Friday, August 31, 2012

Roast Beef and Cheddar Paninis

An easy dinner for a late night at work, well at least I was working from home. I want to start this post by saying I really love my panini press.

I ran out at lunch time and picked up some nice rare roast beef and some cheddar cheese from the deli. I put a little horseradish dressing on the bread and the result was a fantastic panini.

Also made a tomato and mozzarella salad, the mozzarella was on sale! Dressing was olive oil, red wine vinegar, oregano, salt and pepper.

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

So what did we have for dinner a year ago?

So what did we have for dinner 2 years ago?
Onion and Proscuitto Calzones

So what did we have for dinner 3 years ago?

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Savory Corn, Tomato and Feta Hand Pies

Can I make this a wordless Wednesday... Please.... I will give you the link to the recipe.
Click here for the recipe!
Thank you!

So what did we have for dinner a year ago?

So what did we have for dinner 2 years ago?
Perfect Grilled Pizza

So what did we have for dinner 3 years ago?
Grilled Pork Chops

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Bacon, Tomato and Onion Quiche

If it's Tuesday there must be tomatoes in our dinner.
Yeah this can be labeled another tomato recipe! But wait there was something about a quiche made with tomato, bacon, sauteed onion and cheddar cheese. And let's not forget what Chris refers to as a damn good crust.

So what did we have for dinner a year ago?

So what did we have for dinner 2 years ago?
Polla alla Cacciatora 2
So what did we have for dinner 3 years ago?
Shrimp and Beans

Monday, August 27, 2012

Zucchini and Bean Salad with Bulgar

The other day when I was making my grocery list I did a quick inventory of what I had in the pantry. I noticed a bag of Bulgar. I had previously put this recipe - Zucchini and Bean Salad with Bulgar on Pepperplate. Do you use Pepperplate?
The dressing, for only being olive oil and red wine vinegar, was quite good. I made the zucchini mixture yesterday so it was very flavorful by tonight.
Some Fish Eye Merlot and this was not bad for a Monday night.

So what did we have for dinner a year ago?

So what did we have for dinner 2 years ago?
No Post : (
So what did we have for dinner 3 years ago?

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Bread Meatballs and Summer Salad

A while back on Facebook I noticed some photos that Judy Witts Fancini, owner of Divina Cucina, had posted. Bread Meatballs. Yes I like bread. A lot. I had to make this.
Now her recipe is similar to something my mother would have given me... no measurements. But heck I could wing it and I did. I added just enough of everything until the consistency looked right. That was easy.
I started with breadcrumbs and diced ham. Added 3 eggs, some milk, Parmesan cheese, oregano, parsley, salt and pepper. Sorry no measurements.
I heated oil in a pan and fried them until golden.
Prior to this I oven roasted some red peppers.
I put the bread meatballs in a baking dish, poured marinara sauce over them, this was suggested by someone commenting on the original facebook post.Topped that with the peppers, some cheese and in the oven to heat through.
Yeah we have a winner! Loved this dish. It was simple and the flavors were off the hook.

We also had a salad that I saw on the Proud Italian blog.  A salad with shaved zucchini and carrots and red onion and red pepper and grilled corn. Phew! There was a lot of stuff in there. I had some green beans from Dad's garden so they went in too! I used mixed baby greens for the salad. And I loved the goat cheese, have not had that in a while. We used a vinaigrette for the dressing. Another hit!

Happy Sunday! 

So what did we have for dinner a year ago?
No Post  : (

So what did we have for dinner 2 years ago?
So what did we have for dinner 3 years ago?

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Pork Tenderloin with Sauteed Onions and Marinara Sauce

When Chris walked into the house tonight he said it smelled delicious. And it did. Yes this one was a winner. And it was so simple.

I had a 12 oz. piece of pork tenderloin. I sliced the tenderloin into 1/4 inch slices and dredged the slices in flour. Meanwhile I was sauteing sliced onion in olive oil and a bit of butter. I added the pork to the pan, browning it on both sides. I topped the pork with the cooked onions, some marinara sauce (made with tomatoes from Dad's Garden) and a bit of mozzarella. I covered the pan and let it sit for a minute.
It's funny how such a little piece of meat can make such a big impression.

The side dish was Orzo Salad. I was looking at some of my favorite blogs and saw an orzo salad posted on One Perfect Bite. I realized that I had not made this all summer. For the dressing I used olive oil and lemon juice with salt, pepper, crushed red pepper, thyme and parsley. The orzo was whole wheat and I added diced scallions, carrot, red pepper and zucchini.
So what did we have for dinner a year ago?

So what did we have for dinner 2 years ago?

So what did we have for dinner 3 years ago?
Mediterranean Roast Beef Pita Revisited

Friday, August 24, 2012

A Most Delicious Pasta Dish

Okay that sounds like I am bragging but gosh this was so good!
I was looking at a bowl of tomatoes, zucchini and white eggplant from my Dad's garden. I will be going to his house tomorrow so there will be more vegetables coming home with me. I decided to make a Summer Vegetable Pasta Sauce.

I sauteed chopped onion in olive oil. Then I added chopped tomatoes, zucchini and white eggplant. A knob of butter was added and I seasoned the pan with salt, pepper, basil, parsley, oregano and crushed red pepper. After the veggies were cooked I added about a 1/2 cup of white wine. Meanwhile the pasta was cooking. I added about a 1/2 cup of the pasta water to the saute pan. Next I added the pasta to the pan and let it finish cooking.

It was delicious. Only problem was I added too much pasta, I can't believe I even typed that phrase, for the amount of sauce I made. So the photo is not so good. But trust Chris and I that it was quite good.

And it has been a few days since I posted something cute involving a cat...
Let's call this one The Green Bean That Was Saved By the Bell, Starring Lucy and the Green Bean -

So what did we have for dinner a year ago?

So what did we have for dinner 2 years ago?
So what did we have for dinner 3 years ago?
Vegetarian Ribollita

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Hell's Kitchen Chicken Parmesan

Monday and Tuesday nights are Gordon Ramsay nights at our house. Even Yankee games take a back seat. Well we do have to check the score now and then but just during the commercials.

Last night on Hell's Kitchen the contestants had to prepare Chicken Parmesan following Gordon Ramsay's recipe. Heck it looked like he knew what he was doing! Tonight I duplicated his recipe. Okay I have made this many times. But this was the most delicious Chicken Parm that I have ever made. The sauce was amazing, I did use tomatoes for my Dad's garden. The chicken was moist. How could Clemenza not have nailed this dish! Sorry to see him go...

Okay here is MY take on the Gordon Ramsay recipe...

I sauteed chopped onion in a bit of olive oil until it was translucent. I added about 2 cups of diced tomatoes from my Dad's garden. I cooked that for about 20 minutes until the tomatoes broke down and it started to look like a sauce. I seasoned it with salt, pepper, crushed red pepper and oregano.

The chicken was thinly sliced by the butcher. I dredged it in an egg that had been beaten. Next I dredged it in a mixture of bread crumbs seasoned with salt, pepper, basil, oregano and Parmesan Cheese (I don't think Chef Ramsay added the Parmesan Cheese to his dish).

I heated olive oil in a saute pan and added the chicken. I cooked it until it was golden on one side and flipped it over to brown the other side. After that I popped the saute pan in  a 350 degree oven for around 15 minutes. Meanwhile I cooked the egg noodles. Before I plated the chicken I removed it from the oven and topped it with some Mozzarella cheese. Back in the oven for about 3 minutes.
This whole meal came together in no time and it was restaurant quality... if I do say so myself!

So what did we have for dinner a year ago?

So what did we have for dinner 2 years ago?

So what did we have for dinner 3 years ago?
Pasta with Shrimp and Sand

Monday, August 20, 2012

Eggplant Tomato Casserole

This was a fantastic dinner. I first made this recipe a long, long, long time ago.  The Vegetarian Epicure was the first vegetarian cookbook I purchased. I bought it when it first came out. I gave my sister a copy for Christmas that year. And when the 2nd book came out I bought that too. I did not go in for the Moosewood Cookbook, I had a roommate who swore by it. The Vegetarian Epicure was the most amazing cookbook I had seen at that time.

I could not put my hands on my copy of the book. I think it is in a box in the garage. So I googled the recipe name and it brought me to a new blog. Living the Simple Vintage Life. A nice place to spend some time on a Saturday afternoon.

So the ingredients for this recipe were from... yes you guessed right, my Dad's garden. 

Here is the recipe, I copied it from Living the Simple Vintage Life. (So glad I found that blog!)

Eggplant Tomato Casserole

1 large eggplant (about 1 1/2 lb.)
1 1/2 tsp. salt (optional)
2 eggs, beaten

2 Tbs. melted low cal margarine (or butter)
ground pepper

2 to 3 tbs. chopped onion
1/2 tsp. crushed oregano

1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
2 large tomatoes, sliced thin

2 oz. cheddar cheese, grated
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Peel and slice the eggplant. Put the slices in a pan with the salt and about an inch of boiling water. Cover tightly and cook about 10 minutes. Drain. Mash the eggplant and mix in the eggs, melted butter, pepper, onion, oregano and bread crumbs.

Butter a shallow 1 1/2 qt. baking dish. Cover the bottom with half the tomato slices. Spoon in all of the eggplant mixture and spread evenly. Arrange the rest of the tomato slices on top. Mix together the cheeses and sprinkle over the top layer of tomatoes. Add a sprinkle of paprika and bake at 375 degrees for about 45 minutes.

Trust me, even people who are not eggplant fans like this recipe!

So what did we have for dinner a year ago?

So what did we have for dinner 2 years ago?

So what did we have for dinner 3 years ago?
No Post!  : (

Sunday, August 19, 2012

When Life Gives You Tomatoes...

Wow what an amazing pizza! The crust was the Jim Lahey recipe. The topping was tomatoes from my Dad's garden, fresh basil from Jake's Farm Stand, Mozzarella, and Parmesan cheese. I put some pepperoni on half of the pie. It was so good. No leftovers. And it was not a heavy pie. The crust was light and the fresh tomatoes were so flavorful.

And don't worry there are still more tomatoes...

Now let's talk breakfast. There is also an abundance of zucchini. I found this great recipe for Zucchini Muffins. The recipe said it was for 12 muffins but the person that made the recipe ended up with enough dough for 14 muffins. Okay I ended up with 12 muffins and 6 scone shaped muffins. It was like the loaves and fishes! But talk about a delicious muffin!

So what did we have for dinner a year ago?
No Post! : (

So what did we have for dinner 2 years ago?

So what did we have for dinner 3 years ago?
No Post : (

Saturday, August 18, 2012

This Week's Favorite Meal

Meat and potatoes. Simple and so good. A grilled porterhouse steak, my favorite cut of meat. Grilled Sliced Potatoes.  And yes there was the obligatory tomato dish, Green Bean and Tomato Salad, all from my Dad's garden.

The Grilled Sliced Potatoes are so simple. Slice potatoes 1/4 inch thick, rinse and pat dry. Brush potato slices on both sides with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill, turning once, until golden and crisp, about 12 minutes.

The Green Bean Salad is prepared just like my mom use to prepare it. Steam the green beans. Cut the tomatoes into cubes. Put the beans and the tomatoes in a bowl. Add equal parts olive oil and red wine vinegar. Season with salt, pepper and oregano. Chill until ready to serve. I love this salad.

So what did we have for dinner a year ago?

So what did we have for dinner 2 years ago?
So what did we have for dinner 3 years ago?
No Post : (

Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Weekly Frittatta

So here is the way it works. On Sunday I open the fridge and check the vegetable drawer. What ever I have a lot of that is not slotted for a specific meal will be used up in a frittatta. The frittatta is the perfect vessel for everything! Veggies, cheeses, even left over pasta! I was talking to my sister and she makes quiche with her extra ingredients. Of course if I made a pie crust like her's I would do the same.
So tonight's frittatta featured red peppers, zucchini, scallions, spinach and fontina cheese. Let me tell you it was delicious. I made a grilled pannini sandwich with the frittatta. Drowl....
And a note about lunch. I had the most amazing lunch today. A tomato and Zucchini Patties sandwich on the heel of a loaf of Italian bread. A little mayo was all it needed. Tomato and Zucchini was from my Dad's garden.

So what did we have for dinner a year ago?

So what did we have for dinner 2 years ago?

So what did we have for dinner 3 years ago?
Grilled Pizza Revisited

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The 15th of August

Yes today was a day I should have gone to church. But I did not remember this until I was at work. The fifteenth of August has always had a mystical feel to it. I remember my mom saying that they would be canning tomatoes at this time of year but on 15th of August all work came to a stop. It was a feast day. A day to rest. My sister remembers canning tomatoes and if they got them done in time they would go to see the fireworks. A couple of years ago I got to can tomatoes with my Dad.
August 14, 2010

Well back to the year 2012! The tomatoes at my Dad's are completely out of hand. I love tomatoes but really this is getting crazy. Tonight we had Rigatoni with Plum Tomatoes and Herbs. I found this recipe on La Cucina. It was a uncooked sauce and it was delicious. The onions added a nice crunch to the sauce. Of course it needed more crushed red pepper for us.

The Sauce Recipe -

Fine sea salt
2 pounds plum tomatoes
1 cup packed whole basil leaves,  large leaves torn, plus  more leaves for garnish
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 garlic clove, finely chopped
Freshly ground black pepper

Add tomatoes to the boiling water and cook 30 seconds. Using a slotted spoon, transfer tomatoes to a bowl (reserve pot of water, covered and removed from heat), then peel and cut into 1/4-inch dice, removing and discarding cores, if tough (do not seed tomatoes). Transfer diced tomatoes, seeds and juices to a large bowl. Add basil, oil, onion, garlic, 1/4 teaspoon salt and generous pinch pepper; stir just to combine. Let stand at room temperature, 30 minutes.

So what did we have for dinner a year ago?

So what did we have for dinner 2 years ago?
So what did we have for dinner 3 years ago?
No Post : (

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Eggs in Sauce with Green Beans

Eggs in Purgatory or as we call it Eggs in Sauce with Green Beans. This is one of my favorite dinners. The eggs, the sauce and the green beans, fresh from Dad's garden. The only thing this needs is Italian bread! Of course if you leave the kitchen someone may add some cooked bacon to the pot! Nice touch. It was like bacon and eggs with sauce, and green beans.

I just realized for as many times as I have made this meal I have not described how it is prepared. This is one of those dishes that every Italian family makes and everyone has a different recipe. This is how my mom use to make it.

First prepare the sauce. I saute a chopped onion in a pot with about 2 tablespoons of olive oil until translucent and then add diced tomatoes, fresh if you have them, and if you don't either stop by my Dad's to pick some up or use canned tomatoes. I let that simmer for about 30 minutes, until the tomatoes break down.

While the sauce is simmering I steam the green beans, or even zucchini works in a pinch. After the beans turn a nice bright green they. Set them aside.

Now back to the sauce. After seasoning the sauce with salt, pepper, oregano and crushed red pepper it is time to add the eggs. The sauce should be bubbling, not boiling but bubbling. Break each egg in a small bowl and slide it into the sauce. Using a spoon cover the sides of the egg with sauce. Repeat this step with however many eggs you use. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover the pot for 15 to 20 minutes, until the eggs poach. We like are eggs on the firm side in this dish so we go for 20 minutes.

Next add those steamed green beans. You could add the green beans to the sauce before you add the eggs. It is really a personal preference.

And yes you can add meat to this dish. As was demonstrated this evening. Chris added some cooked bacon to the pan. Hot dogs would also work. 

Now the most important step is to slice half a loaf of Italian bread. You will want to sop up every drop of this!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Tomato Pizza Rolls and Spinach Salad

When I saw the recipe in Better Homes and Garden for the Tomato Pizza Rolls I wanted to make it immediately. Today I finally tried it. Wow what a great recipe! The dough was great to work with. The tomato filling was scrumptious. Will I make this again? Yes! But next time I will roll the dough out thinner and it was suggested that "sauce" would have be a nice addition!

Then we had the Big Salad. This time it was a Big Spinach Salad. The tomatoes were from my Dad's garden. The chicken was leftover from last night's dinner. And do you know what I have the hardest time preparing? A hard boiled egg! Honestly I can't do it! Other goodies on the salad were chick peas, bacon and olives.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Spaghetti alla Norma

Let me start by saying I am so glad I did not sign up for that CSA program. Between my Dad's garden and Jake's Farm Stand I have more than enough veggies to play with.

Tonight's dinner feature's my Dad's white eggplant. This is the first year he has planted this type of eggplant. I love it. The fruit is nice and small and the taste is lighter than the purple eggplant.

We have not had a tomato sauce in some time, okay we usually have sauce once a week so this has been a long stretch for us. I found this recipe, Spaghetti alla Norma.

I followed the recipe but I made one change... I roasted the eggplant instead of frying it. Yes I have said before that fried eggplant tastes great but roasting is much better for you. So I roasted. And I was glad I did. The flavor of this sauce was amazing. The only sound you heard from the table was "Yum!" Just the sauce on the Italian bread was even good. Perhaps that is what I will have for lunch tomorrow!

I almost forgot about the Spaghetti. It was Lidia's Spaghetti. New house pasta!

So what did we have for dinner a year ago?

So what did we have for dinner 2 years ago?
No Post  : (

So what did we have for dinner 3 years ago?
No Post  : (

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Heirloom Tomato, Ham and Fontina Frittatta

Tonight's recipe was from the William Sonoma Catalog, Heirloom Tomato, Ham and Fontina Frittatta. When I saw the tomatoes at Jake's I was so happy. They were a little pricey but I only needed a couple. The ham was a nice addition. I used the low sodium ham. And funny thing about sodium... my favorite part of tonight's dinner was the potato chips!

So what did we have for dinner a year ago?

So what did we have for dinner 2 years ago?
So what did we have for dinner 3 years ago?
Grilled Steak, Grilled Corn on the Cob and Rice