Monday, November 2, 2015
This recipe is for an Italian Biscuit Cookie or as my husband likes to call the " Dream Cookie." You may be wondering why he calls these cookies the "Dream Cookie"? These cookies are so good you feel like you are in a dream? The sugar, butter and almond flavoring combine together and literately melt in your mouth. Add the buttery & creamy icing to the top and you feel like you have died and gone to heaven!!!! I found these biscuits on Pinterest and they were called "Spring Biscuit Cookies". Let me tell you....you can make these cookies in the spring, you can make them in the summer, you can make them in the fall, you can make them for Easter, Christmas, Birthdays....etc....No matter when you make them or where you bring them I promise you they will be gone, gone, gone! I have made them for Easter & Mother's Day and I tinted the frosting pastel colors or left them plain white and sprinkled pastel sugars on them. This time around I made them for a trick-or-treat broker open house (yes, we are trying to sell our home). As you will see I tinted the frosting a light orange, placed a candy corn in the middle and wrapped them up as a "thank you" goody bag. I doubled the recipe and brought some over to a friends house as a gift for Halloween and brought extras to my parents Halloween party. Make these cookies once and you will make them again, and again, and again! People will request you bring these to their parties! These are the types of cookies you will not be able to eat just one. You eat one and then you just keep eyeing the platter of cookies and sooner rather than later you just go ahead and grab another...because they are just that good! Believe me..or rather believe me husband when he says these truly are a "Dream" Cookie!
Monday, October 26, 2015
- 3 cups water (can add extra to thin out polenta if needed)
- 1 tsp. Pasta Sprinkle Seasoning (can use a mixture of dried basil & oregano)
- 2 cups Dell'Alpe Instant Polenta
- 2 tsp. tomato paste
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- fresh ground black pepper and crushed red pepper to taste
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella (divided)
- 2 TB. fresh basil
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- sprinkle of kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
2. In large saucepan bring chicken broth, water and spices to a boil Once boiling add polenta. Turn
3. Add tomato paste and parmesan cheese. Stir until smooth.
4. Spray 8x8 baking dish with Pam.
6. Add 1 cup shredded mozzarella to the top of polenta.
9. Place halved tomatoes, cut side up, to the top of the cheese.
11. Drizzle top with olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper.
12. Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes until heated through and cheese is melted.
Thursday, October 22, 2015
I know I said I was trying to eat and feed my family more healthy, but how could I possibly have my first "come back" post a super healthy recipe?!? I decided to come back with a bang! This Apple Slab Pie w/ Apple Cider Glaze was just the recipe I needed! First, it is fall so Apple pie is a must. This is not just any Apple pie...this is a slab pie! A slab pie is meant to be made when you need to feed a crowd...a hungry crowd that is!! I made this for my families October birthday celebration. It was a hit! Want to know how I know this? My mom ate two pieces...and not within a few hours of each other, I am talking back to back pieces!
You will notice I don't have a recipe for the double crust. There is a reason...I usually don't make my own crust. There are things I love to take the time to make from scratch, but pie crust is not one of them. It is such a time saver to grab a crust or two from the store. I did however take the time to set up my Pampered Chef Apple Corer and Peeler I received as a gift from my mother in law. It took some cursing and a bit of frustration, but once it was together it was a blast to peel, core and thinly slice my apples all in one fell swoop! Hey it does not take much to make this girl happy!!! What does make me happy is this slab pie. Please take the extra step and save the apple cinnamon juicy goodness that will be drained from the apple filling. When mixed in with the other ingredients it makes the perfect glaze for this yummy pie!!!
Pie Crust & Filling
- 4 store bought round pie crusts (I prefer Pillsbury)
- 10 to 12 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored & sliced thin
- 1 1/4 c. Sugar
- 2 tsp. Cinnamon
- 4 TB lemon juice
- 6 TB cornstarch, divided
- 1/4 c. Heavy cream (for brushing top of crust pre-baked).
- Course baking sugar (to sprinkle over the top of pie pre-baked)
- 2/3 c. Reserved Apple juice (from filling)
- 1 TB. Unsalted butter melted
- 1 1/2 c. Powdered sugar
- Pam spray
- parchment paper
- jelly roll pan
- pastry brush
- rolling pin
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees or 350 degrees if using a convection oven.
2. Lightly spray jelly roll pan with Pam Spray. Line jelly roll pan with
3. Take out two of the pre-made round pie crusts. On a lightly floured service
use rolling pin to make each into a rectangle. This does not have to be
perfect. The goal is to line the jelly roll pan with crust so entire bottom is
covered and coming over sides by about an inch or two.
4. In a large bowl mix together: apples, sugar, cinnamon and lemon juice. Set
aside for about 10 minutes so that excess apple juice will drain.
5. Sprinkle 4 TB of the cornstarch over the uncooked pie crust that is
waiting to be filled in jelly roll pan.
6. Drain juice from apples- I placed a bowl over a colander and poured
Apple mixture into colander. Once juice is drained reserve it. Place
drained apples back into a bowl and sprinkle with remaining two TB of
cornstartch. Mix well.
7. Scoop out apples and place over the uncooked pie crust in jelly roll.
Make a nice even layer so apples cook evenly.
8. Roll out remaining two pie crusts into a rectangular form. Again, this does
not have to be picture perfect as long as it covers the top of the pie.
9. Fold the bottom layer of pie crust up and over the top layer. Pinch together
with fingers or a fork so edges are seamed together.
10. Brush top of pie with cream. Cut vents into dough so steam can
escape. Sprinkle with course sugar.
11. Place pie uncovered in oven and bake for about 45-50 minutes until
12. In the meantime make the Glaze:
In medium bowl mix reserved apple juice, melted butter and powdered
sugar. Whisk until smooth.
13. Once pie is done baking cool completely. Drizzle top of pie with
14. Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream.
Tuesday, October 20, 2015
It has been at least 3 years since I last posted. What can I say, life got a little bit hectic!! Life is still crazy hectic, but I have found the time to cook again and now I anything to find time to blog my recipes as well. I now have four children so most of the recipes I am posting will be family friendly...aka...kids under 10 will eat!! I am also now a few years older than I was when I first started blogging so I am trying to not only eat healthier but also feed my family healthier meals. I am now also venturing out with slow cooker recipes as time is short and meals at times have to be fast due to the fact my kids are in every activity/sport imaginable. We've got tennis, cheerleading, softball, t-ball, soccer, tumbling, basketball, Religious Ed., Spanish class and engineering class. Did I mention my fourth child is only three so he is not started activities yet. We have also have our home for sale...try keeping a house clean every day with these crazies!! Long story short since I last posted...we now have a full house of six people in our family, life has gotten very crazy, but we are happy and healthy and trying to live each day to the fullest...even if each day ends with me pulling my hair out!!!
Posted by Kara Francesconi at 9:05 PM
Monday, July 9, 2012
Posted by Kara Francesconi at 8:42 PM
Monday, January 16, 2012
Within the last week I made three recipes , the first of which is called "Ciambellone" a tuscan ring cake. Italian deserts are my most favorite, because they are high in flavor, but low in sugar. This cake uses 8 ingredients that most of us have in our kitchen at all times with some added lemon zest and fresh squeezed lemon juice. It also calls for a cup of extra virgin olive oil which makes this tremendous crispy crust on the outside of the cake while leaving the interior of the cake moist and delicious. These recipes are very old fashioned and do not use any high tech kitchen gadgets. When mixing the ingredients to this recipe I used just a regular wooden spoon as not to overmix anything. I sprinkled some powdered sugar atop the cake and served a dollop of fresh whipped cream on the side. Super simple and super yummy!
Sunday, November 6, 2011
Thursday, November 3, 2011
PUMPKIN SPICE CUPCAKES W/ CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
- 3/4 cup butter, softend
- 2 1/2 cups sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 can (15 oz.) solid pack pumpkin
- 2 1/3 cups all purpose flour
- 1 TB. pumpkin pie spice
- 1 tsp. bkg. powder
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 3/4 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add pumpkin. Combine the flour, pie spice, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, baking soda and ginger, and to the creamed mixture alternately with the buttermilk, beating well after each addition.
- Fill paper lined muffin cups three fourths full. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
- For frosting, in a large bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla and cinnamon, beat until smooth. Frost cupcakes.
** I suggest you keep them in the fridge since they have cream cheese.
Posted by Kara Francesconi at 5:15 PM
Monday, October 3, 2011
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Sunday, August 7, 2011
Sunday, July 31, 2011
I wish just going to serve one salad to start...that was the plan...but I had found some hearts of palm at Costco recently and I decided I just HAD to make something with hearts of palm. I found this recipe on a fun blog called The Wednesday Chef. Let me tell you....even though this was just an "extra" salad, to me this was one of the stars of the show. I have to admit that I was once one of those people who could not stand fruit in my salads. Savory recipes that included fruit I would completely bypass. My taste buds have changed for the better because I absolutely loved this salad! I changed it up a bit is by adding a small bit of thinly sliced red onion. The oranges in the salad are supposed to be blood oranges, but since blood oranges have a very short season, I used navel oranges instead. Also, it calls for the salad to lay on a bed of "frize" salad. I could not find just frize anywhere...not even Caputos, so I used a spring mix that included some frize in it. It turned out great. This recipe is for sure a keeper!
Sunday, July 24, 2011
www.prouditaliancook.blogspot.com). She always posts fresh, easy and true italian recipes. This was the first salad I served family style at my parents 40th anniversary party. It is super simple with just a few ingredients: arugula, shaved fennel, toasted walnuts, shaved parmesan all tossed with a simple balsamic vinegrette. Although the recipe is super simple...the flavors are tremendous!