Friday, June 28, 2013

Pillows of love...

Ok, so just reading the title, this post could go in several different directions...however, it's food related, I promise. I have poured over several gnocchi recipes in hopes of discovering the perfect, light, flavorful, pillow of dough. I believe I have found it. I have been experimenting as well, and while the previous posts about gnocchi have been flavorful, and very edible, they were still a it dense. My dear wife had tried gnocchi while on a business trip that she said were the lightest and best she had ever had, therefore, I had to accept that "challenge'. So, here we go:

This recipe starts out much like a choux pastry, for those that have made cream puffs or eclairs, or read the post "If the choux fits".


1 1/2 C water
12 T butter
2 t salt (I used sea salt)
2 C AP flour
3/4 C Ricotta salata (or feta, or queso fresco)

(At this point, I will insert that I originally adapted the recipe from, but as is my nature, was forced to make a few changes. The original recipe calls for shredded Comté or Emmentaler cheese, herbs, mustard, etc. I am sure that recipe is amazing, however, I wanted to season my gnocchi differently and after boiling...feel free to follow said recipe...)


Set up a heavy-duty mixer with the paddle attachment. Have all the ingredients ready before you begin cooking.

Combine the water, butter, and the 2 teaspoons salt in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium, add the flour all at once, and stir rapidly with a stiff heatproof or wooden spoon until the dough pulls away from the sides of the pan and the bottom of the pan is clean, with no dough sticking to it. The dough should be glossy and smooth but still moist.
Enough moisture must evaporate from the dough to allow it to absorb more fat when the eggs are added: Continue to stir for about 5 minutes, adjusting the heat as necessary to prevent the dough from coloring. A thin coating will form on the bottom and sides of the pan. When enough moisture has evaporated, steam will rise from the dough and the aroma of cooked flour will be noticeable. Immediately transfer the dough to the mixer bowl. Add  additional salt if needed (it's fine to taste at this point, since it's partially cooked and no aggs have been added yet). Mix for a few seconds to incorporate the ingredients and release some of the heat, then add the cheese. With the mixer on the lowest speed, add 3 eggs, one at a time, beating until each egg is completely incorporated before adding the next one. Increase the speed to medium and add another 2 eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each one. Turn off the machine. Lift some of the dough on a rubber spatula, then turn the spatula to let it run off: It should move down the spatula very slowly; if it doesn't move at all or is very dry and just falls off in a clump, beat in the additional egg.

Place the dough in a large pastry bag fitted with a 5/8-inch plain tip (or no tip at all) and let it rest for about 30 minutes at room temperature. (If you have only a small pastry bag, fill it with half the dough two times.) Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a simmer. Line a baking sheet with paper towels. Line a second baking sheet with parchment paper.

Because this recipe makes such a large quantity of gnocchi, your arm may get tired: An easy way to pipe the gnocchi is to place a large inverted pot, canister, or other container that is slightly higher than the pot on the right side of the pot (left side if you are left-handed) and set the filled pastry bag on it so that the tip extends over the side and the container serves as a resting place for the bag. Twist the end of the pastry bag to push the dough into the tip. (From time to time, as the bag empties, you will need to twist the end again.) As you squeeze the back of the bag with your right hand, hold a small knife in your left hand and cut off 1-inch lengths of dough, allowing the gnocchi to drop into the pot. Pipe about 24 gnocchi per batch. First, the gnocchi will sink in the pot. Keep the water temperature hot, but do not boil. Once the gnocchi float to the top, poach them for another 1 to 2 minutes, then remove them with a slotted spoon or skimmer and drain on the paper towel–lined baking sheet. Taste one to test the timing; it may still seem slightly undercooked in the center, but it will be cooked again. Repeat with the remaining dough. 
(I actually had help with this part, and my helper used scissors). *Important note: Do Not boil too many at a time. They are a bit fragile and will fall apart in the water if there are too many. Boil in batches.

When all the gnocchi have drained, place them in a single layer on the parchment-lined baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or up to a day. Or, for longer storage, place the baking sheet in the freezer. Once the gnocchi have frozen solid, remove them from the baking sheet and place in a freezer bag in the freezer. Before using frozen gnocchi, spread them in a single layer on a baking sheet and defrost in the refrigerator for several hours.

That pretty much ends the original recipe's "prep" section (with several tweaks by yours truly). Before serving, I heated a non-stick frying pan, added a little butter and olive oil (just enough to coat the pan). The reason I use both is that buter is awesome, but has a lower burning temp, the oil tempers that a bit so you can have a medium heat without burning the butter, but still have the butter flavor. I then tossed the gnocchi (gently) with a little garlic salt and rosemary. This not only finishes the cooking and reheats them, but it only gives it a tiny bit of a crust and adds flavor. Amazing! 

Freshly boiled gnocchi

Finishing touches


At this point, the tender pillows of culinary affection, can be devoured. I did not serve with extra cheese, because there was plenty of flavor. I did, however, make a sauce to accompany the gnocchi that was delicious, but not totally necessary.
This is what I did:
Equal parts cream, beef broth, and cognac, about 2 T butter, with a pinch of salt, rosemary, thyme, and garlic. I then just let it cook down for an hour or so over low/medium heat. I sauteed about 2-2 1/2 C baby bella mushrooms (chopped), then added them to the sauce right before serving. 

Proof that I made sauce : )

This meal is somewhat less than low-fat, but for special occasions, you can't beat the flavors. We also served steamed asparagus, chicken-spinach-asiago sausage (store bought), and a napa cabbage salad. For dessert I served grilled pineapple rings with vanilla ice cream, and our homemade salted caramel sauce (see post "Salted Caramel"). We don't always get to cook like this, but since my brother from AK is in town...

Buon Appetito!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

From a friend...

This looked good...

Pecan Pie Cobbler (Recipe from Pillsbury) 

Pecan Pie Cobbler
1 Box refrigerated pie crusts, softened as directed on box 
2 1/2 cups light corn syrup 
2 1/2 cups packed brown sugar 
1/2 cup butter, melted 
4 1/2 teaspoons vanilla 
6 eggs, slightly beaten 
2 cups coarsely chopped pecans
Butter-flavor cooking spray 
2 cups pecan halves 
Vanilla ice cream, if desired 
1. Heat oven to 425°F. Grease 13x9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish with shortening or cooking spray. Remove 1 pie crust from pouch; unroll on work surface. Roll into 13x9-inch rectangle. Place crust in dish; trim edges to fit. 
2. In large bowl, stir corn syrup, brown sugar, butter, vanilla and eggs with wire whisk. Stir in chopped pecans. Spoon half of filling into crust-lined dish. Remove second pie crust from pouch; unroll on work surface. Roll into 13x9-inch rectangle. Place crust over filling; trim edges to fit. Spray crust with butter-flavor cooking spray. 
3. Bake 14 to 16 minutes or until browned. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F. Carefully spoon remaining filling over baked pastry; arrange pecan halves on top in decorative fashion. Bake 30 minutes longer or until set. Cool 20 minutes on cooling rack. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

Buon Appetito!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Another fun share...


This is a really easy dish to prepare, and it looks so darn cute! It is also a great dish to serve on a buffet table because each serving is completely self-contained and can just be picked up and popped on a plate.

1 20 ounce package pre-shredded hash brown-style potatoes
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
4 tablespoons flour
1 small sweet onion, coarsely grated
2 thick slices deli ham, chopped into small bits (about 1 cup)
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 dozen eggs, scrambled* 
chives for garnish

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F., and lightly spray a 12-cup muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray. Mix the first eight ingredients together in a large bowl. Spoon potato mixture into each prepared muffin cup until about 1/3 full. Gently press the potato mixture down in the middle and up the sides of each cup. Bake until golden brown, about 25-30 minutes. If the nests have puffed up too much in the center, scoop out a little with a teaspoon. Spoon a few tablespoons of scramble eggs into each nest and top with chives. 

Buon Appetito!

Interesting Idea

Another share from another friend...not a big fan of cake mixes and maraschino cherries, but it looked good either way...

Mini Pineapple Upside Down Cakes
Cake Ingredients:

2 eggs
2/3 C white sugar
4 Tbsp pineapple juice
2/3 C all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt


1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick or 4 Tbsp)
2/3 C brown sugar
1-can pineapple rings
6-maraschino cherries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray your muffin tins with non-stick cooking spray. 

In a mixing bowl, add eggs, white sugar, and pineapple juice. Beat for 2 minutes. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to the wet ingredients and turn mixer back on for 2 minutes. 

In a small sauce pan, melt the butter and add the brown sugar. Stir on low heat for one minute.

Spoon a layer of the warm brown sugar mixture into the bottom of each muffin tin, then place a pineapple ring on top. Add a cherry in the middle of each pineapple. Pour cake mixture over to fill muffin tin 3/4 of the way full. If you are using regular muffin tins, you will need to cut down the rings to fit or just use pineapple tidbits

Buon Appetito!

Cool summer deliciousness...

A friend shared this with me, so I will share...

Cucumber Cups Stuffed with Spicy Crab 

3 long cucumbers
1/4 cup sour cream 
1/4 cup cream cheese, softened 
3/4 cup crab meat, excess water removed
1 tsp hot pepper sauce (Tabasco or tapito)
1 tsp brown mustard
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tbs minced green onion
Garnish with chili powder or paprika if desired

Remove the peel from the cucumbers using a vegetable peeler. Cut the cucumber into 2 inch slices. Using a small melon baller, scoop out most of the inside. You want to leave the walls and a thick portion of the bottom intact.

In a bowl, combine the sour cream and the cream cheese with a fork until well combined. Add the remaining ingredients and stir until combined. Fill each of the cucumber cups with the crab dip. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve within 2 hours of making.
Experiment with different dips in the cucumber cups like hummus or a Greek yogurt spread. Enjoy!

Buon Appetito!

Saturday, June 22, 2013


We were invited to a 40th last night and brought cannoli's. Better than a birthday cake anyway, in my humble opinion! So, at this point, before I really get rolling, I will throw out a disclaimer. I bought the shells. Yes, yes, it's true. Actually, I admit, I usually buy cannoli shells. Why? You may ask...Especially after all my preaching about homemade! Here it is. Bought shells, are good AND I don't like frying in the house. I know, I know, frying can be an integral part of cooking, but I find it messy, uber-unhealthy, and smelly. Ok, I admit, there are few things better than fried dough...However, I still don't like frying in the house. Take zeppoli ("zeppole" depending on where you look), for instance (italian donuts). They are ridiculously good. Surely, I digress...I have made cannoli shells, and they are a good amount of work and you must have good metal cannoli frying tubes, etc. Here's a cannoli shell recipe for the brave:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 egg yolk
1/2 cup dry white wine

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, sugar and salt. Work the butter pieces into the flour with your fingers until the mixture becomes coarse and sandy. Add the egg yolk and the white wine and mix until it becomes a smooth dough. Spread a piece of plastic wrap on a flat surface and place the dough in the center. Wrap the plastic loosely around it and press the dough to fill the gap. Flattening the dough will mean less rolling later. Let it rest in the fridge for a few minutes while you make the filling.

In a medium pot with a heavy bottom, heat the canola oil to 360 degrees F. Meanwhile, sift an even layer of flour on a flat surface. Flour a rolling pin. Roll the dough until it is very thin (about 1/8-inch thick). Cut the dough into fourths and work in small batches. Use any glass or small bowl that has a 3-to-4-inch diameter. Cut rounds, tracing around each one to assure the dough has been fully cut. You should have about 24 circles. Wrap each circle around a cannoli mold. Use a little of the egg wash on the edge of each round to seal it shut and to assure it won't slide or fall off the mold before pressing it closed over the mold. Flare the edges out slightly from the mold. Flaring will allow the oil to penetrate each cannoli shell as they fry. Use a pair of tongs to hold the edge of the mold as you submerge and fry the shell in the oil until crispy, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the oil, and holding the mold in one had with your tongs, gently grip the shell in your other hand with a kitchen towel and carefully slide it off the mold. Set aside to cool. Repeat with all of the circles.
Makes about 2 dozen.

Here in the south, it's tough to find a good cannoli and I buy my shells from a restaurant supply store (they have to special order them as there's apparently not much of a demand). The cream, though, now that's a different story, down here it tastes like frosting, yuck. So I make it like it's supposed to taste. I remember going with my grandma to Tripoli Bakery in Lawrence, MA ( it was amazing. When time was short, we would get cannoli's, assorted cookies, bread, etc. The smells alone were worth the trip. Again, a bit of a rabbit trail, sorry. Back to the cream. I like it simple. As usual, though, play with the recipe, make it your way. Here's my recipe:

2 lbs ricotta (whole milk works the best) 
1 1/2 C powdered sugar
1/2 C mini chocolate chipe (optional)
Makes about 3 dozen small cannoli's.

Hang the ricotta in a cheese cloth, in a colander overnight in the refrigerator. Once that's done, mix in the powdered sugar and chips. I do it by hand so the ricotta doesn't break down too much. If you don't want the chips, leave them out. Citron (candies citrus peels) is a nice touch in lieu of the chocolate, or even just a little lemon zest. Sometimes I do just the ricotta and sugar, I like the very simple flavor. Here are a few pics of our cannoli making with my little helper, Anthony.

The filling

Me and my helper


Actually, almost "finito". Right before serving, I fill them and then dust with powdered. They taste great the next day, but soggy shells are not quite as appetizing.

Buon Appetito! 

Friday, June 21, 2013

Gnocchi 2

This is just a quick add-on to the gnocchi post, except that this time I made ricotta gnocchi. Basically, i used 2 lbs of ricotta, 4 eggs and 6 1/2-7 c AP flour, and a dash of sea salt. They turned out great, although I will continue to work on them to make them as light as possible...

The beginning...

The process...

Ready for the freezer...

And the work station. Homemade red sauce, gnocchi, meatballs, and anisette...nice.

Buon Appetito!

Thursday, June 20, 2013


So, that same party I had the privilege of making the desserts for, was a Mexican themed party. I did not help with the food prep hardly at all ( I manned the grill for a few minutes once I arrived) and the food was amazing. It was a taco bar basically, with 3 types of meat and guacamole, and all the fixings, etc. One of the things we had was elote. Yes, I had to look it up, too, Basically, you grill corn in the husk and then again once it's shucked, which makes it great all by itself. It gets better, though. You then brush on a simple sauce made from mayonaise, lime juice, chile powder, cumin, cayenne, etc (recipe to follow), and roll it in a mexican cheese called, cotija, . It's often served in authentic mexican restaurants, home, and fairs. Anyway, it was amazing and I had to share since I had not had it before.

Elote, or Mexican Grilled Corn
Serves 4

4 ears sweet corn
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon lime juice
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper of chile powder
salt, to taste
2/3 cup crumbled cotija anejo cheese
lime wedges
extra cayenne pepper of chile powder, for sprinkling
fresh finely chopped cilantro for optional garnish

Soak corn (in husks) in cold water for 25-30 minutes.
Prepare a medium-hot grill. Peel back the corn husks leaving them attached at the end. Remove the silk. Pull the husks back up and tie with a spare piece of husk or a small piece of cooking twine. Place the ears on the grill. Cook 20-25 minutes, turning several times to ensure even roasting. The kernels should be soft when fully cooked.
If you’d like the kernels more charred, then simply follow the above instructions, but cook in husks for 15 minutes only. Then cool ears slightly, pull back the husks (to use as handles) and place the ears directly on the grill (with husks overhanging the side) for 5-7 minutes, or until they reach desired level of charring.
Place crumbled cheese on a plate large enough to fit an ear of corn. In a small bowl mix the mayonnaise, lime juice, cayenne pepper or chile powder, and salt. When the corn is cooked, brush each ear with some mayo sauce then roll in the cheese. Serve with lime wedges, additional cayenne pepper or chile powder, and fresh finely chopped cilantro.
** Cotija anejo, a mild-flavored Mexican cheese with a crumbly texture, can be found in Mexican markets or in the refrigerator section of most major supermarkets. Queso fresco, another mild Mexican cheese, is a good substitute and also can be found in most major supermarkets.
Note: If you are unable to grill outdoors, then you can oven roast the corn. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and place corn in husks (no need to soak first) directly on the middle rack of the oven for 30 minutes, or until corn is soft to the touch. Allow to cool slightly, then remove husks and silks, and add toppings.

As is my custom, I perused several recipes and I did it my way (cue Sinatra...). So, the recipe above was just one of the many I looked at, and true to form I followed none of them exactly. I did not measure, but I did use mayo, chile powder, cumin, cayenne, lemon juice, garlic, and a touch of salt. Yes, I added garlic, it was Italian/ what?!? I also used "queso" since I could not find cojita. It worked fine. I actually toasted the corn in a frying pan as my grill is on the turned out great. Very nice addition to our taco night, indeed! I served it more as a side dish since the kernels were already off the cob and my pic is not quite as pretty as the ones above, but taste trumps presentation in my opinion.

Buon Appetito! (Or Buen Provecho, perhaps?)

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

More Italy just because...

Basilica della Santissima Trinità di Saccargia  (Basilica of the Holy Trinity of Saccargia) Photo by La Valigia di Alice

Genazzano, Lazio by David Ash

Ponte Scaligero, Verona  Photo- Ostrosky Photos

Santa Maria di Castellabate, Salerno - Campania  Foto di Davide Perillo

Santuario della Mentorella (Mentorella Monastery), Capranica Prenestina, province of #Rome  A lovely photo sent by David Ash (UK)

Scontrone, #Abruzzo  A photo shared by Attilio Salciccia

Sunset over Mucigliani, Tuscany Photo by Antonio Cinotti
Vittorio Veneto, Veneto  Photo by Nardino

Tuesday, June 18, 2013


The other day I had made pork loin (roasted with a homemade marinade of soy sauce, water, honey, ginger, and garlic...good stuff) and mashed potatoes. True to form, as I suffer from the Italian curse of "if there's not too much, there's not enough" I had about 4 C of mashed taters (for my southern constituents) leftover. So, I decided to make gnocchi. It had been a very long time, so I kind of had to wing it. Anyway, it turns out to be pretty simple, here's what I did:

4 C mashed potatoes
3 eggs
2 C AP flour
1 1/2 C semolina flour
pinch of salt

Mix. Depending on how moist/dry the potatoes are, this may vary a bit. I had the whole fam rolling the little dumplings. I just took a chunk of dough, rolled it into a snake and cut into little pieces. We laid them out on sheet pans with parchment paper and froze them. Then after threw them into a gallon ziplock.

I waited to finish this post since I was gong to cook a batch for dinner last night. Here's the verdict: The flavor was awesome, but they were a tiny bit dense, so to amend the recipe, stick with all AP flour. If at all possible use fresh mashed potatoes, not leftover. While the leftover are fine, the fresh will make it lighter. I alos do a ricotta gnocchi, which are lighter, but more on that later. 
I thawed some of the gnocchi, then boiled them in salted water and strained. I then put a little butter in a skillet and tossed the gnocchi, to give them a bit of a "crisping". I made a sauce out of beef stock, a very thin roux, garlic, rosemary, and thyme to top them off. I served with an italian chicken sausage (the wife's trying to have me cook healthier). Like I said, the flavors were great, but maybe a little less dense next time. So, mess around with it, and as always, experiment. I think I would make them a bit smaler next time, too...

prodotto finito-finished product

Buon Appetito!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Salted Caramel

  This is a tough recipe, but the finished product is worth it, I think. I was "commissioned" to make the desserts for a party recently that had a Mexican theme. I do not make Mexican desserts, so I made what I thought would a be a good fit. I thought of caramel, so I made 2 desserts with 2 different caramels. The first was a plain cheesecake (which I will not bore with since I've gone over that a few times) with a penuche (brown sugar "fudge") type caramel. 1 C cream, 1 C brown sugar, cooked on a very low boil (almost simmer, like on low/medium heat) for 15 minutes. Nice, easy, done. The second however, was not simple, but the flavor was amazing. Here's the recipe: (I doubled it)

Salted Caramel Sauce

Yield: 2 cups
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes


2 cups granulated sugar
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into pieces
1 cup heavy cream, at room temperature
1 tablespoon fleur de sel or Maldon sea salt flakes
1. First, make sure you have all of the ingredients ready. Once you start the caramel sauce you have to pay close attention so you don't burn it. To begin, heat the sugar over medium high-heat in the bottom of a heavy 2-3 quart saucepan. When the sugar starts to melt, start whisking the sugar. The sugar will clump up, but keep whisking. It will continue to melt. When the sugar is melted, stop whisking. You can swirl the pan to move the sugar around.
2. Continue cooking the sugar until it reaches a deep amber color. Make sure you watch the pan very closely. This is where it is easy to burn the caramel. You want the caramel to reach 350 degrees F. If you are new to making caramel, I suggest using a thermometer.
3. As soon as the sugar reaches the dark amber color, carefully add the butter. Whisk until butter is melted. If the sugar gets stuck to the whisk, you can switch to a wooden spoon.
4. Remove the pan from the heat and slowly pour in the heavy cream. Whisk until cream is incorporated and caramel is smooth. Whisk in the fleur de sel or Maldon sea salt flakes.

5. Let the caramel sauce cool for about 10 minutes in the pan. Pour the caramel into a large jar and cool to room temperature. Put the salted caramel sauce in the refrigerator. Store the salted caramel sauce in the refrigerator for about a month.

I took 1 C of this sauce and baked it into brownies (recipe later), then served them with whipped cream, salted caramel sauce, and a tiny sprinkle of Maldon sea salt flakes. Proof in pics:
Everything ready to make caramel



and again...

On a fun fact note, if you use a thermometer, and it happens to be digital, make sure it's on F and not C...yes, I speak from personal experience. The first batch I made I decided to use my trusty digital thermometer. It seemed to be taking forever to get up to 350° and it burnt to crisp at like 195°...I was baffled, then I realized I had somehow pressed the F to C button...nice. Since I never use C, it never even crossed my mind. Anyway, this is a great deal of work, and you must constantly watch the sugar, but in the end it makes a very nice sauce. 

Original recipe from:

Buon Appetito!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Hazelnut Extract

I love all things hazelnut, hence the cheesecake I posted a month or so ago...hazelnut overload...Nutella, Frangelico, hazelnuts in the crust and the topping, etc, etc. While looking around for hazelnut extract, which I found and used to make a batch of hazelnut liqueur, I experimented with making some extract of my own. After reading several posts about extracts, I came up with a simple "recipe" to try. Here's what I did:

1 C roasted hazelnuts
1 C 100-proof vodka

Roast hazelnuts in a 350° oven for about 15 minutes, but keep a close eye on them, as they can burn quickly, stir occasionally. Let cool and remove any skins. Roughly chop hazelnuts and add to vodka and let sit for at least a month. I let it "steep" for 7 weekes. A lot of recipes I found added sugar or a simple syrup, but that seemed like it would be making a liqueur so I went basic. I think maybe the mistake I made was when I took the concoction out of the pantry, I ran it through the blender to get as much hazelnut as possible. I then strained it through a thin cotton towel, but since the "pulp" was fine, I wonder now if I lost some liquid? It looks a bit milky, but tastes amazing. I ended up with about 1/2 C, which is interesting in light of the fact that I started with 2 C (1 hazelnuts, 1 vodka). Anyway, I'm not sure what I'll use it for, but again it has an amazing flavor.



Interesting color, and it's opaque, almost like a hazelnut milk....

Buon Appetito!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Shared by a friend...

This looked great, and healthy to boot! Who da thunk it possible?!? Of course, our goal os to post unhealthy stuff, but I guess it's ok to break tradition once in a while. I'm actually a big fan of veggies (esp next to a ginormous steak...). Anyway, enough silly banter, here it is:

Vegetable Tian (thinly sliced veggies topped with cheese and then roasted)...


1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 medium yellow onion
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 medium zucchini
1 medium yellow squash
1 medium potato
1 medium tomato
1 tsp. dried thyme
to taste salt & pepper
1 cup shredded Italian cheese


STEP 1: Preheat the oven to 180 (400 degrees f) Finely dice the onion and mince the garlic. Sauté both in a skillet with olive oil until softened (about five minutes).

STEP 2: While the onion and garlic are sautéing, thinly slice the rest of the vegetables.

STEP 3: Spray the inside of an 8x8 square or round baking dish with non-stick spray. Spread the softened onion and garlic in the bottom of the dish. Place the thinly sliced vegetables in the baking dish vertically, in an alternating pattern. Sprinkle generously with salt, pepper, and thyme.

STEP 4: Cover the dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil, top with cheese and bake for another 15-20 minutes or until the cheese is golden brown

Buon Appetito!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Italy pics

Alberobello, Puglio  Photo- Vito Palmi

Boccadasse, Genova  Photo- Paolo Margari

Brunico (Bruneck), South Tyrol, Trentino-Alto Adige  Photo- Mundus Gregorius

Children playing soccer, Venice by Michelle Amadio Melby.

Lungomare Valencia, Alghero, Sardinia  Photo- Th_Bounzer

Weekend dates

So, we were without mom this weekend, and we survived. It worked out that Friday night the boy (Anthony, 12) and I had a guys night as big sis was at a friends and then Saturday, Val (15) and I had a date night since the boy was at a friends. I found it amusing at how different the 2 nights were, since each kid got to have a say in what we did.
Friday night was Golden Corral (not my forst choice) and Iron Man 2 (in preparation for Iron Man 3) and Saturday was Wen Hwa Asian Fusion and Sixteen Candles (as our daughter is on an 80's movie kick right now). Anyway, both nights were great and this is where we insert a commercial:
Golden Corral: $20
Iron Man 2 movie rental: $3
Asian Fusion: $20
Sixteen Candles movie rental: $2
Time shared with each kid: Priceless. For everything else there's...and so on.
Here are a few pics, though the kids did not really "allow" many...
The only pic the boy allowed...

Spring rolls (only food pics allowed...)

Crispy spicy noodles

Singapore Street Noodles

So, not too many pics, but alas, good times. I'm still chuckling at the totally different tastes...

Buon Appetito!