Category Archives: oregano

Sausage and White Bean Soup

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Yesterday was a cold, drizzly, windy day here in Western Washington. I know you are thinking “cold, drizzly, and windy in Washington? NO WAY!” But yes dear friends, it was miserable. On top of mother nature bringing me down, I felt like I was coming down with a cold. I wanted to curl up under the covers in my jammies, I wanted to watch cheesy 80’s movies,I wanted my Mommy! But my jammies were in the laundry, and there were no 80’s movies on TV so I knew I would have to settle with something warm and yummy in my tummy. I took up the challenge and I ransacked my pantry. I was very happy with what I found.

Ahhh soup, glorious soup. As you all know I am a lover of all things “soupish”. Stews, Chowders, even Chili’s make me such a happy camper during the cold dreary months here in the Pacific Northwest. Which by the way last pretty much from October to July so I have tons of soup days!
I know I have mentioned that Kevin does not share this love of mine. In fact it is quite the opposite. He looks at soup as maybe and appetizer? He is looking for the real meal that goes with it. Many a time he has to walk away disappointed, or with a grilled cheese sandwich to supplement his meal experience. 
This evening though was much different though my friends. On this evening he was not only perfectly content with the idea of this soup as the main meal, he went back for seconds and thirds!! I was afraid to get between him and the pot for fear of being stabbed with his spoon!!! I have to agree though, this really is one of my favorite soups. You have the meatiness of the sausage, the creamy white beans, and just enough heat to make your mouth warm and tingly but it doesn’t blow the top off of your head. 
When a soup warms me, fills me up, and makes me want to curl up on the couch and purr with contentment, well I am just a happy happy camper!!
Sausage and White Bean Soup
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound sweet Italian turkey sausage
1 large sweet onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and diced
4 stalks of celery with leaves, diced
1/2 cup fresh flat leaf parsley leaves, chopped
3 teaspoons dried oregano
Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste
1 cup dry white wine
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 15-ounce cans cannellini beans 
1 quart chicken stock
In a deep soup pot heat 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil over medium-high heat. Add sausage and  brown well, breaking it up into little bits. Remove sausage from pot and reserve.

To the pot add the remaining olive oil, onions, garlic, chili peppers, celery, parsley, oregano, salt, and pepper. Reduce heat to medium and cook for 5 minutes or so, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent. Add the white wine, scrapping the bottom of the pan to release any brown bits there might be. Return the sausage to the pot. Add the crushed tomatoes, cannellini beans, and chicken stock.

Bring to a boil, once boiling reduce heat to a simmer, cover the pot and let it cook for 30 mins stirring occasionally.

ENJOY!!!


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Caprese Meatball Subs

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Pardon the in your face picture, but I think I was trying to eat this sandwich through the camera!! I have been having a love affair with anything “caprese” lately. I adore caprese salad and even turned it into a sandwich with my Open Face Chicken Caprese Sandwich! So the other night Subway was mentioned on my Facebook page as an alternative meal due to the fact that I had a major blond moment and forgot to thaw out the meat I needed for dinner that night. Well Kevin isn’t a big fan of Subway so that didn’t go over to well (plus I really needed to cook so you all would have a post to read). Luckily Kevin agreed to go to the store for me on his way home from work and the meal crisis was avoided. Yay!! But that did give me an idea. 
One of the sandwiches I loved at Subway was their meatball sub. I wanted to make a meatball sub, but add a twist to interest Kevin. If you have been with me for a while you know that he used to despise pesto until he tried my homemade pesto. Now he loves it and I have used it in several recipes. Anyway, I remembered seeing a recipe by Kelsey Nixon for Caprese Meatballs in the slow cooker, so I decided to take that idea and use it for my sandwiches. I didn’t do mine in the slow cooker though. I baked them and finished them in my homemade marinara sauce. 

It seems that I have been coming up with some messy sandwiches in the last couple of weeks. Yes, this is messy but the flavors are so good! The mix of the pesto, marinara sauce, mozzarella cheese, and crunchy bread was over the top. I fill up pretty quickly, especially if I am eating bread, so I had half of my sandwich left and Kevin gobbled it right down. I think the only conversation I got out of him during the meal was mmmmmm and WOW this is really good. I was really glad he liked is since I pretty much made it for him!
The recipe is for 2 subs so if you are making more just double or triple it. But it makes 6 good sized meatballs which was perfect on the rolls I picked up from the bakery and with the cheese and sauce they are very filling. Plus they went really well with a nice glass of red wine!!
Caprese Meatball Subs 

1/2 pound lean ground turkey or chicken
1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1/4 grated Parmesan cheese, plus some for sprinkling
2 tablespoons egg beaters (or one small egg)
1/4 cup pesto (see recipe below)
1 thick slice of fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into 6 cubes
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
Marinara sauce (recipe below)
2 sub rolls


For the Pesto:
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 1 cup fresh Italian parsley leaves
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan or Romano
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Toast pine nuts in a skillet over medium heat until fragrant, tossing occasionally to ensure even toasting, about 5 minutes. Combine all of the pesto ingredients, except the olive oil, in a food processor and pulse, drizzle in the olive oil slowly until well combined but still rough-textured (You may not use all of the oil or you made need a bit more to get to the desired consistency). Leftovers can be frozen if needed.

For the Marinara Sauce:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 large cloves of garlic, minced
1 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes (Recommended San Marzano)
2 6 ounce cans of tomatoes paste
1 cup water
1/4 cup fresh oregano leaves, chopped
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper


Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. Add the onion and cook until translucent, about 5 to 7 minutes. Mix in half of the minced garlic and cook one more minute. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomatoes paste, water, half of the chopped oregano, and the bay leaf. (Add more water if sauce seems too thick). Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer. Leftovers can be frozen if needed.


For the Meatballs:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a rimmed baking sheet with non stick spray

Combine the turkeybreadcrumbs, Parmesan, pesto, salt, pepper and egg in a large mixing bowl with your hands, taking care to not overwork the meat. Form golf ball-size meatballs and stuff each with 1 mozzarella cube. Evenly space the meatballs on the baking sheet. Bake until just starting to brown, 15 minutes.

Remove the meatballs from the oven and place them in the simmering sauce, cover with the lid.

Split the sub rolls and open them slightly, place on a baking sheet and bake in the oven until toasty, about 5 minutes.

Place 3 meatballs on each sub and smother with with the marinara sauce, top with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese.

ENJOY!


Chili Rellenos with Roasted Tomato Sauce for #SundaySupper

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Pardon the shadow on the picture. I didn’t think I was blocking the light when I took the pictures last night, but after reviewing them I saw a shadow on all of the completed dish pictures. I would like to think it was my Mom hovering over me as I made this dish vs my poor photography skills!
The reason I say this, and why I chose this dish for this #SundaySupper meal, is because this is one meal that reminds me of my Mom more than anything else I have ever made. You see when I was young, like maybe 5, my babysitter was a little lady from Chihuahua Mexico. She was one of the best cooks I have ever known and I loved sitting with her in the kitchen as she cooked and told me stories about her childhood in Mexico. She used to let me make flour tortillas and stir the pots.
Like I have said, my Mother was not a cook really. But for some reason this lady encouraged my Mom to try. Lord love her that my Mom chose this to be one of the recipes she would go for. I will admit, it is a pretty labor intensive meal. But I just had to have these smells, flavors and memories in my kitchen again. I hadn’t made these in 18 years!!

You can simplify this meal by using canned whole green chilis instead of roasting fresh chilis and not roasting the tomatoes. But I love it the original way.
Chili Rellenos with Roasted Tomato Sauce

Tomato sauce:

  • 4 medium Roma tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon chopped oregano leaves
  • Salt
  • Cracked Pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Cut the tomatoes in half and place them halved side up on  a baking sheet. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook for about 30 to 40 minutes, until you see the tomatoes “wilting” and giving off their juices. 
Add the tomatoes and chicken stock to a small pot over medium heat. Simmer the tomatoes until soft and stir in the garlic.
Use an immersion blender to combine or transfer to a food processor to blend until smooth.
Add the 1/4 cup of oil to a frying pan, over low heat, and stir in the flour to make a roux mixture. Cook the flour until browned, then add the tomato sauce. Simmer for 5 minutes and then add the oregano. Keep warm.

For the chilis


  • 4 poblano chiles
  • 1 pound queso fresco cheese
  • 8 eggs
  • 2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup oil

Tomato sauce:

  • 4 medium Roma tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon chopped oregano leaves
  • Salt
  • Cracked Pepper

Directions

Rice and beans, for serving, if desired
Heat broiler. Place the chilis on a backing sheet and char the chiles on both sides. Once blackened put in a plastic bag for 10 minutes to sweat out any moisture. Remove from the bag, slit them down the middle and remove the skin and the seeds. Stuff the peppers with the queso fresco and set aside.
Separate the egg yolks from the whites. Add the egg whites to a large bowl. Reserve the egg yolks. Beat the egg whites with an electric beater until the whites fluff up. Add in the flour and the egg yolks and mix until completely incorporated.
Add the oil to a frying pan over medium heat. Spoon a bit of the egg batter on top of the oil to form a “pillow” for the stuffed pepper. 

Allow it too firm for a minute or so and then gently place the pepper in the middle of the pillow. 

Spoon batter over the top of the pepper to cover it.


 and fry until golden brown on both sides. 
Remove from the oil and allow to drain. 



Transfer to a serving platter, pour the tomato sauce over the cooked chile rellenos and serve.

Sopas (Soups), Ensaladas (Salads), and Entremeses (Starters)

La Comida (the food)

Postres (desserts)

Bebidas (beverages)

Please be sure you join us on Twitter throughout the day (this coming Sunday, September 16) during #SundaySupper. We’ll be meeting up at 7:00 pm (Eastern) for our weekly #SundaySupper  live chat where we’ll talk about our favorite recipes for a Mexican Fiesta! All you have to do is follow the #SundaySupper hashtag, or you can follow us through TweetChat!  We’d also love to feature your Mexican Fiesta recipes on our #SundaySupper Pinterest board and share them with all of our followers!


“No one who cooks, cooks alone. Even at her most solitary, a cook in the kitchen is surrounded by generations of cooks past, the advice and menus of cooks present, the wisdom of cookbook writers.”
― Laurie Colwin

Turkey Sausage Stuffed Zucchini Boats

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My son’s girlfriend brought over these huge zucchinis from her Mom and Dad’s garden. I love zucchini but these bad boys were big! I thought about frying them in slices and making some kind of spicy dipping sauce but I just hated to take those big beauties and fry them. Then I thought about the stuffed peppers I made and thought that the stuffing would work so well using the zucchini in place of the peppers. I mean the stuffing already has gated zucchini in it so I knew the flavors would be awesome. Plus it was taking a nice fresh veggie and keeping it on the healthy side. My stuffing uses turkey sausage and low fat cheese. 
When I ran the idea by the rest of my housemates everyone thought it sounded like a winner so that was enough for me, the decision was made. Then with Kevin’s father having to be placed in a nursing home, and us wanting to be there at mealtimes as much as possible so we can make sure he is eating, The ingredients just sat in my refrigerator. To be honest when I pulled them out last night was afraid that they wouldn’t be usable anymore and I would be making a trip to the store. But I wouldn’t be able to replace those big beautiful zucchinis. I crossed my fingers and pulled them out of the fridge. Yesssss they were fine, just like I first got them, thank you Lord!!! 

They came out better than I ever could have expected, they really did! I wish now I had made more. I just cooked the two large (extra large) zucchinis halved. So I had leftover stuffing. The original recipe was enough stuffing for 6 bell peppers so if you have 6 zucchinis it would be perfect. I also subbed yellow squash for the zucchini in my original recipe because I was already stuffing zucchini I wanted something else in the mix. 
Like I said, these came out so much better than I could have ever imagined. Kevin loves my stuffed peppers and he said he may just like these even more. Wow now I am in competition with myself! I love it!!
Turkey Sausage Stuffed Zucchini Boats
6  large zucchinis
1 (28-ounce) can of Italian tomatoes
2 medium yellow squash, grated
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1 cup low fat mozzarella for the topping
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 large onion, chopped
4 cups chicken stock, plus and extra cup for baking.
1 1/2 orzo (rice shaped pasta)
1 pound turkey sweet Italian sausage ( I used Jennie-O)
Kosher salt
Fresh ground black pepper
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped
1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F

Pour the tomatoes in a large bowl and break apart using your fingers or potato masher. Add the squash, Parmesan cheese, olive oil, salt, and pepper to taste. Stir to combine.

Bring the 4 cups of chicken stock to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Add the orzo and cook to package instructions. Use a fine mesh sieve to transfer the orzo to the large bowl with the vegetables, reserving the chicken stock. Stir to combine the orzo and veggies and pour the chicken stock into a 3 quart baking dish.

Cut each zucchini in half lengthwise. Scoop out the inside of each zucchini, leaving about 1/4 inch of flesh in each one. If zucchinis will not stand up use a knife to shave off a bit of the bottom to make it even. Set zucchinis into baking dish with all of the chicken stock. 

Mix 1 cup Pecorino Romano with the 1/4 cup chopped parsley leaves. Set asaide.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, crumble and brown the turkey sausage until it is cooked through, about 4 minutes. Add the onions and minced garlic. Saute until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the paprika, cayenne, oregano, thyme, salt, and pepper to taste. Add the orzo mixture and cook for about a minute to warm. Remove from the heat and spoon the mixture into the zucchinis. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle each zucchini boat with the cheese parsley mix. Return to oven and cook an additional 5 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

Remove from the oven and allow the zucchinis to cool about 5 minutes before serving.

ENJOY!!

Food Star Friday – Shrimp Fra Diavolo

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Happy Friday my friends. I hope this week has been kind to you and that you are winding down and getting ready for this holiday weekend. You know Labor Day is a classic grilling day and right now there is much “debate” going on in my house about what and who will be grilling. There may be a compromise in sight though. I was thinking about trying a slow cooker rib recipe so if I do that and focus on side dishes the boys can argue without me over who gets to be master of the grill.
Anyway, when the dust from that debate settled I realized I had not planned a Food Star Friday meal. Dang it! So after browsing Food Network and The Cooking Channel I was still at a loss as to what I would make. That was when I got the idea to pose the question to my Facebook and Twitter followers. I asked people to give me the name of a food star and a protein. After several hours of responses the protein I would be using was quite clear – shrimp. OK I love shrimp so I was excited about that idea. But the food star was not as easy. I never really thought about how many food stars there are out there. Wow you all came up with some great people. It was a very close race but Giada was the winner. As soon as I realized she was the food star I knew exactly what I was going to make. I have watched the show that she makes this dish on several times and it always looked and sounded so good to me. Why I didn’t come up with this idea I don’t know, but I am sure glad that you all did it for me. It was fantastic!

Shrimp Fra Diavolo
  • 1 pound large shrimp, peeled, deveined
  • 1 teaspoon salt, plus additional as needed
  • 1 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus 1 to 2 tablespoons
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
  • 3 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
  • 3 tablespoon chopped fresh basil leaves

Toss the shrimp in a medium bowl with 1 teaspoon of salt and red pepper flakes. Heat the 3 tablespoons oil in a heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp and saute for about a minute, toss, and continue cooking until just cooked through, about 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the shrimp to a large plate; set aside. Add the onion to the same skillet, adding 1 to 2 teaspoons of olive oil to the pan, if necessary, and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes with their juices, wine, garlic, and oregano. Simmer until the sauce thickens slightly, about 10 minutes. Return the shrimp and any accumulated juices to the tomato mixture; toss to coat, and cook for about a minute so the flavors meld together. Stir in the parsley and basil. Season with more salt, to taste, and serve.

Pasta with Chicken and Garlic Cream Sauce

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This was another one of those meals that you just come up with on the fly. I kept trying to think of something for dinner and nothing was jumping out at me. Do I want fish, chicken, steak, pasta? So I decided to throw a few things in a hat and just draw the winner that way. I picked chicken and pasta so that was my jumping off point. I knew I had shredded chicken in the fridge because they had rotisserie chicken on sale at the store so when they do that I will buy a few, shred them, and freeze them to have as a quick chicken addition to a meal.

Then I hit the pantry and found a box of farfalla, yay the main ingredients were found! So back into the fridge I went to see what goodies I had to throw in to the party. Fresh basil…check…..fresh oregano….check….heavy cream..hhmmm this is going to be good! I always have onions and garlic (Duh you’re a food blogger Bobbi) so of course they had to come to the party too.

This ended up being such a simple, easy meal, but had so much flavor and made my tummy happy. I do have to confess I am a pasta girl so you know if there is a noodle in it somewhere I am smiling! In the end, this is a quick and easy meal for a night when you are on the go and need something fast but flavorful

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Pasta with Chicken and Garlic Cream Sauce

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 package short pasta like farfalla
1 medium onion, chopped
5 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup chicken stock
1 heaping tablespoon of fresh basil, chopped plus a few leaves cut in a chiffonade for garnish
2 tablespoons fresh oregano, chopped
1 cup heavy cream
2 cups shredded chicken
Salt and pepper to taste

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil, add pasta and cook to package directions. Drain pasta and return to pot.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the olive oil. Then add the onion, stirring occasionally until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook one more minute. Add the chicken stock, basil, oregano, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it is reduced by about half. Add the cream and cook for an additional 8 to 10 minutes, until the sauce is reduced and thick. Add the chicken and stir to coat. Cook for an additional minute or until the chicken is heated through.

Shrimp with Tomatoes and Feta Cheese

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This was the main dish for Elitia’s birthday meal. If you saw the last post for the Lemon Pepper Rice you will know that it was her 21st birthday and I wanted to make her something special for dinner. I knew she liked seafood so when I saw these shrimp in the store I immediately knew what I wanted to make. I had seen a recipe in Saveur for a shrimp dish that had feta cheese in it. Feta cheese you ask? Yup, feta cheese. I know many people think seafood and cheese don’t go together but I am here to tell you yes they do! Of course I am a huge feta cheese lover. The salty, the creamy, all I can say is just yummmmm! 
When I brought out the ingredients for the meal I had a head over my shoulder. 
Kevin – Ummm what are you making?
Me – Dinner
Kevin – Haha I mean what are you making for dinner?
Me – Shrimp
Kevin – *glaring* I can see that, but what are you putting with it?
Me – Peppers, tomatoes, and some feta cheese
Kevin – Feta cheese?
Me – Ummm yes that is what I said
Kevin – Okaaaay 
Me – Your faith in me is staggering
I just love our little chats over meals don’t you? He was also wondering why I was leaving the shells on the shrimp. I explained that it adds more shrimp flavor to the dish. If you don’t mind peeling shrimp it is great to cook them with the shells on. But it is just too messy for this dish so tails on is fine. Also, don’t stress about the amount of time the shrimp cooks. Kevin kept asking me over and over “Are you sure they should cook this long?” and yes they do cook a long time, but they came out fantastic.
I reduced the amount of oil and feta cheese that the original recipe called for to try and lighten it up a bit. I also used reduced fat feta for the same reason. I feel I could have used more red pepper flakes because we like heat, but Elitia and Dylan both said they liked it the way it was and with the Lemon Pepper Rice this dish is a winner!
Shrimp with Tomatoes and Feta Cheese
adapted from Saveur Magazine
1 1/2 pound large shrimp, tails on
2 tablespoons olive oil
8 green onions, chopped
1 bell pepper (red, orange, or yellow), chopped
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped
1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
4 roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
4 ounces reduced fat feta cheese crumbles
3 tablespoons milk
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the green onions, bell pepper, oregano, parsley, and red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the bell peppers soften, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium low and add the shrimp. Cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes and cook for another 5 minutes. Stir in the milk and feta cheese and cook for an additional 20 minutes. Serve over Lemon Pepper Rice.
ENJOY!!

Greek Burgers for #FathersDay #SundaySupper

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This week for #SundaySupper we are all making things that were/are our Father’s favorite. My Father passed away last November so when Isabel first announced the theme I was a bit apprehensive about how it might make me feel. I knew I was dreading the approaching Father’s Day since it will be the first one without him so I thought focusing any more attention on it would make the day much harder for me. But you know what? It actually made me happy. Instead of thinking about how much I miss him, I was thinking about the things he loved to eat, and boyyyy did he like burgers!! Wait, did I say like? I meant LOVE. They really were his favorite thing to eat. You could keep your filet or rib eye, no lobster for him, just make him a good ol’ juicy burger and he was a happy happy man!!


My Dad was my biggest supporter in everything thing I do, especially my food blog. When I told him it was what I wanted to do he was first in line to say “You can do it!”. He really was a special man. I used to love him coming downstairs when I was cooking dinner and asking, “What experiment are we having tonight?”. That was what spurred me on to make different types of burgers. I wanted to give my Dad different versions of his favorite food.

When we moved from Southern California to Western Washington there was a lot of foods I missed. Mexican of course, but I couldn’t find a good gyros anywhere near me! I used to have gyros at least a couple of times a month when I lived in California but had never experimented with the flavors at home because, well I could get it whenever I wanted and was actually a bit nervous (for some reason) to try to create those flavors at home. Well all of that fear went out the window when I moved and there were no gyros to be found anywhere.

Into the kitchen I went and 6 years later this is what came out. Now there is a great Greek place in town, but I think it might be nicer to stay home with the family, a burger, and a great glass of wine!

This one was for you Dad, I love you!!!

Greek Burgers
1 pound ground lamb
5 ounces frozen spinach, thawed and drained
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 small yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano (preferably Mediterranean)
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried mint
1/4 (a generous handful) fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
4 ounces crumbled feta
Salt and pepper to taste
Sliced vine ripe tomato
Toasted burger buns (this can be made as 2 BIG burgers or 4 smaller ones)
First of f get your Tzatziki Sauce made an in the fridge to sit for a couple of hours. 
Heat the olive oil to a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook until translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook an additional minute. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
Grab a medium bowl and add the lamb, all of the seasonings, cooled onions and garlic, spinach, parsley, feta cheese, and salt and pepper. Mix just until combined and form into 2 large or 4 small patties. Heat the grill to medium-high and place the burgers on the grill. Cook the burgers, flipping once, about 10 minutes for medium rare, or until desired doneness.
Top your burgers with sliced tomato and slather the top bun with Tzatziki Sauce.
ENJOY!!!

Here are all of the other wonderful #Sunday Supper tributes to Dad’s. Happy Father’s Day everyone!!

Father’s Day Brunch:
Dad’s Favorite Soup, Salads and Bread:
Father’s Day Favorite Main Dishes:
Wine Pairings for Father’s Day ENOFYLZ

Turkey Sausage and Orzo Stuffed Peppers

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I have been promising to post some of my “healthified” recipes but making excuses for my red meat lovers in the house. Well two things happened, my son started dating a sweet girl that HATES red meat and well, I just decided to put my foot down. OK so I did it quietly but put it down nonetheless.

I was really excited to switch this recipe up. This is one that I have been making for a few years now. It is the love child of an Emeril recipe mixed with a Giada one. Now adding the turkey sausage has made it even better!

Kevin was a huge help in prepping this because I am such a procrastinator. I have never actually written this recipe down. I just go off the two recipes I mentioned above and I know what I use and don’t use and how I tweak it here and there. He wanted to help me cook but I had to write everything out as we went along. So bless his heart he again was my awesome sous chef and prepped just about everything while I pulled my hair out trying to write everything down so it would make sense to someone to other than myself. Most people would not get my short hand, sometimes it confuses me!

Stuffed peppers were one of those things that, when I first set out to make them, my kids said, “Eeeewwww”. I also wasn’t happy with just the typical ground beef with rice recipe with marinara sauce. I knew I wanted the kids to try it (Seth loves it now, Jessi just eats the stuffing and leaves a poor little discarded pepper shell), plus I wanted to add some punch to the ingredients. Psssst I also added extra veggies but don’t tell the kids!

Turkey Sausage and Orzo Stuffed Peppers

6 large sweet bell peppers (red, orange, or yellow)
1 (28-ounce) can of Italian tomatoes
2 zucchini, grated
1/2 cup Pecorino Romano cheese plus 1/4 cup for topping
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 large onion, chopped
4 cups chicken stock
1 1/2 orzo (rice shaped pasta)
1 pound turkey sweet Italian sausage ( I used Jennie-O)
Kosher salt
Fresh ground black pepper
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped
1/4 cup bread crumbs
2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
Pour the tomatoes in a large bowl and break apart using your fingers or potato masher. Add the zucchini, cheese, olive oil, salt, and pepper to taste. Stir to combine.
Bring the chicken stock to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Add the orzo and cook 7 minutes, just shy of al dente. The orzo will continue to cook in the oven. Use a fine mesh sieve to transfer the orzo to the large bowl with the vegetables, reserving the chicken stock. Stir to combine the orzo and veggies and pour the chicken stock into a 3 quart baking dish.
Cut off the top of each pepper. Scoop the seeds and ribs out from inside each pepper. If peppers will not stand up use a knife to shave off a bit of the bottom to make it even. Set peppers into backing dish with the chicken stock.
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, crumble and brown the turkey sausage until it is cooked through, about 4 minutes. Add the onions and minced garlic. Saute until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the paprika, cayenne, oregano, thyme, salt, and pepper to taste. Add the orzo mixture and cook for about a minute to warm. Remove from the heat and spoon the mixture into the peppers.
Mix 1/4 cup Pecorino Romano with the 1/4 bread crumbs and 2 tablespoons chopped parsley leaves. Sprinkle cheese mixture on top of each stuffed pepper. Drizzle melted butter on each pepper and place baking dish in the oven. Cook for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the tops are crusty and brown and warmed through. Serve hot.

Stuffed Shells with Meat Sauce

Standard

This recipe is one that I have used for a few different things. It was actually one of the first recipes I ever wrote to my own liking. I combined 3 different recipes to get it. It was kind of confusing. No wait……did I already list that?…..no I need to double that?……how many people will this feed?…..holy crap what was I thinking??? Ya, that is pretty much how it went. When I first started out I got confused very easily. HA who am I kidding? I STILL get confused, it is just part of my charm.

I was really excited to dust this bad boy off. I have never made it for Kevin and it is a nice comfort food kind of home cooked meal. Lately I have been more about trying to cook healthier and eating more fish and chicken. Don’t get me wrong, you can make this healthier, and I probably should have off the bat. But I wanted Kevin to taste the original before I started changing it up on him I guess.

This was also a recipe that I knew everyone would eat. My Dad is not a big fish lover, well actually he just flat out doesn’t like fish. But remember I got him to TRY the Crabby Mac so at least he gives a bit or rather a bite once in a while. HE was very happy to see this meal. I mean Italian right? You know he was a happy camper!

Like I said, you can “healthify” this meal fairly easily. Substitute lean turkey for the ground beef and low fat or fat free ricotta. Also if you can find the shredded mozzarella in low fat that will help too.

Stuffed Shells with Meat Sauce

1 pound lean ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), plus a bit for drizzling
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
Salt and cracked black pepper
2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves, chopped
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
4 cups (2 16-ounce containers) ricotta cheese
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley flakes, chopped
2 eggs lightly beaten
1 box, 12 ounces, Jumbo Shells
1 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
Bring a large pot of water to boil over high heat. Generously salt the water and add the pasta. Cook just shy of al Dente (a couple minutes short of what the package says). Drain pasta and drizzle with olive oil to prevent the shells from sticking together.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the 2 tablespoons of EVOO, eyeball it. Add the ground beef and break it up with a wooden spoon into small bits, cook till brown. Add the onions, and garlic and cook until the onions begin to become translucent, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the tomato paste and stir into meat, then add the crushed tomatoes, oregano, crushed red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper to taste. Heat to a bubble then turn the heat down to simmer and cover the pan.
In a bowl mix the ricotta, Parmesan cheese, eggs, parsley, and salt to taste. Stir until mixed. 
Spoon half of the meat sauce into a 13 x 9 casserole dish, spread it evenly across the bottom. 1 at a time carefully spoon a tablespoon of the cheese mixture into a shell and place on top of the meat mixture in the casserole dish. 
Once the shells are filled top them with the remaining meat sauce, then sprinkle with the mozzarella cheese. 
Place shells in the oven on the middle rack and bake for 30-35 minutes until cheese is bubbly and browning. Remove from oven and let stand 10 minutes before serving.
Serves 4 to 6