Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Fresh Tomato Basil Sauce

This recipe is so simple and one of my favorite go-to meals when I'm in a time crunch.  It's also a staple when I'm craving a big bowl of pasta .

For the past two years I've lived at 8500 feet in the Rocky Mountains. It's a beautiful place to live but a horrible altitude to grow fresh, anything!  I've recently moved to a lower elevation in Colorado allowing me to grow herbs and fresh veggies.  My basil is super happy on my back porch and a delicious addition to this fresh pasta sauce. 

Making a Chiffonade is the easiest way to cut basil for your recipes.  "Chiffon" is French for "rag" referring to the fabric-like strips that result from this technique. To chiffonade simply means to turn into rag-like strips".  Source wikipedia

Simply, lay several basil leaves together and roll into a tight cigar shape.  Using a sharp paring knife, cut slices of basil to resemble strips.  You can chop the strips further if you prefer a smaller bite.


Recipe Fresh Tomato Basil Sauce
serves 4

2 large beef steak tomatoes
3 gloves garlic minced
5 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup olive oil plus 1 tablespoon
3-4 leaves fresh basil

  • In a large stock pot prepare pasta, while pasta is cooking
  • Coarsely chop tomatoes
  • using a large heavy bottom skillet saute tomatoes in 1 tablespoon olive oil for 5 minutes on medium high heat
  • add garlic
  • saute additional 4 minutes
  • add 1/4 cup olive oil and butter, cook until butter is melted stirring occasionally
  • remove from heat, add fresh basil salt and pepper to taste
  • drain pasta
  • return pasta to skillet and cook additional 2-3 minutes, serve
Optional: add pine nuts, artichoke hearts and sundried tomatoes

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Friday, June 15, 2012

Italian Inspired Grilled Fruit Pizza

Week Two ~ Real Women of Philadelphia Deam Vacation Video Challenge

Italian Inspired Grilled Fruit Pizza

Reminiscent of Italian grilled pizza, this sweet and fruity version will have your taste buds ready for more!


  • 8 ounces Milk Chocolate Flavor Philadelphia Indulgence
  • 9 frozen dinner rolls
  • 2 cups fresh sliced strawberries
  • 2 cups fresh sliced pineapple
  • 2 cups mini marshmallows
  • 1 tbsp olive oil


  1. Remove rolls from package, place on a cookie sheet, drizzle with olive oil
  2. allow rolls to rise in natural sunlight or in a 200 degree oven for 15 minutes or double in size
  3. rinse strawberries and allow to drain on paper towel. slice and set aside
  4. peel pineapple and slice, set aside
  5. heat outdoor grill to 350
  6. press each roll into a flat pizza shape, about 1/4 inch thick
  7. place dough on hot grill and bake for 1-2 minutes or until bottom side is golden brown
  8. turn pizza over and dress cooked side with 1 tablespoon Philadelphia Indulgence Milk Chocolate, Bittersweet Chocolate or White Chocolate
  9. add several mini marshmallows, cover and grill for 1-2 minutes or until marshmallows are melted
  10. dress pizza with fresh fruit, serve
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French Inspired Philly Escargot

Week One

French Inspired Recipes using Philadelphia Cream Cheese products.  Win a trip to France! Wish me luck!

Real Women of Philadelphia Season Three Video Challenge

Experience the flavors of France with Philly Escargot and crisp Salade de Maison. You will be swept away to the French Country side with just one bite!

  • 15 minutes preparation
  • 25 minutes total time
  • 2 servings
  • lunch French

  • Ingredients

    • 7 ounces or 12 Escargot/snails
    • 5 tablespoons Savory Garlic Cooking Creme
    • 1 tbsp Lemon Herb Cooking Creme
    • 1 cup tightly packed fresh parsley
    • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
    • 3 large garlic cloves minced
    • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
    • 3 tablespoons Lemon Herb Cooking Creme
    • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
    • 1 head romaine lettuce 

    1. Drain and rinse escargot in cold water, place in a shallow baking dish
    2. Combine Savory Garlic and Lemon Herb Cooking Cremes, nutmeg, parsley, butter, and minced garlic in a Cuisinart blender, blend for 1 minute or until mixture is smooth
    3. Pour mixture over escargot evenly and bake 500 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until hot and bubbly
    4. for Salade de Maison Vinaigrette: Blend olive oil, Dijon mustard and Lemon Herb Cooking Creme, salt and pepper to taste may add additional fresh lemon to taste
    5. toss chopped romaine lettuce with 2-3 tablespoons vinaigrette
    6. serve Escargot with crostini

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    Wednesday, June 13, 2012

    Mojito Trio - Strawberry, Pineapple, Nectarine

    Mojito Trio
    Strawberry, Pineapple, Nectarine

    I hate moving but as life would have it, this is the seventh time I've moved in nine years. 

    The Readers Digest version: 
    1. Castle Rock, Colorado
    2. Colorado Springs, Colorado
    3. Castle Rock, Colorado
    4. Parker, Colorado
    5. Sanibel Island, Florida
    6. Conifer, Colorado
    7. Superior, Colorado!

    The past month has been filled with packing, unpacking, piles of boxes and paper, mopping, cleaning, dry chapped hands; absolutely too much fast food and hundreds of miles hither and yon! 

    I was hit with the realization that I'm about three quarters of the way unpacked so I decided to get my drink on by making a trio of Mojitos!  I can't think of a better way to relax than the crisp sweet flavor of a Mojito. OK, maybe three mojitos! 

    Pineapple Mojito

    Basic Fruit Puree Recipe
    2 cups fruit of choice chopped
    1 cup granulated sugar
    1-2 mint leaves

    In separate batches, cook fruit mint and sugar on medium high heat until fruit is soft. Do not add water.  Mash fruit with spoon or in the case of pineapple, blend in a Cuisinart till smooth.  Softer fruit does not need to be pureed.

    Mojito Recipe
    Makes 1 - 8 ounce cocktail
    5-6 mint leaves
    1 lime
    1 tablespoon powdered sugar
    2 ounces white rum
    1 heaping tablespoon fruit puree
    2 ounces club soda
    crushed ice

    In a cocktail shaker, squeeze lime over mint leaves, muddle with wooden spoon, add sugar, fruit puree, rum and blend to combine, fill shaker with ice, place lid firmly on top, shake drink several times.  Pour mixture into cocktail glass leaving head space and fill to the rim with club soda.  Garnish with fruit, lime wedges and mint leaves.

    Strawberry Mojito

    Nectarine Mojito

    Freeze leftover fruit puree in ice cube trays and remove frozen cubes and store in plastic resealable baggie for up to one month.

    Each flavor was delicious, refreshing and relaxing! I needed no help polishing off my Trio of Mojitos! CHEERS!

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    Tuesday, June 12, 2012

    Real Women of Philadelphia Season 2 Cookbook

    My winning recipe has been published in the Real Women Of Philadelphia Season 2 Cookbook.  Fig Tart with PHILLY Frangipane and Strawberry-Ginger Cream, won in the dessert category.  What a privileged to be chosen to represent this fine community and to be honored by Paula Deen and Kraft! For my original post and recipe click the link above.

    Real Women of Philadelphia is a wonderful community of men and women who love to cook and share recipes.  It's also a place to take part in amazing cooking competitions and it's free to become a member.  Hurry over today to check it out! 

    To download a copy of the cookbook all you have to do is become a member of RWOP.   You can purchase a copy of your own from the site as well. 

    The Kraft Kitchen made my tart look amazing!!  Thank you RWOP!

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