Just some notes to friends

Grilled Caprese Sandwich with Broiled Beefsteak Herbed Tomato’s

OH MY was this good!!!

Grilled Caprese Sandwich with Broiled Tomato's

I decided to combine a few different recipe idea’s and come up with a new Sandwich which turned out to be a HUGE hit!  I started surfing one of my favorite food blogs, The Noble Pig, and found this recipe   I have been craving anything Caprese lately since the Reluctant Entertainer featured on her Friday Roundup, on July 29th, the Caprese several different ways.  One of the recipe’s was my Caprese Wrap!!

SO here is the new sandwich after I added the Balsamic and before the cut.

Grilled Caprese

I started with 2 Beefsteak Tomato’s cut into thick slices (3 each tomato), sprayed a sheet of foil on a cookie sheet, seasoned the slices with salt, pepper and a little oregano.  Then chopped a small amount of fresh mozzarella and a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese.  Popped them under the broiler for 3 minutes.  Here they are sliced and seasoned

Sliced and Seasoned

For the each Sandwich:
Deli sliced bread of your choice
3 thin slices of Prosciutto
3 thin slices of Fresh Mozzarella Cheese
1 thin slice of Havarti Cheese

Heat non stick skillet to medium high,  place the Mozzarella on one slice of bread and the Havarti on the other with the Prosciutto in the middle.  Grill until cheese starts to melt and bread is lightly grilled.  Then add:

3 Broiled Tomato’s from above
6 fresh Basil Leaves
Place back in the hot Skillet for a minute or 2 on each side to melt  together.
Then plate the sandwich and open it up and lightly sprinkle with Balsamic Vinegar to your liking.  Cut in half and enjoy!!


August 13, 2011 Posted by | Cheese, Italian, Lunch, recipes, Sandwiches & Wraps | , , , , , | 4 Comments

Barbacue Chicken Pizza on Lavash From Trader Joe’s

This Pizza was so good.  The thin Lavash makes perfect crust!  I love the rectangle shape making so easy to cut into small square servings.

I used Rotisserie Chicken, sliced Red Onion and a large head of Roasted Garlic cloves!  Do not leave out!   Plan ahead.  Then added a Little of each Mozzarella, Fontina and Shredded Parmesan Cheese on a Sheet of Lavash with Barbacue Sauce as the base

Ready for the Oven

Toppings on and ready for the oven

Preheat the oven to 400.  Lay the Sheet of Lavash on the Grill pan of cookie sheet.  Bake for 4 minutes.  Then add your Barbecue sauce and all of your topping and put back into the oven for 6-8 minutes.  (watch closely after 6 minutes).  Then…..Perfect Pizza!!   I loved it.  The Roasted Garlic really sets off the whole thing.  I add the garlic right after the sauce, that way it does not get over-cooked while Pizza is in the oven.

My first Bites!

My first bites!


July 31, 2011 Posted by | Cheese, Chicken, Italian, Pizza, recipes | , , , , , | 4 Comments

Stuffed Baby Bella Mushrooms with a 3 cheese filling and egg free!

I love these stuffed mushrooms and have delayed posting to get it just right!

3 cheese stuffed mushrooms

This is my favorite appetizer to serve with everything from Barbecue steak to anything Italian.

Baby Bella's

My local market,, has the best produce and always fresh!  I have been growing my own herbs and so it made this super easy.  Here are the mushrooms stemmed and ready to fill in a buttered baking dish.  I used 2 packages of the mushrooms and lots of extra filling to make ravioli, coming soon!

Stemed and ready to fill

Stuffed and ready for the oven

Stuffed and ready for the oven

Ready to serve

The best way to put these babies together is to use a food processor, does all the work.  I love these and have only heard great reviews from my guests, and the best part for me is that they are egg free!

Stuffed Baby Bella’s with 3 cheese filling

2 packages Bay Bella Mushrooms or white button (I have used both)
1-2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/2 large onion finely chopped
2-3 cloves of garlic, chopped ( I add it to the onion in the processor and give it whirl)
2 tablespoon fresh herbs (any mixture of rosemary,thyme ore basil, whatever you like, chopped)
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
1/2 cup Ricotta cheese
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup crumpled fresh Mozzarella cheese (you can use shredded)
1/2 cup Panko Bread Crumbs
1/4 cup Progresso Italian bread crumbs
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 Table spoons fresh Parsley, chopped
1/4 cup Italian Dressing

Saute olive oil, onion and garlic for about 10 minutes over medium low heat (I chopped the mushroom stems and added them to this mixture).  Cool and add to food processor.  Add the rest of the ingredients and mix on low speed for a couple of minutes.  Add about 1/4 cup Italian dressing to mixture and mix for about 1 minute.  You are now ready to stuff the mushrooms.  Preheat oven to 350.  Bake uncovered for 20 minutes then tent with foil and continue to bake another 10 minutes.

You are now ready to enjoy!

June 28, 2011 Posted by | Cheese, Egg Free, Italian, recipes | , , , | Leave a comment

Italian Caprese Wrap with Fresh Basil, Tomato and Prociutto

This Wrap is so easy to prepare and it fulfilled my craving for a Fresh Caprese Salad and and Sandwich at the same time!

We have harvested some of our Roma Tomato’s from the plant that is producing like crazy.  Some people do not believe that you can grow Tomato’s in containers, but honestly here in Arizona where is is hotter than normal it is nice to move them around  for the best mix of sun and shade.  The one plant has produced at least 25 Roma’s since we we brought it home 1 month ago from..Costco!  Yes, Costco had big plants and this one came home with us.

Sliced and chopped ready to go

The Basil plants (3 of them) are also going crazy.  I have them in the shade and use the fresh leaves every other day it seems.  As I was assembling the Wrap, I decided to roll the leaves together and slice into thin strips, worked out perfect!

Layered and drizzled with Balsamic Vinegar and Olive Oil for a wonderful Finish

 The flour tortilla was warmed on a non-stick skillet for about 2 to 3 minutes per side over medium heat, then layered the filling in this order:  Fresh thinly sliced Mozzarella, Prosciutto, (I used 3 slices), Chopped Roma Tomato’s (3), then about 6 Basil leaves rolled and thinly sliced.  Drizzle some Balsamic Vinegar and I misted some olive oil over the top.  Fold like Burrito and cut in half.

Just Sliced!

Just Sliced

Now you can share….or like me,  I ate the whole thing!!!

Caprese Wrap

Flour Tortilla
Fresh Mozzarella Cheese 4-5 thin slices
5-6 Fresh Basil Leaves
3 Medium sized Roma tomato’s Chopped
3 Slices Prosciutto Ham
Splash of Balsamic Vinegar
Spray Olive Oil

Now Follow the Pictures!!!

May 8, 2011 Posted by | Italian, recipes, Salad, Sandwiches & Wraps | , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Grilled Caprese Sandwich on Sourdough

Here it is :Grilled Caprese Sandwich with Prosciutto, Fresh Mozzarella, Havarti, Sliced Tomato, and Fresh Basil!

Grilled Caprese Sandwich

I have been craving a Caprese Salad for days, that wonderful flavor of fresh Basil, Mozzeralla and Vine Ripened Tomato.  But then waited to long for lunch so thought I would make it a little more hearty.  And here is what became of that craving.

Caprese Sandwich up close!

If you are wondering where that extra sprig of Basil went after the pictures?  Right into the sandwich of course.

Grilled Caprese Sandwich on Sourdough

2 Slices Sourdough Bread
2 slices thin sliced Prosciutto
6 big Basil Leaves
1-2 Thinly slices of  Havarti Cheese
Thinly Sliced Fresh Mozzarella Cheese
1/2 Thinly sliced Vine ripened Tomato

Heat non stick skillet to medium low, and mist or rub Olive Oil on 1 side of each bread slice.  Place first slice oils side down and top with the Havarti slices, Prosciutto, and then Mozzarella cheese.  Cover with 2nd slice.  I covered the Sandwich while grilling with a piece of foil to keep the heat in to melt the cheese without over cooking the bread.

Slice the Tomato and then place the slices on a couple of pieces of paper towel to drain, this help keep the sandwich from becoming soggy.  When the cheeses are melted add the Tomato slices and Fresh Basil leaves!  That is it.  I thought about a drizzle of Balsamic Vinegar, but tried it without and it was outstanding!  Maybe next time.

By the way, the Havarti added an additional flavor that just enhanced the whole Sandwich.  I am a big fan of using 2 different cheeses even in a basic Grilled Cheese Sandwich.


March 12, 2011 Posted by | Egg Free, Fun with Friends, Italian, recipes, Sandwiches & Wraps | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bread sticks from the bakery stuffed with pepperoni and mozzarella cheese

What to do with the leftover bread sticks?  Do not have time to bake your own?  This is a great  quick snack or accompaniment to a hot bowl of soup.  Heck, it was my meal!

Stuffed Bread Stick already dipped!

Stuffed Bread Sticks

This is super easy and I have been wondering what to do with those extra bread sticks I picked up for the pasta dinner.   This is what I came up with and at first try it was a success!

Stuffed Bread Sticks From the Bakery

2-or more Bread Sticks from the Bakery
1 slice of pepperoni per bread stick, chopped
Fresh Mozzarella Cheese cut into thin slivers
melted butter (I used 1 teaspoon)
Garlic powder (to sprinkle over top)
Pizza Sauce or your Favorite Marinara Sauce for dipping

Pre-heat oven to 400, cut small “V” into bread sticks and remove the “V” section of bread and discard.  Nest add the chopped pepperoni and then the cheese, there is not a lot of room so just stuff what you can.  Brush Bread Sticks with melted butter and sprinkle with garlic powder.  Bake at 400 for about 8-10 minutes.  I let cool for a few minutes before I cut them in half to serve with my jarred pizza sauce that I pooped in the microwave for 15 seconds.  That is it!!!  Can’t wait to serve this to guests!  Let me know how you like them!

The "V" Cut

The "V" Cut

Stuffed and Brushed

February 12, 2011 Posted by | Bread, Italian, recipes | , , , | Leave a comment

Margherita Pizza with Prosciutto and Fresh Basil on a Super Thin Crust

Here it is another pizza on a flour tortilla with all fresh ingredients!  I never think of ordering  out anymore, its that good and without all the heavy carbs!

Ready for the oven!

Ready for the oven!

Now doesn’t that look good?  Here are the ingredients all laid out and ready to assemble


Ready to assemble

Ready to assemble

Now a very important ingredient…..THE PIZZA SAUCE!  My favorite is from Sprouts and is only $2.49 and since you only need a couple of tablespoons it makes lots of Pizza’s!

Pizza Sauce

And Ingredients………

Nothing scary in here!

Marghrita Pizza with Prosciutto and Fresh Basil

1 Flour Tortilla any size
Pizza Sauce, 2 tablespoons
Fresh Mozzarella Cheese, sliced
6 Fresh Basil leaves rolled together and sliced
1 Roma Tomato, sliced and placed on paper towel to drain (Makes sure you Pizza is not full of moisture)
1 slice of Prosciutto, chopped and browned
Shredded Parmesan Cheese  to top after it comes out of the oven

Preheat oven to 400 and place flour tortilla in non-stick skillet over medium heat for about 3 minutes on each side.  It will start to bubble and then flip.  Use no oil, don’t worry it won’t stick.  Then put tortilla on pizza pan or non-stick grill pan and start with the pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese, drained tomato slices, prosciutto then the basil.  Bake for 8 minutes. NO more than that as it will be PERFECT!   Take your pizza cutter and slice it up!  This takes me not more than 8 minutes to prepare and 8 minutes to bake.  A very fast and super satisfying meal at a fraction of delivery!


February 11, 2011 Posted by | Fun with Friends, Italian, Pizza, recipes | , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Best Thin Crust Pizza comes from Home!

Thin Crust Pizza made super easy with Flour Tortilla’s!  I have this down to a science now after trying different methods and this comes out perfect every time.  I have created 3 different Pizza’s as these are definitely my favorites!  We have not gone out for Pizza since I came up with this method.  This is also a go to meal if you do not have a lot of time to make lunch and I always have the ingredients on hand.


Pepperoni and Crushed Pineapple Pizza

Barbecue Chicken and Onion Pizza

  • The Basic’s are:

  • 1 each 6″ to 10″ Flour Tortilla for each Pizza
  • 2 Tb of Pizza Sauce (I use Dellalo Pizza Sauce from Sprouts)  Super Yummy!
  • Fresh Mozzarella Cheese (I go to Costco and buy it, it is near the Meat section)
  • Toppings of your Choice!  Get Creative!!

  • Pepperoni
  • Sausage
  • Shredded Chicken
  • Black Olive
  • Onions
  • Ham
  • Pineapple
  • Green Pepper
  • Mushrooms
  • Mozzarella Cheese
  • Havarti Cheese or Fontina for a twist on taste
  • Crushed Red Peppers
  • Parmesan Cheese for the very top!
  • Barbecue Sauce  instead of Pizza Sauce

First thing you do is Preheat Oven to 400 Degrees and heat a Non-Stick Frying Pan to Medium heat.
Once the Pan is hot (NO Oil Needed) , put in the Tortilla and heat for about 2-3 Minutes on each side, you will see it bubble up and then flip.
Transfer to Cookie sheet or other Non Stick Pan.
Spread the Pizza Sauce, add the Mozzarella Cheese, then your Toppings.  Cook in oven, now this is VERY important for a perfect, crisp crust, Bake for 8 Minutes.  Set the Timer!


My Yummy Pizza Sauce

Now Fresh out of the Oven and Perfect Thin Crust EVERY-TIME!


Ready to Eat!

This is the Shredded Chicken, Havarti Cheese, Mozzarella Cheese and Sliced Onion Pizza with Barbecue sauce instead of Pizza Sauce.  This was my Favorite!

Chicken Barbecue Pizza ready for the 8 minute Bake time!

I did buy a large Grill pan so I can make 2 at a time.  YUM!  I have also made Pepperoni, Sausage and Mushroom but forgot to take pictures.  It went FAST!

January 25, 2011 Posted by | Chicken, Fun with Friends, Italian, Pork, recipes, Sauce's & Salsa's, Sausage | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Orzo with Sauteed Vegetables with Roasted almonds

This was supposed to be a side dish, but I turned it into my meal!  Just saute your favorite diced vegetables in a Tbl spoon of butter and add the Orzo and broth and create your signature side dish!

Orzo side dish or meal

Orzo side dish or meal

Orzo With Sauteed Vegetables and Roasted Almonds

1 sweet onion diced
2 cloves garlic minced
1/4 diced red bell pepper
1 stalk celery diced
1 Tbl spoon Butter
3/4 cup Orzo
1 tsp dried Basil

1 can chicken broth
2 thinly sliced green onions
1/4 sliced or slivered almonds
3 Tlb Parmesan cheese

Melt butter in medium sauce pan and add onions, garlic and red pepper.  Cook until onions are soft then add celery cook additional 5 minutes.  Add Orzo, Basil and chicken broth and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low and cover.  Cook about 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.  While mixture is cooking down, heat small pan over medium heat and roast almonds.
Add roasted almonds, sliced green onions and Parmesan cheese.  Stir to mix and serve.

Vegetables added to Sauce pan

Vegetables added to Sauce pan

Add a little S&P and it is ready to serve

Add a little S&P and it is ready to serve

This was a great tasting healthy dish, loaded with crunch!  It was all I had for dinner tonight and all I needed with leftovers for tomorrow night.

August 30, 2009 Posted by | Italian, recipes | , , , | 2 Comments

Stuffed Chicken Breast with Prosciutto, Basil, Garlic & Fontina Cheese

This stuffed chicken breast is one of my favorite dishes!  Prosciutto ham, garlic, basil of of course, fontina cheese.

Stuffed Chicken Beast

Stuffed Chicken Beast Sliced

I am cooking for just myself these days as Razor is still in the on the road with the team.  Albertson’s had boneless, skinless chicken breasts for $1.57 lb this week at the meat counter and they looked great.  I have these handy herbs in  squeeze tube’s (Gourmet Garden I get them fromSafeway) that I love to use on stuffed meats as it makes it quick and easy (fast cleanup!) to put a beautiful and yummy meal together.

Herbs in squeeze tube's

Herbs in squeeze tube's

Stuffed Chicken Breast

1 or 2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 tsp Gourmet Garden Basil or pesto of choice
A small Squeeze of Garlic (Your choice of how much)
2 thin slices of Prosciutto chopped per breast
Thin slices of Fontina Cheese

Brown the chicken breasts in small amount of olive oil (about 2 min per side)

Make long slit in each breast but NOT all the way through. Cut into the opening along the sides to create pocket to stuff remaining ingredients in.    Place chicken breasts in glass dish sprayed with cooking oil or a little oil.  Bake at 350 for 30 minutes the turn heat to Broil for an additional 5 minutes to brown.

Browned and Stuffed

Browned and Stuffed

Sliced Fontina Added

Sliced Fontina Added

Slice and Serve with a Side of Pasta

Slice and Serve with a Side of Pasta

Browning the chicken first keeps  the meat very juicy.  You can stuff them with whatever you have on hand.  Sometimes I use some chopped sun dried tomato’s  with the garlic basil and prosciutto.   You can top with a variety of sauces and one of my favorites is a lemon  butter sauce but I did not take the time tonight.  Just get creative and stuff the chicken with your favorites and you have a wonderful meal!

August 6, 2009 Posted by | Chicken, Italian, recipes | , , , , , | Leave a comment