I am so excited! I am finally getting tomatoes from my indoor tomato plants. With the basil that I have growing and the tomatoes I think that I will make my Caprese Salad.
3 Sliced Tomatoes
1 Pound Fresh Mozzarella (Sliced)
1 Bunch Fresh Basil Leaves
Freshly Ground Pepper
Extra Virgin Olive Oil For Drizzling
Slice the tomatoes and mozzarella into 1/4 inch slices. On a large shallow platter alternate layered slices of tomatoes and mozzarella. Add basil leaves between each layer. Drizzle the salad with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Serves 6
Quick, easy and healthy! Use my Artichoke & White Bean Dip as a dip or as a substitute for mayonnaise on sandwiches. The white beans and yogurt make a creamy dip without adding much fat.
12 Ounces Marinated Artichokes (Drained)
15 Ounces White Beans (Drained)
2/3 Cup Non-Fat Plain Yogurt
1 Tablespoon Red Pepper Flakes
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
4 Garlic Cloves
1 Tablespoon Lime Juice
1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
1 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper
Place the artichokes, garlic, white beans, kosher salt and pepper into a blender or food processor. Process until smooth. Add the yogurt, olive oil, lime juice and red pepper flakes and blend. Scoop onto a serving plate or bowl. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving. Use in place of mayonnaise or serve with pita chips or vegetable sticks. Serves 4
Here is a great idea for either a picnic or taking your lunch to work. Put your salad in a French Jam Jar for easy storage and carry. You can layer mixed green salads, fruit salads or any kind of salad you want. Here I layered a simple vegetable salad.
Chopped Belgium Endive
French Jam Jars
Peel the cucumbers, slice the tomatoes, and chop the carrots and endive. Layer up the vegetables into as many French jam jars that you need. Put the salad dressing into a separate container. Seal up the jars and pack up for your picnic or work. Enjoy!
I always stock up on French jam jars. They are versatile and quite handy in a pinch. I also use them to store left-over food in the refrigerator. Trust me; left-overs won’t look so pathetic.
Tomorrow is Bastille Day so I made these Banana Nutella Sliders. A combination of French and American…think banana and peanut butter sandwiches. Elvis would have loved these. Seriously, these sliders are addictive.
13 Ounces Nutella Spread
2 Sliced Bananas
On a serving plate carefully slice the 4 croissants horizontally. Set the tops aside. Heat the Nutella spread until it is warm, but not piping hot. Divide the Nutella between the 4 croissant bottoms. The best that you can evenly spread the Nutella so that it covers the croissant. Arrange the banana slices on top of the Nutella. If you want more bananas then slice an additional banana. Carefully place the croissant tops on top and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Serve immediately. Serves 4
It’s hot out and who wants to turn on the oven. Serve with my Chunky Guacamole and you’ve got a quick no-fuss dinner. These quesadillas can also be served as an appetizer or a light lunch. Easy to double or triple this recipe too.
2 Large Flour Tortillas (8 Inches)
1 Cup Shredded Cheddar or Monterey Jack Cheese
2 Tablespoons Minced Jalapenos
1/8 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
Heat a large non-stick skillet over a medium heat for 3 minutes. Put 1 tortilla in the skillet and cook for 2 minutes until soft and puffed slightly at the edges. Turn the tortilla over and cook for another 2 minutes. Remove the tortilla and place on a cutting board. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of the shredded cheese and 1 tablespoon minced jalapenos over half of the tortilla. Make sure to leave about 1/2 inch boarder around the edges. Fold the tortilla in half over the filling. Press to flatten. Brush the tops generously with olive oil and sprinkle lightly with the kosher salt. Set aside and repeat the process with the second tortilla. Place the quesadillas back in the skillet with the oiled side down. Cook for 2 minutes over a medium heat until crisp and browned. Brush the tops with the remaining oil and sprinkle lightly with the remaining kosher salt. Turn the quesadillas and cook for another 2 minutes until crisp and browned. Remove the quesadillas and place back on the cutting board. Let cool for 4 minutes. If you don’t let the quesadillas cool the cheese will ooze out when cut. Cut into quarters and serve with Chunky Guacamole. Serves 4
This salad is very similar to a caprese salad. The burrata is silky on the outside and creamy on the inside which boasts a richly sweet and milky flavor. Since burrata is a delicate cheese it should be handled as little as possible. I love this salad so much. It is great as a main dish by itself or layered with strips of grilled steak. It also makes a nice appetizer or side dish. The perfect combination of flavors and textures make this delicious salad truly magical.
3 Ripe Tomatoes
12 Ounces Burrata Cheese
25 Fresh Basil Leaves
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Freshly Ground Pepper
Cut the tomatoes into slightly thick slices. Very carefully slice the burrata cheese into slices. On a large shallow platter layer alternating the slices of tomatoes and burrata and top with basil leaves. Drizzle the salad with the olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Serve immediately. Serves 6
Good Friday Spätzle
In the Eastern Church this day is known as Great or Holy Friday. The Western title is supposed to be a corruption of the phrase “God’s Friday,” the day on which Christ died. On this day the bells are silenced and in some places this day is observed by so strict a fast that it is often called the Black Fast because many do not eat at all until sundown. In many parts of Germany it is customary to eat only Spätzle for the evening meal on Good Friday.
1 ½ Cups Flour
½ Teaspoon Salt
½ Cup Milk
½ Cup Water
3 Tablespoons Bread Crumbs
¼ Pound Butter
Sift the flour with the salt in a medium size bowl. Add the eggs, milk and water. Stir until smooth. Then with a fork dipped in boiling water cut the dough in small pieces into the boiling water. Boil for a few minutes until they rise to the top. Remove from the water and transfer to a serving dish. Cover with the bread crumbs that have been fried in the butter. Serve hot. Serves 4
Hot Cross Buns
Hot Cross Buns is a favorite during spring and the Easter season. Hot Cross buns are a sweet, yeast leavened, spiced roll made with currants or raisins. They have long been a symbol of Good Friday. Each bun has an icing cross on top to signify the crucifixion
1 Package Active Dry Yeast
1 Cup Warm Milk
5 Tablespoons Softened Butter
½ Cup Brown Sugar
2 Large Eggs
½ Teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
½ Teaspoon Ground Cloves
½ Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
3 ½ Cups Unbleached Flour
¾ Cup Dried Currants
3 Tablespoons Milk Mixed With 3 Tablespoons Sugar
1 Tablespoon Cold Milk
1 Cup Sifted Powdered Sugar
½ Teaspoon Lemon Juice
Mix the yeast with 4 tablespoons of the warm milk in a small size bowl. Set aside for 5 minutes. In a medium size bowl cream together 4 tablespoons of the butter and brown sugar. When the yeast is frothy, stir it in, along with the spices, salt and remaining warm milk. Beat in the flour one cup at a time until a soft ball of dough can be gathered together. Place the dough on a floured work surface and lightly knead in the currants, adding more flour if necessary to keep the dough from sticking. Kneading should take no more than a few minutes. Using some of the remaining butter to grease a large bowl. Place the dough in a bowl and turn the dough to butter all sides. Cover and set aside in a warm place for 1 ½ hours. The dough should be doubled. Butter two baking sheets with the remaining butter. Punch down the dough and divide it in half. Then divide each piece in half again. Divide each portion of the dough into six equal pieces and shape each into a ball. Place the balls of dough on the baking sheets leaving 2 inches between them. Set aside covered lightly with waxed paper for 1 hour. The dough should have doubled in size. Preheat your oven to 400° F. Carefully slash a cross into the top of each bun using a very sharp knife or razor blade cutting through the skin of the dough at least ¼ inch deep. Try not to compress the bun as you cut. Bake the buns for 20 minutes until they are lightly browned. Just before they come out of the oven, bring milk and sugar mixture to a boil in a small saucepan. As soon as the buns are done, brush them with the milk and sugar glaze. Allow the buns to cool for 30 minutes and then serve them while they are still warm. If you have not cut the cross into the tops of the buns the cross can be applied with the icing. The buns must be completely cooled before the icing is applied. Mix the powdered sugar with the cold milk and lemon juice. Using the handle of a spoon or chopstick spread the icing to form a cross on top or to fill the cross shape cut. Makes 24
Pan Roasted Herbed Fingerling Potatoes
These Pan Roasted Herbed Fingerling Potatoes are a flavorful addition to any springtime menu and perfect for an Easter Dinner.
12 Scrubbed Fingerling Potatoes
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
3 Tablespoons Victoria’s Dry Rub
Place the potatoes in a saucepan and cover with water. Set over a high heat and bring to a boil. Cook for 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool under cold running water. Once the potatoes are cool enough to handle, place the potatoes on a cutting board and slice in half lengthwise. Season the potatoes with Victoria’s Dry Rub. Heat a large sauté pan with the olive oil over a medium heat. Place the potatoes, cut side down, in the pan and cook for 3 minutes until browned and crispy. Turn the potatoes to the other side and cook for another 3 minutes. Remove from the oven and toss the potatoes with additional Victoria’s Dry Rub if you wish. Serve hot. Serves 4