Saturday, June 26, 2010


I was down in Atlantic City, NJ for my work conference recently. The night before the conference began most of the staff went to dinner at Carmine's. They are known for their huge, family-style portions and they don't lie. Look at this stuffed veal chop:

It's like something Fred Flintstone would eat. Yikes! It was delicious, if a little salty. The mashed potatoes were excellent. We also got linguine with seafood in a white wine sauce:

... which was also salty but the seafood was good. By this point we'd also had salad and bread, plus some drinks, so we didn't make so much as a dent in all this food.
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Friday, June 25, 2010

Slice of Pizza

We were out shopping a few weekends ago and stopped at a new pizza place to grab a few slices. I was trying to avoid dairy because I was coming down with a cold, so I had a slice of the Greek salad:

It was delicious. Anything with artichokes always gets a thumbs up from me. This slice had the perfect proportion of toppings and the crust was perfect.
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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Rustic Chicken

I originally saw this recipe for Rustic Chicken on my friend Colleen's blog. It sounded great, but I never have luck with crockpot meals so I decided to improvise.

My version of the recipe is below. I loved it and even SP said it was delicious. If I remember correctly (I made this quite awhile ago) it was easy to make and a one-pot meal if you don't count the rice I served it over. Defintely a make-again meal.

Rustic Chicken
Modified from Sweat Tea in Texas

6 slices of bacon, chopped
1 onion, chopped
8 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 1/2 pounds chicken breasts cut in 1 inch strips
1 15 ounce can diced tomatoes, drained

1 15 ounce can artichoke hearts, quartered

1 packet dry chicken gravy mix

1/4 cup white wine
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/2 cup stuffed green olives

Cook bacon in a large pot over medium heat until crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon and let drain on paper towels. Turn the heat to medium-high and add the onion. Cook until tender, then add the mushrooms. Push the mushrooms and onions to the side and add the chicken. Cook until the chicken browns, then mix together and add the rest of the ingredients. Cook until the chicken is fully cooked and the ingredients have had a chance to meld. Serve over pasta or rice.
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Monday, June 21, 2010

Ham and Egg Sandwiches

Lately I've been obsessed with ham and egg sandwiches. I buy the Virginia-style ham at the supermarket since it has a nice, smoky, tangy flavor. I usually make it with toast but we had hamburger rolls we needed to use up so I used those instead. This was dinner so I made two sandwiches instead of one.

I toasted the buns, then buttered them, added a slice of American cheese, topped with slices of ham and a perfectly fried egg seasoned with salt and pepper.

The breaking of the yolk is always my favorite part of eating one of these sandwiches. It makes a nice "sauce" for the sandwich.
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Friday, June 18, 2010

A Tale of Two Pizzas

We bought a huge ball of frozen pizza dough from the supermarket so I decided to make two different pizzas. This Chicken Ranch Pizza came from Annie's Eats.

I added cooked, crumbled bacon to the pizza and it was truly delicious. I really liked that fresh tomatoes and mild onion flavor from the scallions. I will definitely make this again.

I also made a plain pizza:

... but for some reason the crust didn't really brown. This was a different brand of dough then we usually buy so I can only assume that was the issue. It was still tasty.
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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Creamy Taco Mac

I saw this recipe for Creamy Taco Mac over at Annie's Eats and knew it would be a hit at our house.

It was delicious and, like Annie said, a great way to make a Hamburger Helper-esque meal using fresh ingredients.

Creamy Taco Mac
Annie's Eats

1¼ lbs. ground turkey
8 oz. dry pasta shapes
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 (14 oz.) can diced tomatoes, drained
4 tbsp. taco seasoning
3 oz. cream cheese
½ cup sour cream
Salt and pepper
Shredded cheddar cheese (optional)

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Cook pasta according to the package directions. Drain, reserving ½ cup of pasta water. Set aside.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet or sauté pan, cook the ground turkey over medium-high heat until no longer pink. A few minutes before the turkey is cooked through, add the chopped onion to the skillet. Once the turkey is cooked through, mix in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Mix in the diced tomatoes and taco seasoning and let simmer over medium heat for about 5 minutes.

Stir in the cooked pasta, cream cheese, sour cream and reserved pasta water, and continue stirring until the cream cheese is melted and the sauce is well blended. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Simmer over medium-low heat 3-5 minutes to reduce the sauce a bit. Remove from the heat and top with shredded cheddar cheese, if desired.

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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Breakfast for Dinner

Breakfast for dinner is always a nice change of pace.

I made scrambled eggs, potatoes with onion, breakfast sausage and toast. Delicious.
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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Hashbrown Casserole

I'm not sure where I got this recipe. If any of my readers know, please leave me a comment.

The casserole combines breakfast sausage, frozen hashbrowns, eggs and cheese. It was delicious and made enough for me to freeze half of it for a night we don't feel like cooking.

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Friday, June 11, 2010

Beef and Broccoli

I've never been very successful recreating certain ethnic foods at home. Indian, Chinese, Thai - they never taste as good at home as they do in a restaurant. This recipe for Beef and Broccoli was good, but it was missing something I can't quite put my finger on.

I made a few modifications (see below). I think it has potential, assuming I can figure out what was missing.

Beef & Broccoli
Modified from Original Joelen Recipe

2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/3 cup soy sauce (regular or low sodium)
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 1/2 lbs sirloin steak, cut into thin strips

2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can sliced water chestnuts, drained
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
2 broccoli crowns, cut into florets
salt & pepper to taste
1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with cold water

In a large plastic bag combine the sugar, soy sauce, water, garlic powder, and beef. Cover with plastic wrap and chill overnight.

When ready to prepare, warm up a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the oil to heat up. Once hot, saute the garlic and onion until softened. Add the marinated beef and marinade to the skillet. Saute the beef about 2-3 minutes (it will not be completely cooked). Add the water, oyster sauce and broccoli florets. Let it come to a boil and allow the liquid to reduce and the broccoli to cook from the steam.

When the broccoli is tender, add the cornstarch and water and season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and serve over steamed rice or noodles.
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Thursday, June 10, 2010

Caesar Salad...maybe?

I'm so sorry everyone. I promise to be better about remembering what I made and/or blogging more frequently so this doesn't keep happening. Here's a salad...

... with stuff in it. I see grape tomatoes, chicken, lettuce (of course), bacon, and what is probably homemade Caesar dressing. Yes, that's my story and I'm sticking to it!
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Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Pasta...of some sort

Another casualty of delayed blogging. This bowl of pasta looks delicious, doesn't it?

Too bad I have no clue what it is. Anyone want to play Guess the Ingredients? I think there's chicken, spinach, maybe some scallions. I can't tell if that's an onion or a piece of artichoke. This is why I need to be better about blogging frequently.
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Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Pork Chops and Potato Salad

Another recipe from the May 2010 issue of Food Network Magazine, this time for Pork with Potato-Bean Salad. I used pork chops instead of the tenderloin:

... and we thought they were a little bland. I tried the recipe again, this time baking the pork chops, but with the same disappointing result. The potato salad, however, has become a staple in my kitchen:

I like the green beans in it, but lately I've been leaving them out and just making the potato salad. It's incredibly flavorful and I always have the ingredients on hand. I still love my other version of potato salad, but this one is a great weeknight throw-together.

Easy Potato Salad
Modified from Food Network Magazine

1 pound Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks
Kosher salt
1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
1/4 cup mayonnaise
3 tablespoons sour cream
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
Juice of 1 lemon, plus 1 teaspoon grated zest
Freshly ground pepper
1/4 red onion, thinly sliced

Cover the potatoes with cold water in a saucepan and salt the water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain in a colander, run under cold water and pat dry.

Mix the mayonnaise, sour cream, mustard, parsley, lemon juice and zest, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste in a bowl. Add the potatoes and onion; season with salt and pepper, and toss.
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Monday, June 07, 2010

Ham and Taleggio Grilled Cheese

This recipe for Ham and Taleggio Grilled Cheese was on the cover of the May 2010 Food Network Magazine.

It was a decent sandwich, but nothing we'd make again. We couldn't really taste the taleggio and let me tell you, that's not a cheap cheese.
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Sunday, June 06, 2010

Breaded Chicken, Mashed Potatoes and Broccoli

I'm looking at this picture and I honestly have no idea what I did to make this meal. This is the problem with waiting months between taking the pictures and blogging about the meal.

I'm pretty sure the meat is chicken and that I pounded it out, breaded and shallow-fried it. But I'm drawing a complete blank on the sauce. It looks like it could be cheesy, especially since I put it on the broccoli as well as the chicken. Sorry, folks!
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Saturday, June 05, 2010

Sushi, sushi and more sushi!

My father came for a visit in late April. SP had just gotten a new job so we decided to celebrate with a boatload of sushi. I'm not kidding - look at this massive platter of sushi:

And yes, we were gluttons and ate all of it between the three of us. Yum! I'm not sure what all the different rolls are but I'll tell you the ones I do know.

This is one of our favorites, the Godzilla Roll:

At our sushi place that means a roll filled with tuna, avocado and probably a few other things and then DEEP FRIED. Heaven. We got two of those.

This is the spicy tuna roll, a generous roll not only filled with spicy tuna but topped with a mountain of tuna:

A simple, yet delicious, tuna and avocado roll:

I think this is called the Rainbow Roll:

Just looking at this post is making me crave sushi in the worst way!

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Friday, June 04, 2010

Easter Dinner

I know there are a few of you out there who love my holiday dinner posts. I'm sorry this one is so late, but here is Easter in all its glory!

Can't have an Easter dinner without colorfully dyed hardboiled eggs:

... or deviled eggs:

My mom's delicious potato salad:

... roasted asparagus:

... horseradish and mustard:

... rye bread:

The delicious platter of meat:

... which included ham and kielbasa. My plate, with a little of everything:

Cheesecake for dessert:

... with raspberry sauce and fresh raspberries on top:

Another fantastic meal courtesy of my wonderful parents.
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