Friday, December 31, 2010

Christmas Morning Breakfast

Every Christmas we have my mother-in-law over for breakfast. I love cooking and eating a hearty breakfast before we open presents. This year I made breakfast burritos:

They were delicious with a little taco sauce. I just scrambled eggs with cooked onion and green pepper. I also made breakfast potatoes with onion and red potatoes with the skins on.
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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Christmas Eve: Second Course

We usually have shrimp on Christmas Eve, but this year we wanted something different. One of SP's favorite dishes is fettuccine alfredo with sausage.

I used fresh fettuccine and lots of heavy cream and butter. It was delicious, but so rich we only ate half of it.

Fettuccine Alfredo
Slightly modified from Giada De Laurentiis

9 ounces fresh fettuccine
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup grated Parmesan
Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
Salt and freshly ground white pepper

Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 4 minutes. Drain.

Stir 1 cup of the cream in a heavy large skillet, then add the butter and cook over medium heat just until the butter melts, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Add the pasta and toss. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of cream, and Parmesan to the cream sauce in the skillet. Add the nutmeg, salt, and white pepper. Toss the pasta mixture over low heat until the sauce thickens slightly, about 1 minute.
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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas Eve: First Course

SP and I always have a special dinner on Christmas Eve just the two of us. I love to start the meal with this roasted asparagus dish:

What makes it so great is the gooey egg yolk that mixes with the cheese to create a sauce for the asparagus. Just look at that yolk:

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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Ginger, Garlic, Scallion Shrimp

One of our favorites, Ginger, Garlic and Scallion Shrimp:

I was going to make a different dish with the shrimp but at the last minute decided to go with an old favorite. It was delicious, but spicy!
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Monday, December 27, 2010


One night a few weekends ago SP wanted to make his own cheesesteaks.

He did a great job, but added garlic to the onions and green pepper, which added a flavor we didn't think went with the rest of the sandwiches. Next time I think they'll be perfect.
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Sunday, December 26, 2010

Lighthouse Lasagna

This is a delicious but rich dish. SP wasn't a fan so I don't think I'll be making it again soon, but it was beefy and cheesy and easy to make.

Lighthouse Lasagna
Potluck at Midnight Farm
1 pound ground round
1 small can tomato ­paste
1 (8-ounce) can tomato ­sauce
1 teaspoon ­sugar
Coarse salt
12 ounces egg ­noodles
1 tablespoon ­unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups sour ­cream
5 ounces cream ­cheese, at room temperature
1 bunch scallions, ­finely chopped
8 ounces cheddar cheese, ­sliced

Heat the oven to 350 ­degrees.

Sauté the meat until lightly browned in a large skillet over medium heat, breaking it up as it cooks. Add the tomato paste, tomato sauce, and sugar. (Next time I will add salt too) Fill the tomato paste can with water and stir it in. Simmer, covered, for 15 to 20 ­minutes.

Fill a large pot with water, salt it, and bring it to a boil. Add the egg
noodles and cook them until tender. Drain the noodles, then return them to the pot. Stir in the butter.

Mix the sour cream, cream cheese, and scallions in a small ­bowl. Make two layers of the ingredients in a large casserole dish, as ­follows: Spread a little sauce over the bottom of the dish, top with a layer of noodles, then spread half of the sour cream mixture and half of the meat sauce. Repeat these steps. Top the lasagna with the sliced ­cheddar.

Bake for 30 minutes, until the lasagna mixture is bubbly and the cheese is lightly ­browned.
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Saturday, December 18, 2010

Bacon Pierogie Bake

This was one delicious meal. And easy. You can't beat that.

Bacon Pierogie Bake. As soon as I saw the words "bacon" and pierogies" I knew this would be a winner. Add scallions and fresh chopped tomato and you're just gilding the lily.

I doubled the recipe because I was using homemade pierogies and wanted extra sauce. SP loved the sauce so much he said I should make the dish again but serve the sauce over pasta instead of pierogies.

Bacon Pierogie Bake
Slightly Adapted from Elizabeth's Edible Experience

1 (16-ounce) package frozen potato and onion pierogies (such as Mrs. T's)
Cooking spray
6 center-cut bacon slices, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
6 ounces cream cheese
1 cup chicken broth
4 ounces shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup thinly diagonally sliced green onions
1/2 cup chopped seeded plum tomato
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400°.

Arrange the frozen pierogies in an 11 x 7-inch glass baking dish coated with cooking spray. Cook bacon in a saucepan over medium heat until crisp; remove from pan. Set aside.

Add garlic to drippings in pan, and cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add cream cheese to pan, and cook for 1 minute or until cream cheese begins to melt, stirring frequently. Gradually add chicken broth to pan, stirring with a whisk until smooth. Pour the cream cheese mixture evenly over pierogies. Top evenly with cheddar cheese.

Bake for 20 minutes or until bubbly and thoroughly heated. Remove from oven, and sprinkle with bacon, green onions, tomato, and pepper.
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Friday, December 17, 2010

Thanksgiving Dinner

I know I usually take photos of each of the dishes we eat for Thanksgiving, but this year I had an active toddler to wrangle with. I hope this photo of my overloaded plate will do the trick.

Starting in the front with the mashed potatoes and going clockwise are stuffing, cranberry sauce, green bean casserole, creamed onions, whiskey-glazed carrots and turkey.

I made the stuffing, green bean casserole, creamed onions and whiskey-glazed carrots. All were utterly delicious. Next year we're planning to host Thanksgiving and I can't wait to make these recipes again.

Bread Stuffing with Bacon, Apples and Caramelized Onions
Homemade Green Bean Casserole
Creamed Onions
Whiskey-Glazed Carrots
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Thursday, December 16, 2010

French Onion Pasta

I really wanted to like this recipe for French Onion Pasta, but the flavor from the French Onion soup was just too overwhelming.

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Monday, November 01, 2010

Ham Dinner

I usually serve mac & cheese as a main dish, but lately I got to thinking about rounding it out as a meal with a protein and veggie. A recent post on my cooking board mentioned serving mac & cheese with ham, roasted broccoli and applesauce, which I thought sounded great as a Sunday dinner.

The ham is fully cooked from the supermarket, so all I had to do was reheat it. The mac & cheese was made using this recipe. For the broccoli I tried something new - I cut a few lemons into slices and tossed those with the broccoli, garlic, oil, salt and pepper. It was a delicious way to prepare broccoli and really took on a nice lemon undertone. I was a little wary of how the applesauce would go with everything else, but it was perfect. A nice, homey meal.
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Friday, October 29, 2010

Crunchy Chicken with Sesame Rice and Green Beans

Lately I've been disappointed with the recipes in Everyday with Rachael Ray (anyone else feel like she's run out of ideas and the new ones are just plain bizarre?), but this one for Crunchy Chicken with Sesame Rice and Green Beans was just a jazzed up version of chicken and rice so I thought I'd give it a whirl. Holy was just incredible.

I subbed panko for the breadcrumbs and they got gorgeously crispy after frying. Delicious. I think the mayo and soy sauce drizzle was what made the dish. Such a simple combination that packed a lot of flavor. And you can't go wrong with rice and green beans sprinkled with sesame seeds. I can't wait to make this one again.

Crunchy Chicken with Sesame Rice and Green Beans
Modified from Everyday with Rachael Ray

1 cup
Salt and pepper

2 tablespoons
toasted sesame seeds
1/3 cup
1 teaspoon
soy sauce
1 cup panko

2 eggs

1 1/2 tablespoons
extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for frying
1 pound
skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch strips
1 pound
green beans

Preheat the oven to 200°. In a small saucepan, bring 1 1/4 cups water, the rice and 1/2 teaspoon salt to a boil. Lower the heat, cover and simmer until the water is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Fluff with a fork and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon sesame seeds.

Meanwhile, in a bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, soy sauce and 1 tablespoon water. Put panko on a plate. In a shallow bowl, beat the eggs.

Fill a large skillet with enough olive oil to reach a depth of 1/4 inch and place over medium-high heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper; dip into the eggs, then into the panko. Working in 2 batches, add the chicken to the pan and cook, turning once, until cooked through, about 5 minutes; drain on a paper-towel-lined baking sheet. Transfer to the oven to keep warm.

Wipe out the skillet and fill with enough water to reach a depth of 1/2 inch; add 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil and bring to a boil. Add the green beans and cook until tender, 5 minutes. Drain; season with salt and pepper, then sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon sesame seeds. Serve with the rice and chicken. Drizzle the chicken with the sauce.

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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Chicken with Mushrooms

It's going to be slow going, but I'm determined to get back into food blogging. Here's a dish I made a few weeks ago - Chicken with Mushrooms.

I served it over pasta but the next time I made it I served it over rice and it was much better. The pasta wasn't able to soak up the sauce the same way the rice could.
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Friday, September 24, 2010

Catching Up

I've been horrible about updating this blog lately. Ever since having Baby Girl I've lost my groove in the kitchen. Being a working mom with a child who goes to bed at 7pm every night, I don't have much time for cooking. Or desire, to be honest. Over the past few months I've been very sporadic about even photographing meals, let alone blogging. I've decided to try to get back into it, though, so here's a look at what we've eaten recently.

A cheesesteak hoagie:

Breaded chicken, rice pilaf, green beans and sliced fresh tomato with basil:

Takeout shrimp scampi over spaghetti (insanely delicious):

Panfried chicken with boxed scalloped potatoes and tomato and avocado salad:

Steak dinner with corn fritters, loaded baked potato salad and sliced tomatoes:

These corn fritters are SO amazing:

I made up my own recipe for loaded baked potato salad, which included bacon, scallions and cheddar cheese:

The next night I used leftover corn fritters as a bed for ham and fried eggs:

This recipe for cheesy chicken with mushrooms was simple and delicious:

The cheese-stuffed tomatoes were good, but not cheesy enough:

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Friday, August 06, 2010

Summer Vacation 2010

A vacation tale, told in food photos. Enjoy!

This year's vacation was a little crazy, but we had a blast. We were supposed to spend a week in Maine, but our plans changed at the last minute. We did, however, drive from PA to Maine, and here's the lunch to prove it:

Whole belly fried clams from the Lobster Cooker in Freeport, just a few blocks from the L.L. Bean store. The clams were briny and delicious, perfect with the salty fries and tangy coleslaw.

Next up, clam chowder from Gilbert's Chowder House in Portland:

Rich and thick, perfect with oyster crackers. And speaking of oysters, here are some fried ones:

These were a disappointment. The cracker coating overwhelmed the brininess of the oysters. We still ate them all, though.

The remains of my lobster dinner, which was also a disappointment. Not GCH's fault, but the lobster had recently molted, which meant thin, watery meat (and not much of it).

SP tackled his corn first, leaving the lobster for last.

In my quest for more lobster I ordered a lobster "roll" at Persy's Place in Plymouth, MA.

Another disappointment. Notice how this is on a bun, not a roll? They also mixed the lobster meat with some kind of spicy mayo, which is just all wrong. I wish these details had been mentioned on the menu so I could have ordered breakfast, which is apparently Persy's specialty.

We ended up in West Yarmouth, MA for the remainder of our vacation and our first night we dined at Salty's. I started with the lobster and corn chowder, which was delicious:

...while SP got the shrimp cocktail, which surprised him by being an actual cocktail:

I think the waitress misheard him and gave him the Shrimp Cocktail Bloody Mary, which is one of their signature drinks. We also ordered two fried platters to share, whole belly clams:

... and more fried oysters. Both were served with both fries and onion rings.

Our favorite restaurant on the Cape turned out to be DiParma. We ate here twice and we were only on the Cape for four nights. I ordered the same thing both nights, the shrimp scampi:

... which was ridiculously, craveably delicious. I still think about this dish and it's been over a month since we we ate here. SP ordered one of the combination dinners that included chicken parm, two meatballs and fettuccine alfredo. He asked them to include sliced sausage with his alfredo.

One of our day trips was into Provincetown, where we ate at Pepe's Wharf. The view was almost as good as the food. I started with (what else) clam chowder:

... and finally succeeded in enjoying a lobster roll. They use a special Portuguese roll from a local baker and it was divine.

SP ordered a special, haddock almondine with rice pilaf and green beans. The sauce with the fish was drinkably good.

We can't wait to go back to DiParma's and try some of the other restaurants on the Cape. There certainly are a lot to choose from!

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Thursday, August 05, 2010

BLATT Sandwich

Not the best photos (I'm a little out of practice) but this was a delicious sandwich I made us for lunch one weekend:

I'm calling it a BLATT because it has bacon, lettuce (arugula), avocado, tomato and turkey with a lemon mayo. Here are the two halves before I joined them together:

I used a crusty ciabatta and it was delicious.
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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

BLT Pasta

I made this BLT Pasta awhile ago, but everytime I think about it I want to make it again. Delicious just doesn't describe how good this was.

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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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