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600 posts categorized " 02) Soups, Salads, Sandwiches & Snacks"

07/09/2021

~Make Tortillas de Maize from Scratch - Corn Tortillas~

Tortillas de Maize, meaning corn tortillas, originated in Mexico during pre-Columbian times -- the cultures that evolved in parts of Mexico, Central America and Western South America prior to the Spanish conquest during the 16th Century. This means the corn tortilla predates the wheat-flour tortilla, as wheat was not not grown in the the Americas prior to European colonization in the mid-1500s. In Aztec times, two or three corn tortillas would have been eaten with each meal. Maize itself has been a Mexican staple food for centuries and remains the most planted crop in the regions of Mexico, and, you...... View full recipe for "~Make Tortillas de Maize from Scratch - Corn Tortillas~"

07/06/2021

~Herb-Sour-Cream Cucumber or Tomato Salad Cups~

Summer is prime time for big main-dish salads and small side-dish salads. In the case of the latter, in my kitchen, one quick-to-fix creamy sour-cream-based dressing has me eating a side of crunchy cucumber or tangy tomato salad in the time it takes the average steak to grill. Yes, of course, go ahead, do the math and double, triple or quadruple this recipe to make a bigger batch, but, in my kitchen, I don't make more than me or my family is going to eat in one sitting. Why? I don't like leftover cucumber or tomato salad -- simply stated:...... View full recipe for "~Herb-Sour-Cream Cucumber or Tomato Salad Cups~"

07/03/2021

~The Cool History behind the Composed Cobb Salad~

The Cobb salad, affectionately called the California Cobb, was invented in 1937 at Hollywood's Brown Derby Restaurant by the owner, Robert Cobb. As the story goes, it's said to have been composed for some hungry late night diners. Mr. Cobb carefully chose from a variety of uniformly sliced and diced ingredients from the day's fare, arranging them in unusually neat lines atop a bed of lettuce as he plated. Another tale (of woe) says that Mr. Cobb threw the salad together to satisfy the appetite of a loyal customer to came into the restaurant complaining of a toothache, so, Cobb...... View full recipe for "~The Cool History behind the Composed Cobb Salad~"

06/30/2021

~ The Cool History behind the Composed Chef Salad ~

A restaurant that serves a great chef's salad for lunch is a restaurant I will frequent. Like Seinfeld's Elaine, I like a big salad, and I don't mean a big bowl of lettuce. I mean a lot of perfectly-cooked good stuff in it, right down to more-than-a-few crunchy, buttery-rich croutons on top. The chef's salad is exactly that salad -- it's not served before the meal or after the meal, it is the meal. The chef salad is a "composed salad", meaning, it is a pretty-to-look-at, arranged-on-a-plate, high-quality, salad -- a perfectly-balanced mixture of color, flavor and texture. At the...... View full recipe for "~ The Cool History behind the Composed Chef Salad ~"

06/27/2021

~ Pack a Picnic-Basket w/Boxed Turkey Chef Salads ~

I might not be an outdoor kinda gal, but, I do enjoy an occasional picnic, if it's a Hallmark Card kinda day. That said, if I'm the one in charge of the food, I'm not one to traipse around the great outdoors carrying a basket full of food containers that are gonna cause me a whole lot of cleanup when I get back home. When I pack a picnic, boxed lunches are my way of enjoying the day and the return trip. There's more. It's doesn't matter what I'm making and taking, everyone gets a bit of everything portioned into...... View full recipe for "~ Pack a Picnic-Basket w/Boxed Turkey Chef Salads ~"

06/24/2021

~The Sizzling History behind Fajitas (Tacos al Carbon)~

Fajitas were originally named tacos-al-carbon and were served as portable food, ready-to-eat-with-the-hands, by wrapping strips of unpretentious skirt steak that had been cooked over a campfire or on a grill, in a warm corn or flour tortilla, meaning they were served taco-style. "Faja" is the Spanish word for "strip, band, sash or belt", and, with "ita" added to the end, it means "a little strip, band, sash or belt", meaning the ingredients for fajitas are always cut into strips. The dish dates back to cattle ranching life along the Rio Grande Valley regions of the Texas-Mexico border in the 1930's....... View full recipe for "~The Sizzling History behind Fajitas (Tacos al Carbon)~"

06/20/2021

~Wrapped and Rolled Cheesy Chicken-Fajita Burritos~

A fajita-burrito has its origins in Mexico and features the best of two South-of-the border worlds -- all those luscious strips of well-seasoned grilled or sautéd chicken or steak, bell peppers and onions that go into fajitas, wrapped-and-rolled, burrito-style, in a large, warm flour tortilla that's been slathered with refried beans and scattered with a layer of Spanish-style rice and shredded cheese. The outcome is indeed the best of two worlds and, there's no need for embellishments either. Hold the guacamole, sour cream and/or salsa. Pick 'em up 'cause they're ready-to-eat. No need for embellishments. Pick 'em up -- they're...... View full recipe for "~Wrapped and Rolled Cheesy Chicken-Fajita Burritos~"

06/16/2021

~ Nacho Mama's Sheet-Pan Chicken-Fajitas Nachos ~

Spicy fajitas and cheesy nachos. Together. Carefully layered on top of each other on a sheet pan. Yes, a sheet pan. Why? Because nachos require a perfect ratio of cheese-to-toppings on each chip and the sheet pan provides the surface area needed to accomplish that. Nothing is sadder than picking up a cheesy nacho to find no goodies on top of it, or worse, picking up a nacho chip overloaded with goodies to the point they all slide off onto the plate or your lap. Research has revealed that nachos made their debut in Northern Mexico in the 1940's when...... View full recipe for "~ Nacho Mama's Sheet-Pan Chicken-Fajitas Nachos ~"

06/13/2021

~Kids-Stuff One-Skillet Tex-Mex Chicken-Fajita Filling~

Tacos and fajitas. Akin to Cheeseburgers and pizza, I can't much conjure up four more kid-friendly meals. That said, if you're a mom or dad attempting to get your kids to eat more vegetables, it goes without saying, fajitas are an argument-free way way to get the job done. If you're a mom or dad trying to cut some fat out of your life, chicken fajitas will accomplish that too. There's more. If you've got a big family to feed or the need to feed a crowd, simply do the math and double the quantities. In about the same amount...... View full recipe for "~Kids-Stuff One-Skillet Tex-Mex Chicken-Fajita Filling~"

06/10/2021

~ Tex-Mex Skinny Chicken-Fajita Corn-Tortilla Tacos ~

Fajitas were originally named tacos-al-carbon and were served as portable food, ready-to-eat-with-the-hands, by wrapping strips of unpretentious skirt steak that had been cooked over a campfire or on a grill, in a warm corn or flour tortilla, meaning they were served taco-style. "Faja" is the Spanish word for "strip, band, sash or belt", and, with "ita" added to the end, it means "a little strip, band, sash or belt", meaning the ingredients for fajitas are always cut into strips. The dish dates back to cattle ranching life along the Rio Grande Valley regions of the Texas-Mexico border in the 1930's....... View full recipe for "~ Tex-Mex Skinny Chicken-Fajita Corn-Tortilla Tacos ~"

06/01/2021

~So You'd Like Perfectly Caramelized Onions on That~

Caramelized onions are a marvelous condiment to have on-hand. They're an awesome topper for a hamburger, steak or cheesesteak, they're wonderful on pizza, and, oh-my-sigh, I love them in a cheese omelette for breakfast. That said, it does take a bit of time and patience (not energy) to properly caramelize onions, about 40 minutes, but, on average, that's how long it takes onions to properly caramelize on the stovetop, and, after all, one can't serve French onion anything without properly caramelized onions -- quite frankly, they're the star of any French onion show. The words I use to describe the...... View full recipe for "~So You'd Like Perfectly Caramelized Onions on That~"

05/29/2021

~Dijonnaise -- Mayonnaise, Dijon Mustard and Spices~

As far as mayonnaise-based condiments go, this is the condiment that makes everything taste fancy schmancy in a French kinda way. It is sooooo good on sooooo many things. To name a few: French fries, steamed or grilled vegetables, an ordinary ham or turkey sandwich, and, of course, a mouth-watering cheeseburger. There's more. It's great used as a dressing for potato salad. Make a big batch or a small batch, whatever you need, it's only going to take five minutes. Make a big batch or a small batch -- whatever you need: For my French-style Dijonnaise: 6 tablespoons high-quality mayonnaise...... View full recipe for "~Dijonnaise -- Mayonnaise, Dijon Mustard and Spices~"

05/26/2021

~ Pan-Seared French-Onion Burgers with Dijonnaise ~

Easy and decadent? Yes, decadent. That's how I describe these cheeseburgers. Trust me. All the steps are truly easy -- very, very easy. That said, it will take a bit of time, not energy, to properly caramelize the onions, about 40 minutes, but, on average, that's how long it takes onions to properly caramelize on the stovetop, and, after all, one can't serve French onion anything without properly caramelized onions -- quite frankly, they're the star of the French onion show. The words I use to describe caramelizing onions on the stovetop: a super-easy babysitting job. As for the contents...... View full recipe for "~ Pan-Seared French-Onion Burgers with Dijonnaise ~"

05/17/2021

~ Sweet Potato Salad w/Apples and Candied Pecans ~

If you'd like to try, or are in search of, a uniquely-different delightfully-delicious starchy side-dish to serve with those barbecued spareribs, smoked pork chops or perfectly-grilled chicken at your upcoming outdoor get-together, this vinegar-based sweet potato salad, in place of traditional mayonnaise-based potato salad, is the ticket. Porcine or poultry, sweet potatoes, and apples, are a common, not to mention very popular, trio. The pickiest of eaters mostly agree they all taste great on the same plate because the flavors and textures simply put: all complement each other. The vinaigrette for this salad remarkably easy to make, as well as...... View full recipe for "~ Sweet Potato Salad w/Apples and Candied Pecans ~"

05/14/2021

~ Sweet and Tangy Honey-Dijon Balsamic Vinaigrette ~

For me, it's salad season the entire year, however, now that the warm weather has finally arrived, it's real-deal salad season. I'm talking Summer salads made with a wider variety of higher-quality vegetables from local farmers' markets, and, in the upcoming weeks and months, veggies picked from my own garden. These are salads I love to serve next to my favorite grilled meats, poultry, and, yes, even seafood -- no other side dishes need apply. For that reason, I find myself taking the time to scratch-make dressings and vinaigrettes oftener, meaning, on a regular basis. This vinaigrette is remarkably easy...... View full recipe for "~ Sweet and Tangy Honey-Dijon Balsamic Vinaigrette ~"

05/05/2021

~Cheesy Ground-Beef Corn-Tortilla Taco-Quesadillas~

Everyone I know loves a taco or three. No one I know loves a taco that's been made using a taco-shell that came out of a box -- they taste like the cardboard they came packed in, and, unless the fillings sit in the shells for several minutes, the shells shatter like glass -- bring out the knives-and-forks because everyone's dinner just landed on their plate. It's a less than ideal situation. In a perfect world, everyone would make fresh corn tortillas from scratch, but, in today's busy real world, that time-consuming process is, frankly, unrealistic. That's where store-bought, soft,...... View full recipe for "~Cheesy Ground-Beef Corn-Tortilla Taco-Quesadillas~"

04/17/2021

~All in the Family Oven-Baked Cheddar Cheese Dogs~

When a family as a unit unanimously agrees that hot dogs require cheese, assembling them upfront, then baking them all at once in the oven, as many as the family can eat at one sitting, makes short work of getting lunch or dinner for the entire family on the table. Once assembled and lined-up slightly apart on a baking sheet, it only takes 10-12 minutes in a 375° for the cheese to melt, the hotdogs to heat through and the buns to toast. When they come out, everyone gets to top theirs with their own personal-favorite toppings -- let the...... View full recipe for "~All in the Family Oven-Baked Cheddar Cheese Dogs~"

04/14/2021

~ Baked Hot Dog Cheesies & Creamy Tomato Soup ~

Cheesies. That's the name. If you're in your sixties or older, you are well aware how, without compromise, a slice of white sandwich bread is a perfect substitute for a hot dog roll. Truth told, sometimes I prefer the slice of bread to the roll, and, cheesies, kid-tested mother-approved blast-from-my-past snack sandwiches are the reason. There's more. They're not just a blast from my past. My husband Joe told me the tale of how, when he was student at Penn State during the latter 60's, the lines were long in the campus' dining halls on the nights cheesies were served....... View full recipe for "~ Baked Hot Dog Cheesies & Creamy Tomato Soup ~"

04/11/2021

~ Unembellished Perfection -- Classic Cheese Toast ~

Cheese toast served with a side of tomato soup. Also known as cheese-on-toast, these two go hand-in-hand together, and, truth told, I enjoy dipping this munchy-crunchy oven-toasted side-dish into my creamy-steamy soup better than the overwhelming favorite amongst the masses: the slightly-greasy skillet-fried grilled cheese sandwich (served with a side of tomato soup). I'm not sure why. Perhaps it's because my dad preferred cheese toast to grilled cheese, or, perhaps it's because it was one of the first meals my mom allowed me to prepare sans supervision. To a budding young cook -- kitchen independence is bliss. Everyone makes cheese...... View full recipe for "~ Unembellished Perfection -- Classic Cheese Toast ~"

03/27/2021

~The Lunch Special BBQ-Sauced Chicken Sandwich~

More than a few foodie people I know, me included, secretly fantasize about owning a small-town, mom-and-pop-type diner -- a simple little eatery, with a dozen or so counter stools, plus a few booths lined up in front of a row of windows too. A safe harbor where the local clientele can meander in almost any time of day for a cup of coffee and breakfast, the lunch or dinner special, or, a slice of lemon meringue pie. A big piece of juicy barbecued chicken, hot out of the skillet, slathered in a copious amount of semi-caramelized barbecue sauce served...... View full recipe for "~The Lunch Special BBQ-Sauced Chicken Sandwich~"

03/12/2021

~A Slice of Hometown Pie -- My Hometown Pizza Pie~

When I was three, my parents built a home in the suburbs of Tamaqua, PA -- Hometown, PA. Hometown, was/is a community of mostly one-story ranch and bi-level homes that is best described as where the post-WWII generation built their dream homes in the latter 1950's, 60's and 70's -- homes with one or two car garages or an occasional car port, well-maintained lawns with backyard patios, swing sets and badminton nets, barbecue grills, etc. -- a great neighborhood to raise kids. Amongst other things, Hometown had its own fire company, elementary school, a couple of gas stations, a diner,...... View full recipe for "~A Slice of Hometown Pie -- My Hometown Pizza Pie~"

03/09/2021

~ Put the Beer in the Pizza Dough Thin-Crust Pizza ~

If you're a fan of, or prefer, a thin-and-crispy light-and-airy crust as the foil for your pizza or pizza creations, this is the recipe you've been searching for. Thanks to a pizza-pro friend who schooled me on the virtues of beer in his pizza dough (by emptying almost an entire bottle of beer into his flour mixture in place of water), all it took was one taste when his pizza was done for me to try it in my own home kitchen. It changed one of my pizza dough recipes forever -- my thin crust recipe. One ingredient, one substitution,...... View full recipe for "~ Put the Beer in the Pizza Dough Thin-Crust Pizza ~"

03/06/2021

~ Quick-to-Fix Ground-Beef Chili Sauce for Hot Dogs ~

I was a hot dog in a past life. A hot dog a day keeps the doctor away. I say silly stuff like this all the time. But, why wouldn't I? I am the hot dog queen in my kitchen. My husband's an aficionado of Italian-American-style sausage, pepper and onion sandwiches (which I can take-or-leave). In my food world, the hot dog reigns supreme, and, I like all kinds too -- from New-York-style Dirty Water Dogs, to New Jersey-style Italian hot dogs, to, last but not least, Chicago-style hot dogs. That said, my hands-down favorite is: Texas-Style. Read on: Texas...... View full recipe for "~ Quick-to-Fix Ground-Beef Chili Sauce for Hot Dogs ~"

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 ~"

02/20/2021

~ Fry the Entire Danged Thing -- Unsectioned Wings ~

Chicken wings. While not even close to the top of my list of healthy-eating snacks or meals, they are at the top of my list of favorite snacks or meals, and, much like the greater percentage of the rest of the population of the United States, from time-to-time I get a craving for them. Also, much like the greater percentage of the rest of the population of the United States, I am in agreement, deep-fried wings, as opposed to air-fried oven-roasted or barbecue-grilled, are the best wings. What started in 1964 as late-night pub grub at the Anchor Bar in...... View full recipe for "~ Fry the Entire Danged Thing -- Unsectioned Wings ~"

02/02/2021

~ Jamaican-Style Shrimp and Scallop Coconut Curry ~

I'm no expert, but, I do know just enough about Jamaican cooking to NOT be dangerous. I know that a dish consisting of ackee fruit and salt cod is their National Dish. Alas, even if I could get my hands on an ackee here in the states, I wouldn't touch it. Parts of the ackee are toxic, so, my better judgement tells me to leave that recipe to the experts. And, while I love salt cod and fresh cod too, I like seafood (like crab, shrimp, scallops and lobster) better, so, I'm confidant I can create a luscious Jamaican-style dinner...... View full recipe for "~ Jamaican-Style Shrimp and Scallop Coconut Curry ~"

01/30/2021

~ Broiled & Baked St. Louis-Style Sparerib Sandwich ~

An episode of Diners Drive-Ins and Dives left me salivating in the middle of the night last night. Guy Fieri's Triple D visited a place in Southern California that featured a barbecued sparerib sandwich. The eatery, of course, smoked their signature-cut of St. Louis-Style ribs, removed the meat from the bones, fried it up on a flat-top (kinda like burnt ends) then piled it high on a nice soft bun with slices of sweet onion and bread-and-butter pickles -- my kinda sandwich. As luck would have it, I had a package of St. Louis-Style ribs in my freezer, which have...... View full recipe for "~ Broiled & Baked St. Louis-Style Sparerib Sandwich ~"

12/24/2020

~ Creamy-Dreamy Old-Bay Shrimp Shell-Pasta Salad ~

This main-dish pasta salad is made by adding cooked and well-drained shell-shaped pasta to my mother's shrimp salad recipe. It makes the perfect quick lunch or light supper. Simply portion it into a shallow bowl atop a bed of crispy-crunchy lettuce leaves accompanied by a few tomato wedges and pour a glass of your favorite wine. Add a slice of crusty rustic bread, a fancy-schmancy flakey croissant or a brioche roll slathered with butter and lunch or dinner is served. Shrimp cocktail has been a traditional appetizer at my family's holiday gatherings and celebrations for as long as I can...... View full recipe for "~ Creamy-Dreamy Old-Bay Shrimp Shell-Pasta Salad ~"

12/21/2020

~Spicy Old-Bay-Seasoned Shrimp Salad Sandwiches~

Shrimp cocktail has been a traditional appetizer at my family's holiday gatherings and celebrations for as long as I can remember. Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, bridal showers, baby showers, christenings, anniversary parties, etc. -- when my family celebrates, a big bowl or platter of perfectly-cooked jumbo shrimp with two-types of cocktail sauce (classic and creamy) are on the table when we start the festivities. On occasion, we'd have some left over. Under the supervision of my mom, back into the refrigerator they went, so our family of four could all enjoy shrimp salad sandwiches the next day. Truth told, I'm convinced...... View full recipe for "~Spicy Old-Bay-Seasoned Shrimp Salad Sandwiches~"

12/05/2020

~ Turkey Breast Rachel on Shredded Potato Pancake ~

Perhaps it's a girl thing, but, when I'm lunching in a deli, I'm more inclined to order a Rachel sandwich, made with turkey breast, than I am a Reuben, made with corned beef. There's more. While I usually order potato salad with my sandwich, if potato pancakes are on the menu, they're on my plate. If you're a fan of a classic Rachel sandwich, and, if you love potato pancakes as much as I do, you're gonna go wild over this open-faced sandwich served on one of my pan-fried shredded hash-brown potato pan-cakes, instead of between to slices of rye...... View full recipe for "~ Turkey Breast Rachel on Shredded Potato Pancake ~"

12/02/2020

~Corned Beef Reuben on My Potato Pancake Waffles~

If you're a fan of a classic Rueben sandwich, served atop a few of potato pancakes instead of between some rye bread, you're gonna go wild over this open-faced sandwich served on my shredded hash-brown potato-pancake waffles. Not since lunch at a deli located somewhere in Long-Island back in the early 1970's have I enjoyed a Reuben more. I was fifteen or sixteen, so the specifics escape me. Our family took a Summer road trip to visit friends of my mom and dad, and, before we left town the next day, we all went to lunch at "the place with...... View full recipe for "~Corned Beef Reuben on My Potato Pancake Waffles~"

11/20/2020

~Pan-Fried Shredded Hash-Brown Potato Pan-Cakes~

I accidentally put a bag of shredded hash brown potatoes in the refrigerator instead of the freezer yesterday. What can I say, I was in a hurry. Mistakes happen. I am so glad I decided to open the bag before discarding the to-the-touch soggy mess this morning, because there was a nice surprise inside for me: glistening-white, ready-to-use, slightly-wet, shredded potatoes -- without all the time-consuming mess of doing it from scratch. I may will never shred fresh potatoes again. It didn't take but a few minutes to deduce that my supposed shredded hash brown potato tragedy, could easily, in...... View full recipe for "~Pan-Fried Shredded Hash-Brown Potato Pan-Cakes~"

11/18/2020

~ My Shredded Hash-Brown Potato-Pancake Waffles ~

I accidentally put a bag of shredded hash brown potatoes in the refrigerator instead of the freezer yesterday. What can I say, I was in a hurry. Mistakes happen. I am so glad I decided to open the bag before discarding the to-the-touch soggy mess this morning, because there was a nice surprise inside for me: glistening-white, ready-to-use, slightly-wet, shredded potatoes -- without all the time-consuming mess of doing it from scratch. I may will never shred fresh potatoes again. My breakfast menu changed immediately. Joe's sunny side up eggs with two sausage patties, stayed the same, but, his toasted...... View full recipe for "~ My Shredded Hash-Brown Potato-Pancake Waffles ~"

11/10/2020

~Gobble Gobble -- Turkey-Day Cranberry & Brie Bites~

While these easy-to-make appetizers are perfect for any large-or-small fancy-or-relaxed Turkey-Day feast, they're great almost any time of the year. I've been know to serve them on occasion as a warm-up to one of my winner-winner roasted chicken Sunday dinners. As for the recipe, there really isn't one so-to-speak -- I came home with it "in my head" (as it was told to me) after enjoying a few at a mid-morning Christmas cookie-exchange brunch-party a few year ago. Perfect for our just-the-two-of-us Turkey Day feast this year: And, just four easy-to-gather-together ingredients too: 2 tablespoons all-purpose bench flour, for dusting...... View full recipe for "~Gobble Gobble -- Turkey-Day Cranberry & Brie Bites~"

11/03/2020

~A Big Batch of Bean Soup -- Eat Some Freeze Some~

In my kitchen, cold weather is soup and stew weather, and, once the frost is on the pumpkin I like to make my soups and stews in slow-simmered big batches. After we've enjoyed one hearty warm-us-up meal, I freeze the rest in two-quart containers, so we can slurp soups and stews several more times until Spring comes. Chicken vegetable soup, beef stew, and, ham and bean soup are my on my family's short-list of big-batch favorites. For the most part, when making soup or stew, "chicken is chicken" and "beef is beef", meaning: they're almost self-explanatory. That said, when making...... View full recipe for "~A Big Batch of Bean Soup -- Eat Some Freeze Some~"

10/31/2020

~Stirring the Pot: Smoked Ham Shanks & Ham Hocks~

In my kitchen, cold weather is soup and stew weather, and, once the frost is on the pumpkin I like to make my soups and stews in slow-simmered big batches. After we've enjoyed one hearty warm-us-up meal, I freeze the rest in two-quart containers, so we can slurp soups and stews several more times until Spring comes. Chicken vegetable soup, beef stew, and, ham and bean soup are my on my family's short-list of favorites. For the most part, when making soup or stew, "chicken is chicken" and "beef is beef", meaning: they're almost self-explanatory. That said, when making soups...... View full recipe for "~Stirring the Pot: Smoked Ham Shanks & Ham Hocks~"

10/28/2020

~ Defining the Differences between Soups and Stews ~

When I pull out my big, 20-24-quart stockpots, it's officially Fall. Why? When it's chilly outside, it's time to cook up a storm inside. Why? When one lives in the Northeast, it's a wise cook who has a freezer containing some thaw-heat-and-eat meals for those snowy days when a quick trip to the grocery store is not in the forecast. Yes indeed, when the frost is on the pumpkin, I don't mind spending an afternoon at the stovetop preparing one of the two favorite things I cook in big batches (for "freezer meals"): a stockpot full of luscious, heartwarming, soup...... View full recipe for "~ Defining the Differences between Soups and Stews ~"

10/23/2020

~A Big Batch of Beef Stew -- Eat Some, Freeze Some~

When I pull out my big, 20-24-quart stockpots, it's officially Fall. Why? When it's chilly outside, it's time to cook up a storm inside. Why? When one lives in the Northeast, it's a wise cook who has a freezer containing some thaw-heat-and-eat meals for those snowy days when a quick trip to the grocery store is not in the forecast. Yes indeed, when the frost is on the pumpkin, I don't mind spending an afternoon at the stovetop preparing one of the three carnivorous things I cook in big batches (for "freezer meals"): red-meat-based red pasta sauce, chili con carne,...... View full recipe for "~A Big Batch of Beef Stew -- Eat Some, Freeze Some~"

10/20/2020

~ RedHot Buffalo-Style Bread-Machine Pizza Dough ~

Seriously? Yes, seriously. Thanks to two great store-bought dry seasoning blends, Frank's RedHot Original Seasoning and Frank's RedHot Ranch Seasoning, you really can season your pizza dough in true Buffalo wing style, AND, trust me when I tell you, it makes one (actually two) awesome crusts for any Buffalo-style chicken pizza, or my recipe for Buffalo-Style chicken pizza. Who wouldn't want to add authentic, full-throttle Buffalo-flavor to the pizza dough too! 1 1/2 cups warm water 2 tablespoons olive oil 4 1/2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour 2 teaspoons sea salt 2 teaspoons sugar 2 tablespoons Frank's RedHotRanch seasoning blend 2...... View full recipe for "~ RedHot Buffalo-Style Bread-Machine Pizza Dough ~"

10/18/2020

~Buffalo-Chicken Chef w/RedHot-Ranch & Croutons~

I fell in love with the chef salad in September of 1974. I had just moved to Happy Valley in August, and, my first friend, a gal I worked with, invited me to lunch, at the now defunct Autoport on South Atherton Street. "Try their turkey chef salad", Sally said. A short few minutes later, two big rimmed-bowls arrived, and, atop the requisite lettuce, they were full of goodies: strips of turkey breast and Swiss cheese, hard-cooked egg wedges, sliced tomatoes and cucumbers, and, diced onions. There's more. Every salad came with a warm, mini-loaf of house-baked bread and a...... View full recipe for "~Buffalo-Chicken Chef w/RedHot-Ranch & Croutons~"

10/15/2020

~Creamy RedHot-Ranch Buffalo-Style Salad Dressing~

In my food world, if I could conjure up the ideal, somewhat-healthy pub-grub menu item, it would be a chef's-type Buffalo-style-chicken salad. It would be served to me while I was sitting in my favorite sportsbar, in front of a straight-out-of-the-tap frosty brew with a college football game on the flatscreen. Nothing fancy, just a bowl full of crisp lettuce, diced carrots and sliced celery tossed with salty blue cheese crumbles and topped with strips of thin-sliced Boar's Head, Blazing Buffalo-style chicken, plus, crunchy, Buffalo-spiced croutons. There's more. When it comes to dressing my salad, it's got to be full...... View full recipe for "~Creamy RedHot-Ranch Buffalo-Style Salad Dressing~"

10/13/2020

~ RedHot-Ranch Croutons for Buffalo Chicken Salad ~

One could call me obsessed, or perhaps off-my-rocker, for baking a loaf of bread for the sole purpose of making Buffalo-seasoned bread or Buffalo-seasoned croutons for a deli-sandwich or a chef's-type Buffalo-style chicken salad. That said, in my own defense, when the bread machine does all the work for me, why wouldn't I go the extra mile to make a great sandwich or salad even greater. Trust me, "my cheese has not slid of my cracker". There's just something so very special about appropriately-seasoned homemade bread or croutons used in an ingredient-specific sandwich or on an ingredient-specific salad that speaks...... View full recipe for "~ RedHot-Ranch Croutons for Buffalo Chicken Salad ~"

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 ~"

09/23/2020

~ RedHot-Ranch & Tangy-Blue Buffalo-Chicken Pizza ~

Right around this time of year, early Fall, college football season becomes a big deal in many households all across America -- many folks, men and women alike, are obsessed by it. Experience has taught that game-day and great-pub-grub go hand-in-hand, and, one is as important as the other. If you've ever been to an at-the-stadium or sit-in-front of the TV tailgate party where the fare doesn't rise to the occasion, the occasion is lack luster. Game days are fun and exciting days, they're days to throw cares and diets to the wind, and, win-or-lose, indulge. Football fans of all...... View full recipe for "~ RedHot-Ranch & Tangy-Blue Buffalo-Chicken Pizza ~"

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 ~"

09/13/2020

~ That's a Wrap -- A Week's Worth -- 5 Tortilla Wraps ~

Whether it's for for a back-to-school lunchbox, a back-to-work brown-bag it, or, an at-the-stadium tailgate, tortilla wraps are, in my opinion, the perfect make-it-and-take on-the-run meal. In almost all cases, wrap sandwiches can be assembled and refrigerated the night before, which is a real time-savor on a harried weekday morning. That said, the reverse is true too. Whether it's for a home-schooled or work-from-home lunch break, or, for a sports-or-movie-watching event in front of the TV, tortilla wraps are, a quick and satisfying solution to some much needed chaos control. Spicy Southwestern Salsalito Turkey & Jalapeño Jack Wrap: Rare Roast...... View full recipe for "~ That's a Wrap -- A Week's Worth -- 5 Tortilla Wraps ~"

09/10/2020

~Blazing Buffalo Chicken, Blue Cheese & Slaw Wrap~

I'll admit, I don't buy deli-style chicken breast very often -- I'm more of a deli-turkey-breast sandwich kinda gal. That said, when I do, nine-out-of-ten-times it is Boar's Head Blazing-Buffalo-style chicken. Why? Because my family loves my Buffalo-style chicken wrap sandwiches and every slice of Boar’s Head Buffalo-style chicken is full of classic RedHot Buffalo-chicken flavor -- it's downright addicting. Inspired by hot and spicy Buffalo chicken wings, Boar’s Head Blazing Buffalo Chicken Breast is coated with cayenne red pepper, vinegar and spices for a distinctly piquant taste that delivers the kick of America's popular tailgate treat without the mess....... View full recipe for "~Blazing Buffalo Chicken, Blue Cheese & Slaw Wrap~ "

09/07/2020

~ There's Something about a Salami & Cheese Wrap ~

I love the combination of salami and cheese -- more specifically Boar's Head's hard salami and picante provolone cheese. Let's talk salami for a moment. Lots of folks prefer genoa salami, but, I am not one of them, and, the answer might lie in my Eastern European ancestry. Genoa salami is an Italian salami which originated in Genoa, where porcine is more prevalent than cattle. On the other hand, hard salami originated in Central Europe, where cattle are more prevalent. It's the more-pork-to-less-beef ratio in cured-but-not-smoked Genoa salami that renders it a bit too soft and, for lack of a...... View full recipe for "~ There's Something about a Salami & Cheese Wrap ~"

09/04/2020

~Make-My-Day Peppered-Ham, Swiss & Slaw Wraps~

Interestingly, or not so interestingly, when it comes to a ham sandwich, I like various types of super-thin-sliced deli-ham better than baked ham of the type leftover from a holiday meal (which I prefer to make use of in a few breakfast and dinner casseroles). I've never met a deli-ham that I seriously didn't like (unless it isn't sliced thin enough), and, my three favorites are (in this order): Boar's Head pepper ham, deluxe ham, and, sweet deli ham. There's more. For me, ham goes hand-in-hand with mustard, and, my three favorites are (in this order) Bookbinder's whole-grain, Guldon's spicy...... View full recipe for "~Make-My-Day Peppered-Ham, Swiss & Slaw Wraps~"