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July 19, 2010

Dessert Fruit Pizza

This Wine and Food Pairing was such a hit at our last Wine Club dinner that I thought I would share it with everyone else. Since there are so many wonderful fruits in season now, I decided to make a dessert pizza, in keeping with our wine dinner pizza theme. The wine was a 2008 Icewine from Germany. The blending of fruits and the crisp acidity from both the wine and dessert was truly wonderful. Serve the Icewine chilled and “let the flavors begin”.

Serves 12
Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 55 minutes


  • Cookie dough for crust (see Terri’s Tips)
  • 8 ounce cream cheese
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla
  • Variety of Fruit (I used strawberries, peaches, mangos, kiwi and blueberries)


    Roll cookie out onto a pizza stone and bake according to recipe. Remove from oven and cool completely. In a medium bowl, whip cream cheese until creamy, add sour cream, sugar and vanilla and continue to mix until blended. Using a spatula, spread cream cheese mixture evenly over cookie. Peel and slice peaches, mango and kiwi, slice strawberries. Top pizza with fruit and chill for 30 minutes up to 4 hours before serving.

    Terri’s Tips:

  • Use Cooking Light’s Vanilla Bean Shortbread recipe for the cookie dough. It is the best shortbread recipe I have ever had and it has less fat than most other recipes. Find the recipe on my website:
  • Slice the strawberries a few hours in advance adding about 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Cook the blueberries with a little honey for about 3-5 minutes enhancing the flavor and color
  • Slice the cookie into desired portions after you ice it with the cream cheese, making it much easier to manage, then top it with the fruit
  • Change fruit according to what is in season. Other great fruits include pineapple, bananas, raspberries, plums, and even grapes
  • Other fruit pizza ideas:
    Replace sour cream with ½ cup peanut butter and top with a variety of apples, try adding bananas and peanuts
    Replace the powdered sugar with caramel and top with apples and crushed walnuts
    Check out my website in December for a wonderful Christmas version of this pizza

    Cooking Wiser:

  • Use lowfat cream cheese and sour cream
  • If you want to save time (but it won't be as good:o)) use a refrigerated cookie dough

    Posted by terri at 02:48 AM | Comments (0)

    Vanilla Bean Shortbread

    This is the best shortbread recipe I have ever had. I found it in the May 2009 edition of cooking Light magazine. Not only is it fabulous tasting but it has half the butter that most other shortbread recipes have. The butter is replaced with vegetable oil.

    Makes 24 medium sized pieces
    Prep time: 10 minutes
    Total time: 40 minutes


  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise


    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly oil a 9 x 12 baking pan. Combine flour, cornstarch, and salt in a large bowl; stir with a whisk.

    Place butter in a medium bowl and beat with a mixer at medium speed 2 minutes or until light and fluffy. Add oil. Beat with a mixer at medium speed 3 minutes or until well blended. Gradually add sugar, beating well.

    Scrape seeds from vanilla bean, and add seeds to butter mixture. Add flour mixture, beating at low speed just until blended.

    Spoon dough into prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool in pan 5 minutes on a wire rack. Cut into desired pieces and shapes and cool completely on a wire rack.

    Terri’s Tips:

  • Use this cookie dough for the crust of a dessert pizza. Cover with plastic and roll onto a pizza stone. Remove plastic and bake until edges are lightly browned. See my Fruit pizza recipe.

  • If you don’t have a vanilla bean use good quality vanilla extract. I did once and it worked very well.

  • Make in advance; the shortbread will store well in an airtight container for about five days.

  • The remaining vanilla bean can be used to flavor sugar, tea, coffee, vodka or rum.

    Example: Put the remaining vanilla bean into a cup of sugar. It will flavor the sugar.

    Posted by terri at 02:39 AM | Comments (0)

    July 15, 2010

    Goat Cheese and Anchovy Tart

    This recipe is a great addition to a Spanish Tapas party. You can serve it as a tart cut into wedges or use any size muffin pans to make individual servings. Don't forget the Sangria.

    Serves 8
    Prep time: 15 minutes
    Total time: 47 minutes


  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/4 light bodied white wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 refrigerated pie pastry sheets, thawed according to package instructions
  • 8 ounces soft mild goat cheese at room temperature
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ tablespoon mixed fresh herbs, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon anchovy paste


    Preheat oven to 450°F. Butter a tart pan. Cut onion into very thin slices. In a heavy skillet heat butter over moderately high heat until foam subsides and sauté onion, stirring occasionally, until golden. Add wine and deglaze skillet, scraping up any brown bits and cooking until liquid is evaporated. Stir in thyme and cook mixture until onion is deep golden.
    While onion is cooking, line 2 tart pans with the pie pastries. Prick pastries all over with a fork and chill for 30 minutes; cook 12 minutes. Remove pastries and reduce heat to 375 degrees. In a food processor blend cheeses, yolks, flour, and butter until smooth. Stir in anchovy paste, onions, and chopped herbs and pour filling into tart shell. Bake tart 20 minutes, or until filling is just set. Cool tart in pan on a rack and remove rim. Serve tart warm or at room temperature.

    Terri’s Tips:

  • I use fresh tarragon and parsley for the mixed herbs but you can use any combination such as sage and rosemary or basil and oregano
  • Make mini tarts for appetizers by using any size muffin pan that you want your tarts to be. Prepare muffin pan the same as for the tart pan.
  • Add smoky flavored bacon for additional flavor

    Cooking Wiser:

  • Sauté onions in olive oil
  • Use low fat cream cheese
  • Tart can be prepared in advance and frozen, remove from freezer and allow to thaw. Reheat 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

    Posted by terri at 11:19 AM | Comments (0)

    July 09, 2010

    Spanish Tapas

    Try these great Spanish tapas ideas:
    Barbequed mini ribs
    Grilled Chorizo sausage with mixed red, yellow, and green bell peppers
    Garlic marinated olives
    Add a refreshing pitcher of Sangria made with red wine and seasonal fruits.

    Memphis Style Barbeque Sauce served with Mini Baby Back Ribs

    Makes 2 cups
    Prep time for sauce: 10 minutes
    Total time for sauce: 30 minutes


  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 3/4 cup white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons prepared mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper


    Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan; bring to a simmer. Cook 5 minutes; serve warm. Salt and pepper 4 pounds of ribs (pork or beef) and oven roast until tender, about 1 hour. Pour on barbeque sauce and refrigerate overnight. To finish, prepare medium high heat grill and brown ribs evenly on both sides, about 5 minutes each side.

    Terri's Tips:

  • Cut ribs into small pieces and serve as tapas
  • Make in advance and refrigerate. This allows the flavors to develop better.
  • Reheat and serve slightly warm
  • To add heat, add ½ teaspoon Cayenne peppe

    Grilled Chorizo sausage with mixed green, red and yellow pepper skewers

    Serves 8
    Prepare skewers with alternating 2 inch pieces of Chorizo sausage, and mixed peppers. Mix 1/4 cup vegetable oil, 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar, 1 teaspoon smoked paprika, 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh cilantro and mint, and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper and brush on skewers and marinate for about one hour. Prepare medium heat grill and grill skewers until evenly browned on all sides. Serve on a plate with a decorative small dish of additional marinade.

    Garlic Marinated Olives

    Prep time: 10 min
    Total time: overnight
    Makes 16 servings


  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 4 sprigs fresh rosemary, cut up
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped red onion
  • 1/2 cup pitted green olives
  • 1 (6-oz.) can pitted ripe olives, drained
  • 1 (6-oz.) jar pitted kalamata olives, drained


    In medium nonmetal bowl mix oil, lemon peel, garlic and rosemary; mix well. Add onion and olives; stir gently to mix. Cover bowl and refrigerate at least 12 hours. To serve, remove olives from marinade with slotted spoon; place in serving bowl. Reserve marinade for later storage of olives. Serve with decorative toothpicks or cocktail forks.

    See Goat Cheese Tarts

    Posted by terri at 03:23 AM | Comments (0)

    Lemon Zest Cream Pie

    A Creamy lemon flavored pie, great for parties and get togethers!

    Serves 8-10
    Prep time: 15 minutes
    Total time: 4 hours including refrigeration time


  • Candied Lemon Zest
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 1/3 cup plus ¼ cup sugar
  • Pastry Crust
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • ½ tablespoon sugar
  • 4 tablespoons chilled butter
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
  • 1 egg, separated
  • 2 tablespoons ice water
  • Lemon Curd
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 6 ounces lemon juice (about 6 lemons)
  • 6 ounces unsalted butter
  • 1 ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 cups heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon sugar


    For the zest, put the zest in a small saucepan and cover with water. Boil for 3 minutes. Remove zest and dry. Bring 1/3 cup sugar and one tablespoon water to a boil and boil until sugar dissolves. Add zest and boil for 5 minutes. Remove the zest and place on a rack with pan to catch the drippings, cool. Roll zest in remaining ¼ cup sugar.
    For the crust, combine flour, sugar and salt in a bowl and mix thoroughly. Cut butter into 1 inch pieces and combine with flour cutting in until flour resembles coarse crumbs. Beat the egg white lightly, set aside. Add the yolk and ice water to the flour. Gently mix until it holds together. Shape the dough into a round disk, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour. Roll the dough into a 13 inch circle and transfer to a 9 inch pie pan. Trim and roll the trim into long strips. Cut into and twist together. Place along the top of the pie plate. Brush the rim of the pie crust with the egg white. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Adjust the oven rack to low position and cook in preheated 400º F oven for 10 minutes until golden. Remove and cool.
    For the lemon curd, whisk the eggs together in a medium heatproof bowl. Cut the butter into 1 inch pieces and add to the eggs with the sugar. Grate in the zest from the lemons and squeeze in the lemon juice. Set the bowl over simmering water and whisk until curd thickens, about 20 minutes. Refrigerate until chilled. Whip the cream and sugar to firm peaks. Stir 1/3 of the whipped cream into the lemon curd. Fold in the remaining cream and pour the mixture into the cooled pastry crust. Refrigerate at least 2 hours. The Pie can be made a day ahead. Sprinkle with the candied lemon zest and serve.

    Terri’s Tips:

  • Zest can be made weeks in advance and stored sealed in the refrigerator
  • To easily make zest, use a zesting tool
  • Use a pastry cutter to cut butter into flour instead of using your fingers, you want the butter to stay cold.
  • Score the bottom of the crust with fork to avoid it rising.
  • Pie crust can be made the day before or far in advance and frozen.
  • Don’t over whip the cream, it will turn to butter :o) and it will whip faster and better if cream and bowl are cold.
  • Reserve a few dollops of whipped cream for decorating.

    Cooking Wiser:

    • Turn this pie into a Lemon Pie by simply omitting the cream, saving time and calories.
    • Serve with low fat cool whip. Or use low fat or fat free cool whip instead of cream

      Posted by terri at 02:14 AM | Comments (0)

      July 06, 2010

      Roasted Tomato and Garlic Salsa

      This is a slightly different twist on traditional salsa. The roasted tomatoes and garlic add a smoky flavor that you will love. It makes a flavorful side dish for pork, chicken and fish

      Serves 8
      Prep time: 10 mintues
      Total time: 20 minutes


      Roasted garlic:
    • 1 head garlic
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil

      Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Cut the top off the head of garlic and rub the bulb with olive oil, wrap in foil, place on a baking sheet, and roast until soft, about 45 minutes. Set aside to cool.


    • 3 ripe yellow tomatoes, roasted
    • 4 cloves roasted garlic (see recipe)
    • 2 tablespoons finely diced onion
    • 1/2 serrano pepper
    • 1 tablespoon rice-wine vinegar
    • 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh thyme leaves
    • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper


      Preheat the broiler. In a medium baking dish, place tomatoes, onion and serrano chili pepper. Drizzle with olive oil. Checking often, broil 5 to 10 minutes, or until outsides of vegetables are charred. Remove vegetables from heat. Remove and discard tomato cores. Coarsely chop the charred vegetables. Transfer to a medium bowl and mix in remaining ingredients. Chill for 30 minutes before serving.

      Terri's Tips

    • Use red and yellow tomatoes for a great color presentation
    • Use tomatoes in season; if they are not in season try a good canned whole tomato as a substitute. Roast them under the broiler and coarsely chop and continue with the directions.

      Posted by terri at 02:40 AM | Comments (0)

      Grilled Guacamole

      The avocados take on a smokey flavor when grilled giving this recipe a wonderful flavor that you don't have with traditional Guacamole. Serve this with your favorite chips for a great appetizer.

      Serves 8
      Prep time: 20 minutes
      Total time: 30 minutes


    • 4 Hass avocados (halved and pitted)
    • 1/2 Cup Red Onion (diced)
    • 1 Jalapeno (seeded and minced)
    • 1/2 Cup Sour Cream
    • 2 Tablespoons Lime Juice
    • 2 cloves Garlic crushed
    • 1/2 Teaspoon Hot Pepper Sauce (or more to taste)
    • 2 Roma Tomatoes, diced
    • 2 Tablespoons Fresh Cilantro, chopped


      Preheat an outdoor grill on low heat. Lightly oil the grate. Cook the avocados on the preheated grill until just slightly browned and caramelized. Allow to cool to room temperature. Remove the skins, and scoop out. Place the avocado into a mixing bowl and add the onion, jalapeno pepper, and sour cream. Stir in the lime juice, garlic and hot pepper sauce. Fold in the tomatoes and cilantro. Chill 30 minutes before serving.

      Terri's Tips:

    • You can grill the avocados the day before, keep refrigerated in airtight container until ready to use.
    • Chop the onions in advance too

      Cooking Wiser:

    • Use low fat sour cream to cut fat and calories
    • Avocados provide nearly 20 essential nutrients, including fiber, potassium, Vitamin E, B-vitamins and folic acid.
    • Avocados are high in fat but is is the "good" fat- polyunsaturated and monosaturated, which lower LDL, the bad cholesterol

      Posted by terri at 02:12 AM | Comments (0)