Shrimp Salad

DSCN4076This Shrimp Salad recipe was created by me but inspired by a salad I had at a restaurant called Canyon’s, in Blowing Rock, North Carolina. It was the perfect meal for me after a long, hot, exhausting day of exploring Tweetsie Railroad (a wild west theme park) in the beautiful mountains of Blowing Rock, North Carolina. I couldn’t stop thinking about it, so I had to recreate it at home and I did. The restaurant version was great but this home made recipe is even better, so much more flavor and you can add as much shrimp as you’d like. I love shrimp! And this shrimp salad takes it to a whole notha’ level (lol I know I’m corny). So fast and easy to prepare and definitely a summer favorite in our house now. I could literally eat this salad every single day! We ate it as a meal for dinner, but you could also make it as a side dish/salad. You can omit the shrimp if you are not a fan, and add anything else you want to it and get creative. Please don’t forget to share your idea’s with me, I would love to hear them!

Shrimp Salad {Serves 2 as meal, 4 as side}


  • 1 head Romaine Lettuce
  • 1 package Grape Tomatoes
  • 2 Cucumbers or 1 long English Cucumber
  • 1 to 2 LB Shrimp, Raw (I used 2 LB as we love our shrimp!)
  • Dressing of choice (I used Marzetti Brand Classic Ranch Dressing)
  • Croutons of choice (I used Texas Toast Cheese & Garlic Croutons)
  • 1-2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • Lawry’s Herb & Garlic marinade sauce


1) Do the prep work first. Peel & devine the shrimp, rinse through with cold water and let dry. Wash all the veggies and chop everything up into one big bowl. I chopped the lettuce into small squares. The grape tomatoes in halves. The cucumber in fourths and then chopped into pieces.


2) Set a pan on Med-High heat (I did a 6) add some olive oil. When the oil heats up, add the shrimp. Add salt/pepper to shrimp and mix. When the shrimp looks done, lower the heat to low (I did 2) and add some Lawry’s Herb & Garlic marinade sauce, I added about 2 tablespoons and 2 pressed garlic cloves. Simmer with the lid on for a few minutes until shrimp is well cooked through. Turn off heat and keep shrimp hot.


3) When you are ready to eat, add the shrimp into the salad bowel. Mix gently. Each person can add dressing and croutons to salad individually to their liking. Enjoy!


Shrimp Scampi (Easy One Pan Meal)

DSCN3974 (2)It’s summer time and I am really into easy, one pan meals right now. I know I am not the only one that likes to relax by the pool instead of spending hours in the kitchen preparing dinner. But I do like to eat lol. Well let me tell ya, This Shrimp Scampi pasta dish is exactly that, fast, super duper easy, but is absolutely delicious and looks just as great as it tastes! I do have another Shrimp Scampi recipe on here, but this one is a bit different in taste, and much faster and easier to make. It also tastes better in our opinion. Basically what I am trying to say is, you need to make this for dinner asap because you are going to love it! Also I wanted to add that to our surprise, this dish tasted better the next night for dinner preheated. Not sure why, Maybe because while it was standing over night the flavors mixed well and the wine really marinated the shrimp and spaghetti. But it is a great dish to make ahead and does reheat easily. I got the inspiration for this recipe idea from the Shrimp Scampi Dish at the Nothing But Noodles Restaurant.

Shrimp Scampi (Easy, One Pan Meal) 


  • 2 LB RAW Shrimp (Thawed, deveined, and peeled)
  • 1 LB Spaghetti (Angel Hair or Linguine are our favorites)
  • 3 Tablesppons butter (For the spaghetti)
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 Bunch Fresh Parsley
  • 1 Lemon (For the juice)
  • 1 Large Farm Fresh Tomato
  • 1 small (147 ml) bottle of White Wine, I used Chardonnay (3/4 Cup)
  • 4 to 5 Cloves Garlic (Peeled and pressed/minced)
  • Salt/Pepper (to taste)



1) Do the prep work first. Devein and peel the shrimp, then wash them thoroughly. I usually  rinse them 3 times, then place them in a strainer to get rid of all water. Wash and dice the tomato into small cubes. Set a pot of water to boil, for the spaghetti, make sure when it comes to a boil, add salt to the pot before you throw the spaghetti in and cook it according to package instructions. *I found that Angel Hair spaghetti tends to stick to itself, so make sure you mix it well and keep mixing throughout while you cook it.* (Meanwhile move on to step 2.)

2) While you wait for the water to boil, Set a big pan with 2 Tablespoons of olive oil on Medium-High heat (I did 7). When the oil heats up, throw in the raw shrimp and sprinkle in some salt and pepper. Cook until the shrimp is well done, stirring occasionally to make sure you cook it evenly on both sides.


3) Add the wine to the pan with shrimp. Then throw in the tomatoes. Then add the lemon juice, I do this by cutting the lemon in half, getting the seeds out, and squeezing the juice out of the lemons halves. Mix well. Turn it down to a low setting. (I did 3).


4) Peel the garlic and either mince it or use the garlic press, add it to the pan of shrimp. Wash and finely chop the parsley, leaves only no stems, and set aside.


5) At this point your spaghetti should be done cooking. Drain the water out of the pot. Add the butter to the spaghetti and mix well. Then add the spaghetti to the pan with shrimp and sauce. Turn off the stove at this time. Mix it very well to incorporate everything. Then add the fresh parsley. Mix and now your dish is ready to eat! To reheat, set the pan on low heat (3) and cook until warmed up. This dish reheats well!


And of course a close up… 😉

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Fried Calamari (Carrabba’s Italian Grill Recipe)

DSCN3770This is the exact Carrabba’s Italian Restaurant cookbook recipe. The fried calamari turns out perfect…tender and crisp with a light and delicate coating. I have yet to find a better calamari recipe! We like to dip it in Marinara Sauce and Garlic Aioli sauce (both recipes on my blog). If you are looking for a yummy new appetizer and you love seafood, this recipe is for you! I highly recommend you make both sauces for dipping too, so you have the ultimate restaurant experience right at home!

Fried Calamari (Carrabba’s Italian Grill Recipe)

This is the exact Carrabba's Italian Restaurant recipe from their cookbook. The fried calamari turns out perfect! Tender and crisp with a light, delicate coating. I have yet to find a better fried calamari recipe. We like to serve it with the ultimate dipping sauces, Marinara and Garlic Aioli sauce (both posted on my blog, both from Carrabba's cookbook). If you are looking for a yummy new appetizer and you love seafood, this recipe is for you!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Italian
Servings 2


  • 1 LB Calamari cleaned
  • 1/2 Cup All Purpose Flour
  • Vegetable Oil for deep frying
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher Salt or Sea Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Ground Black Pepper
  • Lemon Wedges optional, for serving
  • Marinara Sauce or Garlic Aioli Sauce for dipping, optional, both recipes posted on my blog


  • Wash the Calamari (Squid). Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Line 1 baking sheet with 2 layers of paper towels. Have a 2nd baking sheet lined with foil, nearby.
  • Pour enough oil to come 1 inch up the side of a large, heavy saucepan or skillet. Heat over high heat to 350 degrees (on a deep frying thermometer).
  • Cut the Calamari bodies (sacs/tubes) crosswise into 1/2 inch-wide rings. Cut each cluster of tentacles in halves or thirds. Season the Calamari with salt/pepper and mix.
  • Pour the flour into a bowl. Divide the calamari into 2 batches. Put the first batch of calamari into the bowl with flour and coat it with the flour, shaking off excess flour.
  • Add the coated calamari into the saucepan with the hot oil. Cook over high heat until the calamari are golden brown, about 2-4 minutes.
  • Using a slotted spoon transfer the calamari onto the baking sheet lined with paper towels to briefly drain.
  • Move the calamari to the second baking sheet lined with foil and place in the oven, to keep it warm and crisp. Repeat the same steps with the second batch of calamari. Add more flour to the bowl if there is not enough. I added a few extra spoons of flour.
  • Transfer the calamari to the serving plate. You can add lemon wedges to the plate, for decoration. Serve with Marinara Sauce and or Garlic Aioli Sauce for dipping, if desired. I served with both sauces because we like to dip our calamari into both sauces. Both Marinara and Garlic Aioli Sauce recipes are on my blog.
Keyword 30 minutes, appetizers, calamari, seafood

Carrabba’s Garlic Mashed Potatoes

DSCN3714This is the recipe for the authentic Carrabba’s Italian Grill, Garlic Mashed Potatoes. I got the recipe from my Carrabba’s Cookbook but I did change a few minor things. It tastes exactly like Carrabba’s restaurant. I recommend serving this dish with some steak or other meat of your choice, or some roasted or steamed vegetables. Although they are “garlic” mashed potatoes, they are actually not too garlic tasting at all because the garlic is roasted in the oven for 1.5 hours, and that gives it a sweetly unique taste, so don’t let those 2 heads of garlic in the picture throw you off! I could eat the roasted garlic just like that because it’s seriously so tasty lol. Enjoy! 🙂

Garlic Mashed Potatoes {Makes 4-5 Servings}


  • 2.5 LB Red-Skinned Potatoes, Scrubbed and washed But unpeeled, cut into 3/4 inch dice
  • 8 Tablespoons (1 Stick) Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 Cup Heavy Cream, at room temperature
  • *For the roasted garlic: 2 Large, Plump heads of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Sea Salt/Pepper to taste


1) To make the roasted garlic, preheat a small conventional oven to 300 Degrees. Cut the top 1/2 inch from each garlic head to reveal the cloves. Discard the tops. Drizzle the extra virgin olive oil on the cut surfaces of the garlic heads, and sprinkle with a pinch each of salt/pepper.


2) Place the garlic heads, cut side up, in a small baking dish lined with foil. Cover the baking dish tightly with aluminum foil. Bake 1.5 hours on 300 degrees, until the garlic is deep beige and very tender when squeezed. Set aside when ready.


3) Put the potatoes in a large saucepan. Add enough water to just cover the potatoes. Bring to a boil over high heat. Add salt to taste. Reduce the heat to medium low (I did 3.5) and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 20-25 minutes.

DSCN36934) When the potatoes are cooked through and tender, drain out all the water, and return the potatoes back into the pot. Mash the potatoes using a potato masher.

DSCN37045) In a small bowl, squeeze out the garlic cloves from the 2 heads of garlic. Mash the cloves with a fork. (They will be very tender.) Add the stick of butter and cream into the bowl. Mix very well using a fork and spoon. Until it becomes a creamy texture.


DSCN37016) Add the roasted garlic, butter, and heavy cream mixture into the mashed potatoes. Mix very well. Mash potatoes again with the masher until they become as smooth as you prefer. Season with salt and pepper to taste. I did 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Transfer to a serving bowl or scoop into individual plates. Serve hot!


DSCN3714*To reheat: Heat a skillet on medium heat with some butter, add the mashed potatoes. Mix until heated up.


Rigatoni With Marinara Sauce and Roasted Bell Peppers/Onions


This Rigatoni Macaroni recipe is delicious. It is a classic Italian style dish served at many Italian Chain Restaurants. You can pair it with meat balls, Parmesan chicken, or Italian sausage, for a perfect Restaurant, Italian style meal. Feel free to get creative with this recipe and add or subtract any veggies of your preferences, I have made this recipe before with all kinds of different veggies. What I love most about this recipe is the minimal ingredients you need to prepare it and how quick it is to make, about 20 minutes total. Enough said, this recipe is a winner so next time you are in a pasta or Italian food kinda mood, make this delicious Rigatoni Pasta and I know you’ll love it! 🙂

Rigatoni With Marinara Sauce and Roasted Bell Peppers/Onions {Serves 4-6} 


  • 1 Box Rigatoni (16 oz.)
  • 1 Jar marinara Sauce, Any brand (24 oz. I used Victoria Marinara Sauce, from Costco and it was delicious. I used half of this Jar in the picture.)
  • 1 Onion (I used a Sweet Vidalia Onion)
  • 1 Bell Pepper (I used an Orange Bell Pepper)
  • Olive Oil (2 Tablespoons)
  • 1-2 Garlic Cloves
  • Mrs.Dash Seasoning (A sprinkle of it)
  • Salt to taste



1) Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Wash/cut the bell pepper into thin little strips. Chop the Onion into thin half rings.  On another burner, in a large pan, Heat 2 Tablespoons of olive oil on Medium High heat (I did 7.0).


2) When the pot with water comes to a boil, add some salt and throw in the Rigatoni Macaroni and cook according to the package instructions.

3) Add the chopped onion into the pan with the olive oil as soon as it heats up. Cook until the onion gets soft then add in the chopped bell pepper. Mix thoroughly and continue cooking until both the onion and bell pepper are soft and tender.


4) Add the Marinara Sauce to the pan with the onion and bell pepper, Mix thoroughly. Then add a sprinkle of Mrs.Dash seasoning. Mix again. Close the lid and let the sauce come to a boil.


5) When the sauce comes to a boil, lower the heat to Medium-Low (I did a 4.0). Add the crushed garlic cloves to the pan, close the lid and let it simmer until the Rigatoni Pasta is done cooking.


6) When the Rigatoni is done cooking, drain out all the water from the pot. Add 2 Tablespoons of butter to the Rigatoni and mix well. Then add the Rigatoni Pasta into the pan with the sauce. Mix very well and turn the heat off. The Rigatoni Pasta is now all done. Scoop into plates and enjoy! I like to eat this with meat balls. 🙂





Marinara Meat Sauce (For Spaghetti) Super Easy!


This tomato meat sauce is delicious! It is my son’s favorite thing to eat, well anything with spaghetti really, is his favorite lol. This recipe is super easy and fast to make but tastes like something served at an upscale Italian Restaurant. Olive Garden ain’t got notin’ on this dish! It is perfect for those really busy weeknights as it takes a total of about 30 minutes to make and impresses even the pickiest eaters. You can never go wrong with spaghetti! I made this dish for dinner at my friends house last week and it was gone fast. Everyone really enjoyed it and kept saying how great it tasted, even the kids got seconds! I am actually putting this recipe up as it was requested. So next time you are craving a hearty, savory, meaty, Italian sauce with spaghetti but don’t feel like going out, give this recipe a try. It is a winner for sure! Especially if you serve it with some hot, fresh bread sticks. Bon appétit! 🙂

Tomato Meat Sauce {Serves 8} 


  • 1 LB Ground Beef
  • 1 Large Onion
  • 1 (25 Oz.) Can of Marinara Sauce (I use the Organic, Trader Joe’s Marinara Sauce)
  • 2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
  • 1/2 – 1 teaspoon Mrs.Dash Original Seasoning (Or seasoning of your choice)
  • Salt/Pepper to taste
  • 3 Garlic Cloves (Finely minced)
  • Spaghetti (Any kind you want)
  • Bread sticks *Optional (I buy the frozen ones)

DSCN2831           DSCN2832  


1) Heat 2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil in a large pan, on Medium-High heat ( I did 7.5). Add the ground beef to the pan. Using a large cooking spoon, mix the ground beef and divide it into little chunks of meat.


2) Season the meat with salt/pepper and about 1/2 – 1 teaspoon of Mrs.Dash (optional) to taste (you can always add more later). Mix every once in a while to cook all the beef evenly. Start cooking the spaghetti according to the package instructions. Finely dice the onion.

3) When the ground beef is almost cooked through, add the diced onion. Mix well to combine.


4) When the beef is cooked through and the onion becomes soft, add the Marinara Sauce and lower the heat to Medium-Low ( I did 3.5). Cover the pan with the lid and let it simmer until the spaghetti is ready, mixing it every once in a while. In the last 10 minutes of cooking, add the 3 (finely minced) garlic cloves to the sauce.


5) I serve this in individual plates. Everyone can put their own serving of spaghetti and marinara meat sauce into their plate, as they want. That way if there is any marinara meat sauce left over, you can just reheat the sauce in the pan the next day and make fresh spaghetti.




(That is how it looks if you mix the spaghetti and the sauce together in the plate. YUM!!!)




3O Minute Skillet Pasta

This is the most delicious skillet pasta that I have ever tried. I got the recipe for it from one of my cook books “The Best Simple Recipes” from America’s Test Kitchen and adapted it to our liking. I can not believe that this recipe only takes about 30 minutes total to make and all in one pan! It tastes like something served at a gourmet Italian or Pasta restaurant. I make it for dinner often as my husband and boys request it all the time, It has become a family favorite for sure!

3O Minute Skillet Pasta

I got this recipe from "The Best Simple Recipes" from America's Test Kitchen and adapted it to our liking. I can not believe that this recipe only takes about 30 minutes total to make and all in one pan! It tastes like something served at a gourmet Italian or Pasta restaurant. I make it for dinner often as my husband and boys request it all the time. It has become a family favorite for sure!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian


  • 1 TBS Olive Oil for frying
  • 14 oz. Butterball Turkey Smoked Sausage cut into small pieces
  • 1 10 oz. Can Diced Tomatoes and Green Chiles, Mild
  • 1 Onion finely chopped, optional
  • 2 Garlic Cloves minced
  • 1 LB Penne Pasta or any pasta of choice
  • 1 Cup Heavy Cream
  • 4 Cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth
  • 16 oz. Monterey Jack Cheese shredded
  • 2-3 Scallions optional
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Pepper


  • Cut the smoked sausage into even pieces. Finely dice the onion.
  • Heat 1 TBS olive oil on medium heat on a large skillet. Optionally add finely diced onion.
  • Cook until onion is translucent and sausage is slightly browned. Then add 2 garlic cloves through the garlic press, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  • Add 4 cups chicken broth, 1 (10 oz.) can diced tomatoes and green chilies, 1 cup heavy cream, 1 LB pasta, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, and stir.
  • Bring it to a boil, cover the skillet with a lid, then lower the heat to medium-low. Meanwhile shred the Monterey Jack cheese and wash/finely chop the scallions.
  • Simmer until pasta is tender, about 15-20 minutes, mixing a few times. Then add 16 oz. shredded Monterey Jack cheese and 2-3 chopped scallions into the skillet.
  • Turn off the stove. Mix well and enjoy! Or if you prefer to follow the cook book recipe; Transfer the pasta into an oven safe pan and put it in the oven on Broil until the cheese is melted, bubbly, and spotty brown. I have tried it both ways and both ways it turned out great, however we prefer a creamy texture of cheese so I skip this step.
Keyword 1 pan, 30 minutes, easy, pasta, sausage

Ultimate Meatlovers Lasagna

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This is my own Lasagna recipe that I came up with. I have always loved lasagna but there were certain ingredients that I did not like and some ingredients that I wanted to try adding in. So after several attempts at making the perfect lasagna, I believe this is it! I was never a fan of tomatoes or tomato sauce in my lasagna, so I do not add it, but you can definitely add it, if you prefer. Hence why I called it “White Lasagna”. This dish is absolutely delicious and pretty fast to prepare so it’s great for busy week nights, although it tastes like something off the menu at a high class Italian restaurant and looks very impressive if you have dinner guests. We are visiting Mass right now and I have made it for my husband’s family twice in one week already because they loved it so much and were demanding it again, and they have 3 picky eater kids, so that says a lot, but even my 2 year old loves it. Loaded with fried beef, brown mushrooms, ricotta cheese, extra mozzarella cheese, and bacon bits… Mmmm. Next time you want to try out a whole new version of lasagna that will totally rock your taste buds, this is the dish for you!

Perfect White Lasagna  {Serves 10-12} (1 Large Lasagna)


  • 1 Box of Lasagna Pasta
  • 10 oz Brown Mushrooms
  • About 2.5 LB Ground Beef
  • 1.5 LB Mozzarella Cheese (Shredded)
  • 10 oz Ricotta Cheese
  • 1 egg
  • Salt/Pepper to taste
  • Spices of your choice for beef (I used Larry’s Seasoning Salt, Paprika, Garlic & Herb Mrs. Dash)
  • 1 Large onion
  • 3 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
  • About 3 Tablespoons of Bacon Bits (Optional but yummy)


(That is not all the ingredients in the picture, but most of them.)


1) Finely dice the onion. Preheat a large skillet on Med.- High heat ( I did a 7) with the vegetable oil. When it heats up add in the diced onion and cook until it gets tender. Then add in the ground beef. Season the beef with salt and pepper. Cook the beef until it is still a bit pink, then add in the other spices of your choice ( I did Larry’s Seasoning Salt, Paprika, Garlic & Herb Mrs. Dash). Continue to cook the beef until it cooks through, mixing it every once in a while so it cooks evenly and does not burn on one side. *Meanwhile cook the lasagna pasta according to package instructions.*


2) While the beef cooks, wash the mushrooms. Cut them into thin pieces. *When the beef cooks, turn off the stove and set it aside to cool down. When the lasagna pasta cooks, drain out the water, place it under cold running water, and leave it in the strainer to dry and cool down.*


3) Take a large bowl and put in 10 oz of Ricotta cheese. Add 1 egg to the Ricotta cheese, and mix it very well with a spoon until the egg blends into the Ricotta cheese and you can no longer see the yellow color. Add a pinch of salt, mix and set it aside.


4) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Take a baking sheet (with long sides) I used a 13×10 baking sheeat, and start putting together your lasagna. I do an even layer of lasagna noodles, then evenly spread the Ricotta cheese, then evenly spread the cooked ground beef, then evenly spread the mushrooms, then evenly spread the Mozzarella cheese, and REPEAT the same thing again to make it 2 layers, If I am using Bacon Bits, I sprinkle them on the top 2nd level of beef, and then Top with the Mozzarella cheese. *Top off with more cheese though, so that it will be all cheesy and beautiful on the very top.*




5) Cover the lasagna with foil and stick it in the preheated oven on 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Then take it out, take the foil off and stick it back in the oven for another 10 minutes, uncovered. And this beauty is ready to be served!


(Sorry this one does not look as great. I ran out of cheese and had to use how much I had on hand, It’s usually all covered in cheese and looks BEAUTIFUL!)





Olive Garden Stuffed Mushrooms


These stuffed mushrooms are delicious!  They are the perfect appetizer to accompany pretty much any meal that you make. I have tried many stuffed mushroom recipes in an attempt to recreate the Stuffed Mushrooms at Olive Garden and have been disappointed many times. This my friends is it, the recipe most similar to that of Olive Garden. These are very easy to make and great for a big party or event because you can stuff them ahead of time and keep them in the fridge until 40 minutes before the party and all you would have to do is just stick them in the oven! I Love mushrooms so this is one of my most favorite appetizers. It has a hint of clams for just the right amount of seafood taste and a combination of 3 cheeses that put together, taste heavenly. You will most definitely find this scrumptious appetizer on my big party or special events menu! 🙂

Olive Garden Stuffed Mushrooms  {Serves 6-8}


  • 1 (16 Oz) Fresh Mushrooms
  • 1 (10 Oz ) Can of Baby Clams
  • 2 Green Onions
  • 2 Tablespoons (Softened) Butter
  • 1 Cup Italian Bread Crumbs
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Teaspoon Garlic, minced
  •  1/3 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 4 Tablespoons Mozzarella Cheese (Finely Grated)
  • 4 Tablespoons Parmesan Cheese (Finely Grated)
  • 3 Tablespoons Romano Cheese (Finely Grated)
  • Salt/Pepper
  • 1/2 Cup Melted Butter (About 1 and 1/2 Sticks)
  • 1/2 Cup Mozzarella Cheese (Finely Grated) For Garnish on top



1) Wash the mushrooms. Pat them dry. Then carefully cut out the stems of each mushroom. I cut the stems out by cutting around the stem with a sharp edged knife in a circular way, all around the stem, then I gently pulled the stems out using my hands. *Be careful not to cut the Mushroom caps and try not to pierce them with the end of the knife, because making those little holes will drain out the delicious juice that the mushrooms make.* Put the mushroom stems in a separate plate and use them for another recipe.




2) Finely chop the green onion and add it to a large bowl. Then pour 1/2 a Cup of Clam juice from the Can of Clams into the bowl. Drain out the rest of the Clam juice (You will only need 1/2 a Cup for the recipe) and Finely mince the clams. Add the clams to the bowl. Add the Garlic Seasoning to the bowl. Then add the minced Garlic to the bowl. Soften 2 Tablespoons of butter in the microwave and add it to the bowl also. Then add the eggs, Italian bread crumbs and 3 Cheeses (Mozzarella, Romano, Parmesan) into the mixing bowl. Sprinkle some salt and pepper into the bowl. *This will be your stuffing for the mushrooms!*


3) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix the stuffing very well. Spray a glass baking dish with Pam or slightly oil the baking dish. Stuff each mushroom cap with the stuffing mix and put it into the glass baking dish.


4) Melt 1/2 Cup of Butter. Then pour the butter onto all of the mushrooms. Cover the glass baking sheet tightly with aluminum foil and put it into the preheated oven. Bake it on 350 Degrees for 35 to 40 minutes.


5) In the last few minutes, take the mushrooms out of the oven. Sprinkle them all individually with the 1/2 Cup of finely shredded mozzarella cheese.


6)Stick them back into the oven, uncovered for a few more minutes until the cheese melts on top of them. *These are best served piping hot!*




Zucchini Fries (With Garlic Aioli Sauce)


This is my all time favorite appetizer! It is famous by the Carrabba’s Italian Restaurant, which is where I first tried it and fell in love with it. These zucchini fries are just perfect and so easy to make. They look beautiful on the dinner table and will definitely impress your guests! Crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, served with the garlic aioli sauce they are delicious beyond words. This sauce completes them and without it they really would not taste as amazing, so I really, really recommend serving them with the garlic aioli sauce. I always make the sauce a day ahead of time, because it tastes best if it marinates for a few hours and I don’t like to wait… My son loved these so much, he kept sneaking them while I was cooking! So your kids will love these and they are healthier then potato fries, at Carrabba’s some waiters  refer to these as the “Healthy french fries” Lol.  😉

Zucchini Fries and Garlic Aioli Sauce {Serves 4}

Ingredients:  (For the Garlic Aioli Sauce)

  •  1 whole HEAD of Garlic
  • 1 Cups Mayonnaise
  • 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
  • 1 Tablespoon Balsamic Vinaigrette dressing


*I make double the sauce because my family loves it!*

Ingredients:  (For the zucchini fries)

  • 6 Zucchini’s
  • 1 Cup Milk
  • 2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

Directions:  (For the Garlic Aioli Sauce)

1) Take the garlic head, Cut the top 1/2 inch from the garlic head, to reveal the cloves. Discard the top.


2) Place the garlic head, cut side up, in a small baking dish. Drizzle the cut surface of the garlic head with olive oil. Sprinkle with some salt and pepper.


3) Cover the baking dish tightly with aluminum foil, Keep the garlic head, cut side up. Bake in a conventional oven (or regular oven if you don’t have a conventional one) for about 1 hour and 30 minutes on 300 Degrees. It will be done when the garlic is deep beige and very tender when squeezed with a fork. Let it cool before you make the sauce.



4) To make the sauce, Gently take the garlic cloves out of the peel and put them into a large bowl. Mash the garlic cloves with a fork. Add the mayonnaise, lemon juice, and balsamic vinaigrette dressing and mix well until combined. Season with a little salt and pepper. Cover and store it in the fridge. *For best results, refrigerate it overnight or at least a few hours!*




Directions:   (For the Zucchini fries)

1) Wash the zucchini and cut it into “French Fry” pieces. (As Pictured below.) I cut the zucchini to separate it into 3 cylinders. Then cut each cylinder into four, and from there cut it into french fry pieces.



2) Line a rimmed baking sheet with paper towels. Pour enough oil to come 2 inches up the side of a Medium sized saucepan. Heat over Medium-High heat (I did an 8.5), to reach 350 degrees on a deep-frying thermometer.

3)Mix the flour, salt, and pepper together in a large bowl. Pour the milk into a second bowl. Keep the zucchini also in a large bowl. I had a little “station” going on.


4) Take a little handful of zucchini, dip it in the milk, shake off the excess milk, then coat the zucchini with the flour. Shake off the excess flour and add it to the oil. * Make sure you really shake off the excess milk and then shake off the excess flour! This is important because if you don’t the zucchini fries will get clumpy!*




5) Cook until they get golden in color, About 2-4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, take the cooked zucchini fries out of the saucepan and shake off the oil a bit so it drains through the spoon. Then put the zucchini fries in the rimmed baking sheet, on top of the paper towels. This drains out any extra oil.

*IMPORTANT Tips: Add the zucchini to the saucepan in SMALL batches. I did about 2-3 handfuls. If you throw too much in at once they will take forever to cook through (Like 15 minutes) and will not be as crispy but soggy! I use one hand to dip the zucchini into the milk then put it into the bowl of flour, and the other hand to dip it into the flour and then add it to the saucepan. This way my hands don’t get covered with gloppy, dough looking paste and make a big mess. Also if you want the zucchini fries to stay warm, transfer them from the rimmed baking sheet with the paper towels to another baking sheet with parchment paper and keep it in the warmer part of your oven, or if you don’t have one, keep it on 150 to 200 degrees in the oven.

*I serve the zucchini fries hot with the Garlic Aioli sauce in little ramekins or custard cups.*