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Month: November 2013

Pot Luck!

Pot Luck!

Getting ready for Thanksgiving?  I am!  And, tomorrow, we have a pot luck at work.  This time of year I am usually extra busy at work and I never participate.  I do however, swipe food from the conference room as I am running from meeting to meeting :).  This year, I decided not only will I will participate, I would make my stuffed shells and a dessert.  The stuffed shells are delicious.  I use my mom’s basic recipe for the filling but take it up a notch by adding onions, garlic, spinach and sausage!  That’s right, these are no basic bland stuffed shells.  Hope you enjoy!

With just a few days before Thanksgiving, I am getting organized with my lists!  Yes, I have shopping lists, to-do lists and even a two-day timeline counting us down. This really helps execute a special day with my family. I’ll share some tips over the next couple of days.

Whoa, what a Braciole!

Whoa, what a Braciole!

This was a perfect weekend in New Jersey to make a braised meat dish.  It was foggy and and while not yet cold, it is the start of the right kind of weather to cook using the braising method, sit around and then enjoy a great meal.  Yesterday, we made Beef Braciole.  The Maltese make it different from our Italian cousins and no offense to my Italian friends, but I think we Maltese one up on this one!  We make a velvety, brown, red wine sauce and it is soooo good!  This is one of my top dishes to not only make, but also to eat.

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays.  A couple of weeks before Thanksgiving, I sit with my parents and we write out the menu for Thanksgiving dinner.  We create the shopping list and also timeline for day and a couple leading up to the holiday.  I started doing this about three years ago with my mother.  I can’t believe that she single handed (well, with the Sous Chef Tony) did all of the holiday preparing and cooking for so many years – and made it seem so simple.  We have fun preparing and it certainly helps her out a lot.  My three sisters and my niece also help out!  Suzanne, the oldest (LOL) makes the vegetable, Jacqueline makes her famous and delicious sweet potato pie, Jeannette does the mashed potatoes.  My niece Danielle usually creates a beautiful desert.  My next few posts will be about Thanksgiving and hope you enjoy.  Have a great week everyone!

Working Weekend

Working Weekend

I hope everyone had a good weekend!  Mine, eh, not so much.  I worked the entire weekend and finally I’m taking a break.  On days like this I would normally call for Chinese take-out or Sushi, but I decided to make this quick pasta dish and have a glass of wine.  This one is a staple for me.  Its quick and easy to make and on a busy day when you can’t think of what to eat or make, you can cook this in shorter time you would order out food.  The ingredients in the recipes are things I have all the time, so even easier.  Hope you enjoy – please send me your comments and questions.

Spaghetti Pie

1/2 pound spaghetti
1 garlic clove, chopped
2 tablespoon parsley, chopped
3 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup grated cheese
1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
salt
pepper

 

Bring lots of salted water to a boil and cook the spaghetti for 9 minutes.  You don’t want to cook the pasta all the way, so its fine that it is more than al dente.  Drain the pasta and cool for  a couple of minutes.  In the meantime, in a large bowl, mix the eggs, garlic, parsley, grated cheese, salt and pepper.  Add the slightly cooled pasta to the mixture and blend together.  Be careful not to add the pasta when it’s too hot because it will cook the egg mixture.

 

Heat olive oil in a 10 inch non-stick plan, add the pasta mixture and cook over a medium heat for 5-8 minutes, carefully flip over and cook for another 5 minutes until golden brown. Cut like a pie into 6 or 8 pieces and serve.

 

Tony’s Marinara Sauce

Tony’s Marinara Sauce

Print Recipe
Tony's Marinara Sauce
Marinara sauce is an important component in a lot of the food we eat. While my mom owns her kitchen and controls everything that goes on in it, my Dad helps out a lot. They are a great team and its wonderful to watch them in action. My Dad, Tony - aka, Mary's Sous Chef makes the sauce. We make enough to freeze and the recipe below makes about 8-10 cups.
Servings
Ingredients
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook until translucent, about 8-10 minutes. Then, add the garlic and cook for a few more minutes until slightly brown. Add tomato paste, then the crushed tomatoes, basil, parsley, bay leaves, thyme, rosemary, oregano, hot pepper and salt. Raise the heat to medium-high, bring to a boil, and then simmer for 1 hour, stirring every once in a while until the sauce is thick.
Baked Rice – Ross Il Forn

Baked Rice – Ross Il Forn

Baked rice is a traditional Maltese dish.  When I learned how to make this from my mother, she reminisced how her mother taught her to make it.  Two very strong women who own their kitchens and I would like to think I inherited that trait from them!  From time to time, I will put my own touch on recipes I learn from my mother, however, this is one I won’t ever change.  Thanks Nonna and Mom!  Make this dish for someone special as it has been handed down to me from someone very, very special.  Serve this with a salad and you can have a nice weeknight meal!

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