Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Grill Your Tomatoes


With the heat of summer on high, it's definitely time to grill. And while there's always the classics (steak, hamburgers, hot dogs) Tonia's Kitchen wants you to think about something different, different as in a grilled bruschetta. Chef Billy from Restaurant Associates stopped by to talk about this seasonal take on that classic and told Tonia he starts with grilled tomatoes and onions, cutting the tomatoes in slices and marinating them in olive oil. You can use any size tomato, although beefsteaks are probably best. Billy says when grilling them, make sure you know where the hotpoint on the grill is. The grilling leaves the tomatoes with a smokey, caramelized flavor that really stands out. Pro-tip from Billy, don't over marinade what you're grilling with too much oil!

  • 1loaf crusty bread, sliced into 10 slices
  • 2garlic cloves, minced
  • 13cup olive oil
  • 3plum tomatoes, diced
  • 1teaspoon finely diced onion
  • 2teaspoons chopped fresh basil or 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary or 2 teaspoons parsley
  • salt & pepper
  • 12teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • Mix oil and garlic let sit 10 minutes.
  • Lightly brush oil mixture on both side of bread. Grill over high heat to mark and toast both sides of the bread.
  • Meanwhile mix tomatoes, onion, herbs into the remaining oil and garlic adding the balsamic, salt and pepper to taste.
  • Top each slice with some mixture and serve.

Monday, June 27, 2022

Bake This Cake High!


Cake is always in season, but this one adds a dash of frost to these hot summer days.  Lori Longbotham stopped by Tonia's Kitchen to talk about her Sky-High Ice Cream Cake.  Lori told Tonia that she starts with 3 pints of softened chocolate ice cream or Gelato, 2 pints of Hazelnut Gelato, one jar of Nutella and a cup of coarsely chopped hazelnuts.  Lori says she starts with a 9-inch spring form pan.  She then fills the pan with the chocolate ice cream, and spreads it evenly.  Lori then covers the ice cream with half the Nutella,freezes it and then covers that with the Hazelnut Gelato.  She then freezes it again and tops with the chopped hazelnuts.  As you can now tell, this cake is growing, and its height will certainly be noticed by those about to enjoy it!

From Food Network:

3 pints chocolate ice cream or gelato, slightly softened
1/2 cup heavy cream
One 13-ounce jar Nutella or other chocolate hazelnut spread
2 pints strawberry ice cream or gelato, slightly softened
1 cup coarsely chopped toasted hazelnuts
Spoon the chocolate ice cream in small pieces into a 9-inch springform pan, lined with plastic wrap, filling in any large holes, then spread it evenly with a warm rubber spatula. Heat cream and stir in Nutella to thin out. Cool. Pour 1/2 of the Nutella over the chocolate ice cream and spread it evenly with a small offset spatula. Freeze for at least 1 hour, or until firm.

Spoon the strawberry ice cream over the Nutella in small pieces, filling in any large holes, then spread it evenly with a warm rubber spatula. Pour the remaining Nutella over the ice cream and spread it evenly with the offset spatula. Scatter the hazelnuts over the top of the cake, then press in. Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil and freeze for at least 6 hours, or up to 2 weeks.

To serve, let the cake stand at room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes or in the refrigerator for 15 to 20 minutes. Run a knife around the inside of the pan, release the side of the pan, and remove it. Cut the cake into wedges.

Friday, June 24, 2022

A Sensational Strawberry Shrub


You'll be amazed at what you can do with this Strawberry recipe. For example, it could also be used as a drink livener-upper or as a dessert topping, or in a number of other uses. Nancie McDermott, who wrote the new cookbook Fruit, came by Tonia's Kitchen to talk about her recipe for Strawberry Shrub. Admittedly, it's an interesting name, but the result will give you something pretty special.  Nancie told Tonia, like as before, you can use either fresh or frozen strawberries to make this and note it will take a few days to finish.  But as Nancie noted, it's worth it!

  • 3 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 3 cups trimmed and quartered fresh or frozen strawberries
  • 3 cups sugar

  1. Prepare a large glass jar with a tight-fitting lid as directed in “How to Sterilize Jars for Storing Jams and Preserves in the Refrigerator." In a medium saucepan, heat the vinegar until it is just about to break into a bubbling boil and remove it from the heat. Place the strawberries in the prepared jar and pour the vinegar over them, making sure they are covered by an inch of vinegar. Let cool to room temperature and then cover tightly. Set aside in a cool, dark place for 24–48 hours (be sure the jar is not exposed to heat or light). Strain the vinegar into a medium saucepan and discard the solids. Add the sugar to the vinegar and bring to a rolling boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. As soon as the sugar is dissolved, remove the pan from the heat and let the shrub cool to room temperature. Pour the shrub into a clean, sterilized jar and cover tightly. Store in the refrigerator for up to 6 months.

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

A Spa Lunch

How about a day at the Spa? Well, if you can't make it there or spend a full day, we have the next best thing. Maria Provenzano, who wrote the new cookbook Everyday Celebrations From Scratch, came by Tonia's Kitchen to talk about her Spa Citrus and Burrata Salad Italiano. Another great example of a summer salad, Maria told Tonia it's very citrus heavy, with grapefruit, oranges (you can use blood oranges). She takes the peels off and cuts them into wedges, adding the burrata. This is where it gets visual...use basil and mint, along with red onion for an amazing flavor profile that'll surprise you. Did we also mention this salad was healthy? You might just feel like you had a spa day after eating it


2 grapefruit 2 oranges  

2 (8 ounce) balls of burrata  

1/3 cup chopped mint  

1/3 cup chopped or torn basil  

Edible flowers, optional  

Olive oil to taste  

Honey to taste  

Sea salt to taste  

Pepper to taste, optional  


Cut the grapefruit and oranges by cutting off the outer peel and the pith.  

Cut the fruit into about 1/4 to 1/2-inch pieces, or segment the grapefruit and the oranges by using a knife to cut off the peel, then use a small sharp knife to cut between each segment to remove the pieces of the fruit. Whichever way you prefer.  

Place the burrata onto a platter and use your hands to break it up into smaller pieces around the platter.  

Place the cut grapefruit and oranges around the burrata.  

Sprinkle the mint and basil over citrus and burrata.  

Place the edible flowers around the platter.  

Lightly drizzle olive oil and honey over the top and then sprinkle with sea salt and pepper to taste.  

Adjust the flavors and add more of anything you like.  



  • For a kick, I like to add thinly sliced red onion.  

  • Thefruitcanbecutaheadoftimeandstoredinasealedcontainerinthefridgeuntilready  

to assemble on the platter.  

  • Pepper is optional because not everyone likes pepper on fruit. It sounds a little odd, but I  

happen to love it. I promise it’s worth a try.  

  • Mix up the citrus as needed and use what’s in season. Blood oranges would be great, and  

you can even add other fruit like peaches or strawberries if you like.  


Tuesday, June 21, 2022

A Fresh, Simple Shrimp!

This one's perfect for summer, Lemon Shimp...but not the over-fried, oversalted kind either. This one is fresh, light and simple to make. Maria Provenzano, who wrote the new cookbook Everyday Celebrations From Scratch, came by Tonia's Kitchen, to talk about a her recipe for Lemony Shrimp with Bucatini. The key to this recipe, says Maria, is to defrost your shrimp very well, and make sure it's dry before you start. The reason, for this, is because you don't want your shrimp to turn rubbery. When you make the noodles, make sure when they're done to put them right in with the shrimp and the sauce so the flavors really mesh well. 



1 pound medium-size shrimp, peeled, 

deveined, and tails removed 

1 pound bucatini pasta 

Salt and pepper to taste 

2 tablespoons unsalted butter 

3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil 

1 garlic clove, minced 

1/4 teaspoon crushed red 

pepper flakes, optional 

1 to 2 teaspoons fresh lemon zest 

(about the zest of one lemon) 

½2 cup freshly squeezed lemon 

juice, plus more to taste 

½/2 cup Parmesan cheese, 

freshly grated, divided 

½/2 cup fresh parsley 


While you prep the shrimp, boil the pasta in a large pot of 

salted water until al dente (that is, not overcooked). 


Rinse and dry the shrimp, then lightly sprinkle the shrimp 

with salt and pepper. 


Heat the butter and oil in a large skillet over medium to 

medium-high heat. Add the shrimp and cook on one side for 

a couple of minutes. Flip the shrimp to cook the other side. 


Add the garlic and crushed red pepper and cook for about 

30 seconds, being careful not to let the garlic brown or it 

will taste bitter. Add the lemon zest and juice and stir. 


Use tongs to grab the bucatini out of the pot and place it 

directly into the pan with the shrimp. Before stirring, pour 

VA cup of the Parmesan cheese over the pasta. Toss every- 

thing well and allow the pasta to cook in the sauce for a 

few minutes. 


Add the fresh parsley and toss to combine. Add salt, pep- 

per, lemon juice, and the remaining Parmesan cheese to 

taste. Add a few tablespoons of pasta water while stirring 

everything together.