Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Peppermint Bark

20 oz. semi-sweet chocolate
20 oz. white almond bark
1 1/2 c. crushed peppermint

Melt chocolate in a double boiler. Spread on your cookie sheet and cool until hardened.

Melt almond bark in a double boiler. Gently spread on top of chocolate. Sprinkle with candy. Cool.

Break into pieces and serve.

Mushroom Casserole

You and your adult sisters will probably love this. Your kids, however, won’t touch it!

*This recipe can easily be doubled.

1 8-oz container of fresh mushrooms, gently washed and sliced
1 egg yolk
1/3 C. of sour cream
1/3 C. of parmesan
1/3 C. of grated swiss cheese

Saute your mushrooms in butter until tender. Mix with remaining ingredients and place in prepared oven-safe dish.

Top with seasoned bread crumbs or stuffing mix. (I like to brown them in butter first because one never can have too much butter in a recipe.)

Bake at 350 degrees for a half an hour or so.


Monday, December 04, 2006

My Father's Famous Sauce Bolognaise

This one will win you raves across the globe! Trust me, as I have tested it out in NYC (where my employer, on her way out to a fancy Manhattan restaurant, stopped by my simmering sauce pan for a taste. She had three helpings and cancelled her reservation!) and in France, where my friend's uncle took a spoonful and exclaimed, "C'est bon!" The fact that he was visibly surprised left me torn: am I flattered or annoyed?

It is really good, and the best thing about it is that you can (and I almost always do) start with a jar of store-bought spaghetti sauce.


  • 1 jar of spaghetti sauce (I like Ragu and Prego. Paying more for those fancy brands hasn't been worth it, in my opinion.)
  • 1 1/2 lbs of ground beef
  • lots of chopped onion (the size of your dice depends upon your audience)
  • some minced garlic if you like
  • 1 generous tablespoonful of sugar (to taste)
  • 1 generous tablespoonful of red wine (or, if you prefer, balsamic vinegar)
  • lots of flaky green herbs like basil and oregano (again, you add as much as you like) as well as a good bit of garlic powder if you didn't go with the fresh garlic at the beginning of the recipe.
1. Start by browning your meat and onion. Toss in some italian sausage if you have it on hand.

2. Add the minced garlic at the end of the browning process. Burnt garlic is no good.

3. Add your sauce. Bring it to a boil to heat through and then turn the heat down. It can simmer while you make the rest of the meal.

4. Oh, and at some point add the rest of the ingredients. I usually add them right away but find that I need to perk up the flavor of the herbs once more before serving.

How easy is that? Let me know if this works out for you, or if you have other pointers I'd be happy to hear them!