Author Archives for Charisse Colbert

About Charisse Colbert

My inspiration comes from animals, art, baking, cooking, design, flowers, humor, kindness, spirituality, travel and yoga.

Easy Bruschetta

If you have tomatoes and bread you can make an easy bruschetta. Perhaps the other versions are a tad bit more difficult. I made three different bruschettas: tomato, blue cheese fig and salmon pesto.

Start with a french baguette. I sliced the baguette into slices 1/2″ thick which I grilled in olive oil until golden. I topped one with chopped tomatoes, sea salt and a fig balsamic drizzle; I topped one with gorgonzola cheese, slices of Spanish pajarero figs, chopped pistachio nuts and fig balsamic drizzle and one with prepared pesto, a slice of smoked salmon and topped with capers.

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Pesto Rigatoni

Is there anything more delizioso than homemade pesto? Today I made enough to enjoy as pesto salmon bruschetta later. As an added bonus, I watched the movie Under the Tuscan Sun which always gets me in the mood for Italian cuisine.

Pesto Rigatoni

  • 2 cups fresh basil
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese grated
  • 1/4 cup roasted pine nuts
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 lb rigatoni

Cook pasta and set aside. Put basil, olive oil, garlic, parmesan cheese and pine nuts in the food processor and blend together adding more olive oil if you want it smoother. Add salt and pepper to taste. Toss together in a large mixing bowl, plate and serve. Garnish with parmesan cheese. Serves two people.

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Mushroom, Tomato & Garlic Fettuccine

You must love garlic for this easy Italian dish. There is nothing quite like the aroma of garlic heating up in olive oil in your kitchen.

Mushroom, Tomato & Garlic Fettuccine

  • 5 Roma Tomatoes Chopped
  • 6 Garlic Cloves Minced
  • 1 Small Container of Baby Bella Mushrooms Sliced
  • 1/4 Cup Olive Oil
  • 1 Box Fettuccine
  • 2 Tbsp Italian Seasoning
  • Salt & Pepper to Taste

Heat garlic in olive oil until golden brown, add tomatoes and mushrooms and simmer in a saute pan for 15 minutes. Add some water if you want more of a sauce. Cook & drain pasta. Add the seasoning and pasta into the saute pan, toss together and serve.

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Trio of Colors

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Serve with garlic bread. This bread is delicious and has chunks of roasted garlic baked into it. Melt butter and add garlic powder and cayenne pepper. Use a pastry brush to coat the slices of bread. Heat on 375 degrees for 10 minutes.

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Imagine you are in Italy while you are enjoying your pasta!

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Postcard from Portofino

Fig & Plum Cake

Fig & Plum Cake

  • 10 ripe figs
  • 3 ripe plums
  • 2 cups of flour
  • 1- 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 – 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a round cake pan with parchment. Remove the peel from the plums by blanching them in hot water and then placing them in an ice bath. Slice plums and figs. Mix the brown sugar and 1 tsp cinnamon together. Roll the figs and plums in the brown sugar mixture and line the cake pan with them. Cream the sugar and butter together in a large mixing bowl, add the cinnamon, vanilla, baking powder, salt, flour and milk. Pour the batter over the figs and plums. Bake for 1 hour checking to make sure the cake is done in the middle. Let it cool and when cooled turn over on a cake plate. Serve with vanilla ice cream.

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Plum

Fig and Plum Cake Done

Fig and Plum Cake Plated

 

 

Curry Rice

Don’t you think curry flavor is wonderful? It’s delicious added to egg salad, chicken salad and rice. I like to add raisins to the rice for a sweet flavor.

Curried Rice

  • 2 cups cooked basmati rice
  • 1 zucchini diced
  • 1 small box mushrooms chopped
  • 1 bunch of green onions chopped
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 Tbsp garlic paste
  • 2 Tbsp curry powder
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • olive oil to saute mushrooms and zucchini

Saute zucchini and mushrooms until soft in a large skillet. Add the cooked rice, green onions, raisins, curry powder, garlic paste and soy sauce.

Curry Rice Ingredients

Curry Rice II

Curry Rice III

Roasted Cauliflower

Recently we had dinner at a restaurant in Bend, Oregon where I had a delicious cauliflower dish. I tried to recreate it here.

Roasted Cauliflower

  • 1 head of cauliflower cut into small florets
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup tahini sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Harissa chili paste
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • Salt and Pepper

Mix the cauliflower florets, olive oil, harissa paste and salt and pepper in a large bowl. Place on a baking sheet and roast in the oven at 450 degrees for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and coat with the mixture of tahini, honey, and juice of lemon. Serve immediately.

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Roasted Cauliflower

Strawberry Mango Ice Cream

Strawberry Mango Ice Cream

  • 2 cups cream
  • 1 cup half & half
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup sliced mangoes
  • 5 large strawberries

Slice mangoes and strawberries and pulse in a food processor being careful not to liquify them. Place the cream, half & half, sugar and fruit in a large mixing bowl and stir thoroughly. Place the mixture in an ice cream maker and turn on.  I use a Cuisinart Frozen Yogurt-Ice Cream & Sorbet Maker. It’s simple and easy to use. The containers to store the ice cream I purchase from sweet bliss containers on Amazon. Spin for approximately 20 minutes or until solid and place in a quart container in the freezer.

Strawberry Mango Ingredients

Strawberry Mango Ice Cream

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