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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Puff Pastry Cinnamon Rolls

All of my kids are huge, okay not huge (poor wording choice), enthusiastic fans of cinnamon rolls. They will happily eat cinnamon rolls of any kind, whether they are homemade or the type that you buy in the dairy department-you know the ones I am talking about, the kind that are in a can.  

These puff pastry cinnamon rolls are a sort of compromise;  the puff pastry is light and flaky so they aren't ooey and gooey like traditional cinnamon rolls, but they sure are quick and easy to prepare.

For me, the hardest part about making these cinnamon rolls is remembering to take the puff pastry out of my freezer so it can defrost!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Cooking Show: Tailgating, Part II !

We filmed another cooking show last week.  Maureen joined me, and we came up with a few more recipes to add to her tailgating repertoire.  

When we filmed our last tailgating show, we focused on more traditional recipes like chili and wings.


This time around, we focused on recipes that are easy to prepare in advance as well as transport easily.  And since Maureen draws dozens of fans (they may say that they are football fans but I'm betting that they show up week after week because they are even bigger fans of Maureen's cooking), we wanted to prepare foods that can also be made in huge batches to feed a crowd.

(Click on the following titles to be taken to the recipes.)



We started with this and by the time we finished our cooking we were lucky there was any left to photograph!



I think it took me longer to wash and cut up the celery sticks for dipping than it did to throw the dip together.



Oh, my, this is one of my favorite salads ever.  It will be perfect for tailgating because Maureen can prep all of the ingredients in advance, pack each ingredient in its own container and let her tailgaters create their own salads.  And douse it with the yummy balsamic vinaigrette.


We proceeded to top it with vanilla bean ice cream, but for ease of travel Maureen can use whipped cream.

Whether you tailgate or not, I hope you give these recipes a try.  Happy Cooking!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Apple-Bacon-Chicken Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette

I think this is the most perfect salad ever.  

I'll give you five ingredients why.  In no particular order:

1. Balsamic vinaigrette.  My most favorite dressing ever.
2. Grilled chicken.  Turns a salad into a meal.
3. Apple.  Love the sweet crunch it adds.
4. Toasted almonds. Love the nutty crunch it adds.
5. Bacon.  Because it's bacon.  'Nuff said.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Apple Crisp with Sea Salt Caramel

Now that we're more than halfway through September, I'm finally accepting the end of summer.

I won't say that I'm happy about summer ending, but now I'm looking forward to apple-picking season!

Also known as fall.

I baked my first apple crisp of the season this week.  Since I'm still in the mood to smother everything I make in salted caramel, I decided it would be a good idea to coat the apples in sea salt caramel instead of cinnamon and sugar.

It did not disappoint!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Sparkling Rose and Limoncello Sangria


I realize that summer is coming to an end, but I just had to come up with one last fruity drink recipe.

It has wine and fruit, it must be sangria.  You know how I love sangria.

I added some Limoncello and it became my favorite sangria ever.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Cooking Show- Lasagna Bolognese, Roasted Asparagus, Heirloom Tomato Caprese Salad & White Chocolate Mousse

We filmed another episode of the cooking show.  Nick Iandolo from Nick's Sci-Fi Corner cooked with me, and since we both share Italian heritage, we prepared a main dish to pay tribute to our roots!

Lasagna Bolognese with Bechemel .  Click on the link to be taken to the recipe.

Ooey, gooey, cheesy, meaty, yummy.

We prepared roasted asparagus to go alongside the lasagna.  I don't have a link to the recipe, it is so simple, all you need to do is:

-Wash and trim 2 lbs. of asparagus.
-Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil (a tablespoon or two).  Season with salt and pepper (about 1/2 teaspoon of each).
-Roast for 10 to 12 minutes at 425 degrees.

Heirloom Tomato Caprese Salad

Again, no link for this because it was a last-minute addition to the show.  I was shopping at the farmers market before the taping, and the heirloom tomatoes looked so amazing that I just had to figure out a way to get them onto the show.

So we sliced up a few tomatoes, added some slices of fresh mozzarella, drizzled it with a quick balsamic vinaigrette (whisk to combine 1/3 cup olive oil, 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, 1 tablespoon dijon mustard), and topped it with some fresh shredded basil.

And finally, we finished with White Chocolate Mousse, which we topped with fresh blueberries and golden raspberries.

These pictures just don't do justice to this perfect dessert!  How can you not love making a dessert that only has two ingredients?

I chose the asparagus, Caprese salad and mousse for this show because they are so quick and easy to prepare.


Unlike the lasagna, which needs to take its own sweet time.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Chunky Guacamole

 I clearly remember a conversation that Mr. Terrific and I had exactly 10 years ago this month, on a beautiful September Saturday, regarding our three kids and their sports schedules.

 At the end of the day, after traveling to five different towns for three soccer games and two hockey games, he dropped onto the couch and I remember saying, "Someday it's not going to be like this, and we are going to wish we could turn back time!"

That someday is here.  Last week was really weird for me.  For the first time in 20 years, I did not have to deal with back to school.

No getting into the early-morning routine, or having to make sure the refrigerator is stocked with favorite lunch foods;  no packing lunches, or keeping track of after-school sports.

I really don't like this new phase.  

A couple of days before my kids left,  I was checking my Facebook newsfeed and a friend of mine posted a status that was something like, "Woo-hoo!  I have an empty nest, who's ready for a girls' night?!!"

As I stared at her status, all I could think of was how do I get myself into that frame of mind?

At the end of the week, my sweet neighbors from 3 houses down brought me this gorgeous bunch of Gerbera daisies to celebrate this new phase.  Thank heavens for beautiful flowers and awesome neighbors.

And thank heavens for friends like Gayle, who called me just as I was putting the finishing touches on this chunky guacamole.  She was the perfect person to share it with.  Gayle won't have her own empty nest until next year, but her oldest daughter had just left to go back to school so we still had plenty to commiserate about!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Lasagna Bolognese with Bechamel


I'm just not ready for summer to end!

I'm not ready for my kids to be back at school.  It frees up a bit of my time, but what good is having extra time if they're not around to spend it with?

I guess I'll spend some of that extra time cooking.  Lasagna, for example.  I don't typically spend 2 1/2 hours cooking dinner (who does?), but when I do, this lasagna makes it worth my while!