Friday, November 23, 2012

Black Friday...

Happy Black Friday!  Most of us are doing one of two things or relaxing. If you are shopping I hope you find the best deals imaginable on all of your treasures.  If you are relaxing I hope it is with someone you love and in your own home.  

At some point today you will open the fridge and eat left overs from yesterday.  Left overs you made or left overs you took from someone's house.  Just remember turkey can get boring and I can help.  E-mail me at if you are looking for a creative way to change up some of your left overs!  I love questions and I look forward to hearing from you.  

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Saturday, November 17, 2012

Bounty of Thankfulness...

The best time of the year is upon us...Thanksgiving!  In 5 short days cooks in their kitchens around the country will be chopping, dicing, whipping, mashing, beating, baking, roasting, and stirring all of their foodie creations for the biggest meal of the year.  If you are cooking the meal you are scouring the Internet for recipes, if you are bringing a side dish you are trying to decide which one, and not that string bean casserole, and if you are in charge of dessert you are thinking buy it or make it?

Well look no further...I have put together an easy Thanksgiving menu from Forkful of Simplicity Cookbook.  This menu is easy but just because it is easy to prepare do not think it lacks flavor and deliciousness.  It will allow more time out of the kitchen on Thanksgiving and more time with family and friends and that, in my opinion, is the best ingredient on this menu.

I hope you cherish this Thanksgiving and remember why we come together at this time of the celebrate all that there is to be thankful for!  Enjoy...

Thanksgiving Menu From Forkful of Simplicity Cookbook

Red/White Wine
W.D.'s Chickpea Dip
Not Only In November Turkey and Stuffing
Cornbread Panzanella Salad
Kicked Up Green Bean Almondine
Tons of Mushrooms
For My Sweetie Potato Pie
Miss Gracie's Rice Pudding
Twisted Espresso

W.D.'s Chickpea Dip
1 Can Chickpeas (rinsed and drained)
1 Small Jar Green Olives (drained)
1/2 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

In a food processor add chickpeas, olives and olive oil
Blend slowly till smooth
Remove dip from food processor
Season with salt/pepper
Serve with pita chips or bread pieces

***Make it the day before.  Store dip in an airtight container and refrigerate.
Serve at room temperature***

Not Only In November Turkey and Stuffing
1 Boneless Turkey Breast
1/2 Cup Low Sodium Chicken Broth
1 (6oz.) Package of Stuffing Mix
Special Equipment...Crock Pot

In a crock pot add 3 tablespoons chicken broth
Place turkey breast in the pot
Season with salt/pepper\Prepare stuffing mix according to package directions
Pack stuffing on and and around turkey, patting down, not packing tight
Pour remaining chicken broth around turkey breast
Cover and cook on low 8-10 hours
Gently remove turkey breast from crock pot, slice and serve warm

***Start this early in the morning so it is cooked by the time you are ready to
serve this main part of your meal***

Cornbread Panzanella Salad
2 Cups Cornbread (cubed)
1/2 Cup Cherry Tomatoes (halved)
1/2 Cup Italian Fontina Cheese
1/2 Cup Cucumber (cubed)
Fresh Basil Leaves (chopped)
1/3 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Lemon (zested and juiced)
Salt / Pepper

In a large bowl combine all ingredients
Toss gently to combine
Serve immediately

***Cut and measure all of your ingredients beforehand, store separately in air tight containers and refrigerate until ready to assemble and serve***

Tons of Mushrooms
1lb. Mushrooms (sliced)
1/2 Cup Butter
2 Tablespoons Minced Onion
1 Teaspoon Lemon Juice

In a large pan over medium heat melt the butter till brown about 5 minutes
Add mushrooms to butter
Season with salt/pepper
Cook for 15-20 minutes on medium low heat
Add lemon juice and serve warm

***Make this dish the day before. Place mushrooms in air tight container in refrigerator. When you are ready to serve mushrooms bring to room temperature, place mushrooms in microwave safe container and warm for 10 minutes, turn once and serve warm***

For My Sweetie Potato Pie
1/2 Stick Unsalted Butter (softened)
2 Cups Sweet Potatoes (cooked and mashed)
2 Cups of Sugar
1 Small Can Evaporated Milk
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
3 Eggs (beaten)
1 1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon
2 Prepared Pie Shells (unbaked)

Preheat Oven to 350 degrees
Mix butter, potatoes, sugar and milk till well blended
Add vanilla, eggs and cinnamon mix well
Evenly distribute among pie shells
Bake for 1 hour or until set

***Make this the day before. Cover and refrigerate.  Re-warm in 350 degree oven for 20 minutes***

Miss Gracie's Rice Pudding 
1 Cup Water
Pinch Salt
1/2 Tablespoon Butter
1/2 Cup Arborio Rice
2 Cups Whole Milk
4 Tablespoons Sugar
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
Few Dashes Ground Cinnamon

In a medium saucepan add water, salt and butter
Bring to a boil
Add the rice and return to a boil
Reduce heat to lowest setting
Shake the pan occasionally and cook until rice has absorbed the water but
is still al dente about 15 minutes
In a separate saucepan bring milk, sugar, vanilla and cinnamon to a simmer
Add cooked rice
Simmer over medium-low heat until rice absorbs most of the milk about 10-15 minutes
(Mixture should be thick and silky)
Transfer pudding to a large bowl and cool to room temperature
Place in refrigerator to cool and set

***Make this a day or two before.  Bring to room temperature before serving with
whipped cream and a dash or two more of cinnamon***

Twisted Espresso
Espresso Coffee
Sambuca Liquore

Brew a pot of epresso coffee as instructed
Pour espresso into expresso cups
Add a touch of Sambuca
Stir and drink hot

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Monday, October 22, 2012

Artichokie Pasta..

Happy Meatless Monday!  Let's think outside of the meat box and make this amazing, delicious, fast, and most important meatless meal tonight for supper...Enjoy!

Artichokie Pasta

1 lb. of Pasta (your choice)
1 Can of Artichoke Hearts
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt / Pepper
Parmesan Cheese

Cook pasta according to directions
While pasta is cooking place the artichokes, with the water, into the food processor
Pulse artichokes into small pieces
Drain pasta
Add artichokes to pasta
Season with salt/pepper
Drizzle with Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Sprinkle with Parmesan Cheese
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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Soup Season So Soon?!?

If you know me, follow my blog, or occasionally visit you know that I LOVE soup season.  There is no designated time for soup season it happens every year and when I designate the start.  Last soup season happened in January this soup season started last night!  

What sparks the kick off of soup season in Forkful of Simplicity's kitchen you might ask...well the criteria is is cool enough outside, is is going to remain cool outside (this one is questionable), do we need something to warm the soul and the belly, and when was the last time we ate soup.  All very valid points for soup don't you think?  
  • Last night was cool outside actually it was gloomy, dank and dreary...check 
  • Is it going to remain cool outside...questionable but the forecast shows yes for a few more days...check
  • Do we need something to warm the soul and the belly...check, check
  • I have no idea when the last time we ate soup was...check!  

To the soup file I went and came across a very different take on lentil soup.  Middle Eastern Lentil Soup.  It was so easy to make and required so few ingredients it was the perfect match for my eggplant sandwiches on, fresh from San Francisco, sour dough bread.  

So celebrate Soup Season along with me and treat yourself to a bowl full of goodness tonight with this amazing, easy and delicious soup. Enjoy...and according to my husband it went nicely with his seasonal pumpkin ale!  

Middle Eastern Lentil Soup

1 Cup Dried Lentils
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil 
1 Small Onion (diced)
1 Medium Red Bell Pepper (diced)
Salt / Pepper
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cumin
1 Teaspoon Whole Fennel Seeds
1/4 Teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes 
4 Cups Chicken Broth 
1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice 
Plain Yogurt 

Pick over lentils
Rinse, drain and set aside 
Heat stock pot over medium heat 
Coat the bottom of the pot with olive oil
Add onions and peppers 
Season with salt / pepper 
Cook for 5 minutes 
Add lentils 
Season with cumin, fennel seeds, red pepper flakes  
Stir to coat add chicken broth 
Bring to a boil 
Reduce heat to low 
Cover and simmer 30 minutes 
Stir in lemon juice 
Spoon desired amount of soup into bowls 
Top with 1 tablespoon of yogurt 

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Thursday, October 4, 2012

Apple Balsamic Chicken...

According to the calendar it is Autumn but according to the thermometer it is still way too warm and humid in New Jersey to constitute as Autumn.  When I think Autumn I think crispy mornings and pumpkin coffee enjoyed with the window open and the fresh air wafting in the house not while still wearing flip flops sitting next to the vent still pumping out the air conditioned cold air from the garage furnace.

This is the best time of year, in my opinion, and in an effort to celebrate Fall I invite you to make this amazing fall flavored dish...Apple Balsamic Chicken.  It is so easy to prepare even if you are still wearing those capri pants and a tank top!  Enjoy...

Apple Balsamic Chicken  

6 Chicken Breasts
1 Large Onion (sliced)
***1/3 cup Renzi Balsamic Vinegar with Apple Pulp
1/3 Cup Olive Oil
1/2 Cup Chopped Walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Season chicken with salt/pepper
Top with onions
Add balsamic vinegar and olive oil
Toss together
Top with walnuts
Bake for 40 minutes or until the juices run clear

***If you cannot find Balsamic Vinegar with Apple Pulp make it...Add 1 Tablespoons of your favorite applesauce to 1/3 cup of your favorite balsamic vinegar.  Stir to incorporate and you have instant Balsamic Vinegar with Apple Pulp***

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Monday, August 20, 2012

Cool Like a Cucumber or Watermelon...

Summer is only time of year we think watermelon unless you are craving a big chunk of Bubbalicious gum or the watermelon flavored Jolly Rancher.  I am not a hug fan of the big red and green striped fruit.  It just tastes wet to me and then you have to work when you eat it picking out the seeds and making sure to to bite too far down to the rind.  Too much work and no flavor.

So much to my disappointment my sister-in-law recently brought a watermelon to my family gathering.  The gathering went well but the watermelon got left behind.  So there it sits on the counter everyday begging to be cut into chunks or slices because what else do you do with it?!?
I think there has to be something else I can do with this big fruit to make it better, less traditional.

I got it salsa!  Odd as it may sound it was different in a whole new, complex, fresh and crisp way.  The watermelon was transformed from the dessert at the backyard BBQ to an upscale dinner delight.  I decided to serve it with grilled shrimp and rice for a complete summer meal - it was so delicious we ate all of the shrimp before I could take a picture of the complete dish!  Enjoy...

Not Too Watery-Melon Salsa

2 Cups Watermelon (cubed and seeds removed)
1/2 Cup Cucumber (cubed)
1/4 Red Onion (diced)
Jalapeno Pepper (diced)
1 Tablespoon Mint and Basil (julienned)
2 Tablespoons Honey
1 Lime Zested
1 Teaspoon Lime Juice (reserve the remaining juice for the rice)
1 Tablespoon Fresh Ground Black Pepper

In a medium size bowl add add ingredients and toss gently
Place in refrigerator for 1 hour

1 lb. Peeled and Cleaned Shrimp
Lemon Pepper
Vegetable Oil
5-6 Wood Skewers (soaked in water for 10 minutes)

Evenly thread shrimp onto soaked skewers
Season generously with lemon pepper
Coat with vegetable oil
Grill for 5-7 minutes or until shrimp turn pink
Remove from grill and cool for a few minutes

Lime Rice 
2 Cups of Instant Rice
Remaining Lime Juice From Salsa
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

Prepare rice according to package directions
Once rice is done cooking add the remaining lime juice from the salsa
Season with salt/pepper and olive oil
Mix well

Assemble The Dish
1 large scoop of rice per person
Hearty scoop of salsa
Top with desired amount of grilled shrimp

Great with a Margarita!

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Monday, August 13, 2012

A Seed of Knowledge...

Monday morning fact...Quinoa is a seed!  Interesting isn't it.  Besides being a seed, it is gluten free, cholesterol free, and it is the highest protein packed whole grain.  It is healthy and extremely delicious.  A great main course, side dish and quinoa can be used as a filling for tomatoes and peppers.  It cooks quickly and takes on the flavors you add to it.   With all of this new found knowledge add quinoa to your shopping list (it can be found in the aisle with the rice and usually comes in a small bag) this week and try out this recipe for starters.  Trust me you are going to love the taste and texture of this super seed!  Enjoy...

1/2 Bag Quinoa
Salt/ Pepper
3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil (more if needed)
Zest of 1 Lemon
Juice of 1/2 Lemon
6-8 Basil Leaves (julienned)

Cook quinoa according to directions on the package
Remove from heat and season with salt/ pepper
Add olive oil
Mix gently
Stir in lemon zest and lemon juice
Gently stir in basil
Serve Warm

***It is a great compliment to grilled fish or chicken for a complete meal!

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Thursday, August 9, 2012

The Great Garden State Sandwich...

On our patch of land in this great garden state of New Jersey we have got the most beautiful, yes beautiful, vegetables ever this year.  I am not sure if it the contraption my husband built in the garden for the tomatoes, the plants we purchased at a local farm market or the time of the year we planted but I am not questioning the bounty of the harvest this year.  The tomatoes are perfect, sweet, red and juicy.  The peppers are green, crisp and delicious.  The cucumbers are multiplying by the day right next to the ripe purple eggplant which sit nicely next to the celery which is the new star of the show in my macaroni salad.

To see the garden flourish is a work of art all thanks to my husband.  I do nothing in the garden but hold the bowl filled with the vegetables and complain that its hot outside.  My work starts after they are picked from the vine.  No chemicals, small imperfections and the occasionally bug in the kitchen sink excite me because I know something delicious going to be made from these veggies.

My latest sandwich is the Great Garden State which the perfect meal for lunch or dinner...Enjoy

The Great Garden State Sandwich
1 Large Eggplant (sliced into medium size rounds)
1 Large Onion (sliced)
20 Cherry Tomatoes
Olive Oil
Lemon Pepper
Ciabatta Rolls
Part Skim Mozzarella Cheese
4 Basil Leaves (per sandwich)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Toss the eggplant, onions and tomatoes with enough olive oil to coat
Generously season with salt and lemon pepper
Place in oven for 50 minutes
***Turn veggies over half way through cooking

Remove veggies from oven a cool slightly
In the meanwhile slice the rolls open and lightly toast

Assemble the sandwich
On one side of the bread place two slices of eggplant
Top with a slightly generous portion of onions and tomatoes
On the other side of the bread place two thin slices of mozzarella cheese and 4 basil leaves
Season with a little grind of salt
Close sandwich and cut in half

Alternatively the veggies can be cooked on the grill for a different great flavor!

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Monday, July 9, 2012

Lentils As A Salad...

So you have been invited to a BBQ and you were asked to bring a salad. Ok, no problem but do you really want to bring that ho hum drum boring pasta or potato salad, you know the one with the mayo that you refrigerate and then leave out in the heat to eat later on.  Or do you want to be different and bring something new, delicious and refreshing?  I think you want new and exciting so how about a lentil salad?!? 

Lentils, in my opinion are far too often skipped over and thought of nothing more than a soup,which either you love or hate,and this is really sad because lentils are so versatile. These little lens shaped seeds come in different colors, they are packed with protein, low in calories, have no cholesterol and take on amazing flavors. Lentils as a salad posses a very interesting twist and compliments burgers, chicken, and fish.  Trust me you will be pleasantly surprised at the flavor of dish and that mayo goopy salad will be a thing of the past. Enjoy...

Dreamy Lentil Salad
1 Cup Lentils (picked over) 
4 Cups of Water 
3 Tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar 
3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil 
3 Tablespoons Parsley
3 Carrots (finely diced)
Celery Stalks (finely diced)

In a medium stock pot add the water and bring to a boil
Add the lentils and cook for 30 minutes 
Drain lentils and discard cooking liquid
Gently toss lentils with red wine vinegar
Season with salt/pepper and gently toss again 
Let lentils sit for 5 minutes
Add olive oil, parsley, carrots and celery 
Gently toss to incorporate
Taste to adjust seasoning 
Chill or serve at room temperature

*This salad can be made a day in advance and refrigerated until ready to serve.  Taste to adjust seasoning and add a little more olive oil if needed* 

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Monday, June 18, 2012

Little Gems...

I love this time of the year for food.  The fruit and vegetables are so bright, delicious and bountiful.  I sometimes find it difficult to decide which ones to buy...fresh Jersey corn, cantaloupe, berries, broccoli.  I often gravitate toward the tomatoes especially the cherry tomatoes.  They are so sweet and delicious and make the perfect snack or appetizer.

I decided to invite my parents for dinner for Father's Day and kept my dinner simple - crabby portabellas, roasted broccoli raab, basmati rice, and of course, crumb cake for dessert my father's favorite!

Milling around Shoprite I think to myself but what should I make as an appetizer, nothing too frilly and something easy to eat outside on the patio with a glass of wine...hummm.  Then I stumble upon those perfect cherry tomatoes.  I toss them into the cart and then think outside the box and grab some provolone cheese.

After a quick rinse and pat dry I begin to assemble my little gems.  In less than 10 minutes I had a colorful and tasty appetizer that was an incredible was the perfect bite! I served these juicy gems with a balsamic dipping sauce on the side.  Enjoy...

Little Gems...
1 Container of Cherry Tomatoes (rinsed and dried)
1 Block of Sharp Provolone Cheese

Cut the provolone cheese into small cubes
Thread one tomato per toothpick
Place a cube of cheese underneath the tomato
Drizzle with Balsamic Vinaigrette
Serve Immediately

*This can be done ahead of time.  Assemble the tomatoes and cheese and place in the refrigerator.  Drizzle with Balsamic Vinaigrette just before serving or serve the vinaigrette on the side as a dipping sauce.

Balsamic Vinaigrette...
1/4 Cup of Balsamic Vinegar
1 1/2 Tablespoons of Mayonnaise
2 Teaspoons of Spicy Brown Mustard
1 Teaspoon Sugar
3/4 Cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Whisk together balsamic, mayonnaise, mustard and sugar till smooth
Slowly whisk in olive oil and season with salt/pepper to taste

* This can also be made ahead of time and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a few days.  Use the remaining vinaigrette as a salad dressing or marinade for chicken.

Monday, June 4, 2012

What's For Lunch...

I decided I was having a macaroni for lunch today and am I so glad I did. I just created a recipe that was so fast, fresh and delicious. I am still eating it while I am typing this blog post - I am that excited to share it with you!  Chances are you probably cannot just whip it up, like I just did, because you are at the office or on the road but you can surely make it tonight when you get home for an amazing alternative to that turkey and cheese on rye.

This recipe was created from the ingredients I had in the kitchen today.   Elbow macaroni, chicken peas (left over from the salad I made the other night), fresh cherry tomatoes, basil and some simple seasoning.  What a lunch for me today- I wonder what I will make tomorrow?

Lunchtime Pasta
1/2 lb. Elbow Macaroni
Lemon Pepper
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
6-8 Cherry Tomatoes (halved)
1/3 Cup Chick Peas (rinsed and drained)
Basil Leaves (julienned or torn into small pieces)
Parmesan Cheese

Cook the macaroni according to package and drain well
Place pasta in a bowl large enough to toss 
Season with salt and lemon pepper
Drizzle with oil 
Turn to coat
Add tomatoeschick peas and basil 
Turn to coat again 
Add more olive oil if needed (the pasta should be coated not swimming)
Optional - top with Parmesan cheese

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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Martini's For Everyone...

Not too much more to say than Bikini Martini's for the Summer Season...Enjoy!  

1 oz. Coconut Rum 
3/4 oz. Vodka
1 Dash Grenadine Syrup 

Combine rum, vodka, pineapple juice in a drink shaker 
Shake firmly until frothy
Pour in a Martini glass
Add a touch of grenadine in the middle 

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Friday, May 18, 2012

Jersey Shore...

It is the last weekend before Memorial Day at the Jersey shore...who has plans.  Well if you live in New Jersey I am sure you have a plan.  A BBQ, a trip to the beach, drinks and more drinks with friends at a bar.  For all of you who have not expereinced a Jersey shore weekend or a Jersey summer you do not know what your missing.   There are no words to help me describe it to you you just have to see it to believe it.  I for one live at the shore and can enjoy the beach, the ocean, fresh crab caught crabbing, clams, Barnegat bay scallops, the whole expereince all year long - I am so lucky!

If you have not visited the Jersey shore do yourself a favor and make it a point to do so.  There is nothing like a walk on the boardwalk, Saw Mill pizza in Seaside, drinks at Martell's Tiki Bar in Point Pleasant, the beach on LBI, or the rides and games in Wildwood.  You name it there is something to eat, drink and see anywhere Down the Shore! Happy Almost Memorial Day...

Jersey Shore Crab Dip
***1 Can Crab Meat (drained and picked over)

1 Can Artichoke Hearts (drained and chopped)
1 Clove Garlic (minced)
1/4 Teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
2 Tablespoons Mayonnaise
1 Package Cream Cheese (softened)
1 Cup Asiago Cheese (shredded)

In a microwave safe bowl combine all of the ingredients
Place in microwave for 3-4 minutes until hot
Serve with crackers or bread pieces

***Crab claw meat is less expensive than lump crab meat and it is a little sweeter tasting

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Saturday, May 5, 2012

last Minute Cinco de Mayo Idea...

Just a quick thought...get some friends together tonight and have a small get together.  With a little bit of planning and a little bit of time you can have a party get together in no time.  All you need for tonight:  Corona, LimesTortilla Chips and my Black Bean and Corn Salsa.  Alternatively with this recipe, grill up some chicken and use this salsa as a side dish.  Nothing too, good company and some great food.  Enjoy and have fun!

Black Bean & Corn Salsa
1 Can Black Beans (drained and rinsed)
1 Can Corn (drained and rinsed)
Red Bell Pepper (seeded and diced)
Jalapeño (optional; seeded and sliced thin)
1/2 Small Red Onion (diced)
2 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
2 Teaspoons Hot Sauce
1 Lime (juiced)
Cilantro (a small handful chopped)

In a medium size bowl combine all ingredients
Let stand 15 minutes before serving

***this recipe can be made ahead of time and refrigerated  

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Monday, April 30, 2012

Meatless Entree...

Does the idea of cutting meat out of your menu rotation scare you or entice you?  It is very easy to do, it just takes a little planning and with the help of Forkful of Simplicity and this blog it is all very possible.  There are so many options for a meatless supper...pasta, veggies, fish.  Meatless entrees are endless and can be just as satisfying as a meal with meat.  Start tonight with Spinach and Feta Pie other wise known as...


Pam Spray
2 Sheets Puff Pastry (thawed at room temperature)
1 Box Frozen Spinach (thawed with all liquids squeezed)
3 Eggs
1 Cup Cottage Cheese
Low fat Feta Cheese (crumbled)
Salt / Pepper
1/4 Teaspoon Dried Dill

Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Spray a 9x13 pan with Pam Spray
Gently unfold 1 puff pastry sheet and gently place it in the bottom of baking pan
In a medium size bowl mix the spinach, eggs,cottage cheese, feta, salt, pepper and dill
Spread mixture in pan
Top with second sheet of puff pastry
Tuck the corners of the puff pastry
Place pie in oven and bake 35 minutes or until golden brown
Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5-8 minutes before cutting into squares

***Make sure all liquid is squeezed from the spinach, it should be as dry to the touch as possible, this will ensure your pie will not be watery or soggy.

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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner...

Indeed it is Thursday and the week is winding down - finally - it has been a long week I think and what better way to round out the work week with some chicken.  Chicken cutlets are so verstile and delicious especially when they are just breaded and cooked to a golden brown.  So how about chicken cutlets tonight for dinner with some peas & bacon and your favorite potato!  Enjoy...

The Classic Chicken Cutlet
Boneless / Skinless Chicken Cutlets 
1 Zip Lock Bag 
2 Cups Bread Crumbs (seasoned or unseasoned)

Preheat Oven to 350 degrees 
Place chicken cutlets in Zip Lock Bag 
Add Bread Crumbs
Seal zip top and shake till chicken is covered with bread crumbs 
Remove Chicken from bag and place in oven proof dish 
Drizzle with olive oil (about 2 tablespoons) and bake for
15 minutes or until juices run clear and chicken is no longer pink inside

Peas & Bacon
1 Frozen Bag of Peas (thawed)
1 Small Onion (minced)
Olive Oil
4-5 Slices Pre-Cooked Bacon (crumbled)

Coat the bottom of  a pan with olive oil
Add onion and season with salt/pepper
Saute for 4-5 minutes
Add peas and saute about 5 minutes or until warmed
Put peas in a bowl and toss with bacon
Serve warm

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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Just Roast It...

In a recent conversation with my mother we were talking about cooking dinner, of course because what else would we be talking about, and she said well you roast everything...and that is correct!  Roasting is my favorite cooking method for vegetables.   I just love that crispy, caramelized delicious flavor of a roasted vegetable.  In my opinion it gives the vegetable life and flavor.  It is the complete opposite of a boiled, limp, bland vegetable that nobody wants to eat.  Now granted I am sure that there is a vegetable that cannot be roasted and when I find it I will let you know but in the meantime let's roast veggies.

Roasted Greens
1 lb. Green Beans (cleaned)
Medium Onion (sliced)
Olive Oil
2 Handfuls Pecans (chopped fine)
Parmesan Cheese

Preheat the oven to 350
In a bowl toss the beans and onion with olive oil
Season with salt/pepper
Lay beans on a baking sheet and roast for 10 minutes
After 10 minutes turn beans over and roast for an additional 10 minutes
Remove from oven
Toss with pecans and sprinkle with Parmesan Cheese

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Thursday, April 19, 2012

Busy Bee...

I know, I know it has been a while since I posted and I appologize for that.  I have been working on the new recipes, cooking tips, a second Forkful of Simplicity Cookbook, deciding whetether to self publish or traditional publish, taking pictures... loads and loads of amazing decisions and endless possiblities.  None of these are valid excuses for not posting so lets begin with a new and amazing recipe shall we...

Grilled Skirt Steak with Oven Roasted Broccoli Raab

This recipe is amazing.  It is so simple to prepare, minimal ingredients, and little prep work for a flavor and a taste that cannot be denied as something less than wonderful. The flavor of the meat up against the bitterness and garlic bite of the broccoli raab is fabulous and best of all it is a team effort.  Tony grills the meat and I prepare the broccoli raab all in about 20 minutes.  So grab your spouse, a loved one, a friend, a neighbor - get a bottle of red wine and make this meal...Enjoy!   

Grilled Skirt Steak 
1 1/4 lb. Skirt Steak
Vegetable Oil
Fresh Cracked Pepper
Fresh Ground Sea Salt

Preheat grill
Bring the steak to room temperature
Lightly coat steak with vegetable oil
Season with black pepper (to taste)
Place steak on the grill over medium heat
***Grill for 5-6 minutes per side
Remove steak from grill and season with a touch of salt
Let the steak it rest for 3-4 minutes
Cut steak on a bias and serve along with broccoli raab

***Adjust your cooking time for desired doneness of steak.  5-6 minutes will result in a medium/rare steak***

Oven Roasted Broccoli Raab
2 Large Heads Broccoli Raab 
Cloves of Garlic (sliced thin)

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 
Cool slightly before serving 

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Thursday, April 5, 2012

Happy Easter...

What an amazing time of the year filled with new life, love and all around goodness for all of us to share.

I can remember a s a child preparing for Easter dinner with my grandparents.  Everything revolved around the food - everything always revolved around the food - and that was fine by me.  Nana and Pop would start Easter preparations at the beginning of Easter week.  Meat pies, sweet pies, and homemade macaroni were always at the top of the list along with prosciutto wrapped cantaloupe - my favorite!

What a glorious spread they would serve, never short of anything.  Appetizer, macaroni, main entree, side dishes, fruits, nuts, coffee (black and brown), and dessert.  A five star restaurant would have trouble keeping up the pace with Nana and Pop in the kitchen.  Those memories are etched in my mind forever and as we prepare for this beautiful holiday I hope that your table is filled with the same bountiful goodness, the same delicious aroma of your family's traditional Easter food, as well as peace and love...Happy Easter!

Pizzagaina - Traditional Italian Meat Pie

2 lbs. Ricotta
1/4 lb. Thin Sliced Hard Salami (chopped)
1/4 Thin Sliced Pepperoni (chopped)
1/2 lb. Prosciutto(chopped)
2 Cups Grated Mozzarella
1/2 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
4 Eggs
2 (9 inch) Deep Dish Pie Shells
1 Pie Sheet (cut into strips)
Beaten Egg (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
In a large bowl combine ricotta, meats,cheeses and eggs
Mix well
Evenly distribute among pie shells
Place strips over each pie in lattice pattern
Brush the top of each pie with lightly beaten egg
Bake 1 hour
Remove from oven and cool before slicing
Serve at warm or at room temperature

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