The recipes on this blog are a combination of things I've learned over the years and meals inherited through generations of adoration for good food. They are a cherished property, so please be good to them.

You may not copy or otherwise reproduce any of this content without prior written permission.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Rosemary For Remembrance

What sparked this blog writing was being selected for the annual Baltimore Sun's holiday cookie contest last year. My first blog post is here:

The really cool thing about this is this year, the Baltimore Sun decided not to have a contest but to review the submissions since 2000 and pick a "best of the best" list.

You can read the article and our submission here:,0,3537041.story

Although my husband and I didn't create the recipe, it's become a part of our lives, our traditions and our memories of our wedding day. These cookies become holiday gifts each year and are loved by anyone who tries them.

This weekend I hope to make them and take some more pictures for the blog. (The cookies are in the picture on the Baltimore Sun's website (bottom tier, left hand side, light colored cookie).

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Pumpkin Cupcake with Cinnamon Buttercream Icing

For the cupcakes:
2 1/4 c all-purpose flour, sift before measuring
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 c butter, softened
1 1/3 c sugar
2 eggs, beaten until frothy
1 c canned pumpkin
3/4 cup milk

Preheat oven to 375* F. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg into a bowl.

Meanwhile, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy; beat in eggs. Blend in mashed pumpkin. Stir in the sifted dry ingredients alternately with the milk, blending until batter is smooth after each addition. Spoon batter into well-greased and floured or paper-lined muffin pan cups. (OR... I use these whenever I make cupcakes or muffins, because they are so easy and require very little clean up. You just place them directly on a cookie sheet and bake as is.) Bake cupcakes for about 20-25 minutes.
For the Cinnamon Buttercream Icing:
1 c butter, soft and room temperature
1 tbsp Pure Vanilla Extract
1 tbsp Ground Cinnamon
1 lb confectioners sugar (10x)
3 tbsp milk
Beat butter in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 5-7 minutes. Add vanilla; mix until blended. Stir cinnamon into confectioners' sugar. Gradually add to butter mixture, beating until well blended after each addition, frequently scraping sides and bottom of bowl. Beat in milk until light and fluffy. If frosting is to thick to spread, gradually beat in additional milk. Store in refrigerator up to 2 weeks. Re-whip before using.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Butternut Squash Risotto

Arborio rice, a pearly white, round, Italian grain of white rice is used for risotto. For any risotto, I recommend using only Arborio rice imported from Italy (you can find this in your grocery store). What differentiates this rice from other white grain rice is the starches released from the rice while preparing the risotto, which gives the dish it's distinct creamy texture.

For this dish, I used my Sicilian influence to bring together butternut squash and sage for this warm and comforting dinner.

1 cup Arborio rice
6 cups good quality chicken stock
2 c butternut squash, diced into 1/4 in pieces
1 small onion, diced fine
1/2 c white wine
1/4 c olive oil
8 tbsp butter
1 tbsp coarse sea salt
1 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
1/2 c freshly grated Parmesan cheese
10 sage leaves

In a large, heavy bottom pan, heat the olive oil over med-high heat. Add onion and squash and salt and saute for about 7-10 minutes or until the squash is softened and the onion is translucent.

Meanwhile, heat the stock with 5 sage leaves added until warm. (The key to keeping the risotto cooking is to ensure your stock is warm so you maintain the temperature as you add the liquid to the pan.) In another small pan, heat 4tbsp butter over med-low heat and fry the remaining sage leaves until crisp (be careful not to burn) and remove to a paper towel for garnishing.

To the squash and onion mixture, add the Arborio rice and stir for about 2-3 minutes making sure all the rice is coated with the olive oil. Add the 1/2 c of wine and stir continually until the wine has been absorbed. Add the stock, one ladle at a time, waiting for the liquid to be absorbed before you add more. Stir continually (you might want to pull up a chair or pour a glass of wine) adding stock, until the rice is creamy and al dente, about 20 minutes. Stir in 4tbsp butter and Parmesan, nutmeg and top with the crispy sage and serve immediately.

Friday, November 16, 2007


The marinade used in ceviche is citrus based, with lemons and limes being the most commonly used. This being said, all citrus will work. In addition to adding flavor, the citric acid causes the proteins in the seafood to become denatured which pickles or "cooks" the fish without heat.

This seems more of a summer dish, but I attended a themed cocktail party and this fit right in with the other Mexican dishes served.

2 each of the following (juice and zest):

1lb bay scallops
1lb shrimp
2 jalapeno
1 small red onion
1 small red bell pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 c fresh cilantro, chopped
1/2 tbsp coarse sea salt
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Add all ingredients to a bowl and let marinade for 4-6 hours. Serve cold with tortillas.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Easy Roasted Brussels Sprouts

When I first started this blog (almost one year ago!) I had a different format and this was one of the first posts I made. Since I've increased in popularity and have many blogger friends out there reading my blog, I thought I'd re-post this simple recipe to ensure you all have tried this method of cooking Brussels Sprouts.

This is the easiest and most delicious (in my opinion) way to enjoy the sprouts. My husband didn't eat these delicious veggies until this method was introduced to him!

I got this idea from Ina Garten as I saw her prepare them this way...although I love just about any vegetable that's been roasted. The flavors caramelize under the high temperature of the oven and the outsides of the sprouts get crisp.

1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts
3 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Cut off the brown ends of the Brussels sprouts and pull off any yellow outer leaves. Mix them in a bowl with the olive oil, salt and pepper. Pour them on a sheet pan and roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until crisp on the outside and tender on the inside. Shake the pan from time to time to brown the sprouts evenly. Serve immediately.
Did you know?
According to a survey in 2002, Brussels sprouts are Britain's most hated vegetable, and it has become a cliche there and in the United States that children dislike the vegetable. Overcooking releases sulphur compounds in the vegetables that give it a distinctive smell commonly found unpleasant. If correctly cooked, the unpleasant smell is avoided and the vegetable possesses a delicate nutty flavor.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Lost Blogger, FOUND!

Where or where have my blog posts been? I've been cooking, eating and taking pictures.... to no avail, finding the time to post a blog has been difficult.

I've got a house guest for a few weeks and a new part time job (in addition to the full time job and the house/husband/life responsibilities).

Anywhooo... please know I'm suffering from not posting as much as you are (or are you just checking out the posts on all the other wonderful bloggers out there?).

Stay tuned....