Maria's Italian Wine and Honey Cookies


6-7 cups all purpose flour
2 cups Red Wine (or 1 cup wine/ 1 cup water)
2 cups Mazola Oil (has to be Mazola!)
1 32 oz jar of Grade A Honey
Rainbow sprinkles


In a medium saucepan, bring the wine and oil to a boil, blend well, then turn off. Pour out most of the flour onto a large wooden butcher block or wooden surface. Pile it up into a large mountain and dig a large hole in the middle and start adding the hot wine mixture to it, blending it as you go along with a wooden spoon. When its cool enough, start using your hands to mix and knead it until all the flour is incorporated, keep adding enough flour and kneading it until the dough is similar to the consistency of “Playdoh”. Grab a hand full and roll with your hands to make long ropes about one inch thick. With a knife, cut into 3 inch long pieces.

On the inside of a cheese grater, reach in with a piece, push it down and roll it towards you with your three middle fingers so it gets the “nubs” on it and is rolled into a coil shape. You may need to try this several times to get the right shape.

When all are formed into cookies, fill a large pasta pot with about 3 inches of oil, put over medium/high heat. To see if it’s ready you can test the oil by throwing a little piece in to see if its sizzles and little bubbles rise up from it. Drop enough of them in to fill the bottom with room to grow around them, using a hand held strainer or slotted spoon, stir them VERY GENTLY until they’re light to medium brown usually about 7-10 minutes.

Remove them and put them onto paper towels to absorb excess oil. During this process, heat up the honey in a small sauce pan and then turn off. Take the cookies by spoonfuls and dunk them in the heated honey, give a quick stir,then tap off drips and place into a aluminum lined container or large bowl.

If you want to put them directly onto a platter, pile them up in a pyramid shape and sprinkle all over the top with the sprinkles. Wrap tightly with a few layers of plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for up to one month.


Tortellini in Brodo


3 quarts chicken stock
2 10-ounce bags spinach
2 bags frozen cheese-filled tortellini
1 carrot, sliced thinly
A handful of flat-leaf parsley leaves
Zest of 1 lemon
A couple of handfuls of Parmesan Cheese
Salt and Pepper to taste
*optional* chopped carrots or zucchini


In a large pot, bring stock and the carrots up to a boil, after10 minutes, drop in the frozen tortellini.
Stir and cook until done. Add in the spinach in the last 5 minutes before serving.
Ladle into soup bowls, top with some lemon zest, salt and pepper to taste and a handful of the Parmesan cheese.

Serves: 6

Chicken Tikka Masala


1 cup yogurt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
4 teaspoons salt, or to taste
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
4 long skewers
1 tablespoon butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons paprika
3 teaspoons salt, or to taste
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro


In a large bowl, combine yogurt, lemon juice, 2 teaspoons cumin, cinnamon, cayenne, black pepper, ginger, and 4 teaspoons salt. Stir in chicken, cover, and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Preheat a grill for high heat.
Lightly oil the grill grate. Thread chicken onto skewers, and discard marinade. Grill until juices run clear, about 5 minutes on each side.
Melt butter in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Saute garlic and jalapeno for 1 minute. Season with 2 teaspoons cumin, paprika, and 3 teaspoons salt. Stir in tomato sauce and cream. Simmer on low heat until sauce thickens, about 20 minutes. Add grilled chicken, and simmer for 10 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter, and garnish with fresh cilantro.

Halloween Pumpkin-Sage Soup


3 TBS unsalted butter
6 Sage leaves, slightly crushed
1 cup finely chopped onion (about 2 medium onions)
2 pounds fresh pumpkin chunks (canned pumpkin can be used, but not pumpkin puree)
2 cups fresh or canned chicken broth
1 cup Water
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 cup milk
1 cup half and a half or heavy cream
¼ tsp grated fresh nutmeg
¼ teaspoon cayenne

Heat the butter in a pot and add the crushed sage leaves and onion. Cook over medium heat, stirring, for one minute. Add the pumpkin chunks, chicken broth, water, salt, and pepper.

Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook for about 20 mins. Transfer to the bowl of an electric blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Return the mixture to the pot.

Add the milk and half and half (or cream), nutmeg, cayenne, salt, and freshly ground black pepper. Stir well and simmer for five to 10 minutes.

Taste for seasoning. Serves six to eight.

(Stew Leonards recipe)

To prepare the pumpkin shell soup tureen-

Wash the outside of the pumpkin with warm water and and pat it dry. Using a sharp knife, insert the tip and cut away a round section from the top of the pumpkin to form a lid. Scoop out the seeds and stringy membrane with a large spoon.
Spray the pumpkin inside and out with non-stick cooking spray. Lightly sprinkle the inside with salt. Spray a heavy baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray also. Place the pumpkin on the baking sheet. Place the lid aside of the pumpkin, cut side down.
Bake in a preheated oven at 325° for 1 hour or slightly longer, depending on the size of the pumpkin. Bake until the inside of the pumpkin shell just begins to soften. The shell will be a deep orange color and have a shine from the cooking spray. Do not over bake. An over baked shell will not support the weight of the soup. Remove from the oven. Very gently scoop out any remaining stringy areas you might have missed. Check the bottom of the the lid as well


Grilled Steak with Carmelized Onions


3 Large (or 6 small) Grilled steaks
5 Large onions
2 TBS Extra Virgin Oil
2 TBS Balsamic Vinegar
1 TBS A1 (or other) Steak sauce
Salt and Pepper


Put 2 TBS evoo in pan with sliced onions, salt, pepper, and garlic powder, when theyre almost done, add a few shots of balsamic vinegar (and scrape the bottom of the pan to get all the bits up) and then a little shot of A1 sauce! Pour over steaks and top with a little fresh Parsley.

Asparagus, Sun dried Tomatoes and Crispy Pancetta Lasagna


This makes a HUGE tray of Lasagna, serve it at a big gathering, or for a family dinner and box up and freeze the leftovers! If you want to make a smaller tray, cut the ingredients in half.

Prep time: 45 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Serves: 10-12 servings


2 boxes Lasagna noodles (preferably curly edges)
4 TBS Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 10 oz jar of Sun dried tomatoes, drained and sliced into thin strips (reserve oil)
3/4 cup grated Parmesan
¾ lb of Pancetta, sliced ½ inch thick
4 TBS chopped Garlic
3 bunches of asparagus
3 lbs of Part Skim Ricotta cheese
¾ cup whole milk
3 Eggs
2 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper
16 ox shredded part skim mozzarella cheese
3 TBS Parsley


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add 1 tsp Olive oil, and a dash of salt. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. After you put the pot of water on to boil, chop Pancetta into very small cubes, and sauté in 1 TBS of the reserved Sun dried tomato oil until crispy. Remove from the pan using a slotted spoon. In the same pan, add another TBS of the oil, add Garlic and cook to light brown in color, drain and put aside. Wash, trim off ½ to 1 inch of the bottom, and then peel the tough outer skin of the asparagus. Cut on the diagonal into 1 inch pieces. (take out about 20 pieces of the nicest looking tips and put aside) Drain pasta, and allow to cool. In large mixing bowl, mix together the Ricotta, Milk, Eggs, Garlic, 2 TBS of the Parsley, Salt, Pepper and ¼ cup of the grated Parmesan cheese. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. In a 10x15 deep dish Lasagna pan, drizzle some EVOO all over the bottom, and start the layering with a layer of Lasagna noodle, then spread layer of Ricotta mixture, sprinkle some Asparagus, then Pancetta, then Sun dried tomatoes, top with some Mozzarella, and a sprinkle of Parmesan Cheese. REPEAT until you get to the top layer (you’ll probably end up with 4 full layers). Sprinkle with last TBS of the Parsley and drizzle the whole top with the rest of the Sun dried tomato oil or EVOO. Bake until the top is browned around the edges and all the cheese is melted.


Raspberry Pecan Streussel Coffee Cake


1/4 C. (1/2 stick) butter or margarine
1/3 C. firmly packed light brown sugar
1/3 C. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 Cup crumbled Pecans (walnuts or almonds also)

2 1/2 C. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 C. granulated sugar
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 C. (1 1/2 sticks) butter or margarine
3 eggs
1 C. dairy sour cream
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 pint Raspberries (or Blueberries)

1/2 C. confectioners' sugar
1 Tbs. milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour cake pan (I used a Bundt Cake pan) *For streusel, in small bowl, combine butter, sugar, flour and cinnamon until crumbly; add almonds; set aside.
For cake, in large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder and soda. With electric mixer at low, beat until butter is distributed and mixture is almost smooth. Add eggs, sour cream and vanilla, then beat at medium speed until combined.
Pour 2/3 batter into prepared pan. Top batter with raspberries then pour remaining batter over berries. Bake in preheated oven 30-35 minutes until cake is browned on top, but still wobbly in center. Remove from oven and top with streusel. Put back in oven for another 15-20 mins until cake tester inserted in center comes out clean; let cake cool….
Combine glaze ingredients, drizzle on cake. (be sure to wait until cake is COOL)


Chicken with Sun dried Tomatoes and Garlic in Wine Sauce over pasta


6 Large Boneless Chicken breasts
4 TBS chopped Garlic
2 cups Low fat, low salt Chicken Broth
1 cup White Wine
3 TBS Butter (Healthy Balance)
3-4 TBS Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 cup Sun dried Tomatoes in oil
1 can large pitted Black Olives, sliced
3 TBS Flour
2 TBS Parsley
1 Package (or box) Rigatoni pasta


Put water onto boil with a few drizzles of EVOO and a pinch of salt for the pasta. Meanwhile, chop the tomatoes and slice olives and set aside. Cut the chicken into large chunks and in a large bowl toss with the flour until they’re all coated. Shake off all the excess. In a large Sautee pan, (on med/high) add butter and EVOO until melted, add garlic and stir until just browned. Add the chicken, while stirring constantly. Add the White wine. Be sure to scrape the bottom of the pan after adding the Wine! Then add the Chicken Broth. Stir well and simmer on medium heat until the sauce gets nice and thick and the Chicken is almost cooked through. Add in the tomatoes and olives, and blend in with the Chicken and the sauce. Add in the parsley and simmer for another 5 minutes. Drain pasta. Serve over pasta with a few sprinkles of fresh Parsley on top. Enjoy!


Caramel Apple Pie on a Stick

Found this one on the Food Network site, looks like fun!

Prep Time: 15 min Inactive Prep Time: 1 min Cook Time: 10 min Level:
Easy Serves:
3 servings Ingredients
1 (14-ounce) package caramels, unwrapped
3 apples
3 cinnamon sticks
30 vanilla wafer cookies
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Heat a small saucepan over high heat. Add 3 tablespoons water and the caramels and reduce the heat to low. Stir the caramels frequently until they are completely melted.

Be careful not to burn the caramel.

While the caramels are melting, pull the stems out of the apples and cut a thin slice from the bottoms so they have a flat surface to stand on. Insert a cinnamon stick into the top of each apple.

Put the vanilla wafers into a plastic bag and coarsely crush them. Put the crumbs into a bowl and mix in the cinnamon.

Dip each apple into the melted caramel, making sure to get it completely coated. Put the coated apples onto a cookie sheet lined with waxed paper. Refrigerate the caramel apples for 1 to 2 minutes to harden up the caramel. Roll them in the cinnamon-crumb mixture and enjoy!

Sun Dried Tomatoes in Olive Oil

Sun Dried Tomatoes in Olive Oil
Pomodori Secchi Sott'Olio

14 unblemished meaty plum tomatoes, washed and dried
3 cups Colavita™ Red Wine vinegar
Two 12-ounce jars and lids, sterilized
8 fresh basil leaves
3 tablespoons capers in salt, rinsed and diced
2 tablespoons black peppercorns
2 teaspoons fine sea salt
2 to 2 1/2 cups Colavita™ Extra-Virgin Olive Oil, as needed

Core and cut the tomatoes in half lengthwise.

Place the tomatoes cut side down in a dehydrator and dry according to the manufacturer's directions. Or place cut side down on wire racks set on baking sheets in a preheated 225ºF oven. Let dry until they have the texture of dried apricots. This may take a day or longer, depending on the size of the tomatoes.

Pour the wine vinegar into a large nonreactive saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the tomatoes and blanch them for 1 minute. Remove the tomatoes with a slotted spoon and drain well. The vinegar acts as a preservative and gives added flavor to the tomatoes.

Layer the tomatoes into the sterilized jars, adding half the basil, capers, peppercorns, and salt to each jar. Slowly pour the olive oil into the jars, pressing down on the tomatoes slightly with a wooden spoon. Make sure that the tomatoes are completely submerged under the oil at all times, or they will be exposed to air and potential bacteria growth.

Cap the jars tightly and place them in a cool spot overnight. The next day, check the level of the oil and add more to the jars if the tomatoes are poking out of the oil. Check the jars two or three more times, adding more oil if necessary.

Recap the jars and store them in a cool place for 6 weeks before using. Refrigerate after opening and bring the tomatoes to room temperature before serving.

Featured on show 1903 - Preserved Eggplant and Tomatoes.

This recipe is from Mangia Pasta! by Mary Ann Esposito, published by William Morrow and Company, Inc., in 1998.


Rachel Ray’s French Onion Soup with Cheesy Croutons


6 medium onions
4 tablespoons butter
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 fresh bay leaves
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh thyme
Salt and pepper
1 cup dry white wine
1 quart beef stock
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 baguette, ends trimmed, sliced into 16 rounds about an inch thick
1/2 pound Gruyere cheese, shredded
4 tablespoons good quality dry sherry, optional

Yields: Serves 4

Heat a heavy soup pot over medium heat while thinly slicing the onions. Add butter to the pot and melt. Add onions, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, salt and pepper, and gently caramelize, stirring frequently, 30 minutes. If the onions begin to brown to quickly at edges before they caramelize, turn heat down a bit. Deglaze the pan with the wine, let reduce a minute while stirring. Add stock and Worcestershire sauce and simmer 15 minutes more.
Meanwhile, place rack in middle of oven, heat oven to 250˚F.
Place a cooling rack over a baking sheet and arrange the bread slices on it. Toast bread 15 minutes. Switch broiler on. Top the bread with lots of mounded cheese and broil 2-3 minutes to melt cheese.
Ladle soup in shallow bowls and stir in a tablespoon of sherry per bowl, if using. Set 4 cheesy croutons into each bowl and serve.

Heather's Healthy Shepard's Pie

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.


1 small-medium onion diced
cup of fresh broccoli crowns
1/4 canned or 1/4 fresh green beans
cup of fresh zucchini & yellow squash
4 med./large Russet potatoes peeled, cut up & washed
1/2 lb. 93% lean ground beef (or 1/2 ground turkey if you want to have less calories)
1/2 8oz. can of corn in low sodium or no sodium water
3/4 cup low fat milk
1 tbsp reduced calorie margarine
1/2 cup shredded 3 cheese (fiesta kind)
2 tsp. corn starch
2 bouillon cubes (chicken or beef)
cooking oil spray

Steam the zucchini & broccoli florets & green beans cut in half or just add the canned ones later when you add the corn.
Boil the potatoes, drain, beat with the milk & margarine, add a little salt if you want to. I put some a small amount of raw onion so the potatoes don't come out gray.
Spray skillet with cooking oil spray fry the onions after cooked set aside in bowl.
Boil 1 & 3/4 cup water add bouillon cubes use a tiny sifter shake in the corn starch & whisk it while you add it. Let it get thick like gravy remove from heat.

Brown your beef or turkey, I did it with minced garlic but you don't have to.

Put canned corn & steamed zucchini, fried onions & broccoli in a bowl pour the fat free bouillon gravy over veggies & stir.

Spray some cooking oil into a casserole dish add 1/2 the cooked meat on the bottom, then pour half of the veggie's in gravy over it. Then add(1/2) a layer of the mashed potatoes. Then sprinkle 1/2 of your shredded cheese. Then add the rest of the meat, then the veggies in gravy then your last layer of mashed potatoes & cheese.
Cook 350 degrees for 30 minutes then I turned it up to 375 for 5 minutes for top layer of cheese to be a bit more crispy but you don't have to do it like that if you don't want to of course!

For an even lower fat higher fiber version you can use a small turnip, some cubed butter squash and or acorn squash & 2 Russet potatoes instead of 4 potatoes. To make the mashed potatoes & instead of using milk when you make them mashed use fat free chicken stock or fat free beef stock.

I actually like my "new" way better then the old fashioned way with the tons of butter & gravy with fat and a ton of shredded cheese!