New Year's Eve

New Year's Eve Seafood Gumbo....along with Grilled Ginger Teriyaki Salmon, Grilled Crabmeat Stuffed Tilapia, Grilled Lobster Tail, and Steamed Crab Legs! (Can you tell I'm in Florida with my sister-in-law, bro-in-law, and my adorable nephews!!! Poor hubby still in Indiana)! Recipes coming when I get home....

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So we remembered our camera when we went traveling to Indy & Chicago for Thanksgivings with the family....but we forgot the memory card :(   So sadly no pictures of the amazing tasty food that I made. We had 2 Thanksgivings this year, one with my family in Indy and one with my husband's in Chicago - so double the cooking! WooHoo!!!! Let me lay out the menu's from each and I'll * the ones that I made.

Indy Thanksgiving:
White Castle Stuffing (in the turkey)
Bacon Apple Stuffing*
Parmesan Green Beans & Kale*
Mashed Potatoes
Apple Rings
Sweet Potatoes w/Marshmallows*
Canned Cranberry Sauce*
Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake

Chicago Thanksgiving:
Herb Roasted Turkey*
Herb Stuffing*
Green Bean Casserole*
Fresh Cranberry Sauce*
Sweet Potato Casserole
Cabbage & Ribs
Spicy Cabbage
Pumpkin Pie

I won't be putting up all the recipes (unless you ask for one that I don't put up). But I will share a few with you.

 Herb Roasted Turkey
This is one of those you can play with it and do whatever you want in the way of spices etc. kind of recipes!

I took half a bunch of fresh parsley and roughly chopped it. I put that in a bowl and added dried sage, dried thyme, dried dill, some sea salt and a generous amount of fresh black pepper. Then I poured olive oil in it, enough to mix it well and have a decent sort of paste (you could put it all in a food processor or small blender and pulse it until you have a smooth paste...but my MIL did not have a food processor!). Then I loosened the skin of the turkey away from the meat carefully at the opening of the body cavities, loosening the skin all through as much as I could access with my hands, or a chopstick, including the drum stick. Then I took the paste and spread it liberally all over the meat under the skin. I then rubbed the outside of the turkey with any remaining paste and some more olive oil. I then put the stuffing in the body cavities and trussed the turkey, placed it on the v-rack in the roaster breast side down and slide it into the oven (which was set at 325). I roasted it breast side down for about an hour and a half. Then I took out the Turkey, flipped it and placed it back in the v-roaster, poured some chicken broth (you can use turkey stock if you have any!) over it and put it back in the oven for another 2.5 hours. I ended up putting a tinfoil tent over around hour 1.5 so that it did not become too crispy/brown. The turkey needs to reach an internal temperature of 160 F when tested at the thickest portion of the thigh. The Turkey turned out super tasty and very moist and full of the wonderful herb flavor!

Parmesan Green Beans and Kale (adapted from Giada De Laurentiis)


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1/4 pound cremini mushrooms, trimmed and quartered (about 14 mushrooms)
  • 1 1/2 pounds green beans, trimmed and slice into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup white wine 
  • 1 bunch Kale (1/2 pound), rinsed, stemmed, and roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (about 1/2 a lemon)
  • 1/4 pound finely grated Parmesan 


Warm the olive oil in a large, heavy saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook until translucent. Add the mushrooms, green beans, salt, and pepper and cook for 2-4 minutes. Add the wine and continue cooking until the green beans are almost tender, about 5 minutes. Add the kale and continue cooking until the kale has wilted, about 5 - 8 minutes. Put everything in a large serving bowl, straining any of the water/wine left in the pan. Add the lemon juice and the Parmesan cheese. Toss to coat and serve immediately.

Fresh Cranberry Sauce

1 bag fresh Cranberries
1 Orange (you will need the skin & juice)
1/2 cup sugar
Water - enough to not quite cover the cranberries.

Put Cranberries in a pot. Cover with water until they are almost but not quite covered. Add sugar. Zest the entire orange (grate all of the skin off the orange) into the cranberries. Cut the orange in half and then squeeze the juice from both halves into the pot with the cranberries. Stir well. Place on a stove over medium-low heat and cook for approximately 45 minutes. Stir continually. The cranberries will pop (so watch out!), keep stirring until the mixture has reached the sauce consistency you would like. Pour into a bowl and place in the fridge to chill some.

The Bacon and Apple Stuffing will be posted shortly (the recipe is not with me right now!)

Happy Eating!


Thanksgiving is one of my favorite times of the year. Not only is it time spent with family and friends and a time to reflect on everything that I have been blessed with (the good and the bad). But as a person who loves to cook this is an amazing time filled with lots of food...and is the perfect time to try out fun new recipes on my unsuspecting family! So be on the lookout for new posts with tasty treats like, Parmesan Green Beans and Kale, Upside-Down Cranberry-Carmel Cake, Bacon & Apple Stuffing....and much more. My girlfriend from Table for Two and I will be cooking up a storm the next few days between all of our holiday check back for new posts here and check out my BFF's blog too for her tasty Thanksgiving goodness!!!!

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!! And Happy Eating!!!

Beef and Red Wine Stew

 I made the most amazing beef stew ever the other tasted so good! This is perfect for a nice cold night and great with warm thick bread. A very hearty and filling meal....yum.

Browning the meat.

Onions browned, then the garlic and mushrooms added.

Tomato Paste added.

Flour added and mixed till not visible

Adding the red wine

Transferred to the dutch oven

Stock and spices added - brought to a simmer.

Cutting up the veggies that get added later.

After the stew was brought to a simmer you put it into the oven for at least 1 to 1.5 hours. (depending on tenderness) Then you add the potatoes, carrots, parsnips, and beets. Put back in the oven for another hour. Then you take it out, add the other veggies (zucchini, green beans, Brussels sprouts) and bring to a simmer on the stove and simmer until done.

Stew is all done and absolutely wonderful!

My kitty wants some of the stew!!!!!

 Beef and Red Wine Stew (adapted from Daily Unadventures in Cooking)

4 tablespoons of vegetable oil
Salt and pepper
1lb beef stew meat (cut in 2" squares) 
1/2 large onion diced
2 cloves garlic
6 oz of sliced mushrooms
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 heaping tablespoon flour
3/4 cup red wine
~ 2 cups beef stock
1 bay leaf
a few springs of thyme
a sprig of rosemary
1 large carrot
1 large parsnips
1 large potato
4-5  medium golden beets
4oz green beans
1 medium zucchini 
8 oz brussels sprouts

Turn your oven on to 250F.
Sprinkle the meat with salt and pepper.
Toss with a couple teaspoons of oil to coat
Heat a large skillet to medium and add enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan.
Add meat to the hot pan, brown meat on all sides.
Once meat is browned remove and add to the dutch oven and set aside.
Add the onions to the pan and cook until they turn brown, stirring regularly.
Once browned add the garlic and mushrooms and continue to cook for another 3 minutes or so.
Add the tomato paste and stir until coated, for approximately 2 minutes.
If there is no visible oil add another tablespoon or so.
Add the flour. Stir until there is no visible flour left.
Stir in the red wine. Use a spoon to scrape any brown bits from the bottom of the pan.
Cook until wine has reduced by half.
Transfer everything to the dutch oven with the beef.
Add the bay leaf, thyme, and rosemary and enough stock/broth to cover the meat (barely).
Bring the entire mixture to a gentle simmer on the stove top then cover and transfer to the oven.
Cook for anywhere from 1.5 - 2.5 hours, checking every hour for the tenderness of the meat. When meat is just about fork tender, add the carrots, parsnips, and potatoes.
Cook for another 45 minutes to an hour.
When the meat reaches that perfectly tender stage transfer it back to the stove.
Add the green beans, zucchini, and brussels sprouts.
Cook until veggies are tender and sauce is thick and reduced.
Season to taste and enjoy.

Happy Eating!!!!!

Dilled Green Tomatoes

I love all things cooking - this includes preserving! Last summer I started canning. I've taught myself with my trusty Ball Blue Book of Canning (if you don't own it - go get it!). Canning is a great way to preserve fresh fruits and veggies. You can also even preserve meat and sauces and jams...and well the list goes on. I have only done water bath canning, which is where you put you jars in a giant bot of boiling water for a certain amount of minutes to process it. There is also pressure canning - which I would love to get into but haven't been able to afford to buy a pressure canner yet! When using a water bath there are only certain things you are able to can due to the acidity of the food. If the food you want to process has a low acid level it has to be done in a pressure canner. You need to follow recipes carefully and can with the proper tools (water bath or pressure canner) so you don't end up killing whoever eats your canned goods!

Now onto the latest thing I canned a couple weeks ago. Dilled Green Tomatoes. We were in the middle of moving from one town to another (2 hours away) when I realized exactly how many green tomatoes there were on my tomato plants! I didn't want to leave the fruit for the over hungry squirrels at our old apartment (come on we spent lots of time and effort growing our 4 tomato plants that ended up getting over 6 feet tall!). So I picked all the green tomatoes and brought them with me! I had already made and canned Salsa & Pasta sauce with the ripe it was on to something new. A green tomato salsa didn't appeal to me. So I turned to my trusty Blue Book and what did I find, a recipe for pickled green tomatoes with lots of dill. I love dill and I decided to give it a go.
A green tomato with my trusty Blue Book.

Washing the tomatoes

Coring the tomatoes.

Cutting the tomatoes into pieces.

Yummy little hunks of green tomato (they smelled really good)

In my pot ready to get the water & pickling salt added

All hot, cooked & ready to be packed into jars!

Giant pot of water almost boiling

My husband and cat while I was canning...I don't think they were having as much fun with the canning process as I was.

All done! Pretty jars all done and ready to cool and get put in the pantry.

So my advice to those who want to can....get a Ball Blue Book and go for it!!!!!

Dilled Green Tomatoes (adapted from the Ball Blue Book)
Yield: about 6 pints

5 pounds small firm green tomatoes
1/4 cup canning salt (yes this is different than regular salt - it can be found in the canning section of a store)
3 1/2 cups vinegar
3 1/2 cups water
6 or 7 cloves of garlic
6 or 7 heads of fresh dill (or 1/4 cup dill seeds if you cannot find fresh dill)
6 or 7 bay leaves

Wash tomatoes, drain.
Core tomatoes, then cut into halves or quarters.
Place in pot.
Add salt, vinegar, and water in a large pot.
Bring to a boil.
Pack tomatoes in hot jars leaving 1/4 inch head space.
Add 1 clove garlic, 1 head of dill (or 2 teaspoons dill seeds), and 1 bay leaf to each jar.
Ladle hot liquid over tomatoes, leaving 1/4 inch head space
Remove air bubbles
Adjust 2 piece caps
Process 15 minutes in boiling-water canner.

Honey Dijon and Lemon Roast Chicken with mixed Roast Vegetables (with pics)

These pictures are of the amazing Roast Chicken & Vegetables that I made the other day...

Honey Dijon and Lemon Roast Chicken with mixed Roast Vegetables


    For the chicken: 
    1 whole chicken thawed
    2 lemons
    8 cloves of garlic
    3 tablespoons Honey Dijon Mustard
    1.5 tablespoons of olive oil
    4 sprigs fresh thyme
    3 sprigs fresh rosemary
    Some pinches of Kosher Salt
    Some pinches of Black Pepper
    1/4 cup of white wine

    For the vegetables:
    3 potatoes - thinly sliced
    2 leeks - white part only
    2 large carrots
    8oz (2-3 large handfuls) Brussels Sprouts
    1 sweet yellow onion
    1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes
    4 oz sliced mushrooms
    1 lemon
    5 sprigs fresh thyme
    2 sprigs fresh rosemary
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    A large pinch Kosher Salt
    A large pinch of Black Pepper

    Preheat oven to 400
    Take thawed chicken and remove any gizzards in the body cavity. Rinse the entire chicken in cold water, place on a plate or cutting board and pat dry. Gently lift skin of chicken away from the body, start at the neck or rump area. Make it so that you can slide your fingers between the body and skin. Do this for both the breast side and the bottom.
    Mince 4 cloves of garlic add leaves of 2 sprigs of Thyme, 2 sprigs of Rosemary, and a pinch of kosher salt and pepper. Put entire mixture in a mortar for grinding or in a plastic bag and roll it with a rolling pin. Crush to release flavors and oils. Put spice mixture in a small bowl. Add Honey Dijon Mustard and Oil, mix well.
    Take the rub mixture and rub it into the chicken meat underneath the skin. Get as much of the body of the chicken covered as you can without tearing the skin.
    Next slice one lemon and quarter the second.
    Place lemon slices under the skin of the chicken.
    In the cavity of the chicken place the quartered lemon, 4 whole cloves of garlic, 2 whole sprigs of Thyme and 1 whole sprig of Rosemary.
    Tie the chickens legs together and tuck in the wings.
    Place chicken in roasting pan or dutch oven breast side down.
    Place in oven. Cook for about 20-30 minutes uncovered.
    Remove Chicken from oven and turn so the breast side is facing up.
    Add the wine to the pan, pouring over the chicken.
    Return to oven and cook for another 30 minutes.
    If the chicken skin is getting to brown either put the lid on (if using a dutch oven) or make a foil tent if using a roaster.
    Check the chicken.
    Cook chicken until a meat thermometer put in the thickest part of the breast reads 165.
    Remove from oven, let sit 5 minutes, then transfer to a platter and serve.

    After you have flipped the chicken begin prepping vegetables.
    Slice potatoes
    Cut off the green part of the leeks. Then cut the leek in half lengthwise. Then cut the leek into 3 inch sections with a diagonal cut.
    Slice the carrots the same way.
    Cut off the bottom/stem of the Brussels sprouts and then cut the Brussels sprouts in half.
    Peel the onion and then cut into quarters.
    Slice the mushrooms (or buy the already sliced ones like I did)
    Place all the veggies on a cookie sheet (the kind with the little edge/lip)
    Scatter a large pinch of kosher salt and pepper on the veggies.
    Pour oil over the veggies and mix them so they are coated.
    Place the whole sprigs of Thyme and Rosemary in with the veggies.
    Slice the lemon and place slices on the top of the veggies.
    Put veggies in the oven with the chicken and roast for 15-20 minutes or until just tender.
    Remove from oven, let sit for 5 minutes, then serve as a side with the Chicken.

    Happy Eating!

    Once upon a time....

    No this blog isn't a fairy tale :) it is just a journey. A journey through my life (and my husband's life) in food. I love to cook. It doesn't matter what I just love it! Sure there are times where I'm far to tired and I don't want to! But I love to cook. Cooking is a way to be creative, so express yourself, and make something that you can share with others. Nothing makes me happier than spending time planning and preparing a meal to share with family and friends. So please feel free to come over! But until you can join me at my table join my on this blog. I'll give recipes and show you (when I remember my camera in the kitchen - for a photographer I am very bad about taking pictures for myself!) how to make them and answer any questions you might have. So come along with me on this journey in the kitchen!

    For my first recipe I don't have any pictures (I promise I'll get better with the picture taking!). This recipe is my husband's creation and boy is it good!

    Rich's Fried Chicken (or pork)

    4 Boneless Chicken breasts/thighs/pork loins - TENDERIZED
    1 egg
    1/3 cup buttermilk or heavy whipping cream
    1/2 cup of bread crumbs - you may need more depending on absorption of meat to breading
    Salt to taste
    Black Pepper to taste
    *other seasonings can be added for different flavors to the preference of the dish (for example red pepper flakes, cumin, rosemary, chili powder, curry, etc)
    1/2 cup or more of frying oil - vegetable oil, sunflower oil, canola oil - DO NOT USE OLIVE OIL

    ~Mix egg and milk and beat together
    ~Mix together bread crumbs and desired seasonings
    ~Begin Heating oil, med to high heat for frying
    ~Place meat in egg/milk mixture for 2-3 minutes to get it slimy
    ~Take meat out and coat meat in bread crumb mixture to have a even breaded coating on meat
    ~When oil reaches frying temperature - check by taking a pinch of bread crumb mixture and putting it in oil to see if it sizzles
    ~Apply meat with breading to frying oil and cook meat entirely through - note the breading may darken faster than meat cooks, so use medium heat at first and flip meat consistently, cut meat in the center to check when done or use a meat thermometer to check internal temperature to make sure it is done.

    The meat is great to eat on it's own with sides, or cut up to put in a salad, or to put on biscuits or buns for a sandwich!

    Happy Eating!

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