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Showing posts from July, 2017

Spaghetti Soup

Spaghetti Soup is a spin on the classic pasta dish. I like to make it to use up the broken pasta I have around the pantry, so sometimes it could be called Angel Hair or Linguine Soup, I suppose. I also tend to have frozen browned ground beef in my freezer, so I also tend to shorten the cooking time of this soup by using that instead of fresh ground beef. Add the vegetables you like; I like yellow, orange or red bell peppers more than green ones, but feel free to remove them entirely. Same with the mushrooms and spinach. I have made this with eggplant and zucchini before; use the veggies that you have on hand and like best. The only direction that I have that must be followed is that you must eat this with some lovely garlic bread to sop up the soup! Enjoy! Ingredients: 1 tablespoon olive oil ½ pound ground beef 1/2 pound sweet italian sausage 2 bay leaves 1 teaspoon salt Freshly cracked black pepper 2 cloves garlic 1 tablespoon Italian herbs Pinch red peppe

Meatloaf Sandwich

Leftovers are a gift from past me to present me. I love opening up the fridge and seeing dinners from previous nights. I never reheat my leftovers and eat the same meal twice; instead, I find a way to create a brand new meal out of component of my leftovers. Meatloaf is a wonderful leftover; it makes and incredible burger-like sandwich, endlessly variable depending on the toppings you select. This time, I had pickled red onions, bacon and frozen homemade buns. Crisp up the bacon, melt some cheese and toast the buns, adding some pickles and BBQ sauce for extra flavor and crunch. The smoky bacon, the sweetly sour pickled red onion, and a slice of the perfect meatloaf came together on top a fluffy homemade bun to create a dazzling leftovers sandwich. Next time, I might make a meatloaf just to be able to recreate this! Enjoy! Ingredients: Slices of meatloaf, about 1/2 thick Shredded cheddar cheese slices of crispy fried bacon BBQ sauce pickled red onion pickles


Meatloaf is one of my favorite comfort foods; it’s one of the first recipes my mother taught me how to make. Over the years, I have put my own spin on her classic recipe; I added liquid smoke, minced garlic, diced carrots, diced celery and a BBQ sauce glaze. Still, the basic flavor remains the same and transports me back to my childhood and opening time in the kitchen with my mother. You can bake this in a 9 by 5 loaf pan as well. I prefer baking a free-form meatloaf when I want to present it on a platter for dinner guests since it is much easier to plate. I also find that more of the fat drips away when the meatloaf is baked on the baking tray, plus I can glaze more surface area of the loaf. And more glaze means more deliciousness to me! Ingredients: 1 1/2 lbs lean ground beef 1 cup seasoned bread crumbs 1 egg 1 tablespoon A 1 sauce 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce 1/3 cup ketchup 1/8 cup BBQ sauce (home-made or store-bought) plus extra for the glaze 1 sm

Potato Salad

I adore BBQs; hamburgers, hot dogs, ribs, sausage, grilled chicken- every meat tastes better grilled or smoked. I have to confess, though, that sometimes what I look forward to the most is the side dishes. Corn on the cob, pasta salad, chips, watermelon and especially potato salad. This recipe, inspired by my parents and Ina Garten, is my old standby. I have others that include chopped pickles, a german potato salad, and still another that incorporates hard-boiled eggs. This one is my classic go-to recipe, however. Creamy, tangy and full of crunch, this version can be served cold or at room temperature and is easy to make well ahead of time.  Light up the grill, throw on some meats, hand out some cold beverages and take a bite of this potato salad. That’s the taste of summer! Ingredients: 3 pounds red potatoes salt freshly cracked black pepper 1 cup mayonnaise (homemade or store-bought) 1/4 cup buttermilk (or 1/4 cup of whole milk with a splash of lemon j

Shakshuka- eggs poached in spicy tomato sauce

Shakshuka or Shakshouka is a dish of eggs poached in a sauce of tomatoes, peppers, onions and frequently spiced with cumin. The dish is of Tunisian origin, but it is very popular in the Middle East and North Africa. An Neapolitan Italian dish, eggs in purgatory or ouva in purgatorio, is a very similar dish of eggs poached in a tomato sauce. That dish, however, does not include the chili and cumin spices. Both are delicious. Shakshuka means “a mixture” in Egyptian, Tunisian, and Libyan Arabic. Some people say the dish was originally called Chakchouka, a Berber word that mean vegetable ragout. This dish is a popular for breakfast, lunch and dinner; in Israel it is said to rival hummus and falafel as a national favorite, particularly in cold weather months. I love Shakshuka; the dish is easy to make, spicy without being too hot, warm and filling, served with my perennial favorites bread and cheese, and the name itself is awfully fun to say. I hope you try it out! Ing

Rotisserie Chicken with Roasted Veggies and Pan Sauce

I do love to visit thrift stores. I find a lot of my plates, cups and glasses there for a steal. Sometimes I collect old pyrex or corning ware dishes; I especially love the cornflower blue pattern as my mother and grandmother had them for their casserole dishes. Every once in a while, I will find an appliance that I had early wanted but could never get due to price or lack of availability. Once upon a time, I found a fully functional Nespresso espresso maker at my local Goodwill for 5 dollars. Granted, I did not know that it would work until I brought it home and bought the pods to test it, but it’s been making me solid espressos and lattes for one year now.  The other day, I saw a Cuisinart Vertical Rotisserie at my Goodwill. I had wanted this rotisserie previously; I had visions of making Doner Kebab in it (as they use vertical rather than horizontal rotisserie). I had not purchased myself the Vertical Rotisserie as I already have a Hamilton Beach Horizontal Rotisserie

Coconut Cream Pie

My husband’s favorite dessert of all time is my Coconut Cream Pie. I generally eat one or two pieces, and he devours the rest. He eats bites of it for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, dessert, and late at night. He requests that I only make it once a year on his birthday, since he cannot help himself around this pie. The first time I made this pie, I followed someone else’s recipe and it was delicious. However, that blogger asked me to use instant vanilla pudding mix, and that processed food taste was too present for my liking. I kept tweaking the recipe, trying to figure out how to replicate the texture while avoiding the packet of pudding powder. Finally, I realized my best bet was to break out my pastry cream recipe and go from there. The flavor is much improved, in my opinion, and the work involved is pretty minor for such a big taste change.  What I love about this pie is the texture; smooth and creamy. Other coconut cream pie recipes leave the shredded coconut

July Fourth Flag Slab Pie

This pie is called a slab pie because it is in a rectangular shape, like a slab of marble. I like this shape very much; it serves more people, it’s easier to cut slices, and it makes a perfect base for a flag pie! The crust is enriched with eggs and a little bit of sugar, which I personally prefer to plain pie crust. It is still very flaky but the egg, sugar and vanilla add lovely flavor. The little star cut outs make the pie look very festive. The filling is a basic key lime pie filling. I cannot get fresh key limes where I live (sob) but my store does carry the bottled juice. It’s not perfect, but I think it is better than using Parisian limes. If you cannot find the bottled variety, I would use fresh lemon juice. Either way, the filling is delicious and very easy to make. I love how the tart, creamy filling contrasts with the fresh berries. I like to top this with fresh raspberry sauce and whipped cream. I can never get enough raspberries and I always want whipped cream on