Sunday, October 31, 2010


Chinese Food!!!!! So many nights it's EXACTLY what you want. However, when I order it as take-out, I have yet to find a place that serves it on the lighter side....I know what you are saying...what's the point of "the lighter side" it's CHINESE FOOD!!!
Well, I like to make my own and feel a little better when I am done. This recipe stretches a little beef by adding plenty of vegetables.
1/2 lb flank steak
1 zucchini halved and very thinly sliced
1 large grated carrot
1 large shallot chopped
4 oz cellophane noodles or thin rice noodles
1/4 cup canola oil
4 tbl soy sauce
1 tbl brown sugar
1-1/2 tbl sesame oil
1-1/2 tbl rice vinegar
1 tbl toasted sesame seeds
Bring water to a boil in a sauce pan and add noodles. Remove from the heat and let stand about 3 minutes until softened. Drain and rinse under cold water Add 1 tbl canola oil and separate them on wax paper or a plate. Set aside
In a bowl, mix the soy sauce, sesame oil, vinegar and brown sugar. Trim the beef and slice thin across the grain into 1 inch pieces and season with salt.
In a large saute pan, heat 1-1/2 tbl of canola oil until it is hot. Add the beef and cook about a minute and transfer to a plate. Add the remaining 1-1/2 tbl oil to the pan and add zucchini, carrot and onion. Cook until softened about 2 minutes. Reduce the heat and add back the beef and noodles. Stir the soy mixture and add it to the pan. Stir until everything is evenly coated and hot, about 3-4 minutes.
Serve with a sprinkle of sesame seeds...soooo good!

Friday, October 29, 2010


It is FINALLY here....Halloween Weekend!
Lots of parties, lots of candies, lots of scary cocktails!!
This is a great one and lip smacking delicious!
1-1/2 oz Bacardi Rum
1/2 oz Cointreau
2 oz pineapple juice
1 tbl strawberry puree
Mix rum, Cointreau and pineapple juice in a shaker with ice and mix well. Strain it into a Collins size glass over ice.
Using a small amount of fresh or frozen (thawed) strawberries, blend into a puree. Dip the end of a drinking straw into the puree and cover the top of the straw with your finger to keep the puree in the straw. Holding the straw over the cocktail release your finger and let the puree ooze down into the cocktail like red blotches of BLOOD SPATTER!

Thursday, October 28, 2010


I Love Love Love pea soup. It is an acquired taste. I remember going to a restaurant in Buelton, CA just for their pea soup. While some pea soups can be very heavy from the starchiness of older peas, this is made with younger peas, If you can't find younger peas use frozen, they will make the soup less thick.
4 cups peas
2 tbl unsalted butter
2 shallots chopped
1 tsp garlic minced
2 cups water
2 cups vegetable broth
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
1/2 cup heavy cream
zest of half a lemon
In a large sauce pan, melt butter and add garlic and shallots and stir until both are soft but not brown. Add the peas, broth, half the mint and water. Season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the peas are very tender, about 8-10 minutes. Let it cool a bit and puree it in a blender until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. If the peas weren't sweet enough you can add a bit of sugar.
Pour the heavy cream into a bowl and whip it to soft peaks. Add lemon zest and season to taste. Ladle the soup into bowls and top with a spoonful of the lemon cream. Garnish with the remaining mint.
So good!
This can be served hot or cold!


Salsa is great on so many foods...from anything Mexican to steak to egg frittatas! You can freeze this for 3-4 months or it lasts in the refrigerator for about a week. Salsa is very low in calories and can easily spice up your otherwise blander meals.
1 lb ripe tomatoes
1 clove garlic
1/2 of a chipotle from a can in adobo sauce (more if you like)
1 tbl olive oil
2 tbl cilantro or italian parsley
1-1/2 tsp fresh lime juice
Preheat broiler
Place tomatoes and garlic on a baking sheet and broil until they are charred on the outside about 5 minutes, turning once. After the tomatoes cool, peel the skin off and discard. In a blender puree tomatoes and their juice along with the garlic, chile and 1/2 tsp salt. It can be a little chunky. Heat olive oil in a pan and add puree. Simmer, stirring frequently until reduced to about a cup about 8-10 minutes. Let cool and add lime juice and cilantro or parsley and season with salt.
Super Easy!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Every once in a while I CRAVE a steak....not just any steak...a nice juicy medium rare Filet. Most of the time, I don't add any sauce to it, but this Merlot sauce is fabulous...hey it's got WINE right??


4 filet mignon steaks (8 oz)
6 tbl olive oil
3 garlic cloves chopped
2 large shallots chopped
1 small carrot sliced
1 celery stalk chopped
1 tbl tomato paste
2 cups GOOD Merlot
3 bay leaves
pinch of dried thyme
3 cups beef or veal stock
2 tbl unsalted butter
1/2 tsp black peppercorns
fresh ground pepper

For the sauce, heat 3 tbl oil in a pan and add garlic, shallot, carrot and celery and saute until the shallots start to brown. Stir in tomato paste and cook for about 2 minutes. Add the wine and stir in bay leaves, thyme and peppercorns. Deglaze the pan and simmer the sauce until it is reduced by half. Add the stock and return to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes. Strain the sauce and keep warm.

Season the steaks with salt and pepper. Heat 3 tbl oil in a saute pan and add steaks to the hot pan. Cook about 5-6 minutes a side for medium rare and remove from heat and keep warm.

Pour Merlot sauce in the steak pan and bring to a simmer. Add 2 tbl butter and reduce the liquid and make sure the melted butter is thoroughly incorporated.

Place the steaks on a warm serving plate and spoon the sauce on top. These go great with your favorite mashed potatoes and asparagus or broccoli.

So now you know...WHERE THE BEEF IS!

Monday, October 25, 2010


Are you ready for some FOOTBALL!

Beer and Brats - can you go wrong here???? A Monday Night Football feast whether there is a chill in the air or rain on the horizon...or both like it is here! This stew is just what the doctor ordered...okay probably not, but it does have it's practically HEALTHY!
1 lb bratwurst
6 slices of bacon
1 cup savoy or napa cabbage, chopped
1 lb of cremini mushrooms, quartered
2 shallots chopped
1 garlic clove minced
2 carrots peeled and sliced
2 stalks celery cleaned and chopped
3 Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and chunked
1/4 cup italian parsley minced
1 (12 oz) bottle of dark beer
2 cups chicken broth
Pour beer into a large soup pot and add bratwurst. Boil and then simmer the brats for about 10 minutes. Remove brats from pot and cut into large coin-shaped pieces. Reserve beer in the pot. In a saute pan add bacon. Cook until almost done and add brat pieces so they get cooked through and brown. Drain the bacon and chop in pieces.
In the pot with the beer add all the ingredients including bacon and brats. Cook on medium until it boils and then simmer until the potatoes are soft and the sauce thickens. Season with salt and pepper. Simmer for about 1-1/2 hours.
Serve with nice crusty bread and MORE BEER!
Just can't pick this game tonight...?????

Saturday, October 23, 2010


You all know I am not a big dessert fan, but I do love a creamy, tart, tangy lemon bar. The addition of the ginger adds a nice spice, but if you are not a ginger fan, you can just leave it out.
1 cup plus 2 tbl flour
1-3/4 cup plus 1 tsp confectioners' sugar
1 tbl finely grated lemon zest
1/2 tsp plus a pinch ground ginger
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter cut into small pieces and some to grease pan
1/2 tsp baking powder
3 large eggs room temperature
6 tbl fresh lemon juice
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Place oven rack in the center and grease an 8 inch baking pan.
Whisk together 1 cup flour, 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar, lemon zest, 1/2 tsp ginger and a pinch of salt. Cut the butter into the mixture with a pastry attachment to your mixer or use two knives. The dough should be in small balls the size of peas. Knead it in the bowl until it just comes together. Put it in the baking dish and press it evenly over the bottom of the pan. Bake about 20 minutes until it is a light golden brown. Let it cool.
Whisk together 1-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar, 2 tbl flour, baking powder and a pinch of salt. In another bowl beat eggs until they have tripled in volume are pale yellow and fluffy. Add sugar and flour mixture and beat on low until combined. Add lemon juice and beat until smooth. Pour over the cooled crust. Bake until the filling is just set in the center about 18-20 minutes. Let cool completely.
Just before serving, stir 1 tsp confectioners' sugar and the pinch of ginger together. Sift the mixture over the top of the bars. Very pretty presentation!
Easy make ahead dessert!

Friday, October 22, 2010


Halloween is fast approaching!!!!!!

Parties are in High Gear!!!





I love pina colada's and all their coconut goodness...but they are a bit heavy ..they drink more like a I LOVE this...and personally I like mine with a few ice cubes!!!


3-1/2 parts good coconut rum, probably Malibu
1/2 part good vodka, I choose Kettle One sports fans
1/2 part triple sec
1/4 part lime juice

Shake ingredients in a shaker with ice. Strain in a glass and garnish with a lime.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, October 21, 2010


I used to only order this in a restaurant because I was afraid I couldn't make it. There are a few rules and if followed, nothing can go wrong.
1. You have to use the right rice - Arborio..that's it... Arborio is a must
2. You have to devote 30-35 minutes to this one dish stirring near constantly
3. You need to add the liquid a little at a time to allow the rice to absorb it and the flavors
This recipe originated in Northern Italy and is often a common replacement for pasta in the region. This is a basic recipe, but you can add vegetables or seafood. It is great with mushrooms, butternut squash, shrimp and of course big chunks of lobster...yum.
2 cups Arborio rice
3/4 cup grated or minced onion
1 tbl minced garlic
6 tbl unsalted butter
5 cups chicken broth
1 cup white wine
1/4 tsp saffron threads
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp fresh white pepper
1 cup grated parmesan cheese, and some for serving
2 tbl fresh minced italian parsley
Combine saffron and wine in a saucepan and cook over low heat until saffron dissolves then set aside.
In a large saucepan, bring broth to a boil then turn the heat to low to keep it warm.
In a large saute pan melt 5 tbl of butter over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook about 3 minutes. Add the "raw" rice and stir with a spoon, preferably wooden, until the rice is coated with the butter. Add the wine mixture to the rice and cook stirring constantly over low heat until the liquid is absorbed, about 3-4 minutes.
Add 1 cup of the warm chicken broth to the pan and stir constantly over low heat until the liquid has been absorbed, about 3-5 minutes. Repeat until all the broth is in the rice, always stirring constantly so the rice doesn't stick and the liquid is absorbed. Taste the rice to see if it is done, it should have a creamy consistency and be soft on the outside and a tiny bit chewy on the inside. The total time will be somewhere between 20-30 minutes depending on what you add.
Season with salt and pepper. Add the parmesan cheese and 1 tbl of parsley and mix well.
Serve with more cheese..YES MORE CHEESE!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Huge confession here...I am so tired from 5 hours of intense weeding and pruning that I am too tired to blog, BUT I saw this in the newspaper this morning and wish I had some chili popcorn RIGHT NOW!....
I LOVE popcorn..I eat way too much and my cupboards are bare of popcorn..I am so ashamed, and the sad news is I have every other hoo.....

1/3 cup popcorn kernels, popped
2 tbl extra virgin olive oil
1-1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground red pepper

Combine the ingredients, except the popcorn, in a bowl and heat on high in a microwave for 15 seconds to warm the olive oil. Put the popcorn in a container with an airtight lid and stir half of the mixture over the popcorn and combine then repeat with the other half. Put the lid on and shake the popcorn upside down to distribute the mixture on the popcorn. Serve or store in the airtight container for up to three days....

I just want the WHOLE bowl NOW!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


This Portland, OR landmark creates the Best, "CRAZIEST" doughnuts in all the world!
Ken Pogson and Tres Shannon had been wacky friends for a long time and wanted to open a business together. They are funky so their dream business was funky. Then reality became their dream...a funky doughnut shop!
Crazier still, neither one knew how to make a doughnut. After travels, to LA to learn from some of the best, their own creations have been highlighted on many Travel Channels including most notably Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations in which he went back days later for seconds.
Their signature VooDoo Doughnut is the Gingerbread Man shaped doughnut with a pretzel stick stabbed in its abdomen and red jelly "blood" filling. Most people I know gravitate to the bacon maple bar (shown above) which is topped with strips of fried bacon. They make doughnuts with toppings of Fruit Loops, Oreo's, peanut butter and chocolate chips to name a few. The menu changes as much as their funky minds will allow.
There have a "Tex-Ass" challenge to anyone who can eat a glazed doughnut the size of 6 full-size doughnuts in 80 seconds or less...if you can It's Free!
And for you Vegans, they have a variety for you as well.
I will be there in a few weeks and plan a visit for sure and I don't even like doughnuts.
Right in the heart of "Old Town" Portland, if you go there...GO THERE!

Monday, October 18, 2010


Sorry for all you Titan and Jaguar fans, but I am afraid this won't measure up to "the game of the year"...hope I am wrong....doubtful though!
So to spice up the game, try these great meatballs. The sauce is a spicy peanut sauce that goes so well with the meatballs. After you cook the meatballs you could skewer them and have your guests dip the meatballs in the sauce or you could place the cooked meatballs and sauce in a slow cooker on low setting and guests can just use a fork. If you want to make them more of a meal, get some of your favorite fried rice as a side dish...perfect!
1 lb lean ground beef
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs (blended until really fine)
1/4 cup finely minced or grated onion
2 garlic cloves minced
1 tbl soy sauce
1 egg beaten
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl combine all above ingredients and mix well. Shape them into about 30-35 meatballs. Place them on an ungreased baking pan and bake for about 15-20 minutes or until browned and cooked thoroughly.
1 tbl canola oil
1/4 cup minced or grated onion
1 cup coconut milk
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1 tbl brown sugar
1 tbl lime juice
1 tbl fish sauce or soy sauce
1/4 tsp cayenne
In a large saute pan heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook about 3-4 minutes until tender. Add coconut milk and peanut butter and stir until combined. Add the remaining ingredients until well blended. Reduce heat to low until thickened.
You can add the meatballs to the sauce or pour the sauce in a serving bowl. I like the idea of a bite size snack for dipping....your choice.
Have a great Monday Night Game!

Sunday, October 17, 2010


This is a very colorful fresh tasting soup. The house smells so wonderful while it is cooking. You really need a food processor to get this fully pureed and silky.

The soup could be the star of a luncheon or a starter for dinner. This soup freezes very well and can stay for about 2 months in the freezer.


5 oz pancetta diced
1 medium onion chopped
2 lbs carrots, peeled and chopped
5 celery stalks chopped
2 large russet potatoes peeled and chopped
1/2 cup flour
2-1/2 quarts low sodium chicken stock
1 stick unsalted butter
6 sprigs italian parsley, and some for garnish
2 bay leaves
4 sprigs fresh thyme
fresh ground pepper
sour cream for garnish

Take cheesecloth or kitchen twine and make a bundle of the parsley, bay leaf and thyme as you will be discarding it later.

In a soup pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add pancetta and stir until soft but not brown. Add onion, carrots, celery and potatoes. Stir frequently until the carrots and potatoes are soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the flour until it is incorporated into the vegetables. Add the chicken broth and bring soup to a boil. Add the spice bundle and season with salt and pepper. Turn heat to low and cook covered for about 45 minutes. Stir occasionally. Remove form heat and let cool to almost room temperature.

Discard the spice bundle and ladle soup into a food processor in batches. Run it until the soup is a creamy puree. Return the soup to the pot and when you are ready to serve reheat and garnish with some chopped fresh parsley and a dollop of sour cream.

I like to serve with a nice crusty italian bread...

Saturday, October 16, 2010


Rachel too cute you found this!!
Today is my Anniversary, I will see everyone tomorrow...
Love you Rachel and Sam

Friday, October 15, 2010


This is what I need today! A slight twist on the traditional bloody mary for the Halloween season. I have seen a few bartenders use a shot of barbecue sauce and even A-1 sauce in bloody mary's. A great addition!!!
Can't find lychee fruit??..use a small white "pearl-like" onion instead


2 oz good vodka
3 oz tomato juice
1/2 tsp fresh horseradish
1 tsp barbecue sauce
3 dashes Worcestershire sauce
3 dashes Tabasco sauce
healthy shakes of salt, pepper and celery seed
big squeeze of lemon juice
garnish, celery, 2 green olives and 2 lychee fruits

Combine all the ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a martini glass. For the garnish, cut the end of a celery stalk every thin, about 5 inches long. Slide the green olives into the lychee fruit and push the celery stalk thru them and lay across the top of the glass....very EYE OPENING!


Thursday, October 14, 2010


I first tasted brown butter as a kid when my Mom, at Thanksgiving, used to brown butter and pour it over a vat of steamed cauliflower then topped it with breadcrumbs...wonderful !!!!
Browning of butter adds so much taste to the butter and combined with pasta just MAKES SENSE!!
1/2 lb fettuccine or tagliatelle
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter
1/4 cup pine nuts
4 eggs
Fresh ground pepper
Fresh parmesan cheese
grated nutmeg
Prepare pasta according to package instructions and reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water. Melt butter over medium heat. Add the pine nuts and cook stirring often until golden brown about 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon remove pine nuts to a bowl, Crack eggs into the pan and spoon butter over the yolks until the whites are set and the yolks are still runny about 3 minutes. Transfer the eggs to a plate.
In the pan of browned butter, add the pasta and half the pine nuts and stir in some of the pasta water to create a sauce. Season with salt and pepper.
Serve by dividing the pasta between 4 plates and serve with a fried egg. Sprinkle on remaining pine nuts, parmesan cheese and some grated nutmeg.
Don't let the egg bother you...FABULOUS!!!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Arrived safely home from a 1200 mile driving journey...and all I have to say is when traveling with a very hyper Yorkshire Terrier you just never know if he is a treat...or a very bad trick.... took a lot out of both of us!!!!!!

I am way to tired to blog some delicious delectable I am going with a Hump Day Cocktail because....


So in sticking with my Halloween theme here is the

3 oz Bacardi Light
3 oz Meyers Rum
2 oz Bacardi 151
3 oz pineapple juice
3 oz orange juice
2 oz sour mix
2 oz grenadine
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice...pour into a nice bowl shaped glass and garnish with WHAT ELSE...GUMMY WORMS!!!!!
And a Straw!...Time for a cocktail myself!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Left my favorite place today....drove all day and only half way home.... and yet again little cooperation from the dog...just home to you all then

Monday, October 11, 2010


Tarragon and chicken are a very traditional French combination. Generally it is served with some nice rich potatoes and thin green beans. I like to get just slightly healthier and serve with a nice side of olive oil grilled vegetables....yes my husband prefers the potatoes!!!!

Definitely use chicken cutlets instead of full boneless breasts. If you can't find the cutlets, just slice the breasts horizontally to about 1/2-3/4 inch thick. I also add a bit of Dijon mustard for a little kick.


3 large chicken cutlets
2 tbl olive oil
1 large shallot minced
2 tsp chopped fresh tarragon
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 cup dry vermouth
3 tbl cold unsalted butter cut into 8 pieces
fresh ground pepper

Clean chicken and pat dry. Season generously with salt and pepper. In a large saute pan heat olive oil. Cook chicken, flipping once to just barely cooked about 1-2 minutes a side. Transfer it to a plate and keep warm.

If the pan looks dry add another tbl olive oil. Add the shallot and saute until soft, about a minute. Pour in the vermouth and scrape the pans to pick up the bits off the bottom of the pan. Simmer until slightly reduced. Turn heat to low and add butter 2-3 pieces at a time until completely melted. Stir in the tarragon and mustard and season to taste. Add the chicken and any sauce on the plate back to the pan and turn to coat with the sauce. Serve immediately.

This is yet another easy, great twist to CHICKEN!


This dressing is delicious over a nicoise salad of mixed greens, tuna steak and nicoise olives. You can also serve it over fresh sliced heirloom tomatoes and fresh mozzarella salad...or experiment using your favorite vegetables.
It can be refrigerated up to 5 days, but if you are not serving it immediately, don't add the basil until you are ready to serve, about 15-30 minutes ahead, as the other ingredients will wilt the basil.
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
3 tbl chopped fresh basil
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 tbl Dijon mustard
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp honey
1/4 kosher salt
1/8 tsp fresh pepper
In a glass cup or jar with a tight lid, whisk together all the ingredients and shake to fully combine.
That's It!


These are such a crowd favorite as an appetizer no matter what you choose as the main course. You can use chicken breasts instead of thighs, but the thigh meat tends to keep much more of its moisture through the cooking process. You can cook the thighs on a grill or on the stove in a grill pan.

You can arrange all the condiments separately so everyone can make their own, but I like to make it easier and put them all together as easy finger food. This serves about 6-8 people as an appetizer.


1/3 cup hoisin sauce (found in Asian section)
4 tsp rice vinegar
1 tbl soy sauce
4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cleaned and dried
1 head of Boston lettuce, leaves separated, cleaned and dried
1 cup chopped fresh basil
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions
2/3 cup chopped salted peanuts
1 fresh jalapeno thinly sliced crosswise (optional)

Whisk together hoisin, vinegar and soy sauce. In another bowl season chicken with 1 tsp salt and 2 tbl hoisin mixture. Grill the chicken until well browned and almost beginning to blacken. Turn once and cook about 5 minutes a side. Let it rest about 5 minutes then dice and mix in remaining hoisin mixture.

To arrange, spoon the chicken mixture on each lettuce leaf and top with basil, mint, scallion, peanuts and jalapeno (if using). Roll the edges of the leaf up and around filling and serve on a platter.

They make a very elegant starter!

Sunday, October 10, 2010


Thanks again Dan!!
Sorry, busy weekend and off to a wedding back tomorrow!!
Have a great holiday weekend!

Friday, October 8, 2010


If you are having a Halloween party, this is a great drink and makes a great presentation if you can get your hands on a little dry ice. Make a trip to your local party store and buy a big black witch's cauldron too...they are super cheap..OMG am I sounding like Sandra Lee when she describes her "table-scapes"????? Yikes
One 750ml bottle of SKYY Passion Fruit Vodka
One 750ml bottle of sparkling apple cider
One 64oz bottle of cranberry juice cocktail
One liter ginger ale
2 cups pineapple juice
Red Apples, cut in large slices
Combine all ingredients in a large black witch's cauldron with ice and stir. Garnish with the apple slices and the dry ice on top!
Very fun!

Thursday, October 7, 2010


I love cheesecake but am a little leery of making it from scratch and the whole "baking" thing.
This tastes just like cheesecake and you can use whatever sliced fruit or berries and roasted glazed nuts....sometimes I even substitute crushed biscotti cookies for the nuts...whatever you like!
It is a great make-ahead dessert too which I need since I am just not a baker or much of a dessert fan. This makes about 4 servings so adjust the ingredients for your crowd.
2 ounces Brie cheese, room temp
3 ounces cream cheese, room temp
2-3 tbl sugar
1 tsp lemon juice
2 cups sliced strawberries
1/2 cup butter-toffee glazed sliced almonds (bulk section of your grocery)
drizzle of honey (optional)
Discard the rind of the Brie cheese. In a medium bowl beat Brie, cream cheese, sugar and lemon juice until almost smooth.
In a parfait glass divide about half the strawberries in the bottom of the glasses. Top with the cheese mixture and then sprinkle with almonds. Repeat this and if you want, drizzle some honey on the top.
And just for GRINS...costs about $3.50 per person and only has 250 calories per person!!!!!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


There are few baked pasta dishes that I like and I love this one! The cream and milk combined with the nutmeg to make a bechamel is so delicious and the added spices are wonderful! It seems like a lot of ingredients but you only have to chop 5 of them!
4 tbl olive oil
12 tbl unsalted butter
4 boneless chicken breasts
1 lb white mushrooms, sliced
1 sweet onion chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup Italian parsley chopped
3/4 cup frozen peas
1 tbl fresh thyme chopped
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/3 cup flour
4 cups whole milk, warm
1 cup heavy whipping cream, room temp
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup parmesan cheese
1/4 cup italian breadcrumbs
1 lb linguine
1/4 cup slivered almonds
Preheat oven to 450 degrees
Grease a 13 x 9 pan with 2 tbl butter. In a saute pan melt 2 tbl butter and 2 tbl oil. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper and add to the pan. Cook until golden on both sides about 4 minutes per side. Let cool on a plate and shred into a bowl.
In the same pan melt 2 tbl butter and 2 tbl oil. Add the mushrooms and cook over medium-high heat about 12 minutes. Add the onion, garlic and thyme and saute about 8 minutes until the onions are soft. Add the wine and simmer until it mostly evaporates - a couple minutes. Transfer this mixture to the bowl with the chicken.
Melt 3 tbl of butter in the same pan over medium-low heat and add flour. Whisk for about two minutes until the flour is incorporated. Whisk in milk, cream, broth, nutmeg and season with salt and pepper. Increase heat to high and cook uncovered until the sauce thickens - about 10 minutes..stir often.
Cook linguine according to package directions, but not completely about 8 minutes and drain. Combine the linguine with the sauce, chicken mixture, peas and parsley. Pour into the baking dish. Combine cheese and breadcrumbs and sprinkle on top. Dot with remaining 3 tbl of butter and bake until golden and bubbly - about 25 minutes. Let cool a few minutes and dot with slivered almonds.
Serve with a nice glass of Chardonnay!


Sorry fans..tried to get this on the blog yesterday...had crazy internet issues....blah blah blah....!!! But here it is.
Another great snack to serve at your next football tailgate. The dip can be made as much as two-three days ahead and kept in the refrigerator. So on game day all you have to do is toast the pita chips. You could also serve this dip with a low salt tortilla chip.
15 oz can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
3 cloves of garlic
2/3 cup olive oil
2 tbl fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup italian parsley
dried oregano
dried rosemary
dried thyme
pita bread cut into 8 wedges per slice
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
In a food processor, add beans, garlic, lemon juice, 1/3 cup olive oil and parsley. Pulse until the mixture is coarsely chopped. Season with salt and pepper and refrigerate.
Arrange the pita wedges on a baking sheet and brush with 1/3 cup olive oil and sprinkle with oregano, rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper and bake for about 10 minutes until toasted and golden brown.
Another great snack to watch Da Bears and The Patriots!!!

Monday, October 4, 2010


Living out west, you would be hard-pressed to find a Dunkin' Donuts.....but when we travel can't stop counting them! There are ones across the street from each other and a building in downtown Boston has TWO of them!!!
In 1948, Dorchester native Bill Rosenberg founded a coffee shop called Open Kettle in Quincy, MA. He didn't like the name so he held a brain storming meeting with friends to make a change. His architect friend said, "What do you do with a chicken..pluck it...what do you do with a doughnut...Dunk It"..and so in 1950 Bill opened his first Dunkin' Donuts. Now there are more Dunkin' Donuts franchises per capita in Massachusetts than there are any other restaurants of its type anywhere! In 1990 a British company bought it, but years later a Boston based company brought it back home.
Robert Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots, says when the team wins, he goes inside his local Dunkin' Donuts for his "Large with milk no sugar"...when the team loses he goes to the drive through.
Today there are 9,186 shops worldwide in 35 states and 31 countries. There are 94 pages in the manual that governs the Dunkin' Donuts coffee recipe.
So Happy 60th Birthday Dunkin' Donuts...."I'll have A regula"..Ben Affleck is that YOU!... (regula is cream and two suGAS"

Sunday, October 3, 2010


This is a great side dish with a nice steak, chicken breast and even fish!!!!! Nice and cheesy..and it's a great new way to bake potatoes. It needs to bake for about an hour or more depending on how soft you like your potatoes, so plan your main dish around the timing for these. If you can't find good tomatoes used good canned ones.


2 large sweet onion, preferably Vidalia sliced thin
2 lbs Yukon Gold potatoes, or Russet sliced thin
1 lb tomatoes sliced with their juices
8 oz mozzarella cheese sliced very thin
1 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup chicken stock
2 tbl fresh basil chopped
1 tsp dried oregano

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Spread some of the olive oil in the bottom of a baking pan. Arrange a layer of the onion on the bottom followed by layers of potatoes and tomatoes, overlapping the pieces as you go. Pour a little oil on top and season with salt and pepper. Repeat until you have used all the pieces and include one layer of the mozzarella cheese. Add chicken stock and tomato juices. Sprinkle the basil and oregano on top and add parmesan cheese. Finish with a little more olive oil. Bake for about 1 hour until the potatoes are tender.

If the top starts to brown too much, cover with foil for the remaining cooking time.


Friday, October 1, 2010


This is a great dish that can be ready in about 20 minutes....REALLY! So in the time it takes to uncork a nice bottle of wine after work and get caught up with your family, dinner is ready.

I love asparagus and it LOVES YOU! Nice dark greens have all kinds of great antioxidants for you and as I mentioned in a previous blog, asparagus helps prevent a hangover, just in case you find the wine bottle empty after dinner!!!!


2 lbs asparagus cleaned and ends trimmed

5 cloves of garlic minced

1 large shallot minced

6 oz prosciutto thinly sliced and cut into strips

6 oz smoked mozzarella cheese, diced (regular mozzarella works too)

4 tbl fresh basil thinly sliced

5 tbl olive oil

1 box pasta (spaghetti is fun here)



red pepper flakes

Boil asparagus in a pot of salted water for about 3 minutes and immediately remove them with tongs and toss in an ice water bath to stop the cooking process. In the same boiling salted water cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain the pasta and reserve 1 cup of pasta water.

When the asparagus cools cut into 1 inch pieces. Heat olive oil in a saute pan and add garlic and shallots and cook for about a minute. Add the asparagus and season with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Add the pasta and if you want, some of the pasta water. Add the prosciutto, mozzarella and basil and combine. Take the pan of the heat and taste for seasoning. DONE!

Of course, serve with Parmesan cheese and nice crusty bread!


Love You Laurie!!!!


and that can only mean
So let the planning begin. My daughter and her friends spend endless hours planning the perfect group costume ensemble...crazy....this year it went from Jersey Shore characters to Glee folks...quite a stretch!
I remember the days of ballerinas and Cinderellas and dressing my son up as a pumpkin ...year after year...he didn't care..IT IS ALL ABOUT THE CANDY anyway.
Well here is the first of several "adult" options for your Halloween parties
Black Widow
1 part good vodka (recipe called for 42 Below)
2 parts dark grape juice
1 tsp raw sugar
4 slices fresh ginger
4 blackberries
2 blackberries for garnish
Muddle together the 4 blackberries, ginger and sugar, add the vodka (then add a smidge more). Shake well and strain into a well chilled martini glass. Garnish with 2 blackberries.
You can add the plastic black widow spider too!