Sandi is blogging from the WhistleStop Cafe kitchen. It's all about good home cooking; food, family and fun. Thousands of posts . . .

~In the south and around the world.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Grilled Dessert

This is a quick and easy dessert... It is one of my favortie 'go-to's when the grill is hot. Sooooo simple, and yet it is always a hit! Grilled Pineapple with coconut rum
1 pineapple
1/4 cup dark rum
2 Tbs brown sugar
Vanilla ice cream
Malibu Rum (optional)
Slice the pineapple into 1/2 inch thick rounds. In a large zip-loc bag combine sugar and rum; squish to blend. Lay the pineapple slices into the bag and allow to marinate for several hours. When you are ready for dessert~ remove pineapple from the marinade and grill over hot coals. Char each side quickly. Place on an individual plate with a scoop of ice cream, and a drizzle of coconut rum.
If you want... make some Coconut Ice Cream for a special treat.
Y'all enjoy!


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Let's cook out!

With the 4th of July coming up, I've decided to post a few grillin' recipes. It is a good way to keep from heating up the kitchen. July in Alabama~ Porca Miseria!

This is a recipe for a yummy sauce for chicken. Perfect for the 4th!
Bourbon-Molasses Chicken
1/2 stick butter
1 cup minced onion
1 cup ketchup
1/4 cup molasses
2 Tbs brown sugar
1 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbs mustard
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 cup bourbon
Salt and Pepper
Melt the butter in a saucepan, add onion and saute until soft. Add ketchup, molasses, sugar, worcestershire, mustard and chili powder. Stir to combine and simmer until the sauce thickens. Stir in bourbon, simmer for another 3-5 minutes. (this may be made ahead of time and refrigerated.

To use this sauce on chicken; Generously salt and pepper chicken. Start chicken off on a hot grill. Using half of the sauce, brush on to chicken breasts while grilling. Reserve the other half to use as a dipping sauce or on burgers.

Y'all enjoy!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Summer Slaw

I love the fresh taste of coleslaw in the summer time... But I don't like the idea of mayo baking in the heat.

This is a combination of 2 slaws that are family favorites. Easy to make and just what you might be looking for on the 4th of July.
Thai Summer Slaw
3 cups shredded cabbage
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1/2 cup yellow squash
1/2 cup cucumbers
1/2 cup yellow bell pepper
1/2 cup frech cilatro
2 pkgs ramen noodles
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup vinegar
1 Tbs fish sauce
Combine oil, sugar, vinegar and fish sauce in a cup. Add one package of ramen noodle spice. Stir briskly and set aside. Julienne slice the squash, cucumbers, peppers and cabbage. In a large bowl; crumble the ramen noodles. Combine all the other ingredients. Stir the dressing in and serve.
Now for the rest of the story... I used two bags of cole slaw mix (cabbage and carrots) then all I had to do was add the squash, cucumbers and peppers. You can also add sunflower seeds to the mix to add a bit of extra crunch, if you'd like.

We are about to move on to our new series of Sunday cooking adventures... Next week starts Sunday Sides! We'll have recipes for side dishes from all over the world. This in addition to Pomodori e Vino and my Cooking Light Supper Club. It looks like we'll be cooking again in the WhistleStop Kitchen.
Y'all enjoy!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

PhotoHunt ~Purple

The photo hunt for this week is 'purple'.
I've decided to share my photos of purple artichokes that are in the garden in Montisi.
They grow right outside the kitchen. We even had them for dinner... on party night of our GreatEscape
Happy hunting y'all~

Friday, June 25, 2010

Friday's Favorites ♥Linky Party♥

It's Friday!
It is time to show off our Favorites.

My favorite this week is a simple centerpiece on my kitchen table. I giggle everytime I look at it...
It reminds me of the pretty pasta in Italy.
Not to mention that it didn't cost a penny...

just a quick trip to the pantry for a half used bag of bowtie pasta.

~so I am also going to link to Trifty Thursday at Bloggeritaville and at 6 inches of ribbon's linky party
Y'all share your Friday's Favs


Thursday, June 24, 2010

Pomodori e Vino ~Butter & Sage

This week's challenge for Pomodori e Vino is 'Borro Oro e Salvia' ~Golden Butter and Sage~ Doesn't that just sound like a pinch of heaven?

I have some lovely sage in the garden. This recipe couldn't be simpler. First you brown the butter until golden and add the fresh sage leaves, turning after a few minutes to get them crispy.

Marcella says that this is best eaten with fresh pasta... so here we go! I put on my pasta apron and made some fresh tortolloni.

The pasta was light and fresh. The browned butter and sage sauce fabulous. Topped with a touch of Parmigiano-Reggiano.
Ciao y'all~
Y'all look at my comment from Marcella on the Pomodori e Vino blog...
Sandi, who could have imagined an Alabama belle making such deft
tortelloni! You've proven that if one really loves pasta one doesn't have
to settle for second-rate store bought stuff. It has to do with whether
eating well is worth making an effort or not. And that, I understand, is
what Southern cooks know something about.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Time for Tortelloni

I needed to make some fresh tortelloni for my Pomodori e Vino challenge this week. What a better time to try out my new Pasta Making skills.
Y'all know that I was lucky enough to take pasta lessons with friends while in Bologna. I learned that it really isn't as hard as it seems. Some have asked... so I will say in all honesty~ this is one of the best cooking classes I have had. Bluone is a personalized cooking experience. Our cookbook has several recipes~ but I'm concentrating on the Pasta today!
Y'all know pasta dough is basically eggs and light flour (00 flour in Italy is similar to cake flour here). This makes a light pasta base.
I followed Francesca's directions to incorporate the egg and flour, and then allow it to sit.
To roll out the pasta to a smooth thin sheet ... I am in desperate need of a large wooden stick and wooden pasta board. However I did manage to prove that it can be done with a rolling pin and silpat sheet. My filling for the tortelloni was a mixture of ricotta, parmigiana, Italian herbs, nutmeg and basil.Bill wasn't nearly impressed enough with my fresh tortolloni.It was the perfect for my sauce of borro e salvia... that's next!
Ciao y'all,

Monday, June 21, 2010

Top 10 things do do in summer

It is the first day of summer.
Here is my list of the top 10 things to do in the summer in Alabama.
10* float in the pool
9* sit in front of a box fan
8* wear flipflops
7* water the impatients daily
6* eat popsicles
5* go to the moviehouse
4* shop at the local vegetable market
3* eat watermelon
2* swat mosquitos
1*** What would be your number 1?

Happy summer Y'all~

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Photohunt ~ six

The photohunt for this week is 'six'.
This is Madonna of the Red Angels (1400's), an oil by Giovanni Bellini. (not of the bellini drink fame) It is at the Galleria del Accademia in Venice. I was moved by the unique use of color.
and the fact that there are 6 red angels.
Happy Hunting Y'all!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Friday's Favorites Linky Party

I♥ Friday!
It is time to show off our Favorites.

I found a new favorite drink while in Italy. It is a caffe shakerato. It's a shot of espresso and a touch of sugar, shaken vigorously with ice in a martini type shaker.
It's cold, refreshing and energizing. Just the perfect pick me up in the afternoon.

Now y'all share your ♥'s
Anything goes at this linky party!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Pomodori e Vino~ Bottarga

This is not officially my week to post for Pomodori e Vino. When we drew straws, this was Jan's day.
~But there are times when you just need to break the rules. THiS Is one of them!
In fact for a brief time~ there were '4 pomodori' in Italy.Jan and I found ourselves in Venice at the same time... and the recipe she needed to make was Marcella's Pasta with Bottarga Sauce.
I posted before on our trip to the market in Venice looking for Sardinian mullet roe. We found what we were looking for at the Casa Parmingiano. With our purchases in tow we headed to Jan's apartment to cook up our Bottarga Sauce.
Walking through the streets of Venice,
with a recipe from the amazing Marcella,
to cook (and eat) something we really had no clue about.
That is the kind of excitement that just makes me giggle!
The recipe, as many in the Essentials of Italian Cooking, is simple in it's ingredients. The process of cooking the garlic, onions, and mullet roe is a layering of flavors.
We were both a bit afraid of the overwhelming fishyness~ but to no avail. Once again, Marcella has presented a perfect blend of light Italian flavors.
The process, the flavors, the memory,
This was one of those moments in life you just can't make up!
Y'all enjoy~

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

They are going to carry me away!

I hear buzzing in my sleep (while I'm getting over my jet lag by the pool).
I think they are going to carry me away. I have arrived back in Alabama in the armpit of summer. It is dreaded mosquito season! Here are some tips from DIY Life to keep them away.
I'm not convinced... There was everything from spray's to whirring sound machines. One person suggested a concoction of beer, salt, and mouthwash to spray on the bushes. Or~ Try a white plate full of water and lemon joy to attract the pesky 'skeeters or a dish of old coffee grounds. I'm not sure that a chiminia with burning pinon wood is the answer... we don't need anything to heat things' up!
In the meantime, I am wearing eau de OFF cologne!
How do y'all keep the skeeters away?

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Sunday's are for cookin'

Sunday's are for cookin' around the Mc's house. Now that I am home again... I will need to get back into the kitchen.
Until then~ I'll post a few pictures of our cooking class in Bologna.
We spent the day with Marcello, Raffaella and Francesca learning to make traditional foods from the region. We had pasta lessons from the master~ Francesca is the most beautiful pasta maker in Bologna!Starting with the bright orange yolks of Emilia Romagna.I did well... except for a slight problem when my perfect sheet of pasta ended up on the floor. Porca Miseria!
We made garganelli... tiny rolls of pasta.I even brought home my own pasta roller.(thank you Raffaella!) We also made tortelloni, filled with a light ricotta. I'll do a whole separate post on that ~It was all fabulous! The most wonderful thing was being able to spend a day in Rafaella's kitchen. If you are ever planning a trip to Italy and want to experience the passion of wine, food and cooking...
Bluone~Food Lover's Adventure will accommodate! They not only will do cooking classes, but the whole food lover's adventure.
Spending time with them was one of the highlights of my trip!
In fact I am working on arranging a marriage...
Ciao y'all~

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Photohunt ~ Bubbles

The photohunt for this week is 'bubbles'
I immediatly thought of all the bubbles in Venice...
Not just the Spritz!
In the center of each campo is a fountain, many with drinking water.
Away from the crowds... the sweet sound of bubbles. Happy Hunting Y'all!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Friday's Favorites ♥Linky Party♥

I♥ Friday!
It is time to show off our Favorites.
Today my favorites would have to include caffeine. I just flew in last night... so it is not only the new time zone~ but I really miss my Italian coffee's.
Y'all share your ♥'s


Thursday, June 10, 2010

Pomodori e Vino ~Pesto

Don't y'all just love it when timing is just perfect? It doesn't happen often in life.

This week's recipe from 'Essentials of Italian Cooking' came at the perfect time. I was in Montisi with a garden FULL of fresh Italian basil, cooking in a Tuscan kitchen and my 'chore' was to make Pesto, by the Motar Method.

Marcella has a beautiful page in the book on the true origins of pesto, and the art of creating pesto by using a mortar with a pestle. If you have ever had truly fresh, perfectly prepared pesto on fresh pasta... It will make your heart sing. This is not the pesto-boyRdee, or even what they make in the authentic Olive Gardens across the country. We are talking honest-to-goodness-hallelujah-chorus flavors.
Start with 2 generous cups of fresh basil, that have been rinsed in cold water and dried. Combine in a mortar with sea salt, pine nuts, and mashed garlic. Using the pestle, mash against the sides until a thick paste if formed. (stop here and just take a deep breath~ y'all will be transported to my Tuscan kitchen for a moment) Add grated cheese and continue until it is a smooth paste. Add olive oil in a very thin stream, beating with a wooden spoon. Finally, add a few tablespoons of softened butter. This pesto can be used so many ways. We enjoyed ours on thin slices of bread drizzled with olive oil. We were lucky enough to be a few short miles from Pienza~ known for its pecorino cheese, and I was able to find some 'fiore sardo'.

Ciao y'all~

Wednesday, June 09, 2010


I love the Vespas you see zipping around the streets of Italy.Believe me...They come in all shapes and colors.They can park them in a tight row.Pretty in Pink.How about sky blue?Orange Vespa, orange building.What's not to love?
If I could only fit one into my suitcase!
Ciao y'all~
Related Posts with Thumbnails