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Filtering by Category: holidays

Keto Cannoli Cups

Patricia Reitz

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Whether you’re eating Keto or not, these cannoli cups are delicately delicious… and who doesn’t love getting their own individual dessert? Not eating Keto? Just omit the erythritol and sweeten to taste with confectioner’s sugar.

Items used to make this recipe:


Keto Cannoli Cups

makes 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces whole milk ricotta cheese, room temperature

  • 4 ounces mascarpone cheese, room temperature (or cream cheese)

  • 1/2 cup swerve confectioners (erythritol)

  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 60 mini stevia-sweetened premium dark chocolate chips, divided (I use Lily’s)

Directions

  1. In a medium mixing bowl, whip together the ricotta cheese, mascarpone cheese, powdered swerve, vanilla, and cinnamon until smooth; stir in 40 of the chocolate chips.

  2. Divide the mixture evenly among four 4-ounce ramekins and decorate the top of each with 5 chips; chill well before serving.

Macros: 235 calories, 5g protein, 20g fat, 4g carbs, 1g fiber, total 3 net carbs.

Italian Pine Nut Cookies

Patricia Reitz

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By far, the most popular cookie recipe among my extended family during the holidays. These chewy pignoli cookies are completely bursting with deep almond flavor. Pine nuts (pignolis) are pricy, but they’re such an excellent compliment in both texture and flavor, they’re worth using. If you want to be frugal, just place the pine nuts on the top of the cookies before baking; if you want to be decadent, roll the entire ball of cookie dough in the nuts before baking. Pine nuts are highly perishable so be sure to store them in an airtight container in the freezer.

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Start with a bowl of pine nuts (try not to eat them before you make the cookies).

Start with egg whites, confectioners sugar, and a pinch of fine salt.

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And the star ingredient, pure almond paste (not marzipan). Canned almond paste is best…

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But there are some packaged almond pastes that are ok - squeeze the package to see if the paste inside is soft. This brand uses a foil-wrapping inside the box. There are also foil-wrapped logs available that are usually ok, but I find the clear cellophane-wrapped logs are usually hard and dried out. Avoid hard almond paste if you can.

Here you can see the 2 different brands are 2 different colors, but that’s okay - the food processor is going to take care of that in no time.

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Place the almond paste in the food processor and pulse on and off until it resembles coarse sand.

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The sight of ground almond paste makes me happy!

Add the confectioners sugar and salt to the ground almond paste.

Pulse a few more times until the confectioners sugar disappears, then add the egg white and process until a smooth paste forms.

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I like to transfer the paste to a smaller container which makes it easier to work with. Use a #60 scoop (1 tablespoons) to portion out the sticky cookie dough.

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Roll the dough in the pine nuts.

Place the pine nut coated balls of dough on a silicone lined half sheet pan and press the balls slightly so the pine nuts stick after baking.

Bake the cookies for 20 minutes and allow to cool for 10 minutes before transferring to a rack to cool completely. Store in airtight container for up to a week (best eaten within 3 or 4 days).


Italian Pine Nut Cookies (Pinoli, Pignoli, Pinon)

makes 60 cookies (#60 scoop)

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds (680 grams) canned almond paste (not almond filling or marzipan)

  • 1 1/3 cups (150 grams) confectioners sugar

  • 3 large (90 grams) egg whites, room temperature

  • pinch of salt

  • 1/2 pound (227 grams) pine nuts (aka pinoli, pignoli, pinon)

  • optional: confectioners sugar for dusting

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325F, place rack in center position, and line 2 half sheet pans with silicone liners.

  2. Pulse almond paste in food processor until it resembles crumbs.

  3. Add confectioners sugar and salt; pulse until it resembles sand.

  4. Add egg whites and processes until a fine paste forms.

  5. Use a #60 scoop to portion dough; roll in pine nuts and place on half sheet pan (12 per pan).

  6. Flatten each ball of dough slightly and bake for 20 minutes; rest for 10 minutes before transferring to a rack to cool completely.

  7. Dust with additional confectioners sugar if desired.

Instant Pot Pork and Sauerkraut

Patricia Reitz

Do you enjoy pork on New Year’s Day? Pork Roast? Tenderloins? Sausage and Peppers? Pork and Sauerkraut is our family’s go-to meal to celebrate New Year’s Day, but it’s always taken some advanced planning to make in the oven (4 hours), or in the slow cooker (low 6 hours; high 12 hours). But using an Instant Pot, the cook time is drastically reduced down to only 1 hour, and it tastes amazing!

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Start by browning the boneless country-style pork ribs. You can do this right in your Instant Pot if it has a “saute” function, or you can do it in a skillet. My IP has a saute function, but I prefer to use a skillet for this part because I’m short, and it’s faster.

If browning the pork in a skillet, transfer it to the Instant Pot when both sides are brown.

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Spread the sauerkraut over the browned pork. By the way, if you use an 8-quart IP, you’ll have enough room to steam some red bliss potatoes (I place them in a small stainless steel mesh basket on top of the sauerkraut).

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Skillet users - don’t let all those tasty brown bits go to waste….

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Turn off the heat and pour the French onion soup into the skillet. The residual heat from the pan will allow the soup to deglaze the pan (dissolve all those yummy brown bits).

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Add the brown sugar too; stir everything together.

Scrape the bottom of the pan to make sure all of those tasty brown bits have dissolved into the soup.

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Pour the soup mixture over the sauerkraut and give everything a mix.

On a side note, I love my cast iron skillets!

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Back to the recipe, put the lid on the Instant Pot and make sure the vent is set on “sealing”.

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Depending on which IP model you have, push either the “Manual” or “High Pressure” button.

Cook for 30 minutes on “Manual” or “High Pressure”, then allow the pressure to release naturally for 15 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

Items used to make this recipe:


Instant Pot Pork and SauerKraut

makes 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

  • 3 pounds boneless country-style pork ribs

  • 1 1/2 pounds sauerkraut, rinsed and drained

  • 10 once can French onion soup

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar (light or dark)

  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Using the saute function in your 6-quart or larger Instant Pot, heat oil, season pork with salt and pepper, and brown on all sides (see notes below if your IP doesn’t have a saute function).

  2. Add sauerkraut; stir together brown sugar and French onion soup (undiluted) and add to Instant Pot.

  3. Seal Instant Pot and cook on high pressure for 25 minutes; allow pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes before serving.

Notes:

  • If your IP doesn’t have a saute function, brown the pork in a large skillet on the stovetop. Place browned pork in IP and pour soup into skillet to deglaze all the tasty brown bits before adding to IP.

  • Alternatively, a single recipe will fit in a 9x13 casserole dish and can be baked in the oven (cover with foil and bake at 350F for 4 hours). OR cook in slow cooker (6 hours on low, 12 hours on high).

  • If you don't have French onion soup on hand, you can substitute an equal amount of water and 1/4 teaspoon of onion powder or minced dried onion.