|My friends and I wish you a wonderful and happy new year!|
Monday, December 19, 2011
|This wonderful appetizer takes about 20 minutes to prepare.|
|You can also make up single-servings and present this as a first course.|
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
|Savoring Times blog suggests these are great to go with coffee, especially with the hole at the top to use for dunking the cookie into your coffee!|
|Icicle Ornament Cookies ready for my guests tonight!|
|These cookies were positioned around my Magnolia wreath.|
Saturday, November 12, 2011
|Here it is again, but with different lighting. You can add so many designs!|
|This photo, I went heavier with the beads.|
Wednesday, November 09, 2011
Friday, November 04, 2011
|Then we come across the famous pig head, all skinned and no way in the world, able to grunt!|
Anyway, the Tuscan version of this sausage is indeed a head cheese: a sausage made from the pigs head and variously seasoned with spices such as pistachios, pepper and some lemon peel. This, by far, is my most favorite sausage from Tuscany.
Head cheese is not exactly a delicacy for many of us, but the Tuscans love it....and as you can see, the proud butcher displays the pigs head indicating that Soppressata is for sale at this spot, right now! Soppressata is served by itself or with other cured meats as an antipasto. It is also necessary to note that Soppressata varies in tastes from region to region in Italy.
Sunday, October 30, 2011
Saturday, October 29, 2011
|Not the best picture, but here comes the pasta. I did it! My very first attempt on my own! I have made pasta before in classes, but never without supervision! I loved making this! And, no written recipe ~|
|I just tossed in a few teaspoons of premium pesto and a tad of grated cheese.The pasta was cooked for two minutes or until al dente. I added a tad of salt to the boiling water before adding the pasta. Drain, then toss though with sauce.|
Saturday, September 10, 2011
|Fresh parsnips located near the carrots in grocery|
|Parsnips cut into small pieces for easy cooking|
|Milk and cream are added during cooking|
1 pound of fresh parsnips
4 garlic cloves, smashed or chopped very finely
1 Thyme sprig, leaves chopped finely
1 cup of whole milk
1 cup of whipping cream
1 stick of unsalted butter
salt to taste
Peel parsnips just like you would carrots. Remove tough ends. Add to medium pan the chopped parsnips, thyme, salt and garlic. Add milk and cream and cook over medium heat until parsnips are tender. This will take at least 20 minutes or more. Drain and save liquid, if there is any left after cooking. Cool parsnips and place in blender or food processor. With processor on low speed, add the butter, blend until smooth. This is when you may need to add some of the reserved liquid to get it to a light and fluffy consistency. I have added heated milk a few times to get it to the consistency I like. It just depends on how creamy you want it to be!
My daughter had us over for dinner not too long ago and this was a side she served with a beef brisket she had prepared. I was delighted to see her take the leap from potatoes to parsnips! The choice was well suited and certainly complimented the brisket. The very first time I tasted parsnips was on one of my trips to New Zealand. I had this veggie as a side with a lamb shank. I had no idea what the vegetable was that I was eating. I knew it wasn't a potato and it was prepared with the same consistency of mashed potatoes.....however, I was stumped! Today I normally serve parsnips along side of lamb shanks or a roasted leg of lamb. It is the perfect combination.... the parsnip matches so well with either beef or lamb.
Thursday, September 08, 2011
|Quick and easy Roman pasta|
1/2 lb. spaghetti
1/4 cup of olive oil
4 large garlic gloves,thinly sliced
1 jar of Antica Enotria organic cherry tomatoes, drained*from Williams-Sonoma
4 large fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
Kosher salt, to taste
Fennel salt, to taste
Fresh grated Pecorino cheese for serving
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, according to the package instructions. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking water. Set aside.
In a large saute pan over medium heat,warm the olive oil. Add the garlic and cook, stirring until fragrant, about one minute. Add the cherry tomatoes and cook for about five minutes, stirring occasionally and gently smashing about half of the tomatoes. Add 1/4 cup of the reserved water and bring to a simmer.
Add the pasta and toss together until well combined and warmed through, about two minutes, adding more cooking water as needed to create a light sauce. Sprinkle with fresh basil and fennel salt. Serve immediately. Serves four. I did substitute the cheese since i had it on hand.
This dish took no time at all to prepare!
Saturday, August 27, 2011
|I used this meal from Trader Joe's|
|Baked until crust turned golden brown|
|Peach Jam Tart|
|I used a good quality peach jam|
1 large egg, plus one extra egg yolk for brushing on lattice top
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1 teaspoon of almond extract
2 cups of flour, plus a little extra for rolling out dough
1 cup of almond meal (flour) sweet and nutty in taste
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 stick of room temperature butter
2/3 cup of sugar
Heat oven to 375 degrees.
Grease a 10 inch tart pan. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg, vanilla and almond extract. Mix the flours together along with the spice in a separate bowl. With mixer running, gradually add the flour ingredients into the butter mixture. Mix on low speed until dough is formed and clumps together. Take the dough and divide 2/3 of the dough to form a ball and shape the remaining 1/3 dough into a ball. Wrap the two forms of dough in plastic and chill for forty five minutes. I found I had to put the dough back in the refrigerator for another ten minutes for the lattice topping. The stiffer it was, the easier it was to lift and place on top of fruit mixture.
Roll out chilled dough on parchment paper. I did use around 3 extra tablespoons of flour while rolling out the dough to create better consistency. Place into the tart pan and spread the peach jam evenly on the dough. Roll out the remaining dough to place on top of jam. Cut the dough into strips and place in lattice pattern on top. Brush with yolk of egg and 1 tablespoon of water. Bake for 30 minutes or until crust is golden brown.
Let cool before cutting. Serves eight. Serve with whipping cream or French Vanilla ice cream.
Friday, August 26, 2011
|Fresh beefsteak tomatoes ready for broiler|
|Tomatoes just out from under the broiler|
Friday, August 19, 2011
|This is what you can do with the beets from your garden like my friend, Julie!|
|And, most likely, you will be growing green onions!|
|If you are not growing beets, I think canned beets will do as well in this recipe.|
|A wonderful and delicious summer treat!|
I was invited to several showers and weddings(outside celebrations) during past two months. No one really was good at predicting how the weather would shake out especially with the cooler temperatures that Seattle has been experiencing all summer. Many friends were so disappointed about the condition of their flower and vegetable gardens~veggies were so stunted! Flowers were not blooming! How can there be weddings outside in this freezing weather?(well not really freezing, but you get the point)Weddings went off without a hitch! Flowers and veggies, not so good! Things are finally warming, growing and shaping up.
One particular friend has a gorgeous garden this summer, but everything is "so not growing."It has just been too cold at nights and really not much above 70 degrees during the daylight. Last Sunday, Julie and I picked beets, little beets, from her garden. We managed to find four and threw them in the gathering basket. Julie wrapped them in foil, baked them to perfection and the rest is history!
There is nothing more pleasing than to have grown your own vegetables and then serve to your family. I can't tell you when I have had a better tasting beet!
Julie, when the other beets are ready, here is a quick recipe for you!
ROASTED BEETS WITH FETA
Peel 4 medium beets and cut into 1/2 inch pieces.
Toss with 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
Add one teaspoon of salt. Pepper to your liking.
Spread the beets on a baking sheet and roast until tender at 450 degrees, about 35 minutes.
Transfer to a bowl and toss in 4 chopped scallions.
Add 2 teaspoons of lemon juice, fresh if you have it.
Top with crumbled feta cheese. Serve chilled.
Another way to cook the beets is to bake then in foil, remove the skin, slice and just toss (roast) in the oven for ten minutes more with the oil, salt and pepper. Cool and add onions.
Thursday, August 18, 2011
|Boozy Peaches from Food Network|
|Toasted pecans add that extra crunch!|
For a quick seasonal dessert~
Slice 3 or 4 peaches, depending on size, with 1 tablespoon of brown sugar
Add 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
Set aside and keep cool for 30 minutes or more
Whisk 1 cup of heavy whipping cream until it just starts to thicken. Beat in 4 teaspoons of brown sugar.
Add 4 teaspoons of bourbon and beat the whipping cream until soft peaks have formed.
Layer the peaches and cream in dessert glasses.
Top with toasted pecans.
Serves 4 ~so easy and beautiful to serve!