Next week it’s back to school for my kids. I! Am! Thrilled! You can probably tell by the exclamation marks. It’s been a long summer people. No judging. What I’m not looking forward to is waking up early after a summer of lazy mornings. I’m not a morning person. Never have been and I’m thinking that’s probably never going to change. Thank goodness for coffee is all I can say. For me though, it’s important to get the kids off with a full belly. This biscuits and sausage gravy is a shortcut breakfast that can be prepped the night before and then just heated up in the morning. That’s definitely a good thing.
There are very few people I know that don’t like scalloped potatoes (and let’s just say we’re not close). Creamy soft potatoes swimming in a cheese sauce. Pass me the pan people. Carbs I love them. What can I say. I could eat them every day. Of course I’d probably have to eat them while walking on a treadmill if I did. Okay scratch that walking on a treadmill while eating is really not advisable, don’t ask me how I know. Sigh.
Pork. Mushrooms. Marsala. What’s not to love about this dish? It’s meaty, earthy and is sure to become a recipe in your go to repertoire. Serve the saucy medallions over a bed of glorious garlic mashed potatoes OR creamy polenta and call it a night. But not before adding a baguette. That sauce is the kicker. I mean it’s okay to lick the plate when no one is around but if you have guests it’s probably best to mop it up with a nice piece of toasty bread.
I asked a question the other day on my Facebook page (we are friends there right? Right!) ” Pumpkin Overload or Bring on the Pumpkin?” there was overwhelming Bring on the Pumpkin response. Well I hope you meant it because Pumpkin Palooza is about to converge on the blog. We’re starting out with a basic roasted pumpkin recipe which will be a jumping off point to several other recipes to follow. By itself, it’s an amazing side dish to just about any fall meal that you can think of or if you’ve not eaten all day it’s a meal in itself (not that I know that or anything ehem).
If you’ve never had eggs on pizza you’re missing out. MISSING OUT. Sorry for the yelling but I wanted to be sure you heard that. That moment when you pierce your fork into that perfectly runny yolk and it drizzles and oozes all over the prosciutto, bubbly mozzarella and peppery arugula creating a creamy silky dressing that makes your eyes roll (in a good way). Yes that moment. That bite. See what you’d be missing if you didn’t make this.
Just go ahead and get an extra package of napkins because you are going to need them. There is no lady-like, polite way to eat ribs. If you try you’re going to just end up with a rib in your lap and a nice big stain on your pants. And napkins are way cheaper than a new pair of pants. Truth. I love ribs. Ribs are serious business here in the South. Once you’ve decided on the actual rib itself (pork please) there’s the choice of whether you rub them down, get saucy or both. The sauce is in another category all to itself. There is tomato based, mustard based and vinegar based – which much to my North Carolinian friends dismay I strongly dislike as in I’ll take a pass dislike. What can I say I am a mustard based girl.
I know you’ve all heard of drunken pasta. Typically, it’s pasta that has been boiled in red wine. In theory it’s a good idea right, wine, pasta. Yes please. Well it’s yes until the plate arrives in front of you (at least for me). We eat with our eyes first, and red wine turns the pasta in this deathly looking greyish purple hue that’s completely unappetizing. Unless you use WHITE wine. Ding ding ding. Do you hear the bell going off in your head?
Do you like to get your grill on? As in bbq grill not dental grill (which I have never ever understood – How do you clean those things? I mean just buy a ring or a bracelet already). IF you do, and you think you have what it takes my friends at Dole are hosting their Dole California Cook-Off and you should honestly consider entering. Besides glory there’s a whole lotta gumbo cash at stake. Like $25,000. All you have to do is come up with a killer recipe (some rules and regulations apply see contest page for full details – did that come across in my announcer voice?) and submit it.
I am a sucker for pizza. Thin crust please. I might be in the minority but thick crust or deep dish just isn’t for me. Thin it is and the crispier the better. Pizzas are fantastic because lets face it you can honestly top them with anything you like. Some combinations are way better than others. I’ve had a few oh yeah um moments. But luckily you can usually salvage that carb-y cheesy goodness by picking off whatever isn’t working for you and press on.
This past weekend we got started planting our deck container garden. I can not tell you how incredibly excited I am to have an abundance of fresh cherry and Roma tomatoes, herbs and PEPPERS right off of my kitchen at my finger tips. I like variety so in the pepper department we’ll have: chile peppers, giant Marconi as well as yellow and red bell peppers (no green ones for me thank you). When they start producing, they come in hot and heavy. Meaning we eat them every which way we can. Including stuffing them a gazillion different ways.
I love pork products. Probably more than the average person (well not as much as Chef Michael Symon who has multiple pigs tattoos – but close). So naturally when I had an opportunity to partner with the National Pork Boardit was a big giant no brainer. I am official now. Yes officially a Sister Cites of Ham Ambassador (Raleigh – DurHAM) and I have a badge to prove it. A celebration was in order which had to include what else? Ham! This spiced roasted ham with glaze. It’s a showstopper and it couldn’t be easier to make. Promise.
Surprise it’s still COLD. Good thing “Ada” my KitchenAid Range is such a workhorse. She’s been getting a massive workout EVERY.SINGLE.DAY. Especially the oven portion. Besides massive amount of chocolate chip cookies there have been a plethora of pasta bakes. I’m a fan of the pasta bake, aka casserole or cheesy carb-y goodness. You pick. What’s not to love about melted cheese and warm pasta? If you’re not a fan, I’m not sure we could be friends. Okay well maybe if you brought me wine and let me eat your bowl of pasta, that might work. Maybe. Chocolate would be good also. Just a thought.
Next to Italian, Asian food is one of my most favorite cuisines (btw if you’re ever in Birmingham you MUST go to Jensei, and order the Kadoma tuna, I can’t stop dreaming about that one along with the tempura green beans oh sweet Mamma). I could eat my weight in sushi, and dumplings don’t stand a chance around me. It’s embarrassing how many I can eat.
People are passionate about chili. They like it the way they like it and that’s just the way it is. Some people like beans in the mix, others not so much. Some people top their chili with all kinds of interesting toppings: sour cream, cheese, chives, fritos, cornbread. Me I’m kind of an odd bird and I like my chili served over rice. Yep, always have. I also like for my husband to make it. Why you ask? Well I have to admit mine tastes more like spicy spaghetti sauce than chili so I defer to him on this one. And grilling for the most part.
So apparently there’s a big football game coming up soon. Or so I keep hearing. I’m not a football person. Gasp. Sorry. Never have been. My husband is a football person. I am a snack person. You know that thing about opposites attracting? It’s true. I make the snacks and he gets to watch the game and all is right in the Jones house. I’m going to be making a plethora of carb heavy foods for the big shebang, including these mini meatball subs. These aren’t any ordinary subs. That would be boring. They’re amaze-balls sausage meatball subs with a sweet and spicy sauce served up a warm toasted steak roll.
I’m not quite done with my holiday baking yet (don’t worry there are more brownies coming your way – thank goodness right?) but I have to admit by the end of my marathon baking days I have been craving something salty and dare I say with a little veg it in. Who am I? The catch is I’m not all that hip on the idea of staying in the kitchen to whip up something that will take forever. In comes Stromboli. Think stuffed bread that filled with salty salami, cheeses and a little veg. Who wouldn’t want a slice or two of that?
You’re going to have to excuse me while I wax poetic about Porchetta. If you’re not familiar with the MOTHER of all pork roasts let me introduce her to you. Skin-on pork belly from heritage pigs surrounds succulent pieces of sirloin and shoulder. All generously seasoned with garlic, sea salt, and rosemary. I’ll give you a minute to let that soak in. It’s a flavorful alternative to turkey, spiral-cut ham, or a standing rib roast (sorry Mom). You can eat it sizzling from the oven with crackling skin or serve it cold, deli-style for sandwiches like I’ve done above. Are you drooling yet? Because you should be. One taste and you will be. Trust.
If I never had to do dishes I would be one of the happiest people on the planet. Buying dishes that’s another story that I could do for hours on end but washing them bleck. Needless to say one pot wonders are pretty stinkin’ spectacular in my book. Slow cooker recipes that use a liner insert that you just toss after your done with no washing required. Now that’s worth a cartwheel or two. Maybe even a round-off. Or maybe just a solitary happy dance around the kitchen.
Frittatas are a wonderful way to use up eggs and little bits and pieces in your fridge. They’re not fussy at all and you make them all in ONE pan. You know how much I hate doing dishes so this is fantabulous. This frittata (which is basically the Italian cousin of the omelet) is filled to the brim with sausage, onions, garlic, bell pepper and cheesy goodness. And then it’s kissed with fresh tomatoes and basil for the finishing touch. Now, who wouldn’t want that for breakfast ; )
This should just be called the “you won’t be able to stop at one no matter how much you try roll”. I tried and failed miserably. I’m going to be walking a lot this week because of it, but I’m okay with that. Really. And because I love to share in my misery, I want you to make it too and to eat as much as I did. It’s only fair ; ) Do yourself a favor and pick up a loaf of ciabatta bread to go with. You’ll have leftover prosciutto and it just begs to be placed onto a freshly baked ciabatta with a basil leaf and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Trust me.