Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Irish Chicken Potato Leek Pie

     Another fantastic recipe from my Irish roots. Well actually from the cook book my cousin got me about Irish food, but either way this is a true Irish meal. Like any type of savory pie, it is a mainstay with Irish cuisine. This one is based on a traditional one with exception of using puff pastry instead of regular pie crust. Give it a try and you will love it. Chicken Potato Leek Pie.
  • 1 cup red potatoes cut into chunks
  • 6 tbs butter
  • 1 skinless chicken breast
  • 1 small leek cut into chunks
  • 1/2 cup carrots cut into chunks
  • 1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
  • 2 1/2 tbs flour
  • 1 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 tbs Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbs chopped sage
  • Puff pastry
  • Salt/ pepper
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook potatoes in boiling water for roughly 5 minutes.

2. In saute pan melt 3 tbs butter and cook chicken on both sides until nice and brown. Set aside and cut into chunks.

3 In same skillet toss in leek, mushrooms, and carrots and saute until tender.

4. Stir in flour and cook until thickens up. Gradually stir in milk and slowly bring to a simmer.

5. Mix in the mustard, sage, and the drained potatoes. Salt and pepper to taste.

6. Meanwhile in a round baking dish line the bottom with one sheet of puff pastry.

7. Pour mixture into the pie dish. Cover with another sheet of puff pastry and cut holes in the top.

8. Brush some butter over the top and cook for roughly 45 minutes.
     This pie was unlike any other type of "pot" pie I have ever had. It was very hearty and full of flavor. Give it a try.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 60 minutes
Serves: 4+



Monday, October 9, 2017

Mahi Mahi With A Lemon Cream Sauce

Was wanting a quick and simple fish recipe that was full of flavor. Did a little searching online and came up with this little combo based on others I had seen. Mahi Mahi With A Lemon Cream Sauce.
  • 3 medium fillets of Mahi Mahi
  • 4 tbs butter
  • 1/4 cup half and half
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tbs spicy mustard
  • 1 1/2 tbs lemon juice
  • Salt/ pepper
1. Preheat oven to 390 degrees.

2. Salt and pepper both sides of the fish and lay in a baking dish.

3. Over medium heat in a saute pot, combine butter, half and half, garlic, mustard, and lemon juice until incorporated and just begins to simmer.

4. Pour over the fish, cover with tinfoil, and bake for 10-15 minutes. Serve with fresh lemon slices.
Creamy, lemony, and perfectly tender, this fish dish was a winner.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Serves: 1-2

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Pasta Al Fresco


    This pasta dish is based on one at a local restaurant, Mama Mia's Angel Hair Al Fresco. A great dish with simple ingredients and a lot of flavor. I think it may be the ton of fresh garlic, with the fresh basil and the hint of marinara, but this dish is definitely a new favorite of mine. Pasta Al Fresco.


  • Bunch of shrimp
  • Olive oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic sliced thinly
  • Handful diced fresh basil
  • Handful fresh spinach
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1 tbs fresh marinara
  • Angel hair pasta

1. Cook pasta according to package.
2.In a large saute pan drizzle some olive oil and saute the shrimp on both sides just until pink. Remove and sit aside.
3. In same pan drizzle some more olive oil. Take sliced slivers of garlic and saute on low until just starting to brown.
4. Pour in white wine and reduce.
5. Stir in the marinara and mix well.
6. Toss in the basil and spinach until it begins to wilt a bit.
7. Toss back in the shrimp and quickly toss with the cooked pasta.

Easy, quick, but full of flavor.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Serves: 2+

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


Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Chicken Chow Mein


     Quick, minimal work, and full of flavor, this chow mein recipe will more than likely become one of your go-to dinners when craving that certain something. The term "Chow Mein" simple translates into stir fried noodle. Much better than any takeout you can get, this dish is inspired by one of my favorite Chinese chefs and from her cookbook; Ching-He Huang. Here is my Chicken Chow Mein.


  • 4oz yellow wheat noodles (I used udon)
  • 1 large boneless skinless chicken breast
  • Soy sauce
  • 1 tsp Chinese five-spice powder
  • 1 tsp sriracha or chili sauce
  • 1 tbs corn starch
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 red bell pepper thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup green onion diced
  • 1/2 cup snow peas
  • Sesame oil
  • 1 tsp fresh diced ginger

1. Cook noodles in boiling water as directed. Drain and set aside.
2. Slice chicken into thin strips
3. Toss chicken in a bowl with five-spice powder, sriracha, and cornstarch. Let sit.
4. In a large wok over high heat pour in the vegetable oil and toss in the chicken. Continue to stir until almost cooked through.
5. Toss in the bell pepper, snow peas, and ginger. Stir and saute for roughly 1 minute
6. Pour in some soy sauce and a dash or two of sesame oil.
7. Stir in the noodles and let them saute and get slightly crisp on a few edges.
8. Toss in green onion and serve.

     This dish was so delicious. The interesting combination of flavors from the five-spice powder with the chicken and fresh vegetables all came together well with the noodles that were perfectly tender with a little bite.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: under 5 minutes
Serves: 1-2

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Spinach Artichoke "Dip" Ravioli


So I came up with this recipe the other weekend. I was trying to think of an interesting way to turn one dish into another. Something I like to do and have been successful at in the past. I decided to take a delicious typical party appetizer and turn it into a ravioli dish. Who doesn't like a good hearty spinach artichoke dip? So here goes! The outcome was extremely delicious and full of flavor. I must warn you though, this small recipe actually makes quite a bit of filling and ravioli so you could half the recipe and still have plenty. Spinach Artichoke Ravioli

Dough recipe:http://recipesiliveby.blogspot.com/2013/04/Fresh-Pasta.html
Filing Ingredients:
  • 1/2 10oz jar artichoke hearts diced
  • 1 1/2 cups ricotta
  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup green onion
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 clove garlic diced
  • Salt/pepper
Sauce Ingredients:
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 3 oz fresh spinach
  • 1 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Salt/pepper 
1. In a large saute pan, drizzle some olive oil and saute the artichoke hearts, garlic, and green onion just until tender and fragrant. 
2. Combine in a bowl with the ricotta and softened cream cheese.
3. Mix in the Italian seasoning and set aside.
4. Meanwhile, roll out the dough using a pasta maker.
5. Cut into about 2-3 inch squares across.
6. Place a small spoonful of filling in the center of each square. Fold over and seal with a fork.

7. Place in freezer until ready to cook to harden up.
8. Meanwhile, take the spinach, cream, and garlic and blend in a food processor or blender until creamy. Salt and pepper to taste.
9. Pour into a sauce pan and bring to a low simmer.
10. When ready to cook the ravioli, toss into a pot of boiling water and let come to a roll for roughly 5-7 minutes.
11. Serve with the warm spinach sauce over top and some fresh parmesan cheese.

Prep Time: 20 minutes with homemade dough.
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Serves: Makes roughly 30+ ravioli based on filling.


Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Sticky Asian Short Ribs


     I have always wanted to make beef short ribs. I've ordered them in restaurants and was always under the impression that they are hard to fix. I've been told they can be tough, hard to work with, not much flavor, etc., however the ones I order in my favorite restaurants are always so tender, juicy, and flavorful. So I decided to give it a try. I thought a great combination of Asian flavors would be perfect for these ribs. Sticky Asian Short Ribs.



  • 5-6 small beef short ribs
  • 1/3 cup soy
  • 1/2 cup beef stock
  • 1 tbs sriracha
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 up apple sauce
  • 1 tsp five spice powder
  • 1 tsp sesame oil

1. In a crockpot place the beef short ribs.

2. Mix together in a bowl the soy, stock, sriracha, brown sugar, apple sauce, five spice, and sesame oil.

3. Pour over ribs, cover, and cook on low for 6-7 hours. Serve over potatoes or rice.

     These were fall off the bone, juicy, sticky, tender, that I could not have asked for a better meal. Simple and cooked out of the way that made them perfect for a weeknight meal.

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 6-7 hours
Serves: 2.





Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Irish Salmon With Cider And Cream Sauce


     So for this Saint Patrick's Day Celebration a few weeks ago, I decided to make a great Irish meal for my mother and father, especially since my father is the Irish one. Funny thing is he came dressed for the part. He had on a nice sweater, button up shirt with a nice tie underneath, and even wore one of those newsboy/Sheppard’s cap you would stereotypically see in some cliché way of an Irishman walking the stony path of some picturesque village in the green hills of Ireland. Anyways, I digress; I received a great Irish pub cookbook for Christmas and decided to try a new recipe. I served this great Salmon dish along with some new potatoes, mushy peas, and an apple bread pudding with Irish cream sauce. Irish Salmon with Cider and Cream Sauce.

  • 4 Salmon filets
  • 1 Leek sliced in strips
  • Small bunch parsley chopped
  • 4 small Bay leaves
  • 1 lemon sliced
  • 1 cup hard cider
  • 1 cup cream
  • 2 tbs dill
  • 3 tabs butter
  • Salt/pepper

1. In a large baking pan lined with tinfoil, lay the salmon filets down.

2. Top with the strips of leek, chopped parsley, bay leaves, sliced lemon, and dill. Spread out all the ingredients so that each filet is covered with each item.

3. Top each salmon with a tab of butter.

4. Pour in the cider around the salmon. Cover with tinfoil and bake in 350 degree oven for roughly 15-20 minutes until salmon is flakey.

5. Remove juices that have accumulated and place in a pot on stove. Bring to simmer over high heat and pour in cream. Simmer until thickens.

6. Place salmon on platter, (without the leeks, parsley, etc.), and drizzle the cider cream sauce over and serve.

This salmon dish was so light, fresh, and delicious that even my mother who is not a fan "fish" fan loved it.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20-30 minutes
Serves: 4


Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Riomaggiore Lasagne


     This dish was inspired by the great seafood lasagne my brother had and I sampled while vacationing in Riomaggiore, Italy a few years back. There was just something about this pasta dish that was amazing. First off, it was the first time we had seen a lasagne that wasn't the typical layered dish we are use to in America. Even being first generation in America, our grandmother always made the layered baked version. It was just the lasagna noodle tossed and thrown on the plate. Second, this dish was light and had a distinct flavor of something you wouldn't expect from a pasta dish. It had that tomato flavor but there was just something else. Delving farther into this dish you find that those small hidden flavors are the simplest of additions. The coast of Italy is famous for it's use of bountiful basil and lemon. Chop up some fresh basil leaves and add a few zests of hearty lemons and viola, a simple yet delicious seafood lasagne packed full of flavor. This was amazing. Riomaggiore Lasagne.



  • Fresh lasagne noodles
  • 2 filets of white fish (any kind you like) cubed
  • 10 shrimp
  • 6 anchovy filets (they are also famous on the coast)
  • 1 large shallot diced
  • 2 cloves garlic diced
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 can tomato puree
  • A handful fresh basil chopped
  • Zest from 1 lemon
  • 1/3 cup cream
  • Salt/pepper

1. In a large skillet over medium heat drizzle some olive oil and saute diced shallots.

2. Next toss in the anchovy filets and saute. (They will begin to melt away).

3. Stir in chopped garlic until fragrant.

4. Stir in the white wine and reduce.

5. Now pour in the tomato puree, chopped basil, and lemon zest. Stir to incorporate.

6. Stir in the cubed white fish and fresh shrimp.

7. Mix in the cream, turn heat down to low, and simmer for roughly 5 minutes until the fish is tender
and the shrimp cooked through.

8. Toss on a plate with the fresh lasagne noodles.

This dish, according to my brother now, tasted just like the original he had sitting on the little patio facing the ocean that warm evening in Riomaggiore.

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Serves: 2-4



Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Salmon Cakes With A Wasabi Mayo


      I was craving some type of fish dish this week and since it is Lent and as a good Catholic I must abide by eating no meat on Friday's, I chose to make a simple salmon cake entrée. I have posted this simple salmon cake before, however it was in a sandwich. So today I am re-posting the actual recipe along with a simple yet flavorful sauce to accompany these delicious easy patties.  Salmon Cakes With Wasabi Mayo.

  • 16 oz can pink salmon
  • 3 tbs pimentos
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup Breadcrumbs
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 tbs wasabi paste
  • 4 tbs mayo
  • 1 tbs lemon juice
  • Zest from half lemon
  • Butter
1. Combine the salmon, pimentos, diced onion, garlic, breadcrumbs, and egg in a large bowl and mix with your hands. Form into patties.

2. In a large saute pan fry the salmon cakes in some butter for roughly 2 minutes each side.

3. Combine the mayo, lemon juice, zest, and wasabi paste in another bowl until able to drizzle over each cake.
Easy, quick, full of flavor, and delicious. Perfect for any good Catholic or anyone at all. (insert laugh from a fallen away Catholic)
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Serves: 3+

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

BEANS and Cornbread: A Country Staple


     I have published the cornbread recipe on here before and briefly explained how to make the soup beans.  Since I was craving this dish again this winter I decided to give you one of the ways to make the beans for this dish.  Whether using a stockpot or crockpot, this dish cannot be any easier. Soup Beans

  • 2 cups Northern White Beans
  • 1/4 white onion diced
  • 1/2 green bell pepper diced
  • Some ham or hamhock
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • Salt/pepper
1. Place beans in the crockpot and soak in water overnight.
2. Rinse and remove water from night before.
3. Dice up the onion, pepper, and ham and throw in the crockpot.
4. Cover with enough water to be about an inch above the bean mixture.
5. Turn on to low and let cook for up to 8 hours.

I like to once the mixture is done, take a masher and mash up some of the beans in order to make a thicker souper mixture.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Inactive Time: 6-8 hours
Cook Time: 7-8 hours
Serves: 4+

This is one of those simple, yet delicious country staples for any family. You will love it.

You can find the cornbread recipe here: http://recipesiliveby.blogspot.com/search/label/Cornbread

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Chicken Mushroom Vol Au Vent

    Vol Au Vent means "windblown" in French and is typically served as an appetizer in French cuisine. It is also found in Belgium and can be served as an entrée and is usually filled with chicken or other meat products. I came across this dish playing around online one evening and decided to try my hand at it. It was extremely quick, simple, and very delicious. Also the presentation made this such an elegant looking dish that you would swear I went to culinary school. Give it a try for your next dinner party and impress your friends or loved ones. Chicken Mushroom Vol Au Vent.
  • 1 small shallot
  • 2 boneless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
  • Olive oil
  • 1 tbs butter
  • 1 tbs flour
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • Handful chopped parsley
  • 1 tsp dried dill
  • 3 sheets puff pastry
  • Egg wash
1. I bought pre-made puff pastry that comes in 3 sheets. Cut each on in half and score out of one side a square hole. Take some egg wash and line the bottom one and place the holed out one on top. With a fork poke holes in the bottom layer. Bake in 400 degree oven for 15 minutes until puffed and brown.
2. Meanwhile in a large skillet drizzle some olive oil. Cut chicken into strips and saute until golden brown.

3. Toss in diced up shallot and mushrooms.

4. Pour in white wine to deglaze the pan.

5. Toss in the tablespoon of butter and flour and stir to incorporate.

6. Pour in the cream. Stir in the parsley and dill and bring to a slow simmer. Cover and cook for about 15 minutes.

7. Now for the fun part, take one of the pastry "baskets" and fill with the chicken/mushroom filling and serve.
This dish was delicious and very elegant in its presentation.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 combined
Serves: 3


Tuesday, February 21, 2017

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.

  • 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