Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Mary Lou's Guacamole

This recipe was sent to me by my aunt Mary Lou.  She says it is one that people always ask her the recipe for.  It is a quick, easy and super tasty Guacamole...and she even added a few ways to change it up! I am betting you could even use a plain greek yogurt for the mayo if you wanted to. Now I know you want to go make up a bowl and watch a good movie or a good game don't you??

Mary Lou's Guacamole
2 ripe avocados
1/2 -1 tsp garlic powder
1/4-1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4-1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
Juice from 1/2 lemon (fresh squeezed)
1 tbs mayo
10 shakes (to taste) of tabasco sauce

Smash avocados with a fork, add lemon juice and mix well.
Add all other ingredients and mix well.

Best with plain restaurant style tostitos corn chips or blue corn chips.

Sometimes I add in 1 tbs of ready made salsa also you can substitute sour cream for the mayo.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

My Mama's Weeknight Pizza

My Mother makes this pizza at least once a week.  My Dad loves it…and so do the my kids when they are visiting.  My Mother is not one to measure anything so this is a “to taste” recipe. Play with it until you love it!  Dad likes his pepperoni...but at our house anything goes when it comes to pizza!

My Mama’s Weeknight Pizza
preheat oven to 475  - use a pizza stone for best results
Put a bit of fine flour or cornmeal on a wooden pizza paddle.  Spread your favorite dough  into a thin circle using your hands to make your crust.
Put a small amount of sauce on the crust and spread around evenly.
Next, grate some provolone ( i use imported its stronger) all over the sauce.
Then grate some locetteli(pecorino romano) all over the provolone.
Now, if you want pepperoni or other toppings add then now covering the cheese.
Next cover your toppings with a generous layer of mozzarella cheese.
liberally sprinkle oregano over the mozzerella and a little bit more locettelli
slide from paddle onto very hot stone
cook about 10/12 minutes
let sit 5 minutes before cutting

Monday, September 17, 2012

Congo Squares

Here is another cookie recipe from my Mother in law MaryJo. I have no idea why they are called Congo Squares! But they are really quite tasty! Very rich!

Congo Squares
2 3/4 cup flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup shortening
2 1/4 cup brown sugar
3 eggs
1 cup chopped nuts
1 1/2  cup chocolate chips

mix flour, baking powder and salt...set aside.  Melt shortening and beat in brown sugar.  Allow to cool slightly then beat in eggs very well.  Add dry ingredients.  Then mix in nuts and chocolate.  Grease a 9x13 baking pan. spread into pan (you may need to use a wet hand to spread as mixture is quite thick)  bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Butter & Jam Cookies

I found this little gem in a 1950's community cookbook. Its almost like a shortbread cookie bar with fruit, so what is not to love here? Feel frre to use your favorite flavor jam or jelly.

Butter & Jam Cookies

1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter softened
1/4 cup sugar
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
approx. 1/2-1 cup jam

cream butter and sugar together. add dry ingredients and vanilla. Combine.  Press into and 8" square pan reserving 1/3 of the dough. spread jam over dough and crumble with the reserved dough over the jam.  Bake at 375 for 25 minutes or until lightly browned. cool and cut into squares.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

My Mother in law's Zucchini Bread

My Father in law stopped by with a box of old recipes that were my wonderful Mother in law, MaryJo's.  I have enjoyed looking through them so very sad some were water damaged but I think I may be able to rescue most of them.  I laughed at some...and enjoyed lots of wonderful memories of a truly great lady!
I thought I might share some here...I hope you enjoy them!  Today I am sharing her Zucchini Bread recipe.

My Mother In Law MaryJo  her high school senior portrait
MaryJo at our wedding

Zucchini Bread

3 eggs beaten
2 cups sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup oil
2 cups grated zucchini
3 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup drained crushed pinapple
1/2 cup raisins
1 cup nuts

combine wet ingredients in one bowl, dry in another. Combine wet and dry very well. Pour into 2 greased loaf pans. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Shame? What's that?

So here is a perfectly shameless plug for not only myself, but for others who have helped along the way and who do great things!

Interested in the cookbook 'CRACKed Pots in the Kitchen'?  You can get yours by clicking HERE!  Would you rather the Kindle version? Click HERE!
Keep an eye out for my first SOLO book (this winter) will have a ton of authentic/traditional and family recipes from Ireland and Italy~

My dear dear friend and co-author has a wonderful blog and you should definately visit her there.
Say hi to Lavetta at The Cherry Bowl Slightly Twisted ,
Or you can pop over to the High Plains Observer where Lavetta has a food column (and I get to be guest chef now and then!!!)  Click here to visit this great column NOT ENOUGH SALT.

ALso did you know I was on facebook?
A Chaotic Cook  ......why not stop by and LIKE me??  (wow that sounds a bit sad...but I am ok with that.....especially if you DO stop by and like me LOL)


Saturday, September 8, 2012


This recipe was given to me by my Aunt Mary Lou.  It will be one of the many great family recipes in my next cookbook (coming out this winter hopefully!)  It was one of Louisa Costantini's recipes. Mary Lou says " Only in our family has anyone ever heard of it. "  So here is the lore behind this yummy recipe that she has shared with me.
One day Grandma was at home in her kitchen in the Bronx NY (on Frisby Ave) with a couple of her neighbor friends. They were having some coffee and Grandma served up her pastries. One of her friends said, " Eh Luisa...whatsa in thisa pastry? " To which she replied ...."AAAh'll neva tell" ... And so it came to be. So whenever I serve these wonderful delights I just call them
NEVATELS. OK so here is the recipe.
1 1/2 cups Hersheys syrup
1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts
1 1/2 cups chopped raisins
1 Cup chopped dried fruit and peel ( I pick out the green ones I don't like them)
a handful of chopped pignoli (pine nuts)
4 piecrusts --- either homemade or Boxes of Pillsbury pie crusts -which I roll out thinner (my preference)
I like my circles to be around 3 inches across, use a small dish as a measure.
Mix all the ingredients, if it seems a little dry add more Chocolate syrup
If it's too wet it will leak all out of the dough.
Put a couple of spoonfuls in each circle and fold over into a half moon. seal edges
Bake at 400 for 12-15 minutes.
Yields about 40 pastries. 
I also wanted to add a quick recipe for homemade Chocolate syrup!
Chocolate Syrup
1¼ cups sugar
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup water
¼ tsp. salt
2 tsp. vanilla extract

whisk together 1st 4 ingrediants well.  Bring to a boil..stirring all the time. When it reaches a boil reduce heat and simmer until slightly thickened. Whisk in vanilla. Cool for 5 - 10 minutes and store in fridge!