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Saturday, October 15

The "Light" Side of Italian

Ok...Who out here LOVES Italian??  I know I do, and it's a favorite in our house all the way around.  However, there are times when it just seems like overkill.  It's inevitably a heavy meal, whether you're talking about spaghetti & meat sauce, lasagna, manicotti...it tends to be a gut buster, no doubt about it.  The primary reason for that is the sauces themselves.  The majority are based on either tomato paste or cheese/cream.  Both can have a rather filling quality, to be sure.

Thursday, September 29

Time To Visit a "Gnudi" Bar!!

I love Italian food.  Especially gnocchi...it's one of those foods that, even though it has a rather odd name, it's REALLY tasty.  However, while most people who do alot of cooking have heard of gnocchi (a small, light, airy dumpling made from potatoes), not many know how to make them.  I'm lousy at it...I end up over-kneading the dough, and end up with hard little lumps that aren't remotely edible.  So, for now...I'll leave that one to professional chefs to cook up.

Did you know, however, that gnocchi has a sister?  I didn't for the longest time, but it does...it's called gnudi (pronounced nu-dee).  Gnudi are a bit different from gnocchi...they are made most often from ricotta cheese.  You still end up with this light, airy dumpling, but the flavor is to DIE for!!  The best description I can give is they resemble a cheese ravioli...WITHOUT the outside casing!!  That's right...all stuffing, no pasta.  Just the flavors that make ravioli so distinctive.  So, today, I made a HUGE batch of gnudi (I'm talking enough to freeze the extras for at least 3 more dinners).  The biggest surprise?  I made ALL this in about an hour total!!  What more can a person ask for in planning ahead?

Saturday, September 3

Lasagna, Anyone?

Well, the memories are fading, and I think it's high time I did something with this blog.  Thank you all for your patience.  And I promise you...THIS post will be worth every second of the waiting!!

There is nothing on earth quite like an authentic homemade Italian Lasagna.  NOTHING!!  Sure, you can go to the store, buy a frozen one...there's plenty to choose from out there...but to spend the time (and yeah, it's time consuming) making one from scratch allows you to show not only your cooking skills, but also just how much your family means to you!!  And...no offense to Stouffers, Marie Callenders, or any of the other brands out there...it just tastes infinitely BETTER!!  It's fresher, you can customize the ingredients to what you like, and the end result will get scarfed down faster than you can imagine!!

Tuesday, June 14

Life After Tornadoes

I've missed you guys.  ALOT!!  I know I've been a bit lax lately about writing on here, and I honestly had several  recipes I was going to share with you all by the beginning of May, but then Mother Nature decided to play a VERY cruel game with my neck of the woods, and things haven't been the same since.  Alabama got SLAMMED with tornadoes on April 27th, 2011...and our whole world changed in an instant.

For those who know me on Facebook, I run a local weather group...Etowah Weather Watchers.  We're an open group who keeps a close eye on the weather in our county (Etowah), as well as all the surrounding counties (Blount, Calhoun, Cherokee, Dekalb, Marshall and St Clair).  I actually have a program on my laptop that gets real-time NEXRAD radar, as well as satellite imagery...the whole she-bang.  On that particular day, the northern half of our state was under a TorCon rating of 9 (tornado condition ratings go from 1 to 10...10 is the worst).  As I watched the weather develop that day, I knew we had severe trouble coming...little did I know that the term "severe" wouldn't even come close to what we were facing. 

Wednesday, April 20

Italian Bread Made EASY!!!

On my last post, I explained how to make homemade goat cheese.  Well, alot of time has passed since then (sorry about that), and I've progressed to making mozzarella and ricotta, too.  However, with all that cheese-making, I was getting a ton of whey (the liquid that's left behind).  Curious me...I FINALLY went looking to see what could be done with it, and ran across a recipe that is SOOO easy, it's a wonder everyone doesn't already have it.

Apparently, Italian women have known about this for a LONG time (and considering that both mozzarella and ricotta cheeses come from there, that shouldn't surprise me).  They make bread...simple, old-fashioned Italian bread...from the whey!!  The flavor it gives to the bread is AMAZING!!!  Now, I know that not all of you have whey around, but that's ok.  I have piddled with this recipe for the last 3 weeks, and have come up with a way to get the same taste without it!! 

Tuesday, March 1

Been a long time, but worth it!!!

It's been SO LONG since I posted, folks, and I'm really sorry about that.  However, when you see what I have for you today, you'll be glad I got back to it!!  Ready for something not only truly YUMMY, but also heart healthy?  This post will be right up your alley!!

I love cheese.  Not any specific type, just cheese in general, too.  Cheese is GOOD for you, too.  It's a natural source of calcium...something which we ALL need more of.  Whether it's a hard cheese like cheddar or swiss, or a soft cheese like brie or cottage, it's something that should be a part of your diet at least 3 times a week.

Saturday, January 1

Happy New Year!!!

Well, 2011 is upon us, and we all want to start it right, don't we?  We make our resolutions...we clean our houses...all sorts of things are traditional for most of us.  Well, there is one other tradition that seems to stand the test of time...Hoppin' John!!  Yes, according to most folklore, eating Hoppin' John on New Years day starts our year off with good luck.  And I have to say it...with the way things have been over the last couple of years, we ALL can use a solid shot of good luck, can't we?

Hoppin' John is a combination of black-eyed peas and rice.  It's VERY simple to make, and is extremely satisfying to eat.  Typically, it's served with some type of greens (collard, turnip, mustard, mixed), which have a traditional meaning of their own...they represent MONEY (YAY) coming into your home.  So, is everyone ready to bring in the New Year with some old-fashioned tradition?