Saturday, September 25, 2010

Italian Cooking Class

I had the most fun ever today! I got to take a cooking class in a local Italian woman's home and it was so neat!! If you know me at all you know I love to cook, so this was a real treat for me. My hubby paid for the class for me for my birthday which was last weekend. The menu was a bit different than what I had originally signed up for but it sure was a lot of fun and yummy anyhow!

We started out the class with dessert because it has to set in the fridge. We made Tiramisu which I'm totally not a fan of because I'm not a coffee drink and think the taste is just awful. Here are some pics of the Tiramisu coming together.

Making the first letter of Tiramisu

Dipping the lady fingers in a espresso and coffee liquor (ick!)

Making the second layer

Me being a dork

Tasting the cream that goes over the lady fingers

Justina tasting the creamy filling :)

Our instructors melting the sugar.

Tiramisu Recipe


1 cup sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons water
5 egg yolks
2 cups Mascarpone cheese (if you can't find this they said cream cheese is a good substitute)
1 cup Heavy cream
1 package Savoiardi or ladyfiners (sponge fingers)
2 cups strong italian coffee (espresso)
1/4 cup kalua liqueur
Cocoa powder


1. In a pan over medium heat, combine sugar and wather and bring to a boil. When transparent it is ready. (about 5 minutes)

2. Place the egg yolks in a large bowl and start whipping the yolks, add sugar syrup slowly, whipping continuously, until cold, pale yellow and thick. This will take about 7 minutes. (don't add the hot sugar too quickly because it will cook the eggs)

3. Folding bottom to top add mascropone cheese.

4. Wash beaters well and whip heavy cream

5. Now with a spatula add cream to the mascarpone folding bottom to top.

6. In a deep bowl put coffee and Kalua

7. Quickly dip each ladyfinger into the mixture (do not keep too much liquid or it will be really soggy)

8. Cover the bottom of a baking dish with soaked ladyfingers

9. Spread half of the mascarpone cream over the ladyfingers. Arrange another layer of soaked ladyfingers and top with the remaining mascarpone.

10. Refrigerate for several hours.

11. Before serving sprinkle with cocoa powder.

**This is a super easy process. I always thought tiramisu was something that would be hard to put together, but surprisingly it wasn't too bad I don't like it! I'm not a coffee fan but everyone in my class LOVED it, so this just may be something you want to try!**

She then showed us how to peel a tomatoes, by cutting an x in the bottom and then putting them in a boiling pan of water for 10 seconds

and as you can see it pulls off quite easily

Me cutting up tomatoes

still cutting up tomatoes for Pasta all Norma

Justina cutting up zuchinni for the risotto.

she had them start it since it was the only thing that needed to be chopped

The eggplant cooking for the Pasta alla Norma

You have to continuously stir the risotto as it cooks and keep adding vegetable broth for 20 minutes. If you also notice the spoon has a hole in the center and this spoon is suppose to help it stay creamy. We all took turns stirring cause our arms got tired.

Pasta a la Norma


3-4 medium oval shaped eggplants
3 lbs fresh tomatoes (or you can use canned)
2 1/2 cups of extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt, kosher
1 lb tortiglioni or rigatoni
6 leaves of fresh basil
6 tablespoons of goat cheese or parmesan cheese

  • Wash eggplants and cut them into cubes (cut seeds out because they're too soft)
  • Put in a strainer and salt them. Leave for about half an hour. so they loose their water
  • Wash and cut a cross into the bottom of the tomatoes
  • Plunge them into boiling water and as the water goes back to a boil take them out. (about 10 seconds) Then rinse with cold water.
  • Peel and dice them, take seeds off. Set aside
  • Squeeze the water out of the eggplants
  • Using 2 cups of extra virgin olive oil fry eggplants until golden
  • Take eggplants out of pan and set aside
  • In sauce pan add remaining olive oil and garlic, do not let brown
  • Add tomatoes, salt, pepper, and cook over medium heat for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and add basil leaves (torn by hand).
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil
  • Cook pasta according to directions on package
  • Drain pasta and transfer to the pan with tomatoes sauce
  • Pour over eggplants and mix well for 1 minute over medium heat
  • Arrange pasta on plate and sprinkle with cheese and serve
Risotto with Zucchini


12 ounces Rice for risotto (carnaroli or arborio)
10 ounces zucchini, diced
1 tablespoon onion, chopped
2 1/2 pints beef stock
2 ounces butter
4-5 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup dry white wine
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
salt and pepper


1. Bring the stock to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer.

2. In a saucepan, heat the oil and saute the onion over medium heat for two minutes. Add the zucchini and cook for another 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Add the rice and toast, stirring constantly, for about 1 minute.

4. Add the wine and allow to bubble briskly until evaporated.

5. Add 1/2 cup broth. Cook, stirring constantly, until the broth is nearly all absorbed. Continue cooking, adding broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly and allowing each addition to absorb before adding the next. The risotto is done when the rice is tender and creamy, about 20 minutes.

6. Remove from heat. Add the buter and parmesan and stir for 1 minute.

7. Garnish with parsley and serve immediately.

Getting ready to eat.

Enjoying our risotto and wine the first course omgoodness it was a lot of food!

We had a great time! If you're in the area or coming to visit def ask us about taking a class! We are hoping to do another one next month! Woohoo us!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

New Year Beginning!

So most people celebrate the new year with the new calendar year but a year in our own life may not have necessarily have past. Tomorrow begins a new year for myself! I turn 27 years old. Yes, its my birthday. No we're not doing anything special, but I'm totally ok with that. My hubby surprised me with the most beautiful flowers and chocolates and my baby boy got me a new purse :). Couldn't ask for more really!

I will have to take a pic of everything and post it later!

We are having a bbq today though. Its just a bbq because I don't really have those super close friends here like I did back home, but here is things are not every place we're stationed will be like the last. Don't get me wrong I have some super amazing people in my life and I'm sure as time goes on and we all move on to different parts of the world I will stay in touch with a couple of them.

I just can't believe another whole year has gone by! I'm going to be 2-7, 27, so weird to me. I seriously don't feel that old. It still feels like I left home to start my own life yesterday or maybe the day before that! Not 8 whole years ago!

I really look forward to see what this new will bring though. Life has been good. I'm now a mother, have a wonderful husband, and things are just good. Things are just great like really no sarcasm at all.

I'm getting involved again and if you know me you know thats a good thing and time consuming thing LOL.

I will be volunteering for the Breast Cancer Walk this year and the hubby is going to walk, baby boy and I will probably as well! I'm joining ACES with a new friend and we went to our first meeting and it was so much freaking fun and we met so many awesome women who like to be involved!

We are also starting an Aviano Adoption Support Group which I am beyond execited about! Like seriously excited about! The families are super excited about it all as well!! I love the suppport I have behind me to put it all together!

And I'm drafting a donation letter for OYR so that we can get donations when we don't have sponsors. I haven't been able to go to the termimal to help but I am def staying on top of contacting companies and gathering donations not only from the companies but also from the wives :) The wives here are great and thankfully love the troops so they happily bake cookies for them! Which reminds me I have to call back a company this week :)

Well I need to clear the table and finish the laundry and stuff diapers before our guests arrive. It may be raining but we're still going to have a fantastic day today!

God seriously is great and is doing great and amazing things in our lives :)

Saturday, September 11, 2010

I will always remember

I remember waking up to my the news on my alarm clock. I remember thinking that it all had to be a joke. I remember waking up my mom and turning on the t.v. and I remember watching the live coverage throughout the whole day. I remember the crashes, the towers falling, and hearing our nation was under attack. Its been 9 years since that day and I still remember. Its something that has changed our lives...granted not everyone but many of us it has touched deeply.

Over 3,000 children lost makes me cry just to think about.....thousands of lives were lost that day not only Americans either....since that day thousands of lost lives and many more sadly still will. It is a day we need to remember. We need to remember the fallen, the ones who gave their lives to rescue them, the family and friends that were left behind, our military members who have lost their lives and all those that continue to serve....we also need to remember their families, their children.

Please never forget the lives that have been lost both that day and since. Don't allow their lives to be lost in vain. Many do not agree with this war and that is ok but always stand behind your troops. Stand behind your military no matter what. They signed a blank check that is payable up to their life and they did it so that you could be safe, so that you could protest and bad mouth all that they do...remember with out them you wouldn't be able to walk around with the freedoms granted to you.

I support our troops. I remember and will never forget.