Elderflower French 75

French 75 with a Twist

A hint of indulgence to get you through quarantine. A twist on a French 75, adding elderflower liqueur replaces simple syrup to add a floral note. - Patty

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Elderflower French 75

French 75 with a Twist

  • Author: Patty
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 cocktail 1x

Description

A hint of indulgence to get you through quarantine. A twist on a French 75, adding elderflower liqueur replaces simple syrup to add a floral note.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 ounce of Gin (I prefer Hendricks for this cocktail)
  • 1/41/2 ounce of Elderflower depending on your preference (St. Germain Edelflower is great)
  • 1/2 ounce of lemon juice (meyer lemon is perfect for it’s aroma and sweetness)
  • 23 ounces of champagne, sparkling wine or prosecco
  • A blueberry, raspberry, or Maraschino cherry for garnish
  • Lemon twist

Instructions

  1. Add gin, elderflower, and lemon juice to a cocktail shaker with ice. Cover and shake well.
  2. Pour cocktail into a martini glass or coupe, and top with champagne, sparkling wine, or prosecco.
  3. Garnish with blueberry, raspberry, or cherry.
  4. Add lemon twist and enjoy!


Grilled Shrimp and Halloumi Pitas

Grilled Shrimp and Halloumi Pitas

During the summer we love to dine al fresco as often as possible. This quick and easy meal is perfect for weeknight grilling and outdoor eating. - Patty

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Grilled Shrimp and Halloumi Pitas

Grilled Shrimp and Halloumi Pitas

  • Author: Patty
  • Prep Time: 45 min
  • Cook Time: 12 min
  • Total Time: 57 minutes

Description

During the summer we love to dine al fresco as often as possible. This quick and easy meal is perfect for weeknight grilling and outdoor eating.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 dozen peeled and deveined shrimp
  • 1 small onion sliced into 4 thick rounds
  • 1 package of Halloumi cheese
  • 2 cloves of minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp of lemon juice (1 lemon)
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil plus 2 – 3 tbsp for grilling
  • 12 red, orange or yellow bell peppers, halved
  • 1/2 cup of pickled jalapeño slices or pepperoncini (optional)
  • 1 tsp of ground Harissa
  • 1 tsp of ground Coriander
  • 1 tsp of Salt

Instructions

  1. Combine shrimp with 1/4 cup of olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, harissa, coriander and salt. Marinate for 30 minutes.
  2. Heat a charcoal or gas grill to 450 degrees.
  3. Coat onion, peppers and cheese in olive oil. Grill until they are soft and grill marks appear, about 4 minutes per side. Set aside when done.
  4. Grill shrimp 5-8 minutes, turning halfway through. Shrimp should be a light pink color. Set aside when done.
  5. Brush olive oil on pitas and grill lightly, 1-2 minutes per side just for light grill marks.
  6. Slice grilled peppers into long strips, slice onion rounds as well or separate layers, and cut cheese into cubes.
  7. Assemble pita pockets with shrimp, grilled and pickled peppers, cheese and onions. Serve with greek salad or tabbouleh.


Strawberry Sorbet

Strawberry Sorbet

An easy dessert to whip up when you find yourself with lots of strawberries on hand. - Patty

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Strawberry Sorbet

Strawberry Sorbet

  • Author: Patty
  • Total Time: 25 min
  • Yield: 1 quart 1x

Description

An easy dessert to whip up when you find yourself with lots of strawberries on hand.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds of strawberries, cleaned, hulled and quartered (45 cups of fruit)
  • 2 cups of simple syrup (you can make your own by combining 2 cups of sugar and 2 cups of water in a sauce pan, heating it until the sugar dissolves, and then letting it cool)
  • 24 tablespoons of fresh squeezed lemon juice (depending on how tart you like it)

Instructions

  1. Put the strawberries, simple syrup and lemon juice into a blender or food processor and blend until the fruit is liquified and there are no chunks. Taste and add more simple syrup or lemon juice if needed.
  2. Optional: Strain juice through a mesh strainer to remove any seeds
  3. Pour the juice into your chilled ice cream maker base and churn until thick and frozen (est. 10-15 mins)
  4. Transfer the sorbet into ice cream containers and freeze for at least 4 hours.


Spring Pasta

Spring Farmers Market Pasta

One of my favorite signs of spring is when our local farmers market opens. Wandering the stalls looking for fresh produce and fruit is the perfect inspiration for meal planning any given week. This dish is simple to make and you can easily substitute the zucchini and peas for other vegetables you might find at your farmers market. - Patty

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Spring Pasta

Spring Farmers Market Pasta

  • Author: Patty
  • Total Time: 30 min
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x

Description

One of my favorite signs of spring is when our local farmers market opens. Wandering the stalls looking for fresh produce and fruit is the perfect inspiration for a meal planning any given week. This dish is simple to make and you can easily substitute the zucchini and peas for other vegetables you might find at your farmers market.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1lb of pasta (see Katie’s homemade pasta recipe or use fettucini or spaghetti)
  • 4 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 to 3 cloves of garlic minced or finely chopped, or Spring Garlic chopped if available
  • Zest of 12 lemons (I prefer meyer lemons for their sweetness)
  • 2 medium to large zucchini thinly sliced, julienned or shredded
  • 1 cup of fresh peas such as english peas
  • 1/4 cup of Italian parsley chopped
  • 1/4 cup of fresh mint chopped
  • 1 cup of ricotta cheese, at room temperature
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Place a large pot of salted water over high heat. When the water is at a rolling boil add the pasta and cook according to directions.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When the oil is warm, add the garlic and sauté until golden, about 1 minute.
  3. Add the zucchini, peas, and half the lemon zest to the pan, stirring and cooking until tender (about 2-3 minutes). Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Reserve some of the pasta water and then drain the pasta. Drizzle a bit of olive oil on the pasta so it doesn’t stick, then add the pasta to the zucchini and peas, and toss with parsley and mint.
  5. Spoon the ricotta cheese into the pasta dish, adding small amounts of the pasta water to loosen the cheese.
  6. Sprinkle the remaining lemon zest over the pasta and lightly toss. Serve immediately.


The Brooklyn

The Brooklyn

A modern and sweeter twist on the classic Manhattan, The Brooklyn is the perfect winter drink to sip by a fireplace or Christmas tree.  With a touch of Maple Syrup for sweetness and orange bitters and peel for brightness, The Brooklyn will keep you warm and cheery all holiday season. – Patty

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The Brooklyn

The Brooklyn

  • Author: Patty
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 serving 1x

Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 oz Bourbon or Rye (I use Bulleit Bourbon for mixed drinks)
  • 1 oz Sweet Vermouth
  • 1 tsp of Maple Syrup 
  • 2 dashes of Angostura Bitters
  • 1 dash of Orange Bitters
  • Orange peel

Instructions

  1. Add all the ingredients (except the orange peel) into a mixing glass with ice, and stir until well-chilled.
  2. For a Brooklyn up, strain the cocktail into a chilled coupe glass. For a Brooklyn on the rocks, strain the cocktail into an Old Fashioned Glass with 1 or 2 large ice cubes.
  3. Garnish with the orange peel which you can run around the sides of the glass rim before placing in the glass. Enjoy!


Mom's Baked Clams

Mom’s Baked Clams

Christmas Eve has always been our favorite family holiday.  Being of Italian heritage (my Mom was born in the small Italian village of Selva di Fasano) we took the Feast of the Fishes very seriously on Christmas Eve. How many fish dishes we enjoyed would vary at times but my Mom’s Baked Clams as one of the starters and Lobster as the entree were always on the menu.  I have carried on that tradition making baked clams every Christmas Eve. – Patty

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Mom's Baked Clams

Mom’s Baked Clams

  • Author: Patty
  • Total Time: 45 min
  • Yield: 24 clams 1x

Description

Christmas Eve has always been our favorite family holiday.  Being of Italian heritage (my Mom was born in the small Italian village of Selva di Fasano) we took the Feast of the Fishes very seriously on Christmas Eve. How many fish dishes we enjoyed would vary at times but my Mom’s Baked Clams as one of the starters and Lobster as the entree were always on the menu.  I have carried on that tradition making baked clams every Christmas Eve.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 dozen Clams (save the shells)
  • 3 cups of Bread Crumbs
  • 2 cups of chopped Roma Tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup of chopped Italian Parsley
  • 1/2 cup of grated Pecorino Romano Cheese or Parmesan Cheese
  • Salt and pepper to Taste
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil for sprinkling on top
  • 2 tbsp of butter
  • 2 tbsp of Clam Juice

Instructions

  1. Fill a large pot with 1 1/2 to 2 inches of water. Bring water to a boil. Add the clams to the boiling water. Reduce the heat to a simmer and let the clams steam for approximately 6-10 minutes, until the shells open.
  2. Remove clams from the pot and let cool enough to handle. Discard any clams that have not opened.
  3. Remove the clams from the shells and mince very fine (scissors work well). Put them in a bowl.
  4. Break apart the clam shells from their hinges. Rinse. Pick 20-24 of the cleanest, nicest looking clam shells and set aside.
  5. Preheat oven to 350°F. 
  6. In a saute pan melt the butter and add the bread cumbs. Toast the bread crumbs until golden. Take off heat.
  7. In a bowl combine clams, breadcrumbs, 1 tbsp of clam juice, tomatoes, chopped parsley, salt, pepper, and 3/4 of the grated cheese. Stuffing should be moist but not soggy. If dry add more clam juice and if soggy add more bread crumbs.
  8. Lay clam shells in a baking pan. Scoop a little stuffing mixture onto each clam shell.
  9. Sprinkle olive oil and remaining grated cheese over the clams.
  10. Bake at 350°F for approximately 20-25 minutes, until Stuffing and Parmesan is lightly browned on top.


Pizza Dolce

Pizza Dolce (Grandma’s Italian Cheesecake)

Pizza Dolce was a typical dessert my Grandmother would make around the holidays.  The Ricotta Cheese makes it a little lighter than a typical cheesecake and the lemon zest gives it a nice fresh flavor. – Patty

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Pizza Dolce (Grandma’s Italian Cheesecake)

  • Author: Patty
  • Total Time: 2 hours
  • Yield: 6-8 servings 1x

Description

Pizza Dolce was a typical dessert my Grandmother would make around the holidays.  The Ricotta Cheese makes it a little lighter than a typical cheesecake and the lemon zest gives it a nice fresh flavor.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 10 eggs
  • 1/2 cup of heavy cream
  • 3 lbs of Ricotta Cheese
  • 1 jigger of Annisette or Sambuca
  • 1/2 tsp of cinnamon
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 1 lemon zest and juice
  • A pinch of ground cloves
  • 1 ounce of whiskey (optional)
  • Honey for drizzling

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Mix all ingredients together until smooth.
  3. Pour into a greased 9 x 13 inch baking dish.
  4. Drizzle honey over the entire top.
  5. Bake for 1-1.5 hours or until golden brown on top and you can insert a knife and it comes out clean.
  6. Let cool before serving.

Notes

The pie might deflate a bit while cooling but that’s expected.


Grandma Marias Macaroni and Meatballs

Grandma Maria’s Macaroni and Meatballs

Macaroni and meatballs is a staple in my family.  My grandmother (who was from Italy) lived downstairs in the house my grandfather built, and we lived upstairs.  Every Sunday morning, my brothers and I would wake up to the amazing smell of my grandmother's (and subsequently mother's) gravy (aka tomato sauce) simmering and meatballs frying.  Sunday breakfast for me was always fried meatballs on bread. To this day whenever I make meatballs and gravy I can't help but smile thinking about my grandmother and mother. – Patty

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Grandma Maria’s Macaroni and Meatballs

  • Author: Patty
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 4-6 servings 1x

Description

Macaroni and meatballs is a staple in my family.  My grandmother (who was from Italy) lived downstairs in the house my grandfather built, and we lived upstairs.  Every Sunday morning, my brothers and I would wake up to the amazing smell of my grandmother’s (and subsequently mother’s) gravy (aka tomato sauce) simmering and meatballs frying.  Sunday breakfast for me was always fried meatballs on bread. To this day whenever I make meatballs and gravy I can’t help but smile thinking about my grandmother and mother.


Scale

Ingredients

Tomato Sauce:

  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 2 tbsp of Italian Parsley, chopped
  • 1 medium size yellow onion, chopped and diced
  • 1 to 2 tsp of red pepper flakes or ground cayenne pepper (omit if you don’t like things a little spicy)
  • 1 tsp of dried basil 
  • 1/4 cup grated Pecorino Grated Romano
  • 1 tsp of Kosher or Coarse Sea Salt
  • 2 tbsp of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/3 cup of red wine (optional)
  • 28 oz can of San Marzano tomatoes strained through a food mill
  • 6 oz can of tomato paste
  • 1 lb of macaroni such as rigatoni, you could also use spaghetti or bucatini if you prefer

Meatballs:

  • 1 pound of ground beef
  • 1 pound of ground pork
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 2 cups fresh or store-bought bread crumbs (unseasoned)
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 tbsp of Kosher or Coarse Sea Salt
  • 3/4 cup grated Pecorino Grated Romano
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tbsp of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a deep saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add the onion to the saucepan and cook over low heat until translucent (about 4 mins).
  3. Add the chopped garlic to the saucepan and cook for 1 min or until golden.
  4. Add red pepper flakes (or cayenne), dried basil, and salt to the saucepan. Mix with the garlic and onions.
  5. Add red wine (if using) and turn the heat to high. Let the red wine cook down and release the alcohol (about 2 mins).
  6. Lower the heat and add the tomato paste, stirring until all ingredients are mixed together and it forms a smooth paste.
  7. Add the San Marzano tomatoes to the saucepan with 1 cup of water and stir.
  8. Bring the tomato sauce to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer and stir in 1/4 cup Romano Cheese and 2 tbsp Italian Parsley.
  9. Let sauce simmer while you prepare the meatballs.
  10. In a large mixing bowl combine ground beef, ground pork, remaining garlic, breadcrumbs, 3/4 cup Romano Cheese, 1/2 cup Italian Parsley, egg, 1 tbsp of olive oil, salt and pepper. Use your hands to combine all ingredients but be sure not to overmix or you will dry out the meat. Shape the meat mixture into small balls, about the size of a walnut.
  11. In a large frying pan heat up the 1/4 cup of olive oil. Slip as many meatballs into the skillet as you can without crowding. Fry, turning as necessary, until golden brown on all sides (about 5-6 mins). Adjust the heat as the meatballs cook to prevent them from overbrowning. Remove the meatballs and repeat with any remaining meatballs.
  12. Add the meatballs to the simmering sauce and allow them to continue to cook all the way through in the tomato sauce.  Cook for a minimum of 30 mins, longer if you want a richer, more flavorful sauce.
  13. While the meatballs are simmering in the tomato sauce, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. 
  14. Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook as advised on the packaging.
  15. Put a ladle full of tomato sauce in a bowl or deep serving dish, add pasta and meatballs, cover with tomato sauce, and sprinkle Parmesan Cheese over it. Si Mangia!

Notes

  • If you like a thinner tomato sauce you can add more water. Adding coarse salt like Kosher or Sea Salt to the water helps to flavor the pasta while cooking.
  • If you don’t have a food mill or are short on time you can use a can of pre-strained San Marzano tomatoes

Hai Tai

The HAI TAI

The HAI TAI comes from our love of Hawaii and the tropics. Sipping a HAI TAI poolside with friends in the summer immediately transports us back to the islands. The trick to keeping it fruity and less sweet is to use unsweetened Pineapple Juice. There is plenty of sweetness from the syrup and grenadine. – Patty

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Hai Tai

The HAI TAI

  • Author: Patty
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 serving 1x

Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 oz Light Rum
  • 1 oz Dark Rum
  • 1 oz Curaçao (or Triple Sec if you don’t have Curacao) 
  • 1/2 Cup of Pineapple Juice (I prefer unsweetened)
  • 1 Tbsp Orgeat syrup or simple syrup
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • A dash of grenadine

Instructions

  1. Fill a cocktail shaker halfway with ice cubes.
  2. Add the white rum, curaçao, juices and orgeat and shake lightly (about 3 seconds).
  3. Float the dark rum over top.
  4. Garnish with a lime or orange wheel and mint sprig.


Brined Grilled Turkey with Maple Bourbon Glaze

Brined Grilled Turkey with Maple Bourbon Glaze

Thanksgiving dinner is definitely a labor of love for me every year.  I love the idea of family and friends coming together to give thanks, share a special meal, reminisce, and create new memories.  I tried a number of Grilled Turkey recipes until I settled in on this one many years ago.  Or I should say my family might have strongly encouraged me to stick with this one after they tasted how moist and flavorful the turkey came out.

I know the recipe can seem a little daunting but it really is pretty straightforward.  Brining the turkey the day before is the secret sauce in keeping the turkey so moist. I make sure it has at least 24 hours in its “turkey spa” to lock in the flavors and moisture.

The Maple Bourbon Glaze (my own mashup) gives the skin a rich caramel color and sweet and salty flavor. – Patty

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Brined Grilled Turkey with Maple Bourbon Glaze

Brined Grilled Turkey with Maple Bourbon Glaze

  • Author: Patty
  • Total Time: 3.5 hours, plus 1 day for brining
  • Yield: 10-12 servings 1x

Description

Thanksgiving dinner is definitely a labor of love for me every year. I know the recipe can seem a little daunting but it really is pretty straightforward. Brining the turkey the day before is the secret sauce in keeping the turkey so moist. I make sure it has at least 24 hours in its “turkey spa” to lock in the flavors and moisture. The Maple Bourbon Glaze (my own mashup) gives the skin a rich caramel color and sweet and salty flavor.


Scale

Ingredients

Turkey:

  • 1 16-18lb Turkey 
  • 1/4 cup yellow mustard seeds
  • 3 Tbsp black peppercorns
  • 5 whole allspice berries, crushed
  • 4 juniper berries, smashed
  • 1 head of garlic
  • 1 bunch thyme
  • 9 bay leaves
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups kosher salt
  • 4 onions cut into thick wedges
  • 1 lb slab bacon skin removed and meat sliced 1/3 inch thick plus 3 extra slices of bacon
  • 8 12oz bottles Guinness stout
  • 1 1/2 cups turkey stock or low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • Fresh sage

Maple Glaze:

  • 3 Tbsp Tamari
  • 1/4 cup Maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp Bourbon
  • 2 Tbsp Butter, softened
  • 1 Tbsp Bacon, crumbled
  • 2 tsp Smoked Paprika

Instructions

The Brine:

  1. In a very large pot, combine the mustard seeds, peppercorns, juniper berries, allspice, and bay leaves and toast over moderate heat until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
  2. Add the brown sugar and salt and remove from the heat. 
  3. Add 5 cups of water and stir until the sugar and salt are dissolved; let cool completely.
  4. Place large plastic garbage bags (2) in a cooler and add the brine mixture. Add 3 of the onions, garlic, slab of bacon, Guinness, and 16 cups of cold water to the bags. Add the turkey to the brine, breast side down, and tie bag tightly. Place a large bag of ice on top of the tied plastic bags, close the lid on the cooler, and let brine for 24 hours.

Grilling the Turkey:

  1. Remove the onions from the brine and scatter them in a drip pan and add 1 cup of water. Place the drip pan center of grill under where Turkey will go.
  2. Remove the turkey from the brine, rinse off and pat dry. 
  3. Rub butter over the outside of the turkey and lightly season with poultry seasoning. Lightly salt the inside cavity of the turkey and add 1 quartered onion and a few sage sprigs in the cavity.
  4. Remove the bacon strips from the brine and (using toothpicks) secure the bacon slices over the breast.
  5. Tuck wings under back and tie legs together.
  6. Indirect Grill Instructions: Place pan to catch drippings in the middle at bottom of the grill with a little water. Place 25 charcoal briquets on each side of the grill pan. Add 8 briquets per side every hour. Place wet wood chips on briquets every hour.
  7. Place turkey breast side up on center of grill.
  8. Keep lid (top vents opened, bottom partially closed) on turkey the entire time except when basting.
  9. An hour before you plan to remove the turkey from the grill take off the bacon and start basting the turkey with the Maple Bourbon Glaze.
  10. Monitor temperature for doneness: 180°F in thigh, 165°F in breast (about 3hrs of grilling time for a 16-18lb turkey).

Maple Bourbon Glaze:

  1. Mix all ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat until the butter melts and the mixture bubbles. Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. Baste the turkey every 15 minutes with the Maple Bourbon Glaze during the last hour of grilling.