Monday, November 29, 2010

Stuffed & Pan Fried Squash Blossoms

Oh I am so excited about this recipe! Let me first say this recipe met all the side dishes at thanksgiving and literally beat them up and sent them home crying… It whipped them up and kicked them down, first in line for posting hands down.

Let me introduce you…that is if you havn’t already met -

Mr & Mrs Squash Blossom…stuffed with cheese! Did I mention pan fried too?
I have to add that this recipe was inspired by Chef Dennis who would gladly marry a squash blossom. I delightfully borrowed his batter recipe

INGREDIENTS (as an appetizer (2) per person)

10 Squash Blossoms
½ cup cream cheese
½ cup chopped cheddar cheese, I used an English cheddar with Onion Marmalade..
¼ tsp red pepper flakes
2 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup flour + extra for dredging
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
2 Tablespoons chopped Basil
Oil for pan frying, I used Vegetable Oil


In a small bowl combine your cream cheese, flavored cheddar, and red pepper flakes. Fill each blossom FULL with mixture and twist the top. Place blossoms in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.

In a small bowl mix together the eggs, milk, flour, Parmesan, and Basil.

Remove your blossoms from the refrigerator and dredge them in flour, coating the blossom really well.

In a large frying pan over a medium high heat coat your pan in a ¼ inch of oil. Take each blossom and fully coat it in your wet mixture than pan fry it until a deep golden brown.

Place your blossoms on a paper towel to drain the excess oil, serve at room temperature…

WAITTTTT, I have one last shot to really kick your taste buds into overdrive… Meooooow!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Daring Bakers November - Blood Orange Crostata

Happy Holidays, as the Christmas music fills my kitchen and I prepare some scrambled eggs with basil and Parmesan cheese for the fam…I present to you the Daring Bakers November Challenge of “Crostata”.

This particular style filled with jam is the simplest of simple, I even succeeded here where in turkey land yesterday….I failed miserably! However that it neither here..nor there


½ cup fine sugar, you can use a blender/processor
1 ¾ cup flour
1/8 tsp salt
1 large egg + 1 yolk
1 tsp vanilla
1 stick of butter, cubed


1-2 jars of jam, I used 1 for 4 mini crostata’s


Whisk together sugar, flour and salt in a bowl. Rub or cut the butter into the flour until the mixture has the consistency of coarse crumbs. I use my potato masher for this.

Make a well in the center of the mounded flour and butter mixture and pour the beaten eggs & vanilla into it. Use a fork to incorporate the liquid into the solid ingredients, and then use your fingertips

Knead lightly just until the dough comes together into a ball. Shape the dough into a flat disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Place the dough in the refrigerator and chill for at least two hours. Next run to the store and pick up your favorite flavor of jam. I used a Blood Orange.

Roll out your dough to a proper shape for whatever size tart pan you chose. I did 4 mini’s but this recipe could easily make 8. I reserved small portion of dough to make shapes for the top of my crostata. Pour jam into your shells until it reaches the top. Next place your gorgeous shapes on top of the jam…maybe a glass of wine too? Two? He he

Bake at 375 for 20-30 minutes or until a golden brown. Please enjoy & here’s to the holidays.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Pumpkin Pie Panna Cotta

Happy (early) Thanksgiving to everyone that celebrates!

I hope to be the type of wife and mother that instills a warm and loving feeling over this time of year. I want to create a special day and vibe, having the holiday makes it so very clear and makes it happen…now to infuse thanksgiving into all the days that follow and precede it.

My husband who sat through every episode of Top Chef Desserts settled on one recipe he wanted to try, Panna Cotta. I was more than happy to make it for him, we chose to make a Pumpkin Panna Cotta. If you have any need for another dessert, this can be made and stored in your refrigerator the night before any party.

INGREDIENTS (serves 6-8)

• 1 1/2 cups milk
• 1 envelope unflavored gelatin
• 1 cup heavy cream
• 1 cup pureed pumpkin, squash or sweet potato
• 1/2 cup sugar
• ½ Tsp of pumpkin pie spice


Put 1/2 cup of the milk in a 6- or 8-cup saucepan, and sprinkle the gelatin over it. Let this sit for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, blend together the remaining milk, cream, pumpkin, sugar, and pumpkin pie spice. The mixture should be perfectly smooth.

Turn the heat under the saucepan to low, and cook the milk, stirring occasionally, until the gelatin dissolves. Pour in the cream mixture, and turn the heat to medium. Cook, stirring occasionally, until steam rises. Turn off the heat and pour mixture into your dishes, I used 4 small ramekins and two large ones.

Again, Happy Thanksgiving and I hope a very safe one.


Monday, November 22, 2010

Spiced Carrot Cookies

I love you family, Let me count the ways.

1. When I am cooking and missing that one ingredient, you are in the car to the store in 10 seconds flat. I love that husband.

2. When I walk in the door and you are more enthusiastic than a person who won the lottery, I love that daughter.

3. When I can’t think of a good Christmas present for Indigo and you send a projector that lights up her room with the planets, I love that Nanny & Papa.

4. When I think of how easy and painless my childhood was, I love you mom & dad.

My family is easy to love, even if I am not – how perfect!
This recipe was delightfully borrowed and slightly modified from Rosa whose blog is very very very yummy.


2 Cups All-purpose flour
1 Tsp Baking powder
1 Tsp Sea salt
1 1/3 Tsp Ground ginger
1 Pinch Grated nutmeg
3/4 Cup Unsalted butter
2/3 Cup Granulated sugar
1/3 Cup Light brown sugar
1 Egg
1/2 Tsp Pure vanilla extract
1 Cup Shredded carrots (about 2-3, peeled and trimmed)
1 Cup Oatmeal
1/2 Cup Raisins


Pre-heat your oven to 375 and line a baking sheet.

In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, salt, ginger and nutmeg, oatmeal. Set aside. With a mixer (or your trusty hand), beat the butter until creamy and smooth. Add the sugars and beat until light and fluffy, then add the egg and beat for another minute. Next add in the vanilla, then the flour. The last step is to add in your carrots & raisins.

I placed this dough in the fridge for about 2 hours, then I rolled it out like a pro and cut 1 inch thick cookies with a Champagne glass…classy I know.

Bake these puppies at 375 until done, 12-16 minutes for me. Thanks Rosa for a great recipe. She has a wonderful blog, check her out!

Now…off to the cookies…and to remind my family that I love them.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Pizza Dip

Pizza in a bowl….ladled on to toasted French bread

Need I say more, or amore’

This weekend will be filled with many hours freaking out in the grocery store over thanksgiving shopping. Between not being able to find the items I need and those strategically placed people blocking my way….ughhhh

Lord, give me strength!


1 8oz package cream cheese
1 15oz can of Pizza Sauce
1 medium onion, chopped
1 small can of black olives, diced
1 cup of diced pepperoni slices
Mozzarella Cheese for topping


Baking Dish + Cream cheese, spread it

Pizza Sauce, smooth it

Onions, sprinkle it

Olives, strew them

Pepperoni, scatter it

Cheese, speckle it

Bake it at 350 till Bubbly... then swallow it via French bread – Don’t forget to chew! Ha

Have a very nice weekend Ya’ll.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Not So Wordless Wednesday

I am in no particular order…Wife, Mother, Daughter, Friend, Co-Worker, Church Member, Television Addict, Wine Lover, Cheese Lover, Dessert Lover, Snow Crab Legs with a hefty bowl of melted butter and some mashed potatoes Lover….OK got a wee bit off track there.

I have blinds over my sink. Sometimes I think they just might be able to support a small family of mice with the amount of food splash they absorb. The little string to pull them up is also about 18 feet to long, it has a home wrapped around some “wall art”.

My walls are tomato bisque and my lawn is a thing of beauty. I have a perfectly HUGE window in my perfectly small kitchen. What can I say they work and sort of balance each other out. Right now I have a load of dishes in the washer, and another patiently waiting to take their place. Shush dishes.

Sometimes, that face ^^^^^^^ - makes me behave irrationally. Not only has it made me give in when I don’t want to, but it has made me have to apologize to her more than I want to admit.

A trip to Target can prove very fruitful when you run into Dance Star Mickey, who dances for a toddlers enjoyment….72.9 times in one half hour.

My table is an IKEA special, I think it could quite possibly be gracing at least 92 million other homes in America and beyond. My candles are dusty & the high chair might need a wipe down…and under. I should not even tell you that those pomegranates are actually being held by a spring form pan fashioned into a nice shiny bowl. HA

Happy Wednesday

Monday, November 15, 2010

Creamy Mushroom Pasta with Turkey Meatballs

It has been very odd but a very large part of my TV viewing has been devoted to zombies lately. Between the tail end of Halloween and two new series, The Walking Dead, and Dead Set... I am in Zombie Heaven....I know...strange girl right? I have to give mad props to Dead Set, more up my alley.

Am I the only Zombie lover? If zombies attacked my house right now I could throw turkey meatballs and pumpkin puree cans at their heads - I also have a crazy cat that would most likely want yes that could also be an ummmmm...distraction.

Delightfully borrowed from : The Cutting Edge of Ordinary


½ cup panko breadcrumbs
2/3 cup milk
2 pounds ground turkey
½ cup Parmesan cheese
2 eggs lightly beaten
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
4 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup minced fresh parsley
½ cup green onions, finely chopped

Mushroom Cream Sauce

3 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup green onions
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
8 ounces mushrooms, baby bella is what I used
4 tablespoons flour
2 cups chicken broth
½ cup white wine, I used a Torrontes
2/3 cup heavy cream
1 pound pasta, cooked

Combine the breadcrumbs and milk in a small bowl and let that sit for 10 minutes. Combine the ground turkey ½ cup parmesan, eggs, 1 tsp salt, ½ teaspoon pepper, garlic, parsley, ½ cup green onions. Add in the breadcrumb mixture and mix well with your hands. Form into small meatballs. Set aside.

Heat the oil in a large soup pot on medium heat. Add remaining ½ cup of green onions, ¼ tsp salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper and sliced mushrooms. Sauté this mixture for 5 minutes. Add the flour and continue to stir until it is absorbed. Add broth and wine, cover and simmer 10 minutes.

Gently drop the meatballs into the sauce. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Add the cream, stir gently and return to a simmer.

Add the drained cooked pasta to the pot and gently stir to combine. Serve with remaining Parmesan cheese….or more…if you are feeling generous!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Pumpkin Crumble Cake

Have you ever had one of those mornings where the night before you lost your cell, then out the door to find it 12 hours later your mini me….who never ever ever ever watches her steps goes head first over a bush and skins her wee leg….yes this is my morning.

After I lost it for a mere second…ok maybe like 5 seconds. I snatched my little Indigo up and asked her what I could do? Through the tears she managed to tell me not to touch her boo boo, I obliged at that moment but then took her back inside to clean her wound.

Five minutes later we were back out the door on our way to Target for supplies…and a romp down the toy aisle for “medicine” aka, a toy to make her boo boo better.

For the Cake
(baked in a large spring form pan)

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted, plus more for pan
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon pumpkin-pie spice
1 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 (15 ounce) can solid-pack pumpkin puree

For the Crumbles

1/3 cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 stick of butter, melted
1 3/4 cups cake flour


Pre-heat oven to 350.

(CRUMBLES) In a large bowl, whisk sugars, spices and salt into melted butter until smooth. Then, add flour with a spatula. Press this gently down as flat as you can get it and set aside.

(CAKE) In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and pumpkin-pie spice. In a large bowl, whisk eggs, sugar, butter, and pumpkin puree until combined. Add dry ingredients to pumpkin mixture, and mix gently until smooth. Pour into prepared (buttered and floured) baking dish.

With your fingers pull up chunks of your crumbles, I made a medium sized chunk and it easily covered the whole cake. Sprinkle over batter evenly.

Bake this freaking awesome cake at 350 for a decent amount of time, mine took almost a full hour! Just keep an eye on it, it will rise…it is just a lazy cake that takes a bit to get its butt in gear. Not sure where it learned that from…no really

This cake is super moist and has a great ratio of crumble to cake, please enjoy!