Thursday, January 31, 2008

American Heart Association - Heart Disease In Women

Wear Red Day - Feb 1, 2008

Support the American Heart Association in their battle against heart disease in Women.

February 1 has been designated as NATIONAL WEAR RED DAY. So participate with the American Heart Association by wearing red so that we can increase awareness that heart disease is the the NUMBER #1 of women. It kills almost twice as many women as any types of cancer, including breast cancer.

Lizabetti volunteered to make these cookies to raise awareness in New England. You should get out and see what is happening in your town. If you are not a woman yourself, I bet your wife or mother is !

And don't forget to wear red !

Superbowl Munchies : Healthy, Tasty Oven Fries

Superbowl Munchies : Healthy, Tasty Oven Fries

Whether you are Tom Brady or just a football fan like me, you probably enjoy the taste of French Fries. But let's face it, fries are a pain to make and they are not good for you.

This treat gives you the taste of spicy fries without the hassle of frying, the fat calories of fried food, and best of all; less mess to clean up. It goes great with a beer when enjoying a game with the great New England Patriots, the exciting Detroit Pistons, or even the New York Giants. Heck, I think even a Laker fan can enjoy these fries.

My huge teenager likes some of the potatoes sprinkled with sharp white cheddar cheese for extra zing.

You can also make variations on this dish by using herbs like rosemary or parsley.


  • 1/4 Cup light olive oil
  • 1 tsp Chopped Garlic
  • 1/4 tsp Hot Hungarian Paprika
  • 1/2 tsp Coarse Sea Salt
  • 4 Medium Size Yukon Gold Potatoes

  1. Thoroughly mix the oil, garlic, paprika and salt in a bowl. Let stand 5 minutes.
  2. Slice the Potatoes into quarter inch slices. If you prefer, they may be cut into French Fry shapes, but that is more work.
  3. Lightly salt the potatoes (salt is optional) and leave out for 10 minutes to bleed out some of the water.
  4. Blot dry the potatoes with a paper towel.
  5. Lay potatoes on a wire rack over a cookie sheet.
  6. Brush the potatoes on the both sides with the oil mixture
  7. Bake in a 400o oven for 30 minutes. A convection oven works great for this and adds to the crispiness. No need to flip them; the wire rack lets them cook on both sides !
  8. Optionally, in the last 5 minutes of baking, sprinkle some shredded sharp cheddar cheese on some of the potatoes.

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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Seared Salmon Salad Sandwich

Seared Salmon Salad Sandwiches

This salmon salad is a great way to use up left over fish or can be used to get a little more shelf life out of your salmon. You can make this with any fish; grilled, broiled, or fried.

My favorite way to do is is with wood grilled salmon or trout, depending on the season. You can save a lot of money by eating fish in season, that's when you get the best prices. You can substitute trout,  Arctic char, pollack, haddock, or cod. I like the meatier fish like trout, salmon, char, or swordfish. Farm raised salmon works great and is usually very economical. Remember that the fish oil is very good for your cardiovascular health and the protein is good for muscular development. This dish also contains lots of vegetable fiber and anti-oxidants.
  • 1/2 lb Fresh Salmon (or substitute your favorite fish)
  • 4 ounces of daikon radish (Optional, but adds some zing)
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 stalk of celery
  • 1 bunch parsley
  • 1 juicy lime
  • 3 fresh scallions (green onions)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon brown or Dijon mustard, must not be sweetened
  • 1 teaspoon Cayenne pepper (optional, but highly desirable for you spice hounds)
  • 1 tespoon dry oregano
  • 1 tablespoon Italian Dressing (or extra virgin olive oil and red wine vinegar; mixed)

  1. Rub fish with some of the garlic, salt, paprika, and olive oil
  2. Grill over an open apple wood fire, 4 minutes per side. If this is not convenient you can broil it, or use an electric grill.
  3. Chop daikon, celery, and scallions.
  4. Shred the carrot using a coarse cheese grater.
  5. Break up the fish with a fork, squeeze lime onto the fish.
  6. Make the sauce : Mix the garlic, mustard, cayenne, salad dressing, and oregano. Set aside.
  7. Throw the chopped veggies into the fish and mix thoroughly.
  8. Mix the sauce into the fish.
  9. Let stand 30 minutes. Refrigerate if you will eat it later. It will keep in the fridge for several days.
  10. Serving Suggestion : Slice tomatoes and cheese and toast on French bread. Add the fish over the warm cheese and serve.

Copyright © 2007, 2008, All Rights Reserved

Sunday, January 27, 2008


This is a fast and quick version of chicken noodle soup which should satisfy the soup lover in all of us. The most important ingredient is the chicken stock or broth. I like to use my homemade chicken stock which has a rich taste. Mom's chicken soup is acknowledged world wide as the only cure for the common cold.


  • 2 chicken thighs
  • 1 cup of diced carrots
  • 1 cup of diced celery
  • 1 small white onion diced
  • 1 tbsp of finely chopped parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 no salt chicken bouillion (optional)
  • 1 cup of white zinfandel wine
  • 4 cups of chicken stock
  • 1 cup of small noodles such as baby bow ties, chili-mac or alphabets (you can use regular size noodles, but kids like the small sized noodles)
  • olive oil


  1. Salt the chicken thighs.
  2. Coat the bottom of a medium size pan with olive oil and heat on medium high. When oil is shimmery, add the chicken thighs and brown them on all sides.
  3. Remove the chicken and set aside.
  4. Add the onions and saute until just wilted.
  5. Add the carrots and celery and saute for a minutes.
  6. Add the parsley.
  7. Return the chicken to the pan and continue cooking with other ingredients.
  8. Add the wine and let is come to a boil, turn the heat down and simmer for about 5 minutes.
  9. Add the chicken stock and simmer for about 30 minutes.
  10. Add salt to taste.
  11. At this point, you may want to add the bouillion. It is a matter of taste. If the stock you used was not robust, you might need the bouillion.
  12. Add the noodles. I like to add the noodles uncooked and have them cook in the soup. Again, this is a matter of personal preference. By doing it this way, I think the noodles are tastier since they cook in the soup broth.
  13. Once noodles are cooked, soup is ready to serve. For us adults, add a handful of chopped parsley. Some might enjoy a squeeze of fresh lemon. Serve it with a thick slice of French baguette. Serves 4-6.

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Saturday, January 26, 2008

Mardi Gras Masks

Mardi Gras Masks - Eat Them or Wear Them !

Lizabetti used the same idea as the Christmas cookies to make these cool masks. Just use a basic sugar cookie recipe and decorate with home made icing. I am trying to get her to post the recipe, so stay tuned.

Copyright © 2007, 2008, All Rights Reserved

Sur La Table 120x600 11.27.07

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Gnocchi - Grandma Tatoes

My mother first made these treats for my kids when they were toddlers, hence the name grandma tatoes. They have always loved them. In fact, one of the kids will only eat the gnocchi with red sauce. No noodles for him. For years, I was under the impression that its time consuming to make them from stratch, so I never attempted to make them. We always waited for grandma to show and make them. But, luckily, I finally decided to make them. So, now the gnocchi is a staple in our repetoire of food. The nice thing about gnocchi is that they freeze well and so you can make tons and have them any time. I guarantee you that if you take the time to make them, anything store bought will pale in comparison to the rich, potatoey flavor. The truth is that they do not take alot of time to make.


  • 2.5 lbs of yukon gold potatoes which should be about 6 medium sized potatoes. If the potatoes are too large, then they will take a long time to steam cook. Also, if they are too small, it will be a chore to peel them, once they are cooked.
  • 2-2.5 cups of flour
  • 2 tsp of salt
  • large steamer pan. The pan must be large enough to hold sufficient amount of water to steam the potatoes for about 1 hour or until done
  • potato ricer
  • small hand strainer


  1. Thoroughly scrub and wash the potatoes.
  2. Place them in the steamer pan and fill the steamer to about 1/2 full. You might have to add water, half way through the steam process. Turn the heat on high and steam the potatoes. It is really important to steam the potatoes. If you boiled the potatoes, they can become water logged and it will be hard to make the potato dough. Check about 45 minutes into the steam process to see if the potatoes are done. Use a knife and gently push it into the potato, if the knife goes in without any resistance, the potatoes are ready. You want the potatoes to be thoroughly steam cooked, but not over done. It will probably take about an hour to steam the potatoes.
  3. Once the potatoes are done cooking, turn the heat off and remove the steamer from the stove.
  4. While the potatoes are still hot, use a fork to hold the potato and peel the skin. The skin should peel easily. Peel all the potatoes. Be careful, the potato needs to still be warm for the next steps, so they need to be peeled while hot.
  5. Using the potato ricer, press the potato thorough the ricer. If the potato is too large, cut in half and press thorough.
  6. Add 2 cups of flour and mix it thoroughly with the riced potato.
  7. Kneed with your hands until it forms into a "dough" ball. If it is still too sticky, add a little more flour and continue to kneed until it becomes a ball.
  8. Using the hand strainer, lightly flour your kneeding surface.
  9. Using a knife, cut about 1/4 of the dough, place on the kneeding surface. Lightly flour the dough.
  10. Roll dough out using your hand into a long tube, the diameter of about 1 inch.
  11. Using a sharp knife, cut the tube into bite size pieces and set them aside on a floured sheet. Continue until all the dough has been rolled out and cut.
  12. Using a 6-8 qt pot, bring water to boil. Carefully add about 10-12 dumplings. When the dumplings rise to the top of the pan, they are cooked. Using a hand colander, remove the gnocchi from the water and place them on a wire rack. Continue until all the gnocchi are cooked.
  13. Serve with red sauce or anyway you would serve pasta.
  14. For any leftovers, soft freeze them in single rows on the wire rack. When they are soft frozen, you can put them between sheets of wax paper and freeze them completely. The key to freeze these is to make sure they are frozen individually that way, you can defrost them easily and they won't become a big clump when you defrost them.

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