Friday, December 9, 2011

Jersey Meets Black Eyed Peas...

When I say Black Eyed Peas I do not mean let's put on our Fergie best and head to the concert. I mean the actual down south back eyed peas you eat - you know the little white peas with the black eyes staring back at you.  Here in Jersey we look at those things and curse at them thinking that they really are staring at us.

So what's this I don't pump gas, wind proof hair, jersey girl doing with black eyed peas in her kitchen is Paula Deen coming for dinner?   No way I am cooking them up but of course with a Jersey twist.

1 (16 oz.) bag of Black Eyed Peas - soaked overnight in water and picked over
4 Carrots (diced)
1 Large Onion (diced)
8 Medium Tomatoes (diced) - This is what makes it Jersey delicious!
6 Cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth
2 Skin on Smoked Turkey Drumsticks (about 2 1/4 lbs. total)

In a large crock pot add the carrots, onion and tomatoes
Season with salt /pepper
Mix well to ensure vegetables are seasoned
Add black eyed peas and chicken broth
Tuck turkey drumsticks in mixture
Cover with the crock pot lid and cook on high for 6 hours
After 6 hours remove turkey drumsticks from soup
Allow them to cool, remove the skin and the small bones, shred the meat off the bone, set aside
After soup has cooled measure out 8 cups and blend until smooth
Add smooth mixture and shredded turkey meat back to the soup
Stir to incorporate and serve in a large bowl

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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Coq au Vin...

Croissant, Souffle,  Coq au Vin - who dose not love the sounds of french words in their kitchen?!?  I love to prepare Coq au Vin it is so elegant, rich and seeped with flavor.  It sounds so up scale but the literal translation is "rooster in red wine"  not so appetizing but when Julia Child says it there is an aire of excitement behind the dish. 

The classic Coq au Vin is made in a red wine, bacon and onions - so vibrant in color and flavor.  A little different version of this classic french dish is made with white wine or Riesling wine depending on the region of France it is being prepared.  I prefer the Riesling version of this spectacular meal. 

Right about now your thinking a Riesling Coq au Vin that sounds so complicated and involved but trust me it is one of the easiest meals to prepare and the bonus is it tastes better the next day when reheated.  It is the perfect holiday dish that is gauranteed to impress. 

So practice your best Bon Appetit to compliment your presentation of 
Coq au Vin! 

12 Skinless Chicken Thighs
1 Cup Bacon or Pancetta (diced)
***1 Leek (cleaned and finely sliced)
3 Bay Leaves
8 oz. Oyster Mushrooms (torn)
4 oz. Baby Bella mushrooms (sliced)
1 Bottle Riesling Wine

In a dutch oven or heavy pot cook the bacon or pancetta till crisp
Add the leeks, season with pepper and cook for 1 minute
Season both sides of the chicken liberally with salt/pepper 
Add the seasoned chicken, bay leaves, mushrooms and the whole bottle of wine
Season mixture with salt/pepper
Bring to a boil
Cover and simmer for 1 hour
Remove Bay Leaves
Serve warm with crusty bread and buttered egg noodles 

***Leeks tend to be very sandy inside
Slice leeks only reserving the white portion of the stalk
Place leeks in a colander and rinse well before adding to the recipe

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving...

Happy Thanksgiving To All...
I hope That Your Kitchen Is Filled With Lots Of 
Love, Family, Friends, 
Turkey, Vegetables, Pies & Drinks
Enjoy Every Minute Of The Holiday And Eat Well

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Oreo Truffles Anyone...

Surprise...I made a dessert item!  

If you have been following this blog or know anything about me you know that baking is not my favorite activity in the kitchen.  By all means I can do it if I have to or if the mood strikes me.  This mood usually happens when there is two feet of snow predicted and I know I will be housebound until someone plows me out.  Since it is November and still unseasonably warm in New Jersey the Oreo cookie truffles were because I had to.   At first it seemed like a great idea suggested by my lovely sister, Nicole (she and I were hosting a dinner party).   I was all for it up until the day I actually had to make them and that is when I began dreading the Oreo cookie project.  I am at the store thinking how is this going to work, the directions for the recipe seem too easy and this Almond Bark is uncharted territory.   At this point I am convinced the kitchen, my husband and the greyhounds will all be covered in some type of chocolate goop.  

Here goes -  I pulverize the cookies...that went well.  Mix in the cream far so good.  I roll the mix into balls without a sweat.  I set the timer to make sure my little gems set in the fridge.  10 long minutes pass and now its time for the dipping process.  I melt the Almond Bark in the microwave and at this point I think well I can always buy a little sweet treat tomorrow.  It melts like a dream, its like lava in the bowl and I go in for the first dip...with a spoon I roll the cold Oreo ball and the Almond Bark coats its perfectly.  What?!?  Why is my arm not covered in Almond Bark and why didn't my Oreo ball fall apart.  Let's keep going before something happens and something did Oreo creations turned into beautiful, chocolate covered truffles that tasted amazing. 

Total Time: About 1 hour

1 lb. Package of Oreo Cookies (minus 8 cookies)
1 (8oz.) Package of Cream Cheese (softened)
12 oz. Almond Bark Chocolate Coating 
Special Equipment...
Parchment Paper and a Non-Stick Cookie Sheet

Place the cookies in the food processor or blender and pulverize into a powder
Take cookie crumbs and place in a large bowl
Mix in the cream cheese until no white is showing
Roll into balls and place on parchment paper covered cookie sheet
Place in refrigerator for 10 minutes
Place Almond Bark in microwave safe bowl 
Melt in 30 second increment, stirring after each increment until warm and smooth
Remove Oreo balls from fridge 
Carefully roll each Oreo ball in melted Almond Bark and place back on parchment paper to set 
Make about 36 Oreo truffles 

***Place Oreo ball on a tablespoon to gently coat with chocolate

Monday, November 7, 2011

Red Pasta Take II

Do we have to fight for the right to eat healthy...I think not.  With a little imagination and some great flavor a dish is born.  I am always experimenting with flavor and adding something new to the food rotation in my kitchen and my latest and greatest, of course, has a story.

Once upon a Saturday night I sit quietly with my glass red wine and my new lap top computer.  I decide to scour the Internet in search of recipe contests.  I figure why not a recipe contest I wrote a cookbook.  So I begin the hunt.   To my amazement there just under a million recipe contests.  Tuna, wine, vegetables, cakes, turkey - where to begin.  I click on vegetable side dishes something I love to make and I successfully submit a recipe to Food 52 for my Onion Sage Tart- which if you were wondering I did not win.  Onward to the next recipe contest.  The Aetna Healthy Food Fight.  Interesting...heart healthy, low sodium....Ok let's give this a whirl.

I begin putting in the ingredients for my Red Pasta dish and it bounces back saying too much of this, too little of that, no protein, etc. etc. etc.  The parameters of this contest are very specific.  Ok I amened the recipe maybe I should say I totally revamp the recipe and create something new.   It has the basic idea of my original recipe but it is completely different.  Here goes...

1 lb. of Whole Wheat Pasta
3 Garlic Cloves (peeled)
1 (12oz.) Jar of Roasted Red Peppers
1/2 Cup Shredded Rotisserie Chicken (dark meat preferred)
2 Tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon of Fresh Ground Pepper
1 Tablespoon of Parmesan Reggiano Grated Cheese
Extra Virgin Olive Oil for Drizzling

Well it sounds pretty good despite the fact it has whole wheat pasta as the main ingredient - as you can tell by now whole wheat pasta is not a favorite among my kitchen.  The recipe passes the test and it gets posted to the Aetna Healthy Food Fight website among the other recipe submissions.  I vote on it and so does my husband.  Watch out 2 total votes for the imaginary Red Pasta dish.

About 2 weeks pass and I get an e-mail that this recipe has been chosen to compete At the Apple Festival in Bucks County Pennsylvania and I have 24 hours to respond if I will be competing or not.  This is all very exciting but the big question remains what in the world does this recipe taste like?  So my husband and I decide to go ahead and respond "Yes" to the invite and take the recipe for a test kitchen run the following night for dinner. I follow my recipe exactly and WOW it is so delicious even with whole wheat pasta.  We decide to take it to the Aetna Healthy Food Fight Challenge  - Apple Festival in Bucks County!

So after a week long of e-mailing back and forth with mt representative at Healthy Food Fight we are a go.  Time slot secured, ingredients on the shopping list, directions, etc.  I get another e-mail...unfortunately we cannot provide you with a Rotisserie Chicken it is considered a pre-cooked item and not an ingredient.  I am now disqualified from the Healthy Food Fight Challenge.  I send back a polite e-mail and decide it was not meant to be but was meant to be was the creation of Red Pasta Take II.

So I challenge all of you to make this recipe and know that this dish is heart healthy and delicious.  We do not ever have to settle for healthy eating.  Healthy eating comes from great, fresh ingredients and it can be done with or without a Rotisserie Chicken.

Cook the pasta according to directions and drain well
In the meantime place garlic cloves and roasted red peppers (with the juice)
In a food processor/blender and process or blend on slow until garlic and peppers are minced
In a small skillet, heat Extra Virgin Olive Oil and season with pepper
Add chicken and garlic/pepper mixture to skillet and cook till warmed
Toss mixture with hot pasta and drizzle with Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Top with cheese
Serve alongside a garden salad

Friday, October 28, 2011

Vote, Vote, Vote

A Tall Glass of Santa Margherita Chianti Please...
To Compliment A Big Delicious Bowl Of   
A&T Veal Pasta
It Is With Great Excitement That I Announce My Recipe For Veal Pasta Has Been Chosen In The 
Santa Margherita Pour and Pair Challenge!  
A&T Veal Pasta Is 1 of 6 Finalists 
I Am Asking You To Please Vote By Clicking On 
Vote EVERYDAY Till Monday, October 31st! 
Many, Many, Many Thanks For the Many, Many, Many Votes...

Monday, October 24, 2011

Vote, Vote, Vote

A Tall Glass of Santa Margherita Chianti Please...
To Compliment A Big Delicious Bowl Of   
A&T Veal Pasta
It Is With Great Excitement That I Announce My Recipe For Veal Pasta Has Been Chosen In The 
Santa Margherita Pour and Pair Challenge!  
A&T Veal Pasta Is 1 of 6 Finalists 
I Am Asking You To Please Vote By Clicking On 
Till Monday, October 31st! 
Many, Many, Many Thanks For the Many, Many, Many Votes...

What Do You Call That Italian Broccoli???

Raab, Rapa, Rapine, Rappi, Rappone, Broccoli de Rabe.  Which ever name you prefer it all comes down to the same thing...deliciousness.  Albeit it is an acquired taste of mild bitterness and garlic goodness that I find irresistible.  

Broccoli raab was not always my favorite leafy selection growing up.  When my Nana would make it for my Pop she would say "Toni Ann try it it isn't bitter at all" as she walked toward me with a big steamy forkful of the stuff.  I would turn my nose up each time but forcefully swallow it just not to disappoint her.  But when your say 8 years old your palate for broccoli raab has not developed but when you realize this leafy, flowery, garlicky bite tastes so good with some fresh Italian bread and a slice of sharp provolone your whole world changes.   
I learned how to make broccoli raab from watching my Nana.  It was an all day long production which began in the early morning.  She would stand at the sink and soak it, wring it out, strip the leaves from the stems taking care to save the stems which she later carefully peeled and added to the salad.  Once this part of the preparation was over she would fire up the stove, add the garlic and olive oil and in went the raab.  Overflowing from the pot she would smash it in and cover it tight.  After what seemed to be a sea of green leaves in the pot she would uncover it to find it all shrunk down.  She would then repeat the process for the other 15 heads she had to prepare.  

This is what I knew and this is how I always prepared my broccoli raab until I decided one day I want to try something different...I want to roast my broccoli raab.  I love to roast vegetables so I figured this might enhance the flavor.  Well not only does it enhance the flavor but it takes the broccoli raab to another level of love.  Some of the leaves get crispy and crunchy while some of the leaves get soft and tender. The garlic is so pronounced and the olive oil coats it perfectly.  One bite and my taste buds crave more and then I cannot decide how to eat favorite is the classic broccoli raab sandwich but I also enjoy it in pasta and just out of the Tupperware for that matter.  How ever you like your pronounce your name for broccoli raab and how ever you might like to enjoy it give it a little change and try this recipe.  

Roasted Broccoli Raab

2 Large Heads Broccoli Raab 
8 Cloves of Garlic (sliced thin)
Olive Oil 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees 
Rinse and dry the top of the broccoli raab 
Carefully cut the broccoli raab above the twist tie and discard the bottom stems 
Separate the broccoli raab evenly among two non-stick cookie sheets
Sprinkle the garlic over the two pans of broccoli raab 
Season with salt/pepper 
Coat with olive oil and toss with your hands 
Place in oven for 15 minutes 
Remove from oven and re-season with a pinch of salt and toss 
Allow it to cool and transfer to a bowl for serving 

Thursday, October 13, 2011

To Eat Vegetables or To Only Eat Vegetables...

What is a vegetarian?  
The interpretation of a vegetarian is pretty liberal these it a person who strictly eats vegetables and consumes no animal protein at all - not even honey?  Is it the person who eats only vegetables but still consumes eggs?  Is it the person who eats no red meat but enjoys fish?  Am I a veg head because I only eat red meat about every 4 - 6 weeks?  For what it is worth my interpretation of a vegetarian is whatever you decide you want it to be.  So go out and celebrate vegetarian month which ever way you please but try some of our veggie recipes along the way. 

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Breast Cancer Awareness...

As you all know October is 
Breast Cancer Awareness Month   
My sister and I 
(along with some of our Breast of Friends) 
have decided to participate in the 
Susan G. Komen Fund Breast Cancer Walk on 
October 2, 2011 at 
Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, New Jersey.  
So...I have decided to go one step further...
For any of my Forkful of Simplicity Cookbooks 
purchased from today until October 1, 2011 
I will donate a portion of the sale to the 
Susan G. Komen Fund  
So let's raise some money for an amazing cause
  Cookbooks can be purchased from this website!  
Thank you for all of your support and for your donation!!!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Cookbooks For Greyhounds...

That is correct Cookbooks for Greyhounds...
Greyhound Friends of New Jersey in an organization that I hold near and dear to my heart
I have rescued, from Greyhound Friends of New Jersey, three of the most 
beautiful, precious, wonderful, lovable greyhounds
-Walker, Franny & Gracie-
Greyhound Friends of New Jersey selflessly rescues greyhounds from the dreadful environment of the track once they have been deemed "retired" and treats them as the gifts that they are.  
The rescued greyhounds often need medical attention, grooming, shelter, food and loads and loads of love before they can be placed in their forever homes.
In an effort to help raise money for Greyhound Friends of New Jersey I have decided that with each cookbook sale I will donate a portion of the proceeds to Greyhound Friends.
We have joined efforts and Greyhound Friends has linked my website to their main website
Scroll all of the way down to the bottom and look for us on the left side.
While you are there take a look at the greyhounds available for adoption.
Having a greyhound is so amazing - trust me you will fall in love!  
If you have any questions about greyhound rescue or would like to adopt a greyhound please contact me or visit for more information

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

It Is Official...

Forkful of Simplicity Cookbooks Are Here!  

This cookbook is a collection of 125 recipes simple & tasty recipes created by Toni Ann Moschello to include...
Vegetable & Side Dishes 
Main Dishes 
Many Extras

Explore our site, order a cookbook and make some delicious and memorable meals for your family & friends...Enjoy!