November 9, 2012

Potatoes A La Bakery

Potatoes a la Bakery
Inspired by Laura Calder
Serves 6

3 Tbs Butter
1 Tbs Olive Oil
1 Yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 Purple onions, thinly sliced
2 lbs Red potatoes, sliced
1 Tbs Chopped thyme
1 Tbs Chopped chives
1/4 cup French fried onions
1 cup of Beef broth
1/4 cup of Parmesan Cheese
Salt & pepper

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.

In a saute pan melt the butter with the olive oil and the onions & cook for about 20 minutes.  Onions should be soft & translucent at this point. To the bottom of a deep casserole dish add half the onions. Add a layer of sliced potatoes, season with salt and pepper, and add half of the thyme, chives & French fried onions, and then repeat with remaining onions, potato & spice layer.  Take a spatula and pat the potato & onions layers down, ensuring a snug fit.  Pour broth evenly over the casserole. Cover the pan with foil, and bake for 2 1/2 hours, remove the foil from the top and bake another 30 minutes, remove from oven & sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and bake from another 10 minutes.  Enjoy!

This is such a tasty side dish.  I love to use it in combination with a crock pot entree.  It goes nicely with my Sweet & Spicy Pork Tenderloin.

The second set of layers

Awaiting the broth

The Finished Product - Potatoes a la Bakery

August 24, 2012

Skyler's Summer Salad

Skyler's Summer Salad
Serves 4

2 cups spring mix lettuce, torn
2 cups spinach, torn
1 can Mandarin oranges, drained
1 cup fresh raspberries
2 ozs goat cheese, crumbled
Handful raw walnuts, crumbled
1 thick slice of red onion, minced
2 grilled chicken breasts, chopped
1 avocado, diced
Raspberry balsamic dressing (I used Annie's but any type of raspberry or strawberry dressing will do)

Toss all ingredients in a large serving bowl & then drizzle with dressing (don't toss). Cover with plastic wrap & let the salad sit for 10 - 30 minutes in the refrigerator (this marries all of the flavors). Toss, Serve & Enjoy

Darling Skyler herself, eating edamame with chopsticks

August 17, 2012

Almond & Goat Cheese Salad

Almond & Goat Cheese Salad
Serves 4 as a side & 2 as main

1 bunch butter lettuce
1 pint cherry tomatoes
2 oz goat cheese, crumbled
1 oz raw almonds
Salt, pepper & cruched red pepper flakes
Your favorite balsamic vinagrette

Tear lettuce into large serving bowl, add tomatoes, goat cheese & spices.  Place almonds between 2 paper towels and pound lightly with a rolling pin or hammer.  Add to salad and toss.  Lightly dress with your favorite balsamic dressing and let it sit for ten minutes, toss and serve.

This light salad is perfect as a side or add grilled chicken and use it as your main dish.

August 16, 2012

Coq Au Vin

Coq Au Vin
Serves 4

8 Chicken thighs
Extra virgin olive oil
1 cup flour
Salt & pepper
Herbs de Provence
4 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
1 onion, minced
1 large shallot, diced
2 teaspoons minced garlic
6 carrots, peeled and sliced into 1" pieces
1 bag frozen pearl onions
1 lb cremini mushrooms, wiped clean
1 can Italian stewed tomatoes
1 cup of Cabernet sauvignon
1 cup low sodium chicken broth
Parsley, roughly chopped
Parmesan cheese, grated
Hot buttered egg noodles or rice to serve
Crusty French bread

Preheat oven to 275 degrees
In a shallow dish add the flour, salt, pepper & herbs de Provence and toss together (heavy on the spices).  Dredge chicken in flour & brown in a large dutch oven with a splash of extra virgin olive oil.  Once it has browned remove it from the pan and add another splash of olive oil and the minced onion & shallots.  Saute for about 10 minutes, add the garlic and let it brown, another 2 minutes or so. Add the tomatoes, wine & broth.  Bring to a light boil.  Add the chicken to the bottom of the dutch oven and then top with carrots, frozen pearl onions, mushrooms, thyme sprigs, bay leaf, sprinkle of salt & pepper, and cover.  Bake at 275 degrees for two hours.  Remove thyme sprigs & bay leaf.  Serve over noodles or rice with a sprinkle of parsley & Parmesan cheese & French Bread.

June 26, 2012

Honey & Brie Grilled Peaches

Honey & Brie Grilled Peaches

This is a light dessert that would be even better with a dollop of vanilla ice cream.  All you need is:
Fresh Peaches
Local Honey
Slices of Brie

Half the peaches & remove the pit (this is much easier with very ripe peaches).  Place flesh side down & grill for 5 minutes, rotate clockwise & grill for a few more minutes.  Remove from grill & drizzle with honey.  Place slices of brie over the peaches and bake at 350 degrees until the cheese starts to melt (around 10 minutes).

I would estimate 2 halves per person.  To make it even easier these are the first things I put on the grill, I drizzle the honey while they are warm & just place them in the fridge until after dinner.  If we are having dessert we always wait a bit after supper is finished.  Hope you Enjoy!

I just love this honey!  Cute name too.

May 25, 2012

Black Eyed Pea Salsa

Perfect for this Holiday weekend!  I serve with Blue Tortilla Chips and Carrot Chips.
Black Eyed Pea Salsa
2 cans blacked peas, drained and rinsed
1 red pepper, diced
1/2 English cucumber, peeled & diced
3 celery stalks, diced
2 Tbs minced jalapeno
4 green onions, thinly sliced, whites and greens

1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup white wine vinegar
1 Tbs red wine vinegar
Juice of 1/2 lime
1 Tbs jalapeno juice
Sprinkle of salt & pepper
2 Tbs sugar
1/2 Tsp dry mustard

Combine all vegetables in a container with an air tight lid. Whisk dressing together and pour over vegetables. Cover with lid and give the container a good shake (or you could also lightly mix & cover with Saran Wrap).  Marinate in the fridge for 2 hours before serving & Enjoy.

May 16, 2012

Sweet & Savory Pinwheels

Simple Pinwheels
These are very tasty - I think they would be perfect to take to Sunday School or even as a holiday appetizer.  You can make these as sweet, savory or simple.  Hope you enjoy!

Simple Pinwheels
8 oz cream cheese
16 oz sausage
Salt & Pepper
1 can crescent roll dough

Cook sausage on the stove top until brown, season with salt & pepper & remove from the heat.  Mix cream cheese with the sausage.  Unroll the crescent roll dough onto a foil lined cookie sheet.  Crimp together all of the preferred edges to create one large piece.  Slice the dough in half length wise and spread mixture evenly over the 2 squares.  Roll the dough up like a jelly roll.  Wrap the dough in the foil and put in the freezer for 20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Unwrap dough and slice into 1/4 inch pieces.  Bake on cookie sheet or pizza stone for 15-20 minutes (watch closely from the 15 minute point).  Transfer to a wire rack and let them cool for 5 - 10 minutes & serve.

Savory Pinwheels
8 oz  chive and onion cream cheese
16 oz sausage
1/2 teaspoon chopped thyme
Salt & Pepper
Several dashes of hot sauce
1 can crescent rolls

Follow the same instructions as above just also add the thyme & hot sauce to the sausage in addition to the Salt & Pepper.  I also think caramelized onions would be a wonderful addition.

Sweet Pinwheels
8 oz whipped cream cheese
16 oz sausage
1/2 Tbs Maple Syrup, plus extra for drizzle
1 can of crescent rolls

Follow the same instructions for the plain above, however add 1/2 Tablespoon of maple syrup to the sausage while cooking.   While pinwheels are cooling drizzle extra syrup over the them - reminds me of pancakes and sausage - yum!

May 14, 2012

Broccoli & Cheddar Twice Baked Potatoes

Broccoli & Cheddar Twice Baked Potatoes
Serves 2

2 medium sized baking potatoes
1 cup chopped broccoli
1/4 cup light sour cream
1 Tbs chives, chopped
1 Tbs butter
2 Tbs fat free 1/2 & 1/2
Salt & Pepper
1 Tbs light cream cheese
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Cooking spray
Chopped green onions
1 lemon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Wash potatoes well & using a knife poke 8 holes in each.  Place them on foil lined cookie sheet & cover all sides with cooking spray. Sprinkle each with salt.  Roast for about 1 hr & 30 minutes, check on them after an hour - depending on your oven they make take the entire hour and 1/2.
In the meantime mix together the chives and sour cream and return to the fridge.  Bring a small pot of water to a boil.  When it is a roaring boil add the broccoli.  After 3-4 minutes the broccoli will turn a bright green.  Strain broccoli and add to a bowl.  Squeeze a touch of the lemon juice over the broccoli and toss well.  You may want to finely chop the broccoli at this point, I prefer the finer chop, but larger florets are fine too.

Allow potatoes rest from the oven for 10 minutes, then slice off the top third of the potato.  Chop the tops of the potatoes and add to the broccoli.  Scoop the contents and add to your bowl.  Place the potato shells in a shallow baking dish & lightly salt & pepper the inside.  To the potatoes & broccoli add the butter, cream cheese & salt & pepper, mix well and then add the 1/2 & 1/2 and chive sour cream and mix again. Fill the potato skins with the mixture topping off with the cheddar cheese.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.  Top with the chopped green onions & enjoy.

Pair with a nice salad and you have a complete Meatless Monday Meal.

February 19, 2012

Trying Something New...

We are attempting to implement a more vegetarian lifestyle at our house.  We have been on board with Meatless Mondays for several years now & my husband really wanted to stretch the practice out longer.  The idea is smaller, meatless dinners Sunday through Friday night.  Saturday is a free day - you have to have one! I have a feeling proper planning will be the key.
Here is our menu for the week:
Sunday - Roasted Cauliflower and Spinach Pizza with Fruit Salad for dessert
Monday - Broccoli & Goat Cheese Souffles with Red Lettuce Salad
Tuesday - Bean Burritos with Tex Mex Quinoa Salad
Wednesday - Orecchiette Pasta with Brocolli Rabe & Chickpeas
Thursday - Southwestern Cheese Paninis with Raw Veggies
Friday - Caramelized Onion and Spinach Lasagna

Wish us Luck! I will be sharing the yummy dishes. 

Of course we came to this decision after a ridiculously decadent weekend in New York.  Italian and French food galore, 2 shows (Sleep No More & Venus in Fur), long walks through the Metropolitan Museum and the city, and beautiful snow.

Union Square Farmers Market on Friday Afternoon


The Freedom Tower from our Hotel
Ancient Roman Tile Floor
Oceanic Collection
Faberge Lilies

The Knights

The Egyptian Gallery is amazing

Lunch at Grottoa Azzura 

Cheesecake & Canollies at Ferrara

Ferrara's Treats

Brooklyn Bridge in chocolate with skyline of gingerbread buildings

Happy to come home to the pups- Walter is huge Westminster fan

February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day at an inn in Connecticut from the movie Holiday Inn

Happy Valentine's Day!!!
If only Holidays were like they are in the movies. Getting dressed up and spending the evening eating, drinking & dancing. Oh and the clothes!
Unfortunately now trying to go out on Valentine's is ridiculous.  The crowds & prices - no thanks, too much. Dinner at home tonight is what I have planned - here is our menu:

Valentine's Dinner 2012 
Shrimp Cocktail
Caesar Salad
Filet Mignon with BĂ©arnaise Sauce
Twice Baked Potatoes
Green Beans Almondine with Bacon
Strawberries dipped in Chocolate
Chocolate & Nutella Bread Pudding or Maybe Chocolate & Nutella Crepes - Haven't decided yet...

I hope you have a wonderful day!

Our table setting for Valentine's Dinner

February 4, 2012

Southern Chicken Curry

Chicken Curry over Brown Rice with Thyme Roasted Carrots
Southern Chicken Curry
Serves 4 -6

2 cups shredded chicken
1 Tbs olive oil
1/2 sweet or yellow onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1/2 green pepper, chopped
3 Tbs butter
4 Tbs flour
2 Tbs curry powder
3 cups low sodium chicken broth
2 Tbs sherry
Salt & pepper

Toppings - Peanuts, chopped green onions & crispy, crumbled bacon

Over medium heat saute the onion, pepper & celery in the olive oil with touch of salt & pepper until softened.  Remove them from the heat & melt your butter in a dutch oven. Add the flour to the butter, making a roux, and stir until light brown (watch closely this can only take a few minutes).  Stir in curry powder.  Add 2 cups of broth slowly while stirring the roux.  Add the chicken, onion, celery & green pepper to the roux.  Turn the heat down and simmer for 45 minutes while adding broth and Salt & Pepper as needed. Add sherry in the last 5 minutes. Serve over brown rice with toppings.
I served this dish with Roasted Baby Carrots for our Sunday Supper.

This is an old recipe from our church.  The ECW throw an annual chicken curry luncheon to raise money for various causes.  Each year it is a success not to mention a great lunch.  They serve the Chicken Curry over white rice along with marinated green beans, tomato aspic & a rum cake that will knock your socks off (literally).

January 25, 2012

Busy Days & A Spinach Potato Frittata

Spinach Potato Frittata
Spinach & Potato Frittata
Serves 4
4 small red potatoes, thinly sliced
2 cups of spinach, torn
1/2 red onion, chopped
5 eggs
1 Tbs olive oil
1/4 cup cheddar cheese, grated
Salt & Pepper & Red Pepper Flakes

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
In a hot skillet, saute potatoes and onions in olive oil until tender (about 15 minutes).  Meanwhile whisk together your eggs and spices with 2 teaspoons of water.
Cover the bottom of a baking dish with potatoes and onions, forming an even layer.  Top with torn spinach & pour seasoned eggs over slowly, ensuring even coverage.  Top with sprinkle of cheese and bake 25 minutes (make sure eggs are set).   Slice & serve with a salad.

Recipes like the one above are true gifts when I am in a time crunch, healthy & quick.  The last thing I want to do after a 10 hour work day is wash pots and pans all night.  One of my favorite "quick dinners" are soup kits, have you tried these? I do prefer creating things from scratch, but get real - on crazy week nights these are time savers. Not to mention they are healthier than anything from a drive through!
Our favorites - Chicken Tortilla & Tomato Basil
I would rather play with these two than do dishes anyway...
Walter & Louise

Silly Beauregard - That is one way to keep little brother from getting your toys!

*** Another time saving note - the leftover Frittata is a wonderful breakfast!

January 16, 2012

New Year & Meatless Mondays

Happy New Year!  I am sure that we are like most & have vowed that 2012 will be a healthy one. One of our favorite tricks is participating in Meatless Mondays. Nothing complicated, just starting the week off concentrating on fruits, vegetables & a healthy diet.
Broccoli Pizza
This was a simple one.  Whole wheat crust with a bit of homemade Sunday Sauce, cheese, red onion, broccoli, fresh basil & red pepper flakes.  I use Il Fornaio frozen pizza dough, which makes this an even easier dish, but make your own if you wish.  I love starting the week off right!
What was on your resolution list?
We also vowed to be more organized, all of us...
We will see how long this lasts