The Internet can be the cook's best friend

By Ellen Folkman, Times Correspondent
Published November 28, 2007

Karen Flood wanted the chicken Angelo recipe from Rossi's restaurant in New Port Richey. Cindy Shea shares a recipe she found on the Internet and hopes it's what Karen wanted.

Shirley Buttacavoli wanted a refrigerator cookie recipe that included cocoa, coconut and nuts. Dianne Bilodeau and Myrtle Ratzel share a chocolate no bake drop cookie recipe for her to try.

Red velvet cake is the recipe Cameron Wetzel requested. Alice Carter shares a traditional red velvet cake recipe. Although Alice does not include a recipe for the frosting, she says the red velvet cake is best with a cream cheese frosting. Cindy Shea shares a red velvet cheesecake for something different.

Recipe requests

Wanda Dougherty's Pennsylvania mother used to make an anise cookie. Wanda would like a recipe for these cookies.

Martha Knudsen's request is a challenge. On the Food Network she saw a Food Byte clip presented by Lays potato chips for fried chicken with a potato chip crust. She thinks the recipe had buttermilk in it. She didn't write it down because she thought she could get on the Web site. She couldn't, and a call to Frito-Lay was futile. Martha hopes a reader can help.

Janet Kaesemeyer's grandchild has food allergies, and she would like recipes for holiday cookies and/or treats that do not contain eggs and nuts. She doesn't want the child to miss out.

Stella De Leo would like a recipe for an Italian cookie called pignolia. Stella says they are delicious, have an almond taste and are an Italian tradition at weddings. She'd like to make some for the holidays; can you help?

Send requests to You Asked For It, St. Petersburg Times, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731 or e-mail youaskedforit@knology.net. Put "Recipe request" in the subject line. Be sure to include your name, city and phone.

- - - 


Southern Living's Red Velvet Cheesecake

For: Cameron Wetzel of Tampa
From: Cindy Shea of Spring Hill 

1 1/2 cups chocolate graham cracker crumbs

1/2 cup butter, melted

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

3 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

4 large eggs, lightly beaten

3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa

1 cup sour cream

1/2 cup whole buttermilk

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar

2 (1-ounce) bottles red food coloring

1 (3-ounce) package cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup butter, softened

2 cups powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Garnish: fresh mint, optional

- In a bowl, stir together graham cracker crumbs, melted butter and 1 tablespoon granulated sugar; press mixture into bottom of 9-inch springform pan.

- Beat 3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese and 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar at medium-low speed with an electric mixer 1 minute. Add eggs and next 6 ingredients, mixing on low speed just until fully combined.

- Bake at 325 degrees for 10 minutes; reduce heat to 300 and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until center is firm. Run knife along outer edge of cheesecake. Turn off oven. Let cheesecake stand in oven 30 minutes.

- Remove cheesecake from oven; cool in pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Cover and chill 8 hours.

Beat 1 (3-ounce) package cream cheese and 1/4 cup butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth; gradually add powdered sugar and vanilla, beating until smooth. Spread evenly over top of cheesecake. Remove sides of springform pan. Garnish, if desired.

Makes 8 to 10 servings.

- - -

Chocolate No Bake Drop Cookies

For: Shirley Buttacavoli of Holiday
From: Dianne Bilodeau of Inverness and Myrtle Ratzel of New Port Richey

1 stick margarine

2 cups sugar

4 tablespoons cocoa

1/2 cup milk

Pinch of salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup coconut

3 cups oatmeal

1 cup chopped pecans

- Bring margarine, sugar, cocoa, milk and salt to a boil for 4 minutes.

- Remove from heat and add remaining ingredients. Drop by teaspoon onto waxed paper and allow to set and cool.

- - -

Red Velvet Cake

For: Cameron Wetzel of Tampa
From: Alice Carter of Seminole 

1 cup Crisco

1 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 tablespoons cocoa

1/4 cup red food coloring

2 1/2 cups flour

1 cup buttermilk

1 tablespoon vinegar

1 teaspoon baking soda

- Cream together Crisco, salt and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla and beat 1 minute.

- Mix cocoa and food color to a paste consistency. Add to Crisco mixture.

- Add flour alternately with buttermilk. Add vinegar and baking soda last.

- Pour batter evenly into 2 8- or 9-inch pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until cakes test done.

- - -

Creamy Chicken Angelo and Pasta

For: Karen Flood of New Port Richey
From: Cindy Shea of Spring Hill 

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 egg, lightly beaten

1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 ounces mozzarella cheese, finely shredded

3/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

5 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1/4 pound mushrooms, sliced

1 can artichoke hearts, quartered

2 medium tomatoes, seeded and cut into 1/8-inch pieces

1 1/2 cups half-and-half

2 tablespoons sherry

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

6 ounces angel hair pasta, cooked according to package directions

Chopped parsley, for garnish

- Beat egg in small bowl. On waxed paper, mix 1/3 cup flour, mozzarella, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Pound chicken flat between two pieces of plastic wrap. Dip chicken in egg and then dredge in flour mixture. Prepare water for pasta.

- In a large skillet, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil. Cook chicken until tender and browned, about 3 minutes on each side. Remove to platter to keep warm.

- To the drippings in skillet, add remaining olive oil. Add mushrooms, artichoke hearts and tomato. Cook until mushrooms are tender. Stir in 2 tablespoons flour and salt and pepper to taste. Cook 1 minute. Stir in half-and-half and sherry; cook, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens.

- Cook pasta. Add Parmesan cheese to sauce and stir until melted.

- Remove 1 cup of sauce and toss with drained pasta. Put some of the pasta, a piece of chicken and additional sauce on each plate. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.

Makes 4 servings.