Saturday, November 16, 2013

Angel Hair Pasta with Cherry Tomatoes, Basil, and Prosciutto

Angel Hair Pasta with Cherry Tomato, Basil and Prosciutto

1/4 cup Olive Oil
1 pint Cherry Tomatoes, halved
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1/4 tsp. Red Pepper Flakes
4-6 leaves Basil, roughly chopped
2 oz. Prosciutto, cut into strips
Angel Hair Pasta
Freshly Shredded Parmesan Cheese

Add the olive oil to the fry pan over medium heat. 
Add the cherry tomatoes and cook for a few minutes.

Add the garlic, basil and red pepper flakes.
Continue to cook over medium heat.

Stir in the Prosciutto and reduce to a simmer.

Cook pasta according to package directions.

Drain pasta and place on serving platter.
Pour sauce over the top.
Garnish with shredded Parmesan Cheese.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Lemon Ricotta Mini Pancakes with Raspberries

Lemon Ricotta Mini Pancakes

1 1/2 cups  All Purpose Flour
3 tbsp.  Sugar
2 tsp.  Baking Powder
1 tsp.  Salt

Thoroughly mix the dry ingredients.
Make a well in the center.

1/2 cup  Ricotta Cheese
3/4 cup  Milk
2  Eggs
1 tsp.  Vanilla
1 tbsp.  Lemon Juice
1 tsp.  Lemon Zest

Mix liquid ingredients and pour into the well in the dry ingredients.

Stir until combined.
Be careful not to overmix the batter.

Melt unsalted butter in the pan over medium-low heat. 
Using a small ice cream scoop, drop batter into the pan.

Cook on the first side until bubbles break on the surface.
Flip pancakes and cook until nicely browned.

Serve with warm maple syrup and
blueberries or raspberries.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Farmhouse Pasta Salad

A Pasta Salad loaded with Vegetables is an excellent way
to use your end-of-season garden produce.

I like to use Rotini Pasta, 
as the spiral shape traps and holds in the dressing.

Cook to the al dente stage, according to package directions.
Drain and rinse with cold water.
(When serving hot, one should never rinse cooked pasta, as it washes away valuable nutrients.  A cold pasta salad is the exception to this rule.)

Drain and rinse the beans of your choice.
Add to the cooked pasta.

Drain olives and slice lengthwise.

Wash, pare and slice your garden produce in to bite size pieces.
Broccoli, carrots, onion, radishes...
Peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini...
Gently toss the vegetables with the pasta and beans.

Add a bottle of Italian dressing.
(Choose a high quality with good flavor)
Refrigerate for several hours or overnight.

Sprinke with fresh Romano or 
Parmesan Cheese before serving.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Game Day Bean Dip

This Party-Size recipe makes 6 cups of bean dip.

2 cans, 15 ounces each, black beans
1 can, 15 ounces, refried beans
1 jar, 12 ounces chunky salsa
1 can mild green chilies
1 package, 4 ounces feta cheese
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Drain and rinse the black beans.
Fold together with the refried beans and salsa.

Dice the green chilies
(or purchase the chopped green chilies)

Break up the larger chunks of feta cheese.
Add chilies and cheese to the beans.

Roughly chop the fresh cilantro.
Stir in gently, so you don't break the black beans.

Refrigerate at least 1 hour to blend flavors.

Serve with Tortilla Chips.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

An Apple a Day!

Why should we eat an apple a day? There are a number of reasons:

  • Reduce your Cholesterol Level: The soluble fiber in apples clings to fats in your intestine to reduce overall cholesterol levels.
  • Make your heart healthy: Lower cholesterol levels lead to a slower buildup of plaque in the arteries. The phenolic compound found in apple skins also helps prevent cholesterol from solidifying on the artery walls and clogging them, which would lead to reduced blood flow to the heart and thus coronary artery disease.
  • Have Healthy White Teeth: Although an apple can't replace a toothbrush. . .eating one stimulates the production of saliva in the mouth, lowering the bacteria level in the mouth and thus reducing tooth decay.
  • Decrease the risk of Diabetes: Apples are loaded with soluble fiber which reduces blood sugar swings.
  • Slow Cancer Formation: Many types of cancer growth have been proven to slow with the consumption of an apple a day. Scientists from the American Association for Cancer Research report that an apple a day helps reduce the risk of developing pancreatic cancer. Cornell researchers found compounds in apple peel (triterpenoids) that fight cancer growth in the breast, colon and liver. The National Cancer Institute recommends a high fiber diet to reduce the risk of colorectal cancer.
  • Prevent gallstones: Gallstones form if there's too much cholesterol in your bile to remain liquid, so it solidifies. This is most common in the obese. So again, grab an apple a day like the doctor recommends.
  • Become "regular": Whether you're constipated or have the runs, the fiber in apples can help. It either pulls water out of the colon to keep things moving or absorbs excess water from the stool to slow things down. This can also help avoid the development of hemorrhoids which form from too much pressure when using the bathroom. The symptoms of IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) can also be controlled with a diet high in fiber (and avoiding dairy and fatty foods).
  • Avoid Alzheimer's: Studies with mice show that just drinking apple juice fights the effects of aging on the brain. These mice showed higher levels of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter, and did better in maze tests than those without apples.
  • Protect against Parkinson's: Research shows that people who eat high fiber fruits gain some protection against Parkinson's disease, which is a breakdown of the brain's dopamine producing nerve cells. This has been linked to the antioxidants.
  • Weight control: To manage weight and thus improve overall health, doctors recommend a diet rich in fiber - an apple a day. Foods high in fiber fill you up without a lot of calories.
  • Liver detoxification: The liver is responsible for clearing the toxins that are constantly consumed back out of the body. Many doctors are skeptical of fad detox diets, saying they have the potential to do more harm than good. But all doctors seem to recommend an apple a day.
  • Boost the immune system: Red apples contain an antioxidant called quercetin which can help boost the immune system, especially when you're stressed out. This antioxidant has also recently been linked to a decrease in the development of cataracts.

There are so many other benefits to eating an apple a day and with such a large variety coming into season, consider starting a new, healthy habit.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Toad in the Hole

Toad in the Hole
Bread, white or whole wheat
Soft Margarine

Allow 2 eggs and 2 slices of bread per person.

Butter both sides of the slice of bread.
Cut out the center with a cookie cutter.
(The buttered center can be fried also...for dipping in the soft yolk.)

Your imagination 
is your only limit!

Preheat your electric skillet to 325 degrees.
Crack the egg out into a small sauce dish.
Place the buttered bread in the skillet 
and slide the egg into the hole in the bread.

Cook several minutes until the egg is set and the underside is golden brown.
Use your pancake turner to insure the bread and egg is not sticking to your pan.
Turn over and brown the other side and cook egg to the desired degree of doneness.

This is a great weekend breakfast 
for the young ...and the young at heart.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Flavorful Rice

Rice can tend to be bland and boring. To liven up your rice and to add great flavor, here is a tip:

  • Heat approx. 1 TBS of olive in a pot and saute 1 TBS garlic for about 2 minutes
  • Add rice and saute until lightly browned
  • Finish cooking rice according to your package directions, substituting vegetable broth for the water called for in the directions
  • Sprinkle some fresh chopped parsley
  • Serve immediately
You can also saute additional ingredients such as chopped onion, carrots, and celery. Simply follow all the steps above.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Tuesday's Tip of the Day

When preparing a recipe that calls for a liquid fat and a sticky ingredient,
such as honey or corn syrup...

...measure the oil first. 
Swirl it around a bit in your liquid measuring cup.

Then measure your honey or syrup.

You will find that the sticky liquid 
just slips right out of the measuring cup!

I used this tip recently when preparing the marinade for these
tasty Beef Kabobs, featured a couple weeks ago.
(click on Beef Kabobs, in case you missed the recipe for the marinade)

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Kids in the Kitchen

A great way to get kids to try something new is to get them involved! From planting new veggies in the garden to buying the staples in the grocery store, kids should play a role on a regular basis. I know, I know - it's sometimes easier said than done but in the long run will your kids learn to love a variety of food, you will be able to spend great time with them and instill in them a love for good time together in the kitchen.

If you have children even as young as 2 or 3, they can help wash fruit and veggies (they love to play in water), pour pre-measured ingredients into the mixing bowl and even stir pre-moistened batter (make sure your dry ingredients are moistened to keep the dry ingredients from flying around).

Older kids can help with cutting soft foods, cracking eggs and mashing fruits. If they are beginning to read, have them help to read the directions. (They will be getting a little extra schoolwork in without even knowing it!)

Important too is not only letting them help with the prep and cooking, but clean up as well. And most of all, have fun!!!