Monthly Archives: August 2014

Homemade Condiments – Photo Gallery | SAVEUR

Homemade Condiments – Photo Gallery | SAVEUR.

Sure condiments are easy to buy at the store, but sometimes making your own can save you some money and taste better than anything you can find in a jar or squeeze bottle since you have control over what is going into it. Saveur Magazine has put together 25 great condiment recipes for you to try on your own from basic ketchup right on up. Check it out!


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Fast and Easy State Fair Salt Potatoes

Finding fast and easy recipes for potatoes can make cooking up a side dish simple for nearly any type of meal. Sure you could make some simple boiled potatoes easy enough, but you want to try to add a little something to them so you can get some great flavor out of the dish. Potatoes by themselves don’t have a tremendous amount of flavor so if you can add something to them you can really liven them up. I found this simple dish at the Cooking Channel website for State Fair salt potatoes that you can make in about 15 minutes and with just a few simple ingredients that you likely have on hand all of the time.

State Fair Salt Potatoes

2 pounds baby red or Yukon gold potatoes, scrubbed and halved

6 tablespoons butter

1/4 cup mixed chopped herbs, such as oregano, dill, thyme and parsley

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place the potatoes in a medium saucepan and cover them with cold water. Heavily salt the water, adding 1 tablespoon of salt per 1 cup of cold water used. Place the pot over high heat and bring the water to a boil. Cook the potatoes until they are fork tender, about 12 to 15 minutes. Drain the potatoes well in a colander. Return the potatoes to the pot and toss them with the butter and the chopped herbs of your choice. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper to taste and serve.

These are very easy to make and you get great taste from the salt and the herbs that you use. I chose to use oregano and dill and loved the flavor that came out of the mix. I served these as a side dish with the roasted chicken I made, but I think they would go really well with any pork, beef or chicken dish that you wanted to make. These are perfect for the small red potatoes, but I think you could really use any type of potato that you prefer for this one.

Just a quick recipe for today, but check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!


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Posted by on August 22, 2014 in Cooking, Dinner, Potatoes, Side Dishes


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Get Roasting – Roast Chicken with Lemon, Oregano and Vermouth

You can never have too many ways to make roast chicken. All you need to do is take a look at some the recipes on my blog and you will quickly see that not only do I make a lot of chicken, but I make a lot of roast chicken. I like the way chicken comes out in the oven with its crispy skin and tender, juicy flavor and if you can get a great sauce out of it as well that is even better. I came across this particular recipe at Food & Wine for a very simple roast chicken with lemon, oregano and vermouth to get a different and fresh flavor.

Roast Chicken with Lemon, Oregano and Vermouth

1 chicken (3 to 3 1/2 pounds) cut into 8 pieces

4 teaspoons olive oil

1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano

2 tablespoons dry vermouth or white wine

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons water

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Coat the chicken with 3 teaspoons of the olive oil. Place the chicken pieces, skin side up, in a large roasting pan or cast iron pan. Sprinkle the chicken with the dried oregano, 1 tablespoon of the dry vermouth, the lemon juice, salt and pepper. Drizzle the remaining teaspoon of the olive oil over the top of the chicken.

Roast the chicken until the breasts are just done, about 25 to 30 minutes. Remove the breasts and wings to a separate plate and cover them to keep them warm. Continue to cook the thighs and drumsticks until they are done, about 5 to 7 minutes longer.

Heat the broiler of the oven. Remove the roasting pan from the oven and return the breasts and wings to the roasting pan. Broil the chicken under the broiler until the skin os golden brown, about 2 minutes. Keep an eye on it to make sure it does not burn. Remove the chicken from the pan to a platter.

Pour off the fat from the roasting pan. Set the pan over medium-high heat and add the remaining 1 tablespoon of dry vermouth and the 2 tablespoons of water. Bring the mixture to a boil, scraping the bottom of the pan to dislodge any browned bits. Boil the mixture until it is reduced approximately to 2 tablespoons. Add any accumulated juices from the platter the chicken is resting on. Spoon the sauce over the chicken and serve.

This recipe is very simple and you get the juicy chicken pieces with really nicely browned skin to go along with it. You also get a really unique pan sauce that has the nice flavor of the vermouth and lemon. It is a quick sauce but it packs some great flavor. You could use white wine instead or even chicken broth if you want to avoid the alcohol altogether, but I do have to say the vermouth adds a nice touch to the dish. You could easily do this dish just with your favorite chicken pieces, like breasts, thighs or drumsticks, instead of using the whole chicken. I served this with some herbed salt potatoes, which I will post the recipe for tomorrow, and some fresh green beans.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!


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Posted by on August 21, 2014 in Cooking, Dinner, Poultry, Sauce


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13 Leftovers That Taste Better Cold – Bon Appétit

13 Leftovers That Taste Better Cold – Bon Appétit.

Sometimes leftovers just hit the spot when you need a quick snack, lunch or are on a midnight forage through the refrigerator. Bon Appetit has put together 13 items that tastes even better when they are cold so you know what to look for when you really want something fast. Check it out!

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Posted by on August 20, 2014 in Cooking, Cooking Websites, Leftovers, Snacks


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Loving the Cold Lentil Salad with Cucumbers and Olives

Lentils are one of my favorites when it comes to beans. They are so versatile and add such great taste and texture to a wide variety of dishes. Of course, lentil soup is always a good choice, but I also like to make lentil salads. Lentil salad is a great summertime dish because you can serve them warm, room temperature or cold and they still taste great. I came across this recipe from The Kitchn not that long ago for a simple cold lentil salad with cucumbers and olives to give it a bit of a Mediterranean flair. you can make this one pretty quickly and it goes well with all kinds of dishes.

Cold Lentil Salad with Cucumbers and Olives

2 cups lentils

2 garlic cloves, smashed

2 bay leaves

1/2 tablespoon whole grain mustard

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons sherry vinegar

6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 medium cucumbers, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces

1 cup pitted Kalamata olives, roughly chopped

3/4 cup loosely packed fresh mint, roughly chopped

1 cup ricotta or feta cheese (optional)

Combine the lentils, smashed garlic and the bay leaves in a large pot and cover the ingredients with water by 2 inches. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the lentils are just tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Drain the water and remove the smashed garlic cloves and the bay leaves and discard them. Refrigerate the lentils until they are cold, at least 30 minutes to 1 hour.

While the lentils are chilling, make the vinaigrette for the salad. In a small bowl, whisk together the whole grain mustard, the salt and the sherry vinegar. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil, whisking the mixture constantly as you add the oil, until the dressing has emulsified.

Combine the chilled lentils, the cucumbers, the Kalamata olives and the mint in a large bowl. Pour the vinaigrette over the lentil salad and toss everything to evenly coat all of the ingredients. Dot the top of the salad with ricotta or feta cheese, if using, just before you serve the salad.

That’s all there is to this salad and it tastes great. I love the mix of the cucumbers, olives and lentils and the vinaigrette has great flavor to it thanks to the mustard and the sherry vinegar. I have found that the salad actually gets better in flavor over a couple of days, though if you are going to add the mint to it you should add just enough to what you are serving so it does not go limp when you store it and lose some of its flavor. I did not use the cheese on my salad as I didn’t have either kind on hand, but I think the feta would add a nice touch to the overall flavor of the dish.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!


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Posted by on August 19, 2014 in Beans, Cooking, Salad, Side Dishes


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Wrap it Up – Salmon Baked in Paper (Salmone in Cartoccio)

I don’t buy salmon very often even though it is really good for you and I love the flavor. The fact is that, in my opinion, farm-raised salmon has some ethical issues and it just doesn’t taste that good. I hold out for the wild-caught salmon, but the problem is that most of the time it is just too expensive to buy enough for a meal for the three of us. If I can catch it on sale at the fish market and it looks good, then I will make the investment and get some. This was the case last week when I came across some wild salmon for $14 a pound, a lot cheaper than the usual $19 a pound or more, so I decided to get some and make it for dinner that night. I found this simple recipe from Williams-Sonoma for salmon baked in paper and decided to give it a try. The recipe calls for 6 portions, but I simply cut the recipe in half and made it for the three of us.

Salmon Baked in Paper (Salmone in Cartoccio)

3 tomatoes, seeded and chopped

2 shallots, finely chopped

2 tablespoons chopped fresh marjoram or oregano or 1/2 teaspoon dried

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for oiling paper

Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

6 skinless salmon fillets, each about 6 ounces and of uniform shape

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a small bowl, stir together the chopped tomatoes, shallots, marjoram or oregano, lemon juice, the 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, salt and pepper.

Rinse the fish and pat it dry with paper towels. Cut 6 pieces of parchment paper into about 12 inch squares. Fold each sheet in half, open the paper like a book and brush the paper to one side of the crease you have made with olive oil. Place a salmon fillet on each oiled side of the paper. Spoon the tomato mixture over the fish, dividing it evenly among all of the packages.

Fold the parchment paper over the fish. Tightly seal each package by folding the edges over several times and creasing the paper firmly. Place the packages on 2 baking sheets.

Bake the packages in the oven until the salmon is opaque throughout, about 15 to 17 minutes. To check for the doneness of the fish, carefully open a package and pierce the fish with a knife.

Slide the packages of the fish onto individual plates and allow the diners to open their own packages individually.

It is a very simple dish that comes out with great flavor, especially this time of year when you can use fresh, local tomatoes as part of the meal. It is an easy combination and the fish is cooked to perfection, cooking in the paper just right with all of the flavors sealed in. I think you could do the dish with any type of fish that you like and just adjust the cooking time according to the thickness of the fish you are using. All in all, it is a very easy and elegant dish you can make any night of the week. I served this with some white rice and some of the black bean and mango salad I had.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

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Posted by on August 18, 2014 in Cooking, Dinner, Seafood


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12 Make-Ahead Burger Toppings – Photo Gallery | SAVEUR

12 Make-Ahead Burger Toppings – Photo Gallery | SAVEUR.

There are fewer things better than having a great burger right off the grill. The flavor you get from grilling your burger is unlike any other method and I could eat them all day long myself, but having some great condiments to go on your burger makes things even better. If you want to go beyond the typical store-bought items and try some things of your own, Saveur Magazine has put together 12 great burger toppings that you can make ahead and have ready for your next barbecue, outdoor party or just to enjoy for yourself. Check it out!


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Authentic Autograph Source

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Jennifer Probst

a little bit naughty a little bit nice

Laissez Faire

Letting Life Lead

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