Wednesday, November 28, 2012


If Im eating out and see eggplant rolletini is on the menu-Im ordering it! Its one of my favorite foods. I love being able to make this at home for my friends, especially the vegetarians. Serve it alone as an appetizer or with pasta as an entree. 

-1 Large eggplant sliced thin long ways
-1 1/2 Cups seasoned bread crumbs
-2 Beaten eggs
-2 Tbs. water 
-Olive oil for frying
-Salt and pepper

-1 Tbs parsley
-Parmesan cheese
-1 egg
-1 (15oz) ricotta cheese
-1 Cup shredded mozzarella cheese

-1  Cup of tomato sauce-jarred or your own

Pre heat the oven to 350 degrees

  1. Slice and skin the eggplant long ways. Set aside
  2. In a medium bowl, beat 2 eggs and add 2 tbs of water. In another medium bowl, add the breadcrumbs. Dip eggplant slices in egg mix-and then in the bread crumbs. Continue till all eggplant slices are egged and breaded.
  3. Heat a few tbs of olive oil in medium sauce pan over MED HIGH heat. Make sure oil is hot before adding the eggplant or else it will absorb all the oil and be soggy. (You may need to add more olive oil during the frying process-add as needed)
  4. Fry the eggplant on both sides until golden brown (2-3 min on each side) immediately sprinkle fried eggplant with a salt and pepper. Drain the slices on paper towels. Continue till all eggplant slices are fried and seasoned. 
  5. In a small bowl add 1 egg, ricotta cheese and mozzarella cheese. Season with salt, pepper and parley- mix well. 
  6. Add a generous scoop of the ricotta filling to the eggplant.
  7. Roll the eggplant up and add it to a oven safe baking dish that has been lined with a little tomato sauce.
  8. Add all the eggplant to the dish. Top with remaining sauce-sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
  9. Bake for 25 minutes-serve and enjoy!


This is a recipe that I am very proud of. It took me a long time and many trials to get it just right. I have to say it was well worth the wait! I get requests to make this dish very often. Especially from my brother in law, Christophe. He always gets an invitation to come over when we're having this for dinner. I would suggest serving this with mashed potatoes on the side. 
-4 Thin Chicken breast
-4 Swiss cheese slices
-4 Ham slices
-1/4 Cup white wine
-Salt, pepper, garlic powder
-Olive oil
-2 tbs. butter
-4 Tooth picks

  1. Rinse the chicken breast with water and pad dry. Sprinkle each side with a little salt, pepper and garlic powder.
  2. Lay 1 slice of Swiss cheese and 1 slice of ham on top of the chicken breast. Rip the swiss and ham slices to fit the shape of the chicken if some is hanging off.
  3. Roll the chicken like a jelly roll and secure with a tooth pick.
  4. Dip the rolled chicken in four. Shake off the access flour from the chicken and continue until all the chicken breasts done.
  5. In a medium size pan heat a few tablespoons of oil over MED HIGH heat.
  6. Fry the chicken until golden brown on all sides. Place chicken breast in an oven safe baking dish. Let them cool a bit and remove the toothpicks.
  7. In the same pan the chicken was fried in (do not clean the drippings out of the pan before hand) add the butter and turn the heat to MEDIUM HIGH.
  8. Allow the butter to melt and then add 1 tsp of flour. Whisk well until the lumps are removed (about 1 minute). Add the white wine and continue to whisk for 2 minute. Turn the heat down and simmer for 3 more minutes. Lightly season with salt and pepper.
  9. Pour the sauce over the chicken and bake for 30 minutes. Serve and enjoy!


Yes, this meatloaf tastes as good as it sounds! Got this recipe from a friend and couldn't wait to try it. I loved it, but my husband went absolutely crazy for it. Nice way to spice up a boring meatloaf recipe. 

-1 lb ground beef
-10 strips bacon cooked and crumbled
-1/3 cup mayo
-1/4 cup plain bread crumbs
-1tbs worcestershire sauce
-2 beaten eggs
-1 (8oz) package of shredded cheddar cheese
-1/3 cup ketchup 
-Pepper (no salt the bacon has enough salt)
-3 slices of bread (optional)

  1. In a large bowl add ground beef, breadcrumbs, cheese, bacon, eggs, westesire sauce, ketchup and pepper. Mix well
  2. Line an oven safe baking dish with 3 slices of bread. (This is to soak up all the fat that drips off the meatloaf. Its optional, I only use it if I have bread I need to use before it goes stale)
  3. Mold the beef mixture to meatloaf shape and place on top of bread slices. Top with a thin layer of ketchup. Bake for about an hour or until the meatloaf is cooked all the way through
*Disregard the bread before serving if you use it!!

Monday, November 26, 2012


I love lasagna but I wind up only make it when I have company because of how many people it serves. These roll ups are a great alternative if you are serving only a couple of people. I added more pictures than usual because It does take a few extra steps but trust me its well worth it! Don't be shy with the sauce on top either, you don't want the noodles drying out and getting crunchy in the oven. 

-4 Lasagna noodles
-1/2 lb Ground beef
-1/2 chopped small onion
-1 tbs fresh chopped garlic
-1/4 cup red wine
-1/2 Cup ricotta cheese
-1 tsp oregano 
-1 cup grated mozzarella cheese 
-1 cup Tomato sauce
-Salt, pepper 
-olive oil

pre heat the oven to 350 degrees
  1. Cook lasagna noodles 2 minutes less than the package suggests. Drain the noodles and run them under cold water. Fill the pot back up with cold water and add the lasagna noodles to it and set aside. 
  2. In a medium sauce pan-heat about a tablespoon of olive oil over MED heat. Add the onion and garlic and saute until onions are tender (about 5 minutes)
  3. Turn the heat to MED HIGH-add the ground beef and season with salt and pepper. With a wooden spoon, break the meat apart into small pieces and continue cooking until the beef is no longer pink.
  4. Drain the liquid from the meat mixture. Return to the pan and add red wine, cook over MEDIUM HIGH heat. Continue cooking until the beef absorbs  the wine. 
  5. Add 1 cup of tomato sauce to the beef mixture. Season with salt, pepper and 1 tbs Italian seasoning. Cook on LOW for 10 minutes. (If the sauce starts to boil, turn heat to a SIMMER)
  6. In a small bowl, mix the ricotta cheese, 1/2 cup of the mozz cheese and oregano. Lightly season with salt and pepper.
  7. Take the lasagna noodles out of the cold water. Dry them completely on paper towels. 
  8. Alternate between 1 tsp of the ricotta mixure and 1 tsp of the sauce down the lasagna noodle leaving some room at both ends (see the picture)
  9. Gently roll the lasagna noodles. Add some sauce to the bottom of a baking dish and place the lasagna rolls on top. 
  10. Cover with remaining sauce, sprinkle with parm cheese and top with the rest of the mozzarella cheese
  11. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Enjoy!


Its unbelievable how great this Alfredo sauce is. Its even better with the chicken! Definatly a recipe that you'll want to make again. Use any kind of pasta you have. I used mini penne just because I had it. This is better than any alfredo sauce you can get at the store. I love this!!

-2 Chicken breasts cut into small strips
-1/2 lb of pasta (whatever kind you want)
-1 Stick of butter
-2 large garlic clove- minced
-1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
-1 cup heavy cream
-2 Tbs Philadelphia cream cheese
-Salt and Pepper
-Garlic powder
-Olive oil
-Oregano for garnish


  1. In a medium size frying pan- Heat about 2 tbs of olive oil over MED HIGH heat. Add the chicken, season with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Continue to cook until chicken in browned and cooked all the way through. Set aside.
  2. In a medium sauce pan-Add butter and garlic and cook over MEDIUM heat for about 4 minutes or until the butter has melted completely. 
  3. Add the cream, cream cheese and parm cheese with a whisk. Turn the heat to LOW and continue whisking. Season with salt and pepper-cook for about 5 minutes.
  4. Turn the heat off and add the chicken-mix with sauce. 
  5. Cook the pasta as directed and add to the Alfredo/chicken mixture. Serve!

Sunday, November 25, 2012


 Because the lemon in this marinade acts as a meat tenderizer its a good idea to let this sit in the fridge for a few hours before grilling it. Make sure to let the lamb chops rest in a tin foil tent for a few minutes before serving, also. The meat comes out very tender and juicy every time using those two tips!

-2-4 bone in lamb shoulder chops-cleaned and patted dry
-2 tbs fresh chopped garlic
-1/4 cup lemon juice
-2 tbs Dijon mustard
-1 1/2 tbs dry Rosemary
-1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 tbs salt and pepper
(You're going to need a grill pan and a tin foil sheet, also)

  1. In a large resealable bag, add all of the ingredients except for the lamb chops.
  2. Seal the bag and mix the ingredients by hand. Add the lamb chops to the bag once the ingredients are well blended. 
  3. Refridgerate for 2-12 hours. Take the bag with the lamb chops out of the refrigerator an hour before serving-letting the meat and marinade rise to room temperature.
  4. Remove lamb chops from the bag and with a fork-scrape off any clinging marinade. If theres too much marinade left on the meat it will burn on the grill pan.
  5. Lightly grease grill pan with olive oil and turn to MEDIUM HIGH heat. 
  6. Once the pan in hot, add the lamb chops and cook for about 5 minutes on each side.
  7. Remove the lamb chops form the grill pan and let the meat rest before serving for 3-5 minutes under a tin foil tent. Serve!


These potatoes go great with everything! I always had a problem getting them to crisp up. They just never seemed to be right. Until my girlfriend Danielle gave me a great tip-Heating the baking sheet up before adding the potatoes to it and roasting them. Brilliant! Works like a charm!!

-10 new red potatoes -scrubbed clean
-1 tsp dry Thyme
-1 tsp fresh chopped garlic
-Olive oil
-Salt and Pepper


Preheat the oven to 475 degrees
  1. Keep the baking sheet you are using for the potatoes in the oven while it preheats
  2. In the mean time, cut your potatoes into quarters and add them to a medium size bowl. Drizzle with olive oil, add thyme, salt, pepper and garlic.
  3. Toss the potatoes and coat with the olive oil and spices.
  4. Take the hot baking sheet out of the oven and pour the potatoes out on it. Make sure they are not on top of each other. 
  5. Bake for 25 minutes or until they are golden and crispy. 


-3 (3 oz) bags of baby carrots
-2 tbs butter
-2 tbs fresh chopped dill
-Honey (to drizzle)

  1. Steam or boil carrots in a small sauce pan for about 10 minutes-drain and return to pot.
  2. Turn heat to MEDIUM-LOW. Add the butter and dill to the carrots, gently toss. 
  3. Turn to LOW and let the carrots and dill cook for about 3 minutes. 
  4. Add a pinch of salt and drizzle with honey. Serve!


I like to consider these crab cakes one of my specialty's. I love making these in the summer with fresh caught crabs from the Lavallette Bay. Unfortunately the summer is only so long. So I started experimenting with canned crab meat. Not only does it allow me to make these all year round but it's also is a great way to save time. The cans can get a little pricey so I like to stock up when there on sale. 
Another great thing about these crab cakes is that are frozen before frying. This means that if you make the whole recipe, and only want two for dinner, leave the rest in the freezer till you are ready to eat them. Great to have on had and ready to go. They can be served as an appetizer or entree. Try serving one with steak as an easy surf and turf!

-1/2 small onion-diced
-1 medium carrot, grated
-1 cup mayonnaise
-1 tsp Cayenne pepper
-1 tsp ground mustard (If you don't have ground mustard use whatever mustard you have around the house)
-1 tsp Worcsteshire sauce
-2 cups seasoned bread crumbs and a little extra in a seperate bowl*
-1 1/4 cup egg beaters
-Salt/pepper/garlic powder
-Olive oil
-3 cans crab meat* (make sure to drain the crab meat really well)

  1. In a medium bowl add onion, carrot, crab meat, mayo, mustard, Westesire sauce, egg beaters, bread crumbs. Add about a tbs of salt and pepper and 1/2 tbs garlic powder.  Mix well
  2. Mold mixture into small size hockey pucks (for appetizers) or larger size hockey pucks (for entrees). Coat crab cakes in the side bread crumb bowl.
  3. Freeze the crab cakes for at least an hour. 
  4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  5. Fry the crab cakes in oil over MEDIUM HIGH heat until they are golden brown on both sides (about 4 min each side)
  6. Bake in oven for 15 minutes. 


Tuesday, November 20, 2012


This dip may as well be my friend cause its at every party I have! Everyone loves it. Sometimes it seems like I blink my eyes and its gone. I try to make two batches if I'm having a big party. Trust me it will get eaten. The directions are right on the back on the packet but i listed them below anyway. I do not use the water chestnuts or green onions in mine. Feel free to add them if you like. I serve this in a scoped out bread bowl with wheat thins on the side.  
-1 (10 oz.) pkg. frozen chopped spinach, thawed (I use Birds Eye)
-1 1/2 c. sour cream
-1 c. mayonnaise (I use Hellman's)
-1 (4 oz.) pkg. Knorr vegetable soup mix
-1 (8 oz.) can water chestnuts, finely chopped (I don't use this)
-3 green onions, finely chopped (I don't use this either)
-Loaf of pumpernickel or rye bread
-Wheat thins

  1. Squeeze spinach until dry and add to a medium mixing bow. 
  2. Stir in sour cream, soup mix, and mayo. Mix well and refrigerate from 2 hours to overnight. 
  3. Serve in bread bowl with wheat thins on the side

Monday, November 19, 2012


This recipe is great for entertaining a group of any size. Who doesn't like chicken parmesan? I like to serve this with a big plate of pasta. If you have some left overs- try warming the chicken and serving it between two toasted pieces of Italian bread. 

-1 package thinly sliced chicken breast
-2 beaten eggs
-1/2 cup milk
- 1 cup seasoned bread crumbs*
-Olive oil
-Salt & Pepper
-1 cup freshly shredded mozzarella cheese
-Parmesan cheese
-about 2 cups tomato sauce:

Pre heat the oven to 350 degrees
  1. Rinse chicken breast, pat dry-set aside. In a shallow bowl-mix beaten eggs and milk. Season with salt and pepper. In a separate shallow bowl, add bread crumbs.
  2. Dip each chicken breast in the egg wash then breadcrumbs. Repeat until all the chicken breasts are breaded.
  3. In a medium skillet- heat oil over MED HIGH heat. Fry the chicken in batches. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper. Drain on paper towels. 
  4. Line the bottom of a baking dish with a little of the tomato sauce. Arrange chicken on top of the sauce. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and add more tomato sauce on top. Add the grated mozzarella cheese. Bake for 30 minutes-serve

*I use these bread crumbs

Sunday, November 18, 2012


By far one of the greatest sauces I have ever made. This is a hearty sauce that keeps you warm and full for hours. Great to make on a cold winter day. I suggest serving it with a "tube" like pasta to make sure the sauce really sticks to it. 

-1 lb ground beef
-1 medium carrot-chopped small
-1 celery stalk-chopped small
-1 mall onion-chopped small
-1 1/2 tbs chopped garlic
-2 cups good jarred tomato sauce
(you can always use your own or follow this recipe:)
-1/4 cup red wine
-olive oil
-Parmesan cheese
-Salt, pepper, Italian seasoning
-2 tbs cream (optional)
-lb penne pasta

  1. In a large sauce pan heat oil over LOW and add garlic. Saute for 2 minutes.
  2. Add carrot, onion and celery. Stir into garlic and oil. Add pinch of salt, pepper and Italian seasoning. Turn heat to MED LOW and cook until veggies are tender. About 7-10 minutes.
  3. Add ground beef-top with a pinch of salt and pepper. As the beef cooks, break into small pieces with a wooden spoon. Cook until beef is cooked through-about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the red wine. When the wine starts to bubble, turn down to LOW. Cook for 3 minutes.
  5. Add the tomato sauce (and cream if using). Mix with beef/veggie mixture. Sprinkle with parm cheese.  Heat on stove top over LOW heat for 2 minutes. Turn heat down and simmer for 15 min. 
  6. Cook penne as directed. Drain pasta and add it to bolognese sauce. Mix and serve!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


Almost every Italian family in New Jersey has a secret to their meatballs. But mines the best, of course :) The secret is to sauté the garlic and onion in olive oil before adding it to the meat mixture. Doesn't sound like much, I know. But believe me it makes a big difference. I've made meatballs a million different ways and these are my favorite. Serve them over a big bowl of spaghetti!

-1 lb ground beef 
-Half small onion, minced
-2 tbs minced garlic
-1 1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
-1 beaten egg
-1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
-Salt & pepper
-Garlic powder & parsley
-Olive oil
-2-4 cups tomato sauce (whatever you like)


Preheat oven 350 degrees:

1. Sautee the onions and garlic in olive oil until they are soft. lightly salt and pepper them. Set a side and cool slightly.

2. Add-ground beef, bread crumbs, parm cheese, garlic and parsley to a bowl

3. In a small bowl- crack and beat egg. Add to beef mixture along with salt and pepper, onion and garlic.

4. Mix beef mixture until combined- don't over mix itRoll into whatever size meatballs you like.

5. Add a big spoonful of sauce to the bottom of an oven safe baking dish. Add raw meatballs to baking dish. Pour remaining sauce over meatballs. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and bake for 45 minutes. Serve with some shredded basil or parsley on top

family dinner :)

Thanks for viewing!! Hope you enjoy them.

Also, a few things.... Instead of beef, you can do the veal, pork and beef combo. I just happen to prefer the beef.

Ok, what I have to say might shock you. If you don't have tomato sauce or don't have time to make it. U can use CANNED sauce. Its Ok! No Italian old ladies are going to come out and beat you with wooden spoons, promise! Just make sure you buy a good canned sauce. There is such a thing.


This is kind of a Frankenstein recipe. Ive taken everything I love from various lemon chicken recipes and put them into this dish. The lemon is just enough and the chicken is so juicy. Its not necessarily the most glamorous looking dish ever made but it makes up for that in flavor.

-4 Bone in chicken thighs (skin on)
-1 whole lemon
-1 tbs lemon zest
-2 tbs lemon juice
-2 tablespoons fresh minced garlic
-1/3 cup white wine
-1 tbs dry thyme
-1 tbs dry rosemary
-olive oil



preheat the oven to 425 degrees

1. Clean chicken, dry and set aside.

2. In a medium saucepan, heat oil over LOW heat and add garlic. Cook garlic for about 2 minutes. 

3. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, white wine, thyme and rosemary. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to a simmer. Add a small pinch of salt and pepper. Simmer for 3-5 minutes. 

4.Pour sauce into an oven safe dish. Add chicken-skin side up. Drizzle olive oil on the skin. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

5. Cut half the lemon into thin rounds. Stuff lemon rounds in between chicken and arrange a few on top. Bake for 40 minutes.

6. Remove those lemon rounds covering the skin and broil for about 3-5 minutes or until the skin is crispy. Remove the chicken from the baking dish and serve. 

Thanks for viewing! For more recipes & food ideas follow Al Dente Diva on instagram


This is a great eggplant parmesan recipe. To me its even better the next day. I usually serve it with a side of pasta.


-2 Med size eggplants peeled and sliced thin
-1 1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs*
-1/2 cup flour
-1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
-Grated Parmesan Cheese
-Olive oil
-2 cups jarred GOOD tomato sauce- or

use your own or click the link below for an easy recipe

Pre heat the oven to 350 degrees
  1. In a large colander line with eggplant slices-sprinkle with salt-layer and salt between each layer. Top with paper towels and something heavy to weigh it down (like a can of soup). Drain for about an hour. 
  2. Brush off the remaining salt from the eggplant. Lay the eggplant on paper towels and drain of remaining water.
  3. In a bowl, combine breadcrumbs and flour. In another bowl combine egg and milk.
  4. In a med size skillet-heat oil over MED HIGH.
  5. Dredge eggplant in breadcrumb mixture then egg mixture. Fry in batches in the hot oil. Drain on paper towels. 
  6. In an oven safe bowl, line the bottom with about 2 tablespoons of tomato sauce. Top with fried eggplant and sprinkle with parm cheese. Top with shredded mozzarella cheese and sauce. Repeat until the top layer ends with the tomato sauce. Sprinkle with little mozzarella cheese. Bake for 30 minutes-serve. 

* I use these breadcrumbs


There are so many tomato sauce variations out there. Everyone seems to have their own version. This is the one I go to the most. It has a very traditional tomato sauce taste. Its also as close to the sauce my mother makes as I can get. Lots of different recipes and sauces can be made off this basic one. The key to this sauce is letting it simmer for a long time. It really makes a big difference. 

-1 Can (29 oz) crushed tomatoes (*Tuttorosso)
-2 Cans (29 0z) tomato sauce (Tutttorosso)
-1 Tsp tomato paste (tuttorosso)
-1 small onion chopped
-About 10 fresh basil leaves chopped
-3 Tbs freshly chopped garlic
-About 2 tbs. olive oil
-Salt and Pepper
-2 Tbs. Italian seasoning

  1. In a large pot, heat olive oil on low and add garlic. Cook garlic for about 2 minutes. Add the chopped onion and a small pinch of salt and pepper. Cook over Med-Low heat for about 5-7 minutes or until onions are translucent.
  2. Add the Italian seasoning to the onions and both the crushed tomato can and the tomato sauce cans. Add as much salt and pepper as desired or about 1 1/2 tbs salt and 1 tbs pepper.
  3.  Add the chopped basil. Turn the heat to medium high and continue stirring the sauce until it is heated all the way through. (I can usually tell once I stop stirring for a few a seconds and the sauce starts to bubble). Then turn the heat to a simmer and continue cooking for 40 minutes. Add more salt and pepper and Italian seasoning if desired. 

*This is the brand of tomato sauce I like to use

Saturday, November 10, 2012


One of my favorite dinners-I love these stuffed peppers! Super easy to make and they taste amazing. I make these with brown rice so they're a little more healthy, too. 

 Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers
-5 bell peppers (any color) cleaned, deseeded & tops removed
-1 med. zucchini chopped
-1/2 small onion chopped
-1/2 pack of fresh sliced mushrooms
-2 table spoons freshly chopped garlic
-2 table spoons Italian seasoning
-olive oil
-2 "Minute Ready" brown rice cups
-Parmesan Cheese
-1 sheet of tin foil
-1 small jar GOOD pasta sauce

If you don't want to use jarred sauce-use your own or here is a recipe for a quick one:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

1. Arrange peppers in an oven safe dish that's been lightly drizzled with olive oil. Cover with tin foil and bake for 15 min.-Remove from the oven and set aside.
2. In a medium size skillet-heat about 2 tablespoons olive oil on LOW heat. Add the garlic-cook about 5 minutes.
3. Turn the heat up to MEDIUM-HIGH. Add the zucchini, onion and mushrooms along with the Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Cook till tender. About 7 minutes.
4. Cook your minute ready cups in to the microwave as directed. In the mean time, add pasta sauce to the skillet. Sir over medium heat for 2 minutes.
5. Turn the heat down to a simmer. Once the rice is done cooking-add it.
6.Stuff the peppers with the skillet mixture. Sprinkle with parm cheese and bake for 15 minutes.  Serve.