Tiramisu Make Over


Here I am in Florence with wanna-be Italian home cooks, like myself, watching our instructor make Tiramisu. I still have the recipe. But there are some glitches … Finding really tasty ladyfingers is difficult in my little town and finding mascarpone cheese is next to impossible. Also, the recipe calls for raw eggs. At one time I made pies, ice cream and desserts with raw eggs and never had any ill effects. But since this is now discouraged … well, it’s hard to turn back.

So … I developed a mock up Tiramisu. Please know this is not a substitute but rather a delicious dessert reminiscent of Tiramisu.

TiramisuThis is really an easy dessert to put together whether you’re making authentic or my make over. If you’re looking to give this your signature my suggestion is to make your own lady fingers or a substitute for them; such as, pound cake … And adding a little fruit flavor might be interesting. I thought about using Frangelico instead of rum … ultimately the alcohol can be left out if desired.

Have you ever experienced a Tiramisu with an almost bitter bite? I have! My very first! And for a long time I didn’t even go near this dessert. You won’t find bitter in this version whether you use rum or not. It’s just perfect! (Note: Be sure your coffee doesn’t taste bitter, and use the coffee sparingly.)

Continue reading

Amazing 30 Minute Beef Stew

30 Minute Beef Stew


What is it that draws us to Beef Stew? For me it’s the blending of flavors and tender meat brought forth by long cooking. You’re going to be so pleasantly surprised at this recipe … Because after thirty minutes of cooking it tastes as if it has cooked all day.

30 Minute Beef Stew

This is what takes the longest … slicing and dicing all the veggies. But I have a shortcut for this too.




Continue reading

Portuguese Almond Tart Gluten Free

Portuguese Almond Tart

Sweet Rich Almond Tart … a sliver satiates. Serve with a dollop of unsweetened creme fraiche or whipping cream if you like. But this is a great company dessert that really does best without any additional topping. A sprinkle of powdered sugar for presentation and a great cup of strong coffee is all you need.


Yes, lots of fresh eggs. The girls have been busy!

Continue reading

Chicken Involtini

Chicken InvoltiniInvoltini are slices of stuffed meat. Involtini may be called braciole in the US. Differences? I’m not sure there are any. This easy impressive dish is wonderful for family and friends. If you have chicken you may have all ingredients needed for this recipe because this dish has a list of optional stuffings … from sausage to prosciutto or pancetta to mild white cheeses to herbs, rosemary, sage, parsley, or basil, to pine nuts or capers, to vegetables, spinach or roasted red bell peppers even bread crumbs.

Change it up and you have a different chicken dish each time.

Serve this with a cream sauce or red sauce or no sauce at all!

Continue reading

A Perry Original

Portuguese Rice Pudding

Portuguese Rice Pudding Sorry Margaret, I had to make just a few changes. I love family recipes that kinda leave you to fill in the blanks. Seriously! My grandmother would say about a handful of salt. Or while shaking the cumin over soup or beans about this much. This rice pudding recipe had no cooking instructions but I’ve heard (Thank you Melissa Lopes) slow cooking while stirring constantly is important. And in cast iron if you have it. I’m always looking for an excuse to buy kitchen tools. Take a look at my new cast iron.

Wish I could have used the dairy’s milk. Heavy with cream. So, when Margaret says whole milk she means it!

If you aren’t into sugar … know this is very low in sugar but still sweet. Yes, I could eat the whole thing! It has very little similarity to the rice pudding you find at your grocer’s. It’s very creamy and the rice is noticed but not chewy. Because Margaret (my second cousin btw) suggested as an option adding vanilla pudding mix I decided her recipe may require eggs if the pudding wasn’t used. And being a bit of a purist, trying not to use processed if I can get around it, I added egg yolks. Again, the cooking is crucial to thickening and helps with clumping tendencies too. Margaret very well could have made the recipe without eggs or pudding mix.

Always made for a very large crowd … I’ve made the recipe more suitable for a family of four or five. Continue reading

Easy Quick Dessert – Banana Spice Cake

Banana Spice Cake

Everyone is clamoring for dessert but you have none! Ten minutes to mix up and by thirty you’re eating it! Don’t get me wrong … I love fancy. And I don’t mind complicated. But sometimes simple and quick is needed and welcomed.

Banana cake in its simplest form is delicious. And it seems banana bread and muffins are plentiful wherever you go. So, I’m into changing up banana baked goods just because after years of somewhat the same taste I need a change up. Try my Hint of Orange Banana Nut Bread recipe too.

Why just one layer? This is a cake meant to be eaten up quickly. It will keep for a day or two and freezes well. But the idea is, oven fresh!

You have young chefs … This is a great learning experience and simple enough for a beginner to put together.

Continue reading

Portuguese Black Beans (Feijoada)

Portuguese Black Beans

Danny, have I a recipe for you! Dan’s my brother … Here.

How can this be a family recipe? Brazilian? Connie joined our family almost a year ago as I joined hers … Our children married. Connie’s family is originally from the Azores but lived in Brazil most of her youth. She has shared with me her recipe for feijoada. I’ve made a few minor changes to ingredients but will include her version and mine. And the cooking method was changed slightly.

If I haven’t captured your attention … It’s hard to be passionate about beans BUT not for me! Portuguese Black Beans doesn’t fully describe this recipe. This is an amazingly delicious meat stew with beans … Served with rice and collards.

You’ve got to try this!

Continue reading