Tag Archives: red onion

Italian Pasta

I feel a bit awkward writing this post since it’s been a good four months since I’ve written anything!  Let’s just say a haitus was necessary.  Between caring for my mom and step-father and writing two genealogy blogs a day, I felt the need to release some of my responsibilities for a bit.  Ritchey has been able to eat as soon as dinner was ready – I haven’t even been photographing my food!  But tonight I felt it was time to return – not an every day post as before – but as an occasional blogger, when there’s something special to share.

Another reason for tonight’s reappearance is a new blog – Food, Flowers, Herbs and Life – The Next Generation!  Yes, my daughter Kate has a new blog.  She has taken up the pen, the skillet and the camera – and brings the world her way of cooking and living life!  We’ve very different in many ways, but deep down we’re very much alike – as it should be!

Tonight’s supper was a throw together twenty minutes before Ritchey got home.  But I’ve come to love those last minute, throw something in the skillet meals!  This was a basic pasta dish, with some good things sauteed in the skillet while the pasta was cooking.  Paired with a great wine, it was all we needed for a great meal!  That’s all you can ask for!

  • 1 pound sausage
  • 2 handfuls pine nuts
  • 1 large red onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 pound tiny, fresh green beans
  • 1/2 pound cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/8 pound Parmigiano Reggiano, cut into small cubes
  • oregano
  • 1/2 pound medium pasta shells, cooked according to package directions

In a large skillet brown the sausage, cutting it into small pieces.  Put the water on for the pasta while the sausage is cooking.  When the sausage is starting to brown add the onions and pine nuts.  Add the green beans and cook for about five minutes – or until crisp-tender.  Remove the skillet from the stove.  Add the tomatoes and Parmigiano Reggiano and stir well.  Add cooked pasta.  Sprinkle with oregano.  Enjoy!

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Pizza, Pizza, Pizza!!!

Pizza, Pizza, Pizza!!!

I am so excited I’m actually giddy – and it has absolutely nothing to do with the Samuel Adams lager I’m polishing off at this very moment!  It went quite well with the pizza you see in this photo.  This, my very first homemade pizza!  A very foreign admittance to many of you – especially Linda at Savoring Every Bite since she makes pizza every Friday night!  It was her pizza dough recipe I used!  It was so easy, Linda, I believe Friday night will be pizza night for us, too!

The directions for pizza dough can be found at Linda’s website.  Her Roasted Cauliflower Pizza looks so very good, but I didn’t have the ingredients at home.  So my pizza has a different look – but the same good crust on the bottom!  Linda’s recipes always turn out exactly as the photos on her blog – I’ve tried many of them!

I used some of my frozen tomatoes to make my marinara sauce.  In a sauce pan over medium heat I cooked the tomatoes until they thickened.  A pinch of salt, a little black pepper, oregano and basil helped give it a good flavor.  My other ingredients were thinly sliced red onion, slivers of red pepper, pepperoni, about 4 ounces of shredded mozzarella, 1-1/2 cups of finely shredded Pecorino and a sprinkle of parsley.  The pizza was baked at 425 degrees for about 18 to 20 minutes.  I can’t wait to try another one next week!

Now to my second reason for excitement!  Cecilia at thekitchensgarden has nominated me for the Reader Appreciation Award!  You can only imagine my surprise and delight!  Cecilia has a lovely blog that is filled not only with lots of humor, recipes and farm animals, but many thought-provoking topics  that make us stop and think – and realize ways in which we can share our blessings with those around us.  Her lovely ideas of teaching children to cook and helping others grow their own gardens – even if it starts as one plant – truly speak to my heart.

Now comes the difficult part of nominating six readers for the award – but it cannot be anyone who has already received the award – including Cecilia.  Very difficult since so many of you have received this award.  So I give it out to all my readers – from me to you with a sincere thank you for going along with me on my cooking adventures and our little side trips to the garden or Shaker Village or a tea room.  I started this blog with no idea I would meet such wonderful, interesting people – and that they would become my friends!  I do heartily thank you for including me in this blogging world of food and fun!  And since John at from the Bartolini kitchens has such faith in me, I may try homemade pasta tomorrow!

Who Doesn’t Love A Good Meatloaf?

What can we say about meatloaf – if it’s good it’s very, very good – if it’s bad, it’s horrid!  Rather like the little girl with the curl in the nursery rhyme!  How many know that comes from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow?  Back to the meatloaf.  This is a very different meatloaf – made with ground pork – who says a meatloaf must be made with hamburger?

Other good things added in – apricot puree, onions, sweet red pepper, asiago cheese and nine grain breadcrumbs.  Shaped into a loaf, it’s put in the oven to cook, then brought out and drizzled with barbeque sauce, more breadcrumbs and asiago cheese – then back in the oven for just a bit!  How good can it get?!

Let’s talk a bit about the sauce – Kentucky’s Smokin’ Grill – made in the neighboring little town of Danville, Kentucky!  It’s a Kentucky Proud product!  It contains only natural ingredients – tomatoes, brown sugar, spices, pepper, garlic, salt, orange peel, onion, water, vinegar, honey, molasses and natural hickory smoke.  It’s a great sauce for anything!  Check out their website!

Pork and Apricot Meatloaf

  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 slice of 9-grain bread
  • 1 – 15-ounce can of apricot halves
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 large red pepper, finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup asiago cheese, finely shredded
  • salt
  • pepper
  • Kentucky’s Smokin’ Grill Sauce

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  In a food processor with the blade attachment, process the bread into small crumbs.  Remove to a small bowl.  Drain the can of apricot halves, then puree in the food processor.  In a large bowl add the ground pork, pureed apricots, onion, red pepper, about 1/2 cup of the cheese and 1/2 cup of bread crumbs.  Mix well.  Place in a baking dish and form into a loaf.  Bake 45 minutes.   Remove from oven.  Drizzle Kentucky Smokin’ Grill Sauce over the top.  Add a few extra breadcrumbs and top with remaining asiago cheese.  Bake for another 10 minutes or until cheese melts.  Enjoy!

Chilled Quinoa Salad

Quinoa is a protein-filled seed that has a fluffy, creamy, somewhat crunchy texture and nutty flavor when cooked.  It was called “the gold of the Incas” who knew it gave great stamina to their warriors.  It is not only high in protein, but the protein it supplies is complete protein, meaning it includes all nine essential amino acids.  Quinoa is a great source of magnesium, which helps those who suffer from migraines.  It is also a good source of the amino acid lysine which is essential for tissue growth and repair.  I suppose what I’m saying is that eating quinoa is one of the most healthful options you have.  The plus side  – it is also delicious!

Bring two cups of water to a boil in a saucepan.  Add one cup of quinoa.  Turn heat to medium low and cook for 15-18 minutes.  Remove from heat and let cool.  Finely chop 1/2 red onion and 1/2 green pepper.  Cut two medium tomatoes into small pieces.  Finely chop a handful of fresh dill.  Place vegetables in a large bowl.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Add cooled quinoa.  Whisk together 1/4 cup olive oil and 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar.  Pour over salad and mix well.  Chill in refrigerator at least two hours or overnight.  Enjoy!

Hearty Goodness for Body and Soul! Chicken Noodle Soup

Chicken Noodle Soup

This begins with a tale of woe – a poor chicken carcass that has been in the freezer for about a week.  But, in the magical way that Elves have – okay, I’m sure you’ve had enough of the Tolkien characters! – it will be changed into a lovely Chicken Noodle Soup.  Just the perfect thing for when you’re under the weather, or the weather turns cool and temperatures drop at night!  Some may make homemade stock and freeze, and that works just as well as freezing what’s left of the bird.  I hate to waste anything!  And there was enough meat left on the bones to make the soup hearty!  As was mentioned in the original roasted chicken recipe, the quartered lemon was still inside the bird – along with the rosemary – and there is just a hint of lemon flavor in the soup!

  • one chicken carcass
  • water
  • 1 large red onion, chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 4 carrots, sliced
  • 3 handfuls fine noodles
  • salt
  • pepper
  • small handful herbs de provence

Place the chicken carcass in a large pan with almost enough water to cover.  Bring to a boil, turn heat to simmer and let cook for 45 minutes.  Remove from heat and allow to cool.  Remove chicken from bones and cut into small pieces.  Drain stock.  Over high heat drizzle a little olive oil in the pan; saute the red onion for about five minutes.  Add celery and carrots and saute an additional five minutes.  When the bottom of the pan starts to form a crust add chicken stock to de-glaze the pan.  Add chicken and noodles and stir carefully.  Season with salt and pepper.  Add herbs de provence.  Allow to cook about 15 minutes longer or until noodles are soft and soup is thick.  Enjoy!


Lentil Soup

It was another cool day in Kentucky – a soft, quiet rain fell for most of the day.  Perfect weather for a hot bowl of soup!  Lentils were my choice of venue – along with smoked sausage and carrots – seasoned with red onions, green pepper and garlic.  Who wouldn’t like such a combination?  Ritchey was late getting home and the first words out of his mouth were, “Something smells good!”  He had two bowls of hearty goodness!  They do say the way to a man’s heart . . .

Lentil Soup

  • 1 pound smoked sausage, sliced
  • 1 large red onion, chopped
  • 6 ounces carrots, sliced
  • 1 small green pepper, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 – 14 ounce cans chicken broth
  • 3 cups lentils – I used red and French
  • black pepper
  • red pepper flakes
  • thyme

In a large pan over medium high heat cook the smoked sausage until browned, stirring occasionally.  Add the onion and cook for an additional five minutes.  Add the carrots, green pepper and garlic and cook for another five minutes.

Add chicken broth and lentils, stir well to incorporate.  Bring to a boil, then lower heat to medium low.  Add black pepper, about a handful of red pepper flakes – or more! – and a good sprinkle of thyme.  Cover and let cook for about thirty minutes.  Taste test for seasonings and if soup is thick and lentils are done.  Enjoy!

Autumn Is Coming

September 1st

This is the last of the zucchini – I used half for my Squash and Zucchini Casserole and half I sliced and froze.  The yellow pear tomatoes also found their way into bags and headed for the freezer!  A few things are safely put away for the winter months – to be brought out and enjoyed as a remembrance of summer’s goodness.

Our tomatoes are still producing – especially the yellow and red cherries.  They are abundant and show no signs of stopping at this point.

These are volunteer plants.  They grow along this fence, at the back of the house and on the other side of the house – oh, and one lonely plant in with the oregano – Ritchey thought he pulled them all from that bed – but he missed one!  It looks as if you have two colors of tomatoes growing on one vine, but the plants are so inter-mingled it’s hard to tell where one ends and the other begins!  I made cole slaw to take to Kate’s tonight and I used halved red and yellow cherries.  She was always my taste tester for cole slaw when at home – it’s hard to say it’s ‘just right’ until she proclaims it so!

Our yellow pear tomatoes – different from the yellow cherries – are almost gone.  The vines are dried – there will be no more fruit produced.  Once we pick the few that are left those plants will be pulled.  It’s been 22 days since we’ve had rain.  Last night it started with a good thunderstorm – and it continued to rain throughout the night – slowly and gently.  Much better for allowing the rain to actually soak in and nourish the plants!

There are many large tomatoes still on the vines – green – but hopefully they will ripen.  If not, there’s always fried green tomatoes!  Or chow-chow!

But perhaps we will have more like this . . .

And with that make this – a lovely hamburger made from beef from Donna and Jerry, melted mozzarella, a slice of red onion, a thick slice of fresh tomato and topped with avocado slices!  And a little mayo – my choice of condiment!  But for your burger you can choose your favorite!