Thursday, April 24, 2014

House Of Hearts

There is a contest going on at a radio station. WTOP is hosting CLICK for a Cause and plan to donate $10,000 to a charity that gets the most votes. And I have a charity that needs to win this contest. So, my friends I am asking for your help. Doesn't cost you anything but a vote. A vote for a wonderful cause. There is nothing in this for me. Nothing at all but an answer to a... prayer for help....and my heart is open to help them through Welcome Home.

The House Of Hearts

In 2006, Sher Polvinale and her late husband, Joe, transformed a dream into a reality. Sher, an strong animal advocate, was particularly affected by the plight of senior pets. Solely due to their advanced age, animals who find themselves homeless, are labeled “unadoptable” and routinely put to sleep. So Sher and Joe created a sanctuary where senior pets would live out the rest of their lives in a loving home, receive the very best medical care, eat nutritious food, sleep in comfortable beds, and be given all the love and attention they so richly deserve. They would never be homeless again. When the time came to bid farewell to a beloved House with a Heart resident, the pet crossed the Rainbow Bridge in the arms of a caring and dedicated human.

Shortly after House with a Heart opened its doors, Joe Polvinale lost his battle with cancer and Sher was left to carry on without him. She converted her entire home and two-acre property into a pet-friendly and accessible refuge for senior dogs. Today, over seventy homeless senior pets have been given a second chance at life.

Please watch this video and see inside the House Of Hearts.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UbkHGNl5qm4

Please my friends...let's all get together and help them win this contest. It cost you nothing but a few seconds of your time and they need our help with medical costs as high $10,000 a month. Here is what I am asking you to do.....

1. Click on this link. http://www.wtop.com/?sid=3572371&nid=1422&a=h

2. Go to the alphabet at the top of the page and click on H.

3. Scroll down until you see the HOUSE OF HEARTS.

4. Click LIKE at the bottom of their box. A window will pop up asking you to sign in to Facebook to LIKE. That LIKE is your vote.

Voting closes tomorrow at 5:00. Please vote now.

The Ultimate Turtle Cheesecake

This is one of those desserts that you take a bite and automatically close your eyes and take it all in. Cheese cake so creamy and smooth that it just makes you want to delay swallowing! And then with that decadent topping of chocolate, and caramel and nuts. Really. Seriously. Is there anything better? 





The Ultimate Turtle Cheesecake

 

 Crust:

1 1/2 cups finely crushed vanilla wafers (about 40 cookies)
1/4 cup butter, melted


 Filling:

3-8 oz pkgs Cream Cheese
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup sugar
3 eggs
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon pure vanilla
3/4 cup chocolate chips

 Topping:

1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
1/2 cup caramel ice cream topping
1/4 cup chopped peanuts or pecans

Mix crushed Nilla Wafers and melted butter in a bowl and press into bottom of spring a form pan. At this point you can completely wrap the bottom and half way up the sides of the pan with heavy foil to keep any water from seeping in, or you can find a slightly larger sized pan and set your spring form pan inside it. Next place your springform pan into a larger pan filled a quarter way up the sides with very hot water.

In a bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese with and condensed milk until creamy. Add the sugar, eggs, lemon juice, and vanilla and mix until combined. Remove about a cup of the filling mixture and set aside. Then melt the chocolate chips in the microwave for about a minute or until just melted and mix with the cup of reserved filling.

Pour 1/2 of the white filling into crust, then top it with the chocolate filling, then top that with the last 1/2 of the white filling mix. If desired you can take a knife and gently swirl colors.

Bake at 300 degrees for 1 hour and 15-30 minutes on the middle rack of your oven. Your cake will be done when it is set on the edges but the middle should be a little jiggly. Turn off the heat but leave the cake in the oven. Open the door and allow to cool for another hour. Then chill in the refrigerator for about an hour.

Remove outer ring from the spring form pan and top with mini chocolate chips and nuts. Then drizzle caramel sauce all over the top and allow to drip down the sides. Store covered in the refrigerator.

 Photograph is copyrighted and the property of ©Welcome Home. 

Lemon Cream Pie

I always make one pie and one cake for the holidays. I am a pie person myself but my Dad and brother love cake. So I end up making one of each. I just posted up my Strawberry Swirl Cake and now here's the pie I made. It's my Mom's Lemon Cream Pie and it's an awesome, creamy, almost velvety pie with a custard like filling and just a hint of tartness that goes beautifully with the whipped cream. I added a special garnish of white chocolate curls... that made this pie the best pie I have ever eaten!
 
Lemon Cream Pie

Pie Shell: I made my Mom's easy pie shell recipe, but you can buy a ready made frozen pie shell if you need to save time. If you do, go with Marie Callender's.

Easy Pie crust:
 
4 cups flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon salt
1 3/4 cup Crisco shortening                                           
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 egg
1/2 cup water

This recipe makes 4 pie dough rounds. One for now and three to freeze for later. Mix flour, sugar, and salt. Cut-in the shortening with a fork or cutting tool. In a separate bowl mix vinegar, egg, and water. Add it to the flour mixture, stirring with a fork until moistened. Use your hands to mold into 4 equal balls. Use one now for your pie and freeze the others for future use.

Flour your surface and roll the crust starting from the middle and moving out, till it’s about 2 inches larger than the size of your pie dish. Try to work quickly and handle it as little as possible so it doesn't get tough. Gently roll your dough around your rolling pin and lay it in the pan. Then unroll the crust, and gently fit it in-place–don’t pull or tug on the crust. Use a knife to trim the uneven edges, leaving about a 1-inch overhang. Tuck the overhang under on the edge of your pan. Then use your fingers to pinch the edges for a decorative finish.

Bake at 350 until golden brown. Cool completely before adding filling.

Lemon Cream Filling                                            

1 cup sugar
3 ½ tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest                                              
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
3 egg yolks slightly beaten
1 cup whole milk
¼ cup frozen butter
1 cup sour cream

Combine sugar, cornstarch, lemon zest, lemon juice, egg yolks and milk in sauce pan, and cook over med heat until thick. Stir in the frozen butter and cool to room temp. Stir in the 1 cup of sour cream and Pour into pie cooked shell.

Whipped Cream and White Chocolate Topping:

1 cup whipping cream
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
Shaved White Chocolate Curls

Right before you are ready to serve your pie, place the whipping cream and powdered sugar in a large bowl (or stand mixer) and beat with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form and you have whipped cream. Dollop the cream on top of the pie. Shave the white chocolate to garnish top...I used a cheese slicer. Serve and enjoy!

Phototography is copyrighted and the property of ©Welcome Home 2014


Strawberry Swirl Pound Cake

This was my Easter cake this year and it was a huge success!  Moist cake with a strawberry filling that is just perfect.  This is a beautiful summer cake too!  Enjoy!

Strawberry Swirl Pound Cake
1½ cups butter, at room temperature
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
3 cups sugar
6 eggs
3 cups flour, sifted
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon salt

Strawberry Filling

 1 cup finely diced fresh strawberries
 1/2 cup granulated sugar
 1/2 cup water
1 1/2-2 tablespoon cornstarch

Combine the strawberries, sugar, water and cornstarch in a small saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture becomes very thick. Set aside and allow to cool.
 

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour a 10 inch Bundt pan. Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter on medium speed until combined and soft, about 2 minutes. Add the sugar and continue to beat on medium speed until the mixture is very light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating until each one is completely incorporated before adding the next. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, reduce the speed to low, and gradually add the flour until it has all been combined. Add the vanilla extract and salt and mix on low speed until incorporated, about 1 minute.

Spoon about ⅔ of the cake batter into the prepared Bundt pan. Top evenly with the strawberry filling, leaving a 1-inch border around the edge of the pan. Use a thin skewer or knife to gently swirl the strawberry filling with the cake batter just a few times. Spoon the remainder of the cake batter on top of the filling and gently spread to the edges of the pan, covering the filling.  Then drop a few teaspoons of filling on top.

Bake for about 90 minutes or until a thin knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for about 20 minutes, then turn it out onto a wire cooling rack and allow to cool completely before serving.

Vanilla Glaze:                                                               


1 ¼ cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
¼ cup heavy cream
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

In the top of a double boiler, over barely simmering water, combine the sugar, cream and vanilla. Stir until the ingredients are well blended, about 2 minutes. When the cake is completely cool, drizzle the glaze decoratively over the cake. Allow the glaze to set for 1 hour before slicing and serving the cake.

  
Photographs are copyrighted and the property of ©Welcome Home

My Four Cheese Mac and Cheese

I have several recipes for Mac and cheese here at Welcome Home that are my go to recipes for most occasions. So why did I choose this one for Easter? Because when you want a really cheesy and creamy mac and cheese dish, this is the one. Absolutely delicious!




My Four Cheese Mac and Cheese

4 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups half and half
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried mustard
Pinch of cayenne powder
1 (16 ounce) box of elbow or spiral macaroni
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup grated Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup Fontina cheese
1/2 Gruyere cheese
1 cup Panko bread crumbs

In a medium saucepan melt 4 tablespoons of the butter over low heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for about 2 minutes. Increase the heat to medium and whisk in the half and half a little at a time. Stir 3-5 minutes while sauce thickens. Remove from the heat, season with the salt, pepper, dried mustard, cayenne and 1/2 cup of the grated Parmesan. Stir until cheese is melted and sauce is smooth. Cover and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Add a generous amount of salt and then pasta. Cook for about 5 minutes, until pasta is just slightly under cooked. Drain in a colander and return the pasta to the pot you cooked it in. Add 2 tablespoons of the butter and stir until melted and pasta is coated. Set aside

Grease a 3-quart baking dish with butter or non stick cooking spray. in a large bowl mix all the remaining cheeses and toss lightly to blend. Place on-third of the pasta in the bottom of the greased baking dish. Top with one-third of the mixed cheeses. Top with another third of the macaroni and another third of the cheese mixture. Repeat with the remaining macaroni and cheese mixture.

In a small bowl combine the Panko bread and a tablespoon of melted butter. Mix with fingers until crumbs are moistened. Sprinkle over the top of the macaroni and cheese. Bake at 350 degrees on center rack of oven for about 45 minutes until cheese is hot and bubbly and topping is golden brown.

***This Photograph was taken by the owner of Welcome Home and is copyrighted as the property of ©Welcome Home.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Roasted Broccoli and Tomato with Cavatelli

Roasted Broccolit and Tomato With Cavatelli

1 ½ cups Cavatelli Pasta
½ cup STAR Arbequina Usage Pairing Extra Virgin Olive Oil for Vegetables
4 Cloves Garlic, minced
Salt and Pepper to taste
2 crowns Broccoli, cut into strips
2 cups Cherry Tomatoes, sliced in half
1 cup Parmesan, shredded

See recipe here:  

http://www.starfinefoods.com/roasted-broccoli-and-tomato-with-cavatelli/

Ginger-Soy Asian Lettuce Wraps

Ginger-Soy Asian Lettuce Wraps 
2-3 Chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
½ cup + 2 Tbsp STAR Asian (Soy & Ginger) Cuisine Cooking Oil, divided
2 Tbsp Szechuan Sauce
1 Tbsp Garlic
½ tsp Red Pepper Flakes
1 tsp Lime Zest
½ tsp Ginger root, minced
2 Tbsp STAR Rice Vinegar
½ cup Water Chestnuts, diced
1 Bell Pepper, diced
1 cup Sweet Onion, finely chopped
1 Green Onion, sliced on the bias
2 heads Bibb Lettuce
See the recipe here: http://www.starfinefoods.com/ginger-soy-asian-lettuce-wraps/

Savory Rosemary Roasted Butternut Squash

This just looks delicious! The recipe is from my friends over at Star Fine Foods....
Savory Rosemary Roasted Butternut Squash 
1 3 lb. Butternut Squash
2 tablespoons STAR Butter Flavored Olive Oil
1 tablespoon Rosemary Garlic Seasoning
Kosher Salt & Pepper to taste
¼ cup toasted Pine Nuts
2 strips center cut Bacon
¼ freshly grated Parmesan Cheese

Cut and cube butternut squash, then place in bowl toss with STAR Butter Flavored Olive Oil and seasonings place on cookie sheet and bake at 400 degrees.

Halfway through baking process remove from oven and toss pan to re-coat and flip squash. Once removed from oven, toss with remaining ingredients and serve immediately and enjoy!

Honey Glazed Boneless Ham

My ham this year was a little different. I decided to go with a whole boneless ham instead of the typical spiral sliced ham with the bone. This is by far the best ham I have ever made and I will never go back!

Honey Glazed Boneless Ham


1 boneless fully cooked ham (5 to 6 pounds)
11/2 cups honey
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground mustard
Pineapple rings and cherries for garnish if desired

Score the ham, making diamond shapes about half inch deep. Place on a rack in a foil-lined roasting pan. Then add about a cup of water all around rack in pan.

Make a glaze by mixing honey, brown sugar, cloves and mustard until blended and some of it pour over ham. Save some of the mixture for basting later. Cover entire roasting pan with non stick aluminum foil and bake for about 45 minutes. Uncover pan and brush ham with more glaze. Bake for another 45 minutes still covered.

Remove foil and brush remaining glaze on ham. If using pineapple and cherries, add them now and secure with toothpicks. Bake ham for an additional 20-30 minutes uncovered. Add additional water to the pan if necessary.

Photography is copyrighted and the property of ©Welcome Home.

Honey Glazed Boneless Ham

So I've been posting photos of my Easter dinner today. Thought you might like to see the final outcome. I snapped this picture as my Dad's plate after his first visit to the buffet table....before he sampled some of the other dishes. I made. My ham this year was a little different. I decided to go with a whole boneless ham instead of the typical spiral sliced ham with the bone. The best ham I have ever made and I will never go back! 

Honey Glazed Boneless Ham

1 boneless, fully cooked ham (5 to 6 pounds)
11/2 cups honey
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground mustard
Pineapple rings and cherries for garnish if desired

Score the ham, making diamond shapes about half inch deep. Place on a rack in a foil-lined roasting pan. Then add about a cup of water all around rack in pan.

Make a glaze by mixing honey, brown sugar, cloves and mustard until blended and some of it pour over ham. Save some of the mixture for basting later. Cover entire roasting pan with non stick aluminum foil and bake for about 45 minutes. Uncover pan and brush ham with more glaze. Bake for another 45 minutes still covered.

Remove foil and brush remaining glaze on ham. If using pineapple and cherries, add them now and secure with toothpicks. Bake ham for an additional 20-30 minutes uncovered. Add additional water to the pan if necessary.




 Photography is copyrighted and the property of ©Welcome Home.