Saturday, February 6, 2016

Getting Ready for the Superbowl

This is a dish that we serve when our hungry sons join us for dinner. It is a local favorite, and I was reminded how popular it is when they offered it at a cooking presentation at the New York State Fair. There are many versions, but the main difference is some add cream to their sauce and we don't. In Central New York, this dish can be found on every Italian restaurant menu. It's a quick and easy meal, and perfect for a crowd.

My chicken riggies are drenched in a red tomato-based sauce with sweet and hot peppers. Others have a chunky tomato sauce, red and green peppers, mushroom, olives, cream and prosciutto. Some recipes are never revealed, but I am happy to share ours. I have shared this recipe with many, many people over the years. 

What is a Riggie?  Just read on....

Chicken Riggies

1 stick butter, melted
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
About 20 oz. of sweet peppers in the jar (sliced with seeds removed) 
3 slices hot cherry pepper rings (this adds a little heat to it) 

Sauté above ingredients for about 30 minutes.

1 cup Parmigiano cheese
2 lbs. boneless chicken breast, cubed
1 can chicken broth
1 can tomato sauce (15 oz)

Simmer for 20-30 more minutes.

Pour sauce over 1 1/2 boxes of cooked Rigatoni pasta. Serve with fresh Italian bread. 

Bon Appetit!

Saturday, January 30, 2016

The Cookie .....Oatmeal Cookie with Coffee-Cinnamon Frosting

In December as I was reading the Wall Street Journal I noticed they had an article on cookies. I immediately added dates to my shopping list since it was the only ingredient I was lacking to make the oatmeal cookies. I never had a chance to make them and the poor dates sat in my fridge until last weekend when the phone rang. It was a friend who was planning "A Midwinter Picnic" for our dinner group and she asked if I would bring a few "picnic" items. She assigned me oatmeal cookies (yay!) and chocolate chip cookies (another yay) since they are Joe's favorite. The midwinter menu will also include pulled pork sandwiches, chicken, beef sliders, baked beans, macaroni salad and potato salad.  Summer on a plate! 

I hope you'll give "The Cookie" with coffee-cinnamon frosting a try. They are wonderful, especially with the frosting. 

A dear blogging buddy hooked me up with a Molly Hatch french press from Anthropologie. The New York City stores were out of the french press (at that time) so Sarah offered to pick one up for me (and herself). She got lucky as a woman had just bought four of them, and there were only two left.  

'The Cookie' .....Oatmeal Cookie with Coffee-Cinnamon Frosting

So renowned is this cookie in its family of origin that it is referred to simply as “The Cookie.” The cookie itself is delicious but the coffee-cinnamon frosting is what makes takes it to the level of heavenly.

Active Time: 30 Minutes Total Time: 3 3/4 Hours Makes: about 5 dozen cookies

For the cookies:

2 sticks butter
1 cup light brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups rolled oats
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 cup pitted, chopped dates
1 cup chopped walnuts

For the frosting:

6 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons brewed coffee
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1. Make cookies: Use an electric mixer to cream butter and sugars until 
smooth. Mix in eggs and vanilla until combined.

2. Use a fine-mesh sieve to sift flour, baking soda and salt into a 
medium mixing bowl. Add flour mixture, in two parts, to butter-sugar 
mixture, mixing until just combined. Add remaining ingredients and mix 
at low speed until just combined.

3. Cover and chill dough in refrigerator at least 2 hours or overnight. 
(If you leave it overnight, let it sit at room temperature for about 30 
minutes before baking.)

4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Use a tablespoon measure to scoop dough 
balls and place them on a baking sheet. Use your palm to flatten dough 
balls slightly. Bake until set, about 12 minutes. Take care not to over 
bake. Remove from oven and let cool before frosting.

5. Make frosting: Use an electric mixer to cream butter and sugar until 
smooth. Add remaining ingredients, mixing until incorporated.

6. Frost cookies: Use a broad butter knife to frost cookies. Let 
frosting set for 1 hour.

I am joining Rattlebridge Farm for Foodie Friday.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Maybe For Your Valentine?

I don't need a special occasion to line up my beloved bundt pans on the counter and decide which one to use to bake a cake, but in this case it was a special occasion and I chose the Bavaria Bundt Pan. I've have great luck with bundt cakes popping right out of the pan, but I didn't let this cake cool long enough (recipe says 20 minutes). Thus it had a chunk that stuck to the pan but I spackled it with frosting and served it to my "sistas" for a birthday celebration. There are eight of us, and we celebrate birthdays throughout the year. 

The recipe is from Sweetapolita, and I've been hanging onto the recipe since September when La Table De Nana shared it. It's easy and very good.

After I finished the cake, I thought it would be a nice cake to make for Valentine's Day if you are so inclined.

 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
 1/2 cup high quality dark Dutch process cocoa
 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder dissolved into 3/4 cup water 
2 cups granulated sugar
 1 cup sour cream
 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
 2 large eggs, at room temperature
 2 cups all-­purpose flour
 1 teaspoon baking soda
 1/2 teaspoon salt 4 oz high quality bittersweet chocolate 1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened and cut into 1/2" pieces 1­ 1/2 teaspoons light corn syrup
 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Butter and flour a 10­12 cup bundt pan or Kugelhopf pan. 

2. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium­low heat; add cocoa, stirring until smooth. Whisk in the espresso water and remove from heat. 

3. Add the sugar, sour cream, vanilla and eggs to the warmed cocoa mixture and whisk until smooth. In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. Add all at once to the first mixture, whisking until well blended. 

4. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 40­45 minutes, or until it feels firm to the touch and has slightly pulled away from the sides of the pan. Cool in pan on a rack for 20 minutes. Carefully loosen the cake with a knife and invert onto a large plate. 

5. Place the chocolate, butter, corn syrup and cinnamon in a medium heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water. Stir the mixture using a rubber spatula until melted and smooth. 

6. Pour warm glaze over bundt cake. Keep covered in a cake­keeper at room temperature for up to 4 days.

 I am joining Rattlebridge Farm for Foodie Friday.


Thursday, December 31, 2015

Happy New Year 2016!

We had a beautiful Christmas even without the snow!  

We had a wonderful feast on Christmas Day at my sister Diane's house. I made eggplant parmesan, sausage bread, stromboli and cocktail gingerbread men cookies that everyone enjoyed. I was in Wegmans and spotted the chocolate liqueur bottles wrapped in foil. In the bakery department they had the gingerbread men so all I had to do was attach the chocolate liqueur bottles with Royal icing. Fun idea from Sprinkle Bakes and La Table de Nana. We (over)ate, played games, and enjoyed our family time. I gave my guys flannel shirts as you can see in the photo above. 

On December 26th, Joe and I drove to New York City to spend time with his family. We shopped and enjoyed the Rockefeller tree and breathtaking window displays like only NYC does. The weather was perfect, although not very Christmas-y…it was in the 60’s!   

If you are like me and don't want to toss the photo cards you received during the holiday season, you can gather them up and punch holes in the corner of each card. Choose one card to make a cover and write the year. I used a non-photo card for the cover. Tie together with a ribbon, and you have a booklet of photo cards. A great idea from Pandora's Box.

Onward to the New Year! Wishing you all PEACE and all the best for the coming year. I'm loving 2016 since I never thought I'd see 16 again. LOL

Monday, December 28, 2015

Money Gift Idea

Every Christmas we bring a $20 generic gift to my sister's house for a gift exchange. This year I brought a money pizza....we all love to get money as a gift. We gathered in a circle (there were 20) and each person held their gift in their lap. I instructed the participants that I was going to read Twas The Night Before Christmas and when I said the word THE, they should pass their gifts to the person on the right. Once I was done with the Christmas story, the participants kept the gift that was now sitting in their lap. 

Joe went to one of the local pizza places and got me a small box. You can also use a large one. I used double sided tape to attach the money to the bottom of the fox.  I fanned the money and added some pepperoni (dollar coins) on top. 

I am joining Foodie Friday and Everything Else at Rattlebridge Farm. 
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