Archive for the ‘Company’s Coming…’ Category

One of our favorite (and easiest) appetizers are what we call smoked salmon soldiers. 

(My guy Joe calls the toast points soldiers because they stand so straight!)

  • 4 pieces of dark pumpernickel – toasted and cut into ‘soldiers’
  • smoked salmon
  • mascarpone cheese
  • dill

Lightly spread each toast piece (you can use any kind of bread you like, or rye crackers are good too!) with a dollop of marscapone, top with a thin slice of salmon and sprinkle with dill.

It’s quick, easy and they fly off the table!  They are great for a dinner party or even a brunch!  Enjoy!



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You’ve got to love the standing rib roast for a beautiful holiday (or anytime) dinner!  I loved it even more when they went on sale at the local Publix for just $5.29 a pound!  That was just the temptation needed to decide on what we’d have for our Christmas meal this year.

If you too are a fan of roast beef (or roast beast if you’re channeling Dr. Seuss’s Grinch) – try this recipe on for size. 

  • 1 5-pound standing rib roast
  • 2 tablespoons horseradish
  • 1/2 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 6 celery ribs (rinsed)
  • 2 medium onions – cut in half

Let roast come to room temperature (about an hour).   Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees.  In the bottom of a shallow baking dish place celery and onions.  Mix horseradish, worcestershire, sugar, garlic and salt and pepper in a small bowl.  Spread evenly over the entire roast.  Place roast fat side up on top of celery and onions.  Roast at 435 for 20 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 degrees and roast for additional hour to hour and a half or until internal temperature is 145 degrees for medium rare.  Let stand at least 15 minutes before carving.

For the au jus, I like to take the pan drippings, add a 1/4 cup white wine, 1/4 water and 1 beef bouillon and whisk together.  With a wand mixer I also macerate the celery and onions into it.  Mmmm….




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  • 4 large artichokes
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 2 cups Italian bread crumbs
  • 1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup olive oil

Using a sharp knife, carefully level the bottom of each artichoke and cut about 1” from the tops.  Then with kitchen shears, snip tips from remaining outer leaves.  Stand artichokes in large pot.  Add 2 inches of water and ¼ cup of lemon juice.  Combine cheese and breadcrumbs.  Spread leaves as much as possible, generously fill with breadcrumb/cheese mixture.  Drizzle tops of artichokes generously with olive oil.

Cover pot.  Put on medium heat until liquid comes to a boil, then reduce to low and simmer for 40 minutes, checking frequently on liquid level.  Add additional water if necessary.

Artichokes are done when leaves pull easily from base.  I garnish with fresh lemon slices and everyone fights over the artichoke hearts! 😉  Enjoy!

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A family favorite around here – and oh so quick and easy! 

  • 1- 1 1/2 lbs chicken breast sliced into strips or cubes (try to make uniform in size for even cooking)
  • 1 package sliced portabello or white button mushrooms
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Freshly ground Salt/pepper
  • ¼ cup apple juice
  • ¼ cups dry white wine (I like Pinot Grigio!)
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Shaved parmesan

Season chicken with salt/pepper & teaspoon garlic powder.  Heat skillet to 300 degrees, add butter and chicken breast slices…sauté for 5 minutes tossing while browning.  Then add mushrooms, a dash more salt & pepper.  Flip chicken and mushrooms for another 2 minutes, browning everything on all sides. Add lemon juice, wine and apple juice, scraping bottom of skillet for all those amazing tidbits and sauté for additional 2 minutes.  Put everything onto a platter, top with a sprinkling of shaved Parmesan and enjoy! We actually love to pour the whole mixture over some al dente penne pasta or linguine—even jasmine rice.  Pair with a nice salad or crusty loaf of bread and life is grand!

You may also want to add….toasted pine nuts, dried cranberries or a little sprig of rosemary to the mix.  If you like it spicier, toss in a few red pepper flakes or a couple shakes of chili powder.  Experiment!  Oh and by the way – Hailey says – don’t eat the flower!

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We love chicken picata in my house! (And it usually brings a few friends out of the woodwork too!)  It’s fancy enough for company and yummy enough just for family!  Hope you like it!

  • 2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, butterflied  & cut in half
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • All-purpose flour, for dredging
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup chicken stock
  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • 1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 3-4 lemon slices
  • 1 package sliced baby portabello mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup shaved Parmesan

Season chicken with salt and pepper. Dredge chicken in flour and shake off excess.  In a large skillet over medium high heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter with 3 tablespoons olive oil. When butter and oil start to sizzle, add chicken and cook for 3-4  minutes. When chicken is browned, flip and cook other side for 3-4 minutes. Remove and transfer to plate.

Into the pan add 2 tablespoons butter and mushrooms.  Sauté mushrooms until brown on both sides.  Remove mushrooms to plate with chicken. Next, add lemon juice, white wine, stock. Return to stove and bring to boil, scraping up brown bits from the pan for extra flavor. Check for seasoning. Return all the chicken to the pan and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove chicken to platter. Add remaining 2 tablespoons butter to sauce and whisk vigorously. Pour sauce over chicken and garnish with parsley, Parmesan and lemon slices.  Some people like capers on theirs — (my kids aren’t keen on them!)  If you like them, add a tablespoon of them in when you’re whisking the wine, stock & butter together for the sauce.

I usually serve with a salad and plate of linguine – pouring the sauce/chicken goodness over the top of the pasta and topping with some shaved Parmesan!


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Had this with our girl’s night dinner last night, brought my my very good friend “Miss Mimi!”  So good!  She got this recipe from a cookbook her sister gave her and modified it a little.   This salad is complex enough to be a light main course – so delicious and summery!m

  • 1 pound orzo
  • 1 1/2 Tbl sesame oil
  • 2 handfuls snow peas, trimmed and snapped
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 2 cups sunflower seed kernels, toasted
  • Asian Citrus Dressing
  • 3 Tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 bunch chopped green onions (about 6 onions)

Cook orzo, drain and rinse with cold water.  Combine orzo and sesame oil, tossing to coat.  Spoon half of orzo into a large bow.  Top with half each of snow peas, raisins and sunflower seeds.  Repeat layers once.   Pour 3/4 of Asian Citrus Dressing over top and let seep in.  Combine parsley and green onions; sprinkle over salad.  Pour remaining dressing over top.

Asian Citrus Dressing
  • 3/4 cup corn oil
  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbl sugar
  • 2 Tbl grated orange zest
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp minced fresh ginger
  • 1 1/2 tsp soy sauce
  • 3/4 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper

Process all ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth.

Thanks Miss Mimi for your culinary goodness! 🙂  This is perfect for a luncheon or potluck too!  It’s pretty and yummy — and so different from what “everyone always brings!”  Try it!

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  • 2 cups jasmine rice
  • 4 tilapia filets (experiment with your favorite fish!)  sea bass, snapper, mahi mahi are all great with this too!
  • 1/4 stick butter
  • olive oil
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1/4 cup shaved parmesan
  • 3-4 sprigs fresh parsley – chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • salt & pepper

Get your rice started.  For four cups of rice, put four cups of water in a pot with a little olive oil and bring to a boil.  Add 2 cups of rice, let boil one minute and stir.  (If you want – make enough rice for Mon & Tues) Drop temperature to low, cover rice and leave it alone for 20 minutes. We’re big rice eaters – so we make a lot – cut this in half if you’re not! 😉

In large skillet, heat ¼ stick of butter, 2 tablespoons olive oil.  Lightly dredge filets in flour.  Season with salt/pepper/garlic.  Gently sauté in butter & olive oil – cook 5-6 minutes per side until fish is white throughout.  Sprinkle top of each with shaved parmesan.  Add ¼ cup lemon juice and ¼ cup white wine and scrape up the drippings from the pan.  (drippings are great over rice!)  Serve with lemon wedges,  steamed broccoli or salad.

Want to kick it up a little?  Add 1/2 teaspoon chili powder to the flour before dredging your fish.  We like it that way served with red beans & rice & a dash of hot sauce!

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