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Thank you for taking the time to visit my blog this year and for putting up with all the crazy antics that go on in my kitchen.  This year I decided to go back to my roots, my cooking style, the style that made me the cook and food lover I am today.  I really wanted to share more recipes that reflect my Italian family upbringing. These recipes hold tremendous value rich in tradition and memories.  And after looking at this year’s top 10 recipes for the year, it’s evident that you guys LOVE Italian food as much as I do.  

And now …. without further ado here are the top 10 Blog RECIPES of 2017.  Make them, PIN them, SHARE them and most importantly ENJOY THEM!  Wishing you all the happiest, tasitest and fullest New Year ever! Cheers to 2018 and to you! 

Baby Eggplant Rollatini : This is one of my favorite dishes. You can make it so many different ways.  I love to use the baby eggplant in this dish because they don’t have a lot of seeds which can sometimes cause the eggplant to taste bitter. I fill them with a traditional ricotta cheese mixture but the possibilities are endless.  Use the Simple San Marzano Sauce recipe below and you will not be dissapointed!

Watch this being made LIVE on Facebook HERE 

Italian Rolled Eggplant

Classic Cavatelli and Broccoli : This one goes back to my “shop your own pantry” theory. I always try and keep a bag of frozen broccoli and cavatelli pasta on hand. It’s a quick, delicious dinner that really comes in handy on those nights when it’s getting late and you are short on time and ideas .

Pasta and Broccoli

Mini Cheesecake Cupcakes : There’s not much more I can say about these little cheesecake cupcakes other than SO EASY! These are a crowd pleaser, super simple to make and your guests will be sooo impressed by so impressed by your mad baking skills… Just remember you are going to need a MINI muffin Pan and mini cupcake liners  And depending on why you are making them,  you can switch up the liners to correspond with the occasion.  So festive!

Mini Cherry Cheesecakes

Creamy Chicken Chardonnay : This is another quick weeknight meal that you can make on a busy night.  You’ll need a little prep with this meal, unless you keep leeks and chardonnay on hand all the time.  Leeks are not one of those ingredients I generally keep in the fridge but even with a quick stop at the grocery store for all the ingredients, you can have this one done rather quickly!  A family favorite for sure…


Homemade Manicotti Crepes : These Manicotti Crepes have by far been my most popular PIN on PInterest this year.  The eggplant rollatiini started out strong but this one was the end of the year winner. They look somewhat difficult to make but I promise you that once you get the swirl on the crepe down pat, these will be your favorite holiday or special occasion meal.  I like to use a good quality non stick pan, like the one I received from T-fal a few months ago.  You can also use the my basic simple san marzano tomato sauce with this recipe as well.

Manicotti Crepes

Simple San Marzano Tomato Sauce: It’s no surprise this is one of the top ten recipes this past year. I mean everyone is always looking for a really good, simple tomato sauce recipe.  The key to this sauce, is using those San Marzano tomatoes. They are naturally sweet and make the best sauce (in my opinion).  I prefer the Cento brand but you should use the brand you are more comfortable with. I also recommend a good olive oil too.

Lemon Ricotta Cake : This is an oldie but goodie recipe. It’s from my early blogging days and was actually made by accident.  In attempt to make ricotta doughnuts with cake mix, I would up making this fantastic Italian Style Cheesecake instead.  It was my best fail on record. It’s been a while that I’ve made this but I think it’s been on my top 10 list at the end of year thus to date.

Ricotta Cake with Lemon

Vodka Sauce : Penne alla Vodka is one of those recipes people love to order in an Italian Restaurant.  At least here where I live anyway. It’s one of my favorite sauces to make when I am cooking for a crowd.  And don’t worry about the Alcohol, it burns off…Promise! Whether you are cooking for 2, 4 or more this is a must try!

Watch this being made on Cheftini’s Kitchen HERE

Vodka Sauce

Ricotta Zeppole Another early years blog entry.  Ricotta Zeppole … yum! My mother used to make zeppole all the time when we were little.  I really had no idea how she made them.  Then one day I stumbled across this old recipe for Ricotta Zeppole and gave it  a try. I tweaked it a touch but in the end I was able to make a pretty good Ricotta Zeppole.  The only thing i wish I had to make these just right is a Deep Fryer… that would help make these perfect every time!

Italian Potatoes, Peppers and Eggs Quite honestly, this one came as a surprise to me.  I had no idea so many people even looked at this recipe over the past year.  It’s a classic recipe here in our house and so satisfying.  I think my pictures could use a little updating but overall this one is a winner.  As my mother in law always says “all you need is eggs, potatoes and bread” … and you know what? She’s right!  You can never go wrong with this combo it always makes the perfect dinner!

Potatoes and Eggs

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