Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Simple Seafood Marinade

I am trying to make summer last as long as I can.  In the spirit of soaking up sunshine and relaxing on the patio here is a recipe that just tastes like summer. Fresh. Light. Citrus... and so very easy.

For the marinade you will need:

3-4 cloves garlic, pressed or finely chopped
2 T oil
1-2 T melted butter
1 t freeze dried basil (Lighthouse brand is the best) or 1-2 T fresh chopped
sprinkle of dill
1 t salt
1 t pepper
juice from 2 lemons

Mix all ingredients well. Pour over seafood of your choice and chill for 1 hour, turning seafood once.

Meat selections I have tried:
1 lb shrimp med-large peeled and deveined-to cook, skewer and BBQ on medium until just pink.  Baste with leftover marinade.

Salmon fillets (my favorite way)- remove skins from the bottom of fillet before marinating. This helps eliminate the strong fish flavor from baking. Place fillets and marinade in glass dish with foil over top in 375 degree oven for 35-45 minutes. Broil without foil for the last 3-4 minutes.

Marinade can also be used to prepare chicken.

Thursday, February 3, 2011


Don't be afraid of this one people. It takes about 45 minutes to whip up and it will feed an army.  A few tips;
  • if you use fresh mozzarella your calzone is going to be very juicy, so expect liquid in the bottom of your pan. The taste is great but you will need to pull it out halfway through baking and drain the juice, possibly several times depending on how big you made your calzone. 
  • You can easily cut this recipe in half or even a forth BUT if you don't it does freeze rather well. Just make sure to rap in wax paper and use zip-loc freezer bags. To reheat- use a toaster oven (or regular oven) versus a microwave. The microwave just fries the cheese and makes the bread soggy before the meat has thawed.
  • Do try to make it at least twice. The first time I made this is was good but not great. The second time I made it, it's all I ate for three days. It just takes a few tries to get the crust just the way YOU like it!


  • 1 batch 10 minute pizza crust 
  • 1/4 lb hard salami
  • 1/4 lb pepperoni
  • 1/4 lb provolone 
  • 1/4-1/2 lb mozzarella-fresh or sliced
  • muffaletta spread (optional)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Roll crust into a round 1/4" thick on floured surface.  On one half of the crust, layer salami, pepperoni, mozzarella and provolone. In the middle apply layer of muffaletta spread, then repeat layers of salami, pepperoni, and cheeses. Fold other side of dough over toppings. Wet the edges and crimp together to seal. Transfer calzone to a cookie sheet that has been brushed with olive oil. You may need to use two spatulas for this to keep the calzone from tearing. Brush the top of crust with olive oil and cut several (3-5) slits for venting. Bake for at least 20 minutes.

Serve with dipping sauce:

  • 1 16 oz can tomatoes
  • Fresh chopped basil
  • 3 cloves garlic pressed
  • 1 t salt
  • 1/2 t pepper

Blend all ingredients in Cuisinart. Simmer in heavy saucepan over medium heat OR microwave on high for 3-5 minutes to blend flavors.
No illusions-it is as big as a full size cookie sheet!

Hope y'all enjoy!

10 minute Pizza Crust

This is the best crust ever! There is no rest time, no rising. All you have to do is mix and roll out!

1 C water warmed to about 115 degrees
1 T olive oil
1 T sugar
2 1/4 t rapid rise yeast
2 3/4 C all-purpose flour
1 t salt
1/4 C grated parmesan (optional)-if you don't use parmesan, add 1/4 C more flour

In a large measuring cup whisk water, olive oil, sugar and yeast. Let rest 5 minutes. Meanwhile in Cuisinart with a regular blade pulse flour, salt and parmesan. With mixer running, pour  liquid in at a steady stream and process until mixture pulls away from the sides. If dough is too sticky, add 1-2 T more flour. Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead 3-4 times. Roll out to desired thickness; 1/4-1/2" thick.

You can experiment with this dough by adding herbs such as rosemary, thyme, or even garlic for a little twist.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Tomato Basil Soup

I love this soup! My mother invented this recipe and I have yet to find a way to improve upon it.  Well, besides using freeze dried basil of which I am very fond.  Hope you enjoy it!
  • 32 oz canned diced tomatoes
  • 8 oz tomato sauce
  • 1/2 onion diced finely
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 C milk
  • 4 T butter
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh basil if available-rough chopped
  • Freeze dried basil
  • sugar if needed

In a large pot saute garlic and onions in butter until onions are opaque and tender.  Add canned tomatoes and sauce, stir well.  Add milk, salt, pepper, and 2 T dried basil. Bring to simmer and taste. Adjust seasoning as necessary. This is where you may need to add sugar if the tomatoes are too tart.. Use cuisinart magic stick to puree in pot. Serve with freshly grated parmesan cheese and fresh basil.

 If you do not have a magic stick, you can puree the mixture in a regular cuisinart or blender.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Pie

This is my favorite version of pumpkin pie. It is light, creamy and delicious. The best part is it's super easy to make! My grandmother would fix this every Thanksgiving when I was growing up. Don't be fooled, this is not just a holiday pie, it's delightful enough to be served year round.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

  • 2 wrappers graham crackers
  • at least 1/4 C melted butter

  In cuisinart pulse crackers until well crumbled and resemble cornmeal. Slowly stream in enough melted butter that the mixture starts to "comes together". Press mixture firmly and evenly into pie dish. Bake for 15 minutes then let cool on pie rack.

Layer #1:

  • 4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 T cream
  • 1 T sugar
  • 1 ½ C cool whip

Mix cream cheese, cream and sugar in a large bowl or mixer until smooth (may need to whisk). Gently stir in cool whip. Spread on bottom of crust.

Layer #2:

  • ½ C milk
  • ½ C cream
  • 2 packages vanilla instant pudding mix (small)
  • 1 can pumpkin 16 oz
  • 1 t. cinnamon
  • ½ t. ginger
  • ¼-1/2 t. ground cloves

  Pour milk and cream into bowl, add pudding mix and whisk until well blended (1-2 minutes). Whisk in pumpkin and spices until well blended. Spread over cream cheese layer.

Refrigerate for at least 3 hours then top with whipped cream and chopped pecans.

Fresh whipped cream tops cool whip any day!
  •      1 Pint whipping cream
  •       2 T sugar

  Chill mixer bowl and whisk attachment for 30 minutes in freezer. On high, whip cream until it starts to thicken, then add sugar to taste. Keep on high until it forms stiff peaks.