Saturday, January 21, 2012

Soup is On

Tomato Tortellini Soup

2 Tbs. unsalted butter
3 cloves garlic
1/2 cup chopped onion
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
2 cups water
9 oz. fresh or frozen cheese tortellini
1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes, with the liquid
10 oz. fresh spinach, stemmed and coarsely chopped
8-10 fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped
salt and pepper to taste

In large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion and saute until fragrant, 2-3 minutes. Add the broth and water, bring to a boil. Add the tortellini and cook halfway (about 5 min. if using frozen, less for fresh pasta). Add the tomatoes and their liquid, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook just until the pasta is tender, about 4 minutes.  Stir in the spinach and basil and cook until wilted, about 1-2 minutes.

Cream of Chicken Soup
1 16 oz bag frozen mixed vegetable medley, thawed (Normandy or California Blend)
¼ C butter or margarine
2/3 C chopped onion
¼ C flour
2 C chicken broth
2 C whipping cream, half & half, or milk (cream works best)
1 Tsp chicken bullion
1 C shredded cheddar cheese
1 ½ C cubed cooked chicken or turkey
Melt butter and add onion.  Cook until tender.  Blend in flour.  Add broth.  Cook until boiling.  Add cream, bullion, & cheese.  Cook until cheese is melted.  Add vegetables and chicken.  Bring to boil.  Remove from heat and serve.  Goes great in bread bowls!

Pasta e fagioli
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 quarts tomato puree
1 qrt water
4 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
2 teaspoon dried basil, crumbled
1 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
2 cans (15-ounce size) cannellini beans (white kidney beans), rinsed, drained
1/2 # Italian sausage crumbled and browned
Salt and pepper
16 ounces Ditalini macaroni, freshly cooked
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Brown sausage  in heavy large skillet over medium heat.
Add garlic and sauté, about 1 minute.
Place all ingredients except pasta & cheese in a crock-pot on low. Just before serving, cook pasta and add to soup.
Serve with cheese.

Ottavio's Tomato Basil Soup
6 servings
1/2 Julienne yellow onions
1/2 Hand full of fresh chopped basil
1/2 Tbsp garlic
1 Cup of butter
1 Can 24. oz crushed tomatoes
1 Qt of heavy cream
1 Tsp of chicken base mixed with 1 qtr water
Put salt and pepper to taste
In heavy dutch oven, melt butter.  Add onions, cook until tender.  Add garlic, cook 1  minute.  Add broth, tomatoes, salt, pepper.  Bring to boil.  Add cream and basil until hot all the way through.

Chicken Tortilla Soup
1 large boneless skinless chicken breast, cooked & shredded or cubed
1 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) Chicken Broth
1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes or 1 quart home bottled tomatoes , drained &cut up
1 can (16 ounces) corn, drained (can use frozen)
1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
1 package taco seasoning
1 small can diced green chili
tortilla chips
Sour Cream
Shredded Cheese
In a Dutch oven coated with cooking spray, cook onion until tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Stir in the broth, tomatoes, corn, tomato paste, chilies and seasoning. Shred chicken with two forks; add to soup. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 10-15 minutes.
Top with broken tortilla chips, sour cream and cheese.
Yield: 8 servings

My Chocolate Tiramisu

2 T unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups hot water
1 pound mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
2 cups heavy cream
2 TB cocoa powder
1/4 cup(s) granulated sugar
Sponge Cake* (see note)
Cocoa powder, for dusting
Chocolate topping
Dissolve cocoa powder in hot water. 
In another bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the cream, cocoa powder & granulated sugar until soft peaks form.  Using a large rubber spatula, stir a fourth of the mascarpone cheese into the whipped cream. Whip for a minute, then fold in the rest.
Line the bottom of a 13- x 9- x 2-inch baking  dish or other decorative serving dish with one of the layers of sponge cake pieces.   Drizzle with half the cocoa water.  Spread half of the mascarpone mixture over the cake. Repeat another layer. Cover and refrigerate at least 3 hours or overnight.
Just before serving, drizzle lightly with chocolate sauce and dust with cocoa powder.
*Sponge cake - you can substitute lady fingers.  For the sponge cake:  Cut each layer in pieces by cutting about 1 inch strips and then cross cutting again in one inch squares or so.  This does not have to be PERFECT!
6 whole eggs
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon rum concentrate or vanilla
1 cup cake flour
Preheat oven: 350
°. Line spring form pans with parchment paper and coat with pan spray.
In a 5 quart mixing bowl whip the eggs and concentrate adding the sugar 1/3 at a time allowing 3 to 4 minutes between additions until all the sugar is in, whip until real fluffy and fold in your cake flour, add mixture to 2-8x1inch cake pans, bake in preheated 350 degree oven 18 to 20 minutes or until golden brown, cool.

Sunday, January 15, 2012


1 banana mashed
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
SF Italian flavored syrup - caramel or chocolate (or you can use water)
Mix together adding the liquid so it is a paste like consistency.
This will make two fry breads, so divide in half!
Coat a warm pan with pan spray. Drop 1/2 the batter in pan spread. I used parchment paper on top and pressed with my large measuring cup to flatten. Fry on medium heat until brownish dots appear, flip over and finish. Repeat for second flat bread.
And to make it yummier, I used Walton farm FF, SF, no calorie caramel dip. Used about 1 TB per flat bread and rolled up and ENJOYED every minute of it!

1 large apple, peeled, cored, chopped finely (I used my hand blender to get applesauce consistency)
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Mix..will be paste consistency.
Continue as with the Banana flat bread above.
Note: apple sauce contains enough liquid so no additional liquid was necessary.

This is not my picture, but it will look like this:

Sunday, January 1, 2012

VALENTINE'S DAY..getting ready...

from: with a little adaptation  from ME!
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup softened butter
1/2 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
4 cups mini marshmallows
1  cups Valentine  M&Ms , milk chocolate
1/2 cup chopped pecans, optional
1/4 cup hot fudge topping
1/4 cup caramel topping, optional
Pan spray
1.  Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray Pam in a 13x9 inch pan.
2.  In a large bowl, beat crumbs, brown sugar, butter, flour, and baking soda with electric mixer until coarse crumbs form.  Press mixture in bottom of the pan.  Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown.
3.  Remove partially baked crust from oven.  Sprinkle marshmallows over the crust.  Bake 1 to 2 minutes longer or until the marshmallows begin to puff.
4.  Remove the pan from the oven.  Drizzle with hot fudge topping.  Sprinkle the M&Ms evenly over the marshmallows.  Let it cool for an hour and then cut into bars.

Bear Hug treat bags

Fill small cello bag with gummy bears.  Fold down open edge.  Then staple the topper to the bag. The shapes were cut from my Silhouette.

 Valentine Kisses
Cream Together:
2/3 C margarine (not butter)          
2 eggs                                     
1 tsp vanilla                                    
2/3 C sugar                                     
1/8 C milk       
2 teaspoons maraschino cherry juice
1/2 cup maraschino cherries, chopped, WELL DRAINED & DRIED  
Mix in:
2 ½ C flour                                     
½ tsp salt                                       
2 ½ tsp baking powder                   
Red or Pink sugar
36 milk chocolate kisses
Mix well.  Dough will be gooey.  Refrigerate for 15 minutes. Roll into walnut size balls.  Coat with red or pink sugar (optional).  Place on cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 7-9 minutes, or until bottoms are golden brown.  As soon as they are removed from oven, let cool for about 1 minute, push a milk chocolate kiss slightly into the middle of it.

Poppin' Love Treat
1 stick butter
1 bag mini marshmallows
1 tsp vanilla
4 drops pr so of red food coloring
2 cups Valentine M&M mix
1/3  cup Mini semi sweet
1/3 cup vanilla chips
12 cups popped popcorn
Butter a large cookie sheet or cake pan.  In a large heavy sauce pan, over med heat melt butter.    Add marshmallows and food coloring.  Stir until melted. Add vanilla.  Add popcorn and stir gently until popcorn is coated.  Mix in the remaining ingredients.  Press into pan.  Let set for about an hour or until cool. 
Or more fun..make popcorn  balls!  Butter hands and take a handful and shape into a ball.  Continue until all popcorn has been used.  Let cool.
Place in ziplock bag to store.

Stained Glass Hearts
Use your favorite sugar cookie recipe  or mine ( see below).  Roll out dough to 1/4".  Cut out center.  Fill making it heaping  with crushed hard candy.  I just threw in two cherry flavored candy sticks into my mini chopper.  Bake on parchment paper.
Soft Sugar Cookies
Cream Together:
2/3 C margarine (not butter)          
2 eggs                                              
1 tsp vanilla                                               
2/3 C sugar                                      
1/4 C milk                                        
Mix in:
2 ½ C flour                                      
½ tsp salt                                        
2 ½ tsp baking powder                   
Mix well.  Dough will be gooey.  Refrigerate for 15 minutes. Flour everything well.  Roll out 1/4 inch thickness, cut with cookie cutters. (*now follow above!) Place on cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 7-9 minutes.

Raspberry Mousse filled Chocolate Shells
To  make shells you can either use a mold or a balloon.  If using a mold, just follow the instructions.  For  a balloon, blow up small balloons so bottoms are of desired size.  Melt chocolate according to directions.  when chocolate is cool enough, dip bottom of balloons in chocolate.  Let cool.  Pop balloons, remove shell.  There are various websites/blogs that have this method.  So just..GOOGLE it!
Raspberry Mousse
1/2 (1/8 oz.) packet unflavored gelatin
1 (12 oz.) bags frozen raspberries, thawed
1/3 cup plus 1 Tbsp. sugar
1 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
Place 1/8 cup water in a cup and sprinkle gelatin on top. Set aside to soften.
In a bowl, mash raspberries with a whisk or potato masher and then strain into another bowl to remove seeds. You will have about 3/4 to 1 cup puree. Add sugar and lemon juice and stir until sugar dissolves. Microwave softened gelatin for 30 seconds on high power. Whisk gelatin into raspberry puree. Whip cream until stiff. Gently fold in half of the raspberry-gelatin mixture until nearly incorporated. Fold in remaining raspberry mixture.
Scrape mousse into a glass bowl, cover and refrigerate until set, about 3 hours. Spoon into shells. 
(Top with a chocolate heart, if desired.  I free handed chocolate hearts on parchment paper.  Let cool in fridge.)