Baked Pumpkin and Sage Ziti

Baked Pumpkin and Sage Ziti

 

I love pumpkin ravioli but who has time or energy to make that, get all the flavor with none of the work with this baked ziti dish.

Baked Pumpkin and Sage Ziti

1 16 0z package of ziti or other pasta cooked and drained

2 c pumpkin puree

2 c ricotta cheese

1/4 c  shredded parmesan cheese

1 T honey

1 egg

1/2 t ground nutmeg

1 T chopped fresh sage

1 T butter

1/2 t salt

1/4 t pepper

1/4 c shredded mozzarella cheese

While pasta is cooking, mix pumpkin, ricotta and parmesan cheeses, honey, egg, nutmeg and sage in a bowl. When pasta is done drain and return to pot, add butter and stir over low heat until melted. Add pumpkin/cheese mixture and stir until evenly mixed. Stir in salt and pepper. Add to a large baking pan and sprinkle with shredded mozzarella. Bake for 20 min at 325 or until cheese is melted.

Baked Pumpkin and Sage Ziti

 

Baked Pumpkin and Sage Ziti

 

Baked Pumpkin and Sage Ziti

 

Baked Pumpkin and Sage Ziti

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Sippin on Gin And Juice: Cucumber Lime Gin Fizz

I can’t drink Craft Beer all the time, IPAs are sometimes too heavy in the dog days of Summer. This is my new favorite cocktail, light, refreshing and delicious.

Cucumber Lime Gin Fizz

1/4  Hot house cucumber

1 Lime

1 jigger Gin ( about 1 1/2 oz)

1 c ice

1 t chopped mint

8 oz club soda

Muddle mint and about 2 T cucumber in the bottom of a glass, add juice from 1/2 a lime ( about 1T) add gin and club soda, stir. Garnish with cucumber and a lime slice.

Mango Quinoa

Mango Quinoa

 

Quinoa is a food trend that is delicious and healthy. It is as versatile and as easy as rice. This recipe is a perfect side dish to a spicy entree like jerk chicken, Hot wings or Spicy Lime and Honey Chicken. Try incorporating it into some of your weekday dishes. For ease and clean up I make mine in my rice cooker.

3 c water

1 1/2 cup quinoa

1/2 c chopped mango

1/2 t chopped garlic

1/4 c chopped cilantro or parsley ( I used a combination)

1/4 c crumbled Queso Fresco Cheese or Feta

1/4 t salt

1/8 t pepper

2 t olive oil

Add water and quinoa to the rice cooker and turn on, when quinoa is finished pour into a large bowl and add remaining ingredients, stir and serve.

 

Mediterranean Layered Dip

Mediterranean Layered Dip

 

Everyone has had 7 layer dip and its delicious, here is a little twist, same idea but Mediterranean flavors. Make this as easy or as difficult as you want, use store bought ingredients or make your own Hummus and Tzatziki Sauce.

On a large plate or shallow bowl layer the following ingredients or be creative and add your favorites, anything goes.

Hummus

Tzatziki sauce or Greek Yogurt

Chopped Tomatoes

Chopped Kalamata Olives

Chopped Pepppadew Peppers or Roasted Red Peppers

Crumbled Feta Cheese

Chopped Fresh Parsley or Oregano

Lemon Zest

Serve with Pita, Celery or Pretzel Crisps

Mediterranean Layered Dip

 

Other ideas, Pine Nuts, Roasted garlic, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Tabouli

 

 

Red White and Blue: Berry Basil Sangria

Red White and Blue: Berry Basil Sangria

This is a light and refreshing sangria that is perfect for summer and the festive colors make it the go to drink for the 4th of July. Want to make a pitcher for the kids, substitute the wine with white grape juice.

1  1.5 liter bottle of Pinot Grigio

1 cup water

1 cup sugar

1/4 c basil

1 c white grape juice

1 c strawberries washed and cut into quarters

1 cup blueberries

1/2 liter club soda

Place Strawberries and blueberries in a large pitcher, cover with 1 cup of wine and place in refrigerator for at least 1 hour- overnight.

Basil Berry Sangria

In a small sauce pan add sugar, water and 4 large basil leaves. bring to a boil and stir until sugar dissolves and then turn off heat and let cool. This is a basil simple syrup. It is great for many mixed drinks. I like it with Gin and tonics.

Basil Simple Syrup

Add 1/2 basil simple syrup (straining the leaves out) the rest of the wine, grape juice, and club soda to the pitcher with the fruit.  Taste and add more simple syrup if needed ( This will depend on your tastes and the sweetness of your wine) Add some more fresh basil leaves. Serve over ice. Garnish with more basil and fruit if desired.

Red White and Blue: Berry Basil Sangria, perfect drink for the 4th of July

Lebanese Please: My New Favorite Food

Lebanese Please:Herb Tossed Salad with Lemon Coriander Dressing and Fried Potatoes with Lemon, Red Pepper and Cilantro

 

On a recent trip to London I was amazed by all the great food. It is not just the land of Fish and Chips and Bangers and Mash. They are utilizing fresh, local, and seasonal ingredients creatively. Also there are many ethnic restaurants that span the globe. I was intrigued by the amount of Lebanese restaurants we found around Kensington. So being the foodie I am we had to try one. After reading about the 5 freshly squeezed lemonades on the menu I was hooked and had to try Comptoir Libanais. I think it might have even been a chain restaurant but it still was delicious. My friend and I shared a Falafel Wrap and Salad, Baba Ghanouj, and a dish called Lebanese Fries. I also had the fresh squeezed Apple, Ginger, and Mint Lemonade. (It is the glass full of green stuff) It was all delicious and so fresh and tasty. The potatoes and the salad were my favorite, though the pickled turnip on the falafel wrap was pretty darn good too. So I came back inspired and wanted my husband to be able to get a hint at the taste and feel of the food.

Comptoir Libanais in South Kensington

I gave it a try and even if it was totally wrong it had the same fresh feel with the emphasis on fresh herbs and citrus which is what I was looking for. Perfect for Summer, I will be making these again and again.

Lebanese Style Fried Potatoes with Lemon, Red Pepper and Cilantro

4-5 cups diced potatoes, I used Yukon Gold

1/2 stick butter

1 lemon juiced

1 t red pepper flakes

2 T fresh cilantro chopped

1 t salt

Melt butter in a large pan over med high heat. Add potatoes and cover and cook for 15 minutes. Uncover and stir and cook 15 minutes more or until golden and crunchy on the outside.

Fried Potatoes with Lemon, Red Pepper and Cilantro

 

Add lemon juice and red pepper flakes and toss to coat, cook about 5 minutes more over med heat. Then toss with cilantro and serve.

Fried Potatoes with Lemon, Red Pepper and Cilantro

 

Tossed Salad with Herbs and Lemon Coriander Dressing

Lemon Coriander Dressing

2 T lemon Juice

1 T olive oil

1 t ground coriander

1/4 t black pepper

1/4 t salt

Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl, serve over salad.

Tossed Salad with Herbs

4-6 cups of fresh crisp torn greens ( I used hearts of romaine and spring mix)

1/2 c thinly sliced radishes ( Soak the radishes in ice water after slicing that will remove some of the bitterness and make them crisp)

1/2 c grape tomatoes

1 cucumber peeled and sliced

2 T chopped fresh parsley

2 T chopped fresh mint

 

Toss the salad with the dressing and serve immediately, I topped with grilled chicken and served with warm pita bread.

Herb Tossed Salad with Lemon Coriander Dressing

Herb Tossed Salad with Lemon Coriander Dressing

Thats What Friends are For: Hedy Goldsmith’s Basil Panna Cotta with Berries

Basil Panna Cotta with Berries

It always happens, you can go for weeks with nothing to do, and then you plan something and there are a million things to do on that same date. My husband and I planned our 20th anniversary trip to Iceland so I could see the Northern Lights, a bucket list item for me. It was a gorgeous, awesome, romantic, fun and adventurous trip. Everything I could ever hope for. But at that same time here in my home town was Food and Wine’s Buick Discovery Tour with my Simon LeBon of chefs Hugh Acheson. What, how could I miss Hughnibrow, the funny judge on my favorite show Top Chef?  Never fear, I have the greatest best friend in the world. She went, she’s not really a foodie but I think she’s converting, and guess what she got me.
Hugh Acheson

Look he even spelled my name right! She gave me all her recipe cards (equivalent of baseball cards for foodies) from the event, including this delicious Basil Panna Cotta from Hedy Goldsmith. I love Panna Cotta and the addition of basil added a fresh and yummy flavor, I would also like to try it with mint some time. I did not make the Strawberry Consomme, we had some delicious fresh berries in the fridge so I just threw those on top, still tasted fantastic. Here is the recipe, the only thing I changed was the vanilla bean, I did not have one so I just added 1tsp of vanilla extract instead. One thousand Thank Yous to Hugh and my Bestie, I think I will frame my recipe card and put it next to my framed Madison Square Garden Duran Duran ticket.

Hedy Goldsmith's Basil Panna Cotta

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Basil Panna Cotta with Berries