Category Archives: Dinners

Mojito Season!

Mojito Season!

Welcome to summer… Thanks to Peaches for sharing her lovely mint patch and to Krisann for sharing her delicious mojito recipe! Slainte from Blue Fish Cove!

https://beachpeach.wordpress.com/2011/05/27/refreshing-mojito/

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Slow Cooked Pulled Pork Sliders

From Krisann:

This is a easy recipe that you can prepare in the morning and then let it cook all day in the crockpot.  When you get home from work, your house will smell wonderful and your dinner will be well on it way.  I served this with my Southwest Spicy Slaw recipe.  If you don’t have that much time and want to take a shortcut, use the bag of prepared slaw and just add the dressing from the Spicy Slaw recipe.

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 3lb boneless pork shoulder, skin and excess fat removed
  • 1 onion sliced (or chopped if you want to leave the onion in the sauce)
  • 1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups barbecue sauce
  • 2 TBLS mustard
  • 2 TBLS honey
  • 1 TBLS soy sause
  • salt and pepper

Trim pork of any excess fat.  Scatter onion over the bottom of crockpot and place pork on top.  Add remaining ingredients, cover and cook on low until very tender, about 8 hours.  Remove meat and let cool.

When cool enough to handle, pull meat into thin shreds, removing all fat and gristle.  Strain the liquid from the crockpot, this is to remove the onions.  Add the liquid back to the crockpot.  Return pulled pork to crockpot.  Add extra barbecue sauce if needed and let cook for an additional hour if desired.

Serve on buns with coleslaw.

Crab Cake & Spicy Mustard Sauce w/ Tomato and Arugula Salad

From Krisann:

These crab cakes make a perfect meal or can be made smaller and served as an appealing appetizer.  Either way I think that you will really enjoy these.  I know that I did.

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup chopped red pepper
  • 2 TBLS mayonaise
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp old bay seasoning
  • 2 green onions chopped
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten
  • 1 TBLS Dijon mustard
  • 1 1/3 cups panko (Japanese breadcrumbs) divided
  • 1 lb lump crabmeat, drained
  • 2 TBLS olive oil
  • 2 TBLS mayonaise
  • 2 TBLS reduced fat sour cream
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 1/8 tsp ground red pepper

Combine first 8 ingredients.  Add 1/3 cup panko and crab; toss gently.  Shape crab mixture into patties.  Place remaining panko in a shallow dish.  Gently dredge patties in panko.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add 1 TBLS oil to pan.  Add crab cakes to pan; cook 4 minutes on each side.  Remove from pan; keep warm.  Repeat procedure with remaining oil and crab cakes.

Combine 2 TBLS mayonnaise and remaining ingredients; serve with crab cakes.

Tomato and Arugula Salad:

Combine 2 TBLS white wine vinegar, 1 TBLS olive oil, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and 1 pint halved grape tomato in a medium bowl.  Add 4 cups arugula, and toss.  (toss salad just before serving so arugula doesn’t wilt).

Shrimp Mediterranean

From Rita:

Love shrimp??  I do!  Get ready for a wonderfully tasty dish.  In all honesty, I had to stop myself from overeating this and I usually do not have overeating issues.  Proud to say that this is my own creation.  I am so happy to share this yummy dish with all of you.  Note: Please be sure not to overcook the shrimp.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 medium to large spanish onion or red onion, thinly sliced
  • 6 plum tomatoes roughly chopped, if you do not have fresh tomatoes you can used canned whole plum tomatoes and chop.
  • 2 Tbls. capers, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 of a 12oz. jar roasted red peppers, patted dry and roughly chopped. or one medium fresh sweet pepper (yellow,red,orange only) thinly sliced
  • 2 medium cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 -1/2 cup dry white wine (I used 1/2 cup)
  • 1/4 tsp. dried oregano, measure carefully
  • 18-20 extra large frozen raw shrimp(16-20 count bag), defrosted, rinsed and patted dry
  • salt and pepper to taste

In a large skillet put about 2 Tbls. olive oil over medium heat and swirl around to cover the bottom of pan.  Add the thinly sliced onion and stir frequently till softened.  If you are using fresh sweet pepper you need to put it in at this time.  Once the peppers and onions are softened add the rest of the ingredients, except the shrimp, and bring to a boil.  Drop to a simmer, cover, and cook for about 15 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together~ stirring from time to time.  Taste  periodically to salt and pepper the dish.

Add the shrimp and bring heat to medium.  Stay with the pan, turning the shrimp, and pay close attention to their color.  Once they are all bright orange the dish is done.  Remove from heat immediately and serve.

PS:

You can serve this a number of ways:  with slices of prepared Polenta, pan fried in a bit of olive oil till lightly browned,  or over brown rice or with pasta of your choice. If you are watching calories, serve with a large side salad. If  you are not able to eat shellfish, you can substitute with thinly sliced chicken breast,  or 1/2 “slices of pork tenderloin.  Be sure to lightly brown on both sides the chicken or pork so they do not appear steamed in this dish.  Then add to the mixture in the end as you would the shrimp and cook till done.

Chicken with a grand flair

From Rita:

I must admit this recipe was given to me by my good friend Flo.  While helping her with something early one morning she happened to mention that she loved this recipe (I re-named it), and that she had not made it for a long time and actually sounded like she missed it.  So I made her dig it out of the archives,  jotted it down and went home and made it right away….are you surprised?  The finish to this dish scared me a bit but I am a gutsy cook and figured ..”what the heck is the worse thing that can happen..it gets thrown out and I learn something from the experience!”  Learning from my experiences is something I have always done.  I try never to look at anything like I failed, but that I am learning all the time and growing from every single experience.  I remember one Friday morning I made three, yes three different things, each of which I did not care for and each of which I promptly put down the garbage disposal!!!!.   So,  know that it happens to all of us at some point…just toss it out and keep on trying.

  • 3 Tbls. olive oil
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 3 pounds cut up chicken pieces, I removed the skin to save calories.
  • 1 -large sweet onion, sliced
  • 2 bell peppers cleaned and cut into medium size chunks.  One red, one green. I used red and yellow as I do not love green pepper.
  • 1-2  8 oz. box white mushrooms, cleaned and chopped in half
  • 6-8 plum tomatoes chunked
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 nip of Grand Marnier

In a large, fairly deep fry pan,  put the oil in and place over medium-high heat.  Wait for oil to heat up a bit.  While waiting wash chicken and dredge through the flour, shaking off any excess.  Cook chicken till golden brown on each side and remove from pan and keep warm.  Add the onion, peppers, mushrooms,tomatoes and chicken broth..bring to a boil and then reduce to medium heat, cover and cook for about 10-12 minutes, stirring periodically.  Remove the cover, add the chicken back into the pan and cook uncovered for another 30 minutes or so, turning the chicken a couple of times till the chicken is done.  I made sure my chicken pieces were not really large and all about the same size.  Actually I purchased  split breasts and cut them in half sideways.  Once the chicken is done,  pour  the Grand Marnier nip all over the top and stir gently to mix well.  Put cover back on and wait 5 minutes.  Serve with pasta, couscous, brown rice or spaghetti squash if you are really calorie conscious and by all means ENJOY!

Slow Simmered Meat Sauce

From Krisann:

This is a great meat sauce recipe.  The sauce is hearty and comforting.  Best of all the sauce freezes really well.  I usually make a big batch and then enjoy it several times.

Ingredients:

  • 1 TBLS olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped carrot
  • 6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 (4 ounce) links hot italian sausage, casing removed
  • 1/4 lb ground sirloin
  • 1/4 lb ground veal
  • 1/4 lb ground pork
  • 1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted and sliced
  •  1/4 cup no salt added tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1 (28 ounce) can no salt added crushed tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 cup no salt added tomato sauce
  • 1 TBLS chopped fresh oregano
  • 1/2 cup torn fresh basil
  • 3 ounces shaved Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

Heat a large skillet over medium heat.  Add oil to pan; swirl to coat.  Add onion and carrot to pan; sauté 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add garlic, sauté 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Place vegetable mixture in a 6 quart slow cooker.  Add sausage, beef, veal and pork to the skillet; sauté 6 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble.  Place meat mixture on a double layer of paper towels; drain.  Add meat mixture to slow cooker.  Stir olives and next 6 ingredients (through tomato sauce) into slow cooker.  Cover and cool on LOW 8 hours.  Stir in oregano.

Serve with pasta, top with basil and cheese.

Skillet Pasta Toss

From Rita:

This recipe cooks quickly.  You can plan to have it for dinner and in no time at all it will be on the table.  Total prep/cook time was about 2o minutes from start to finish.   Perfect to make on a weekend and simply warm again for an afterwork dinner with a large salad or a couple of side veggies.  Sometimes, we think we need to spend a great deal of time with foods, especially those that have an “Italian” flair,  I have found that it is not always true ~ certainly not this time!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 8 ounces of uncooked pasta (use elbows, bow ties, fusilli, or linguine. White or whole grain)
  • 8 ounces regular or hot Italian turkey sausages with casing removed
  • 2 cans(14.5 oz)diced Italian style diced tomatoes, do not drain
  • 1- 8 0unce can tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup dry red wine
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup prepared basil pesto. If you do not have the basil pesto add some fresh chopped basil(1/4 cup, loosely packed) or add 1 Tbls. of dried basil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Cook your pasta according to package directions ~ el dente.  Cook the sausage in a large skillet over med.-high heat till crumbled and lightly browned.  Stir in remaining ingredients in with sausage and combine well.   Drain your pasta well and add to sausage mixture and toss again to finish the dish.  Top lightly with freshly grated Parmesan or Romano cheese.

Please remember that freshly grated cheese is ALWAYS the best choice.  You will find that you will use less cheese and be happier.  By the way you will save many, many calories and that is always a good thing.  It is a win-win no matter how you look at it!  Don’t forget the  salad and or veggies.  Mangia’

CLASSIC FRENCH ONION SOUP

From a tiny BEACH kitchen:

French Onion Soup is one of my favs to order in a restaurant.  It always seemed to be a treat with a pound of cheese melted down the sides of the crock, and a roll (carbs!) floating in the broth.  It never occurred to me that I could make it better, and lighter, at home.  This recipe changed my mind.

If you have a food processor, use it.  Slicing the onions will take no time at all.  Please don’t pile a bag of shredded low fat cheese on top of this soup.  It won’t do it justice.  Buy a block of Gruyere and shred it yourself.  A small amount of Gruyere melted on top of a thin piece of toasted sourdough or french bread is all you need to experience a fantastic full, rich flavor with less calories.  The bread holds up the cheese so it doesn’t sink to the bottom.

I love wine but wasn’t sure what kind of wine to use in this recipe.  Well, that’s what Google is for.   The drier the wine, the less sugar in it, the less sweet ~ but with more alcohol.  Not to worry, the alcohol evaporates when cooking.  Long story short, want a good flavor?  Put in a good wine: a chardonnay or sauvignon blanc ~ and remember to pour yourself a glass. Slainte!

~Sheryl

INGREDIENTS

  • 8 large red or yellow onions, peeled and thinly sliced
  • Olive oil
  • teaspoon of sugar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 cups of beef stock
  • 1/2 cup of dry white wine
  • 1-2 bay leafs
  • 1 teaspoon of fresh thyme
  • Salt and pepper
  • 8 slices of toasted French, or crusty,  bread
  • 1 1/2 cups of grated Swiss Gruyere
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan Romano cheese

In a large saucepan, sauté the onions in the olive oil on medium high heat until well browned, but not burned, about 20 minutes. Add the sugar about 10 minutes into the process to help with the caramelization.

Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add the stock, wine, bay leaf, and thyme. Bring to a boil.  Simmer for 2 hours.  Discard the bay leaf.

To serve you can either use individual oven-proof soup bowls or one large casserole dish. Ladle the soup into the bowls or casserole dish.  Cover with the toast and sprinkle with cheese. Put under the broiler for 3-5 minutes until the cheese bubbles and is slightly browned. Serve immediately- or the bread will begin to soak up the broth.

Hearty Fish Stew

From Rita:

I really enjoy most all fishes in just about any way that they have ever been made.  This is a stew, and you can tell by looking at it, it is quite a healthy option compared to those creamy, buttery, milky fish CHOWDERS we find in most restaurants.  It comes together very quickly and is really tasty and who would complain about that.  I love that fast and delicious cooking as it gives me time to make more wonderful recipes!!!   Being in my kitchen is where I feel the most at home.  Funny .. I remember my mother being very much the same in her kitchen.  I guess the apple doesn’t really fall very far from the tree.  I know I fell right under hers… and am so happy for it.  I hope you enjoy this as much as I did.  KALEE’ O’REXEE..(Greek for enjoy this meal.)

  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups potato cut into small cubes
  •  2 Tbls. canola or olive oil
  • 2 cups thinly sliced bell peppers, I used all red only,  but you may use red and green
  • 2 cups carrots chopped into small pieces ( or use bagged matchstick carrots)
  • 1 medium spanish or red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes, Italian style (with basil, oregano,garlic)
  • 1-8oz. can tomato sauce
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 pound of any fresh white fish of your choice, cut into fairly large chunks.  Do not cut too small as the fish will simple fall apart and disappear in the stew.  I used cod fish.
  • dried red pepper flakes (optional)

Put oil in a large sauce pan or dutch oven over medium heat.  Add potatoes, pepper strips , onions and carrots.  Cook about 7 minutes or till tender stirring occasionally.

Add all other ingredients except the fish.  Increase the heat to med.-high and bring to a boil.  Cover and drop heat to a simmer.  Cook for another 5-6 minutes to meld those flavors.  Remove the cover.  Then gently add the fish and stir just a bit .  Do not over stir.  Add red pepper flakes here if using.  Wait about 5-6 minutes more and ladle into your favorite bowl. It is wonderful as it is but FYI …I did grate a tiny bit of fresh parmesan on top and thought it was yummy.  I thought even a bit of crumbled feta would work if you wanted to change it up!  Enjoy.

Elegant Tomato Soup

From Krisann:

This is a delicious tomato soup.  I have to give credit to my sister Kim for this one.   She served this soup with crostini in small bowls as an appetizer.  The presentation was beautiful!  I served it recently at an appetizer party that I hosted, it was well received.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • medium onion, chopped
  • 2 28 ounce cans whole tomatoes
  • 1 TBLS brown sugar
  • 3 large slice of good sandwich bread (crust removed and torn into 1 inch pieces)
  • Chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup chives
  • Focaccia Rolls (or some other type of bread, you will make crostini’s to be served with the soup)
  • Pecorino Romano cheese (shredded)
Pesto Ingredients:
  • basil 1 bunch, about 2 cups(washed and dried)
  • 3 medium size cloves of garlic
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts or walnuts
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan-reggiano or romano cheese
  • 1/8 cup sugar
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

Combine the basil in with the pine nuts, pulse a few times in a food processor.  (If you are using walnuts instead of pine nuts and they are not already chopped, pulse them a few times first, before adding the basil).  Add the garlic, pulse a few more times.  Slowly add the olive oil an a constant stream while the food processor is on.  Stop to scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula.  Add the grated cheese and sugar and pulse again until blended.  Add the salt and pepper to taste.  This will make more pesto than you need for this recipe.  You can use the remaining pesto for something else or freeze it.

Heat oil, sauté onion and garlic until tender 5 to 10 minutes,  Add tomatoes and mash with a potato masher.  Stir in sugar and bread; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium and cook until bread break down about 5 minutes.  Transfer half to food processor or blender and puree.  Add 1 TBLS oil and puree until smooth 2 to 3 minutes.  Repeat with remaining soup.  Stir in chic broth as much as you think you need (this will effect the consistency).  Add 1-2 TBLS pesto while cooking.

Preheat over to 400. Cut the focaccia rolls into sticks, place on a cookie sheet, spray with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and shredded pecorino romano cheese.  Cook for about 10 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool on a cooling rack.

Mix a couple of TBLS of pesto with olive oil (this will make a pesto oil).  Pour the pesto oil into a squeeze bottle.

Serve the soup, with a circular squirt of the pesto oil and a crostini.

LOBSTER SALAD

From a tiny BEACH kitchen: 

This wonderful lobster salad recipe comes from my Dad, John Hoss.  He serves it with crackers for an elegant appetizer.  Or simply tucks the lobster salad into a warm, toasted hot dog bun.  Hot or cold, lobster salad sandwiches are best served with Cape Cod potato chips.

I had the 2 beauties pictured above cooked at Brant Rock Fish Market.  I simply shucked the lobsters in my kitchen.  Yes, you can buy lobster meat already shucked – just bring your wallet – it costs a fortune!   Shucking a lobster  is really not all that hard.  However, I’ve been doing it all my life and so am probably biased.

For you virgin shuckers out there, simply follow the pictures below.

~ Sheryl

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 “chic” lobsters (weighing 1 pound each)
  • 1 TBSP Hellman mayonnaise
  • salt and pepper
  • Flatbread crackers or 2 hot dog buns

Shuck lobsters.  Dice into bite size pieces.  Combine with mayo.  Use just enough mayo to hold it all together.  You don’t want the lobster meat dripping with mayo.  Add fresh cracked pepper and salt.  Serve warm or chilled.  As Barefoot Contessa says, “How easy is THAT?”

Whole Cooked Lobster:

Getting the sweet lobster meat onto your fork may seem like a daunting challenge to some. There are 2 solutions to this; you can buy already shucked fresh lobster meat, or once you have cooked your lobster you can follow these simple steps:

Claws: Remove the lobster claws by twisting them from the body. Using a nutcracker, seafood shell cracker or pliers, crack the shells of the claws, and pull out the meat. Don’t forget to push the meat from the knuckles – some feel this is the sweetest part of the lobster.

Tail: Arch the back of the lobster until it cracks or twist the tail to separate it from the lobster’s body. Break off the tail flippers, insert a fork, and push the tail meat out in one large piece. Peel back the thin piece covering the tail and remove the anal cord.

Body: Unhinge the back shell from the lobster’s body. You’ll see a green area (called the “tomalley”) that is considered a delicacy by some, and the coral-colored “roe” which is also edible.

.

Crack the lobster’s body by pulling it apart sideways. Lobster meat can be found in the four pockets where the larger legs attach. There is also a small bit of meat in each of the walking legs.

***

CHICKEN BROCOLLI & ZITI

From a tiny BEACH kitchen:
.
You can have a great dinner on the table any night in just 20 minutes.   Use whole wheat pasta if you prefer.  The broccoli is sautéed – so it has a slight crunch.   A hint of  lemon adds terrific flavor to the sauce.  And the leftovers are perfect to bring to work the next day.       ~Sheryl
INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 lb chicken, cubed
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 lemon slices
  • 1 cup broccoli (use fresh or frozen), or more!
  • 1 1/2 cups half and half cream
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 lb ziti pasta, cooked
  • 2 TBSP olive oil or butter
.
Cook pasta according to package directions.
  1. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in large heavy bottom skillet.
    Add chicken cook over medium heat until browned on all sides.
    Add broccoli, sauté  for about 3 minutes.
    Add lemon slices, sauté for 2 minutes.
    Add garlic, cook until fragrant (about  a minute).
    Add chicken broth.  Scrape bits off bottom of pan.
    Add in cream.  Cook until pan boils.
    Lower heat and reduce to thicken sauce a little bit.
    Off heat.  Stir in cooked pasta.
    Serve on a decorated platter.
    Grate Parmesan Reggiano cheese on top.  (Yes, it is expensive, but worth EVERY penny.  A little goes a long way.)

RITA’S LATEST UPDATE

Hello everyone.  It has been 12 weeks or so since I began my new knee journey and I am happy to say that all went well. I am moving around nicely and with very little discomfort.  I thank you all for your cards, good thoughts and prayers as I am sure they were a part of the end result.

Today’s update is both sad and exciting at the same time.  I have decided to retire from being a weight loss leader and am happy to say, through much soul searching, that I have decided to do something I have wanted to do for quite some time.

I would like to introduce to you my newest idea in which I will be “THE COACHING COOK.” I will be taking very small groups of 5 only for a class into my home for cooking lessons, discussions and more.   If you are truly interested in more information on the classes please do not respond to the blog,  but to the following e-mail:

thecoachingcook@gmail.com.

I have set this up so that our food blog will remain as it should.  I would love to hear from you so please feel free to e-mail me at thecoachingcook@gamil.com.  I guarantee that it will be a fun, and a great learning experience for everyone.  All you need to bring is your favorite coffee or tea mug and sit and enjoy.

Thanks so much for all your support through the years.

Rita Pappaconstantinou

Chili- for the BIG GAME!



 From Natalie:
Bill had made a plans to have his buddy, Matt, over to watch the “big game”,  The AFC Conference,  The New England Patriots verses the Baltimore Ravens.  He asked if I would make my chili and he would add snacks and pizza to the menu.  This is my version, a little different than most chili’s.  I really like garbonzo beans better than the traditional kidney beans, so that is how this one is made.  This chili is really not difficult to make but the longer it simmers the better.

Ingredients:

  • 1 and 1/2 pounds of lean ground beef
  • 1 can garbonzo beans (also called ceci beans or chick peas)
  • 8 oz. of salsa (I like Newman’s Own-Mild, but others will work fine, including fresh salsa)
  • 1 can of tomato sauce (if you don’t have any salsa, you can use 2 cans of tomato sauce)
  •  1/2 tsp. Ground Cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. Ground Coriander
  • 1/2 tsp. Crushed Red Pepper
  • Garlic Powder
  • Sour cream and shredded cheese, if desired

Brown the beef in a pot with garlic powder.  Drain off the fat.  Add the sauce, beans and salsa.  Sprinkle in the cumin, coriander, red pepper and more garlic powder.  The measurements of the spices are approximate, add more or less according to your own personal taste.   Let simmer on medium heat.

Serve with a dollop of sour cream and some shredded cheese.  Enjoy!

The chili was a success as was our team! Go Pats!

Fritatta

From Krisann:

I have recently been making Fritatta’s every week, I make a large one and enjoy the leftovers for breakfast, lunch or dinner.  This is a very versatile dish which you can create with whatever ingredients you enjoy.  I love having foods in my fridge that I can grab on the go.

Ingredients:

  • 12 eggs (beaten)
  • 1  sweet  onion (caramelized)
  • 1 pepper
  • chicken sausage (any type, I used jalapeno)
  • package baby spinach
  • 1/2 lb feta, chopped or crumbled (as you probably know I will only use the Feta from the Greek store)
  • 2 vine ripe tomatoes
  • olive oil
  • sugar

I make this in a large saute pan so that I have leftovers.  You can alter your ingredients to make a smaller fritatta.   Saute sliced onions, with olive oil.  After a few minutes, sprinkle 1 to 2 teaspoons of sugar over the onions.   Stir constantly over a medium heat.  The onions are caramelized when they are soft and have a light brown color.  Set onions aside in a bowl.  Add a little more olive oil if needed and saute the sliced peppers.  Add cooked peppers to the onions.  Add the sliced sausage to the saute pan cook until lightly browned.  Add to onion and pepper mixture.  Add some olive oil to the saute pan and saute the baby spinach, add some salt and pepper and cook until the spinach is cooked (this will cook quickly and will reduce in size).  Add the spinach to the other cooked ingredients.

Set your oven to broil.  Lightly spray your saute pan with olive oil.  Over med low heat add your cooked ingredients back to the saute pan and mix the ingredients so that they are spread equally in the saute pan.  Add the beaten eggs, sprinkle feta cheese  evenly over the eggs and top with sliced tomatoes.  Add some salt and cracked pepper.  The fritatta should cook on the stove top until the eggs set and are somewhat firm.  Place the saute pan under the broiler to brown the top (place the saute pan in the oven on the second level away from the broiler and make sure that the handle is not under the broiler).  Let the fritatta sit on the counter for a few minutes before you slice.

CHICKEN POT PIE ~ The real thing.

From a tiny BEACH kitchen:

Bon Appetit Magazine published this chicken pot pie recipe years ago.  It is a hearty classic perfect for a winter’s night.  Each pie is six generous servings and the recipe makes TWO pies.    I “cheat” and use Pillsbury pie crusts – no one has ever complained.    If you don’t have a crowd for dinner, the pie filling does freeze well in a ziploc bag for another time.

Disclaimer:  This pie is a labor of love … and time.  You will be hanging out in your kitchen for a bit so put on some good music and pour a glass of wine.  For veggies, I like to use potatoes, carrots, broccoli and peas~ and small round onions if I have some in the freezer.  Frozen veggies are easy to toss in if you don’t have them fresh.

Most of the “cooking” for the chicken pot pie filling is done in a large heavy pot on top of the stove in the chicken broth.    Each individual item is cooked in the broth separately and removed to a large bowl.  (Hence the good music and drink- this is a process.)  The veggies are cooked “crisp”, not mushy.  The broth reduces to 2 cups and is then used to make the cream sauce with FRESH thyme, butter, onion, milk and flour.  I emphasize fresh thyme.  It smells wonderful as it all bakes together.  I always add extra Thyme.

For the  dough, the bottom crust is baked for ten minutes prior to filling.  Pre-baking the bottom pie shells will keep the pie crusty and helps to keep the “pie” slice together when serving.

The filling and thyme sauce are then combined and heaped onto the bottom pie crusts.  I beat an egg and brush the top of the pie to brown it up before putting it into a 425 degree oven for 30 minutes.  Each pie makes 6 generous servings.   A scoop of cranberry sauce served alongside is yummy if you have some in the pantry.     ~Sheryl

INGREDIENTS:

  • 48 oz Chicken Stock plus 2 cups water
  • 2 pounds boneless chicken breast
  • 3 potatoes, cut into 1″ cubes
  • 6 carrots, diced into 1/2 inch rounds
  • 2 cups broccoli
  • 1 cup of peas
  • 6 TBSP Butter
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 6 TBSP flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 TBSP fresh thyme
  • 2 boxes of pie crusts
  1. Boil Chicken stock and water in large pot on stove.  Add chicken breasts.   Boil 10 minutes.  Remove.  Cut into 1″ pieces.  Reserve in large bowl.
  2. Add potatoes to pot.  Boil 10 minutes. Remove.  Add to large bowl.
  3. Add carrots to pot. Boil 10 minutes. Remove.  Add to large bowl.
  4. Add broccoli to pot.  Boil 5 minutes. Remove.  Add to large bowl.
  5. Add peas to pot.  Boil 3 minutes.  Remove.  Add to large bowl.
  6. Reserve remaining liquid.  Approximately 2 cups.
Preheat oven and bake bottom pie crusts according to package directions.
In the large pot you were using, melt 6 TBSP butter.   Saute onions 8 minutes.  Add flour, whisking in after each tablespoon is added.  Stir until golden.
Whisk in remaining stock mixture (approx 2 cups).  Whisk in thyme.  Whisk in 2 cups milk.  Stir to thicken.
Pour sauce over chicken and veggies in large bowl.  Stir well. Add salt and pepper.   Pour 1/2 of ingredients into each pie crust.  Top with pie crust.  Brush with milk or beaten egg.
Bake in a 425 degree oven for 20 minutes – or until top is golden and ingredients are bubbly.

Any Veggie QUICHE’

From Rita:

I have always loved quiche.  As many of you know, quiche can be very high in calories but does not need to be.  I made this one off the cuff with no particular recipe by choosing various foods I thought would work well together and be healthy and tasty.  The best part about quiche… it’s  simple to make.  This can be served for breakfast with a slice of toasted whole grain bread, for lunch with a side salad, or for dinner with a bunch of assorted veggies.  I love lots of different roasted veggies with mine no matter what time of the day it is.   You decide, after all it is your plate.  Be sure to make it beautiful to maximize the eating experience!  I do that by adding lots of color to my plate.  Make one and see for yourself.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 -16 ounce curd of light or fat free cottage cheese ….a better brand like Hood is richer and less watery)
  • 3 cups organic baby kale, chopped well…or use baby spinach or chopped broccoli or another vegetable that you prefer
  • 1/4-1/2 cup full fat feta cheese, crumbled…or your favorite.  The amount here depends on how cheesy you’d like the quiche’..I used 1/4 cup
  • 1 Tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic powder
  • 1 vine ripe or plum tomato, thinly sliced

Pre-heat the oven to 375′.   Spray a 10″ across pie plate really well.  That means to spray the sides so not to have any sticking and or difficulty removing it when finished.   Mix all ingredients in a large bowl.  Transfer to pie plate.  Shake the pie plate to level off the ingredients or use a rubber spatula.  Arrange the tomato slices on top.  You could make a flower out of the tomatoes or just scatter them as I did.  Bake for  approximately 1 hour or until set/cooked in the middle.  Press on the center and it should bounce back easily.  Remember it will continue to cook a bit after it is removed from the oven.

Team BeachPeach

Congratulations to the Beachpeaches on their website reaching twenty thousand hits!  They are great gals and deserve all the success in the world.  Don’t forget to follow the team as its training progresses.

 

 

BEEF TENDERLOIN & Horseradish Sauce

Happy New Year!

From a tiny BEACH kitchen:

New Year’s Eve is our favorite night to stay home.   The following dinner entree post was my contribution to the 2012 kick off meal.  We cooked the tenderloin in the oven, but this could have just as easily been done on a grille.  The accompanying horseradish sauce was a big hit!- as was the ’96 Chateau Souverain from Alexander Valley ~ thanks to Brian and Ellen Russo.  Friends relaxing in front of a roaring fire with Dan and Amy playing guitar and fiddle in our living room made it a special night to remember.

Ingredients:

Mustard Horseradish Sauce:

  • 3/4 cup good mayonnaise
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
  • 1/2 tablespoon prepared horseradish
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • Kosher salt
Simply mix well and refrigerate up to a day ahead of serving.  This sauce is also wonderful served on a roast beef sandwich with crusty bread, arugula, tomato and thinly sliced red onion.

For the BEEF:

  • 2 to 3 pounds fillet of beef, trimmed and tied
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.

Place the beef on a baking sheet and pat the outside dry with a paper towel. Mix the unsalted butter and mustard together in a small bowl and spread the mixture over the beef with your hands. Sprinkle evenly with the salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for exactly 15 minutes.  Turn the oven down to 375 and cook beef to 140 degrees for medium rare or 150 degrees for medium.  An instant read thermometer is perfect for this.

Remove the beef from the oven, cover it tightly with aluminum foil, and allow it to rest at room temperature for 5 minutes. Remove the strings and slice the fillet thickly.

Note: This recipe was adapted from Barefoot Contessa, one of my favorite Food TV chefs.

~Sheryl

Simple, Yummy ~ PASTA FAGIOLI

From Rita:

As most of you know I am a bean lover and eat them whenever I can as my source of protein and also because they keep satisfied for long periods of time.  This soup has a much different flavor than the Italian bean soup I have posted earlier.  I actually saw the recipe in a food magazine but adjusted it a bit to make it more flavorful.  It worked out beautifully and with winter on its way, this is definitely a comfort soup!   Please note:  If you are not a bean eater, because of the texture, simply, puree the beans in a little broth until very smooth and add to recipe.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 3 cups beef broth
  • 1 1/2 cups small pasta( tiny bow ties)
  • 2  15oz. can cannellini beans, rinsed
  •  1  14.5 oz. can petite diced tomatoes in juice
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

Heat oil in large saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add onion and cook until it begins to soften.  Add garlic and cook about 1 minute.  Add broth and pasta and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer till pasta is tender.  Stir in the beans and tomatoes and cook until heated through.  Remove from heat and stir in parsley.  Serve topped with parmesan.

Meatless Stuffed Peppers

From Rita:

These are so quick, easy and tasty that you will be pleasantly surprised.  You can make them ahead of time and then bake them off later.  I am enjoying many meatless meals these days and feel better than ever.  There must be something to the vegetarian concept of eating.  Top with some fat free greek yogurt or low fat sour cream.  The cold of the topping and the heat of the  pepper or tomato really work well together…or eat them plain. Try a meatless meal and see how good you feel!

INGREDIENTS:

Stuffing:

  • 1 -15 oz. can black beans,  rinse and drain well
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice  (I use Trader Joe’s cooked brown rice)
  • 1 jar of salsa
  • 1- 6 oz. bag of baby spinach, chopped
  • 1/2 cup low fat shredded cheddar cheese

Stuff ingredients into:

  • 3 large peppers – your choice of color.  Clean all seeds and white pith
  • 3 large tomatoes tops cut off and the cavities cleaned thoroughly
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.   Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. and stuff the peppers and tomatoes.  Put in a pan where they will fit fairly tightly.  Be sure to add about an inch of water to the pan so they will not burn on the bottom.  Bake at 400′ for 1 hour or until the peppers are fork tender.  I simply use a long handled fork or knife and stick it in the side of the pepper — it should be nice and soft.  Viola .. you are ready to dine.

Fun Holiday Desserts!

From Natalie:

It’s been a busy couple of months but I am back and baking this time!  Krisann is definitely the baker of the crew but these two desserts are easy and really delicious so I thought I would post them.  You may want to try them for your holiday gathering, I did!

Ingredients:  Shortbread

(Adapted from http:familyfun.go,com/recipes/shortbread-cookies)

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Mix the ingredients together with your hands into a dough.  Divide into two sections. Put each half into an ungreased cake pan.  Flatten out and decorate with a fork as shown below:

One you have completed the decorative marks take a sharp knife and cut into wedges.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until the edges start to turn brown.  Re-cut the wedges and let cool for about 30 minutes.  Then move carefully to a cooling rack.

Delicious warm with a cup of tea!  Enjoy!

Adorable Santa Hat Brownies:

We were looking for something fun to make for a little friendly competition at work and my colleague Emily found a recipe for these adorable “Santa Hats” online.  She found it on another wordpress site (daisyt13) but I changed the recipe somewhat.

Ingredients:

  • A batch of your favorite brownies
  • 1 pound of strawberries
  • 1 stick of butter, room temperature
  • 8 ounces mascarpone cheese, room temperature
  • 1 and 1/2 cups of confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

Using a hand mixer, beat the butter and cheese until creamy.  Add the vanilla.  Add the sugar 1/2 cup at a time until the whole mixture is a creamy frosting. 

I used a mini cupcake tin for the brownies. With a pastry bag and a round decorating tip, make a circle of the frosting on top of the brownie.  Trim the strawberries so the top is flat.  Place the strawberry upside down on top of the ring of frosting.  Using the decorating tip, top off the strawberry with a frosting “pom-pom” for Santa’s hat. 

Really adorable on your holiday dessert table!

Wishing  all of you and your families a Happy and Healthy Holiday Season and a Wonderful New Year!

White Beans w/ Garlic & Organic Baby Kale

From Rita:

Here I am with another tasty, meatless meal that I concocted as a result of wanting to eat more healthy greens with pasta or assorted veggies.  I thought….how can I make them as a complete meal?  Protein of some kind was needed and what better source to use but beans. They are full of fiber which helps sustain us from meal to meal.  I have loved white beans since I was a kid and decided that the combination would  be perfect.  It was!  You can put this over pasta, or a combo of steamed veggies like zucchini, summer squash,and chopped tomatoes to keep it lean and the white carbs at bay.

Be sure to have the fresh parmesan close by as it is what will make this dish complete.  Please know that cheeses you buy already grated, though easier to use, have lost much of their flavor.   A tip for having cheese at hand at all times is to buy it by the block.  Simply wrap tightly with plastic wrap and store it in a large zip lock with a  hand held grater in the bag.  When you are ready to use it,  load the grater with a small piece and grate away.  I actually put the grater on the dinner table on a lovely plate so my guests can use as much as they wish.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 Tbls. olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic finely minced
  • 2 cans cannellini beans rinsed and drained well
  • 1 can chicken broth
  • 4-6 cups organic baby kale greens
Place a large non-stick fry pan over medium-high heat.   Add the oil and garlic and saute’ 1-2 minutes until you begin to smell the aroma of the garlic.  Add the beans and the broth.  Simmer a few minutes until it is heated through.  5  minutes.
Add the kale and move it around with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula to get it moistened with the beans and broth.
Because it is a baby kale it will cook rather quickly….2-3 minutes, much like spinach.
.

Mac and Cheese

From Krisann:

This recipe is definately one that you will add to your favorite comfort foods.  I broke this recipe out at the request of my son who was home from college for the Thanksgiving weekend, I doubled the recipe and we are still enjoying it.  I must say that it tastes even better leftover.  I hope that you enjoy this one as much as my family does.

Ingredients:

  • Kosher Salt
  • Vegetable Oil
  • 1 lb elbow macaroni of cavatappi
  • 1 qt milk (I use skim)
  • 8 TBLS (1 stick) unsalted butter, divided
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 12 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated (4 cups)
  • 8 ounces extra sharp cheddar, grated (2 cups)
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 4 small fresh tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh whole wheat bread crumbs (5 slices, crusts removed)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees


Drizzle oil into a large pot of boiling salted water.  Add the macaroni and cook according to the directions on the package, 6 to 8 minutes.  Drain well.

Meanwhile, heat the milk in a small saucepan, but don’t boil it.  Melt 6 TBLS of butter in a  large (4-quart) pot and add the flour.  Cook over low heat for 2 minutes, stirring with a whisk.  While whisking, add the hot milk and cook for a minute of two more, until thickend and smooth.  Off the heat, add the Gruyere, Cheddar, 1 TBLS salt, pepper and nutmeg.  Add the cooked macaroni and stir well.  Pour in a 3-quart baking dish.

Slice the tomatoes and arrange on top.  Melt the remaining 2 TBLS of butter, combine them with the fresh bread crumbs, and sprinkle on the top.  Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbly and the macaroni is browned on top.

Rita’s Greek Meatloaf

From Rita:

I was invited to compete in a meatloaf contest at our yacht club.   Growing up in a Greek home with a YiaYia (aka: grandmother), as well as a mother who only cooked mostly Greek cuisine,  meatloaf was NEVER made.. really and truly NEVER! Not being sure about how to  make a meatloaf,  I decided to take the flavors that I loved best and create my own meatloaf recipe.  I must say it came out tasty and I actually placed in the top 3–  I was elated!  You can also use this same recipe to form patty’s to make Greek burgers.  Either way, you will WOW your friends with a flavor I can guarantee they will love.

  • 1 pound ground beef (85% variety)
  • 1 pound ground lamb
  • 1 medium onion finely minced
  • 15 pitted Kalamata olives, finely chopped ( supermarket olive bar)
  • 1 cup crumbled Feta cheese
  • 2 level tablespoons dried oregano ( rub the dry leaves in the palms of your hands before dropping into the bowl to awaken the flavor)
  • 2 level tablespoons dried granulated garlic powder( not garlic salt)
  • 1 teaspoon salt ( do not overdo as the Feta will add salt to the meatloaf)
  • 1 tablespoon pepper ( freshly ground is best)
  • 2 large eggs lightly beaten
  • 1/2-3/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1  15 oz. can unseasoned petite diced tomatoes, drained really well
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Place all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.  Do not mix it to death,  just enough to bring it all together evenly.
Lay a long piece of foil on a counter and rub olive oil on it.   Pour the mixture on the foil. (See below)  Here is where you will form the loaf.   It goes into the oven to cook through – about 50 minutes.  Remove.   Let meat rest for 10 minutes before cutting.

Italian White Bean Soup

From Rita:

White beans have become one of my favorite foods.  They can make great dips, soups, and salad toppings.  They are a great source of clean protein and because of their fiber content beans are known to sustain us for long periods of time without feeling hungry.  The are nutrient rich as are many beans (excluding baked beans.. . too high in sugar).

Maybe it is time for you  to give beans a place on your menus at home ?  You can use the canned varieties or buy dry in bags and soak in plenty of cold water overnight.. changing the water at least once in the process.

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 medium cloves “fresh” garlic
  • 3  19 oz. cans white cannellini  beans rinsed and drained well
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 6 “plum” tomatoes roughly chopped ( about quarter size)
  • 3/4 cup “fresh” basil leaves chopped
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Romano cheese
Place a soup pot over medium heat and pour in the oil.  Let it warm up and put in the garlic. Stay at the stove and move the garlic around the pan until you smell it’s aromas.  This will not take more than 1 minute.  Then put in the beans and the broth.
Immediately take out 3 cups and put into your food processor or blender and puree’ until smooth and put directly back into the soup pot.  Stir well, bring to a boil, and drop to a simmer.
Set the timer for 5 minutes and put in the tomatoes and basil.  DO NOT change the heat.  Continue to simmer for another 5 minutes.
Do not cook too long as you do not want the tomatoes to break down, but to soften only.  The finished soup has great texture and superb flavor.  Be sure to top it with some freshly grated Romano or Parmesan, whichever you prefer.  I use Romano to provide all the flavor one would need.    MANGIA!

Team Beach Peach: Philly Marathon ’12

Visit our newest page at BeachPeach!

From John Kelley:

Eating well is only one piece of the living-well puzzle. Being active is another.  On the newest page, follow us – as members of the Beach Peach family attempt their first marathon!

Over the next year, we hope that seeing four “newbz” reach new goals they didn’t previously think possible could also help to motivate our subscribers to remain active and maybe do things they never thought possible.

Please check out our newest tab:  “Team Beach Peach: Philly Marathon ’12” as we begin to update you on our progress and share some of the fun along the way.

If you are inspired to join us in the training (on any level), please let Coach John know.

jkelle01@gmail.com

 The Beachpeach family welcomes new teammates to the Philadelphia Marathon challenge.

RITA UPDATE

Good day everyone:

Just a message to you all to say I am progressing much better and the seriously painful days are behind me now.  I am so happy to be able to sit fairly comfortably at the computer and send an update.  I again thank you all for the cards and messages on the blog that inspire me more than you know.

I will begin my outside physical therapy this week and am looking forward to being able to drive again.  We take so much for granted in our lives, like driving a car, until it is taken away from us and then OMG! you are totally dependent on another person/persons to do things for you that you have always done on your own.  So regaining that ability means the world to me.

To get to the supermarket and pick and choose my own foods is also very special.  I could easily be  personal shopper as I take much pride in what is going into my cart. Examining every piece of fruit and every veggie to be sure they are fresh is important for all of us to consider doing.  Every box of salad greens, every bundle of kale, collards, or an anise bulb is picture perfect or I do not purchase it.

Be choosy…you are worth it.

I want to wish you all a wonderful, happy, healthy holiday season.  Eat only what you love and be sure to not to overdo!  Keep your eye on the prize.  Be well and be safe.  Miss you all.   Rita Pappaconstantinou

Pork Chops with Vinegar Peppers

From Rita:

This dish came to me from my significant other of 23 years.  David’s Italian heritage is what this dish is all about and it is the easiest, most wonderfully delicious dish that you could whip up for a quick dinner any night of the week!

I serve it with a Caprese salad (see MIXED GRILLE DINNER) and some fresh raviolis with a simple marinara sauce both of which you can purchase at your local supermarkets.

Of course, you can make your own sauce. I can recommend the traditional marinara sauce at Trader Joe’s to which I add a few italian spices and a drop of dry red wine to it to make it even tastier.  It all works to make the quickest, easiest , yummy dinner.   We hope you enjoy this dish as it is one of our longtime favorites.  Thank you, David.



  • Package of one inch or thicker boneless pork chops, or bone-in
  • 1 jar of Pastene Vinegar Peppers
  • olive oil ( not extra virgin)
  • salt & pepper
  • garlic powder
Put the oil in a large fry pan and set over high heat.  Let the pan heat up really well and add the chops and the peppers ( as many as you like).  You should hear them sizzle.  Sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder.
Stay at the stove and be sure to let them brown well before turning.  You also will turn the pepper pieces at this point. Once they are turned reduce the heat to medium-high.  Add a drizzle of the juice from the jar of peppers to the pan.
You may re-sprinkle the pan with  more garlic powder if you wish.
Continue cooking until you have the desired doneness.  Personally I like them to be slightly pink in the middle so they remain juicy.
You can plate them with any sides you wish.  I like to keep the Italian theme going and it has always won the hearts of those who have dined with us!   Manja

A personal thank you from Rita:

Hello Everyone,

I must say it seems like a very long time that I have not been able to be at the computer and reach out to you all.  It is the 17th day of my recovery and all seems to be going along on target. Slow and steady wins the race every time as you all know  from being with me in your weight loss journeys.   My recovery is much the same in the fact that I need to have the very same patience I have asked you all to have along the way at one point or another.  It is not easy, but it will be worth it.

My physical therapist works me hard.  She is a great gal with much experience in her field.   Exercise is required to make a total comeback from this kind of surgery.  I have kept up with my exercises even on the days she is not with me.  Sometimes I have to push myself through them and I now understand this is MY PART of the recovery process.  Nobody can do this for me -but me! Much like each of you has to step up and do your part to get healthy and well to reach your weight loss goals.

“Stay the course everyone and work hard and know in the end you will always come up a winner.  Focus, focus, focus on what needs to be done for whatever it is you want.  Remember never take your eye off the prize.  Our overall health and well being are all we need in order to achieve everything we wish for ourselves.”

Thanks for all the cards and well wishes.  They truly mean a great deal to me and keep me going as I look forward to David bringing in the mail each day.  By the way he has been a great nurse during my recovery process.  As you all know,  David has had some practice!

Miss you all.  Be well and be safe.

Rita Pappaconstantinou

OLD FASHIONED BEEF STEW

From a tiny BEACH kitchen:

Here is another classic crockpot recipe…… I don’t have a picture of the finished dish.  Oops!  We ate it all before I realized I didn’t get the finished shot- the stew was THAT GOOD!   (Use your imagination.)

I did, however, take a shot of the actual beef stew recipe I have been using forever.    The recipe booklet came out of the crockpot box many years ago.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 pounds beef stew meat
  • 4 potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 3 carrots, sliced
  • 1 stalk celery, sliced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 cup beef broth
  • bay leaf
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • paprika
  • salt and pepper

Roasted Eggplant served over Spaghetti Squash

From Rita:

Just looking at this dish sitting in a roasting pan ready to go in the oven will make your mouth water.  All fresh veggies and a little Feta cheese makes this a special one.  I totally enjoyed it and hope you all do as well.

(Because I am  trying to not eat many white carbs these days, I opted to use spaghetti squash as the base and freely topped it with the finished product.)

I must say, this recipe  began as needing to use up some very ripe tomatoes and an eggplant.  I had to use it or loose it!  What a lovely combination of flavors  that I will not soon forget.  

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 large eggplant, cubed, skin left on (or two medium eggplants)
  • 1 large Vidalia onion,  thinly sliced
  • 4 very ripe tomatoes
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup crumbled Feta cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
Place all ingredients in a large bowl except the Feta cheese.  Toss well and place in a 9″x13″ roasting pan.  Sprinkle with Feta and bake at 375′ for about 45-50 minutes.  
 
Spaghetti squash: 
 
This can be cooked in the microwave.  Depending on the size,  it could take up to 30 minutes. I generally poke  a hole with a sharp knife in the squash so it does not explode!  Cut it open very carefully, lengthwise.  
 
It is steaming hot so use oven mitts in this step.  Remove the seeds with a spoon, or fork, trying not to drag the strings of squash with them.  Once it is void of seeds you can then use the tines of a fork to scratch the squash out of the skin.
 
 
 
Serve the roasted veggies right over the speghetti (squash).
 

Roasted Cauliflower

From Rita:

I got this recipe from an old friend many years ago and have never stopped making it as the combination of flavors is fab.  It takes little time to prepare-  which I love.  This could be prepped ahead of time if necessary and put in a large zip lock bag, refrigerated and baked later.  

We hope you all enjoy this as a new side dish to accompany any meal.  I used some of the leftovers and made an egg white and feta scramble one weekend morning and I loved it. You may also make a warm veggie wrap and add bit of goat cheese when the veggies are warm and let it melt in.  I use many leftovers so many different ways and it always becomes a treat to eat!  Those of us who love food will really will love this one!

  • 1 large head cauliflower
  • 1 large red onion
  • 2 tablespoons jarred garlic
  • 1 big handful chopped flat leaf parsley ( not curly)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
Toss all ingredients in a large bowl being sure to get everything coated nicely.  Put into a roasting pan and roast at 400′ for about 45 minutes or until the cauliflower is fork tender.  Be sure to flip over a couple of times so nothing gets charred in the oven during the cooking process.
 
 
.

Hello from Rita

Rita is home and feeling great! 

If you would like to keep in touch with Rita during her recovery, please send her a note at:

Rita Pappaconstantinou  PO BOX 595, Brant Rock, MA 02020.    She would love to hear from you! 

Roasted Pork with Apple Cranberry Sauce

From Natalie:

Krisann made this dish for Bill and I a few years ago and it was fabulous!  She shared the recipe so I could make it for our celebration.  I was surprised that it was so easy because it really comes out delicious and the presentation is quite impressive.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 lb. boneless pork roast (This recipe calls for a roast this size, however, I made a roast that was 5 lbs. so I tripled the recipe.)
  • 2 Red Delicious apples, peeled, cored and chopped
  • 1 cup of Craisins (dried cranberries)
  • 1/4 cup barbecue sauce (I used Sweet Baby Rays)
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • Crazy salt
  • Ground pepper
  • Garlic powder

Put the roast in a roasting pan and coat with Crazy salt, pepper and garlic powder.  Cook at 325 degrees for 20 minutes per pound.  (Meat thermometer should read 165 degrees in the center.)

In a medium saucepan, add the apples, craisins, barbecue sauce, brown sugar and 1/4 cup water.  Bring to a boil.  Simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring often.  The sauce should be slightly thickened.

Put the pork on a serving platter.  Slice roast and pour sauce over the top.  Enjoy!

(This recipe was adapted from Weight Watchers Simply the Best cookbook)

 

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BEACHPEACH CELEBRATION DINNER

 

SHERYL ~ NATALIE ~ RITA ~ KRISANN

We recently shared a special celebration dinner with our guys.   Enjoy the following pictures and watch for the mouth-watering recipes to follow along as each cook finds a moment to post her creations.  Special thanks to Krisann and John for sharing their beautiful, fall-decorated, dining room with all of us. 

Also, we’d like to thank “ACORN CANNING COMPANY” and Monica Fletcher for baking the delicious Parker House rolls we all DEVOURED!  Please visit Monica’s new shop on Ocean Street in Marshfield, MA.  Tell her “Beachpeach” sent you! 

 https://www.facebook.com/pages/Acorn-Canning-Company/239434332773961?sk=wall

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ENJOY FOOD WITH THOSE YOU LOVE…… We do!

Baked Chicken ~ seasoned with white wine and cinnamon

From Rita:

I have been making this dish for many years and have seen many dinner guests licking their lips over this one.  It is wonderfully fragrant as it cooks in your oven it causes those salivary glands to kick into high gear.  You almost can’t wait for it to be done.  So very simple and so very tasty.  I have added some things to make it a complete meal and the cooking process remains the same.  One pan clean up always works for me.  Hope you enjoy.

  • 1 – 4 lb. whole chicken cut up into pieces or you may use split breast or drumsticks
  • 1 large vidalia onion sliced into 1/2″ rings and broken apart
  • 1 box white mushrooms cleaned and left whole
  • 4 red potatoes, washed and cut into 1 1/2″ thick slices
  • 1 1/2-2 cups dry white cooking wine
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Simply toss everything into a large bowl and use your hands to toss and coat all ingredients well.  Line a cookie sheet or roasting pan with non-stick aluminum foil ( most important) and spread out evenly in a single layer.  Preheat the over to 400 degrees and cook for approximately 1 hour or until the chicken is cooked through.  The finished product should be beautifully browned and not dry!

CLASSIC BEEF CHILI

From a tiny BEACH kitchen:

Have you felt a chill in the air since Labor Day?  Time to get out the crockpot! 

Making chili is “ALL in the cans” … a friend recently told me.  This simple recipe is great to whip together in the morning before leaving for the office.   Your house will smell amazing when you return.  Or, get a crowd together and enjoy this simple, hearty meal with those you love and watch some football!    ~ Sheryl

 INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 pounds ground sirloin (or ground turkey)
  • 2 sweet onions diced (or buy the bag of frozen diced to make it even easier)
  • 2 cans Pastene Kitchen ready crushed tomatoes (28oz)
  • 2 cans Dark Kidney Beans (16oz,) rinsed well and drained
  • 1 can petite diced tomatoes (16oz)
  • 1 can tomato paste (6oz)
  • 2 teaspoons Cumin
  • 1/4 cup Chili Powder
  • small can diced chili peppers (optional)
  • 3 cloves diced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons EVOO

GET OUT THE CAN OPENER!  Open all the cans and pour them into a Crockpot.  NOTE:  Rinse the kidney beans in a strainer and drain well before you put them in the crockpot. 

Saute the garlic in 2 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil.   Add ground sirloin and saute until brown. Drain off any fat.  To the sirloin in the saute pan, add the cumin and chili powder and stir, stir, stir to coat the sirloin very well with the seasonings.  Transfer cooked, seasoned sirloin into the crockpot and stir thoroughly.  This recipe can hang out in your crockpot all day on LOW.    Or on HIGH for 4 hours.

You can now head off  to work knowing you have a great meal to come home to.   Garnish cooked chili with fresh oregano, sour cream, taco cheese or “FRITOS”.          ~~GO PATRIOTS!

TIP!:    If your eyes water when you are dicing onions, bite on a wooden matchstick with the sulfer side facing out- do NOT light!- and your eyes will not water!  Try it, it works like MAGIC.

~

Mixed Grille Dinner

From Rita:

An evening of mixed grill has been a long time favorite of mine.  Although I am trying to eat more vegetarian these days, every once in a while I break out and enjoy a taste of all these lovely things at one sitting.  To have guests to enjoy this with makes it special.   This was my evening dinner party and we all had fun tasting all the different flavors.

The key to enjoying this meal is to have bites of all the offerings so you are not stuffed and have had a fun time enjoying all the flavors. There you have it…. A complete meal with each item complimenting the next.  A great time was had by all and why not?

THE MEAT SOURCES:

1. I opted for apple chicken sausage and oven roasted them at 375 degrees on a cookie sheet lined with non-stick foil until they were browned beautifully.  I accompanied them with jarred sliced hot cherry peppers.  A super combination that you need to taste to believe.

2. In the same oven on another cookie sheet lined with non-stick foil I roasted the chicken drumsticks.  They were seasoned with salt, pepper,  garlic powder, oregano and fresh lemon juice.

3.  Petite filets of sirloin was the real meat lovers part of the mixed grill.  Rubbed with olive oil and seasoned simply with a little salt and pepper and grilled to perfection.

THE SIDES:

BAKED SWEET POTATO FRIES

I scrubbed these sweet potatoes really clean.  Leaving the skins on, I sliced them into a french fry size, placed them in a bowl and drizzled them with olive oil.  The spices were salt, pepper and garlic powder.  Place them on a non-stick foil lined baking sheet in a 400 degree oven, turning them periodically for approximately 35 minutes.

BABY ORGANIC KALE:

You can find this in some markets.  The brand is Olivia’s and I find her organics are always fresh and wonderful.  Simply wash and pick through them for any that may be yellowing. I spin them till they are dry leaving only traces of water.  Place a fry pan over med-high heat and add a little olive oil and as much garlic as you feel you would like.  I used jarred garlic as the taste is sweeter and not to strong as to not over power the baby kale’s flavor.  Stir fry till wilted which happens very quickly so this should be done at the very last minute before dinner is served.

THE APPETIZER:

First a healthy appetizer of sliced cucumber with a dollop of roasted red pepper hummus and topped with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, salt and fresh cracked pepper.

THE SALAD:

 Next  is a very simple salad made with sliced garden tomatoes, crumbled feta, fresh basil leaves from the plant outside my door (makes a world of difference) and a few Kalamata olives.  I always dress this salad with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Evening Dinner & Sail on WHISPER

The traditional farewell (or toast) of a Mariner is wishing a friend  “fair winds and following seas.”  

Last weekend, we had the blessing of being all together for a sunset dinner sail on the Whisper.  The wind was fair, the seas were calm and the food was just delicious. 

Thank you Captain Dave Rubbo and all your mates for yet another memorable evening sailing under a summer sky.   And love to my dear friends for a fun birthday celebration filled with wonderful foodie treats, laughter and really, really, good wine!~ Sheryl

Beachpeach Gals

Menu for an evening sail…

 “Keep the moon on the right”!

CHAR GRILLED VEAL CHOPS featuring Richard Gauger

From a tiny BEACH kitchen:

By now you know us Beachpeach gals love to cook and share food with friends and family as often as we can.  Krisann and I were invited to a dinner party last weekend and were thrilled when our friend, Richard Gauger, (and his beautiful wife, Jill) prepared a wonderful meal to share with us! 

Richard is one of the last, die-hard, charcoal grillers out there.  In fact, look outside his kitchen door and you will see not one, but TWO, Weber grills in the sand!   In honor of Richard’s 50th birthday, he is featured as our first Guest Blogger

The pictures below are all mine.  However, the ingredients, prep work and charcoal grilling is all Richard.   

Happy Birthday to our friend and thanks to you and Jill for a memorable evening complete with an incredible lineup of live entertainment after dinner. (You know who you are!)

Enjoy great food with those you love.  We do. ~ Sheryl

INGREDIENTS:

  • Veal chops (bone- in)
  • Fresh rosemary
  • Fresh sage
  • Fresh garlic, chopped
  • Extra virgin olive oil, 1 cup

Heat the charcoals until they are white hot.  Meanwhile, salt and pepper veal chops. 

 Then, in a small bowl,  crush sprigs of fresh rosemary together with fresh sage leaves and chunks of fresh garlic with olive oil to form a marinade. 

See the “fresh herb” theme going on here?  Yes. It does make all the difference. 

Baste the veal chops and let the flavors hang out together while the coals are getting white hot. 

Figure heating the coals takes about the same amount of time as it does to have a glass of wine.    

Make a second small batch of the same ingredients to baste chops when they come off the grille.    

Cook to desired doneness, similar to steak. 

Allow chops to rest for 5 minutes.

Vegetarian Moussaka

From Krisann:

This moussaka is a meatless version of the classic Greek dish.  The bulgar is a nice subsitiute for the ground meat.  This is a new recipe for me, but I have to say that I really do love it.  I like to double the recipe so that I can enjoy it as a leftover (It acutally tastes better the longer the flavors mesh together).  I hope that you enjoy this dish as much as I did.  Let me know what you think.  Stay tuned for the classic version.

Ingredients:

  • 3 peeled eggplants, cut into 1/2 inch-thick slices (about 2 1/2 pounds)
  • 2 TBLS extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 4 garlic cloves, Minced
  • 1/2 cup uncooked bulgar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can no-salt added diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 TBLS butter
  • 2 TBLS all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup 1% low-fat milk (I used skim)
  • 2 TBLS finely grated fresh Romano cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten

Preheat broiler to high.

Brush eggplant slices with 1 tablespoon oil.  Place half of eggplant on a foil-lined baking sheet coated with cooking spray; broil 5 inches from heat for 5 minutes on each side or until browned.  Repeat procedure with remaining eggplant.  Set eggplent aside.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to pan; swirl to coat.  Add chopped onion to pan; saute 8 minutes.  Add garlic; saute 1 minute.  Add bulgar; cook 3 minutes or until bulgar is lightly toasted, stirring frequently.  Add ground allspice, cinnamon , and cloves; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Stir in vegatable broth, oregano, and tomatoes.  Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until thickened, stirring constantly.

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat.  Add flour; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly with a whisk until well blended.  Gradually add milk, stirring constantly with a whisk.  Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium -low, and simmer 5 minutes or until thickened, stirring frequently.  Stir in cheese and salt.  Remove fro heat, and cook slightly.  Add egg, stirring well with a whisk.

Preheat oven to 350.

Arrange half of eggplant in an 11 x 7 inch glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray.  Spread the bulgar mixture evenly over eggplant; arrange remaining eggplant over bulgar mixture.  Top with milk mixture.  Bake at 350 for 40 minutes, and remove from oven.  Increase oven temperature to 475.  Return dish to oven for 4 minutes or until the top is browned.  Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.  Makes 4 servings.  (Note I doulbled the recipe)

Tossed Salad with White Beans and Tuna

From Rita:

I believe that many of us on these hot summer nights would love to have a refreshing salad that can be made into a meal.  It is key that the salad ingredients all jive.   By that I mean that they compliment each other.  I have made this salad so many times through the years I thought would share it with all of you.  It travels well in a cooler in a seal tight container and needs the lightest of dressing to bring it all together.

Ingredients:

  •  Mix of  a bit of Romaine, Iceberg, red cabbage ( whatever was left in the fridge or you could easily use a package of mixed greens from the market.)
  • chopped celery
  • chopped cucumber
  • chopped red pepper
  • sliced red onion
  • 1 can cannellini beans rinsed and drained really well
  • 1 can solid white tuna/or chunk light  whatever your preference
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • red wine vinegar
Layer all ingredients on a flat platter allowing each of them to be seen.  You may make this as large or as small a salad as you would like.  The top two layers are the cannellini beans and tuna.  You may also include shredded carrot and grape tomatoes if you like adding more colors and more flavors. Because of my Greek heritage I have added a bit of crumbled feta and a few chopped pitted Kalamata olives periodically and it is my favorite way to eat it.   This can be made ahead of time for dinner and wrapped tightly with saran wrap to keep it fresh.  Yummy and filling.  Give it a try!

Baked Italian Picnic Sandwich

From Krisann:

This bake and take crowd pleaser comes directly from my sister Kim’s kitchen.  It seems like this time of year I am always looking to bring a sandwich on the boat, to the beach, or to a friend’s house.  I really like making my sandwiches on a long loaf of bread and then slicing to enjoy with lots of friends.   Not to worry if you are going to a location that you won’t have access to an oven.  You can either bake the sandwich at home and then wrap it in foil or even skip the baking part and enjoy it as a cold sandwich.  Let me know what you think.  Enjoy!!

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 lb each hot capricola, mortadella, black pepper ham and salami
  • Pesto (prepared or homemade, see my pesto pasta salad recipe for homemade pesto recipe)
  • fresh basil (wash and dry basil leaves)
  • Roasted Red Pepper (I used the one in a jar, blot the pepper on paper towel so they are not so wet.  If you are using whole peppers break them into strips to place into sandwich)
  • 1 small thinly sliced Vidalia onion
  • 1 eggplant (remove skin, cut into 1/2 inch slices)
  • Fresh mozzarella ball (thinly sliced)
  • Loaf of bread (I usually use some sort of unsliced italian loaf)
  • Balsamic glaze (this comes prepared and can be purchased at most grocery stores)

 

Preheat the broiler to high.  Brush eggplant slices with olive oil and sprinkle with crazy salt and pepper.  Place on a foil-lined baking sheet coated with cooking spray; broil 5 inches from the heat for 5 minutes on each side or until browned.  Repeat procedure with remaining eggplant.  Set eggplant aside.

Cut the bread lengthwise.  Spread the pesto on the bottom half of the loaf.  Layer your eggplant, onion slices, roasted red peppers, fresh basil and mozzarella cheese.  Take the top half of the bread and drizzle with the balsamic glaze.  Add the meats and carefully place the top half of the sandwich on the bottom half.  Place the sandwich on a baking sheet and cook in a 400 degree oven for about 15-20 minutes or until cooked.  Sandwich can be sliced and enjoyed.

WHITE FISH with ORIENTAL FLAVOR

 

From a tiny BEACH kitchen:

Ginger and orange give this dish an oriental flavor.  It smells heavenly coming out of the oven.  We are lucky enough to have an award winning fish market close by.   I seem to be posting alot of fish recipes- it’s summer- it’s fresh.  We served  6 for dinner, and this cooked up fast and easily- with leftovers.   Krisann brought over roasted brussel sprouts– and CORN with vidalia onions to serve with the fish dinner.  Divine! (I hope she puts those recipes on the blog)  Let friends help.  That was the motto this past week…

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds white fish (haddock, cod, striped bass, etc)
  • 1 cup diced scallions (green onions)
  • 3 TBSP soy sauce
  • 3 TBSP red wine vinegar
  • 3 teaspoons oriental sesame oil
  • 3 teaspoons grated orange zest (or use a peeler and shave off zest of one orange and dice into small pieces)
  • 3 teaspoons peeled, diced ginger root (dice into small pieces also)

Preheat oven to 425.  Rinse and dry fish.  Spray casserole dish with olive oil.  Arrange fish in casserole dish, tucking under thin ends.   Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Sprinkle scallions on top. 

Combine all else in a small bowl and pour over fish.    Cook 12-15 minutes.  Fish flakes easily when cooked.   Serve fish with side of  the sauce to drizzle over fish.

Note:  This fish dish can also be cooked in a microwave.   Cover dish with saran wrap.   Cook 5 minutes.  Test to see if fish flakes, if not, cook a couple minutes more.  

Crispy Duck Leg Quarters

From Rita:

I  had a hankering for crispy duck one day and decided to give it a try.  It was not very difficult to do actually.  I searched the internet for a duck marinade that I thought would give me the flavor I was looking for and gave it a whirl.  It came out fabulous and have had many friends for dinner so they could enjoy it as well.  It smells so wonderful, you will have a hard time waiting for it to be out of the oven.  Serve it with brown rice and steamed pea pods or sugar snap peas or both and viola you have a yummy meal that you almost can’t believe that you created.  I was so happy that I tried it.   It has become one of my favorites.   The duck can be found some of your local supermarkets and is usually shipped in from Canada.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 duck leg quarters trimmed well leaving some skin on top
  • 2 Tbls. grated orange peel
  • 2 tsp. minced ginger
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 4 tsp. sugar
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp.Chinese five spice.

Blend together orange peel and spices.  Put in a large zip lock with the trimmed duck leg quarters.  Marinate a few hours in fridge or overnight.  Be sure to shake up the bag periodically to ensure the all the duck get coated evenly.

Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees.  Cover a cookie sheet with non-stick aluminum and place the legs on the  pan. Cook for 1 hour.  Shut oven off and leave legs in for an additional 10-15 minutes.  This step really allows them to crisp up.

BEST GRILLED SWORDFISH RECIPE

From a tiny BEACH kitchen:

Light the grill this weekend!  Swordfish is MADE to be cooked on a grill.    When choosing swordfish, look for the little strip of dark meat to be red, not brown.  If it’s brown, the meat is old.

It’s okay to use the broiler if you don’t have a grill.   You don’t need a fancy “fish” contraption to hold the fish on the grill, just try to only flip it over once.  When cooking swordfish, think medium rare steak.  It should be cooked the same.  Make sure to leave the skin on when you grill, but take it off to serve:  The skin is rubbery, but helps keep the meat moist.

The mayo in this recipe serves 2 purposes.  First, it keeps the fish from sticking to the grille.  Second, it keeps the meat moist and succulent.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup light  mayonnaise
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 TBSP Old Bay seasoning
  • juice of  one lemon
  • 1 lb. swordfish (one inch thickness)

Pre-heat the grille to medium-high.   Rinse swordfish steaks well under cold water; pat dry.  In an small  bowl, combine the 4  ingredients.  Brush mayo and seasonings liberally on both sides of swordfish.  Place fish on hot grill for 5 minutes.   Flip once.  Cook for another 4 minutes.

Remove swordfish from grille to rest on a platter covered with foil for 3 to  5 minutes before cutting into portions.   Do NOT overcook- or you will dry out the fish.

A good rule of thumb:  Fish will cook in approximately ten minutes per inch of thickness.  Any thick white fish can be cooked this way… striped bass, tuna, mahi – mahi, grouper, etc.

~SHERYL

Greek Village Salad (HOREEYATIKO SALATA)


From Peaches:

I had this beautiful salad in Greece while climbing to the Acropolis in one of the many cafes on the  side of a  mountain.  The area is fondly known as the PLAKA, which means “fun” in Greek, and they are not kidding!  Many Greeks go there to celebrate special times or just for a bite.  I go where the Greeks go- as they know where the best foods are to be found.  Nobody is ever disappointed at a Greek cafe.  They compete with one another to MAKE THE BEST OF EVERYTHING!!

If you are making this at home, it is important to try to buy Imported Greek Feta as the cheese makes all the difference in the world.   I have brought this to many dinner parties and everyone has enjoyed it as much as I have.  I hope you do too.  KALI  ORAXI EVERYONE!!

Note:  The ingredients are simple but it is important to select the best veggies wherever you shop.  For instance not just any tomato will do.  Of course right out of your garden tomatoes are the best but we are not there yet. Vine ripe tomatoes work perfectly as do the long English seedless cucumbers.

Ingredients ( Serves 6):

  • 4-5 vine ripe tomatoes cut into chunks (nice ripe ones)
  •  1 English Cucumber, unpeeled, cut in half lengthwise and sliced crosswise
  • 1/2 large red onion thinly sliced
  • 1 medium green pepper very thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup capers rinsed and drained well
  • about 24 pitted Kalamata olives left whole
  • 1/2 pound really good imported Feta sliced into 3 1/2 inch slabs

Layer all ingredients and top with slabs of Feta.  Dress the salad with a mixture of EXTRA virgin olive oil and red wine vinegar.  Sprinkle lightly with oregano, salt and freshly ground pepper.


Hearty Baked Beans

From Krisann:

This baked bean recipe can be served as a side or as a meal itself.  The combination of beans and meat make it very hearty and delicious.


Ingredients:

  • 1 can pinto beans, drained
  • 1 can cannelli beans, drained
  • 2 cans chix peas, drained
  • 2 cans kidney beans, drained
  • 1 large sweet onion, chopped
  • 1lb ground beef
  • 1lb bacon
  • 3/4 cup ketchup
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • couple teaspoons white vinegar
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 1/2 cup red cooking wine

In a large pot add the beans, ketchup, brown sugar, vinegar, mustard and cooking wine.  Set aside.  In a medium frying pan cook ground beef, drain off fat and add to the pot with the beans.  In the same frying pay, cook the bacon, when the bacon is cooked, drain off 1/2 the fat and cook the chopped onion in the bacon fat.

Crumble the bacon and add to beans and meat pot.  Add the onions.  Cook over low to heat for 2 hrs.

Easy Baked Lamb Shanks (ARNI STO FOURNO)

From Peach:

This dish is much easier to make than one might think.  Simple and delicious and does not need much attention once it is together in the oven.  It can be topped off with some crumbled feta when it is piping hot or not.  Growing up in a Greek home lamb was plentiful and made in many ways..this being my favorite.  Give it a try and I bet it will become your favorite too.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 lamb shanks trimmed of as much fat as possible.
  • 1 box white button mushrooms
  • 1/2 box orzo
  • 1  15 oz. can tomato sauce
  • beef broth
Place trimmed lamb shanks in a large roasting pan.  Combine tomato sauce and enough beef broth to fill pan 3/4 way up the sides. Seal tightly with foil and bake at 350 degrees for about 2 1/2 hour.  Do not disturb during this time.
Remove foil and add mushrooms and orzo and stir gently.  Put back in oven uncovered and cook stirring occasionally till orzo tender.  The lamb will brown beautifully during this part of the cooking process.  Total cooking time is about 3 hours. (This will ensure the lamb will be very tender).
KALI ORAXI EVERYONE.

“SO GOOD” BAKED SEA SCALLOPS RECIPE

 From a tiny BEACH kitchen:

These are “so good”- which is what you’ll be hearing from scallop fans at your dinner table.   Not sure if you’re a scallop fan?  Try this recipe and you will become one.  Fast. 

Do you buy big or small scallops?  The most obvious difference between sea and bay scallops is their size.  Sea scallops are much bigger, generally running 10 to 20 to the pound, while you will get something in the range of 50 to 90 bay scallops for the same weight.   Both sea and bay scallops lend themselves to the same dishes.  Avoid overcooking, which is fatal to flavor and texture.  

The ingredients are kept minimal and the taste is right out of the ocean.  Serve alone or as part of a surf and turf.  Simply follow along with the pictures below.   

Ingredients:

  • 1 -1/2 pounds Sea Scallops
  • Juice of one  REAL Lemon
  • 2 TBSP Butter, divided
  • 1/2 sleeve of Ritz Crackers
  • salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Put one tablespoon of butter in bottom of casserole dish.  Place in oven for a couple minutes to melt.   Pull out of oven.  Place scallops in casserole dish.  Season with salt and pepper and pour juice of one lemon over the scallops.   Crush 1/2 sleeve of Ritz crackers.  Sprinkle on top.  Place cut up tablespoon of butter on top of crackers.  Bake 10-12 minutes.   Do not overcook!  Just keep checking on the scallops after 10 minutes and give them another minute or so afterwards.  They will remain juicy.   Serve with slices of lemon on the side.

 Let me know what you think about this recipe.   

Did you hear “these are so good” when you served them?

~SHERYL

 

 

YOU CAN DO THIS: MAPLE GLAZED SALMON RECIPE

From a tiny BEACH kitchen…..

Having friends over for dinner is one of our favorite things to do.  We love to simply sit on the porch with a glass of wine and watch the waves (or the surfers!) crash while something simmers on the stove, or cooks itself in the oven.   This dinner is perfect for doing just that.   Enjoy your friends enjoying healthy food.

The salmon is done in 13 minutes with minimal prep time.   Add some steamed veggies, (gotta love those microwave bags!) and rice.  Or not.  Just prep a salad and some crusty bread.  This dish is unbelievably tasty and simple.  

I’d bet you probably already have everything you need to make this recipe in your pantry…. well, except for the fresh salmon.   I made 2 pounds for four people and we had plenty left over for lunches the next day. 

Note:  Please, please, please use “real” maple syrup in the glaze.  It is a natural sugar.  You do not need alot and it does make a difference.  Less IS more.  The taste is subtle.  Be certain it is pure maple syrup and none of that corn-syrupy fake stuff.  If the bottle looks like a lady in an apron, throw it out. 

(And of course, please use a real lemon for heaven’s sake.  If your “lemon” comes from a squeezable plastic container, throw that out too!)

Ingredients:

           …see my notes for the glaze pictured below ~ per one pound of salmon.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Salt and pepper salmon.  Place skin side down in baking dish.  Cook salmon 8 minutes.  Remove salmon from oven.  Brush salmon with marinade.  Return salmon to oven 4-5 minutes.  Done!

Let me know how you liked this recipe! 

~ SHERYL

PERFECTLY CRISP PAN-SEARED CHICKEN BREASTS RECIPE WITH LEMON & CHIVE SAUCE

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From a tiny BEACH kitchen:

Cooking is often about time.  This is one of those recipes that takes a little bit more time and is totally worth the effort.  A mixture of 3 parts flour to 1 part cornstarch creates a thin, brown, crisp coating that keeps the chicken moist.   The chicken comes out tender on the inside and crisp on the outside.  It tastes better than real chicken skin. 

Do you have a few more minutes?  Then take 5 minutes and make this Lemon and Chive Pan Sauce to pour over the chicken.   Add a green veggie on the side ~ and you are DONE!

Note: An instant read thermometer is key if you do not want to overcook meat.   Without one, you will often  slice into the meat to check for doneness- then the juices run out before they set- leaving the meat dry.   Make a small investment in this kitchen tool.  It will change your world.  Well, you know, not really, but it does have a small WOW factor.  

Ingredients to Pan Sear Chicken:

  • 4 boneless chicken breasts (6 to 8 oz each)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt or 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 TEAspooon cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

POKE AND SALT:  Salting chicken seasons the meat and keeps it moist.  Poking thicker parts of the breasts with a fork ensures even seasoning.

COVER AND BAKE: Place chicken in 13 x 9 baking dish and cover tightly with foil.  Bake in a 300 degree oven until instant read thermometer reads 145 degrees.  (30 to 40 minutes)   Baking at low temperature in a foil covered dish cooks the chicken evenly and keeps it from drying out.

Remove chicken from oven and transfer to plate lined with paper towels.  Pat dry with paper towels.  Heat oil in 12″ skillet over medium heat.  While pan is heating, whisk butter, flour, cornstarch, and pepper in a small bowl.  Light brush top of chicken with coating. 

BRUSH ON COATING:  Brushing melted butter, flour and cornstarch onto breasts creates “skin” to protect meat during  searing.

SEAR QUICKLY:  Place chicken in skillet and cook until browned.  3 to 4 minutes. While chicken browns, brush with remaining mixture.   Flip with tongs.  Cook 3-4 minutes until second side is browned and thickest part of chicken registers 160 degrees on instant read thermometer.   Transfer chicken to large plate and let rest 5 minutes.   Prepare sauce……

Lemon and Chive Pan Sauce Ingredients:

  • 1 medium shallot, minced (about 3 Tbsp)
  • 1 TEAspoon unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 TBSP juice from 1 lemon
  • 2 TBSP minced fresh chives
  • 1 TBSP unsalted butter, chilled
  • salt and ground pepper

Add shallot to now empty skillet and cook over medium heat until softened- about 2 minutes.  Add flour and cook 30 seconds, stir constantly.  Add broth, increase heat to medium high, bring to simmer, scraping pan bottom to loosen browned bits.   Stir in any accumulated chicken juices from baking pan, simmer 30 seconds.   Turn off heat.  Whisk in lemon juice, chives and butter.  Season with salt and pepper.  Spoon over chicken and serve immediately.  Enjoy!

Adapted from COOK’s, Number 103

Easy and Delicious Pork Tenderloin

From Krisann:

Ingredients:

  • Pork Tenderlion
  • Olive Oil
  • Sweet and Hot Mustard
  • Crazy Salt and Pepper

In a large saute pan heat olive oil over medium heat (just enough to lightly coat pan).  Cover all sides of the pork tenderloin with the mixed up salt and pepper.  (Jane’s mixed up Salt and Pepper can be used on many items and is a staple in my kitchen).  Once the oil is hot add the pork and turn to sear on all sides.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place the pork in a baking dish, spread mustard all over the pork and bake for 30 minutes.  Let stand for 5 minutes and slice and enjoy.

SIMPLE CROCK POT ROAST RECIPE

FROM a tiny BEACH kitchen:

This dinner can feed a hungry crowd and makes for great leftovers.  Don’t have a crockpot? Go buy one.  Definately a  must have in a busy kitchen.  This recipe is just for the roast and gravy.  (You can add potatoes and carrots to the crock pot if you like).  Simple.   

You can assemble this meal in 15 minutes in the morning. Go about your day.    When you come home, your house will smell amazing!   We were home all day while it was cooking and dinner could not come fast enough.   Some great sides….. mashed potatoes, roasted carrots, green beans.  Don’t forget the Cabernet Sauvignon.  Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 3 pound chuck roast
  • cup of beef broth
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 cloves chopped garlic
  • 1 medium onion
  • package of baby portabello mushrooms
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 bay leaf
  • salt and pepper

Wash chuck roast.  Season generously with salt and pepper and crushed garlic.  Coat with flour.  Place in oiled skillet and brown lightly on all sides.

While browning roast.  Add diced onions to skillet and saute until tender. 

NOTE:  When dicing onions, peel onion but leave the “stem” on the onion.  Put slices in onion but  do NOT slice all the way thru to the stem- turn onion halfway and add more slices- again, do not slice all the way thru to the stem.  The STEM will hold the onion together until you dice top to bottom.   I saw this trick on the food channel and it has changed my life.   Onion is diced in seconds and I don’t have to grab for the  kleenex to wipe my teary eyes.  I used to have to wear swim goggles dicing an onion.  Quite a sight!

Transfer roast and onions to crock pot sprayed with Olive Oil.  Toss in garlic and bay leaf.   Add mushrooms.  Pour in the beef broth, and add salt and pepper.   Cook on low 8- 10 hours. 

The crockpot will be full of tasty beef broth.  You can serve broth as is, or put a cup of the broth in a saucepan with a tablespoon or 2 of cornstarch to thicken into a gravy. Stir. Stir. Stir!   

~SHERYL

 

 

  

EASY BREEZY CHICKEN THIGHS

From a tiny BEACH kitchen:

What could be easier or faster?  With just a few items from your panty, you will have dinner on the table in short order.

Look for a package of chicken thighs devoid of skin and fat.  Cut away the fat as much as you can.   Less sit ups tomorrow.  Seriously.  

You don’t have to slice and dice.  Just  buy vegetables already cut up.  Saves time and is always worth it.  This dish also works well with petite canned tomatoes.  It’s tough to find good tomatoes in winter~  unless you live near my Dad… in Florida.   

Ingredients:

  • Package of chicken thighs
  • 3 fresh tomatoes / or can of petite diced tomatoes
  • teaspoon of capers
  • diced garlic clove, or three
  • Half of chopped medium red onion
  • Small package of sliced baby bella mushrooms
  • Handful of green olives
  • Cup of chicken broth

Let’s get started!

Saute the chicken thighs in EVOO (extra virgin Olive Oil) or Pam Spray if that works for you.  Brown on both sides and add crushed pepper and salt.   This can take up to 5 minutes on each side.  Keep the heat medium to avoid smoking up your kitchen.   

See how  the thighs are good and brown?   Now simply add half a cup of chicken broth, 3 real chopped tomatoes,( or a can of diced tomatoes) a teaspoon of capers, half a diced red onion, a few olives, clove of diced garlic, & the entire package of sliced mushrooms. 

Let everything hang out together uncovered for 8 to 10 minutes on medium heat until vegetables are soft.    Boil up some pasta if have the time.  Or serve with a crusty bread to scoop up the sauce. 

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