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March 11, 2009
Lucky Little Leprechaun

Lucky Little Leprechaun


So, since I’ve already confessed to my addiction with the basic dough that I can’t seem to stop making, I’ll not mention it again on this post!  I wanted to make something cute for our darling grandson for St. Patrick’s Day.  He’s not quite two years old yet, so I thought he’d get a kick out of the little pinwheels;  you know,  for Spring (hopefully) being on its way and mostly, because pinwheels are fun!!  Of course, I had to add the green sugar for “St. Paddy’s” Day.  Of course.

**a little side note:  did you know you can make your own colored sugar?  when i saw the price for the green sugar the other day, i actually found that i drew my hand away so quickly it looked like the sugar container was boiling hot!  so, that little leprechaun is guarding the sugar i made myself.  just squirt a bit of food coloring into your plain white sugar,  stir it up with a fork until you get the color you want, put it through a sieve to remove any lumps that may have formed, and there ya go!

** * another side note:  do you ever add a little colored sugar  to your regular white sugar for the different holidays?  (ex. – red & green for Christmas,  red for Valentine’s Day, and green for St. Patrick’s Day).  you just need one or two big pinches to make the sugar you serve with your coffee or tea look so festive.


basic dough  (*see recipe under “Pizza My Heart”, or “Extraordinary Pizza” from this site)

about 1/4 cup honey (optional)

about 1/4 cup ground pecans  ( any ground nuts can be used ) ( this is also optional)

1/2 to 1 cup green sugar ( depending how heavy-handed you are!)

chocolate chips for garnish  ( or M&M’s)

about 2 or 3 TBSP. milk


Cut the dough into rectangles, approximately 6″  x  3″.  Roll out to twice the length, doing your best to keep the 3″ wide part to that measurement.   You will need to cut this rectangle into squares.  The best is a 3″  x  3″  square,  but some of mine were not so exact and still came out fine.

I made half the pinwheels  with just the green sugar and the other half with the honey and nuts.  We liked both, so you’ll need to decide for yourself  which you prefer.

For the simply sugared ones;  brush a little milk on the squares and sprinkle with the green sugar.

For the “honeyed” ones;  put a little honey on the square and carefully spread it out as best as you can with a small butter knife.  Then, sprinkle the nuts on top.

Now, using a sharp knife, make 4 slits on each rectangle from the center to each tip (corner).  Just be careful to leave about 1/2″  of the center uncut.  Take every other corner and press the tip of it into the center of the rectangle.  Place a chocolate chip or M&M in the center.  Sprinkle the top of the “honeyed” ones with green sugar.

Bake at 375 degrees for about 15 to 20 minutes, until golden.

Enjoy with a lovely cup of Irish tea and shout, “Erin Go Bragh!”  and may theLuck o’ the Irish be with you always!


Bunny Baskets

April 3, 2009

Bunny Bread Baskets


basic dough  (recipe on this site under any pizza recipe)

1/2 c. maple syrup or honey

1 package Easter M&M’s


After making the basic dough,  take about a walnut-sized piece and roll it into a log.  Do the same with a second piece and then twist the both of them together and form into a circle.  Brush the tops with either syrup or honey.  Bake in a 375 degree oven for about 10 minutes or until golden brown.  After removing from the oven, place an M&M inside the circle to resemble an Easter egg in an Easter basket.

Cute, huh?

Bunny Breadettos

April 3, 2009

Easter Poses


Basic Dough

1 c. walnut paste

1/2 c. sugar

I call these “breadettos”  because it’s a kind of Italian word that I made up that I want to mean:  “Little Bread”!


Make the basic dough which you can find on this site under any pizza recipe.  For the walnut paste,  I merely put 1 cup of walnuts in my mini-processor until it formed a paste.

I took about 2 golf ball-sized pieces  of dough and rolled them out into a log, then braided them together.  I placed about 1 tsp. of the walnut paste across the top of the mini loaves and sprinkled over the paste with sugar.

Bake in a hot oven at 375 degrees for about 10 minutes or until golden brown.

Do NOT feed to the bunnies!  Human consumption only, please!

Macaroni Madness

April 3, 2009

Plenty o’ Pasta

This is just a photo record of some home-made pasta I made recently.  If anyone wants the recipe for this, just post a comment on this page and I will be happy to type the recipe in.

Chicken on A Cloud

April 3, 2009

Chicken Cloud


2 Chicken Breasts, skinless and boneless

1 (15 oz.) can diced tomatoes

2 cloves garlic, diced

1/2 c. wine, any type

1 c. frozen string beans

1 envelope instant mashed potatoes

1/2 tsp. paprika

1/4 tsp. cinnamon

pinch cayenne pepper

1 tsp. brown sugar

salt & pepper, to taste

oil for frying


In a small bowl, mix together all spices and sugar.  Dice the garlic.  Heat a frying pan and add oil.  Meanwhile, season the chicken on both sides with the spice mixture.  Cut the chicken into about 1″ chunks.  Add the garlic to the heated oil and let fry for about 1 or 2 minutes.  Add chicken and brown on all sides.  Remove from pan and add the wine and diced tomatoes and stir together.  Add the string beans and let cook for about 5 minutes.  Return the chicken to the pan and cover.  Simmer on a very low flame while preparing the mashed potatoes.

Put the cooked mashed potatoes on a plate and make a well in the middle of the “cloud”.  Add the chicken and vegetables and chow down!!

Yummy Yammy Soup recipe

March 12, 2009
Yummy Yammy Soup

Yummy Yammy Soup

The little spoon rest/ gondolier is a gift from my daughter. Isn’t he just the cutest?! He loved watching me make this soup ~~ in fact, he’s the one who came up with the title!

Yummy Yammy Soup


4 large yams ( sweet potatoes ), or 6 medium

2 tablespoons butter, unsalted

1 rounded teaspoon salt

4-6 ounces cream cheese ( or just use milk or cream )

1/2 cup pecans, chopped

2 tablespoons fresh mint leaves, or Italian parsley

1 cup shredded coconut

4 cups water, or 2 cups water + 2 cups chicken stock


Peel the yams and cube them. Put them in a large soup pot and cover with water and add the teaspoon of salt. Boil until soft enough to mash. When soft, drain them and add the butter, cream cheese, mint or parsley, coconut and pecans.

At this point, I use my hand-held immersion stick blender to puree everything. You can also use a blender or food processor. But, really, if you don’t own one of these gadgets ~~ get one! I use mine for a lot of things, including pureeing whole plum Italian tomatoes for my “gravy”.

But, back to the soup…

After it is pureed, you can now add the liquid ~~ stock or stock/water mixture. Stir over low flame until warm enough to eat.

Garnish with a sprinkle of coconut, a sprig of mint or parsley, and a little chopped pecans.

Yell out, “Yummy-Yammy”!

Blue Baby Blue (berry) Bites

March 11, 2009
Blue Baby Blue (berry) Bites

Blue Baby Blue (berry) Bites


Remember that song, “Blue Baby Blue”?  I think it was sung by Bobby Vinton.  Anyway, I couldn’t help thinking of it when making this  berry, berry good little dessert.   And, I think I have to make a confession here:  I’m pretty sure that I have now become totally obsessed with the basic dough recipe.  I’ve used that dough to make appetizers,  meals, and desserts.  It’s just that it’s so doggone easy to work with!   Hello, my name is Claire and I am addicted to using basic dough.  (There.  I’ve confessed.  But,  I don’t expect a cure!)


basic dough   ( find the recipe on this blog under the recipe title “Extraordinary Pizza”, or “Pizza My Heart”)

1 can  (12 oz. )  blueberry pie filling

about 1/2 cup ground walnuts  ( I do this in my mini food processor )

confectioner’s  ( powdered ) sugar,  for dusting

**note:  you may certainly substitute any fruit pie filling or any diced up fruit of your choice ~~  also, you may even use purchased frozen pizza  dough.


I cut my dough into approximately  6″  x  2″  logs,  just to make life easier!  Then, roll each log  (one at a time, please! ) into a circle with approximately a  10″  or 12″  diameter.

Using a soup spoon,  dollop about  two or three spoonfuls of the pie filling onto the dough, leaving a border on the edge of about 1/2 “.   Sprinkle a spoonful or so of the walnuts on top.

I used a ravioli cutter for this next part, but you can use a pizza cutter or just a sharp knife.  Make slices of the circle just as if it were a pizza.  Then, starting from the long end, roll up each slice and place on greased ( or “Pam-ed” ) baking sheet.

Bake at 375 degrees for about 15 or 20 minutes, until golden.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar.

You’ll never feel blue eating these!!