Thursday, December 28, 2017

Insalata Caprese

Insalata Caprese
Original recipe by David Rocco


2 large tomatoes, thickly sliced
2 (1 pound) mozzarella balls, thickly sliced
4 fresh basil leaves
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling


On a plate, arrange the slices of tomato and mozzarella, alternation one after the other and fanning out. Tear the fresh basil over the salad, salt and drizzle with the best extra-virgin olive oil available.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Italian Goulash

Italian Goulash
Original recipe by


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound lean ground beef
1 yellow onion, diced
3 - 4 baby bell peppers (red & orange), diced
8 - 10 ounce mushrooms, sliced
4 - 5 cloves of garlic, chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste
4 cups "All Time Favorite Tomato Sauce" ( See recipe link below )
12 ounce elbow macaroni, cooked per directions
Fresh basil, chiffonade
Parmesan cheese, grated

All Time Favorite Tomato Sauce Recipe


Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and mushrooms and cook for 3 - 4 minutes. Add the ground beef, bell peppers, chopped garlic and season with salt and pepper; cook until ground beef has browned. Drain any excess grease from the pan. Add the tomato sauce and stir until mixed thoroughly. Simmer for 1 - 2 hours so that the flavors combine.

Cook the elbow macaroni per instructions and drain completely. Combine the macaroni with the sauce mixture and add the fresh basil and mix well. Simmer for 15 minutes, so that the sauce has time to flavor the noodles. Top with Parmesan cheese and serve.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Caprese Zucchini Noodle Salad

Caprese Zucchini Noodle Salad
Original recipe by KitchenAid Recipes

If you have a KitchenAid Stand Mixer buy the KitchenAid Spiralizer Attachment with Peel, Core & Slice. It will make the job of spiraling fast and easy. If you do not have a KitchenAid Stand Mixer don't worry, because your grocery store should sale zucchini noodles. This is a great salad and everyone will love it!


1- 2 large zucchini, at least 1 1/2 inches thick, spiral cut into noodles
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
4 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut into 1/2 - inch cubes
2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil


Bring 3 to 4 quarts of water to boil in large pot over high heat. Add 2 to 3 tablespoons salt. Fill separate large bowl with ice water and set aside. Cook zucchini noodles in salted water, 45 seconds. Drain and place in ice water to stop cooking. When chilled, drain zucchini noodles.

Combine zucchini, tomatoes, mozzarella and basil in a large bowl. In a separate small bowl, combine vinegar, salt, pepper and then whisk in olive oil. Add dressing to salad and toss to coat.

Divide evenly onto 4 salad plates and serve.

New York Style Cheesecake

New York Style Cheesecake
Original recipe by Emeril Lagasse (adapted by Frank Hays)


1 3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
8 tablespoons ( 1/2 cup) unsalted butter
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
2 1/2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 lemon, zested
1 orange, zested
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
5 eggs
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup sour cream


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Butter the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan. In a mixing bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, butter and sugar and mix well. Press onto bottom of springform pan and bake until golden, about 8 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Increase oven temperature to 500 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer, combine cream cheese, sugar, zests and vanilla and beat until light and creamy.

Add the flour, then the eggs and yolks 1 at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add sour cream and mix until smooth.

Pour mixture into prepared pan and bake for 12 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 200 degrees and bake for 1 hour more.

Transfer cake to a cooling rack and let cool completely. Refrigerate cake overnight before serving.

To serve, slice with a knife dipped in hot water and wiped with a clean cloth, and serve.

Yield: 8 to 10 servings

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Rum Glazed Pumpkin Cake

Rum Glazed Pumpkin Cake
Original recipe by Taste of Home


1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 can (15 ounce) solid-pack pumpkin
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
4 large eggs
1/4 cup water
1 package yellow cake mix (regular size)
1 - 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves


1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, cubed
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Dash ground cloves
1/2 cup rum


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 10-inch fluted tube pan; sprinkle pecans onto bottom of pan.

In a large bowl, beat pumpkin, sugar, oil, eggs and water until well blended. In another bowl, whisk cake mix and spices; gradually beat into pumpkin mixture. Transfer to prepared pan.

Bake 55 - 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack.

In a small saucepan, combine sugar, butter, cinnamon and cloves; cook and stir over medium heat until butter is melted. Remove from heat. Stir in rum; cook and stir 2 - 3 minutes longer or until sugar is dissolved.

Gradually brush glaze onto warm cake, about 1/4 cup at a time, allowing glaze to soak into cake before adding more. Cool completely.

Yield: 12 servings

Hint: To remove cakes easily, use solid shortening to grease plain and fluted pans.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Plum Torte

Plum Torte
Oringinal recipe by NYT Cooking


1 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup unbleached flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
2 eggs
24 halves pitted purple plums


Lemon juice


Heat oven to 350 degrees

Cream the sugar and softened butter together in a bowl. Add the flour, baking powder, salt and eggs and beat well.

Lightly coat an 8-inch springform pan with non-stick spray and spoon the batter into the springform pan. Place the plum halves skin side up on top of the batter.

Sprinkle lightly with sugar and lemon juice, depending on the sweetness of the fruit. Sprinkle with about 1 teaspoon of cinnamon.

Bake 1 hour, approximately. Once cooled, serve plain or with whipped cream.


You can freeze your plum torte if desired. Double-wrap the torte in foil and place in a plastic bag and seal. To serve a torte that has been frozen, simply defrost and reheat it briefly at 300 degrees.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Italian Country Ribs

Italian Country Ribs
Original recipe by

Homemade spaghetti sauce is easy to make and it will make this dish delicious.  Here's the link to my homemade spaghetti sauce.

All Time Favorite Tomato Sauce


3 pounds country style pork ribs
1 (32 ounce) jar spaghetti sauce
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 (12 ounce) box of spaghetti
Shredded Parmesan cheese


Heat the oil in a extra-large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the ribs and brown on all sides.

Once the ribs have been browned, pour the spaghetti sauce over the ribs and stir in the water. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered for 1 hour. Turn the ribs after 1/2 hour of cooking. If the sauce gets too thick, add a little more water.

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook for 8 to 11 minutes or until al dente; drain.

Place the country ribs over the spaghetti noodles and smother with sauce. Garnish with Parmesan cheese. Serve with salad and bread.

Italian Country Ribs