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Italian Cookie Recipe Sources

Here are a couple of Italian cookie recipes
Latin lace florentines


Italian Pignoli Amaretti Recipe - Pine Nut Cookie Recipe

Nov 23, 2013
Nancyhartman in Home Cooking

Just Discovered an Amazing Asian Market - What Should I Try to Make???

What a great question, we have two great Asian food markets nearby but I never know what to buy.

What ratios do you use for your mashed potatoes?

Here is how to make perfect mashed potatoes from my web site
1 1/3 pounds (4 medium) Russet or Yukon Gold potatoes washed, peeled, and cut into uniform 2-inch chunks*
1 teaspoon salt, divided
2 tablespoons warm butter
1/2 to 2/3 cup hot milk, half & half, or cream**

* Do not cut the potatoes into smaller chunks as too much water will be absorbed by the potatoes. After cutting the potatoes, immediately place in cold water to prevent discoloration of the potatoes.

** Buttermilk may be substituted.


In large saucepan, add cut-up potatoes, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and just enough cold water until potatoes are covered; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium; cover and let simmer 15 to 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork. Potatoes are done when the internal temperature registers approximately 200 degrees F. on your cooking thermometer.

While potatoes are cooking, either in another saucepan or microwave, heat butter. Also heat hot milk or cream to a simmer (do not boil) separately from the butter in another saucepan or microwave. NOTE: Do not add cold butter or cold milk/cream when making mashed potatoes.

When the potatoes are cooked, remove from heat and immediately drain potatoes thoroughly in a colander. Return to saucepan; heat over medium-low heat approximately 1 to 2 minutes to dry potatoes, stirring occasionally. NOTE: Boiled potatoes left in water will start to jellify and may even increase in volume, becoming swollen and watery. That is why it is important to let the potatoes drain for a couple of minutes in a colander immediately after they are cooked.

In the same saucepan that the potatoes have been heated in, mash potatoes with a potato masher, potato ricer (do not use your electric mixer) until there are no lumps. Stir in warm butter, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 cup of the hot milk. Add additional milk, a little at a time, if necessary, for desired consistency.

Note: Gluey or gooey mashed potatoes are caused by vigorous over mashing, as anyone who has tried to make the side dish in a food processor can attest. When potatoes are boiled, their starch granules swell. If those granules are broken too vigorously, the cells release copious quantities of starch, resulting in a potatoes with the consistency of wallpaper paste. I personally use a potato ricer when making mashed potatoes. Using a potato ricer, you can make velvety smooth mashed potatoes right at home because potatoes come out fluffy without being gummy. Once you use the potato rice, you will never go back to the old traditional potato masher. If you don't have one and would like to purchase a potato ricer, just click on the green links.

Season to taste with additional salt, if desired.

Serve immediately

Makes 4 servings.

More info and variations can be found at the source

Nov 19, 2013
Nancyhartman in Home Cooking

newbie dirt cake question

i always like cooked pudding better, but there is so much sweet stuff in a dirt cake instant pudding would pass. My husband used to make this for Christmas potlucks at work. He would use a new plastic flowerpot ant place a plastic poinsettia in it.

Nov 19, 2013
Nancyhartman in Home Cooking

Mashed Potatoes early the day before Thanksgiving?

Here is a recipe for make ahead mashed potatoes using potatoes, cream cheese, egg whites. You can make them up to a week ahead of time.

Nov 19, 2013
Nancyhartman in Home Cooking

Slow-cooking tomato sauce?

Here is a good slow roast oven baked tomato sauce, using tomatoes, garlic, peppers onion, olive oil. You can add meat as you like and use it for many recipes.

Nov 13, 2013
Nancyhartman in Home Cooking

Dinner recipes with smoked salmon?

How about Smoked Salmon Linguine
Easy to make with smoked salmon, olive oil, linguine, butter and sea salt

Nov 13, 2013
Nancyhartman in Home Cooking

Recipe for Steamed Clams for Thanksgiving?

Search What's Cooking America

What could be easier to make and more delicious than steamed clams with butter? I can't think of anything else!

Steamed Clams


3 to 4 pounds live small hard-shelled clams (also called cherrystone, littlenecks (in the New England states) and steamer clams (in the Pacific Northwest). If the shells of the live clams are open, tap on shell. If it does not close, throw away the clam.*

3 tablespoons butter
1 small white onion, coarsely chopped
6 parsley stems
3 cloves garlic, lightly chopped
1 bottle dry white wine
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Melted unsalted butter**
Thick slices of French Bread

* There are generally 12 to 15 clams per pound. Serve approximately 1 to 2 pounds of steamer clams per person.

**The use of unsalted butter is imperative for this recipe, otherwise your clams will be too salty!


NOTE: FDA’s recommendations are to soak steamer clams for several hours in seawater (or 1/3 cup coarse kosher salt and 1 gallon water) to which you have added 1 cup cornmeal. Use kosher or sea salt as the iodine in regular salt will kill the clams before they hit the boiling water.

One hour before serving, scrub clamswith vegetable brush in cold water; rinse with water until free of sand (adding a little coarse salt to the water will help to remove the sand from the clams).

In a steamer pot or a large kettle, melt butter; sauté onion and garlic until soft. Add white wine and pepper flakes and bring to a slow boil. Add clams and cover pot with a tight-fitting lid and steam over low heat just until clams open, about 5 to 10 minutes. Do not over cook, as clams will become tough and rubbery (discard any clams that do not open).

Use tongs or a slotted spoon to transfer the clams to large individual soup bowls with individual cups of melted butter.

Pour broth through a cheesecloth-lined strainer to remove any sand. The broth can either be used as a dunking liquid for the French bread or placed in mugs to drink.

Eat and enjoy!

Yields: 2 servings.

Nov 10, 2013
Nancyhartman in Home Cooking

help - need meatless meal ideas

Here is a family favorite, my teenage son likes this he requests it all the time, now that is an endorsement
Not too many ingredients and quick to make.
Fettuccine piccata
Fettuccine noodles, pesto, cottage cheese, lemon, olive oil, olives and parmesan cheese, capers and garlic.

Do I really need to brine the turkey?

The secret to perfect juicy chicken and turkey is simple - Brine them before cooking!

This is the secret that chefs never tell you about. It's very easy and economical, and requires no special cookware.
Brining is like a marinade, as it keeps food moist and tender. Brining or salting is a way of increasing the moisture holding capacity of meat resulting in a moister product when it is cooked. Salt changes the structure of the muscle tissue in the meat which allows it to swell and absorb water and flavorings which results in a tender turkey or chicken once cooked.

With that said, you cAn adjust the amount of salt in your brine if the sodium content is a concern. I'm not sure on how much sodium is retained. There are no strict rules on the salt to water ratio for brining. Traditionally, 3/4 pound of salt per gallon of water, but since we’re not concerned with the brine as a preservative, you can cut back on the salt. You can also cut back on the amount of time for brining to reduce the sodium content. For a whole turkey 1-2 days of brining is recommended, so 1 day of brining would be better for lower sodium content. Instead of table salt, use either coarse kosher salt or sea salt. Here's a link that reviews a formula to calculate sodium retained from brining:

Here are comprehensive instructions on brining your turkey

Nov 06, 2013
Nancyhartman in Home Cooking

Best dressing recipe?

Turkey Stuffing Recipe -Turkey Dressing Recipe
Recipe Type: Poultry, Oven Roasted Turkey, Thanksgiving Turkey
Menu: Thanksgiving Turkey Dinner
Yields: enough to stuff a 20-pound turkey
Prep time: 30 min


The below recipe is a only a guideline for making your turkey stuffing. Depending on your family's taste, add or delete ingredients (onions, celery, mushrooms, and or nuts) to make to your liking. Be creative!

1/4 cup butter or margarine
1 large onion, chopped
2 cups chopped celery
1 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 loaf day-old bread, toasted and cut into 3/4-inch cubes (about 10-12 cups)
1 egg, beaten
Stock from the turkey giblets and/or chicken broth (approximately 1 to 2 cups)
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
Salt and freshly-ground pepper to taste
Dried crushed sage to taste
Dried crushed thyme to taste


To make turkey giblet stock, place the turkey giblets (giblets and neck), water, and salt in a small saucepan over low heat; bring to a simmer and simmer for about 1 hour, uncovered. Remove from heat and strain the stock into a container for use with the stuffing. Alternatively, you can use chicken stock or just plain water with this recipe.

In a large pot (large enough to hold all the prepared stuffing) over medium-high heat, melt butter or margarine. Add onion, celery and mushrooms; sauté until soft.

Mix in bread cubes and egg with enough chicken broth to moisten. Add nuts, salt, pepper, sage, and thyme; stir until well blended. The stuffing should be moist, not dry, because heat destroys bacteria more rapidly in a moist environment.

Proceed to stuff turkey in your usual way. NOTE: Do not cool the stuffing. Spoon it directly into the turkey cavity right after preparation. Stuff the turkey loosely — about 3/4 cup of stuffing per pound. Check out Advice on Stuffing a Turkey Safely.

Immediately place the stuffed, raw turkey in an oven set no lower than 325 degrees F. To cook your stuffed turkey, check out Guidelines For Roasting a Whole Turkey.

The USDA has come up with a one-temperature-suits-all for poultry safety: 165 degrees F. For safety and doneness, the internal temperature should be checked with a meat thermometer

Nov 05, 2013
Nancyhartman in Home Cooking

Crab cake question

The smoke point of an oil or fat is the temperature at which it gives off smoke. The smoke point of oil depends to a very large extent on its purity and age at the time of measurement. A simple rule of thumb is that the lighter the color of the oil, the higher its smoke point. When frying, it is important to choose an oil with a very high smoking point. Most foods are fried between the temperatures of 350-450 degrees Fahrenheit so it is best to choose an oil with a smoking point above 400 degrees.

Great chart here of a wide range of oils and smoke points

Nov 04, 2013
Nancyhartman in Home Cooking