Wednesday, December 31, 2014

How to make French Onion Soup

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How to make French Onion Soup



This French Onion Soup is another home recipe that is easy to make. You don’t have to go out to a restaurant anymore to enjoy French Onion soup.

There is nothing that I liked better than going out to a nice restaurant and ordering the French Onion soup as a starter to a great meal.

Here is a wonderfully easy French Onion Soup recipe that you can whip up in no time at all and enjoy this soup right at home.

French Onion Soup Ingredients:

  • ½ cup of unsalted butter
  • 5 onions (Sliced)
  • 1 clove garlic (chopped)
  • 2 Sprigs of fresh Thyme
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 2 quarts of beef broth (We use Swanson's Low Sodium)
  • 1 baguette (Sliced)
  • ¾ pound of grated provolone and asiago cheese (Option Swiss cheese)
Instructions:

  1. In a stock pot melt the butter, add the garlic, thyme, and onions, you can add just a little water if needed.
  2. Cook until the onions a caramelized, then add the wine and simmer until the wine is gone, then remove the thyme.
  3. Add the beef broth; bring to a slight boil and then turn down to simmer for about 15 minutes.
  4. Ladle the soup into oven safe bowls. Add 2 slices of the baguette, and the cover with the cheese.
  5. Place under the broiler until the cheese is melted and turning brown.

 As Always Thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy


Sunday, December 28, 2014

How to make Italian Wedding Soup

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Italian style wedding soup recipe


Warm up on a cold winter day with a hot bowl of homemade wedding soup. This recipe has been in our family for generations. There are many variations of wedding soup, but I like this one the best because this recipe is right from my grandmother’s kitchen.

This Italian style wedding soup recipe has been passed down from my grandmother to my mother and now to Fran.

This soup is a great starter for any meal. Wedding soup is a favorite in our house, especially around the Holidays. 

Some variations to this recipe are, add carrots, or some people add Orzo, or you could use ground pork for your meatballs. So, you can make this delicious soup to your taste.

Ingredients for Italian Wedding Soup:
  • 6 chicken breast (you can use boneless)
  • 1 whole onion
  • 1 stock of celery (Cut into small Pieces)
  • 3 stocks of endive or escarole (clean, boil, squeeze all of the water out, cut into small pieces)
  • Salt (To Taste)
  • Pepper (To Taste)
  • Chicken base (2- cans of Swanson chicken broth)
 Ingredients for the meatballs:
Instructions:
  1. We use a 12-quart pot, add chicken, carrots, celery, and onion to the pot, cover with water and boil.
  2. When chicken is cooked (tender) remove the chicken, set aside to cool
  3. Mix the ground beef with the ingredients, roll into small 1" meatballs, you can fry them or bake in the oven
  4. Shred or cut the chicken into small pieces
  5. Skim the foam from the broth and discard the onion
  6. Add the chicken, greens, and meatballs back into the broth
  7. Add the 2 cans of Swanson chicken broth (we like to use low sodium broth)
  8. Bring the soup to a boil, and then let it simmer for about 15 minutes
best recipe Italian wedding soup

In this picture, our homemade Italian wedding soup simmers on the stove top. This soup brings back so many fond Holiday memories at Grandma's house. 


Serve your wedding soup with these homemade Soup Croutons

As always thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy


Friday, December 26, 2014

How to make Homemade Manicotti

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Manicotti on a plate with tomato sauce


If you like Italian food, nothing is better than homemade. This is our family recipe for homemade manicotti with ricotta cheese.

This recipe will walk you through how to make the shells or crepes, as we like to call them, and mix the ricotta cheese.

After that all you need to do is fill the shells roll them up, and bake in a baking dish with your favorite tomato sauce.

Serve with a nice salad and some fresh Italian bread. This will easily serve 5 to 6 people.


INGREDIENTS FOR THE SHELLS:

  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 ½ cups of flour
  • 1 ½ cups of water
  • Pinch of salt
This will make about 20 Shells

INGREDIENTS FOR THE RICOTTA CHEESE FILLING:

  • 2 pounds of ricotta cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup parsley
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese
  • Pinch of salt
INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Combine the ingredients for the shells in a medium mixing bowl, mix until you have a smooth batter.
  2. Set the batter aside and for about 20 or 30 minutes.
  3. Spray an 8” non stick pan with cooking spray, set to medium heat on the stove.
  4. Pour a ¼ cup of batter at a time into the pan; tilt the pan from side to side so the batter spreads. After about 30 or 40 seconds flip the shell to cook the other side.
  5. Set each she on a wire rack or parchment paper to cool.
  6. Now mix your ricotta cheese ingredients in a large bowl.
  7. Spoon the ricotta cheese into the center of the shells, about 2 to 3 tablespoons each.
  8. Grease a large baking dish and spread some tomato sauce on the bottom.
  9. Place the manicotti in the baking dish side by side with the fold on the bottom.
  10. Cover the top with tomato sauce and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.
  11. Let cool for 15 minutes before serving.
If you need homemade tomato sauce, here is a great recipe


Feel free to rate this recipe in the comments below. Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Grilled Steak with Onion and Blue Cheese

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Grilled steak with onions and blue chees


Time to breakout the grills, gas or charcoal which ever you prefer.

My son graduated from culinary school and is always coming up with something new. This grilled steak with onion and blue cheese is simply amazing.

This is great served a nice salad, baked potato, or French fries, and a glass of wine or a beer.

I like to have a beer while I'm grilling my steak. If you like good steaks every now and then forget your diet for one day and give this a try.

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 steak of your choice (I like a nice rib-eye)
  • McCormick Montreal Steak Seasoning
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 or 3 green onions
  • About 1/2 cup of blue cheese or 2 slices of provolone cheese (your choice)
  • 2 strips of bacon (Optional)
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Fire up the grill, while you're waiting season your steak with McCormick Seasoning.
  2. Put your steak on the grill and begin cooking to your liking (I like my steak medium rare)
  3. If you're using the bacon cook it in a small fry pan (break into small pieces)
  4. Slice the onion into nice large rings
  5. Chop up the green stems of the green onions
  6. When the steak is almost finished add the onion rings to the grill
  7. Cook the onion for a couple of minutes turning once
  8. When the steak is ready place the onion rings on top, add your cheese and bacon, close the lid on the grill
  9. When the cheese has melted and begins to brown take the steak off of the grill
  10. Garnish with the green onions
Now sit down relax and enjoy a good steak, take a minute to rate this recipe in the comments.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Quick Seafood Fettuccine

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A plate of seafood fettuccine




We love pasta and seafood so what a great combination this makes for a quick and easy dinner.

We make this with crab meat but there are so many other options. This dish is great with shrimp, lobster, clams, or scallops. If you in the mood for seafood this is so easy to make, and you could use a combination of your favorite seafood.

You can have this ready and on your dinner table in 30 minutes or less, and it’s so delicious. To top it off I like to add some fresh ground black pepper and Romano cheese.

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 lb. of Fettuccine
  • 1 package of imitation crab meat or shrimp if you prefer
  • 1/2 medium onion diced
  • 1/2 stick butter or margarine
  • 1 glove garlic minced

INSTRUCTIONS:
  1. In your pasta pot boil the water and add the pasta to cook
  2. Cut your crab meat into small pieces (Whatever size you prefer)
  3. In a 10 or 12 inch fry pan melt the butter
  4. Add the crab meat, garlic, and diced onion
  5. Sauté until tender
  6. Drain the pasta and place it in a large pasta bowl
  7. Add the crab meat from the pan, mix and serve

Leave a comment and rate this recipe for me. Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

How to make Hot Dog Chili

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Hot Dogs with chili sauce 
Hot Dogs with chili sauce

If you are a fan of a good old fashioned hot dog with chili, then this recipe is just what you need. I grew up in a small Western Pennsylvania town, where hot dogs are a staple.

There were several hot dog shops around town, each specializing in their own chili sauce. We moved away from our hometown, and it turns out that hot dogs with chili is one of the foods we miss the most. Now we have a recipe to make our own that reminds us of home.

There are so many garnishes for hot dogs, but I like mine with mustard, onion and chili. Sometimes I add a nice thin slice of dill pickle on top, and it's oh so good.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Pound of ground beef
  • 1 small onion chopped very fine
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 3/4 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp sage
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • Sprinkle in some garlic powder and salt (just a little)
Instructions:
  1. In a medium sauce pan brown all of the ingredients
  2. Add 1 cup of water
  3. Add 2 tablespoons of cracker meal
  4. Cook for 1 hour
Give it a try and enjoy a nice chili dog. It's a simple recipe and you could even make it ahead and freeze it for later. Feel free to leave me a comment and rate this recipe.


Friday, December 5, 2014

Homemade Tomato Sauce For Pasta

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Sauce and meatballs simmering on the stove
Sauce and meatballs simmering on the stove

What's best on your favorite pasta? Of course your favorite tomato sauce, we have a simple tomato sauce recipe three generations deep.

Growing up in our house, every Sunday was pasta day. My mother would start the sauce in the morning and it would simmer for hours, filling the house with such a magnificent aroma.

My dad would go to church, and on his way home he would stop at the local bakery and pick up 2 loafs of fresh Italian bread. We would cut the first loaf, take a slice and dip it into the sauce that has been simmering all morning.

To this day when we make our sauce it fills the house with that same magnificent aroma, which brings back fond memories of my childhood.

Pictured here is our Sunday pot of sauce and meatballs simmering on the stove. After the sauce has cooked for a while it will begin to thicken.  I still like to take some fresh Italian bread, and cover it with the sauce, just like when I was a kid. It is Oh!!! So good.

Let's start with the Ingredients for the Meatballs:
  • 1 lb. of ground beef
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup of grated Romano cheese
  • 1 cup of seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced (you can add more garlic if you like)
  • A few sprigs fresh of parsley, and basil, chopped real fine
  • If you're using dry use a 1/2 tsp. of each
  • Light olive oil: enough to cover the bottom of the pan
  • Sprinkle salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste
Now the Ingredients for the Tomato Sauce:
  • 2 - 28 oz. cans of crushed tomatoes
  • 2 - 6 oz. cans of tomato paste
  • 2 - 28 oz cans of water
  • A few sprigs of parsley, and basil chopped real fine
  • If you're using dry use a 1 tsp. of each or season to your taste
 Now for the Instructions:

  1. Cover the bottom of a 12" fry pan with olive oil and turn on medium heat. Add some minced garlic and parsley.
  2. Mix all ingredients together, and form your meatballs, add them in the fry pan. Cook until the outside of the meatballs are golden brown. Turning them often.
  3. While the meatballs are frying prepare your sauce
  4. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, water, and seasonings in a 8 quart pot, stir all ingredients together and turn on medium heat. When the meatballs are cooked, place them in sauce, along with the grease from the fry pan
  5. Bring sauce to a boil, stirring frequently, so the sauce doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot.
  6. Let the sauce cook 2 to 3 hours on medium heat, stirring frequently, again we don't want the sauce to stick to the bottom of the pot.
  7. As sauce thickens turn to a simmer for 30 more minutes. Keep stirring.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 3 to 4 hours or longer
Serves: 1 lb. of pasta, 4 to 6 people with some left over to freeze

This is not a quick recipe, this sauce takes time as it cooks to perfection.

Now meatballs are a staple when it come to tomato sauce and pasta day.
Some other options to add to your sauce is Italian sausage, or a nice chuck roast. Actually you can make all of them. Cook your sausage and brown the chuck roast the same as you would the meatballs.

They all add a unique flavor to the sauce, and the meat is so tender and delicious when cooked in the sauce all day.

My mother would always make meatballs and a chuck roast. Oh how I remember that wonderful smell filling the whole house.

A plate of rigatoni and meatballs
Oh now doesn't this look delicious?


Leave a comment and rate this recipe, or just say Hi!
 

Monday, December 1, 2014

Veggie Bars a Party Favorite

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Easy Veggie Bars

Make these quick easy party snacks for your next party

This recipe is one of our all-time favorites, it's so popular and such a big hit at picnics, parties, and Holiday gatherings. These are one of the best veggie snacks you'll ever have and are so simple to make.

 Even I can do it, there are so many options for all of your favorite fresh veggies, you can top this with whatever you desire or whatever you're in the mood for.

My daughter and wife have been making these for years for all of our family events, and no matter where we take them, everybody gives this treat the thumbs up.

Pictured here are the veggie bars my daughter made for the 4th of July, with broccoli, cauliflower, red and yellow peppers. Aren't they just so colorful?

The options for these easy veggie bars are endless, you can add as little or as much fresh veggies as your heart desires. I'm not so sure about the cream cheese mixture, but for sure the fresh veggies are very healthy.

What you need for these easy veggie snacks:
Veggie Options All Finley Chopped about one cup each:
  • Green, Red, Yellow Peppers
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Black Olives
  • Carrots
  • Mushrooms
  • Onion
  • Tomato
Here is how to make your veggie snacks:
  1. Spread the crescent rolls out onto a 17" x 11" pan and pinch the sections together
  2. Bake the crescent rolls at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes or until the top is golden brown, set the pan aside and let them cool
  3. Mix the cream cheese, ranch dressing, mayonnaise, and sour cream in a mixing bowl, whip until it is nice and creamy
  4. Spread the mixture over the cooled crescent rolls evenly
  5. Press your choice of veggies into the cream cheese mixture top off with the shredded cheddar
  6. Place the veggie bars in the refrigerator for a couple of hours. 
  7. After they're cooled cut them into 2 or 3-inch squares and serve
As always thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy.

Make short work of slicing your veggies with one of these handy kitchen tools

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Steak Salad

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A delicious looking steak salad
A delicious steak salad


This steak salad is sure to please even the biggest of appetites. I first found steak salad in a small home town restaurant, and fell in love with the idea. I soon learned how to make this from my own kitchen, really it's not that difficult and it's a wonderful meal.

What a quick and easy meal to prepare, and it offers everything on one plate. Your greens, veggies, meat and potatoes, what more could anybody ask for.

What I like best about having steak salad is heating the dressing, who I'm I kidding, everything is the best about this steak salad.

I've made this with New York strip steak, but I have to tell you I like it better with a nice Rib-Eye. If you don't eat steak try your favorite seafood.


INGREDIENTS
  • 16 oz. New York Strip or any steak of your choice, this should make 2 or 3 salads
  • Montreal steak seasoning
  • 1 bag of steak fries, or French fries found in your frozen food section. Best is Homemade
  • Romaine lettuce, enough for however many salads you want to make
  • 1 bunch of green onions
  • 2 or 3 nice tomatoes
  • 1 bag of shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 or 3 hard boiled eggs
  • 1 bottle of sweet and sour or poppy seed salad dressing. Or any dressing that you prefer.

INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Boil your eggs, and cut them into slices, clean your lettuce and set it aside in a bowl
  2. Chop the green onions, and cut tomatoes into wedges, set these aside
  3. Begin cooking your steak or French fries
  4. Season the steak with Montreal steak seasoning to your taste
  5. Cook your steak on the grill or in the broiler. To your liking
  6. Prepare your salad plates with the lettuce, sliced eggs, onions, and tomatoes
  7. Cut your steak into strips and add it to the salad
  8. Add the steak fries, and shredded cheddar cheese
  9. Add the dressing and you're all set.
  10. Here is a tip: This is best when the dressing is heated.
Have you ever had a steak salad? If not would you like to try a steak salad? I'd love to know your thoughts.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Pan Fried Fish Fillets

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Pan fried fish fillets
Pan fried fish fillets with rice


We normally don't eat many fried foods, but when my good friend George gave me some fresh Crappie fillets from Lake Chautauqua, this lake is located in Western New York, and known for it's great fishing.

George is an avid fisherman, he fishes the lake, and Allegheny river all year long. These were caught while George and his son were ice fishing this year.

Crappie is a North American fresh water fish in the sunfish family. Crappies are known to be one of the best tasting fresh water fish, because of their diet.

I would have normally broiled these fillets, but George suggested; trying them pan fried. So here is how I pan fried these fillets to perfection.

These fillets were very easy to make and so delicious, served with a wedge of lemon and rice to make a great meal. If you don't have a friend like George, just use your favorite fresh fish fillets.

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 lb. of your favorite fish fillets
  • 1 cup of McCormick Fish-n-Chips Seafood Batter Mix
  • 2/3 cup of water
  • Vegetable oil
  • 1 fresh lemon cut in wedges
  • Your favorite rice or French fries
INSTRUCTIONS:
  1. Pour about 1/4 inch of oil in a 10 or 12 inch fry pan, heat oil to 375 degrees on medium heat
  2. Mix 1 cup of McCormick batter with the water
  3. Once oil is hot, dip the fillets and coat with the batter
  4. Add them to the pan (I add 3 fillets at a time) 
  5. Fry 3 to 5 minutes per side until fillets are golden brown.


Do you like your fish broiled, baked or fried?

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Hearty Chicken Tortellini Soup with Meatballs

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best chicken tortellini soup recipe

Winter is now upon us, and there is nothing better than warming up with a hearty and delicious bowl of homemade chicken tortellini soup. This soup is a favorite in our house all through the cold weather season.

This soup is a great starter for any meal or, this soup can be a meal in itself. The soup is filled with chicken, tortellini, and meatballs,  all in this flavorful chicken broth. This soup is sure to fill you up on a cold winter day.

This is just one of the many soups we enjoy in the cold weather season, so stay tuned for more delicious soups.


INGREDIENTS


     Soup:
  • 12 oz bag of Fresh or Frozen Tortellini
  • 2 Tomatoes
  • 1 bag celery
  • 1 bag carrots
  • 1 big onion
  • 2 or 3 large bone-in chicken breasts
  • Vegetable or chicken bouillon
  • 1 or 2 cans of chicken broth 
INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Cut up tomatoes into 4 sections each
  2. Cut onion into 4 to 6 sections
  3. Clean celery and carrots
  4. Put all vegetables and chicken breasts in a large stock pot, cover with water and this come to a boil
  5. Reduce heat and let this cook for 45 minutes to one hour
  6. While this is cooking make your meatballs
  7. Add Parmesan cheese, garlic salt, egg, breadcrumbs, and pepper to the meat and mix thoroughly
  8. Shape into small meatballs and bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 20 minutes
  9. Using another pot under a strainer drain the broth, discard the tomatoes and onion.
  10. Cut the celery and carrots into small pieces and add to broth
  11. Shred the chicken and add to broth
  12. Add 2 or 3 vegetable or chicken bouillon cubes and chicken broth if more liquid is needed
  13. Add the tortellini, and return to stove, bring to a boil until the tortellini is cooked
  14. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
As always thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy this easy chicken tortellini soup.


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