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.


Thursday, July 25, 2013

Graham Cracker Chocolate Chip Cookies

I have been trying for months to make a good chocolate chip cookie.  I've made some on Pinterest and collected recipes from friends.  Some have called for butter some have called for Crisco, some call for granulated sugar and some call for brown sugar, some say the secret is corn starch.  Anyhow, after trying many recipes out and being disappointed, I decided to just take the hundreds of chocolate chip recipes and play around with the ingredients to make my own version.  Believe it or not the one I came up with I like better than all the other ones I have made by following a recipe!  My husband must agree as well, because he at almost all of them in two days!  The cookies are sweet but not over sweet, because I replaced some of the sugar with sweet honey graham cracker crumbs. They are also soft and moist in texture due to my idea of mixing butter and Crisco, since I couldn't decide.
Side Note: remember my motto is: you food is only as good as the ingredients you use, so use good quality brands!
Please Click Here for Printable Version:
*1/2 cup of Dark Brown Sugar
*1/2 cup of Granulated Sugar
*2 1/4 Cup of All Purpose Flour
* 1/2 cup of Crisco
* 1/2 cup (1 stick) of Room Temperature Unsalted Butter
* 1/2 tsp. of Salt
* 2 tsp. of Vanilla Extract
* 6 full sheets of Nabisco Honey Flavored Graham Crackers
* 1 tsp. of Baking Soda
* 1 package (2 cups) of Nestle Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips
* 2 Eggs
* Pre-Heat Oven to 350 Degrees F
* In a large Bowl mix the Crisco, Butter, Brown Sugar, and Granulated Sugar with a Kitchen Aide Mixer or an Electric Hand Mixer, until soft and smooth.
* Add in the vanilla and the Eggs one at a time
* In a food processor grind the Graham Crackers until they are pure crumbs with no lumps and add to the wet mixture
* Add the salt, baking soda, and flour (1 cup at a time) until all the ingredients are well incorporated.
* Fold in the Chocolate Chips
* Place dough in Refrigerator for about 30 minutes
* Spread Parchment Paper onto a cookie sheet and scoop desired size balls of cookie dough onto the cookie sheet
~*~Note~*~I used my medium size cookie scoop that I bought from Bed Bath and Beyond.  It make the perfect size cookie every time and they are always all the same size
* Bake for 11-12 minutes at 350 Degrees F
~*~Note~*~If making a smaller cookie then it may need less time
* Eat with a glass of cold milk and...

Friday, July 12, 2013

Tuna Fish in Lemon and Olive Oil

Growing up I would eat tuna fish sandwiches the typical mayo and celery way, but my dad always made it the way my great grandmother Calea from Sicily would make it for him as a kid.  She would use fresh and simple ingredients like Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Fresh Lemons, not the unhealthy way that we are use to eating it.  As I got older I learned to appreciate eating Tuna and bread her way, instead of doused in mayo.  Served with some fresh crusty Ciabatta bread, this recipe makes a fantastic lunch or snack.  Since the ingredients are easy and simple, make sure you use good quality oil, bread, and lemons!
Please Click Here for Printable Version:
* 1 can of Solid White Meat Tuna
* 1 Celery Stalk
* About 1 TBSP of diced white onion (feel free to add more depending on your taste)
* 2/3 cup of good quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil
* 1/2-1 whole Lemon (depending on your taste and how juicy the lemon is.  I like the whole lemon!)
* Salt and ground black pepper to taste
* A loaf of Crusty Ciabatta Bread or other good quality crusty bread
* Open a can of Tuna Fish and drain well
* Place in a bowl and break apart into small pieces with a fork
* Chop up celery into small pieces and add to Tuna
* Dice up Onion and add to Tuna
*Add Juice from a Fresh Lemon
* Add Extra Virgin Olive Oil
* Season with Salt and Pepper and mix together (taste it as you add the ingredients until it it to your liking)
* Let the Tuna sit for a few minutes to let all the flavors settle together.
* Cut up some fresh Ciabatta Bread (or other bread) and spoon Tuna on top!
* Make sure you also dip some bread into the delicious tasting Oil left in the bowl!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Tortellini Caesar Salad

        I guess it is about time I add a new recipe post! Work and life in general has kept me busier than usual this year!  I hope everyone is having a fantastic summer! I started teaching summer school a few weeks ago and have also spent the past few months helping plan my sister-in-law Laurie's bridal and bachelorette party which were both successful! My other sister-in-law Marcy, brother-in-law and new baby nephew also came for a week visit from Florida.  The entire family spent our time together at a cozy cottage on Keuka Lake boating, swimming, Kayaking, eating and playing with my nephew Preston.  
My dog and I Kayaking on Keuka Lake
My nephew Preston representing my in-law's store
My sister-in-Law's ugly dress bachelorette party on the lake
On the 4th we invited some friends to join us for a barbecue at the cottage and I made my go to summer salad! It was a big hit as it usually is, so I thought I would share this easy, but amazing salad with all of you.  I got the recipe from a co worker, Debbie that I use to work with and I can't thank her enough for sharing this delicious recipe with me!
Please Click Here for Printable Version:
Salad Dressing Ingredients:
*1/2 cup of Hellmann's Mayo
* Juice from 1/2 a lemon
* 1/4 cup of 2% Milk
* 2 cloves of Fresh Garlic
* 1/3 cup of Grated Parmesan Cheese (the fresh kind, not the one that comes in a jar on a shelf!) (In my picture the cheese is shredded, I have found that using grated is much better!)
* Salt and Pepper to Taste
Salad Dressing Procedure:
 (If you want, this could be made a few days in advanced as well):
* Mince garlic and place in a small bowl or jar
* squeeze half a lemon into bowl (be sure to not get seeds in it)
* Add Milk, Mayo, and Grated Cheese. 
* Add some black ground pepper to taste and mix with a small whisk or fork.  If you are using a jar, just close and shake.
* Cover and place in fridge, until you are ready to serve your salad.
Salad Ingredients:
Salad Procedure:
* Cook your tortellini according to package directions
* When done, drain in cold water and set aside
* Cut up your Romaine Lettuce and place in a large salad bowl
* Add your cooled tortellini
* Add your cut up tomatoes or cherry tomato halves
* Pour dressing all over the top and toss until the salad is well coated
* Sprinkle the croutons over the top