All of Liza's recipes in one handy place!

All of Liza's recipes in one handy place!!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Meat Sauce

For lasagne or other Italian favorites:

Makes about 8 cups

1 medium onion - chopped
3 large cloves of garlic - chopped
2 Tablespoons olive oil
8 ounces sweet Italian style sausages - casings removed
1 pound ground beef sirlion
1 - 35 ounce can Italian peeled tomatoes - chopped
1 - 28 ounce can tomato puree
6 fresh basil leaves - ripped
salt and pepper to taste


in a large suacepan cook the onion and garlic in the oil over medium heat, stirring occasionally until soft (about 7 minutes).

Stir in the sausage and the meat breaking up the lumps. Salt and pepper to taste. Cook stirring often until the meat is nicely browned and crumbly. If there is excess fat, drain the mixture.

Add the tomatoes and puree, then add about 1/2 cup of water to each can, swish around and put into the mix. Salt and pepper to taste again.

Partially cover the pan and bring the sauce to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and cook stirring occasionally until the sauce is thickened and the oil has separated from the tomatoes. about 1 1/2 hours.

Stir in the basil and cook about 5 minutes more. Serve immediately or cool and covered it can be refridgerated up to 3 days. This sauce freezes well too.

Calmia's Lasagne with Basil Leaves

Serves 8-10

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

1 pound dried lasagne noodles

5-6 cups meat sauce (look under main dishes)

2 pounds ricotta cheese

1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Peccorino Romano

1 large bunch basil leaves off the stems, rinsed and dried - chopped

12 ounces fresh mozzarella thinly sliced

salt and pepper to taste


In a large pot bring 4 qts of salted water to a boil. Add a few pieces of the pasta to the pot at a time, stirring gently until tender and slightly underdone. Scoop out the pasta, cool it in a bowl of cold water. Cook the remaining pasta in this way.

When cool enough to handle lay the lasagne out on a lint free (not terry) clean kitchen towel.

In a bowl beat the ricotta, salt and pepper to taste.

Spread a thin layer of meat sauce in a 13X9 X2 pan. Place a few sheets of lasagne in a single layer over lapping slightly. Spread evenly about 1/3 of the ricotta and sprinkle with 2 Tablespoons of the grated cheese. Then layer in 1/3 of the basil and mozzarella. Make two more layers in the same way. Top the final layer with sauce and the remaining grated cheese.

At this point you can bake or cover with plastic wrap and refrdgerate several hours or over night.

Place lasagne on center rack in the preheated oven. Bake for 45 minutes. If the lasagne is browning too much cover loosely with tin foil. If this has been refridgerated add 15 minutes baking time.

Let stand 15 minutes, cut into squares and serve.

Molten Lava Cake

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

6 (1 ounce) squares of bittersweet chocolate

2 (1 ounce) squares of semisweet chocolate

10 Tablespoons (1 1/4 stick) butter - unsalted

1/2 cup all purpose flour

1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar

3 large eggs

3 egg yolks

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 Tablespoons orange liqueur

Grease 6 (6 ounce size) custard cups. Melt the chocolates and butter in the microwave or in a double boiler. Add the flour and sugar to the chocolate mixture. Stir in the eggs and egg yolks until smooth. Stir in the vanilla and liqueur.

Divide the batter evenly among the six custard cups and place in tthe oven backing for 14 minutes. The edges should be firm but the centers runny. Run a knife around the edges to loosen and invert on to dessert plates. I serve with a dollop of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Spinach Artichoke Dip


1/2 package (10 oz.) frozen chopped spinach, thawed
1 cup drained chopped artichoke hearts
1 cup reduced-fat or regular mayonnaise (Hellman's is best)
1 package (3 oz.) cream cheese - softened
1 onion (6 oz.), peeled and minced
1 clove garlic, pressed or minced
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika


Squeeze spinach to remove liquid. With a mixer, beat spinach, artichoke hearts, mayonnaise, cream cheese, onion, garlic, 1 cup Parmesan cheese, and pepper until thoroughly combined.

Mound mixture in a 3- to 4-cup baking dish. Sprinkle evenly with 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese and the paprika.

Bake in a 350° oven until hot in center and lightly browned on top, 25 to 30 minutes.

You can make the cheese mixture up to 2 days ahead, cover, and chill, then bake uncovered.

I serve this with thinly sliced and toasted baguettes -

Slice the bread and arrange on a cookie sheet. Brush with olive oil that has pressed garlic and lightly sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Toast in a 375 degree oven for 15 minutes or until evenly browned.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Lemon Cloud

2 sticks of margarine - softened
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
2 - 8 ounce pkg of cream cheese
3 boxes of instant lemon pudding
Milk - as per pudding box
1 large container of Cool Whip

Mix margarine, and flour - press into 9 inch by 13 inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes, remove from oven and cool.

Whip sugar and cream cheese together and spread on cooled crust. Prepare pudding as per box directions and smooth on to of cream cheese. Refrigerate (this is best if done overnight). Spread on cool whip just before serving.

This was a childhood favorite dessert!

Baked Brie

You will need: 2 small brie rounds and 1 egg beaten.


8 ounces cream cheese - softened
1/2 cup butter - softened
1 1/2 cups flour

Blend these ingredients, mixing thoroughly. Divide into 2 balls, wrap in plastic wrap and chill 1-2 hours.

Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface.

Place brie in center and gather edges of dough to fully encase. cut a small circle or use a cookie cutter to cut seasonal appropriate shape to seal the top.

Repeat for second round of brie.

Place on parchment lined cookie sheet and brush with well beaten egg. Bake at 425 degrees until golden - about 15-20 minutes

Serve warm with crackers. Party pleaser!

Chocolate Snowballs

Mix 2 cups flour with 1/2 teaspoon salt and set aside.

3/4 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 egg

Stir in flour mixture add 1 cup chopped walnuts and 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips - MIX WELL, dough will be stiff.

Shape dough into 1 inch balls and place on parchment lined cookie sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes until slightly browned.

Cool slightly on racks and then roll in powdered sugar.

I usually double the recipe which works well. Mom has made these every Christmas since I can remember and they are always the first to be devoured!

Sunday, December 9, 2007


1 cup butter, unsalted and softened
3/4 cup powdered sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Makes 4 dozen cookies.

In a large bowl, beat butter until fluffy; gradually beat in powdered sugar and vanilla. Combine flour baking powder and salt then blend into butter mixture a little at a time.

Divide dough in half, shape each portion into a 10-inch log and wrap in wax or parchment paper, chill 8 hours; or freeze up to six weeks, thaw in refridgerator.

Cut each roll into 1/3 inch slices and place on parchment lined cookie sheets.

Bake at for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned, transfer to wire racks and cool completely

(Shortbread can be stored in airtight containers for up to two weeks.)


Chocolate-Dipped Shortbread Cookies: Microwave 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate morsels in a glass bowl at HIGH 1 minute. Stir until smooth. Dip half of each cooled cookie into chocolate. Place on wax paper to set.

Peanut Butter-and-Jelly Shortbread Cookies: Stir 1/2 cup peanut butter into dough after adding flour mixture. Make an indentation in center of each cookie slice before baking. Fill each indentation with 1/4 teaspoon jelly.

Chocolate-Mint Shortbread Cookies: Stir 1 (4.67-ounce) package chocolate mints, chopped, into dough after adding flour mixture. Proceed as directed.

Toffee Shortbread Cookies: Stir 1 cup almond brickle chips into dough after adding flour mixture. Proceed as directed.

Pecan-Crusted Shortbread Cookies: Coat 10-inch logs with 3/4 cup finely chopped pecans. Proceed as directed.

Red Cinnamon Candy Shortbread Cookies: Stir 1/2 cup red cinnamon candies into dough after adding flour mixture. Proceed as directed.

Snowman Shortbread Cookies: Chill dough 2 hours after adding flour mixture. Shape dough into 16 (3/4-inch) balls, 16 (1/2-inch) balls, and 16 (1/4-inch) balls. Use 1 ball of each size to make snowman shapes, leaving no space between balls. Bake as directed. For eyes, use black gel frosting after cookies cool, or press chocolate mini morsels onto warm cookies. Make scarves using red decorator frosting after cookies cool.

For an extra special treat I melt semi-sweet chocolate chips, dip the cooled shortbread in that then quickly in chopped pecans or toffee chips. Let dry.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Chicken Orzo Frittata

3/4 cup orzo pasta
6 eggs
1/3 cup whole milk ricotta
1/4 cup creme fraiche
2 cooked chicken breasts, cubed (about 2 cups)
4 scallions, chopped
1/4 cup chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley
1/3 cup diced roasted red bell peppers
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Bring a small pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the orzo and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta.

In a large bowl combine the eggs, ricotta, and creme fraiche and stir until the eggs are beaten and the ingredients are combined. Add the cooked orzo, chicken, scallions, parsley, red bell peppers, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine.

Pour the mixture into a 1 1/2-quart baking dish. Bake for 25 minutes. Turn on the broiler. Place the pan under the broiler until golden on top, about 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and let set for 5 minutes. Cut into wedges and serve with a side salad.

This is a great dish for a ladies lunch or shower!!

Nog for the Dog (Canine Egg Nog)

- 1 container plain yogurt (32 oz or larger)
- 1 jar baby food (any meat flavor)
- 1 large can evaporated milk
- 1 egg
- 1 1/2 cups water

Blend all ingredients and serve in festive holiday bowls. You can also freeze the left over in ice cube trays and give as a summer treat.

* Also as with any uncooked egg dish please be sure your eggs are super fresh and this does not go un-refridgerated.

ENJOY - 4 Paws Up

Maple Bourbon Pecan Pie

Makes 1 nine-inch pie.

All-purpose flour, for dusting
Pie Dough or pre-made pie crust
1 cup sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
4 large whole eggs
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons dark corn syrup
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons bourbon, or dark rum
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups (5 1/4 ounces) pecan halves
2 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons heavy cream
Whipped cream, (optional)


Use a pre-made crust (and don't worry about the leaves) OR on a lightly floured surface, roll dough to 1/8 inch thick. Transfer to a 9-inch pie tin, leaving a 1/2-inch overhang. Fold overhang under evenly. Using a paring knife, carefully cut out leaves from scraps of dough. Gently score leaves with the back of the knife to create veins. Place leaves on a baking sheet. Transfer lined pie tin and leaves to refrigerator. Chill for at least 30 minutes.

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

In a medium bowl, whisk together sugar, butter, 4 whole eggs, corn syrup, maple syrup, bourbon, and vanilla. Fold in half the pecan halves. Pour filling into pie shell; arrange remaining pecan halves on top of pie.

Score the outer rim of pie. Beat 1 egg yolk, and brush over hatch marks. Adhere the leaves to the dough in a decorative pattern. Chill the pie for 30 minutes. Mix 2 tablespoons heavy cream with remaining egg yolk. Brush the egg glaze over the leaves, and transfer pie to the oven.

Bake 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 degrees. Bake until a knife tip comes out clean, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

We had this Thanksgiving of 2007 and it was a BIG HIT!!!!

Minty Mutt Cookies

- 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 1/2 cups Bisquick
- 1/2 cup mint chopped leaves
- 1/2 cup milk

- 4 tablespoons margarine
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup corn syrup (light or dark)

Combine all ingredients in food processor, process until well mixed
Roll out on a floured surface to 1/4 to 1/2 inch thickness.

Cut with holiday shaped cookie cutters, place on non-stick cookie pan.
Bake at 375 F for 20 minutes or until lightly browned.

Cool and store in air-tight container.

Dory's favorite stocking stuffer for all her doggie pals! If you like you can also melt carob chips and dip the cookies in for a festive look!!

Easy Cheesy Doggie Cookies


1 3/4 cups cheddar cheese, grated and room temperature
1 stick margarine
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 eggs
Steps to Make:

1. Cream cheese with margarine and flour. Mix well then add eggs.
2. Make 2 logs, about 2" in diameter.
3. Chill in refrigerator.
4. Cut into 1/4" slices and place on a greased baking sheet.
5. Bake at 375 F for about 15 minutes or until slightly brown and firm.
6. Store in Airtight container.
Dory says, "YUMMO"!

Oh So Lemony Cookies

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar 2 eggs
1 (15-ounce) container whole milk ricotta cheese
3 tablespoons lemon juice 1 lemon, zested
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 lemon, zested

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Cookies: In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
In the large bowl combine the butter and the sugar. Using an electric mixer beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating until incorporated. Add the ricotta cheese, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Beat to combine. Stir in the dry ingredients.
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Spoon the dough (about 2 tablespoons for each cookie) onto the baking sheets. Bake for 15 minutes, until slightly golden at the edges. Remove from the oven and let the cookies rest on the baking sheet for 20 minutes.

Glaze: Combine the powdered sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest in a small bowl and stir until smooth. Spoon about 1/2-teaspoon onto each cookie and use the back of the spoon to gently spread. Let the glaze harden for about 2 hours. Pack the cookies into a decorative container.

These cookies keep very well and their pretty lemony flecks make them great for holiday gift giving.