Wednesday, September 4, 2013

September 4: The Recipe . . .

Challenge no. 4: The Recipe...

"Ask not what you can do for your country. 
Ask what's for lunch?"
- Orson Welles

How would it be if we started with a menu...

We were just traveling in Italy so would like to play in that arena to gain some experience before I rent a villa for a month or two and live there.  Big Smile!! (that was an out-loud written day-dream)

Three Course Italian Lunch

Salad... we will do that salad with slices of tomato, buffalo mozzarella, leaves of basil between each slice and then sprinkled with olive oil and salt and pepper. You make the salad into a 'log' shape and everyone just helps themselves to as much or as little of the 'log' as they like. Salad is called Caprese Salad and you can get it everywhere in Italy... well, wherever I was. If you are in doubt about my description look it up on Google. Excellent source.

Pasta... another time we will learn how to make our own pasta and pesto sauce but for this meal we will use Squash filled Ravioli with a creamy pesto sauce, thanks to our friends over at Costco.

Dessert with Coffee... aha! Here is where you get your recipe. Since my husband is constantly looking for the cookie jar, I thought I better expand my cookie base. Besides, Christmas is coming and I want to be prepared.

Chocolate Hazelnut Biscotti

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup Nutella
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (choice of country of origin of the vanilla in another blog post!)
3/4 cup chopped toasted hazelnuts

Preheat oven to 375

In medium bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In another medium bowl combine butter, Nutella, sugar and brown sugar. Using an electric mixer, cream the ingredients together about 4 minutes.  Add the egg and vanilla, beat until smooth, about a minute.  Using a wooden spoon, stir in the flour mixture until just combined. Add the hazelnuts and stir until just combined again. Be gentle!

This part is different than I have usually used in the making of biscotti but I like it... it is a little less costly in the time department.

Using a tablespoon measure, spoon out the cookie dough onto a cookie sheet, spacing the mounds about 4 inches apart.  Use the tines of a fork to flatten the cookie then bake for 10-12 minutes until the edges of your cookies are a little golden at the edges.  Cool on a wire rack and enjoy with coffee.

While in Italy I said Italian coffee was one of two foods I wanted to enjoy like the Italians so I ordered espresso at breakfast some days.  I had very good, wide awake mornings (I usually do not drink coffee) and the other food was gelato but that is for another blog too.

So enjoy the cookies and please, be well.

"All you need is love. 
But a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt."
- Charles M. Schulz


  1. Oops.. forgot to mention that the Biscotti recipe came from the good folks at the Food Network. The recipe is courtesy Giada De Laurentiis. Thanks.

  2. Oh, heavens, that all sounds so lovely. I could eat pesto almost every day, but that squash ravioli is pretty marvelous too--and a caprese salad is one of the best things about summer! And then you finish it off with that biscotti? Yum. Must try that recipe soon!!

    1. The last 24 hours have been wildly busy...we went to town yesterday. Got back the same time as our friends ferry pulled in, came home unpacked groceries, visited, slept and visited and here I am at 10 finishing up yesterday's work!

      Thanks for your kind words. Will let you know how the cookies turn out tomorrow.

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