Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Holiday Wreath

We entertained over the weekend and I want to quickly share with you a recipe where I used Pillsbury crescent rolls to make this delightful looking as well as delicious appetizer.

I'm always looking for easy appetizers and this one from Pillsbury was easy and enjoyed.  The only thing I would do differently would be to double the sour cream.  I love lots of topping and I think this would definitely help.

Here's their recipe.  I did adapt some things to my liking.  Enjoy!

1-8oz. softened cream cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tsp. dill weed (I think a package of dried ranch dressing might give it a little more flavor)
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
1 1/2 cup chopped broccoli florets
1 cup finely chopped celery
1/2 cup finely chopped red pepper

Celery leaves to garnish

I added some red and green grapes for garnish

Remove crescent rolls from package. (do not unroll).  Cut each tube into eight slices.  Arrange in an 11 in circle on an ungreased 14 inch pizza pan.

Bake 375 for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown.  Note:  do not over bake. Cool for 5 minutes before carefully moving to serving platter; cool completely.

In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese, sour cream, dill and garlic powder until smooth.  Spread over wreath; top with broccoli, celery and red pepper.  Form a bow garnish with celery leaves.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Veal Scallopini #2 recipe

I was longing for a light meal but also was not interested in the usual, beef, pork or chicken so I bought a small portion (enough for two) of veal scallopini at our local grocery store. I scouted the internet and found this one to fit our needs.  I had all the ingredients and even the veggies for sides.  It's a good day when I have all the ingredients and don't have to leave the house for something I need to complete a recipe.

It turned out to be so easy and the new idea of mashing cooked cauliflower with sour cream and butter was delightful.  ( I love my immersion blender).  Green beans lightly tossed with olive oil and garlic too!  Yummy easy meal.

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 pound thin veal
  • 3 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
  • eal scallopini (less than 1/4 inch thick)
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar(my capers were in vinegar so I did not add vinegar to my recipe)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons drained small capers
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley

Heat a 12-inch heavy skillet (not nonstick) over high heat until hot, then add oil and heat until it shimmers.
Meanwhile, stir together flour, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper, then pat veal dry and dredge in flour, knocking off excess.
Cook veal in 2 batches, turning once, until browned and just cooked through, 2 to 2 1/2 minutes per batch. Transfer to a plate.
Discard oil from skillet, then add butter and cook over medium heat, shaking skillet frequently, until browned and fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in vinegar, capers, and 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Return veal to skillet just to heat through, then sprinkle with parsley.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Our yearly Dinner with Nonna 2014

Maria (Nonna) and yours truly
 First the Appetizers
Stuffed mushrooms and stuffed petite peppers
Meatballs marinara
Thinly shredded tuna on crostini

Mozzarella stuffed with ricotta.  Lightly roasted peppers also with a balsamic glaze

Where has the time gone?  It seems like yesterday we moved from the city of Harrisburg, Pa to the suburbs of Pittsburgh, Pa.  It's been over seven years and quite honestly I'd like to stop the clock and slow things up a bit.

Our youngest grandchild was 4 when we moved here and he'll be 12 soon.  He is no longer a little guy who I watched over a few days a week to a very involved boy who loves sports and doesn't spend nearly as much time with Poppy and I as we'd like.  The other four grandchildren are teenagers, two being off to college next year.  Wow, this is what I mean when I say time flies.

One of the best decisions we made when leaving Harrisburg was to move to a community where there were others who made the same decisions as we did to move closer to their children and grandchildren and downsize to a condo type living.  It was very hard but both hubby and I realized that we weren't getting any younger and a big house and yard was way too much work and we wanted to spend time doing other things rather than raking leaves and shoveling snow.

This is where this story begins.  When we moved to the little community of Cobblestone Village we didn't know if a condo type living arrangement would work.  I was used to a house and garden. We had a circle of friends who we loved.   My hubby worried I wouldn't be able to handle it. He was still working so his life would not change dramatically.   I knew I'd be able to. I was ready!!  My only concern was socialization.  We new no one for the exception of our family and I did not want to rely on them for our socialization.  They had already established their own circle of friends and I did not want to infringe on their life.

 Here are a few of the highlights of the afternoon.  Yes we do this dinner at 1 p.m. on a Sunday!!  A holiday dinner with our friends. Hoping you have enjoyed my early Christmas story.

Spinach, ricotta and fennel gnocchi

Roasted beef n a mushroom and wine sauce

Giambotta(garden veggies roasted and tossed)

Mediterranean salad


We are very fortunate that where we live there are people who too made their decision very similar to ours and right from the first day we moved here we made friends.  There is a clubhouse, pool and there is usually a social at the clubhouse each month.  You have a choice to go or not. So if you don't care to monthly socialize you can but I have to say knowing there are people who surround us and if need be would be less than a few steps away is a nice feeling.

 We starting going to the socials and met many wonderful people and actually here's where the really good part comes in we developed a circle of 4 couples who from day one clicked and after 7 1/2 we are going strong.  I think about now it's time to get to my point!!!!!

One of the best things that became of our move is we as couples do a yearly dinner.  That doesn't mean we don't see each other at other times because we do but our Dinner with Nonna is on it's 4th year and we already made reservations for next year.  See how much we love it!!!  

  Love, Peace and Blessings,