Hi and thank you for visiting my blog. My name is Tina, I am 42 years old and married to a wonderful man named Robert. I live in the Cleveland, Ohio area with my husband and our two pugs, Koko and Lucy and a special kitty, named Trixie.

I am of Italian decent and love to cook not just for my family but for everyone! I have a lot of weeknight dinner guest and try to keep it casual but delicious! My Mom passed away a few years ago and was my great teacher.

In 2012 I have changed the way I eat. A real lifestyle change to be healthier, eat a nutrient dense diet and remove all processed foods, refined flours and sugars from our diet. I do cook a lot healthier than my Mom did and do a lot more vegetarian meals, poultry and fish. I'm trying to find a way to keep the traditions of family, friends and good food in my house always.

I plan to post my weekly menus, update with new recipes, health information and articles and how to eat mostly organic in an economical way. I will also periodically post personal updates of my journey to regain health and hope.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The perfect pair: Black Beans and Rice

It was a hot one I didn't want the oven all day, so I decided to make a crock pot meal. Beans are one of my favorite things to cook in the crock pot. They are easier to make in the crock pot (no soaking) than on the stove, they make a lot for a few meals and it is very inexpensive to make. Here is my tried and true recipe. This is also a virtually fat free meal.

Slow Cooker Black Beans and Rice

1 lb. dry black beans (can also use pinto)
1 large onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 Tbsp. crushed garlic (4-6 cloves)
1 qt. low sodium chicken stock
2 Tbsp. chili powder
1 Tbsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. Cayenne
salt (season when beans are soft and cooked through)

1) Rinse beans and place in crock pot.
2) Add bell pepper, onion, garlic, stock, seasonings (except salt) and cook on high 8 hours.
3) When beans are soft, add salt to taste.

Serve with white rice, sour cream and cheddar cheese.

I've been Tagged....again :-)

I was tagged this week by my internet cooking pal Michelle, she has a great blog, Sugar & Spice, definitely check it out. I think this may be the third or fourth time I've been tagged and I always skip it because I can't think of 8 things about me. But I vow to try it this time. I will have to tell you eight fun facts about myself and then tag eight other people.

1) I've moved more than 20 times in my life. I went to three high schools in three different states. I've lived in 4 states. Ohio, Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina.

2) I have two pugs and I would have 10 more if my husband would let me. My dream is to have a pug sanctuary some day when I win the lottery.

3) I am trying to live my life more simply. I admire the Amish lifestyle very much. The Amish principles I really admire are: Be a steward of the earth, a good neighbor, live a simple life, put your family first. I would have a hard time without air conditioning and internet but I do really admire their lifestyle. They are the ultimate environmentalist.

4) I would like to be a better environmentalist and do work each day to make small & large changes in our lifestyle that will allow us to do that. However, I think Al Gore is a total hypocrite and a money grubbing liar. Why does he fly by private jet when he could easily take a ride on commercial airplanes? Because he doesn't really care about the environment. He cares about selling you movies and books about the environment.

5) I love company for dinner. I can whip something up last minute for 10 people without breaking a sweat. Growing up we always had dinner guest and my Mom was the master at cooking for a group. She never said no when we wanted a friend to stay for dinner and always had plenty of food.

6) I love the mountains. Living in Roanoke, VA was the best and getting married in the Smoky Mountains was so beautiful. I am very fortunate that Robert loves the mountains as much as me. We plan to retire in the Smokies or Blue Ridge Mountains.

7) I am very proud of being 100% Italian. I don't know why though. he he he

8) I am an Aquarius through and through. Here are the traditional Aquarian Traits. I think it is me to a "t". Friendly and humanitarian; Honest and loyal; Original and inventive; Independent and intellectual. On the dark side....Intractable and contrary; Perverse and unpredictable.

I am tagging the following: Erin, Elly, Katie Sue, Daphne, Carrie, Deborah, Ally, and Trisha

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Chicken Paillard

Somehow I missed today on the weekly menu. I went straight from Monday to Wednesday. I had to throw something together last minute. I decided on chicken paillard with a mushroom cream sauce, rice and a veggie. Just a simple meal cooked in minutes. As usual there is no recipe so you will have to adjust to your taste.

Chicken Paillard with Mushroom Sauce
4 chicken breast halves
1/4 cup flour
4 cups baby bellas, sliced
1 medium onion, chopped fine
2 cups chicken stock
1 cups half and half
olive oil
1 Tbsp. butter
Salt & Pepper to taste

1) Pound chicken breast to about 1/4 inch thickness, season with salt and pepper and dredge in flour. Dust off excess.
2) In a large skillet melt olive oil & butter and place chicken in the pan. Brown on both sides approximately 2-3 minutes each side.
3) Remove chicken from pan, add onions and saute until translucent. Add chicken back to pan, the mushrooms and chicken stock. Cover and cook for 20-30 minutes. Add in the half and half and simmer until sauce is reduced in half.

I served this with rice cooked in chicken stock and steamed green beans.

Pickle Time!

As part of my efforts to "Eat Local, Think Global" I decided that this would be the year I learned to can products. Last year I made bread and butter refridgerator pickles but it took up so much room that it made it a burden. Instead of buying pickles that have been shipped across the country by train and truck, I made my own in re-usable jars. The recipe is from Mrs. Miller's Amish Cook Book, it is from 1973 and has no publishing information included. It was surprisingly easy, fun and I can't wait to taste these. Not including the jars, the cost for these pickles is about $1.00/pint so this is very economical as well.

Bread & Butter Pickles
Yields 8 Pints

5 lbs small pickling cucumbers, cleaned and sliced
2 large onions sliced thin
1 sweet red bell pepper sliced thin
2 Tbsp. pickling salt
4 cups white vinegar
4 cups granulated sugar
2 Tbsp. mustard seeds
1 Tbsp. black peppercorns
1 tsp. celery seed
2 tsp. turmeric

1) Combine pickling salt, vinegar, sugar, mustard seeds, peppercorns, celery seed and turmeric in a large sauce pan and bring to a boil.
2) Place cucumber, onion and pepper into 8 sterilized pint jars, packed tightly.
3) Pour in hot liquid over vegetables (leave 1/2 inch head space) and remove air bubbles.
4) Process jars in water bath for 5 minutes.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Fresh Peaches

So my other great farm stand pick this week was a huge basket of peaches for $5.00. I made this beautiful Peach and Mascarpone Tart. Originally this was to be a Fig and Mascarpone Tart but then the peaches were so beautiful and I found a good recipe online. The recipe came from Taunton's Fine Cooking website. As you can see from my photo the tart was absolutely beautiful and it tasted delicious. However, I think the next time I make it I will add more sugar to the crust, it was bland to me. The mascarpone filling was delightful and it pairs with all kinds of fruit beautifully. This would be excellent with any other type of fruit like berries, apricots etc.

Peach & Mascarpone Tart
by Elinor Klivans
Yields one 11-inch tart.

1 cup chilled mascarpone
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 tsp. grated orange zest
1/2 cup chilled heavy cream
1 tsp. vanilla extract
6 large peaches, pitted, peeled if desired, and sliced 1/4 inch thick
1/4 cup apricot jam, warmed over medium heat until liquefied
1 No-Fail Butter Tart Crust, baked and cooled

In a medium bowl, mix the mascarpone and confectioners’ sugar and stir until smooth. Add the orange zest and vanilla extract. Whip the cream until soft peaks appear and fold it into the mascarpone mixture. Spread the mixture into the tart crust. Top with the peach slices. Brush the peaches with the liquefied apricot jam to glaze. Refrigerate the tart at least 1 hour or overnight before serving.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Another Stuffed Success!

It appears as though I haven't been cooking much lately, but the truth is I am finding it more challenging to make "blog worthy" dinners. Tonight's dinner is another farm stand bonzana. I was in Amish country this week and picked up this beautiful giant zucchini for $.50! I've been making so much zucchini lately (zucchini pancakes, zucchini potato gratin, zucchini gnocci, grilled zucchini) it is a wonder I can find another way to prepare this delectable treat. This is something I don't have a recipe for (I know, I know) but just throw together, so you will have to adjust and season to taste.

Stuffed Zucchini
1 large zucchini (straight, not curved) or 4-6 medium
1 lb. Italian chicken sausage, removed from casing
1/2 medium onion, sauteed
2 slices bread, cubed (I used Italian)
1/2 cup Parmesan
1/2 cup mozzarella
3 cups prepared marinara (I accidentaly took meat sauce from the freezer...so we had that)

Split zucchini in half and scoop out a well on the inside. Season zucchini with salt and pepper. In a medium mixing bowl mix sausage, sauteed onion, 1/4 cup Parmesan and bread. Blend well and stuff into the well of the zucchini. Cover with 1/2 the marinara sauce
Place in an oven safe casserole with about 1" of water and cover tightly. Bake at 350 for an hour. Uncover, sprinkle with mozzarella and bake another 15 minutes.

Serve with pasta, marinara and remaining Parmesan cheese.

NOTE: You could cook the sausage ahead of time and only bake the dish for 30 minutes. You could also use standard pork italian sausage.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Stuffed Peppers, Mexican Style

This is how I chose to use my purple peppers. They were a great choice in this stuffed pepper recipe. The peppers were more sweet and less stiff than the traditional green peppers. The deepest purple peppers turned a light green and this is one that had a little red to it, turned a yellow/orange color. This recipe will definately be in the rotation from now on.

Stuffed Peppers, Mexican Style

1.2 lbs. lean ground turkey

4 large bell peppers (I used purple)

1 cup of cooked white rice

1/2 medium onion, diced fine

1 Tbsp. Cumin

1 Tbsp. Chili powder

1/2 tsp. salt

4 Tbsp. salsa

32 oz. Spicy V-8 Juice

1) In a large bowl mix together turkey, cooked rice, onion and seasonings. Blend well.

2) Cut tops of peppers and discard membrane and seeds.

3) Stuff meat/rice mixture into peppers and place in an oven safe covered casserole.

4) Top each pepper with 1 Tbsp. salsa and pour V-8 in casserole to about 1/2 way up each pepper.

5) Cover, bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes and uncovered for an additional 30 minutes or until meat is cooked through.

Served with Irish Corn Bread and Black Bean and Corn Salad from All Recipes

Monday, August 20, 2007

Farm Stands Rock!

I love summer and even on rainy days it beats the snow! Today was market day and I went to the farm stands again and found the best produce again. Fresh corn from the fields, these beautiful purple peppers and a lot of other fresh farm goods like tomatos, cucumber, onion. I plan to make stuffed peppers and corn and black bean salad tomorrow. Check back for recipes tomorrow.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

We're Chopping Broccoli

I was given this recipe from my Aunt Pat's sister Alice but I added the cheddar cheese to it. I've seen a similar broccoli salad by Paula Deen but this one has sunflower seeds and craisins (dried cranberries) instead of raisins. It is a great pot luck or picnic dish. I took it our block party last year and every one asked for the recipe. It very easy to assemble and sometimes I cheat and use pre-cooked bacon so this can be a no cook dish as well.

Broccoli Salad

4 bunches of broccoli chopped into florets (about 8 cups)
1 vidalia onion, diced fine
1 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup craisins
1/2 cup cheddar cheese
1/2 lb. of bacon, cooked and crumbled

Dressing: 1/2 cup sugar, 1 cup mayonnaise, 3 Tbsp. red wine vinegar

1. Assemble all items into a large bowl
2. Mix dressing separately and blend with other ingredients just before serving.

TIP: It makes a lot, so be sure to halve it for four or less.

Ultimate Corn Chowder

I've tried many different corn chowders over the years and have never found a recipe I really was enthralled with. I decided to take matters into my own hands and create a fabulous one on my own. The key, of course, is fresh delicious corn picked the day you use it. I got our corn at Szalays Farm in the Cuyahoga Valley National Parkway. It is our favorite summer hang out.

Ultimate Corn Chowder
8 ears of corn, shucked
1 lb. of bacon, chopped in bite sized pieces
1 large sweet (vidalia) onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 jalapeno, diced
2 medium potatoes, diced
2 cups low fat/low sodium chicken stock
1 Tbsp. chicken base
1 cup of milk (I used fat free)
1 cup of half and half
1 Tbsp. Chili Powder
½ tsp. cayenne
1 Tbsp. salt (adjust if you don’t use low sodium stock)
2 Tbsp. flour
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

1. In a heavy bottomed stock pot cook bacon; Remove bacon and set aside.
2. Add onion to bacon drippings and saute until translucent. Add corn, peppers and potatoes to onion and saute for about 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently so not to burn the corn.
3. Add in chicken stock and chicken base. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer.
4. Simmer for about 30 minutes and add in milk, cream , chili powder, cayenne and salt.
5. Make a slurry with Tbsp. flour and about ¼ cup of cold water (remove lumps) and pour into soup slow stirring very well. This will thicken the soup.
6. Cook for another 20 or so minutes and add ½ of the bacon and ½ of the cheese, stir well.
7. Serve hot and garnish with bacon and cheese.
8. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
TIP: If you don’t use low sodium chicken stock reduce your salt to taste.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Shinto rocks...especially on Tuesday!

Tonight we went to our favorite Japanese restaurant, Shinto (http://www.shintoexperience.com/) in Strongsville, OH. Shinto is both a Teppanaki restaurant and they also serve a sushi/sashimi menu. Lately we've been only heading to the tables for hibachi food cooked by chefs with a lot of cooking and entertainment skills, however, tonight our mission was sushi. If you do go there for hibachi be sure to ask for our favorite hibachi chefs Mike Jones or Ricky Martin (I am sure theses are not the names their mother's gave them) but Ricky can really shake his bum bum!

We've been trying to find a good time to go to sushi with my sister in law and her husband for awhile. They are novice sushi eaters and apparently I am the family sushi expert. A title I am proud to hold by the way. We finally had a common open date and Tuesday nights Shinto has half priced sushi so tonight was the night.

The night started with our waitress spilling a full 22 oz. Sapporo in my lap. But I wasn't going to let a pair of wet pants and smelling like a drunk deter me from my mission. We had Sapporo Gold, Miso Soup, Shrimp tempura, edamame, and gyoza to start. Then our sushi & sashimi arrived with our hot sake. We had a very good variety but my favorite is the Unagi roll (Smoked eel).

I didn't take any pictures, but it was all beautiful and delicious. They have a ton of pictures on the Shinto website so check it out.

I will say the service on half-priced sushi night was very slow, but not so slow you became uber annoyed, just not the level it usually is. The highlight of the night was when the bill came, we had a ton of food, enough drinks to feel a nice buzz and all for $36/per couple. You can't beat that!! The best part is I now I have two more people to go to sushi with as Robert isn't a huge fan. He did come along tonight and was a trooper trying everything (even sashimi) but this just isn't his thing. We had to stop at the new Hershey Ice Cream shop on the way home for a milkshake for him. So we all went home happy!

Blueberry Crumb Muffins for Breakfast

Robert is home on vacation this week and I decided to bake breakfast. Not something I do normally so this is a rare treat. I wanted to take advantage of the beautiful blueberries I bought at the farm yesterday. I found this recipe on http://www.allrecipes.com/ and you can get the recipe and reviews here. These are very good, very easy and the crumb topping make them decadent. Definitely a winner.

source: Allrecipes.com Submitter: jacynth
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup white sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 cups blueberries
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 cup brown sugar
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease or line muffin pan.
2. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, white and brown sugars, salt, and baking powder. Stir in oil, eggs, and milk until well blended and very few lumps remain. Gently fold in blueberries being careful not to mash them. Fill muffin tins 2/3 full, or slightly more for a larger muffin top.
3. For the crumb topping, mix together the flour, softened butter, cinnamon, and brown sugar. Place a small amount on top of each muffin.
4. Bake muffins in the preheated oven for 20 to 30 minutes, or until a wooden skewer pierced in the center comes out clean and dry.

Asian Style Pork & Stir Fry Veggies

I don't remember where I first got this recipe. I think I may have picked it up at my mother-in-law's butcher in Jupiter, Florida. It is really easy, really delicious and a nice twist on Chinese food. If the veggies look a little over-done, they were. The grill master (cough, cough) took longer than expected with the pork, but they were still really delicious. The left-overs are great for pork fried rice also.
Asian Style Pork
2 lb. pork tenderloin
1/2 cup sesame oil
1/3 cup low sodium soy sauce
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
4 scallions, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, chopped

1) Combine all ingredients in large zip lock baggie

2) Marinate meat for at least 8 hours and up to overnight. Turn occasionally to coat entire tenderloin.
3) Grill (we wrapped in foil for the first 15 minutes and then directly on coals) until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees.

Stir - Fry Veggies I used onion, cabbage, red & green bell peppers and mushrooms. We went to the farm today and I picked up a ton of great homegrown veggies. I sauteed them in olive oil and sesame oil and added some prepared hoison and soy sauce at then end of cooking. I would have preferred to eat them 5 minutes before the picture...but this is what everyday cooking is like. I don't want to only include the food that comes out perfect in my blog because that isn't reality. Even the best cooks don't always get it right.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Close only counts horseshoes....

Tonight's dinner was a blend of hearty goodness and near misses. I made Grown Up Sloppy Joes with ground turkey on homemade yeast buns, baked sweet potato chips and a fresh tomato, cucumber salad. The sloppy joes are a recipe that I received from my Nest friend and fellow food blogger, Beth about a year ago. Here is a link to the recipe in her foodie blog. The only thing I do differently is add about 1-2 Tbsp. brown sugar and a pinch of cayenne pepper.
The sweet potato fries are something I just can't get crispy in the oven. It looks like this is one item you really can't try to skimp out on the oil and if you want them to be crispy you just need to deep fry. Personally, I don't even care for sweet potato fries, but they are Robert's favorite.

Of all the cooking I do, I rarely, if ever bake anything with yeast. Tonight I attempted to make homemade buns for the sloppy joes. I used this recipe from http://www.breadworld.com/. As you can see my buns didn't quite turn out like the picture. They are very tasty, but very heavy and not so pretty. In the next few months I am going to try and perfect my bread/bun making skills. So stand by for more attempts.

Our neighbors gave us a few things from their garden and I decided to make a very simple salad with cucumber, tomato, onion and celery. I tossed all the veggies with a little olive oil, balsamic vinegar, oregano, salt and pepper. Delicious! You really forget what real garden tomatoes taste like when you get used to eating the engineered ones. Also, I rarely eat the skins on cucumbers as they are usually covered in wax and chemicals...not so when they are grown next door. Mmmmm.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Stuffed Cabbage Experiment

Robert asked me to make stuffed cabbages this week. I wasn't too excited about it because usually when I make stuffed cabbage it is for a big party and I am rolling tons of cabbage but this wasn't so bad for a weeknight dinner when making a small batch. I usually use my Mom's stuffed cabbage recipe which calls for ground beef, rice and barley. I decided to experiment a little and use ground turkey and I thought they were really good and a lot more healthful than the traditional version.

Stuffed Cabbage
1.2 lbs lean ground turkey
1 head of cabbage
2 cups of steamed white rice
1 Tbsp. garlic salt
1 tsp. black pepper
(I didn't use salt...but it could definitely use it, try 1/2 tsp.)
32 oz. low sodium V-8 Juice
28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes
1 lb. sour kraut

1. Prepare cabbage by cutting out the stem and boiling the cabbage head. Remove leaves as they cook and place on dishtowel or in a colander to drain and cool.
2. Mix ground turkey, rice garlic salt, pepper and salt and mix well.
3. Place outer cabbage leaves on the bottom of a large roaster or casserole.
4. Put about 1/4 cup of meat in a cabbage leave and roll up, folding in sides (like a burrito) and placing them in the casserole over the outer leaves.
5. Cover cabbage rolls with sour kraut
6. In a bowl mix the juice & crushed tomato and pour over top.
7. Bake covered at 350 for at least 1 hour and uncovered for an additional 30 minutes.

Makes 10 rolls and freezes well after cooking.

TIP: Place a cookie sheet on the shelf under the casserole to catch any juices that may bubble over and avoid having to clean your oven.

Smashed Red Skinned Potatoes
2 lbs. red skinned potatoes
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) of butter
1/2 cup low fat sour cream
Salt & Pepper to taste
1) Boil potatoes until fork tender
2) With a potato masher, mash the potatoes until no large chunks are noticeable, remove any large pieces of skin that didn't mash.
3) Add in butter and sour cream and mix well.
4) Season with salt and pepper.

Banana Cream Pie

This is a banana cream pie Sandra Lee would be proud of. I had a lot of bananas that were almost over ripe and decided to use them up and my milk was expiring today. Soo..this pie took about 5 minutes to make but was a really nice finale to our beige dinner.

Banana Cream Pie
1 9 inch graham cracker pie crust (I bought Honeymade)
3 bananas sliced
Juice from half a lemon
1 box instant banana pudding (made with skim milk)
1 container Cool Whip light
1 bar of dark chocolate

Slice bananas and squeeze lemon juice over top and place in the graham cracker crust. Make pudding according to package instructions (use 1/4 cup less milk) and pour over top of bananas. Refrigerate for about an hour, cover with the cool whip and using your veggie peeler shave the chocolate over top. You can serve immediately.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Beige but Delicious

Tonight's Dinner doesn't look so appetizing but it really was delicious. Today was a rainy yucky day and I thought about making some nice comfort food. Having a food blog has made me increasingly aware of trying to make my dinners look colorful and delicious, but tonight's didn't really make the colorful chart. I should have served a salad or a green vegetable with this meal, but look at that corn! I couldn't pass it up and had to eat it today as it was picked at the farm yesterday.

Dijon Chicken, Rice Pilaf and Sweet Corn on the Cob
2 split boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
2 cups panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp. dried parsley
pinch of cayenne
Salt and Pepper

In a medium bowl mix together bread crumbs, salt, pepper, parsley and cayenne.
Coat each chicken breast in the Dijon and then into the bread crumbs for a good cover.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 25 minutes or until juices run clear on the chicken.

I cheated today and used a box mix for the rice pilaf. I like the Near East brand, although it is very salty tasting to me.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Maryland Memories

The one thing I really miss about living in Maryland is the crab fests. I would love to have a bushel of steamed hot crabs thrown on some newspaper and pound away. So, in order to get my Maryland fix I decided to make some authentic crab cakes. This menu was inspired by a meal I saw in July's Everyday Food magazine called Weekend Dinner Down by The Bay. While I was inspired by the meal, I used or created my own recipes for my version. I don't usually use a recipe for crab cakes but just sort of go by feel. You will have to trial and error to find the right combination for you.

Maryland Crab Cakes
1 lb. Crab meat, backfin
1/2 - 1 cup saltine cracker crumbles
2 scallions chopped fine
2 Tbsp. mayo
2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
2 tsp. Old Bay Seasoning
Juice from 1 lemon
1 egg

Combine all ingredients and if they don't hold together, add a few more crackers. Using an ice cream scoop make crab cakes and place on a parchment lined baking sheet and refrigerate for at least one hour to overnight. In a skillet with olive oil and butter (equal parts of each) cook each crab cake for about 3 minutes each side and transfer to a baking sheet (lined with parchment again) and bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees. Should make 5-6 nice sized crab cakes.

Tip: I make a small mayo/old bay seasoning mix as a sauce to serve on the side. 1/2 cup mayo, 1 tsp. old bay, juice of half of a lemon. You could also serve with traditional tartar sauce.

Sweet Corn Saute
6 ears of corn, shucked
1 cup of grape tomatoes, cut in half
3 Scallions, chopped
1/2 small onion, chopped
2 Tbsp. Cilantro
2 Tbsp. butter
Salt & pepper to taste

In a large skillet with olive oil, cook the onion until translucent, add the rest of the ingredients except cilantro and toss well add butter and melt. Season with salt and pepper to taste and toss in cilantro. Serves 4.

Oven Roasted Garlic Asparagus
1 bunch of asparagus cleaned and cut
3 cloves of garlic, sliced fine
Olive oil
salt and pepper

Layer asparagus on a baking sheet, coat with olive oil spray, toss on the garlic, season with salt and pepper. Bake at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Simple Sausage Dinner Done Light

You can't go to any neighborhood carnival or church festival in Cleveland without seeing hot italian sausage sandwiches. I like to use the chicken italian sausage. I buy my sausages at Gibb's Butcher Block. They are local, and make their product made the old fashioned way with little fat, no filler and all the goodness of homemade.

You can't get any easier than this...if you want to eat at home. This is good italian comfort food.
Sausage and Pepper Sandwiches
1 lb. Chicken Italian Sausage
1 green bell pepper
1 red bell pepper
1/2 large sweet onion
I usually cook my sausage in the oven to make sure it is cooked evenly and browns all over. We also like to grill the sausage. I sauted the peppers and onions in olive oil and then served them in nice italian hoagie rolls.
Fake Fried Potatoes
6 medium potatoes, sliced

1/2 large sweet onion
Olive oil
1 tsp. Season Salt

Toss potatoes, onion with olive oil and season salt. Bake in a single layer on a cookie sheet in a 425 degree oven. Bake for approximately 10 minutes, turn and cook another 5 minutes or until tender on the inside and crispy on the outside.