Archive Page 2

08
Apr
08

Mascarpone Cupcakes w/ Raspberry Glaze

Inspiration: Adaptation recipe from Giada De Laurentiis

Creation: Mascarpone Cupcakes with Raspberry Glaze & Grated Chocolate

 

What:

  • 8 oz Mascarpone (Italian Cream Cheese): softened
  • 2 Egg Whites
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 White Cake Mix (Extra Moist)
  • 1/3 cup frozen raspberries: thawed
  • 2 1/2 cups powder sugar
  • 1 chocolate bar: grated 

How: Preheat: 350, Place cupcake liners in muffin tin

White Cupcakes

  • Mix mascarpone, egg whites and vegetable oil until creamy
  • Add cake mix & water and mix for about 3 minutes: mixture should be smooth
  • Using ice cream scoop put 1 scoop into each cupcake liner
  • Bake: 18 – 20 minutes – puffed & golden
  • Allow to completely cool on wire rack before glazing

Raspberry Glaze

  • Puree raspberries in small food processor or blender
  • Whisk raspberry puree into the powdered sugar
  • Using frosting spreader or the back of a spoon frost the cupcakes with glaze
  • Sprinkle with grated dark chocolate
  • Allow cupcakes to sit so the glaze will set & firm

Simple & delictable! Cupcakes were light & fluffy and the raspberry glaze gave it a kick while the chocolate added a touch of sweetness. Absolute perfection!

Ciao’

 

04
Apr
08

Ravioli & Balsamic Brown Butter

Inspiration: Adaptation of recipe I stumbled upon in Real Simple magazine

Creation: Ravioli & Balsamic Brown Butter

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What:

  • 1 pkg frozen Four Cheese Ravioli (can be found in deli section of market)
  • 3 TBSP Butter
  • 2 TBSP Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan – fresh & grated
  • 1/4 Walnuts – toasted
  • 1 TBSP Italian Parsley – fresh & chopped
  • Kosher Salt & Fresh Pepper

How:

  • Bring large pot of salted water to boil
  • Add Ravioli – boil 8 minutes or until they float (tender but still a bit firm)
  • Remove Ravioli from water with a pasta spoon & place in small bowl or on dish
  • Medium Heat: Melt butter in saucepan & allow to become translucent & golden
  • Stir in Balsamic Vinegar
  • Add toasted Walnuts – allow to coat
  • Dash of Salt & 3 turns of Pepper Mill
  • Toss Ravioli with the Balsamic Brown Butter

Plate Up:

  • Serve immediately
  • Sprinkle with Parmesan
  • Sprinkle with Italian Parsley

Salty Balsamic Vinegar with Butter & the toasted walnuts with the nutty flavor of Parmesan creates a creamy, sweet & salty sauce for Cheese Ravioli.

Dinner made simple & savory!

Ciao’

04
Apr
08

Spring Salad: Vinaigrettes

Inspiration: Salads are a Springtime favorite & I am always creating & searching for new flavors to toss with salads.

Creations: Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette & Honey Lemon Vinaigrette

Author’s note: I love using honey to sweeten vinaigrette, fruit, yogurt, tea or breads rather than a syrup or sugar.  I love the taste & it is so healthy!

What:

Honey Balsamic Viniagrette  (vary measurements based on salad size)

  • 2 TBSP Honey
  • 2 TBSP Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Kosher Salt & Pepper

How:

  • Whisk: Honey & Balsamic Vinegar
  • Whisk while pouring Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Dash of Salt & 3 turn of Pepper Mill

Plate Up: Toss Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette

  • Spinach, toasted walnuts, chopped Fuji or Gala apple, & goat cheese.
  • Mixed Greens, toasted walnuts, dried cranberries & feta cheese.

What: 

Honey Lemon Vinaigrette (vary measurement based on salad size)

  • 2 TBSP Honey
  • 1 Lemon – juice & zest
  • 1 TBSP Dijon Mustard – Mild & Creamy w/ White Wine variety
  • 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Kosher Salt & Pepper

How:

  • Whisk: Honey, Lemon Juice & Zest & Dijon
  • Pour & Whisk: Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Dash of Salt & 3 turns of pepper mill

Plate Up: Toss Honey Lemon Vinaigrette

  • Spinach & arugula, mandarin oranges, toasted almonds, & feta cheese.
  • Mixed Greens, sundried tomatoes, toasted pine nuts & goat cheese.
  • Serve as a side dressing for roasted potatoes or pork.

Serve up spring salads with these vinaigrettes for a lite lunch or side salad. Fantastic!

Ciao’

01
Apr
08

Black & White Cookies

Inspiration: Elegant twist on Kiss Cookies (sugar cookies with Hershey’s Kiss in center)

Creation: Black & White Cookies

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What:

  • 1 pkg (log) sugar cookie dough (Pillsbury)
  • 2 bars Dark Chocolate (Ghirardelli)
  • 2/3 cup Heavy Cream
  • Sugar (refined) for dusting

How:

Ganache

  • Create a double boiler: bring pot of water to boil & reduce to simmer & place glass bowl on top
  • Pour 2/3 Heavy Cream into glass bowl and begin to heat
  • Chop Dark Chocolate Bars
  • Add chocolate to warm cream
  • Stir until chocolate is completely melted
  • Remove from heat & pour into small bowl
  • Place in refrigerator for at least an hour so the chocolate ganache will harden

Cookies

  • Slice log of sugar cookie into 1/2 inch slices
  • Cut each slice into 4 pieces (cut in half then cut the halves)
  • Roll the dough to create a little strip approx the size of your pointing finger

Assemble:

Preheat: 350

  • Once ganache has hardened use a tsp measure or melon ball scoop to create small chocolate balls
  • Round out in palm (quite messy so keep a damp cloth near by)
  • Place chocolate balls on baking sheet
  • Wrap each with a small strip of sugar cookie dough
  • Using a floured glass press down the cookies so they are flat
  • Sprinkle with sugar
  • Bake 8 minutes
  • Allow to cool on wire wrack before moving to serving platter so the chocolate will not stick

Simple & not too sweet the Black & White Cookies were superb. The dark chocolate gave a perfect balance against the subtle sweetness of the sugar cookie.  Certainly a simple & elegant success!

Guest’s Comment: These are the best cookies I have ever eaten!

Ciao’

29
Mar
08

Chocolate Hazelnut Ravioli

Inspiration: Casual Dessert with friends…desire: Chocolate!

Creation: Chocolate Hazelnut Ravioli

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What:

  • Wonton Wrappers: small square size
  • Nutella: Italian Chocolate Hazelnut Spread
  • Cooking Oil
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Egg: mixed with 1 TBSP water for egg wash
  • Powdered Sugar: 3 TBSP for Whip Cream & 1TBSP Dusting
  • Heaving Whipping Cream
  • Vanilla Extract

How:

  • Place wonton wrappers on workspace (determine amount by how many you want to serve)
  • Spoon 1tsp Nutella on a wonton wrapper
  • Brush egg wash along each edge
  • Fold in half to create a triangle and press edges together so they stick
  • Repeat steps until complete

Fry Up:

  • Fill large pot with equal amounts of Cooking Oil & Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Bring oils to 375 degrees
  • Gently place Ravioli into oil – work in small numbers 4-5 at a time
  • Ravioli will float – use tongs to flip
  • Allow to turn golden brown – 4-5 secs each side
  • Use strainer or slotted spoon to remove from oil
  • Place on paper towels to soak oil
  • Repeat with remaining ravioli

Whipped Cream:

  • Pour 1/2 cup Heavy Whipping Cream in mixing bowl
  • Begin mixing with electric mixer & whisk attachment on medium speed
  •  Once it begins to fluff -Whisk on HIGH
  • Begin adding 1TBSP powdered sugar at a time
  • Repeat until all 3 TBSP powdered sugar have been added
  • Pour 1tsp Vanilla extract (optional)
  • Continue whisking on HIGH
  • Cream will form peak & it is ready

Plate Up:

  • Place Ravioli on desired serving platter
  • Dust with powdered sugar
  • Place Whip Cream along side, on center…select what looks pretty

Nutella is one of my favorite creamy spreads that can be used in so many varieties. Absolutely delicious…the crunch of the wonton with the warm chocolate & hazelnut dipped into the creamy homemade whip cream…Fabulous!

Guests’ Comment: This is one of the most fun desserts you have made for us!

They are so spoiled!

Ciao’

24
Mar
08

Parmesan Pork Chops & Mixed Greens w/ Honey Lemon Vinaigrette

Inspiration: Love Pork Chops….don’t love fried food.

Creation: Parmesan Pork Chops

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What:

Parmesan Pork Chops

  • 4 Center Cut Pork Chops
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1 cup Parmesan – freshly grated
  • 2 eggs – beaten
  • 1 cup Italian Style Bread Crumbs
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil

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How:

  • Trim fat from pork chops
  • Salt & Pepper each side – very important to season the meat before dredging in coating
  • Create 3 plates: Parmesan – Egg – Bread Crumbs
  • Dredge each pork chop in each mixture: Parmesan, Egg then Bread Crumbs
  • Coat skillet with Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Fry pork chops 8 minutes each side
  • Personal Preference: Place in 350 oven to further cook and brown

What:

Mixed Greens w/ Honey Lemon Vinaigrette

  • Mixed Greens – bag mix of any variety
  • 1 Lemon – juice & zest
  • 2 TBSP Dijon Mustard – Creamy made w/ White Wine
  • 2 TBSP Honey
  • 1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Toasted Almond Slivers

How:

  • Whisk: Lemon juice, Lemon zest, Dijon & Honey
  • Pinch: Salt & Pepper (approx. 1/4 tsp)
  • Whisk: Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Taste for Flavor – sometimes mine taste a bit tart so I will add just a bit more honey to sweeten
  • Pour over salad & sprinkle with almonds

The Honey Lemon Vinaigrette gives the Parmesan Pork a bit of tangy sweetness against the salty & nutty flavor of the Parmesan.

Ciao’

16
Mar
08

Sun-dried Tomato Pizza

Inspiration: Boscos’ Californian Pizza – Che’vre Cheese, Mozzarella, Sun-dried Tomatoes, Fresh Basil, Pine Nuts on Olive Oil Crust…simple & fabulous.

Creation: Sun-dried Tomato Pizza w/ Fresh Basil & Pine Nuts…Gorgonzola & Mozzarella

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What:

  • 1 Pre-made Deli Pizza Crust or 1 lb Pizza Dough (if buying dough flour board & roll to 1/2 thick)
  • 3/4 Cup Gorgonzola Cheese – crumbled
  • 2 Cups Mozzarella – fresh & shredded
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Sun-dried Tomatoes (I soaked in Olive Oil prior to making pizza….can use jar that is in oil)
  • Pine Nuts – Toasted
  • Basil – fresh & chopped
  • Parmesan for serving – freshly grated

How:

  • Preheat 400 
  • Place crust on baking sheet
  • Brush with thin coat of extra virgin olive oil
  • Bake 5 minutes – allows crust to cook slowly so that it won’t burn & get to hard
  • Top crust with Mozzarella & Goat Cheese
  • Bake 10 minutes – cheese should be a bit browned & bubbly
  • Top with Sun-dried Tomatoes & Fresh Basil – Drizzle LIGHTLY with Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Bake additional 4 minutes  – then Broil for approx. 2 minutes just to brown the cheese nicely

Serve Up:

  • Top with Toasted Pine Nuts
  • Sprinkle w/ desired amount of Parmesan
  • Italian Style – Drizzle one more time extremely lightly with Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Creamy Gorgonzola & Mozzarella with sweet Sun-dried Tomatoes, freshness from basil & toasted pine nuts made this a simple gourmet way to enjoy a favorite at home!

Needless to say…conversation was minimum!

Plate Up:

Boscos 

Ciao’