Tag Archives: appetizer recipes

“Cucuzza” Zucchini & Ricotta Spingi with Sun Dried Tomato Dip



 “Cucuzza” Zucchini & Ricotta Spingi with Sun Dried Tomato Dip

It’s Zucchini Time…and here is my twist on Ricotta Spingi

Last week I created todays “Cucuzza” Zucchini & Ricotta Spingi recipe using a large “Cucuzza”  grown in my friend Maryjane Carollo vegetable garden. This is by far one of my most favorite times of year to cook. Everything tastes extra delicious when using fresh produce from local farms, and friends gardens!  If your looking for a new recipe using fresh zucchini, this is a must try!


Click see more for Step-by-Step recipe details and photos

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Parmesan Crisps




Family friend Toby Pett knows just how to get to my heart.  A few weeks ago he stopped by with a huge wedge of Parmesan Cheese and a delicious bottle of wine.  The bottle was gone that night, but a portion of the Parmesan still remains!  Over the weekend I served a small batch of Parmesan Crisps using Toby’s gift of cheese to guest, and they were a huge hit!   Parmesan Crisps are delicious accompaniment to any soup salad or antipasto display, and easy enough to whip up a batch for unexpected guest, while the wine is being poured.  

pam 1

Parmesan Crisps


1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 tablespoon fresh oregano; finely chopped (optional)


1  combine 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese and 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese together

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2 fix 1 1/2 tablespoons cheese mixture into 2 inch biscuit cutter, one inch apart on parchment paper lined cookie sheet


2 combine remaining 1/2 cup shredded and grated Parmesan cheese together; add chopped fresh oregano; mix well; follow step two


3 bake in 350° preheated oven seven minutes; remove from oven; cool five minutes; before serving


Shrimp Cocktail & Cocktail Sauce


shrimp cocktail and cocktail sauce (4)

Shrimp & Cocktail Sauce


2 ½ lbs flash frozen 16/20 Cocktail Shrimp tail on (defrosted)

1 fresh bay leaf

½ lemon

Ice bath( in large mixing bowl, combine 8 cups ice cubes and 12 cups cold water)

Cocktail Sauce Ingredients

1 ½ -2 cups ketchup

2 heaping tablespoons horseradish ( sold in a jar in the refrigerated section of the grocery store)

juice of 1 lemon

Shrimp Step-Step

1 Bring 8-10 cups of water to rolling boil in large saucepan; add bay leaf,  and juice of ½ lemon; add the squeezed ½ to the pan of boiling water

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3 add defrosted shrimp; cook 3-5 minutes until shrimp turn bright white and pink

Note~ shrimp will turn pink almost immediately when they touch the boiling water, allow them to cook until they turn opaque white & pink

shrimp cocktail and cocktail sauce (1)

4 remove shrimp lemon and bay leaf using a spider spatula; immediately place in ice bath 10 minutes

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shrimp cocktail and cocktail sauce (14)

5 strain shrimp in large colander; transfer to airtight container; keep refrigerated until ready to serve

Cocktail Sauce Step-by-Step

1 combine all ingredients in mixing bowl; mix well; keep refrigerated in airtight container until ready to serve

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2 transfer to serving bowl


(1) If using a mariposa serving bowl, spray a light coat of kitchen spray in bowl before adding prepared sauce. This will protect the bowl from the acidity in the sauce, preventing Mariposa bowl from pitting

(2) The shrimp used in my photos were purchased from Stavis Seafoods in Boston (1-617-897-1220.) They are 16/20 white shrimp farmed in Indonesia.

Stuffed Jalapeno Peppers

PrintPerfect appetizer for Sunday Football, and holiday gatherings!


Stuffed Jalapeno Peppers


1 package 8 oz. cream cheese, soften

1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

6 bacon strips, cooked and chopped into small bite-size pieces

2 scallions, cut into ⅛ inch pieces

¼ teaspoon garlic powder

¼ teaspoon chili powder

¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

12 medium jalapeno peppers, cut into halves lengthwise; remove and discard seeds

½ cup Sicilian Style Breadcrumbs (recipe on page 201 in my newly released cookbook “Gifts of Gold”)


1  In a large mixing bowl combine first 7 ingredients; using hand mixer, blend ingredients on medium/low speed 1-2 minutes until evenly mixed

2  Fill each pepper half with 1 heaping tablespoon of cheese mixture

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3  Dip each filled pepper into Sicilian Breadcrumbs; arrange on foil lined baking dish

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4  Bake in preheated 350 degree oven uncovered 20-25 minutes until tops are golden; Cool 5 minutes before serving

To purchase copies of my newly released cookbook “Gifts of Gold In A Sicilian Kitchen With Sista Felicia, Harvest” click link below


Don’t forget to send your Sista Felicia Recipe photos in to GMG and join the GMG FOB Cooks club! I will personally post them once per week.

Fried Artichoke

PrintA few weeks ago as I waited in line for some cuts of meat from the butcher, during my weekly shop at Joe Pace & Son in Saugus Ma., , I spotted a childhood favorite displayed on top of the deli counter….marinated artichokes! Immediately my brain became flooded with dozens of recipe ideas, and became so excited, that I could feel butterflies in my stomach. I could not wait to get home an crack open that can and start cooking.

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fried artichokes

Fried Artichokes


1 Can Roman Artichokes with stem

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

3 cup Sicilian Breadcrumbs (recipe in my cookbook, “Gifts Of Gold”on page 201)

1/2 cup milk

2 large eggs

La Spagnola Oil (for frying)

4 paper towels


1 In pie plate,combine flour salt and pepper; mix well; reserve

2 Whisk eggs and milk together in separate pie plate; reserve

3 Stack 3 paper towels on flat work surface; arrange each artichoke on top; absorb excess oil with remaining paper towel

4 Cut each artichoke in half lengthwise

5 Carefully coat all sides of each artichoke half, generously with seasoned flour mixture

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6 Immediately dip and coat all sides with egg wash

7 Generously coat flour and egg washed artichoke pieces  with Sicilian Breadcrumbs

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8 Heat 4 cups La Spagnola Oil in large frying pa; using kitchen tongs and working in small batches, carefully arrange 3-4 artichoke pieces into hot oil

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9  Fry 2-3 minute, turn pieces; cook 2-3 minutes or until all sides are golden in color

10 Cool and drain excess oil on cookie rack lined cookie sheet; serve warm with your favorite dipping sauce

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A special Note from Sista~

I have received a few new Sista Felicia recipe photos sent in from GMG FOB Cooks this week… keep them coming … I will be posting them once per week…they are looking great !

My Turn To Ask…………Would you please vote for my recipe?

I entered the Pillsbury Monthly Recipe contest and the theme this month was appetizers.  My recipe Tuscan Splendor Spinach Braid was chosen out of hundreds of recipes as one of the top ten finalists vying for $2500.00.

Would you please vote for my recipe every day until December 1st—yes, seven days from now–and I could win $2500.00 for me and Lily!  You do have to register to vote on the Pillsbury site but you do not have to select to receive emails from them.

Here is the link to vote: https://generalmills.promo.eprize.com/bakeoff/?WT.ac=HP_Left_Feature_Picture_MonthlyChallenge

Here is the recipe and a (lousy scanned) photo:

1        can (8 oz) Pillsbury® Crescent Recipe Creations® refrigerated
seamless dough sheet
1/3    cup refrigerated black olive tapénade (from 7 oz container)
1        box (9 oz) frozen chopped spinach, thawed, squeezed to drain
1/2    cup crumbled goat (chèvre) cheese
3/4    cup julienne cut sun dried tomatoes in oil, well drained
1        egg
1        teaspoon water

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Unroll dough. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Press into 12×9-inch rectangle.

2. Spread tapénade in 3-inch wide strip lengthwise down the center of dough leaving 1-inch edge on both ends. Layer spinach evenly over the tapénade. Top with cheese then layer with tomatoes.

3. With scissors or sharp knife, make diagonal cuts 1 inch apart on long sides of dough rectangle to within 1/2 inch of filling. Alternately cross strips diagonally over filling. Turn ends of braid up and press to seal. In small bowl, beat egg with water. Brush over top of braid.

4. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. To serve, cut into slices.

Thank you all for your support and votes!