Thursday, December 5, 2013

My new Cookbook is for sale!

Hello all!

I have been a bad blogger but I just wanted to let you all know that my latest cookbook is now available on!  Pasta and Potatoes - an Irish Italian Girl Cooks is now available and eligible for Amazon Prime.  A Kindle Edition will be available in the near future.
I hope you enjoy this journey through my family recipes!


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

White Onion Soup

I have been an absolute horrible blogger! I have neglected you all terrible and I apologize.  On the bright side I have finished my cookbook and in a few short weeks it will be avalible on or direct from the publisher.

White Onion Soup

A traditioanl Celtic soup.  This soup in particular was once used  to cure colds and other ailments.

1 lb (3-4 med) white onions – thinly sliced

3 tbl butter

2 tbl flour

3 cups chicken stock

1/8 tea cloves

1 bay leaf

1 cup half and half

Salt and pepper

2 oz  Irish Whisky (optional)

Melt butter in a large pot. Add sliced onion and cloves. Saute until soft but not browned!  Sprinkle in flour and mix well. Cook 2 minutes and continue stirring. Add stock while continuing to stir. Add whisky if using. Add bay leaf and bring to a boil. Simmer 30 minutes stirring occasionally.  Remove bay leaf. Gradually add half and half. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Heat through and serve.


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Linguini and White Clam Sauce

I love this dish. It is one of my favorites and I will often make a small batch just for myself if I find myself home alone.  It is complex and delicious!  In Italy, traditionally they would use small littleneck clams or cockels. Also you would NEVER ever use grated cheese with your clam sauce...but hey I like it best that way so I guess I will buck tradition this time!
Linguini and White Clam Sauce

2 pounds linguini

1/3 olive oil

8 cloves of garlic sliced as thin as possible

2 anchovy fillets chopped

15 oz can of baby clams with juices

¼  cup of bottled of clam juice

½ cup dry white wine

½ -1 tea red pepper flakes

Sea salt

Pecorino Romano grated cheese

1/2 cup chopped Italian parsley to garnish

Cook linguini according to package directions in salted water. Cook until al dente. 
Heat olive oil, anchovy and garlic over low to medium heat until garlic is soft but not browned and the anchovy is dissolved. Add red pepper flakes and stir throughout the oil. Add white wine and turn up heat to simmer.  Add clams and juice, cook for 2 minutes.  When linguini is done drain well and add pasta to the pan with the sauce. Toss well to coat and cook 1 – 2 minutes to let hot pasta absorb some of the sauce. Season as desired with sea salt . Top with Parsley and grated cheese.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

My Mother in Law's Molasses Cookies

Okay to be honest this is not her actual recipe.  My Mother in Law made THE BEST molasses cookies I have ever had.  Sadly, none of us has a copy of her famous recipe!  After years of bemoaning this fact I decided..."Hey, I remember what they taste like...maybe I can figure this out!"
So here is my version of her cookies. They taste very very close. My husband agrees and since he ate millions of these growing up I feel pretty good about this recipe. I hope you enjoy!

Molasses Cookies

3/4 cup butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup cold strong coffee
1/4 cup dark molasses
1 egg
2 cup flour
1/4 tea salt
2 tea baking soda
1 tea cinnamon
1 tea cloves
1 tea ginger

preheat oven to 375

Using your mixer, beat butter until fluffy.  Then beat in the sugar.  Next add the egg, coffee, and molasses.  Combine all very well. Then add the rest of the ingredients.  Mix together very well. Put the soft dough in the refridgerator for a few hours.  THIS STEP IS VERY MPORTANT. I made them without chilling and they do not come out the same...
On parchment covered cookie sheets, drop by rounded teaspoonful - these do spread so space the dough.  Bake about 9 minutes...very very important these should look just short of done....They should look like they should bake another 1-2 minutes but DON'T do it. They will 'deflate' as they cool. These are a soft chewy cookie.  I hope you enjoy

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Italian Vinaigrette

Tired of heavy, bottled dressings? It is so simple to make your own!  Here is a tasty Italian inspired salad dressing that is as easy as shaking the ingredients up in a jar. 
Italian Vinaigrette

½ cup good olive oil

½ cup red wine vinegar

1 tbl Dijon mustard

1 scallion minced

¼ tea oregano

¼ tea thyme

2 fresh basil leaves torn up small

1/8 tea cracked black pepper

2 tbl lemon juice

Combine all and whisk well...or shake in a jar

Saturday, January 12, 2013


What is better than homemade soup on a cold winters day??? ummmmm not much thats what!
This traditional Itaian soup is a super delicious, super good for you meal. This is one of my favorite recipes for Minestrone, another will be in my upcoming cookbook.  There are as many ways to make minestrone as there are cooks so don't be afraid to add or omit anything you would like. Add some crusty bread and enjoy this wonderful homey meal!  If your family follows a meatless meal day...this is an excellent option!


3 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, sliced

2 carrots, chopped

2 cloves of garlic minced

1 zucchini, thinly sliced

4 ounces green beans, cut into 1 inch


2 stalks celery, thinly sliced

1 1/2 quarts vegetable, chicken or beef stock

1 large can of diced tomatoes

3 potatoes – peeled and diced

1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme or rosemary

1 (15 ounce) can cannellini beans, with


1 chunk of Parmesan rind

1/4 cup  short cut pasta of your choice (I like Ditalini or small shells)

4 cups baby spinach

salt and ground black pepper to taste

Parmesan cheese – grated for topping


Heat olive oil in a large saucepan, over medium heat. Add onion, carrots, and garlic….sauté for
  several minutes then add zucchini, green beans and celery. Cover, and reduce heat to low. Cook for
15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Stir in the stock, tomatoes, potatoes, Parmesan rind and thyme or rosemary per your preference.
Bring to a boil, then replace the lid, and reduce heat to low; simmer gently for 30 minutes.
Stir in the cannellini beans with liquid and pasta. Simmer for an additional 8-10 minutes, or until
pasta is al dente. Remove the Parmesan rind.  Add the spinach. Season with salt and pepper to taste
before serving. top each bowl with some grated cheese if desired.
This soup tastes better on day two, so consider making it the night before if possible!
You can add kidney or black beans as well if you are looking for a heartier soup.  Feel free to
experiment with different veggies as well.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Strawberry Icebox Cake

This no bake cake is SO simple and so fresh and delicious that you will be amazed.  People will rave is such a pretty dessert too.  The fact that you don't bake any of it and it is pretty much an assembly line type recipe is why it will be a recipe you keep for those 'Oh my gosh I forgot I have to bring something to the _____!"  

Strawberry Icebox Cake

2 pounds fresh strawberries, washed

3 cups whipping cream

1/3 cup confectioners sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

4 sleeves (about 19 ounces, or 24 to 28 whole crackers) graham crackers

2 ounces dark chocolate, finely chopped


Hull the remainder of the strawberries and slice each berry into thin slices. Saving a few whole berries for garnish.

Whip 3 cups of cream until it just holds stiff peaks. Add the confectioners sugar, vanilla and combine well.

Spread a small spoonful of whipped cream on the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking pan to start. Lay graham crackers over cream. Lightly cover the top of the graham crackers with more whipped cream, and then a single layer of strawberries. Repeat three times, until you have four layers of graham crackers. Spread the last of the whipped cream over the top . Garnish top with some slice berries and  whole or halved berries. Melt chocolate and drizzle over top. Refrigerate for at least four to six hours, or until the crackers have softened completely. Can be made 24 ahead if desired.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Buttermilk Custard Pie with Coconut

Buttermilk has been a staple in country kitchens for years. It is especially popular in Southern kitchens. Buttermilk has a certain tang, but it also makes baked goods tender and rich.  If you want to try this recipe and you don't happen to have problem just add 1 tbl of vinegar to 1 cup of milk and let it sit undisturbed for 10 minutes!

Buttermilk Custard Pie with Coconut

1 pie crust (home made or store bought)
2/3 cup sugar
3 tbl flour
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup melted butter
2 eggs
1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
1 tea vanilla

Preheat oven to 425.  Combine sugar and flour in a bowl, set aside. In a 2nd bowl whisk together buttermilk, butter, eggs,and vanilla. Whisk very well. Add to dry mixture and mix until well blended. STir in coconut.
Pour into pie crust. Bake for 10 minutes then lower oven temperature to 350. Bake 30 minutes more. Center of pie should be barely jiggly if you shake the pan.
Cool on rack

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Vintage recipe - Baked Corn

I know I know I have been a baaaaaad blogger. Life just gets super busy sometimes, what can I say?
Anyway I was reading through a few old '50s Grange cookbooks I have inherited and thought I might post about this baked corn.  I have yet to try it so no picture yet...but it sounds really good to me! A different way to serve corn...I think it would be good for Thanksgiving too.
It also did not call for Mayonaise as a garnish which many many of the old timey recipes do LOL!

Baked Corn

2 tbl fat or butter
2 tbl flour
1 1/4 cups milk
1 tbl sugar
2 cups drained canned corn
salt and pepper to taste
2 beaten eggs

melt fat or butter in a pan.  Whisk in flour and blend well. Slowly whisk in milk and bring to a boil stirring the whole time.  Add corn and sugar. Season to taste. Whisk in eggs...mixing thoroughly. Pour into a greased baking dish and bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Southern Chocolate Chess Pie

The best thing about this pie is the look of sheer bliss on people's faces when they taste it.
One of my sons said it is like warm brownie batter....not a half bad description. It is delicious! Even is sooooooooo simple.  More than likely you will have all of the ingredients in your kitchen which makes it even better.  We like it best when it is still slightly warm...and it would be excellent with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Southern Chocolate Chess Pie
preheat the oven to 350
1 single 9 inch pie crust...homemade or store bought
1/2 cup of butter
1 square (1oz) unsweetened chocolate
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 tea vanilla
1/4 tea salt
In a saucepan melt butter and chocolate together stirring well.  Remove pan from the heat. Add sugar and stir well.  Beat the eggs with the salt and vanilla. Add the the butter mixture and stir very well....make sure it is thoroughly combined. Pour filling into crust.  Bake in oven about 40 minutes. You want the pie to be puffed up and browned.  It will be pretty firm.  Cool on rack...the filling will "settle" and the pie will be very fudge-like. Best if served slightly warm or at room temp.