Saturday, December 31, 2011

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Classic Spaghetti and Meatballs

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When I came across this Spaghetti and Meatball recipe posted on Saveur's facebook page yesterday, I literally dropped what I was doing and ran to the store!

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First stop was a specialty Italian Market to pick up fresh spaghetti and bread...then to Whole Foods for the trio of ground meats and remaining ingredients...

Monday, December 5, 2011

Tuna Ceviche with Cilantro-Lime Vinaigrette and Baby Arugula

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Here's a simple and equally pretty salad or appetizer to serve at your next party. Just be sure your guests like cilantro...if not...I would think a suitable substitute would be a combination of fresh basil and parsley!

*To make your tuna easier to cube, place the tuna steaks in the freezer for about 15-20 minutes before slicing, this ensures it's nice and cold too!

1.) Make this Cilantro-Lime Vinaigrette exactly as written below.  At the end, stir in one tablespoon of very finely diced scallion. (The scallion is optional but I enjoy a little scallion crunch with my tuna ceviche.)

2.) Dice up super fresh Ahi Tuna and place in a bowl.

3.) Spoon some of the prepared vinaigrette onto the tuna and mix together.

4.) Spoon some Cilantro-Lime Vinaigrette on the bottom of a plate.

5.) Place a circle cookie cutter (or food shaper) centered on top of the vinaigrette.

6.) Spoon tuna ceviche into the circle and lightly pack it down.

7.) Remove the circle, top with a bit of baby arugula and drizzle with a tad more vinaigrette.

Cilantro-Lime Vinaigrette EatingWell.com, February-March 2006

Ingredients:

1 cup packed cilantro
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup lime juice
1/4 cup orange juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Pinch of minced garlic

Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth vinaigrette consistency.


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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Broiled Salmon with Miso Glaze, Sesame Green Beans and Jasmine Rice

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We LOVE salmon in this house, but with this recipe just about any nice fish would do...thick cod, halibut and sea bass all come to mind! 

Don't allow the, "blackness" on top of the fish to fool you, this Broiled Salmon with Miso Glaze is cooked perfectly!  Miso (a thick paste made from fermented soy beans) is a staple in Japanese cooking.  Slightly "charring" miso only enhances its uniquely savory and sweet....earthy delicious flavor!

The tricks to the dish are as followed:

Monday, November 21, 2011

Potato Leek Soup

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Fine. So she won't win any beauty pageants, but she sure is nice and comforting...like a Snuggie.

(No, I don't own a Snuggie...and no, there isn't a photo of me out there wearing an electric blue one sitting by a roaring fire, sipping red wine...)  (I dread the day that thing finds me on facebook...)
 
I took well over a hundred pictures of this soup. 

It started out in a white bowl, then a yellow bowl, then tea cups.  It went outside, back inside, on the floor and at one point was even precariously positioned on the edge of the living room window (...a little potato soup smudge on your silk Pottery Barn drapes adds character right?) 

So two things confirmed:

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Simple Bar-B-Que Chicken Cheese Sliders

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It's a busy time of year, so we're making a concerted effort to come up with some SIMPLE, DELICIOUS, FUN and AFFORDABLE meals the whole family can enjoy! 

In our house, my husband and I top these Bar-B-Que Chicken Cheese Sliders with just a touch of lettuce and red onion.  The kids love them topped with thinly sliced apples...

Monday, November 14, 2011

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Bacon Wrapped Cheese Stuffed Dates ~ Little Bites of Heaven!

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Bacon Wrapped Cheese Stuffed Dates are a, "must have" hors d'oeuvre at your next wine and cheese or holiday gathering...

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Simple Spicy Buffalo Shrimp

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In full disclosure, these Spicy Buffalo Shrimp are not as crunchy as they look ~ but this is a simple and delicious way to prepare a plate of crowd pleasing Buffalo shrimp ~ without the time and mess of deep frying!

If their ten minute stint on this earth was any indication of how good they were...well...I clearly did not make enough!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Skirt Steak Sandwich with Caramelized Onions & Mushrooms, Arugula and Horseradish Mayonnaise ~ A Complete Dinner for Tonight!

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Want to make someone really happy this evening? 

Make this Skirt Steak Sandwich with Caramelized Onions and Mushrooms, Arugula and Horseradish Mayonnaise...

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Sweet & Spicy Curried Pumpkin Peanut Soup ~ Grocery Blunders

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So I did it again.

I brought home Libby's PUMPKIN PIE MIX instead of Libby's PURE PUMPKIN.  I'm good for this mistake about once a year. I guess I am my mother's daughter.  Her, "achilles' heel"...COLA

You see growing up my mom rarely bought soda...but when she did...you could rest assured 50% of the time it was DIET...which none of us (herself included) ever drank... 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Basic Chicken Meatballs with Orecchiette in a Pumpkin Sage Cream Sauce

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OCTOBER = Husband's Birthday, Daughter's Birthday, Son's Birthday, Wedding Anniversary and Halloween ~ OR ~ poorest, fattest, busiest month E.V.E.R. :)

Basic Chicken Meatballs with Orecchiette in a Pumpkin Sage Cream Sauce

*these quick and easy Chicken Meatballs require no chopping or dicing and are perfect for kids and adults! Serve as mentioned here or with your favorite sauce!

Basic Chicken Meatballs

1 lb ground chicken
1 egg
2 pieces soft wheat bread (white would be fine)
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp dried parsley
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese (plus more for garnish)
1/4 tsp kosher salt
about 4 grinds fresh black pepper
2-4 T olive oil

1/2 lb Orecchiette Pasta (cooked aldente)

Click on the following link for the Pumpkin Sage Cream Sauce  (if you would like to lighten it up a bit - use half and half and omit the butter) *I also added a touch of freshly grated Nutmeg to the sauce for a little extra something :)


Directions:

Preheat oven to 350.

In a large bowl add all ingredients except for olive oil and mix together well with two spoons or super clean hands.  Once mixed together form the mixture into meatballs and place on a plate.

In large pan, (I used cast iron) heat up your olive oil until hot (about 3 minutes) add your meatballs and allow them to sit undisturbed so they can brown and crisp ~ about 2-3 minutes. Flip over to brown the other side, again 2-3 minutes.

Place all browned chicken meatballs in an oven-proof pan and finish cooking in the oven about 6-8 minutes or until the center is HOT and no longer pink.

PLATE IT:
Coat your cooked pasta with the Pumpkin Sage Cream Sauce then place on a plate. Top with Chicken Meatballs and garnish with shaved Parmesan and sage leaves if desired. (Obviously you can coat the Chicken Meatballs with the sauce too, but I like to see the meatballs atop of the pasta thus adding contrast to the dish.)  Enjoy!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Collard Greens with Red Onion and Bacon with Black-Eyed Peas with Bacon and Pork ~ Comfort Food and Good Advice

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When my husband returned home from work the other night, he was greeted by the aroma of Smoked Pork Shoulder and Bacon being rendered down and then slowly simmered atop the stove...

You see, earlier in the day I asked him what he wanted for dinner.  I expected the usual response, "Something delicious, seems like a grilling night, right?"  But instead to my surprise the man blurts out, "collard greens cooked in bacon with some sort of beans on the side." 

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Fried Clams & a Weekend in October Down at the Beach...

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We played with binoculars on the beach...saw tons of porpoises!

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We watched Momma Seagulls plan their next move...

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We walked through ripples in the sand...

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We played in the water...in October.

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We got messy in the sand...

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We walked through dunes to get to the beach...

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and saw hundreds of Monarch Butterflies (on their migration)...

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We went to Cape May to buy seafood...

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Returned home with 36 cherrystone clams (by mistake)... they were the size of my hand!

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I scrubbed the clams down, steamed them for 3 minutes until they opened.

Removed them from their shells then dredged them in a mixture of flour and beer.

I deep fried them until golden brown. 
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I love getting to share with my children ~ the exact place I spent my summers as a little girl. It is the cycle of life.  It's tradition.  It's building memories...

but to them..."it's just sooo much fun!"
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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Simple Scalloped Potatoes

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No time to write today...but the simplicity of these Scalloped Potatoes is well worth sharing!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Smoked Gouda, Ham & Apple Grilled Cheese

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I almost didn't post this for two reasons...I don't love the pictures ...and it looks burnt.

It wasn't burnt...but it looks it, right?

However, I'm tired of looking at Chorizo, Onions and Potatoes with a hazy boarder, so here we go...

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Chorizo & Potato Soft Tacos with a Simple Homemade Salsa ...and Photograph Talk

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You know what bothers me about this picture above?

That the corner of the white square plate with the tortillas is almost touching the wooden board rather than completely running parallel to the board and the grains of the wood.  My eye focuses on that particular spot in the photo and I find it distracting. Weird? Maybe.  WAIT. WAIT. Look again!  Now it's driving you crazy too! Right?!

Anyway... it makes me realize how when you're standing (or in this case sitting/crouching) behind a lens you don't necessarily notice such minor imperfections.  That's not to say all photos need to be in complete balance...how boring would that be?!  It's just in the photo above with such pronounced geometric shapes and lines...that one crooked plate throws my entire picture off.  Just my honest, overly self-critical, non-expert opinion.  (I decided to soften the boarder of the photo above in an attempt to draw your eyes out...not sure I was successful ...but I'm practicing...)

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Banana Oat Chocolate Chip Muffins

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Few things in life inspire me to bake more than an idle basket of overly ripe bananas...

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OK...well she inspires me more than the spotted, brown bananas... 

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And well...he does too (despite the perpetual chocolate chip stealing...)


SO caught in the act!

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"WHAT...?!"


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The simple recipe yielded 4 dozen beautifully moist and delicious, *mini sized muffins... (*cooking time 8-9 minutes on convection bake)

...all we added to the recipe was a good half cup of Hershey Dark Chocolate Chips...

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All in all...a pretty delicious day :)

Click here for the recipe: Banana Oat Muffins  by: Karen Resciniti allrecipes.com

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