Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Calzones and Meat Pies

We had calzones for dinner. Mine was broccolini and Chris had bacon and onion. I used the dough from the Jim Lahey book.

But more importantly the last 2 days I posted pictures with the caption "What is this?" Well here is what that was. The first photo was the pie dough and the next one was the pie filling which came together tonight to become Meat Pies. I am honestly too tired to type the recipe. But they do look good!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Pasta E Fagioli

When I was little I use to hate having Pasta E Fagioli. My dad use to tell me that the beans were ice cream beans. I was very gullible. Now I look forward to having it for dinner. I am still in search of what I would consider the perfect recipe. This recipe came from La Cucina and is from the Campania region. The recipe called for celery and I thought why not add carrot too. I actually liked the carrot the best. It was good, Chris had seconds, but I was not blown away by it. So the search continues...

What is this? More info to come...

Monday, March 29, 2010

Spiced Mini Burgers With Couscous Salad

Tonight we had Spiced Mini Burgers with Couscous Salad. The recipe is from The burgers were made from beef I got at Whole Foods. The Couscous Salad was delicious.

What is this? More information to come...

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Palm Sunday Dinner

Dandelion Soup

Stuffed Artichoke

Chicken (White Meat), Peas and Potatoes

Lemon Cheesecake

Anginetti Cookies

My sister Lenore made the Dandelion Soup. And as always it was delicious. Her broth is wonderful. The artichokes were made by Mary. They were very tender and the stuffing was perfect. Ralph made the Chicken, Peas and Potatoes. It is a great dish. I was on desserts. The cheesecake recipe came from TLC Cooking site. I don't make a lot of cheesecakes. I don't know why because the result was quite tasty. And the Anginetti cookies were as light as air. The recipe was my mom's and I am not sure where she got it from. It was a delicious dinner.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Chicken with Olives and Carrots

Tonight's recipe comes from the RealSimple site. Chicken with Olives and Carrots. Wow it was good. I loved the brown rice and the flavors from the sauce were wonderful.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Baked Macaroni

Once again Mom's recipe comes through. This time I added Ricotta Salata along with the American cheese. We ate the whole dish! It was perfectly crisp on the outside. A good Lenten meal especially when it is in the 30's outside.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Roast Beef Panini

Roast Beef, Cole Slaw and Horseradish Cheddar Cheese. What more can I say. Too tired to go on about how good it was. Trust me, it was good.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Sausage and Polenta Casserole

I love polenta. And this meal was good. I browned the sausage. Made the polenta. Mixed the two together and added Parmesan cheese. Poured the mixture into a greased baking pan. Topped with some delicious homemade Marinara sauce, a little grated Mozzarella cheese and baked for 25 minutes. Yum.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Stuffed Peppers

This was easy to make. Started by parboiling the peppers. Boiled them until they were soft. Dice an onion and sauteed that in olive oil until transparent. Added ground turkey. Browned the turkey and added salt, pepper and thyme. Mix the meat in with prepared rice, great way to use up leftovers. Added Parmesan and Mozzarella cheese. Fill the peppers with the mixture. Place in baking pan and bake for 2o minutes at 350ºF. Top with Marinara sauce and enjoy.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Chorizo and Lentils

This recipe was found on the PetitChef link that is on the right side of my blog. Chorizo and Lentils. This was similar to what we had last Sunday night or so I thought. The beans cooked faster than I thought they would, or faster than the time in the recipe. I added spinach just because. Chris liked it a lot. I think if I had to pick between last week's recipe and this one last week's would win.

Happy Anniversary Kramer! 13 years ago today he came into our home and our hearts.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Chicken with Thyme

I made this recipe back in September is it was so good. The chicken was very moist. Click here to see original recipe. We had my favorite vegetable dish, Roasted Cauliflower, along with Couscous as side dishes.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Halibut and Seafood Stew and Zeppoles

From La Cucina... Halibut and Seafood Stew. This was first recipe from this book that we did not go nuts over. It seemed like it should be delicious but it did not make either one of us say, "Wow!" But out of all the recipes I have made from the book this was the first one that did not get that response.

But all was not lost because today was the Feast of Saint Joseph, (the foster-father of Jesus, not Saint Joseph the worker). Anyway we had Zeppoles for dessert. I love food traditions!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Chicken Pot Pie

Real Simple recipe. Really delicious. The crust was perfect! I usually put a crust on the top and bottom of the pot pie, but thought I could cut some of the fat out by only using a top crust. I actually think it tasted better! Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Rustic Potato Leek Soup

I was visiting a blog last week, A La Graham, and found a recipe for Rustic Potato Leek Soup. I was planning on making this soup for this week and thought I'd try the recipe on that blog. It was delicious. You may notice something that looks like a hot dog in the soup. Well Chris likes Potato Leek Soup but he also likes some meat in his meals. It certainly did not hurt the soup at all. Quite good.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Skirt Steak, Pepppers and Onion Sub and an Award!

First I trimmed the fat off of the skirt steak and cut it into thin slices. I put it in a marinate of balsamic vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, oil, salt and pepper. I left that to marinate in the refrigerator all day. I julienned a red pepper, green pepper and onion. I heated up some olive oil and a knob of butter in saute pan and added the vegetables. I sauteed them until tender and added the steak. Cooked that through and voilá a very easy meal. Some rolls, cheese and condiments.

I was nominated for an award by Cara from Cara's Cravings. A creative writing award! Sorry but Sister Marjorie is turning over in her grave right now. So, as I understand it I have to write seven creative little-did-you-know's about myself, but only one is true. The other six are false. And I leave it up to you to figure out which is true. And I also pass the award on to other bloggers! Too exciting...

7 things about me...

1. I love polenta
2. Chocolate vs Fruit Tart... Chocolate Tart wins
3. You can have too many shoes. (A wink to Mom)
4. Chris wishes I would cook with more vegetables.
5. Red vs White Sauce... Red Sauce wins
6. Least favorite food movie - Big Night
7. I rarely have chocolate chips in the house

I am passing this award on to, drum roll please...

Joi from Toes in the Sand
Julie from Noshtalgia
Velva from Tomatoes on the Vine
Tonya from A La Graham
Pam from Pam's Midwestern Kitchen
George from A nod is as good a wink to a blink horse

While I am listing other blogs I thing you should check out don't miss the new photos on The Bird Station. The deer are so cute!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Fried Chick Peas and Chorizo and Spaghetti Frittatta

Mark Bittman rules. His recipes are such fun to prepare. Just a few ingredients and the results are so flavorful. Fried Chick Peas and Chorizo was great. Simple to make. We loved it.

I had some leftovers from the Pasta with Peppers and Sand. Not wanting to see them go to waste I made a Frittatta. The pasta, 4 eggs, a little milk and a handful of Parmesan cheese. Not bad.

For breakfast I made some Irish Soda Scones from Joy of Baking. I added golden raisin because it seemed like a Soda Bread should have them.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Roasted Pork with Grape Tomatoes & Zucchini

I had a pork tenderloin in the freezer. I had cherry tomatoes and zucchini in the fridge. I had all the ingredients required for Roasted Pork with Grape Tomatoes and Zucchini from the La Cucina magazine site! What a delicious meal. I did not add the uncooked zucchini at the end as mentioned in the recipe. I used all the zucchini for the coulis. We enjoyed this with a nice bottle of 2007 Montepulciano D'Abruzzo.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Pasta with Peppers and Sand

Do you remember The Frugal Gourmet? Jeff Smith and his sidekick Craig? One of his recipes that Chris and I always enjoyed was Pasta with Peppers and Sand. I found a copy of it on Simple and fast. For a Friday during Lent after being stuck in traffic I was not looking for a complicated meal.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Chicken Cutlets

First of all I used organic chicken breasts. I can't get the image of the chicken from the movie Food, Inc. out of my mind.
This is my mom's recipe. This is quite an easy recipe. I am not sure why I don't make it more often. The chicken breasts are dredged in flour and then egg whites. Mom use to add chopped parsley, salt and pepper to the egg whites. Fry them up in a little oil until they are golden and pop them in the oven to finish cooking. Moist and delicious. Rice and a vegetable round out the meal.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Best Calzone Recipe Revisited

A week ago I made a calzone that I said was the most delicious calzone I had tasted. Well I made it again for tonight's dinner. This time I used the leftover meat from the Stuffed Flank Steak we had on Saturday. What a great way to use up leftovers. I added ricotta salata cheese and some black olives to the filling. The crust is wonderful.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Barley Soup

Turning to page 139 of La Cucina we find the recipe for tonight's dinner, Minestra Di Orzo or Barley Soup 1. There are 5 Barley Soups recipes in the book. This one is from the Valle D'Aosta region. Another simple and delicious meal. I love this cookbook!

1/4 cup butter
1 leek, cut in thin strips
1 medium, cut in thin strips
3 potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 carrot grated
1/2 cup Pearl Barley
1 bay leaf

Heat the butter in a saucepan over low heat until melted. Add the leek and onion and cook until the leek begins to soften. Add the potatoes and carrots and cook for 10 minutes, then cover with boiling water. When the mixture returns to a boil, add the barley and bay leaf. Let cook, uncovered, over medium heat for 1 hour, until the barley is tender.

We had some left over Arborio rice from the other night so I made some Suppli (Rice Balls) from Simple Italian Snacks as a side dish.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Escarole and Bean Pizza and Steak and Onion Pizza

Let me start off with the bread I made. New York Deli Rye bread from All I can say is wow! It took a few steps, mostly just rising time but wow.

Dinner was a Sunday night staple in our house. Homemade pizza. The crust is from My Bread by Jim Lahey. I made the dough a couple of weeks ago and froze it. One batch results in enough dough for 2 pies. Instead of one pie I split the dough in half again and made an Escarole and Bean Pizza and a Steak and Onion Pizza. For the Escarole and Bean I boiled the escarole in salted water until tender. Drained it and then sauteed it with olive oil and added the drained cannelini beans. Seasoned that with salt, pepper and crushed red pepper.

The Steak and Onion Pizza was made with Steak-ums and white onions. On both pies I used crushed San Marzano Tomatoes.

Kugel (noodle pudding)

This is not something I made for dinner but it was a recipe that I have never made before.
My friend Heidi lost her mother this week. Marilyn was a fun person to be around. When heard of her passing I asked Heidi what can I do? First she said there was nothing to do but then she mentioned Kugel. Have you noticed that when people pass away friends show up with casserole dishes.

I remembered that my cousin had a friend who always showed up at gatherings with Kugel and that everyone raved about. I called my sister and she had a copy of the recipe.

1 lb. noodles (medium width)
1 stick of butter
1 lb. cottage cheese
1/2 pint sour cream
1/2 to 3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup white raisins (if desired)
4 eggs, beaten
cinnamon (sprinkled on top)

Cook noodles according to package directions. Mix stick of butter into hot, drained noodles until butter melts. Add other ingredients in order given, mixing well. Turn into buttered rectangular Pyrex or Corning ware dish (about 13 x 5 x 2). Sprinkle cinnamon liberally on top. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.

It looked right. But how does it taste? Heidi gave it rave reviews!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Rolled Flank Steak with Green Olives and Oregano

This recipe comes from the Mario Batali book, Simple Italian Food, which I got for Christmas last year. I posted an entry with the recipe a while back. I made risotto as a side dish. The house smelled wonderful. It was a delicious meal.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Tuna Sauce with Spaghetti

This was dish my mom use to make during Lent on Friday nights. I found this recipe from La Cucina. The recipe is from Sicilia. The book uses fresh tuna fillet. But there is a side note saying you can use canned tuna, which is what my mom used. And I was sure I had spaghetti... alas no spaghetti but I had Buctani. That worked.


2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

1 10 1/2 oz can tuna in oil, drained and cut into small pieces

4 cups tomato sauce
(recipe is at the end of this entry)
2 tbsp. chopped flat-leaf parsley

1 lb. cooked spaghetti or whatever pasta you have



Prepare the tomato sauce and when it is nearly finished add the tuna and parsley. Cook together for 10 minutes at low heat and use this sauce on the spaghetti, making certain that each servings gets a quantify of tuna.

This is a very basic recipe for tomato sauce. It is similar to the recipe in
La Cucina but I use canned tomatoes and not as much oil.

1 large onion, thinly slice
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes

1 tbsp. chopped basil (or parsley)


Saute the onions in the olive oil until almost transparent. Add the tomatoes. Cook for about 10 minutes. Add the basil and salt. The recipe in
La Cucina adds more olive oil to the sauce at this point.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Vegetable Frittatta Sandwich

Red peppers, onions, carrots, zucchini, Fontina, Parmesan and Provolone Cheeses, eggs and parsley. This frittatta was lighter than previous frittattas...

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Calzone Barese (Olive and Ricotta Calzone)

This was the most delicious calzone I have had in quite some time. The recipe comes from... La Cucina. Surprise! This recipe comes from the Puglia region

For the dough:
2 cups all purpose flour plus more if needed
2 1/2 tsp active dry yeas dissolved in 2 tbsp. warm water
Extra-virgin olive oil

For the filling:
1 medium onion, sliced
3/4 lb. ripe plum tomatoes, peeled and chopped
1/3 cup pitted and chopped black olives
4 oz. ricotta salata, passed through a sieve
Salt and pepper

Pour the flour onto a flat surface and work it together with the yeast mixture, a dash of salt and 1/4 cup of olive oil. Knead the dough, turning and folding it onto itself, until it becomes soft and elastic, adding water by the tablespoon as necessary - you my need to add as much as 3/4 cup. Then cover it with a clean kitchen towel and let it rise for about an hour.
Preheat the oven to 450˚F. Grease a baking dish.
In a sauce pan, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil and saute the onion until is almost transparent, then add the tomatoes. Cook the sauce down for a few minutes then add salt, pepper, and olives. Remove the pan from the heat and add the ricotta salata and mix well.
Roll the dough on a floured board into two sheets, one larger than the other. With the larger one line the greased pan. Pour in the sauce, spread it out, and cover with the other sheet, folding the edges over each other. Bake for approximately 20 minutes or until the top is golden.