Chicken Breasts With roasted Vegetables

Serve This Dish Hot Or Cold

Chicken Breasts Baked With VegetablesCaramelized vegetables are a favorite. So easy to do, and why not add the chicken in the last minutes and have a one dish meal … Chicken Breasts with Roasted Vegetables.

Ina Garten first introduced me to roasted vegetables … Something I now cook regularly and especially at Thanksgiving. I put just about every vegetable I can think of in the mix. My sons now find brussel sprouts one of their favorites. Who knew!

In this dish I have included summer vegetables, cauliflower, red potatoes, and onion. These were cooked until almost done and then I turned the heat down, added the chicken on top and continued to cook until chicken breasts were tender, about 20-25 minutes.

Continue reading

A Delicious Indulgence

Pan Seared Filet Mignon with Blue Cheese

Filet Mignon with blue cheesePan Seared Filet Mignon is so easy and wonderfully delicious. Add this simple Blue Cheese Butter Topping for added deliciousness. Jerry, a long lost friend of mine, introduced me to this amazing steak topper … and pineapple smothered Spam … maybe another time! This is always an impressive meal and so simple. You must learn the pan sear trick.

Here are a few hints I was taught along the way that may be useful:
-Use a seasoned cast iron skillet or a heavy bottom skillet.
-The skillet must be hot.
-Use the fat you have trimmed off the steak to grease the bottom of the skillet. Use a fork to run the fat around the bottom of the heated pan and then remove it.
-I often use a skillet so well seasoned no grease or oil is needed to avoid sticking. If you try this be aware the meat will stick until it is seared. Wait a minute or two, then turn it over.
-You may need to turn the heat down slightly after you add the steak to avoid too much browning. Adjusting the heat as you go may be necessary.
-Turning the steak more than once or twice will not dry out the steak.
-I was taught to salt the heated skillet rather than oil to prevent sticking. This method may no longer be in vogue.

Continue reading

A recipe for your pasta sauce or jar sauce

Easy Baked Pasta

This Easy Baked Pasta is a changeable recipe. Use your favorite meat sauce or marinara, or try my gravy, or use a jar of marinara, and even make it vegetarian. It’s easy to change up.

The dish in this picture was made with my Italian gravy rich with meat and meat balls. The only ingredients I added to my gravy were the cheeses and pasta. Just layered in this oblong baking dish without much significance in what layer goes first.

Now I am going to give you ways to change this up, add meat or vegetables, add your sauce or jar.

Continue reading

A Country School favorite, tommy’s cookies

No Butterscotch Chips Butterscotch Cookies

Butterscotch Cookies


Delta View Elementary School District was in the middle of Kings County agriculture. It was country school small but Ag wealthy. It wasn’t an unpleasant place to teach … My first real job after college. The children were extraordinary. I briefly had our future 1991-2005 congressman in a math class. I would guess many of these students went on to promising careers.

Today, as I look back, how unaffected I was by all the craziness. Not quite Peyton Place!

My position was to teach kindergarten in the morning; and 5th and 6th grades, or was it 4th and 5th, in the afternoon when the principal took over his principal duties.

In kindergarten birthdays were celebrated with homemade cookies and milk. This cookie recipe was introduced to me at one of these birthdays. I have made changes to the original recipe but I still like to call these Tommy’s cookies. They are still delicious in today’s competition.

Continue reading

A Rich Meat Sauce

Italian sauce or Gravy the Old Fashioned Way

Italian Sauce or Gravy The Old Fashioned Way


The cooking time is lengthy but a slow cooker works well if it is large enough. I like to cook this recipe on a weekend when the weather has me pretty much trapped at home. The warmth and smells from the kitchen are comforting. And my family loves it.

After cooking for some hours the gravy rests so any excess fat can be skimmed off the top. Sunday it is ready for either spaghetti and meatballs, rigatoni, or lasagna. If there is any gravy left over it is frozen to be used for that quick meal during the week … Or maybe this November when I cook my recipe of bracciole for Marc or Ed.

But what about those jarred sauces! Most are not meat sauces as this is but marinara. There are some very good ones out there … Some being sold on behalf of the TV chefs we know. Giada used a jarred sauce to prepare one of her grandfather’s favorite holiday recipes. I have used the brand she used many times. And it is very good. When I use these jarred sauces it is usually not alone … Adding wine, olive oil, finely chopped tomatoes or meatballs to not only extend it but to give it an extra oomph. I do watch for certain ingredients on the label and am cautious about the sodium level.

It’s just nice, if you have the time, to make this from scratch.

Continue reading

Simply Italian

Including My pantry pasta recipes

Simply Italian

Just loving all things Italian! I was fortunate enough to be able to take a trip to Italy some years ago. And while there took a class in Italian cooking, specific to the region.

Marignolle was a farm house in Florence made over into a lovely hotel. The class held there was for a dinner meal, start to finish. The simplicity of this recipe, their recipe, doesn’t take away from the elegance of this dish … Beautiful presentation, light but not in taste … And pairing with a nice Chianti … It just doesn’t get any better.

I’ve included here some recipes of my own, too. My family, specifically Will, likes to call these Pantry Pasta Recipes because almost all ingredients are in the pantry. These recipes, too, are simple, quick and delicious. I hope you will try mine or branch out and invent some of your own.

Continue reading

An almond cluster chocolate Chip cookie

These Almond Chocolate Chip Cookies are crisp around the edges with just enough shortening to give them a little lift in the middle … making for a chewy center. The almonds add the crunch. Milk chocolate chips as well as raw almonds get lost in this cookie. So, I’ve added salted roasted almonds, and half semi-sweet and half milk chocolate chips instead. This cookie is my creation. I’ve been a lover of chocolate chip cookies and chocolate covered almonds for years. This is my attempt to bring the two together.

Continue reading