It has been a quite a while since i have blogged. We took a fabulous vacation to Mexico and it was so wonderful to see the sun, feel the heat and hear the ocean waves crashing! I am back to reality with another blizzard on its way and the only thing I hear crashing around here are the pots and pans that my son is currently tossing in my kitchen!

Here is a quick and easy breakfast (I guess it could be considered dessert!) that we enjoyed.

Berry Crisps With Streusel
Adapted slightly from Alton Brown
4 - 8 ounce servings

12 ounces frozen berries, blueberries or raspberries
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch (optional)

4 1/2 ounces all-purpose flour
6 ounces light brown sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, and/or allspice
6 ounces almonds, toasted and chopped
3 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature

Note: I used mixed berries: strawberries, blueberries and Raspberries, eliminated cornstarch, used cinnamon, and only 2 ounces butter.

Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Make the streusel topping: Whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon and almonds in a medium mixing bowl.

Add the butter and use your fingers to lightly knead it into the dry ingredients until the mixture is crumbly and the butter is well incorporated as the streusel.

Combine the frozen berries, sugar, cornstarch (if using) and 1/2 cup of the streusel topping in a medium mixing bowl. Divide the mixture evenly between 4 (8-ounce) coffee mugs or ramekins.

Top each dish with 1/2 cup of the streusel topping.

Put the ramekins on a half sheet pan and bake on the middle rack of the oven until the fruit is bubbling and the topping is browned, about 30 to 35 minutes. Cool the crisps for 15 minutes before serving.




This is completely low-cal and low-fat, ha...I wish! It is however, rich and decadent but also a little too heavy for my blood and terribly time consuming. If I made it again I would definitely do some of the steps recommended ahead of time. I was in the minority, as everyone in my family absolutely loved it. I halved the recipe below and used an 8x8 baking dish and still had plenty of leftovers for a family of 4.

Wild Mushroom Lasagne
Gourmet March 1999
Serves 6-8

For mushroom filling:
3 cups water
2 ounces dried porcini mushrooms (about 1 cup)
2 pounds fresh white mushrooms
2 large zucchini (about 1 pound)
1 large onion
3 garlic cloves
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
6 tablespoons Sherry
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For sauce:
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
5 cups whole milk
4 1/2 ounces freshly grated Parmesan (about 1 1/2 cups)
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 1/2 teaspoons salt

eighteen 7- by 3 1/2-inch sheets dry no-boil lasagne (about 1 pound)
1/2 pound freshly grated mozzarella (about 2 cups)
1 1/2 ounces freshly grated Parmesan (about 1/2 cup)

Make filling:
In a small saucepan bring water to a boil and remove pan from heat.

Stir in porcini. Soak porcini 20 minutes. Lift out porcini, squeezing out excess liquid, and reserve soaking liquid.

In a sieve rinse porcini to remove any grit and pat dry. Chop porcini and transfer to a large bowl. Simmer reserved soaking liquid until reduced to about 1/4 cup. Pour liquid through a sieve lined with a dampened paper towel into bowl with porcini.

Finely chop white mushrooms. Cut zucchini into 1/4-inch dice. Chop onion and mince garlic.

In a 12-inch heavy skillet heat 3 tablespoons butter over moderate heat until foam subsides and cook white mushrooms with 6 tablespoons Sherry, stirring, until liquid mushrooms give off is evaporated and they begin to brown.

Add mushroom mixture to porcini. (Note: break it into 2 batches if your pan isn't big enough.)

In skillet cook zucchini in 1 tablespoon butter until tender and stir into porcini mixture. In skillet cook onion in remaining tablespoon butter, stirring, until softened. Stir in garlic, thyme, salt, and pepper and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir onion into mushroom mixture until combined. Filling may be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered.

Make sauce:
In a 3-quart heavy saucepan melt butter over moderately low heat and whisk in flour. Cook roux, whisking, 3 minutes and whisk in milk. Bring sauce to a boil, whisking constantly, and simmer, whisking occasionally, 3 minutes. Stir in Parmesan, mustard, and salt.

Remove pan from heat and cover surface of sauce with wax paper. Sauce may be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. Bring sauce to room temperature before proceeding.

Preheat oven to 375°F. and butter a 13 x 9-inch (3-quart) baking dish.

Assemble lasagne:
Spread 1 1/4 cups sauce in baking dish and cover with 3 pasta sheets, making sure they don't touch each other.

Proceed with spreading one third mushroom filling over pasta sheets in dish and top with 3 more pasta sheets. Top pasta sheets with one third mozzarella.

This is how the layering goes: sauce, 3 pasta sheets, 1/3 cup mushroom filling, 3 pasta sheets and 1/3 of the mozzarella, sauce, 3 pasta sheets, 1/3 cup mushroom filling, 3 pasta sheets and 1/3 of the mozzarella, sauce, 3 pasta sheets, 1/3 cup mushroom filling, 3 pasta sheets and 1/3 of the mozzarella,ending with mozzarella.

Spread remaining sauce over top and sprinkle with Parmesan. On a foil-lined large baking sheet bake lasagne in middle of oven until bubbling and golden, about 45 minutes. Let lasagne stand 20 minutes. Lasagne may be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. Bring lasagne to room temperature and reheat before serving.




I love this is super easy and tastes great. The best part is almost everything in it should be a staple in your kitchen so no running to the store for a forgotten ingredient and it reheats great.

Spaghetti with Artichoke Hearts and Tomatoes
Adapted from The Pioneer Woman
Serves 6

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons Butter
3 cloves Garlic, Minced
½ whole Medium Onion, Finely Diced
1 can Artichoke Hearts (14.5 Oz. Quartered Or Whole) Drained
1 can Diced Tomatoes With Juice (14.5 Oz.)
1 cup Heavy Cream
½ cups Chicken Broth (More As Needed)
½ teaspoons Nutmeg
Salt And Pepper, to taste
1 pound Thin Spaghetti
1 cup Parmesan Cheese, Freshly Grated
2 Tablespoons Fresh Chives (or Other Herbs) Chopped

Cook spaghetti till al dente. Drain and set aside.

Melt olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and saute for 2 to 3 minutes.

Add artichoke hearts and tomatoes. Stir and cook for 8 to 10 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Stir in cream and chicken broth. Add salt and pepper to taste (do not undersalt!) Cook over low heat until heated through, then turn off heat.

Place drained pasta in a large bowl. Sprinkle with 1 cup Parmesan.

Pour sauce over the top. Add chopped herbs. Toss lightly to combine and coat; add a tiny bit of reserved pasta water if sauce seems too thick.




To me, this is a classic blueberry muffin...a crowd pleaser: not too sweet, not too heavy, a solid recipe. Of course, next time I make them I will probably add a little sprinkle of sugar on top or steal the streusel topping from this Blueberry Streusel Muffin recipe!

On second thought, it may have been the frozen blueberries I used. I bet the muffins would be perfect if you used fresh picked ripe blueberries...longing for summer!

Blueberry Coffee Cake Muffins
2002, Barefoot Contessa Family Style
12 jumbo muffins or 16 regular muffins

12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
8 ounces (about 1 cup) sour cream
1/4 cup milk
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 half-pints fresh blueberries

NOTE: I used fat-free Greek yogurt in place of sour cream and I use frozen blueberries.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place 12 paper liners in jumbo muffin pan or 16 in regular muffin pan.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. With the mixer on low speed, add the eggs 1 at a time, then add the vanilla, sour cream, and milk. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. With the mixer on low speed add the flour mixture to the batter and beat until just mixed. Fold in the blueberries with a spatula and be sure the batter is completely mixed.

Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin pans, filling each cup just under the top, and bake for 30-35 minutes for jumbo or 25-30 minutes for regular, or until the muffins are lightly browned on top and a cake tester comes out clean.



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