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367 posts categorized "14) Fish/Seafood, Pasta, Vegetarian & GF"

04/30/2024

~ Mexican-Style Shrimp Cocktail (a Salad in a Glass) ~

Cóctel de camarónes. That's Spanish for cocktail of shrimp. If you're a fan of Southwestern spice, but never tasted a shrimp cocktail prepared Mexican-style, I recommend giving this Southwestern perfect-for-Summer twist on the classic a try -- plenty of plump, tender, poached (sometimes lightly-grilled) shrimp, swimming around in a citrusy, tomato, cilantro and spicy-hot sauce, containing pieces of diced avocado, cucumber, onion and jalapeño. It's a snazzy fork-friendly salad in a glass, not to be confused with its cousin, ceviche, which contains raw, cooked-via-marination fish and/or shellfish mixed with spices, citrus juice, vegetables and/or peppers. Traditional shrimp cocktail, as we...... View full recipe for "~ Mexican-Style Shrimp Cocktail (a Salad in a Glass) ~"

03/05/2024

~ T.G.I. No-Fuss-Friday Greek Pizza for Mel Tonight ~

I'm Mel -- I pretty much cook all week -- on weekends too. I cook for my family, friends, and, friends-of-friends. I even cooked on TV for about a decade, and it's all fun, but, every once in a while, I have occasion to cook just for myself. Tonight is such a night, and, I am going Greek -- it's also really easy and super-good. Why cook for myself when I don't have to? Because, with little effort, calorie for calorie, my food tastes much better than over-priced, lack-luster take out or delivery -- and in the case of tonight's...... View full recipe for "~ T.G.I. No-Fuss-Friday Greek Pizza for Mel Tonight ~"

01/20/2024

~ Say Cheese Please: Making Perfect Welsh Rarebit ~

Welsh rarebit -- the original cheese toast. It's worth mention that I've only eaten what I believe to be the real-deal once. It was in the latter 1990's, in Wales, in the exquisite Coed-Y-Mwstwr Hotel (coy-dee-moo-ster). It came to me as a complimentary side to a lovely salad (which I ordered after returning from shopping in the city of Cardiff). The cheese toast, along with everything else in this hotel, was perfect. I kicked off my high-heels and enjoyed it in my lavish room, overlooking the How-Green-was-My-Valley countryside, with a very English G&T too. I gave cheese toast a lot...... View full recipe for "~ Say Cheese Please: Making Perfect Welsh Rarebit ~"

01/15/2024

~ Well-Seasoned Vegetarian Vegetable & Bean Soup ~

I adore our country's famous Senate bean soup -- chocked full of navy beans, shards of meat from ham hocks or shanks, onion and celery. Everything from its rich history to is smokey flavor and creamy texture is perfection -- I've even had the pleasure of eating in the Senate dining room in Washington, D.C. That said, I have vegetarian friends -- not many, but, they enjoy making their presence known in my kitchen. When they do, I'm happy to go meatless for a few hours. Yesterday was one such afternoon. A pot of this relatively-easy-to-make vegetarian version of my...... View full recipe for "~ Well-Seasoned Vegetarian Vegetable & Bean Soup ~"

10/05/2023

~ Amish Honey-Mustard & Pickle-Relish Pasta Salad ~

Walk into any Amish or Pennsylvania Dutch grocery store or a market that caters to a region with a large Amish population, then, walk up to the refrigerated deli-case. There you'll find several traditional, high-quality side-dishes: eggy-rich macaroni- and potato- salads, creamy cole slaw, sweet 'n sour slaw and pepper-cabbage. Next, take a stroll down the condiment isle and gaze at the array of honey-mustard- and sweet and sour- salad dressings, dill pickles, bread and butter pickles, vinegar-marinated vegetables or mustardy chow-chows (a crunchy vegetable medley in mustard sauce). Lastly, check out the sweet treats: streusel-topped Dutch-apple, rhubarb-streusel and shoo-fly...... View full recipe for "~ Amish Honey-Mustard & Pickle-Relish Pasta Salad ~"

08/15/2023

~ Old English Cheese Spread & Crabmeat Canapés ~

These appetizers were one of our Happy Valley tailgate traditions. I fondly remember one of our members, Joan Reilly, making them for our early AM pre-tailgate tailgates -- prior to leaving for the stadium. She and her husband Joe lived close to Beaver Stadium, and, it was not unusual for us to meet, as a group, on the cul-de-sac in front of their house, to wait for our friend with the RV to arrive from Harrisburg. While we were all chatting and sipping Stan's Bloody Mary's, Joan would pass around a baking sheet full of her cheesy English-muffin-based crabmeat canapés....... View full recipe for "~ Old English Cheese Spread & Crabmeat Canapés ~"

07/20/2023

~ New Mexico-Style Cheese, Corn & Bean Enchiladas~

Whenever we traveled out of town for a few days, the moment we crossed the Centre County line and got within 20-30 minutes of home, we'd discuss what we were most hungry for (the food we missed the most on our trip always won). We'd order it for pick up, from one of our favorite eateries. Typically, that revolved around a pizza shop, a Chinese takeout place, or, a Mexican joint. When it came to the latter, I usually ordered up a plate of seriously cheesy enchiladas. Enchiladas are one of those Tex-Mex specialties that taste a bit different everywhere...... View full recipe for "~ New Mexico-Style Cheese, Corn & Bean Enchiladas~"

04/25/2023

~ Things to Know when a Recipe calls for Citrus Zest --

The topic is citrus zest. It's a common ingredient in all sorts of recipes. In my kitchen I mostly use it in baked goods like pies, cakes, tarts, torts, puddings and custards. That said, I use occasionally in soups, salads, sauces, many pasta, fish and/0r seafood dishes, and, of course, to garnish cocktails too. Why? It adds a fresh pop of citrus flavor without the tartness of the juice. Lemons are the most commonly zested citrus fruit, followed by limes, oranges and grapefruit. Depending on whether you need wide strips, thin chards, or fine pieces, you'll need a vegetable peeler,...... View full recipe for "~ Things to Know when a Recipe calls for Citrus Zest -- "

02/28/2023

~ Manchego Cheese -- What it is and How to Use It ~

It's my opinion that it's impossible for any one person to have one favorite cheese. There are thousands of choices, with unique varieties available in in every region of the world, with new varieties being created as we speak. To name a few, are hard cheeses, soft cheeses, semi-soft cheeses, crumbly cheeses, spoonable cheeses, melting cheeses, grating cheeses and blue-veined cheeses. There are cow's milk cheeses, sheep's milk cheeses, goat cheeses and vegan cheeses. Some cheeses are processed, others are not. Some are aged for a short time, some are aged for a long time. The best one cheese lover...... View full recipe for "~ Manchego Cheese -- What it is and How to Use It ~"

01/30/2023

~Cellentani or Cavatappi -- No Worries, No Difference~

A few days ago I made my pasta Alfredo. I refer to is as pasta Alfredo because I don't always use fettuccine to make this classic pasta dish. My family likes it just as much using spaghetti and I also make variations of Alfredo using linguini with shrimp, mushroom ravioli Alfredo, and, with vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower and carrots) for rotini Alfredo all primavera. That said, my personal favorite pasta for Alfredo is penne or cellentani (also marketed as cavatappi) -- tubular pasta loves to soak up any type of sauce. What's more fun, not to mention fork-and-family-friendly, is Alfredo made...... View full recipe for "~Cellentani or Cavatappi -- No Worries, No Difference~"

01/25/2023

~A Brief Bit of History about Classic Fettuccini Alfredo~

Alfredo is an Italian pasta dish in which any type of stranded pasta, most famously fettuccine (which means little ribbons in Italian), is enrobed in a rich sauce usually made from copious amounts of butter, cream, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and black pepper. As the tale goes (the foodie story most told about the history of this dish) a Roman restauranteur, Alfredo di Lelio first created it for his pregnant wife in 1914. She had lost her losing her appetite for food or was having trouble keeping food down, either while she was pregnant or after the birth of their son. Alfredo,...... View full recipe for "~A Brief Bit of History about Classic Fettuccini Alfredo~"

12/20/2022

~ Teriyaki Ramen w/Steam-in-Bag Asian Vegetables ~

Pantry cooking? Snowstorm cooking? Desperation cooking? Covid cooking? Refer to it in any way you want to, but, on occasion we cooks have all found ourself in a situation that calls for some creative ingenuity. This super-quick, seriously-easy side-dish is a prime example. One snowy night, I came up with this to serve alongside my recipe for easy teriyaki glazed Cornish came hens -- I always keep a package or two of Cornish hens on-hand in my freezer as it's not unusual for us here in the Northeast to find ourselves snowed in once-twice a Winter. That said, this nifty...... View full recipe for "~ Teriyaki Ramen w/Steam-in-Bag Asian Vegetables ~"

12/05/2022

~ Dijon & Bacon-Wrapped Jumbo-Shrimp Appetizers ~

Bacon-wrapped shrimp is a relatively-easy appetizer that’s guaranteed to impress. There's more. Because they can be assembled 1-2 days before the party, this make-ahead hors d'oeuvre lowers the last-minute stress level considerably . The trick to making perfect bacon-wrapped shrimp, meaning, an opaque shrimp that is perfectly-cooked through with a layer of crispy bacon around it, is to partially-cook and cool the bacon before wrapping the raw shrimp. Why? Because it takes longer for bacon to cook to crispy perfection than for shrimp to cook to tender perfection. The trick to perfect bacon-wrapped shrimp = precooked bacon. 1 pound bacon,...... View full recipe for "~ Dijon & Bacon-Wrapped Jumbo-Shrimp Appetizers ~ "

11/10/2022

~A Brief History of Potatoes & French Fries in France~

If I told you that potatoes were once illegal to eat in France, would you believe me? It's true and I admit to gasping when I learned this. Where would be be without French fries in our food world? The absolute best French fries I have ever eaten are at places like church festivals, county fares and carnivals. They're not too thick, not too thin, twice-fried, and, never frozen. When you stand in line and wait for these fries to to come seething-hot out of the deep-fryer, get a quick drain, a sprinkling of salt and handed-off to you in...... View full recipe for "~A Brief History of Potatoes & French Fries in France~"

10/15/2022

~ Simply Slightly-Spicy Pasta with Butter and Garlic ~

No matter what you might imagine, people who cook all day have little-to-no desire to cook again at the end of a hectic work day -- and that's not a bad thing. Yet, these are at the same people who conjure up the best no-fuss, no-mess, simply-delicious stuff to eat. Trust me I know. There was a time in my life when I did cook all day. I won't lie, I'm rally happy those crazy days are over, but, I still love to sit in front of a movie or three to relax and enjoy one of my easy conjurings....... View full recipe for "~ Simply Slightly-Spicy Pasta with Butter and Garlic ~"

10/10/2022

~ Just Buttery Pasta in a Silky Tomato-Cream Sauce ~

Meet my fifteen-minutes-to-make pasta-craving-at-midnight meal. Truth told, it's more akin to my I-just-got-home and I'm starving what-can-I-make-really fast meal -- a hot, hearty, comforting feed-me-now meal. That said, it's also one of my go-to side dishes to serve with roasted chicken, broiled fish or sautéed seafood too -- I simply love it alongside some buttery, garlicy shrimp. If you have homemade marinara sauce on-hand in your freezer, feel free to use it, but, trust me, when store-bought marinara sauce gets a bit of cream stirred into it, you'll get no complaints. A tasty little side-dish for chicken, fish or seafood:...... View full recipe for "~ Just Buttery Pasta in a Silky Tomato-Cream Sauce ~"

10/05/2022

~ One-Pan Shrimp & Shells in Tomato-Cream Sauce ~

Why is this is one of my favorite in-a-hurry shrimp-loving dishes? Glad you asked. In my food world, lightly-sautéed shrimp are perfect when paired with some perfectly-cooked pasta that's been enrobed in a slightly-spicy tomato-cream sauce. There's more. It only requires few on-hand ingredients, and, there's little-to-no prep -- all of us cooks like to hear those words. Thirty minutes later, this quick-and-easy super-delicious family-friendly meal is on the dinner table. I like to serve it with garlic bread, and sometimes I make a salad too, but, even if this is the only thing on the table, there won't be...... View full recipe for "~ One-Pan Shrimp & Shells in Tomato-Cream Sauce ~"

09/30/2022

~ History of Canned Tuna and Tuna Salad in America ~

Tuna or chicken salad is nothing fancy -- and it's ertainly not gourmet. Just a quick and easy-to-make lunch made from ingredients you most-likely have on hand in your pantry -- and it'll keep you smiling all afternoon too. Why? Because besides being loaded with fat-free protein (from tuna packed in water or the meat from leftover chicken breasts, plus hard-cooked eggs), it's filling and packed-full of flavor (from all the wonderful spices in your favorite "lite" Italian dressing). There's more. It's light -- a refreshing respite from calorie-packed carbohydrates. We Americans have been eating tuna salad for over a...... View full recipe for "~ History of Canned Tuna and Tuna Salad in America ~"

09/25/2022

~Classic-Style Chunky Tuna, Egg & Shell Pasta Salad~

We Americans have been eating tuna salad for over a hundred years. The first reference to tuna salad appeared in 1907, and by 1914 dozens of recipes had been published. Tuna salad, classically made with with celery and mayonnaise, was a spin off of chicken salad, with tuna salad being touted as more convenient (due to the use of canned tuna) -- a big reason for its rise in popularity. Because of its nutritional value, it was marketed as diet food during the 1960s. Until the 1800s, the sardine was the canned fish Americans ate. Tuna was available, but, what...... View full recipe for "~Classic-Style Chunky Tuna, Egg & Shell Pasta Salad~"

09/20/2022

~ Classic-Style Creamy & Chunky Rotini & Egg Salad ~

Classic-style, old-fashioned macaroni salad. I like it a lot, almost as much as potato salad, and in my kitchen, just like potato salad, it's not restricted to Summertime eating. That said, when macaroni salad is made with elbow macaroni, I often lose interest in it after a few bites. Why? Texturally, in a to-the-tooth sort of way, it misses the mark, which is why I've always liked potato salad better. Then came the day I discovered that my creamy, mayonnaise-dressed macaroni salad recipe, if made with larger pasta and chunkier pieces of eggs, puts it on the same level as...... View full recipe for "~ Classic-Style Creamy & Chunky Rotini & Egg Salad ~"

09/15/2022

~ Hail to the Grill-Panned Shrimp Caesar Pasta Salad ~

We Americans love our Caesar salad. Over the course of the past four decades, the Caesar salad has overwhelmingly become America's favorite salad. If you are a lover of a crisp and tangy classic Caesar salad, and, you love your Caesar salad with plump, tender grilled shrimp (or chicken) tossed into it, there's more. If you are a lover of pasta salads too, you are gonna fall in love with this recipe. Adding pasta and a protein to a Caesar salad makes sense on many levels. Besides stretching it to feed a crowd, it turns it into a hearty and...... View full recipe for "~ Hail to the Grill-Panned Shrimp Caesar Pasta Salad ~"

09/10/2022

~Hail to the Grill-Panned Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad~

If you are a lover of a crisp and tangy classic Caesar salad, and, you love your Caesar salad with juicy, grilled chicken tossed into it, there's more. If you are a lover of pasta salads too, you are gonna fall in love with this recipe. Adding pasta and a protein to a Caesar salad makes sense on many levels. Besides stretching it to feed a crowd, it turns it into a hearty and refreshing main-course salad perfect to to serve at any almost any gathering -- a picnic, potluck or tailgate. We Americans love Caesar salad. Over the past...... View full recipe for "~Hail to the Grill-Panned Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad~"

08/09/2022

~ How to Steam Fragrant Rices in the Rice Steamer ~

My electric rice steamer is one of my most used countertop appliances -- it's one of the best investments I ever made, and, it's something I just can't fathom living without. I bought it because I cook a lot of fragrant rice, specifically basmati and jasmine rice. Electric rice steamers come in all different sizes, and, depending on which one you choose, range in price from $25 - $125. They all operate basically the same way, and, they all make cooking rice foolproof. Jasmine rice is a polished, long-grain silky, white rice known for its fragrance, aroma and scent. It...... View full recipe for "~ How to Steam Fragrant Rices in the Rice Steamer ~"

08/06/2022

~ History of Classic Italian-American Clams Casino ~

Clams casino is considered a classic Italian-American dish. Interestingly, clams casino is also considered a clams "on the halfshell" dish, and, the name has little to do with the gaming industry per se, although every casino restaurant or restaurant in the vicinity of a casino seems to have their variation of the dish on their menu. Let's me put it this way, I've never been to a casino restaurant that didn't have it on the menu. Clams casino, which means "big mess" in Italian, is a basic concoction of clams, bacon, butter, and breadcrumbs that work spectacularly together. Onion, garlic...... View full recipe for "~ History of Classic Italian-American Clams Casino ~"

08/03/2022

~ Clam Sizing, Buying, Burping and Perfect Steaming ~

Steamed clams are one of my favorite Summertime treats. It's not unusual for us to pick up a few dozen, meaning three-four dozen. We mostly enjoy them as a quick pre-dinner snack, but, we've been known to make an entire meal out of them too. We simply sit around and fork-shuck 'em out of their open shells while they're plump and steaming -- as soon as they emerge from the liquid. One-at-a-time, each morsel gets dipped in some melted garlic-tarragon butter before eating. Clams come in many sizes, from quite large to quite small: The enjoyment of clams was an...... View full recipe for "~ Clam Sizing, Buying, Burping and Perfect Steaming ~"

07/31/2022

~ Pasteurized Crab -- What's in the can for that Cost ~

A couple days ago I restocked my supply of pasteurized crabmeat for the upcoming tailgate and holiday season. I do it every year around this time, and, I was down to my last can, so, I bought three more. Like most folks, I love to eat crabmeat, and, while fresh crab is indeed a delicacy, for my purposes pasteurized crab is my first choice. Like fresh crabmeat, it must be stored in the refrigeratory, but unlike fresh crab it has a very long shelf life -- up to 18 months. What's not to love about that. Because it's pasteurized, it's...... View full recipe for "~ Pasteurized Crab -- What's in the can for that Cost ~"

07/06/2022

~It's the Season for Savory Sweet Corn & Herb Cakes~

I didn't invent adding cooked corn kernels, savory herbs and/or spices to pancake batter. Our Native Americans are credited with that, the precursor to our present-day pancakes. They were called "nokchick", translated to mean "no (or not) cake" by the European colonists (who arrived with a host of their own pancake recipes which had existed in Europe for centuries, dating all the way back to the Romans who called them "alita docia", which is Latin for "another sweet".) In the American colonies, pancakes were known as hoe cakes or johnny cakes, and, flapjacks or slapjacks, made with buckwheat flour or...... View full recipe for "~It's the Season for Savory Sweet Corn & Herb Cakes~"

06/30/2022

~ Stop Frittering Around & Fry Up A Batch of Fritters ~

Here in Pennsylvania, I grew up eating savory deep-fried corn fritters in July and August, when local sweet corn is in season, and sweet apple fritters in September and October, when local apples are in season. I grew up eating potato pancakes as well, which are technically a type of fritter, but, we don't refer to them as such because they are pan-fried. Doughnuts were/are made on Doughnut Day, and, even though they're deep-fried, we don't call them fritters either. Why? Like their precursor cousin, the beignet, they don't contain any chopped protein, fresh or dried fruits and/or vegetables, and,...... View full recipe for "~ Stop Frittering Around & Fry Up A Batch of Fritters ~"

06/26/2022

~ Lox, Gravlax and Smoked Salmon -- Your Choice ~

Lox, gravlax and smoked salmon -- they are all cured salmon products, and, while they look similar, they are all distinctly different. For lovers of cured salmon, we all have a favorite. For example, I prefer smoked salmon to lox and prefer lox to gravlax. There's more. In my food world, I tend to serve one or the other for breakfast or brunch -- I don't think of it much as a dinner fare. For lovers of cured salmon, the good news is, they can, for the most part, be used interchangeably in recipes, and, they can be served any...... View full recipe for "~ Lox, Gravlax and Smoked Salmon -- Your Choice ~"

06/05/2022

~Welsh Rarebit or Rabbit = the Original Cheese Toast~

Say cheese please -- lots and lots of hot and bubbling, oooey, gooey cheese please. If those words got you salivating, try these on for size: a savory cheese sauce made from sharp cheddar cheese, egg yolk, Worcestershire sauce, English mustard and beer slathered onto thick-slices of toasted bread and broiled until bubbly. Here in America, when a cheesy craving hits us, we treat ourselves to an all-American grilled cheese sandwich. The British have a different twist on it, and Welsh rarebit is referred to as the original cheese toast (or cheese on toast). Welsh rarebit (pronounced rabbit) is a...... View full recipe for "~Welsh Rarebit or Rabbit = the Original Cheese Toast~"

06/02/2022

~My Frittata Formula -- To Feed Two, a Few or a Crew~

Learning to make a frittata is a valuable culinary lifeskill. Commonly referred to as the Italian version of an omelette, a frittata is a concoction of whisked eggs and cream, sliced, diced or chopped previously-cooked vegetables, meat or seafood and/or grated cheese. I prefer to compare it to a custard-like quiche without a crust rather than an omelette because, like a quiche, a frittata is traditionally round and rather thick -- not at all elongated and comparatively flat (like the French and American omelettes). There's more. I think of an omelette as something that goes from stovetop to table in...... View full recipe for "~My Frittata Formula -- To Feed Two, a Few or a Crew~"

05/23/2022

~My Simon & Garfunkel Seasoning for Poultry or Pork~

Store-bought seasoning blends and bottled sauces. Every home cook has their favorite brands and there is no shame in that. I am no exception. When pressed for time, some days I reach for a container of Chef Paul Prudhomme's Meat Magic and other days a bottle K.C. Masterpiece will do just fine. When correctly paired together, a high-quality store-bought spice blend and bottled sauce can be a busy cook's best time saver. That said, all serious cooks make the time to prepare their favorite homemade concoctions too. I am no exception, and, at any given time, if you peek into...... View full recipe for "~My Simon & Garfunkel Seasoning for Poultry or Pork~ "

05/14/2022

~ The Retro History of All-American Tuna Casserole ~

Tuna Noodle Casserole is a classic 1950's retro main-dish casserole dinner. Casseroles became popular post WWII, and experienced their heyday in American home kitchens during the 1950's and into the 1960s (because the ingredients were inexpensive and readily-available at any supermarket). The typical tuna casserole was made from a can of tuna, a can of vegetables, a package of egg noodles and a can of condensed cream-of-mushroom soup. For the most part, the ingredients were quickly stirred together, right in the casserole dish, and were topped with with a crunchy layer of breadcrumbs, corn flakes or canned onions, and sometimes...... View full recipe for "~ The Retro History of All-American Tuna Casserole ~"

05/02/2022

~ Kebab, Kabob, Shish Kabob and lots of Kababba ~

Kabbaba is the ancient Aramaic word meaning to char or to burn. Medieval Persian soldiers, who used their swords as instruments to grill food over open fires in the field of battle, are credited with inventing kabobs. It was only natural that this simple method of cooking food relatively fast on a "sikh" (a metal skewer), made its way into the kitchens of the royal houses, then onto the tables of the common folk and eventually into the streets, where vendors cooked and sold them for breakfast, lunch and dinner (where they untreaded them onto or inside some form of...... View full recipe for "~ Kebab, Kabob, Shish Kabob and lots of Kababba ~"

04/02/2022

~ Cheese-Stuffed Sausage and Mushroom Omelette ~

Nothing fancy, surely not gourmet, just three available-to-everyone ingredients, sausage, mushrooms and onions. All three together as one, well, they're my favorite topping combo on a cheese- or double-cheese pizza, and, they're my favorite add-in combo to a cheese- or double-cheese omelette. For those two reasons alone I always keep my favorite brand of fully-cooked breakfast sausage, generic canned sliced-mushrooms and a sweet Vidalia onion or two on hand. Yes, my favorite toppings for my favorite pizza or bagel-bites snack pizza and my add-ins to my favorite omelette are indeed, always right at my fingertips -- and I wouldn't have...... View full recipe for "~ Cheese-Stuffed Sausage and Mushroom Omelette ~"

03/30/2022

~ Chick-fil-A -- Rave Review of Five-Dipping-Sauces ~

For the love of chicken sandwiches, I admit to being a fair-weather fan of our local Chick-fil-A fast-food chain restaurant. All of THEIR not-my-cup-of-tea politics aside, on occasion, if it's a really nice day and I feel the need to relax and get away from my stove, I enjoy the drive across town to pick up one of their signature chicken sandwiches. As one who loves chicken sandwiches many ways, their trademarked slogan, "We didn't invent the chicken, just the chicken sandwich," their "Eat more Chikin" cow commercials, and, Doodles, their mascot, all make me smile. When one is perusing...... View full recipe for "~ Chick-fil-A -- Rave Review of Five-Dipping-Sauces ~ "

03/21/2022

~No Secrets in Hidden Valley Ranch's Secret Sauces~

I am a huge fan of Hidden Valley ranch dressing. If you and yours are too, be it a picnic, potluck or party, Hidden Valley Ranch has a secret sauce ready and waiting on a shelf in a grocery store near you. Labeled as Golden, Spicy, Smokehouse and Original, there is one that is guaranteed to be a great mate to whatever fare you're serving. No one enjoys a scratch-made condiment more than me and no one enjoys a creamy scratch-made condiment more than me, but, I gotta be honest, when I come across one or four in my store,...... View full recipe for "~No Secrets in Hidden Valley Ranch's Secret Sauces~"

03/09/2022

~Pretty-in-Pink Pickled-&-Piped Deviled-Pickled Eggs~

Pickled eggs can be made several ways, but the ones I love and the ones my family always made were the Pennsylvania Deutsch version, which are sometimes referred to as pickled-beet eggs or red-beat eggs. My mom and grandmother served them but once a year as a side-dish on our Easter feast table, but, in local Pennsylvania Deutsch communities, pickled eggs were and still are a very popular tavern food -- they can be found marinating in large jars on bar tops next to beer taps all over Pennsylvania. It takes about five days for hard-cooked eggs to pickle, so,...... View full recipe for "~Pretty-in-Pink Pickled-&-Piped Deviled-Pickled Eggs~"

03/06/2022

~ Easy Linguine and Shrimp w/Tomato-Cream Sauce ~

Easy should never be a compromise. It should simply be: easy. When you take the first taste or bite, it shouldn't be a dead giveaway that you didn't slave behind your stove all afternoon. This luscious pasta dish is a prime example. In my food world, I don't think anyone appreciates a great scratch-made marinara sauce more than I do, but, truth told, if one adds a bit of cream to store-bought, it turns into a decadent super-quick-to-make tomato-cream pasta sauce. If you're the family cook, you'd be lying if you couldn't admit: all of us home cooks love a...... View full recipe for "~ Easy Linguine and Shrimp w/Tomato-Cream Sauce ~"

03/03/2022

~One-Skillet Creamy Parmesan Linguine and Shrimp~

If you're hankering for a seafood and creamy pasta dish for dinner -- no problem. Splurge on a small, one-pound bag of flash-frozen, large shrimp, pick up a box of fresh linguine pasta, plus, a few other miscellaneous items -- fresh basil, sweet grape tomatoes and heavy cream (you've no doubt already got the cheese in your refrigerator). Voila. You and yours can be pouring a glass of wine and sitting down to a sumptuous, affordable, restaurant-quality dinner, from stovetop to table, in about 30-40 minutes (and there will be little cleanup afterward too). This will be everything you'd craved...... View full recipe for "~One-Skillet Creamy Parmesan Linguine and Shrimp~"

02/28/2022

~ G. Washington's Instant Seasoning & Broth History ~

This granulated gluten-free, meat-free instant seasoning has been around for generations, and, interestingly, it's used as an ingredient in a surprising number of savory, vintage recipe. It was a staple in my grandmother's pantry and my mother's pantry, and, for the love of making their recipes, it is a staple in mine too. It's recognized as the very first seasoning and broth. The brand has a strong loyalty amongst its users, but, because it contains MSG, it is not everyones cup-of-tea. That said, if you've ever tasted anything made using it, you'd immediately recognize how special it truly is. Easy...... View full recipe for "~ G. Washington's Instant Seasoning & Broth History ~"

02/14/2022

~ GF Deconstructed Slow-Cooker Stuffed-Cabbage ~

Feel free to assume I'm not a fan of trendy deconstructed dishes. I am, however, the first to admit there are exceptions to every rule, and, my mom's recipe for deconstructed stuffed cabbage rolls is one such exception. Why? Because the end justifies the means in a big, beautiful way: Every forkful of the finished "deconstructed" version is uncompromisingly just as delicious as the classic original, and, the time saved by not cooking many of the components first, then assembling them in the typical manner is marked. All I can say is: Where had this "deconstructed" method been all my...... View full recipe for "~ GF Deconstructed Slow-Cooker Stuffed-Cabbage ~"

02/11/2022

~Pasta - Choose, Portion, Cook, Sauce, Toss & Serve~

The world is full of pasta-bilities. Our modern marketplaces have supplied all of our demands with hundreds of shapes, sizes, and colors of dried and fresh pasta. I suppose it is because pasta is relatively quick to cook that many Americans impulsively try to create their own versions of well-known pasta dishes having little or no knowledge of the tried and true, time-honored principles and classic recipe techniques these recipes require. What's worse, many American restaurants do the same. Trust me when I say, I'm happy to overlook a slightly over-cooked or over-sauced pasta dish served by a friend who...... View full recipe for "~Pasta - Choose, Portion, Cook, Sauce, Toss & Serve~"

02/05/2022

~ Super-Easy Light & Skinny Tuna or Chicken Salad ~

Tuna salad and chicken salad -- they're two of my favorites. Tuna I have on-hand in my pantry all the time, chicken breast I have leftover on a regular basis. Tuna or chicken salad is nothing fancy -- and it's ertainly not gourmet. Just a quick and easy-to-make lunch made from ingredients you most-likely have on hand in your pantry -- and it'll keep you smiling all afternoon too. Why? Because besides being loaded with fat-free protein (from tuna packed in water or the meat from leftover chicken breasts, plus hard-cooked eggs), it's filling and packed-full of flavor (from all...... View full recipe for "~ Super-Easy Light & Skinny Tuna or Chicken Salad ~"

02/02/2022

~ Super-Easy Skinny Tuna Salad Pita Sandwiches ~

Nothing fancy. Certainly not gourmet. Just a quick and easy-to-make lunch made from ingredients you most-likely have on hand in your pantry -- and it'll keep you smiling all afternoon too. Why? Because besides being loaded with fat-free protein (from tuna packed in water and hard-cooked eggs) it's filling and packed-full of flavor (from all the wonderful spices in your favorite "lite" Italian dressing) and texture (from crunchy celery, onion and lettuce), plus, it's light -- a refreshing break from calorie-packed carbohydrates. It's never to early to "think Spring". Filling, packed-full of flavor & texture -- & light on calories...... View full recipe for "~ Super-Easy Skinny Tuna Salad Pita Sandwiches ~"

01/24/2022

~ Pearl Tapioca, Minute Tapioca and Tapioca Starch ~

Tapioca -- tap-ee-oh-kuh. You've seen it in your grocery store. Perhaps you keep some form of it in your pantry. Tapioca is a starch commonly used as a thickener, and, because it was a staple in my grandmother's and mother's pantries, it is in mine too. My grandmother used tapioca powder to thicken jelly, quick-cooking tapioca granules to thicken pie fillings, and whole tapioca pearls to make one of my favorite childhood comfort-food desserts: tapioca pudding. A bit about tapioca: The name tapioca comes from the South American, Brazilian Tupi name "tipi-oka", which means "starch". Tapioca doesn't grow on trees...... View full recipe for "~ Pearl Tapioca, Minute Tapioca and Tapioca Starch ~"

01/18/2022

~About Aged Asiago Cheese & Fresh Asiago Cheese~

Open the deli-drawer of my refrigerator and there's a good chance you'll find a wedge or two of Asiago cheese in it -- it's one of my favorite Italian cow's milk cheese. If you've never tried Asiago, you should, but, it's important to know there are two types, and, the one you choose will determine how you will use it. Simply stated, one is hard, dry and gratable, the other is soft, sliceable and meltable. Both start out the same, but, change textures during the aging process. Aged Asiago is pale-to-amber yellow, compact and very firm with a nutty aroma...... View full recipe for "~About Aged Asiago Cheese & Fresh Asiago Cheese~"

01/12/2022

~ Thick-&-Zesty Kid-Friendly Ground-Beef Lasagna ~

All us cooks agree that every recipe does not have to be a rocket science recipe -- it simply has to taste, without compromise, great. If the end justifies the means, there's no shame in a shortcut or three. I'm not sure how many lasagna recipes one cook is supposed to have, but, I'm guessing most households have more than one. Here in my kitchen, I make four different types of lasagna, each with its own unique sauce: Bolognese, seafood, vegetable lasagna (all of which are excellent but time-consuming), and, this easy-to-make kid-friendly, crowd-pleasing ground-beef lasagna. It's so popular amongst...... View full recipe for "~ Thick-&-Zesty Kid-Friendly Ground-Beef Lasagna ~"

12/27/2021

~ Thick-and-Zesty Gluten-Free Ground-Beef Lasagna ~

I'm not sure how many lasagna recipes one cook is supposed to have, but, I'm guessing most households have more than one. Here in my kitchen, I make four different types of lasagna, each with its own unique sauce: Bolognese, seafood, vegetable, and, kid-friendly ground beef. Today, because a few of you have asked for a gluten-free lasagna recipe recently, I'm posting my easy-to-make version, which is a spin-off of my crowd-pleasing kid-friendly ground beef lasagna. Notes before starting: It goes without saying you'll need gluten-free lasagna noodles -- your favorite brand, your choice, that's fine, mine are brown rice...... View full recipe for "~ Thick-and-Zesty Gluten-Free Ground-Beef Lasagna ~"

12/06/2021

~ The Best Boxed Stovetop Scalloped Potatoes Ever ~

Yep. It's true. I keep a box or three of cheesy scalloped potatoes in my pantry at all times. You'll also find some Stovetop Stuffing in there, along with some Rice-a-Roni and a couple bottles of store-bought pasta sauce too. You see -- I'm no different than the rest of the world. On occasion, there are times in all our lives when we need to rely on a convenience food in order to get dinner on the table in a hurry. There's more. "Doctoring up" a boxed mix is one of my specialties, meaning adding a few ingredients and/or tweaking...... View full recipe for "~ The Best Boxed Stovetop Scalloped Potatoes Ever ~ "