Preserved Lemons

Salt Pink or Kosher or Sea Salt (Non-iodized)

Wash your lemons
Cut your lemons removing the top and bottoms. Cut in quarters almost all the way thru.
Remove the top and bottom ends.
Clean your jars in the dish washer along with the lids on sanitize.
(These will be keep in the refrigerator after the first 30 days of fermenting.)
Add a Tablespoon of salt to a jar
Add a Tablespoon of salt inside a lemon, turn upside down and place into the jar. Use a wooden rolling pin to squish and squeeze the lemon juice out as you fill the jar. Each lemon gets a Tablespoon of Salt.
After you have filled the jar with 1/2 inch of the top, fill the remaining space with lemon juice so it covers the lemon.

Allow to ferment for 30 days. Each day, give the jar a shake, then unscrew the lid a quarter turn. Fermentation needs to out gas.
After 30 days put in the refrigerator and when you are making something that needs a lemony salt flavor, cut up the rind of the preserved lemon and add to taste.

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Brisket – Sous Vide

I was rather worried when I read the recommended time for this was 48 to 72 hours.
Gee, that is a long time. Day and night watching my machine.

But, it was worth it.

Pick you favorite dry brine, rub it liberally over the brisket on all sides and place the brisket into a ziplock bag. Remove the air from it by lowering it into the water. Seal the bag.
Let the cooking begin.
155 degrees at 48 to 72 hours.
Taste it for texture at 48 hours and continue until the brisket is tender.

I made two small briskets, each 2.5 to 3 pounds each. If I have another brisket, I would have added it to the pot. The more the merrier.

Awesomebites! I just had a sandwich that was perfect. You have to try this!

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Veggie Wellington – Mushrooms, Spinach, Roasted Butternut Squash

This has great eye appeal and it tastes great.
Basically, you cook each of the ingredients independently and cool, then assemble and bake.
Serves 8-10

1 sheet of Puff Pastry – Keep frozen until all your ingredients are cooked.
1 egg beaten with 1 tsp water for egg wash.

1 cup of chopped butternut squash.
Rosemary Sprig
Olive oil – 3 Tablespoons
1 tsp of nutmeg sprinkled on squash
Salt & Pepper

Mushrooms – 4 Cups Cremini Mushrooms
3 T butter
1 tsp Italian Seasoning

1 small diced onion
4 cloves of minced garlic
1/4 cup cream
1 Tsp Nutmeg
6 oz of mixed grated cheeses – parmesan and romano
Salt & Pepper to taste.
1/2 pound of frozen chopped spinach

Chicken or Duck Pate 3 ounces – Bottom layer.

Oven 400 degrees, on a baking sheet, season the butternut squash with sprigs of rosemary and drizzle olive oil. 40 minutes in the oven or until the edges start to turn brown.
While that is cooking, prepare your mushrooms by slicing and saute in butter and italian seasoning. You want the juice to release from the mushrooms. Continue sauteing until and pour off the juices.
Save for the spinach. Once they are cooked through, remove from the heat and allow to cool.
Spinach. Thaw and squeeze as much water from the spinach as possible.
Dice 1 small onion and saute. Add minced garlic cloves to onions and saute. Add 1/4 cup of cream. Once the cream is hot, add salt and pepper, and the cheese so it melts.
Add chopped spinach and saute. You want this to be a dry creamed spinach. Moisture will make your puff pastry soggy.
Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

Take your puff pastry sheet out of the freezer and allow to come to room temperature.
When it is thawed enough to rollout, take a rolling pin and roll out to remove any creases. It will be a couple of inches longer that when it was frozen.

Pre-Heat oven to 375
Assemble on parchment paper.
Bottom layer – spread the pate on the middle of the puff pastry leaving 3 inches on each side and 2 inches on top and bottom.
2nd Layer – sliced mushrooms on top of the pate.
3rd Layer – place spinach on top of the mushrooms
4th Layer – place the chopped squash on top of the mushrooms.

Using egg wash, brush the area not filled with filling.
Cut the sides 9 or 10 1/2 inch strips.
Fold the top and bottom edges up over the filling. The middles section that is cut, take each strip and pull over to the other side. Fill in all the gaps.
Brush the outside with egg wash and
Place into oven on parchment paper. Bake for 45 minutes until very golden brown.

I served this a two holiday parties and they loved it!

Posted in Christmas Dinner, Dinner Time, Eat your vegetables, Fan Favorites, Thanksgiving | Leave a comment


Six friends went to Italy and we came back excited to eat and drink the happiness we felt there. We had a reunion 1 year later at my house and we made Cannoli, Linquini, and Oso Bucco.
Wonderful friends. This was our first time making Cannoli and we will definitely do it again.

This recipe is from Alex Guarnaschelli and makes approximately 24 cannoli.

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp granulated sugar
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 Tbsp plus 2 tsp unsalted butter cut into small pieces
1 egg yolk
1/2 cup of dry white wine

2 cups of ricotta cheese, preferable whole milk. (Buy the creamiest you can. Look at Italian Deli’s)
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup small semisweet chocolate chips
1 lemon
1 quart of canola oil, for frying shells
Flour for rolling shells
1 egg, lightly beaten, for egg wash
Powdered sugar for dusting
Cannoli Baking forms

For the shell dough, in a medium bowl, sift together flour sugar and salt. Work the butter pieces into the flour with your fingers until the mixture becomes a smooth dough. If it is too dry, add more wine.
Wrap in plastic wrap and press the dough down to be 3/4 of a inch thick. It will be easier to roll later. Let is rest in the fridge for 30 minutes while you make the filling.

For the filling, in a medium bowl, whisk ricotta, powdered sugar, cinnamon and allspice.
In a separate electric mixer bowl, whip the heavy cream until fairly stiff. Using a rubber spatula gently fold the cream into the ricotta mixture. Still in the chocolate chips. Lightly zest the exterior of the lemon and stir into the ricorra. Refrigerate for a half hour to an hour.

To roll and fry the shells, heat the canola oil to 360-365 degrees F. Using your Kitchenaid pasta roller, roll out the dough starting at 0 and working your way step by step to a 6.
Place the thin dough on your work surface and cut with a pasty cutter 4 to 5 inch rounds. Use flour to keep from sticking on your work surface.

Oil the cannoli mold, and wrap each round usig the egg wash on the edge of each to seal it shut so it doesn’t slide off the mold.

Fry the shell for 2-3 minutes each. I found I could fry 2 at a time in my small fryer.
Set aside and allow to cool, and then reoil mold, wrap another two and fry them off.

Just before serving, fill a pastry bag or ziplock plastic bag with pastry cream. Cut off the corner, or you can use a tip holder. (Choose a large tip so the chocolate chips don’t get stuck in it.)
Do not fill the shells until you are ready to eat as they will become soggy. Store the extra shells in a ziplock bag and seal. They will stay crispy for several days.
Everyone love these Italian delights!

Posted in Brunch, Dessert - Eat dessert first, Life is uncertain, Italian Restaurant, My Bakery | Leave a comment

Meatball Bourguignon aka Meatball Burgundy

This is a Alyce Shultz’s recipe and her boys love it. It is their all time favorite and most requested dinner for a birthday or celebration!
Thank you Alyce for sharing this recipe with me.

1 pound of ground beef (buy sirloin or grind your own chuck roast if you dare)
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup grated onion
1 1/2 tsp Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
1/4 tsp Lawry’s Seasoned Pepper

1/4 cup salad oil

3 Tbsp Flour
2 beef bouillon cubes or Veal Demi glace
2 cups beef stock
1 cup Burgundy wine (or Pinot Noir)
1/2 tsp Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
1/4 tsp Lawry’s Seasoned Pepper

Combine ground beef, bread crumbs, milk, onion, salt and pepper. Shape into small meatballs.
Brown meatballs in hot oil and set aside.
Blend flour in the hot oil until browned being careful not to burn stirring constantly. When it reaches a nice brown, pour in wine and beef stock and demi glace.
Return meatballs to the pan and simmer 30 minutes until thickened and smooth and the raw taste of alcohol is gone. Stir occasionally.
Salt and Pepper to taste.
Serve over buttered egg noodles or mashed potatoes. Yummy! So delicious!

I like to serve with sauteed mushrooms and carrots on the side, so picky eaters are happy too!
4-6 servings

I have made as much as 5 pounds of meatballs at a time. Great for leftovers or a big gathering.

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Chicken Walnut Grape Salad

My kids and friends love this. I always have two cans of chicken chilling in my refrigerator just in case someone stops by and it’s lunch time.

Easy to pull together.

1 12.5 ounce can of white chicken meat
1/2 cup Mayonnaise (you can also use half sour cream)- I love Best Foods.
1/4 cup red or white onions finely diced
1/4 cup finely chopped celery
1/2 cup sliced red grapes
1/4 cup toasted walnuts (7 minutes at 350 degrees, let cool, then finely chop)
salt and pepper to taste.
Optional: chopped green onions garnish

Serve with croissant, or toasted wheat or rye bread, or Ritz crackers, or in a wrap. All good!

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Corn Casserole

Had this corn casserole at an office pot luck and it is so very good and easy to make. I know that Paula Dean has a version and there are many versions made with Jiffy corn mix. You can also alter the recipe and use fresh corn, but the process will take a bit longer. If you have decided on fresh corn and have left over corn husks, don’t throw them away because you can follow there First American tips on how to use them afterwards.

1 (15 1/4-ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained

1 (14 3/4-ounce) can cream-style corn

1 (8-ounce) package corn muffin mix

1 cup sour cream

1/2 stick butter, melted

1 to 1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar

1/4 cup of Chopped Chives sprinkled on top before you serve or
1/4 cup Crispy Bacon Bits!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large bowl, stir together the 2 cans of corn, corn muffin mix, sour cream, and melted butter. Pour into a greased 9 by 13-inch casserole dish. Bake for 45 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from oven and top with Cheddar. Return to oven for 5 to 10 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Let stand for at least 5 minutes and then serve warm.

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Puff Pastry filled with Sweet Potato


Simple, but great tasting recipes.

Puff Pastry – thaw for an hour before using
1 baked sweet potato
1 cup Crushed Ameretti Cookies

While the sweet potato is still warm mix in the crushed cookies.
That is the filling.
Cut the puff pastry into 3 inch squares
Using your finger, put a little water along all the edges.
Add a tsp of filling to center of pastry, close it so it looks like a triangle.
With a fork, seal the edges.
Place on a sheet of parchment paper on your baking sheet.
Make as many as you need for you dinner, I suggest 2 per person.
Brush the pastries with egg wash and
Bake for 45 to 60 minutes until golden brown.

Posted in Brunch, My Bakery, Thanksgiving | 1 Comment

Pickled Shrimp and Peppers, Onions, Green Beans, Asparagus, Carrots!


Original recipe makes 8 – 1 quart jars
4 Tablespoons old bay seasoning
2 pounds Shrimp Large (26-30 count per pound with tails on)
8 cucumbers, thinly sliced
2 onions, thinly sliced
48 green beans
32 small asparagus spears
16 small peeled carrots trim to jar size.
2 green bell peppers, diced
8 cloves garlic, chopped
1 bunch of seedless green grapes
1/2 cup salt
3 cups cider vinegar
3 cups white sugar
3 tablespoons mustard seed
1 1/2 teaspoons celery seed
1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
1 tablespoon ground turmeric
If you want them spicy….
1 tsp chili pepper flakes or you can use sliced jalapeno peppers

If you have fresh shrimp, peel and clean leaving the tail on. Boil for 2 minutes with Old Bay Seasoning. Place in ice water to chill.
While you are heating the brine, pack your jars with shrimp, onions, peppers, garlic, stand the green beans, asparagus, carrots upright, top each with a few grapes.

Pour hot brine over your packed jars to 1/4 inch of top.
Place lids on and allow to cool on your counter.

Keep refridgerated. Eat early at 2 days 3 weeks.
Enjoy on toast or over a Caesar Salad. Awesomebites!

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Crocheted Eggs & Broccoli Bacon Fry

You are probably tired of hearing about my childhood, but my parents would always send us off to school with a hot breakfast. We lived on a small farm and kept animals for food, not for pets – although we had a few pets also. Collecting the eggs was one of my older sister’s jobs and my father would raise pigs and make his own bacon.


For each person
2 large to extra large egg
Vegetable oil to fry the egg in
1/2 – 3/4 cup of broccoli
2 strips of bacon
Salt and pepper


My mom would fry an egg in oil with the heat a bit hotter and the outside of the egg white would crochet a beautiful lace doily. I loved this crunchy bit with my egg yolk all soft in the inside.

While my mom would serve this with potatoes, I have yielded to a version with less carbs.
Fry bacon and cut into 3/4 inch pieces, remove most of the bacon fat from the pan and fry the broccoli in the bacon fat. Add the bacon back in with the broccoli right before serving. Season with salt and pepper. This tastes awesome served with your crocheted eggs!

Serve with a Bloody Mary or Mimosa.

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