Archive for December, 2013




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. 





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)




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.



If you had your radio on in the late 80’s, “The Pointer Sisters” (I’m So Excited”, Neutron Dance) were one of the most famous singing groups around. This photo brings back lots of good memories.

Fried Calamari




1 lb. cleaned calamari  (cut into rings)

1/2 cup cornmeal 

2 eggs (beaten)

2 cloves garlic  (mashed)

1 1/4 cup breadcrumbs (flavored)

vegetable oil (for frying)


1.  Coat the calamari rings in corn meal. Shake off excess.

2.  Dip calamari into a mixture of the eggs and garlic.

3. Finally, dip calamari into the bread crumbs. Coat well and shake off excess.

4. In a deep skillet, fill with oil. You want enough oil to cover the calamari when you drop it in. Begin to heat the oil. You want the oil to be hot, so calamari get crispy. Cook calamari for about one minute and drain on a paper towels.

5. Serve with lemon wedges and marinara sauce.

*A deep fryer does work best. If not, just make sure you use enough oil in the skillet and that it covers the calamari when frying it. 

Lemon Glazed Cookies




2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp. baking soda

2 tbs. fresh lemon juice

1 tbs. finely grated lemon zest

1/2 cup unsalted butter (room temperature)

1 cup  sugar

1 large egg

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Ingredients For Lemon Glaze:

2 cups confectioners’ sugar

2 tbs. finely grated lemon zest

1/3 cup fresh lemon juice


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

1. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, and lemon zest.

2. In a large bowl, mix butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. (use an electric mixture)

3. Add egg, vanilla, and lemon juice. Mix well.

4. With mixer, slowly beat in flour mixture.

5. Roll dough into a log. Cut about 2 tbs. amount of dough off. Roll and twist the dough. (see the photo) You can cut and shape the dough for the cookies anyway you wish. Put cookies on a baking sheet. Keep them at least 2 inches apart.  Bake until edges are golden. (about 18 minutes)

6.  Let cookies completely cool. 

7. In a bowl, whisk together  confectioners’ sugar,  grated lemon zest, and  fresh lemon juice Whisk until smooth.

8. Put lemon glaze all around the cookies. Let cookies set for at least an hour before serving.

Makes about 18 cookies.

Shrimp Balls




1 medium sweet  onion  (chopped)

2 cups cooked shrimp (chopped)

1  cup green peas

1 cup tomato sauce

sea salt & black pepper

olive oil

1 quart rice

8 eggs

bread crumbs

2 cups mozzarella (grated)

1 cup  parmesan cheese (grated)


1. Boil a large pot of water and cook rice. Set rice to the side when done.

2. Heat pan with 2 tbs. olive oil. Add onion and let brown lightly.

3. Add shrimp and tomato sauce.  Add a pinch of sea salt and pepper.

4. Add peas and let tomato sauce reduce with pan uncovered.

5. Once mixture has thickened, put to the side and let cool.

6. In a large bowl, mix rice with 4 eggs, mozzarella and parmesan cheese.

7. Add shrimp and pea mixture. Mix well by hand. With hands, shape rice into a medium ball.

8. Once shrimp balls are molded tightly,  put them on a sheet pan.

9.  Refrigerate for about 30 minutes.

10. Beat remaining 4 eggs in a bowl.

11. Take rice balls from refrigerator, dip them into the eggs, and then roll in bread crumbs.

12. Return to refrigerator and allow to set for another 20 minutes.

13. Heat 1 quart of oil in large deep sauce pan. With a large slotted spoon, gently place shrimp balls in hot oil.
14. Cook until golden brown on all sides. Let drain on paper towels.

Makes approximately 15 rice balls. 

*You can also bake in a 400 degree oven for about 25 minutes or until golden brown.

*You can make them smaller for horderves if you like.