Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Easy Peasy Oreo Cookie Balls

Christmas Cookies - Oreo Cookie Balls

These are soooo yummy and so (as my son would say) easy peasy lemon squeezey. Kids love to help with this one. Get them involved with baking around the holidays and you'll have a cherished memory to last a lifetime for you and your children/grandchildren.

Here's what you need:

1 whole package of Oreo cookies
8oz. tub/package of cream cheese
12 oz. package of chocolate rounds/morsels/bits (whatever you'd like as long as you can melt it)

Here's what you do:

Crush the Oreos in a food processor or blender or with a potato masher like I did the day I couldn't find either of the first two (the kids had fun pulverizing them), then fold in the entire pack of cream cheese until well blended.

Next, you will use your hands (remove all rings...you will get quite messy), roll the cookie/cream mixture into 1 inch balls and place on a wax-papered cookie tray. Pop in fridge for about an hour.

Before you pull out the balls, you must melt the chocolate. Melt in 10-15 second increments (stirring each time) in the microwave until well melted. Drop one ball at a time into the melted chocolate and fish out with a fork. Drop it on the wax paper and repeat the process with the next cookie ball (lather, rinse, repeat...LOL).  After all balls have been dipped, pop 'em in the fridge to harden, then eat as many as you'd like. I forgot to mention...they are calorie-free....because you know calories don't count between Thanksgiving and New Year's...So enjoy as many as you'd like. jk.

Be creative by using different chocolates or by drizzling white chocolate over these (use food coloring in white chocolate for a cool Christmas-themed cookie ball). Chopped nuts are good to sprinkle on top of the still warm chocolate before they harden. But if you want to keep it easy peasy lemon squeezey, just stick to the three ingredients. They look and taste awesome. Adults and kids alike will love these!!!!


The Silly Sicilian

Any avid readers out there? Love Urban Fantasy? Check out my debut novel set to become available in January...Here's the first chapter of CULTURE SHOCK... Culture Shock Excerpt

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Italian Sausage Meatloaf

Italian Sausage Meatloaf was created when I was blatantly staring down my refrigerator shelves scanning the none-to- exciting items I had, trying to figure out what to make my hungry family for dinner. I had leftovers, hot dogs, or ground Italian sausage. When I usually cook with ground Italian sausage I put it in a tomato sauce, but we had a tomato-based sauce twice already that week, so I found my pantry staples and realized I have everything I need to make meatloaf. I wonder if ground sausage would make a good meatloaf. Hmm....

Yes it did!

Here's the recipe:

Italian Sausage Meatloaf:


1 lb. Ground Italian Sausage
1/4 Ground Beef ( this is optional, I had just a tiny bit of ground beef left, so I threw it in)
1/2 cup of Italian bread crumbs
1 Egg
1/4 tsp Parsley
1/4 tsp Basil
1/4 tsp Oregano
1/2 tsp Garlic powder
Salt and Pepper to taste
Topping: Ketchup and leftover tomato sauce


Preheat oven to 375. In a large bowl mix ground sausage, ground beef, bread crumbs, egg, and spices. Mix with fingers. YES, fingers. You better do it...I'll be watching. Don't overmix or the meatloaf may become tough and there's nothing worse than tough meatloaf. Transfer mix to baking pan and form mix into a log. Mine was about 10 inches long and 3-4 inches wide. After the form is solid and pretty, zig zag the top with ketchup, then spoon tomato sauce (you can use the canned variety or leftover sauce) over the meatloaf to keep it moist. Bake at 375 for 45-50 minutes.

Serves 4

The result was an Italian-infused masterpiece. Super moist and yummy! Definitely a do-again meal in my book. If you give it a try I would love to hear how it came out for you and if you have any suggestions or variations.

Good Luck and Happy Cooking!


The Silly Sicilian

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Family Tradition  Tomato Sauce

            As I’ve mentioned in the About "The Silly Sicilian" section of this blog, I come from a very Italian family, part Silician and part Napolitano, that is very rich in tradition. We take our family traditions and our food seriously like mostly all Italians do. This recipe for tomato sauce is how my family has been making it for all far back as I can remember and definitely before that since I’m still a wee duckling.
            The sauce is essentially a meat sauce made with ground beef and sausage. There is just one thing I add and that’s cinnamon. I know it sounds off, but really it makes a difference. I’m sure my family would look at me a little weird if I told them it was in there, but I’ve heard no complaints so far, so I’m not telling.

What You Need:

1 lb. ground beef (I like chuck)
1 package of sweet Italian sausage (5 pack), squeeze meat out of casings (it’s actually kinda fun)
4 tbsp Extra Virgin olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 cartons, strained tomatoes (strongly recommend the brand: Pomi)
1 carton (use tomato sauce carton) of water
Spices to taste: red pepper flakes, salt and black pepper, dried basil, dried oregano, dried parsley, garlic powder, onion powder, dried rosemary (unless my mom is eating it – she despises rosemary – I know it’s a crime), cinnamon (only a pinch), sugar (sometimes this may be necessary depending on if the tomatoes are not sweet enough)

What to Do:

In a large sauce pot over med-high heat add olive oil, ground beef, and sausage till browned (make sure not to fuss with it too much, you want the meat to caramelize to release the sugars), remove meat from the pan with a slotted spoon and put aside in bowl. Add onions to the olive oil-meat drippings in the pot. Saute onions for 2 minutes, add garlic and red pepper flakes and sauté 1 more minute. Add strained tomatoes and water. Stir. Add spices to taste. Add meat back into the sauce and stir. Lower heat and let it simmer for hours. I never let it simmer for less than six hours and never more that 10. More sugar may be added during the simmering process. Taste the sauce and add spices here or there depending on your taste.

About "The Silly Sicilian"

Family first, is my motto. I got that motto from my immediate and extended family growing up. I was raised in a large, loud, Italian-American family. Both sides are extremely Italian. I’m half Sicilian and half Napolitano. Focus on family and food is what I was raised on. Always sitting down to a meal with my family after a long day of school or work is the most vital, important, and exciting time of my day. Not only do you share good food, but you are enjoying each other. That’s what human nature is all about...each other. Food is just one of driving forces that bring us together. Why not have it be good food?

I call myself The Silly Sicilian, because essentially I’m a big smart-assed goofball. You’ll see as you read my recipes. I always feel the need to add my little cheesy, smart-assed comments. I just can’t help it. I thank my lucky stars, I have found a man who understands my funky, bubbly sense of humor. We share the same sense of humor and it’s crazy how we can finish each others sentences and read each others thoughts. 

When I moved out on my own my freshmen year of college, I could barely boil water for Ramen noodles. So, I made it my personal quest to learn to cook and cook well. I found I had a natural talent for cooking. There’s barely a meal I make twice due to my creativity and affinity for food unless requested. Those requested favorites are here in this blog. 

The Silly Sicilian blog is not only Italian fare, but southern BBQ. I know, I know, how on earth do those two go together. They don’t and that’s a fact, but I was raised on one and created a love for the other.

On this blog, you will find classic family tradition-style Italian food made and created with all the love and passion in the world because I have created it for the ones I love. You’ll also find antipasto favorites, desserts, and yes, the whacked-out BBQ section. 

Get Cooking,