pizza carbonara

PIzza Carbonara

One of the things my husband, Chris, and I like to cook together at home is pizza (recipe here and here). It’s quick and easy to make and allows us to customize and be creative with the toppings. When we have time, we like to make our own pizza dough, but when we’re on-the-go, like this weekend, pre-made dough from Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods does the trick just fine.  Just roll the dough and add toppings and it’s ready to go in the oven.

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pesto pizza with chicken, mozzarella, and sun-dried tomatoes

Making gourmet pizza at home is easier than you think . . . and a lot of fun, too! The beauty of making it yourself is that there’s more flexibility so you can add all your favorite toppings and it’s usually less expensive than at the pizzeria. After a few tries . . . you’ll probably be hooked and won’t want to wait for your pizza to be delivered!

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burrata with roasted vine-ripened tomatoes and pesto

Tomatobasil, and mozzarella is a classic combination that’s perfect for summer, when tomatoes and basil are at their peak.  This quick and easy appetizer is extra special when you use fresh burrata*, a fresh Italian cheese made by stuffing mozzarella with a mixture of more mozzarella and cream.  On the outside, the burrata looks like mozzarella, but on the inside it is oozing with soft creamy goodness.  It has a clean, milky taste that goes well with sweet roasted vine-ripened tomatoes and the slight saltiness of the basil pesto. Continue reading

pasta salad

 

I got this recipe from my mother-in-law, Lucia, who is the consummate hostess.  She has an incredible knack for making everyone feel at home.  Her house in Palm Springs, complete with basketball court and swimming pool, is the perfect hangout for family and friends.  While we all know it’s hard work, she somehow makes entertaining seem effortless.  She disappears into the kitchen for a moment only to reappear with a casual, yet very tasty poolside spread that has something for everyone. Continue reading

baked sausage and spinach shells

If you are a regular reader of my blog, you’ll notice that I like to cook dishes that are simple, easy to prepare, and readily adaptable to someone else’s tastes or needs.  Well, this recipe is all of that, and best of all, it’s absolutely delicious!  These baked sausage and spinach shells were exactly the type of food I wanted to serve my family and friends on Christmas Eve – finger foods that were filling and hearty. I was right because they were a big hit at my buffet table!  The shells held the filling together so my guests were able to pick them up with their fingers and eat them without making a mess.  I received compliments all night long.  Continue reading

Thin Crust Pizzas

It has now been several Sundays in a row that Chris and I have stayed home and cooked all day.  Yesterday was no exception.  After our visits to Sprouts, Smart and Final and Ralphs for all the necessary ingredients, we were delighted to spend the rest of the day in the kitchen.  Between the two of us, we made ice cream, simmered pork for ramen, and pickled some eggs à la Joe Jost.  We also made marinara sauce and pizza dough for two pizzas – one with pesto sauce and the other with the marinara.  While waiting for the pizza dough to rise, Chris managed to make a piña colada for me and a margarita for himself.

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