Monday, August 31, 2009

Chicken Triangles Revisited with Chilled Creamy Cucumber Soup

That's right this is the clean out the freezer and fridge week. I just did not want to spend a lot at the grocery store and I didn't need to, as long as my husband keeps an open mind this week (no it won't be that bad).

Back in oh I think it was July I made a recipe for Chicken Triangles and I mentioned I had enough to freeze for another meal. Ta Da! Tonight was the meal. They were as tasty and flaky as in July!

Also made a Chilled Creamy Cucumber Soup, recipe from I did not realize that the fall season was starting early this year so a chilled soup would have been better received perhaps if it was warmed. The cukes came from the guy my husband works with, my supplier of Broccoli Rabe. The soup was good, I thought... Just remember they can't all be winners!

Also finished up that Potato Salad from last night and yes Velva I added the Tarragon and it was more flavorful! Thanks for the push.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Potato Salad and Burgers

I am more excited about the potato salad then the burgers tonight. I had picked up some of the cutest little potatoes at the Farmer's Market last week and really wanted to use them. So I went to the TV Foodnetwork web sight and found this great recipe from Alton Brown. Cold-Fashioned Potato Salad. I of course made a couple of changes. I was never a huge tarragon fan so I left that our and of course I left out the garlic! The tomatoes were from Mike's garden. Tasty!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Grilled Pork Chops

My God these pork chops are huge! My husband put them in marinate of olive oil, salt and pepper. "Nothing fancy, keep it simple." I could not finish mine, too big (!) but I did finish that delicious ear of corn from my dad's garden.

Today I was out shopping with a friend and we stopped at the
Equinox Diner in Orange. Cute place and the food was great. I had what was the best veggie burger ever. I could identify the veggies in the burger! It was a Black Bean Pattie on a toasted bun with lettuce, tomato and pickle. It came with a small salad. There was suppose to be an avocado there but really did not miss is. Can't wait to go back!

Shrimp and Beans

Friday, August 28, 2009

So we are having Shrimp again on a Friday night, and it is not even Lent. This recipe came from Every Night Italian by Giuliano Hazan. There are so many good recipes in this book.

I did make one change in the ingredients, I used bacon because the store did not have Pancetta and the orginal recipe called for garlic and I did not use any (just not a huge garlic fan). Also used the recipe as a sauce for some Angel Hair pasta!

1 cup yellow onion thinly sliced crosswise
4 tbsp
extra-virgin olive oil 2 oz. bacon, diced
1 pound large shrimp 1 1/2 cups drained canned cranberry or cannelini beans
6 to 8 fresh sage leaves

3 tbsp dry white wine
2 tsp finely chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley

Freshly ground black pepper

9 0z package of Buitoni Angel Hair Pasta

  1. Put the onion and 2 tbsp of the olive oil in a large skillet or sauté pan and place over medium heat. Sauté until the onion turns a rich golden color.
  2. Peel and devein the shrimp.
  3. Add the pancetta to the onion and cook until it begins crisp. Then add the beans and sage and cook for 3 to 4 minutes.
  4. Prepare the pasta according to the package.
  5. Add the shrimp to the sauté pan and sauté for about 1 minute. Add the wine and parsley and season with salt and pepper. I am sure I saw my husband add more wine at this point. Cook the shrimp until they turn completely pink, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  6. Add the cooked pasta to the sauté pan and toss together.
Quite a good meal. We had a bottle of Riff Pinot Grigio, 2007 with dinner, it is what I used for the recipe.

Thursday, August 27, 2009


I cut this recipe out of the New York Times years ago. It is a good recipe to make on the weekend and just reheat later in the week.

Put simply, because I can not find the darn clipping (grrrrrrr), you mix fresh lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper, and a dash of hot sauce together. I put these ingredients in a zip lock bag. Add the chicken and coat with mixture. I used pieces - breasts with the bone in, thighs and legs. Place in a foiled lined 9x12 baking pan with sides that has been coated with cooking spray. Bake 350 degrees for 40 to 50 minutes or until the juices run clear.

That was done on Sunday. Tonight my husband heated it through on the grill.
We had the green beans from my dad's yard, steamed and then added butter, salt and pepper. Also Basmati Rice. Just a delicious meal

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


Calzones with bacon and onion for him and broccoli rabe, tomato and fresh mozz for me. Crust was perfect. Nice and crispy.
Picked up some more corn from my dad and took it off the cob and froze it. Got some of those fantastic beans he had. Steamed those and will probably use them in a salad. And took some of the raspberries and am looking forward to a raspberrry smoothie tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Mediterranean Roast Beef Pita Revisited

I had planned on making Mediterranean Roast Beef Pita but got home a little later than planned but my husband picked up the ball for me. We had this dish back in July and it was as good as it was then.
My husband said that we did not have Cider Vinegar so he used Rice Wine Vinegar and he forgot to add the red onion. Considering I was figuring we would just have Roast Beef Sandwiches this was a pleasant surprise.
We had corn on the cob from my dad's (my 92 year old dad) garden. It was delicious. Sweet and tender. Cow corn... I don't think so.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Vegetarian Ribollita

Found this recipe on TV Food Network. All the produce was reasonably priced. It was flavorful and so good. I made enough to bring some to my Dad. And my husband liked it.

Here is the recipe and the link for the TV Food Network site.

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 medium onion, diced (2 1/2 cups)
1 rib celery, sliced (3/4 cups)
1 medium zucchini, diced (1 1/4 cups or 5 1/4 ounces)
2 carrots, peeled and diced (1/3 cup)
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 sprig fresh rosemary
Kosher salt black pepper
1 head Savoy cabbage, cleaned and coarsely chopped or shredded (7 1/2 cups)
1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes, in juice
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1 teaspoon dried marjoram1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans
10 cups vegetable broth
4 cups cubed sourdough bread (about 1/2 loaf)
3 cups baby spinach leaves
1/2 cup shaved Pecorino-Romano

In a soup pot or Dutch oven heat the 1/4 cup olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions, celery, zucchini, carrots, garlic, and rosemary; season with salt and pepper. Cook until the vegetables are soft and juicy, about 10 minutes. Add the cabbage, tomatoes, basil, and marjoram and season again with salt and pepper. Cook until cabbage is just tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in the beans and vegetable broth, and adjust the heat to simmer gently for 20 minutes.

Remove the rosemary sprig. Stir in the bread and spinach, increase the heat to medium and cook until the soup thickens, about 10 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper. Ladle soup into warm bowls. Top with cheese and a little drizzle extra-virgin olive oil.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

100th Post!

Wow 100 blog posts. I must say I have enjoyed doing this blog. And I think some people are actually reading it!

I wanted to do something special for today's post. Planning on making meatballs on the grill if the weather does not change. But than I thought I would share one of my mom's recipe's as a special treat. So here it is, The Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe.

I had gotten the basic recipe from her but the I was missing one key ingredient. I made this recipe for the longest time and something was not right. One Sunday my sister was over and had a cookie and said they tasted just like mom's without the Rice Krispies in them. Rice Krispies! Mom had told me about the oatmeal and coconut flakes and nuts and that in the late 60's she started adding wheat germ but did not mention the Rice Krispies.

These cookies are really good. I know 2 little kids in Maryland who would be disappointed if they see me without the cookies. I know this is not a "dinner" recipe but this recipe is near and dear to my heart. It is written as she told it to me (except for the Rice Krispies part).

The Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

2 1/4 cup sifted flour
1 tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp hot water
1 tsp baking soda
12 oz. chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts nuts
1 cup oatmeal
1/2 cup wheat germ
1 cup flaked coconut
1 cup Rice Krispies

Blend butter and sugar and brown sugar. Add eggs and vanilla. Sift flour and salt. Blend hot water and baking soda. Add baking soda and flour to butter mixture. Add all other ingredients except the Rice Krispies. Stir in the Rice Krispies by hand, do not use the mixer (you don't want to over beat them). Roll them into about a teaspoon size balls. Place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees. I usually get about 8 dozen cookies. It sounds like a lot but they are small. That way you can eat more.
: )

You can add or subtract what you ever you like. I have made them with Heath Bar chips and different nuts. I use to love coming home from school and walking in to a house that smelled like a bakery. I hope you all enjoy these cookies as much as we do!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Pasta with Shrimp and Sand

Wow I have not done a post all week! Did we eat dinner this week?

Well tonight we certainly did. I use to make this recipe called Pasta with Peppers and Sand. My friend Heidi wanted to be sure I mentioned that the "sand" is actually bread crumbs. It was from the Frugal Gourmet, Jeff Smith. My husband and I loved his television show. I thought that instead of the peppers I would add Shrimp. It was really good. No it really was really good. It was light and the bread crumbs were crunchy and the shrimp was perfectly cooked.

Ingredients -
1 lb. Orrechieatta pasta
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper

4 tbsp. olive oil, divided

1 lb. shrimp, cleaned and deveined

2 tbsp. fresh chopped parsley

salt and pepper to taste

Directions -

Prepare pasta according to package directions.

Meanwhile heat
2 tbsp. olive oil until hot and add bread crumbs and crushed red pepper. Saute until bread crumbs are lightly browned. Remove from pan. In same pan heat 2 tbsp. olive oil until hot. Add shrimp and saute until cooked. Add parsley and season with salt and pepper. Stir in the breadcrumbs to shrimp mixture.

Drain pasta and mix with 2 tbsp. butter. Add shrimp mixture to the pasta. and serve.

Also had a Caprese Salad with tomatoes from Mike Casey's garden, he is a co-worker. Add bottle of DaVinci Chianti 2006 and it was a perfect meal to end a busy week

Monday, August 17, 2009

Chilled Zucchini Soup and Stuffed Bread

It is finally hot out. So it was the perfect night for a chilled soup. I found this recipe on


2 tablespoons margarine

2 onions, chopped
2 potatoes, peeled and diced
8 zucchinis, chopped

1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary

1/2 teaspoon dried basil

1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper

4 cups chicken broth

1 cup whole milk

1/4 cup dry potato flakes

1 tablespoon soy sauce

4 tablespoons chopped fresh dill weed


  1. In a large frying pan, melt butter or margarine; add onion and saute until translucent. Add diced potato, zucchini, thyme, rosemary, basil, and white pepper, and cook for 5 minutes.
  2. In a medium-sized cooking pot, add broth and bring to boil. Add zucchini/potato mixture; reduce heat and simmer about 15 minutes.
  3. When cooked, puree in food processor or blender in batches. Return to cooking pot, add milk and bring just to boil, but do not boil. Add instant mashed potato flakes and soy sauce and stir well. Adjust seasonings to taste. Garnish with dill weed. Soup may be served hot or chilled.
We had leftover Grilled Skirt Steak and Peppers and Onions. I made a filled bread with those items and added American Cheese, shredded Mozzarella and Ricotta. Baked the bread on my Pampered Chef Baking Pan. This is my favorite pan for bread.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Grilled Pizza Revisited

We will do it until it comes out right!

Well we got it right. The crust was perfect. Even the bottom looked great, should have taken a photo of that. I am sorry but I used a jarred sauce... but it was produced locally! Fresh Mozz and some oregano and we were good to go!

Friday, August 14, 2009

The Visitors

We were visited by my nephew and his family. It was a really nice evening and we had a very good meal.

We started with Rice Balls and Chickpeas and Black Olive Bruschetta. Summer Ale, Moretti Italian Beer and Vodka Gimlets rounded out the appetizers.

Dinner was Grilled Skirt Steak and Grilled Onions and Red Pepper Sandwiches with Basil Mayo. Also had a Caesar salad. Dessert was really good, Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Cake...

The appetizers came from that wonderful little book, Simple Italian Snacks, the Suppli (Rice Balls) were a light and crispy snack. The recipe said it was a good way to use left over risotto but I just made a batch of aborio rice last night for the recipe.

The Grilled Skirt Steak and Grilled Onions and Red Pepper Sandwiches with Basil Mayo was from the new Bon Appetit. The recipe called for Corn being added to the mayo but I opted not to do that. The Caesar Salad was for Lidia Italian-American Kitchen and is the best Caesar dressing I have made.

Now about that dessert. Yes the crust was the same cookie recipe that my mom used. And there was a layer of Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream and then I had some of that cake, the Chocolate Cinnamon Bundt Cake that I chopped up and used as a center filling. Topped that with another layer of Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream. A hush fell over the table as dessert was eaten. Even the kids did not make a sound. It was that good.

Rounding out the meal was a bottle or two of Cantina Zaccagnini Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 2006. It had aromas of cherries and a hint of vanilla on the finish. The wine received rave reviews. And I would like to thank the salesman at Madison Wine Exchange who asked what I was making and suggested that wine.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Stuffed Eight Ball Zucchini

I had a teaser about tonight's dinner in Sunday's blog. These were the cutest veggies I had seen in a while. As I was getting ready to type the recipe I realized I did not measure as I added the ingredients. It was a little of this and a little of that. It sound like how my mom would give me a recipe.
I cut the top and bottom off the zucchini so it would have a level base then cut each zucchini in half. The insides were scooped out and diced. I placed the zucchini in a pan of boiling water and blanched until almost tender. Remove from pan and drain.
Heat olive oil in saute pan. Add onion and saute until until tender. Add ground beef and cook. Next add the diced zucchini and cook until soft. Season with thyme, parsley oregano, salt and pepper.
Place beef mixture in a bowl. Add about a 1/4 ricotta cheese, some Parmesan, Panko bread crumbs and chopped fresh parsley. Mix all ingredients. Fill zucchini shells with mixture. Top with Parmesan cheese. Bake 25 minutes at 350 degrees.
I made a Marinara sauce with San Marzano tomatoes, a little expensive but worth it.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Very green bean salad

This week at the Farmer's Market I picked up wax green beans, regular green beans and purple green beans. Oh they were so pretty but I think I may have over cooked them a minute or two too long because the purple turned green. But they made up a lovely green bean salad.
We had burgers tonight, Turkey for me and Beef for husband.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

The Return of the Big Salad

Lets start with last night's dinner. Grilled steak, grilled Corn on the Cob and Rice.

There was meat leftover so I added it to "the Big Salad." Red Leaf Lettuce, grape tomatoes, English Cucumber, Bacon, Feta Cheese and olives. Much tastier on the second night.

I was a busy bee today. Getting ready for some very important guests at the end of the week.

I got the new Bon Appetit on Friday and made this fantastic cake today. Chocolate-Cinnamon Bundt Cake with Mocha Icing. Yeah it is a good as it sounds. The icing alone oh my God. The only thing that could make it better would be ice cream... vanilla I think...

And coming up later this week - 8 Ball Zucchini!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Ravioli with Bacon, Zucchini and Red Peppers

The pressure was on tonight. My husband has been making some really outstanding meals (last night's for instance) so tonight I had to turn it up. So I turned to a recipe I have been using for years.

The original recipe did not call for zucchini but it is that time of year.

2 tbsp. olive oil
2 bacon slices, choppped (I used the pre-cooked bacon)
1 cup sliced zucchini
7 oz. jar roasted red peppers, drained and diced
1/4 cup canned chicken broth
1 bag forzen cheese ravioli, cooked
Freshly grated Parmesan

Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and bacon, if you are using uncooked bacon, and cook until onion is tender and bacon is cooked, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Add zucchini and cook for 4 minutes or until zucchini is tender
Stir in the pepper, and broth and simmer one minute. If you are using pre cooked bacon add it at this point.
Transfer to large bowl. Add ravioli and toss well. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Top with grated parmesan cheese.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Grilled Chicken and Zucchini

My husband made a wonderful dinner. He marinated Chicken Tenders in olive oil, lemon juice, fresh rosemary and parsley. The zucchini was marinated in olive oil, salt, pepper and parsley. They were then grilled to perfection. It was moist and flavorful and I did not have to cook!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Eggplant Rollatini

A request was made that the next time I make this use 2 eggplants. It was delicious.

I breaded the eggplant with mixture of Panko breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, Parmesan cheese and chopped parsley after dipping them in beaten eggs. Baked the slices at 350 degrees for 10 minutes than turned the slices and baked for an additional 10 minutes.

Ricotta filling: Ricotta and parsley.

I placed slices of prosciutto onto the eggplant and then put a heaping tablespoon of the ricotta mixture. Rolled them up and placed them in a greased pan. Top with marinara sauce and bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and enjoy!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Perfect Frittata...

This was really good frittata. I read a frittata recipe made with potatoes and it said to boil the potatoes and then slice the them once they are cool. This something I have never done.

So I boiled the potatoes and then sliced them. The other ingredients were zucchini, onions and prosciutto. Eggs and Fontina, Parmesan and Ricotta cheeses.

We grilled the bread and it was good. The bread was crispy and the potatoes were crispy on the outside and cooked perfectly throughout. Even the zucchini was perfect, if I do say so myself.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Summer Corn Soup

So I still have a few ears of corn here. So I found this recipe for a Summer Corn Soup. It was easy to make and nice and light. It was suppose to be blended but honesty I did not want to wash the blender and I like my soup with stuff in it. My husband made a lovely salad and I picked up some italian bread.
As I posted the picture of dinner I just realized what an awful table I set. Placemats and napkins do not match and do we eat off of paper plates every night?

Grilled Pizza

Sunday August 2, 2009
Had a busy day so I pulled out some whole wheat pizza dough that was in the freezer and finally made grilled pizza. I have been wanting to do this since I read Carol Egbert's blog on the subject.
Of course my husband handled the grilling. We made two small pies. They looked really good. Did I take a photo before we tore into them, of course not. He topped them with some marinara sauce and parmesan cheese.
I made a Caprese Salad to go with it. The tomatoes were from our plant. They were very small but very tasty.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Grilled Pork Tenderloin and Really Good Corn

My husband made a Grilled Pork Tenderlion from a recipe by Paula Dean. Quite flavorful. I stopped at a road side stand today and picked up sweet corn that was so delicious. Also found a recipe for Cucumber Salad. Nice taste of the cucumber and salt and pepper.