Thursday, April 21, 2011

Crusty French Bread

Babble Post Baguette2 150x150 Crusty Baguettes Made Fresh in 30 Minutes

  • 2 cups very warm water
  • 1 packet yeast
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3-4 cups flour


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
In a large bowl, whisk together the warm water, yeast, and sugar.
Set the bowl on top of your preheating oven for ten minutes.
Stir in the salt and add the flour a half-cup at a time, until the dough becomes soft but not sticky.  Knead the dough until elastic.
Cut the dough into four even pieces.
Roll each of them into four long, thin ropes.
Twist together two of the ropes to form one loaf.
Twist the other two ropes together to form a second loaf.
Transfer both onto a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
You can now bake the loaf right away (if you’re in a hurry) or allow it to rise for an additional 15-30 minutes on top of your warm oven.

Tip: Fill a large bowl with 3-4 cups of ice.  Open your hot oven and place the baking sheet with the baguettes inside, then toss the ice cubes on the bottom of the oven and quickly shut the door.  Do NOT open your oven for 15 minutes.  Bake until golden brown, about 15-18 minutes. 

Lisa C. . . . .

Monday, April 18, 2011

Honey Lemon Cough Drops


2 C. sugar
1/2 C. honey
3/4 C. water
juice of 1/2 lemon
1-2 Zinc tablets, crushed (optional)
1-2 Vitamin C tablets, crushed (optional)


Butter an 8"x8" pan. Set aside.

Place sugar, honey and water in medium saucepan. Place pan over medium heat.  Cook and stir until mixture boils, stirring constantly to dissolve the sugar. 

Turn the heat down to med.-low and continue to lightly boil , stirring occasionally until a candy thermometer reads 285 degrees (soft crack). Approx. 20 minutes total.

Remove from heat, stir in lemon juice. Add zinc and Vitamin C (if desired), letting mixture cool for 1-2 minutes. 

Pour into prepared pan.  Cool for 10 minutes, score top of mixture.  If not cool enough to score, wait a few minutes and try again.

Cool completely.  Break into pieces using score lines. 

You can wrap pieces individually or store in a baggie or other container until ready to use.

Store in a cool dark place.

Lisa C. . . . .

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Stuffed Shells


  • Salt
  • 8 pieces jumbo pasta shells
  • 1 1/2 pounds ricotta cheese (can use reduced fat or skim)
  • 1 white onion, finely chopped
  • 1 pound mozzarella, grated
  • 1/2 cup fresh grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 6 leaves fresh basil, torn 
  • 1 cup shredded Asiago
  • 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, Crushed
  • 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Egg Beaten


  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. 
  • Add pasta and cook according to the directions on the package for Al Dente.   Drain pasta and cool.
  • Combine ricotta, with 1/2 of the other cheeses (Mozzarella, Asiago, and Parmasiano.) Add parsley salt, pepper, and egg to the cheeses and stir to combine.
  • Over moderate heat add oil, garlic and onions. Saute onions and garlic 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and season sauce with salt and pepper ( I like to add a little red pepper flakes for an extra kick).
  • Simmer sauce 5 minutes and stir in basil leave. 
  • * If you have a little Marinara Sauce or prefer Meat sauce, that can ALSO be used.


  • Pour a little sauce into the bottom of a shallow medium sized casserole dish. 
  • Fill shells with filling  and arrange them seam side. 
  • Top shells with remaining sauce and remaining cheeses. 
  • Cook 6 to 8 minutes uncovered, to melt cheeses , or till you see the sauce bubble.
 **Feel free to get inventive with these.  I have added spinach, ham,  to the cheese filling, filled with meat, added a layer of sliced Italian sausage to the bottom of the pan, etc.  Get creative, and ENJOY!!! (BTW.  They freeze WONDERFULLY, I usually make two or three pans and freeze for later..)

Lisa C. . . . .

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Monday, April 11, 2011

Italian Bread Dip

 Babble Post Baguette Dip 300x270 Carrabbas Copycat Recipe: Italian Bread Dip


4 fresh garlic cloves
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper
1 teaspoon peppercorns
1 small bunch fresh oregano
1 small sprig fresh rosemary
1 cup fresh basil
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

Fresh ground sea salt to taste


Place all ingredients together in a small food processor.
Pulse in the food processor until the mixture becomes well mixed.
Sprinkle a bit of the mix onto a small plate.
Drizzle olive oil over the mix.
Dip big pieces of fresh bread into the oil mixture.

Lisa C. . . . .

Friday, April 8, 2011

Chicken Teriyaki


1/4 cup lite soy sauce
3 tbsp prepared spicy brown mustard
1 tbsp firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tbsp sesame seeds
1 sliced thin medium onion
1 cut in half garlic clove
2 tbsp vegetable oil
4 skinned boned chicken breast halves, each about 4 oz


In medium bowl, whisk together soy sauce, mustard, sugar and ginger;
set aside.

In large, nonstick skillet, over high heat, toast sesame seeds until golden brown, about 4 minutes; remove from pan and set aside.

In same skillet, saute onion and garlic in oil until soft, about 5 minutes, if desired, discard garlic clove halves. Add chicken and soy sauce mixture to skillet. Cover and simmer, turning chicken over once, until chicken is cooked through.

To serve, place chicken on platter, pour sauce and vegetables over chicken and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Garnish with scallion fan.

Lisa C. . . . .

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


  • 2/3 c shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese .
  • 3 oz turkey pepperoni .
  • 2 roasted red peppers, sliced .
  • 3 oz prosciutto ham .
  • 1 (10 oz) can put in the fridge pizza dough

  • Preheat oven to 375 and spray a cookie sheet with nonstick spray.
  • On a lightly floured surface, press pizza dough into a 9x12 rectangle.
  • Top with mozzarella, leaving a 1/2 to 1 inch border.
  • Top with prosciutto, pepperoni & sliced roasted red peppers.
  • Roll up jelly-roll style, seal the edges & place seam-side down on the baking sheet.
  • Bake at 375 for about 25 mins or until golden.
  • Serve with a side of warm marinara sauce for dipping.

** Again creativity is the key... I've made mine with mini meatballs instead of prosciutto and peperoni, I've also made it with cubed ham and cheddar.. Yummmmm ... You know your guests, and what they're into..


Lisa C. . . . .