Welcome to The Pink Kitchen.....where life is fashionably delicious!!!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The "Love Apple"

There is nothing better than a nice, ripe tomato in the summertime. I bet you never knew that the tomato (berry, fruit, vegetable, whatever it may be) has quite an extensive history. In the 1600s, Americans and Europeans actually believed that the tomato was poisonous! They kept this belief for hundreds of years and would only use tomatoes for decorative purposes. It wasn't until the French starting calling tomatoes, pommes de'amore, or "love apples", that it became popular in the culinary world. The French actually believed that the tomato had aphrodisiacal qualities so that is where the term "love apple" came from. I decided to use up some of my little "love apples" from the garden by making this Rustic Tomato Tart.  If you are a pizza lover, you have got to try this one! It will literally transport your taste buds and make them believe you are at an outdoor bistro in Paris. Use as much mozzarella as you want! The tomatoes become so soft that they almost act as a sauce. How can you ever go wrong with a recipe that uses puff pastry? Yum! I'll take this buttery, flakey crust any day over traditional pizza crust! According to experts, red wine goes best with pizza, especially Chianti. So pour yourself a glass, throw on your favorite music to relax to (mine would be Michael Buble), and pretend you're in Paris!

Rustic Tomato & Mozzarella Tart


  • 2 or 3 ripe red and yellow tomatoes, about 8 oz. total, cored and cut into slices 1/8 inch thick
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
  • 8-by-10-inch rectangle of frozen puff pastry, cut in half and thawed in the refrigerator
  • 3/4 cup shredded whole-milk mozzarella cheese
  • 4 Tbs. grated hard cheese, such as Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh basil
  • Olive oil for drizzling


Place the tomato slices on paper towels, season with salt and let drain for 30 to 60 minutes.

Position a rack in the upper third of an oven and preheat to 400°F.

In a small bowl, stir together the garlic and butter. Place the puff pastry rectangles on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush with the garlic butter and season with salt. Leaving a 1/4-inch border, sprinkle the pastry evenly with the mozzarella and 2 Tbs. of the Parmigiano-Reggiano. Arrange the tomato slices on top and sprinkle with the remaining 2 Tbs. Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Bake until the pastry is puffed and golden, 25 to 30 minutes. Sprinkle the tarts with the basil and drizzle with olive oil. Serve immediately. Serves 6 to 8.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Cooking from the Farmers’ Market, by Tasha DeSerio & Jodi Liano (Weldon Owen, 2010)

Alissa's notes: Seriously, use as much cheese as your little heart desires! I think I used about 1 1/2 cups of mozzarella. Also, I used Pecorino Romano cheese instead of Parmigiano-Reggiano. Any hard cheese will do. I bought Pepperidge Farm puff pastry, but the sheet seemed kind of small, so I rolled it out a little bit with my rolling pin. If you bake this on a stone, you don't need the parchment paper. I'm making this recipe again this week, since we loved it and I still have so many tomatoes to use up!

RATING: 5 cupcakes 

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Curse of the Zucchini

Every summer I have the same dilemma. Too many zucchinis, not enough recipe ideas. This summer, of course, wasn't any different. We had some very large zucchinis in our garden. I don't exactly "love" zucchini. It's okay in vegetable lasagna, and I've even made a "zucchini parmigiana" where it is breaded, fried, and topped with sauce and cheese. This summer I have tried two new recipes, both of which I (and other "taste-testers") have really enjoyed. The first is a Chocolate Zucchini Cake. This cake is so deliciously moist and dense. You would never even know that it contains zucchini. It's just sweet enough without being overly sweet. The second recipe is Blueberry Zucchini Bread. Yum! What a nice change from boring, old zucchini bread. Usually I would add chocolate chips, but blueberries were a healthier option and I really enjoyed the tart, little bursts of flavor. I'm hoping to add more zucchini recipes to my repertoire every summer so I can gradually overcome the "curse of the zucchini"!

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

2 C. flour
2 C. sugar
3/4 C. cocoa powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
4 eggs
1 C. vegetable oil
3 C. peeled, grated zucchini
1/2 C chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 9x13" baking pan.
2. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add eggs and oil. Mix well. Fold in zucchini and then chocolate chips.
3. Pour into prepared pan. Bake for 50-60 minutes until toothpick comes out clean. Cool cake before frosting or dusting with powdered sugar (optional).

RATING: 5 cupcakes

Blueberry Zucchini Bread

3 eggs, beaten
3/4 C. vegetable oil
3 tsp. vanilla extract
1 3/4 C. sugar
2 C. peeled, shredded zucchini
3 C. flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1 pint of fresh blueberries

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease 4 mini loaf pans.
2. In a large bowl, beat together eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugar. Fold in zucchini.
3. In a separate bowl, mix together the dry ingredients. Add to zucchini mixture. Gently fold in blueberries.
4. Transfer to mini loaf pans, filling each 3/4 full.
5. Bake 50 minutes until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in loaf pans for 20 minutes, then run sharp knife around edge of loaf and remove. Cool on wire rack.

RATING: 4 cupcakes

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Balsamic Chicken Drumettes (recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis)

These sweet-but-savory little morsels melt in your mouth. The excellent blend of flavors and the stickiness of the sauce has made this one of my favorite chicken recipes of all time!

Balsamic Chicken Drumettes (recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis)

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup soy sauce
5 sprigs of rosemary
5 garlic cloves, halved
10 to 12 chicken drumsticks
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley


Combine the balsamic, honey, brown sugar, soy sauce, rosemary sprigs, and garlic cloves, in a large, re-sealable plastic bag. Shake and squeeze the contents of the bag to dissolve the honey and the brown sugar. Add the chicken drumsticks to the bag and seal with as little air as possible in the bag. Place in the refrigerator and marinate for 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Place the chicken drumsticks on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake until the skin is caramelized and very dark in spots, about 30 to 35 minutes.

Meanwhile, place the marinade in a small saucepan. Bring the marinade to a boil (in order to kill bacteria). Reduce the heat to simmer and cook over low heat until thick, about 15 minutes. Reserve.

Use a pastry brush to brush some of the cooked marinade on the cooked chicken. Place the chicken on a serving platter. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds and the chopped parsley.

Alissa's notes: I have made these in the oven and also on the grill. Either way, they are FAB!

RATING= 5 cupcakes

Chicken Stroganoff

This recipe was given to me by my friend, Gretchen. It is delicious, husband-approved, and super easy!

Chicken Stroganoff

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I used 5 breasts)
1 can Cream of Mushroom soup
1-16oz. container of sour cream
1 envelope dry Onion soup mix

Mix all ingredients together and pour over chicken breasts in a crock pot. Cook on low for 6 hours. Serve over rice or egg noodles.

Alissa's notes: Hope you like this recipe as much as the hubby and I did!

RATING=5 cupcakes

The Pink Kitchen Recipe Blog

Welcome to The Pink Kitchen! Here you will find new recipes that have been tried and tested by me, Alissa. I've been cooking and baking for years and I'm always on the lookout for an excellent new recipe to try. Why the name "The Pink Kitchen"? Simply because my favorite color is pink and I love to accessorize my kitchen with pink appliances and gadgets! I will be using a "cupcake rating system" to rate recipes (1 cupcake= didn't like....5 cupcakes=LOVED IT!) Eat, drink, and eat some more! Happy cooking!