Friday, August 30, 2013

Q n E

Comfort Breakfast Bake (recipe from Rocking Lion)

5 eggs
1/4 cup milk
16 oz refrigerated breakfast biscuits (I used the Pillsbury flakey kind)
4 scallions (green onions, spring onions, whatever you prefer to call them)
1 cup shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese
If you’re into the meats – cooked center cut bacon or cooked sausage
11×17 pan, sprayed with cooking spray (Note: I think a 9×13 works better, but it might need to bake a little longer)

1. Mix your eggs and milk in a large bowl. Cut each biscuit (I’m all about scissors in the kitchen) into fours and add it to the bowl. I like to do this before I cook the bacon or cut up the scallions – give the biscuits some time to really soak in the eggs.

2. Cut up your scallions, shred your cheese, cook and break up your bacon (or sausage). Add everything to the bowl. 

3. Mix it all up and pour into your pan. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes (make sure it isn't runny – mine this morning took 28 mins) 

Originally from: via Rocking Lion

Buon Appetito!

From a a friend, of a friend...

Even though it's a Canadian recipe I let it through...

Canada's Best Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Icing


2 cups (500 mL) all-purpose flour
2 tsp (10 mL) baking powder
2 tsp (10 mL) cinnamon
1 tsp (5 mL) baking soda
3/4 tsp (4 mL) salt
1/2 tsp (2 mL) nutmeg
3/4 cup (175 mL) granulated sugar
3/4 cup (175 mL) packed brown sugar
3 eggs
3/4 cup (175 mL) vegetable oil
1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla
2 cups (500 mL) grated carrots
1 cup (250 mL) drained crushed canned pineapple
1/2 cup (125 mL) chopped pecans


1 8 oz (250g) package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup (60 mL) butter, softened
1/2 tsp (2 mL) vanilla
1 cup (250 mL) icing sugar (aka confectioners sugar and powdered sugar)


Grease and flour 13- x 9-inch (3.5 L) metal cake pan; (or 2 round pans) set aside.

In large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, salt and nutmeg. In separate bowl, beat together granulated and brown sugars, eggs, oil and vanilla until smooth; pour over flour mixture and stir just until moistened. Stir in carrots, pineapple and pecans. Spread in prepared pan.

Bake in centre of 350°F (180°C) oven for 40 minutes or until cake tester inserted in centre comes out clean. Let cool in pan on rack. (Make-ahead: Cover with plastic wrap and store at room temperature for up to 2 days. Or ovenwrap with heavy duty foil and freeze for up to 2 weeks; let thaw before continuing.)

Icing: In bowl, beat cream cheese with butter until smooth. Beat in vanilla. Beat in icing sugar, one-third at a time, until smooth. Spread over top of cake. (Make-ahead: Cover loosely and refrigerate for up to I day.)

Originally from: via Canadian Living Magazine

Buon Appetito!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

I'm back in the kitchen, briefly...

I haven't had much time to experiment in the kitchen for a while or even do much cooking/baking. Yes, I have gone through a modicum of withdrawal...So the other night I had a wild hair and decided to make hummus. It turned out great and it's so easy to make, I don't know why it's been so long since I've made it. It's also healthy, which, believe it or not, I'm trying to start cooking that way more. My biggest complaint with health food is that historically (at least in my mind) it has been unappetizing. I am finding more and more recipes to contradict that thinking and I'm determined to find a happy medium between appetizing and healthy. Anyway, bit of a rabbit trail there, sorry. This post is really about my experiments on variations of hummus, so I better get on track. For the hummus, I went pretty straight forward, and no, sorry, no measurements. Here we go:

canned garbanzo beans
tahini (some purists make theirs, I buy mine)
fresh lemon juice
olive oil
minced garlic

As I said, no measurement, I apologize. I basically threw the beans into the food processor and slowly added the other ingredients to taste (and consistency). It turned out great, even the kids devoured it. Here's a pic, though not a great one since I put it in a plastic container instead of a bowl (for which my wife dutifully scolded me).

Plain and simple, but awesome.

Never being content, I decided, of course, that there needed to be variations on the theme. I thought maybe I could come up with what I called an "Italian hummus". Here's what I used:

Cannellini beans
almond butter (a little spendy, but great flavor)
olive oil
minced garlic

I then branched off of that basic recipe and made 2 different batches, one with fresh basil (that I had just picked in a buddies garden), and the other with sun-dried tomatoes. The verdict was that both were great, but the hands down winner was the basil, but then, how can you beat fresh basil?!? Here are a few pics:

Ah, the beautiful smell of fresh basil...

Almond butter is amazing anyway...

No brand placement, I promise, wasn't picky on these ingredients this time.

Basil "Italian Hummus"

Sun-Dried Tomato "Italian Hummus"

As I always say, experiment. Once you get a good "base" recipe, then fool around with different variations, l liked the cannellini beans as much as the garbanzo beans. I might try roasted red peppers next time, we'll see.

Buon Appetito!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Another, looked great, but maybe a tiny bit less healthy...not bad, though.

Baked Chicken Chimichangas

8oz pkg. cream cheese
8oz. Pepperjack cheese, shredded
1 1/2 Tbsp. taco seasoning
1 lb. cooked chicken, shredded
8 flour tortillas
cooking spray
shredded cheddar cheese
green onions, for garnish
sour cream

Stir together cream cheese, Pepperjack cheese and taco seasoning.
Fold in chicken.
Divide among flour tortillas.
Tuck in sides, and roll up each tortilla.
Lay seam side down in a sprayed 9x13" baking dish.
Spray tops of tortillas with cooking spray.
Bake at 350 for 15 minutes.
Turn chimi's over, and bake an additional 15 minutes.
Serve with cheddar cheese, green onions, sour cream, and salsa.

Buon Appetito!

Good n healthy even...

This one on a friends page looked great, easy, and yes, even healthy. I love stuffed cabbage leaves and grape leaves and this seems like an easier version...

Unstuffed cabbage Rolls


1 1/2 to 2 pounds lean ground beef or turkey
1 tablespoon oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small cabbage, chopped
2 cans (14.5 ounces each) diced tomatoes
1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon sea salt


In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the ground beef and onion and cook, stirring, until ground beef is no longer pink and onion is tender.
Add the garlic and continue cooking for 1 minute.

Add the chopped cabbage, tomatoes, tomato sauce, pepper, and salt. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, or until cabbage is tender.
Yield: Serves 6 to 8

Buon Appetito!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Looks good enough to eat...

Brown Sugar Carmel Pound Cake

1 ½ cups butter softened
2 cups light brown sugar, packed
1 cup granulated sugar
5 large eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup whole milk
1 8oz bag toffee chips
1 cup pecans, chopped

Carmel Drizzel:
1 – 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325 spray a 12 cup Bundt pan with cooking spray with flour

Beat butter until creamy. Add sugars beating until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time. In medium bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt. Add flour mix to batter alternately with milk, beat until just combined. Stir in toffee buts and pecans. Spoon batter into pan and bake 85 minutes or until wooden pick comes out clean. To prevent excess browning, cover cake with foil while baking. 

Let cake cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove from pan, and let cool completely on a wire rack. Spoon Caramel Drizzle over cooled cake.

Directions for Caramel Drizzle
In a medium saucepan, combine condensed milk and brown sugar; bring to a boil over medium-high heat, whisking frequently. Reduce heat, and SIMMER for 8 minutes, whisking frequently. Remove from heat; whisk in butter and vanilla. Let cool for 5 minutes before using. NOTE: Make sure you drizzle the caramel while it’s still HOT. When cooled the caramel does somewhat harden.

Buon Appetito!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Healthy, oh well...still looks good.

Kidding, of course! Healthy does not have to be synonymous with unappetizing! We really are trying to head in that direction, I promise...

Avocado Chicken Enchiladas

Ingredients for the Enchilada Sauce

1 tablespoon butter
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp flour
1 cup chicken stock - (you could use vegetable stock)
2 teaspoons of cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1 cup mild or medium salsa verde 
1/2 cup fat free sour cream

Ingredients for the Enchiladas

3-4 cups cooked chicken breasts, chopped or shredded
2 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese
3 avocados, peeled and chopped
8 flour tortillas


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In medium sauce pan, saute garlic in butter for about 1 minute on Medium – High Heat. Stir in flour let it cook for about 2 more minutes.
2. Next stir in the chicken broth, cumin, salt, pepper and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and stir in the sour cream, salsa verde and cilantro until smooth (or at least as smooth as you can get.)
3. Prepare a 9×13 baking dish with nonstick spray. Add about 1/2 cup sauce to the bottom of the pan. and spread out until bottom of the baking dish is evenly coated.
4. Lay out a tortilla and add chicken, shredded cheese, and avocado to the end of the tortilla and roll. Then place the rolled tortilla seam-side down and repeat until the pan is full.
5. Pour the remaining sauce over the enchiladas. Cover with 1 cup of cheese and bake for about 20 minutes or until cheese is bubbling.

Buon Appetito!

Q n E from a friend...

Crock Pot Lasagna

1 pound Ground Beef
Lasagna noodles
1 jar spaghetti sauce
1 1/2 cups cottage cheese
1 1/2 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
Brown ground beef and drain. Spoon 1 C. spaghetti sauce in bottom of 4 quart crock pot. Mix remaining sauce with beef. Place 2 uncooked lasagna noodles on sauce in crock pot. Spread 1/3 meat mixture on top of noodles. Spread 3/4 C. cottage cheese over meat. Sprinkle 1/2 C. mozzarella cheese over cottage cheese. Add another layer of uncooked noodles, 1/3 meat mixture, the remaining cottage cheese and 1/2 C. mozzarella cheese. Place another layer of uncooked noodles, meat mixture, and mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over top. Cook on low for 4 hours.

Buon Appetito!

Simple and Unhealthy! 2 of our favorite things!

Caramel Marshmallow Popcorn

1/2 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons light Karo syrup (corn syrup)
14 large marshmallows
1 package microwave popcorn


Pop the bag of popcorn and strain any seeds (this is important because if there are seeds they will stick in the caramel which is not tasty)
Melt butter in pan
Add brown sugar and Karo syrup to butter and melt (do not burn)
Add marshmallows and melt while stirring over medium heat
Pour caramel marshmallow mixture over popped popcorn and devour!

Buon Appetito!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Bel Piatto (Beautiful Dish)

Tomato Basil Pasta

Pasta, Tomatoes, Veggie Broth, Olive Oil, and Seasonings (details below)

Throw it all in the pot, INCLUDING the uncooked Pasta, and cook! - Bring it to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. The starch leaches out of the pasta and makes a rich, warm sauce for the noodles. The other ingredients cook right along with the pasta

12 ounces pasta (I used Linguine)
1 can (15 ounces) diced tomatoes with liquid ( I used zesty red pepper flavor)
1 large sweet onion, cut in julienne strips
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves
2 large sprigs basil, chopped
4 1/2 cups vegetable broth (regular broth and NOT low sodium)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Parmesan cheese for garnish


Place pasta, tomatoes, onion, garlic, basil, in a large stock pot. Pour in vegetable broth. Sprinkle on top the pepper flakes and oregano. Drizzle top with oil.

Cover pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to a low simmer and keep covered and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring every 2 minutes or so. Cook until almost all liquid has evaporated – I left about an inch of liquid in the bottom of the pot – but you can reduce as desired .

Season to taste with salt and pepper , stirring pasta several times to distribute the liquid in the bottom of 
the pot. Serve garnished with Parmesan cheese.

Buon Appetito!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Q n E, from a friend...

Cheesy Baked Dip

8 oz. sour cream
8 oz. cream cheese
16 oz. cheddar cheese, grated (sharp or mild)
4 oz. chopped green chilies
Green onion (suit your own taste)
1 c. chopped ham
1/2 pound chopped bacon
1 round bread loaf, hollowed out

Mix first seven ingredients together and put into the hollowed out bread loaf. Bake at 350 degrees uncovered for one hour. Serve with leftover bread or chips...

Buon Appetito!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

From a friend...

Layered Summer Fruits with Creamy Lime Dressing

Creamy Lime Dressing

1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup frozen limeade concentrate, thawed

1/4 cup powdered sugar

1 cup whipping cream, whipped


3 cups cut-up cantaloupe

1 quart strawberries, quartered

2 ripe medium mangoes, seed removed, peeled and cut up

2 cups blueberries

2 cups cut-up honeydew melon

Mint leaves, if desired

  1. In medium bowl, beat cream cheese, limeade concentrate and powdered sugar with electric mixer on medium-high speed about 3 minutes or until smooth. Fold in whipped cream. Set aside.
  2. In 3-quart trifle bowl, layer cantaloupe and strawberries. Spread half the cream cheese mixture over the strawberries. Layer mangoes, blueberries and honeydew over cream cheese mixture. Spread remaining cream cheese mixture on top. Garnish with mint leaves.
  3. Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate up to 2 hours before serving.

Buon Appetito!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Castellammare del Golfo

So, I stumbled upon a few pictures of the little town in Sicilia where we stayed a few years back called Castellemmare del Golfo. It brings back great memories. Enjoy.


5 eggs
1/4 cup milk
16 oz refrigerated breakfast biscuits (I used the Pillsbury flakey kind)
4 scallions (green onions, spring onions, whatever you prefer to call them)
1 cup shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese
If you’re into the meats – cooked center cut bacon or cooked sausage

11×17 pan, sprayed with cooking spray (Note: I think a 9×13 works better, but might need to bake a little longer)

1. Mix your eggs and milk in a large bowl. Cut each biscuit (I’m all about scissors in the kitchen) into fours and add it to the bowl. I like to do this before I cook the bacon or cut up the scallions – give the biscuits some time to really soak in the eggs.

2. Cut up your scallions, shred your cheese, cook and break up your bacon (or sausage). Add everything to the bowl. 

3. Mix it all up and pour into your pan. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes (make sure it isn’t runny – mine this morning took 28 mins).

Buon Appetito!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Quick note.

So, I really like Ben and Jerry's Cherry Garcia Ice cream, so I thought I would take a stab at making some. It turned out pretty good, but I need to do some more research on the best chocolate to use. I used a decent mini chip, which turned out fine, but I think I could find a better, high fat content dark chocolate...Anyway, I used a basic sweet cream frozen custard recipe, and at the the end of the churning (we have a Cuisinart Ice cream maker with the frozen bowls) I threw in about a half a cup of mini chips (semi-sweet), and a jar of the dark morello cherries (drained) from Trader Joe's.


1 cup heavy cream
3 cups half-and-half cream
8 egg yolks

1 cup white sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt

Pour the heavy cream and half-and-half cream into a heavy saucepan, place over medium-low heat, and heat until barely simmering, stirring frequently. Turn the heat down to low.
Whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, and salt in a large bowl until thoroughly combined.
Slowly pour about 1/2 cup of hot cream mixture into the egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly. Repeat three times more, whisking thoroughly before adding each additional 1/2 cup of hot cream to the egg yolk mixture. Pour the egg yolk mixture back into the saucepan with the remaining hot cream, and whisk constantly over medium-low heat until the mixture thickens and will coat the back of a spoon, 5 to 8 minutes. Do not let mixture boil.
Pour the ice cream base into a bowl and allow to cool for about 20 minutes; place in refrigerator and chill overnight. The next day, pour into an ice cream maker, and freeze according to the manufacturer's directions. Remove the ice cream, pack into a covered container, and freeze for 2 hours or overnight before serving.

So, once this basic recipe is almost done churning, add cherries and chocolate. If you add fruit too early to ice cream it will become rock hard when you serve it. 

And here it is:

Not the best pic I know...

Buon Appetito!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Q n E

Sugar Cookie Bars



2-1/2 cups bread flour (or all-purpose flour is fine)
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1-1/2 Tbsp. sour cream
1 tsp. vanilla extract


1/2 cup butter, softened
4 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup half and half
1 tsp. vanilla
Pinch of salt
Several drops of food coloring (optional)


COOKIES: Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and grease a 9x13 inch baking dish.
In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. (The longer you beat it, the fluffier your cookies will be.)
Add egg and combine well.
Add sour cream and vanilla and mix until completely blended.
Slowly add the flour mixture and stir until well combined.
Gently press the batter into the greased baking dish and spread out with hands. (If you butter your hands, this will help with the stickiness.)
Bake 17-20 minutes, or until edges become lightly golden.
Set aside to cool completely.
FROSTING: In a medium bowl, cream together butter, powdered sugar, and half and half until light and fluffy.
Stir in vanilla and salt, combine well.
Add food coloring until desired color.
Frost your cooled cookie bars evenly.
Cut into squares and serve. 

Buon Appetito!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Ahh, Italia...

Aspra (PA) - Foto di Gaetano Di Stefano

Capo Zafferano - Foto di Gaetano Di Stefano

Cefalù - Foto di Katia Di Grigoli 

Da Torre Normanna - Foto di Gaetano Di Stefano

Favignana. Marasolo - Foto di Adriana Pecoraro 

Maratea, Basilicata

Palinuro, Campania

Porticello - Foto di Gaetano Di Stefano

Monday, August 5, 2013

Cheating a bit...

So, this is another Q n E (quick n easy) and it works ok, but it is not anything like the salted caramel recipe, which is still a huge crowd pleaser.

Six Minute Caramels
SOURCE: Melody Murray

1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup light Karo syrup
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk

1 Combine all ingredients.
2 Cook on a medium high heat, stirring every minute 6 minutes, stirring every two minutes.
3 Stir and pour into lightly greased dish.
4 Let cool.
5 Cut, wrap in wax paper & store in an air tight container

Buon Appetito!

And another...

Looked good, although it says just like mac n cheese without the, no. It can look good on it's own, but never diss the pasta...

Loaded Cauliflower Casserole 

Just like mac and cheese without the pasta (This line not endorsed by yours truly)

2 lbs cauliflower florets
8 oz shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
8 oz shredded Monterrey Jack cheese, divided
8 oz block cream cheese, softened
4 tablespoons heavy cream
2 bunches green onions, sliced (1 1/2 cups)
6 sliced bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 clove garlic, grated
Salt & pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Steam cauliflower florets until tender.
While cauliflower steams, cream together 6 oz of the shredded cheddar, 6 oz of the Monterrey Jack, cream cheese, and heavy cream. 
Stir in sliced green onions, chopped bacon, and garlic.
Set aside.
Drain any liquid from steamed cauliflower and add to cheese mixture.
Stir cauliflower and cheese mixture together.
Taste for seasoning, and add as necessary.
If you want a finer texture, give a few mashes with the potato masher.
Pour into a 2-3 quart casserole and sprinkle on remaining cheddar and Monterrey Jack cheese.
Cover dish with foil and bake for 25 minutes; remove foil and continue to bake until cheese is brown and bubbly.

Buon Appetito!

Thanks to friends who send me great stuff...

Posting this even though it looks healthy...

Crock Pot Balsamic Chicken 

1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons dried minced onion
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 24 ounces) or breasts
sprinkle of fresh chopped parsley

Combine the first five dry spices in a small bowl and spread over chicken on both sides. Set aside. Pour olive oil and garlic on the bottom of the crock pot. Place chicken on top. Pour balsamic vinegar over the chicken. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours. Sprinkle with fresh parsley on top to serve.

Buon Appetito!

Had to borrow this post from a friend...

Caprese Lasagna Roll Ups - loaded with Mozzarella, fresh tomatoes and fresh basil! 


8 lasagna noodles, uncooked
14 oz freshly shredded, low-moisture part skim Mozzarella cheese, divided
3/4 cup Ricotta cheese
1 large egg white
1/3 cup freshly, finely shredded Parmesan cheese (about 1 1/4 oz)
freshly ground black pepper
3 - 4 medium Roma tomatoes, thinly sliced (about 1/6 inch thick slices)
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil, plus more for garnish
1 cup marinara sauce, recipe follows
Simple Marinara Sauce
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup finely chopped yellow onion
2 cloves garlic finely minced
1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook pasta according to directions listed on package to al dente. Drain pasta (DO NOT rinse with water) and align lasagna noodles in a single layer on a large sheet of parchment or wax paper.

For filling, in a large mixing bowl, whisk together ricotta cheese and egg white until well blended. Stir in Parmesan cheese. Mix in 12 oz. of the Mozzarella cheese and season with black pepper to taste (I wouldn't recommend seasoning with salt just because the cheeses already have plenty of salt).

Place 1/4 cup of the cheese mixture over each lasagna noodle and spread into an even layer, going from one end of the lasagna to the other. Align 4 thin tomato slices over cheese mixture then sprinkle fresh basil over top. Snugly roll lasagna noodles to opposite end. Spread about 1/4 cup pasta sauce in the bottom of an 11 x 7 inch baking dish. Align lasagna roll ups, seam side down in dish. Top each roll up with about 2 Tbsp of the pasta sauce (covering edges of pasta so they don't dry out while baking). Sprinkle top with remaining 2 oz. shredded Mozzarella. Bake in preheated oven 30 minutes. Remove from oven, plate pasta and garnish with plenty of basil ribbons. Serve warm.

Simple Marinara Sauce

Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium high heat. Add onions to hot oil and saute about 3 minutes until soft, adding garlic during last minute of sautéing. Pour in crushed tomatoes and season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring mixture just to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and allow sauce to cook for about 25 - 30 minutes (which will allow some of the water in crushed tomatoes to evaporate) while you prepare pasta and lasagna filling (you can freeze or refrigerate left over sauce in a small airtight container for later use, adding fresh basil if desired).

Buon Appetito!

Saturday, August 3, 2013

From a friend (who lives in England even!)...

Looked good enough to eat, as they say...

Cajun Shrimp & Sausage Pasta

1/2 - 3/4 lb cooked fettuccine
2 TBS olive oil
1 lb peeled, deveined raw large shrimp
1 TBS plus 2 tsp Essence seasoning (recipe below - I think you can buy this, too.)
1 1/2 hot linked or smoked turkey sausages, sliced and quartered (I use Butterball)
1/2 cup diced green pepper
1/2 cup diced yellow onion
1 TBS minced garlic
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried basil
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup grated Parmesan

Essence Creole Seasoning
2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried thyme

Heat 1 TBS of olive oil over medium high heat in a large saute pan. Season the shrimp with 2 teaspoons of the Essence. Place the shrimp in the pan and saute until almost done. Remove the shrimp from the pan and set aside. 

Place the remaining TBS of olive oil in the saute pan and onions and bell peppers. Saute, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the sausage and cook another minute.

Add the garlic to the pan and saute for 30 seconds. 

Add the chicken stock to the pan and scrape with a spoon to remove any browned bits that have formed in the bottom of the pan, about 30 seconds. 

Add the thyme, 1 TBS of Essence and 1/2 tsp salt and cook for 2 minutes. 

Add the heavy cream to the pan and cook an additional 2 minutes. 

Return the shrimp to the pan and pasta to the pan. Continue to cook the sauce and pasta, stirring occasionally, for about 3-5 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the basil and Parmesan. 

Buon Appetito!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Some gnam gnam...

We brought some smoked salmon home for AK that friends of ours had smoked and it was amazing. I made a spread with 8 oz of cream cheese, 4-6 oz smoked salmon, and about 1 T Worcestershire sauce. We served it on crackers, awesome.

Ok, so it's not a great pic, but trust me, it was delish!

We also had roasted pork (marinated overnight in soy sauce, water, ginger, honey, and garlic, oh yeah!) and risotto and edamame. All in all pretty amazing meal, and I'm not just saying that because I made it...Since we were going overboard anyway, I had a little salted caramel leftover, so I grilled pineapple, and topped it with a little vanilla ice cream salted caramel. Good stuff. 

Buon Appetito!

Must try this...

Beer-Candied Bacon!

Photo by tideandthyme

Serves 6
  • 1/2
    cup brown sugar
  • 1/3
    cup beer
  • 1
    pound thick-cut bacon
  1. Preheat oven to 400° F. Combine brown sugar and beer in a small bowl, whisking well to form a thin syrup. Set aside.
  2. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place a wire cooling rack on top. Place the pieces of bacon on top of the rack, overlapping if necessary. Place in oven and cook for 10 minutes.
  3. Remove from oven and brush one side of the bacon with the beer syrup. Flip the bacon and coat the other side with the syrup. Return to oven and cook for another 10 minutes. Remove from oven and repeat this process another time or two until the bacon is crispy and browned and you’ve used all the glaze.
  4. Cool on wire rack for 20 minutes, then remove to a plate and cool for at least 1 hour before serving.

Buon Appetito!