Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Sheetpan Italian Chicken

Fast, easy, and everyone liked.  The chicken made great leftovers.  Veggies are somewhat flexible; I added some cherry tomatoes that were getting wrinkly.  Based on this recipe.


  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt 
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano 
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil 
  • 1/4 teaspoon thyme 
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper 
  • 3 cloves crushed garlic 
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil 
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar 

  • 8 (4 oz each) boneless skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of fat
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt 
  • 12 ounces zucchini, diced into 1-inch pieces 
  • 3 carrots, peeled and diced into 1-inch pieces 
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces 
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces 
  • 1 sweet onion, cut into 1-inch pieces 

DIRECTIONS:  Spray 2 large nonstick sheetpans or use parchment or foil.  Combine themarinade ingredients in a large bowl. Add the chicken and all veggies to the bowl and toss well to coat. Marinate 30 minutes or as long as overnight.

Preheat oven to 450F degrees.  Arrange everything in a single layer onto the prepared baking sheets. The vegetables and chicken should not touch (to avoid steaming the veggies). Bake about 20 minutes, turn chicken and vegetables and bake an additional 10 minutes, until roasted and tender. Top with fresh parsley and serve with rice (homemade rice-a-roni was a good choice).

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Maple Ginger Salmon

1/4c maple syrup - best grade available
2Tb soy sauce
2tsp fresh ginger minced
2tsp fresh garlic minced
4 green onions divided
1 lb salmon

  • Preheat oven to 400
  • In a 9×13 baking dish, lightly pepper the salmon on both sides. If using low sodium soy sauce, salt the salmon to taste.
  • In a non-reactive bowl or measuring cup, combine the first four ingredients and the thinly sliced green onions
  • Pour the mixture over the salmon and let marinate for 20min. You may marinate for up to 30min.
  • Bake salmon at 400 for 20min
  • I've made this the past two years for Wigilia.  It's delicious and easy.
  • Garnish with a sprig of herb like thyme or rosemary.  The visual effect is totally worth the $$ you're going to pay to get fresh herbs in the middle of winter, even if that part gets thrown away before eating.  It's just pretty.  I'll add a photo someday when I find it.  Until then, just take my word for it.  ;-)
  • Do not make one piece per person for Wigilia.  Lots of us ended up having only half when there is so much other food to consume.
  • Source

Mouth Watering Stuffed Mushrooms

  • 12 whole fresh mushrooms 
  • 1tablespoon vegetable oil 
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened 
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese 
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder 
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Clean mushrooms with a damp paper towel. Carefully break off stems. Chop stems extremely fine, discarding tough end of stems.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and chopped mushroom stems to the skillet. Fry until any moisture has disappeared, taking care not to burn garlic. Set aside to cool.

When garlic and mushroom mixture is no longer hot, stir in cream cheese, Parmesan cheese, black pepper, onion powder and cayenne pepper. Mixture should be very thick. Using a little spoon, fill each mushroom cap with a generous amount of stuffing. Arrange the mushroom caps on prepared cookie sheet.

Bake for 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the mushrooms are piping hot and liquid starts to form under caps.

  • We've had these the past two years for Wigilia.  Tradition?
  • Costco's mushrooms are especially nice.
  • Source

Sweet and Sour Glazed Pork Chops

4 (8-ounce) pork chops, bone-in, 3/4-inch to 1-inch thick
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons honey
2 cloves garlic minced
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes, optional
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Season pork chops with salt and pepper, to taste.
Melt butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add pork chops and sear both sides until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes.
Place into oven and roast until completely cooked through, reaching an internal temperature of 140 degrees F, about 8-10 minutes.*
To make the sweet and sour glaze, combine balsamic vinegar, honey, garlic, oregano, basil, thyme and red pepper flakes in a small saucepan over medium heat; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.
Serve pork chops immediately with sweet and sour glaze.


  • I skipped the red pepper flakes and poured the glaze over both sides of the chops while still in the pan.  
  • The method was very easy. Results were good.


Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Instant Pot Pork Roast

2 1/2 pounds pork loin roast
kosher salt or sea salt , to taste
fresh cracked black pepper , to taste
2 Tablespoons butter
1/2 medium onion , diced
4 cloves garlic , minced
1/2 cup broth
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon coarse mustard
2 teaspoons herbs of choice- dried or fresh (rosemary, basil, oregano, thyme etc…)
1 Tablespoon corn starch
1/4 cup water

Season pork with salt and pepper. Turn Instant Pot on "Sauté”, and add butter and melt. Add the pork loin and sear the sides of the pork loin to a nice golden brown.  Add the onions and garlic and cook until soft, about 2 minutes.
Stir in the broth, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, mustard, and herbs.
Close the lid, set to high pressure, and after the pressure cooker reaches full pressure,  cook for 15-30 minutes *depending on size & preferred doneness. 

After the cooking time is complete, press "Cancel" and carefully release the pressure. If possible, check the internal temperature of the pork loin (it should be about 145°F).
Remove the pork loin from the Instant Pot (keep the juices the Instant Pot), cover and allow the pork loin to rest for about 10 minutes, depending on how large your loin roast is and how well done you like it.
Mix together the cornstarch and water. Add to the Instant Pot with the juices. Turn Instant Pot on "Sauté” and simmer until thickened. Taste seasoning and add additional salt and pepper if desired.


  • Source
  • I omitted the celery and carrots from the original recipe.
  • I started with a Costco pork roast (4 pack, about 2.5 lbs each).  
  • Be sure to sear well all around.  It holds in juices and adds lots of flavor.
  • The herbs were delicious and I'll definitely do this again.  
  • The only change I'd make is to cut the roast into 2 pieces so it's a uniform thickness.  Mine was thinner on one end and I ended up restarting the instant pot 3 times to get it to an internal temperature of 145 in the thickest part.

Roasted Brussel Sprouts

1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts
3 tablespoons good olive oil
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Cut off the brown ends of the Brussels sprouts and pull off any yellow outer leaves. Mix them in a bowl with the olive oil, salt and pepper. Pour them on a sheet pan and roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until crisp on the outside and tender on the inside. Shake the pan from time to time to brown the sprouts evenly. Sprinkle with more kosher salt ( I like these salty like French fries), and serve immediately.


  • Source - Ina Garten
  • Very easy and delicious!
  • Mine took quite a bit less time than called for and I ended up peeling off outside leaves on some of them because they really were too overdone.
  • Ina likes hers salty and I agree.  A little extra sea salt ground on top was good.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Blueberry Lemon scones

It's Nick's baptism day, so naturally a treat is in line.
I added these scones to brunch and they were quite delicious!

  • Scones
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) cold, unsalted butter
  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 large lemon, zested
  • ¾ cups heavy cream
  • ¾ cup frozen raspberries
  • Glaze
  • ½ large lemon, juiced
  • ½ to 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  1. Cut butter into ¼-inch pieces and return it to the refrigerator to keep it cold until needed.
  2. Preheat oven to 425° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Combine flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, and lemon zest in a large wide bowl. Mix to combine.
  4. Add butter to the dry ingredients and toss it to coat with flour. Working quickly with clean fingers or a pastry blender, rub or cut butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse meal.
  5. Add frozen raspberries to the mixture and toss to coat. Drizzle the heavy cream evenly over the mixture. Toss with a fork, scraping up from the bottom, until the dough starts to clump together. Knead the mixture together in the bowl until it comes together in a mass. It’s okay if there are a few stray bits and dry patches; the most important thing is to avoid overworking the dough.
  6. Turn out the dough on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Press in stray bits gently and shape the dough into an a 7 to 8-inch square about ¾-inch thick. It should look a bit rough and ragged.
  7. Using a knife or bench scraper, divide the square into 9 smaller squares. Divide each square in half diagonally to make 18 small triangles.
  8. Separate the scones carefully to give them room to spread. Bake until pale golden, about 12 to 15 minutes.
  9. To prepare the glaze, combine lemon juice and ½ cup confectioners’ sugar in a small bowl. Whisk to combine. Add more sugar, as needed to create the desired consistency for glazing.
  10. Cool scones for at least 10 minutes before glazing. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Find a nice photo here. I'm not sure how to add it on my iPad.

One positive change -
  • I used grated frozen butter ala Sally's Baking Addiction's recommendation 

Two things I did to avoid next time
  • I used Aldi canned blueberries instead of frozen fruit and it was super messy. Frozen would be better.
  • I tried to accomplish steps in advance and had the dry ingredients and the lemon zest mixed up in a bowl overnight. I'm wondering if the zest activated the baking powder because they did not raise as much as expected.