Thursday, August 1, 2013

Delish Black Mission Figs

Ingredients                                                                                      Makes 4 servings

8 Black Mission figs, cut in half
1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese, or as needed
3 slices prosciutto, trimmed of all fat and cut into strips
2 tablespoons honey, or to taste


Set oven rack about 6 inches from the heat source and preheat the oven's broiler.
Arrange fig halves, cut sides up, on a baking sheet. Top each fig half with goat cheese; lay prosciutto strips atop goat cheese layer.
Broil figs in the preheated oven until prosciutto and goat cheese is crisp, 3 to 5 minutes.
Transfer the warm figs to a serving platter and drizzle with honey.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

4 Star Mushroom & Ricotta Brushetta

I have to admit that I have not tried this recipe but don't see how you could go wrong, it looks delicious!!

Makes 4 servings
 1 cup ricotta cheese
 1 egg
 1 lemon, zested
 1/2 teaspoon salt
 1 pinch freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
 1 pinch red pepper flakes, or to taste
 4 slices French bread, toasted
 1 tablespoon olive oil
 1 tablespoon butter
 1 tablespoon olive oil
 16 large white mushrooms, sliced
 1/4 cup green onions, chopped
 1/4 cup Marsala wine
 1/2 cup chicken broth
 2 teaspoons lemon juice
 2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
 1 tablespoon butter
 salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
Mix ricotta, egg, lemon zest, 1/2 teaspoon salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes in a bowl until smooth.
Place toasted bread slices on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon olive oil and evenly divide ricotta mixture atop 4 bread slices.
Bake in the preheated oven until cheese is browned, about 12 minutes.
Heat butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat; cook and stir mushrooms in mixture until browned, 5 to 6 minutes. Add green onions; cook and stir until softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir marsala wine into mixture and cook until reduced by half, about 1 minute.
Reduce heat to medium-low. Add chicken stock and lemon juice to skillet; cook until liquid has evaporated. Reduce heat to low. Stir in parsley and butter. Season with salt and black pepper to taste.

Spoon mushroom mixture equally atop 4 slices of ricotta-topped bread slices.

Watch the video here

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Stuffed Tomatoes with Grits & Ricotta

Can't get enough of those garden fresh tomatoes?  This appetizer is simply delicious!
Makes 8 servings

 1/2 cup dry grits
 1 1/2 cups water
 3/4 teaspoon salt 
 cooking spray
 1 1/3 cups ricotta cheese
 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
 1/2 cup grated Asiago cheese
 2 eggs
 2 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
 1 teaspoon salt
8 tomatoes

In a small pot combine dry grits, 1 1/2 cups water, and 3/4 teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil, then simmer until grits are tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool.
Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Coat a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.
Beat the eggs in a large bowl, then stir in the cooled grits, ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, and Asiago cheese. Stir in the garlic powder, parsley, crushed red pepper, and 1 teaspoon salt. Mix well.
Slice the top off of each tomato. Use a spoon to hollow out the tomatoes, leaving the outer shells (approximately 1/4 inch thick) intact. Fill each with the grits mixture. Arrange stuffed tomatoes on prepared baking sheet.
Bake in preheated oven until light golden brown, 30 to 40 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before serving.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Ricotta Gnocchi

 Makes 5 servings

The secret to making these gnocchi is to dry the ingredients as much as you can before using. Let the ricotta drain of excess water by placing it in a strainer over a bowl and leaving it in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before using.

 8 ounces ricotta cheese or there about
 2 eggs
 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
 1 teaspoon salt
 1 teaspoon pepper
 1 teaspoon garlic powder
 1 cup all-purpose flour, or as needed

 3 tablespoons olive oil
 1 tablespoon minced garlic
 1 (15.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
 1 dash crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
 6 basil leaves, finely shredded
 Salt and pepper to taste
 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into small chunks

Stir together the ricotta cheese, eggs, Parmesan Cheese, salt, pepper, and garlic powder in a large bowl until evenly combined. Mix in 1 cup of flour. Add additional flour if needed to form a soft dough.

Divide the dough into 3 or 4 pieces, and roll into 1/2-inch-thick ropes on a floured surface. Cut each rope into 1-inch pieces, and place on a lightly floured baking sheet. Place in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in garlic, and cook until softened and fragrant, about 1 minute. Pour in diced tomatoes and red pepper flakes; bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, and cook for 10 minutes. 
Stir in shredded basil and season to taste with salt and pepper.

While sauce is simmering, bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil over high heat. Boil the gnocchi until they float to the surface, 1 to 2 minutes, then drain.

To assemble the dish, stir the cubed mozzarella cheese into the sauce and allow the heat of the sauce to soften, but not melt the cheese. Place gnocchi into a serving bowl, and spoon sauce over top.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Easter & Blueberry Banana Cream Pie

Easter means Pie.  I am looking for a delicious Easter Pie to feature on this blog.  I won't be making it until after Easter so that there is plenty of Ricotta available for this special time of year. (If you don't know what I am talking about stay tuned.) Please submit your recipes by comment or email to  Thanks and Happy Easter!

The following is not a goat cheese recipe, but it is a Pie Recipe!

Ingredients (4 four inch pies):


1 1/4 C Flour 
1/2 t Salt
1 T Sugar
1/4 C Ice water
1 Stick of unsalted butter, cut into about 8 or 10 pieces. (Keep the butter refrigerated)


1 C whipping cream
8 oz cream cheese, soft
1/2 t Vanilla extract
1/3 C Sugar


1-2 Bananas
2 C Blueberries


Mix together dry ingredients. Add in butter, and mix well. Slowly add in ice water. The crust should mold together if you press on it.  Put it in a ball, and refrigerate for 30 minutes. 

Preheat oven to 350. Grease the pans.

Roll out dough until it is about 3mm thick (lets be honest, I just rolled it out so it was thin enough) and then cut out 5 inch circles and mold it into the pie tins. 

You might need to trim the excess dough coming out of the tins. Just do what makes sense, and what looks good.

You might also consider putting pie weights down, since you are baking these pies just for the crust.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until crust is golden. 

Mix whipping cream with a whisk until firm peaks are formed. Remove from bowl, and put cream in fridge.

Whisk cream cheese in the same bowl until light and fluffy. Add sugar and vanilla. Keep mixing until smooth. 
Fold in whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture. 

Cut Bananas and line at the bottom of the cooled pie crust. Add cream on top, making sure it is smooth. Put lots and lots of blueberries on top (you should probably put as many as you can on there). 

Let set in refrigerator for an hour, mine were in there a lot longer and were not soggy in the least bit. 


Recipe courtesy of Camilia Lund

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Stuffed Shells with Sausage & Mushrooms

These stuffed shells are a great twist from the traditional.  It will satisfy your tummy and your tongue.  Serve with a loaf of garlic bread and a tossed green salad.                      
Serves 6-8


1 (12-ounce) box jumbo pasta shells                    1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoons butter                                      1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
8 ounces mushrooms, stems discarded                12 ounces Italian sausage (sweet or hot),  
     and caps diced                                                          preferably without casing.
15 ounces (give or take) fresh ricotta cheese         1 (9-ounce) package frozen spinach, thawed,
2 eggs, lightly beaten                                           or 6 cups loosely packed fresh spinach (opt)
1 teaspoon garlic powder                                    1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella sheese, divided
1/2 teaspoon onion powder                                 1 1/2 cups shredded Parmesean cheese, divided
3/4 teaspoon dried oregano leaves                                  or shredded hard goat cheese
2 teaspoons dried basil leaves                              1 (26-28 ounce) jar marinara sauce

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Cook pasta shells al dente according to package instructions.
  3. Heat a medium skillet to medium heat.  Melt butter and add mushrooms.  Saute 3-4 minutes until mushrooms are golden brown.  Place ricotta in a large mixing bowl.  Add eggs, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, basil, salt, and pepper.  Stir to combine.  when mushrooms are cooked, add to ricotta mixture and return empty skillet to stove top.
  4. Cook sausage in skillet (If cased, squeeze out).  Break up with a spatula while cooking until browned and crumbly.  Add sausage to ricotta mixture.
  5. If using thawed spinach, squeeze out extra moisture from spinach and roughly chop.  If using fresh spinach, roughly chop.  Add spinach to ricotta-meat mixture and fold together.  Ad 2 cups mozzarella and 1 cup Parmesan to mixture. Hint- Some kids may be picky of funny greens in their pasta, disguise it by adding the spinach to the marinara sauce instead and then pureeing it.
  6. Spread marinara sauce evenly on bottom of a 9 x 13-inch pan.  Fill each pasta shell with 2 rounded tablespoons of filling and nestle snugly in the pan on top of the sauce.  You should be able to fill and fit in about 24-26 shells.  Top with remaining 1/2 cup mozzarella and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheeses.  Cover with foil and bake 50-60 minutes or until bubbly all over.  Remove foil about 10-15 minutes before end of baking time. 
Make-Ahead & Freezer Instructions: to prepare ahead of time, cover pan tightly in plastic and then in foil.  Refrigerate 1-2 days and then bake as directed (making sure to remove plastic layer underneath foil), or freeze up to two months.  Thaw frozen dish in refrigerator overnight and then bake as directed, or bake from frozen, covered in foil (remove plastic wrap), about two hours or until heated and bubbly throughout.  Cooking times vary from frozen so check periodically during cooking.