What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?

A New Year Serenade for you ūüôā ¬†https://youtu.be/w-Syup6p88I

I found a ham in the freezer and decided to make that NYE dinner. So after some brainstorming, I concocted a glaze with my mom, with her not knowing there was hoisin in the mix. (I say that because she is very hesitant to try new things…) Then, I remembered this stuffing, or dressing as Emeril calls it, that a friend of mine had made. So now I have an Asian influenced ham and a Cajun stuffing. Casian! I thought I was so clever until trying to make a seasoning for the next side dish. Turns out there is already a culinary Cajun-Asian trend. wah-wah

Andioulle Cornbread Stuffing

Inspired by Emeril

serves 8 to 16


  • 1 8.5oz package cornbread mix, like Jiffy
  • 1 5.3 oz plain nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 6 Tbsp water, add 1 Tbsp more if needed
  • 1/4 cup yellow cornmeal20151231_173316
  • 1/4 cup ¬†flour, ap or ww
  • 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne


  • 1/2 teaspoons¬†light butter spread
  • 1/2 pound andouille chicken sausage, slice length wise, then into 1/2in half-moons
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onions
  • 1 cup chopped fennel
  • 1 cup chopped bell peppers
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 3 slices light-style bread,¬†torn into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions/scallions
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 cup liquid¬†egg substitute
  • 2 cups reduced fat reduced sodium chicken stock

Preheat the oven to 400F. Combine all the cornbread ingredients into a bowl and mix well. Transfer into an 8×8 baking dish either sprayed with non stick cooking spray or lined in parchment paper. Bake for 25 min. Remove and allow it to completely cool. Meanwhile, work in the rest of the recipe.

In a large skillet, cook the sausage, onions, celery, bell peppers, garlic, with the buttery spread and 2 Tbsp water. Cover with a lid and let them sweat for about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and transfer to a large bowl to cool.

When your cornbread has baked and cooled*, with your fingers, crumble the corn bread into the bowl, add bread, the green onions, parsley, and thyme, and mix well with your hands. Add the salt, pepper, cayenne, and egg substitute, and mix well with your hands. Add broth, 1/2 cup at a time, to moisten the dressing, being careful not to make it mushy.

Preheat the oven to 350F. Transfer to a 9×13 baking¬†dish that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Cover with aluminum foil¬†and bake until heated through, about 25 minutes. Uncover and bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes


*I typically make the cornbread the day before and crumble just before mixing. I tear the bread, as well, the day before, so it has time to become stale.

Nutrition (1/8 of recipe):

Calories:312, Fat: 9g, Sat. Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 40mg, Sodium: 1657mg, Carbs: 35g, Fiber: 5g, Sugars: 11g, Protein: 17g

Hoisin Ham Glaze

serves one 8lb ham20151231_172417.jpg

  • 1 can diet ginger ale*
  • 1/4 cup Hoisin sauce
  • 3 Tbsp sugar free maple syrup
  • 3 Tbsp BBQ sauce
  • 2 Tbsp Splenda brown sugar
  • 3/4 tsp mustard powder (Coleman’s is the best!)
  • 3/4 tsp red pepper flakes

*I have made like with diet cola, and it is still delicious. I just cut back on the hoisin by a tablespoon, as the cola already has a syrup-type heaviness.

Combine everything into a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer until it thickens to your liking. Than glaze away.

I like to use half for the first glaze, then re-glaze with the remaining towards the end of the bake, so to get the caramelized edges!


I know greens are supposed to bring luck in the New Year, so I whipped out a bag of broccoli rabe from the freezer. (I know, Italian greens… We had a multi-cultural New Year!) I wound up trowing tons of garlic, julienned sweet peppers and onions, toasted sesame seeds, teriyaki and soy sauces, red pepper flakes, and come cajun seasoning into the mix. They went pretty quickly!


What leftovers?

How do you bring in the New Year? Family Traditions? Superstitions?

Here’s a whole list of superstitious foods to bring in the New Year, compliments of Wholefoods, some of which I may actually do…

5 Foods To Serve For A Lucky New Year20151231_190902

Pork and Winter Greens… ¬†check!

Of course, us Guidos, bring in the New Year with a shot of Homemade Sicilian Sunshine AKA Limoncello!





When Life Gives You Lemons…

… make Limoncello! Or as I like to call it: Italian Moonshine

My Uncle has been making this stuff for a few years, now. I began my first batch on Black Friday 2014, hoping it would be done in time for New Years. And it was perfect! I don’t know what it was, but its the best I’ve ever had. Even Uncle Eddie left me the best voicemail telling me how fantastic my batch of his limoncello was. “I hope you wrote down everything you did, because I’d use that recipe.” That’s a huge compliment coming from my uncle. One that made me smile ear to ear!


(makes a small batch)

  • 750ml bottle grain alcohol (like Everclear)
  • 1/3 cup water, plus more
  • 1.4 lbs sugar
  • 10 lemon peels
  • large glass jar
  • plastic wrap or wax paper
  • food scale (optional, but helpful)

Shallowly  peel the lemons, ensuring not to include the pith (the white part of the peel). Place the peels into your large jar. Pour the grain alcohol a top the lemon peels. (Save the alcohol bottle!) Cover the jar opening with wax paper or plastic wrap, and seal the lid. Place this jar in a dark spot for at least 3 weeks. Turn the jar back and forth each day to mix the oils of the lemon peel into the grain alcohol.


After 3 to 4 weeks of the peel steeping, strain the peels into a large pot. While the peels are draining, refill the saved grain alcohol bottle with water. Empty the water into another pot, in addition to 1/3 cup water. Weigh out 1.4 lbs of sugar, and add to the pot of plain water. Continually stirring, bring the pot with the sugar to a rolling boil, ensuring the sugar melts, creating a syrup. Let it slow bowl for 5 minutes. Remove this pot from the heat and allow it to cool completely.

Discard the drained lemon peels. Once the syrup has cooled, stir it into the lemon-infused grain alcohol. Transfer back to the large jar. Reseal with plastic wrap or wax paper and seal the lid. Place back into dark space for an additional 1 to 4 weeks, turning the jar back and forth each day.

WP_007506After the final week, transfer the completed limoncello into your empty grain alcohol and another* bottle. Place in the freezer to chill and enjoy.

(You can add more water before bottling if the grain alcohol is too strong for your liking).

*You can find empty bottles at Bed Bath and Beyond like these, in a variety of fluid capacities. Or recycle an old wine bottle, like I do. actually, empty Torani and DaVinci syrup bottles are useful to.


But then you’re left with a bunch of peeled lemons… so now would be a good time to make lemonade… And we did! Brett juiced all the lemons, while I was peeling the zests. We followed this recipe with a change of sweetener, and using 3 cups of water, for the most perfect lemonade! One thing I love about homemade lemonade is the pulp that sneakily makes its way through the juicer. Plus, you can make it as tart or as sweet as you like. After the finished lemonade was refrigerated, we brewed a gallon of tea… Home-brewed tea and fresh squeezed lemonade??? Best Arnold Palmers!



Apple Cinnamon Oats (crock pot)

Apple-Cranberry-Pear Walnut Coffee Cake

*Amendment: dice apples finely and stir into batter, rather than layering apples. The dough becomes much more moist and flavorful.

Double Apple Bran Muffins

Apple Peach Pumpkin Pie¬†(dad’s birthday pie)

Apple Pie Jam

Bacon Bread

Sweet Bacon Rolls 

Beef and Barley Vegetable Soup

Beef Stew (crock pot)

Christmas Biscotti

Blackberry Lemon Protein Pancakes (2 recipes)

Blueberry Banana Chia Muffins

Blueberry Beet Pancakes (They’re pink!)

Blueberry Goat Cheese Torte

Blueberry Jam

Blueberry Scones

Blueberry Waffles

Bran Crackers

Broccoli Rabe Frittata

Broccoli Salad

Fluffy Brownies

Butterfinger Krispie Treats

Carrot Cake Waffles with Cream Cheese Drizzle

Cebollitas (scallions)

Chicken Apple Soup

Chicken Cacciatore

Chicken and Barley (Noodle) Soup

Chicken Cordon Bleu

Chicken and Dumplings

Chicken Garam Masala (crock pot)

Chicken Marsala

Chicken Pot Pie

Chicken Salad with Dill

ChiliJamb (crock pot)

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Pancakes

Chocolate Pumpkin Pancakes

Corn, Black Bean, and Avocado Salsa

Mexican Chicken (crock pot)

Mixed Berry Cream Cheese

Creamsicle Protein Pancakes

Cream of Mushroom Soup

Eggplant Parm

Eggplant Pie

Eggplant and Barley Risotto

Fig and Walnut Christmas Cookies (a Sicilian classic)

Fish Sandwich

Flax Crackers


Gingerbread Snap Cookies

Ginger Snap Pumpkin Cookies


Golumpki (Stuffed Cabbage)

Honey Mustard Sauce

Hot & Sour Soup

Jalapeno Cheddar Soft Pretzels

Lean Lasagna

Vegetable Noodle-less Lasagna¬†(eh… what the heck… throw in some noodles!)

Lemon Cupcake Pudding Protein Pancakes

Limoncello (Sicilian Moonshine)

Low Fat Macaroni and Cheese

Garlic Mashed Potatoes (shh… its cauliflower)

Lean Meatloaf


Orange Marmalade

Pear Spice Bran Muffins

Spice White Pear Pancakes

Bourbon-Spiked Sweet Potato (Butternut) Casserole

Sweet and Sour Pork Stir-fry


Pumpkin Butter Cookies

Pumpkin Cinnamon Buns (crock pot)

Pumpkin Pie Protein Pancakes

Sweet Pumpkin Quiche

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

Raspberry Grapefruit Bread

Roasted Vegetables (crock pot)

Seaweed Salad

Shakes and Smoothies

Spicy Peanut Tofu Stir-fry

(Not So)Split Pea Soup

Strawberry Jam

Stomboli (Low-Carb, Cauliflower Crust)

Spiked Sweet Potato Casserole

Sweet Potato Pancakes

Tamale Pie (crock pot)

Tofu and Eggplant Stir-fry

Tomato Pie

Pesto Turkey Salad

Venison (crock pot)

Walnana Mini-Muffins

Walnut Cream Cheese (Healthy Panera copy-cat)

White Turkey Chili (crock pot)

Winter Veggie Casserole

One for the pups: Salmon Patties


Forming and Shaping Gnocchi