Ricotta Spinach Tart

Ricotta Spinach Tart

Revamp your holiday dishes with mini Ricotta Spinach Tarts.  To save from dining out this holiday, you can begin your festivities with the holiday season already in full force.  What is one of the universal languages world-wide?  Food…food is the center of all family and friendly gatherings.  By recapturing the mixture of butter and chopped spinach into a pie crust, you get that blend of savory mouthful exploding in your mouth.  The Mini Ricotta Spinach Tarts are deliciously made with heart and soul and as everyone else knows it is another favorite European dish coming straight out of the kitchen.

Particularly this buttery fusion of ricotta spinach tart can make any brunch or lunch a best kept secret for the holidays. This exquisite tart flavored with light creamy ricotta cheese delight will melt in your mouth while balancing out the richness of the chopped satin spinach delved into the golden pie crust. What you’ll need to make this divine dish is the following from one of the best recipes found yet sofar:

What you’ll need:

  • 2 shortcrust pastry sheets,
  • Thawed 400g fresh ricotta
  • 1/4 c spinach, chopped
  • 1/2 brown onion, finely diced,
  • 1 garlic clove, minced,
  • 2 tbs pine nuts, lightly roasted
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg, ground
  • 2 tbs Parmesan cheese, grated
  • salt and pepper

The Method to the Mini Tarts

The method to making these 20 mini tarts in about 35 minute total cooking

time.  First, pre heat oven to 180°c / 355°f.  Lightly dry roast the pine nuts and set aside. Spray a little oil onto a mini muffin tray.  With a cookie cutter or rim of a glass, cut rounds from the pastry. Place rounds onto the tray and prick the base of the pastry a couple of times with a fork. Cook in the oven for 5 minutes, remove and with the base of a rolling pin, squash down any puffy bits that are appearing. Place back in the oven and cook for a further 10 minutes.

Next,  lightly cook the onion for 5 minutes, add the garlic and cook for a further 2 minutes. Take off the heat and let cool slightly. In a bowl place all the ingredients, including the onion mixture and pine nuts, stir till well incorporated. The easiest way to fill each tart shell is to place all the mixture into a large zip lock sandwich bag, snip off a small corner and pipe the ricotta filling into each one.  Cook for 20 minutes or till puffed up.

This recipe goes without saying, they are deliciously made if you follow the directions right and they are simply made with that “fresh from the oven” flavor you wouldn’t believe that these are actually healthy to eat.  Thank you to the wonderful women who posted this on their blog…had to try this out of all the other “ricotta spinach tarts” recipes…this seems to fit just right.

 

Reference:

Katriina and Izabella. “Mini Spinach and Ricotta Tarts” (2014) www.FinSki’s.com www.finskis.com/recipes-3/mini-spinach-and-ricotta-tarts. Retrieved on 12-7-14

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Delicious Recipes for Taiwanese Style Fried Rice

Rice

Fried rice is a great side dish in many cultures. If you’re looking to make some fried rice and want to make it Taiwanese style, there are different recipes you can use to make it a delicious side dish for a meal.

Recipe #1:

Ingredients:

  • 10 chopped medium sized mushrooms
  • 1 large, thinly sliced, red bell pepper
  • 3 eggs, or as needed
  • 4 crushed pieces of garlic
  • 1 ½ thumb size pieces of ginger, finely chopped
  • 3 spicy, thinly chopped, red chili peppers
  • 4 cups of rice
  • 1 tin of tuna, drained
  • 4 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 1 handful of cilantro leaves
  • Oil for Stir-frying, as needed

Recipe #2:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of raw rice
  • 1-2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup of any chopped meat desired
  • ½ cup of frozen mixed veggies
  • 2 minced cloves of garlic
  • 2 chopped stalks of green onion
  • ¼ stick of unsalted butter, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of white pepper
  • 1+ teaspoon of salt (add as needed)
  • 1 tablespoon of bonito flavoring powder or 2 tablespoons of fish sauce

Recipe #3

Ingredients:

  • 5 cups of cooked white rice
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 4 stalks of spring onion chopped into 1 cm lengths
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of oil
  • 4 crushed cloves of garlic
  • of lean pork, julienned
  • ½ cup of finely sliced carrots
  • 2 cups of cabbage, sliced
  • 1/3 cup of chicken stock
  • 3 tablespoons of soy sauce

Recipe #4

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup of cooked edamame
  • 1/3 cup of cooked green beans, sliced
  • 1 bunch of scallions, finely sliced (separate the green and white scallions)
  • 1 large garlic, finely minced
  • ½ teaspoon of sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon of white pepper
  • 2 cups of cold, cooked white rice
  • 3 large eggs, beaten

Directions:

  1. Heat a skillet over high heat
  2. Add a drizzle of vegetable oil
  3. Add garlic and light scallions and sauté until garlic turns golden
  4. Once the oil is ready, add the cooked rice and use a spoon or rice paddle to break up the rice and mix with rice and scallions
  5. Add the salt and pepper then mix.
  6. Fold in the veggies and dark green scallions.
  7. Pour eggs over rice and mix until egg mixture is dry
  8. Taste and top with more veggies

You can add any type of meat to the rice you cook, or make the main dish meat. You can also have a salad, noodles, egg rolls, or other dishes you prefer. Taiwanese fried rice is a food dish to have at dinner to expose diversity and creativity to all ages. It is a delicious substitute for an unhealthy dish and can be made with a twist to your liking.

 

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Hot Drinks Perfect for a Freezing Winter

Hot Drinks

During the winter, we like to stay nice and warm by a fire and under some warm blankets. Something else that makes things perfect is the beverage you choose. During the winter, you don’t want to be drinking ice water, iced tea, or cold soda. A hot drink is something you want to curl up with watching TV. Hot cocoa is always on the mind of anyone during the winter, but there are always more options.

Chai Tea

This chai beverage is something that is favored during the holidays and easier to make than you think. Simply add crushed spices, cinnamon sticks, ginger and milk to a pan bringing it to a boil then add your tea bags. Let it steep for 10 minutes then enjoy!

Warm Mulled Cider

Simmer apple cider with mulling spices, orange zest and ginger to make a drink that will smell and taste delicious.

Mexican Spiced Hot Cocoa

Simply make any hot chocolate you have on hand and add ground chipotle and cinnamon to spice it up.

Blender Eggnog

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of heavy cream
  • ½ cup of sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon of nutmeg
  • 4 large eggs
  • ¾ cup of brandy (optional for adults 21+)

In a medium saucepan, bring the heavy cream, sugar and nutmeg to a simmer. In a blender, blend the eggs on low speed for 1 minute. With the motor running, gradually add the hot cream mixture. Blend until frothy for about 30 seconds. Add the optional brandy and blend then serve hot.

 

 

 

 

Mulled Red Wine With Cranberries

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups of cranberry juice cocktail
  • ½ cup of sugar
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 pieces of star anise
  • 3 cups of dry red wine (Merlot, Cabernet, Sauvignon)
  • ½ cup of cranberries

In a large saucepan, combine the cranberry juice cocktail, sugar, cinnamon sticks, and star anise. Let it simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in the wine and cranberries and bring it back to a simmer. Serve warm.

Malted Hot Cocoa with Roasted Marshmallows

Ingredients:

  • 1 serving of hot cocoa and the ingredients it calls for
  • 3 marshmallows
  • 3 tablespoons of malted milk powder

Heat the broiler of your over or toaster oven then place the marshmallows on a foil-lined broiler proof baking sheet and broil until just golden, about 30 seconds.  While that is going on, prepare the hot cocoa mix as directed on the package. Mix it with the malted milk powder and top with marshmallows.

Warm Hazelnut Toddy

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ ounces of Frangelico
  • ½ cup of hot water
  • 2 tablespoons of lightly whipped heavy cream

In a mug, combine the Frangelico and hot water then top with the whipped cream.

Magic Cocoa

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 gallon of whole milk
  • 1 12oz. bag of Premium Dark Cocoa Candy Melts or semisweet chocolate chips.

Heat the milk over medium-low heat, but don’t let it boil. Add about ¼ cup of the candy melts or chocolate chips to 8 mugs then fill them with the hot milk and stir.

 

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The Top 10 Coffee Machines for Christmas

Best Coffee Machines

During the cold months, and even during the rest of the year, people enjoy their coffee. Whether you make it one cup at a time, or make more in a pot, it is a popular beverage and coffee machines are always a good gift for Christmas.

#1 Keurig

This machine is a one-cup home-brewing system for use with K-Cups. It has a one-touch control panel with a blue backlit LCD display, digital clock, programmable on/off, 5 brew-size options, adjustable brew temperature, removable drip tray and a blue-lit removable 72-ounce water reservoir with a descale indicator. There are dishwasher safe parts.

#2 Breville

This machine has a 15 Bar Italian Pump and 1600W Thermo coil heating system. It has a purge function where it automatically adjusts the water temperature after steam for optimal espresso extraction temperature. It also has a stainless steel conical burr grinder with a ½ pound sealed bean hopper. It comes equipped with a 61 fluid ounce removable water tank with a handle.

#3 Bonavita

This coffee maker comes equipped with a 1400W heater that raises water to the right temperature. It is engineered for precise water and coffee grounds contact time. It has a shower head designed for complete saturation and optimal extraction. It brews 8 cups of coffee. It has a high quality stainless steel carafe and has BPA-free plastic.

#4 Cuisinart

This machine comes with a classic brushed metal design with a 12-cup carafe that has an ergonomic handle for comfortable, dripless pouring. The brew pause feature lets you enjoy a cup of coffee before brewing has finished. The adjustable heater plate ensures that your coffee stays at the perfect temperature for you. It has a 24-hour advance brew start, programmable auto shutoff from 0 to 4 hours plus a 1 to 4 cup feature when making less than 5 cups. This coffeemaker includes a charcoal water filter and permanent gold tone filter that ensures only the freshest coffee flavor flows through. It also includes a measuring scoop and instruction book.

#5 Hamilton Beach

This coffeemaker comes with the option to make a full pot of coffee or a cup for on the go. It comes with a 12 cup glass carafe. It uses ground coffee. A unique scoop measures and filters ground coffee for a perfect cup every time. It has a brew strength function for bold or regular coffee and fully programmable with auto shutoff. It has a durable stainless steel construction.

#6 Keurig

  • Cup Sizes: 3 sizes (6oz., 8oz., 10oz.)
  • Features: Removable 48oz. water reservoir
  • Energy Savings Mode: Auto off
  • Includes: Water filter handle and 1 charcoal filter
  • Color: Black

#7 Hamilton Beach

  • Regular, bold, and robust settings for rich-tasting coffee
  • Programmable with 2-hour auto shutoff
  • Automatic pause and serve
  • Durable stainless steel
  • Cone filter design for better coffee extraction

#8 Hamilton Beach

  • Brews a single cup or a full pot
  • Enjoy maximum brewing flexibility
  • Use a single serve pack or ground coffee
  • Compatible with K-Cup packs
  • Brews 12 cups

#9 Keurig

  • 1 cup size (8oz.)
  • Single-use water reservoir
  • Pictorial instructions
  • Mug sensor
  • Energy Savings Mode-Auto off

#10 Hamilton Beach

  • Easy-access design for easy filling
  • Adjustable brewing with bold, regular and 1-4 cup options
  • Programmable clock with 2 hour automatic shutoff
  • Swing-out brew basket with release button
  • Wheeled base for fast, easy access to the water reservoir

 

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Delicious Recipes for Classic Pizza Sauce

Pizza Sauce

Everyone can easily like pizza with the various crusts and toppings to choose from. You can even change the sauces. Red sauces of different kinds and white sauces too. If you are tired of buying pizza sauces in a jar or package and trying to make your own just is not working out right, try some classic sauce recipes the next time you make a pizza.

Recipe #1:

Ingredients:

  • ½ a minced onion
  • 1 or more cloves of garlic that are finely minced
  • 2 tablespoons of olive or vegetable oil (more can be added)
  • 1 16oz. can of tomato sauce
  • 1 6oz. can of tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons of sugar to take the bitterness out of the tomato (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon of dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon of salt

Mince the onions and garlic and saute in olive oil until onions are clear and tender. Add the rest of the ingredients to the skillet and let it simmer for 15-20 minutes. This makes enough sauce for 2 pizzas. It is also great for breadsticks and calzones.

Recipe #2:

Ingredients:

  • 1 15oz. can of tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of oregano
  • 1 tablespoon of basil
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon of onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons of brown sugar (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • ½ teaspoon of pepper

Combine ingredients into a small saucepan and cook over low heat. Makes 2 pizzas with your choice of toppings.

Recipe #3:

Ingredients:

  • 1 large onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon of tomato puree (tomato paste)
  • 1 14oz. can of chopped tomatoes
  • Seasoning

Chop onion and garlic and put in the microwave for 5 minutes. Transfer to a saucepan and add the tomato puree mixing them together. Add the canned tomatoes and seasonings of your choice and bring to a boil. Let it simmer for about 15-20 minutes until it has reached a jammy consistency.

Recipe #4:

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 28 ounces canned whole cooked tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon of dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon of dried basil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Warm olive oil and garlic over medium heat. Stir and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Add drained and seeded tomatoes along with salt, pepper, oregano, and basil, then stir and cook for 15-20 minutes until thick enough to spread over pizza dough.

Recipe #5:

Ingredients:

  • 2 6oz. cans of tomato paste
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 3 tablespoons of dried parsley flakes
  • 4 teaspoons of dried onion flakes
  • 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon of dried basil
  • 2 cups of water

Combine tomato paste, garlic, parsley flakes, onion, oregano, basil and water in a 2 quart saucepan. Cook over medium high heat until mixture boils. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes.

Whether you’re looking to try something new, or are tired of jar sauces, these recipes can change the way you eat pizza. They are easy to make and can be used for breadsticks and calzones as well.

 

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