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My Minestrone Soup with Yummiest No Knead Bread

My Minestrone Soup with Yummiest No Knead Bread

Every Italian family makes minestrone with their own twist depending on what vegetables are in season, what they currently have in the fridge, region of the country, and family preferences. In the winter it’s served hot or warm and in the summer room temperature or even slightly cool. It’s a staple all year around in our home. Growing up my mother usually served minestrone on Sunday’s and cleared the fridge of most veggie odds and ends. This recipe is adapted from my mother and grandmother. The smell and tastes always remind me of home no matter where I am.
Enjoy!
Made with Amore,
Elena 💗
MY MINESTRONE
INGREDIENTS
2 tbs olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced (optional)
4 large carrots, peeled and cut in chunks
1 bunch of celery, diced
3 medium zucchini, diced
1 red pepper, diced
1 cup of cut green beans, may use frozen
1 1/2 cups cut leaf spinach, may use frozen
1 large can diced tomatoes, 28 oz
1 can cannellini beans, 15 oz
7 cups of water (or fill the tomato can twice with water)
Salt and pepper
Toppings: fresh basil, parsley, and grated parmigiano reggiano
PREPARATION
1. In a large pot, heat oil over medium. Add garlic, onion, carrots, celery, red pepper, zucchini and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion begins to turn golden, 5 to 8 minutes.
2. Add tomatoes; cook until some of the liquid evaporates, 1 minute. Add cannellini beans, and 7 cups water; bring to a low boil. Stir in green beans and spinach.*
3.Reduce to a simmer, and cook until all the vegetables are tender, about 20-30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper; and basil. Serve sprinkled with parmigiano and, if using, torn basil and parsley. Drizzle with more oil, if desired.
*omit any vegetables you do not like and add any that you do! Such as: potato, cabbage, or a different variety of beans. 
NO KNEAD BREAD
-RECIPE FROM NYT MAGAZINE
INGREDIENTS
  • 3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting
  • ¼ teaspoon instant yeast
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons salt
  • Cornmeal or wheat bran as needed
  • 1 5/8 cups water
PREPARATION
  1. In a large bowl combine flour, yeast and salt. Add 1 5/8 cups water, and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest at least 12 hours, preferably about 18, at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees.
  2. Dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it; sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest about 15 minutes.
  3. Using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to work surface or to your fingers, gently and quickly shape dough into a ball. Generously coat a cotton towel (not terry cloth) with flour, wheat bran or cornmeal; put dough seam side down on towel and dust with more flour, bran or cornmeal. Cover with another cotton towel and let rise for about 2 hours. When it is ready, dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.
  4. At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450 degrees. Put a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in oven as it heats. When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven. Slide your hand under towel and turn dough over into pot, seam side up; it may look like a mess, but that is O.K. Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack

Christmas Morning Popovers with Bear Lake Raspberry Jam

Christmas Morning Popovers with Bear Lake Raspberry Jam

We love any and all holiday traditions from all over the world! In the Davis family Christmas morning isn’t complete without hot popovers drenched in butter and homemade jam. The tradition runs deep since the 1950’s and possibly even earlier. They are surprisingly easy with few ingredients and an absolutely delightful addition to any meal- sweet or savory!
Made with Amore,
Elena 💗

Great Grandma Rhea’s Popovers

Makes 12 popovers.
Preheat oven to 425 F and place muffin pan or speciality popover pan in the oven to get hot. *very important that pan is hot when you pour in the batter*
Ingredients
2 C milk
2 C flour
4 eggs
1 tsp salt
4 tablespoons canola oil
Directions
  1. Beat all ingredients with an electric mixer or whisk until smooth (do not over mix)
  2. Take out hot muffin or popover tins and grease VERY generously with lots of butter or Crisco *important or they will stick!*
  3. Fill tins 2/3 full with prepared batter and put immediately in the oven
  4. Bake 20 minutes at 425 F and then an additional 15-20 minutes at 375 F.
  5. Take out when slightly brown. Serve warm!!

Grandma Kathy’s Bear Lake Raspberry Jam

1.  Wash, stem, and crush berries to make four level cups. Put crushed berries into a 2 or 4 quart kettle. Sift in slowly 1 package (31/2 oz.) M.C.P. Jam and Jelly Pectin and stir vigorously. (I like it a little thinner, so I sift in 3 oz.)  Set aside for 30 minutes, with occasional stirring.
2.  Add 1 cup light corn syrup. Mix well.
3.  Add 51/2 cups sugar. (If the  raspberries are sweet, I add 41/2 cups sugar.). Gradually stir the sugar into the crushed berries. Warm to 100 degrees (temperature for baby's milk) to dissolve the sugar (no hotter).
4.  When sugar is dissolved, jam is ready to eat. Makes 4 pints. Put jam in pint jars, cover with a plastic wrap folded over several times, and use an elastic to secure. Keep in refrigerator or freeze.
5. Jam will last indefinitely.
6.  For strawberries, add 1/4 cup lemon juice after sugar is dissolved. Other types of berries don't need lemon juice.
Enjoy!

Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies

Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies

Nothing feels more comfy-cozy than coming home to warm chocolate chip cookies after school. I love making this easy recipe with my children while hearing them open up about their day as we get our hands messy. The ingredients are simple staples and they come together in no time. We usually bake half and freeze or refrigerate the rest of the dough for a busier day. Dunk slightly warm cookies in a big glass of milk and enjoy!

Made with Amore,

💗Elena 

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (to change texture and taste slightly I sub the 1/4 C with coconut flour- you do not have to do this!)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, softened and cut in chunks (yes! I use salted and Kerrigold brand)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large organic eggs
  • 2 cups dark chocolate chunk chips (or chocolate chips of choice)

Instructions

PREHEAT oven to 375° F.

COMBINE flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large stand mixer with whisk attachment until creamy. Add eggs, and beat again until very smooth. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in chocolate chunks or chips. Drop by generous rounded tablespoon onto parchment paper baking sheets. Add flaked sea salt if desired (I use Maldon’s Sea Salt Flakes). Refrigerate 10 minutes to overnight before baking.

BAKE for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Peach and Mozzarella Salad with Orange, Basil and Poppy Seed Dressing

Peach and Mozzarella Salad with Orange, Basil and Poppy Seed Dressing

Fresh local peaches and nectarines everywhere!! This recipe makes enough to feed a crowd. If you want to make a smaller batch: half the recipe of peaches and mozzarella and use half of the dressing (do not half the dressing recipe just use less on the salad).
Made with Amore,
💗Elena
Preparation:
In a large serving bowl cut and mix:
10 large ripe peaches or nectarines
3-4 Cups fresh mozzarella cheese
Dressing:
In a large mason jar add all the
Ingredients below then shake vigorously. Keeps in fridge up to one week. 
Zest and juice of two large
1 Cup fresh chopped basil leaves
1 1/2 Cups high quality extra virgin olive oil 
3 TBS of apple cider vinegar (sherry vinegar works well too) 
3 Tsp. Poppy seeds
Salt and pepper to taste
Pour dressing over peaches, mozzarella and arugula (if desired), toss, then serve!

STRAWBERRY RHUBARB BISCUIT COBBLER with HOMEMADE VANILLA BEAN GELATO

STRAWBERRY RHUBARB BISCUIT COBBLER with HOMEMADE VANILLA BEAN GELATO

Sweet. Tart. Flaky. Warm. Cool. Creamy. Dreamy. Perfection! If you can’t decide between a traditional fruit cobbler and shortcakes topped with fruit this recipe combines the absolute best taste, texture, and tradition of both desserts. I hope you enjoy this around a table full of laughter and love, or, sitting in a cozy spot indulging in a big bowl of this fresh and fruity summer delight.

Made with Amore,
💗Elena
INGREDIENTS:
STRAWBERRY RHUBARB MIXTURE
1 cup rhubarb, roughly chopped
2 cups strawberries, sliced into halves / quarters
1/3 cup brown sugar
3 tbsp fresh orange juice
1 tbsp cornstarch
BUTTERMILK BISCUITS
3 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup cold butter, cubed
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp fresh lemon zest
1 egg
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
A little fresh cream to brush over the biscuits before baking.
DIRECTIONS:
Preheat oven to 350 degree F.
STRAWBERRY RHUBARB MIXTURE
1. Mix brown sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl.
2. Toss all remaining ingredients in another bowl
3. Spray a 9x13 in baking dish (baking dish can be slightly bigger or smaller) and place fruit mixture
BUTTERMILK BISCUIT DOUGH
-In a small mixing bowl, combine buttermilk, egg, vanilla, and lemon zest. Set in the fridge until ready to use.
-Next, in a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt until evenly combined.
-Add in your cubes of cold butter and lightly toss to coat each of the butter cubes with the flour mixture. Begin working the butter into the dry ingredients with your fingers or with a pastry cutter until most of the butter chunks are the size of peas, with a few larger almond sized chunks.
-Drizzle the chilled wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and use a fork or spatula to gently fold the wet into the dry ingredients until a ragged dough forms.
-Turn the ragged dough out onto a cool lightly flour work surface and dust with flour.  Gently shape the dough into a rough rectangle and fold the right half of the dough over onto the left half; repeat this process 2 more  times.
-Dust the top of your dough with a bit more flour and gently roll pat into a 1 1/2 inch thick disk. Use a biscuit cutter or the rim of a glass to cut out your 9 shortcakes.
-Place the biscuits in the baking dish over the top of the strawberry rhubarb mixture- you may have a few left over depending on pan. Optional: Brush the tops with fresh cream and sprinkle with sugar.
* biscuit dough may be refrigerated for up to one day
-Bake the cobbler for 35 to 45 minutes, until it’s golden and cooked through (tent with tinfoil 20 minutes into cooking). To make sure it’s done I pull it out and check the underside of the biscuits. If they aren’t doughy it’s done!
Serve immediately with vanilla ice cream.
Recipe adapted from The Sweet and Simple Kitchen
This is the recipe I use for the gelato Sicilian Vanilla Bean Gelato from Food Nouveau http://foodnouveau.com/recipes/desserts/frozen/sicilian-style-vanilla-bean-gelato/ (I use 1/2 C sugar not 3/4 so you decide depending on taste!) If you don’t feel like making your own simply top with your favorite ice cream, custard, or gelato!