Archive for November, 2011

Mr. Lou’s kicked up coffee-cake

November 29, 2011

We had company over the holiday weekend so of course I felt the need to bake and knock their socks off 🙂 I usually stick to the same few coffee cake recipes but this time I decided to branch out. Mr. Lou’s kicked up coffee cake is one that my mom has made many times and I have been very supportive of her by eating it. This time I decided to make it myself. All I can say is wow! The cake part is sort of like a combination between a donut and a pastry and the topping is amazing with the strudel like texture and the pecans and blueberries. So if you need a quick fix for breakfast guests or just want to make your tummy happy, check out this recipe and you won’t be sad you did!

Apple Pie’s Soulmate

November 22, 2011

Finish this sentence: apple pie is not complete without what? Ok I hope you said ice cream. I mean whipped cream is all well and good but ice cream is to apple pie what Harry is to Sally (never saw this movie actually) or maybe Rose was to Jack? So to make my turkey day extra TaraSpecial I made my own gelato to go with my pie. Most of my close family and friends know I have been doing this as a side business on base, selling my Nutella gelato out of my freezer. But for my apple pie to say “you complete me” I decided to try this vanilla bean gelato recipe. It was my first time working with real vanilla beans and let me tell you, scraping the seeds out of the middle like they do on cooking shows is not as easy as it looks. Once I got them out though I could see how true vanilla ice cream gets its tiny black specks (think Breyers brand) – from the vanilla bean scrapings. This gelato came out so delicious and rich and was super easy to make. All you need is an ice cream maker (thank you MIL and Cuisinart) and a few simple ingredients. So if you want to complete one of your holiday desserts this season try this gelato recipe out and you will never feel alone again! EDIT: and if you need a quick, easy, tasty and no fail pie crust recipe try this recipe by my BFF the Barefoot Contessa. I used it to make my first pumpkin pie ever and a quick apple pie for the single sailors at my hubbies work. Look how pretty my pies turned out:

what I’ve been up to and my turkey day menu

November 20, 2011

Today I made my favorite, Pecan Waffles

Last night for dinner I made a great tummy warming dish, Sicilian Meatball Stew

and I am prepping for turkey day, same menu as last year with my green been casserole from scratch

This year I will also be making Paula’s pumpkin gingerbread trifle to go along with my King Arthur Flour’s old fashioned apple slab

Stromboli must be Italian for scrumdiddlyumptious

November 16, 2011

I have always wanted to try making a Stromboli at home. For those of you who are wondering what it is, no it is not a musical instrument but a wonderful bite of deliciousness. It is like a Calzone and a Pizza made a baby. Think a rolled up pizza log for the visual. I happened to come across my FIL’s favorite chef, Guy Fieri, making this Stromboli recipe on his show the other day. After venturing to a local Italian deli yesterday for inspiration I decided to take the stromboli plunge. I think you could use any pizza toppings or calzone fillings you like in this dish. I am thinking shredded chicken or meatballs would work too, pretty much anything yummy. I grabbed a bag of pizza dough at the Italian deli to skip that step and make it a quicker dinner. I used Alpino Salami (my new discovery, salami and prosciutto combined, OMG) Sopressata (a salami like no other from Italy, think authentic salami not Oscar Meyers), and some Prosciutto di Parma (this stuff is the real deal, $22 a lb so I bought just a few slices for $3.52 as a treat). For my cheeses I used provolone, parmesan and grated pecorino romano. I didn’t have any fresh basil, shocker I know, so I used some I had dried from my former garden. The best part I think was how Guy has you brush the dough with butter and garlic, this really made the recipe sing as it was sort of like a twist on garlic bread with filling. It was super simple to make and my family thought I was pretty darn amazing! So if you are salivating while reading this, give Stromboli a try and you won’t regret it

I’d eat anything with the word S’mores in the title!

November 6, 2011

I was in search of a new brownie recipe for a neighborhood gathering and I remembered coming across this one in my food network magazine. S’mores are one of my families favorite treats. Anytime we have some extra wood lying around in Campy’s workshop I’m sent on a mission to get marshmallows, Hershey’s bars and graham crackers for family s’mores night. S’mores brownies incorporate this treat into brownies fresh from your oven and they taste as good as you imagine them to. They have a graham cracker crust, rich brownie batter and then you broil some marshmallows on top after baking. I even tossed a handful of milk chocolate chips on the broiled marshmallows at the end for an extra treat. So if you are craving s’mores but want to take it to the next level and make your sweet teeth happy then you can’t go wrong with this dessert!