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Nov 26, 2010

Stuffing and Stuffed Mushrooms

To Make 1/2 a catering tray of Stuffing and 3 large containers of Mushroom for the Stuffed Mushrooms.

3 boxes of Stove Top Stuffing
1 bag of Regular Stuffing.
1 Large 48oz Can Chicken Broth. Less Salt .
1 onion
1 piece garlic.
Italian Sausages -  4 Links
2 Pieces of Celery and their leaves
1 large apple.  Macintosh

Make Stove Top Stuffing as directed but use Chicken Broth with Less Salt instead of water.
Add finely chopped: 2 pieces of Celery and a few leaves and 1/2 an onion.  Boil for 4 minutes then proceed with the instructions for Stove Top.

Make large bag of Regular Stuffing with Chicken Broth and Butter.
Mix Stove Top and Regular Stuffing together

For Mushrooms:
Rinse and Clean out mushrooms. Fill with Stuffing mix. Put mushrooms in a baking pan and place closely together. Pour a little bit of Chicken broth on top of each mushroom and about 1/4 cup full on bottom of pan. Cover and cook. Don't put a lot of broth in bottom of pan.

For the Stuffing.
Squeeze Sausage out of casing and Sautee Sausages when half way done, take out and chop them up then finish cooking with 1/2 finely chopped onion, garlic and Sliced mushrooms.

Chop up apple and Sautee in 4 Tbs of butter.

Add above to Stuffing and spread evenly in baking pan. Sprinkle top with Paprika and bake for 15 minutes.

Nov 12, 2010

Italian Wedding Soup

Italian Wedding Soup  Serving for 8.

3 Escarole bunches. Cut off end.  There is a lot of sand inbetween the leafs so you must wash each leaf. Then place in a pot of water with 1/4 tsp bleach to sterilize them for about 3 minutes.  Then rinse under running water.  I like to use the salad spinner. this way I can take out the spinner and drain out the water and run cool water in it and I repeat this a few times.

Chop the up the Escarole into small pieces.

3 - 48oz Cans of Chicken Broth.
8 baby Carrots- Cut up into small chunks.
1 pc Celery -  cut up into chunks.
2 Tbs grated Peccorino Romano cheese
1/4 tsp pepper and garlic
1/4 small onion. Finely Chopped.
1 box of Italiano Pasta cooked aldente.
3 lbs of chopmeat to make 120 baby meatballs. Look under Meatball recipe for what you need and make meatballs first. ( there will be 4 baby meatballs to one reg. size meatball) so, the same 3 lbs of reg meatball makes approx. 30 meatballs to 120 for the baby one.) 

While the Meatballs are cooking then start making the soup.

After  Escarole is washed and sterilized. Don't worry about the excess water on the Escarole it doesn't need to be wiped off.

1.   In large 14 quart Sauce Pot.  Pour in all the chicken broth and onions. Cook under high heat and bring to a boil.

2.  Place Escarole in pot.  Cook under Medium heat. When you first place in the Escarole, the chicken broth will not cover all of it at first. 
Cook for about 5 minutes. Then -

3. Add in the chopped Carrots and Celery.

Escarole cooking.  Still hard.   

Escarole cooked when transculent about 15 min.
5.  Add Cooked meatballs
6. Add Grated Cheese
7.  Cook for about 3 minutes.

8.  Add in cooked Pasta.  and simmer for about 2 minutes.
                                                            Soup is done.

                                                  "Buon Appetito"

This soup doesn't take to long to cook.  The most time you will spend on clean the Escarole Leaves.

Hint:  When I cook my meatballs for my sauce I would make a second batch of baby meatballs and freeze them so, in a few days to a week I cook this soup and it takes much less time.  I put the meatballs a day before in the fridge to defrost.

Nov 6, 2010


You will have 3 layers of Lasagna.
What you put Between each layer is described below.
Ingredients needed.
Prep all ingredients before you cook the Lasagna Noodles.

2  -  32 oz  Containers of Cooking Sauce.
 (look under Sauce for recipe)

1/2 Can Small Peas  Optional - divide into 2 = portions.

2 Boxes of Lasagna. There are 20 per box. You will need 1 box      plus 13 from the 2nd box.  Cook Lasagna in an x-tra large Deep pot with 1 Tbs salt and 1/3 cup oil.  (oil doesn't make the Lasagna stick to each other.) Cook Aldente (hard). (You will be baking the Lasagna also so you don't want it to become mush)  Drain out and cool off. Lay it over the collander or pot so they won't stick together.

15 Meatballs. (look under Meatballs for recipe) Mashed up.

  3 Cups Ricotta  mixed with a pinch of Black Pepper, Garlic Powder, 2 Tbs Grated Cheese, 2 eggs

 4 oz Grated Cheese Romano Peccorino

1 lb whole mik mozzarella.
2 links Sausages. Squeeze out of casing and sautee until cooked then chop them up. 
11 x 17 pan 2 " high.  Must be atleast 2" high otherwise lasagna won't fit.    If you can find 3"in height that is better.

Put everything in its own bowl and divide into portions I have listed.  This way you can make sure you have enough for each row.
 1.   Ricotta mix.  In 3 = portions
 2.   Mashed up Meatballs.  in 2 = portions                                     
 3.   Sausages 2 = portions.
 4.   Grated Cheese. You will just be sprinkling a 
       small amt ea. time. Approx. 2 Tbs.
 5.   Mozzarella Cheese in 3 = portions.
 6.   Sauce.  1 bowl. Large ladle full each time.

A. 1st Row.
1.  Pour 2 Cups Sauce in bottom of pan. ( you need a lot of sauce on the bottom of the pan, so it won't burn when you cook it. and only a little bit inbetween the layers.)

2.  Lay out Lasagna  8 horizontally.
     2 vertically.  Lay overlapping 1/2 way on top of each other.

3.  1st Portion:   1 Tbs Ricotta mix in rows down the whole pan.

4.  Lay down the 1st portion in this order: Grated Cheese, Meatballs, Sausages, and Mozzerella. 

Ricotta, Grated Cheese, Meatballs, Sausages, Mozzarella.

5.  Pour a little bit of Sauce.  As shown above.
Wave the ladle across the pan. Don't need to much.

6.  Add another layer of Lasagna.
7.  With your palm, push down slightly on top of  the Lasagna.

8.  Lay down Ricotta as you did in Step A.
                  Next, in this order:  Grated Cheese 1 Tbs, Meatballs, Sausages, Sauce then Mozzarella. 

This is your last layer.
  9.  Add another layer of Lasagna.  
 10. With your palm, push down slightly on top of the Lasagna. 11. Add Sauce. Smooth Sauce over lasagna completely.  Any 
      uncovered spots will burn.          

12.  Add Tsp full of Ricotta.  As shown above.
13.  1 tsp grated cheese.
14.  Add Mozzarella and Your done.

1.   Place alumiunim foil over top. Making sure it doesn't touch the cheese.
2.  If cooking the next day place in fridge and take out 1 hour before cooking.  When Lasagna is from fridge it take approx. 50 - 60 mins to cook.
If cooking now.  Put oven on 400 degrees. Keep Lasagna covered.
Cooking time will vary 30 - 45 minutes.

When cheese is melted lasagna is done.  Nothing is raw.  So, all you have to worry about is to make sure the Middle part of the Lasagna is hot.
Yup!  That's right! to find out if it is hot, the Italian way is to Stick a knife in it and make a small opening then stick your finger in it. ha! ha! But, Watch out you can burn your finger!  If it is hot it is Ready.  A better way is to use a food thermometer to check the temperature.  Once you determined it is hot then take the cover off  and bake until cheese is lightly golden brown or to your liking.

FYI:  Lasagna is a big project and timely.
You can cook the Sauce and Meatballs up to 3 days before.  and keep it in the fridge. Grate the mozzarella and put it into a ziploc bag keep it in the fridge.
I cook my Sauce one day then the Meatballs another day so, it doesn't take up too much of my time.
Better yet!!  Always keep a few containers of Cooking Sauce in the freezer so, you can always have it ready when needed.  I freeze 6 containers of sauce at a time.  Sauce can stay frozen up to a year.  Mine never last that long. 
Especially, my dear italian husband who will call at 10:30 pm on his way home from work and ask me to please cook him a bowl of Pasta and Sauce!  No, No, I don't say NO.  I have the sauce in the freezer! and an Italian Woman will never have her family go hungry. Well, maybe sometimes. lol

Oct 28, 2010

Baked Sweet Potatoes w/ Marshmellows

10 large Sweet Potatoes - Peeled
3 Tbs Sugar Free Syrup
1 Tbs Splenda Brown Sugar Blend
1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/2 Stick Butter
1/2  Small Bag Miniature Marshmellows
  • Slice Sweet Potatoes into chunks.  
  • Bring large pot of water to boil with 1Tbs of salt.
  • Add Sweet Potatoes and cook until fork goes threw.              Should not be mushy.
  • Strain Potatoes and let sit for a minute to get all the water out. Then place in Baking Pan.
  • Mash up Sweet Potatoes but leave some into chunks.
  • Mix in melted butter, Syrup, and Brown Sugar.
  • Taste.  If not sweet enough add more butter, syrup and Brown sugar.
  • Spread out evenly in pan.  On top add thinly sliced pats of Butter and Brown Sugar.
  • Add small marshmellows on top.
  • If cooking them for the next day then put aluminium foil over pan and refrigate.  When ready to cook,  bake covered at 400 until hot. Approx 10 - 15 min. 
  • OR
  •  If making them the same day then bake covered for about 5 minutes. 
Take cover off and bake until golden brown. or to your liking.           2 minutes.  Watch closely because marshmellows burn quickly.  I always almost burn them! lol

Oct 27, 2010

Chicken Marsala

 8 slices Chicken Cutlet cut into 3 x 3 pcs
3 Eggs - beat and add a dash of salt, pepper and garlic
2 cups Flour add a dash of Salt and Pepper
Med. Onion thinly sliced
1 large pkg of fresh mushrooms
1 pkg of  Wide Egg Noodles
1 stick of Butter.
2 - 3 Small Cans of Beef Broth 14 0z.
6 Tbs + to your liking of Marsala Wine

Cook Noodles and Strain.  Place in deep serving pan.  In a small pot mix 1/4 cup beef broth,  1Tbs butter,
and 1 Tbs Grated Cheese. Bring to boil and mix into noodles. (Just enough to have noodles moist and not dry out)
Batter:  Dip Chicken  in Eggs then flour
                        Heat Olive oil then Place chicken in frying pan under Medium heat.                           Sprinkle a dash  of Salt, pepper and garlic powder. Cook until golden Brown
Place in baking dish.
If Chicken starts to burn replace oil and add new oil.

Sautee Onions with a little bit of Olive Oil until
lightly brown.

Add mushrooms, 2 Tbs butter

Sautee Until Mushrooms are cooked. About 2 minutes  add 1 Tbs Marsala Wine and Sautee for another minute.   Place in a bowl.

   .    ( Chicken and Mushrooms mix need to be sauteed together while adding ingredients below to have  flavorful taste.)   
 Divide chicken and mushroom mix into 3 parts or whatever is needed to have enough room in the frying pan to stir and flip.              
 Place one part Chicken and Mushroom Mix in a large deep frying pan on med high heat.
Add 2 Tbs Butter 2Tbs or more of Marsala wine.
Swirl and Flip the mix in the pan to coat for 1 minute.
Then add gravy mix listed below. Bring to a boil.
Place on top of noodles. 
Repeat this proceedure until finished.

To make the Gravy.

Melt 2 Tbs butter then add 1/4 cup Flour on med heat. Press down hard, smashing flour to melt
with butter without lumps.

Add 1 Tbs beef broth so flour won't burn. Once lumps are gone add more broth.   
        Keeping the gravy thick.

Add 1 TBS or more (taste to determine what you like)
 of Marsala Wine. Keep Stirring.

Bring to Boil,

Pour on top of Chicken Marsala.

Whole Wheat Muffins

12 XL Muffins
 Yogurt or Banana Muffins.

I make these 2 different ways. Recipe is same for both until you get to written in red below.
#1.    w/ yogurt
#2.   3 mashed up very riped bananas.

Reynolds Baking Cups. Jumbo.  3 1/2 inch.
2 Tbsp. Splenda for baking
1 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. Baking Powder
1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup High Fiber Oat Bran
      (Bob's Red Mill Hot Cereal)
1/2 cup ground flax seed. 
      (Bob's Red Mill Golden Flaxseed Meal)
3 Cups whole wheat flour
3 egg
1 1/2 cups milk
3 Tbsp. melted butter
4 oz any no sugar added flavored apple sauce.
  (I use granny smith)

Yogurt Muffins
  6 oz cup of Weight Watches flavored Yogurt.
(Strawberry or blueberry) 

Banana Muffins
  Mash up 3 over ripened bananas.
Optional:   1 tsp Splenda brown sugar blend. for top of muffins.


All is mixed by hand. You will use a whisk and baking spatala.
Muffin mix will be thick.

A.  In large bowl Add all dry ingredients (written in Blue) and Blend together, making sure you break up any clumps.

B.  In another bowl add all liquid ingredients (written in Purple) Mix together.

 C.  Pour Liquid mix into the dry ingredients. Put 1/2 in and fold with a baking spactala, then the rest and mix.

 For Yogurt Muffins Fold in applesauce, yogurt, chopped fruit and nuts.(Optional semi sweet chocolate morsels.)  Try not to blend to much.

For Banana Muffins:  Mash 3 over ripened Bananas and slowly add into mix.

D.   Fill baking cups almost to the top.  Banana Muffins skip step E.

E.  Make a cross opening with a knife and mix in 1/4 tsp of yogurt to the top of each muffin. . Don't blend it to much.

F.    Sprinkle a little bit of  Splenda Brown Sugar Blend to the top of the muffins. I measure 1 tsp and sprinkle a little bit for all of them.

G.  Bake at 350°F for about 30 minutes and until a toothpick inserted in center of a muffin comes out clean. If you put yogurt in the center, the muffin will still be moist b/c the yogurt won't harden so insert tooth pick at outer edge.

Swirled a little bit of yogurt on top before I baked it.  

Choc. chips, banana and walnuts.


 Once the muffins are cooled off. You can put them in a ziploc bag and put them into the fridge if using in a few days or freeze them to use them in a month.
Take a muffin out of the freezer every night and leave it in fridge or counter,  Than if you want it warmed up take it out of the ziploc bag and muffin foil and in a dish cut it into 4. Microwave it for 25 seconds. It comes out hot and delicious. You can add cream cheese for a topping.

I know this is one Mama Mia Muffin!! That's the way I like it. lol

5 choc. chips to a muffin = 10 cal


Sep 9, 2010

cucuzza - Italian Squash Soup

Olivia 2 1/2 yrs old. Help picking the veggies.

                                                          Sauce: 2 - 32 oz Nonna Fina or Marinara Sauce                            (under Sauce recipes in this blog)
  • 1 can of Tuttorosso whole tomatoes. Cut ends off and throw out. Then cut the rest up into chunks.
  • Cucuzza leaves (Tenerumi) 25 - 30.
  • 8 cups of water
  • 2 long Cucuzza
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Pepper and 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  •  1/2 cup grated cheese.
  • 1 cup cut up into small chunks (pieces) of Romano cheese.         (It's the grated cheese before you grate it.)
  • cooked and cooled off - strained aldente pasta.

Cucuzza and leaves of the plant

1.  Pick the leaves from the cucuzza plant. Pick the small green ones approx. 25 - 30 leaves for 2  cucuzzas.  Must be fresh looking not old  or yellow.  
                                                                                                                    2.  Defrost 2 - 32 oz of marinara sauce or Nonna Fina sauce (recommended). Leave on side.

3.  In a large deep sauce pot add 8 cups of water and bring to  boil.      
                                                                                                           4.  Cut off stem on leaves and Chop up the leaves into small pieces. Place into boiling water with 2 tsp salt. Cook for about 20 minutes.

5.  Cut the Cucuzza into smaller pieces (as long as a cucumber) so it will be easier to peel them.
6.    Peel cucuzza (just like you peel a cucumber) Peel until you see the white skin and not green. Most likely you need to peel the same side twice.                                             

7.  Cut Length wise. Scoop or cut out center if there are seeds.  As above the seeds are too big and if you leave them in there the soup will be all full of seeds.

8.  Cut into Chunks. 1" x 1" thumb size chunks. Place into pot. 


9. Add pepper and garlic.

10.  Add 2 containers of Nonna Fina Sauce or marinara sauce.                                                                     

11.  Add chopped cup tuttorosso whole tomatoes. (cut into chunks).

Not cooked yet.

It's Cooked when it is soft and transulcent.

 12.  Keep on med high a Boiling temp. until cucuzza is done. Approx.  30 - 40 min.  Remove from  heat. .                                     
13.   Then add cooled off 1 box of cooked Cut Spaghetti or Italiano Pasta. (you cool off the pasta so that the water actually washes off the starch otherwise when you put it into the soup it dries it out. )  

14. Add in the chunks of romano cheese.

Ready to eat!!

Finally, found something I could use the old swing set for.

Cucuzza grows quickly from one day to the next. Don't let it get too long and big, because there will be many seeds in it and then you have to scoop that out.

Jun 11, 2010


Nonno Pino Sicilian Pizza.
Sautee onions, blk pepper & 3 pcs of diced up anchious.  Once onions are brown add in Nonna Fina fresh
Sauce or Marinara Sauce .  Put Sicilian in oven with cheese on top only.  Cook 1/2 way.  Add Sauce mix to top of pie and sprinkle on grated cheese and toasted bread crumbs.  Cook until crispy.

when we have Pizza Parties everyone gets to make their own pizza.

Olivia a 2 yrs old.  She pounded down her own dough, spread the sauce and put on her own cheese.  Well, I mean ate most of her cheese instead of putting it on her pizza!  Olivia loves her CHEESE!

Olivia, Stefana and Arianna making their own pizza.

Gaetano inserted pizza brick into my oven.  You can take the pizza away from  the man but not the man from his pizza! It is so heavy that we keep it in there all the time.
Cousin Daniel making his own Pizza.