Monday, July 25, 2016

Caprese Pasta Bake

Here's one of those recipe video thingys, for extra fun. It's what I originally saw that instantly made me want to make this. Because PASTA!

  • 3/4 lb. cooked pasta
  • 3 C prepared marinara
  • 1 1/2 C fresh ricotta
  • 1 TBS balsamic vinegar
  • kosher salt
  • ground pepper
  • 2 C shredded mozzarella
  • 1 C Parmesan, grated
  • 2 C cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 C basil, thinly sliced
  • Balsamic glaze, for drizzling (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Combine marinara, ricotta and balsamic in a large bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Fold in cooked pasta and transfer mixture to a large baking dish. Cover with shredded mozzarella and parmesan, and place halved cherry tomatoes on top.
  3. Bake until the cheese melts and begins to turn golden-brown and bubbly in spots, about 20 minutes.
  4. Sprinkle with basil and drizzle with balsamic glaze, if desired.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Raspberry Iced Tea


  • 12 C Water, divided
  • 8 regular tea bags
  • 1 C Sugar
  • 2/3 C seedless raspberry jam (if you don't use seedless you'll have to strain your tea)
  1. Bring 4 C water to a boil. Remove from heat.
  2. Steep tea bags for 5 minutes and remove tea bags from water.
  3. Pour sugar and jam into the tea and stir to dissolve into the tea.
  4. Add 8 C cold water, stir and refirgerate until ready to serve.
  5. Fill a glass with ice and pour in tea. ;)

Friday, May 6, 2016

Old-Fashioned Skillet Apple Pandowdy

Photo/Art by Aimee Seavey
  • Total Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes
  • Hands On Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 6 servings
An old-fashioned charmer, the pandowdy is, by definition, a cooked fruit dessert sweetened with maple syrup or molasses and topped with a pie pastry. The name refers to the act of "dowdying" the crust -- that is, breaking it up with a knife and pressing it into the bubbling juices -- midway through baking. While it's not the prettiest of pastries, what it lacks in streamlined good looks it more than makes up for in rich flavor. This apple pandowdy recipe from the award-winning The Apple Lover's Cookbook by Amy Traverso (W.W. Norton) is a keeper.

Note: The filling for a dowdy should be wetter at the outset than that of a pie or a crisp. As the crust bakes, partially submerged in the filling, it has a thickening effect.

For the Crust
  • 1 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 9 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
  • 3 to 5 tablespoons ice water
  1. First, make the crust: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt until well combined. 
  2. Sprinkle the butter cubes on top and use your fingers to work them in (you want to rub your thumb against your fingertips, smearing the butter as you do). Do this until the mixture looks like cornmeal with some pea-sized bits remaining. 
  3. Sprinkle 3 tablespoons ice water on top and stir with a fork until the dough begins to come together. If needed, add another tablespoon ice water (you shouldn't need much more). 
  4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead three times. Gather the dough into a ball, then press into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
For the Filling
  • 8 large firm-tart apples (about 4 pounds) such as Granny Smith or Northern Spy, peeled, cored, and sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 2 tablespoons firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar for sprinkling
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and set a rack to the middle position. 
  2. Arrange the apples in a 12-inch ovenproof skillet with sides at least 2 inches high. 
  3. Sprinkle with the brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and salt. 
  4. In a small bowl, stir the maple syrup with 1/2 cup water and pour over the apples.
  5. On a lightly floured surface, roll the chilled dough out into a rectangle about 9 inches wide, 11 inches long, and 1/4 inch thick. 
  6. Using a knife or pizza cutter, cut into squares roughly 3 inches across. Arrange the squares over the apples, making a concentric pattern, then sprinkle with sugar. 
  7. Bake the pandowdy until juices are bubbling and the pastry is golden brown, about 30 minutes.
  8. Remove from the oven and use a spatula to gently press the pastry down into the juices so it's mostly (about 80% submerged) 
  9. Return the pan to the oven bake for an additional 10 to 15 minutes, until the pastry is nicely glazed and the sauce has thickened.
Photo/Art by Aimee Seavey - the perfect slice of sweet apple pandowdy

Yankee Pot Roast

Photo/Art by keller + keller
  • beef chuck roast (2-3 pounds)
  • Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 4 TBS olive oil, divided
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 C medium-bodied red wine (such as Merlot)
  • 4 C beef stock, divided
  • 2 TBS tomato paste
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 3 celery ribs, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 C pearl onions, ends removed and peeled
  • 1 bay leaf, whole
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  1. Preheat your oven to 350° and position a rack in the lower half of the oven. Pat the meat dry and season liberally on all sides with salt and pepper
  2. Set a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat, and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the beef to the pot and sear evenly on all sides, using tongs to turn the roast, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and set aside
  3. Lower the heat to medium and add the remaining olive oil. Add the onion, garlic, and chopped herbs, and cook, stirring often, until the onions are translucent, about 6 minutes.
  4. Deglaze the pot: Add the wine and 1 cup of the beef stock, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Add the tomato paste; then return the browned roast to the pot, adding more stock to come a little more than halfway up the meat (the amount of stock you’ll need will vary with the size of the roast). Bring to a simmer.
  5. Once it’s simmering, remove the pot from the heat. Cover the top with a sheet of aluminum foil; then cover with the lid. Transfer the pot to the oven and cook until the beef is quite tender, 2 to 2½ hours. Be sure the liquid in the pot is simmering, not boiling, and that there’s enough liquid to prevent the meat from drying out.
  6. Remove the pot from the oven and arrange the vegetables, bay leaf, and herb sprigs around the meat. Cover and return to the oven for an additional 20 to 30 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender and a knife slips easily in and out of the meat. Transfer the roast to a plate and tent with foil for 15 minutes.
  7. To serve, slice against the grain, or use two forks to pull the beef into chunks. Discard the bay leaf and herb sprigs; then arrange the beef and vege­tables on a platter. Spoon the sauce over the beef and vegetables alongside mashed potatoes, buttered egg noodles, or rice.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Tomato Crostini with Whipped Feta


  • 6 ounces good feta, crumbled
  • 2 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup good olive oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallots (2 shallots)
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic (2 cloves)
  • 2 tablespoons good red wine vinegar
  • 2 pounds ripe heirloom or cherry tomatoes, 1/2-inch-diced
  • 3 tablespoons julienned fresh basil leaves, plus extra for serving
  • 20 to 25 (1/2-inch-thick) diagonal baguette slices, toasted
  • 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts


  1. For the whipped feta, place the feta and cream cheese in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Pulse until the cheeses are mixed. Add 1/3 cup of the olive oil, the lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and process until smooth.
  2. For the tomatoes, up to an hour before you're serving, combine the shallots, garlic, and vinegar in a medium bowl. Set aside for 5 minutes. Whisk in the remaining 1/3 cup olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Add the tomatoes, stir gently, and set aside for 10 minutes. Stir in the basil and taste for seasonings.
  3. To assemble the crostini, spread each slice of bread with a generous amount of whipped feta. With a slotted spoon, place the tomatoes on top. Put the crostini on plates and scatter with the pine nuts. Sprinkle with extra basil and serve.

HAT TIP: Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa

Monday, April 18, 2016

Rotisserie Chicken and Bow-Tie Pasta


  • 1 1/4  water
  • 1 C three-cheese pasta sauce (from 15-oz jar)
  • 1 1/2 C uncooked bow-tie (farfalle) pasta
  • 2 C rotisserie chicken, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 3/4 C frozen peas
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • chopped fresh basil, if desired
  • shredded Parmesan cheese, if desired


  1. In 10-inch skillet, heat water, pasta sauce and pasta to boiling, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium; cover and simmer 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add chicken, frozen peas and Italian seasoning. Cover; simmer 5 to 7 minutes longer or until pasta is tender.
  3. Remove from heat. 
  4. Garnish with fresh basil. Serve with Parmesan cheese.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Pizza Dough

Pizza Dough

Makes two 16-ounce balls of pizza dough. (You’ll be glad you have one leftover.)

Homemade Pizza Crust

This recipe comes from Sullivan Street Bakery guru Jim Lahey, author of My Pizza and My Bread, This recipe makes two balls of dough — enough for two separate thin crust pizzas.

  • 3 3/4 cups flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons instant or other active dry yeast
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 1/3 cup room-temperature water

In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, yeast, salt, and sugar. Add the water and, using a wooden spoon or your hand, mix until blended, at least 30 seconds. The dough will be stiff, not wet and sticky. Cover the bowl and let sit at room temperature until the dough has more than doubled in volume, about 2 hours. Divide the dough in two and shape each into flattened balls. (Dough can be frozen at this point.)

When you are ready to make a pizza, preheat oven to 500°F roll out one ball of dough in a rectangular shape and place on an oiled cookie sheet. Top with your favorite toppings. The general rule is to bake it at 500°F for about 15-20 minutes. Brush the exposed crust around the rim with olive oil. Keep an eye on cheese and crust while it bakes to make sure nothing burns.
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