Chinese Takeout…Roast Pork Lomein.

We don’t order take out  Chinese food often in my house.  We get that it’s loaded with sodium and msg and really doesn’t fit into a healthy lifestyle.  That doesn’t mean, I don’t crave it every now and then.  Well, that then has come upon us but instead of dialing up Sunny Wok (our local spot), I created my own version.  DSC_0737

Ever since I was a child, lomein has been my go to staple when ordering Chinese takeout.  I got the creative idea to make it recently.  It all began with a freezer clean out.  You know those days when you evaluate what’s in your freezer and when and how you will use certain things.  Brings me back to that brunch we had a while ago.  Brunch, lomein I know where is this going, but I promise you, it will make perfect sense just keep reading.  We had this delicious roasted ham.  Not that spiral kind either.  A real juicy and delicious piece of pork.  It was really good, but on top of the other 20 items I had at this brunch there were lots of leftovers.

Now if this was 6 years ago, I would have probably eaten a little the next day, maybe made a soup with the bone and tossed the rest.  Fast forward to today and I’m a changed woman.  You see, growing up in my house there weren’t all that many leftovers.  My mom had four hungry mouths to feed and basically food was eaten when cooked.  If there were some leftovers my mom really wasn’t too much of a saver, maybe one day and then the garbage. She wasn’t much of a freezer person, either.  We had ice and ice cream in there.  Now when I met my husband, he was polar opposite.  He will eat something till it’s gone basically.  He has converted me to be more resourceful with food and less wasteful.  So if something is left and able to freeze, I freeze it.I’ll tell you,it comes in rather handy and will definitely help you keep that increasing grocery budget under control.

Let’s get back to the pork I saved and the reason for this post.  I got the idea to slice it up into small strips and use it to make my roast pork lomein. Another great aspect of this dish is that you can basically use whatever vegetables you want.  You can use up whatever you have in your vegetable drawer.  I used snow peas, carrot, bok choy, scallions and water chestnuts.DSC_0740

I used some traditional Asian ingredients like soy sauce, rice wine vinegar and sesame oil to make a sauce. The beauty of this dish is that it comes together really quick.  Everything can be made in one pan or a wok if you have one.  I did purchase lomein noodles from the grocery store ,but I’m sure some whole wheat linguini pasta would work fine.


I added some toasted sesame seeds.  I like them and had them in my pantry.  It was a great little treat to have at home and easy to make as well.  It gave me an excuse to use my new chopsticks my brother got me while he was in Japan.  Hope you think of this recipe when looking to use up leftover chicken, pork, shrimp or even just plain old vegetables.  So put that take out menu away and get cooking!

Roast Pork Lomein


  • 1 Lomein noodles (whatever you can find)
  • 1/2lb leftover pork
  • 1 carrot (julienned)
  • 1 cup snow peas
  • 1 bunch scallions (sliced)
  • 1 can sliced water chestnuts
  • 2 cups bok choy (roughly chopped)
  • 1 clove garlic (minced)
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 3-4 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce


Boil a large pot of water and cook the lomein noodles to the directions on packaging. Reserve a bit of the cooking liquid. While noodles cook heat pork in a large frying pan or wok if you have it. Once pork begins to heat and get slightly crispy add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil to the pan and begin cooking carrots, bok choy, scallions, snow peas until just cooked through. Add water chestnuts at the end.
Make the sauce using the sesame oil, garlic, rice wine vinegar and soy sauce. Once the noodles are done, add them to the pan with the rest of the ingredients and add the sauce on top. Cook together for a few minutes and add a little of the noodle water if needed.
Serve and eat!

Summer Corn Soup

Wow! I just looked at my last post and can’t believe it’s been almost a year.  Where has the time gone?  I guess that’s  what happens when you have kids.  You close your eyes and wake up a year later.  Well I’m glad I’m back and thinking about recipes again, and now my son who is almost a toddler will be trying out my recipes too.  Hopefully, kid tested, mother approved or at least something the whole family can enjoy.summer corn soup

I’m starting with one of my favorite summer ingredients…fresh corn.  It’s sweet and crunchy flavor just epitomize summer.  It’s light, refreshing and can be cooked a million different ways.  Oh, and kids love corn!  My son included.  He tried this soup and loved it!  DSC_0707

I just picked up some fresh ears from the farmers market and rather than grill them, which is always amazing, I was thinking maybe a soup.  I know, soup in the summer just seems crazy, but I can definitely get a little crazy sometimes…just ask my husband.  Being the crazy gal I am, I got right to recipe writing.  I didn’t want to go the traditional corn chowder route, so I picked some lemongrass from the garden and a few more fresh herbs and got right to work.  I kept this corn soup pretty mild and avoided any heavy spice, like jalepeno’s but by all means cater to your crowd.  If you like heat,  add it. DSC_0710

This recipe is extremely basic and pretty easy and quick.  Just dice up some onion and celery for aromatics, a little butter to get things going, and your halfway there to a great first course or lunch.  As for the corn, I cut the kernels off all the cobs except for one.  I want to cook this one whole.  After the soup is finished and blended, I have some whole corn kernels to sprinkle into each bowl.  Love the added texture!DSC_0723

Once my aromatics start breaking down, I add the corn kernels, cobs, parsley and lemongrass to a nice heavy saucepan.  I love to make soups like this in a big stockpot or cast iron dutch oven.  I add  salt and pepper to season each layer.  Cover the vegetables with four cups of low sodium vegetable stock or home-made if you have it.  Store bought is fine, just be sure it’s low sodium, wouldn’t want your soup too salty.  Bring to a boil and simmer for 30-40 minutes.  DSC_0727

When the soup is done cooking, there is just one more step.!   Remove all the cobs and the whole ear of corn.  Allow it to cool before cutting corn off the cob, unless you like burning your fingers.  Blend the soup together using a blender or immersion blender if you have it.  I need to get one of those one day.   It should be a nice smooth consistency.   Add the remaining whole kernels and this soup is ready to serve.  summer corn soup

I like to garnish it with some fresh chives and tomato and eat it warm.  I had to eat some right away and the lemongrass added a really nice freshness to the dish.  It made eating soup on a 90 degree day refreshing.  I made sure to save some in the freezer for a cold and rainy October day.  Now get to the farmers market and grab your favorite soup pot and get cooking!

Summer Corn Soup


  • 6 ears of fresh corn
  • 1 Medium onion (Chopped)
  • 2 stalks celery (diced)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley (finely chopped)
  • 2 stalks lemon grass
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
  • sprinkle paprika
  • 4 cups low sodium vegetable stock
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chives (minced)
  • 1 Medium tomato (diced)


Remove corn from husks and wash away any silk. Take 5 out of the 6 corns and cut the corn away from the cob. Reserve both the cob and the kernels in a large bowl with the 1 ear of corn.
Cut the onions, celery and herbs. In a heavy saucepan, heat the butter and sweat the onions and celery. Season with salt, pepper and paprika. Cook for about 5 minutes.
Add the corn cobs, kernels, whole corn cobs, parsley and lemongrass to the pot. Cook for another 5 minutes.
Add vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer and cook for 30-40 minutes.
Once soup is done, remove the corn cobs and whole corn. Allow the soup to cool and then blend it smooth. Using the whole corn, cut the corn from the cob and add to the soup for texture.
Serve the soup warm and garnish with cut tomatoes and chives.

Grilled Pork Chops, Peaches and Red Onions with Balsamic Glaze

Hello Again!  Life has been pretty hectic for me the past few months.  Moving and setting up new digs is not easy especially when you are in your last trimester of pregnancy.  It’s an excuse but a pretty good one I think, for the lack of content on this blog.  That said, I have a new and exciting recipe to share with you and I hope you find it as easy and delicious as I did.  grilled pork chops

Yup, moving into a house has allotted me a barbecue.  I was very excited especially after living in apartments for the last 8 years.  An outside grill has given me new-found recipes and ideas that have been stirring in my head for almost a decade.  What a perfect time to move  but summer, the height of barbecue season, although I think I will be using mine well into the fall.

I usually don’t buy pork chops.  One my husband isn’t a huge fan of them.  He feels they are always dry and tasteless.  It just so happened that a package of pork chops fell into my lap, so I needed to find a way to make them tasty and juicy.  In comes the brine.DSC_0024

It’s a pretty simple salt and sugar brine that I made using some fresh herbs and spices.  Another great blessing of summer, fresh herbs and veggies right from the garden.  No I haven’t tackled a garden yet, but my mother in law sends me fresh herbs weekly, and I just have to use them.  I used rosemary, sage, and peppercorns, along with a bay leaf, brown sugar and kosher salt.  I dissolve all the salt and sugar then cool it down with a cup of ice water.  It usually needs some more cooling time, so I pop it in the fridge for about 20-30 minutes.


Get your chops ready by placing them in a shallow non reactive pan.  I use my pyrex it works perfectly.


Pour the cooled brine over the chops.   Mines were completely submerged which is what you’re looking for.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 6-8 hours.  Hey if your short on time, 2 hours minimum.  I like to get this going pretty early in the morning and just let it hang out in the fridge all day.  When it’s time to start dinner, it’s practically done.  Just a little time on the grill and dinner will be on the table in no time.

I paired some fresh summer fruit with the pork like peaches.  I quartered the peaches, removed the pit, and drizzled with olive oil, salt, pepper and some regular granulated sugar.  I also cut medium slices of red onion and drizzled olive oil, salt and pepper.  I made sure to get my grill smoking hot.  I grilled both until some grill marks form and they are tender.


Remove the chops from the brine, rinse and pat dry.  Drizzle with some olive oil, pepper and a little salt.  Be careful with the salt it only needs a pinch.  Grill on high for 4 or 5 minutes per side.  Remove from the grill, cover and let stand for 5 minutes.  Arrange on a nice platter with the peaches, red onions and drizzle with balsamic glaze.  Garnish with fresh rosemary and serve.  It’s a really fun and fresh dinner option that satisfies a salty sweet taste and brings out the natural flavors in the pork.  Hope you enjoy!


Grilled Pork chops

Serves 4
Prep time 8 hours
Cook time 10 minutes
Total time 8 hours, 10 minutes
Meal type Main Dish
Misc Serve Hot
Occasion Barbecue, Casual Party


  • 4 Center cut pork chops
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar (packed)
  • 10 whole peppercorns
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 2 fresh sage leaves
  • 1 fresh or dried bay leaf
  • 1 cup ice water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 firm (peaches)
  • 2 medium slices red onion
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic glaze


Begin by making the brine for the pork chops. In a saucepan add the salt, sugar, rosemary, peppercorns, sage and by leaf. Cover with 2 cups of water and heat until the salt and sugar dissolve. Remove from heat and add 1 cup of ice water. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, then add the brine to the chops in a shallow baking dish. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. I brined them for about 6-8 hours.
Heat barbecue or grill on high. Cut peaches into quarters and onions into large rounds. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle some salt, pepper and sugar on the peaches. Just olive oil, salt and pepper on the onions. Cook on grill until the peaches and onions begin to soften and develop grill marks. Turn as needed.
Remove the pork chops from the brine and rinse and pat dry. Brush with olive oil, a pinch of salt and pepper and place on a hot grill. Grill each chop on high for 4 or 5 minutes per side. Remove from grill, cover and rest for 5 minutes.
Arrange a platter with the pork chops, peaches and onions. Drizzle the balsamic glaze across the entire platter and garnish with fresh rosemary sprig.


Prepare the brine early in the morning and allow the meat to brine all day.  It will make for a tender and juicy chop and also make dinner time a cinch.


Daniel: The ultimate dining experience

I have dined at some pretty amazing restaurants over the years.  It’s something my husband and I really love to do together.  We have an ultimate appreciation for fine dining and great food.  This past Friday, we were celebrating a very special day, my mother-in-laws 60th birthday.  Big birthday’s need big celebrations, at least that’s what I think.  The celebration happened at one of New York’s best restaurants, Daniel Boulud’s signature restaurant, Daniel.

Daniel is a fine dining experience with exquisite French food.  When I say fine dining, I mean jacket’s required and the staff provides a foot stool for your purse.  By the way,I absolutely love that and only a few restaurants have done it.  Also the menu comes two ways, 4 course prefix or chef’s tasting.  It’s always best to review the options and see what works best for you.  Although I love chef’s tasting menu’s, it really wasn’t my best option this time due to some dietary restrictions I am currently following.

I really wanted to take a few pictures of the food I had, but they kinda frown upon it at Daniel.  It’s about the experience anyway, and I hope I convey in words how wonderful it really was to dine there.  The space is beautiful. A large open dining room with high ceilings, columns and perfectly placed tables.  The tables are positioned far enough from each other that your conversation is only heard by your party.  It’s a nice treat because I find that so many restaurants just pack the tables in ,that you are basically eating at communal tables.

The service is impressive.  It almost feels as if each guest has their very own server.  They also help to provide any assistance to you not limited to walking you to the restroom.  You are not rushed by any means but be prepared for a 3 plus hour dining experience.  Which is fine by me because you may never really want to leave this place.

After my party finished our celebratory champagne, the waiter kindly answered questions regarding the menu and wine choices and took our savory courses order.  After ordering, we were greeted by a bread basket of freshly made house breads which were all amazing, brioche being my favorite.  They replenished your bread after each course which was nice because it allowed me to try a few different kinds.

Now down to the meal!  It starts out light with langoustines that were so tender and delicious I wish I had some right now.  My next course, butter poached lobster served with braised artichokes was by far my favorite course.  The fish was so fresh and perfectly cooked, and the artichokes served with it were amazing.  My final savory course was a duo of beef.  It was a filet of beef so tender and delicious even after I had to have it cooked pretty well done due to those pregnancy guidelines.  It also had braised short rib served in a carrot puree.  The puree was so smooth and flavorful and made the flavors of the short rib pop right in your mouth.  Needless to say, I was more than satisfied and then there was dessert.

Whenever you dine in a fancy fine dining restaurant, the food is endless.  There are little things that are brought to the table as complimentary courses.  We had two during our savory selections.  It’s no different with dessert.  We each ordered our dessert, mine being the St. Honore cake which was made with mini cream puffs filled with the most delicious cream and lots of caramel flavors.  It was awesome!  The wait staff also brought me a special plate congratulating me on my pregnancy.  Give a pregnant lady two desserts and she will love you forever.  Especially a plate of delicious chocolate desserts.  If the two desserts weren’t enough, warm Madeleine’s were brought over to the table as a complimentary treat.  I was pretty stuffed by this time but right after we paid the check a little plate of homemade chocolates was deposited next to me.  Can’t let that go to waste!

The next day, I had my Daniel hangover and I’m not talking about alcohol either.  They kindly sent us all home with a little tasty treat for breakfast the next day.  A canele cake in which I enjoyed with my tea.   It being such an amazing experience, I just had to share it with you.  It’s experiences like this that often spark my interest in food an who knows you might just see me butter poaching halibut or making a carrot puree soon!


Orzo Salad

Well it’s finally here! The unofficial start to the summer, Memorial Day Weekend. It has always signaled, fun in the sun for me.  When you live in New Jersey, you wait for this all year to make your way to the beach and enjoy the summer before it’s over.  If the beach isn’t your thing, then getting your backyard ready and firing up the grill might make you happy.  Which is where this post is headed today.  I have made a great barbecue ready orzo pasta salad that’s a perfect accompaniment to some grilled food. DSC_0017

Obviously the orzo is a blank canvas and you can add whatever you really love in your pasta salad.  I went with a Mediterranean theme today.DSC_0012

I used artichoke hearts, canned, jarred, or frozen work really well.  Just beware of marinated ones because it might clash with the vinaigrette.  Sundried tomatoes that I diced up into small pieces, some red onion for a little crunch and spinach.   I opted for feta cheese which adds a good salty bite.  My husband isn’t really a fan of olives so I left them out otherwise I might have used them.  DSC_0013

I always make my own vinaigrettes for salads.  I just think it’s better than something I can buy.  Today, I made a simple white wine vinaigrette.  I use mason jars to make dressings it’s easy just add the ingredients and shake.  I also make this first because I like the flavors to hang out for a bit before I dress the salad.  DSC_0015

Once I cook and drain the pasta, I add it to a large serving bowl and drizzle a little olive oil on top.   It just prevents it from sticking especially if you aren’t ready to dress it yet.  I usually let the pasta cool a bit before adding the veggies and cheese.  DSC_0017

After it cools slightly, add all the vegetables, cheese and dressing.  Toss and taste, adding more dressing if needed.  You may not use all the dressing so add a little bit at a time, remember you can always add but not take out.  If you have extra, save it in the fridge.  You may want to add it in later if needed or use it again that week on a green salad.  It’s a very versatile dressing.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.  Give it a good toss before serving and taste for seasoning as flavors may have changed.

It’s a great thing to bring to a barbecue or even eat for lunch one day.  It’s also a great vegetarian option too!  Hope you enjoy!

Orzo Salad

Serves 4
Prep time 15 minutes
Cook time 10 minutes
Total time 25 minutes
Allergy Milk, Wheat
Dietary Vegetarian
Meal type Appetizer, Salad, Side Dish
Misc Pre-preparable, Serve Cold
Occasion Barbecue


  • 1/2lb orzo pasta
  • 8oz jar of sundries tomatoes (cut into small pieces)
  • 1 can artichoke hearts (rinsed and cut into 1/8ths)
  • 1 cup cooked spinach (fresh or frozen chopped into small pieces)
  • 1/2 cup red onion (finely diced)
  • 6oz feta cheese (cut into a 1/4 inch dice)
  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic (smashed)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • freshly cracked black pepper
  • sprinkle dried oregano


Prepare the vinaigrette adding vinegar, dijon mustard, salt, pepper, oregano, garlic and extra virgin olive oil in a mason jar. Shake the jar well to incorporate and set aside. Allow the vinaigrette flavors to marinate for about 30 minutes.
Boil pasta in salted, boiling water according to package directions. Drain pasta and drizzle with olive oil. Cut and prepare the cheese and vegetables.
Add the pasta, vegetables, cheese and vinaigrette to a large mixing bowl. Toss the ingredients together and taste for seasoning. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Can be saved for 3 days.

Avocado and Mango Salsa

Hello Again!  I know it’s been a while, but I only put forth the best for this blog.  I’m bursting with energy and loving the beautiful spring weather.  All the budding flowers and vibrant colors got me in the mood for some colorful, fresh and delicious food.  I’m lightening up the mood with a refreshing mango and avocado salsa.


Avocado’s and mango’s truly go perfect together.  In this recipe,I dice all the ingredients and try to make them the same size.  Good knifes skills practice.  I actually leave the skin on both fruits and make cuts with my knife like a checked pattern.  I then use a spoon to scoop out all the little pieces.  The only difference with the mango is that you will cut around the seed.  Obviously the fruits should both be ripe, but just want to preface that, otherwise, it will not come out of the skin so easily.


I add a few other things to this mix like red onion and a tomato.  I mean look at that bowl and how vibrant the colors look.  It’s like a painting. I also add a little jalapeno pepper for a kick, but that’s totally optional based upon your heat preference.DSC_0018

Squeeze some fresh lime juice and season with salt, pepper and freshly chopped cilantro.  Mix it well and allow the flavors to marinate for about 30 minutes.


The mango gives it that sweet taste while the avocado provides a creamy texture.  the red onion gives just enough crunch to make this salsa perfect.


I love to add this to a perfectly cooked piece of fish or chicken.  I have been known to use it with shrimp tacos as well.  I love making this in the warmer months because it’s light and refreshing.  It’s super easy to make and will really impress!  Hope you try it today!

Avocado and Mango Salsa

Serves 4
Prep time 10 minutes
Dietary Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Meal type Condiment, Salad
Misc Pre-preparable, Serve Cold


  • 1 Large avocado (diced)
  • 1 Medium mango (diced)
  • 1 Medium tomato (diced)
  • 2 tablespoons red onion (chopped)
  • 1 jalepeno pepper (minced)
  • 1 handful fresh cilantro (chopped)
  • 1 lime (juiced)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • freshly cracked black pepper


Start by cutting the mango. I like to slice around the large pit in the center. Then score the flesh with out piercing the skin into small cubes and scoop out with a spoon. Do the same with the avocado. Cut the tomato, red onion, and jalepeno pepper, then add all the ingredients to a large mixing bowl.
Squeeze one lime over the mixture add salt, pepper and cilantro. Mix well and taste for seasoning. Cover and allow the flavors to marinate for 30 minutes before serving. Can be used on top of chicken, steak or fish for a fresh topping.


Can substitute mango with pineapple if you like

Rigatoni and Vodka Sauce

Vodka sauce has become one of American’s most beloved pasta’s over the last twenty years.  Every Italian restaurant, pizzeria and bistro make a version of it.  It’s commonly served in catering halls and restaurant party menus because most people like it.  I have even seen it on top of pizza, which I definitely don’t agree with, but to each their own, right?  I have had some good ones, bad ones and then the recipe my dad gave me, which in my opinion is tops.

Rigatoni with Vodka Sauce

Although vodka sauce is rather simple to make, it is often done wrong.  First and foremost, this is a cream sauce made with tomato, cream and vodka.  It usually has a distinct pink color, but I often see it take on a more red color.  I’m not into that and as you can see from my picture my sauce is a very light pink.  You will see traces of tomato throughout the dish because I do not blend my tomatoes but crush them by hand.  It adds a little texture to the sauce.


Let’s get started!  First, we begin with butter, this sauce will definitely be rich, and chopped shallot.  I opt to use shallot in this recipe because its delicate flavor does not overpower the sauce. It brings a great flavor to it.  The shallot is cooked till translucent and then the tomato is added with some of the vodka and seasonings.  DSC_0012

I cook this on low for 20 minutes just until the vodka does it’s thing with the tomatoes, and the tomatoes cook down.  DSC_0019

The fun part adding the cream!  Remember to add it slowly and stir constantly.  The sauce will begin to turn that beautiful pink color.  Once all the cream is in, add the remainder of the vodka and cook until the cream is heated through and the sauce has slightly thickened.  If there is a tricky part to the recipe this is it, because the cream can easily become curdled if you aren’t paying attention  DSC_0029

Turn if off the heat, set if aside and begin to cook the pasta.  Most people eat penne with this dish, but I prefer mezzi rigatoni.  I cook the pasta al dente and drain it well.  I heat up some of the sauce in a large saute pan and add my pasta.  DSC_0035

Saute the pasta with plenty of sauce allowing each macaroni to be covered and smothered in rich creamy goodness.  Once the sauce and pasta has become one, spoon it into warm serving bowls.  DSC_0034

I’m usually a fan of adding cheese to any pasta that doesn’t have seafood, but this pasta doesn’t need it.  No cheese required, purely optional.  I do enjoy eating this dish, but I only make it a few times a year.  It’s definitely not on the healthy chart but everything in moderation.

I am so happy to share this recipe today, and I hope some of you decide to try it.  You may just love it like I do!

Rigatoni with Vodka Sauce

Serves 4-6
Prep time 5 minutes
Cook time 30 minutes
Total time 35 minutes
Meal type Main Dish
Misc Freezable, Pre-preparable, Serve Hot


  • 1 Large shallot (diced)
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 quart heavy cream
  • 14oz can of plum tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup vodka
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1lb rigatoni or penne pasta


Heat a heavy saucepan and melt the butter. Add the chopped shallot and cook on medium until the shallot is translucent.
Crush the tomatoes with your hands and add them with a 1/4 cup of the vodka to the shallots and butter. Season with salt and crushed red pepper. Cook on low heat for 20 minutes.
Slowly add the heavy cream while stirring it into the pot. Add the rest of the vodka and cook for 5-10 minutes, just until the cream is cooked.
Cook pasta in salted boiling water according to the package directions. Drain pasta. In a frying pan, cook the pasta with the sauce until the sauce and pasta have become one.

Twice Baked Potatoes

When I’m unsure of what to make with dinner, baked potatoes usually come to my mind.  My husband loves them, and they are quite delicious and easy to make.  The only thing is they can get pretty boring, so  I was looking to jazz them up a bit. I have been seeing recipes for these twice baked potatoes everywhere.  I headed to the fridge and looked at what I had to make these potatoes a little more interesting. DSC_0012

First you start by baking potatoes.  I always bake potatoes on a high temperature like 425 degrees.  A large potato usually is done in 50-60 minutes.  Allow the potatoes to cool slightly.  You definitely don’t want to be playing hot potato with these babies.  Let them cool enough so you can handle them comfortably.

Slice them in half and scoop the insides into a mixing bowl.  Mash them to a smooth consistency.  Here’s the fun part! You can add whatever you think will make your potatoes more interesting.  I had some cheese, sour cream and of course butter.  I also used some fresh herbs like parsley and chives.  I bet bacon would be awesome.  Potatoes are a blank canvas so do them up as you wish.  Twice baked potatoes

Once you have added your ingredients, mix well and pile the potato mixture high into the potato skins.  Place on a baking sheet and bake again for 20 minutes, hence the name twice baked potatoes.  DSC_0021

When they come out of the oven, they with be crispy on top and warm and creamy on the inside.  I totally surprised my husband with this dish.  He was expecting a regular potato and when I pulled these babies out of the oven, his eyes lit up.  It’s a great way to make an ordinary dish different and even more delicious.

Twice baked potatoes


  • 4 Large Russet Baking Potatoes
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese (grated)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • freshly chopped chives


Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Bake the potatoes for 50-60 minutes or until done. Allow the potatoes to cool enough for you to handle them.
Scoop out the inside of the potato into a mixing bowl and mash. Mix in all other ingredients and blend well. Using the skins from the potatoes, fill each skin with the potato mixture and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes.

Chicken Savoy

Last week while having dinner at my mothers, she made an old-time classic that I hadn’t had in ages.  It was chicken savoy.  Many of you are probably scratching your head wondering what is chicken savoy.  I never realized it was a “Jersey” thing until I met my husband.  He is only from New York but somethings just don’t make it over the river.

A local restaurant The Belmont Tavern has a seriously famous recipe, and it is awesome.   In my opinion my mother’s is just as good.  I have been eating this dish my whole life.  It’s absolutely delicious, and I thought I would share it today.  DSC_0001

What is chicken savoy?  Well, it’s chicken on the bone roasted in the oven with Italian style seasonings and finished off with a vinegar sauce.  Start with the chicken.  I used breasts tonight but use what ever chicken parts you enjoy.  Usually I mix white and dark meat but since it’s just the two of us, I made a small batch.  I keep my parts small too.  I like to cut my breasts into two pieces.  DSC_0005

Now the seasoning!  First, crush several cloves of garlic.  I use almost one clove per piece of chicken depending upon the size of the garlic.  If you don’t have a garlic press, smash it with your knife and finely mince it.  I almost make a paste with mine and use a little salt to help crush it.  Drizzle a little olive oil on top of the chicken and season with salt and pepper.  I use oregano and parsley and sprinkle it on top.  You can use dried oregano if you don’t have fresh, but try to use fresh parsley.  Lastly, I like to sprinkle a generous amount of cheese on top of each piece.   Chicken Savoy

As you can see it browned nicely in the oven.  It will cook for about 50 minutes in a 400 degree oven.  How did we make the sauce?  Once the chicken cooks for 25 minutes, which is halfway, pour in about a cup of red wine vinegar, and scrape up any bits on the bottom of the pan.  The chicken will continue to cook and the sauce will form itself right in the pan.  It’s a pan sauce and is not thick.  It will be more of a juice.   DSC_0037

After you remove the chicken from the oven, allow it to rest for about 10-15 minutes.  It will be succulent and juicy and have amazing flavor.  I hope you are encouraged to try this recipe and love it just as much as I do.

Chicken Savoy

Serves 4-6
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 50 minutes
Total time 1 hour
Dietary Gluten Free
Meal type Main Dish
Misc Serve Hot


  • 1 Whole Chicken (cut into parts and breasts cut into 2)
  • 6-8 cloves garlic (crushed and finely minced)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon parsley
  • 2 tablespoons grated pecorino romano cheese
  • 1 cup red wine vinegar


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Arrange chicken in a pan large enough to hold all the chicken. Drizzle olive oil over each piece and season with salt and pepper. Generously coat each piece of chicken with the minced, crushed garlic. Season with the herbs and then add cheese to the top of each piece of chicken.
Cook chicken for 25 minutes and then add the vinegar to the pan. Place back in the oven to cook for 25 more minutes. Once done, remove from oven and allow 10 minutes for the chicken to rest before serving.

Stuffed Baby Artichokes

I know way back when I started this blog, I did a recipe about stuffed artichokes.  I’m sure I mentioned my undying love for them, and my constant hunt for fresh and delicious artichokes.  Unfortunately, I have had my struggles finding good quality ones in grocery stores here in New Jersey.

This week I was browsing through and noticed small ones that looked decent.  Of course I wasn’t going to stuff them, but figured I could at least cut them down and do something with the hearts.  It is the best part anyway.  DSC_0002

I started to trim down the artichokes leaving only the light green leaves.  While I do this, I place them in a large bowl with acidulous water.  Which helps prevent them from oxidizing.  DSC_0003DSC_0006DSC_0009



Cut them in half and scoop out the choke which is that purple fuzzy thing in the center.  It is not edible and I don’t recommend it.  Once this is done, I boil them in acidulous salted water for about 15-20 minutes.  You can also steam them if you wish.

While the artichokes are getting all tender, I prepare my easy and simple bread stuffing.  It’s not too fancy and I think it’s just perfect.  It doesn’t overpower the artichoke too much and still gives it a nice flavor.  I always use fresh bread crumbs.  I think that they absorb the seasonings better and toast nicely in the oven.  DSC_0025

After baking in a 425 degree oven for 8-10 minutes you are left with little bites of heaven.  You can drizzle some olive oil on top if you wish, but I like them as is.  DSC_0030

The bread will be toasted, and the artichokes still warm and tender.  I like to serve these with antipasto because it gives you that great taste of a stuffed artichoke without being so filling.  Serve these at your next dinner party or even this holiday weekend.  They are simple and easy to make and can be made ahead.

Stuffed Artichoke Hearts

Serves 8-10
Prep time 15 minutes
Cook time 30 minutes
Total time 45 minutes
Allergy Wheat
Dietary Vegan, Vegetarian
Meal type Appetizer, Starter
Misc Pre-preparable
Occasion Casual Party


  • 5 Baby or small artichokes
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 cup freshly grated bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon freshly chopped parsley
  • 2 Large garlic cloves (crushed)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper


Cut the artichokes leaving only the tender light green leaves. Soak them in lemon water while you cut the rest. Slice artichoke in half and remove the choke.
Boil a large pot of salted water with half a lemon and boil the artichoke hearts for 15-20 minutes. They will be tender when done. While the hearts cook, prepare the bread crumb filling. Mix 1 cup of freshly grated bread crumbs with the garlic, parsley, olive oil, salt and pepper.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Add about a tablespoon of bread to each heart and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes until the bread is toasted.