Zucchini and eggs


When I was a kid, my mother, sister and I lived with my Italian grandmother for a bit before moving into our own digs. There are several food related memories from those days, as you might imagine. 

Shrimp Pizza


Shrimp pizza is one of my favorite homemade pizzas.  We make it a little more non-traditional by using an alternative pizza sauce.  Our sauce for shrimp pizza is a traditional cocktail sauce, and instead of mozzarella, we use grated cheddar. Also, the shrimp is par cooked before topping the pizza. If put on the pizza… [Continue Reading]

Old Fashioned Hard Candy

Another successful confection from my candy-making phase is traditional hard candy.  Hard candy is a classic.  It takes few ingredients to make, and it is pretty in a candy dish or a gift jar.  This old recipe is my favorite. 2 c sugar 1 c water 3/4 c light corn syrup Food coloring (red, green,… [Continue Reading]

Cowboy Caviar


A coworker from my past introduced me to this completely simple, economic and tasty appetizer.  The ‘caviar’ is not fish eggs, but yummy black  beans.  Good chunks of veggies, tortillas, and sturdy tortilla chips are good options for dipping or scooping this tasty concoction.  I never got the formal recipe from Kathy, my coworker, but… [Continue Reading]

Spicing Up Lunch


When you think ‘pesto’, you probably think the basil variety, right?  Well, ‘pesto’ is the Italian word for ‘paste’, and soft green herbs lend themselves well to pesto.  Try making a nice cilantro pesto.  There are several variations available on this particular pesto, but cilantro, salt and olive oil are a given.  Almonds are a… [Continue Reading]

Perfect Butterscotch Patties


When I was a teenager, a couple friends and I went through a candy-making phase that lasted about 3 months.  Being a big fan of butterscotch, I dug up this recipe from the family archives.  It’s made with stuff found in most people’s kitchens, is pretty foolproof, and sure is good.  I’ve given it for… [Continue Reading]

Cream Cheese Sandwich Spreads


This isn’t a new idea.  Consumers of bagels had this idea long ago.  Put cream cheese on a sandwich!  I adopted the idea while in college in Cleveland and have never looked back.  Cream cheese is a wonderful replacement for aged cheese on any sandwich that includes deli meat.  It’s a less expensive food item,… [Continue Reading]

Sandwich Spread


Several years ago, my Aunt Sylvia gave me a jar of the most interesting sandwich spread.  It was different and really, really tasty.  I asked for the recipe, and was surprised to see green tomatoes as one of the core ingredients.  I’m always on the lookout for ways to use excess produce, and green tomatoes… [Continue Reading]

Welsh Humbug


On a recent trip home, I went on a recon mission to find some of my favorite family recipes that I didn’t already have in my collection.  I went on a candy-making spree sometime in my teen-aged years.  My stepfather brought this recipe to the table in the midst of my hard-candy phase.  I loved… [Continue Reading]

Honey/Peanut Rolls


My mother made this for us when we were kids.  Can’t go wrong with peanut butter and honey, in my humble opinion.  This treat just brings that home.  Few ingredients, cost effective, pretty healthy and yummy, too.  And it keeps well.  It’s a great holiday cookie; hostess gift; or just a nice sweet to have on… [Continue Reading]

Sugar and Spice Nuts


I’m not really sure when this recipe showed up in the family retinue, or from which Bruno sister it originated.  I can tell by the condition of the index card on which it’s printed that it’s been awhile, though.   And these are a fave of mine.  I don’t make them every year, but always remember… [Continue Reading]

Fried zucchini flowers


Zucchini plants were always plentiful in my grandparents’ garden.  Anyone who grows zucchini successfully knows that, at some point, one can wish there weren’t so many!  Here’s a great way to enjoy the zucchini plant and put a little production reduction into place. The following is the primary ingredients in the breading.  Amounts are completely… [Continue Reading]

Sweet refrigerator pickles


I love pickles.  Finding this recipe has made fresh pickles a staple in my house.  The best thing is that I can make one jar at a time using whatever cucumbers happen to be best priced at the time.  I’m partial to small pickling cukes or European cukes, so tend to plan these pickles around… [Continue Reading]

Avgolemono Soup


Photo by Wyscan I developed a taste for Avgolemono while going to school in Cleveland. There’s a restaurant, which is still there, called The Mad Greek that is my ground zero for Greek food.  This is not their recipe, but tastes very like it.  The simplicity and elegance of Avgolemono (Egg and Lemon) soup should… [Continue Reading]

Simple Appetizer – Fried Codfish Balls


Photo by jasonlam Growing up with my Italian relatives added a whole bunch of yummy cooking ideas to my recipe box.  This particular side, usually prepared around any major holiday meal, is a personal fave.  Because all spices are ‘to taste’,  this recipe is easily modified.  It works with any seafood, really, but my best… [Continue Reading]