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!

Sunday, August 21, 2022

Heirloom Tomato and Steak Caprese

I had a large bowl of perfect tomatoes for Sally's garden. Gorgeous meaty tomatoes.

I found this recipe on It is a reprint of a recipe from What’s Gaby Cooking: Eat What You Want: 125 Recipes for Real Life by Gaby Dalkin. This book is on my list of soon to be purchased.

Heirloom Tomato and Steak Caprese

For the basil vinaigrette (makes about 1 cup):

  • medium shallot, roughly chopped
  • cups 

    tightly packed fresh basil leaves (stems removed)

  • 1/4 teaspoon 

    red pepper flakes

  • 1/4 cup 

    olive oil

  • tablespoon 

    red wine vinegar

  • 1/2 teaspoon 

    kosher salt, plus more as needed

  • Freshly cracked black pepper

For the Caprese:
  • 1/2 cup 

    olive oil

  • 1/2 cup 

    red wine vinegar

  • 1/2 teaspoon 

    dried basil

  • 1/2 teaspoon 

    dried thyme

  • 1/2 teaspoon 

    dried oregano

  • 3/4 pound 

    hanger or skirt steak or sirloin tips

  • pound 

    heirloom tomatoes, both regular and cherry, halved and quartered

  • 1/4 medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • ounces 

    fresh mozzarella cheese, torn into bite-size pieces

  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Make the basil vinaigrette:
In a high-powered blender, combine the shallot, basil, garlic, red pepper flakes, olive oil, red wine vinegar, and salt.
Blend for 1 minute, or until very smooth.
Season to taste with salt and pepper, and store in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Make the Caprese: 
In a large nonreactive bowl, combine the olive oil, vinegar, garlic, basil, thyme, and oregano and stir. Remove half of the marinade to another bowl.
Add the steak to one bowl and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. 
Meanwhile, add the tomatoes and red onion to the other bowl and toss to combine. 
Set aside.

When you’re ready to cook, heat a grill over medium-high heat. 
Shake excess marinade off the meat and generously season it with salt and pepper. 
Place the steak on the grill and cook until medium or medium rare, 4 to 6 minutes on each side, depending on your preference. 
Remove the meat to a cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes.

Transfer the tomatoes and red onion with all the marinade to a serving platter and nestle in the torn cheese. 

Slice the steak across the grain and nestle the slices into the tomato salad. 
Drizzle with the basil vinaigrette and season with salt and pepper as needed. 
Serve immediately.

Saturday, August 20, 2022

Bacon and Cheddar Stuffed Burgers with Cole Slaw and Cole's Corn

This was a perfect dinner. I found the burger recipe on Plays With Butter blog. This recipe is a keeper! 
These burgers got rave reviews from both sides of the table.

The Cole Slaw was made with cabbage, green and purple, from a co-worker's garden. Sally loaded me up with all sorts of veggies, tomatoes, spaghetti and butternut squash and this cabbage.

The corn was from Cole's and grilled in the husks. Click here if you missed that post!

Here is the recipe for the burgers. This makes 4 burgers.

5 slices bacon
1 pound 85% lean ground beef
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon ground black pepper

Par cook the bacon: Add the bacon to a skillet over medium heat (on the stove, not the grill). Cook 2-3 minutes per side until the bacon begins to render, but is not totally crispy. The goal is to par-cook the bacon since it’ll finish cooking in the stuffed burger patties. 

I used the air fryer for the bacon, 370˚ for about 7 minutes, flipped, and cook for another 3 minutes.

Remove from the heat. Once cool enough to handle, finely chop into small pieces.

Form the bacon cheddar stuffed burger patties: 
Add the chopped bacon to a bowl with the ground beef, shredded cheddar, Worcestershire, & ground black pepper. Using your hands, combine the mixture until the bacon and cheddar are evenly dispersed. Be careful not to overmix. Form into 4 equally sized burger patties.
At this point Chris takes over on the grill.
The cats and I sit back and wait for dinner!

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Stuffed Patty Pan Squash

I picked up Patty Pan Squash at Cole's on Saturday. I scraped out the inside of the squash. I made a stuffing of sauteed diced onion, ground beef, and the insides of the squash. Next, I added cooked arborio rice. The usual suspects were used for seasonings - salt, pepper, fresh parsley, oregano, and Parmigiano.
I stuffed the squash and baked them for about 25 to 30 minutes. I topped each squash with some tomato sauce.

Rave Reviews from both sides of the table.

Thursday, August 11, 2022

More Stuffed Tomatoes and Fried Dough

Seems to be lots of tomatoes around here.

I used 2 tomatoes I picked up at Coles for this recipe.

I cut off the tops and removed all the seeds and the pulp from the tomatoes. I saved the pulp for a pan of Marcella Hazan's Tomato, Onion, and Butter Sauce I was making.

I turned the tomatoes upside down and placed them on wire racks over a baking sheet so they would drain off any liquid.

While the tomatoes were draining, I sauteed some sausage.

I added a little of the Marcella Hazan's Tomato, Onion, and Butter Sauce.

The seasonings were the usual suspects, oregano, parsley, basil, salt, pepper, and Parmesan cheese.

I carefully stuffed each tomato hoping we would have no cracks. 

These were heated up in the oven for 20 minutes at 350˚.

The fried dough was purchased on my way home at the St George Chuch Carnival. I purchased it plain (no toppings), brought it home and reheated it in the air fryer. We topped it with 
Marcella Hazan's Tomato, Onion, and Butter Sauce.

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Summer Skillet Gnocchi with Grilled Corn and Burrata

This recipe is perfect on so many levels.

#1 Burrata. Need I say more?

#2 We used Cole's Corn.

#3 Arugula was in the dish and was consumed without too much notice.

This recipe comes from the PureWow site. 

This is my version of the recipe. It made enough for the 2 of us, with just enough leftovers which will be my lunch for tomorrow!!

2 ears of corn, shucked
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1/2 cups cherry tomatoes
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound store-bought gnocchi
1/2 red onion, sliced
3 ounces arugula
Crushed red-pepper flakes, grated Parmesan cheese, burrata cheese, and fresh basil leaves, for serving

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Creamy French Onion Chicken and Stuffed Tomato

This chicken dish was very good!!! I found the recipe on The sauce tasted so rich and decadent but the meal was only 340 calories per serving. The recipe is at the end of this post.

The stuffed tomatoes are a take on a Lidia Bastianich recipe I have made before. This time I just made Aborio rice and mixed it with the diced tomato that I scooped out of the tomatoes and mixed with fresh mozzarella, Parmesan, salt, pepper. I also made Marcella Hazan Tomato, butter and onion sauce and added some of that to the rice.

The tomatoes, baked for 20 minutes in a 350˚ oven. Delicious!!

Creamy French Onion Chicken

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 pound of chicken cutlets 
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2teaspoon ground pepper, divided
1 large yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced 
1/3 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour 
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
Chopped parsley for garnish


Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. 

Sprinkle chicken with 1/4 teaspoon of each salt and pepper. 

Cook the chicken, turning once, until browned and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 165°F, about 6 minutes. 

Transfer to a plate and cover to keep warm.

Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil to the pan. 

Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil to the pan.

Add onion and wine; cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, golden and the liquid has evaporated about 10 minutes. 

Sprinkle flour over the onion and stir to coat. 

Add broth, cream, thyme, and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper; cook until bubbling and thickened, about 2 minutes more. 

Return the chicken and any accumulated juices to the pan and turn to coat. 

Cover and cook until the chicken is heated through, about 1 minute more. 

Serve sprinkled with parsley, if desired.

Monday, August 8, 2022

Sloppy Joe Sandwiches

I do not know how I found this recipe for Sloppy Joe Sandwiches, but I have been asked to put this in our normal rotation of dinners. I made this on Saturday, so tonight we just heated it up and then devoured it.

I found Big Marty's Rolls at the store and they were the perfect match for this.

It is so nice to find a recipe that is written for 2 servings, less math for me!


1/2 pound ground beef
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2  cup ketchup
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon prepared mustard
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 hamburger buns, split

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and stir in ground beef and onion.

Cook and stir until beef is crumbly, evenly browned, and no longer pink, about 10 minutes. 

Drain and discard any excess grease. 

Stir in ketchup, water, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, vinegar, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, and salt.

Bring beef mixture to a boil over high heat. 

Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer until sauce has thickened, 30 to 40 minutes. 

Serve on buns.

Saturday, August 6, 2022

Baked Double Cheese Chicken Roll-Ups

Delicious!!! This recipe is from An Italian in My Kitchen. The chicken was perfectly cooked.

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 tablespoon butter, softened
1 tablespoon fresh Italian parsley
2-3 tablespoons of bread crumbs
1 tablespoon freshly grated Parmesan cheese
4 slices prosciutto
4  slices of Swiss cheese
1 tablespoon olive oil 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and lightly grease (with olive oil) a 9-inch baking dish.

In a small bowl, mix together the butter and the fresh Italian parsley, and set aside.

In a small dish, mix together bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese set aside.

Tenderize the 4 slices of chicken.  (This is done using a meat tenderizer, banging on the meat 4-5 times on both sides). 

Lay out the 4 slices of chicken, spread the butter, and parsley mixture on the slices, and top with 1 slice of prosciutto and a slice of cheese (2 slices if necessary), roll up and secure with a toothpick or 2.

Then roll each one in the bread crumb & parmesan cheese mixture and place in the prepared baking pan. 

Sprinkle any leftover crumb mixture on top of the roll-ups. 

Sprinkle with a pinch or two of salt and drizzle with a little olive oil or a little butter. 

Bake for about 30-35 minutes. 

Serve immediately.

I picked up a new, or used Calphalon pan at the church's White Elephant Sale! It came with the cover for $1.00. I gave it a test run making the zucchini. Love it!