Sunday, January 8, 2017

Spaghetti Puttanesca

Spaghetti Puttanesca
This recipe was adapted from David Rocco's Dolce Vita

"Spaghetti Puttanesca" (pronounced spaghetti putta'neska). The name of this pasta dish is very controversial. In Italian, it means "spaghetti in the style of a prostitute". The name is often said to have originated with the ladies, because it was quick enough to make in between appointments, or that the aroma of the dish lured the clients in from the streets. Regardless of the meaning, this pasta dish is delicious. I loved everything about it. The tomatoes, olive oil, anchovies, olives, capers and garlic all work well together.


1 pound spaghetti
4 - 5 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, crushed
Crushed red pepper flakes
4 - 6 anchovy filet's, coarsely chopped
1 (6 ounce) can, or more black olives, pitted
1 tablespoon capers
1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
1 (28 ounce) can plum tomatoes with juices, hand crushed
Fresh flat leaf parsley, finely chopped


While the spaghetti cooks in salted boiling water, prepare the sauce.

Heat up the olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the garlic and crushed red pepper flakes, to taste. When the garlic is golden, add the anchovies, olives, capers, and walnuts.

Let the mixture cook for about 1 minutes before pouring the hand crushed plum tomatoes with juices into the pan. Cook for approximately 10 minutes on medium heat.

About a minute before the al dente stage, drain the spaghetti and add it to the saucepan, allowing it to finish cooking in the sauce. Sprinkle the spaghetti with freshly chopped parsley and transfer to a pasta bowl. Serve immediately.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Quinoa and Black Beans

Quinoa and Black Beans

Serve this salad chilled.  The cayenne pepper can be substituted with 8 drops Tabasco sauce, or 1/4 teaspoon red pepper or chili flakes.


1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
3/4 cup quinoa
1  1/2 cups vegetable broth
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Salt and ground pepper to taste
1 cup frozen corn kernels
2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro


Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat; cook and stir onion and garlic until lightly browned, about 10 minutes.

Mix quinoa into onion mixture and cover with vegetable broth; season with cumin, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer until quinoa is tender and broth is absorbed, about 20 minutes.

Stir frozen corn into the saucepan, and continue to simmer until heated through, about 5 minutes; mix in the black beans and cilantro.

Looking for another quinoa salad? If yes, here's a great tasting quinoa salad recipe.

Zesty Quinoa Salad

Monday, January 2, 2017

Chocolate Pecan Carmels

Chocolate Pecan Caramels
Recipe submitted by Lani May Gumm

These caramels are a must for your Christmas gift boxes.


1 tablespoon plus 1 cup butter (no substitutes), softened, divided
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped pecans, toasted
1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
2 cups packed brown sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup water
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract


Line a 13x9-inch pan with foil; butter the foil with 1 tablespoon butter. Sprinkle with pecans and chocolate chops; set aside.

In a heavy saucepan, melt remaining butter over medium heat. Add the brown sugar, corn syrup and water. Cook and stir until mixture comes to a boil. Stir in milk. Cook, stirring constantly, until a candy thermometer reads 248 degrees (firm-ball stage).

Remove from heat and add vanilla. Pour into prepared pan (do not scrape saucepan). Cool completely before cutting.

Yield: about 2 1/2 pounds (about 6 3/4 dozen).

Note: You should test your candy thermometer before each use by bringing water to a boil; the thermometer should read 212 degrees. Adjust your recipe temperature up or down based on your test.
Recipe submitted by Lani May Gumm