Posted at 4:15 am , on August 25, 2020
Hubby has been doing a ton of meat smoking since we were gifted with a mini-Traegar barbeque from his Dad. We’ve done salmon, whole chickens, corned beef (which makes pastrami), and beef and pork roasts. Roasts end up in recipes for two or three meals and I try to be creative in changing up the flavor profile so we aren’t eating the same thing every night.
This was a 6 pound lamb roast that started with a nice fat cap, making the meat tender and juicy. After serving it sliced the first night, I cut the leftovers into bite-sized cubes and made a stew for my daughter with potatoes, celery and peas, Shepherd Pies for us and finally this curry served over jasmine rice.
Posted at 5:05 am , on August 11, 2020
In lieu of hot veggies, I like to make side salads to go with dinner in the summer. Hubby isn’t a big fan of green salads so I switch it up now and then.
This bright salad combines the sweetness of ripe watermelon with the salty tang of feta and kalamata olives. The sweet/savory dressing brings it all together for yumminess in every bite.
Variations: Any tomatoes will do; I like the yellow for the contrast in color. You can use an English cucumber and leave the skin intact.
Posted at 5:19 am , on July 28, 2020
Chicken wings don’t have to be a guilty pleasure. I’ve found that baking them is as delish as deep frying, and far more heart-healthy (not to mention less messy).
You can take the easy-peasy route and simply make a batch of basic wings and then serve a variety of dipping sauces on the side. Or you can go a bit more fancy and flavorful by tossing them in one of the sauces below near the end of the cooking time. I usually serve with a platter of raw, cold veggies.
Variations: Recipes for my basic wings and two favorite flavors are below: Buffalo and Ginger-Soy. You can toss the wings in a multitude of sauces of your choosing and finish in the oven. Oil based salad dressings are a good option. Stay away from cream-based sauces as they will burn; offer them for dipping instead (ranch and bleu cheese are a favorite). An easy way to create your own dipping sauces is to start with a base of 1/4 cup sour cream and simply stir in herbs and spices of your choosing.
Posted at 9:52 am , on July 12, 2020
Both of my parents were born in Belfast, Northern Ireland and the majority of my family lives in the United Kingdom. I am first-generation American and proud of my Orange-Irish heritage and can’t wait to one day sail “home” into Belfast Harbor.
Many who know me well have been schooled on St. Patrick’s Day and the difference between being Orange and Green Irish. I DO NOT wear green on St. Patrick’s Day as I am absolutely sure my father would look down with horror. One year, my father caught me sneaking out of the house with a bit of green on and said sternly, “Get back inside and take off that green and put on your orange. No daughter of mine will be caught wearing green on St. Patrick’s Day!” He didn’t care that we might get pinched by our school mates … his loyalty to his Orange Irish roots ran deep. I passed on the same traditions to my children and now my daughter ensures that the Grands wear their orange as well as green.
The Orange Irish celebrate Orangemen’s Day with bonfires kicking off the festivities on July 11th and parades on July 12th. Homes and buildings are adorned with bunting and people crowd the streets waving the British flag. Read on for a wee bit of history about the holiday.
Posted at 3:44 am , on June 10, 2020
My husband’s family hails from Portugal and they observe an annual Christmas Eve tradition of gathering for breakfast at midnight. I wanted to contribute to the table and found a recipe that I tweaked for Pasteis de Nata, Portuguese Custard Tarts. They were declared “the real deal” by those in the know and hubby’s dad had a few more than his fair share. 🙂 I’m posting this on “Portugal Day,” an official national day of celebration, commemorating Luis de Camoes, a poet and national literary icon. (Click here
for more info from Wikipedia.)
Posted at 1:29 pm , on April 16, 2020
Today is a significant date. First and foremost, it is my husband’s birthday. Aaron, the Captain of our boat and my heart, was born in 1964 and is 56 today. He unselfishly gives of his time and talent, and most of all, Love, to his friends and family. He is completely devoted to our three Grands and drops everything to care for them. He coaches Little League, builds props for my daughter’s photography business, mans the barbecue and is known as the “Tickle Monster” by the GrandBoys. He’s a great role model for Cody and Matthew, and Ellie is definitely a “Papy’s Girl.” This from a guy who never had children of his own and became a step-father when my kids were teens! We are blessed to have him in our lives.
Posted at 3:24 am , on April 7, 2020
This is a flavorful meal that presents beautifully in minutes. I’ll eat any seafood but hubby is a bit pickier, especially when it comes to shellfish. We both love scallops as they don’t have a strong “fishy” taste and do have a “meaty” texture.
The trick to scallops is twofold: they need to be fresh and not overcooked. If they have a fishy smell or are slimy, don’t use them. The ones I bought were out of the shell and cleaned, fresh (not frozen) vacuum-packed wild products of the United States. If you buy frozen and defrost, they may have a mealy texture.
When you cook, watch them closely and only cook until opaque on both sides. Take one out and cut in half to test for doneness. We personally like ours a tad on the undercooked side so ours are done when still just a bit transparent and shiny in the very middle. If you aren’t a fan of almost-sushi, cook until firm but not hard and fully white in the middle.
Posted at 3:26 am , on March 24, 2020
Matzah Ball Soup is a staple first course at Passover Seder’s and also served year-round in many Jewish homes. It’s a close second to Chicken Noodle Soup for treating colds and oh, so good on any dreary day.
My all-time favorite recipe was made by Nana Yetta Finberg, my former husband’s grandmother. Her balls were dense yet not doughy and it has taken me over two decades to get them just right.
Her broth was made from a whole chicken and veggies simmered for hours then strained many, many times to get it perfectly clear and golden. I cheat by using chicken broth to save time but I do roast veggies and add to the broth to simmer for an hour before straining. My broth is not as clear as hers, because I simmer the balls in the broth and then strain one more time. The flavor of both the broth and balls is pretty satisfying!
Posted at 5:55 am , on March 10, 2020
Why squid ink pasta? Well, because I bought all the other ingredients for this recipe and forgot the pasta and just happened to have this in my pantry. The bold black color seemed odd when I was cooking it, but actually made for a dramatic presentation. Most often used in seafood dishes, squid ink pasta does have a distinct flavor of sea salt not found in other pasta. I didn’t add any salt to the recipe and it came out absolutely delish!
Hubby loves pasta and we most often feature an Alfredo sauce or he makes his famous red sauce. I wanted to try something different and found turkey tenderloins on sale so did a bit of recipe research and then developed this one with my own twists. It’s rich and creamy comfort food and the celery adds a nice little crunch. It can be prepped and assembled in advance and then popped in the oven 35 minutes before you are ready to serve.
Posted at 5:55 am , on March 5, 2020
Athena did the dishes after dinner and poured herself a glass of wine. She wasn’t sure she was ready but there was no reason to delay any longer. She took a deep breath and opened the envelope. Her eyes glanced over the paragraphs explaining the test and jumped to the results.
Just as she had always believed, the people who raised her were not her biological parents. There was never a doubt that they loved her, but she always had a feeling that she was different. She questioned her mother once when she was a teen and was quickly and sternly rebuffed for asking. She never brought it up again.
When her father passed she discreetly trimmed a bit of his thumbnail and stored it in a sealed container. She did the same when her mother passed a month ago, and both were sent to a genetics lab.