Spiced Stuffed Medjool Dates

It’s Wednesday! Cooking With @Giada’sItaly cookbook. Stuffed dates, Tuscan style.  The fun of going through this cookbook is learning new recipes; but also putting my own spin on them, creating a new variation of the recipe.  This one was super easy and made the house smell so good from the cloves and cinnamon.  They were definitely a hit at my Italy dinner party.  Please try them out at your next gathering and let me know what you think.

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Ingredients:

port wine, apple cider vinegar, whole cloves, cinnamon stick (I did not have a stick so used a tsp. ground cinnamon), orange zest, sugar, pinch of salt.  Medjool dates, parmigano-reggiano, prosciutto di parma.

I brought all the ingredients except dates, parmigano and prosciutto to a boil.  If you use prunes which are heartier you can soak them in the cooled liquid.  I used pitted dates which are softer so mixed them gently in the liquid and poured over the top instead of soaking.  I used shredded cheese to stuff the dates as I did not have a chunk of cheese.  Always good to have on hand for soups and stews as well as appetizers and anything Italian.  You can use the rind in soups.  So stuffed the dates and wrapped them with the prosciutto and baked them in the oven until the prosciutto is crispy.  Cool and toothpick for a yummy bite sized appetizer.

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Godere!

Love and Light,

Jeanine on the Scene

 

 

 

Candied Prosciutto

Back again for my weekly “Cooking with Giada” with @GiadasItaly cookbook.  These candied prosciutto strips are quite easy to make.  I used my bacon platter in my microwave to save time and heat of using the oven as we are in the summer months.  It is really easy and the salty crunch can be added to your salads, pasta or a potato.

The history of Prosciutto di Parma dates back to ancient Roman times when Cato the “Censor” first mentioned the extraordinary flavor of the air-cured ham made around the town of Parma in Italy; the legs were left to dry, greased with a little oil and could age without spoiling, leading to a tasty meat with a pleasant flavor.

Prosciutto, which translates to “ham” in Italian, is made only from the hind legs of pigs and is aged during a dry-curing process. There are typically two types of prosciutto: prosciutto cotto, which is cooked, and prosciutto crudo, which is uncooked and is most popular to enjoy on its own, wrapped around fruit or used on charcuterie boards.

Ingredients:

  • Sliced Prosciutto
  • Sugar
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Allspice
  • Olive oil

20180718_142835.jpgMix 2 tbsp. sugar with cayenne pepper and allspice.  Note:  I did not have allspice so I substituted a mixture of cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg.  The recipe also called for a bit of kosher salt but I found it to be too salty so make sure to experiment to your taste preferences.

Lay the slices (5 or 6) of prosciutto on the bacon microwave cooker.  Brush each slice with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with the spice mixture.

20180718_142756.jpg  Microwave for 2 minutes checking as all microwave temps  are different. Cool on a rack and eat as a treat or crumble over salad.  Enjoy!

Love and light,

Jeanine on the Scene

Simple Summer Salad

As we are now in the heart of summer and the weather is warmer we look for simple refreshing and light options for meals. I am back cooking with Giada’s Italy cookbook and this salad is a perfect light meal for warm weather. This summer salad is super easy and so refreshing served by itself or beside some grilled chicken and a crisp Rose.  This is quick and can be done ahead of time.  I put the corn on the bbq the night before so it was charred and sweetened from the grill.  In the morning I cut the corn off the cob and set it aside.

The ingredients are simple: (adapted from @GiadasItaly)

  • 1 nectarine, 1 peach cut into small wedges
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1 fresh Fresno or serrano chile, thinly sliced (I did not have fresh chiles so sprinkled on 1/4 tsp. chili powder)
  • 2 tsp. white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 TBSP. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 ears of corn, barbecued cooled and cut off cob
  • 4 oz. burrata drained and patted dry
  • 1/4 cup shelled pistachios
  • Rustic Italian Loaf

In a medium bowl combine cut up fruit, basil, chili powder, white balsamic vinegar and olive oil.  Salt lightly and toss gently to combine.  Let sit for an hour in the refrigerator.  Then toss in corn. To serve, spoon mixture on a platter add torn up burrata and pistachios and sprinkle with a bit of sea salt and olive oil.  Serve with warm crusty bread.

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I’ve added chicken to this salad as well for a meal for lunch.  The combination of sweet, salty,and spicy is a perfect blend and light for those warm summer days and evenings.  Delizioso.

Love and Light,

Jeanine on the Scene

 

 

 

Let Freedom Ring

Well hello and Happy 4th of July!!!  I have been back from my fabulous trip for a few weeks now but still my heart longs to be back in Tuscany.  I am a different person than I was before this trip.  I have new goals and ambitions.  I have more love in my heart.  I want to share my visions with others and help those that want to be more or do better for this ever changing world we live in.  So as I sat this morning wondering what I would write about my mind drifted to my freedom and what does it stand for to me.  Freedom is more than just the world I live in, it is a new found freedom I have found in myself.  Its the positive feeling I have when I wake up each morning that I am thankful and grateful.  That I have abundance and love in my life.  That I am FREE to be ME.  The choices I make are mine and mine alone to be a better person, to live my life to the fullest, to love with all that I am and all that I will be, and to always be honest to myself with love and respect and dignity.  What does freedom mean to you?  Please read the lyrics below, really read them and let me know what “Let Freedom Ring” means to you.
Much love and light,
Jeanine on the Scene
Lyrics
Deep within the heart has always known that there was freedom
Somehow breathed into the very soul of life
The prisoner, the powerless, the slave have always known it
There’s something that keeps reaching for the sky
And even life begins because a baby fights for freedom
And songs we love to sing have freedom’s theme
Some have walked through fire and flood to find a place of freedom
And some faced hell itself for freedom’s dream
Let freedom ring wherever minds know what it means to be in chains
Let freedom ring wherever hearts know pain
Let freedom echo through the lonely streets where prisons have no key
We can be free and we can sing, let freedom ring
God built freedom into every fiber of creation
And He meant for us to all be free and whole
When my Lord bought freedom with the blood of His redemption
His cross stamped pardon on my very soul
I’ll sing it out with every breath, I’ll let the whole world hear it
This hallelujah anthem of the free
That iron bars and heavy chains can never hold us captive
The Son has made us free and free indeed
Let freedom ring down through the ages from a hill called Calvary
Let freedom ring wherever hearts know pain
Let freedom echo through the lonely streets where prisons have no key
You can be free and you can sing let freedom ring
Let freedom echo through the lonely streets where prisons have no key
You can be free and you can sing let freedom ring
You can be free and you can sing, let freedom ring, let freedom ring