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Food For Thought Recipes

Appetizers

Antipasto
To a bowl add 3 stalks of celery, chopped
½ can chickpeas, drained
½ onion, sliced
Black and green olives
A splash of olive oil and white wine
Pinch of Italian seasonings
Mix well. Serve with toast points.

Holiday Cheese Ball
Into a mixer add:
1 pkg. softened cream cheese
A splash of Irish Cream Syrup
Mix well.
Mold into a ball with your hands.
Roll in crushed nuts. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Deviled Eggs
Boil eggs. Let cool. Peel. Slice in half. Add hard-boiled egg yolks to a bowl. To that add:
1 Tbsp. mayonnaise
1 tsp. Peppa Dew peppers, diced
½ tsp. smoked paprika
Pinch of chili flakes
½ tsp. lemon juice
Mix well. Fill eggs.

Shrimp Appetizer
In an oven safe dish place 3 – 4 shrimp. Dot with butter, breadcrumbs and saffron. Bake at 350* for 15 minutes.

Glazed Nuts-Watch video
In a large bowl whip 1 egg white
½ c brown sugar
1 tsp. cloves
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. vanilla
1-pound pecans. Mix well. Place on buttered cookie sheet, bake at 350* for 30 minutes

Bacon Wrapped Date Stuffed with Blue Cheese
1lb. bacon cut in half
1 lb. pitted dates (the larger the better)
4 oz. blue cheese
Preheat oven to 350* Slice dates in half and to open them up. Pinch off a bit of cheese and place in the center of the date. Close the date and wrap a half-slice of bacon around the outside. Secure each one with a toothpick. Arrange in a baking dish that has sides.
Bake until the bacon is crispy – about 20 minutes or so.

Bacon Wrapped Figs
Wrap figs with prosciutto. Place in a baking dish.
Bake at 350* for 20 minutes. Remove to a plate and drizzle with honey.

White Bean Appetizer
1 can white beans, including liquid
½ tsp. tarragon
1 tsp. garlic powder
¼ cup Parmesan cheese
3 Tbsp. white balsamic vinegar
Place everything in a bowl. Mix well and chill. Serve over toast points.

Salami Horns
1 brick cream cheese
½ cup sweet relish
Mix well.
Spread about a teaspoon of cream cheese on a piece of hard salami and roll into horns. Use toothpicks to hold together.

Sweet Popcorn
Heat ¼ light oil in a large pot over medium/high heat. Add one kernel of popcorn to the oil. When the kernel pops add 1 cup of popcorn to the hot oil. Cover and shake the pot. When all the popping has stopped, pour into a large bowl. Melt 3 Tbsp. butter with 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract and pour over the popcorn. Add 3 Tbsp. sugar. Cover bowl and shake to coat the kernels.

Pita Chips
1 pkg. pita bread
½ cup olive oil
Ground pepper, garlic powder, dried basil and dried oregano, to taste.
(Any of your favorite spice flavors can be used)
Preheat the oven to 350* Cut each pita into 8 triangles. Place on a lined cookie sheet. In a small bowl combine other ingredients. Whisk. Brush on triangles. Bake for about 7 minutes, turning once. These can also be made sweet with sugar and cinnamon.

Corn Chips
Cut corn tortillas into quarters. Let them sit out overnight to dry. The next day fry in canola oil – 400* until light brown. Drain and sprinkle with seasoning of your choice.

Bruschetta-Watch video
1 28 oz. can Plum tomatoes
1 pt. Cherry tomatoes
Parsley
Basil
Salt and pepper to taste
Small, fresh mozzarella balls, halved
1 clove garlic, minced
Pass through a strainer. Top bread.
Serve immediately.

Carpaccio – Raw Beef Appetizer
On a platter place:
1/2 lb thinly sliced roast beef
Fresh ground pepper & salt to taste
2 tbsp capers  
2 tbsp olive oil
Thinly shaved Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup Arugula
1 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
Serve with toast points

Scmorza – Fried Cheese
1 pkg. Scmorza or very hard provolone cheese
Cut into ¾ inch slices
Freeze for at least 20 minutes
Grill cheese in a non-stick skillet, over medium/high heat. When lightly brown, flip and grill other side. Serve on toasted bread or with an antipasto salad.

Breakfast Dishes

Apple Cinnamon Omelet
2 – 3 apples, peeled, cored and sliced thin - set apples aside
In a mixing bowl add 3 egg whites and beat until foamy
Add 3 Tbsp. sugar and beat until stiff peaks form and set aside
In a medium bowl add 4 Tbsp. flour
½ tsp. baking powder
3 egg yolks
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
3 Tbsp. milk
Pinch of salt
Mix well to form a loose batter. Gently fold in egg whites. Pour batter into an ovenproof butter skillet. Top with sliced apples. Sprinkle apples with 1 Tbsp. cinnamon and 2 Tbsp. sugar. Add a few dollops of butter to the top. Bake at 300* for 10 minutes. Cut and serve immediately.

Gingerbread Pancakes-Watch video
Pour your favorite pancake mix into a bowl and prepare as per the directions on the box. Add 1 tsp. cinnamon
¾ tsp. cloves
1 1/2 tsp. ginger
Mix well.
Make pancakes.
Serve with toasted nuts and caramel sauce.

French Toast Appetizers
In a bowl mix:
2 eggs
1/3 cup heavy cream
Dip thickly sliced, day old Italian bread into egg mix.
Fry on both sides.
Top toast with chopped Peppadew peppers and 1 slice of cheese. Place bread in a baking dish and into a 350* oven for 5 minutes until cheese melts. Remove and cut into small pieces.

Mother’s Day French Toast
In a bowl mix:
2 eggs
1/3 cup heavy cream
Dip thick sliced – day Old Italian bread into egg mix.
Fry on both sides.
In a pan add 2 chopped bananas
2 Tbsp. Butter
3 – 4 Tbsp. Brown sugar
Melt sugar and cook bananas. This mix may be thick. Thin this out with ¼ up of OJ. Pour over French Toast.

Bubbles

Bubbles for the Kids-Watch video
2 cups or 1 bottle of dish detergent
¾ cup light corn syrup
5 cups water
Mix and pour into a large plastic jar. Break out the bubble wands and have fun.

Desserts

Sweet Popcorn
Heat ¼ light oil in a large pot over medium/high heat. Add one kernel of popcorn to the oil. When the kernel pops add 1 cup of popcorn to the hot oil. Cover and shake the pot. When all the popping has stopped, pour into a large bowl. Melt 3 Tbsp. butter with 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract and pour over the popcorn. Add 3 Tbsp. sugar. Cover bowl and shake to coat the kernels.

Easy Apple Pie
In a skillet (one with an oven proof handle) melt:
2 to 3 Tbsp. butter
1 to 2 tsp. sugar
3 apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
1/3-cup water (or apple cider)
Cook on the stovetop for 10 minutes until apples are tender but not mushy.
Unwrap a puff pastry and place it over the top of the skillet. Trim off edges. Place in a 350* oven and bake for 15 – 20 minutes. Turn on to a plate. Serve immediately with vanilla ice cream or simply by sprinkling with powdered sugar on top.

Flourless Chocolate Almond Cake
12 oz. bittersweet chocolate chips
2/3 cup unsalted butter
¾ cup sugar
Melt in a double boiler. Cool. Beat in 5 egg yolks.
In another bowl beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold these into the chocolate mix. Also fold in 1/3 cup ground almonds
Grease and flour a spring-form pan. Pour batter into pan bake at 350* for 40 minutes.

Poached Pears
Peal pears and cut bottom off so the pear stands upright. Leave the steam on. In a saucepan cover the pears with 1-cup water, 1 cup red wine, ¼ cup sugar and a few pistils of saffron and a splash of vanilla. Simmer about 1 hour but DO NOT boil. Remove from liquid. Using that liquid make a sauce to pour over the pear.
 Sauce for Pears
To the poaching liquid add ¾ cup of sugar and reduce until thick syrup forms. Plate the pear and drizzle with syrup. Add a piece of bleu cheese on the side.
Note: You can also add lemon or lemon zest to the poaching liquid for a different flavor.

Chocolate Pudding Tarts
Cook pudding according to the instructions on the package. At the end of the boiling time add 3 oz. chocolate chips. You can also add 2 Tbsp. Grand Marnier for an adult Tart.
Place in tart cups and refrigerate.

Mother’s Day Parfait
In a bowl mix:
4 oz. Cream cheese
4 oz. Chocolate pudding
In a wine glass place some chunks of angel food cake and layer with pudding mix, chocolate chips and repeat. Top with whipped cream and a cherry. Chill.

Dips, Relishes, Spreads, Glazes, Hummus

Chicken Wing Dipping Sauce
In a bowl add 1/2 cup bleu cheese, crumbled
1 cup Sour cream
½ tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. cloves
1 tsp garlic powder
Pinch of salt
Stir well.

Pomegranate Relish
In a skillet add 2 Tbsp. olive oil
Add a shallot and cook until translucent.
Seed 2 pomegranates
Add to the skillet.
Add 2 – 3 Tbsp. cilantro
2 Tbsp. lime juice
Salt and pepper to taste.
Heat. Cool and serve over meat.

Glaze Sauce for Ham
In a saucepan add:
1 cup golden raisins
1 cup orange juice
1 cup white wine
1 cup orange marmalade
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
Boil down until it becomes a sauce and pour over the ham.

Tapenade
Into a food processor add:
1 cup or so of pitted black olives
2 cloves of garlic
1 Tbsp. capers
1 sprig parsley
1 Tbsp. anchovy paste
Red pepper flakes – to taste
¼ cup olive oil
Process until chunky. Serve on toast points or crackers.

Guacamole
In a bowl add 2 avocado diced
1/3 of a minced onion
1 whole tomato diced or use the roasted tomatoes
Cumin, salt and pepper
Canned green chili peppers
Cilantro chopped
4 Tbsp. limejuice
Mash with a potato masher.
Serve with Corn chips.

Hummus
In a food processor add:
2 cups chickpeas, drained
1 tsp. Tahiti
1 tsp. sesame oil
½ tsp. cumin
2 cloves garlic
½ cup reserved liquid from chickpeas
Juice of 1 lemon
Process. Serve on toast points.

Garbanzo con Espinacas – Garbanzo beans with spinach
1 bunch of fresh spinach, washed, dried and chopped a little
3 cloves of garlic, peeled
1 slice of good bread (if using baguette, use two slices)
A pinch of salt, paprika, cinnamon, cumin and cayenne pepper
½ tsp. vinegar
1 small can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
2 tbs. olive oil
Blanch the spinach in a little salt water, then rinse under cold water to refresh. Squeeze dry. Heat a tsp. of the oil in a skillet and fry the garlic until toasty. Remove and set aside. Fry the bread in the same oil until nicely browned.
Put the garlic and bread in a mortar; add the salt and vinegar and mash to a paste. Put the remaining tbs. of oil in the same skillet and add the bread/garlic paste, the spice, the spinach and the garbanzo beans. Sautee for about 5 minutes. Add a little water if it gets dry. Serve with crusty beans or a side dish. Good hot or at room temperature.

Olive and Fig Tapenade
1 cup dried figs
½ cup water
2/3 cup pitted kalamata olives
2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
2 cloves garlic
1tsp. dried rosemary
1 tsp. dried thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
1 (8oz) pkg. cream cheese
Combine figs and water in a saucepan and cook over medium heat. Bring to a boil for about 10 minutes. Drain some of the water. Add to a food processor everything else except the nuts and the cream cheese. Process until chunky. Pour over cream cheese. Add nuts over the top.

Tomato Dipping Sauce
In a blender add 1 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Roasted Tomatoes
Pinch of dried basil and salt.

Tailgate Snacks
In a bowl add mayo, 2 tbsp. diced onions, bacon bits, black olives and shredded cheese. Mix well and spread over little slices of rye bread. Bake at 400* until brown.

Mint Glaze
In a bowl whisk together:
2 Tbsp. mint jelly
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 clove chopped garlic
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp. Vinegar

Lentil Spread-Watch video

Place 2 cups of lentils into a medium saucepan. Cover lentils with water, about an inch over the top. Cover the pan and simmer about 25 minutes until the lentils are soft. Set aside.
In a dry non-stick skillet toast 2 tsp. cumin seeds
2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. curry powder
Add this to a food processor along with 3 cloves of garlic
½ medium onion
Cooked lentils
2 tsp. olive oil
Pinch of salt
1 tsp. lemon juice
Blend and serve with flatbread.

Béchamel Sauce
In a sauce pan add:
3Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp. flour
Cook about 2 minutes. Add 3 cups hot milk. Stir with a wire whisk. Add salt, pepper and nutmeg. Cook until the sauce coats the back of a spoon.

Drinks

Cider Floats
In a tall glass add 2 scoops of Cinnamon ice cream
Pour sparking apple cider over the top and top with whipped cream. Add caramel sauce to the top and sprinkle some cinnamon over the cream.

Cold Cocoa
To a blender add:
2 cups cold milk
4 Oreo cookies
3 scoops vanilla ice cream
3 Tbsp. hot cocoa mix
Blend well. Pour into mugs and top with whipped cream. Note – you can also place the mugs into a freezer for an hour or two, which will result in a Cold Cocoa Sorbet.

Christmas Cocoa
In a saucepan add:
4 cups whole milk
1 pkg. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 crushed candy cane
Stir until chocolate is melted.
Pour into mug. Top with whipped cream. Garnish with a candy cane.

Champagne
Pour about a shot of Cassis into a flute glass. Fill glass with champagne. OR fill a flute glass with equal parts of peach nectar or champagne.

Drunken Grapes
Wash green seedless grapes and poke the grapes with a fork. Place grapes in a glass bowl. Pour sweet white wine over grapes and freeze for 2 hours. Remove from freezer and place in serving dishes. Dust with sugar and serve immediately.

Cucumber Lemonade
In a blender combine:
1 cucumber, peeled and chopped
Juice of 2 lemons
5 cups of water
Sugar to taste
Blend well and strain. Serve over ice.

Fish

Creole Shrimp
In a large pot add 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil and heat. Add ½ onion, diced; 2 cloves of garlic chopped; red and green bell pepper, sliced; 2 stalks celery, chopped; basil, thyme, cayenne pepper to taste; 1 can of chopped tomatoes. Cook about 30 minutes on the stovetop. Add raw shrimp and cook about 15 additional minutes. Serve over rice.

Stuffed Tilapia-Watch Video
In a small bowl combine:
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 cup cooked shrimp, diced
2 tbsp. onions, diced
2 tbsp. parsley, diced
Drizzle of olive oil
Place 2 tbsp. of stuffing onto fish & roll up. Secure with toothpicks. Place in buttered dish. Place in a 350* oven for 15 - 20 minutes. Serve immediately

Shrimp Ravioli-Watch video
Boil 1 bag ravioli according to the directions on the bag. During the last 2 minutes of cooking, add about 1 lb. FRESH shrimp to boiling water. Drain. Place the ravioli and shrimp back into the pot. To the hot pasta pot add: ½ stick butter, 2 tbsp. tarragon, 1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar and mix well. Pour onto a platter and serve immediately.

Deconstructed Tuna Fish Sandwich for Two-Watch video
1 can tuna packed in olive oil
1 tbsp. mayo
1 tbsp. white balsamic vinegar
3 – 4 grinds of fresh pepper
½ tsp. tarragon
Mix well.
On a plate place:
Salad greens
Tuna scoop
Toast points
BBQ chips
Sweet pickles

Fish
With fish you need to remember one simple rule: Bake 10 minutes per inch.
Quick Sauce
1 tomato, diced
1/3 cup white wine
2 Tbsp. butter
Tarragon to taste
Put everything into a skillet and cook for 5 minutes. Pour over fish.

Monk Fish
Flour both sides of the fish
Sauté in pan – remove fish and keep warm.
Prepare sauce in the same pan. Add:
2 Tbsp. butter
½ onion, chopped
Lemon skin
½ c pepper, chopped
1 tomato, chopped
½ cup white wine.
Reduce sauce and pour over the top of the fish.

Shrimp Cocktail Sauce
In a small bowl add: ketchup, horseradish, balsamic vinegar, tarragon, basil and garlic power. Mix well.

Fish for Wigilia
Cook fish in olive oil (about 10 minutes per inch)
Pour béchamel sauce over fish.
You can flavor the sauce with fresh dill weed and a little dill pickle juice. Or you can fry up peppers and tomatoes and add it to the sauce.

Clam Bake-Watch video
In a large stock pot layer:
Small white potatoes and drizzle with olive oil.
Raw shrimp
Leeks
Clams
Mussels
Smoked sausage
Lobster tails or lobster halved
Corn
2 cups white wine
Salt and pepper and any other seasonings you like (Bay leaves – red pepper flakes)
Cover with a tight lid and cook 1 hour on stovetop. Pour out onto a platter, being careful to avoid any sand in the bottom of the pot.

Mussels-Watch video

Rinse & clean 1 bag (about 2 – 3 lbs.) of mussels
In a heavy pot add:
Mussels
1 cup white wine and steam for 5 min. or until mussels open. Pour onto serving plate.
In a frying pan add:
1/2 red pepper, chopped
1/2 green pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 red onion, chopped
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced
5 – 6 basil leaves, chopped
1/2 stick butter
1/2 cup wine
Cook until on stovetop about 5 – 7 minutes until vegetables are tender but still crunchy. Pour over steamed mussels.

Maple Salmon-Watch video
Place salmon in a hot skillet, skin side down to sear it. Then place the salmon in a 350* oven for 10 minutes. Remove the fish to a warm plate.
In the same skillet add ¼ cup maple syrup
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. tarragon
Stir. Reduce about 2 minutes and pour over salmon.

Grilled Dishes

Grilling Terms
Grilling: Cook fast over high heat.
Smoking: Cook over low indirect heat for a long time – usually over woodchips.

Hot Dogs
Do not poke or slice the skin of the dog. Cook slow over hot coals until the skin splits. Enjoy!

Smoked Chicken
Rub a whole chicken with half of a lemon, and then place the lemon in the cavity of the chicken.
Take a whole head of garlic – cut off the end and rub on the chicken; then place it in the cavity of the chicken.
Rub chicken with salt.
Chop your favorite fresh herbs and rub on chicken and place in the cavity.
Anoint with oil and place on the cool side of the grill for about 60 – 90 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 190*

Grilled Pizza
Use pocket less pita bread or some type of flatbread. Cover bread with a mixture of tomato paste and olive oil. Then add your favorite toppings. Fr. Paul likes artichokes and mozzarella cheese with caramelized onions and red basil. He also likes goat cheese, caramelized onions and craisins. Place bread on grill and watch so as to not burn the bottom of the bread. This should take about 2 – 4 minutes.

Grilled Chicken Thighs
Salt and pepper the thighs. Place on the cooler side of the grill and cook about 60 – 90 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 190* During the last 10 minutes of cooking brush with a HONEY LIME GLAZE.
Honey Lime Glaze
In a small bowl combine: the juice of one lime about 2 Tbsp. of honey and a dash of garlic powder. Mix well.

Grilled Peppers
Place your favorite pepper over a hot fire until the skin is charred. Cool in a paper bag. Peel away skin and seeds. Enjoy.

Grilled Tilapia
In a piece of foil add about one tsp. of olive oil. Place fish on top of oil. Top fish with some type of tapenade. (Can find in a jar in the grocery store or see Fr. Paul’s Olive Tapenade recipe above)
Wrap fish loosely in the foil and grill about 10 minutes per inch of fish. Unwrap and enjoy!

Grilled Pineapple
Peel a fresh pineapple and cut into large chunks. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Grill for about 2 – 4 minutes.

Dry Rub and Grilled Skirt Steak
Homemade Dry Rub
In a large bowl add: Salt, basil, oregano, pepper, chili powder, cumin, red chili pepper flakes, and mix well. This can be saved in a sealed container and place in a cool dry place.
Rub over skirt steak and place steak over a hot grill. Cook about 5 minutes on the first side, turn and cook about 3 minutes on the other. Allow meat to rest about 5 minutes before cutting AGAINST the grain.
***When using a dry rub on Pork add Caraway seeds for added flavor***

Grilled Pork Tenderloin-Watch video
Rub the tenderloin with dry rub and place on a hot grill for about 15 minutes on one side, turn once. Continue to cook for about 5 more minutes. Let meat rest about 5 minutes before cutting.

Grilled Garlic Bread-Watch video
1 loaf French bread, sliced
In a bowl add:
½ stick butter, soften
1 Tbsp. fresh chopped parsley
1 tsp. Garlic powder
Mix well and spread on bread.
Loosely wrap bread in foil and place on grill in indirect heat for 10 minutes.

Grilled Corn-Watch video
Husk corn to its last layer. Soak in water about 10 – 15 minutes. Place on grill for 30 minutes.

Lamb Chops on the Grill-Watch video
Salt and pepper meat. Grill 5 – 7 minutes on each side over medium heat. At the last minute brush with Glaze.

Grilled Beef Ribs-Watch video
Salt and pepper meat. Grill over indirect medium/high heat for 30 – 45 minutes. During the last 2 minutes of cooking brush on BBQ sauce.

Meats-Beef, Chicken, Pork, Lamb

Pork with Apples
Season the pork with salt and pepper –Sear meat on all sides cook about 10 minutes in the pan and then about 20 minutes in a 350* oven.
Sauce for Pork
In a frying pan add 4 peeled and sliced apples
Cinnamon, sage, salt, pepper
½ onion diced
A handful of raisins
Butter. Cook until apples and onions are tender. Add a splash of cider or wine at the end and then just cook off another 5 minutes. Serve over the pork.

Pecan Chicken
Soak chicken parts in buttermilk for at least 1 hour. Then dredge chicken in seasoned flour, eggs and again with flour. Place chicken in a deep fryer at 350* for about 20 minutes.
Sauce
In a skillet add ½ stick butter; ½ cup honey and ½ cup pecans. Pour over chicken.

Beef Dry Rub (Gift From the Kitchen)
Grind Coriander seeds &black peppercorns and place in a bowl.
Add:
Salt (salt should be 1/3 of this rub)
Garlic power – to taste
Cayenne pepper to taste
Oregano
Mix and place in decorative jars.
If making a rub for pork use Caraway seeds instead of Coriander seeds.

Turkey Roll Ups
Lightly flour turkey tenderloin. Place one piece of ham on top of the turkey. On top of the ham place 1 cheese stick. Roll up and tie with string. Fry in butter to brown. Transfer to a baking dish and cook in a 350* oven for 30 minutes.
Sauce
With the leftover butter that was in the frying pan, add about 3 Tbsp. cranberry sauce and ½ cup Marsala wine. Reduce. Pour over baked turkey rolls.

BLT
Toast Italian Bread and set aside
Microwave 3 to 4 slices of pancetta – 2 minutes on high power
In a small bowl add 1/3-cup mayo
A few shakes of garlic powder
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard and mix well.
Assemble sandwich. With iceberg lettuce, pancetta, garlic-mayo and tomatoes.

Lamb
Rub lamb chops with Dijon mustard
Sprinkle with salt and pepper
Sear on both sides
Bake at 350* for 20 minutes.

Nancy’s Mom’s Beef Brisket
5 lbs. Brisket
Carrots, peeled and cut into ¼’s
White potatoes peeled and cut into halves
Small bunch of celery, sliced
2 yellow onions, sliced thin
1 – 2 envelopes onion soup mix
Salt and Pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 325*
Place brisket in a large roasting pan. Cover with onions and celery. Surround with potatoes and carrots. Top with onion soup, salt and pepper. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake 2 ½ hours on middle rack. Uncover carefully. Brisket should be fork tender. (You can cook it another hour uncovered if you like)

Rib Meat
Season meat with pepper, salt and garlic powder. Splash red wine over the top. Place in a baking dish and bake 450* for 20 minutes then at 350* for 40 minutes. Pour the juice on top of the meat- serve with BBQ sauce on the side.

Winter Stew
3 – 4lbs. chuck roast, cubed
3 slices bacon
In a Dutch-Oven add bacon and cook until crispy.
Add 2 Tbsp. of olive oil to the pot.
Then dust meat with flour and brown in oil and bacon fat.
Add root Vegetables like: potatoes, onions, garlic, turnips, carrots, and celery.
Add 2 cups red wine
1 can crushed tomatoes
Simmer at least 3 – 4 hours.

Chicken Piccata
Pound chicken breasts between waxed paper, until thin.
Dip in an egg wash, and then into flour, which has been seasoned with salt and pepper.
Fry in a skillet with 2 Tbsp. butter and 2 Tbsp. olive oil.
Remove chicken and keep warm. In the same skillet make the sauce.
Sauce
3 Tbsp. butter
Juice of 1 lemon
1 Tbsp. capers
2 tsp. chopped parsley
Reduce and pour over the chicken.
 
Cornflake Chicken
Rub mayo over the chicken and marinate at least 2 hours if not overnight.
Crush the cornflakes and press onto chicken.
Bake at 350* for at 1 hour or until chicken is done.
   
Lamb Shanks
Season with Salt & pepper & flour
Brown in olive oil
In a pot add shanks:
Carrots
1 jar Mediterranean Eggplant Mix
1 cup red wine
1 can crushed red tomatoes
chopped parsley
Oregano
½ bag pearl onions
2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 handful split fava beans
1 lemon sliced
Cover and simmer 2 to 3 hours
 
Lamb Burgers
1 lb. Ground lamb
1 red onion chopped
½ cup chopped black olives
1/3 cup feta cheese
Oregano, salt & pepper to taste
Form a patty and grill 6 minutes on each side.
 Topping for Lamb Burgers
In a bowl mix:
1/3 cup yogurt
1/3 cup sour cream
1/3 cup shredded cucumber
1 Tbsp. Mint, chopped
Salt & Pepper
Pour over burger
 
Panko Chicken
Dip chicken breasts in Panko breadcrumbs, then into an egg wash, and back into breadcrumbs.
Fry chicken in oil over medium heat until meat is no longer pink.

Chicken Marsala
Pound chicken breasts between waxed paper, until thin. Dredge with flour, salt and pepper. In a skillet add 1 Tbsp. butter. Cook chicken in skillet until on longer pink. Remove the chicken to a warm plate. In the same skillet add 1 shallot, chopped
1-cup mushrooms sliced
1 Tbsp. butter
Cook about 5 minutes until shallot and mushrooms are soft. Add about ½ cup Marsala wine. Reduce about 4 minutes and pour over chicken. Sprinkle with parsley. Serve immediately.

Pasta, Pizza, Bread

Bread
Use bread as a replacement for crackers. But before spreading your dips on top, first drizzle the bread with a little olive oil or rub it with a clove of garlic.

Garlic Bread
Place a full head of garlic into a baking dish and bake at 350* for 45 minutes. Then squeeze out garlic and spread over bread.

Microwave Grilled Cheese
Toast up 2 slices of Italian bread, add a drizzle of olive oil onto each slice.
On a piece of waxed paper place a few slices of your favorite cheese. Place in microwave for 20 SECONDS. Transfer to the bread and enjoy.

Lazy Pierogi-Watch video
1 lb. cooked noodles
1 can sauerkraut
1 lg. onion
1 can mushrooms
Salt & pepper to taste
1/2 stick butter
In a frying pan sauté the onion & mushrooms for 5 min. Rinse sauerkraut under running water and squeeze dry and add to onions & mushrooms. Sauté 15 min. on low heat. Add to cooked noodles & mix well.

Gorgonzola Hazelnut Pasta-Watch video
In a dry skillet dry roast about 1-cup hazelnuts
In a saucepan crumble 4 oz. Gorgonzola cheese
Add ¾ cup heavy cream
A pinch of nutmeg, salt and pepper.
Stir to melt cheese.
Cook pasta, drain and then add the nuts to the pasta. Pour cheese sauce over pasta.

Fig and Goat Cheese Pizza
1 pkg. flat bread
1 tsp. olive oil
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp dried thyme
4 oz. goat cheese
8 dried figs
1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
Place figs in a small saucepan and cover with water and boil for about 10 minutes until they are soft. Drain, chop and set aside. In a skillet add olive oil and onions cook until they are brown about 5 – 8 minutes. Place the flat bread on a lined cookie sheet or a pizza stone. Drizzle the bread with olive oil. Top with the onions and the chopped figs. Dot with the goat cheese. Place in a preheated 400* oven for about 20 minutes.

Pasta Carbonara
Fry 1/2 lb. bacon, save the grease
Boil pasta as per directions on the box. While the pasta is coming to a boil beat 3 eggs in a small bowl and to that add, 1 cup grated parmesan cheese.
Drain pasta and pour back into the hot pot. Pour hot bacon and bacon grease on pasta. Pour egg and cheese mixture over hot pasta. Mix well so the eggs cook. Pour out onto a serving dish and top with freshly ground pepper. Serve immediately.

Puttanesca Sauce
In a sauce pan brown chopped pancetta
Add 4 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 Tbsp olive oil
minced parsley
½ pt. Cherry tomatoes
1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
2 Tbsp. Anchovy paste
½ cup olives
½ red onion, chopped
Crushed red pepper flake to taste
Cook about 30 minutes
Pour over pasta and top with cheese.

Salads & Vegetables

Olive Salad
In a food processor add a jar of green olives, 2 carrots, 2 stalks of celery. 2 cloves of garlic and coarsely blend. Place in a bowl and add: 2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar, ¼ cup olive oil and mix well. Let set in the refrigerator overnight. Use on Muffaletta Sandwich or on fish.

Simple Salad
Chop iceberg lettuce and place on dinner plate.
In a small bowl add:
½ cup mayo
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
¼ cup white balsamic vinegar
½ cup hard Italian cheese, chunked
Fresh ground pepper
Mix well. Pour over lettuce.

Scallop Salad    
1 tomato, sliced thick
Mozzarella cheese, sliced thick
Basil
Place tomato slices on a serving plate. Top them with cheese slices. Top the cheese with a few leaves of basil. Set aside.
Coat the scallops with cornmeal and grill (a stove top grill pan works well.) Once the scallops are cooked, place on top of the basil leaves. Drizzle each scallop pile with balsamic vinegar.

Potato Latkes
Shred 2 potatoes and place in cheesecloth. Ring out water, place in a bowl. Grate an onion in the bowl add 2 eggs and about 2 Tbsp. breadcrumbs. Mix well. If mixture is too wet add more breadcrumbs, if it is too dry add a bit of water. Form into patties. Fry in hot oil until brown, turning only once. Serve with sour cream or applesauce.

Olives
1-cup olives from the olive bar at the supermarket
A pinch of chill powder
¼ cup orange juice
In a bowl combine all ingredients and mix well. Chill at least one hour. Serve

Leeks
Cut leeks into 1-½ inch segments and boil for 20 minutes. Drain. Place in bowl.
In a dry skillet roast 3 Tbsp. mustard seeds. Cook over low flame until you can smell them. Turn off stove and remove skillet from stovetop.
Place seeds in coffee grinder and grind.
In a small bowl add:
Half of the ground seeds
2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp. olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Mix well and pour over leeks.

Plantains
Peel plantains and cut into chunks. Whack each chunk with a potato masher. Fry in hot oil until brown and crispy. Drain on paper towel. Sprinkle with salt.

Portabella Mushrooms
5-6 portabella Mushrooms – cleaned
5-6 slices of ham
5-6 slices of Provolone Cheese
Oregano
Basil
5-6 tsp. Marcella Wine
Clean mushrooms and place in a baking dish. Top mushrooms with 1tsp. each of Marsala wine. Add to each mushroom: a piece of ham, a pinch of oregano, a slice of cheese and basil to taste. Bake at 350* for 15 minutes. Cut into pie shaped wedges.

Roasted Tomatoes
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Cut tomatoes in ½ inch thick rounds
Place on sheet.
Drizzle with olive oil
Add salt and pepper
With the oven at 300* cook for 1 hour.

Pan Fried Brussels Sprouts
To a skillet add 2 Tbsp. olive oil.
Peel apart the Brussels sprouts – like cabbage
4 cloves garlic, sliced
2 Tbsp. white balsamic vinegar
½ stick butter
½ onion, diced
A handful of raisins.
Cook until leaves of the sprouts are tender and the onions are cooked about 10 minutes or so.

Stuffed Tomatoes
Cut the bottoms off of tomatoes and place in a baking dish.
In a bowl add 1 patty of cooked pork sausage
Squeeze some of the juice from the tomatoes over the sausage
Add 2 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp. breadcrumbs
A pinch of basil
Salt & pepper
1 egg
Mix well and stuff tomatoes.
Bake at 350* for 20 minutes.

Baked Onions
Quarter an onion and peel off the skin.
Place skin side down in a baking dish and pour olive oil over the top of the onions.
Pour balsamic vinegar over the onions.
Bake 350* for 1 hour.
Serve at room temperature with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese over the top.

BLT Stuffed Tomatoes
1 lb. pancetta, cooked until crispy
½ cup breadcrumbs
½ cup mayo
1 Tbsp. fresh chopped parsley
Scoop out the flesh of a Roma tomato. Cut off bottom of tomato so it sits flat on a dish. Stuff with mixture.

Lima Beans
3 cans Butter beans, drained
1 can tomato sauce
Mix sauce with beans. Pour into a baking dish. Stir in 3 tbsp. brown sugar. Top beans with 4 – 5 slices of bacon. Cook at 400* for 30 - 45 min. Serve immediately.

Dinner Salad with Mango Vinaigrette

1/2 cup canned mango nectar
1/2 cup white balsamic vinegar
¼ cup olive oil
Salt & pepper to taste
2 tbsp tarragon
1 tbsp. horseradish
1/2 tsp. brown sugar
Mix well.
On a plate place:
1/2 cup cooked rice
Strips of cooked chicken breast
Salad greens
Tomatoes
Avocados
Red onion
Pour vinaigrette over top. Adjust toppings according to your liking. Note: Use about ½ cup of rice and ½ chicken breast per person.

Cornbread Onion Rings
1 pkg. Jiffy Cornbread Mix
1 onion, peeled and sliced into 1 inch rounds
Follow the instructions on the back of the cornbread box. Dip onion rings into the batter. Fry in hot oil about 3 – 4 minutes. Drain on a paper towel.

Spaghetti Squash
Before cutting the squash in half, length- wise, place in the microwave for about 2 minutes. This will soften the squash and make it easier to handle.
Then slice, scrape out seeds and place in a roasting dish with ½ cup water. Roast at 350* for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and scrap the squash into a platter. Serve like spaghetti.

Soups

Apple Onion Soup-Watch video
3 onions, sliced
3 strips of bacon
Place in a large pot and cook until bacon is crispy and onions are tender.
Add: 3 apples, peeled and sliced
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups dry white wine
1 cup apple cider
Cook at least 2 hours.
Pour into a crock. Top with buttered French bread and a slice of cheese. Place under the broiler until cheese is bubbly.

Gazpacho-Watch video
In a blender add:
1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
½ tsp. Salt
½ tsp. Paprika
½ tsp. Cumin
Juice of 1 lime
1 cucumber, peeled and seeded
1 red bell pepper
1 onion
1-cup water
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup wine vinegar
1 clove of garlic
4 cups bread, cubed
Working in batches, blend until smooth. Pass through a strainer. Chill 2 hours. Top with avocado garnish.
Avocado Garnish
½ avocado
2 Tbsp. sour cream
Mix well.
 
Garlic Soup
Crush a whole bulb of garlic. Cut cloves into chunks.
Into a large soup pot add 2 T olive oil and salt, oregano and basil. Add the garlic and cook but do not brown. Add 1 qt. chicken stock. Boil and then simmer at least 30 minutes. At the end of the cooking time – whisk in an egg. Serve with croutons.