Brussel Sprouts Everybody Will Eat

  • 2 lbs Brussels Sprouts
  • 6-8 slices good bacon
  • ¼ cup of light brown sugar
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  1. Peel the outside loose leaves. Score the bottom with a sharp knife and blanch the sprouts until they are al dente (still a little firm).
  2. In a sauté pan cook the bacon, lay on paper towel to cool and crumble it. Toss the sprouts into the bacon fat and sprinkle with S&P and brown sugar. Toss them quickly around in the pan to incorporate the brown sugar. Pull from the pan then put them in a bowl and toss with the crumbled bacon.


Mother’s Hot Apple Dumplings

Serve them warm and with some Ben and Jerry Vanilla Ice Cream and Mom’s famous hot fudge!

Apple dumpling Biscuit Dough

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3 level teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 7 heaping tablespoons of Crisco
  • ¾ cup of milk
  1. Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Remove to a flat floured surface and knead the dough for two or three minutes. With a floured rolling pin roll out the dough into a flat sheet about 1/2 inch thick.
  2. Preheat your oven to 425°


  • 1 qt hot simple syrup ( 2cups water to 1 cup sugar) maybe a little extra
  • 1 stick room temperature butter
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • 12 MacIntosh apples peeled seeded cored
  • ¼ cup of sugar
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
  2. In a bowl place the apples and toss with lemon, white sugar, nutmeg and cinnamon. Get them well coated. Spread the room temperature butter and brown sugar evenly on the rolled out dough. Place the apples evenly onto the biscuit dough. Roll the dough with the apples in it similar to a jelly roll. Cut the roll into 1 ½ inch wide wheels and lay them in a buttered baking dish. Cover them with the hot simple syrup. (Have extra syrup in case you need it to cover). Place a slice of butter from the cold stick on each dumpling. Bake for about 35 minutes or until nice and brown. Check on them.


The Casa Bianca’s Hot Fudge

Makes about two quarts.

  • 16 squares Bakers Chocolate Naps
  • 3 cups of half and half
  • 8 oz of unsalted butter
  • 2 ¼ lbs sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon of Vanilla
  1. Combine chocolate and H&H in a heavy saucepan. Cook and stir over low heat until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth and blended. Add the sugar, butter and salt continue cooking until mixture is slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, add the vanilla. Serve at room temperature, store in the refrigerator and reheat slowly over a double boiler.


Lavash Pizzas

With fresh tomato, gorgonzola, fresh spinach and sausage.

  • 1 lavash
  • 1 tblsp virgin olive oil
  • 1 tomato
  • ¼ cup gorgonzola
  • ¼ cup fresh mozzarella sliced or graded parmesan to sprinkle on top
  • fresh spinach
  • 1 cooked sausage sliced thin

This is a great winter or summer snack or meal. Have all the flavor of pizza without the bread!

  1. Preheat your oven to 425°
  2. With a basting brush, brush a light coating of extra virgin olive oil over the whole surface, then place fresh sliced vine ripe tomatoes (about 3 slices) (do not use tomato sauce it will saturate the lavash). Now place cheese, I like to use a gorgonzola mixed with mozzarella and a bit of parmesan on top of the fresh tomatoes. Top with spinach and sausage or toppings you want – the possibilities are endless. Use up what is leftover in the refrigerator.
  3. If you have a pizza stone great, if not just use a cookie sheet and spray the bottom lightly with an olive oil pan spray. Place the lavash pizza in the oven for between 10 and 12 minutes, it will come out crispy and should be perfect. Use a couple of spatulas to transfer to a cutting surface. I can eat a whole one for dinner. If there are folks around I will make a few at once. Do not let them sit with the tomatoes on them get them right in the oven.


Eggplant Fritters

Eggplant …yuk – As kids eggplant was something my mother made once in a great while but never considered putting it on the menu at the Casa, it was just for family. We kids would run the other way. See, she didn’t make Eggplant Parmesan as most people are used to. She would fry it and serve it with lemon, cut it in half and stuff it with a bunch of herbs and spices, bread, cheese, and garlic. I could tolerate the stuffing, but the skin and bottom of the eggplant? No chance.

  • 3 large eggplants
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 9 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
  • 9 tbls chopped mint leaves
  • 1 ¼ cups freshly grated imported Pecorino Romano cheese
  • ¾ cup freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Unbleached all-purpose flour
  • Olive oil for frying
  • Lemon wedges
  1. Place the eggplant on a baking sheet and bake it in a preheated 375°F oven until it is very soft. Trim away the stem end. Chop the eggplant very fine and place in a medium bowl. Add the egg, garlic, mint, bread crumbs, grated cheeses, and salt and pepper to taste. Mix well. If the mixture is very soft, add additional bread crumbs.
  2. Flour your hands and shape the eggplant mixture into small dumplings about 2 inches in diameter, place on a tray. To cook the fritters, pour olive oil to depth of ¼ inch in a heavy sauté pan. Heat the oil to very hot but not smoking. Roll a few of the eggplant dumplings in flour and gently lower them into the hot oil. Cook until golden on all sides. Drain on paper towels. Sprinkle while hot with salt to taste.

Mrs. Tom’s Secret

Serve immediately with lemon wedges on the side.

Here’s a great way to get the kids to like eggplant – don’t tell them what it is until they’ve tried it. I now love the stuffing AND the bottom of the eggplant.