- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain the pasta, and set aside.
- Add olive oil to a large skillet and cook sausage over medium high heat, stirring to crumble. When sausage is browned add onion, cook until translucent, add the garlic and cook for an addition 1 to 2 minutes. Add the wine and scrape up the browned bit from the bottom of the pan. Cook for 2 minutes to cook off the alcohol. Add the tomato paste, salt, pepper, and tomatoes, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in fresh spinach.
- Combine cooked pasta, sausage mixture, and basil. Place half of the pasta mixture in a small (2 quart) casserole dish coated with cooking spray. Top with the half of the mozzarella and Italian cheese blend. Cover with remaining pasta and top with the remaining cheeses. Bake at 350° for 25 minute.
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!!!
Here are all of the other wonderful #Sunday Supper tributes to Dad’s. Happy Father’s Day everyone!!
One of the things I really enjoy is coming up with ways to update old comfort food recipes. I can remember my Mom making tuna casserole when I was a kid. It was on of the meals we had quite often. It, of course, contained a can of cream of mushroom soup, but I can just remember loving it when she made it. Since my Mom wasn’t big on cooking, tuna casserole is one of the meals that I remember fondly and it brings back wonderful memories of my Mom for me.
Of course through the years, with my desire to make recipes a bit healthier when I can, I have realized that even though it is very tasty (I love cream of mushroom soup) it isn’t the healthiest item to add to a meal. The amount of fat and sodium it contains are really quite staggering. So when I can try a recipe without it I am excited. I know my Mom would be proud of me for making things healthier for my family. A bonus is this is a nice inexpensive recipe!
Everyone, minus Ms Picky Pants, loved this dish. Seth had a friend over and he loved it just as much as we did. They both work at a local pub/saloon and Avin is one of the cooks there. He and Seth both kept making comments about how they would make so many people happy (and so much money) if they used my recipes there. What a wonderful compliment that was and completely not expected for Tuna Casserole! I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we did!!
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 package frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed of excess liquid (a clean kitchen towel works great for this)
2 cans tuna, drained and flaked
6 ounces jumbo pasta shells (approx 20 shells), cooked according to package directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a medium pot, over medium high heat, cook the onions and garlic until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly for 1 minute. Whisk in the white wine and cook for a minute. Then gradually whisk in the milk, stirring constantly. Add the red pepper flakes and cook for about 3 minutes, until the sauce has slightly thicken and bubbly. Season with salt and pepper and let the sauce cool slightly.
In a food processor, combine the bread and Italian seasoning. Process until fine crumbs form. Transfer half of the mixture to a large bowl and combine with half of the sauce, tuna, and spinach. Season with salt and pepper if necessary. Fill each shell with a heaping tablespoon of of the spinach mixture and place in a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Top with remaining sauce and bread crumb mixture. Bake until sauce is bubbling and bread crumbs are golden. About 25 minutes.
For the meatballs:
- 1 pound ground chicken
- 1 pound chicken or turkey sausage, casings removed
- 2 cups fresh white bread crumbs
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus extra for serving
- 3 tablespoons milk
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the soup:
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, minced
- 1 cup diced carrots (3 carrots), diced
- 3/4 cup diced celery (2 or 3 stalks), diced
- 10 cups chicken stock
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 2 cups orzo
- 1/4 cup minced fresh dill
- 12 ounces baby spinach, washed
With the holidays coming and going my focus, of course, has been on creating and preparing dishes that could be part of a holiday meal. I mean, yes you really could use anything you want for a holiday meal but, I tried to stay along the lines of traditional with a new twist. This dish is one that I made for Thanksgiving 5 years ago from a recipe I found on Food Network. We loved it so I put it in the “recipe bank” for future use, but for whatever reason I associated it with a holiday meal only and never thought to pull it out for another night.
This year I went back through old recipes to get some ideas and came across this one again. I knew immediately I wanted to make it. I knew Miss Picky Pants wasn’t going to eat it because it has artichoke hearts in it (if I had gotten rid of them should would have because she loves brie) but I figured everyone else would be game for it.
I also thought it would go well with the meal because I was making standing rib roast with a garlic, rosemary crust so it fit into the slight Italian theme I had going. You know, cooking is like getting dressed, you want everything to match and compliment each other. It sounds good at least right?
The meal was a bit hectic because I hadn’t planned the times as well as I had for Thanksgiving, plus the roast took up the whole oven so I couldn’t sneak things under or along the side. But this dish really comes together well. A few steps, but well worth it, trust me!! I can guarantee I wont be saving this for the holidays anymore. Special occasions maybe, but it is too good to only pull out once in a while!
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 pounds spinach, washed (3 cups cooked and roughly chopped)
- 2 cups chopped yellow onions
- 1 tablespoon roughly chopped garlic
- 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning blend
- 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 1/4 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 3 (8 1/2-ounce) cans quartered artichoke hearts, tough outer leaves removed
- 6 large eggs
- 3 cups heavy cream
- 2 cups milk
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 12 to 14 cups cubed (1-inch) day-old French bread (about 1 loaf)
- 1 pound Brie, rind removed and cut into 1/2-inch cubes, optional
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
- 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley leaves
For the last weekend of summer I really wanted to pull out all the stops and celebrate the wonderful weather we had finally been having in Western Washington. I planned grilling burgers and corn and chicken. I wanted to make some quick cool salads to beat the heat and accompany the grilled food.
My absolute favorite salad green is baby spinach! It could be the only green I ever eat again and I would be happy. Not that I wouldn’t miss the others, it is just my favorite. Yikes now I am afraid to open my vegetable drawer in my kitchen. I may have offended a few things that are currently residing there.
Anyway, I jumped online and started searching for a new recipe to showcase my lovely greens. I found this one by Rachael Ray (I know shocker right? Bobbi is doing Rachael Ray??). It has another of my favorite ingredients, artichokes. I prefer my artichokes fresh steamed, but I do love canned artichoke hearts on pizza so I figured “Let’s give it a try”.
My decision was a good one. Kevin and I ate this salad up like it was candy! The kids…uuhhh not so much. But we already knew that would be the outcome. I tease them about someday having an adult pallet and appreciating something other than McDonald’s and frozen burritos. Actually I can’t complain that much. They have come a longggggggggg way in the last few years.
- 3/4 pound, 4 to 5 cups, baby spinach, packed
- 2 (15-ounce) cans artichoke hearts packed in water, drained and sliced
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1/4 to 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- A handful shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano
Combine spinach and artichokes. Place garlic, lemon zest and juice in small dish and add vinegar. Let it stand 5 minutes then whisk in extra-virgin olive oil. Pour oil and vinegar dressing over salad and toss to combine. Season the salad with salt and pepper, to your taste. Top the salad with cheese then serve.
Now that I have broken the lemon barrier I am very open to giving this little citrus treasure a try. While I was cruising through FoodBuzz I came across a recipe for Grilled Lemon and Rosemary Chicken by one of my favorite bloggers Cookin Canuck. It just sounded so good and I love the fact that it uses chicken thighs vs chicken breasts. I have long been a fan of chicken thighs for many reasons. They are easier to cook without the risk of being dry like a breast, they have more flavor, and they are cheaper a HUGE plus! I substitute boneless skinless thighs for breasts whenever I can. If you are strictly watching your calories then opt for the boneless skinless breasts but try using cutlets or cutting them in half like a book and cooking them so you have less of a chance to dry them out.
One of the things I love about this recipe is the fact that you make a vinaigrette instead of a marinade. So you cook the chicken first and then into the tub it goes to soak up flavor while you finish cooking. You can also choose to eat it right away or cover it and put it in the fridge for later. It is awesome hot, especially with the creamed spinach I made to go alongside. But I can tell you that this makes a FANTASTIC sandwich or slice it and put it on a salad. Because the chicken goes into the vinaigrette after it is cooked it is safe to save the leftovers and use it on a salad the next day yummmm!
Of course I can’t leave a recipe alone and after I printed it off and was organizing my ingredients I realized I had thyme as well as rosemary, a combination I love, so out came the thyme to jump into the tub with all the other ingredients. I also added more rosemary and garlic, boy do I love my garlic. It is a good thing that Kevin loves garlic too otherwise I would never get any kisses!
Whisk the lemon juice, rosemary, thyme, garlic, honey, salt and pepper in a bowl. Once combined slowly whisk in the olive oil.
Preheat grill or grill pan to medium-high heat. Brush with vegetable oil.
Drizzle the chicken thighs with a bit of the vegetable oil and season with salt and pepper on both sides. Place chicken on grill and cook till chicken is done through, approximately 4 to 5 minutes per side.
Remove the chicken from the heat and place in bowl with the vinaigrette. Toss to coat the chicken. At this time you can cover and refrigerate the chicken or set it aside.
Once you plate the chicken drizzle it with a bit of the vinaigrette.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, add your butter. Once melted add your garlic and saute for a couple minutes before adding your spinach to wilt down. Then add your grated nutmeg.
Add the cream and stir to combine. Heat till warmed through, a minute or two, and remove from heat and serve.
I have been wanting to do Beef Wellington for quite some time now, but have been a bit nervous about trying. Maybe it is all of the times that I have listened to Chef Ramsey scream at chefs for cooking them incorrectly. I guess I am afraid he will pop out of my pantry and tell me to GET OUT!
So when I saw Claire Robinson make a version of them on her 5 Ingredient Fix I thought to myself If it can be done with 5 ingredients I have got to be able to do it. Plus they just looked so cute and tasty. I printed out the recipe and started thinking in my mind of the things I would like to add to those 5 ingredients to add some extra flavor and make it my own.
I was worried that Kevin was going to think I was crazy (well crazier than usual) when I announced that I was making an “appetizer dinner”, but when he heard that I was making the Mini Wellingtons he was right on board with me. Like I have said, he LOVES red meat.
This recipe is a bit pricey since I used beef tenderloin but I wanted to have the right texture for the meat. It was amazing! You could just take a bite and the meat melted in your mouth. I even ate one cold for breakfast the next day. It is definitely a dish I will be making again. Plus now I have the courage to try the real deal. Chef Ramsey…..LOOK OUT!!
Okay, I know it sounds weird. But that is really kind of what grabbed me and made me want to make this recipe! I am sure my family wasn’t sharing my curiosity though. Their faces said it all….”ummmm you are making what?”….”What is in that?”……”Oh, OK” I am sure I heard some rumblings about sneaking out to McDonalds too. But hey, they know me and what I do. They might not have signed up for this but they were definantly drafted!
I love chicken chow mien and this kind of reminds me of that. The whole wheat noodles give it a nutty taste and the meatballs….well all I can say (as I channel my inner Rachael) is YUMMMMMO!! Once the meatballs started cooking and you could smell that wonderful smell coming from the oven, people started thinking twice about the whole McDonalds thing.
When they were actually able to taste it they all had a new appreciation for my curiosity and the good things it can bring. I am thinking now I should have made a double batch of the meatballs, they are THAT good. They went so fast and then we just had a pot of naked noodles leftover, so sad. Not to say the noodles weren’t good because they were awesome too. The soy and sesame oil together made a terrific combo and the veggies were perfect, not to crisp but not too soft. Seth took some over to his girlfriend’s house to share with her for dinner and I got a comment from her on my Facebook page saying that she loved them. She also complimented my Turkey Sausage and Orzo Stuffed Peppers recipe.
I think this would actually make a good meal for a night when you are trying to find something to do with the leftover veggies in the fridge. You could use just about anything, asparagus, broccoli, peppers, onions, even thinly sliced carrots and celery could be used. So let your tummy be guided by my curiosity and give this one a try!