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Entree

Entree/ Poultry

White Balsamic Chicken with Tarragon

Delicious recipe even with the rosemary substitute.

When I buy nice balsamic and olive oils from specialty stores I tend to hoard them. I will use them for salad dressings but don’t ever want to waste them on just any ordinary recipe I might be preparing.

So when I saw this White Balsamic Chicken Thigh recipe on milkstreet.com site I knew I was going to have to let go of some of my “stash” and give this recipe a try. I had no tarragon growing and if I did it would have been dead from one of our recent freezes we’ve had here in our little part of Texas. I don’t normally plant or even buy tarragon because I don’t care for the pungent, licorice-like taste. So, good thing I had some rosemary that survived the freeze and I used that as a substitute.

My HUB is always up to trying out new recipes. What choice does he have though; here in Round Top nothing is opened Monday-Wednesday anyway so anything i make on those days i have a captive audience with him for trying a new dish or two. He liked the results of this dish which I will be making again even though I will have to give up some of my precious white balsamic vinegar.

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Entree/ Legumes

Creamy White Beans with Herb Oil

Do I like beans or what? Another bean recipe.

There is nothing my comforting than a  bowl of beans no matter how they are prepared. Some cold winter night or even a rainy day this would be a super easy recipe to prepare for your family.

I happened upon this recipe on my New York Times Cooking app or New York Times cooking section; I don’t really remember other than it came from NYT — thanks anyway for the recipe.

This recipe could probably be made for less than $10 even if you had to buy the herbs to make the herb oil. Beans when combined with grains form a complete protein; see my White Beans and Sausage recipe – that dish would be a complete protein meal. Beans have no cholesterol, no saturated fat and lower in calories than most animal proteins.

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Entree/ Pasta

Orecchiette Snap Peas and Italian Sausage

What a combination of YUM!

I just say “little ears” because oh-reck-ee-ET-tay is a little hard say. So let’s cook some “little ears” pasta also know as Orecchiette. 

Orecchiette in Italian translates to “little ears”. It’s a small, ear-shaped pasta that originated in southern Italy and it’s the perfect pasta to pair with rich creamy sauces because the little bowl shaped pastas hold all your yummy sauce.

A few weeks ago I was laying under a machine for an hour and half looking at the ceiling while having a HIAD test (gallbladder). Anyway, I’m thinking about this post and what I was going to write about and all these visions of pasta came to mind. Remember Lady and The Tramp movie where the little dogs are sucking the spaghetti and end up at the same end of the noodle and “kiss”. Don’t ask me why that was the first thing I thought of; but then I’m thinking of canned spaghetti “o’s” my kids use to eat when they were younger. Can’t believe I fed that to them.  

I have brought back different shapes and colors of pasta from just about every trip we have taken. I packed Italian pastas in my suitcase, chocolate pasta from Pikes Market in Seattle, little tiny squares of pasta for soup that I found in Canada and there is always a special pasta waiting for me in any little specialty shop I might go into.

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Entree/ Pork

White Beans, Rice and Sausage

No, not Red Beans and Rice but White Beans and Rice!

Red beans and rice fan? I like red beans and rice but think I like the white beans and rice with sausage even better. Although, cheese doesn’t really pair that well with white beans so I may keep them both on my menu list.

My sister and I, from almost the day we were married, use to write down our menus for the week. I would not vary from what I had planned for the week. If I said I was having pork lo mean on a Thursday then that’s what I prepared. These days, I still make out menus for the week but hardly ever do I stick to a schedule because it seems like most of the time we end up going out to eat and that is usually for Mexican food or to local JW Steakhouse for fish or chicken night. If I want something really good and different I’m going to make it myself at home.

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Entree/ Pork/ Salads

Grilled Pork and Peach Salad

Southern Living recipe with some tweaking.

I have always loved Southern Living’s recipes. Back in the 70’s I submitted and had accepted about 5 recipes for the SL magazine. For having a recipe published in the magazine I received the yearly annual SL cookbook and also 50 recipe cards with “my recipe that appeared in SL magazine”.  I actually still have a few of those cards somewhere in boxes in storage.

When I first saw this recipe and made it I could still buy good “cling free” peaches. This salad would be just as delicious for a Fall dinner using roasted apples. Pork and apples make the perfect combo.

The recipe begged (I think) for some charred corn and definitely some avocado. Wished I’d had some cilantro and I would have given it a good sprinkling. The bread slices are so crusty and oily and when it mixes with the greens and pork make for the perfect bite of food.

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Entree/ Pasta

Bucatini with Spinach, Bacon and Creamy Parmesan Sauce

Who doesn’t love a good pasta dish?

While in Chicago a few weeks ago I made this Bucatini pasta dish. I love bucatini. It’s spaghetti on steroids with a hole through the middle. There are so many interesting shapes and sizes of pasta it is always hard for me to make up my mind what to try next. And I buy pasta wherever I go.  I’ve bought chocolate pasta at Pike’s Market in Seattle and brought back some cool shapes of pasta from Italy and France.    

The night I made this recipe we served it with seared scallops on top. I made it again after returning home to Round Top and used sliced grilled chicken thighs on top. Both ways were delicious; when I do again I’ll choose the grilled chicken thighs.

This recipe is fairly quick to make with or without the scallops. The only change I made to juliasalbum.com’s recipe was to add sun-dried tomatoes the second time I made this dish. (Note: the sun-dried tomatoes were great)

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Beef/Veal/ Beef/Veal/ Entree

Stuffed Bell Peppers with Cauliflower Rice

Stuffed Peppers for dinner!

Don’t you love bell peppers, and to stuff them with something healthy and delicious makes them even better.

I have some pepper planted outside this year. We’ll see what they produce.  I’ve also planted some shishito peppers and I’m really hoping they produce big time; also trying some okra, and cherry tomatoes in our tiny back yard garden at our tiny house here in Round Top.

My mother always made stuffed peppers with cooked rice mixed with the hamburger meat on the inside and I loved them that way and still make them occasionally. Sometimes I can shut my eyes and see her cooking in the kitchen and smell the food I remember her cooking. There’s this one song, “The Wayward Wind”, I still remember playing in the background from a transistor radio while she is cooking. Do you have memories like this?

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Entree/ Fish/Seafood

Blackened Red Fish with Lots of Butter

Redfish with lots of butter!

I guess by now you know if you don’t want to read a bunch of text you can simply scroll through this “no ads” food blog and find the recipe. I, too, get tired of scrolling forever trying to find a recipe and seeing an ad every other paragraph.  I have no ads for two reasons, first, I could never figure out how to get them on the blog and secondly I do this purely as a hobby. When, I’m not baking at Lollitop Sweet Shop with son, Paul I may actually find time to fire up some new dishes at home.

This recipe I found while searching for  New Orleans fish recipes (nola.com). I love looking at different city’s newspapers that I can find on line for their regional cuisine recipes.  I usually pick cities like Louisville (lived there), San Francisco (been there), NYC (been there too) and southern cities like Savannah, Charleston, New Orleans. It’s also fun to come across really good restaurants and I will pick through their menu to find something I might want to recreate. I still have an idea for a dish we had in Aux Baux France in 2012 at Le Varietes (and it is still on the menu; must be a favorite) for Poulet Sauce Tapenade Verte. It was a beautiful chicken dish with stacks of green and black tapenade and served with a tower of red rice (which I have).

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Appetizers/ Entree/ Game/ HotApp

Buttermilk Fried Quail Legs

Talk about pretty legs!

Pretty bird legs! No not those thin, little legs you might see on someone so skinny that if you were to put them on a flagpole they would wave in the wind. That certainly doesn’t describe me and probably never will. Although my sister (twin) and I did have little bird legs when we were young. I don’t think we ate much other than Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup. That changed, hence the current results.

So these pretty little legs were from a few quail that gave their lives for us to enjoy them as an appetizer on New Year’s Eve. (That sounds pretty sad – but they were delicious.) They were so good I have to say thank you little quails. Normally I’m not that great frying things and my husband does all that outside on the grill with his huge 13″ cast iron skillet. This particular New Year’s Eve it was rainy and cold, just us, and me not wanting to go all out making fancy appetizers for just two people, I decided to boil some shrimp and make a good cocktail sauce and then decided I’d better fry these little legs inside.

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Beef/Veal/ Entree/ Pasta

Beef Stroganoff

Been decades but I still like this recipe.

So you are wondering how many ways can one possibly do beef stroganoff. Well, I couldn’t find many recipes that veered off the traditional recipe.

All I knew when I started this recipe was I wanted to use our leftover delicious bone-in ribeye steak that we had for Christmas dinner. We had bought these steaks and some other meats at Eckermanns Meat Market in Fayetteville (TX) (my now go-to for delicious meats and sliced pork belly that I love).

My daughter, Alexis, had brought me some trofie shaped pasta on her first visit to see us after our move to Round Top. I guess I was complaining too much I couldn’t find certain things that was easy to pick up in The Woodlands. Now I know (I already knew this) if I can’t find it, then I can order it probably from Amazon.

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Game/ Side dish

Roasted Tomato and Corn Grits with Duck Confit

I love grits!

I love grits and I love roasted tomatoes and who doesn’t love duck confit. This duck confit just happened to be given to me by my son Paul.

I’ve made confit the traditional way where the duck is covered with duck fat and cooked long and slow in an oven and I’ve made David Leboritz’s counterfeit duck confit where it isn’t cooked in fat (much cheaper) and is still just as tender. I loved using my son’s confit because I know he put a lot of tender loving care into making it.

All the years I’ve made cheese grits I’ve cooked some on stove top before adding in butter and eggs (to thicken) and then finish them in the oven. For this recipe I’m doing all the cooking on the stovetop and eliminating the eggs.

Since moving to Round Top I’m missing all my cooking utensils, pans and everything from my kitchen. (Update: we are now in our second/long term temporary and I have cabinet full (not all) of my cooking things) I think at least 60% of our boxes were from my kitchen, I have ever pan imaginable and every serving piece I could possibly ever need.

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Entree/ Pork/ Sandwiches

Cassoulet Toast

Not the time consuming two day project of a traditional cassoulet.

What is a cassoulet you say? Well if you like white beans then let me tell you about this cassoulet. No it isn’t a casserole it’s a slow cooked dish (maybe casserole would be a stretch) that contains meats like bacon, pork sausage, ham, pork skin, duck and can have goose or mutton.

Making a traditional (French) cassoulet would take you a couple of days at least. By the time you make your duck confit and prep everything and then cook for hours the next day, you have invested a lot of time into what you might think is just beans and ham. The first time I we made this (or Paul/Scott made it) we did the confit one day and we used dried beans and not canned beans. It gets stirred during the day while cooking so the crusty top layer gets pushed to the bottom. If you want to see their results look here.

I won’t go into more details in making the tradition version because this Cassoulet Toast is easy. I first saw the recipe at David Lebovitz’s site and was one he had made from Susan Spungen’s book The Open Kitchen. Susan is a cook, food stylist, recipe developer and author. I started following her on Instagram because of her food pictures and now I own her book and can’t wait to try some of her recipes.

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