Pesto Spread

with Italian Grill Cheese

Pesto with Italian Grill CheeseTraditional Basil Pesto used as a sandwich spread. This may go quickly during your Fourth of July Celebration. So, you may want to double the recipe. The garlic taste is pronounced. I have family who say they’re allergic to garlic but really just want a great flavor without tasting garlic. How does that work?! If this is your thought process this recipe isn’t for you. Pesto is versatile. Use this recipe as a pasta sauce for linguini. Mix in a bit of plain Greek yogurt or sour cream for a great addition to roasted meats. This is a great topping for crostini too. Enjoy my friends!

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Linguine and Clams

For Two

Linguini and ClamsYou have 12 and one half minutes to prepare dinner and what do you do? You fix this! My foodie partner and I love pasta but no cream please (for him) … or rarely. This rich sauce has the flavor without the heaviness. If your herb garden is not what you’d hoped just add dried herbs instead. Hope you enjoy this rich tasting Clam Sauce as much as we do. As for the wine I’m a Pinot Noir fan and am guilty about pairing with just about everything. Have you noticed you can see through this varietal when you hold up your glass to light, or maybe not? When you can’t it is most likely a blend. Nope, it is my understanding this doesn’t need to be on the label. So depending, this varietal can be a little heavier than expected. We’re having this wine here. Delicious!

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Limoncello Topping

Limoncello Topping

Amazingly simple topping for cakes, cookies, pies, ice cream, fruit, fruit ices, crepes. You get the picture! I love lemon and chocolate … And have served my topping over a brownie crust ice cream pie. Sounds time consuming? Simply bake your brownie recipe in a pie plate, cool, spread with softened ice cream or sorbet, and refrigerate for two hours before serving with the cooled Limoncello topping. That’s it! I have a couple of brownie recipes if you need one, Blondies and Brownies. If you use a boxed mix my suggestion is Ghirardelli or Barefoot Contessa just as noted in Cook’s Illustrated.

Our ice cream is melting in our 103 heat … So let’s get on to the recipe.

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Limoncello Chocolate Dessert

Adults Only Please

LimoncelloThis looks more like a drink. Just a teaser until the dessert is finished. Try it! Limoncello

Italian Salad in a Jar

Italian Salad in a Jar



Who’s more into salads than I am? Maybe my daughter. The perfect picnic food for us. The idea of the jar salad is not original but it is absolutely perfect. It’s fun and practical for the summertime gathering. Adding a choice of salads is necessary for our clan. Here are two other jar salad recipes to try: Bean Salad & Layered Salad Colorful delicious salads! Enjoy!


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Wood Oven Pizza

Wood Oven pizzaIt absolutely works! The little terra-cotta pizza oven I bought at Cost Plus World Market is worth it. Now 40% off too. Start the fire, let it burn for 15 minutes to reach a peak temperature, bake pizza in two minutes. Amazing!

Wood Stove PizzaChoose your favorite pizza toppings and add them to this amazingly quick and easy pizza dough. In fact, I would say this is a no fail pizza dough recipe. Yep, while at World Market I picked up this great pizza recipe book, Patio Pizzeria by Karen Adler & Judith Fertig. Lots of good and delicious ideas. I decided to try their simple “Classic Pizza Dough” with slight variations. It was pretty near perfect. They did suggest ’00’ flour for wood burning ovens … providing a thinner crust. But I used bread flour as the original recipe suggested and it worked well. In fact, the recipe was to make four 6 inch size pizzas. I found it made four 8-9 inch pizzas instead … It was easy to stretch out with semolina flour dusted on the working surface.

It was fun using this method of cooking. Just have the right wood for your oven, small enough and safe to use with food. I like the idea of a pizza stone and I didn’t have any trouble removing the pizza when done. When transferring onto the heated stone the pizza dough should be resting on a cornmeal covered surface. This helps tremendously. I had the pizza resting on a large wooden paddle covered with cornmeal and lifted/slid the pizza onto the heated stone with a 6 inch round spatula. Worked perfectly.

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Outdoor Pizza Oven

Outdoor Pizza Oven

This may take away any thought about me being pretentious. I’ve been wanting one of those super duper expensive outdoor pizza ovens for years. You know, the kind that costs thousands. I might even be able to kinda afford one. But instead I opted for this $100 Cost Plus World Market version. This little terra-cotta oven looks like it will hold up for some years. Wonder how the pizza will bake. Will it be crispy and perfect like I perceive it would be if baked in one of those pricey ovens? We shall see!

Don’t be fooled by my outdoor stove. It’s only providing a little more height than the original pizza oven stand. Yes, I’ll be burning wood inside the pizza oven to heat it up. I’m going to include a pizza stone inside as well. The online reviews of this wood burning oven were 3+ out of 5 (best). (Most reviews were 5’s but one review was a 1 because the oven arrived broken.) One particular criticism was the lack of a crispy crust. Although this could be secondary to the heat of the oven, the crust recipe and who knows what else, I’ve opted for the pizza stone. Wish me luck!

The 1930’s Wedgwood stove was my grandmother’s. She used it for many years to cook all our favorites. Try her Portuguese Beans with Linguica or her Portuguese Marinated Pork. My brother has great ambitions for me to fix up grandma’s stove. I was actually thinking of using it in the yard for plants. Oops!

Winter Soups

Love love love soups! Hearty, healthy, satiating, warming, cozy, delicious one dish meals! What could be better this time of year!

Wintertime is Souptime

Wintertime is SouptimeIt’s Souptime! 25 Great Soup Recipes … New Ones on the way!


1. Tortilla 2. Pumpkin 3. Minestrone 4. Albondigas 5. Garden Variety

6. Spicy Tomato 7. Tinolang Manok with Bean Threads 8. Pizza 9. Sausage Navy Bean 10. Manhattan Clam Chowder

11. Basic Potato 12. Pasta Fagioli 13. Greens and Beans 14. Cauliflower 15. Boston Clam Chowder

16. Portuguese Green 17. Basque 18. Portuguese Bean 19. Sopas 20. Vegetarian Black Eyed Pea

21. Chunky Root Soup 22. Tinoling Manok 23. Sopas with Wine 24. Depression Era Potato 25. Chicken Soup