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Monthly Archives: December 2014

Super Garlicky Spinach and Artichoke dip.


I just served this at our Christmas party this past weekend. It went quick! Real QUICK!! Lol. This I is actually a lower fat version of the standard Spinach artichoke dip. I used low fat “Garlic and Herb cream cheese, sour cream and low fat plain Greek yogurt for a really great tang!! You can also use just a regular LF cream cheese. I am a huge garlic fan so using the garlic and Herb cream cheese just gives it the EXTRA garlic boost I like.

2 bags chopped frozen spinach
2 cans artichoke heats chopped
3 cloves garlic grated into a paste
1/2 onion grated
8 ounces low fat garlic and herb cream cheese at room temp
1 1/2 cup low fat sour cream
1 cup low fat plain Greek yogurt
1/4 cup shredded parmigiano
2 tablespoons hot sauce
1 Teaspoon lemon juice
Salt and pepper

First bring a med sized pot to boil. Add chopped frozen spinach and chopped artichoke hearts.

Cook till spinach is nice and green. Drain and add to a bowl.

Next add cream cheese,yogurt,sour cream to the same bowl and mix.

Grate both your garlic and onion over bowl.

Add fresh lemon juice, grated parm, hot sauce, and a dash of salt and lots of pepper.

Mix all together and add to an oven safe serving dish.

Cook in a preheated 375 oven for 15 mins or till top is brown a d bubbly.

Remove and serve with some Charred garlic bread,pita chips, or raw veggies like broccoli,carrots, cauliflower.

Cooking time: approx 25 mins plus prep.

Serves 10 to 12 people



Slow roasted Italian chicken and potatoes.




This was just the perfect and easy rustic dish to cook on a exceptional “cold” winters night!! This dish takes a few hrs to cook but, the wait is so worth it. Can’t get any easier than adding just about 5 ingredient to a pot ( plus spices for your chicken) and letting it cook away to perfection. The moistness that this chicken has after cooking is just delectable. Practically comes right off the bone. Hope you guys enjoy this just as much as my family and I did?? πŸ‘πŸ˜ƒ

4 bone in skin on chicken breasts
8 large potatoes chopped to about walnut size.
2 can San Marzano tomatoes
2 teas dry thyme
2 teas dry rosemary
3 cloves garlic chopped
1 large onion chopped
Salt and pepper
Olive oil

Preheat oven at 300

In a large pot or Dutch oven over med high heat, add a few drizzles of olive oil.
Next add thyme, rosemary and salt and pepper to the skin of your chicken. Make sure you’re rubbing all those great spices into every crevice of your chicken breasts. Now, once
Your oil is bubbling , add your chicken skin side down into pot. Cook just the skin of your chicken till skin is nicely browned and crispy. Usually takes about 8 to 10 mins.
Remove chicken and add you garlic and onion right into the pot adding another drizzle of olive oil. Cook onions and garlic till onions have softened a bit making sure to scrap up all those great FLAVORS at the bottom of your pot with a wooden spoon. Once onions have soften, add your chopped potatoes and the 2 cans of San Marzano tomatoes. Stir and cook for about 8 mins. Now, add your chicken back to your pot “skin side up”,. Put your Pot into your preheated oven ( do not cover) and cook for about 2 to 3 hrs.. The longer this dish sets the BETTAH it GETS!! Once the sauce has thickened and you can see that the chicken is super tender ( use a fork to test for tenderness. If the chicken pulls away easily than you know it’s good) remove pot from oven and I always serve this dish right from the pot as a “one” pot meal. Add some chopped fresh parsley for a beautiful garnish for this dish!!!

Cooking time: approx 3 to 3 1/2 hrs including prep.

Note: every oven is different so the cooking time could vary depending on your own ovens temp. πŸ‘

Serves 4 to 6 peeps


Spaetzle with brats in a smoked paprika cheddar beer sauce.


So I’m really into trying all sorts of pasta’s !!
Not just traditional Italian pasta but, pastas from all over the world. And this my friends was absolutely no exception to the rule!! This is basically just a egg pasta.. A “German” egg pasta. What better way to enjoy this wonderful and quite hearty German pasta than with some brats and almost a cheddar and BEER fondue sauce??? I can’t think of anything!! Lol

1 lb Spaetzle
4 pre-cooked brats sliced
2 bottles of any pale ale you like
3 to 4 cups shredded cheddar
2 cloves garlic chopped
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
Salt and pepper
Chopped fresh parsley for garnish

Cook Spaetzle as directed on package.
Drain and set aside.

In a med sauce pan, heat on med high and add beer, once beer is boiling, whisk in cheddar cheese , smoked paprika and chopped garlic. Stir and lower heat to low. Cook for about 3 extra mins to let the FLAVORS combine ( add just a tiny bit of salt and lots of pepper, the salt in the cheese with give the extra flavor you need without adding tons of salt).Add your cooked brats and pasta right to your cheese sauce and combine. Let stand in low heat for about 5 mins just to heat your brats and pasta. Serve immediately in a serving dish . Chopped parsley for garnish.

Cooking time: approx 25 mins

Serves 4 to 6 peeps


Chicken and sausage gumbo.


So good, SO SO GOOD!! I probably should of just used chorizo for this instead of hot Italian sausage but, it’s just as good either way!! So comforting especially on these cold winter nights!!
This almost resembles a chili but it’s a little bit thinner than your standard chili. Just really yummy!! So I’m not really an “Okra” fan but, by all means if you are?? Throw it in!! I didn’t add shrimp to this but, adding some shrimp would be the ultimate BONUS for this dish.. πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘

4 to 5 cups pulled chicken shredded( you can bake off some skin on bone in chicken breast and just pull it apart with a fork and shred it)
6 cooked hot Italian sausage, andouille or chorizo sliced or chopped
2 cup yellow or white corn ( hominy)
2 cups instant white or brown rice
2 celery stalks chopped
3 cloves garlic chopped
1 medium onion chopped
2 cans crushed tomatoes
2 bell peppers chopped
1 cup dry red wine
2 teas cumin
2 teas coriander
2 teas chili powder
2 tablespoons hot sauce
2 tablespoons smoked or Hungarian paprika
2 teaspoons flour
2 drizzles olive oil
Chopped cilantro for garnish

Cook rice as directed, put off to side.

In a Dutch oven over med high heat, add olive oil and flour. Once flour starts to brown ( about 5 mins) add chopped onion, garlic, celery, peppers and corn and all your spices( add salt pepper to taste) Cook and stir for about 15 mins till veggies have time to tenderize. Now you can add all your “cooked” chicken and sausage. Mix all together, now add your cans of crushed tomatoes, red wine and hot sauce,stir cover and lower heat to med low. Let simmer For about 15 mins. Remove cover and add your already cooked rice. Stir and recover for an additional 10 mins. Once gumbo had thickened to resemble a “thick” soup than you know it’s ready. Remove from stove top, and serve right from Dutch oven. Add a little chopped cilantro to the top for garnish !

Cooking time: approx 45 mins or longer to developer flavor intensity .

Serves 8 to 10 peeps


Shrimp in a White wine, garlic and dill sauce.


I been lacking!! Really lacking on my blog and it really makes me sad that I haven’t had the time to come out and post some of the yummy food I’ve been making! Well, here is the first installment of hopefully many in the next few days!! I actually made this For our family Christmas party this past week and it was a huge hit! So simple and yet so DELISH! I bought a ton of shrimp so I have been creating all sorts of dishes over the last few days!! Stay tuned….πŸ‘

1 lb frozen de-veined shell on shrimp
1/2 cup dry white wine
4 cloves garlic grated
2 teaspoon dill
2 tablespoons smoked paprika
1 tablespoon butter
2 drizzles of olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste.

First things first, add shrimp to a large bowl and run shrimp under cold water to defrost. Usually takes about 10 mins for all the shrimp to thaw. Make sure to keep moving the shrimp around with your hands so each of piece has a chance to thaw. Sometimes they will stick together from being frozen. Once all shrimp is thawed, pour in a strainer, peel each shell off shrimp leaving tails on ( you can remove the tails but, I think leaving them on makes for a prettier presentation).

Once all shells are removed, add all shrimp to a baking pan. Grate garlic over shrimp, add 1 teas of dill ( leave 1 teas for garnish) smoked paprika,salt and pepper, butter and olive oil. Mix thoroughly with hands and Place in a preheated 350 degree oven for 2 mins. Once shrimp is pink on top, add your white wine right in with your shrimp stir to coat and flip shrimp and cook for another 2 mins. Once all side of shrimp are done and opaque, remove from oven and ladle out on a platter making sure to pour the remaining sauce on the top. Add the other teaspoon of dill to the top and serve immediately.

Cooking time: approx 5 mins

Serves 6 to 8 peeps


Wild Garlic Egg Pasta with Meatballs in an Dill and Garlic Cream sauce



Alrighty guys, I know I have been slacking on the blogging thing for a while due to the fact that we have “Finally” moved into our beautiful new home in New Hampshire. Boston is and always will be my home regardless of where I am. I am so excited that I finally have a big enough and more functional kitchen to cook in. I have kind of been in a cooking “rut” so to speak over the last couple of months which is something I never thought in my life would happen but, I guess things happen or DON’T and there is really not a thing you can do but, to keep trying in hopes that your hard work and dedication might or will finally pay off in the future?? So I am really trying to get a little bit more inspired again. So this dish is actually the “real” first dish I cook in the new kitchen. Nothing really extravagant but, tastes like a dream.

1lb 85% lean ground meat
4 slices of bread ( chopped and soaked in milk and wrung out like you would a towel crumbled into meat mix)
1 egg
2 tablespoons breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon nutmeg
5 cloves garlic chopped ( 2 for meatballs and 3 for sauce)
1 med onion finely diced
1 bag ( 1lb) wild Garlic egg pasta
1/2 cup cream
1/2 chicken stock or milk
1/2 cup freshly grated parmigiano
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons fresh chopped Dill
Salt and pepper

Pasta: boil as directed and salting the water liberally before dropping pasta. Drain and add back to pot adding a teenie bit of olive oil so it won’t stick together while meatballs and sauce are cooking or you can just do this as your last step.


In a large bowl, add ground beef, crumbled bread( soaked in milk), breadcrumb, beaten egg, chopped garlic and onion and mix with hands. Next add smoked paprika, nutmeg and a dash of salt and pepper. Mix thouroughly. Grab a large baking sheet.. With a ice cream scooper or tablespoon, scoop out meatballs and roll with hand to make a tight ball. Place all rounded out meatballs on baking sheet ( should make about 10 to 12 meatballs) and cook for 15 mins in a preheated 350 degree oven. Once browned, remove from oven and set aside. Place a piece of aluminum foil over the top to keep them hot.

Cream sauce: in a med sauce pan over med high heat, add butter and garlic and sautΓ©e for about 2 mins. Once bubbling whisk in flour and whisk for 1 min till flour has a chance to cook out. Next add 1/2 cup cream and 1/2 cup CS or Milk. Whisk till sauce starts to bubble and thicken. Once sauce has thickened a bit ( about 2 mins) add grated parm and fresh dill and whisk. Add salt and pepper to taste. Once combined add drained pasta and meatballs right to your pot. Serve and add some extra chopped dill for garnish.

Cooking time: approx 30 mins

Serves 4-6 peeps


Plum sugar cookie sandwiches with a plum whip cream and almonds


2 words describe these, SO GOOD. I must admit I am not much of a baker but, I do have the standard “sugar cookie” recipe down pat. I add some plum preserves to both my cookie dough and whip cream given this a great fruity plum flavor. My kids devoured these as soon as I had put them together. Another thing too is you can freeze these as it gives it an “ice cream” sandwich kind of vibe. πŸ˜‹πŸ˜‹πŸ˜‹

Cookie dough:

3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons of Rum
4 tablespoons plum preserves( 2 for cookie dough and 2 for whipping cream)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 and 1/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Powdered sugar for dusting
Chopped or crushed almonds for garnish and crunch

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, Cream butter, sugar and vanilla together. Next add egg and mix. Then add cinnamon and plum preserves mix till fully combined. Next in another large bowl, add flour and baking soda. You can sift if you like but I just mix and combine with a fork. Next add your flour mix to your other bowl in 2 batches( this help incorporate the flour a little better and you won’t have flour going all over you while mixing. Once fully combine, cover with plastic wrap and place in fridge for about an hr.

Prep: remove cookie dough from the fridge. On a liberally floured surfaced roll out cookie dough to about an inch and 1/2 thick. Using a round cookie cutter, cut each cookie out and lay it on a cookie sheet covered in parchment paper ( makes about 12 cookies). Once cookie sheet is full, brush a tiny bit of rum on each cookie and sprinkle some sugar on each one. Bake in a 350 oven for 8-10 mins just till lightly golden on top. Remove and cool for 2 hrs prior to assembling.

Whipping cream:
in a mixing bowl, add 1 qt whipping cream and 2 teaspoons of granulated sugar. Whip for about 5 to 8 mins till cream starts to form stiff peaks. Add plum preserves to your cream and gently fold in. Done!!

Once cookies are cooled, take 6 for the bottoms and add about a few tablespoons of whip cream in the middle! Taking the other 6 cookies, placing them on the tops. Roll sides of cookies in crushed or slivered almonds and serve sprinkling some powdered sugar right one top.

Cooking time: 8-10 ( the prep takes longer than actual cookie times

Serves 6 peeps