Archive for the ‘ Cooking ’ Category

My son and daughter-in-law, Eric & Beth, bought me this incredible heavy-duty garlic press!  I love it because you can put the garlic clove in unpeeled…. when you press it, somehow it takes the peel off and gives you a great bunch of garlic with no waste and easy clean-up!

It retails for $40, but you can buy it through my link (below or to the right) for just $31 and free shipping!  Makes a great stocking stuffer!

Order here:  Kuhn Rikon Epicurean Garlic Press

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admin November 11th, 2008      No Comments »

This pasta e fagioli (pasta and beans) recipe is a classic Italian recipe, fondly known as “pasta fazool”.  I made it the other night since it was getting quite chilly here and it seemed right to do a nice warm meal.  Rachel Ray calls dishes like this “stoup” – a thick soup or a thin stew! 

My recipe for Pasta Fazool – makes at least 12 servings:

  • enough olive oil to cover the bottom of a large pan (I use my Dutch Oven)
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 2 large carrots, finely chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, finely choppped
  • 8 large cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
  • 4 sprigs rosemary
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • Sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
  • 3 15-oz cans cannellini or great northern beans
  • 1 15-oz can kidney beans
  • 2 15-oz cans petite diced tomatoes
  • 2 qts chicken broth
  • 1 cup dry wine (red or white)
  • 3 cups small pasta (I used Ditalini)
  • 4 cups raw spinach
  • Grated Parmesan cheese, at serving

Heat the oil in a large pan or Dutch Oven.  Add the onion, carrot, celery and garlic; saute until translucent.  Add rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper.  Simmer for 3 minutes.

Add beans, tomatoes, chicken broth and wine.  Bring to a boil.  Boil 3 minutes; reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes. 

Increase heat to medium.  Add pasta and spinach.  Cook for 10 minutes, until pasta is done al dente.  Reduce heat to very low.

You can leave soup simmering on low for quite awhile, or serve immediately.

Serve in large bowls, topped with parmesan cheese and accompanied with crusty bread for sopping up the soup. 

It is very good warmed over the next day.  Also easy to freeze.

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admin October 14th, 2008      No Comments »

We had a nice London broil two nights ago for dinner and there was a good pound and a half left over.  My mom used to make what she called “Hash” whenever she had leftover eye-of-the-round roast, prime rib, London broil, or even flank steak.  So I made her uncommon hash last night, much to my husband’s delight!

Cut up two russet potatoes into 1/2 inch pieces.  Do the same with one large onion and three or four carrots.  Saute’ the vegetables in a little olive oil and a big spoonful of crushed garlic until fairly done.  Cut the meat into 1/2 inch pieces and add to the vegetables; cook until heated through and vegetables are done.  You don’t want soggy, overcooked veggies.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Serve with Tabasco and enjoy!

Mangia Bene!

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admin September 8th, 2008      1 Comment »

My son called me tonight to ask how to thicken the liquid in the pot roast he was cooking. 

One of the great cooking aids I am never without is a box of cornstarch!  It has got me out of more liquidy jams than I can count – plus it also helps make a great gravy out of any au jus!

Take 1/2 cup of ice cold water and add 2-3 tablespoons of cornstarch.  Mix quickly and well so there are no lumps.  Add into the hot liquid you are trying to thicken, turn up the heat and stir constantly.  Once it reaches a boil, it won’t thicken much after that.  So you may need to repeat.  This works well for thickening pot roast juices into a nice gravy, and, of course, is used for making all sorts of gravies, puddings, cream pies and more.

My favorite cornstarch:


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admin September 7th, 2008      No Comments »

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