I don’t make lasagna very often, it has always been a special occasion kinda dish for me. With that said there are times in life when you just crave something truly delicious and it doesn’t matter you just have to make it. I know lasagna is a little time consuming but the day I made this I was really feeling like rolling up my sleeves and treating my husband to a special dinner, and I just happened to be craving it myself. I love spinach in my lasagna and I was also wanting the taste of onion and garlic that day. So I sautéed the onion and garlic first and then added the spinach. I used my favorite jar of sauce, and I like boiling the noodles. The kind with the curly edges, my cheeses of choice are the traditional ricotta and mozzarella. I set a pretty table and made a salad to go with our lasagna. It turned an ordinary day into an extra special day. Thanks for stopping by 🍽
I’ve been working on my Thanksgiving Day dinner plans this past week and decided it’s time to change up my brussel sprout recipe this season. I want to add more color and flavor to this delicious vegetable. Since I always serve yams that seemed like a good choice to add and one less dish to prepare. Yams roasted become so sweet and melt in your mouth not to mention the color it will add. I always put chopped bacon or pancetta for extra flavor so that must remain. For even more color I’ll add dried cranberries after the vegetables are roasted and finish by tossing everything with high quality balsamic vinegar. It not only looks festive it tastes great!
Brussel sprouts, washed and cut in half
Yams, peeled and cut into small chunks
Bacon, cut into small pieces
Fresh cracked pepper
Good quality olive oil
Good quality balsamic vinegar
Prepare the vegetables, try to cut them so they are even in size so they roast evenly. Spread them on a baking sheet and Sprinkle the chopped bacon pieces over the top. Salt and pepper to your liking. Sprinkle enough olive oil over the vegetables to coat them. Toss with your clean hands. Bake 450 degrees for about 20 minutes, till vegetables a tender. Remove from the oven. Spoon the roasted vegetables into a dish and pour on enough balsamic to coat and add a good handful or two of the dried cranberries. Toss and serve immediately.
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I can’t believe it’s the end of August; I love the summer so much! The older I get the faster the seasons seem to pass. I heard the crickets loud as ever last week and before I know it they will be sneaking out of the cracks and greeting me in the wee hours of the morning, just before I’m off to work. In the next few weeks my husband and I will try to visit the Jersey shore as many times as we can fit into our schedules. But the time will pass quickly and fall will be upon us. Aside from summer, I love fall almost as much. I love the baking, our trip to Pittsburg to try and catch the fall foliage and visit my husband’s childhood home town. Pulling out the sweaters and lighting the fireplace for the first time on a chilly night. It’s so much fun Spotting the first pumpkins and gourds at the local farm market. Going on a hay ride with your family and pulling out recipes for favorite soups and stews. With all of these things to look forward to I can open my mind and embrace the upcoming season. Sundays are good days for me to be in the kitchen. After church I love to come home and make something special for my family. Today with the realization that the end of summer is about a month away, I thought I’d try making butternut squash soup. I’ve never made butternut squash soup so it will be a time of testing for me. I have had it at restaurants and last year at a friend’s house. I really enjoyed it each time I tasted it. I knew I would love to make it for my family homemade. I scouted the internet for recipes. There are many! I saw recipes that boiled the squash and vegetables and others that roasted them. I’m a big fan of roasted vegetables. Roasting just seems to bring so much flavor out of any vegetable. The other ingredient I wanted in the soup was apple. This is sure sounding like a fall soup now! I consulted my flavor bible book and decided to use bay leaf, nutmeg and cinnamon to add flavor. I also added an over flowing tablespoon of pure maple syrup to add a little more sweetness. To finish the soup I added a good dash of light cream and fresh grated nutmeg, just a dash. For a garnish on my soup I toasted some pumpkin seeds and sprinkled them on top. My house smelled amazing during this process I must say. My husband was kindly yelling out smells good in here! I just love that. Cooking and baking is such a blessing to me when I can share it with others. That’s what makes it a joyous task. Well, after about an hour and a half I brought my soup out to my husband for tasting. He really enjoyed it, as did I. All the flavors and ratios worked well together. I would definitely serve this to company. I would however like to make this soup a few more times and try a few different recipes before I give it a place of honor in my recipe box. As much as I will miss summer I’m looking forward to fall and all the fun and yummy things that come with it. God Bless and enjoy your day!
Butternut Squash Soup
2 lbs. butternut squash, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 large granny smith apple, peeled and cored, cut into 1 inch cube
1 large yellow onion, cut into 1 inch cube
Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
3 tablespoons olive oil
2-3 cups vegetable stock
1 bay leaf
1/8 teaspoon of nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1-2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
Dash of cream
Fresh grated nutmeg, optional
½ cup toasted pumpkin seeds
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees
On a baking tray evenly spread out the prepared squash, apple, and onion. Sprinkle with kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste. Pour olive oil over the vegetables and apple. Bake 30-35 minutes until the squash is very tender. When done roasting the vegetables pour them into a saucepan. Add 1 ½ cups of vegetable broth, the bay leaf, and the nutmeg and cinnamon. Bring to a gentle boil and heat through and let the spices marry. About 20 minutes. Remove from heat. Discard the bay leaf. Puree the soup and add the remaining broth until you have a nice consistency to the soup. Finish the soup with a good dash of cream stirring to combine. Grate a little fresh nutmeg over top. Garnish with toasted pumpkin seeds.
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I have always loved chicken pot pie. Even when I was a young girl I thought it so comforting. I especially loved the gravy. When my children were very young I began to learn how to bake. I bravely made white and wheat bread, homemade cakes and pies. Most attempts turned out pretty badly. I remember once serving company homemade coconut cake it was so dry, all they could say was how much they admired me for trying. In time my efforts improved. I got to know the look and feel of bread and pie dough and mastered the cake batter. I made the chicken pot pie recipe in the Better Homes and Garden cookbook over and over again until I could make it pretty much perfect. My children have always loved it. To this day if I make a special dinner they ask for that pot pie. The crust is flakey and crispy. The filling heavenly, with the flavor of fresh sage and thyme baked into the chicken. The tender pieces of chicken, sweet carrot, baby potatoes, and a few fresh peas add even more flavor. I love the idea of making them individual just like the banquet pot pies my Mom used to buy. Only these are oh so much tastier.
I like to bake my chicken in chicken broth, sprinkled with fresh sage, thyme, kosher salt, and fresh cracked pepper. The broth keeps the chicken very tender and flavorful.
Chop the vegetables in a small dice. Keeping them the same size for even cooking.
Dice the chicken.
Add all of the cooked vegetables and chicken.
Pour the filling into the tins.
Put the crusts on top and egg wash and bake.
Time to enjoy!
Chicken Pot Pie
Homemade or store bough pie crust
3 cups chicken, diced
Good pinch of fresh thyme and sage, chopped
Kosher salt, to taste
Fresh cracked pepper, to taste
1 cup diced baby potatoes, yellow or red
2/3 cup carrots, diced
1/2 cup celery, diced
1 medium yellow onion, diced
¼ cup fresh or frozen peas
4 tablespoons butter
2 1/4 cups chicken stock or broth
¾ cup whole milk
1/3 cup of all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon ground sage
To prepare the chicken place the breasts into a baking dish add enough broth to generously coat the bottom, but not to cover the chicken. Sprinkle with fresh herbs, salt, and pepper. Bake 350 degree until the temperature reads 160 degrees. Rest chicken for 10 minutes. Boil the potatoes and carrots together until tender, strain and set aside. In a sauté pan melt the butter on medium heat. Add the onion, celery, salt, pepper, and ground sage. Be careful not to brown the onion. Cook until tender about 5 minutes. Add the flour to the pan stir with a whisk. Cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the broth while mixing with a whisk, and then add the milk and whisk to get smooth gravy. Cook until thick and bubbly. Add the chicken, potatoes, carrots, and peas. You may bake the pot pie in a 9 inch pie plate or individual tins. Pour the filling into the tins and top with your prepared dough. Cut a hole or slits in the crust to vent. Egg wash and bake at 400 degrees until golden brown and bubbling. I used only a top crust you may use top and bottom crust. You can also top with prepared puff pastry.
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I ‘ve been trying to find some healthier options for snacking lately. I always think of raw vegetables a quick snack. On days off however why not make the vegetable snack a little more tasty. Steam or boil some carrots. Add them to a small fry pan with 1 teaspoon of butter. Just let the butter melt and then add 1 teaspoon of pure maple syrup. shake the pan to coat and glaze the carrots. Serve in a pretty bowl and enjoy.
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