Cheesecake Bites with a Shortbread Crust

These little Cheesecake bites are so delicious and surprisingly very healthy!

Ingredients

1 cup Shortbread cookie crumbs

2 Tablespoons butter, melted

3/4 cup whole milk ricotta cheese

1/2 cup sour cream

1/2 cup honey

2 eggs

Directions

Preheat the oven to 35o degrees F.

Using a muffin pan line each sections with parchment paper or cupcake liners. In a small bowl combine the cookie crumbs and melted butter. Place 2-3 Tablespoons of the mixture into the bottom of the liners and set aside. In another bowl combine all remaining ingredients and whisk together. Put about 1/4 cup of the wet mixture on top of the crumb combination. Bake for 35-40 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow to completely cool in the fridge for at least 45 minutes.

These tasty treats will satisfy your body and soul!

Mozzarella with Olive Oil, Fleur De Sel and Fried Basil

What is more comforting than eating a ball of cheese? Olive oil, Fleur De Sel and fried Basil leaves is the perfect accompaniment for this lovely dairy product. Serve as a simple lunch or an elegant appetizer. Easy and delicious as can be! The inspirtaion behind this amazing little dish comes from my favorite local restaurant, Cafe Bink. Although, they make a homemade “pulled to order Mozzarella,” and let me tell you, I have never tasted cheese this good, ever! It is creamy, milky, rich and decedent. Then they make it even better by serving it with thin, crispy crostini, red onion marmalade, pesto and confit compari tomatoes. Until I get the courage to make my own cheese, I satisfy my yearning for this gorgeous dish with a good mozerella from the market and a few simple ingredients.

Ingredients

Mozzarella cheese, a few ounces

Sprinkle of Olive Oil

Fleur De Del or any flaked sea salt

Basil Leaves, fried crispy in a little olive oil

Directions

Asemble all ingredients on a beautiful plate or serving plater of your choice.


Ravioli with Spinach, Ricotta and White Truffle Oil


My Grandmother says that “Watching Haley eat is an art in itself.” She is so cute. However when I was eating these Raviolis it was down right ridiculous! I would not be quite about how amazing I thought these pockets of love were! My husband was looking at me like I was completely nuts! I was talking to these little things and with each bite I closed my eyes and “Mmmmmm……ing” every single time! So must I say more? This recipe is incredible simple and so much fun to make. Just you wait, you will be Mmmmm..ing with each bite too.

Ingredients

Fresh Pasta Dough

12 ounces Organic Spinach, frozen and chopped

16 ounces Ricotta Cheese

2 Garlic Cloves, minced

1/4 Cup Flat Leaf Parsley, chopped

3/4 Cup Parmesan Cheese, grated

Heavy Cream

Black Pepper, freshly cracked

White Truffle Oil

Directions

1. Drain the Spinach into a colander, drain and rinse well. Place the wet spinach onto paper towels or a clean kitchen towel and squeeze as much of the remaining water from the spinach as possible.

2. In a large bowl, mix the ricotta, garlic, spinach, parsley, parmesan and sea salt and pepper to taste. Fold in enough cream to make the mixture soft and malleable.

3. Roll out the pasta to thin sheets. Cut the desired squared sizes you would like for the ravioli. Cover with a damp cloth while you make the ravioli. Working 2-4 squares at a time, spoon 1-1 1/2 teaspoons of the filling onto the middle of every other square. Place another ravioli square on top of the mixture and gently pinch the bottom and top layers together. (If they do not stick together easily, brush the edges with water.)

4. Bring a large pot of water to a simmer and add a generous tablespoon of sea salt. Add the ravioli. Cook for a few minutes until the pasta is al dente and the ravioli floats to the top of the water. Be careful not to allow the water to reach a rolling boil or the ravioli could fall apart. Remove with a skimmer and place a few on each plate. Drizzle with the White Truffle Oil and grate parmesan and freshly ground pepper. Serve immediately.

Minneola Muffins with Dates and Goat Cheese

Minneolas are delicious with sweet dates and creamy goat cheese. These muffins are sweet and savory, perfect for breakfast or a mid day snack.

Ingredients

2 Cups Organic Flour

2/3 Cup Organic Sugar

2 teaspoons Baking Powder

1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda

1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt

1/4 Cup Organic Olive Oil

Zest of one Minneola or Orange

2/3 Cup Buttermilk

2 Organic Eggs

2 Tablespoons Minneloa Juice, Fresh

1 Cup Dates, Chopped

8-10 oz Goat Cheese

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Combine the flour, sea salt, baking powder, baking soda, the zest from a Minneola or an Orange and dates. Whisk until combined. In another bowl combine the eggs, sugar, olive oil, buttermilk, juice and sugar. Stir well and add the mixture to the dry ingredients, stir both mixtures together and be sure to not over mix them. Butter a muffin pan and put a scoop full of the batter into each muffin cup and top with a few tablespoons of goat cheese on each. Bake for 20 minutes an allow to cool for about 10 minutes before removing from the pan.

Arugula Salad with Roasted Beets Goat Cheese and Pistachios


Arugula is such a fun leafy vegetable.. Its Beautiful and Peppery, therefore it complements many differnt flavor combinations. This salad is so easy to prepare and perfect for a gathering or a lovely first course to any dinner.

Ingredients

2-6 Cups (Depending how many you are serving) Organic Arugula

8 oz Goat Cheese

1-2 pounds Gold or Red Organic Beets

1/4 Cup Pistachios

Sherry Dressing

2 teaspoons Grain Mustard

1-2 teaspoons Sherry Vinagar

1/3 Cup Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1/4 teaspoon Sea Salt

1/4 teaspoon Pepper, Fresh Ground

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Peel and rinse the Beets then place on a baking sheet with a drizzle of Olive Oil, Sea Salt and Pepper. Roast for 25-30 minutes until tender. Set aside.

To make the dressing, combine all the ingredients and whisk until the dressing is completely emulsified.

Into a salad bowl, add in the Arugula and a few tablespoons of the dressing and stir until the Arugula is coated well. Then add about 1 cup of the salad to your serving plates and top off with the Roasted Beets, Goat Cheese and Pistachios. You may add more Dressing if you wish.

Simply Beautiful!

Parmesan and Ricotta Cheese Pizza with Pistachios Bacon and Micro Greens

I adore making pizza at home… I seem to be making it more and more these days, because it is so versatile. Whatever flavors you crave you can turn it into a pizza! I chose to combine salty Parmesan with crunchy Pistachios and sweet Applewood Smoked Bacon topped with Beautiful peppery Micro Greens.

Ingredients

Honey Wheat Pizza Dough Recipe

1/2 Cup Ricotta Cheese

1/2 Cup Parmesan Cheese, Grated

2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1/2 teaspoon Pepper, Fresh Ground

1/4 teaspoon Sea Salt

1/4 Cup Pistachios, Chopped

4 Strips Applewood Smoked Bacon, Sliced into 1-2″ strips

1/2 Cup Micro Greens

Directions

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F. Prepare the dough and sprinkle a small amount of corn meal on a pizza stone or baking pizza pan to prevent the pizza from sticking. In a bowl combine together the Ricotta, Parmesan, Olive Oil, Sea Salt and Pepper, mix well then place the mixture atop of the prepared pizza dough. Then layer with the Bacon and half of the Pistachios.

Bake the Pizza for 14-18 minutes until the dough is browned and the bacon is crispy.

Before serving garnish with the remaining Pistachios and  the Micro Greens.

This pizza can be served as an appetizer, an elegant lunch or simple dinner. It also pairs nicely with a glass of Malbec!  Specifically my new favorite “Tilia Merlot 2008,” A gorgeous Syrah and Malbec blend.

Bon Appetit!

Broccoli and Goat Cheese Pizza with Caramelized Onions and Salami

After eating at “Pizzeria Biancos” last night, I was absolutely CRAVING Pizza again today! I truly do not understand how I possibly could considering how much I ate. Between 6 people, 6 pizzas were completely devoured! Oh Man was it GOOD!! So today I created another delicious pizza of my own…

Whole Wheat and Honey Pizza Dough

3/4 Cup Filtered Water (110 degrees F)

2 1/2 teaspoons Dry Active Yeast

2 Cups Organic Whole Wheat Flour

1 Tablespoon Local Honey

1 teaspoon Sea Salt

3 Tablespoons Organic Olive Oil

Combine the water, yeast and honey together. After about 5 minuted the mixture will look frothy. Then add in the olive oil. In another bowl combine the flour and sea salt and whisk together. Then combine both mixtures together and mix well with a wooden spoon and your hands. Place into a bowl in a warm area and allow dough to rise. After 45 minutes, punch down and wrap in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Topping

1/2 Cup Organic Broccoli, Sliced

3/4 Cup Goat Cheese

1/2 Cup Caramelized Onions

1/4 Cup Salami, Sliced

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

Pinch of Sea Salt & Pepper

Begin to layer the Pizza Dough- Onions, Broccoli, Goat Cheese, Salami, Olive Oil, Sea Salt and Pepper

Bake in a preheated 500 degree F oven for 12-15 minutes until the the cheese is melted and the crust is golden brown.

This pizza pairs gorgeously with a Pinot Noir, Candlelight, Frank Sinatra and The Love of Your Life

Sauteed Mushroom Ravioli with Manchego Thyme and Pepper Cream


If I could rename “Ravioli” I would call it “Pocket Full of Goodness!” Because that it truly what it is. Not only is ravioli so much fun to make, but you get to choose what goes inside!

For this particular ‘Packet Full of Goodness’ recipe, I chose to fill them with gorgeous sauteed mushrooms, a thin slice of Manchego Cheese and tossed them in a delicious cream sauce.

Dough

1 1/2 Cups Organic Flour

3 Organic Eggs

1 teaspoon Sea Salt

1 teaspoon fresh Thyme

Directions

Combine the flour, eggs, salt and thyme. Using your hands or a wooden spoon mix until well incorporated. Roll out the dough using a pasta machine until the sheets are very thin. Set aside on parchment paper to prevent the sheets from sticking. When your filling is done and cooled cut your sheets of pasta into 3″ x 3″ pieces. To put together the ravioli layer 2 mushrooms then a piece of the Manchego then 1 mushroom on top. Complete as many ravioli as you would like to serve then set aside on parchment paper dusted with a little flour to again, prevent sticking.

Filling

1 Cup Crimini Mushrooms, chopped

2 Tablespoons Organic Sweet Cream Butter

Manchego Cheese, thinly sliced into 1” pieces

Sea Salt and Pepper

Directions

In a large pan saute the butter, mushrooms, salt and pepper over low-medium heat until the mushroom are wilted and beautiful. Then set aside in a bowl to cool for about 15 minutes.

Cream Sauce

1 Cup Organic Cream

1/3 Cup Manchego Cheese

1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper, fresh cracked

Few sprigs of Thyme

Directions

In a small pot heat the cream and Manchego until it is melted. Add in the sea salt, pepper and Thyme. Stir with a whisk to

prevent to much clumping. (A little clumping is good because it gives it that cheesy texture.)

To cook the ravioli, bring a large pot of sea salted water to a soft boil and add in your ravioli one at a time. Do not overcrowd the pot. Cook until tender 8-10 minutes. (All dough has a different cook time, so just test the ravioli to make sure it is to the consistency you would like.)

When your ravioli is ready to be served, top with the gorgeous cream sauce and garnish with a pinch more of pepper and fresh Thyme.

Date and Goat Cheese Tarts with Oyster Mushrooms and Pistachios

There is something about the combination of Dates and Goat Cheese that I just adore. The sweet with the tang and creaminess, it just works together.

This gorgeous recipe combines these flavors along with crunchy Pistachios and earthy Oyster Mushrooms all laying upon buttery Puff Pastry.

Ingredients:

1 Sheet of Puff Pastry

1 Organic Egg

1/2-3/4 Cup Organic or Local Goat Cheese

1/3 Cup Oyster Mushrooms, wiped clean with a dish towel, then chopped

6-8 Dates, Chopped into pieces

Handful of Pistachios

Sea Salt and Pepper

Chives

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degress

Cut a pre rolled 9 x 9 sheet of Puff Pastry in to 6 pieces. Brush with egg wash and lay the pieces on a parchment paper covered baking sheet.

Chop the chives and sprinkle on the puff pastry. Then combine the Goat Cheese, Mushrooms, Egg, Salt and Pepper and put a few tablespoons of the mixture onto each of the pieces of pastry. Then a layer of chopped pistachios, dates and pistachios again.

Bake for 15-16 minutes until the edges of the pastry is puffed and golden brown.

Serve warm with a beautiful salad and a glass of wine

Brie Cheese and Spinach Dip

Brie Cheese.

When I was first introduced to this unique cheese, years ago, by my European raised fiance, I was honestly terrified.

Cheese  to me was not supposed to be covered with a white edible “wrapper” , nor was it supposed to smell and look funny, and to taste it I was expecting to have to plug my nose and allow my body to digest it as quickly as possible.

However, This cheese to my discovery was absolutely phenomenal! I was completely not expecting to well… Eat the whole thing. And the only remark from my fiance…”One bite huh?”

Now that Brie is a part of our almost daily lives, I have come up with many creative ways to enjoy it, this recipe came from what we just happened to have in the fridge that day and I was craving something gooey, warm and yummy! So this is what I came up with.

*Ingredients:

2 Cups Organic Fresh Spinach

1 Cup Organic Sour Cream

1 Cup Brie (Of course..)

1/4 Cup Grated Parmesan

1/2 Cup Chopped Artichoke Hearts

1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt

Pinch of Chili Flakes

*You notice there are no measurements along with the ingredients because it was truly…

Directions:

…A little bit of this, a little bit of that, a pinch of this and a pinch of that! Put it in the oven 350 for 25-30 minutes and Whaa la!

Deliciousness!