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Category Archives: Dinner

Whiny pork chops with green rice

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Whiny pork chops are marinated in wine. Yum.





Served with butternut squash and green herbed rice.

  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 3 large cloves garlic, 2 thinly sliced and 1 finely chopped
  • 3 sprigs rosemary, coarsely chopped
  • 4 pork chops
  • 1 1/2 cups long-grain white rice
  • 2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 cup baby spinach
  • 1 cup flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/3 pound italian fontina cheese, cut into small cubes

Whisk together a 1/4 cup of your olive oil, wine, garlic and rosemary. Place chops in the marinade and add a bit of salt and pepper. Let sit for 10 minutes. Preheat your grill or grill pan. Grill your pork chops, 7 minutes on one side, turn and finish after 3-4 minutes on the other side.

In a saucepan, bring your stock, the rice and 2/3 cup water to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 18 minutes.

Using a food processor or chopper, mix the garlic, lemon juice and remaining olive oil. Add your baby spinach and parsley after the first ingredients are combined. Stir this mixture into your finished rice. I added just a touch more lemon juice at the end and then mixed in the cheese.

retro tuna casserole

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Recipe inspired by Ellie Krieger’s Tuna Casserole recipe, because I won’t use cream soups in my cooking.

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 small onion, grated
  • 1 large stalk celery, finely diced
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups 1 percent milk
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/2 pound whole-wheat mini penne
  • 3 large carrots, finely diced
  • 4 (6-ounce) cans chunk light tuna in water, drained
  • handful bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Heat butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring, until onions are soft and translucent. Add celery and cook, stirring, until just tender. Add flour all at once and stir immediately and vigorously with a wooden spoon until flour is completely incorporated into vegetable mixture until there are no flour lumps.

Add milk and broth, stir to combine and bring mixture to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to a vigorous simmer and cook, stirring, until liquid has thickened and reduced by about 1/2 cup. Add salt and pepper and stir to combine. Combine cooked pasta, vegetable-liquid mixture, and tuna and toss to incorporate. Pour into a 9 by 13-inch casserole. Top with bread crumbs. Bake for 25 minutes, or until crumbs are golden brown and toasted.

some recipes are too good for photos

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subtitled: Sometimes you’re so hungry that you cook fast forgetting to take the photos.

Last night for dinner, I made a dish I’ve been eyeing on Pioneer Woman’s cooking blog for a while.  Her MM sandwich always looked good, but this version, HER version sounded better to me. I used a little less butter, but that’s only because I balked at using that much on one sandwich.

I think it’s a perfect quick dinner, and I usually have onions, peppers and mushrooms around so it was a matter of thawing some hoagie rolls and picking up the cube steaks.

I just enjoyed this so much, and I wanted to share it with you, even if I forgot to prepare to blog it.


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I love making lasagna, even though it seems like too much work sometimes.

Last night, for the first time, we made lasagna with fresh pasta. Around here, we love fresh pasta, but fresh lasagna seemed like it might not work as well. We decided to experiment.



Pasta dough:

  • 3/4 c. semolina flour
  • 1 1/4 c. flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • water

Combine your dry items into a pile. Crack your egg into a well, add the water and eggs. Using a fork, or your hands, incorporate all those items. Work and knead your dough until it “feels” right. The feel is elastic and smooth. Let the dough rest for about 30 minutes and then roll out with a rolling pin or a pasta machine.


  • 1 large can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 medium can diced tomatoes
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp. oregano

Saute the onions in a tbsp. olive oil. When the onions are translucent, add the oregano and garlic. Cook until fragrant and add tomatoes. Simmer. Adjust seasoning as necessary. (I often add basil, a dash of sugar and salt, depending on what it needs)

I tried to make my sauce a little thicker, chunkier and used less than I normally would have.

cheese filling:

  • 2 cups ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp. oregano

Mix the filling ingredients.

Meat filling:

  • 1/2 lb. italian sausage
  • 1/2 lb. ground beef

I crumbled and browned the meats and let them sit until ready to assemble.

Start with saucing the bottom of the pan so nothing sticks. Layer in your pasta, cooked meats, cheese filling and sauce. Add another layer of pasta and repeat. Keep layering and finish it with 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese. Bake covered with foil at 350 for 45 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 10-15 minutes.



Let it sit at least 10 minutes before you cut into it.

turkey rice soup with rosemary

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I had a turkey breast in the freezer left from Christmas. I had made an extra one and never cooked it. I figured I better use it before it got freezer burned.

I decided soup would be a good idea.




  • cooked turkey breast – cubed
  • 1 c. rice
  • sprig of fresh rosemary
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 3 celery spears, chopped, including leafy tops
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 2 bay leaves

I sautéed the onion and garlic in a bit of olive oil until translucent and a bit browned. I added the veggies and cooked for another few minutes. Adding the rice and herbs and stirring well to incorporate. Stirring in the stock came next, then I covered the pot and let it simmer for 30 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste and remove bay leaves. Enjoy!

chicken chili

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We are fans of pots of anything warm on a snowy day. Trying to avoid tomatoes though as they seem to be bothering the man of the house. So I made my chicken chili, only I took down the heat, since he’s just not a fan of anything hot.

Chicken Chili

  • medium onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, diced
  • 1 can cannelini beans
  • 3 chicken thighs, chopped
  • half of a red pepper and a full green pepper, seeded and diced
  • small can green chiles
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp. white and cayenne peppers
  • several dashes of green tabasco
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot, heat olive oil and saute chicken thighs until browned. Remove chicken from pan and set aside. Add in onion and garlic until soft, fragrant and translucent. Add peppers and cook another minute. Add beans and spices. Toss flour in and stir to coat vegetables. Cook another minute. Add the broth, and then the green chilis. At this point, I add the chicken back in and let it simmer for 15 – 20 minutes. I then add the Tabasco and the half and half.

I check the seasonings and adjust as necessary, though I never make ours too hot, since D can’t take all that heat.

I usually let it simmer a bit longer to reduce, but it isn’t necessary. This will be a thinner chili, more like a chowder consistency, but the flavor is good. Feel free to top with sour cream, shredded cheese or pico de gallo, as all compliment the flavors well.

Drunken risotto

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I’ve made this before, and every time I make it, I find a way to make it taste just a little bit better. Your choice of red wine will definitely play a part in the finished product. Stronger Zinfandels will have a much more intense flavor than a mellow Cabernet. I prefer using a Syrah or Shiraz. Some intensity but not so much that it’s overpowering.

Other things to note: If you find the bulk sausage you can get your hands on is not up to the quality of the links you find, feel free to use 3 links of sausage cut out of the casing. I prefer this sometimes because I like the flavors in the ones I can find linked versus the bulk. Also, even if you have to hunt down the arborio rice, do it. There’s really no substitute for risotto.

  • 3 cups dry red wine
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3/4 pound bulk Italian sausage
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
  • 2 cups packed, baby spinach leaves, stemmed and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup grated pecorino romano cheese

Combine wine and stock and keep warm over low flame.

Start with browning the Italian sausage, add in onion and garlic. Stir in rice and season with salt and pepper. After that, give it one minute or so to really get coated and soak up any oil. Start adding your wine stock combination, giving it time to absorb and cook off before adding more. This takes patience, it can be a little time consuming with all the constant stirring.

In the last couple minutes of cooking, when your liquid is incorporated for the most part, add in your spinach and wait until it is barely wilted. Just before serving, mix in 1/2 cup of grated romano cheese and the butter. I usually save just a bit of the cheese for garnishing on top as well.

It is definitely not your traditional risotto, the change from white to red wine can be drastic for some, but I’ve served it to those who don’t drink and who don’t like red wine and it’s still a hit.