Mrs. Carla Monti

Mrs. Carla Monti

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day! The man and I celebrated with a little midnight dessert (is there a better time to eat dessert?!)...

And I love this :)

Monday, February 13, 2012

Pizza, Chili and Chocolate Cupcakes!

I LOVE making pizza. Once you have a staple pizza crust recipe, making pizza inevitably becomes one of the easiest and most versatile dishes to whip up in very little time. I'm going to Spain and Portugal at the end of this week so I was on a mission to cook and bake with the intention of using up plenty of my fridge/freezer items. With an abundance of cheeses (ricotta, mascarpone, parmiggiano, mozzarella) and some leftover pesto, I made a simple and satisfying lunch. My favorite go-to recipe is definitely Katie's pizza crust!

Pizza con Pesto e Quattro Formaggi! I think naming it in Italian sounds so much better, don't you? ;) I was very happy to successfully use my new clay pizza stone too!

Made on 02/12/12.

Here it is, in all it's four cheese bubbly goodness.

Next up I decided to attempt chili from AmyBites which never lets me down with her awesome and healthy recipe recommendations!

Variations: I used ground beef instead of turkey, and made the dish on the stove instead of in the slow-cooker, letting it cook at low-heat for a total of 2 1/2 hours. I didn't add any chili powder or cayenne since the flavor from the stewed tomatoes (which already had spices) was delicious enough on it's own!

Made on 02/12/12.

Top with a scoop of low-fat sour cream and shredded cheddar cheese.

Last but not least, double chocolate cupcakes with mascarpone and cream cheese frosting! These were made for a special friend of mine's birthday and since her birthday is also on Valentine's Day, I topped them with some little cinnamon candy hearts! :)

Chocolate and Mascarpone Cupcakes!

Made on 02/12/12.

Chocolatey deliciousness!

Thanks to Kirbie's Cravings!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Words of Wisdom....

Chicken Piccata and Couscous!

One of my favorite chefs is Giada De Laurentiis, who never steers me wrong! The woman is beautiful and can cook, is there a better combination? Last night I made Giada's Chicken Piccata!

Made on 02/07/12.

I also ventured out of my comfort zone and made my own accompanying side. I've had a bag of Israeli couscous in my pantry for longer than I care to admit, and finally decided to make it last night. First I sauteed two diced shallots with three minced garlic cloves in olive oil over medium heat, and then added two diced zucchinis. After cooking the couscous in boiling, salted water and fluffing it with a fork, I added the veggie mix and topped with sea salt, black pepper, and lemon zest. The dish was bright and fresh, and went great with the lemony/garlicky Chicken Piccata. :)

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Exam De-Stressing!

Exams are coming up so I am taking plenty of cooking breaks in between :)

Starting with Giada's Turkey Meatballs!

Variation: I baked the meatballs instead of cooking them on the stove. For the sauce, I roasted some tomatoes in olive oil and then pureed them with cream, garlic, and red wine. Simple and delicious!

Made on 02/04/12.

I saw these on My Baking Addiction and knew I had to make them very very soon,  Chocolate Chip Muffins!

Made on 02/04/12.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Chicken Tortilla Soup and Garlic Corn Muffins!

Annie's Chicken Tortilla Soup!

Made on 02/03/12.

Served with Giada's Garlic Corn Muffins!

Made on 02/03/12.

Dinner Photography....

I am lucky enough to have a lovely man who also happens to be an amazing chef. We love to cook together and we've made some amazing meals thus far...or sometimes he cooks while I watch and drink wine :)

Scallops with maple-glazed bacon with roasted asparagus, zucchini, and squash platter.

Garlic bread, lobster tails, breaded veal cutlets, mussels, creamed spinach, crab ragu.

Garlic bread, breaded shrimp, flounder française, portabella mushrooms in marsala wine.

Filet mignon, roasted asparagus, steamed mussels, breaded shrimp, garlic bread, portabella mushrooms with creamy spinach.

Sparkling wine and strawberries for the birthday boy :)

Roasted bell peppers and asparagus, breaded flounder filets, garlic rice, crab mix shells, shrimp with peach, orange, and wine sauce.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Chickpea Burgers!

Chickpea Burgers!

Made on 02/01/12.

Variations: I added 1/4 tsp lemon juice, 2 tsp lemon zest, half a small yellow onion, 1/4 tsp curry powder, and 1/4 tsp paprika (in place of chili powder and cayenne).

I used whole grain sandwich thins as the "buns" and topped the patty with shredded cheddar, mozzarella cheese and iceberg lettuce.

Serving suggestion: serve with a side of Cupcake Red Velvet wine! :)

Berries & Cream!

Inspired by my über-healthy ladyfriend, I put together a work snack last night with no recipe (gasp!). It is healthy, yummy, colorful, simple, etc. Mix blackberries, blueberries, raspberries and 2-3 tablespoons of white sugar in a bowl and add 1/4 cup mascarpone, 2 (6 oz) containers of fat-free plain yogurt, 2/3 cup rolled oats, and a 1/4 teaspoon of fresh squeezed lemon juice.

Made on 01/31/2012.

Not particularly lovely photos, but true deliciousness inside! :)