Dining With Bebe Neuwirth and Chris Calkins


I’m very excited to be part of “The Actor’s Fund”. When it comes to a few of my favorite things, acting and movies is right up there with cooking. What a thrill it was to dine with Bebe Neuwirth and Chris Calkins most recently.


Chicken Marsala




10 chicken cutlets (each cutlet cut into 3 pieces)

1 cup all purpose flour

5 tbs. butter

2 tbs. olive oil

2 cups sliced mushrooms

3/4  cup marsala wine

1/4  cup cooking sherry

2 tbs. chopped parsley

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. pepper


1. In a bowl, add flour, salt, pepper and oregano. Coat all the chicken cutlets in the flour.

2. In a large skillet, melt butter on a medium heat. Add olive oil. Place cutlets in skillet and brown. Turn cutlets over and add mushrooms. Add marsala wine and sherry. Cover skillet and let simmer on a low heat for 10 minutes. Occasionally turn cutlets over. Cutlets should be white on the inside.

Serve Hot. Serves 6 people.

Sweet Fruit Nut Salad




1 lb. mixed greens (washed and drained) (mixed greens should be chilled)

1 cup cherry tomatoes

1/2 cup sliced almonds

1/4 cup dried cranberries

1/4 cup dried cherries

1/2 cup candied walnuts (plain walnuts are fine too)


1. In a large bowl, place mixed greens.

2. Add all ingredients on top.

Optional: Dressing choice can vary. This type of salad goes best with a little olive oil and a little balsamic vinegar.  Add 4 tbs. of olive and 2 tbs. of balsamic vinegar.

3. Once you decide on your dressing, add to the salad and mix well.

Serves 4 as a salad before dinner.

Homemade Pound Cake



2 cups of flour (sifted)

2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

4 eggs

1 1/2 sticks of butter

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 tbs. vanilla


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

1. Grease a pound cake pan with butter. Sprinkle a little flour into pan. Shake flour around the entire pan and shake out any excess.

2. In a bowl, sift flour, baking powder and salt.

3. In a bowl, with a mixture, mix eggs, sugar and vanilla. Beat until creamy.

4. Slowly add in flour, a little at a time, to the butter mixture. Mix well until all flour is added and batter is creamy.

5. Pour batter into pound cake pan. Take a knife and even out the top.

6. Place in center of a hot oven. Bake for 60-70 minutes. Use a cake tester at 60 minutes to see if dry in the center. If cake tester is wet, return to oven for 10 more minutes. 

Note: Everyone’s oven is different, so it’s always good to check on cake occasionally.


John Contratti and Julianne Moore at “21”


After all the exciting things that have been happening after cooking on television, I was more than happy to get involved with many wonderful organizations. Through these charities, I get to meet some of my favorites actors and actresses. Here I am with the lovely Julianne Moore after our lunch together at the “21 Club”.





1 (16 oz.) container of fresh ricotta cheese

2 (8oz.) pkg. cream cheese

1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract


1. In a large bowl, mix all ingredients with an electric mixer. Mix until creamy and smooth.

2. Fill a pastry bag with cannoli cream. Fill each end of the cannoli shell.

Optional: You can dip each end in choclate morsels.

Cannoli filling fills about a dozen large shells or about 18-20 mini shells.