Happy Mother’s Day!

To all the Wonderful Moms!

Keeping it chic and carefree on Mother’s Day, with a breezy brunch.

Fresh bagels and lox

Add some fresh scallions to cream cheese.

Red onions, tomatoes and capers to garnish.

Chick Pea, Cucumber, Tomato and Feta salad dressed with olive oil, red wine, vinegar, lemon juice, salt and pepper.

Baked Eggs (think a quiche with no crust)

This one has sausage, onions, potatoes spinach and cheddar. You can mix up the ingredients for this with whatever you like. Sometimes we use pancetta or bacon. Sometimes just all vegetables. Whatever you use sauté it first, except the cheese of course, than lay in the bottom of the pan. For a 9×13″ pan use 12 eggs and 1 cup of half and half mixed together then pour over the other ingredients. Salt and Pepper to taste of course. Fresh herbs are nice too. Sprinkle the cheese on. Bake in 350 degree oven for about an hour.

Fresh berries are always sweet and pretty

Alex with both her Grandmas at Lacrosse.

To Moms Everywhere, you’re the Best!

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Stuffed Artichokes

Artichokes are in season!! Yeah!!

These are amazing!! Taking the choke out can be a challenge but well worth the effort! We stuff ours with sweet Italian sausage, bread crumbs, grated Parmesan, shredded mozzarella and seasoning then steam them in chicken broth.

Grandma Betsy and Alex trim the artichokes.

Tony scoops out the choke with a spoon.

Stuffing the artichoke

Alex takes over stuffing with crazy hair

Lauren going in for more… Buon Appetito!

6 stuffed artichokes:

Clean and trim and take the choke out of each artichoke

Sauté 6 Sweet Italian sausage squeezed out of its casing in a drizzle of olive oil. Sauté until sausage is cooked. Set aside to cool. And then chop the sausage into tiny pieces.

Mix sausage with 1 cup seasoned bread crumbs. 1 cup Parmesan cheese. 2 cups shredded mozzarella. Season with salt, pepper and oregano to taste.

Stuff the artichokes. Drizzle with olive oil. Place in pot with 4 cups of chicken broth. Steam until bottom leaves pull out easily. We steam in Dutch oven on stove top or covered with foil in a 350 oven. Either way it takes about 45 minutes.

Braciola

You can taste the love in every bite of this homemade Braciola!

Make sure you have time for this one! You need time in the morning to make the Braciola and the sauce. Then you can head out while it simmers. I put mine in a crockpot to simmer on low all day. We served this with homemade fettuccine. So delicious!!!

I like to make 1 and half Braciola per person so this recipe is for 4 servings.

6 thinly sliced pieces of beef, we used a sirloin for this. You want a lean beef without a lot of fat.

We place each piece of beef between two sheets of parchment paper and pound it with the flat side of a frying pan and then roll it with a rolling pin.

Tony rolling the beef so it tenderized and thin.

Season each piece on both sides with salt and pepper to taste and lay a piece of prosciutto on each piece.

Spread the filling on each piece of beef, we stuffed this with bread crumbs, grated Parmesan, spinach, parsley and seasoning (the filling recipe is below)

Roll the beef up and tie with butchers twine.

Brown each piece and place in the sauce to simmer on low for at least 5 hours.

Serve with Pasta and Enjoy!

Braciola Filling for your 6 Braciola

6 pieces of prosciutto

1 cup bread crumbs

1 cup grated Parmesan

1 cup spinach, cooked and drained really well

1/4 cup parsley chopped

1 egg

Salt pepper and garlic powder to taste

Lay the prosciutto on each piece of beef.

Mix everything else together in a bowl.

Lay on top of the prosciutto.

Bueno Appetito!

Easter Cake

How sweet is this cake! Inspired from a Betty Crocker recipe.

Follow the directions on a package of butter yellow cake mix and bake 2 9″ inch circle cakes. Let them cool completely before icing! Shave off the tops of each cake if they are peaked with a serrated knife. Alex and I like to eat these of course so we hope they peak a bit!

You are going to need a lot of icing for this cake!! About 60 oz. so if you are not making it from scratch buy 5 12oz. Vanilla frosting. No judging if you are not making it from scratch! Let’s be real here! If you are making it from scratch use your favorite vanilla buttercream icing recipe, and make enough!

Divide the frosting into 4 bowls. You will need a lot more pink because you will frost the cake with that so use 30 oz of pink, 12 oz. orange, 12 oz yellow and 6 oz. blue for the little piping at bottom. Use food color to make the colors. Just add a drop at a time of the food color, a little goes a long way!!

Use the pink icing to ice in between the layers, and the outside of the cake. Then using 3 different star tips. Use the largest star tip you have and a piping bag pipe little pink swirls randomly around the cake. If you don’t have a piping bag use a plastic bag and cut a corner off for the tip to slide into. Then use a smaller tip for orange swirls. Then smaller for yellow. And then clean the smallest one and use again for the blue swirls at the bottom, or if you have a fourth star tip use that!

Decorate with bunny peeps and enjoy! We make this ahead of time and put it in the frig until Easter!

Spring Celebrations

We hope you enjoy these Spring Recipes perfect for any celebration! Enjoy the weekend!

I like to keep these menus simple and easy so you can enjoy your guests.

Keep the appetizers simple…

No matter the occasion, our dad always asks for potato pancakes aka latkes with sour cream and apple sauce!

We make them more like hashbrowns with very little breadcrumbs or Matzoh meal. Recipe below.

Roasted Lamb

Make sure you take the Lamb out of the frig an hour and a half before you want to put it in the oven so it can come to room temperature. This is a 5 lb. roast. Rub it with olive oil, salt, pepper, rosemary, thyme, dry oregano, garlic powder.

Place it on a rack in a pan. For easy clean up I made a time foil rack by scrunching up tin foil into S shapes for it to sit on top of in my tin foil pan so I can toss it all when it is done.

Top with whole cloves of garlic. And Roast in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for about 2 hours. We like ours at medium. Definitely use a meat thermometer. Internal temperature should read around 135-140.

Don’t forget the tulips!!

Happy SPRING!!

Menu: Cheese platter and olives for apps.

Roasted Leg of Lamb, Potato Pancakes and Roasted Baby Carrots

Roasted Baby Carrots with Honey

Drizzle carrots with olive oil, honey, salt and pepper to taste. Toss and roast at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. Yum!

Potato Pancakes

In your food processor with the grater fitting, grate about 12 peeled large potatoes and 2 large onions. Put into a colander over a bowl and strain. Discard the dripping and pour into the bowl. Add two whisked eggs and a cup of breadcrumbs or matzoh meal. Mix. Heat up oil of choice, I use a combination of vegetable and olive oil. Make little pancakes and fry until crispy. I fry these a day or two before leaving them a little raw inside and then finish them off in the oven before eating. 350 degrees for about 15 minutes.

Home Made Pasta – Weekend 3 Parpadelle

Alex making the parpadelle

Parpadelle is a thicker pasta so we hand cut it after the pasta is rolled out. So make the dough, roll it out through your pasta machine. On our machine we rolled it out to the 8th setting. Then hand cut it into 1 1/2 inch width. Remember to lightly dust with flour so it doesn’t stick together after being cut.

We served the Parpadelle with a bolognese with sausage sauce. Recipe below.

Bueno Appetito!

1 lb ground beef

1 lb ground pork

6 sweet Italian sausage links squeezed out of the casing (discard the casing). If you like it spicy use spicy sausage.

1 onion chopped

4 cloves garlic minced

3 carrots peeled and minced

2 Tbsp olive oil

Splash of red wine

3 – 28 oz cans of tomato sauce

1 Tbsp dark brown sugar

Salt, pepper, oregano to taste

1/4 cup basil chopped for garnish

Brown the chopped beef and pork, season with salt, pepper and oregano. Once browned transfer to a bowl with a slotted spoon and drain the fat.

In same pan brown the sausage. Season with salt and pepper and oregano. Try to break it up into the smallest pieces you can. Sometimes I have to take it out and chop it and throw it back in.

Make a well in the center of the sausage. Add olive oil and sauté the onions and carrots. Season to taste with salt, pepper and oregano. Let this sweat a bit and then add the garlic. Sauté until onions are transparent and add a splash of red wine. Turn up the heat and let the wine cook off. Add the tomato sauce. Add the beef and pork back in. Season again with salt, pepper and oregano if desired. Add the brown sugar. Mix it all together, turn down the heat and let it simmer on low for at least 2 hours. I often transfer to a crockpot if I need to leave the house and let it go on low until we eat.

Serve over any pasta.

Home Made Pasta

Weekend 2 – Fettuccine

We find that homemade pasta melts in your mouth! It is so delicious!

You already know how to make the pasta dough from our weekend one blog (you can look back if you need to). Now you can make any shape you like!

Our pasta machine has an attachment to crank out fettuccine and spaghetti.

Alex and Anthony making the fettuccine

Andy making fettuccine and Anthony making sure the pasta gets lightly dusted with flour so it doesn’t stick together.

We served with homemade Braciola – recipe to follow in another post!

Bueno Appetito!