Saturday, March 02, 2013

Kitchen Measurements

Common Kitchen Measurements
History: When I decided to make my girls a family cookbook, I put these in each book. It gives them a quick reference to information that I probably have been remiss in teaching them.

10 drops = dash
1/8 teaspoon = a few grains
1 teaspoon = 6 dashes
1 teaspoon = 5 milliliters
3 teaspoons = 1 tablespoon
8 teaspoons = 1 ounce
1 tablespoon = ½ fluid ounce
1 tablespoon = 15 milliliters
2 tablespoons = 1 fluid ounce
4 tablespoon = ¼ or 2 ounces
16 tablespoon = 1 cup or 8 ounces
1/8 cup = 1 ounce
1/8 cup = 2 tablespoons
3/8 cup = 6 tablespoons
1/3 cup = 5 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon
½ cup = 1 tea cup
1 cup = ½ pint
1 cup = 240 milliliters
2 cups = 1 pound (16 ounces)
4 cups = 1 quart
2 cups = 1 pint
2 pints = 1 quart
4 quarts = 1 gallon
2 gallons = 1 peck
4 pecks = 1 bushel
1 ounce = 28 grams
1 quart = 2 pounds
1tablespoon = ½ liquid ounce or 15 grams
1 cup = 8 ounces or 226 grams
1 quart (32 ounces) = 907 grams
1 quart = 64 tablespoons
1 pound = 454 grams
1 pound = 32 tablespoons
1 pound = 2 cups
¼ pound = 1 bar
1 bar = 4ounces, ½ cup
1 Pound American or Cheddar type = 4 cups grated
1 pound cottage cheese = 2 cups
½ pound cream cheese = 1 cup (8 ounces)
½ cup = 2 large
½ cup = 3 medium
2 cups butter
4 cups all purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
3 ½ cup powdered sugar
2 2/3 cups brown sugar
2 cups milk
Ounce = oz
Tablespoon = tbsp or T
Teaspoon = tsp or t
Pound = lb
Square = sq
Minute = min
Hour = hr
Gram = gr or g
Kilogram = kg
Kiloliter = kl
Liter = l
Milliliter = ml
Milligram = mg
Fluid ounce = fl oz
Gallon = gal
Pint = pt
Quart = qt

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Sicilian Pepper Salad

History:  This recipe was never written down, but I grew up having it in the fridge all the time.  Growing up in Southern Colorado meant the peppers that we had access to were anaheim peppers. My mother and father would buy them by the bushels and we would roast them up and freeze them in big freezer bags. My Nonna who was on the east coast would make this with red and green peppers.
When we went to Italy last fall, I'd hoped to see this somewhere on our travels, but I didn't see it on a menu or in our relatives homes. Perhaps it is because it is so simple that the relatives didn't want to serve us such a common item.  It is so simple and so good.

Roasting Peppers

 As a young child and all through my growing up, I watched my mother and father roast peppers. They would get them by the bushels right from the farmers and roast them all up and freeze them in small bags.
There are many ways to roast peppers, but I am going to give you the way our family roasted them.

My parents roasted them on a gas grill. They blackened the peppers and put them in a paper sack to cool. My mom always said that the paper sack helped them to sweat off the skins. I don't know if it is true, but I do it exactly like she does it.

My Nonna was on the east coast. She roasted red bell peppers, and it is because of her that they are my favorite pepper. She roasted peppers by placing them under the broiler on a cookie sheet covered with foil.

Here is the recipe that started with Nonna, and continued with my mother. We called it pepper salad

  • 1 lbs peppers which you will roast, peel, and seed. (In this picture I used anaheims and red bell peppers)
  • Italian plum tomatoes crushed 15oz (My mom always bought Progresso Italian tomatoes - she said that the cheaper brands were not as good. You can see what I have access to in Texas in the picture above)
  • Garlic (I use the garlic in the jar and put about a tablespoon. My thoughts is you can never have to much garlic, but you can adjust if you think it is to much)
  1. Put  a tablespoon of olive oil in a large frying pan on medium heat
  2. Make long thin strips of the peppers. I usually do it with my hands
  3. Put garlic in pan and fry until golden (don't burn)
  4. Add tomatoes and then place the slivered peppers in the pan
  5. You will stir around until all the water from the peppers and tomatoes has cooked out - could take 20 minutes or so.
  6. Place pepper tomato mixture in a container and add a tablespoon of oil and garlic salt to taste
  7. Serve cold as side dish - we like it in tortillias with cheese, on top of salads, and served right next to some pasta.
Buon Apetito!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Mint Banana Bread

History: I have had this recipe a very long time. I have struggled with it because I am always trying to do something like put whole wheat flour, add coconut, or add chocolate. When I do those things I find that it is mushy in the middle. Today I followed the recipe. I should have cooked it about 5 minutes less, but it is extra good and cooked all the way through.

  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1/4 teaspoon of peppermint extract (I used mint)
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons butter softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  1. In a large bowl or food processor, mash bananas well. 
  2. Add extract, honey, butter, sugar, and eggs. 
  3. Beat or process for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Sift together the dry ingredients and fold gently into banana mixture. 
  5. Pour into a well-greased 9 by 5 inch loaf pan.
  6. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.
  7. Do not over bake
  8. Cool in pan 10 minutes.
  9. Freezes well
Note that sometimes a happy accident occurs when you are cooking. In my hurry to soften the butter, I nuked it to long. I started over with new butter, but did not want to waste my liquid butter.  I stuck it back in the fridge in the cup and when the bread was cooked I added 3 tablespoons of honey to the butter and added it to the warm banana bread. 

That is what I call a very happy accident

Buon Appetito

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Sicilian Alabama Firecrackers

Sicilian's Alabama Fire Crackers
History: Someone gave me a tin with these crackers in them for Christmas. I wanted to find out how you make them so I started Googling spicy crackers and found this blog. I have been experimenting with this recipe and have come up with my lower fat version.

  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup oil (I use canola because I have it, but will do it with olive oil when I have used it all up)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder (don't use garlic salt - did that to salty)
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper ( I never put this in - it is plenty hot without it)
  • 2 envelopes ranch dressing ( I've used italian and I've used off brands. You'll have to decide what is the favorite. I like the italian and the brand seems better than the off brand)
  • 1-3 tablespoons crushed red pepper (Here is where you need to use your discretion. I have tried it with the least and the most. For our tastes 2 tablespoons is enough.)
  • 16.5 ounces saltine crackers (Here is what I've found through a lot of experimentation. Buy low fat crackers because it seems that the seasonings stick to it better. I have tried buttery crackers, whole grain crackers, but have found for our family the crackers that are loved the most are soup crackers.) You can drop them soup crackers are 10 ozs so I use two packs)
I mix the oil and spices up in a cup and get them all mixed together. Then I pour them over the crackers and rub them around it. You can use a zip lock or a big bowl that is air tight to do this. Sometime later in the day I shake them around or flip them if they are in the bag to get the oil all over the crackers. 

These need to sit over night and they last a long time as long as they are in an air tight container.


Friday, March 09, 2012

Mom’s Texas Taco Soup

Mom’s Texas Taco Soup

History: I have been making this for years. Most people make it with meat but it is just as delicious with vegetarian alternatives.


• 1 pound ground beef or equivalent vegetarian burger product

• 2 (15 ounce) cans ranch style chili beans

• 2 (10 ounce) cans diced tomatoes with green chili

• 16 ounces frozen corn

• 1 (1.25 ounce) package taco seasoning mix


1. If using ground beef, cook beef until brown and drain

2. Stir in chili beans, corn, diced tomatoes with green chili, taco-seasoning mix.

3. If using a vegetarian product add to hot soup 10 minutes before done.

Serve Mom’s Taco soup with corn chips, cheese, cilantro, green onions, and avocados.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Sicilian Mamma’s Easy Chocolate Frosting

Sicilian Mamma’s Easy Chocolate Frosting


• 4 ¾ cups sifted powdered sugar

• ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

• ¼ cup margarine or butter, softened

• 1/3 cup boiling water


1. Mix powdered sugar and cocoa.

2. Add margarine or butter, vanilla, and boiling water.

3. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed until combined.

4. Beat for 1 minute on medium speed.

5. Cool for 30 minutes or until the frosting is spreading consistency

Buon Appetito

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Cola Cake

Cola Cake
History: This is a cake recipe that I've had for years. I've never made it, but am putting it here so I can make it.

Cake Ingredients:
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup 2 sticks butter
  • 3 Tbs cocoa
  • 1 cup cola soda
  • 1/2 cup buttermik
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups mini marshmallows
  1. Combine flour and sugar in a mixing bowl.
  2. Heat butter cocoa and cola to boiling and pour over the flour and sugar mixture, mixing thoroughly
  3. Mix buttermilk, eggs, baking soda, vanilla, and marshmallows.
  4. Add to first mixture and stir well. Batter will be thin.
  5. Bake in a sheet pan 12 x 9 x 2 inches at 350 degrees 30-35 minutes.
  6. Ice while hot.
Icing Ingredients:
  • 1 cup 2 sticks butter
  • 3 tbs cocoa
  • 6 Tbs cola soda
  • 1 box confectioners' sugar
  • 1 cup nuts, pecans or walnuts.
Icing Directions:
  1. Combine butter, cocoa and cola.
  2. Heat to boiling and pour over sugar beating well
  3. Add nuts and spread on the hot cake

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Creamy Baked Chicken Breasts

History: I needed a meal to feed a lot of people, and my daughters gave me their Aunt Rene's famous chicken recipe.  I've made it twice and it is a hit at my house.  The wine and sour cream serve as tenderizing agents.  Cooking at the low temperature prevents the chicken from being tough. It will be moist and for tender.

Creamy Baked Chicken Breasts
  • 16 chicken breasts, boned and skinned
  • 26 oz can cream of chicken soup
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 cups herb stuffing mix crushed
  • 1/2 cup margarine melted
  1. Arrange chicken in a lightly greased baking  pan. Season with lemon pepper or salt and pepper.
  2. Sprinkle crushed stuffing mix over the chicken.
  3. Combine soup (undiluted) with wine and sour cream, and spoon evenly over chicken with stuffing mix.
  4. Drizzle margarine over the top.
  5. Bake 300 for two hours uncovered.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Lil Cap Checci (Little Tarts)

History: Nonna’s friend Connie gave this recipe to Auntie Anna when she lived at the assisted living apartments in New Britain. It was hand written in Italian and translated to English. I have typed both versions.

Lill Cap Checchi
(Little Tarts)

1 quart margirin
¼ lb. margarine

1 small pecchetto crim cisi
1 small package cream cheese

1 copp farina
1 cup flour

Chippi in refrigitera lisat 2 auris
Keep in refrigerator at least 2 hours


3 cuore coppa bran scuiger
¾ cup brown sugar

3 cuore coppa wl nozzi chappi
¾ cup walnuts chopped

1 uovo
1 egg

1 ti spuonno vanella
1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cucchiano burro
1 tablespoon butter

Stoefa 325°
Stove 325°

Cucchi 25 minuzzi
Cook 25 minutes

Buon Appetito

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


History: My cousin Jo-Ann has given this recipe for our family cookbook.


  • 1 small can of peeled tomatoes  
  • 1 medium size eggplant, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces 
  • 6-8 cubanelle frying peppers, cut into bite-sized pieces 
  • 2 stalks of celery, sliced into short lengths  
  • 1 small onion, diced  
  • approximately 12 black olives, sliced  
  • approximately 12 green pimento olives, sliced 
  • dash of vinegar 
  • dash of oregano 
  • dash of garlic power 
  • 1 teaspoon of capers (optional…but I love them!!!)
1. Simmer tomatoes with salt (to taste), oregano, garlic power and capers for about ½ hour.

2. Fry in cooking oil separately; eggplant, peppers, celery and onion. Drain excess oil. Put vegetables in a bowl and sprinkle with vinegar. Pour tomatoes over mixture. Add more seasonings if necessary.



May be kept in refrigerator covered for up to a week or two.

Keeps well in the freezer.

Buon Appetito!



I love this stuff!!!

I put it on everything!