Posts Tagged ‘ mangia bene ’

When I made these, I thought of my friend Rosi who is opening up a bed & breakfast – they would be perfect for breakfast or brunch, and so easy to make ahead of time!  Another friend of mine, Lisa Johnson, sent me her recipe for Egg Muffins…I tweaked it a bit (as I am known to do, ha!). 

Each time I make them I change it up a bit.  Today, I used prosciutto, finely chopped green peppers and mushrooms, 4-cheese blend and green onions.

Here they are just coming out of the oven:

Out of the pan:

Preheat oven to 350

PAM spray a muffin/cupcake pan.

  • 6 slices of prosciutto (or deli-sliced ham, chicken or turkey)
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/4 cup cream
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • pepper to taste
  • green onions (or chives), chopped
  • shredded cheese

Line six cups of the cupcake pan with the prosciutto, pressing in to form a shell.

Whisk the eggs, cream, garlic and pepper until fluffly.  Pour evenly into the cups.  Top with the cheese and green onions.

Bake for 17 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.  Do not overcook!

I am already thinking of lots of other ways to make these… a Mexican version, Italian version, Cajun version, etc!

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admin January 10th, 2010      3 Comments »

This recipe is like souped-up arrabiata sauce!  The olives give it a distinctive taste.  I got lots of compliments when I served this at my last two dinner parties. 

  • 1/2 cup good olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 14 oz cans fine-chopped tomatoes
  • 1 cup Kalamata olives, no pits (I cut them in half)
  • 1 small jar capers
  • 1 small can anchovies, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped
  • 1 pound pasta (penne is good)

Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan; add the onion and garlic and cook until translucent.

Add the tomatoes, olives, capers, anchovies, red pepper, rosemary, salt, and pepper.  Simmer for about 30 minutes.  Stir in the parsley when ready to serve.

Meanwhile, cook pasta to al dente.  Drain (do not rinse).  Pour sauce over pasta and mix well.  Serve with fresh parmesan cheese.

Mangia Bene!

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admin July 26th, 2009      No Comments »

One of our family’s favorite dinners is my mom’s good old Hamburger Pie — topped with mashed potatoes and cheese.  Since we are watching our carbs, I needed to create a low-carb version in order to satisfy the craving!   I used the same ingredients for the “pie” portion, but did a faux-potato topping.  Surprisingly, it was very good and satisfying!  Yay!






  • 1 lb hamburger
  • 1/4 c chopped onion
  • 1 10 oz can fine-chopped tomatoes
  • 1 8 oz can French cut green beans
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic (or garlic powder)
  • salt & pepper to taste

Brown the hamburger; add the onion and rest of ingredients, mix well.  Simmer on low heat for 20-30 minutes.  Pour meat mixture into pie plate or casserole dish.

Preheat oven to 350.


  • 1/2 c mayonnaise
  • 1/4 c sour cream
  • 1/4 c cream
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese (I used 4 cheese blend)
  • 5-7 shakes of Tabasco
  • pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients together well.  Pour evenly over the meat mixture. 

Bake for 30-35 minutes until top is lightly golden-brown.

Dig in and mangia bene!

P.S.  Dave loved this, so next time I am doubling the recipe!

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admin July 26th, 2009      No Comments »

If you want an aromatic and tasty focaccia you don’t have to leave your house because you can whip this up in no time!   Seriously.   No machine needed.   This takes about 10 minutes of prep time, 1 1/2 hours of rising time and 20 minutes of baking time – that’s it! 


  • 1 pkg active dry yeast
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees)
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 tbsps fresh rosemary
  • 3 tbsps olive oil
  • sea salt, coarsely ground

Dissolve yeast and sugar in 1/2 cup warm water and let sit for 5 minutes until bubbly.

In a large bowl, combine flour, salt and 3 tbsps of the rosemary.  Add yeast mixture and remaining water.  Mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon and/or your hands.  Transfer to a floured cutting board and knead by hand for a few minutes until smooth. 

Lightly coat a large bowl with olive oil.  Place dough in bowl and cover with a towel.  Let rise for 1 1/2 hours in a warm place, until doubled.  (I put it on my dryer in the laundry room!)

Preheat oven to 425.

Once risen, punch down and place on an oiled baking sheet (I use my round pizza stone, but a cookie sheet is fine).  Press dough down with your hands into a circle, dimpling it with your fingertips.  Drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle with coarse sea salt and remaining rosemary.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

Note:  The thinner you pat down the dough, the crisper the foccacia.  The thicker you leave it, the softer the bread.  Thick is great for making sandwiches.

Vatiations:  Use sage instead of rosemary.  Add sliced olives, red onions, or zucchini.  Cheeses of most any kind are terrific on it – parmesan, mozzarella, fontina, etc.

Here it is right before going into the oven:

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admin February 4th, 2009      No Comments »

This is a very simple, yet elegant dish.  It is one of those dinners that appears as if you spent much more time making it than it actually takes!

  • 1½# boneless, skinless turkey (or chicken) breast
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup flour 
  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • capers, if desired

Turkey Piccata

Preheat oven to 200° 

Pound turkey breasts lightly (I do it in between waxed paper)

Sprinkle each piece with salt and pepper; dredge lightly in flour 

Heat olive oil and butter over med/high heat

When oil is hot, add floured turkey pieces, cook until lightly brown (about 2 minutes each side)

Transfer to a plate and put it in heated oven; repeat with the remaining pieces 

In same pan, add lemon juice and stir with whisk; add white wine, stir with whisk

Continue cooking over med/high heat until sauce thickens up – about 10 minutes; add capers if using 

Plate turkey and spoon sauce over each piece 

Mangia bene!

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admin January 18th, 2009      No Comments »

My daughter is moving to Santa Barbara, so in the past two weeks I have made two trips up there — I have found my new weekend getaway!  WOW!  The town is rustic, charming, quaint and unique; and has the best restaurants to be found!  We purposed to not eat at any chain-type places and only ate at one-of-a-kind local haunts, and we were not disappointed.

At Pascucci’s, I ordered a shrimp dish they called “Palermo”:  Large tiger shrimp stuffed with pesto, wrapped in prosciutto and grilled.  It was an exquisite dish – and as is my custom, I came home with a desire to recreate!  

I spent Friday at my good friend Linda’s house and decided to try my hand at this dish for lunch.  We made pesto from scratch, but you can use a prepared pesto to save some time.  If you want to make it from scratch, see here:  Tina’s Pesto

  • 16 large raw shrimp, in shell (I bought tiger shrimp)
  • 1/4 cup pesto
  • 8 slices prosciutto
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Shell shrimp but leave on tail.  Butterfly the shrimp (cut almost all the way through the flesh down the center of the shrimp’s back).  Insert a bit of the pesto into the opening and press closed. 

Cut each slice of prosciutto in half lengthwise.  Wrap each shrimp with a slice of prosciutto.

Heat a griddle to high and brush with the olive oil.  Place the shrimp on the grill and cook approximately 2 minutes each side, until prosciutto is lightly browned and shrimp is cooked through.  Serve hot and mangia bene!

Pesto Stuffed Prosciutto Wrapped Shrimp

Pesto Stuffed Prosciutto Wrapped Shrimp

Photo Credits:  Linda Marshall

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admin January 11th, 2009      No Comments »

Tastes of Italia is a wonderfully delicious magazine that is currently the #1 rated Italian cooking magazine in America! 

In each issue are recipes, visits to the different regions in Italy, hints about choosing good wines, and tips to help you create homemade Italian cuisine in your own home.  Makes a great stocking stuffer!









Click here to order:  Tastes Of Italia

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admin December 3rd, 2008      No Comments »

Through my contacts at Amazon, I am able to get some good discounts and can pass those savings onto you! Some items automatically have free shipping. The usual Amazon shipping is free if you purchase $25 or more. Here are the items I know would make many cooks, or aspiring cooks, happy this Christmas!

Gourmet Magazine is the best of the best of magazines for those who love to cook!

Order Gourmet Magazine here: Gourmet (1-year)


I love my Cuisinart Griddler! We make panini, bruschetta and even cook sausages on ours! A must for every kitchen.

Order Cuisinart Griddler here: Cuisinart GR-4 Griddler


Dave and I have been doing low-carb and find making own own beef jerky from flank steak and beef brisket is a breeze, and affordable compared to supermarket prices for beef jerky!

Order Ronco Electric Food Dehydrator here: Ronco FD1005WHGEN 5-Tray Electric Food Dehydrator


The ultimate in wine bottle openers!

Order Connosseur Countertop Wine Opener here: Connoisseurs Countertop Wine Opener


We love to inject our roasts and poultry with marinades – it adds much flavor and tenderizes, too!

Order Weston Meat Injector here: Weston 23-0402-W Meat Injector, Nickel Plated (2 oz.)


One of the best general cookbooks I’ve got is the Good Housekeeping Illustrated Cookbook. It has been updated recently and should be in the cookbook collection of every kitchen!

Order Good Housekeeping Illustrated Cookbook here: The Good Housekeeping Illustrated Cookbook: America’s Bestselling Step-by-Step Cookbook, with More Than 1,400 Recipes


Have you ever wondered how Red Lobster makes those Cheddar Bay Biscuits? Recipes in here include famous items from Cheesecake Factory, KFC, Hard Rock Cafe, Olive Garden, PF Changs, Applebees, and more!

Order Most Wanted Restaurant Recipes here: America’s Most Wanted Recipes – Volume 1


Delectable Olive Oils – Basil, Garlic and Roasted Red Pepper – all in an Ottavio Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Great for cooking or for dipping!

Order 3-Pak Italian Olive Oil Set here: 3 Pack Italian Extra Virgin Olive Oil – Garlic, Basil, Roasted Pepper

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admin November 14th, 2008      No Comments »

I heard of this shrimp appetizer made out of wonton wrappers and shrimp that you dip in a jalapeno jelly.  As is my custom, I “doctored” the recipe and am sharing it here with you!

Makes 24 pieces.

  • 12 large shrimp, raw, peeled & deveined
  • 24 wonton skins
  • 1/3 cup of milk
  • 3 green onions, finely chopped
  • 4 tbsps fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly julienned
  • 4 ozs cream cheese, softened
  • vegetable oil for frying

Slice shrimp in half length-wise. 

Dip wonton wrapper in milk.  In the middle of the wonton wrapper, place shrimp diagonally.  Add a sprinkle of green onions, cilantro, and a couple red bell pepper pieces.  Top with a 1/2 tsp of cream cheese.

Roll up from one corner and place seam side down in frying pan with about 1/2 inch of hot oil.  Fry until light brown on each side.

Serve with Raspberry-Jalapeno jelly for dipping.


You can buy the Raspberry-Jalapeno jelly here: Raspberry & Raspberry Jalapeno Jelly

Alternately, you can make your own jelly by mixing raspberry or apricot preserves with hot jalapeno jelly; though this A Bountiful Harvest brand is delicious!

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admin November 14th, 2008      No Comments »

This pasta e fagioli (pasta and beans) recipe is a classic Italian recipe, fondly known as “pasta fazool”.  I made it the other night since it was getting quite chilly here and it seemed right to do a nice warm meal.  Rachel Ray calls dishes like this “stoup” – a thick soup or a thin stew! 

My recipe for Pasta Fazool – makes at least 12 servings:

  • enough olive oil to cover the bottom of a large pan (I use my Dutch Oven)
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 2 large carrots, finely chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, finely choppped
  • 8 large cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
  • 4 sprigs rosemary
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • Sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
  • 3 15-oz cans cannellini or great northern beans
  • 1 15-oz can kidney beans
  • 2 15-oz cans petite diced tomatoes
  • 2 qts chicken broth
  • 1 cup dry wine (red or white)
  • 3 cups small pasta (I used Ditalini)
  • 4 cups raw spinach
  • Grated Parmesan cheese, at serving

Heat the oil in a large pan or Dutch Oven.  Add the onion, carrot, celery and garlic; saute until translucent.  Add rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper.  Simmer for 3 minutes.

Add beans, tomatoes, chicken broth and wine.  Bring to a boil.  Boil 3 minutes; reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes. 

Increase heat to medium.  Add pasta and spinach.  Cook for 10 minutes, until pasta is done al dente.  Reduce heat to very low.

You can leave soup simmering on low for quite awhile, or serve immediately.

Serve in large bowls, topped with parmesan cheese and accompanied with crusty bread for sopping up the soup. 

It is very good warmed over the next day.  Also easy to freeze.

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admin October 14th, 2008      No Comments »

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