PW's BBQ Chicken Pizza - Yum ~

Here in Boston we aren't really known for our BBQ, let alone BBQ Chicken Pizza.  But, I was home yesterday morning and perusing recipes and came across one from The Pioneer Woman's Website.  I saw her awesome pictures and thought, yum.  I have never tasted, never mind made a pizza with bbq sauce on it.  We here in Boston are more known for our "red sauce" type of pizza.  And I have made plenty of those through the years.  So as the New Year was fast approaching, I decided to give this "new-age" pizza a try.  It has all the ingredients I love, so why not.  I did throw in extra ingredients on mine, to spice things up just a bit.  And I am so glad I did, it was a delicious and mighty tasting dinner.

So here you go, a pictorial of my BBQ Chicken Pizza.

If you're making one pizza, use one half of a boneless, skinless chicken breast.  Put it in a plastic bag, or a container with an air tight cover, with 1/2 cup of bbq sauce and let it marinate for a couple of hours in the fridge.  When ready to begin, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Place chicken into a pyrex dish and pour the marinade over it.  Bake uncovered for 25-30 minutes, uncovered.

While your chicken is baking, prepare your other ingredients.

1 medium red onion, cut in half and sliced thinly
1 6 ounce ball of mozzarella cheese, sliced thinly
2 ounces of chedder cheese, sliced thinly (optional)
1/2 medium jalapeno pepper, chopped tiny (optional)
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped

Place your dough on your floured counter and stretch it into a large half sheet pan, with a tablespoon of cornmeal on the tray so it doesn't stick while it bakes.  I buy my dough frozen from my grocery store and keep it in the freezer, so I can have it on hand always.  It comes in a 1lb package and that's the amount I use to make a large pizza.  Any brand will do, trust me. Or you can make your own if you like.

When your chicken is done, slice it thinly and then cube it.  Take 4 tablespoons more of your bbq sauce, any good jarred brand will do.  Or you can make your own.  Now spread it on your pizza dough.  Oh and  turn up your oven to 500 degrees, farenheit.

Don't put too much sauce on the dough, just enough like this.  Spread it around, with the back of a tablepoon.

Now start layering everything on top of your pizza.  First your cheese, then your chicken, next your jalapeno and red onion.  Fan out your red onion so no one gets big clumps of it when they bite into the pizza.

Place your pizza in your lower 1/3 rack of your oven and bake for 10 minutes.  Remove pizza from the oven and check the underneath crust by lifting your pizza from the edge with a butter knife.  You are looking for a golden brown crust under there.  Now place your pizza back in the top 1/3 part of the oven for 2-3 minutes, so all of the cheese is nice and melty.

Remove pizza from the oven and let rest for about 5 minutes before cutting it.  Then sprinkle lots of chopped cilantro on top of the pizza and serve.

  I didn't stop at one slice.

Yum, that's for sure.  I am now a big fan of BBQ pizza and will be putting this on my menu again for sure.  I love pizza and not just the "red sauce" type any more.

Enjoy ~


Ina Garten's Scallops Provencal ~

In between Christmas and New Year's get togethers, I try to eat healthy dinners.   These Scallops are not just low in fat (I use half the butter), but they are amazingly delicious and easy to prepare.  I left out the parsley because I didn't have any to sprinkle over, but the flavors are just out of this world just the same.  Trust me on this one, Ina hits it out of the park with this dish.

This recipe is on my rotation all winter,  I buy a big bag of flash frozen Sea Scallops at Costco and keep it in my freezer.  I use three large ones for when I am cooking for one.  Here's the link to her recipe on the Food Network Board.   Enjoy ~


Peppermint Stick Ice Cream Cake ~

My sister's granddaughter Laina, discovering her first Christmas Tree.  Oh Holy Night.....

I have been making this knock off ice cream cake for a long time.  And once again I have no real recipe for one, I just make what I thought up from having so many Carvel Ice Cream cakes through the years.  After awhile, I kept saying, how hard would it be to make a cake that cost so much?  Again, I come back to think the way Ina Garten says on many of her shows.  Use good ingredients.

For one 9" cake, have a spring form pan and wrap the inside with plastic wrap, leaving extra overlapping.  Use 1/2 gallon of good ice cream, or make your own.  And two and 1/2 sleeves of oreo cookies, crumbled in the food processor.  I used to do a layer at a time, so I know that I use a sleeve at the bottom and another in the middle layer and a half of sleeve on top of the cake.  The possibilities are endless, all you need to mix up your layers is your imagination.

Start with a layer of oreo cookie crumbs, pressed in the bottom of your prepared 9" sprinform pan.

Let your ice cream set out on your counter for about an hour.  Unless you keep your house extra warm, or it's very hot outside, then do 1/2 hr.  Just enough to soften, not melt.

Next, spoon in 1/2 of your ice cream and don't even bother with spreading it around.  It will settle just fine.

Next, sprinkle with the second sleeve of oreo cookie crumbs.

For this cake I chopped up two large candy canes (I crushed the candy canes with my rolling pin in a zip lock bag.  Set aside the larger pieces to decorate the top.

I also chopped up 1/2 box of Ande's Christmas Crunchy Mints.  Again, saving the bigger pieces for the top layer.

Now, sprinkle half of the smaller candy cane pieces and half of the Ande Mint pieces all over the top of the oreo cookie crumbs.  And gently press down with the back of a tablespoon.

Add the rest of your ice cream.  In the summer, I place the cake in the freezer between layers to harden up a little.  I don't in the winter, but the ice cream will be very soft by this point.  So gently spread the ice cream to the edges.

For the top of the cake, decorate with the rest of your oreo cookie crumbs and your candies.  I do cookie crumbs around the edges and make a circle in the center.  But, you can do it anyway you want.  This cake is a crowd pleaser any way you make it.  Cover cake with more plastic wrap and place in the freezer. Take it out of the freezer about 1/2 hour beore serving.  Remove the sides of the springform
pan and peel down the plastic wrap.  Take a knife and smooth out sides of cake.  Serve with a basic chocolate sauce if you like.

Here is mine ready for the freezer.  Oh, I really love to use peppermint stick ice cream for this cake, but every store was sold out, so I used mint chocolate chip.  It works.

Enjoy ~


Chocolate Crunch Cookies for friends.....

Only special friends get home made cookies at Christmas time...

They are just so much work and energy, that the people have to be super good friends... you toil over the stove, you package with care and tie things up with a special ribbon.  You wouldn't make these for just anyone now would you?

Wrong ~   ;-)

These Chocolate Crunch Cookies are so easy, they are done in a flash.  Yes, a flash.  They also taste yummy and are pretty low in fat.  And that's another bonus to these little treats.

Here's the recipe from a friend, Trish..

In a Dutch Oven, melt on very low heat, 8 ounces of good milk chocolate, 2 ounces of unsweetened chocolate and 6 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate chips.  When all of your chocolate is melty and shiney remove from burner.  Mix in 5 cups of Breakfast Cereal, Corn Flakes.  Stir with a wooden spoon gently until all of the Corn flakes are covered, about 5 minutes.  Then take a teaspoonful  and drop on parchment or aluminum foil. (I just laid the foil down on my counter, like so)  And let sit for 3 hours, or overnight as long as its cool in your house.

Here they are all set.

All ready to wrap, 1 dozen in each bag.

Place cookies in bag, tie wth a pretty ribbon and they are good to go.  Good enough to give to your nearest and dearest, but easy enough to give to all of your friends.  Oh, did I say how good they are?  Yummy.  I brought them to work with me and people asked for the recipe.  I almost laughed at them and said sure.  I love to share a good thing....

Enjoy ~


Chcolate Peppermint Snowflake Candies ~

I saw these on a blog last year, Baked by Rachel and I thought they were so adorable.  After reading how easy they were I wanted to make some for the Holiday Season.  I'm all about easy, so if I can do them, you can do them.  Honest.  So, I bought one of the silicone snowflake molds that Rachel suggested.

I don't know how to link you with her site, but just google her blog and you'll find a step by step process.

I'll paraphase it here for you though.  I tweaked mine a bit also.

Melt 5 ounces of dark chocolate in the microwave on high for 15 second increments.  Mine took all of 1 minute to finish. Add 1/2 teaspoon of vegetable oil and 1/4 teaspoon of peppermint extract, mix well. Chop up some candy canes, if you have the smaller ones, if not, 1/2 of a large one will do.  Not too finely.

Take a tablespoon and pour the dark chocolate in the center of each snowflake mold and then tip the mold gently from side to side.  With a toothpick, drag some of the melted chocolate into the outer edges.  Sprinkle some of the finer pieces of candy cane pieces over each snowflake and place in the refrigerator for about 1/2 hour.

Next, take 5 ounces of white chocolate, and with 15 second increments, melt the white chocolate, add another 1/2 teaspoonful of vegetable oil and another 1/4 teaspoonful of peppermint extract.  Remove the molds from the refrigerator. Pour a tablespoonful of melted white chocolate over the dark chocolate, tip mold gently.  Take your toothpick and guide some white chocolate to the outer edges of the mold. Now sprinkle with the larger pieces of crumbled candy cane pieces.  Let set for an hour before peeling out of the snowflake mold.  Store in plastic container.

Enjoy  ~

I bought my snowflake mold on Amazon, just by typing it into the search bar.  I used good chocolate, I think that is the key in this little cutie.


Got any pea shoots?


I was in and out on a Saturday a couple of weeks ago doing some shopping and wanted a healthy lunch.  So, I decided to grab a bite at home, in between shopping trips.  When it comes near the Holidays, my shopping becomes local because I hate the Malls at this time of year.  So I grabbed some basmati rice, Brought a cup in 1 1/2 of water to a boil.  Dropped in a pinch of saffron, pinch of salt and a teaspoon of butter.  While the rice cooked, I diced  two compari tomatoes and 1/2 of fresh avacado.  I had fresh pea shoots on hand, but you can substitute any lettuce.  A squeeze of lemon juice and a drop or two of good olive oil.  Don't forget lots of freshly ground black pepper.   Voila, not just lunch, but a wonderful and delicious lunch that looked like a a rainbow on my plate.   I believe that saying, that we eat with our eyes first..... 

Oh, just a little side note.  In the winter here, because it can be very cold and fresh tomatoes can be hard to come by.  I use compari tomatoes, which are a little smaller than an average one, but are good to have on hand.  I leave mine on the counter to ripen.  Even a few days makes the world of difference.  And about 1/2 hour before you are going to use them, slice or dice them, and add a pinch of salt.  It helps draw out the juices and they are delicious, almost as good as our summer ones.  Well, not quite, but good. 

And doesn't my lunch look yummy?  I thought you might agree.

Enjoy ~


Italian cooking lesson for my youngest....

Parmigiana for Marc ~

It all started many years ago, when Marc was a little guy that slid a chair up to the stove, while I was making eggplant parmesan.  He loved to eat them like cookies, while they were sitting, draining on brown paper bags and watched while I was frying them.   That was many years ago.  Now grown and on his own, he wanted to learn to make an Italian dinner for his friends. The recipe was taught to me over 40 years ago by his grandmother, when I watched her make it.  It's really something to be passed along that way, generation to generation.  It's more about technique than it is about a recipe. 

So to start you need about 6 cups of sauce/gravy.  You can either
use your own, or I have a recipe posted earlier here.  All of my amounts listed here are estimates.  I usually have extra ingredients on hand, as I go by look, rather than weights and measures.  I'll give you a tip though.... you cannot mess up eggplant parmesan.  It will taste wonderful no matter what.  Just use good ingredients and fry the eggplant properly, "golden brown".

2 large eggplants
1 8oz ball of mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup good parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 cup vegetable oil for frying
2 cups of Italian Seasoned breadcrumbs
6 eggs, whisked

Peel and slice your eggplants about 1/8" thick.  To me, this is essential. 

Next set up your dredging station, whisked eggs in a bowl, breadcrumbs on a platter (I don't put the whole amount down.  I start with 1/2 cup and add as I go).  A clean platter to place the breaded eggplant slices. 

The platter is ready to be fried.

I didn't get a picture of the actual frying, but heat up enough oil on the bottom of large skillet about 1/4" deep.  Begin with your heat on high, drop a piece of breadcrumb into the hot oil.  If the breadcrumb bubbles, then your oil is ready.  Place slices of eggplant into oil and turn stove down to medium high, cook on each side until golden.  About 1&1/2 minutes per side.  If your oil gets blackened on the bottom, or starts to look too dark, empty oil into a coffee can placed in your sink, wipe out and put a new batch of oil into your pan.  You should only have to change your oil once about halfway through your frying the eggplant.  As your eggplant cooks, remove and place on a platter with paper towels under each layer to drain any excess oil.

Now we are ready to make the eggplant parmesan.  Ladle some your sauce/gravy onto a 9 x 13 platter, like this.  Not too much, you don't want your dish swimming in gravy.

Now place a layer of eggplant on top of sauce.  Place them very close together, even overlapping a bit.  Then add slices of mozzarella (you decide how much).  I slice or tear the pieces and place about 1/2 ball onto this layer an then sprinkle about half your grated parm on top.  Another layer of sauce and repeat with the cheeses. 

A proud son with his finished eggplant parmesan, ready for the oven.  And a nice cold beer for his hard work. 

At this point, cover with aluminum foil.  Place in a preheated 350 F. degree oven and bake for 25-30 minutes.  Remove foil, bake for 10 minutes longer and let sit for 10-15 minutes before serving.

"If you give a man a fish, he will eat for a day.  If you teach a man to fish, he will eat for a lifetime."  Anonymous

Enjoy ~

Italian Wedding Cookies ~

I am sure that you have heard of these little gems.  Oh they go by many names and lots of Countries have their version, whether it's the tweak in the flavor, seasoning or nut.

However, whichever Country these delicious little treats originated is not important, I am just glad they have made it to my house!

Easy to make, delicious to bite into and oh so pretty to look at.

I did tweak this recipe a bit though, just thought you might like to know.  It's how I am.  I have a hard time being told what to do, without adding my two cents.  And here is my two cents worth....
First of all, make these anytime, but especially now with the holidays approaching.  Cut down on the vanilla.  I put 2 tsp. of almond extract and 2 tsp. of vanilla instead of all of the vanilla. Unless of course you don't love almond like I do.  Oh, and one more important thing, double dust them with powdered sugar.  Once, when the are still warm and once again when they have cooled off...... trust me on this one.

Don't they look pretty double dusted?

Here's the recipe adapted from

  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups finely ground almonds
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract (or 2 tsp. of almond extract and 2 tsp. of vanilla)
  • 3 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup confectioners' sugar for rolling


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
  2. Cream butter or margarine in a bowl, gradually add confectioners' sugar and salt. Beat until light and fluffy. Add almonds and vanilla. Blend in flour gradually and mix well.
  3. Shape into balls (or crescents) using about 1 teaspoon for each cookie. Place on ungreased cookie sheets, and bake for 15-20 min. Do not brown. Cool slightly, then roll in the extra confectioners' sugar.


This recipe makes about 40 cookies and the dough freezes well, so you can do what I am doing if you want, freeze half the uncooked dough.  I made a batch tonight and I'll make the rest closer to Christmas. 

Enjoy ~