Category Archives: Uncategorized

Baked Oatmeal

Lets just call this a breakfast recipe, because even though I often eat it for dessert, it really is a breakfast food! I promise.

Ok, so maybe the cup of brown sugar classifies it as a dessert…

Regardless, it’s the perfect sweet snack. You can eat it by itself, serve it like a bowl of cereal, or even use it like granola to put in yogurt!

BAKED OATMEAL
Ingredients
3 cups oatmeal
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup milk
1/2 cup canola oil
2 beaten eggs

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350.
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2. Mix dry ingredients and place in an 8×8 pan.
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3. Mix wet ingredients in a separate bowl, then pour over the oats.
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4. Bake for 35 minutes.

A Quick Quesadilla

My husband sometimes wonders at my food choices, but most of my eating habits I’ve picked up from my mom, and in my opinion, she has excellent taste. I grew up believing that having english muffins with melted cheese and tabasco sauce for breakfast or eating olives out of the jar was totally normal. And I still do. Anyone who feels otherwise is just missing out.

Mom is always giving me new ideas for quick and easy foods, ideal for our busy schedule. This is just one of her many ideas, and I make it all the time.

All you need is a few corn tortillas, cheese (I use white American), olive oil, and Mexican seasoning.

It’s just like making a grilled cheese sandwich, with a Mexican twist. Cover one side of a tortilla in olive oil and allow it to sizzle while the cheese melts.

Sprinkle on some seasoning then cover it with another tortilla and pour a little more oil on top.

Flip the tortilla and allow it to blacken some, then serve!

Chicken with Angel Hair Pasta

When I first got married and was working full-time on top of learning how to cook and juggling my new responsibilities as a wife, a friend gave me this quick and easy recipe. It’s a tasty favorite and a nice go-to when you don’t have a whole lot of time on your hands.

CHICKEN WITH ANGEL HAIR PASTA

Ingredients
1 pkg. chicken strips
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/3 stick of butter
1/2 cup white wine
1 pkg. dry Italian salad dressing mix
4 oz. cream cheese with chives, softened
1 lb. angel hair pasta

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 325.
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2. In a saucepan, melt all ingredients together and whisk until smooth.
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3. Place chicken in a 9×13 pan and pour sauce over it.
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4. Bake for 1 hour and serve over pasta.

Granddad’s Spaghetti and Green Beans with Shallot Vinaigrette

My Grandmother was full-blood Italian. Her maiden name was Leonardo and I’m very proud of it. But whenever we went over for dinner, it was Granddad who made the spaghetti. He was famous for it.

It’s a simple recipe, but a huge favorite in our house!

SPAGHETTI SAUCE

Ingredients
1 lb. ground beef
3-4 garlic cloves
1 can tomato sauce
1 can diced tomatoes
1/4-1/3 cup red wine*
1-2 tsps. oregano
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
*I usually eye it – we like a lot in our sauce

Directions
1. Brown meat on medium heat.
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2. Add minced garlic and saute for 2 minutes.
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3. Stir in all other ingredients and allow to simmer for 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
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4. Serve immediately over spaghetti noodles (I prefer angel hair).

Growing up my mom insisted that we eat well-rounded meals which contained some sort of meat, at least one vegetable, and a starch. I suppose the pattern stuck, because now I can’t have a meal without all three food groups.

When I make spaghetti, in addition to noodles and garlic bread, I typically make green beans or asparagus. One of our favorite ways to eat either vegetable is with shallot vinaigrette poured on top. The recipe below is my own variation on my mom’s original vinaigrette (I owe her a lot, can you tell?). I just played with the liquid amounts until I found a combination I liked best.

SHALLOT VINAIGRETTE

Ingredients
1 shallot, minced
1/8 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
Pinch of salt and pepper
Green beans or asparagus

Directions
1. Combine all ingredients and stir
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2. Pour over freshly steamed vegetables and serve.

Bake up some garlic bread, sprinkle a bit of freshly grated Parmesan cheese, grab a bottle of Peroni, and you’ve got yourself a wonderfully Italian dinner!

Boiling An Egg = A Milestone

Boiling an egg. It’s probably the most basic cooking skill there is. It’s one of those things everyone knows how to do from infancy, somehow. But I didn’t. Until today.

I never wanted to learn how to boil an egg because I never wanted to admit that I didn’t know how. But today changed all of that. I really wanted an egg salad sandwich and I knew it was time to humble myself.

A mother’s love is unconditional. So naturally, I asked her.

She laughed.

But she gladly gave me instructions, and I’m pretty sure she still loves me.

I won’t post directions on how to boil an egg, because if you’re reading this and you’re a human being, you should already know.

But if you don’t, I’m here for you.

Restaurant Recommendation: Guapos

If you reside in the DC/Metro area and haven’t been to Guapos, you haven’t lived. Guapos is simply the perfect place to feast on chips and salsa and sip a margarita (I always get the frozen kind – it’s like a slushy for adults). It’s also our restaurant of choice for our weekly date nights. In fact, I don’t think we’ve gone anywhere else for about 3 months straight…

I’m a creature of habit. I know what I like and I like what I know. So I always get the beef Taquitos Sonora – crunchy corn tortillas filled with delicious shredded beef which is seasoned with some top secret ingredient. I am determined to get a hold of that recipe!

My husband, on the other hand, loves to experiment, and at Guapos he rarely gets the same thing twice. This past week he tried their Marisco Saltado, a soupy combination of shrimp, scallops, red onions, green peppers and, of all things, french fries! True to form, he loved it.

Once we’re done with dinner, I usually ask for more chips and salsa instead of dessert. That’s how good it is.

Go try for yourself! And make sure to get a margarita. It makes the whole experience THAT much better.

Cinnamon Muffins

It’s that time of year when the weather starts playing games with us – one moment it’s 70 degrees and breezy, and the next it’s 32 and snowing. It’s also the season when everyone gets some version of the sniffles. At least once.

Times like these call for comfort foods, and cinnamon muffins are sure to do the trick. Just steep some Darjeeling tea, grab a good book (and maybe some tissues), and you’re all set!

CINNAMON MUFFINS

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tsps. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
Pinch kosher salt
1 egg
2/3 cup milk
1/3 cup butter, melted
Cinnamon, sugar, and sugar in the raw to top

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350 and line 1 muffin tin with paper liners.
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2. Sift together flours, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.
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3. In a separate bowl, whisk together milk, melted butter, and egg. Slowly incorporate into flour mixture, just until moistened.
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4. Scoop into muffin liners, and sprinkle tops with cinnamon-sugar.
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5. Bake 18-20 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.
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6. Serve warm and enjoy!