Applelicious Cupcakes

Applelicious Cupcakes

Channeling June Cleaver

Channeling June Cleaver

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Spinach, cheese and egg Chichen Soup - Stracciatella

This recipe for Stracciatella is an old family recipe that my grandmother passed down to my mother and my mother to me. Every Italian family has their own way of making Stracciatella, some families use eggs, cheese and pasta, some families use only eggs and cheese, our family uses spinach, eggs, cheese and chicken. I love this wonderful soup that is a meal  with a salad and a beautiful loaf of bread. I have included my mothers recipe for Chicken stock or you can substitute low fat chicken broth.(chicken stock isn't that hard to make!) If you use chicken broth use 4 quarts. And I love chicken in the soup so just add 3 cups of cooked chicken.


Chicken Stock
1  4 1/2 lb 5 lb whole chicken
2 celery ribs, cut into 2-inch lengths
2 carrots, quartered
2 medium onions, halved
6 fresh parsley stems(without leaves)
1 Turkish bay leaf
8 black peppercorns
3-4 qt cold water, enough to cover the chicken
1 1/2 tsp salt

Wash chicken well. My mother always put a tablespoon of sea salt in the chicken cavity for a few minutes and then rinses the chicken well. Bring all ingredients to a boil in a large 10-qt pot. Skim the frothy fat off until there is no more sudsy fat. Simmer for 3 hours, covered. Remove chicken to a large bowl and set aside. The chicken will be very tender and fall apart. Let cool and then remove meat from the chicken. set aside The white meat is what I like to use in my soup. Pour stock through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl and discard the remains in the sieve. If using stock right away, skim off and discard any reminding fat. If not cool stock completely, skim fat and then chill covered. If you make the stock a day ahead and chill over night the fat will form on the top and is very easy to remove making the stock lower in fat. Stock will keep chilled for 3 days or can be frozen for 1 month.

1 box 10 oz frozen chopped spinach
5 eggs
1 cup Parmesan cheese, plus additional for serving
Cooked chicken about 3 cups cut into bit size pieces

Cook spinach according to package instructions, I like to microwave. Beat eggs well in large bowl adding  spinach and 1 cup cheese. Bring  stock to boil, add spinach mixture. Don't stir for a minute or two. Stir and reduce heat immediately to low. Continue stirring for 4 to 5 more minutes. Add cooked chicken. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve hot, topped with additional grated cheese.


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Turkey Bolognese Tomato Sauce

I wanted to make a "meat" sauce that tasted wonderful but didn't use red meat to cut down on fat and calories. I used ground turkey and turkey sausage to make this flavorful sauce. And the sauce is EASY to make!

1/2 lb Italian sausage, remove casings
1/2 lb ground turkey
1 cup chopped onion(1 large)
1/2 cup finely chopped carrot (1 medium)
1/2 cup chopped green pepper(1 small)
1/4 cup chopped celery
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
1/2 cup dry red wine or chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup whole milk
1/4 cup fresh basil
2 tablespoons snipped fresh oregano

In a 4-quart Dutch oven, cook sausage, ground turkey, carrot, sweet pepper, celery, and garlic over medium-high heat until meat is good and onion is tender, using a wooden spoon to break up meat as it cooks. Drain off fat.(using lean turkey you don't have much fat)
Stir in tomatoes, tomato past, wine, salt and black pepper. Bring to boiling: reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in milk, basil, and oregano.

Serve over your favorite pasta or use in recipes that call for a "meat" sauce.


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Old Fashion Banana-Nut Bread

What to do when you have very ripe bananas and can't eat them all, make banana-nut bread. Quick loaf breads,(they call them quick because they are fast to make) are wonderful. Just mix all the ingredients in a bowl, pour into a loaf pan and bake.

2 2/3 cup sifted flour
3 tsp baking power
1 tsp salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
2 medium size ripe bananas, peeled and mashed ( about 1 cup)
3/4 cup pecans, finely chopped
2 teaspoon grated orange rind
1/2 cup dried cranberries

1. Grease a 9x5x3 inch loaf pan, line the bottom with wax paper; grease paper.
2. Sift flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda into medium bowl.
3. In a large bowl, cream butter with sugar, until fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until fluffy again.
4. Stir in flour mixture, alternately with mashed bananas; fold in pecans, orange rind and cranberries. Pour into loaf pan.
5. Bake 325 F for 1 hour and 10 minutes*, or until golden, and a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on  wire rack for 10 minutes. Loosen around edges with a knife; turn out onto rack; peel off waxed paper. Let cool completely. Wrap and store overnight.

* Depending on your oven this can be done in 1 hour and 10 minutes or 1 hour and 20 minutes. I have said before that I find ovens to bake differently. I always recommend the first time you make a recipe that you bake for less time and keep adding more time until done. This bread is moist not dry. Add vanilla ice cream for a nice treat.


Saturday, January 1, 2011

Roasted Cauliflower and Brussels Sprouts with White Balsamic Vinaigrette

I made this dish, Roasted Cauliflower and Brussels Sprouts with White Balsamic Vinaigrette, for Christmas and everyone loved this wonderful combination of vegetables with a tasty vinaigrette. The dish is easy to prepare and a delicious addition to a holiday meal or dinner.  Sorry I forgot to take a picture!

Roasted Cauliflower and Brussels Sprouts with White Balsamic Vinaigrette

2 medium heads cauliflower  cut into florets
1 1/2 lb. fresh Brussels sprouts
1/4 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. white balsamic vinegar ( I like Trader Joe's)
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
3/4 cup pitted kalamata olives, sliced
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme

Preheat over to 450. Rinse Brussels sprouts and removed any discolored leaves. Trim ends; cut in half lengthwise. Combine sprouts, cauliflower, olive oil and sugar in large roasting pan: toss to coat. Spread into 1 layer. roast for 45 minutes or until vegetables are tender and browned, stir after 30 minutes.
Whisk together vinegar and next 4 ingredients. Drizzle vinaigrette over roasted vegetables.  Add olives, parsley, and thyme. Toss to coat.