Friday, March 30, 2012


As promised here is the last recipe for this week!  
Have a great weekend...Enjoy! 

Presto Pesto Pizza
1 Prepared Pizza Crust (We like Mama Mia Thin Crust)
Olive Oil
1 Small Container of Buitoni Pesto Sauce
1 Can Artichoke Hearts (drained and quartered)
Mozzarella Cheese

Preheat oven according to directions of pizza crust
Gently and lightly brush the crust with olive oil
Evenly spread prepared pesto sauce on crust
Place artichokes on top of pesto
Top with mozzarella cheese
Bake according to directions of crust

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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Market Day Thursday...

With Monday being Wash Day, Iron day on Tuesday and Sewing Day on Wednesday we have to find time for the market right and what better day than Thursday.  So here is the list to take with you to the supermarket for tonight's dinner so you do not forget anything:

1.  Precooked Smithfield Pork Chops 
2.  4 Golden Delicious Apples (2 for the recipe and 2 for snacking) 
3.  Onions (if you need them)
4.  Veggie of your choice 
5.  Rice or potato  
6.  A good magazine 
7.  A small, tasty dessert for sharing 

With very little preparation this is the perfect meal to make before cleaning day Friday!  Enjoy...

Sweet and Savory Pork
4 Precooked Pork Chops (Smithfield)
2 Apples (seeded and diced)
Medium Onion (diced)
Olive Oil
Salt / Pepper

In a large skillet coat the bottom of the pan with olive oil
Heat pan on medium heat and add onions
Season with salt / pepper
Cook onions until translucent
Add apples and cook for 6-8 minutes
Add pork chops to pan underneath the apple onion mixture
Reduce heat, cover pan and cook till pork is warmed through about 10 -12 minutes

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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Macaroni Wednesday...

Macaroni makes everyone smile - at least I think it does because it always makes me smile.  Roni's are so verstitle not only in size an shape but in the preparation.  They cannot be boring.  Eat roni's warm tossed with garlic and olive oil, cold in a salad, eat it as a main course or a side dish, stuffed, baked, smothered in never disappoints.   Pasta any night is my favorite night and this recipe from Forkful of Simplicity that makes a great weeknight meal!

Pasta Alla Franny
1 Large Eggplant (diced)
3 Cloves Garlic (minced)
***2 Sprigs of Rosemary (stem removed)
12 oz. Cup Low Sodium Chicken Broth
1 Pint of Cherry or Grape Tomatoes (halved)
Olive Oil
1 lb. Pasta (your choice)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Generously salt eggplant cubes and place in a colander to drain (about 20 minutes)
In the meantime spread tomatoes out on a non stick cookie sheet
Coat with olive oil and season with salt
Bake in oven for 20 minutes
Once baked set tomatoes aside to cool
Over medium heat coat the bottom of a pan with olive oil
Add the garlic and rosemary
Season with salt/pepper
Once garlic has cooked about 3-4 minutes
Add the eggplant and stir to incorporate garlic with eggplant
Add chicken broth and lower heat the medium low
Cover leaving the lid off a little bit for steam to escape
Stir occasionally and cook for 20 minutes
In the meanwhile cook the pasta according to directions
Once eggplant mixture has cooked for 20 minutes or until all of the liquid is absorbed
Take the back a spoon and press down on the mixture making a smooth sauce
Add the tomatoes to eggplant sauce
Toss with hot pasta

***To remove rosemary from stem simple run your finger down the stem and the rosemary leaves should fall off for use***

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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Tasty Tuesday...

tasty Tuesday night dinner idea.  It is so simple make and so delicious to eat.  Three ingredients is all you need for this dish!  Serve it alongside potatoes and roasted broccoli for a complete meal.  Enjoy!

Boardwalk Pretzel Chicken

4 Boneless and Skinless Chicken Cutlets
Honey Mustard Salad Dressing
1 10oz Package Pretzels

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Marinate chicken in honey mustard for 20 minutes
***In the meantime crush pretzels in food processor
After 20 minutes take each piece of chicken and coat with pretzels
Place chicken on non stick baking sheet
Bake for 15-20 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink inside and juices run clear

***do not crush pretzels too fine they should resemble small crushed pieces of pretzel
***make sure to discard any unused pretzel crumbs not used to coat chicken

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Monday, March 26, 2012

Not Mundane Monday...

Monday sneaks up on us so quickly.  That pesky alarm clock goes off Monday morning and we immediately start thinking about the week - at least I do!  Work, school, kids, lunches, appointments, planning Easter brunch, and the age old questions what to make to dinner.  Given the fact that we are so busy scheduling and planning I have decided this week to give you a recipe everyday.  That's correct a new recipe all week long.  No catch I just want to offer up some new, easy and healthy recipes to ease the daunting dinner menu!  Being that today is Meatless Monday our first recipe of the week is...

Spring Spinach Stuffed Peppers
4 Red Peppers
1/2 Cup Red Wine or Chicken Broth
4 Cloves Garlic (minced)
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1/2 Teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
1 (10 oz.) Box Frozen Spinach (thawed and squeezed dry)
1 (4 oz.) Container Low fat Feta Cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Remove the stem and seeds from each pepper
Season the inside of each pepper with salt/pepper
In a baking dish add red wine or chicken stock
Place peppers upside down in baking dish
Bake for 30 minutes
Meanwhile in a skillet over medium heat add olive oil and garlic
Season with salt/pepper and cook till garlic till fragrant about 4 minutes
Add red pepper flakes and spinach
Stir to incorporate garlic with spinach
Cook till spinach is warmed about 10 - 12 minutes
Remove from heat to cool
Add feta cheese to spinach mixture
Remove peppers from oven allow to cool for 5 minutes
Stuff peppers with spinach mixture and return to baking dish
Cover with tin foil and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes
Cool and serve warm

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Friday, March 16, 2012

Happy Saint Patrick's Day...

I am sure that there are kitchens across the continent and beyond beginning to prepare the world's most famous Irish dish for tomorrow festivities...Corned Beef and Cabbage.  I can tell you which kitchen is not brining a beef or shredding cabbage...mine.  Unfortunately this dish is not on my list.  I know absolutely nothing about choosing the best cut of beef, the type of cabbage to use, spices, or cook time.  But what I can tell you is that even though I will not be eating or preparing the traditional Irish feast tomorrow I will be celebrating! I wish you the Luck of the Irish with your meal and I invite you to raise your Guinness and Jameson glasses to a toast and enjoy whichever meal you choose...Corned Beef and Cabbage or Spicy Cauliflower Soup and The Up North Panini.

Kicked Up Cauliflower Soup

1 lb. Cauliflower (cleaned and rough chopped)
3 Tablespoons Butter
3 Large Onions (chopped)
2 Cloves Garlic (minced)
5 Cups Whole Milk
1 lb. Yukon Gold Potatoes (diced)
A Pinch of Red Pepper Flake
1 1/2 Cup Pepper Jack Cheese (shredded)

In a large stock pot heat butter over medium heat
Add onion and cook for 4-5 minutes
Add  garlic and cook 1-2 minutes
Add potatoes and cauliflower
Season with salt/pepper and red pepper flake
Add milk and bring to a boil
After the boil cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender
Cool slightly
With an hand held blender slowly blend soup to desired consistency
Add cheese and stir to incorporate
Serve Warm

The Up North Panini

Fresh, Sliced Italian Bread
Deli Sliced Roast Beef
Deli Sliced Provolone Cheese
Roasted Red Peppers
Arugula (cleaned and torn into pieces)
Balsamic Vinegar
Pam Spray

Preheat Grill Pan or Skillet

Assemble sandwiches:
Spray Italian bread with Pam Spray (both the outside and inside of bread)
Spoon a little bit of balsamic vinegar onto one side of the bread
Place roast beef, roasted peppers, arugula, and cheese on bread
Place sandwich on grill pan and press down until cheese is melted and bread has grill marks about 3-4 minutes per side

***If you do not have a panini press make one - take a brick and cover it with tin foil for an instant panini press

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Monday, March 12, 2012

Meatless Monday Shrimp...

As promised here is a Meatless Monday recipe for tonight...It is fragrant with garlic and pairs so nice with a crisp glass of white wine!  This dish is simple to prepare and so delicious to eat Enjoy...

Shrimp Oreganata
1 lb. Shrimp (cleaned and peeled)
1 Cup Bread Crumbs
3 Garlic Cloves (minced)
1/2 Teaspoon Hot Pepper Flake
1 Tablespoon Parsley
1/2 Lemon (juiced)
1/2 Cup Parmesan Cheese
Olive Oil

Preheat Oven to 350 Degrees
Place shrimp, in a single layer, in oven proof dish
Season shrimp with salt/pepper
In a medium size bowl add bread crumbs, garlic, hot pepper flakes,
parsley, lemon and cheese
Mixing slowly add olive oil to bread crumb mixture for the consistency of wet sand
Evenly top shrimp with bread crumb mixture
Place in oven for 20-25 minutes or until shrimp are pink and cooked through

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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

What Day Is Today...

Well of course it is Wednesday but more importantly it is "Prince Spaghetti Day".  This iconic phrase was coined in by the Prince Spaghetti Company and ran for 13 years.  The very famous opening scene was an Italian woman leaning out of a window on Powers Court in the North End of Boston yelling for her son Anthony to come home and eat spaghetti.  So join Anthony and run home tonight for a big bowl of delicious spaghetti and celebrate Wednesday as Prince Spaghetti Day!  Enjoy...

Prince Anthony's Spaghetti 
1 lb. Spaghetti Pasta
1 Pint Grape Tomatoes
Olive Oil
10 Cloves Garlic (peeled)
1 Handful Fresh Basil (torn into bit size pieces)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Parmesan Cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Spread tomatoes on baking sheet
Season with salt/pepper
Coat with olive oil
Place garlic cloves on top of tomatoes (this will ensure garlic will not burn during roasting)
Roast for 20 minutes
Meanwhile cook and drain pasta
Season pasta with salt/pepper
Remove tomatoes and garlic from oven
Cool for 5 minutes
Give the tomatoes and garlic a rough chop
Toss pasta with roasted tomatoes and garlic
Add basil and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil
Toss and serve warm with Parmesan cheese

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Monday, March 5, 2012

Meatless Monday...

Well it is official I have taken the pledge go go meatless on Mondays.  Meatless Monday is a great idea!  I do not eat much meat  not because I do not like it just because it is better for my over all health.  I am only eating meat every 6 weeks and I found it very easy to eat other items in place of meat. Some may find this idea daunting and crazy but it is very easy.  There is no reason to feel deprived of meat when you can eat a stuffed portabella with a veggie side accompanied by a nice glass of red wine. So why not take the pledge with me,,
and see how easy it is to cut meat out at least once a week. I will help you  along the way with recipes from my cookbook Forkful of Simplicity.

Happy Meatless Monday!  

Bellissimo Bellas
4 Poratabella Mushrooms (cleaned with gills removed) 
4 Large Red Roasted Peppers 
4 Thick Slices of Wet Mozzarella 
Dried Basil
1/4 Cup Organic Chicken Soup 
1/3 Cup Red Wine 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees 
Place mushrooms in a deep glass dish 
Season the inside of each mushroom with salt/pepper 
Place the red pepper inside of mushroom and top with wet mozzarella 
Season mozzarella with a shake or two of dried basil 
Pour soup and wine around mushrooms
Cover with tin foil 
Bake for 30 minutes 
Cool and Enjoy...

Crumbled Asparagus

1 Bunch of Asparagus
Salt / Pepper
Bread Crumbs (plain or seasoned Italian)
Parmesan Cheese
Olive Oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Rinse and remove tough ends of asparagus
Arrange asparagus, single layer, on an oven proof dish
Season with salt / pepper
Cover asparagus with bread crumbs
Sprinkle with cheese
Drizzle with olive oil
Bake for 20 minutes

***Cook the mushrooms for 10 minutes then add the asparagus to the oven for the remaining 20 minutes and dinner will be hot and ready at the same time***

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Friday, March 2, 2012

No Meat Today...

For all of us not consuming meat is a very easy and delicious recipe from Forkful of Simplicity.  Make it tonight and enjoy it with your family!

Greek Pizza

1 Thin Pillsbury Pizza Crust
1 Pint Cherry Tomatoes (halved)
1 Medium Red Onion (sliced)
1 Red Pepper (sliced)
Black Pepper (freshly ground)
Olive Oil
1 Container of Regular Humus
Pam Spray
Crumbled Feta Cheese
A Handful Basil (julienned)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees
On a large non-stick cookie sheet toss tomatoesonion and red pepper with olive oil
Season with black pepper
Place in oven for 15 minutes
Remove from oven and cool
Turn oven up to 400 degrees
Place pizza crust on Pam sprayed non-stick cookie sheet
Bake for 8 minutes
Remove from oven and cool 3 minutes
Spread humus onto pizza crust
Top evenly with tomatoes, onion and red peppers
Top with Feta Cheese and basil
Slice into squares

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Thursday, March 1, 2012

Creepy Ingredients...

Creepy is one of my favorite words - look at your creepy cousin, creepy people, stop being a creep, the creeper, you get my point.  The only time I do not use creepy is when I describe the ingredients of my recipes.

I say this because yesterday I stumbled upon an article listing the 8 creepy mystery ingredients in fast food.  I know you cannot believe you read on the Internet but this article mentioned duck feathers, sand, wood (cellulose), silly putty and other unmentionables as mystery ingredients of their food.  My mysterious and secretive list of ingredients include homemade bread crumbs and chicken soup. Fresh and wholesome is what I would like to be know for not saturated fat and soil fertilizer.

Just because I choose to make my own soup, salad dressing, stocks, bread crumbs, etc. does not mean everyone has to do that same.  Just because I choose to eat vegetables, fruits, and whole grains does not mean everyone has to eat these foods along with me.  Just because I choose to cook my meals at home from the best ingredients I can find and take my vitamins - I am often referred to as the vitamin queen - does not mean that everyone has to follow my lead.   Just because I choose to eat fresh as opposed to fast food does not mean you have to make the same choice but try making the swap once and while.  It is just as easy to to prepare something from Forkful of Simplicity Cookbook as it is to grab something not so healthy.

So I challenge you to freshen it up with a recipe selection from Forkful of Simplicity, there is no meat goop paste in any of my recipes - I promise.  For a fraction of the cost of a fast food burger and about 40 minutes of your time (this includes going to the supermarket to gather the ingredients if you do not have them  already) you can indulge in this delicious, easy, easy pasta dinner!  Enjoy...

Nana's Favorite Pasta and Garlic (Aglio e Olio)
Pasta (your choice) - I prefer Spaghetti
Fresh Garlic, chopped fine (depending on your taste 5-6 cloves per pound of pasta)
Salt / Pepper
1/2 Cup Olive Oil

Cook pasta according to directions
While pasta water is boiling heat olive oil over medium heat
Season oil with salt and pepper
Add garlic to oil and cook
Once garlic is hot and sizzling (about 3-4 minutes)
Remove from heat immediately taking care not to burn the garlic
Drain pasta
Toss pasta with olive oil and garlic
Top with grated cheese
Serve alongside a tossed salad

Simple Salad
Romaine Lettuce (cleaned and chopped)
1 Medium Tomato (diced)
1/2 Cucumber (diced)

Place lettuce in a bowl
Season with salt/pepper
Add tomato and cucumber
Toss with desired amount of simple dressing

Simple Dressing

1/2 Cup Olive Oil
1/4 Cup Balsamic Vinegar
1/2 Tablespoon of Dried Basil

In a small bowl whisk all ingredients together
Use as desired
Store unused portion, covered, in refrigerator for a few days

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