Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Ultimate Italian Snack Mix

Looking for a new snack mix?  You've got to try the Ultimate Italian Snack Mix!  Italian-seasoned Crispix® cereal with zesty pepperoni, Pecorino Romano, Provolone and Grana Padano cheeses make this munchy a crowd pleaser.  I developed this recipe in April 2011 and have received great reviews for its robust flavor.  Is it the ultimate snack taste sensation?  You be the judge!

The Ultimate Italian Snack Mix


The Ultimate Italian Snack Mix Recipe

Ingredients:
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cups Kellogg’s® Crispix® cereal
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
  • pinch of dried parsley flakes
  • hot red pepper flakes, finely ground (optional)
  • 1/4 cup Pecorino Romano cheese, cut to 1/8-inch thick, 1/4-inch squares
  • 1/4 cup Provolone cheese, cut to 1/8-inch thick, 1/4-inch squares
  • 1/2 cup Grana Padano cheese, cut to 1/8-inch thick, 1/4-inch squares
  • 1/2 cup pepperoni 1-inch round stick, casing removed, cut to 1/8-inch thick, 1/4-inch pieces

Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 225°F.
  2. In a glass measuring cup, add the olive oil, garlic salt, Italian seasoning, then stir. Microwave on high for 40 seconds, then stir to dissolve most of the salt.
  3. In a large bowl, add the Crispix® cereal.  Stir the seasoned oil mixture, then drizzle it over the cereal.  Immediately toss to evenly coat each piece of cereal.
  4. In a 13- x 9- x 2-inch baking dish, add the seasoned Crispix® cereal.  Sprinkle with parsley.  Optional:  For a spicier snack mix, also sprinkle with hot red pepper to taste, toss to combine.
  5. Bake for 5 minutes, toss, repeat, until the cereal is crunchy, about 20 minutes.  Transfer the cereal onto a paper towel lined cookie sheet, and cover with a layer of paper towel.  Allow to cool completely.
  6. In a large bowl, add the seasoned Crispix® cereal, cheese squares, and pepperoni pieces.  Toss to combine.  Transfer to a serving bowl. Enjoy!
NOTE:  The seasoned Crispix® cereal can be prepared in advance and stored in an airtight container.  Do not refrigerate.  Add the cheese and pepperoni just before serving.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Is It A Salad Or Dessert?

I was craving a salad, and it had to be something different.  Getting tired of the same old thing, I rummaged through the refrigerator looking for ideas.  I found some thinly-sliced prosciutto and a bag of mesclun mixed lettuces and greens--then bang, it hit me!  Off to the store I went.  In my carriage went a package of dried apricots and goat cheese.  Meandering through the aisles wasn’t an option this time.  I was hungry and my creative juices were flowing. 

The combination of tender lettuces and greens with tangy, yet sweet pieces of dried apricots and the saltiness of fresh prosciutto was amazing.  The sweet fig-like flavor of the authentic vino cotto drizzled over the salad pulled the whole thing together, minimizing the piquant taste of the goat cheese.  Was I eating a dessert?  No, but it certainly tasted like one.

This salad was quick and easy to prepare and made a delightful presentation, perfect for any holiday table or dinner party.




Mesclun Mix with Goat Cheese, Apricots, Prosciutto and Vino Cotto Recipe


Ingredients 
    Instructions 
    1. Cut a prosciutto slice in half lengthwise, then cut into thirds crosswise (6 sections per slice).  Tightly roll up each section, then cut it in half.  Repeat. 
    2. Onto each salad plate, add a handful of lettuce, a few morsels of goat cheese, apricot pieces, and prosciutto rolls. 
    3. To serve, drizzle with olive oil and vino cotto, then top with black pepper.  SERVES 4

      Mesclun Mix with Goat Cheese, Apricots, Prosciutto and Vino Cotto

      vino cotto

      Thursday, May 26, 2011

      Falmouth, Our First 2011 Beach Day

      Weather throughout our vacation has been rather bleak, with a long-term forecast of much the same.  It hasn't slowed us down any, but, really, where's the sun?  To our surprise, however, we woke up yesterday to glorious rays of sunlight, something we haven’t seen in a couple of weeks.  Quickly, I logged onto the computer and checked the latest forecast.  Yes, it was going to be sunny all day with temperatures in the low 70s.  Falmouth, here we come!

      Photo by Cape Cod USA Real Estate

      With bathing suits on, our beach towels, chairs, snacks and water swiftly made their way to the car.  We returned to Menauhant Beach in East Falmouth, a spot we visited on Tuesday, but could only enjoy its ocean view from inside the car.  Is this the same place?  It looks considerably different!  Replacing the undesirable cold, gusty winds and gray, overcast skies, is now this hazy and warm day with gentle breezes.  The ocean’s rhythm keeps perfect time with each rolling wave.  Scattered about are just a few couples doing exactly what Greg and I set out to do...relax and become intoxicated by the sounds and smells of the ocean.