Friday, June 23, 2017

Orzo Salad with Spinach and Kielbasa

I love a nice blend of my childhood flavors, such as kalamata with feta and olive oil.  Add orzo, spinach, kielbasa and dried cranberries and this becomes such a delight.  This is a family favorite for us.  Enjoy!
For salad:
-1 cup orzo
-1 lb kielbasa
-5 oz baby spinach
-2 oz dried cranberries
-1 cucumber, peeled and sliced
-1/2 cup kalamata olive, pitted and quartered
-4 oz crumbled feta cheese
For dressing:
-1 clove garlic, minced
-1/4 tsp dried oregano leaves
-1/4 tsp dried thyme
-1/2 tsp sugar
-1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
-1/4 cup vegetable oil
-1/4 cup red wine vinegar
Cook pasta according to package directions.  Drain, rinse in cold water until cool.  Drain again.  Add to salad bowl.
Meanwhile, slice the kielbasa in half lengthwise. Slice each half and cook until golden brown.  Remove from heat and let it cool.
Mix all salad ingredients into salad bowl and give it a good stir.
Place all dressing ingredients in jar with lid or plastic container with lid.  Shake very well then pour over salad.  Mix well, scoop into bowls and enjoy!  YUM!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Best Sauce for your Meat (Steak, Burgers, Hot Dogs, etc)

I love grilling season.  All those goodies seared to perfection on the open fire...Mmmm.... And to perfectly complement that, a great sauce is a must.  And this is the perfect sauce for pretty much any meat.  It's super easy to put together and quick to prepare.  It's simply delicious! Enjoy!
-3/4 cup ketchup
-3/4 cup brown sugar
-1 Tbs bbq sauce (we prefer Sweet Baby Ray's)
-1/4 cup honey
-1 tsp apple cider vinegar
-2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
-1 tsp pepper
Combine all ingredients in medium sauce pan.  Cook over medium heat until sugar is melted and sauce is nice and smooth. 
Remove from the heat.  Let it sit for 10-15 minutes.  You can enjoy it warm, at room temperature or straight from the fridge.  Enjoy!

Friday, June 16, 2017

Gnocchi with Beef, Bacon and Kalamata

This is serious comfort food.  It's hearty and the flavors are absolutely amazing together.  Every bite is simply delicious. Enjoy!
-8 slices bacon, diced
-4 garlic cloves, minced
-1 lb extra lean ground beef
-1 red onion, finely chopped
-1 Tbs tomato paste
-1/2 tsp salt
-1 tsp pepper
-3 tomatoes, chopped (keep any juices from them too!)
-1 cup chicken broth
-1 cup kalamata olives, pitted and halved
-1 lb gnocchi
In a large pot, cook the bacon for 5 minutes or until almost crisp.  Add the garlic and cook for 30 more seconds.  Stir in the beef and cook until no longer pink. Add the red onion and tomato paste.  Season with salt and pepper.  Give it a good stir and cook for 5 minutes.
Add the tomatoes and any juices from them.  Also add the broth and olives. Stir well and bring to a simmer.  Cook, uncovered, for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook the gnocchi according to package directions.  Drain and add to the bacon mixture.  Stir well, scoop onto plates and enjoy!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Lemon-Garlic Chicken Thighs

This is a simple dish for a busy night.  The flavors are wonderful together and we love the freshness of the lemon combined with the garlic.  Delicious!  Enjoy!
-1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
-2 Tbs butter
-4 chicken thighs, skin-on, bone-in
-salt and pepper
-4 garlic cloves, minced
-1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
-1 cup chicken broth
-1 lemon, juiced
-1/4 cup heavy cream
Preheat oven to 375 F.
In a large oven proof pot heat the oil and melt the butter.  While that's happening, score the chicken thighs and season on both sides with salt and pepper.  Place chicken in hot oil mixture and sear on both sides until nice and golden brown.
Add the garlic and pepper flakes and cook for 30 seconds.  Stir in the broth and lemon juice. Mix and bring to a simmer.  Let it simmer for 20 minutes.
Add the cream, stir and place in preheated oven.  Bake for 15 minutes.
Remove from oven and serve over mashies or rice.  Yum!  Enjoy!

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Summer Salmon Salad in Shells

This is very simple, yet packed with so much flavor.  I love the combo of the salmon with all the fresh veggies and the simple dressing.  Super yummy and refreshing.  Enjoy!
-18-20 jumbo pasta shells
-1/2 small head of broccoli, cut into florets
-1 (7.5 oz) can salmon, drained and flaked
-1 can cherry tomatoes, halved
-4-5 green onions, finely chopped
-1/4 cup mayonnaise
-1/4 cup ranch dressing
Cook pasta according to package directions.  Drain, rinse in cold water and drain again.
Meanwhile, bring a small pot of water to a boil.  Blanche the broccoli florets for 2 minutes.  Drain and rinse in cold water to stop the cooking and keep that beautiful green color.  Drain well and place in large bowl.  To that, add the salmon, cherries and onions.  Mix well. Add the mayo and ranch.  Give it a good stir and make sure everything is coated evenly.  
Scoop mixture into cooked shells.
Enjoy right away or store in the fridge until ready to eat!


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