WEEKEND COOKING

The only stumbling block is a fear of failure. In cooking you’ve got to have a what-the-hell attitude.

Julia Child

The weekend is a good time to try something new and follow Julia’s advise and have a what-the-hell attitude.

Lentil Ragu

The first recipe that caught my eye since last Thursday is Lentil Ragu which comes to us courtesy of Nigella Eats Everything.

Here is her own description of this recipe: “Although the thought of eating a plate of lentils alone doesn’t entice I can promise this recipe has dolled them up so much they’re positively sexy. It’s full of rich, salty olives packing a punch of umami. It’s also hearty and filling, perfect for a cold, wet day.”

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

Please visit NIGELLAEATSEVERYTHING.COM to get this delicious recipe.

Clam Pizza

The second recipe I am definitely going to try this weekend comes from Terri at Comfort du Jour. She has a recipe for the most amazing delicious clam pizza. This combines two of my favorite things.

Here is her own description of the recipe: “Topped with salty, slightly chewy littleneck clams and accented with fresh oregano, garlic and a copious amount of fluffy shredded Pecorino-Romano cheese, the white clam pizza meets every expectation for a casual meal, but with special ingredients and festive occasion flavor.”

To get this yummy recipe, please visit COMFORTDUJOUR.COM

Cous Cous Pancakes

And my third suggestion to try this weekend comes from Diane at In Dianes Kitchen. This recipe is a very novel use of cous cous. I think these pancakes would make a good bogo recipe. Make the cous cous on Friday for dinner and use the leftover to make the pancakes on Saturday.

Here in her own words is Diane’s description: “My husband bought couscous at the store and said maybe I could make something with it for my blog. Well little did he know I would surprise him with a recipe he went nuts over. I do not like green pepper and I can’t stand the smell when it cooks so I never make anything with it. My husband told me it tasted similar to a delicious omelette and that he definitely wants it again!”

To get this recipe please visit INDIANESKITCHEN.COM

I hope you will try one of these recipes this weekend. If you have a recipe you would like to see featured next Thursday, just drop me a line in the comments section.

Bon Appetit, Bernadette

Not Julia’s, Not Ina’s, just Bernadette’s Roasted Chicken

“You can always judge the quality of a cook or a restaurant by roast chicken.”

Julia Child

Hi there,

Today I am going to share with you my version of roasted chicken. I proceeded with this recipe investigation like Goldilocks. I tried Julia Child’s recipe and found chopping and cooking the vegetables along with the massaging a tad too much work. (Besides, I figure if anything is going to get a massage its going to be me🤣)

Then I tried Ina Garten’s roasted chicken. Ina uses similar herbs to my variation but she uses butter and doesn’t use lemon. And, she’s cooking for Jeffrey, and I’m cooking for Dom, who prefers olive oil to butter.

Well, the following is my recipe and as Goldilocks would say, my family finds it to be “just right”.

Roasted Chicken

Ingredients:

  • 5 lb. roaster
  • 1 fennel bulb
  • 2 leeks
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 sprigs each of rosemary and thyme
  • EVO
  • 1/2 cup of white wine
  • salt and pepper

Directions:

  • preheat oven to 400 degrees
  • in the bottom of roasting pan put the sliced fennel and leeks
  • add 1/2 cup of wine and salt & paper to leeks (I like to use Aleppo pepper)
  • dry the roasting chicken inside and out
  • stuff with rosemary, thyme and lemon sliced into quarters
  • spray or baste liberally the entire roaster with evo
  • liberally cover with salt and pepper
  • roast for approximately 1 and 1/2 hours or until 165 degrees internal temperature is reached
  • remove roaster from over and allow to rest on cutting board to about 10 minutes
  • with an immersion stick grind the leeks and fennel and combine with pan drippings
  • place the pan dripping puree on a serving platter and top with cut up chicken

Special note:

Aleppo Pepper is a favorite spice of mine. It is a little hotter but much more mellow than black pepper. Also, its red color gives foods a nice spark of color as you can see in the photo. If you can’t find Aleppo Pepper at the supermarket, it is easily available at Amazon. This is an easy company dish (if we are ever allowed to have company again). I serve it with balsamic glazed Brussel sprouts and savory twice baked sweet potatoes.

Thanks for taking the time to read, Bernadette Xxx

WEEKEND COOKING

People Who Love To Eat Are Always the Best People. Julia Child

The weekend gives us more time to fool around and experiment with different flavors, techniques and recipes that we may have been curious about but haven’t had time to try. I hope to make this a regular Thursday post with recipes that have intrigued me and that I would like to try. If you have something you would like see posted, just leave a link in the comments.

Mini Onion Tarts

by Jennifer https://www.curatedbyjennifer.com

SERVINGS 8

INGREDIENTS  

  • 2-3 onions
  • ½ cup uncooked quinoa
  • ¾ cup ground flax seed
  • 1¼ cup water
  • 2 tbsp almond butter
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 tsp dried thyme leaves, plus more for the top
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • vegan feta or goat cheese optional

INSTRUCTIONS 

  • Pre-heat oven to 350°
  • Peel the onions and cut off the ends and simmer whole in water or broth for about 1o minutes. Let cool and slice into thick rounds.
  • Cook the quinoa in a cup of water according to the packages instructions. It’s usually about 15-20 minutes.
  • In a bowl, mix together quinoa, flax seed, almond butter, minced garlic, almond butter, 1/4 cup of water, thyme, salt and pepper to taste.
  • Divide the mixture into 8 equal balls and flatten into circles.
  • Place an onion on top of each mixture and push down so the sides of the dough go up around on the onion.
  • Sprinkle each onion tart with thyme, salt and pepper
  • Bake for 20 minutes then broil for about 5 minutes until the onion is golden brown.
  • If using vegan cheese, sprinkle on top

This next recipe is from The Fabulous Fare Sisters, Linda and Heidi

FABULOUS FARE SISTERS

fabulousfaresisters.com

CHARLOTTE’S OLÉ DIP

 | LINDA

Here’s another one of my friend Charlotte’s appetizers that is always welcome at our get-togethers. In fact, we have to set aside a scoop or two before we put it in front of our guys because it’s usually gone so fast!! Thanks Charlotte for another great dip…

Charlotte’s Olé Dip
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 can Hormel Turkey Chili with Beans
1/2 cup Shredded Taco Cheese
Diced Olives (as much or as little as you like)
Canned drained green chilies (as much or as little as you like)
tortilla chips

Layer each ingredient in an 8″x8″ square serving dish. Cover with wax paper; place in the microwave and cook on high for 8 minutes. Serve with your favorite crispy tortilla chips. Serves 6-8 people as an appetizer.

This recipe is from Ribana at the https://popsiclesociety.com

Perfect Christmas season brunch

16h ago

The perfect combination for a super easy and healthy meal.

Servings 2 people

Ingredients

  • 1 small bell pepper
  • 3 tbsp tomato sauce (Barilla Napoletana sauce)
  • 1 can of chickpeas
  • 2 eggs
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  • a few fresh parsley leaves

Instructions

  • Slice the bell pepper and add it into a pan with a little bit of extra virgin olive oil, salt & pepper. Cover the pan with the lid and let it cook for 1-2 minutes.
  • Add the tomatoes sauce. I like to use Barilla Napoletana sauce because it has onion, garlic, carrots and Mediterranean herbs combined perfectly with the tasty Italian tomatoes.
  • Let it cook for 1-2 minutes then add the drained chickpeas.
  • Mix it well and make 2 wholes and put the eggs.
  • Season with salt and pepper and let it cook with the lid on for 1-2 minutes or until the eggs are done but the yolk is still runny.
  • Add a few fresh parsley leave if you want and enjoy it as is still hot.

It is not only delicious but also healthy. Enjoy it!

I hope you have enjoyed reading these recipes and will be inspired to try one or two of them this weekend. Also, if you have time, please visit the three blogs that I have cited.

Happy Weekend Cooking, BernadetteXxx

Another BOGO Recipe

Hi there,

Today I am going to share with you two recipes using fig preserves. A few years ago, my husband planted two fig trees. (We live in New Jersey, so you can see I married an optimist). Well, to my delight, the trees produced an abundance of figs. Like any other fresh fruit, the harvest comes all at once. So I decided to make preserves and freeze the preserves to keep the sunshine to warm us for the long winter ahead.

Fig Preserves

Ingredients

  • 7 cups of figs
  • 3 cups of sugar
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/8 tsp of pepper flakes

Directions

  • Combine the whole figs, sugar, and lemon juice in a large saucepan.
  • Cook and stir until the sugar is dissolved and the juice is as thick as desired
  • Ladle into 1/2 cup containers and freeze

Fig Glazed Bake Salmon

Ingredients:

  • 1 container of fig preserves
  • 2 teaspoons of dijon mustard
  • 2 salmon filets
  • sprig of thyme
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 1 soaked cedar plank

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 375 or light outside grill to medium
  • Place salmon filets on the plank
  • slice 1/2 way through the salmon filets and place sprig of thyme in the cut
  • squeeze the lemon juice over the filets
  • combine the mustard with the preserves and smear on the salmon filets
  • grill or roast to desired degree of doneness

Special note:

I completely get that not everyone has fig preserves hanging around in their freezer. Don’t hesitate to buy fig preserves and stir in a little bit of heat to the jar. The measurement for supermarket fig preserves would be 1/2 cup.

When I cook on the plank in the oven, I place the plank on a piece of aluminum foil. The kitchen will smell a bit of cedar which I don’t find offensive but if you do, the exhaust fan will eliminate the odor swiftly.

Do you have any other favorite fig recipes? Please share❤️

Stay warm, Bernadette Xxx

“WEEDS”

Hi there,

Mario Batali has a classic recipe called weeds. I think that it is called weeds because the sauce is best served over fusilli and that shape apparently is reminiscent of weeds in Italy.

If you like Bolognese Sauce but don’t like all the stirring this is the sauce for you. I have lightened up the recipe by using chicken Italian Sausage but you can also use pork sausage if that appeals to you.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 large sweet onion
  • 4 sweet sausage links
  • 4 hot sausage links
  • 6 ounces of tomato paste
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup of whole milk
  • salt and pepper
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 1 lb fusilli or rotelle

Directions

  • in a 12 to 14 inch saute pan over low heat melt the oil and butter and soften the onions for 6 to 8 minutes
  • remove the sausage from their casing
  • increase the heat to medium and cook sausage for 10 minutes. Breaking up the sausage into small pieces.
  • drain most of the fat and add the tomato past, stirring often, until a deep rust color – approximately 5 minutes.
  • add the wine and boil down until almost evaporated
  • stir in the milk, salt, pepper and nutmeg and reduce the heat to a simmer.
  • cover and cook for 15 minutes
  • bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil
  • add the pasta and cook al dente
  • drain the pasta saving 1/2 cup of pasta water
  • add the pasta to the pan with the sausage. If it is too dry add pasta water to the mixture until the sauce clings to the pasta
  • serve with grated Parmigano
  • serves 8 people

Special note:

I would like to thank Frank Tedesco for introducing me to this excellent recipe. He isn’t called Franky Meatballs fo nothing!

Felice anno nuovo, Bernadette Xxx

OLIVE ALL’ ASCOLANA (FRIED STUFFED OLIVES)

Hi there,

Today I am sharing with you a recipe that came to me from my daughter-in-law, Hillary and my friend, Dianne. It has been a Christmas Tradition for several years to make these fried olives from the Marche region of Italy. The original recipe, albeit very delicious, is very heavy. I am sharing with you a lightened version that is more in line with the diet and health concerns of a modern cook.

Although this recipe is somewhat time consuming, the results are delicious and well worth the effort.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 small onion finely chopped
  • 4 oz ground beef
  • 4 oz fennel sausage removed from casing
  • 4 oz ground chicken
  • 2 oz white wine
  • 4 oz marinara sauce
  • 4 oz ground pecorino cheese
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 2 dozen eggs
  • wondra flour
  • large container of breadcrumbs
  • large container of panko
  • olive oil
  • 2 21 oz jars of queen size (very large) olives

Directions

  • brown the onion is some olives oil until wilted
  • add the meat, sausage and chicken to the pan and cook on medium heat. The meat does not need to brown.
  • add the wine, marinara sauce and the pinch of nutmeg to the pan and reduce the liquid until it is almost completely absorbed by the meat
  • stir in the ground pecorino cheese
  • at this point take the mixture and put it into your food processor and process until it forms a rough paste
  • refrigerate this mixture and work on your olives
  • take a jar and a half of the olives, slice long ways and remove the pimento (save the pimento for future use)
  • stuff the meat mixture into the olives. It is ok to have some of the mixture on the outside of the olive, just form into a round.
  • at this point you will set up a breading station. Scramble about 6 eggs at a time, have one dish with the breadcrumbs and one with the panko and a cookie sheet for the finished olives.
  • dip the stuffed olives into the eggs
  • cover with breadcrumbs and dip into eggs again
  • dip into the panko and place on the cookie sheet
  • at this point you will probably have about 75 breaded olives
  • allow olives to set up for about an hour and then spray with olive oil on top and bottom of the olive
  • put into an air fryer set at 425 and keep an eye on them. The olives will probably be brown in about 3 minutes and should be turned over until browned on the other side.
  • You can enjoy these hot or served a room temperature. DO NOT REHEAT IN A MICROWAVE,

Special Note: You can always fry these olives in olive oil on the stove top. I set aside what I am going to serve and freeze the remaining olives uncooked. The olives freeze beautifully if put in a bag and allowed to lie flat until solidly frozen. Then for future use cook the olives straight from the freezer.

I hope that you will try this recipe. It makes a very impressive appetizer to serve with drinks. Although the directions are rather long, the process is very easy. It is a fun thing to make with friends or even get your children in the act.

Buon Natale e Felice Anno Nuovo, Bernadette. Xxx

NEW CLASSIC GINGERBREAD HOUSE

How adorable is this? The directions for it can be found at

https://www.epicurious.com/holidays-events/gingerbread-house-photos-article?utm_source=nl&utm_brand=epi&utm_mailing=EPI_CTN_121820&utm_campaign=aud-dev&utm_medium=email&bxid=5be9cd8d3f92a40469df4487&cndid=30753145&hasha=1447f9c90435330b7f3dc29d00a384ad&hashb=0d912b59993a9d6ee8453c9661829063af75af24&hashc=b75d5bcd989ff97a442517c2de44e930937c35b262ba5b2c3ed98cebc32b84ca&esrc=EPI-Beekman%20Promo&utm_content=Final&utm_term=EPI_CTN

If anyone makes this, please post a picture.

Happy Saturday, Bernadette Xxx

EASY AND QUICK BISCOTTI

Hi there,

A great majority of us seem to be turning to the homemade as a more heartfelt way to give a Christmas present or a hostess present, I thought I would share with you a very easy way to make Biscotti. You can make these delicious cookies in the morning and have them wrapped for giving by the afternoon.

PILLSBURY CRANBERRY QUICK BREAD BISCOTTI

Ingredients:

  • 1 (15.6 oz.) pkg. Pillsbury Cranberry Quick Bread Mix
  • !/2 cup melted butter
  • 2 eggs slightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup white vanilla chips
  • 2 to 5 tablespoons all purpose flower
  • 4 tablespoons of powdered sugar

Directions:

  • Heat oven to 350°F. Spray large cookie sheet with nonstick cooking spray. In large bowl, combine quick bread mix, butter and eggs; stir 50 to 75 strokes with spoon until mix is moistened. (Dough will be sticky.) Stir in vanilla chips.
  • Sprinkle work surface with 1 to 2 tablespoons of the flour. Turn dough out onto floured surface. Roll dough into ball, adding flour as necessary to prevent sticking. Divide dough in half; place on sprayed cookie sheet. Form each half into 9×3-inch loaf, placing 4 inches apart. Flatten tops slightly.
  • Bake at 350°F. for 23 to 30 minutes or until light golden brown. Remove from oven. Cool 15 minutes.
  • On cutting board, cut each loaf into 3/4-inch crosswise slices. Place slices upright and 1 inch apart on same cookie sheet.
  • Return to oven; bake an additional 12 to 18 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven; sprinkle with powdered sugar. Cool 10 minutes. Serve warm or cool.

Special note:

You can add a 1/2 cup of nuts to this recipe to make it super delicious. I particularly like to use pistachios but any nut lends itself well to this recipe. Also, if I have time, I skip the powdered sugar and melt white or dark chocolate and ice the cookies with the chocolate and sprinkle some holiday jimmies on the sliced cookies.

❤️ Bernadette