Archive | October, 2011

Herbed Ricotta Crostini

23 Oct

I have had this recipe bookmarked since last October!  When Daniel and I had a small dinner party earlier this fall, I was searching for something to go along with the shrimp and veal meatballs I made.  This was the winner!  There is a restaurant at Foxwoods that serves this and I can tell you, this recipe mimics it!  The ricotta is so creamy and the herbs give this an explosive flavor.  Enjoy!

Ingredients:

2 cups of ricotta (I used whole milk)
3 tablespoons minced scallions
2 tablespoons minced fresh dill
1 tablespoon minced fresh chives
Salt and Pepper
1 loaf of ciabatta bread ( I used ciabatta garlic sticks)
Good Olive Oil
1 whole garlic clove, cut in half

Directions:
Combine the ricotta, scallions, dill, chives, 1 teaspoon salt and pepper, and some olive oil;  set aside.  Cut the bread in half and cut each half into smaller pieces.  Brush the bread with olive oil and rub each price with garlic.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper and spread with the herbed ricotta.

Recipe adapted from Country Living Magazine, October 2010.  Originally from Barefoot Contessa:  How Easy is that?

Fried Green Beans

23 Oct

When Daniel and I were in Las Vegas celebrating our 1 Year Wedding Anniversary years ago, he ordered some Tempura Green Beans.  They were the best he ever had!  So of course when we returned home, I tried to replicate these.  I made ones from the Red Cat Cookbook that were ok, but not on par with the ones he had in Las Vegas.  A few weeks ago, I attempted these again.  These were a bit better, but still not what DH expected.  He did say these were flavorful and crispy.  Just note that the recipe makes a lot of batter.  It may be a good idea to cut the recipe in half if making these for 2 people.

Ingredients:

  • Peanut oil, for frying
  • 1 cup beer
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt, plus more for seasoning (I also added some seasoned salt)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning
  • 1 pound green beans, ends trimmed

Directions

Preheat oil to 375 degrees F.

Whisk the beer, flour, salt and pepper until smooth.

Dip green beans into batter to coat, letting excess drip off. Fry in the peanut oil in batches, until they are golden and crisp. Remove from oil with a spider strainer to a paper towel lined sheet tray. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Recipe from:  http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/neelys/fried-green-beans-recipe/index.html

Creamy Mashed Potatoes – Truly Heaven!

23 Oct

I love mashed potatoes! Growing up, we would have them every major holiday with dinner and occasionally a few Sunday’s during the year.  I don’t especially love pealing the potatoes, but it’s worth the effort once you get your first taste of them!  Daniel shares my love of mashed potatoes and often requests this recipe.  Something about the cream cheese, seasoned salt, heavy cream, and extra butter….makes these stand out from your regular kind of mashed potatoes.  Ree from the “Pioneer Woman” surely doesn’t disappoint on these.  I’m sure you will enjoy them just as much as my family and I do!  I first made these during Thanksgiving 2010, and will definitely be making these again this year.

**This recipe makes a lot of mashed potatoes.  If you are making these for just 2 or 3 people, just decrease the amount of potatoes you add and half the amount of cream cheese, butter, and heavy cream or until your level of creamieness  is perfected!

Ingredients

  • 5 pounds Russet Or Yukon Gold Potatoes
  • 3/4 cups Butter
  • 1 package (8 Oz.) Cream Cheese, Softened
  • 1/2 cup (to 3/4 Cups) Heavy Cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon (to 1 Teaspoon) Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon (to 1 Teaspoon) Black Pepper

Preparation Instructions

Peel and cut the potatoes into pieces that are generally the same size. Bring a large pot of water to a simmer and add the potatoes. Bring to a boil and cook for 30 to 35 minutes. When they’re cooked through, the fork should easily slide into the potatoes with no resistance, and the potatoes should almost, but not totally, fall apart.

Drain the potatoes in a large colander. When the potatoes have finished draining, place them back into the dry pot and put the pot on the stove. Mash the potatoes over low heat, allowing all the steam to escape, before adding in all the other ingredients.

Turn off the stove and add 1 ½ sticks of butter, an 8-ounce package of cream cheese and about ½ cup of heavy cream. Mash, mash, mash! Next, add about ½ teaspoon of Lawry’s Seasoning Salt and ½ a teaspoon of black pepper.

Stir well and place in a medium-sized baking dish. Throw a few pats of butter over the top of the potatoes and place them in a 350-degree oven and heat until butter is melted and potatoes are warmed through.

Note: When making this dish a day or two in advance, take it out of the fridge about 2 to 3 hours before serving time. Bake in a 350-degree oven for about 20 to 30 minutes or until warmed through.

Recipe from:  http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2007/11/delicious_creamy_mashed_potatoes/

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles – A Crowd Pleaser

23 Oct

As a kid, I loved eating cookie dough!  Amy and I would each grab a spoon and dig into the log of Nestle Tollhouse Cookie Dough in our refrigerator.  Granted we were warned that eating too much could make us sick, but this never seemed to stop us.  I don’t think we ever got sick either!  As an adult, I still love eating cookie dough!  I haven’t bought the pre-made cookie dough in a long time; I’ll make my own now.  This way I can add as much vanilla or brown sugar as I want!

When I came across this recipe years ago, I was immediately intrigued and knew I had to try them.  I actually created my own recipe out of the base for these truffles and entered them into the Pillsbury Bake Off a few years ago.  Unfortunately, my recipe didn’t get selected; I will have to share this recipe another time.  But for now, enjoy these truffles!  They are a bit rich, so you can’t have too many of them, but they melt in your mouth!  They are great for your cookie swap item or even for your Thanksgiving or Christmas Dessert Tray.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup semisweet mini chocolate morsels (I added in extra chocolate chips; since the original recipe calls for walnuts or pecans and I omitted them.)
  • 1 1/2 pounds chocolate bark candy coating, melted

Directions:

In a large bowl cream butter and brown sugar with an electric mixer at medium speed until creamy. Add vanilla. Gradually beat in flour and add milk. Add chocolate morsels, mixing well. Shape into 1-inch balls. Place on waxed paper; chill 2 hours.

*Cook’s Note: Since the dough is sticky, roll your fingers into flour. This will make it easier to roll.

Melt chocolate bark candy coating in a double boiler. Using 2 forks, dip cookie balls into candy coating to cover. Place on waxed paper and chill to set. Store in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

Recipe from:  http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paulas-best-dishes/cookie-dough-truffles-recipe/index.html