Thursday, July 29, 2021

Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato

Not that there is ever a wrong time to have a BLT, but this time of the year is the BEST time to make one. The tomatoes are coming in nicely. The selection is growing at the farm stands.

It is the taste of summer.

Side dish - Air Fryered Smashed Potatoes.

Air Fryer Smashed Potatoes

1 1/2 lb baby Yukon Gold potatoes 
2 cups chicken stock 
1/4 cup unsalted butter (1/2 stick) – melted
2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp dried parsley
1/2 tsp paprika
Kosher sea salt & freshly ground black pepper

Place the potatoes in a medium-sized pot.
Pour in the broth, enough to cover the potatoes.

Bring to a boil and cook until potatoes are fork-tender.

Drain the potatoes and transfer them to a cutting board.

In a small bowl combine the melted butter, olive oil, parsley & paprika.

Dip the bottom of a small drinking glass in the butter mixture and gently press the potatoes with the bottom of the glass. 
Dip the glass into the butter as needed while smashing the potatoes.

Be careful not to smash them too hard so they break apart.

Just enough to flatten slightly.

Preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees.

Spray or lightly coat the air-fryer basket with a little bit of olive oil.

Gently transfer the potatoes in one layer to the basket of the air fryer.

Brush some of the butter mixtures with a basting brush over the tops.

Sprinkle salt & pepper evenly over the potatoes.

Air fry for 10 minutes at 400 degrees.

Remove the basket & gently flip the potatoes.

Brush with more of the butter mixture. Season again with salt & pepper.

Continue to air-fry for 8 minutes at 400 degrees until crispy and browned.

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

30 Minute Chicken with Zucchini and Orzo

I stood in front of the open fridge and said what the hell am I making for dinner.
Well, this was pretty darn good.

Chicken cutlets seasoned with salt and pepper on both sides.
Heat olive oil in a frying pan.
Add chicken. About 4 minutes per side.
Place chicken on a plate and cover with foil to keep warm.
Add a touch more oil to the pan. 
Add diced shallots, sliced zucchini, and halved cherry tomatoes. The amounts depend on what you have in your fridge.
Sauté the vegetables for about 5 minutes until the veggies are tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Add white wine. Cook the wine down.
Add some tomato sauce and heavy cream.
Add chicken, along with the juices on the plate, and simmer until the chicken is cooked through. A meat thermometer should read 165˚.
Serve on top of orzo. 
I topped the chicken with sliced Burrata Cheese and chopped basil.

Meanwhile the cats were asking me the question "So what are we having for dinner?"

Saturday, July 24, 2021

Grilled Pork Chops and Zucchini Fritters

Pork. My favorite Saturday night protein. Tonight we grilled. I marinated the center cut, bone-in pork chops in a mixture of 2 tbsp. Olive oil, 1 tsp Dijon mustard, 1 tsp brown sugar, 1 tbsp soy sauce, salt, and pepper. 
They were grilled perfectly.

We had Cole's corn on the cob because you have to eat it whenever you can. It is just that good.

Then I decided to add Zucchini Fritters to the table. Easy and quick and really good. 

Simple preparation-
One zucchini, chopped pretty small and one shallot also chopped small. 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 with a soup spoon. 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. 

Friday, July 23, 2021

Seared Scallops with Lemon Butter Sauce and Crab Cakes

Vacation Day Dinner! I made this scallop recipe last year and decided it was going to be our go-to scallop recipe. It was easy and delicious.

I found this recipe on the Completely Delish site. I forgot to add the thyme... Oh well.

The Crab Cake recipe is from Quattro's. Spot on!

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.

Quattro's Crab Cakes

1/4 cup of diced red peppers
1 oz chopped shallots
1 oz chopped scallions
1 egg
1/2 lb Lump Crab Meat
1 cup crushed Ritz Crackers
2 tbsp mayonnaise
1 tsp Dijon Mustard
Salt & pepper to taste

Saute peppers, shallots, and scallions. Let them cool off.

In a bowl, mix all the other ingredients, (I left out the egg), along with the sauteed vegetables once they are cooled.

Divide into 6 equal parts, then form into cakes.

Using a non-stick pan, heat up to medium and place the crab cakes in the pan. Cook until golden brown on both sides.

Sauce Ingredients-
1/2 teaspoon diced shallots
1/2 tsp scallions
1 tbsp butter
3 oz. sherry wine
juice from one lemon
1/2 cup white wine

In a pan, melt butter then add all ingredients. Bring to a boil and simmer until it reduces. Pour over crab cakes.

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Sheet Pan Cashew Chicken

Another Sheet Pan Dinner. And another standing ovation. Rave reviews are pouring in. Well, Chris liked it. Fast prep. Delicious dinner. Perfect midweek meal.

This recipe came from The Recipe Critic site with my edits.


For the Sauce

6 tablespoons low sodium-soy sauce

1 tablespoon hoisin sauce

3/4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons honey

1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

1/2 teaspoon fresh minced ginger

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1/2 cup water, plus more as needed to thin out the sauce

For the chicken and vegetables-

2 medium skinless, boneless chicken thighs or breasts, cut into 1" inch cubes

Salt and black pepper to taste

1 1/2 cups zucchini, chopped

1 red bell pepper, cut into chunks

2/3 cup roasted unsalted cashews


chopped green onions or sesame seeds

Preheat oven to 400°Line a large sheet pan with parchment paper or foil coated with cooking spray and set aside.

Season chicken with salt and black pepper, then drizzle spoonfuls of sauce over the chicken coating well on both sides. Reserve at least half of the sauce for later.
Cook in preheated oven for 8 minutes, then removes the pan.

Arrange the zucchini, bell peppers, and cashews in a single layer around the chicken. Season the vegetables with salt and pepper and drizzle spoonfuls of the sauce and toss everything to coat. Return to the oven and cook for another 8-12 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and juices run clear.

Remove pan from oven and drizzle with remaining sauce. Serve over rice or quinoa and garnish with green onions and sesame seeds, if desired.

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Air Fried Lasagna

Oh yeah. Air Fried Lasagna is a thing. A delicious thing. 6 minutes per side at 360˚. Yeah. I am not sure how I found this recipe, but grateful that I did. Evidently, this is an Olive Garden copycat recipe. 

You remember the Olive Garden. That place that my Father swore made the greatest Pasta Fagioli. Sigh...

Well, damn is this in an Olive Garden recipe I am impressed.  You want to try the recipe. Just click here.



Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Parmesan Crusted Sheet Pan Chicken

I think we have a new favorite recipe! Parmesan Crusted Sheet Pan Chicken.
Chicken, Potatoe, Green Beans all coated with olive oil and cheese. Baked on one pan. What's not to love about this!!?!! The flavors were perfect. Everything was cooked to the perfect temp. Loved this!!

I found the recipe on Of course, I made a couple of small changes...

For the Potatoes:
1 lb red potatoes, but into bite-sized pieces 
2 Tbsp olive oil
Tbsp grated Parmesan
salt and pepper to taste

For the Green Beans:
1/2 lb fresh green beans, ends trimmed
Tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

For the Chicken:
1 lb chicken breast, cut into 1-inch strips
Tbsp olive oil
 grated Parmesan
1/4 c breadcrumbs
½ tsp cracked pepper
½ - ¾ tsp sea salt

Preheat oven to 425°F.

Line a sheet pan with parchment paper for easier cleaning.
In a medium bowl, toss all ingredients for the potatoes together and stir well to evenly coat. 

Spread the potatoes on ⅓ of the pan and place in the oven for about 15 to 20  minutes.

Place the Green Beans in the same bowl and coat the beans. 

Put the beans in a dish and then add the chicken with its ingredients to the bowl and stir to coat. 

Remove the pan with the potatoes from the oven and add the chicken and the beans.

Bake for about 25 minutes or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F. 

Remove from oven and allow to cool several minutes before serving. 

Monday, July 12, 2021

Picnic Pasta

Well, this is not as colorful as I was hoping. But it tasted quite good. The secret is Greek Yogurt. Greek Yogurt. Plain Greek Yogurt. 

Christ sent me this recipe to try. We loved it! Had some trouble finding the cornichons. I substituted small dill pickles. And we left out the Fennel. Evidently one of us is not a fan.

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup low-fat Greek yogurt 
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar 
1 tablespoon honey 
1/2 cup drained cornichons, chopped 
1/2 cup mixed chopped fresh herbs such as tarragon, basil, and dill, roughly chopped 
1/4 cup drained capers, chopped 
4 small inner stalks celery and the leaves, chopped fine 
1 small bulb fennel, chopped fine 
1 pound short pasta such as casarecce, fusilli, or elbow, cooked and cooled 
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 

Whisk together the mayonnaise, yogurt, vinegar and honey in a large bowl. Stir in the cornichons, herbs, capers, celery, and fennel until combined. Add the pasta and salt and toss until well coated.

Sunday, July 11, 2021

Chicken Cutlets with Sun-Dried Tomato Cream Sauce

The recipe is from A 20-minute meal. Gotta love it. The flavors were amazing and it was so easy!!!! Did I mention that the sauce was perfect?
20 minutes! Barely time to make the side dish (see below).

1 pound chicken cutlets 
¼ teaspoon salt, divided
¼ teaspoon ground pepper, divided
½ cup slivered oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, plus 1 tablespoon oil from the jar
½ cup finely chopped shallots
½ cup dry white wine
½ cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Sprinkle chicken with 1/8 teaspoon of each salt and pepper. Heat sun-dried tomato oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook, turning once, until browned and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 165 degrees F, about 6 minutes total. Transfer to a plate.

Add sun-dried tomatoes and shallots to the pan. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Increase heat to high and add wine. Cook, scraping up any browned bits until the liquid has mostly evaporated, about 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and stir in cream, any accumulated juices from the chicken, and the remaining 1/8 teaspoon of each salt and pepper; simmer for 2 minutes. Return the chicken to the pan and turn to coat with the sauce. Serve the chicken topped with the sauce and parsley.

The side dish was RIcotta Fritters from An Italian in My Kitchen.
Another well-received dish.  I think next time I will try them with homemade ricotta and add some spice. Not that I thought they were bland, but I could use a bit of kick to this. Of course, Chris did like them made according to the recipe...
Here is the link for the recipe. There is a lot of helpful hints for this recipe on the site.

Saturday, July 10, 2021

Baked Zucchini Parmesan

Thank you Lenore for the Zucchini from the garden. 

I found a nice recipe on The Italian in My Kitchen site for Baked Zucchini Parmesan.
This was a perfect side dish with our steak tonight. I made it earlier in the day and just reheated it before dinner.

This is the recipe from An Italian in My Kitchen, minus the Pancetta from the original recipe.

3 small tender zucchini
1½ teaspoons salt
½ cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon olive oil
1½ cups shredded firm mozzarella
¾ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon fresh Italian parsley, chopped

Pre-heat oven to 350°, lightly grease with olive oil a small to medium baking pan.

Shred the cheese and mix the parmesan cheese with the chopped parsley. Set aside.

Slice the zucchini lengthwise into strips that are not too thick. Place them in a large bowl and toss them with the salt. Let sit for 20 minutes then drain but do not rinse. Then paper towel dry the zucchini to remove as much excess moisture as possible. These steps are important because the salt and towel drying will draw out the excess liquid in the zucchini. That’s what keeps it from turning mushy in the oven.

Place the flour in a shallow dish and dredge each zucchini slice in it.

First, do an even layer of zucchini slices in the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle 1/3 or 1/4 of the mozzarella (depending on how many layers you want to make) on top then finish with 1/3-1/4 of the grated parmesan, add another layer of each repeating this process until you’ve used up the ingredients.

Bake the casserole for about 25 minutes. Let it stand at room temperature for about five minutes before slicing and serving. 


Monday, July 5, 2021

Grilled Salmon in Foil

Both Lucy, yes the cat, and I enjoyed dinner tonight. 

I placed the piece of salmon on a piece so parchment and wrapped it up in a foil packet. I put a little butter on top of the fish along with salt, pepper, fresh basil, thyme, and parsley. 

Chris grilled the packet for about 14 minutes. Flaky and perfectly cooked and flavors were nice and light.

Sunday, July 4, 2021

Sausage Patties with Roasted Peppers

Sausage Patties with Roasted Peppers was what was for dinner for the 4th of July. The weather was really crappy, but we were lucky to be able to grill. I made Chef Silvio's recipe for Roasted Peppers to put on top of the sausage.

6 large yellow and/or red peppers
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 large garlic cloves, cut into slivers
20 pitted Calamata olives
2 heaping teaspoons capers
1/2 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 tablespoons fresh bread crumbs
Cook peppers on a grill or bake on a sheet pan at 450˚, turning frequently, until charred all around. Place them in a closed brown bag and let rest for 1/2 hour. Take peppers out, remove stems and seeds, and peel. Cut into 1-inch strips and place in a bowl. Add oil, garlic, olive, capers, half of the parsley, and salt and pepper to taste, and give a good mix. Place in a shallow baking pan, sprinkle with bread crumbs, and bake at 400˚ for 10 minutes, or until the top turns light brown and a bit crusty. Using a metal spatula, transfer them to a serving dish and sprinkle with the rest of the parsley.

Saturday, July 3, 2021

Chicken Francaise My Way

Simple and Fast. I made  Chicken Francaise but did not follow a recipe. I just went with my gut on this and it received rave reviews. The only thing I left out from the "recipe" was the egg. I just dredged the chicken in flour and put it in a hot saute pan that had butter and olive oil heated. About 3 to 4 minutes per side and then put the chicken on a plate and covered it with foil. To the pan I added white wine. That cooked down and I added lemon juice and parsley. The chicken went back into the pan for about 3 to 4 minutes. That was it. Fast, simple and delicious.