Saturday, March 30, 2013

Turkey Rollatini

Turkey Rollatini! 

This is an oldie, but a goodie.  Hubby started making this a few years ago, but it was with chicken breasts.  So, one morning we we looking through the freezer to bring something out for dinner.  He had mentioned the Asparagus Rollatini, which the recipe calls for chicken breast.  I found two packages of turkey breast cutlets handing out there in the freezer draw.  Why not make the rollatini with turkey breast?  They are both birds...

And so, the original recipe posted below will say chicken, but what we made and pictured above was turkey. Gobble Gooble!

Aspargus Rollatini - serves 2

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
24 slices of pepperoni
Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
4 asparagus spears
24 oz. of tomato/basil sauce
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup shredded Romano cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Flatten the chicken breast to 1/4 inch thick.  Season them on both sides with salt and pepper.  Place the pepperoni on the chicken to cover the surface of the flatten pieces.

Put a handful of the shredded mozzarella on top of the pepperoni, Place 2 spears of asparagus on that.  Roll the chicken tightly and pin with toothpicks.

Coat the bottom of your baking dish with oil, place a little sauce on the bottom of the dish and set the chicken rolls on top.  Pour the rest of the sauce on top of the chicken rolls.  Season with salt and pepper.  Sprinkle the Romano and Parmesan cheese on top.  Bake for 30 to 40 minutes uncovered.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Sunday Dinner on a Saturday Night!

Last night was our Gourmet Dinner Club night at "Giada and her husband's" across the street.  The menu went back to their roots, back to the first dinner they hosted, Italian Night!.  And who better to host an Italian Sunday Dinner (on a Saturday night)!  Dinner was both relaxing and delicious.  Everyone was able to make it and dis a great job with their dinner assignments.   We were assigned the dessert, Ricotta Cheesecake with Almonds.

The cheesecake was very easy to make.  I think this is easier than a regular cream cheesecake.  The top did crack a bit, but with the coating of sugar and cinnamon it could not be seen.  And there was enough left over to bring home to the kids to try.

So, to our gourmet dinner club friends, another successful dinner.   Looking forward to the next one!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Just what the Doctor ordered

Well, you know how much someone loves you when you give them your cold and they don't get angry with you.  That's right, my hubby and I are sharing germs, having dueling coughing fits and commiserating together on a lazy, cold but sunny Sunday.  The kids are trying to stay clear of us, however I really think these germs came from our son because he started to come down with a cold right before we left for NYC last weekend.  Our daughter, so far, has not shown any signs of it, but as I said, she has been avoiding us.  She wouldn't shake our hands during the sign of peace or hold hands today at church, she reminds us to use our elbow when we start coughing and she is glad she can now drive the car so she can escape.  (2 trips to the frozen yogurt store, 1 trip to the drug store and back and forth to work.)  She is also very bored because we stayed home the whole weekend.  No mall, no visiting grandma, just a trip to church, the store and the bank.

So with the constant coughing, sneezing and hacking, plus lack of sleep, I have been getting up early and coming down stairs to lie on the couch.  This morning hubby came down about a half hour after I did and we ending up watching a Barefoot Contessa from yesterday morning where she made a Winter Minestrone Soup with Garlic Brushetta that looked so good.  And with colds that just won't let up this looked so good we decided to stop by the store after church to pick up what we needed to give this a try. We worked together to make this and boy, was this just what the doctor ordered!  Delicious, filling and enough for at least two more dinners. 

Winter Minestrone Soup with Garlic Brushetta

Good olive oil
4 ounces pancetta, ½-inch-diced
1½ cups chopped yellow onions
2 cups (½-inch) diced carrots (3 carrots)
2 cups (½-inch) diced celery (3 stalks)
2½ cups (½-inch) diced peeled butternut squash
1½ tablespoons minced garlic (4 cloves)
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
26 ounces canned or boxed chopped tomatoes, such as Pomi
6 to 8 cups chicken stock
1 bay leaf
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups cooked small pasta, such as tubetti (see note)
8 to 10 ounces fresh baby spinach leaves
½ cup good dry white wine
2 tablespoons store-bought pesto
Garlic Bruschetta (recipe follows)
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat in a large, heavy pot or Dutch oven. Add the pancetta and cook over medium-low heat for 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned. Add the onions, carrots, celery, squash, garlic, and thyme and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes, until the vegetables begin to soften.

  Hubby prepped all of the vegetables for the soup. 

Add the tomatoes, 6 cups of the chicken stock, the bay leaf, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 ½ teaspoons pepper to the pot. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.

Discard the bay leaf. Add the beans and cooked pasta and heat through. The soup should be quite thick but if it’s too thick, add more chicken stock. Just before serving, reheat the soup, add the spinach, and toss with 2 big spoons (like tossing a salad). Cook just until the leaves are wilted. Stir in the white wine and pesto. Depending on the saltiness of the chicken stock, add another teaspoon or two of salt to taste.

Serve large shallow bowls of soup with a bruschetta on top. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, drizzle with olive oil, and serve hot.

NOTE: To cook the pasta, put 1 cup of pasta into a large pot of boiling salted water. Cook according to the directions on the package, drain, and set aside. You can make this soup ahead and reheat it before serving. It will need to be re-seasoned.

Garlic Bruschetta
1 baguette
Good olive oil
1 garlic clove, cut in half lengthwise
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Slice the baguette at a 45-degree angle in inch-thick slices. Brush both sides of the bread with olive oil and bake for 6 minutes, until lightly toasted. Take the slices out of the oven and rub the surface of each one with the cut clove of garlic.

From Barefoot Contessa: Foolproof Recipes You Can Trust, by Ina Garten.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Weekday Stir Fry!

My hubby, who when I started this blog I referred to him as Valley Boy, but that really doesn't stick so for now I will refer to him as the Hub, has been finding recipes on his twitter feeds. He found this particular one on for Orange Chicken Stir Fry, with a quick prep time and a 35 minute cooking time, perfect for a week night.  So hubby stopped at the store on his way home from work one night and we had dinner on the table in under 1 hour!  And it was very good!

(Pardon the shortness of this post.  Recovering from a nasty cold that I brought home from NYC.  And guess who is now starting to come down with it?  Sorry honey!)

Orange Chicken Stir Fry

Preparation method

Read more:

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Italian, Southeast Asian, French and the BIG Birthday, Oh My!

New York, New York a helluva town, The Bronx is up and the Battery down!

Wow!  What a weekend in New York.  Our best friends invited us to New York City to Celebrate a BIG Birthday!  For us it was a wine and culinary adventure from Saturday's Lunch at Osteria Al Doge to Tuesdays lunch back at Eately.  I have so many recipes to share with you, but I wanted to be more timely with this post. Also, my blog doesn't have to be about the recipes and the dishes we make at home, but also about our culinary adventures outside our little suburban kitchen.

So meet our foodie friends!  Yes, the one with the glass of wine is the birthday girl.  This picture was from Eately, and if you have been to NYC lately haven't stopped by Eately, shame on you!  What a great place.  It is a market, an Italian food and wine paradise.  Where else can you shop and walk around a gourmet store while drinking a glass of wine.   This was the stop on Sunday and back on Tuesday for lunch and exploring the many food "stands" Eatley has to offer.  The best part of Eatley is the center area where you can either stand up at these tall tables and order wine, cheeses seafood or meats like pancetta, speck, prosciutto or sit down at the bar area to relax and enjoy.  The service is wonderful and attentive.  And a shout out to Sal who got me to try a raw oyster.  (Thanks to the birthday girl as well.)  This place is amazing.  We even went back on Tuesday to purchase fresh pasta, homemade rustic olive bread, fresh meats and seafood plus have lunch before our journey home. .  They have espresso, gelato, chocolate, seafood, cheeses, produce, meats, aisles of pasta, wine, a couple of restaurants, etc...

Our adventure started on Saturday when we all enjoyed a great light lunch at Osteria al Doge on 44th Street.  The weekend continues with a great cocktail hour  at Bemelmans Bar in the Carlye Hotel, then a wonderful dinner at Basso 56 on 56th Street. Our host "Lance" treated us to a show at Caroline's where he told the comedian  he didn't work, he was retired.  We explored the many areas of Eately, enjoyed the Birthday Girl's dinner at the Spice Market in the Meat Packing District on Sunday, had lunch at Balthazar in Soho and a pre-theater dinner at DB Modern on 44th Street on Monday.  Then back to Eately for shopping and our final lunch on Tuesday.

So, a toast to Nigella Dionne and her Big Birthday Celebration!  We are so glad we were a part of it. And to my wonderful husband, anytime you want to meet me at Gaby's for a late night cocktail, I'm in!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Quick, Delicious and Easy

It was Saturday morning and we were planning out our day.  Our daughter was in the school musical and needed to be back at the school by 12:00 p.m. for the 2 p.m. show. 

OK, wait back track...  we got home Saturday morning at 12:30 a.m. from the Friday night performance with two car loads full of 16 year old girls that were going to sleep over.  Now back to Saturday.....  Pancakes were made, fruit was cut up and 7 girls emerged from the basement. Once everyone had departed, we had to take our daughter and a friend back to school by 12:00.  We wanted to stop by the local home improvement store to price out some items for our bathroom remodel and we needed to have a dinner plan so that we could be all done, cleaned up and out the door at 6:00 p.m. to go to the final performance.  Out of the stack of must try recipes came the  Quick Beef and Cheddar Casserole from Food Network.

Well, we had run all of our errands, dropped off the girls at school, picked up our daughter's artwork from the Scholastic art show and then returned home after a stop at the hot dog stand and then the frozen yogurt store mid afternoon.  My wonderful husband (he likes the shout outs!) said he was going to  head to the gym for about an hour because if he stayed home he would of fallen asleep.  Once he returned he would make dinner.  Well, 4:15 p.m. rolled around and no hubby yet, so I got off the couch and started dinner.  And it was quick, easy and delicious!  This would be great for a week night.  Give it a try! 

Oh, the show was even better the second time around!

Beef  and Cheddar Casserole


1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for the baking dish
Kosher salt
3 cups wide egg noodles (about 5 ounces)
1 1/2 cups sour cream
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
12 ounces ground beef
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 bunch scallions (white and green parts), finely chopped (save some greens for top)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
One 14 1/2-ounce can petite diced tomatoes or 1 can of Rotel tomatoes
2 cups grated Cheddar


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Oil a 2-quart baking dish.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the noodles and cook to al dente according to the package directions. Drain and put in the prepared baking dish. Toss with the sour cream, Parmesan and 1/4 teaspoon salt.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the ground beef and cook, stirring, until no longer pink, about 4 minutes. Add the bell peppers and scallions and cook until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Make a space in the pan, add the tomato paste and toast for a minute. Sprinkle with the Italian seasoning and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Add the diced tomatoes, stir and bring to a simmer. Cook until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes.

Pour the beef mixture over the noodles and sprinkle with the grated Cheddar. Bake on the middle rack until the cheese is melted and the edges are bubbling, 15 to 20 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Sprinkle on reserved greens from scallions.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Sunday Supper

Last Sunday my hubby was ready to try something new.  He had seen this recipe on the Food Network website and thought that it sounded delicious.  We had been recently talking about pot pies and how we used to have them more frequently when were first married.  Banquet frozen pot pies with the double crust were relatively inexpensive and quite delicious. And as young newlyweds were were always looking for great dinner food that was good for the budget.  Then we were reminded of seeing the Marie Callender restaurant on the road in Napa, California on a trip we made about 10 years ago.  Yes, there actually was a restaurant associated with the  pot pies  that we had graduated to when our taste buds could afford something on the higher end.  But sad to say, we never stopped there.

Oh, so on to this pot pie from Sunny Anderson.  Very easy and quite delicious.  He tweaked it a bit to include some of the items were thought were missing and had to use a cast iron pot rather than a skillet which I think made the top crust not look the same as the picture in the recipe online.  But as my grandmother would say, "Who cares what it looks like, it is all going to the same place".  So in this recipe we added the potatoes, used mixed vegetables when the original said frozen peas and carrots (And yes, I actually ate the Lima bean I found in my dish. Uck, I did not like them when I was little. Avoided them!) and used my cast iron chili pot to bake this in.  The gravy did seep out over the crust, but who cares, it was delicious!

Chicken Pot Pie


1 1/2 pounds chicken tenders (about 10 tenders)
1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/2 teaspoon dried sage
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup frozen pearl onions
1 cup frozen peas and diced carrots or mixed vegetables
3 medium potatoes diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
1 cup heavy cream
1 store bought pie crust, unbaked and thawed if frozen
1 egg, lightly beaten


Special equipment: 10-inch cast-iron pan

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Sprinkle the chicken tenders with paprika, sage, oregano, salt and pepper. Heat a 10-inch cast-iron pan over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. When the oil begins to swirl, add the seasoned chicken and saute until cooked through, about 4 minutes on the first side and 3 minutes on the second side. Remove the chicken to a plate with tongs, leaving the oil in the pan. Rest the chicken for a few minutes, and then chop into 1/2-inch cubes.

To the same pan, add the onions and peas and carrots and sprinkle with salt and pepper. ( Note - we added a few potatoes that were slightly par boiled). Stir and cook until the onions become tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute longer. Sprinkle in the flour and stir until the flour dissolves into the vegetables and juices. Add the chicken stock and raise to a simmer, stirring until thickened. Once the liquid has thickened, stir in the heavy cream. Season with salt, if needed.

Return the chicken to the pan. Unfold the pie crust and place over the top of the filling, tucking the excess edges inside the pan. Brush the crust evenly with the egg wash. Using a knife, gently cut 3 vents in the top of the crust. Place in the oven and bake until the crust is golden brown, about 20 minutes.