Dinner Menu: Spaghetti with Meat Sauce

As I noted in November, I lost my mom. I find myself looking to favorite childhood recipes to remember here. This one we had at least once a week when I was a kid.

Quick, easy and freezes well, I usually make double so I have some on hand for quick dinners.  Trust me, you will never find any jar sauce in my house.  Ever.  If you’d like to have meatballs instead, recipe is here.

On the board tonight: Continue reading

Dinner Menu: Buffalo Chicken Bites and Garlic Mashed Potatoes

For the Super Bowl this year, we kept it simple: pizza, super nachos and ice cream. I toyed with making wings, but in the end, it seemed like too much work after a very long week.

But I found myself craving Buffalo chicken all week, so finally I cubed up a large chicken breast and made this super simple, yet flavorful dinner.

I served over shredded lettuce with ranch dressing, along with Instant Pot Garlic Mashed Potatoes, and of course, carrot and celery sticks.

Skillet Buffalo Chicken Bites

  • 1 lb boneless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • extra light olive oil
  • 1 cup potato starch
  • 1/4 tsp of each:
    • salt & pepper
    • garlic powder
    • cayenne pepper
    • adobo seasoning
  • buffalo wing sauce
  • bleu cheese or ranch dressing

skillet Continue reading

Dinner Menu: Garlic, Garlic, Garlic Chicken

I know this sounds like a crazy recipe, but the Garlic, Garlic Chicken is a keeper.  The garlic roasts to a nice, nutty, sweet flavor, perfect with a slice of bread.

The salad works because each pepper has a different flavor. I didn’t want to do much to overwhelm that, but you can add sliced onion if it appeals to you.

Get a really good Artisan bread and you’ve got a dinner that takes less than 20 minutes to prep.

On the board tonight:

  1. Garlic, Garlic Chicken
  2. Loaf of a good crusty Artisan bread
  3. Sliced Pepper Salad
  4. Sliced apples with caramel dip

Garlic, Garlic Chicken

  • 5 lb roasting chicken
  • 1/2 cup of wine*
  • 1/2 cup of chicken broth,
  • salt & pepper
  • 40 cloves of garlic (unpeeled).

 Wash and dry the chicken, remove any giblets.  Add all ingredients into a roasting bag and roast for about an hour (follow cooking bag instructions, usually about 350 degrees, use a meat thermometer to check chicken temp).  Remove chicken to a platter and place garlic and sauce in a serving bowl.  The garlic can be squeezed out of the skins at the table onto the fresh bread.  Alternately, you can take the broth, reduce it and then add the peeled garlic into that. It makes a very nutty, garlic-y kind of gravy.

*I substituted 1/4 cup of a good whisky this last time with good results (I upped the broth to 3/4 cup).

Sliced Pepper Salad

  • 1 each: red, yellow, orange & green pepper, washed & sliced
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup vinaigrette dressing
  • 1 head bib lettuce, washed, dried & torn

Toss peppers and vinaigrette dressing and let marinate 30 minutes.  Serve on a bed of bibb lettuce.

Shopping List:

  • 5lb Roasting Chicken
  • 40 Cloves of Garlic (about 4 bulbs)
  • 1 loaf Artisan Bread
  • 1 each: Red, Yellow, Orange, Green peppers
  • 4 oz vinaigrette dressing
  • 1 head bibb lettuce
  • Caramel dip
  • 4 apples

Also: chicken broth, wine, salt, pepper

Summer Salads: Chipotle Macaroni Salad

Pictured: Quick and Easy Pasta Salad, recipe here, along with several other summer salad recipes.

One of my favorites:

Chipotle Macaroni Salad

Chipotle Mayonnaise:

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 chipotles in adobo sauce, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon adobo sauce
  • 1 tbsp limejuice

Mix together ingredients and set aside while macaroni cooks.

Macaroni Salad:

  • 1 lb elbow macaroni
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 stalk celery, minced
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp minced parsley
  • 2 large tomatoes, chopped (or equivalent)
  • 8 oz cubed sharp cheddar cheese
  • 4 thick cut bacon strips, cooked and crumbled (optional)
  • 1 cup chipotle mayonnaise
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Bring water to a boil, add 1 tsp salt and macaroni. Cook until al dente (firm to tooth). Immediately drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process. Do not drain well, allow macaroni to stay wet, remove to bowl. Immediately add garlic, celery, onion, parsley and lemon juice and let sit for 5 minutes. Stir in cheddar cheese, tomatoes, bacon and chipotle mayonnaise. Salt and pepper to taste. Allow to chill 15 – 30 minutes. Serves 8-10.

Next week: Some duck photos, roasted jalapenos, Key Lime bars. Stay tuned…


 

Summer Salads: Caprese Pasta Salad

This week is all about pasta salads…just not your typical pasta salads. Although, since tomatoes are ripening, most will probably have tomatoes in them. LOL

This one is a regular at the dinner table. Visiting local farmer’s markets offered me the chance to change this dish up with flavored fettuccini pasta a couple of times.

Pasta Caprese

  • 9 oz linguine or fettuccine
  • 2 large tomatoes, diced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • 4 oz cubed mozzarella
  • salt & pepper to taste

saucepan and large serving dish Continue reading

Peach Week Dinner Menu: Peach Chutney on Grilled Pork

Jeffrey W Pickled Peaches

Fires and late freezes last year left us with very few peaches from the Western Slope. But this year, a bumper crop means a fresh delivery from the Palisades farms every few days. I buy a few each time,  so that I don’t have to many overripening on the counter.

This is one of my favorite peach recipes. Great on grilled pork or chicken.

On the board tonight:

  1. Grilled Pork Chops
  2. Peach Chutney
  3. Green beans in Butter
  4. Couscous

Grilled Pork Chops w/Peach Chutney

  • 4 pork chops, medium thickness
  • ½ tsp crushed garlic
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • ½ cup Peach Chutney

Continue reading

Snow Day: Chicken and Buttermilk Biscuit Pot Pie

We ended up with about 24 inches of snow, not counting the impressive drifts. Everything was closed again today while we clean up. As it’s Colorado, it’s already melting and the sidewalks, driveways and patio are already dry.  The four-foot drifts/snow piles from shoveling will take a bit more time. But it will be in the sixties by the end of the week.

In less than good news, two of my plum trees lost huge branches, and my 10-15 foot bushes’ health is still to be determined. Most will probably survive.

The big ducks demanded access to the yard, so I shoveled a path and they hung out on the patio, quickly understanding that those snow walls were unscalable. Although Maddie gave it a good try.

Anyway, the weather just cried out for comfort food. So tonight it’s chicken and biscuits. Continue reading