Monthly Archives: June 2012

Creamy Pink Linguine

I was first attracted to this recipe because of the name. If you don’t already know, I love all things pink. Then once I actually looked at the recipe, I was sold. It’s basically spaghetti mixed with mozzarella, parmesan, ricotta and some cream. What’s not to love!?

Notice the big chunks of tomato from the homemade sauce!

Creamy Pink Linguine Recipe (from Joy of Kosher)


  • 1 (1-pound) box linguine (or whatever you have at home – I used thin spaghetti noodles)
  • 2 cups marinara sauce (I made some homemade tomato sauce to use, recipe below)
  • ½ cup shredded Parmesan plus more for garnish
  • ½ cup shredded mozzarella
  • ⅓ cup ricotta cheese
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


In a large pot, cook pasta according to package directions.  Drain well and return to pot. Add sauce, cheeses, cream, and spices, and stir well over low heat until combined and creamy. Divide among 8 pasta bowls, and serve immediately with extra Parmesan cheese for garnish if desired.

I definitely had leftovers.Basic Tomato Sauce Recipe (from The Amateur Gourmet by Adam D. Roberts)

Basic Tomato Sauce Recipe (from The Amateur Gourmet by Adam D. Roberts)

This is a pretty interesting book that provides recipes and advice for budding foodies like myself!


1/4 cup extra-virign olive oil

1 Spanish onion, finely diced (I just used one of my white onions from the Farmer’s Market)

4 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced

3 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme, or 1 tablespoon dried

1/2 medium carrot, finely shredded

2 – 28 oz cans peeled whole tomatoes



In a 3-quart saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until soft and light golden brown, 8 – 10 minutes. Add the thyme and carrot and cook for 5 minutes more, or until the carrot is soft. With your hands, crush the tomatoes and add them with their juices. Bring to a boil, stirring often, and then lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened. Season with the salt.

I made this sauce a few weeks ago and used it for spaghetti. I love the big chunks of tomato!


Seven Layer Inspired Tostadas and My First Attempt at Hand Pies

On Sunday, after a day of grocery shopping, dog training class and a little unpacking, I took had some quality cooking time.

On the Menu: Seven Layer Tostadas and Stone Fruit Hand Pies – both featuring items from the Farmer’s Market.

Seven Layer Tostadas (from Kalyn’s Kitchen)

Farmer’s Market feature – the onions

1 can (16 oz.) refried pinto beans
1 1/2 cups guacamole
1 cup light sour cream
1/2 tsp. taco Seasoning
1 cup finely grated low-fat cheese
1 cup chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
1/2 cup sliced black olives
6-8 whole wheat flour tortillas, 6 or 8 inch inch size
olive oil for greasing baking sheet, about 1 tsp.


Place a baking sheet inside the oven or toaster oven and let it get hot while you preheat oven to 450F, about 10 minutes.  Carefully remove baking sheet, drizzle a tiny bit of olive oil on it and spread around with a paper towel, and put flour tortillas on the baking sheet.  Toast tortillas in the oven until they’re crisp and barely starting to brown, turning several times.  This will take less than 5 minutes so watch them carefully.
While tortillas are crisping, put the refried beans in a bowl, stir to break them apart, and microwave 2-3 minutes, or until they’re hot.  Stir the Taco Seasoning Mix into the sour cream.  Chop the onions, slice green onions, and slice the olives (if you didn’t buy a can).
Once everything is ready it’s time to assemble!
Start with the crisped tortilla shell then top with
– A layer of refried beans
– A layer of guacamole
– A layer of seasoned sour cream
– CHEESE (my favorite part!)
-Chopped tomatoes
– Green onions
– Olives


My dessert, which was peach cherry hand pies were not so picturesque, but they tasted soooo good! I wonder if it had anything to do with the fact that I made everything by hand and I mean BY HAND – no stand mixer, not even a handheld mixer. Just me and my whisk.

The peaches and cherries were fresh from the Farmer’s Market.

Peach Cherry Hand Pies (from Dash of East)


1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
4 ounces full-fat cream cheese, softened
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup peaches, peeled, pitted and cut into bite size chunks
1 cup plums, peeled, pitted and cut into bite size chunks (optional, otherwise use a total of 2 cups peaches)
1 cup cherries,  pitted and cut in half
1/3 cup granulated sugar
Juice from 1 lemon
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

Granulated sugar

Confectioners’ sugar (optional)

To make the crust: With a stand mixer, combine the butter, cream cheese and salt in the bowl of the mixer fitted with the flat beater attachment. Blend for about a minute on medium-low speed. Then in portions, add the confectioners’ sugar and 1/2 cup flour. Blend on low speed until the flour is incorporated. Then add another 1/2 cup flour, blend till incorporated. And then add the remaining flour and blend till incorporated.

Remove the dough from the bowl and place on a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough 2-3 times and divide into 4 roughly equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and then flatten into a disk about 3/4″ thick. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 1 hour.

To make the filling: Combine the peaches, plums, cherries and sugar in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Then turn down heat and let simmer for about 3 minutes. As the filling heats, combine the lemon juice and cornstarch in a small mixing bowl. Then add the cornstarch mixture to the saucepan and stir into the fruit mixture. Let cook on medium heat for about 2 minutes. Then remove the saucepan from the heat. Add the vanilla and nutmeg to the fruit mixture and stir to combine. Set aside to cool.

Preheat the oven to 400˚F.

Remove the dough from the fridge and working with one piece at a time, roll into an approximate 8 inch circle on either a sheet of wax paper or use the plastic wrap that it was in the fridge in. Spoon about 1/4 of the fruit mixture onto half of the dough circle, leaving about 3/4 inch border along the edge. Fold the empty half of the dough over the filling and then pinch the edges together. I used a fork to make a simple border along the edge. Repeat to make a total of 4 half moon pies.

Place the pies on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet, brush the top of the pies with milk and then sprinkle with sugar. Then poke the surface of each pie with a fork or toothpick to make steam vents.

Place the pies in the center rack of the oven and bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 375˚F and bake for another 20 minutes. Then rotate the cookie sheet 180˚ so that the front is now facing the back of the oven and bake for 10 more minutes.

Remove the pies from the oven and let cool on a wire rack, sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar if you wish, serve warm and enjoy!

I’ll have to try these a couple more times to see if I can master filling the crust without getting it all over.

The Farmer’s Market

Today was the first time I’d been to the Green Bay Farmer’s Market and let me tell you, I’ve already decided I’ll be going back regularly and I’ve  planned for things I want to buy next week! I went with my mom and since it was both of our first times there, we did a lap to check out what was available. I was surprised at all the things that were there. Not only was there fresh veggies and fruits, but there were also flowers, breads, baked goods and food stands! I think my favorite was the eggs and bacon wagon.

Here is what I got:

Mint – $1 for a whole bunch!

Onions – $1 for about 4 small/medium onions

Peaches – $2/lb

Sweet Snap Peas – $2/ lb

Plus I got a free re-usable grocery bag from Bay Care! (one of the sponsors of the Market)

As I made my purchases, I immediately thought of what I was going to make with them. Tonight’s dinner featured the mint and peas.

Lemon Basil Chicken, Creamy Garlic Shells and salad featuring our Farmer’s Market peas.

Lemon Basil Chicken Recipe


Boneless chicken breasts

Marinade –

3 tablespoons fresh chopped basil (1 tablespoon dried)

Juice of 2 lemons

1 tablespoon olive oil

4 cloves garlic, chopped ( I also got a new blender today that chops and grates and does a whole bunch of things besides blend!)


1. Combine marinade ingredients in a plastic food storage bag; add chicken

2. Refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours

3. Grill using an oiled grill pan, grill rack or broiler (Bob grilled ours) for about 10 – 12 minutes or until cooked through. Turn often.

This chicken was DELICIOUS!!! It had such a great flavored. And the grill gave it the perfect amount of crispiness.

Mojito Slush Recipe (from my mom’s new Taste of Home Smoothies and Blender Drinks recipe book)

*Make sure to read the directions a head of time! I didn’t and I ended up with basically a regular mojito because I didn’t give it time to freeze into a slush.

I also added some frozen blueberries to my version.


1- 3 oz package lime gelatin

2 tablespoons sugar

1 cup boiling water

1 cup fresh mint leaves

2 cans (12 oz each) frozen limeade concentrate

2 cups cold water

1 cup grapefruit soda (I couldn’t find this, so I used Fresca)

1 cup rum


1. In a small bowl, dissolve gelatin and sugar in boiling water; add mint

2. Cover and steep for 20 minutes

3. Press through a sieve; discard mint

4. Stir in the limeade concentrate; cold water, soda and rum

5. our into a 2.5 quart freezer container

6. Freeze overnight or until set (this is the step I missed)

7. For each serving, scoop 2/3 cup slush into a glass. Pour soda in the glass; garnish if desired with extra mint and lime wedges

Italian Cod

Getting my new place unpacked and organized is taking longer than I’d like. It’s just the last thing I want to do when I get home. But my goal for this weekend is to get 80% of things unpacked and put away.

I also want to really start cooking again. That will require some grocery shopping though…I plan to start stocking my fridge with things from the Farmer’s Market this Saturday.


Italian Cod Recipe (from

Tonight’s dinner was based on the fact that my basil and parsley plants are getting out of control. Note: the recipe calls for halibut, but it was not available at the grocery store. Any white fish would be a perfect substitute – I chose cod because it was on sale!



Create an Italian herb baste by mixing together the olive oil, Italian seasoning, parsley, basil, shallots, garlic, and Parmesan in a bowl.

Coat the fish in the Italian herb baste and place fish on a preheated sauté pan. Cook, turning often to avoid burning, until fish is opaque and a knife slides in easily.

This was a very easy meal that I threw together in about 15 minutes. And since I already had the herbs, the olive oil and garlic at home, my grocery bill was only about $12 for the fish, shallots and parmesan.

It’s Been Too Long…

My absence is due to two things:

1. I’ve been moving into my new place

2. I don’t have any food in my new place

But tonight I was fed up with frozen pizza leftovers, so I made a little breakfast for dinner.

I kind of felt like a real “chef” making this, despite how simple it is. I literally went out to my porch to grab fresh basil, oregano and parsley. I chopped up a small clove of garlic and threw it together with the eggs and some ham. It really is amazing how good it tasted!!!

Moving has been quite the ordeal, especially since Bob works nights. All week I’ve been washing dishes, cleaning cupboards and lining shelfs. And let me tell you I’m exhausted and we still are no where near being actually moved in. I do have lots of ideas for decorating and unique storage solutions so stay tuned for pictures as I make our little place beautiful!!!

My Brother’s Graduation Celebration

This past weekend my brother graduated from Preble High School! Plus, my dad came home from China for the weekend!



His only food request was “Something very American…” So we decided on hamburgers, brats and pie. Initially it was apple pie (come on what’s more American than apple pie), but then my mom told me that my dad’s favorite pie is Sour Cream-Raisin…

At first I was a little nervous. I didn’t know what this was going to taste like. Sour cream and raisins? Really?

But once I made it….mmmm…mmm..mmmm it was delicious!

Sour Cream-Raisin Pie Recipe (from my mom’s 80’s version of the Better Home’s and Garden Cookbook):


1 cup raisins

3 eggs

1 cup sugar

6 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 1/4 cups milk

1/2 cups sour cream

1/4 cup butter, cut into small pieces

1 9-inch Baked Pastry Shell


Directions for Baked Pastry Shell:

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup shortening or lard (that’s how old this cook book is!)

3 to 4 tablespoons cold water

In a mixing bowl stir together flour and salt. Cut in shortening till pieces are the size of small peas. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the water over part of the mixture; gently toss with a fork. Push to side of bowl. Repeat till all is moistened. From sought into a ball. On a lightly floured surface flatten dough with hands. Roll dough from center to edge, forming a circle about 12 inches in diameter. Wrap pastry around rolling pin. Unroll onto a 9-inch pie plate. Ease pastry into pie plate, being careful not to stretch pastry. Trim to 1/2 inch beyond edge of pie plate; fold under extra pastry. Make a fluted, rope-shaped or scalloped edge. Prick bottom and sides with a fork. Bake in a 450 degree oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden. cool.

Directions for Pie:

1. Cover raisins with 1 cup boiling water; let stand 5 minutes. Drain.

2. Separate egg yolks from whites; set whites aside for meringue.

3. For filling, in a saucepan combine sugar, flour and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Gradually stir in milk. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Reduce heat; cook and stir 2 minutes more. Remove from heat.

4. Beat egg yolks slightly. Gradually stir about 1 cup of the hot mixture into yolks. Return mixture to saucepan. Return to a gentle boil; cook and stir 2 minutes more. Remove from heat; add sour cream, butter and drained raisins.

5. Stir until mixed; do not over-mix.

6. Pour hot filling into Baked Pastry Shell.

7. Make meringue and spread over pie.

3 egg whites

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 teaspoon cream of tarter

6 tablespoons sugar

In a small bowl beat the egg whites, vanilla and cream of tarter at medium speed about 1 minute or till soft peaks form. Gradually add the sugar, about 1 tablespoon at a time, beating at high speed about 4 minutes or until mixture forms stiff glossy peaks and sugar is dissolved.

8. Bake in 350 degree oven for 12 to 15 minutes. Cool.