Thursday, December 31, 2015 0 comments

World's Best Lasagna

  1. In a Dutch oven, cook sausage, ground beef, onion, and garlic over medium heat until well browned. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, and water. Season with sugar, basil, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons parsley. Simmer, covered, for about 1.5 hours, stirring occasionally.
  2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook lasagna noodles in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes. Drain noodles, and rinse with cold water. In a mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese with egg, remaining parsley, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  4. To assemble, spread 1 1/2 cups of meat sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish. Arrange 6 noodles lengthwise over meat sauce. Spread with one half of the ricotta cheese mixture. Top with a third of mozzarella cheese slices. Spoon 1 1/2 cups meat sauce over mozzarella, and sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Repeat layers, and top with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Cover with foil: to prevent sticking, either spray foil with cooking spray, or make sure the foil does not touch the cheese.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil, and bake an additional 25 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes before serving.

Zuppa Toscana

  • 1 lb Italian sausage
  • 2 large russet baking potatoes, sliced in half, and then in 1/4 inch slices
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups kale or 2 cups swiss chard, chopped
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 quart water
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • Salt and pepper

  1. Chop or slice uncooked sausage into small pieces.
  2. Brown sausage in your soup pot.
  3. Remove sausage and place on plate with paper towels to absorb oil. 
  4. Wipe out soup pot with a paper towel to get rid of excess oil. 
  5. Add chicken broth and water to pot and stir.
  6. Place onions, potatoes, and garlic in the pot.
  7. Cook on medium heat until potatoes are done.
  8. Salt and pepper to taste.
  9. Simmer for another 10 minutes.
  10. Turn to low heat.
  11. Add kale and cream.
  12. Heat through and serve.
Tuesday, December 22, 2015 0 comments

Turkish Red Lentil Soup

  1. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over low heat. Cook the onions in the hot butter until they are golden brown, about 15 minutes.
  2. Stir the paprika, lentils, and bulgur into the onions and coat with the butter.
  3. Add the tomato paste, vegetable stock, and cayenne pepper; bring to a boil and cook until soft and creamy, about 1 hour.
  4. Crumble the dried mint leaves into the soup; stir the soup and remove from heat.
  5. Ladle into bowls and garnish with lemon slices and fresh mint to serve.

Carribbean Rum Cake Recipe

  • Cake Base:
  • 2 cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup pastry cream filling mix or instant vanilla pudding mix, dry
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup white or golden rum (Mount Gay works great)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon butter rum flavor (optional but excellent)
  • 1/4 cup pecan or almond flour, for dusting baking pan. You can substitute this for getting almonds and running them through the food processor. 
  • Rum Syrup:
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup white or golden rum
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Spritz a 10 to 12 cup bundt pan with cooking spray or baking flour spray (very important to get this right, don't miss any spots or it will stick). Sprinkle on the pecan or almond flour and turn the pan to coat evenly. Set aside.
  2. Place all of the cake ingredients except the rum, vanilla and butter rum flavoring in the bowl of your stand mixer and blend on medium speed for 2 minutes. Be sure to scrape down the bowl after one minute.
  3. Add the rum, vanilla and flavor if using to the batter and blend for another minute. Pour the batter into the prepared bundt pan and spread level with a spatula.
  4. Bake the cake for 50 to 55 minutes. You may smell the nut flour toasting at first, especially those not covered in cake batter. When done, the cake will test clean on a cake tester. Bundt cakes are difficult to test properly with a short toothpick. Instead try a piece of dry uncooked spaghetti or linguine.
  5. Leave the cake in the pan to cool slightly while you make the soaking syrup.
  6. In a medium-sized saucepan combine the syrup ingredients, except vanilla. Bring to a rapid boil then reduce to a simmer and cook for about 5 to 8 minutes, until the syrup thickens slightly. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla.
  7. Use a long skewer to poke holes all over the cake. Pour about 1/4 of the syrup over the cake (still in the pan). Allow the syrup to soak in, then repeat again and again until all the syrup is used.
  8. Cover the pan loosely with plastic wrap and allow the cake to sit out overnight to cool completely and soak in the syrup. When ready to serve, loosen the edges of the cake and invert on to your serving plate. If the cake is stuck in the pan put it back in a warm oven (325°F) for about 5 minutes. It should then release and come out of the pan. 
Saturday, December 5, 2015 0 comments

Pomegranate Margarita

  • 1/4 cup pomegranate juice
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1/3 cup tequila
  • 2 tsp agave (add more if you like it sweeter)

  1. shake, shake, shake 
  2. serve over ice with a sugar/salt rim

Friday, December 4, 2015 0 comments

Puff Pastry Apple Tart

  • 1 whole sheet puffed pastry, cut into half
  • 4 whole apples, cored, halved, and thinly Sliced. Leave the skin on.
  • 1 cup brown sugar (or raw sugar)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • A pinch of nutmeg
  • A pinch of cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Tablespoon of fresh lemon juice
  1. Preheat oven to 415 degrees.
  2. Place puffed pastry rectangles onto a baking pan that’s been sprayed with nonstick spray. Add sugar, salt, spices and lemon juice to apples and combine in bowl. Allow to sit for a few minutes.
  3. Arrange apple slices on the pastry rectangles in a straight line, overlapping as you go. If you want to make it more "Christmassy" simply alternate between red and green apples. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until pastry is puffed and golden brown. Note: the sugars and juice will drip down if your pan does not have a lip. Place a pan below to catch the runoff. 
  4. Remove from pan immediately and let cool. Serve plain, or with ice cream. 

Thanksgiving Turkey

  • Turkey (12-14 lbs)
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Sage
  • Olive oil/butter
  1. With turkey breast side up, using boning or paring knife, cut through skin around leg quarter where it attaches to breast. Bend leg back to pop leg bone out of socket. Cut through joint to separate leg quarter. Repeat to remove second leg quarter. Working with 1 leg quarter at a time and with skin side down, use tip of knife to cut along sides of thighbone to expose bone, then slide knife under bone to free meat. Without severing skin, cut joint between thigh and leg and remove thighbone. Reserve thighbones for gravy.
  2. Rub interior of each thigh with ½ teaspoon sage, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Truss each thigh closed using wooden skewers and kitchen twine. Place leg quarters on large plate, cover, and refrigerate for 6 to 12 hours.
  3. Using kitchen shears, cut through ribs following vertical line of fat where breast meets back, from tapered end of breast to wing joint. Using your hands, bend back away from breast to pop shoulder joint out of socket. Cut through joint between bones to separate back from breast. Reserve back for gravy. Trim excess fat from breast. Dissolve ¾ cup salt in 6 quarts cold water in large container. Submerge breast in brine, cover, and refrigerate for 6 to 12 hours.
  4. Remove breast from brine and pat dry with paper towels (leave leg quarters in refrigerator). Tuck wings behind back. Brush surface with 2 teaspoons oil. Place turkey breast skin side down in a hot skillet and roast in oven for 30 minutes at 425 degrees.
  5. Remove breast from oven and, using 2 wads of paper towels, flip breast and place in roasting pan. Arrange leg quarters on the pan and brush with oil.  Lightly season breast and leg quarters with salt. Tuck any large sections of exposed stuffing under bird so most of stuffing is covered by turkey. Transfer pan to oven and cook for 30 minutes.
  6. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees. Continue to roast until thickest part of breast registers 160 to 165 degrees and thickest part of thigh registers 175 to 180 degrees, 40 minutes to 1 hour 20 minutes longer. Transfer breast and leg quarters to cutting board and let rest for 30 minutes.
  7. Carve and serve.
Thursday, December 3, 2015 0 comments



1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp minced garlic
3 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Sunday, November 22, 2015 0 comments

Fish Sticks

  • 1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon-pepper seasoning
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 3/4 pound haddock fillets (or other firm white fish), cut into 1-inch strips
  • Butter-flavored cooking spray

  1. Preheat oven to 400°. 
  2. In a shallow bowl, mix bread crumbs and seasonings. Place flour and egg in separate shallow bowls. Dip fish in flour to coat both sides; shake off excess. 
  3. Dip in egg, then in crumb mixture, patting to help coating adhere.
  4. Place on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray; spritz with butter-flavored cooking spray. Bake 10-12 minutes or until fish just begins to flake easily with a fork, turning once.
Saturday, November 21, 2015 0 comments

Vanilla Bean Sugar Cookies (shorbread)

  • 3 cups of flour
  • 1 tsp of baking soda
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • 1 cup of unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 3/4 cups of sugar
  • 1/4 cup of brown sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 2 eggs
  1. Sift the flour, baking soda, and salt together in a bowl. Set aside.
  2. Cream the butter and sugars together at high speed for about 3 minutes.
  3. Cup open and scrape out the contents of the vanilla bean. Add to the butter-sugar mixture and mix in for 30 seconds.
  4. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating for 30 seconds between each. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and mix a bit more.
  5. With the mixer on a low speed slowly add the flour mixture. Mix until just incorporated.
  6. Cover dough and refrigerate for 45 minutes. While it chills, preheat the oven to 325F and line some baking sheets with parchment paper.
  7. Roll the dough into balls about 1/2 to 1 inch in diameter. Place them on the baking sheets and give them a small press to flatten them.
  8. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Allow to cool on the sheets for a minute before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Thursday, November 12, 2015 0 comments

Chocolate "donut holes"



  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1 Tbsp dark cocoa
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup maple
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 4 Tbsp coconut oil

  1. Whisk together dry ingredients.
  2. Heat milk and coconut oil in glass measuring cup for 30-45 seconds in microwave and whisk together.
  3. Add wet ingredients to dry and mix.
  4. Spoon batter in cake pop maker and cook for about 4 minutes.
  5. Serve as is or with a glaze (whisk together powdered sugar and a little milk).

Whole Wheat Pancakes


  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tbsp honey


  1. Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.
  2. In a glass measuring cup, heat up the milk and coconut oil for 30 seconds and then whisk together.
  3. Add all wet ingredients to dry and mix together.
Monday, November 9, 2015 0 comments

Braised Red Potatoes

  • 1 1/2 pounds small red potatoes, unpeeled, halved
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  • 3 sprigs fresh thymed (or dried if you can't pickup fresh)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper


  1. Arrange potatoes in single layer, cut side down, in 12-inch nonstick skillet. Add water, butter, garlic, thyme, and salt and pepper and bring to simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium, cover, and simmer until potatoes are just tender, about 15 minutes.
  2. Remove lid and use slotted spoon to transfer garlic to cutting board; discard thyme. Increase heat to medium-high and vigorously simmer, swirling pan occasionally, until water evaporates and butter starts to sizzle, 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. Continue to cook potatoes, swirling pan frequently so the potatoes don't stick to the pan, until butter browns and cut sides of potatoes turn spotty brown, 4 to 6 minutes longer. Off heat, add lemon juice.  Serve immediately.
Friday, October 9, 2015 0 comments

Sweet Baby Ben's BBQ Sauce

This is an imitation of Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ Sauce:

  • 1 1/4 cups ketchup, preferably organic
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1/4 cup pineapple juice (or you can sub apple cider vinegar)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon worchestire sauce
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons ground mustard
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (use less if you don't like the heat)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/8 cold water mixed with 1 tablespoon corn starch (optional)
  1. Combine all the ingredients except the water and corn starch mixture in a medium size sauce pot.
  2. Bring to a boil and reduce and simmer for five minutes or until all the sugar has dissolved. If you like a thicker BBQ Sauce add the water and corn starch mixture. 
  3. Simmer until desired thickness is reached, but watch closely. It thickens really fast!
  4.  Serve immediately or cover and store in fridge.
Sunday, April 19, 2015 0 comments

Tandoori Lamb Kabobs

  • 1 lbs lamb stew meat
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • ~2 teaspoons tandoori seasoning
  • ~2 teaspoons curry (any kind you like)
  • ~1/4 teaspoon garam masala (if yours is not spicy add a bit of ground black pepper to give it some kick).
  • 2-3 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and coat the lamb meat. 
  2. Grill or saute over medium high heat for 6-7 minutes or until desired doneness (135°F is safe temp for lamb).
  3. Serve over basmati rice or lentils.
Thursday, April 16, 2015 0 comments


  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 2 cups cooked, shredded chicken
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup white cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup salsa
  • salt to taste
  • 8 whole wheat tortillas

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Saute the onion in olive oil for 5 minutes.  Add garlic and cumin and saute for another 3 minutes.
  3. Add the chicken, yogurt, cheddar cheese, salt and salsa.  Stir and heat through.
  4. Spoon mixture evenly into tortillas and roll up.
  5. Place in baking dish and top with salsa and cheddar cheese.
  6. Bake for 10 minutes.

Mixture will look something like this

Tuesday, April 7, 2015 0 comments

Raisin Bars

  • 1 cup raisins
  • water
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup bran 
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda


1.  Preheat oven to 350.  spray 8x8 baking pan.
2.  Measure raisins into 1-quart microwaveable bowl; add just enough water to cover.  Microwave for 5 minutes.  Drain and set aside to cool.
3.  In large bowl, combine flour, bran, oatmeal and baking soda.
4.  Add remaining ingredients and stir well.
5.  spread evening in pan with well-oiled fingers.
6.  Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.
7.  While still hot, cut into 16 pieces; cool completely before removing from pan.
8.  Refrigerate leftovers.