Sunday, June 28, 2020

Not Grilled Pork Chops and Zucchini Fritters

The weather changed tonight's dinner from the grill to the oven. I do think the pork would have tasted better on the grill but the meat was flavorful and tender. I marinated the pork chops in 2 tsp of olive oil, 1 tsp of dijon mustard, 2 tbsp of soy sauce, 1 tsp of brown sugar, and salt and pepper. 30 minutes in a 375-degree oven and it was perfect!

Now about those Zucchini Fritters. They were a hit! One zucchini chopped pretty small and one shallot also chopped small. Let's say minced for both. Mix them in a bowl with 2 eggs, 1/4 cup of flour, 1/4 Parmesan Cheese, 2 tbsp fresh chopped parsley (or you can use dried parsley), salt, and pepper. The batter should be thick enough to drop spoonfuls.

Heat Vegetable oil, or whatever oil you like to use, in a large sauté pan and heat the oil. Drop the batter into the hot oil by spoonfuls. Remove the fritters when they are browned on all sides to a dish lined with paper towels. Salt them immediately after they come out of the oil. To quote Alton Brown, "You only get one chance to do this." Serve immediately!

Anyone For Cocktails?

On the weekends I like to have a cocktail while I am cooking dinner. This weekend I tried something new. I found a recipe on the Eating Well site. It was for a Blackberry-Rosemary Vodka and Soda. I was in. I picked up a small ($$) container of blackberries. If I had not spent so many years picking blackberries in my Father's garden I would cringe at the price I paid. But I remembered the damn thorns and was glad I was not pricked by them picking the berries. I had all the other ingredients in the house.

I made the syrup.

1 cup of Blackberries
1/4 cup of sugar
1/2 cup of water

Set a fine-mesh strainer over a heatproof bowl.
Muddle blackberries, rosemary, and sugar in a small saucepan until almost smooth.
Add water and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.
Cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant and deep purple, about 5 minutes.
Strain the mixture into the bowl, pressing on the solids to extract as much juice as possible. Refrigerate until cool, about 30 minutes.

After I got home from my much-needed hair appointment and started dinner Chris made the cocktail.
Vodka, we don't measure, was poured into a glass with ice. The blackberry syrup was added along with a splash of lime juice and a sprig of rosemary and a lime slice for garnish. WOW. Loved this.

Now onto Sunday afternoon. It was a lovely day and I decided to sit on the deck, so some embroidery and have a cocktail. I filled a large glass with ice and added some Vodka. I filled the glass with club soda and topped it with some of the Blackberry Syrup. Some blackberries and a lime slice as garnish. Winner!!

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Bacon Wrapped Cream Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breast

I found tonight's recipe on a blog, Pray Cook Blog. I am fine with that suggestion. I prepped the chicken early in the day and Chris took them out of the fridge about a 1/2 hour before I got home from a much-needed hair appointment!

30 minutes in a 375-degree oven.

WOW, this was so darn good. The chicken was moist and how could anyone complain about a dinner that consisted of chicken stuffed with cheese and wrapped in bacon. No brainer!
The side dish was zucchini fries. Kept the whole thing easy tonight.

Friday Night Baking is a Real Thing

How do I unwind after a week at work? I bake. If I can't bake on Friday night I feel a little sad. That means I am completely wiped out from week at work.

I like baking cookies and or something for breakfast on the weekend. I actually thought of doing a blog called Friday Night Baking. Yes, I already own the domain name!

This week I made 2 new recipes. Almond Icebox Cookies from Better Homes and Garden. An Almond Shortbread, who doesn't love shortbread!! And a Blueberry Crumb Cake. Blueberry Extra Crumb Cake from Joy The Baker.

The Almond Shortbread had to be baked on Saturday morning, the dough had to chill overnight : (

Oh but the finished product!! Wow. Light and almondy!! A nice crisp. This was a cookie you could not eat only one of. Winner!

The Blueberry Crumb Cake was a bit of a challenge. The recipe said to bake for 45 to 55 minutes. Well, I baked it for 45 minutes and then 55 and then another 10 and another 1 and...  I kept testing it with the cake tester and it was not looking like it was done. After maybe an hour and 30 minutes I took it out and it seemed like maybe it was done. I left it in the pan overnight, hoping for carry-over baking...

Fast forward to Saturday morning. The cake tasted amazing! That is the edges. Towards the center... tasty but was it baked all the way through? Let's just say if I was on The British Bake Off I would probably have to turn in my apron.

And this is what I like to do on Friday nights.

Friday, June 26, 2020

Thank You Rocco's Off Wooster For Making Dinner

Silly me! I thought I would make dinner tonight. Nope. This was too easy and too delicious. From Rocco's Off Wooster. Two of our favorites. Lucia's Favorite, really that is the name of this pie! And the classic Sausage and Pepper.  

 Lucia's Favorite - Mozzarella, eggplant, ricotta, and diced hot cherry peppers, white, please!

 The classic Sausage and Peppers!

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Lidia's Caprese Rice Salad

 Well, there was Grilled Rib Eye Steak but let's talk about the sides.

Or side in this case. Caprese Rice Salad. Rice, Mozzarella, Tomatoes, Basil. A light olive oil and lemon dressing. But wait. What are those green things? Fresh Peas from my sister's garden! Reviews were positive on the rice salad.
Summer started at 5:44 pm. We were watching the Belmont stakes at that time. But we got outside after the race. Beautiful evening. Hoping this summer is uneventful and healthy for everyone.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Pat's King of Steaks

Time - Quite a few years ago...Does it matter
Place - Philadelphia PA

The day was hot. We were in Pennsylvania for my niece's graduation from Villanova. We took a trip into Philadelphia to visit Pat's King of Steaks.

My nephew, Nicholas, gave us instructions on how to order. We made sure we had lines memorized.
It was love at first bite. The bread, the meat, the onions and why had I never had Cheez Whiz before!

During the next few years, my niece moved to Philadelphia to start her teaching career. My sister would pick me up at 7 AM on a Saturday morning. We would arrive in Philly around noon. We would pick up my niece and head to the King of Prussia Mall, AKA The Mother Ship. Shopping until the mall closed. Overnighted at The Macintosh Inn. Sunday mass at St. Mary's of the Mall. A quick stop back at the Mothership The Mall. We would bring Mary Lucia back to Philly stopping at Pat's King of Steaks to pick up subs for dinner back in CT. It was a way of life. Life was good. The subs were always good.

Fast forward a few years. Chris mentions that we will be receiving a delivery and I will have to alter my dinner menu on the day it arrives. I get no reply to the question, "What did you order?"

Pat's King of Steaks!!! 

The eight pack!!! We have Pat's King of Steaks in the freezer! We have Cheez Whiz in the freezer!

Life is good. And the subs were just as delicious as we remembered them. The only thing missing was The Mothership... ROAD TRIP!

Saturday, June 13, 2020


Yes, I am yelling. Yes, I finally made my absolute favorite summer dessert that my Mom always made. Chocolate Cream Pie. My Mom would pre-bake a pie crust and I would hope that she would fill it with her homemade pudding and then top it with whipped cream.

As much as I loved this pie I had never made it. Until now. I found this recipe on the blog written by someone that I wished was my next-door neighbor. What's Cookin Italian Style Classic Chocolate Cream Pie. I followed the recipe for the pudding and the pie. Honestly, this was quite good.

I used my usual pie crust recipe and the What's Cookin Italian Style chocolate pudding recipe.
Wow, homemade pudding!!

And dinner was good too!  Delmonico Steaks with Greek Pasta Salad, recipe from The steaks were grilled perfectly.

Blueberries were on sale a Bishops so -
Blueberry Scones with Lemon Glaze for breakfast. Texture - perfect. Flavors- Perfecto!!!!

The scone recipe was a variation of a Tyler Florence recipe. I liked the idea of square scones.

Blueberry Scones:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold, cut in chunks
1 cup fresh blueberries
1/2 cup Greek Yogurt
1/2 cup Milk

Lemon Glaze:
2 tbsp  cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
1 lemon, zest finely grated

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Sift together the dry ingredients; the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Using 2 forks or a
pastry blender, cut in the butter to coat the pieces with the flour. The mixture should look like
coarse crumbs. Fold the blueberries into the batter. Take care not to mash or bruise the
blueberries because their strong color will bleed into the dough. Make a well in the center and
pour in the yogurt and milk. Fold everything together just to incorporate; do not overwork the

Press the dough out on a lightly floured surface into a rectangle about 12 by 3 by 1 1/4 inches.
Cut the rectangle in 1/2 then cut the pieces in 1/2 again, giving you 4 (3-inch) squares. Cut the squares in 1/2 on a diagonal to give you the classic triangle shape. Place the scones on an
ungreased cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and brush the tops with a little milk.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until beautiful and brown. Let the scones cool a bit before you apply
the glaze.

Mix the lemon juice with the confectioners' until dissolved. Whisk in the lemon zest. Then
drizzle the glaze over the top of the scones. Let it set a minute before serving.

Sunday, June 7, 2020

Chicken Saltimbocca and Zucchine Ripiene con Ricotta

Tonight I made a recipe that has not been made in a while. Damn this was good! Chicken Saltimbocca. I forgot to get the sage leaves and this is the first year I do not have a sage plant on the deck. Not to worry it was delicious without it. The meat was cooked perfectly! Score!

Chicken Saltimbocca

1 whole egg (or 2 egg whites)
1 Parchment paper
fresh sage leaves
4 skinless chicken cutlets
4 slices prosciutto
1/2cup dry unseasoned breadcrumbs
1 lemon, quartered (optional)

Heat oven to 375°. Lightly beat the egg in a bowl. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Press 4 sage leaves onto each cutlet; top each with 1 slice prosciutto. Carefully dip each prepared cutlet into egg; coat with breadcrumbs. Place on the baking sheet. Bake until chicken is cooked through, about 12 minutes. Garnish with lemon wedges, if desired.

For a side dish, along with a salad, I found the recipe for Zucchine Ripiene con Ricotta on my Pinterest page. I had all the ingredients so I had to make it. Not bad... the seasoning needed to be punched up a bit. Next time add crushed red pepper at least!

Zucchini Stuffed with Ricotta (Zucchine Ripiene con Ricotta)

2 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
1/2 cups homemade or store-bought ricotta
1/4 cup grated pecorino
1⁄4 cup fresh bread crumbs
1 tbsp. finely chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
1/2 tsp. chopped fresh oregano
1 egg yolk, beaten
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Using a small spoon, scoop out and discard pulp from each zucchini half, leaving a 1⁄4" rim around the edges. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add onions; cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 6 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
In a medium bowl, stir together the ricotta, the pecorino, the bread crumbs, the parsley, oregano, and egg yolks. Fold in the onion mixture and season with salt and pepper. Set the filling aside.
Arrange an oven rack about 7" from the broiler element and heat. Rub the insides of the zucchini with olive oil and season lightly with salt. Place zucchini cut side up on a foil-lined baking sheet and broil for 5 minutes. Remove baking sheet from oven and fill each zucchini half with enough of the ricotta mixture that it mounds slightly but doesn't spill over the edges of the zucchini. Sprinkle each stuffed zucchini with the remaining pecorino and bread crumbs and drizzle with the remaining olive oil. Bake 400˚ for 25 to 30 minutes

Saturday, June 6, 2020

Seared Scallops with Lemon Butter Sauce

There are a couple of things I am scared to make for dinner. A roast. It is such a large piece of meat. I find it intimidating. The other dish is scallops. Chris loves scallops and they are so easy to overcook. They have been a stressful dish for me to try. Until now...

These scallops, which were on sale at Big Y this week (!!), are the only way I will cook scallops from this day forward. 10 minutes!!! The sear was spot on. The cook was, even Gordon Ramsey would say, A Perfect 10!!!

 I found this recipe on the Completely Delish site.
Seared Scallops with Lemon Butter Sauce
1 lb large sea scallops
Salt and pepper
3 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
Juice of half a lemon

Pat scallops dry with a paper towel and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.
Melt butter in a large skillet set over medium-high heat. Add thyme.
Add scallops seasoned side down and cook without disturbing for 3-4 minutes until well browned.
Flip scallops over and cook until browned, about 2-3 minutes. While scallops are cooking, spoon the butter over the tops to infuse more flavor.
Squeeze lemon juice over the scallops and serve.