Saturday, March 26, 2011


Toasted Quinoa Pilaf

Sonoma Diet Roast Chicken Mediterranean Variation

For this I did nthe mediterranean version:
Replace the rosemary with 3/4 T of each oregano, thyme and marjoram, chopped. Replace vegetables for roasting with carrots, fennel and celery.

Guinness Corned Beef in the Crockpot

4 pounds corned beef brisket

1 cup brown sugar

1 (12 fluid ounce) can or bottle Irish stout beer (e.g. Guinness®)


1. Rinse the beef completely and pat dry.

2.Place the brisket on rack in the crockpot. Rub the brown sugar on the corned beef to coat entire beef, including the bottom. Pour the bottle of stout beer around, and gently over the beef to wet the sugar.

3.Cover, and place inthe crockpot on low for 8 hours. 
4. Serve with boiled vegetables( potatoes, carrots and cabbage)

Cold Sesame Noodles with Golden Garlic


3 tablespoons vegetable oil

4 large cloves garlic, halved and thinly sliced lengthwise

2 celery stalks, thinly sliced

1/2 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and thinly sliced

2 carrots, shredded (about 1 cup)

1 pound spaghetti

1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce

1/2 cup smooth peanut butter

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

1 tablespoon sesame oil

2 scallions, thinly sliced


1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Warm oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon; set aside. Add celery, bell pepper and carrots to skillet and cook, stirring, until softened but not browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

2. Add spaghetti to boiling water and cook until tender yet firm, 10 to 12 minutes. Drain well and rinse under cold running water.

3. In a large bowl,  whisk together soy sauce, peanut butter, vinegar and sesame oil until blended. Add spaghetti to peanut butter mixture and toss until well coated. Stir in cooked vegetables. Sprinkle golden garlic and scallions over pasta just before serving.

Chinese Roast Pork

1 3-lb. boneless pork loin

Salt and pepper

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 3-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped

1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce

2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar

2 teaspoons Chinese five-spice powder


1. Trim pork of excess fat and season with salt and pepper. Warm oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork and brown on all sides, 5 to 7 minutes.

2. Transfer pork to slow cooker. Pour off all but 1 Tbsp. fat from skillet. Add onion, garlic and ginger to skillet and cook, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add soy sauce, brown sugar and five-spice powder. Cook, stirring, until sugar has dissolved, about 1 minute. Pour over pork.

3. Cover and cook on low until meat is very tender when pierced with a knife, about 6 hours. Remove pork to a cutting board, tent with foil and let stand 10 minutes.  Thinly slice against the grain and serve. 

Sunday, March 20, 2011

America's Test Kitchen Baked Manicotti

Serves 6 to 8

We prefer Barilla no-boil lasagna noodles for their delicate texture resembling fresh pasta. Note that Pasta Defino and Ronzoni brands contain only 12 no-boil noodles per package; the recipe requires 16 noodles. The manicotti can be prepared through step 5, covered with a sheet of parchment paper, wrapped in aluminum foil, and refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 1 month. (If frozen, thaw the manicotti in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 days.) To bake, remove the parchment, replace the aluminum foil, and increase baking time to 1 to 1 1/4 hours.


Tomato Sauce

2 28-ounce cans diced tomatoes (in juice)

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

3 medium cloves garlic , minced or pressed through garlic press (about 1 tablespoon)

1/2 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes , optional

Table salt

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

Cheese Filling and Pasta

3 cups part-skim ricotta cheese

4 ounces grated Parmesan cheese (about 2 cups)

8 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese (about 2 cups)

2 large eggs , lightly beaten

3/4 teaspoon table salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

16 no-boil lasagna noodles (see note above)

1. For the Sauce: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Pulse 1 can tomatoes with their juice in food processor until coarsely chopped, 3 or 4 pulses. Transfer to bowl. Repeat with remaining can tomatoes.

2. Heat oil, garlic, and pepper flakes (if using) in large saucepan over medium heat until fragrant but not brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in tomatoes and 1/2 teaspoon salt and simmer until thickened slightly, about 15 minutes. Stir in basil; adjust seasoning with salt.

3. For the cheese filling: Combine ricotta, 1 cup Parmesan, mozzarella, eggs, salt, pepper, and herbs in medium bowl; set aside.

4. To assemble: Pour 1 inch boiling water into 13 by 9-inch broilersafe baking dish, then add noodles one at a time. (NOTE: I used about 4 cups of boiling water — it was more than an inch high, but the noodles weren’t completely covered otherwise.) Let noodles soak until pliable, about 5 minutes, separating noodles with tip of sharp knife to prevent sticking. Remove noodles from water and place in single layer on clean kitchen towels; discard water in baking dish and dry baking dish.

5. Spread bottom of baking dish evenly with 1 1/2 cups sauce. Using soupspoon, spread 1/4 cup cheese mixture evenly onto bottom three-quarters of each noodle (with short side facing you), leaving top quarter of noodle exposed. Roll into tube shape and arrange in baking dish seam side down. Top evenly with remaining sauce, making certain that pasta is completely covered.

6. Cover manicotti with aluminum foil. Bake until bubbling, about 40 minutes, then remove foil. Remove baking dish, adjust oven rack to uppermost position (about 6 inches from heating element), and heat broiler. Sprinkle manicotti evenly with remaining 1 cup Parmesan. Broil until cheese is spotty brown, 4 to 6 minutes. Cool 15 minutes, then serve.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Guiness Veal Stew

1/4 cup olive oil

2 pounds veal, cut into 1-inch pieces
3 garlic cloves, left whole
6 cups beef broth

1 cup of Guinness Draught
1 cup of red wine
2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon dried thyme

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

2 bay leaves

1/4 stick butter

3 pounds russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 7 cups)

1 large onion, chopped up

2 cups cut peeled carrots

Salt and Pepper

Chopped fresh parsley

1/4 cup olive oil

2 pounds stew beef, cut into 1-inch pieces

6 large garlic cloves, minced
6 cups beef stock or canned beef broth

1 cup of Guinness Draught (or more)

1 cup of decent red wine such as pinot noir

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon dried thyme

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

2 bay leaves

1/4 stick butter

3 pounds russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 7 cups)

1 large onion, chopped up

2 cups cut peeled carrots

Salt and Pepper

Chopped fresh parsley

Heat the olive oil in a heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Coat the beef in flour and sauté it until it’s brown on all sides. Add the garlic and sauté it for another minute or so. Add the beef stock, Guinness, red wine, tomato paste, sugar, thyme, Worcestershire sauce and bay leaves. Stir it all together then bring the mixture to boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, then cover the pot and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile in another part of the kitchen, melt the butter in another large pot over medium heat. Add the potatoes, onion and carrots. Sauté the vegetables until they’re golden brown, (about 20 minutes). Set ‘em aside until the beef stew mixture has simmered for one hour.

Once it has, add the vegetables to the beef stew. Put the lid back on and simmer until the vegetables and beef are very tender. This could take anywhere from an hour to two hours--just test the meat every now and then for optimal tenderness. When it melts in your mouth, it's done. Add some salt and pepper pepper to your liking, remove the bay leaves, and serve the stew sprinkled with chopped parsley on top.

Ham & Brie Melts

8 slices multigrain bread

1/4 cup apricot preserves

1/2 pound sliced deli ham

1 round (8 ounces) Brie cheese, rind removed, sliced

3 tablespoons butter, softened


Spread four bread slices with half of preserves. Layer with ham and cheese. Spread remaining bread with remaining preserves; place on top. Butter outsides of sandwiches.

In a large skillet over medium heat, toast sandwiches for 2-3 minutes on each side or until bread is lightly browned and cheese is melted

Chicken Pot Pie in the Crockpot


--2 chopped up skinless chicken thighs or breast halves (raw, but chopped up)

--1/2 cup chopped carrots (these were fresh, but frozen would work)

--1/2 cup frozen corn

--1/2 cup frozen peas

--1/2 t marjoram

--1/2 t thyme

--1/2 t celery seed

--1 t onion powder

home made cream-of-something soup
--2 T low fat milk

Homemade Soup Alternative:

make a roux on the stove top with the butter and flour, then whisk in the other ingredients.

--1 T butter

--3 T flour

--1/2 cup low fat milk

--1/2 cup chicken broth

--1/4 t salt

--1/4 t black pepper

I used a 6.5 quart crockpot for this recipe.

Spray crockpot with cooking spray. Chop up the chicken and put it into the crockpot. Dump in the vegetables. Add all of the spices. Stir in the cream-of-something soup and add 2T of milk to the can, mix well.

In a mixing bowl, make up the biscuit topping. The dough will be pretty playdoughy.  Spread the dough on top of the chicken and veggie mixture.

Cover and cook on high for 3-5 hours, or on low for 6-7. This is done when the biscuit topping is golden brown, and is hard to the touch in the middle.


Geogio's Hats & Brocolli with Chicken

•2 lbs chicken – boneless breasts, butterflied lengthwise

•1/4 cup seasoned flour (add paprika, garlic powder, oregano, parsley, salt and pepper all to your tastes *about 1/4 tsp or so)

•1/4 cup milk

•1 large egg

•1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

•1/2 cup bread crumbs

•2 TBS or more of Olive oil

•4 oz provolone ( I used more, not sure how much)
•1 pkg “hats” – Orichiette pasta

•1 head broccoli flowerets, broken into bite size pieces

•2 cups chicken stock *Cooked with onion, garlic, and celery and reduce to 1/2

•1 TBS margarine (butter)
•1 TBS flour

Between sheets of wax paper, pound the chicken into flat cutlets – as flat as you can. Dust with seasoned flour (put chicken in a plastic bag then pour in the seasoned flour and shake it to coat).

Beat the milk and egg in a bowl. In another bowl, mix the bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese. Dip the chicken into the egg/milk mix, let residue drip off then transfer to the breadcrumb mixture.

Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and when hot (over medium – high heat), brown chicken evenly on both sides, about 5 minutes per side. If you used too much oil, drain on paper towels.

Remove to an oven safe dish, cover with the provolone (in my case, cheddar) and keep warm in the oven.

Wipe the frying pan clean. Melt the margarine in the pan over medium heat.

Add 1 TBS flour and stir it around until dissolved (you may need a whisk to get rid of lumps). Add the stock and stir until gravy thickens. Keep warm, stirring occasionally.

Bring 4 cups water to a boil. Add the broccoli and blanch for 2 minutes. Remove from water and set aside. Using the SAME water for blanching broccoli, add the pasta. Return to a boil and cook according to the package, about 12 minutes. Drain pasta.

Assembly: Add the hats to a large pasta serving bowl. Top with brocolli, toss. Top with chicken and cheese.  Serve. 

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Chicken Canzanese America's Test Kitchen


1 tablespoon olive oil 2 ounces prosciutto (1/4 inch thick), cut into 1/4-inch cubes (see note)

4 medium garlic cloves , sliced thin lengthwise

8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 3 pounds), trimmed of excess fat and skin

ground black pepper 2 teaspoons unbleached all-purpose flour 2 cups dry white wine 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth 4 whole cloves 1 (4-inch) sprig fresh rosemary , leaves removed and minced fine (about 1/2 teaspoon), stem reserved

12 whole fresh sage leaves 2 bay leaves 1/4-1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes 1 tablespoon juice from 1 lemon 2 tablespoons unsalted butter Table salt Instructions

1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in 12-inch heavy-bottomed ovensafe skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add prosciutto and cook, stirring frequently, until just starting to brown, about 3 minutes. Add garlic slices and cook, stirring frequently, until garlic is golden brown, about 1½ minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer garlic and prosciutto to small bowl and set aside. Do not rinse pan.

2. Increase heat to medium-high; add remaining 2 teaspoons oil and heat until just smoking. Pat chicken dry with paper towels and season with ground black pepper. Add chicken, skin side down, and cook without moving until well browned, 5 to 8 minutes. Using tongs, turn chicken and brown on second side, about 5 minutes longer. Transfer chicken to large plate.

3. Remove all but 2 tablespoons fat from pan. Sprinkle flour over fat and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Slowly add wine and broth; bring to simmer, scraping bottom of pan with wooden spoon to loosen browned bits. Cook until liquid is slightly reduced, 3 minutes. Stir in cloves, rosemary stem, sage leaves, bay leaves, red pepper flakes, and reserved prosciutto and garlic. Nestle chicken into liquid, skin side up (skin should be above surface of liquid), and bake, uncovered, until meat offers no resistance when poked with fork but is not falling off bones, about 1 hour 15 minutes. (Check chicken after 15 minutes; broth should be barely bubbling. If bubbling vigorously, reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees.)

4. Using tongs, transfer chicken to serving platter and tent with foil. Remove and discard sage leaves, rosemary stem, cloves, and bay leaves. Place skillet over high heat and bring sauce to boil. Cook until sauce is reduced to 1¼ cups, 2 to 5 minutes. Off heat, stir in minced rosemary, lemon juice, and butter. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour sauce around chicken and serve.

Saffron Noodle Cake

2 T olive oil
2 pinches saffron threads
8 oz. spaghetti, dry
salt and pepper
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 C grated Parmesan
1/2 C chopped parsley
1/3 C chopped basil
2 T butter
Warm the olive oil in a small pan, add the saffron threads, set aside.  Cook the pasta, drain and rinse under cold water.  Combine the pasta, saffron oil, eggs, cheese, herbs and mix. Add salt and pepper to taste.  Heat half of the butter in a skillet.  Add the pasta and pat down and even the edges.  Cook 5 minutes over medium heat. Flip onto a place and place back in the pan with the other 1 T butter. Cook another 5 minutes and serve. Both sides should be golden brown. 

Adam's Dirt Cookies


2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup white sugar

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1 cup butter, softened

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups chocolate sandwich cookie crumbs ( I used 2 C chocolate fudge covered oreo cookie crumbs)


1.Sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In a medium bowl, cream the white sugar, brown sugar, and the butter together until smooth. Stir in the eggs and vanilla. Add the flour mixture, and stir until just combined. Stir the crushed cookies into the dough. Cover, and chill the dough for 1/2 hour.

2.Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets.

3.Drop dough by rounded spoonfuls onto prepared cookie sheets. Bake for 10 to 11 minutes in the preheated oven. Remove to cool on wire racks.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Macaroni Grill Pasta Gamberetti e Pinoli

My Cookbooks

Handle My Shopping List

Handle My Shopping List

My Menus

Handle Add Private Note


I did not use pine nuts, I used toasted walnuts.

2 tablespoons butter

2 teaspoons minced garlic

1/2 cup fresh shiitake mushroom, thinly sliced

12 medium raw shrimp, peeled and deveined

1/4 cup dry white wine

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/3 cup lemon juice

4 tablespoons cold butter

salt and white pepper

2 tablespoons plain breadcrumbs

5 1/2 cups spinach, washed and dried

6 ounces cooked angel hair pasta

1 tablespoon pine nuts, toasted


Prep Time: 20 mins

Total Time: 45 mins

1 In a large skillet, melt the 2 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and saute for about 30 seconds, just enough to make the garlic sizzle. Add the mushrooms and saute briefly.

2 Add the shrimp and saute for about 30 seconds, until the shrimp is just half cooked.

3 Add the wine and, using a wooden spoon, stir to loosen any brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Let cook for 2 minutes, stirring, to finish cooking the shrimp and reduce the liquid. Remove the shrimp to a warm plate and cover with foil.

4 Add the heavy cream to the pan and let cook for 3 minutes to reduce. Stir in the lemon juice. Remove the pan from the heat and add the 4 tablespoons cold butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, stirring in the next piece after the one before it has just melted.

5 Season with salt and white pepper and stir in the bread crumbs. Return the pan to the heat, add the spinach, and cook, stirring for 1 1/2 minutes or just until the spinach has wilted.

6 Return the shrimp to the pan and stir to coat and heat through.

7 To serve, divide the angel hair pasta between two warmed serving dishes. Arange the shrimp on top, spoon the remaining contents of the pan equally over the shrimp, and sprinkle with the toasted pine nuts

Peanut Noodles

In a sauce pot combine : 6 T Bragg's liquid Amminos, 4 T rice wine vinegar, 1 tsp. hot pepper flakes, 1/2 C Central Market chili roasted garlic sauce, 1/2 C natural peanut butter, 2 T sesame oil, 3/4 C chicken broth and 2 tsp. fresh ginger. Heat until all ingredients are combined.

Meanwhile: cook 2 lb. of Udon noodles  as directions on the package state.

Combine the noodles in the sauce. Toss to coat. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds.

Indonesian Peanut Chicken

2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 TBragg's liquid Amminos
2 whole  cloves of garlic
1 1/2 t sesame oil
1/4 t cayenne pepper
1/3 cup peanut butter
1/2 t ground ginge; optional
the juice of 2 limes

The Directions.

--put the peanut butter into your crockpot and turn it to high so it can begin to melt

--add the other sauce ingredients

--stir to mix

--add your chicken; toss to coat.
cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours, or on high for 4-5. This is done when the chicken is cooked through and has reached desired tenderness.
If your crockpot isn't at least 2/3 full, keep an eye on it so the peanut butter doesn't burn. You may need to stir a few times.
Serve with rice or noodles and vegetables.

Italian Greens- Similar to Georgio's