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Saturday, May 12, 2012

Tomato, basil and mozzarella with balsamic & olive oil

Slice 3 medium tomatoes
shred about 4 ounces of mozzarella
Sprinkle with shredded basil

mix a vinagrette with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper and 1/4 t. dijon mustard.

Splash dressing over tomato mixture.

All must be absolutely fresh.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Beef, Italian Sausage and Spinach Ravioli

1 recipe pasta dough

1 T. olive oil
6 ounces Italian sausage
6 oz. ground meat
1 clove garlic, pressed
½ cup blanched and chopped spinach – (6 oz)
1 t. dried herbs
Salt and pepper to taste
2 eggs
2 T. grated parmesan cheese
Dash nutmeg
Brown and crumble beef and sausage and olive oil. Drain off oil, place meat in food processor and cool. Add remainder of ingredients and process briefly. Cool completely

Filling and Cooking Pasta

Flour sheet of dough and place over ravioli mold. Fill each space with 2 tsp. filling. Wet dough slightly and lay another sheet of dough over meat.  Press dough down with rolling pin and remove excess dough around edges. Turn mold over to release raviolis onto a baking sheet line with waxed paper.

Cook ravioli in gently boiling water for about 8 to 10 ,minutes. Serve with sauce.

Pasta Dough

1 1/2 c all purpose flour
1/3 c cake flour
3 eggs
2 t. olive oil

Place flours in food processor. Beat eggs and olive oil in small bowl. Turn on processor and slowly add eggs and oil. Continue processing until the dough forms a ball. If the dough is sticky, knead a little more flour in by hand. Divide dough into 3 pieces and wrap in plastic. Let it rest for at least 15 minutes. Start with 1 pices of dough and send through pasta machin on setting #1 - 6 to 8 times, folding into thirds each time. Sprinkle with flour if necessary. Now roll the pata through on #2 and continue though #6

Lemon Almond Biscotti with White Chocolate

6 tablespoons butter softened
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 teaspoons almond extract
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 large eggs
2 cups flour

12 ounces white chocolate

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease (or line with parchment) one large (about 18" x 13") baking sheet.

In a medium-sized bowl, beat the butter, sugar, salt, lemon zest, almond extract, and baking powder until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Beat in the lemon juice and eggs; At low speed of your mixer, add the flour, stirring until smooth; the dough will be sticky.
Place the dough onto the prepared baking sheet. Shape it into a log that’s about 13" long x 3" wide x 3⁄4" thick. Bake the dough for 25 minutes.

Remove from the oven, cool on the pan about 25 minutes; Reduce the oven heat to 325°F.

Using a spray bottle filled with room-temperature water, lightly but thoroughly spritz the log, making sure to cover the sides as well as the top. Softening the crust just this little bit will make slicing the biscotti much easier.

Use a serrated knife to cut the log crosswise into 1⁄2" slices.  Set the biscotti on edge on the prepared baking sheet. Return the biscotti to the oven, and bake them for 30 to 35 minutes, till they feel very dry and are beginning to turn golden around the edges. Remove the biscotti from the oven, and transfer them to a rack to cool.

Melt chocolate carefully in microwave (50% power for 1 minute) and dip one end of biscotti in chocolate. Cool in  muffin pans until the chocolate is hard.

Salad with strawberries and balsamic vinegar

¼ cup balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup sherry vinegar
1 small shallot, minced
1 T. Dijon mustard
½ T minced fresh herbs – (thyme)
¼ t salt
1/8 t. white pepper
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup walnut oil

Add all ingredients to a container with lid and shake well to mix
Serve with mixed salad greens and sliced strawberries.
(I sprinkled a small amt of sweetener and balsamic on strawberries before adding)

Fresh Herb Bread

2 ¼ t. dry yeast
3 c. bread flour
1 T. powdered milk
2 T. sugar
1 ½ t. salt
1 T fresh herbs, chopped
1 T. butter, melted
1 c. warm water

Place everything in bread machine and set on manual.  Lightly sprinkle corn meal over a baking sheet or stone. After cycle is finished, form dough into round and place on prepared baking sheet or stone. Let rise about 1 hour. Bake at 375 degrees F for 30 minutes or until browned on top and bottom.

Pasta with Shrimp Pomodoro Sauce

Shrimp Pomodoro


  • 1 lb shrimp, thawed, peeled, and deveined
  • 3 T olive oil
  • 2 T butter
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 8-10 plum or Roma tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 2 T. tomato paste
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 t. dried oregano leaves
  • 1/2 cup basil, julienned
  • 1 lb pasta
  • Pecorina Romano Cheese- shaved
  1. Heat oil and butter in a skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Add shrimp and cook briefly until opaque.
  3. Season shrimp with salt and pepper and remove to a plate with a slotted spoon.
  4. Add shallots and garlic to hot oil and cook until soft.
  5. Add red pepper flakes and wine and cook 5 minutes.
  6. Add chopped tomatoes and tomato paste and cook 20 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, boil a large pot of water and salt if desired.
  8. Add fresh pasta to boiling water and let set for 5 minutes.
  9. When pasta and sauce are ready, add basil, shrimp and pasta to skillet with sauce.  Stir and serve with grated cheese.
If your sauce gets too dry, add a few splashes of white wine

Tiramisu Torta

Tiramisu Torta

Sponge Cake
2/3 c. cake flour
½ c. plus 3 T sugar
4 eggs
4 egg yolks

Preheat oven to 350 Degrees F. Butter bottom and sides of spring form pan. Line bottom with parchment paper and butter, then flour pan. Sift together flour and 3 T. sugar in small bowl and set aside. Beat eggs, yolks and ½ v sugar in mixer until thick and pale yellow. Fold in flour mixture. Pour in pan and bake for 25 to 35 minutes, or until done in center. Cool 10 minutes, then remove sides of pan and cool completely. Wrap and store overnight.

Coffee Syrup
1/3 c. brandy
1/3 c. espresso
1 ½ T sugar

Stir together until sugar dissolves. Set aside to cool. (for coffee, I use 1 T instant espresso coffee mixed with 3 T hot water.)

4 egg yolks
¼ c. sugar
5 T Marsala wine

Place egg yolks and sugar in heat proof bowl and set over simmering water. Mix at medium speed until pale yellow. Gradually add wine and continue beating until mousse-like. Then remove from heat and beat over ice water until cooled. Set aside

Mascarpone Whipped Cream
12 oz. mascarpone cream
½ c sugar
½ t vanilla
1 c. heavy cream

Beat mascarpone, sugar and vanilla until smooth and set aside. Beat cream until firm and fold into mascarpone mixture.

Assembly: remove bottom of pan and parchment paper from cake. Slice cake horizontally into 3 layers. Start layering in this order: cake, syrup, mascarpone, zabaglione and cocoa powder. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Bread and Butter Pickles


  • 4 quarts cucumbers, cliced (about 6 lbs.)
  • 1 1.2 cups onions, sliced
  • 1/3 cup canning salt
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 2 quarts crushed ice
  • 4 ½ cups sugar
  • 3 cups white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons mustard seed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons celery seed
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground turmeric


  • In a large container, combine the cucumbers, onions, garlic and salt. Cover with crushed ice and mix well. Let stand for 3 hours. Drain; rinse and drain again. Remove garlic cloves.
  • In a Dutch oven, combine the sugar, vinegar and seasonings; bring to a boil. Add cucumber mixture; and heat for 5 minutes. (Caution: Do not boil or pickles will be mushy). Remove from the heat.
  • Carefully ladle hot mixture into hot pint jars, leaving 1/2-in. headspace. Remove air bubbles, wipe rims and adjust lids. Have water boiling when jars are placed in water bath so that pickles are in the hot and boiling water the shortest time possible. Process for 5 minutes in a boiling-water bath. Start counting processing time as soon as water returns to boiling. Remove jars. Cool upright on rack away from draft.