Category Archives: recipes

easy as 1, 2, 3

I made these for Valentine’s day for my son’s 2nd grade class.  They were a huge success, and he asked for them again for his birthday instead of the usual cupcake.  It’s a great alternative and a great end to a meal.  Everyone loves these and they are simple and easy to make…and a nice treat for those watching their weight.  These were made with Valhrona Chocolate.  It just so happened that my local grocery store had these beautiful huge chunks of fine chocolate on sale so I grabbed a few blocks.  Just chop the chocolate small and put place in a glass bowl.  You can either melt it over a double boiler or even at a low temp in the microwave for 40 second intervals.  I add a few tablespoons of light corn syrup and you are ready to dip!  The oversized long stemmed strawberries work really well.


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one of my favorite summer salads

i have been making this salad for years.  i truly love it.  very light and refreshing and perfect for summer-time BBQ’ing. takes just a few minutes.

cut kernels off of a 4 ears of corn, dice watermelon (about 1 cup), and slice cucumber into thin slices(1 english cucumber) … finely chop one bunch of fresh tarragon.

for the vinaigrette:  use about 1/4 cup white wine vinegar (or any other white vinegar you like) 1 tsp honey, 1 tsp mustard more fresh and dried tarragon, grated orange zest, about 1/4 c (more or less) of olive oil, salt and pepper.  you will not need to use all of this dressing, maybe half or less.  add just a bit of dressing to start and taste…

keep leftover dressing in fridge, great for salads, as a marinade for chicken or fish, or just drizzle on top of grilled chicken.

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sunday dinner

eggplant fritti

fried chicken cutlets

braciole

sausage

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stuffed artichoke or carciofe

There is nothing more delicious and special than a stuffed artichoke.  My parents made these as a special treat for us growing up.  Sometimes cooked in the oven, sometimes on the stovetop.  This yummy spiral journey  begins by eating each leaf, packed with yummy breadcrumbs and a bit of artichoke.  You must scrape the leaf between your teeth.  Like climbing down a flight of stairs anticipating the last step, you come to the heart.  Ahhhh.  Joy.  Be sure to remove all the fuzzy hairy fibers or “choke” that sit atop, protecting the jewel of this glorious vegetable.

Here is what I think is the best and “foolproof” way of making an artichoke.

First wash the artichoke.  Pull off the outer tough leaves, and then with a scissor trim each leaf so the tips are blunt. Next, with a very sharp knife cut off the top third of the artichoke.  I leave the “choke” intact, i don’t mess with it.  Bring a large pot of  salted water to a boil, drop carciofe in the water and let cook for about 8-10 minutes.  Remove from water, drain excess water.  Stuff them with breadcrumb mixture.

Breadcrumb mixture:

2 cups breadcrumb, 1/2 cup olive oil, 8 cloves garlic finely chopped, 1/2 cup  grated pecorino, bunch of flat leaf parsley chopped, handful of basil leaves chopped, black pepper, 1/2 cup chicken stock

Stir mixture together stuff carciofe (artichoke) and drizzle each one with olive oil.  Roast in oven at 350 for about 45 minutes to one hour.  Cover with foil for first 30 minutes.  You will know when artichoke is done if leaf pulls away with ease.

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puppy cupcakes

 

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angeletti or anisette cookie

I am quite fond of this soft pillow-ey Italian cookie.  I made them last Christmas and decided to make them again this year, but when I started out to make the recipe I did not have enough baking powder.  This recipe calls for a wopping (no pun intended) 6 tbls of baking powder!!  So instead, I found another recipe as a substitute. Not as good!!   So I am going to share with you my favorite recipe for angeletti.   I believe the  transaltion is “little angels”.

4 cups flour

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup milk

2 eggs, large

6 tbls baking powder

3/4 cup oil

1 1/2 tbls anise extract

Icing:

1 tsp anise extract (and hot water as needed) to 1 cup confectioners sugar to make icing smooth.

yield: 40 cookies or so

Mix together dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Make a well in the center and add the oil milk anise and eggs  Mix together with a wooden spoon.  With oiled hands roll into 1″ balls and slightly flatten top.  Bake at 375 for 8 minutes.  Dip cookies into icing while still warm.  Buon Natale!

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my very first buche de noel

I have always wanted to make a bouche de noel and every christmas my mom and I agree to make one, and then chicken out.  so this year I decided I would give it a go.  I think I did ok.  I made a few mistakes that I will share with you.  First, it really helps to watch a few videos (youtube has many).  I watched several.  I chose to use  a recipe from marthastewart.com compliments of Johnny Iuzzini from Jean Georges in NY.  http://www.marthastewart.com/recipes/buche-de-noel

I changed it a little..I  did not make the chestnut cream filling, I used chocolate mousse instead.  Johnny’s genoise recipe is great and easy to roll, the ganache is great too.  You might want to double the ganache recipe, it makes it easier to have extra.  OK, so here is where I screwed up, my mousse was too soft and oozed out a bit, next time I will pop it in the freezer to really thicken it.  Also, after filling and rolling do the following :

1) pop it in the FREEZER for 1 hour.

2) then slice the ends…

3) pour ganache over cake-roll over a sheet pan with rack,

4) adhere stump ends

5) more ganache over cake-roll over a sheet pan with rack,

5) then decorate on serving platter with meringue mushrooms.

I also did not use his swiss meringue recipe.  I whipped up 6 egg whites in an electric mixer (whisk attachment!!) added 1 cup sugar and about 4 tbls of meringue powder…whipped until stiff peaks form.  Use a piping bag and tip #12 to make mushroom caps and stems.  Bake on parchment at 200 for 1 hour.

Happy Holidays!!

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