Tag Archives: mozzarella

Recap of our 2nd KarmaFree Cooking Class – Love Yourself First

7 Feb

Last week we had our 2nd KarmaFree Cooking class and our theme was Loving ourselves first thru our Food. Sometimes, we only cook nice things when we’re cooking for others. But why not cook something nice even if it’s just us in the house??

Clase Cocina KFC - Feb 2014 2

The recipes we shared are old and new KarmaFree Cooking recipes that work well made just for one person, for two or for a crowd. These are simple, quick and delicious recipes that work well to make just for you on a solo movie night at home and just the same are not much more effort making for a large dinner party.




Here was our class menu:

Pasta with Marinated Tomatoes over Brown Rice Pasta

 Pasta with Marinated Tomatoes - KFC2

Quinoa Pasta with Fresh Baby Spinach and Lemon Vinaigrette

 Pasta with Spinach KFC2

Spinach Salad with Macerated Strawberries


Baked Sweet Plantains with Cinnamon and Vanilla

 Platanos maduros - KFC2

Poached Pears with Blue Cheese and Almond Praline

 Poached Pears - KFC2

Even though these were all recipes we had shared in the blog before, it’s never the same reading and making them on your own as seeing how I make them, after I have made them over and over and over again. Your words… not mine.

Plato Completo - KFC2

The class is not only about sharing recipes and techniques. We also talked about alternative pastas… we talked about my favorite olive oils and vinegars. We also talked about microplanes and rasps to grate lemon zest and how I do not like to rinse pasta after I drain it. We also shared how the same ingredients for the Marinated Tomates can be used in a bruschetta as an appetizer or skewered to make for a fancier passed hors d’oeuvre.

Tomates Marinados - KFC2

Pinchos de Mozz Tom - KFC2

I am so grateful for all of those who attended… we had a larger class this time around. Some repeats and some new students. I want to give a great shout out to Adriana from Great Food 360 who attended once again and contributed with the wonderful pictures. She rocks!!!


Again to my lovely assistants Angie and Mom… who help me with the little things that keep the class rolling smoothly.

Hope you can join us for the next installment… Late April. Mark your calendars – Recipes to celebrate Mom. I am already planning the menu.


Tomato Mozz Salad

19 Oct

This salad is a way to rearrange the same ingredients found in a Caprese Salad, plus adding some greens in the form of lettuce to increase the nutrition and the volume.

I first did this salad in this way when visiting my sister when she was living back in Indiana.  She had all the ingredients for a caprese salad – tomato, fresh mozzarella, great olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  The only thing was that the size of the ingredients were not the traditional ones to fix a traditional caprese… we had delicious grape tomatoes and bocconcini mozzarella.  So this is how I rearranged the ingredients to make it work for us…



10 – 12 grape tomatoes, sliced in half
4 thick slices of fresh mozzarella or 6-8 bocconcini balls, cubed
6-8 romaine lettuce leaves, sliced and hard core pieces removed
Drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil
Drizzle of balsamic vinegar
Salt and Freshly Cracked Black Pepper
2-3 fresh basil leaves – optional


  1. In a small bowl, mix together the tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper.  Add now also the basil leaves, if using.  Marinate tomatoes and cheese for about 20-30 minutes.  You can do this first and they can marinate while you prepare the rest of your meal.
  2. In a salad bowl, add the lettuce leaves and mix together with the tomato/cheese marinated mixture.  Toss to combine.  The extra mix of oil/vinegar will dress your salad beautifully.


The balsamic vinegar kind of “stains” the mozzarella and it looks “dirty”.  Even if the looks are not the best, the flavors are.  My sister called me once after I had left to remind her of the ingredients because she wanted to make it for company.  That’s how tasty this is…

Baked Pasta with 4 Cheeses

22 Dec

This is my FAVORITE pasta dish of all time!!!!!!

 I did it last night as a Birthday present dinner for my friend Walter, who traveled with me to Spain this past Summer.  And whom I am trying to convince to apply with me to be in The Amazing Race.

If I have to ask for a Last Meal, this will be the dish I would request.  This is an adaptation from a Martha Stewart recipe, which is actually a recipe from a Providence, Rhode Island restaurant called Al Forno.  I’ve never been to Providence, but if I get to go, Al Forno is the only restuarant I need to go.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do…



1/2 pound whole-wheat pasta – shells, penne or rigatoni would all work well
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese – I sometimes use a pre-shredded cheese blend from the store
1/2 cup  freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese, divided in half – half for mixture, half for topping
1/4 cup freshly grated Fontina cheese
2 tablespoons ricotta cheese
1/2 cup pureed tomatoes
10 fresh basil leaves, torn with your hands
1/4 teaspoon salt
a few grinds of freshly cracked pepper
  1. Heat oven to 500 degrees. 
  2. Bring large pot of salted water to a boil.  Add pasta and cook until al dente.
  3. p1020082.jpg
  4. While pasta cooks, place cream, cheeses, pureed tomatoes, salt, pepper and basil in a large bowl.
  5. p1020069.jpg
  6. Drain pasta and toss together with cheese mixture in bowl.
  7. Pour into a medium-sized baking dish.  Sprinkle with 1/4 cup remaining Pecorino Romano on top.
  8. Bake until bubbly and brown on top for about 15 minutes.
  9. Turn off oven and leave in there for a few minutes for the sauce to set a bit.
  10. Serve immediately afterwards while still hot.
  • It’s important to watch out the measurements of the cheeses.  The right amount will melt beautifully and create the most wonderful sauce.  When I started to eye-ball the amounts, sometimes the results were not as I expected. 
  • I make this recipe right in my toaster oven…    
  • And the recipe doesn’t reheat very well.  It will still be tasty, but the sauce becomes a bit oily…  just so you know.  This is one of those recipes to make and eat in the moment.  Every time I do it for company, people can’t believe that came out of a home kitchen.  It’s unbelievable!!!

I served this last night with my Cinammon Vanilla Plantains and my Super Easily Dressed Green Salad.  Oh, and I also did my Garlic Parsley Breadsticks.

Buen Provecho.

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