Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Italian Easter Ricotta Rice Pie

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Italian Easter ricotta rice pie

This Italian Easter Ricotta Rice Pie is my Mother's recipe. She made these every year for Easter and as you can see these are a little different than your traditional pie.

They are really little hand pies made with a sweet dough and sweet ricotta cheese and rice filling. Anybody that knows me knows that I have a passion for preserving these old family recipes.

I found my mother's recipe for these last year and gave them a try but I failed. You see, my mother's handwritten recipes are short the instructions all she had written down was the ingredients. So I had to figure out the rest on my own. And, this year I did.

Italian Easter Ricotta Rice Pie: Ingredients:

For the Dough:

5 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup white sugar
3 eggs beaten
1 cup Crisco
1 cup warm water

The Filling:

2 lbs. ricotta cheese
1/4 lb. cooked rice (You'll need 1/2 cup uncooked to get 1/4 lb. cooked)
3/4 cups white sugar
3 eggs
2 eggs beaten (You'll need these later to seal the pies and brush before baking)

Jasmine Rice


I first made the rice according to the package instructions. I used Jasmine Rice because it is a long grain and sticky rice. This helps hold the filling together.

Ricotta rice pie dough

While the rice was cooling I mixed the dough. I used my KitchenAid Stand Mixer with the dough hook.

 I added all ingredients for the dough except the flour into my mixing bowl. I added the flour last and turned it on low speed and mixed until the dough was formed.

If you don't have a stand mixer use a large bowl and mix by hand. Next, I set the dough aside and started to make the filling.

Again, using my stand mixer I added the ricotta cheese, sugar, eggs, and rice into the mixing bowl. Using the flat bar I mixed this on low speed until everything was mixed together. I put the filling in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.

Easter ricotta rice pies

I rolled the dough into about a 14-inch long x 2/12-inch high log

Easter ricotta rice pie recipe


I cut the dough into 3/4-inch slices and rolled them out on a floured surface into a circle about 1/8-inch thick.

I filled the center with 1/4 cup of the filling. Then, I brushed the edges of the dough with the beaten egg. I carefully folded the edges together and then pinched along the seams with a fork.

Easter ricotta rice pie

I placed my little pies on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper four pies on a cookie sheet. Then, brushed on the beaten egg over the whole surface of each pie.

 I baked them at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Then place them on a rack to cool. These Italian Easter Ricotta Rice Pies brought back many fond memories for me. With the sweet dough and the sweet ricotta cheese and rice filling, they make a perfect Easter treat.

Italian Easter Ricotta Rice Pie: Traditional Pie


Italian ricotta rice pie

I also made your traditional Italian Ricotta Rice Pie by doubling the filling recipe. I used a 9-inch pie crust and a 9-inch pie plate.

I baked this pie at 350 degrees for 60 minutes let it cool and then placed it in the refrigerator. So, you can make this either way or as I did both of them.

As always thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy.


Saturday, March 24, 2018

Savory Cheddar Cheese Bread

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Savory Cheddar Cheese Bread

This savory cheddar cheese bread is a perfect anytime snack or served as a side with your lunch or dinner. It's also a great side when you're just having a salad.

This cheddar cheese bread recipe was given to us by a good friend years ago. I had the recipe written a little recipe card and found it a while back.

The last time I used this recipe I made it as a muffin Quick Cheddar Cheese MuffinsYou'll find this to be the same recipe but this time I used extra sharp cheddar cheese instead of mild.

Savory Cheddar Cheese Bread: Ingredients

1/3 cup butter (5 tablespoons)
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
5 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups (8oz.) extra sharp shredded cheddar cheese
1-1/2 cups Quaker old-fashioned oats Or, (quick oats)
1-1/2 cups milk
2 eggs


Cheddar cheese bread recipes

I started off by mixing the flour, baking powder, butter, and salt in my KitchenAid Stand Mixer. Mixing on low speed with the beater bar attachment until it looked like coarse crumbs.

Then I added the oats, cheese, milk, and eggs one at a time. Continue mixing on low speed until batter forms.

I sprayed a 9-inch x 5-inch bread pan with Pam Non-Stick Spray and transferred the batter to the pan.

make cheddar cheese bread

I preheated the oven to 375 degrees and baked my savory cheddar cheese bread for 60 minutes. When a butter knife came out of the center clean I knew it was ready.

best cheddar cheese bread recipe


The bread popped right out of the pan. I placed it on a rack and let cool for about 15 minutes before cutting it.

The result was the outside of the bread is nice and crusty while the inside is soft with a nice cheddar cheese flavor. 

Some nice options for this Savory Cheddar Cheese Bread: Try adding some bacon bits, diced ham, or how about some diced pepperoni. If you like cheddar cheese you'll love this easy recipe.

As always thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy.


Monday, March 12, 2018

Breakfast Egg Nest Recipe

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breakfast egg nest recipe

This breakfast egg nest recipe will dazzle your friends and family. These are perfect to serve at your next brunch or just treat yourself to a great breakfast.

I've seen so many variations of these so, I just had to make my own. Cheddar cheese, bacon bits, and an egg all nested in golden brown hash brown potatoes.

This is another great idea with so many different combinations. You could use sausage crumbles, green peppers, or any veggie that you like as a filling.

Breakfast Egg Nest Recipe: What I used
6 small potatoes (peeled and shredded)
3 tablespoons butter (melted)
6 eggs
Hormel Bacon Bits
Shredded cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

egg nests breakfast

I started by shredding the potatoes and then mixed them with the melted butter in a medium bowl.

breakfast egg nest

Next, I sprayed a six-count muffin tin with Pam Non-Stick Spray. I added the potatoes in each muffin tin and worked them down and up the sides.

bird nest eggs recipe

I baked the nests for 40 minutes at 350 degrees and then on high in the broiler for 3 minutes. The Broiler helped brown the inside of the nests.

I think the next time that I make these I'll bake at 425 degrees for less time. This is the first time that I made these so I was experimenting.

After they were golden brown I added the cheddar cheese and bacon in the bottom of the nests.

eggs nest breakfast recipe

After adding the bacon and cheddar cheese I cracked an egg on top of each one. I placed them back in the oven at 350 degrees for 15 minutes until the eggs were cooked. If you don't like your eggs runny then cook longer for a firm yolk.

I used a butter knife all around the edges of each nest and removed them with a small spatula. Each one came out of the muffin tin perfect.

These made a tasty little breakfast for Bobby, Fran. and me I will definitely make these again.

As always thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy.

Breakfast Egg Nest Recipe: 

Friday, March 9, 2018

Cajun Roasted Potato Wedges

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Cajun Roasted Potato Wedges

These cajun roasted potato wedges made the perfect side dish for Fran's slow cooker chuck roast. Fran picked up a nice chuck roast at the grocery store and decided to slow roast it in our crockpot.

If I'm going to have a good roast and gravy then I need to have potatoes. I'm not a fan of adding potatoes to the crockpot while cooking a roast. For me, they always seem to turn out too soft and mushy.

So, just before the roast was finished I made these cajun roasted potato wedges in the oven. Potatoes are another side dish that is so versatile. I made these Cajun-style using Penzeys Cajun Seasoning.

You can season your potato wedges with so many different seasoning. Some options are Italian seasoning, garlic, and butter, or try steak seasoning.

Cajun Roasted Potato Wedges:


recipe oven roasted potato wedges

Here is all I used:

4 medium white potatoes
Olive oil
Penzeys Cajun Seasoning
Salt and Pepper
Pam non-stick spray

First I washed the potatoes and cut them in half lengthwise and then in half again. I put the wedges in a medium bowl and tossed them with olive oil until they were all coated.

I sprayed my cookie sheet with Pam non-stick spray to be sure the potatoes wouldn't stick while roasting. Then I generously coated the wedges with salt, pepper, and the cajun seasoning.

I set the oven to 450 degrees and roasted the wedges for 30 minutes until they were golden brown.

Cajun Roasted Potato Wedges:


crispy oven roasted potato wedges

I have to tell you these came out of the oven just perfect. Crispy and tasty on the outside, nice and firm on the inside. These potatoes were a perfect fit for our slow roasted chuck roast. This is an easy 30-minute side dish for any meat and potatoes meal.

As always thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy.

This Cajun Seasoning and more from Penzeys


Friday, March 2, 2018

Italian Sausage Red Potato Meal

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Italian Sausage Red Potato Meal

This Italian Sausage Red Potato Meal is an easy and quick way to have dinner ready in 30 minutes or less.

Fran made this one the other night using our own Homemade Sausage. If you're a fan of Italian sausage this one is for you.

Italian Sausage Red Potato Meal: Here is what Fran used

1/2 lb. Italian Sausage links (Cut into one-inch pieces)
2 Medium Red Potatoes (Cubed)
1 Medium Onion Sliced
Light olive Oils (enough to coat the bottom of the pan)
One clove of fresh garlic minced (Optional)
Some Italian seasoning to taste

Using a 10-inch cast iron skillet or nonstick skillet. Cook this over medium heat on the stove top until the sausage is cooked through and the potatoes are nice and tender.

This is another quick, easy and versatile meal.  You can add slices of red and green bell peppers, fresh mushrooms or whatever veggie you desire. Try serving this over your favorite pasta or even rice.

This was enough for both of us. If you're serving more than two people just use more sausage and other ingredients.


As always thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy.

Make Italian Sausage Red Potato Meal with one of these:

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Glazed Lemon Almond Biscotti

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Glazed Lemon Almond Biscotti

Every year my cousin sends me a box of fresh lemons from his backyard lemon trees in Arizona. So, I put them to good use with these Glazed Lemon Almond Biscotti.

The lemon and almond are a delicious combination of flavors for biscotti. If you're not a fan of almond flavor you can leave it out. I like lemon so I also made a lemon glaze for my biscotti.

Biscotti is a perfect treat if you're having friends over for coffee or tea. And, biscotti is really not difficult to make.

Glazed Lemon Almond Biscotti: Ingredients

2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup white sugar
6 tablespoons butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon grated rind of lemon
2 teaspoons of almond extract
2 teaspoons baking powder
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 large eggs
1/4 cup slivered almonds

Lemon Almond Biscotti

In a large mixing bowl, I beat together the sugar, butter, lemon rind, salt, baking powder, and almond extract. I used my hand mixer until the mixture was smooth.

Next, I added the lemon juice, eggs, and almond slicers. I Continued mixing until they were combined. Turning the mixer to low speed I added the flour and mixed until a sticky dough formed.

Because the dough is a bit sticky it's best to shape the biscotti log right on a piece of parchment paper. I shaped the log to 14" long x 3" wide x 3/4" high.

Tip: It helps to use a wet spatula to shape the sticky dough.


Lemon Biscotti

I place the log on a large cookie sheet and baked it at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Then I removed it from the oven and let it cool for about 30 minutes.

Notice that I had some cracks on top of the log. I can assure you this does not affect the flavor of the biscotti at all.

Glazed Lemon Biscotti

After the log was cooled I brushed it with lukewarm water and waited for about 5 minutes before slicing it into 1/2" slices. The warm water helps soften it to make easier to slice.

I turned the oven down to 325 degrees and prepared another cookie sheet with parchment paper. I set the slices on their side and baked them for 12 minutes per side for a total of 24 minutes until they were golden.

Glazed Lemon Almond Biscotti: The Lemon Glaze

1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
3 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 or teaspoons milk

I whisked this together in a small bowl and drizzled the glaze over the top and down the sides of the biscotti.


As always thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Cast Iron Skillet Deep Dish Pizza

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Cast Iron Skillet Deep Dish Pizza

I've been wanting to make my own cast iron deep dish pizza ever since I visited Chicago some years ago. If you're ever in Chicago don't miss trying the famous Chicago style deep dish pizza.

I enjoy cooking in my cast iron skillets so I thought the deep dish pizza was a perfect fit. Pizza is just one those dishes that is so versatile. Choose the toppings that you like meats, veggies, and even fruit.

I made this one with Italian sausage, pepperoni, fresh mushrooms, and mozzarella cheese. So, I'll call this one a deep dish meat lovers pizza.

This dough recipe is a little different than my Easy All Purpose Dough Recipe 

Cast Iron Skillet Deep Dish Pizza: Dough

4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons white sugar
1-1/4 cup warm water
1/4 cup light olive oil
1 package dry yeast

best deep dish pizza dough recipe


First, I dissolved the yeast by adding the warm water and dry yeast into my KitchenAid Stand Mixer bowl. While waiting for that to happen, in a separate bowl I mixed together the flour, cornmeal, basil, salt, and sugar.

Then, I added the olive oil to the water and yeast. I began adding one cup of the dry mixture at a time while mixing with the dough hook.

Homemade deep dish pizza dough recipe

When the ball of dough was formed I kneaded the dough by hand on a floured surface turning it over about five or six times. Lightly coat it with oil put it in a covered bowl in a warm place and let it rise for about one hour.

Cast Iron Skillet Deep Dish Pizza: Toppings

1/2 lb. Italian bulk sausage cooked and crumbled
10 slices of pepperoni
1-1/2 cups fresh mushrooms
2 cups mozzarella cheese
Parmesan Cheese (grated)
Romano Cheese (grated)

Cast Iron Skillet Deep Dish Pizza: Sauce

1- 28oz. can crushed tomatoes
1- 14.5oz. can diced tomatoes (drained)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 clove garlic minced
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

I mixed all of the sauce ingredients together in a medium bowl and set it aside while preparing the toppings.

Easy deep dish pizza dough


The dough recipe is enough to make two deep dish pizzas so I divided it in half. I used the other half to make a regular pizza.

I spread half of the dough into the bottom of my greased 10-inch cast iron skillet and worked it up the sides.

I layered the bottom with shredded mozzarella, added some sauce and then the sausage and pepperoni.

Next, I added a little more sauce and the mushrooms then a little more sauce over the mushrooms and more shredded mozzarella. Then sprinkled the Parmesan and Romano cheese over the top.

I didn't fill it all the way to the top as it will rise while it's cooking. It's a good idea to place a cookie sheet under the skillet while cooking just in case it spills over.

Homemade pizza cast iron skillet


I covered the pan with tinfoil and baked it on the center rack at 450 degrees for 20 minutes. Then Baked for 12 more minutes uncovered until the edges were golden brown.

My first cast iron skillet deep dish pizza was a huge success. One nice slice of this about makes a complete meal.

As always thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy.