Saturday, November 21, 2009

Busy Busy Busy

Soooo I have been MIA again.. My husband and I bought an RV about two weeks ago, Its and oldie but goodie. 1979 Chevy Cobra, sleeps 7 and ready to ride the country. My husband and I are big fans of hitting the open road so this has been a dream of ours. It is in excellent condition except for some 1970's decor. We needed to fix a few things and winterize it since its getting cold here in the Northeast. I was on vacation this past week and had hoped to be in the kitchen everyday but instead, the RV and some DYI projects took over. We got a lot done so I can't complain I'll post pictures of some of my projects later. I am off to do some last minute shopping and then its back to the kitchen until Thanksgiving!! Can't wait to see everyone's Thanksgiving menus!! 

Lovin the 1970's decor.....

Monday, November 2, 2009

Dinner Review Bacaro Restaurant Providence, RI

Bacaro has to be one of my favorite restaurants in Providence. The atmosphere is great ,right on the water, and the food is rustic yet sophisticated. Bacaro is an Enoteca (Italian Wine Bar), Salumeria & Cicchetteria. The Salumeria chef hand cuts and prepares all the assorted cured meats and cheeses to order and the Cicchetteria Menu (Italian tapas) is one of favorite menus in town. Bacaro is warm and cozy offering bar seating, and about 10 tables downstairs and about 15 tables upstairs overlooking the kitchen. We ate downstairs this time around.

 We were seated promptly and greeted by our very knowledgeable waiter. We were told that there was one special which I have to admit, I forgot. Not that memorable I guess.  It is best to order family style here in my opinion, although the menu is designed in normal fashion, apps, entrees, sides, deserts. Plus an oyster menu and the Cicchetteria Menu. To really enjoy all that Bacaro has to offer sharing is best. 

We started with the Oyster and Chicchetteria Menu.

There was a choice of three kinds of oysters and we got all three:
Bluepoint from Long Island, Mapleque from Prince Edward Island and Rocky Point from the Prudence Island, RI area. 

They were served with four different sauces:

Red Wine Mignonette – aged red
wine vinegar, sweet shallots, black

Prosecco Mignonette- Prosecco,
white wine vinegar, pink
peppercorns, sweet shallots

Cucumber Granita- cucumber, rose
water, juniper & rosemary infused
Italian ice

Bing Cherry Mignonette Granita-
Italian ice of pureed sweet Bing
cherries, shallots, black pepper &
aged red wine vinegar
The oysters were very fresh but I have to say the sauces made it for me, each one was better than the one before it. But if I had to pick one it would be the Cherry Granita, sweet cool and oh so yummy!!

Taleggio in “Carozza”- battered & pan fried
sandwiches of Italian Taleggio cheese

These  taste just like a grilled french toast sandwich, crispy on the outside and gooey on the inside. We order these every time we go. 

Crispy Fried Fontina & Prosciutto Stuffed 

 Meatballs with Pomodoro
Definitely crispy on the outside but they were really soft and juicy on the inside, and the Pomodoro was so fresh and very simple but delicious.

Crostini with Local Wild Flower Honey &
Prosciutto di Parma
I am a big fan of the sweet salt combo and this combination of the sweet honey and the salty prosciutto is music to my mouth!!

These were all small plates so the sandwiches were two to a plate , the meatballs came with three and there were four of the crostini. Just enough so that we could continue to graze.

This next dish came from the appetizer side of the menu but again we all shared. It happens to be one of my favorites.

“Crespella”- Truffled Crepe with Bresaola, Shaved Parmigiano & Rocket

Crispy Crepe topped with paper thin slices of truffle-scented dry cured beef, shaved

parmigiano and wild arugula dressed with virgin olive oil, sea salt and balsamic vinegar 
The crepe is so crispy yet very light and airy. The saltiness of the Bresaola paired with the pepper from the arugala and the sweetness of the balsamic is perfect.

And here is where we are all went out  on our own, and order separate entrees. Who doesn't love leftovers!!

Pasta Con i Funghi
Butter, parmigiano, truffle-scented egg, mushroom
My mother ordered this one as it is one of her favorites, when you break open the egg the runny yolk makes a nice cream sauce with the butter and parmigiano. And the aroma to die for. 

Baked Gratin of Pasta with Pumpkin and Smoked Pancetta
Cream, parmigiano-reggiano, mozzarella, ricotta, fontal, tomato, walnuts, fresh parsley
My father and I had this and I have to say it was one of the best Baked pasta dishes I have had, outside of Al Forno's restaurant ( they are known for there baked pastas). The chef of Bacaro was a long time chef at Al Forno. Again the sweet salty combo with the pumpkin and pancetta and the creaminess of four cheeses, and I had enough for lunch the next day always a plus.

Desert we went back to sharing and ordered:

Bombolini of the Season

Little Warm Doughnuts Dusted With Fine Sugar & Filled with Seasonal Jam
 Who doesn't love warm doughnuts, and these were filled with a fig jam.

Seasonal Crostata
Rustic Tart with Seasonal Fruit Served with Vanilla Crème Anglaise 
They were actually offering three varieties of the Crostata; Apple, Asian Pear, or Fig.We thought why not all three in one and the waiter said why not!! It was a free form crostata with the flakiest crust and just tender fruit. 

All in all we had yet another wonderful meal at Bacaro Restaurant. Not only was the food great but so was the service, my mother is handicapped and they are always so accommodating. I would highly recommend Bacaro, for a special occasions or a night out with some friends, the more the merrier for sharing purposes of course.

(401) 751-3700
262 South Water Street
Providence, RI 02903

*******Sorry for the lack of pictures, I decided to meet my parents for dinner unexpectedly so I didnt have my camera. ********

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Sloppy Joe's for Sunday Foot Ball ( a week late)

Sorry for the lack of posting but I have been sick and very busy over the past week. Last weekend we went to a Halloween Party at a restaurant/lounge and the fog machines set the fire alarms off. We had to stand outside in the rain for about a 1/2 before we were aloud back inside or to leave.We chose to leave because at that point we were soaked. Needless to say I ended up with a cold. It didn't really hit full force until  Monday so I was able to make a nice Sunday Football meal.

So I have a confession to make, I had never had a Sloppy Joe before I met my husband. Growing up I would always see the commercials for Manwich , I mean who hasn't but had never tried one. So one snowy night back when we were dating that was pretty much all he had in his kitchen so Manwich night it was! I have to admit they weren't half bad, but for some reason I have never had them again. Once a week I have my husband pick out a cookbook for me to cook some recipes from. This week he picked out the Everyday Food cookbook and I stumbled across a Sloppy Joe recipe that looked delicious, and probably much healthier. So I decided that was the on the menu for Sunday Football along with some homemade pita chips and red pepper hummus. The Sloppy Joes can also be made in slow cooker, but today I decided to make them on the stove top.

I had picked up some green peppers at the market for the Sloppy Joes and grabbed a jar of roasted  red peppers for the hummus. My husband is a big fan of hummus growing up in a Lebanese house. I'll admit I usually just buy the ready made hummus at the store but after picking up a Lebanese cookbook written by some of my husband's family for their church I decided to try homemade.

Red Pepper Hummus

Original recipe from A Legacy of Love
written by the ladies of
St Anthony of the Desert Church

Items Needed:
Food Processor or Blender

  • 1  (15oz) can Chick Peas, reserve juice
  • 1-2 cloves garlic
  • 2-3 tbsp tahini (sesame paste) 
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • salt ( to taste) 
  • 1-2 roasted red peppers
  • Combine all ingredients in food processor or blender using only one pepper. Process until creamy . Add more lemon juice, salt, tahini, and remaining pepper to your taste. I used half of another pepper. 
  • If mixture is too thick add some of the reserved juice from chick peas. Serve with toasted pita chips.
Pita Chips

Items needed:
Baking Sheet
Parchment Paper

  • Olive oil
  • Garlic powder
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Take each pita and cut into six triangles, brush with olive oil and sprinkle with garlic powder,salt and pepper
  • Bake on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper for 7-9 minutes until slightly browned
Serve with hummus 

Sloppy Joes
adapted from  

Serves 4 
  • 1-2 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 1 1/2 cans (15 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • hamburger buns, split and toasted
  • In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, green pepper, and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until vegetables are softened, 5 to 7 minutes.
  • Add ground beef to skillet. Cook, until it is no longer pink, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain 
  • Return beef to skillet and stir in tomato sauce, ketchup, and Worcestershire, simmer until thickened, stirring occasionally, 6 to 8 minutes.
  • Add more salt and pepper to taste then spoon onto buns  

****** Sorry no pictures but I wasn't feeling my best******* Next time I promise !!!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Chicken and Pumpkin Enchiladas

I've said it before and I am sure I will say it again, I feel like I am in a dinner rut. So I asked my husband to pick out one of the many cookbooks that I have and I would pick a recipe out of it to make over the weekend. The book my husband picked was Everyday Food, by Martha Stewart. Of course I found more than one recipe, it's amazing how you can pick up a cookbook and realize how many recipes you haven't tried. And here I am complaining that I don't know what to make.  Not only did I find tonight's dinner but something for Football Sunday too. 

One of the great things about this cookbook is that it is divided by seasons, and what a great season fall is... so many choices. I had just so happened to buy a few cans of pumpkin puree the other day, they were on sale so I stocked up. I was hoping to find a recipe to use it up.  So as I am stumbling through the cookbook I came across a great Pumpkin recipe. It is slightly different on the website, using Rosemary Thyme Chicken instead of shredded rotisserie Chicken. 

Spicy Pumpkin Enchiladas

I have been meaning to try an enchilada recipe and when I came across this with the pumpkin I knew it would be a hit. As usual I changed the recipe slightly for our personal tastes and let me tell you it came out amazing.The combination of the sweet pumpkin and spicy enchilada sauce were warm and comforting on a cold night. 

Shosh's Version of Spicy Pumpkin Enchiladas 

Items needed: 
Baking Dish

  • 1/2 Rotisserie Chicken , white and dark shredded  
  • 2 scallions, sliced thin
  • salt and pepper 
  • 1 can pumpkin puree
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 can enchilada sauce
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 6 corn tortillas
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Mexican cheese, or cheese of choice

Preheat oven to 425 degrees

  • In a bowl mix shredded chicken, scallions then season generously with salt and pepper 
  • In blender, puree pumpkin, garlic, chili powder, 1/2 can of enchilada sauce, 2 cups water, 2 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper, making sure to hold top of blender as it will be quite full. Pour 1 cup of sauce in the bottom of 8 inch baking dish.
  • Lay tortillas on work surface and spread chicken mixture on half of tortilla dividing evenly. Roll up tortillas and place seam side down in baking dish. 
  • Now the original recipe called to pour the rest of the sauce over tortillas, but it would have been too much for my liking so I poured 2 more cups and reserved the rest for future use. 
  • Spread top with the cheese and bake until cheese and sauce are golden and bubbly 25 to 30 minutes . Let cool 5 minutes before serving. 

As always eat and enjoy!!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Sunday Football Feast

Sunday's for me mean football, food, and relaxing with my husband. Today the weather was horrible, we live in Patriots country so if you saw the game on TV you'll have seen snow. That's right snow in October in Massachusetts. CRAZY!! Luckily we only got rain, but it was a rain like I have never seen before, heavy and relentless. Thankfully I had no expectations of even leaving the house today, but that meant that I had to make what I had on hand. See I usually head to the market on Sunday a.m. But there was no way that I was going out in this mess. So what would the pantry/freezer/fridge dictate we have for dinner? Since the weather was crummy and I had to watch Fantasy Football Now @ 11:30 ( yes I have a fantasy football team in my husbands league, and yes I am the only chick!! ) I decided to go for a slow cooker dish, and my luck I found some Keilbasa in the freezer so I decided to throw that in the slow cooker to get things started. I then found chicken wings in the freezer so there ya have it, Keilbasa and Wings. I had a couple of store bought sauces/marinades that I had been wanting to try so I thought the wings were the perfect opportunity. 

My husband and I are big fans of Chicken Wings, especially for football. There used to be this place near our house called Wings to Go and they had about 20 different kinds of wings and you could order them in any amount in increments of five. So you could mix and match. It was a chicken wing fans heaven, and then they closed and we were forced to make them at home if we wanted anything comparable. Now there are many different techniques that people use for wings, and I have tried many of them including frying, baking, throwing them in the slow cooker.  I always come back to simplest of recipes, bake the wings with just some salt and pepper in a 375 degree oven for an hour, then sauce them and return to the oven for 10 minutes. This insures a crispy wing that isn't soggy and not burnt from a sugary sauce. 

While I was in the kitchen preparing the wings I noticed that I had a couple fo apples that were just asking to be cooked. So I again went into the fridge to see what I could make. No ready made pie dough and I was just not up for making my own so I grabbed a tin of Biscuits and decided to make mini biscuit apple pies. A great way to end a yummy meal. 

Slow Cooker Keilbasa  

Set slow cooker to High

Items Needed: 
Slow cooker

  • Polish Keilbasa, I used a pork, turkey lite mixture, sliced into rounds
  • 1/2 squezze bottle of grape jelly
  • 1 jar Chili sauce
  •  Add kielbasa, grape jelly and chili sauce to slow cooker and mix together then cook for 3 hours. 
  • Check keilbasa and stir, take off lid and leave off but continue to cook for 45 minutes to reduce some of the sauce. 

Serve on its own or with bulky rolls.

Baked Chicken Wings 

Preheat Oven to 375 degrees

Items Needed:
Shallow baking sheet( jelly roll ),cooling rack

  • 30 Chicken wings, separated
  • salt
  • pepper
  • Sauces of your choice, I used a Stop and Shop Simply Enjoy brand , Sweet Chipotle and Rosemary Garlic, Franks Red Hot Sauce and made my own Teriyaki
  • 1/2 cup Sesame Ginger Marinade*
  • 1/4 cup Honey*
  • 1 tbsp Hoisen Sauce*
  • 1/4 c Soy Sauce*
  • 2 tbsp Butter 
* Use this as a guideline to make your own teriyaki sauce. Adding more of what you think it needs for your family taste.

  • Cut wings in center to make two wings, and then cut off and discard wing tip. Place on a rack resting in a shallow baking dish lined, this creates really crispy wings. 
  • Sprinkle generously on both sides with salt and pepper, and bake for approximately 1 hour checking and flipping half way through. 
  • Meanwhile in a bowl mix together 1/2 cup sesame ginger marinade, 1/4 cup soy sauce,  1/4 cup honey, 1 tbsp hoisen sauce whisk together and taste see what is needs add accordingly, set aside. 
  • Melt butter with 1/4 cup Franks Red Hot Sauce
  • If you like your wings crispier than leave in an additional 10 minutes. 
  • Remove chicken from oven and dip each wing in sauce then return to rack and bake an additioanl 10 minutes.   

These came out so crispy and delicious and it was fun to try the different sauces. I have to say both sauces the Sweet Chioptle and Rosemary Garlic where delicious, the Chipotle had a smokiness to it and the Rosemary had a citrus touch to it . 

Apple Biscuit Cupcakes

 Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Items Needed:
Cupcake pan, cupcake paper, saute pan

  • 1 Macoun Apple, peeled, cored and sliced
  • 1 Granny Smith Apple, peeled, cored and sliced
  • 1 pkge Pillsbury Buttery Biscuits 
  • 3 tbsp Sugar
  • 1 tsp Apple Pie Spice
  • 2 tbsp Butter 
  • Sugar for sprinkling on top

  • Take each biscuit and split in half, press each half buttery side down onto cupcake paper 
  • Melt butter in saute pan, add apples, apple pie spice and 1 tbsp sugar, stir so apples don't stick.
  • Cook for about 5-7 minutes then add rest of sugar and continue to stir another 2 minutes ,set aside
  • Bake biscuits for 5 minutes, take out of oven, they will have puffed up a bit so with the back of a spoon push down the centers to form a cup
  • Spoon 1 tbsp of mixture  into center of biscuit, and sprinkle some sugar on each one 
  • Bake for 12 minutes or until nicely browned around edges.  
We had these with a scoop of ice cream, YUMMY!!!


Sunday, October 18, 2009

Dinner and lots of Shows....

I have been going to Broadway and off Broadway shows with my parents for 20 years. Which means that I have seen over 120 shows and this year isn't even over yet..We have three just this month alone. I live 50 minutes from Boston and 15 minutes from Providence, RI so we are very lucky to have such great theater city's so close.  We go to see shows in three places; Boston at many different venues, the Providence Preforming Arts Center (PPAC)  and Trinity Repertory Theater in Providence. The last of which is very unique, Trinity has the last permanent resident acting company in the country. Which is the reason we have been season tickets holders for most of the last 20 years. It really is a different experience then any other theater experience that I have ever had. Some of the actors have been with the company for over a decade and we have watched them grow into some of the finest actors I've ever seen.  Seeing them transform themselves from show to show is unbelievable.

Last week we went to see The New Mel Brooks Musical : Young Frankenstein, starring Brad Oscar who we have seen in other shows. Frankenstein was a very funny, lively musical at the PPAC. A classic that is still as funny as the first time I saw the movie. This Friday we went out to dinner and a show at Trinity. The show was called Shooting Star, by Steve Dietz and directed by one of the companies finest actors Fred Sullivan Jr. It was a two person play, that's right just two people, with the starring roles going to two outside actors, ( not residnet actors) that just so happened to be married to each other ( in real life) . It was a romantic comedy of sorts set in an snow-bound airport, and takes place 20 years after this pair had been lovers. Each is flying to the others home city him for work her to meet someone, and both flights are canceled and they stuck in the airport and are forced to spend that time together retelling old stories and old fights. It was a short play only 80 minutes no intermission, and we really enjoyed it! 

Before the show we went across the street to a fabulous restaurant Gracie's where the menu changes with the season with a new menu every week.  They have a star motif which is played out very subtly throughout the restaurant, which is funny that the show we saw was Shooting Star.  With fall being our season we knew we were in for a treat. They are very accommodating to theater goers being right across the street from Trinity, offering a pre-fixe meal for $30, one app, one entree, one dessert, while also offering a five and seven course meal in addition to a la carte. There were supplemental prices for some of the items like Foie Gras and Veal sweetbreads on the $30 pre-fixe.  We choose to go with the pre-fixe and were very pleased.   

There were hints of Fall through out the menu such as Hudson Valley Foie Gras with
pumpkin pie custard, cranberry gastrique, pumpkin nougatine, and  spiced brioche, which is what my mother ordered. My father and I went with the  Sugar Pumpkin Soup with pecan maple syrup, creamy ricotta, and as an addition to the soup that night they had Creme Fraiche filled Agnoltelli which when cut opened  the creme just burst into the soup, topped with candied  pecans. I have had many pumpkins soups and this by far was the best I have ever had. Creamy but light, sweet but savory and everything in between. In between courses they served a lemonade slushy in a shot glass with tiny straws, It was very tart and had tiny bits of real lemon in it. A nice refreshing intermezzo.

For our main dishes , my mother ordered the Crescent Farms Duck with sherry poached suckle pear, butternut squash, and a burnt pear caramel reduction. She said that the duck was tender and nicely paired with the pear and butternut squash . My father and I once again ordered the same thing, I know boring but we are very alike in the food department. Our dish was Prime Ribeye & Short Rib with crisp cheddar potato puffs, local collard greens, garlic fondue. I have to admit I have never been a big rib-eye fan, always went for a different cut of meat but this was delicious. Soft and buttery and cooked perfectly. The short rib was fall off the bone good with a sweet almost bbq type sauce.  

Dessert was a tough choice but oh so yummy. My mother went with the Apple Crostata made with Granny smith & Gala apples, and topped with brown sugar & creme fraiche ice cream. Oh so fall and delicious served warm the tart and sweet of the apples mixed with ice cream was a great twist on apple pie. The tart of the day was a Pear and Almond Tart with the same ice cream. That is what my father ordered, and it was also really good. I love pear and almond together so this was a hit with me. I went with the Pumpkin Panna Cotta served with a pecan sandie crisp layered on top , then a red grape & citrus salad and  pumpkin seed brittle sprinkled around the plate. The panna cotta was so smooth and creamy , but the best part was the pumpkin seed brittle, sweet  and crunchy. 

All in all we had a lovely evening and I would highly recommend Gracie's in Providence. The atmosphere was great and the food even better. 


194 Washington Street
Providence, RI

Sorry no pictures but I forgot my camera......OOPS!!

Stay tuned for my Sunday football feast post!!

Monday, October 12, 2009

So many recipes.... Spaghetti Pie it is.....

Before I get to the Spaghetti Pie, I wanted to share this lovely award that I received the other day from

Simply Food

This is a great blog that all of you should check out!!!

Thank you so much for this thoughtful award!!!

Ok now on to recipes. As most of you do, I have a lot of cookbooks. I also have a lot of food magazines, I love getting new recipes, new ideas and new kitchen tips. If you ask my husband he'll tell you I hoard them, all lies...... See if I read thru a food magazine and there are a lot of recipes I like in it then I keep it, and thus the piles of mags all over the house. So this weekend I decided to tackle those piles and finally get rid of some of those magazines. The recipes I really liked and were actually going to make, I kept. There are always those recipes that look great but come on are you really going to make it???? So once they were out of the mags, I did a once over and weeded out the ones I knew I wouldn't end up making. The rest I separated into categories, then sliped them into plastic sleeves and filed in a binder.

And after all of that I was too exhausted to As usual I couldn't find one that suited my liking exactly so I decided to wing it and go with what I had in the fridge and what me and the hubby like.

So here is Shosh's version of Spaghetti Pie1

  • 1/2-1 lb leftover spaghetti
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 1/2 c Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 a zucchini, sliced in half moons
  • 1/2 onion, sliced
  • 3/4 jar spaghetti sauce or fresh if you have it
  • 3/4 c sour cream
  • 1/2 package cream cheese
  • 1 1/2 c shredded cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees

  • Mix egg and Parmesan cheese with spaghetti and layer in the bottom of a greased pie plate bake it for 10 minutes to set the pasta.
  • Brown ground beef in skillet, drain fat. Add salt, pepper and Italian seasoning, add onion and zucchini and cook until translucent 5-7 minutes
  • Pour spaghetti sauce into skillet and heat through, meanwhile in a separate bowl mix sour cream, cream cheese, and 1/2 of the cheese and warm in the microwave for 30 seconds (easier to spread)
  • Take out of oven and spread the cheese mixture, then the ground beef sauce mixture and top with the rest of the shredded cheese.
  • Bake for 25 minutes or until the cheese is nice and bubbly.
Eat and Enjoy!!!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Pizza Cacciatore

I am a big believer in using leftovers, growing up my father always wanted to use things up. It had become sort of a family joke with some of his concoctions and combination's. My grandfather was the same way and it so cute to see how much my father is becoming more and more like his father. Now I am more of a reuser than a reheater. I like to take something I made and turn it into a new dish but of course that isn't always easy. So sometimes I go back to an old favorite and pizza is it. Not only is it a great way to use up meat and veggies it is a pretty easy dish.

Now the only thing with this recipe was that after reheating; the peppers were a little too mushy to use for the sauce so I decided to puree the sauce and add some cream. It ended up very much like a vodka sauce with out the vodka.
Which by the way is one of my favorite sauces. The sauce was so good that I ended up dipping my pizza in it..... and it was yummy.

Pizza Cacciatore

  • 4-5 pieces leftover chicken cacciatore , shredded
  • 1 1/2 c cacciatore sauce
  • 1/2- 1 c cream,
  • 2 c shredded cheese of choice
  • Pizza Dough, homemade or ready made this time I used Pillsbury Pizza Dough

Preheat oven 375

  • Roll out pizza dough on a pizza stone and prick with a fork all over to prevent bubbling bake 6-8 minutes
  • Puree sauce in pan ( I used an Immersion Blender )
  • Meanwhile heat up sauce in sauce pan until it reaches a boil, slowly add the cream until it is the consistency you want thick enough to use as a pizza sauce but not runny and whisk together, remove from stove set aside
  • Take pizza dough out of oven and spread with a layer of sauce, then a layer of chicken and then sprinkle top with cheese, bake for 10 minutes or until cheese starts to bubble, and get slightly browned.
You know what I say YUMMY!!


Monday, October 5, 2009

Chicken Cacciatore

Since its been so chilly out here, I decided I wanted to make something comforting. I was thinking chicken since I had it on hand, and I wanted to use it up to make room in the freezer. I kept thinking back to a Chicken Cacciatore recipe that my cousin had made several times for me. I remembered that the recipe was from the Rao's Cookbook, which I knew my mother had but didn't feel like driving to her house for the book. So I took to the internet. I went to the Rao's website but that only told me to get some of there jarred sauce ( which are great, but that's another post) and some chicken and I was looking for a from scratch recipe. It was hard to find one that didn't have tomatoes in the sauce..See I love Italian food, but as strange as this may sound I love all things tomato except tomatoes. Its the texture that throws me, so when I was perusing recipes for a Chicken Cacciatore dish I was going to have to switch it up a bit no matter which one I went with. As I read all these recipes I wasn't feeling any of them. So I went with a recipe from Giada who I love, off the food network website. I used this as a base and did my own thing

Chicken Cacciatore

  • 3 chicken breasts
  • 4 chicken thighs
  • 1 large red pepper, chopped large pieces
  • 1 large orange pepper, chopped large pieces
  • 1 large onion, chopped large pieces
  • 1 cup, pureed tomato
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1-2 tsp balsamic vinegar, to taste
  • Salt and pepper

  • Sprinkle Chicken pieces with salt and pepper, and in two batches brown chicken in heavy dutch oven , remove from pot after nicely browned on both sides cover with foil
  • Add peppers and onions and saute for 4-5 minutes until soft season with salt and pepper and then add chicken broth scrape bottom to break up bits on bottom for extra flavor
  • Add tomato puree, Italian seasoning, and garlic powder then bring to a simmer
  • Reduce heat on chicken to low and cook for 1 1/2 to 2 hours
  • If too thin add a cornstarch slurry ( added )
SIDE NOTES: So after I made this I realized that I had omitted two ingredients with out meaning to, white wine and flour. I had both and simply forgot, the wine would have given it a bit a tang and the flour would have helped to thicken the sauce which it needed. I also had to substitute garlic powder for fresh garlic eekk I know, but I didn't have any fresh ( ok so I forgot to grab it when I was at the supermarket happens to the best of us... )

Add 3 Garlic cloves finely chopped
3/4 cup white wine
1/2 flour for dredging

Stay tuned for my recipe using the left overs...

Sorry no pictures we ate it too fast.....

Friday, October 2, 2009

Cherry Cheesecake Cookies

Yummy... That's pretty much all I have to say about these. I needed to make a quick dessert for some unexpected guests we had coming so I had to go with what I had on hand. I always keep ready made cookies in the freezer for occasions like this. When I have no time and can't run out to the store. My husband is a big fan of any kind of cheesecake and who doesn't love cheesecake and cherries. Simple and easy recipe, the kind I love!! Ok folks so here is goes, easy as pie... I mean cheesecake.... Cherry Cheesecake Cookies
  • 8 Pillsbury Sugar Cookies
  • Philly cheesecake filling... Also always have on hand
  • Cheery Filling, or sub out your favorite pie filling
  • Cupcake paper
  • Place each cookie in a cupcake paper and bake cookies in cupcake pan per directions
  • Let cool for about 15 minutes and then spread cheesecake filling on each cupcake almost like frosting
  • Scoop a tablespoon of the cherry filling on the top ( I put 4 cherries on each one)
  • Put in refrigerator for about 20 minutes to set and serve!!

Yummy , Enjoy !!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Whirlwind of Wedding Weekends.....

So as you read in my last post we traveled to St Louis, MO for a cousin wedding last weekend and this weekend went to one in Newport, RI. I didn't have then opportunity to cook much over the weekend. So I promised a pumpkin bread pudding and was prepared to make it this weekend until I got to the supermarket and the whole shelf for pumpkin was empty... Apparently a big seller this weekend! So I had to improvise and decided to make a Blueberry Bread Pudding instead. No regrets here thats for such. It came out yummy. Here is the original recipe

and my adapted recipe

BlueBerry Bread Pudding

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • 8 slices Chalah (braided Jewish sweet bread)in honor of Rosh Hashana
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 c light cream, plus 1/2 c- 3/4c
  • 3/4 c milk
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 1/2 butter, melted
  • 1 T vanilla extract
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • 2 c blueberries, fresh or frozen ( I used fresh)
  • confectioners sugar
  • Cut bread into cube, and place into a greased pan or ramekins as I did
  • In bowl combine egg yolk, cream, milk, butter, vanilla, and cinnamon
  • Stir in Blueberries and pour over bread
  • Refrigerate for 30 minutes
  • Transfer to baking dish or ramekins
  • Bake uncovered for 30 minutes or until brown on edges and a knife inserted in middle comes out clean
  • Sprinkle with confectioners sugar and serve warm

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Back to reality...

So we have finally returned from our road trip and already I wish I was back out there. You don't realize it until you are on the road what a beautiful country we live in. OK so Illinois and Indiana were some what of a bore, but Pennsylvania and New York were gorgeous. As we drove to Cooperstown down these winding roads and hilly pastures, I decided that this was a place that I wanted to spend more time in. Unfortunately we only had the afternoon so we had to make the best of it. We walked along the beautiful main street of Cooperstown of course named Main St and stopped along the way at several shops and then went to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Which if you haven't been is a must visit, especially if you are a baseball fan like me and the hubby.

I won't bore you with the details but I will tell you that we stopped down the street at the Doubleday Cafe.. Abner Doubleday was thought to have invented baseball, so there is a lot named after him in town. The restaurant was very casual and served mostly sandwiches on the suggestion of our waitress we went with the Philly Cheese steak sandwich. It was served with sauteed onions and peppers and lots of cheese just the way I like it. It was yummy!!
But I must say the best part of our meal was the desert, pumpkin bread pudding with a bourbon sauce. Can I just say that it just went on my top 10 desert list!!

So now I am on the hunt for a recipe for this amazing dish. Stay tuned for this and some of my Rosh Hashanah recipes soon!!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

On the Road.....

My husband and I are on the road.. traveling to St Louis, MO for a family wedding. We decided to drive, we live in Massachusetts so this wasn't an easy ride, but we love it. It is an opportunity for us to see the United States and places that we might never travel to otherwise. For our honeymoon, we took 28 days and drove south to Florida, west to New Orleans, North to Tennessee and then east back home with numerous stops along the way. We got to see people and places we wouldn't have if we had flown. We walked around today seeing some of the sights in St Louis, the arch of course being the most popular where there was a gathering, Lawn Apolloza a street fair of sorts, they were serving various fair food, hot dogs hamburgers, french fries and of course some St Louis BBQ So we went for the Pulled Chicken Sandwiches, very good but a tad spicy. They use a lot more pepper in there sauce then in other BBQ areas. But it was yummy, it was served with a BBQ beans dish made with black,baked and red beans and some cole slaw. Which was also different then we've had down south in Tennessee for BBQ. The cole slaw was made with more of a ranch type dressing than a sweet one. Tonight we are going to the wedding so I will try to post tomorrow, we start the drive back tomorrow with a stop in Cooperstown , NY and the Baseball hall of Fame!!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

BBQ Chicken Pizza

On a busy night who doesn't love to just order a pizza? And how easy is it to dial that number.. Just as easy as it is to make this quick and delicious pizza at home. I did have intentions of grilling up some chicken for my pizza but time was not on my side. My hubby was getting home early so I had to think quick. I wanted to make a homemade version of my favorite pizza so I stopped at the market and picked up a rotisserie chicken and Pillsbury Pizza dough.

Shosh's BBQ Chicken Pizza

Preheat oven to 415
  • Can Pillsbury Pizza Dough
  • 1 Rotisserie Chicken
  • BBQ sauce, your choice I use Sweet Baby Ray's
  • Shallot, sliced
  • Shredded 4 blend cheese

  • Take all white meat off of chicken and shred put in bowl with 2 tbsp. BBQ sauce
  • Roll out pizza dough on a pizza stone and prebake dough for 5 minutes
  • Squeeze BBQ sauce in a diagonal on pizza dough and spread chicken evenly over pizza dough
  • Cover with cheese as much or little as you like and bake for 12-14 minutes until bubbly and yummy.

Its a square pizza so cut into squares and dig in!!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Chicken , with Capers and Cream Sauce

I was wrestling with what to make for dinner the other night , I felt like I was in a rut. The same old thing every week, so I hit the internet and looked for a new chicken dish. I was looking for something quick, elegant, and in the comfort food range. I didn't think that was too much to ask....was it?? I came across this at a recipe for Chicken Breasts in Caper Cream Sauce.

It sounded right up my alley I just need to change things up a bit as I am known to do, so here is my version of their recipe.

I do not really care for dill so I omitted that, since I had read a few of the reviews and some people subbed-out tarragon for the dill, and I would have too but I plum forgot to add it to the sauce. I have a tendency to do that....

Chicken and Capers with a Cream Sauce
  • 5 Chicken Breasts, pounded thin
  • 1 8oz. carton of cream
  • 1 sml shallot, diced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • lemon juice to taste
  • 1-2 tsp capers
  • butter
  • olive oil
  • Melt 1 tbsp butter with 1 tsp olive oil
  • Saute shallots until opaque then transfer to a plate
  • Saute chicken in the shallot flavored butter/oil mixture 4-5 minutes each side and they are nicely browned, add a squeeze of lemon juice to taste
  • Add carton of cream and simmer on low for another 5 minutes until chicken is cooked thoroughly, and add capers
  • I finished it off with a swirl of honey to add a touch of sweetness

I served it with a traditional greenbean casserole ( yum) and two kinds of sweet potato. One sweet and one savory. I used a cinnamon chipotle seasoning blend I had for one and brown sugar and maple syrup for the other. All I can say is YUMMY!!!


Sunday, August 30, 2009

Back from Vacation...

I am finally back from vacation and able to post, I was silly in thinking that there would be internet access down at the beach, but I did. We spent a great week down in Cape Cod, Ma at the beach with family and had a great time. It has been a family tradition to go there for the past 26 years with my parents. This year was first year that just the siblings went. We did some chillin and grillin and also some eating out, gotta love the clam shacks every 1/4 mile. But no internet access so I will have to catch up on my cooking this week and post some recipes.

While we were there Senator Edward Kennedy died, not far from where we vacation. My husband and I decided to go to the Kennedy Museum in Hyannis to pay our respects. I didn't think his death would affect me as much as it did, but being from Massachusetts almost my whole life, and Teddy being the only Kennedy I have known, I am too young for JFK or RFK to have an effect on me. On our way home this weekend, all along the highway were signs and people on the sides of the roads trying to get a glimpse of him as he traveled from Cape Cod to Boston and then on to his final resting place Arlington National Cemetery. It was a rough weekend in terms of weather, we were hit with the tail end of Tropical Storm Danny, but that did not deter people form lining the streets yesterday it was amazing!! He was a great asset to Massachusetts and will be greatly missed.

I am actually off to a Fantasy Football Draft so no recipe but I promise one soon.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Cod in Parchment Paper

My husband and I are heading out of town for a week long vacation, so deciding what to make for dinner was tough. I don't want to make anything that leave leftovers, and I didn't want take out, I wanted something light. Thanks to Silvia from and her recipe for Suffocated Cod I got the idea to make Cod which is a plenty in South eastern Mass where I live. I of course didn't have all the ingredients on hand so I had to change things up quite a bit. My hubby doesn't like curry and I didn't have coconut milk. I also served the zucchini on the side simply steamed. Even with the changes it was delicious!!

Link to original recipe:

Cod in Parchment Paper

Makes 2 servings

  • 1 lb cod filet, sliced into 4 equal portions
  • 2 lemons, sliced thin
  • 1 red onion, sliced thin
  • 2 tbsp butter, seperated
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil
  • parchment paper
Preheat oven to 475 Cut two squares of parchment paper big enough to fit your fish on one side and fold it over to fold together to seal.
  • Alternate layers of red onion and lemon 4-6 slices depending on size of fish
  • Lay 2 pieces of fish over onion/lemons sprinkle fish with salt and pepper
  • Repeat with another layer of onion and lemon
  • Sprinkle with olive oil and 1 tbsp of butter on each packet
  • Fold over parchment paper and fold up edges to seal like a package
  • Put in oven for 12-15 minutes
  • Slice open packet and serve

Monday, August 17, 2009

They like me!! They like me!! Or at least my clams....

Ahh Monday mornings how I dread it! But yesterday was different, I woke up and carried on as usual getting ready for work but had some extra time, so I thought I would check my emails. Once that was done I thought eh, I'll go check out FoodBuzz and see whats going on there, and to my surprise when I checked the Top 9 there was my photo from my Steamed Clams recipe. Wow they like me , the really like me, or at least my clams that is. I am somewhat new to this, not the cooking thing or the baking thing but to the picture thing. In the short time that I starting blogging again, I realized how much a picture speaks to the reader about the dish. I mean lets be honest no ones running into the kitchen to make an ugly one.

After checking out various food photo sites, it seemed quite apparent that a picture truly is worth a thousand words. You are more likely to want to cook something that looks amazing, so you can't just point and shoot, you have to take your time. Now I have what I think is a very nice camera, it served me and my husband very nicely on our three week honeymoon road trip but is it top banana? No way. So since getting a new camera is out of the question I must deal with what I have!!! I guess it worked, since they picked my picture of Steamed Clams.

Now on to the matter at I know I promised Part Duex of the Clams,Clams, Clams recipes, but my camera, yes the one I spoke so highly of above is behaving ( battery issues) badly. So I only have pictures of my Chorizo and Peppers Sandwich for now and will have to continue the suspense of the Clams...... Until tomorrow.

Chorizo and Pepper Sandwiches

  • Chorizo links, sliced
  • 3 green peppers, diced
  • 1/2 red onion , diced
  • 1 c red wine
  • 1/2 11 oz. can tomato paste
  • 1/2 15 oz. can tomato sauce
  • Portuguese Rolls

Place all ingredients in slow cooker , and turn on low ( 8 hours ) or high (4 Hours). Remove lid from slow cooker 30 minutes to allow steam to escape and thicken sauce. Serve with Portuguese rolls, or bulky roll.


Friday, August 14, 2009

Clams, Clams, Clams....

My brother in law called me up yesterday to say that he had a bag of fresh clams and didn't know what to do with them...Could he bring them over and maybe I would know what to do with them.... Are you kidding bring it on!!!Oh boy the possibilities...

I was going back and forth trying to decide what to make.. Being from New England, south eastern Massachusetts to be exact, the first thing that came to mind was Steamed Clams with Chorizco. But really the possibilities are endless... Clam Cakes, Clam Chowder, Clams Casino, Stuffies.... Oh my!

I decided with so many clams to split them up and do two dishes. So this will be a two parter...

Part One~ Steamed Clams with Chorizco

We live in the South Coast area of Massachusetts, about halfway between Providence, RI and Cape Cod. What some refer to as Little Portugal, with half of the population in the area being of Portuguese decent, there is no shortage of great dishes to choose from. Portuguese Chorizco is a staple around here, with its dried smokey red pepper flavor and subtle spiciness it is a perfect combination with the sweetness of the Clams

Steamed Clams with Chorizco

  • 20 littlenecks (what we call Clams)
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 1/2 c red onion, diced
  • 1/4 c red bell pepper, diced
  • 6 thin chorizco links, sliced
  • 4 cloves, garlic whole
  • 1 beer
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 stick butter

Thoroughly wash clams scrub with a brush to get any bacteria and dirt off. Put clams in a strainer and rinse in cold running water for 5-10 minutes. In a steamer insert of pot, place quartered onion , and clams, in bottom layer of steamer pot put garlic, beer and red pepper flakes to make the broth. Steam until all clams are opened, discard any unopened clams. Reserve broth.

In separate pan, saute red onion and red pepper in 2 tsp olive oil, cook until translucent, add sliced chorizco and cook until slightly browned. Add 2 cups of reserved broth to deglaze pan, cook 2 minutes, add butter and cook 1-2 more minutes. Serve over Clams with a big ole piece of bread to sop up the broth!!


Stay tuned tomorrow for Part Two.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

So what do you want for dinner?

I love food, to eat it, read about it, cook it. So naturally I love to talk about it. My husband on the other hand does not feel the need to talk about it like I do . It has become somewhat of an inside joke between us, because we will wake up make coffee still no breakfast and I want to know What do you want for dinner?? My hubby looks at me like I am crazy! Dinner he says, we haven't even discussed breakfast let alone lunch. See breakfast and lunch are usually on the go or at work so dinner is our time to sit and enjoy together. I get to dream up recipes all day based on what we are in the mood for. So really I'm planning ahead, so that I can get all the things I need on my way home. Since he wouldn't give me an answer I decided for us. I had read a recipe on Simply Recipes Blog for Chicken wrapped in Prosciutto and thought it would be perfect with of course my little touches. , simple and delicious Here is the original and then what I made

Here's what I came up with:

2 thin chicken breasts
1/2 thinly sliced shallots
2 slices prosciutto
2 slices fontina cheese
1/2 c - 1 c white wine
1 stick butter,divided in half
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/4 c maple syrup

Set oven to Broil

Lightly beat egg, set aside. Wrap chicken with the prosciutto and then dip in egg, make sure to let it drain off or it will be too eggy.

Heat 1/2 butter in pan and saute chicken, cook 3-4 minutes each side, until prosciutto is a little crispy. Transfer to a shallow baking dish. Add slice of fontina and broil until cheese is melted.

In same pan, add wine and deglaze then pan, then add the shallots and cook down for about 4-5 minutes, add remaining butter and cook until incorporated.This is an add in from the original Finish with the maple syrup, to add a nice sweetness to the sauce. My secret ingredient!!

Serve and Enjoy!!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Dinner with my Hubby

Hubby's getting out of work early so I thought I'd make a nice dinner for him..Then I remembered that the whole family is coming over tomorrow for my brother-in-laws birthday so I needed to make something easy yet delicious.. Here's what I came out with...


1 lb steak tips, cubed
1/4 c chili sauce
1/4 c BBQ sauce, your choice I used Sweet Baby Ray's
1/4 soy sauce
1/4 honey
2 cloves garlic, crushed

1/2 c shallots, sliced
1/2 c vidalia onion,sliced
1/2 c red onion,sliced
1/2 orange bell pepper,sliced
1/2 yellow bell pepper, sliced
1/2 c Chicken Broth
1/2 c red wine, optional
1 1/2 tbs sugar

salt and pepper to taste

Mix first six ingredients together and marinate for 1-24 hrs.
Set oven to broil, LOW to start then switch to HIGH right before you put the steak in. Arrange steak on a broil pan or shallow baking dish if broil pan not available. Cook for 8 minutes then flip steak and cook another 6-8 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a saute pan heat up some olive oil, and put in shallots, cook for 1-2 minutes then add vidalia and red onion, season with salt and pepper. Cook for 4-6 minutes until translucent. Sprinkle mixture with half of sugar, and cook 1-2 minutes then add chicken broth let some evaporate then add red wine and additional sugar. Simmer until reduced slightly.

Serve steak with onion mixture on top, and a baked potato to finish it off.



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