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 

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Italian Deli Sandwich

Italian Deli Sandwich


4 Ciabatta sandwich rolls or 1 loaf (12 ounces) focaccia bread
1/4 cup prepared pesto
1/4 pound sliced deli ham
1/4 pound sliced deli smoked turkey
1/4 pound sliced deli pastrami
Provolone cheese, 4 - 6 slices
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1 small tomato, sliced
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning


I use the ciabatta sandwich (square) rolls for this Italian deli sandwich recipe. Which ever bread you choose, cut horizontally in half.

Spread the pesto over cut sides. On bread bottom, layer the ham, turkey, pastrami, cheese, onion and tomato. Sprinkle with Italian seasoning. Replace the bread top and wrap sandwich rolls or loaf in aluminum foil. Place on a baking sheet.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 -25 minutes or until heated through. Let stand for 10 minutes. Cut into wedges.

4 servings

Interested in making your own pesto sauce? If yes, here's the recipe.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Blackened Steak Salad

Blackened Steak Salad
Original recipe by Epicurious

Hands down, this is the best dinner salad ever!


Spice Mixture

1 tablespoon paprika
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme


1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
6 cups (packed) mixed baby greens
1/2 green bell pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
2 (6 ounce) beef tenderloin steaks, each about 1/2-inch thick
3 tablespoons butter, melted
6 tablespoons crumbled blue cheese (about 3 ounces)
1 tomato, quartered


Spice Mixture

Mix all ingredients in a small bowl. (Can be made 1 week ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.)


Whisk oil, vinegar and mustard in large bowl to blend. Season with salt and pepper. Add greens, bell pepper and onion and toss to coat. Divide salad between 2 plates.

Spread spice mixture on plate. Coat both sides of steaks with spice mixture. Dip both sides of steaks into melted butter. Heat heavy large skillet over high heat until very hot. Add steaks and cook to desired doneness, about 2 minutes per side for medium-rare. Transfer to cutting board; let stand 2 minutes. Thinly slice steaks crosswise. Arrange slices atop salads. Sprinkle with cheese. Garnish with tomato and serve.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Grilled Margherita Pizza

Grilled Margherita Pizza
Original recipe by

The only complicated thing about this recipe is getting the pizza dough on the grill. You might lose your round or oval shaped dough, but trust me, this will be delicious!


1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
2 large tomatoes, sliced
2 to 3 garlic cloves, minced
Kosher salt
Pizza dough, divided
1 to 1 1/2 lbs. mozzarella, shredded, divided
Fresh basil, torn


Light a grill and oil the grate.

Spread the tomato slices on a platter and top with the 1 tablespoon of olive oil and the minced garlic. Season generously with salt and pepper.

Divide your pizza dough in half. The directions below are for one 12-inch pizza. Repeat the directions for the second 12-inch pizza.

On a lightly oiled large baking sheet, stretch 1 ball of pizza dough to a 12-inch oval or round and brush with olive oil. Grill the dough over moderate heat until lightly charred on the bottom, 2 to 3 minutes. Flip the crust and scatter half the mozzarella on top. Close grill and cook until the cheese is melted and the crust is firm, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a large board and top with half of the tomatoes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Garnish with torn basil.

Repeat with the remaining dough, mozzarella, tomatoes, seasoning and basil for the second 12-inch pizza.

Cut the pizza and serve.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Pasta with Peas and Sausage

Pasta with Peas and Sausage
Original recipe by

This is delicious and simple to make.


1 pound rigatoni pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 - 3 clove garlic, minced
1 pound Italian sausage, casing removed
12 ounces frozen green peas
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
4 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese


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.

In a skillet heat oil and saute garlic over medium heat. Brown sausage in skillet. Once brown add frozen peas and simmer for 5 minutes. Slowly add heavy cream and butter to skillet; bring to a slight boil. Add more cream if necessary. Cook for 5 minutes. Toss with cooked pasta and top with Parmesan cheese.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Raspberry - Ricotta Cake

Raspberry - Ricotta Cake
Original recipe by Bon Appetit

You will be pleased and amazed how delicious this raspberry - ricotta cake is to your taste buds. The original recipe called for 1 cup raspberries. I added more to this recipe.


Nonstick vegetable oil spray
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups ricotta
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 cups frozen raspberries or blackberries, divided


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Line a 9'-diameter cake pan with parchment paper and lightly coat with nonstick spray. Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.

Whisk eggs, ricotta, and vanilla in a medium until smooth; fold into dry ingredients just until blended. Then fold in butter, followed by 1 cup raspberries, taking care not to crush berries. Scrape batter into prepared pan and scatter remaining 1/2 cup raspberries over top.

Bake cake until golden brown and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 50 - 60 minutes.

Let cool at least 20 minutes before unmolding.

Keep cake refrigerated.

8 servings

Monday, May 1, 2017

Huevos con Chorizo

Huevos con Chorizo
Original recipe by Food Network Kitchen

It is important to find or make authentic Mexican chorizo for this breakfast dish. Huevos con Chorizo means eggs with sausage.


Pico de Gallo:

2 plum tomatoes, diced
1/2 jalapeno, diced (seeded if desired)
1/2 small red onion, diced
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, roughly chopped (reserve some for garnish)
Juice of 1/2 lime
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


2 to 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 pound fresh Mexican chorizo, casing removed
1 small white onion, finely chopped
8 large eggs
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
8 6-inch flour tortillas, warmed, for serving
2 avocados, peeled, pitted and sliced


For the pico de gallo: Combine the tomatoes, jalapeno, onion, cilantro and lime juice in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

For the eggs: Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chorizo and cook, breaking up the meat into big chunks, until well-browned, about 4 minutes. If the mixture seems dry, add another tablespoon of oil. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until tender (reduce the heat if the onion browns too quickly), about three minutes. Turn the heat to medium-low.

Beat the eggs in a bowl until frothy. Stir the butter into the skillet. When it has just melted, pour the eggs over the chorizo and stir constantly with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula until they are just set. Garnish with the reserved cilantro and serve with the tortillas, avocado and pico de gallo.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Caprese Tortellini Salad

Caprese Tortellini Salad


1 (20 ounce) package refrigerated cheese tortellini
1 (7 ounce) package refrigerated basil pesto (If you want to make it yourself, see the pesto sauce recipe link below)
2 cups halved grape tomatoes
(8 ounce) fresh mozzarella, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
Fresh basil for garnish, if desired


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over medium high heat. Add the tortellini and cook according to package directions.

Drain the pasta and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process.

Transfer the pasta to a large bowl. Add the pesto, tomatoes and cheese. Toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes or up to 8 hours.

Serve chilled or at room temperature.

Interested in making your own pesto sauce? If yes, it's easy and very delicious! Here's the pesto sauce recipe link. Enjoy!

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Brennan's Bananas Foster

Brennan's Bananas Foster
Recipe by Southern Living

This dessert is easy to make and delicious.


4 medium-size ripe bananas
1/2 cup butter
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup banana liqueur
1/2 cup rum
Vanilla ice cream


Cut bananas in half crosswise, then lengthwise.

Melt butter in a large flambe pan or skillet over medium heat. Add brown sugar, and cook, stirring constantly, 2 minutes. Add bananas to skillet, and sprinkle with cinnamon. Remove skillet from heat. Stir in liqueur and rum, and carefully ignite the fumes just above mixture with a long match. Let flames die down.

Return to heat, and cook 3 to 4 minutes or until soft. Serve over ice cream.

Looking for another great tasting New Orleans dessert? If yes, here's the famous "Bread Pudding with Whiskey Sauce" recipe. It's delicious too!

Italian Cabbage Rolls

Italian Cabbage Rolls

This recipes tastes best made one day in advance.


1 large head cabbage
1 cup cooked rice
1 1/2 pounds ground beef or pork, or mixture of both
1 medium onion
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons parsley, minced
1/4 teaspoon sage
1/2 cup Provolone cheese, shredded
1/2 cup Fontina cheese, grated
1 (29 ounce) can crushed tomatoes


First, you need to remove the leaves from the cabbage. The best way to do this is to core the cabbage, then immerse the whole head in boiling water until the outer leaves begin to loosen. Remove cabbage from the water and carefully peel away as many outer leaves as will come off easily. You will need 10 - 15 large cabbage leaves.

Meanwhile, combine rice, ground meat, onion, salt, pepper, parsley, sage, Provolone and Fontina in a large bowl. Mix with hands to blend together. Divide mixture (1/3 cup fulls) and shape into meat rolls. Place each meat roll at the base of a cabbage leaf and roll each leaf around the meat and fold ends under. Secure with a toothpick, if needed. Place rolls seam side down in an 11-inch x 7-inch baking dish

Spread crushed tomatoes over cabbage rolls.

Bake at 350 degrees for 1 1/2 hours, or until a meat thermometer reads 165 degrees.

The cabbage rolls can be prepared in advance and stored in the refrigerator or frozen.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Skillet-Toasted Gnocchi with peas

Skillet-Toasted Gnocchi with Peas
Original recipe by Southern Living

Instead of boiling the gnocchi, toast them in a skillet until golden brown.


1/4 cup salted butter, divided
1 (16 ounce) package potato gnocchi
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1 1/2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 (10 ounce) package frozen sweet peas, thawed, or 1 1/2 cups shelled fresh sweet peas
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese


Heat 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high; add gnocchi, and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned all over, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and thyme, and cook, stirring often, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add broth, salt, and pepper; bring to a simmer, and cook until reduced by about half, 4 to 5 minutes. Add peas, parsley, lemon zest, lemon juice, and remaining 2 tablespoons butter; cook, stirring constantly, until butter melts, about 1 minute.

Top with Parmesan, and serve immediately.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Bucatini all'Amatriciana

Bucatini all'Amatriciana
Recipe by New York Times Cooking

This might be a simple dish to prepare, but it's full of bright, sophisticated flavors. This a traditional Italian pasta sauce based on cured pork, pecorino cheese and tomato.


1/2 pound of unsliced pancetta or prosciutto
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium red onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 1/2 pounds canned tomatoes, preferably imported Italian
1/2 teaspoon hot red-pepper flakes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound dried bucatini or perciatelli, preferably imported Italian
1/2 cup freshly grated pecorino, romano or Parmesan cheese


Cut the pancetta or prosciutto into chunks less than one-half inch thick. Place in a saucepan with the olive oil and fry over low heat for 15 minutes, until all the fat has been rendered out and the meat is very crisp. Remove the meat from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Add the onion to the pan and saute over medium heat for five minutes.

Drain the tomatoes, finely chop them and add to the onion in the pan. Season with red-pepper flakes and salt and pepper to taste and simmer 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Bring a large pot of cold water to a boil and add salt to taste. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 9 to 12 minutes, depending on the brand. Drain well.

Transfer the cooked sauce to a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pasta and the reserved meat and cook, stirring for 30 seconds. Remove the skillet from the heat, add the cheese and mix very well. Transfer the pasta to a warm platter and serve immediately.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Italian Scrambled Eggs

Italian Scrambled Eggs

This is a great Sunday morning breakfast for your special someone. It's easy to make and delicious!


5 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Feta cheese (2 ounces), crumbled
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup green onions, chopped
1/2 cup halved grape tomatoes
1 (5 ounce) package baby spinach


Place eggs in a medium bowl and stir with a whisk until lightly beaten. Add salt, pepper and feta cheese; whisk to combine.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add oil and swirl to coat. Add onions, garlic, tomatoes and cook 2 - 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add spinach; cover and cook 1 - 2 minutes or until spinach starts to wilt. Stir mixture. Pour egg mixture into pan and cook until eggs are soft-scrambled, gently stirring to incorporate vegetables.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Mediterranean Chickpea Salad

Mediterranean Chickpea Salad


2 (15 ounce) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley
2/3 cup chopped bell pepper (mix red / yellow / orange)
3/4 cup halved grape tomatoes
3 green onions, sliced
15 kalamata or black olives, sliced in half
1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese


4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoon plain yogurt
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
5 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon cumin
Salt and pepper


In a large bowl, toss together the salad ingredients. In a separate bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss. Transfer to a serving bowl and drizzle juice on top. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Wilted Quinoa Spinach Salad

Wilted Quinoa Spinach Salad
Oringinal recipe by Taste of Home

Here's another healthy quinoa salad recipe. You can enjoy this salad warm or cold. I prefer chilled.


2 cups water
1 cup quinoa, rinsed
1 package (6 ounce) fresh baby spinach, torn
1/2 cup dried cranberries


3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon maple syrup
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 green onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted


In a small saucepan, bring water to a boil. Add quinoa. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 12 - 15 minutes or until water is absorbed. Remove from heat; fluff with a fork.

In a large bowl, combine the warm quinoa, spinach and cranberries. For dressing, in a small bowl, whisk the oil, orange juice, vinegar, maple syrup, garlic, salt and pepper. Stir in onion. Pour over quinoa mixture; toss to coat. Sprinkle with pecans before serving.

10 servings

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Spaghetti Puttanesca

Spaghetti Puttanesca
This recipe was adapted from David Rocco's Dolce Vita

"Spaghetti Puttanesca" (pronounced spaghetti putta'neska). The name of this pasta dish is very controversial. In Italian, it means "spaghetti in the style of a prostitute". The name is often said to have originated with the ladies, because it was quick enough to make in between appointments, or that the aroma of the dish lured the clients in from the streets. Regardless of the meaning, this pasta dish is delicious. I loved everything about it. The tomatoes, olive oil, anchovies, olives, capers and garlic all work well together.


1 pound spaghetti
4 - 5 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, crushed
Crushed red pepper flakes
4 - 6 anchovy filet's, coarsely chopped
1 (6 ounce) can, or more black olives, pitted
1 tablespoon capers
1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
1 (28 ounce) can plum tomatoes with juices, hand crushed
Fresh flat leaf parsley, finely chopped


While the spaghetti cooks in salted boiling water, prepare the sauce.

Heat up the olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the garlic and crushed red pepper flakes, to taste. When the garlic is golden, add the anchovies, olives, capers, and walnuts.

Let the mixture cook for about 1 minutes before pouring the hand crushed plum tomatoes with juices into the pan. Cook for approximately 10 minutes on medium heat.

About a minute before the al dente stage, drain the spaghetti and add it to the saucepan, allowing it to finish cooking in the sauce. Sprinkle the spaghetti with freshly chopped parsley and transfer to a pasta bowl. Serve immediately.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Quinoa and Black Beans

Quinoa and Black Beans

Serve this salad chilled.  The cayenne pepper can be substituted with 8 drops Tabasco sauce, or 1/4 teaspoon red pepper or chili flakes.


1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
3/4 cup quinoa
1  1/2 cups vegetable broth
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Salt and ground pepper to taste
1 cup frozen corn kernels
2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro


Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat; cook and stir onion and garlic until lightly browned, about 10 minutes.

Mix quinoa into onion mixture and cover with vegetable broth; season with cumin, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer until quinoa is tender and broth is absorbed, about 20 minutes.

Stir frozen corn into the saucepan, and continue to simmer until heated through, about 5 minutes; mix in the black beans and cilantro.

Looking for another quinoa salad? If yes, here's a great tasting quinoa salad recipe.

Zesty Quinoa Salad

Monday, January 2, 2017

Chocolate Pecan Carmels

Chocolate Pecan Caramels
Recipe submitted by Lani May Gumm

These caramels are a must for your Christmas gift boxes.


1 tablespoon plus 1 cup butter (no substitutes), softened, divided
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped pecans, toasted
1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
2 cups packed brown sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup water
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract


Line a 13x9-inch pan with foil; butter the foil with 1 tablespoon butter. Sprinkle with pecans and chocolate chops; set aside.

In a heavy saucepan, melt remaining butter over medium heat. Add the brown sugar, corn syrup and water. Cook and stir until mixture comes to a boil. Stir in milk. Cook, stirring constantly, until a candy thermometer reads 248 degrees (firm-ball stage).

Remove from heat and add vanilla. Pour into prepared pan (do not scrape saucepan). Cool completely before cutting.

Yield: about 2 1/2 pounds (about 6 3/4 dozen).

Note: You should test your candy thermometer before each use by bringing water to a boil; the thermometer should read 212 degrees. Adjust your recipe temperature up or down based on your test.
Recipe submitted by Lani May Gumm