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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas Punch & Egg Nog Punch

We often went to Grandma & Grandpa Carbone's on Christmas Eve (then returned on Christmas day too).  Christmas Eve at Grandma & Grandpa's was an evening filled with friends and family dropping by and Grandma & Grandpa going back and forth from living room to kitchen with fresh, hot "dough boys" and egg nog.  I've yet to locate a recipe for the Dough Boys, but I'm pretty sure they were made from doughnut batter dropped directly into hot oil and deep fried, then sprinkled with powdered sugar (or maybe it was cinnamon-sugar?).  Grandma did lots of baking during the holidays and, of course, she always had a lovely array of cookies for everyone to munch too and I'm sure there must have been cheese ball or dips with chips or crackers out as well.  I found quite a few punch recipes in Grandma's notebook.  I'll just share a couple today & save some to post next year.

Christmas Punch

Bottle of Vodka (1/5)
2 quarts Gingerale
Juice of 12 oranges and 6 lemons
1 small jar maraschino cherries & juice.
Mix all together add 1 pt. orange sherbet

Another Punch

1 gal apple cider
1 qt. vodka
Pour over block of ice

Cran-apple Punch

2 lemons - juice
1 qt. cranberry cocktail juice
1 C orange juice
1/4 C sugar
Add 1 bottle of Champagne (the cheaper kind).  Stir gently & not too much.  Add lemon slices, also orange & a few cloves.

Egg Nog Punch

1/2 gal Egg Nog
1 - 32 oz. bottle 7-up
Put egg nog in bottom of punch bowl.  Add mixer.  Sprinkle with nutmeg. 
Note:  Don't mix.  I tasted this at Safeway & it is delicious.  Dec. 1984

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Italian Fruit Cookies

I stumbled upon this recipe last holiday season while searching for holiday cookie recipes.  I read through it and realized it was yet another Biscotti recipe.  I made these last year and they were very good.  Since then, I have used the method and general idea from this recipe to make other "flavors" of Biscotti (if you were at the 2011 Family Reunion and tried my Pistachio, Cherry & Lime Biscotti, this is the method I used).

Italian Fruit Cookies

1/2 Cup Butter  
2 Cups Sugar
1/2 tsp anise extract
6 Eggs
5 Cups sifted flour 
3 tsp. Baking powder
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 1/2 Cup diced, mixed candied fruit, citron or whole pine nuts

Cream butter & sugar in large bowl.  Blend in extract and eggs.  Mix together flour, B.P. and salt, gradually mix into butter & egg mixture to make a stiff dough.  Chill dough 1 hr.  Divide dough into 4 equal parts.  Taking one portion, roll to rectangle 12 in. long and 8 in. wide.  Sprinkle surface of dough evenly with 1/3 cup of the candied fruit or nuts.  Starting with the wide side of the rectangle, roll dough tightly to make a long, compact loaf.  Place rolls on lightly greased baking sheet (2 loaves to a sheet).  Bake in med. hot oven (375 degrees) 25-30 min. until lightly browned.
Remove from oven, let cool on pans for 5 min.  Cut in diagonal slices, 1/2 in. thick.  Lay slices cut side down on cookie sheet & toast 16-18 min. (375 degrees) or until lightly toasted.  Cool and store in airtight containers or fridge.  Makes about 6 dz. 

Chris' Note:  As I said, I use the method from this recipe when I make my Biscotti.  When you roll out the dough and sprinkle with the nuts or fruit, you get a nice, even distribution and the nuts, etc. stay in the dough, since it's then rolled into it, rather than kneaded through it. 

I hope you enjoy this recipe - Buon Natale!

Tordilli & Chenalili's

I remember visiting Grandma & Grandpa during the holiday season and finding them making these in the kitchen - that was a long time ago, so pardon my memory if it isn't entirely accurate, but I believe they made both of these cookies at the same time - they are really the same dough but Chenalili are filled and Tordilli are not.  These are tasty little cookies that aren't too sweet.  I tried making them for the first time last year and they were pretty fun to make too.  Mine came out much too thick and I didn't have anyone here who had experience making them to help me, but Mom & Dad thought they came out pretty good. 

It's a good idea to make these around the same time as you make your Scalilles as they too are fried and dipped in warm honey - so save that oil and honey & do all your "honeying" at one time. 


3 cups oil
4 cups Muscatel (or other sweet wine)
2-3 eggs
16 cups flour (approx.)

Bring to a boil the wine & oil.  Take off stove and allow to cool slightly.  Add the eggs to the flour in a well - mix slightly.  Then add your oil mixture slowly so you don't cook the dough.  Knead until it holds together nicely.

For Tordilli:  Roll out the dough & fill with chopped hazelnuts, walnuts, raisins, dates or figs.  Mix with a couple tablespoons of honey & grape or other jelly you might have. Make these like you'd make ravioli.  Deep fry & honey.

Chenalilis - Small Batch

1 1/2 cup oil
1 cup sweet wine
2 eggs
6 cups flour

Chris' Notes: 
  • On the filling for the Chenalili's, you can use either honey or jelly, with chopped nuts & raisins or dates - or all three, I really liked the grape jelly though as it marries well with the wine in the dough.
  • It's a bit confusing trying to figure out whether it's the Chenalili's or the Tordilli's that are filled as both recipes I found include filling, but generally one of them was just fried dough.  Really you can use any dough you have left once you run out of filling.  For the unfilled version, roll the dough into long, narrow logs (like a breadstick) and cut off 2 inch pieces.  Roll the cut piece on a bottle or fancy cut glass for design.  Deep fry and honey as for Chenalili's. 
  • All of the cookies keep really well, as long as you put them in airtight containers and store them in a cool place.
  • If you're making these, please take some pictures for us to post with the recipe!    


The holidays are coming fast, so I thought I'd dig through Josephine's recipes to find some traditional Italian baked goods that I know are popular for Christmastime as well as a couple non-Italian recipes that would be handy for entertaining this time of year.  I'm starting off this series today with Panettone.  This particular recipe is noted as coming from "Papa Rossi's Secrets of Italian Cooking". 


1 pk. fresh or dried yeast
1 cup lukewarm water
2 tbs. pastry flour
6 tbs. butter
6 tbs. sugar
6 egg yolks
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup seedless raisins
1/2 cup candied fruit, chopped

Mix yeast with 1/2 c. water & set aside for 5 min. 

Combine mixed yeast thoroughly with remaining water & enough flour to make a soft dough.  Cover & set aside to rise in warm place for 1 hr. 

Add butter, sugar, egg yolks, salt, raisins, fruit & remaining flour.  Knead on floured board until consistency of dough is elastic, about 15 min.  Cover, set in warm place & let rise until doubled in bulk.

Shape into 1 large or 2 med. sized round loaves.  Place in greased baking pan, grease top of loaves, cover & let rise until double.  Bake in 370 degree oven 1 hour until outside is browned.  Cool on wire racks away from drafts. 

Chris Note:  I've never made Panettone, but it appears to be a pretty straightforward bread recipe, so maybe I'll give it a try before Christmas.  I'll try to get some photos up if I do.  If any of you Carbone's (or other readers) have made it, please do share your experiences & tips, we'd love to hear them - we'd love to post your photos too!

Thursday, November 17, 2011


The holidays are approaching quickly - I can't believe Thanksgiving is next week already! One of the wonderful things about cookies of just about any variety is that they keep so well. I remember as a child making Scalilli as a family, sometimes with aunts, uncles and Grandma & Grandpa. Often times, if we made them at the home of another family member, we'd pack them up without the honeying them and do the honeying at home. We always made lots and lots of cookies, of several varieties, for the holidays and give plates of them to the neighbors, our teachers, friends and pretty much anyone who stopped by, and there would still be plenty of cookies for us to enjoy Christmas day and even into New Years. Making Scalilli as a family was the best part. Mom would mix up the dough, Dad would cut them and my sister, brother & I would twist them and lay them on baking sheets covered with damp towel and take them to mom, who then did the frying & the honeying later on. If you've never made them before, I recommend getting together with a family member who has - not only will they be able to lend you their experience, but it will be so much more fun!


2 dozen fresh eggs, room temperature
14 cups flour, approx.
1 jigger whiskey
1 tsp salt
1 cup oil
Beat eggs until creamy. Pour into flour mixture with the oil. Mix well & knead dough until smooth. Make into desired shapes and deep fry. When cool, honey them. Store in a cool place.

Chris Additional Instructions

Forming the Cookie: Work with small portions of dough at a time, about the same amount of dough as you would for pie crust, cut out cookies or pizza. Roll out on a floured board until you can see the wood grain through the dough. Cut into long strips in one direction, about 1/2 - 1 inch wide. Cut into strips crosswise, about 1 1/2 - 2 inches long. Cut a small slit into the center of each. Gently remove the strips and run one end of the dough strip through the slit cut into the center - this will create a twist. Lay them out on cookie sheets and keep covered with a damp towel. Fry in small batches.

Honeying: Heat honey in a large skillet or electric fryer, thinning with water slightly as needed. Dip cooled Scalilli into the honey to coat thoroughly, then lay on wire racks. Store in air tight containers in a cool place.

If anyone has photos from making Scalilli, I would love to include them in this post. Please email them to me and I'll be happy to post them!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Green Olives , Italian Style - continued

I'm on the last leg of my first experience with curing olives.  It's been an interesting experience.

This is the 10lb box of olives, the day they arrived.  October 13, 2011. 

I was amazed to see their bright green color.  They were rock hard and had a tart, almost-green-apple scent too.  I thought they were so pretty the above photo is now the background image on my cell phone.

At first I thought I'd have to weigh the olives down so they'd stay submerged, so I wrapped a couple of bricks in foil, covered the container with plastic wrap and put the bricks on top.  The bricks became water-logged and it didn't really seem to be a big problem to have a few exposed olives so I abandoned that practice on day 2.

I changed the water daily during the soaking process and the olives slowly became that drab-green color most of us are used to with green olives.  Some of them have very dark patches, almost like they are ripening. 

This past Wednesday, I packed 12, pint jars of olives in brine - about 1/2 of the olives I ordered. They'd been soaking for about 3 weeks.  I'm very new to canning and didn't purchase enough jars so I'll have to finish up this next week.  Steven is going to check the shed for all the canning jars we brought home from Grandma's house, which will most likely be quart jars so we'll have some larger jars for family gatherings.  I'll need to pick up rings and lids, I'm sure, but the larger jars should speed the process up some. 

Josephine's recipe did not say how long they should be packed in brine before opening but I think we'll wait another 3 weeks or so before we try them for the first time.  I can hardly wait! 

Monday, October 24, 2011

Olive Update

The olives are coming along nicely.  They are starting to become that drab, olive green we are all so familiary with, some of them are even turning quite dark - almost black.  We tasted them last night, with salt, per Grandma Carbone's instructions.  They are almost ready for the brine but still just a bit too bitter. 

Purely out of curiosity, I visited the website this morning to see if any other varieties have become available and learned that the olive season ended officially last Friday.  I'm so glad I didn't wait to order.  Here is the official announcement:

 In looking over the recipes on the website today I learned that the ripe olives we are all most familiar with aren't ripe when they're cured either...hmm.  If you have a chance, you might enjoy visiting their site.  They carry a nice selection of cured olives, olive oils, pickles, etc. and there are curing recipes as well.  With our order, they sent us a sample of oil cured olives.  They were pitted and looked like extremely large raisins.  They had a whole different flavor altogether than any other olive I've ever eaten, but we thought they were delicious! 

I'll post again soon, once I've brined & sealed them.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Olives Are Here!

The olives arrived this past Thursday.  I was surprised to find that they were a lovely, bright green.  They are also hard as a rock and they smell tart - much like green apples.  I posted a couple photos on facebook (I've yet to figure out how to post them here with the current set up I have, but I'm working on it), feel free to check out the photos there, if you haven't already.

As soon as I was done taking photos, I started to smash them.  I don't have a kitchen mallet, so at first I used a can of chili.  That made a mess and I was afraid I was going to damage the can, so I started to slice them per the suggestion of my mom a few days before the olives arrived.  That was very tedious so I went back to smashing them.  I place several olives at a time between layers of a kitchen towel and used a hammer from my husband's tool bucket.  I'm pretty sure the idea is to just crack them open so they will soak more evening during the cure process, but I must admit I smashed some of them a bit too much.  After a bit though, I got into a nice rhythm and I don't expect any of them will be a lost cause.  I found a couple containers to put them in, then covered them with water.  I have been faithfully changing the water daily and will test them around day 8.  Grandma's instructions say 6-8 days but other folks who've cured olives at home have all said it really took a month, so I'm expecting it to take a bit longer. 

I'll post more on the olives as I have progress to report.  In the meantime, Ciao!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Maria Carbone's Applesauce Cake Recipe

While we're waiting anxiously for the olives to arrive, we have trays and trays of apples drying in the dehydrator.  Usually in the fall, we've made applesauce with the apples from our trees, but this year, Steven decided to dehydrate them instead.  Since apples are such a fall staple and applesauce is such a popular way to preserve them, I thought you might enjoy a recipe to use up that applesauce (besides just serving it with pork chops)! This is one of the first recipes I sampled from Grandma's collection, and although I haven't made it for a couple years now, I do remember it is truly "V.G." As Josephine notes on the recipe "This cake is very easy to make & it's very good & moist".  I actually found 3 copies of this recipe, plus one labeled as Josephine Carbone's, which has just a couple minor differences and one that is so faded I can't make out the name that I'm almost certain is lurking in the upper left hand corner, but which is also noted "V.G." - this one calls for shortening & coffee.

Maria Carbone's Applesauce Cake

1 C oil
1 1/2 C sugar
3 C Flour
2 Tsp flour
2 Tsp Baking Powder
1 Tsp salt
2 Tsp cinnamon
1/2 Tsp cloves
2 C applesauce
1 C raisins
1/2 C nuts (optional)
2 Tsp vanilla

Mix all ingredients by hand.  Bake at 350 degrees, 35-40 min. or more depending on oven.

If you try this recipe (and I hope you will), please let me know how it turns out!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Olives Ordered

I just finished placing my order with for 10 pounds of Jumbo Sevillano olives.  They are shipping via FedEx Ground so it will take a few days for them to arrive from California - I can hardly wait!  Now to check our inventory of canning jars and pick up lids and rings. 

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Green Olives Italian Style

My fondest memories from my visits to Grandma & Grandpa Carbone's House all seem to revolve around the delicious food they always prepared for us.  You simply couldn't visit Grandma & Grandpa without eating something.  They were certainly the quintessential Italian couple - they were truly happy when they were feeding someone!  Grandma always seemed to have fresh-baked bread, biscotti and spaghetti sauce in abundance and she generally sent you home with a bit of this and a bit of that too.  I remember the waxed sandwich bags she filled with Biscotti and the tiny loaves of bread she often made - just to share.  My kitchen cupboards been blessed with a wonderful stock of Grandma's bread pans (ALL sizes), cast iron skillets, a dutch oven I remember her using for spaghetti sauce (my favorite for the same task to this day) and my dining room is home to the large dining table (we had the chairs too, but they are gone now) where the whole family would sit down to eat on holidays and special occassions.  I know many people who don't enjoy even spanish style green olives, much less any of the more bitter varieties such as Greek Kalamata olives, but Grandma had an olive connection and cured jars and jars of beautiful, jumbo, Green Italian olives.  I grew up eating them and I'll always remember seeing the jars of olives, jam and other preserves Grandma made stacked neatly on a shelf in their basement.  I've missed those olives, so I was very excited to find this recipe in the collection!  It's the recipe of Barbara Scornairnchi (not sure on the spelling folks, the writing is so small), and it's noted V.G. - of course! 

I've found a supplier of fresh olives online, here's the link:  .  Of course I don't really know what variety of olive Grandma used, so it will be a case of trial and error, but it's olive season right now, so I'm going to order some and give this recipe a try.  I'll be sure to post how it's going and the final results for you.

Green Olives Italian Style

Smash olives with pits. Soak in a crock or other large container for a period of 6-8 days, changing water everyday.  Test after the 6th day by taking a few & mixing with a little salt to see if they are "sweet" enough.

Make a brine of 1 gal. water to 1 cup table salt.  Boil 3-5 minutes.  Let cool.  Preferably make the brine the night before.

Mix the drained olives with 1 handful of oregano & chopped garlic, about 1/2 a head.

Pack loosely in jars & pour brine over them & then seal.  (10# olives)

Note:  1 gal. brine is just the right amount for 10# of olives.

Chris' Note:  I was glad to see Grandma's added note regarding the ratio of brine to olives. Penna sells their olives by the 10# box, so that's perfect!

Update - December 22, 2012 - We first tasted these olives back on Thanksgiving 2011 - and boy, were they bitter!  After that, I have to admit, I was afraid to give them another try.  However, on December 2, 2012, when a group of us got together to make Scalile, we decided to brave opening another jar and seeing if they had improved after more than a year.  I'm so glad we did!  They are quite tasty, no longer bitter, and instead having a nice, briney, garlicky flavor - nice and firm, we ate the entire jar and a couple more since.  We'll be taking a couple of jars with us to my niece's place for Christmas dinner and I hope to make another batch in fall of 2013!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Rhubarb Freezer Jam

Want to try something new with all that Rhubarb from your garden?  How about Rhubarb Freezer Jam? 

There are no notes of Grandma's source on this recipe - but like a lot of the recipes I found in her collection, there are 3 copies, all identical (and all marked V.G.).  I don't recall ever trying Rhubarb jam, but it sounds good.  My mom used to make a rhubarb sauce to spoon over pancakes, waffles or french toast and I always really enjoyed it, so I thought this jam would be good too.  With the late summer we had, there's still time for putting up jams and things, so it seems timely.  I hope you enjoy it.

Rhubarb Freezer Jam

5 Cups cut up rhubarb
3 Cups sugar
1 - 3 oz. pkg. strawberry Jello

Mix rhubarb & sugar & put in saucepan over low heat - stir until sugar is dissolved.  Bring mix to a boil - cook 10 minutes.  Remove from heat & stir in Jello.  Continue stirring until well mixed.  Skim & pour in glasses. When cool put in freezer.

Do you have a family jam recipe you'd like me to include on our recipe blog?  Please feel free to post your recipes as comments!


Monday, September 12, 2011

Family Reunion

We had a great time at the annual Carbone Family Reunion yesterday.  Jennifer & Butch did a wonderful job of planning and Butch did a great job grilling dogs & burgers for us.  What a trooper!  There were many tasty dishes contributed by all.  I'd especially like to thank Shirley Mazzuca for bringing both Ginetti and Mostacchioli.  It was great to have some traditional treats to taste and I especially enjoyed getting to try the Mostacchioli made by someone who had experience making them. 

To those of you who couldn't make it - we missed you and thought of you! 

I was volunteered to head up the reunion for next year - something I'm pleased to do, I assure you - so you can expect it to be "same time, same Bat channel" in 2012.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Final Zucchini Additions (for 2011)

My aunt Linda Carbone makes an excellent Zucchini Casserole that the whole family raves about.  Grandma was no exception, so of course, I found the recipe in the bundle labeled "zucchini recipes".  It almost tastes like a vegetarian pizza - without the crust. 

Linda's Zucchinni Casserole

Grease an oblong baking dish and layer with slices of zucchini.  Sprinkle with oregano and garlic salt then layer with thin slices of tomato.  Season [with oregano and garlic salt] and sprinkle with [a mixture of] cheddar and monterey jack cheese [shredded].  Cover & bake at 350 for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

For the final summer 2011 Zucchini entry - what would a collection of zucchini recipes be without Zucchinni Bread?

Zucchini Bread

2 Cups Sugar
1 Cup Oil
3 Eggs
2 Cups shredded zucchini
1 Tsp vanilla

Sift 3 cups flour, 1/4 tsp Baking Powder, 1 tsp. [baking] Soda, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp ginger, 1 tsp cloves

1 Cup walnuts

Bake in 2 loaves at 325 for 1 hour.

Sorry gang, not much for instructions in the above.  Thoroughly blend the sugar & oil, then add the remaining wet ingredients.  Sift together the dry ingredients and then stir them into the wet ingredients, combining well.  Stir in the walnuts.  Put mixture in loaf pans and bake as per above.

I'm looking forward to the Carbone Family Reunion this Sunday (Sept. 11) and I'll be bringing a couple of the recipes from the blog - including one of the recent zucchini recipes.  In the meantime, I hope you get a chance to try some of these out so you can share how they went at the reunion.  Happy cooking!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

More Zucchini

Anyone who's ever grown zucchini in their garden knows how it can take on a life of it's own.  You have to get out there and pick daily to catch them all at their peak, but somehow you always seem to miss at least  one monster zucchini hiding under a leaf!  The first entry today is perfect for using up those monster zucchinis.  I can clearly picture my grandparents and my parents grinding up the zucchini by hand - cranking and cranking and then making the following:

Zucchini Relish

Mix all ingredients - set overnight:
10 cups ground zucchini
4 cups ground onion
5 tbls. pickling salt
- Next, rinse & drain thoroughly.

Make mixture of:
5 cups sugar
2 1/2 cups white vinegar
2 large green peppers, ground
2 large red sweet peppers, ground
1 tiny chili pepper, ground
1 tsp each: nutmeg, celery seed & black pepper
Bring all to a boil - simmer slowly 30 min.  Pack in sterilized jars.

(Received recipe from Mrs. Scornericenche [sp] 1973  V.G.)
 Note: the above recipe was so faded, it was very hard to read, and it's very possible that the qty. of green peppers is incorrect.  I really couldn't clearly make out the name of the person Grandma obtained the recipe from.  If any family members can clarify, please leave me a comment & I'll make corrections.

Here's one more recipe for today.

Zucchini Pickles - Margaret Paine 1973
2 cups chopped celery
6 lbs. zucchini - sliced thin
2 large onions, chopped
1/3 cup salt
Place ice  cubes on top  & cover.  Let stand 3 hours, drain. 

2 cups sugar
2 tbls dill seed
2 cups white vinegar
Heat, stir constantly - bring to boil - stir in vegetables & let come to rolling boil.  [Pack in canning jars.] Put 1 or 2 pieces of garlic on top of filled jars & seal.

Have fun using up your zucchini!


Saturday, July 9, 2011

Zucchinni Recipes

Now that summer is here, it's time for zucchini recipes.  If you have a garden and you grow zucchini, you'll need recipes to use it all up.

This recipe is one of Aunt Alice Rey's and it's one we all enjoyed.  I think we called them Zucchini Squares, but I see Alice called them "Snack Food" - by any name, they are delicious!

Snack Food (V.G.)

3 Cups Zucchini, sliced thinly (4 small)
1 Cup Bisquick
1/2 Cup Chopped Onion
1/2 Cup Parmesan Cheese
2 TBSP Parsley
1/2 Tsp Salt
dash of pepper
1/2 Tsp oregano leaves
1 Clove garlic, finely chopped
1/2 Cup Vegetable oil
4 Eggs, beaten

Grease 13x9x2 pan.  Bake 'till golden brown - about 25 min.  Mix all ingredients together - add zucchini last.  May be served warm or cold.  Cut in triangles.

Chris' Note:  Grandma has a whole stack of Zucchini recipes - I'll be posting more of them in the weeks to come.  It's funny that this is the first recipe I came to in the stack - I remember having these cold at potlucks, and them being one of my favorite "appetizers" - I was just thinking about this recipe the other day and wondering if I had a copy of it somewhere.  I hope you all enjoy it as much as we did!


Thursday, June 30, 2011

Mostazzoli - Italian Honey Cookies

There are 3 recipes cards with a total of 4 recipes for these cookies in Grandma's collection.  Since I've been experimenting with honey a lot lately, I thought I'd give them a try.  They're a cinch to make - they really go together quickly.  I found them unremarkable, but curiously addictive too - like a very sweet breadstick.  I'd be interested to see what you think of them, so please do share if you try them out!

Recipe Card #1 
Recipe A (front of card )
2# honey - bring to a boil - add flour & cool.  Dough is dry.  Add 4 egg yolks.  Add 1tsp cinnamon & salt to honey.  Shape into sticks.  Brush egg glaze on top.  Bake at 375 degrees 15-20 minutes - when glaze is brown, they are cooked.  Cut on slant before they cool.

Recipe B (back of card)
1 pt honey - 2 cups
2 eggs - beaten
2-3 tbs oil
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp. [baking] soda
5-6 cups flour
pinch of salt

Note:  No directions were given for recipe B.  On recipe A, I think the "#" sign, is literally standing for pound - but 2 pounds of honey seems like an awful lot to try to work with.  Also, no mention is made of the quantity for the flour.   Has anyone in the family had experience with these to help verify the amount to use? 

Recipe Card #2
Italian Honey Cookies - Mrs. Louis Mazzuca

1 C Honey
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 C sugar
Heat until honey & sugar are dissolved.  Cool to lukewarm.  Add 1 beaten egg yolk, 1/8 t soda.
Add 2 1/2-3 C flour until a medium dough is acquired by kneading.  Shape into bread sticks.  Bake 400 degrees for 5 minutes, then 375 degrees for an additional 5 minutes.  Cut into 1/2 inch pieces while warm.

Recipe Card #3
Mostacioli (Honey Cookies)

1 pt. honey - 2 cups
2 eggs - beaten
2-3 tbs. oil
2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. [baking] soda
Pinch Salt
5-6 C Flour
Heat the honey - add eggs & other ingredients.  Knead dough until smooth.  Roll ropes size of your finger.  Cut in little pieces.  Bake

Note: Recipe card #3 gives the most instructions with regards to size & shape of cookies, but leaves out the baking instructions - maybe Grandma was interrupted before she finished copying it down...

I made the smaller batch from recipe card #2, but I used a whole egg instead of just the yolks & I did add cinnamon, although I only added 1/4 tsp - which wasn't enough to really taste.  I just realized too, as I typed these up, that I misread the sugar content in that recipe and only put in 1/8 tsp - I thought it was an odd amount but somehow missed it was supposed to be 1/8 cup!  No wonder they are unremarkable.  I'll try again with the proper quantity of sugar & let you all know how they turn out.  Also, I think I will go ahead and use the egg yolk, but brush the sticks with the egg white prior to baking per Recipe card #1, recipe A.


Monday, June 13, 2011

Italian Meatballs - for a Big Group

With wedding, graduation, reunion, etc. season upon us, I thought these recipes for large batches of meatballs were appropriate. 

The first recipe is dated 1967 - Grandma wrote "Mary Santilli & I made these for the St. Leo's Mother's Club Smorgasboard.  They were very good".  The second recipe is noted "This is the recipe I used when I was the Chairman for the annual St. Leo's Spaghetti dinner.  They were very good" and is dated 1969 - just 2 years later.  I'd love to find a recipe for Grandma's everyday meatballs - but none has turned up and it's likely she made them from memory & "eyeballing" the ingredients (ala Rachel Ray).  She always made them very large (or so it seemed when I was a little girl) and they were very tasty!

The two recipes are really similar, if you have the opportunity to make them, please let us know how they turn out!

Italian Meatballs (1967)

18lbs. pork
54lbs. beef
3 large bunches of parsley
(14) 9 loaves of french bread
4 1/2 dozen eggs (6 dz)
5 cups of cheese (4 1/2)
garlic to taste

(approx. 1180 meat balls)

Chris' note:  My guess is that the notes in parenthesis are most likely adjustments Grandma made.

Italian Meat Balls (1969)

15lbs. pork
50lbs. ground beef
6 large bunches parsley
20 loaves dry french bread (soaked)
6 doz. eggs
7 c. cheese - Roman
3 large heads garlic
salt & pepper to taste

Chris' note: I think "Roman" cheese refers to Romano.  I'm not sure I would soak the bread (although it might be delicious soaked in vino!), I think it would work well to tear it up a bit, then pulse it in a food processor until it becomes coarse crumbs. 

Happy cooking!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

My Recent Experiences in Baking with Honey

Sorry for the long interruption in entries folks!  I'll post another recipe soon.  In the meantime, I've been busy baking up lots of cookies - including some of my own Biscotti combinations.  It's been lots of fun and I've been experimenting with using honey as a sweetener instead of sugar. 

So far, I've had the most success substituting honey for processed sugars in oatmeal-based cookies as the honey adds quite a bit of extra moisture and also does not melt during baking as sugar does.  This means your recipes will need to be adjusted and if you only add flour to counterract the extra moisture - you'll end up with cookies that have a cake-like or muffin-like texture.  I've found it works best to increase the oats to the extent that you do not need to add any flour or only 1/2 to 1 cup additional flour.  I've also had success with increasing the baking soda - but have only done so in recipes with 1 teaspoon or less of baking soda.  Finally, I've found that the cookies hold their shape and do not spread much, if at all, so if you're using a recipe for drop cookies or cookies that are rolled into a ball, but not flattened, you'll need to flatten them.

Until next time - happy baking!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Easter Means Janetti part 3

Here is the final Janetti recipe.  This one is noted "my favorite".  It's essentially the same recipe as the one noted in part 2 - the only difference I can see is that the amount of anise flavoring is now "to taste" and this one is spelled "Ganetti".  So without further ado...

Ganetti (my favorite)

3 1/2 C Flour
1 TBLS Baking Powder
1 1/4 C Powdered Sugar
1/3 C Shortening
Anise Flavoring to taste
Dash of Salt
4 Eggs

Cream shortening and sugar - add eggs one at a time [add anise flavoring] .  Beat until fluffy.  Add  dry ingredients.  Knead dough until smooth.  Refrigerate for 1 hr.  Form into doughnut shapes.  Bake at 350 degrees for 8010 minutes.  Don't brown - they should be white.  Also, grease pan.  Frost with butter icing.  I usually put a little anise flavoring in mine.

If you've never made Ganetti before, I hope you enjoy trying out these recipes.  If you are already a Ganetti baker, I hope you enjoy comparing these recipes to your favorite. 

Happy Easter!

Easter Means Janetti part 2

Sorry for the delay in getting the remaining recipes up.  This one is noted "newer recipe" and "V.G." (very good)

Italian Angel Cookies

3 1/2 C flour
1 TBLS Baking Powder
1 1/4 C Powdered Sugar
1/3 C Shortening
3 Tsp. Anise flavoring
4 Eggs
Dash of Salt

Cream shortening and sugar, add flavoring.  Add eggs one at a time.  Beat until fluffy.  Add dry ingredients & knead until dough is smooth.  Refrigerate 1 hour.  After forming into doughnut shapes bake at 350 degrees 8-10 minutes in a greased tin.  Make sure they don't brown - these cookies should be white.  Frost with butter icing.


Saturday, April 9, 2011

Easter means Ganetti

Easter is approaching quickly and all Carbone's know what that means - Ganetti (aka Janettie or Italian
Angel Cookies). 

Ganetti are certainly one of my favorites of the Italian cookies Grandma makes.  In addition to Easter, they were present at every graduation, wedding, major anniversary or other extra-special occassion.  I'm going to post all 3 recipes (not in a single entry) from Grandma (Josephine) Carbone's notebook over the next several days so you can try them out and decide which is your favorite.  For anyone who is not familiar with her notebook, it's a spiral-bound notebook where Grandma not only noted the extra-special recipes like Ganetti or Scalili, but she also made notes whenever she made a batch that included the date, any changes she made to the recipe and typically also notes about anyone who helped her make them.  Sometimes we'd get together as a family to make batches of traditional cookies.  My sister, Cathy, my Aunt Wendy (Bill, aka: Frank Carbone's wife) and my parents (Gary & Suzanne), have all been involved with keeping this tradition alive. 

These cookies freeze well, if you're going to freeze them, freeze them prior to frosting them.  I didn't find Grandma's frosting recipe in the notebook but a simple mixture of butter, powdered sugar & milk work just fine, Grandma usually added a little anise extract to the frosting too, but you can add vanilla if you're not a fan of anise.


6 Large Eggs
1 3/4 C Sugar
3/4 C Oil
2 tsp. Anise
6-7 C Flour
3 Heaping tsp. Baking Powder
1 tsp. Salt

Beat eggs until creamy with sugar - add oil.  Mix in dry ingredients.  Knead until smooth.  Bake 8-10 min. at 375 degrees.  Frost with Butter Icing.

What Grandma's recipe doesn't say:  Form balls of dough into long ropes, cut in approx. 1 1/2 inch sections and form into doughnut shapes, logs or twists.  If you make your frosting thin enough, you can simply dip the cookies into the icing then use a knife (Grandma used to use her finger :) ) to smooth it out. 

There was also a notation about 1/2 c canned milk (on the same line of the recipe as the oil), but no mention of the milk in the instructions, so I left it out.  Neither of the remaining recipes (to come on future entries) included canned milk.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Grandma's Potato Bread

Homemade bread must be the epitome of comfort food.  Just the aroma of the yeast dissolving in water is enough to make my husband say "I love that smell".   I'd been making bread for a few years when Grandma explained to me how she made hers and I caught right on.  There are no measurements so if you are a novice breadmaker, this isn't a good place to start, try a recipe from a cookbook first and make it a few times so you understand how the dough should feel, then give this one a try when you feel confident of your skills and ability to eyeball your ingredient quantities.  If you're a bread baker, you should have no trouble with this at all (and the results are worth it). 

Grandma's Potato Bread

The night or morning before:  
Peel & quarter a potato (any kind, any size).  Place in a saucepan and cover with water.  Bring to a boil and cook until fork tender.  Turn off the heat but DO NOT DRAIN.  Mash it up and let it sit until morning. 

In the morning:  Dissolve 1 packet (2 1/4 tsp) yeast in lukewarm water and let it sit 5-10 minutes until it gets foamy on the surface.  Heat potato-water mixture until just about the same temperature as the water you dissolved your yeast in (if you get it too hot, just let it cool until the temp matches the yeast mixture or is slightly cooler).  Add yeast mixture to potato-water mixture.  Add salt & sugar or honey, stir until combined.   Add flour 1 cup at a time, mixing well as you go, to form a sponge.  Continue adding flour gradually until you can't stir it anymore & when you knead it by hand, it won't stick to your hands or the board.  Place in a bowl & cover with a damp towel or plastic wrap and set it in a warm place until doubled in size.  Punch it down, knead it back into a smooth ball.  Allow to rise until double once more.  Punch it down again and divide into the desired number of loaves or rolls.  Cover & allow to rise again, until doubled.  Bake at 375 degrees until golden brown on top & until it sounds hollow when you tap it with your fingertip (it should also be lightly browned on the bottom).

Grandma had a wide variety of loaf sizes from long loaves like you buy in the grocery store, to short, extra wide pans to small, individual loaves.  I'm lucky enough to have those bread pans - although I don't use them nearly enough these days.  She told me that the number of loaves she ended up with depended on how much water she added, so you'll just have to eyeball it.  For rolls, I usually make balls of dough about 2 inches in diameter, then put them in round cake pans & let them rise - they're always popular in our house during the holidays. 

I usually only just cover the potato with water and get about 2 standard loaves.  Typically I end up using about 1 tsp salt & 2 TBLS sugar or honey when I make it this way.  You can also use milk instead of water for a sweeter dough for cinnamon or breakfast type rolls plus as much as 1/4 - 1/2 C honey.   The longer you let the potato mixture sit prior to adding the rest of the ingredients, the tangier the dough will be - I recently read that this was one way sourdough was made in the pioneer days. 

I hope you enjoy the bread!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Italian Zucchini Casserole (Tiella)

I suppose since it's still winter and fresh zucchini from the garden is still several months away, it's a bit premature to post this recipe - but I thought it was time to post another casserole and these days you can purchase zucchini pretty much year-round at the local grocery store.  Grandma notated this one "V.G." as is the case with pretty much all of the recipes I have posted to date.  This sounds pretty tasty and I'm sure we'll get around to trying it at our house eventually. 

Italian Zucchini Casserole (Tiella)

First, make a layer of sliced zucchini in the bottom of a casserole, then sliced potatoes & hamburger.  Salt & pepper.  Then sprinkle over all, a mixture of diced bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, chopped parsley, garlic & oregano.  Add tomato sauce over all alternate layers.  Bake at 350 degrees until done.

Chris' notes:  This recipe is pretty vague on instructions but it certainly sounds good.  Clearly there are going to be multiple layers, so alternate zucchini, potatoes, hamburger, then season and add bread crumb mixture & tomato sauce.  Repeat.  Aunt Linda Carbone uses a similar method in her zucchini casserole - which I'm sure will get posted at some point too.  You should end up with something along the lines of lasagna but without noodles. Also, I'm pretty sure you'll want to use browned hamburger.  Sausage would be yummy too!

I hope you try it - and like it!  Happy cooking!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Peanut Butter Squares - source unknown

Since I'm a bit behind on entries, I thought I'd post a recipe today in addition to my notes on the Chocolate Fudge Cake.  I'm not sure if I've ever had these squares before, but they sound great and I think they'd be a perfect lunch box addition. 

Peanut Butter Squares

3 1/2 C Flour                        1 tsp Vanilla
1 tbs Baking Powder            1 C Peanut Butter
1/2 tsp Salt                            1/2 C Honey
1 C lard (shortening)            1/4 tsp Salt
2 C Brown Sugar                 
2 Eggs, beaten

Sift flour with baking powder & 1/2 tsp salt.  (in a separate bowl) Cream lard (shortening) and sugar gradually.  Add eggs & vanilla & beat thoroughly.  Add sifted dry ingredients & mix until well blended.   Place 1/2 of the dough in a 9x14 in. greased pan.  Mix peanut butter, honey & 1/4 tsp salt & spread over dough.  Press other 1/2 of dough on top.  Bake in moderate oven - 375 degrees for 20-25 min.  Cut in uniform pieces about 1 1/2 in. squares.  Yield - 4 dozen.

Grandmas Notes:  I put mine in a 350 oven.  I also like more honey - 1 Cup.

Chris' Notes:  It seems from the notes that this isn't one of Grandma's own recipes, but I could find no mention of source and she signed her name to it - perhaps she'd intended to give it to someone.  She mailed me recipes pretty regularly.    Grandma once noted on a recipe she sent me that she was a "great one for changing recipes"- thus the additional honey in this one. 

Enjoy and until next time - happy baking!

Chocolate Fudge Cake - Chris' Results

I made the Chocolate Fudge Cake recipe last Thursday into cupcakes.  The recipe went together very quickly.  The girls & I had invited some friends over Saturday night since I had Sunday off and so I knew the cupcakes would keep well for that.  The batter was very dense and the resulting cupcakes were too.  Very fudgy and dense, but still moist.  For frosting, I made tiny batches of both cream cheese-vanilla frosting and chocolate.  I made both frostings very thin, then just dipped & swirled the cupcakes in the frosting - very quick.  The cream cheese frosting was really too thin to hold up against the chocolate, so I would make a proper batch next time & mix it to a thicker, spreading consistency, then put a nice layer on.  I found a recipe for chocolate frosting on the back of the Ghiradelli baking cocoa can and modified that - it was VERY yummy.  It came out glossy - but stayed soft and had a good, chocolatey flavor.  The chocolate frosted cupcake were the clear favorite.  This recipe is every bit as good as Grandma said - a definite keeper!

Sunday, February 27, 2011



With the cold weather we've been having lately, everyone's reaching for hot drinks.  What goes better with coffee or tea than Biscotti? 

Growing up, I remember visiting Grandma & Grandpa Carbone a lot.  Being a typical Italian Grandma, you couldn't visit without eating something and you usually headed out the door after your visit with a bag of biscotti and sometimes a miniature loaf of homemade bread too!  Grandma has many recipes for biscotti in her recipe boxes (and also multiple recipes for Scalili & Ginetti, amongst others), this particular one is clearly well-used and is noted "my revised version". 


8 C Flour - or more            3 tsp Baking Powder
7 Eggs                                 3 TBS Anise Seed
1 3/4 C Sugar                     Anise Oil - a few drops
1/2 C Melted Butter
1/2 C Oil

Beat eggs real well - add sugar, gradually add oil & butter, then dry ingredients.  Knead until dough is nice & smooth.  From into loaves & put in the refrigerator for a couple of hrs. (you don't have to do this but I find they come out better.)  Bake in 375 degree oven until brown - around 15 min.  Take out, slice diagonally & put back on cookie sheets to toast.

Chris' Notes:  One of the variations I noticed amongst the Biscotti recipes was the use of melted butter vs. softened butter.  I've always used softened, but I'm definitely going to try them with melted butter since it's often very difficult to get butter to soften in my house in the winter.  You don't need to worry about spacing the biscotti apart on the cookie sheet for the toasting step - they won't spread so pile them on.  You'll love the smell of these as they bake!  By the way, they are great with a glass of wine too. ;)

Felice cucinare!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Old Fashioned Peanut Butter Cookies (Regina)

Grandpa (Albert) Carbone's favorite cookies were Peanut Butter.  I remember my cousin, Amy, making giant peanut butter cookies (a whole cookie sheet worth) for special occasions and he always seemed tickled (who wouldn't?).  Grandma received this recipe from her friend, Regina.  There are lots of Regina's recipes amongst Grandma's collection and most of them include the notation "V.G." or "Very Good" - this one included.

Peanut Butter Cookies happen to be one of my favorites too - especially if they're chewy and they're one of the few cookies of this type (drop) that I enjoy without adding nuts (although I do often use chunky PB).

If there is a PB Cookie recipe unique to our family, I'd love someone to share it - or maybe Amy would share the one she always made for Grandpa?

Old Fashioned P. Butter Cookies     (Regina)
2 1/2 C Flour                    1 C Sugar
1 tsp. Baking Powder       1 C Brown Sugar
1 tsp. Baking Soda            2 Eggs
1/4 C Margerine                2 tsp. Vanilla
1 C Peanut Butter

Mix at medium speed margerine & P. Butter until smooth.  Add sugars, eggs & vanilla.  Add dry ingredients.  Chill dough.  Shape in 1" balls.  Bake at 350 degrees in ungreased pan.  (Very Good):

I hope you enjoy these.  Until next time - happy baking!

Update January 4, 2012:  I can't believe it's been almost a full year since I posted this recipe - one of the first on this blog!  Last week, I finally baked a batch of these cookies.  I have started selling my baked goods at the resort where I work and wanted a traditional peanut butter cookie to include in the offerings. 

I thought the amount of fat was pretty skimpy - usually you have equal parts fat and peanut butter and sure enough, I had a really tough time getting the dough to hold together - it was pretty dry. I ended up making a whole new batch from my old tried and true recipe and putting the cookies from this recipe in our own cookie jar to eat at home.  BUT, and this is an big BUT, they were so amazingly delicious!  Arynn & I both really love peanut butter cookies and these did not dissappoint, in fact, they were simply addictive!  They were nice and crisp on the outside but chewy and dense on the inside and the peanut butter flavor really came through.  I will definitely make these again and I'll switch to this recipe for my cookies to sell from here on out.  It's far more important to have a delicious cookie that delivers the flavor and texture you expect than it is to have an attractive cookie.  Chalk this one up to a lesson learned!  Hope you make these soon and enjoy them as much as we did - I may have to make another batch tomorrow...

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Italian Cabbage Casserole

There are no notes of source on the recipe card for this one, but I'm certain it's not one of Grandma's own since there are notes as to how she preferred to make it.  As usual, I'll enter it just as written on the recipe card.  I seem to remember my mom being a fan of this dish.  Grandma says "Delicious!!"

Italian Cabbage Casserole

1 med Cabbage                     
1 lb Ground Beef (or less)
1/4 C rice ("I use 1/2")         
1 C chopped Onion
1 pk. spaghetti sauce mix} ("I use my own")
1 - 8 oz. spaghetti sauce}
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp oregano

Cut cabbage into 2" wedges.  Place in oiled casserole.  Sprinkle ground beef & rice over cabbage - cover with onion.  Mix salt, oregano & tomato sauce together.  Pour over cabbage.  Cover & bake at 350 degrees for 1 1/2 hours or until done.  Serves 4-6.


Sunday, February 13, 2011

One More Chocolatey Thought...

I don't think I remember Grandma Carbone ever making chocolate covered biscotti, but they would certainly be a lovely treat for Valentine's day.  Simply make your favorite biscotti (an orange & hazelnut biscotti would be especially good with chocolate), then melt chocolate chips over a double boiler (or in the microwave) with a bit of shortening.  Dip biscotti tops only, then set on a rack, bottom side down to dry.  Biscotti package up nicely for sharing too (much easier to spread around as gifts to multiple "sweethearts", don't you think?)!

Felice cucinare!

Chocolate Fudge Cake

So, my final, chocolatey entry for Valentine's Day is Chocolate Fudge Cake.  Grandma's notes say it's an "Old Time recipe" and that it's "V. Good".  Our oven is in need of repair, so sadly, I won't be testing it this week, but you can be sure I'll try it out in the near future.

Chocolate Fudge Cake
2 1/2 C Flour                            2/3 C Shortening
1 tsp. Soda                                1 C Sugar
1/2 tsp. Salt                               3 Eggs
4 oz. Choc. or 1/2 C Cocoa      1 tsp. Vanilla
1 1/2 C Milk
3/4 C Brown Sugar

Sift flour, soda & salt.  Heat chocolate & milk & add Brown Sugar and heat until smooth - add 1 tsp. Vanilla.  Cream shortening and sugar & add eggs, then add dry ingredients alternately. 
Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes.

Note:  use either squares of baking chocolate or unsweetened cocoa powder.  There is no mention of cake pan size, nor did I find a frosting recipe.


Sunday, February 6, 2011

Whacky Cake

This is a recipe I remember Grandma making often.  In fact, I'm told she made these almost daily to satisfy the sweet-tooth of the 5 boys & Grandpa!  This cake has always reminded me of brownies.  It goes together very quickly and I don't know why I don't make it more often.  Grandma had several copies of this recipe and it's notated "V.G." - very good. 

Whacky Cake

1 1/2 C Flour                    
1 tsp. Baking Soda           
1/2 tsp. Salt                       
3 tbls. Cocoa                    
1 C Sugar

Sift all ingredients in an ungreased pan.  Add 1tbls. vinegar, 1 tsp. vanilla, & 6 tbls. oil.  Add 1 cup cold water, stir well.  Bake 30-35 min. at 325 degrees.

For those who like icing on their cake (I prefer this cake without - just the way I like my brownies), you're in luck, one of the recipe cards I found included the following icing recipe on the back.


1/2 C White Sugar
1 3/4 tbls. Corn Starch

Mix together & add 1/2 C warm water & 1 square or 1 tbls. chocolate or cocoa.  Cook until thick - add 1 tsp. vanilla & a little butter or margerine.

In both recipes, Grandma is referring to unsweetened cocoa powder - like Hershey's & unsweetened baking chocolate - like Baker's.

I hope you enjoy this recipe.  Buon notte!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Rich Cocoa Fudge

I know most of you probably only make fudge for Christmas, but why not make it for your sweetie for Valentine's Day?  After all - what's Valentine's Day with out chocolate?  Grandma notes that this is her favorite fudge recipe she says "This is an old recipe.  It makes a good & creamy fudge."

Rich Cocoa Fudge

3 C Sugar                                1/4 C Butter or Margerine
2/3 C Hershey's Cocoa            1 tsp. Vanilla
1/8 tsp. Salt                              1 1/2 C Milk (Grandma says she uses canned)

Butter an 8 or 9 inch square pan.  In heavy 4 qt. pan combine sugar, cocoa, salt & milk.  Cook over medium heat stirring constantly until mixture comes to a boil.  Then boil without stirring until when dripped in cold water, it forms a small ball.  Add butter & vanilla, do not stir.  Let stand until lukewarm.  Then with wooden spoon beat until it thickens & fudge loses it's gloss.

The recipe card for this fudge, it getting very faded & difficult to read as many of them are - a good reason to start getting them copied to another format.

I hope you enjoy this recipe!  

Sunday, January 30, 2011


Ciao!  This week's recipe is Gnocchi.  I've never made or eaten Gnocchi personally, but maybe I'll try it this week.  Grandma's recipe card on this doesn't include sauce of any kind - so you're on your own.  I'm sure your favorite red sauce would work well. 

I was surprised to see it called for instant mashed potatoes, but it seems like they'd be a lot easier to make.


3 C Instant Mashed Potatoes              5 or 6 C flour
3 C Hot water                                    1 or 2 eggs
2 Tbls Oil                                           1 Tsp. salt

Make a well with 5 or 6 C Flour - add eggs, potatoes, hot water & oil.  Mix well & knead dough until smooth.  Shape into small ropes around 3/4" thick.  Cut in small pieces (1 inch).  Make indentation with thumb.  Boil in simmering water around 15 min.

The salt seems to be missing from the instructions and there is also no mention of how to tell when they're done, but I'd think you'd want to cook them al-dente, like any other pasta. 

Until next time - buona notte & felice cucinare!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Made Chewy Oatmeal Cookies Today

I made a batch of Grandma's Chewy Oatmeal Cookies today - it made about 5 doz. cookies - a nice sized batch.  It was a bit tricky figuring out when they were done just right.  In my oven it took 10 minutes at 375 (regular bake, I didn't use my convection setting).  Then are just right when the cracks that appear in the cookies as they bake are no longer wet looking, but the cookies are still pale on top - one minute longer and they are thick & crunchy, but no longer very chewy.  They will be a uniform golden brown on the bottom too, but don't check them that way or they will fall and be crunchy.  

They are very tasty cookies, indeed and they were very easy to make.  I'm usually a stickler for putting nuts in cookies, I just like the way nuts offset the sweetness and I like the texture, but the oatmeal in these provides a nice texture so they're a good option for those who don't like nuts in their cookies.

Note:  If you do have a convection oven, I'd start by following the manufacturers instructions for adjusting recipes for convection baking as I remember that Grandma's convection oven was a toaster oven combo or microwave combo and it was a very small counter top version.  I can't imagine the cookies coming out of my oven on convection at 300 degrees and taking only 8-10 minutes, although I'm sure if I used same at 350, they'd be done in 6-8 minutes. 

Now to pick the next recipe to post...

Happy baking!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Chewy Oatmeal Cookies

Ok folks!  Here is the first recipe.  I decided to post Grandma's recipe for Chewy Oatmeal Cookies.  It has her name on it, so I think this is her personal recipe.  Who doesn't like a chewy, warm oatmeal cookie on a soggy winter day?

Chewy Oatmeal Cookies

1 1/2 C Flour              1/2 tsp Soda
1 C Shortening           1/4 tsp. Baking Powder
2 C Brown Sugar       1/2 tsp. Salt
2 Eggs, beaten            2 tsp. Vanilla
3 C Oatmeal

375 degrees 8-10 min.
Roll in a ball & flatten.  

Note:  Grandma says "I bake mine in my Convection oven at 300 degrees."

That's all she wrote.  I'm sure, like most cookie recipes you would cream the shortening with the sugar & add the eggs.  Stir to combine.  Most recipes then have you sift all dry ingredients together but I usually add my vanilla, soda, baking powder & salt to the sugar/shortening mixture & stir to combine.  Then add flour & other dry ingredients and I've never had any negative result.  

I know Dad (Gary Carbone) has always liked oatmeal cookies - I wonder if these are the ones he liked so well?   The recipe for Oatmeal Cookies on the Quaker Oats container are generally not chewy enough for my taste so I'm looking forward to trying these.  I think it's interesting that there is no cinnamon, raisins, etc. in this version.  I'm planning on baking some later this week - I'll post the results!  If anyone else tries them, please let us know what you think.

Until next time - Happy Cooking!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Ciao Carbone famiglia!

My name is Chris Johnson.  I am the daughter of Gary & Suzanne Carbone, granddaughter of Albert & Josephine Carbone.  After Grandma & Grandpa passed away, Gary & Suzanne took home a large file box full of recipes & cookbooks Josephine (Jo) had accumulated over the years.  Several years ago, Mom & Dad stayed with my husband, Steven, & I while their new house was being built and set up and they brought the carton with them to our home, where it currently resides.

I have been wanting to share the recipes contained in that carton for some time now - eventually I hope to compile them into a family cookbook for all to enjoy.  After my niece, Jennifer Nerio (granddaughter of Gary & Suzanne) and her partner, Butch, set up our wonderful Carbone Family website, I came up with the idea to start a blog of Jo's recipe files.  Jennifer & Butch were kind enough to set it up on the family website so you could all enjoy it.  

I hope family members will share their recipes here as well along with results & comments on the recipes posted.  I'll start with posting one recipe a week and we'll see how it goes.  

Fina alla prossima volta, felice cucinare!  (Until next time, happy cooking!)

Recipe One

Cookie dough....  ummmmm cookie dough