Smokin’ mushrooms! And have a smokin’ happy Thanksgiving.
On the last leg of Canadian trip this past summer we were in Burlington, VT and I had made reservations at a cool restaurant, The Hen of the Wood in Burlington. Well, I thought it was in Burlington and when we had our Uber driver drop us off there was a sign on the door saying they had had a “fire” and please visit their Waterbury location. I had made reservations at the wrong restaurant (never done that before).
After walking around downtown for a while we settled on Pascolo Ristorante and chose to eat at the bar rather than wait an hour for a table. We love eating at bars if there is something interesting going on that we want to watch. I ordered their delicious smoked mushroom pappardelle pasta with marsala cream, rosemary and truffle oil. Like many restaurant recipes it wasn’t hard to come up with a recipe.
Great for a bunco snack or even dinner.
I love food on a stick. Who doesn’t love a good corndog, ice cream on a stick or even a salad on a stick.
Looking around online I actually found some other “stick” foods I would like to try. Cheesecake pops, caramel apple slices, tater tot skewers and even a pesto shrimp skewer with cauliflower mash (now that sounds good and I better save that before I lose it.) I got distracted on that last recipe and decided to take a look at it; low carb if you use the cauliflower mash but I was thinking how delicious it would be with some good stone ground grits. I will try both ways soon for sure.
Crawfish and wild rice stuffed chicken thigh.
When visiting Missouri last winter my nephew, Todd, made these stuffed chicken thighs full of wild and long grain rice and crawfish. And after smoking on his Big Green Egg (and he has a really big one) smothered them with a creamy crawfish sauce.
Chicken thighs are my favorite cut of chicken. I prefer to buy it on the bone because there’s so much more flavor when they are cooked. This particular time though, I bought boneless and pounded out a little to make them large enough to hold all the filling I wanted to fill them with.
Delicious and healthy too.
Have a garden? Growing zucchini? Have some very large ones you don’t know what to do with? Well, this recipe is for you, and healthy to boot.
If you’ve been looking around my blog for a while you’ve probably noticed that my site is not a “diet” site (and never will be) but neither is it loaded with fat; well maybe some recipes tend to be a little fattening. By what kind of life would this be if we didn’t enjoy good food occasionally.
I have to say that after our trip to Canada this summer I was afraid to get on the scales. We discovered Tim Horton’s chain which has the most delicious donuts and pastries. Then there is all that delicious food we allowed our selves to eat — pates, rillette’s, tea at the Fairmont, more alcohol than I’ve had in a year and desserts every meal; and why not since we were celebrating (again) our 50th wedding anniversary. Oh, I forgot, in Quebec City our hotel left a picnic basket every morning on our door full of pastries, cheeses, fruit and much more. So, after a month being back I decided I’d better weigh and face the music. Even though there was a gain, it was only .02 of a lb. So all that food was more than worth the calories I consumed while traveling.
Another one of those recipes I told you about from vacation.
The most special thing about this recipe, I thought, was the truffled bean puree on the plate. Below is my plate from Sky at Beaches in Turks and Caicos.
The above bean puree is a little thinner than what I used on my plate and the salmon at Sky didn’t have the crunchy coating AND I didn’t have the broccoli and cauliflower. But like I said the truffle bean puree was what got my attention.
I use to keep truffle oil but I never really used it that much except on shoestring french fries (and those are fantastic). I feel like after a year it was old and threw it away and while on a trip somewhere I had purchased a small jar of truffle salt. This worked perfect in the bean puree; just enough truffle flavor without overpowering the dish.
My bean puree should have been a little thinner but since I really liked the flavor I wanted more on my plate. I think it would be much easier to smear on the plate had it been thinner.
Appetizer or main dish? Your choice.
Another tasty appetizer (or entree) I recreated after having it on vacation. And, will Fall just ahead of us this risotto and pork belly dish would make a great appetizer, small plate, or meal.
When were were on our first anniversary trip of the summer at Beaches in Turks and Caicos I had this dish at Sky Restaurant (rooftop) which had such a breathtaking view I could have eaten a bologna sandwich and thought it was the best thing in the world at the moment.
We had dinner there twice; once just the two of us when we first arrived and then after the kids arrived we ate there another night (minus the grand boys). The first night I had to try the crab and avocado appetizer which was delicious and then appetizer for pork belly and butternut squash caught my eye. I could have ordered a second appetizer but I knew the salmon dish was coming and I didn’t want to be so stuffed that I wouldn’t enjoy it.
Easy pasta dish for the summer.
Don’t you just love pasta dishes for the summer. Pasta cooks in under 10 minutes and everything else that goes into the dish takes a matter of minutes. So, in less than 30 minutes you can have this dish on the table and have time to open that bottle of wine.
This was a Michael Symon recipe that I saw on Food Network. I love buying different shapes of pasta and for this particular recipe I bought a casarecce pasta which is kind of twisted. His recipe called for a cup of mint leaves but I only used 1/2 cup since hub does not care for mint that much.
One other change I will do next time is the cooking of the snow peas and peas. I would not cook. I wanted them to stay bright green and have a little crunch to them so I would recommend maybe sautéing the green onions a couple of minutes then throwing in the peas and pasta and cook just long enough to heat the snow peas and English peas.
Great little flatbread from not so good restaurant.
Normally I don’t complain about food I get in a restaurant. Well, maybe I do if it isn’t good; but I haven’t emailed this hotel yet and probably won’t because even though the service was kind of good and chef couldn’t really manage to get more than one order out at a time out, I came away this this idea for a flatbread pizza.
The night before we left for our Turks and Caicos vacation we decided to spend the night down in Houston since our flight was at 6:30 am. If we didn’t go down early that would have meant getting up like at 3:00 a.m. to get down there for our flight. We stayed at a hotel that didn’t have a restaurant and since we had Ubered down there we didn’t have a car and we ended up walking down the street to the Hilton Garden Inn for dinner. GA’s tuna bowl was well done instead of medium rare and arrived about 10 minutes before my Asian salad that tasted nothing like an Asian salad BUT we ordered a flatbread to share for an appetizer and it was the best thing I have tasted in a long time.
Tiny little quail legs made fantastic appetizer.
Sometime last year I was visiting my daughter, Alexis, in Austin and one day her mother-in-law, Kittie took us to Jack Allen’s Kitchen for lunch. We ordered some quail legs for an appetizer and they were so delicious I knew I had to try and recreate the recipe. (Thanks for lunch Kittie.)
At Christmas we rented a house on Lake Travis and it was a nice big house where we enjoyed five nights of being together, playing our favorite game, Catan, and of course cooking. The kitchen wasn’t as well stocked with equipment as I would have liked but we made do with what we had. My son, Paul, and I are pretty hard to please when it comes to the way a kitchen is equipped; but we managed to do some Escargot and these quail legs for appetizers while there.
Stir-fries, what’s not to like?
Rapid cooking over a high heat; that’s how to stir-fry. And, what’s not to like about a stir fry; lots of vegetables, quick cooking with dinner on the table in a matter of minutes.
I’ve been stir-frying for years and still have 3 woks even though I keep trying to give them away to one of my kids; I like using in my 13″ All-Clad skillet; more bottom heat surface and I think even quicker than a wok.
There’s quite a few recipes on RATG using this method; Egg Roll in a Bowl being one of them. If you like egg rolls this is an easy dinner with all the taste of your your favorite Chinese appetizer. Chicken Fried Rice with Vegetables, Sichuan Pork Ragu, and my Thai Shrimp and Eggplant Stir-Fry are a few of the others I have posted in the past. What’s great about stir-friy is that all the prep work can be done early in the day or even the day before when makes throwing a meal together even faster.
Chicken Tetrazzini, Mema’s way.
Mema was my husband’s mother (and Mema to grandkids and great grandkids) and all of us always had our favorite things we wanted her to make for us for holidays/birthdays/special occasions.
As a kid, my husband would beg for his “own” date nut roll when his mom was making them to give to friends at Christmas. My kids always liked her chex mix and there were always cans of the mix ready when we went to visit.
I remember going to GA’s house for dinner one night when we were dating back in high school and his mother had made chicken chow mein and he kept saying you are really going to like this and I did and I still make it years later.
Other favorites were her pimento cheese, pecan rolls, white beans and cornbread. Everyone had their favorites and she would gladly make them for their special day. And, at Thanksgiving she always wanted the same thing – cranberry relish, cornbread dressing (of course cornbread), giblet gravy (who doesn’t like giblet gravy) and sweet potato casserole. My family now is divided on whether to put marshmallows on top of the sweet potatoes. I’m sure Mema used the marshmallows.
Good and bad from Poppycocks…
So, the bad I will get out of the way first. We had dinner one night at Poppycocks in Traverse City, MI and my husband had the worst meal ever. It was cold, the plating didn’t make sense, vegetables looked raw and even after sending it back it still wasn’t good or even hot. In almost 50 years of marriage I don’t think he has sent anything back. The fish had no color and looked steamed and who puts a big chunk of cold tomato under a cooked piece of fish.
Now to the good. I really felt quilty eating my delicious Key Lime Shrimp and Pasta dish. It was so good and the lime flavor was so refreshing. I offered him a bite (only one) which he refused because he was waiting on his plate to be reheated. I think maybe they took the plate back and just looked at it and brought it back. So much for the SPECIAL of the evening.