Sunday, March 18, 2018

Easter Ham and Cheese Pie; A Family Tradition from long ago!

Back by popular request. An Easter favorite!

Traditionally Easter was the time of the year Grandma and Mom made their Easter Pie.   Mom and Grandma made their own pie crust but I found this recipe to be pretty close to their recipe using refrigerated pie crust.   I have Mom's original but I am still looking through her recipes to find it.  Seriously she has lots of recipes!!!! When I do find it I'll post her original, until then try this recipe.   I think you may like it and if you do let me know.  I'd love to hear from you!

Happy Cooking from my kitchen to your

M. J.

1 double pie crust dough
2 lbs. ricotta
1 cup grated Romano cheese
2 tablespoons dried or fresh parsley
4 beaten eggs
1 cup mozzarella cheese
1/2 lb. chopped ham, cooked sausage or genoa salami
1/2 tsp. salt
black pepper
1 egg beaten, to brush on top

Line a a 9 or 10 in pie pan with half of the crust.  Mix remaining ingredients and pour into pie shell. 
Top with remaining crust.  Brush crust with beaten egg,  Bake 350 degrees for on hour.


Saturday, March 10, 2018

Lasagna: My way!

  My mom and mother in law made their own homemade pasta which is very easy to do and I have made it many times!  I'll share the link:  Pasta Dough    The pasta dough is very easy to make and I use my pasta machine so it is really easy.  Mom and Lil ,my mother in law, had very strong arms and rolled those pasta sheets so very thin.  I rely on the pasta machine..just sayin!

**This is a short cut recipe for us modern day people!

I make lasagna every now and again because it's easy and freezable.  I love to freeze meals.  It may be a little more work the day you are preparing it but in the long run it'll really help you out when you just don't know what to have for a quick meal...

Here's my basic recipe:

I make a hearty meat sauce which includes bulk sausage..

1 1/2 lbs. ground beef and pork(sliced sausage or meatballs can be added)
2 large cans crushed tomatoes
1 large can tomato sauce
2 or 3 large fresh basil or 1 tsp. dried basil
2 cloves minced garlic

In a large dutch oven pot place several tablespoons olive oil. Add ground meat and sausage.  Cook over medium heat breaking into pieces while cooking. Add salt, pepper and minced garlic. Cook until browned slightly.  Drain off excess grease and then add the tomatoes, sauce and basil.  Cover slightly and bring sauce to a slight bubble and simmer for approximately 2 hours or more. 

Check out all my Pasta Sauce recipes on the right side of the blog under Labels.. 

If you want to take a short cut , use ground beef and pork and fry until browned, adding some salt, pepper and garlic, add one of your favorite jarred sauces and simmer until meat is tender..

Next I use Barilla no cook lasagna pasta noodles  Usually 2 boxes will be needed for a large lasagna pan.  1 Box fits nicely in a 13x9 in pan.

1 -15 oz. ricotta cheese
Approximately 2 cups or more shredded mozzarella cheese
1 tsp. dried parsley
1 cup extra mozzarella for top as needed
1 egg yolk
1+cup Pecorino Romano or Romano cheese( save some for top)
Approximately 4 cups meat sauce for a large lasagna pan.

Mix cheeses with egg. Using  a medium size deep baking dish place some sauce and then put the first layer of no boil noodles. 

Then by spoonful while spreading place cheese mixture then add some more sauce and repeat layers until you have made 4 to 5 layers.  Top with remaining sauce and some mozzarella and grated cheese..

Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 50 to 60 minutes covered...(for a large lasagna pan) Less for a 13x9.  Approximately 30 to 45 minutes.

Take cover off and bake additional 5 minutes or so to make sure cheese on top has melted and is bubbly.  Enjoy!!!

Put a large amount of sauce in bottom of pan.  I used 10 x 14 pan.

Layer sauce then pasta, ricotta mixture, sauce, pasta, ricotta mixture until you have approx. 4 layers

Easy to make lasagna with no boil pasta noodles.

Family favorites recipes from my family to yours, 

10/14/11 original

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Cheesecake of all cheesecake recipe..."Aunt Alda's" Cheesecake recipe + Cool Gift #10

Many years ago this recipe was handed down to me by my favorite aunt on my hubby's side also known as "Aunt Alda". She is smiling down from heaven knowing that I am continuing the Christmas tradition making her recipe. xo

Here is a recipe that my hubby's aunt gave me many years ago and it is the best!!

I have a few of Aunt Alda's recipes and today I would like to share her cheesecake recipe.  You can follow this as I have before with success or try it my way.  I decided this was a good time to try it with a different twist.  I will post the recipe as the original. :  Enjoy!  

Happy Baking

2– 8 oz. Pkg. Cream cheese softened
1 lb. Ricotta
1 ½ cups sugar
1 stick margarine (I use butter)
5 eggs
1 large container sour cream (15 oz.)
3 tablespoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 tablespoons lemon juice

Cream butter, sugar and cream cheese.  Add Ricotta and 5 eggs.. Add cornstarch, flour and sour cream beating well after each addition.  Add vanilla and lemon juice to mixture beating well until all is blended..  Butter spring form pan and sprinkle with graham cracker crumbs.. Pour mixture slowly into pan and bake 325 approx. 1 hour 10 minutes.. Cool on wire rack.. Serve alone or with favorite topping. I have made this recipe with success as is but wanted to change it a bit so I did the following:

Note: I wanted to add a little twist to Aunt Alda’s recipe so I separated my eggs, beat the egg whites separately and added them to the mixture at the very end, hoping to get a lighter cheesecake.  I also used  butter instead of margarine in my recipe and used a cooking spray to coat pan before sprinkling with the graham cracker crumbs.  My final opinion is stick to Aunt Alda's way of making this cheesecake. My way was a little too soft but very light so if you like soft and light make it my way but if you like dense cheesecake make it Aunt Alda's way.  To make sure your cheesecake is set leave the cheesecake in your refrigerator overnight before you take it out of the spring form pan.  Happy Baking!

Cool Gift #10 

Salt and Pepper Grinders!!!  Mine are battery operated and light.   Really cool!

I love these..I bought them on for $19.99

From my happy kitchen with love,

10/1/11 original 

Monday, March 5, 2018

A new adventure: My Facebook Group page

Hi everyone:

I am inviting you to join my group on Facebook.

Here's the link..

Facebook Group Page


These are original photos shared by the group

Note: I am not giving up my blog...I will still continue to post my recipes new and old right here as usual.

I just want to explore new avenues on Facebook. My new group page allows all of you wonderful foodies to share recipes from all around the world.  

We'll meet new foodies, have discussions and offer help in areas that we have difficulty in achieving the results we are looking for in our daily baking and cooking.

I think this is the perfect next step in my adventure in social media.  It's all about positivity in all aspects of life and putting a decent healthy meal on our table.  I think we'd all agree that we need to spread love and positivity to everyone.

Come visit, ask to join and that's all there is to it. I welcome all serious foodies and friends of foodies too.  

The note below is what I posted on my I Like to Bake and Cook Blog page which will be archived in 3 days.

To my loyal I Like to Bake and Cook Blog Page followers:

I will be posting my recipes, photos, adventures and fun here in the group page sharing the link to the blog directly with the actual easy to access link. Note: It's usually highlighted in blue.

Please consider joining the group page.  I think you'll like being able to contribute to it by your recipes and photos. We all enjoy food and in particular those who like to share their labor of love; challenges and accomplishments.

I'm excited to go forward with a new group of loyal foodies!

It's been a great 7 years. Never did I think my passion for food and sharing recipes would have been so much fun.  I met so many wonderful people. I wish I could mention them all! My intention was to inspire everyone to get into the kitchen and make homemade recipes that generations would remember and pass on. Wonderful memories...

What surprised me also was that I was so inexperienced on the technical are of a computer so planning and implementing a layout of both sites really was a super challenge.

Thanks, Vanessa and Nathan for your help.  It made me realize that you are never to old to learn. Even though there were days I was frustrated I never wanted to give up this non paying but so rewarding hobby.

I am looking forward to growing this group.  Mention it to your friends and family.  We'll grow and learn so many great recipes and customs  from all over the world! 


As Always,

The I Like to Bake and Cook Lady

As of May 28, 2017 I started a group page.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Crock Pot Corned Beef!! and a Happy St. Patrick's Day to everyone!

I really like Reuben sandwiches so today was my first try with a crockpot version so we could have delicious Reuben Sandwiches for dinner and it was made so easily with the spices because there was a packet of seasoning mix inside.  I couldn't have made it any better even if I tried.

A good day for this because the wind is blowing, rain is coming down and I'm having a very lazy day so it worked out perfectly!

  Mom never made a beef brisket and neither did my mother- in- law so I'm breaking the pattern and we are having corned beef tonight. The only time I have eaten corned beef was when I ordered it at a restaurant. This particular roast had the seasoning packet with it so it was a breeze to put all in the crockpot and add the seasoning packet.

 Sure was super easy and it helped that the brisket was only 2 lbs.  I don't think we could eat it every day.  Just sayin.  Of course the package said to add carrots, potatoes and onions to the bottom of the crockpot, place the roast on top and add enough water to cover the roast. I then added the seasoning package.

I did add everything to the pot but I didn't have potatoes but that was ok since my intention was to make a luscious corned beef on marbled rye sandwich. Enjoy!

The house smells so good!

2 lb. beef brisket roast
seasoning packet that came with the roast
potatoes optional
swiss cheese
Russian dressing
Marbled rye bread

If you want to make Reuben Sandwiches and don't want to make this recipe you can go to the deli and buy some there. I  wanted to try it in my crockpot  so I did  buy a corned beef roast that had a seasonings packet; cover roast with water and set to low or high depending on your time frame.

  I used high because I hoped we could have it for dinner tonight and it did work out perfectly. Tender and tasty for sure. It was ready to eat in 5 hours at a high setting on my crockpot.

Adjust recipe time to your needs. If you are going to be out all day set it on low for about 8 to 10  hours depending on size.

After the roast has rested for a few minutes, with a large serrated knife cut into thin slices. 

I toasted the bread and added the beef, cheese, sauerkraut and Russian dressing.  Yum!  You can microwave the sandwich for about 10 seconds before you add the sauerkraut to melt the cheese slightly.