Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Bertolli Giveaway Winner!

I  am a very scientific person by nature.  NOT!  Instead of using a random number generator on the computer (yawn, boring!), I decided to enlist the help of my cat, Scooter, to choose the winner.  Scooter digs rubber bands,  so I found a marker, and 6 thick rubber bands, and assigned each rubber band a number from  1-6.  I  mixed them up, and began flinging them at Scooter.  The one she attacked with the most vigor was the winner!  Once I got the rubber band away from Scooter, I was able to determine the winner.

The winner is #4, Patrick Clark!  Congratulations Patrick.  Bertolli will be mailing your prize package directly to you.

Many thanks to all for participating!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Bertolli Giveaway!

Fall is the perfect time for soup, and I am so thrilled to be able to tell my readers about a fantastic new line of soups offered by Bertolli!  Bertolli was founded more than 150 years ago, and you can often find their products in my pantry or freezer.  Their newest product is their Bertolli® Premium Meal Soups for Two!, as shown below.  They come in four delicious varieties:  Chicken and Rotini Pasta, Tomato Florentine, Tortellini with Chicken, Chicken Minestrone and Tuscan Beef and Vegetables.
Below is their chicken minestrone.  Doesn't it look delish?   The soups are packed-full of fresh vegetables, perfectly-cooked chicken or beef, and hearty pasta, and these restaurant-quality meals can be conveniently prepared at home.  Bertolli® soups can be found in the freezer section of your local grocery store.
I am offering one lucky reader the chance to receive a gift package from Bertolli!  

The SOUPerb kit will include:
·         One Stainless Steel Ladle
·         Four Tasting Certificates

To enter,  simply post a comment below about what you look most forward to in the Autumn season.  Be sure to end your comment with your e-mail address.  One entry per person, no p.o. boxes please.  Entry deadline is Tuesday at midnight central.  The winner, chosen at random, will be announced  on Thursday.  

Disclosure:  I have received a package from Bertolli.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Fall is in the air

Oh how I love the Fall...the crisp air...the colorful leaves....the nonexistence of August humidity .... bliss!

The colder weather always inspires me to get back into the kitchen, and boy will I have some lovely recipes to share!  

Stay tuned my friends - soon you will see some lovely Autumn recipes, some riffs on past beloved recipes, and some fun giveways.

Happy cooking!

Friday, November 19, 2010

It's the best time of the year

I'm thrilled....just thrilled! I've taken next week off, and will spend a good portion of it making my filled pastas. I have lamented in a previous post about how impossible it is to find meat tortellini, so last year I made my own! It was a lot of work, but the results were awesome. So, I will make cappelletti stuffed with a chicken, ricotta, pork mixture.

If I am completely nuts, I might go ahead and make some agnolotti, which is a typical Piedmontese shape for filled pasta. I'm thinking of filling mine with a mixture of garlic, ricotta, mozzarella and kale. Then, I'm going to make some anolini, which is a small, round shape from Parma. I'm going to stuff those with a crab, ricotta and oregano mixture.

So why all the different shapes, because it's just fun! See how pretty the anolini are?

Once the forms are made, I'll freeze them individually on baking sheets, and once hard will transfer them to vacuum-sealed bags. There's nothing like a steaming bowl of pasta in brodo. I can't wait!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Birthday presents!

Hello my pretty pretty! I bought myself the very lovely food processor pictured here with my birthday money. I am so very excited. I can't wait to use this! It is the 7 cup model, which will help me immensely with pasta dough prep.

I am all about the traditional pasta method of cracking eggs into the well of a mound of flour, but when you make as much pasta as I do, this gets very time consuming. This will make the process much simpler and not as messy.

I am so very excited about my upcoming classes. September is pasta month. Again, we will be making fresh crab ravioli with a creamy shallot sauce, and farfalle (bowtie) pasta with a tomato vodka sauce. To die for! I am opening up Friday nights in September for my pasta classes, but if you want a Saturday lunch spot I do have one available!

The October soup classes are going to be great too. I also purchased a Silpat baking mat especially for this series of classes. To go along with the creamy tomato soup, we are making parmesan crisps, which will look absolutely lovely floating on the surface of the soup, and so easy to make. The Silpat is a genius non-stick surface, which will be fantastic for my crisps. Aaaahhhh I cannot wait for cooler fall weather! I still have Saturday, October 30 available, which would be 10:30 am till oh perhaps 12:30. First come first served!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Oppa bay go may

When I was a tiny small child, I must have really loved the "Happy Birthday" song, because even though I was a toddler with an extremely limited vocabulary, I made up my own words to the song.

"Oppa bay go may..." I sang at a birthday party, and it immediately became family lore.

I will celebrate my birthday this Saturday (it's really on Sunday though). It will be tons of fun, but weird for a very silly reason for me.

I will not be cooking a dang thing.

We are getting Hog Heaven BBQ. If you have never had it and you are a Nashville resident for shame!!! They do an amazing pulled turkey with their white mystery sauce. The sauce is positively divine. It has a horseradish kick, and I love me some horseradish. And, if there's any sauce left over (hahahhahhahaha does anyone have a straw?) it is wonderful on fish, pork, anything really.

Now, for the normal person, this wouldn't be a big deal, but I loooooooooove cooking, so the thought of not using my cooking muscles, and having ANOTHER PERSON'S FOOD IN MY HOUSE is just plain weird. But, at least the food is rather awesome.

Oppa bay go may y'all!

Thursday, August 12, 2010


Have I mentioned how I do not like being in the kitchen in the summer? With the grill just outside on the patio, it just makes so much more sense to use it. A lot of Italian cooking is by feel, which is completely up my alley. As long as you know your seasoning ratios, it is a snap to create something wonderful in no time.

I love going to my local Farmer's Market with absolutely no meal plan in mind, and then create on based on the produce I find from my favorite farmers.

The easiest way to cook with the least amount of clean up is to make tin foil packages. All you need to do is chop up your veggies into roughly chopped pieces. You do not want to make them too small, because they may cook too fast and become mushy. I have always preferred my vegetables to be more on the al dente side. Place the chopped vegetables on good-sized piece of heavy duty tin foil. Here's the fun part. Go wild with your spices! Have a clove of garlic? Chop it up and throw it in there. As for oil or fat, a little goes a long way, as most vegetables have a decent water content in the first place. I would use no more than a tablespoon of oil or butter. I always zip the package up with a splash of either balsamic or white wine vinegar as well...perhaps a teaspoon or two. Add your salt and pepper to taste, but remember that a little goes a long way.

Seal up your package well, and throw it on your medium-preheated grill. After 10 or so minutes, you should hear it sizzling. It's ready! Carefully remove the package to platter, and carefully open the package. It should smell like heaven.

Now, if you want, you can throw a fillet or two of fish or chicken on top of the package before grilling...just be sure that the protein is on the thin side, so you are sure it is fully cooked. Have fun!

I'm off to make one of these awesome looking hats right now.