Friday, December 25, 2015

Candied Pecans

Candied Pecans
Recipe submitted by  Kristin Gaimari-Varner.  Original recipe by


1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg white
1 tablespoon water
1 pound pecan halves


Preheat oven to 250 degrees.

Mix sugar, cinnamon, and salt together in a bowl.

Whisk egg white and water together in a separate bowl until frothy. Toss pecans in the egg white mixture. Mix sugar mixture into pecan mixture until pecans are evenly coated. Spread coated pecans onto a baking sheet.

Bake in the preheated oven, stirring every 15 minutes, until pecans are evenly browned, 1 hour.

Kristin Gaimari-Varner

Monday, December 21, 2015

Goofy Balls

Goofy Balls
Recipe submitted by Katie Hagara

This is a marshmallow treat covered with caramel and Chocolate Rice Krispies.


1 cup butter
1 (14 oz)  can of sweetened condensed milk
1 bag Kraft caramels
1 box Chocolate Rice Krispies
1 half bag sweetened coconut flakes
2 bags large marshmallows

Parchment paper
Chop sticks or stick


Unwrap caramels.

Melt butter in sauce pan.

Add sweetened condensed milk and caramels to melted butter. Stir continuously until smooth. Remove from heat.

In a medium sized mixing bowl, pour a generous amount of Chocolate Krispies and coconut flakes. Mix with hands until combined. Refill as needed.

Spear a marshmallow with the chopstick and dip in caramel mixture.  Then place in Chocolate Krispies and coconut flakes. Cover completely then slide marshmallow off chopstick. It is helpful to pick up marshmallow and pat Chocolate Krispies on marshmallow like a meatball.

Place on parchment paper until Goofy Ball sets up.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Libby's Pumpkin Roll

Libby's Pumpkin Roll
Recipe submitted by Becky Campbell Jorgenson

This pumpkin roll will become a Thanksgiving dessert tradition.


1/4 cup powdered sugar (to sprinkle on towel)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup LIbby's 100% Pure Pumpkin
1 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)


1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
6 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Powdered sugar (optional for decoration)


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Grease 15 x 10-inch jelly-roll pan; line with wax paper. Grease and flour paper. Sprinkle a thin, cotton kitchen towel with powdered sugar.

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and salt in small bowl. Beat eggs and granulated sugar in large mixer bowl until thick. Beat in pumpkin. Stir in flour mixture. Spread evenly into prepared pan. Sprinkle with nuts.

Bake for 13 to 15 minutes or until top of cake springs back when touched.  (If using a dark-colored pan, begin checking for doneness at 11 minutes.) Immediately loosen and turn cake onto prepared towel. Carefully peel off paper. Roll up cake and towel together, starting with narrow end. Cool on wire rack.


Beat cream cheese, 1 cup powdered sugar, butter and vanilla extract in small mixer bowl until smooth. Carefully unroll cake. Spread cream cheese mixture over cake. Reroll cake. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least one hour. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving, if desired.


Be sure to put enough powdered sugar on the towel when rolling up the cake so it will not stick.

10 servings

Recipe submitted by Becky Campbell Jorgenson

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Cranberry Christmas Cake

Cranberry Christmas Cake

Serve this cake for a special holiday occasion or have a slice with your coffee in the morning. It is beautiful and it has just the right amount of tartness.  


2 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure almond extract
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 (12 ounce) bag fresh cranberries (or frozen and thawed)
1 cup sliced almonds


Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Butter a 9x13 baking pan, set aside.

In a large bowl, beat sugar and eggs for 5 minutes with an electric mixer on medium. The volume of mixture will increase by almost half and will be thickened. Add butter and extracts and beat for 2 more minutes. Slowly add flour and beat until combined. Fold in cranberries.

Using a spatula, pour and smooth into prepared pan. Sprinkle almonds over top.

Bake for 40-45 minutes.

Serves 18

Monday, November 9, 2015

Chicken Parmesan

Chicken Parmesan
Recipe submitted by Patricia Gaimari-Robinson & Graham Gaimari 
Original recipe by Tyler Florence &

Don't forget the Italian dinner music, salad, bread and the Italian wine!


1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus 3 tablespoons
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 bay leaves
1/2 bunch fresh basil leaves
2 (28-ounce) cans whole peeled tomatoes, drained and hand crushed
pinch sugar
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 skinless, boneless, chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon water
1 cup dried bread crumbs
1 (8-ounce) ball fresh buffalo mozzarella, water drained
Freshly grated Parmesan
1 pound spaghetti pasta, cooked al dente


Coat a saute pan with olive oil and place over medium heat. When the oil gets hazy, add the onions, garlic, and bay leaves; cook and stir for 5 minutes until fragrant and soft. Add some hand-torn basil.  Carefully add the tomatoes, cook and stir until the liquid is cooked down and the sauce is thick, about 15 minutes; season with sugar, salt and pepper. Lower the heat, cover, and keep warm.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Get the ingredients together for the chicken so you have a little assembly line.  Put the chicken breasts side by side on a cutting board and lay a piece of plastic wrap or wax paper over them. Pound the chicken breasts with a flat meat mallet, until they are about 1/2-inch thick.  Put the flour in a shallow platter and season with a fair amount of salt and pepper; mix with a fork to distribute evenly.  In a wide bowl, combine the eggs and water, beat until frothy.  Put the bread crumbs on a plate, season with salt and pepper.

Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high flame in a large oven-proof skillet. Lightly dredge both sides of the chicken cutlets in the seasoned flour, and then dip them in the egg wash to coat completely, letting the excess drip off, then dredge in the bread crumbs. When the oil is nice and hot, add the cutlets and fry for 4 minutes on each side until golden and crusty, turning once.

Ladle the tomato-olive sauce over the chicken and sprinkle with mozzarella, Parmesan, and basil.  Bake the Chicken Parmesan for 15 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly. Serve hot with spaghetti.

4 servings.

Looks delicious Graham Gaimari
Recipe submitted by Patricia Gaimari-Robinson

Thursday, October 15, 2015

It's time To Celebrate!

It's Time To Celebrate!

Crowded Kitchen will soon be reaching 500,000 viewer hits. Thank you everyone, especially faithful viewers, who have submitted a favorite recipe for all to view. Crowded Kitchen would not exist if it wasn't for each and everyone of you! Thank you, thank you, and more great tasting recipes are coming your way!

Pumpkin Cheesecake Parfaits

Pumpkin Cheesecake Parfaits


2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature
3 cups cold heavy whipping cream, divided
1 cup plus 3 tablespoons confectioner's sugar, divided
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, plus extra for garnish


In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, 2 cups cream, and 1 cup confectioner's sugar with a mixer at medium-high speed for 5 to 6 minutes or until thickened and fluffy.  Beat in pumpkin and pie spice until smooth.

Whipped Topping:

In a medium bowl, beat remaining 1 cup cream and remaining 3 tablespoons confectioner's sugar with a mixer at high speed for 3 to 5 minutes or until stiff peaks form.

Spoon cream cheese mixture into serving  dishes, and top with whipped cream mixture.

Garnish with pie spice, if desired.

Serve immediately or make several hours in advance and refrigerate until you"re ready to serve.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Limoncello Cake

Limoncello Cake

I make this cake with homemade lemoncello.  It is delightful in taste!  It is very lemony, moist and easy to make.


1 cup plain spray
2 eggs
1/3 cup canola oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons lemon zest
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup limoncello liqueur
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 pinch salt (optional)

3/4 cup confectioner's sugar
3 tablespoons limoncello liqueur

Cooking spray
Whipped topping
Vanilla ice cream


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare an 8-inch cake pan with cooking spray.

Whisk together the yogurt, eggs, canola oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, sugar, and 4 tablespoons limoncello in a large bowl.  In a separate large bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Gently stir the dry ingredients into the wet.  Do not over mix or the cake will be tough.  Pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake in the preheated  oven until top is golden and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, about 35 minutes.  Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.

Stir the powdered sugar and 3 tablespoons of limoncello together in a small bowl until smooth.  Poke small holes all over the top of the still-warm cake with a fork or toothpick. Spoon the glaze over the cake and spread with the back of a spoon.  The glaze will seep into the cake and add moisture.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Melon Ball Salad with Lime Syrup

Melon Ball Salad with Lime Syrup

This is a great tasting summer salad.  It's easy to make too!


3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons finely grated lime zest
1 cantaloupe (about 3 lbs.)
1 honeydew (about 4 1/2 lbs.)
1/2 baby seedless watermelon (about 2 1/2 lbs.)


Combine sugar, lime juice and 1/4 cup water in a saucepan.  Stir over medium-high heat until sugar has dissolved, about 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and add lime zest.  Cover pan and set aside for 15 minutes. Strain into a small bowl, cover and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, at least 2 hours. (can be made up to 3 days in advance.)

Cut each melon in half, remove and discard seeds and scoop flesh with a sharp 1-inch melon baller.  Place all melon balls in a large bowl, cover and refrigerate until 30 minutes before serving.

Pour lime juice over melon balls.  Cover and chill for at least 30 minutes before serving. Divide into 8 glass tumblers and garnish with mint, if desired.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Fresh Rhubarb Cake

Fresh Rhubarb Cake
Submitted by Lisa Henry VanMansum

Super easy to make and really has a nice "rhubarb punch" rather than overly sweet like some cakes. Because of the fruit on the bottom, it is more like a crumble, so serve it in a bowl.  Flavor of this dessert improves if you wait a day, so it is a great one to make a day ahead.  Enjoy!  Lisa Henry VanMansum


4 cups sliced fresh rhubarb (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1 1/3 cups sugar, divided
Cooking spray
1/3 cup butter, softened
1 large egg
2 teaspoons grated orange rind
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup low-fat buttermilk


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine rhubarb and 2/3 cup sugar in a bowl.  Spoon rhubarb mixture into an 8-inch square baking dish coated with cooking spray.  Beat 2/3 cup sugar and butter at medium speed of a mixer until well-blended (about 5 minutes).  Add egg, beating well.  Beat in orange rind and vanilla.

Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups, level with a knife.  Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; stir well with a whisk.  Add flour mixture to sugar mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture.

Spoon batter over rhubarb mixture.

Bake at 350 degrees for 55 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.

Yield: 9 servings.

270 calories

Recipe submitted by Lisa Henry VanMansum

Serve with vanilla or strawberry ice cream
Do you need another delicious rhubarb recipe?  If yes, here is the best-ever rhubarb muffin recipe.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Chicken Cacciatore

Chicken Cacciatore

Cacciatore means "hunter" in Italian.  In cuisine, alla cacciatora refers to a meal prepared "hunter style" with onions, herbs, tomatoes, bell peppers, and wine.


8 (6 oz) boneless chicken pieces
Salt and pepper
1 1/2 teaspoon olive oil, or more if needed
1 medium onion, chopped
3 Portobello mushrooms caps, sliced and cubed
4 minced garlic cloves
1 1/2 tablespoons flour, or more if needed
1 1/2 cups red wine
1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 large red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 1/2 teaspoon oregano

1 pound spaghetti
Parmesan cheese
Parsley for garnish


Sprinkle the chicken pieces with salt and pepper.

Cover chicken pieces in flour to coat lightly.

In a large saute pan, heat the oil over medium heat and add the chicken pieces to the pan and saute until golden, for about 8 minutes on each side.  If the chicken does not fit in the pan, saute in batches.  Once chicken is saute, set aside.

Add the bell pepper, onion and garlic to the same pan and saute over medium heat until the onion is tender, about 8 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.

Add the red wine and mushrooms and simmer until wine is reduced by half, or about 4 minutes.

Add the tomatoes with juice, chicken broth and oregano.

Add the chicken pieces to the pan and coat in the sauce, bring to simmer.  Continue simmering over medium-low heat until the chicken is cooked, about 35 to 40 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Add the pasta and cook, stirring occasionally to prevent from sticking, until al dente.

To serve, mound the pasta on a plate or pasta bowl and arrange the chicken pieces and sauce on top. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Garnish with parsley and serve with salad and bread.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Cajun Shrimp Skillet

Cajun Shrimp Skillet

I make this dish with Andouille sausage.  It tastes great!


3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup sliced red bell pepper
1/2 cup sliced red onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound large fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 pint yellow cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup beef broth
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
1 teaspoon ground black pepper

Andouille sausage, sliced (optional)
Hot cooked rice
Garnish: sliced green onions


In a large skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat.  Add bell pepper and onion; cook, stirring occasionally for 4 to 5 minutes or until tender.  Add garlic; cook for 1 minute.

Stir in shrimp and next 5 ingredients; cook, stirring occasiionally for 5 minutes or until shrimp are pink and firm.

Serve over rice and garnish with sliced green onion.

4 to 6 servings

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Tomato Bruschetta

Tomato Bruschetta
Recipe submitted by Ronnette Peters Megrey

I love this tomato Bruschetta recipe!


4 pounds Roma tomatoes, diced
2/3 cup best quality extra virgin olive oil
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
2 garlic cloves, peeled, crushed and finely diced
1 large red onion, quartered and thinly diced
2 cups fresh basil leaves, chopped fine

Toasted baguette
Olive oil


Mix all ingredients well and refrigerate.  When ready to serve, make toasted baguette slices.

Toasted Baguette Recipe:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Slice the baguette diagonally into 1/4-inch slices.  Place the slices on a baking sheet. Brush each slice with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Bake the toast for 15 to 20 minutes or until they are crisp and browned.  Serve at room temperature.

Recipe submitted by Ronnette Peters Megrey

Looking for another baguette or cracker topping?  Try this perfect match for the tomato bruschetta.  Green Olive Tapenade.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Green Olive Tapenade

Green Olive Tapenade
Recipe submitted by Ronnette Peters Megrey


1 cup pitted green olives, chopped fine
5 anchovy fillets, chopped fine
3 tablespoons capers, drained and chopped
1 small garlic clove, chopped
2 teaspoons squeezed lemon juice

Toasted baguette slices or crackers
Olive oil


Place olives, anchovies, capers, garlic and lemon juice in a bowl and mix.  Store in airtight container, refrigerated for up to one week.

Toasted Baguette Recipe

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Slice the baguette diagonally into 1/4-inch slices.  Place the slices on a baking sheet. Brush each slice with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Bake the toasts for 15 to 20 minutes or until they are crisp and browned  Serve at room temperature.

Recipe submitted by Ronnette Peters Megrey

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Curried Pea Salad

Curried Pea Salad
Recipe submitted by Frank Hays

Hands down, this is the best summer salad ever!


2 bunches of green onions
1 (5.29 oz) can smoked almonds
16 oz frozen petite peas
1 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup mayonnaise
3 to 4 teaspoons curry powder
8 oz mild cheddar cheese


Let peas thaw slightly; they should be somewhat icy.

Chop green onions and almonds.

Cube cheddar cheese.

In a large mixing bowl, add together all ingredients and stir well.  Place in refrigerator for a couple hours or over night before serving.

Serve salad cold.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Spring Asparagus Salad

Spring Asparagus Salad
Recipe submitted by Lisa Henry VanMansum


1-2 bunches asparagus
2 cups cous cous (uncooked)
1/2 cup kalamata olives (pitted, sliced)
1/2 cup feta
1/2 toasted pine nuts (optional)
Handful fresh mint, tarragon or Italian parsley
Zest from one lemon


1/3 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons whole grain mustard
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Trim the tough ends of the asparagus off.  Lay them on a baking sheet and drizzle with 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil, sprinkle with a generous pinch of salt and cracked pepper, and half of the lemon zest.

Roast in the oven until tender, about 20-25 minutes.  Cut into bite size pieces.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Add 2 cups cous cous, and cook until al dente.

While the cous cous is cooking, make the dressing.  In a small bowl, stir all ingredients together.

Drain the cous cous, and place in a large bowl.  Toss it with the dressing, olives, asparagus, feta, pine nuts, fresh herbs and lemon zest.

Serve warm, or chill and serve as a salad.

Recipe submitted by Lisa Henry VanMansum

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Chocolate Crinkles II

Chocolate Crinkles II
Recipe submitted by Cindy Chandler


1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups white sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar


In a medium bowl, mix together cocoa, white sugar, and vegetable oil.  Beat in eggs one at a time, and then stir in the vanilla.  Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; stir in the cocoa mixture.

Cover dough and chill for at least 4 hours, or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.  Roll dough into one inch balls.  Coat each ball in confectioner's sugar before placing onto cookie sheets.

Bake in preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes.  Let stand on the cookie sheet for a minute before transferring to wire racks to cool.

Servings 48

Recipe submitted by Cindy Chandler

Friday, May 1, 2015

Homemade Lemonade

Homemade Lemonade
Recipe submitted by David Gaimari


1 3/4 cups white sugar
8 cups water
1 1/2 cups lemon juice
Lemon slices (optional)


In a small saucepan, combine sugar and 1 cup water. Bring to boil and stir to dissolve sugar. Allow to cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate until chilled.

Remove seeds from lemon juice, but leave pulp. In pitcher, stir together chilled syrup, lemon juice and remaining 7 cups water.

Do you need another refreshing cold drink on a hot summer day? If yes, check out this easy Sweet Tea recipe.

Gerard and Graham squeezing lemons

Monday, April 13, 2015

Torta Caprese

Torta Caprese


7 ounces dark chocolate
4 large eggs, separated
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups ground almonds
7 ounces butter, melted & cooled


Powdered sugar or cocoa powder
Sweetened whip cream


Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a 9-inch spring form pan.

In a food processor, process the chocolate until fine.

Beat the egg yolks with the sugar and vanilla extract until pale and thick.  Fold the chocolate, butter and ground almonds into the egg yolk mixture.

Use a clean bowl to beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks and then fold into chocolate almond mixture.

Pour the batter into your prepared pan and bake for about 50 to 60 minutes or until set.

Cool 20 minutes, then remove from spring form pan.

Allow to cool to room temperature and then dust the top with powdered sugar or cocoa. Top with sweetened whip cream.

Serves 8

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Gluten-free Oatmeal Cookies

Gluten-free Oatmeal Cookies
Recipe submitted by Luti Lauvao Gibbs

What Does Gluten Free Actually Mean? Gluten free means foods that do not have gluten. Commonly found in wheat, gluten is a type of protein. It is also found in barley and rye. Gluten is the ingredient that gives dough its elasticity.

Gluten is used extensively as food additive.  Its property to thicken is beneficial in giving rigidity to highly fluid substances.  Definition by


1/2 cup oil, butter or margarine
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon gluten-free vanilla
3/4 cup Namaste Perfect Flour Blend
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cup gluten-free oats
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup raisins (optional)
1/2 cup nuts (optional)


Cream together oil, butter or margarine with sugars, egg and vanilla until smooth.  Add dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.

Drop by rounded tablespoons onto lightly greased cookie sheet.

Bake at 350 degrees for 10 - 12 minutes.  Let cool for 5 minutes then move to wire rack and continue cooling.  Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

Recipe submitted by Luti Lauvao Gibbs

Friday, March 13, 2015

Chocolate Bundt Cake w/ Chocolate Glaze

Chocolate Bundt Cake w/ Chocolate Glaze

This is the easiest and most delicious cake to make!  It is moist, and the whole family will love it!


1 (18 1/4 oz) package devil's food cake mix
1 (4 oz) package instant chocolate pudding mix
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 3/4 cups water
2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Chocolate Glaze

3 tablespoons cocoa
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup powdered sugar
2 - 3 tablespoons hot water

Milk chocolate bar for decorative shavings



Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease and flour bundt pan, set aside.

In large mixing bowl, combine cake mix, pudding mix and chocolate chips.

In another bowl, combine water, eggs, and vanilla mixing well.

Add egg mixture to dry mixture and mix with spoon until just blended.

Pour into prepared pan.

Bake for 50 to 55 minutes or until cake tests done when wooden pick in center comes out clean.

Cool 15 to 20 minutes before removing cake from pan.

When completely cool, drizzle cake with chocolate glaze.  Decorate with milk chocolate shavings.

Chocolate Glaze

Combine all ingredients in bowl.  Mix with spoon until smooth.  If needed, microwave a few seconds to heat the glaze to dissolve the clumps of powered sugar.

Gerard's Birthday
Yummy Birthday Cake

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Lemon Scented Espresso Bars

Lemon Scented Espresso Bars
Recipe submitted by Patricia Robinson

You must try these heavenly lemon scented espresso bars.  They are out of this world delicious!



8 oz. unsalted butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon salt


4 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 cup lightly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup brewed espresso or double strength coffee, room temperature
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest
3 to 4 tablespoons dark coffee beans, finely grated
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup powdered sugar


To make the crust, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Blend in the flour, zest and salt.  Press the mixture evenly into ungreased 13x9-inch glass baking dish and bake until golden brown, about 20-25 minutes.  Remove pan to a wire rake and cool at least 10 minutes.

To make the filling, beat the eggs and sugars in medium bowl until thick and smooth. Blend in the espresso, flour, zest, ground coffee and baking powder.  Pour over crust and bake 25-30 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove pan to wire rake and cool completely. Cover, chill and cut into squares. Dust with powdered sugar before serving.

Make 30

Recipe submitted by Patricia Robinson

Friday, February 13, 2015

Lofthouse Style Sugar Cookie - Copy Cat Recipe

Lofthouse Style Sugar Cookie - Copy Cat Recipe

Looking for a great, home-made Valentine's gift?  If yes, here's an easy recipe that your special someone will love to receive.  Happy Valentine's Day!

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Italian Salami,Tomato and Mozzarella Plate

Italian Salami, Tomato and Mozzarella Plate
Recipe submitted by Wanda Bruce

Make this festive Italian appetizer plate 2 hours before serving.  Serve at room temperature.


1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon chopped Italian parsley
1 tablespoon basil
1 large clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/3 cup EXTRA virgin olive oil
Italian dry, thin sliced salami (7 oz)
1 pint RIPE grape tomatoes
Mozzarella cheese, part-skim, low moisture (16 oz), sliced thin


Mix the first seven ingredients together, and then slowly whisk in the olive oil until blended. Brush over salami, tomatoes and mozzarella.

Make 2 hours before serving and serve at room temperature.

Recipe submitted by Wanda Bruce
Interested in another great recipe from Wanda Bruce?  If yes, check out her famous "BLT Pasta Salad" recipe.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

White Bean and Ham Soup

White Bean and Ham Soup


1 lb of white beans, Cannellini or Great Northern, about 2 1/2 cups
2 quarts water
3 to 4 lbs of smoked ham hocks or shanks
2 teaspoons Herbes de Provence, or Italian seasoning
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup of diced onions (about 1 small onion)
1 cup chopped celery (about 2 to 3 ribs)
2/3 cup chopped carrots (about 2 medium carrots)
2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
Tabasco sauce
Fresh parsley


Soak the dry beans in hot water.  Fill a pot large enough to hold the beans with water and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat, add the beans and soak the beans for about 2 hours. Drain the water.

Make the ham broth.  While the beans are soaking, put the ham shanks or ham hocks in a separate large pot and cover them with 2 quarts of water.  Add the herbes de Provence or Italian seasoning.  Heat on high heat until the water comes to a simmer, then lower the heat, partially cover and maintain the simmer for about 1 hour or 1 1/2 hours. Add water if needed.

Saute the onions.  Heat olive oil in a small saute pan on medium high heat.  Add the chopped onions and cook until translucent, about 5 to 6 minutes.  Add the minced garlic and cook a minute more.

Add vegetables and beans to the ham broth.  Once the ham hocks or shanks have been simmering for an hour, add the drained soaked beans, the onions, garlic, and the chopped celery and carrots.  Cook for another 40  minutes or so, uncovered, until the vegetables are soft and the ham meat easily pulls away from the bone.  Remove the ham bones from the soup and pull off any meat and return it to the soup.  Discard the bones.

Season to taste.  Add several drops of Tabasco to taste.

Serve with a pinch of chopped fresh parsley.

Serves 8