Sunday, November 28, 2010

Turkey Breast, Stuffing and...

We had an additional Thanksgiving feast this week.

We started with some Roasted Walnuts, recipe from Mark Bittman.
And you can not eat just one.

Roasted Turkey Breast

Chris's Thanksgiving Stuffing. Oh it is delicious.

Roasted Carrots, recipe from Proud Italian. I love this recipe!

One of our favorite wine.

And Pumpkin Pie.

Excuse me, did you say turkey?

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Homemade Fettuccine with Vodka Sauce

Don't you hate when you go to make dinner and realize you forgot to get an ingredient? I do. I forgot the cream for the vodka sauce. But fear not, I opened the cabinet to find a jar of one of my favorite sauces - Paul Sorvino's Vodka Sauce. Excellent substitute for homemade.

The pasta recipe was from Giada De Laurentiis Every Day Pasta.

3 cups all purpose flour
4 large eggs
1 tbsp. salt
1 tbsp. olive oil

Place the flour in the bowl of a food processor. In a small bowl, lightly beat the eggs. Add the salt and olive oil to the eggs and stir to combine. Add the egg mixture to the food processor with the flour and pulse to combine the ingredients, scraping down the sides once or twice. Continue, with the machine running until the liquid is evenly distributed, about 1 minute. The dough should stick together if pinched between your fingers and be cornmeal yellow in color. Some of the dough will be clumping together, but it will not form a ball.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Gather the dough into a ball and knead gently until the dough is smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 30 minutes before rolling and shaping as desired.

I cut the recipe in half and it was just enough for the 2 of us.

Dinner was so good. The pasta was perfect and the sauce was super easy and I can submit it to the I Heart Cooking Club for this week!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Chicken Cutlets with Tomato Saute

Simple recipe from Real Simple site. Chicken Cutlets with Tomato Saute. For sides we had rice and the vegetable croquettes which were the one of the side dishes from yesterday's feast.
Today I went to see Today's Special. I loved this movie.
Tonight I was checking out YouTube and found this all time favorite clip. The Honeymooners - Chef of the Future.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

A Few Thanksgiving Snapshots

Love the antipasto!

I woke up this morning thinking about these artichokes!

My sister makes an amazing soup.
Did I take a photo of the star attraction, the turkey... No.
Did I take a photo of the side dishes, awesome stuffing... No.
And the pie. Any pie photos... No.
And that is why this post is named "A Few Thanksgiving Snapshot"

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Happy 94th Birthday!

Actually on Tuesday he'll be 94 but we took my Dad out for dinner today to Leon's. Excellent meal and great service.

For Appetizers we had the Cured Meat and Cheese Plate (wonderful Prosciutto!), Pane Cotta (a Leon's Classic), and perfectly cooked Fried Calamari.

For dinner my Dad, Grace and my sister all had Veal Pagliacci. Ann had Sea Scallops with Pesto over Linguine. Stephen had Striped Bass. Ralph had Spinach Fettuccini and Chicken Livers. Chris had Scallops Athenian. And I had Gypsy Chicken. All the meals received rave reviews.

We had a couple bottles of Villa Cafaggio Chianti Classico 2006. Excellent choice Chris!

My Dad had a plate with a mini cheesecake and ice cream. Candles were in place and we all sang Happy Birthday. We also had a platter of mini Cannoli.

It was a very nice dinner with the family.

Happy 94th Birthday Dad!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Caesar Salad and Vegetable Croquettes

Croquette recipe was from La Cucina Italian magazine. Next time I make them I will add more seasoning. They were a little bland. I did not have the right cheese, of course, but I had Fontina. I Googled a replacement cheese and Fontina came up! But I need more practice with this sauce.

The salad was as usual very good.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Happy Birthday Chris!

For dinner we went to Friend's and Company. Chris had a steak and I had Pork Osco Bosco with Butternut Squash and a Rosemary Reduction. Wow. Sorry no photos.

I made cupcakes instead of a birthday cake using the 2 Egg Cake Recipe. And the frosting was also homemade. I never make good homemade frosting. But this was amazing. Happy Birthday Chris!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Shepherd's Pie

Simple meal to prepare. Brown onions and ground beef. Add frozen mixed vegetable. Season with salt, pepper, thyme and oregano. Top with mashed potatoes and bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees. This time I left the skins on the potatoes. Seemed silly not to use them.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Shortbread Candy Bars

This is not what we had for dinner. This is an amazing cookie. Shortbread cookies have always been one of my favorites. But when you add chocolate and leftover Halloween candy, Crunch bars, Mounds bars and M&Ms... it is love. I saw this recipe on Stirring the Pot and was so happy we had left over candy!

Prosciutto, Tomato, Zucchini and Arugula Panini

The dinner started out as Bacon, Tomato and Arugula Panini. That is what Chris had. I decided to go with prosciutto and added some left over zucchini to mine. Loved it!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Soup with Bread & Fontina Pasticiatta

Have you checked out the new Lidia's Italy site. You will find alot of good recipes. Tonight we had Soup with Bread and Fontina pasticiatta. It was like onion soup without the onions. It's a combination of chicken broth and cheese sandwich made with Fontina. Of course it was delicious. This sounds confusing. Just click the link on above and I am sure you would love this as much as we did!

I also made what might be a side dish for Thanksgiving. I found Pumpkin & Sweet Potato Feta Pie on Foodbuzz and gave it a try. This could be the winner for Thanksgiving side dish. It was simple to prepare. And it was very flavorful.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Fresh Cod in a Potato Crust

Tonight's dinner started with me standing at the fish counter. For some reason Saturday nights end up being pork cutlets quite often. I like pork but tonight I wanted a change. So we had fish. Cod was on sale. I had my iTouch and found a Mark Bittman recipe for Cod and Potatoes which I was planning to make. By the time I got home I wanted a recipe that was faster and simpler then my first choice. So I visited La Cucina, no not the cookbook, the magazine web site. This was easy. The hardest part was slicing the potatoes. I do not have a mandoline. I actually had one but it was so child proof I could not get it to slice... Anyway I think my slicing was spot on.

Did you say Cod?

Friday, November 12, 2010

Penne with Tuna Sauce

It's Friday night and I have no clue what to make. I have a can of Tuna in oil. I have pasta. I have tomatoes. So that is dinner. I like these fast preparation dinners. The meal was quite good. The sauce was a little spicy, extra crushed red pepper! I was checking out the Mark Bittman app on my iTouch to see if he had a recipe for Tuna Sauce and he did. Close to what I made but he also used capers. Next time I will check with Mr. Bittman before forging ahead with a recipe. I am sure the capers would have added a lot of extra flavor.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Roast Chicken Parts with Olive Oil

From Mark Bittman site we had Roast Chicken Parts with Olive Oil. For herbs I used parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme... cue Simon and Garfunkel.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Autumn Beef Stew

From Gavin Murphy's site tonight we had Autumn Beef Stew. Amazing. The flavors were fantastic. Gavin was right. It did melt in your mouth like butta! And the house smelled so good! This recipe will reappear this winter.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


Yes that is Lidia and I hanging out in Madison tonight! Chris and I went to see her, Lidia Bastianich, at RJ Julia Bookstore. She was promoting her new book, Nonna Tell Me a Story: Lidia's Christmas Kitchen.
It was fun meeting her. I told her that I made her Minestra with Butternut Squash for dinner last night and she said this is the perfect time of the year for it!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Hearty Minestra with Butternut Squash

Again we turn to the Lidia site for dinner. Hearty Minestra with Butternut Squash. My mom use to make Minestra when I was a kid and I hated it. Well not really all of it. I like the meat but the soup and the beans and what ever green she put in it was not my idea of dinner.

Fast forward more years than I care to count and what do I want for dinner, Minestra. I found a recipe in one of Lidia's books a while back but this recipe sounded dare I say easier. Okay I forgot to soak the beans, so I put in a can of beans at the end. I did not do the Pestata portion of the recipe, forgot to get bacon... But other than that I stayed close to her recipe.
I added some kale (thank you Debi) and brought a pan over to my Dad's for dinner. He had seconds! We had some of his Blackberry wine from 2002. Excellent wine!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Savory Onion and Leek Tart and Salad

On I found this recipe and tried it as a possible side dish for Thanksgiving. I liked the crust and the filling was good too.

We had a nice salad to go along with the tart. Mixed greens, tomatoes, beets, mozzarella and goat cheese.

This morning I was going to spend my extra hour reading the Sunday papers. Archie had other plans...

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Not So Spicy Pork Chops

I got tickets to see Lidia Bastianich this week at our local bookstore. She will be promoting her newest book.

So I was visiting her web site for dinner ideas and found this one. Spicy Pork Chops, Costolette di Maiale Piccanti. When I went to the grocery store all I could find were very large jars of peppers. I did not want to buy a giant bottle of cherry peppers (why are they all so big?). So I did the logical thing… I omitted them.
For a side dish I made roasted beets (thank you Debi) lightly seasoned with olive oil and salt. Also made mashed potatoes, with the skins on and used Chicken broth instead of milk and than added some goat cheese...

My variation of Lidia's recipe
serves: 2 servings

2 3/4-inch-thick lean rib pork chops


all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 sprigs fresh rosemary

1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

¾ cup white wine

1 cup chicken stock

Pat the pork chops dry with paper towels and sprinkles both sides of each lightly with salt. Coat the chops with flour and shake off any excess flour. Add oil large skillet and place over medium heat. Add the chops and cook, turning once, until golden brown on both sides, about 10 minutes. 

Reduce the heat to low. Tilt the skillet and spoon off as much of the fat as possible. Add the rosemary to the skillet. Add vinegar to skillet and cook, shaking the skillet occasionally, until almost evaporated, about 3 minutes. Pour the wine into skillet and cook until reduced by half, about 5 minutes. 

Add chicken stock to skillet, cover and simmer for 15 minutes, turning occasionally. Remove the chops to plates. The sauce should be slightly syrupy. If not, increase the heat to high and boil one to two minutes. Spoon the sauce over the chops.