Harry Potter Moment – Butterbeer fudge

It’s that time of year, Halloween is almost here!

I have been playing around with a few new recipes and came across this posting on facebook for Butterbeer fudge that caught my eye and I decided to give it a go.

Of course I had to put the “Andy’s Kandy” twist on it, but then again, that’s just me in a nutshell🙂

I found the recipe to be fool proof and easy to follow:

Butterscotch Layer

  • 1 can of condensed milk
  • 2 tbsp of butter
  • 3 cups of butterscotch chips

Place all 3 ingredients in a casserole on medium heat and stir until nicely blended and butterscotch chips are totally melted. Mixture should be nice and smooth. Poor into a lined  8×8″ pan with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray. Set aside.

Vanilla swirl

  • 1/3 cup of condensed milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup of chocolate chips

Place all 3 ingredients in a casserole on medium heat and stir until nicely blended. Then dot all over with a large spoon and use a knife to swirl it around.

You can finish it off by topping it with 1 cup of mini marshmallows, I added a dusting of cinnamon on top of the marshmallows and then blasted them with my cooking torch to give them a nice roasted look and flavor!

Place in fridge for a minimum of 4 hours, slice into desired size and enjoy!


“Fall Dinner” – Florida Style

At this time of year everyone in the USA gets excited about fall. The color of the leaves, the cooler temperatures, the fresh smell in the air, the pumpkins, spices and I could go on and on. In Florida, Fall is just another day on the calendar, weather doesn’t change, hurricane season is at its peak and the humidity does not allow for any fresh air as such and the green on the trees is there to stay!


So the only way to get the “Fall” comfort cozy feeling around here is by cooking dishes that fill our homes with those “Fall” smells as well as pumping that A/C and lighting some fall smelling candles🙂.

Today I was having a “fall” moment so I decided to make some Butternut Squash soup.

  • 2 butternut squashes
  • 4 green apples
  • 4 large garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoons of olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • nutmeg and all spice
  • 2 cups of broth (I used beef broth because it’s what I had in the fridge)
  • 1 cup of heavy cream or half and half

Preheated my oven to 385 Def F . Stared by peeling, deseeding and chopping up 2 whole butternut squashes as well as the onion and apples. I left the garlic cloves whole but smashed them up a little.


Grabbed a large baking pan and lined it with foil (this of course helps a lot with cleanup). Tossed everything in olive oil and placed it in the baking pan. Sprinkled some salt and pepper (about a tsp of each).

I let it all roast nice and slowly for a good hour, checking it every once in a while to make sure nothing was burning or sticking too much.


Once everything was nice and roasted I removed it from the oven and let it cool down a little. Out came the blender where it all went into, together with 1 cup of broth and I blended it away!

Once it was all nicely pureed, I transferred the mixture over to a saucepan, added the rest of the broth and the cream, a dusting of nutmeg and 1/4 tsp of all spice.

The soup is nice and thick, so if you prefer it less thick you would need to add some more liquid, but do it little by little so you don’t lose the flavour!

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All that is left to do is to pump up that A/C, light the cinnamon candle, put some garlic bread in the oven and its time for a “Fall Dinner Florida Style”!❤

Finger-licking Pork Ribs

Do you have a crock pot like I do and never use it? Well here is a quick, no fuss easy recipe for some finger-licking good pork ribs!


You will need:

  • 3lbs of pork ribs (seasoned with salt and pepper) – I made 6lbs and just doubled the recipe but make sure your crockpot is big enough.
  • 1 medium onion sliced
  • 2 minced cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 cup of water ( I cheated and used half water and half bourbon)

Place water in crockpot, followed by ribs, onions and garlic and set the crock pot on high for 4 hrs. You can also put them in before you go to work and cook them on low for 8hrs! This way they will be ready when you walk in through the door and all you have to do is place them in the oven for 20mins!


Once they are done, remove from crock pot and dispose of onions and garlic. Pre-heat oven to 380 Deg F. Place ribs on a roasting pan and lather in your favourite rich BBQ sauce and cook for another 15-20 minutes! Brush some more BBQ sauce when you take them out of the oven and serve with your side of choice (we had mashed potatoes) and some more BBQ sauce to dip if you wish!


Didn’t I say it was simple and easy🙂





Lasagna My Family Style

Lasagna, who doesn’t like lasagna?  Funnily enough, my family and I are not the greatest fans of lasagnas, actually we are quite picky! With the exception of my brother in-law’s (Mario Perez) and this lovely lady called Dilia Zwilgmeyer, we can very happily live without it.

Reason behind our pickiness is that we don’t particularly enjoy red sauces and don’t particularly care much for the Ricotta cheese overload!

So with that said, today is Lasagna night at the Lundini Residence but done Family Style.

I started off by sautéing my onions and garlic, tossed in the low fat minced meat, seasoned it nicely, added some chopped cilantro, lots of black pepper, salt, of course quite a bit of Worcestershire sauce and a lovely splash of port wine.


On the side I prepared an Alfredo sauce (you can use the ready made one too) and then I added a can of petite cut tomatoes with jalapeño and put this to the side.


For the noodles I used the Barilla Lasagna oven ready, which are very handy as you don’t need to precook them.


Then I simply sprayed the bottom on my oven dish, placed a layer of lasagna noodles, topped it off with some of the Alfredo/Tomato jalapeño sauce and then added a thick layer of the cooked beef.


Managed to get 3 nice layers of all the ingredients and then finished it off with one last layer of noodles and sauce slices of freshly sliced low fat mozzarella!


Quick sprinkle of oregano, black pepper and paprika, covered it it with foil and placed it in the fridge to settle for a few hours before I popped it into the oven.

Preheated oven to 375 Deg F, bake covered for about 50 minutes, then uncovered it, gave it a dusting of freshly grated parmesan cheese and placed under the broiler until cheese was nicely melted and had a nice golden colour.

Now as they say in my country “Buen Provecho”🙂




Pornichet….. French Culinary Heaven

There are some things in life that cannot be replaced with anything, one of them being a home cooked meal! But there comes a time, when one can be stuck in a hotel for a couple of weeks with no home cooked meal in sight!


Well if that time ever comes along, I hope you are stuck in the same fabulous little French town where I was, because if you do, you are in for a surprise🙂

Pornichet……have you ever heard of this place? Well neither had I until I got the address of the location of my hotel stay for my 2 week business trip. This little town is on the West Coast of France, bang on the Atlantic Ocean and is located about an hour away from Nantes, 20 minutes from St. Nazaire and 10 minutes from La Baule.

Upon arrival my first meal consisted of a last minute dinner of Fish and Chips ( and I really mean last minute as it was Easter Sunday, everything was closed and I was the last order of the night). Fish was great, Chips were more like french fries but once I drowned them in Malt Vinegar they were just right! But lets move onto the the “French Cuisine”!


After that experience it was all uphill! Lets start by smelling the freshly baked bread in the morning, OMG, it was total punishment, I tried I tried to stay away from it but what can I say, my will power was not doing too good. Totally hooked on the Pornichet Boulangeries. Met one of the great bread bakers, young kid, could have been my son, but what a gift!


My first night here Beth (my partner in crime on this trip) and myself ended up walking a few blocks down the road, got caught in rain, wind, ate some sand but it was all worth it.


Nina a la plage greeted us with open arms, fabulous dinner, wine and service.


Had the most delicious Steak Tartare, followed by an amazing Banana dessert of some sort and a Limoncello on the house and of course “the wine”, never had a bad bottle of wine, wine wine and more wine……….did I mention we had wine, lol ?


From this fab place we move onto another fab place located in the Hotel Sud Bretagne, were you will be in for a treat! Check out their menu. On this particular day (yes went back more than once), I ordered a magnificent Green Salad with Foie Gras and Langoustines


followed by a scrumptious Lobster Risotto


This place not only was a great culinary experience, but its worth the visit just to check out their decor, quaint private dinner rooms, cigar room and bar!


From this experience we jump to Thailand and visit our friend “Kim” at the local Thai Restaurant called “Le Siam”. Came here twice and loved everything I ordered!


As a special treat, the owner “Kim” loves introducing his guests to his weird, creepy Cobra Sake!


With that experience aside, now we hop over to yet another little treasure called “Le Lardoise”,


here I had the most fabulous mussels which were finger-licking good!


Not sure where to go from here, most of the restaurants were walking distance from the hotel we were staying at which made it convenient, easy and helped with the digestion, but one that stood out the most was a place called “Secret”.


The name of the restaurant says it all, there is no menu, and each day’s menu is a “secret”, you eat what you get, and if you don’t like it, tough titty said the kitty as its all they have🙂


On this particular day we were greeted by the following menu:

  • Green Salad, bacon lardons and quails eggs
  • Duck Confit with Carrot Mousse and Churro Potatoes
  • Nougat Glace with Pistachio Mousse and not sure what other deliciousness!

Have to say that it was one wonderful “secret”❤


And in this same fashion and can go on and on about a quite a few more restaurant, but decided I will leave them for my next visit which will be in a couple of weeks!

So if you ever find yourself in this little town, be prepared to experience some wonderful French Cuisine as well as being treated by some excellent International restaurants. Everyone of them greet you like you are a long lost friend, small family business, full of joy and of course, fabulous food🙂

With this a bare you farewell and bon appetit from quaint Pornichet!



The Mysterious Corned Beef

Corned Beef in a can vs Brisket Corned Beef

A long time ago, when I first arrived in the USA and I was catering for my local neighborhood families, I vividly recall one of my customers asking if I could add her mother’s favourite to the menu at least twice a month. I asked her what that favourite might be and the answer was “Corned Beef with Mashed Potatoes”.

I found it to be a strange request as the only “corned beef” I knew about, came in a can, funnily enough, made in my country “Uruguay” out of beef leftovers and exported! Never, ever had I eaten corned beef in my life and found no reason to do so, which actually takes me back even more years to an event that happened in Nova Scotia, Canada, but I will save that story for another day🙂


Anyway, back to the “Corned Beef and Mashed Potatoes” story, I diligently prepared this dish and delivered it, and a couple of days later I asked my customer if her mother was pleased with her dish and the answer I got was, well yes but she would rather have the “real” corned beef! I kind of mumbled an apology, offered her a free meal and ran back home to figure out what she meant about “real corned beef”!

After a little bit of research I discovered that there is such thing as “real”corned beef brisket, which turns out to be pickled brisket (pickled in a salty brine solution) and surprise surprise, there is no “corn” involved in the process, the name comes from using “Corns of Salt”!

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It is a tradition here in the USA for the Irish-Americans to have Corned Beef and Cabbage for St. Patricks day, but please note that this dish does not exist in Ireland, or at least was not initiated there. History says that the original dish was supposed to be made with bacon and corned beef ended up being the poor mans bacon substitute! This now explains why in all the years that I lived in London, I never came across the infamous Corned Beef and Cabbage dish🙂

What is known in America as Corned Beef, is known in the UK as Salted Beef.

So with this story in mind and the fact that I found a Corned Beef Brisket on Sale after St. Patricks Day, I decided to subject my Uruguayan/British/Norwegian/American family to a good ole Irish/American Corned Beef dinner❤

Dinner was kind of enjoyed, they did make a comment about the beef being the wrong color (son stated it was very undercooked), so I had to explain it cooked for 3 hrs in a slow oven so for sure not undercooked! But all in all, for the first time round, I claim success at a lower level🙂


I found a few recipes on how to make my own homemade version and thinking I might give it a go –

So with that note, I hope you enjoyed my little story on Corned Beef! I love finding out the origins of traditional dishes❤





Pumpkin Pie in March……

There isn’t a better feeling for a mother to hear her son say “Mama, instead of buying something can we bake something”?

This question was posed to me this week by my 15yr old teenage son. Tomorrow Friday is my son’s Marksmanship Coach’s birthday and his team wanted to make something special for him.

He embarked on the mission to find out what his favourite sweet treat was and came back with an answer I didn’t expect for this time of year. “Ma, his favorite is Pumpkin Pie but you need to remember he is diabetic so you can’t put too much sugar, ok!”

I checked out a few recipes and settled on this one that used a lovely flaky crust made with sour cream and went by the name of Old Fashioned Pumpkin Pie. The recipe calls for some sugar for desserts, but I left the sugar out to be a bit more diabetic oriented!

  • 2 cups of flour
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 2 sticks of cubed unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup sour cream)


I made my son do all the work and just made sure to oversee the process just in case…..🙂


Once he had the dough made we rolled it out and put it in the fridge to chill for a bit.


The he started working on the filling, which once again, we skimped on the sugar and upped the spices in order to make it diabetic friendly❤

  • 2 whole eggs plus 1 yolk
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground all spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon of lemon zest
  • 2 cups of  canned pumpkin purĂ©e (no time to make the real thing)
  • 1 1/2 cup heavy cream

It was really nice watching my son’s face and he got a whiff of all the spices. He doesn’t like pumpkin but did agree than once all the spices are in, it makes pumpkin totally likeable!


We took the dough out, placed it in our pie dish and filled it with the lovely pie filling.


Into the oven it went and whilst it was baking away, we spelt out 1st Sergeant with the left over dough and baked that too to use as the pie topping🙂 And yes we forgot about the “st” next for 1st so we had to bake another set of letters! lol


Now I have one proud teenage boy, who together with his entire team will present their coach 1st Sergeant Rodriguez from South Plantation High School,  his favorite dessert on his birthday, with his diabetes in mind!

Now this is what I call “Baking with love”❤