Red Velvet Pancakes with Cream Cheese Glaze



1 (4 ounce) package cream cheese,
1 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon milk, or as needed


1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons white sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1/4 cup milk

1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
2 teaspoons red food coloring
1/4 cup melted butter


Prepare the cream cheese glaze by beating the cream cheese, confectioners' sugar, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract in a bowl until smooth. Thin with 1 tablespoon milk or as needed to achieve a pourable consistency. Set aside.

Whisk the flour, white sugar, baking powder, cocoa powder, and salt together in a bowl until evenly blended; set aside. Beat the eggs in a separate mixing bowl until smooth. Whisk in 1/4 cup milk with the buttermilk, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, vinegar, and food coloring. Stir in the flour mixture until moistened. Drizzle in the melted butter, and stir until the butter has incorporated and small lumps of flour remain. Heat a lightly oiled griddle over medium-high heat. Drop batter by large spoonfuls onto the griddle, and cook until bubbles form and the edges are dry. Flip, and cook until browned on the other side. Repeat with remaining batter. Drizzle with the cream cheese glaze to serve


Pork Milanese


1 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
2 large eggs
6 boneless pork loin chops, pounded thin
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup olive or vegetable oil
6 lemon wedges
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F.
Place the crumbs into a large shallow bowl, mix in the parsley and cheese.. Lightly beat the eggs in a shallow bowl. Sprinkle the pork generously with salt and pepper. Dip the pork, 1 piece at a time, in the egg, allowing the excess to drip off, then dredge the pork in the crumb mixture, patting to coat completely.
Heat 1/4 cup of oil in a heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add half of the pork to the hot oil and cook until golden brown and just cooked through, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to paper towels to drain, then transfer them to a clean baking sheet and keep them warm in the oven. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons of oil to the skillet and fry the remaining pork.
Transfer the pork to plates and serve with lemon wedges.


Dijon Chicken with Tarragon


1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 skinless, boneless chicken
breast halves
salt and pepper to taste 1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon


1. Melt the butter and heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper, and place in the skillet. Brown on both sides. Reduce heat to medium, cover, and continue cooking 15 minutes, or until chicken juices run clear. Set aside and keep warm.
2. Stir cream into the pan, scraping up brown bits. Mix in mustard and tarragon. Cook and stir 5 minutes, or until thickened. Return chicken to skillet to coat with sauce. Drizzle chicken with remaining sauce to serve.


Chicken Franchese

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

                                                           4 eggs, beaten
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/2 cup white wine
2 cups chicken broth
1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup butter
2 lemons, juiced
1 teaspoon cornstarch


Coat chicken with flour, then egg beat, then saute in a large skillet until almost cooked through. Drain on paper toweling.
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C).
In a medium saucepan combine the wine, broth, parsley, salt and pepper to taste, butter or margarine and lemon juice over medium low heat. Stir together while heating slowly. When butter or margarine has melted, slowly stir in cornstarch until sauce thickens slightly. Place chicken in a 9x13 inch baking dish and pour sauce over all.
Bake at 300 degrees F (150 degrees C) for about 10 to 15 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through and juices run clear


Green Beans Almondine

Courtesy of Cooks.com - All rights reserved.

1 1/2 lbs. green beans

4 oz. almonds

2 tbsp. butter

Salt and pepper

Saute almonds in butter until lightly browned; do not burn. Steam the green beans. Toss with almonds and season with salt and pepper before serving


Grilled Chicken Fennel Soup

Recipe courtesy of: Kim Forni


2 butterflied chicken breasts, pounded thin

2 large boneless , skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces

2 fennel bulbs (stalks with green included)

1/2 red onion, sliced

8 cloves garlic whole or sliced

1 leek (soft part only)

1/2 c. white wine

1 jalapeno, minced

1 stalk lemon grass

Lemon zest from 1 lemon and 1/2 the juice..

or to taste

1/2 lb gourmet cherry tomatoes (or cherry tomatoes)

1/2 of 10-oz package fresh spinach

1/4 cup cilantro4 quarts chicken stock

Salt and Pepper


Heat some olive oil in a soup pot. Pound thin and marinade chicken breasts while doing the prep work. Then grill till done.Remove stalks from fennels . Then slice the fennel bulbs in about 1″ thick slices. Add fennel, onion and garlic to oil and sautee a couple of minutes. Cut the leek into 2″ long sticks and add in. Grate in lemon zest.

Add stock.

Cut off the dark green “grass” part of the lemon grass & leave only the soft stalk. Slit it down the middle and stir in the soup with the minced jalapeno and bring to a boil and lower flame.Season with salt and white pepper. Add white wine.

In the meantime, grill chicken breasts, season with salt and black pepper, and cut into strips.Once the fennel gets soft, slice tomatoes in half and add to pot. Now remove the lemon grass stalk from the soup.Toss in chopped cilantro and spinach cook for about 5 minutes.Place a few pieces of grilled chicken in bottom of serving bowl, pour soup over and serve.


Lemon Bread

Recipe and picture courtesy of Karen Dirgins-Graves
1 3/4 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla
12 tbs unsalted butter
, melted (1 1/2 sticks)
2 eggs
 lightly beaten
1 cup milk
zest of 1 lemon

GLAZE:1/4 cup sugar
3 tbsp lemon juice

In a bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
In another bowl, whisk together sugar and vanilla. Add the butter, eggs, milk and lemon zest, and whisk together thoroughly. Add the flour mixture and stir until blended.Pour batter into a greased & floured loaf pan.Bake at 350 for 55-60 minutes.Pop it out of the pan to cool. Glaze at will!


Aunt Eleanor's Famous Beans with Sausage and Bacon


2 28 oz cans Bush’s Best Baked Beans
4 Italian Sausage Links (out of the casing)
6 Slices cooked bacon, chopped
1 White Onion, sliced
4 Tablespoons Barbecue Sauce
3 Tablespoons Yellow Mustard
½ cup Beer
Salt and Pepper


In a large skillet, brown the onions, bacon and sausage. Sprinkle in
the salt and pepper, cook until everything is browned an caramelized.
Add in the beer. Let the beer cook out about 2-3 minutes.
Pour in the beans, blend in the mustard and barbecue sauce.
Let it come to a boil for a minute, stirring often to prevent sticking.
Reduce heat and let it sit on warm until serving.


Mini Frittatas


1 pound sweet Italian sausage
1 red & 1 green pepper, diced
1 large Onion, diced
1 dozen Eggs, beaten
2 cups Whole Milk
8 ounces Sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
3 TBS Olive Oil
1 TBS Italian Seasoning
½ teaspoon Salt
½ teaspoon Pepper
2 teaspoons fresh or dried Parsley


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 9 x 13 inch

casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray or brush thoroughly with olive oil. Boil the sausage links 10-15 minutes, drain and set aside to cool. When cooled, dice into small pieces.

In a large skillet, sauté the onions and peppers in the olive oil for 5-10 minutes, stirring often. Add in the sausage and seasonings, mix well. Cook over medium heat another 5 minutes.

In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs and milk.
Spoon the sausage and peppers into the bake dish and spread all around in an even layer. Pour the egg mixture over the top. Sprinkle the top with the Cheddar cheese and parsley.

Cover with foil, and bake 35-40 minutes. Uncover, and reduce temperature to 325 degrees. Bake for an additional 15-20 minutes, or until set and lightly browned.


Pistachio-Craberry Biscotti


6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon grated orange rind
1 1/2 teaspoons orange extract
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour $
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup orange-flavored sweetened dried cranberries
3/4 cup shelled natural salted pistachio nuts, chopped


Beat butter and sugar in a large bowl at medium speed with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs, beating well; beat in orange rind and extract.
Combine flour, baking powder, and salt; add to butter mixture, beating at low speed until blended. Stir in cranberries and pistachios.
Divide dough in half. Using lightly floured hands, shape each portion into a 14" x 2" log. Place both logs 3" apart on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Bake at 325° for 28 minutes or until firm to the touch. Cool logs on baking sheet 10 minutes.
Cut each log into 1/2"-thick diagonal slices with a serrated knife using a gentle sawing motion. Place slices, cut side down, on baking sheet. Bake 9 minutes; turn cookies over, and bake 12 more minutes. Transfer biscotti to wire racks to cool completely.


Peter's Pesto Lasagna

Recipe and Pic coutesy of Peter Francis Battaglia
“A dish I still have to try making from an Italian Cruise ship we were on last Summer in Northern Europe...LASAGNE AL PESTO...homemade sheets of lasagne layered with bechamel, fontina, pesto and parmigiano...melted in your mouth”

Olive oil, then layers of fresh lasagne (Barilla no boil)..then a thin layer of fresh pesto (you must make that yourself), topped with fontina...then lasagne, then béchamel, bound with parmigiano, then 2 more layers, top with fontina, a little pesto, béchamel and grated parmigiano and bake..

Mojito Lime Chicken wraps

Marinade: Extra virgin olive oil, chilli pepper, chipotle pepper, garlic, salt, pepper, orange zest, lime zest some lime juice, some vinegar and a dash of sugar. Marinate boneless chicken cutlets in a zip lock with the marinade for a few hours, cooked them up and sliced them into grilled tortillas with some crunchy lettuce. The flavors were unbelievable!

Slow Cooker Smothered steak

Recipe and pic courtesy of: Lynnette Franciscus
(from Cook's Country April/May 2012)


1 3/4 lb. onions, halved and sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 1/2 T packed dark brown sugar
3 T soy sauce
salt & pepper6
(6-8 oz.) blade steaks, 3/4 - 1 inch thick, trimmed
3 T cornstarch
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 t dried thyme


Toss onions, sugar, 1 T soy sauce, and 1/4 t salt in large bowl and let sit for 30 minutes. Combine steaks, remaining 2 T soy sauce, and 1 1/4 t salt in large zipper-lock bag and let sit for 30 minutes, turning once.

Microwave onion mixture until onions are softened and beginning to dry around edges, about 10 minutes, stirring halfway through cooking. Drain in colander, shaking to release moisture. Transfer onion mixture to slow cooker and stir in 2 T cornstarch, garlic, thyme, and 1 t pepper.

Pat steaks dry with paper towels and rub one side with remaining 1 T cornstarch. Arrange steaks, cornstarch side up, in single layer over onions. Cover and cook on high until steaks are completely tender, 5 to 6 hours (or 7 to 8 hours on low).Transfer steaks to platter, tent loosely with aluminum foil, and let rest for 5 to 10 minutes.

Pour contents of slow cooker through fine-mesh strainer into fat separator; reserve onions. Defat sauce and top steaks with onions and 1/2 C sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with remaining sauce.

Alexandria's Southern Banana Pudding

Recipe and Pic courtesy of Alexandria Czaruk Clark

I start by lining a baking dish with Nilla wafers, then I make 2 boxes of the banana cream pudding to pour over the top. Pour the pudding, then place a layer of sliced bananas evenly over the top. I then make another 2 boxes of banana pudding and pour over the layer of bananas. Then you top if off with cool whip(I like to use a mixture of half cool whip and half homemade whipped cream) then decorate as you desire! Hope you all enjoy : )

Peter's Stuffed Fresno Peppers

Photo and recipe courtesy of Peter Battaglia

Stuffed with cheese, parsley, Italian pork sausage, fresh oregano, garlic, sauteed diced jalapeno, fresnos and onions, olive oil, breadcrumbs, diced provolone, a little white wine...then drizzled in olive oil, baked, skinned, then a little more olive oil, garlic and fresh oregano....

Baked Ziti with Eggplant and Sausage

I saw two variations of this recipe on 2 Italian cooking shows within one week. It’s a combination of Eggplant Parmesan and baked Ziti with the sausage added in for good measure. It all looked so good, I just had to make it for the family. Here is my version:


1 large Eggplant
1 box ziti (or any other pasta of choice)
1 lb sweet or hot Italian sausage
16 oz shredded Mozzarella
2-3 cups of prepared marinara tomato sauce
1 cup Italian style bread crumbs
1 egg, beaten with 2 TBS water
1 Tablespoon fresh or dried parsley, salt, pepper, oregano


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Boil whole sausage links until just cooked and firm, drain and set aside to cool. When cooled, slice them up into thin slices.

Boil Ziti in a large pot of salted water until just al dente. Drain well. Pour into a large bake dish brushed with olive oil.

Peel and cut eggplant into large cubes. Put the breadcrumbs into a pie dish. Toss the eggplant in small batches into the egg mixture drain, then roll them around in the bread crumbs. Shake off the excess. Place on a cookie sheet brushed with olive oil and drizzle a little more over them. Baked at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes, turn and cook another 5-10 minutes until they’re browned.

Lower the oven temp to 375 degrees.

Pour the marinara over the Ziti. Add in the eggplant, sausage, Oregano, salt and pepper to taste. Mix well, make sure to add enough sauce to cover all. Top with mozzarella and fresh parsley. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until cheese just starts to get brown and bubbly.


Teriyaki Sauce


2/3 cup Japanese rice wine (Mirin)
1 cup soy sauce
4 1/2 teaspoons rice vinegar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/3 cup white sugar
7 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 dash red pepper flakes
black pepper to taste

Bring rice wine to a boil in a saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 10 minutes. Pour in soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, and sugar. Season with garlic, ginger, pepper flakes, and black pepper; simmer an additional 5 minutes. Simmer with chicken or seafood and your choice of any combination of vegetables. Leftover sauce stores in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator.


Jessica's Strawberry Cheesecake Bites

Recipe courtesy of: Jessica McCoy


1 lb large strawberries

8 oz. cream cheese, softened (can use 1/3 less fat)

3-4 tbsp powdered sugar (4 tbsp for a sweeter filling)

1 tsp vanilla extract

graham cracker crumbs


Rinse strawberries and cut around the top of the strawberry. Remove the top and clean out with a paring knife, if necessary (some may already be hollow inside). Prep all strawberries and set aside.

In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla until creamy. Add cream cheese mix to a piping bag or ziploc with the corner snipped off. Fill strawberries with cheesecake mixture. Once strawberries are filled, dip the top in graham cracker crumbs. If not serving immediately, refrigerate until serving.


Chicken (or Pork) Scarpiello


6 boneless chicken cutlets
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons butter
1 egg, beaten with 2 TBS water
3 cloves garlic, sliced
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup white wine
½ cup sliced black olives
1 cup whole tomatoes, chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 pinch ground black pepper

2 tsp fresh or dried parsley


Season the flour with paprika, salt and pepper. Dip cutlets in egg, then dredge into the flour, shake off excess.

In 10 inch skillet, heat oil and butter. Add chicken. Cook, turning occasionally, until lightly browned on all sides (3 to 4 minutes). Using tongs, remove chicken from skillet. Set aside and keep warm.

To same skillet, add garlic. Sauté until softened (1 minute). Add water, wine, broth mix, and seasonings. Mix well. Cook, stirring frequently, until liquid is reduced by 1/2 (4-5 minutes).

Return chicken to skillet, add in tomatoes and olives, cook until sauce is thick and chicken is heated through (2 to 3 minutes) toss in the parsley and serve over thin spaghetti.


LuAnn's Peach Cake

Recipe and Pictures courtesy of: LuAnn Beal


1 can (15 ¼ ounces) sliced peaches, undrained

1 package( 18 ¼ ounce) yellow cake mix

1/3 cup vegetable oil

3 large eggs

1 carton (8 ounce cool) whip, thawed

¾ cup (6 ounce peach yogurt

Additional drained diced peaches, if desired Drain peaches, reserving juice.


Add enough water to juice to measure 1 ¼ cups. Cut peaches into 1 inch pieces; set aside.

In a large bowl, beat the cake mix, peach juice mixture, oil and eggs on low speed for 30 seconds. Beat on med for 2 minutes. Pour into two greased and floured 9 inch round baking pans.

Bake at 350 degrees for 28-32 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes before removing to wire rack. Cool completely.

In a bowl, combine the cool whip and yogurt; fold in reserved peaches. Spread topping between layers and over top of cake. Garnish with additional diced peaches if desired. Store in refrigerator about an hour.


Grandma Dugan's Pistachio Cake

This was an award winning "Jell-O" recipe! Recipe and photos courtesy of Donna Hawkins
Love this photo of the actual hand written recipe!

Donna Hawkins: "One thing I left off the recipe: dust with powder sugar."