Saturday, January 26, 2013

Yummy Red Pepper Soup

    Today's recipe may look very unassuming, maybe even plain, but let me assure you, it's really, well, YUMMY!  If you're looking for a spicy-hot red pepper soup....keep looking.  If you only like chunky soups filled with all sorts of meat and veggies....this isn't for you.  BUT...if you love the idea of a rich, creamy, savory-sweet soup and you love the flavor of roasted red're gonna love this!  It makes a great lunch or light dinner with the addition of some great rolls or a grilled sandwich and a salad.  The recipe comes from The Italian American Cookbook by John and Galina Mariani

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Grilled Skewers of Calamari and Shrimp on a bed of Orzo, Artichokes, and Pine Nuts

    Wow, that's a mouthful!  And a delicious mouthful at that!  I tried to shorten the title, honest, but I just couldn't come up with something shorter that would convey all the yumminess of these recipes.  And...we are talking about two recipes here, friends!  They may sound fancy or complicated, but really are pretty simple to prepare and really good.    
    Now, I realize that I'm sharing this in the middle of January, but it would make a great summer meal also.  You can use a grill (indoor or outdoor) or broiler for the seafood (it only takes 4 minutes!) and the orzo dish can be served warm or at room temperature. heating up the kitchen for hours! 

Monday, January 14, 2013

Cinnamon Chocolate Pudding with Pine Nuts

    Chocolate pudding.....for me, another quintessential comfort food.  As a little girl, I remember it being a favorite dessert.  This is a bit more sophisticated with the addition of some cinnamon and toasted pine nuts.   Some  recipes will yield a pudding that has a soft, loose consistency.  This one makes a dense, rich, and intensely chocolate dessert.  It comes from the book Mario Batali Holiday Food
    Sharing Italian customs, as well as recipes, is something I've wanted to do with this blog.  But, I have to admit, that to share or not to share this next custom with you has caused me a bit of anxiety.  It's something I've never been aware of, and it was a bit shocking to me....even a little disturbing.  (Do I have your attention yet?)  I've gone back and forth and finally decided....I'll just go for it.  Learning about different cultures is good, right??

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Rigatoni alla Toscanini

    As I've mentioned before, Italians are pretty frugal.  If at all possible, nothing goes to waste.  Well, I recently found myself with some fresh ricotta in the fridge, left over from a recent trip to an Italian market.  I'd already used some of it to bake an orange ricotta cheesecake but still had a little bit left.
    After looking over my shelves of cookbooks, I decided to pull out one that the hubby had brought home for me quite awhile back and see what I could find.  The cookbook is called La Cucina di Andrea'sIt has recipes from a well-known Northern Italian restaurant in New Orleans.  I pretty quickly found a pasta dish that happened to use the same amount of ricotta that I had left, so.....that would be dinner.  The recipe actually used penne, but rigatoni was in my cupboard so that's what I used.  A little side note.....apparently this dish was named after the famous Italian conductor Arturo Toscanini.  This is some rich, delicious tasting pasta, whoever it's named after.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

A Belated Holiday Wish and ....... Roasted Chicken with Potatoes and Peppers

    First of all, before we talk about this recipe, let me say that I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday time with friends and family.  We were able to visit my family out of state, as we usually do over the Christmas/New Year holiday, and we had a great time, as we always do (even though we were recovering from some sickness).  If it seemed that I was MIA, well...I sort of was. The flu hit our household and so, needless to say, I wasn't the cooking and baking fiend that I usually am around the holidays.  We got through it, although I'm still not feeling 100 percent. Unfortunately, some of the wonderful things I had wanted to share with you all during December didn't make it onto the blog or even onto our table for that matter.  But, sometimes that's just the way it goes.  Now we're into a new year with new resolutions and plans and, I for one, am hoping for and expecting blessings in the coming months.  I know that I have much to be thankful for and want to wish you all many wonderful things in the upcoming year.  Now, on to the recipe.