Recipe

Souper Salads

Chop and dump.  Sometimes supper is really just that easy.  Here are a few of my favorite salads:

Bucca Di Beppo Chopped Antipasto Salad

Perfect for Italian dinner.

Bucca Di Beppo Chopped Antipasto Salad
Bucca Di Beppo Chopped Antipasto Salad

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 head iceberg lettuce, chopped
  • 1 ounce pepperoni, diced
  • 1 ounce mortadella, diced
  • 1 ounce red onion, diced
  • 2 ounces roma tomatoes, diced
  • 2 ounces cucumbers, diced
  • 1 ounce gorgonzola, crumbled
  • 1 ounce feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1/2 ounce pepperoncini pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 4 ounces Italian vinaigrette dressing
  • 3 pepperoncini peppers, whole
  • black olives
  • green olives

DIRECTIONS

  1. Place all ingredients in a mixing bowl, except 1/2 the tomatoes, the whole pepperoncini, olives and dressing and toss.
  2. Add the dressing and toss until fully incorporated.
  3. Mound the salad mixture on a chilled plate, getting as much height as possible.
  4. Place remaining tomates around the outside of the salad.
  5. Garnish with whole pepperoncini and olives and serve

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“The Wedge” with homemade Ranch Dressing

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The Wedge is one of the simplest salads ever, but looks kind of fancy and is really one of my favorites.  I core one head of lettuce (bang core on counter, it comes right out) then cut your head of lettuce into 4 wedges.  Top with your favorite things:  Mine are bacon bits, shredded cheddar and chopped tomatoes.  Drizzle with this amazing dressing:

Ranch Dressing

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped herbs (combination of parsley, chives, chervil, savory, dill or celery leaves)
  • 1 teaspoon cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste

directions

Combine ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to combine thoroughly. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.

Abe & Louie’s Salad

INGREDIENTS

    • 1 head bibb lettuce
    • 1/2 cup shelled pistachios
    • 1 apple, thinly sliced
    • 4 ounces blue cheese
    • dijon vinaigrette

DIRECTIONS

  1. Wash and chop lettuce. Mix all ingredients together.
  2. Top with your favorite dressing.

Printable Recipe: Abe & Louie’s Salad

ALTON’S THE ORIGINAL NORTH COVE SALAD

PREP TIME: 10 mins TOTAL TIME: 20 mins
SERVES: 4

INGREDIENTS

    • 1 head lettuce, chopped
    • 2 chicken breasts, roasted and sliced
    • 1 tomatoes, diced
    • 1 cup crouton
    • 1 cup candied pecans
    • 1/2 cup craisins
    • 2/3 cup goat cheese, crumbles
    • olive (optional)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Toss all together.
  2. Serve with dressing of your choice. I used homemade Ranch.

Printable Recipe: Alton’s The Original North Cove Salad

Recipe

Recipe: Delicious Veal and Pork Bolognese Sauce

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Birthdays are big deals in my house.  You get to choose a home-cooked meal of your choice or a restaurant dinner of your choosing.  My brother-in-law, David, is so awesome (pictured with my gorgeous sister above).  He put in so many man hours on my new home, all for free.  So, when his birthday rolls around and he says he wants a lasagna dinner, I make it my business to make a sauce for the lasagna that is simmered all day, and finally baked into a lasagna.

So, while loads of my recipes are quick, this one isn’t.  But if you have a day to hang around the house, while your sauce gently bubbles on the stovetop, make this.  So.worth.it.

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Delicious Veal and Pork Bolognese Sauce

ABOUT THIS RECIPE

“This sauce must be cooked for 2 hours or even more is even better! the first hour covered then the last uncovered. If possible prepare this sauce one day in advance and refrigerated, it will increase the flavor. This is a very hearty sauce, you can also add in a can or plum tomatoes, chopped and drained if desired.”

INGREDIENTS

    • 3 -5 tablespoons olive oil
    • 4 slices thick-cut bacon, diced
    • 1 large onion, chopped
    • 2 tablespoons minced fresh garlic
    • 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
    • 2 small carrots, peeled and finely diced
    • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
    • 2 teaspoons dried basil
    • 1 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes ( you can add in more to taste)
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
    • 1 lb ground veal
    • 1 lb ground pork
    • 1 1/4 cups dry red wine
    • 2 (14 ounce) cans beef broth ( or beef consomme for an even richer flavor)
    • 1 (28 ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
    • whipped cream (optional)
    • parmesan cheese
    • cooked pasta

DIRECTIONS

Heat the oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat.

Add in the diced bacon and saute until beginning to brown (about 5 minutes).

Add in the onion, celery, carrot, garlic, thyme, basil, dryed pepper flakes and bay leaves; saute for about 5-6 minutes.

Add in tomato paste; cook stiring with a wooden spoon for 2 minutes. Then add in the ground veal and pork; cook until cooked through and well browned (about 12 minutes, the meat should be BROWNED well!).

Add in the wine then simmer for about 8 minutes uncovered.

Add in the broth and crushed tomatoes; reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 1 hour, stirring often with a wooden spoon.

Uncover and season with salt and pepper; simmer for another hour or more (uncovered).

If you prefer a creamy sauce, add in about 1/4 cup whipping cream towards the end of cooking.

Serve over cooked pasta and top with parmesan cheese.

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Now use that sauce to make your favorite lasagna recipe.  Here’s one of mine:  Lasagna Suzanne

Recipe

Good ‘ole Comfort Food

Sometimes I like fancy, and sometimes I like comfort.  Last night I was in the mood for sandwiches, but my husband wanted meatloaf.  Ugh.  No one else in the house likes it, but he pulled the “I’ve been working all day” card, so I acquiesced.  Turns out this meatloaf was pretty darn good, even though I made it under duress.

Here’s the Comfort Food Night Menu:

  • Glazed Meatloaf
  • Darn Good Mashed Potatoes
  • The Lady’s Macaroni and Cheese
  • Marie Callender’s Cornbread

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The Very Best Glazed Meatloaf

The Very Best Glazed Meatloaf

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups onions, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon marjoram
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lb chuck (ground beef)
  • 1/2 lb veal (optional. Use half pork and beef if you can’t find ground veal or don’t buy veal)
  • 1/2 lb ground pork
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, minced
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cider vinegar

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a skillet over moderate heat, add the oil. Heat the oil until hot, but not smoking. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Set aside and let cool.
  3. In a mixing bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, mustard, and hot sauce together. Add marjoram, thyme, salt, and pepper.In a large mixing bowl, combine the meats, egg-milk mixture, bread crumbs, parsley, and the cooked onion mixture.
  4. In a small bowl stir together ketchup, sugar, and vinegar. Set aside.
  5. Form 1 tablespoon of the meat mixture into a small patty, add it to a small oiled skillet, and cook until no longer pink. Taste for seasoning and adjust.
  6. Transfer meat mixture to an oiled loaf pan.*.
  7. *NOTE: The best way to make the meatloaf is to use a baking sheet, lined with foil. Place a cooling rack on top. Cut a piece of foil to be larger than a the loaf– and shape the meat into a loaf. Using a metal skewer, poke holes along the foil — usually every other hole.
  8. Place the shaped loaf on top of the foil. I prefer this method, as the loaf is less likely to “steam” in a loaf pan. You can also glaze all around the meatloaf, which is even better!
  9. Brush meat with ketchup glaze.Bake in oven for about 45 minutes, until glaze has set.
  10. Brush meat loaf with remaining glaze and bake for 15 minutes more; glaze again.
  11. My oven takes 1 hour and 15 minutes to reach the desired doneness. Times do vary, so allow for that!
  12. Internal temperature of loaf should be 160 degrees F.

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Darn Good Mashed Potatoes

dgmp

Ingredients

  • 5 lbs baking potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup heavy cream

directions

  • Place the potatoes in a large Dutch oven, cover with water and add the garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Bring the potatoes to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium and cook until tender, (15-20 minutes). Drain well.

  • Place the drained potatoes in a large bowl, add butter and whip the potatoes with an electric mixer until there are no lumps. Pour in the cream and continue whipping until the potatoes are fluffy.

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The Lady’s Macaroni and Cheese

Ingredients

  • 4 cups elbow macaroni, cooked & drained
  • 2 cups grated cheddar cheese
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 4 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Once you have the macaroni cooked and drained, place in a large bowl and while still hot and add the cheddar.

In a separate bowl, combine the remaining ingredients and add to the macaroni mixture.

Pour macaroni mixture into a casserole dish and bake for 30 to 45 minutes.

Top with additional cheese if desired, and bake a few minutes more until cheese is melted.

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Marie Callender’s Cornbread

Marie Callendar's Cornbread
Marie Callendar’s Cornbread

  • 2 cups Bisquick baking mix
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup real butter, melted
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Grease an 8×8″ pan on bottom and sides; set to the side.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk eggs until well blended.
  4. Add sugar, milk, melted butter and whisk thoroughly.
  5. Add Bisquick and cornmeal to egg mixture, and mix just enough to completely moisten dry ingredients and leave no lumps.
  6. Do not overmix.
  7. Bake for 25-35 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in middle comes out dry and top is firm to touch.
  8. Doubles easily into 9×13″ pan; adjust baking time accordingly.
Recipe

Pioneer Woman Recipes

I love love love Ree Drummond!  That sweet disposition, that beautiful smile, that fiery red hair.  She’s just a delight.  And it doesn’t hurt that she’s a heck of a cook.  Anyway, she is my hero, honey.

reeMain

This post is going to be all of the recipes of hers that I try.  You’ll love it.

First up: Simple Sesame Noodles.  You’ll love them.  We ate ours with teriyaki chicken.

To Try  PW Simple Sesame Noodles

You can find P Dub’s Recipe here:  Simple Sesame Noodles

 

Recipe

Carrabba’s Bread Dipping Spice

I usually refuse to go to chain restaurants.  There are so many choices out there, why waste your dining dollars on a chain where you know exactly what is on the menu and the masses will follow you there?  Well, one reason is because sometimes you just crave a dish.  And familiarity can be a comfort.  For me, those times are few and far between, but that is one reason you might see me dining at Carrabba’s.

They bring you a basket of piping hot fresh bread to your table with a scoop of herb mixture which is then mixed with olive oil.  Perfect for dipping.  I made mine for a dinner the other night and had some left over.  I mixed it with olive oil, marinated some chicken breasts with it and grilled them.  Wow!  Yum!

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Carrabba’s Bread Dipping Spice

  • 1 tablespoon minced basil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley (Italian is best)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt or 1/2 teaspoon ground sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

directions

1. Combine all of the ingredients, EXCEPT oil and lemon.

2. Put in a small food processor (I used my little food chopper). Chop briefly until all ingredients are about the same.

3. Stir in oil and lemon juice.

4. TO SERVE: Combine about 1 1/2 teaspoons spice blend to 3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil on a small Dish.

5. Dip sliced bread in mixture.

Recipe

Linguine With Mushrooms and Garlic Cream Sauce

Pasta, mushrooms and cream.  Really, that’s all I need to write, right?

LinguineWithMushroomsandGarlicCreamSauce_zpsed2f8be7

Linguine With Mushrooms and Garlic Cream Sauce

INGREDIENTS

  • Parmesan, for sprinkling
  • fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 ounces mozzarella cheese, cut into small cubes
  • 4 ounces linguine
  • salt
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • fresh ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, crumbled
  • 3 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 tablespoons butter

DIRECTIONS

Melt butter in heavy large skillet over medium-low heat. Add mushrooms, garlic, rosemary and generous amount of pepper. Cook until mushrooms exude their juices, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes.

Add cream and simmer until sauce thickens slightly, about 3 minutes. Season with salt.

Meanwhile, cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water. Drain well. Add pasta and cheese to sauce and stir until cheese melts.

Sprinkle with parsley and serve.

Recipe

Coney Island Burgers–Copycat

Ask and ye shall receive!  This fun project started with a Facebook posts to my friends back in Crestview, Florida.  I begged them to give me some ideas about what might be in the sauce from those irresistible burgers we love from our hometown dive:  Coney Island!  The replies were varied and numerous, so I wrote them all down on a piece of paper and headed to the kitchen to experiment.  After a bit, I had what I think is a pretty decent copycat for folks like me who crave that greasy goodness but live too far away to do anything about it on the regular.

Be warned, I’m going to give you every step I did.  You decide if you need to do every.single.one.  At first I thought if I had the sauce down, I’d be fine, but turns out each family member had their own version of what was important to them about that burger.  So, I’ve replicated it in its entirety as best as I could.

First, I suggest getting your mise en place.  That means get all of your ingredients and cooking utensils ready.  Learned that on Top Chef.

 

The Sauce

Disclaimer:  This is not exact.  I did a lot of adding and off the cuffing to get the consistency I wanted.  I will perfect and repost.  I can tell you next time I will make the sauce a day or few hours ahead of time to give the spices time to marry.  Learned that on Top Chef, too.

Mix this well and set aside:

  • 6 oz. can of tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 cups water (add more if needed)
  • 3 Tbsp. mustard
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper (more if needed)
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 4 shakes Louisiana hot sauce

 

The Meat

I found that having a thin patty is important.  So, I used a patty maker to really get it thin and even.  You may want to spray it with Pam, mine did stick after a while and it took a minute to peel it off.  I could also see plastic wrap working.  You can get one here:  Hamburger Press from Harbor Freight

Here’s a picture of mine:

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The Onions

Teeny Tiny dices.  Dice it finely and then run your knife through it again.  (Boy, that spoon has seen better days.)

The Method

At Coney Island, they credit their decades-old grill with being the secret to their addictive burgers.  So much so that when it broke, they lamented over the new one they had to buy, that was not seasoned as the old grill.  Baker School’s Welding Department fixed it right up for them, free of charge!  If you don’t have a decades old grill, just use a cast iron skillet.

I preheated my skillet to medium high and when it was hot, I drizzled just a bit of vegetable oil on for that first set of burgers.  While the skillet heats, nuke your buns for about 30 seconds to soften.    I make 2 at a time.  I place the patties on the grill, season them with season salt and then with my metal spatula, turned on its side, I start lightly chopping the burgers, to get them as flat as possible without breaking them up. Flip and cook another minute.

On top of burger sprinkle chopped onions, 1/4 cup of sauce (eyeball it, cover your meat) and then lay a piece of American cheese over that.  When you see the cheese getting melty (that’s a word.), place bottom bun on top of meat and top bun on top of bottom bun.  When done (for me it was a minute), take that top bun and scrape it along the skillet to sop up that juice and make your burger.  Easy!  But they go quick, so don’t overwhelm yourself trying to do too many at a time.

I had sauce left, so the next night we made hotdogs with it.  I boiled the wienies to make them like Coney.  Amazing!

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Recipe

Melt in Your Mouth Lemon Bars

My daughter Mary Ashley loves to cook with me, but she prefers baking sweets over dinner every night.  So, because I am a wonderful parent, I bribe her to help me make dinner by agreeing to bake a dessert at the same time.  One night we pulled up this recipe as we were making dinner and I tried to shoot it down because it had 3 separate steps.  She insisted, and lo and behold,  was she ever right.  These bars are worth every tiny bit of extra effort.

 photo Meltinyourmouthlemonbarsimadeitpin_zps5e05281a-1.jpg

 

Melt in Your Mouth Lemon Bars

Ingredients

  • CRUST
  • 2 c all purpose flour
  • 1 c butter softened (no substituting)
  • 1/2 c powdered sugar
  • FILLING
  • 4 eggs (slightly beaten)
  • 2 c sugar
  • 4 Tbsp flour
  • 6 Tbsp lemon juice
  • FROSTING
  • 1/2 c butter (softened)
  • 1 c powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp milk
  • 2 Tbsp cold water

directions

  1. MIX CRUST INGRED. WITH FORK AS YOU WOULD FOR A PIE CRUST. PAT INTO A 9X13 PAN WHICH HAS BEEN GREASED AND FLOURED. BAKE AT 350 DEGREES FOR 15 MINUTES.

  2. AS CRUST IS BAKING. MIX FILLING. AFTER CRUST HAS BAKED 15 MINUTES, POUR FILLING OVER CRUST AND CONTINUE BAKING FOR 25 MINUTES. COOL BARS COMPLETELY

  3. MAKE FROSTING BY BEATING BUTTER,POWDERED SUGAR AND MILK FOR 6 TO 8 MINUTES ON HIGH SPEED. THEN ADD 2 TBLSP. COLD WATER ONE AT A TIME. BEAT UNTIL SMOOTH. SPREAD OVER COOLED BARS.

 

Recipe

Roasted Lemon Garlic Herb Shrimp

We love shrimp.  So, here’s another shrimp recipe.  Hope you love it as much as I do.  Serves 2

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Roasted Lemon Garlic Herb Shrimp

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 lemon, zested then half cut into thin slices and other half into wedges
  • 3 -4 fresh thyme sprigs, leaves removed
  • kosher salt and fresh black pepper
  • spaghetti or pasta, couscous or rice, for serving
  • 1 lb fresh shrimp, medium-sized, deveined with tails off
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced

directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

  2. In a 9×13 baking pan combine olive oil, lemon zest and thyme. Season with salt and pepper.

  3. Bake in oven for 12 minutes. Meanwhile cook pasta, couscous or rice.

  4. Remove pan from oven, add shrimp, garlic and the thin sliced lemons (don’t squeeze them), toss to coat with oil mixture.

  5. Bake for 8-10 more minutes or until shrimp turn pink and start to curl.

  6. Serve over pasta, couscous or rice tossed with extra-virgin olive oil and fresh-squeezed lemon with additional lemon wedges for serving.

 

 

Recipe

Recipe: Buttermilk Ranch Cheese Ball

Cheese balls show up on every Christmas sideboard, don’t they?  And no wonder.  They can be made ahead, kept in the fridge and just set out with absolutely no fuss…and they are delicious.  Truly one of the world’s perfect foods.  I enjoy them as a midnight snack with a few crackers, as well.  This one is so simple it is crazy, but yummy!

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Buttermilk Ranch Cheeseball

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon sour cream
  • 1 (1 ounce) package Ranch dressing mix
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
  • 1/2 lb cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped pecans

directions

  1. Mix the sour cream with ranch dressing mix in a bowl until smoothly combined. Add the cream cheese and Cheddar cheese to the bowl, and mix together with your hands until thoroughly blended. Chill the mixture for 5 minutes, then shape into a ball.
  2. Place the pecans into a shallow bowl, and roll all sides of the cheese ball in the pecans to coat. Serve immediately.