Saturday, September 24, 2022

Chicken Cacciatore

Another meal from the freezer. This time Chicken Cacciatore. I made this last Sunday and today I was out with my sister visiting the Mark Twain House so this made dinner a bit easier.

The recipe is from La Cucina, The Regional Cooking of Italy. It is one of a few different recipe for Chicken Cacciatore in the book. This is one of my favorites.

2 tbsp. unsalted butter
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
cut-up chicken 
1/2 cup dry white wine 
1/2 lb plum tomatoes, peeled and chopped
1 green or yellow pepper, cleaned of seeds, and chopped 
Salt and pepper

Heat the butter and olive oil in a pan and add the onion. When the onion is golden, add the chicken pieces and let them brown. Pour in the wine, add the tomatoes and sweet pepper, and adjust for salt and pepper. Cover and cook at low heat until the chicken is cooked through, about 20 minutes.

Visting the Mark Twain House today.

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Pasta with Mom's Meat Sauce

This sauce was made on Sunday. I have 3 more zip lock bags of this sauce in the freezer. AKA "Money in the Bank."

My Mom’s Meat Sauce

2 tbsp. olive oil
1 clove garlic
1 medium onion, chopped
1 lb. ground beef
1 lb. ground pork
1/2 lb. sweet sausage
1/2 lb. hot sausage
4- 28 oz. cans crushed tomatoes
tomato paste
1 tbsp. oregano
1 tbsp. parsley
1 tbsp. basil
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup red wine

Heat olive oil in a large pot. Add garlic and chopped onions and saute for 5 minutes. 

Add all the meat. Cook over medium heat until browned. Meat does not need to be cooked through. Drain off as much of the fat from the bottom of the pan that can.

Add tomatoes and simmer covered for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Add tomato paste to thicken, adding 1 tbsp. at a time as needed. Add herbs, salt, and pepper and simmer for 10 minutes. Add wine, cover, and simmer for 10 to 20 minutes. 

Remove clove of garlic and let cool completely. 

Monday, September 19, 2022

Sheet Pan Sausage and Peppers

This dinner, checked off the two main boxes for a weeknight dinner.

30 minutes and dinner was on the table*. Super easy cleanup. 

*Disclaimer - I did cut up the onions and peppers before leaving for work today.

When I got home, I pierced the sausage with a fork and tossed it with the vegetables in a bowl with olive oil, salt, pepper, oregano, parsley, basil, Italian seasoning, and grape tomatoes.

Onto an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet.

Into a 375˚ oven for 30 minutes, stirring everything twice.

Next stop, the dinner table with some Italian bread.

Sunday, September 18, 2022

Just Another Sunday

I like having food prepared in the freezer. For dinner, I don't mind coming home and making dinner, but there is something wonderful about coming home and having dinner already prepared.

Today I made a large pot of Meat Sauce, my Mom's recipe.

Meatballs. 2 sizes. Both are made in the air fryer and finished in the sauce.
Small ones for tonight's pizza and larger ones for subs this week.

Chicken Cacciatore. Portioned for 2 nights dinners.

2 portions of Spaghetti Squash and Cheese.
The Spaghetti Squash was Air Fried. Only 25 minutes!!!

And for lunch, Air Fried Tofu.

Then there was dinner. Pizza!!!! Meatball Pizza!!! Oh, quite good.

Sunday, September 11, 2022

Game Day Chili

Week One is in the books.

The New Orleans Saints and the NY Giants both win.

Dinner was Game Day Chili. Another winner!!!

Unfortunately, I do not know where I found this recipe, but it is a house favorite.


1 pounds lean ground beef 
1 onion, chopped 
1 small green bell pepper, chopped
1(14-ounce) cans red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 (14-1/2-ounce) cans diced tomatoes
1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1 1/2 oz Lindt Cherry Chili 70% Cacao


Cook the first 4 ingredients in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring until beef crumbles and is no longer pink; drain. 
Place mixture in 5-quart slow cooker; stir in beans and remaining ingredients. 
Cook on HIGH 3 to 4 hours or on LOW 5 to 6 hours. 

Saturday, September 10, 2022

Chicken Cacciatore Pasta

I had a ziplock bag of Chicken Cacciatore in the freezer. There were only a chicken leg and a small breast. Not enough for dinner, so I built on that and made a tasty dish. I pulled the meat off the bone, shredded it, and added it to the sauce from the freezer bag. The recipe for the original Chicken Cacciatore is at the bottom of this post.

I had a container of Marinara Sauce that I had made with the tomatoes from my sister's garden. Added the sauce to the pot. 

I boiled fettuccine noodles and topped them with the sauce. Mmmmmm. 

Rave reviews from the other side of the table!

Chicken Cacciatore


2 tbsp. unsalted butter

2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, finely chopped

cut-up chicken 

1/2 cup dry white wine 

1/2 lb plum tomatoes, peeled and chopped

1 green or yellow pepper, cleaned of seeds and chopped 

Salt and pepper


Heat the butter and olive oil in a pan and add the onion. When the onion is golden, add the chicken pieces and let them brown. Pour in the wine, add the tomatoes and sweet pepper, and adjust for salt and pepper. Cover and cook at low heat until the chicken is cooked through, about 20 minutes.

Thursday, September 8, 2022

Chicken Pot Pie

It's that time of the year.

I used a rotisserie chicken from Fresh Market and had an extra pie crust in the freezer for the Easter Pies.

Chicken Pot Pie 

Ingredients -
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts  or cooked meat from 
a rotisserie chicken
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 onions, chopped
4 carrots, diced
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 cups 1 percent milk
1 10-ounce package of frozen mixed vegetables
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 9-inch pie crust

Method -

Heat oven to 400° F.

If not using a rotisserie chicken cook the chicken breast as follows-
Cook the chicken in a pot of simmering water until cooked, 10 to 12 minutes; let cool, then shred.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. 
Add the onions and carrots and cook, stirring, until they 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, 30 to 35 minutes.

Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Opened Faced Tomato Sandwich with Hot Bacon Vinaigrette

Have you visited the Half Baked Harvest food site? 

If you have not, you have to check it out. I found this recipe on the site.

The Bacon Vinaigrette is what pushed this over the top. Wow!!! The tomatoes were from Sally's garden. Perfectly ripe.


6-8 ounces goat cheese

2 teaspoons chopped fresh dill

2 teaspoons chopped fresh basil, plus more for serving

2 teaspoons lemon juice

kosher salt and pepper

6 slices of whole grain or sourdough bread

3 heirloom tomatoes, sliced

6 slices of bacon, chopped

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 pinch of crushed red pepper flakes

1 pinch each salt and pepper


  • Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
    In a medium bowl, stir together the goat cheese, dill, basil, lemon juice, and a pinch of salt and pepper.
    Place the bread on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil on both sides.
    Season with salt and pepper.
    Place the bread on the grill and grill both for about 2-3 minutes per side or until lightly charred.
    Remove from the grill.
    Spread the goat cheese over the bread and top with tomatoes.
    Season the tomatoes lightly with salt and pepper.
    Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and cook the bacon until crisp.
    Drain off all but 1 tablespoon of bacon grease.
    To the bacon, add the vinegar, olive oil, and a pinch each of red pepper, salt, and pepper. Drizzle the warm vinaigrette over the tomatoes.
    Top with basil. 

Saturday, September 3, 2022

Steak Pizzaiola and Air Fryer Salmon

Applause from both sides of the table.

For Chris, I made Steak Pizzaiola, and I made myself Air Fryer Salmon.

The Steak Pizzaiola recipe is from The last time I made this recipe I said that it would be the only Steak Pizzaiola recipe I would ever use. Chris loved this dish.

I made Lucy and myself Salmon cooked in the air fryer. Soooooo easy!!! Lucy's portion had no toppings on it, just the fish. And yes, she loved it!

For sides, I made enough polenta for 8 people and steamed green beans. The green beans were from my sister's garden.

Steak Pizzaiola for One


1 8- ounce sirloin steaks, cut in half width-wise.

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 peeled small diced yellow onion

1/4 cup Pinot Grigio

1 14-ounce can of diced tomatoes

1/2 tablespoon fresh oregano

sea salt and pepper to taste


Place the sliced steak between 2 pieces of plastic wrap and pound using a mallet until it is half as thick as the original slice. S

Season with salt and pepper on both sides.

Add olive oil to a large frying pan over medium heat.

Once the oil begins to lightly smoke, add in the steaks and cook for 2 to 2 ½ minutes per side or until browned. 

Remove the steak from the pan.

Add the onions and garlic to the pan and roast for 6-8 minutes or until browned.

Deglaze with wine and cook until most of it has been absorbed. There should be 1 tablespoon left in the pan.

Add in the tomatoes and stew over medium-low heat for 20 minutes or until the sauce is thick and the tomatoes have broken down. 

Season with salt and pepper.

Add the steaks to the top of the tomato sauce, place a lid on and cook for 5 to 6 minutes to warm the steak back up.

Finish by stirring in some fresh oregano and serve.

The Salmon is too easy a recipe.

First, measure the paper, cutting it just a little smaller than the size of your basket and leaving longer sides, which will help you lift the salmon out of the basket easily.

Preheat the air fryer to 390˚. Place dried salmon on parchment paper. Brush with olive oil. Season with parsley, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.

Place parchment into the preheated air fryer for 10 minutes. That's it. Test for doneness by sticking a fork into the thickest part of the fillet and twisting gently. It should flake easily. Remove the fish from the basket immediately, or it will continue to cook.

Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Stuffed Tomatoes and Pasta with Tomato & 4 Cheeses Redone

I wish the summer tomatoes were available all year. These tomatoes were from Cole's Farm Stand.

I stuffed them with ground pork that was seasoned with our usual suspects, salt, pepper, fresh basil, fresh parsley, and fresh oregano. Some diced fresh mozzarella and grated Parmesan cheese.

I topped the tomatoes with Marinara Sauce made from the tomatoes from my sister's garden.

Just perfect.

Now about that Pasta with Tomato & 4 Cheeses. I reheated it and topped it with more Marinara Sauce. Even better on the second night.


Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Pasta with Tomato & 4 Cheeses

Yes, I made Baked Macaroni in August! I really like having meals made on the weekend that just need to be baked or reheated on a work night.

This recipe received rave reviews from both sides of the table.

This recipe is my version of something I saw on Food 52. I really like the addition of Gorgonzola Cheese. It added a depth of flavor that my usual Baked Macaroni does not have. The Food 52 recipe called for heavy cream. I opted for Ricotta instead. Nice choice. 

The baking directions are different on my recipe. I did not pre bake this. Chris put it in a preheated oven (350˚F) for about 35 minutes.

1 cup chopped canned tomatoes in heavy puree
1/2 cup freshly grated pecorino Romano Cheese
1/2 cup coarsely shredded Mozzarella
1/4 cup crumbled Gorgonzola Cheese
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for pasta water
4 fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped
1/2 pound penne rigate or conchiglie rigate
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, sliced thinly

Preheat oven to 350˚F.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients except the pasta and butter.
Stir well to combine.

Drop the pasta into the boiling water and parboil for 4 minutes.
Drain in a colander and add to the ingredients in the mixing bowl, tossing to combine.

Place in a shallow (1-inch) layer in larger baking dishes.
Dot with the butter, and bake until bubbly and brown on top, 15 minutes.

Monday, August 29, 2022

20-Minute Creamy Lemon-Feta Chicken

Winner Winner! This 20-minute chicken dinner was fabulous. We both went back for seconds. 

The sauce was the perfect blend of feta and lemon. Nice and smooth. For sides, we had rice and the last of the fresh green beans from my sister's garden. Don't worry. I froze some for a later date.

Did I mention this only took 20 minutes? The recipe is from This has to be a go-to recipe.

This recipe is for 4. I used 4 chicken cutlets, around 1/2 a pound, but made the whole recipe for the sauce.

1 pound of chicken cutlets 
1/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper, divided
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1/2cup heavy cream
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
2 tablespoons lemon juice 
2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs (I used basil and parsley)

Sprinkle chicken with 1/8 teaspoon of each salt and pepper. 
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. 
Add the chicken and cook, turning once, until browned and cooked through about 6 minutes. 
Transfer to a plate.
Add broth to the pan. 
Cook, scraping up any browned bits, until the liquid is reduced by half, 1 to 2 minutes. 
Reduce heat to medium and stir in cream, feta, lemon juice, 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. 
Cook until warmed through, about 1 minute more. 
Sprinkle with fresh herbs before serving.

Sunday, August 28, 2022

Sausage and Vegetable Sheet Pan Dinner

I have made a recipe similar to this recipe quite often. I think I like this new recipe better.

The recipe is from The All Recipe version calls for broccoli. Someone here does not like broccoli, so I used zucchini. I loved the flavor of whole grain mustard.

1 medium zucchini, cut into 1/2 sticks
8 ounces baby potatoes, halved
1 large carrot, sliced
1/4 red onion, roughly chopped
1/2 shallot, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
1 tablespoon grated Pecorino Romano cheese
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
salt and ground black pepper to taste
2 mild Italian sausage links

Preheat the oven to 400˚F.
Place zucchini, baby potatoes, carrot, and onion in a large bowl. 
Pour in olive oil, mustard, Pecorino Romano cheese, thyme, oregano, salt, and pepper.
Toss well to coat, then spread vegetables in an even layer on a sheet pan. 
Arrange sausages in the pan, pushing aside the vegetables so that the sausages touch the bottom of the pan.
Bake in the preheated oven, flipping sausages and vegetables halfway through, until sausages are no longer pink in the center, 30 to 35 minutes. 
An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read 160˚F.

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Fettuccini Alfredo with Chicken and Zucchini

Vacation Day Dinner.
I love when I have homemade Fettucini in the freezer. 
I breaded cut-up chicken tenders in a mixture of 3-part flour and 1 part cornstarch. 
I added them to a saute pan with olive oil over medium heat.
The chicken was browned and cooked thoroughly. I removed it to a dish. 
Next, I tossed in cubed zucchini, about 1/2 inch cubes. 
I added a knob of butter to the pan along with the olive oil. 
(A knob of butter can be around two tablespoons or an unspecified amount of butter.)
I sauteed the zucchini. 
Meanwhile, I boiled a pot of salted water and added the pasta. 
After the pasta was al dente, I placed it in the saute pan with the zucchini using tongs. I added about a 1/2 cup of the pasta water to the pan and about four tablespoons of butter, tossing the pasta with the zucchini to make a sauce. You may need more butter and or water. 
I mixed in 1/2 cup of Parmigiano. 
Lastly, I added the chicken to the pan, and the juices accumulated in the dish. 
Sprinkle with more cheese and serve.

Monday, August 22, 2022

Zucchini Fritters

At work today my email was hacked. What a pain in the ass that was for the day. I needed something fried for dinner.

Zucchini Fritters. So easy to make and so delicious to eat.
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 
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!