Saturday, February 25, 2017

Quick Beef Stroganoff

Spend today at the Connecticut Flower and Garden Show with my friend Heidi. Lots to see. Lots of great ideas!!!

For dinner, I made Quick Beef Stroganoff. Cooking Light recipe. So good. It took a little over 25 minutes to make. Loved the flavors. And anything with egg noodles can't be bad! The recipe calls for mushrooms. I substituted zucchini.

6 1/2 cups water, divided
4 ounces uncooked egg noodles
1 pound flank steak, trimmed
Cooking spray
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon hot paprika
1 (6-ounce) package presliced exotic mushroom blend or sliced zucchini
1 cup lower-sodium beef broth, divided
5 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1/3 cup fat-free sour cream
3 tablespoons thinly sliced green onions
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Bring 6 cups water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add noodles; cook 5 minutes or until al dente. Drain.

Cut beef across the grain into 1/4-inch-wide strips; cut strips into 2-inch pieces.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add beef to pan; sauté 4 minutes or until browned. Remove beef from pan. Add 1 cup onion, black pepper, salt, paprika, and mushrooms to pan; sauté 4 minutes or until tender. Reduce heat to medium.

Combine 1/4 cup beef broth and flour in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add broth mixture, beef, remaining 3/4 cup broth, and remaining 1/2 cup water to pan, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Cover and cook 8 minutes or until sauce thickens. Remove from heat; stir in sour cream, green onions, and butter. Serve beef mixture over egg noodles; sprinkle with parsley.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Yes I Have a Food Blog!

Not that I have been posting on it but yes I have a food blog. And yes it has been 20 days since my last post. Sigh. I can not complain about being too busy. I am glad I have been busy. But today is President's Day. I am off from work. So let's play catch-up. These are in no particular order. I don't have that much free time today...

 Trust me I did a lot of dishes over the past 20 days.

Acorn Squash Stuffed with Quinoa, Sausage and Spinach. No recipe.

 Potato Gnocchi with Marcella Hazan's Butter, Onion, and Tomato Sauce
The Gnocchi recipe is at the bottom of this post. It is from Giada De Laurentiis

Hey It's My Birthday!! Chocolate Cake with White Frosting!!

 It snows and I bake. That's the way I roll. No pun or bun intended.

 Sticky Sesame Chicken. I have to remember to get Sesame Seeds at the store!

 Yeah Feb 10 my birthday. My Birthday = I do not cook. Quattro's did the cooking this year!

 Valentine's Day Chicken Orzo Soup

 Hand Pie! Filled with Meat and Red Peppers and Onions. Delicious. 
It was the homemade crust that put this over the top.

 Tomato Soup. Not my favorite recipe. Was like a bowl of sauce.

 Pasta and Meat sauce. Homemade bread! Walnut and Olive Loaf. Excellent!

From Bon Appetit. Lentil and Egg Stew. Again with homemade bread.

Slow Cooker Soy Braised Short Ribs. The best meal so far this month!

Chicken Tenders, Roasted Potatoes, and Sauteed Zucchini. Simple and good.
Yeah that is homemade Honey Mustard Sauce.

 A weekend breakfast treat. Cinnamon Scones.

 Super Bowl 2017. Nachos and Short Rib Steak and Cheese. This recipe is a keeper!

Gnocchi! Potato Gnocchi. Little puffs of air surrounded by our favorite sauce. The gnocchi recipe is from the Giada De Laurentiis book, Every Day Pasta.
1 (1-pound) russet potato
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 large egg, beaten to blend
1/4 cup all-purpose flour

Pierce the potato all over with a fork. Microwave the potato until tender, turning once, about 12 minutes. Cut the potato in half and scoop the flesh into a large bowl; discard the skin. Using a fork, mash the potato well. Mash in the salt and pepper. Mix in 3 tablespoons of the egg; discard the remaining egg. Sift the flour over the potato mixture and knead just until blended.

Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces. Roll each piece between your palms and the work surface into a 1/2-inch-diameter rope (about 20 inches long). Cut the dough into 1-inch pieces. Roll each piece of dough over a wooden paddle with ridges or over the tines of a fork to form grooves in the dough.

The gnocchi was cooked in a large pot of boiling salted water until it rose to the surface, about 1 minute. It continued to cooking until the gnocchi was tender, about 4 minutes longer. Using a slotted spoon, the gnocchi was transferred to a bowl and topped with the Marcella Hazan Onion, Butter, and Tomato Sauce.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

I Love My Crock-Pot!

Crock-Pot Italian Wedding Soup. 8 hours to a delicious meal. As a bonus, there is enough for two nights! I worked from home today so I started this first thing this morning. As the day went on the aroma was getting better. I used some of the homemade broth I had in the freezer. The broth was so light and the meatballs were just the right size.

I found this recipe on Crock-Pot Ladies. There are a couple of other recipes on that site that we will have to try very soon.

1 pound ground beef lean, or ground turkey (I used ground beef)
1 whole egg slightly beaten
1/4 cup seasoned Italian breadcrumbs
1/4 cup Italian parsley chopped
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup parmesan cheese grated
6 cups chicken broth
1 whole onion medium, diced
3 – 4 whole carrots medium, diced
2 stalks celery diced
2 cups escarole
2 whole bay leaves
2 cloves garlic minced
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup acini di pepe pasta
1/4 cup parmesan cheese grated (for serving)

In a medium bowl combine ground beef/turkey, egg, bread crumbs, parsley, oregano, basil, salt, pepper & parmesan cheese until well mixed.

Form meat mixture into very small meatballs.

Place meatballs on cookie sheets and place in refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine the rest of the ingredients except escarole, acini di pepe pasta and remaining parmesan cheese in a 6 quart crock-pot.

Cover and cook on LOW for 7 1/2 hours.

Add acini di pepe pasta and escarole to the soup and cover and cook an additional 30 minutes.

Serve in bowls topped with additional parmesan cheese.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Chicken Pot PIe

Our favorite recipe from did not disappoint us tonight. The crust was store bought that I had the freezer. You should always have a pie crust in the freezer, homemade or store bought.
This is one of our favorite comfort foods. And after driving home in some pretty bad weather conditions, comfort food a welcome dinner choice.

Ingredients -
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 onions, chopped
4 carrots, diced
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 cups 1 percent milk
1 10-ounce package frozen peas
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 9-inch store-bought pie crust, thawed if frozen

Method -

Heat oven to 400° F.
Cook the chicken in a pot of simmering water until cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes; let cool, then shred.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and carrots and cook, stirring, until they begin to soften, 6 to 8 minutes (do not let them darken). Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.

Add the wine and cook until evaporated, about 5 minutes. Add the milk and simmer until the sauce thickens 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the chicken, peas, thyme, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
Transfer to a shallow 1 1/2- to 2-quart baking dish.

Lay the crust on top, pressing to seal. Cut several vents in the crust. Place the pot pie on a baking sheet and bake until bubbling and the crust is golden, 30 to 35 minutes.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Minestra Maritata

Minsestra Maritata. Or the closest to my Mother's recipe that I could find.The recipe is from Cooking with Guiseppe. A perfect soup for a cold January night. This is a meal I grew up eating. My Mom would add beans to this but I decided not to. I used Kielbasa, Pork Ribs, Short Ribs, and Chicken. Instead of water for the broth, I used homemade chicken stock. If you make this recipe do not forget the most important thing. You have to serve it with a lot of Italian Bread!

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Chicken Piccata

Tonight I made one of our favorite chicken recipes. Chicken Piccata was from Giada De Laurentiis. Easy and fast and most importantly - delicious! The vegetable was our go to winter vegetable, Roasted Acorn Squash.


2 skinless and boneless chicken breasts, butterflied and then cut in half

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

All-purpose flour, for dredging

6 tablespoons unsalted butter

5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 

1/3 cup fresh lemon juice 

1/2 cup chicken stock 

1/4 cup brined capers, rinsed 

1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped 


Season chicken with salt and pepper. Dredge chicken in flour and shake off excess.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter with 3 tablespoons olive oil. 

When butter and oil start to sizzle, add 2 pieces of chicken and cook for 3 minutes. When chicken is browned, flip and cook other the side for 3 minutes. Remove and transfer to plate. Melt 2 more tablespoons butter and add another 2 tablespoons olive oil. When butter and oil start to sizzle, add the other 2 pieces of chicken and brown both sides in the same manner. Remove pan from heat and add chicken to the plate. 

Into the pan add the lemon juice, stock, and capers. Return to stove and bring to boil, scraping up brown bits from the pan for extra flavor. Check for seasoning. Return all the chicken to the pan and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove chicken to a platter. Add remaining 2 tablespoons butter to sauce and whisk vigorously. Pour sauce over chicken and garnish with parsley.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Book Club! Book Lovers Never Go To Bed Alone.

Ah, Book Club night! I love book club night. Tonight's book was The Art Forger by Barbara A. Shapiro. We did not seem to stay on the topic of the book that much. But it was fun to get together with friends. And I love the fact that Kelly made one of my favorite things for dinner. Panna Cote. Oh, this was so delicious. And I got a container to bring home!!!

And one soup was not enough. Kelly also made a Thai Chicken Soup. Wow. This is something I have never made. It was perfect. But the Panna Cote was my favorite! Thank you Kelly for dinner and for sending the recipes typed out!!!

Panna Cote/ Escarole and Bean Soup
2 heads of escarole chopped and soak in a big pan to get the grit off
2 boxes of good chicken stock
2 - 4 garlic cloves sauteed in olive oil, stay with it, you want it soft not browned
½ pepperoni cut into little pieces
2 cans of small white beans or white beans, I drain and rinse one can, the other I dump the whole can helps to thicken it
Salt and pepper
Cook for about½ hour
You can serve it as a soup with parmesan cheese on top OR
Scoop into a baking dish, top with crusty bread, parmesan cheese and bake at 375 till hot .

Easy Thai Chicken Soup
2 cloves of garlic/ smash
2 boxes of good chicken stock
1 or two boiled chicken breasts cut into cubes
1 cans of coconut milk
1 tbs. fish sauce
2 tsp. red curry paste (Traders Joe's)
2 red bell peppers sauteed till very soft do not brown ( you can use green, I used one green) didn't have 2 red.
Squeeze of lime
Fresh ginger or powdered, I used powered about a tsp.
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
A few mushrooms
I put in about¾ cup of cooked jasmine rice/ you can use rice noodles.
The rice thickens the soup if you like it thicker make a cornstarch rue
I used a combo of two recipes, google Thai chicken soup, most call for Lemongrass, I do not care for the taste and leave it out.

My contribution was cookies! I tried a new recipe. Authentic Italian Butter Cookies. A new favorite recipe I might add! Also made Nutella Biscotti as a backup in case the Butter Cookies were not up to par. For the butter cookies, I added some Chocolate Sprinkles just for variety.

230 g butter at room temperature
1 tbsp. of vanilla extract
320 g flour
1 tbsp. of fine salt
100 g granulated sugar
Powdered sugar (for decorating)

Cut the butter into cubes and place them in a mixer, with the salt, granulated sugar, and vanilla extract.

Mix them until they blend, forming a cream.

Sift the flour, add it to the mixture and continue to mix until it has a crumbly texture.

Place the dough on a lightly floured pastry board. The dough will be very soft and easily workable. Compact it, to make it smooth, then use your hands to flatten it.

Cover it with a plastic wrap and store it in the refrigerator, to harden for at least half an hour.

Afterward, take the mixture from the fridge and cut it with a knife in 4 cylinder shapes of 3 cm diameter, then cover the rolls using plastic wrap and place them in the fridge again for 3 hours, so that the dough is compact enough.

After the three hours have passed, place each cylinder in granulated sugar, making sure that the surface is even.

Using a knife, divide the cylinders in discs of 2 cm thickness, then place the cookies on baking paper over a tray.

Bake them in a preheated oven at 200 degrees Celsius (392 F) for about 15 minutes, until they get lightly browned.

Remove them from the oven, then immediately place them on a rack, so that they keep their sandy texture.