December 2, 2019

Roasted Vegetable Gratin

prep 30 min. / bake 1 hour

5 T. olive oil                                                     
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 lb. small gourmet potatoes, cut into 1/2" pieces
4 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2" pieces
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/2" pieces
4 oz. pkg. white mushrooms, cleaned and cut into 1/2" pieces
1 red onion, cut in half and then cut into thin slices
2 zucchini, but into 1/4" slices
1 pkg. Campari tomatoes (or about 6 Roma), sliced thin
1/3 cup panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 425.
In a small bowl, mix the oil, seasoning, salt, and pepper.
In a large bowl, toss the potatoes, carrots, bell pepper, and mushrooms with 2 T. of the oil mixture.
Transfer vegetables to a 9x13 inch baking dish.
Place onion slices on top of vegetables, then top with zucchini slices.
Drizzle with 2 T. oil mixture.
Arrange tomato slices on top.
Mix bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese in a small bowl. Sprinkle over tomatoes.
Drizzle with remaining oil mixture.
Cover with foil and bake 45 minutes.
Remove foil and bake additional 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender and top is golden brown.
Serve warm.
Refrigerate any leftovers.

Serves 6-8

Hot Curried Fruit

This spicy dish is always a favorite at our family's Thanksgiving gatherings.

29 oz. apricot halves
29 oz. pear halves
29 oz. peach halves
20 oz. pineapple chunks, drained
3/4 c. golden raisins
1/4 c. butter
1/3 c. brown sugar, packed
1 tsp. curry powder

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Drain apricots, pears, and peaches. Cut into chunks. Discard any stems or pits.
  (Drained fruit liquid/juice is not used in this recipe.)
Gently combine all fruit chunks and raisins in a large bowl. Set aside.
Melt butter in a small saucepan.
Stir in brown sugar and curry powder.
Cook and stir over low heat until sugar is dissolved.
Pour hot mixture over fruit. Mix gently.
Transfer to a 2-1/2 qt. casserole dish.
COVER tightly with foil and bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.
Serve warm.

Serves 8-12

October 21, 2015

Skillet Red Potatoes and Carrots

Our family loves the rich flavor of this vegetable side dish when slightly charred in my trusty old iron skillet.

2 T. unsalted butter
3 cups cubed red potatoes
1-1/2 cups carrots, diagonally sliced
3/4 cup chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 cup fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley, minced

Melt butter in a 12" skillet over medium-low heat.
Add potatoes and carrots. Toss to coat.
Add onion, garlic, salt, and pepper. Mix well.
Cover and cook for 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes.
Stir in parsley. 
Serves 4

March 1, 2015

Italian Apple Torte

This rustic Italian cake is bursting with flavor. For a more elegant presentation, cut the peeled apples into thin curved slices instead of chunks and arrange them in an overlapping circular fashion from the center of the cake to the outer edge. 

1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for the pan
1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for the pan
1/2 cup white sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 Tbsp. baking powder
pinch of salt
grated zest of 1 lemon
3 baking apples, such as Granny Smith, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2" chunks
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans, toasted
2 Tbsp. apricot preserves

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 
Butter and flour an 8 or 9 inch springform pan. Set aside.
With an electric mixer, cream butter and white sugar in a large bowl. 
Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until light and fluffy. 
Beat in the vanilla. 
Stir in the lemon zest.
In a medium bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. 
Stir dry ingredients into creamed mixture just until combined. 
Spread the batter into the prepared springform pan.
In a medium bowl toss together the apples, brown sugar, and pecans.
Sprinkle the apple mixture evenly on top of the batter. 
Bake at 375 degrees for 50 minutes.
Microwave preserves in a small bowl for 15 seconds. 
Brush top of warm torte with warmed preserves.
Cool torte on a rack. 
Remove springform pan sides. 
Cut torte into wedges to serve. 

Serves 8

February 16, 2015

Homemade Snow Cream

1 cup milk
1/2 cup sugar
dash of salt
1 tsp. vanilla
1 large bowl of fresh, clean snow

Mix first four ingredients together in medium bowl.
Add snow by large spoonfuls, mixing well before adding more.
Stir until thick and serve immediately.

July 31, 2014

Pasta Margherita

This light, quick and easy "no cook" pasta sauce is a delightful way to use basil and tomatoes fresh from the garden. 

8 oz. uncooked angel hair pasta OR 1 box uncooked spiral/rotini pasta
1 cup packed fresh basil leaves
1/4 c. chopped green onions (about 2)
1 tsp. minced garlic
2 c. halved cherry or grape tomatoes OR coarsely chopped Roma tomatoes
1 T. olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 c. diced or shredded fresh Mozzarella cheese

  • Cook pasta according to package directions, drain, and return to pan.
  • Meanwhile, combine remaining ingredients, except cheeses, in a food processor or blender. Pulse 10 times or until coarsely chopped.
    No food processor or blender? Just chop by hand and mix well in a bowl.
  • Stir (uncooked) tomato mixture into hot, drained pasta. Toss gently to coat.
  • Serve warm. Top each serving sprinkled with cheeses.

Serves 4-6

June 28, 2013

The Perfect Blueberry Cobbler

After picking several pounds of blueberries recently at a local you-pick berry farm, this easy and not-too-sweet recipe was at the top of my list for putting some of them to very good use. 

4 cups fresh or frozen blueberries, thawed
1/4 cup sugar
3 T. cornstarch
2 T. lemon juice
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp. grated lemon peel
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda
2 T. sugar
3 T. cold butter
3/4 cup buttermilk

  • In a large bowl, combine 1/4 cup sugar with the cornstarch, lemon juice, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
  • Gently stir in the blueberries.
  • Transfer to a greased 2-quart baking dish.
  • In a small bowl, combine the flour, lemon peel, baking powder, salt, baking soda, and 2 T. sugar. 
  • Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. (You may use the food processor instead.)
  • Stir in buttermilk just until moistened. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto the blueberry mixture.
  • Bake uncovered at 375 degrees F for 40 minutes or until golden brown.
  •  Serve warm.


    Buttermilk substitute: Add milk to 1 T. white vinegar to make 3/4 cup.

    After using sticks of butter, place the empty wrappers in the refrigerator to use later for greasing baking dishes and pans, then toss them away. Recycle and use less cooking spray!