August 2011

This is addicting. Seriously, you should probably not make it. Since I’m sort of the resident pusher man here,  encourage you to give it a shot. It’s stupid easy. Really, it’s beyond simple and very impressive. Your loved ones will be blown away. A word of warning though, heirloom tomatoes are not cheap. This recipe calls for 4 of them. They can run you about $6 a pound. That’s crazy for tomatoes, but I’m telling you it’s money well spent. If you need to stretch a buck use two good size heirlooms and look for baby heirlooms or sweet cherry tomatoes for the other two. It’s not exactly the same but it will still be amazing.

Ingredients

4 heirloom tomatoes

3 cloves of garlic finely chopped

1 cup homemade pesto

8 -10 Fresh (has to be) balls of mozzarella cheese, look for small balls in oil

1/8 cup lemon juice (Must be fresh)

Cooked linguine

Directions

Chop tomatoes into bite sized cubes. In a deep skillet over medium – low heat add the garlic and tomatoes. Cook just until the tomatoes and garlic soften.  Squeeze the lemon into the tomato mixture. toss in mozzarella and pasta. Add the pesto. Toss to coat and serve. You can add some shaved Parmesan if you want to be fancy.

Homemade Pesto

Ingredients

1 bunch of basil leaves

2 cloves of garlic

Parmesan cheese

Good quality olive oil

red pepper flakes to taste

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

In a food processor chop the garlic until finely chopped. Add the basil, salt and pepper, cheese and red pepper flakes. Process again until it’s finely chopped. Now add the oil until desired consistency is reached. (More oil for thinner pesto.) Process again just to combine.

Reserve the remaining mixture in a jar and use within 4 days.

 

 

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French Toast Bread Pudding

by J.S. on August 14, 2011

in Recipes

In keeping with the breakfast theme, my next favorite thing is french toast. Here’s an easy take on it. You basically set it and forget it for about 40 minutes. Perfect for company.

Ingredients

1 loaf Brioche or challa, cut up in cubes

6 eggs

2 cups of milk

1/2 sugar

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp nutmeg

Note: you can add dried fruit, fresh fruit o nuts to mixture

Butter 11x7x2-inch glass baking dish. Place bread in dish. Whisk eggs and the other ingredients in medium bowl to blend; pour over bread. Using spatula, lightly press down on bread to moisten completely. Cover with foil and chill overnight.

Place foil-covered dish in cold oven. Set oven at 350°F and bake 30 minutes. Remove foil and continue to bake until pudding is puffed and golden brown, about 35 minutes longer. Spoon pudding onto plates, sprinkle with toasted nuts, and serve with warm maple syrup.

 

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I’ve been cooking!

by J.S. on August 14, 2011

in Recipes

Who doesn’t love breakfast? I mean it has all the basic needs of life, butter, cheese, sugar. I have to admit I wasn’t always a fan of the A.M. foods…I know, blasphemy. But I have changed and come around and now I’m all about the biscuits and gravy. I love it at restaurants but there has to a simple way(and less artery cloging) of getting it at home. I’m by no means saying this is low fat…cause it’s definitely not, but that being said you’ll know the fat you’re eating.

This was shockingly easy. I went a little easy on the butter and paid for it later. My gravy was a little gooey. Don’t skimp. Go all the way.

Biscuits

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons butter, cubed
  • 3/4 cup milk

Directions

In a large bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt together. Cut butter into mixture until it begins to look like cornmeal.

Make a well with flour mixture and slowly add milk into the middle. Knead dough with your fingers and add milk when necessary. Roll out dough onto a lightly floured surface and roll out to desired thickness. Cut with small biscuit cutter.

Butter bottom of skillet and place biscuits in pan. Bake for 12 minutes or until golden brown.

Gravy

3/4 pound of sausage (fatty sausage works best for this, I used Jimmy Dean)

3 TBS butter
24 cups of milk
4-8 tablespoons flour

1 tsp paprika

2 tsp onion powder

Salt and pepper

Brown sausage in skillet, then remove cooked pieces.  Turn to medium heat. Add butter. Add flour by the tablespoon, stirring constantly. Let the flour turn BROWN before adding another tablespoon (if you don’t, your gravy will taste like flour). After you have added enough flour to make the gravy as thick as you like, add milk and stir with whisk. Then add the remaining ingredients to taste.

Serve over biscuits.

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Happy Friday! Not that I’m trying to question the great and poweful Martha Stewart, but you could skip the vodka and go with Gin instead. May even be better! There I said it, it might be better. I should probably watch my back now.

Go. Drink!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 12 sprigs fresh thyme, plus more for garnish
  • 4 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice, about 24 lemons
  • 2 cups vodka

Directions

  1. In a small saucepan, combine 2 cups water with the sugar and thyme; bring to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat; let cool to room temperature.
  2. Pour mixture through a fine sieve into a large glass measuring cup; discard thyme. You should have 2 cups syrup. Cover with plastic; chill.
  3. In a large serving pitcher, stir together lemon juice, vodka, and chilled syrup; garnish with thyme. Divide evenly among eight tumblers filled with ice; serve immediately.

Photo and recipe from Martha Stewart Living. (Here)

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