Homemade Pasta with Calamari Sauce

I love walking into my sister's kitchen and seeing pasta drying.

But first there is the antipasto...

Then came the pasta. It was delicious as always !

Happy New Year!


Skillet Shrimp with Couscous


I have the Martha Steward's Everyday Food App on my iTouch and yesterday's recipe caught my eye. It was hard not to eat every drop of this. Click here for the recipe.

Deviled Bones

I have been looking forward to the leftovers from Christmas Dinner since last year. Deviled Bones is another 10 ten meal. The bread crumbs on the ribs are nice and crunchy. Can't wait until next year!

The Day After Christmas

Cappelletti in my sister's Chicken Broth. Thank goodness she brought over enough for a couple of nights!

Christmas Day

Four people for dinner and a 12.5 lb prime rib... Not to mention the Antipasto, the Cheddar Olive Balls, the Cappelletti in my sister's chicken broth, the Roasted Carrots, Roasted Cauliflower, Roasted Potatoes, Thyme Popovers and of course the cookies.
A very nice day spend with close family and friends. Hope you enjoy the photos...

This is what Christmas means to me...Cappelletti in my sister's chicken broth. This is why this meal is in my Top Ten meals of the year.


Merry Christmas.

Christmas Eve Dinner

This is my favorite meal of the year. My mom use to make an amazing Christmas Eve dinner. She would cook for up to 24 people some years. The food she produced was awe inspiring, especially to someone like me. My brother-in-law, Ralph, and my sister, Lenore, now do Christmas Eve dinner. It is as amazing as anything my mom made.

Tonight we walked in and this is the first thing we saw -

The pasta was topped with seafood sauce...

Then they served stuffed calamari

And lobster tails

I have to find out where they get this bread.

Next we had Halibut Stuffed with Lobster Meat.

This is a photo of Fried Baccalá Balls.
They were very good, this photo does not do them justice.

There were two Baccalá Salads. One spicy and the other mild.


There should be a photo of the Seafood Polpettes that I made. Oops.
But I took a photo of the wine. : )


Then there were my sister's cookies.
The one in the center of the photo is the Lemon Bar, my favorite.

Merry Christmas!

Giada's Orecchiette with Toasted Bread Crumbs

Today I was looking at some the blogs I follow. I came upon Kahakai Kitchen and Giada's Orecchiette with Toasted Bread Crumbs. Something told me to click on the link. I am so glad I did. It is now in my top 10 meals for 2010. The clincher was of course the prosciutto. Dinner was ready in 20 minutes and we both kept going back to the pan for just one more bite. You have to try this recipe. You will not be disappointed.


Christmas Treats

It may seem that lately I have been too busy to prepare the usual type of meals we have for dinner. Okay I have been somewhat busy. But I have been doing a little Christmas baking. Not as much as previous years but a good showing...

Mint Crackle Tops

Brown Sugar Shortbread

Chocolate Crackle Tops

Cinnamon Sticks and Jelly Bellies

Snowballs (my favorites!)

Candied Lemon Peels



Grilled Cheese!

Yes. That's right. Christmas is days away. Appointments, commitments and of course work seem to be taking up a lot of time. So here it is. I had to eat something when I get home tonight. I needed something with practically no work involved. Other than a container of yogurt, grilled cheese is the next go to meal.

Winter Vegetable Stew

Tonight's recipe came from Better Homes and Garden's Soups magazine.
Wow it was quite good.

Ingredients
6 oz kielbasa
1 small onion, chopped
28 oz chicken broth
1/2 of a small butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 cup sliced carrot (2 medium)
1/4 tsp black pepper
15 oz can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup orzo pasta
2 cups baby spinach leaves

Heat a 4 quart Dutch oven over medium heat. Add kielbasa and onion, cook about 5 minutes or until onion is tender, stirring occasionally. Add broth, 2 cups water, squash, carrot and pepper. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes.
Stir in beans and pasta. Return to boil; reduce heat. Cover; boil gently about 6 minutes or until pasta and vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in spinach. Serve immediately.

Roast Beef with Provolone and Roasted Pepper Pannini

When I saw that Roast Beef was on sale at the deli this dinner sounded so good. Well it was good. It was just very simple. Sauteed the meat, so it wouldn't "walk to the plate" and melted the cheese on top. Then I put the meat and cheese on roll and topped it with the roasted red peppers. On to the pannini press and that was it.

Ravioli With Butter And Cheese

Okay another simple meal. But this happens to be one of my favorite things. Frozen Ravioli, I used spinach and cheese filled, topped with melted butter and Parmesan cheese and lots of crushed red pepper.

On another note I got this cool New Orleans Saints toaster from Michelle at work. Love it. Now if the Saints had won today it would have been better...

Chicken with Yellow Squash

This was a fast meal to put together. Busy day around the house with Lucy arriving this morning.

First I cut the yellow squash into 1/4 inch slices. Then cubed the chicken breast. Heated some olive oil and a knob of butter in a large saute pan. Added the chicken and cook until almost done. Add the squash and cooked that and the chicken until the chicken is cooked through. Towards the end of the sauteing I added parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme, salt and pepper. I should have also added crushed red pepper. We had Couscous as a side dish. And then back to playing with Lucy!

Chinese Take Out

One week from tonight! Christmas Eve, my favorite meal of the year. But tonight we had take out from Zhangs. I had Steamed Dumplings and Hot and Sour Soup and Chris had Boneless Spare Ribs and Fried Rice.

Tomorrow Lucy arrives!

Pasta with Meat Sauce

Did you think it wasn't going to appear this week. I have mentioned the recipe for this sauce before but I was looking back at old posts and realized I have never posted the recipe!
Here we go...

Nonnie's Meat Sauce

Ingredients
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 clove garlic
1 med. onion, chopped
1 lb. ground beef
1 lb. ground pork
1/2 lb sweet sausage
1/2 lb hot sausage
4 28 oz cans crushed tomatoes
1- 6 oz cans tomato paste
1 tbsp. oregano
1 tbsp. parsley
1 tbsp. basil
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup red wine

Heat olive oil in large pot. Add clove of garlic and chopped onions. Saute for 5 minutes. Add all meat. Cook over medium heat until browned. Meat does not need to be cooked through. Add tomatoes and simmer for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Add tomato paste to thicken, add 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.
Remove the clove of garlic and let cool completely.
Remove any grease from top of sauce.
Freeze extra sauce in containers or zip log bags.

And Happy Birthday to Nicholas and Makena!

Meatball Subs

Another quick meal. Frozen, yes I said frozen meatballs and jarred, yes I said jarred sauce.
And what did we have as a side... Bugles! My favorite snack when I was little.
It was all so tasty!

Baked Chicken

A quick dinner tonight. Baked Chicken, marinated in parsley, thyme, lemon juice and hot sauce.
Rice and peas and carrots were the sides. Busy day and an easy dinner.
Oh but the appetizers...

The recipe for Cheddar Olives comes from A Nod is as Good as a Wink to a Blind Horse. Delicious!

Pasta e Fagioli

Let me start by wishing myself a Happy Name Day! Today is the Feast of St. Lucia. It was also my grandmother's birthday. She was who I was named after.

For quite some time I have been in search of the perfect Pasta e Fagioli recipe. Most recipes have a tomato base but I prefer it without the tomatoes. There is a restaurant near my Dad's house, Lorenzo's, which makes it just the way I like it, no tomatoes.

I have finally found a recipe that I can say will be my favorite. It came from an eblast I received from La Cucina Magazine site. Pasta and Bean Soup with Sausage. The recipe calls for pancetta in addition to the sausage. Some toasted Italian bread, a drizzle of olive oil and a glass of wine made this a delicious dinner.

The recipe says it makes enough serve 4 to 6 people. I had enough for dinner tonight, I froze some and I brought some to my Dad!

Ingredients
6 ounces dried cannellini beans (1 cup)
1 whole head garlic plus 1 garlic clove (I did not use any garlic)
2 sprigs fresh thyme, rosemary or sage
7 ounces thick-cut pancetta, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
5 1/2 ounces sweet Italian sausage, removed from casing
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil plus more for drizzling
4 cups vegetable broth
8 ounces ditaloni rigati (Opted for elbow macaroni)
Fine sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

Instructions
Rinse beans, then place with head of garlic and herb sprigs in a large saucepan and cover with water by 3 inches. Soak for 8 hours, or overnight.

Place saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a low boil; reduce to a gentle simmer and cook, adding water as necessary to keep level 2 to 3 inches above beans, until beans are tender, about 45 minutes or more (cooking time varies depending on age of beans).

Reserving cooking liquid, drain beans through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl; discard garlic and herb sprigs. Separately, set aside beans and their liquid.

Finely chop remaining garlic clove. In a large heavy pot with lid or Dutch oven, combine pancetta and sausage; heat over medium-high heat, stirring frequently and breaking up sausage into bits with a wooden spoon, until fat is rendered and sausage is cooked through, about 7 minutes. Add onion and oil, reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring frequently, until onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Add chopped garlic and cook 2 minutes more. Add reserved beans, 2 cups bean cooking liquid, broth and 2 1/4 cups water; bring to a gentle simmer and cook for 25 minutes.

Increase heat to bring soup to a low boil; add pasta and cook until pasta is just al dente (pasta will continue to cook in soup; do not overcook). Season with salt and pepper to taste (soup can be thinned, if desired, using remaining bean cooking liquid). Ladle soup into serving bowls; sprinkle with parsley and drizzle with oil.

So it has been a week since my last post. It has been a busy week around here. We have had a few visitors...

But the big news is that this Saturday we will be picking up a cat from Forgotten Felines. Her name is Lucy and she has had a rough life so far.

We hope she and Archie will be best friends.



Stuffed Peppers

This weekend I was visiting a new blog I follow, Cucina di Barbara, and saw a post for Meat Stuffed Peppers and was inspired to make that for dinner. My recipe is little different. I use rice and meat for the stuffing. I had some extra zucchini which I chopped up and added it to the filling.

First I sauteed the onions in a little olive oil. Added the meat which I browned and then the zucchini, seasoning it with oregano, salt and pepper. Meanwhile I was making the rice, I used white rice but any kind would work. Mixed the rice and meat mixture together with Parmesan and Mozzarella cheese and stuffed the peppers. Placed the peppers in a greased baking dish and topped with some Marinara sauce and baked at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

Now that's a stuffed pepper!