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cavatappi with pancetta and wilted radicchio

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This is so good.  Really.  The flavors definitely create a party in your mouth.  The saltiness of the pancetta., the slight bite of the radicchio, and the creaminess of the mascarpone cheese or crème fraîche all meld together deliciously.  And the cavatappi pasta is the perfect shape for the ingredients to cling to.  If you can’t find cavatappi, you can easily substitute another shape of pasta such as fusilli.
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swoon winter salad with pine nuts and sizzling warm vinaigrette

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Well ladies and gents, it’s almost Valentine’s Day!  If you might be cooking for your special someone, this would make a fabulous salad course.  It’s sexy, warm, and inviting with a sensational layering of flavors including balsamic vinegar, Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, brown sugar, garlic (yes, garlic!), and pine nuts.  Pine nuts just happen to be an aphrodisiac – ahem – and who knew.  Choose whatever greens you prefer – I used a mixture of a salad blend with herbs along with the more tender inside leaves of a head of escarole, and balanced the bitter of the escarole with sweet Boston lettuce.  The escarole stands up really well to the warm vinaigrette and is a welcome green in the winter months especially.  Just one note – stand back when you add the vinegars to the pan because the fumes will go straight up your nose and knock you out for a second or two.

Much thanks goes out to my friend Nancy Nicosia for this recipe – my then-husband and I had dinner at her house and she made this.  Definitely swoon-worthy.  Enjoy!

 

 

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bourbon and caramelized shallot dip

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It’s almost Super Bowl Sunday and this dip would be a perfect addition to your menu along with chips or crudites.  I will be serving this delish dip accompanied by four new varieties of Terra Chips – Pumpkin Spice Sweets (kissed with cinnamon and nutmeg), Sweet Potato, Exotic Potato (sweet, Yukon gold, and naturally blue), and Beauregard Sweets (once one of the most widely available type of sweet potato).  This past fall I attended the Big Harvest Potluck food blogger’s conference in Bucks County, PA and won a year’s supply of Terra Chips and have been taste-testing and determining which are my favorites since then.  Two additional new flavors – Mediterranean (Taro, sweet potato, batata or Cuban sweet potato, parsnip, and yuca along with herbs and a hint of lemon) and Tropical (coconut, plantain, sweet potato, taro, and batata) are my favorites along with Pumpkin Spice Sweets.  Terra Chips are non-GMO, real vegetable chips made from unique and diverse root vegetables.

When it comes to bourbon, Maker’s Mark is definitely my favorite.  This recipe is adapted from one I spotted recently on AboutFood.com and it sounded like the perfect complement to the heartiness of the chips.  And what the heck………pour yourself a glass of Maker’s Mark while you’re at it and enjoy.

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one pot chicken and rice

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It’s good to be back!  This blog tends to fall by the wayside each holiday season between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day due to a substantial increase in the number of family beach photo shoots that I do.  But all is said and done and edited – time to get back to recipes for you.

Without a doubt, January is a month where “comfort food” comes to mind, even here in Florida.  Whether comfort is desired because it’s chilly outside or maybe because colds and the flu are going around – it feels nice to sit down to a dish that is warm, delicious, simple, and filling.

This chicken and rice recipe is just that.  I made this recently for my good friend Tammy who is battling breast cancer.  Why bad things happen to good people is just so unfair.  She runs our school’s lunchroom service that many of us moms volunteer our time to and is the mom to four amazing boys (well two should be called young men – sorry guys).  She is our hero and we have rallied our support around her to keep her chin up, her big girl panties on, and to fight this damn cancer.  And YOU WILL.

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I asked Tammy if I could bring something over to feed her and the boys and she happily agreed so long as it was something very plain with minimal ingredients.  Plain?  I can do plain.  This uses economical yet delicious chicken thighs that are first sauteed to brown the skin and then braised in a wine and chicken stock bath.  (Yes – there was wine in there Tammy and I will also confess that I flavored the stock with an onion and I know you dislike onions.  Yes I took it out….don’t worry.  And you know the old saying, “I cook with wine……sometimes I put it in the food.”)  This recipe travels well and if a large quantity is not needed, this can easily be cut in half.  More is better with this I think though.  Hang tough Tammy!  We love you.  And thanks for letting me share this on my blog.  :)

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Jersey Girl Cooks - Great recipe! Next time I need to bring a friend dinner this is what I am going to make.

roasted chicken and cauliflower

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Okay I’ve been promising this recipe like forever. I don’t mean to be a slacker, but sometimes life just gets in the way of finalizing and posting recipes. But here it is……it’s very basic, very simple, and I probably make this at least once a week. Because it’s very basic and very simple.  And to go along with the theme of basic and simple, these are even iPhone photos lol.

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admin - Thanks Lisa!! Yes, they are for sure. :)

Jersey Girl Cooks - Simple recipes like these are the best!

admin - Thanks Bri….. :)

Brian//A Thought For Food - Roast chicken is one of the few dishes I miss from my meat eating days. The smell of it alone has be salivating. Love the preparation… nothing beats fresh herbs and spices.