Friday, February 28, 2014

It’s Time For “Carnevale!” Let's Celebrate With “Cenci” Ribbon Cookies!

It’s “Carnevale” time!!! Being an Italian American, Carnevale is celebrated much like Mardri Gras, but with an Italian flare to it. Carnevale which means in Italian “goodbye to meat” is celebrated about a week before the beginning of Lent. It is the last chance to party-hardy before six weeks of abstinence. Traditionally during Lent, people refrained from eating, meat, dairy, fats, and sugars. So to dispose of these types of foods and drinks they involved the whole community to consume this food many years ago. You could say a giant party-thus became “Carnevale.” Carnevale is a festival traditionally held by Christians, but many cities and regions worldwide celebrate with large events leading up to Ash Wednesday. This is when all the fasting takes place for 40 days till Easter Sunday.

The most famous Carnivals in Italy, to name a few are held in Venice, Viareggio, Ivrea, Acireale, Milan, Verona, and Putignano. This year 2014, the most popular Carnevale is in Venice, Italy. They are calling it "Wonder and Fantasy Nature."It runs February 15- March 4, 2014. They have a variety of celebrations which include floats, parades, stilt walkers, throwing confetti, and masquerade balls. Masks are worn to allow people of the lower class to be mixed and undetected with the aristocrats. The traditional colors of the masks are purple, green and gold. These colors capture the essence of the Holy Trinity. In the Christian faith it is related also to the Three Kings of the Orient. The colors represent purple for justice, green for faith, and gold for power. 

So, come with me and let’s cook up a sweet dessert for Carnevale!!!  This recipe is called in Italian “Cenci” which means “rags/ribbons”. When I was young I remember my grandmother, “Nanni” used to make this type of Italian cookie. Instead of long strips sometimes Nanni would take up the two ends and make a knot in the middle before frying them up which would look like bow ties. This recipe is a traditional for Carnevale, but we love them so much that they are made many times through the year such as, Christmas, New Years, and family parties. As a young girl I remember calling them bows or bow ties, but we knew what they were and how sweet, and yummy, especially with some powdered sugar or honey on them. Sooo good!


3 eggs
3 tablespoons of sugar
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla or almond extract
1/2 teaspoon of salt   
2 cups of all purpose flour   
1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons of unsalted softened butter
Oil for deep fat-frying
Confectioner’s sugar or honey

In a bowl, beat eggs, sugar and salt until frothy. Stir in vanilla or almond extract. Sift flour with baking powder and gradually add to batter. Add butter and mix well. Turn out on a floured surface: knead for at least 10 minutes. Divide dough into half; then roll each as thin as possible (noodle thickness) Cut into 5”x 1” strips with a knife or scalloped pastry wheel. 

Preheat oil to about 375°F. Now fry cookies until golden brown about 1 minute per side. Drain on paper towels, sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar or drizzle honey on top. Cookies are best served the same day. Enjoy!!

*********Before I close this post, I have a favor to ask of my readers, but this is important to me, so I want to share this with you my friends.

I'm a super fan and close personal friend of Micheal Castaldo. Micheal is an Award-winning songwriter/producer, recording artist, Composer, Italian Cultural Ambassador, and Entrepreneur. Born in Reggio Calabria, Italy (the toe of Italy) and raised there until he was three, Micheal and his family immigrated to Toronto, Canada, and now resides in New York. Micheal’s music is heavenly. His passion for his music as an accomplished pop crossover singer of his native songs, wraps his joy, and experience in a fresh, and powerful sound. “Extravergine“, “Aceto,” “Olive You,” and “Bergamot,” are a few of his CD’s. (which you can purchase on Among his many beautiful songs are “Allelulia” (Hallelujah), “Tu Scendi Dalle Stelle,” “Il Mondo,” “Pray'r,” and my favorite, “Nella Fantasia.”

I'm reaching out to you because we need your help to vote for Micheal in Artistsignal.  (ArtistSignal is a free social music platform allowing listeners to vote for a Top Artist each month. They give the Top Artist at the end of the month $10,000. This allows listeners to propel talented artists to the top of our platform and gives artists an entirely new avenue to grow their fan base. Voters can earn rewards directly from artists just by voting!) We're looking to help him get to #1 next month (March). If you have not yet voted on Artistsignal, you will see that it's very easy to do. You can login using your Facebook account. If you have any questions please reach out to me and I will be happy to help you, or better yet, let Micheal know by posting in the comment section on Artistsignal that you are on board with us! Thank you in advance for your help. Ciao!  Dottie :)

Till Next Time……………………………….....................

Copyright © 2014 “Family Plus Food Equals Love” All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

"Coconut Shrimp" Recipe For “Wordless Tuesday!”

Welcome to “Wordless Tuesday!” Where there are no more words, just a mouth watering recipe which I know you have been waiting for…..


"Coconut Shrimp"

1 lb of uncooked shrimp peeled, de-veined, with or with out tails.
Peanut oil (for frying)
1/2 cup of ice water
1/4 cup of cream of coconut (you can find this in the drink mix isle)
3/4 cup of flour, sifted
3/4 cup of Panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
1/2 cup of shredded unsweetened coconut
Salt and pepper to taste

Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Mix ice water, cream of coconut and flour together in a bowl, add your salt and pepper to your taste, this is your tempura batter. (You can also buy in the grocery store pre made mixes of tempura batter) Next, mix in a shallow bowl the Panko breadcrumbs and the shredded coconut together. Set aside. Put oil in pan and heat up, so you will be ready to fry the shrimp. Working with one shrimp at a time, dip in tempura batter, then coat the shrimp in the Panko with the coconut and place on a baking sheet. You can have all the shrimp ready to fry and can be prepared up to 4 hours ahead of time. Cover and chill. Now once oil is heated, place very carefully in hot oil and fry till golden brown. Can be served on top of a mixed green salad or also as an appetizer with a dipping sauce or ginger vinaigrette.

"Apricot Preserves Dipping Sauce"

1/3 cup low-sugar apricot preserves
1 teaspoon spicy brown mustard
2 tablespoons coconut milk
Mix all 3 ingredients together in a serving bowl

French Chardonnay or an Italian Pinot Grigio wine are great pairings for this fabulous dish.

******I know that this post is supposed to be just a recipe, but this is important to me and would like to share with my family and friends. I'm a super fan and personal friend of Micheal Castaldo. Michéal is the living embodiment of authentic Italian culture for modern North Americans. A native of Calabria in Italy, Michéal is an accomplished pop crossover singer of his native songs. Michéal’s life-long passion is his music. He practiced Bel canto, the cousin of opera, while at same time soaking up the Italian performances of Andrea Bocelli along with Elvis Presley and Tom Jones. This meshing of global musical interests would form his crossover future. His CD’s are incredible and is on for purchase. Some of his songs include Allelulia (Hallelujah), Il Mondo, Calabrisella Mia, Tu Scendi Dalle Stelle, and my favorite which is Nella Fantasia. There are many beautiful songs, that will take you on a journey through the hills of Calabria in Italy.

So now that you know a little about Micheal, I am reaching out to you, to ask for your help to vote for Micheal in Artistsignal. (ArtistSignal is a free social music platform allowing listeners to vote for a Top Artist each month. They give the Top Artist $10,000 to jump start their career. This allows listeners to propel talented artists to the top of their platform and gives artists an entirely new avenue to grow their fan base.) Just click on the link below....

We're looking to help him get to #1 next month (March). If you have not yet voted on Artistsignal, you will see that it's very easy to do. You can login using your Facebook account. If you have any questions please reach out to me, and I will be happy to help you, or better yet, let Micheal know by posting in the comment section on Artistsignal that you are on board with us! Micheal has brought us together with his music. Let's help him win this competition. Thanks in advance for your help. Ciao!

Till Next Time………

Copyright © 2014 “Family Plus Food Equals Love” All Rights Reserved

Friday, February 21, 2014

"Tasty Turkey Chili" For "National Canned Food Month"

February is, “National Canned Food Month.” Is fresh food better than canned food? Studies show that canned foods are just as nutritional as fresh foods. Fresh foods begin losing vitamins as soon as they are picked, and often sit in warehouses or in transit for as long as two weeks before they find their way into the market to sit even longer waiting to be purchased. Canned foods are harvested at their peak of ripeness and normally cooked and processed from the source within hours, thus preserving more vitamins than their fresh counterparts.

Over 1,500 food products are available in cans.  Most canned foods are also now available in low-salt, no-salt, low-sugar, and no-sugar preparations for those with special dietary needs and/or those who want a more natural flavor. Now, as you know I am an advocate for fresh fruits and vegetables, but there are some things that you need to eat that come from cans. When I was growing up my family used canned foods a lot. At that time, (1950-1970) they did not have all of the fresh or organic fruits and veggies that they have today. Frozen foods were not readily available either at that time. Some of these items were what you would have called “off season.” So that is why canned foods were used more often. Foods in a can have a longer shelf life especially with canned soups and vegetables. What was a grilled cheese sandwich without a bowl of hot Campbell’s tomato soup? Or what would an Ambrosia Salad be without your cans of fruit?

We know that canning is a way of processing and preserving food to extend its shelf life. This is done by using a method of sealing foods in an airtight container. A cans typical shelf life ranges from one to five years. In the late 18th century in France, the Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte was concerned about keeping his armies fed and offered a cash prize to whoever could develop a method of food preservation. After 15 years of experimentation a man by the name of Nicholas Appert came up with the idea of an airtight container so the food would not spoil. He used glass jars sealed with corks held in place with wire. In 1812, Thomas Kensett who immigrated to the United States, opened New York’s first canning facility for meats, fruits, and vegetables. At that time the cans were made of tin, now in 2014 today’s cans are made of 100% recyclable steel. Canned foods still remain an essential part of your modern day pantry. 

Some Canned Food Trivia For Fun:

1. Did you know that the “Can Opener” was invented 48 years after cans were introduced?  Most people feel they still haven’t invented one that works all the time.

2. Almost 200 Billion cans of food are produced in the world each year. 

3. The Hormel Company of Austin, Minnesota sold the first canned ham in 1926.

4. What a story! A 40-year old can of corn was found in the basement of a home in California. The canning process had kept the corn safe from contaminants and from much nutrient loss. In addition the kernels looked and smelled like recently canned corn.

5. Did you know the most common food found in a can are baked beans, canned sardines, canned tuna, Pineapple, Vienna Sausage, Tomato soup, and last but not least Spam? 

Tasty Turkey Chili” is my recipe this week. A perfect dish to celebrate “National Canned Foods Month.” The combination of all the ingredients mixed together is harmonious in your mouth. Nothing beats a bowl of chili on a cool evening. This hearty recipe is sure to satisfy even the pickiest of eaters. This easy chili made with ground turkey not only tastes good, it's also a heart healthy meal. Feel free to make it ahead and reheat. It's even better the next day. I hope you all enjoy and don’t forget to buy some extra canned goods for your local Food Pantry, which will help some people to eat a meal that can’t afford to. Thank you….

"Tasty Turkey Chili"

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

1 large onion
2 tbsp corn oil
1-1/4 pounds fresh ground turkey
2 large cloves garlic, peeled & minced
2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 15-ounce can pinto beans
1 15-ounce can black beans
1 (14-1/2 oz) can diced tomatoes in juice, un-drained
1 (6 ounces) can tomato paste
1 (14-1/2 ounces) can chicken broth (low salt)
1 can of corn kernels
4 green onions (scallions)

Peel and chop onion. Pour oil into Dutch oven or large saucepan. Place pot on burner. Turn heat to medium. Heat oil for 1 minute. Add onions to hot oil. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally with wooden spoon, for 5 minutes, or until onion is almost clear. Add ground turkey to pot. Stir with a wooden spoon, breaking up large pieces. Brown turkey for 5 minutes, stirring often. Stir in garlic, chili powder, black pepper, and cumin until well combined. Open cans of pinto and black beans. Pour both into large strainer. Place strainer under cold running water. Rinse beans thoroughly and drain. With wooden spoon, stir beans, tomatoes and their juice, tomato paste, chicken broth, and corn into pot. Heat 5 to 7 minutes, or until thoroughly hot, stirring often. Rinse and slice green portions of green onions. You should have about 1/2 cup. Stir green onions into pot. Remove from heat. Ladle hot chili into bowls. Serve with green salad and cornbread. Enjoy….
Yield: 8 one-cup servings

Till Next Time………………………………...........

Copyright  © 2014 “Family Plus Food Equals Love” All Rights Reserved  

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

“Stuffed Aubergines” (Eggplant) For "Wordless Tuesday!"

Welcome to “Wordless Tuesday!” Where there are no more words, just a mouth watering recipe which I know you have been waiting for…..

“Stuffed Aubergines” (Eggplant)

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 hour
Serves: 4 people



4 small Aubergines (Eggplant)
4 oz of uncooked elbow macaroni
8 oz of uncooked bacon, diced
1 green pepper cored & diced
1 red pepper cored & diced
2 tomatoes, skin removed, chopped, and seeds removed
1 tbsp of tomato puree
2 tbsp of unsalted butter
1/2 tsp of chili powder
1 onion, peeled & chopped
1 clove of garlic, crushed
6 oz of Mozzarella cheese, grated
1 tbsp breadcrumbs
Salt and pepper to taste



Cook the macaroni in plenty of boiling salted water for 10 minutes or until tender but still firm. Rinse in cold water, and drain well. Wrap the aubergines (eggplant) in baking foil and bake in preheated oven to 175°F for 30 minutes. Cut the aubergines in half, lengthways. Scoop out the pulp, leaving 1/2 inch thickness on the skin. Chop the pulp. Heat the butter in a pan. Add the onion and garlic and cook until transparent. Add the bacon and peppers, and fry for 5 minutes. Then add the aubergine pulp, tomatoes, tomato puree, chili powder, and salt/pepper. Cook for further 3 minutes. Stir in the macaroni, and fill the scooped out aubergine halves with the mixture. Top with grated mozzarella cheese and breadcrumbs, then brown under a under a grill or in a quick oven at 400°F . Serve immediately.      


Wine Suggestion:  

The best wine pairing I think, may be a hearty dry red with some acidity. Italian reds especially southern Italian and Sicilian reds with their dark slightly bitter hedgerow fruit seem made for aubergines. Try a Zinfandel.


Till Next Time………………………………............................

Copyright © 2014 “Family Plus Food Equals Love” All Rights Reserved

Friday, February 14, 2014

“Chocolate Drizzled Cream Puffs” To Celebrate Your Valentine's Day!

“Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind.” W. Shakespeare

Welcome readers…Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! Take your loved one by the hand, and enjoy this day of “Love.” Here are some interesting facts about this day; Valentine greetings were very popular as far back in history as the Middle Ages. Written Valentine greetings did not appear until after the 1400s. The oldest known Valentine still in existence today was a poem written in 1415 by Charles, Duke of Orleans. He was imprisoned in the Tower of London and wrote a poem for his wife. It is believed that King Henry V hired a writer named John Lydgate to compose a Valentine note to Catherine of Valois. By the middle of the 18th century, it was common for friends and lovers of all social classes to exchange a small token of affection or handwritten notes. In the 1900s printed cards replaced hand written notes due to the progress in printing technology. 

Esther A. Howland
Esther A. Howland began selling the first mass-produced Valentines in America in the 1840s. She is known as the “Mother of the Valentine,” and made creations with real lace, ribbons, and colorful photos. Today, it is estimated that 1 billion Valentine’s Day cards are sent each year, making it the second largest card sending holiday. (Christmas is # 1)

The religious side of Saint Valentine started back on February 14, 269 A.D. History dictates that Saint Valentine was killed for his faith on this day. He had refused to worship pagan gods. Some stories say he was a priest who would marry young couples who loved each other, in secret, but did not have parental permission. In the year 496, his “Saint Day” was established. He is associated with “Love” because he fell in love with the daughter of his jailer, and would pass love notes to her. His final note before he was executed, read “from your Valentine.”

In Italy, Valentine’s Day is greeted by a feeling of energy, spirit, and romance throughout the country. Showering of gifts such as; the sweet scent of flowers, sparkling diamonds, mouth watering chocolates, and expressed words of love are believed to be the best way to communicate your feelings. Italian stores get decorated several days ahead of February 14th and prepare filling their shops with a variety of chocolates and candies. A delicious treat is called Baci, by Perugina, (Baci an Italian word for kisses) which is a small decadent chocolate, enclosed with a hazelnut filling. In its wrappings a loving lyrical quote is expressed in four languages. Another wonderful idea to celebrate Valentine’s Day is to organize a candlelight dinner, with music, and wine overlooking the Italian country side.

If you can’t get to Italy this time, you can fill your home with romance and love. A day where indulgence and passion is in the air. You may receive flowers, chocolates in a heart shaped box, or gifts to express your feeling towards that special someone, like jewelry. Some find romance on this day when couples become engaged. My dad proposed to my mom on Valentines Day in 1949 and they married in 1951. This year it will be “63” years of blissful marriage for them. My parents told me the story on how they got engaged. Picture it…….Chinatown, New York City in a Chinese restaurant, on Valentines Day. My mom and dad had a favorite Chinese restaurant that was located upstairs from a store. They would frequently meet each other after work. This was the day that my dad was going to surprise my mom with “the ring.”  He tried to be ingenious and he put the ring in my mom’s tea cup when she went to the powder room. Just before he poured the tea, my mom said, “What is in this cup?” And low and behold she saw the ring and that is how it all began. So the moral of the story is always look in the cup before you have some tea!

Mom and Dad Wedding 1951

My recipe this week is a simply light and heavenly pastry. Profiterole or cream puffs are usually filled with whipped cream, pastry cream, or ice cream; custard can also be substituted as a filling. The puffs may be decorated, left plain, or garnished with chocolate sauce, caramel, or even a dusting of powdered sugar. No matter what you call them, they are a decadent and what a way to celebrate your Valentine’s Day with your sweetheart. My “Cream Puff” recipe is a favorite among my family. So enjoy with your favorite person and have a “Happy Valentine’s Day“!!!! Baci e amore!

Chocolate Drizzled Cream Puffs

1 cup of water
1/2 cup of butter (no substitutes)
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1 cup of unbleached all purpose flour
4 eggs
1 teaspoon of sugar
3 cups of whipped cream (cool whip or homemade)
Melted Chocolate

Place butter in a medium saucepan. Add water and salt. Bring to boiling, stirring till butter melts. Add flour all at once, stirring vigorously. Cook and stir till mixture forms a ball that doesn’t separate. Remove from heat; cool 10 minutes. Once cooled, add eggs, one at a time, to flour mixture, beating with a wooden spoon after each addition for about 1 minute, or till smooth.
Scoop up some dough with a tablespoon. Use another spoon to push off the dough in a mound onto a lightly greased baking sheet. Leave 3 inches between the puffs for expansion. Bake in a pre-heated 400 F. degree oven for about 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove puffs from pan, and cool on a rack. Slice off the tops (or cut in half). With a fork, gently scrape out any soft, moist dough. Work carefully so that you don’t puncture the crust. After they are filled, you can drizzle melted chocolate on top as well. Yield: about 15 or more servings, depending how big you make them.

Till Next Time………………..

Copyright © 2014 “Family Plus Food Equals Love”  All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

"Chicken and Prosciutto Crepes" For Wordless Tuesday

Welcome to “Wordless Tuesday!” Where there are no more words, just a mouth watering recipe which I know you have been waiting for…..

"Chicken and Prosciutto Crepes"

Crepe Batter:
4 ounces of flour
Pinch of salt
1 medium egg
1/2 pint of milk
1 tbsp of olive oil
Oil to grease pan

4 tbsp of butter
3 tbsp of flour
1/2 pint of milk
2 tbsp of Fontina cheese
2 chicken breasts; cooked & shredded
3 slices of prosciutto, shredded
Salt & pepper

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Oven Temp: 400 °F
Serves: 4-6 people

Garnish: Parsley


Sift the flour and salt into a bowl. Make a well in the center and drop in the eggs. Start to mix in the eggs gradually, taking in flour from around edges. When becoming stiff, add a little milk until all the flour has been incorporated. Beat to a smooth batter, and then add the remaining milk. Stir in the oil. Cover the bowl and leave it in a cool place for thirty minutes. Heat a small frying pan, or 7inch crepe pan. Wipe over with oil. When hot, add enough batter mixture to cover the base of pan when rolled. Pour off any excess batter. When brown on the underside, loosen and turn over with a spatula and brown on the other side. Pile on a plate and cover with a clean towel until needed. 

To make the filling, melt the butter in a pan. Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and gradually stir in the milk. Return to the heat, bring to a boil and cook for 3 minutes, stirring continuously. Add the cheese, chicken, prosciutto, salt and pepper and stir until heated through. Do not re-boil. Divide the mixture evenly between the crepes and roll up or fold into triangles. Place in baking dish and cover with aluminum foil. Heat in a hot oven for about 10 minutes. Garnish with parsley…Serve immediately!!!   

Till Next Time………………………………...................

Copyright © 2014 “Family Plus Food Equals Love “

Friday, February 7, 2014

Sicily's Almond Blossom Festival & "Roasted Brussel Sprouts, Almonds, & Cheese"

Here on Long Island once again we are in the deep freeze. (what else is new?) We had more snow this past week, and I see from the Weather Channel that we are in store for more this coming weekend. It just doesn’t seem to end! This winter has been crazy for many states across the country. Now, my readers know that I love snow, but even this is a bit much for me. I think we are all longing to see spring! The glorious colors of the flowers, the warmth of the sun, and especially to be able to go outside not dressed like Nanook of the North. But our so-called friend Punxsutawney Phil says, we still have about 5-6 more weeks of winter. Yuk…….

If you are looking for warmer weather, I think you may have to travel to Italy. Spring in Italy comes early to the cities and towns from Rome and further south. As early as February you can see the almond blossoms on the tress in bloom in the island of Sicily, as the first sign of spring; once the pretty pink/white blossoms begin to appear, we know that winter is over. Spring in Italy is a fantastic time to visit. You can beat the crowds and the heat of the summer season. 

The Almond Blossom Festival, or better known as the “Sagra del Mandorio in Fiore." The festival was started in the 1930’s. This event was celebrated to promote many Sicilian products. Tourists from all over, come together to Sicily to see the gathering of the almonds. Agrigento, is a town in the heart of the Valley of the Temples, where many Roman ruins are visible. Every year, between the first and the second Sunday of February, Agrigento comes alive with this festival. Myths and folk traditions come together in a grand symbolic event where representatives from all over the world unite in the name of peace and to celebrate the early arrival of spring. The Valley of the Temples is home to five ancient temples: Concordia, Juno, Jupiter, Hercules, Castor, and Pollux. These World Heritage landmarks are beautiful and provide a magnificent backdrop for the Almond Blossom Festival.

Agrigento is located along the southern coastline of Sicily and is a popular tourist site even when the almond blossoms are not in bloom because of the area's exceptional archaeological heritage. Guests who arrive in Agrigento for the Almond Blossom Festival typically enjoy a traditional walk along the Valley of the Temples. This route takes them past some of the town's archaeological wonders. Highlights during the 10 day festival include concerts and dances featuring traditional music and regional folk costumes. Some of the other events at the festival include a fireworks show and a children’s procession where the participants wear colorful and ornate costumes.

How many of you have gone to weddings and have received a remembrance gift bag filled with candy coated almonds or better known as Confetti? These almonds are grown in Agrigento and are also called Jordan almonds. These candies represent the bittersweet life of a married couple. The sugar coating is added to the bitter almonds in the hope that the newlyweds will have more sweet times than bitter during their lifetime together. When confetti comes in boxes or bags they are called Bomboniere and serve as place settings or favors.

My dad and myself 1960?

February 9th is my fathers Birthday and we are having a family dinner to celebrate. He will be 87, but you would never know it. He is as active as ever. He and my mom are always out either visiting friends or family. My dad has a lot of compassion, love, and strength. He is sensitive and will do anything he can for you. Commitment has always and still will be very important in his life. If he commits to anything, come hell or high water he will be there which is a great tribute to his character. I always admired his dedication to his family and his faith in God. He can be funny, warm, honest, fair, organized, and shares his wisdom to others. One of his commitments is to St. Thomas More Church where he is a member of the choir and is also the president of “The Young At Heart Senior Club.” My dad has a passion for puzzles, music, sports, reading, food, and most of all spending time with his family.

My dad and I are the only ones in my family that love Brussel Sprouts. So being that it is my dad’s Birthday, I am honoring him with one of his favorite dishes.
This one is for you pop….Happy Birthday!! Enjoy!

Brussel Sprouts are members of the cabbage family and they are not the most popular vegetable to choose. I think it is because many people do not know how to cook them and they get intimidated. Roasting and grilling them, brings out the sweetness of the vegetable, and this recipe is just the one you want to try. I guarantee that once you try them you will see how versatile they can be.

                             “Roasted Brussel Sprouts, Almonds, and Cheese
1/4 cup olive oil
1 pound Brussel sprouts washed and cut in half lengthwise
Salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
1/3 cup sliced almonds

Heat oven to 350° F. Pour the olive oil into a medium size baking dish. Toss the Brussels sprouts in the oil and add salt/pepper. Bake them uncovered for about 20-30 minutes, turning them occasionally as they brown. They are cooked when a knife is easily inserted into the middle. Lastly sprinkle with cheese and sliced almonds then toss. Serve hot. If you choose you can also add some lemon juice which is optional. Serves: 4

Till Next Time………………………………........

Copyright © 2014 “Family Plus Food Equals Love” All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

"Chicken Cacciatore" For “Wordless Tuesday”

Welcome to “Wordless Tuesday!” Where there are no words, just a mouth watering recipe which I know you have been waiting for….. 

 "Chicken Cacciatore"

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 5

3 tablespoons Olive Oil
1 pound chicken breasts cut into bite sizes pieces
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 bay leaf
1 large onion sliced
2 cloves garlic crushed
1 large green pepper sliced
1 large red pepper sliced
4 oz of button mushrooms diced
16 oz can of plum tomatoes
2 teaspoons of tomato puree
1/2 cup dry white wine (wine you drink)
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat a frying pan and add 1 Tablespoon of oil. When hot add the chicken and brown in the oil. (about 8 minutes) Add more oil if necessary. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Next, add the remaining oil and add basil, oregano, and bay leaf then fry for a minute. Add the onion and garlic and stir fry till the onion is soft not browned. Add the green/red pepper plus mushrooms, and stir fry for another 3 minutes. Now add unstrained tomatoes, puree, wine, salt, and pepper to taste. Cook uncovered for about 10 minutes. Return the chicken to the pan and simmer until the chicken is tender and cooked through. Discard bay leaf and serve over hot pasta of your choice or rice.

Add to your dinner with a bottle of white wine from Rosenblum Cellars. A glass of Sauvignon Blanc would add to your flavors of your Chicken Cacciatore recipe. Rosenblum Cellars are located in Alameda, California. If you are in that area please visit them as they have a tour and a fabulous tasting room, so you can sample some of their delicate, or robust delicious wines. 

Till Next Time………………………………......

Copyright © 2014 “Family Plus Food Equals Love” 

All Rights Reserved