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My Version of the famous La Scala Salad

La Scala is a restaurant in Beverly Hills, Ca. that is famous for their chopped salad. The ingredients are yummy and so so easy to make. It’s like eating an Italian Hero in salad form and what’s wrong with that?

It is full of delicious ingredients — lettuce, garbanzo beans/chick peas , cheese and salami and the vinaigrette is savory and perfect. It’s an old school recipe from the 50’s that still holds up by today’s standards. The best part of this salad is you can substitute and add whatever you like I always add tomatoes, if you don’t like salami or pepperoni use turkey or chicken, cucumbers would be good, pickles or artichokes instead of garbanzo beans, some banana peppers or olives and of course romaine instead of iceberg or combine the two. I love a good chopped salad and love iceberg as the base just be sure and chop up good so there are pieces in every bite. I like the salad as is but feel free to experiment. It’s basic and very simple and rumor has it that it’s Kim Kardashian’s fav salad but honestly this salad has been around for around 60 years.




this is what I used

1 head iceberg lettuce finely chopped

1/4 lb. Italian salami , thinly sliced — julienned or just chop it

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

1 can chick peas/garbanzo beans ,rinsed and well drained


1/3 cup olive oil – EVVO extra virgin olive oil always

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

2 tsp. dijon mustard

1/2 tsp. kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper ( around 1/4 tsp.) a few good grinds of the pepper mill

1/4 cup grated parmesan or pecorino romano


I used a glass measuring cup to make salad dressing because I wasn’t dressing whole salad for the two of us. I have 1/2 the salad left over for tomorrow and was storing dressing and salad . If salad is dressed it will wilt and I don’t like it like that. So I dressed our salad separately . This salad will serve 4 nicely.

Combine the oil, vinegar, mustard , salt and pepper with a small whisk if you have one . Add in the cheese and continue to whisk. If no whisk a fork will do.

Dressing will last a few days in fridge and I will eat the salad again for lunch tomorrow so that’s just perfect!

S’mores Dip

Melted Chocolate and Toasty Marshmallows!!! This is a hit for your next party or just for your family. Who says it’s only for camping out? This was made in the oven very quickly and came out perfectly delicious and perfect all year round.  A few minutes in the oven and a few minutes to prep and you have a delicious most fun dessert to serve. Serve it with graham crackers or graham cracker sticks and watch it disappear. You can also mix it with peanut butter chips for a little bit different spin on S’mores. All I can say is yum!

Happy Memorial Day and Happy Summer!


app. 1 regular size bag of  chocolate chips, you can use semi-sweet, milk chocolate, peanut butter chips or any combo.

Marshmallows- start out with a whole bag — you’ll probably use 3/4 of the bag –you can use minis or the large ones but I just used regular sized this time which are readily available

Graham Cracker Squares–for dipping

I used an 8 inch cast iron skillet– it makes for a great presentation and it cooks perfectly– just be very very careful with serving it because skillet will be very hot — careful supervision with this one


Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and spray the cast iron pan with cooking spray ( this will help with clean up)  Pour the chips you’re using in an even layer on the bottom of the skillet.  Bake for3-4  minutes or until chocolate chips are melted . Watch closely because you don’t want to burn. Using an oven mitt –remove the skillet from the oven and stir the chocolate around  then cover the top with the marshmallows completely. Bake for another 4-5 minutes or until marshmallows are browned on top. ( see photo)  Serve immediately with graham cracker squares —only tip is to be very careful , because the dip and the pan will be very hot!!!! you’ll have to supervise with little ones and even some of the over anxious adults. You can let it rest for about 4-5 minutes before serving. But it should be served hot.

*if you don’t have a skillet you may use another oven-safe baking dish like a 9×13 pyrex would work . Chocolate does melt more evenly in cast-iron skillet and it retains heat better. 

*you can adjust the amounts of chocolate and marshmallows to your liking, and the size of the skillet. Some of these photos show the jumbo sized marshmallows which will work just as well or you can cut them in 1/2. 

*use whatever kind of chips you like, and any kind of marshmallows you like — mini marshmallows work well here too.

Chicken Shawarma

I got this recipe from Pamela Salzman’s cookbook Kitchen Matters. I absolutely loved it. I made the chicken and then proceeded to turn it into a rice bowl. The rice bowl accompaniments can be whatever you like. I use Tzatziki Sauce instead of Tahini white sauce. You can also serve over salad which is quite delicious as well. Greek Salad in particular would be great! Add some delicious pita or Naan bread and it’s perfection! I made a side order of roasted peppers and onions and you can add mushrooms as well. I did this in the oven about an hour before dinner. (cut up peppers and onions add a little olive oil to coat and salt and pepper and 400 degrees for about 45 minutes )Big thumbs up on the peppers and onions in the rice bowl. Feta cheese is a must here! (buy a good one) and pepperoncini in mine!

I cooked on my outside grill but this can be cooked indoors on a baking sheet at 400 degrees for about 35 minutes. Or use a grill pan which would probably cook faster — either way it is delicious.

I also highly recommend marinating for as long as possible. I prepared the chicken in the morning and probably marinated for about 7 hours. Minimum of 1 hour and you can do overnight as well. This marinade was very flavorful.

Thanks to


1/4 cup good extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice– I used 2 average sized lemons

2 teaspoons kosher salt

2 teaspoons cumin

2 teaspoons paprika

1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric

1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon — I used a heaping 1/8 teaspoon

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper– I used a heaping 1/8 here too

Several grinds of freshly ground black pepper –probably 1/4 teaspoon as well

4 minced garlic cloves

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs


prepare the marinade– Combine all the marinade ingredients in a large glass bowl. Add the raw chicken and toss to coat. Marinade in the fridge for as many hours as you can — this was key. Remove the chicken from the fridge about 1/2 hour before cooking.

I cooked on my outside grill for about 7 minutes on each side. I like the outside edges a little crispy since I don’t have a revolving spit to cook my chicken on this is as close as I could get.

I sliced up chicken served it in a rice bowl and we each used different accompaniments. The peppers and onions were perfect with it. Highly recommend it and you can buy store bought tzatziki which would be just fine. Would be good with some delicious toasted pita or naan bread.

Baked Balsamic Chicken Parmigiana

As all of you know from reading my blog and following my recipes I have truly embraced the one pan meals. They are so super easy to prepare and cook not to mention cleaning up is pretty snappy.  I threw this recipe together the other night and I have to say it was pretty tasty.  Juicy roasted tomatoes and balsamic vinegar act as a delicious sauce for this wonderful week-day meal but why not for the weekend as well? You’ll love the tomato balsamic sauce not to mention melted mozzarella cheese! This is a keeper and the little bit of red onion added another delicious layer of flavor to this tasty dish. This is what I did, I actually gave you all a few options in the ingredients dept. so mix and match what works best for you .IMG_0265IMG_0266IMG_0269IMG_0272


3-4 skinless chicken breasts ( I used 3 breasts for the two of us) 1 nice size chicken breast per person is probably a good guess.

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

1 Teaspoon Italian Seasonings — if you don’t have this use 1/2 tsp. dried basil and 1/2 tsp. dried oregano

1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

Freshly Ground Black Pepper to taste

2 Teaspoons of Garlic Powder — divided or use 1 1/2 Tablespoons Fresh Garlic which would probably be 5-6 garlic cloves

1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes which I left whole if you’d like for a mushier sauce you can 1/2 the tomatoes

1/4 red onion, peeled and thinly sliced

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

1 Tablespoon packed brown sugar–if you want to omit the sugar you can — I used it

3/4 cup to 1 cup Mozzarella Cheese — I used shredded

*you can garnish with fresh chopped parsley or fresh basil


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Place chicken breasts in a sprayed ( Pam or any other baking spray you like) and drizzle with the olive oil. Season with dried seasonings and if you’re using fresh garlic 1 Tablespoon of it here.

Rub seasonings all over the chicken.  Put tomatoes and red onion around the chicken in the baking dish.

Whisk together the balsamic vinegar, sugar and garlic powder or remaining 1/2 Tablespoon of fresh minced garlic. Pour over the chicken breasts and flip each breast to evenly coat.

Bake in pre-heated oven for app. 20-25 minutes depending on the thickness of your chicken breasts or until chicken is no longer pink in the middle. You can cut into a piece to check for doneness.

When chicken is cooked through sprinkle with cheese and set oven to broil for 4-5 minutes or until cheese is melted .

This would be delicious served over rice or pasta but we just ate it as is and it was pretty delicious on its own.

Sheet Pan Mustard Salmon with Vegetables

Now you all know how very much I love a sheetpan meal. So very easy to prepare and cook and so delicious to eat. This is what I did. You can substitute sweet potatoes if you’d like. I used Broccolini but you can use regular broccoli, cauliflower or asparagus or any veggie you like.

I really slather on the mustard because I love the strong mustard flavor but feel free to add less or more depending on your own taste.


*this recipe is for 2 people feel free to double up for more — there’s no exact science going on here so feel free to swap in or out what ingredients you prefer


4 fingerling potatoes or any potatoes you’d like I used yukon gold this time because that’s what I had in the house

app. 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil in total but if you feel you need more– be my guest

Kosher Salt and black pepper to taste

2 Salmon Fillets or 1 piece of Salmon app. 1 lb. ( I used a 1/4 lb. for the two of us and had some left over)

3- 8 Tablespoons Maille Old Style Mustard — I just slathered the top of the salmon

1/2 cup cherry or grape tomatoes

small bunch of Broccolini or it’s equivalent for another vegetable


Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and pre-heat to 400 degrees. I sprayed a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray.

Place potatoes in a bowl and drizzle with 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil and a little kosher salt and black pepper. Stir to coat and arrange the potatoes cut-side down . Bake for app. 15 minutes . Obviously yukon gold or sweet potatoes you’ll just arrange on baking sheet since you can’t do cut-side down.

Meanwhile pat salmon dry and brush with Mustard.

Toss the broccolini and cherry tomatoes in a clean mixing bowl with 1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil and sprinkle with Salt and Pepper. If it doesn’t look like enough oil add a little bit.

After the initial 15 minutes, remove tray from oven and push potatoes to edges of pan, creating enough room for salmon in the center of baking sheet and arrange the broccolini and tomatoes around the salmon. Using tongs flip over potatoes to cook evenly .

Bake for about 15 minutes depending on the size and thickness of your salmon. If veggies are getting to burnt use tongs and remove and put on plate and cover with foil. It should only be a few more minutes for salmon to be done and I didn’t remove my broccolini because I like it charred.

If you don’t want potatoes you can just cook salmon and vegetables and use rice or leave out the carbs if you so desire. It’s delicious and since I made a little extra salmon it was delicious the next day for lunch.

Easy Skillet Lasagna

This was truly one of the most epic meals! The whole meal in under an hour.  While I love a real lasagna I didn’t want to put the whole thing together and deal with it. Once you have the ingredients the prep time is minimal and you aren’t using store bought sauce.  You will be making the sauce and it will all cook together in the pan .  This can be done a few different ways and I invite you to play around with the ingredients and spices to your own liking. All I can say is Wow!  Delicious! Perfect Sunday night dinner .  All in one pot is truly a great way to cook, no fuss, no muss and no having to deal with cooking lasagna noodles!!!!!! Yeah!

This can easily be made with ricotta cheese and spinach or any veggies you like. I would even try it with cut up eggplant!

*You’ll need a large oven proof skillet with lid

*perfect for freezing leftovers


1 to 1/2 Tablespoon Olive Oil–I used 1 1/2 you can start with 1 and add more to onions if you need it

1/2 lb. ground beef ( I used 80/20)

3 Italian sausage links, casings removed ( I used Hot Italian Sausage) use what you like , you can use turkey or chicken sausage as well

1 onion, diced

1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes

1 8oz.can tomato sauce

*Italian seasonings , if you have Italian seasonings in a jar that’s great if not use a little dried oregano and dried basil. Italian Seasonings is available in the spice department of all food stores.

*1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

App. 1/4 tsp. Kosher Salt and more to taste

2-3 garlic cloves, minced

app. 10 lasagna noodles, broken into 1/4’s, if it breaks up differently don’t worry it’s a very loose recipe! 8 ounces Farfalle Pasta also works if you don’t feel like using the lasagna noodles. Un-cooked Noodles!!!!!

8 oz. mozzarella balls ( fresh) I used the small ones this time. Use whatever cheese you like but these worked out beautifully.  You can always use shredded mozzarella, or just cut a large ball of mozzarella into small pieces ( as much or as little as you’d like) if using shredded mozzarella, you’ll need about 1 cup

2 cups water

Freshly grated Parmesan Cheese for serving

*you can also use 1 cup Ricotta Cheese for a very cheesy version, I would use this if I was making it with spinach and going veggie.


Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook till translucent, add garlic towards the end of onion process. Add ground beef to the onions, stirring occasionally till browned. I removed with slotted spoon and set aside in a bowl. I then cooked up the sausage making sure to crumble the sausage as it cooked.  I then removed sausage to bowl with meat , onions, and garlic and drained all excess fat from pan.

Pre-heat the oven to Broil.

Return meat to pan, add tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, spices, add 1/4 tsp. kosher salt to taste, if you need more add it. Add in the meat mixture and stir, bring to a simmer and add in broken lasagna pieces and 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat and simmer until pasta is cooked through, about 13- 15 minutes for al dente. I stirred it gently a few times just to make certain that the noodles cooked through and didn’t stick together.

Remove from the heat . I placed my Mozzarella on top and placed in oven under broiler for about 5 mins. Check on it because you don’t want it to blacken. All ovens are different, in mine it needed about 6 minutes to just start browning without burning, but you don’t want to burn this up so set timer and keep an eye on it!

Remove from the oven and let it sit out for a few minutes. Plate it up and let everyone add their own parmesan cheese! Enjoy! you will.


Plated up and ready to eat


Finished Product


adding mozzarella before placing under broiler


placing un-cooked noodles into sauce

This would serve 4. It’s tough to double because you would need a super large pan.

This makes for an amazing leftover!

Air Fryer Salmon

In the past year I have finally broken down and started cooking in the air fryer. It is no small announcement when I tell you that salmon cooked in the air fryer is truly something to brag about. It is seriously tasty and I have to say better than a lot of the salmon I’ve ordered out. If you haven’t tried an air fryer maybe it’s time. I generally hate purchasing another new kitchen appliance especially a rather large one but this one is worth it. If you DO have one you know what I’m talking about. Salmon and Chicken are delicious in the air fryer along with vegetables and potatoes. This recipe is very easy and since my oven is still out of commission it’s a perfect stand-in.

This recipe is very easy and very loose and what I did last night. Served with rice pilaf ( since my stove-top is still working) and a green salad.


2 Salmon Fillets — about 6-8 oz. each

Kosher Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 Tablespoon brown sugar or you can use Honey

1 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard

1/2 Tablespoon Olive Oil

1/2 Tablespoon low sodium soy sauce

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder


with paper towels, pat the salmon dry. Sprinkle lightly on top with Salt and Pepper

For easy cleanup I always spray the air fryer with cooking spray

Pre-heat the air fryer to 400 degrees for about 5 minutes

In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar, dijon, oil, soy sauce and garlic powder. Spoon over the top of the salmon.

Cook the salmon in the air fryer for 6-10 minutes depending on thickness of salmon. Around 1″ salmon fillets will take about 8 minutes. Do not over cook or the salmon will be dry. Salmon is done when it registers 145 degrees with and instant read thermometer .I like to remove mine a few degrees early, let it rest, the carryover cooking will finish the job. You can easily check it a few times towards the end to make sure it doesn’t overcook.

I love cold salmon so leftovers are perfect.

Ridiculously easy and delicious!

Blueberry Banana Bundt Cake

I had rotten bananas and I had some blueberries and I had all the other ingredients for this delicious bundt cake in the house. It took about 20 minutes to prep and another 50 minutes in the oven and it’s going into the freezer for another time and place. This cake freezes so well and the bananas were going in the garbage so there you have it –snacking cake for another time. You can freeze this cake for up to 3 months, but make sure you wrap it up carefully and mark the date you freeze it on the bag.


This would make a lovely addition to a Mother’s Day luncheon or dinner.

  • when I freeze I usually cut up into sections rather than freeze the whole cake –it’s easier to freeze and takes up less space in the freezer and if I just want a small piece it works out best!


1 1/4 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon fine salt (table salt)

1/2 cup butter unsalted and softened

3/4 cup sugar

3 large eggs — room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 bananas mashed– very ripe black bananas

1 cup blueberries — rinsed and dried


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. I spray a Bundt Pan with Bakers Aid Spray– you can use other sprays but I prefer this one for baking

In a large bowl combine the flour, baking soda and salt with a wire whisk. Set it aside

Cream Butter and Sugar in an Electric Mixer. Add eggs one at a time and the vanilla. Beat until well combined

Add the flour Mixture to the bowl and Combine until just mixed. Fold in the Blueberries and Bananas with a spatula

Pour the batter into the sprayed Bundt Pan

Bake for 50 minutes. Check with a cake tester or toothpick till it comes out clean.


Easy Israeli Salad

This salad is so delicious and fresh and works so well with grilled chicken, fish or really any protein. It’s a perfect accompaniment to a BBQ.

I just love it for lunch or dinner and it’s so easy that anyone can do it. Add in feta cheese, olives, or canned chick peas to add to this wonderful deliciousness.

Whatever and whenever you decide to serve this it will be most wonderful.

Just a word about making ahead… I chopped and diced all the vegetables and put in a bowl and put in the fridge. I juiced my lemon and had it set aside. Right before serving I added olive oil and lemon juice stirred it up well and tasted for salt and pepper.

If you add oil and lemon juice too soon it will be very soggy and I don’t like it that way at all. So just have it all ready to serve and add dressing right before.


this is what I used feel free to substitute or add in whatever you’d like. ( Canned Chick Peas are also delicious in this) Olives, Scallions, Feta Cheese, whatever you feel like.

1 Large Seedless Cucumber or remove the seeds from a seeded one or just keep the seeds if you don’t care

1 box grape tomatoes halved

1 yellow pepper, diced or an orange one. I used orange and yellow about 1/2 and 1/2

1/2 cup diced red onion

2 Tbsp. Fresh Parsley , chopped

3 Tablespoons Lemon Juice

2-3 Tablespoons Olive Oil– I used 3 but you can start with 2 add the salt and pepper and add for more flavor after

Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper

*I love chick peas so I always add about 1/2 can of rinsed and drained chickpeas and of course a little feta never hurt anyone either — use as much or as little as you’d like and of course some Kalamata olives work very well here as well– obviously you can make this delicious salad your way


In a large bowl, toss together all the vegetables. Add the lemon juice, olive oil and chopped parsley and mix thoroughly to coat.

Season with Salt and Pepper to your liking. Serve cold or at room temperature. I like it cold but it’s delicious either way.

Passover 2023

Passover is right around the corner. Passover will start on Wednesday April 5 through Evening of April 13 this year. It’s a great time to sit down with family and friends and celebrate. First Seder is April 5 and the second Seder is April 6. It’s a holiday commemorating the emancipation of Jewish people from slavery in ancient Egypt.

There are many traditional foods during Passover and I will share my recipes with you. Everyone has special foods and traditions that they like to follow. Certain foods are always expected on the table along with a new one here and there. Traditionally Charoset, Gefilte Fish, and Matzo Ball Soup are on the table . Brisket or Chicken with a multitude of side dishes.

If you do observe Passover, I hope you have a wonderful Holiday and I hope you enjoy these recipes.

I will be posting my favorite tried and true recipes for the rest of the week — any questions you can email me or DM me on Instagram or FB. I will be as helpful as I can be.

Enjoy and Happy Pesach!

This is a list of some of the recipes I will be posting. If you’re interested in any of them you can go to and put the name of the recipe in the search box. You can also just google the recipe along with cooking with Candi that always works. As I said starting tomorrow I will be posting some of these wonderful recipes.

These are some of my go-to’s and all recipes are @cookingwithcandi

Homemade Chicken Soup with no Homemade Matzoh Balls

Traditional Ashkenazi Charoset

Passover Popovers

Slow Cooked Brisket

Happy New Year Brisket

Un-Stuffed Cabbage — one of my personal favorites in place of Sweet and Sour Meatballs and it cooks on the stovetop so it frees up the oven !

Grandma Regina’s Farfel–My Grandma Regina lives on through this recipe and it is always on our Seder Table — it’s a little tricky to make but totally worth the effort

Honey Roasted Chicken

Chicken Marbella-– we love this Silver Palate staple and it is almost always on our seder table

Old School Meatballs–Sweet and Sour and delicious also made on the stovetop so frees up the oven

Apricot Honey Mustard Chicken

Peach Farfel-– a must — just ask anyone who’s ever made it

Bree’s slow cooked skirt steaks— I sometimes make this in place of Brisket– using the slow cooker for the steak or the brisket frees up your oven for other items

Karyn’s Cranberry Apple Crisp for Passover — a must have for every table — made especially for Passover and you can make it for dessert if you prefer!

Judy’s Apple Matzoh Kugel for Passover

Sweet Matzoh Pudding

Spinach Soufflé for Passover–so very easy and it’s vegetarian but it contains dairy so if you’re kosher this won’t work for you

Passover Cobbler

My Favorite Macaroons — Traditional Style for Passover and always on my table

Julie’s Brownies for Passover

Chocolate Bark Surprise

Marcy’s Matzoh Crunch Candy— super delicious and easy to make and very addictive — a most amazing Passover Dessert

Meringue Cookies

Ellen’s Passover Apple Cake

Matzoh Brei

Enjoy! and watch for my recipes but feel free to peek ahead and look at them.