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.


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Maple Walnut Cookies with Maple Butter Icing

Spring time is Maple Season time in Upstate NY.  My mom and I really enjoy going to the Maple Festival in Mumford, NY.  Last year, we learned how to tap a Maple Tree and make pure Maple Syrup.  My mom was so excited she has a few Maple Trees in her yard, that she bought a tree tapping kit and starting tapping her own tree for Maple Sap and making Maple Syrup out of it.  You would be surprised how long it takes to get the Maple from the tree and how little you get from one tap.  It is no wonder pure maple syrup costs so much!These Maple Walnut Cookies are the perfect recipe for Maple Season time! My step dad found this delicious recipe in the newspaper a few years ago and we have been making them ever since!
Cookie Ingredients:
* 2 Eggs
* 1/2 cup of Butter Crisco
* 1 Cup of Dark Brown Sugar
* 1 Cup of Sour Cream
* 1 TBSP of Maple Extract
* 2 + 1/2 Cups of All Purpose Flour
* 1/2 tsp. of Baking Soda
* 1/2 tsp. of salt
* 1 Cup of Chopped Walnuts
* Beat together Crisco, Brown Sugar, and Egg
* Stir in Sour Cream and Maple Extract
* In a small bowl, mix Flour, Baking Soda, and Salt
* Add to Crisco Mixture and Blend, then add chopped Walnuts.
* Cover and Chill dough for at least an hour.
* Pre-heat oven to 375 Degrees
* Drop by TBSP's onto a cookie sheet lined with Parchment Paper.
* Bake for 10 minutes
* When cookies are done, let them fully cool on cookie rack and then make the Glaze for the top (See how to make Maple Butter Glaze Below)
* Dip the tops of each cookie with the Butter Maple Glaze
Maple Butter Glaze Ingredients:
* 1/2 Cup of Softened Butter
* 2 Cups of Powdered Sugar
* 2 TBSP of Maple Extract
* 2-3 TBSP of Hot Water
* In a small sauce pan, Heat Butter until Golden Brown
* Add Powdered Sugar and Maple Extract and whisk
* Add Water a TBSP at a time, until the right consistency and whisk.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Beef Pizzaiola

When I am in a rush for dinner, I usually run to our local grocery store Wegmans and pick up one of their goodies that I can just throw in the oven and whip up a side to go with it.  One day I grabbed their beef Pizzaiola.  They only give you two small pieces in a package which shrink down in size when you bake it, so I peaked at the ingredients on the label and decided to just buy all the ingredients and make it myself.  It was much better homemade, because I was able to make larger meat rolls and putt more of the veggies and cheese in the middle.  I even added a little red wine for a nice juice for the pizzaiola to cook in.  this rolled meat dish is simple to make and just absolutely melts in your mouth!
* 4 slices of Top Round Thin Beef Cutlets 
* 1 bag of Wegmans Matchbox Carrot sticks (you will only need about 6 TBSPS)
* 4 slices of Provolone cheese
* a handful of Baby Spinach
* Salt and Pepper for seasoning
* 4 TBSP of Olive Oil
* 1/3 cup of Dry Red Wine
* All Purpose Flour 
* Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
* Spread out the Beef Cutlet
* Lay a slice of Cheese on the top.
* Put 1 1/2 TBSP of Carrot on top of the Cheese
* Put about 7 Leaves of Baby Spinach on top of the Carrot
* Roll the meat all the way to the end with Seam side down and season all sides with salt and pepper.
* Repeat these steps with the remaining Beef Cutlets and set aside.
* In a small shallow dish, put about 3/4 of a cup of flour seasoned with with Salt and Pepper
* Carefully coat the outside of the Beef Rolls with the Flour. Set Aside.
* Heat 4 TBSP of Olive Oil in a Large Frying Pan on Medium High Heat.
* Once oil is hot, brown beef on all sides ( about 2-3 minutes a side)
* Add the Red Wine to pan and let cook another minute.
* Transfer Beef Rolls to a Baking Dish and pour all of the liquid from the frying pan over the top.
* Bake uncovered for 30 minutes
Make a side dish or two and enjoy!!!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Tiramis├╣ with Frangelico Liqueur

       Tiramisu, which mean "pick me up" in Italian, is a classic Italian Dessert.  There are many ways to make Tiramisu, but the few basic ingredients are always: Saviardi, Espresso, and Mascarpone Cheese. My mom has always been an expert at making this delicious dessert and is known to make the best by all of our family and friends.  I decided to attempt to make it for the first time and added my favorite Italian liqueur, Frangelico (a hazelnut and herb liqueur that comes from Canale, Italy) to the recipe along with a few other changes.  This is a tricky dessert to make, so I thought as it was being my first making this, it came out pretty good.  I think I would absolutely change a few things such as not soaking the Lady Fingers as much as I did.  I am sure the second time I make it I will be closer to perfect!
* 6 cups of Espresso (I have an espresso maker, but if you do not own one, you can buy instant espresso at the store).
* 40 Savoiardi, Lady Finger Biscuits (you can buy packages of these in the Italian section of Wegmans or at an Italian import store).
* 8 Egg Yolks
* 8 TBSP of Sugar
* 2 cups of Heavy Cream
* 2 Cups of Mascarpone Cheese
* 8 TBSP of Frangelico Liqueur (you can leave out the liqueur if you wish or use a different kind)
* 2 TBSP of Unsweetened Cocoa Powder

* Fill a 2 quart pot about a 1/4 full with water and bring to a light simmer.
* In a 1 1/2 quart heat proof mixing bowl, whisk Egg Yolks, 4 TBSP of Sugar, and 2 TBSP of Frangelico.
* Place bowl on top of pot with simmering water and whisk for about 8 minutes.  This will make sure that the egg is not raw and will form almost a custard.  When done, take bowl off the pot and set aside to cool (you can use a double boiler if you have one).

* While that is cooling, get a small mixing bowl out and put the Mascarpone Cheese in it and give it a stir with a fork to make it soft and smooth and set aside.
* In a large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to whip Heavy Cream and 4 TBSP of Sugar until it is well whipped into a Whipped Cream consistency.
* Fold the Masarpone Cheese into the Whipped Cream Mixture and then fold in the Egg Yolk Mixture into that until all blended. Set Aside.
* Pour Espresso into a deep dish and add 6 TBSP of Frangelico.
* Dip each ladyfinger(one at a time) in the Espresso mixture, being careful that there are no hard spots in the middle and that they don't disintegrate. Place them flat side down in a 9x13 baking dish to form the first layer.

* Spread half of the Mascarpone mixture on the top.

* For the second layer, repeat the same technique with the remaining lady fingers and cheese mixture.
* Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or over night.


* When you are ready to serve, sift Cocoa powder over the top!
Enjoy and make sure you do not eat this dessert too late at night! It just might keep you up late!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Spaghetti with a Creamy Cauliflower Sauce and Crumb Topping

Cauliflower is the perfect vegetable to use to make many different recipes. You can substitute it for many unhealthy items in recipes. While this Creamy Cauliflower Sauce is not the lowest in Fat, it is much much lower than any regular Alfredo Sauce! I hope you enjoy this delicious, but sneaky Vegetable recipe as much as I do!  Even my husband liked it and he doesn't care for many veggies!
Sauce Ingredients:
*3 cloves garlic
*2 tbsp olive oil
*1 head cauliflower
*1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, or to taste
*salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
*3 1/2 cups water
*1/3 cup heavy cream
* 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
* 1/2 of a Lemon
* 1 lb of box spaghetti
Topping Ingredients:
* 1/2 cup fine bread crumbs
* 1/3 grated Parmesan cheese
* 1+ 1/2 TBSP olive oil
* salt to taste
* 2 TBSP chopped fresh parsley
* Core and Cut the Cauliflower into large pieces.
* In a Sauce Pan, Saute 3 cloves of Garlic with 2 TBSP of Olive Oil for 2-3 minutes.
* Add Water, Cauliflower and Crushed Red Pepper.  Cook for 20 minutes on medium heat. (Do not drain the water! We are keeping all of it!)
* Add Heavy Cream
* Puree until very smooth, with a Hand Blender (If you do not have a hand blender, then just toss it into a regular blender).

* Fold in Grated Cheese
* Add Salt and Pepper to taste.

* In a Large Sauce Pot, boil Spaghetti until al dente in slightly salted water.  When done drain.
* Toss Pasta into a pasta bowl and squeeze the juice of 1/2 of a lemon into the pasta.

* Pour Creamy Cauliflower Sauce onto the Spaghetti and toss until well blended.
* Make the topping: In a small frying pan, add Grated Cheese, Bread Crumbs, Chopped Parsley, Olive Oil, and Salt and Pepper to taste. Cook on a medium heat while stirring every once in a while, until toasty.
* Sprinkle the Topping all over the top and serve!