Panettone Bread Pudding: Using the Custard Ratio

One last post for 2013.  Here’s a dessert which has become kind of a tradition for our Christmas Eve dinner: panettone bread pudding.  This Italian Christmas loaf makes a superb bread pudding since it’s already sweetened and is chock full of raisins and other fruit.  It’s usually the last bit of holiday baking I do…

A Twist on Fruit Cake: Pan del Marinaio (Sailor’s bread)

Fruit cakes are synonymous with Christmas and ever since my mom sent me Carol Field’s ‘The Italian Baker’ I’ve had my eye on the ‘festive’ breads section.  There are a number of recipes for holiday sweet breads in it, including…fruit breads.  While thumbing through it the other day I came across a fruit filled bread…

Creamy Polenta and Mushrooms

We love polenta and during the fall and winter months I like to add it to dinners in place of pasta, rice, or potatoes.  It’s a perfect side dish which pairs well with roasted or braised meats, especially ones with sauces and/or gravies.  Depending on how much liquid you add when cooking, polenta can be…

Fresh Homemade Ricotta Cheese

Each Wednesday Cheryl and I have “date night” where we do something together like a movie or dinner out.  Last week we went out to a new restaurant (for us) and had an amazing appetizer of whipped ricotta, honey, and balsamic vinegar and the dish was one of our favorites from the dinner.  Of course,…

Baking some Italian Bread: Pane di Como

My mom is always sending me recipes she’s tried.  I’ll suddenly get an envelope in the mail from her and inside will be a recipe clipped from a newspaper or magazine.  Every now and then though a larger package will arrive in which I’ll find a cookbook she saw or found.  This week, one of…

A Christmas Cookie Favorite – Peanut Butter Kisses

Often times on this blog I’m putting up things which are either my favorites or somehow related to my own family’s traditions.  Well there’s another member of my family who sometimes gets overlooked in the foods we eat; my wife Cheryl.  Her favorite Christmas cookie which reminds her of her family are Peanut Butter Kisses,…

Curried Apple Fritters – Fall Flavors

We’re all moved in and the kitchen has been unpacked so I’m back!  We’ve changed seasons since we closed on our new home at the beginning of September and I couldn’t be more happy about it.  I love fall.  One of the reasons I love it so much is apples.  Nothing says fall to me…

Summer Squash Quiche

Summer Squash Quiche Zucchini and yellow squash are flooding the summer markets so here’s another good light, summery dish to bake for a brunch or dinner.  Making a quiche is much easier than you think.  It’s really a savory tart but with a bit more custard which makes it good enough for an appetizer or…

Strawberry Ice Cream – Another Easy Ratio

Having celebrated our wedding anniversary this week (the cotton one) I decided to dust off one of our wedding gifts and whip up a batch of strawberry ice cream.  Strawberries are really coming into season now and I was further encouraged by a posting I saw about how the strawberry picking season has arrived early…

Béchamel Sauce – Creamy Truffled Cauliflower Gratin

In the Top Chef Texas season there was a challenge where the chefs had to rework Escoffier’s “mother” sauces, one of which is béchamel.  This is an awesome, versatile, easy sauce for the home cook.  Once you learn to make this preparation you can make all sorts of creamy, gooey, cheesy things.  It’s perfect for…