Ciao! My name is Yolanda and I'd like to welcome you to my Blog! I have always had a love for cooking, baking and eating. This blog is mainly a place for me to record and share precious family recipes from those living and deceased as well as delicious recipes that my friends have given me throughout the years.


Monday, January 30, 2012


        The Pizzelle maker has always been one of my best friends.  I use to make Pizzelles so much, that my mom's iron burned out and so she finally bought me my own Pizzelle maker when I was in college.  Pizzelle are an Italian Waffle cookie and are very traditional in the region my mom grew up in (Molise) along with other regions in Italy.  You can buy a pizzelle Iron in many different places, such as your local Italian import store (that is where mine came from), along with some department stores, and online.  
You can also make pizzelle's in different flavors such as Lemon, orange rum, chocolate, anise, and many other flavors.  I usually always make vanilla because that is my favorite, but feel free to substitute the vanilla extract. I put in with whatever extract you like best.  This recipe that I am sharing with you is my mom's recipe and it is to me by far the best and the design from the iron makes them look so pretty once they come out!
* 6 eggs
* 1 cup of vegetable oil
* one cup of granulated sugar
* 2 tsp. of Vanilla extract (or whatever extract you prefer)
* 2 cup of all purpose flour
* Plug your pizzelle iron in.
* In a large mixing bowl whisk, eggs, sugar, oil, and vanilla
* Add flour and mix well with a whisk
* Next, get your work area ready by having a flat cutting board ready for you to lay the pizzelle's on
* Once iron is hot (it heats up really fast), drop a large teaspoon full of batter into each waffle section.
~*~TIP~~*~ Do not put too much batter in or else it will over flow!
* Tightly shut the iron and let cook until a light golden brown (about 40-45 seconds)
* remove with a fork and lay onto a board to cool for a few seconds.
~~*~NOTE: The pizzelle are soft when they first come out, but harden right away while they cool.  
* Repeat with the rest of the batter, as they cool stack them up
* You can also make fun shapes with them such as a cannoli shape, waffle iron shape, or other shapes by folding the pizzelle as soon as they come out of the iron.
* When done, I sprinkle powdered sugar over the top and they look like snowflakes!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Tastes Like Thanksgiving Turkey Roll Ups

        My husband asked me if I could make these Turkey roll ups his mom used to make him when he was young.  He told me what she did and I made them one night.  It was so easy and tasted like you were having a Thanksgiving dinner, especially since I made mashed potatoes and corn along with it. When I am having one of those nights where I come home late, this is what I make!
* 6 slices of Turkey from the Deli (ask the Deli to slice them 1/8 of an inch thick)
* 1 jar of Heinz Turkey Gravy
* 2 1/2 cups of Stove Top Stuffing mIX
* 2 TBS of butter
* 1 Cup of Water
* Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees
* In a sauce pan boil 1 cup of water and add the butter
* Once the butter is melted turn off the heat and add the 2 cups of stuffing  mix
* Mix for a few minuted with a fork and set aside.
* In another sauce pan boil Gravy, turn off heat and set aside
* Lay a slice of Turkey on a dish and spread about 2 TBSP of stuffing onto the Turkey.
* Roll the Turkey up and place in a Square Baking Dish or a small rectangular baking dish
* Repeat with other Turkey Slices
* Pour Gravy all over the top of the Turkey Rolls and Bake in the oven for 25 minutes.
* Serve with Masked Potatoes and Corn!!!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Spinach and Prosciutto Ravioli

Growing up we had a pasta machine at my house and my mom would teach me how to make homemade ravioli and tortellini with it.  Although they would always taste amazing, it was a lot of work and would take a long time.  When I was watching the cooking channel one day I saw Giada make ravioli using Wonton or Potsticker wrappers.  You can find these at your grocery store or Asian market.  At Wegmans, they are in the produce section.  Using these wrappers saves you the step of making the pasta and then you can just make whatever filling you would like to stuff them with.  I chose Prosciutto and Spinach.    I topped mine with a vodka sauce, but top these with any sauce you like!
* 1 package of potsticker wrappers (there are about 46 in a package)
* 1 (15-ounce) container whole milk ricotta cheese
* 1 bag of cooked fresh spinach or a(10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, and  squeezed dry
* 1/4 lb of thinly sliced prosciutto, chopped (found at the deli)
*  2 egg yolks
* 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese or Pecorino 
* ground black pepper to taste
* Whisk the ricotta, spinach, prosciutto, egg yolks, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl to blend
* have a wooden board or plastic cutting board ready for your work area and a small bowl of water next to you. 
* Place about 1 tablespoon of the ricotta filling in the center of a potsticker wrapper.
* Dip your finger in the water and brush water around the edges of the ravioli and then fold in half and pinch the edges shut.  Make sure there are no openings or else the filling will fall out when it is boiling.
* Place ravioli on a cooking sheet that is lined with wax paper. 
* Continue making the rest of the ravioli
* In a large pot, boil lightly salted water
* Boil ravioli for about 4 minutes, drain with a slotted spoon and serve!
* Top with your favorite sauce and grated cheese!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Banana Bread

       I always buy bananas when I go to the grocery store thinking I will eat one for breakfast in the morning and then never do and so they go bad.  Does that every happen to you?? Well this time I was smart enough to make banana bread while they were really ripe, before they got too bad and needed to be thrown out.  I just love banana bread and banana cake! The sweet smell it gives off while it is baking makes the house smell amazing! This banana bread recipe is so flavorful and moist that I cant help but eat more than one slice! Try adding chocolate chips or chopped walnuts to add more goodness to this recipe!
*1/2 cup of Softened Unsalted Butter (If using salted butter, then just omit the salt)
* 1/4 cup of Vegetable Oil
* 3/4 cup of White Granulated Sugar
* 1/4 cup of packed Dark Brown Sugar + some to sprinkle on top later
* 2 Eggs
* 3 Ripe Bananas
* 1/2 cup of Sour Cream
* 1 tsp. of Vanilla Extract
* 2 cups of flour
* 1 tsp. of Baking Soda
* 1/2 tsp. of salt
~~*~Optional: chopped walnuts or chocolate chips
* Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees
* In a small bowl mash the bananas and set aside 
* Mix together, butter, oil, sugar, and eggs
* Add mashed bananas, sour cream, and vanilla and mix well
* Mix in Flour Baking Soda and Salt and mix well
~*~ At this point add the chopped nuts or chocolate chips if you wish to.  I didn't this time, but I usually do.
* Pour mixture in a large greased Loaf Pan 
* sprinkle some Dark Brown Sugar over the top
* Bake for 1 hour 10 minutes- 1hour 20 minutes at 325 degrees.

* When done insert a toothpick or cake tester to see if it is cooked.  If the toothpick comes out dry then it is done.  

Friday, January 20, 2012

Panko and Parmesan Crusted Tilapia Fish Fry

        My version of a Friday night Fish Fry is perfect for a night when you just don't feel like going out to eat.  Normally fish fries are made with haddock, but my favorite fish is Tilapia.  It is my fish of choice for my fish fry, because it does not taste super fishy like some other fishes.  I made this recipe up one day and it is now a hit in my family.  I usually put the ingredients together by eye, but this time I made to sure measure exactly what I put in so that I could share it with all of you!
* 4 filets of Tilapia
* 1/2 cup of flour
* 2 eggs
* 1 1/2 cup of Panko Bread crumbs (found in the Japanese Section, Kikkoman is the best)
* 1/3 cup of Shredded Parmesan Cheese
* 3 TBSP of fresh Parsley, finely chopped (I always use Italian flat leaf parsley)
* Salt and pepper for taste
* Olive oil for frying
*Get out 3 breading trays or 3 flat deep dishes (you can buy them here)
* put the flour in the first tray (season with a little salt and pepper)
* Scramble the eggs in the second tray (season with a little pepper)
* mix the Panko breadcrumbs, Parmesan Cheese,  and parsley in the 3rd breading tray
* Take one Tilapia Filet and coat in the flour, then in the egg, then in the bread crumb mixture and place on a clean plate
* Repeat with the remaining 3 Tilapia Filets 
* In a large frying pan, pour Olive Oil about 1/4 inch deep and heat on a Medium-Medium High heat.
* Once the oil is hot (you will know by splashing a bit of water inside and hearing for the sizzle and then it is ready) Add 2 Tilapia Filets in the pan at a time and cook for 3 minutes on one side and then flip to the other side for another 3 minutes. It will turn a light golden brown.
~*~ NOTE~*~ Fish cooks quick so the 3 minutes on each side is all you need
* When cooked place fish on a cooking rack lined with paper toweling  
* Cook the remaining 2 Tilapias and serve on a plate with Tarter sauce, lemon wedges, and a potato or rice!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Steamed King Crab Legs with Clarified Butter

        There is nothing like going out to dinner for steak and Crab legs, but it winds up being a really expensive meal.  My husband and I love crab legs so much, but can't afford to get them at a restaurant as much as we like to have them.  We discovered a seafood shop near our house and now make that gourmet King Crab leg dinner at home for half the price.  You wouldn't believe how easy they are to make...and what's crab without butter??? I discovered from a restaurant that Jimmy and I love to go to, that making clarified butter to dip your crab meat in is what most fine dining restaurants use and is best on the stomach.  Clarified butter, also called drawn butter  is butter that has the milk solids and water removed so all that is left is pure liquid golden-yellow butterfat.
* 1 lb of frozen King Crab Legs (or snow crab)
* 1 stick of unsalted butter
Procedure: Step 1 Steaming the Crab Legs
* Fill a large pot that comes with a fitting colander about 1/3 full with water.
* place the colander it comes with inside the pot and heat to a boil.
~NOTE~ If you do not have a pot with a fitting colander don't worry, just fill the large pot with a 1/3 of water and boil.  It does come out better with the colander though.
* Place the crab legs in the colander that is in the pot and cover with a lid. 
* Let crab legs steam for about 15 minutes or until it is heated through.
Procedure: Step 2- making the clarified butter for dipping
* In a small frying pan, melt a stick of unsalted butter on low heat
* When the butter is melted and starts to slightly boil, turn off the heat
* you will see white foam on the top of the butter, just skim as much of the white  foam as you can with a spoon until all you see is a clear golden yellow butter.
* Place clarified butter in a small glass dish or a butter warmer.
* Crack those crab legs and enjoying eating them in that rich butter!!
~*~ While we were at our local seafood shop, we found a bib and crab forks with the Quackenbush name brand, which is my new last name haha..it was very random and of course we had to buy them!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Mary-Ellen's Crockpot Beef Stew

        I am new to the crock pot world.  I never had one before I got one recently as a wedding shower gift.  Since I just recently have a crock pot in my house, I have been seeking out recipes from people who have made crock pot dishes.  My good friend at work, Mary-Ellen has been kind enough to share with me a ton of her crock pot recipes to start out with.   I decided to make her beef stew one, which seemed like an easy one to start with.  It came out so good and the meat was so tender!  I will be sire to try one of her other crock pot recipes and feel free to send any you have over my way as well!!
* 1 1/2-2 pounds of Stew Meat, cut into cubes (Wegmans  of course already has stew meat cut and packaged for you)
* 3-4 carrots cut into chunks
* 4-5 Red potatoes, cut into quarters (I used a whole bag of baby red potatoes and cut them in halves)
* 2 onions chopped in quarters or 1/8ths 
* 1 large 28 oz can of diced tomatoes( I used redpack with garlic and olive oil)
* 2 tsp of chopped garlic
* 2 TBSP of Lemon Juice
* 4 TBSP of Worcestershire Sauce
* Ground black Pepper to Taste
* Turn crock pot on low heat or 200 degrees
* Layer crock pot with:  meat, carrots, potatoes, onions, tomatoes, and garlic
* In a small bowl mix lemon juice and Worcestershire and toss it on top of mixture
* Cover and let cook all day (about 6-8 hours) (I gave it a stir every few hours, but you don't have too)