Thursday, March 28, 2013

Italian Easter Bread- Buona Pasqua

Easter has and always will be one of my favorite holidays. Growing up we had the best Easter holidays any child could dream of- candy filled baskets, a feast of lasagna, ham, meatballs and endless desserts. The one dish that made the Easter table so festive was the Easter Bread. We didn’t call it Italian Easter Bread because we are Italian so to us it’s just Easter Bread (there’s no other kind). The best part of Easter for us was the Easter Egg Hunt! We looked forward to that hunt all year long. Novelty eggs filled with pocket change and if you were lucky dollar bills! With that, Here is my recipe for Italian Easter Bread, Buona Pasqua!

1 package rapid dry yeast
2 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
 1 ½ cups of warm not hot milk – appx 105 degrees
1 tsp salt
4 cup all purpose flour
½ cup of golden rasins
Egg wash- 1 egg plus 2 tablespoons of heavy cream

Add eggs, sugar , salt and yeast to mixer fitted with dough hook
Mix 2 minutes add in milk and raisins
Slowly add in flour, you may need to use more than 4 cups depending on humidity. Knead in machine 7-10 minutes or until dough is no longer sticky.
Add dough to well oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap or dish towel. Put in warm, draft free area to proof, appx 1 hour.
Take dough out punch down and divide into three parts. Roll each part out to form three long ropes. Pinch ropes together at top and braid.
Form a circle and allow to proof 1 hour again
Brush with egg wash
Place dyed eggs into seams of braids and bake at 350 degrees appx 40 minutes or until golden brown.
Ready to Rise

Three Ropes
Braided Bread
Bread Before Rising

After 2nd rising

Ready for Oven

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Easter Krispy Rice Treats

Easter's almost here , one of my favorite holidays! As kids we had the best Easters, egg hunts, candy baskets, easter outfits & more candy! This year I'm paying homage to a whimisical simple treat your kids& the kid in you will love.... Bunny Krispy Treats!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Sausage and Spinach Quiche

Who doesn't love quiche? An elegant, easy dish  perfect for entertaining. My Sausage and Spinach Quiche is a cinch to put together and showstopper on the table. It's just in time for Easter or perfect potluck bring along.  Using a ready made pie crust is a serious time saver:
 Sausage and Spinach Quiche
5 eggs
1 cup half and half
1/2 cup parmesean cheese
1 cup chopped spinach
3 Italian Sausage Links,
1 cup Shredded Swiss Cheese
 1 9 inch pie crust

Preheat oven to 375
Beat cream, eggs and Parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper
Remove Sausage links from casings and brown in saute pan. Set Aside
Layer Spinach on bottom of pie crust, then add cheese and layer in sausafe.
Pour cream and egg mixture into pie crust and bake for 35 minutes or until set.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Poached Chicken Pasta Salad with Warm Dijon Vinaigrette

I'm always looking to put new spins on old faves. Tonight I just do not feel like running to the market before I get home. Super Storm Saturn is supposed to hit I'm sure the supermarket is just crazy right now. Since Sandy, New Yorkers really panic when a storm hit and the market and gas stations are the first places they hit to get last minute goods.Instead,  I will be scrummaging through my pantries and putting together a meal. When I came up with Poached Chicken and Pasta Salad with Warm Dijon Vinaigrette.
I love making dressings from scratch and my homemade dijon vinaigrette is one to brag about. I like using apple cider vinegar, good quality dijon and Garlic Infused extra virgin olive oil. I whisk together my warm dressing and set aside. Next I poach chicken breasts which I  toss with the warm vinaigrette and cooked pasta. Add in a few pantry staples like black  olives and chickpeas a little feta cheese for flavor and fresh herbs for good season.