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76 posts categorized "22) Alert!!! Can be Made Ahead and Frozen"

02/03/2012

~ Thai Chicken Stock (Real Thai Food Starts Here) ~

Back in 1993, over a period of about two years, I had the great pleasure of striking up a friendship with a Home Economist from Thailand. Kanya Wacharamai was living in State College with her husband Fu, who was earning his engineering degree from Penn State. It was during this time that I also learned the art of true Thai cooking. Kanya taught a very popular series of Thai cooking lessons in her home kitchen, and, my husband Joe and I signed up as a team and took every lesson she gave. Because my husband Joe is an engineer, and,...... View full recipe for "~ Thai Chicken Stock (Real Thai Food Starts Here) ~"

01/25/2012

~ Want to Get a Husband? Practice Your Meatballs! ~

Meatballs are a universal food, and, almost every culture has their own name for them and way to serve them (they are acually a diminutive form of meatloaf). They come in all sizes: tiny, pop-in-your-mouth-sized ones served at cocktail parties or put into soups; medium-sized ones served as an accompaniment to pasta or put in a sandwich; and, large near baseball-sized ones served as a main course. While meatballs aren't Italian per se, I'm pretty sure that when most of us think of meatballs, we associate the them with the pillowy-soft, melt-in-your-mouth, covered in red sauce/"gravy" Italian-American kind. Italian immigrants...... View full recipe for "~ Want to Get a Husband? Practice Your Meatballs! ~"

01/15/2012

~ Mel, Will You Please Post Your Meatloaf Recipe? ~

I take all of my readers requests seriously, and when asked for something, I always do get to it (eventually). I got this request last year, back in November to be exact. Lauren has been patiently waiting, and I did email her to say it would have to wait until after I finished with my holiday posts. So, here I am, on a beautiful, sunny, Sunday afternoon in January, with a crisp coating of snow on the ground watching all the skiers ride up and ski down the slopes of Tussey Mountain through my kitchen window. I can't think of...... View full recipe for "~ Mel, Will You Please Post Your Meatloaf Recipe? ~"

01/03/2012

~ Decidedly Decadent Frozen-Hot-Chocolate Pops ~

In just a few days our grandson will be coming for a visit. Needless to say, JoePa and GrandMel are quite excited. Everytime DJ comes to visit we try to think up fun things for him to do with the both of us, singularly and together. For example: JoePa bought him a microscope and we'll spend a couple hours viewing things like, strands of hair, onion skin, and CHEEZ-IT crumbs (DJ loves his Cheese-y Crackers). Later in the day, David will try again to teach GrandMel how to play Angry Birds on his Kindle, after proclaiming, "you're not very good...... View full recipe for "~ Decidedly Decadent Frozen-Hot-Chocolate Pops ~"

12/26/2011

~Pirogi: Just Like My Russian Baba Used to Make w/ My method for Perfect Food Processor Pirogi Dough~

Pirogi (spelled pierogi in Poland, pieroghi on Wikipedia and Pierogy by Mrs. T) are to Eastern Europeans as ravioli are to Italians. I know because I am of Eastern European heritage and my husband comes from Italian heritage. I grew up eating "real" pirogi -- handmade with love in the kitchens of my Baba and Tettie (my grandmother and her sister). I was 6 or 7 when they enticed me into the assembly line of their twice-yearly pirogi making marathon by giving me a pastry brush and allowing me to brush water on the edges of the cut dough. I...... View full recipe for "~Pirogi: Just Like My Russian Baba Used to Make w/ My method for Perfect Food Processor Pirogi Dough~ "

12/16/2011

~ Veal Cocktail Meatballs w/Apricot-Mustard Glaze ~

This is what I refer to as a "bonus blog post". In the scheme of my holiday blogging agenda, this yummy recipe was not on cue for today. Occasionally, as per today, what I decide to post is born out of practicality: or what happens in my "real" daily life. Earlier this week, my friend Scott asked me to show him how I make parmigiana. So, on Tuesday, we got together early in the afternoon and had a great time making my recipe for ~ "Not Your Mama's Parmigiana" (Chicken or Veal) ~, which I, of course, took the opportunity...... View full recipe for "~ Veal Cocktail Meatballs w/Apricot-Mustard Glaze ~"

11/09/2011

~ My Cheese-y Chicken, Broccoli & Rice Casserole ~

Every cook, every where, needs at least one, hearty, easy-to-make, go-to casserole recipe that can be counted on to please and feed a crowd. This is mine. There are as many versions of this recipe "out there" as there are den mothers, which is how I came to start making this one over twenty years ago. I'm making it today because I just made my annual vat of chicken stock a few days ago. You can read my recipe for ~ It's National Chicken Stock Day in Mel's Kitchen ~ in Categories 15 & 22. I'll be using the chicken...... View full recipe for "~ My Cheese-y Chicken, Broccoli & Rice Casserole ~"

11/07/2011

~ Smokey 'n Sweet Roasted-Tomato & Thyme Soup a la "The Philips"... and don't forget the Frico! ~

Savvy cooks and chef's know that when tomatoes start to go out-of-season in the Fall, or, are really out-of-season throughout the Winter, roasting them in the oven concentrates their flavor, making them a truly succulent and sweet ingredient to use in a myriad of savory culinary applications. If you are a consummate tomato lover like me, this is great news! In the Fall, the Philips Hotel and 1921 Restaurant occasionally has a "to die for" tomato soup featured on their "soup du jour" menu. It is thick, rich, slightly sweet, and contains just a hint of smoky flavor... reminiscent of...... View full recipe for "~ Smokey 'n Sweet Roasted-Tomato & Thyme Soup a la "The Philips"... and don't forget the Frico! ~"

11/01/2011

~It's National Chicken Stock Day in Melanie's Kitchen~

Today is my own private holiday. For some reason, for many, many years now, on November 1st, I make a huge pot of chicken stock. I actually plan my week around this day. It is a day just for me. Once the stock is simmering, I make no attempt to be particularly productive. I relax, read, write or watch a movie for a few hours. Even my poodles snooze for hours in the etherial environment. Perhaps I chose November 1st because Thanksgiving is right around the corner, at which time I'll need quite a bit of chicken stock. The truth...... View full recipe for "~It's National Chicken Stock Day in Melanie's Kitchen~"

10/26/2011

~ Bacon, Onion & Rosemary-Tomato-Cream Soup ~

One thing I will never walk away from is tomato soup. I love it, love it, love it. I grew up loving the days when my mom or dad would make us a can of Campbell's for lunch and serve it to my brother and I with a few crushed Nabisco saltines on the the top or a grilled cheese sandwich to the side. Nowadays, if I'm out for lunch and a chef has an interesting version of this classic on the menu, it is the first thing I will order. And, if I'm not feeling well, a mug of...... View full recipe for "~ Bacon, Onion & Rosemary-Tomato-Cream Soup ~"

10/07/2011

~ Comfort Food Italian-Style: Chicken- Cacciatore ~

Cacciatore means hunter in Italian, and alla cacciatore means, in the style of the hunter. The French refer to this dish as chasseur, and the Spanish call it cazadores. In any language, in the style of the hunter, it is a very rustic stew which was prepared primarily when the hunter brought home a "white meat" to feed his family -- partridges, pheasants or rabbits. The American-Italian term usually refers to chicken breasts or thighs prepared hunter-style, and contains woodsy mushrooms, onions, tomatoes, briny olives, various earthy herbs and, of course, red wine. Cacciatore starts with heating some olive oil...... View full recipe for "~ Comfort Food Italian-Style: Chicken- Cacciatore ~"

09/12/2011

~My Mom's Sublime Stuffed Cabbage Rolls (Holubki)~

My mom's stuffed cabbage rolls are more than just a family favorite. They are the best rendition of this Eastern European, ethnic classic that I can provide to you. Her holubki (pronounced ho-loob-kee) are requested by our family and get served for almost all holidays. Whenever my husband Joe and I are visiting my parents she makes a pot of them just for Joe (who would live on holubki if he could or I would let him). Mom learned how to make stuffed cabbage "on the job" from her mother (my Coaldale Baba who lived in Coaldale, PA), just as...... View full recipe for "~My Mom's Sublime Stuffed Cabbage Rolls (Holubki)~"

07/06/2011

~ Making Pate Brisee: Basic Pie or Quiche Pastry ~

Here in Melanie's Central Pennsylvania Kitchen it's the height of the berry season. In our backyard, it's been a great year for sweet strawberries, Joe's sour-pie-cherry tree yielded 38 pounds of gorgeous cherries, and, his plump, juicy blueberries will be taking over my kitchen by the end of this week. So, before posting my recipes for some great berry pies and rustic fruit galettes, I thought it best to begin by posting my favorite recipe for pie pastry. Spring, Summer, Fall or Winter, here in our house there is always some sort of fruit or vegetable, cheese or protein that...... View full recipe for "~ Making Pate Brisee: Basic Pie or Quiche Pastry ~"

06/01/2011

~ School's Out: Time for the Good Ole' Sloppy Joe ~

It's June and I'm letting the kid in me come out today. What I most remember about June in the 1960's was that last school bus ride to the end of Ye Old Hauto Road and my brother's and my half-mile walk home. We'd enter the kitchen door and place our lunch boxes and our report cards on the kitchen counter. We'd run into our respective bedrooms and trade in our school clothes for play clothes. I'd emerge in a pair of shorts, a frilly tank top and a pair of brand new white Keds. David would emerge in pair...... View full recipe for "~ School's Out: Time for the Good Ole' Sloppy Joe ~"

05/10/2011

~ Mel's Spicy Honey-Mustard BBQ Sauce for Pork ~

It is pretty much impossible for a picture to describe how delicious a barbecue sauce is and in the Preschutti household we consider this one extraordinary. I can't say I would use it on anything other than grilled or smoked pork ribs or pork chops, because I developed this sauce to go specifically with the flavor of pork, and more specifically, pork ribs. That being said, if you or someone you know is having a pig roast, this is the sauce you want to serve with it! Joe and I have traveled to "The South" on several occasions, and once...... View full recipe for "~ Mel's Spicy Honey-Mustard BBQ Sauce for Pork ~"

05/04/2011

~ Apricot-Mustard Sauce: For Dipping or Drizzling ~

In the late 1970's, two women, Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins opened a small food shop in Manhattan named: The Silver Palate. For that period in history, they had an extremely unique concept: gourmet take-out meals, for all courses and all occasions. Their shop met with rave reviews and national acclaim, which was followed by The Silver Palate Cookbook, then a second book, The Silver Palate Good Times Cookbook. A line of specialty food products was then marketed to, and found in, gourmet food shops across America, which made it possible for all of us cooks to enhance our own...... View full recipe for "~ Apricot-Mustard Sauce: For Dipping or Drizzling ~"

04/27/2011

~ A Hearty Fifteen Bean, Ham & Vegetable Soup ~

I don't make this soup after the Easter holiday just because it is the perfect use for the leftover ham, not to mention the flavorful ham bone. I make it because I love it and so does my entire family. I always make a big batch of it too. I portion and freeze it, to have on hand all year long. If you have a big enough pot, you should consider doing the same. That being said, for your convenience, I have written my recipe to be easily cut in half or quartered. While this soup is comfort food at...... View full recipe for "~ A Hearty Fifteen Bean, Ham & Vegetable Soup ~"

03/29/2011

~ Jesse's E-Z Spatini Lasagna (& Mrs. DiCindio) ~

I don't know how many lasagna recipes one household is supposed to have, but I make four different kinds with four different sauces, and, yes, even homemade crespelle or pasta: Bolognese, Seafood, Vegetable and this really easy one! I developed this recipe for my son Jesse when he was a law student at The University of Pittsburgh. As with most college students, they eat at fast-food joints a lot, but, living in an apartment, Jess did occasionally cook for himself, because he did and still does like to cook. His kitchen was tiny but mighty, meaning: mom equipped him with...... View full recipe for "~ Jesse's E-Z Spatini Lasagna (& Mrs. DiCindio) ~"

03/21/2011

~ Preschutti Pizza, Part I: Our Favorite Sauce ~

Welcome to Kitchen Encounter's first mini-series: a three-part post, which will be posted over three days, about my family's love for perfect pizza! Today we are making pizza sauce, tomorrow we'll be making pizza crust and Wednesday we'll be concentrating on pizza toppings! Anyone who loves to eat pizza will tell you the secret to a great pizza is not just a great crust. A great pizza crust must be topped with a great pizza sauce, and, in our house, one without the other is just not acceptable. As the old folks say, "don't put your cart before your horse",...... View full recipe for "~ Preschutti Pizza, Part I: Our Favorite Sauce ~"

03/07/2011

~ Baked Potato, Roasted Garlic & Cheddar Soup ~

About 15 years ago, this soup was "all the rage", meaning: very trendy. Almost every eatery in our small "Happy Valley" community served up their own version of it and I admit to trying almost every one of them. One version in particular was exceptional and it was made in The American Ale House & Grill's kitchen. For several years it always appeared as one of their signature dishes on their fall/winter menu, and, was featured by them on St. Patrick's Day. Anyone who ate it would still tell you today it was exceptional... baked and smashed russet potatoes in...... View full recipe for "~ Baked Potato, Roasted Garlic & Cheddar Soup ~"

02/16/2011

~ How to: Make a Basic Vegetable Stock a la Lidia ~

Up until five years ago, unless I was entertaining one of my vegetarian friends, like my mixed-doubles tennis partner and close friend Bob, I always chose to use my homemade beef, chicken or veal stock when preparing my recipes. Up until five years ago, I had a lovely vegetable stock recipe in my own repertoire, plus, had tasted my share of vegetable stocks in fine restaurants, but, quite frankly, I always found them to be slightly lack luster and less than impressive. To me, vegetable stock was nothing more than a necessary evil. Then, in 2006, I had the pleasure...... View full recipe for "~ How to: Make a Basic Vegetable Stock a la Lidia ~"

01/10/2011

~ Grandma Ann's Easy Chicken Vegetable Soup ~

On November 13th, 2007, at 6:30 PM, Joe's 83-year-old mother Ann walked through the door of her new home here in State College. It had been a busy and exciting Summer for the entire family. Joe and his brother Tom did all of her packing. I was in charge of the decisions/choices regarding the building of her new home, the move-in and all of the decorating (I got the fun part). After the closing (2:00 PM on November 1st), I had twelve short days to pull an entire household together, including stocking the pantry shelves and refrigerator. It was like...... View full recipe for "~ Grandma Ann's Easy Chicken Vegetable Soup ~"

11/22/2010

~ A Truly Tart & Triple-Delicious Cranberry Sauce ~

Cranberry sauce has always been one of my favorite things on the Thanksgiving table... and I mean on anyone's Thanksgiving table. I'm a person who has a taste for sweet and savory, and loves a great sweet and savory fruit sauce with almost any protein. I've never tasted a cranberry sauce I did not like, except once, and it contained pears and espresso (or very strong coffee). It was in a fancy country-club restaurant and it remained on my plate at the end of the day. I grew up eating the smooth, gelatin-like sauce that slid out of the can...... View full recipe for "~ A Truly Tart & Triple-Delicious Cranberry Sauce ~"

11/18/2010

~ Mel's Texas-Style Chili Sauce & Texas Chili Dogs ~

In the 1950's, '60's and '70's, my hometown of Tamaqua, PA, had two "hot spots" to eat hot dogs: The Coney Island, and, The Texas Lunch. My family ate at The Texas Lunch exclusively. Both establishments were triangular in shape and were located at opposite corners of Broad Street's "Five Points", the town's main thoroughfare. Both served lunch daily to at least 100 people, but only had counter seating for 12 and 6 respectively. The hot dogs were literally passed out the doors to customers standing on the sidewalk, like buckets of water to a fire (while pending orders and...... View full recipe for "~ Mel's Texas-Style Chili Sauce & Texas Chili Dogs ~"

10/19/2010

~ Roasted Pumpkin Puree (The Preschutti Way!) ~

Once we pick the pumpkins from Joe's garden, he and I know it is indeed fall. He starts the process of wintering the gardens and transplanting whatever herbs we can move indoors into pots. I start the process of roasting and pureeing all of the pumpkins and squash. The entire process is extraordinarily easy (at least my end of it is). I'm not going to lie, it takes a little time, as each batch takes 2 hours to roast and 1 hour to cool, but aside from oven time, your hands-on work-time is limited to about 10-15 minutes per batch....... View full recipe for "~ Roasted Pumpkin Puree (The Preschutti Way!) ~"

08/21/2010

~ My Fresh & Spicy Tomato-Basil Sauce (Marinara) ~

"Mr. Greenjeans", my husband Joe, adores gardening as much as I adore cooking. He loves being outdoors working in his meticulously cared for gardens as much as I love being indoors cooking in my meticulously maintained kitchens. He shops in hardware/garden supply stores like I shop in kitchen/restaurant supply stores. I don't question what he spends for a new wheelbarrow and he doesn't question what I spend on a new 24-quart rondeau... True love!!! In the Fall of each year, thanks to Joe, I find myself up to my elbows in several varieties of fresh tomatoes, the Roma (or Italian...... View full recipe for "~ My Fresh & Spicy Tomato-Basil Sauce (Marinara) ~"