Archive | March, 2016


  piadina best

Piadina is a traditional Italian flatbread that often sandwiches a variety of savory fillings.  The dough needs minimal rest time and is a snap to put together.  For the filling, I subbed out the standard prosciutto and high fat cheese fillings in favor of a lighter grilled chicken arugula salad.  I added the flavor punch of pesto and a light smear of homemade ricotta  (recipe on this website) for extra deliciousness.




2 C                                        unbleached all-purpose flour

1 C                                        whole wheat flour

2 ½ t                                    baking powder

¼ C                                        olive oil

1 C                                        water

2 t                                          salt

4 C                                        arugula

1 basket                            grape tomatoes, halved

¼ C                                        fresh basil leaves, torn

¼ ea                                      red onion, thinly sliced

4 ea                                      grilled chicken breast, cut into bite size strips

2t                                           red wine vinegar

3T                                           olive oil

¼ C                                        prepared basil pesto

½ C                                       ricotta cheese (recipe on Petite Feast’s website)





Combine flours, salt, baking powder in a medium bowl.  Mix in olive oil and water. Knead dough until smooth and elastic. Place in an oiled bowl, cover with plastic film and let rest at room temperature for 45 minutes to an hour.  Divide dough into 8 equal portions.  On a lightly floured board, roll out dough into thin rounds that are 7” in diameter. Heat a cast iron skillet over medium heat.  Cook individual piadinas, on dry skillet, for 1-2 minutes per side.  Cover cooked piadina with a clean dish towel while preparing filling ingredients.


Combine arugula, grilled chicken, grape tomatoes, herbs and red onion in bowl.  Toss lightly with 2t red wine vinegar and 2T olive oil.  Adjust salt and pepper.  Spread warm piadina with ricotta.  Top with pesto and arugula salad. Fold and serve.

Serves 6-8



  strawberry shortcake cupcake

These cupcakes are a lovely spring dessert that screams strawberry flavor.  By macerating the berries with a little saba and sugar, the filling is a sweet-tart taste that balances perfectly with the angel food.  Add a light topping of whipped cream and this dessert can’t be beat.




1 C                                         cake flour

1 2/3 C                               granulated sugar (separated)

¼  t                                       table salt

2 C                                        egg whites (from about 15 large eggs)

1 T                                         fresh lemon juice

1 T                                         lemon zest

2 t                                         vanilla extract

2 t                                         cream of tartar


2 T                                         Granulated Sugar

3T                                           Saba (balsamic grape juice) or substitute 1T sweet balsamic vinegar

1 ea                                      basket strawberries, washed, stemmed and chopped fine

1 ½  C                                 heavy cream, whipped with 2T sugar


PREPARE THE CUPCAKES:  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.   Sift together flour, 2/3 C sugar and salt.  Set Aside.  In a large bowl, beat egg whites, lemon juice, lemon zest and vanilla until frothy using an electric mixer on medium speed.  Add the cream of tartar (it stabilizes the whites) and continue beating until whites are soft and fluffy.  This should take about 3 minutes.  Gradually add 1 C sugar.  Beat 4-5 minutes until whites are shiny and hold a firm peak when whisk is lifted out.  Sift ½ flour/sugar mixture over beaten whites to prevent clumping. Using a wire whisk, blend in flour mixture taking care not to deflate whites.  Add remaining flour and blend.  Spoon batter into a 24 cup cupcake pan lined with paper liners.  Bake 15-20 minutes until a skewer comes out clean and top of cupcakes are golden brown.

PREPARE FILLING:  In a small mixing bowl combine chopped strawberries, 3 T saba, 2 T sugar and macerate for 15-20 minutes.  When cupcakes have cooled, cut a small x in the top of each cake.  Do NOT remove cupcakes from baking tin during this process.  The tin will help cupcakes keep their shape while filling. Fill each cupcake with strawberry filling using a pastry bag fitted with a large #6 tip.  Alternately, you can use a ziplock bag fitted with the tip. Top each cupcake with whipped cream and serve.



 sprout caesar 2

Brussels sprouts are one of my husband’s favorite vegetables and I have to confess, they’re not one of mine.  Their cabbage-y smell when cooked, is just too much for me.  However, in this salad, the sprouts are left in their glorious, crunchy, raw state and paired with a no-fail Caesar vinaigrette.  The salad is then served over a grilled chicken breast for a super easy and delicious dinner.  Any extra vinaigrette can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week.




¼ C                                        non-fat Greek yogurt

½ C                                       non-fat or reduced fat mayonnaise

1 clove                               garlic minced

1 t                                         worcestershire

3 ea                                      anchovy filets or 1 T anchovy paste (or to taste)

¼  C                                      parmesan cheese, grated

1 ea                                      juice of 1 lemon

2 t                                         red wine vinegar

Pinch                                   cayenne pepper

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

                                                Water to thin if needed




1 slice                                 whole wheat bread

1 T                                        olive oil

1 large clove                  garlic, minced

3 T                                         parsley, minced




2 #                                        brussels sprouts

¼ C                                        parmesan cheese, coarsely grated

6 ea                                      grilled boneless, skinless chicken breast




Prepare croutons. Process whole wheat bread in food processor fitted with metal blade until fine crumbs form. In small skillet, over medium heat, warm 1T olive oil.  Add garlic and bread crumbs.  Toast until crumbs are crispy and fragrant.  Remove from skillet and salt and pepper liberally.  Toss in chopped parsley. Set aside


Prepare Caesar Dressing:  Combine garlic, worcestershire, anchovy, parmesan, lemon juice, vinegar, and cayenne in the bowl of a food processor.  Process until well combined.  Add mayonnaise and yogurt and pulse gently.  Taste and adjust salt and pepper.  Add a little water if dressing seems too thick.  Dressing may be prepared in advance and stored in the refrigerator.


Prepare the sprouts.  Trim the rough ends off the sprouts and carefully remove outer leaves.  Shave remaining inner bulb into thin ribbons.  Alternately you can use a food processor to shred sprouts. Combine brussles sprouts and remaining parmesan cheese in a mixing bowl.  Lightly toss with ¼ of the  prepared Caesar vinaigrette.  Add additional dressing as needed. *Take care not to overdress the salad.  Serve the salad on top of grilled chicken breast topped with seasoned breadcrumb croutons.

Serves 6