Zucchini Flowers – Two Ways…

Hi Everyone,

Hope all is well.

Sorry for the delay in posting these recipes, very busy week……

Bob and I have been enjoying the zucchini flowers this week, both fried and prepared as a quiche and it really feels like Summer to us now.

Below are the two recipes I used so you can enjoy the zucchini flowers as well.

Enjoy and have a great weekend!

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Zucchini Blossom Quiche

Ingredients:

  • 4- 6 eggs depending on the size
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 2 TBSP flour
  • 1/3 cup minced onions or shallots
  • Garlic powder to taste
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 ounces shredded, mozzarella
  • 2 medium zucchini- washed and diced
  • 10 fried zucchini flowers
  • COOKS NOTE: fresh zucchini flowers can be used if you prefer – wash, stamen removed and check for any insects.

I make my quiche crustless but a crust can be used- personal preference …

  • 1- 9-inch unbaked frozen “deep Dish” pie shell

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Directions:

Hand whip eggs, half-and-half, and flour in a medium-mixing bowl.

Add the remaining ingredients.

Pour into a veggie sprayed pie pan or quiche dish OR , if using, an unbaked 9-inch, deep-dish piecrust.

Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until top is golden brown.

6-8 servings

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Fried Zucchini Blossoms

  • Ingredients:
  • approx. 1/2 lb. (12-14) – fresh Zucchini Flowers
  • dark ale preferred or any beer you have on hand
  • All-purpose Flour or OO tipo flour
  • salt and pepper
  • Oil For Frying (I prefer olive oil)

Directions:

  1. Rinse the zucchini flowers well under cool water and remove the inner stamen…. Be careful there might be insects especially bees inside the petals. Once rinsed well and cleaned, drain on paper towels. Any water will cause splatters once in the hot oil.
  2. In a small bowl add 2 cups of flour and a pinch of salt & pepper.
  3. Add enough beer to the flour, whisking until smooth to make a consistency of heavy cream.
  4. Heat the frying oil in a heavy bottomed skillet. Test if the oil is hot by adding a few drops of batter and see if it sizzles.
  5. Dip the zucchini flowers into the batter until lightly coated, letting the excess batter drip off.
  6. Carefully lower the zucchini flowers into the hot oil away from you to avoid splatters. Do this in batches and don’t overcrowd the skillet (that will reduce the temperature of your oil).
  7. Fry for 3-4 minutes, or until golden brown.
  8. Remove from the oil using tongs and set aside to drain on a plate topped with a few layers of kitchen paper or a cooling rack.
  9. I sprinkle with a little finely grated cheese (personal choice, this is optional) or a sprinkle of salt.
  10. Repeat the process with the remaining zucchini flowers until they are all fried.
  11. Serve immediately & enjoy

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I hope these recipes are helpful. The snake squash (Cucuzza) recipes will be posted next week.

Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Thank you for visiting my blog and like and share this post to your friends and ask them to join DishingwithDiane.com.

Once you join you’ll never miss a post and please continue to sent me your comments. I Love hearing from you.

Stay well,

Diane

Just Stopping By To Say Hello……

Hi Everyone,

I am just stopping by to say hello and wish everyone a great summer weekend.

Here in the northeast we were “not so blessed” with the remnants of Hurricane Elsa, some of us lost power and flooded streets but we are drying out and getting back to normal. I hope any of you that experienced Elsa are doing well and didn’t have any storm damage.

There wasn’t much cooking going on in the kitchen during the storm but today Bob and I visited a few farm stands and bought my favorite July treat – zucchini flowers. ( I’ll post the link to last years recipe for now to remind you what they are and for any new members to see the fried flowers). They are the edible male flowers from the zucchini plant. Sometimes stuffed with ricotta or fried plain in a flour/seltzer batter- absolutely delicious.

The flowers always reminds me of my grandmother’s garden when I was a child. Grandma would go out in the early morning when the flowers are open wide to pick the flowers. She would fry some and serve it with a scrambled egg for me. Great memories!

https://dishingwithdiane.com/2020/07/30/grandmas-fried-zucchini-flowers/

Zucchini Flowers

In addition we purchased a summer snake squash also know in Italian as ” Cucuzza” and I will post a recipe for that as well.

I will post all final dishes once I fry some flowers and make some a frittata, and the snake squash; just not today, I am tired.

Bob did run out and brought home another special treat for me today and that is gelato. He ordered my favorite flavor, pistachio – made with real Italian pistachios from Bronte, Sicily and another flavor- Amarena cherries.

So, I will cook the flowers & squash tomorrow and post the end results but like I said, I just wanted to stop by and say hello.

Sending you all my best wishes!

Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well,

Diane

4th of July Favorite Recipes

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Hi Everyone,

I can’t believe that the 4th of July is this weekend already….Wow, the months are just flying by.

Bob and I are having a quiet weekend and a small barbecue just the two of us and then we’ll take a walk on the boardwalk at the beach.

The beach has always been my happy place, the sound of the ocean, the breeze, the tranquility – I just love it.

Today, I wanted to share with you a few recipes that have become standards or traditions for my 4th of July barbecue.

The first recipe is great to have on hand for lunch or if guests are arriving at different times and you want to have a “patriotic snack” on hand. I first saw this recipe on Giada and I loved it.

It’s a flag inspired pizza and also serves as a conversation starter….enjoy!

Recipe courtesy of Giada De Laurentis

Flag Pizza

Ingredients:

FOR THE SPINACH

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed

5 ounces baby spinach, chopped *

1-2 teaspoon kosher salt

TO ASSEMBLE

2 tablespoons flour

1-pound pizza dough

1 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

3-4 cup pizza sauce

2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

1 tablespoon ricotta cheese**

28 slices pepperoni***

INSTRUCTIONS:

Preheat the oven to 500°F. Position a rack in the lower third of the oven.

Heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil and the garlic and cook until fragrant and lightly browned. Add the spinach and the salt and cook, stirring often, until the spinach is wilted, about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and drain the spinach in a fine mesh strainer. Set aside.

Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of flour on a clean work surface. Place the dough on top and sprinkle it with the remaining tablespoon of flour. Roll the dough out to a 15 X 10-inch rectangle. Drizzle the oil on a rimmed baking sheet and spread it evenly using a pastry brush. Transfer the dough to the prepared baking sheet.

Spread the sauce over the entire crust. Sprinkle with the mozzarella, creating a 5 X 4-inch rectangle in the upper left corner with slightly less cheese. Squeeze the liquid from the spinach and spread evenly over the upper left corner. Dot small clumps of ricotta cheese over the spinach to form the “stars. ” Arrange the pepperoni over the remaining surface of the pizza in horizontal rows, slightly overlapping the slices to form the stripes.

Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and cooked through and the cheese is bubbly.

* you can substitute 4 small purple potatoes for the spinach- sliced thin with a mandolin and sautéed in olive oil until crispy- approx. 7 minutes

**- you can substitute mozzarella pearls for the ricotta

*** – you can substitute grape tomatoes cut in half OR strips of bacon for the pepperoni

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My next recipe is our all time family favorite recipe for this holiday and 4th of July is traditionally the first day of the summer that my potato salad makes it’s debut. After that, I make it the rest of the summer. I hope you enjoy it….so easy and so delicious!

Diane’s Potato Salad

Whenever I am invited to a barbecue, everyone asks me to bring the same thing- my potato salad.

This has to be the easiest recipe around and it is always a crowd pleaser, so I wanted to share this with all of my members.

I have been making this potato salad over 20 years and I don’t remember where I got the original recipe from. Of course, I have tweaked it a little here and there over the years (I couldn’t help myself).

The recipe calls for 1 dz. hard boiled eggs, so make sure you check your eggs for freshness.

Check your eggs for signs of cracks. Since fresh eggs are harder to peel it is best if you purchase your eggs a week prior to boiling.

You can test the freshness of the eggs by placing them into a glass of water. The freshest eggs will lie on the bottom of the water on its side. As an egg ages the air pocket inside grows so your egg will start to stand up on end. An egg that floats to the top should be discarded.

DIANE’S POTATO SALAD

PREP TIME : approx. 2 hours

Ingredients:

5 lb. bag of red potatoes -NOT PEELED -boil whole until fork can pierce skin but not mushy/ DRAIN

2 ½ C         Hellmann’s mayo –not light

5 TBSP      Red Wine Vinegar

3 ¾ tsp       Kosher salt

2 ½ tsp       Sugar

¾ tsp          Pepper

2 ½ C         Celery (chopped)

1 ½ C         Red onion (diced)

1 dz            Hard boiled eggs

Directions:

Mix mayo and vinegar together—Add salt, pepper, and sugar and mix thoroughly.

Add celery and onions—Next add potatoes WARM  (cut into bite size pieces)

Add eggs (sliced) and fold all ingredients together.

(Best when chilled in the refrigerator for a few hours).

ENJOY!

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My last two recipes are for Lime Chicken (another favorite) and Potato, String Bean and Red Onion Salad…..

The Lime Chicken has a slight hint of lime and nice crispy skin.

Serve this dish with a salad, a few wedges of lime and you are all set.

Lime Chicken

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice (approx.. 3 small limes) & the lime zest
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (or more to your liking)
  • 1 tbsp. oregano
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 2-3 tbsp. compound butter – any flavor (OR regular butter can be used).

2 lbs of chicken WITH skin and bones (either 4 chicken breasts or 8 thighs)

Directions:

In a large bowl whisk together the lime juice, olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper and oregano and put all ingredients in a Ziploc bag.

Add cleaned chicken (WITH THE SKIN ON), seal the bag and turn to coat all the pieces.

Marinate the chicken in the refrigerator, turning once or twice for at least 2 hours and up to 1 day.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Remove chicken from the marinade and discard the marinade.

Arrange chicken pieces, skin side up (try not to crowd the pieces), on a broiler pan so the fat drips away from the chicken. If you don’t have a broiler pan a shallow baking pan can be used.

Season the chicken with salt and pepper and roast in the upper third of the oven until just cooked through, 30 minutes.

Change the oven setting to broil and broil the chicken about 2 inches from the heat until the skin is crisp- approx. 2-3 minutes – Watch carefully so the chicken doesn’t burn.

In the meantime, melt 2 tbsp. of compound finishing butter and when the chicken comes out of the oven, glaze each piece.

*I buy finishing butter in “chipolte lime” flavor for a little spice but you can buy or make your own finishing butter in whatever flavor you prefer.

Adapted from Epicurious

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The next recipe is for a cold Potato, String Bean and Red Onion salad. This is great for outdoor barbecues when you don’t want a salad with mayonnaise. The longer it sits, the better it tastes.

Potato, String Bean and Red Onion Salad

Ingredients:

6-8 red bliss potatoes (depending on size)

1 lb. of string beans, trimmed (if the beans are long, halve them crosswise)

4 tablespoons of olive oil

4 tablespoons of red wine vinegar

¼ tsp salt

½ tsp freshly ground black pepper

1 tsp oregano

1 small red onion, thinly sliced

Squirt of fresh lemon juice

Directions:

I steam my potatoes instead of boiling for 5 – 7 minutes and then add the string beans to the same steamer- just keep your eye on them and remove from the steamer as soon as they are tender.

(You can also boil the potatoes if you prefer in 2 quarts of salted water for 20 minutes. Add the beans and boil for 7 minutes longer, until the beans and potatoes are tender)

Meanwhile, in a large bowl whisk together the oil, vinegar, oregano, salt and pepper. Add the onion, and the warm potatoes and string beans. Toss very gently to dress all the ingredients without breaking the potatoes. Add a squirt of lemon before serving. Adjust all the seasonings to your liking.

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Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

And send me your comments, I love hearing from you.

Diane

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UPDATE……. regarding Cauliflower Rice Stir Fry

Hi Everyone,

I just wanted to keep you all updated regarding a product.

I received a few e-mails from members that could not find the Cauliflower Rice Stir Fry from Tattooed Chef in their Costco so here is an alternative.

Whole Foods has their own version under their 365 label.

The Whole Food bag contains carrots instead of peppers (you can add that as an addition), green peas, corn, shallots and spices.

The cost is $2.29 per bag

Nutrition summary
3.0 servings per container | 1 cup (105g)

60
Calories
2g
Protein
270mg
Sodium
2g
Fiber
2g
Sugars

I hope this information helps and “Happy Cooking”

Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well,

Diane

Please ask your family and friends to “follow”, “like” and “share” DishingwithDiane.com  .

Once you become a member, you’ll never miss a post…

Also, continue to send me your comments, I love hearing from you.

Cauliflower Rice Veggie Stir Fry & Black Bean Stuffed Peppers …

Hi Everyone,

This recipe is dedicated to one of my health care providers – Michael C. who always brightens my day whenever we have the opportunity to speak.

Hope you are all well…

Today I wanted to share with you a new recipe for stuffed peppers. I know that I have posted recipes for traditional stuffed peppers with ground meat and a lighter version with beans, rice and cheese (the links for those recipes will be at the end of the post); but today I have another new version – “Stuffed Peppers with Cauliflower Rice Stir Fry”, veggies and black beans.

Cauliflower rice has become so popular in the last couple of years and I have made Cauliflower Tots and General Tso’s Cauliflower in the past (find recipes in search box) but I am always experimenting to create new recipes, and this recipe can be listed under “vegetarian and heart healthy”.

I recently placed an Instacart order from Costco and noticed that they were selling a Cauliflower stir fry (Tattooed chef brand) with veggies (peppers, peas & corn) included so I thought I would give it a try. My original idea was to just add some scrambled eggs and some lite soy sauce to make fried rice.

Then I bought the most beautiful organic bell peppers and the idea quickly changed to cauliflower stir fry stuffed peppers. I added some black beans for protein and a new recipe was born. I made a large batch of filling and used the extra for a side dish for another night during the week.

Follow the recipe below with step-by-step instructions and happy cooking…

(Don’t forget previous stuffed pepper recipes are listed below).

Cauliflower Rice Veggie Stir Fry with Black Beans Stuffed Peppers

Let’s Get Started ……….

INGREDIENTS:

2 bags of frozen cauliflower stir fry (from freezer to skillet)- no need to thaw & this package has veggies included.

You can add any combination of extra vegetables that you like, just cut them small to fit in the pepper cavity.

COOKS NOTE: you can also rice fresh cauliflower florets in the food processor

6 bell peppers

1 medium yellow onion

3-4 cloves of garlic

1 can (14 oz.) of low sodium black beans – rinsed & drained

1 can (14 oz.) of no salt added tomato sauce

1 can of cherry tomatoes with juice (optional)

COOKS NOTE: the canned tomatoes can be purchased at an Italian pork store or online at Eataly

1 tbsp. tomato paste

Oregano- 4 fresh sprigs or ¾ Tbsp. ground (remember to rub ground spices through your fingertips when adding to a dish to release the oils and flavor).

½ cup grated cheese (I use Locatelli Romano)

Garlic powder – ½ tsp

Fresh basil chiffonade

Mozzarella cheese

Olive oil – 3 Tbsp.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Prepare the peppers by cleaning them well and then cutting the tops off and scooping out the ribs and seeds.

Dice the pepper tops into small dice and set aside.

I par boil the peppers for 7-10 minutes in boiling water- (do not make them too soft, they will still be cooked in the oven). Drain the peppers and set aside.

In a large skillet or sauté pan, add 2 tbsp. of olive oil on medium heat until hot. Add the garlic and sauté until lightly golden.

,

Add the onions and sauté for a 3-4 minutes more…. Add salt, pepper and garlic powder & sauté for another minute.

Add the diced peppers and cook for 4-5 minutes until the peppers soften.

Add the tomato sauce, tomato paste and the can of cherry tomatoes (if using).

Mix well, and bring to a simmer stirring occasionally for approx… 10 minutes.

Add the black beans, oregano and basil and mix well.

Add the frozen cauliflower stir fry and heat through for approx. 5-8 minutes. (use the back of a wooden spoon to break up the cauliflower).

Remove from the heat and stir in the grated cheese and taste for seasoning- more salt, pepper or spices might be needed to your taste.

Meanwhile spray a 9 X 13 glass baking dish with cooking spray.

Spread a thin layer of the cooked filling on the bottom of the pan (this will give the peppers a base so they don’t flop over).

COOKS NOTE: IF peppers fall over — before filling slice a small amount of pepper off the bumpy bottoms to make them stand up.

Place a small amount of mozzarella cheese in the bottom of each pepper.

Now with a large spoon fill the hollow peppers and pack as much filling as you can and top with some grated cheese. (Any extra stuffing can be added to the baking dish).

Now top the peppers with additional mozzarella cheese.

Bake at 350 uncovered for 15 minutes until the peppers are cooked through and the cheese is melted.

COOKS NOTE -If you want a crispy cheese topping, pop in the broiler for 1-2 minutes but watch the pan so the cheese doesn’t burn.

To serve, garnish with a little extra grated cheese and the extra filling can be served on the side or saved for another side dish for another meal… Enjoy

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Previous stuffed pepper recipes…..

https://dishingwithdiane.com/2015/09/20/stuffed-peppers/

https://dishingwithdiane.com/2017/09/08/stuffed-peppers-with-rice-and-beans/

Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well,

Diane

Please ask your family and friends to “follow”, “like” and “share” DishingwithDiane.com  .

Once you become a member, you’ll never miss a post…

Also, continue to send me your comments, I love hearing from you.

Glad To Be Back ……

Hi everyone,

I hope you are all well. I missed communicating with all of my members or should I say extended family on this blog, because that is what you are to me-family.

A lot has happened since my last post… As you know I had a few medical setbacks that landed me in the hospital for 3 weeks with intense and aggressive treatment and came home to a very slow recovery. I want to thank all of you for the cards and comments during my recovery, they truly helped brighten my days.

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Well, bad days don’t last forever… A few short weeks after being home, Bob and I celebrated our 33rd wedding anniversary.

And then we watched with pride as our only child got married the following day to his lovely bride Samantha (we never thought standing on those church steps after getting married in 1988 that 33 years later, (almost to the day) that we would be attending our son’s wedding). 

We haven’t seen Michael since December 2019 – he was required to stay close to the hospital because he was always on call for his patients during the Covid 19 pandemic.

We had our son help us disinfect the hotel room because I am very vulnerable to catch any germ (which I will make another post in the future to give you hospital recommended tips for safety in a hotel). Michael is a doctor so we knew we were in good hands with his recommendations along with my transplant team recommendations.

Michael and Samantha had a lovely but small wedding at Belhurst Castle and Winery in Geneva, NY. Beautiful venue and surrounded by lots of Love and happiness and we had a wonderful wedding weekend.

Michael & Samantha were off to Hawaii the following day and Bob and I came home with new titles, “in-laws” ……

May be an image of 2 people and pool

To keep me safe and abide by Covid restrictions, only immediate family members were in attendance and their wedding guests were invited by Zoom invitations so all could participate in the wedding celebration.

I would have loved to have been surrounded by family and friends to celebrate, but we had to be extra careful this year. Hopefully, I can give Michael & Samantha a one-year anniversary party and I pray the pandemic will be over and I can celebrate with family and friends.

Day 836 …. since heart transplant plus many setbacks, side effects, and bumps in the road, but I was alive & blessed to see this milestone event and all that has happened to me since transplant was worth the struggles just to get to this day. I kept thinking of my donor all day (whoever he or she is) and how grateful & truly blessed I am for yet another special gift and this wonderful new life I have – my second chance. I will concentrate on the gift of life and not the obstacles I have to face.

A day I dreamt about but never thought I would be alive to see because of my history of cardiac issues for the past 30 years and yet, here I am walking my son down the aisle………

Thanks to God, my guardian angels, my prayer warriors, my wonderful extended family blog members and a fabulous heart transplant team that worked so hard to make sure I was well enough to be released from the hospital and able to attend my son’s wedding.

God and Life is good. My best advice …. Enjoy each day. Be happy, be grateful and count your blessings. Always look for a silver lining in the bad days (it’s always there, believe me).

I wanted to share our happiness with all of you who have been by my side from the start of my journey and thank you for giving me hope, and strength, and comfort during the rough days. You are the most amazing group of people and I love you all.

Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Diane

Happy Mother’s Day 2021

Hi Everyone,

Happy Mother’s Day to all the Moms, Grandmothers, Godmothers and Pet Moms……

If you have been wondering why I have been missing for the past month, I had another set back in my cardiac journey with the heart-transplant and I was in the hospital for a few weeks.

I am home now recuperating and I just couldn’t let Mother’s Day go by without any mention.

So I am reposting a previous Mother’s Day post from 2017 that happens to be one of my favorite posts to give you some tablescape ideas and recipe ideas to share with your family this Mother’s Day.

Just open the link below and enjoy and I will be back soon for a new DishingwithDiane post. Have a wonderful and blessed day!

Photo May 12, 7 16 12 PM.jpg CENTERPIECE

https://dishingwithdiane.com/category/mothers-day/

Until next time, make every day a celebration!

Stay well,

Diane

A little photo tribute to my wonderful mother who always wore her pearls looking stylish all the time.

In addition, a poem from Lessons Learned in Life.com that tells you all how much I miss her every second of every day.

Love you Mom!

May be a black-and-white image of child and standing
May be an image of text that says 'The day God took you home A million times I've needed you A million times I've cried, If love alone Could have saved you You never would have died. In life loved you dearly; In death I love you still. In my heart you hold a space, Where no one can ever fill. It broke my heart to lose you, But you didn't go alone Part of me went with you, The day God took you home. lessonslearnedinlife.com'

Thank you for visiting my blog.

If you enjoy the posts, please spread the word and ask your family and friends to subscribe to DishingwithDiane.com 

Once you subscribe, you’ll never miss a post…

Also, continue to send me your comments, I love hearing from you.

Pizza Rustica (Easter Savory Pie)-repost

Hi Everyone,

I have received quite a few emails the past few days to re-post the recipes for my Easter pies from last year’s DishingwithDiane’s Easter post (Pizza Rustica and Pizza Dolce).

One savory and one sweet; so here they are. Have fun baking!

Let’s start off with savory Pizza Rustica!

A little time consuming but worth every bite. 

(Click PHOTO to enlarge and then back arrow to return to original size)

Pizza Rustica

2016-03-15 22.21.40- pizza rustica 2016
2016-03-16 02.28.44- pizza rustica close

 Pizza Rustica is my absolute favorite.

It is a classic Italian Easter pie made with cured Italian meats, Italian cheeses and bound together with eggs. We usually eat thin slices of Pizza Rustica as an antipasto on Easter before a traditional lamb dinner, and it can be served either warm or cold .

This pie is also a main part of “Easter Monday” or “La Pasquetta” which means little Easter.

Easter Monday is a national holiday in Italy. Italians leave the city and head to the country, the beach or the mountains for a family picnic. Pizza Rustica, frittata, Easter bread, wine and chocolate biscotti are all on the menu.

The whole point is to celebrate the return of Spring.

We always celebrated Easter Monday when I was a child.

Depending on what region of Italy you are from, the name of this recipe may vary. It is also called Torta Pasqualina, Pizza Gaina and Pizza Piena .  

However, Easter is called Pasqua and Buona Pasqua means Happy Easter in Italy… no matter what region you are from!

2016-03-15 13.24.37 - pizza rustica ingred..use this

Ingredients:

¼ lb prosciutto

1 stick soppressata (or mix half sweet and half hot)

1 stick pepperoni salami

¼ lb hot capicola

6-8 slices of genoa salami

1 basket fresh cheese…….NOT Mozzarella –– usually sold in a 2 lb baskets at the Italian market. Let it drain in a colander overnight and when ready to use squeeze out any excess liquid. (Use a wooden spoon or fingers to crumble)

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13 large eggs

¼ cup half and half

¼ cup grated provolone

½ cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese

8 oz shredded mozzarella cheese

Nutmeg (approx 2 shakes)

½ Cup fresh Italian parsley

Black pepper

Salt – can be omitted because the cold cuts are salty

2 egg yolks & a tsp of sugar for the glaze

Two 1 lb balls of pizza dough ( either homemade, or from a pizzeria)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350.

  1. Cut first six ingredients (meat and cheese) into small bite size pieces & mix together in a large bowl (This prep work can be done on one day and assemble the pie the next day).
  2. When ready to assemble, add Romano cheese, Mozzarella cheese, provolone, nutmeg, parsley, salt and pepper to prior meat and cheese mixture
  3. Prepare small roasting pan or spring-form pan, with olive oil to coat the bottom and sides. Cut pizza dough and shape to form a bottom layer WITH SIDES and a top layer of dough. (If you don’t want a full top layer, cut the dough in strips and criss cross on top with no venting)
  4. After shaping the bottom layer of dough in the pan–add the meat and cheese mixture. Separately, beat the 13 eggs and half and half, and pour over dry mixture in pan and MIX WELL. Add top layer of dough (or strips)
  5. Roll top & bottom layers of dough together around the sides to seal. Vent the top of the pie with a fork or paring knife several times.
  6. Add sugar to the EGG YOLKS and brush the top of the pie to prepare a glaze when cooking.
  7. Bake at 350 for 1 hr to 1 hr /15 minutes….
  8. For the first 30 minutes cover the pie with aluminum foil.For the remaining 45 minutes bake uncovered. If using a spring-form pan-let pie stand 15 minutes –then release pan sides and transfer to plate. Can be served warm or cold.

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Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Diane

Pizza Dolce (Easter Sweet Pie) – repost

Easter Pie – Pizza Dolce

Leave a reply

Hi Everyone,

I have received quite a few emails the past few days to re-post the recipes for my Easter pies from last year’s DishingwithDiane’s Easter post (Pizza Rustica and Pizza Dolce).

One savory and one sweet; so here is the sweet pie, a very easy pie to bake.

Have fun baking!

(Click PHOTO to enlarge and then back arrow to return to original size).

2016-03-14 16.41.40- pizza dolce

It is an Italian cheesecake made with ricotta, eggs, milk, sugar and extracts. It is definitely not a low-calorie pie.

INGREDIENTS:

24 eggs

3 lbs. Whole milk ricotta cheese (large container)  

1 qt. Whole milk 

1 oz. lemon extract 

1 oz. almond extract 

1 oz. vanilla extract 

1 oz. anise extract

Zest of ½ a medium lemon 

3 ½ cups sugar 

Colored confetti sprinkles (aka: rainbow nonpareil)

 DIRECTIONS:

 Add eggs, milk and ricotta in a blender until smooth (I divide this to 1/3 at a time), transfer to a large bowl.

When completed, add extracts, sugar, lemon zest and mix well.

Spray two 9 ½ X 11 inch GLASS pans with Pam. Fill each pan ¾ of the way full—add rainbow confetti on top of mixture.

Place in a 350-degree oven for approx. 1 ½ hours. (More sprinkles can be added during the cooking time).

This pie to me tastes best served cool. I refrigerate the pie for at least an hour before serving.

 (1 fluid oz. = 6 tsp or 2 TBSP)  This recipe makes 2 pans

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Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Diane

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St. Joseph’s Day – (repost)

Hi Everyone,

I hope you are all well.

I wanted to re-post my St Joseph’s Day traditions to share with all of you and especially for those that are new to the blog. Have a wonderful and blessed St. Joseph’s Day…..

Every year on March 19th we pay special tribute

to St. Joseph.

In Italy, St Joseph’s Day is the same as our Father’s Day.

There really is no tablescape to set for St. Joseph Day, so I am re-posting about the history of this holiday and all the traditional delicious food on the St. Joseph’s Day menu.

Especially the sfinge di San Giuseppe and zeppole pastries many people are familiar with. Enjoy !

All recipes are at the end of the post

happy-st-josephs-day

Saint Joseph is the patron saint for my family, so instead of a tablescape, I decided to share with you some of my family traditions and customary foods for this special holiday.

Before we start, a little background for Saint Joseph or San Giuseppe that might help you understand the holiday a little better. Saint Joseph was the husband of Mary. It is in Sicily where Saint Joseph is regarded as their patron saint for preventing a famine during the Middle Ages. There was a severe drought and the people prayed to Saint Joseph for rain. They promised that if he answered their prayers and the rain came they would prepare a feast in his honor.

Well, the rain came and the people prepared a large banquet. Legend has it that the fava bean was the crop which saved the population from starvation and that is always part of the Saint Joseph day dinner.

Some people keep painted fava beans as a good luck charm.

DSC00639 PAINTED FAVA BEANS FOR ST JOSEPH for blog

When I was younger (much younger), on Saint Joseph’s Day my Grandmother would take me to bring food to the Saint Joseph’s Day altar of her local church after Mass. Many of the older generations set up altars in their homes, but we did not. We always wore red to honor Saint Joseph, in the same way that green is worn on Saint Patrick’s Day.

The altars are quite a sight to see and they have 3 tiers to represent the Holy Trinity. The top tier holds the statue of Saint Joseph surrounded by flowers (especially lilies). The reason is that – “The lily is associated with Saint Joseph, spouse of Mary, through an ancient legend that he was chosen from among other men by the blossoming of his staff like a lily”. 

 The other tiers hold candles, figurines, special breads, pastries, lemons for luck, fava beans, pineapple for hospitality and wine. There is also a basket on the bottom tier where you can place prayer petitions.

 Here is a picture I found of of a Saint Joseph’s Day altar just to give you a better idea. Definitely wouldn’t work in my dining room.

5547597178_9560e0b681_z- st joseph altar USE
(photo credit-isitsauceorgravy.com)

 In my family, my Grandmother (even though we are not Sicilian) believed deeply that praying to Saint Joseph would protect her family and she bought all her grandchildren, at a very young age, a statue of Saint Joseph.

This is a photo of mine that I proudly display in my bedroom today. It is over 54 years old. In fact, my son’s middle name is Joseph to honor Saint Joseph.

st joseph statue

In addition to the celebration of Saint Joseph’s Day, I have always enjoyed the FOOD for Saint Joseph’s Day.

Many of you know this day only by the pastry (zeppole or sfinge di San Giuseppe) but we had a fantastic meal before the pastry.

(There were no words to describe how fantastic these pastries are).

2015-03-07 23.40.39 - St joseph pastry for blog
Purchased at Alpine Bakery- Smithtown, NY

My family (especially my dad) would make the pilgrimage each year to Arthur Avenue in the Bronx because we wouldn’t run the risk of buying ingredients at a local grocery store and be disappointed. No, ingredients had to be Italian and imported. No questions asked.

If you ever have the chance to visit Arthur Avenue in the Bronx, NY you will be thrilled. The food is so fresh and it is like stepping back in time with the mom and pop shops. But Arthur Avenue isn’t just shops, it’s restaurants as well and the food is fabulous.

A real Little Italy.

Different regions celebrate Saint Joseph’s Day differently but all involve meatless foods (because this holiday always falls during Lent), minestrone soup and pasta with breadcrumbs (The breadcrumbs represent saw dust since Saint Joseph was a carpenter), seafood, and fava beans for luck and for dessert, the star of the show, zeppole and sfinge di San Giuseppe.

Here is a picture of my minestrone soup.

Photo Mar 20, 9 44 10 PM.jpg MINSTRONE FOR ST. JOSEPH.jpg WITH BLOG NAME

In my family, we made minestrone soup followed by bucatini with anchovies and breadcrumbs. (For those of you who are not familiar, bucatini is basically a larger spaghetti with a hole inside. Another pasta that is traditional is mafaldine; this looks like thin strips of lasagna noodles with curly edges). Sicilians usually make the dish with sardines (Pasta con Sarde) instead of the anchovies.

Here is a picture of my bucatini with breadcrumbs.

Photo Mar 20, 8 09 49 PM.jpg BUCATINI WITH ANCHOVIES.jpg WITH BLOG NAME

The Saint Joseph’s Day bread was another special part of the meal and my Dad would buy the bread and have it blessed before he brought it home.

It is a round crusty loaf scored with a cross and flavored with anise.

joebreadsm2- ST JOSEPH BREAD
(photo credit-bennisoncakes.com)

And now back to the pastries. They are called zeppole or sfinge di San Guiseppe and I am sure you have all seen them. It’s a sweet dough like a big cream puff split and filled. They can be filled two ways. One with cannoli cream with tiny chocolate chips and candied fruit and also with custard cream; both topped with powdered sugar and a cherry and both delicious. Every year I always have to have one with each filling.

A fine tradition I passed along to my son.

st joseph's pastries 2
(photo credit-homestyledessertsbakery.com)

A lot of the old traditions unfortunately are not practiced as much today. Grandparents and parents have passed on and lives have become much busier, but I try to keep as many traditions going in my family as I can.

 I do make the bucatini with anchovies and the minestrone soup, but I buy my pastries because baking is just not my thing. (I have included the recipe at the bottom of the post, in case you want to take the baking challenge). I personally don’t make the fava beans for this holiday either, but I wanted to mention it again because it stands for “good luck” in case you wanted to include them on your menu. My grandmother loved fava beans.

All in all this holiday brings back great memories for me when I was younger and my family was still here with me, enjoying each others company and a great meal together.

Here is a picture of me (I am the toddler) with my parents, grandmother and two older sisters. All of my family have passed on now and all are missed every day. I keep the traditions alive to honor them; and thank them for all they have taught me about traditions and being proud of my heritage. 

Squeglia Family

I don’t have many photos for this holiday but at the bottom of this post, I will leave you with some traditional recipes if you want to celebrate St Joseph’s Day with your family.

It has been my pleasure to share my traditions with you for this special day. I hope this post gave a few of you some inspiration to try some new Saint Joseph’s Day holiday recipes.

Until my next post, stay well and make every day a celebration!

Diane

RECIPES

Toasted Fresh Bread Crumbs

Warm 2 tablespoon olive oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium heat.  Add 3/4 cup of fresh breadcrumbs and stir to coat with oil.  Cook, stirring constantly, until the crumbs are golden brown and crunchy, about 5 minutes. I add a little grated cheese to the breadcrumbs as well. You can never have to much cheese.

*********

Bucatini with Anchovies and Breadcrumbs

Revised

Ingredients:

12 anchovy fillets in olive oil, finely chopped with the oil from the can (small can- 2 oz.)….for a stronger anchovy flavor add two cans.

Salt and pepper to taste

1 pound bucatini

1/2 cup olive oil + 3 TBSP

4-6 large garlic cloves, sliced and divided

Large pinch of red pepper flakes

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Grated cheese

1 and 1/3 cup toasted fresh breadcrumbs (1 cup for sauce * 1/3 cup for garnish)

 Directions:

Cook the pasta in boiling salted water until al dente. Reserve pasta water.

In a small skillet, add 3 TBSP of olive oil and approximately 3 cloves of sliced garlic and warm on a very low temperature (you want to flavor the oil)

While the pasta is cooking, heat ½ Cup of the olive oil in a large pot over medium-low heat

Add 3 cloves of sliced garlic, red pepper flakes, and the finely chopped anchovies. 

Cook, stirring until the anchovies dissolve. (Be careful of splatters)

Remove from the heat. 

Add 1 cup toasted breadcrumbs and stir for 1 minute to combine the oil and breadcrumbs

Add 3 ladles of pasta water to make a sauce 

Return to the heat on low and stir in the parsley

Add the drained cooked pasta to the pot with the anchovy sauce. Toss until the strands are well coated

Slowly add the warm garlic oil with sliced garlic and mix well.

Season with salt & pepper

Transfer the pasta to individual serving bowls.

Top each serving with a sprinkling of the reserved breadcrumbs and grated cheese.  

**********

Minestrone Soup

Ingredients:

¼ cup olive oil

1 cup onion, finely chopped

½ cup celery, with leaves, chopped

1 carrot, sliced thin

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 bay leaf

1 (28 oz.) can of whole tomatoes, with juice

1 large can of cannellini beans

5 cups of beef or vegetable stock

½ cup flat parsley, finely chopped

1- 2 cups finely sliced, then roughly chopped spinach

2 zucchini, unpeeled and cut into little cubes

½ cup small pasta (like ditalini)

Freshly grated Parmesan or Locatelli cheese

1 tsp. dried basil (optional)

1 tsp. dried oregano (optional)

pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)

Directions:

Sauté the onion, carrot and celery in the olive oil until soft. Toss in the garlic and stir for another minute.

Cut up the tomatoes and add them to the pot and cook down for 15 minutes.

Stir in the beef or vegetable stock and the bay leaf and beans and bring to a boil. Add half the parsley, dried oregano, dried basil, pinch of red pepper and lower the heat and cook for about 30 minutes

Add the spinach, zucchini and pasta and cook at a gentle boil until the pasta is tender. * If you are not serving the soup immediately, make the pasta separately and add to the soup when serving otherwise the pasta will absorb all the soup if left in the pot to sit.

When ready to serve, stir in the rest of the parsley. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls and serve with the crusty bread and topped with grated cheese

**********

Fava Beans
(I do not remember who gave me this recipe).

Ingredients:

1 lb. dried fava beans
1 bunch green onions
1 medium onion
4 cloves garlic
3 bay leaves
chopped parsley
1/4 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Cook dried fava beans in boiling water until tender, adding more water as needed. Sauté seasonings in olive oil ’til tender, then add to beans. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve in soup bowls.

**********

Zeppole di San Giuseppe

Recipe credit-mangiabenepasta.com)

(Makes about 12 (2-1/2-inch) zeppoles

Ingredients:

 Pastry:

1 cup water

3 tablespoons butter

1/2 teaspoon sugar

Pinch of salt

1 cup flour

4 eggs

Filling:

1/4 cup sugar

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1 cup whole milk

2 egg yolks

1/2 tablespoon dark rum

1 teaspoon grated orange zest

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 cup heavy cream, whipped

 Confectioners’ sugar for dusting

Maraschino cherries

 Directions:

 To make the pastry:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

 In a medium saucepan, combine water, butter, sugar, and salt. Bring to a

boil.  Remove from heat.  With a wooden spoon, beat in flour all at once.

Return to low heat.  Continue beating until mixture forms a ball and leaves

side of pan.  Remove from heat.  Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating hard

after each addition until smooth.  Continue beating until dough is satiny and

breaks in strands.  Allow the mixture to cool.

 Transfer the dough to a pastry bag with a large star tip.  For each pastry,

pipe a 2-1/2 -inch spiral with a raised outer wall on the baking sheet.  Bake

for 25 to 30 minutes until golden brown.  Remove and allow to cool before

filling.

 To make the filling:

Combine sugar and cornstarch in a saucepan.  In a bowl, whisk together

milk and egg yolks  Whisk milk mixture into sugar mixture.  Place the

saucepan over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a boil, whisking

constantly.  Boil for 1 minute; remove from heat.  Stir in rum, orange zest,

and vanilla.  Transfer the pastry cream to a bowl. Place a piece of plastic

wrap directly on the surface. Allow to cool for 30 minutes and then

refrigerate until cold.  Fold in the whipped cream.

 To assemble the zeppole:

Cut the pastries in half horizontally.  Transfer the filling mixture to a pastry

bag with a star tip.  Pipe some of the filling onto the cut side of the bottom

half of each pastry.  Place the top half of the pastry on the filling.

Pipe a small amount of the filling into the hole in the center of each pastry.

Place a maraschino cherry in the middle.  Dust the pastries with

confectioners’ sugar.

**********

Fig Cookies (Cuccidate)

Courtesy of Paula Carbone Gati from facebook page- Born Again Italian

Dough:

4 cups of flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups of butter, cut in 1/2 inch cubes
1/4 cup of Crisco, cold and broken into small pieces
2 eggs
1/2 cup of milk
2 tsp vanilla

Filling:

One 12 oz pkg of dried figs, I use either mission or calimyrna
1/2 cup almonds… chopped,,,not to fine,,,more on the course side
1/2 cup of dates -no pits
1/2 cup of raisins
1/3 cup of honey
1/4 cup of orange marmalade
1/4 cup whiskey
1 tsp of good cinnamon

Icing:

4 cups confectionary sugar
a few table spoons of milk
nonpareils

Directions:

In stand mixer…mix all dry ingredients, flour, sugar, baking powder, salt set aside….to this add butter pieces little at a time, then cold Crisco, then have all wet ingredients mixed and slowly add this to the flour until a nice smooth dough forms…after the dough comes together..put on table and knead a few minutes till the dough is smooth, add more flour if necessary… make a smooth ball and cover in saran and refrigerate …while you prepare filling

I double this recipe..because I make a big batch and for the amount of work that goes into this its best to do it at once…it makes approx 5 doz cookies for this recipe…. which is a good amount..but you can freeze these cookies..I usually pack 6 at a time in a Ziploc then put in glad ware container and take out as needed..they freeze really good.

I remove the dried stems from the figs, and put all the dried fruits through the meat grinder
when all the fruit is ground up I add the rest of ingredients,,, and mix really well…I usually let this sit over night for all the flavors to really marry.

Start the assembly…taking a piece of dough at a time roll out to make approx a 3 inch by 12 inch rectangle..cut with knife to square off…then take the fig filling and make a log approx 12 inches long….place this log onto the rectangle of dough and roll and have seam side down….cut approx 1 1/2 inch pieces and place on parchment lined cookie sheets…..350 degree oven for approx 15 minutes, till bottoms are slightly golden…
Make icing and after cookies are cool….spread a little icing onto each little bundle and sprinkle with some nonpareils…

Please ask your family and friends to “follow”, “like” and “share” DishingwithDiane.com  .

Once you become a member, you’ll never miss a post…

Also, continue to send me your comments, I love hearing from you.