Friday, November 25, 2011

L'affettatrice

So we got an amazing new kitchen appliance... l'affettatrice! These are normally found in meat shops and the grocery store, but many people have them in their homes here in Italy. My husband decided we needed one... but not just the normal home one, we needed a professional one! So, we got it! And we LOVE IT!

We bought some speck and we cut it up thin and wrapped it around some amazing grissini... this is an Italian treat! You can cut cheese and meat paper thin or thick.



Thursday, November 24, 2011

Cranberry Cake

Kamice's Grandma's Cranberry Cake Recipe :)

I love it when friends share their favorite family recipes!!! Kamice is going to be my "exploring Italy" friend. We have been talking about it for years and I hope it will happen this year!!!
But in the meantime, enjoy her Grandma's (now famous) Cranberry Cake Recipe!!!
HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!!!























What you need: 
3 TBLS Butter (melted)
1 Cup Sugar
-Beat these 2 ingredients together
Add:
1 Cup Milk
2 Cups Flour
2 tsp Baking Powder
2 Cups Cranberries (fresh)

Bake at 325 degress for 35-40 minutes 

What you need for the sauce:
1 Cup Sugar
1 Cube Butter
1/2 Pint Whipping Cream
1tsp Vanilla

Cook sauce ingredients on low until it is heated through but not boiling. Serve over individual slices of cake! YUMMM! ** I like to make small holes in my pieces of cake so that the warm sauce soaks in! My kids like to add vanilla ice cream on the side. Be generous with the sauce, the cake is not sweet but as you can see the sauce is! ENJOY!


CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE PRINTABLE RECIPE

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Finocchi (Fennel) al gratin

We are a family that LOVES green bean casserole on Thanksgiving. But this year, in honor of living in Italy, I have decided to try another dish. An Italian version of a vegetable smothered in delishousness and topped with crunchy goodness... finocchi al gratin. Get ready for a taste bud explosion, people!

What you will need:
(You can buy the bechemel at any Italian store or make it yourself! I will add a recipe for it on here soon!)


1. Start a pot of water to boil. Add a punch of sea salt.
2. Cut finocchi (fennel) into quarters and put into the boiling water until the pieces begin to separate. About 3-5 minutes. (cut off the tops of the fennel and save it to use when cooking meat. It is a great alternative to rosemary.)3. Put the finocchi into a pan a baking dish and add b├ęchamel. Top off with a mixture of a pinch of sea salt, breadcrumbs and grated fresh parm.4. Put a top on it and put it in the oven on 400 for 20 min. (Time and temp may vary depending on oven.)5. Take off the top and drizzle with olive oil. Broil for 5 minutes.
ENJOY!!!!!!!!



Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto



This is not just good... its CRAZY GOOD!!!
I was inspired by a tomato pesto I had in Virginia at a little rustic restaurant. It was so good, I went back twice in one day for it. So, I had to create my own version. Of course, I waited till I was in Italy, so the ingredients would be even better!

In this photo, I am eating the pesto on a piece of rustic bread with some fresh ricotta! TROPPO BUONO!
What you will need:
1/2 cup of olive oil (maybe more, maybe less... depends on how you want the texture)
1 cup of sun dried tomatoes
1/2 cup of chunked grana padano cheese (or parmigiano)
1 garlic clove
generous pinch of coarse sea salt
handful of fresh basil (in the winter I use a piece of cooked bacon instead)
1/4 cup of pine nuts (optional)

How to make it:
1. Put all ingredients in a good, strong chopper... add the oil last. 
2. Turn it on and get it nice and spreadable! 
3. EAT IT! 

People... it is that simple. Seriously. 

It can also be used in pasta just like basil pesto. I just LOVE sun dried tomatoes and this is rather addicting. 
Buon appetito! 



Monday, November 7, 2011

ITALIA!!!!

Oh yes, you read it right! I live in Italy now and I am ready to start blogging again!
Which means you are going to get the real deal. The authentic Italian dishes. I am going to test them and taste them and really learn how to make them!

Here is a photo I took of a cup of Italian Hot Chocolate with Red Peppers! It was SOOO delish!
I have yet to taste anything here that I don't like!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Crostata

This is a recipe that I have tweaked and perfected to my family's liking.
If you like more marmalade or jam or jelly, go for it! But I like mine with a crunch and a little chew!
This is a recipe that I make for my family and we can't get enough of it!!!  ENJOY!







What you will need:
2 cup(s) white all-purpose flour   
1 1/2 cup(s) regular butter   
3 Tbsp Sugar in the Raw Turbinado Sugar from Natural Cane   
1 large egg yolk(s)   
1 Tbsp lemon zest   
1/4 tsp sea salt   
6 Tbsp strawberry jam   
3 Tbsp water   


How to make it:

Mix together your flour, sugar salt and zest of one lemon.
Cube COLD butter and add it to the mix. Use your hands to incorporate the butter into the flour mix. You want it to be crumbly. Next, add your egg yolk. Mix it with your hands. Then add 2 TBSP of ice cold water. Mix it well with your hands. If it is still too crumbly, add another TBSP of water. Ball the dough and wrap. Refridgerate for 30 minutes. 
Take it out and roll it like a pizza crust. Add 6 TBSP of your favorite jam. Roll over the edges into the crostata to keep all the jam in.
Bake for 30 minutes at 400. 

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Polpette di Melanzane

I want to say thank you to my dear friend Carmen for sharing this recipe with me... and now with the world! Everyone enjoyed these so much this past weekend, it seems only fair to share with you all! 


POLPETTE DI MELANZANE 
(Eggplant balls)
from Carmen's Kitchen!!!!! 


















Ingredients for 20-25 balls

4 large eggplants 
2 eggs 
1 large slice of bread 
bread crumbs
a little parsley
1 bunch of basil
100 g of grated Parmesan cheese
1 clove garlic
flour
milk
salt & pepper
Olive oil for frying



Soften a bit of milk in the crumb of the bread crumbs.
Start a pan with a drizzle of olive oil and 1 smashed fresh garlic. Turn it on low flame and let the garlic blonde. 
Cut the eggplant into small pieces and blanch (cooking briefly in boiling water) for 5 minutes.
Drain well and allow to cool. 
Squeeze very well (by hand or with a potato masher) and put them to cook for a few minutes with a little salt in a pan in your oil pan you started earlier. Remove immediately.


Let them cool again, then put them in a large bowl. (it will be a squishy mess)
If necessary add a little more salt, your eggs (put them in a bowl and mix them like for scrambling), smashed up piece bread, parsley and basil, washed and chopped, and a pinch of pepper.
Begin to mix well.
Add the Parmesan cheese.
Add the breadcrumbs until you have a consistency not too soft (but not too dry).

Form the meatballs, not too large, roll them in the flour and fry them in oil hot. 
YOU DO NOT HAVE TO FRY. I actually just put them on a cookie sheet and drizzle olive oil on the and put them in a 450 degree hot oven and cook them for about 10-15 minutes. 
Drain them well on paper towels.

Enjoy!