Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Moroccan Orange Cake


    In the spirit of researching my family's DNA we discovered, as most of the population of the world would too, that there are parts of our Italian/Irish DNA that can be traced back to Africa. For ours it was specifically Morocco. So in the spirit of fun and trying new things I give you my take on a traditional Moroccan Orange Cake.
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups flour
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
  • 2 tbs orange zest
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Powdered sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a Bundt pan.
2. In a large bowl beat together to eggs and sugar until creamy.
3. Mix in oil.
4. Mix in flour, baking powder, and salt in batches until smooth.
5. Mix in the orange juice, zest, and vanilla.
6. Pour into baking pan and bake for 30-35 minutes.
7. Cool, slice, and serve with some powdered sugar sprinkled on top.
    This cake was amazing. It was good as a dessert, a side snack with a nice cup of hot tea, or I would even go as far as a nice little breakfast as you are running out the door. Perfectly flavored with natural orange and not too sweet. Definitely putting this on my dessert list for future events.  So easy and quick to make.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30-35 minutes
Serves: 4+

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Mini Cheesburger Calzone

       This is one of the quick and easy weeknight meals you can create. Even a good one to do with the kids if you have any. All the flavors of a good cheeseburger in one little hand held pocket. No worries about drippings off the side down the cheeks or parts falling apart. With these little calzones all the good stuff stays inside. Mini Cheeseburger Calzone.


  • 1 store bought pizza dough roll
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • American Cheese
  • Ketchup
  • Egg (for wash)
  • Salt/pepper

1. Brown the beef with salt and pepper in a large skillet and sit aside.
2. Roll out the pizza dough and cut into equal size squares. Mine made roughly 12.
3. Take a piece of American cheese and lay in the center followed by some of the ground beef filling.
4. Dollop some ketchup on top. Fold over the edges to create a little round bun shaped pocket.
5. Take egg wash and brush over the tops of each one.
6. Bake in 350 degree oven for roughly 12-15 minutes or until tops are browned.

The filling possibilities are endless based on your tastes and what you want to create in these little calzones. You could do pizza, Philly style cheese and beef, etc.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Serves: 4+



Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Gingerbread Bread Pudding

Made this fantastic dessert for Christmas dinner. This by far is now one of my favorite bread pudding recipes. The flavor of almost perfect gingerbread incorporated in the delicate and filling bread pudding is the perfect combination. I found this recipe online but altered it slightly. Top it with a vanilla sugar icing drizzle and you have yourself a little piece of heaven. Gingerbread Bread Pudding.


  • 1 loaf French bread cut into cubes
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 5 eggs
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1tsp ginger
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp all spice
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • Milk
  • Powder sugar

1. Cut bread into cubes and let sit overnight out to harden up.
2. Preheat oven to 350.
3. Mix together the milk, eggs, sugar, molasses, spices, and 1 tsp vanilla in a large bowel.
4. Place bread cubes in another bowel and pour the milk mixture over. Let sit for roughly 15 minutes.
5. Pour bread mixture into a 9 x 13 greased baking pan and bake in oven for 50 minutes until the center no longer jiggles.
6. Take some milk, powdered sugar, and 1 tsp vanilla and mix together to create a smooth pourable icing.
7. Remove bread pudding from oven, slice, and serve with the vanilla icing drizzled on top.

This bread pudding was so delicious that everyone in the house loved it and asked for seconds.  Definitely give this one a try.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Serves: 4+

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Chicken Bacon BBQ Pesto Pizza

     I was craving pizza so badly this weekend so decided to come up with a simple and great pizza full of flavor. I was wanting something different, something with some interesting type of BBQ flavor, so decided to combine these great flavor combinations into one. Chicken Bacon BBQ Pesto Pizza.



  • 1 Store bought crust
  • 1 boneless chicken breast
  • 3 strips bacon
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup fresh Romano cheese
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • 2 tbs BBQ sauce
  • 1 tbs pesto
1. Either boil or grill the chicken breast and once cooled cut up into chunks.

2. Cook bacon either by frying or baking and chop up into pieces.

3. Roll out pizza dough onto a baking sheet or pizza board.

4. Over medium high heat drizzle some olive oil and saute garlic till fragrant.

5. Pour in the heavy cream and lower heat and simmer.

6. Toss in the Romano cheese and mix well. Let cool and it will thicken up.

7. Spread Romano sauce over the pizza dough.

8. Sprinkle on the chicken, bacon, and the frozen corn. Top with mozzarella cheese and bake in 500 degree oven for roughly 10-15 minutes or until crust is perfectly browned.

9. Mix together the BBQ sauce and pesto and drizzle over the pizza and serve.
This pizza combination was delicious. The heartiness from the sauce, chicken, and cheese with the addition of the bold flavors of the BBQ and pesto were the perfect combination.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Serves: 2+

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Polish Sausage With Potatoes And Peppers

Decided to try my hand at a simple Polish dish. One full of flavor but so easy that even a child could make this. Polish Sausage With Potatoes And Peppers.
  • 1/2 lb Polish Sausage
  • 1 medium potato
  • 1 roasted red pepper
  • 1/2 small white onion
  • Olive oil
  • Salt/pepper
  • Pinch Thyme
  • 1/2 cup water
1. In a large pan, drizzle some olive oil and saute sliced up sausage till browning on both sides. Remove and drain on paper towel.
2. In same pot, saute diced onion, diced bell pepper, and diced potato.
3. Pour in about 1/2 cup water to allow potatoes to become tender. Cover and cook for roughly 10 minutes on low heat.
4. Toss back in the sausage and continue to simmer for another 10 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.
5. Serve with some good crusty bread.
This was such a simple, yet packed full of flavor dish. Perfect for those long winter nights.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Serves: 2-3

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

PB&J Trout

     Please don't let the name freak you out. This is just an idea I came up with and trust me when I say it is a great combination of flavors for this trout. A spicy yet sweet sauce to accompany a nutty grilled trout is the perfect combination of tastes when you eat this dish. PB&J Trout


  • 2 trout filets
  • 1/2 cup crushed roasted peanuts
  • 1/4 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup strawberry preserves
  • 2 tbs sriracha
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp balsamic

1. Combine the crushed peanuts and cornmeal onto a plate. Take the trout filets and press firmly into the combination meat side down.
2. In a large skillet melt some butter and brown the trout filets meat side down for roughly 1 minute and remove and place on a baking sheet.
3. Cook covered in a 350 degree oven for roughly 8 minutes.
4. Meanwhile take the strawberry preserves, sriracha, ginger, and balsamic and bring to a simmer over medium high heat in a sauce pan.
5. Serve the trout with a little of the sauce drizzled over.

   This trout was a great combination of flavors. I highly recommend if wanting to try something different than your usual trout dish. Enjoy!

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Serves: 2

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Philippine Adobo Chicken


      Celebrated as probably the national dish of the Philippines, this chicken shows the amazing ingenuity of the Philippine culture in preserving food. The use of vinegar and soy to preserve meats is specific to the Filipino people in keeping meats such as fish and chicken safe for consumption. This chicken dish is typically made utilizing on the bone chicken, however because I typically have boneless skinless in the freezer, I chose to use this instead. This dish packs distinctive flavors of salty, tartness, spiciness, and slightly sweet. Philippine Adobo Chicken.

  • 3 chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup soy
  • 3 cloves garlic diced
  • 1 tbs black peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tbs sugar
  • Salt/pepper

1. Salt/pepper both sides of the chicken. In a large saute pan with olive oil brown the chicken on both sides.

2. In a mixing bowl combine the vinegar, soy, and sugar. Carefully pour into the saute pan over low heat.

3. Toss in the garlic, bay leaves, and peppercorns. Bring to a low rolling simmer, cover, and cook for roughly 15 minutes turning the chicken every few minutes.

4. Remove lid and bring to high heat for 2-5 minutes until the sauce thickens up. Serve over white rice.
     This dish was unexpected. I really didn't know what to expect with the combination of flavors, but was very pleased with the outcome. Very easy and full of flavors. I would definitely make this again soon.
(Hint: you can marinate the chicken in the combination of ingredients for an hour or so for an even deeper flavor)
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Serves: 2-3

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Grilled Tuna With Pesto

This is such a quick and flavorful dish you will make it again and again. In less than 5 minutes you will be eating this amazing entrĂ©e. You can use homemade pesto or just buy a good one at your local store. Serve with a side of rice or your favorite vegetable and you are good to go. Grilled Tuna With Pesto.
  • 2 large tuna steaks
  • Pesto
  • Salt/pepper
  • Olive Oil
1. Salt and pepper the tuna steaks on both sides. Rub with olive oil all over.

2. Over high heat and on a hot grill cook the steaks for roughly 2 1/2 minutes per side to get those grill marks and still be rare in the middle.

3. Slice thin and serve with a side drizzle of fresh pesto.
Easy, Quick, and delicious.
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Serves: 2.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Pasta Al Autunno


     Was trying to come up with a new pasta creation this past weekend. One that would represent the change in the seasons here in the states. A flavorful dish that epitomized the fall crisp air and the aromas that one thinks of during this time of year. Decided on taking some key ingredients that are perfectly ripe during the fall season. So here goes; Pasta Al Autunno


  • 2 large chicken breasts
  • 1/2 yellow bell pepper chopped
  • 1/2 small eggplant chopped, skin removed
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tbs goat cheese
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • Pinch thyme
  • Pinch rosemary
  • Pasta of choice
  • Salt/pepper

1. In a 350 degree oven take bell pepper and eggplant and roast for roughly 15 minutes. Place in food processor and blend up until you have a nice paste.

2. Meanwhile in a large saute pan, drizzle some olive oil and brown chicken on both sides. Remove, slice into strips, and sit aside.

3. In same saute pan, saute garlic until fragrant. Stir in the eggplant/pepper mixture. Pour in white wine and chicken stock and simmer until reduced.

4. Pour in heavy cream and goat cheese and stir until mixed.

5. Stir in thyme and rosemary and bring to a low simmer.

6. Mix back in the chicken strips, cover and simmer on low for about 10 minutes. Serve over favorite pasta of choice.

This dish exemplifies the great hearty flavors of the fall season. Give it a try!

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Serves: 2+

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Eleanor Frittata

    Each year our family gathers together to have an Easter Brunch. Each member makes a separate dish to bring to one's house, (whomever is the host that year), we eat, drink, and have a good afternoon. My Aunt Eleanor has made a few frittata's for this special occasion. For those not sure what a frittata is, it is simply an Italian version of an omelette or quiche. Typically this dish is fried on the stove over low heat until the egg mixture comes together. This version is even easier and less stressful through the use of baking in the oven. This is my version of her original dish. Eleanor Frittata.



  • 2 Italian sausage links casing removed
  • 1/4 diced onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 red bell pepper diced
  • 1 handful baby spinach
  • Handful left over grilled asparagus
  • 5 eggs
  • Handful Italian mixture of cheese; (provolone, mozzarella, Parmesan)
  • Salt/pepper

1. In a large pan brown the Italian sausage.
2. Stir in the diced onion, red bell pepper, garlic, and baby spinach. Saute until all is tender and spinach has wilted.
3. Mix in the already cooked left over asparagus.
4. Now whisk together the eggs in a large bowl.
5. In a round baking pan coated with cooking spray, sprinkle some of the cheese mixture.
6. Pour in the sausage vegetable mixture.
7 Gently pour the eggs over the mixture and top with remaining cheese.
8. Cook in 350 degree oven for roughly 30-40 minutes or until top has browned and is set firm.

This delicious frittata is so full of flavor that it will quickly become a favorite for everyone. This can even be eaten cold for a light snack or reheated for an on the go breakfast.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes including saute
Serves: 3+