Thursday, April 30, 2020

Escarole & Bean Soup and a Memory

This dinner could not have been easier.
Take chicken broth out of the freezer and thaw.
Dice onions, carrots, and celery.
Saute vegetables in a hot pan with olive oil until soft.
Add thawed Chicken Broth with an equal amount of water to the pan.
Heat to boiling.
Add rinsed and sliced escarole.
Add Parmesan rind. Thank you Ralph!
Bring to boil.
Reduce to simmer for 30 minutes, or until escarole is cooked.
Add drained can of beans and season soup with salt and pepper.
Remove Parmesan Rind and serve!

I just have to share a memory that popped up in my head. Tonight 14 years ago was the last time that our entire family gathered around my parent's dining room table. My Mom's wake was 14 years ago tonight and after the wake one of my parent's friends, I am pretty sure it was Mrs. Gilbert, sent over an amazing spread of food from Lorenzo's in West Haven. I remember sitting there in the dining room thinking that my Mom would have been happy that we were all together.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Orzo Carbonara with Proscuitto and Burrata

I am not sure which word got me on the recipe. Prosciutto, Burrata, or 20 Minutes.  This was an amazing dinner. 20 minutes! That's all it took. The recipe is from the Half Baked Harvest blog. The writer takes drool-worthy photos and her recipes always look and sound delicious.
And this was the first time I have ever made a Carbonara Sauce. The whole egg thing used to make me nervous. But with the Covid 19 lurking, I figured what the hell.

Wow, I love Carbonara!
 I loved dinner. Chris loved dinner. I have enough leftovers for lunch. Perfect!

Click here for the recipe.

Monday, April 27, 2020

Cornish Pasties

It has been a while since I have made a Mark Bittman recipe. This one came together perfectly. I had all the ingredients. Well almost all of them. Rutabaga in something I have never used. Not sure if I have seen one in person. I googled a substitution and the turnip was mentioned. So on my one shopping trip of the week, I bought a turnip. I decided not to use the turnip in this dish. I looked at it and decided it was not needed. The turnip will be used another time.

Back to the recipe. I found this in the Mark Bittman Book How to Bake Everything. The recipe received rave reviews!

This is my version of the recipe. I scaled it down for two servings.

Pate Brise Dough, Click Here for Recipe
10 oz cups ground beef
1 potato, peeled and diced
1 small onion, chopped
1 medium carrot, peeled and diced
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 egg, beaten

Make Pate Brise dough. Divide the dough into two pieces. Wrap in wax paper, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Mix together the ground beef, potatoes, onions, carrots, thyme, rosemary, Worcestershire sauce and salt and pepper in a large bowl. 
For each pasty, roll out a piece of dough into an 8-inch circle. On one half of the circle place half of the beef mixture.
Fold the dough over, forming a half-moon. Moisten the edges with some of the egg, and seal the edges, crimping them with a fork. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. On the top of each pasty, cut several small slashes with a sharp knife. Brush with egg.

Bake in a 375-degree oven for  45 minutes or until the pasties are nicely browned. Serve hot.

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Pot Roast Part Two

Last night we made Chef Michael Symon's Mom's Pot Roast. I am not a fan of the pot roast. It always comes out dry and bland. Last night was not the case. It was actually something I did not dislike. Chris liked it more than I did but I did not hate it.

Now tonight I use the leftovers to make a Leftover Pot Roast Pattie Melt. I loved this!
It was grilled cheese with meat. What's not to love. I found this recipe on the Let's Dish blog. Click here for the recipe.

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Pork Steak

I do love this cut of meat. It is cheap and it is ready in less than 30 minutes. I used this recipe once before and I just love it.

For a side dish, I roasted potatoes and carrots.

Ingredients -

Melt butter in a skillet, and mix in the soy sauce. Saute the green onions until lightly browned.
Place the pork steaks in the skillet, cover, and cook 8 to 10 minutes on each side. The time depends on the thickness of your steaks. Ours were not that thick. I did 5 minutes per side. Remove cover, and continue cooking another 5 minutes, or to an internal temperature of 145 degrees F.

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Chicken with Bacon, Leeks and Thyme Scones

Tonight's dinner is from the magazine, Food To Love - Slow Cooker Recipes. This recipe was quite the hit. The chicken was moist. The sauce was amazing. The "scones" well they were spot on! We received approval to make this again.

Of course, I had to alter the recipe. Chris does not like chicken thighs, so I used bone-in chick breasts. I am not a huge tarragon fan and I had fresh thyme in the fridge so the scones were changed to Thyme Scones. And I forgot to add the frozen peas!

2 tbsp olive oil
2 bone-in chicken breast
3 oz bacon chopped finely
1 leek, white parts only, sliced thinly
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup white wine
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/3 cup whipping cream
1 tbsp wholegrain mustard

Thyme "Scones" Ingredients-
1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 tbsp cold butter, chopped
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
2 tbsp parmesan cheese
1 tsp fresh finely chopped thyme
1/2 of an egg, beaten
1 tbsp buttermilk

Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat; cook chicken for 5 minutes, turning until well browned. Transfer to a 5-quart slow cooker.
Cook bacon and leeks in the Dutch oven for 5 minutes, or until leeks are soft.
Add flour; cook. stirring, for 3 minutes. Gradually stir in wine, then broth, cream, and mustard; bring to a boil. Transfer to the slow cooker. cook, covered, on low, for 4 hours. season with salt and pepper to taste.
Make the Scones.
Place the flour in a medium bowl. Using your fingertips, rub in the butter. Stir in Parmesan and thyme. Stir in egg and enough buttermilk to make a soft sticky dough.
Drop level tablespoons of the scone mixture about 3/4 inch apart on top of the chicken mixture. Cook, covered, on the high setting for 30 minutes or until the scones are firm to touch and cooked through.
Serve the chicken mixture topped with scones.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Chicken Pot Pie

One of our favorite dinners, especially when I have extra crust in the freezer. When I was prepping for the Easter Meat Pies I made a couple of extra batches of crust. It's like money in the bank.

Pate Brisee Recipe, with Pepper -

Ingredients -
1/2 tsp salt
1 pinch granulated sugar

1 tsp black pepper
5-1/2 Tbsp (2/3 stick) sweet butter, chilled

3 Tbsp vegetable shortening, chilled
1/4 cup ice water

Method -
Sift the flour, salt, pepper, and sugar together into a bowl; add butter and shortening and cut them into dry ingredients with a pastry blender or 2 knives until the mixture is like a coarse meal.
Sprinkle on and blend in enough of the ice water to make a workable dough, mixing water in lightly with a fork.
Turn dough out onto your work surface and, using the heel of your hand, smear the dough away from you, about 1/4 cup at a time. Scrape up the smeared dough into a ball, wrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. 

The Pot Pie -
1 pound Rotisserie Chicken, cut into bite-size pieces
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot chopped
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 3/4 cups milk 
1 10-ounce package frozen mixed vegetables
1 tablespoon fresh thyme 
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp black pepper 
Pate Brise dough

Heat oven to 400° F.
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 brown.

Tuesday, April 14, 2020


We have been watching Chef Michael Symon's cooking videos every night at dinner. It reminds me was watching the Mike Douglas show at dinner when I was little. A couple of nights ago he made Pasticcioish. It was suggested we have this for Easter but I had other plans.

I opted for a night during the week after Easter. I made the sauce on Saturday so tonight I just had to make the Bechamel Sauce and cook the pasta. Then in the oven for 30 minutes and we were done!

During the video, Chef Symon mentioned that his mother uses a long thin pasta that was like spaghetti but had a hole it in. I found that pasta at Fresh Market.

The sauce was tasty. I think we would have preferred our usual Bolognese sauce. The cinnamon in the sauce is not something we are accustomed to.

The Bechamel Sauce was spot on if I do say so myself.

I made 1/2 of the recipe and we have enough leftover for a whole meal.

Click here for the recipe.

Monday, April 13, 2020

Cheesesteak Stuffed Peppers

And we start off the week strong. Cheesesteak stuffed in pepper. Winner!

2 bell peppers, halved
1 tbsp. oil1/2 large onion, sliced
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 lb. sirloin steak, thinly sliced
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
8 slices provolone
Preheat oven to 325º. Place peppers in a large baking dish and bake until tender, 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil. Add onions and season with salt and pepper. Cook until soft, 6 minutes. Add steak and season with more salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 3 minutes. Stir in Italian seasoning.
Add provolone to bottom of baked peppers and top with steak mixture. Top with another piece of provolone and broil until golden, 3 minutes.

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Happy Easter

This was weird. This was the first Easter that I have not celebrated with my sister and her family. Just Chris and I this year. Even the cats were snoozing for most of the day.

But what do I make for dinner???

We started with the world's smallest antipasto tray. Just enough for 2 of us and we wanted to save room for dinner. This was a small container that I picked up at Fresh Market.

The entire dinner came from The Complete Cooking For Two Cookbook. The recipes resulted in perfect dishes. Roast Rack of Lamb with Whiskey Sauce. Pan-Roasted Asparagus and Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes.

Roast Rack of Lamb with Whiskey Sauce.
1 rack of lamb (8 ribs), frenched and well-trimmed of fat.
salt and pepper
1 teaspoon oil

Whiskey Sauce:
1 shallot, minced (~3 tablespoons)
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1/2 teaspoon flour
5 tablespoons Scotch whiskey (or another type)
3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
salt and pepper


Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position, place a rimmed baking sheet on the rack, and preheat to 425º.

Pat lamb dry with paper towels and season generously with salt and pepper.  Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking.  Carefully lay the lamb in the skillet, meat side down, and cook until well browned 3 to 4 minutes.  Reduce heat to medium, and, using tongs, hold the rack upright to brown the bottom, 2 to 3 minutes longer.  Transfer the lamb to the hot baking sheet in the oven and roast for 12-15 minutes until the center reaches 125º on an instant-read thermometer (for medium-rare).  Transfer lamb to a carving board, tent loosely with foil, and let rest for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, pour off all but 1 teaspoon of the fat remaining in the skillet and return to medium heat until shimmering.  Add the shallot and rosemary and cook until softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the flour until incorporated.

Off the heat, slowly stir in 1/4 cup whiskey, scraping up any browned bits, and let sit until bubbling subsides about 1 minute.  Carefully return skillet to medium heat and simmer until whiskey has almost completely evaporated 2 to 3 minutes.  Stir in the broth and continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened slightly and reduced to 1/3 cup, 3 to 5 minutes.

Off the heat, discard the rosemary sprig and whisk in the remaining tablespoon whiskey, parsley, butter, lemon juice, and any accumulated lamb juice.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Cut the lamb racks into individual chops by slicing between the ribs, and serve with the sauce.

Next time I will let the meat get to 128˚. It was not too rare but a touch more cooking would not have done any harm. And I will double the sauce. We ended up with just enough. I do not think more would have gone to waste.

Pan-Roasted Asparagus

1 tbsp butter
2 tsp olive oil
lb fresh asparagus spear, trimmed  
Salt and pepper
1 tsp lemon juice

Heat butter and oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat until the butter is melted. Add half of asparagus to skillet with tips pointed in 1 direction and add remaining asparagus with tips pointed in opposite direction. Using tongs, distribute spears in an even layer. Cover with a lid and cook until asparagus is bright green and still crisp about 7 minutes.
Uncover, increase heat to medium-high and cook until the asparagus is tender and browned on one side, 3 to 4 minutes. Using tongs to transfer spears from center skillet to edges of skillet to ensure even browning. Season with salt and pepper to taste, drizzle with lemon juice and serve. 

 Cheese Scalloped Potatoes

2 oz mild cheddar cheese, shredded (1/2 cup)
1 1/2 tsp corn starch
1 oz Parmesan Cheese, grated (1/2 cup)
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 tsp minced fresh thyme or 1/4 tsp dried
1/3 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
12 oz potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/4 thick
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 425˚. Toss cheddar and 1 tsp corn starch together until well combined. Toss Parmesan and remaining 1/2 tsp corn starch together until well combined in a second bowl.
Heat oil in an 8-inch oven-safe skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion and cook until softened and lightly browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in thyme and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in broth, cream, potatoes, salt, and pepper, and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until potatoes are nearly tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
Off heat, stir in cheddar mixture and press potatoes into even layer, removing any air pockets. Sprinkle Parmesan mixture evenly over top and bake until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer potatoes to wire rack and let cool for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

We had a nice Chianti on the wine rack. Perfect pairing!

And dessert? I decided on just one pie. I think Chris liked Rice Pie best so that is what I made.
 This is my favorite pie recipe for Easter. Click here to try it yourself.


Saturday, April 11, 2020

11 Years of This And a Pattie Melt

When I realized that today was my 11 year anniversary of starting this blog I was surprised. I can still remember that day of baking and the glass of wine I had at the end of it all. I still wish I could pick up the phone and call my Mom. Heck, I wish I could pick up the phone and call my Dad.

Tonight for dinner I made a recipe from Chef Symon. Yes again with Chef Symon. We love watching his videos. And this dinner was really, really good.

The pork pattie melt. The pickles with the Sauerkraut, it was perfect. The patties maybe could have been a little thinner but who can complain!

On the anniversary note. I gave some thought to what I should post. I decided on my favorite post for each of the past 11 years.

August 2009. The 100th Post. This is the only cookie recipe you will ever need. Mom's Chocolate Chip Cookies.

January 2010. Lenore's Chicken Soup. More family recipes.

December 2011. Deviled Bones. Love the Christmas leftovers.

April 2012. The Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of. Seriously. Sweet dreams will be the result of this food.

August 2013. The Last Saturday at My Parents House. This was a tough one. Everything I cherished was coming to an end. The one place I could call home was going to be someone else's home. Hopefully, it will still be a home filled with love.

January 2014. Becco. I love Lidia.

February 2015. Cheesy Frankfurtuers, Potatoes, and Peppers. Childhood memories.

January 2016. This is the 2nd most searched recipe on the blog, Short Rib Farrotto with Carrots and Parsnip. 

July 2017. My Perfect Vacation Day.

April 2018. My Mom's Anginette Cookies.

June 2019. Lobster Oreganato. Wow. 

Here is to another 11 years of blogging. Rock on!

Friday, April 10, 2020

Fettuccine Alfredo

Good Friday. What a season of Lent this has been. Tonight we had one of our comfort foods.

The pasta recipe as always is from Tide and Thyme. I only made 1/2 of the recipe. Just enough for the 2 of us.

Fettuccine Alfredo -

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon pieces
Dried egg fettuccine
1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (1 cup) 

Melt butter in a large saute pan.
Cook fettuccine in a 6- to 8-quart pot of boiling salted water until al dente.
Reserve 1/2 cup pasta cooking water, then drain fettuccine in a colander.
Immediately toss the fettuccine with butter and salt in the sauté pan, then slowly add 3/4 cup cheese, tossing constantly and adding enough of the cooking water to keep pasta moist.
Season with salt and pepper to taste, then sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Monday, April 6, 2020

Michael's Pasta with Meat Sauce Part 2

Of course, we had leftovers from our meal on Saturday night, Michael's Pasta with Meat Sauce.
As soon as I realized there would be leftovers I knew what I was going to make. Baked Macaroni with 3 kinds of cheese.  Ricotta, Parmesan, and Mozzarella.

I tossed the leftover pasta with the 3 kinds of cheese, even used the same pan and topped the pasta with some breadcrumbs, parsley, and more Parmesan. Into a 400˚ oven for 20 minutes and dinner was ready.

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Palm Sunday Dinner...

Well. Here we are.
Watching Palm Sunday Mass on YouTube.
Eating dinner like it was any other Sunday.
I did do a quick, socially distanced Meat Pie drop off at my Sister's and my Brother's. My sister gave me 2 homemade facemasks in exchange for the Meat Pie. Usually, we have dinner at my Sister's house with my brother and his wife. I decided to make one of my favorite Springtime dishes,  heck any time of the year I can find them, Stuffed Artichokes. I love the recipe I use, It tastes the closest to my Mom's recipe that I have found. Thank you FoodBlogga for sharing this one.

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Michael's Pasta with Meat Sauce.

During this quarantine, Chris and I have started watching daily videos posted by Chef Symon. I first heard of him from the show The Chew. I actually made a recipe of his from the first episode.
We had his Mac and "Cheese" the past 2 nights for dinner. Tonight we made his Meat Sauce.
I have to admit his technique was very different from what I learned from my Mom. But I will try anything once.
What an amazing sauce we ended up with. Okay not breaking up the meat first is a good idea. Adding the onions after the meat is browned seemed to work too. Chris loved this sauce.
We also had it with homemade bread, always a nice addition. Click Here for Recipe!