Friday, November 4, 2011

Pumpkin Pie

This recipe is slightly different than the traditional Libby's mix because the fresh pumpkin is has a higher water content.  You can let the pumpkin sit and drain off the water, or place it in cheesecloth overnight and let the water drain off the bottom.

This will be enough for TWO pies!


1 cup sugar
1.5 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
**if you do not have cinnamon, cloves, allspice and ginger, you can substitute 3 teaspoons of "pumpkin pie spice".
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract (optional)
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
4 large eggs
3 cups pumpkin sieved, cooked pumpkin
1.5 cans (12oz each) of evaporated milk
2 pie crusts, 9', grahm or fresh dough, it's your preference!


Combine all ingredients, make sure they are well mixed.  Pour the pie into pie crusts and bake at 425 F  for the first 15 minutes, then turn the temperature down to 350 F and bake another 45 to 60 minutes, until a clean knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Buon appetito!!
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Meatballs and Polenta

Meat mix: 3 lbs meatloaf mix (beef, veal, pork)
1 package thick-sliced smoky bacon, uncooked, raw
2 whole eggs
⅓ cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
½ cup finely diced yellow onion
8 garlic cloves, minced
Herb mix: ¼ cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley, 2 tbsp chopped oregano, 2 tbsp chopped rosemary

Combine above ingredients and mix well, kneading the mixture with your hands like dough.

⅓ cup  bread crumbs
½ cup whole milk

Slowly add milk to bread crumbs, stirring until the mixture has the consistency of wet sand. Immediately add to the meat mixture,  and mix well.

olive oil for browning
about 12 cups good-quality tomato sauce, kept warm over low heat
finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, for serving
two rolls of polenta, sliced

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Shape meatballs, preferably using an ice-cream scoop (to reduce air inside meatball). In a large skillet, heat about a quarter-inch canola oil until very hot. Working in batches, brown all sides of each meatball.  As they finish, transfer browned meatballs to a deep, ovenproof casserole. Cover meatballs with tomato sauce. (Don't skimp — they must be totally submerged.) Place in oven and bake until well done, about 1 ¾ to 2 hours.   While they are baking: brown polenta in oil, turning occasionally, lay on paper towels to absorb excess oil.

To serve: Spoon sauce & meatballs over polenta (2 or 3 per person), top with grated cheese, and pass crusty bread. Makes 25 to 30 meatballs. Buon appetito!!

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Thursday, November 3, 2011

Fresh Pumpkin Ice Cream

1 cup pumpkin puree
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 3/4 cup heavy cream
1 1/4 cup milk
3 1/2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice or (2 teaspoons ground cinnamon + 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves + 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg + 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice)

Combine the cream, milk and sugar and whisk until completely combined.  Slowly add the spices and then the pumpkin.  Make sure is is thoroughly mixed.  Prepare according to ice cream makers instructions.  Buon appetito!!

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Carmel Apple Jello Shots

(makes about 40 slices/shots)
10 small granny smith apples
1 envelope knox gelatin
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup coconut milk
2 drops yellow food coloring
1 envelope caramel hot chocolate (Regular would do just fine if you can't find caramel)
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup butterscotch schnapps
lemon juice


1. Half and hollow out  apples cutting them from the stem down. I used a melon baller to hollow the apples and it worked well. After hollowing them squeeze some lemon juice on top to reduce browning.

2. Mix your 1/2 cup water with your envelope of hot chocolate in a medium sized sauce pan. Whisk it to make sure all the chocolate is combined. Add the 1/2 cup of coconut milk, whisk again.

3. Sprinkle your gelatin on top and let it sit a few minutes. Turn on low/medium heat and mix the gelatin until all is combined.

4. Add 1/4 cup sugar and simmer slightly until sugar is combined. Add your food coloring until you get the caramel color desired. I used two drops. Let mixture cool to warm. Pour in your 1/2 cup of butterscotch schnapps.

5. With your apples arranged so they fit tightly and secure on a cookie sheet, pour your caramel jello mixture into your apples. Refrigerate overnight.

6. Cut halves in quarters and those quarters in half again. Serve immediately. (The lemon juice can only prevent the browning for so long). Trim off the sides of the apples that have browned too much!

Adapted from That's So Michelle  Buon appetito!!

Zucchini Soup

I normally love zucchini and sour cream in any sort of combination, but this just didn't do it for me.  But let me know what you think!


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/4 pounds zucchini, roughly chopped
1 large onion, chopped
6 cups Summer Vegetable Stock
1/2 cup julienned basil
1 1/2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 1/2 tablespoons flour
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Juice of 1 lemon
Sour cream or plain yogurt to top

Heat the oil in a large saucepan or stockpot, add zucchini and onion. Saute for 5 minutes or until onions are translucent and zucchini is crisp and tender. Then add stock, bring to a boil, reduce heat and partially cover and cook for 25 minutes. Add basil during the last 5 minutes of cooking. Mix the butter and flour together into a paste. Remove 1 cup of simmering stock and whisk in butter mixture until smooth. Add back into soup, stir until thickened. Remove soup from heat to a blender and puree until smooth. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Add lemon juice and serve with a dollop of sour cream or greek yogurt.
Buon appetito!!

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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Sarah's Mom's Chicken Paprikash

I have never had a more delicious chicken paprikash, and I assure you I've made an extensive search!

2-3 large chicken breasts, cubed and sprinkled with lemon juice
2 large onions, chopped
Butter 2-4 tbs to taste
16 oz carton sour cream
Paprika 2-3 tbs to taste
Spaetzle, Dumplings, Noodles or Rice

Melt the butter in the pan and saute onions until translucent.  Add the chicken and cook on medium until fully cooked.  Scoot the chicken and onions to the side and add the sour cream.  Stir in the paprika until everything is a light orange.  Mix thoroughly.  Add the spaetzle or dumplings and heat to warm all ingredients, or spoon over noodles or rice.  Serve and enjoy! Buon appetito!

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Eggy in a Helmet

Also known as Eggy in a Basket this is a simple fun breakfast!

1 Egg
1Piece of Toast
Butter or Pam

Using the cookie cutter of your choice (or you can cut out a circle) cut a whole in the middle of the bread.  Butter the skillet and lay down the bread.  Crack the egg right into the middle of the bread, flip, and cook until desired firmness.  I like to toast the center of the bread on the side of the skillet and serve with jelly.  Buon appetito!

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