Caprese Quiche

Caprese Quiche www.bellalimento.com

One of my favorite flavor combinations in the world is tomatoes, fresh basil and mozzarella cheese. It works. Caprese salad is probably the most recognizable way to enjoy these ingredients but they multi task like nobody’s business. Try them on pizza, in pasta, on toast and yes even in quiche. Quiche is also a workhorse of a dish. What does that mean? It’s good served hot or cold and it’s great for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner. You can’t say that about too many dishes now can you.

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Grilled Ribeye with Balsamic Butter Sauce

Grilled Ribeye with Balsamic Butter Sauce

Finally grilling season is here. I’m just a tad bit excited about this after a VERY long winter. I love the smells that waft through the neighborhood as soon as the weather has heated up (and the pollen has past ugh). People are out walking the neighborhood (and gasp actually smiling and waving), flowers are blooming, the trees are filling in and grills are going strong. It’s a good thing.

We (and when I say we I mean my husband) like to grill a lot. It’s typically, chicken, ribs, with the occasional steak thrown in. It’s not that I have anything against steak, quite the contrary, bring on a hunk of perfectly cooked (for me) medium steak any day of the week if you’re paying ; ) If I’m paying it’s more of a special occasion meal. But guess what? Now it doesn’t have to be.

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Spiced Roasted Ham with Glaze

I love pork products. Probably more than the average person (well not as much as Chef Michael Symon who has multiple pigs tattoos – but close).  So naturally when I had an opportunity to partner with the National Pork Board it was a big giant no brainer. I am official now. Yes officially a Sister Cites of Ham Ambassador (Raleigh – DurHAM) and I have a badge to prove it. A celebration was in order which had to include what else? Ham! This spiced roasted ham with glaze. It’s a showstopper and it couldn’t be easier to make. Promise.

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Low Country Seafood Bake

Living on or near the coast for most of my life it’s only natural that I like seafood. Shrimp anyone? While living in Savannah I was introduced to a dish/event  called a “Low Country Boil”.  It involves a VERY large pot (like a turkey fryer) a lot of family and friends and more food than you could shake a stick at, and okay who am I kidding a lot of beer. Not in the pot mind you. The key to a good Low Country Boil is knowing when to add each ingredient to the pot so that’s it cooked properly.

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Seared Scallops With Whiskey Cream Sauce

Scallops make me swoon. The only scallops I’ve ever met that I didn’t like are overcooked scallops. There is a fine line between ridiculous (as in you want to lick the plate they’re so good) and rubbery.  I love them because they’re sweet, succulent and when you sear them my knees buckle. A little butter, a little olive oil, a simple sprinkling of  sea salt and pepper and you’re halfway there.  Honestly they would be just fine like this but I am saucy ehem a sauce girl so we press forward. With whiskey. And cream. And butter. Because I love you.

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Lobster Spaghetti

I have a thing for lobstah. I’m completely jealous of those who live in New England who have access to these lovely crustaceans on a whim. Not to mention on the cheap. Further down the East Coast where I live they’re definitely NOT cheap but somethings are worth splurging for and in my opinion lobster is one of them.  I like them just dipped in butter, on a ROLL with even more butter, and most definitely hiding in a bed bed of spicy pasta.

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How to Grill Chicken Under a Brick

Grilled Chicken Under a Brick

Grilling is one of summer’s true pleasures. In my house that usually means I have the night off from cooking. It also means there are less dishes. While that may not seem super important, to someone that can’t stand doing dishes (you’re looking at her) it’s a big thing. When someone is grilling in the neighborhood you know it. The smells waft up and down the streets and make those that aren’t grilling wish they were (well unless they’re burning something and well that’s another story all together.)

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Beef Tagliata Arugula & Mushroom Salad with Kerrygold Cashel Blue

I am a feeder. I LOVE having people over for dinner. I’ve never been able to cook for just our family. I blame my Mom for that ; ) Or maybe it was my Dad’s fault because he was always dragging GI’s over for dinner and she had to cook for an unexpected crowd . Anyway I get it honestly. Since I can’t physically have you all over we’ll have to settle for virtual dinner parties. Today you’re in luck Susan and I are co-hosting a virtual pot luck with a few of our fabulously talented friends. We’ll each be showcasing the Celtic wonder that is Kerrygold butter and cheese.

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Steak with Shallot, Butter & Balsamic Sauce

Steak is sexy. Yes. It is. There’s nothing like a perfectly cooked piece of melt in your mouth steak. For me that means medium. Not too rare, definitely not too done. Nothing worse than a piece of overcooked meat. If I wanted beef jerky I would have gotten beef jerky (I happen to adore beef jerky just not when I’m craving a melt in your mouth steak). One of my goals for this year is to conquer my fear of the flame, aka grilling.

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Roast Pork Loin {Arista al Forno}

To say we’re pretty fond of the pig is an understatement. The pig gives us so many fantastically delicious cuts from: Bacon, to Pork Tenderloin, to Pork Shoulder to well I could go on and on, so it’s only fitting that the pig should be a big deal, right? ; )

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Radiatori with Pumpkin Sauce {Radiatori Con La Zucca}

I have a thing for uniquely shaped pastas.  Whereas we can always find spaghetti, penne, elbows, ziti, fettucine  in our regular markets it’s not everyday that we come across radiatori and others like it. I always find fantastic pasta selections at  World Market . For the record, World Market doesn’t know who I am {well okay I do have a rewards card so I’m guessing SOMEONE over there has my name and number on file} which means that they have given me zilch in exchange for mentioning them. I just happen to LURVE them and spend way too much moo-lah in the store ; )

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Braised Pork with Rosemary and Mushrooms {Arrosto con il Rosmarino}

I could tell you how incredibly insanely delicious that braised pork roast is in the photo. OR how I used it to make not one but three meals. But I know you see that gorgeous cassis Le Creuset in the photo and you see giveaway in the title and now you’re heart is beating a little faster and you’re just not thinking clearly. It’s not your fault. It is Le Creuset after all. So I’m just going to get right to it. Christmas is coming a little early for someone. ONE lucky bell’alimento reader is going to WIN one of those for her {or him} self!

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Eggplant Lasagna {Lasagne con Melanzane}

It’s officially COLD here. Have I ever mentioned that I’m not a cold weather kinda girl? Or a morning person but that’s a whole nother story. When the temperature drops below 60 degrees {I know I’m a light weight but I live in the South and that is COLD to me LOL} It’s time to light the fireplace and fire up the oven. One of the the first things I like to make is Lasagna. When I want something  heavy, hearty and filling my go to is my LASAGNE ALLA BOLOGNESE. When we want something on the lighter side we make this fantastic vegetarian eggplant lasagna.

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Pollo alle Olive {Chicken with Olives}

Simple suppers are what I need right now. Someone in our family has an activity every day of the week. EVERY day of the week {that makes me tired just typing that}. Which makes getting dinner on the table a little challenging. Lucky for me, I like a challenge. 30 {ish} minute meals are a staple in our house for just that reason. This chicken with olives is a fantastic recipe for those busy nights.

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Spaghetti al Pesto {Spaghetti with Pesto}

 

Pesto is one of my favorite condiments/sauces of all time. It’s so incredibly versatile and can be made with a variety of ingredients. Basil is the classic ingredient and is what we’ve used to make this incredibly flavor yet super simple spaghetti dish perfect for those busy nights.  If you have a food processor {or blender} you can whip up a fresh batch of pesto in no time. If you don’t, don’t worry you can get your arm exercise in for the day and make it old school style.

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Baked Gnocchi with Two Cheeses

While I know it’s the middle of summer, BUT sometimes you just need a little comfort food even if it needs to go into the oven for you to enjoy it ; ) I just turn the air down a bit more that day. Gnocchi falls into that category. They’re little pillows of perfection to me. Darling delicious dumplings that are irresistible. They’re big on flavor and fill you up quickly. This baked version is no exception!

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Ruote e Piselli {Wagon Wheel Pasta with Peas}

It’s summer time. It’s HOT, the kids are home on summer vacation and they are about to eat us out of house and home. Is it the same for you right now? During these busy and WARM months I need quick and delicious meals to get on the table in a hurry. Ruote e Piselli is a meal that can be prepared in 10 minutes or less. Ruote means wheels in Italian and besides being fun to look at and eat they’re the perfect shape pasta to pair with vegetables!

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Pizza Grigliata con le Salsicce {Grilled Sausage Pizza}

Who doesn’t like a nice slice of pizza. We adore homemade pizza and make it often BUT during the summer months when it’s smoking hot outside I’m not a huge fan of heating up my oven to sweltering temperatures. Since I don’t have the luxury of an outside pizza oven {dare to dream} the next best way for us to make our beloved pizza is to GRILL it! Grilled pizza is ah-mazing and couldn’t be easier!

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Spaghetti al Moro

I was recently in bella Roma with the oh so favoloso Bertolli team. We ate our way around the eternal city, savoring the deliciousness that is authentic Italian cuisine. I’ve been to Rome many times but this time I got to see Roma through the eyes of Bertolli. We visited fresh markets, where we were inspired by the most vibrant and beautiful fresh vegetables/herbs. We chatted with the lively suppliers who were so generous with their time and tips. We visited cheese shops, bakeries, salumerias, gelaterias, pizzerias and oh so much more. We even shot the TV commercial for the super secret Bertolli product that’s launching soon. While I can’t tell you what the product is just YET {don’t even think about asking because I’m a vault ; ) } I CAN tell you about one of my most memorable meals in Rome.

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BLT Bucatini

If you like BLT’s and you like pasta then you’ll LOVE Domenica Marchetti’s recipe for BLT Bucatini! In fact I’m pretty sure you’re going to love every recipe from her stunning new cookbook “The Glorious Pasta of Italy” It is without a doubt one of the most beautifully written & photographed cookbooks I have ever seen.

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