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Pork with Prunes in Cognac Cream Sauce

14 Oct



You have to make this.

I just want to drink the sauce.

1 1/2 Tablespoons olive oil

2 pounds of pork tenderloin or chicken. I used pork.

Season the meat with salt and pepper.

One tablespoon butter

One large diced shallot

1/2 cup good dry white wine and a sip for the cook.

1/4 cup cognac or Calvados

1 heaping tablespoon diced rosemary

1 cup chicken broth

1 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup pitted prunes, sliced in half

2  teaspoons Dijon mustard, maybe a little more to taste

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

12 ounces mini fusilli

Salt to taste or use powdered chicken broth.

Heat the oil in a nonstick skillet on medium-high

Do not move them until the bottom is brown then turn to brown the other side.

This takes maybe three to four minutes in total.

Remove to a plate.

Add the butter and shallots to the pan and cook for one minute.

Make sure you stir the shallots so they don’t burn.

Add the wine and cognac

Scrape the pan clean.

All those little brown bits are a fabulous flavor.

Add the rosemary, black pepper, chicken broth, heavy cream, and prunes.

Simmer till thickened.

Whisk in the mustard.

Add the pork and all the juices from the plate.

Boil 12 ounces of mini fusilli in water seasoned with bouillon or salt and drain well.

Save one cup of the pasta water just in case the sauce gets too thick.

Add the drained pasta to the pork and sauce.


Garnish with fresh ground black pepper.

This is almost too good to have as a weeknight meal.

Definitely a celebration meal.



The One Pounder

14 Mar


It is my grandsons birthday and I wanted to make him something special.

My daughter was making the cake so what else could I do?

Then it came to me like a dream.

A One Pound Meatball.

It was done.

One pound of 85% lean hamburg.

2 eggs

1/2 small onion

2 cloves garlic

2 teaspoons chopped parsley

1/4 salt and pepper

1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

2 pieces of bread

Put the onion and garlic in the food processor and mix till it is fine diced.

Add the parsley, salt,  pepper and bread and mix well.

Add the meat and cheese just until everything is mixed.

Take everything out of the bowl and form into a ball.

Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes.

Put it into the tomato sauce and let it simmer for at least one hour in the sauce.

My grandson loved it.



Pesto Pasta with Asparagus and Peas

14 Mar


I love pesto but I make mine without nuts because of my family allergies.

I make a large batch then freeze it in small six ounce containers.

I found a container in the freezer and decided to use it  because I usually save it for special occasions. I have to admit that I am a hoarder.

One pound of gemelli pasta

One cup pasta water

8  tablespoons olive oil

6 cloves minced garlic

One diced onion

1 cup peas

20 asparagus

3 big handfuls baby spinach

2 big handfuls baby arugula

6 to 8 ounces pesto

2 boullion cubes

salt to taste

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes.

12 basil leaves

Plenty of good Parmesan grated cheese

Boil the asparagus in the pasta water pot for 4 to 5 minutes

Take out and set aside then cut into one inch pieces

Cook the pasta according to the package directions

Save one cup of the pasta water

Drain the pasta

Set aside

Heat the oil

Add the garlic and onion and cook on medium high for 3 minutes

Add the peas and mix with the garlic and onions

Add the spinach, garlic powder and arugula mix well

Add the pesto and mix well

Add the pasta

Mix water with the boullion cubes

Add to the pasta

Mix well

Top with the asparagus and fresh basil

Sprinkle with red pepper flakes and lots of cheese.

This is great hot or room temperature


Spaghetti Marinara

6 Mar



This was one of my favorite Friday night meals.

Its fast, easy and meatless.

Now I make it with spiral vegetables but I still love my pasta.

6 cloves of minced garlic

6 tablespoons olive oil

One 28 ounce can of chunky style tomatoes

1/2 teaspoon oregano

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Ten basil leaves

One pound of dry spaghetti

Fill a large pot with water and salt and bring to  a boil

Add the pasta and cook till it is almost cooked.

Drain the pasta but save one cup of pasta water.

Heat the oil in a pan and add the minced garlic

Cook till the garlic is almost brown

Add the tomatoes and all the spices

Bring to a rolling boil then simmer for about five minutes.

Stir often.

Add the pasta to the pot and let the pasta absorb all the tomato sauce.

If it gets too dry add some of the pasta water.

Serve in a bowl

Sprinkle with cheese

This is a $2.00 meal that feeds four.

I have added a bag of frozen Italian vegetables to the pasta water just before the pasta is cooked.

Not bad




Valentine Crazy

13 Feb



I always loved Valentines Day and can’t help from going crazy.

If it can be formed into a heart I do it.

This year I made heart shaped meatball.

They weren’t balls they were  meatball mix that I cut with a heart cookie cutter.

I baked them and  put them in my tomato sauce.

My grandchildren loved them.

Then we made heart shaped individual pizzas.

Kids love to play in the kitchen and they did a great job,

The cookies were made with cherries so we had a red dessert.

Its amazing how everyone got excited about a simple dinner.

Happy Valentines Day to everyone.

















Angie’s Pasta

12 Dec


Angie is my Mom and she could cook anything.

She got on a pasta kick for years and we made every kind of pasta you can think of.

She would call us and say we are making raviolis.

There were no excuses, we all had to show up.

Now I love, love , love to make pasta with my grandchildren.

Its cheaper than play-doh.

2 eggs

1 teaspoon salt

2 cups  all purpose flour but you can use wheat

4 tablespoons water

Put the flour and salt in the food processor and mix.

Add the eggs and pulse

Slowly add the water starting with two tablespoons and then adding more if needed.

Pulse till the dough turn into a ball and then knead in the machine for another minute or two.

It is such a smooth dough

You can let the dough rest for a while or refrigerate it for up to a week.

Put the processor away and take out your pasta machine.

My parents gave me mine when I got married and I love it.

Divide the dough into four pieces.

Sprinkle your board and the pasta machine with flour

Starting with the #1 thickness on your machine place the dough in the machine. Don’t worry because it is going to look lumpy.

Put it on your board and sprinkle with flour.

Fold the dough into thirds and roll.

Sprinkle with flour.

Roll at #1 again.

Sprinkle with flour

Turn to #2 thickness and roll again

You may have to cut the dough in half now just so it is easier to handle.

Turn to #4 and roll again

I like the thickness of #5

Then I put it threw the fettuccini cutter

Put it on a floured board or pasta hanging rack.

Fluff the pasta so it doesn’t stick together.

Cook in salted boiling water for 4 to 5 minutes

My grandchildren ate all of it just with oil, salt and some cheese for the one who could eat dairy.

Very fun activity

The thickness of the pasta is up to you but it does change the cooking time.

If it gets too thin just fold it up, roll it and start again.




The Bachelor Meal

7 Dec

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I did not cook this but my son did.

Hopefully he used serving plates but he put together a great meal.

Rib eye steaks grilled on his green egg at 700 degrees

Blue cheese salad

Crispy small potatoes baked in bacon fat and drizzled with balsamic dressing

Pasta with tomatoes, garlic and mozzarella

Apple crostata with vanilla ice cream


Appetizers were cheese nachos, sausage calzones and tomato pizza.

Very impressive.