A Simple and Savory Bolognese

img_20180213_210823-011452353602.jpegWhat can you do with all those leftover celery stocks and carrots from your winter soups?  Chop a few up and throw them in with a tomato sauce and a pound of ground beef and you’ve got a Bolognese that is simple, warm, comforting and satisfying.

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion chopped
2 large celery stocks finely chopped
2 large or 4 medium carrots finely chopped
3 large cloves of roasted garlic or raw
2 tablespoons of tomato paste
1 28-ounce can of crushed tomatoes or tomato sauce
1 cup bone broth or red wine (or both)
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 teaspoon of turmeric – (not traditionally Italian but it is my new obsession to aide with inflammation)
Sea salt
Black pepper
1 bay leaf
1 handful of chopped fresh parsley (flat or curly – I combined them in this recipe)
6 or 7 large basil leaves chopped
Grana Padana cheese grated
1 pound fresh pasta

Directions:

Heat heavy deep pan on medium, with olive oil and saute onions, celery, and carrots – add salt, pepper, red pepper, and turmeric – until soft, add garlic for another 2 minutes, until fragrant. Add tomato paste until mixed in completely. Deglaze the pan with a bit of bone broth and/or wine until evaporated. Add meat and cook through, breaking up lumps with a wooden spoon. Add the remaining broth/wine and stir for about a minute. Add the tomato sauce and bay leaf. Cook on low or in the oven at about 275 F if using a Dutch Oven for about 1 hour.

Serve over your favorite pasta and top with fresh basil, parsley, and Grana Padana cheese.

Last weekend we visited the Farmer’s Market in Cold Spring, NY and picked up a delicious spinach fettuccini from the Knoll Krest Farm, Hudson Valley Farmhouse.  Here’s a little look:  I admit it may be my new favorite pasta.  It melted in my mouth like butter!

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Prepping For Thanksgiving. On the Menu: Salted Caramel Apple Pie

Recipe for Salted Caramel:

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste

Instructions:

  1. In a medium saucepan set over medium-high heat, combine the sugar with 1/4 cup cold water and stir to combine. Cook, without stirring, until the sugar has turned a deep amber hue, approximately 10 to 12 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, warm the cream in a small saucepan. When the caramel is ready, slowly whisk in the warm cream and continue simmering the mixture until it is smooth, another 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat, then whisk in the butter, and then the salt, to taste. Serve warm or save for later.

Salted Caramel Apple Pie

Jason and I are off to Fairway to shop for the essentials.

Drizzling Homemade Salted Caramel Over the Sliced Apples

Drizzling Homemade Salted Caramel Over the Sliced Apples

 

Fresh Salted Caramel by Dena Ferreira

Fresh Salted Caramel by Dena Ferreira

Oatmeal Cookies with French Apricots and Dark Chocolate Chips

Oatmeal Cookies with French Apricots and Chocolate Chips

Photo by Jason Homa

Fall is one of those seasons that conjures up images of warm cable-knit sweaters, brown leather boots, and things that I just want to cuddle up with.  My children,  a good movie or a great book; or my boyfriend, a warm fire and some great music; either way this cookie is an excellent companion to either night in.

Here is my take on the traditional Oatmeal Raisin Cookie.  Instead of using raisins, I chop up  succulent dried French Apricots and add them to my batch.  The color is a rich amber gold and the texture is both chewy and sweet, which complement the crispy edges of the oatmeal cookie.  This particular batch was made specifically for my sweetheart.  He and I both love dried apricots in just about anything.  A batch of these are the perfect gift for your host with the most this Thanksgiving.

Show up with these and guests just might forget about the pumpkin pie.

Ingredients

• 1/2 cup salted butter (1 stick plus 6 tbsp.) at room-temperature
• 3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
• 1/2 cup granulated sugar
• 2 eggs (or egg substitute of 1 tbsp. cornstarch & 2 tbsp. water per egg)
• 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
• 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1 teaspoon cinnamon
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 3 cups of quick or old-fashioned, uncooked Oats
• 1 cup chopped dried French Apricots
• 1 cup chopped walnuts
• 1 1/2 cups large dark chocolate chips or semi-sweet chocolate chunks

Instructions:

1.  Heat oven to 350°F.  In a large glass bowl, beat butter and sugars on medium speed or by hand until creamy and well blended

2.  Add eggs and vanilla; continue to beat ingredients until mixed well

3.  In a separate smaller bowl, mix flour, baking soca, cinnamon and salt; mix well, combining all ingredients and working out any lumps in the flour.  Add combined mixture to wet ingredients and mix well.

4.  Add apricots, walnuts and chips; mix well

5.  Add oats and continue to mix all well together

6.  Drop dough by by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.  I will also set aside half my batter and roll into waxed paper to freeze; thawing and cutting into 1/2 inch circular slices and baking.

7.  Bake 8 – 10 minutes or until light golden brown.  Cool 1 minute on cookie sheets; remove to cooling rack or flattened brown paper bag .  I like to let them cool very little and enjoy them while the chocolate is still oozing and warm.

8.  Store in a tightly closed container.  Makes about 4 dozen delicious cookies.

Oatmeal Cookie

Photo by Jason Homa

Something else to try:

At Christmas time I like change the cookie recipe up with dried cranberries and cocoa powder.  In the next month or so I will post a picture of those with the slight variation of the recipe.

Enjoy!!

The best complement I could receive was this picture Catherine Garvey Simon sent me after she and her babies baked oatmeal cookies using my recipe!  Thanks Catherine!

The best complement I could receive was this picture Catherine Garvey Simon sent me after she and her babies baked oatmeal cookies using my recipe! Thanks Catherine!