Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Halloween 2009

We had a lot of fun this year making spooky appetizers!!

Bats and Ghosts in the green slime cauldron!!

Witch's finger pretzels and carrots!

Eyeballs, fingernails and cockroaches!!

Pizzelle Cookies!!

Dolce DeLuca
480.497.8256 or 480.226.0716

We are taking orders for homemade Italian Pizzelle cookies!

Anise (traditional flavor) $5.00 per dozen
Pizzelles are traditionally flavored with anise, giving them a bold licorice flavor. Anise pizzelles have been enjoyed for generations from Old Italy to modern times. If you like the flavor of anise, you'll love these cookies!

Vanilla $5.00 per dozen

Almond $5.00 per dozen

Chocolate Hazelnut $5.00 per dozen

Orange Rum $5.00 per dozen

Gingerbread $5.00 per dozen

Fall Flavors:

Cranberry $5.00 per dozen
Pumpkin $5.00 per dozen
Perfect for Thanksgiving!

Try our new Filled Pizzelle Cookie! See picture above. We have taken our pizzelle and filled with a chocolate hazelnut filling, dipped edges in chocolate and toppings. Delicioso!! Let us know if you would like another flavor combination. Great Hostess gift idea!!

Anise with Chocolate hazelnut filling $10.00 per dozen
Vanilla with Chocolate hazelnut filling $10.00 per dozen
Pumpkin with Chocolate hazelnut filling $10.00 per dozen

Friday, October 9, 2009

Class #4 Food Network Magazine

Alright, obviously I am quite fond of the Food Network. I recently purchased my first copy of the Food Network Magazine and I love, love, loved it! Great articles, recipes and pictures. My husband loves soup so lucky for me in the October issue of this magazine they had a special pull out section - 50 Easy Soups. We chose the 20-Minute Chicken Tortilla Soup. This soup was simple, easy and delicious with a definite kick to it. I had to make a few changes to the recipe. We substituted chipotle for the ancho chilis and I asked my sweet husband to pick up a little Manchego cheese but he came back with Muenster - surprisingly a pretty good alternative! We made our own tortilla strips, lightly coated with olive oil and a little salt, cut into strips and in the oven at 400 for 10 minutes.
The reviews: Fred, "Very tasty. Just enough cilantro to not overpower. Loved the smokiness of the chipotle and loved how the aroma filled the house while cooking." Gianna, "Colorful and I like the tortilla strips - The chicken in the soup tastes delicious!" Elena, "Very, very spicy - too spicy for me. I like the cilantro and love the tortilla strips. Next time chop up the cilantro into small bits." Maria, "I like the color of the soup!"

I loved the simplicity of this soup and did not think it was too spicy at all. Really liked how the flavors came together so quickly. For the chicken I just picked up a roasted chicken from the deli at the grocery - very easy. The avocado, cheese and a little dollop of sour cream were perfect additions. This one is going in the DeLuca cookbook and everyone agreed we will have to have this soup again real soon.
Spicy Tortilla Soup
2 seeded, soaked ancho chiles, 1 onion, 2 tomatoes and 2 garlic cloves; fry in oil.
Add 6 cups chicken broth, 4 torn corn tortillas, some shredded cooked chicken and 1/2 cup cilantro; simmer until thick. Add salt; garnish with crisp tortilla strips, Mexican cheese, avocado, cilantro and lime juice.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Class #3 with Paula Deen

It is starting to feel a little like fall here in Phoenix - only 82 degrees today. I decided to go with a little comfort food and chose Paula Deen's "Bobby's Goulash". I decided to lighten it up a little by going with 2 lbs of Turkey and 1 lb of ground beef. According to the family this was the best recipe so far! Everyone agreed that it was very flavorful, filling and worthy of putting in the family cookbook. Next time I will probably go a little lighter on the seasoning salt and Paula's house seasoning. Elena, Gianna, Maria and Fred all gave this recipe 5 stars! Thanks to Paula for a simple but delicious one pot meal!!

Bobby's Goulash

2 pounds lean ground beef
1 pound ground turkey
2 large onions, chopped
3 cups water
1 (29-ounce) can tomato sauce
2 (15-ounce) cans diced tomatoes
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
3 bay leaves
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon House Seasoning, recipe follows
1 tablespoon seasoned salt
2 cups dried elbow macaroni
In a Dutch oven, saute the ground beef and ground turkey over medium-high heat, until no pink remains. Break up meat while sauteing; spoon off any grease. Add the onions to the pot and saute until they are tender about 5 minutes. Add 3 cups water, along with the tomato sauce, tomatoes, garlic, Italian seasoning, bay leaves, soy sauce, House Seasoning, and seasoned salt. Stir well. Place a lid on the pot and allow this to cook for 20 to 25 minutes.
Add the elbow macaroni, stir well, return the lid to the pot, and simmer for about 20 minutes. Turn off the heat, remove the bay leaves and allow the mixture to sit about 30 minutes more before serving.
House Seasoning:
1 cup salt
1/4 cup black pepper
1/4 cup garlic powder
Mix ingredients together and store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.

Back from Chicago

Fred and I just got back from that city! We arrived and the weather was amazing - chilly and cloudy - perfect for this Arizona girl!! We ate in some incredible restaurants like The Chicago Firehouse, visited with family, toured the American Girl Doll Store and got to see our beloved Cubs beat the Arizona Diamondbacks at Wrigley!

Our last night in Chicago we went out to The Rosebud on Taylor Street. What a great little Italian restaurant. They are known for their Chicken Vesuvio, decadent martinis, tiramisu and their Square Noodles. I had the Square Noodles which is a homemade square noodle in this rich tomato basil sauce - delicioso! I asked for the recipe for the sauce and it was simply plum tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper and fresh basil - just perfect!!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Class #2 Melissa d'Arabian

Well I started my "Food Network Classes" with the first Food Network Star, Emeril and tonight our class features the newest Food Network Star, Melissa d'Arabian. I chose Succulent Braised Pork and Perfect Black Beans. These items are from Melissa's show, "Ten Dollar Dinners".

I thought the Pork was amazing, very tender - cooked perfectly. The ingredients created a beautiful, rich sauce with great flavor! The wine enhanced the dish extremely well.

I actually used two cans of black beans instead of the dried beans. Simmered with the onion and than followed the directions. I really liked the touch of sweetness with the tang of vinegar.

I made my own biscuits which were a very good addition to the meal - you could wipe up the sauce perfectly. We also had Cabernet with dinner.

We would definitely make again but with a green veggie. I give it 4 1/2 stars. Elena thought the pork was awesome and the beans were good. She loved the biscuits. Gianna said the beans were her favorite and she loved them. She thought the pork wasn't greasy and was very tender.

Maria said she liked the beans because it's "a little sweet, not too spicy". She loved the beans so much she forgot to try the pork. Once she tried the pork she said that she liked the "tender thing" and it was really yummy and she wants to eat it all the time. She probably would have had more but she went to a birthday party this afternoon and had four pieces of pizza??!! Fred loved the beans because they were different and but were a pleasant surprise - really liked them! He agreed the pork was very tender and cooked up very well.

Give both of these recipes a try and let me know what you think!

Succulent Braised Pork
2 pounds pork shoulder, cut into 6 large chunks
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup red wine
1 1/2 cups beef stock or broth
1 bunch parsley stems, tied with string
2 bay leaves
1 cup water
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Pat the pork dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper.
In a large Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat, and working in batches brown the meat on all sides until a golden crust forms. Transfer the pork to a plate. To the pan add the onion, celery, and carrot and sweat until softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic and sweat another 2 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 3 minutes to cook off the raw flavor and caramelize it. Sprinkle with the flour and cook another 2 minutes to cook off its raw flavor. Whisk in the wine and reduce it by half. Return the pork to the Dutch oven, then stir in the beef stock, parsley stems, and bay leaves. Add the water if liquid does not come up to the top of the pork. Do not cover the pork with liquid. Cover the pan and place it in the oven to braise until the meat is fork tender, about 3 hours. Taste and season with more salt and pepper, if needed. Transfer to a serving platter and serve.

Perfect Black Beans

Cook Time
1 hr 30 min
Level Easy Yield 4 servings

1/2 pound dried black beans
1 medium onion, roughly chopped
3 fresh garlic cloves, pressed
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Pinch red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons sugar
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Chopped scallions, for garnish
The night before, soak the black beans in a large pot of water. The next day, rinse the beans, cover with 3 cups of fresh water and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer covered for 30 minutes, skimming off any foam. Stir in the onion and simmer 30 minutes more. Add the garlic, oregano, cumin, and red pepper flakes, and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in sugar and vinegar, and taste before seasoning with salt and pepper. Turn out into a large serving bowl and garnish with chopped scallions.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Bountiful Baskets

Just wanted to remind everyone to check out the Bountiful Baskets Co-Op in AZ. Here is what I picked up the last two times I ordered - all for $15 (for reorders) - What a deal!! Go to for more information.