The other night my husband and I were trying to come up with an unusual side dish to pair with a brisket I had cooking in the crockpot and this dish was born.
We wanted something flavorful and bright that could be a little acidic to go with the rich brisket.
This was a hit. It takes a little time, but it’s easy and the result is crazy delicious!
1 onion chopped
2 Tbsp Olive oil
1 red bell pepper diced or 3-4 small bell peppers sliced into small rings
3-4 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 sliced red onion (OPTIONAL)
1 cup Orzo
32 ounces of chicken stock (use veggie stock if you’re vegetarian)
2 Tbsp. Italian Seasoning (use your favorite-I use the kind that comes in a grinder)
1/2 cup fresh dill, chopped
1/2 cup fresh chives, chopped
1 container of fresh baby spinach
Zest of 3-4 lemons, juice of 1 lemon
Salt & Pepper to taste
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, sauté onion and peppers until the onion is softened but not all the way cooked.
Add the garlic, cook until fragrant (only 1-2 minutes).
Stir in the orzo to toast it in the pan. (About 5 minutes) At this point you may want to add a splash more olive oil IF needed. Also add the red onion.
Season with half the Italian seasoning. Keep stirring.
Add 2 cups of the chicken broth. Let it simmer until the broth is absorbed by the orzo. Stir in the zest and juice of 1 lemon. Add 2 more cups of broth, stirring and simmering until all the broth is absorbed. I used the entire box of broth.
Stir in more Italian seasoning
Off the heat, stir in the fresh spinach, dill, chives and the rest of the lemon zest.
Probably the best turkey burger I have ever created. These burgers are moist, flavorful and packed with protein and veggies! My favorite take-to-work lunch by far!
You’re welcome! I’m not going to make you read a lengthy blah-blah blog about turkey’s and their meat and why ground turkey is a great protein that can often be dry.
Nope. Instead I will just say this recipe is fabulous, flavorful and MOIST, not dry. The grated zucchini really does the trick and you don’t even know it’s there. It just quietly does it’s job. (Thank you, zucchini.)
If you’re in the mood, you can roll these into meatballs and serve them over zoodles, but we’re not here for that today, are we!
1.5 Lb. ground turkey (ground chicken works, too)
1 medium zucchini, grated
3 or 4 large limes (zest and juice)
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
1 medium red onion, diced
1/2 bunch of fresh chives, chopped (more if you love chives)
3 Tbsp olive oil
3 Tbsp soy sauce (skip it if you’re watching your sodium intake)
3 Tbsp Chili Lime Seasoning (use your favorite)
2 Tbsp granulated garlic
1 Tbsp each, salt and pepper
2 Tbsp butter (use REAL butter or I will come to your door and chastise you)
2-3 Tbsp Trader Joe’s 21 Seasoning Salute
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Mix all ingredients except the butter and 21 Season Salute. Form 12 burgers.
Bake for 30 minutes.
Remove from oven, slather each burger with butter and sprinkle with the 21 Seasoning Salute.
Merry Christmas! I’m sparing you any commentary on this recipe! It’s very easy to make and it’s super tasty and that’s all you need to know! Enjoy!
(2) 8 oz. packages of cream cheese softened (I leave mine out on the counter overnight)
1/2 package of Taco Seasoning (any brand)
3/4 a small can of sliced black olives (chopped into tiny pieces)
1 bunch of chives, chopped (you could also use scallions or regular onion)
1-2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 red bell pepper
1 yellow bell pepper
1 large bunch of fresh dill
2 pkgs fresh rosemary
In a large glass bowl, combine all ingredients but the chips and stem. (I usually microwave the mixture for about 20-30 seconds to soften everything to make it easier.)
Turn the mixture out onto a piece of plastic wrap, wrap it up and start to form a ball. At this point, if can, begin to form it into a tree as best you can.
Place your newly formed tree/ball into the refrigerator for an hour.
Once chilled, make the final touches on the tree shape. Place back in the fridge while you ready your decorations.
Finely chop the dill.
Cut and de-seed the bell peppers. Cut out your decorations of choice. If you don’t have mini cookie cutters, you can still trace a star and cut it out or make your own shapes. Here’s a link to the cutters I use: Mini Vegetable Cutters
Get busy having fun.
I like to top the tree with the star first, then press on the dill, then press in the stars and pomegranate arils. Sometimes it helps to make a little hole with a toothpick to hold the Arils in place.
Cut the rosemary into 2″ segments and arrange it beneath your tree and then sprinkle on the leftover Pomegranate arils.
Serve with your favorite crackers.
Who would be the person in your family who would dig into this first?
My husband has been after me to try curry for years and now that I have I’ve decided I need it in my life forever! I mean honestly, what was my problem! Curry is delicious!
This recipe is so incredibly easy, it will make an excellent weeknight dinner! AND the ingredients are so simple, you’ll be able to make it without a recipe!
I know Indian food is usually served with Basmati rice, but I am going through an “I’m sick of making rice” phase so we served this over really good egg noodles. My husband has told me thirty times that noodles were the correct choice. Who am I to argue?
6 boneless chicken thighs (use bone-in if you like them better)
1-2 Tbsp olive oil
1 large onion thinly sliced
4 carrots peeled, sliced down the center & cut into largish chunks
2 cans chopped tomatoes (I used fire roasted)
1.5 Tbsp minced ginger
2 Tbsp minced garlic (measure with your heart, I always use more)
1.5 Tbsp curry powder
1/2 Tbsp Turmeric (more if that’s your thing. See how nice I am?)
1 cup chicken broth
3/4 cup heavy cream (or coconut milk)
1/4 cup freshly chopped cilantro
Salt, pepper, granulated garlic & cayenne pepper
Season chicken thighs generously with salt, black pepper, granulated garlic & cayenne.
Heat oil in a deep sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add chicken, skin side down, and brown 2-4 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate.
Add more oil if necessary. Add the carrots then reduce heat to medium-low and cook 4-5 minutes until a little soft & brown in spots. (This means putting them in the pan and not moving them around a lot!)
Add the onions and cook 3-4 minutes or until softened.
Add curry powder, ginger, Turmeric and garlic and cook about 20 seconds.
Add tomatoes, chicken broth and cream (or coconut milk). Return chicken thighs to the pan.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover slightly and simmer 25-30 minutes or until chicken is cooked through to 165 degrees. (For a thicker sauce, remove the chicken and simmer uncovered about 30 minutes or until reduced by half. Add the chicken back.
Adjust seasoning if desired. Stir in some of the cilantro but save some to garnish with as well.
This is such an unexpectedly light, delicious Fall dish!
I’m about to show you JUST HOW NICE I am! Rather than bore you with a lengthy blog on how to make this delicious recipe, I’m just going to post the photos of the steps and then the recipe. (You can thank my friend and one of Louisville’s most fun radio personalities-JESSE RASMUSSEN from MIX 106.9. -He HATES having to read a long, boring blog just to get to a good recipe!)
Poof! You’re welcome!! Let’s all say it together now, shall we?
THANK YOU JESSE!!!! (cough)
Step ONE: Boil and puree your butternut squash:
Okay I lied (just a little bit). When you boil your lasagna noodles don’t forget to salt the water. When they come out, it helps to place them on an oiled sheet pan. I actually rubbed olive oil on my noodles (front and back) so I could layer then on top of each other. It just made everything so much easier to work with AND it keeps them flat.
Next you make your fillings and set them aside:
Then coat the bottom of your lasagna pan with about 1/4″ of the butternut squash sauce.
Now begin your rollups. First the cheese mixture.
When they’re in the pan, cover them with sauce and freshly grated Parmesan Cheese. Cover LOOSELY with foil before you put this in the oven. (You will bake it a while and then take it out and add the Mozzarella to the top.
1 medium/large butternut squash (peeled & cubed)
32oz. Chicken broth
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp. Turmeric
2 Tbsp. red garlic (use granulated garlic if you can’t find red garlic)
2 Tbsp. Italian seasoning
1 Tbsp. Smokey Paprika
1 tsp fresh cracked pepper
1 box lasagna noodles
1 lbs. Sweet Italian sausage (Leave the meat out to make this a vegetarian dish)
1 medium onion (diced)
1 bunch fresh Sage
8 Oz. frozen chopped Spinach
8 Oz. frozen chopped Kale
Zest on 1 lemon
16 Oz. full fat small curd cottage cheese
8 Oz. Ricotta cheese
1 cup freshly grated Pecorino-Romano cheese
1 cup heavy cream
16-32 Oz. Grated Mozzarella cheese
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Place the diced squash into a pot and pour in enough chicken stock to just barely cover it. Boil 10-15 minutes until fork tender. Remove from heat. Add in spices and cheese. Using an immersion blender, purée all ingredients. (Yes, you can use a regular blender as well.)
Prepare the noodles according to package directions.
Meanwhile, in a skillet, brown the sausage & sauté the onions. Stir in freshly chopped Sage at the end. Drain and set aside to cool.
In a bowl, add the cottage cheese, ricotta, heavy cream, egg, Pecorino-Romano cheese, cracked pepper, lemon zest, garlic & Italian seasoning. Drain the thawed, frozen spinach and then squeeze out as much moisture as possible before adding it to the cheese mixture. Combine well.
Carefully drain the pasta and separate the noodles. It helps to coat a sheet Pan in olive oil and then lay the noodles flat on it. You can rub a little olive oil on each to prevent sticking.
Coat the bottom of a 9 x 12 baking dish with the butternut squash sauce. Now begin assembling the rolls. Lay one noodle out flat, coat it with a layer of the spinach/cheese mixture, then sprinkle on a layer of the sausage & onions. Starting from one end, carefully roll the pasta. Place the roll, seam-side down into the baking dish. Keep making the rolls and placing them until the dish is full. (Should make 9 to 12 rolls depending on how much filling is used.)
Once all the rolls are in the dish, coat the top with more of the sauce. Use enough to completely cover the pasta.
Cover loosely with aluminum foil. Bake 30 minutes. Remove foil. Top with Mozzarella. Bake 5-10 minutes for cheese to melt and brown a little. Garnish with freshly chopped parsley.
Every time I make scallops I cannot believe I know how to make scallops! They are so expensive and when ordered in a restaurant, there is never enough. (See that photo up there? My husband scarfed the entire thing down in about two minutes and still wanted more. A restaurant usually plates about FOUR scallops per person.)
The secret to this recipe is being prepared. Do ALL of the preparations in advance, including your side dishes. (I made fresh pasta and a side of asparagus.) Scallops cook very quickly, so you’ll want to have everything ready so you can plate them up when they’re ready.
So to recap: zest the lemons, squeeze the juice, chop the parsley and garlic (or use “squeezey” cheater garlic like I did), measure the wine and chicken stock and have your butter handy. Also, have a platter with a lid or a piece of aluminum foil nearby. You will put the cooked scallops in there to hold as you finish them.
Lastly and most importantly, DRY THOSE SCALLOPS WELL before you attempt to sear them. The slightest bit of moisture will prevent a good sear. Get your Pan hot, hot, hot before you start. Also, once you get them in the pan, resist the urge to check them for at least two minutes.
Let me know how it goes! ❤️
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1.5 pounds scallops
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
FOR THE LEMON BUTTER (GARLIC) SAUCE
2 tablespoons butter (Use real butter. Don’t be a slacker.)
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup white wine
1 cup low sodium chicken broth
Zest of two lemons
Juice of 2 lemons
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves (reserve one tablespoon for garnishing)
Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet over medium high heat.
Remove the small side muscle from the scallops, rinse with cold water and thoroughly pat dry. (I mean thoroughly. I usually put them between two paper towels and then rest them on a food friendly kitchen cloth. They need to be very dry in order to brown.
Working in batches, add scallops to the skillet in a single layer and sear. Season with salt and pepper. Turn them over once and leave them until golden brown and translucent in the center, about 2 minutes per side. Set aside and keep warm.
To make the lemon butter (garlic) sauce, melt 2 tablespoons butter in the same skillet. Add garlic and cook, whisking frequently, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Whisk in wine, lemon juice and chicken stock. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Add in the parsley at the end.
Serve scallops immediately with lemon butter sauce, garnish with a little of the reserved parsley.
I think I’ve been working on this meatloaf recipe since I was in my twenties. This is a tad labor intensive but it’s entirely worth it.
By now, we all know I’m a bit of a weirdo (and a perfectionist) when it comes to cooking. The way I make my meatloaf is a tad different than most in that I do not mix my ingredients in a bowl. (This is born from my experience with catering for large groups. It’s impossible to mix the ingredients for meatloaf for 100 in a bowl, so I always use a huge baking sheet.) The first time I tried this method at home, it worked so beautifully, I’ve not used a bowl since. The reasoning behind it is pretty simple. It’s just easier to get the meats and the seasonings uniformly distributed using this method.
I used to substitute oatmeal for breadcrumbs in my meatloaf recipes until that one time I forgot to put them in and it ended up being the best meatloaf ever. Now I skip them completely. Instead, I use extra eggs to hold everything together. Yes, the consistency going into the oven is slightly more wet, (and more work) but it works out just fine.
Wait. Did she just say, “…more work”? Relax. It’s just a couple of extra steps to siphon out the liquid as it builds up during baking. (Doesn’t that sound appetizing? Here, your turkey baster will be your friend.)
Meatloaf Ala Bah Bah
1 1/2 lb. ground beef (80/20 for best flavor)
1 lb. ground sweet Italian sausage
1 lb. ground mild Italian sausage
1 Pkg Lipton Onion Soup mix
1 medium onion diced however you like it
1/2 c. minced fresh parsley (Take the time and use the FRESH stuff. It DOES make a difference!
1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup Ketchup (I like Primal Kitchen’s Sugar free)
1 bottle of your favorite barbecue sauce (Sweet Baby Rays Hickory & Brown Sugar is yummy)
Salt & Pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
On a large baking sheet, break up the ground beef and spread it, then break up the sausages so they are evenly distributed. If a baking sheet scares you, use a bowl, but trust me on this…a baking sheet allows for easier mixing and even distribution of ingredients.
Sprinkle the soup mix, onion, parsley, Italian seasoning, olive oil, ketchup, eggs and salt and pepper evenly over the meat. (Basically everything but the Barbecue sauce.)
Using your hands, mix all of it together and then spread it back out across the baking sheet once more.
Drizzle thin streams of the barbecue sauce over the meat. Salt and pepper once more. Mix again and then form it into a loaf inside a standard loaf pan.
Put the meatloaf into your freezer for 20 minutes.
Put into preheated oven, uncovered for 20 minutes.
Remove from oven, turn temperature down to 375.
Using a turkey baster, remove the juices that have accumulated. Brush on a thin coating of Barbecue sauce. Return to oven for 30 minutes.
Remove from oven, siphon the juices once more, re-apply the barbecue sauce, cook for 5-10 minutes more. Repeat siphoning juices and applying barbecue, then broil on high for two minutes.
Let the meat rest on the counter for 10-15 minutes before serving.
I have always been that person who thought cilantro tastes like soap. That is, until I started living with my husband, who is a fanatic over the stuff…
I have always been that person who thinks cilantro tastes like soap. That is, until I started living with my husband, who is a fanatic over the stuff. At any given moment during the year, we have not one, but two bunches sitting in water on our counter; so over the summer I decided to give in and start using the stuff and now I am hooked.
I adapted this recipe from something similar that called for parsley instead of cilantro. I imagine it would also be great with fresh chopped basil or even rosemary.
I love this recipe because it’s unexpectedly creamy and it smells incredible! Prep time is just a few minutes and you can assemble this dish ahead of time if you need to- just pop it in the fridge until you are ready to bake.
Start off with with cod fillets. We buy ours frozen from Trader Joe’s. Once it’s thawed, be sure to pat it dry on both sides so the melted butter will adhere to it.
Next melt about 4 Tbsp real butter (none of that no fat, low fat, fake butter crap! Use the real stuff!) We buy Amish butter. You can’t beat the freshness.
Now for the dredging stations: 1) This is about 3/4 cup of flour, mixed with a generous amount of smoky paprika, salt and pepper and one of my favorite spice blends: Essence of Emeril.
2) Next, I zested one very large lemon and squeezed its juice (about 3 Tbsp, I said it was large!). For fun, I also zested a Meir Lemon. Then add about 1/4th cup chopped fresh cilantro. When your butter has melted, add it here.
Here it is with the melted butter.
Dredge each piece of cod, both sides in the butter/ cilantro mixture and then the flour. The original recipe called for dredging only one side but I always do both. I suppose you could leave out the flour entirely, but the dish will not turn out as creamy. (It will, however, still be delicious!)
Spray your baking dish with coconut oil (or whatever you have on hand-or leave it out. I forgot this step tonight. It made no difference.), then lay out your fish. Pour the remaining butter/cilantro mixture over the fish. Here, I usually toss in a little more cilantro and sprinkle a little more paprika.
PS: This stuff? It’s your friend when you don’t feel like chopping. Find it at the grocery where you buy fresh spices.
Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until flakey.
We made roasted butternut squash, zucchini and baby Roma tomatoes as our sides. These just go in at 400 degrees coated in olive oil, salt and pepper. All on one sheet pan. I make then before I bake the fish, the cover with foil and let them rest.
Fresh out of the oven.
The thought occurs to me that I could have mixed the tomatoes in with the squash. I like to keep the zucchini whole, however. It’s a texture thing for me.
4 tablespoons lemon juice
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 Tbsp smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon lemon-pepper seasoning
4 cod fillets (6 ounces each)
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
Zest of 1-2 lemons
Preheat oven to 400°. In a shallow bowl, mix lemon juice, cilantro and butter. In a separate shallow bowl, mix flour and seasonings. Dip fillets in lemon juice mixture, then in flour mixture to coat both sides; shake off excess.
Place in a 13×9-in. baking dish coated with cooking spray. Drizzle with remaining lemon juice, cilantro, butter mixture. Sprinkle on a little more paprika & lemon pepper. Bake 15-20 minutes or until fish just begins to flake easily with a fork. Garnish with more fresh cilantro & lemon zest.
I made this for dinner last night. It’s easy, healthy and takes very little time. Perfect week night meal!
NOTE: Today is your lucky day! I am sparing you a lengthy explanation about what I think about this recipe! The ONLY thing important to know is that my measurements for butter and olive oil are complete approximations. I tend to be very heavy handed with butter and this recipe can take it!
Garlic Shrimp with Fresh Veggies.
Ingredients Half stick of butter (or MORE!) 4-5 TBSP (or 6 or 7 see my note above) olive oil 3 Tbsp chopped garlic 1-2 lbs raw shrimp (peeled & deveined) We like the Argentinian Red Shrimp from Trader Joe’s (find it in the frozen aisle) 1 package fresh English peas (Kroger has them now) 2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes (keep them whole) 4-5 cups fresh spinach Salt & pepper to taste
Optional: Angel hair pasta (I used @ 1/4 of box, but use however much you want or leave it out)
Thaw and dry the shrimp well. Place in a ziplock bag with enough olive oil to coat it (not drown it) and the fresh garlic. Be sure and mix it around so the shrimp is evenly coated with the garlic. Let this sit on the counter while you’re sautéing the vegetables.
Boil and drain the pasta making sure to reserve one cup of the cooked pasta water. (Put a lid on it to help it stay a little warm while you continue to work.)
Place your skillet over medium heat, heat 2 Tbsp butter and 2 Tbsp olive oil, then add the peas and whole tomatoes. Add about 1/2 teaspoon of pepper. Sauté for about 6-8 minutes, then add in half the spinach stirring constantly until the spinach wilts and turns bright green. Remove everything from the pan and set aside. (You will add it back after the shrimp is cooked.)
Put the pan back on the heat, add another pat of butter, let it melt, then dump in the shrimp. Spread it evenly over the pan, sauté for a couple of minutes, turn the shrimp over and continue sautéing until the shrimp is opaque. (About another minute) Quickly add the vegetables back to the pan along with the remaining raw spinach. Turn the spinach until almost cooked, then remove the pan from the heat and slowly add in the pasta. (Use the pasta water to help incorporate it.)