Baked Chicken and Asparagus over Polenta

Want something different for dinner tonight?

baked chicken and asparagus over polentaAbout a month ago, I came across this new pantry stock item that I found in our local grocery store.  It was on sale so I stocked up.  For those of you who have never had polenta before, and don’t know how to make it, it’s probably worth purchasing it already made.  I should warn you though, that nothing is quite like home made, so it you’d rather go this route, then instead of buying ready made polenta, go ahead and purchase a bag of cornmeal and follow the cooking instructions on the package.

Polenta is essentially cornmeal (more refined than grits) and it is cooked longer and moulded into small loaves or logs.  Typically in Italian culture, its smothered with tomato sauce and cheese, or its made with sauteed ground sausage meat and onions.

This Baked Chicken and Asparagus over Polenta recipe is a even a little easier than that.  If you purchase the pre-cooked polenta, it will come in  log that looks like this:


  • 1 – 900 g package of cooked polenta
  • 5 boneless chicken breasts
  • 1-1.5 cups of prepared tomato sauce (use home made if you have it)
  • 2 tbsp fresh chopped parsley
  • a dozen asparagus spears
  • 3 tbsp of Olive Oil
  • One large onion
  • Salt and pepper to taste.
  • 3 tbsp of grated parmiggiano cheese


Baked Chicken and Asparagus over Polenta takes only a few minutes to prepare.  Take the plastic wrapping off the log and slice into 1/2″ thick slices.  Add a couple tablespoons of tomato sauce to the bottom of a deep casserole dish and then place the polenta slices on top of the layer of sauce.

In a separate frying pan, sautee the onions and garlic (remove), and in the same pan, brown the chicken breasts on both sides.  Salt and pepper the chicken breasts to your taste.

Place the chicken and the onions on the polenta layer and then layer raw asparagus on top of the chicken.  Pour the remaining sauce over the asparagus and chicken and sprinkle generously with parmesan cheese.

Cover and cook in a preheated (375 degree) oven for a half hour.  Remove the lid and brown under the broiler for five minutes at the end of the cook.

Remove the Baked Chicken and Asparagus over Polenta from the oven and let stand for minimum five minutes before serving

Test chicken to see if done,  (always recommended).

I hope you enjoyed this recipe and that you try it and let me know how it turns out for you.  Please leave a comment in the section below.

Bye for now!








Posted in Recipes | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Saffron Baked Sole on a Bed of Basmati and Kale Rice

Hi my ItalianSisters friends.  Today’s dish is Saffron baked sole on a bed of basmati and kale rice.  While not necessarily an Italian recipe, it is a concoction of mine, so it totally belongs here.  This is one of those quick fish dishes that works best if made from frozen, so its perfect for those nights after work, when you’re tired and hungry and want something healthy to eat. (4-6 servings).


  • 4 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic – crushed and chopped
  • 4 large leaves of kale chopped
  • One small onion chopped
  • 8-9 medium size pieces of frozen sole
  • 2 cups of uncooked Basmati rice
  • 3 cups of water
  • 1-1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp saffron
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper


Preheat your oven to 400 deg F.  Saffron baked sole on a bed of basmati is made in one dish, it takes five minutes to prepare and bakes for one hour.

Spread the frozen fish out on a cutting board and sprinkle on the salt, pepper, on both sides.  Transfer to a large mixing bowl and add in the oil, chopped onion, chopped garlic, and remaining spices to the bowl.  Toss the mixture so that the fish get coated well with the vegetables, oil and spices.  Remove the fish pieces again to the cutting board and add in the water, kale and rice to the oily mix in the bowl.  Transfer the rice mixture to a casserole dish and layer the frozen fish on top of the watery mixture.  (adjust salt to your tasting)

Place cover/lid on casserole dish and bake at 400 to 410 deg F for ~ 50 mins to one hour.  (note: do not lift the lid before at least 30 minutes of cook time).

Ive served it here with some sauteed rapini and garlic and a little fish sauce.

Buon appetito 🙂







Posted in Recipes | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Tomato Vegetable Orzotto with Red Wine

tomato vegetable orzotto with red wineOrzotto is an Italian dish similar to rizotto but made with pearl barley instead of rice.   If you are used to making rizotto with arborio rice, you will notice the difference as orzotto tends to not be as laborious.  You dont have to stand over this dish stirring it constantly.

Tomato vegetable orzotto with red wine is perfect for those cozy fall evenings when you’re looking for something quick to make but is also hearty, guilt-free and loaded with flavor.


  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic – crushed and chopped
  • 1/2 a large sweet onion – chopped
  • one celery stalk – chopped
  • one large carrot – chopped
  • 8 medium sized mushrooms – sliced
  • 1/2 cup of red wine
  • 1 – 1/2 cups of stewed tomato puree
  • 3 cups of chicken or turkey stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/8 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/8 cup chopped fresh basil
  • salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
  • 1 small chili pepper – crushed (optional)
  • 1 cup of uncooked pearl barley


Tomato vegetable orzotto with red wine is quite easy to make in just under 50 minutes.  Heat the olive oil in a deep skillet.  Add the garlic and onions and sautee for 2 minutes.  Add in the remainder of the chopped vegetables and cook until soft.   Add in the red wine and cook for one more minute.  Add in the tomato sauce, stock, and spices and bring to a boil.  Let cook at this medium heat for another 2 minutes stirring as it boils.

Add in the barley and give a quick stir.  Reduce heat to low and place lid on the pan.  Let cook at this very low temperature for 40 minutes.  After 20 minutes, remove lid and give a few stirs.  Place lid on the mixture and let cook for another five minutes stirring occasionally.

Remove from heat and let sit for five minutes.

Tomato vegetable orzotto with red wine can be enjoyed all on its own.  For a little extra flavor, garnish with fresh parsley, grated parmiggiano, and crusty Italian bread or toasted naan bread.

Buon appetito xo…


Posted in Recipes | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Italian Bridal Shower Cookies

Italian Bridal Shower Cookies

The Italo-Canadian Bridal Shower Cookie Extravaganza is making a comeback.  (I say “Italo-Canadian, as it seems to be customary only among Canadians of Italian descent who reside in Ontario and Quebec).  The custom of Italian Bridal Showers, has morphed over the last 30 years starting out as a huge event consisting of over 200+ women most of whom were typically immigrants or first generation Canadians marrying off their first generation offspring, typically to children of their contemporaries.

Let the Italian Bridal Shower Cookies Extravaganza begin!!”

Let me begin by telling you what ItaloCanadian Bridal Showers are not:  They are not small gatherings in ones home where finger sandwiches are served and bows from previously wrapped packages are taped to paper plates, and draped over the brides head, with curly-ribbon streamers in one’s hair.

These are BIG events.

Let me go back….back to the days of Mario Puzzo’s Godfather.  (That would be roughly 1970 to 1975 ish).  Sometimes, one would see bows taped to a paper plate now and again, but what you’d also see is money pinned to the bride’s garments, or her entourage (usually six or seven bridesmaids or more..) taking and opening the gifts as guests arrived, and displaying them promptly on the gift display table along with the open cards pinned to the gift so that everyone could see who brought what.

If the gift were money, the money would be pinned to the card, and the card open for all the guests to see!  Incredible by today’s standards.

Along with these customs, there was usually a massive sweets table that followed every six-course-bridal-shower’s hot sit down meal.  The sweets table usually consisted of a several thousand Italian Cookies.  No joke.

Eventually, in the 80’s some customs started to go by the wayside.  Pinning money on the  bride evaporated, and people started to cut back and boycott the whole ‘cookie thing’ for a while.   However, today, its starting to make a come-back.

Italian Bridal Shower Cookies:


Back in the day, seemingly  unassuming meek and mild ladies who baked for months in advance of a shower, would stuff any amount of Italian cookies from the sweet table into nappies destined for their purses or pockets.  They’d use extra paper plates, boxes, cloth napkins, cello or tinfoil… Or sometimes, they’d bring a spare plastic grocery bag in their purses.   This mad dash to the cookie table was a sight to behold.

If you cant beat em….join em

Nowadays beautiful confections of home baked delicious cookies are skilfully packed by the bride-to-be’s  ensemble, and wrapped to perfection with ribbons and bows, colour-matched to her wedding theme colours.  These delightful boxes of several thousand calories each, are pre-packaged to make the outcome less of a mad scramble among the guests.

The pre-shower process usually goes like this:

Trays and trays of beautiful biscotti are brought to the bride’s house, by many of the invited guests a few days before the shower.  They are artistically plated in order to be displayed in the most splendid fashion at the bridal shower party.  The nicest are selected for display on the reception table, or sweet table, while the traditionally doughy-biscotti like-pizzelle-or-equivalent cookies are packed into boxes, to take home.  These cookies are the delicacies that “the guys” prefer to take to work in their lunches the following Monday.  The ‘guys’ means: husbands, fathers, boyfriends, sons, and other family members.


In the last five years, I’ve had attended several wedding showers.  Each time there has been somewhat of a cookie extravaganza at these beautifully -planned events.   One family member had over 100 trays of Italian Bridal Shower Cookies at her shower!!.  It was a sight to behold so much so that when I arrived at the hall, my daughter rushed over and exclaimed

“Mom!” One day at my shower, I am going to beat my cousin’s cookie count!!”

wholesale-italian-confetti-wedding-organza-candy-bag-artificial-rose-bouquet-ring-holder-wedding-gift-event-partyWell…we’ll have to wait and see <3

Posted in Entertaining | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

What’s so great about Pokemon Go??

great about pkemon go

It seems that everyone can’t stop talking about Pokemon Go.  My daughter and I just returned from a two-day mother-daughter getaway to Montreal.   We checked in to our hotel and much to her surprise, I found out how awesome it was, that our hotel was actually a Pokestop,…AND… in addition, wifi was free, which meant that we were about to get LOTS of points every five minutes or so, on Pokemon Go.

Earlier in the month, my niece called me from her work.  She said, “my co-worker is in her mid forties and she can’t stop talking about this stupid game.  I mean, what’s so great about Pokemon Go?

What a brilliant idea, inventing an app that actually gets this slumbering generation out of their rooms, and ‘walking’ for a change.  The marketing has been expertly targeted to make us parents think that it’s actually a good thing.  Of, course, our response is to ‘jump on the bandwagon”.  Walking is good after all?  We’ll get to hatch eggs, you know?

Whatever the motivation, one thing is certain, it seems in all the frenzy, we’ve forgotten that it’s not just the physical exercise that is important, but even more-so, to learn to make real human connections.  In his 2008 acclaimed book “Outliers” Malcolm Gladwell talks about a small town in eastern Pennsylvania “Roseto”, name after a Southern Italian town “Roseto Valfortore”, that has an inordinate amount of octogenarians, nonagenarians, and centenarians living lives well-lived.  Gladwell set out to write about and to study why that is.  In summary, more than the food they ate, or genes in their bloodline, the one thing that attributed most greatly to longevity was “family relationships”.  Three generations eating dinner at the same table, contributed more to a long human experience than any medicine or any genome available today.

What’s Great about Pokemon Go?

Some will argue that Pokemon Go does just that in helping us to re-establish the ability to connect with others and provide an ‘outdoorsy’ human experience.  But this is a debate for another day and for somebody else’s blog.   Nowadays we have fitbits to help remind us to move around ~ counting our steps and helping us to shed some of that sluggishness and entitlement that has built up over the last generation.


I mean seriously, an app?  Is that what it takes to develop the motivation to explore the outdoors?  Quite frankly I think its very sad.  Yesterday I saw three very overweight kids walking in the park with phones in hand and looking down as if they were on the end of a metal detector, and I thought….how sad is that?  Why does it have to get to that?  In fact, just this evening, I saw a mother in front of the public library playing the game for her five year old along with about 20 other kids and their parents.  This reminds me of the mothers a decade ago whose kids would leave their tamagachi pets with their moms while they trudged off to school.  I recall waiting with the other parents at the school door for dismissal, when I noticed one mother who had three tamagachies on chains around her neck, and the poor woman was stuck feeding and changing them all day so they wouldn’t die while her kids were in class.  As with any fad, this too will pass and the parks and pokestops will be empty again….

Parents, if we want to do our kids a lifelong favour, how about making them get off their butts and get outside??  Maybe this is the Italian housewife coming out in me…How about giving them chores to do like cut the grass and trim the hedges and pull weeds?  If we look around our neighbourhoods, we rarely see kids doing this anymore.   “It’s a beautiful Saturday”, my mother would say.  “How about getting your butt outside and don’t come in until I tell you”?


Heaven forbid that today, we ever talk to our kids like that?  That’s just loaded up with way too much responsibility.  I mean, we’d get accused of being a fun sponge, or ball-buster if that were the case.

For the up and coming developers and technology gurus of the future, I have a suggestion for you:  Invent something that allows us to look up while we’re outdoors, and I don’t mean an app.  I mean an ‘attitude’.  We are such an awestruck society when it comes to the latest and greatest technologies and gadgets that we actually miss the forest for the trees.  Jumping on every bandwagon that comes our way, just so that we are not part of the FOMO crowd…short for Fear of Missing Out.  Well I hate to break it to the FOMO crowd, but the vast majority of us are wasting a heck of a lot of time while ‘real life” passes us by.  It is such a risk to be a guineapig with our time.

Don’t get me wrong, I am all for technology development, actually its what I do everyday as an engineer and materials developer;  however, I draw the line at some things, like being told what I will find amazement in…..  We are all lemmings, blindly pursuing the blind.  I have to give these developers a lot of credit though, they researched their market, they saw a developing problem with societal youth, and they developed a “solution” if you will, and are profiting immensely from it.

Not-to-mention, a co-marketed vehicle designed to sell more data to unsuspecting  potential users…the youngest among us.  As, if this wasn’t by design?

In fact, what’s actually so great about Pokemon Go, is that the technology is genius.  The underpinnings of which have the potential to take marketing and advertising to an all new level:  Like the little ice cream shop in the South Western US whose ice cream sales tripled in one month because they inadvertently became a Pokestop.  With the ability to interface with Google Maps, imagine a world where business is driven to your door with a paid online subscription?  (ie put gps coordinates in here) come to McDonalds for your McLemmings, kids.

Whatever the case, it still doesn’t make us look up as a society.


Many years ago, I boarded an early morning flight from Toronto to Milwaukee.  I got comfortable in my seat when this early forties gentleman sat next to me.  We introduced ourselves and found out we were both people of science working in different fields.  He was an astronomer, working on the Hubble telescope.  I thought, “cool”, a REAL Astronomer!  I don’t think I’ve ever really met an astronomer before.  In the ensuing 90 minute long chat, I  learned a lot about the challenges their team was having with lens positioning but what I learned the most in that sliver of my life, still sticks with me today.

He was married with two teenage children,  He said “do you know what the biggest problem is with youth today?” He said, “they leave the house and they never look up”.   He went on “it translates into adulthood, and what we end up creating is an entire society that forgets to look up”….”we are a speck on an amoeba as compared to the expansive Universe out there and we need to be aware that we are not at the center of it”.

My youngest was two when I met this astronomer gentleman, and ever since I’ve encouraged him to enjoy the outdoors, play outside, build forts, tinker in the garage, ride his bike, ride trails in the woods for fun, stop…look around…breathe…, put a smile on and explore our world…  He doesn’t have data on his phone, nor am I going to feel the pressure to get it for him because of a game, and thankfully that’s just fine with him.  One of his favourite things to do is to spend time with his grandparents and when I ask him why?  He replies:  “they won’t be here forever so I want to make the most of their time”.

There’s way more out there to enjoy as long as  you keep looking up….




Posted in Techtalk | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Princess Dress Cupcake Cake

Simple and Easy to Make Princess Dress Cupcake Cake

Princess Dress Cupcake Cake    princess cupcake cake

The Princess Dress Cupcake Cake is a perfect dessert for a baby shower or little girl’s birthday party.  You will need thirty five cupcakes to construct the dress as shown.   The cake flavour is tangy lemon while the frosting is creamy coconut.  Together the flavours complement each other and I’m sure you’ll agree that its worth spending the extra ten minutes to get that fresh home baked taste, so put away your cake mixes!


For the cake:

  • 1 cup butter at room temperature
  • 2 cups of granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla
  • Juice of one lemon
  • Grated rind of one lemon
  • 2 teaspoons of baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 2 cups of milk
  • 4 cups of white flour

For the frosting:

  • 1 cup butter at room temperature
  • six cups of icing sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of coconut extract
  • 1/8 cup of milk
  • food colouring as required

princess dress cupcake


Princess Dress Cupcake Cake:

  • add butter and sugar to stand mixer and blend on medium for three minutes
  • add all eggs and beat until creamy
  • add in vanilla
  • scrape sides of bowl down and continue mixing until fluffy
  • add in juice of one lemon and baking soda and continue to beat
  • add the baking powder to the flour and begin alternating the flour and milk to the batter
  • Let beat for a few more minutes until well incorporated
  • Add in the lemon rind and mix well
  • Fill 35 muffin cups and bake in muffin pan at 350 deg F for 20 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and cool well on wire rack

For the frosting:

  • Add butter into bowl of a stand mixer along with coconut extract and 1 cup of confectioners sugar
  • Alternate the milk and icing sugar until well incorporated
  • Do a slump test with a knife. If knife stands up in the frosting, it is too thick.  If so, then thin with a little more milk
  • Add the food colouring to desired colour
  • Set aside

Arrange the cupcakes on a cake boards starting at the bottom.


Crumb coat the cupcakes one at a time and fill in the spaces between them with icing so that no gaps are present.  Put in refrigerator for 15 minutes or however long it takes to crisp up the icing and make it dry to the touch.

dress3   dress4  

Remove from refrigerator and frost the perimeter of the dress with a #4 Wilton rose petal nib in a zigzag fashion, (ie with skinny end of the nib facing upward).  Continue this pattern in strips across the entire cake.  I find it best to work from the bottom to the top.

dress5   dress6

Before the frosting is dry, add a bead of frosting on the cake board adjacent to where the rhinestone belt will be placed.  “glue” the belt down with icing.  Add sugar sparkles or candy pearls for decoration.  Place a rhinestone tiara and wand onto the cake in desired location.

Impress your friends with this easy to make Princess Dress Cupcake Cake

princess dress cupcake cake


Posted in Recipes | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Easy Baby Dress Crochet Pattern

Completed Baby Dress Pattern

This is an Easy Baby Dress Crochet Pattern that is simple to follow and written for the most part in laypersons terms.  The size is newborn to size six months.

I wanted to create a design that has a traditional shell pattern on the skirt with standard double crochet bodice and single crochet pattern on the straps and top of neckline.    This design can easily be augmented for larger sizes by adding multiples of eight extra stitches to the width and 1 extra row for every centimeter (or half inch) of length on the bodice and skirt.

There are two types of yarn used in this design and they are economical, and readily available at major department stores.   Many of my family members are into knitting and crocheting and they think I shop for yarn at specialty yarn stores.  Sometime I do, but most of the time I find nice yarns at places like Walmart as well.  These yarns are pretty common:  Red Heart Soft touch worsted yarn and Red Heart Boutique Unforgettable yarn.  It doesn’t get more basic than that.  These yarns are not the same as each other yet they do complement each other and they do work well together.

Baby will feel very comfortable and the design can easily be worn in winter as well by adding leggings and light weight matching turtleneck underneath.

Feel free to visit my Ravelry Site for a link to the downloadable pdf file.

Thanks again and stay tuned for more of my designs and patterns.

Easy Baby Dress Crochet Pattern in downloadable pdf format.



Posted in Needlecraft | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Scrappy Sock Legwarmers

image  image-17

These scrap yarn legwarmers are easy to make and perfect for using up our leftover knitting or crocheting scraps.  The pattern for these socks is outlined below.  The leggings themselves, are perfect for someone aged 6-12.  Stitch sizing would need to be adjusted for larger sizes.

Rated ‘Easy’, any beginner can have these made over the course of a few hours.  It requires one basic stitch and two sizes of crochet hooks, along with some leftover scraps of yarn in various colours, weights and sizes.  I would recommend that you begin by using the heaviest weight yarns for the toe / foot, and vary the weights up the leg.

Begin crocheting legwarmers at the toe:

Use a 9mm hook and heavy-weight yarn (use 5mm for thinner, lighter weight yarns).  Create a slip knot,

image  image  image  image  image  image

Legwarmers Round 1:

Chain three and yarn over and insert hook into first loop.  Yarn over and pull through all three loops.  This is the first double crochet (or dc).

Double crochet into the same hole, another seven times (8 in total).  Slip stitch to close.

 image  image  image  image  image 

You have created the first round.

Round 2: Double crochet (dc) two times into every stitch for a total of 16 stitches.  Slip stitch to close the second round.

Round 3: Double crochet into every hole one time.  Total of 16 stitches.  Slip stitch to close the third round.

Change colour.  Continue dc into every hole for additional rounds, changing colours every two or three rounds.  After the first 8-10 inches, you can start to add in different weights of yarns (I do this to create a thicker sole on the foot).


If/when you reduce the weight of the yarn, from a very thick yarn to a very thin one, for the first transition round, dc twice into every hold of the thick yarn stitch.  After completing the round, continue single crochet into each stitch.

If/when you transition from a thin yard to a thick one, you need to do the reverse.  That is, double crochet the thick yarn into the first hole, then in every second stitch of the thinner yarn round.


If you have any issues following my legwarmers instructions above, please leave a reply below or email me for further assistance.

I would appreciate any feedback you all may have.

Thanks and happy crocheting!


Posted in Needlecraft | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Upside Down Pineapple Cake

upside down pineapple cake   upside down pineapple cake

All too often I hear people say, “Oh I can cook but I can’t bake” or vice versa…and for some, we may feel like imposters in the kitchen when we attempt to try our hand at culinary baking skills.  Like Fred and Barney, for example, in the infamous episode of the Flintstones, when he and Barney pose as their wives at the TV show bake off with Wilma’s “Up-side-down-flint-rubble-bubble” cake recipe.

upside down pineapple cake

It’s definitely, reminiscent of home life back in the 70’s.  And we all know of course, that their infamous recipe was a ‘play’ on the upside down pineapple cake, so easy to make that even Fred and Barney could do it and pull off first prize.

This is one o those recipes that make me think of home, with momma in the kitchen whipping up a nice treat to take to a family gathering, or one of the many dinner parties we’d have with friends. Upside down cakes are now making a come-back. They are easy to prepare for any event or even for the kids on a lazy Sunday afternoon. They are so tasty, and elegant looking, that people will think you went to pastry shop to get it.

Pre-heat your oven to 350 deg F.

When the bottom becomes the top:



For the topping you will need:

• 1 cup of sliced pineapple (drained and pat dry)
• 1/3 cup of brown sugar
• 1/4 cup of melted butter
• about 12 – 14 maraschino cherries


Grease and flour the sides of a 9″ springform pan.

On the bottom of the pan, pour and evenly spread the melted butter. Sprinkle the brown sugar evenly over the butter. arrange the pineapple slices and decorate the centers with maraschino cherries.

Set aside.



For the cake you will need:

• 1/2 cup butter room temperature
• 1 cup granulated sugar
• 2 eggs room temperature
• 1 tsp baking soda
• 1 tsp orange extract
• 1 tsp baking powder
• 2 cups flour
• 1 cup milk
• zest of 1/2 a lemon


Cream together the butter and sugar with electric stand mixer at medium speed for 2 minutes (until fluffy)

Add in the beaten eggs and beat for about a minute at medium speed.

Melt the baking soda in 2 tspn of warm water and add to wet ingredients along with extract.

Slowly add in the flour 1 cup first to the wet mix, continuing to mix as you are adding the flour

Begin adding the milk, alternating between milk and flour until the ingredeients are well incorporated.

When the batter is mixed, add in the lemon zest at the end and mix for about 20 seconds.

Gently spoon out the batter onto the pineapple layer and spread evenly around.

cake 3

Put in the oven and bake @ 350F for about 50 minutes. Note: Do not open the oven door before the 35 minute mark and even so, do not be tempted to check the cake for done-ness until the 45 minute mark. When checking the cake, insert a toothpick into the center of the cake. If toothpick comes out wet, continue baking.

Tip: When cooked, let cool in springform pan for an hour or so. remove outer ring of pan and trim off the center ‘hump’ of the cake (this will be important when you invert the cake. If you leave this center hump on, the top of the cake will crack when flipped).

When cake is cooled, place a paper doily on top (this is the bottom of the cake), and invert a cake plate over the doilie. Carefully lift and flip your cake. Gently remove the bottom of the springform pan.

I decorated my sides with a pretty ribbon until it was served.



Posted in Recipes | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Best Tiramisu Recipe


I’ve searched high and low to try to find a ‘mascarpone-less’ recipe for TiramisuTiramisu is Italian for ‘pull me up’, which literally translated, means “pick me up”. After much searching, I found some recipes with combinations of cream cheese and smooth ricotta cheese, but I never quite felt they were as good as traditional mascarpone, until I started experimenting with the quantities. I find mascarpone to be very rich both in the pocket book and in taste.
For this recipe, you can substitute the ‘lighter’ and lower fat cheeses without compromising this dessert’s rich taste.


• 4 eggs separated (beat the egg whites with pinch salt into a stiff meringue and set aside in fridge)
• 3/4 cups sugar
• 1 tsp vanilla
• 3 sticks of light cream cheese
• 2 cups reduced fat ricotta cheese
• 3 packages of lady fingers (about 48 cookies)
• 4 shots of espresso coffee
• 1 shot spiced rum
• 1 shot amaretto
• cocoa powder for dusting
• pinch salt


• Add cream cheese to stand mixer and blend on medium for one minute
• add sugar and cream together
• add egg yolks and beat until creamy
• add in vanilla
• scrape sides of bowl down and continue mixing until fluffy
• add in ricotta and beat at low speed for one minute
• fold in egg whites with spatula.
• refrigerate the mixture while preparing / brewing the coffee


In a shallow pie plate mix brewed espresso, amaretto and rum. Dip each lady finger and place on bottom of deep 9×13 pan. Cover bottom.

Spread half the mixture onto the cookie layer. Dip more cookies and place on second layer.

Once this layer is complete, layer top of the tiramisu with remaining mixture.
Don’t worry if mixture is a little loose as it will firm up in fridge. Once complete, flatten out top, and sift powdered cocoa on top. Refrigerate for one day prior to serving. Cut in 3″ squares to serve.


**for a more decadent spin on this dessert, replace the middle layer of lady fingers with President’s Choice Decadent Chocolate Chip Cookies dipped in the coffee / alcohol**



Posted in Recipes | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment