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Crab-stuffed Bell Peppers

September 14, 2016 Menu No Comments
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When I first started preparing this dish, my intentions were to follow an old recipe of mine, which included mixing diced peppers with the remaining ingredients to make a warm crab salad. I’ve done this before and served it with crackers or over pasta. But the home-grown peppers that I had on hand looked so damn pretty, that I decided instead to stuff and bake the peppers. It was a delicious choice to make! Either method would work well, but if you have a handful of peppers ready to be used, give this stuffed version a try. It is a hearty and tasty dish for sure!

Note – the peppers that I used were mini bells, mini gypsy and sweet reds. You can use whatever variety of pepper you prefer.

 

 

 

Crab-stuffed Bell Peppers

16 oz canned crab claw meat
2 tbspn butter
1 large shallot, chopped
juice of 1 lemon
2 tbspn white wine
6 oz chopped artichoke hearts
1 cup breadcrumbs
olive oil
3 large or 5 small bell peppers, cut in half lengthwise and cleaned
(if you decide to mix the diced peppers with the remaining ingredients, one large bell pepper will be all you need).

Preheat oven to 400˚. Melt butter in a large pan over medium heat. Add chopped shallot, sauté until soft.  Add crab meat, lemon juice, wine and chopped artichoke hearts. Stir. Add 1 cup breadcrumbs plus tablespoon of olive oil. Stir until breadcrumbs are fully incorporated. You can add additional olive oil if needed. Heat until warmed.

Fill each pepper half with the crab filling. Place the peppers on a baking sheet or in a baking dish. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until peppers are tender.

Serve warm.

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Quick and Easy Basil Mayonnaise

August 28, 2016 Menu No Comments
Basil Mayo

If you’re looking to put your harvested basil to good use, today’s recipe is an excellent way to do so. Inspired by Ina Garten’s Basil Mayonnaise recipe, this quick and easy version uses just a few key ingredients, all of which are everyday cooking staples.With just a few pulses in your food processor, you will have a tasty condiment that is perfect for any sandwich. My personal recommendations are for a tomato and fresh mozzarella sandwich, a chicken cutlet hoagie or a juicy BLT. And don’t forget to use the good, crusty bread!

 

 

 

 

Quick and Easy Basil Mayonnaise

1 cup good mayonnaise
10 basil leaves
1 clove minced garlic
1 tspn lemon juice
dash of salt and pepper
2 tsp olive oil

Place all ingredients into a food processor. Blend for 30 seconds, or until all ingredients are mixed well. Chill immediately in a closed container until ready to serve.

Basil Mayo

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Whipped Mascarpone and Greek Yogurt

August 17, 2016 Dessert, Menu No Comments
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Mascarpone cheese may be one of the greatest Italian food items that I can think of. It plays a key role in two of my favorite desserts – tiramisu and cannoli, and it also makes for a delicious dessert topping when combined with heavy whipping cream. In today’s recipe, I’m substituting the traditional heavy whipping cream with non-fat plain Greek yogurt. Not only does this substitution cut down on the fat content, it also gives you a boost of protein, probiotics, potassium, B12 and other nutritional benefits! Whether you are serving this as a dip with fruit, or as a dollop alongside a piece of cake or on a puffed pastry, this version of mascarpone whipped cream will be sure to please!

 

 

 

Whipped Mascarpone and Greek Yogurt
Makes 1 cup

1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
1/2 cup non-fat plain Greek yogurt
2 tspn powdered sugar
2 tspn vanilla extract

Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl. Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer, mix all ingredients together for about 2 minutes, until thick and creamy. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

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Puffed pastry topped with a dollop of whipped mascarpone greek yogurt, fresh fruit and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

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Book It!

August 2, 2016 Menu No Comments

Hello everyone – it’s been a couple of months now since I had announced that I would be taking a short break from posting any new recipes on this blog. I had decided at the beginning of the summer to take some time off to put all of my focus into another passionate project of mine that needed my full attention. And as promised, I am writing today to let you all know what I’ve been up to.

After the many requests and suggestions that I have received over the years, I am happy – and yes, also a bit apprehensive – to finally say that yes, I am putting together my own cook book! The truth is, this is something that I have been hoping and planning to do for quite a while now. I’ve actually spent the last year giving serious consideration to a few new creative options. I gave a lot of thought as to what avenues would allow me to best express my passion for cooking and blogging, while at the same time staying true to myself. Being that I have been a graphic designer in the publishing business for over 20 years now, the decision was easy…it was time to turn this blogging adventure into a book, and one that I would create on my own!

Many of you may be wondering if a book is a good option in today’s online world. After all, I myself have been writing for an online audience for over eight years now. While many may argue that print is dead, I am a firm believer that it alive and well. I still find pleasure and enjoyment in purchasing and flipping through a new book, especially one that also makes for a nice conversation piece. It’s an experience that personally can never be replaced by simply staring at a screen. Another hurdle involved is the cost and effort to have a book published and printed. Traditionally, it would take a couple of factors to successfully have your book published and sold. You would either a) need to be somewhat famous – which I am not; or b) have the money to fund the project yourself – which I don’t.

This is where the concept of self publishing comes in to play. There are a number of self publishing websites out there, which allow you to create the contents of your book and have it sold via their website. Many even offer design, layout and editing assistance if needed. Once you are happy with the layouts that YOU create, your material gets uploaded and it is printed on demand. In other words, instead of having to pay up front for thousands of copies of books that you would need to hustle to sell, your book gets printed per order. Depending on the service that is used, the reader will have the option of ordering either a hard-back, soft-back or even a downloadable electronic version of the book. So it is a win-win situation for both the author and the reader. I am still in the process of talking to and reviewing my options with a few different online publishing outfits, making sure that whoever I select will offer the absolute best product for myself and my readers.

Being a designer by trade, this project has been the ultimate combination of my creative passions, and I am very excited to soon share it with all of you. I’ve been spending the past few months working up the best design and layout possible that will help translate my online blog into an actual book that I can be proud of. The book itself will be a collection of my favorite recipes. Many of them will be updated versions of ones that have appeared on this blog. Of course there will also be a good number of brand new recipes which will be exclusive to this book. There will also be memoirs of the events and opportunities that I have experienced while writing my food blog.

Much of the material, I am happy to say, has already been gathered and put into layout. As far as a release date goes…well, that will have to wait for just a bit. There is still a bit of work to be done on the project – text and photo editing, paginating and proofing, etc. It is my mission as both author and designer of the book to make sure that I am producing for both myself and my readers nothing less than the best product possible. I’ll be sure to keep you all posted as this project progresses.

So stay tuned and stay in touch! After a much deserved upcoming vacation with my family, I will get back to posting on my blog more often and more regularly.

Cheers!
Dom

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