What's been cooking in the kitchen?

Shrimp Bisque
We'll be on a little get away this Valentine's Day but I wanted to share a delicious recipe that would be perfect for a special dinner with your honey.  I made this for New Year's Eve and Wonderful Hubby enjoyed it so much he made me promise I'd make it again.

I found the recipe, Shrimp Bisque with Sherry, at and it is so rich and luxurious!
Read more here.

A Delightful Summer Lunch
The rain has finally subsided here and the summer heat has arrived.  My garden is still quite soggy but the peppers and eggplants are in full bloom and the tomatoes are ripening.
I found this Roasted Vegetable Tart recipe at A Little CLAIREification back in May and gave it a try.  IT. WAS. DELICIOUS. and I couldn't wait to give it another try with my own garden veggies! 
Get this delicious recipe here.

Ham and Beans with Cornbread
We enjoy a lot of soups during the winter months. 
Nothing warms up a cold night better than a cozy bowl of soup!

We cooked a ham at Christmas time and I froze the bone.  Last weekend, I used it to stir up some Ham and Bean Soup.  This recipe takes awhile to make, mainly rehydrating the beans, but it's so delicious and hearty it's worth it!
Read more here.

Mom's Pressed Cookies
One of our family's special Christmas traditions was enjoying Mom's Pressed Cookies.  She used her own spritz cookie recipe and an old Mirro Cookie Press. 
Read more about our special family tradition here.

Cranberry Coffee Cake

The November Challenge from Kathleen is to feature our Bundt pans in our posts.  For me, that means coffee cake and since it's November, I'm making my cousin's delicious Cranberry Coffee Cake.
Read more here..

Making Apple Butter - The Old Fashioned Way

It's a tradition that goes back generation.  Spending time together on a crisp Fall weekend.  Sharing a special technique and recipe. 
Reminiscing about old times and remembering loved ones. 

Our family has made apple butter in an old copper kettle together as a family since the 1950's.  This weekend, we made it again.
Read more here.

Making Ricotta Cheese

One day I watched Ina Garten on the Barefoot Contessa MAKE her own ricotta cheese.  I thought, really, WHY?  Although she's all about "delicious and easy," I was skeptical.  Then I read about making your own cheeses in one of my Mother Earth magazines.  They gave recipes to make Fromage Blanc, Mascarpone and Paneer.  Each of these recipes seemed quite easy so I decided to give this cheese making a try.

It turned out to be quite fun AND delicious!

Read more here

Tomato Goat Cheese Tarts

Here's another recipe from our Friday Night Specials.  Even though I've made these delicious Tomato Pesto and Goat Cheese Tarts for Wonderfully Hubby after a long week of work, we also enjoy picnicking and find these tarts great to take along.  They're like little pizzas but with a whole lot more flavor!  This picture was taken at Pere Marquette State Park near Alton, Illinois.
Read more here.
Zucchini Cake Two Ways

Read more about these two cakes.

Delicious Marinara
My tomatoes have been coming in and I've been busy making marinara.
More here.

Tomato Crostini with Whipped Feta
Read more here.

Smoke Salmon Spread

Here's an easy and delicious dip that is Wonderful Hubby's and Precious Daughter's favorite! 

Read more here.

Spring Pea and Mint Pesto

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Decadent Chocolate Truffle Cookies


Decadent Chocolate Truffle Cookies from Bias Winery

4 (1-oz.) squares unsweetened chocolate, chopped 6 Tbsp. butter
1 cup semisweet chocolate 3 eggs
1 cup white sugar 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup all-purpose flour 1/4 tsp. baking powder
2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder 1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

In the microwave, melt unsweetened chocolate, 1 cup of the chocolate chips and the butter, stirring occasionally until smooth. Set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, whip eggs and sugar until thick and pale, about 2 minutes. Stir in the vanilla and the chocolate mixture until well blended. Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Gradually stir into the chocolate mixture, then fold in the remaining 1 cup of chocolate chips. Cover dough and chill for at least an hour or overnight.
Preheat oven to 350 F. Roll chilled dough into 1-inch balls. (I used a mini ice cream scoop.) Place on ungreased cookie sheets, 2 inches apart. Bake for 9 - 11 minutes (9 worked for me; you want them still soft and chewy.) Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing.
Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

Sauteed Bruschettas
We became aquainted with bruschettas when we traveled to Italy years ago. Precious Daughter, Favorite Son and Dearest Mother-in-Law were also with us. While walking by what we thought was a sandwich shop, we noticed these little open-faced beauties, each sporting a different delectable topping. They were DELICIOUS and I thought, "How hard can they be to make?"

Confetti Cupcakes

She found the cupcake recipe on Pinterest. It's quite simple. Combine one box of cake mix with a can of diet lemon-lime soda. I found I needed to bake the cupcakes just a little longer than the box suggested. Then we frosted them with a combination of prepared whipped topping and a small box of sugar-free vanilla pudding mix. We refrigerated them until about 15 minutes before serving. They were quite delicious and probably had a few less calories

than they would have had otherwise!

Roasted Eggplant Caponata
A recipe by Ina Garten

This month's recipe is a spicy dip made with roasted eggplant, peppers, olives and lots of seasonings and fresh herbs. Make it a bit ahead so the flavors have time to blend. You can serve it with store bought chips but, if you have the time, the homemade pita chips go so well with it!

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Parmesan Crisps

 An easy way to dress up a simple salad is with parmesan crisps.  Just grate parmesan cheese, place piles of it on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and bake them 5-7 minutes at 350 F. Let them cool and harden up a bit and place them on the salad. I also made a simple balsamic vinaigrette dressing to go with this.

Curried Apple and Butternut Squash Soup

Since I love making soup as the weather cools, I perused that section first. I was able to raise a few butternut squash in my garden and wanted to use them so when I came across this recipe, I wanted to give it a try. Wonderful Hubby and I are glad I did!


Fall Lunch

Last week, I put together a couple of fall tables with some old reliable recipes in mind. This weekend I made those for lunch and they were perfect for fall dining! I thought I'd share them.

French Onion Soup
(based on Ina Garten's recipe)

Caprese Salad

I've seen several food shows make this salad but have never eaten it in a restaurant. What a nice surprise to see how easy it is to make! All it takes are tomatoes, mozzarella, fresh basil, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper! So easy!!

Italian Wedding Soup

I've joined a Facebook Cookbook Club and this month's theme is Italian. Wonderful Hubby and I will be celebrating our 25th next month (WOW!!) and have been making plans for our 'celebration.' I have wanted to try Ina Garten's Italian Wedding Soup recipe and this month seemed like a good time!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Beautiful photos! I'm hungry now. :)

I have never tried an Ina Garten recipe before, but have heard great things about them. This soup looks delicious!

Happy Anniversary next month!!!