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November 14, 2017

In America, turkey is a must for Thanksgiving!  It is a tradition to get together with family and friends and give thanks for what we have, while we eat a big meal.  The turkey is often the center piece of a traditional Thanksgiving dinner.  It is also sometimes made for Christmas too, depending on preferences. 

Preparing and roasting a turkey can be intimidating, especially when you are entertaining guests at the same time.  This recipe however is simple and delicious.  It is perfect starting point for those who have never done a turkey as well as a great turkey for those experienced cooks who want to make the most of their holiday cooking time.  The basic preparation and instructions come from the book - barefoot contessa: how easy is that? by Ina Garten.  It is a simple recipe that delivers spectacular results.  This turkey is truly delicious.  I'm sure that cooks old and new will enjoy it, so give it a try!

Bon Appetit!

Tips:

I'm not a big fan of...

November 1, 2017

I always know that it is truly autumn when I start seeing a lot of squash recipes in magazines.  I found this tasty recipe by Rachel Ray in People magazine.  If you're a vegetarian looking for a showcase main entrée, look no further!  These four cheese butternut squash make a lovely presentation for entertaining or holiday events.  They are a bit involved, but so worth the effort!  They are that delicious!  Everything tastes better with cheese - right?

Bon Appetit

Tips:

"To tell if the squash is cooked through, gently pierce the meat of the squash with a pairing knife," says Rachel Ray.  "It should slide in easily with no resistance."

Make sure you check that the squash is cooked all the way through.  Mine took an extra 20 minutes to cook.

You can also adjust the cheeses to your taste.  I'm not a big fan of pecorino cheese, so I put in about 1 ounce pecorino and added more Parmigiano-Reggiano.

If you feel that the squash shell is not sturdy enough, tie it with string like...

October 24, 2017

Here is another fun Halloween recipe, adapted from an article in Good Housekeeping magazine, the October 2017 edition.  I made a slight change to the original recipe by adding fresh thyme, to enhance the pie's savory taste.  These roasted chicken pot pies are very tasty and easy to prepare too!  I think that the frozen puff pastry makes it especially simple.  The pumpkin and triangle cookie cutters also add an easy way to decorate for a fun Halloween meal.  Of course, you can skip the cookie cutters if you want to do this recipe on a regular day.  You just need to used a 3 1/2 inch biscuit cutter instead.  Either way, these pot pies are delicious!

Bon Appetit!

Preparation time is 30 minutes.  Total time is 1 hour.

Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 pound sweet potatoes (about 2), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces

  • 1 large onion, chopped

  • Kosher salt and pepper

  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flo...

October 17, 2017

This beef stew is a perfect meal for a chilly autumn day.  I don't know where I first got this recipe, but I have had it a long time.  I love slow cooker recipes, because when you don't have the time in the evening to prepare a meal, the slow cooker provides!  Meaning that you can throw a bunch of ingredients in the slow cooker in the morning and then in the evening, you have a delicious home-cooked meal.  This French onion beef stew has a wonderful flavor that is a delight to the taste buds.  To make this stew extra special, serve it with cheese toast; it is delicious!

Bon Appetit

Tips:

Before serving (any meal), taste the dish to see if it needs salt and pepper.  Add and adjust your meal according to how it tastes.

For those new to broiling (but really want to make the cheese toast), there is typically a broil option on your oven (most ovens with have a button that says 'broil').  My broiler option automatically heats the oven up to 500 degrees F.  You move the rack u...

October 10, 2017

These individual bread puddings are delicious and surprisingly easy to make.  I found this wonderful recipe in the April 2014 edition of Cooking Light magazine.  Even though this recipe was first printed in the spring, I decided that it would be a great autumn dish.  These puddings have a bread stuffing feel to them, just with lots of cheese!  You can also make this dish vegetarian (see tips) if desired.  You can serve with a simple green salad to round out this meal.  These puddings can be a lovely brunch, lunch, or even supper - you really can't go wrong!

Bon Appetit!

Tips:

You can make these vegetarian by omitting the bacon and using vegetable stock instead of the chicken stock.  You may also add sliced mushrooms if desired.

You can use low-fat or whole milk.  I used whole milk, and it turned out really great!  If you want to use low-fat, I suggest 1% to 2% low-fat milk.

Total time is 45 minutes.

Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounce...

October 3, 2017

This terrific recipe comes from the Sept./Oct. 2017 issue of Midwest Living magazine.  Nothing celebrates October like bratwurst, and this recipe is a perfect way to welcome autumn.  It was an added bonus that this recipe calls for quite a bit of sage, as I have sage growing in my garden.  The sage butter that is spooned over the dish makes it savory heaven.  I know I will be making this wonderful meal for years to come, and I hope you enjoy it as much as my family and I do.

Bon Appetit!

Tips:

You can substitute turkey bratwurst for the pork bratwurst.  Make sure you buy the uncooked variety.

When browning the butter, keep a careful eye on it.  Butter will burn!  You want a nice brown color, and the color of the butter changes fast.

Preparation time is 20 minutes.  Total time is 1 hour.

Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil

  • 1 small green cabbage (1 1/2 pounds), cut in 8 wedges through core

  • 1 1/4 pounds fingerling pot...

September 19, 2017

This wonderful recipe comes from the October 2007 issue of Cooking Light magazine.  It is simple to prepare and only has a few ingredients, but if you make it for company, it has the 'Wow Factor' in how it is presented.  If you are not a fan of goat cheese, you can use the Gournay cheese - the results are just as yummy.

The polenta compliments everything in the chicken without stealing the show.  I added some parmigiano-reggiano to up the flavor of the polenta, but feel free to leave it out if you want.  This dish as a whole is a lovely meal for friends and family alike.  If you make this chicken dish, I would love to hear the results.

Bon Appetit!

Tips:

You can stuff the chicken breasts up to a day ahead.  You can just put them in the refrigerator, until you're ready to cook them.

To save on time, get the water simmering for the polenta while preparing the chicken.  When the chicken is in the oven, make the polenta.

I recommend adding some roasted fall vegetables to this meal...

September 12, 2017

I made this flavorful dish for the first time last week.  It was so delicious that I had to include the recipe in my blog.  I found this gem in the May 2017 edition of Southern Living Magazine.  The one pound of multicolored sweet peppers really caught my eye.  You see...I have a garden full of sweet peppers, and I am constantly looking for ways to use them in recipes.  This recipe is yummy and also lets me use peppers from my garden.  As a bonus, I also love pasta.  It seemed the perfect recipe for me.  I hope you enjoy it just as much as I do!

Bon Appetit!

Preparation time is 20 minutes.  Total time is 40 minutes.

Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound uncooked orecchiette pasta

  • 1 pound hot Italian sausage, casings removed

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided

  • 1 pound multicolored sweet baby bell peppers, thinly sliced crosswise

  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

  • 1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 garl...

September 5, 2017

I got this wonderful recipe from the Farm to Table cookbook.  It is the perfect recipe to use up garden tomatoes.  The red peppers, chives, and thyme also add an incredible amount of flavor to this quiche.  Topped off with ricotta and parmesan cheese, this quiche tastes just perfect!  Another great thing about this recipe is that it uses puff pastry which makes this quiche extra easy to prepare.  I hope you enjoy this last taste of summer!  If you make this summer vegetable and herb quiche, please let me know what you think of it.

Bon Appetit!

Tip:

I could not find a puff pastry that exact weight, so I used Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry Sheets.  It comes with two pastry sheets.  Two pastry sheets equal 17.3 ounces (1.1 pounds).  Lay one sheet on top of another, and with a rolling pin, roll the pastries out.  It came out perfectly.

Preparation time is 45 minutes.  Total time is about 1 hour and 5 minutes.

Click here for a printable version of this recipe...

August 29, 2017

Are you looking to dress up your burgers with a little class?  These burgers are adapted from a recipe that I found in Better Homes and Garden, the June 2011 publication.  The blue cheese adds an elegance to the burger and packs a flavor punch that can't be beat!  The recipe is simple and doesn't take a lot of time.  It also looks gourmet.  What more can a cook want?

Bon Appetit!

Tips:

I like to let my beef sit at room temperature for about 45 minutes for even grilling.

When mixing the ingredients for the beef together, I like to use my hands.  The key to tender burgers is not to over mix, as this will toughen up the proteins in the beef.

You can use any kind of ground beef that you desire, but I found that 1/2 sirloin, 1/2 chuck provides the right balance of fats for an awesome juicy burger.

Preparation and cook time is 30 minutes.

Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 pounds ground sirloin (beef)

  • 1/2 pounds ground chuck (beef)

  • 1 table...

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