Butter basil and breadcrumbs – simple. rustic. delish. life is good.

Honestly, My mom makes the best Biscotti. While I didn’t add them here, she’ll add a teaspoon of anise seed once in a while. I love that, because when you bite into a seed, the sweet burst of anise is such a delight! Marsh also makes the glaze a little thinner, and then dips the whole cookie in! She lets them sit out to dry, so that when you bite into the cookie, you get that wonderful sugary crunch!

I can honestly say that Marsh has never put sprinkles in her recipe, but I did bring a plateful of them to her to taste, and she was delighted with the prism of colors! I received the thumbs up, which is honestly no surprise, because I could bring her a plateful of my chocolate chip cookies (which you all know that I’m a chocolate chip cookie failure) and she would rave over them, as all mothers would.

I didn’t really need thumbs up from the master of Biscotti, because I know that this is a foolproof recipe! You don’t even need to pull out your mixer; it can be mixed the old fashioned way…by hand. You can make them any size you’d like, just by the number of loaves you make with this dough. For these supersize cookies, I made one 8-9″ wide loaf. For smaller, shape the dough into to loaves, for even small bite size cookies, shape the dough into three loaves! Once you have the loaf shaped, you bake it for about 30 minutes. Take it out of the oven, and let it sit for about 10 minutes. You want it to still be warm so that it’s easy to slice. Slice the loaf into 1/2″ wedges. And then place the cookies back onto the baking sheet, and bake for about 7 minutes. Turn them over, and bake for another 7 minutes, or until they’re golden in color.

I think it was about three years ago when a cheese shop in town was having a macaroni and cheese contest. I was all over that, and signed up to enter. I planned to make this Lobster Macaroni and Cheese. I practiced and practiced. I tested and taste tested. When I made it for my family to taste, they loved it. They were sick of it, of course…but they had all the confidence that I was going to win.

Well, I chickened out. I backed out of the contest about a week before. It was definitely a lack of self confidence that kept me from entering. I was really afraid to go up against all those people in that contest, knowing that there are so many variations of mac and cheese, and everyone has their own favorite version. This one is really a basic recipe.

Don’t be fooled by the amount of pasta used in this recipe…I promise, it’s plenty. This recipe fills four 12 ounce crocks or cocottes! The combination of lobster with the cheese and pasta will leave you feeling decadently satisfied. I love a mix of cheese in my macaroni and cheese…and the sweet chunks of lobster drink up the sharp tang from the romano, the creaminess of the cheddar, and especially the heat from the pepper jack! It is the perfect amount of creaminess with a little chunk of sweet lobster in every bite!

Let’s talk about these lettuce wraps that I made this past weekend. My daughters Jessica and Katie introduced me to them a few years ago at P.F. Chang’s….and then again at the Cheesecake Factory. I think I lost my mind for a while. I went through a Lettuce Wraps phase, in which that’s all I made. We spent endless weekends trying to get the flavors right. I found recipes on the internet, and changed them up to suit our tastes. I’d say that Genius Kitchen’s recipe is the best…and with a couple of changes here and there… this is the one that I like to use.

Look at it this way… you could get into your car and drive to the restaurant. You could sit and wait to be waited on…and then wait for your food to come to the table….and it’s only one plateful that you’ll be receiving. You have to pay mega bucks for this dish…and then you have to drive home. That’s way more than an hour! Plus this makes around 12 lettuce wraps, and it costs a lot less than going to the restaurant! I say it is a win, win.