Family Favorite

Roasted Artichoke with Brandied Butter, Really???? YES!!!!!

  • 4 large whole artichokes, top 1 inch and stems removed
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil (a flavored Oil would be great)
  • 4 cloves garlic, cloves peeled and crushed
  • onion powder
  • black pepper
  • sea salt

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Trim stems so chokes stand upright. Slice top of choke with a sharp knife to remove the sharp points (your actually taking a slice off) drizzle with lemon juice. Very carefully open leaves of choke as best you can, you can turn choke over and press down firmly; the leaves will open. Press 1 clove of garlic into the center of each artichoke and season with salt or if using prepared chopped garlic place 1 teaspoon in center of choke. Sprinkle with onion powder, salt & pepper. Tightly wrap each artichoke twice with heavy-duty aluminum foil. Place in baking dish and bake in the preheated oven until sizzling, about 1 hour 20 minutes. Serve with brandies butter and a great crusty bread to catch up all that wonderful olive oil from the chokes.

Tip: Artichokes are delicate. Two weeks of storage is stretching it, and after that time, they lose their best flavor. Any darkening at the tips of the artichoke is an indicator of a less-than-fresh artichoke. Look for a bright green color and a firm stem.

Brandied Butter

  • 2 tablespoons bourbon
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened


Big Fred’s Sinfully Stuffed Artichokes

  • 4 large artichokes
  • 1-2 lemons, in half
  • 2-1/4 cups plain bread crumbs
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 8 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine

Use a heavy, sharp knife to cut top 1-1/2 inches off an artichoke. Pull out pale inner leaves from center. Use a spoon (a grapefruit spoon works wonderfully) to scoop out choke. Next, using kitchen shears or a pair of scissors, trim pointy ends from outer leaves of artichoke. As you work, rub lemon half over cut parts of artichoke. Repeat with remaining artichokes. Squeeze remaining lemon juice over top of artichokes.
Get out a deep pan, large enough to hold four artichokes (like your large sauce pot).

To prepare stuffing: in a large bowl combine, bread crumbs, Parmesan, chopped parsley and garlic, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Toss and taste crumbs. Re-season if necessary. Holding artichokes over stuffing bowl, stuff choke cavity and in between the leaves with bread crumb mixture.
Stand stuffed artichokes upright in pan and generously drizzle olive oil over center of each artichoke. Add water to just about 1/4 way up the artichokes. At this point you can throw in more peeled cloves of garlic to flavor even more. Add wine and more salt and pepper to water.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and cover pan. Cook artichokes 40-60 minutes, depending on size.
Be careful, the water can evaporate and the bottoms will burn. Add a bit more water if you need additional time until the hearts are tender.
They are done when tested when a knife slides right through the heart.


Mary Ellen’s Amazing Pecan Pie!

Mary Ellen's Amazing Pecan Pie

My friend gave me this recipe years ago and I have been making it ever since. It has a secret ingredient in it that you do not normally see in a pecan pie…the result is truly amazing!!!

  • 1- 9 inch pie crust, your favorite recipe
  • 2/3 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 8 large egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 11/2 cups pecan halves, about 6 ounces

Heat oven 350F. If making your own crust, keep chilled while preparing filling.

In a 2 quart saucepan over medium heat, bring corn syrup, brown sugar, butter, cream and salt to a boil, stirring constantly; cook 2-3 minutes stirring until sugar has melted and mix is smooth. Remove from heat; let cool slightly. Pore in egg yolks, beating constantly until blended and smooth; beat in vanilla.

Place pecans over bottom pf pie crust and pour in filling. Pecans will float to the top. Bake 45 minutes until crust is golden and knife inserted comes out clean. Cool and enjoy!!


Joy’s Perfect Pumpkin Pie!

Joy's Perfect Pumpkin Pie

1 prepared pie crust

  • 1 can pumpkin
  • 1 tbsp. Cornstarch
  • 2 t pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt (Scant)
  • 1/2 tbsp. butter (Melted)
  • 1 1/2 cups milk or cream
  • 1 cup vanilla sugar* (optional)
  • 11/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 Eggs (beaten)

*vanilla sugar – combine 2 cups white granulated sugar and 1-2 split vanilla beans. Swirl container a few times for the next few days as the vanilla bean perfumes the sugar. Store in airtight container

Sift Sugar, Cornstarch, Salt, and Pumpkin pie spice together. Mix this with contents of one can ONE-PIE Pumpkin. Add beaten eggs, melted Butter and milk. Add a dash of Lemon Juice (if desired). Pour mixture into a 9-inch pie crust (deep dish is fine). Preheat oven & bake at 450 for 15 minutes. Then reduce temp. to 350 & continue to bake for 50 minutes. Cover crust if it browns too fast.


Mini Stuffed Jack Be Littles with Roasted Garlic Bulbs & Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Mini Stuffed Jack Be Littles with Roasted Garlic Bulbs & Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

3 mini pumpkins


  • 1-inch bread cubes, garlic ciabatta (1 1/2 pound loaf)
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2-3 leeks, washed & chopped
  • 3 stalks-diced celery
  • 2 carrots, minced
  • 2 peeled, cored apples
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 pound sweet or spicy sausage, casings removed
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup dried craisins


Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Place the bread cubes in a single layer on a sheet pan and bake for 7 minutes .Remove the bread cubes to a very large bowl Raise the oven temperature to 350 degrees F.
Meanwhile, in a large saute pan, melt the butter and oil and add the leeks, celery, apples, carrots salt and pepper. Saute over medium heat for 10 minutes, until the vegetables are softened. Add to the bread cubes.
In the same saute pan, cook the sausage over medium heat for about 10 minutes, until browned and cooked through, breaking up the sausage with a fork while cooking. Add to the bread cubes and vegetables.
Add the cream and the craisins to the mixture, mix well,

To assemble mini Jack Be Littles

Cut a circle around each stem. Gently move stem to release. (set top aside). Remove the insides and season with salt & pepper. Rub the pumpkin with olive oil and place on a cookie sheet. Fill with stuffing mix, add a splash of cream or milk and bake until tender, about 20-30 minutes.

Cut a small circle around each stem


  • 1-inch bread cubes, garlic ciabatta (1 1/2 pound loaf)
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2-3 leeks, washed & chopped
  • 3 stalks-diced celery
  • 2 carrots, minced
  • 2 peeled, cored apples
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 pound sweet or spicy sausage, casings removed
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup dried craisins


Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Place the bread cubes in a single layer on a sheet pan and bake for 7 minutes .Remove the bread cubes to a very large bowl Raise the oven temperature to 350 degrees F.
Meanwhile, in a large saute pan, melt the butter and oil and add the leeks, celery, apples, carrots salt and pepper. Saute over medium heat for 10 minutes, until the vegetables are softened. Add to the bread cubes.
In the same saute pan, cook the sausage over medium heat for about 10 minutes, until browned and cooked through, breaking up the sausage with a fork while cooking. Add to the bread cubes and vegetables.
Add the cream and the craisins to the mixture, mix well,


Stuffed Pumpkin


1 large pumpkin
stuffing recipe


  • 1-inch bread cubes, garlic ciabatta (1 1/2 pound loaf)
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2-3 leeks, washed & chopped
  • 3 stalks-diced celery
  • 2 carrots, minced
  • 2 peeled, cored apples
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 pound sweet or spicy sausage, casings removed
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup dried craisins


Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Place the bread cubes in a single layer on a sheet pan and bake for 7 minutes .Remove the bread cubes to a very large bowl Raise the oven temperature to 350 degrees F.
Meanwhile, in a large saute pan, melt the butter and oil and add the leeks, celery, apples, carrots salt and pepper. Saute over medium heat for 10 minutes, until the vegetables are softened. Add to the bread cubes.
In the same saute pan, cook the sausage over medium heat for about 10 minutes, until browned and cooked through, breaking up the sausage with a fork while cooking. Add to the bread cubes and vegetables.
Add the cream and the craisins to the mixture, mix well,

To assemble stuffed pumpkin:

Wash pumpkin; cut a 3-in. circle around each stem. Remove tops and set aside. Remove and discard loose fibers; save seeds for another use. Prick inside each pumpkin with a fork; sprinkle with salt and garlic powder. Rub the pumpkin with olive oil and stuff with sausage mixture; Splash with some cream or milk.

Place in a 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish; Cover the stem of the top with foil to prevent burning. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 30 -35 minutes (for a smaller pumpkin). Cover loosely with foil; bake 45-50 minutes longer or until tender.


Dads Favorite Whiskey Cake!

Dads Favorite Whiskey Cake
  • 1 (18 ounce) box yellow cake mix
  • 1 (3 1/2 ounce) box instant vanilla pudding
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1 cup whole milk or 1 cup 2% low-fat milk
  • 1 1/2 fluid ounces whiskey
  • 1 cup pecans or 1 cup walnuts, chopped


  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup whiskey

Combine all ingredients and pour into a greased bundt pan @ 350 degrees. Bake for 50-60 min.
Melt the butter, sugar & whiskey in a sauce pan till sugar is dissolved. Poke holes in cake and spoon 1/2 of the mixture over hot cake. Let cake sit for abt 20 min. transfer cake onto a dish and pour rest of hot whiskey over cake!


Honeydew & Arugula Salad with Blackberries


Summers are made for salads — big, green leafy salads filled with all the great produce the season has to offer. Salads are quick, easy, require minimal preparation, and are the perfect way to enjoy all the produce that’s in season now. The colors are amazing and creating a colorful palette for your friends and family makes them feel special. Remember we eat with our eyes first!

  • 1 package of arugula
  • 1/2 honeydew melon, cubed
  • 1 pint of blackberries
  • feta cheese crumbles


  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1/4-1/2 cup vinegar of choice
  • 3 cubes melon
  • 4 blackberries
  • 1t onion powder
  • 1t garlic powder
  • 2t agave
  • salt & pepper

For the dressing: In a food processor or blender (we used our nutribullet) add 1 cup good quality olive oil, vinegar, fruits, agave. Blend until smooth. Taste, adjust seasonings and add the salt & pepper to taste.


Grilled Corn with Beer Butter

corn with Beer butter

The beer butter is perfect for the summer grilling season and can be prepared ahead of time. Get creative and have some fun experimenting with all the different flavors craft beers have to offer, Enjoy!!!

Corn on the cob, husks pulled back & tied (silk removed)

  • 1 shallot
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 stick softened butter
  • salt & pepper to taste

In a small skillet over medium heat, cook shallot in hot oil 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in reserved 2 tablespoons beer. Remove from heat. Cool 10 minutes. In a small bowl combine softened butter & shallot mixture. Transfer to waxed paper, shape into a log. Wrap and freeze.

For the corn, pull back the husks and tie with butchers twine, I used pieces of the husk for ties. Remove the silk from the corn. Place the prepared ears of corn on a medium heat grill, rotating the corn as needed to keep it from getting charred too much on one side. After a couple of turns, place the corn husk on an indirect heat (moved to the side of the grill) or on the top shelf of your grill, and close the cover. Allow the corn to slowly continue cooking for approximately 15 minutes and kernels are golden in spots.


Nana’s Italian Ricotta Pie

ricotta pie 2

This 100 year old recipe from our Nana is truly treasured and we feel her even closer to us as we prepare her favorite Easter pie…..
Nana’s cookie crust (recipe below)

Corn on the cob, husks pulled back & tied (silk removed)

  • 1 1/2 pounds of ricotta cheese , cutrufellows (I used the whole 2 lbs for filling)
  • 1 tablespoon flour (heaping if using the 2 lbs)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup vanilla sugar**
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (decorating)

Preheat oven 350 degrees. Combine the ricotta and flour in a small bowl. In a medium size bowl beat the eggs well.
Add the sugar and vanilla gradually and continue beating until smooth. Now add the ricotta mixture and beat will again. Pour into prepared pie crust.
Sprinkle the 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon over the top of pie and swirl with a sharp knife to make a design. Bake for approximately 45 minutes. Enjoy!


Nana’s Cookie Crust

  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 1 cup vanilla sugar**
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 3 tsp. baking powder
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (decorating)

Cream butter and sugar together. Add eggs and vanilla. Mix baking powder and flour together and add to creamed mixture along with the milk. Mix and chill 1 hour.
Cut in half or use as much as you need for the pie crust and save the rest for cookies for snacking!

pie dough: Rolling between 2 sheets of wax paper is neat and quick, no need to flour anything! Place into 9 inch pie plate and fill with ricotta filling.

**Vanilla Sugar – 2 cups granulated sugar and 1-2 vanilla beans, split. Using an airtight container, push vanilla bean gently into the sugar. Letting the bean perfume the sugar for several days before using is best.


Pasta E Ceci

pasta chickpeas

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 -2 large shallot, minced
  • 3 ounces pancetta, chopped (optional)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 2 (14.5 ounce) cans garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
    • 1/2 lb cooked pasta
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan, for garnish

Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

Ricotta cheese for a dollop on top as garnish

Heat the olive oil and butter in a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, pancetta and garlic and saute until the onion is tender, about 8 minutes till glassy. Add garlic and cook 2 more minutes. Add the broth and beans. Cover and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then decrease the heat to medium and simmer till warmed through. Now add the cooked pasta and taste and re season to your liking

Ladle the soup into bowls. Sprinkle each serving with some Parmesan and drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil. Dollop with ricotta if using.



A wonderful cheesy, peppery bread served traditionally at Easter but it is so good it may be a favorite all year long!

  • 1 cup warm milk
  • 2 (1/4 oz each) packages active dry yeast
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 6 eggs
  • 3/4 cup grated Romano cheese
  • 3/4 cup grated asiago/parmesan cheese
  • 2 teaspoons cracked black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon butter, softened

In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm milk, add sugar. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes. Lightly grease two 9×5 inch loaf pans. In a large bowl, combine the yeast mixture with the flour, eggs, cheese and butter and pepper; beat well, about 4-5 minutes. The dough will be very sticky (you can add a bit more flour if needed) Scoop dough onto a floured wood board and knead until it all comes together, doesn’t stick to your hands and is a smooth dough. Additional flour can be used. Prepare pan you have chosen sprayed with Pam cooking spray. Place dough into pan and cover and let rise for about 60 minutes, or until nearly doubled. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until bread is golden brown and sound-hollow when tapped. Remove from pan and place on a wire rack to cool.


Dump Soup

Dump Soup

Every once in a while it is a good idea to clean out the fridge or the freezer and and make a great big pot of soup.

It was the best soup. With a sprinkle of fresh parmesan and some crusty bread… the family loved it and I cleaned the freezer and the fridge and nothing went to waste!!! Enjoy!

Freezer/Refrigerator Dump

  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 or 3 garlic cloves , finely sliced
  • Fresh or frozen veggies, peas, corn, carrots-anything!
  • 1 or 2 cans of beans, drained, rinsed, any kind you like
  • broth, what ever you have can, carton or bouillon enough to cover all veggies and more
  • parmesan cheese, garnish
  • small pasta (if you like)

Fry oil and garlic in the olive oil for 3-4 minutes, add all veggies and beans. . Add all of your broth and let it simmer. Simmer soup for 20 minutes and season with salt and pepper. Taste, re season. Garnish with parmesan cheese and serve this crusty bread or a salad! Done!


Pumpkin Pancakes with Sweet Apple Cider Syrup

Pumpkin Pancakes

Here is Judy’s quick and easy version of the pumpkin pancakes. Happy pancaking everyone!!.

For a copy of our cookbook, The Judy and the Joy of…. Pasta Sauces and Sweets go to

We our giving a portion of our proceeds to our favorite charity, Cancerland.

Freezer/Refrigerator Dump

  • 2 1/3 cups Bisquick baking mix
  • 1/3 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla sugar **
  • 1 t pumpkin pie spice
  • roasted nuts, garnish, optional

Mix all ingredients and blend until smooth. Do not over beat, this will result in a tough dense pancake.

**Vanilla Sugar – 2 cups white sugar and 1-2 vanilla beans, split. Push gently in to the sugar,Store in an airtight container and swirl the canister every time you walk by! The vanilla needs to perfume the sugar. This can take up to a few days, enjoy…it is amazing.

Apple Cider Syrup

  • 4 cups apple cider
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 1/2 t ground cinnamon

Bring all to a boil, over medium heat, in a large pot. Reduce heat and boil gently, whisking occasionally until thick and syrupy, 30-45 minutes.

Tip & Tricks

Pancakes can be made ahead of time. Cool them and layer between sheets of wax paper and freeze.

Syrup can be made a week before and store in fridge. Bring to room temperature before using.


Penne with Pumpkin Parmesan Sauce and Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Penne with Pumpkin

The delicate sweet sauce coats the pasta perfectly, almost velvet like in texture and the hint of nutmeg is a comforting reminder that the holidays are approaching! Sprinkle with extra parmesan and a salty crunch from the roasted seeds. Delish!

  • 1 pound penne pasta
  • 2 large shallots, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup half & half or heavy cream
  • splash of white wine
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated, more for garnish
  • roasted pumpkin seeds for garnish, recipe follows

While you are heating the pan to saute the shallots and garlic, start the water for the pasta and cook according to directions. Add butter and oil to pan and continue to saute the shallots and garlic until soft. Add pumpkin, chicken stock, half & half, cream and white wine. Bring to a boil for about 5 min. Lower heat, taste and season with more salt & pepper and nutmeg if needed. Combine with the hot pasta when done and garnish with fresh parmesan and roasted pumpkin seeds.

Roasted pumpkin seeds

Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare cookie sheet with parchment paper. Carve top of pumpkin off to reach seeds and separate seeds from the pulp. Rinse seeds and dry on paper towel. Toss with olive oil, season with course salt and a pinch of cayenne pepper . Roast for 20 minutes or until golden in color.


Grilled Peach Caprese with Basil & Sea Salt

Grilled Peach Caprese

We love this recipe with its simple, fresh ingredients. It is quick to prepare and the presentation is stunning. Enjoy!

  • 1 grilled peach, peeled and grilled until marks appear on the peaches*
  • 3-4 slices of mozzarella cheese
  • 3-4 slices of tomato
  • 3-5 leaves of fresh basil
  • Peach Balsamic Vinegar
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil-we used a Meyer lemon olive oil!!
  • Sea salt
  • Pepper

To grill peaches, peel them first. Add olive oil to coat each one. Heat grill to 350 and add them to the grates. I let them cook for 5-7 minutes on each side. This was enough time for them to get warm and to see the grill marks. Remove them from the heat. Slice your tomatoes and mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle slices with salt & pepper. Start your caprese stacks by placing a peach slice first on your dish, then top with mozzarella, tomato, mozzarella and then again with a peach slice. There are no rules so do what you like! Garnish with basil leaves and a drizzle of flavored olive oil and a splash of a infused vinegar! Perfection…..

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*You do not have to grill peaches. The dish is just as fabulous with a sliced peach

Tip: Caramelizing the peaches with a bit of sugar gives the recipe a slightly different but wonderful flavor.


Grilled steak sandwiches and garlic horseradish sauce

Grilled steak sandwiches

Warm summer nights are filled with crickets singing their songs. The sound of firecrackers and cherry bombs off in the distance, mingling with hot dogs roasting somewhere in the neighborhood, brings us right back to our youth. It’s funny how just a whiff of something can transport you to another place or time.

  • Ciabatta rolls, sliced and toasted optional
  • 4 (4 ounces) sirloin steaks
  • S’wepper —Judy’s salt & pepper mix — 2 tablespoons salt & 1 tablespoon pepper
  • arugula

Garlicky horseradish sauce

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 6 tablespoons prepared horseradish, drained
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1⁄4 cup chopped shallots
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon pepper

Prepare grill. Whisk together all ingredients for horseradish sauce. Cover and refrigerate. Place steaks on grill, and cook over high heat for 4-5 minutes or until golden brown. Turn steaks over and continue grilling for 5-6 minutes or until internal temperature reaches at least 145 (medium rare). Transfer steaks to a platter and let rest 5 minutes while gathering the rest of the ingredients. Assemble sandwich by toasting bread of your choice. Lather with the garlicky horseradish sauce and enjoy!


Ravioli Picnic Salad

Ravioli Picnic Salad

Our Aunt Fran (DeDe) came up with a great new idea for a side picnic salad. It is made with small cheese-filled raviolis, sweet tomatoes, fresh basil, and a sprinkle of roasted pignoli nuts. After all, we are Italian!! Everyone loved our new side salad and it is now the new picnic dish!

  • 1 lb. small cheese ravioli
  • 2 cups grape tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup kalamata olives or regular black olives
  • 1 shallot, sliced thin
  • 1 small bunch fresh basil, torn
  • grated parmesan cheese for garnish
  • toasted pignoli nuts for garnish (optional)


  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup flavored infused vinegar
  • splash of red vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

Cook raviolis according to package directions. Drain and place raviolis in large serving dish in a single layer while cooling. (This way they won’t stick to each other.)
While pasta is cooling, combine the oil, vinegars, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Whisk ingredients together. Place raviolis and the rest of the ingredients in large bowl and pour just enough dressing to coat. Very gently toss salad to blend all ingredients. Sprinkle with the torn basil, grated Parmesan, and toasted pignolis. Taste and season again if needed.


Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble

Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble

Rhubarb Crumble

Our Grandmother, Nana, would always make us one of her fabulous rhubarb desserts. We never knew if it would be her strawberry rhubarb pie, a crumble or a creamy pudding. But we knew if it was a sunny Sunday, it would be served on the back patio, where the scent of the lilacs perfumed the hot summer air and Papa could take a break from cutting the grass and join us for a little snack. Nana would always come out with a tray filled with tall, frosty glasses of iced coffee, Papa’s favorite, and one of her rhubarb

Crumble Topping:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup oats (quick or regular)
  • 2 tablespoons +4 teaspoons of sugar** (yes that is exactly how it reads on Nana’s recipe)
  • 1 stick of butter, melted
  • 3 or 4 tablespoons of sugar for sprinkling on top so it glistens (we use a course sugar)


  • 5 stalks of rhubarb (it came out to about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 quart strawberries
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 1/2 cup sugar**
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch

Use Vanilla Sugar if you have it ready to go!

Heat oven to 375º F. Prepare the crumble topping: Mix flour, oats and sugar with the melted butter in a mixing bowl, untill crumbly, refrigerate until needed.

Prepare filling: Toss rhubarb,strawberries, lemon juice, sugar and cornstarch in a 9 inch deep dish pie plate. Sprinkle with the topping mixture, thick and evenly. Place on a foil lined cookie sheet and bake until fruit is bubbling and the topping is golden brown! About 30 to 40 minutes. Watch it , all oven temperatures vary. Enjoy!

If using small glass jars (aren’t they amazing!!) fill each jar 1/2 way with filling, pile high with crumble and place mason jars on a lined cookie sheet. Bake 350F also for 30 minutes or until bubbly and golden. Serve either presentation with ice cream or fresh cream, YUM!


Apizza Gaina

Apizza Gaina

Apizza gaina is a delicious pie, used to celebrate the end of Lent and to break the fast. The translation is “full pie”. Full of cheeses, deli meats and eggs. It is typically made on Good Friday and eaten on Easter Saturday or Easter Sunday but it never lasts that long in our house!. The peppery bread and the cheesy center chock full of the Italian meats such as capicola with prosciutto and the best salami available. Different families use different ingredients to fill their pies but we would like to share our recipes for this very traditional savory pie, Enjoy! Happy Easter!


Use any pan you wish. A springform pan works well but if you do not have one use a 9 inch cake pan. Have 2 pans ready…it make a lot!

  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup Crisco
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 3 tsp. baking powder
  • 3/4 cup water (more or less as needed)


All meats should be purchased in solid chunks as you will be dicing them into 1/4″ chunks.

  • 12 eggs
  • 1 basket of fresh Easter cheese (basket cheese)
  • 3 lbs. Ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 lb. aged provolone cheese, diced
  • 1/2 lb. grated Romano or Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 lb. prosciutto
  • 1/2 lb. capicola
  • 1/2 lb. boiled ham
  • 1/2 lb. Genoa salami
  • 3/4 tsp. of coarsely ground black pepper
  • 2 sticks of sopressata

Preparation for Crust:

Combine all ingredients to make dough, knead dough just enough to be pliable (don’t over work or it will be tough) Line greased pan with dough, gently pressing into the bottom, the corners and up the sides. Note: crust should be thicker than for a regular pie.

Preparation for Filling:

Dice all meat and hard cheeses, put aside. In a large bowl, mix the ricotta, eggs and grated Romano cheese. Add diced meats, hard cheeses and pepper.
Pour into crust and bake at 325° for 1 1/2 hours or until filling is set and crust is golden brown.

Tips & Tricks-Purchased pizza dough can be used!-Pizza Gaina freezes really well. -Slice and freeze individual pieces. Then you could take out a couple when company comes!

When roasted, the eggplant becomes very creamy and coats the hot pasta perfectly. Using spaghetti squash is a great substitution for the pasta and one of our favorites. Any way you look at it, this meal is quick, healthy and sooooooo scrumptious. Enjoy!


Pappardelle with Roasted Eggplant Sauce

  • 1-2 large eggplant, peeled and diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3-4 fresh tomatoes, cubed
  • 3-4 turns of olive oil
  • sea salt
  • cracked black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • parmesan cheese, garnish
  • linguine or pappardelle pasta, cooked to package directions

Preheat oven 375F. On a baking sheet, place cut veggies and coat with olive oil. Sprinkle with onion & garlic powders, salt & pepper. Toss all together to coat veggies completely. Even add a bit more olive oil as this will be used to coat the pasta as well. Roast until very soft 25-30 minutes.

While veggies are roasting, cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and place in large pasta bowl. When veggies are soft, remove form oven, smash with a fork right on the baking sheet and fold into the hot pasta. Use all the oil that is left in the baking pan. Toss, re season and garnish with fresh parmesan. Enjoy!

Look for us as we return to The Talk, on CBS, in the upcoming weeks. California here we come!!!!!!!


Spiked Blueberry Lemonade

  • A few fresh ripe blueberries, or frozen
  • 8 oz store bought lemonade
  • 1/4 cup Blueberry vodka (or whatever you like, LOL)
  • 1 tablespoon Blackberry liquor (not blackberry brandy)
  • slice from 1 fresh lemon for garnish

Muddle the fresh or frozen berries in a bottom of a 12 oz glass
Add lemonade, blueberry vodka, blackberry liquor and stir
Garnish with a lemon slice. Bottoms up!

Romantic Sea Scallops In Vanilla Cream Sauce


Simple to prepare and wonderfully romantic!

  • Sea Scallops (about 3 or 4 per-person)
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt & Pepper
  • cracked black pepper, garnish
  • small leaf greens of your choice

Place a tablespoon or two of olive oil in a sauté pan. Season scallops with salt and pepper. When oil is hot, add the scallops. When the bottom of the scallop is golden, turn. (about 3 minutes) The scallop is finished when both sides are golden and the scallop is firm to the touch. Remove scallops and begin sauce.

Vanilla Cream Sauce

vanilla cream sauce
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup white wine/sherry
  • 1/4 chicken stock
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • salt & pepper to taste

Lightly saute the shallots in the olive oil. Add chicken stock and wine. Slowly add in the cream, salt & pepper, cook for a few minutes until the sauce is reduced by almost half. Add in the vanilla extract. Taste & re-season if needed. Return the scallops to the pan or plate scallops and drizzle sauce over fish.
Basmati or Jasmine rice is wonderful with this recipe, Enjoy!

Filet Mignon with Chocolate Port Sauce

filet mignon
  • 2 tenderloin steaks
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon cracked white pepper
  • Coarse sea salt to taste
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot
  • 1/4 cup port wine
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup beef stock
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 ounce bittersweet chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons butter

Brush steaks all over with one tablespoon of olive oil. Sprinkle sea salt and pepper on both sides of tenderloins. Add another tablespoon of olive oil to skillet and turn heat to medium high; pan should be very hot. Add steaks and cook (3 to 4 minutes per side, based on your preference for doneness).
Remove tenderloins from skillet and keep warm. In the same skillet, stir in minced shallot; cook for one minute. Pour in the port and balsamic vinegar. Simmer until the port reduces to the consistency of chocolate syrup, about 2 or 3 minutes. Add stock and rosemary, and return to simmer. Whisk in chocolate until melted and slightly thickened. Lastly, whisk in 2 tablespoons of cold butter. Re-season to taste.

Sicilian Beef and Peas


We had this wonderful dish in Sicily, Italy a few years back. As I was preparing the dish the aroma just brought me right back to that beautiful coastline. I felt that if I closed my eyes for a second I could actually smell the warm breeze, and hear the bell ringing on the bike from the vegetable man. What an amazing place!

It is simple to make and a wonderful break from summer grilling. Serve it with a crusty bread slathered with butter, a glass of red wine and you will feel like you took a quick trip to Sicily too!

  • 1 lb. top round beef cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 3-4 turns of good quality olive oil
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • 2 1/2 cups beef broth
  • 2 cup green peas, frozen or fresh
  • 3-4 thyme sprigs
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

Salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste
splash of red wine, we used a splash of red and white wine!
Season the beef cubes generously with salt and pepper then toss to coat in the flour making sure to shake off any excess. Heat up the olive oil over medium heat in a large pot and sear the beef cubes on all sides until golden brown. Add the shallot to the hot oil and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Pour the broth over the meat, bring to a simmer and cook uncovered for about 1-½ hours until the meat falls apart when pierced with a fork. Stir in the green peas and simmer a few minutes until heated through. Taste and adjust your seasonings. Serve over buttery garlic mashed potatoes or creamy polenta! Yum!

Fudgy 5-ingredient Nutella Cookies with Sea Salt


  • 1 cup nutella
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup flour + 1 tablespoon
  • coarse sea salt for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine all ingredients besides salt in a large bowl with electric mixer until well combined. Place dough in freezer for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes roll dough into approximately 1-inch balls, place on un greased baking sheet at least two inches apart and bake for 8-10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes until cookies are set, then very carefully transfer to a wire rack. Generously sprinkle with sea salt.
Serves: 12-14 cookies

Chocolate Cherry Cookies

Our children request these as often as they can. A true favorite of our clan!

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 24 maraschino cherries, drained & cut in half – reserve liquid


  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 4 teaspoons reserved cherry juice

Preheat oven 350 degrees. Cream butter and sugar in mixing bowl on medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. In a separate bowl add flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and baking soda; sift to blend perfectly. Now add to the butter mixture and combine. Chill dough for at least 1 hour. Shape dough into 1 inch balls, place on ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 5 minutes 13 seconds only! They will look under cooked! While they are baking, finish cutting drained cherries in half and immediately place the half cherry on the hot cookie, gently pressing to adhere it to cookie. Let cookies cool completely before frosting. (The cookies can be chilled or frozen at this point).

To make frosting:
Melt chips, sweetened condensed milk and cherry juice in a small saucepan over very low heat. Stir occasionally, its easy to burn!! When melted, set aside about 10 minutes until it SLIGHTLY thickens to a frosting consistency and frost around the cherry, into a swirl type peak. Let harden before moving. They also freeze well at this point.

Chocolate Truffle Cookies

  • 1 1/4 cups butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup sour cream or yogurt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 cups chocolate chips
  • approx. 1/3 cup cocoa powder (for rolling)
  • approx. 2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar (for rolling)

Preheat oven to 325F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Sift in cocoa powder and salt, and mix until well. Beat in sour cream and vanilla extract. With the mixer on low, blend in flour until no streaks of flour remain. Stir in chocolate chips. Shape the dough into 1-inch balls and roll in the cocoa powder and place on baking sheet. Do not flatten cookies. Cookies will not spread too much, so they can be placed fairly close together. If your kitchen is very warm and the dough is hard to handle (i.e. if you’re making these during the summer, you might want to refrigerate the dough for 30-60 minutes before shaping the cookies).

Bake for 10 minutes. Cookies will just barely be set. Let cool on baking sheet for 3-5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. When cookies have reached room temperature, after about 30-45 minutes, roll in powdered sugar until completely coated.
Store in an airtight container.

Chocolate Turtle Cookies

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg, separated, plus 1 egg white
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups pecans, chopped fine
  • 14 soft caramel candies
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream

Combine flour, cocoa, and salt in bowl. With electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 2 minutes. Add egg yolk, milk, and vanilla and mix until incorporated. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture until just combined. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, 1 hour.
Adjust oven rack to upper-middle and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk egg whites in bowl until frothy. Place pecans in another bowl. Roll dough into 1-inch balls, dip in egg whites, then roll in pecans. Place balls 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Using 1/2-teaspoon measure, make indentation in center of each ball. Bake until set, about 12 minutes, switching and rotating sheets halfway through baking.
Microwave caramels and cream in bowl, stirring occasionally, until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Once cookies are removed from oven, gently re-press existing indentations. Fill each with 1/2 teaspoon caramel mixture. Cool 10 minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely. Try not to devour them all at once!

Happy Day Cake

happy day cake

  • 2 cups vanilla sugar*
  • 1/2 cup Crisco
  • 1 stick butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup buttermilk

*Vanilla sugar (a Twin favorite)2 cups white granulated sugar & 1 vanilla bean split. Place bean into sugar into an airtight container for a few days until the vanilla has perfumed the sugar. YUM!

Cream butter, sugar & crisco until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time .Stir in extracts. In a separate bowl, mix flour and baking soda. Add alternately with buttermilk to sugar mixture. Bake @325 for 50 to 60 minutes using a bundt pan. When cool, turn out onto serving platter. Serve with fresh fruit and chilled whipped cream.


oreo tart

Oreo crust:

  • 10 oz Oreo cookies>
  • 1/2 cup butter

Chocolate Cream filling:

  • 4/5 cup heavy cream
  • 7 oz dark chocolate
  • 1/4 cup butter

To decorate:

  • about 4 or 5 chopped Oreo cookies
  • chocolate chips


  1. 1. To make the crust, using a food processor, blend Oreo cookies until the texture of coarse meal or crumbs. Add the melted butter and blend until well combine. Place the mixture into a 4×14 fluted rectangular tart pan (mine has a removable bottom for easy removal of the finished tart) and press onto the bottom and up the sides evenly. Freeze the crust whilst preparing the chocolate filling
  2. 2. In a medium saucepan, bring cream to the boil. Remove from heat, add chopped chocolate and butter, and let rest for 5 minutes. Then stir until dissolved. Pour chocolate filling over oreo crust, and decorate with some chopped oreo cookies and chocolate chips
  3. 3. Chill for 2 hours at least, preferably overnight. Un mold, serve, and enjoy!

Fruit Cobber

fruit cobber

Fruit cobblers are always the perfect choice for a potluck dessert. Any fruit can be used, fresh, frozen or canned. Even bananas work wonderfully. A crunchy topping comes together simply when using an instant oatmeal cereal packet or even sliced bread! Now who doesn’t have bread in the cabinet?

  • 4 large apples, peel, core, cut into chunks (whatever fruit you have)
  • 1/4-1/2 cup vanilla sugar*
  • a splash of fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

In a bowl place apples and sprinkle with lemon juice. In a small bowl mix sugar and cinnamon together and sprinkle over apples. Toss and taste.


  • 2-3 packages instant oatmeal*
  • 1 tablespoon butter, softened

In a small bowl add oatmeal and cut in the softened butter to resemble pea sized crumbles.

To assemble:

Coat with cooking spray a 9 inch round or 8×8 square pan, whichever you prefer. Add spiced apples and topping. Bake at 350F for about 30- 40 minutes until bubbly and the topping is golden.

* A Twin favorite-Vanilla Sugar– 2 cups granulated sugar, 1 vanilla bean. Split bean and push gently into sugar. Let sit for a few days until the bean perfumes the sugar.

Note: remember, this is pot luck! If you do not have a lemon on hand use a splash of OJ. We love apple pie spice because it contains all of the fall spices but not necessary if you do not have.

Joy’s Traditional Peanut Butter Cookies

Joy's Traditional Peanut Butter Cookies

This is our Mom’s old fashion recipe that she has been making for us since we were children.

  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1 c. packed brown sugar
  • 1 c. butter, softened
  • 1-1 1/2 c. peanut butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt


Mix first 5 ingredients. Mix well. Then add rest of ingredients. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Shape dough into 1 1/4 inch balls. Place about 2 inches apart on cookie sheet. Flatten in criss-cross pattern with fork dipped in flour. Bake 10-12 minutes.