Sunday, October 27, 2013

Lets start from the end...

   ... of the dinner, that is! It's been a while since we had our friends over for dinner... and even though I would have lunch with Ms. Laurie here and there, I missed our double date dinners. Sometimes we do something special and sometimes we do something casual... like taco night or like yesterday - home made pizza night. But, since I told you we will start from end of the dinner... there will be no pizza recipes today... I'm going straight to the dessert! Mixed fruit cobbler... I was really craving something homey and comforting and what better than warm cobbler with a huge scoop of vanilla ice cream? Here is the recipe:



*  4 cups frozen fruit (I used mix of peaches, strawberries and raspberries)
*  3/4 cup sugar
*  3 tbsp corn starch
*  pinch of cinnamon


*  1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
*  1/2 cup fine corn meal
*  3 tbsp sugar
*  1/2 tsp cinnamon
*  1 tsp baking powder
*  1/2 tsp salt
*  1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cubbed
*  1 cup cold half & half (1-2 extra tbsp might be needed)
*  1/2 cup sliced almonds
*  1-2 tbsp sugar for the top


1. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients of the filling (do not defrost the fruit). Transfer into greased baking dish.
2. In a food processor, combine flour, sugar, corn meal, cinnamon, baking powder, salt, and butter cubes. Pulse few times until mixture resembles crumbs.
3. Transfer into a bowl, add almonds and 1 cup of half & halt. Mix with the wooden spoon until combined and wet. If it's not wet enough add some extra half & half. It should stick to your fingers.
4. Using your hands, drop the dough by pieces on the top of fruit and sprinkle the top with some sugar. Bake at 375F for 45-50 minutes until top is golden brown.Wait for it to cool down a little, but serve warm with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream.

   Do you really need an explanation for this one? Doesn't it look delicious? Sweet, juicy and fruity with a delicious crunchy topping! The perfect dessert for a casual dinner with great friends.


Sunday, October 13, 2013

Balls of meat!

   Who doesn't love meatballs? Well, I'm sure I could find few people who don't, but I bet you that most of us are big fans of this dish. A funny (or weird) thing about me and meatballs... I prefer to have them in a mushroom sauce rather than a tomato sauce. I love me some puttanesca sauce, but there is nothing better (at least for me) than a white (especially mushroom) sauce. But don't even think about buying the canned condensed soup and turning it into a sauce... that's not the way to go. Here you have a recipe for the best meatballs in the best mushroom sauce... both made from scratch and super delicious.


*  2 lbs lean ground turkey
*  1/2 cup bread crumbs
*  2 eggs
*  2 garlic cloves, minced
*  1/2 cup fresh mint, chopped
*  1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
*  1 tsp black pepper
*  1-2 tsp chicken seasoning
*  olive oil to coat the meatballs

*  16oz mushroom, chopped
*  1 large onion, chopped
*  3 tbsp butter
*  2 cups chicken broth
*  2 tbsp flour
*  1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
*  salt and pepper


1. To make meatballs: in a large bowl, combine all ingredients (besides olive oil), mix well together just until combined. Gently cover your hands with olive oil, from balls (the size of golf ball) and place them onto greased baking sheet. Bake at 360F for 25-30 minutes.
2. To make sauce: in a skillet melt butter, add onions, mushroom, salt and pepper and cook for 5-6 minutes.
3. Transfer half of the mushroom/onion mixture into a blender, add chicken broth and blend everything until smooth.
4. To the remaining mushrooms in the skillet add flour and cook everything for 1-2 minutes. Add blended sauce, parsley and season with salt and pepper if necessary.  Cook everything for 1-2 minutes - you can add a little bit more liquid if you like your sauce less dense.
5. Transfer meatballs into a sauce and serve with rice or pasta.

   I am telling you, you can't beat this sauce... thick, creamy and chunky at the same time... just perfect. Meatballs are moist and super flavorful... mint and parsley makes all the difference. Try it and you won't regret it.


Sunday, October 6, 2013

Different pasta sauce.

   There is nothing wrong with delicious bolognese sauce or any other pasta sauce for this matter, but I always try to come up with a new recipe. I already have few which we really like, but we will be definitely adding this one to the list. Vegetarian eggplant pasta sauce with tiny hints of Indian spices... why not? Eggplant is one of these vegetables that has to be done just right in order for me to like it. Eggplant curry, baba ghanoush, moussaka ... and now also eggplant spaghetti sauce. All delicious and worth trying!


*  1 large eggplant, peeled and cubed
*  1 large onion, chopped
*  1 28oz can of crushed tomatoes
*  1/2 cup fresh chopped cilantro
*  1 tbsp coriander powder
*  1/2 tbsp ground cumin
*  1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
*  1 tbsp brown sugar
*  1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
*  1 tbsp soy sauce 
*  2 tbsp olive oil
*  salt and pepper


1. In a deep skillet heat olive oil, add onions, eggplant and fresh cilantro and cook for 5-6 minutes.
2. Add crushed tomatoes, all the spices, season with salt and pepper and cook everything for 15 minutes until eggplant is soft. If the sauce is too thick, dilute it with some water.
3. Remove from heat and stir in grated Parmesan cheese. Serve with pasta.

   Chunky, saucy and delicious, with a hint of cumin and coriander. It's a really great alternative to a meat sauce if you are trying to cook more vegetarian dishes, or if you are just looking for new ideas.