Monday, December 29, 2008

Seafood Risotto

I love seafood but for some reason I have always been scared to cook it myself. The other day I felt brave and got a package of assorted shellfish and seafood. I wasn't sure what to do with it and after looking around for recipes I decided on seafood risotto. There seems to be different ways to make seafood risotto but this seemed good, and it was ! I mostly followed the recipe but used brown rice instead of Arborio rice because I like it better.

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup red onions, chopped
  • 6 cups seafood stock
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 cups brown rice
  • 1 lb assorted shellfish and seafood
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 3 tablespoons green onions, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • salt & pepper

  1. In a large saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and season with salt and pepper. Saute until the onions are slightly soft, about 3 minutes. Add the stock and garlic, bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer for 6 minutes.
  2. Add the rice and simmer for another 10 minutes, stirring constantly.
  3. Clean the shellfish and seafood and season with salt and pepper, add to the rice and continue to cook for 6 minutes.
  4. Stir in the butter, cream, Parmesan cheese and green onions and simmer for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, spoon the risotto in a shallow bowl and garnish with parsley.
The original recipe was from

Saturday, December 27, 2008


This was my second attempt at making Spanakopita. The first time I tried it didn't turn out so good, the filing was ok but not what I had in mind, but the crust was horrible. This time I used a different brand of phyllo pastry and didn't follow a recipe for the filling but experimented a little and it turned out much better ! Next time I make it I will try a few changes though, I will use 1 or 2 more phyllo sheets and will add more feta cheese. I made 5 servings with this recipe.

  • 1 package Phyllo pastry sheets
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese, crumble
  • 8 oz frozen spinach, thawed and well drained
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dill
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded

  1. Thaw the phyllo sheets at room temperature, about 40 minutes. Lightly beat 1 egg, add the water and set aside.
  2. Lightly beat the 2 remaining eggs and mix with the feta cheese, spinach, onion, parsley, dill, garlic powder and Parmesan cheese.
  3. Cut the phyllo sheets into 8 inch squares. Place two pieces of phyllo on top of each other. Spoon 2 tablespoons of the spinach mixture in the center of the square and brush the sides of the square with the egg mixture. Fold the squares over the mixture to form a triangle and crimp the edges to seal.
  4. Place on a baking sheet, brush with the egg mixture and bake in a preheated oven of 400˚F for 20-25 minutes or until golden.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Chocolate Salami

Around Christmas time my mother always makes Chocolate Salami and this is probably my favorite from all the Christmas treats that she makes. This year I wanted to try it myself and I'm very pleased with the result ! It is exactly as my mom makes it so I'm really happy because I usually can't make things quite as good as hers. Usually Chocolate Salami is not covered in chocolate but only dusted with confectioner's sugar to resemble cured salami, I'm not sure where my mom got that from but since I like it I made it the same.

  • 10 lbs graham crackers, crushed
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 3.5 oz glazed cherries, chopped
  • 3.5 oz hazelnuts, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon Grand Marnier
  • 1 1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 10 oz plain chocolate, melted
  • 1/4 cup confectioner's sugar


  1. In a large bowl mix together the graham crackers, cocoa powder, cherries, hazelnuts, vanilla extract, Grand Marnier and condensed milk. Stir well until the mixture is thoroughly combined.
  2. Pour the mixture on a sheet of wax paper and roll to a salami shape. Once completely rolled twist the ends of the wax paper and refrigerate overnight.
  3. Coat the salami with chocolate and dust it with confectioner's sugar.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Breaded Pork Chops

I found this recipe a while ago and it looked interesting so I saved it but then forgot about it. Yesterday I came across it again and happened to have some pork chops so I made this for dinner. I liked it and so did my friend, but I think next time I will leave out the milk so the bread crumbs will not come apart. The recipe called for Italian seasoned bread crumbs but I didn't have that so I used normal bread crumbs and seasoned them myself.

  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 1/2 cups bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 2 teaspoons dried marjoram
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 4 boneless pork chops
  • salt & pepper


  1. In a beat together the eggs, milk, salt and pepper. In a separate bowl mix the bread crumbs, basil, marjoram, oregano, sage and Parmesan cheese.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large, oven-proof skillet over medium heat. Stir in the whole garlic cloves and cook until lightly browned then remove the garlic.
  3. Dip each pork chop into the egg mixture, then into the bread crumb mixture, coating evenly. Place pork chops in the skillet and cook for about 5 minutes on each side, or until browned.
  4. Place the pork chops in a preheated oven at 325˚F to an internal temperature of 160˚F, about 20 minutes.
The original recipe was from

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Chewy Coconut Cookies

I suspect that I will be posting about cookie recipes more than anything else ! Today I tried these coconut cookies for the first time and I like them. I usually make coconut macaroons when I want to make something with coconut, I got that recipe from my grandma, we used to make them often when I a kid and I really like them, but this time I wanted to try something different with coconut. The only thing is that they turned out a little greasy, I am thinking I either had too much butter or maybe because I lightly greased the cooking sheet when it said to bake them on an ungreased cooking sheet. They're still good though ! I made 18 cookies with this recipe.


  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/3 cups coconut flakes
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

  1. In a large bowl combine the flour, baking soda and salt.
  2. In a separate bowl cream the butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar until smooth. Beat in the egg and vanilla until fluffy. Gradually blend in the flour mixture, and then mix in the coconut and chocolate chips.
  3. Roll the dough into 1 inch balls, place on an ungreased cooking sheet 1 inch apart and flatten the cookies slightly with your fingers.
  4. Bake cookies for about 10-15 minutes at 350˚F or until lightly toasted.
The original recipe was from

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Bolognese Sauce

This has got to be my brother's favorite, so when he comes over I make it for him and he wolfs it down. It's really my mother's recipe but I think it's the best Bolognese sauce I ever had. It must be the sage that really give the sauce a nice flavor. The recipe should be for two servings, I always make this amount when it's just for myself then I know what I will be having for lunch or dinner the next day, or two !

  • 8 oz ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup carrots, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup red cooking wine
  • 1/2 beef bouillon cube
  • 1/2 can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sage
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • salt & pepper


  1. In a large skillet fry the onion and carrots in olive oil on low heat until onion is soft, 2 - 3 minutes. Add the sage, garlic and ground beef and cook on high heat until the beef is browned.
  2. Add the wine, tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar, beef bouillon, water, salt and pepper. Bring to boil and put on low heat.
  3. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Add the peas and simmer for another 10 minutes or until the sauce is thick.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Super Easy Pizza

The first time I made this recipe I was 14 years old and wanted to make pizza for a party. I had no idea how to make pizza dough so my mother gave me this easy recipe to follow. I made it all by myself and I was so proud that it turned out good. I am still using the same recipe whenever I feel like homemade pizza, it's the best ! Today I made it with pepperoni, parma ham, bell pepper, corn kernels, red onions, mozzarella and Hunt's pizza sauce, but obviously you can put anything you want on it.

  • 2 cups self-raising flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 cup butter, diced
  • 1/2 cup milk
  1. In a bowl sift the four, baking soda and salt. Rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine crumbs.
  2. Make a hole in the center and pour the milk. Stir the mixture to make a fairly soft but not sticky dough, adding more milk if needed.
  3. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead briefly, then roll out to make a round base.
  4. Spread with desired toppings and bake in a preheated oven of 400˚F for 15-20 minutes.

Some of my favorite pizza toppings:
  • Feta cheese, kalamata olives, sundried tomatoes and garlic.
  • Blue cheese, goat cheese, Parmesan cheese, mozzarella and red onions.
  • Pepperoni, bell pepper, corn kernels, red onions and mozzarella.
  • Tuna, olives, capers, anchovies, red onions and mozzarella.
  • Mushrooms, spinach, boiled egg, parma ham and mozzarella.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Yummy Nachos

This is a quick and easy nachos recipe which I made up. I don't always have all the ingredients so when I don't I improvise, you can put anything you like really, I don't think it's possible to mess this one up. Today I really felt like having nachos after work but I didn't have everything so I modified it a bit and used cranberry beans and tomato salsa instead if kidney beans and sour cream, I didn't have any jalapenos either. It still turned out good though. I have also used guacamole before instead of the sour cream, but in my opinion these are best when I follow my 'original' recipe.

  • 1 can kidney beans, drained
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 dash hot pepper sauce
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 3/4 cup Cheddar cheese, shredded
  • salt & pepper
  • 1/2 cup jalapeno peppers, sliced
  • 1 package tortilla chips

  1. Layer the chips on a lightly greased baking sheet.
  2. In a bowl mix together the kidney beans, bell pepper, tomatoes, onion, olive oil, lime juice, cumin, hot pepper sauce, salt and pepper.
  3. Spoon the mixture over the chips and top with the sour cream, Cheddar cheese and jalapenos
  4. Bake in a preheated oven at 350˚F for 15 minutes or until the cheese melts throughout.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Oatmeal Cookies

I love baking cookies !! They are easy to make, don't take long to cook and I always get good results. Besides who doesn't love homemade cookies?? This is one of my favorite recipes, this time I made them with dried cranberries and they turned out really good. I have made them before with chocolate chips and dried strawberries but I think dried cranberries are the best so far. This recipe is supposed to make 20 - 24 cookies, although I always end up with about 16 cookies.

  • 1 cup pecans, chopped
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 cups old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 cup dried fruit (cranberries, cherries, strawberries, raisins) or chocolate chips

  1. In a bowl cream the butter and sugar until smooth. Add the egg and vanilla extract and beat to combine.
  2. In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture and beat to incorporate. Stir in the pecans, oats and dried fruit or chocolate chips.
  3. Roll the dough into 1 inch balls, place on a greased cooking sheet 1 inch apart and flatten the cookies slightly with your fingers.
  4. Bake cookies for about 12-15 minutes at 350˚F or until light golden brown around the edges.
The original recipe was from