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April 18, 2017

This recipe is a wonderful way to use any leftover lamb (specifically from the Herb-Roasted Boneless Leg of Lamb that we posted last week).  It is very easy to prepare, and it tastes refreshing and light.  I love the Mediterranean flavors of these pita pockets.  If you try this recipe, you can experience the taste of the Mediterranean too!

Bon Appetit!

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cup cooked lamb, diced

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 1/2 cup chopped romaine lettuce

  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

  • 2 small tomatoes, sliced

  • 3 tablespoons bottled Greek dressing

  • 4 whole wheat pita rounds, halved and warmed

  • Yogurt sauce

For Yogurt Sauce:

  • 1 cup Greek yogurt

  • 1/3 cup loosely packed fresh mint, finely chopped

  • 1/4 cup sour cream

  • 1 garlic clove, minced

  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

  • 1 medium cucumber; peeled, seeded, and chopped

  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt

Directions:

Sauté lamb in hot olive oil in a medium skillet over high heat for 2 minu...

April 12, 2017

This recipe comes from Jacques Pepin, and it is delicious!  On the day before you serve the ham, you boil it.  Jacques explains in his book, Heart & Soul in the Kitchen, that by poaching the ham, you remove some of the salt, while also improving the taste of the ham.  I have never prepared a ham this way, but it turned out beautifully.  The meat was tender and not at all dry or tough.  This is my new way to prepare ham for Easter.  The sauce is very yummy and has a little kick to it.  It's best to precook the ham a day before serving it as it makes the rest of the preparations easier to handle.  I really encourage you to give this mouthwatering ham a try!

Bon Appetit!

Ingredients:

  • 1 bone-in cured smoked ham from the shank end (about 6 to 8 pounds), with rind

  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup

  • 1/3 cup ketchup

  • 2 tablespoons hot chili sauce, such as Sriracha

  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Directions:

Put the ham in a large pot, cover with hot...

April 11, 2017

This awesome recipe comes from the March 2014 edition of Southern Living, and it is excellent!  This recipe is a lot easier than it looks, and the results are spectacular.  The lamb was tender and done to perfection, while the herbs added a delightful flavor to the meat.  The potatoes that you cook with the lamb are simple, but flavorful.  They compliment the meat.  April is an excellent time to give this delicious lamb roast a try.  It is especially good if you are entertaining guests.  This would make a wonderful holiday meal (whether for Easter, a birthday, or even mother's day).  If you do have leftovers, look for the lamb pita pockets on our blog.  It will be posted this month too.

Bon Appetit

Tips:

I had a hard time finding a boneless leg of lamb.  The butcher at a local grocery store, kindly removed the bone and trimmed the lamb for me.  He even gave me the bone (to make soup stock).  So if you have the same problem of finding boneless lamb,...

March 21, 2017

The Irish theme continues with this amazing recipe from Clodagh's Irish Kitchen cookbook.  The recipe starts the cooking process on the stovetop (to ensure the chicken skin gets 'crisp') and finishes cooking in the oven.  The sauce is lovely with a hint of tarragon and really compliments the chicken.  This creamy Irish whiskey sauce is thin, but the mushrooms give the sauce more substance.  I found this recipe easy to prepare and elegant to serve!  Also, it goes great with the Irish creamed potatoes that I will be posting later this week.

Bon Appetit!

Tips:

I am not a fan of wild mushrooms, so I used about 10 ounces of cremini mushrooms for the sauce.  I removed the stems and quartered them to keep a bit of 'chunk' in the recipe.

The original recipe calls for 'supreme' chicken filets (breast with wing bone attached).  I did not find this cut in my local grocery store, and I did not request it from the meat department because of time constra...

March 14, 2017

Have you been looking for a good lamb stew?  Look no further!  You found it.  I love the simplicity of this rustic dish.  It also has amazing savory flavors that are hard to resist!  Serve this classic stew with Irish soda bread (our next blog post), and you will have a hearty delicious meal that will get you warm in no time.

Bon Appetit!

Tips: 

Plan ahead!  Read through the recipe before you begin cooking.  The directions call for an oven proof Dutch oven (6 quart).  If you do not have an oven proof Dutch oven, you can transfer the meat and veggies to a baking dish after you are done cooking them on the stove top, and then continue as directed.  Save the pot you cooked the meat and veggies in previously, because you will need it again to finish off the stew.

This stew can be made a day ahead.  The flavor will get even better over time!

Ingredients:

  • 1 and 1/2 pounds lamb stew meat

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

  • 3 large onions, quartered

    ...

March 7, 2017

It is said that everybody is Irish on Saint Patrick's Day, and what better way to celebrate than with corned beef and cabbage!  This recipe turns out a delicious meal that pretty much cooks itself!  It will take you about fifteen minutes in the morning to put the ingredients together in a slow cooker, and at supper time, you will have a wonderful Irish meal!  That leaves you (the cook) with lots of free time to join in the St. Patrick's Day festivities!  Yay!  And as a bonus, I've included a horseradish mustard sauce that is a great pairing with the beef.  I know my family and I enjoyed it.  Your luck is guaranteed with this easy, mouthwatering recipe.  You will want to dance a happy jig this St. Patrick's Day with your corned beef and cabbage!

Bon Appetit!

Tips:

  1. You may add the corned beef brine to the slow cooker.  Just keep in mind that it will increase the sodium levels in the recipe.

  2. When the corned beef and cabbage is done cooking, I like...

February 28, 2017

As most of you probably know, kale is considered a super food, but I confess that I have avoided it until now.  I had tried it mostly in salads before this recipe and found it to be bitter.  Thankfully, my family convinced me to try this recipe, as I was very uncertain about using kale.  The kale stuffing is absolutely delicious!  I am very glad that I made this recipe.  If you are leery of this green (like I was), I encourage you to give this steak and kale combination a try.

This is a great recipe for entertaining because it is fairly easy, and it looks very impressive.  The taste is amazing!  It is hard to describe how yummy these pinwheels are, but I will do my best!  Flank steak is a naturally lean cut of beef.  You don't have to worry!  It tastes just like steak - meaning delicious!  When you combine the steak with the recipe's marinade, you have perfection.  The marinade increases and compliments the flavor of the steak perfectly.  It also helps that...

February 21, 2017

In honor of Mardi Gras (Tuesday, February 28th), I used Cajun Style Andouille smoked sausage in this soup.  I buy the all natural brand that has no nitrates and no artificial ingredients.  The sausage lends a nice kick to the soup, but I find that it does not overwhelm the overall flavor of the dish.  I love to make corn bread (look for it on Thursday's post) as it complements the soup.  It is a great pairing!  So this Fat Tuesday (also known as Mardi Gras Day or Shrove Day), go and celebrate by spicing up the holiday with this awesome soup!

Bon Appetit Chéri

Useful Tips:

1.  As you cook and sauté your vegetables, you may need to adjust the heat level on your stove-top.  If the bottom of your Dutch oven (very large heavy pot) is browning too much, you need to lower your heat.

2.  After browning your sausage, drain the excess fat on paper towels.

3.  Be careful of splattering grease when browning your sausage.  Ouch!

4.  This soup is great doubled...

February 16, 2017

If you love bacon and cheddar cheese, you are going to love this savory pie!  I have had this recipe for many years.  I do not know where I got it, but I am very glad that I have it!  Bacon and cheddar cheese compliment each other (taste-wise), so they are perfect in this pie.  I like to say that everything is better with pie! (I certainly think so.)

This bacon cheddar pie tastes good and works for any meal - breakfast, lunch, or dinner.  You can even eat it as a snack if you want.  It is an easy meal for company when served with either fresh fruit or salad (depending on the time of day).  When I make a sweet pie using my water whipped pastry shell (click 'pastry shell' to go to that blog post), I often use the extra shell for this recipe. Here is the perfect pie recipe for those bacon and cheddar cheese lovers!  Enjoy!

Bon Appetit!

Some helpful tips before you start:

1.  The way I scald the milk is by pouring the milk in a small saucepan o...

February 7, 2017

I have been making this pasta dish for many years.  It has my favorite red meat sauce.  It comes together quickly, but the sauce tastes like I slaved over it all day.  This pasta recipe is one to keep!  The recipe seems to make a lot of sauce for 1 pound of pasta, but believe me, it definitely works!  The spaghetti is flavorful and has an old world Italian flair that I love.  It is a wonderful dinner to prepare for special occasions, but is still simple enough for a weeknight meal too.  If you are looking for something that is fun, easy and delicious, I highly recommend this recipe.  I'll end with a quote by Sophia Loren, "Everything you see, I owe to spaghetti."

Bon Appetit!

Tips:

1.  If you have a large enough pot, this is a great recipe to double.  The sauce freezes well, and you can divide it into freezer bags or containers.  You can defrost the sauce in your refrigerator overnight or in the microwave.  Once defrosted, I...

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