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Showing posts from March, 2011

Baked Shrimp Scampi

Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa, has a recipe for Baked Shrimp Scampi that is to die for!  It is so easy and so delicious you really won't believe it.  The recipe comes from her Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics cookbook.  It is a cookbook I use often. Back to Basics Cookbook Do you want to make a special meal even though you've had to work all day?  You can do it with this Baked Shrimp Scampi recipe.  Do you want a recipe to serve to guests that is fail safe, delicious and doesn't require hours of preparation?  This is the one.  Let's see how you can make this at home, shall we? The Barefoot Contessa's Baked Shrimp Scampi Serves 6 Baked Shrimp Scampi Ingredients 2 pounds of shrimp, shells still on 3 tablespoons of olive oil 2 tablespoons of white wine 3 1/2 teaspoons salt  1 1/4 teaspoon black pepper 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature 4 cloves garlic, minced 1/4 cup minced onion (recipe calls for shallots) 3 t

Five Tips to Make the Most of a Wine Tasting

Have you attended a wine tasting recently?  Wine tasting events are popular fund raisers in my neck of the woods.  A number of community organizations host wine tastings as fund raisers for worthy causes.  Local wine purveyors arrange for wine vendors to showcase a variety of wines for the attendees to sample.  Local restaurants and caterers  donate a variety of tasty appetizers and finger foods.  At some there are silent auctions and raffles as well.  It makes for an evening of fun and community, all for a good cause. These wine tasting events can be a terrific opportunity to broaden your appreciation for a variety of wines.  It is helpful to have a strategy when you attend a wine tasting so you can make the most of the opportunity as well as enjoy the wines. Five Tips to Make The Most of A Wine Tasting 1.  Choose a wine variety to focus on at the wine tasting event.  By choosing one or two varieties you'll be able to compare and contrast the different wines and perhaps fine

Taking the Fear Out of Pie Making

When you want pie what do you do?  Do you head to the local bakery?  Is the frozen food aisle at the grocery store your go to solution?  Are you a pie making pro who whips up pies on a regular basis?  Whenever I talk with anyone about pies the focus is always on the crust.  It's the crust making that cause grown women and men to shake in their boots.  This fear of pie crusts has resulted in many frozen and ready made pie crust options for those of us who want to bake a pie at home, but don't want to struggle with the crust. Pies have never been my strength.  Yes, it's the crust. I admit it.   I have bought pre-made pies from the bakery.  I've bought frozen pies at the grocery store.  I've purchased both frozen and ready made pie crusts.  Perfecting pie dough is on my list of things to do in 2011. This week I attended a free pie making demonstration hosted by King Arthur Flour.  It was one stop on a four city tour for the King Arthur team.  Over 400 of my clos

Roast Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic

The weather so far this week made it feel more like the last week of winter rather than the first week of spring.  The cold, raw weather makes me yearn for comfort food.  Do you feel the same way?  One sure fire way to satisfy a craving for comfort food is with this Roast Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic.  As the chicken roasts it fills your kitchen with such a delicious aroma.  You'll be very impatient for it to finish cooking! The recipe I'm sharing with you is a mix of my standard roast chicken recipe  and recipes I have seen for Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic.  No, I don't count the garlic cloves.  I approximate by using three whole heads of garlic. If you love the sweet, but robust, flavor of roasted garlic you'll love this recipe.  Roast Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic Serves 4-6 Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic Ingredients 3 heads of garlic 1 whole chicken, 4-6 pounds 3 Tablespoons olive oil 3 Tablespoons white wine 6 scallions, chopped 2 sprigs

Teriyaki Pork Chops and Coconut Rice for Dinner

Grilled Teriyaki Pork Chops with Coconut Rice We love to grill at our house.  We grill all year long, weather permitting.  It's been a hard year for winter grilling, but now that the snow has melted and we can get to our outdoor grill, it is time to fire it up.  Ours is a gas grill, so it is easy to use.  One push of a button and we are ready to go. Grilling is a perfect cooking option for busy moms and dads.  Meats and vegetables cook quickly on a grill and clean up is minimal.  With minor preparation, you can have a delicious weeknight dinner on the table in no time at all.  Are you a year-round griller as well?  If you are, this Teriyaki Pork Chops recipe will be a delicious addition to your grilling menu rotation.  You can make the marinade the night before, marinate your pork chops overnight and be ready to have dinner on the table within 30 minutes the next night. Let's see how to do it. Key Teriyaki Marinade Ingredients Teriyaki Pork Chops Printer Friend

Italian Sausage and Mushroom Pizza

Another Friday night, another pizza.  Yum!  Tonight's pizza is made with hot Italian sausage and mushrooms.  Our hot sausage is locally made and includes soupy meats and spices.  Soupy, otherwise known as sopressata is a local Italian cured dry sausage. This is a hearty pizza, with plenty of zip and heat. We like our pizza with a little heat, but you can use a sweet sausage as well.   Use the best sausage you have in your area and your pizza will be equally delicious.   Here's how I make our pizza. Italian Sausage and Mushroom Pizza Ingredients Italian Sausage Pizza Ingredients 1 pizza dough 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced 2 ounces tomato sauce (your favorite jarred) 8 ounces Italian hot sausage, browned and drained 2 ounces sliced mushrooms 4 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese Parmesan cheese, freshly grated Parchment paper Directions Make your pizza dough earlier in the day.  Brown the hot sausage and drain.  Set aside.  Place a pizza stone on the

Creamy Broccoli Soup

In honor of Saint Patrick's Day, and all that is green, today I'm making broccoli soup.  This is a creamy, and healthy soup with approximately 95 calories per serving, so you can eat it without guilt. Donna's Creamy Broccoli Soup Serves 4 Ingredients 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil Broccoli Soup Ingredients 1 small yellow onion, diced 3 cloves garlic, sliced 1 lb fresh broccoli 4 cups low sodium chicken broth 1 1/2 tsp salt 1/2 tsp pepper 1/2 tsp dried thyme Directions Heat the oil in a heavy pot or Dutch oven.  Add the diced onion and cook until translucent, about 3 minutes.  Add the sliced garlic and cook for 1 minute. The Onion and Garlic Next add the broccoli, chicken broth and thyme.  I used fresh broccoli, but frozen will work just as well. Add the Broccoli, Thyme and Chicken Stock Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until the broccoli is soft, approximately 10 minutes.  Remove from heat and cool for a few minutes.  Remov

Fruit Tart

Did you remember to spring ahead this weekend? The spring clock change always throws me off my game a bit.  Does it do the same for you?  Maybe a tasty little dessert will help you adjust.  Sometimes a fruit dessert is just the thing I need to make everything better.  When I'm looking for a tasty fruit dessert I usually rely upon a fruit crisp.  This Fruit Tart has all that is good about a fruit crisp with the added yumminess of a nutty bottom crust.  This dessert takes no time to pull together and the result is heaven in a bowl. Mixed frozen fruit was used to make this tart, but you can use any fresh or frozen fruit you choose.  Plums would be lovely.  Mixed berries would be colorful and delicious.  Peaches would light your fire.  Choose your fruit and give this a try. Fruit Tart Adapted from Ina Garten Fruit Tart Ingredients Ingredients 2 cups all-purpose flour 3/4 cup finely chopped walnuts 3/4 cup light brown sugar,   lightly packed 12 tablespoons cold, unsalted bu

Chili for a Chilly Day

Some days chili is the answer.  It doesn't matter what the question may be; chili is the answer.  Is it bone chilling cold where you are?  Do you want something hot, spicy and hearty for dinner?  Are you entertaining a group and need a tasty, budget friendly meal?  Chili is the answer. I haven't made chili in quite some time.  You know how sometimes you get an urge for something and you just can't rest until you have it?  Well, that happened this week with chili.  So, of course I had to make it.  When I went to get out my standby chili recipe I couldn't find it.  I guess it has been quite some time since I last made chili!  So I searched out a recipe that was most like the one I remembered making.  I found a recipe from Emeril Lagasse that seemed very similar to my old recipe with three key ingredient additions-beer, chocolate and Emeril's Essence.  I decided to give the recipe a try and share the results with all of you.  I tweaked Emeril's recipe a bit to

Spinach, Mushroom and Ricotta Cheese Omelet

Have you had a hectic day and don't feel like cooking dinner?  You can whip up a tasty omelet without too much fuss and bother.  Are you feeling like you indulged too much this weekend?  When I am trying to eat light, vegetable omelets always jump into my mind as a perfect solution.  Omelets make a great choice for breakfast, lunch or dinner.  Today I'm making omelets for dinner.  They'll be filled with spinach, mushrooms and ricotta cheese.  Oh, yeah, Baby!  Since I found out how easy and delicious homemade ricotta cheese is, I've been adding it to everything!  You can use whatever cheese you like, but the homemade ricotta cheese is wonderful in this omelet. Spinach, Mushroom and Ricotta Omelet Serves 2 Omelet Ingredients 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil 2 tablespoons butter 4 whole eggs and 4 egg whites 1 9 ounce package fresh baby spinach, washed and drained 8 ounces sliced mushrooms 1 large clove garlic, minced 1/2 cup ricotta cheese pinch of