Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Stuffed Peppers



Stuffed-Peppers



    Stuffed Peppers has to be one of my ultimate favorite meals of all time. It is just one of those comfort foods that I remember growing up as a kid. You own little meal placed nicely in a pocket of sorts and served hot. No need for any other items on your plate, this was a full meal in one. This recipe is exactly how my mother makes it. No subsitutions, no changes, no nothing. Just plain, delicious and simple. Stuffed Peppers.

Ingredients:
  • 4 Green Bell Peppers
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 white onion
  • 2 slices white bread torn into chunks
  • Parsley
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup uncooked minute rice
  • Salt/pepper
  • Marinara

1. Slice the tops off of the peppers and remove the inner veins and seeds. Shock in boiling water for 2-3 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, combine the beef, diced up onion, parsley, egg, salt/pepper, rice, and bread into a bowl.

3. Place each pepper bottom side down into a baking dish. Take a tablespoon of marinara and dollup into the bottom of each pepper. Pour about a cup of water into the bottom of the baking dish surrounding the peppers.

4. Take some of the beef mixture and stuff it into each pepper.

5. Top with another spoonfull of marinara.

6. Place in 350 degree oven and bake uncovered for 1 hour 15 minutes.



You can at just 15 minutes left to cooking spoon some more marinara over top of each pepper.

These are perfectly tender, juicy, and full of flavor. It will easily become one of your favorites.






Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Serves: 2-4



Saturday, February 4, 2017

S.O.S., (or in a more polite term), Chipped Beef On Toast


Chipped-Beef-On-Toast

 

 
     Surprisingly a vast number of people my age have never heard the term, S.O.S., for this dish. Some haven't even heard of the dish itself. The initials stand for the slang term of; Shit On a Shingle. Sounds appetizing doesn't it? I'm not quite sure of its origins, however I have been told it comes from the Military. A dish served to the soldiers. Now which branch, or which war, I'm still unclear, however growing up in WV we had this dish all the time. It became one of those staples that every country family seemed to serve. Quick, simple, and actually a great meal to have. My mother always made it for us for a quick dinner. She usually accompanied it with scrambled eggs as well. The terminology for this dish doesn't make it appealing, however once you taste it you will love it. Just in under 5 minutes is all it takes. Chipped Beef On Toast.

 
Ingredients:

 
  • 1 2oz package of dried beef
  • 2 tbs butter
  • 2 tbs flour
  • 1 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • Salt/pepper
  • Toast

 
1. Remove beef from package and dice up.

2. In a large skillet melt butter and whisk in flour.

3. Slowly pour in milk and cream and whisk to make a thick sauce. Thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.

4. Stir in the beef and let simmer for roughly 5 minutes.

5. Salt and pepper to taste and ladle over some fresh toast.

 
     That's it! Simple, quick, easy, and you will definitely make this again. The perfect "go-to" meal for any bachelor. To this day, even though my mother and myself can make just about any 5 star kind of meal, this is always going to be one of those favorites that I can never let go.

 
Prep Time: 1 min.
Cook Time: 5-6 mins.
Serves: 2

 


Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Paramount Potato Soup






Potato-Soup
     I was never a fan of potato soup. Not sure why, just didn't like it very much. Well that all changed a few years ago. My cousin made me try this recipe she discovered. I was in awe. I loved it. Creamy, delicious, and full of flavor. This is a spin on her recipe as I added a few things myself. Although not the most healthiest meal out there it is truly amazing. Paramount Potato Soup.
 
 
Ingredients:
  • 1/2 lb bacon
  • 1/2 white onion
  • 3/4 lb small redskin potatoes
  • 1 can cream of celery
  • 1 can cream chicken
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 3 cups milk
  • 5 oz spinach or kale
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese
  • Water
  • Salt/pepper


1. Take bacon and cut into bite size pieces. In a medium soup pot brown bacon over high heat.


2. Add in chopped onion and saute.


3. Add in spinach or kale and wilt. Remove whole mixture.


4. In same pot, chop up the potatoes and just cover with enough water. Bring to boil and cook uncovered for roughly 20 minutes. At this point there will be only about 1/2 cup water left in there.


5. In a large bowl whisk together the cream of celery, cream of chicken, sour cream, and milk. Pour into pot with potatoes.


6. Bring to low simmer and toss in the cheddar cheese. Simmer for roughly 20 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.
 
You will love this soup. Trust me.
 
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Serves: 4 +
 













Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Split Pea Soup


Pea-Soup


     So I received a fantastic Irish Pub cookbook for Christmas and decided to try my hand at a simple yet delicious soup. Split Pea soup is so simple but yet full of flavor. I had never had it before, not even on my trip to Ireland, or from my families recipes, but thought I should give it a try. I took the original recipe and cut it into half afraid I may not like it. So here goes; Split Pea Soup.

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup split peas
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1/4 white onion diced
  • 1 small carrot chopped
  • 1/2 celery stalk
  • 2 cup chicken stock
  • 1 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup cubed ham
  • Pinch thyme
  • Pinch marjoram
  • 1 small bay leaf
  • Salt/pepper to taste

1. Rinse the peas under cold running water. Place in medium saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil for 3 minutes skimming off foam on the surface. Drain.

2. In same sauce pan drizzle olive oil and saute the onion until tender.

3. Add in carrot and celery and continue to cook.

4. Add back in the peas, chicken stock, and water.

5. Bring to a boil, add in ham, thyme, marjoram, and bay leaf. Lower heat and simmer for 1 hour.

     This soup was so full of flavor. Wasn't just like eating a plate of peas. The ham, the herbs, and the heartiness of it all was fantastic. Served with a fresh slice of warm soda bread and butter and this meal was fulfilling.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Serves: 3-4




Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Grandma Binns' Black Currant Shortbread Cookies


Shortbread-Cookies


   My grandmother Binns was an awesome little woman. As I've mentioned before she was Irish and a lot of her cooking had Irish influences as well as other British Isle ideas and traditions. These little traditional cookies are in honor of her. She loved currants and the addition of black berries just adds that extra little burst of flavor to these simple sweet little cookies. If you have ever had shortbread cookies, they are simply just butter cookies with light sweetness to them. Enjoy these Black Currant Shortbread Cookies.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup room temperature butter
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tbs vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup currants
  • 1 cup chopped black berries
  • Sugar

1. Mix together the flour and salt in a bowl

2. In a stand mixer, cream the butter and powdered sugar together. Add in the vanilla.

3. Add in the flour mixture until the dough becomes firm and starts to form lumps.

4. Mix in the currants and black berries.

5. On a large sheet of plastic wrap form the dough into a log shape and press well. Wrap up and place in refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

6. Remove from refrigerator  and slice into 1/3 inch slices. Sprinkle a little sugar on top of each one. Place on baking sheet and bake in 325 degree oven for 10-15 minutes or until edges start to become golden brown.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10-15 minutes
Inactive: 2 hours
Serves: Many







Saturday, January 7, 2017

Chicken Spinach Stuffed Shells




Stuffed-Shells



     Although this dish takes some time to prepare for, the results are totally worth the wait. Comforting, warming, creamy, full of flavor, and will definitely be the hit of your family, or if you are like me, perfect for that special date night. Chicken Spinach Stuffed Shells.

Ingredients:
  • 1 large boneless chicken breast
  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 8 oz ricotta
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 tbs dried parsley
  • 1 egg
  • Handful baby spinach
  • Olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1 2/3 cup cream
  • Handful chopped basil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1/4 cup shredded Romano cheese
  • Salt/pepper
  • 12+ pasta shells
  • Mozzarella cheese

1. In a large pot of water cook the pasta shells according to box, however stop about 2 minutes short of fully cooked.

2. In another smaller pot of boiling water, cook the chicken breast until done.

3. Meanwhile in a large bowl combine the softened cream cheese, ricotta, bread crumbs, parsley, egg, and spinach.

4. Once chicken has cooled, shred it up with a fork and combine it into the cheese mixture.

5. In a large skillet drizzle some olive oil and saute the chopped garlic until fragrant.

6. Pour in the white wine and simmer until reduced.

7. Mix in the cream, basil, oregano, and rosemary. Bring to a low simmer.

8. Mix in the Romano cheese and stir. Salt and pepper to taste.

9. Now remove the pasta shells and let cool. Take the chicken/cheese mixture and spoon into each shell.

10. Pour some of the sauce mixture on the bottom of a baking dish. Place the stuffed shells in. Sprinkle with some mozzarella cheese and dab some more sauce over top.

11. Cover with tinfoil and bake in 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes.



These are so delicious and cheesy you will fall in love with them.


Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20-25 minutes
Serves: 2-4






Wednesday, December 28, 2016

White House Vegetable Tart




Vegetable-Tart




      Was a boring weekend and in typical style of Mr. Binns, I was doing nothing but watching the Foodnetwork to inspire myself with some new ideas. I came across the show Barefoot Contessa and decided to watch it as she was visiting the White House and cooking with the chef there. She was also having a luncheon with Mrs. Obama. Well I stopped to watch for two reasons; 1. To see if I could cook whatever the White House chef was making and 2. Because Mrs. Obama is pure class and if she can eat it, it must be good. So I sort of followed the chef's recipe for this delicious vegetable tart, however made it my own. The chef utilized homemade pie crust and did not add tomatoes. I decided to include the red fruit along with utilizing puff pastry instead of pie crust. So here goes; White House Vegetable Tart.


Ingredients:

  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 8 ounces Swiss cheese
  • 1 zucchini sliced
  • 1 squash sliced
  • 3 Roma tomatoes sliced
  • 2 sheets puff pastry
  • Salt/pepper

Custard:
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 1 cup half and half
  • Zest 1 lemon
  • 1/2 tsp thyme

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2. In a large skillet over medium heat saute onion in olive oil. Toss in the 1 tsp thyme and garlic and simmer until fragrant. Set aside to cool.

3. Lay the sliced zucchini, squash, and tomato on a tin foiled lined pan. Drizzle with some olive oil, salt and pepper. Bake in oven for roughly 5 minutes.

4. Meanwhile in a large bowl whisk together the eggs, half and half, lemon zest, 1/2 tsp thyme, salt and pepper. Set aside.

5. Layer the puff pastry end to end in a large baking sheet that has been greased.

6. Spread the onion mixture over top and sprinkle half the Swiss cheese on top.

7. Carefully arrange the vegetables according to the picture. One layer zucchini, followed by tomato, then squash, and so forth.

8. Pour over the egg custard mixture and sprinkle over the rest of the Swiss cheese.

9. Bake for 30 minutes until cooked through.


     This vegetable dish was fantastic. Fresh, crisp, and very light in it's flavor and texture. Definitely fit for anyone including the First Lady.


Prep Time: 20 minutes.
Cook Time: 30 minutes.
Serves: 5+








Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Ginger Cinnamon Biscotti


Biscotti

 

      Here goes another take on an Italian cookie classic. This time I thought why not attempt to create the flavor of the Christmas season? So here goes; Ginger Cinnamon Biscotti.
 
Ingredients:
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 stick butter softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup chopped candied ginger
  • 1/2 tbs cinnamon
  • Powdered sugar
  • Milk
  • Green candy sprinkles
 


1. In a bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and salt.

2. In a mixing bowl cream the sugar and butter together.

3. Slowly mix in the eggs one at a time.

4. Mix in the chopped ginger and cinnamon.

5. Now mix in the flour mixture in batches until well incorporated.

6. On a tin foil lined baking sheet form the dough into a long 1/2 inch rectangle.

7. Bake in 350 degree oven for 30 minutes until the edges are browned.

8. Let cool for 30 minutes, then slice at an angle into 1/2 inch thick cookies.

9. Bake again for another 10 minutes laid out on the same baking sheet.

10. Let cool. Mix powdered sugar and milk to make a thick icing. Drizzle over half each cookie and sprinkle with the green candy sprinkles.
 
 
These were so good and tasted just like what you would think Christmas would taste like. Perfect spiciness from the ginger and sweet warmth from the cinnamon.
 
Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 30-40 min
Inactive Time: 30 min
Makes: 20+ cookies




Thursday, December 15, 2016

French Dip Sandwich




Sandwich



     This sandwich is not at all from French cuisine, however just a plain old American creation. Interestingly named for the fact that you utilize a crispy loaf of French bread to create this delicious, simple, and packed full of flavor sandwich. What is better than a juicy sandwich that you dip into a wonderful combination of juices created by cooking the beef for this dish. "Jus", which is French for juice, is created by the drippings from the meat you are cooking. "Au jus", simple means "with juice", so when you see a sandwich or any dish for that matter that is accompanied by au jus it means it comes with the juice it is made in or creates from the cooking process. Enjoy! French Dip Sandwich.




Ingredients:


  • 1-2 lb beef roast
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 1/2 white onion
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • Salt/ pepper
  • French loaf
  • Provolone cheese




1. Salt and pepper the roast. Place in crock pot fat side up.


2. Dice up the onion very finely and toss in.


3. Pour in the beef stock, thyme, and bay leaf. Stir to incorporate and cover the roast.


4. Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours.


5. When finished cooking. Pull apart with a fork. Layer onto a sliced French loaf. Top with provolone cheese and place under the broiler to toast.


6. Use the left over juices to dip your crusty sandwich in.
Delicious!






Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5-6 hours
Serves: 4+











Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Tiramisu


Tiramisu
 
 
     The quintessential Italian dessert. Just the name causes certain images to appear in your mind. That of red and white checkered table clothes covered in candle light while mandolin music plays softly over head. The taste is so silky with the cheese and the hint of coffee flavoring. Such a popular dessert that it has become a must on any Italian restaurant menu. Many people think this dessert must require a lot of time and care to make, when in actuality it doesn't take much work at all. A few ingredients and you have one of the best desserts out there. Tiramisu.
 
 
Ingredients:
 
  • 10 oz Mascarpone cheese
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 egg whites
  • 4 tbs sugar
  • 4 tbs milk
  • 1 1/2 cup strong coffee cooled
  • 2 tbs coffee liquor, brandy, rum, or Strega.
  • 25-35 lady fingers
  • Coco powder
 
1. Mix milk, coffee, 2 tbs sugar, and liquor of your choice in a casserole dish until incorporated.

2. Meanwhile, beat egg yolks and 2 tbs sugar together until creamy. Add in the mascarpone cheese.

3. In another bowl whip the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold cheese mixture into egg whites.

4. Now for the fun part, take each lady finger and dip them in the coffee mixture covering all sides and making sure it starts to soak up. (Hint: don't let them get soggy or they fall apart).
 Layer the lady fingers down in a 9 x 9 inch square baking dish. Once the first layer is down. Spread half the cheese mixture over top.

5. Sprinkle some coco powder. Then begin another layer of lady fingers.

6. Top with remaining cheese mixture and sprinkle with more coco powder. Refrigerate for at least 3-4 hours before serving.
 
This happens to be one of my favorite desserts of all time. Give it a try. You will love it.
 
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Inactive Time: 3-4 hours.
Serves: 5+