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Showing posts from 2021

Shortbread cookies with caramel and chocolate decorations

 Who doesn't lovemaking Christmas cookies? It's my favorite tradition of the season, where I get to enjoy puttering about the kitchen, taking time for myself, and making sweet treats to share. Enjoying these with your favorite Christmas movie and a cup of hot chocolate is the perfect snowy Christmas season evening. Ingredients:  2 1⁄2 oz confectioners' sugar 1 cup all purpose flour 5 ounce granulated sugar 12 ounces evaporated milk 1 teaspoon each cinnamon and nutmeg 1/4 teaspoon cloves 3 ounces chocolate chips 14 tablespoons butter 1 large egg yolk Vanilla bean paste Kosher salt Sea salt flakes Method: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium bowl with an electric mixer, beat to combine confectioners' sugar and 8 tablespoons softened butter. Add yolk and 1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla paste to butter and mix until combined. Add 1 cup flour and 1⁄2 teaspoon salt; mix until dough forms. Lightly sprinkle dough with flour. Place dough between 2 sheets of parchment paper; roll

Bean burrito casserole

 This falls under cheap and fast but still delicious meals. A refried bean burrito full of shelf stable products that you can whip up in seconds, especially wonderful for late nights after attending all your students' shows! I like to keep shredded cheese and flour tortillas in my freezer for these recipes and highly recommend you add them to yours! Ingredients:  garlic, minced bunch scallions, sliced 14.5 ounce can whole peeled tomatoes 2 teaspoons taco seasoning 16 ounce can refried beans 4 ounces shredded cheddar jack 6 six inch flour tortillas apple cider vinegar, oil, salt and pepper Method: Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Drain the tomatoes, then finely chop; transfer to a small bowl. Add half of the scallions, 1 tablespoon vinegar, and 1⁄2 teaspoon minced garlic; toss to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. In a medium bowl, stir to combine 3 tablespoons water, 1 tablespoon oil, 2 teaspoons taco seasoning, and remaining chopped garlic. Add beans and 1⁄3 cup of the t

Mashed potatoes and roasted veggies

 Who needs meat? Sometimes, comfort means mashed spuds, roasted veggies and gravy with a glass of wine by the fire.  Ingredients: 3 Yukon gold potatoes 1⁄2 pound broccoli 1 medium yellow onion 1⁄2 pound carrots garlic Parmesean cheese salt, pepper, butter,  2 teaspoons flour 2/3 cup chicken broth 1/3 cup milk Method:    Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Peel potatoes; cut into 1-inch pieces. Place in a medium saucepan with enough heavily salted water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook until easily pierced with a fork. Frain and return potatoes to saucepan. Cover to keep warm. Wipe out saucepan; melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium-high heat. Trim stem ends from broccoli and cut crowns into 1-inch florets. Halve onion lengthwise, then slice into 1⁄2-inch wedges. Scrub carrots, then cut on an angle into 1⁄2- inch slices. Finely chop 2 teaspoons garlic. In a liquid measuring cup, whisk to combine broth and 2 teaspoons flour. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss broccoli, o

Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup

  Do you want the ultimate comfort food? Try combining a chicken pot pie and chicken soup (aka this recipe) and you have created the most perfect bowl of warmth and yumminess for those bitter cold nights and long days.  Ingredients: 2 stalks celery, diced 2 carrots, sliced 1 medium yellow onion, diced Garlic, minced 1/2 pound chicken breast, sliced into 1 inch pieces 3/4 cup milk flour 6 ounce package egg noodles 4 cups chicken broth Method : Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Pat chicken dry; season all over with salt and pepper. Add noodles to saucepan with boiling salted water and cook until al dente, 6–8 minutes. Drain, then return noodles to saucepan and toss with 1 teaspoon oil to prevent sticking. Cover to keep warm. In liquid measuring cup, whisk to combine 3⁄4 cup milk and 2 tablespoons flour. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add chicken; cook until browned on the bottom, 4–5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in same ski

Paprika shrimp, peas and orzo

  Want a meal with no slicing and little to no prep but is full of color and flavor? Say hello to this paprika, shrimp, peas and orzo dish and say goodbye to midweek meal blues. Ingredients: garlic, minced 1/2 pound shrimp, deveined and peeled 2 teaspoons smoked paprika 1 cup orzo 2 1/4 cups seafood broth 5 ounces peas olive oil, apple cider vinegar butter, salt, pepper Method : Pat shrimp dry and toss with smoked paprika and oil and season with salt and pepper. Cook in a medium skillet over medium high heat until browned and just cooked. Remove to a plate. To same skillet over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon butter, garlic, and 1 cup orzo; cook, stirring, until orzo is toasted.  Add 2 1/4 cups seafood broth and 1⁄2 teaspoon salt; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cover; simmer until orzo is al dente and water is absorbed. To skillet with orzo, stir in peas and shrimp. Continue to cook until warmed through. Stir in 2 tablespoons butter and 1 teaspoon vinegar .

Veggie Minestrone with Pesto

 It's fall. Fall is time for cozy sweaters, scarves, apple crisp, pumpkin spiced everything, and soups! This is a yummy, quick veggie minestrone. Great for a weeknight when you have no time or a weekend after a chilly visit to the pumpkin patch or apple orchard.  Ingredients: 1 carrot, sliced 2 celery stalks, sliced 1 onion, diced garlic, minced 14.5 ounce can whole peeled tomatoes, broken apart 15 ounce can kidney beans 1⁄2 cup elbow macaroni  2 ounces basil pesto olive oil, salt, pepper Method : Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a medium pot over medium-high heat. Add sliced carrots, onion, celery, and a pinch each of salt and pepper . Cook, stirring occasionally, until veggies are softened and lightly browned. To same pot, add chopped garlic and cook while stirring, until fragrant. Add beans and their liquid, chopped tomatoes, 3 cups water, and 1 teaspoon salt . Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer until veggies are tender.  Bring soup to a boil over high hea

Turkey Meatball Gyro

I drove down to Massachusetts today and won a singing competition! I prepared an hour program of 14 songs, got to choose the first one and they selected the rest to fill up the remaining 15 minutes. I will go to Nationals in the winter. Super exciting! But now I am starving and dead tired after the drive home. I want something healthy (road food is NOT and I have been having some...), easy and delicious. And something to eat easily as I veg out in front of the tv. Need a brain break. Therefore, the wonderfully delicious gyro with healthy turkey meatballs. Yum!   Ingredients:  garlic clove, minced 10 ounces ground turkey 3/4 teaspoon oregano 1 cucumber, seeded and sliced 1 plum tomato, sliced  4 oz Greek yogurt  2 Mediterranean pitas  olive oil 1 large egg yolk salt and pepper red wine vinegar  Method: Preheat broiler. Lightly oil a rimmed baking sheet.  In a medium bowl, gently knead to combine ground turkey, 1⁄2 teaspoon dried oregano, 1⁄2 teaspoon of the chopped garlic, 1 large egg y

Sausage and Pepper Sub

 Who doesn't love a warm, melted-cheese, sausage and pepper sub? As I may have mentioned, I am constantly driving to and from Massachusetts for rehearsals, and sandwiches have been a life-saving portable food. Even better when warm- I pop this into my lunchbox wrapped in layers of foil and paper towel, and it stay delicious for me on the road. Yum! Ingredients:  1 green bell pepper, seeded and cut into strips 1 medium red onion, sliced 1 garlic, minced, 1 other clove split in half 1 ounce parmesan, grated 2 baguettes 2 slices mozzarella 1/2 pound Italian sweet sausage, uncased 8 ounce can tomato sauce Method: Cut baguettes in half. Generously drizzle cut sides with oil. Form sausage meat into 8 small meatballs, about 1 tablespoon each. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a medium skillet over medium-high. Add sliced peppers and onions and a generous pinch each of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and charred. Transfer to a bowl and cover to keep warm. Preheat broiler

Tomato and Orzo Soup

 We are into cold fall days and late rehearsals, people. I need creamy and delicious tomato soup, plus the added carby goodness of orzo. This soup makes a perfect lunch, or paired with a grilled cheese sandwich, the ultimate dinner.  Ingredients: 1 medium red onion, diced 2 cloves garlic, minced 14.5 ounce can of San Marzano whole peeled tomatoes 1 1.2 cups chicken broth 1/2 cup orzo 1 bunch chives, chopped 4 ounces mascarpone 1 ounce parmesan Method: In a saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat. Add chopped onions, garlic, and a pinch of salt. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until onions are softened and translucent. Add tomatoes, 11⁄2 cups brotht; bring to a boil over high heat. Taste for seasoning Remove soup from heat and blend with an immersion blender until smooth. Return saucepan with soup over high heat and bring to a boil. Add orzo; reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, until al dente, about 15 minutes. W

Cheesy Chicken Gnocchi

 I am in the thick of rehearsals right now for my dream opera- and they are 2 hours away from my home. In addition, I am prepping for a competition, a DMA application, and teaching at 3 locations. I need cheesy, carby goodness that is super quick and idiot-proof for my tired brain. This is the ticket! Ingredients : 12 ounce package gnocchi 1pint sliced mushrooms 1/4 cup red wine 1 teaspoon oregano 1 onion, diced 1 garlic clove, minced 1/2 pound chicken breast, cut into strips 8 oz can marinara sauce 4 ounces mozzarella Freshly grated Parm salt, oil pepper Method : Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Gently break apart any gnocchi that are stuck together; carefully add to skillet. Cook, without stirring, until very well browned and crisp on the bottom. Add mushrooms, onion, oregano and garlic and cook until soft. Salt and pepper to taste. Stir gnocchi, then stir in chicken, marinara sauce, 2⁄3 cup water, 1/4 cup wine, and 1⁄2 teaspoon salt . Bring

Anyone can cook pasta

 I love Pixar- their films always fill me with warmth and calm my racing brain. One of my favs has to be Ratatouille- I have adopted its "Anyone can cook" mantra into my own studio as "Anyone can sing." This is a ratatouille- inspired pasta (with cheese- because rats and mice love cheese, and so do I!). Ingredients:  6 oz pkg cavatappi   1 zucchini, sliced 1 bell pepper, sliced  14 1⁄2 oz can whole peeled tomatoes 1 ounce parm, freshly grated 1 bunch basil, chopped 4 ounces ricotta Method : Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta to boiling water. Cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Reserve 1⁄4 cup cooking water; drain pasta and return to pot off heat. Cover to keep warm until needed. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss zucchini and peppers with 2 tablespoons oil and a generous pinch each of salt and pepper. Broil on upper oven rack until charred and tender, 5–8 minutes  Roughly chop tomatoes directly in can using kitchen shears.  Add tomatoes, re

Pork and Poblano Quesadillas

Man, do I love quesadillas. Here is a lovely twist on the classic with charred garlic crema, charred poblano and ground pork and lots of cheese. Yum!  Ingredients: 2 cloves garlic 1 poblano pepper 1/2 cup sour cream 10 ounces ground pork 2 teaspoons taco seasoning 6 six-inch flour tortillas 2 ounces shredded pepper jack cheese salt, pepper, oil Method: Preheat broiler with racks in the top and center positions. Place 1 whole garlic clove and poblano pepper on a rimmed baking sheet. Broil on top oven rack until well charred all over, turning occasionally, about 5 minutes for garlic and 10 minutes for pepper. Transfer to a bowl; cover with plastic wrap or clean kitchen towel. While garlic and poblano broil, finely chop 1 teaspoon raw garlic; set aside. Once poblano is cool enough to handle, peel away and discard charred outer skin, stem, and seeds; thinly slice remaining pepper and set aside. Finely chop charred garlic. Add to a small bowl with sour cream ; stir to combine and season wit

Brown butter and corn ravioli

 Tis the season for brown butter and ravioli. Instead of pumpkin, I am enjoying late summertime corn and basil. Delicious! Ingredients:    1 bunch fresh basil, torn into small pieces Parmesean cheese, shredded 5 ounces corn 12 ounce package cheese ravioli Salt, olive oil, pepper, butter Method:  Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add corn and a pinch of salt; cook until browned in spots, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.  Add ravioli to boiling water and cook, stirring gently, until al dente, about 4 minutes. Reserve 1⁄3 cup pasta water, then drain ravioli. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in same skillet over medium-high heat. Cook, swirling often, until dark golden flecks appear and the butter smells nutty and toasty, 2–4 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and slowly swirl in reserved pasta water. Add ravioli and corn to brown butter . Continue to cook over medium-high heat until sauce thickens and coats pasta,

Roasted Cannelini Bean Grain bowl with Red Pepper Pesto

 School is back is session and I am so busy with lovely students, rehearsals and my horse. Life requires healthy, easy to make meals. This is one of them that can be a great lunch or dinner (and uses up my chickens' eggs!) Ingredients: 16 ounces can of cannelloni beans, drained and dried 2 teaspoons piri piri spice blend 10 ounces quinoa 1 large bunch kale, de-stemmed 2 ounces red radishes, sliced 4 ounces roasted red pepper pesto 2 large eggs Method: Preheat broiler with a rack in the top position. Toss beans on a rimmed baking sheet with 2 teaspoons piri piri and 1 tablespoon oil; season with salt and pepper. Broil beans on top oven rack, shaking sheet occasionally, until golden-brown and crisp on the outside, 7–10 minutes. Cook quinoa according to package instructions and set aside.  Toss the kale with oil salt and pepper. Remove the chickpeas from the pan and set aside; add the kale and broil until crispy, about 5 minutes. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a medium nonstick skillet ove

Cherry Almond Galette

 Short on time but want to make a yummy dessert to celebrate your 11 year anniversary and the addition of a horse to your fur family? May I suggest the galette, which takes no skill in shaping, and the use of canned pie filling and almond paste? Top it all with a crunchy streusel and you, my friend, are in business. Ingredients:  1 package refrigerated pie crust 1 package (7 ounces) almond paste 1 can (21 ounces) cherry pie filling 1/4 cup chopped pecans 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted 1 large egg 1 tablespoon water 1/2 teaspoon sugar 1 teaspoon confectioners' sugar Method: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. On a lightly floured surface, roll crust into a 12-inch circle. Transfer to a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Shape almond paste into a ball, then flatten into a disk. Roll out between two sheets of waxed paper into a 10-inch circle. Center on pastry. Spoon cherry pie filling over almond paste. In a small

Teriyaki Chicken & Snow Pea Stir-Fry

 This meal is low-cal and low effort, but packs a punch for flavor. Plus, it's ready in around 20 minutes and is the perfect make at home take out for a Friday night. Yum! Ingredients : 1/2 cup jasmine rice garlic, minced 4 ounces snow peas, sliced 1 pound chicken, sliced into strips 1/4 cup teriyaki sauce 2 teaspoons vinegar 2 tablespoons sugar salt, pepper, oil for frying Method : Combine rice, 1 1⁄4 cups water , and 1⁄2 teaspoon salt in a small saucepan; bring to a boil over high heat. Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook until rice is tender and water is absorbed, about 17 minutes. Remove from heat and cover to keep warm. Heat 2 teaspoons of oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add chopped garlic, snow peas, and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Cook until snow peas are bright green and tender; transfer to a bowl and cover to keep warm.  Heat 1 tablespoon oil in same skillet; ddd chicken; cook, stirring once or twice, until browned and cooked through.Transfer to bowl wi

Seared Steak & Spinach Salad

 Low carb, full-on-flavor goodness and easy to make. I love this as a summer dinner on the weekend with a fire pit and an outdoor movie night followed by s'mores. Yes, please! Ingredients : Garlic, minced 1 mini French roll, diced 2 teaspoons steak seasoning 3/4 ounce shredded parmesean 1/2 pound ranch steaks 2 tablespoons mayo 3 ounces baby spinach olive oil, salt, pepper, butter, vinegar Method : Pat steaks dry, then drizzle with oil; season all over with steak seasoning. In a medium bowl, stir to combine mayonnaise, garlic , 1 teaspoon vinegar , and all but 1 tablespoon of the Parmesan. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a medium skillet over medium. Add diced bread and season with a pinch each of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, until toasted and golden all over, 2–3 minutes. Add spinach and croutons to bowl with dressing, tossing to combine. Heat 1⁄2 tablespoon oil in same skillet over medium-high. Add steaks; cook until well browned and

Chocolate Cake with Raspberry Jam and Cream Cheese Frosting

  It's another family birthday which means, another delicious cake. Chocolate, raspberry and cream cheese are a winning flavor combination. The cake is simple to make and the frosting beats up in the breeze. The raspberry filling seems like you spent a lot of time making it, but don't worry, it too is simple. Even the decorations don't require a lot of time or skill but look fantastic. You will make someone feel very special on their big day while still being able to keep up with your busy life! Ingredients: Chocolate Cake: 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar 3/4 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda 1 teaspoon baking powder 1 teaspoon salt 1/4 cup vegetable oil 3/4 cup buttermilk, room temperature 3/4 cup strong brewed coffee; hot 2 large eggs, room temperature 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste Raspberry Filling: 1/2 cup Raspberry Jam 1 ounce Chambord liqueur Frosting:   2 sticks of butters 16 ounces of cream cheese 4 tablespoons co

Pork Katsu with Rice and Pickled Cukes

 This is my first time making Katsu after watching copious videos on the dish. I could no longer resist and had to try this Japanese classic. Granted, my version is certainly not the most authentic (I have never been to Japan) but it is delicious. And easy to make. And now I can't wait to try the real thing if this imitation blows my socks off! Ingredients : 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and sliced 1/2 cup jasmine rice 12 ounce pork cutlets 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs 2 tablespoons sesame seeds 1 egg 1/4 cup flour 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar 1 tablespoon sugar salt, pepper, oil Katsu sauce: 1/2 cup ketchup 2 tablespoon soy sauce 1 tablespoon brown sugar 1 tablespoon Kirin 1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger 1 clove garlic, minced Method: Combine all the Katsu sauce ingredients and mix well. Refrigerate for 30 minutes at least to let the flavors meld before using. Place cucumber slices in a medium bowl and toss with 2 tablespoons vinegar, 1 tablesp

Beef Tostadas

 Crunchy tortillas, tex-mex fabulous crumbled beef, tangy creme and tomato and avocado salsa, all permeated with garlic (my favorite savory ingredient) and topped with vibrant green scallions? A vacation meal to delight. Ingredients : 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 bunch scallions, sliced 2 plum tomatos, diced 1 avocado, diced 1/4 cup sour cream 6 six-inch flour tortillas 10 ounces ground beef 2 teaspoons taco seasoning Cayenne pepper Salt, black pepper, oil, vinegar Method: Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.  In a small bowl, combine 1/3 of the garlic, 1 teaspoon olive oil, 1 teaspoon vinegar, tomatoes, and avocado- add salt and pepper to taste. In another bowl, combine 1/3  of the garlic, sour cream and 1 teaspoon vinegar and mix well.  Lightly brush both sides of tortillas with oil. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet and arrange in an even layer. Bake  until golden and crisp, flipping halfway through cooking time, 9–12 minutes. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a medium skillet over medium-high. Add be

BBQ Chicken and Street Corn

 It's summertime, which means BBQs and corn on the cob. This is my twist on street corn and a classic interpretation of that summertime classic, BBQ chicken.  Ingredients:  1 oz scallions, sliced finely 2 ears of corn 10 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breasts 1/3 cup favorite BBQ sauce 1/4 cup ranch dressing 3 ounces crumbled feta cheese Method: Preheat your barbecue grill, either charcoal or gas. Shuck the corn and rub the cobs with oil and season with salt and pepper. Pat chicken dry, then season all over with salt and pepper. Add corn to to the grill and cook, turning occasionally, until slightly charred in spots. Transfer to a cutting board to cool. Add chicken and cook until lightly charred and cooked through, about 3-4 per side. Brush half of the barbecue sauce all over chicken and cook, turning, until glaze is charred in spots, about 1 minute more. Transfer to plates. Once cool enough to handle, halve corn cobs crosswise and spread ranch dressing all over. Crumble feta ov

Beef Gyro Flatbread

 There is nothing more delicious to me than the combination of a fluffy pita, crunchy veggies, perfectly seasoned beef and tangy garlicky sour cream. I keep trying new variation and loving them; this one is a hit and super easy to boot! Ingredients: Minced garlic 1 cucumber, peeled and sliced into half moon 1 romaine heart, sliced 10 ounces ground beef 2 teaspoons Ras al hanout 2 ounces sour cream 2 Mediterranean pitas  2 tablespoons white wine vinegar 2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons olive oil pepper, salt Method: In a large bowl, whisk to combine 1 tablespoon vinegar and 2 tablespoons oil; season to taste with salt and pepper. Add cucumbers and toss to coat. Set aside until ready to serve. In a medium bowl, knead to combine ground beef, 1 teaspoon of the minced garlic, 2 teaspoons Was al hangout, 1⁄2 teaspoon salt , and a few grinds of pepper. In a small bowl, stir to combine all of the sour cream, remaining garlic, and 1 tablespoon vinegar; season to taste with salt and pepper. Preheat

Veggie Cobb Salad

The best thing about owning chickens, other than watching those wacky birds, is the eggs. Our eggs have beautiful orange yolks, and I am always trying to come up with ways to use up our eggs. This salad puts them on display beautifully, and is paired with crisp, fresh veggies and meaty mushrooms. Perfect for a summer night!  Ingredients : 2 large eggs, hard boiled and sliced 1ounce feta 1/2 cup corn 1 romaine heart, sliced 1 plum tomato, diced 1 cucumber, diced 4 ounces white mushrooms, sliced Olive oil, apple cider vinegar, salt, pepper Method : Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss with 2 tablespoons oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste. Roast on upper oven rack until deep golden-brown and starting to crisp, about 10–15 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Switch oven to broil. On reserved baking sheet, toss corn with a drizzle of oil and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Broil on upper oven rack until browned in spots, about 2–3 minutes.  In a large bowl, comb

Greek meatballs with Orzo

  Meatballs are sort of the perfect food. Full of flavor, browned, tender on the inside, and can be reinvented in marinara, BBQ sauce, Swedish style and, in this case, Greek. Paired with some orzo, this is the perfect Friday meal. Ingredients: 1 egg 16 ounces tomato sauce 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar 1 tablespoon dried oregano 1/4 cup seasoned panko 1/4 cup grated parm 10 ounces ground beef 1 bunch scallions, sliced and separated light and dark greens 2 cloves garlic, minced 1/3 cup orzo 1 1/2 ounces crumbled feta oil, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes Method: Bring a small saucepan of salted water to a boil.  Finely chop half of the sliced scallion whites and light greens (leave the remaining sliced). Add orzo to boiling water; cook until al dente, about 10 minutes. Reserve ¼ cup cooking water, then drain and return orzo to saucepan; toss with 1 teaspoon oil. Season with salt and pepper. In a medium bowl, combine beef, chopped scallions, panko, parm, half the garlic, ½ teaspoon oregan

Pork Scallopine

Nothing is as delicious as tender pork in a lemon butter sauce, breaded and fried, with a refreshingly tangy marinated tomato and spinach salad. It is a quick and yummy midweek meal- you won't feel heavy after diving in but your tastebuds WILL thank you!  Ingredients: 3 ounces of baby spinach 12 ounces pork cutlets 1/4 cup flour butter 1/2 cup chicken broth 1 ounce feta, crumbled 2 garlic cloves 1 lemon 1 plum tomato Apple Cider vinegar Olive oil Salt and pepper Method : Cut tomato into 1/2-inch pieces. In a medium bowl, whisk together 1 tablespoon vinegar, 1 clove garlic minced and 2 tablespoons oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in tomatoes and set aside to marinate. Into a small bowl, squeeze 1 teaspoon lemon juice. Cut remaining lemon into wedges. Finely chop 1 clove garlic.  Season pork all over with salt and pepper. Place 1/4 cup flour on a plate and lightly coat pork. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a medium nonstick skillet over high. When oil is shimmering, add pork

M&M Cookies

  It's Father's Day and my dad isn't feeling great. Without going to in depth about his health details, I knew he didn't want "stuff" for Dad Day but might appreciate something sweet. My mother is a very healthy human being, and makes delicious, healthy savory meals (as does my Dad, btw the way- division of labor is very equal in that household) so I knew I had to provide something desserty and treat-tactic for my dad to make him feel better and recognize what an awesome guy I have for a Dad. Enter, M&M Cookies- with classic M&Ms, Peanut Butter M&Ms and Caramel M&Ms. Added to a soft-bake style cookie and we are cooking with gas. Ingredients : 2 cups flour 1 teaspoon cornstarch 1 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 1/2 sticks softened butter 3/4 cup dark brown sugar 1/2 cup  granulated sugar 1 large egg + 1 egg yolk 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract 1/2 cup M&Ms 1/4 cup Peanut Butter M&Ms 1/4 cup Caramel M&Ms Method: Whisk the fl

Caprese Ciabatta Sandwich with Zucchini Fries

This lunch is the perfect combo of healthy and sinful- a delicious Caprese salad turned into a yummy sandwich on crusty Ciabatta rolls with charred tomatoes, paired with zucchini fries. Yum, yum, yum! Ingredients: 1 large egg, beaten 2 Ciabatta rolls 4 ounces mozzarella ball, sliced 1 bunch basil, leaves picked 2 plum tomatoes, sliced 1 zucchini, sliced into fries 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs Method: Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.  In a sealable bag, combine panko, 1 teaspoon each of oil and salt, and a few grinds of pepper; rub together to blend. Lightly oil a rimmed baking sheet. Dip zucchini in egg, letting excess drip back into bowl. Add zucchini to bag with panko mixture; shake to coat. Arrange in a single layer on baking sheet. Bake, flipping once, until golden and easily pierced with a fork, about 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt. Split ciabatta rolls. Lightly brush both sides of rolls and tomatoes with oil; season tomatoes with salt and pepper. Preheat a grill pan to high. O

Za'atar-Rubbed Pork Tenderloin with Couscous, Feta and Spinach Salad

Summertime is generally when I feel most adventurous in my cooking.  In the winter, I generally desire my comfort classics- mac and cheese, meatballs, casseroles, etc. In the summer, I want to experiment with herbs, spices, acids- I want my tastebuds to come alive. In this dish, we enjoy the spicy and zesty za'atar paired with delicious, melt in your mouth pork, sitting atop a bed of nutty couscous, salty feta and vibrant green spinach. Yum! Ingredients: 1 1/2 ounces tumbled feta 1 1/2 cups packed spinach 3 ounces Israeli couscous 2 tablespoons za'atar spice blend 1/4 cup all-purpose flour 10 ounce pork tenderloin 1 clove garlic, minced 4 tablespoons and 1 teaspoon olive oil 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar salt and pepper Method: Pat pork dry, then rub all over with oil. Season all over with salt, pepper, and all of the za'atar spice blend, pressing to help seasoning adhere. Spread ¼ cup flour onto a plate, then dredge pork on all sides. Set aside.      Heat 2 tablespoons oil

Zucchini, sun-dried tomato and olive pizza

 Is there anything more fun than experimenting with pizza toppings? I think doing so in the spring. I love salty kalamata olives, sweet and tangy sun-dried tomatoes, and vegetal zucchini paired with mozzarella cheese and red onion. Enjoy! Ingredients: 1/4 cup kalamata olive, sliced 4 ounces sun-dried tomatoes 4 ounce ball of mozzarella, shredded 1 red onion, sliced 1 zucchini, sliced 1 pound pizza dough ball olive oil, salt, pepper flour, for dusting work bench Method: Preheat oven to 500 degrees F. Place dough on a lightly oiled rimmed baking sheet and set aside to come to room temperature.  Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened. Add zucchini and cook, stirring occasionally, until zucchini is softened and onions are well browned. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside. On a lightly floured surface, roll or stretch dough into an 8x12-inch rectangle. Carefully transfer to baking sheet. Top

Ranch Butter Steak and Potatoes

 You know, sometimes you need to lean into the classics. Steak, potatoes, and dress them up with delicious ranch butter. Yum! Ingredients: 2 russet potatoes 1 bunch scallions 1 pound steaks 1/4 ounce ranch seasoning 1/4 ounce BBQ spice blend 4 tablespoons butter Salt, pepper, olive oil Method: Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Slice your scallions. Scrub your potatoes and die into 1/2 inch cubes. Set out 4 tablespoons butter to come to room temperature. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the potatoes with 1 tablespoon olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Roast until tender and golden brown, tossing halfway through cooking time, about 30 minutes. Pat steaks dry and season all over with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the steaks; cook until medium rare and nicely seared on the outside. Transfer to a cutting board to rest. In a small bowl, stir to combine ranch seasoning and 3 tablespoons of the softened

Cheddar Cheese Chorizo Breakfast Bake

Guess who has her Sundays back? This lady. I am never giving them up again, either. To celebrate, I thought a wonderful brunch would be perfect- mimosas and this Cheddar Cheese Chorizo Bake? Yes, please! Ingredients:  2 ounces roasted red peppers 1 bunch scallions 1/2 pounds chorizo sausage 4 ounces mascarpone cheese 1/3 cup self-rising flour 2 ounces shredded cheddar-jack cheese 1 1/4 cups milk 1 teaspoon vinegar 4 large eggs 4 tablespoons butter salt, pepper, neutral oil Method: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F; grease an 8 by 8 baking dish.  Chop the roasted red pepper and slice the scallions. Set aside. Combine 1/2 cup milk and teaspoon vinegar to make buttermilk; set aside. Heat a teaspoon of oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add chorizo and cook, breaking up into smaller pieces, until browned. Stir in peppers and half of the scallions and cook until softened. Place the chorizo mixture into the baking dish.  In a large bowl, whisk 4 large eggs and mascarpone until co

Beef fried rice

 It's the end of the college school year! To celebrate, I want to make myself a satisfying bowl of my favorite American Chinese food dish; beef fried rice. Washed down with some bubbly, this is a good way to rejoice the end of a tough but rewarding year. Ingredients: 3/4 cup Jasmine rice 1 bunch scallion, sliced garlic, minced 3 tablespoons soy sauce 2 tablespoons kecap manis (dark soy sauce) 10 ounces ground beef 2 large eggs oil, salt, pepper, vinegar Method: Fill a medium saucepan with salted water and bring to a boil. Add rice and boil (like pasta!), stirring occasionally, until just tender, about 12 minutes. Drain in a fine- mesh sieve, rinse with cold water, and drain well again. Spread rice out on a paper-towel lined plate or sheet pan to dry and cool. In a small bowl, whisk to combine soy sauce, kecap manis, 2 tablespoons water, and 1 teaspoon vinegar. Beat 2 large eggs in a small bowl; season with salt and pepper. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over mediu

Philly Cheesesteak Burger

  I love a burger that has ingredients mixed in with the beef. A secret cheese explosion is always fun, but here I added in scallions and roasted red peppers, topped the burgers with fontina cheese and called it my take on a Philly Cheesesteak burger.  I have been known to top this with sautéed mushrooms and peppers, but serving as is alongside homemade fries is perfect for a weeknight meal. Enjoy! Ingredients: 2 russet potatoes 1 bunch scallions 2 ounces of roasted red peppers 2 potato buns 10 ounces ground beef 2 ounces shredded fontina Olive oil Salt and pepper   Method:  Preheat oven to 450 degrees F with a rack in the lower third. Scrub potatoes, then cut lengthwise into matchstick fries. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss fries with 1 tablespoon oil; season with salt and pepper. Bake on lower oven rack until crisp and golden brown, flipping halfway through cooking time. It will take about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, trim scallions and thinly slice. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a medium skillet

Veggie Pad Thai

 My resolution this year is to eat less meat and more vegetarian meals (for both personal and global health reasons). Recipes like this make that goal so easy! Ingredients : 7 ounces stir fry noodles 1 carrot 4 ounces snow peas large garlic clove 1/4 cup salted peanuts 1 limes 1/4 cup teriyaki sauce 3 large eggs oil, apple cider vinegar, salt and pepper Method: In a large pot, combine noodles and 10 cups of water. Cover and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Uncover and cook over high heat, stirring to prevent sticking and to allow for even cooking, until tender, about 6 minutes. Drain noodles, rinse under cold water, then drain again. Use kitchen shears to cut noodles in half directly in colander. Scrub carrot, then coarsely grate. Trim snow peas, then halve lengthwise. Finely chop 2 teaspoons garlic. Coarsely chop all of the peanuts. Squeeze 1 tablespoon lime juice into a small bowl. Add teriyaki and a half tablespoon vinegar, whisking to combine. Cut any remaining lime into wed

Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Casserole

As a kid, I rarely ate Tex-Mex. I am apparently making up for lost time. Now I know I love tacos, burritos, enchiladas, chimichangas, taquitos and any number of twists on those classic recipes. Enjoy this iteration of a cheesy chicken green enchilada sauce casserole. Yum!  Ingredients: 1 bunch scallions, minced 1 green bell pepper, diced 2 cloves of garlic, minced Six 6 inch corn tortillas 8 ounces green enchilada sauce 1/2 pound chicken breast, cut into strips 2 oz shredded cheddar-jack blend  Oil, salt and pepper Method: Preheat oven to 450 degrees F with a rack in the upper third. Trim ends from scallions and thinly slice, keeping light and dark greens separate.  Coarsely chop 2 of the tortillas. Mix the enchilada sauce with 2⁄3 cup water. Set aside. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a medium ovenproof skillet over medium-high. Add chicken to skillet in an even layer; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until chicken is just starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Add pepp

Za'atar Tilapia and Couscous Salad

  Spring has sprung! Time for refreshing and healthy meals. This za'atar covered tilapia and incredibly flavorful couscous salad cooks up in under 20 minutes, is delicious, and good for you. Perfect Saturday meal! Ingredient: 1 large cloves of garlic, minced 1/4 cup couches 1 lemon 1 plum tomato, diced 1 cucumber, diced 10 ounces tilapia 1/2 cup water 2 teaspoons za'atar spice olive oil pepper, salt Method Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a small saucepan over medium. Add half of the garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 minute. Add a half cup water and a pinch of salt ; cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Stir in couscous, cover, and remove saucepan from heat; set aside. Meanwhile, finely grate a half teaspoon lemon zest and squeeze 1 tablespoon lemon juice into a large bowl; cut any remaining lemon into wedges. To bowl with lemon juice and zest, add remaining chopped garlic and 3 tablespoons oil; season to taste with salt and pepper. Add tomatoes and cucumbers and set aside to mari

Beef and Corn Taco

Cheese, beef, corn and taco seasoning? All melted together and enclosed in a crispy tortilla shell? Sign me up!  These tacos are AMAZING with a dollop of sour cream and guacamole.  Ingredients: Large garlic clove, minced 10 ounce package ground beef 1 1/2 cups frozen corn 2 teaspoons taco seasoning 6 six inch corn tortillas 2 oz shredded cheddar-jack blend  4 ounce red taco sauce  Oil, salt and pepper Method: Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add ground beef, salt, and pepper. Cook, breaking up into smaller pieces, until browned and cooked through. Add corn, taco seasoning, and garlic. Cook for a further 2 minutes. Evenly divide filling among the centers of 6 tortillas. Sprinkle evenly with cheese.Roll up and bake in the oven until the cheese is melted. Lightly sprinkle with salt. Serve taco sauce alongside for dipping or drizzle on top. Enjoy!

Pork Eggroll Soup

 I love egg rolls in all iterations: spring roll, fried veggie roll, traditional pork roll, cheeseburger, avocado.... and now, soup! Ingredients: 1 egg Chicken broth 14 ounce bag of shredded cabbage 2 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce 1 bunch scallion, sliced  2 garlic cloves, minced 10 ounces ground pork 4 six inch tortillas Method: Finely chop 2 tortillas.  In a medium bowl, stir to combine ground pork, chopped scallions,, holding some back for garnish, chopped tortillas, 1 large egg, half of the minced garlic, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and a few grinds of pepper. Shape into 16 mini meatballs. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large pot over medium-high. Cook meatballs in batches, turning once, until browned. Transfer to a bowl. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons oil from pot. Add cabbage and remaining chopped garlic to same pot over medium-high. Cook, stirring and scraping up any browned bits from bottom of pot, until golden and wilted, 2–3 minutes. Stir in broth, 1/2 tablespoon soy

Sesame Ginger Beef Stir Fry

  There is nothing like stir-Friday (thanks, Archer!). I hope you enjoy this fast and delicious meal, any day of the week.  Ingredients: 2 tablespoons teriyaki sauce 1/2 pound shaved sirloin steak 1/2 cup jasmine rice 1 ounce fresh ginger, minced 2 garlic cloves, minced pinch red pepper flakes 1 cup snow peas salt and pepper sesame seeds, for garnish Method: In a pot, combine the rice and 1 cup of water. Cover, bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook until the water is absorbed and riches cooked, 15to 20 minutes.  Meanwhile, heat 1 and a half tablespoons oil in a medium nonstick skillet over high. Add shaved sirloin steak; cook, until browned all over and cooked through. Add snow peas, red pepper flakes, garlic and ginger, and a pinch of salt to skillet with steak. Cook, stirring, until snow peas are crisp-tender. Add teriyaki sauce to steak and snow peas in same skillet. Reduce heat to medium and cook, tossing to combine, until everything is coated in sauce, about 1 minute. Seaso

Falafel bowl

  Perhaps I should feel bad posting this recipe since the falafel isn't homemade; I bought an uncooked mix from my deli. But honestly, shortcuts like this are fabulous when I am busy. I get a delicious meal but don't have to work too hard to make it. And I still get to fry the falafel to my liking, and make the dressing. Enough effort so I feel fancy but not enough so I feel frustrated! People, take shortcuts! Ingredients: 1 cucumber 4 oz roasted red peppers, thinly sliced 1 garlic clove, minced 1 bunch fresh dill, minced 5 oz bag baby spinach 1/4 cup sour cream 1⁄2 lb falafel extra virgin olive oil white wine vinegar salt and pepper Method: Peel cucumber, and then halve lengthwise. Scoop out seeds and cut into half-moons. Season with salt and pepper. ; In a medium bowl, toss spinach with 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil; season to taste with salt and pepper. In a small bowl, whisk to combine  the sour cream, chopped garlic, chopped dill, 11⁄2 tablespoons extra virgin olive

Pulled Pork Ragu

 I think I have already explained my love of pulled pork. Here is another way to use up that delicious slow-cooked meat for another "left-over make-over!" I think it pairs perfectly with the red sauce and cheeses. The balsamic adds depth to the flavor and I can't make a sauce without sweet onions. Yum! Ingredients: 1 ounce grated parmesan 1/2 ounce grated reggiano 1 can tomato sauce 1 sweet onion, diced 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning 2 cloves of garlic 1/2 pound pulled pork 1 pound orecchiette pasta olive oil balsamic vinegar butter Method: Bring heavily salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to package instructions. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a medium skillet over medium-high. Add onion and cook until translucent. Add garlic; cook until fragrant.  Add pulled pork to pan and cook until browned; remove to a plate. Add tomato sauce, reserved pasta water, 1 tablespoon butter, and 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning; bring to a boil. Add pork to same skille

Chicken Pot Pie

 I used to hate pot pie as a kid. I think the creme sauce and flaky buttery crust was too rich for my little underdeveloped palate to take. Nowadays, I adore it. I like to sub pizza dough for pie crust on occasion; it's slightly less decadent and slightly more like bread (and bread and I have an ongoing love-affair). I hope you enjoy the change-up! Ingredients: 3/4 cup frozen peas 2 cups chicken broth 2 cloves garlic 2 large carrots 1 onion 1/2 pound chicken  1 russet potato 1 lb pizza dough 3 tablespoons flour 1 teaspoon dried thyme 1 egg olive oil salt and pepper Method: Place pizza dough in a lightly oiled bowl and set aside to come to room temperature.  Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Lightly grease a medium baking dish. Trim ends from carrots and cut into ¼-inch pieces. Cut potato into ½-inch pieces. Dice onion. Finely chop 2 teaspoons garlic. Pat chicken dry and cut into bite-sized pieces. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add chicken, salt and pepp

Meatball Parm Casserole

  The meatball is one of the world's most perfect food. Delicious, herb-filled, garlicky, cheesy and full of umami. Pair it with cheese, delicious marinara sauce and pasta, and you have a casserole that is filling AND whose leftovers you will want to eat! Ingredients: 1/2 pound cheese ravioli 8 ounces diced tomato 2 tablespoons tomato paste 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning 1/4 cup panko 10 ounces ground beef 8 ounces mozzarella 1 egg salt and pepper to taste garlic Method: Cook pasta to package instructions. Set aside.  Preheat oven to 450 degrees F with a rack in the upper third. Finely chop  2 teaspoons garlic . Coarsely grate  mozzarella  on the large holes of a box grater. In a medium bowl, combine  beef, panko, 1 large egg, 1 teaspoon each of garlic and Italian seasoning, ¾ teaspoon salt , and  a few grinds of pepper . Shape into  12 meatballs . Heat  1½ tablespoons oil  in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high. Add  meatballs  and cook, turning occasionally, until browned al