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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

White Chocolate Chunk and Pine Nut, Peanut Butter Cookies

Hello Everyone...This is the first of my weekly cookie recipe. I will post one a week until Christmas so you can add one or more to your Holiday Baking!! 

White Chocolate Chunk and Pine Nut, Peanut Butter Cookies


2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp kosher salt
¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 ¼ cup, packed light brown sugar 

3/4 cup white sugar
2 large eggs
1 ½ cup creamy peanut butter
2 tsp. vanilla extract
12 oz White chocolate, chopped in small chunks
4 oz. pine nuts, toasted in a dry pan, roughly chopped.
White sanding sugar


Preheat the oven to 350°F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, nutmeg and salt, and whisk well.

In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter with the brown and white sugar until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the eggs one at a time, beating between each addition. Add the peanut butter and vanilla, and beat on medium-low speed to blend. Add the dry ingredients in three batches, mixing on low speed until incorporated and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the white chocolate and toasted pine nuts and mix on low speed, just until evenly incorporated.

Using an ice cream scoop or tablespoon, scoop the batter onto the prepared sheet pan. Pat the dough down and round it out a bit. Then using a back of a fork make a cross pattern on top (optional).  Sprinkle the tops with sanding sugar. Leave plenty of space between cookies. Normally 6 cookies work well. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, or until the cookies are pale golden. Transfer the pan to a rack, and cool the cookies completely on the sheet pan. They will firm up as they cool.

Saturday, November 19, 2011


This is a recipe I learned from my ex mother in-law and was honored that she taught me. Thank you Mina!!! It is such an amazing stew...good for you and warms you to the bone.  Here is a web site for all of you who can not obtain some of the ingredients, which are only located in New Bedford, MA, Fall River, MA and Providence, RI area's. I have finally found the liguinca here in ATL, at the Publix grocery store. So if you would like to try this one you will need to order the samp on line or have a friend bring you some..Or take a trip up there and bring some back with you...Like I do!  : )

MUNCHUPA: Cape Verdean Stew

  • 3 cups Samp (dried yellow corn)
  • 1 1/2 cups large dry Lima beans
  • 2 lbs. stew beef
  • 1 lb. linguica, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 corn beef roast, cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 2 smoked hocks
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 bundle fresh kale, cleaned, stems removed and cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 bay leaf
  • kosher salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 2 lbs of small boiling potatoes
  • 3 acorn squash peeled and cut into 2 inch cubes
  • 1 stick butter

  • Wash samp and beans and soak overnight, separately.
  • Place samp in a 12-quart pot half-filled with water. Add bay leaf and cook for 1 hour. Add beans, kale, linguica, short ribs, smoked hocks and corn beef. Saute onions in oil. Add paprika, salt and black pepper to onions. Add onion mixture to pot and add enough water to cover vegetables. Bring water to a boil, lower heat, and allow pot to simmer for at least 3 1/2 to 4 hours. (add more water as needed). When completed add salt to taste, if needed.
  • Boil Potatoes and Squash in separate pot to serve with the Monchupa toss with butter. 
  • Serve with some Portuguese Bread for dunking in the broth!

Finished...I add the potato and squash to my bowl of stew. I have to tell you, some folks like to sprinkle a bit of hot sauce on top. I prefer not to. They also like a cap full of vinegar. I like it just as is when it comes out of the pot.
Served with some Portuguese Bread...

Monday, November 14, 2011


I just want to thank everyone for the really nice comments. I do have one request. Can you please put your whole name at the end so I know who you are??  ;  )

Have a lovely day and I hope to have a few more recipes up this week!! 


Saturday, November 12, 2011

Coconut Macaroon Cookies

These coconut macaroons were my grandmothers favorite cookies.  I remember how my grandmother loved to have her tea with a couple of these sweet little cookies. Sweet memories....
Miss her everyday!  So this is dedicated to her and my memories of her.

·        1 (14 oz.) can Sweetened Condensed Milk
·        1 large egg white, beaten
·        1 (14 oz.) package flaked coconut
·        2 teaspoons vanilla extract
·        1/2 teaspoon almond extract
·        Cherries for topping. I used a cherry almond sauce to top them.

·        Heat oven to 325°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
·        Combine sweetened condensed milk, egg white, coconut and vanilla and almond extracts in large bowl; mix well. Drop by rounded teaspoonful’s onto prepared baking sheets.
·        Bake 15 to 17 minutes or until lightly browned around edges. Immediately remove from baking sheets to wire rack. Let them cool completely before digging in…they need to set up.

Make sure you mix very well...all the coconut needs to be completly coated.

I used a cherry almond sauce to top, but you can use any type of cherry you like (fresh or marachino)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Chunky Applesauce

A little something I made Sunday but did not have the time to post...until now. Life certainly gets busy!  I love to bake and cook apples when the weather gets cold and tonight we are in for our first frost.  Maybe if you all have a few apples around this can be a night time snack with a scoop of vanilla ice cream...Taste just like Apple Pie A La Mode, without the crust! I guess that would save on a few calories.  ;  )  This smells amazing and your house will to!

Mmmm...Perfect on a cold night! 

I love this little tool...saves me so much time. I got this many years ago from Pampered Chef.

Apples in the pot...ready to be cooked!!

Chunky Applesauce

  • 6 -8 medium apples, peeled, cored and sliced
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • Pinch of Kosher Salt
  • 2 tablespoons of Cinnamon Sugar
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, ½ stick


1.  In large saucepan, combine apples, orange juice, brown sugar, Cinnamon, nutmeg, kosher salt and ½ of the butter.
2.  Bring to a low boil then reduce the heat and Simmer over low heat until tender, stirring occasionally.
3.  Stir in cinnamon sugar and remainder of the butter and cook until thoroughly heated.

Thick and chunky and full of Love! 

Friday, November 4, 2011

Almond, Honey and Oat Bread

Mom has been in the kitchen making eggplant parm for dinner so I was feeling a little bored and decided to make a very quick no knead bread. The rising time in total is an hour and 20 min and the bake time is between 35 to 45 min.  So very quick and easy for me because I am not ready to knead anything yet...still not enough strenght in my shoulder and still have pain. 

I love the smell of fresh baked bread...good thing, seeing I work for a bread co.  The combination of the bread and dinner is amazing. Now my stomach is growling!  ;  )  
Can't wait to eat! 

Yeast, water and sugar blooming

After the first 1 hour resting, cut the dough in half to make 2 loaves.

Sprinkle the Oats and Almonds on top!!

Crock of Orange Butter!

Finished bread...

Almond, Honey and Oat Bread

1 1/3 cup warm water
1 tbsp active dry yeast
1/4 tsp sugar
¾ cups quick-cooking oats
1/3 cup of crushed all natural almond slivers
1/3 cup honey
3 Tbsp canola oil
1 tsp olive oil
21/2  tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
5 cups all-purpose flour
1 large egg, beaten
2 Tbsp additional oats (For topping the bread)
1 tsp additional slivered almonds (For topping the bread)

Sprinkle the yeast and 1/4 tsp of sugar over the water, and let set for 10 minutes until frothy.  In a large bowl mix together the oats, almonds, honey, canola oil, salt and pepper and the water.  Stir in enough of the flour to form a soft dough (I started with 4 ½ cups and went from there).  Coat a large bowl with tsp olive oil.  Transfer dough to the bowl and turn it over to coat.  Cover with a kitchen towel in a warm area.  Let rise for about 1 hour, or until doubled in volume.

Punch the dough down, and shape into 2 loaves.  I just free formed 2 loaves on a baking sheet.  But you could use loaf pans if you wanted.  Cover and let rise for 20 minutes. 

Brush the top of the loaves with egg, and sprinkle with the additional oats and a sprinkle of almonds.  Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes.  When you knock on the bottom of the bread and it sounds hollow, it is done.  Let the bread cool for about 10 to 15 min. Then cut slices with a serrated knife.

I topped with my homemade whipped orange butter!  Yummmm

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Roasted Chicken Cacciatore

Here is my very first post!!  Now that my shoulder surgery went well and I can start to move...Yes, I am back in the kitchen.  It was hard to be out of my comfort zone for the last 3 weeks! 

I decided to make Cacciatore the way my grandparents used to make it...which was simmered on top of the stove for hours. I ended up falling a sleep (Pain Killers will do that to you) and now I can not make it their way. The way to resolve this is to Roast it in the oven (I love Roasting and Braising anyways).  I hope you enjoy this recipe..Please give it a try and let me know what you think.

I need to start by telling you that I normally use lots of mushrooms when I make this amazing dish...However, I have house guests who will be eating this and None of them like Mushrooms!! So when you make this..Please add as many as you like. I prefer to use baby bella's but each to their own.

P.S.  I know the photos are not good at all...that will change as time goes on. Had to use my phone today. Last trip to Boston, I left the camera case with the battery pack.

Start to the goodness!!

Finished Roasting


1lb of Pasta, I use Campanelle.  (cooked in salted boiling water)

6 Whole chicken legs with the thighs
2 - 28 oz cans crushed tomato
1 - 28 oz can tomato puree'
1 - 6 oz can of tomato paste
2 large bell peppers / Cut into 2 inch chunks
1 large onion / Cut into 2 inch chunks
3 large garlic cloves / finley chopped
1 cup of baby bella or cremini mushrooms
1/2 cup of red wine, of choice
1 cup flour (seasoned with salt, black pepper and Italian seasoning)
1/3 cup Olive oil

(Seasoning for the Red Sauce)
1/3 cup of granulated sugar
1 tbsp kosher salt
1/2 tbsp black pepper
1tbsp Italian seasoning

(Seasoning for the chicken)
Kosher salt to taste
Black pepper to taste


Add all the Tomato products to your roasting pot, (Big enough to fit the chicken in a single layer), sugar, kosher salt, black pepper and Italian seasoning.

Dredge chicken into the seasoned flour, shaking off the excess.

Heat the olive oil to almost a smoke, add the chicken (3 pieces first) and cook until the skin is golden brown. Flip and cook until golden brown. Remove the chicken and add to the red sauce.
Repeat the process with the remaining 3 pieces of chicken.
Add the bell peppers, onions, mushrooms and garlic to the red sauce pot. Toss everything so it is covered with a little red sauce.  Cover the pot and add to the pre-heated 400 degree oven.

Cook the chicken with the lid on for one hour.  Then remove the lid and reduce the temperature to 350 degrees and cook for one more hour. The chicken will develop a deep rich color and the red sauce will thicken.

To serve: Place pasta in the middle of the plate, remove 1 chicken from the pot with a spatula. (Chicken is very tender and will fall apart if a fork is used) and place on top of the pasta.  Spoon the red sauce and veg on top.  You may use your favorite cheese to top.  I use parmesiano reggiano. 
Now dig in and enjoy!