Zucchini Bread With All sorts of options

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PIZZELLES …a Holiday Staple


The faint smell of Anise PIZZELLES is throughout the house for a couple of days. If you like a hint of  licorice, this is the cookie for you.  On the internet, you can find all sorts of flavors to make your PIZZELLES (vanilla, rum, Amaretto, almond, chocolate).  They can also be rolled around a wooden spoon handle right off the Pizzelle iron.  Let them cool and fill with any type of cream filling; there are many great combinations.  The French make a brown sugar type that tastes like a waffle cone (Galette).  Right now, I’d like to share the Anise flavored.  This batch makes about 6 dozen.  Take your time, grab a glass of wine and make some PIZZELLES!  Enjoy.

Original recipe card

Original recipe card

The original recipe card is not too difficult to follow.  Anise Extract can be found in the baking aisle of the grocer.  I use the smallest scoop available for my dough.  It is quite moist.  Watch how long you leave on the iron, they burn easily!  A maximum time of 1 minute should be watched.  CAN’T HAVE EGGS?  EGGBEATERS WORKS JUST FINE!


Italian Fig Pinwheels


1 cup chopped. Mission figs
1\2 cup pecans
1/4 cup dark raisins

Chop well in food processor til medium fine

2 1/2 Tbsp white sugar
1 egg white

Mix well


1stick unsalted butter room temp
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar

Beat well until light and forms a ball

Add 1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla flavoring

2 cups flour

Mix well ….. Form into log and cut into 3rds. Wrap in wax paper and chill dough.

On wax paper Roll out one of your sections into a rectangle about 1/4 thick, spread fig filling on dough, wrap tightly using wax paper as you lift and roll into taught log. Wrap in wax paper again and refrigerate.

Do this 2 more times with the other pcs of dough.

Preheat oven to 325….. Slice cookies about 1/4 inch and lay on cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Bake about 10-12 min. Check them after 10 minutes.

Let set on pan about 5 min. Remove with spatula and completely cool.

Makes about 36 cookies!

Apple Walnut Cake with Salty Caramel Glaze

Salty Caramel Apple Walnut Cake4 cups chopped apples

1 3/4 cups sugar

3 eggs

1/2 cup vegetable oil (or apple sauce)

2 tsp vanilla

2 cups flour

2 tsp CINNAMIN (optional)

2 Tbsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)

Stir all ingredients well.  Spray baking pan ….bake at 350 approx 1 hour.  Thin knife inserted will come out clean when cake is done.  If using bunt cake pain, let cool 10  minutes before turning upside down on cooling rack.


Melt 1 stick of butter in pan.  Add 1 PACKED cup of brown sugar bring to boil stirring for 2 minutes. Add 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 cup milk.  Stir while bringing to boil.  Remove from heat let cool down to lukewarm.  Add 1 tsp. vanilla.  Add 4 cups powdered sugar one cup at a time making sure there are no lumps.  You can add more milk if too thick or more powdered sugar if too thin.  Drizzle over cake.  Sprinkle caramel before  it dries with sea salt.  Enjoy!


Oh my, it’s noon and you forgot to make your crusty bread dough last night.  NO WORRY.  this recipe will give you that same wonderful crusty bread in 3 hours.  The dough is  easy to work with compared to the over night method.

3 Hour No-Knead Bread

3 Hour No-Knead Bread


1 1/2 Tablespoons dry yeast

1 Tablespoon salt

6 1/2 cups all purpose flour

stir ingredients together in large bowl.  Add 3 cups Luke warm water and stir until no more dry pockets exist.  Cover loosely with a dish towel and let sit on counter For 2 hours.

Heat oven to 450 degrees.  Take 1/2 dough out and form into loaf so the top is smoothe (don’t worry about bumpy bottom).  Put on parchment paper. I slice the top of mine with an exacto knife and sprinkle a little flour on top.  If you don’t want to bake the other loaf today, cover well, keep in fridge.  Just make sure it rises a couple hours on counter (covered of course)  before you bake.  You could even make  small dinner rolls from this .  Just watch baking time .

In oven, place a baking stone or large cookie sheet upside down and let that heat up for 20 minutes.  Also place an empty cake pan on bottom rack of oven and let that heat up.  When pans are hot, place loaf of unbaked bread on hot cookie sheet  (leave it on parchment paper) .

In cake pan, pour in 1 cup cold water and quickly close oven door.  Bake for 25 -35 minutes.  Tap the bread with your finger….if it sounds hollow, it’s done.  Remove and let completely cool before slicing.

Crusty No-Knead Bread to go with those meatballs!

No-knead crusty bread

No-knead crusty bread

Ok, so you’ve made your meatballs and sauce and have put them in the fridge for tomorrow’s dinner. Tonite? Homemade no-knead bread for tomorrow’s dinner! Easy!

Crusty Bread….

3 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1-3/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon Instant or Rapid-rise yeast
1-1/2 cups water

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, salt and yeast. Add water and mix until a shaggy mixture forms. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and set aside for overnite.

In the morning, insert a container that can withstand the high temperature (I use an insert from a crockpot) Preheat oven and container to 450 degrees. While heating oven, put a piece of parchment paper on the counter, sprinkle with flour Turning bread mixture out onto parchment paper and cover with the plastic wrap until oven reaches 450. Carefully pull container from oven. Lift parchment paper with bread mixture by the sides and place in container. Cover the container with double thick foil. Bake for 30-35 minutes. (Don’t use the lid from your crockpot, the handle melts for some reason….lol).

After the 30 minute bake time, remove foil and bake an additional 15-20 minutes (depends on how brown and crusty you want the bread).

Carefully lift parchment paper from the corners (may looked burned, but that’s ok). Place on cooling rack until bread can easily be sliced. ENJOY!

To keep bread crusty, I purchased larger paper bags. You can keep in plastic food storage bag but, crust will be soft. Want it crispy for spaghetti and meatballs? Pop it in the oven for a bit!

Homemade meatballs in 15 minutes….dinner in less than an hour

Making meatballs1 medium package meatloaf mix (ground beef, veal and sausage)
….don’t like veal? Equal parts of ground beef and Italian sausage. (About 1 lb. each)…1 egg…1/2 cup seasoned breadcrumbs (may need more….careful when adding- can make your meatballs taste like bread too much…Finely chopped onions dried or fresh Parsley and Italian seasoning to taste -about 1 TBSP or, 1 pkg. dried meatloaf seasoning mix). Mix well with hands until all ingredients are blended . If too wet, carefully add more breadcrumbs. If too dry, add a little milk.

Roll chunks of meat mixture into balls between both hands. I use a medium sized scoop. Slowly drop into spaghetti sauce (yes, cook them in the sauce). About 2 lbs. of meat mixture should give you 35-40 meatballs (depends on size you make them).
Stir simmering sauce every so often. Make sure they do not stick on the bottom. In 30 to 45 min. Meatballs will be cooked. Let them cool in the sauce on the stove. Can be refrigerated over night or frozen with sauce. Semi-homemade quick spaghetti sauce recipe below.


I spray my stock pot with Pam to avoid sticking and burning

3 cans Hunts Traditional Pasta Sauce
1 medium can tomato puree
1 small can or jar pizza sauce
1 pkg dried spaghetti sauce seasoning (optional)
1 small can tomato paste

Mix all ingredients in large pan, simmer on low.

Drop raw meatballs in sauce, stirring occasionally so as to not
stick or burn on bottom of pan. Meatballs should be cooked in
about 45 minutes ready to serve. Want to freeze them? Allow
to cool on stove, package in freezer containers. They’re even better the next day.

Barbara Robbin Wymer shared her crock pot spaghetti sauce recipe…


1 lb ground beef
1 small chopped onion (optional)
2 – 1 lb cans chopped tomatoes
1 – 8 oz can tomato sauce
1- 12 oz. can tomato paste
1 cup beef broth ( bullion will work, I prefer beef soup starter)
2 tbsp. parsley (chopped fresh or dried)
1 tbsp.brown sugar
1 Tbsp dried oregano ( I dry mine from the garden..perennial)
1 tsp dried basil (or finely chopped fresh)
1 tsp garlic salt or chopped garlic
1/4 tsp ground pepper
Optional- dry red wine…..(not a lot)

Brown meat and chopped onion and drain well. Add all ingredients to crockpot. Cook on low 6-8 hours. If you’re going to cook your meatballs in this, I would wait til last hour or even more- depends on size of your meatballs.

Can be frozen!


Cooking For men and anyone who dabbles in the craft

ImageCooking can be a passion.  It has become mine.  Any ethnic food is worth trying….whether the recipe be from an old fashioned cookbook, the Internet or a recipe handed down through generations.  Every month I will try and post recipes.  No specific orders, just random recipes and pictures and step-by-step instructions.  If you have any questions or comments, let me know.