Sunday, June 20, 2010

Summer Toma-Yums

Made my honey this for lunch by the pool.  Fresh tomatoes from the farmer's market (only my cherry tomatoes are ripe thus far) with asiago cheese, balsamic vinegar dressing and lemon basil!

Promises of Caprese's to come!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Manicotti Mania!

I went a little crazy with the manicotti yesterday.  I made two huge pans- one cheese and one turkey & cheese.   Luckily I had enough to have some wonderful friends over today for lunch and swimming!

2 pkgs of manicotti noodles (cook until ALMOST done, drain and cool)
1 large container of ricotta cheese
1 lb. of ground turkey
1/2 onion chopped finely
herbs to taste (I used fresh oregano, nutmeg, and basil)
Mozzarella cheese (grated)
Any other cheese that you would like to get out of your fridge (I used goat cheese and some provelone also)
Tomato sauce of your choice (or homemade)
  1. Cook onion in skillet, when glazy add ground turkey (or beef or sausage) and basil and oregano.  Add red wine if you have some (I didn't and used some balsamic vinegar.) Brown and set aside.
  2. While meat is browning mix ricotta cheese, egg, nutmeg, and other cheeses (saving some mozzarella for top.  This will be your filling if you want cheese only.  If you want to add the meat mix it to this cheese mixture when it's browned. 
  3. In a large casserole dish pour some tomato sauce to cover bottom of pan.  
  4. Take one manicotti noodle in your hand and stuff with cheese or cheese/meat mixture.  (I use a large icing bag without the tip to fill mine.)  Lay in pan.
  5. Continue to fill until they are all filled and lay in pan.  
  6. Cover with a little tomato sauce and then top with mozzarella cheese.
  7. Bake at about 350 degrees until melty and bubbly! 

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Flim, Flam, Flan

My daughter had a Spanish final project to do and decided to do a presentation on flan.
She did the project by researching the history of flan (which was very interesting believe it or not) and then making a traditional flan and making a power point presentation on it all.  I think she did a great job.
Her finished project (not quite cooled so it looks a little lumpy)

Here is the recipe she used from Cocine A Gusto, a great cookbook I picked up when mom lived in Puerto Rico.  It's published by the University of Puerto Rico, but is actually a really old cookbook originally- I think the first publishing date is in the 1950's.  (That made for interesting Spanish cooking terms.)

The recipe: (translated for your pleasure)

6 eggs
3/4 cup of sugar
3 cups milk
1/2 teaspoons of salt
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla (we used 2)
For the Caramel-
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons of water

Beat the eggs enough to mix the yolks and whites.  Add the rest of the ingredients and stir.  Prepare the caramel and pour a little in the bottom of each of the molds or ramekins.  Fill the molds and place in a pan with some hot water (water bath or bain marie.)  Cook in the oven (not preheated) at about 350 for one hour.
Makes 8 flans.
 Making the caramel (cook the sugar in a pan stir until it browns and bubbles)
Filling the Ramekins

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Chocolate Cream Pie for What Ails Ya

My little guy wanted chocolate pie for lunch, and of course I wouldn't buy him a piece.  To console him (yeah, he gets worked up over food like his mama) I promised we'd make a chocolate pie together for dessert tonight and he could be the taste-tester.   (It worked.)

I'd made apple pie last week for a neighbor and made extra crusts and froze them so we had a crust ready.
We baked the crust- I failed to put beans or such in to keep it from rising so it shrank and puffed a bit, but oh well. 
Then he helped me make Chocolate Pudding for the filling. 

Chocolate Cream Pie

3/4 c sugar
1/4 c cornstarch
3 c milk (I use whole organic)
4 ozs of unsweetened dark chocolate, chopped up (I used Ghiardelli)
4 egg yolks, beaten lightly
2 Tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons (good) vanilla

In saucepan on medium high heat whisk together first ingredients quickly. 
Add chocolate. 
Stir and cook until it boils and thickens.  Then once this happens boil 2 minutes more and then remove one cup of to the bowl with the beaten egg yolks.  Mix with a whisk or fork and add back to the saucepan with the rest.   Boil 2 more minutes, add butter and vanilla, and take off heat.  Pour into buttered ramekins or dishes (or in this case put in fridge to cool.)

The messy pan after we filled the pie (lots left! Yum!)

While this cooled I made my whipped cream (1 pint of cream, some powdered sugar, some vanilla)

When the pudding is cooled off spoon into the cooled pie crust, then top with the whipped cream and chocolate shavings if you desire!  YUM!


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