Saturday, September 29, 2012

Liam's Triple Decker Turkey BLT


 My nephew Liam made his famous Triple Decker Turkey BLT sandwich for his aunts,mom, sisters and cousin Friday night and believe me, this kid knows his way around the kitchen.   Each sandwich was a mouth watering work of art! Layers of real turkey, crispy oven fried bacon, fresh tomato and lettuce piled high to the heavens! Thanks Liam... I have a feeling you'll be making these for us again.

  •  3 slices white bread ( toasted medium)
  •  Mayonnaise
  •  Lettuce leaves
  •  Tomato, thinly sliced
  •  Bacon ( cooked in the oven until crisp)
  •  Sliced REAL turkey, not the deli kind

Cooking Instructions

  1. Toast the bread slices.
  2. Spread a thin layer of mayonnaise on each slice. Layer bottom slice with turkey, bacon, lettuce and tomato.   Top with second slice of bread and repeat process and finish off with final slice of toast.



Tuesday, September 25, 2012

English Pork Pies

This recipe makes two very thick individual pork pies, each containing a 1/2 lb of  meat.  You could easily split one pork pie between two people.  Serve it up with mashed potatoes and a garden salad...... Yummy!

  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1 small white onion chopped
  • 1 small clove garlic minced
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp fresh sage, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp mace                       
  • Pie dough (store bought or recipe below)
  • Egg wash ( 1 egg, 2 tsps milk)

Meat filling:  In a saute pan over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon of butter and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil when hot, add 1 small chopped onion and one small clove of  minced. garlic.  Saute until soft but not browned, about 4 minutes.  Set aside in refrigerator to cool.

Add 1lb ground pork into a mixing bowl.  Add salt, sage, allspice , mace and cooled onion/garlic mixture.   Mix thoroughly.  Slowly add the 1/4 cup of chicken broth a few tablespoons at a time until incorporated.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Place dough in the bottom of each pie mold, fill each mold 1/2 of pork mixture .  Cover with pie crust. Crimp and seal the edges.   Bake at 425 degree for for 20 minutes then lower heat to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 50 minutes.  When you lower the heat, this is when you will want to brush with egg wash.  (Egg Wash:  one whole egg and 2 tsp of milk beaten with a fork)

**You can make these without the pie molds.  Just encase the meat mixture in your pie dough and bake on a cookie sheet.

Pie Crust:  ( This is my favorite pie crust recipe, I omit the sugar when making savory pies)

Ina Garten's Perfect Pie Crust

I found my pie set in the kitchen section at Marshalls but you
can order one through Amazon.  They're great for making mini sweet pies too!

                                               Chicago Metallic Cup Pie Set:
                                                                Cup Pie Set

Mini Apple Pies I made with the pie set.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Rosette Cookies

Today I found a Rosette and Timbale Set at a thrift store for $1.99.
Of course I had to buy it, I can never pass up a cool looking kitchen gadget even though I have a basement full of them.  I had no idea what a Rosette Cookie was or how to make them but after carefully studying the
pamphlet, I decided to give it a try.
They actually came out great. Light, crispy and not overly sweet. Kind of like a fried dough but lighter. The first few cookies were a bit of an experiment but after getting the timing down, they were actually pretty easy.


 You can order a set on Amazon:
    Rosette and Timbale Set

Here is a video I made on the Rosette cooking process:  How to fry a Rosette Cookie

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  1. Combine eggs, sugar and salt; beat well. Add remaining ingredients and beat until smooth.
  2. Heat a rosette iron in deep, hot oil (375 degrees) for 60 seconds.
  3. Drain excess oil from iron. Dip in batter to 1/4 inch from the top of the iron, then dip iron immediately into hot oil (375 degrees).
  4. Fry rosette until golden, about 30 seconds. Lift out; tip upside down to drain. With fork, push rosette off iron onto a rack placed over paper towels.
  5. Reheat iron 1 minute; make next rosette.
  6. Sprinkle rosettes with confectioners' sugar.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Beef Barley Soup

Nothing beats a nice hot bowl of beef barley soup.  It's loaded with vitamins, rich in flavor and actually a pretty low calorie, low fat meal, that is.... until you add a few thick slices of buttered Italian bread for dipping.  Enjoy, dig in, buon appetito, SOUPS ON !!!


  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 2 lb. beef stew meat cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • Olive oil
  • 1 large portobello mushroom, stem removed, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 Celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 8 cups beef stock
  • 2 cups water
  • 14.5 ounce can undrained diced tomatoes
  • 1 large potato, peeled and cubed into 1" pieces
  • 2 cups butternut squash, peeled and cubed into 1 " pieces
  • 2 large carrots, cut into 1/2 " slices
  • 2/3 cups quick-cooking barley
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley


1.  In a bowl, mix flour and salt,  Coat beef with flour.  In a dutch oven, heat  3 Tbsp of oil, add beef and brown on all sides.  Remove, and set aside.

2.  In the same dutch oven,cover bottom of pan with  more olive oil,  add the chopped mushroom, onion, and celery.  Cook and stir for 3-4 minutes until tender.  Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute.
Add the beef stock, water and entire can of diced tomatoes.  Return beef to stock pan.  Bring to a boil, reduce, cover and simmer for 60 minutes until the meat is tender.

3.  While the soup is simmering, place the squash, carrots and potatoes on an oiled baking sheet.  Toss veggies and bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes until almost tender.  Stir half way through.

4.  Add the barley and roasted veggies to the soup.   Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cover for 10-12 minutes until barley is tender. 
Printable Recipe

Printable Recipe

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Baked Macaroni Pie with Ricotta Stuffed Meatballs

A good friend of mine who has a talent and passion for cooking fine food shared this cooking blog with me several months ago.  I've shared it with a few other passionate foodie friends and we've all been experimenting with many of the Proud Italian Cook's delicious and creative recipes.  So far I've made her Eggplant patties, Summer veggie slaw, Pasta pizza, Rosemary olive oil pita strips with Tuscan white bean dip and Caprese tart. Some of my friends have made other recipes on her site as well.    I will tell you this... every single recipe that my friends and I have made are superb and I will be sure to make them again and again.

Below is her Ricotta stuffed meatballs recipe and my pie directions.  Kudos and much thanks to the Proud Italian Cook . 

Baked Macaroni Pie:

Butter a 9" spring form cheesecake pan.  Boil 1lb of pasta according to directions on the package.  Drain pasta and return to pan, drizzle in some olive oil to keep it moist and mix in a hand full of Parmesan cheese being sure to coat evenly. In your spring form pan, cover the bottom with a layer of sauce and follow up with alternating layers of (a) cooked rigatoni lying flat , (b) sauce, (C) thin layer of ricotta, and (D) shredded mozzarella cheese.  Make sure you push each layer down nice and tight and to cover the entire circumference of the pan.   Keep layering until you run out of pasta. Top the last layer with more sauce and a layer of mozzarella cheese.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. Cool on your counter for at least 20 minutes.  Run a knife around the edge of your cheesecake pan before removing the outer rim.  Release and cut into nice pie shape wedges!

For the Stuffed Meatballs:

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Chicken Pot Pie

In no time at all, you can have this ultimate comfort food on your dinner table any night of the week. 
Time saver number 1.  use a pre- made pie crust.
Time saver number 2.. have the chicken pre- cooked, use left over chicken or buy a cooked chicken in the market. Chilly nights can't get any cozier when you sit down to a steamy piece of this chicken pot pie. Light flaky pie crust,creamy sauce and chicken and veggies in every bite!


  • 2 cups Peeled And Diced Potatoes
  • 4 Tablespoons Butter
  • ½ cups Diced Celery
  • ½ cups Diced Onion
  • ¼ cups Flour
  • 2 cups Chicken Broth
  • 1 cup Light Cream Or Half-and-Half
  • 1 teaspoon Bells All Natural Seasoning
  • Salt And Pepper, to taste
  • ½ cups Frozen Peas
  • 2 cups Cooked, Diced Chicken (use rotisserie, leftover or make It fresh)
  • 1 package Pre-Made Pie Crust (2-count Package)

Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Boil potatoes in a pot of water until fork tender. This should take 10-20 minutes depending on the size of the dice but test with a fork to make sure they are tender. When done, strain off the water and set aside.

On medium heat, melt 4 tablespoons of butter in a Dutch oven, then add diced celery and onion. Saute until soft (this will take a few minutes.)

Sprinkle 1/4 cup of flour over the celery and onion and stir to combine. Continue to cook for a couple more minutes, stirring constantly. Add two cups of chicken broth. Stir and cook until it starts to thicken. Add 1 cup of cream, 1 teaspoon of Bell’s all natural seasoning and salt and pepper to taste. Stir and cook until thickened (about 3 minutes.)

Remove from heat and stir in your cooked diced potatoes, 1/2 cup frozen peas and the 2 cups of diced cooked chicken.

Put one pie crust into your pie pan. Spread mixture into your pie crust, then top with the other crust. Poke some holes in the top crust to let out steam and bake for 30 minutes until golden brown

Print Recipe
Saute onion and celery in 1/4 cup melted butter

Cook until tender

Add 1/4 cup flour and cook additional 2 minutes stirring constantly

Add 2 cups chicken broth, cook until thickened

Add 1 cup of 1/2 and 1/2 cream, cook for about 3 minutes
stirring constantly until sauce is thickened.

Add 1 tsp Bells seasoning and stir.

 Turn off heat and add cooked potatoes

Cut up two cups of cooked chicken

Add chicken and peas

Add mixture to bottom crust

Add top crust, pinch and seal

Poke holes in crust

I like to use a pie crust saver to prevent edges from burning.
  You can use tin foil instead.

You won't be able to have just one piece!