Friday, March 3, 2017

Forentine Spaghetti Bake

Joan spiked our appetites with this belly-filling spaghetti dish.

Total time:
    Preparation:        30 min.
    Bake:                 1 hour + standing


8 oz. uncooked spaghetti (Joan used Barilla gluten-free)
1 pound bulk Italian sausage
1 large onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1 jar (24 oz.) pasta sauce
1 can (4 oz.) mushroom stems and pieces, drained
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 cups (16 oz.) 4% cottage cheese
1 pkg. (10 oz.) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 teaspoon cumin
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 375˚F. Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium heat, cook sausage and onion, crumbling meat, until sausage is no longer pink. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Drain. Stir in pasta sauce and mushrooms. Bring to a boil.Reduce heat; cover and cook until heated through, about 15 minutes.
  2. Drain pasta. Combine egg with the next five ingredients. Spread 1 cup sausage mixture in a greased 13x9-in. baking dish. Top with spaghetti and remaining sausage mixture. Layer with egg mixture and mozzarella cheese.
  3. Cover and bake 45 minutes. Uncover; bake until lightly browned and heated through, about 15 minutes longer. Let stand 15 minutes before cutting.
Makes: 9 servings

Friday, February 3, 2017

Salmon Quiche

Total time:
    Preparation:     20 min.
    Cook:               30 min.
    Ready In:         50 min.


1 (12 fluid ounce) can evaporated milk
4 eggs
2 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese (10 ounces)
1 cup of dices onion
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon dried parsley
1/4 teaspoon dried sage
2 cups chicken broth
1 (14.75 ounces) can pink salmon, drained, flaked, and bones removed


  1. Preheat an oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Spray a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate with cooking spray.
  2. Purée evaporated milk, eggs, 2 cups of cheese, onion, salt, and spices in a blender until smooth.
  3. Spread salmon evenly over bottom of pie plate. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup cheese, then pour egg mixture on top. top with remaining 1/4 cup of cheese.
  4. Bake until quiche has puffed and a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Cool 5 minutes before slicing.
Joan made this for my birthday dinner.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Warm Chicken & Brie Sandwich

Need a fun twist on your classic Chicken Sandwich?
Try this sandwich which was featured on The Chew (January 25, 2017) with guest Trisha Penn.

Servings:     4
Time:         15 to 30 min


    1/4 cup olive oil (divided)
    2 chicken breasts (boneless, skinless)
    1/2 onion (peeled, thinly sliced)
    1/4 cup butter
    1 Ciabatta loaf (thinly sliced 1/2-inch thick widthwise)
    2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
    1 tablespoon honey
    1/2 cup Brie cheese
    1 cup arugula
    1/2 Granny Smith apple (thinly sliced)
    Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper (to taste)

  1. Preheat oven to 375˚
  2. In a large saute pan add 2 tablespoons olive oil and heat over medium-high heat. Season chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. Add chicken and cook until browned and cooked through, about 4-5 minutes per side. Remove to a plate, cover with foil and keep warm. Slice in half on a bias.
  3. In a second large saute pan, add 2 tablespoons olive oil and heat over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook until translucent and beginning to brown, about 5-7 minutes.
  4. Spread butter on one side of ciabatta slices. Place the ciabatta slices onto a baking sheet and toast in the oven until golden brown, about 8-10 minutes.
  5. In a small bowl, add the Dijon mustard and honey and mix to combine.
  6. To assemble, on the bottom piece of bread place some onions and top with chicken and brie (the cheese will melt). On the top piece of bread add arugula, 5 slices of apple and a drizzle of the honey Dijon. Close the sandwich and serve.
    Place the sandwich back in the oven for 3-4 minutes to melt the cheese, if necessary.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Fiesta Ham Soup

Joan prepared this chunky soup for dinner this evening.
Served the soup with green salad and ciabatta bread.

Total time:
    Preparation:     20 min.
    Cook:               20 min.


2 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup of chopped celery
1 1/2 pounds of potatoes (about 3 medium), peeled and cubed
2 cups cubed fully cooked ham
1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chilies
2 tablespoons dried parsley flakes
2 cups chicken broth
1 can (14 3/4 ounces) cream-style  corn
1 cup 2% milk
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
Sour cream, optional

  1. In a large saucepan, heat butter over medium heat. Add the onion and celery; cook and stir 3-4 minutesor until onion is tender. Add the potatoes.
  2. Stir in the chicken broth; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat; simmer, covered, 15-20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.
  3. Stir in corn, milk, and cheddar cheese; heat through. If desired, serve with sour cream.
Makes: 8 servings (2 Quarts)

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Veggie Frittata

Joan prepared this dish to use up some vegetables.

Total time:
    Preparation:     20 min.
    Bake:               15 min.
    Total:                35 min.


2 Tbsp. oil
2 1/2 cups frozen shredded hash browns
2 cups cut-up mixed fresh vegetables (small broccoli florets, chopped green peppers, shredded carrots)
1 cup Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
8 eggs
3 Tbsp. milk

  1. Heat oven to 375˚F.
  2. Heat oil in large nonstick skillet on medium-high heat. Add potatoes and remaining vegetables; mix lightly. Cook 6 to 8 min. or until potatoes are browned, stirring occasionally. Spoon into a stoneware pan sprayed with cooking spray; top with shredded cheese.
  3. Bake 15 min. or until knife inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool 5 min. before removing from pan to serve.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Bay Scallop Chowder

Today on the occasion of the Inauguration of Donald John Trump as the 45th President Of The United States, Joan made this classic chowder for dinner. Joan served it with a fresh garden salad and Wegmans hard rolls.

According to some historians the word "chowder" was created long before the Pilgrims sighted Cape Cod. Fishermen working the fertile waters of Newfoundland since 1497 corrupted the French word for pot, chaudiere, into the word "chowder."


2 tablespoons butter
1 onion, chopped
1/2 cup chopped carrots
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 small red bell pepper, chopped
1 cup chopped unpeeled red potatoes
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
2 (8-ounce) bottles of clam juice
1 pound scallops
2 cups half-and-half
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley


1. Melt butter in a large heavy saucepan. Add onion and next 5 ingredients (onion through oregano). Sauté 10 minutes. Add clam juice and scallops. Cook 5 minutes.
2. Add half-and-half, salt and pepper; cook until thoroughly heated. Stir in parsley.

Serves 4

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Mexican Quesadilla Casserole

Total time:
    Preparation:     15 min.
    Bake:         35 min.


1 pound ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes with lime juice and cilantro [From our kitchen: Ro*Tel makes this flavor in 10-ounce cans, but you can also use plain diced tomatoes and season as desired]
1 (8.75 ounce) can whole kernel sweet corn, drained, or 1 cup frozen sweet corn
1 (4.5-ounce) can of chopped chilies, drained
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
12 (6-inch) corn tortillas [From our kitchen: original recipe called for four flour tortillas, but we found that corn tortillas held up better. Plus corn tortillas are gluten-free.]
8 ounces of shredded cheddar cheese (2 cups)


  1. Preheat oven to 350˚F. Spray a 9x13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Heat a large (12-inch) skillet over medium heat. Cook beef and onion in hot skillet, stirring and breaking up any lumps, until beef is completely browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Drain any grease.
  3. Stir in tomato sauce, beans, diced tomatoes, corn, green chilies, chili powder, cumin, garlic, oregano, and red pepper. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes.
  4. Spread 2 cups beff mixture in prepared baking dish. Top with 6 tortillas, overlapping if needed. Spread another 2 cups of beef mixture over tortillas, then sprinkle 1 cup of cheese. Top with remaining tortillas, beef mixture, and cheese, respectively. [From our kitchen: Casserole can be assembled up to 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. Increase baking time by 5 to 10 minutes if chilled.]
  5. Bake until heated through and cheese is melted, 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes before serving.