Tag Archives: cooking

Italian Ricotta Cookies – Full Recipe and Video Tutorial

If you are looking for a tender, cake-like cookie that is not too sweet, but has a delightful lemon flavor that makes it perfect to pair with coffee or tea, this Italian Ricotta Cookie recipe will be one you want to try. These cookies are always a hit at our house. I even made 2 batches during Christmas in order to have some for my daughter to take back with her.

They are such a festive looking cookie to bake during Christmas and New Year’s, but you can make them any time of year. If you want, you can tint the icing with food coloring.  Some people like to tint it red or green for Christmas. You could tint it pink or blue for baby showers or gender reveal parties as well. I prefer white and just change the colors of the nonpareils or sugar sprinkles I use if I want to make them a bit different.

 

 

It is very important to use whole milk ricotta when baking these cookies, part skim does not taste the same. Also, be sure to cool the cookies on cooling racks before icing them. Never frost a hot or warm cookie. The recipe says to chill the dough, but if you are pressed for time, I have made them without chilling the dough and they came out fine.

Italian Ricotta Cookies

Ingredients

  • Ingredients For Dough
  • I cup of softened butter
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 1 ¾ cups (15 oz) of whole milk ricotta cheese
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 2-1/2 tsp of pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 cups of flour
  • 2 tsp of baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp of sea salt
  • Ingredients For Icing
  • 1 tbs of melted butter
  • 1-1/2 tsp of pure vanilla extract
  • 4 cups of confectioners’ sugar
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup of milk (use as needed to think icing to correct consistency)

Instructions

  1. Cream the 2 sticks of butter with sugar until fluffy with electric mixer. Add ricotta, lemon zest, vanilla extract and mix well. Add in eggs, one at a time. Scrape sides of bowl and then begin to slowly mix in flour, one cup at a time. Add baking soda and salt and mix until blended. If you want you can chill dough for several hours or overnight. You can also bake immediately.
  2. Scoop with a cookie scoop and place about 2" apart onto a non-stick baking sheet liner or parchment paper. Bake cookies at 350 degrees F. for 15 minutes or until golden brown on the bottom. Remove cookies and let cool on wire rack.
  3. To make icing, melt 1 tablespoon of butter and whisk into the confectioners sugar with lemon juice, add enough milk to make a spreadable icing. Using an offset spatula or butter knife, spread icing onto top of cookies and sprinkle with sprinkles, nonpareils, decorative sugar or other decors. Let cookies set until icing is hard.
http://www.mommyramblings.org/2017/12/29/italian-ricotta-cookies-full-recipe-and-video-tutorial/

Watch my complete baking tutorial video for these cookies below.

 

Please let me know if you try them and what you think.

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Easy and Delicious Mini Cheesecake Recipe

I have been making these mini cheesecakes for my family for over 20 years. If I didn’t make them, my kids would be crushed, because it is one of my traditional dessert recipes that I bake for Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Years Eve, New Years Day, Easter and other special occasions.

They are very easy to make, and they are such a hit because you can top them several different ways which makes them even more appealing. If you are looking for a mini cheesecake recipe that is easy and delicious, you found it! This tried and true recipe is posted for you below.

 

This recipe is supposed to make 18 mini cheesecakes, but there is always enough filling for a few more, so I add the crumb mixture to 3 or 4 additional, lined muffin cups. I hope you give this recipe a try,  I think you will really like them.

Mini Cheesecakes

Mini Cheesecakes

Mini Cheesecakes

Ingredients

  • • 1-1/2 Cups of Graham Cracker Crumbs
  • • 5 Tbsp. Melted Butter
  • • 3 Softened 8 Ounce Packages of Softened PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese
  • • 3/4 Cup of Sugar
  • • 2 Tsp. of Pure Vanilla Extract
  • • Zest of 1 Fresh Lemon
  • • Fresh Lemon Juice (I use the juice from ½ of the lemon)
  • • 3 Large Eggs

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F.
  2. Mix graham cracker crumbs and butter; press evenly onto bottoms of 18 lined muffin cups. I always have enough mixture for more than 18 cheesecakes so I put the mixture into at least 21 lined muffin cups. Put these into the oven for 5 minutes or until lightly golden brown.
  3. Raise oven temperature to 350°F.
  4. Beat cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, lemon zest and lemon juice in large bowl with mixer until well blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each just until blended. Fill your muffin cups about 3/4 of the way with this mixture.
  5. Bake 20 min. or until center is almost set. Cool completely. Refrigerate 3 hours.
  6. Before Serving top each cheesecake with about a tablespoon of the pie topping. You could also top with whipped cream and fresh berries, fruit preserves or jam.
http://www.mommyramblings.org/2017/12/27/mini-cheesecake-recipe/

 

Let me know what you think if you try this recipe.


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Filed under Baking, Cooking, Home & Garden, Recipes

Tender & Delicious Pot Roast Cooked In a Tagine

Wow, the weather has taken a serious dip in the Northeast. Tomorrow is going to be absolutely frigid, the morning will feel like 7 below 0 degrees F. The only bright spot is that next week, we should be back to more seasonable temperatures.

When the weather gets colder, I get into the mood to make hearty meals that stick to your ribs and warm you up. I love a good pot roast, beef stew, pasta fagioli and other flavorful stews and soups, on cold winter days.

If you have been following Mommy Ramblings for a while, you will remember my posts about the best way to cook hearty soups and how to make the perfect beef stew. The right cookware, and the way you cook, really make a difference in how your recipes turn out. I love trying new things in the kitchen and, I have always wanted to try cooking in a Tagine.

A Tagine is a cooking vessel that is used to cook food at a low temperature, for a long time. The unique shape of the Tagine lid allows steam to circulate, which works to keep all the ingredients tender and moist. This kind of vessel and cooking method, works so well with dishes like pot roast. The end result is that type of meat that just falls apart so beautifully, and melts in your mouth.

I just finished cooking my second pot roast in my Emile Henry Tagine, and I don’t think I will cook pot roast any other way. There are so many great recipes you can make in a Tagine. My daughter loves cooking chicken tagine. Any type of recipe that you can cook at a low temperature for a long time, will turn out well.

There are many different kinds of Tagines on the market, but I prefer the Emile Henry Tagine. This Tagine is made of their Flame Ceramic and can be used directly on the heat of the stove or in the oven. This is perfect, because I love starting off on the stove cooking my onions and garlic, browning my meat, and then transferring it all to the oven, to cook for several hours.

You can see the video I made the first time I used the Emile Henry Tagine to make pot roast

We love the Emile Henry Tagine so much, which is why you will find it on Mommy Ramblings’ 2017 Holiday Gift Guide. A gift of Emile Henry Cookware, is a gift any cooking enthusiast will treasure. I know, I certainly do! My Emile Henry Cookware and Bakeware are staples in my kitchen, and they make cooking and baking for my family and friends, easier and better than ever.

Giveaway

Emile Henry Set of 2 Burgundy #9 Ramekins Giveaway on Mommy Ramblings Rules:

Enter for your chance to win using the Rafflecopter widget below. Good Luck!!!

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Parmigiano Reggiano is a Staple in Our Home. #ParmesanAmbassador

Parmigiano Reggiano cheese is a staple in our home. As an Italian-American, I cannot imagine not having this cheese in the fridge.  Nor would I dream of eating pasta and may other dishes without it. That is why I was thrilled to be asked to be a blogger ambassador for Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.
If you truly want rich flavor, don’t settle for pre-grated parmesan cheese. There is nothing like the intense flavor you get from freshly grating a wedge of Parmigiano Reggiano right into and on top of your favorite recipes and dishes.  Parmigiano Reggiano cheese is made by a collective of farmers and producers in Italy. If you see the pin-dots on the rind, you know you have the real deal!
This cheese is great on way more than pasta, grate it on of your salad,  it is delicious in soups, I love it on veggies and a real favorite is using it to make oven baked potato wedges. Even the rind can be used to flavor a delicious homemade broth. If you want to see more ways to use this great cheese, click HERE.
If you are lactose intolerant, you will be glad to learn that due to the long aging process, Parmigiano Reggiano is naturally lactose-free. It is easily digestible and a great source of both protein and calcium. It is a healthy cheese for your whole family. One of my favorite comfort foods is pasta and a simple tomato sauce with freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano on top.  It is easy to make, and so delicious.
Recently, after a long day running around,  I was looking forward to getting home and making some cheese tortellini with a tomato basil sauce and lots of grated Parmigiano Reggiano. I can tell you, sitting down with that delicious meal, the stress of the day just melted away and I was in heaven. What can I say,  we Italians are passionate about our food.
Yesterday, I made some super greens because they are so rich in iron. I sautéed them in garlic and olive oil and seasoned with pepper. When I plated them, I topped them with fresh grated Parmigiano Reggiano! So healthy and delicious!
More About Parmigiano Reggiano:
Did you know that just three ingredients—milk, salt and rennet—and eight centuries of cheese making experience go into every wheel of Parmigiano Reggiano? From the local grasses and forage fed to the cows, to the milk they produce and then the cheese that is produced by nearly 400 cheese makers, Parmigiano Reggiano is a true reflection of its place of origin and the art of generations and generations of cheese artisans. Parmigiano Reggiano is produced exclusively in the provinces of Parma, Reggio Emilia, Modena and parts of the provinces of Mantua and Bologna, on the plains, hills and mountains enclosed between the rivers Po and Reno.

Enter to Win:

Would you like  a chance to win a Holiday Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese Feast? I knew you would! All you need to do is click HERE to enter. Good Luck!

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Cook, Eat & Bake Healthier With Coco Treasure Coconut Products #Giveaway

I like to eat healthy and in doing so I use things like extra virgin olive oil and extra virgin coconut oil. You might remember a recipe for the most decadent and delicious chocolate chip cookies I made with extra virgin coconut oil. We love those and anyone that tries them, asks for the recipe. If you missed that post you can find it HERE.

Recently, I was contacted by Coco-Treasure asking if I would like to try some of their coconut products. I agreed and below you can watch an unboxing video of what they sent me.

I received 2 bags of Coco-Treasure  coconut sugar, 2 bottles of coconut nectar syrup and 2 jars of extra virgin coconut oil. Coco Treasure is committed to producing products using the best that Mother Nature has to offer. These products are USDA Organic, Non-GMO, contain no chemicals and are ethically sourced. Coco Treasure Organic Coconut Sugar and Organic Coconut Nectar Syrup has a low glycemic index and helps to prevent blood sugar spikes.

Their Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil is Unrefined, Non-GMO, Vegan & Gluten Free, contains no chemicals and is ethically sourced. All products are made from coconuts that have not been treated with any pesticides or chemicals and are hand-picked at their peak quality. Use Coconut Oil for cooking, baking as a dietary supplements and for your pets.

I will be doing some cooking and baking with this in the upcoming weeks and posting about that so stay tuned. You can buy these products right on Amazon. If you would like to enter for a chance to win one of each of these Coco Treasure Products, enter below.

 

Giveaway:

 

 

Coco-Treasure is sponsoring a giveaway on Mommy Ramblings!  One lucky blog reader will win a bag of Coco- Treasure Coconut Sugar, a bottle of Coconut Nectar Syrup and a jar of Extra Virgin Coconut Oil! Thank you to Coco Treasures for the review products and for sponsoring this fantastic giveaway on Mommy Ramblings!!! Open to US residents.

Coco Treasure Coconut Products Giveaway on Mommy Ramblings Rules:

Please enter the giveaway using the Rafflecopter widget below.  Good Luck!!!

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How to Enjoy America’s #1 Dressing Guilt Free!

This is a sponsored post and I was compensated by Tessemae and received product samples as part of the Mom It Forward Influencer Network. As always, all my views and words are 100% my own. 

 

As a parent, I am concerned about the products I use, the food we eat and the environment we live in. With young kids who are picky eaters, it can be very frustrating. I make compromises, I try to buy the healthiest options of food they like and pick my battles. So, I understand that they want dinosaur shaped chicken nuggets and I buy the healthiest ones I can find. I am glad they like salad but then I get concerned about all the sugar, preservatives and artificial ingredients that are in the dressings and dips they use.

Perhaps you can imagine my excitement when I recently discovered Tessemae Ranch and Caesar dressing and dip.

tessemaes

Did you know Ranch is America’s #1 dressing? It is, Tessemae makes their ranch dressing with only clean, simple, real ingredients. You might be wondering how it tastes, I can tell you it is the most delicious Ranch dressing I have ever tasted and the best part is, my kids think so too. My youngest even ate 2 bowls of salad at dinner! I also tried their Caesar dressing and dip and it got rave reviews and left clean salad plates all around our dinner table.

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With Tessemae’s Ranch dressings, we can savor all the incredible flavor guilt free. They make 25 different dressings, marinades and condiments using real, whole sourced food ingredients that are USDA organic! This is something I feel great about and want to let everyone I can know.

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tessemae-5

You can stay in the loop with Tessame on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram. Tessemae is available at Walmart, I hope you give it a try and let me know what you think.

 


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Filed under Cooking, Health, kids, Kitchen

My Secret For Baking Perfect Bread Loaves Every Time!

Tis’ the season for hearty soups and stews and home-baked bread. I used to have issues baking bread, it just never came out right. Last year, I discovered that when I used a bread cloche I could make the most delicious artisan bread consistently. Baguettes were not a problem any more either and I was turning them out 3 at a time. They disappeared before they were even cool! So I was left with mastering baking the perfect bread loaf. I am happy to report I mastered that and no matter how many I make, they are perfect and delicious every time!

If you are looking for pointers, I can help. I will tell you that I do use bread flour, I add a little more sugar than my recipe calls for and make sure to use fresh, active dry yeast. The recipe I use is easy, it is actually the same recipe I use when I make my round bread in the Emile & Henry Bread Cloche. I do not change a thing, the only thing I do differently, is use the Emile & Henry Bread Loaf Baker.

loaf-baker

bread-loaf-baker

bread-baking

This is the recipe I use:

3 cups of bread flour

1 cup of warm water (95 degrees F)

2 tsp of salt

2 tsp of granulated sugar

2 tsp of dried baker’s yeast

2 tbsp of milk

In a large bowl mix the bread flour, salt, sugar and dried yeast.

Pour in the warm water and knead for about 2-3 minutes.

Put the covered bowl in a warm place away from drafts to rise for 20 minutes.  Uncover the dough and knead to remove the carbon dioxide, form the dough into a loaf.  Grease the bread loaf pan with butter and flour and place the loaf of dough into the loaf dish. Cover with the top and let rise for another 45 minutes at room temperature.

Brush a little milk over the top at the end of the rise time and sprinkle with flour.

Bake in a preheated oven of 460 degrees F for 35 minutes and I remove it after a few minutes to a board.

Click on my video below to see me bake a loaf from start to finish.

bread

bread-baked

bread-baking-1

cut-bread

butter-bread

We have a giveaway for this bread loaf baker and you can enter below. We will also be posting a giveaway for a Emile & Henry Butter Pot and Stewpot so make sure you follow us if you don’t want to miss it. We think Emile & Henry products make great gifts and we will be putting them on our 2016 Holiday Gift Guide.

Emile & Henry is sponsoring a giveaway on Mommy Ramblings!  One lucky blog reader will win a Emile & Henry Bread Loaf Baker . Thank you to Emile & Henry for my bread loaf baker and for sponsoring this fantastic giveaway on Mommy Ramblings!!!  Open to US residents.

Emile & Henry Bread Loaf Baker Giveaway on Mommy Ramblings Rules:

Please enter the giveaway using the Rafflecopter widget below.  Good Luck!!!

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Filed under Baking, Cooking, Giveaway, Holiday Gift Guide, Review

How To Have Fun With Breakfast!

Do you love family breakfast time? A big weekend breakfast with pancakes, bacon, maple syrup and fresh squeezed orange juice sounds great doesn’t it? How about taking the fun factor up a notch with fun shaped pancakes. Think it sounds like a lot of work or is too hard? Well, you might be surprised to find out that it is not hard and it actually is a very fun process. It is so easy to make pancakes in fun shapes using the batter pen and fun silicone molds from Kitchen Khancepts.

pancake set

 

pancake set 1

The batter pen is easy to fill and easy to clean because both ends unscrew. Just fill it up with your favorite pancake batter and then squeeze it into the molds that you have placed in your pan or griddle. You can also use the pen for cake batter making it easy to fill cupcake molds. Everything is food safe materials and BPA Free. Take a look at our video below to see how it works.

 

 

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You can find this great pancake set on Amazon and if you want to take a look just click on the link below. Let me know what you think.

 


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Perfect Gift For The Person Who Loves To Cook! #HolidayGiftGuide #LeadingGourmet

Are you are searching for the perfect gift for person who loves to cook and entertain or maybe you need a gift for a couple who just bought their first home? Maybe you are looking for something to make cooking for the holidays easier for you. I want to share a great product with you that I discovered recently. You may find it is just what you are looking for.

cutting board gift 2

Every kitchen and every good cook needs a great cutting board and this natural bamboo wood cutting board really fits the bill. Made from 100% natural, organic bamboo it is ultra strong yet lightweight. It has a non-porous, antimicrobial & antibacterial surface that eliminates strong odors and bacterial growth. This reversible cutting board  has rounded non slip silicone corners that come in blue or green and maximize safety. This cutting board makes a great cheese and serving board and is easy to clean with warm water and soap.

cutting board

cutting board thick

cutting board 2

I was very impressed with this board. I loved the silicone corners and how even on my quartz counters the board remained steady with no slipping through my chopping and cutting tasks. It looks very nice and makes a nice addition to our kitchen. It was easy to cut and prepare food on and easy to clean after.

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cutting board potatoes

cutting board blog

 

I like this board so much you will find it on our 2015 Holiday Gift Guide. Mommy Ramblings’ readers get a gift too! Take 15% off this great board when you buy it on Amazon. To get the discount just click HERE to add the board to your cart and enter the Coupon Code GOURMET2

 

 

Disclosure: I received one or more of the products mentioned above in exchange for review from Giveaway Service website. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. Reference ID: pmdbd146a24e3bc24319bf07050e2ec9b9


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The Best Way To Cook Soups & Stews! #HolidayGiftGuide #Giveaway

Logo_EmileHenry_PANTONE_Vertical_Grand_No®

The days are getting chilly and soup and stew weather is upon us. There is something about this time of year that makes it more comforting than any other time to enjoy a savory stew, flavorful soup or even a hearty chili.

stewpot

I love to cook stews and soups this time of year. One of my very favorites that I grew up with, is Pasta Fagioli which means pasta with beans in Italian. It is a warm-you-up, stick-to-your-ribs, bowl of deliciousness.

This weekend I cooked a huge batch of it in my brand new Emile & Henry Stewpot. I love this huge 7 quart, red covered stewpot. It is big and that is good because being Italian we never cook a little bit of anything. I believe it had to be an Italian that coined the phrase “Go Big or Go Home”. We just always have enough for anyone that stops by. I have a big family, but stews and soups are so good the next day and even to freeze.

Emile Henry Pot

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Emile Henry 5

Emile henry pot 4

This huge stewpot is an entirely natural cooking vessel. This stewpot is part of Emile & Henry’s Flame® product line and can be used direct on heat  (gas, electric or halogen), in the oven, the microwave, even on the barbecue.  The cookware is highly resistant to thermal shocks and you can take it from the freezer and put right in a hot oven.

The cookware itself retains heat so your food stays hot longer. The cookware is wonderful for cooking simmered dishes like stews and soups but  recommended by word renown chefs to use when cooking caramel due to its even heat diffusion. This stewpot makes caramel quickly and easily. We are going to try that out as my husband has been going on about wanting to make a sea-salt caramel.

Flame® Cookware is produced using raw materials directly from nature like non-treated clay, sand, filtered water and mineral oxides for the colorful glazes. So you know you are cooking in total safety. There is no lead, cadmium or nickel in them cookware and so no risk of contamination when cooking. The cookware is made in France from high fired Burgundy clay.

emile henry pot cook

Since it is such an excellent heat diffuser as opposed to metallic cookware, it diffuses heat and does not conduct it. The cooking process is gentle and food does not burn, so you are left with the flavors of your food intact. Since it is such a great diffuser it performs well on lower temperatures. So very high temperatures are unnecessary and it is advised to start with low heat.

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The cookware is very sturdy and resistant to mechanical shocks that make it a great choice in restaurants. The glazes used are very resistant to the dishwasher and the most aggressive of detergents

While my Pasta Fagioli was simmering I made a nice crusty round bread in my Emile & Henry Bread Cloche. You may remember when I showed you those last year. They are still one of my favorite kitchen items and the only way I make bread now!

Emile Henry 8

When my Pasta Fagioli was done I served it with fresh grated Parmesan cheese and the fresh sliced bread. It was the perfect weekend dinner on a cold night for this family.

Emile Henry Pot 8

Emile Henry Pot 9

We think the Emile & Henry Stewpot makes a gift that will delight any cooking enthusiast on your gift list. You will find it on Mommy Ramblings 2015 Holiday Gift Guide!

Emile & Henry is sponsoring a giveaway on Mommy Ramblings!  One lucky blog reader will win their own 7 quart Emile & Henry Stewpot ($240 ARV) . Thank you to Emile & Henry for this gorgeous stewpot and for sponsoring this awesome and extremely generous giveaway for our readers at Mommy Ramblings!!! Open to US residents.

 

emile henry stewpot

Emile & Henry 7 Quart Stewpot Giveaway on Mommy Ramblings Rules:

Please enter the giveaway using the Rafflecopter widget below.  Good Luck!!!

 

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