Monday, October 31, 2016

Sugar Cookies

Almost everyone has a favorite cookie recipes, sugar cookies is one of mine. They are great, moist, light and flavorful. Kids love to decorate them on the Holidays and they just set that happy atmosphere on family events.


1 cup of butter
3/4 cup of sugar
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
Dash of lemon juice
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups flour

Mix together butter and sugars. Add in eggs, vanilla, lemon juice. Mix flour, baking powder, salt together and gradually add into creamed mixture. Don't over stir. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for one hour at least. 
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Generously flour a flat surface and the rolling pin. Scoop out half the dough and roll until about 1/4 inch thick. Cut into desired shapes and bake 6-8 minutes. Do not get them brown! Cool in pan for one minute. Remove to wire rack to cool completely. 
Frost and decorate. 

Monday, September 26, 2016

Bistecca al Pepe Verde (Green Pepper Steak)


4  5 oz. each Beef Tenderloin
2 Tbsp. green peppercorn coarsely crushed (Use black if you cannot find green)
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. cold butter
1/2 cup cognac
1/2 cup cream (use the Crema Mexicana non agria, it is the closest cream to the Italian cooking cream)
Salt to season

Let beef stand at room temperature for 30 minutes, season with salt and some peppercorn.
In a pan add the oil and heat it until is almost smoking. Add the meat and sear the beef 3-4 minutes per side over medium high heat. Remove the steaks from the pan and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm.
Drain the excessive grease from the pan, add the butter and the remaining peppercorn and cook over medium high heat for 1 minute. Add half of the cognac and stir. reduce heat to low, add cream and stir gently, then add the rest of the cognac. Stir, pour on the beef tenderloin and serve immediately.

Ham, Cheese, Spinach Frittata

If you are making breakfast but at the last minute you realized you don't have enough eggs, try to make a frittata. By adding few ingredients to your eggs, you will cook a nice filling breakfast without having to run at the store to buy more eggs.

INGREDIENTS: for 4 people

6 to 8 eggs add a bit more milk if not enough eggs
1/2 cup milk
2/3 cups flour
2/3 cup mixed cheddar and mozzarella cheeses
2/3 cup cut/cubed ham
1 handful fresh spinach
salt, pepper to season
olive oil to cook

Mix all ingredients in a bowl, warm up the olive oil in a pan and add mixture.

Cook thoroughly both sides of the frittata without scrambling the eggs. Put a plate on top of the pan to help turn the frittata, than slide it from the plate back to the pan.

Serve with toasted bread.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Cream Brûlée

20 eggs
20 eggs yolks
1.5 quart heavy cream
.5 quart half and half
2 cups sugar
1 oz Grang Marnier

Add eggs, yolks and 1 cup of sugar to a large bowl, mix well. Bring cream and half and half to a boil, add the rest of the sugar and mix. Remove cream mixture from the stove.
Temper cream mixture into eggs one ladle at the time, constantly stirring (secret is to bring the temperature of eggs up slowly without cooking the eggs). Continue to do this until ¾ of the cream mixture is in the eggs mixture. 
Add Grand Marnier.
Pour rest of the cream mixture and stir well.
Pour mixture through a fine strainer to remove cooked eggs pieces and possible shells. 
Let mixture sit and cool.
Using the bottom of a ladle, remove film that forms on top of mixture.
Pour mixture into 1-2 ramekins and bake, covered, in a water bath for 30-35 minutes. 
Remove from oven, cool, and place in the refrigerator.
After chilled, place a small layer of sugar on top and caramelize with a blow torch.

Party ideas

Quick party ideas

1. Put an 8 oz bar of cream cheese in the middle of a platter, pour jalapeño relish over the top and serve with crackers.

2. Slice croissants and fill with thinly sliced roast beef. Serve with horseradish sauce.

3. Roll out crescent rolls. Sprinkle with cooked ground sausages and Parmesan cheese. Roll up lengthwise and slice into bite pieces. Cook at 375 until brown. 

Monday, August 29, 2016

Linguine con Salsa Sveltina


Love this recipe! It's my mom's friend Nadia recipe. Growing up I used to go visit "aunt Nadia" in Padova and she used to teach me lots of good healthy ways to cook pasta. The Sveltina (quicky) sauce  is a light sauce perfect for a hot summer dinner. Fast, light and delicious.

Ingredients (for 5 servings)
1 pack linguine
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 pint sliced cherry tomatoes
1 cup chopped fresh basil
4 gloves chopped garlic
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 tsp sugar
Sea salt
Grated Parmesan cheese
Some basil leaves to garnish 

Cook pasta according to package directions. While pasta is cooking, in a large saucepan heat oil over medium heat. Add tomatoes, chopped basil, chopped garlic and stir well. Add broth, sugar and cook for 4 minutes. Season with sea salt and pepper. Add linguine, toss to combine and serve. Add Parmesan cheese on pasta after it is served on plates. 

Friday, July 29, 2016

Smoked Bacon Wrapped Pork Loin

This is my favorite way to cook pork loin. This is my mom old recipe for her roasted pork loin that I twisted a little to use in the smoker.


One medium pork loin
1 1/2 packs of thick bacon
1/4 cup finely chopped Parsley
Some parsley leaves
Sea Salt
2 garlic cloves chopped 
1 pinch Cayenne pepper
1 Tbsp Old Bay seasoning
1 Tbsp Tone's Tuscan Garlic Seasoning Blend
1 Tbsp Chili powder
Rosemary leaves
1/4 cup Extra virgin olive oil 
2 cups white wine

Clean the pork loin, in a small bowl mix olive oil, sea salt, cayenne pepper, old bay, Tuscan seasoning, chili powder. Rub the mix on the pork. Let it sit while you're prepping the bacon. 
Beat the bacon with a meat beater to make it thin and longer. Lay each strip on a flat pan or cookie sheet overlapping each strip. 

Put the pork loin in the center of the bacon strips.
Chop the garlic and spread it on the pork, add the rosemary leaves. Inject the pork loin with the white wine using a culinary siringe, make sure you inject it in various parts. Roll the bacon around the pork loin tightly, chop the parsley and rub it on the bacon. Add some parsley leaves and celery. 

Smoke it on medium for 8 hours (I use an electric smoker, if you have a regular smoker you will have to adapt temperature and cooking time)

Dr Pepper Roasted Pork Loin

Few days ago was my daughters birthday, I decided to surprise her with one of her favorites for lunch, Dr. Pepper roasted pork loin.


Medium size pork loin
1 1/2 - 2 cups Dr Pepper
1/3 cup finely chopped parsley 
2 garlic cloves 
Fresh Rosemary 
1 Tsp Kosher Salt
1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 1/2 Tbsp Tone's Tuscan Garlic Seasoning Blend
1 1/2 Tbsp Tony Chachere's More Spice Seasoning
(These 2 seasoning blends are really good for rubbing roasts)

Wash the pork loin, make sure all the blood is gone. Lay it in an oiled roasting pan. In a small bowl mix the Kosher salt, olive oil, and the two seasoning blends. Rub the mixture on the pork loin. 
Inject the pork loin with Dr. Pepper using a culinary siringe in various parts of the meat (this will keep the roast super moist)
Chop the garlic in thick pieces, chop the parsley, and spread them on the pork loin. 

Cook at 375 for about 60-70 minutes. It's good served with roasted potatoes or for a lighter side dish, steamed vegetables 

Thursday, July 28, 2016


Few days ago I had to bring a dish for a potluck and I decided to create a new recipe. The ladies loved this pasta, they kept talking about it over and over and they asked me to share the recipe so here it is. I couldn't figure out a name for it, but since it is a new creation and as you see there are plenty of ingredients, I figures the "Creativa" name is appropriate.

5-6 servings


1 pack thin spaghetti (I use Pasta Barilla)
3 eggs
½ cup milk
1 cup steamed mushrooms
1 cup Parmesan cheese
2 cups cubed cooked meat (I used roasted pork loin, but you can use ham, bacon, or any meat you like)
6-7 cubed Roma tomatoes
2 garlic cloves
Half medium white onion
1 cube Knorr chicken bouillon (caldo de pollo)
4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup vegetable oil
¼ cup finely chopped Italian parsley
4-5 finely chopped chives leaves
1 tablespoon dried oregano
Kosher or sea salt (both natural salts, I used Kosher salt, less saltier since i used the chicken bouillon. Table salt is sodium chloride combined with iodine, and anti-caking compounds to make it pour by preventing it from absorbing water from the air)
Couple pinches of dry red pepper

Chop garlic and onion in small pieces and sauté them in the olive oil. Add the chicken bouillon. Stir well, cook for about a minute, and add the steamed mushrooms, parsley, meat, tomatoes, chives. Cook on medium for about 25-30 minutes, stirring frequently. While the sauce is cooking, start the water for the pasta. Add ¼ cup of vegetable oil to the water so pasta will not stick together.
Add salt. In a bowl mix the eggs, milk, oregano, red pepper and Parmesan cheese. Let it sit there until pasta and sauce are ready.
Make sure you cook your spaghetti “al dente” that means you drain them right at cooking time that's suggested on the box (Barilla Thin Spaghetti cooking time is 6 minutes)
Drain pasta, add the sauce mixture, mix well. Add the egg mixture (the heat of the pasta will cook the eggs) mix fast and well, you want the eggs mixture to stay creamy.
Serve with a side of salad of your choice and garlic bread, and enjoy!

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Funghi Trifolati (Sauté Mushrooms)


8 oz steamed mushrooms 
2 garlic cloves
A handful of Italian parsley
Salt, pepper
Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Mince garlic, then sauté in olive oil. Add mushrooms and parsley. Stir, add salt and pepper. Keep stirring and cooking mushrooms for 4-5 minutes.
Funghi Trifolati can be used as side dish, but they are great on lemon chicken, pasta sauces, pizzas and many more other dishes.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Raspberries Mimosa (Alchohol and Alchool Free Recipes)

With summer around the corner, we start craving those sweet but cold and refreshing drinks. this is my Raspberries Mimosa. Perfect for those hot summer nights.
The alcohol free version (at the bottom) is a yummy drink for kids and non drinkers.

Ingredients (for a pitcher)

1 bottle orange juice
2 packs frozen raspberries
 prosecco wine (if you don't like dry wine use a sparkling sweet white wine)
1 cup sugar
mint leaves for garnishing

Blend the orange juice with 1/2 pack of the raspberries, pour in a glass pitcher, add prosecco wine to top (1 part juice and 2 parts wine), add sugar. Chill for two hours before serving. When serving, pour drink in a glass, add some thawed raspberries and mint leaves to garnish. (for those that like a kick in their drinks, add a splash of vodka in the glass)

Alchool free Raspberries Mimosa

Same ingredients and process, but substitute Prosecco wine with Sprite, and use 2 parts of juice and 1 of Sprite. Stir before serving.

You can use strawberries or pineapple instead of raspberries.

Chicken Enchiladas with White Sauce

2 whole chicken breasts, cooked and shredded 1 lb. Monterey Jack cheese, grated 1 (3 oz.) can (mild) chopped green chilies 2 cans cream of chicken soup 1 pt. sour cream 
1 can of corn 
2 cup of rice 1/2 lb. Cheddar cheese, grated 1 dozen flour tortillas 

Boil rice. While rice is cooking, toss together: chicken, Jack cheese, and chilies. Mix together soup and sour cream. Heat salad oil in a fry pan over medium heat. Fry each tortilla very quickly on both sides (only to soften). Put about 1/4 cup of chicken filling in center. Add 1 tablespoon soup mixture. Fold sides in, and then roll. Drain corn, mix it with the rice. Make a rice bed on the bottom of a casserole pan. Place enchiladas , seam down, on the rice. Repeat with each tortilla. Spread the remainder of soup over all. Top with Cheddar cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Mint Tea

This is a Marroccan tea. In Morocco the tea is usually prepared in a special teapot. After the tea brews a little, some is poured back and forth between the pot and and a glass, a procedure that is said to improve the brewing process. When ready, the tea is poured from a height of one to two feet into the small glasses. 


4 bags of green tea
1 cup packed fresh mint leaves
1/4 cup sugar
3 cups boiling water

Place the tea bags, fresh mint leaves and sugar in teapot. Pour the 3 cups of boiling water and stir to dissolve the sugar. Let steep for 4 minutes and serve. 
If you prefer ice tea let it cool down, add ice, garnish with fresh mint and a lemon slice. Your mint tea just turned in the perfect beverage on a hot summer day.

Marinated Flank Steak


4 large shallots, chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp dry red wine
1 1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 1/2 lbs flank steak, trimmed

Whisk first 5 ingredients and pour in a 13x9x2 inch glass dish, season with pepper. Add steak and turn to coat. Marinate steak for 2 hours at room temperature or 1 day in the fridge. Turn steak occasionally. 
Preheat broiler. Remove steak from marinade. Broil steak to desired doneness, about 5 minute per side for medium-rare. Transfer steak to plate and serve.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Spaghetti All'Amatriciana


1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/4 Lb Lean Bacon, diced
3/4 Lb Tomatoes, skinned and diced
1 Chili Pepper, do not chop
1 Pack Spagetti (14 oz)
1/2 cup Pecorino or Parmesan Cheese, grated

Heat the olive oil in a pan and fry the diced bacon well for 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and the chili peppers, sauté for another 10 minutes stirring occasionally. 
Cook the spaghetti "al dente" in plenty of salted water. Drain well. 
Remove the chili peppers from the sauce. Place the spaghetti in a warm plate, pour sauce over the top, sprinkle with cheese.