Healthy Mediterranean Cooking at Home

Monthly Archives: April 2013

During the peak years of immigration to the United States from southern Italy, many of the Italian immigrants came to Delaware seeking a better life. They came to work as laborers on the railroad and in construction. In 1890, there were 459 Italian-born residents in Delaware and their numbers grew greatly by the close of the century. Besides those two industries, there were other industries in Delaware that attracted Italian immigrants and these included the leather, iron and steel industries. Many of the early immigrants were men who left their families behind temporarily until they could establish themselves and bring their families to Delaware. They often stayed in boarding houses with other workers. Eventually, their families joined them and they bought homes in Wilmington.

Over the years, these immigrants settled in the neighborhood around Union and Lincoln Streets between Pennsylvania and Lancaster Avenues. They brought with them a strong, determined and independent culture, which they preserved through strong family structures and ties. The neighborhood was known as The Hill and, eventually, Little Italy.

After a few years, many Italian immigrants opened their own businesses, such as mom and pop shops. They opened fruit and vegetable stores and offered their services as shoemakers, tailors, barbers, bakers, butchers, cheese and macaroni makers. Later they became restaurateurs, grocery and other retail store operators. Over the years, a ten by four block area of West Wilmington became an enclave for Italians who lived and worked there and its Italian identity grew strong.

St. Anthony’s

In recent years, the area has been revitalized with ongoing beautification projects through the Little Italy Merchant Association. The neighborhood is a cultural mix with a prominent Italian atmosphere and each June a weeklong celebration — St. Anthony’s Italian Festival — brings over 100,000 visitors to the area. It’s one of the largest Italian festivals in the country with attractions that include a bocce tournament, live music from several stages, strolling musicians from Italy, a midway, Italian food and merchandise, a Bellini Bar, a Panini Cafe, tours of St. Anthony’s Church and a procession of the Saints.

The large green arch featuring Italian crests, hangs over 4th Street and Lincoln Street, welcoming visitors and residents to Little Italy. Many Italian specialty stores are located here. The Fierro family has been making cheese in Wilmington at M. Fierro and Sons LLC (1025 N. Union St.) since 1928 and are well-know for their ricotta cheese.

Cheese making became a part of Wilmington’s Little Italy in the early 1900’s. Fierro & Sons has been part of Wilmington’s small business district since 1928. Michael Fierro, a Naples, Italy native, began his cheese-making livelihood in the cellar of Matassino’s grocery store at Seventh and Scott Streets. Mr. Fierro learned to make ricotta in an oval tub using just two gas burners. In 1936, Michael Fierro Senior decided to buy the Italian Republican Club on Sixth Street between Lincoln and Union. He made the upstairs rooms apartments and made cheese in the cellar two nights a week. Many people today still talk about their experience as kids, when they went down into the cellar to buy cheese for their mothers and grandmothers.

The Fierro second generation, Vincent and his brother Albert united after World War II, wanted to move their cheese business to another level. They went from selling to local Wilmington residents and businesses to areas in New Jersey, Baltimore and Washington. Due to the increase in the cheese business outside of the Delaware borders, the Fierro brothers decided to expand M. Fierro & Sons LLC and moved the business to their present address at 1025 North Union Street. Since 1947, the Fierro family has owned and operated the business. People know Fierro ricotta around the Tri-State area. Ricotta comes in all sizes from 15 oz to 30-pound containers. Along with ricotta, they also manufacturer fresh mozzarella, pizza cheese and cheese curd. In 2007, another local family run business, Hy-Point Dairy, purchased the Fierro business to ensure the Fierro family tradition continues.

A few blocks down the street, Papa’s Pastry Shop (600 N. Union St.) puts a decidedly modern twist on Italian sweets by offering gluten-free versions. Restaurants are not in short supply, but the two oldest also have the distinction of being opened by women over half a century ago. Generations of Robinos have been running Mrs. Robino’s Restaurant (520 N. Union St.) since 1940, with house specials like Greens with Garlic and Lottie’s Special: seafood tossed in a creamy blush sauce over penne. Madelines (531 N. Dupont St.), is another of Wilmington’s older restaurants, with over 50 years in the same location run by the same family. They’re known for the house Spezzato entrée, featuring diced veal and mushrooms in a red gravy.

Photo: Mrs. Robino’s Italian Restaurant

In 1940 most women were content keeping house and taking care of husbands and children. It was then that Mrs. Tresilla Robino not only looked after her husband and family, but also cooked for many husbands and fathers who were on their own in America waiting for the rest of their families to immigrate. Tresilla always had company at her house at dinner time. Someone suggested she open a restaurant and it was then that Mrs. Robino’s was established. At 1903 Howland Street with only a few tables set up in her basement, lines of people started to form out her front door.

When her home on Howland Street became too small to meet the demands of the business, she and her husband bought 520 North Union Street, where the restaurant is located today. Her family moved upstairs and the business was set up downstairs. There were tables on each side of the building leading back to the kitchen. Many nights people would eat standing along the walls right next to tables filled with patrons. The building she purchased now serves as the entrance and kitchen of the current restaurant and a dining room was added in the back.  Looking around the room you will see many of the original features from 1940, when the restaurant began.

When Mrs. Robino passed away in 1967 the restaurant was taken over by her daughter, Josephine (Pina) Robino Minuti, and her grandson, Joseph F. Minuti. Josephine and Joseph worked hard to expand the business over the past 30 years.

Italian Recipes Inspired by Wilmington’s Little Italy                      

Italian Sub


  • Capicola
  • Black Forest Ham or Genoa Salami
  • Prosciutto 
  • Provolone cheese sliced thin
  • Romaine lettuce 
  • Sliced tomatoes
  • Sliced onions 
  • Condiments include; sweet peppers, hot peppers and sliced pickles.
  • Olive oil.
  • Salt, pepper and oregano.


Slice the roll down the middle. Remove some of the bread in the center. This allows the meat to lay in the base of the roll.

Lightly sprinkle olive oil and add a layer of ham or salami to both sides of the bread, followed by a layer of Capicola. Next, layer three to four slices of Provolone cheese.

Add lettuce and tomatoes followed by the condiments of choice. 

Sprinkle olive oil, salt, pepper and oregano to taste.

Lastly, place three slices of Prosciutto on top and with both hands, thumbs pressed against the roll turn the bottom up into place. Cut in half to serve.

Ciao Trolley Pizza & Grill

Bianco Broccoli


  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 16 ounces cooked or frozen and defrosted broccoli florets, chopped
  • 2 roma (plum) tomatoes, chopped
  • 3/4 cups ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 lb. pizza dough at room temperature


Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook garlic 30 seconds, until starting to color. Add broccoli and cook 2 minutes, until heated through. Remove from heat; stir in ricotta cheese.

Heat oven to 450 degrees F. Shape pizza dough into a 14 inch round and transfer to a pizza pan. Spread broccoli mixture over dough leaving a 1/2-inch border. Top with mozzarella, tomato and Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle with oregano and remaining tablespoon of oil.

Bake pizza 20-22 minutes or until puffed and nicely browned.

Luigi Vitrone’s Pastabilities

Well Known Entrees: Veal scallopini saltimbocca, linguini with lobster sauce, red wine fettuccine, cheese ravioli

Red Wine Fettuccine

Adapted recipe.

Serves 4


  • 2 pounds mixed seafood of choice: crab, shrimp and mussels, cleaned
  • 1 pound dry pasta fettuccine
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 ounce pancetta, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup crushed canned tomatoes
  • 2 cups red wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in halves or quarters
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • Salt to taste


Heat the oil over medium flame in a large, deep skillet, add the garlic and onion and saute until the onion begins to turn translucent. Add the pancetta, stir for 30 seconds or so, then mix in the canned tomatoes, red wine and red pepper. Raise the heat and bring things to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook the sauce on low for 30 minutes. In the meantime, boil the pasta in salted water until it’s still al dente – not quite cooked. Drain it, reserving about 1/2 cup pasta water.

After 30 minutes, the sauce should be nicely thickened. Add the fresh tomatoes, seafood and the pasta water and cook for 5 minutes until the shellfish is almost cooked. Add the cooked pasta  and cook, stirring, for another 5 minutes or so until the pasta is heated and has absorbed some sauce. Salt to taste and serve hot,


Sauteed Veal Saltimbocca

You can also make this dish with chicken cutlets.

Serves 4


  • 1 pound (12 small, thin slices) tender milk-fed veal cutlets
  • 12 large fresh sage leaves
  • 12 thin slices prosciutto
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground white or black pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons white wine


1. Place a piece of waxed paper on a cutting board and place a slice of veal on it. Cover the meat with another piece of waxed paper. Using the blunt side of a meat mallet, pound lightly on both sides to flatten and tenderize, being sure not to break the meat. To pound the reverse side, just flip the meat over, sandwiched between the sheets of waxed paper. Pound all the veal slices very thinly in this fashion, replacing the waxed paper when necessary.

2. Cut each slice into a piece no bigger than roughly 3 by 4 inches and discard the trimmed bits. You should have 12 thin scallops

3. Place a leaf of sage on each slice, then add a slice of prosciutto the same size as the veal. Secure with a toothpick in the same fashion as you would place a straight pin in fabric to mark it.

4. In a large skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter with half the olive oil over medium heat. Add half the veal, increase heat to high, and saute until lightly golden on the bottom, 2 or 3 minutes. Season the meat with salt and pepper as it sautes. Turn the slices quickly to brown the other side for 2 minutes. Transfer the veal to a warmed serving dish. Add 2 more tablespoons of the butter and the remaining olive oil to the skillet and repeat to cook the remaining veal. Transfer to platter. Add the wine to the pan and stir. Pour sauce over the veal in the serving dish. Serve hot.

Piccolina Toscana

Nestled in Trolley Square—Wilmington, Delaware’s northwesterly shopping, nightlife and dining district—is an L-shaped plaza that houses fine wine, gourmet coffee and boutique fashion shops. For 20 years, it has also been home to a local favorite Italian eatery. Having successfully converted Griglia Toscana (established in 1991) to Tavola Toscana and again into Toscana Kitchen+Bar, Owner and Chef Dan Butler has reinvented his Italian kitchen, yet again, this time as the small plate and dessert focused, Piccolina Toscana. Says Butler, “Times change and sometimes you change with them and sometimes you help them change.” The new open-display dessert kitchen is indicative of how big a part dessert plays in the Piccolina Toscana experience. Diners can watch seasonal desserts being made or select from a daily-changing selection of a half-dozen gelati. In fact, dessert-only diners often drop in for late night pumpkin beignets with caramel dipping sauce.

Zuppa Inglese

Chef Butler’s recipe


  • 1  pound cake cut into long strips. (store bought is fine)
  • 16 oz pastry cream or sweetened mascarpone
  • 2 oz candied fruit (orange, lemon, raisin)
  • 2 oz semisweet chocolate in small chunks
  • 20-25 lady finger cookies
  • 12 oz sweet marsala
  • Rum simple syrup ( 8 oz sugar, 16 oz water, 2 fresh oranges, 2 limes, 3 lemons boiled and chilled—add rum to taste

For Meringue:

  • 5 egg whites
  • 12 oz sugar (you might need to use more, depending on the humidity and size of the eggs)


Lay the stips of poundcake end to end to cover the bottom of a bowl ( a 9′ round x 4″ deep is a good size for 10-12 people). Use a pastry brush to apply the rum simple syrup evenly and generously to the bottom layer. Add about 1/4 of the pastry cream and sprinkle candied fruit and chocolate pieces on top of the pastry cream. If you have pound cake left, use it to cover the pastry cream, otherwise use ladyfingers that have been dunked in sweet marsala for a couple seconds until soft (but still firm enough to be handled). Continue to alternate pastry cream and fruit and chocolate with lady fingers until the mold is filled to the top.

Refrigerate for a couple hours.

Invert onto a serving platter and apply meringue. Burn the meringue in a very hot oven or with a small (creme brulee style) blow torch.

Meringue Tips:

Whip until stiff shiny peaks are formed (if the result looks at all foamy, add more sugar until the result is shiny).

Make sure the the egg whites are completely yolk free and the bowl and whip are very clean, as any fat at all will keep the whites from aerating.

Don’t be afraid to over whip this but once you’ve stopped whipping, don’t leave the meringue in the bowl for any extended length of time (a few minutes is ok but too long and the meringue will fall).


Homemade Muffins are very easy to make. Mix the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and hand stir lightly. Usually, you only need to stir them about 12-15 times. The batter will be very lumpy but that is the way it should be. Homemade muffins are one thing you don’t want to over-mix. Pour them into greased muffin cups about 2/3 full. If you don’t have enough batter to fill all of the cups in the pan, you can fill the empty ones with water if you like. If you are adding nuts or fruit, mix them in with the dry ingredients before you add the liquids. This keeps them from all falling to the bottom of the muffin. Your muffins should come out with rounded tops and a light fluffy texture. 

You can achieve a different tasting muffin with the same batter by adding one of the ingredients below:

Bacon or Ham – add 1/2 cup chopped bacon or ham

Blueberries – 1 cup

Cherries or cranberries – 2/3 cup of cherries or cranberries, mixed with 2 tablespoons of sugar

Dried fruit – 1/2 cup apricots, currants, peaches, figs, prunes, raisins or dates

Nuts – 1/3 cup chopped

Cheese – 1/2 cup grated cheese and 1/8 teaspoon paprika

Cornmeal – 1 cup cornmeal and 1 cup flour

Whole wheat – 1 cup whole wheat flour and 1 cup flour. 

Tips for Making Healthy Muffins from Scratch

Decrease some (NOT ALL) of the fat. Usually just 3 to 4 tablespoons of oil or butter for each batch of 8 to to 12 muffins is enough to keep your muffins tender and moist.

Use whole wheat pastry flour. It’s much lighter than regular whole-wheat flour so it works better in muffins. Replace half the flour in your favorite muffin recipe for whole wheat pastry flour or another whole grain flour. Two favorites are oat flour, which you can make by grinding rolled oats in the blender or food processor and barley flour.

Replace 1/4 to 1/2 cup fruit or vegetable puree for the same amount of oil in your favorite muffin recipe. This will increase the nutrition, moisture, tenderness and natural sweetness of your muffins. Applesauce or pumpkin puree are good substitutes.

Add nuts that are high in omega-3 fats. Walnuts and almonds are good choices.

Mix together the dry ingredients well with a wire whisk or fork. Fluffing up the flour will help make your muffins more tender.

Mix the dry and wet ingredients together gently just until blended. Over mixing can make your muffins tough and/or heavy.

Add 1/2 to 1 cup of healthy additions. Berries, chopped fresh fruit, dried fruit pieces, shredded carrots, shredded zucchini and mini dark chocolate chips are all good sources of vitamins and minerals and extra fiber.

Use an ice cream scoop to fill the muffin cups. It’s much faster and neater.

Add water to any empty muffin cups in you muffin pan. To stop your muffin pan from buckling.

Don’t let the baked muffins sit in the pan too long. If you do, they will get soggy.

Muffins should be golden brown with slightly rounded bumpy tops. They are tender and light to fairly dense and moist inside and easy to remove from the pan. 

Turn your favorite quick bread recipe into muffins. Most any standard (9×5-inch) loaf of healthy quick bread can be made into 12 (2-1/2-inch) healthy muffins. Just evenly distribute the batter among the muffin cups and bake in a heated 375 degree F. oven until golden and a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean, somewhere between 20 and 25 minutes.

Basic Easy Healthy Muffin Recipe                    

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Bake Time: 20 to 30 minutes

Yield: 8-12 muffins

You can bake these muffins plain, add in a cup or so of your favorite fruit and adjust the amount of sugar to suit your taste. If you like bigger muffins, distribute the batter among just 8 of the muffin cups instead of all 12 and pour 1/4 cup water into the empty cups to prevent them from buckling. These muffins call for a small amount of fat – just 3 tablespoons for the entire batch. Using any less can cause your muffins to have a rubbery texture.


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar, or to taste
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil 
  • 1 cup milk, plus more if needed
  • optional additions below


Adjust an oven rack in the center of the oven and heat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a standard 12-cup muffin pan or line the cups with paper liners.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, whisk together the egg, oil, milk and any optional ingredients (such as 1 cup of fresh or frozen blueberries).

Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and stir until just combined and moistened. (The batter should still be lumpy and thick, but moist. If the batter seems too dry add a little more milk.)

Distribute the batter evenly among the muffin cups.

Bake until the tops are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean, about 20 minutes (30 minutes for larger muffins).

Remove from the oven and let the muffins rest in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring them out of the pan and onto a wire rack to cool completely. Or enjoy them while they’re still warm.

Healthy Muffin Variations

Apple Cinnamon Muffins: Stir in one medium peeled and chopped apple with the milk and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon with the flour. Substitute packed brown sugar for the granulated sugar.

Banana-Nut Muffins: Decrease milk to 1/4 cup, stir in 1 cup mashed bananas (2 to 3 medium) and 1/3 cup chopped nuts with the milk. Substitute packed brown sugar for the sugar.

Blueberry Muffins: Stir in 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries. 

Bran Muffins: Pour the milk on 1-1/2 cups whole bran cereal and let stand 10 minutes. Add this to the egg and oil along with 1/4 cup molasses. Decrease the flour to 1-1/4 cups and add 1/2 cup raisins if desired.

Buttermilk Muffins: Substitute buttermilk for the milk. Decrease baking powder to 1-1/2 teaspoons and add 1/2 teaspoon baking soda with the flour.

Chocolate Chip Muffins: Stir in 1 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips.

Corn Muffins: Do not use the whole wheat flour. Decrease flour to 1 cup and stir in 1 cup cornmeal with the flour.

Cranberry Muffins: Stir in 1 cup chopped cranberries and 1 tablespoon finely grated orange or lemon zest with the milk. Sprinkle the tops with sugar before baking.

Date Nut Muffins: Stir in 1/2 cup chopped pitted dates and 1/3 cup chopped nuts with the milk.

Oatmeal Muffins: Decrease flour to 1 cup (1/2 cup of each) and stir in 1 cup quick-cooking oats, 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon with the flour.

Raspberry Muffins: Stir in 1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries and 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest.

Spice Muffins: Stir in 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice, 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger and a pinch each of ground cloves and ground nutmeg with the flour.

Zucchini Muffins: Stir in 1 cup grated zucchini (squeezed dry to remove excess moisture) and 1/2 cup chopped walnuts with the milk.

Tips for Baking the Best Muffins

1) Most muffin recipes use the standard muffin method: mix your dry ingredients and the wet ingredients separately, then combine them. It’s really important not to overmix the batter when you combine the wet and dry ingredients—mix only until just combined and all the flour just becomes moistened. The batter should remain lumpy! If you mix until the batter becomes smooth, your muffins will turn out tough. About twelve strokes with your mixing spoon or large spatula should be sufficient.

2) Be creative in your mix-ins! If you have a favorite blueberry muffin recipe, you can try adding blackberries, dried cranberries, or chopped apples in place of the usual blueberries. Experiment with adding different citrus zests or flavored extracts to muffin batter, or add chopped pecans, macadamia nuts or sunflower seeds. When you add mix-ins, toss them with a little bit of flour before quickly mixing them into the batter at the end (remember, not too many strokes when you do add them!). Tossing them with flour prevents everything from settling to the bottom of your muffins while they’re baking, so your ingredients will remain evenly distributed throughout the batter.

3) You can use any size of muffin pan with any muffin recipe. If you want to end up with mini or jumbo muffins instead of standard size muffins, note that mini muffin pans hold about 2 tablespoons of batter per cup, while jumbo muffin tins can hold up to one cup of batter. Remember to adjust baking time accordingly—the smaller the muffin, the faster it bakes. Expect to bake mini muffins for about 5-8 minutes less than regular muffins, or add 8-13 minutes to the standard muffin baking time when baking jumbo muffins.

4) Don’t fill the cups in your muffin tin more than 3/4 full of batter, or you’ll end up with very flat muffin tops. To get nice domed tops, fill them about 2/3 full. If you don’t have enough batter to fill up every muffin cup in your tin, put 2 to 3 tablespoons of water in the empty muffin cups to prevent the pan from warping.

5) To make cleanup a breeze, grease your muffin pan very well, and don’t forget to grease the top of your muffin tin, too—if any batter drips there or the baking muffins expand over the cups onto the top of the pan, it will make removing the muffins and cleaning the pan easier. Using paper muffin cups makes removing the muffins from the pan easy, and helps keep them fresh longer, too.

Sweet Potato Muffins

Makes 12 muffins

Dry ingredients:

  • 3 cups whole wheat pastry or Kamut flour
  • 1/2 cup sweetener of choice
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon flaxseed
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup dried fruit, chopped or diced

Wet ingredients:

  • 1 cup cooked sweet potato (no peel), mashed and fluffed with a fork
  • 3 cups milk, non-dairy milk or other liquid, such as almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk dry ingredients together.

In another bowl, whisk wet ingredients together until smooth.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir until mixed well. Let sit 5 minutes. Lightly stir the batter again.

With an ice cream scoop, divide the muffin batter into 12 muffin cups that have been greased or lined with paper cups.

Bake for 30 minutes, or until muffins test clean and done in the center. Let cool on a rack.

Ginger Pear Muffins

Makes 12 muffins


  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
  • 3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup fat-free milk
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup refrigerated or frozen egg product, thawed, or 1 egg, beaten
  • 3/4 cup chopped, cored pear
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 tablespoon oat bran
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly coat twelve 2-1/2-inch muffin cups with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine flour, rolled oats, brown sugar, baking powder, the 1/2 teaspoon ginger and the salt. Make a well in the center. In a small bowl, combine milk, oil and egg; add all at once to flour mixture. Stir just until moistened. Fold in pear and walnuts.

Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups. Combine oat bran and the 1/4 teaspoon ginger; sprinkle over muffins. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until tops are brown. Cool in muffin cups on wire rack for 5 minutes. Remove from muffin cups; serve warm.

Buttermilk Corn Muffins

This savory muffin recipe is less sweet than most corn breads. The muffins are delicious as a side dish to soups or chili.

Makes 12 muffins


  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon sugar or sugar substitute equivalent to 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup refrigerated or frozen egg product, thawed, or 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon lower-fat stick margarine, melted
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded sharp cheddar cheese


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly coat twelve 2-1/2-inch muffin cups with nonstick cooking spray. In a large bowl, stir together flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt.

In a small bowl, whisk together buttermilk, egg, oil and margarine. Add buttermilk mixture and cheese all at once to flour mixture; stir just until moistened. Don’t over mix; batter should be slightly lumpy.

Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups. Bake about 15 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool in muffin cups on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Remove from muffin cups; serve warm.

Raisin-Carrot Muffins

Makes 16 muffins


  • 2/3 cup golden raisins
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 cup toasted wheat germ
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup finely shredded carrot
  • Ground cinnamon


Preheat oven to 400 degree F. In a small bowl, combine raisins and boiling water; set aside. Coat sixteen 2-1/2-inch muffin cups with cooking spray or line with paper bake cups; set aside.

In a medium bowl, stir together all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, wheat germ, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and the 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. Make a well in the center.

In a small bowl, beat egg slightly; stir in buttermilk, brown sugar and oil. Add all at once to flour mixture; stir just until moistened (the batter should be lumpy). Drain raisins. Gently fold raisins and carrot into batter.

Spoon batter evenly into prepared muffin cups, filling each cup two-thirds full. Sprinkle with additional cinnamon.

Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until golden. Cool in muffin cups on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Remove from cups. Serve warm.

Country-Style Blueberry Muffins


  • 2 tablespoons whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2 tablespoons quick-cooking rolled oats
  • 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon cold unsalted butter or margarine, cut into small pieces


  • 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons nonfat vanilla yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1 1/2 cups blueberries


To make the topping: In a small bowl, stir together the flour, oats, brown sugar and cinnamon. Cut in the butter or margarine until the mixture resembles coarse meal.

To make the muffins:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Coat a 12-cup muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.

In a medium bowl, combine the milk, egg, sugar, yogurt, oil, lemon zest and vanilla. Add to flour mixture and stir until well mixed. Fold in the blueberries.

Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups, filling them about two-thirds full. Top each muffin with 1 teaspoon of the topping. Bake for 17 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Cool on a rack for 5 minutes, then remove the muffins from the pan.

Historically, eggs have been considered unhealthy because they contain cholesterol. A large egg contains 212 mg of cholesterol, which is a lot compared to most other foods.

However, it has been proven that eggs and dietary cholesterol do NOT adversely affect cholesterol levels in the blood.

Research published early in 2013 looked at 17 prospective studies on egg consumption and health. They discovered that eggs had no association with either heart disease or stroke in otherwise healthy people.

Eggs are particularly rich in two antioxidants Lutein and Zeaxanthine. These antioxidants gather in the retina of the eye and protect against eye diseases, such as, Macular Degeneration and Cataracts.

Eggs contain high-quality proteins, vitamins, minerals, good fats and various trace nutrients.

A large egg contains:

Only 77 calories, with 5 grams of fat and 6 grams of protein with all 9 essential amino acids.

Rich in iron, phosphorous, selenium and vitamins A, B12, B2 and B5.

One egg contains 113 mg of Choline – a very important nutrient for the brain, among other things. A study revealed that 90% of Americans may not get enough choline in their diet.

If you decide to include eggs in your diet then make sure to eat Omega-3 enriched or pastured eggs. They are much more nutritious than eggs from factory-raised chickens.

Eggs score high on a scale called the Satiety Index, which means that eggs are particularly capable of making you feel full, so you eat less calories.

Eggs only contain trace amounts of carbohydrates, which means that they will not raise blood glucose levels.

perfect fried egg

In a study of 30 overweight or obese women that ate either a bagel or eggs for breakfast, the egg group ended up eating less during lunch, the rest of the day and for the next 36 hours.

In another study, overweight men and women were calorie-restricted (340 calorie breakfast) and given either a breakfast of 2 eggs or a bagel.  After 8 weeks, the egg eating group had:

61% greater reduction in BMI.

65% more weight loss.

34% greater reduction in waist circumference.

16% greater reduction in body fat.

…even though both breakfasts contained the same number of calories.

It is also essential to keep in mind that while eggs themselves can be considered healthy, they are often prepared in unhealthy forms and mixed with ingredients high in saturated fat and calories, for example scrambled eggs made with cream and butter.

For best results, use low fat cooking methods such as poaching, sauteeing or boiling to get maximum nutrition without adding extra unhealthy fat or calories.

Here are low-fat healthy ways to cook eggs.

Boiled Eggs

Fill a saucepan with water, add some salt and boil your eggs depending on how you like them. For soft-boiled cook for approximately five to six minutes. For hard-boiled eggs cook eggs for about ten minutes.

Scrambled eggs

Scrambled eggs can be cooked in several different ways.

You can cook them in a greased skillet.  Break two eggs in a bowl and add 2-3 tablespoons milk; whisk the eggs until the mixture turns yellow.

Place skillet on  medium heat, add egg mixture and stir until the mixture starts to bubble slightly, after a while the mixture will start to thicken and look like scrambled eggs.

To do this in the microwave is a similar process but use a microwaveable container. Microwave on full power for about four to five minutes, stirring half way through.


Break two eggs into a large measuring cup and use a fork to whisk them together, until you have a yellow mixture.

Put a skillet on medium heat, add 2 teaspoons olive oil, add the mixture and cook it until it looks like a pancake. Turn once during cooking.

Poached Eggs

Boil some water in a saucepan or deep skillet and add salt and 1 tablespoon vinegar. Slowly lower the heat in order to simmer the water and carefully break an egg into the pan and simmer until the egg has turned white. With a slotted spoon take out the egg and serve on toast.

Pesto, Mozzarella & Egg Breakfast Sandwich


  • 1 whole-wheat English muffin
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 3 tablespoons chopped roasted red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon prepared pesto
  • 1 thin slice fresh mozzarella cheese


Toast English muffin.

Combine egg and roasted red pepper in a small (about 8-ounce) microwave-safe ramekin or bowl.

Cover and microwave until the egg is set, about 1 minute.

Spread pesto on 1 English muffin half, then top with cheese.

Place the egg on the cheese. Top with the remaining English muffin half.

Breakfast Pita Pocket

Serves 2

Try substituting broccoli or asparagus for the spinach and add mushrooms, sausage or veggie sausage, if you like.

Use warm whole wheat tortillas or naan in place of the pitas.


  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 cups packed baby spinach (or 1 cup frozen, then thawed and squeezed)
  • 3 organic eggs, beaten
  • Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/3 cup grated mozzarella cheese or Sargento Italian
  • 2 whole wheat pitas, warm


Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Heat oil, add spinach and cook, tossing often, until just wilted, about 1 minute.

Add eggs, salt and pepper and cook, tossing gently, until fluffy and cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes.

Remove from heat, add mozzarella and toss again.

Spoon egg mixture onto pitas, fold in half and serve right away or wrap in foil to eat on the go.


Serves 4


  • 6 Eggs
  • 2 cups chopped cooked vegetables and/or meat
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs, such as parsley, basil or chives
  • Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil


Preheat the oven to 325°F. In a large bowl, beat eggs and stir in vegetables and/or meat, cheese, herbs and salt and pepper to taste.

Heat a 10-inch ovenproof skillet over medium heat for 2 minutes. Add oil and carefully swirl around to completely coat the bottom and sides of the skillet.

Add egg mixture, spread out evenly and cook, without stirring, until the edges and bottom are set and golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes. (Carefully loosen an edge to test.)

Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake until eggs are completely set and frittata is deep golden brown on the bottom, about 15 minutes more.

Remove the skillet from the oven. (The handle will be hot!) Loosen edges and bottom of frittata with a table knife and spatula; carefully invert onto a large plate.

Serve warm, at room temperature or cold, cut into wedges.

Individual Egg & Cheese Casseroles


  • 4 ounces raw turkey breakfast sausage
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup Fat Free Milk
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 10 tablespoons shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese
  • Non-Stick Cooking Spray


Cook and stir sausage in a skillet until browned and crumbled. Add onion and cook until onion is softened. Set aside.

Beat eggs in a large mixing bowl. Stir in milk.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt and pepper. Mix dry ingredients gradually into egg mixture by sprinkling a spoonful at a time into the egg mixture and whisking until smooth before adding another spoonful.

Divide egg mixture among five (5-ounce) ramekins that have been sprayed with cooking spray. Divide sausage among casseroles. Top each casserole with 2 tablespoons shredded cheese. Use a fork to lightly submerge cheese into egg mixture.

Bake at 350 degrees F. for 30 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center of the individual casseroles comes out clean.

Healthy Eggs Benedict

Makes 2 servings


  • 1 whole-grain English muffin, split
  • 2 large, whole eggs
  • 1/4 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp powdered mustard
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Dash cayenne pepper
  • 6 asparagus stalks, cooked
  • Parsley for garnish (optional)


Fill a medium skillet with 1-inch of water, bring to a boil over medium heat.

Meanwhile, toast muffin halves and set aside.

When the water reaches a boil, turn the heat down to a simmer, crack one egg at a time into a small dish and gently pour into the simmering water and cook until desired doneness, three to five minutes.

While the eggs cook, whisk together yogurt, lemon juice, mustard, salt and cayenne pepper in a small saucepan over low heat; heat until warm – do not boil.

To serve, place a toasted muffin half on each serving plate and top with three pieces of asparagus. Using a slotted spoon, carefully remove eggs from the water and place one on each muffin; drizzle half the yogurt sauce on top and garnish with parsley. Serve immediately.


Quinoa is a complete protein containing all eight essential amino acids. It’s light and fluffy in texture but has that whole grain ability to fill people up.

The quinoa plant is native to the Andean regions of Peru, Bolivia and Chile on the continent of South America. There are many different types of quinoa, including wild quinoa which is still grown today. While wild quinoa has been cultivated as a crop in some areas, it is considered a weed in others. The quinoa we eat today has been cultivated in South America for around 5000 years. Archeological evidence suggests that some of the wilder forms of quinoa were also cultivated in this same region as long ago as 9,000 years.

Cultivating Quinoa

In the 16th century, when the Spanish invaded the Andes region, the Incas were forced into submission and the cultivation and consumption of quinoa was banned due to its association with non- Christian ceremonies. The Incas were forced to grow corn and potatoes instead, but some wild quinoa continued to grow and a small amount was able to be cultivated. So in secret, quinoa survived.

Quinoa was imported into the US in the 1970’s and has seen an increase in popularity in western cultures, particularly in the last 5  years. While quinoa is now commercially grown in some other areas of the world, the majority still comes from the same South American regions that it originated from.

Quinoa is generally available in prepackaged containers as well as bulk bins. Whether purchasing quinoa in bulk or in a packaged container, make sure that there is no evidence of moisture. When deciding upon the amount to purchase, remember that quinoa expands during the cooking process to several times its original size. If you cannot find it in your local supermarket, look for it at natural foods stores, which usually carry it.

The most common type of quinoa you will find in the store has an off-white color but red and black quinoa are becoming more available.

Store quinoa in an airtight container. It will keep for a longer period of time, approximately three to six months, if stored in the refrigerator.

Quinoa has a coating on it called saponin that is very bitter. Place the quinoa in a fine strainer and run it under cold water for a few minutes before placing it in boiling water.

Quinoa has a light, fluffy texture when cooked. Its mild, slightly nutty flavor makes it a great alternative to white rice or couscous. Quinoa cooks quickly, so it adds an element of ease to any recipe. This is not typically a grain used by Italian cooks, but it provides much nutritional value and flavor when added to Italian flavored soups.

How To Cook Quinoa

Makes about 4 cups


1 cup quinoa

2 cups water

1/2 teaspoon salt

Method: Rinse quinoa in a fine sieve until water runs clear, drain and transfer to a medium pot. Add water and salt and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium low and simmer until water is absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes. Set aside, off the heat, for 5 minutes; uncover and fluff with a fork.

Italian Style Quinoa

Serves: 4-5


  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 2 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 celery, chopped
  • 1 cup of quinoa
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped and loosely packed
  • 1 teaspoon oregano


Cook quinoa according to package (usually takes about 10-15 minutes).

While quinoa is cooking heat oil over low/medium in separate pan.

Add diced onion, tomato, celery, green pepper and cook until soft, approximately 10 minutes, stirring often.

Add tomato paste and garlic, stir to combine all ingredients, cook two minutes.

Add basil and oregano, stir to combine, and cook for two more minutes.

Once quinoa is done cooking combine the vegetables mixture with the quinoa and mix well.

Garnish with fresh Italian parsley and serve warm.

Lentil Quinoa Salad

4 servings


  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1 1/4 cups water, plus 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup lentils
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1/4 cup sliced kalamata olives
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 green onions (scallions), chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint leaves
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Put the quinoa in a sieve and rinse in cold water. In a large microwave-proof bowl with a cover, add the rinsed quinoa and 1 1/4 cups water. Cover and microwave on high for 9 minutes. Let it sit for 2 minutes then stir. Quinoa should be tender enough to eat, but with a little bite.

Put the lentils in a sieve and rinse in cold water. In a saucepan, simmer the lentils in 2 cups water until the lentils are tender, but not mushy, about 25-30 minutes. Drain and cool.

In a small bowl, whisk the mustard and vinegar together. Drizzle in the oil to make an emulsion. Add the garlic powder, lemon zest, salt and pepper.

To assemble the salad:

Mix the quinoa, lentils, green onions, tomatoes. olives and chopped mint. Top the salad with the dressing, toss to coat and serve.

Quinoa Stuffed Zucchini


  • 3-4 medium zucchini 
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 links turkey Italian sausage, casing removed
  • 1/2 Vidalia onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup fresh plum tomatoes, chopped
  • Handful of fresh basil, chopped
  • a few sprigs of fresh thyme and oregano, leaves removed and chopped
  • 1/2 cup dry quinoa, cooked
  • 1/4 cup chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup grated Pecorino-Romano cheese plus more for topping
  • salt and pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Cut a slice off the side of the zucchini to create a large boat. Scoop out the inside of the squash leaving a shell and bake the shell in the preheated oven for 15 minutes.

Dice the scooped out zucchini to use in the filling.

While the zucchini shells bake, brown the turkey sausage in olive oil over medium heat, breaking it up into small pieces as it cooks.

Add the onions, garlic, tomatoes and diced zucchini. Cook until softened (about 5-10 minutes).

Add the herbs, quinoa and broth and cook for a few more minutes.

Remove from heat and mix in the cheese and salt and pepper.

Removes the shells from the oven and stuff them all as full as possible with the sausage mixture.

Sprinkle with additional Pecorino-Romano cheese and return to oven to bake for at least another 20 minutes or longer depending on the size of the zucchini boats.

Wild Mushroom Quinotto

Serves 2 as a main course, 4 as a side dish or appetizer


  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 3 cups warm low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth and the liquid used to rehydrate porcini mushrooms
  • 1/2 ounce dried porcini mushrooms, broken into small pieces and rehydrated (see Step 1)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 8 ounces cleaned fresh mushrooms (cremini, shiitake, porcini, chanterelles, etc.) sliced or cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons sour cream
  • A grating of fresh nutmeg
  • Several leaves fresh basil, shredded


1. To rehydrate porcinis: cover in boiling water and let soften 20-30 minutes; or you can boil them for about 5 minutes to rehydrate faster. Save the liquid to add to the broth for cooking the quinoa, but make sure to strain the liquid through a coffee filter to remove any sand or residue.

2. In a heavy nonstick frying pan over medium-low heat, lightly toast the quinoa until slightly golden, about 5 minutes. Pour in 1 cup of the liquid, stirring as you go. Add the rehydrated porcini mushrooms and stir frequently.

3. When the liquid has been absorbed by the grains, add more of the liquid a little at a time, continuing until the grains have absorbed it all and are tender but al dente, about 15-25 minutes total.

4. In a saute pan melt butter over medium-high heat and add the fresh mushrooms and the onion ,cooking until lightly browned and softened, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic about halfway through.

5. Add the mushroom mixture, sour cream and nutmeg; to the quinoa, cover and remove from the heat. Let stand for 10 minutes, then fluff with a fork, garnish with the basil and serve.

Quinoa Pasta

Try this pasta with your favorite spaghetti sauce and meatballs. It is also great with basil pesto sauce.

Quinoa Spaghetti With Meat Sauce

Makes 4 servings

1 lb. quinoa spaghetti


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, minced
  • 1/2 lb. lean ground turkey
  • 1/2 lb. Italian turkey sausage, casing removed
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-6oz. can tomato paste
  • 2 26-oz containers Pomi chopped tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped


Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the ground turkey and the turkey sausage and cook until no longer pink. Add the onion and cook until softened, 6-8 minutes. Add the garlic and tomato paste and cook until fragrant, another 2-3 minutes. Add the tomatoes, salt, pepper, sugar, red pepper flakes, and oregano and stir to combine well. Simmer until thickened.

Taste and adjust seasoning.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the quinoa spaghetti according to package directions. Do not overcook. Drain and set aside.

To serve, toss the cooked spaghetti with the meat sauce and place in a large serving bowl. Garnish with sprigs of fresh basil. Serve with crusty Italian bread and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese on the side. 



Ellis Island in New York harbor is well-known as the main entry point for European immigrants in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. What many do not know is that Baltimore was the second-leading port of entry at that time. The establishment of the nation’s first commercial steam railway, the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, in 1828 opened the way to the West. As the westernmost major port on the East Coast, Baltimore was a popular destination.

Irish and German settlers were the first to use Baltimore as a point of entry. Immigration increased after the Irish potato famine of the mid-1840’s and the German political uprisings of 1848. The number became so great that after 1850, immigrants were no longer brought directly to Fell’s Point, Baltimore’s first port. Instead, they were unloaded at Locust Point, next to Fort McHenry. Between 1790 and 1860, Baltimore’s population rose from 13,503 to 212,418. Word spread and, for those who worked hard, there were jobs to be had with the railroad and businesses in the city. By 1913, when Baltimore immigration was averaging forty thousand per year, the federal government built an immigration center at Locust Point. But just as the center was being completed, World War I closed off the flow of immigrants, so the building became a military hospital. After the war there were not enough new arrivals to justify reopening the center. In the 1920’s, the building was transferred to the Treasury Department and used by Prohibition agents as a depot for confiscated liquor bound for Baltimore.

The B&O had constructed two large buildings at Locust Point that served as terminals for both the steamship lines and the railroad.

Italians began to settle in Baltimore during the late 1800s. Some Italian immigrants came to the Port of Baltimore by boat. The earliest Italian settlers in Baltimore were sailors from Genoa, the capital city of the Italian region of Liguria. Later immigrants came from Naples, Abruzzo, Cefalù, and Palermo. These immigrants created the monument to Christopher Columbus in Druid Hill Park. Many other Italians came by train after entering the country through New York City’s Ellis Island. The Italian immigrants who arrived by train would enter the city through the President Street Station. Because of this, the Italians largely settled in a nearby neighborhood that is now known as Little Italy. Little Italy comprises 6 blocks bounded by Pratt Street to the North, the Inner Harbor to the South, Eden Street to the East, and President Street to the West. Other neighborhoods where large numbers of Italians settled include Lexington, Belair-Edison and Cross Street. Many also settled along Lombard Street, which was named after the Italian town of Guardia Lombardi. 

Italian immigrants who made their living as sailors settled in Baltimore. Some heading west to seek their fortunes during the tail end of the California Gold Rush — stopped in Baltimore to prepare for the long journey across the country. Baltimore was a growing city and many immigrants made the decision to stay and work there instead of continuing their journey west. Some worked in construction, helping to build the city; some become fruit vendors and importers of Italian food and others were tailors, shoemakers and barbers.

st leo the great catholic church catholic in Baltimore

St Leo’s in Little Italy.

Baltimore’s Little Italy got its first church when the Roman Catholic complex of St. Leo’s Church was built in 1880. Today the church is listed as a national historic shrine. In 1904 the Great Baltimore Fire wind-whipped into an uncontrollable conflagration that engulfed a large portion of the city. The story goes that the population of Little Italy prayed to St. Anthony to spare the district and the fire stayed on the west side of the Jones Falls River. Little Italy was not damaged. Today St. Anthony is honored with annual dinners around the neighborhood as people give thanks to him for answering the prayers of their predecessors in 1904 to keep the fire at bay. This celebration has become known as the Festival of St. Anthony, which takes place around the historic church of St. Leo. Dancing, processions and, of course, lots of eating takes place over the two-day event in June. 

1904 Great Fire of Baltimore

The Italian community is still vibrant today with a large Italian American population and a very active Order of Sons of Italy in America. Numerous feasts, an open air film festivals and bocce tournaments are some of the annual events. Parish dinners, an Italian Golf Open, a Columbus Day parade, a tree lighting ceremony with a choir, an Italian-speaking Santa Claus and close to 25 Italian restaurants attract over seven million visitors to Baltimore’s Little Italy each year.

In 1994 the first of Little Italy’s open-air film festivals took place. Every year since then, it has grown in size and today it takes place each Friday night throughout July and August. The event is free, with movie-goers bringing their own chairs, blankets and snacks, as they sit back to watch a featured Italian-related movie. Free popcorn is provided along with live music and the festivals are open to the public.

This community is best appreciated for its fantastic foods and charming restaurants. Beyond the delicious, authentically prepared foods representing each distinct region of Italy, this neighborhood has much more to offer.

Pasta is a staple of Italian cuisine. Germano’s (300 South High Street) offers a unique opportunity for kids and adults to try their hand at making pasta. The chefs at Germano’s present a pasta-making demonstration and explain the history and culture associated with Italian cuisine. The presentation is followed by lunch where you enjoy the pasta that you helped to create!

Vaccaro’s Italian Pastry Shop

Gioacchino Vaccaro established Vaccaro’s Italian Pastry Shop in 1956. He was born and raised in Palermo, Italy. Mr. Jimmy, as he was so aptly known, brought with him the recipes and the knowledge of how to make the finest Siciliano pastries Baltimore had ever seen. Soon after opening, it was evident that the cannoli and rum cake had created a sensation among Baltimoreans. Today, Nick Vaccaro continues the family tradition begun by his father with the same old world recipes brought over from Italy.

Chiapparelli’s Restaurant

In 1925, at the age of 26, Pasquale Chiaparelli arrived in the United States aboard the Conte Rosso from Naples, Italy. A tailor by trade, he came to Baltimore to join other family members who had immigrated here before him. In the early 1940′s he opened a pizza place with his brother that would later become Chiaparelli’s restaurant. He married Anna Mary Pizza (yes, Pizza was her last name !) better known as, Miss Nellie. She made fresh ravioli for the restaurant daily until well into her 80’s. Miss Nellie died in 2004, just a few months shy of her 101 st. birthday. Pasquale preceded her in 2002. Today, the restaurant remains in the family.

Chiapparelli's House Salad

Chiapparelli’s House Salad

  • 2 heads Iceberg lettuce
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
  • 1 can black olives, sliced
  • Pepperoncinis, sliced
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons oregano
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan or Romano cheese

Chop the lettuce, red onion, hard-boiled eggs, black olives and pepperoncinis in a large bowl.

Combine the white vinegar, olive oil, garlic, oregano and sugar into a dressing. Pour over the salad, add the grated cheese and toss.


Butternut Squash Lasagna

For the lasagna:

  • 3-4 butternut squash, peeled and sliced lengthwise into 1/2-inch sheets
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 6-8 links Italian sausage, casing removed and browned
  • 3 cans artichoke hearts, thinly sliced
  • 1 container baby spinach
  • 2 cups sun-dried tomatoes in oil
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Olive oil

For the sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4 shallots, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 cups dry champagne
  • 2 cups half & half (fat-free works also)
  • 1 bunch rosemary, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


Season squash with olive oil, salt, and pepper and roast on a parchment-lined pan at 350 degrees F. until softened. Butter the bottom of a casserole dish and pour in a thin layer of heavy cream. Put a layer of squash sheets in the bottom of the dish, then add a layer of artichokes, then sausage and then spinach. Repeat until ingredients have been used up, ending with a layer of squash. Top with sun-dried tomatoes and cover with Parmesan cheese. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 20-30 minutes. Garnish with a ladle of the champagne-cream sauce when serving.

For the sauce: Saute the garlic and shallots in butter until soft. Add the champagne and reduce until almost dry. Add the half & half  and reduce for 5 more minutes. Add the rosemary at the end and season with salt and pepper.


Double-Decker Soft-Shell Crab Club


  • 1 oz. avocado
  • 1 oz. Remoulade sauce
  • 2 slices beefsteak tomato
  • 2 slices yellow pear tomato
  • 2 slices bacon
  • 2 slices Bibb lettuce
  • 3 slices sourdough bread
  • 1 small prepared crab cake
  • 1 soft-shell crab

Toast sourdough bread and set aside. Stuff the crab cake inside the soft-shell crab and fry until golden. Drain. Cut crab-cake-stuffed crab in half. Spread half the remoulade sauce on one slice of bread and top with half the lettuce, tomatoes and bacon. Add one half of the crab and top with the second slice of bread.

Spread second slice of bread with avocado and top with remaining lettuce, tomatoes, and bacon. Add second half of crab. Spread remaining remoulade sauce on the third piece of bread and place it face down on the sandwich. Serve.

truffles-540x399.jpg baltimore

Rosemary Olive Oil Truffles

  • 1 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 branch rosemary
  • 1 lb. bittersweet chocolate
  • 1/2 teaspoon rosemary flavored olive oil
  • Cocoa powder, for dusting

Gently boil heavy cream and rosemary branch in a saucepan. Remove pan from heat and cool 3-5 minutes. Strain out the rosemary and return cream to the pot; discard rosemary. Bring cream back to a boil. Remove from heat and add chocolate.

When the chocolate mixture cools, add the rosemary oil. Pour the mixture into a clean bowl and cover with plastic wrap (press the wrap against the surface of the chocolate to keep air out).

Refrigerate for 4 hours. After that, use a tablespoon measuring spoon to scoop up balls of chocolate. Dust your hands with cocoa powder and roll the chocolate into truffles. Transfer truffles to an airtight container, stacking truffles in a single layer and refrigerate up to 2 weeks. Bring truffles to room temperature just before serving.

Salads are no longer the bowls of lettuce and tomatoes of yesterday. Today’s modern salads are full of zest and flavor and are often served as meals in and of themselves. Some of the most diverse salads are those that come from Italy. Authentic Italian spring salad recipes provide light, flavorful alternatives to heavier meals and bring a little taste of Old World Italy to your dining table, often with ingredients that are already in your kitchen.

A classic insalata mista (salad of mixed greens) often combines a variety of whatever salad ingredients are freshest and in season. Romaine and other Italian lettuces, Belgian endive, arugula, radicchio, dandelion greens, very young radish tops, sorrel leaves, chive flowers or fresh young herb leaves (oregano, basil or thyme) are a few of the possibilities.

Italian Salad Making Basics

Greens should be loosely wrapped in damp paper or cotton towels and refrigerated until shortly before the salad is to be prepared. Using wooden utensils will help avoid bruising tender greens.

Extra virgin olive oil is always the most essential ingredient and that is usually simply combined with white or balsamic vinegar or lemon, which is especially common in the central southern region of Italy. Only in the last generation or so have Italians begun to explore more elaborate vinaigrettes and dressings.

In any discussion of salad dressings, there are just a couple of things to keep in mind: Always apply the dressing just minutes before serving it, otherwise, the vinegar or lemon will wilt the lettuce leaves. Only dress the amount of salad you intend to eat. You can store the rest in the refrigerator with a wet kitchen towel on top of it. (Tupperware is perfect for storing salad; just be sure the lettuce is thoroughly dry.) If you have any leftover salad dressing, most can be stored in the refrigerator for a few days or more.

Another very important thing to remember before applying whatever dressing you choose, is that it is crucial that you thoroughly dry the lettuce after you’ve washed it; there is nothing worse than a salad with soggy lettuce. If you use a spinner-which is a really great invention-after the first spin, be sure to stop and turn the lettuce. Sometimes the leaves act as a kind of a screen, impeding the water from actually being expelled. If you spin and turn the lettuce a couple of times, you can be sure to enjoy a crisp salad later.

For most green salads, the serving bowl and individual salad plates should be chilled slightly, while the dressing should be at room temperature.

Lemon Dressing

Classic Italian Vinaigrette

Yield: About 1 1/2 cups

Make this dressing up to a week ahead. Add it sparingly to greens along with cracked black pepper.


  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • Coarse salt to taste
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground cracked pepper


Combine lemon juice, vinegar and salt in small bowl or jar. Stir to dissolve salt. Whisk in olive oil. Let stand 10 minutes. Add pepper add additional salt, if desired.

Spring Salads

One of the most flavorful of traditional Italian spring salads is also one of the easiest to prepare. Insalata Caprese is a light, savory salad made from tomatoes, fresh mozzarella cheese, basil leaves, olive oil and seasonings. To prepare: slice four large, ripe tomatoes into slices 1/4 inch thick. Slice 1 pound of fresh mozzarella cheese into 1/4-inch thick slices. On a large platter, place tomato and mozzarella slices along with fresh basil leaves in intermittent layers. Drizzle with 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Before serving, sprinkle with cracked black pepper and sea salt to taste. Serve cold.

The most classic version of Italian spring salad contains fresh ingredients such as grated Parmesan cheese, fresh garlic and black olives. To prepare: in a medium-size bowl whisk together 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar, 1 tablespoon of water, one clove of roasted and finely minced garlic and 1/2 teaspoon of dried, crushed oregano. As you whisk the combination, slowly add 4 teaspoons of olive oil. Set the mixture aside. In a large, separate bowl, combine 4 cups of mixed spring salad, one medium yellow bell pepper cut into thin strips, one fresh red onion cut into rings and 1/4 cup of fresh black olives. Toss salad until well mixed and then top with dressing mixture. Before serving, season with fresh ground black pepper and 2 tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese. Serve cold.

Insalata Primavera is a light, but hearty salad that will easily substitute for heavier dishes for warmer weather lunches or suppers. To prepare: in a large bowl, combine 18 cooked, yet still firm, asparagus spears that have been chopped into 2-inch pieces, 1/2 pound of fresh green beans that have been cooked and cut in half, six cooked and sliced artichoke hearts, three large peeled and diced tomatoes and 1 thinly sliced peeled cucumber. In a medium-size glass jar, combine 2/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil, 1/3 cup of your favorite white wine vinegar, 2 tablespoons of fresh chopped basil and salt and pepper to taste. Place a lid on the glass jar and shake vigorously until mixed well. Drizzle the dressing over the salad before serving. Serve cold.

Arugula Salad with Salami and Pecorino Cheese

Serves 4


  • 1/2 clove garlic, pounded to a paste with a pinch of salt
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar or freshly squeezed lemon juice; more as needed
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 bulb fennel, trimmed
  • 4 large handfuls arugula, about 5 oz, washed and dried
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 oz piece of stick salami, cut into 1/8- to 1/4-inch dice
  • 3 oz aged Tuscan Pecorino cheese, cut into 1/8- to 1/4-inch dice


Combine the garlic and vinegar or lemon juice in a small bowl. Let sit for 10 minutes. Whisk in the oil. Taste and add more salt or vinegar, if necessary.

Just before serving, use a mandolin to thinly slice the fennel. In a large work bowl, combine the shaved fennel with the arugula, salami and cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Gently toss with just enough vinaigrette to lightly coat the greens.

With a delicate hand, transfer the salad to a platter or individual serving plates, making a fluffy pile of greens. Sprinkle the salami and cheese that have fallen to the bottom of the bowl on top. Serve immediately.

Tortellini Salad Italiana


  • 2-9 oz packages fresh cheese and spinach tortellini (refrigerated, prepared according to package directions)
  • 2 cups yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup fresh small mozzarella cheese balls (bocconcini), halved
  • 1 cup tomato vinaigrette dressing, recipe below
  • 1/2 cup prosciutto, thinly sliced
  • 12 cup basil, thinly sliced
  • black pepper, fresh cracked


Combine prepared pasta, bell peppers, cheese, vinaigrette, prosciutto, tomatoes and basil in medium bowl. Sprinkle with pepper. Refrigerate for 1 hour

Tomato Vinaigrette


  • 1 1/4 cups extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cups fresh tomatoes, seeded and finely diced
  • 4 tablespoons chopped tarragon leaves
  • 4 tablespoons chiffonade basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons minced parsley leaves
  • 2 minced shallots
  • 6 tablespoons lemon juice


In a nonreactive mixing bowl, combine the diced tomatoes, herbs, shallots, lemon juice and 1 1/4 cups olive oil. Mix to combine and season with salt and pepper.

Warm Bean Salad With Fresh Herbs and Olives

An excellent side dish to meat or fish. Also good with shrimp added to the salad.


  • 3 cups cooked and drained white beans (or canned). If made from dried beans, save about 1/3 cup of cooking liquid.
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil.
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme
  • Scant 1/3 cup bean cooking liquid, water or chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup black olives, pitted and chopped
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 4 large fresh basil leaves, torn into small pieces or chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste


Place the beans in a medium nonstick skillet and set aside.

Prepare herb mixture. Combine olive oil and garlic in a small skillet and cook on low heat until garlic is soft, about 3 minutes.

Increase heat slightly and add rosemary and thyme. Cook until the herbs begin to sizzle- do not let garlic burn.

Add the bean cooking liquid (or other stock) and olives, increase heat and boil for two minutes. Remove from heat.

Scatter the parsley and basil over the beans in the other skillet. Pour the dressing over them and cook over medium-high heat until the liquid is almost all absorbed by the beans.

Remove from heat and add the lemon juice, salt and pepper. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Italian Seafood Salad with String Beans


  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 pound shelled and deveined large shrimp
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 pound cleaned squid, bodies cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick rings, tentacles halved lengthwise
  • 1/2 pound bay scallops or quartered sea scallops
  • 1 pound mussels, scrubbed and debearded
  • 1 1/2 pounds small clams scrubbed
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 pound mixed yellow wax and green beans, ends trimmed, beans cut into 2-inch lengths
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons shredded basil leaves
  • 1 tablespoon minced flat-leaf parsley
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Lemon wedges, for serving


In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil until shimmering. Add the shrimp, season with salt and pepper and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, for 1 minute. Add 1/2 teaspoon of the garlic and cook, stirring, until the shrimp turn a light pink, about 1 minute. Transfer the shrimp to a platter. Add the water to the skillet and cook over high heat, scraping up any browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. Pour the pan juices into a bowl and wipe out the skillet.

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in the skillet. Add the squid and scallops. Season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add 1/2 teaspoon of the garlic and cook just until fragrant, about 1 minute longer. Transfer to the platter.

Pour the reserved pan juices from the bowl into the skillet and cook over high heat, scraping up any browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. Add the mussels, clams and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of garlic and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over high heat until the shells open, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the mussels and clams to a large bowl; discard any that do not open. When the shells are cool enough to handle, remove the meat and add it to the platter.

Pour any accumulated shellfish juices into the skillet and bring the liquid to a boil. Simmer over moderate heat until reduced to 1/4 cup. Pour the liquid into a large bowl. Add the lemon juice and the remaining olive oil and let cool. Stir in all of the seafood and let marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan of boiling salted water, cook the beans until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Drain and cool under running water; pat dry. Add the beans, basil, tomatoes and parsley to the seafood salad. Season with salt and cayenne and serve with lemon wedges.

Holidays with traditional family meals as part of the celebration often result in lots of leftovers. When you get tired of leftover ham or turkey or egg salad sandwiches, its time to get creative.

Here are a few ideas for Easter dinner leftovers, using some of the most common foods served at Easter time.

Leftover ham? Slice it, chop it and freeze it in plastic bags to mix into future omelettes, soups or hash browned potatoes.

Leftover asparagus? Make an asparagus omelette. Chop the already cooked asparagus and add to beaten eggs, add a little grated cheddar or American cheese and make an omelette for a quick lunch or dinner.

Leftover turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes? Make a quick Shepherd’s pie. Slice the turkey meat, then layer it on the bottom of a greased baking pan, pour leftover turkey gravy over it, layer leftover stuffing on top, layer any leftover veggie over that and, lastly, layer leftover mashed potatoes on top. Press everything down firmly and bake at 350 degrees F. for about 35-40 minutes or until heated through and the potatoes brown. Cut into squares and serve hot.

Leftover pork roast? Make a great panini sandwich. Cut leftover roast into 9 thin slices. Drain a 7 oz jar of roasted red peppers and cut into 6 slices. Spread 2 teaspoons of pesto sauce on each of 6 slices of country bread. Top 3 slices of pesto covered bread with 3 slices of pork, 2 slices of red pepper, 1 slice of cheese of choice and a slice of pesto covered bread. Cook in a panini press according to machine directions. Makes 3 sandwiches.

Just a few recipes below, but don’t let your leftovers go to waste. Think of a way to use them.

Ham and Asparagus Frittata

Serves 4 to 6


1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons finely chopped onion
8 eggs
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup chopped ham
Leftover asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces 


Preheat oven to 400°F. In an ovenproof skillet on the stovetop, heat olive oil and sauté onion until barely softened.

In a medium bowl, beat eggs then add cheese. Pour into hot pan. Top with ham and asparagus. Turn heat to low and cook 2—3 minutes to seal bottom.

Place skillet in the oven and cook an additional 20 minutes or until puffed and barely set. Remove and cool slightly.

Serve with a salad and whole wheat biscuits.

Cobb Salad

4 servings



  • 3 tablespoons white-wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons finely minced shallot
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil


  • 10 cups mixed salad greens
  • 8 ounces shredded cooked beef, chicken, turkey, ham or seafood
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and chopped (dyed Easter Eggs work here)
  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced
  • 1 large cucumber, seeded and sliced
  • 1 avocado, diced or use leftover vegetables
  • 2 slices cooked turkey bacon, crumbled
  • 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese, (optional)


Whisk vinegar, shallot, mustard, pepper and salt in a small bowl to combine. Whisk in oil until combined.

Place salad greens in a large bowl. Add half of the dressing and toss to coat.

Divide the greens among 4 plates. Arrange equal portions of meat, egg, tomatoes, cucumber, avocado, bacon and blue cheese (if using) on top of the lettuce.

Drizzle the salads with the remaining dressing.

Mediterranean Deviled Eggs

Makes 12 deviled eggs


  • 6 colored hard boiled eggs leftover from Easter
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped flat-leaf parsley, more for garnish
  • 1 ½ teaspoons finely chopped, rinsed capers
  • 3 anchovy fillets, cut in half
  • 1/2 a lemon zested, finely minced
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 ½ teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • Ground black pepper to taste


Peel and slice eggs lengthwise. Remove yolks and place them in a medium bowl. Arrange egg white halves on a serving plate.

To prepare the filling: add parsley, capers, lemon zest and juice, mayonnaise, mustard and 1 tablespoon water to yolks and mash. Add pepper to taste. Scoop filling into egg white halves. Top each with an anchovy half and sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve.

Variation: mash anchovies and add to the yolk mixture when adding the other ingredients.

Leftover Roast Beef Soup


  • 2 medium yellow onions, cut into small wedges
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 lbs leftover cooked beef, chopped
  • 64 ounces low sodium beef stock or beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • salt, to taste
  • black pepper, to taste
  • 8 ounces uncooked egg noodles or pasta of choice


In a large pot, cook onions, celery, mushrooms and garlic in oil until onions are golden.

Stir in the cooked beef.

Add the beef broth, Italian seasoning and the Worcestershire, stirring to mix and seasoning to taste with salt and pepper Bring mixture to a boil and stir in uncooked egg noodles.

Reduce heat and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10-12 minutes or until noodles are tender.

Leftover Dinner Lasagna


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Dash white pepper
  • 3 cups lowfat milk
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped green onions
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
  • 9 lasagna noodles, cooked and drained
  • 2 cups diced fully cooked ham or ant leftover meat
  • 2 cups leftover vegetables, such as broccoli, asparagus, peas, spinach etc.
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 cups (12 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese


In a heavy saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in flour, salt and pepper until smooth. Gradually add milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from the heat; stir in the onions, lemon juice and hot pepper sauce.

Spread a fourth of the white sauce in a greased 13-inch x 9-inch baking dish. Layer with three noodles, half of the ham and vegetables, 3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, 1 cup cheddar cheese and a fourth of the white sauce.

Repeat layers. Top with the remaining noodles, white sauce and cheeses.

Bake uncovered at 350° for 40-45 minutes or until bubbly. Let stand for 15 minutes before cutting. Yield: 12 servings.

Lamb Ratatouille


  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound cooked lamb or beef, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 medium-sized eggplant, peeled (if desired) and cut into 1 inch cubes, tossed with 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 3 red bell peppers, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1/4 cup white wine or all stock can be used
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 2 medium zucchini, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 3 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • A sprig each of fresh thyme, parsley and basil
  • Salt and pepper


In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat and add the onions and garlic. Saute for about 2 minute; then add the eggplant. Mix and let the eggplant brown slightly, then add the wine. Cook until the wine is reduced, about 3 minutes.

Add 1/4 cup chicken stock. When the chicken stock has reduced add the zucchini, red peppers and tomatoes. Stir everything together and add herbs and season with salt and pepper.

Add another 1/4 cup chicken stock and let it reduce and continue adding the remaining stock, 1/4 cup at a time. Simmer until the eggplant is cooked to the desired texture and mixture has thickened. Stir in the leftover lamb and heat.

Parmesan Pizza


  • 1 lb pizza dough, store bought or homemade, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups marinara sauce
  • 2 cups shredded roasted chicken breast or any leftover meat
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup chopped red onions
  • 1/3 cup diced green or red bell pepper
  • Shredded basil for garnish


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Stretch dough out to fit your pizza pan (about 14 inches round or a 9 x 13-inch rectangle).

Spread 1 1/2 cups of sauce over the dough and arrange chicken on top of the sauce.

Sprinkle mozzarella, Parmesan cheese, bell pepper and onions over the top.

Bake 15-20 minutes or until crust is lightly browned and cheese is bubbly. Top with shredded basil before serving.

Rhubarb Bread Pudding

Use up leftover bread for a dessert. Any fruit can be substituted for the rhubarb in this recipe.


  • 8 slices bread without crusts, toasted and cubed
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine
  • 5 eggs or egg substitute equivalent
  • 1 1/4 cups white sugar or sugar substitute for baking
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups diced rhubarb
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F .

Place bread cubes into a buttered 2 quart casserole dish.

Combine the milk and butter in a saucepan and heat just to the boiling point. Pour over the bread cube and let stand for 15 minutes.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, cinnamon and salt. Stir in rhubarb. Pour over the soaked bread and stir gently until evenly blended. Sprinkle walnuts over the top.

Bake for 50 minutes or until the top is brown and a knife inserted 1 inch from the edge comes out clean. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.


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