotta Banana Nut Bread

Blend together:
1/4 cup butter
1-1/2 cups white sugar
2 large eggs
3 very ripe bananas, mashed
1 cup Ricotta cheese (whole)
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

In small bowl mix:

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
Optional: 1/3 c chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour bundt pan.
Combine butter, sugar, eggs, bananas, ricotta, milk and vanilla.  In small bowl combine cinnamon, salt, baking soda and flour.  Add dry ingredients to banana mixture.  Add walnuts if desired.  Bake for approx. 60-65 mins 

Monday, November 22, 2010

Jellied Carambola Fruit (Star fruit)

2 cups cleaned, trimmed star fruit
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbs butter
pinch salt

To trim fruit: slice tiny bit off ends and 5 points of fruit.  Slice down middle and remove any seeds.  Dice into chunks.
In medium pan melt butter on low/medium heat.  Add fruit and sugar.  Continue to simmer approx. 10 mins until fruit is soft and sugars are caramelized.  
Serve hot as side dish
Makes approx. 4-6 servings