August 25, 2011
Nonnie's favorite Gazpacho:
6 large ripe tomatoes, peeled and chopped ( remove some of the seeds is you want.) I usually use more
one large purple / sweet onion, shaved or finely chopped, can substitute leeks
one or two large cucumber..... I had a bumper crop this year
one sweet bell pepper ( yellow or red) seeded and chopped
One or two roasted peppers, plain or in olive oil .... chopped
two stalks celery chopped
half a stalk of Italian curly parsley
2 tbsp fresh chives
one ( or more to taste) cloves of garlic, minced
1/ 4 cup red wine vinegar ( cider is okay to substitute)
1/4 cup olive oil.... ( I omit because I like to keep the fat content very low)
one fresh squeeze lemon juice.... I put the pulp in the food processor after squeezing the juice out.
two teaspoon sugar ( to taste, I usually omit)
Salt and pepper to taste
6 or more drops of TABASCO SAUCE to taste
Tablespoon or more MAGGI SWEET CHILI SAUCE WITH GARLIC to taste ( I usually use more)
4 cups or more tomato juice.... I use V8 original
tsp Worcestershire sauce ( omit if you are vegetarian / I never have any in the house)
My hubby adds tbsp A-1 sauce to his.... I do not care for it.
(*** If I have any fresh vegetables left over ( Cooked or uncooked, depending on the vegetable )I have been known to shred them and add to the mixtures.)
Chop then pulse in food processor, do not over process should have a chunks. I often pulse the vegetables separately adding to a large plastic container I will store them in. I mix the vegetables each time I add to the mixture. Store air tight in refrigerator in non metallic container. Make a day ahead of time to allow the flavors to blend. Keeps okay for three to four days.
If I have not used up the soup in three to four days, I cook it and use it as the base of a tomato soup or a sauce of some kind. Yes it has cucumbers in it but you CAN cook cucumber ... they are kind of tasteless cooked.
August 8, 2011,
Summer Caprese Salad like MY Mother Made!
Slice lots of summer tomatoes... light salt and pepper, good olive oil, good wine or balsamic vinegar. Set aside in a cool place or refrigerate but a lot of people think you should avoid refrigerating tomatoes. I often add chopped basil, parsley and a little garlic at this point. My daughter does not like the garlic so sometimes I make her separate salad. (Chill for an hour at the least.)
Slices of YOUR favorite fresh mozzarella.
Washed and dried fresh basil.
To assemble: Stack tomato slice with mozzarella with basil leaf between. I like to stack several slices of tomato with a toothpick through all. A small basil leaf on the top.
Every family has traditions as life changes the traditions are modified, but it is important to honor them is some way. I have collected cookie recipes from numerous sources since 1988 when I got married. Until my husband became diabetic I made a huge assortment of cookies every year. I still make cookies but not the overwhelming amount of cookies. ( TOO MUCH TEMPTATION.) I am also on the HUNT for good tasting diabetic cookies for my hubby….. BELIEVE ME, a good tasting diabetic cookie recipe is a hard thing to find.
I will be posting part of my recipes collection for your enjoyment. I publish the base recipe but when I bake, being Italian I doctor, add and subtract as I cook. I always use what I have on hand so sometimes my cookies come out different then the base recipes. I always use butter in my recipes, even when the recipe calls for margarine. .. Use what you like.
I use parchment paper on the cookie sheets and frequently they are greased. I also have used silpat baking sheets. I use the following abbreviations.
tablespoon = TBSP /
teaspoons = TSP /
CUP = c
XXX = confectioners sugar
All TREE NUTS (peanuts are okay) are eliminated at our house because my DD is allergic. I do not want anymore trips to the emergency room. Recipes with nuts are from my PRE ALLERGY collection. **
FAVORITE PEPPER COOKIE….tastes similar to old fashioned Ginger Snaps
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup dark corn syrup
1-1/2 tsp vinegar … wine or any kind works
ONE slightly beaten egg
2-1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp each baking powder and baking soda
1/2 tsp ginger ( plus, to taste)
1/2 tsp cinnamon ( plus, to taste)
1/2 tsp cloves ( plus, to taste)
1/4 to 1/2 tsp black pepper ( plus, to taste)
IN MEDIUM SAUCE PAN…. MELT BUTTER add syrup, vinegar, and sugar. Bring mixture to boil then turn off, removing the heat and cooling the mixture to room temperature. ( I have done this step using the microwave x one minute.) I add my dry spices to the warm mixture to allow the flavors to blend and bloom.
Stir slightly beaten egg to your butter and sugar mixture.
Mix all the dry ingredients and sift adding slowly to wet ingredients. Mix well
Divide into four parts / flatten into discs. Cover and chill for several hours or over night.
Roll out and till thin 1/8th inch. Cut out with your favorite cutters.
Bake at 375 degree x 4 to 5 minutes. When reusing your cookie sheets make sure they are cool between batches of cookies. Store in covered tins.
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HONEY SAND BALLS….. similar to Russian Tea Balls
One cup butter
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons honey
2 cups flour
3/4 cup chopped walnuts / peanuts
1/4 tsp salt
Shifted powder sugar
Beat butter add 1/2 cup powder sugar and honey. Add flour and nuts, vanilla and salt. Mix well. Shape into one inch balls. Place 1-1/2 inches apart on greased cookie sheet.
Bake at 325 x 14-16 minutes.
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BIG GINGER COOKIES
2-1/2 cups flour
tsp baking soda
2 tsp ginger
tsp baking soda
tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 to tsp cloves
1/4 tsp salt
3/ 4 cup butter
one cup sugar
1/ 4 cup molasses
2 tbsp sugar
Blend flour, spices, soda and set aside
In mixing bowl cream butter slowly add sugar until fluffy, then add egg and molasses. Add dry ingredients into beaten mixture. Shape into balls roll in sugar.
BAKE at 350 degree x 10 minutes. …. Do not over-bake.. COOL
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MINI CHEESECAKE TARTS
One cup flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 /4 cup cocoa powder
1/ 2 cup butter
2 to 3 tbsp water
6 oz soften cream cheese
1/ 4 cup sugar
2 tbsp milk
Pastry: Stir together flour, 1/3 cup of the sugar, cocoa cut in butter till form PEA size balls. Sprinkle in water TBSP at a time. Form into flatten disc. Chill. Roll out to 24 small balls. Shape into mini muffin tins.
Filling : Cream the cream cheese and 1/ 4 cup sugar till fluffy, add 2 TBSP MILK and vanilla, add egg, beat…. Pour into muffin tins lined with dough.
Bake at 325 x 15 to 18 minutes…cool. Top with jelly or jam
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CHERRY SHORT BREAD
1/2 cup maraschino cherries (I use dried cherries, I like them.)
1- 1 /4 cup flour
3 TBSP SUGAR
1/4 PLUS TSP NUTMEG
1/2 CUP BUTTER
2- 3 TSP FOOD COLORING
SHIFT dry ingredients. Cut in butter mixtures into fine crumbs. Add cherries. Form ball / knead till smooth. Pat into un-greased cookie sheet / pie plate. Cut into wedges with fork (do not separate) or form log and dock.
BAKE: 325 X 20 minutes till edges are firm. Cut apart while warm, transfer to wire rack. (do not ice for daddy.)
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COOKIES FROM BASIC DOUGHS:
BASIC SCOTTISH SHORT BREAD
1- 1/4 CUP flour
3 tablespoon sugar
1 /2 cup butter
Mix flour and sugar together. Cut in butter till make fine crumbs. Form ball then knead until smooth. Roll into 8 inch circle / dock with fork. Cut into wedges but do not separate, until after they are baked.
Bake at 325 x 25-30 minutes. Re-cut the wedges, when you take the shortbread out of the oven. Then cool, frost as desired.
****Basic short bread recipe
Add tsp vanilla and 1 /2 tsp Almond extract to mixture when you are kneading. Roll out the dough then brush with milk. Sprinkle with chopped almonds. ( Not made in my house do to allergies)
Preserves and Shortbread
Divide into two balls. Shape the dough in a long log. ROLL flat about 2 inches wide and ½ inch thick / in the middle make a trench/ indentation about one inch across.
Bake the dough x 20-25 minutes at 325. As soon as they come out of the oven spoon jam / jelly in the trenches. Cut into one inch pieces. You can drizzle with icing or dust with powder sugar.
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LEMON SHORT BREAD
*** BASIC SHORT BREAD RECIPE
Add lemon zest 1/2 tsp to tsp to taste
Tsp lemon extract
Spread in a 9 x 9 pan and bake at 350 degrees
Beat two eggs. Add 3/ 4 cup sugar, 2 TBSP flour, lemon zest 1/4 to 1/ 2 tsp add 3 tbsp lemon juice, 1/2 tsp powder. Add 1/ 4 tsp salt. Beat together. Pour over baked crust. Bake additional 20- 25 minutes till golden. Cut into bars then cool.
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Rolled – Cut out COOKIES
BASIC DOUGH- SUGAR COOKIES
1/ 2 CUP CRISCO
1/ 2 CUP BUTTER…. I use all butter
2 CUPS FLOUR
Tsp baking powder
Cream butter and sugar …. Add egg…. Add shifted dry ingredients… slowly small amounts at a time. Divide into smaller portions form flatten discs. Chill one to two hours or longer.
ROLL out on floured surface to 1 /8th inch. Cut into shapes. Place inch apart on cookie sheet.
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Chocolate Sugar Cut OUTS---- add 1/ 3rd cup unsweetened cocoa powder to the basic mixture.
Window cut outs
For each cookie bottom cut out a matching top cookie but cut a small hole in the center. Bake the cookies. Layer the cookies using jelly spread dust with confectioner sugar.
1/ 4 cup favorite jelly mixed well with 1- 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar.
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Carmel Nut Sandwiches
******Basic Sugar COOKIE CUT OUT RECIPE
3- 4 TBSP Chopped nuts…. I use honey roasted peanuts
32 caramel candies
Roll out dough… using scalloped pasty wheel cut out strips of cookies to make bars 2 inch by 1 inch. Place on cookie sheet inch apart. Press nuts into half of the cookies made… they will be the tops.
Filling: In heavy sauce pan melt caramels and 2 TBSP milk. Stir till blended. Cool slightly. Spread on cookie bottoms top with nut topper cookie …. Then drizzle more caramel on the top. Makes 60