Turkey Panini with Apricot-Cranberry Mostarda

If you haven’t made mostarda, you must try it.  This wonderful condiment enhances the flavor of food especially cheese. I used ciabatta bread from La Brea Bakery which I purchase at my local grocery store.

Apricot-Cranberry Mostarda

  • 1 cup dried apricots
  • 1 cup dried cranberries (craisins)
  • 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup garlic whole grain mustard
  • Salt to taste

Add the apricots, cranberries, vinegar, water and sugar to a sauce pan and heat up the ingredients for 5 minutes. Transfer the mixture to the food processor. Scoop it into a bowl and add the mustard and salt. Chill and store in the refrigerator.

1

Apricot-Cranberry Panini

  • 1 loaf ciabatta bread
  • 3 slices provolone cheese
  • roast turkey meat for one panini
  • 2 Tbsp prepared mostarda

Slice the ciabatta bread for one panini. Spread the mostarda on the inside of the bottom and top of the bread. Place the turkey and cheese inside the bread and heat in a panini maker. I use a Breville panini press. It took about 8 minutes to grill and melt the cheese. If you don’t own a panini press, grill the sandwich in a frying pan the way you would prepare a grilled cheese sandwich. Be careful not to use too much mostarda or it will spew out and make a mess. Slice the panini in half and serve.

2

4

 

Easter Cookies 2017

Yesterday afternoon I finished my Easter cookies. This year rather than making dozens of shapes, I decided to make two dozen large eggs. I iced them with white royal icing and then used gel color and painted the decorations on them. ABC Cake Decorating Supplies in Phoenix is my favorite place to purchase baking supplies. It is a baker’s dream.

Happy Easter!

Easter Cookies 2017

 

Turkey Breast Roll with Cranberry Stuffing

Turkey Breast Roll with Cranberry Stuffing

  • 1  boneless turkey breast
  • 4 Jennie-O hot Italian turkey sausages
  • 1 celery stalk chopped small
  • 1 shallot chopped small
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 Tbsp. of minced  fresh parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme
  • 1/3 cup Italian bread crumbs
  • 1 egg
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Saute the celery, shallots and garlic in olive oil for 5 minutes. Add the turkey sausage and cook until it turns brown. In a mixing bowl add the celery, shallots, garlic, cooked sausage, dried cranberries, fresh herb mixture, bread crumb, egg, salt and pepper. Mix together. Set aside. Pound out the turkey breast flat, spread the sausage mixture over the breast and roll up. Place the turkey roll in a foil lined baking dish, rub with olive oil, salt & pepper and  bake at 375 degrees for 1 hour.  Slice and serve.

1

3

 

Cherry & Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream

This ice cream is as good as it is pretty. I like to experiment with my ice cream maker trying out combinations. One summer a friend gave me a box of peaches. One of the recipes I experimented with was peach cobbler ice cream. Yum! 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.

Cherry & Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream

  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chopped
  • 1 cup bing cherries sliced in half
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla

Mix the whipping cream, milk vanilla and sugar in a bowl, add the cherries and chocolate. Pour the liquid into the ice cream freezer bowl and turn it on. Let it thicken which should take about 2o minutes. Scoop out into your ice cream container and let it freeze for two hours. If you cannot wait, you can eat it right away.

Makes 1 quart of ice cream

Ice Cream Ingredients

Black Cherry Chocolate Ice Cream

Pasta Primavera

Pasta primavera is an easy dish to prepare and there are many variations. Primavera means spring in Italian. This dish makes me think of the famous painting by Sandro Botticelli, La Primavera (The Allegory of Spring) which takes up an entire wall in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy. The dish is made with fresh vegetables, pasta and a light sauce. I reserve some of the water from the pasta and use that along with grated Parmesan cheese for the sauce.

Botticelli Primavera from Wikipedia

La Primavera

Pasta Primavera

  • 1/2 Lb. rotini pasta
  • 1 zucchini sliced and cut in fourths
  • 1 yellow squash sliced and cut in fourths
  • 1 carrot chopped
  • 1 yellow pepper chopped
  • 20 cherry tomatoes sliced in half
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 5 fresh basil leaves chopped
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Cook pasta al dente and save some of the pasta water (1/4 cup). Prepare all your vegetables and roast in the oven on 375 degrees for 20 minutes. Slice tomatoes in half. Mix the cooked pasta, roasted vegetables, sliced tomatoes, garlic powder, basil, salt and pepper, pasta water and Parmesan cheese in a large bowl and serve. This dish can be served warm or cold.

1

This dish is plated on a plate I purchased in Florence, Italy at Rampini Ceramics.  I purchased a set of their dishes in 2002 which was located at Piazza Ognissanti which is the location of the Church of all Saints where Sandro Botticelli the aforementioned artist is buried.

Rampini 1

Rampini 2

3.JPG

Easter Baking

Are you going to do any baking for Easter this year? Baking cookies for Easter is my favorite occasion for decorating cookies with royal icing. My inspiration came from a set of springtime cookie cutters which have a lamb, bunny rabbit and a butterfly. Since Easter is only a little over a week away, it’s time to get inspired. Here are some sugar cookies I’ve made in the past. I use Martha Stewart’s sugar cookie and royal icing recipe. I better get busy if I am going to bake any this year.

Easter Cookies 2008

Easter Cookies 2008

Easter Cookies 2009

Easter cookies 2009

Easter Cookies 2011

Easter cookies 2011

Easter Cookies 2014

Easter cookies 2014

Easter Cookies 2015

Easter cookies 2015

 

Easter Cookies 2016

Easter cookies 2016

 

Caponata (Eggplant Appetizer)

When I was growing up my mother purchased this all the time in a can. I remember how happy she looked when she was eating it. I remember how pretty the purple eggplant was on the can too. She never prepared it since none of us kids would have eaten it. I don’t like anchovies so my version does not have any in it. My mother also ate sardines out of a can while us kids would watch her in amazement.

Caponata

  • 1 Italian eggplant sliced into 1″ cubes
  • 2 cups chopped cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 1 cup celery chopped
  • 1/2  cup yellow onion chopped
  • 1/4 cup sliced green olives
  • 1 Tbsp capers
  • 1/8 cup white vinegar
  • 1 – 6 oz. can tomato paste
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • Olive oil for sauteing
  • Salt and pepper to taste

1

Optional: Slice one zucchini into 1/2″ discs , roast and place on a piece of bread and cover with the eggplant appetizer.

2

Cook the eggplant in olive oil for 10 – 15 minutes until it turns brown and set aside. Saute the celery and onion in a pan for 10 minutes.  Put the eggplant, celery, onions, olives, capers, vinegar, tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar, salt and pepper in a sauce pan and cook for 20 minutes on low. This can be served cold or warm with crackers, bread or over pasta.

3

4

5

%d bloggers like this: