Showing posts from 2017

Fettuccine, Pancetta and Peas

I remember explicitly, the 7-course Italian dinner we had years ago when we lived/traveled around Europe, just like it was yesterday!

Italian food and its source represents the soul of people dedicated to their land and the sea from where the wonderful aromatic dishes emerge.

Italian's have their way with fresh pasta...  Olive oil runs through their veins, they use real Parmesan from the big wheels, their wine flows like the Tiber, they dine on a plethora of courses, they know how to make an authentic tomato sauce, and eating is their national pastime, not sports.  

They want to feed you... 
Homemade ravioli, braciole, garlic, sausages, pane, lasagna, orzo, scampi, tortellini, spaghetti with fresh clams, risotto, and on and on.

Years later, after that delicious Italian meal, we moved to the Chicago area, where Bill and I have devoured many meals at the great Italian restaurant, Al's, in Cicero.  I swear it's just like a scene out of "The Godfather" every time we&#…

Ummm, mmm! Baked Orange Roughy Spread with Horseradish ~ Dijon and Parmesan

The smooth pearly white meat of orange roughy is liked for its mild, delicate flavor as well as its ease of cooking.  It’s a great choice for those who don’t like the “fishy” taste of fish.

Orange roughy is native to the waters of Australia and New Zealand, and is a versatile fish that is highly adaptive to a vast array of recipes and seasonings.  

It can survive most cooking methods, with the moist, large flaked meat holding together well after cooking.

The fish is naturally low in cholesterol and fat ~ jam-packed with proteins and other vital nutrients ~ a healthy substitute for any lean meat.

A creamy spread of Dijon mustard, Parmesan, a little mayonnaise, and a hint of horseradish tops these baked fillets.  The fish was delicious — so simple to prepare — yet so tasty.  

I have to say ~ all these ingredients work together quite well ~ it's all about the delightful kick from the horseradish and Dijon mustard!

Baked Orange Roughy with Horseradish Dijon and Parmesan


2 (6 ounc…

Woo hoo! It's Creamy Mac and Cheese in the Instant Pot!

What’s all the buzz about the kitchen appliance, the Instant Pot?  What’s with that?  It’s like a cult following, an obsession.  Is it worth getting one?  It took me a while to buy one, but I caved in, and I’m not sorry.
It’s a wonderful thing!

The Instant Pot is a small appliance with a digital control panel that is programmable for multiple uses ~ it’s a slow cooker, a steamer, a rice cooker or porridge maker, a sauté pan, a yogurt maker and a keep-warm serving pot, all in one convenient pot. It speeds up cooking time, cooking quickly without having to stand over the food.

It’s the most advanced pressure cooker available today, it’s safe to use, easy to clean, quiet and doesn’t heat up the surrounding area ~ a great thing for summertime usage.  Since it’s a multi-cooker, the Instant Pot can replace a number of small appliances around the kitchen.

The first thing I cooked in it was hard-boiled eggs, perfectly, I might add. They cooked quickly in 7 minutes, and were a gem to peal ~ no mor…

Mouthwatering Creamed Chicken and Rice with Biscuits on Top

If you like rice, chicken, and biscuits   pearl onions and peas, this is your dish!

Seems like casseroles have always been around.  This is one of them that is an everyday family supper that’s quick and easy to make.  This casserole of tender chunky chicken, colorful vegetables is filled with creamy delicious flavor.

Peas and pearl onions are perfect companions for chicken and rice.  You could add mushrooms if you like and maybe carrots or broccoli, whatever floats your boat!

The weather is chilly and rainy and there’s nothing quite as heartening and comforting as a chicken casserole to warm you up.  

Make this the next time you want a tasty supper in one dish…

It will stretch your food dollar and fill the tummies in your family!

Creamed Chicken and Rice with Biscuits on Top


4 cups cooked chicken (about 3 cooked chicken breasts), cut into bite-size pieces
1 can cream of chicken soup
3 cups low-fat chicken broth or water
½  cup lite sour cream
¼ cup chopped pimento
1 cup frozen peas
1 cu…

Homemade Cheesy Chili Dogs

There are a plethora of regional variations of chili dogs, more than you can shake a frankfurter at!

Toppings range from some source of meat sauce with cheese, onions, mustard, pickles, tomatoes, hot pepper relish to sauerkraut piled on top. 
However, the origin of chili dogs is a little vague…
Texas chili dogs were originally called Texas Hot Wieners, and originated on the East Coast.  Huh?
Peter GeorgeKoufougeorgas, a Greek immigrant from the town of Nea Koriniput, put the railroad town of Altoona, Pennsylvania on the map with his “Texas hot dog,” in 1918.
They surprisingly pretty much had nothing to do with Texas.  The “Texas” reference is to the chili sauce, which actually has more of a Greek cuisine influence, due to the Greek ethnicity of Kourougeorgas and his cooks.

After watching workers leave the coal mines each day, covered in soot, and seeing their calloused hands, George envisioned them clasping a hot dog.   His chili dog ranged from the eastern to the western sides of Pennsylvan…

Savory Pork Roast with Pince-nez on the Side

Growing up on the farm, Sunday dinner at noon was always a feast, many times withAunt Jessie, Aunt Lucy and Ronnie joining us at the table.   

I remember it all with good memories, except this one time:

Aunt Jessie, actually Dad’s aunt, my great aunt, was a tiny proper little lady, who wore pince-nez glasses

Neither oneAunt Jessie, but the glasses are similar

On this particular day, Mom made roasted pork for our Sunday meal, and I got to sit at the dinner table beside Aunt Jessie.I liked to talk a lot, and this one time I became more than a little animated in the story I was telling.  I swung my hand with a fork in it, right up toAunt Jessie's glasses ~ hooked the side of them ~ and hurled her pince-nez glasses clear across the table.  
Not a good moment, but then I was probably only around 7 or 8 years old.
Mom always went the limit with meals of fried chicken, roast beef or roast pork like this.
I carried the Sunday dinner tradition on until the boys got older, and life carried on, ba…

50 Years Ago Today w/Easter wishes for tomorrow!

50 years ago today,  in Louisville, KY,  I married a lucky guy,  and he's still the love of my life, he's the best!


 And to all of you,   a very  Happy Blessed Easter!

Easy Self-Rising Buttermilk Biscuits

No kidding! These are delicious little biscuits  just like Grandma used to make!

And no one will believe it when you tell them how easy they are to make!  

You will need just 3 ingredients, four, if adding herbs for this King Arthur Flour recipe.

Keep the butter and buttermilk cold.  Grate the cold or frozen butter ~ it's a fast easy technique to incorporate ice-cold fat into flour.

Use a gentle touch when handling the dough.

Work with it quickly and handle it as little as possible; too much handling will cause the dough to release gluten which will give you dry, tough biscuits.

Stir gently, fold gently, and pat dough into a rectangle before cutting out the biscuits or cutting into 12 squares.  

Bake the biscuits, and rest assured ~ you will have soft buttery biscuits with this recipe!

Easy Self-Rising Buttermilk Biscuits
Printable recipe


2 cups self-rising flour
6 tablespoons butter, cold
½ teaspoon dried rosemary or thyme, optional
1 cup buttermilk, cold


Preheat oven to 450°.

Delicious Garlic Shrimp and Pasta w/Vegetables

This is a  lick-your-plate-clean  sort of dish!

With a pound of shrimp, a box of pasta and assorted veggies, you can have dinner on the table in less than a half hour!
Not only it this recipe easy, it’s a healthy protein-rich dish too.  The omega-3 fat acids in the seafood boost immune function and regulate inflammation.  The vegetables are filled with important sources of many nutrients, including potassium, dietary fiber, folic acid, and vitamins A and C.
Rotini is corkscrew-shaped pasta.  The names comes from a 17th-century Italian word meaning “small wheels.”  It originated in Northern Italy and the tight twists help them retain a wide variety of sauces better than some other pastas.  
Colloquially, they may be called “Scroodle Noodles”  or “Scroodle Macaroni,”  or just plain “corkscrews,” like I call them.

Be sure though, there’s no skimping on taste here ~ this dish will fill you up, without weighing you down!
It makes Monday night dinner seem more like Saturday night!

Garlic Shrimp and …

Skinny Saucy Chicken Parmesan

Look at the menu in any Italian restaurant and you’ll see  Chicken Parmesan, usually fried like Mom used to do and served with a ton of good cheese. 

This recipe is a delicious lightened up version of that classic sinful dish.

The lightly breaded chicken is baked juicy and tender, surrounded with marinara sauce in the skillet and topped with mozzarella cheese. 

Served over a little pasta, it’s perfect Italian comfort food, that you can eat without feeling guilty.

It’s truly delicious and I will definitely be making it again for our dinner, or maybe for company.

It’s that good!

Skinny Saucy Chicken Parmesan


Cooking spray
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon seasoned pepper
½ cup seasoned bread crumbs
4 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons butter, melted
1 tablespoon olive oil
2½ cups Marinara sauce (recipe below) or store-bought marinara sauce
¾ cup part-skim shredded mozzarella cheese
Your favorite cooked pasta, optional


Preheat oven to 450°…

Healthy Cod Fish Bites

From the days of the Vikings, the Early Middle Ages, cod was essential in enabling them to sail across the ocean.  

They dried freshly-fished cod in the cold North Sea winds, until it became hard as a stick, and could be easily preserved and carried on their Atlantic voyages.  

On the boats, they broke “stockfish” into pieces and chewed on it.  It was definitely not a culinary delicacy, but it did serve as a great source of protein.  Remarkably, cod contains 18% protein, which rises to almost 80% when dried.  

Cod has always been a good quality and fairly inexpensive fishthat is available throughout the year, but like other species, it may be overfished.  It’s a mild buttery tasting fish that is adaptable to virtually all methods of cooking ~ but I draw the line at drying it!

Drying cod at Å, Moskenesoy, the southernmost tip of the main Lofoten Archipelagoin Norway,  known for its dramatic scenery, with peaks like the Svolværgeita pinnacle jutting up into the sky,  with the Himmeltindan Mou…