Amazing Dinner

Hello Faithful Readers!

Things have been crazy in the English household recently  - now we half way settled, but are at the point in a move where you are sick of looking at boxes, are ready to be settled but are just SICK of going through everything.  Blah.  I'll post pictures of the house once everything is settled...the goal is by the 1st footbal game.  Also- expect a post coming up about our recent trip to Memphis!!!

In the meantime, I HAVE to share our amazing dinner last night.  Jesse picked the menu and it was awesome.  
Summer Pasta with Basil, Tomatoes, and Cheese
courtesy of allrecipes.com


  • 2 pounds vine ripened tomatoes, seeded and diced  (we used 1 1/2 lbs of Roma)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil (from our garden!)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint leaves (from our garden!)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup cream sherry  (we used balsamic vinegar and it was amazing)
  • 12 ounces spaghetti (we used whole wheat angel hair pasta)
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Asiago cheese
  • 2 cups fontina cheese, shredded (we used Gruyere - also amazing)


1. In a medium bowl, toss together tomatoes, garlic, basil, mint, salt and black pepper, hot pepper flakes, olive oil, and cream sherry. Let stand at room temperature for up to 2 hours, stirring occasionally.

2. Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until tender, but firm to the bite.

3. Drain the pasta, and transfer to a large serving bowl. Drain 1/4 cup of the liquid from the tomato mixture, and toss with the pasta to coat. Add cheese, and toss until it begins to melt. Add the tomato mixture, and toss until mixed.

We topped ours with fresh parsley and it was amazing!  With it we had homemade  herb bread (made by Jesse's mom) dipped in olive oil and freshly ground black pepper.  

Talk about AMAZING.  Love the fresh herbs for our garden.  I wish I had taken a picture because it was very colorful.


Now, if this wasn't enough.... (and at this point, we pretended we weren't full) we made Alton Brown's recipe for Angel Food Cake.  I had some strawberries in the fridge that needed to get eaten so of course we made homemade angel food cake with real whipped cream!

If you have ever watched Alton Brown on the Food Network, you know how particular he can be...

Angel Food Cake
courtesy of foodnetwork.com


  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup cake flour, sifted 
  • 12 egg whites (the closer to room temperature the better)
  • 1/3 cup warm water
  • 1 teaspoon orange extract, or extract of your choice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a food processor spin sugar about 2 minutes until it is superfine. Sift half of the sugar with the salt the cake flour, setting the remaining sugar aside.
In a large bowl, use a balloon whisk to thoroughly combine egg whites, water, orange extract, and cream of tartar. After 2 minutes, switch to a hand mixer. Slowly sift the reserved sugar, beating continuously at medium speed. Once you have achieved medium peaks, sift enough of the flour mixture in to dust the top of the foam. Using a spatula fold in gently. Continue until all of the flour mixture is incorporated.
Carefully spoon mixture into an ungreased tube pan. Bake for 35 minutes before checking for doneness with a wooden skewer. (When inserted halfway between the inner and outer wall, the skewer should come out dry).
Cool upside down on cooling rack for at least an hour before removing from pan.
Cook's Note: Since they're easier to separate use the freshest eggs you can get.

Oooooeeeeeee.  We topped this cake with fresh strawberries and real whipped cream.  Ok, I think we consumed enough calories for the week.  No more eating for us!

Now.... get your grocery list started and include everything you need to make this pasta.  I promise you won't be disappointed!

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