MOROCCAN CARROT SALAD

August 26th, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

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(RECIPE)
If you read my last post, you know I bought a new kitchen gadget, the Spiralizer. This thing turns veggies into noodle shapes, like spaghetti and corkscrews, as well as slices. I promised myself, that I wasn’t going to bury it in the back of a closet with the rest of the poor, neglected, only used once gadgets.

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The first time I used the spiralizer, I made ZUCCHINI NOODLE PUTTANESCA, which turned out great. This time I decided to make carrot noodles for a MOROCCAN CARROT SALAD. I loved the way this recipe turned out. Besides the carrot strands, I used chickpeas, chopped dates, sliced almonds, coriander seeds, cinnamon, honey, lemon and mint. Sounds good, right?! Please don’t fret. If you don’t have a handy dandy spiralizer, an old fashioned box grater will do the trick.

Enjoy!
D I V A
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ZUCCHINI NODDLE PUTTANESCA (no pasta -paleo friendly)

August 10th, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

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(RECIPE)

I bought a new kitchen gadget. Or should I say another kitchen gadget. This one is a vegetable spiralizer. It cuts veggies into curls, thin slices and strings. I had to have this! I ran to William Sonoma and bought the gadget that the sales woman told me that, “It was a no brainer. I must have this.!!” I already knew I was buying this thing before she tried to sell it to me. I went along with her, anyway.

I’ve been trying to eat PALEO at least 90% of the time. This diet was recommended by my doctor. It’s not just because it’s a fad right now. I’m not big on any kind of “diet,” but having developed some health issues, I thought is was important to follow my doctor’s orders. BTW. Having said that, the PALEO DIET eliminates all grains….NO PASTA. Being an Italian American, pasta is a huge part of “my diet.” I needed a substitute; zucchini was it.

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I opened the box of my brand new gadget that I know I’ll sadly never use again, and began to spin the zucchini into long strands. While I was cutting the zucchini, the sauce was simmering away. I added the uncooked zucchini noodles to the sauce and tossed until coated. It looked like spaghetti puttanesca, but how will it taste? That was the real question. The answer….it was great! Of course, it didn’t taste like pasta, but it was really delicious. I loved the way this dish turned out.

I hope this isn’t going to be just another box shoved in the back of a closet, along with the TWO pasta makers and the ice cream churner. Why I bought those “had to have” gadgets, I’ll never know. My family prefers boxed pasta for the toothiness and my husband and daughter can’t eat ice cream. Anyway, I really want to use this again, so I wrote down some ideas for the next time. We shall see!

Enjoy!
D I V A
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BLUEBERRY CRUMB CAKE

July 26th, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

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(RECIPE)

Blueberries are the second most loved berries next to strawberries. These small, plump berries are full of antioxidants and vitamin C. So not only do they taste good, they’re good for you. I used these little purple gems to make a crumb cake. You get a little burst of sweetness with every bite.
Enjoy,
D I V A

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LINGUINE W/ ROASTED STUFFED TOMATOES

July 25th, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

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(RECIPE)

Angela is a young woman, I met at the gym. Through our conversation I found out that her family is from Salerno, Italy, where she visits as often as possible. Of course being Italian, food became the topic of conversation. She told me of a dish that is a specialty of Salerno and one that her nonna prepares when tomatoes are at their ripest.

Angela was nice enough to tell me how her grandmother makes “Maccheroni con i pomodori ripieni.” What that means is, pasta with roasted stuffed tomatoes. The roasted stuffed tomatoes are placed on top of prepared pasta. When the tomatoes are cut into, their juices and the stuffing, become part of the sauce. This was all new to me, so I was excited to try.

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I hate to say this, but I changed a few things in the recipe. Hopefully Angela’s nonna won’t find out. She may give me the Malocchio (evil eye). She didn’t give me an actual recipe. Italian nonnas only cook by feeling and taste, never by the book. What Angela gave me was a list of ingredients and some instructions.

I used homemade breadcrumbs for the stuffing, because I think they produce the best results. I also added capers, gaeta olives, pine nuts, grated parmesan and fresh basil. The tomatoes are then stuffed and roasted. Angela told me that her nonna has even stuffed cherry tomatoes for this dish. That’s a little too ambitious for me. I opted for the larger, easier to stuff variety.

To season the pasta, I heated some olive oil in a pan and browned garlic, anchovy fillets and red pepper flakes. When the pasta was cooked, I mixed it with the flavored oil, as well as any juice that was in the pan from the roasted tomatoes. The tomatoes are then placed on top of the prepared pasta. I loved this!!!
I’m so glad, Angela was nice enough to share her grandmother’s recipe.
I love trying new recipes, especially when they’re part of a family’s tradition. It makes them that more special and delicious.
Enjoy!
D I V A
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LINGUINE W/ CRAB SAUCE

July 16th, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

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(RECIPE)
When I was a kid, I spent my summers at the beach. My parents had a houseboat that I lived on. The dock where their boat was kept, was full of other boat owner, who just happen to be friends and relatives. Every weekend was a party. It was the dock that rocked. There was always tons of food, drink and endless echoes of laughter that bounced off the bay.

As you could imagine, there was plenty of fishing going on. I’m not a big fisher, but I did love to crab. We would throw crab baskets over the dock and the sides of the boats. Once we collected enough, my mother would cook them. Sometimes she would steam them in garlic and oil with plenty of red seed pepper or beer with Old Bay seasoning. We would sit all night just cracking those babies open and digging in for every little piece of their sweet meat. I could sit there for hours eating those things. I never seemed to get enough.

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Another way my Mom would cook crabs, is by putting them in tomato sauce that she would put over linguine. After slurping up every delicious crab flavored noodle, we would start on the crabs themselves. This was a messy affair. The sauce gets into every crevice of the crabs shell, so when you eat them, the juices drip all over your hands to make a delicious, yummy mess. This was all part of the eating experience.

My husband and I rented a little cottage at the beach for a few weeks. It’s the same beach were we both spent our childhood summer. Some of our friends were there too, so we invited them over to watch the sun set and have some dinner. Being at the beach where I spent my summers; the sound of the seagulls and the waves crashing on the shore; gave me the urge to step into my mothers shoes and try my hand at her recipe. After watching the remarkable sunset, we sat down to eat. The smell coming up from the plate brought me right back to those happy summers of my youth. When I took the first bite, I smiled. It was as though my mother had prepared dinner. I felt her presents in a place where she too, spent some of the happiest summers of her life.

Enjoy!
D I V A
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ITALIAN ROAST PORK SANDWICH W/ BROCCOLI RABE, PROVOLONE & HOT PEPPERS

July 14th, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

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(RECIPE)

When it comes to Philadelphia street food, the cheesesteak is King and the roast pork sandwich is Queen. I was born and raised in Philly and have eaten my fair share of both of these belly busting sandwiches, some at 3am after being out dancing all night!
There have been many debates about the best place to get one of these sandwiches. As far as I’m concerned, the best roast pork is from, DiNic’s.

DiNic’s is a concession stand in The Reading Terminal, which is an indoor market in the center of Philadelphia. There are stalls that sell fresh vegetables and meats, mostly from the Pennsylvania Amish farmers. There are however, concession stands that sell some great food, like DiNic’s. Tommy DiNic’s has been in the Terminal since 1980, but has a long history in the food business. He specializes in classic Italian sandwiches, his roast pork being the most popular. This sandwich was even called “The best in America.”

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recently came upon Tommy DiNic’s Roast Pork recipe on Saveur.com. There was no way in hell that I was going to let this go. Two days later, I had a pork shoulder roasting in the oven. I knew of course, it wouldn’t taste exact, but we were not disappointed..at all!!! It was full of flavor, both the roast and it’s sauce. It’s first rubbed with garlic, fennel seeds, red seed pepper, thyme and parsley then roasted for about 40 minutes. I then put red wine, beef broth, onions and crushed tomatoes in the pan and roasted it for about 2 hours more. The meat was tender and juicy and the sauce was flavorful and addicting.

The way DiNic’s serves the sandwich, is by putting sliced pork on a long soft roll, topped with broccoli rabe and hot peppers, then ladled with the pan juices. It’s a spicy, garlicy, dripping mess of pure deliciousness. I’m getting hungry just writing this post!!

I think the Queen of sandwiches is about to over throw the King. At least in my eyes or shall I say, my tummy!
Enjoy!
D I V A

STEAMED MUSSELS W/ PANCETTA & LEMON

July 8th, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

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(RECIPE)

As I’m writing this, I could imagine myself eating a big bowl of steamy mussels with a huge hunk of crusty, rustic Italian bread. It’s hard to imagine, that at one time Americans considered mussels as uneatable. Thank goodness that has changed.

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Mussels are still the least popular of all the other shellfish like, lobster, crabs and even clams. One of the good things about mussels, besides being delicious and easy to prepare, they’re less expensive than a lot of other seafoods.

This recipe is a simple one. I steamed “well cleaned” mussels in a broth of white wine, stock, shallots, garlic and lemon. I also added browned pancetta and a handful of pasta. These two ingredients can easily be eliminated without changing any of it’s goodness. There is however, one thing that’s mandatory….bread. You’re going to want something to soak up all the wonderful sauce at the bottom of the bowl. No wasting allowed.

Enjoy,
D I V A
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MUSEE DU LOUVRE IN PICTURES

July 7th, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

The louvre in Paris is one of my favorite places to visit. I’m completely intrigued by it’s beauty and size. It’s the world’s largest art museum. It would take “at least” a full week to go through every hall. Every time I go to Paris, I like to spend at least one afternoon there.

I was in Paris last week for Men’s Fashion Week. My husband designs for a new ready to wear label, called Cifonelli. The day after the fashion show, we needed some much needed family time. We first had lunch at
Cafe Marley, which is right in the Louvre. We sat outside on the veranda overlooking the museum’s courtyard. After lunch we headed inside to do some exploring. It was a perfect afternoon.

Here are some photos from that afternoon.
Enjoy!
D I V A
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Cafe Marley

Cafe Marley

Roasted chicken breast with apricot marmalade & mustard.

Roasted chicken breast with apricot marmalade & mustard.

Croque Monsieur

Croque Monsieur

Nicoise Salad

Nicoise Salad

These 2 guys mean the world to me.  My husband, & son.

These 2 guys mean the world to me. My husband, & son.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO SEE PHOTOS FROM THE FASHION SHOW FOLLOW THE LINK. (SHOW)

SPAGHETTI WITH RAW TOMATO SAUCE

July 6th, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

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(RECIPE)

Sophia Loren was quoted as saying, “Spaghetti can be eaten most successfully if you inhale it like a vacuum cleaner.” I couldn’t agree more; especially when the pasta is as delicious as this recipe for SPAGHETTI WITH RAW TOMATO SAUCE. This is one of my favorite summer “go to” recipes. Since the tomatoes aren’t cooked, the recipe relies on them to be the freshest and ripest you could find.

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It best to make this recipe when tomatoes are at their peak when they’re juicer and sweeter. This recipe is a perfect way to highlight tomatoes natural flavor. I simply dice and marinade the tomatoes with good quality, fruity, extra virgin olive oil, garlic cloves, basil, and salt. I like to prepare the tomatoes in the morning and have it sit all day. The longer the tomatoes sit, the better the flavor will be. When dinnertime rolls around, all you have to do is toss the sauce with cooked spaghetti and twirl away.

Enjoy!
D I V A
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SPAGHETTI W/ ZUCCHINI & N’DUJA SALAMI

June 11th, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

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(RECIPE)
N’duja (indueea) is a HOT, soft, spreadable pork salami. It’s a typical food of Calabria, Italy. As you can see in the photos, it has a bright orange red color. This is because the salami is made with lots of red chili peppers, which are grown all over Calabria.

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Every year on August 8th, in the small town of Spilinga, where it is said to have originated, there is a festival honoring this beloved salami. There are street vendors and restaurants serving up all types of food using n’duja. The festival always ends with the traditional Italian dance “tarantella” and fireworks. Calabrians take this very seriously.

N’duja isn’t easy to find. If you want to try this recipe and can’t find it, sub it with a hot spicy sausage.

I must warn you, if you use n’duja, it is spicy. Use as much as your palate could handle.

Enjoy,
D I V A
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PEACH & BLUEBERRY SALAD W/ GINGER DRESSING (paleo friendly)

June 2nd, 2014 § 1 comment § permalink

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(RECIPE)
I love combining sweet and savory in recipes, especially during summer in salads. In late spring and summer when there are so many wonderful fruits in season, I make loads of salads using fruit as the main attraction. I usually make them as a first course or as a light lunch, adding grilled chicken or shrimp.

I always mix the fruit with tomatoes, cucumbers, shaved beets or whatever other veggies that tickle my fancy that day. In the summer, I eat these types of salads often. They’re perfect for the warmer months when you want to eat lighter meals. Right now, the markets are full of peaches. I adore white peaches. I have no doubt that this juicy, sweet, flowery tasting fruit is handpicked by angles and tossed down from heaven. I refer to them as the fruit of the gods. They’re one of my favorites.

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We had friends over for dinner the other night. I was making a pasta dish for our main course, so I wanted to serve something lighter to start. It was time to make my first savory, sweet fruit salad of the season. I used both juicy, ripe yellow and white peaches; I didn’t want to discriminate. I added blueberries for another touch of sweetness. I also, love the blue-black color of blueberries. They always add some visual interest to a dish.

As for the savory part of the salad, I added cherry tomatoes, peppery arugula, red onion and fresh chopped basil. To pull it all together, I tossed in some ginger dressing. Ginger and peaches work so well together; they’re a perfect match. This salad was so good. I thought I made too much for 4 people, but I was wrong! Every last bit was eaten. Our guest loved it! That always makes me happy.

Enjoy!
D I V A
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PAN SEARED SEA SCALLOPS W/ MANGO SALSA (paleo friendly)

May 29th, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

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(RECIPE)

On my resent visit to the doctor’s, I was told that my iron and vitamin D levels are low. She “suggested” that I try the “paleo diet.” I’m sure you all know what it is by now. Everyone is doing it or talking about it, so I’m not going to explain. She feels that it will force me to eat more protein. Also, with some resent health issues, it might be a good idea to cut our sugar. I laughed at the absurdity!! How dare she tell an Italian girl to stop eating pasta & Nutella!!! She’s irrational!

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As irrational as I may think she is, it’s something I need to do. I need to find out if this will help my health issues. I figure if I eat paleo at least 80-90% of the time, I’m still ahead of the game. Because of this change in my diet, you may on occasion find recipes posted on Diva Eats World that are paleo friendly, like this one.

The mango salsa is a great summertime dish. I love it paired with seafood, pork or as a dip. Since my husband isn’t eating paleo, I made him a side of coconut rice! It was all yummy!

Enjoy!
D I V A
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CHICKEN UNDER THE BRICK (paleo friendly)

May 23rd, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

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(RECIPE)

Pollo al mattone, is Italian for chicken under the brick. It refers to a method of grilling, where a brick is placed on top of a whole chicken while cooking. The weight of the brick makes the bird have complete contact with the heat. This allows it to cook evenly and get nice and golden brown. It’s said that this method originated in a little town outside Florence, where they’re known for terra cotta tiles.

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Barbuto, my favorite restaurant in Manhattan, is known for their brick oven chicken that they serve with salsa verde. This is my take on their popular dish. My salsa verde is simply a sauce made from, extra virgin olive oil, capers, lemon zest and some chopped herbs, such as tarragon, basil and parsley. It’s that simple! Now that grilling season is upon us, go get yourself some clean bricks and grill away. It’s a must.

Gustatela!
D I V A
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NACHO BURGER

May 19th, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

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(RECIPE)

Memorial Day. The unofficial/official start of summer. This means backyard BBQ’s will be in full swing. The number one food to slap on those hot coals are burgers. I have a whole notebook of burger ideas, (I promise I’ll share more) this one being one of my favorites.

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I joined together a burger and nachos that turned out to be a match made in burger heaven. I added chili powder, ground cumin, and ground coriander to the beef to give it a flavor kick. I then took all the makings of a plate of nachos; tortilla chips, guacamole, pico de gallo, sour cream and sliced jalapeños and piled it high on top of the meat patty. It turned an ordinary burger into a fiesta!

This will be a Memorial Day meal you won’t forget. Unless you have too many of my spicy margaritas.

Enjoy!
D I V A
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MOROCCAN CHICKEN W/ SAFFRON COUSCOUS

May 13th, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

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(RECIPE)

Moroccan cuisine is full of rich, beautiful, warm spices that are used in many of their dishes. Cinnamon, paprika, turmeric, coriander, saffron, ginger, mint and cumin can be found in every Moroccan kitchen. These are some of my favorite spices, which could be the reason why I love Moroccan food.

The recipe I posted here for MOROCCAN CHICKEN, is a simple representation of those warm flavors that are so distinctive in the cuisine. I made a rub with garlic, cinnamon, ground cumin, paprika and cloves. I then gave the chicken pieces a little massage with the spices. I let them stand for a few hours so the flavors could penetrate the meat. I didn’t want to lose any of the wonderful flavors.

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After browning and simming the chicken in stock, I added some other ingredients that are found in many Moroccan dishes; lemons, chickpeas and green olives. Couscous is another food staple. It often has the addition of saffron and dried fruit. The slight sweetness of the fruit offsets the warmth of the spices. I tried to use many of the traditional flavors in this recipe and I’m happy to say, I succeeded!
I love Moroccan food and I love this recipe. It’s one I make often. I hope you like it as much as I do.

Enjoy!
D I V A
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PINEAPPLE EGG STACKS

May 6th, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

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(RECIPE)
It’s time to honor Mom on her special day. Where father’s day is BBQ’s and power tools, Mother’s day is flowers and breakfast in bed. Here’s a deliciously easy recipe that’s good eaten in bed or at a more formal family brunch. Either way, it’s sure to impress.

I baked puff pastry rounds until golden. I then stacked a slice of fresh sweet pineapple, crispy country bacon, and topped it with a poached egg. To finish it all off, I drizzled the stack with extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of fresh thyme.

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You may think this an odd mix, but trust me, it all works. When you cut into the stack and take a bite, you get a mouth full of sweet, salty creaminess that’s enhanced by the drizzle of fruity olive oil.
The puff pastry is there to soak it all up.

Turn this recipe into a special meal for an extra special lady.

Happy Mother’s Day!
D I V A
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Ode to Mom

May 6th, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

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I lost my mother 24 years ago. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think of her. When I was younger, I was told that I wouldn’t be able to have children; so, by some miracle, I became pregnant, she was the first person I called. I remember the both of us crying happy tears together. My daughter was only 6 months old when my mother passed. I’m grateful that she got the chance to see and hold her granddaughter.

The thing I miss most about not having my mother around, is not being able to share my children with her. There were no phone calls telling her little funny things they did. There was no sharing moments of pride, or calls of comfort when I was feeling overwhelmed. It saddens me that my kids were unable to feel her unconditional love, as I did.

One thing that my mother left me, was the gift of laughter. She had a great sense of humor and had the ability to make light of unpleasant situations. Her humor cured a lot of growing pains for me as a kid. She instilled this gift in all my siblings. Now, when we get together, there’s none stop laughing. Our laughter is like having a piece of my Mom with us.

She raised 5 kids totally sacrificing herself; not regretting one moment. Family meant everything to her. One of the last things she expressed to me, was how much she loves her family. Those words are what I seek comfort in when I’m missing her.

Not just on Mother’s Day, but everyday; honor your mother. Make time for her. A quick call, a text or a random get together. More importantly, don’t stop telling her you love her. Remember, she was your first love.

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!
S A N D Y

OAXACA TLAYUDA with CHORIZO (Mexican pizza)

April 29th, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

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(RECIPE)

Cinco de Mayo marks the victory of the Mexican army over the French, in the Battle of Puebla. It’s a day where Mexicans everywhere honor their culture. No matter if your Mexican or not, everyone loves Cinco de Mayo. The Mexican restaurants are packed and house parties are happening everywhere. Could it be the hip swinging music, the chips and guac or the tequila? Whatever the reason, it’s a fun celebration for all.

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This year, push aside the tacos and seven layer dip and serve up a couple of Mexican pizzas. You’re going to love this easy, delicious and fun recipe…party or not!
Oaxaca tlayuda, is a traditional street food snack, similar to pizza. Large disc of dough made from masa (corn flour) are cooked on a clay skillet or over hot coals. It’s traditionally topped with refried beans, cheese, tomatoes and cabbage.

In my version, I used store bought corn tortillas as the crust and spread it with mashed red beans, tomatoes, green peppers, pickled jalapeño, white onion, cheese and chorizo! I baked it for 10 minutes and out came a party on a plate.

Enjoy!
D I V A
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MAPLE, BACON, BOURBON CUPCAKES

April 10th, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

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(RECIPE)
Maple, bacon and bourbon. I feel like I’m saying “dirty” words.
Bourbon is put into the batter of these cupcakes. The maple in this recipe comes from sweet, sticky maple syrup in the glaze. As for the bacon, I decided to top off the cupcakes with small pieces of crispy, smoky, salty pork. Together these three ingredients turned an everyday vanilla cupcake from child’s play to true adult food porn. They are sinfully delicious.
Enjoy!
D I V A

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CHEESECAKE W/ NUTTER BUTTER CRUST & NUTELLA GANACHE

April 4th, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

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(RECIPE)

Happy Birthday to ME, Happy Birthday to ME, Happy Birthday Dear DIVA, Happy Birthday to ME!!!

When we’re kids, we would get so excited for our birthdays. We wanted so badly to be older, that we would go as far as telling our age in fractions…8 1/2, 9 3/4. As we “do” get older, our age becomes taboo. No one wants or likes to get older, but we have no choice in the matter. I use to dread when my birthday rolled around, but now I embrace it. Even though I embrace my birthdays, I still don’t tell my age.

On one of my milestone birthdays, I was so depressed, I cried all day. My poor husband tried so hard to make my day special, but I just wasn’t having it. The next day, I came to my senses. I realized HOW RIDICULOUS I was behaving! I shouldn’t be sad because I’m a year older, I should be happy that I lived another year. Another year of being with the people I love and doing the things I enjoy. From that point on, I decided not to attach an age to my birthday. I wanted it to be a celebration of life! After all, isn’t that what happens when we’re born?

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I now celebrate my birthday to it’s fullest. It no longer is just a birth”day”, but a series of celebrations.
On another milestone birthday, I actually wrote up a weekend long itinerary of activities for my friends to help me celebrate. My birthday celebration has become a thing my friends look forward to. They know there’s always something fun planned. So, if you’re like I was and dread your birthday remember, we can’t change the fact that we get older, but we can change the way we think about it. It makes all the difference in the world!
Happy Birthday to you.

Now, about the cake. One of my favorite, if not my favorite snack is peanut butter and Nutella. I can eat each one straight out of their jars. I love putting them together on graham crackers or smeared on a ripe banana. This year, I decided to use peanut butter and Nutella together in my birthday cake.

I made a rich, creamy cheesecake that has a peanut butter crust made with crushed Nutter Butter cookies. I then topped it off with a thick layer of chocolate-hazelnut Nutella ganache. One bite and I thought I heard angels sing..it’s that good! Not only is celebrating your birthday important, but celebrating with a great cake makes it that much sweeter.
Enjoy!
D I V A
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CINNAMON ROLL WAFFLES W/ CREAM CHEESE GALZE

March 28th, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

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(RECIPE)
I have another use for that waffle maker that you used once and is now collecting dust in the way back of your cupboard. I’m going to tell you how to make CINNAMON ROLL WAFFLES WITH CREAM CHEESE GLAZE that your kids will love. Don’t worry, these waffles are easy to make. You don’t need to be an expert “cooker” or have any kitchen skills…at all. They’re literally as easy as 1,2,3.

All you need is
1) cooking spray,
2) a waffle maker
3) a can of Pillsbury Grand Cinnabon Rolls with Cream Cheese Glaze.

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Here’s how;
1) Go grab your neglected waffle maker and give it a good dusting. Plug it in, heat it up and give it a good coating of cooking spray.

2) Give the can of cinnamon rolls a good whack on the edge of the kitchen counter. If you’re like me, no matter how many times you open one of these canisters, you get startled. Once you compose yourself, separate the rolls and put one on each waffle form. Close the lid and wait 2 minutes.

3) Remove the waffles, put them on a plate, drizzle with warm glaze and dig in!

You can serve these for breakfast or dress them up with a scoop of ice cream for dessert.

D I V A
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CORNED BEFF HASH (paleo friendly)

March 17th, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

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(RECIPE)
What are you going to do with all that left over corned beef from St. Patrick’s Day? Make hash, of course! CORNED BEEF HASH is one of those comfort foods that you see on every diner menu from here to across the pond. Each country has their own version and name for this hearty dish. In Denmark it’s known as biksemad: Austria, grosti; and in Malaysia, bergedil. Hash by any other name is still hash. No matter what country it’s made, the base is always the same…left over meat, onions and potatoes. Since hash is mostly eaten for breakfast, it’s only natural that it’s paired with eggs. Eggs and hash have had a long love affair, kinda like Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton or Joanne Woodward and Paul Newman. (you get the picture)

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Using corned beef is the most popular way of making hash here in the States. Although it’s considered a breakfast food, put it on a nice soft roll, top it with cheese and call it lunch or dinner. It’s more versatile than one might think. You can mix it in with rice, or noodles. You can even put brown gravy on it. Add other veggies like tomatoes and peppers and wrap it in a tortilla. But first things first. Before we can start thinking about other ways to eat hash, we need a great hash recipe. This is it. In my version of corned beef hash, I switch a few things up. I use yams instead of white potatoes. I also use onion, turnip, thyme, mustard seeds and dijon mustard to add a little kick.

Now that you have a great recipe to start, let your inner foodie come out and use corned beef hash in a new way…OR…Just brown it all up in a cast-iron skillet, top it with a fried egg and call it breakfast.
Enjoy,
D I V A
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SHRIMP & GRITS

February 28th, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

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(RECIPE)
Mardi Gras is New Orleans’”Greatest Free Show On Earth.” It’s a party in the streets with floats, feathers, boobies and beads. Everyone is dancing, drinking hurricanes and hanging off the balconies of the buildings on the famous Bourbon Street. New Orleans is a colorful city, even without all the hoopla of Mardi Gras.

In New Orleans there’s a vast array of cultures that make up the people of this great city. They come from Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, French and African descents. The influence of all these cultures is what makes New Orleans have some of the best food in the country.

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When you think of the food of New Orleans, there are some traditional dishes that come to mind; like gumbo, jambalaya, étouffée and crawfish, which are all morishly delicious. Another traditional Louisiana dish that I love, is SHRIMP AND GRITS. My version may not be traditional, but it sure is delicious! It’s so good, that you won’t want to stop eating. You’ll find out first hand the true meaning of Fat Tuesday!

It has bell pepper, okra, spicy smoked andouille sausage, succulent jumbo shrimp that I douse with bourbon. This boozy concoction is then poured on top of a mound of cheesy, creamy grits. One bite of this baby and Mardi Gras will be happening in your mouth. You won’t have to leave your kitchen or show your boobies. (Anyway, the beads aren’t worth it.)

As they say in New Orleans, “Laissez les bon temps rouler” (lazy lay bon tom roulay)
LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL!!
D I V A

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BRIGADEIROS (Brazillian chocolate truffles)

February 24th, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

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(RECIPE)
The Lenten season is upon us. Lent is the time when Christians everywhere prepare themselves to celebrate the resurrection of Christ. It’s a time when the faithful commit to fasting or giving up certain types of luxuries as a form of penitence. On the days leading up to Lent, there are celebrations all over the world. These celebrations are sort of a last hurray before their Lenten commitments begin.

Countries all over have big celebrations, but none as big as Carnival in Rio, Brazil. It’s five days of all night parties with half naked (if not naked), drunken people singing and dancing in the streets. I’m not quite sure what all the drunken nakedness has to do with lent or Easter, but hey, I don’t judge. I love a good party!

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Like every good party there’s good food. A party in Brazil wouldn’t be the same without BRIGADEIROS (bree-guy-day-rows). They’re a beloved Brazilian treat that’s invited to every celebration. They’re similar to chocolate truffles. As a matter of fact, they’re called Brazilian truffles. The difference between the two are, truffles are made by melting chocolate in hot cream and have a fudgy consistency. BRIGADEIROS are made with condensed milk and cocoa. Their consistency is more like caramel.

This year Carnival is from February 28th-March 4th. So, head to your kitchen and make a batch of these gooey, rich, chocolatey Brazilian treats and celebrate. I think the excitement of eating delicious BRIGADEIROS, just may be the reason for all the drunken-nakedness. So beware. You just might find yourself doing something you might have to repent later.
Enjoy!
D I V A
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RED VELVET/CHEESECAKE W/ CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

February 3rd, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

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(RECIPE)
Awhile ago, I posted a CARROT/CHEESECAKE that got a lot of reaction. It’s a cheesecake sandwiched between 2 layers of carrot cake. This cake was pinned on Pinterest over 45,000 times. I want to thank all you Pinners out there for this amazing response. Since Valentine’s day is approaching, I thought it was time to do it again. This time I replaced the carrot cake with RED VELVET. It was a huge hit! I took it to a Superbowl party and my friends gobbled it up! I don’t know how this cake could have been bad with the recipes I used.

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For the RED VELVET CAKE, I used a recipe that’s from the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, in NYC. This upscale hotel has been making this popular cake since the 1950′s. It’s funny how when I talk about a cake being born in the 50′s it’s impressive, but when I talk about me being born in the 50′s it’s depressing. Anyway, the cake is light, airy and moist. It’s the best red velvet cake I’ve tasted.

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As for the CHEESECAKE….WOW. This cake is ridiculously delicious. It’s super creamy and rich; everything a cheesecake should be. This recipe came from Junior’s Cheesecakes. Junior’s started wowing people with their fabulous cheesecakes since 1950 in Brooklyn, NY. These 2 delectable cakes together created something that was heavenly sinful. You need to try this. Trust me, you’ll be extremely happy you did.

I’m hoping with a little help from my fabulous followers, that we can pin this cake as much as the last.
Enjoy!
D I V A

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PHILLY CHEESESTEAK BITES

January 30th, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

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(RECIPE)
Philly Cheesesteaks. I grew up on them. Growing up in Philly, they were a staple in my diet. People would actually argue about where to get the best steak sandwich in the city. They’re taken very seriously! I have fond memories of my life in Philly. Of course food was part of it.

I was trying to think of some ideas for “Superbowl Eats.” I looked no further than my Philly roots. When I think of food in Philadelphia, the first thing that comes to mind are cheesesteak sandwiches. I had to think of a way to replicate without making a full sandwich. I just wanted to a bite.

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If Philly, when ordering at Pat’s Original Steaks, they ask you, “wit” or “wit-out.” which translates to, “Do you want your sandwich with or without onions?” In this recipe, they are ‘wit.”
I took a small piece of pizza dough, filled it with cooked chopped steak, onions and cheese. I made little parcels and fried them until they were nice and golden. I served them with some ketchup and mustard. (I like to mix the two)

From the first bite, I was transported back to my youth in Philly. It was a time when John Travolta was good looking, I wore polyester dresses, candy shoes, (do people my age remember these?!) and danced all night to Donna Summers. We would go to Pat’s Steaks at 2 am and chow down on a gooey, messy, deliciously sinful sandwich. When we were done, off to Atlantic City we would go. They were the days when I could stay up all night and eat whatever I wanted without gaining a pound.

These little bites took me down memory lane, I hope you don’t mind that I took you with me.
Enjoy!
D I V A
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NORTH AFRICAN BEEF STEW (paleo friendly)

January 15th, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink


(RECIPE)
I have 3 obsessions 1) shoes, 2) cookbooks, and 3) notebooks. I have notebooks all over my house. I even have a small one in my car and handbag. They are full of recipes and recipe ideas. Whenever I travel, I make sure I pack a brand new notebook and a black ball point pen. (I’m old school)

The other day I was on the internet and saw a recipe for North African Stew. Seeing this triggered something in my memory bank. A few years ago, John and I went to Africa on safari, which was an UNBELIEVABLE experience, I might add. The reserve where we stayed had about 6 huts with a personal chef. Our chef was a 22 year old young man named Sabu. His passion for food showed in everything he did. His food was fantastic and his presentation was beautiful. I was beyond impressed!

Of course, I got friendly with Sabu and we talked endlessly about food. I wanted to know everything about the African cuisine. Besides telling me about monkey gland and chakalaka, he talk of a stew that his mother make for him as a boy. Sabu’s mother was from North Africa, but Sabu grew up in the South. As he was talking, I was absorbing every word. When we parted, I headed right to my new, clean paged notebook and wrote down everything he told me.

With Africa and Sabu on my mind, I went to the stack of notebooks (thank goodness I label them) until I found the one from Africa. Right there on the very first page were my notes on Sabu’s stew. There wasn’t an actually recipe, it was more like a list of ingredients. So, off I went to the kitchen with everything I needed, except the antelope, which is what Sabu’s mother used. I opted to use plain ordinary American cow. Even if I wanted to use antelope, I wouldn’t know where to buy it! I’m sure my butcher would look at me like I have 3 heads!!!

The stew is no differnt then making any other beef stew, except for the mix of warm, fragrent spices that are used. I added cinnamon, cumin, paprika, and coriander to name a few. There is also sweet potatoes and prunes, ingredients that I never used in a stew before. The finished product was fantastic! I nailed it on my first try. Me and my husband devoured the entire pot!

I was so happy that I was reminded of Africa. Not only because of the trip or the stew, but to remember a young man that was so sweet and full of passion. It was an unbelievable trip and Sabu and his food was a huge part of it.

NOTE..While I was in Africa, Sabu feed us antelope, which taste like venison and ostrich, which taste like lamb. I also ate monkey gland and chakalaka. Both are sauces used on meats that are BBQ-ed. In South Africa, they are big on BBQ, which they call BRAAI.
I have pix of Africa and a breakfast dish that Sabu made that I ate everyday. I’ll post it sometime soon. Stay tuned.

Enjoy!
D I V A

ROASTED GARLIC & GOAT CHEESE TART

January 3rd, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

(RECIPE)

I have a love-hate relationship with garlic. If you follow me at Diva Eats World or Diva Eats Italia, you’ll know that garlic is a pet peeve of mine. Let me clarify myself; when I say I hate garlic, I mean when it’s raw, minced, grated or chopped. My loathing of raw garlic may also have something to do with the fact that “some” tend to use TOO much. Having said all that, I do however, love garlic when you can taste it’s nutty, creamy, rich flavor that comes from caramelizing or roasting. To me, this is the only way garlic should be used.

When garlic is chopped in small pieces, it doesn’t really cook…it softens and the taste remains strong. Garlic has a very pungent and strong flavor that I feel over powers the taste of what your making. All the ingredients should work in harmony. One should not over power the other, unless it’s the main component of the recipe.

I’ve had people say to me, “What kind of Italian are you if you don’t like garlic?!” (which pisses me off)
People have this misconception that Italian food is garlicky. Well, it’s not. I could however, see why people think this. When Italians migrated and left their BEAUTIFUL country, there were ingredients that either they couldn’t get or were lacking the flavors they were use to. Garlic was the answer. It’s became an Italian American, pizzeria food “thing.”

I’ve traveled throughout Italy and I have NEVER had a meal that was offensively over garliced. From traveling and being exposed to Italian food in Italy and my love for food and wanting to know more, I started looking at garlic differently. When I began to carmelize and roast it, I began to realize what a great ingriendent it is.

This ROASTED GARLIC-GOAT CHEESE TART is a fine example of garlic at it’s best. The roasting gave it a nutty, creamy flavor that’s wonderfully delicious, without being over powering. The richness of the goat cheese and the nutty, creaminess of the garlic made this tart a match made in heaven.

If you love garlic or if you’re like me, having a love hate relationship, try this tart. You’ll see what I mean about the depth of flavor garlic could have when it’s roasted.

Enjoy,
D I V A

THANKSGIVING MEATBALL SLIDERS

November 25th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

(RECIPE)

Ahhh…Thanksgiving. The holiday where we make too much food and stuff ourselves silly. It seems like the leftovers from that meal last forever. Of course, we all enjoy those turkey sandwiches the next day, but how many can one eat?!
With this in mind, I tried to come up with new ways to use Thanksgiving leftovers. The ideas that I was coming up with weren’t exciting me until, I thought of the meatball. This recipe is Thanksgiving all rolled up into a ball…literally.

Meatballs were originally made and still are by some, using leftover cooked meat as not to waste food. I used this concept in this recipe. I put some cooked turkey meat in a food processor and pulsed it until it was finely ground. I then added some left over stuffing, dried cranberries and eggs to bind. I fried them until golden to make little sliders that I topped with cranberry sauce and of course, lots of gravy. I couldn’t be more excited by the outcome. They only took minutes to make and were ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC.
I know when you try these, they will become a go to recipe for your Thanksgiving leftovers.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!
D I V A

CAULIFLOWER CRUSTED PIZZA

November 20th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

(RECIPE)

There are so many people these days that have a gluten free diet. Some for medical reasons and others just trying to live healthier. I once “TRIED” to cut down on carbs, I wasn’t to successful. I became a grumpy bear!! My family didn’t want to be around me. One night during dinner, I left the table for a minute and when I got back there was a note on my plate that read, “Please eat carbs.” True story…hahaha

With gluten free becoming more popular, there are so many fantastic recipes that are great substitutes for some of our favorite foods…like pizza. Being Italian and having traveled throughout Italy, I’ve become a bit of a pizza snob, but when I saw this recipe I had to try it. My curiosity got the best of me. It was easy to make, and rather delicious in a nonconventional pizza pie way.

Cauliflower pizza crust won’t take the place of “real” pizza for me, but for those of you who are gluten free, this is a great alternative. Give it a try.

Enjoy!
D I V A

APPLE-CRANBERRY CRUMB CAKE

November 7th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

(RECIPE)

This crumb cake is one of those recipes that everyone loves and wants! It’s not sweet, the cake is nice and moist and the crumbs are buttery. The best part about this cake is that half of it consist of crumbs! Who doesn’t love the crumbs!?!? Another great thing, is how effortless it is to make…It’s foolproof!! It can make even a novice look like a master baker. I usually make this cake plain, but in the spirit of the season, I added apples and cranberries.

The other night John and I had some friends over to our home for game night. After dinner we played an intense game of “Celebrity,” which I’m proud to say that my team won!! To get rid of the bitterness of defeat from our opponents, I gave them a huge hunk of the apple-cranberry crumb cake that I made. After one bite, the bitterness was gone and we were all friends again. OH…the power of dessert.
Enjoy!
D I V A
recipe

FREGOLATA (crumb cookie)

October 25th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink


This weeks “Cookie of the week” is FREGOLATA. (crumb cookie) I believe it’s from the Veneto region of Italy. It’s one big cookie that’s places on an upside down cup then broken into pieces by whacking it with the back of a spoon. They’re nutty, crunchy and fun!….so good.

Enjoy!
D I V A
(recipe)

DIVA’S GAME NIGHT CHILI

October 20th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink


John and I are fortunate to have a great group of friends. When we’re with them, no matter what we do or where we are, a good time is had. Last Saturday night, we invited our closest friends to our home for “Game Night.” Since it was an informal gathering, I wanted the food to be casual as well. I make some pupusas, chipotle chicken wings, cornbread and big pot of Diva’s chili w/ white onion salsa.

The chili was made with both beef cubes and ground pork. I also roasted and pureed poblano peppers to give it a little heat and I used fire roasted tomatoes for a bit of smokiness. It was the perfect game night meal.
After we chowed down and ate every last morsel of chili, the game was ready to begin. We sat down for a seriously competitive and somewhat hysterical game of “Celebrity.”

After three rounds, when we finally had a winning team, which I’m happy to say was mine, we were ready for some dessert. Thank goodness I made a ridiculously delicious apple-cranberry crumb cake (recipe to come) for dessert, because we all needed something to absorb all the wine that we drank while playing. When the night came to a close, our bellies were full and smiles were on our faces. Once again, another night of fun and laughter.

Enjoy!
D I V A
recipe

Cranberry-Walnut Swirls

October 14th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink


This week’s cookie is Cranberry-Walnut Swirl. It’s a simple butter cookie recipe with chopped cranberries and walnuts rolled up into the dough. They’re sweet, buttery and tart.

Enjoy
D I V A
continuare per la ricetta (recipe)>>

ITALIAN ANISE COOKIES (cookie of the week)

October 8th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink


This week’s cookie is a family recipe for Italian anise cookies. These cake like cookies are usually make at Easter time in our family, but put some green and red sprinkles and a Christmas cookie is born.
Enjoy,
D I V A
recipe

EGGPLANT STUFFED W/ LAMB, RICE & FETA

October 7th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink


This recipe for stuffed eggplant is a great one dish meal. Although, eggplant has a meaty quality, I added ground lamb, for the carnavour in me! I also added rice, feta, raisins, mint, cinnamon, and other fragrant spices for a flavor explosion in your mouth.

Enjoy!
D I V A
(continue for recipe)

PEANUT BUTTER SANDWICH COOKIES (COOKIE OF THE WEEK)

September 24th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink


These peanut butter sandwich cookies, are reminiscence of the long time favorites, Nutter Butters. They’re simple but, delicious peanut butter cookies with peanut butter filling. These are without a doubt, cookies that need to be accompanied by an ice cold glass of milk!
Enjoy!
D I V A
recipe

PUPUSAS (Salvadorian corn cakes filled with cheese & beans)

September 23rd, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink


Street food, has become all the rage. What I mean by street food is, food that’s sold by street vendors, that is quick and inexpensive. In the last few years, there has been an explosion of food trucks. There are even shows on the food network dedicated to these restaurants on wheels. Please don’t think for one minute that these trucks serve greasy, ill prepared food!
OH..NO..NO!!! They serve fresh, gourmet food that people stand in line for.

There’s a flea market in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, called Smorgasburg. Smorgasburg is know for having the best of the best, when it comes to street food. One of the vendors there, makes what is known as pupusas.

Pupusas are Salvadorian corn cakes, that are traditionally filled with cheese or refried beans. The cake itself is made with corn flour and water similar to a tortilla, except pupusas are smaller and thicker. They’re served with crutido, which is a red cabbage slaw with chills and vinegar, as well as a tomato salsa.
They’re so good, this is why the truck at Smorgasburg that make pupusas, has one of the longest lines. If you can’t get to Williamsburg, Brooklyn; make your own. They’re easy, fast and delicious.

Enjoy,
D I V A
recipe

CHERRY-NUT MUDSLIDE COOKIES (cookie of the week…week 1)

September 15th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

Cherry-Nut Mudslide Cookies have rich, fudgy center with a slightly crisp outside. They’re full of dried cherries that bring a nice tartness to the cookies. They’re also packed with salted pistachios and toasted hazelnuts. These cookies are keepers.

Enjoy!
D I V A
recipe

COOKIE OF THE WEEK

September 15th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink


With the change of season, I start thinking about the holidays. It seems like as soon as summer is over, it’s Christmas. CHRISTMAS, already! Summer isn’t even officially over. I know that’s what your probably thinking, but this is where my head was at. I actually start surfing the net for cookie recipes for the holidays.

I posted my doings on Diva Eats’ Facebook wall and apparently, there were others that thought I wasn’t too premature in my search. As one follower said, “It’s not too soon, because you need to test drive the recipe.” With such a positive response to my search and my enthusiasm for Christmas, I decided to “test drive” the cookie recipes I find and share them with you. As of this week, I’ll be posting a “COOKIE OF THE WEEK,” maybe there will be something that you’ll find deliciously intriguing and add it to your holiday repertoire.

Enjoy,
D I V A
recipe

LAMB MEATBALLS W/ EDAMAME & LEMON

September 12th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink


There are just as many different types of meatballs as there are cultures in the world. There’s a place in Manhattan called, “The Meatball Shop,” that makes every type you could imagine. For me, being Italian American, meatballs were made mainly with beef or sometimes with beef, veal and pork (the holy trinity of meats.) I can’t imagine spaghetti and meatballs made with anything else; but I don’t discriminate.

One of my favorite meats is lamb. When it comes to using it for meatballs, it becomes a whole different “ball” game. In Greece and some middle Eastern cultures, lamb is their main meat source. When they make meatballs, they use many different aromatic spices and herbs that bring these juicy balls (lol…sorry) to the next level of deliciousness!

This Italian American gal wanted to try her hand at making lamb meatballs with a middle eastern twist. They turned out ridiculously good. I used loads of fabulous spices like cinnamon, cardamon, coriander, as well as capers, raisins, mint and lemon zest. I served them on a bed of Jasmine rice for dinner and made sliders topped with a piece of feta the next day for lunch.

Not bad for an Italian girl!

Enjoy!
D I V A
continue for recipe>

CHIPOTLE BBQ PORK SLOPPY JOES W/ CUMIN COLE SLAW

August 28th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

Sloppy Joe’s are a classic kid-friendly sandwich, of ground beef in a sweet-tangy tomato sauce. They’ve been around for as long as I could remember, so I decided it was about time to give Joe a facelift. We could all use a little “something” as we get older, so I say..”why not?” I took to the kitchen with knife in hand and chopped away. After a few additions and subtractions, Sloppy Joe was just like new!

I took the idea of a pulled pork sandwich and incorporated the flavors into my Joe’s. I used pork instead of beef and also added all the spices that one would find in roasting a pork. Flavors like brown sugar, coriander, chili powder, cumin and even cinnamon.

Having a pulled pork sandwich without BBQ sauce and cole slaw, is like leaving your house without your shirt and pants!! I wanted Joe to be dressed properly, so I used Chipotle BBQ sauce for a heated, smokey taste and to cool it down, some cole slaw with cumin seeds. Suddenly these sandwiches went from being kid-friendly to adult-worthy!

The one thing I realized about Joe in this process, is no matter how much or often you give him a facelift, he will always be sloppy!!!

Enjoy!
D I V A
continue for recipe >>

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August 27th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

CHICKEN, SAUSAGE & RICE (one pot meal)

August 17th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink


One pot meals are one of those recipes that has a satisfying outcome with minimal effort. By cooking all the ingredients in one pot, the flavors really mingle and meld together in harmony, to turn out a full, robust meal, that’s impressive enough to serve at an informal dinner with friends.

This recipe is a take on something my mother use to make. It’s not only chicken, but sausage, onions, red peppers, peas and rice, that all simmer in a broth with white wine. The best part is the crispy rice bits that form around the pot….my favorite! My other favorite part is easy clean up.

Enjoy!
D I V A
(recipe)

FROZEN ICE BOX CAKE

August 8th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink


Ice box cakes are one of the easiest desserts to whip up. It usually has only 2-3 ingredients and you don’t have to bake it. These are the reasons why they’re so popular. When I was a kid we had ice box cake all the time. Or should I say, refrigerator cake, which is what my family called it, for obvious reasons. My mother was a naturally good cook, but baking was not her thing. So, when she made this cake, it was a pure treat.

The freezing of the cake came about by accident….a good accident!! Originally, my mother didn’t put whipped topping on the cake. When she first tried it, she found that the topping got too soft and runny. To remedy this, she wanted to put the cake in the freezer just until the topping set. Needless to say, she forgot about it and the entire cake froze. When she cut it, we ate it and loved it. Frozen ice box (refrigerator) cake became a summertime treat in our family. Sometimes the best things come about accidentally.

Enjoy!
D I V A
recipe

CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE DOUGH ICE CREAM SANDWICHES

July 31st, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink


I was looking for a treat to bring to a friend, who has little kids. I start thinking about summertime goodies I enjoyed when I was little. Right away, ice cream came to mind. Not just ice cream, but ice cream sandwiches. I loved the vanilla ice cream that was sandwiched between two layers of thin dark chocolate cake.

I decided to make these cold, creamy treats, but in a new way. I spread a thin layer of store bought slice and bake cookie dough into a 13X9 inch pan. I baked the dough until golden. I then put a layer of vanilla ice cream, chocolate fudge then another layer of ice cream, slightly freezing each layer in between. When the ice-cream was completely set, I cut it in half and put one side on top of the other, then cut it into smaller sandwiches.

These ice cream sandwiches were so yummy, that even the adults gobbled them up. They are a little time consuming but well worth it. They’re much better than the ice cream sandwich that I so loved as a kid.

Enjoy!
D I V A
continue for recipe.

SUMMER HARVEST SALAD (paleo friendly)

July 14th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink


There’s nothing better than to take advantage of the seasons fruits and veggies at their peak. For lunch during the summer months, I love to make simple salads with these gifts from the Earth. Today, I put together cucumber, orange bell pepper, green beans, shaved golden, & red beets along with peaches, blueberries & sliced figs for a crunchy, sweet, fresh lunch. I made a simple lemon vinaigrette, I added mint and pink peppercorns for extra zip. It was a perfect meal for this hot summer day.
Enjoy!
D I V A
recipe>>

PIGGIES AT THE PIG

July 12th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink


Breakfast is my least favorite meal of the day. It usually consist of a yogurt or a cinnamon raisin english muffin, as I run out the door. When we go out for breakfast, that’s a horse of a different color, I want to indulge. Last week my daughter spent a couple of days with us at the beach. On the morning she was leaving, I didn’t want to give her a frozen waffle and send her on her merry way. Instead, we went to “The Blue Pig Tavern” in the hotel, “Congress Hall,” for a nice satisfying breakfast before her long drive home.

Greek Omelet


The Blue Pig Tavern Benedict


Congress Hall is a resort that goes back around 1816. Along the way there has been several renovations, the most resent in 1995. During the construction, a mural was found on one of the walls with a blue pig motif, so it seemed fitting to name the restaurant after their findings. The food at the Pig is homey and well prepared, with a pleasant atmosphere. I think, it has one of the best breakfast in Cape May. So, of course when we decided to go out, I chose The Blue Pig.

I ordered a Greek omelet that had tomatoes, spinach, sweet peppers and feta cheese. We also ordered what they call, The Blue Pig Tavern Benedict. It was Canadian bacon, poached eggs, crab meat, on a cheddar scallion biscuit with hollandaise sauce on top. They were both delicious and belly busting. Oh..and by the way, Lea only ordered a yogurt parfait. I pretended that I didn’t remember that she doesn’t eat much in the morning. I guess I was looking for an excuse to full “MY” tummy for “HER” long ride home.

Happy Summer!
D I V A
follow the link for some history & photos of Congress Hall.

DINNER & A SHOW

July 6th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink


For me, the week of Fourth of July is the start of the summer. It’s probably because, when I was a kid, that’s when we would go on vacation. Even as I got older and had a family of my own, we took this as our time off. For the last maybe 7 or so years, John and I would vacation outside the States. John would faithfully be in Milan on business the last week of June, I would meet him there before we would venture off to another place. This year things changed. For our vacation, we’re staying in the good old U.S. of A. We’re spending time in the Victorian Beach Town of Cape May, NJ. This area was not only where John and I would spend a lot of time when we were kids, but it’s where we met.

Peter Shields Inn, Cape May, NJ



Our plan for the Fourth, was to have dinner at one of our favorite restaurants and watch the fireworks, which we haven’t seen in years. For dinner we went to Peter Shields Inn. It’s an ocean front, 1907 Georgian Revival Mansion that’s a bed & breakfast with a fabulous restaurant. We requested a table on their porch, so we can watch the fireworks as we dined.

Local Fluke Crudo, Mango Slaw, Lime, Salsa Verde, Micro Cilantro



Scottish Salmon, Marinated Cous Cous, English Pea Puree, Pancetta
​Caramelized Cipollini, Porcinis, Sautéed Pea Greens, Red Wine


Rare Seared Big Eye Tuna, Sugar Snap Peas, Carrots
​Coconut Rice Cake, Lemongrass Soy Vinaigrette


Our meal at psi was beyond great. The food is top notch!! For our first course, I ordered a flute crudo with mango slaw and salsa verde, while John ordered spicy gazpacho with lump crab and avocado mousse, both were fresh and summery. For our mains, I had Rare Seared Big Eye Tuna, Sugar Snap Peas, Carrots and a Coconut Rice Cake with a Lemongrass Soy Vinaigrette, and the husband had Scottish Salmon, Marinated Cous Cous, English Pea Puree, Pancetta, ​Caramelized Cipollini, Porcinis, Sautéed Pea Greens with a Red Wine Reduction. We didn’t have to say that we both enjoyed our meals, I knew by the complete silence while we were eating. I might tell you that, silence is something that rarely happens between John and I.



As we were finishing up our meal, we could see all the people gathering on the beach for the big light show in the sky. We decided to leave the restaurant and follow the crowd. Finally, there was a loud boom and the sky lit up…everyone began to clap. With every colorful explosion, the OOHHHs & AAHHHs became louder. I was as excited as a little kid, seeing fireworks for the very first time.

Happy Summer!
D I V A


PEACH MARMALADE GLAZED SAUSAGE

July 4th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

John and I are at the beach for a few weeks, as you may know. Since the Fourth of July is a time for BBQ’s and fireworks, we couldn’t break tradition. We could have grilled the traditional hot dog or hamburger, but we both agreed on sausage. I decided not to grill just ordinary sausage, I wanted to do something a little different.


John grilled the sausage and I gave him peach marmalade for basting. It gave it a nice caramelized, sticky glaze and a touch of yummy sweetness. This recipe, if you want to call it that, is easy and delicious. It’s a must try for your next BBQ.

continue for recipe>>

Happy Fourth of July!
D I V A

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