Tired of flipping fries in the oven?

81Drbt9a1yL._SL1500_Try a pizza screen. This is not only great for frozen pizza and take and bake’s but it is get for other frozen food. French fries, already battered fish or fish sticks this thing is great for those frozen food items you don’t want to get up to flip over. This one is from Thunder Group and sold on Amazon.


Special Burgers!

Well the other day I had a conversation with my mom about one of the burgers she used to make.
She calls them Swedish meatballs, but they are pretty good no matter what you call them.
1 pound of hamburger
tsp thyme & marjoram
Salt & pepper to taste
one egg
1/4 onion finely chopped
mix all together and make your patty’s.
Good as sliders. With some cheese.

Vodka instead of Gin.

Yes, I like gin martini’s but there is nothing wrong with vodka martini’s either, James Bond likes them. It was one of those things that got me thinking about some old time drinks.
A Pink Lady, it’s usually made with gin and applejack, grenadine and an egg white. I’ve also seen it without the applejack or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream instead of an egg white. It’s also not bad if you switch from gin to vodka especially with the ice cream version.
Can you think of some others that might be good with vodka instead of gin?

Apple pancake……hmmmmm.

applepancake2This recipe requires a 10-inch oven proof pan, I used a cast iron skillet when I made this recipe and it turned out great.
Batter: 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (about 2 1/4 ounces), 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, 1/8 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon grated whole nutmeg (using fresh is always better), 2 large eggs, 1 cup milk, 2 tablespoons butter (melted), 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.
Apple mixture: Cooking spray, 1/2 cup granulated sugar (divided), 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon grated whole nutmeg, 1 cup thinly sliced Granny Smith or other firm tart apple.
Remaining ingredients: 1 tablespoon powdered sugar.
Prepare batter, lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking powder, 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, salt, and 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Combine eggs, milk, butter, and vanilla in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Let stand 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Prepare apple mixture, coat bottom and sides of a 10-inch ovenproof skillet with cooking spray. Combine 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg; sprinkle evenly over bottom and sides of pan. Arrange apple in even spokelike layer in pan. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup sugar. Cook over medium heat 8 minutes or until mixture bubbles. Slowly pour batter over apple mixture.
Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375 (do not remove pancake from oven); bake an additional 13 minutes or until center is set. Carefully loosen pancake with spatula. Gently slide pancake onto serving platter. Sift powdered sugar over top.
Great quick and easy warm snack for 6.

Adventures in Grilled Cheese.

Grilled cheese is one of those things for a cold day.
Well here is a little different take on the normal grilled cheese.
The one in the front is made with grilled sweet onions on rustic bread with fresh mozzarella cheese, dipped in an egg wash and grilled in hot olive oil in a frying pan. The grilled onions were grilled with butter.
The one at the back is a Grilled Cheese Bruschetta Sandwich.
Small grape tomatoes cut up with minced garlic and minced sweet onions, drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinaigrette, with basil and parsley added in. Same bread was used as above and cheese with the egg wash.
Now I would like to say something about hot verses room temp on Grilled Cheese sandwiches. While some are fine at room temp, others are better hot. Case in point of these two sandwiches the Grilled Cheese and Sweet Onion is far better when hot and the Bruschetta one is much better at room temp, only because it has time to give the flavor of the bruschetta to the rest of the sandwich.

Tucci ragu sauce, with a little change.

The original recipe can be found in The Tucci Cookbook.
1/4 cup olive oil in a stew pot over medium-high heat. Sear 2 pounds of stew beef that has had the fat trimmed from it. Should take about 10 mins or so to make sure it is browned on all sides. Once browned remove from pot and place in a bowl for later.
Put 1 cup finely chopped sweet onions in the stew pot with one teaspoon of finely minced garlic. Reduce heat to low and cook the onions until they become soft. Stir in 1/2 cup of dry red wine and scrap the bottom of pan. Add 6-oz can of tomato paste. Then a 1/2 cup water and warm paste thoroughly.
Add 28-oz of Italian plum tomatoes that have been pureed and 28-oz of regular tomatoes also pureed. Add 3 fresh basil leaves and teaspoon of dried oregano. Cover leaving the lid slightly askew and simmer about 30 mins.
At this pot return the meat and all juices in the bowl to the pot. Add teaspoon black pepper freshly ground and a pinch of seas salt. Also a little parsley. Let this cook for about 2 hours. This is thicker than the original sauce.
We found this very good over penne pasta. Served with a nice red wine.
You will find the original recipe of page 122 of the book and it is amazing.

A wonderful New Cookbook.

Being home sick can give you time to look at those things that have been showing up during the course of the month that you haven’t taken the time to look at.
The Tucci Cookbook Is one of those things. It was just released on the 10th of October. It has some amazing recipes inside. A few of the recipes have alternative ideas with them, which is something I always love. A few that I can alter myself, I may discuss in the upcoming months. Take a peek at this wonderful, making my mouth water cookbook.

Schnitzel, Red Cabbage, Cucmbers & Onions

1 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 tsp paprika
salt and pepper
mixed with breadcrumbs
1 egg
1 lb pork tenderloin cut into 1/2 inch pieces
olive oil
lemon wedges

Once you have cut the tenderloins, place them one at a time between two pieces of saran wrap and pound them thin. Place the one at a time in the egg wash coat completely. Then cover them in the bread crumb mixture.
Place in frying pan with heated olive oil and cook completely.
Serve with Cabbage and lemon wedges.

Bavarian Red Cabbage
One medium size head of read cabbage, shredded.
one whole onion diced
2 cloves
2 bay leaves
4 slices of bacon or 2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 apple cored and diced
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar, 1 tablespoon sugar, salt and pepper to taste.
half a potato grated, 1/4 water.

Cut bacon into small pieces and brown or just add olive oil to dutch oven on low to med.
add onions and cook until soft then add cloves and cabbage and all other ingredients (except potato).
Cover. Stir occasionally so as not to burn, when cabbages is wilted and potato to thicken juices.
Ready to serve. Usually this is much better if made a day ahead then slowly reheated.

Cucumber and Onions

One cucumber
half red or Vandal onion
salt and pepper
red wine vinegar

remove outside of cucumber, slice thin, place in bowl
add minced up onion, season with salt and pepper, add vinegar about 2 tablespoons and stir.
Let sit for at least and hour before serving.

Good luck and enjoy.