2015 Galena’s Cucina Calendars

Just in time for the holidays, the perfect gift for that “foodie” in your life.  Monthly recipes along with beautiful photos.  Now available for ordering, first 25 orders will receive a free recipe collection. Special price of $12.95 plus shipping and handling.

Deliveries will be available after November 20, 2014.  Click on the “Order Form” to place your order.

Order Form

Galena's Cucina 2015 Calendars

Galena’s Cucina 2015 Calendars


Spooky Sweets & Treats for Halloween

White Chocolate Covered Strawberry Ghoulish Ghosts

White Chocolate Covered Strawberry Ghoulish Ghosts

White Chocolate Covered Strawberry Ghoulish Ghosts

1 (16-ounce) package fresh strawberries
6 ounces vanilla bark coating
¼ cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips

To melt chocolate bark:
Chop chocolate into small pieces. Place in a small glass or stainless steel bowl. Place bowl in a saucepan with 2 inches of water in it. Over medium high heat, stir chocolate until melted. Remove pan from stove.

Working rapidly, dip strawberries into chocolate covering ½ of the berries surface. Place on a waxed paper-lined baking sheet. Immediately press chocolate chips into coating for eyes. Freeze 5-10 minutes.

In a small microwavable bowl, add remaining chocolate chips. Heat chips in microwave until melted and smooth, about 10-15 seconds. Dip a toothpick into melted chocolate and draw a mouth on each ghost.

Snakebite Bread

1 Package Fleishmann’s® Simply Homemade® Country White Bread Mix
1 cup 115° – 120° water
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon water
2 to 3 drops liquid green food coloring
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan Cheese
1 small pimento-stuffed green olive
2 whole cloves
1 (1-inch long) strip roasted red bell pepper

Preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly spray a cooking pan with pan spray.

Place dough onto a lightly floured surface. Shape bread into a 16-18 inch log. Pinch one end of the log to form a tail shape. Form the other end into a head shape. Transfer the log onto prepared baking sheet. Cure the log into an S-shape.

Whisk together the beaten egg and 1 tablespoon water in a small bowl to make an egg wash. Add 2-3 drops of green food coloring to egg wash. Brush the surface of the dough with the green egg wash. Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese evenly over the dough.

Bake 20-25 minutes, or until the cheese has turned golden brown. Transfer the baked bread onto a wire rack to cool.

Cut the olives in half widthwise to form two eyes. Attach the eyes to the head of the snake with toothpicks. Use the whole cloves to make the snake’s nostrils. Cut the strip of pepper into a forked tongue. Place the snake on a serving platter or large cutting board. Position the tongue just under the head.

Use a serrated knife to cut the snake into slices; serve warm or at room temperature.

Halloween Treats

Halloween Treats

Spider Web Guacamole Dip

3 fresh avocado, halved, seeded and peeled
juice of 1 lime
salt and pepper, to taste
1 tablespoons Mazola® Corn Oil
½ onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped
1 jalapeño, finely diced
3 roma tomatoes, seeded and diced, divided
1-2cups shredded lettuce
¼ cup chopped black olives
½ cup shredded Mexican cheese blend
½ cup sour cream
1 bag tortilla chips

In a medium mixing bowl, place the scooped avocado pulp and lime juice, toss to coat. Add the salt, pepper, and oil and using a potato masher, mash. Then, fold in the onions, garlic, 1 chopped tomatoes, cilantro, and jalapeños. If not using right away, add the seed of the avocado to help prevent browning of the guacamole.

In a large serving tray spread the edges with shredded lettuce, black olives, remaining 2 tomatoes, and Mexican cheese blend. Place guacamole in center of tray.

Place sour cream in a quart size ziplock bag. Cut the corner off. Squeeze sour cream on top of guacamole in several concentric circles. You can either use ziplock bag to pipe on the rest of the sour cream to form web or you can use a knife and run lines lightly through the sour cream circles to make the web shape. Place a creep spider on the web. Serve with tortilla chips for dipping.

Green Ghoul Punch

½ (12-ounce) can frozen limeade concentrate, thawed
1 liter ginger ale
1 pint lime sherbet
gummy worms or gummy spiders, frozen
dry ice cubes, about 2 pounds

Pour the limeade concentrate and gingerly in a large, clear glass, punch bowl. Stir it gently to combine. Add lime sherbet, gummy worms and dry ice. Replace dry ice as smoke disappears.

Bloody Glasses

¼ cup KARO® Corn Syrup
3-4 drops red food coloring

Combine above ingredients. Dip rim of cup into syrup, dripping syrup will resemble
blood.

Happy Halloween and Buon Appetite!




Season’s 52 Goat Cheese Ravioli Copycat

I just LOVE Season’s 52 Restaurant…the food is aways fresh, healthy, and of course, seasonal.  Last month Bob took me there for my birthday and I had this wonderful appetizer, goat cheese ravioli….YUM!!!!  Last week I had a dinner party and thought that would be the perfect first course for my party.  So I searched the internet and found a couple of copycat recipes…then the fun began…making it my own.  I was very surprised that the ravioli is actually made with egg roll wrappers, thus making it very very easy for any home cook to prepare.

First off, know that this probably isn’t something you would make during the week after working all day, but for a fun Saturday or Sunday cooking experience, it really is very easy, just a little time consuming.

Preparing the filling is what you will do first.  One thing I LOVE about this ravioli is you can make them up way in advance and they will be fine in the refrigerator until ready to use.  You will need 1 11 or 12 ounce log of goat cheese, mozzarella, ricotta, parmesan, one egg, white pepper, fresh basil and whatever other shredded cheese you would like (I also used some shredded provolone.  Place all of the ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth and creamy.

Thinly sliced fresh basil

Thinly sliced fresh basil

On a clean work surface, place 1 egg roll wrapper and brush with an egg wash (1 egg plus 1 teaspoon water).

Eggwash

In center of wrapper, place one scoop of cheese mixture and lay another egg roll wrapper over cheese.  Press and seal the edges, pushing out all the air pockets.Press edgesUsing a knife or a ravioli cutter, trim ravioli.  If desired, place a small bowl over ravioli and trace bowl for a perfect circle.DSC_0006Perfect circle

Repeat until all wrappers are used or filling.  My recipes makes 9 ravioli, or one full package of egg roll wrappers.  Place raviolis on a sheet pan, cover and refrigerate until ready to poach.Prepared raviolis

Ingredients for Sauce

To prepare the sauce, in a large sauté pan add 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter, cook over medium heat until butter is melted.  Add 1-2 small shallots or ½ onion, finely chopped, garlic and white pepper.  (I had a package of baby portobello mushrooms in the frig, so I thinly sliced them and added them with the shallots and garlic).  Cook until shallots are soft, about 3-5 minutes.  Deglaze pan with white wine (of drinkable quality) and simmer until wine has reduced by half.  Add tomatoes, chicken stock, and a couple sprigs of fresh thyme, simmer 10 minutes.
Portobellos and ThymeAt this point you can either turn off the heat until ready to prepare the raviolis or cook them (yes it really is that easy…you know the saying, “less is best”)!  When ready to cook the ravioli, remove from the frig, bring sauce up to a boil, place 2-3 ravioli in sauce (depending on your pan) and poach 1 minute.  Poached RavioliRemove ravioli with a slotted spoon and place in bowl or plate.  Repeat until all ravioli’s are cooked.  Ladle remaining sauce over ravioli.  Top with a drop of lemon infused olive oil (not necessary but very yummy) and top with freshly grated cheese.

DSC_0028In a bowl

Season’s 52 Sonoma Goat Cheese Ravioli Copycat

Yield: 8-9 Servings
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes

Ravioli:
1 one pound package egg roll wraps
11 or 12 ounce log of goat cheese
4 ounces ricotta cheese
¼ cup shredded mozzarella
¼ cup shredded provolone
1 tablespoon parmesan cheese
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
¼ cup fresh basil, chopped
Egg wash (1 egg slightly beaten with 1 teaspoon of water)

Sauce:
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 shallot, sliced thinly
1 glove garlic, minced
¼ teaspoon white pepper
½ cup dry white wine, of drinkable quality
1 14.5 ounce cans petite diced tomatoes
3 cups chicken stock
few springs of fresh thyme
¼ cup fresh spinach, cut into thin strips
Parmesan cheese, for garnish
Lemon oil, for a gourmet touch

Ravioli:
In the bowl of a food processor, add cheese, egg, pepper and basil, process until combined.

Place one egg roll wrappers on work area, brush with egg wash. Place 2 heaping tablespoons cheese filling in center of each roll. Lay another egg roll wrap over cheese. Press and seal the edges, pushing out all air pockets. Trim ravioli with a round cutter and place on a baking sheet. Repeat until until filling is all used (should make 8 or 9). Place raviolis in refrigerator until ready to cook.

Sauce:
In a 5 quart stock pot over medium heat, add butter and oil, cook until butter is melted. Add shallots, garlic, and white pepper. Cook until shallots are soft, about 3-5 minutes.

Add wine and simmer until wine has reduced in half. Add tomatoes and chicken stock. Simmer 5 minutes. Keep sauce over medium low heat until ready to cook ravioli.

To cook ravioli:
Place ravioli on slotted spoon and into the simmering stock to poach for one minute. Remove from stock, place in bowl. Continue cooking remaining ravioli. Add spinach to stock, simmer 1-2 minutes (remove thyme sprigs). Ladle sauce over ravioli, sprinkle with grated cheese and a drop of lemon oil.

Buon Appetito!


It’s ALMOST here….”Cookin’ for a Livin”

The cookbook is so close to being available, so I thought I would send out a little tease, and this goes to my friend Ann!  Enjoy!!!!

Baked Olives & Grilled Bread

Olive Ingredients:
1 ½ cups cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1 cup Kalamata olives
1 cup Manzanilla olives
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ finely sliced shallot
1 teaspoon Spice Islands® Parsley
½ teaspoon Spice Islands® Oregano
1 Spice Islands® Bay Leaf
¼ cup Mazola® Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Zest of 1 lemon

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400°F. Combine tomatoes, olives, garlic, onion, 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, oregano, bay leaf and olive oil in a medium size ovenproof dish. Bake 15 minutes, or until tomatoes begin to caramelize.

Bread Ingredients:
1 loaf Simply Homemade® Country White Bread, baked
¼ cup Mazola® Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Spice Islands® Sea Salt
Spice Islands® Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Directions:
Slice bread in 1” slices. Brush Bread with oil, sprinkle salt and pepper over bread. Place oil side down on hot grill or grill pan (place on an angle). Cook several minutes and rotate bread 90°F. Brush top of bread with remaining olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Turn bread over and repeat the cooking process as above.

Baked Olives & Grilled Bread

Baked Olives & Grilled Bread

Bon Appetito!!!!


Rob’s Favorite Stuffed Bread

Stuffed breads are such a BIG hit in the east coast!  After moving to the mid south, I started baking my own.  My son Rob’s favorite is broccoli and pepperoni stuffed bread.  So easy to make, below is the “quick” version made with Simply Homemade® County White Bread Mix (found in the baking aisle of your favorite grocery store).

Simply Homemade® Country White Bread

Simply Homemade® Country White Bread Mix

Follow the direction on the back of the box for making this yummy bread, cover bread with plastic wrap and place in a warm spot until doubled (if you have time), about 1 hour.

IMG_2762

Now comes the really fun part, creating your bread…one of my favorite sayings is “you are only limited by your creativity”….this is especially true when stuffing a bread, because you can stuff it with just about anything.  But, today I am making “Rob’s favorite”, so I am stuffing my bread with broccoli, pepperoni, shredded mozzarella, grated parmesan cheese and a little sun-dried tomato pesto sauce, just to “kick it up a notch”….oh yeah, and of course, red pepper flakes.

For the broccoli, chopped two bunches of broccoli crowns, place in a micro-wave bowl, add 2 tablespoons water, salt & pepper, I LOVE Tones® Roasted Garlic Sea Salt…

2 crowns chopped broccoli

2 crowns chopped broccoli

Micro-wave for 5 minutes.  Drain and put aside until needed.

On a clean work surface or a silicon roll pad, lightly dusted with flour, place bread dough and pat down or roll dough out to a  14″x8″rectangle.   Top dough with pesto sauce (if desired) leaving a 1-inch edge.  Top pesto sauce with 1 ½ cups shredded mozzarella, cooked broccoli and ¼ cup chopped pepperoni.  Sprinkle 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese over pepperoni.  IMG_2766

Brush egg wash along outer edge (this helps prevent ingredients from bursting out).  Starting with the side closest to you, roll up jelly-roll style; about ½ way,  fold in edges and continue rolling to end.

Stuffed Bread

Stuffed Bread

Place bread on a sheet pan or pizza peel dusted with polenta (or corn meal), this will add a wonderful crunch to the bottom of the bread.  If time permits, cover and let rise an additional 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400°F.  For optimal flavor use a pizza stone, preheated for 45 minutes.  Brush bread with egg wash and top with toasted sesame seeds, if desired.  Make several ¼-inch slices diagonally on top.  Slide bread onto pizza stone, or place baking sheet in preheated oven.  Bake 20-25 minutes until golden brown.  Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool.

Baked Bread

Baked Bread

This is a GREAT appetizer to bring to any party….Buon Appetito!

Rob's Favorite Stuffed Bread

Rob’s Favorite Stuffed Bread

 

1 Package Simply Homemade® Country White Bread Mix

Prepare bread mix according to package directions. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm spot until doubled, about 1 hour.

On a clean work surface or a silicon roll pad, lightly floured with flour, place bread and pat down or roll out to a 14 x 8 inch rectangle.

Add bread stuffing (see below). Egg wash edges of bread and roll tightly, tucking in the ends before you finish rolling up. Egg wash outside of bread and sprinkle with sesame seeds if desired.

Bake in a preheated 400°F oven on a pizza stone for 20-25 minutes. Remove bread and place on a wire rack to cool before slicing.

Broccoli Filling

2 crowns chopped broccoli (microwave for 5 minutes or until soft) drained
1/4 lb. wafer sliced pepperoni)
1 ½ cups shredded mozzarella cheese
2-3 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
Red pepper flakes to taste
Optional: ¼ cup tomato pesto sauce

Ham & Tomato Filling

1/2 lb. sliced ham
1/4 to 1/2 lb. Provolone or Italian Cheese Blend
Red pepper flakes to taste
Sun-Dried tomatoes or fresh tomatoes

 


Super Bowl Snacks

Franks” Red Hot Buffalo Chicken Dip

Sometimes you come across a dip that you absolutely fall in love with….well, I’m in love….this dip has been around for a while, but I just had the opportunity to taste and then make it.  If you are looking for something to bring to today’s Super Bowl Party, this definitely is the one….I guarantee this will be a very BIG HIT, and did I mention is quick & easy????

Ingredients

  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened  (can also use low fat cream cheese)
  • 1/2 cup blue cheese salad dressing
  • 1/2 cup Frank’s® RedHot® Original Cayenne Pepper Sauce or Frank’s® RedHot® Buffalo Wing Sauce
  • 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese or shredded mozzarella cheese  (I used both)
  • 2 (12 ounce) cans Swanson® Premium Chunk Chicken Breast in Water, drained  (you can also use store brand rotisserie chicken)
  • Assorted fresh vegetables and or tostitos

Directions

  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Stir the cream cheese in a 9-inch deep dish pie plate with a fork or whisk until it’s smooth. Stir in the dressing, pepper sauce and blue cheese. Stir in the chicken.
  3. Bake for 20 minutes or until the chicken mixture is hot and bubbly. Stir before serving. Serve with the vegetables and crackers for dipping.
 

Footnotes

  • Tip: This dip can be kept warm in a small crockpot or fondue pot on the buffet table.
  • To make in the microwave: Use a microwavable 9-inch deep dish pie plate. Prepare the dip as directed above in Step 2. Microwave, uncovered, on HIGH for 5 minutes or until the chicken mixture is hot, stirring halfway through the cook time.

Nutritional Information open nutritional information

Amount Per Serving  Calories: 144 | Total Fat: 11.2g | Cholesterol: 36mg


Clam’s Casino

What a wonderful Christmas we had…so great to have family all together.  We have always had a Christmas Eve tradition of doing “appetizers” to snack on all night long…Bob and I started this years ago when we first got married.  Below is a photo from our “1st Christmas Eve” together as husband & wife entertaining our very good friend.

Christmas Eve 1977

Christmas Eve 1977

This year was not any different, everyone chooses an appetizer, or two, of their choice.  Rob’s choice is always Clam’s Casino.  Pretty funny that these little guys are such a big hit since I do not eat clams.  When I was a little girl, my dad made me eat (yes, they did things like that back in the day) a raw clam…haven’t been able to put one in my mouth ever since; however I do make the best Clams Casino, Chowder, Baked Stuffed, etc….or at least that’s what I am told.  🙂

I think one reason Rob loves they so much is his remembrance of our clamming days in Port Jefferson, New York, when he, Jen and Bob would sit on the back of our boat eating clams and pitching the shells back into the ocean.  This particular day, they watched as Bob was shucking…

Port Jeff, NY

Port Jeff, NY

Open clams and place on a large sheet pan.
Shucked ClamsIn a large skillet, melt butter, add vegetables and cook until soft.

Saute VegetablesPlace sauteed vegetables over clams, add parmesan cheese, top with bacon and bake..ClamsTop with freshly squeezed lemon juice and or lemon wedges.

Baked Clams Casino

Baked Clams Casino

Clams Casino

3 dozen “littleneck” clams, shucked
(see video – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LGRAcit6FOA)
1/2 stick butter
1 onion, finely diced
1/2 red bell pepper, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
red pepper flakes, to taste
1/4 cup white wine (drinking quality)
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
salt & black pepper, to taste
grated parmesan cheese
1/2 pound bacon, uncooked

Preheat oven to 425°.  Place shucked clams in a large baking sheet sprayed with pan spray.

In a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter.  Add onions, red pepper, garlic and red pepper flakes.  Cook until vegetables are soft (about 10 minutes).  Add white wine (or stock seafood stock if you prefer), and lemon juice, simmer until most of the liquid is evaporated.

Remove vegetables from heat.  Place 1 teaspoon of vegetables on top of clam, add grated parmesan cheese and 1 piece of bacon shaped to fit clam.

Bake 10-15 minutes, or until bacon is crispy.  Top with freshly squeezed lemon juice and lemon wedges, if desired.


Pretzels are Easy Made at Home | WREG.com

Chef Gail Churinetz – Make Pretzels at Home WREG.com

Click on the above link to view the video

What better time of the year to make pretzels….Octoberfest!!!  

Pretzels for Breakfast

Pretzels for Breakfast

Oktoberfest

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Oktoberfest is the world’s largest fair held annually in MunichBavariaGermany. It is a 16-day festival running from late September to the first weekend in October with more than 6 million people from around the world attending the event every year. To the locals, it is not called Oktoberfest, but “die Wies’n”, after the colloquial name of the fairgrounds (Theresienwiese) themselves. The Oktoberfest is an important part of Bavarian culture, having been held since 1810. Other cities across the world also hold Oktoberfest celebrations, modeled after the original Munich event.

The Munich Oktoberfest originally took place during the sixteen days up to, and including, the first Sunday in October. In 1994, the schedule was modified in response to German reunification so that if the first Sunday in October falls on the 1st or 2nd, then the festival would go on until October 3 (German Unity Day). Thus, the festival is now 17 days when the first Sunday is October 2 and 18 days when it is October 1. In 2010, the festival lasted until the first Monday in October, to mark the anniversary of the event. The festival is held in an area named the Theresienwiese(field, or meadow, of Therese), often called Wiesn for short, located near Munich’s center. Large quantities of Oktoberfest Beer are consumed, with almost 7 million litres served during the 16 day festival in 2007. Visitors may also enjoy a wide variety of traditional food such as Hendl (roastchicken), Schweinebraten (roast pork), Schweinshaxe (grilled ham hock), Steckerlfisch (grilled fish on a stick), Würstl (sausages) along with Brezen (pretzel), Knödel (potato or bread dumplings), Käsespätzle (cheese noodles), Reiberdatschi (potato pancakes), Sauerkraut or Rotkohl/Blaukraut (red cabbage) along with such Bavarian delicacies as Obatzda (a spiced cheese-butter spread) and Weisswurst (a white sausage).

Pretzel Wrapped Breakfast SausageBreakfast Sausage Wrapped in Pretzel Dough

Yield:  4-6 Servings

Prep Time:  20 Minutes

Bake Time:  15 Minutes

1 Box Simply Homemade® Pretzel Creations Baking Mix

1 tablespoon oil (vegetable, canola or corn)
¾ cup very warm tap water
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2 packages (6.4 ounce size) Brown n’ Serve Fully Cooked Sausage Links, thawed
1 egg

In a medium size mixing bowl add combine yeast and sugar.  Stir in very warm water (105-115°F).  Let sit 3 to five minutes.  Add pretzel mix, oil and cheddar cheese, stir until thoroughly combined (dough may be stiff; use hands if desired).

Cover dough and let rise 25 minutes in a warm, draft-free place.

Remove sausage from box.  Place on paper towel and microwave one minutes.  Pat sausage dry.

Preheat oven to 400°F.  Spray a large baking sheet with cooking spray.

Divide dough into 20 equal sized balls.  On a clean, dry surface roll each piece into an 9-inch rope.  Wrap rope around sausage and place on prepared baking sheet.  Continue with remaining pieces.

Brush each pretzel sausage with an egg wash (one egg slightly beaten with one tablespoon water).

Bake 12-15 minutes, or until slightly golden.  Serve with warm maple syrup.

Maple Syrup

½ cup boiling water
1 cup sugar
¼ teaspoon maple flavoring

In a saucepan, combine sugar and water. Cook and stir until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat, and stir in maple flavor.