Archive for the ‘apps’ Category

Can’t teach an old Italian new tricks…

May 28, 2011

so last night I hosted a book club and I made two of my favorite entries:

Caprese Salad on a stick

Orzo Salad

So I thought I would repost links to these recipes in case you are in need of some memorial day cookout inspiration. Caprese on a stick is my favorite summer salad with a whole new take. I know I often get in a Caprese salad plate funk.

My orzo salad changes depending on my pantry, this time I added some artichoke hearts, fresh basil, salami, sundried tomatoes and also some Feta cheese. The key to this recipe is that you can utilize whatever you have on hand (everytime I make this I have old mother hubbard’s pantry and fridge, yet I find some treasures in there) and it is quick and easy. Sometimes cleaning out your pantry is a good thing! Orzo is so tasty and can be substituted in your favorite salad or soup. I also made homemade peanut butter cookies with hershey kisses in the middle to go with my savory feast, and yes my daughter had to twist my arm to talk me into making the cookies… ok not really. Have a great long weekend everyone!

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Are you ready for some Football???!!!

February 1, 2011

for my DW (deployment wife). Everyone should have one, they wipe up your tears, give great hugs, are there anytime you need them, and always good for fun!

In case you are having a superbowl party or want a reason to make an easy and delicious snackie, try my Aunty Sandy’s delicious wings.

Chicken Marinade

1 bottle soy sauce, 1 cup of sugar, 1/2 cup vodka, 1/2 cup gin (usually I buy nips and they are just enough) 1 teaspoon of garlic powder and fresh ground black pepper. Marinate wings overnight, remove from marinade and bake at 350 degrees for 1- 1 and 1/2 hours. I have found them to stick as the sugar turns into glue in the oven, so maybe use foil with pam on it or pam on a jelly roll pan, haven’t figured out the best way yet, as some of the little buggers always stick! Wings will come out very brown.

So if you are tired of the same old wings and want to make a new twist, try this out and you are guaranteed to go home from that potluck or superbowl party with an empty platter!

Arancini – Italy’s perfect snack

January 16, 2011

I finally attempted the Arancini recipe I have been wanting to try. I saw it on one of my favorite shows, Diners Drive in and Dives and it featured Italian cuisine, so pretty much the whole episode I was drooling. Sometimes Food Network posts DDD recipes and this one they did, which made me very happy. My DW (deployment wife) Niki had the idea of having a girls Arancini night so on Friday we did. Oh, wait, speak English Tara, what the heck is Arancini? Well Arancini is a little ball of heaven. It is risotto shaped into a ball and filled with a meat and sauce and mozzarella mixture which is then deep fried, yum! It is something we enjoyed when we were stationed in Italy and you could find them for a snack at almost any bar. By the way, bars in Italy are not alcohol pit stops, but coffee, gelato, pastry and other snackie pit stops. Pretty much anything delicious in one spot, I mean I could spend a day at an Italian Bar and get nice and fat and happy! I really wish we had them in the states, second thought maybe I could open one up someday…

Anyhow, I bought the ingredients ahead of time because the meat filling and risotto both had to cool for 2 hours to make them easier to work with.  So I made that ahead of time and by the time Niki came we were ready for assembly. It is a little bit of work to get these together, but the cooled rice worked great to shape into a ball. If you are intimidated by making risotto there are boxed easy versions and also frozen ready made ones, that you could cook and cool on a sheet pan like I did. I think the key to holding it together is dipping it in the flour/water mixture (which is like the glue) before the breadcrumbs. The directions on this recipe are step by step and make it easy to follow. Plus I had Niki here to help me – thanks Niki! If you want to make a delicious snack that can easily be a meal or could be a fun appetizer for a party and impress guests, give this authentic recipe a try! BTW, you can always post a message here if you have any questions about this one because it is a bit of work…

caprese on a stick = love

October 18, 2010

I am easy to please. Give me a ball of fresh mozzarella and some tasty tomatoes (not those “vine ripened” ones at the commissary that are probably from a lab, but the real deal fresh from someone’s garden ones) and some fresh basil from my awesome herb garden (love you Campy) and I can create so many feasts. There is the standard caprese salad, slices of cheese and tomato and topped with basil leaves. Then I use some yummy olive oil (not some fake “authentic Italian olive oil” that when you read the label only contains 1% italian oil) and some sea salt sprinkled on top. If you make this you have instant fancy app and it is effortless. You can also add some balsamic vinegar if you like, sometimes I do, and it adds a nice bite.

Take the same 3 ingredients and I toss it with fresh pasta and shrimp or chicken and you have a simple but really tasty dish. Additionally with the basil, tomato and mozzarella you can make a magherita pizza, which is a work of art. So I got tired of making the same old caprese salad to bring to functions so I invented a new version, caprese on a stick! I used the same ingredients and layered them on a kabob stick, and it was a big hit. In one bit you get a bit of each ingredient and it is fast to make and it makes a pretty display. After the party was over my plate was empty, which happens to me quite a bit 🙂 So if you want to try caprese for the first time or you want to re-invent it, listen to my advice… manga!