Thursday, March 31, 2011

Sweet Potato and Beet Chips

The garlic and rosemary salt on these chips really makes them awesome. I had a hard time keeping from eating them all before I was even done cooking them.

Makes: 8-10 servings
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Printable Recipe


  • 2 sweet potatoes, cut 1/8" thick
  • 2 beets, cut 1/8" thick
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 t dried rosemary, crushed
  • 2 T salt
  • Vegetable oil, for frying

1. Heat oil to 350 F in a deep fryer or Dutch oven.

2. Combine garlic, rosemary and salt.

3. Working in batches, fry the potatoes (2-3 minutes) and beets (3-4 minutes) . Remove to a paper towel-lined plate and sprinkle with some of the salt mixture.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Moon Dog Tavern

Some ex-coworkers and I met up for lunch the other day at the Moon Dog Tavern. First time I'd been there. It is located just south of 96th street near River Road, in between Allisonville and Keystone roads.

I ordered the reuben sandwich (my usual for the first time I'm at a restaurant), and a side salad. The sandwich was quite good (the corned beef was tender, the bread was fresh, and there was just the right amount of dressing) as was the salad. Service was friendly and prompt. I'd definitely return for another reuben, or to try the muffaletta pannini, which one of my coworkers had. It looked mighty good. I should've stolen it when he wasn't looking! Another coworker ordered the breaded pork tenderloin sandwich. It was massive and mighty tasty looking also.

Moon Dog is a somewhat typical-looking bar setting, but with good food. They do allow smoking in the smoking section. I keep forgetting that some places in Indianapolis still allow smoking. The smoke was noticeable from the non-smoking section, but not overpowering.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Deep-Fried Mozzarella Bites

Oh, yummy!

Serve with your favorite marinara sauce.

Makes: 24 appetizer-sized servings
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Printable Recipe


  • 1 lb fresh buffalo Mozzarella, cut into bite-sized chunks
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
  • 1/2 t garlic salt
  • 1 t Italian seasoning
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup corn starch
  • Vegetable oil, for frying

1. Beat eggs with one tablespoon water.

2. In a shallow bowl or a pie plate, combine the bread crumbs, garlic salt and Italian seasoning.

3. In another bowl or pie plate, combine the flour and corn starch.

4. Heat oil in a Dutch oven or deep fryer to 350 F.

5. Working in batches, dip the cheese in the flour, then the eggs, and then the bread crumbs. Deep fry until golden, about one minute or so. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.

6. Serve with your favorite marinara sauce, warmed.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Tomato-Braised Cauliflower

We were looking for something different to do with cauliflower. We ran across this recipe from Steamy Kitchen. Jaden Hair has some other great recipes on the Steamy Kitchen blog. It's well worth checking out.

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


  • 1 T tomato paste
  • 2 T red wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 2 t Dijon mustard
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 medium head cauliflower, broken into florets
  • Ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 large onion, sliced thin
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme (can substitute 2 teaspoons of dried thyme)

1. In a small bowl, whisk together the tomato paste, mustard, water and vinegar.

2. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the cauliflower and onion. Season with salt and pepper and dust with cinnamon. Stir well and heat until the onions are softened, about 5 minutes.

3. Stir in the tomato paste mixture and add the cinnamon sticks, bay leaves and thyme. Partially cover and cook on medium low until the cauliflower is tender, 10-15 minutes.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Bazbeaux Pizza

Anita has been yearning for pizza for a bit now. Normally, I'd fire up the grill and just make one on there, but I decided that we'd go out instead.

We wandered on over to Bazbeaux Pizza in Carmel. They are very highly rated, and often touted as the best pizza in Indy.

For starters we each ordered a small side salad. For me, a Greek salad, while Anita ordered the spinach salad. We both had the house vinaigrette. The salads were very fresh, well made, and really excellent. Honestly, I'd go back just for a salad.

We ordered a 12" pizza on thin white crust. For the toppings, Italian sausage, roasted red pepper, and red onion. The pizza arrived quickly and we dug in. And oh, how it was sooooo good! The crust was perfect! Thin and crunchy! The sauce and toppings and cheese were also great.

We'd return to this place in a heartbeat. They are located right on the Monon Trail, so this spring (if it ever decides to warm up), we'll ride our bikes up the trail and take a break and enjoy some of the great pizza at Bazbeaux's!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Buttermilk Waffles

Happy National Waffle Day!

Easy and good. Use whatever you want for toppings. I added fresh strawberries and whipped cream. Next time, I'll add some of my dad's pecans, chopped.

We used some grade A maple syrup in a little old dispenser we picked up at the antique mall not too long ago. I got the original recipe from girlichef.

Makes: 6 waffles (depending on the size of your waffle maker)
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Printable Recipe


  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 T canola oil
  • 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 t baking soda
  • 1 t salt
  • 1/3 cup sugar (or Splenda)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk

1. Place the butter and oil in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave for about 45 seconds or until the better is melted. Stir.

2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt and sugar.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg. Stir in the milk and buttermilk.

4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and blend. Stir in the butter and oil.

5. Heat your waffle iron per manufacturer's instructions and cook the waffles.

6. Serve with your favorite toppings.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Deep-Fried Mashed Potatoes

Yeah, you can tell these are good just by looking at them. Serve them as a side or an appetizer.

I found the original recipe over at Copy Kat's.

Makes: 12 rolls
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Printable Recipe


  • 1 lb russet potatoes, peeled, and chopped into 1" cubes
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 T butter
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1 package egg roll wrappers
  • 4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1 bunch green onions, sliced
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 egg
  • Oil, for frying
  • 1/2 cup sour cream

1. Put potatoes in a pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Drain well then place into a large bowl.

2. Smash potatoes with a masher. Add butter, cream, and salt and pepper to taste and mix.

3. Add all but a few tablespoons of the green onions (reserving the rest for garnish) along with the bacon to the potatoes. Also add 1/4 cup of the cheese.

4. Whisk the egg with one tablespoon water.

5. Lay out wrappers and add potatoes (about 2-3 tablespoons at a time). Roll up and secure ends with egg wash.

6. Heat oil in a Dutch oven or deep fryer to 350 F. Add rolls in batches and cook until golden brown. Drain on a paper towel-lined plate.

7. Serve rolls topped with remaining cheese and green onions and sour cream for dipping.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Smoked Sausage Roll-Ups

These are super tasty! You can substitute kielbasa, Polish sausage, or whatever you'd prefer.

The caramelized onions are optional, but I highly recommend them.

Makes: 8 roll-ups
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Printable Recipe


  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 T butter
  • 1 lb smoked (or other) sausage, divided into 8 equal lengths
  • 1 t Dijon mustard, plus more for dipping
  • 1 8oz package crescent rolls
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, sliced

1. Preheat oven to 350 F.

2. Caramelize onion in one tablespoon of butter.

3. Open crescent roll package. Unroll and divide into the 8 pre-cut triangles.

4. Melt 1/4 cup of butter. Add mustard and combine well.

5. Brush mustard/butter mixture over dough.

6. Top each dough triangle with some of the onions.

7. Place pieces of sausage at long edge of the dough. Roll up towards the pointed end. Pinch in the sides.

8. Brush tops of roll-ups with additional mustard/butter mixture.

9. Bake for around 20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with more mustard for dipping.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Braised Cabbage

Last week I had a great reuben sandwich at Bistro 310. It had braised cabbage on it instead of kraut. So, I tried to duplicate it, and honestly, it came out great! Along with the cabbage and corned beef and dressing, I added white cheddar and fontina cheeses. Yummy!

I also put this on grilled hot dogs, which was soooooooooooo good!

Makes: A big batch
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Printable Recipe


  • 4 T butter
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 1 head red cabbage, sliced thin
  • Red pepper flakes, to taste
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup apple cider (can use apple juice)
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock

1. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

2. Add the onion and cook for 1-2 minutes or until starting to soften.

3. Add the cabbage and cook until softened, about 5-6 minutes.

4. Add salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper, to taste.

5. Add the sugar, cider and stock and cook until cabbage is tender, about 10-15 minutes.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Onion-Smothered Hot Dogs

I grill a lot of hot dogs this time of year. I try and mix it up a bit. The onions on these are particularly good, not to mention terribly easy.

We had them with a grilled baguette slathered with habanero oil and baby carrot popsicles.

Makes: 4 dogs
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Printable Recipe


  • 4 all-beef dogs
  • 4 buns (I used a baguette cut to bun-size)
  • 1 large white onion, sliced
  • 1 T vegetable oil
  • 3 T ketchup
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 t cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 t paprika

1. Saute onions in oil until soft. Add ketchup, vinegar, water, cayenne and paprika and cook until water is reduced and sauce becomes thick.

2. Grill hot dogs and toast buns. Serve covered in onions.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Shamrock Shake

Happy St Patrick's Day!

Yummy good!

We served this in an awesome 1950s soda glass I found at the antique mall last weekend for $4!

Makes: 2 servings, 1 big ole shake!
Printable Recipe


  • 3 cups of vanilla ice cream, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/4 t peppermint extract
  • 8 drops green food coloring
  • Green sprinkles
  • Whipped cream

1. Place the ice cream, milk, peppermint extract, and food coloring into a blender. Blend until smooth.

2. Pour mixture into a large soda glass (frosted is better!). Top with whipped cream and sprinkles.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Hot Dog Po-Boy

Hmmmmm. So good! And I found out I LOVE pickled okra! Who would've thought?

The salad at the market was pretty sad looking, so I used some out of one of our Aerogardens.

Makes: 2 dogs
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes


  • 2 all-beef hot dogs
  • 2 hot dog buns (I used a French baguette cut into dog-sized lengths)
  • 4 T Remoulade sauce (store-bought or use this recipe)
  • 1/2 cup lettuce, shredded
  • 1/4 cup pickled okra
  • Cajun seasoning (I used Cajun Power)

1. Grill the dogs and toast the buns.

2. Add dogs to buns. Slather with remoulade. Top with lettuce and okra, then sprinkle with Cajun seasoning.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Puppy Dogs

Sometimes you just have to have fun with your food!

Makes: 6 lil dogs (2 servings)
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes


  • 3 all-beef hot dogs, cut in halves (mark an X on the ends for better presentation)
  • 6 slider buns
  • Ketchup and mustard

1. Cook the dogs on your grill, or boil them.

2. Toast buns, then split. Add dogs, ketchup, and mustard. Enjoy!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Bistro 310 Restaurant and Pub

Anita and I were in the Columbus, Indiana, area last Friday. I had come upon Bistro 310 in my searches for something new. They are also on Facebook, and I had been following them for a while to see what great food the chef, Chef Jeff Maiani, was creating. Needless to say, we were really looking forward to our lunch.

Bistro 310 is a welcoming place, and the staff was very friendly and attentive.

Anita ordered the Ultimate Grilled Cheese sandwich (brie, goat cheese, white cheddar, smoked bacon, Dijon on sourdough bread with tomato and watercress) and garlic fries. The sandwich was fantastic (I think it's fair to call it the Ultimate Grilled Cheese), and the fries were very addictive.

I had the Reuben, my test of just about everywhere we eat. I was very pleased with it. The corned beef was perfect. Instead of your 'usual' kraut, this sandwich was served with braised purple cabbage. It was heavenly. I am making my next Reuben the same way, along with white cheddar and gruyere. The Thousand Island dressing was mellow. I really liked it. It wasn't all relishy like you sometimes get. On the side I had a small salad with a delicious shallot vinaigrette.

We highly recommend Bistro 310 and are really looking forward to returning for lunch or for dinner (their dinner menu changes monthly).

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Remoulade Potato Salad

This is another great take on a potato salad. Lesser olive lovers should slice the olives for garnishing this salad.

I found this recipe over at Cajun Delights.

Makes: 8-10 servings
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Printable Recipe


  • 3 lb red potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 t salt
  • 2 ribs celery, diced
  • 1/2 cup green onions, sliced, plus more for garnish
  • 3/4 cup mayo
  • 1/8 cup Creole mustard
  • 1/8 cup yellow mustard
  • 3 T ketchup
  • 1 T prepared horseradish
  • 1 T sweet pickle relish w /juice
  • 1 T hot sauce (I used Cajun Power Louisiana Lightning Strike)
  • 1 t Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Cajun seasoning, for garnish (I used Cajun Power Cajun Seasoning)
  • Olives, for garnish

1. Place potatoes in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook for 12 minutes or until potatoes are beginning to soften. Remove from heat, drain, and let cool.

2. Place potatoes in a large bowl. Season with salt.

3. In a separate bowl, combine all ingredients except the garnish (Cajun seasoning, olives and additional green onions). Add to potatoes and mix.

4. Sprinkle salad with Cajun seasoning and garnish with olives and green onions.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Easy Fish Tacos with Chili Mayo

Sometimes you just need to crank out something quick for dinner, and this was it for us the other night. These are really quite good, mainly because of the great tasting sauce.

Makes: 8 tacos, 4 servings
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Printable Recipe


  • 16 crunchy fish sticks
  • 8 flour or corn tortillas
  • 1/2 head Napa cabbage, shredded
  • Chili mayo (see below)
  • 1 lime, quartered

1. Cook fish sticks per package instructions.

2. Heat a skillet over medium heat. Warm tortillas, one at a time, for about 30 seconds per side.

3. Top tortillas with 2 fish sticks, cabbage, and a big spoonful of the mayo. Squeeze lime juice over the top and serve.

Chili Mayo

Prep time: 1/2 hour


  • 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream
  • 2 canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • 1/2 lime, juiced

1. Put all ingredients into a blender and puree. Add salt and pepper to taste.

2. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before using.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Buffalo Chicken Egg Rolls

The chicken in these egg rolls is so tender, and juicy, with just the right amount of heat!

This recipe makes a big batch so you'll have plenty for appetizers.

Makes: 24 egg rolls
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
Printable Recipe


  • 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 chicken bouillon cubes
  • 1 1/2 cups hot sauce (I used Cajun Power Louisiana Lightning Sauce)
  • 1 cup Mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 2 eggs, beaten with 2 T water
  • 1 cup blue cheese and/or ranch salad dressing
  • 1 package egg roll wrappers
  • 6 cups oil for frying
  • Celery, sliced

1. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the bouillon cubes and chicken. Boil until the chicken is cooked completely. Let cool and shred into bite-sized pieces.

2. Place chicken in a large bowl. Add the hot sauce and cheese and mix.

3. Heat oil in a Dutch oven, large pot, or deep fryer to 350 F.

4. Working in batches, spoon approximately 2-3 tablespoons of the chicken mixture onto the egg rolls and roll. Brush edge with the egg wash to seal. Add to oil and fry until golden brown. Drain on paper towel-lined plate.

5. Serve with blue cheese and/or ranch dressing and celery.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Chorizo and Black-Eyed Pea Soup

This is a great, rich soup. Mexican chorizo is a wonderful thing!

The recipe calls for adding crushed tortilla chips to thicken the soup. You can instead use masa de harina if you wish. You can also substitute canned peas, but I think dried peas are much better.

The original recipe came from the Homesick Texan's blog.

Makes: 8 servings
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 2 hours + overnight soaking
Printable Recipe


  • 1 lb Mexican chorizo
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 15 oz can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, drained
  • 2 chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
  • 1/2 t ground cumin
  • 1/2 t oregano
  • 1/4 t ground allspice
  • 1 lb dried black-eyed peas (or 3 15 oz cans of black-eyed peas)
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro (plus more for garnishing)
  • 8 oz pepper Jack cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup finely crushed tortilla chips
  • 2 T fresh lime juice
  • Sour cream, for garnish

1. If using dried peas, soak them overnight. Rinse and drain and cook per package instructions, about 1 - 1 1/2 hours. Remember to keep the liquid the peas are cooked in. (Note: If you forget and drained the cooked peas, just add a few cups more of chicken broth or even water)

2. Crumble the sausage into a skillet and cook until browned. Remove to a large pot, reserving 1 tablespoon of oil in the skillet.

3. Add the onions and cook until just starting to soften, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 more minute.

4. Place garlic and onion in a blender along with the tomatoes, chipotles, cumin, oregano, and allspice. Blend until smooth. Add to the pot along with the chorizo.

5. Add the peas and the liquid they were cooked in, along with the chicken broth and cilantro. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes.

6. Add the cheese and stir until melted.

7. Add tortilla chips and simmer another 10 minutes.

8. Stir in the lime juice. Serve topped with a dollop of sour cream and more chopped cilantro.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Honey Soy Glazed Thighs with Broccoli and Celery Slaw

This was a big hit. The chicken is easy to make, and the slaw is insanely good.

Anita's not a big fan of cumin (which is unfortunate), so we cut back on the stated amount by just a bit.

The original recipe for the chicken used legs. You could also use boneless breasts and adjust the cooking time as needed.

For the Honey Soy Glazed Thighs:

Makes: 4 servings
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Printable Recipe

  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 T soy sauce
  • 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • Cooked rice, for serving

1. Preheat oven to 475 F. Spray a 9x13" baking dish with non-stick spray.

2. Place honey, soy sauce and 1/3 cup of water in a large bowl. Mix well. Add the chicken, toss to coat. Remove to baking dish and season well with salt and pepper.

3. Bake chicken until well browned and done, about 20 minutes. Baste with pan juices every 5 minutes.

4. Serve over rice drizzled with pan juices.

For the Broccoli and Celery Slaw:

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


  • 1 head broccoli, stalks sliced thin sliced, florets chopped
  • 4 celery stalks, sliced thin on the diagonal
  • 1/2 medium red onion, sliced thin
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 lime, zested and juiced
  • 1/2 t ground cumin
  • 1/2 t chili powder
  • 2 t sugar
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins, for garnish (optional)

1. Put the broccoli, celery, and red onion in a large bowl.

2. In a small bowl, mix the mayo, lime juice and zest, cumin, chili powder, and sugar. Whisk together. Add salt and pepper to taste.

3. Add dressing to the vegetables. Combine well. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving. Toss first, then top with raisins.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Chorizo and Refried Bean Dip

This dip is sooooo tasty.

I found the original recipe on the Life's Ambrosia blog, and made only minor changes to it.

Makes: 4-6 servings
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Printable Recipe


  • 1 lb Mexican chorizo
  • 1/2 medium white onion, diced
  • 2 jalapeños, diced
  • 1 can refried beans
  • 1/4 t ground cumin
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 2 green onions, sliced

1. Crumble chorizo sausage into a pre-heated pan over medium-high heat. Remove to a plate and reserve.

2. Add the onion and jalapeños and cook until the onions just start to soften.

3. Add the chorizo back to the pan. Add in the beans, cumin and 1/2 cup of the cheese. Stir and heat until the cheese has melted.

4. Spoon mixture into an oven-proof dish. Top with remaining cheese. Place under broiler for 2-3 minutes until the cheese is melted.

5. Top with green onions and serve with tortilla chips.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Cajun Sausage and Red Beans over Skillet Cornbread

Great dish for a cold, gloomy day!

Makes: 6 servings
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 8 hours
Printable Recipe


  • 1 lb smoked sausage, cut into 1/2" pieces
  • 1 16 oz can light red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 14 1/2 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 small can green chilies, chopped
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth (or water)
  • 2 T Italian seasoning
  • Hot sauce, to taste
  • Cornbread (see below)

1. Place sausage in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat and brown. Add remaining ingredients and cook on low 7-8 hours.

2. Serve over cornbread.

Skillet Cornbread

Makes: 8-12 servings
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes


  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 T baking powder
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • 1/4 cup shortening, plus 2 T

1. Preheat oven to 450 F.

2. Combine cornmeal, flour, salt and baking powder in a bowl.

3. Combine buttermilk, milk, and egg in another bowl and stir. Add baking soda and stir.

4. Pour wet mixture in with dry mixture. Stir with a fork.

5. Melt 1/4 cup of the shortening and stir into the batter.

6. Heat 9" cast iron skillet over high heat and add remaining 2 tablespoons of shortening. Add the batter and spread out evenly.

7. Cook batter on stovetop for 1 minute, then transfer skillet to oven and bake 20-25 minutes until golden brown.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Mushroom and Artichoke Chicken Thighs

Oh, my, how this smelled so good while it was cooking! I had a hard time keeping from just grabbing a bowl before it was completely ready!

I found the original recipe over on the Gonna Want Seconds blog.

Makes: 4 servings
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
Printable Recipe


  • 2 T olive oil
  • 6-8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into chunks
  • 1 medium white onion, sliced
  • 2 T garlic, minced
  • 2 cups mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 14 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 8 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 t sugar
  • 1/3 cup Merlot wine
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 14 oz can artichoke hearts, drained, cut into quarters
  • 3/4 cup green olives stuffed with pimientos, sliced
  • 1 t dried basil
  • 1 T dried oregano
  • 1/2 lb spaghetti, cooked and drained
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1. Heat one tablespoon of the oil in a cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and add to the skillet. Brown quickly on both sides and remove.

2. Add remaining oil and add the onion. Saute until just starting to soften.

3. Add the garlic and saute for another 3-4 minutes.

4. Add mushrooms and saute until starting to soften.

5. Add the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, sugar, wine, balsamic vinegar, basil and oregano. Simmer for 10-15 minutes.

6. Add the artichokes, olives and chicken. Stir, and simmer for 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

7. Serve over cooked spaghetti, sprinkled with grated Parmesan cheese.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Pork and Chorizo Burgers with Green Chile Mayo

This is the kind of burger that'll get you to thinking about not having regular beef burgers ever again. The chorizo is fantastic in the burger, and the roasted poblano mayo is over the top.

The original recipe comes from Emeril Lagasse.

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


  • 1/2 pounds Mexican chorizo
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground pork
  • 1 T garlic, minced
  • 2 t Worcestershire sauce (I used Cajun Power)
  • 1 1/2 t Essence
  • 3/4 t salt
  • 1/4 t cayenne pepper
  • 4 hamburger buns
  • 1 cup Pepper Jack cheese, shreeded
  • Green chile mayonnaise (see below)

1. Preheat grill to medium-high.

2. In a large bowl, combine the pork, chorizo, garlic, Worcestershire, Essense, salt and cayenne. Mix and form into 4 8 ounce patties.

3. Grill patties until nearly done. Top with shredded cheese and grill another 2 minutes.

4. Toast buns. Top with patties and mayo.

Green Chile Mayonnaise


  • 1 cup mayo
  • 1 t garlic, minced
  • 1 poblano pepper, roasted, peeled and seeded
  • 1 T fresh lime juice

1. Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Astronaut Ice Cream

It has been many, many years since I had freeze-dried ice cream. I bought some at the National Air & Space Museum in Washington DC when I was a kid. How can you not try it at least once?

I couldn't pass up buying some more when we went to the US Air Force Museum in Dayton, OH. Anita had never had any. I was surprised when she said she liked it!

We had the Neopolitan-flavored ice cream. Surprisingly, it's not chalky like it's appearance might lead you to believe. It's really kinda good!

And now, there are tons of flavors available!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Spicy Sausage and Pasta Casserole

This dish is very easy to make and really quite tasty. It's basically mac-and-cheese kicked up to make a main dish.

Next time, I might sneak some jalapeños into it.

Makes: 6 servings
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Printable Recipe


  • 8 oz mini penne pasta
  • 1/2 medium green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 medium red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 medium white onion, chopped
  • 1 lb smoked sausage, cut into 1/4" rounds
  • 2 T butter
  • 2 T all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1 t (or more) Creole seasoning
  • 3/4 cup unseasoned bread crumbs

1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain.

2. Preheat oven to 350 F.

3. Cook the sausage, peppers and onion in a large skillet until the onions start to soften. Remove from skillet.

4. Melt butter in skillet. Whisk in the flour until well blended.

5. Slowly add the milk to the skillet, whisking in with the flour and butter mixture. Add the Creole seasoning and mix. Continue cooking and stirring until the mixture begins to thicken.

6. Add the cheese and stir until melted. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

7. Add the pasta and sausage and vegetables to the skillet and mix well. Transfer to a 8" x 8" casserole that has been sprayed with non-stick spray.

8. Sprinkle bread crumbs over casserole and bake for 30 minutes or until the top is golden brown.