Fancy Italian Made Simple

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Hello everyone! I feel Ive been away for far too long, but now I'm back. I'm very excited to share these new recipes with you guys that are sure to please! My brothers just celebrated their 13th birthday and wanted their favorite meal which is ravioli with my signature Smoked Tomato Alfredo Sauce. I'm absolutely in love with this recipe and I'm telling you, you're gonna love it. I use GFS's Mushroom and Wine Jumbo Ravioli for $14. But of course you're welcome to use your favorite Ravioli because the sauce works for most! This fancy meal is very simple to make and is also affordable. Instead of paying $12 at Olive Garden for one meal, you can have this flavorful pasta for 8 people for around $20-25 bucks. Not bad at all!! I also made Roasted Garlic Butter Bruschetta and these adorable apple pies that will make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. So everyone take a look and enjoy. Missed you all.

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Roasted Garlic Butter Bruschetta

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- 2-3 heads of garlic
- 3 Tbl. butter
- 4 Roma Tomatoes, chopped
- A few basil leaves, chopped
- olive oil
- 1 baguette, sliced
- salt/pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Cut the tops of the garlic heads and place in aluminum foil. Drizzle olive oil and season with salt and pepper.Roast for 30-45 minutes.
3. Squeeze softened garlic cloves into a bowl and combine butter until smooth.
4. Combine tomatoes, basil, drizzle of olive oil, and season to taste.
5. Spread your butter mixture on the bread slices then top with your tomatoes and basil. Enjoy!!!

*Variation- If you like your bread toasty, on a cookie sheet, drizzle olive oil and bake for 5-10 minutes at 350 degrees. Then proceed with your fab toppings. =]

Smoked Tomato Alfredo Sauce

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1 stick butter
1/4 cup olive oil
1 small- medium onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
8 oz. Cream cheese, softened
2 poblanos, roasted, seeded, and chopped
1 1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup spaghetti sauce( I always use Hunt's Garlic & Herb)
1 tsp. Italian Seasoning
salt/pepper to taste

1. Over an open flame, char poblanos on both sides. Place in plastic wrap for easy removal. peel away charred skin, remove seeds, and roughly chop.
2. In a medium sized pot over medium heat, add butter and olive oil. When butter is melted, add the onion and garlic and cook for about 2 minutes.
3. Add cream cheese and cook until most of it is melted in the sauce. Whisk in heavy cream until completely smooth.
4. Add Spaghetti sauce, poblanos, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serves 6-8

Serve over your favorite Ravioli or noodles. Enjoy!

This dessert has a few parts to it, but its extremely easy so no worries!!!

Maple Brown Cuties

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Brown Sugar Crust

1 1/2 cups flour
4 tbl. butter, chilled
6 tbl. shortening, chilled
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tbl. brown sugar
3 to 4 tbl. ice water

1. In a bowl combine first 5 ingredients working the butter and shortening in until coarse pieces remain.
2. Sprinkle water over the flour mixture until the dough comes to together.
3. Shape into a disk, place in plastic wrap and store in refrigerator for 1 hour.
4. Roll out the dough on a floured surface, and cutout circles.
5. Place dough circles in oiled cupcake tins and bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees.

Apple Filling

- 2-3 granny smith apples, peeled, cored, and chopped
- 1tbl butter, melted
- 4 tbl. brown sugar
- 1 tbl. maple syrup
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 orange

1.In a bowl combine the first 6 ingredients. Squeeze the juice of the orange onto the apple mixture and stir well.

Easy Maple Cream

- 1 cup heavy cream
- 4 tbl. brown sugar
- 3 tbl. maple syrup

1. Using a mixer with a whisk attachment, beat the heavy cream on high. Add the brown sugar and maple syrup and continue beating until stiff peaks form.

Butter Crumb Topping/Filling the Cuties

- 3 tbl. butter, softened
- 1/2 cup flour
- 2 tbl. brown sugar

Combine all ingredients.

Filling the Cuties

1. Fill each baking cup with apples.
2. Top with butter crumb topping
3. Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees
4. Top with Maple Whipped Cream, chopped nuts of your choice( we used macadamia pieces), and orange zest.

*Makes 12-15 Maple Brown Cuties

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Pulled Pork with Peach BBQ Sauce and Double Chocochip Cookies

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Hi everybodaaaay!!! Soooo excited for the weekend, I'm able to spend some time with the family and just relax. This is the perfect weekend to enjoy the people you love and why not throw some delish food in there as well! So I've been spending alot of time with my favorite family I babysit for and me and the boys, Jack and Joe made some fabulous Double Choco Chip Cookies. They are all chocolate lovers so we had to make something for all the people out there who cant have enough of it. Also! We've been wanting some Pulled Pork Sandwiches over here and my lovely mother made some,, crockpot style. So easy and with a mouthwatering Peach BBQ Sauce. Sounds amazing right?? I know, I know. She topped it with a Blue Cheese Slaw and served it up with some kettle chips. This is the perfect meal to serve when you're in a rush and want some good ole BBQ! Enjoy!!

Hanging with the Boys!!

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Double ChocoChip Cookies

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* 1 cup butter, softened
* 1 cup white sugar
* 1 cup packed brown sugar
* 2 eggs
* 1/4 cup sour cream
* 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
* 1/3 cup Cocoa powder
* 3 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 2 teaspoons hot water
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2.Cream together the butter, white sugar, and brown sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the sour cream and vanilla. Dissolve baking soda in hot water. Add to batter along with salt. Stir in cocoa and flour, and fold in chocolate chips. Chill in refrigerator for 8 to 10 minutes. Drop by large spoonfuls onto ungreased pans.
3.Bake for about 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until edges are nicely browned.

Pulled Pork Sandwiches

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5 1/2 pd. Picnic Shoulder
4 tbl.Salt
3 tbl.Garlic powder
2 tbl.onion powder
3 tbl.paprika
1 tbl. black pepper
3 tbl brown sugar
liquid smoke

In a small bowl combine seasonings and rub over the pork
In a Crockpot: add 1/4 cup water, place pork in skin side up, add a few dashes of liquid smoke on top of pork.
Set on high, cover and cook for 6 hours
Once pork is tender, start shredding and add your peach BBQ sauce!
Enjoy =]

Peach BBQ Sauce
1/4 cup ketchup
1/2 can peaches, 20 oz.(extra light syrup, or rinse peaches well)
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tbl soy sauce
2 tbl red wine vinegar
1/2 cup apricot preserves
few dashes of liquid smoke

Heat all ingredients in a sauce pan over medium heat, bring to boil, simmer for 10-15 min.
Use an immersion blender until sauce is smooth
* Don't have an immersion blender? No prob! Blend or food process your peaches before adding them to your BBQ sauce.

Blue Cheese Slaw

Blue Cheese Salad Dressing
Cole Slaw mix

Mix these two ingredients for a tasty and easy slaw
Depends on how much you're making. We used about 10 oz. Slaw Mix and added the dressing until it was creamy. About 8-10 oz.

We served our Pulled Pork on Onion Buns and served them with Aldi's Kettle Chips( Almost 1/2 the price of other Kettle Chips)

Hope you all enjoyed these new easy recipes. Have a fantastic weekend!!

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