Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Cobb Salad

That Slow Cooker Chicken and Potatoes and even the leftover steak were part of tonight's dinner. I added some hard-boiled eggs and bacon, olives, and tomatoes. No wasted food here. And I have leftovers of this salad for lunch tomorrow.

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Slow Cooker Chicken and Potatoes

A bit of nip in the air today. A perfect night for a roasted chicken. Not that I did not want to do much in the way of dinner prep for tonight but the slow cooker makes like so much easier.

I pinned this recipe a little while ago on the Pure Wow site. The only edit I made was to add celery and carrots to the bottom of the slow cooker. And with the drippings, I made a rather nice gravy if I do say so myself! Some steamed green beans from my sister's garden rounded this out to be a lovely Sunday supper. And we have leftover chicken which we will use in maybe a salad later this week.

Click here for the recipe on Pure Wow.

My No-Fail Gravy Recipe-

2 tbsp butter
2 1/2 tbsp flour
1 cup chicken broth, homemade or canned
salt and pepper
1 1/2 tbsp chicken drippings

Melt butter in a saucepan on medium-high heat.
Add the flour until it turns brown.
Slowly mix the chicken broth with a whisk.
Whisk constantly until it thickens.
Next, add the chicken drippings and serve hot.

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Bolognese Sauce and Home Made Pappardelle

This was the first sauce for the freezer for this fall season. Yes we have reached the time of year where I start stocking up the freezer with dinners, casseroles, soups and of course, sauce. I usually make my Mom's Sauce, but this Bolognese Sauce is so darn good. The recipe is Lidia's but I followed a tip I picked up from watching Michael Symon during the lock down. You add the meat first and let it brown before breaking it up. Those brown bits of meat are worth doing this step.

I ended up with 5 zip-lock bags of sauce for the freezer. Money in the bank!
For the pasta I made hand cut Pappardelle using the only pasta recipe I have ever used, the Tide and Thyme Recipe. This pasta and this sauce were meant to be together.

Click here for Lidia's Bolognese Sauce Recipe.

While the sauce was simmering for a few hours some of us caught up on our cat naps!


Saturday, September 12, 2020

My Favorite Saturday Night Dinner

Yes, I love pork chops. I love breaded pork chops that are browned on the stove top and finished in the oven.  I dredged the bone in chops first in beaten eggs and then in a mixture of plain and panko bread crumbs seasoned with fresh chopped rosemary, sage, thyme, parsley, salt and pepper. About 2 tablespoons or less of olive oil in a oven proof saute pan. Brown on both sides. When you flip to the second side add about a 1/4 of white wine. I added some sliced apples and let them camelize a bit.
Once both sides of the chops are slightly browned put the pan in a preheated 375 oven until the interior them of the chops is 145˚.

Side dishes were Arborio Rice and steamed green beans. The beans were from my sister's garden.

Friday, September 11, 2020

Friday Night With Zuppardi's Pizza!!

I have to say that I do like being able to pull a Zuppardi's Sausage Pie out of the freezer for a Friday night dinner. When you heat the pie up in the oven it is crazy because the aroma brings you back to West Haven and you are opening the door and walking in to Zuppardi's. That rush of pizza aroma hits you in the face and you are suddenly happy. And did I mention it is an easy clean up dinner? Click here to order yours today!

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Yes, We Had Fritos For Dinner

A delicious dinner. Fritos, meat, and cheese. How could you go wrong?

AKA Taco Casserole. The original recipe was from Martha Stewart but her recipe uses too many dishes for a mid-week meal.

1 pound ground beef
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium red bell pepper, diced
1/2 medium white onion, diced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes
1/2 can (15 ounces) whatever type of beans you have, drained and rinsed
2 cups yellow corn tortilla chips (Fritos!!)
1 cup freshly shredded Monterey jack cheese (3 ounces)
1 cup freshly shredded sharp cheddar cheese (3 ounces)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Heat a 10-inch cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add ground beef; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon to break up meat, until meat is browned, 10 minutes. 

Add bell pepper and onion. Cook, stirring, until tender and browning, 7 minutes. Add tomato paste; cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add chili powder, oregano and cumin, tomatoes (with liquid), pinto beans, and 2 tablespoons water; bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper.

Top casserole with chips and cheese. Bake until cheese is melted and golden in spots, about 3 minutes. Serve with sour cream.

Sunday, September 6, 2020

Double Cheese Chicken Roll Ups and Stuffed Tomatoes

I don't even know where to begin. Everything, even the green beans received rave reviews.

Let's start the protein. The Double Cheese Chicken Roll-Ups. I found this recipe on An Italian In My Kitchen. I made one little alteration to the original recipe. I added sliced provolone to the roll along with shredded Swiss Cheese. This was perfect! The meat was cooked perfectly and the flavors were just perfect. No complaints at all for this dish. Click here for the original recipe!

I served steamed green beans as a side dish. The beans were from my sister's garden.

I also made rice-stuffed tomatoes, a Lidia recipe, as another side. The tomatoes were from my sister's garden.

Rice Stuffed Tomatoes-

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 bay leaves
½ cup Arborio rice
4 medium tomatoes (about 2 ½ pounds), ripe but firm
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
1/2 cup Parmesan
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
Salt and pepper to taste
In a 1-quart saucepan, heat 1 1/2 cups salted water, 2 tablespoons of the oil and the bay leave to a boil. Stir in the rice and bring to a boil. Adjust the heat to a lively simmer and cook the rice, uncovered, until al dente, tender but firm, about 12 minutes. Most of the liquid should be absorbed and the texture of the rice is creamy. Drain any excess liquid from the rice and transfer the rice to a mixing bowl.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Cut a 1/2-inch slice from the top of each tomato and set aside. Scoop out the pulp and seeds with a teaspoon and drop into a strainer set over a bowl. Press on the pulp in the strainer to squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Reserve the liquid and discard the pulp in the strainer.

Toss the rice, mozzarella, 1/2 cup of the Parmesan, and the basil together in a small bowl. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

Gently stuff the tomatoes with the rice mixture, dividing it evenly. Top each tomato with the reserved slices. Using some of the remaining oil, brush a baking dish into which the tomatoes fit comfortably. Set the stuffed tomatoes in the dish. Add the strained liquid from tomatoes and, if necessary, pour in enough water to come about ¼ inch up the sides of the tomatoes. Drizzle the remaining oil over the tomatoes and sprinkle them with the remaining 1 tablespoon grated cheese. Cover the dish loosely with aluminum foil and bake 15 minutes.

Uncover the dish and bake until the tomatoes are very tender and the tops are lightly browned about 10 minutes. Remove tomatoes from the oven and let rest for a few minutes. Carefully transfer the tomatoes to a serving platter or individual plates. Swirl the juices in the pan to incorporate the oil into the juices and spoon the pan juices over and around the tomatoes. The tomatoes are best when served warm, with some of the pan juices drizzled over each serving.


Saturday, September 5, 2020

Sheet Pan Steak, Green Beans and Potatoes

 Kentucky Derby Day? 

First Saturday of September. 
2020. Nothing is normal. 
It was an exciting race.

For dinner we had Sheet Pan Steak, Beans and Potatoes. I love skirt steak and this one is marinated in Olive oil and Rosemary the baked in the oven with potatoes and green beans. Easy clean up!

The green beans were from my sister's garden. We will be seeing more of them this week!

The steak was cooked perfectly. Pat my self on the back!

The green beans and potatoes were perfectly roasted. No complaints about the vegetable in this one.

The recipe is from EatingWell.com.

Sheet Pan Steak, Green Beans and Potatoes

3/4 pound potatoes, cut into ½-inch wedges
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
¾ teaspoon salt, divided
¾ teaspoon ground pepper, divided
2 cups Green Beans
1 pounds skirt steak, trimmed
½ teaspoon dried rosemary
3 tablespoons crumbled blue cheese

Marinate the Skirt Steak in Olive Oil, salt, pepper, and fresh Rosemary.

Preheat oven to 425°F. Toss potatoes with 1 tablespoon oil and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper in a large bowl. Spread evenly on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast for 15 minutes.

Toss Green Beans with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper in the bowl. Stir into the potatoes on the baking sheet.

Place the steak on top of the vegetables. Roast until the steak is cooked and the vegetables are tender, 10 to 15 minutes more. Transfer the steak to a serving platter. Stir blue cheese into the vegetables and serve with the steak.


Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Pasta with Slow Cooker Meatballs

Dinner was just delicious. Slow Cooker Meatballs! Amazing!

I made the meatballs on Sunday. I had other things I needed to get done and did not have the time to spend in the kitchen. So I googled slow cooker meatballs and it was quite easy.

I opened a can of crushed tomatoes and a jar of Rao's Marinara Sauce and put that in the slow cooker, heating it up. Yes I used jarred sauce. 
I made my usual meatball recipe.

THE MEATBALL RECIPE - I tear up a couple pieces of bread, either a roll or Italian bread and add that with small amount of milk to a bowl and let it sit. You want the bread to get mushy. Squeeze out as much milk as you can from the bread.

Add the meat, I use beef and pork and veal, or just beef and pork. One egg, Parmesan Cheese, oregano, salt and pepper. Mix it gently with your hands and shape into what ever size meatball you like. Yes I use a kitchen scale so they are all the same size.

After the sauce was heated I put the meatballs into the slow cooker covered it and walked away for about 4 hours. The slow cooker was set on high.

Tonight made the pasta and enjoyed the meatballs.


Thursday, August 27, 2020

Zuppardi's Sausage Pie

Chris had said that we would be getting a delivery one day this week and our planned menu would change. The last time he said this was when he ordered Pat's King of Steaks Subs. I had no idea what to expect. Zuppardi's Pizza! Sausage Pie! Six of them! 

When I was growing up if we did not have my Mom's Pizza we were eating Zuppardi's. They were around the corner from our house.

I was so excited. Chris asked how many we should heat up. At first I said just one, but remembering I really did not have that much for lunch I said to heat up two. 

As they were heating up the aroma in the kitchen reminded me of walking in to Zuppardi's. And they pies were amazing. Perfect crusty, nice and crispy. No greasy pies here.

There were only 2 pieces left. I already put dibs on them for lunch tomorrow. 

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Herb Roasted Cherry Tomato Carbonara With Crispy Prosciutto Burrata


I made this recipe from the Half Baked Harvest blog because I had a few Cherry Tomatoes from last weeks shopping trip. I made a recipe similar to this one a couple of months ago. That had been my first attempt at Carbonnara Sauce. This was quite delicious.

I followed this recipe. If you try it my only recommendation is to separate the Prosciutto after mixing it in with the tomatoes. Other wise you will end up with clumps of Prosciutto.

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

20 Minute Creamy Chicken Skillet

Let me start by clearing up the timing of the dish. 20 minutes after you have all your mis en place together.
This recipe is from Eating Well. Around 300 calories per serving. Not bad.
The flavors were nice. The best part about this recipe was that I had all the ingredients in the house. 
Well except for the onion. So I substituted a Shallot. Good sub. Click here for the original recipe.

To go along with this I made a Marinated Cherry Tomato Salad. Again from Eating Well. Wow this was perfect. It had a nice mild dressing and the flavors of the the tomatoes were not hidden. Perfect tomato dressing! Click here for the original recipe.

Friday, August 7, 2020

Yeah! Power!

 I want to sent out a Thank You to Lenore and Ralph for the use of their shower this week. As I was pulling into their driveway this morning I got the call from Chris that power had been restored!

I worked a 1/2 day so I was able to go grocery shopping this afternoon. We have to replace lots of things in the fridge. I picked up 2 Porterhouse Steaks for $8.00 each. Stopped at Cole's for 2 ears of the best corn ever.

The owner of Mosaic Marketing, where I work, gave us a perfect bottle of Chianti.This was the fantastic dinner. We ate inside with the lights on!

Update: Tropical Storm Isaias

There was this storm, whose name I can not pronounce that wrecked havoc on us this week. We lost power at 2:30 PM on Tuesday. We got power back today, Friday, at 7:30 AM. 

We were very lucky not have any damage to the house. Lots of branches down but that was all.

We ate well during the power outage. We have a house rule - No Power/NO Dishes. That's right we have well water. And no I do not like camping.

On Tuesday I left work early before the storm arrived and I picked up a rotisserie chicken and some potato salad. I opted for the hormone free bird. The other option was the "super" bird. That just sounds scary.

Wednesday we split a sub from Rocco's Off of Wooster. Meatball and Sausage. Always a perfect dinner. Again no photos.

Thursday was an amazing dinner from Chapter One in Guilford. It was the Date Night Dinner. It consisted of Sangria! Damn Amazing! Salad. Nice. And the BEST Bolognese Sauce with Pasta! It came with Cheesecake too but too stuffed from dinner.

Next will be cleaning out the fridge and freezer. Yes we lost a lot of food but it could have been much worse. Hope everyone is staying safe.

Saturday, August 1, 2020

Lobster Rolls

We do not feel comfortable eating out in a restaurant, be it inside or even outside dining. We will to take away but that is it, for now. The summer in New England means Lobster Rolls. Our favorites are at Abbott's in Noank. Seeing we will not venture out I decided to make them at home. Lobster tails were on sale a the Big Y this week. I had all the other ingredients in the house.

The recipe is from Delish.com. Where they as good as Abbott's? Well they were not bad but it would have been nice to be sitting next to Long Island Sound...

3 (12-oz.) lobster tails, steamed, meat removed and chopped (3 c.)
1/4 c. butter, divided
4 split-top hot dog buns
2 tbsp. freshly chopped chives
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Lemon wedges, for serving
To Steam the Lobster- Visit this link for in depth instruction on lobster tails.

Melt 2 tablespoons of butter and brush all over cut sides of hot dog buns. Heat a large skillet on medium heat and add buns, cut side down. (You may have to do this in batches.) Let toast until golden, 1 to 2 minutes.

When buns are toasted, remove from pan and add remaining butter. Reduce heat to low. When butter has melted add lobster and cook, stirring constantly to coat lobster with butter. Remove when lobster is completely coated in butter and warmed through, 3 to 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Fill toasted buns with lobster and garnish with chives. Serve with lemon wedges on the side for squeezing.

And the side dish. Zucchini Fritters. Yeah fried balls of dough with Zucchini and Shallots. How can that be bad!

And dessert!! Yeah it's the weekend. That Blueberry Crisp I made last night. Wow, really, really good!
The recipe can be found on FridayNightBaking.com. I told you it was a real thing!

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Fried Dinner!

This recipe is from a post from 2018. The original recipe was from Bon Appetit. I added a few ingredients this time. We had no leftovers. And it took less then 30 minutes and there were very few dishes in the sink. Winner, Winner!

To a saute pan with heated olive oil add the thinly sliced potatoes. clear a space in the center of the pan ad place sliced Italian bread. I did 2 at a time while the potatoes were frying.  Cook until both sides of the bread are browned. Remove the bread to a serving dish. At this point I added chopped onion and shallots. I sauteed them for about 2 minutes adding some chopped Swiss Chard, obviously rinsed and de-stemmed. Cook that down until it wilts. I added about a 1/4 cup of water and cover the pan for a few minutes. Uncover the pan and add a small drained can of chickpeas and saute for a couple of minutes. Uncover the pan and add one or two sliced hot dogs. Cook until the hot dogs have crispy edges. Season with salt, pepper, oregano. Put this mixture on top of the bread on the serving dish. Add a bit of butter to the pan and fry a couple of eggs. Place the eggs on top of the chard mixture and dig in.

Did I mention there are no leftovers! I think I saw someone eating Swiss Chard...

Sunday, July 19, 2020

Frittata with Squash Flowers and Proscuitto

Disclaimer this is something I made for my lunch at work this week.

But isn't it pretty!
A simple frittata, only 3 eggs, salt, pepper, parmesan, parsley, squash flowers, and Proscuitto.
Even if I eat my lunch at my desk it will be delightful!

On the dinner side of things, we had grilled Swiss Steak. I used a marinade that consisted of -

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Stuffed Zucchini Flowers

Zucchini Flowers two days in a row! It is not like we eat this all the time. Yes, tonight I made Fried Zucchini Flowers again but this time they were stuffed. I had the batter leftover from last night's dinner. I used a recipe for Bon Appetit for the stuffing. I only made enough for 4 flowers. I used about 3 tbsp Ricotta, one mint leaf that was chopped up, some lemon zest, salt, and pepper. I served them with a side of sauce. They were not bad but I do like plain fried flowers better.

Burgers and Potato Salad. The burgers were from Ferraro's. The Potato Salad was a recipe from the box that contains recipes I collected when we were first married.

Tonight we had Classic Potato Vinaigrette Salad. There was no notation of where the recipe was from. But I know why I saved it! Delicious!

Classice Potato Vinaigrette Salad (makes 3 cups)

1# new potatoes
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1/2 tbsp Dijon Mustard
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tbsp oil oil
2 tbsp minced shallots
1/2 cup chopped celery
2 tbsp chopped parsley

Boil potatoes in salted water, just until tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain Cool slightly. Dice.
Whisk vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Whisk in oil. Add shallots & warm potatoes. Cool.
Stir in celery and parsley.

Friday, July 17, 2020

Uncle Art's Recipe for Fried Squash Flowers

Today I had a much-needed vacation day. I went fabric shopping with my sister Lenore. She came over with a beautiful bouquet of squash flowers from her garden.

When Chris and I were first married I worked as manager of an ice cream store that was very close to where my Godparents lived. Once and a while I would get a call my Godfather, Uncle Art, asking if I could stop by on my way home from work. He had something for me. I love my Aunt and Uncle and I would do anything they asked of me. I would pull up to the house and my Uncle would pop out of the kitchen and give me a greasy paper bag. It was filled with Fried Squash Flowers. Oh, the aroma! Oh, the grease! I would eat the whole bag while I drove home. Ah, memories.

Fortunately, I had asked my Uncle for his recipe. Here it is -
 The batter -
 The flowers ready for the batter, remember to remove the piston.

 Sprinkle with salt as soon as you remove the flowers from the oil!!!!!
 This was a perfect vacation day dinner! Yes, that is fresh corn on the cob from Cole's Farm Stand!