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No-Bake Cannoli Pie

cannolie pie

Everyone who knows me knows I don’t bake. Or I should say, I don’t bake very well. So when I saw this recipe one day for a NO BAKE pie I was determined. I had bought a few containers of Marscapone cheese that I had been making a cannoli dip with and their “best by” dates were coming up soon so I was very happy when I found this recipe. Plus I had all of the ingredients! We sort of anyway. The crust calls for ground up cannoli shells. I had a box of sugar cones that we used as dippers when I made the dip so I thought, why not use them instead! And I added some almonds to the mix as well.

I brought the pie to a friends for dessert and it was a hit. Tasted like cannoli!  So how can that be a bad thing! I would definitely make this again. The original recipe, No Bake Cannoli Cheesecake had the ingredients being put into 4 mini tart pans (4″). I don’t have mini tart pans, because I don’t bake! But I do have many pie dishes so that is what I used. 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 8 cannoli shells ground fine (or 8 sugar cones ground fine)
  • handful whole almonds ground fine with the cannoli shells/cones
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 15 oz. whole milk ricotta
  • 8 oz. Marscapone cheese
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar
  • ½ cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1/8 cup chopped pistachios
  • Fresh whipped cream, Cool Whip or Reddi-Wip

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. In a small bowl combine the shells/cones/almonds and the melted butter until mixed. Press firm into bottom and on sides of pie plate. Freeze about 30 minutes.
  2. In a medium bowl cream the Marscapone and ricotta cheese. Add in the vanilla and powdered sugar, mix well.
  3. Add the chocolate chips and stir in by hand.
  4. Get the pie plate out of the freezer and carefully fill with the mixture.
  5. If using whipped cream you can decorate the edges, otherwise add the cool whip etc. when serving.
  6. Sprinkle the pistachio nuts over the top.
  7. Refrigerate at least 3 hours or overnight. 

 

cannoli pie

 

 

 

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Zucchini Chicken Enchiladas

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I made this recipe last night for dinner for the first time. I LOVED it! It made quite a bit too. I think I got about 15-17 pieces. I found this recipe on Facebook Zucchini Enchiladas. I of course changed it up a bit to what I found worked better for me.

One of the toughest parts of the recipe was slicing the zucchini into the thin slices needed. I had a small Y-shaped peeler but it was too small. So I improvised and used my Pampered Chef cheese slicer and it worked great! Though I have to say it was tedious. Original recipe called for 4 large zucchini, I had 3 and it worked fine. I also didn’t have quite enough enchilada sauce so I took a small can of green chilis and added it to the amount of sauce I was supposed to add to the top of the enchiladas and pureed it. Worked just fine and tasted great.

I thought this was a great change from the carb-loaded tortillas. Don’t get me wrong, I love my tortillas but this was a nice variation. I have lots left over for lunch and I froze the rest for another day.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped (I used a sweet onion)
  • kosher salt
  • 2-4 cloves garlic, minced (yes I used 4 of course)
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 2 tsp. chili powder
  • small can green chilis
  • 3 cups shredded cooked chicken (I used 3 large boneless breasts)
  • 1 1/3 cup red enchilada sauce
  • 3-4 large zucchini, halved lengthwise
  • 1 cup shredded Monterey jack cheese
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • sour cream for topping
  • fresh cilantro for garnish

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large skillet heat oil over medium heat.
  2. Add the chopped onion and season with salt. Cook for about 5 minutes or until soft.
  3. Add the garlic, cumin and chili powder and stir until all combined.
  4. Add the chicken and 1 cup of the enchilada sauce, mixing until well combined. It should be a little saucy.
  5. Puree the small can of green chilis with the remaining enchilada sauce and set aside.
  6. On a cutting board use a Y-shaped vegetable peeler if you have one wide enough for the zucchini. Slice very thin.
  7. Lay out 3 slices, overlapping slightly and add a spoonful of the chicken mixture (about 1/4-1/3 cup) at the top. Carefully roll and place into a casserole dish, seam side down. Repeat till finished. (I used two casserole dishes)
  8. Spoon the green chili/enchilada sauce mixture over the enchiladas and sprinkle with the cheese.
  9. Bake until cheese is melted, about 20-30 minutes.
  10. Garnish with fresh cilantro and sour cream. Careful they are very hot because of the water content in the zucchini.
  11. ENJOY!
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Strufoli (Italian honey balls)

 This is a reposting of a previous blog from last year! Still a timeless treat no matter what the holiday is, and this time it’s for Easter! So give them a try! They are not hard to make, honest!!

This is a recipe that my grandmother (Nana) used to make for us years ago, usually around Easter. Though they are good at any time of the year for any occasion. The first time I made these it took me forever to roll each little ball. Then I talked to my Italian Aunt Rosie about making them and she laughed when I told her I rolled each little ball individually. She said that took way too long! She told me to roll the dough into long strips like giant pretzel rods and just cut them! Simple! These little honey balls are really good and bring back so many childhood memories. They stay fresh for a very long time and you can even freeze them for another time! (Without the honey of course!) They really are simple to make and always a hit.

Strufoli (Honey Balls)

INGREDIENTS:

4 eggs

¼ cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 tablespoon butter

2½ cups flour

½ cup honey

vegetable oil

colored nonpareil (confetti)

DIRECTIONS:

1. In a large bowl, mix together eggs, vanilla, cinnamon, sugar, and butter. Add flour, 1 cup at a time. The last ½ cup of flour can be added if necessary to make a smooth dough. Let dough stay in bowl, covered with a dish, for ½ hour.

2. Roll out portions of dough. Cut dough into strips, rounded like pretzels, then cut into ½-inch pieces.

3. Heat about 2½ inches of oil in the bottom of a pan or deep fryer. Fry the pieces of dough, a handful at a time. If you can do this in a frying basket, it will be easier to take them out. Place pieces on paper towels to drain.

4. Heat honey until just under the boiling point. Place strufoli in a bowl and drizzle honey over them, gently tossing. Arrange on a large platter and sprinkle with the nonpareil (confetti). You can shape into a mound on a large flat dish or into a wreath.


Makes about 150 little strufoli

3 Comments »

Slow Cooker Cheesy Enchilada Soup

I keep talking the talk about my slow cooker but I hardly use it. So this past weekend I finally did.

Though I have to remember to start it early in the day, not at the end of the day. Either way, we had this soup twice during the week. It was delicious! So simple too.

I got the recipe from a fellow blogger Reeni. She has a great blog and I make quite a few of her recipes. Check out the original recipe at Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice.  I changed a few things but it still came out awesome.

I can’t wait to make it again when the weather here in Florida finally cools down for more than a day. Don’t be afraid of your slow cooker. I honestly use to only use it to warm wine for Mulled Wine!  But I’m experimenting more and plan on using it more and more. And this recipe is pretty healthy for you as well! Lots of fiber and protein! 

Slow Cooker Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Soup

INGREDIENTS:

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 large sweet or Vidalia onion, diced

1-2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and chopped

3-4 cloves garlic, minced

1 can (11 ounce) Rotel diced tomatoes & green chiles

4 cups low-sodium/low-fat chicken broth

1 ¼ pounds boneless chicken breasts

2 cups corn (15-16 ounce can is good)

1 can black beans (15 ounces or so)

1 tablespoon chile powder

1 teaspoon cumin

½ teaspoon oregano

2 cups shredded cheese of choice (I used Great Value’s Fiesta Mix)

1 cup light sour cream, plus more for serving

sliced avocado for garnish (this is delicious by the way, I was skeptical at first but happy with the results!)

Tortilla chips for serving if desired.

Coarse salt and pepper 

DIRECTIONS:

1. In a medium skillet heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions, peppers and garlic. Season with salt/pepper. Cook this until everything is softened, about 10-15 minutes.

2. While that is softening add to the crock-pot the Rotel tomatoes, chicken broth, chicken, corn, black beans, chile powder, cumin, oregano and 1 teaspoon coarse salt (kosher is good) and about ½ teaspoon of black pepper.

3. When the onions, garlic and peppers are softened add to the crock-pot and mix it all up thoroughly. Cook on high for 3-4 hours (this is what I did because I started late in the day) or 5-6 on low. Remove the chicken breasts to a cutting board and shred or cut into small pieces. I shredded mine. Add the sour cream and cheese to the pot and mix well. Add the chicken back to the pot. Cook 1 more hour on low heat.

4. Serve same day or next day. We had it the next night and it really gave the flavors time to grow. Garnish with more cheese, sour cream and avocado, or chips. 

Leftovers are even better! Love this soup!

2 Comments »

Shrimp Egg Rolls

Today is all about me venturing into the realm of the large wonton wrappers! Yes I have now graduated from the small ones to the big ones! I have to admit, I was a little scared of not rolling them right, or having the filling ooze all over the place. But my fears were for naught!

 I had seen this recipe on an episode of Hungry Girl and I figured it looked easy enough so I tried it! They were such a success I made them two nights in a row for dinner! Yes, they are usually an appetizer but who says they have to be? Now this recipe calls for scallions and bean sprouts. I was out of both of them so I left them out in this batch. Still came out awesome! The best part of this recipe is that they are baked, not fried! Saves a ton of calories (each roll is about 100 calories) and they still come out crispy and yummy! 

I ended up using the whole package in two days so I have to restock my supply of large wrappers. Remember you can find them in the produce department in the Asian section. Even Walmart’s produce section has them! They are so easy to make and you can substitute anything you want in them. Not a fan of shrimp? Use chopped cooked chicken or chopped cooked pork. These are great for getting rid of leftovers in the refrigerator! Just make them into an egg roll!

I doubled the original recipe (it was an accident actually so I made it work) therefore, this makes a lot of filling. I got about 20 egg rolls out of it. No leftovers!

INGREDIENTS:

1 bag coleslaw mix (12-16 oz.)

8 oz. cooked and chopped shrimp

1 can sliced water chestnuts, drained and chopped

½ cup bean sprouts, chopped

4 scallions, chopped (green and white parts)

2 stalks celery, thinly sliced widthwise

3-4 tablespoons reduced-sodium or lite soy sauce

2 teaspoons crushed garlic (I used 4 cloves)

½ teaspoon ground ginger

¼ teaspoon salt

Several dashes black pepper

sesame seeds, optional

20 large square egg roll/wonton wrappers

Sauces for dipping

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 375ºF.
  2. Put slaw mix into a large microwave-safe bowl with 4 tablespoons of water. Cover and microwave on HIGH for 2 minutes. Drain any excess water. Add the rest of the ingredients (except for the wrappers of course). Mix well and set aside. You can set it in the fridge to marinate for about 20 minutes for a better flavor.
  3. Using a large baking sheet spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
  4. Using a clean, dry surface place a wonton wrapper. Evenly distribute about ½ cup of the mixture onto the wrapper, just below center, in a row.
  5. Moisten all four edges of the wrapper by dabbing your fingers in water and running them around the edges smoothly. This will help the wrappers stick better.
  6. Fold the sides of the wrapper about 3/4 inch towards the center. This keeps the mixture from falling out of the sides. Next, roll the bottom of each wrapper up around the mixture and continue rolling until you reach the top. Seal the outside edge with another dab of water. Go slow at first till you get the hang of it. It’s actually pretty easy.
  7. Carefully transfer to prepared baking sheet. Repeat until you have made enough rolls. Keep the surface you are working on, dry and clean.
  8. Spray the tops of the egg rolls with nonstick cooking spray. Sprinkle with sesame seeds if you wish.
  9. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown. I baked for 30 minutes. Allow to cool slightly and serve!

Be very careful as they will be extremely HOT! We cut them in half to let steam out before eating. I also made my own sauce using Mikoto ginger dressing and some soy sauce. Delish! Enjoy!

2 Comments »

Fun With Couscous!

Yes I said “fun with couscous”. Recently I discovered Israeli Couscous or Pearl Couscous. I had seen it in a recipe some time ago and had a hard time locating it so I gave up. Then I was in my favorite Italian grocery and came across it. It was also a BOGO so I bought it! Of course by now I couldn’t remember or find the recipe I originally wanted it for! But it didn’t matter, I was all about finding a new recipe or recipes. For those of you who say you don’t like couscous, this is a great variety to try. It’s much larger than normal couscous and had a wonderful silky texture. It’s not grainy like the regular variety.

First time I made it I served it cold! I had some leftover tomatoes and cucumbers and made a Mediterranean style cold salad with it. It was a huge hit! I served it at a barbecue at my house and people were asking for 2nd and 3rd helpings! So of course I’ve made it several times since!

Not to get into a rut with my new-found side dish I decided to make a hot side dish last week. This time it came out like a creamy cheesy risotto! OMG it was incredible! And it only took about 10 minutes to make! Did I mention this couscous only takes 8-10 minutes! No constant stirring, no long drawn out process, just a quick and easy side dish that you can add ANYTHING to. I’ve even added it to a soup instead of noodles! I am all about the couscous these days!!

It’s possibilities are endless! So today I am going to include both my cold recipe and my hot risotto style recipe. Enjoy and go buy some couscous!

Recipe #1:

Mediterranean Couscous Salad

1 cup uncooked Israeli/Pearl couscous

1 ¼ cup liquid (water, chicken broth, veggie broth, etc)

Chopped tomato, about ¼ cup(remove seeds and insides, gets too watery)

Chopped cucumber, about ½ cup

1 cloves garlic, minced (or you can use garlic powder)

¼ cup finely chopped red onion

t teaspoon dill (optional)

salt and pepper to taste

extra-virgin olive oil

Directions:

1: Boil liquid and add couscous. Cover and simmer 8-10 minutes. Watch it carefully so it doesn’t overflow. Stir occasionally.

2. When the liquid is all gone, drain and rinse well under cold water.

3. Add rest of ingredients, mix well and add a little olive oil (1-2 tablespoons). Mix again and chill.

4. When ready to serve place in serving bowl and drizzle a little more EVOO over the top and mix.

Makes 2-4 servings

Recipe #2

Couscous Risotto

*This recipe I used what I had leftover in the fridge to add to the couscous. I had made broccoli rabe the night before so I chopped it up and used that. You can also add chopped mushrooms or anything else you wish. Even change the cooking crème variety. Make it yours!

1 cup uncooked Israeli/Pearl couscous

1¼ cup liquid (water, broth, etc.)

leftover veggies, chopped well

Few tablespoons Savory Lemon & Herbs Cooking Creme (Philadelphia brand)

¼-½ grated parmesan cheese

salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Boil liquid and add couscous. Cover and simmer 8-10 minutes. Stir occasionally.

2. When liquid is gone, keep heat on low and add the veggies, cooking crème and parmesan cheese. Stir well till heated through.

3. Serve immediately.

Makes 2-4 servings

2 Comments »

Mary’s Famous Mexican Dip

Yes I know I have been quite negligent with my blog lately! I am so sorry everyone. I made a promise to myself this morning to do better and I will!

Today’s recipe I have tried to get for years! Everytime I visit my sister Michele in NJ for any type of party she always has this dip. Her mother-in-law Mary makes it and showed Michele and everyone falls in love with it! Even the kids! So on a recent trip there, Mary happened to be in attendance as well and the dip was on the menu. So with camera and notebook in hand I got it! FINALLY! It’s a type of layered dip that you serve on a platter. Serve it with tortilla chips. I would recommend using stronger chips as well because this dip has so many yummy things you don’t want to lose anything because of a broken chip! We’ve all been there, digging in to a great dip and snap! Broken chip. You try again. Snap again! Another broken chip. So find your best thicker/stronger chips for this recipe.  I am also playing with an idea to make this as an Italian dip as well. I’ll post that when I work it out! So for now, here’s everyone’s newest favorite party snack! Thanks Mary!! (Now I want to go and make some to snack on!)

Mary preparing the famous dip!

Ingredients:

1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese (you can use light cream cheese if you wish)

1  jar (16oz.) of your favorite salsa

Shredded lettuce, about 2 cups

Shredded cheddar cheese, about 8 ounces

3-4 campari or plum tomatoes, chopped (Or you can use 1-2 large)

3-4 scallions, chopped (use whole scallion)

¼ cup jalapeño slices

1 small can sliced black olives (You can use green if you don’t like black)

So pretty!

Directions:

  1. On a large platter spread cream cheese to cover bottom.
  2. Spread salsa over the cream cheese.
  3. Add shredded lettuce on top of the salsa.
  4. Add the shredded cheddar evenly over the salsa.
  5. Top with the chopped tomatoes.
  6. Add scallions.
  7. Add jalapeño slices.
  8. Top with black olives.

Serve with sturdy chips!! Eat some before it disappears!

It's going fast!

4 Comments »

Fast & Easy Taco Bake & A New Venture!

Hi everyone!

Just a quick side note. I am now writing food articles/recipes for www.examiner.com. I am in the West Palm Beach, FL edition under food and drink. I have only written one article so far so keep checking back or subscribe. Some of it will be the same as the blog but I am going to include past stuff as well as new. I am actually getting paid to do this, and while I won’t be quitting my job just yet, it will give me good experience. So check it out! My first article is at http://www.examiner.com/american-food-in-west-palm-beach/cooking-with-quinoa.

If you want to become a writer as well, click on this link. Referral Program Or when signing up put my name, Andrea Genua in as a referral! Thanks!

Now on to the recipe!

As usual when I get home from work these days it’s a scramble to get dinner ready. Sure it would be easier if I planned it out on the weekends but what fun is that? Since I no longer work at home the weekends are full of laundry, food shopping and errands. So cooking ahead of time never enters my mind. So last night when I got home I had defrosted nothing, of course. I heard someone earlier in the day talking about tacos and that sounded good! But I didn’t want to deal with the extra calories of the taco shells. So I defrosted some beef in the microwave and made this recipe instead. Instead of shells I put in a package of the tofu shirataki noodles. Never missed the shells! We pretty much finished the entire dish so I guess it was a hit! Easy and pretty fast considering I had nothing ready.

Ready for the oven!

 

 

INGREDIENTS:

1 pound lean ground beef

3/4 cup chopped onion

1 tablespoon chopped or minced garlic

3 tablespoons taco seasoning

1 can (approx. 15 oz) diced or chopped tomatoes with garlic/onion flavor

1 package Tofu Shirataki noodles, prepared according to package and cut into smaller pieces

1 cup 2% or fat-free shredded sharp cheddar cheese

light or fat-free sour cream

hot sauce as needed

Ready to eat, all bubbly and yummy!

 

 

DIRECTIONS:

1. Prepare noodles according to package directions and set aside.
2. Brown the ground beef and drain.
3. Add the onions and garlic, mix well and cook on medium-low heat for about 5 minutes. Stir occasionally.
4. Add the taco seasoning, mix well. Add the tomatoes, mix well and cook on medium heat for about 10 minutes, stirring every so often.
5. Add the noodles. Pour mixture into a round or square casserole dish and stir in ½ cup of the cheddar cheese. Top with remaining cheese.
6. Bake at 350º F for about 15-20 minutes, until cheese is bubbling.

Yum!

Serve hot! Add a dollop of sour cream if desired. Hot sauce can be added as needed.

Makes 4 servings

7 Comments »

Dublin Lobster

While I was reading through all the food emails I get on a daily basis (and I get a ton of them) I came across this one from Mr. Food. I know many of you have seen his TV spots on news shows or other places Foodies gather. He’s been around for years. Well this recipe caught my eye. Whenever I see lobster I get excited. Maybe because living down here in Florida they only have the warm water ones WITH NO CLAWS! Crazy huh! And I don’t care how many people try and convince me otherwise, they are NOT, I repeat NOT the same as lobsters from up north or colder waters. Nope, there is just no comparison. So stop trying to pass your spiny creatures off as what lobster is supposed to taste like and look like! Where was I now? Oh yeah, Mr. Food’s recipe for Dublin Lobster. He did a series of cooking segments in Ireland and was inspired by their version of this. If you ask me this version sounds incredible and I may just try it if I can find inexpensive lobster! HA! I may have to opt for the frozen kind. I know I know…nothing like fresh. But once again living in south Florida getting fresh lobster that won’t break the bank is a rare but beautiful thing. Either way this recipe doesn’t seem too hard and it looks fabulous!

Photo is courtesy of Mr. Food, I haven't made this yet.

INGREDIENTS:

¼ cup (½ stick) butter
1/3 cup Irish whiskey (NOT BAILEYS)
1/3 cup heavy cream
¼ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1½ pounds cooked lobster meat, cut into 1-inch chunks (see Note)

DIRECTIONS:

1. In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat, making sure it does not burn.

2. Stir in whiskey, heavy cream, salt, and pepper; heat until mixture comes to a boil. Add cooked lobster meat, reduce heat to low, and simmer until heated through. Serve in a casserole dish.

NOTE:

You can use either cooked fresh lobster meat that you buy at the fish store or seafood counter of your supermarket; frozen lobster meat, thawed; or you can cook up a 3-pound lobster and remove the meat yourself. It’s your choice!

2 Comments »

Layered Greek Dip

This is such an easy and quick dip to throw together. There are only 5 ingredients! Nice! I love Greek food and we don’t get to go out for it too often. Probably because where I live in south Florida there are very few good Greek restaurants. We did find a great one in St. Augustine called Athena’s. But I’m not driving over 3 hours for Greek food! Anyway this is just a snack food anyway but it’s healthy too.

This is best in a round nine-inch pie plate but if you don’t have one, just use something else. A long oval dish is fine also. You want something that has sides so everything stays where it should.

Photo is for illustrative purposes only

INGREDIENTS:

7 ounces prepared hummus (any brand you like)

4 ounces crumbled light Feta cheese (use regular if you are not watching calories)

½ cup chopped tomatoes

¼ cup chopped cucumbers (best to use the English ones and leave the skin on)

2 tablespoons chopped Kalamata olives

oregano

DIRECTIONS:

1. Spread the hummus onto bottom of a 9″ pie plate or other serving dish.

2. Cover with feta cheese, tomatoes, cucumbers and olives.

3. Sprinkle with a little oregano if you wish.

4. Serve with baked pita chips!

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