Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Not Your Mama’s Meatloaf

I got this idea from my Nana’s meatball recipe. She included raisins in her meatballs which gave them a sweet delicious taste that made you yearn for more.  Well my husband loves raisins, but does not love meatloaf. I on the other hand adore meatloaf, it’s just one of those dishes you crave and as you devour it, it gives you a big “meatloaf” hug telling you everything is going to be alright.  Naturally, one chilly evening I was craving it, however I knew the hubby wouldn’t be too thrilled to come home to a dish that he has told me many of times he would not eat.  Well my craving outweighed my husband’s desires (surprise!), so I decided to play off my Nana’s meatball recipe and include something he loves into a dish he hated so much.  Now it’s a staple in this Dumont household, easy to make, easy clean up and yummo!
1 lb. Turkey Meat
Approx. ½ cup of Raisins
½ cup of Breadcrumbs
¼ of a red onion chopped
 1 egg beaten
¼ cup of milk
¼ Tsp. dried basil
Salt and pepper
4 slices of bacon
1 Tbsp. of Cranberry Mustard (This is key! Recommend this on sandwiches as well!)

Must have in your  kitchen!

2 Tbsp. of Ketchup
1 Tbsp. Brown Mustard
2 Tbsp. of brown sugar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In large bowl mix meat, breadcrumbs, onion, egg, milk, basil, salt, pepper and raisins.  Mix cranberry mustard, ketchup, brown mustard and brown sugar.  In meatloaf pan put meat mixture in. Take mustard and ketchup mixture and spread evenly on top.  Cut uncooked bacon in half and lay on top of the meatloaf so they are covering the top completely. Place in oven for 1 hour, until completely cooked. Serve with mashed potatoes and peas and feel the love.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Bacon, Tomato & Asparagus Frittata

Saturday mornings are my favorite. I think it's the combination of not having to go work, getting to snuggle with my hubby for a bit and that I actually have time to cook one of my favorite meals of the day, breakfast.   This morning I was inspired by Spring coming around the corner and made a bacon, tomato & asparagus frittata.

6 Eggs
2 Tblspn of cream
5 Asparagus spears chopped to 1/2 inch pieces
1 large Plum tomatoe chopped or 6 cherry tomatoes halved
4 slices of bacon chopped
1 cup of Asiago Cheese (or whatever is on hand)
Salt and Pepper

In over safe sautee pan cook bacon in a little bit EVOO. Once cooked put on towels to absorb the grease.
Next give a little more EVOO to pan and sautee asparagus and to tomato until soft. Meanwhile whisk 6 eggs and 2 tablespoons of cream together add some salt and pepper. Add egg mixture to pan along with bacon and cheese. Let cook on stove top on about medium heat until eggs are almost cooked, but still a little runny. Put under the broiler until full cooked about 4 mintues. Scoop out of the pan  with spatula.  Enjoy!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Chicken Broccoli and Ziti

This recipe I got from my friend and fabulous hairstylist.  It sounded so hearty and delicious that I had to try it for my next "family dinner" night with my husband and friends.  This dish was so delish that I jumped up and down with delight when I had my first taste. This is a MUST DO!  Thanks Nicole and I am so excited to try more of your yummy dinnahs!

(sorry I don't have a photo, I was so excited about it I forgot to take a picture!)

3 cloves of garlic finely chopped
Chopped medium onion
1 tsp Fresh Basil
Salt and pepper
2 lbs of chicken breast (cut up in chunks and dredged in flour, browns & sears the meat)
Large head of Broccoli, cut 
Optional :1 lb of sausage (casing removed)
1 lb of ziti
Approx Chicken stock (1 to 1 1/2 cans (15oz))
Approx Quarter bottle of a dry white wine
Approx 2cups Grated Parmesan cheese

In bottom of big pot drizzle EVOO. Once heated drop in the onions and garlic so onions are translucent. Add you Salt and pepper and basil. Meanwhile get the water for your pasta going (don't forget to salt the boiling water! Its your one chance to flavor the pasta)!  Add your chunks of chicken dredged in flour into the EVOO, onions and garlic, making sure there is enough room in the pot for all chunks.  Let them brown evenly on all sides. (Optional: You can add sausage here if you have enough room in pot. Otherwise cook in other pan and add with the stock).  Add your chicken stock and wine...this you will need to eyeball as this liquid is what the Broccoli will wilt in. Keep in mind some liquid will cook off. Once wilted some start adding the naughty...the Parmesan cheese. Add in increments and stir. I believe it was about 2 cups...but taste as you go! :)  Once your pasta is done serve either mixed together or separately along with some yummy bread! Enjoy!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Sweet Salad

I love this salad, it was first introduced to me at UF at my favorite lunch spot. I have made this salad with a few variations, using blue cheese instead of feta,  toasted walnuts or almonds instead of pecans and lastly topping it off with a Raspberry Vinaigrette dressing instead of the Dijon mustard one I have made below.

1 package of Spring Salad Mix
1/4 cup dried cherries (eyeball it)
1/4 of thinly sliced red onion
1/4 cup of Feta
Handful of Toasted pecans

1/4 cup Dijon Mustard
2 tablespoons or so of maple syrup (depends on how sweet you want it)
1 teaspoon of white vinegar (cuts through sweetness and gives it a bite)
Drizzle in EVOO and whisk to right consistency
salt and pepper to taste


It's time I introduced Diesel to this blog...clearly he is not a recipe nor an ingredient,  but he is a big supporter of my cooking and a great helper with clean up (licking the floors). Diesel is a 6 year old Puggle (Pug and Beagle mix) that has run my show since the day I bought him and I have loved every minute of it (well almost every minute). So to add some more flavor to this blog, here is my first post about Diesel the Puggle.

This is a big naughty in our house. We bought a new couch (which of course I picked out and begged my husband for) and it is the ultimate, coziest, comfiest couch in the planet. Anyone that has come to our place can vouch for that. The minute you sit down you are sucked in and all of a sudden even the idea of moving around or getting motivated to do something becomes a foreign concept.  This ultimate, cozy, comfy couch came at a price though and in my negotiating with my husband I promised if we got this couch, the dog, Diesel, would not be allowed on it. We have had the couch for about  six months now and I held true to my promise until about a two months ago when while working from home I walked past the living room and saw Diesel for the first time on the couch sun beaming down on him. I stopped in my tracks and looked at him, he whipped up his head from his blissful sleep and looked at me back with "oh no she caught me being naughty" look that only dogs can do. Little did I know  that was a turning point for the couch enforcement as I just continued to walk by like I didn't notice. And now ever since Diesel had a taste of the ultimate, cozy, comfy couch he can't stop himself from jumping up! So frequently I catch him on days like this following the sun around the couch, sleeping  in the ultimate coziest comfiest bliss.  We both know its wrong but I turn my head and don't peep a word to my husband. Its our dirty little secret.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Court's "Tater" Soup

This dish really gives you that warm and cozy feeling during those cold winter months! I was introduced to this recipe from my sister's best friend Courtney.  Courtney prepared this dish for my sister and I after we got in a serious car accident back in 2003. So now whenever I make this dish it screams love, warmth and friendship to me. Thanks Court for sharing this with us and I am always reminded of your kindness during that difficult time!

Ingredients (serves 4)

 5-6 Medium Maine Potatoes (Peeled, Boiled and cut up in hearty chunks)
1/2 cup of Sour Cream
1 1/2 cups of Half and Half (Can use Milk, but why? :))
1 can of Chicken broth (low sodium)
Salt and Pepper to Taste

Cheddar Cheese

After draining potatoes put back in hot pot. Take 1/4 of them and mash up with a little stock in a separate bowl and put back in pot. Add Sour Cream, Half and Half and about 1/2 cup of Chicken Broth and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to boil and then reduce heat and let simmer for about 30-45 minutes so all flavors combine. Use remaining Chicken Broth to gain right consistency. 

Top with shredded Cheddar Cheese, Bacon and scallions and sever with warm crusty bread. Enjoy!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Garlic Buttah

I saw this in one of my cookbooks and I thought it would be the perfect pairing with the flank steak I cooked for my sister and brother in law. I was nervous at first it wouldn't taste right, but it turned out just perfect and the family was quite impressed! It made an ordinary steak into something that was mouthwatering delicious.

1/4  cup butter (room temperature)
1 garlic clove
1/4 tsp of salt
1/4 tsp basil
1/4 tsp oregano

With fork whip butter, set aside. Take garic clove and chop into small pieces. Sprinkle salt on garlic and smush knife on the chopped garlic to form a paste. The salt helps break it down. Once finished put into butter along with spices and whip again. Voila Garlic Buttah!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies

This was my first time making these cookies and I, a self-pronounced Peanut Butter lover, adore them. They are pretty sweet and I could only indulge in one,  but I don’t see that as a bad thing.   Lastly, as a novice baker these cookie  were very easy to make as all you need is a full simple ingredients. This recipe yields 12 cookies.

1 cup smooth Peanut butter (i greased my measuring cup)
¾ cup of sugar
1 egg (room temperature)
¼ tsp. of salt
½ tsp. of baking powder
¾ cup semi-sweet choc chips
(optional ½ cup of salty peanuts)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Stir together peanut butter, egg, sugar, salt and baking powder until full mixed. Fold in Chocolate chips and peanuts. With moist hands roll one tbsp. of cookie dough onto greased cookie sheet allowing 2 inches in between balls. Cook in oven for 12 minutes. Let sit on pan for 5 minutes before moving to cooling rack, (I neglected to read this at first and half my cookies broke…). 

Chocolate Chip Raspberry Brownies

 This is a quick and simple way to make a basic brownie mix out of a box elegant and delicious.  It’s a great dessert to bring to a dinner party, but beware you may upstage the host’s main entrée! 

1 Package of brownie mix
2 Eggs
¼ cup of water
½ cup of vegetable or canola oil
¼ cup raspberry preserves
¼ cup(about) semi sweet chocolate chips
(Optional ¼ cup chopped walnuts)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In saucepan bring raspberry preserves to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Mix brownie mix, eggs, water, oil together. In a greased brownie pan pour brownie batter in. Sprinkle semi-sweet chocolate chips over mix. Spoon in heated raspberry preserves and swirl it in the brownie batter with spoon.  Cook @ 350 for 45 minutes.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Hot Wings

Unfortunately the Patriots lost, but my wings were still a huge hit! This was the first time I ever made wings and fried something. It was quite the experience where it's loud, messy and somewhat dangerous. Once I got the hang of it it wasn't THAT bad and I would do it again especially to make these tasty bad boys.
 I got the recipe off of a website called Pioneer Woman, possible one of my new favorites.  Her name is Ree and describes herself as a desperate housewife, but from the look of her website I would say she is anything but desperate. I urge you all to check it out, it's worth following!

  • 2 pounds (to 3 Pounds) Chicken Wing Drummettes
  • Canola Oil
  • 2 sticks Butter
  • 1 bottle Frank's Red Hot (12 Oz Bottle)
  • Tabasco Sauce, To Taste
Preparation Instructions
In a deep skillet or Dutch oven pour about 1 inch to 1 ½ inches of Canola oil. Begin heating the oil over medium/medium high heat. Meanwhile, throw your wing drummettes into a strainer and give them a good rinse.
When the oil is good and hot (about 360 degrees) place the raw wings into the skillet. Keep them moving with a pair of tongs so that hey don’t stick to the bottom of the skillet.
While the chicken is cooking melt 2 sticks of butter (1cup) in a medium-sized saucepan. To it add one 12-ounce bottle of Frank’s Red Hot Sauce (a.k.a. “Louisiana Hot Sauce” or “Cayenne Pepper Sauce”). Stir well until combined. Next you will add Tabasco sauce to your preferred temperature. I usually like 12 to 13 shakes.
When the chicken has cooked for about 25 minutes, take them out with a pair of tongs and place then on a paper towel to drain. In small batches begin placing the cooked wings into the sauce to coat. Give them a good stir until thoroughly coated. Place them in a serving bowl. Repeat until all of the chicken is coated with sauce and ready to eat.
Serve with carrots and celery and ranch or blue cheese dip.
Blue Cheese Dressing
1 Packet of Hidden Valley Ranch salad  dressing mix
½ cup of milk
(mix dressing and milk together)
1 cup of May (the fatty kind)
½ cup Sour Cream
Blue Cheese  (add all together)

Friday, February 3, 2012

Salsa with Feta?

1 plum tomatoe (diced)
½ cup cilantro (chopped)
2 scallions (chopped)
1 tsp. of Feta
Sprinkle of salt and pepper

Mix in bowl and let set for a bit to let the flavors mix together!
This is a FODMAPS friendly salsa, but still delicious!

Tips and Tricks

I wanted to keep a running tab of all the tips and tricks I hear about!

  1. Buy Block Cheese and grate it yourself...little elbow grease but saves money and you get the freshness of the cheese.
  2. Lean Turkey Meat: Its only worth buying if you get the 99% fat free, otherwise you might as well hamburger meat.
  3. Store Nuts in freezer, keeps them fresh!
  4. Store ripe bananas in freezer for banana bread!
  5. Make Ranch and Blue Cheese dip! Make Ranch dip then add Blue Cheese! (See Hot Wings)
  6. Buy meat in bulk, it's cheaper! Separate into serving size portions,wrap meat in plastic and place in freezer bag and voila!You have serving size portions at your fingertips and extra bonus the meat thaws out faster! 
  7. Before you cook your meat let it rest and knock the chill of the fridge off!
  8. Take a breather! I know you will want to cut right into your yummy meat dish right after you take it off the pan or grill, but let it rest. The rest will redistribute the juices! 
  9. I heard this one the other day and I thought it was pretty creative. Instead of running out to the store for a bag of ice for you punch bowl, take you bundt cake pan, fill it w/ water put it in the freezer and voila! Ice that looks pretty!
  10. I just heard this tip from one of our good friends from Chicago who is a serious foodie and amazing cook. She actually has a pretty great blog herself at Anywho, an easy way to shred chicken is to poach it then put it in your Kitchen Aid Mixer with the paddle attachment and let your mixer do the work! Can't get much easier than that!
  11. This tip I got from a friend the other night who is not only an amazing hairstylest but apparently a secret chef...the secret to crispy friend chicken or cutlets w/out drying the meat is soaking it in buttermilk for a few hours.
  12. Store Gingeroot in the freezer! 
  13. Keep brown sugar by adding a piece of slice bread or even a couple marshmellows in the bag with the sugar. It will prevent it from getting hard.
  14. When grilling a fish like Salmon, brush the grill with Olive Oil to prevent it from sticking. 
  15. Don't like the skin on the fish? Ask the fish monger to cut it off for you!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Adult Chili Mac

Adult Chili Mac

I was inspired by one of Giada’s recipes, but to please my husband I wanted to give it some heat and meat ! I served this to both my husband and his good college buddy, both gave the thumbs up and took seconds!


1 package of Egg Noodles
1.5 cups of Whole Milk
2 cups of Heavy cream
1 lb. of ground turkey or lean ground beef
2 cups packed tightly Fontina Cheese (could use Mont Jack instead)
1 cup packed Mozzarella
¾ cup of Parmesan
1 tbsp. butter
½ small onion chopped
¼ seasoned Breadcrumbs
¼ tsp. Salt and pepper
2 tbsp. of chili powder
1 tsp. of paprika
½ tsp. cumin
¼ red pepper flakes for  heat

Heat skillet and melt butter.  Once melted, sauté onion and then add meat. Once meat is almost cooked add spices and mix to cover all of the ground meat.

Meanwhile preheat oven to 450 degrees. Boil water for noodles. Before adding noodles salt the water, as this is your one chance to salt your pasta. Add pasta stirring frequently for about 5 minutes. Pasta should be soft but still have bite. Drain but do not rinse.

Whisk together milk, cream, salt & pepper. Add  ½ cup Parmesan, ½ cup Mozzarella and 1 cup Fontina cheese. Add noodles and ground meat, let stand for about 10 minutes for noodles to absorb some of the liquid.

Butter a 13x9 casserole dish and poor noodles and meat into dish, add remaining cheese on top and top it off with breadcrumbs. Put into preheated oven for 20 minutes or until cheese is bubbling. Let stand for 10 minutes, sere with good bread to soak up the yumminess!

**note when I made this I used 2.5 cups of whole milk, but it was soupy. I think by reducing it by 1 cup will do the trick! However, let me know!**