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Sunday, September 25, 2011

Two Incredible Italian No Cook No Fuss Desserts Not Well Known In The US

Macedonia Invernale -Here's a terrific no cook, no-fuss dessert that popular with Italian home cooks. You just mix your favorite fruits with chopped nuts, chopped chocolate and any left over candy. Add some organe juice and a splash of liqueur and pass the spoons. Here are the ingredients:

2 handfuls of assorted dried fruit chopped
2 handfuls of  assorted chopped nuts
1 handful of assorted leftover candy bars chopped
1 handful of dark chocolate chopped
1 handful of milk chocolate chopped
10 amaretti ( crisp almond cookies ) or other cookies coarsely chopped
A little candied orange peel minced
Freshly squeezed orange juice
Itlain liqueur such as limocello or amaretto
Mascarpone cheese or whipped cream

In a resealable plastic bag or container with a lid, combine the dreid fruit, nuts, candy, dark and light chocolates, cookies and candied orange peel. Seal and set aside for up to 3 months. One hour before serving add enough orange juice to moisten thr fruit mixture.  Just before serving add the liqueur to taste.
Serve in wine glasses with a dollop of Mascarpone or whipped cream. Serves 10 to 12.

Dolce Torino or Instant Chocolate Cake

This no bake recipe comes from an Italian Piedmont cookbook written in 1891. Here's what's inside:

7 tablespoons of unsalted butter
1/2 cup fo confectioners sugar
1 large egg yolk
3 1/2  ounces dark chocolate at least 70% cacao
2 tablesppons heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon puree vanilla extract
2 tablespoons sugar plus more to taste
4 tablespoons of sweet liqueur such as alchermes
12 savvoiardi ( lady fingers )
2 tablespoons of crush pistachios or hazelnuts

In a large bowl, using a wisk or electric mixer, beat the butter, confectioner's sugar and egg yolk until very smooth and creamy. Set aside. Then put the chocolate and cream in a smaill bowl and melt the chocolate either in a microwave or over a saucepan of gently simmering water. Let the chocolate mixture cool to room temperature, then stit it and the vanilla into the butter mixture. Set aside.  Next combine 5 tablespoons of warm water with the granulated sugar in a shallow bowl and stir until the sugar dissolves. Stir in the liqueur adding more sugar to taste. Dip 4 of the lady fingers one at a time, into the liquid. Be sure to moisten them well on all sides. Arrange the 4 liqueur dipped lady fingers in a row, close together on a serving plate. Spread one third of the chcolate mixture on top and around the stacked lady fingers. Spinkle top layer with pistachio or hazelnuts. Repeat the dipping and layering to make 2 more layers, spreading the last layer of chocolate mixture on top and around the lady fingers. Sprinkle to the top layer with pistachio or hazelnuts. Rerigerate  for 3 hours until firm. Serve cold. Serves 4 to 6.

Four Sensational Leaf Peeping Spots Just A 3 Hour Drive From Mercer County

Here are four scenic getaways that don't require a trek to the airport or long hours behind the wheel

1.Clinton, NJ Located in Hunterdon County, this town looks like a Norman Rockwell pianting came to life. For more info see http://www.clintonnj.gov/  ( 1 hour by car)

2. Kent, CT  Named the top New England foliage destination by Yankee Magazine, Kent is situated near two state parks for plenty of leaf viewing. For more info on Kent, see http://www.ct.gov/ ( 3hours by car)

3. Millbrook, NY This town is filled with rolling hills, beautiful gardens, and Millbrook Vineyards (845) 677-8383. Just 10 minutes away from the winery is Innisfree Garden which occupies 150 acres on part of  a lake. The public garden features streams, waterfalls and terraces.  Call 845-677-8000 for more details. 
( 3hours by car)

4. Hunter, NY Get your adrenaline fix with a trip to Hunter Mountin and take a Skyrider Tour. It's North America's longest highest and fastest zipline course. It sends riders flying at speeds of 50 mph on lines that extend 3,000 feet and more than 600 feet in the air. The entire course covers more than 4.6 miles of forest giving thrill seekers a stunnung aerial view of the Catskills. For more info visit http://www.huntermtn.com/ or call 800-HunterMtn. ( 3 hours by car)