Tuesday, July 26, 2022

O'Connor's Cottage Pie


Cottage Pie

O'Connor's Cottage Pie

Most people do not know what you mean when you say you are making a Cottage Pie. As soon as you describe it they respond with "Oh yeah, Shepherd's Pie?", No, there is a difference. First off, if you use beef then it isn't Shepherd's, because they heard sheep so only lamb or mutton can be called that kind of pie. Anyways, my Irish grandmother used to make this delicious version of Cottage Pie. Hope you enjoy.


  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 white onion diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 2 tbs flour
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Worcestershire 
  • Salt/Pepper


  • 2 large russet potatoes
  • Butter
  • Milk
  • 1 1/2 cup shredded Irish white cheddar
  • Salt/pepper
1. Begin by peeling and boiling your potatoes. Preheat oven to 350F

2. Next brown the ground beef in a large pan along with the diced onion. 

3. Mix in the garlic and sauté until fragrant.

4. Mix in the diced tomatoes, frozen corn and frozen peas.

5. Stir in the 2 tbs of flour until the mixture becomes a thick consistency.

6. Slowly pour in the beef stock until the mixture becomes a thick gravy of beef and vegetables.

7. Stir in the thyme, bay leaf, and a couple of shakes of Worcestershire sauce. Salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat.

8. Once potatoes are cooked through, drain and mash up. Add in a couple bits of butter and milk until 
the consistency your prefer for mashed potatoes. 

9. Mix in 1 cup of the Irish white cheddar. 

10. In a medium baking dish, pour in the beef mixture. Spread the potato mixture over top and sprinkle the leftover 1/2 cup Irish white cheddar. Cover and bake in oven for roughly 30 minutes. Remove cover and place under the broiler for about 5-10 minutes until the potatoes brown and crisp up. 

Once cooled this dish is packed full of flavor and everyone will fall in love with it. The secret is the Irish white cheddar. Some will notice a different taste but not expect that to be the one different ingredient you use. Enjoy!

Prep Time: 15-20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Serves: 5+

Cottage Pie

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Pasta Al Tonno




    What exactly is Pasta Al Tonno you may be asking? Well it is simply pasta and tuna. A simple and delicious quick pasta meal that is beloved by many all over Italy. Why wouldn't it be? A rather smaller country surrounded by water makes for a typical cuisine dotted with all types of seafood found in the sea. Every region, family, restaurant has their own version of a pasta with tuna dish. This one is something my family has just always simply threw together for a quick yet delicious meal. If you try this I am sure you too will love it as much as we do. Pasta Al Tonno.


  • Olive Oil
  • 1-2 cloves Garlic
  • 1/2 Onion diced
  • 1 cup White Wine
  • 1 tbs Oregano
  • 1 pinch Chili flakes
  • 1/4 cup Capers
  • 1 can of Tuna in oil
  • 1 full Lemon Zested
  • Spaghetti
1. In a large sauté pan drizzle some olive oil and sauté onion until translucent and then sauté garlic.

2. Mix in tuna directly from the can. 

3. Pour in white wine and add in oregano, chili flakes, capers and lemon zest. Bring to a slight simmer and reduce sauce about by 1/2.

4. Take cooked spaghetti and toss directly into the pan with tuna and sauce. Serve. 

Now I know cheese shouldn't be served on seafood pasta, however we always loved a  little parmesan tossed with this tuna pasta. To each their own!

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


Wednesday, February 2, 2022

Chicago Deep Dish Personal Pie


Chicago Deep Dish Pie

     This simple yet fulfilling meal for two is the perfect and easy weeknight meal or whenever you want it. Now I am truly the typical Italian that pretty much prefers the original style of pizza; thin crust, tomato, mozzarella, and basil, the kind you get in Naples. However, I saw on The Kitchen the hosts make this with using homemade pizza dough. I was amazed at how easy so thought I would give it a try. This one is even easier because I just used store bought pizza dough. Chicago Deep Dish Pie.


  • Store bought pizza crust
  • Mozzarella slices
  • 1 lb Italian ground sausage
  • Small can San Marzano tomatoes
  • Italian seasoning
  • Parmesan cheese

1. Take your Italian Ground Sausage and literally smash it down with the bottom of your 9in circle baking pan into the round shape of the pizza. Quickly pan fry it until just browning on both sides. 

2. Clean off bottom of baking pan and gently butter the entire inside, bottom and sides.

3. Roll out your store bought pizza dough.

4. Form pizza dough into the baking pan, pressing until all bottom is covered and all the way up the sides.

5. Layer with slices of mozzarella, then the partially cooked circle of Italian sausage.

6. Take the can of tomatoes and pour into a bowl. Squish with your hands. Layer on top of the sausage. Sprinkle some Italian seasoning and then parmesan.

7. Bake in 450 degree oven for 30 minutes. Let cool and serve.

This was amazing. Full of good flavor and a quick and satisfying meal for two. 

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Serves: 2


Thursday, January 20, 2022

Bacon, Chive, Cheddar Soda Bread


Bacon, Chive, Cheddar Soda Bread

     This delicious hearty Irish Soda bread is so good that you can make it anytime of the year. Quick, simple, and the perfect accompaniment to any soup or roast dinner you plan on having. I found this recipe on the web and added a few of my own touches and changes to it. Give it a try. Bacon, Chive, Cheddar Soda Bread.


  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 1/2 tbs minced dried onion
  • 5 slices cooked bacon
  • 1/2 cup diced chives
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk

1. Preheat oven to 400 F.

2. Sift flour, baking soda, sugar, and salt together.

3. Mix in bacon, cheese, onion, and chives into mixture.

4. Add in buttermilk and mix together until your mixture forms a ball.

5. On floured surface kneed for a few minutes and form into a ball. Slice a cross on top.

6. Bake for 25 minutes until the bottom sounds hollow. 

     I have made many different kinds of Soda Bread before but this one tops the cake! 

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Serves: 4+

Friday, January 7, 2022

O'Connor Stoup


 O'Connor Stoup

     O'Connor Stoup, what is this? Well, O'Connor is my Irish sides surname, (along with a few others), and Stoup is just a new name for a dish that falls in-between and soup and a stew. This "Stoup" is packed full of traditional Irish flavors and ingredients with the addition of an amazing Irish cheddar cheese I picked up at my local grocery. O'Connor Stoup.


  • 2 tbs butter
  • 1/2 white onion diced
  • 1 stalk celery diced
  • 1-2 carrot sliced
  • 2 cups small yellow potatoes cut in half
  • 1 cup shredded cabbage
  • 2 cups ham chunks
  • 1 box chicken stock, additional water if needed based on size of potatoes and space.
  • Diced fresh parsley
  • 1 large Bay leaf
  • 1 cup Irish Cheddar chunks
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • Salt/pepper
1. In a large stock pot over medium high heat melt the butter and sauté the onion, celery, and carrot until tender.

2. Toss in shredded cabbage and begin to wilt it. 

3. Pour in stock and bring to simmer.

4. Toss in potatoes and ham chunks. Mix in parsley and Bay leaf and continue to simmer until potatoes are fork tender.

5. Stir in the cream and Irish cheddar. Continue to stir until cheese has melted and you have a thick creamy base.

6. Remove Bay leaf, salt and pepper to taste and serve. 

     This "Stoup" was extremely delicious, full of flavor, hearty and with the perfect amount of cheesy goodness. Enjoy!

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Serves: 4+ 


Thursday, December 30, 2021

Mini Crab Ravioli


Mini Crab Ravioli

    These delicious little pockets of crab, cheese, and creamy sauce are the perfect meal for any day of the week. I made these earlier in the year with a gift I received from last Christmas from my cousins; a little ravioli maker. Mini Crab Ravioli


  • Lump/Claw crab meat
  • 1 cup Ricotta
  • 2 tbs Parsley
  • 1/2 cup Breadcrumbs
  • 1 Egg

  • 1 large Shallot
  • 1 full lemon zested
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 3/4 cup Cream
  • 1 tbs Old Bay

1. Make the pasta dough. See past post on perfect pasta dough recipe. 

2. In a medium bowl combine the crab meat, ricotta, parsley, breadcrumbs and the egg. Mix to combine.

3. Roll out one sheet of dough over the ravioli maker. Place a small spoonful of stuffing into each trench of the ravioli maker. 

4. Roll out another sheet on top and press and cut to individual sizes. Set aside on baking tray and place in freezer for roughly an hour.

5. Boil a large pot of water on the stove and cook the ravioli till they float to top and come to a rolling boil. 

6. In a large sauté pan drizzle some olive oil and sauté the shallots until tender. Toss in garlic and sauté until fragrant. 

7. Mix in the lemon zest, cream, and old bay seasoning. Bring to a simmer. Toss with the cooked ravioli. 

Viola! Simple, delicious and full of perfect flavor. 

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Serves: 3+


Tuesday, December 21, 2021





     I know what you are thinking, "What is this Timballo?", well a Timballo or Timpano depending on Italian dialect or location is a baked mound of dough stuffed with a bunch of goodness inside. The internal items can range from meats, cheeses, pasta, fish, vegetables, etc. Anything you truly prefer. I used a small metal oven proof bowl to bake this in but a ceramic one would work too. The dish was showcased in a 1996 movie Big Night about an Italian restaurant owned by 2 brothers struggling during the holidays. This dish my family has decided to add to our Christmas Eve Feast along with a bunch of different seafoods to accompany our Feast of the Seven Fishes meal. It seemed daunting and hard to put together, however I found it quite simple once I got the hand of it. Please enjoy my Timballo.


  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup water


  • 2 cups diced salami
  • 2 cups provolone cheese
  • 6 hard boiled eggs sliced
  • 2 cups mini meatballs
  • 4 cups homemade red sauce
  • 1 1/2 lb baked rigatoni
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1/2 cup Romano or Parmesan cheese
  • 3 eggs

1. Start by making the dough. Combine flour, eggs, salt, olive oil and water in a mixer and mix until dough forms a ball. Kneed by hand for 10 minutes or with dough hook for roughly 3 minutes. Let rest for 5 minutes. Grease with butter the inside of the baking bowl.

2. Roll out onto floured surface until large enough to fill the bowl you are baking it in as well as cover the bottom of your creation.


3. Prepare the inside. (Some of this can be done ahead of time so you can easily fill like a assembly line. I made this even easier on myself by buying store bought mini Italian meatballs. I know, Sacrilege).

4. Start filling the dough lined bowl. I started with some rigatoni then followed by the salami, then the provolone, eggs, meatballs, provolone again and then some sauce. Repeat again until the mixture fills to the top of the dome. Take the last 3 eggs, scramble and pour over the top so it filters down through the fillings. Fold over the hanging dough and seal with a little water. You can trim some if there is too much.



5. Bake in 350 degree oven for about an hour uncovered. Cover with tinfoil and bake again for roughly 30-45 minutes.

6. After resting for 30+ minutes carefully turn upside onto serving platter and the Timballo should slip out and is ready to slice and serve.

This little Timballo was perfect and just enough to serve my whole family at roughly 5+ people. Enjoy!!

Prep Time: 3 minutes
Cook Time: 90 minutes
Serves: 5+ 


Monday, December 13, 2021

Neapolitan Cookies



     Rainbow, Neapolitan, Napoleon, Tricolore cookies/cake, whatever you call them, these cookies/ mini cake bites have become a standard of Italian American dessert treats. You can barely go to an Italian bakery without finding these delicious almond flavored delights. The process of baking these is lengthy but once you do it you will find the time to make these often. We decided to make these as part of our Christmas dessert trays. The delicious almond flavor, the apricot jam lightly spread in between each sponge and the chocolate topping make for a perfect after dinner bite. Neapolitan Cookies.


  • 2 1/2 sticks softened and in pieces 
  • 2 cups flour
  • 7 ounces almond paste
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 eggs separated
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Red and green food coloring
  • 1 jar smooth apricot jam
  • 1 lb bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 4 9x12 shallow baking sheets

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray and flour 3 of the baking sheets.

2. Combine almond paste and 3/4 cup plus 2 tbs of the sugar in a mixer until the batter becomes crumbles. 

3. Beat in the butter a few pieces at a time until combined. Then beat in the egg yolks until smooth.

4. Mix in the flour and salt a little at a time until combined.

5. Whisk the egg whites and 2 tbs sugar until stiff peaks form.

6. Fold in the egg white mixture a little at a time into the batter. Batter should be a little fluffy.

7. Separate the batter into 3 bowls and dye one green and one red. Leave the other one light tan/white.

8. Spread evenly onto the 3 baking sheets and bake roughly 10 minutes or until edges are beginning to brown slightly. Cool on racks.

9. Once cooled take the apricot jam and spread evenly over the green sponge. Then carefully take the white sponge and lay on top and then spread more apricot jam over the white layer. Top with the red layer. Cover with plastic wrap tightly and then the empty 4th baking sheet. Place in fridge and weigh down the cake with cans or a heavy pot and let chill for 4 hours to overnight.

10. Remove from fridge. Melt chocolate chips over double broiler and pour over the green/top layer once you have inverted the cake. Let sit and cool slightly until you can take a fork and make wavy lines on the top. Let chill. Trim any edges and cut into little bite size 2 inch rectangular pieces. 

This is such a favorite of everyone that they will be asking for it every holiday season.

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Inactive time: 4 hours to overnight
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Serves: Plenty


Monday, December 6, 2021

German Goulash Soup



German Goulash Soup

     Traditional Goulash stems from the Hungarian culture as a form of meat stew or soup. Other central European cultures also have a version and this one is based off of one of those. My father used to talk about some of the food he discovered when he was in the War in the early 60's. He discussed one fond memory of discovering real German Goulash. Not the kind that some American's eat of a macaroni with ground beef and tomatoes, but rather a sultry, delicious, hearty soup made specifically in this part of Europe. He was stationed in Berlin and remembers finding this soup in a small little restaurant he frequented when he had time to leave his post. He could remember exactly all that was in it, but wasn't too sure on the spice blend. I did a little research and found practically the exact soup he was speaking of. I have listed the original recipe I found at the bottom that I used for inspiration in creating my copycat. Please enjoy German Goulash Soup.


  • 2 tbl butter
  • 1/2 chopped onion
  • 1 lb beef cubes
  • 2 large russet potatoes
  • 3 cups beef stock
  • 1 1/2 cup chopped carrots
  • 2 tbl paprika
  • 2 tbl tomato paste
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tsp caraway seeds
  • 1/2 tsp marjoram
  • Salt/Pepper

1. In a large stock pot melt your butter over medium high heat. 

2. Sauté the onion and carrot until the onion becomes translucent. Stir in the garlic until fragrant.

3. Toss in the beef cubes and salt and pepper. Brown the beef.

4. Mix in the stock, paprika, tomato paste, caraway seeds and marjoram. Bring to a low boil.

5. Toss in potatoes, cover and simmer until potatoes are cooked through, roughly 15-20 minutes. At this point the soup will have thickened up a bit. 

   This was a quick and easy one pot meal to make that definitely was hearty and full of flavor. Perfect for the colder nights occurring during this autumn time.

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Serves: 3+

Original Link for recipe. 

My father in Berlin, second from right.

Sauté of vegetables and beef



Thursday, September 2, 2021

Irish Creamy Pork Roast



Irish Creamy Pork Roast

     Interested in an Irish dish not so famous as others you typically see in an American Irish Bar served specifically on St. Patty's Day? Well try this simple yet full flavored pork dish that will have you coming back for more. Irish Creamy Pork Roast.


  • 1-2 lb pork tenderloin
  • 3 shallots
  • 5 juniper berries
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 2/3 cup hard cider
  • 2/3 cup chicken stock
  • 4 celery stalks chopped
  • 2 tbs flour
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • Olive oil
  • 3 tbs butter
  • Salt/pepper

1. In a large skillet melt  1 1/2 tbs butter and add olive oil. Place in the pork tenderloin and brown on all sides roughly 8 minutes.

2. Remove pork and sit aside. Toss in the shallots and cook until tender. Add in the juniper berries, thyme, and return the pork to the pan. Pour in the cider and chicken stock. Cover and simmer for roughly 30 minutes. Add in the chopped celery and continue to cover and cook.

3. Make a past using rest of butter and flour. Remove pork from skillet and place on a plate. Remove the juniper berries and discard. Mix in the paste and cream until thickness begins. Simmer on low for about 2 minutes until the sauce becomes a perfect thick texture. Slice the pork into medallions and serve with the sauce spooned over. 

    This pork dish was fantastic. Full of flavor and pretty easy to make. Shows just how simple but amazing Irish cooking is. Serve with a side of potatoes and some mushy peas.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 45-60 minutes

Serves: 4+