cannoli cream with fresh berries

I want to start by saying Thank You for all of the congratulations on my engagement. I’m so excited and seeing all of your comments definitely made my day!  Since you were all so sweet – I’ve got a sweet recipe for you!

This dessert was part of my Luxury Dinner Party and it was just the sweet ending I was after – something delicious, not too heavy and simple to throw together. I got a few requests for the recipe so I thought I would share it with you all, but I won’t tell your guests how easy it is. Promise.

My first experience with cannoli was in Boston, at the famous Mike’s Pastry in the North End, and it has forever changed me.  The crunchy shell and smooth, creamy filling are like the lovechild of a cheesecake and a cheese course. In other words, the best kind of dessert out there in my opinion. You can keep your chocolate, just let me have the cheese!

I chose to forgo the cannoli shells as I didn’t have time, nor do I have the equipment to make them (maybe someday) and I’m not aware of any local Italian Bakery’s where I could buy them. Locals – am I missing some great Italian bakery? And in my non-Italian opinion, the filling is the best part anyways.

Cannoli Cream - 6-8 servings

  • 16 oz ricotta cheese
  • 8 oz mascarpone cheese
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Fresh Berries

Whisk all ingredients together until smooth.

Let chill. I put the cheese mixture in a plastic bag, cut the corner and piped over berries.

Oh and if you’ve got any leftover? It makes an excellent addition to morning coffee. A little naughty, I know. 1 Tbsp cannoli cream + 2-3 Tbsp milk, mixed until smooth with hand-held frother + coffee = extra delicious coffee.


The Taster proposed and I of course said yes! I can’t wait to marry my best friend next September – Can you guess which part of wedding planning we’re most looking forward to??



braised red cabbage & a german meal

I’m not afraid to admit that I do a terrible job celebrating my food heritage. I always vow to celebrate Oktoberfest (which in Germany is celebrated the last week in September) but quite frankly, I’m not a huge beer drinker, and sausages and potatoes just don’t make the cut as my favorite foods.  So the years keep passing me by and no heritage is celebrated. Those summer brats don’t count –  they fall under Wisconsin heritage, not German. ;)

Oktoberfest was originally a celebration of Prince Ludwig and Princess Saxe-Hildburghausen’s wedding, where they organized a large horse race. The event was so much fun they decided to make it a yearly event.  As the years went on, the celebration grew and shifted to the beer tents and strong brews we think of today.  This year, 200 years after the first Oktoberfest, it was my turn to celebrate!

My search for German recipes was frustrating to say the least – potatoes, sausage and a ridiculous amount of cakes are exactly the reasons I haven’t celebrated in years. In fact I almost started to take it as a sign. But when I started to think about passing on my own food traditions, I think that my food heritage – however small it is in my life and kitchen- is something I’ll want to pass on to my children. So we ended up with beer-boiled (0bviously) sausage (Würstl) and some braised red cabbage.  Not quite the German meal that I had imagined, but one that tasted great and would have my ancestors proud. I hope.

Braised Red Cabbage 3-4 servings

  • 1/2 red cabbage
  • 1/2 yellow onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp fennel seeds

Thinly slice red cabbage, onions and mince garlic.

Heat oil in large pan and add onions to pan. Cook, stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes, until golden brown.

Add cabbage, garlic vinegar and fennel to pan. Toss ingredients and cover.

Cook for about 10 minutes, then turn heat down to low. Cook for another 40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes or so. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Just be sure to include a cold beer – it wouldn’t be an Oktoberfest celebration without it.

Don’t forget to vote for Project Food Blog Challenge #4!