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A collection of my favorite recipes!

Crescent Roll Christmas Wreath Appetizer

It’s that time of year!

Let's Eat!

This is a great appetizer for around the holidays. The red and green ingredients make it a perfect appetizer for the Christmas season! I am not ashamed to say  I got this recipe from the Betty Crocker website. It’s delicious, easy to make and very festive!

Crescent Roll Wreath Ingredients:

6 slices bacon
1/2 cup chive-and-onion cream cheese spread (from 8-oz container)
2 cans (8 oz each) Pillsbury™ refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
2 cups Green Giant Select™ frozen broccoli florets (from 14-oz bag), thawed, finely chopped and patted dry with paper towel
1/3 cup diced red bell pepper
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon sesame seed
Fresh rosemary, if desired

Crescent Roll Wreath Method:
Heat oven to 375°F. Cook bacon as desired until crisp. Drain on paper towel; crumble bacon and set aside.

Unroll both cans of dough; separate into 16 triangles. On ungreased large cookie sheet, arrange triangles with shortest sides toward center, overlapping in wreath shape…

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Gumbo! New Orleans Style!

As you know most of my recipes are at least modified from the original unless I make them up myself. This one is only slightly modified so I am linking directly to the allrecipes.com link I used. I eliminated the Okra from my version because I don’t like it, but I pretty much used this exactly and it was amazing!

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/216888/good-new-orleans-creole-gumbo/

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This gumbo is fantastic and the key to it is the roux! You must watch over the roux constantly and cook it until it’s a rich dark color.

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Fresh ingredients make all the difference!

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It turned out as amazing as it looks!

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Visit http://www.sundaywithachanceofmeatballs.com for more great recipes and stories!

Ciao! Mike.

Italy 2016 – Florence, Positano, Rome!

My wife and I recently took a trip to Italy.  Our daughter is doing a semester abroad so we decided to go visit her in Florence and then spend some time on the Amalfi coast.

In keeping with  tradition, we planned the trip very late and did all the arrangements ourselves by using VRBO and Homeaway to book our rentals. We always had great luck and this trip has proven to be no different. We had an apartment in Florence with this amazing view.

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A villa at the top of Positano with this amazing view!!

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And a great apartment in Rome in the most amazing location close to the Pantheon and Trevi Fountain!!

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Of course, the highlight of our trip, aside from seeing our daughter, was the food!!  We really enjoyed trying new places and revisiting the love of the pasta, bread and wine we have come to love.  On our last night in Florence, we took a friends recommendation and went to a restaurant called Buca Mario. It was not only a great atmosphere, but it was the first time any of us had tried an authentic steak Florentine. I have to say it lived up to all the hype. I will go out on a limb and say that it’s the best steak I’ve ever eaten!

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Needless to say we ate the whole thing (after already eating a plate of pasta, appetizers and bread!!).  This is known as il Secondo!

We had many great meals, but both my wife and I agree, the best were those we prepared ourselves in the villa at the top of Positano.  Much to our surprise, the villa had a grueling 312 steps up steep terrain to get to the house from street level  with another half mile walk just to get to town.  We decided that we would go down to town and on excursions during the day, but would walk up the steps only once a day and prepare our own dinners so we did not have to go back to town and then walk up the steps again! This ended up being the best decision we could have made. Each night we would walk up the hill and stop at this “gas station”.

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We got the most amazing ingredients from this little place and the store owner sold us some of his private stock homemade wine, which was the best we had while in Italy! Here are just a few of what we made with what we got from this little gem!

Fresh pasta with pesto and fresh bread!

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Carbonara Tortellini with fresh garden salad!

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Orecchiette with fresh tomato sauce (made from fresh tomatoes!)

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Each evening we sat and relaxed with a nice glass of wine with amazing views!

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We had a fantastic time and will return again!

Visit http://www.sundaywithachanceofmeatballs.com for more stories and recipes!

Ciao! Mike.

Jambalaya – Pork, Chicken and Shrimp!

This is my first time at trying Jambalaya and after reading a few recipes online, I decided to make the recipe up myself.  I cooked a pork butt yesterday and made pulled pork rice bowls and as  you know if you’ve ever made pulled pork, there are always many leftovers. We were getting tired of the pork, so I figured I’d mix it up and add it to Jambalaya instead of Kielbasa.  If you like this recipe you could add anything to it that you like, including summer sausage, ham, or even okra or crab meat!   I used a leftover grilled chicken breast and some frozen shrimp!

Jambalaya Ingredients:

1 tablespoon olive oil
1-2 cups left over pulled pork
1-2 left over grilled chicken breast (chopped or shredded)
1 tablespoon butter
1 medium onion, diced
1 cup diced celery
1 yellow bell pepper, diced (substitute green if needed)
1 cup seeded and diced tomato (canned diced tomato is fine!)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeno pepper minced
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoons dried oregano
4 cups chicken stock
2 cups long-grain rice
1-2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Hot sauce to taste
1/2 cup chopped scallions
3/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 pound medium shrimp – roughly chopped

Jambalaya Method:

In a dutch oven over medium heat, melt the butter and add the onion, celery and peppers to the same pot and saute for 8 to 10 minutes, until the onion is soft.  Add the tomato, garlic, jalapeno, cayenne, oregano and cook until all the vegetables and herbs are blended well.

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Add the stock and bring to a rolling boil. Stir in the rice, and add the left over pulled pork and grilled chicken, bay leaves, salt, pepper and hot sauce. Return to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes.

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Add 1/4 cup of the scallions, 1/4 cup of the parsley, the lemon juice and the shrimp, and stir well. Cover and remove it from the heat and allow the jambalaya to steam for 5 minutes. Serve and top with green oniona and jalepeno.  A dolop of sour cream on top will cut the heat and a dd a little texture!

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Check out more great recipes at http://www.sundaywithachanceofmeatballs.com

Ciao! Mike

 

Strawberries – 4th of July style!

Always a favorite on the 4th of July!!

Let's Eat!

In honor or the 4th of July! Independence Day strawberries!

4th of July Strawberry ingredients:
Strawberries, washed and dried
Melted White Chocolate
Blue Sugar

4th of July Strawberry Method:

Melt White Chocolate Chips per instructions on bag
Put blue sugar in a bowl
Dip strawberries in white chocolate to cover 2/3 of strawberry
Dip strawberry in blue sugar for 1/4 of the strawberry
Lay strawberries in wax paper to dry
Eat!

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Visit http://www.sundaywithachanceofmeatballs.com for more great recipes!

Ciao, Mike!

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Spicy Zucchini Blossoms (fried)

I’ve seen fried zucchini blossoms on TV many times but have never tried making them at home. I planted a zucchini plant this year and it’s really doing well.  We’ve gotten several large zucchini’s so far and I decided to try something different and fry up some blossoms.

I started with making a beer batter which I added Sriracha to in order to spice it up a bit.

Zucchini Blossom Ingredients:

1 dark beer (I used Yuengling)
6 Zucchini blossoms
1 cup flour
salt
1 Tbls Sriracha

Zucchini Blossom Method:

Heat a skillet with about 1 inch vegetable oil. Heat to 350 degree.

In a bowl, add flour, salt, beer and Sriracha. Mix into a batter. Once the oil is heated, dip each blossom into the batter to fully coat.

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Fry to crispy golden brown, turning once during frying

imageThese are an excellent appetizer or could be served as a side.

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Visit http://www.sundaywithachanceofmeatballs.com for more great recipes!

Ciao, Mike.

Grilled Corn with Herb Oil

This recipe is so simple, but it is absolutely the best corn on the cob I have ever eaten.  A variation of this recipe is in this months Food Network Magazine.

Grilled Corn with Herb Oil Ingredients:

8 ears shucked corn on the cob
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon dried italian seasoning
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper
1-2 cloves of garlic – minced
1 tablespoon fresh parsley – chopped

Grilled Corn with Herb Oil Method:

Wrap each ear of corn in foil. I like to cut them in half. Grill for approximately 15 minutes, turning often.

In a small skillet of sauce pan, add the oil, italian seasonings, garlic and crushed red pepper and heat on medium for 1-2 minutes.  Add the fresh parsley right at the end and remove from heat.

When corn is done grilling, carefully unwrap the ears and brush with the herb oil. The best corn you’ll ever eat!

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Check out http://www.sundaywithachanceofmeatballs.com for more great recipes!

Ciao, Mike.