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 !!


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