Flashback Friday: John Contratti and Sally Struthers




One of televisions most iconic shows was “All In The Family”. Here are I am with Archie and Edith Bunker’s daughter Gloria, played by Sally Struthers. I’ve met her a few times over the years and she is always lots of fun to visit with. 


Cinnamon Raisin Babka




1/2 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup sugar, plus 1/2 tsp.

4 egg yolks

2 cups of flour

1 1/2 cups golden raisins

1 package dry yeast

1/4 cup warm water

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 tsp. salt

1 cup milk

Topping Ingredients:

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1 cup sugar

1/4 lb. butter ( 1 stick)

1 egg

2 tbs. milk

1/2  cup flour


1. In a bowl cream the butter and 1/2 cup sugar.

2. In a separate bowl, beat the egg yolks. Add vanilla and salt.  

3. In a small bowl, mix the yeast in warm water with 1/2 teaspoon of sugar. When it thickens, add it to the egg yolks.

4. Add the milk with the egg yolks and the creamed butter and sugar.

5. Begin adding the flour until a soft dough is formed.

6. Stir in the raisins.  Knead the dough until it is no longer sticky.

7. Cover the dough and allow it to rise in a warm place until it doubles in size. (about 2 hours)

8. Shape the dough into a loaf.  Cover again and let the dough rise again.  (about another hour or two)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

9. For the topping, cream the sugar, cinnamon and butter.  Mix in the egg, milk, and the flour. Mix well.

10. Coat the dough with this topping. 

11. Place on a greased ( a little butter) baking pan.

12. Bake in oven for about 30 minutes.

*Babka should be browned. Use a cake tester to make sure it isn’t wet on the inside. Let cool before slicing.

Almond Cookies






2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup of sugar

1/2 cup  ground blanched almonds 

1 1/4 tsp. baking soda

3/4 tsp.  salt

1/2 cup canola oil
1/4 cup brown rice syrup
1/4 cup milk
1 1/2 tsp. almond extract 
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup  sliced almonds
Preheat oven to 350*F. 
1. Put parchment paper on baking sheets. 
2. In a bowl, put flour, sugar, baking powder, ground blanched almonds and salt. Mix well.
3. In another bowl, mix canola oil, brown rice syrup, milk, almond extract and vanilla extract. Mix well.
4. Combine flour mixture with wet mixture. Mix together and form into a ball shape.
5. Put sliced almonds on a plate.
6. Cut small (2 tsp.) of dough and roll into a ball.
7. Press the ball down in the almonds. (almonds on one side only)
8. Place them on baking sheet. (almonds side up) You can press them down a little more with the bottom of a glass.
9. Bake for about 12-14 minutes, or until edges are golden brown. 
Makes about 2 dozen. (depends on the size of the cookies)

Red Snapper With White Wine, Sun Dried Tomatoes and Chick Peas




4 large slices of red snapper

3 tbs. olive oil

2 cups white wine

1 cup sun dried tomatoes in olive oil (chopped)

1 (10 oz.) can of chick peas (drained)

2 tsp. sea salt


Preheat oven to 400 degrees

1.  Mix sun dried tomatoes and chick peas in a bowl.  Set to the side.

2. In a large baking pan, coat the bottom with 2 tbs. of olive oil.

3. Put sea salt on both sides of red snapper and place in pan.

4. Brush the remaining tbs. of olive oil on top of the red snapper.

5. Pour white wine into pan.

6.  Bake in oven for 15 minutes. Remove from oven.

7. Put sun dried tomatoes and chick peas on top of red snapper.

8. Return red snapper to the oven for another 5 minutes.  *Cooking time depends on thickness of fish. Check fish occasionally while baking.

Serve hot.


Grilled Marinated Shrimp




1 lb. thawed uncooked shrimp (cleaned and dried of excess water)

2 cups favorite Italian dressing


1. Put shrimp and Italian dressing in a large Ziploc bag.

2. Let marinate for at least 4 hours. (overnight is best)

3. Heat a large skillet.

4. Pour shrimp into the heated pan. Use only half of the liquid. 

5. Cook about 3 minutes on each side. 

Serve hot !






2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar

1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper

3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp. ground allspice

1/4 tsp. freshly ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp. ground cloves

1/4 tsp. baking soda

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

3/4 cup firmly packed light-brown sugar

1 large egg

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1/4 cup unsulfured molasses


 Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

1. Put parchment paper on a baking sheet. 

2. In a bowl, combine flour, pepper, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, cloves, and baking soda. 

3. In another bowl put butter, brown sugar, and molasses. Use an electric mixer. Beat on medium speed until for about 3 minutes. Beat in egg and vanilla.

4. With mixer on a low speed, add flour mixture. Mix well until combined.

5. Take a tablespoon amount of dough and roll into large acorn size balls.

6. Place balls 1 1/2 inches apart on baking sheet.

7. Bake until cookies are golden brown. (about 15 minutes)

 8. Let cookies cool for about 15 minutes.

9. In a large deep bowl, put confectioners’ sugar. Place a few cookies at a time in bowl. Gently toss them (with clean hands) in the confectioners’ sugar.

10. Tap off the excess sugar and place on wax paper.

11. Once cooled, put in a sealed container.