Easter Recipes: Italian Sprinkle Cookies – Taralli

Delicious and Colorful Taralli Cookies

Delicious and Colorful Taralli Cookies

It’s almost time for the Easter bunny to pay a visit and that means it is time to do some Easter baking. Forget about the ham, it’s all about making taralli cookies. I always post this recipe at Easter and Christmas time, that is when our family typically makes these very special cookies. They are so yummy with a hot cup of tea or coffee, or an ice cold glass of milk. Be sure to leave a plate of them out for the Easter bunny, along with some carrots of course!

Click on the Recipe Rescue tab to view this recipe. Have you ever had Taralli’s before? Sometimes they are made with anise or lemon extract instead of vanilla, either added to the cookie or the glaze. Let me know what flavor is your favorite by clicking on the title of this post (above) and then scrolling down to leave a comment. Happy Easter!

Easter Recipes: Spinach Ricotta Pie

Spinach Pie for Easter Brunch

Spinach Pie for Easter Brunch

The Spanish Onions and Cheddar Cheese Add to the Flavor of the Pie

The Red Onion and Cheddar Cheese Add to the Flavor of the Pie

Easter is almost here and that usually means Easter brunch. This spinach quiche, or pie as I like to call it, is perfect for any meal or snack, even without a holiday. Since only one egg is used, it really is less like a quiche and more like a pie. The crust is an easy “pat-in-pan” recipe that is no-fuss and foolproof. If you prefer, Pillsbury makes refrigerated pie crusts as well. The savory filling has chopped spinach, chopped onion, part-skim ricotta and just a hint of cheddar cheese; the aroma in the kitchen is wonderful while the pie is baking.

What are some of your favorite Easter recipes and traditions? Please click on the title of this post and scroll down to leave a comment.

Happy Easter and click on the Dinner 911 tab for this recipe – Enjoy!

Chicken Lettuce Wraps for Chinese New Year

Lettuce Wraps - Some Assembly Required

Lettuce Wraps – Some Assembly Required

The Chinese New Year is approaching on January 31st and what better time to try a new Asian-inspired recipe? There is a Chinese food restaurant that is a bit of a drive from our house, so it’s a real treat to go there. We always order the chicken lettuce wraps – hot and tasty and wrapped-up nice and neat in cool, crisp, iceberg lettuce. My teenage daughter loves them, so I decided to try and make them at home. I was very excited to find an envelope in the grocery store to help get me started. I did not follow the instructions on the envelope exactly (I rarely do), but using it really gives the meal an authentic Chinese food flavor. I consider this a labor-intensive meal, due to all of the chopping of the chicken and veggies. However, once all the prep work is done, the meal can be cooked in under 20 minutes. Fried rice recipe to follow soon in a separate post (see envelope below).

Envelopes Provide Authentic Flavor

Envelopes Provide Authentic Flavor

To learns more about Sun-Bird seasonings, click here: www.sunbirdseasonings.com

Click on the Recipe Rescue tab (top right) for this recipe – enjoy! Are you celebrating Chinese New Year? **Note: This recipe has been removed to make room for another Recipe Rescue.**
Click on the title of this post and scroll down to comment.

Stuffed Peppers with Couscous and Broccoli

A Healthy and Light Lunch or Dinner

A Healthy and Light Lunch or Dinner

This recipe makes for a satisfying and healthy lunch or dinner. It is written for two people, but can be doubled as needed. This is an easy-to-prepare recipe, especially if you happen to have leftover broccoli and couscous in your refridgerator already. The most time-consuming part is preparing the peppers, but it is worth the effort. The roasted peppers are full of flavor and make the perfect “bowl” for the stuffing. If you are vegan, just omit the cheddar cheese. If not, I have to say that the savory flavor of the cheese marries beautifully with the smokiness of the peppers and broccoli. These stuffed peppers are a perfect healthy lunch or dinner, especially if you are following the Mediterranean Diet or looking for a Meatless Monday recipe that will please the whole family.

Click on the Dinner 911 tab (on the top right) for the recipe and be sure to leave a comment at the end of this post to let us know what you think. Just click on the title of this post and scroll down to comment. **Note: This recipe has been removed to make room for another delicious recipe.

For more information on Near East cous cous, click here.

Enjoy and Happy Meatless Monday!

Just in Time for Christmas: Italian Sprinkle Cookies

Delicious and Colorful Taralli Cookies

Delicious and Colorful Taralli Cookies

This year, when we first put the tree up, half of the lights did not work. After hours of careful inspection, we managed to change most of the burnt-out bulbs. And I mean the royal “we” here as my husband did most of the work and has no fingernails left to prove it. The tree looks much better and the kids and I are happy to decorate it now – it’s no fun decorating a “dark” tree.

Along with tree lights, another thing that really makes it feel like Christmas for us are Grandma Rita’s Taralli cookies. The best part for the kids is decorating them with the colorful sprinkles. They wait patiently as I dip each one in the glaze and place it on the cookie rack. Then they take turns letting the tiny, ball-like sprinkles bounce all over the cookies (and the table, and the floor). Clean-up is even fun as we all use our fingers to taste the sweet glaze that has dripped from the cookies onto the table. The vacuum has to come out too, but no one seems to mind cleaning-up when we have such a tasty finished product.

I hope you all have a warm and wonderful holiday season. Enjoy this recipe on the “Recipe Rescue” page – Merry Christmas! Note: this recipe has been removed to make room for another delicious recipe.

Masking Tape and a Sharpie – Best Kitchen Tools Ever!

Masking Tape and a Sharpie are Important  Kitchen Tools

Masking Tape and a Sharpie are Important Kitchen Tools

When the masking tape in my kitchen junk drawer starts to get low, I get anxious.  I use it everyday, along with a Sharpie, to label foods before I store them in my fridge or freezer.  It’s important, because I can never remember how old anything is in there unless it has a label on it.  It’s also useful to note when I have opened foods like cream cheese or hummus, because they have a limited shelf life once opened.  I may have been given the nickname “Charlene the food safety queen” by some of my friends that know me well.  Better to have a goofy nickname than to have an upset stomach, or worse.

What do you do to keep track of the food that you prepare/open and store?  Let us know by clicking on the title of this post and then scroll down to the bottom to leave a comment.

Iced Tea to Survive the Day

Pomegranate Delight is my New Favorite!

Pomegranate Delight is my New Favorite!

I recently read an article in Good Housekeeping magazine about how to feel like you are 25 again.  There were 25 suggestions and the second one out of the gate involved swapping my glass of wine for a mojito (although the author does point out that the alcohol is optional).  The next idea involves going to Forever 21 (a girly clothing store) with a friend and buying $4 sparkly earrings.  Number eight is another idea involving drinking, this time suggesting I reserve a spot in my already over-crowded refrigerator for a bottle of Prosecco, so I’m always read to “celebrate” on a moment’s notice.  Is this really what my life has become?  That in order to feel younger I need to drink more alcohol and wear cheap earrings?

I’d like to say that my teenage kids keep me young, but,  whenever I go into Forever 21 I just feel older as I give my daughter a time limit based on how long I can tolerate the music (if you want to call it that) permeating every corner of the store and my head.  Having to rely on my son to help me with each electronic device in our house, from the computer to the TV, doesn’t help me feel “twenty-something” either.  Other than hopping in a time machine, I don’t think I will be returning to that 25 year-old feeling, but I understand what the article was getting at.  Try to incorporate some fun in your daily “grind”.  I find a good sense of humor helps too and iced tea….lots and lots of iced tea.

I drink iced tea every day and honestly, it would be easier if I could just hook-up a tube and let it flow directly to my veins intravenously, but it’s not just caffeine that my body needs.  It’s the crisp, delicious flavor of the tea that helps to clear my mind and awaken my senses; so I’m ready for the next adventure of shuttling my kids around in my mini-van.  And, let’s face it, the caffeine helps too.  However, cup for cup, tea is about half the caffeine of a cup of coffee, so I can drink it throughout the day without feeling “jittery”.

I have a new, favorite iced tea recipe to share with you, but feel free to click here to read a previous post with another favorite recipe for Blackberry Sage iced tea.  The recipe below is a new way of brewing iced tea that I prefer because it gets the tea into the fridge quicker to start cooling – now that’s what I’m talking about!

This iced tea recipe uses Twining’s tea bags, click here to learn more.

What’s your favorite iced tea?  To leave a comment, click on the title of this post at the top of the page and then scroll down to leave a comment – thanks!

Pomegranate Iced Tea


3 tea bags Twinings English Breakfast (English Afternoon is also good)

2 tea bags Twinings Pomegranate Delight

Pour 6 cups of cool water in a 2-quart container and place in the fridge to get cold.

Pour 2 cups of cool water in a small sauce pan and boil.

Once boiling, remove from heat and add the 5 tea bags and allow to steep for 15 minutes.

After 15 minutes, remove the tea bags and add the tea water to your pitcher of cold water and place back in the fridge.

Pour over a glass of ice to enjoy!

***Recipe courtesy of http://www.nourishednation.wordpress.com***


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