Monday, December 6, 2010

Homemade Marshmallows

I used the Barefoot Contessa's it is.

3 packs of unflavored gelatin
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 TB. pure vanilla extract
confectioners sugar

Combine gelatin and 1/2 cup of cold water in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attacment and allow to sit while you make the syrup.

Meanwhile, combine the sugar, corn syrup, salt and 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan and cook ove med. heat until the sugar dissolves. Raise the heat to high and cook until the syrup reaches 240 degrees on a candy thermometer. Remove from heat.

With the mixer on low speed, slowly pour the sugar syrup into the dissolved gelatin. Put the mixer on high speed and whip until the mixture is very thick..about 15 min. Add the vanilla and mix thoroughly.

With a sieve, generously dust and 8 x 12 inch nonmetal baking dish with confectioners sugar. Pour the marshmallow mix into the pan, smooth the top and dust with more confectioners sugar. Allow to stand uncovered overnight until it dries out.

Turn the marshmallows onto a board and cut them in squares...( I had a hard time getting them out of the pan so I just cut them with a knife directly in the pan.) Dust with more sugar...So good!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Not Your Mother's Cookbook

I love when it's time to put the grill away and break out the crockpot. My favorite crockpot cookbook is this one. I've had it for a few years and use it all the time. I also love it when dinner is done at 9:00 A.M. Isn't that the best feeling?

Last night we had the beef fajitas...

flank steak, a jar of salsa, a little lime juice, tomato paste and garlic, onions and peppers and dinner is done.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Eggplant Pizza

My dinner tonight. Oh the eggplant is so yummy right now. I grilled it up with a little olive oil and salt. While they were still hot off the grill I sprinkled goat cheese and added a tomato and some basil from my garden...(the only thing that's thriving in there right now)...A splash of Chardonnay and I'm a happy girl.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Easy Herbed Baguette

I love making this crusty bread. It could not be any easier I swear...I bought this cookbook years ago...1996. I've made so many great recipes from it including this bread. It's called One Hour Baguette and that's how long it takes...Heres what you need...

1 1/2 cups warm water
1 1/2 Tbs yeast
1 Tbs. honey
4 cups flour
1 tsp salt
fresh or dried herbs ( I used basil,thyme,rosemary)
cheese (I use parmesan)

In a large bowl combine warm water, yeast, and honey..let sit in a warm spot for about 10 min. or until the yeast looks like this..

Sift the flour and salt over the yeast mix one cup at a time...mix until dough forms a large ball. Knead for a few minutes until smooth. I LOVE to knead don't you? Put a pretty apron on while you do it...
Flour a work space and a rolling pin..cut dough in half and roll out one half to form a rectangle. Scatter herbs and cheese and press into the dough like this...
Gently roll up dough lengthwise into the shape of a baguette. Repeat with second ball of dough. Place the loaves on a well greased baking sheet..cover with clean tea towel and let rise for 20 min. Preheat the oven to 450..lightly brush loaves with olive oil..bake for 20 min. Delish!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

My Favorite Summer Cooking Tool

Do you have a grill basket? I'm telling'll never know what you did with out it once you get one. In the winter I roast all my veggies on a big cookie the Barefoot Contessa told me to. Olive oil..salt...pepper...that's it. Well, who wants to put the stove on in the summer? Not me. I'm all about doing everything on the grill.

So..get yourself a grill basket. I think I got mine at Home Goods years ago...try Bed, Bath and Beyond..William/Sonoma if you feel like paying top dollar. Spray the basket with some Olive Oil cooking spray...I use PAM!

In a big bowl add whatever chopped veggies you like. Today I did
mushrooms, red onions, asparagus and green pepper..cuz that's what I had. Add some olive oil, kosher salt and pepper. Mix it up. Heat up your grill. Throw the veggies in the basket...throw it on the grill. Every few minutes give it a stir. Use a pot holder to take the basket off the's HOT!

These are great on their own...over your a a pita pocket..with fish, chicken, steak. I make a BIG basket of them at the beginning of the week and they're great all week long.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Season of the Salad

I'm all about salads right now. And for me I want them to be not only quick and healthy but also portable. We eat on the beach a lot. Here is one that I've been making for years. The original recipe is from my Black Dog old stand by for me. Have you ever been to Martha's Vineyard? If you go...a trip to the Black Dog is a must. And don't forget to buy a T-shirt. Here's my version....

Boil up some orzo pasta. The other day I didn't have any orzo so I used penne..or bowties...or what ever you have. While that's a large pretty bowl add:

Some balsamic vinegar and olive oil and a clove or two of chopped garlic. I just wing it...start with a little...add more if  you want.

Chop up some spinach and a few roma tomatoes. Add the cooked orzo. Give it a good stir. Add some basil or parsley...or both. Then right before you serve it add some feta cheese. Now pack it up and bring it to the beach with some grilled chicken or steak. Simple right?

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Jessie's Banana Bread

I have tried a MILLION Banana Breads. This one from my Mother in Law is the ultimate. It's quick...easy...and there is just no reason to ever throw out over-ripe bananas.

So here is what you need:

3 mashed ripe bananas
1/4 cup Coconut Oil (the recipe calls for shortening but coconut oil is so much better for you...try it. Oh and melt it...don't put it in the recipe in it's solid won't mix properly.)
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 3/4 cup flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt

Mix the ingredients in the order I've given. Bake for 1 hour in 350 degree oven in a greased bread pan.

Now, make yourself a pot of tea..get your book and enjoy. Your welcome.

Sunday, April 25, 2010


Do you eat steamed clams? Or Steamers as we locals call them..usually with a wicked accent. Here is a quick and easy and wicked awesome recipe for them...and warning...they aren't pretty.
Get yourself a couple of pounds of steamed clams...and as with anything you eat...the fresher the better. In a large skillet pour one can of beer...yes, you heard If you don't have a beer..water will do. Chop up a pound of Chorizo and an onion and add them and the clams to the beer.Cover and bring to a boil and in about 5 minutes their done....the clams will be open.
Now get yourself all set up. Put the clams, onions and chorizo in a big serving bowl...get another bowl for the  empty shells. Now take the broth that you boiled the clams in and put that in a small, melt a stick of butter. Here's the fun part...
Take the clam out of the shell and take the slimy neck off the clam...gross I know. Dip the clam in the broth to clean off any sand...dip in the hot butter and eat! Get yourself a big piece of french bread to sop up the broth, onion and chorizo....heaven!

Not my best photography as my  hands were covered in all this deliciousness!!!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The New Pancake King

I'm the new Pancake king in the used to be Steve. I really can't take the credit though...that needs to go to Stonewall Kitchen. And at 10 bucks a pop they better deliver.
Don't you love my little rooster measuring cups? Steve brought them home for me from my favorite store ever..Anthropologie. Love
So, although this isn't my own recipe..thought I'd share our favorite pancakes!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Friday Night Pizza and Calzones

In honor of Friday Family Pizza/Movie night I thought I'd share Steve's pizza and calzone recipe. We've been doing Friday pizza night for a long time...I love to sit at the counter while Steve makes dinner. We have a glass of wine together and talk. We have music going and it's just a nice way to start our weekends.

Here's the Dough recipe...I make it during the day or during the week and freeze it. This makes enough for 4 pizza's. (The recipe was adapted from an OLD Woman's Day Cookbook that I bought in 1995!)

1 1/4 cups of warm water
1 envelope = 1 TBS active dry yeast
1 tsp sugar
5 cups flour...(all purpose or bread)
2 eggs
2 tsp salt
olive oil

Mix water, yeast and sugar and let stand until foamy..about 10 min.
In a large bowl combine the yeast and eggs. Mix in 5 cups of flour and the salt..stir until dough pulls away from the sides. Place dough on floured surface and knead until smooth.
Place dough in large oiled bowl..turn to coat. Cover with a clean dishtowl and let rise in a warm place for about an hour.
Punch down dough and divide into 4 pieces. Shape into balls and cover with kitchen towl and let rest for 30 min.

For the Pizza and Calzones:

Roll out a ball of dough..brush with olive oil. Top with sauce and cheese (we generally use store bought pizza blend but sometimes use fresh mozzarella)

On Pizza we like carmelized onions (saute large yellow onion on the stove for about 20 min. until golden brown), chopped artichokes and olives and a sprinkling of feta...YUM!

On the kids Calzones we put cheese and pepperoni...fold in half and crimp the edges. Brush with a bit of olive oil.

Bake in 400 until done (for us it's usually about 12- 15 min.)

Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Best Chicken Fingers Ever

I've tried a bunch of chicken finger recipes...and I think the key is the breadcrumbs. We've tried them with regular breadcrumbs, corn flakes...and the kids love them the best with Panko breadcrumbs. This is super easy...Will eats them dipped in ketchup...Stephen puts his over salad...Steve drowns his in hot sauce. Hope  you like them too!

Stuff You Need:
1 Egg
1/3 cup Buttermilk
Chicken breasts cut into strips
Panko breadcrumbs..about 1 1/2 cups
chopped parsley...if your kids don't mind GREEN stuff in their food

What To Do:
Whisk egg and buttermilk and soak the chicken for a few minutes. In a separate bowl mix panko, seasonings. Roll the chicken pieces around in the love to help out with this part!
Brown in oil on both sides...transfer to oven to continue cooking if needed.