Latest Obsessions

January 25, 2011 § Leave a comment

I’ve been obsessed with 2 foods lately: grapefruits & roasted brussel sprouts.

You were probably thinking I was going to say I was obsessed with some kind of sweet treat.  Not this time.

If I could only eat 1 fruit for the rest of my life, it would be these.

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I’ve also had these for dinner for the past two nights.  And two or three nights last week.

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Obsessed much? At least it’s a healthy obsession to have Winking smile.

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Back to School

January 22, 2011 § Leave a comment

What am I up to today?

A little bit of this.

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A lot of this.

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And definitely many cups of this.

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Yes, it’s back to doing school work again.  Happy Saturday!

Recipes from Tuscany, Part IV

January 7, 2011 § 1 Comment

This is the final recipe from the Recipes of Tuscany collection – a dessert recipe!

Almond Biscotti

  • 2 ½  cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¾  teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½  cups sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
  • 1 ½  teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup whole roasted almonds

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Directions

Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees.

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and spray with Pam.  Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Make a well on your work surface with the flour mixture and put four eggs, honey, lemon peel and vanilla in the middle.

Stir egg mixture until blended then gradually mix in the dry ingredients until blended.  Mix in almonds.

Make 2 logs (12” x 2”) and place on the baking sheet.  Pat down slightly.

Brush with egg wash made from the remaining egg and sprinkle 1-2 tablespoons of sugar on top.

Bake until golden – approximately 18 minutes at 375 degrees.

Cool for 10 minutes and reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees.  Cut the biscotti ½ inch thick on a slight diagonal.  Arrange slices cut side down back on the baking sheet.  Bake until golden – approximately 12 minutes.

Cool completely then store air tight.   Makes about 40 pieces.

Enjoy!

Recipes from Tuscany, Part III

January 5, 2011 § Leave a comment

I’m sharing two recipes for this particular dish – the tortelli with ricotta and a ragu sauce.  Feel free to substitute your favorite sauce if you prefer!

Tortelli with Ricotta Filling

  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 spoonful of extra virgin olive oil
  • A pinch of salt
  • Water
  • 8 ounces ricotta
  • A handful of parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg
  • Italian parsley
  • Salt and pepper

Sift flour and make a well in the center.  Add whole eggs, olive oil, and salt.  Mix with fork taking eggs a little at a time until all are blended into the flour.  Add water if necessary.  Knead dough.

Place in pasta machine and roll out in sheets to desired thickness.  Lay sheets on flour covered work surface and add filling, spacing evenly.  Fold over and press to seal.

For the filling, mix the ricotta, parmesan cheese, egg, parsley and salt and pepper.

Boil tortelli until cooked and top with Ragu sauce.

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Ragu Sauce

  • 1  red onion
  • 2  cloves garlic
  • 1  leek
  • 1  carrot
  • 2  stalks celery
  • 3  sage leaves
  • Chopped Italian parsley
  • 3 quarts canned Italian plum tomatoes
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3/4 cup red wine

Chop the vegetables and sauté in olive oil with the sage leaves.  Let cook down and add black pepper and ¾  cup red wine.  Simmer for 1-2 hours.

If sauce becomes too thick, add water.

Enjoy!

Paula Deen Dish Debut

January 5, 2011 § 1 Comment

For Christmas, Troy got my mom and dad a decorative Paula Deen dish.  My mom decided to make eggplant parmesan in it for its first use!

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Sauteed spinach and Italian bread brushed with olive oil & garlic accompanied the eggplant parm.

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Gotta love Paula Deen!

New Year’s Celebration

January 3, 2011 § 1 Comment

Hey everyone!  Just wanted to share a few pictures from New Year’s Eve.  Troy and I joined our friends Rory and Lucy, and Lucy’s parents, for dinner at Max London’s Restaurant on Broadway in Saratoga Springs, NY.  Our reservations were at 9pm and we had the most delicious dinner!  I got a rock shrimp and pancetta risotto, Troy got a wonderful orecchiette pasta dish with roasted cauliflower and truffle cream.  Other amazing appetizers, salads, and entrees enjoyed that night included fried oysters, foie gras served with crostini, lentil salad with goat cheese, and a delicious apple salad.  Plus tons of bread and champagne!

Troy and I at dinner

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By the time we finished up with dinner, it was almost time for the ball to drop!  We watched the ball drop in the restaurant then headed upstairs to continue the celebration with a good old-fashioned dance party!  Our friend Filipe hired a DJ for the night and decorated the dance floor with awesome lights.  We had so much fun!

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Here’s to an amazing 2011!  Smile

Recipes from Tuscany, Part II

January 3, 2011 § 5 Comments

Here is another recipe from my parent’s trip to Italy!

Pappa col Pomodoro (Tomato and Bread Soup)

  • 2 cups stale Tuscan bread
  • 11 ounces whole canned Italian plum tomatoes
  • 10 cloves garlic
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • Handful of fresh basil leaves
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Heat the garlic and olive oil in a pot.  When garlic begins to turn color, add a few basil leaves.  Cut the bread into cubes and add to pot to absorb flavors.  Add the tomatoes, broth, rest of the basil and salt and pepper to taste.  Simmer 30-40 minutes adding more broth if the soup gets too thick.

Put soup through a vegetable mill or potato masher and serve hot with a small amount of olive oil on top.  Eat and enjoy!

 

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