Let the Grilling Begin!

Memorial Day is right around the corner, here’s a few tasty ideas you might want to try.
First up, Chicken Flavored with a Mustard and Herb Paste.
Place 1 1/2 cups of loosely packed herbs of your choice into a food processor, I used parsley, basil, rosemary and thyme. Add 3 cloves of garlic, the zest of a lemon, salt and pepper then process to a fine chop. Add the juice of one lemon, a healthy glop of dijon mustard then drizzle in some olive oil until you get a thick paste consistency.
Now rub it all over your chicken, under and over the skin and let it sit for a few, then it’s time for the grill!
The end result is chicken flavored to the max!
When the chicken is done and resting you can make these Garlic Grilled Tomatoes, a recipe adapted from Steven Raichlen the BBQ king.
Cut your tomatoes in half crosswise, season with salt and pepper.
In a small frying pan add crushed garlic, olive oil and fresh thyme, cook til golden, take off the heat and add in grated parmesan cheese. Place your tomato halves cut side down on and oiled grill until you get grill marks, then turn them over with tongs and spoon the garlic cheese mixture on top and continue cooking.
This is a wonderful side for anything you might be putting on your grill.
You might also want to plan ahead and grill up some eggplant.
Then pair it with a caprese salad for another side or appetizer. Oh, this is so good!
Then finally, you have to have dessert! My go to, no brainer, quick dessert is a scoop of
 vanilla ice cream drenched with Amaretto and topped with chopped almonds, so simple and a hit every time!
Or you just might be in the mood for Limoncello drenched ice cream… To die for!
Enjoy your weekend!


Limoncello Tart with Amaretti Cookie Crust and Blueberry Blackberry Sauce

I have a fondness for limoncello, that sunny, refreshing, sweet, lemony flavored liqueur from Italy, I love to sip it icy cold straight out of the freezer from a small delicate glass.
I also love it in desserts, like this tart.
Amaretti cookies make the perfect base for this tart and paired with the lemon filling, it’s a match made in heaven! Just whirl a package of amaretti cookies in your food processor and drizzle in some melted butter until it all comes together and you’re able to pat it into a tart pan.
The cookies are sweet enough so I didn’t add additional sugar, for a 7oz bag I used 6 tablespoons of melted butter which fits nicely into a 9″ tart pan.
Have your oven set to 350 and pre-bake your crust for 5 minutes, then let it cool.
The filling is simply, 2 egg yolks, 1 can of sweetened condensed milk, 1/4 cup of fresh squeezed lemon juice, 1/4 cup of limoncello liqueur and 1 tablespoon of lemon zest. Blend it with a hand mixer until creamy. Pour mixture into the cooled crust and bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes, it should be firmed up but not overcooked.
While the tart is baking you can make this quick sauce by warming berries with a little sugar in a saute pan, add lemon zest for an additional boost of flavor. In just a few minutes the berries will break down and yield their precious juice!
After the pie cools down you need to chill it in the fridge! This is very important because the colder it is, the better it is, give it at least a few hours, I promise you it will be worth it!
Don’t be like me, I couldn’t wait!



Antipasto Salad and a Tiramisu!

I just wanted to share with you a couple of the highlights of our dinner this past Sunday. This antipasto salad is so good you just HAVE to make it for your next party! Although I’ve made many salads with fresh green beans in the past like here, I never quite put this combination together. I can thank my dear friend Stacey, of Stacey Snacks for giving me the inspiration!

I tweaked Stacey’s recipe slightly and used a combination of fresh green beans, that have been cooked and cooled down, just make sure they still have a little bite, sun-dried tomatoes, kalamata olives, marinated artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers, (I had some that I roasted myself,) garbanzo beans, chopped red onion, and strips of salami. The dressing is made with red wine vinegar and olive oil, salt, pepper, granulated garlic and oregano. Delicious at room temperature. This was so good I had the leftovers for breakfast the next day!

One of the things we had for dessert was this Limoncello Tiramisu, not a conventional tiramisu but perfect for spring. Fresh lemon curd, layered over limoncello soaked pound cake, followed by a mascarpone whipped cream. The flavor is out out of this world!

I’ve made this before but never put it in a trifle bowl, you will definitely hear lots of ooohs and aaahs when you bring it out of the frig! It makes for a great presentation, and best of all you make it the night before! Just click on the link for the recipe and double everything if you’re using a bowl like this. A good store bought pound cake is fine, I used 2 for this, slice it into 3rd’s lengthwise, cut strips to go around the edge of the bowl, and bigger pieces to layer up the middle.
Enjoy the rest of your week, and Buon Appetito!