Sunday, December 4, 2011

Sunday Morning Breakfast

I know I have told you how much I love that my husband
gets up on Sunday morning and cooks breakfast but
I have to tell you again because it is GREAT!

It is so nice to wake up and come downstairs to
an already prepared, delicious breakfast.

Today he made eggs with sauted onions, crushed
cumin seed, cilantro, paneer cheese and
diced tomatoes ~ YUM!

This is a perfect start to a Sunday morning.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Risotto with Mushrooms, Blue Cheese and Arugula

It is funny why I decide to make things some times.
When I came home from work the other day I did not
have a plan for dinner. I opened the refrigerator
and saw the portobello mushrooms I bought at the
market and thought, "I really should use those
before they go bad." I also noticed that I had
a small brick of blue cheese. HMM, the ideas
started flowing and the end result was ...

Risotto with Portobello Mushrooms, Blue Cheese
and Arugula.

I don't have a specific recipe but what I can
tell you if your going to make this is that
I used about 4 cups of (pre-warmed) vegetable
broth to 1 cup Arborio Rice.

I started by chopping up some onions and
cooking the in a little oil . Then I sliced
my 2 portobello mushrooms and added them to the
pan with the onions. I cooked them for about
4-5 minutes. I added the Arborio Rice and gave
it all a good stir. Then I slowly added
the pre-heated broth a cup at a time while
continuing to stir the risotto. When the
risotto was almost completely cooked I added
in the blue cheese giving it a few minutes
to melt. At the very end I gently folded in
the washed arugula and a dash of salt and pepper.

The Risotto was excellent. It is a heavy dish so
you may want to serve it with a light salad.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Peanut Crusted Tilapia with a Ginger and Scallion Chutney

Tilapia is a fairly easy fish to cook.
It has a mild fish flavor making it easy
to find a wide variety of ingredients to
pair with it. Tilapia contains a great
deal of protein and vitamin B12 -
making it is good for you!
Here is a new Tilapia recipe I tried
that you might like.

Peanut Crusted Tilapia with a Ginger and
Scallion Chutney

1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tbs. agave nectar
1/2 cup scallions finely diced
2-3 tbs. fresh ginger finely grated
4 tsp. rice wine vinegar
kosher salt
1/2 cup of flour
1 large egg
1/2 cup salted peanuts, finely chopped
2 skinless tilapia fillets
fresh ground black pepper

In a skillet, heat the oil and add the scallions and ginger.
Stir the ginger and scallions while they cook. Cook until
they are a golden color, about 4 minutes. Add 3 tsp of the rice
wine vinegar to the pan and cook for about 2- 3 more minutes.
Then tansfer this mixture to a small bowl. Add the last tsp of
vinegar, 1 tbs. of agave nectar and a pinch of salt. At this
point I would taste this mixture to see if the flavors are

Next, get your flour and put it on a flat plate, beat an egg in a bowl and set
the finely chopped peanuts on another flat plate. Dry the tilapia
and sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. Then you will rub flour
on the fish, dip the fish in egg and then cover with the chopped peanuts.

In a new skillet heat a little oil. Add the tilapia fillets and cook until golden on each side. The peanuts will brown as the tilapia cooks. I usually cook
my tilapia for about 3 - 4 minutes on each side.

To serve you will place the peanut crusted tilapia on a plate and then
gently pour and spread some of the ginger and scallion chutney on top
of the fish.

We made roasted sweet potatoes with gorgonzola cheese as a side dish.

This turned out to be a great meal!

Balsamic Roasted Sweet Potatoes - OH YEAH

This is a very good recipe if you
are looking to make sweet potatoes
in the near future. With Thanksgiving
right around the corner you may want
to consider this as a yummy side dish
to compliment your Thanksgiving Day Turkey.

Balsamic-Roasted Sweet Potatoes
from Cuisine at Home

1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons of brown sugar
4 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut
into wedges.

Gorgonzola Cheese
Hazelnuts, toasted and chopped

Combine the oil, vinegar and brown sugar.
Toss the sweet potato wedges in this mixture.
Heat your oven to 425 degrees. Arrange the
sweet potatoes in a single layer on
a baking sheet. Sprinkle them with a pinch of
salt and pepper. Roast the wedges in the oven
for about 30 minutes. Toss them a few times
while they cook.

While they cook, toast and chop some hazelnuts.

When the potatoes are done cooking,
garnish them with crumbled Gorgonzola Cheese
and chopped, toasted Hazelnuts.


Saturday, November 5, 2011

Pizza with Chicken, Pesto and Grapes

Last night we made a very delicious pizza!

Pizza with Chicken, Pesto and Grapes
Pizza Dough
1 chicken breast, cooked and chopped
1 cup of washed, cut red grapes
1 cup of Mozzarella cheese, grated
1 onion, diced and cooked down, carmelized
1 cup basil pesto - you can buy this pre-made

We started with a bag of store bought pizza dough
because we have not found a recipe that we like for
pizza dough.

I set the oven to 500 degrees and placed the pizza stone
in the oven while we got all the toppings ready.

I cooked the chicken breast in some oil and sprinkled it
with thyme and sage. Then I washed and sliced about a cup
of red grapes. I sliced, cooked and carmelized an onion.
The mozzarella cheese just needed to be grated and I
had pesto in the freezer.

My husband rolled out the dough, placed it on the hot stone.
I spread the pesto all over the dough. Then I put the
thinly sliced chicken down, covered the pizza with mozzarella
cheese, add the grapes and carmelized onions to the top .

Bake at 5oo for about 7-10 minutes.


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Sausage, Lentil and Kale Soup

This is a wonderful, hearty soup for the fall and winter.
I made it last weekend and froze a half portion for later.
It was perfect timing for soup because the weather
took a dip and it has been chilly!

Lentil, Sausage and Kale Soup

1/2 onion, diced very small
1 carrot, diced very small
2 large stalks celery, diced
1 T olive oil
1 T minced garlic
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tbs. Tuscan Spice Blend
4 links pre-cooked chicken Sausage
(Aidell's Sausage is a great choice)
1 large can fire roasted tomatoes, diced
6 cups chicken stock (or 4 cans chicken broth)
1/4 cup brown lentils
1/4 cup red lentils
pinch of red pepper
salt and pepper to taste
3-4 cups of washed and chopped Kale
2 T balsamic vinegar

Heat oil in a heavy soup pot, then saute vegetables, garlic, and seasonings as above. Add canned tomatoes, chicken stock, brown lentils, red lentils, and salt and pepper and simmer over low heat for about 45 minutes, or until lentils are soft.

Add Chicken Sausage and simmer for about 30 minutes more. Add Kale and simmer for about 15 minutes. Stir in balsamic vinegar and simmer about 5 minutes more. Serve with a little parmesan cheese.

I will be making this recipe again soon.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Apple Pie, Apple Cider and Pancakes with Apple Chutney

This weekend we went to
Hillcrest Orchards
in Ellijay.
It was the perfect weekend to go apple
picking because the weather was beautiful.
Hillcrest Orchards is a family owned and operated
apple orchard in the North Georgia Mountains.
They had several varities of apples for sale as well as
many other good things like apple fritters, fried pies,
jams and syrups. There are also fun things for the kids
to do at the orchard.

We purchased about 2 pecks of apples. Our selection
included Honey Crisp, Georgia Rome, Pink Ladies and
Granny Smith.

After purchasing our apples we took a little trip
to downtown Ellijay. Ellijay has a cute town center
with restaurants and shops. There were tons
of people walking around the town. To our surprise
we showed up in Ellijay for the "Apple
" which was this weekend and next weekend.
We enjoyed walking around the town, visiting shops,
having a nice lunch and seeing all the apples and
apple products for sale.

Once we returned home the baking and cooking started.

My husband made apple pie.

On Sunday we had pancakes with apple chutney.

I also make Apple Cider.

Apple Cider Recipe
Wash and Cut 10-12 apples (quarters)
Place in a large pot with 6-8 cups water
Add a tablespoon of both ground cinnamon
and all spice.
Add 3/4 cup of sugar.
Add 2 tablespoons of agave nectar.

Let this pot of apples and spices boil
uncovered for about 45 minutes.
Check and make sure it is not bubbling
over. Then after about 45 minutes,
turn the temperature down and let the
mix simmer for 2-3 hours.

Once the apples have really softened
and the liquid has become a deep color
let the mixture cool. Process the
mixture in a blender and then pour
through cheese cloth so you are left
with only the delicious juice.

Serve warm or cold.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Pasta with Spicy Sausage

Sometimes you just need something spicy!
This dish is Rigatoni with a spicy, sausage sauce.

Cook the hot Italian sausage in a frying pan.
Break up the sausage into small pieces and set aside.

I make a quick sauce using a little garlic
and onion sauted in olive oil. Add
a large can of diced tomatoes. Add the sausage,
a pinch or two of red pepper flakes,
some chopped basil and oregano. Add a
little salt and pepper.
If you don't have fresh spices you can
used dried basil and oregano.

Let the sauce simmer.

Cook the Rigatoni.

Serve the Rigatoni with the
spicy, sausage sauce.
Top with grated parmesan cheese.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Book Club Dinner

Last night we hosted Book Club. We just
finished reading "In the Place of Justice"
by Wilbert Rideau. In this book
Wilbert Rideau tells his story of how
he was convicted of murder and spends
44 years in prison. This is his story
of punishment and deliverance.

For dinner we had Chicken Pot Pie
which is a recipe from this blog.
Our side dishes were jello, steamed
vegetables, salad and a biscuit.
We had Bananas Foster for dessert.

It was a fun night with friends full of
great conversation and good food.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Pesto Pasta with Roasted Potatoes and Green Beans

Knowing all the pasta we have eaten,
it amazes me that I can find new
pasta recipes that we have not tried.

I took the ideas of this recipe from
a recipe on the Williams Sonoma website.
I wasn't really sure about the idea
of mixing potatoes and pasta together but
I have to say it really did turn out nice.

Pesto Pasta with Roasted Potatoes and Green Beans

To make the pesto:
Saute 2-3 cloves garlic in oil.
Add 1/4 cup of nuts in the oil to toast them
while the garlic is cooking. I use almonds or
pine nut.
Wash and dry about 2-3 cups fresh basil.
Take out a 1/3 to 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese.

In a food processor add the basil leaves, the warm
garlic and nuts with the oil and the parmesan cheese.
Pulse this mixture until it becomes fine. Then add
a little more olive oil ( 1/4 cup or so, salt
and pepper and pulse the mixture a little more.

To make the potatoes:
Wash and cut about 10-12 small, new potatoes
In a bowl mix the potatoes with a little oil,
salt, pepper and lemon zest.
Roast in the oven at 375 for about 20-25 min.
until tender.

Wash and cut the ends from the green beans.
Cook your pasta when the potatoes are about 10 min
away from being finished. About 5 minutes before your
pasta is finshed throw in the green beans so they can
cook. (Reserve a little of the pasta water before
draining 1/2 cup).

Drain the pasta and green beans and put them back
into the pot. Add the roasted potatoes to the pot
and the pesto mixture. Give the mixture a good stir.
If you think the pesto pasta needs a little liquid
you can add some of the pasta water in a little at
a time.

Serve with a little grated parmesan cheese.


Sunday, September 18, 2011

Mexican Red Lentil Soup with Chicken

I have to give a big shout out to Kayln from Kaylyn's Kitchen
for this wonderful recipe. When I read through the recipe
it sounded so perfect as fall approaches and the
weather starts to cool down a little in the evenings.

I made a few changes to her orginal recipe.

Mexican Red Lentil Soup with Chicken

1 chicken breast
1 tbs chili oil
1 cup dry red lentils
1 T olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
3/4 cup finely chopped red pepper
1/2 cup chopped parsnips
1 T minced garlic (or less, but I like a lot of garlic)
1/4 tsp. ground turmeric
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. chile powder
1 can fire roasted tomatoes (chopped or diced)
3 cups vegetable broth
1/4 -1/8 tsp of cayenne pepper (Kalyn used tabasco sauce to add heat)
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

1/4 cup fresh squeezed lime juice
1/2 - 1 cup chopped cilantro
1 avocado
1/2 cup queso fresco

Put red lentils in a small pot with 2 cups of broth. Bring to a boil, turn off heat and cover. Let lentils sit in the hot water 30 minutes.

While the lentils cook you have time to cut the vegetables. Finely chop the garlic and onion. Chop the red pepper and parsnips. Heat olive oil in soup pot, add vegetables and saute for 3-4 minutes, just long enough that vegetables are starting to soften. Add ground turmeric, ground cumin, and chile powder, stir, and cook 1-2 minutes more. Cook the chicken breast in chili oil or Mexican spices. Slice the chicken into small pieces.

Add diced roasted tomatoes, rest of broth, pieces of chicken and cayenne pepper. Add the partially cooked lentils to the soup pan. Let the soup simmer for 30 minutes. Taste the soup. Check the texture of the lentils to determine if the soup needs to cook any longer. Add a pinch of salt and pepper.

While soup cooks the rest of the way finely chop 1/2 - 1 cup fresh cilantro. Squeeze limes to get 1/4 cup fresh lime juice. When the lentils are as soft as you would like, stir in chopped cilantro and lime juice and cook for just a few more minutes. Peel and chop one avocado.

Serve with a little more cilantro, avocado and some queso fresco.

This was a very flavorful soup!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Fried Eggplant

If I had a deep fryer I would be dangerous.
I can think of so many things I would fry.
Fried apple fritters, fried dough, fried
snickers bars.... the list goes on and on.

Without the fryer I have to resort
to pulling out a big frying pan
and peanut oil to fry food and this
does not happen very often.

I fried eggplant as a side dish the
other night.

I made up the recipe for the batter
and it turned out pretty good.

Batter for the Eggplant:

fresh sage, chopped
fresh oregano, chopped
parmesan cheese, finely grated
pinch of salt and pepper

So from there it was pretty simple.
I cubed the eggplant. I dipped
the eggplant in an egg / buttermilk
mixture. Then into the batter.
I dropped the battered eggplant into
the pan with hot peanut oil.

The final product ~ little bites of goodness.

Fried Eggplant:

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Chinese Stir-Fry

Ok, I am branching out here by trying to make
a Chinese Stir-Fry. I would not normally choose
a recipe like this but when I read through
the ingredients I realized I liked everything
in the dish so why not give it a try.

There is a market/ grocery store near our
house that carries a good variety of
ethnic food so I was sure that I could
get the Chinese Noodles there.

Chinese Stir-Fry
8 oz of Chinese Egg Noodles
2 pork chops
1 tbs. vegetable oil
1 cup sliced cremini mushrooms
1/2 cup sliced asparagus
5 cloves of garlic, diced
4-5 green onions, sliced
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1 tbs brown sugar
2 tbs of lime juice
1 tbs. sesame oil
1 tbs. ketchup
1 tbs. chile paste
2 eggs
2 cups fresh spinach, washed and cut

Follow the directions on the package to cook
the Chinese Egg Noodles. Drain the noodles
and set aside.

Fry two eggs in a small pan. Once they are
cooked set them on a cutting board and
cut them into slices.

Add vegetable oil to a pan and heat on medium heat.
Saute the garlic for a few minutes. Add the pork
chops and cook for about 2-3 minutes each side
depending on the thickness. Don't overcook b/c you
will add the pork in to the mixture at the end
and it will cook a little more. Take the pork
chops out and set aside for a minute. Add the
asparagus and cook for about 2 minutes. Add the
mushrooms and green onions cooking for 3 more
minutes.(While the vegetables are cooking
slice the pork into thin slices).
Combine the soy sauce,
brown sugar, lime juice, sesame
oil, ketchup, chile paste. Bring to a boil,
stirring well.

Lower the heat. Add noodles to the pan and toss.
Add spinach and stir for a minute. Add
the pork and eggs. Stir well and then serve.

Chinese Stir-Fry

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Vegetable Noodle Soup

This soup should be called Everything or Anything Soup
because it really can work with any vegetables you have
in your refrigerator.

I came home late tonight, looked in the frig and this
is what I came up with.

Vegetable Noodle Soup

Sauté a diced onion is a large pan using a little
vegetable oil for about 5-7 minutes.
Add carrots and parsnips and sauté
for a few minutes. Add zucchini, mushrooms
and white beans. Stir and cook about 2 more minutes.
Add a small can of diced tomatoes, a tablespoon or so
of tomato paste and 2-3 cups chicken broth.
Stir well mixing all the ingredients.
Then I added dried oregano, thyme, sage and a little
bit of chilli powder. I also added a pinch of salt
and pepper. I let the soup cook on low for about 30 minutes.
Then I added small shell pasta and cooked the soup
for about 7 more minutes.

I served the soup with a little parmesan cheese.

Yum! This soup is full of good stuff!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Home Made Potato Gnocchi

This will be the second time I have been brave
enough to try and make Potato Gnocchi. The
first time was with my friend Christina.
This time my husband and I are going to
give it a try using the recommendations from
Cook's Illustrated.

2 lbs. russet potatoes
1 large egg, lightly beaten
3/4 cup flour plus 1 tbs. flour
1 tsp. salt

**1/4 cup ground hazelnuts (our addition)

Wash the potatoes. Poke them with a fork several times
and microwave them for about 7-10 minutes. Set your
oven to 450 degrees. Move the potatoes to the oven
and cook them for about 18 minutes. They are done
cooking when a fork slides into them easily.

Peel the potatoes while they are hot using a
potholder and pairing knife.

Then place the potatoes in a ricer and push
them out onto a baking dish to cool for
about 5 minutes.

Place 3 cups of the potatoes into a bowl.
Gently stir in 1 (lightly beaten) egg
until combined. Add the flour and tsp.
of salt to the mixture.**Add the ground
hazelnuts. Gently combine
these ingredients. Press mixture into
a ball and place it on a lightly floured
counter top. Knead the mixture until
it is smooth for about 1 minute. You can
add flour if the mixture becomes too sticky.

Place the ball on a cutting board and cut
the dough into 8 pieces.

Dust the counter
with flour and roll a piece of the dough
into 1/2 inch thick rope. Place the rope
back on the cutting board and cut it into
3/4 in. lengths. Roll the little pieces
down the tines of a fork to make the ridges.
Place the gnocchi on a baking sheet with
wax paper while you finish rolling the rest.

To cook the gnocchi you will boil a pot of water.
Add about a tablespoon of salt. Pour the gnocchi
in the water. the gnocchi will cook for about
1-2 minutes or until ir floats to the surface.

Add the gnocchi to your favorite sauce.

Browned Butter, Shallots and Sage Sauce

For our sauce I sauted shallots in a few
tablespoons of butter (3-4). I added some
chopped hazelnuts and sauted the mixture
for a few more minutes. Next, I poured in
about 1/2 cup heavy cream, 1 tbs honey,a
pinch of nutmeg,1 tbs. of chopped sage,
salt and pepper to taste. Stir the ingredients
on medium high for about 3-4 minutes.
Toss the already cooked gnocchi in the sauce
and gently mix them around so they are coated
in the sauce.


This is a great recipe because the gnocchi turn
out very light and yummy. I think our addition
of the hazelnuts was also very good and paired
nicely with the sauce we made.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Pasta with Asparagus, Corn and Tomato

What a great first week of school ~ busy ~ but GREAT!!
My husband has been getting home from work before
me and so he has graciously done the cooking this week.

This pasta recipe is very good and easy to make.
Most of the time, when I am planning meals for the week,
I try to find 3-4 new recipes because there are so many
good recipes out there still to be made.
However,this recipe is a repeat dinner for us which means
we both really liked it.

Pasta with Asparagus, Corn and Tomato
1 box Fusilli
1 bunch of asparagus
3/4 cup sweet corn (frozen or fresh)
cherry tomatoes

Cut the asparagus into thirds. Saute the asparagus in a pan with a a little butter and salt for about 4-5 minutes leaving it a little bit crunchy. Place the asparagus in a bowl. Then cook the corn for 2-3 minutes in the same pan. Pour the corn into the bowl with the asparagus. Dice the tomatoes into fourths and add them to the bowl.
Then boil the noodles in a large pot with a pinch of salt.

While the noodles are boiling make the dressing.

Creamy Parmesan Dressing1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 teaspoon of garlic, finely grated
3/4 cup of parmesan cheese, grated
a pinch or two of dried oregano or basil
salt and pepper to taste
Mix all the ingredients together.

Drain the noodles and pour them into the bowl with the vegetables. Pour half of the dressing over the pasta and mix it all together. Then pour the remaining dressing over the noodles so that they all have a nice coat of dressing. You can serve this pasta warm or cold. Top the pasta with a little more parmesan and black pepper.

This makes a nice, light pasta dinner and the leftovers are good too!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Peach Salsa

Did you know that each year Georgia
produces over 130 million pounds of peaches?

Did you know that 40 different varieties
of peaches are grown in Georgia?
There are Starlite, Flavorich, Georgiabelle,
Juneprince and Redskin just to name a few.

Today we bought a few Elberta peaches at the
local Farmer's Market and they were delicious.

I used them to make Peach Salsa which turned
out to be quite a treat.

Peach Salsa

4-5 peaches, chopped
2-3 Tbsp of chopped shallots
1-2 jalapenos, chopped (depends on how hot you want the salsa)
Juice of a lemon
2 Tbsp chopped fresh mint
1-2 Tbsp grated ginger
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon agave nectar
Salt and black pepper to taste

Finely chop the peaches, shallots and jalapenos and place in a bowl. Wash and chop the mint and add to the mixture. Peel and grate fresh ginger and it to the bowl. Add the sugar, agave nectar, lemon jucie, salt and pepper. Taste the salsa and see if any of the flavors need to be adjusted. Don't be afraid to add more of one of the ingredients.

This is a sweet salsa with a kick at the end.
We really liked it!!

You can serve this salsa with chips but it would also taste good over fish or chicken.

Beautiful Peppers and Tomatoes

There is a small Farmer's Market that sets up
behind our house on Saturdays for most of the summer.

About 7 -10 vendors come to sell local produce, soaps
and meats.

Today most of the venders were selling amazing
tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and peach.

I purchased a few of the peppers, tomatoes and corn.
We also bought some spicy sausage.

Look how beautiful my vegetables look.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Layered Panini

It is so nice to leave work at 5:15 and be home by 5:21!!

I have been driving about 45 minutes to work everyday
for several years but now I am thrilled to be so
close to home. I will miss the staff and
students but will not miss the drive!

I am looking forward to my new adventure this
upcoming school year. I can't wait to meet everyone!

Anyway, not having the long drive home gives
me more time to cook dinner. :)

We just made a wonderful Panini for dinner.
It was layered full of goodness.

The first layer was a little basil mayonnaise.
Next layer was some eggplant I breaded and cooked.
Then some slices of lemon, pepper chicken breast.
On top of the chicken I put roasted red peppers
A little Monterey Jack Cheese came next.
After that, some sauted zucchini.

I placed the sandwiches on my panini maker and
cooked them until the cheese melted and the
top of the bun browned a little.

After cooking them, I carefully opened them up to add
a few slices of garden tomato.

Can you say FABULOUS because that is what they were

Monday, July 18, 2011

Two Great Recipes

I have been spending some time reading my Jamie Oliver
cookbooks. I really enjoy his recipes. He uses
great ingredients and explains the cooking process in
such unique terms.

I have "Happy Days with the Naked Chef" and
"Cook with Jamie".

This past week I cooked two great dishes from
his cookboooks.

One was for Pan-Baked Plaice with Spinach,
Olives and Tomatoes.

* I made the dish with Tilapia. It was
very good!

I also made Parsnips and Pancetta Pasta
with Parmesan and Butter.

The flavors were great!

So, go ahead and buy a Jamie Oliver Cookbook
you won't regret it.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A Simple Pasta Dish

What do you cook for dinner when it is 95 degrees outside?

This is a simple pasta dish with fresh basil
and tomatoes.

Slice a few (1-2)cloves of garlic real thin.
Pour about 7 tablespoons of olive oil in
a pan and cook the garlic until lightly brown.
Be very careful not to burn the garlic.
Set the oil and garlic mixture aside to cool.

Choose the type of pasta you would like
and cook it follow the directions on the box.

While the pasta is cooking dice 4-5 red and
yellow tomatoes.
Wash and cut up about 1/2 - 1 cup of fresh basil.
If you have fresh oregano add some of that too.
Mix the tomatoes and basil in a large bowl.
Add 1 tbsp. of a wine vinegar and salt and pepper
to taste.
Add the garlic oil to the mixture.

Once the pasta is finished cooking drain it well.
Then pour the pasta into the bowl with the tomatoes
and stir everything together.

Now, add some fresh grated parmesan cheese.
I like cheese so I added about 1/2 cup grated.

Then serve with a little more cheese on top.

Perfect for a hot, summer evening!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Favorite Dinner In Italy at Ristorante Bagni Delfino

We ate at so many great restaurants while in Italy
but one of our favorites was Ristorante Bagni Delfino.

On their website they describe their restaurant as
a family owned place that has been offering local
speciality dishes since 1968. Which is over 35 years
of amazing food. The restaurant is located in a very
scenic spot right on the water. The views are so beautiful
and the food is outstanding.

We sat outside as we enjoyed our dinner.
Our appetizers were Fresh Tomato Bruschetta
and Mussels. Both appetizers were excellent.

For dinner we shared
Risotto con gamberetti e rucola
Risotto with prawns and wonderfully peppery rocket leaves
and red wine.

The Risotto dish was out of this world good!

We watched the beautiful sunset while we had our dinner.

What a perfect evening!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Peach Clafouti

Ahhh ~ summer fruit is so good.
My favorites are watermelon, peaches and plums.

Watermelon is the perfect treat to bring to
a summer party. I bought this watermelon at
the Marietta Farmer's Market which is held each
Saturday on the Marietta Square.
Look how beautiful it is!

Fabulous peaches are also sold at the Marietta Farmer's Market.
We purchased a brown bag of peaches for $5 and they were
the best peaches I have eaten in a very long time.

If you have some peaches you should try this recipe for
Peach Clafouti. It is fairly easy to make and turns out
so good.

Peach Clafouti

5 large eggs
1/2 cup flour
1 cup sour cream
1 cup whole milk
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. salt
4 cups peaches
(or 2 cups peaches 2 cups plums)

ground nutmeg (a pinch)
confectioner's sugar for the top

Turn your oven on to 375. Whisk the eggs and flour in a bowl
until they are combined. Add sour cream, milk, granulated sugar,
vanilla and salt. Whisk until all the ingredients are combined.
Add a pinch of ground nutmeg. If you have fresh nutmeg that is even
better. Pour this mixture into a baking dish. You want to choose
a dish where the mixture can spread out a little and not be to high
in the baking dish. It should cover the edges of the fruit but not
go over the top. Scatter peaches ( or the peaches and plums) in a
single layer into the batter. Place the dish in the oven and bake
for about 25 - 30 minutes. Bake until the custard is browned around
the edges and the center is set. You want to serve this dish warm.
Let the clafouti cool for a few minutes, sprinkle powdered sugar
over the top and serve.


Sunday, July 3, 2011

A Day Cooking with Mamma Agata in Ravello, Italy

Spending the day with Mamma Agata and her family.

When we started planning our trip to Italy my
husband and I began to research all the
different places we could go, restaurants we
could eat at and things we could do.
The possibilities were endless.

During my research I came across this website
that described a cooking class with Mamma Agata.
On the website they claimed that you
would spend the day cooking in Mamma Agata's private home,
which is situated 1,000 feet above sea level, overlooking
the Amalfi Coast. Her property includes a garden
full of lemon trees, fruit trees, vegetables, spices
and flowers. She would teach you to cook traditional
dishes like antipasti, pastas, seasonal vegetable dishes
as well as meat dishes.

This sounded too good to be true but sign me up is exactly
what I thought.

A few days into our trip we took the famous, scenic
drive along the Amalfi Coast. Now, those of you that
know me well are thinking I can't believe Sharon was
able to make the winding, narrow, challenging drive
to Ravello. I was only able to endure the drive because
my husband drove very carefully ( so I didn't have to
ride in a bus)and because I took a little dramamine. :)

The drive along the Amalfi Coast is AMAZING!!
We stopped several times to take a pictures because it
was just so beautiful. I have included some of the
photos we took along the way.

After about two and half hours of driving and praying
the whole way that this "cooking class" was going to
be worth it we finally arrived.

And I knew from the moment Chiara opened the door
to her home that this was going to be the
opportunity of a life time!

Chiara welcomed us with open arms. She brought
us to the terrace where we looked out over the
Amalfi Coast. Just like the website described but
so much better in person - breathtaking!!
We were served coffe and Mamma's famous lemon cake.

Once the rest of the guests arrived ( one of the guest
being a famous movie star - Sela Ward and her family)
we began our day of cooking with Mamma Agata and her family.
Chiara ( Mamma's daughter) and her husband Gennaro showed
us how limoncello is made. This would be served later in
the day.

Then we moved into the kitchen where the magic began.
Tips and secrets were shared as Mamma and Chiara
demonstrated how several different southern Italian dishes
are made. During the class we learned how to make Mamma
Agata's Coccoli, Eggplant Rolls, Eggplant Parmigina,
Pasta with Sausage and Peppers, Pasta of the Farmer
and Lemon Chicken.

Of course the food and wine were amazing but the
personal stories Chaira shared and passion for what
they do makes this experience so unique.
From the moment you arrive at Mamma Agata's the
family makes you feel like you are special
and that they are so excited
you came to spend the day with them.

I have attached the link to Mamma Agata's
Cooking School because if you are ever
it Italy you should definately visit
Mamma Agata.
The experience is everything
they claim on their website and so much more!!