Dinner and A Cooking Lesson From My Friend Assunta

A delicious dinner prepared by friend Assunta. 

When I was home from rehab after my knee surgery, my friend Assunta wanted to come over and cook dinner for me, but I didn't have much appetite then, so I asked for a rain check.  I'm glad I did because last night I was hungry and I really appreciated the delicious shrimp and feta over spaghetti that she prepared.   I considered this a cooking lesson too, because I watched as she prepared this simple and delicious meal. 
Assunta preparing shrimp and feta over spaghetti.

The recipe calls for using a spaghetti squash, but we didn't have one so we used spaghetti instead.  Assunta assures me it is better over the spaghetti squash.  I'll try that one of these days. 


1 to 1.5 lbs shrimp
3 T olive oil
2 garlic cloves
1 cup diced tomatoes with juice
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 t oregano (fresh if possible)
1/2 t salt
4 oz feta cheese
2 T fresh parsley for garnish


Chop onions and garlic and sauté in olive oil.  Dice the tomato and add tomato to onions and garlic.

Dice tomato, onion and garlic.

Saute onions and garlic.

Add water and wine and oregano and reduce.

Add liquids and reduce before adding shrimp.

Add shrimp.

Add shrimp.

Add feta cheese when shrimp is done. 
Add feta cheese.

Serve over spaghetti. 

Ready to enjoy with a small glass of white wine. 

I even lighted a candle for this special meal prepared by my friend Assunta. 

Roasted Peaches with Ice Cream

Roasted peach ready to top.

My Facebook friend Anne Luck Gervasi mentioned a  recipe recently for grilled peach splits, and I checked out the recipe on the https://smittenkitchen.com/ blog. I had some nice peaches that my friend Jeanette had brought. I did not fire up the grill to make these, but I roasted them in a 375 degree oven.  The original recipe called for a crumb topping and for whipped cream.  I chose not to use either of those, although I'm sure they would have been delicious.  I just opted for the caramel sauce and the peaches and bought ice cream (vanilla from Local Fresh). And although the recipe calls for 4 peaches I used only two.  I can eat one today (It's Sunday) and save three for family or friends that might drop in. 
Lovely fresh peaches from Jeanette. 
First I made the caramel sauce. 

Caramel Sauce:
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup heavy or whipping cream
1 tablespoon bourbon or l teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt

Place sugar in bottom of a medium, heavy saucepan.  Set over medium heat until the sugar begins to melt.  Use a spoon or spatula to stir to ensure it melts evenly.  Continue to stir until the melted sugar takes on an amber color.  Remove from heat and carefully stir in cream, just a little drizzle at first.  If the sugar solidifies, return the saucepan to the stove over medium-low heat until the sugar melts again.  Let caramel sauce cool slightly before adding bourbon or vanilla and salt. 
Heat the sugar until melted.
This is the amber color that you want.
Cream and bourbon ready to add.
Sauce will keep in fridge for about a week. 

Store caramel sauce in a glass container for up to 1 week in the fridge.  Rewarm to loosen the caramel into a sauce consistency, as needed.  If using within a couple of hours, you can leave it out.

Butter for baking sheet (I lined the baking sheet with parchment paper.)
4 large firm-ripe peaches, free stone, halved and pitted
2 to 3 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon cinnamon sugar, or just cinnamon to prinkle

Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Butter a parchment lined baking sheet.  Brush peach halves with maple syrup and sprinkle with cinnamon or cinnamon sugar.  Place cut side down on baking sheet.  Roast for 30 to 35 minutes.

Butter the parchment paper.
Glaze the peach halves with maple syrup and sprinkle a bit of cinnamon sugar on them.

Ready for the oven

To Serve:  Place a peach half, face up, in a shallow bowl.  Top with ice cream and drizzle with caramel sauce.

Ready to garnish.

Add small scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Drizzle with the caramel sauce.
Ready to enjoy.  And enjoy I did. 

I  think this must be the first time I ever made caramel sauce.  I won't buy any in the future, because it is so easy to make, and it will keep a week in the fridge.  I really like caramel sauce on ice cream.  I don't usually use salt, but I think caramel sauce does require salt.