Dinner

Tuscan Roasted Potatoes with Lemon

I went looking for a new sided dish to have with dinner over the weekend and I found one from one of my favorite chefs. I have never had a bad experience with an Ina Garten recipte and this one did not disappoint me. We had all of the ingredients, even the fresh Rosemary that I have had growing in my kitchen for the past two winters. The lemon make this refreshing.

Ingredients

2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, unpeeled and 1-inch-diced

8 large garlic cloves, smashed and peeled

2 large or 4 small branches fresh rosemary

1/2 large lemon, cut in half through the stem and thinly sliced crosswise

3 tablespoons good olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Fleur de sel

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Place the potatoes on a sheet pan, add the garlic, rosemary, lemon, olive oil, 2 teaspoons kosher salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper, and toss until everything is coated with oil. Spread out in one layer.

Roast for 50 to 60 minutes, turning the potatoes with a metal spatula every 20 minutes, until the potatoes are browned and crisp on the outside and tender inside. The garlic will be browned and sweet and the lemon slices will be caramelized. Discard the rosemary branches, sprinkle with fleur de sel, and serve hot.

Dinner

One Pot Creamy Sausage and Shells

So our son Ian is moving off campus this fall and asked us to show him some recipes that he can create on his own. So, we found a new recipe that hit all his food criteria. Pasta, cheese and sausage!

This is a one pot recipe that is from Betty Crocker and was super easy to make. All ingredients are pretty much in the pantry or freezer. (We always have sausage in our freezer) This comes together in about 40 minutes. And is easy cleanup!

Made by our son!

Ingredients

1tablespoon olive oil

1lb bulk mild Italian sausage

1/2cup diced red onion

4cloves garlic, chopped

1/4teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1/4teaspoon salt

1carton (32 oz) Progresso™ chicken broth

1jar (24.5 oz) Muir Glen™ organic tomato basil pasta sauce

1lb uncooked medium pasta shells

1/2cup heavy whipping cream

1/2cup shredded Parmesan cheese (2 oz)

2tablespoons shredded fresh basil leaves

  • In 5-quart Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add sausage; cook 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until no longer pink. Using slotted spoon, transfer to bowl; cover and keep warm.
  • Add onion, garlic, red pepper flakes and salt to oil and drippings in pan; cook over medium-high heat 1 to 2 minutes or until softened and starting to brown.
  • Stir in broth and pasta sauce; heat to boiling. Stir in pasta; return to boiling. Reduce heat; simmer uncovered 11 to 13 minutes, stirring occasionally, until pasta is cooked to desired tenderness and sauce is thickened.
  • Stir in sausage and whipping cream; return to simmering. Remove from heat. Top with cheese and basil.
appetizer

Parmigiana Salsa

OMG…This is so easy and addicting. The reviews I read said it would be.  This makes a ton and can be stored in refrigerator. Hey, you got no place to go….give this a try.

1/2 pound Parmesan, not too dry

1/2 pound Asiago cheese, not too dry

2 teaspoons minced garlic

2 teaspoons dried oregano

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

2 tablespoons chopped green onion

1 1/2 cups extra-virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Remove any rind from the cheeses and chop the cheeses into rough 1-inch chunks. Place the cheese in a food processor with the garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes and pulse until reduced to the size of fine pea gravel. Stir in the green onion, olive oil and black pepper and pulse again. Cover and let stand at room temperature for at least 4 hours before using.

Dessert

3 Hole Chocolate Cake

Today would have been my father’s 95th Birthday. He passed away about a year after I was married, so he has been gone almost 28 years ago.

Dad’s favorite cake was a chocolate cake my mom would make called 3 hole chocolate cake. The cake was made in just one pan and was a dark chocolate cake with butter cream frosting. He wasn’t much of a sweet eater, except for this cake.

So today in honor of his birthday I decided to make this cake. It is very easy and even easier cleanup!

All dry ingredients mixed together.

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tsp vinegar
  • 2 cups cold water

PREPARATION

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.Mix dry ingredients (flour, sugar, cocoa baking soda & salt) in rectangular baking pan.
  2. Make 3 holes in dry ingredients, put oil in one, vanilla in another and vinegar in the 3rd.
  3. Add 2 cups COLD water & mix. Bang pan on table to get the bubbles out.Bake 30-40 minutes at 350 degrees, until toothpick comes out clean.

Make a basic white butter cream frosting. Frost, cut and serve.

3 holes, for 3 ingredients
Ready to bake
Candle for 95! Miss you Dad
Yum!
Dinner

Asian Sesame Chicken and Slaw

Wow, I dug deep into the archives for this recipe. It comes from Working Mother Magazine of July 1999. This was a part of my cooking extravaganza this past weekend and it was a great step back through the cookbook.

This is served hot over rice, but it makes a great cold salad if there are any leftovers!

  • 1 cup long-grain white rice
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt, divided
  • 6 Tbsp Canola oil
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp Aisan sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp peeled minced fresh ginger
  • 2 tsp reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken tenders, cut into 1 inch chunks
  • 1 bag (16 oz) shredded cabbage or coleslaw mix
  • 3 scallions thinly sliced
  • 8 oz snow peas, trimmed
  • 1 medium red pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup salted roasted peanuts

In a medium saucepan over high heat, combine rice, 1/2 tsp of the salt and 2 cups water; Bring to a boil; reduce heat, cover and simmer about 19 minutes, or until water is absorbed.

In a medium bowl, whisk together canola oil, vinegar, sesame oil, ginger and soy sauce. In another medium bowl, toss chicken with 2 Tbsp of the dressing and remaining 1 tsp. of salt. In a large serving bowl combine cabbage and scallions.

In a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat cook chicken 6 minutes, stirring. Add snow peas, red pepper and 2 Tbsp of the dressing. Saute 2 minutes. Remove from heat and toss with cabbage mixture along with remaining dressing. Garnish with peanuts. Serve with rice. Serves 4.

Dinner, side dish

Green Beans Gremolata

I was looking at old files and found these green beans from a dinner club from a few years ago. They went really well with my Asian slaw with Sesame Chicken.

Oh my, these were really good but even better as a leftover. They marinated in the lemon juice and took on a more powerful taste.

  • 1 pound French green beans, trimmed
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic (2 cloves)
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
  • 2½ tablespoons good olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the green beans and blanch them for 2 to 3 minutes, until tender but still crisp. Drain the beans in a colander and immediately put them into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking and preserve their bright green color.

For the gremolata, toss the garlic, lemon zest, parsley, Parmesan, and pine nuts in a small bowl and set aside.

When ready to serve, heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Drain the beans and pat them dry. Add the beans to the pan and sauté, turning frequently, for 2 minutes, until coated with olive oil and heated through. Off the heat, add the gremolata and toss well. Sprinkle with 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and serve hot.

Dinner, Seafood

Seared Basil Scallops with Pesto Orzo

It’s was Friday night and I was looking something to do with the Scallops we had in the freezer.  I started to look in my old binder of recipes from years ago and found a recipe from a Working Mother magazine dated July 1999.  The note posted below it said good, so that was enough for me. 

About a half hour before dinner time, I started to defrost the Scallops under running cold water. Then I started the prep. I have learned to get everything ready and within arms reach when cooking. Nothing is more frustrating than trying to find an ingredient while your cooking.

This recipes come together pretty quickly. Served with a vegetable of your choice and a great glass of wine.

  • 1 cup orzo pasta
  • 1 lb large sea scallops
  • 1/2 cup refrigerated prepared pesto, divided
  • 2 Tblsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • In a small saucepan, cook orzo according to package directions; drain
  • For Scallops: Using a sharp knife, cut a horizontal slit nearly through each scallop, then spread about a 1/4 tsp of pesto in center; close scallop
  • Warm olive oil in large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add scallops; brown 2 minutes on each side, until cooked through, remove to plate.
  • Turn off heat under skillet, add lemon juice and cook about 10 seconds, stirring to incorporate brown bits. Pour juices over scallops.
  • In medium serving bowl, toss drained orzo with remaining 1/3 cup pesto. Serve Scallops over orzo. Serves 4.

Dessert

Apfelkuchen…aka apple torte

The finished product!

On a cold Saturday afternoon we decided to give Sunny Anderson’s Apfelkuchen, that was featured on Food Networks-The Kitchen, a try. My German roots from the Schreck and Meyer familie came out to bake. And the real reason, we knew my Mom would love this recipe.

Look at the layers!
Great pattern with the apples.

For the past couple of years we would buy her a tin of real German Lepkucken from Germany for Christmas. She has always told me the story of her having to stir the batter of these dense molasses cookies. We knew the Apfelkuchen world be a hit.

Ingredients

Apples:

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

5 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced into 1/8-inch wedges 

Batter:

One 15.25-ounce box white cake mix

1 1/4 cups apple cider 

1/3 cup sour cream 

3 large eggs, whisked

Nonstick cooking spray, for the pan

Streusel:

2 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar

1 cup all-purpose flour 

1 teaspoon cinnamon sugar, plus more for dusting

2 sticks (1 cup) salted butter, frozen for 20 minutes

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. For the apples: Add the lemon juice and 2 cups of water to a large bowl and stir. Add the apple wedges. Set aside.
  3. For the batter: Add the cake mix to a large bowl. Whisk together the cider, sour cream and eggs in a separate bowl. Add the wet ingredients to the cake mix and stir until combined.
  4. For the streusel: Add the brown sugar, flour and cinnamon sugar to a large bowl. Stir to combine. Using a box grater, shred the chilled butter into the bowl. Use a pastry cutter or fork to mix and toss the mixture until crumbly. Place back in the refrigerator if needed while preparing to bake.
  5. To assemble: Spray the bottoms and sides of a 9-inch springform cake pan with cooking spray. Place a circle of parchment paper on the bottom and spray again. Pour half of the cake batter in the pan. Sprinkle the top with half of the streusel mixture, then add half of the apple slices in a circular fanning pattern. Repeat the layers and dust the top with cinnamon sugar.
  6. Bake until a wooden skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, 1 hour 30 minutes to 1 hour 45 minutes. Cool on a rack for 30 minutes before releasing the spring form.
  7. For serving: Serve the cake slices with Whipped Cream.
Cookies, Dessert

Molasses Cookies

This recipe brings back many childhood memories. My mom would make these Molasses cookies a couple times a year. I remember coming home from school and finding these on the counter fresh from the oven.

So this morning I found her recipe in my collection. Now when you look at this you can see how special having family recipes and memories passed down. She wrote this down on medical notepaper she had in the drawer. Lol!

When you find something like this, cherish it. Mom is soon going to be 92 years old. She still cooks now and then. Macaroni and cheese is a staple and loved by her Grandchildren. She does love her sweets. Last week I took over the apple pie. When I asked her how it was She said it was delicious and was quickly gone, but next time she would like pumpkin.

So this morning our kids were planning a visit so I decided to make some of mom’s Molasses cookies. As you can see from the recipe, not much detail. But they go together pretty quickly.

As soon as I started to put together the wet ingredients I was in love with the flavor. Just opening up the Molasses jar and smelling brought back memories. Adding the cinnamon and the ginger pushed it over the edge.

Now to push these over the edge you have to try them with butter. Just spread a little on the bottom and savor the flavor.

  • 3/4 cup shortening
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 well beaten eggs
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 3/4 cup strong cold brewed coffee
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ginger

Mix together shortening and sugar.  Add eggs and mix well.  Next add Molasses and coffee.

In a separate bowl sift together dry ingredients. Then slowly add dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Once combined drop by teaspoon full on greased cookie sheet at bake at 350 degree oven for 12 minutes. Remove to wire rack to cool.

Enjoy the as I suggested….with a little butter!