Friday, October 30, 2009

Homemade Bisquick

This is a recipe brought to us by my friend, Veronica. She got it from her grandmother, who got it from the actual Bisquick box (you know, back when they didn't mind giving people a reason not to have to buy their product!) We all know the awesomeness of bisquick. Use it for biscuits, bread, pancakes, muffins, various appetizers, wash your clothes with it, throw it at burglars, remove nail polish, use it as dry shampoo, cure the common cold. Pretty much anything. Veronica has promised to give us a bunch more recipes that use Bisquick as the primary ingredient, so hold on to this, it's about to get bisquicky around here!


6 Cups Flour
3 Tablespoons Baking Powder
1 Tablespoon salt
1 cup shortening

Put 3 cups flour, baking powder, salt into food processor and give it a quick spin. Then add the shortening and the remaining three cups flour. Mixture will resemble biscuit dough prior to adding milk (slightly crumbly powdery) Store in airtight container for up to 1 year.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Coq Au Vin

Alright. Coq au vin is not supposed to be easy. At least, all the recipes I've looked at tell me so. However, from my understanding, coq au vin used to be a peasant food in France. It was usually made with a rooster, hence the long cooking method (to tender up the tougher connective tissue). I've read a bunch of recipes and I do not see why it has to be difficult. So, I've come up with a recipe here that should take less than thirty minutes to get into a pot, and then you just have to let it simmer for about an hour after that. It's definitely fun to be able to tell people you're making "coq au vin" for dinner, and they never have to know that it was easy-peasy-lemon-squeezie! Serve it up with some textbook mashed potatoes and I've pretty sure you've got yourself a winner. I made it yesterday and the brothy gravy around the chicken was delicious. I will note that the longer you cook this the better. Buon appetito!


-1 whole, cut chicken
-2 slices bacon, cut into ½ inch squares, or pancetta, sliced into strips
-2 tbs extra virgin olive oil, divided
-2 cloves garlic
-2 carrots, sliced
-2 medium onions
-3 cups chicken broth
-1 cup red wine
-1/2 cup red wine vinegar
-2 tbs tomato paste
-2 sprigs of thyme
-1 package white mushrooms, sliced
-kosher salt and pepper

In a heavy bottomed pan, preferably a dutch oven, heat boil the bacon/pancetta in ¼ inch of water. Keep it on high heat and let the water worry itself away, then allow the bacon/pancetta to simmer in the dry pan till it starts to leave a little brown in the pan. Remove the bacon, and, still on high heat, place the chicken pieces, skin side down, into the pan of bacon grease. If you think there isn’t enough grease to cook the chicken, add a tablespoon of oil and heat it up before adding the chicken. Cook for about 4 minutes on just the skin side, then remove from the pan.

Add two tbs olive oil Iif necessary) to the pot and sauté the carrots, garlic, and half the onions. Pour in one cup of chicken broth and scrape the bottom of the pan to loosen the browned stuff. Pour in the remaining chicken broth, wine, vinegar, and tomato paste and put the chicken back in, sprinkling with salt and pepper. Arrange the sprigs of thyme around the chicken and bring the mixture to a boil. Cover the pot, reduce the heat, and simmer till the chicken is cooked all the way through, about 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, in the skillet, sauté the remaining onions and the mushrooms till they release their liquid and then that liquid reduces by a little more than a half. When the chicken is cooked, pour the onions and mushrooms on top and serve with mashed potatoes, boiled potatoes, or even wide egg noodles.

Cocoa Van

Yes, when I was a little girl, I thought coq au van was a dessert with lots of chocolate. Today I am attempting the real recipe with a few little simplifying modifications I've made. Hopefully it won't come out atrocious and I will then be able to pass it on to you without feeling guilty :) If it works, I can honestly tell you that it's great for a busy day because today is crazy for me. On top of it all, my 10 month-old has been climbing stairs now for a couple weeks and she's getting faster and faster and more and more daring about it, so I can't look the other way for a second without hearing her chuckling her way to the second landing.

I'd also like to take this opportunity to invite you to visit Cubby Gourmet in the next week or so to see some fun holiday recipes I'll be collecting for your enjoyment! You can just click on Cubby Gourmet in my sidebar menu or go to

Buon appetito!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Olignese (Bolognese Olivia Style)

This is my version of ragu di bolognese, a red(ish) sauce originating in the region of Bologna, Italy. Many recipes turn this into a red sauce, using tomato puree, etc., but in authentic recipes very little tomato is used. Traditionally, the sauce is served with "tagliatelle," like fetuccine only wider, or green lasagne noodles. Generally, I eat it with spaghetti or bucatini (hollowed out spaghetti that look like long straws) because your everyday grocery store doesn't always carry tagliatelle. I have heard, though, that if you want to serve it with those nice, flat lasagne noodles, just break the long pieces into thirds and they will almost be like eat unfolded wonton squares. This is certainly one of my favorite recipes, and I hope you enjoy. Buon appetito!


-2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
-4 strips bacon, cut into ½ inch strips
-1 lb lean ground beef
-2 medium yellow onions, finely chopped
-2 carrots, finely chopped
-2 stalks celery, finely chopped
-1/2 package white mushrooms, finely chopped
-3 cloves garlic, minced
-1 tbs dried basil (if you’d like to use fresh, do about ½ cup basil chiffonade)
-1 tbs dried oregano (if you’d like to use fresh, do about 2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano; it’s a much stronger flavor than basil)
-1/2 tsp garlic powder
-1 tbs salt
-1 tsp pepper
-1/2 cup red wine
-2 cans tomato paste, with two cans water

In a sauce pot, heat the olive oil and saute the chopped bacon until it begins to brown. Add the ground beef and break it up well—you don’t want any huge chunks in the sauce. When the beef begins to brown a bit, add the onions, carrots, celery, mushrooms, and garlic. Stir to coat the vegetables and allow the flavor to marry. Add the herbs, garlic powder, and salt and pepper and stir, then add the wine and stir well. Finally, add the two cans of tomato paste with the water and let the sauce simmer for about 30 minutes on low heat. If it is too thick, add a little more water until you achieve the consistency you want.

Generous amounts of parmesan cheese is definitely Cubby-approved.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Fettuccine Alfredo

This recipe is from my mom. It is the best alfredo sauce I've ever had, because it is so simple and the flavor is very straightforward. There is no garlic, no onion, no spices. It's just salt, cream, parmesan and egg. It makes a beautiful escort to chicken, fish/shrimp and I imagine that dropping in some lump crab meat after the pasta is assembled might taste fantastic too. Serve with a white wine, something dry and tragic and wonderful.

Fettuccine Alfredo was created by Italian restaurateur Alfredo di Lelio in 1914. He developed it, originally, with ridiculous amounts of butter in its creamy self to serve to his pregnant wife, who was having difficulty keeping food down (I'm sure many of us have been there). After her pregnancy had ended, he began serving it on the menu of his Roman restaurant, Alfredo alla Scrofa.

One important thing to note is that you will need a "double boiler" or "bain marie." Here is a nice inexpensive one. Also, even though this recipe calls for no butter while most alfredo recipes call for ridiculous amounts of it, we cannot be under any illusions that we will somehow lose weight by eating it :) Handle with care, and buon appetito!

Ingredients (more than enough for two adults; I made this yesterday and there was a huge serving leftover)

-2 cups heavy whipping cream
-3 egg yolks beaten (mom says, one egg per person, then one egg for good measure. Do not multiply the "good measure" egg no matter how many people you make this for)
-1/2 cup parmesan cheese
-about 1/2 tsp salt, or to taste

Set the bottom pan of the double boiler on the stove filled about halfway with water. You don't want the boiling water licking the bottom of the top pan. While you bring that to a boil, pour your whipping cream and 3 beaten egg yolks into the cold top pan and stir to mix well. Fit the top pan into the bottom pan and allow the cream mixture to heat up. When the water beneath starts to boil, keep stirring the cream and add in the parmesan. Just keep an eye on it. You will see it starting to thicken up and you'll want to reduce the heat. When you can tell that the cream is nice and hot you can add the salt and taste it (I don't taste it until I know the egg is cooked). Keep it on your lowest heat setting till you're ready to put it over the pasta. My mom actually serves this with wide egg noodles, the widest you can find. I know that the Egg Yolk brand actually has super wide noodles called "dumplings," and that is what I have used here.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Saltimbocca (or Saltinbocca)

Vesti la giubba,
la faccia infarina,
la gente paga e rider vuole qua
e se Arlecchino
s'invola Colombina,
ridi pagliaccio
e ognun t'applaudirà.

How do you like my commedia dell'arte? I could not believe this is just clipart. The Italian is an exerpt from "Vesti la giubba" from Leoncavallo's opera "I Pagliacci." The translation, as far as my Italian goes, is:

"Put on your costume,
powder your face,
the crowd has paid and they want to laugh here
and if Harlequin
seduces/steals Columbina,
laugh, clown!
And everyone will applaud."

Admittedly I am not a huge opera fan. I adore the arias but sitting through sung dialogue is not my cup of tea. This play, however, always makes me cry. For the storyline, go here

Now for cooking! The name of this recipe literally means "it jumps in your mouth," or "hops in the mouth" it's that delicious. My mom serves this with her fetuccine alfredo (recipe to be posted), and it is such a crowd pleaser. It’s one of those meals that looks like it took hours to make and really only took a small amount of time. She always made it when our parish priest came over for dinner, which made it difficult because I always wanted seconds, even thirds, and I had to make sure the guests got enough!

Several saltimbocca recipes do not bread the chicken. Some fry them in a pan (which is probably delicious but baking is definitely healthier) and many add a sage leaf in with the "stuffing" ingredients. Still other recipes serve the chicken with a carmelized onion or shallot sauce. However, I'm recounting this recipe the way my mother and grandmother do it, and I know for certain that it's so good that "salta in bocca!"

Buon appetito!


-4 thin-sliced chicken breast (the kind that are about ¼ inch thick)
-4 slices hard or Genoa salami or prosciutto
-4 thin pats of butter
-salt and pepper
-1 egg beaten, two if necessary
-1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs, more if necessary

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Take each chicken breast and salt and pepper one side. Lay a slice of salami/proscuitto on the salted side. Place a pat of butter over that. Gently, roll the chicken breast over the salami/prosciutto and make a little “chicken loaf” with the red meat and butter on the inside. Hold it shut by inserting a toothpick through it. Dip the chicken rolls into the beaten egg and then into the bread crumbs and coat it. Set each breaded roll into a baking dish. Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes until the rolls are browned and crunchy on the outside. I usually test it by cutting my own roll in half and making sure there’s no pink in the chicken, but if you’re good at telling when chicken is done, do it your way.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Hot and Sour Soup alla Jessica

This is a Tyler Florence recipe that I modified to be a bit easier and less time consuming. I'm posting it here at the special request of my hot-and-sour-addicted friend, Jessica! Hope you enjoy it, girly. I haven't had a chance to make it yet, but I trust Tyler Florence--the guy can just flat out cook. I haven't made any changes that will compromise the overall integrity of his recipe. He used wood-ear mushrooms and I replaced them with shitake. I love the flavor of shitake mushrooms and it's not always easy to find mushroom varieties other than white, portobello, cremini, and shitake. If you know where to get some nice wood-ears, by all means use them for this recipe. Also, he has a recipe for "Chinese Chicken broth," which is basically your regular chicken broth with scallions added and carrots, celery and tomato taken out. In the end it may taste better in the recipe, but I am certain that regular chicken broth isn't going to be the end of the hot and sour universe. However, for his recipe and the recipe for Chinese Chicken Broth, go here:

A little piece of info about hot and sour soup: when I was pregnant, I ate it as much as I could. For some reason it tasted so wonderful to me and I'd have to think of other things to order so I could get them to deliver me a pint of the soup! Well, this baby turned out so well I may just eat it constantly the next time I get pregnant as well! Buon appetito, friends.

First of all, maybe a day in advance, you’ll want to put about a ½ lb pork roast into the crock pot with some salt and pepper to season. Let it cook till it’s tender, remove it from the juices and shred it up like you’re doing barbeque.


-1 cup sliced shitake mushrooms (our grocery store sells them fresh, but if you have to buy the dried kind, put them in a bowl, cover them with boiling water and let them sit for 30 minutes to reconstitute)
-2 tablespoons canola oil
-1 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
-1 tablespoon red chile paste, 2 if you like some extra spice in your life ;)
-1/2 cup canned bamboo shoots, sliced into straws
-1/4 lb shredded pork
-1/4 cup soy sauce
¼ cup rice vinegar
-1 tsp salt
-1 tsp pepper
-pinch of sugar
-2 quarts chicken broth
-1 square firm tofu, drained and sliced into ¼ inch strips
-3 tbs cornstarch mixed with ¼ cup water
-1 large egg, beaten
-chopped scallions and cilantro leaves, for serving

Heat the 2 tablespoons canola/vegetable oil in a soup pot. Add the ginger, chile paste, bamboo shoots, and shredded pork and cook for about a minute. Mix together the soy sauce, vinegar, salt, pepper, and sugar then pour into the pot and stir to coat. Pour in the chicken broth, bring to a boil, then add the tofu. Put the cornstarch into a small bowl and, using a whisk, drizzle cold water from the tap into the cornstarch, stirring constantly to dissolve any lumps. Pour this mixture into the broth and continue to simmer it until it thickens a little bit. Once the mixture has thickened, remove it from the heat and stir it quickly in one direction (clockwise) to get the motion going. While the broth is still swirling, drizzle in the beaten egg and watch it spread throughout the soup. It will be cooked almost instantly. Serve with slices of raw scallion and a generous handful of cilantro.

Tomato Pesto Cream Sauce

This sauce is my own creation. I thought it'd be neat to have pesto and cream sauce get hitched. I imagine you could probably do it with a regular basil pesto, or a cilantro pesto. I am a pesto-holic and will post more super simple recipes eventually. When you look at the ingredients you may ask "why no nuts?" Usually pesto contains either walnuts or pine nuts. Well, I never use walnuts because Zach is allergic, and I used to use pine nuts, despite how expensive they are, until one day I didn't have any and made a pesto without them. I honestly couldn't taste any difference, so I decided to stop wasting $3.50 on 1/4 cup of pine nuts when I could just leave them out.

The first time I made this it was kind of like stars aligning. The pasta went on the fork, the fork went to Zach's mouth, and suddenly his eyes teared up and all he could say was "Wow." I had tasted the sauce before I gave it to him and thought it was good, but I honestly hadn't expected that reaction. He immediately decided he wanted it to be a regular around here, and I've made it three or four times since developing it a month and a half ago. I hope you like it as well. I will stress the fact that sun dried tomatoes packed by themselves (as opposed to in olive oil) are much, much better in this recipe. It is a noticeable difference. You can find the dry, sundried tomatoes usually where they keep the tomatoes and garlic in the grocery store. Buon appetito!


-1 package sundried tomatoes (not packed in oil, preferably. If you cannot find the dry kind, use the ones packed in oil and omit the added olive oil)
-1 large handful of basil leaves, about a 1 – 1 ½ cups
-3-4 medium cloves garlic
-about ¼ cup of olive oil, or more depending on consistency. You want the pesto to look like a squishy paste.
-1/3 cup of parmesan cheese
-about ½ - ¾ cup light cream.
-1 lb penne pasta (I prefer Barilla)

Bring a pot of salted water to boil on the stove. As soon as it starts to boil, pour in the penne, stir once, and cook with the l id off for about 8 minutes for “al dente” consistency. Meanwhile, combine all the ingredients (except cream and pasta) one by one in a food processor, blending each one before adding the next ingredient. When it makes a fragrant, sticky paste, scoop into a small saucepan and heat thoroughly. When the pesto is steamy, slowly add in the light cream, stirring to combine. The sauce will have a “bisque” consistency.

Drain the pasta. I leave a tiny bit of pasta water in the bottom of the pan to help the sauce spread. Pour the pasta back into the pot then add the sauce. Stir to coat. I think a slightly sweeter wine tastes good with this and counters the acidity of the tomatoes. A favorite white or rose wine would be perfect.

Lemon Butter Tilapia

Zach is particularly fond of this dish, my variation on a time-tested method. We are both huge tilapia fans, because it has a beautiful, "fluffy" texture and isn't fishy in the least bit. This makes for a delicate, healthy meal and tastes fantastic with scalloped potatoes, herbed rice, or, a personal favorite, couscous.


-4 Tilapia filets
-4 slices lemon, round
-4 sage leaves
-4 pats butter
-salt and pepper
-tin foil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Lay out a strip of tinfoil long enough to accommodate the tilapia filets laid side by side, with about 2-3 extra inches at either end. Salt and pepper both sides of each filet. Lay the filets side by side on the tin foil as described. Place one sage leaf on each filet. Place a lemon slice on top of each sage leaf. Finally, place a pat of butter on top of each lemon slice. Fold up all the edges of tinfoil around the fish to make a little “house.” Place on a cookie sheet (just for handling purposes) and bake for about 15 minutes or until the fish is white and flaky. Simply scoop out each filet and serve with the sage and lemon still on top.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Asian Chicken Noodle Soup

This is a good detox soup. I will admit that it could be an acquired taste, but Zach and I are both big fans of asian soups and we enjoyed this thoroughly. I realize that the ingredients of cinnamon and all spice are a little odd, but you don't really taste "cinnamon" very strongly. It just adds a little depth of flavor. Buon appetito!


-2 quarts chicken broth
-2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
-1 package cellophane or thin rice noodles
-1/4 tsp cinnamon
-1/8 tsp all spice OR anise powder OR clove
-3 tbs soy sauce
-3 jalapenos
-1 onion, sliced thin
-3 scallions, sliced
-1 bunch chopped cilantro

Pour this chicken broth into a medium soup pan. Add the cinnamon, all spice and soy sauce. Take one jalapeno and make an incision down the side and put it whole into the broth. Add the raw chicken breast-I don't bother cutting it because it will be easy to tear apart after it's cooked. Bring to a boil, reduce heat but keep the lid on. Let everything simmer for about an hour. When the chicken is done, take it out, shred it, and put it back in. Finally, turn the heat back up, put in the cellophane noodles and cook for a couple minutes. These noodles cook very fast. Finally, just before serving, add in the sliced onion, 2 scallions, and the chopped cilantro. These are supposed to be practically raw in the soup. Zach also likes adding sliced fresh jalapeno to his soup, but I recommend this only if you can handle excessive spice (I prefer to be able to taste my soup).

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Tummy Ticklers: Bacon Jalapeno Canoes

Ina Garten says that, for a dinner party, she just likes to have one perfect appetizer for her guests to enjoy before dinner, instead of a confusing mix of multiple appetizers that spread the host thin trying to prepare. I find that the following appetizer is awesome for casual parties, especially where there will be lots of men. It combines the elements of mild spice, cheese and bacon. I've rarely met a guy who could say no to any of these. Plus, they are easy to get ready. Buon appetito!


-6 Jalapenos
-3 slices thin cut bacon, cut into quarters
-1 block cream cheese, softened
-1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

After softening the cream cheese, mash the shredded cheddar into it thoroughly. Remove the stems and slice each jalapeno in half lengthwise (making a little canoe) and scoop out the seeds and spicy rib. Spread the cheese mixture into each jalapeno half, flush with the edges of the pepper. Once each jalapeno is filled, lay a piece of bacon on top and place on a baking sheet.

Bake for approximately 20 minutes or until the bacon is cooked and crisping.

Cream of Chicken and Wild Rice

This came out so yummy! And it only took less than 30 minutes to make! How nice is that? My baby girl didn't even have time to get fussy by the time I was done. I know most people wouldn't consider this recipe "from scratch" but I like to use certain commodities available to me to make life a little easier. You will see, in the future, that I am particularly fond of dry onion soup mix. It brings a world of flavor to anything from gravy, soup, pot pie, and even sour cream for dip!!!


-2 tbs butter
-1 small/medium yellow onion, diced
-2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
-1 large carrot, diced
-1 small celery stalk, diced
-2 medium cloves garlic, minced
-2 cans condenced cream of celery soup
-4 cans water, chicken, or vegetable broth
-1 package Rice-a-Roni Long Grain and Wild Rice original flavor
-1 package dried onion soup mix
-1/2 cup light cream or even milk

Melt butter in a soup pot on high heat. Add the onions and sauté till they become translucent. Add the cubed chicken and some salt and pepper and brown on high heat.

Add the carrot, celery and garlic and stir to coat. Pour in the condensed soup and the four cans of water or broth. Stir to keep the ingredients flowing. Pour in the Rice-a-Roni rice mix and the flavor packet, followed by the dried onion soup mix. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat and let the rice cook. The soup should thicken up as the rice cooks. When ready to serve, add the light cream/milk and serve.

Del-easy White Chili

This is a recipe I got from my sister and it is sooo del-easy. Zach loves it and requests it for almost every important football game. I serve it with my favorite cornbread recipe and there are almost never leftovers. It's great saturday food because you can throw it together in the morning and by dinner time the flavors have married so nicely it's just the perfect cap to a nice family day.


-3 tbs olive oil or vegetable oil
-four boneless skinless chicken thighs, cubed
-2 medium yellow onions, diced
-3-4 cloves garlic, minced
-2 green bell peppers, diced
-1 quart chicken broth, plus water to cover, if necessary
-3 cans great northern beans, including juices
-1 tbs cumin powder
-1 ½ tsp chili powder
-1/2 tsp garlic powder
-1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
-salt and pepper to taste, I use about a teaspoon of salt and a half a teaspoon of pepper
-1 8 oz block of cream cheese, softened OR ½ cup heavy whipping cream
-1 handful cilantro, washed and chopped (optional)

In a soup pot, heat up the oil. Add the chicken, salt and pepper and give one good stir, then another good stir in about three minutes. Add in the onions, garlic, and bell peppers. Stir to coat, then add the cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, and cayenne. Saute for a bit until the onions are starting to become translucent. Finally, dump in each can of beans, mix the ingredients together, and then pour in the chicken broth. If the broth fills the pot to about a ½ inch above the solid ingredients, you’re good to go. If it doesn’t, just fill in the rest with water.

Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer till everything is heated through and the room is fragrant. I like to simmer for quite a while, if I have the time, but it isn’t necessary. About a ½ hour before you want to serve it, place the block of cream cheese in the pot and let it melt a bit before stirring it through. This step is something I have a problem with, actually. My sister’s recipe calls for the cream cheese, which is absolutely delicious but leaves lumps. I think that adding ½ a cup of heavy whipping cream gives the chili that creamy consistency without the lumps. You can decide for yourself. I like topping the bowl of chili with chopped cilantro.

Buon appetito!

Fabul-ummy Side Dishes

I don't know about you, but once the main course dish is made, be it chicken, beef, fish etc., I don't feel like spending a whole lot of time on a side dish. The problem is, if you are cooking for a veggie-phobic person (no names named, here) you have to put in a little extra effort to make those healthy add-ons taste interesting.

Roasted Garlic Asparagus

-1 bunch fresh asparagus
-2-3 cloves garlic, minced
-extra virgin olive oil, to coat
-3/4 tsp salt (preferably kosher salt. Buy some, you'll be surprised what a difference it makes)
-pepper to taste (fresh ground is always the best)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Clean the asparagus spears and break off the tough ends. You'll find it easy if you simply place one hand at the fat end of the spear and the other hand about 3/4's down from that. Bend the spear a little and let it break naturally, and that's where the toughness ends.

Lay the spears out on a cookie sheet/roasting pan. Drizzle with just enough olive oil to coat all the spears. Sprinkle with minced garlic, salt, and pepper and, using your hands, rub the spears all over to even out the ingredients. Try not to overlap any spears before you put them in the oven. Let them roast for about 20 minutes OR until they are a little wilted and browned. Voila. Fabulummy.

Monday, October 19, 2009


I'm a 24-year-old mommy of 1 and wife to an unparalleled sweetheart. Hopefully God will fill our house with many more little blessings. I hope each one will remember my recipes with as much love and "linus-blanket" attachment as I remember my mom's.

I started this blog because, being a stay-at-home mom, I know that mothering even one little stinker is more than enough to keep you exhausted and frazzled to no end and that quick dinner recipes are a godsend. I also know the value of a good hobby to stay sane and feeling excited. I decided that creating a blog that combines these needs of a busy mother would be just the thing for me and might even give other women some good ideas to help keep up with the ever-spinning domestic world.

It makes me happy to be able to compile and share these favorite recipes with you. Some I came up with myself, others are the works of other genius and I will always specify these creations. If you have any recipes that you take pride in sliding onto the table, recipes you'd like to share with the rest of us, please let me know. As long as it's "makes-you-wanna-slap-your-mama" good, send it on over. As always, buon appetito!

Broccoli Cheese Soup

I made this soup last night, and even my resident Broccoli Cheese connaisseur said it was wonderful. Because it didn't look like that much to me, I added a fourth cup of chicken broth to the recipe and it still produced a nice thick soup.

This is an Emeril creation. Usually I avoid Emeril recipes because the ingredients exceed my budget and it's usually a big process. This recipe, however, is exquisitely simply and just delicious. It was great to welcome Autumn with a nice hot bowl. His recipe called for medium cheddar. I, personally, love a strong cheddar flavor so I used New York Extra Sharp. If you are not a cheesy kind of person then simply use a medium.

Also, remember, when working with leeks, always slice them first THEN rinse them in a collander under cold water. More so than almost any vegetable, leeks hide dirt and sand better than a chocoholic hides candy bars. So beware. Buon appetito!


-3 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
-1 cup yellow onions or sliced leeks (white parts only, well rinsed)
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
-Pinch nutmeg
-1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
-1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
-3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
-3 cups chicken stock or canned, low-sodium chicken broth
-1 (16-ounce) package frozen broccoli , thawed and separated
-1/2 cup heavy cream
-1 1/4 cups shredded New York Extra Sharp Cheddar


In a medium pot, melt the 3 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat. Add the onions, salt, pepper, and nutmeg and cook, stirring, until soft, 3 minutes. Add the garlic and thyme cook, stirring, until fragrant, for 20 seconds. Add the flour and cook, stirring until the mixture is well blended and smells fragrant, 2 minutes. Slowly add the chicken stock, whisking constantly, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes. Add the broccoli and cook, stirring, until tender, for 10 minutes.

Remove the pot from the heat and puree with a hand-held immersion blender. (Alternatively, in batches, puree in a blender or food processor and return to the pot.)*

Add the cream and bring to bare simmer to heat through. Add the cheese and cook over low heat, stirring, until melted. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons cold butter, stirring to blend.

Remove from the heat and ladle the soup into bowls.


Photos coming.

Kathryn's Corner

This section is named Kathryn's Corner in honor of my grandmother, who passed away in 2008, and who was a magician in the kitchen in her own simple way. Among some of her belongings that came to me was a little cookbook compiled by the good ladies of her parish, who got together and pooled their recipes. In the index were hundreds of time-tested household "fix-its" and "do-its." I found a ton of helpful tips on cleaning, storing food, sewing, and other general domestic wisdom. I hope some of these tips are as interesting and useful to you as they are to me. Cheers!



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I would love to hear from you!


Hello, friends.

I've decided to start this blog, because lately cooking seems to be the only hobby I really have time for. Since I have to do it every day for the rest of my life, I've decided to make it enjoyable. If anyone has seen Ratatouille, I personally agree with Gusteau, that "anyone can cook." The problem is, not everyone has the time. Steadily over the past ::nearly:: three years of marriage I've gotten simpler and simpler in the meals that I cook, and I've found that making a man happy doesn't have to involve marinating a duck for three days. I hope you find these recipes as "del-easy" (delicious and easy) as I do! I will not take any credit for recipes that I did not come up with myself. Some of them are recipes I've discovered elsewhere, tried, and approved personally. Some are recipes I've thought up myself, probably while staring at a half-empty cabinet and facing the reality that I don't feel like going to the grocery store. Incidentally, if anyone would like to share their recipes on this blog they will be given full credit for their contribution. I'm not a reci-plagerist (recipe plagerist).

I will probably end up posting a recipe or a cooking muse each day. Please, if you have that magical, "little-black-dress" of recipes that begs compliments no matter what the occasion, let me know and I will feature it happily. Buon appetito

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