December 23rd, 2009

Post exams… as I was sitting around brain dead (well, I’m still quite brain dead but recovering)… I started cooking… so get excited… many yummy posts to come… this recipe is my go to feed an army meal… it is easy, delicious, and versatile… Sometimes I add the shrimp… this time I kept things simple and halved the recipe, which was still enough for four people with leftovers.  I served it with some bread and salad.

Linguine with Feta- Tomato Sauce
(adapted from here)
* 1 pound assorted mushrooms, sliced
* 2 pounds tomatoes
* 4 teaspoons dried basil
* 4 teaspoons dried parsley
* 3 garlic cloves, minced
* 1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper (optional)
* 1/2 pound feta cheese, crumbled
* 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
* 1 pound linguine

In a frying pan, sprayed with Pam, sauté mushrooms until tender, about 8 minutes. Add tomatoes, basil, parsley, garlic, and red pepper, if desired; stir until heated through. Mix in both cheeses.

Meanwhile, cook linguine in large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite. Drain. Return to pot. Add 1 tablespoon oil; toss to coat. Add mushroom-tomato mixture to pasta; toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer linguine to large bowl.

Ginny and Juan’s Balsamic Showdown: Ginny’s Creation

July 13th, 2009

Juan (oh, yes, he has a name!) and I have a new blog feature… We are going to compete against each other in cooking showdowns… How will it work?  Juan and I will each post (oh, yes, he is guest posting!)… As soon as both posts are up, you have one week to cast your vote which dish you like better.  I’ll tally them up, post the results, and one of us will win bragging rights until our next showdown…

When Juan and I wondered around Chicago, we found Old Town Oil and bought the most delicious sweetest 18 year aged Balsamic Vinegar.  We drizzled it on bread and devoured it.  The balsamic is like nothing I have ever tasted before.  For our first showdown, we had to make a dish highlighting the vinegar.

As I tried to come up with something to make… I kept thinking of cheese… savory and sweet… I found this recipe from 101 Cookbooks for a savory cheesecake.  A few alterations and some sliced figs… I had made an amazing dinner.  My friends loved it… Served with fresh bread, a salad and a glass of white wine.  It was perfect for a summer day!

Stay tuned for Juan’s creation…

Fig- Balsamic Ricotta Cheesecake
(adapted from 101 Cookbooks)

3 3/4 cups ricotta cheese (2 tubs of 15 oz ricotta cheese)
1/2 cup freshly shredded Parmesan cheese
1 shallots, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
5 basil leaves, minced
2 large eggs, well beaten
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
2/3 cup goat cheese, crumbled
4 figs, sliced
balsamic vinegar

Preheat oven to 325F degrees, racks the middle. Butter/oil a 7-inch springform pan.

Mix the ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, shallots, garlic, and basil in a medium bowl. Stir in the eggs and continue mixing until well combined. Add the salt and pepper. Fill the springform pan with the ricotta mixture and place on a baking sheet. Place in the oven and bake for 40 minutes. Now sprinkle with the goat cheese and return to the oven for another 20 -30 minutes or until the goat cheese is melted and the cake barely jiggles in the center (it will set up more as it cools).

Remove from the oven and let cool five minutes, then release the cake from its pan. Cool completely and serve at room temperature. Before serving, place the sliced figs around the edge of the cheesecake and drizzle with balsamic vinegar.

So Excited!

July 11th, 2009

The other night, as I was waiting for two of my bestest friends to arrive from the airport, I tried to write this post and came up with nothing… I just kept singing over and over again the song from Moulin Rouge… So exciting, the audience will stomp and cheer!  So delighting, it will run for 50 years!

I was so excited that they were coming to visit for the weekend… after they arrived… we sat around at the table reminiscing… remembering a time when we watched Moulin Rouge together freshman year… it seemed fitting that I would be singing that song waiting for them…  The weekend has been so much fun…

This recipe is just a simple sauce I make for pasta.  Delicious and simple.  It lends itself to many variations.  Enjoy!

Ginny’s Brown Butter Sage Mushroom Sauce

1/2 cup of mushrooms, sliced
1 tablespoon white wine
1 tablespoon butter
3 sage leaves

Spray a pan with Pam and saute the mushrooms. Just as they are soft and almost finished, add the wine and simmer until the wine cooks off. Transfer to a bowl. In the same pan, brown the butter. Once the butter begins to brown, add the sage leaves until they are crispy. Return the mushrooms to the butter to rewarm. Pour over pasta or raviolis.