I was not thrilled with the result. I enjoyed the squash more than the risotto. I think the cumin was too much for the sweetness of the squash. The rice wasn't toasted or absorbed properly (interruptions!) so it made for a bad result.
Mushroom risotto still number one on my list.
I like the fact that Wegman's puts a little extra umph into their sushi quality and creations. They even offer a healthier brown rice version of sushi. Whole Foods does, too. They are the only sushi-in-plastic that I will consider eating.
Croissants were already on hand, since I baked them a day or so ago. Ever try Trader Joe's mini croissants? They are in the frozen aisle, and you'd never expect to get this result from a frozen product. They are fabulous! While frozen, set out on a sheet before bedtime. By morning, they will have risen, tripling in size! Brush with egg (if you care to) then bake 15 mins! They are flaky and buttery, and better than any bakery I know in these parts.
They come 8 to a pack, but I don't make all 8 at once.
They are dee-lish with some raspberry preserves, and I've heard Nutella is the bomb too. But I needed a self-soothing mechanism this morning in the form of...le egg croissant!
Tonight I had a nice tomato leftover in the fridge, so I made my own pico de gallo. Grilled up the tequila-lime chicken and made a slammin taco with queso fresco, sliced avocado, pico de gallo, and double roasted salsa (Thanks TJ's!), all wrapped in a warm flour tortilla.
Been craving this awhile! Had all the ingredients - had to pick up the pancetta though. Nothing like a quality, creamy, glossy carbonara! The restaurants can't make it this good.
- linguini (1/2 box)
- 1/4 lb pancetta, cubed
- 1/3 cup light cream
- EVOO (1 turn around pan)
- 2 egg YOLKS ONLY
- pepper (be generous)
- pasta water
- 1/4 cup parmaseano reggiano cheese, grated fine
- fresh parsley (optional)
1 turn of EVOO around the pan. Fry the pancetta on med, slowly, allowing the pasta to cook. The pancetta will render some fat, so dont use too much oil. Try to time the cooking so the pancetta and pasta are done simultaneously.
Meanwhile, whisk together the cream, pepper, egg yolks and cheese.
Deglaze the browned bits with a couple spoonfulls of pasta water. When the pasta is "al dente", drain, reserving some pasta water.
Quickly remove the pancetta pan from the heat and add the hot pasta to the pan. Pour over the cream/egg mixture and mix until coated. If it seems a little thick, add a spoonful or so of pasta water for a glossier/creamier texture.
Salt to taste. It may not need salt if you've used a really salty pancetta.
I am stumped for what to make next, without repeating something I've already made. I have a flank in the fridge, so I guess I'll saute the portobellas I bought with some onion and eat it with the flank.
All kidding aside, this is as authentic as it gets!
I ain't playin'.
- 6-8 Poblano peppers
- Queso fresco
- 28 oz can while peeled tomatoes
- 1/2 onion
- 2 cloved mashed garlic
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup flour
CHILES:At least two chiles per person should be used. Char the chiles by putting them in a pan under the broiler and turning until skin is black and blistery all over. Remove from oven and place the peppers in a plastic bag of type used for produce in supermarkets. Keep the bag closed and allow the peppers to sweat it out. After 10-20 minutes you can start peeling the peppers.
When the pepper is peeled, make an incision with a sharp paring knife in the side of the pepper, starting at the big end and going down a couple of inches. With the knife, cut the main seed pod just under the inside of the stem and pull it out being careful not to rip the chili. Do not rinse, as this will compromise flavor. Try to get out as many seeds as you can without tearing the pepper. When peeled, roll the chiles in white flour and set aside.
CHEESE:Cut the queso fresco with a knife into long strips that will fit inside the chiles. about 2 strips per pepper. Stuff the chiles with the cheese. Roll into flour again.
SAUCE:In a dutch oven, saute the garlic and onion in the EVOO. Crush the tomatoes in your hands and add to the pan. Add the juice from the can as well. This sauce should be watery. Salt to taste. Add oil if necessary for flavor. Simmer on low, you do not want the watery texture to evaporate.
BATTER:Separate one egg for every two chiles. Beat the whites until stiff. Beat the yolk a little and fold into the beaten whites.
FRYING:Heat EVOO about a 1/4 deep in the pan over med/high heat. Coat each chile in the batter until well-coated. Add to pan, frying on both sides and turning using 2 spoons for dexterity. As each chili is browned, add to the sauce pan and cover with the sauce. Heat the chiles in the sauce at least long enough to soak in the flavor. 15 minutes minimum.
Serve with spanish rice, and sliced avocado. ENJOY!
Served it up with a shot of my own Limoncello.
- 8 oz biscotti (I used vanilla)
- 6 tablespoons melted butter
- 2-3 tablespoons grated lemon zest
- 1 (12-ounce) container whole milk ricotta (at room temperature)
- 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese (at room temperature)
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup limoncello liqueur*, store bought or homemade, recipe here
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
Blend the ricotta in a mixing bowl with a hand mixer. Add cream cheese and sugar and mix well. Mix in the limoncello, vanilla, and 2 tablespoons of lemon zest. Add the eggs one at a time, and mix just until blended.
Pour the cheese mixture over the crust in the pan. Place the baking pan in a larger glass pan. Add enough hot water into the larger pan to come halfway up the sides of the baking pan. Bake until the cheesecake is golden and the center of the cake moves slightly when the pan is gently shaken, about 1 hour (the cake will become firmer when it is cold).
Cool 1 hour. Refrigerate until the cheesecake is cold, at least 8 hours and up to 2 days. Cut the cake into squares and serve! YUM!
Serve with a chilled glass of limoncello after a nice Italian meal.
Homemade hooch. Can you think of anything better?
I make these as gifts and grab one out of the freezer on the way to a friend's house. Always a huge hit.
Stay tuned for a better photo. I'm making a batch now. This photo was taken last year with my phone, before I got obsessed with taking pics of my food.
- 10 lemons
- 1 750 ml bottle of Smirnoff Vodka (red label)
- 3 1/2 cups water
- 2 1/2 cups sugar
- Scrub the lemons to remove any wax or pesticides. Remove the zest from the lemons using a vegetable peeler. Take care not to include any of the bitter white pith.
- Place the lemon zest in a 2 qt pitcher. Pour the bottle of vodka over the zest, seal tightly, and set in a cool, dark place to steep for 4 days, shaking occasionally.
- On the 4th day, mix the sugar and water in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Let boil until the syrup starts to form, 5-10 minutes. Let cool completely. Add to the lemon zest mixture and let stand overnight.
- The next day, strain over cheesecloth or a metal strainer and pour into decorative bottles and store in the freezer.
- Serve over crushed ice.
I get my bottles at a Wine and Beer Homebrewing supplier. Or you can order them online. They are called "Bellissima".
I make these and stock up in the freezer. Whenever I'm off to visit a friend or go to a party, I grab on out of the freezer to bring. These are always such a hit!
Tip: Do not label the bottles before you freeze them. The labels wrinkle during thawing. Instead, before you give as a gift, take out of freezer and allow to thaw and dry. Apply label.
On the Label:
As an after dinner drink, serve one ounce in a small chilled aperitif glass.
As a refreshing dessert, pour an ounce over a large scoop of shaved ice and garnish with a lemon twist.
Limoncello is best when served directly from the freezer.
Ingredients: beverage alcohol; distilled water; pure cane sugar, & lemon oil infused from the peel of fresh lemons.
100 ml -- 45% alcohol by volume
This liqueur is homemade for private use only. Not intended to be sold or served commercially.
- Risotto (arborio) rice - about 3-4 handfuls
- 4-5 Crimini mushrooms (or whatever you like) chopped
- 1/2 large onion (or 1 small) chopped
- 1/2 fennel bulb (save fronds for garnish!) chopped
- 1 clove of garlic chopped or mashed, your preference
- 1/4 c of Cognac
- 4 cups approx of chicken stock
- Juice of half lemon
- 1 knob of butter
- parmasean cheese
- Arugula (roquette/rocket)
- Lemon Juice of 1/2 lemon
- cracked pepper
Over med-high heat:
1. 3-4 turns of EVOO around a deep skillet. Add knob of butter. Add rice and stir until glossy/transluscent. About 4 minutes.
2. Add mushrooms and fennel.
3. Deglaze with 1/2 cup of the stock. Let absorb.
4. Keep adding stock, a little bit at a time and KEEP STIRRING.
5. About 15 minutes in, add cognac.
6. Continue adding stock. You may not use it all. Keep testing the rice for that "al dente" consistency. Total cook time will be about a 1/2 hour.
7. Add lemon juice, salt, pepper to taste.
8. Garnish with parmasean cheese and fronds!
Salad: Mix the EVOO, lemon juice and salt & pepper. Toss with the arugula. Mmm!
Oh darn, though. He didn't say hello! Next time, Doc! Always room for new friends. Besides, mine are all in DE.
Well, my Garmin really wasn't stolen. But they tried! And now it's loose and doesn't prop itself up correctly. Plus, the new ones are all flat and pretty, mine is bulky. Kind of a mini-comparison of a flatscreen TV vs. a clunker.
I can justify ANY techie purchase. Just try me.
2-3 T of Sofrito (jar or frozen)
1 teaspoon or so of garlic salt
Combine all ingredients except rice and beans in a pot. I used my cast iron enamel pot. Stir, bring to boiling.
I so love this town. It's different from anything I grew up around, and even more unlike where I pictured myself living as an adult. I pictured a 3-4 BR home on a good amount of acreage, landscaping I'd rather not deal with, in a neighborhood with kids, parents planning block parties, you get the picture.
This was never really my thing, though. Block parties? They are more like awkward meeting places for neighbors who ignore one another every other day of the year. Who talks to their neighbors anymore? It's a sad reality, but it's true.
I never pictured myself living in a city-like environment. But this doesn't feel like that to me. It feels like a town. A neighborly town, that has everything you need within walking distance. Although it's near a university, it's very much a family-friendly place. You get smiles and "hellos" when you walk by. The only other place I've witnessed such a phenomenon is Italy.
West Chester bears every walk of life, so no one really feels out of place here. We walk to Lilly's school. We walk to the parks. We walk to the grocery store. We hang with the neighbors on Hemlock Alley. I'm so "dialed-in" already that I'm aware of every WC event taking place, so there is always something to do! It even made the top 100 best places to raise a family.
Last night was "Swingin' Thursday". Takes place on the first Thursday of each month during the summer, followed by "First Friday".
This homegrown Delaware girl is staying. I guess I'll go back for the tax-free shopping.
- Grilled Flank Steak
- Romaine lettuce
- English Cucumber
- Grape tomatoes
- Blue Cheese
- Katamala olives
- A good caesar dressing
- Ground pepper