Thursday, February 28, 2013

Tried and True Recipes Party #2

Thanks to all of you that participated in my first ever linky party!  I wasn't sure what to expect-I was pleasantly surprised at all of the support you offered me and the great recipes you all posted!  Here are a few of my favorites:

I love learning about food from other cultures.  This walnut braid looks delicious and I love the twist!

This recipe helps me continue my fascination with my cast iron skillet!  Love the thought of making a dessert with it!

I love all things cheesecake.  Plus, Elaine shared some great memories of her Grammy.  Thanks Elaine!

Time for the party!  Remember the rules: 

1. Link up a family recipe or craft
2. Please follow my blog - I'll follow you back
 3. Please link to this post in your blogs
4. No spam, contests or giveaways please
5. Please note that by linking up your posts and projects you are giving me permission to use your photos in the featured posts and possibly on my social media outlets. All photos will be linked back to your sites and your posts
6. Visit at least two of the links and comment on the page so the blogger knows you visited

At the end of the week, I will pick out a few of my favorites! Spread the word - there are so many great blogs out there. Let's learn from each other!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


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Bracciole is an Italian dish, featuring a stuffed meat.  My Nonna made bracciole and my mother learned to make it.  It was one of my dad's favorite dishes.

Nonna, Dad, Nonnu and Aunt Lily
September 10th, 1944
Dad's two older brothers - Matt and Vince were serving in WWII
Nonna and my dad

The key to making a good bracciole is a good sauce.  Here are the recipes for my meat sauce and marinara sauce.
The ingredients for my bracciole:

Flank steak- pounded thin
Parmesan cheese - 1/2 cup
Bread crumbs- 1/2 cup
Fresh parsley - 3 tablespoons
Boiled egg (I know, just go with it)

My grandmother put spinach in hers. Tonight, I'm going to stuff mine with zucchini and a little crushed pine nuts.  Unusual ingredients, but I am entering this into a Fabio Kitchen Challenge!
Pound the flank steak thin.  When I pound meat, I put the meat in a Ziploc bag so as not to tear the meat up.

Assemble the stuffing.  In my case I used the bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, parsley, boiled eggs, crushed pine nuts and zucchini.  The beauty of bracciole is that you can stuff it with whatever you like.

Roll the steak and tie it off.

Sear the bracciole in a dutch oven or large pot.

Cover with sauce and let it simmer for 2-3 hours.

When you are ready to serve, remove the string and slice.  Serve over sauce.


Foodie Friends Friday
The Chicken Chick

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake

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The best cheesecake I ever had was from Tony's restaurant, here in St. Louis, MO.  It was a light, fluffy ricotta cheesecake, with a hint of lemon.  Cheesecake is my downfall..............ok, one of many!

Here are the ingredients:


1/2 cup macadamia nuts
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, cold
1 1/4 cup flour
Pinch of salt
2-4 tablespoons of ice cold water

In your food processor, chop the nuts.  Add the flour, sugar and salt.  Cut the butter up into cubes and add.  Pulse until the mixture is crumb-like.  Add the water (make sure it is cold) 1 tablespoon at a time.  Add enough until a dough forms.

Press into the bottom of a cheesecake pan.  Cook for 8-10 minutes in a 350 degree oven until golden brown.

For the filling:

2 packages cream cheese, room temperature
1 1/4 cups sugar
15 oz. ricotta cheese
3 tablespoons lemon curd or lemon zest
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 eggs
1/2 cup heavy cream

In your mixer, cream together cream cheese and sugar.  Add the ricotta cheese and eggs, one of a time.  Add lemon curd, vanilla and heavy cream.

Add the cheesecake filling to the cheesecake pan.

If your cheesecake pan is small enough to put inside another pan,  wrap the outside in foil so water can't get in.  Put the pan inside the larger one and fill it with water, creating a water bath.  This will help the cheesecake cook with steam so that cracks will not be created.

My cheesecake pan was too large to fit inside another pan.  Instead, I filled another bowl full of water and put it below the cheesecake pan in the oven.

Cook at 325 for 1 hour-1 hour and 20 minutes.  Take out of the oven when the middle of the cheesecake is set and the sides begin to brown.

Let the cheesecake cool completely.

Ingredients for the lemon curd:

4 eggs
1 1/2 cup sugar
2/3 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup flour
Pinch salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 tablespoons lemon zest

Make sure you get fresh lemon juice!

Mix all ingredients together and cook until slightly boiling.  Whisk constantly.  Remove from heat and let it cool.

Cook the curd until slightly boiling.  Remove from heat and let cool.

Top the cheesecake with a layer of lemon curd and whipped cream.

Don't forget to save your extra lemon curd!  It freezes well!

Enjoy!  This recipe is listed on Chic and Crafty Party
Foodie Friends Friday

Saturday, February 23, 2013


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My meatloaf recipe has changed over the years.  This is the latest and greatest.  What makes it the greatest?  BACON!

Here are the ingredients:

2 pounds ground beef
1/2 cup diced onions
Salt - 1 teaspoon
Pepper - 1 teaspoon
1 cup breadcrumbs
2 eggs
Chopped parsley - 1/4 cup
5-7 strips of bacon
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons A-1 sauce
Garlic sauce - 1 teaspoon

Mix all of the ingredients together and shape into a loaf.  Put it on a baking sheet.

For the sauce:

1 cup tomato sauce
1 cup ketchup
1/4 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons A-1 sauce
1 teaspoon dry mustard

Mix those ingredients together and pour over the meatloaf.

Cover the meatloaf with strips of bacon.............

Put in an oven and bake 45 minutes at 350 degrees.  I like my bacon crispy so I kicked up the oven at the end and let it crisp up.


This recipe is listed on Weekend Potluck

Onion Straws

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I love all things onion:  onion soup, onion rings, onions on my hamburger.  I could go on and on, like Bubba on Forrest Gump.

For tonight's dinner I wanted to cook a thick, juicy steak.  I love sauteed mushrooms on my steak, but tonight, I wanted something different.  ONION STRAWS.

This was so easy.  Here are the ingredients:

Onion, sliced very thin
2 cups buttermilk
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

To begin, slice your onion very thin.  I am lucky to have a mandolin so I was able to slice the onion before I started crying!

Soak the onions in the buttermilk.

In a large pot, heat oil to 350 degrees.  In the meantime, take the flour and add salt, pepper and a little cayenne pepper. 

When the oil is hot, take the onions, shake off the buttermilk and dredge in the flour.

Fry in the oil until golden brown.


The Chicken Chick

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Vanilla Layer Cake With Lemon Curd Filling

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Cake, lemon, whipped cream.............all things I love.  Ok, if you know me, you already know that there isn't much I don't love!  Ever since I made my sister Karrie's lemon bars, I have been fascinated with lemon curd.  Check out her great lemon bars:

 I'm the cute one holding the Raggedy Ann doll, Karrie is in the middle, and little Tonette is the baby.

 Lemon Bars 

Here are the ingredients for the cake:

2 sticks butter
1 3/4 cup sugar
4 eggs
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups flour
1 1/2 cups whole milk or cream

Cream together the butter and sugar.  Add the eggs, vanilla, salt and baking powder.  Add the flour, one cup at a time, alternating with the milk.

Divide the cake batter in 4-5 separate cake pans.  They will be little layers, but that is ok because this cake is like a pound cake.  You will need many layers of lemon curd to get the right balance.

Bake each layer at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Let the layers cool.

To make whipped cream, add 2 cups of heavy cream with 1/2 cup powdered sugar.  Whip in the mixer.  Taste - add more sugar if you want it more sweet.

Ingredients for the lemon curd:

4 eggs
1 1/2 cup sugar
2/3 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup flour
Pinch salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 tablespoons lemon zest

Make sure you get the juice from fresh lemons

Mix all ingredients together and cook until slightly boiling.  Whisk constantly.  Remove from heat and let it cool.

When the cake layers and lemon curd are cool, it is time to assemble the cake.

When I made this cake I only did three layers.  I've updated the recipe 
to add more layers so that there is more lemon curd!  YUMMY!

At this point it is time to put the final layer on:  whipped cream!  

This cake is really great!  Enjoy!

Foodie Friends Friday

Pamela's Heavenly Treats