Thursday, December 31, 2009

Baked Potato Soup

This soup is so good. You'll think you're enjoying a loaded baked potato! This is a slight adaptation on a recipe I found here.

Makes: 6 servings
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: about 1 hour
Printable Recipe

  • 4 large potatoes
  • 2/3 cup butter
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 8 cups milk
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 6 green onions, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 16 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled, 4 slices reserved
  • 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

1. Preheat oven to 425 F.

2. Clean potatoes, poke holes in them using a knife or fork, wrap in foil and place in oven. Cook until fork tender, 45 minutes or more, depending on the size of the potatoes.

3. Let potatoes cool slightly. Cut in half and scoop out potato. Keep the skins from two of the potatoes. Chop.

4. Melt the butter in a large saucepan. Make a roux by adding the flour and whisking until thoroughly blended. Cook until golden.

5. Slowly add milk, garlic and salt and pepper to taste, whisking. Heat thoroughly

6. Add the potato, green onion, and potato peels to the pan. Mix well.

7. Add source cream and 12 slices of the crumbled bacon.

8. Add the cheese slowly, heating until melted. Stir well.

9. Serve in bowls topped with the reserved crumbled bacon and some more cheese if you like.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Animal footprints in the snow

It snowed just a little here Sunday night. We woke up to this.

I guess we have more animals visiting us at night than we thought!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Spicy Deep-Fried Chicken Wings

This is a slight adaption of the Neely's recipe on the Food Network. I deep fried the wings and then served them with 3 dipping sauces: Sweet Baby Ray's spicy mustard, Hidden Valley spicy ranch, and the dipping sauce in the recipe below.

These are really good, and they definitely have a kick, so beware if you are not used to spicy foods!

Makes: 4 servings
Prep time: 3 hours
Cook time: 45 minutes
Printable Recipe

Ingredients for the chicken and rub:

  • 2 T seasoned salt
  • 2 T crushed red pepper flakes
  • 4 t black pepper
  • 4 t cayenne pepper
  • 4 t poultry seasoning
  • 2 t lemon pepper seasoning
  • 12 whole chicken wings, cut in half at the joint, tips removed

Ingredients for the batter:

  • 4 eggs
  • 4 T hot sauce
  • 2 T crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 t black pepper
  • 2 t cayenne pepper
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • Oil, for frying

1. Mix together the rub ingredients. Reserve two tablespoons, then sprinkle the remaining rub over the wings (both sides), cover, and refrigerate for 1-3 hours.

2. Mix together the batter ingredients except oil and flour.

3. Bring oil to 350 degrees in fryer or Dutch oven.

4. Pour flour into pie dish.

5. Working 4-6 wings at a time (depending on the size of your fryer), dredge wings in egg dip and in flour and fry for about 8-10 minutes, turning at least once. Remove to paper towel lined baking sheet to drain. You may want to move drained wings into a low-heat oven since the deep frying process can take a while.

6. Sprinkle finished wings with reserved rub and serve with dipping sauce, below.

Ingredients for dipping sauce:

  • 2 cups light sour cream
  • 2 T horseradish
  • 1/2 t chili sauce
  • 1/2 t cayenne pepper

1. Mix all ingredients and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Bacon-wrapped Chicken Breasts

This is one of the simplest recipes I've made, and it is really good. How can it not be when there's lots of cream cheese involved?

We had these with fried corn and roasted asparagus. Really yummy!

Makes: 6 servings
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
Printable Recipe


  • 6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 1 (8 0z) tub of chive & onion cream cheese
  • 1 T butter
  • 6 slices thick-cut smoked bacon

1. Preheat oven to 400 F.

2. Flatten chicken to about 1/2" thickness.

3. Spread 3 T of cream cheese over each chicken breast.

4. Put a little butter on top of the cheese and sprinkle with a little salt. Roll up the chicken and wrap with a strip (or two!) of bacon.

5. Place chicken in a greased pan, seam-side down, and back uncovered for 35-40 minutes or until chicken is done.

6. Place chicken under broiler for about 5 minutes to brown and crisp the bacon.

Saturday, December 19, 2009


Even though I'm pushing 50, I've never outgrown my love of stuffed animals. I still have my Winnie The Pooh from second grade. My sweetie let me open one of my Christmas gifts early. He got me this cute squishable kitty. I love her so much and named her Puffy. If you want one of your own, go to They have all kinds of animals and they are soooo cute.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Chipotle Pork Stew

Pork is so cheap these days so I bought 2 pounds of pork loin and used it to make this great chipotle pork stew. I didn't eat it as a stew, though. Instead, I put it on tortillas. It was absolutely great!

Makes: 4-6 servings
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 3 hours
Printable Recipe


  • 1 T vegetable oil
  • 2 pounds pork loin, cubed
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (4 oz) can green chiles
  • 7 tomatillos, chopped
  • 1 T chipotle chile, minced, in adobo
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 T chili powder
  • 1 t ground cumin
  • 1 t dried oregano
  • 1/2 t salt

1. Heat oil in a large pot or Dutch oven. Add pork and brown well on all sides.

2. Add onion and garlic and cook for 5 minutes to brown.

3. Stir in tomatillos, chiles, chipotles, broth and seasonings. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for approximately 3 hours or until pork is very tender.

4. Serve over rice or in tortillas with guacamole and sour cream.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Bacony Chicken and Rice

This recipe came from the Sweet Potato Queens' Big-Ass Cookbook, with modifications. We listened to the first SPQ audiobook a few years ago on a roadtrip. They are a riot.

The chicken comes out really tender, and the sauce over rice is great!

Makes: 3 Servings
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 2 hours
Printable Recipe


  • 6 slices of bacon
  • 1 cup of rice, uncooked
  • 6 chicken thighs
  • 2 cans cream of chicken soup
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 t dried oregano
  • 1/2 t black pepper
  • 1/4 t paprika
  • 1/4 t garlic salt
  • 1/4 t nutmeg
  • 1/4 t cajun seasoning
  • 1 t dried parsley
  • salt

1. Preheat oven to 300 F.

2. Cover bottom of a 9 x 11 baking dish with the bacon.

3. Spread rice over bacon. Place chicken over rice and season with salt, pepper, paprika and cajun seasoning.

4. In a bowl, combine the soup, water, garlic salt, nutmeg, parsley and oregano and pour over chicken.

5. Cover pan with foil and bake for 2 hours. Check that the rice is done and serve.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Herby Purple Potatoes

These look a little different, but they were excellent! They have a nice soft interior with a perfect crunchy skin! Yummy!

Makes: 4 servings
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Printable Recipe


  • 24 oz purple potatoes
  • 6 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 T fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 T pink peppercorn, ground (I used black, but pink would definitely pop)
  • Salt
  • Lime (I omitted the lime)

1. Preheat oven to 450 F.

2. Boil the potatoes with salt until fork tender.

3. Transfer the potatoes to a baking sheet while still warm. Flatten them slightly with a potato masher.

4. Warm the olive oil with the garlic until fragrant, about 1 minute.

5. Pour the oil over the potatoes. Sprinkle with rosemary, peppercorns and salt.

6. Bake for 20-25 minutes, turning over halfway through.

7. Serve warm.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Braised Chicken Thighs with Mushrooms

I can always tell when something we've made tastes great because I forget to garnish with parsley before taking any pictures.

These braised chicken thighs hit the spot on a cold night. The sauce is really good, and is loaded with lots of mushrooms, which is always a good thing.

We had them with salads and an herby purple potato dish I'll post later.

Makes: 4-6 servings
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 1 1/2 hours
Printable Recipe

  • 1 T olive oil
  • 6 chicken thighs (I used boneless, skinless)
  • 1 T Bayou Blast (Emeril's Essence, see recipe below)
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/2 t black pepper
  • 2 T butter
  • 16 oz button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup yellow onion, sliced
  • 1 T garlic, minced
  • 2 T all-purpose flour
  • 2 T tomato paste
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 T fresh rosemary leaves, coarsely chopped
  • 4 cups white rice, cooked
  • 2 T fresh parsley leaves, chopped

1. Heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat and add the oil.

2. Season the chicken thighs with the Bayou Blast, salt and pepper.

3. Place the chicken in the pan (skin-side down if they are skin-on) and sear for 4 minutes. Turn over and sear another 4 minutes.

4. Remove chicken. Add butter and mushrooms to the pan and saute for about 5 minutes or until browned.

5. Add onion and garlic and saute for another 4 minutes.

6. Add the flour and blend, stirring, making a light brown rue. This will take about 5 minutes.

7. Add the tomato paste, chicken stock and rosemary. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer.

8. Add chicken back to pan and cook for 30 minutes.

9. Turn chicken over and cook another 30 minutes until the chicken is done.

10. Serve over rice.

Bayou Blast Seasoning (Emeril's Essence)


  • 2 1/2 T paprika
  • 2 T salt
  • 2 T garlic powder
  • 1 T black pepper
  • 1 T onion powder
  • 1 T cayenne pepper
  • 1 T dried oregano
  • 1 T dried thyme

1. Mix well.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Extra Rich Cheeseburger Soup

This is a nice, creamy soup. Anita really enjoyed it. I liked it, but thought it needed a little less carrot and celery. Next time I'll halve those ingredients.

This does taste like a cheeseburger. The homemade sourdough croutons and crumbled bacon definitely topped it off right.

Makes: 8 servings
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
Printable Recipe


  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 4 cups potatoes, cubed
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 1 cup carrots, shredded
  • 2 cups cheddar, cubed (I used Tillamook Sharp)
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 T butter
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 t dried basil
  • 1 t dried parsley
  • 5 slices of bacon
  • Sourdough croutons, for topping, if desired

1. In a large pot melt the butter and add all of the chopped vegetables except the potatoes and simmer over a medium heat for 2 minutes. Add the ground beef and brown.

2. Stir in the basil, parsley, potatoes and chicken broth. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are done, about 10-15 minutes.

3. In a separate pan cook 5 slices of bacon. Remove all but 2 T of the grease. Stir in the flour until well combined. Add the milk and cook until smooth.

4. Slowly add the milk mixture to the soup and stir well. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer, or turn the heat off. Add the cheese cubes and let them melt. Finally, add the sour cream and stir.

5. Serve hot topped with crumbled bacon and sourdough croutons.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Cream Cheese Potato Soup

I love this soup. It is very easy to make. Supposedly, it tastes just like the soup you can buy at Panera's with the same name. I just had a bowl of it for lunch and it is even better a few days after I made it. I love the kick from the red pepper.

Makes: 4-6 servings
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour
Printable Recipe


  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 4 cups peeled and cubed potatoes
  • 1/4 cup onion, minced
  • 1/2 t seasoning salt
  • 1/4 t white pepper
  • 1/4 t ground red pepper
  • 1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, cut into chunks

1. Combine broth, potatoes, onion, and spices.

2. Boil on medium heat until potatoes are tender.

3. Smash a few of the potatoes to thicken the soup. (I just took a potato masher and pushed it into the pot of soup).

4. Reduce heat to low.

5. Add the cream cheese chunks and heat, stirring frequently, until cheese melts.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Christmas Cookies

I felt like baking today so I made M&M cookies and butter cookies with my new cookie press. We're having a cookie trade at work at our holiday luncheon, so it was the perfect time to test out my cookie recipes. I bought the cookie press when I was finishing up my Christmas shopping. It was a snap to use and made the cutest little cookies. I substituted Splenda sugar and Splenda brown sugar.

M&M Cookies

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Makes: 36 cookies

  • 1 cup Crisco shortening
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups M&M's plain chocolate candies

1. Cream together shortening and sugars until light and fluffy.

2. Add eggs and vanilla and beat until combined.

3. Add combined flour, salt, and baking soda and mix until well combined.

4. Stir in 1/2 cup M&Ms.

5. Drop by Tbsp onto ungreased cookie sheet.

6. Press 2-3 M&Ms onto top of each cookie.

7. Bake in 375°F for 10-12 minutes.


Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 12-15 minutes
Makes: 66 cookies

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 3-ounce package cream cheese
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 1 t grated orange zest
  • 2 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/4 t cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 350 F.

2. Cream together butter, cream cheese and sugar.

3. Beat in egg yolk, vanilla and orange zest.

4. Sift together flour, salt, and cinnamon.

5. Gradually blend flour mixture into butter mixture.

6. Fill cookie press.

7. Form cookies on ungreased cookie sheets. Sprinkle with colored sugar, if desired.

8. Bake 12 to 15 minutes. Remove at once to cooling racks.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Exit 76 Anitque Mall, Edinburgh Indiana

We were in Edinburgh, Indiana, yesterday to finish up Christmas shopping at the outlet mall there. Well, ok, we shopped mostly for ourselves, truth be told.

We had to go by the Exit 76 Antique Mall. It's out favorite, with over 600 booths. I picked up a few things that I'll blog about soon. It was one of those rare times when I actually out-shopped Anita!

Anita took this pic early this morning as we were heading back home. The place wasn't open yet.

It usually takes us 3-4 hours to see every booth. The red-vested employees are always cheerful and ready to help if you need to get inside a case to look closer at an item.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Grilled Chicken Salad

I often make a huge salad just to use up everything I can find in the fridge. Tonight, it was carrots, grapes, spinach, Boston lettuce and some frisee lettuce. I grilled up some chicken from our favorite fajita recipe. Topped with some homemade croutons and a sliced avocado.

I have to admit it was a little chilly out at the grill tonight. But, never let that stop you!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Mom's Hearty Lasagna

This is my mom's recipe (well, minus the hot sauce), and it is the only lasagna I'll eat now. Oh, I've tried others, but this one has always been the best.

Here it is before going into the oven.

Hot out of the oven!

Yummy! Served with a few slices of garlic bread and a fennel salad on the side. If you let the lasagna set before cutting into it it'll not fall over like mine did. I just couldn't wait to dig in!

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 2 1/4 hours
Makes: 12 servings
Printable Recipe

Ingredients for the sauce:

  • 2 pounds of ground beef
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1-2 cloves (or more) garlic, minced
  • 6 oz tomato paste
  • 16 oz tomato sauce
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 t dried basil
  • hot sauce, to taste
  • 1 t sugar
  • 2 cups water

Ingredients for the lasagna:

  • 1 package lasagna noodles
  • 16 oz ricotta
  • 1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan
  • 8 oz shredded mozzarella (or use fresh mozzarella, torn into chunks)

1. Brown the beef in a large pot. Add onion and garlic and cook another 3-5 minutes.

2. Add remaining sauce ingredients and cook for 1 1/2 hours (or more), stirring occassionally. The sauce should be nice and thick.

3. Preheat oven to 325.

4. Make lasagna noodles according to package instructions.

5. In a 9 x 11 glass pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray, layer the ingredients in the order below. You should end up with 4 layers, but if put you run out of room in your pan, 3 layers is just fine.


6. Bake for 45 minutes. Let set before serving. Well, ok, I've never been able to let it set. I just dig in!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Pasta e Fagioli

Yeah, I can type it, but I might not be able to pronounce it correctly! I think it's 'fazul'. No matter how you say it, we like it a lot. First time making it. Definitely not the last. This is the perfect cold weather dish. I kept wanting to think I was eating chili, but it's definitely not a chili.

This makes quite a big batch of soup, so get out a 6 quart or larger pot to make it in. That or divide the recipe.

(Must be time to oil the cutting board, it's looking a little dry there)

Makes: 12-14 servings
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 7-8 hours
Printable Recipe


  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 4 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 (28 oz) cans diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 (16 oz) can red kidney beans, drained
  • 1 (16 oz) can white kidney beans, drained
  • 3 (10 oz) cans beef stock
  • 3 t oregano
  • 2 t pepper
  • 5 t parsley
  • 1 t hot sauce (optional)
  • 1 (20 oz) jar spaghetti sauce
  • 8 oz pasta

1. Brown beef in skillet. Drain and add to large pot.

2. Add all remaining ingredients except pasta and cook for 7-8 hours on low.

3. During last hour add pasta.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Jalapeño Refried Beans

I was pretty happy with how these came out. Good side for burgers.

Makes: 4 servings
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Printable Recipe


  • 1 T vegetable oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeño, minced
  • 1/4 cup onion, diced
  • 1 packet Sazon seasoning
  • 2 (15 1/2 oz) cans pinto beans
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • S & P

1. Heat oil over medium heat in a saucepan. Add garlic, jalapeño, onion and Sazon. Saute until they start to soften, about 3 minutes.

2. Add 1 can of pinto beans, including the liquid in the can. Simmer until beans heat through and soften, about 4-5 minutes.

3. Using a fork or potato masher, mash the beans.

4. Drain the second can of pinto beans and add those to the pan. Stir and cook until bean warm through.

5. Stir in lime juice and season with S & P.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Pumpkin Whoopies

Anita made a batch of these for Thanksgiving. They came out great! Very moist and sweet!

Makes: 12
Prep time: 35 minutes
Cook time: 10-15 minutes
Printable Recipe


  • 1 1/2 sticks butter. 1 stick melted and 1/2 stick softened
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature and lightly beaten
  • 1 cup canned pure pumpkin puree
  • 1 T pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 1/2 t pure vanilla extract
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 3/4 t plus 2 pinches salt
  • 1 2/3 cups flour
  • 4 oz cream cheese, chilled
  • 1 cup confectioner's sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. Whisk together the melted butter and brown sugar in a large bowl. Whisk in the eggs, pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, 1 teaspoon of the vanilla, the baking powder, baking soda and 3/4 teaspoon salt.

3. Fold in the flour using a rubber spatula.

4. Using a tablespoon, drop 12 same-size mounds of batter, spaced evenly, onto each baking sheet. Bake until springy to the touch, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool completely.

5. Using an electric mixer, cream the softened butter with the cream cheese. Add the confectioner's sugar and the remaining salt and vanilla. Mix on low speed until well blended, then beat on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes.

6. Spread the flat side of 12 cakes with the cream cheese frosting. Top each with another cake.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Fennel Salad

I needed a nice, crisp salad to go with the lasagna I made yesterday. As luck would have it, I was listening to a podcast that had this recipe, which came out quite nicely.

I have to admit, I've never used fennel before. I was a little weary as Anita doesn't like licorice-flavored foods, but this salad did not have a strong licorice flavor at all.

Makes: 4-6 servings
Prep time: 10 minutes
Printable Recipe


  • 2 medium-sized fennel bulbs, trimmed with some fronds reserved
  • 3 celery ribs, trimmed
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 T fresh lemon juice, or more to taste
  • salt to taste
  • 1/4 t fresh black pepper
  • Parmesan cheese, freshly shaved

1. Cut fennel bulbs in quarters lengthwise. Use a mandolin to slice thinly. Also slice celery thinly.

2. Combine fennel and celery with oil and lemon juice. Add salt and pepper and toss.

3. Top with Parmesan cheese shavings and reserved fronds if desired.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Chicken Fajitas

We really enjoyed these. The chicken tasted great, and the fresh avocado and guac really stepped it up. We'll be making this again soon.

Makes: 4 servings
Prep time: 2+ hours
Cook time: 10 minutes
Printable Recipe



  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 t soy sauce
  • 1 t salt
  • 1/2 t liquid smoke
  • 1/2 t cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 t black pepper
  • 1 lb top sirloin steak or boneless skinless chicken breast

1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl with meat and refrigerate at least 2 hours.

2. Discard leftover marinade.

3. Grill over medium heat for 4-5 minutes per side.

4. Let me sit for 5 minutes then slice into thin strips. Keep warm.

Vegetable Sauce


  • 2 T water
  • 1 t soy sauce
  • 1/2 t lime juice
  • 1 dash salt
  • 1 dash black pepper
  • 1 T olive oil

1. Combine all ingredients and set aside.



  • 1 large Spanish onion, sliced thin
  • 1/2 green pepper, sliced thin
  • 1/2 red pepper, sliced thin
  • 1/2 yellow pepper, sliced thin

1. Cool all ingredients in oil until brown.



  • Flour tortillas
  • Meat and vegetables from above

1. Warm tortillas on stove (I just throw them in a hot pan for a few seconds per side).

2. Combine vegetables with vegetable sauce.

3. Place meat filling in tortilla. Add vegetable/sauce mix.

For added flavor, top with guacamole and/or fresh avocados and salsa.

Thursday, November 19, 2009


I caught this woodpecker in the neighbor's tree the other day. The pic didn't come out too bad considering I took it thru the upstairs window, which is double-paned and has a cat-proof screen in it. Those cats are prone to escaping, you know.

I think this is the same fellow that has been hanging off the neighbor's wood siding, drilling for bugs.

Good thing I have vinyl siding.

Incan wall in Cuzco

I took this pic a long, long time ago when we were in Cuzco, Peru. The Incas were masters of engineering. One thing I will never forget from my two years in Peru was the many examples of their skills, like this wall. The accuracy and craftsmanship is unparalleled.

Some walls contained stones that would be difficult to lift with today's technologies, yet alone carve so amazingly.

Chex Party Mix

Well, it's not quite the stuff your momma used to make. The addition of some Dirty Dick's Oral Abuse hot sauce kicks it up a bit!

Makes: 12 servings
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Printable Recipe


  • 3 cups Corn Chex
  • 3 cups Wheat Chex
  • 3 cups Rice Chex
  • 2 cups pretzel sticks
  • 2 cups mixed nuts
  • 1 1/2 sticks butter
  • 3 T Worcestershire Sauce
  • Hot sauce, to taste
  • 1 t seasoned salt
  • 1/2 t onion powder
  • 3/4 t garlic powder

1. Preheat oven to 250.

2. Put cereal into large bowl. Add in pretzels and nuts.

3. Melt butter. Add seasonings. Mix well and stir into cereal mixture.

4. Transfer mix onto baking sheets and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Every 15 minutes, stir the mixture and return to the oven.

5. Let cool and store in an airtight container.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Turkey dinner

We decided to make a turkey dinner Sunday. It gave us a chance to try out a few new recipes before Thanksgiving.

I brined a bone-in fresh turkey breast in a honey solution overnight. The result was a nice, moist and tender turkey. The drippings made an awesome gravy that went well with the sage dressing.

Although I made the sweet potatoes on the grill, they can also be made indoors. The more you can cook on the grill the better. If nothing else, it frees up room in the oven!

The cranberry salad was awesome, as were the roasted Brussel sprouts.

Turkey Breast

Prep time: 24 hours
Makes: 6 serving from a 6 pound breast
Cook time: 2 hours
Printable Recipe


  • 1 6-pound bone-in, fresh natural turkey breast
  • 4-5 quarts of water
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 1 cup honey
  • 3-4 t black pepper
  • 5-6 garlic gloves, peeled
  • 1 small bunch fresh thyme, or about 1 T dried
  • 1 small bunch fresh sage, or about 1 T dried
  • 3 cups chicken stock

1. Rinse turkey breast with cold water and drain well. Blot dry.

2. In a large food-safe baggie (they sell really big ones that work great for turkeys), combine the water, honey and salt. Stir until the honey dissolves.

3. Add remaining ingredients except the turkey.

4. Place the baggie in a large pot. Make sure that the turkey is completely immersed. If needed, add more water.

5. Seal the bag and refrigerate for at least 12 hours.

For roasting:

  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 T mayonnaise
  • salt

1. Pre-heat oven to 325. Remove turkey from brine and pat dry. Place turkey breast side up on a rack in a shallow roasting pan.

2. Melt the butter in a pan. Add the chicken stock and stir. Remove from heat and pour over turkey.

3. Rub mayonnaise over turkey breast and salt lightly if desired.

4. Roast until internal temp in thick part of breast reaches 170. Usually a breast takes 15-20 minutes per pound.

5. Remove from oven and let rest for 30 minutes before carving.

Note: For crisper skin, raise the temperature to 350 for the last 30-45 minutes of cooking

To make the gravy, take the drippings and add to a pan on the stove. Bring to a simmer, stirring. Mix 1/4 cup warm water with 1 t corn starch and mix into gravy mixture, stirring. Repeat until gravy is the desired consistency.


This is based on a Betty Crocker recipe I found. It came out fantastic. You can use it as a stuffing if you are cooking a full bird. Since we just roasted a breast, we made this on the side.

Makes: 6 servings
Prep time: 15 minutes (see note)
Cook time: 1 hour


  • 12 cups bread, cubed (see note)
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup onion, minced
  • 1 1/2 cup celery, chopped
  • 1 cup mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 T salt
  • 1 t pepper
  • 1 T ground sage
  • 2-3 cups chicken stock

Note: The bread needs to be day old, and slightly crusty. If yours is not, you can sit it out overnight, or place the cubes on baking trays and place in a warm oven until crusty. Do not overcook.

1. Preheat oven to 350.

1. In a large skillet over medium heat melt the butter, then saute the onion, celery and mushroom until the onion is soft.

2. Add the salt, pepper and sage and cook 3 minutes.

3. Place the bread crumbs in a large bowl. Pour 1/4 cup of the butter/celery mixture over the cubes and toss well. Repeat until all of the mixture is used.

4. If the mixture is dry, add the chicken stock in 1/4 cup increments, mixing well. Do not over moisten.

5. Bake for 1 hour.

Cranberry Salad

Makes: 8 servings
Prep time: 4 hours
Cook time: 0 minutes

  • 4 oz can crushed pineapple
  • 3 oz package black cherry Jello
  • 6 oz dried cranberries, rinsed
  • 1 cup pecans, lightly chopped
  • 1/2 cup sugar or Splenda
  • Sour cream or whipped cream for garnish

1. Drain pineapple and reserve juice.

2. Add juice to 1/2 cup hot water and heat to boiling.

3. Soften gellatin in 1/4 cup cold water. Add to hot water/juice mixture. Let cool until it starts to set, but don't let the gellatin harden.

4. Put cranberries in a grinder (or blender) and grind well.

5. Add berries, pineapple, nuts and sugar to cooled gellatin mixture. Mix well. Pour into bowl or mold and refrigerate until set.

6. Place mold into warm water bath and run a knife around edges to loosen. Invert onto a serving plate. Garnish with parsley and a dollop of sour cream or whipped cream.

Grilled Sweet Potatoes with Pecan Butter

Makes: 4 servings
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 25-30 minutes

  • 4 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4" thick slices
  • 1 large sweet or Spanish onion, sliced thin and separated into rings
  • 3 T vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • 2 T light brown sugar
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1/4 t ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted

1. Preheat grill to medium, about 350 degrees.

2. Alternatively place potato slices and onion rings on a large sheet of aluminum foil. Brush with oil.

3. Place another sheet of foil over potatoes and seal along edges.

4. Place on grill for 25-30 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender.

5. In a small bowl, mix the butter, sugar, salt and cinnamon. Stir in pecans.

6. Open packets and top with pecan butter. Serve.

Roasted Brussel Sprouts

You can find the recipe here.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Oven Denver Omelet

I needed something easy for dinner the other night, so I threw together this Denver omelet that was baked in the oven. The cantaloupe canoe was an added bonus to the meal!

Makes: 3-4 servings
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Printable Recipe


  • 8 eggs
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup cooked ham, chopped fine
  • 1/4 cup green pepper, minced
  • 1/4 cup onion, minced
  • 1/4 cup parsley (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 400.

2. Beat eggs and cream until light and fluffy.

3. Add the remaining ingredients and stir.

4. Pour into greased 9" square baking dish and bake for 25 minutes or until set.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

First Aerogarden Tomatoes

I've been planting flowers and herbs in my Aerogardens for a year now. About 4 or so weeks ago I planted some cherry tomatoes.

Just yesterday I noticed the first two tomatoes! And today there are more! Woo hoo! Won't be long and we'll be enjoying home-grown 'maters even when there's snow on the ground!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Maple-Glazed Grilled Sweet Potatoes

We really liked these sweet potato wedges. They came out very sweet and tasty.

The dogs were nothing fancy. Just all-beef Hebrew National dogs, grilled and halved and topped with chopped hot cherry peppers. Nice kick!

Makes: 4 servings
Prep time: 35 minutes
Cook time: 6 minutes
Printable Recipe


  • 4 large sweet potatoes, washed but not peeled
  • 3/4 cup pure maple syrup (I used a Grade B)
  • 1 T chile powder
  • Salt
  • 1/4 cup canola oil

1. Place potatoes in large pot. Cover with cold water and bring to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer and simmer for 30-35 minutes, or until potatoes are fork soft.

2. Remove potatoes from pot, drain, and put into a large bowl of cold ice water. Let cool until you can handle them.

3. Peel potatoes and quarter lengthwise.

4. Heat grill to high.

5. Whisk together syrup, chile powder, and salt.

6. Brush potatoes with oil and grill until gold in color, about 3 minutes.

7. Brush potatoes with glaze and grill another 3 minutes, or until potatoes have a light char and are heated completely.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Pizza Margherita

For my first pizza completely from scratch, I was very happy with how this came out. It started out as a pizza margherita, but then I started adding other toppings. I think that makes it not a pizza margherita, but I'm not sure.

Regardless, it was deelish and super easy to make!


Makes: 1 large pizza
Prep time: 3 hours
Cook time: See Pizza instructions
Printable Recipe


  • 1 1/2 t active dry yeast
  • 1 cup lukewarm water
  • 2 t sugar
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 t salt
  • 2 T olive oil

1. Place yeast in a bowl. Add warm water and stir. Add sugar and stir. Let sit 10 minutes.

2. Add salt and flour and stir. Mix into a ball shape. Dump onto lightly floured surface and knead into a ball shape for 1-2 minutes. Knead olive oil into dough while shaping.

3. Lightly oil a bowl. Place dough in bowl and roll around, coating it in oil. Cover in plastic wrap and leave to rise (doubling in size) for 1-2 hours.

4. Remove dough onto a floured surface and knead air from dough. Fold into a ball shape again and let sit under plastic wrap for another 20 minutes.


Makes: 1 large pizza (double and freeze the remaining sauce)
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour


  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 T butter
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup celery, chopped
  • 1 garlic glove, minced
  • 1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
  • 1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
  • 2 T grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 t dried basil
  • 1 t dried oregano
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/2 t sugar
  • 1/4 t pepper
  • 1 small bay leaf
  • 1 t fennel seed

1. In a large skillet, melt butter with oil. Add the onion, celery and garlic and saute until soft and transparent.

2. Add tomato sauce and paste and stir until smooth.

3. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a slow simmer. Simmer for 1 hour.

4. Remove bay leaf before use.


Makes: 1 large pizza
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes


1 large pizza dough from above
1 serving of pizza sauce from above
fresh basil
fresh Mozzarella
Other toppings as desired

1. Preheat oven to highest temperature. On mine, that is 550.

2. Roll out pizza dough. Spread with sauce.

3. Tear mozzarella into strips and add to pizza along with fresh basil leaves and other toppings. Note: I added the basil leaves before baking. Some people prefer to add theirs after baking.

4. Bake pizza for approximately 10 minutes or until lightly blistered.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Egg Hole In One (aka Bird's Nest Breakfast)

I figured I'd do a practice run at making a Valentine's Day breakfast. I think the results came out pretty good.

Makes: 1 serving
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Printable Recipe


  • 2 slices bread
  • 2 T margarine
  • 2 eggs

1. Heat skillet to medium high.

2. Spread margarine on both sides of bread. Cut hole in center of bread. (I used a heart-shaped cookie cutter)

3. Place bread in skillet. Break an egg into the hole in each slice of bread.

4. Cook egg for 1-2 minutes, then flip to finish.

I also fried the cutout pieces to use as decoration.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Chocolate Pomegranate Seeds

Pomegranates are in season, so I picked up a few the other day. I seeded them, which I have to admit was not the easiest thing I've done. It's a task best done outside where the red juices won't splatter all over your kitchen.

I put the seeds in melted chocolate and let them set overnight. Yummy! You bite into the chocolate and get a surprise pomegranate explosion.

Makes: 12 servings
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 8 hours (in the fridge)
Printable Recipe

  • 2 large pomegranates, seeds removed and rinsed and dried
  • 1 (12 oz) bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • wax paper

1. Melt the chocolate in the microwave in 30-second increments, stirring. Do not over-heat.

2. Stir in the seeds and fold in gently.

3. Spoon out mixture onto wax paper on a sheet pan and place in fridge overnight.

4. These keep 3-4 days in the fridge.

Chicken Stock

With winter around the corner I decided to make a big batch of chicken stock to have on hand. I try and make it completely from scratch using scraps I've accumulated in the freezer.

I used a 12 quart stockpot. I came up with 11 3-cup containers and two ice cube trays of stock. That should be enough for a while!

Makes: A lot
Cook time: 1 day
Printable Recipe

  • 3-4 pounds chicken pieces, washed
  • 2 large onions, skin on, cut into large pieces
  • 2 large carrots, unpeeled, washed
  • 2 large celery ribs, cut in half, washed
  • 12 whole peppercorns
  • 1 head garlic, skin on, broken into cloves
  • cold water

1. Place all ingredients in a large stockpot. I use a 12-quart.

2. Cover with water to near the top of the pot.

3. Bring to full boil then reduce heat to simmer and let simmer for 5-6 hours.

4. Scrape any fat off the top of the liquid if you desire.

5. Let pot cool for 2-3 hours then place in fridge overnight.

6. The following day, return pot to stove and heat until just warm. Scrape any fat that is present if desired.

7. Strain liquid and freeze.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Shrimp-Stuffed Portabellas

I had two large portabellas left from early in the week, so I decided to stuff them with a shrimp mixture. This is really easy to make and very tasty. I think I'll try it with mini-bellas next time and serve as a side or hors d'oeuvres.

Makes: 4 servings
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 45 min - 1 hour
Printable Recipe


  • 4 large portabella mushrooms
  • 1/2 pound raw shrimp, cleaned and chopped roughly
  • 1 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • 3 T cream cheese, softened
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar, divided
  • 1 t Old Bay seasoning
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/2 t pepper
  • 1/2 t garlic powder
  • Nonstick cooking spray

1. Preheat oven to 325.

2. Remove stems from mushrooms and dice.

3. Scrape away gills from mushrooms.

4. Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat.

5. Add shrimp, onion, diced stems and bell pepper and saute until shrimp is pink.

6. Remove skillet from heat and place contents (including liquid) in large bowl.

7. Add cream cheese to mixture and stir well.

8. Add all other ingredients except mushroom caps along with 1/2 cup cheddar and mix.

9. Spray 8x11 glass baking dish with non-stick spray.

10. Stuff mushroom caps with mixture and place in baking dish.

11. Top with remaining cheddar cheese.

12. Bake for 45 minutes - 1 hour.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Jalapeño Sliders with Homemade Chips

Whooo! Man, these sliders are good! I could've eaten a dozen of these. The creme fraiche sauce really makes them pop!

For the sliders:

Makes: 12
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Printable Recipe

  • 1 pound fresh ground beef
  • 2 jalapeños, seeded, diced and chopped fine
  • 1 jalapeño, sliced for serving
  • 2 shallots, chopped fine
  • 1/2 cup panko
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup Monterey Jack cheese, grated
  • 1 pinch garlic powder
  • 1 T salt, plus a pinch
  • 1/2 t pepper, plus a pinch
  • 1 cup creme fraiche
  • 1/4 cup salsa verde
  • 12 mini dinner rolls

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. In a large bowl, combine the beef, chopped jalapeños, shallots, panko, heavy cream cheese, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Mix well and form into 12 patties. Place in oven and bake 12-15 minutes.

3. In a separate bowl, mix creme fraiche, salsa verde, a pinch of salt and a pinch of pepper. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

4. Spread sauce mixture on buns, top with burgers and pick with a jalapeño.

For the homemade chips:

Makes: 4 servings
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes

  • 2 large potatoes, washed
  • Oil for frying
  • Salt

1. Slice the potatoes very thinly using a mandolin. Optionally, skin the potatoes first.

2. As you slice, put the slices into a bowl of ice cold water.

3. Heat oil to 375.

4. Dry the potatoes completely.

5. Fry potatoes in batches for approximately 3 minutes until golden. Remove from oil and drain. Season generously with salt.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Chicken Scarpariello with Lemon Orzo

Boy, this sure was good. I could've eaten thirds. The hot cherry peppers went very well with the lemony orzo.

Makes: 4 servings
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Printable Recipe

Chicken Scarpariello Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast (Note that I used thighs instead)
  • S & P
  • 1 t poultry seasoning
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 2 red bell peppers, chopping into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 hot cherry peppers, drained and chopped
  • 4 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth or stock
  • 1/4 cup parsley, chopped
  • 2 T juice from the hot pepper jar

1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Cut chicken into large chunks and season with salt, pepper and poultry seasoning. Set chicken into pan and brown on each side for about 3 minutes. Remove chicken.

2. Add bell peppers, hot peppers, and garlic to pan and saute for 5 minutes, tossing frequently.

3. Add wine and reduce for 1 minute.

4. Scrape pan drippings and add chicken stock. Bring to a boil. Add chicken back to pan.

5. Add parsley and toss well. Cook chicken completely, another 2-3 minutes.

6. Drip hot pepper juice over pan and serve over orzo.

Lemon Orzo

  • 1/2 pound orzo
  • S & P
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 2 large lemons, zested
  • 1/4 cup parsley, chopped

1. Cook orzo in salted water for 12 minutes until al dente.

2. Drain well. Do no run under cold water. Transfer to a serving bowl.

3. Drizzle orzo with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

4. Add lemon zest and parsley and toss.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

This year's pumpkins

As we do each year, we both carved a pumpkin for Halloween.

I did the Smirk-O-Lantern:

Anita's pumpkin turned out scary!

We had at least one kid that wouldn't come up the driveway because the pumpkins scared him.

Pumpkin Soup

We make this soup every year for Halloween. It is very rich and creamy and tasty.

Makes: 6 servings
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour
Printable Recipe


  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 2-3 cups pared pumpkin cut into 1/2" cubes
  • 1 cup onion, sliced thinly
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 t salt
  • 1/2 t dried thyme
  • 5 peppercorns
  • 1 medium sugar pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream, warmed
  • 1 t fresh parsley, finely chopped

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. Heat the stock, pumpkin, onion, garlic, salt, thyme and peppercorns in a covered saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, remove top of sugar pumpkin and clean out the insides. Save the seeds to make roasted pumpkin seeds.

4. Remove 1/2 cup of the pumpkin mixture with a slotted spoon and reserve.

5. Simmer remaining pumpkin mixture for anther 20 minutes.

6. Place sugar pumpkin on baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Remove and set aside in a warm place.

7. Puree the pumpkin mixture in a blender 1-2 cups at a time. Alternatively, use a stick or immersion blender.

8. Return the pureed mixture to the pan and bring to a boil. Then reduce heat to simmer and cook for another 10 minutes.

9. Stir warm cream and reserved pumpkin into soup.

10. Pour soup into sugar pumpkin sitting on a platter. Garnish with parsley. Serve.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

We love Halloween!

We carved our pumpkins tonight. We always save a lot of the seeds so we can roast them. We also saved a pumpkin for tomorrow's pumpkin soup. There are pumpkins all over the place!

Makes: 4 servings
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 45-55 minutes
Printable Recipe


  • 1 1/2 cups pumpkin seeds (some pulp is ok)
  • 2 t butter, melted
  • salt
  • onion powder (optional)
  • garlic powder (optional)
  • cajun seasonings (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 300.

2. Put seeds in bowl and drizzle with butter. Add desired spices. Mix well.

3. Spread seeds on baking dish and bake for 15 minutes.

4. Stir well and bake another 15 minutes, repeat 2-3 more times until crispy.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Spicy black-eyed pea soup (remake)

I remade a recipe I made a few weeks ago, with a change.

I made spicy black-eyed pea soup, but instead of kielbasa I put in diced ham.

I think I'll make it this way in the future. The ham adds more flavor, it seems.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Kielbasa Soup

Mmmmm, this is soooo good. And simple. I've been in simple food mode for a while now. I've designed a menu for this weekend that'll get me out of that mode.

Until then, we'll have things like this kielbasa soup.

Makes: 6 servings
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Printable Recipe


  • 4 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 lb kielbasa, sliced thin
  • 1 can bean with bacon soup

1. Place veggies and water in a Dutch oven and bring to a boil.

2. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes until veggies are almost tender.

3. Add kielbasa and bean soup.

4. Heat until hot.

5. Serve with bread.

Note: You can make this in a crockpot also. If you want a little more texture to your kielbasa, brown them in a pan before adding.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Aliens in the shed

I went out to the shed yesterday to get the rake so I could start on the yard. As soon as I opened the shed door something scurried across the floor and underneath the mower.

I grabbed an empty cat litter bucket and a stick. I poked underneath the mower deck and out came this creature that I caught in the bucket.

Later, I put him in a jar. I think it's an alien baby.

Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Chocolate Bowls

Our teenage niece and her friend spent the night with us last night. For something different, and fun, I decided to give these chocolate bowls a shot.

You start with a balloon that you fill halfway with water. You can see in this pic that we overfilled ours, and that caused them to lean over a lot. Not that that was a bad thing, but the bowls ended up slanted. We used 8" balloons. I think they were a little large and that 4" would've been better, but 8" was all the local store had.

Oh, and you don't have to worry about the balloon smell getting onto the bowls.

In a microwave, melt two batches of dipping chocolate per the manufacturers instructions. Pour the chocolate into a deep small bowl just slightly larger then the balloons.

Put a balloon into the bowl, and rotate it back and forth to get the chocolate over the bottom of the balloon. Take a piece of wax paper and put it on a large sheet pan. Place a dollop of the chocolate mix on the paper (to help hold the balloon in place) and then place the balloon on top of it.

Hold the balloon in place until it sets enough to put the pan into the fridge. Let set for at least 30 minutes until the chocolate is hardened.

Working near the sink. pop a hole in the balloon and let the water drain out. Remove the balloon. It might stick a bit. Just be careful when tugging at it and it'll come loose. Drain all of the water. Our bowls ended up with a little chocolate lip at the bottom. You might want to trim that off. I kept it on. Just be careful if you do trim it as the bowls are delicate.

Place the chocolate bowl into a bowl or onto a plate and add ice cream, chocolate syrup, M & Ms, or whatever you want!


Friday, October 23, 2009

Bagel Breakfast Sandwich

I wanted to do something simple for dinner tonight. Breakfast for dinner always hits the spot.

So, I fried up a little hickory-smoked bacon and some eggs and put them on toasted bagels with some extra-sharp cheddar and Canadian bacon.


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Tomato Sauce

I discovered this recipe on a Chow podcast. I'm not sure what I was thinking when I plated the basil leaf. Perhaps it was the wine I'd had while cooking. That would also explain the Band-Aid looking Parmesan presentation. Regardless, it was very tasty and I'd make this again in a heartbeat. This makes a big batch, so I froze a few cups for lunches.

In about another week I'll be able to make this with fresh herbs from the Aerogarden.

Makes: 6 servings
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes (does not include pasta cook time)
Printable Recipe


  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3-5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2-3 shallots, chopped
  • 3 T fresh thyme, chopped (or 1 T dried)
  • 3 T fresh marjoram, chopped (or 1 T dried)
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 large can diced tomatoes
  • 1 large can chopped tomatoes
  • S & P
  • 1 small can tomato paste
  • 1 t hot pepper flakes
  • 2 T fresh basil, chopped (plus more for garnish)
  • Parmigiano-Reggiano for garnish
  • 1 T sugar

1. Heat oil over high heat. Add garlic, shallots, thyme and marjoram and saute for 3 minutes.

2. Add wine and reduce by 1/2, about 3 minutes.

3. Add 2 can tomatoes and pepper. Simmer, stirring often, for 7 minutes.

4. Add 1/2 -3/4 can of tomato paste, sugar, and hot pepper flakes. Simmer an additional 7 minutes, stirring often.

5. Salt to taste and add fresh chopped basil, cook another 1 minute.

6. Serve over pasta, garnish wish basil and cheese.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Sweet Pepper, Tomato and Salami Frittata

It's rare that I make a frittata. I found this recipe and just had to try it out. It was delicious hot out of the oven, and even better the next day.

Makes: 6 servings
Prep time: 45 minutes
Cook time: 20-30 minutes
Printable Recipe


  • 9 large eggs, beaten
  • 4 medium-sized potatoes, scrubbed
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 medium-sized red peppers, chopped
  • 1 large handful of cherry tomatoes, cut in half or quartered depending on size
  • 6 oz salami, cubed
  • 4 oz cheddar cheese, grated
  • 4 oz Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 2 T fresh basil, chopped coarsely
  • 1 t salt
  • 2 t olive oil

1. Boil or steam potatoes until tender. Drain, cool, then dice.

2. Preheat oven to 350.

3. In a large cast iron skillet (I used a 12"), heat the oil over medium heat. Saute onions for 5 minutes then add peppers and cook another 3-5 minutes, until softened.

4. In a large bowl, gently mix the eggs, cheese (keep a little cheddar in reserve for topping), salami, basil, tomatoes, and salt and pepper.

5. Add potatoes to skillet of onions and peppers and mix, spread evenly.

6. Pour egg mixture into skillet and spread evenly. Top with reserved cheddar.

7. Cook in oven for 15-20 minutes or until eggs have set. Transfer skillet to under the broiler and brown for 2-4 minutes until browned.

8. Allow to cool slightly and serve in wedges.