When you cook a piece of meat slowly, you do it because you understand that something wonderful happens when you let time mesh flavors. This kind of care results in a slice of heaven that is beautifully colored, and fork tender. This metaphor could also apply to friendships, which all become more tender, more alike, and more important as time goes by.
This meal was made for friends, lovingly, consciously, tenderly.
I like to say 'radicchio,' I like to eat radicchio, and I love the write radicchio. So, it makes sense I love to COOK with radicchio!! Sweet potatoes also are a fan of this reddish, leafy cabbage kin. The lush bitterness is a perfect compliment to the heady sweetness of the taters. I gotta say that even though this was easy, it looks very impressive and tastes so GOOD! -- It's time for strawberries, and they work so well in a salad with spring greens, spinach, red pepper, cukes, red onions, and lots of fresh herbs. The dressing was a classic lemon, mustard vinaigrette. It is a go-to for me. I hope you like it, too! -- Paula Deen knows her bread. And now my friends know where to come for the most moist, flavorful, light, and impossible-to-resist biscuits. A bottle of Corona light beer, and 4 cups of Bisquick and you are in business! -- Finally, the theme of the evening. This slow roasted, herb crusted, white wine Au Jus accompanied pork loin...it is STILL breaking hearts 4 days later. -- MAKE THEM ALL!
I get it now. I understand why people who make sweets are just a little more shiny and sugary. It is so dang fun and really, easier than I thought! I'm turning into someone who loves making desserts! I'm doing more baking, too. So be on the lookout for stuff that's a little more complicated.
The first dessert on the left starts with one of the best lemon meringue pie fillings I've ever had. It is an old recipe from my maternal Grandmother that she got from high school in the 30's. It is smooth and rich and just right. I topped it with some blackberry compote that I made quickly from thawing some summer berries I had in the freezer, (You know, for when I needed to plop a blackberry into a glass of Prosecco,) added sugar and lemon juice, and cooked for a bit. Then the top is whipped cream with lemon juice, sugar, vanilla and greek yogurt. The three textures are amazing. Topped with a lemon slice rolled in granulated sugar and frozen to keep its shape, and its perfect!
The purple one is just plain regal and came together in 15 minutes. A simple graham cracker crust is topped with canned blueberry pie filling. Then by combining a bit of the filling with some of the whipped cream you get a beautiful purple layer of amazingness. Try them both.
Behind every fantastic meal are the sides. Colorful, complimentary and memorable. Here are three I think you'll love and they come together in a snap. First, store bought crescent rolls come to life when you slather them with roasted garlic infused butter and them top them with crunch sea salt. YUM.
Dress up Roma tomatoes with the sweet, peppery yet mild flavors of banana peppers. It all blends perfectly when you top it with flavored balsamic.
Finally, a pinch of nutmeg intensifies the flavor of roasted butternut squash. I munched on the cold leftovers the next day. They were like CANDY.
It's been forever since I prepared pork loin chops for dinner. It used to be something we had 5 or 6 times a month. But I've gotten away from them and I can't recall why. What I do recall is why I used to make them all the time; they're dang good and one of our favorite meals.
For one thing, whatever flavor you're in the mood for, a good pork loin chop will stand up to it and even enhance it. Tonight I was in the mood for Asian and Ron was happy to grill. Sesame oil was the star, ginger was the show-off, habanero was the kick and herbs made it pretty. Oh, and chop sticks made it fun!! Voila'...dinner.
I know, the blog title doesn't make sense. Although I stuffed shells, and visited the beach, I didn't sell sea shells by the sea shore, and I didn't stuff them by the sea shore, I didn't even eat them by the sea shore. But shells were a big part of this week, so there. Why? This is the week my little sister came to visit and we spent some time at Myrtle Beach, and we did lots of cooking. All while reminiscing, joking, snorting and chortling with abandon.
We fit a lot into our visit, including this yummy stuffed shells meal! Make sure you try this at home, in the mountains, on a boat, in a moat, even with a goat....uh oh. Channeling Suess now. It's just too fun to be silly.
My Mandarin Cream Pudding Pie. Pretty and easy. HOW? Instant Pudding, Canned Mandarin Oranges, and some lovin' from the cook. YUM!
I love quick, especially on a weeknight. Sure it's fun to experiment with food all afternoon. But when the troops are drooling, you need fast. That's why a little bottle of Trader Joe's Peach Salsa turns a boring chicken dish into a bravo chicken dish in no time. I like to use a certain brand of rub, too. You will see them in the slide show below and the link to buying it is in the recipe.
What's so great about this? Well, it FAST prep, and then bakes slow so it's moist but doesn't take forever, and makes everyone happy. Try it!
This recipe is from my second cousin, who writes in the recipe, "...this is so stinking good! The best chocolate chip cookies you will ever have.." And she was right. It is recipe she got from a friend of hers as a child. They're soft, rich and the perfect chewy consistency. Basically, the cookie all other cookies will be measured against. Simple, pure, traditional. Not over-foofed, not understated. Makes about 40 cookies...just the right amount for ONE serving!
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Meet the Cook...
My name is Camine Pappas and I love to create beautiful and delicious food that anyone can make. My signature style centers around a love for combining things in a way you might not expect as I work to find a hidden combination of colors, textures and flavors from the things that are in my pantry and/or easy to obtain.