Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Holiday Peppermint Fudge


        Remember when you were in grade school and time went by so slowly? Christmas break and summer vacation seemed to go on forever!  Well, not anymore, folks!  Christmas is almost here!!!  I can hardly believe there's only about a week left until the big day!

    The tree is up and the house is decorated, but the real baking has yet to begin.  I've just started with a couple of candy treats.  My well-loved, Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls, have already made their way back home with our oldest son, visiting from Seattle.  More are to be made and, hopefully, sent off to another son in Sarasota.

    Now, I've shared with you my family's love of anything containing peanut butter and chocolate, but ........have I mentioned that I also have a bit of "a thing" for the combination of chocolate and mint??  So, you'll understand my desire to share this rich and yummy Holiday Peppermint Fudge!!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes


    Ok......back from a little vacation in Florida.......just in time to share a side dish with you that is worthy of your Thanksgiving table!  Who doesn't love twice-baked potatoes?? But, have you ever tried the idea with sweet potatoes?  Delicious!!  This is a simple variation of a recipe in Ina Garten's newest cookbook "Make It Ahead".  The Fontina cheese is my yummy twist.....next time, I think I'll sprinkle on some crispy, sauteed pancetta!  You have to try this recipe!  ( And, I'd love to hear your feedback!)

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Meatloaf Brasciole


    O.k..........it's been a long time since I've posted a meat recipe on the blog and I'm just a little excited to share this one.  It's definitely not your typical, boring meatloaf recipe!  "Brasciole" are, basically, thin slices of meat rolled around a filling and cooked with or without tomato sauce/wine. There can be many different variations, and you may sometimes see them referred to as "Involtini".

    As a child, I loved my gramma's version!  She baked hers on skewers and served them along with tomato sauce, but not in the sauce; they were delicious!!  My kids grew up enjoying the same recipe! (Note to self.....share gramma's brasciole recipe on the blog in the future!)  I've  made variations that are also delicious.

    So, what is "Meatloaf Brasciole", you ask?  Well, you mix several yummy ingredients together to make the meatloaf base and, then, you layer on a few more yummy ingredients, roll the whole thing up into this delicious loaf and, there you have it........meatloaf, all dressed up, Italian-style!!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Parmigiana Bianca ("White" Parmigiana)


    I think I've shared my love of eggplant before.  Besides being hearty and delicious, you can do so many different things with it!  And....because I love it, it makes a pretty regular appearance on our dinner table in various forms.  Two of my favorites are Eggplant Parmesan Stacks and Caponata.  You definitely will want to give those recipes a try!

    All over southern Italy, the name "parmigiana" refers to a dish of vegetables layered with tomato sauce and cheese and baked in the oven.  Now, for those of you who have an aversion to the "red sauce", typically used in these dishes, this is the recipe for you!  It has no tomatoes, but all the meaty eggplant and gooey cheese you'd expect from an eggplant parmesan! Serve it with a nice salad and a crusty loaf of bread and you've got a great dinner!  Or, it would also make a nice vegetable side dish to serve alongside some grilled meat.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Peas and Prosciutto


    Here's a simple and delicious side dish to add to your recipe box.  AND........you can have it ready in about 15-20 minutes!  The saltiness of the prosciutto adds a nice contrast to the otherwise mellow peas.  This dish is great to add to a mid-week meal, when you might not have a lot of time, but  goes equally well on a holiday table with all of the other "special" foods.

Friday, September 26, 2014

White Chocolate and Banana Cake w/ White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting


    Is it just me, or does banana eating go in spurts?  It seems that, when I only buy a few of them, they're gone in a day or two and everybody's looking for more.  I can't seem to keep them in the house.  Then, all of a sudden, just when I think I've got a handle on the whole "supply and demand" thing, I have bananas turning speckled and black left and right!  What is going on?  

    I recently found myself in this predicament and decided to use it to my advantage.  Banana cake it would be.  But, not just any banana cake.  A White Chocolate Banana Cake with White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Celery and Chickpea Salad w/ Dried Cranberries, Roasted Almonds, and Parmesan Dressing


    O.k....so summer is gone, the kids are back in school, and fall is just about upon us.  Let's enjoy a light and delicious salad before we start to think about all those warm and comforting, cold weather dishes, shall we?

     I really do love salads. I mean.....a salad can be anything you want it to be!   There are soooo many options!