Sunday, August 29, 2010

This week's Sunday Meal

I've decided that today I'm going to fill some lettuce cups with stir fried chicken and peanuts.  How does that sound?  Sounds good to me!  Will post photos and recipe later!

Enjoy your Sunday folks!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Yes, it's my day off.  I usually take this day to make a few meals for the days that I work the rest of the week.  Really going the easy route today - hot dogs!!  I never think of them as just hot dogs - I always like to dress them up with lots of goodies like salad and relish!  I'm really unsure about what to make for Thursday's dinner - have to think on it.  Maybe a crock pot roast?  If so, I better get that thing out of the freezer NOW!!

Have a great day everyone!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Sunday's Recipes - Zucchini Cups

I have to give props to Kalyn's Kitchen for this recipe!  It was so easy and super delicious!  Kalyn's photos are better than mine!

Meat, Tomato, and Mozzarella Stuffed Zucchini Cups
(Adapted from a recipe created by Kalyn)

2 large zucchini or yellow squash, about 12 inches long
2 tsp. + 2 tsp. olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
2 T finely minced fresh garlic
1 lb. ground beef (10% fat or less)
2 C diced tomato
1 can tomato sauce
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Season All, salt and pepper to taste
2 cups low-fat mozzarella or other mild white cheese

Preheat oven to 350F. Heat 2 tsp. olive oil in a non-stick pan and saute onion and garlic minced garlic until soft - don't burn your garlic!  Add diced tomato and continue to saute.
Crumble in the ground beef and cook over medium heat until the meat is well browned. Add tomato sauce and simmer until the mixture has thickened and liquid has cooked off, about 10 minutes, then turn off heat.

While meat cools, cut zucchini into 2 inch thick slices, discarding ends. Use a sharp spoon or melon baller to hollow out a cup in each zucchini slice, leaving just over 1/4 inch of zucchini flesh. Be careful not to cut through the bottom of the zucchini or they'll leak! 

Spray baking sheet or casserole dish with nonstick spray and stand up zucchini cups, open end up. Stir 1 1/2 cups grated cheese into the cooled meat mixture (it doesn't need to be completely cool), then spoon the meat-cheese mixture into zucchini cups, pressing down with the spoon and mounding it up a little over the top of the zucchini.

Bake zucchini cups for 20 minutes, then remove from oven and crumble mozzarella cheese on top of each zucchini cup generously. Place in oven and cook for another 10-15 minutes until the zucchini is slightly soft when pierced with a fork and cheese is melted and lightly browned. 
Thanks Kalyn!  They were delicious!

Happy Monday!

Thinking a lot about going back to "Meatless Monday"s again.  I think it's a good way to start the week.  It's really something that I am conflicted about.  I know that I can go without eating meat for extensive periods of time - I've done that.  And most times when dining out my choices will be meatless for the most part.  I think just the idea of limiting myself is the difficult part.  It's something that you need to come to terms with in your own head. 

Any thoughts?

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Successful Sunday Meals

So everyone seemed to love today's dishes.  I've taken photos and will post them and recipes tomorrow. 

And the rains finally came!!  :)

Today - Sunday :)

Well I'm having company today and thought I'd throw together a few nice dishes. 

What I have planned:

Mesquite Pork tenderloin
Rice and peas
Cold pesto pasta salad
Caponata stuffed Chicken breasts
Stuffed zucchini cups

Sounds good!  Hope it tastes as good as it sounds!  I'll be posting photos of the finished products and the recipes as well.

Enjoy your Sunday, everyone!  :)

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Offal :)

I had an interesting conversation with my boss yesterday about "comfort food".  He was relating a story to me about a patient who used to bring him homemade Pierogies (yum!).  We got to talking about "comfort foods" in general and I asked if he liked tripe, oxtail or tongue.  Not a fan of tripe he said that he had occasionally sampled tongue in sandwiches of the Jewish deli variety.  I said to him that my Mom cooked tripe all the time when we were growing up.  I tried to explain that I was a fan of "offal".  He thought I said, "awful"... LOL!!  I had to explain to him what "offal" was.  As Merriam Webster describes it:  "the viscera and trimmings of a butchered animal removed in the dressing".  So that encompasses tripe, liver, brains (which I've never sampled) and the like.  There is a Spanish restaurant here on Staten Island that serves tripe and oxtail that I plan on trying in the next few weeks. 

I'll let you know how that turns out!

Frogmore Stew

I felt this stew needed its' own post.  This dish gets it's name from a small village on St. Helena Island in South Carolina.  Otherwise known as a "Lowcountry Boil" this stew easy, delicious and serves a lot of people. I don't think it's a "stew" in the true sense of the word.   At least when I think of stew I think of a thick gravy.  This isn't like that at all.  In fact, the ingredients are all boiled together and the liquid is poured off. 

6 to 8 cups of cold water
3 tbsps Old Bay Seasoning
A dash of hot sauce 
1 1/2 pounds of new (red) potatoes
2 pounds of Polish Kielbasa cut into 1 - 2 inch segments
(I used Andouille sausage when I made it and left out the hot sauce!)
6 ears of corn, shucked and broken in half
2 pounds of shell-on fresh shrimp

The How To:

Set the cold water, Old Bay seasoning and hot sauce to boil.  Bring to a boil over high heat and add potatoes.  Cook for 10 to 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender.  Reduce the heat to medium high and add kielbasa and corn.  Cook for 5 minutes then increase the heat to high.  At that point add your shrimp, cover and take pot off the flame.  The heat of the water will cook the shrimp through to pinkness.

Drain in a large collander and return everything back to the pot. 
Serve immediately either in large bowls or you can toss the contents of the pot on newspaper on the kitchen table.  That's Lowcountry style!

Enjoy!!  :)

The Beginning!

Hello everyone :)  So glad you found me here!  I have been thinking about starting a food blog for some time now.  I enjoy cooking at home and love to learn new techniques and recipes.  I'm not a very sophisticated cook by any stretch of the imagination!  I believe that shows like Top Chef, Iron Chef, Chopped and various other "reality cooking shows" have given folks the desire to get into the kitchen and see what they can do culinarily (is that even a word??!!).  But that doesn't mean that the food I want to talk about here is only what I am cooking at home.  No - I also want to talk about the restaurants I visit and the fare that they serve.  I've lived in New York all my life.   My home is on Staten Island but I work in Manhattan which gives me the opportunity to visit a lot of new and exciting restaurants in the city.  I hope you enjoy reading what I have to post.  I would love for you to join in and post your recipes and ideas about the food you are enjoying in your homes or in your local restaurants.  

So let's kick this pig! ;)