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Sunday, June 16, 2019

Baked Chicken Parmesan

Well…I had another one of those days. I had pulled chicken out of the freezer to thaw in the morning with absolutely no plans for said chicken.  The kids were begging for spaghetti and meat sauce, but we had *just* polished off the leftovers from Pastitso (not that the kids would eat it, of course), so I was in no mood for more of what is essentially the same.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Taco Scalloped Potatoes

*waves hands wildly in the air*

But I don’t always have ham on hand (call me crazy but I only make scalloped potatoes and ham when I have baked ham on hand.  I could probably make it with store bought ham, but nope, never do.)

Monday, June 10, 2019

Chicken Albondigas

It’s already the 10th, which means it’s time to travel the culinary world with the Eat the World Recipe Challenge!  This month takes us to Israel!

As usual with this challenge, I’ve had Israeli food, so a lot of research was needed.  The recipes were all over the place and I had no idea what was authentic or not.  I was kind of stumped.

Then I randomly opened an email from Amazon – you know the kind you ignore all the time?  Those, “look at all this cool stud that comes with your Prime membership!” type of things.  I nearly always delete them with nary a cursory glance.  But for whatever reason, this time I clicked through and started looking at the books.  And after a scroll or two, what do I see, but Zahav, a cookbook all about Israeli food!

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Pastitsio (Greek Lasagna)

It’s Cook the Books Club time and I was ahead of the game this month!   This month’s pick was Blood, Bones, and Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chefby Gabrielle Hamilton.

Here’s my GoodReads Review:

Blood, Bones, and Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant ChefBlood, Bones, and Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef by Gabrielle Hamilton
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

What can I do if I have no actual story to tell? I know! Go for shock value! And that precisely what this book is. A boring memoir built fowl language, crude behavior, and a “look at me, look at me” approach to her accomplishments.

The storytelling is jumbled and confusing as the timeline jumps all over the place incoherently (but after failing college 3 time becomes a writer - brava! (Insert sarcasm here))

Ms. Hamilton’s accomplishments as a restaurant owner are impressive, and yes, she is clearly a hardworking and driven individual, but this book is a total flop.

View all my reviews

Yeah…I wasn’t impressed.  However, there was no shortage for foodie inspiration.  I was more inspired by a food mentioned very early on in the book (like the first chapter – I almost quit reading right then and there, but decided to see this one through).  She mentioned the Pastitso she enjoyed on those rare occasions when the family got to go out to eat.  Having never heard of pastitso, I quickly googled it and found a fascinating Greek version of lasagna.

As much as I didn’t love the book, I did love the pastitso!   It was amazing!  The key to pastitso is the distinct layers and the inclusion of a creamy bechamel sauce.

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Orange Glazed Cornish Game Hens

The other day, we were walking through the grocery store and Spud (age 8) spotted a freezer case of “tiny chickens”.  Spud loves tiny things (tiny stuffed animals, the smallest paper airplane one can fathom, etc.) and immediately decided that we all needed to have our very own chicken for dinner.  Since I’m always up for trying something new, I was more than happy to oblige!

I decided to make use a simple orange glaze on the cornish hens and it was perfect!  My boys were so excited to have their own personal chicken to eat! 

Shortly after I made the Cornish Hens, I watched This Beautiful Fantastic for this month’s Food ‘n Flix hosted by Heather at All Roads Lead to the Kitchen and realized that the recipe was perfect for the movie!

This Beautiful Fantastic follows a motley crew as they break down walls to cultivate friendship, a sadly neglected garden, and good food!  

In the beginning of the movie, we learn that Bella (in addition to hating the outdoors) in very particular about her food.  It is nearly always the same overcooked, canned vegetables, nothing touching, but arranged in fun mosaics.  Later, Vernon takes over, messily creating extravagant dishes.

There is no shortage of inspiration here, and though Cornish Hens don’t show up in the movie, they seem like something Vernon would have made.  Additionally, this movie takes place in somewhere in England, so why not the region of Cornwall? 

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Olive Garden Style Salad

So we were just talking Olive Garden Breadsticks…but what are the breadsticks without the salad?!?  

I mean, let’s be honest, the Olive Garden Salad is all about the dressing.  Sure, you can buy it, but why not make it fresh instead?

So, it’s a little funny that I’m even making this salad/dressing, because I’m notorious for underdressing salads (read: I almost never use salad dressing!)

But I’m willing to make an exception for Olive Garden.  Enough to even make the dressing at home.

This version is spicy and delicious and seems very close to the original! 

Monday, May 27, 2019

Copy Cat Olive Garden Breadsticks

Who doesn’t love a great breadstick?

Let’s be honest, when you think of the best breadstick it’s Olive Garden, right?

Well, I learned how to make them at home and they’re just as fabulous!  Even left over and warmed up in the microwave they’re amazing!



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