Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Tomato Tart


    This dish was inspired by my Foodies+ friend Azlin Bloor who created a wonderful looking Gruyere artichoke and peppers tart. I thought I would try a little tart making because I had some left over puff pastry in the fridge that I needed to use up. So I came up with this easy tomato tart with some special flavors of ricotta cheese, basil pesto, and some bacon. Who doesn't love bacon? I mean it makes everything better. Tomato Tart

  • 1 sheet of puff pastry
  • 2 Roma tomatoes sliced
  • 1/4 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 tbs fresh basil pesto
  • 2 slices chopped cooked bacon
  • Salt/pepper

1. Roll out the puff pastry into a square. Leave about a 1/2 inch border and poke with a fork all around the center area. Bake according to package leaving about 10 minutes off. (hint: I noticed throughout the cooking that the center started to puff up more than the sides. Just poke with a fork to let more air out).
2. Remove the puff pastry from the oven and let cool a bit.
3. Spread the ricotta cheese and pesto over the top.
4. Lay the sliced tomatoes around.
5. Then top with crumbled bacon.
6. Bake for another 10-15 minutes.
7. Salt and pepper to taste.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 2

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Sage Buttered Chicken With Browned Gnocchi


I was in Toledo visiting one of my cousins one weekend. She took me out to this very nice but comfortable restaurant in downtown called M Osteria. A great upscale joint serving fresh pastas and other continental fares. One of the entrees that we both ended up getting was this Frenched Chicken served with sautéed gnocchi and fresh vegetables. The flavor from the combination of the dish was fantastic that I had to recreate it. I was unlucky in getting my butcher to cut a chicken "frenched" style, so I opted for just a couple of breasts on the bone. I also made my own homemade gnocchi to saute for this delicious dinner. Sage Buttered Chicken With Browned Gnocchi.

(For Chicken)
  • 4 large bone in chicken breasts
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 4 large sage leaves chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic diced
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • Fresh chopped parsley

(For Gnocchi)

  • 3 tbs butter
  • 1 large sage leaf chopped

1. In a large saute pan melt the butter over medium high heat.
2. Salt and pepper the chicken on both sides and brown in the butter covered. (Do not burn the butter so adjust heat to prevent this.)
3. Remove chicken and place in a large casserole baking dish.
4. In same saute pan over medium heat, toss in sage, garlic, and lemon zest and saute until fragrant.
5. Pour in white wine and simmer on low until it thickens up.
6. Toss in parsley and pour over the chicken in baking dish. Cover and cook in 210 degree oven for 1 hour 20 minutes.

7. Once chicken is coming to an end of its cooking time, cook gnocchi accordingly in salted boiling water. Remove
8. In same saute pan that chicken was in, melt another 3 tbs of butter. Toss in the sage.
9. Drain gnocchi and toss into the saute pan and cook until all sides of each little dumpling are browned.
10. Serve along side the chicken.

This dish was a major hit! The amount of flavor oozing out of the chicken was fantastic. The addition of the crunchy, yet still soft gnocchi was to die for. Definitely give this one a try.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Serves: 4+

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Salisbury Steak


     Here is another one of those traditional American dishes that some may consider "comfort" food. I had never really had it before this day when I decided to give it a try and make it. We grew up with another similar American dish called Baked Steak, but this was completely different. (By the way, I never was a fan of the baked steak my mother made). Shhhhh.  This dish combines ground beef into a steak patty and is served with a bbq style gravy. I must say, I quite liked it. Salisbury Steak.



  • 1/2 lb ground beef
  • 1 10 oz can French Onion Soup
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs, (more if needed)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbs flour
  • 3 tbs ketchup
  • 1 tbs mustard
  • 1/2 tbs Worcestershire
  • 1/2 cup diced mushrooms
  • Salt/pepper

1. Combine ground beef, about a tablespoon of the French Onion Soup, bread crumbs, egg, and salt and pepper. Make into 3 round patties.
2. In a large skillet, brown patties on both sides.
3. Toss in mushrooms and saute after flipping the patties onto the second side.
4. In a large bowl combine by whisking, flour, rest of the can of soup, ketchup, mustard, and Worcestershire sauce.
5. Pour into skillet, cover and simmer for roughly 10-15 minutes.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20-25 minutes
Serves: 1-3

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Mushroom Risotto


    Earthy,bold, creamy, and salty; the perfect flavor combination for a delicious hearty risotto dish. If you are like me, you truly appreciate a good bowl of risotto. You can make a whole meal out of just some good creamy Arborio rice. Mushroom Risotto.


  • 1 package mixed mushrooms, (cremini, shitake, oyster)
  • 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
  • 1/2 large shallot diced
  • Olive oil
  • 1 tbs butter
  • 1/2 cup Pinot Grigio
  • 4 cups beef stock
  • 1/2 cup grated Romano cheese
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • Fresh chopped basil
  • Salt/pepper

1. In large saute pan, melt butter and drizzle the olive oil. Saute the diced shallots.

2. Add in chopped up mixed mushrooms.

3. Once tender, remove from pan and sit aside on a plate.

4. In same pan brown the rice just a bit then pour in the white wine and bring to a simmer.

5. Slowly stir in 1/3 cup of stock at a time, constantly stirring as the rice will begin to soak up the

6. Keep stirring and adding a bit of the stock each time as the rice will gradually swell and absorb all the liquids.

7. Stir in the thyme, basil, and salt and pepper once all the liquid has been consumed and the rice is tender.

8. Mix back in the mushroom mixture and dig in!

    This was definitely as described above in the intro. A delicious full flavored risotto dish.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20-30 minutes
Serves: 4+

Sloppy Joe Macaroni Bake


    Was one of those days I really didn't know what to make, but was craving some sort of cheesey baked goodness So I came up with this delicious, easy, and sure to please most everyone. Sloppy Joe Macaroni Bake.




1. Cook sloppy joe as directed in above recipe.

2. Cook pasta just till almost done.

3. Mix softened cream cheese and ricotta in a bowl.

4. Combine pasta with sloppy joe mix.

5. In a casserole dish layer some of the sloppy joe/pasta mix on bottom of pan.

6. Spread the ricotta/cream cheese mixture over top.

7. Spread the rest of the sloppy joe mix over top of the ricotto and top with some cheddar cheese.

8. In a 350 degree oven, covered with tinfoil, bake for roughly 20 minutes.

9. Remove tinfoil and bake for another 5-10 minutes uncovered so that the cheese browns and bubbles.

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 35-40 minutes
Serves: 4+

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Patty Melt


Funny thing about this post is that as an American, and having been to many cities throughout the country, I had never had a Patty Melt. Although consider to be an American classic diner sandwich, I had never even truly heard of one until a few years ago. I always thought when someone mentioned it that they were talking about a tuna melt sandwich. Anyways, I thought I would give it a try and see what the talk was all about. Patty Melt
  • 2 burger patties
  • 4 slices of Rye bread
  • 1/2 large white onion sliced
  • 2 slices of Swiss cheese
  • Mayo
  • 2 tbs butter
1. Cook burger patties as usual.

2. Saute onions over medium heat in butter slowly until tender, brown, and sweet. This takes about 15-20 minutes and requires you continue to stir around and mix up.

3. Once onions and burger patties are finished the fun part begins. Spread some butter one side of each piece of rye bread.

4. Just like making a grilled cheese, lay one slice of bread, butter side down on hot griddle. Top with burger patty, some caramelized onions, and Swiss.

5. Quickly spread some mayo on the non buttered side of another piece of bread and place on top.

6. Cook on both sides like a grilled cheese until brown and crisp.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30-40 minutes
Serves: 2

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Chicken Scarpariello


    Chicken Scarpariello is an Italian American dish that combines the briny, woody, and hotness of the flavors incorporated into the dish. The dish apparently originated in New York and the meaning is loosely derived from Scarpiello which in Italian means "shoemaker". Either way, this dish was an interesting combination of the flavors listed above. I would definitely recommend this for anyone looking for something different and to kick up the flavors of your normal chicken dish. Chicken Scarpariello.


  • 2 lg Chicken breasts
  • 1 cup chopped mushrooms
  • 3 lg peperoncini chopped
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • Handful fresh diced parsley
  • 1 1/3 cup chicken stock
  • 2 cloves garlic diced
  • 2 tbs lemon juice
  • Olive oil
  • Flour
  • Salt/pepper

1. Salt and pepper chicken breasts then dredge in some flour.

2. In a large skillet saute chicken in some olive oil until brown on both sides. Remove and set aside.

3. In same skillet pour in chicken stock.

4. Toss in diced mushrooms, rosemary, parsley, and garlic.

5. Place chicken back in and bring to a simmer.

6. Toss in peperoncini and lemon juice, cover and simmer for roughly 15 minutes until chicken is cooked through.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20-30
Serves: 2

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Steak With A Peach Blue Cheese Butter



Just another week and craving red meat with a kick. Was thinking something different than the standard marinated steak. Decided to take an easy garlic herb butter and kick it up a notch. Steak With A Peach Blue Cheese Butter.


  • 1 lb flank steak
  • 3 tbs butter softened
  • 2 tbs blue cheese crumbles
  • 3 slices peaches diced
  • 1 clove garlic diced
  • Salt/pepper

1. Take softened butter and place in a bowl.

2. Mix in diced up garlic clove, blue cheese crumbles, and sliced peaches.

3. In a piece of tinfoil form the butter mixture into a log, wrap, and place in freezer for roughly 30 minutes. Remove about 20 minutes before cooking steak and place at room temperature.

4. Cook steak however you like it. I like a little herb rub and cooked only to rare/medium rare.

5. Take a couple slices of the butter and let melt over top of your steak.

This steak butter combo was great. The garlicky butter with addition of saltiness and distinct flavor from the blue cheese and the sweetness of the peaches all compliment each other perfectly.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: Depends on preparedness
Inactive Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 2+

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Scaloppine Elisabetta


    This dish is so happily named after my fantastic and wonderful mother Elizabeth, or Betty as she likes to be called. This is one of those easy dishes that people think you actually spent a lot of time on it. It can be made with chicken, veal, or pork. The word "scaloppine" simple translates into "thinly sliced". This type of meat can be served any way you like it. Whether it is just plain with a side dish, covered with a nice sauce, or served even as a sandwich, it would still be called scaloppine.  As a child my mother served this all the time. Sometimes it was chicken, sometimes pork, and other times veal. We never knew until we sat down at the table and she stated which one it was based on availability in the fridge and what was on sale at the local grocery. I had almost completely forgotten about this dish as she hadn't made it in a long time and neither had I. I asked her about it and she got all excited that she too wanted to make it soon. You will be surprised how easily this dish is and what a huge amount of flavor it packs. Scaloppine Elisabetta.


  • 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • Flour
  • Olive oil
  • 2-2 1/2 cups white wine
  • 2 tbs marinara
  • 3 thinly sliced cloves fresh garlic
  • Salt/pepper


1. Take chicken breasts and place between 2 sheets of plastic wrap and pound down with a mallet, rolling pin, etc. until nice and thin. Salt and pepper both sides and dredge in some flour.

2. In a large thick bottom skillet drizzle some olive oil and raise heat to medium high.

3. Pan fry the meat for roughly 3-5 minutes each side until nice, brown and crisp. Remove and set aside on a plate.

4. Now, pour in some of the white wine about half a cup at first. Scrape up the bits of browned meat from the bottom of the pan and decrease heat to low.

5. Toss in the sliced slivers of fresh garlic and stir around.

6. Keep pouring in the wine a little at a time until finished as it will reduce and thicken up.

7. Stir in the marinara sauce and mix well. Keep stirring as this sauce will thicken up quickly. Once nice a thick reduce heat. Spoon over each piece of meat to serve.

AMAZING!!!! I cannot say enough how great this dish is. It is so full of flavor with just a few simple ingredients that you would swear it was made by a certified chef. This dish is definitely a crowd pleaser and one you should showcase to impress. A few hints; we use Pinot Grigio but you could use your favorite white wine. We also use our own left over marinara sauce.

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Serves: 3

My beautiful mother

Elizabeth "Betty"

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Homemade Tomato Soup


   When I think of comfort food I immediately think of a warm bowl of soup on a cold evening. Well, this creamy homemade, quick and easy bowl of stick to your bones tomato soup is just that type of comfort food that will answer that thought. Homemade Tomato Soup.
  • Olive oil
  • 1/2 onion diced
  • 2 cloves garlic diced
  • 1 lb 12oz can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 roasted red bell pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • Handful chopped fresh basil
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1/2 Parmesan cheese
  • Salt/pepper
1. In a blender, pulse up the bell pepper and about a cup of the crushed tomatoes.

2. In a medium soup pot, drizzle some olive oil and saute the onion until translucent.

3. Stir in the garlic and saute.

4. Pour in the crushed tomatoes, the mixture of bell pepper/tomato from blender, and vegetable stock.

5. Bring to a simmer. Mix in the red pepper flakes, chopped basil, Parmesan cheese, and cream.  Lower temperature and simmer for roughly 25-30 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.
   This soup was better than any store bought tomato soup you can find. So simple and full of flavor. Just add in a great grilled cheese sandwich and you have yourself and fantastic meal for the evening.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 4