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416 posts categorized "19) Just Kid-Friendly & Family-Style Food"

03/03/2021

~Slow-Cooker Buffalo-Style St. Lewis-Style Spareribs~

Try as I might, I can't let more than a month or two go by without either: succumbing to the craving to deep-fry and eat Buffalo-style chicken wings, or, experiment with a new way to enjoy the sweet-heat of Buffalo-sauced anything. Today, I decided to try my hand at low-and-slow cooked Buffalo-style pork ribs -- when they were done, I finished them off under the broiler, just to crisp the fat cap and caramelize the sauce a bit. Remember the famous ad-man line, "pork -- the other white meat"? Well, I'll be making these again, and often. Life in the...... View full recipe for "~Slow-Cooker Buffalo-Style St. Lewis-Style Spareribs~"

02/26/2021

~ Beer in the Pizza Dough & a Semolina Pizza Crust ~

Experimenting with pizza dough is not something I do often. Why? Because one has to be willing to run the risk of sacrificing a pizza in the event it doesn't work. Let's put it another way, one has to be of the mindset to experiment with a new dough or a variation on an existing one, and (chuckle if you want to but it's really not a laughing matter if you're wed to eating pizza), for a few short hours, one must throw caution to the wind and live dangerously. I did this today, and, I gotta say, I came...... View full recipe for "~ Beer in the Pizza Dough & a Semolina Pizza Crust ~"

02/23/2021

~ Homestyle Beef Tips, Gravy & Amish Egg Noodles ~

Beef tips and gravy. It's one of those humble-yet-hearty, frugally-inexpensive, weeknight meals our moms and grandmoms served to a hungry family after purchasing a pound or three of cheap-at-twice-the-price odds-and-end chunks of beef cubes (aka "stew beef") at the butcher shop. No one had to be called to the table twice when this dinner was goin' on the table. Some families preferred their meal ladled atop white rice, others liked it ladled atop mashed potatoes, and, still others served it ladled atop buttered egg noodles. My family fell into the egg noodle category. My recipe came via my mother and...... View full recipe for "~ Homestyle Beef Tips, Gravy & Amish Egg Noodles ~"

02/17/2021

~Jiffy Mix Cornbread, Corn Casserole & Corn Pudding~

Three distinctly-different recipes with three decidedly-different results, all using one, inexpensive common-to-us-all, ingredient: Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix. At 59 cents for each eye-catching blue-and-yellow box, it's been a time-saving staple in my pantry for over four decades. I am not alone. A week ago, there was discussion, on one of my Facebook friend's pages, about store-bought cornbread mixes. We discussed the rising cost of them, and, which one us "cheaters" consider the best. As it turned out, almost unanimously (Martha White gets honorable mention), it was the Jiffy brand. We went on to share our favorite ways to "doctor it"...... View full recipe for "~Jiffy Mix Cornbread, Corn Casserole & Corn Pudding~"

02/14/2021

~ In a Jiffy-Cornbread-Mix Creamed-Corn Pudding ~

A few snow storms ago, more than three storms and within 7-10 days, but, truth told, there've been so many snow events, I've lost track, there was discussion, on one of my Facebook friend's pages, about store-bought cornbread mixes. We discussed the rising cost of them, and, which one us "cheaters" consider the best. As it turned out, almost unanimously, it was the 59-cent-a-box Jiffy brand. We went on to share our favorite ways to "doctor it" up. Fun, yum and don't tell anyone it's a mix. Jiffy corn muffin mix, has been a staple in my pantry for over...... View full recipe for "~ In a Jiffy-Cornbread-Mix Creamed-Corn Pudding ~"

02/11/2021

~In a Jiffy-Cornbread-Mix Triple-Corn Corn Casserole~

Baked corn casserole is a side-dish staple throughout the Midwest. Baked corn casserole with some self-rising cornmeal (or cornmeal plus baking soda and/or baking powder) whisked into it is a Southern side-dish staple. If you can imagine a loaded-with-corn casserole with the flavor and some of the texture of a corn muffin or wedge of cornbread added to it, you're no doubt salivating right now -- it's a "crossing of the streams" so to speak, the best of both, baked into one delicious side-dish. Jiffy corn muffin mix, has been a staple in my pantry for over four decades, and,...... View full recipe for "~In a Jiffy-Cornbread-Mix Triple-Corn Corn Casserole~"

02/08/2021

~In a Jiffy-Cornbread-Mix Double-Delicious Cornbread~

Breakfast, lunch or dinner, more-often-than-not, a corn muffin or wedge of cornbread is a welcome addition to the table. Served hot or warm slathered with butter and/or a drizzle of honey, puts it over-the-top. That said, while corn muffins and cornbread are easy enough to make from scratch (if you use enough yellow cornmeal on a regular basis to justify keeping a bag in your pantry), there is a popular and inexpensive way to speed the process up and still produce a seriously-delightful loaf of this beloved Southern staple. It's called Jiffy corn muffin mix, and, at 59-ish cents a...... View full recipe for "~In a Jiffy-Cornbread-Mix Double-Delicious Cornbread~ "

02/05/2021

~ Easiest Skillet-Fried Barbecue-Sauced Pork Chops ~

When my kids were kids, barbecue-sauced pork chops, served up atop a bed of my easy-to-make recipe for better than store-bought stovetop macaroni and cheese was one of their favorite weeknight meals. No one needed to be called to the table twice on barbecued pork chop night, and, I didn't have to spend all afternoon cooking in order to reap the reward of their accolades. All I had to do was brown the chops on both sides and then let them slow simmer in a mixture of barbecue sauce and water for about 30 minutes until fork tender. One-skillet perfection....... View full recipe for "~ Easiest Skillet-Fried Barbecue-Sauced Pork Chops ~"

01/27/2021

~ Paring 3 Store-Bought Ravioli w/3 Perfect Sauces ~

Let's be honest, even those of us who can and do make ravioli from scratch, don't typically serve them for a family-friendly weeknight meal. Why? Making ravioli from scratch is a lot of work. That's why these one-to-two-bite labors-of-love are usually reserved for holidays and celebrations. That said, high-quality store-bought ravioli can be found in the average grocery store. Rana is my go-to brand, and, you won't find them in the frozen food aisle -- they're found in the refrigerated section where fresh pasta is sold. When paired with an easy-to-make-from-scratch sauce, ravioli can and should be added to every...... View full recipe for "~ Paring 3 Store-Bought Ravioli w/3 Perfect Sauces ~"

01/24/2021

~ Spinach and Ricotta Ravioli with Florentine Sauce ~

Creamy cheese sauces have a place in my food world -- not a big place, but a place. My attitude toward them is to use them judiciously, in a manner that does not overpower the dish being served, and, in moderation, so as not to tip the scale. To my credit, I have developed my own versions of more than a few: Easy Boursin, Trendy Rasta Pasta, Classic Mornay, Silky Parmesan-Sherry, Dreamy Gorgonzola, Basic Asiago, and a Kid-Friendly Cheddar. It is my opinion that, for the most part, all store-bought cheese sauces are a compromise, so, don't debate it, just...... View full recipe for "~ Spinach and Ricotta Ravioli with Florentine Sauce ~"

01/21/2021

~Shrimp & Lobster Ravioli with Tomato-Cream Sauce~

Every once in a while, my ability to cook is overshadowed by my desire to cook something remarkably easy, yet good enough to serve to guests -- no special skills, tools or knowledge required. Today is such a day. This simple, straightforward and scrumptious recipe, taken from the pages of absolutely nowhere, goes from stovetop to table in less time than it takes to cook spaghetti, and, when beautifully plated, will bamboozle everyone into thinking I cooked all day. "I dream of stirring cream into marinara sauce." ~ Melanie The only thing more rewarding than having a freezer shelf full...... View full recipe for "~Shrimp & Lobster Ravioli with Tomato-Cream Sauce~"

01/18/2021

~So Easy -- Mushroom Ravioli Alfredo alla Primavera~

I'm not a vegetarian, but, as a card-carrying carnivore, I can tell you, if I were, this easy-to-make creamy-dreamy pasta dish would be at the top of my weeknight menu rotation. Why? Because when I indulge in this decadent dish, I don't miss the meat for a second. In Italian, fettuccine means "little ribbons", which is why stranded pasta is always used. In Italian, primavera means "Spring" and culinarily, primavera just means that fresh vegetables (raw or blanched) are added to the dish during or at the end of its preparation. Long story short, fettuccini Alfredo that has vegetables added...... View full recipe for "~So Easy -- Mushroom Ravioli Alfredo alla Primavera~"

01/15/2021

~ Doctoring Up a Box of Stovetop-Type Stuffing Mix ~

I'm no different that a lot of you when it comes to weeknight dinners. Sometimes I put a small chicken in the oven to roast, other times I fry a few pork chops, sometimes I roast or poach a turkey tenderloin -- easy to make, minimum-fuss fare. Stuffing goes great with all of them. That said, on a busy week day, many times, all I have the time or inclination to make are two easy-peasy satellite side-dishes -- a bag of our favorite steam-in-bag vegetables, and, a box of "doctored up" Stovetop-type stuffing -- and there's no shame in either...... View full recipe for "~ Doctoring Up a Box of Stovetop-Type Stuffing Mix ~"

01/12/2021

~ Doctoring Up a Box of Spanish-Style Yellow Rice ~

Mexican rice became a staple on our family's table back in the 1980's. Whenever we ate in a Mexican restaurant, remarkably, our three kids would eat the side-dishes: the muli-colored veggie-bejeweled rice, the murky-earthy slightly-soupy refried beans, and, the bright-green garlic-laced guacamole. Without complaint or prodding, they'd slather and scoop 'em onto and into tacos, fajitas, carnitas (or whatever else they were eating), along with red or green salsa and the bottled hot-sauce du jour. Go figure, and, "shut my mouth wide open." I started stocking my pantry with whatever Texican-type ingredients I could find in our Central, PA grocery...... View full recipe for "~ Doctoring Up a Box of Spanish-Style Yellow Rice ~"

01/09/2021

~ Doctoring Up a Box of Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes ~

I know I'm not alone on this point, C-19 has changed what I store in my pantry -- truth told, it's not bad, just different. In preparation for the lock down that occurred a few months ago, I stocked several boxes of Rice-a-Roni, four boxes of Kraft macaroni and cheese, a big box of Hungry Jack instant mashed potatoes, and, a few boxes of Stovetop stuffing mix and Betty Crocker cheesy scalloped potatoes. Thanks to them being staples in my mom's pantry, I knew these easy-to-make convenience-food side-dishes not only have a long shelf life, they're tasty. Steamy & creamy...... View full recipe for "~ Doctoring Up a Box of Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes ~"

12/10/2020

~ Dark Chocolate Chip & Coconut Mounds Cookies ~

When it comes to Toll House cookies, aka, chocolate-chip cookies in general, there are two kinds of people: those who add nuts and, those who do not. I'm a nutty kinda gal. My husband is not a nutty kinda guy. There's more. When it comes to Toll House cookies, aka, chocolate chip cookies in general, there are two kinds of people: those who prefer milk chocolate, and those who prefer dark chocolate. I'm more of a milk chocolate kinda gal. My husband is a more of a dark chocolate kinda guy -- neither of us will turn either down though....... View full recipe for "~ Dark Chocolate Chip & Coconut Mounds Cookies ~"

12/07/2020

~Milk Chocolate Chip & Coconut Almond Joy Cookies~

Who doesn't remember the Peter Paul Candy Company's 1970's TV jingle: Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don't, Almond Joy's got nuts, Mounds don't. Ok, if you weren't of the era, you don't remember it, but the rest of us do. Besides the packaging (blue for Almond Joy bars and red for Mounds bars), there's another, and very important, difference between these two candy bars too: Almond Joys bars are coated in milk chocolate, Mounds bars are coated in dark chocolate. I mention this because all the Almond Joy Cookie recipes I've seen recently call for semi-sweet chocolate...... View full recipe for "~Milk Chocolate Chip & Coconut Almond Joy Cookies~"

10/10/2020

~Nestlē Toll House Sea Salt, Caramel, Pecan Cookies~

When it comes to Toll House cookies, aka, chocolate chip cookies in general, there are two kinds of people: those who add nuts (usually pecans or walnuts), and, those who do not. I'm a nutty kinda gal. My husband is not a nutty kinda guy. There's more. Our grandson is allergic to nuts, so, nuts of any kind are not in the cards when I'm baking cookies for him. So, while today's cookies are chocked full of lightly-toasted crunchy pecans, it is not unusual to find my cookie jars (four, small apothecary-type jars at our coffee bar) full of nut-free...... View full recipe for "~Nestlē Toll House Sea Salt, Caramel, Pecan Cookies~"

10/07/2020

~ My Nestlē Toll House Sea Salt & Caramel Cookies ~

What the heck is a baking truffle? Had I been asked this question a few short weeks ago, I'd have been at a loss for an answer. That said, it's one of the best new-to-me inventions in quite some time. I don't refer to myself as a consummate baker, but, I do keep my cookie jars (four, small apothecary-type jars at our coffee bar) full of homemade cookies at all times. For the most part, it does take Joe and I a bit of time, a two-to-three weeks, to eat them all, but, when the jars are empty, I bake...... View full recipe for "~ My Nestlē Toll House Sea Salt & Caramel Cookies ~"

09/26/2020

~ How Many Ways Can One Say Buffalo-Wing-Style ~

What started in 1964 as late-night pub grub at the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, NY, deep-fried chicken wings, is now found in many forms. Truth told, there's not much that Buffalo-style chicken can't do, and applying Buffalo wing sauce as a glaze to oven-roasted chicken leg-thigh quarters, or, stirring it into some previously roasted or poached chicken is the perfect way to transition this iconic game day snack into all sorts of other appetizers, sandwiches, main or side-dish salads, or, main-dish meals. Trust me, as a lady who loves her deep-fried wings, but, only in the privacy of her own...... View full recipe for "~ How Many Ways Can One Say Buffalo-Wing-Style ~"

09/20/2020

~ My Peachy-Keen Pork Chops & Stuffing Casserole ~

This decades old, now-retro, family-favorite recipe is made from just a few on-hand ingredients -- 3/4"-1"-thick bone-in pork chops, peach-pie filling, stuffing mix, chicken broth, celery and onion. It is my mom's spin-off of her Tootsie's recipe (my mother's pet name for her sister Marie). Tootsie made it with canned apple-pie filling. My mom started making it with home-canned peach-pie filling, made from peaches picked from my grandmother's backyard peach trees. Both mom and Tootsie, usually made this after the Thanksgiving holiday, as a tasty way to get one-more family-friendly meal out of one of the leftovers (aka the stuffing)....... View full recipe for "~ My Peachy-Keen Pork Chops & Stuffing Casserole ~"

09/18/2020

~ RedHot Buffalo-Chicken Rooster-Crest-Pasta Salad ~

If you are a fan of Buffalo-chicken-style anything, this is a pasta salad you'll crow about. I admit, the thought of making Buffalo-chicken pasta salad didn't occur to me until I found myself binge-snacking on a few slices of Sunday's leftover roast chicken dipped into a ramekin containing a bit of Friday night's leftover wing-night wing sauce -- that was yesterday. A few short minutes later, the vision of a Buffalo-style pasta salad popped into my head -- and IT is happening today. Lucky lovers of all things Buffalo wings: it comes in many forms. In my family alone, Nacho...... View full recipe for "~ RedHot Buffalo-Chicken Rooster-Crest-Pasta Salad ~"

08/26/2020

~ Street-Food-Style Barbecued Pork Chop Sandwich ~

In the event you're not familiar with this particular Chicago-style pork sandwich, it's known as The Maxwell Street Pork Chop Sandwich (Maxwell Street being a all-day Sunday outdoor market). Not to be confused with any type of pulled-pork sandwich, this sandwich, strange to most folks outside the city limits, places an entire bone-in pork chop on a nice soft roll, along with a heaping-helping of sautéed onions. The pork chops are cooked on a flat-top griddle right next to a never-ending pile of thick-sliced onions. Embellishments are an optional slather of mustard and/or a few pickled sport peppers. Sold by...... View full recipe for "~ Street-Food-Style Barbecued Pork Chop Sandwich ~"

08/23/2020

~Easy K.C-Style Oven-Baked Barbecued Pork Chops~

Unless I'm staring-down a 1 1/2"-2" double-cut pork chop, complete with a pocket full of stuffing inside, that has been painstakingly stovetop- or oven-braised, I pretty much believe pork chops all taste better slathered with some sort of barbecue sauce. So, for the purpose of this post, my reference to barbecued pork chops refers to pork chops slathered in barbecue sauce, not pork chops prepared in traditional barbecue-style (low and slow over smoldering coals or embers for a long period of time). As long as the end justifies the means, I'm super-easy to get along with. Literally fork tender &...... View full recipe for "~Easy K.C-Style Oven-Baked Barbecued Pork Chops~"

08/17/2020

~ Alfredo alla Primavera Parmesan-Chicken Quarters ~

In Italian, fettuccine means "little ribbons", which is why stranded pasta is always used in its preparation. In Italian, primavera implies "Spring", and culinarily, primavera simply means that fresh vegetables (raw or blanched) have been added to the dish during, or at the end, of its preparation. Long story short, fettuccini Alfredo that has vegetables added to it is simply referred to as Alfredo alla primavera. Alfredo and Alfredo primavera can be served as either a pasta course during a meal, a side-dish with a meal, or, (in a larger portion) as a main-course, and, in Italian-American restaurants, because we...... View full recipe for "~ Alfredo alla Primavera Parmesan-Chicken Quarters ~"

08/15/2020

~ Nice & Easy Spaghetti Alfredo alla Primavera-Style ~

It was November, 1981 or 1982 -- one or two days before Thanksgiving. It would turn out to be one of the worst-ever total snowfall years in the history of State College, and this storm snuck up on everyone. The snow piled high that afternoon, leaving over two feet on the ground. Trees came down and power lines snapped. Lights went out all over town. Our house at the time had a soapstone wood-burning stove in our family room. I hated that stove and the mess involved with it, but, it did help with the heating bill, so, Joe kept...... View full recipe for "~ Nice & Easy Spaghetti Alfredo alla Primavera-Style ~ "

08/12/2020

~ Japanese-Teriyaki-Style Roasted Chicken Quarters ~

Americans adore teriyaki-style almost anything. This is not an assumption on my part. Beef or chicken teriyaki appear as a skewered appetizer option on menus in almost all Japanese-American and Chinese-American restaurants. Make no mistake, teriyaki is a 100% Japanese-invented method of cooking (read paragraph three), and, once Americans here in the states got a taste for its soy- and ginger-based flavors (thanks to our soldiers returning to the homeland after WWII), Chinese-American restaurants adopted it, to please the palates of their customers. Incredibly easy to prepare, perfectly portioned, &, 100% guaranteed better than take-out, eat-out or delivery: Teriyaki is...... View full recipe for "~ Japanese-Teriyaki-Style Roasted Chicken Quarters ~"

08/09/2020

~How to Season & Roast Chicken Leg-Thigh Quarters~

Oven-roasted chicken leg-thigh quarters are on my weeknight meal rotation two or three times a month. They're tender and juicy, and, sigh-oh-my, that gorgeous, golden, crispy skin. Each one is a one-piece drumstick and thigh, which means each piece is the perfect one portion, so, no guesswork involved, you never have any leftovers (unless you want leftovers, then you roast six-eight). No matter what you're seasoning or saucing these with (the possibilities are almost endless), the upfront prep-work is minimal. Into the oven they go for 1 hour, 15-20 minutes, and, your hands are, for the most part, free to...... View full recipe for "~How to Season & Roast Chicken Leg-Thigh Quarters~"

08/06/2020

~ Easy Oven-Roasted Barbecued Chicken Quarters ~

A nice big piece of perfectly-cooked fall-off-the-bone-tender barbecued chicken, hot of the grill grids and dripping with a fresh slather of tangy barbecue sauce, is one of my favorite meals. That said, timing is everything, and the slightest time delay, as little as three short minutes, can cause the chicken to go from juicy and succulent to dry and tough -- this is further complicated if a combination of various-sized chicken parts (breasts, legs and thighs) are cooking at the same time. Sure, it's easily controlled, by babysitting each piece during the last five minutes of the cooking process, but,...... View full recipe for "~ Easy Oven-Roasted Barbecued Chicken Quarters ~"

08/04/2020

~ Roasted Buffalo-Style Chicken Leg-Thigh Quarters ~

Oven-roasted chicken leg-thigh quarters are on my weeknight meal rotation two or three times a month. They're tender and juicy, and, sigh-oh-my, that gorgeous, golden, crispy skin. Each one is a one-piece drumstick and thigh, which means each piece is the perfect one portion, so, no guesswork involved, you never have any leftovers (unless you want leftovers, then you roast six-eight). No matter what you're seasoning or saucing them with (the possibilities are almost endless), the upfront prep-work is minimal. Into the oven they go for 1 hour, 15-20 minutes, and, your hands are, for the most part, free to...... View full recipe for "~ Roasted Buffalo-Style Chicken Leg-Thigh Quarters ~"

08/02/2020

~ Yukon Gold Rush Jalapeño-Jack Mashed Potatoes ~

Steaming hot mashed potatoes -- I love them, you love them, I know you do, doesn't everyone? In my food world, about the only thing that can be better than a forkful of pure, unadulterated creamy-rich, mashed potatoes is: a forkful of creamy-rich mashed potatoes with a flavorful cheese added -- American, cheddar and gruyère are favorites in my house. Jalapeño Jack cheese is one such cheese too, and, oh-my-sigh, trust me, if you and yours enjoy a little spicy heat, you will not have to call anyone to the table twice if they know you're serving these. Trust me,...... View full recipe for "~ Yukon Gold Rush Jalapeño-Jack Mashed Potatoes ~"

07/20/2020

~My Aunt's Apple-Pie Pork-Chop & Stuffing Casserole~

The sweet and savory act of combining porcine and apples is classic. Every whole roasted pig that I've ever seen had an apple in its mouth. I honestly can't remember where I read it or heard this, but, my recollection is: this centuries old custom had to do with pigs being fattened by feeding them apples, so, this was considered a show of respect for the animal, representing it eating apples in life and into eternity (hogs were typically slaughtered in the Fall and apples were in season). All I know for certain is pork and apples go hand-in-hand, it's...... View full recipe for "~My Aunt's Apple-Pie Pork-Chop & Stuffing Casserole~"

07/17/2020

~ Light & Easy Buffalo-Style Skinny Chicken Tacos ~

What started in 1964 as late-night pub grub at the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, NY, deep-fried chicken wings, is now found in many forms. Truth told, there's not much that Buffalo-style chicken can't do, and tacos are the perfect marriage of two of our favorite foods. But, are these tacos as good as, or as enjoyable as, eating chicken wings? As a lady who loves wings, but, only in the privacy of my own home (where I'm free to lick my fingers, smack my lips, get goo stuck in my teeth, and, drip sauce on my blouse), yes, while different,...... View full recipe for "~ Light & Easy Buffalo-Style Skinny Chicken Tacos ~"

07/12/2020

~ Light & Easy Tex-Mex-Style Skinny Chicken Tacos ~

Mexican food is a favorite of mine, but I often wish it wasn't. Don't misunderstand me -- I can and will gobble up all its flavor-packed goodness with the best of 'em. It's next to impossible for anyone me to resist the melty or crumbly cheeses along with the creamy-rich refried beans, guacamole and crema. That said, more often than not, when dinner is done, I find myself wishing I'd exercised (pun intended) even a modicum of restraint, but, let's face it, despite the array of fresh ingredients used in Mexican food, Mexican fare doesn't offer any genuinely light options...... View full recipe for "~ Light & Easy Tex-Mex-Style Skinny Chicken Tacos ~"

06/25/2020

~ Slightly-Spicy Garlic & Italian-Herbs Buttered Pasta ~

The perfect foil means, the perfect background. Paint anything edible into this photo and it will be great meal. Tick, tock. In the case of this 15-minute to make side-dish, truer words were never spoken. When you have no time to make a run to the grocery store but still have a hungry family to please, this is the perfect side to serve -- everyone loves pasta. It goes great with a broiled chicken breast, a grilled pork chop, a pan-seared steak, a handful of steamed shrimp, etc. Add a steamed green vegetable or garden salad and dinner is on...... View full recipe for "~ Slightly-Spicy Garlic & Italian-Herbs Buttered Pasta ~"

06/21/2020

~ Campfire or Stovetop -- Dutch-Oven-Baked Beans ~

Manifest Destiny, the 19th-century doctrine that the United States had the right and duty to expand throughout the North American continent, brought the cowboys and their cattle drives up through Mexico and Texas and into the wide-open grazing spaces of Colorado and northward into the Midwest. These (often accidental) East-meets-West crossover points are where Easterners, bound for the Southwest and West, often encountered their first tastes of their final destinations. Dutch-oven-baked beans were a chuck-wagon staple. Fresh and dried peppers native to Mexico, dried beans, corn and rice, cornmeal and flour, salt, honey and/or unrefined sugar, coffee, cured ham, bacon...... View full recipe for "~ Campfire or Stovetop -- Dutch-Oven-Baked Beans ~"

06/15/2020

~ No-Pain Stay-Sane Pantry-Cooking Pork Lo-Mein ~

Lo mein. In Chinese it literally means "tossed noodles", and, it implies a method in which cooked wheat noodles get tossed into almost any type of stir-fry at the end of the cooking process. As a result, the noodles absorb some sauce and stay soft while the other previously-cooked ingredients (meat, poultry, seafood and/or vegetables) get distributed evenly throughout. An example of the opposite would be chow mein, which means "fried noodles", and implies a method in which the noodles are fried to a crispy state at the beginning of the cooking process. Lo-Mein. Like spaghetti, I want it when...... View full recipe for "~ No-Pain Stay-Sane Pantry-Cooking Pork Lo-Mein ~"

05/31/2020

~Souper Mexican-Style Noodle Soup (Sopa de Fideo)~

To the best of my knowledge, every culture has a special feel-good soup recipe known for its powers and abilities to right wrong, or, transform bad into good. More often than not, it's a relatively easy-to-prepare recipe that is said to quickly quell hunger pangs, turn angst into calm, cure a hangover or a flu, or, simply soothe the soul on a damp or cold day. Sopa de fideo is, perhaps, Mexico's most famous comfort-soup recipe, and, it's said to have come to Mexico via the Spanish residents of Cavite (a province located in the Philippines) in the 1600s. In...... View full recipe for "~Souper Mexican-Style Noodle Soup (Sopa de Fideo)~"

05/19/2020

~Eight Delightfully Delicious Rice-a-Roni Dinner Ideas~

Rice-a-Roni, the San Francisco treat, was a savvy entrepreneur's son's take on rice pilaf. Italian born immigrant Domenico (Charlie) DeDomenico moved to California in 1895 to open a fresh produce store. After becoming a successful businessman, he married Maria Ferrigno, an immigrant from Salerno, Italy, where her family owned a pasta factory. In 1912, Maria persuaded Charlie to set up a similar business in the Mission District of San Francisco. Gragnano Products, Inc., was born and began delivering pasta to Italian restaurants and stores throughout the area. Maria and Charlie's sons, Paskey, Vince, Tom and Anthony worked in the family...... View full recipe for "~Eight Delightfully Delicious Rice-a-Roni Dinner Ideas~"

05/17/2020

~ Slightly-Spicy Garlic-Butter and Herb Penne Pasta ~

In terms of the easiest-to-make, nicely-spiced, full-of-flavor pasta dish that serves as a foil for almost any Italian-American entrée that contains or is gonna get sauced with red gravy, this is it -- chicken, veal or eggplant Parmesan and chicken cacciatore are off-the-top-of-my-head examples. While you might be temped to toss some Parmesan cheese into this at the end, I don't recommend it. Trust me, not everything tastes better with cheese riddled through it. Save the cheese to top the dish in its entirety (even when serving it as a side-dish or eating by itself). Penne for your thoughts? Penne...... View full recipe for "~ Slightly-Spicy Garlic-Butter and Herb Penne Pasta ~"

05/12/2020

~Oh My Long Grain & Wild Rice-a-Roni Turkey Dinner~

As a creature of habit, Sunday is my day to roast something -- sometimes it's a long and lean eye-of-round beef roast, others times it's one or two plump roasting chickens or the biggest whole turkey breast I can find. Oddly, this "roast du jour" is rarely our Sunday dinner. I do it to have on hand to round-out a quick-to-make weeknight dinner or two, or to slice and eat in place of deli-meat in weekday sandwiches. Today I'm talkin' winner-winner flash-in-the-pan turkey dinner. Let's talk winner-winner flash-in-the-pan turkey dinner. A box or three of Uncle Ben's long-grain & wild...... View full recipe for "~Oh My Long Grain & Wild Rice-a-Roni Turkey Dinner~"

05/09/2020

~Oven-Braising a Turkey Breast without a Dutch Oven~

Let's talk turkey. Whole frozen birds and whole thawed breasts, were, for the most part, always available year round, but, at present, folks seem to be noticing them more -- especially the whole breasts. Considering the increasing scarcity, not-to-mention skyrocketing prices of beef and pork products, people are in search of relatively inexpensive alternatives that can feed an entire family. A whole turkey breast is one wise-choice item, but, based on the questions coming to me via KE recently, many first-time stay-at-home-full-time cooks find themselves overwhelmed, intimidated and confused by a product they've passed by more times than they'd like...... View full recipe for "~Oven-Braising a Turkey Breast without a Dutch Oven~"

04/28/2020

~ Teriyaki-Style Chicken Wings & Rice-a-Roni Bowls ~

Of the original three Rice-a-Roni flavors (chicken, beef and Spanish-style), chicken is the undisputed favorite, with beef and tomatoey Spanish-style coming in a close second and third. Growing up in the 60's, all three flavors of "the San Francisco treat" were always in my mom's pantry, and, as a savvy cook and recipe developer, I'm proud of my copycat recipes for all three. Over the decades, Rice-a-Roni has added many other flavors to their menu (long-grain & wild rice, rice pilaf, Japanese teriyaki, Chinese fried-rice, and Mexican-Style), twenty-six to be exact, along with other Pasta-Roni products. Teriyaki flavor is one...... View full recipe for "~ Teriyaki-Style Chicken Wings & Rice-a-Roni Bowls ~"

04/25/2020

~ Mexican-Style Rice-a-Roni and Chorizo Meatballs ~

Cinco de Mayo Rice-a-Roni? You betcha and cha-cha-cha. This fun to celebrate holiday is less than ten days away, so, no time like the present to plan something fun for dinner. While we all gotta do what we all gotta do, and, while desperate times do call for desperate measures, this spicy rice-a-roni and meatball dinner is so dang delicious, I guarantee you'll make it even during the best of times. I'm proud to say I invented it back when I was trying to keep three growing boys fed (aka "bottomless pits" as we moms refer to them), and they...... View full recipe for "~ Mexican-Style Rice-a-Roni and Chorizo Meatballs ~"

04/20/2020

~Homestyle Chicken and Vegetable Rice-a-Roni-Pilaf~

Rice-a-Roni, the San Francisco treat, was a savvy entrepreneur's son's take on rice pilaf. Italian born immigrant Domenico (Charlie) DeDomenico moved to California in 1895 to open a fresh produce store. After becoming a successful businessman, he married Maria Ferrigno, an immigrant from Salerno, Italy, where her family owned a pasta factory. In 1912, Maria persuaded Charlie to set up a similar business in the Mission District of San Francisco. Gragnano Products, Inc., was born and began delivering pasta to Italian restaurants and stores throughout the area. Maria and Charlie's sons, Paskey, Vince, Tom and Anthony worked in the family...... View full recipe for "~Homestyle Chicken and Vegetable Rice-a-Roni-Pilaf~"

04/18/2020

~ Easy Chinese-Style Pork-Fried-Rice-a-Roni Stir-Fry ~

Of the original three Rice-a-Roni flavors (chicken, beef and Spanish-style), chicken is the undisputed favorite, with beef and tomatoey Spanish-style coming in a close second and third. Growing up in the 60's, all three flavors of "the San Francisco treat" were always in my mom's pantry, and, as a savvy cook and recipe developer, I'm proud of my copycat recipes for all three. Over the decades, Rice-a-Roni has added many other flavors to their menu (long-grain & wild rice, rice pilaf, Japanese teriyaki, Chinese fried-rice, and Mexican-Style), twenty-six to be exact, along with other Pasta-Roni products. Their stir-fried rice is...... View full recipe for "~ Easy Chinese-Style Pork-Fried-Rice-a-Roni Stir-Fry ~"

04/15/2020

~ Oh-My-Goodness-Good Retro Rice-a-Burger-Roni ~

When I was a kid, my mom invented a beefy Rice-a-Roni dinner that kept my brother and I from bugging her to buy us an occasional, to quote mom, "over-priced, over-rated TV dinner" -- which, to us kids of the era, were nothing more than a trendy novelty. As they say on the Rice-a-Roni website: Prepare for a stampede to the dinner table when you serve our delicious rice and vermicelli blended with the savory flavors of onions, carrots, beef broth and garlic. It's true. Mom would carefully shape hamburger patties, prepared meatloaf-style (meaning mixed with a binder, some milk,...... View full recipe for "~ Oh-My-Goodness-Good Retro Rice-a-Burger-Roni ~"

04/13/2020

~Cajun-Style Chicken, Sausage & Rice-a-Jamba-Roni~

In my kitchen, this one-skillet dish is affectionately referred to as Jamba-Roni. Why? This quick-to-make mixture of lightly-sautéed long-grain rice and vermicelli, plus tender chicken, spicy sausage, flavorful bell peppers, celery and onions simply reminds everyone who eats it of jambalaya (a rustic one-pot meal containing long-grain white rice with meat, poultry or shellfish, pork or sausage, and, the Cajun-Creole "holy trinity" -- onion, celery and green bell pepper). Creole-style jambalaya, sometimes called red jambalaya, incorporates tomato. The most popular Creole jambalaya contains shrimp (or crawfish). Cajun-style jambalaya, sometimes called brown jambalaya, doesn't contain tomato. The most popular Cajun jambalaya...... View full recipe for "~Cajun-Style Chicken, Sausage & Rice-a-Jamba-Roni~"

04/10/2020

~ Spicy Creole-Style Shrimp and Rice-a-Jamba-Roni ~

In my kitchen, this one-skillet dish is affectionately referred to as Jamba-Roni. Why? This quick-to-make mixture of tomato-laced long-grain white rice and vermicelli, plus lots of succulent shrimp and flavorful bell peppers, celery and onions simply reminds everyone who eats it of jambalaya (a rustic one-pot meal that combines long-grain white rice with meat, poultry or shellfish, pork or sausage, and, the Cajun-Creole culinary "holy trinity" -- onion, celery and green bell pepper). Creole-style jambalaya, sometimes called red jambalaya, incorporates tomato. The most popular Creole jambalaya contains shrimp (or crawfish). Cajun-style jambalaya, sometimes called brown jambalaya, doesn't contain tomato. The...... View full recipe for "~ Spicy Creole-Style Shrimp and Rice-a-Jamba-Roni ~"

04/07/2020

~Cheesy Ham, Green Bean & Hash Brown Casserole~

After our Easter feast, before we even washed the dishes, mom would put together a casserole from three of the leftovers. It wasn't rocket science, but, it was made from high-quality scratch-made ingredients. About three cups of cubed baked ham and two cups of buttery green (string) beans got stirred into the remaining cheesy scalloped potatoes. The following night, upon reheat, no one had to be called twice to the dinner table -- we four loved this meal. This is not that recipe. This is similar dish, made from pantry and freezer staples, for those times when you don't have...... View full recipe for "~Cheesy Ham, Green Bean & Hash Brown Casserole~"