Bunny Cupcakes

Aren’t these just so cute? My family’s going to think I am a rock star, but honestly it took me 30 tries to get the frosting exactly the way I wanted it because of the size of the whole I cut in my baggy for the icing. I think they would have loved even the ones that looked a mess. Cupcakes are yummy treats! Don’t be afraid to let your creative side out.

1 package of yellow cake mix and all of its ingredients
12 pink cupcake papers
12 candy bunnies
24 candied flowers, optional
1 container of white icing
Green food coloring

Bake cupcakes according to the directions on box. Let cupcakes cool. Remove icing from container and place in a bowl. Add in 3 drops of food coloring and use hand mixer to incorporate. Continue to add food color until you get to the color of your liking. I added 7 drops. When you get to the color you want. Coat the top of the cupcake with a tiny layer of the icing. To make the grass,  I put a plastic bag in a tall glass and scoop the icing into baggy. Don’t fill all the way. Remove baggy from glass and twist shut. Snip a tiny and I mean tiny slit at bottom of bag. Start from center of cupcake and squeeze tiny lengths of icing out on to cupcake. Continue this procedure until the whole cupcake is filled. Grass is not perfect so either should your cupcake. I topped it with a candy bunny and 2 flowers that I had left over from birthday cupcakes I made my daughter. Serve!

  Recipe By The Gourmet Mom
Lisa Montalva

Paella Family Recipe

Paella is one of the Spanish cultures favorite meals. It is basically their version of one pan cooking. My family is from Spain and I grew up on Paella as an Italian would grow up on Pasta. My Sundays were for chicken, rice and seafood. When I had my own family, as most of you cooks, moms and dads know we allow are kids to call the shots on what they want to eat. Me, we ate what my mother put on the plate. We didn’t like it we didn’t eat again until morning. My daughters were on the opposite ends of the food liking scale. One ate nothing and the other ate everything. So when it came to my Paella I had 2 versions. Of course there are many versions, but these 2 are my family’s favorites. Hope you enjoy and have a great day!

Paella – Vanessa’s way

1 1 lb. box of white rice (preferably Uncle Bens; 16 oz.)
½ chorizo; diced in tiny pieces
2 chicken cutlets; cubed
2 envelopes of sazon (con culantro y achiote)
1 tsp garlic powder
½ tsp pepper
½ tsp salt
1 small onion, chopped
2 tbsp oil
1 cup frozen peas
1 32 oz. box of chicken broth
1 cup of ketchup

In large sauté pan, heat oil, onion and chorizo. Cook until chorizo is golden brown, but not onions. Add in chicken and cook all the way through. Add in 1 envelope of sazon, blend and then add in rice. Combine the rice until it has a red color. Add in broth, garlic powder, salt, pepper, peas, ketchup and peas. Give a mix until broth has covered all ingredients. Lower heat and simmer with cover. Watch carefully so you don’t burn, but not mix rice again. Once broth has evaporated. Cover and let sit for 10 minutes and let stand and serve with garlic bread.

The alternate version is to add in the below ingredients at the same time as you add in broth:

1 can of chick peas
1 can chopped artichokes
10 shrimp and 10 scallops
 Recipe By The Gourmet Mom
Lisa Montalva

Drippy Cone Tip

We all know what its like to eat an ice cream cone and the bottom starts to drip out. 
Great tip. Before making a cone, put a mini marshmallow at the 
bottom of cone and then fill with ice cream!

 Tip By The Gourmet Mom
Lisa Montalva

Gnocchi with Meat Sauce

I eat this dish at one of my favorite restaurants called Café Amici in Selden, Long Island. Although it’s not exactly the same, it’s so very close. The flavors are amazing.

1 lb. chop meat
1 small box of frozen peas
3 slices of well done bacon
1 jar of prepared marinara sauce or your sauce
2 lbs.  of frozen Gnocchi
2 tbs. of oil
1 medium onion, chopped
½ cup of heavy cream

In fry pan, heat oil and add in onion. Cook the bacon in microwave for 5 minutes, cool, and break into pieced. Cook onion until tender. Add in meat and cook until brown. Add in bacon and simmer for 10 minutes on low. Add in peas, heavy cream and sauce. Let simmer for 20 minutes on low.

Boil water and cook Gnocchi. Drain Gnocchi and add in to meat sauce. Toss well and serve.

 Recipe By The Gourmet Mom
Lisa Montalva

Artichoke-Chile Dip

1 (14 ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided
3/4 cup sour cream
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 (4 ounce) can Diced Green Chiles
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
Chips of choice, I used tortilla chips

Preheat  oven to 350 degrees F.  Combine artichokes, 3/4 cup cheese, sour cream,
mayonnaise, chiles and garlic in medium bowl; stir well.  Spoon into 1-quart casserole dish. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.  Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until bubbly. Serve with bread cubes, pita wedges or tortilla chips.

 Recipe By The Gourmet Mom
Lisa Montalva

Honey Spiced BBQ Sauce

 Barbecue sauce is a very inexpensive way to spice up any meat you have. I use this recipe as a baste and even add right to my hamburger meat. It keeps them moist and gives such a kick of flavor with little effort.

1 ½   Cup Ketchup
1 cup canola oil
1 cup of white vinegar
½ cup Worcestershire sauce
1 Cup Honey
2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
Juice from one small lemon
3 tbs. butter

In small sauce pan, combine all ingredients and heat thoroughly for 15 minutes and then baste your meat, add to hamburger mixture or even marinate in the sauce.
  Recipe By The Gourmet Mom
Lisa Montalva

Cannellini Beans with Caramelized Onions, Peppers & Goat Cheese

Another very easy and quick meal using vegetables. I love goat cheese and I have been adding it to everything lately.
1 can of cannellini beans
1 small onion
½ pepper (red, orange or yellow)
1 tbs. olive oil
¼ cup of goat cheese

Add oil to medium sauté pan and add in onions. When they start to caramelize add in pepper. Let those sauté for about 10-12 minutes and add in beans. Let the beans heat through for about 5-7 minutes. At this point you can either toss with the goat cheese in pan or toss in your dish.

 Recipe By The Gourmet Mom
Lisa Montalva

Scallop Corn Soup

I love soup and this one is very easy, so quick and super tasty.
4 cup  fish stock
1 lb. sea scallops
2 cups of canned corn
2 tbs. rice wine
1 scallion chopped
1 tbs. sugar
½ cup heavy cream
1 tbs. butter
Salt and pepper to taste

In a medium sauce pan combine all ingredients except scallops. Bring to simmer. In blender or food processor, blend until smooth. WARNING: Make sure not to seal top of processor or blender as the heat could make top pop off. Just cover with dish towel. When smooth, remove and return back to pot. Add in scallops and cook for 3- 5 minutes and serve. Great tasting and easy soup.

  Recipe By The Gourmet Mom
Lisa Montalva

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

I have some great recipes for St. Patrick's Day.  

  Recipes By The Gourmet Mom
Lisa Montalva

Make Ahead Brie Tarts

Makes about 48 tarts
1 package, 15 ounces, refrigerated pie crusts

1 round, 8 ounces, Brie, room temp, rind removed
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 cup Wild blueberry preserves
1 scallion, minced
1 1/2 t balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon, fresh chopped mint
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2. Unroll pie crust. Cut into 48 rounds using a 2" cutter. Press rounds into the bottom of a greased mini-muffin pan. Press the dough up the sides and then prick the bottoms with a fork.
3. Bake for 5 minute. Cool. Reduce oven temp to 300 degrees.
4. Place brie in a food processor and blend until smooth. Pipe (or spoon) the brie in the pastry cups. Sprinkle with pecans, lightly pressing them in. Bake until the brie just starts to melt, about 4 min.
Transfer to a wire rack.
5. In a bowl, whisk together the blueberry preserves, scallion, balsamic, and mint. Season with salt and pepper. Place a small spoonful of the jelly mix on each brie cup. Let them cool.

To Freeze:

Place on a baking sheet and freeze just until hard. Place in a sturdy container with layers of waxed paper in between.

Cook Day:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place frozen tarts on baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes or until heated through.

 Recipe By Sarah Carletti

Irish Coffee

A nice hot choice to the regular coffee and hot chocolate on a chilly day or night. One of the favorites for St. Patrick’s Day.

1 ½  oz.  whiskey
1 tsp. brown sugar
6 oz. hot coffee
Heavy Cream

Combine whiskey, sugar and coffee in a mug and stir to dissolve. Float heavy cream gently on top.

  Recipe By The Gourmet Mom
Lisa Montalva

Crabmeat Cheese Dip

2 slices bacon
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
1/2 C. finely chopped celery
1 small can green chili salsa
1/4 tsp. salt
2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
6 oz. lump crabmeat
Tortilla chips

In a fry pan add a teaspoon of oil and cook bacon until crisp or you can place on microwave dish wrapped in paper towels and cook until crispy. Remove bacon, let cool and crumble. Set aside.
Add onion, tomatoes and celery to bacon drippings, if no drippings fry in the oil. Cook over medium heat until onions are tender. Add bacon, salsa and salt. Over low heat, stir in cheese, a little at a time, until melted. Do not let the mixture boil. Add in crabmeat. Pour into a bowl  and  serve with tortilla chips.

  Recipe By The Gourmet Mom
Lisa Montalva
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