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Caramelized Onion, Brie and Rosemary Fig Tart

I am a huge fan of Puff Pastry. When I have time I make my own, but the store bought products are quite good. There are so many ways to use delicious Puff Pastry,  savory or sweet! This particular Tart is the perfect cheese and fruit course, combining  Lucious Brie, Caramelized Onion and Fresh Figs all scented with Rosemary. Make these in individual sizes for a first course or light lunch, or make a larger size to cut into portions. Yield: 4-6 Author: Mary Palumbo Print With Image Without Image Caramelized Onion, Brie and Rosemary Fig Tart prep time: 40 M cook time: total time: 40 M A luscious Tart that's quick to make for an appetizer, light lunch or first course ingredients: TART Preheat oven to 425F 1 sheet puff pastry  (thawed if frozen, cut into desired shape ) Fresh Figs sliced in half lengthwise  French Brie approx 6 ounces slice to about 1/4 "  1 large onion   thinly sliced (approx 1/4" strips) 2 Tbl butter  2 tsp sug
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Fried Polenta with Mushrooms

This is a great dish for entertaining because you can make the mushroom sauce and the polenta ahead of time, then assemble and reheat when you are ready to serve. Perfect for a light lunch, appetizer, or side dish...Buon Appetito! Yield: 6-8 small portions Author: Mary Palumbo Print With Image Without Image Polenta with Mushrooms prep time: cook time: total time: This is a great make ahead appetizer, first course, or Side dish ingredients: For the polenta 1 cup polenta (can be quick cooking 3 minute polenta) 4 cups water 1 tsp salt 2 tbl butter (unsalted) cooking spray Vegetable oil for pan frying For the Mushroom Topping 2tbl extra virgin olive oil 1 small onion , chopped 2 large garlic cloves, minced 8 oz mushrooms sliced (button or cremini  mushrooms may be used) 1/4 cup white wine 1/4 to 1/2 cup freshly grated Romano cheese several sprigs of fresh thyme salt and pepper to taste splash of heavy cream (optional ) instructions: How
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Fried Ricotta or Ricotta Fritta

Fried Ricotta is one of those things that you never want to stop eating.  It is so simple to do, yet so deliciously satisfying. It makes a great appetizer or cheese course.  As always, quality ingredients are a must!  Enjoy! Yield: Varies Author: Mary Palumbo Print With Image Without Image Fried Ricotta or Ricotta Fritta prep time: 10 M cook time: total time: 10 M Delicious Ricotta in a light batter. Be sure to buy high quality Italian Ricotta ingredients: Ricotta (best quality ) Drained if wet  Eggs Q B All Purpose Flour Q B Salt Q B Vegetable or olive oil for frying  instructions: How to cook Fried Ricotta or Ricotta Fritta Place  some flour on a large plate.  Crack eggs into a bowl, and beat thoroughly . Using a large spoon, scoop a la mound  of ricotta into your hand and gently press together and flatten a bit  so that it holds its shape. Repeat until you have as many mounds of ricotta that you wish to make.  Heat oil in a large s
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Summer Table

A beautiful Table makes any meal more enjoyable.  Alfresco dining  happens almost any time of year here in Southern California, and is my most favorite way to entertain.  I always set a table, even on a weeknight, even if it's just two of us. I use what I have in different ways.  Pairing something rustic, with something a little fancy, but never stuffy, or too contrived. I don't believe in saving "the good things" for special occasions. It really only takes a few thing to make a table look special.  Some fresh flowers, a pretty cloth, runner, or scarf...some pretty dishes combined in unexpected ways, and pretty glassware. I like making things pretty, whether it's a table, my food, or my home...Live beautifully.
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Focaccia

Focaccia... That delicious seasoned bread that everyone loves.  There are lots of recipes out there,  some are good,  some are not.  My recipe has evolved over many years and has come to be loved by everyone who has had it.  Like most Italian Recipes, there are variations of the same dish based on the region in Italy from which they come.  I am from the region of Puglia, in southern Italy on the east coast on the Adriatic Sea... a small fishing town called Mola Di Bari.  Traditionally, our focaccia  is made with tomatoes and herbs, usually Oregano. However, Italians love to cook, and it seems that virtually every household has their own special touch,  and very often the same dish will vary just a bit.  Many make focaccia with the addition of potato to the dough... which is delicious, I do that sometimes. The addition of onions on focaccia is also popular and delicious,  and sometimes just herbs.  One thing that doesn't change is the generous amount of Extra Virgin Olive Oil that
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Roasted Beet Mascarpone Tart

It's nice to have a delicious make ahead appetizer or first course when entertaining.  I love knowing that one part of a meal is ready so that I can focus on all of the other things that I like to do when guests are coming over. Puff Pastry is one of those ingredients that can be used in so many ways, sweet or savory, and I always have some on hand, whether it is homemade, frozen or refrigerated. When I created this Tart,  I had just roasted beets, I had  Mascarpone...and Romano, which is always in my fridge... and Fresh Basil in my garden. I simply combined these things and added them to Puff Pastry. Using Italian ingredients made this Tart...Delicious Italian.  Buon Appetito!   Yield: 6 Author: Mary Palumbo Print With Image Without Image Roasted Beet Mascarpone Tart prep time: 45 M cook time: 15 M total time: 60 M A savory and beautiful tart that comes together easily! ingredients: Roasted Beets  1 small container Mascarpone  2-3 Tbl Rom
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