What's Cooking - 2008

December brings us two guest chefs! Our entrée is from E. Jamie, author of REDEMPTION a historical/western erotica read from Amira Press. The scrumptious dessert is provided by Lex Valentine, author of CHRISTMAS HOOKUP available at Pink Petal Books.

You’ll love these marvelous recipes. Studs did!

December’s Choice

• E. Jamie’s Balsamic Chicken Wings
• Rice or French Fries
• Garden Salad
• Lex’s Sticky Gingerbread Cake
• French Bread
• Chardonnay Wine

Balsamic Chicken Wings

You can adjust the sauce and cooking times if you want to use drumsticks or thighs instead of wings. Sloane note: We did and used this marvelous appetizer for a main course.

½ medium onion, sliced
3 chicken wings
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
¼ cup soy sauce
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 whole cloves garlic (if you don’t have a blender, mince fine, otherwise drop in blender and let it do the work!)
½ tsp dried marjoram, oregano may be substituted
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
½ tsp dried ginger
½ tsp dried thyme
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp ketchup

Preheat oven to 400˚

Combine all ingredients from balsamic vinegar down in a blender or a bowl. Blend/Stir until well mixed, sauce should look a murky brown. Spread onion slices on bottom of pan, add wings, then pour sauce on top coating well.

Cover pan with foil and bake for half an hour, turning once after 15 minutes. At the 20 minute mark remove foil and continue to bake until the sauce is reduced, thickened and sticky on the chicken.

Serve with Rice or Fries.

Garden Salad

A variety of fresh lettuce
Tomatoes cut in eights
Fresh ground pepper to taste
Your favorite bottled dressing

Toss everything but the dressing together in a large bowl. Store in the fridge until ready to serve.

Lex’s Sticky Gingerbread Cake

½ cup shortening or margarine
½ cup granulated sugar
1 egg
½ cup molasses
1 ½ cups flour
¾ teas cinnamon (you can use more)
¾ teas salt
¼ teas nutmeg
¾ teas ginger (you can use more if you prefer)
¾ teas baking soda
½ cup boiling water or stout
1 Tbsp whiskey or spiced rum

Preheat oven to 350˚.

Beat together margarine, sugar, egg and molasses.

Add the flour, spices, baking soda, water and alcohol. Beat until batter is thick and smooth.

Bake in greased 8-inch square pan for 35 – 40 minutes. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream. For mini cakes or muffins reduce cooking time to 25 – 30 minutes.

Esther Mitchell is our creative chef this month who has given us the perfect Halloween party menu. Studs is already licking his chops! Esther’s unique and beautifully written books bring you into a world of darkness that will keep you riveted to the pages. “Edge of your seat” and “Daring” are what reviewers have dubbed Esther Mitchell’s work. Be sure to check out her website to learn more about the addictive Ms Mitchell.

October’s Choice

• Eye of Frog Salad
• Monster Mash Dip
• Dead Men’s Fingers
• Harvest Crisp
• Oatmeal Bannocks
• Bloody Marys

Eye of Frog Salad

This is a great party food for any time, but add a little dash of food-coloring, and it’s a perfectly ghoulish treat for a Halloween party!

(Serves approx. 40)

2 cans chunk pineapple
2 cans mandarin orange sections
1 ¼ cups sugar
2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 egg
1 box Acini de Pepe noodles
½ package miniature marshmallows
1 jar maraschino cherries
1 large container Cool Whip

Cook noodles and allow to cool.

In a separate saucepan, drain liquid from pineapple and oranges and SAVE.

Add to juice: sugar, flour, beaten egg.

Cook mixture until thickened, stirring constantly.

Add fruit and juice mixture to cool noodles

Add marshmallows and maraschino cherries

Cool in fridge approximately 8 hours

Add Cool Whip and stir until blended (add food coloring to Cool Whip before mixing, if desired)

Monster Mash Dip

Great for any party, but serve with cracker sticks at Halloween for a finger-dipping good time! (Makes approx. 2 1/3 cups)

1 can cream of shrimp soup
1 8 oz. package cream cheese, softened
¼ cup finely chopped green pepper
2 Tablespoons finely chopped onion
Dash of Tabasco sauce

With an electric mixer, gradually blend soup and cream cheese together, just until smooth. Mix in remaining ingredients. Chill. Serve with crackers or chips.

Dead Men’s Fingers

Devilishly delicious, these protein-packed treats will keep the kiddies fueled up for an evening of trick-or-treating! (Makes 8.)

8 thin slices bread
2 Tablespoons ketchup or mustard
8 pork sausage links, cooked
4 slices bacon
1 oz. butter or margarine, melted

Preheat the oven to 400 F.

Cut the crust from the bread.

Spread each slice of bread with ketchup or mustard.

Place a sausage on each slice of bread and roll up.

Place the bacon slices on a cutting board, stretch with back of knife, and cut in half.

Roll each piece of bacon around the center of the sausage/bread rolls.

Place rolls on baking tray and brush bread with melted butter or margarine.

Bake for 10-15 minutes, until the bacon is cooked and the bread is golden brown.

Harvest Crisp

This sweet and healthy treat is simple to make, and perfect for any Samhain feast. I serve it every year.

4 cups sliced apples
2 cups sliced pears
2 cups sliced peaches
1 cup berries or currents (any variety)
1 cup packed brown sugar
¾ cup whole wheat flour
1 cup whole rolled oats
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
½ cup butter or margarine

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Arrange fruit and berries in 9×13 baking dish.

Mix the rest of the ingredients in a separate bowl, using a fork.

Sprinkle mixture over fruit.

Bake 30 minutes.

Oatmeal Bannocks

This traditional Scottish breakfast food makes a great addition to any Samhain feast or ritual. Be sure to make enough to leave some for the Faeries!

1 ½ cups all purpose flour
2 level tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
1 oz. butter or margarine (for this recipe, I prefer real butter)
1 cup whole rolled oats
1 Tablespoon sugar
½ pint whole milk or heavy cream

Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt.

Rub in butter using hands.

Stir in oats and sugar.

Add enough milk to make a soft dough.

Pat out on floured surface in two rounds about ½ thick.

Cook on hot, floured griddle until well-risen and browned, turning when cooked on the underside.

A marvelously spooky October to you all!

Esther Mitchell

This month Clare London is our guest chef. She’s a wonderful cook. Definitely Studs approved! Its amazing Clare finds time to prepare these tasty meals while writing best selling hot romance novels. Check out her Dark Pearl website to learn more about the impressive Ms London.

September’s Choice

• Starter Salad – May also be used as a Luncheon Salad
• Caribbean Chicken
• Ginger Snap Seduction
• Fresh Rolls
• Chardonnay Wine

Lunch salad- or starter

Even my two sons like to make this!

100g pancetta, cubed – about 3 slices in US weight
Bag of salad leaves, your choice
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil plus extra for frying
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1-2 tsp red wine vinegar
75g hard cheese e.g. parmesan, cheddar, crumbled blue – about 1 1/4 cups US

Fry the pancetta in a little plain olive oil.

Tip the salad leaves into a bowl and add the pancetta.

Make the dressing off the heat; add the olive oil to the bacon juices in the pan.

Stir in the mustard and the red wine vinegar.

Pour the warm dressing over the salad and toss well to disperse it.

Shave over the cheese and serve.

Serves 4

Caribbean Chicken

Great for chicken left over from Sunday roast and it’s in my weight watching range of recipes.

1 onion, 1 green pepper – chopped
Plenty of chicken stock, at least 2 pints
4 tsp corn flour (thickening flour)
4oz canned pineapple + 4 Tbl of the juice
4 tsp ketchup
2 tsp curry powder – or more if you like!
12oz cooked chicken
2 small bananas

Preheat oven to 180C / 350F.

Using a reasonably deep pan, stir-fry the onion and pepper in some oil for a few minutes.

Add the stock.

Blend the pineapple juice with the corn flour, then add it to the pan, also all the other ingredients *except* the bananas.

Bring to the boil then transfer to an ovenproof dish and cook in the oven for an hour.

Slice the bananas and stir into the sauce just before serving.

Serve with rice of your choice.

Serves 4

Ginger Snap Seduction

You have to understand, I’m no cook, so everything has to be really easy. LOL

1 pack of ginger nuts – if you can’t find the nuts substitute 2 tsp ground ginger and 11/2 cups halved pecans or almonds
1 pint double cream – this is our whipping cream
1 tin of mandarin orange segments

Drain the tin of mandarins but keep the juice in a bowl.

Whip the cream to soft peaks.

Now find a wide or long plate and create a ‘Christmas log’ effect like this:

Dip a couple of ginger nuts quickly in the juice, so it soaks through but doesn’t break up the biscuits (cookies to you).

Sandwich them quickly together with a spoonful of cream.? Dip and repeat, adding to the log lying on its side on the plate, until all biscuits are gone.

Cover the log with the rest of the cream and decorate with the mandarin slices.

The juice makes the biscuits meld into one long tube and it can be sliced.

Gorge yourself!

Serves as many as you can’t fight off it, usually about 6.

Please email me, clarelondon11@yahoo.co.uk, your opinions or if you need any assistance.

Wishing you all a beautiful time in the kitchen,
Clare London

This month we have Dawn Roberto, the owner of Love Romances Café, as our guest chef. She’s a terrific cook who loves to share recipes. We’re highlighting two complete menus from Dawn and a third from her family members. What can I say – Studs has fallen in love again. I have to say, Dawn and her hubby Chris sure know how to do it up right!

While you’re on the net be sure to check out Dawn’s beautiful Myspace. Lots of interesting info for you.

August’s Choice #1

• Taco Dip
• Tropical Macaroni Salad
• BBQ Hamburgers with Homemade BBQ Sauce
• Fresh Rolls
• Pumpkin Cookies
• Beer and Soft Drinks

Taco Dip

1 16 oz. sour cream
16 oz. cream cheese softened
1 jar salsa you – MUST use jar salsa, fresh won’t work well
Shredded cheese – suit to your taste
Shredded lettuce – you can find this in the grocery aisle
Chopped tomatoes

Bottom Layer

Mix sour cream and cream cheese together, spread on bottom of pan.

Next Layer

Spread salsa on top.

Top Layer

Add lettuce, cheese and tomatoes on top of the salsa and sour cream/cream cheese mixture.

Cover and refrigerate until needed.

Serve with Chips.

**You can make the sour cream/cream cheese mixture for the bottom layer ahead of time and let it sit covered in fridge a day before you use it. Add the remainder on the day you need it at least 3 hours ahead of your event.**

Dawn’s note: I love this recipe.

Studs, our friends and I couldn’t agree more!!

Tropical Macaroni Salad

Similar to Ambrosia

1 pound box of Rosa Marina Macaroni #37 (I use orzo if I can’t find the Rosa Marina Mac)
2 large cans chunk pineapple with juice
2 cans Mandarin oranges in juice
9 oz. Cool Whip
½ tsp. salt
¾ cup sugar
2 eggs beaten
2 Tbsp. flour

Darin pineapple, save the juice. Add flour, salt, sugar and beaten eggs to the juice. Cook this mixture on low heat until it thickens.

Cook the macaroni until desired texture while you’re doing the above. Rinse in cold water to cool quickly.

Combine the cooked mixture with the macaroni and chill overnight.

Next Day

Fold in pineapple, Mandarin oranges with their juice, and Cool Whip. Chill in the fridge until ready to serve.

BBQ Hamburgers with Homemade BBQ Sauce

I love making this in a crock pot for a party or get together. Make the hamburger patties or use pre-made from the store and cook on grill or stove.

BBQ Sauce

If used in crock pot, I double the quantity, depending on how large the crock pot is.

1 large onion chopped
3 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 cups ketchup
3 Tbsp. white vinegar
1 cup water
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. chili powder
2 Tbsp. dark brown sugar
2 Tbsp. dry mustard

Mix all together, pour over hamburgers in crock pot. Set on low hear for several hours before event.

Serve with rolls.

Pumpkin Cookies

2 ½ cups flour
1 ½ cups sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
½ cups (1 stick) butter room temp.
1 tsp. baking powder
1 cup 100% pure pumpkin
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 egg
½ tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. vanilla
½ tsp. salt
1 cup raisins optional
Cream Cheese Frosting

The cookies are good with or without frosting.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Dawn’s note: I always bake cookies at least 25 degrees below recommended temp as some oven vary.

Combine four, baking soda and powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and sail in a bowl; set aside

Beat sugar and butter until creamy. Add pumpkin, egg and vanilla, beat until smooth.

Beat the flour mixture into the cream mixture a little at a time until well blended. Add raisins if using.

Drop by teaspoonful onto baking sheet and bake about 15 minutes until edges are firm.

August’s Choice #2

• Buffalo Chicken Wing Dip
• Chicken Corn Chowder
• Italian Grilled Zucchini
• Fresh Rolls, Biscuits or Italian Bread
• Crisp Chardonnay or Coronas

Buffalo Chicken Wing Dip

1 6 oz. cream cheese room temp.
8 oz. hot sauce – Dawn prefers Buffalo chicken wing sauce since she’s from the Buffalo area!
¾ cup chopped celery optional
2 cups shredded chicken
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese plus extra for topping

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine cream cheese, hot sauce and celery. Heat in microwave until the cream cheese is melted.

Add the shredded chicken and cheddar cheese. Mix well.

Put in a 9×13” baking dish

Top with more cheddar cheese.

Bake 25-30 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbly. Serve warm with chips.

Chicken Corn Chowder

Chris and I enjoy making soups/stews over winter and we’ve found an easy way to do this recipe which is a crowd pleaser.

2 slices bacon cut into 1 inch pieces Also, cook extra for garnish
2 cups diced red potatoes skin on
1 cup thawed frozen pepper stir fry. I use whatever is cheap at the store.
¼ tsp. black pepper
2 cans (14.74 oz.) cream style corn whatever brand you favor
1 ¼ cup milk
2 cups cooked cubed chicken, I use pre-made and get different varieties or buy a rotisserie chicken from the deli to use.

Cook bacon in pot over medium heat until crisp, 3-4 minutes, stir occasionally so it doesn’t burn. Remove bacon to drain and reserve the fat.

Add the potatoes, pepper stir fry and black pepper ( I use Montreal steak seasonng as it has other spices in it that I use as well) in the reserved bacon fat. Stir and let cook until tender, about 8-10 min. Drain some of the fat out and keep just a tsp. for flavor.

Add cream corn and milk. Slowly turn up heat to medium high and bring to a boil. Turn down to simmer on low and cover, stir occasionally and cook until potatoes are tender about 12-15 min. depending on stove heat. Stir in chicken and let heat through about 2-4 minutes.

Sprinkle with bacon chips and serve with rolls, biscuits or fresh bread.

Italian Grilled Zucchini

Whatever quantity zucchini you feel like

Halve zucchini lengthwise then toss in a bag in Italian style vinaigrette. Add some hot pepper flakes if desired.

Grill or broil until tender about 10 minutes.

A better way to eat this then with butter.

August’s Choice #3


From Dawn’s Sister

3 cups Ricotta Cheese
1 pound ground beef or chuck
3 cups shredded Mozzarella Cheese
1 jar spaghetti sauce any flavor or brand
¾ cup grated Parmesan Cheese
12 uncooked lasagna noodles
2 eggs

Mix ricotta, mozzarella, 1/2 cup parmesan cheese and eggs together. Set aside

Cook noodles until al Dante (Faster cooking time I found); drain and set aside. From Sloane: I don’t precook my noodles and the lasagna comes out perfect.

In the meantime, brown meat until done and not pink, strain, then add in sauce.

Layer in pan: 1 cup sauce/meat mixture, noodles, 1/4 cup cheese mixture. Repeat as needed then top with remaining Mozzarella cheese. ( I love cheese lasagna so I always add extra cheese to mine).

You can freeze this by not cooking the noodles, cover and freeze unbaked. Bake 1 hour and 15 minutes when you want it.

Place pan on cookie sheet, bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. Let it stand 10-15 minutes when done.

Pineapple Squares

My mom makes these and they are really, really good!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees,


2 cans crushed pineapple
5 Tbsp. tapioca or flour
1 ½ cups sugar

Mix together and let stand while you prepare the crust.


5 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
2 cups shortening
¾ cup water you may need a bit more

Mix all together until a dough forms like pie dough. Cut in half. Roll out one half for the bottom cruise, lay on cookie sheet, prick bottom with a fork so no air bubbles form. Make sure the edges overlap the pan.

Add filling, spread until it is even.

Roll out the second dough ball like the first then lay over the filling. Roll the edges like you a pie. Poke holes on top of crust so no air bubbles form while baking.

Bake 350 degrees for an hour. Cover the edges with foil to prevent over-browning. Remove last 15 minutes of baking.

Cool completely.


2 cups confectioner’s sugar
2 Tbsp. butter
2 tsp. milk
8 oz. cream cheese

Mix together and spread on cooled squares. Decorate with sprinkles and maraschino cherries. Cut into squares and enjoy.

Monster Candy Cookies

From Dawn’s Mom

6 snack size each: Mounds Bars, Kit Kat Bars, Snickers Bars
¾ cup mega M&M’s
2 Tbsp. mini M&M’s
1 cup butter at room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 ½ cups flour
3 eggs
1 tsp. baking soda

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Chop candy bars into bite size pieces. In a large bowl, combine all the candy and set aside.

Beat butter and sugar together for about 2 minutes until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, on low speed, then add vanilla. Mix well.

Add in flow, baking soda and salt. Mix well.

Combine dough and 1 ½ cups candy mixture. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto cookie sheet 2 inches apart. Gently press remaining candy onto the cookies.

Bake 12 minutes or until golden. Cool on pan for five minutes.

**You can use other candy if you so desire**

My good friend and writing buddy, Ginger Simpson, has dropped by to give us a recipe that works great as an hors d’oeuvre or a romantic meal on a hot summer day. Studs can’t get enough of it. And he’s not supposed to eat shrimp!

Okay…if you love Shrimp Cocktail, you’ll adore this one.

June’s Choice

• Ginger’s Shrimp Dip
• Steamed Fresh Asparagus
• Seedless Red Grapes
• Croissants fresh or packaged
• Butter
• Chardonnay Wine

Ginger’s Shrimp Dip

3 cans of mini shrimp drained and rinsed. In a large bowl, with the cleaned shrimp, add:
1 Bottle of Heinz Cocktail Sauce
1 Bottle of Ketchup
1 T of prepared mustard
Dash of Worcestershire
Dash of Tabasco
Salt and Pepper

Dice 5 stalks of celery into small, small pieces.

Dice 1 small bell pepper into small pieces.

Dice 5 green onions into small pieces.

(You want them to be small so they don’t break your chip or cracker. 🙂

Add the vegetables to the shrimp bowl. Mix everything together and let it set, covered in the refrigerator overnight. All the tastes blend together better this way. Serve with Crackers or chips. My favorite are wheat thins. This is a real party pleaser…I’ve written out the recipe so many times, I used to carry printed ones in my purse. I’m making myself hungry for a bowl of this. I’m not kidding, I could eat it with a shovel…er, spoon.

SPICE up your life with GINGER

Steamed Fresh Asparagus

1 bunch fresh Asparagus
Chicken broth fresh or canned
1 clove garlic minced

Rinse the asparagus under cold water. Leave the rubber bands intact. Chop off the tough ends about 1 inch or so from the bottom until they are the right length for your pot.

Pour chicken broth into pot to just below steamer. You’ll have to top it off after you insert the steamer. Don’t let the broth ooze through the holes.

Crush garlic into broth.

Insert steamer. Cut rubber bands off asparagus and lay the vegetables onto the steamer.

Cover. Bring to a boil then steam about 7 – 10 minutes.

Arranging the Plates for a Dinner

Lay a lettuce leaf on the side of each plate. Mound the shrimp salad in the center. Clip the grapes into small bunches then position an appealing quantity onto plates. Next, lay the steamed asparagus along the remaining side.

Add a few candles, chilled glasses for the wine and some romantic music for a night to remember!

This month we have award winning author Lena Austin, at the stove with her family favorites. I do believe Studs is in love again!

Hi Everyone,

My collection is very large, but I’ve chosen a few of my random favorites.

Chicken Parisienne and Basic Bavarian fit your book themes, Sloane. I’ve served them to my family for over twenty years. The Basic Bavarian was a gift from my grandmother.

Susie’s Chai is my daughter’s recipe. You mix about two tablespoons with hot plain black tea. Make a jar and keep it in the refrigerator. It keeps for a long time and only improves with age.

The Golden Sauce is an old 70’s classic using from Velveeta. It makes vegetables very tasty.

Hope you enjoy.

May’s Choice

• Chicken Parisienne
• Vegetables with Golden Sauce
• Fresh French Bread
• Basic Bavarian
• Chardonnay Wine
• For Non Drinking Friends – Susie’s Chai

Chicken Parisienne

4 Chicken boneless, skinless breasts (Thighs can be substituted, but remove the skins)
1 can cream of mushroom soup (get the good stuff. Buying generic is not good for this recipe)
1/4 cup white wine or apple juice
1 small container sour cream
Hot cooked rice or noodles
Paprika (optional)

Throw the chicken, soup, and wine in the slow cooker and set to Low. Go away for at least six hours. Remove the chicken and set aside. Using a whisk, stir in the sour cream until blended. Place the chicken on the rice or noodles, spoon the sauce over the top, and sprinkle with a little paprika for color. Serves 4. Double or even triple with ease.

Vegetables with Golden Sauce

1/2 lb. Velveeta, cubed
1/4 C. milk

Heat Velveeta and milk over low heat; stir until sauce is smooth. Makes one cup.


2 1 1/2 ounce jar chopped, drained mushrooms
4 crisply cooked bacon slices, crumbled
One tablespoon chopped pimiento
1 tsp. lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon onion powder or 1/4-teaspoon garlic powder

Serving suggestions: server over hot cooked rice, buttery pasta, or your favorite cooked vegetables.

Basic Bavarian

This recipe is very versatile. Use it plain, add fruit, cubed gelatin, or layer two flavors.

1 3-oz package Jell-O Gelatin, any fruit flavor
1/4 cup sugar (you may substitute an equal amount of Splenda)
1 cup boiling water
3/4 cup cold water or non-citric fruit juice
1-1/2 cups Cool Whip or Cool Whip Free

Dissolve Jell-O and sugar in boiling water. Add cold water. Chill until slightly thickened, about one hour and 15 minutes. Stir in the Cool Whip until blended. Pour into a 1-quart mold, or 6-8 individual serving dishes. Chill until firm, at least 3 hours. Makes 6-8 servings.

This recipe is a standard at our Sabbats because of the different flavors, fruits, and colors that can be used to create it, as well as the sheer number of molds available to go with any theme.

Susie’s Chai

1 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/8 tsp ground black pepper

Pour entire can of milk into a clean, dry jar.

Add all the spices and cover tightly with lid.

Place in refrigerator. The longer it stays refrigerated, the better it gets.

To use, stir the mixture and scoop out 2-3 tablespoons directly into a cup of very strong, very hot black tea.

Makes 1-3/4 cups.

Romance author extraordinaire, Brianna Martini, is our guest chef this month. Although this menu is designed for Valentine’s Day, Studs has declared it an “Any Holiday” treat. Is there any wonder why I love him? Read on.

April’s Choice

• Pasta alla Amatriciana
• Tomato Salad
• Fresh Italian Bread
• Fresh Peaches Stuffed with Macaroons
• Chianti Wine – Gabbiano 2006 offers a smoother taste than most brands

Buon giorno!

I usually make homemade pasta and tomato sauce to make this recipe. Since it is Valentine’s Day and we do want to have some naughty fun, I’ve altered it from my original alla Rachel Ray style to make it faster and easier. I’ll use a pack of pasta preferably elbow shapes or bucatini and already canned tomato sauce.

Prior to laying out everything of course you’ll need to decorate the room you wish to have your dinner in with your lover. Adding scented candles, roses, music, rose petals, champagne, chocolates and whatever you both want. Secondly prepare a hot bubble bath for two…a few packs of condoms and the rest it’s up to you.


Pasta alla Amatriciana

1/4 cup cubed sliced onions
1 small clove of garlic, crushed
extra virgin olive oil enough to cover the bottom of the frying pan.
1/4 cup flaked pancetta
6 slices of bacon, cut into small pieces 1/4″ both ways.
1 can of tomato sauce your preference – I use fresh tomato, 2 extra large red juicy ones or 5 small ones.
salt, pepper and a touch of chili to taste.
1/4 cup percorino cheese.

If you wish to change the recipe around a bit you may change this into carbonara sauce see below.

In a frying pan, pour some extra virgin olive oil add 1/4 cup of cubed sliced onions, the crushed garlic and let it fry slightly until a touch of brown. Add the few slices of pancetta or bacon and fry for approx 8 minutes. Once this is done pour some of the excess fat
and oil in a measuring cup. You will need the rest for the sauce.

In a round large pot bring the water to boil, follow the instructions how to cook pasta.

Now the water is almost boiling, you may start on the sauce by letting your lover do this…)

Put the fire on low heat and make sure that stir constantly so the pancetta or bacon doesn’t burn. Pour the tomato sauce and stir again turning on the heat to medium low and let it simmer for approx 10 minutes until the sauce is boiling.

At this point the pasta should be almost done al dente. Strain and pour the water out. Leaving the pasta in the pot pouring the sauce over it. Stir with two wooden spoons and serve hot.

Sprinkle or shake some percorino cheese on the pasta and serve or you may serve the pasta first then add the cheese. Not everyone likes the cheese. In this case you may either use parmigiano. But I must tell you this recipe is great with percorino.

Music suggestion: From the Heart Classics is a good CD to listen to while having dinner.

Carbonara Sauce

Same recipe as above with the following addition or you may change the pasta to spaghetti the Carbonara sauce is good with all pasta. Excellent with spaghetti or linguini.

2 large eggs or 4 small eggs
4 tablespoon of pecorino cheese
1 teaspoon of pepper

In a medium size bowl pour the eggs, cheese salt and pepper to taste and the bacon or pancetta. Beat with a fork until its almost like a creamy frothy mixture.

Boil the pasta or spaghetti accordingly to instructions on the box.

Drain the water completely reserving 1/2 cup and leave the pasta in the pot. Reheat for 3 minutes and straightway add the egg and bacon mixture. Stir the pasta or spaghetti until its fully coated with the eggs and bacon. If you see that it is much too dry then add the
reserved 1/2 cup of water. Serve immediately!


Brianna Martini

Brianna’s Original Recipe for Valentine’s Day
Reprinted with permission Satisfy You and Me Cookbook for Lovers.
Copyright 2005, Liri

Tomato Salad

Tomatoes sliced ¼ inch thick
¼ teas. minced garlic
½ Cup olive oil
Fresh ground pepper to taste
2 T. red wine vinegar
2 T. thinly sliced scallions
1 T. finely cut fresh basil or 1 teas. dried
1 t. parsley

Arrange the tomatoes in slightly overlapping concentric circles on a deep round plate or platter.

For the dressing, mix the oil, vinegar, basil, garlic and pepper then spoon over the tomatoes. Combine the scallions and parsley then sprinkle evenly over the top. Store in the fridge until ready to serve.

Fresh Peaches Stuffed with Macaroons

2 firm but ripe peaches
1 T. sugar
3 stale macaroons crushed in a plastic bag by a mallet, wooden spoon, or rolling pin.
2 T. unsalted butter softened
1 egg yolk

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Blanch the peaches in boiling water for about 20 seconds. Remove with slotted spoon and plunge into cold water. Peel off the skins with a sharp knife. Cut the peaches in half, remove pits then scoop out enough pulp to make a deep space in the center. Add this pulp to the crushed macaroons then stir in sugar, butter and egg yolk. Stuff the peaches with the mixture.

Arrange peaches side by side in a buttered baking dish. Bake for 25 minutes or until just tender. Baste with pan drippings at least once. May be served hot or cold.

This month we have two mystery authors extraordinaire, Beth Anderson and M.C. Halliday. They’ve created a menu Studs and I can’t seem to eat often enough. We’re talking major yummy here!

March’s Choice

• Chili Rubbed Chicken with Roasted Garlic Sauce
• Sweet Potato (or Yam) Wedges
• Salad
• Cherry Cheesecake
• Chardonnay Wine

Chili Rubbed Chicken with Roasted Garlic Sauce

4 tbsp melted butter
4 tbsp flour
4 tsp chili powder
4 chicken breasts
12 garlic cloves, unpeeled
3/4 cup chicken broth
3/4 cup dry white wine
1/2 tsp sage

Preheat oven to 375.

Combine 2 tbsp each of butter and flour with 3 tsp chili powder in small bowl. Rub mixture on chicken. Place chicken in small roasting pan, scattering garlic around chicken.

Roast 30 minutes.

Transfer garlic to plate.

Roast chicken another 10 to 20 minutes.

Garlic Sauce

Meanwhile, peel garlic and mash.

Stir remaining 2 tbsp butter and flour together in a heavy saucepan over medium heat for one minute. Then whisk in broth and wine. Add sage, garlic and the remaining 1 tsp chili powder. Bring sauce to a boil, whisking occasionally for 8 minutes. Reduce heat, simmer for 5 more minutes while stirring. Taste and season.

Transfer chicken to platter and serve with garlic sauce, and Yam Wedges.

Sweet Potato (or Yam) Wedges

1 egg
1 garlic clove minced
1 tbsp water
3 medium yams, peeled and cut into wedges
3/4 cup breadcrumbs
3/4 cup parmesan cheese
1 tsp each, dried basil and oregano

Increase oven temperature to 425. Mix egg, garlic and water in a bowl. Add potatoes and toss to coat.

In a shallow dish, combine breadcrumbs, parmesan, basil and oregano.

Roll wedges in crumb mixture to coat well.

Place on greased baking sheet at 425 for 15 minutes. Turn and bake for 15 minutes more.

This is easy and fun to prepare. Bon Appétit!


Tossed Salad

A variety of fresh lettuce
Tomatoes cut in eights
Fresh ground pepper to taste
Your favorite bottled dressing

Toss everything but the dressing together in a large bowl. Store in the fridge until ready to serve.

Cherry Cheesecake

My recipe for the pie, which I mortally screw up technique wise, is so easy you won’t believe it.

One pre-made LARGE 9 inch graham cracker pie crust, found in the baking section.

One container of Philadelphia Cheese Cake mix. This one has a yellow top. They also have chocolate cheesecake mix, same container, brown top. You’ll find them right with all the other cake mixes or maybe by the cream cheese case.

One can of Extra Cherries cherry pie filing in a can, found in the baking section.

(You gettin’ the picture?)

Open crust container. Place on counter. Open cheesecake filling, dump in crust and spread out. Open can, dump cherry pie mix on top of that.

Refrigerate till time to serve.

Easy as (forgive the pun) pie. Actually, ever since I found this recipe I’ve used it because it’s got the most delectable taste I ever found and you don’t have to mix or bake anything. I never liked cheesecake till I found this stuff, it’s much
lighter than normal baked cheesecake and it does hold its shape when you cut it.



You meet the neatest people online. Such was the case with superb, author M.C. Halliday. We got to chatting about recipes and M.C. offered me Heavenly Sole. Now I’m not a fish lover by any stretch, but one forkful of this meal and I was hooked. Studs still smacks his lips when he thinks about it.

January’s Choice

• Heavenly Sole
• Rice ala Studs
• Salad
• Chardonnay Wine

Heavenly Sole

2 pounds fresh or frozen skinless sole or other fish fillets. We’ve used Tilapia and it was GREAT.
2 T. fresh lemon or lime juice
½ c. grated parmesan cheese
¼ c. butter softened
3 T. mayonnaise
¼ teas. sea salt

Pat fillets dry then place in a single layer on a cookie sheet sprayed with Pam. Brush with lemon or lime juice then let stand 10 minutes.

Broil 4 inches under heat source about 6 minutes or until fish flakes.

Meanwhile, combine remaining ingredients in a small bowl.

When the fish is ready, remove from the oven and spread mixture evenly over each piece. Broil 2 to 3 minutes or until lightly browned.

The fish will come apart easily so we found it best to arrange the pieces on individual dinner plates to serve.

Rice ala Studs

Rice of your choice, but not instant
Canned, boxed or fresh chicken stock
Parsley flakes

Follow the directions on the package, but instead of water use chicken stock. The flavor is richer and the rice is moister. To serve, sprinkle the parsley flakes over the top to enhance the presentation.

Tossed Salad

A variety of fresh lettuce
Tomatoes cut in eights
Fresh ground pepper to taste
Your favorite bottled dressing

Toss everything but the dressing together in a large bowl. Store in the fridge until ready to serve.