Lowering My Cholesterol Intake

An all organic arugula salad with fresh beets, radishes, Persian cukes, pear tomatoes and shredded carrots tossed in a lime dijon vinaigrette. What better way to prepare the palate for 2 weeks in Italy at the Key to the Castle Workshop.  Follow our journey of writing, painting, yoga-ing and eating on IG @KTTCWorkshop 

Categorized as Recipes

Garlic-buttered-brolied Sweet Lobster Tails

These garlic-buttered-brolied sweet lobster tails were such a big hit on Thanksgiving, I may have to do them again on Christmas Eve. I ordered them online, delivered to my front door from Fulton Fish Market. Here’s the “recipe” to serve 8-12 people in addition to the rest of your menu – if doing as a single main course, do either one 6oz. or two 4oz. tails per person.


  • 16 petite lobster tails – from Fulton Fish Market online, they come in either 4oz. or 6oz. and are flash frozen
  • 1 pound Kerry Gold Irish salted butter, melted
  • 6 to 10 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh Italian Parsley
  • 1 large lemon


  • Allow the lobster tails to thaw in the refrigerator for 24 hours before you plan to cook them. 
  • Once they are thawed, you will need to “butterfly” the lobster tails. Using a very sharp pair of kitchen scissors, cut a slit down the middle of the top of the lobster tail from the thick open end to just before the skinny tail end. Then use one hand to gently separate the shell a bit, while you use the other hand to maneuver the lobster meat out of the shell to then rest on top of the now hollow shell. Be careful not to pull the lobster meat out of the shell completely.
  • Arrange butterflied tails on a broiling /sheet pan and leave covered on counter while you prepare the garlic butter.
  • Unwrap and cut the pound of butter into 1-inch cubes and place in a small saucepan. Add the crushed garlic and paprika. Melt the garlic butter mixture on very low flame, stirring often.
  • Once all of the butter is melted, turn up the flame to high and stirring constantly, let the mixture come to a sizzle, browning slightly. 
  • Then remove from heat and immediately brush the garlic butter evenly onto the butterflied lobster tails with a basting brush.
  • Turn on broiler to high or oven setting to broil and pre-heat for 5 minutes. (You can also grill these if preferred.)
  • Place pan with the lobster tails under the brolier and cook for 7-10 minutes (depending on the size of the tails) until lobster meat is white throughout and top has a slight browning.
  • Remove from oven/broiler/grill, sprinkle the chopped parsley all over and serve immediately with a lemon wedge garnish.

Buon apetito!

Categorized as Recipes

Potato Leek Soup

PREP TIME: 20-30 mins

COOK TIME: 40-60 mins

SERVINGS: 4 to 6 servings


  • 3 large leeks 
  • 2 pounds potatoes (Yukon gold or Russet) 
  • 4 stalks celery
  • 2 green onions (scallions)
  • 4 cups chicken (or vegetable) broth
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • ½ stick Kerrygold (or any farm fresh) unsalted butter 
  • 1 cup fresh, heavy cream, allowed to come to room temperature on counter for 1 hour prior to using
  • 1 tbs. herbs de Provence
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • Fresh black and sea salt from a grinder 
potato leek

Cut off the roots and the tough dark green tops of the leeks and discard. Slice the leeks into ¼ inch circles, put into a colander and under running water, use your fingers to separate the leeks so that you can dislodge any dirt or mud hiding inside. Continue to agitate them with your hands until water runs clear. Then turn off the water and leave the cut-up leeks in the colander in the sink to drain some more.


Peel and dice the potatoes into 1/2-inch pieces. In a separate colander lightly rinse the potatoes to remove any dirt from the skins, then place in a bowl of fresh clean water and set aside.

Wash and slice the celery stalks into ½ inch pieces

Wash and slice the green onions (scallions) into ½ inch pieces

Cut up the ½ stick butter into 4 pieces and melt on medium heat in a 3 to 4 quart thick-bottomed stock pot. 

Add the celery and green onions, stir to coat with the melted butter, add 3 each grinder turns of black pepper and sea salt, and saute for 1 or two minutes until soft.

Add the white wine, stir for 1 minute.

Add the 2 quarts of the broth.

Add the leeks, stir, cover the pot and reduce the heat to low, cook for 10 minutes. Check to make sure the veggies leeks are not turning brown.

Add  to the broth, diced potatoes, bay leaf, herbs de Provence and 4 twists of salt from the grinder. 

Increase the heat to high to bring to a boil, stirring a few times, then lower the heat to maintain a low simmer, and cook for 20-30 minutes, until the potatoes are cooked through.

Once the potatoes are cooked, remove and discard the bay leaf. Using an immersion blender, blend about half of the soup if you want a chunky soup, or all of it if you want your soup to be smooth and creamy.

After the soup is blended to your liking, slowly drizzle in the room temperature heavy cream, stirring constantly

Add the parsley, and cook a few minutes more. 

Add freshly ground pepper and more salt to taste.

Serve with Crunchy croutons or Crusty bread. 


Categorized as Recipes

Lemon Pepper Pappardelle w/Prosciutto & Peas

Sunday dinner: Lemon-Pepper Pappardelle with Prosciutto & Peas. Many asked for the recipe – so here it is.

First, you can make this with any pasta but I do believe the lemon-pepper pappardelle greatly contributed to the flavor and texture of the dish. I purchased it at Trader Joe’s.

– 1 (8oz.) package Trader Joe’s lemon-pepper pappardelle
– 2 1/4 inch thick slices prosciutto, diced (note that this is a change from the way prosciutto is usually served sliced paper thin)
– 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
– 1/4 cup grated paremsan cheese
– 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
– 1/4 lb. (one stick) unsalted butter
– 2 large eggs, yolk only
– pinch of nutmeg
– 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
– 1 tablespoon of salt (for the water you cook that pasta in) and then salt to taste

– Bring two quarts of salted water to boil in a covered large soup pot.
– Remove the lid and cook the pasta, uncovered, according to package directions (7-9 minutes).
– While the pasta is cooking…
– On a low flame, melt the butter in a large non-stick skillet.
– Add the heavy whipping cream and begin to whisk constantly
– When the edges start to bubble, add the egg yolks one at a time whisking constantly – this is really important becasue you don’t want the yolks to “scramble”
– After the two egg yolks are comepletly mixed with the cream and butter, add the parmesan cheese. Keep whisking to melt the cheese and mix completely.
– Whisk in the nutmeg and ground pepper.
– Add the peas, continue to shisk gently.
– Add the prosciutto, whisk gently.
– Stop whisking, drain the pasta, but keep your eye on the sauce, it shoudl be lightly bubbling aroudn the edges – but it can easily bubble over and burn if you leave it unattended.
– Once the pasta is drained, add to the sauce, salt to taste and using tongs, stir to completely cover all of the pasta with the sauce.
– Serve immediately with additional grated parmesan on the side.

Branching Out

Getting ready to roast a branch of Brussels sprouts but basting first with a glaze of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, fig preserves, garlic, cracked salt & pepper. Going into a pre-heated 350 degree oven for 45 minutes.

Beef Barley for the Heart

I was going to visit my cousin who had recently had multiple bypass surgery and I planned to bring him some home made soup.

Me: I’m bringing you some homemade chicken soup.
My cousin: I can make that myself! You’re the best cook I know. Make it beef barley.

I had never made beef barley soup before but I must say it came out pretty good!

Being Grateful on Thanksgiving

I am thankful for the memory of being a little girl when my dad would pick me up for school – we would stop at the Village Den for breakfast where I would get a toasted corn muffin slathered with butter and grape jelly. Yes, I am so grateful for this delicious memory. Happy Thanksgiving to all.

Spicy Boiled Shrimp

Over the years, I have experimented with alternative spices which led to the development of my own version of boiled shrimp – Yankee style. So, in honor of our Nation’s 240th year of Independence, the Statue of Liberty’s 130th birthday and the 30th anniversary of the beginning of my catering career, I share with you now my version of boiled shrimp. Enjoy!

-Two (2) 2 lb. bags frozen, deveined but shell on shrimp (no smaller than 26-30 count per pound)
-Four (4) whole ears raw fresh corn – each ear cut into 4 pieces
-Three (3) whole large lemons
-One (1) lb. bite sized red potatoes (or fingerling potatoes) the smaller the better, skins on
-One (1) large yellow onion, skin removed
-1/4 cup freshly ground sea salt
-2 tbs. Tabasco sauce
-2 whole bay leaves
-5 tbs. Old Bay seasoning
-3 tbs. coriander seeds
-2 tbs. cayenne pepper
-1 tbs. dried garlic flakes
-1 tbs. dried onion flakes
-1 tbs. ground cumin
-1 tbs. dry mesquite flavoring
-1 tsp. dried dill
-1 tsp. red chili pepper flakes
-1 tsp. freshly black peppercorns

-Thaw the shrimp
-Fill a large stock pot with 16 cups of water
-Cut the lemons into quarters add to pot
-Make sure skin is removed, cut the onion into quarters, add to pot
-Add the salt, Tabasco and all of the dried spices
-Cover and bring to a rolling boil – making sure not to allow it to boil over
-Add the potatoes stir, cover and bring to boil, then uncover allowing potatoes to cook for 5 minutes
-Then add the shrimp and the corn, stir, cover and bring to rolling boil, then uncover and cook for 5 minutes
-Then turn off the stove, cover the pot and allow to sit 5 more minutes
-Pour into a large colander in the sink to drain all of the liquid, discard bay leaves, onions and lemons
-Place the shrimp, potatoes and corn in one large bowl or platter and serve immediately “as is” or with cocktail sauce.

Makes six (6) servings

Recipe for Lasagne

I am about to share with you my family recipe that originated at Angelina’s Restaurant in 1936 and was also served in our other Greenwich Village establishment, La Marionetta Pizzeria when it opened in 1961. Carrying on the tradition, I made and served this same lasagne throughout my professional catering days – including to Gwyneth Paltrow during her sixteenth birthday party aboard the Yacht Mariner III in September of 1988. And I continue to make and serve it today – just ask my kids and their friends who have been eating it for the past week! The photo of lasagne – displayed in the actual stoneware dish it would have been served in at the restaurants – was taken by my son Colin Taylor. Here is the recipe…