Sunday, November 16, 2014

Appetizer Meatballs

1 egg
2 tablespoons water
1/2 cup non seasoned breadcrumbs
4tablespoons of minced onion
1 1/2 teaspoons of lemon juice
1 jar of jellied cranberry sauce 8 ounce can
3/4 cup chili sauce 
1 teaspoon of brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350 
In a large deep mixing bowl, mix t ground beef, egg, water, bread crumbs, onion. Roll meat mixture into small bite size meatballs.

Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes and turn mid way at the 15 minute mark.

In a crock pot  or large saucepan on low heat, blend the cranberry sauce, chili sauce, brown sugar, and lemon juice, slowly add meatballs,  simmer for 1 hour.  Then serve hot.

Stuffed Mushrooms

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
In a medium size bowl add Crabmeat, herbs, and pepper, and mix in mayo and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese until well combined. Refrigerate after mixed
Wash the mushrooms and remove stems, spoon out gill and that you can fill the mushrooms.  Fill  mushrooms with rounded teaspoonfuls of filling, and place in an ungreased  baking dish.
Bake for 20 minutes, serve hot.  Serves 6

English Muffin Pizza

I remember Angelo's Mom making this, they were great!

1 package of English muffins  (I like using Thomas English Muffins)
1 jar of pizza sauce
Mozzarella Cheese 
Slices pepperoni

Preheat the oven to 375
Place the English muffin halves cut side up onto foil covered  baking sheet. Apply  pizza sauce onto each one, sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and add pepperoni slices.

Bake for 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the cheese is melted and browned on the edges

1 to 2  English muffins per person   I have also added meatballs to these and applied the cheese.  top with whatever you like.

Brussel sprouts

2 -12 ounce bags of frozen Brussels sprouts (in in half if small in fours if large)
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of pepper
1/2 teaspoon of Italian herbs
4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons  lemon juice

In a fry pan mix  sprouts and 1/2 cup water,  season with salt and pepper and Italian herbs, simmer over medium heat Cover and cook at low heat and stirring occasionally until almost all of the water is evaporated and sprouts are tender, but still crisp for about 5 to 8 minutes (add more water if water runs out so that the sprouts can finish cooking.

Once all cooked Increase heat to medium  add oil to pan and continue to cook, until they are golden brown, and tender cooking for about 10 minutes.

Remove from heat and mix with lemon juice, season as needed.  Serves 8

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Fancy Gratin Cauliflower

1 cup  heavy cream
1 tablespoon  all-purpose flour
1 cup  Parmesan cheese grated
1/2 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into slices
1 large head cauliflower, washed, cored and cut into florets
Salt or sea salt
1 teaspoon of pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees 

In a deep large bowl combine cauliflower, heavy cream, flour, and 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, season with salt and pepper and mix well to coat. Pour mixture to a 2-quart baking dish and cover tightly with foil, bake for 30 minutes.

 In a small bowl, mix together 1/4 cup grated Parmesan and breadcrumbs. Sprinkle over cauliflower.  with butter and bake, uncovered, until topping becomes an even golden brown and cauliflower is tender.  Cook for about 10 to 15 minutes.

Roasted Holiday Vegetables

1/3  cup extra-virgin olive oil

4 medium carrots cut into 1 1/2-inch thick rounds
1 1/2 cups Brussels sprouts  halved
1 pound of red bliss potatoes cut into 1 1/2-inch thick slices
4 medium parsnips cut into 1 1/2-inch thick slices
1 pound of  sweet potatoes cut into 1 1/2-inch thick slices
1 onion cut into 1 inch slices

1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon of dried parsley
1 1/2 teaspoon of pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt or sea Salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees 

Grease a large baking sheet pan with extra-virgin olive oil, place vegetables on the baking sheet, sprinkle the dried herbs, salt and pepper coat evenly.  Make sure  all the vegetables are season and coated with the oil.  Add more oil if the vegetables seem dry, make sure that the vegetables are evenly spread on the baking sheet. Place on the middle rack in the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes.  

Spread the vegetables evenly on a large baking sheet. Place on middle rack in oven and bake for 35 to 40 minutes.  They will be be golden in color. Makes 6 servings   Doubling this dish is easy for larger dinner parties.

Thawing a Turkey


8-12 pounds                                  2-3 days

12-14 pounds                                3-3 1/2 days

14-18 pounds                                3 1/2-4 1/2 days

18-20 pounds                                4 1/2-5 days

Turkey will keep up to 4 day once thawed, so thawing a day or so early is not a problem, if you brine the turkey you need the extra time.

Couple of ways to thaw:

1.  Thaw Turkey in its wrappings in a pan in the refrigerator.  (no water)

2. Thaw turkey in its wrappings in a container large enough to allow it to be in water. Fill the container with cold water and change the water every 30 minutes. This method will thaw a turkey at the rate of about 1 pound every 30 minutes. An 18-pound turkey will take 9 hours.

Easy Italian Stuffing side Dish.

           1 pound of sweet Italian sausage
        1 package seasoned stuffing mix 16 oz bag or box
        1/2 cup of butter
        2 large celery stalks  (Dice)
        1 large onion (Dice)

    Heat 10-inch  fry pan over medium heat add the  sausage and cook until brown for about 8-10 minutes stirring often so that  sausage breaks apart. With a draining spoon transfer sausage to a large bowl and add stuffing.(Hold fry pan and Dripping from sausage)
    Add margarine to fry pan dripping  and heat until butter melts, but not browns, add celery and onion and cook until onion cooked well, until vegetables are tender and golden, about 15 minutes, now mix with celery mixture to bowl with sausage.
    Pour 2 1/2 cups hot water over stuffing mixture. Mix well. Spoon stuffing into 13" by 9" baking dish, cover with foil and bake in preheated 325 degrees for 30 minutes or until cooked to your taste and liking texture

    Italian Turkey Stuffing made Easy

    1 pound of Sweet Italian sausage or turkey sausage
    2 boxes seasoned stuffing mix
    2 celery stalks diced
    1 large onion diced 3 cups chicken broth 1/2 cup unsalted butter
    Preheat oven to 375. Heat fry pan  over medium heat, add sausage and cook until browned.
    Prepare stuffing according to package instructions use the  chicken broth and melted butter).
    Add cooked sausage and drippings to the stuffing and mix together well.
    Place in a buttered baking pan or into turkey

    Grandma Piccirillo's Bread Turkey Stuffing

     Stuffing bread (about 10-12 cups) 3 loves
    1 large onion diced
    2 large celery stalks diced
    10 Tablespoons of butter
    Turkey giblets cooked and diced
    Parsley 1/4 fresh
    1 box of bells  seasoning
    1 teaspoon of pepper
     Dash of salt
    1-2 cups of  chicken stock

    Do this the night before:

    Break your bread up the night before and let in sit covered this will dry the bread out. The bread dry out so that when you add the ingredients below it will not be too soft and mushy.  

    Put turkey giblets from the turkey and put them in a saucepan and add water and simmer for about an hour.  Once cooked strain the juice and use it for the stuffing.  (You can use the chicken stock or water, but I always use the stock from the giblets.)

    In another pan saute 10 tablespoons of melted butter, celery and onion.  Once done add the giblets and mix together well. Refrigerate.

    Next day:

    Season your bread with the bells seasoning, covering evenly:

    Mix the take the giblet mixture and add 1 cup of chicken stock and mix together;

    Slowly pour evenly over your bread until bread is coated and soft but not mushy.  Use all of the giblet mixture, add chicken stock as needed.  Once finished seasoning bread.  Stuff your cleaned turkey.

    I am sure my sons remember us breaking the bread together as a family and getting the giblets ready.  We made the breaking of the bread a family event.  Nice memories!  Love you all!

    Tuesday, November 11, 2014

    Herbed Turkey

    Thaw Frozen turkey as directed or use fresh (12-14 pound turkey)

    1 tablespoon of vegetable oil  or 1 tablespoon of melted butter

    2 tablespoons of sage rub

    1 teaspoon of salt

    2 tablespoons of paprika

    2 tablespoons of garlic powder

    t teaspoon of black pepper

    1 teaspoon of parsley

    Place oven rack on the lowest position in oven
    Preheat oven at 325
    Place roasting rack in shallow roasting pan

    Mix seasoning in a small bowl

    Place turkey breast side up in pan, Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the seasoning inside the turkey
    Brush turkey breast with oil, and then sprinkle rest of seasoning mixture over the whole turkey.  Add 1/2 cup of water to pan, tent turkey loosely with heavy duty foil.

    Roast as directed by turkey size and until internal temperature is 165f.  Bast occasionally with the juices from roasting pan.  Remove turkey once done and let sit for 25 minutes.  Have turkey platter ready as you carve your turkey.  You can make gravy from pan juices.

    Turkey Gravy

    2 packages of Turkey gravy mix
    1/4 cup flour
    1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
    1/4 teaspoon of parsley
    2 cups of water
    1 cup turkey pan drippings
    1/4 cup white wine

     Mix gravy, mix in flour, garlic in large saucepan, slowly add in and stir in water, turkey drippings and wine with whisk until smooth.   Stir often, cook on medium heat until gravy come to a boil, lower heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes and thickening keep stirring.

    Gravy will get thicker as it stands.

    Copyright@ Maria A. Piccirillo

    Fluffy Pumpkin Cheese cake

    2-8 ounces each of cream cheese        (room temp soft)

    3/4 firmly packed light brown sugar  (I have used dark)

    3 eggs

    1 can puree pumpkin 15 ounces

    1 tablespoon of flour

    1 tablespoon vanilla 

    1 1/2 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice 

    Beat cream cheese and brown sugar in a large bowl with mixer on medium until fluffy, add eggs, one at a time, beat after each egg is added beat until well blended, add pumpkin, flour, vanilla and pumpkin pie spice.Beat until light and fluffy.  Pour into Crust

    Crust or use frozen pie crust or any refrigerated crust.

    2 cups of Graham cracker crumbs
    3 tablespoons of melted butter
    2  1/2 tablespoons of granulated sugar
    1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
     Mix all ingredients in medium bowl. Press evenly into bottom of 9-inch Springform pan.
    Preheat oven to 350

    Bake for 50 minutes until the top is golden and center is set.  Turn off oven and keep cheesecake in oven for 1 hour.  Remove from oven and run a small spatula or knife around the rim to loosen it from the rim of the Springform pan.  Cool once cooled refrigerate 4 hours or more.
    Copyright@ Maria A. Piccirillo

    Italian Pumpkin Pie

    1 can of canned  Pumpkin
    5 large eggs
    2 sups of Ricotta cheese (low fat can be used)
    1/4 cup milk
    1/4 cup Maple syrup
    1 1/2 teaspoons of unsalted butter
    1 cup sugar
    1 tablespoon of cornstarch
    1/8 teaspoon of lemon juice
    1 teaspoon of cinnamon
    1/2 teaspoon of ginger
    1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg

    10 inch pie crust home made of frozen

    Sift together in medium bowl:  Then set to one side


    Beat eggs slightly in a large bowl mixing at medium speed, slowly add milk,syrup, pumpkin and ricotta.  Add melted butter and lemon, then slowly add sifted ingredients. Keep blending at low speed until nice and smooth. 5-8 minutes  Pour into uncooked 10 inch pie crust.

    Bake 450 oven for 15 minutes
    Reduce to 350 and bake for another 50 minutes.  Makes 10 servings

    Will also take great in a chocolate pie crust.

    Copyright@ Maria A. Piccirillo

    Warmed Pumpkin Milk

    1 cup of pumpkin (canned)
    1 quart of milk  (low fat is fine)
    1/4 cup of granulated sugar
    1 tablespoon vanilla  (coffee syrup or almond flavor okay)
    1 teaspoon of cinnamon
    Whipped cream to top

    Over medium heat:

    Combine pumpkin, milk,sugar,cinnamon, and flavor.  Heat evenly, do not boil just simmer, and whisk together.

    Pour in cups and top with whipped cream and sprinkle with cinnamon.

    Pumpkin Chocolate Smoothie

    1 can of puree pumpkin  (16 oz)
    2 cups milk  (Fat-Free milk)
    1/4 dark brown sugar
    1 tablespoon of Chocolate syrup  (optional)
    2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon

    Whipped cream  (optional)

    Store the pumpkin in a plastic bag and place in freezer for 1 day

    Next day thaw until fairly soft:

    In blender add milk, brown sugar, cinnamon, and pumpkin.  Blend until smooth.

    Pour into 2 glasses evenly top with cream and drizzle chocolate.

    Seasoned Artichoke Hearts Roasted

    Preheat oven to 375

    Drain artichokes and rinse in a colander and remove brine.

    Pour artichoke hearts to a bowl and freely add olive oil,  garlic and pepper, sprinkle with parsley, coating well.

    Gently place artichoke into a metal roasting pan for about one hour,  toss them every 20 minutes so that they roast evenly.

    Sprinkle with lemon juice and  2 tablespoons of butter

    Sicilian bread dip

    1/4 teaspoon of rosemary

    1/4 teaspoon of oregano

    Sprinkle of Sicilian sea salt

    Sprinkle of peppercorn 

    1/4 cup of olive oil

    Crushed Rosemary, oregano, freshly ground black pepper and sea salt.

    This is a one person serving double and triple as needed.  This can be made in individual same dishes per person.

     Copyright@ Maria A. Piccirillo

    Pumpkin Cheesecake

    38 finely crushed ginger Snaps
    1/4 cup butter melted
    4 packages of Cream Cheese soften  8 ounces each (Do not use lite)
    1 cup granulated sugar
    1 18 ounce of spice pumpkin pie
    1 teaspoon of vanilla
    4 eggs
    1 cup cool whip (thaw)  or use real cream
    1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg
    1/8 cinnamon

    Heat oven 325

    Mix ginger snaps and butter, and then press onto bottom and about 1 inch up the side of a nine inch springform  pan.  Beat cream cheese and slowly add sugar with mixer until well blended.  Add pumpkin, spices and vanilla, mix together until well blended.  Pour into springform pan and bake 1 hour and 20 minutes, check to make sure center is almost set.  If not bake another 10 minutes.  Loosen cake from rim of pan, and cool before removing it from rim.  Refrigerate about 4 hours.  Serve with cool whip or real cream.