Thursday, June 25, 2015

Lobster Linguine with Lemon Cream Sauce

Father's Day lobsters get used in a delicious make-over dinner that is elegant enough to serve invited dinner guests for a meal or perhaps as a smaller appetizer size for a tasting party.

We are fortunate to have our local grocery store sell lobsters and sometimes at a price far lower than local seafood markets. That's when we take advantage of having lobster. I spent less on these lobsters for fathers day than I would have making say a prime rib dinner. Add in the fact that we normally dine on chicken or pork and sometimes beef, these lobsters were extremely welcomed for dinner.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Herbaceous Chicken Under Brick

A spin on a recipe I did quite some time ago using fresh herbs from our garden ~ something to spruce up an otherwise boring chicken.

Now that our garden herbs are gaining some maturity, I decided to take full advantage of them yesterday in making this delicious herbaceous chicken under brick recipe. We generally use our indoor rotisserie oven but quite frankly I wasn't in the mood for that. What I was in the mood for was something with a little more punch, a little bit elevated and I think I achieved that with the herbed marinade in this chicken recipe.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Butter-Basted Pork Chops with Thyme

Pan seared thick bone-in pork chops get bathed in lots of butter and fresh thyme before finishing off in the oven for another great restaurant quality meal you make at home.

I would love to continue the healthy, eating lighter salad fest I have been on over the past few days, however my meat and potato loving husband needs some manly-man type food. I spotted two gorgeous, almost 2 inch thick bone-in pork chops and decided that they would sooth his meat craving. To add to these monster chops: some potatoes browned up in a skillet and fresh asparagus.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Chicken and Strawberry Salad with Blackberry Dressing

Using left-over grilled chicken, fresh strawberries and romaine lettuce with beautiful blackberry dressing ~ eating lighter in the summer and loving it!

My son was visiting us this past weekend and I made one of his summertime favorites Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad on the last day of his visit so he could take some back with him on the train too if he wanted. I bought a large package of the breasts and we decided to grill them all. Left over grilled chicken is fabulous for many make over meals. I've also used it for Grilled Chicken Alfredo - another easy family meal.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

King For A Day

Commemorate the father in your life with a meal fit for a king!
As we get set to honor the dads in our lives on Sunday, June 21st, 2015 I have scoured through my recipes to find the perfect Father's Day Dinner idea. Make a steakhouse style dinner in your own home with these scrumptious recipes. I figured the cost of everything here to come out to approximately $122.00 versus a fine steakhouse restaurant where you would spend over $300.00 for four people!

Every single recipe here is straightforward - not overly complicated and yet each one is distinctly amazing in it's own right. I just spoke to a friend last evening who asked me, "Do you really make all that food on your blog?" I answered, "Yes I do." Her reply: "Well I have to say you eat really well!" We do and sometimes we go a bit off course than what is a normal budget for food; but no matter what, it's all good and it's all delicious - well most all of it is. Dishes that are not good never make it here on the blog.

Start off by treating that special dad with an appetizer that will knock his socks off. If your dad or the father of your children loves oysters he is going to absolutely go crazy for the Long Island Broiled Oysters. They get heated just for a bit under the broiler to melt the yummy Gruyere cheese that sits atop the luscious oyster and small amount of filling.

Who doesn't love a good and flavorful steak? Whenever I splurge I go for either Porterhouse Steak or if I really want to splurge, a rib eye steak. You end up getting the best of both worlds with the Porterhouse as you'll see in the photograph. One side is the New York Strip and the other the Filet Mignon. There's a great video in the post explaining cuts of steak.

And the sides I have chosen are incredible and exemplify the best a steakhouse has to offer and they can be made right in your own home. The first is the Steakhouse Potato Gratin. You can't have a steak without some potatoes now can you? This luscious, creamy gratin is over the top good!

The other perfect pairing with steak are mushrooms. I absolutely do love the taste of the porcini mushroom so I chose them for Steakhouse Mushrooms with Marsala. Whatever you do, please go and buy some Marsala from the liquor store otherwise this dish will be a bust! Your king will be so happy to have some along side his steak.

And finally you need something green, something healthy and something delicious for a vegetable. Well the Restaurant-Style Broccoli and Garlic fits in perfectly with this King For A Day restaurant quality meal at home. The broccoli is cooked perfectly and remains a stunning green. Dad will love it.

At last you've eaten this delicious dinner with the man or men in your life you're honoring on Father's Day and it's time to relax and settle in with perhaps a cup of coffee and dessert. I've got you covered there too!

Chocolate Cake with Black Raspberry Ganache ~ it's simple, it's elegant and it's delicious. Very easy to make too!

Another easy and delicious recipe that looks terrific is Easy Chocolate Swirl Cheesecake Tart. So if the dad(s) you are honoring love cheesecake this is a good one.

This last easy and chocolaty dessert is one of my recent posts. These are the bomb and so simple to make. You have to check out Easy Chocolate, Date and Nut Cookie Bars. I think they go fantastic with that ending cup of coffee.

And to close out the post I am wishing all my male reader's a very Happy Father's Day and it is my hope that you all honor your father or the man who you consider a father or mentor in your life. If you haven't spoken to your Dad in a while - please call. Don't text a message, don't e-mail; make the simple act of picking up the phone to say Happy Father's Day to show you care. You never know if you'll ever get that opportunity in the future as life is too short

I know that all too well as we lost a father figure in our family on Father's Day last year in 2014. My brother-in-law Dave passed. It was devastating for all of us especially to my sister and her two daughters as it was sudden and unexpected. This coming Saturday we will be celebrating his memory together with family and friends, but we all wish we were with celebrating with him instead.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

PepperJack Mac 'n Cheese


It wasn't surprising to find from my research that Macaroni and Cheese ranked in the top ten list on every site that I visited for favorite comfort foods in America.

Comfort foods like home made buttermilk biscuits, meatloaf, chicken soup and mashed potatoes all provide each of us a distinct and sentimental feeling that goes back to our childhood. When I think about all of the fabulous food my mother made, her macaroni and cheese stands out. We had it quite often in our household and none of us had a single complaint if she announced that's what we were having for supper. Her mac and cheese was always the same and always, always delicious.

I am up for trying different versions of macaroni and cheese; hence this PepperJack Mac 'n Cheese. We had a get together over the weekend with friends and there was some PepperJack cheese left over from a cheese and cracker platter I put together. That is how the idea to make it PepperJack came about.

One thing about Pepper Jack cheese is that it is soft. So put it in the freezer for about 20-30 minutes and it will make grating it a little easier. That holds true for other cheeses as well for slicing or grating.
  • 2 - 10 oz. bars pepper jack cheese - shredded
  • 2 cups milk + 1/2 cup
  • 1/2 box elbow macaroni or a pasta of your choice
  • 3 tbsp. butter
  • 3 tbsp. flour
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. coarse ground black pepper
  • 1 jalapeno pepper - seeded and diced small (about 1 tablespoon)
  • cooking spray
  1. Use your food processor or a hand grater and grate one bar of the pepper jack cheese.
  2. In a medium sauce pot add the butter and melt it over medium low heat and add in the flour. You are making a roux. Keep stirring for a couple of minutes to work out the flour taste.
  3. Slowly add the milk and keep whisking until blended then simmer over medium low heat until the milk is nice and warm - just before bubbles form around the edges and keep stirring.
  4. To the milk add in the salt, black pepper and the one bar of grated pepper jack cheese. Keep stirring and allow the cheese to melt in. Turn off the heat and let it sit.
  5. Cook the pasta according to the box directions to el dente stage. Drain and set aside.
  6. Slice open the jalapeno and remove the seeds and the vein and dice very small. Add this to the cheese sauce and mix well to combine.
  7. In a large bowl add your cooked pasta, the cheese sauce and mix well.
  8. For extra cheesy goodness, shred at least one third of the second bar - or more if you want and mix some in the bowl with the macaroni and cheese sauce and save the rest for topping the casserole.
  9. Spray your casserole dish liberally with cooking spray for easier clean up.
  10. Add the macaroni mixture to the dish, pour in the half cup milk and top with the cheese.
  11. Baked uncovered in a preheated 375° oven for about 40 minutes. Turn the broiler on and broil for about 3-5 minutes to get the top extra crispy and golden.

Texturally speaking this is great because you have the crispy, cheesy top and underneath creamy pasta. Flavor-wise the taste is out of the everyday delicious. The PepperJack along with a little bit of jalapeno adds just enough heat to the dish without overpowering your taste buds.

If you and your family enjoy Mexican flavors then you will definitely love this version of home made macaroni and cheese!

I adore macaroni and cheese and here are a few recipes you might like:

Easy Weeknight Macaroni and Cheese

Easy Macaroni and Cheese with Tomatoes

Cheesesteak Pasta Casserole

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