Friday, January 7, 2022

Beef Noodle Soup

Snow Day! Worked from Home Day! Did lots of baking too today. And made Beef Noodle Soup.

Seemed perfect for a cold winter dinner.

The recipe is from An Italian In My Kitchen. Quite easy to make. The recipe can be found here. There is even a video of the recipe on the page. Like I said, this was easy!

I did make the noodles for the soup. I used the new KitchenAid Pasta attachment. I was reading a post somewhere online and it mentioned that when you are mixing eggs into your flour to use a measuring cup to make an indentation in the flour and just add the eggs into the whole. Brilliant!!  See photos below if you do not believe me.

Along with the soup I made Cacio e Pepe Scones. You read that correctly. OMG delicious!! Click for more those on the Friday Night Baking Blog.

Tuesday, January 4, 2022

National Spaghetti Day and Happy Birthday Mom!

Today is National Spaghetti Day. 

Today would have been my Mom's Birthday. 

And we had my Mom's Meat Sauce with our spaghetti!

My Mom’s Meat Sauce

2 tbsp. olive oil
1 clove garlic
1 medium onion, chopped
1 lb. ground beef
1 lb. ground pork
1/2 lb. sweet sausage
1/2 lb. hot sausage
4- 16 oz. cans crushed tomatoes
tomato paste
1 tbsp. oregano
1 tbsp. parsley
1 tbsp. basil
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup red wine

Heat olive oil in a large pot. Add garlic and chopped onions and saute for 5 minutes. Add all the meat. Cook over medium heat until browned. Add tomatoes and simmer covered for 1 to 2 hours. Add tomato paste to thicken, adding 1 tbsp. at a time as needed. Add herbs, salt, and pepper and simmer for 10 minutes. Add wine, cover, and simmer for 10 to 20 minutes. Let cool completely. Remove any grease from the top of the sauce. Freeze extra sauce in containers or zip log bags.

Tonight's Sous Chefs-

One Pot Bacon Cheeseburger Casserole

When I first started reading food blogs back in, dear God, 2008-ish, one of the blogs I read was Closet Cooking. Always good writing and fantastic photos and the recipes, well, I used one that I had saved on Pinterest for tonight's dinner. One-Pot Bacon Cheeseburger Casserole. One pot, yeah!!! Bacon, always a good thing. 

Easy to make and loved the flavors. Applause from the other side of the table.

I cut the recipe in half for Chris and me. Click here for the original recipe.

4 strips bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 pound ground beef
1 small onion, diced
1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 (4-ounce) can tomato sauce (I had just enough marinara sauce in the fridge)
1 cups beef broth
2 tbsp ketchup
1/2 tablespoon yellow mustard
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
4 ounces pasta 
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

Cook the bacon in a large pan over medium heat, about 5-7 minutes, set aside on paper towels to drain and drain the grease from the pan.

Cook the ground beef and onion in the same pan over medium-high heat, about 5-7 minutes, and drain any excess grease.

Add the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, broth, ketchup, mustard, Worcestershire, sauce, and pasta, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer covered until the pasta is al dente tender, about 15 minutes.

Season with salt and pepper to taste, sprinkle on the cheese, and simmer, covered, until the cheese has melted, about 2-3 minutes, and serve garnished with the bacon.

Friday, December 31, 2021

2021 TOP TEN LIST, or maybe top 11...

Why not?

From February
Sausage Frittata. The frittata, the bread, the potatoes. Each part of the dinner was perfect.

The Air Fryer Mac and Cheese Balls. Just the perfect food.

Moving on to April, sorry March.
Air Fryer Fried Chicken! Just a happy dinner.

And then there was May.
Steaks on the Grill. Hello Weber Grill!

On to July
Sheet Pan Cashew Chicken. Easy prep and cleanup. 

Air Fryer Lasagna. It is a good thing.


Air Fryer Salmon. It is a perfect thing.


Filet Mignon Steak with Bourbon Peppercorn Sauce

Happy New Year's Eve!

Good Bye 2021. What the hell will 2022 be like? We are starting the 2022 minus Betty White. The Happy Homemaker for the Mary Tyler Moore Show. 99 years old. Just weeks away from turning 100. 

She will be missed.

On to dinner. Filet Mignon Steak with Bourbon Peppercorn Sauce. I picked up the steaks at T & J's in East Haven for only $9.00. Not bad for a New Years' Eve dinner. I googled the recipe for Filet Mignon Steak with Bourbon Peppercorn Sauce and found this perfect recipe.

I cut down on the amount of pepper that I used, it was a good call. The side dishes were twice-baked potatoes, the same recipe used on Christmas day, and some sauteed zucchini. Also tried some air fryer calamari from the frozen fish section of the store. Yeah, that will not be made again.

Here is the recipe for the Filet Mignon Steak with Bourbon Peppercorn Sauce.

2 (6 oz.) filet mignon steaks
Salt and pepper, to taste
3 tbsp. olive oil
1/4 cup thinly sliced shallots
1/2 tbsp.  peppercorns
2 Tbs. bourbon
1/2 cup beef stock
1/4 tsp. brown sugar
1 Tbs. cold, unsalted butter
3 Tbs. heavy cream


Sprinkle both sides of the steaks generously with salt and pepper. Heat about two tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the steaks in batches and cook until browned on both sides and until desired doneness, about 4-5 minutes per side for medium-rare, depending on thickness. Between batches, add more oil to the pan if needed. Cover steaks with foil while resting.

Lower the heat to medium and add a touch more olive oil to the same skillet if needed to prevent sticking. Add the shallots and cook until slightly softened. Meanwhile, crush the peppercorns with a mortar and pestle, or gently with the back of a sturdy chef's knife, and add to the shallots. Once fragrant, pour in the bourbon and stock to deglaze the pan. Stir in brown sugar and simmer until reduced by half, about 6 minutes. Whisk in cold butter followed by the heavy cream.

Transfer steaks to aserving platter. Spoon sauce over filets and serve immediately. Serve extra sauce alongside.

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Air Fryer Orange Chicken


Too bad because this was really delicious. Plus, it was easy to prepare and fast to cook.

This recipe should be put under Air Fryer and 30 Minute Meals. 

I found this recipe on Lite

Air Fryer Orange Chicken

Prep Time 15 mins

Cook Time 15 mins



1 lbs raw boneless, skinless chicken breast

1 large egg, whisked

2/3 cup cornstarch or potato starch (see blog notes)


1/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice, from about 2 medium oranges

1 tsp minced ginger

1 tbsp cornstarch

2 tbsp rice wine vinegar

2 tbsp oyster sauce 

3 tbsp soy sauce

2 1/2 tbsp honey

1 tbsp water

1/4 tsp red pepper flakes


Preheat air fryer to 375F.

Cut chicken into 1-inch cubes. Mix together with whisked egg until all chicken is coated.

In a large plastic bag, add the cornstarch. Using tongs, take the chicken pieces out of the egg mixture, allowing excess egg to drip off and add to the bag.

Close the bag and shake chicken pieces around until fully coated by the cornstarch. Remove pieces from the bag and place them on the cutting board that you used to cut up your chicken

Liberally coat the side of the chicken facing up with cooking spray. Add the chicken, sprayed side down, to the basket of your air fryer. Now spray the side facing up, so all sides of the chicken are coated.

Air fry at 375F for 10-15 minutes, or until chicken is slightly browned and cooked through

As the chicken cooks, make the sauce in a medium-sized skillet. Whisk sauce ingredients together and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the sauce thickens–about 5 minutes.

Toss cooked chicken with sauce and serve immediately.


Monday, December 27, 2021

Deviled Bones

I always look forward to this post-Christmas meal. Leftover rib bones covered with spices and breadcrumbs. Not a fork and knife meal. 

Ingredients -
1/3 cup unsalted butter
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 to 5 leftover beef rib bones
1 cup fresh bread crumbs


Preheat oven to 350˚. 

Melt the butter in a small saucepan. 

Remove from heat and stir in the mustard, cayenne, and Worcestershire. Season with salt and pepper.

BRUSH the ribs with the spiced butter, then roll in the bread crumbs, coating well. 

Bake for 12 to 15 minutes.

Now Chris is not a fan of Deviled bones. Not a problem. I fixed him a Roast Beef Sandwich on some Italian Bread. I heard no complaints from his side of the table!

The Fries were Fast Fries baked in the Air Fryer. Nice!


And I need to wish my parents a Happy Wedding Anniversary in Heaven!! 

Miss them both.


Saturday, December 25, 2021

Christmas 2021

Table for two again this year.

Today was an incredibly relaxed day.

Our menu for the day - (we are saving the Cupalets for tomorrow's dinner!)

If it's Christmas there are Penguins!

The Only Roast Beef Recipe I will use. It is from What's Cooking America.

1 Prime Rib Roast standing rib roast at room temperature (very important)
2 tablespoons butter at room temperature

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Pat the room-temperature standing rib roast (prime rib roast) dry with paper towels or napkins. Smear the cut ends only of the roast with the butter.
Previously Frozen Roast: If your prime rib roast is frozen, let it thaw completely in the refrigerator. Remove the roast from the refrigerator about 2 to 4 hours before cooking to let it come to room temperature. Depending on the size of your roast, the time to come to room temperature may vary. Use your best judgment!

Room Temperature: To cook evenly, the roast must not be cold - let it stand at room temperature, loosely covered, for about 2 to 4 hours. This time can vary depending on how big or small your roast is. If you do not let the roast come to room temperature, if will take longer to cook your roast, your roast won't cook evenly, and you will end up with well-done slices on the end and raw meat in the center.  Use your best judgment on room temperature times!

Do NOT salt the outside of your prime rib roast, as salt draws out moisture from the meat while cooking.  You can use a prime rib rub containing other seasonings if desired, but it is not necessary. Some people do salt their prime rib roast before cooking, but trust the author of this amazing recipe and do no salt - the result will be a juicy, delicious roast to serve your family and guests! 

Roasting Pan:  Place the roast, ribs down or fat side up, in a heavy stainless-steel Roasting Pan or other metal roasting pan.  Select a roasting pan that has sides at least 3-inches deep.  (I do not recommend using nonstick pans, as these pans yield fewer of the cooked-on bits that make the tasty au jus juice or gravy.)  The rib bones are a natural rack; you will not need a metal one. 

Cooking Temperatures:  Sear the rib roast for 15 minutes at the higher oven temperature (450 degrees F.), then turn the oven to the lower temperature (325 degrees F.) for the rest of the cooking time.  Every 1/2 hour, baste the cut ends of the roast with the fat accumulated in the roasting pan.  Do Not Cover the roast.

You will want to estimate about 12 minutes per pound of meat for the cooking time. See charts to make it easy to determine Prime Rib Roast Cooking Times.  About 45 minutes before the estimated end of the roasting (bake) time, begin checking the internal temperature (use a good instant-read digital meat thermometer).  Play it safe and start checking early, as you do not want anything to go wrong.  

If you ignore every other bit of advice I have given, please pay attention to this:  For a perfectly cooked rib roast, invest in a good meat thermometer.   Internal temperature, not time, is the best test for doneness and you do not want to blow this meal!

When checking the temperature of your prime rib roast, insert meat thermometer so tip is in thickest part of beef, not resting in fat or touching bone.  Cook until rib roast reaches an internal temperature of 120 degrees F. (or your desired temperature). See chart to determine Prime Rib Roast Internal Cooking Temperatures for rare, medium-rare, medium, medium-well and well-done.  Remove from oven, cover loosely with aluminum foil, and let sit approximately 15 to 20 minutes.  Cutting into the meat too early will cause a significant loss of juice.  Do not skip the resting stage.

Residual Heat or Carry-Over Cooking:  Remember, the rib roast will continue to cook as it sets.  The internal temperature will rise to 125 degrees F. to 130 degrees F. (medium rare) in approximately 15 to 20 minutes.  If allowed to rest as long as an hour, the internal temperature will rise even higher.  So, pay attention to how long you let the cooked prime rib roast sit. 

Holding Cooked Rib Roast:  To hold cooked roast until serving time, immediately turn off the oven and leave the door ajar after removing roast.  Let roast sit 15 minutes on the counter and then return roast to the oven, door closed, for up to an hour or even 2 hours for the biggest roasts.  Check the temperature every 15 minutes. If will rise approximately 10 degrees F. at first, then gradually subside.

How big a roast do I need? 
two (2) people – one (1) rib roast

six (6) people – three (3) rib roast

eight (8) people – four (4) rib roast

ten (10) people – five (5) rib roast

twelve (12) people – six (6) rib roast

fourteen (14) people – seven (7) rib roast

Approximate Prime Rib Cooking Time Per Pound until 
Internal Temperature reaches 120 degrees F:

1 rib (2 to 2.5 pounds) – 22 to 24 minutes

2 ribs (4 to 5 pounds) – 60 to 70 minutes  

3 ribs (7 to 8.5 pounds) – 1-1/2 to 1-3/4 hours

4 ribs (9 to 10.5 pounds) – 1-3/4 to 2-1/4 hours

5 ribs (11 to 15 pounds) – 2-1/4 to 3 hours

6 ribs (15 to 16 pounds) – 3 to 3-1/4 hours

7 ribs (16 to `8.5 pounds) – 3-1/4 to 4 hours

Beef Roast Cooking Internal Temperatures:

Rare – 120 to 125 degrees F. – center is bright red, pinkish toward the exterior portion

Medium Rare – 130 to 135 degrees F. – center is very pink, slightly brown toward the exterior portion

Medium – 140 to 145 degrees F. – center is light pink, outer portion is brown

Medium Well – 150 to 155 degrees F. – not pink

Well Done – 160 degrees F. and above

Sour Cream Horseradish Sauce- (I cut this recipe in half)

1/4 to 1/2 cup prepared horseradish (according to your taste)
1 pint (2 cups) sour cream
2 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt


In a medium-sized bowl, combine horseradish, sour cream, lemon juice, and salt; thoroughly mix.  Refrigerate until ready to serve. Can be made 2 days in advance.  Cover and refrigerate.

To serve, pass the horseradish sauce on the side.

Makes approximately 2 1/2 cups.

Now about those potatoes. These got rave reviews.

I found this recipe on Simply Recipes

2 large russet potatoes, about 1 pound each
Extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup milk
1 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 tablespoon cream

Bake the potatoes:
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Scrub the potatoes clean under running water. Poke each potato in several places with the tines of a fork so that when the potatoes are cooking they don't explode.

Rub the potatoes all over with a little olive oil. 

Cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are cooked through. They should give a little when pressed.

If short on time you can bake the potatoes in the microwave, 10 minutes on high heat for 2 potatoes, 15 minutes for 4 potatoes. The skins of microwave baked potatoes aren't nearly as crispy, so you may want to rub a little olive oil on them and finish them in a conventional oven at 400°F for 10 minutes.

Make potato "boats"-
Allow the potatoes to cool to touch. Slice the top third lengthwise off the potato.

Use a spoon to scoop out the insides, forming a potato "canoe", leaving about 1/4 inch of potato on the skin.

After scooping, brush the potato with melted butter, sprinkle salt and pepper and bake boats alone 5- 10 minutes for a crispy potato boat. 

The potato boats-
Mash potato insides with sour cream, milk, butter:
Place the scooped out potato insides, sour cream, milk, cream, and butter into a large bowl.

Mash with a potato masher. If you want a creamy texture, beat with an electric beater until desired consistency. Do not over-beat the potatoes! They can turn gluey if you do.

Stuff potato shells with filling-
Spoon fillings into the potato shells. 

Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F. Place potatoes on a roasting pan or baking sheet and bake 15 to 20 minutes until heated through.

The Green Beans with Pancetta
This recipe is from Taste of Home.

I switched out the bacon for pancetta.

8 cups fresh green beans, trimmed
1/2 cup pancetta, chopped
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper

Place beans in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Cook, uncovered until beans are crisp-tender, 8-10 minutes; drain.

In a large skillet, cook bacon and onion over medium heat until bacon is crisp and onion is tender, stirring occasionally 3-5 minutes.

Add beans to the bacon mixture. Sprinkle with salt and pepper; toss to coat.

And the cookies...
Never-ending cookies...

Friday, December 24, 2021

Christmas Eve In Photos. 7, 8, 9, 10 Fish?

Yay!!!! Christmas Eve Dinner at my sister's house!! The food was delicious as always. The conversations were great. Just to be able to talk to 5 people around the dinner table was a treat!

Ralph and Lenore outdid themselves as usual. I counted well over 7 fish. But really, who's counting?

Enjoy the photos! 

And Merry Christmas to all.

Sunday, November 21, 2021

Aunt Carm’s Braciole

Did I have an Aunt Carm? No. My Mom had an Aunt Carmina but this was not her recipe. 
This recipe is from Italian Sons and Daughters of America. The recipe was easy to follow and the result was quite delicious.

For four braciole

Four top rounds – cut quarter inch
1/4 pound of Italian lunch meats: capicola, provolone, sliced thin
Meatball mixture – raw (breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, spices, ground beef, ground pork, and egg)
One hard-boiled egg – sliced
Olive oil
Cooking twine


Pound out top round pieces nice and flat.

Layer the lunch meat and cheese. I used Capicola and Provolone.

Spread the raw meatball mixture. I used the house meatball mix. Ground Beef and Pork with egg and Parmesan Cheese, this time I used bread crumbs instead of bread soaked in milk. Seasonings were salt, pepper, oregano, Italian seasoning.

Layer the hard-boiled eggs on top of the meatball mixture.

Make sure to fold up the ends and then roll them into a little package. Tie with string. 

Heat a pan over medium-high and add olive oil.
Brown braciole on all sides and ends.

Drop package into the simmering tomato sauce and cook for three hours.

Slice and serve.

And seeing as I was making a meatball mixture for the
Braciole why not make some Air Fryer Meatballs for the freezer!