Thursday, September 15, 2011

New Blog

If you happen to end up on this blog I'm not writing here anymore.  Please visit me at:


Thursday, June 10, 2010



So I realized it has been like 6 months since I posted on this site... maybe more like 9.

I put this photo up on my family blog.

It seemed a perfect entry to put here too... This is the essence of summer in a bite to me. One tiny tomato, one tiny basil leave, one marinated mozzarella ball & some salt.


Thursday, October 15, 2009

Roasted Fall Vegetable Soup

One of my favorite ways to eat all the fabulous fall vegetables is to roast them. Today, I stood in my kitchen looking at some veggies & wondered what I should do w/ them. My kids love soup so I thought I'd throw together a roasted veggie soup. Here is how I did it.

I cut up everything I could find that reminded me of fall. I happened to have a butternut squash, some potatoes and a few small eggplants (shhhh don't tell my husband I threw those in). I tossed them all w/ some olive oil and threw in a few cloves of garlic, sprinkled with salt & pepper and put them in the oven at 350 for about an hour. Just until the edges started to brown & the whole house smelled fabulous.

Then I put them in a big pot w/ 2 cups of stock and used my hand blender to puree until smooth. From there I added more stock until it was the consistency I know the kids like, seasoned with salt & pepper (and a little fresh thyme). The finishing touch is a splash of cream. Ta Da! Yummy soup. Enjoy!!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Fried Green Tomatoes

I have 4 large tomato plants out back that have been a HUGE disappointment, until today. They produced very few red tomatoes but are now loaded with green ones that will never ripen. So sad. So I'm left with many beautiful green tomatoes. What to do... what to do. FRY THEM! I've always wanted to try fried green tomatoes and here was my chance. So here is what I did.

So first, I sliced the green tomato, salted & peppered it and let it sit for about 10 minutes.
Then I mixed the batter.

I mixed about 50% all purpose flour & 50% cornmeal. I used FINE ground. I wanted to have a corn flavor w/o the grit since they would be cooked fast in a frying pan. Then I mixed in just enough milk to make a thick batter. It turned out to be about a 1:1:1 (flour, cornmeal, milk) ratio. Oh – and throw in a pinch of sugar too.

Now about the frying. I used rendered bacon fat I had saved from a spaghetti carbonera last week. I though… hey bacon makes everything better right? Turns out yes that is right. So I put about a tablespoon of fat into my fry pan & heated it up to really hot. So they sizzle when you put them in.

Dry off the tomatoes with a paper towel & dip the tomatoes in the batter until totally covered (you may have to glob it on w/ a fork) then put in pan. Fry until golden on each side.

Drain on paper towel. Salt & pepper again & eat!! Make sure to eat while hot!!

They turned out pretty good and were really easy! Great way to use up those green tomatoes!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Super Easy Sorbet

A friend of the family recently served my mother a homemade sorbet. When she told my mom how it was made, my mom was intrigued as she had never heard of the technique before. NO ICE CREAM MAKER WAS NEEDED. Oddly enough, a few days later mom was served sorbet made the exact same way at another gathering. This technique was new to both of us but as it seems to be the go-to sorbet recipe for the west side wives we decided we had to try it.

The basics were: get a can of fruit in heavy syrup & freeze it. The heavy syrup vs light or water is important. You need a high sugar content for the right consistancy. Throw it in the food processor & turn it on. Ta Da! Sorbet. We tried it w/ a can of peaches & sure enough it worked and was pretty good!

Unfortunately, I can never just leave a recipe be & since I have so much free time I decided to tinker w/ this one too. Here is what I've come up with. My version is fall / winter appropriate too! This would go great on top of some flourless chocolate cake or with some chocolate Christmas cookies. My favorite is to eat it w/ some extra dark chocolate.

Cranberry-Orange Sorbet

1 can Whole Berry Cranberry "sauce" (the ingredients should be only cranberries & sugar)
Fresh zest from 1 whole orange
2 T Grand Marnier (or OJ concentrate)
*note: vary the zest & Grand Marnier quantities based on how much you like orange marmalade if you get my jist. Using the recipe above gives it a lovely orange bordering on bitter orange quality... Which I love, my husband prefers less orange more cranberry (but he doesn't like marmalade).

1) Freeze cranberries until solid.... like overnight.

Open can & throw all 3 ingredients into food processer. You'll need to run the can under some hot water to get the cranberries to slide out. Also - you will need to chop it up w/ a knife and work the large chunks of frozen cranberries down into the blade.

Process until smooth.

There you go. Cranberry Orange Sorbet! How easy is that!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Shortbread Cookies

Whenever I sense that my husband is having a hard day - I make these. They are perfection!
2 C flour
1 1/4 t course salt
1 C unsalted butter, room temp.
1 t vanilla extract
3/4 C conf. sugar

1. mix flour & salt, set aside

2. Beat butter in mixer for 2 min. Add vanilla. Beat for 3 more min. Add sugar. Beat another 2 min. Add flour & mix only until it all comes together.

3. Butter pan(s). I use mini tart pans or one large tart pan. You can use anything really. Using plastic wrap, press dough into pan of choice. Cover w/ plastic wrap & chill for 20 min.
4. Remove & using what ever you can find, cut a little circle in the middle. This will prevent those easy to chip points as well as assist w/ even cooking. For the mini tart pans, I use frosting tips. Cut into the serving shape of choice & poke all over w/ toothpick. This is an excellent thing to have little hand help w/ if you have them. The last secret is to sprinkle them w/ course salt just before baking.
5. Bake in top 1/3 of oven for 45 or 1 hour. The mini tarts take about 45 min. The large tart pan takes 1 hour. Remove & re-cut your serving pieces. Let cool completely.

That is it. You can then, dip them in chocolate if you want. This recipe also is easy to customize. I've added 1/2 C mini chocolate chips, 1/2 C chopped cranberries, etc. My husbands favorite is plain or chocolate dipped. Enjoy!!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Welcome to my new blog

Some of my family & friends have been encouraging me to split my family blog into two. One for family stuff, you know for grandparents to see; and another for all the other stuff. The me stuff. The domestic stuff. So this is THAT blog. I'll be posting stories, recipies & tips all relating to my efforts to perfect my domestic side. Join me!