Lasagna

I hardly ever make lasagna because it is such a process. But one night I was craving it big time. Heck I had been craving it for a couple of weeks, so I decided to make it…so this is how I do lasagna…

So start with the meat sauce. (I did mine this time with fresh tomatoes).

So you will need:
9 Roma tomatoes, cored and cut an X in the bottom of tomato
28 oz can of whole peeled tomatoes (I used San Marzano, of course)
6 oz can of tomato paste
Lasagna noodles
1 large yellow onion, chopped
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3 garlic cloves, minced
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(about) 1/2 a pound of spicy Italian chicken sausage (or you could just use spicy Italian Sausage)
(about) 1 pound ground beef
Olive oil
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Start by filling a pot with water and bringing to a boil.
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Add the tomatoes and boil 10-12 minutes, or until the skins split or lift
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While the tomatoes boil grab another pot or dutch oven and place it on burner and turn to medium heat and coat the bottom of the pan with olive oil
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add the chopped onion to the pan
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saute for about 7 minutes stirring a couple of times, so the onions don’t burn. Then add the garlic
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saute the garlic for about a minute or two, stirring into onions

Then add the meat
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ground the meat up into small chunks.
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cook until meat is browned though
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Next add the can of whole peeled tomatoes to a blender or use a hand blender and blend them into a sauce

Then add the sauce to the meat
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Next the tomatoes that are boiling, go ahead and remove them and add them to an ice bath
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Peel the skins off, then add them to a blender or use a hand blender and blend them into a sauce as well
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add that sauce to the meat
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Then add in 1 Tbsp of balsamic Vinegar
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add in the tomato paste
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Then add in about 3/4 cup of red wine
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1 tbsp brown sugar
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stir everything together

Now add the spices

I added these all on taste
Herbes de Provence, Basil, Oregano, Garlic Salt, Freshly ground black pepper and salt
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Stir everything together and let the sauce simmer for a bit
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Next fill a pot with water and bring to a boil and follow instructions on box for the lasagna noodles
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Heat your oven to 350 degrees

and once the pasta noodles have boiled, drain them and now you can assemble your lasagna

So grab a baking dish, I think mine is a 12″ x 9″ Rectangular Baking Dish.

Next grab the cheeses you will use:
I used shredded mozzarella
Grated Parmesan Romano blend
15 oz container Ricotta cheese

and grab everything else to assemble the lasagna with, sauce
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Mix the ricotta and 1 egg together in a bowl, and set aside

So take some meat sauce and add a little amount to just cover the bottom of the baking dish
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Then do a single layer of lasagna noodles
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Then smear a thin layer of the ricotta cheese over the noodles
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Then sprinkle a thin layer of mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese
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Then another layer of meat sauce
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Noodles, cheese
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repeat until you have used all noodles (you may have a few left over) cheese, sauce

for the last layer do noodles then ricotta cheese, then sauce and top the sauce with any cheese left over. I added Parmesan cheese only because I ran out of Mozzarella.
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Cover lasagna with foil and bake in 350 degree oven for 35 minutes.

When done baking, remove foil and the cheese should be all melted and gooey

Let the lasagna cool for 10 minutes before serving
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Recipe

  • So you will need:
  • 9 Roma tomatoes, cored and cut an X in the bottom of tomato
  • 28 oz can of whole peeled tomatoes (I used San Marzano, of course)
  • 6 oz can of tomato paste
  • Lasagna noodles
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • (about) 1/2 a pound of spicy Italian chicken sausage (or you could just use spicy Italian Sausage)
  • (about) 1 pound ground beef
  • Olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp of balsamic Vinegar
  • 3/4 cup of red wine
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • Herbes de Provence, Basil, Oregano, Garlic Salt, Freshly ground black pepper and salt, to taste
  • shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Grated Parmesan Romano blend
  • 15 oz container Ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg
  • Start by filling a pot with water and bringing to a boil.
  • Add the tomatoes and boil 10-12 minutes, or until the skins split or lift
  • While the tomatoes boil grab another pot or dutch oven and place it on burner and turn to medium heat and coat the bottom of the pan with olive oil
  • add the chopped onion to the pan
  • saute for about 7 minutes stirring a couple of times, so the onions don’t burn. Then add the garlic
  • saute the garlic for about a minute or two, stirring into onions
  • Then add the meat, ground the meat up into small chunks.
  • cook until meat is browned though
  • Next add the can of whole peeled tomatoes to a blender or use a hand blender and blend them into a sauce
  • Then add the sauce to the meat
  • Next the tomatoes that are boiling, go ahead and remove them and add them to an ice bath
  • Peel the skins off, then add them to a blender or use a hand blender and blend them into a sauce as well, add that sauce to the meat
  • Then add in 1 Tbsp of balsamic Vinegar
  • add in the tomato paste
  • Then add in about 3/4 cup of red wine, 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • stir everything together
  • Now add the spices
  • I added these all on taste
  • Herbes de Provence, Basil, Oregano, Garlic Salt, Freshly ground black pepper and salt
  • Stir everything together and let the sauce simmer for a bit
  • Next fill a pot with water and bring to a boil and follow instructions on box for the lasagna noodles
  • Heat your oven to 350 degrees
  • and once the pasta noodles have boiled drain them and now you can assemble you lasagna
  • So grab a baking dish, I think mine is a 12″ x 9″ Rectangular Baking Dish. (not 100% sure)
  • Next grab the cheeses you will use
  • I used shreeded mozzerella
  • Grated Parmesan Romano blend
  • 15 oz container Ricotta cheese
  • and place the sauce next to baking dish
  • Mix the ricotta and 1 egg together in a bowl, and set aside
  • So take some meat sauce and add a little amount to just cover the bottom of the baking dish
  • Then do a single layer of lasagna noodles
  • Then smear a thin layer of the ricotta cheese over the noodles
  • Then sprinkle a thin layer of mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese
  • Then another layer of meat sauce, Noodles, cheese
  • repeat until you have used all noodles (you may have a few left over) cheese, sauce
  • for the last layer do noodles then ricotta cheese, then sauce and top the sauce with any cheese left over. I added Parmesan cheese only because I ran out of Mozzarella.
  • Cover lasagna with foil and bake in 350 degree oven for 35 minutes.
  • When done baking, remove foil and the cheese should be all melted and gooey
  • Let lasagna cool for 10 minutes before serving

Easy French Bread Pizza

Found the inspiration for this recipe from http://www.twopeasandtheirpod.com

1 loaf French Bread
Pizza sauce, homemade
freshly Shredded Mozzarella cheese

favorite pizza toppings
They suggested sausage,
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caramelized onions, roasted red peppers
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Preheat oven to 400 degrees
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Cook Sausage
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and Caramelized onions
I used this recipe for the caramelized onions:
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I made my own Pizza Sauce as well

Grab a sauce pan and coated the bottom with a little vegetable oil
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added 2-3 cloves of minced garlic
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I added in
1 15 oz can of tomato sauce
1 8 oz can of tomato sauce
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1 6 oz can tomato paste
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1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
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Garlic salt, to taste
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Freeze dried basil, to taste
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Freeze dried Parsley, to taste
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dried Oregano, to taste
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Stir everything together
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Season with Salt & Pepper, To taste
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Then add in 1 Tbsp brown Sugar
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Stir everything together and turn to medium low and let simmer until you need the sauce
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Slice French bread loaf in half lengthwise and then each half in half and place on baking sheet.
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spread the pizza sauce over the bread evenly.
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Then add roasted bell peppers
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Then add the Caramelized onions
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Then add shredded cheese
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Then add sausage
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Bake for 10-12 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and melted
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You can cut the slices in half again or leave whole and Serve up nice and hot
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Recipe

  • 1 loaf French Bread
  • Pizza sauce, homemade
  • freshly Shredded Mozzarella cheese
  • favorite pizza toppings-
  • They suggested sausage,
  • caramelized onions, roasted red peppers
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  • Cook Sausage
  • and Caramelized onions
  • I made my own Pizza Sauce as well
  • Grab a sauce pan and coated the bottom with a little vegetable oil
  • added 2-3 cloves of minced garlic
  • I added in
  • 1 15 oz can of tomato sauce
  • 1 8 oz can of tomato sauce
  • 1 6 oz can tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • Garlic salt, to taste
  • Freeze dried basil, to taste
  • Freeze dried Parsley, to taste
  • Oregano, to taste
  • Stir everything together
  • Season with Salt & Pepper, To taste
  • Then add in 1 Tbsp brown Sugar
  • Stir everything together and turn to medium low and let simmer until you need the sauce
  • Slice French bread loaf in half lengthwise and then each half in half and place on baking sheet.
  • spread the pizza sauce over the bread evenly.
  • Then add roasted bell peppers
  • Then add the Caramelized onions
  • Then add shredded cheese
  • Then add sausage
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and melted
  • You can cut the slices in half again or leave whole and Serve up nice and hot

Arroz con Pollo (Caribbean Rice with Chicken)

This is the one Puerto Rican dish I can make! YAY! GO ME! I have made it a few times and every time I make it, I erase the old recipe on here to update it, because my pictures keep getting better and better and I get better and better at making it!

So you all know my hubby Normando or as I call him Normy or Norman, is from Puerto Rico. So the good wifey I am, I wanted to learn how to make the food of his homeland. So I chose Arroz con Pollo (Caribbean Rice with Chicken). Pretty easy dish! So this will be the 3rd time I have made it! I would like to master it and then learn to make more dishes from Normy’s homeland…

I got the recipe from this book:
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Normy says that this is the ONLY book I should get Puerto Rican Recipes from as it is his fav. OK BOSS!

So here is what the recipe looks like in the book:
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So here is everything listened in A & B
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A –
2 ½ pounds chicken thighs (I did boneless, skinless thighs)
(I had Normy cut the fat off the chicken thighs 1st)
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B –
2 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
1 teaspoon whole dried oregano
4 ½ teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

Mix all ingredients in B in a small bowl

1. Wash chicken cut fat off and dry with paper towels and rub with seasoning included in B, (fresh ground black pepper, garlic, oregano, salt, olive oil, balsamic vinegar) Set in refrigerator for several hours or overnight.
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C-
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 ounce salt pork
2 ounces lean cured ham
(all ingredients in C diced)

D-
1 onion, peeled
1 green pepper, seeded
1 tomato
6 fresh cilantro leaves
(all ingredients in D chopped)

E-
½ teaspoon of salt
10 olives, stuffed with pimientos (green olives)
1 tablespoon capers
¼ cup tomato sauce
2 tablespoon fat or Achiote Coloring
3 cups rice
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2. In a caldero or dutch oven,
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heat fat
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and brown rapidly salt pork and ham.
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Reduce heat to medium, add chicken pieces, and cook for 5 minutes.
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3. reduce heat to low, add ingredients included in D, (onion,
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green pepper,
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tomato,
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cilantro leaves)
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and saute for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally
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4. add 2 ½ cups of water to pan,
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if regular rice is used or 3 ½ cups, if long grain rice is used. (I used regular rice, so I measured out 2 ½ cups of water)
5. Add to kettle ingredients included in E salt,
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10 green olives,
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1 tablespoon capers, ¼ cup tomato sauce,
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2 tablespoon fat or Achiote Coloring (I used 2 packets of Sazon by Goya)
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3 cups rice
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and mix over moderate heat for 2 minutes.

6. cook, uncovered, over moderate heat, until rice is dry.

7. with a fork, turn rice from bottom to top.

8. Cover pan and cook over low heat for 40 minutes. Halfway during this cooking period, turn rice over again.
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9. Serve nice and hot

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Recipe

  • A –
  • 2 ½ pounds chicken thighs
  • B –
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 teaspoon whole dried oregano
  • 4 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • Mix all ingredients in B in a small bowl
  • C-
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 ounce salt pork
  • 2 ounces lean cured ham
  • (all ingredients in C diced)
  • D-
  • 1 onion, peeled
  • 1 green pepper, seeded
  • 1 tomato
  • 6 fresh cilantro leaves
  • (all ingredients in D chopped)
  • E-
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • 10 olives, stuffed with pimientos (green olives)
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • ¼ cup tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoon fat or Achiote Coloring
  • 3 cups rice
  • 1.Wash chicken cut fat off and dry with paper towels and rub with seasoning included in B, (fresh ground black pepper, garlic, oregano, salt, olive oil, balsamic vinegar)
  • Set in refrigerator for several hours or overnight.
  • 2. In a caldero or dutch oven, heat fat and brown rapidly salt pork and ham. Reduce heat to medium, add chicken pieces, and cook for 5 minutes.
  • 3. reduce heat to low, add ingredients included in D, (onion, green pepper, tomato, cilantro leaves) and saute for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally
  • 4. add 2 ½ cups of water to pan, if regular rice is used or 3 ½ cups, if long grain rice is used. (I used regular rice, so I measured out 2 ½ cups of water)
  • 5. Add to kettle ingredients included in E salt, 10 green olives, 1 tablespoon capers, ¼ cup tomato sauce, 2 tablespoon fat or Achiote Coloring (I used 2 packets of Sazon by Goya, see picture in post), 3 cups rice and mix over moderate heat for 2 minutes.
  • 6. cook, uncovered, over moderate heat, until rice is dry.
  • 7. with a fork, turn rice from bottom to top.
  • 8. Cover pan and cook over low heat for 40 minutes. Halfway during this cooking period, turn rice over again.
  • 9. Serve nice and hot

Auntie Tricia’s Balsamic Vinaigrette

my friend Karen made me this dressing one night and I fell in LOVE with it instantly! So tangy and sweet! Best Vinaigrette I’ve had!

It’s my go to Vinaigrette dressing!

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3/4 Cup balsamic vinegar
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2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
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1 1/2 Tablespoons basil, minced
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1 tablespoon parsley, minced
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1 1/2 teaspoon honey
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1/4 teaspoon each chives,
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shallot, garlic – minced
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1/2 teaspoon each salt & pepper
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1 Cup canola oil

pulse all ingredients, except the oil in a food processor (I used my hand blender) until combined
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While food processor is running, drizzle the oil in.
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Chill and serve.
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Recipe

  • 3/4 Cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons basil, minced
  • 1 tablespoon parsley, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon each chives,
  • shallot, garlic – minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon each salt & pepper
  • 1 Cup canola oil
  • pulse all ingredients, except the oil in a food processor (I used my hand blender) until combined
  • While food processor is running, drizzle the oil in.
  • Chill and serve.

Pancetta-Wrapped Peaches with Basil and Balsamic

When I made this recipe I doubled it so if if it looks like I am making more than what the recipe calls for in the pictures, that’s why…

Got the recipe from here

16 thin slices of pancetta
2 medium peaches—halved, pitted and cut into 8 wedges each
Salt and freshly ground pepper
16 basil leaves
1 tablespoon olive oil
balsamic vinegar, for drizzling
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Lay the pancetta slices out on a work surface, then lay a basil leaf over the pancetta then, set a peach wedge at the edge of each slice, season with salt and pepper. Roll up the pancetta to enclose the peaches.
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I used a toothpick to help keep the pancetta and basil leaf together

In a medium skillet, heat the olive oil. Add half of the wrapped peaches and cook over moderate heat,
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turning occasionally, until the pancetta is browned and crisp, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a platter
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and repeat with the remaining peaches.
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Lightly drizzle the peaches with balsamic vinegar and serve.

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Recipe

  • 16 thin slices of pancetta
  • 2 medium peaches—halved, pitted and cut into 8 wedges each
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 16 basil leaves
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • balsamic vinegar, for drizzling
  • Lay the pancetta slices out on a work surface, then lay a basil leaf over the pancetta then, set a peach wedge at the edge of each slice, season with salt and pepper. Roll up the pancetta to enclose the peaches.
  • I used a toothpick to help keep the pancetta and basil leaf together
  • In a medium skillet, heat the olive oil. Add half of the wrapped peaches and cook over moderate heat,
  • turning occasionally, until the pancetta is browned and crisp, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a platter and repeat with the remaining peaches.
  • Lightly drizzle the peaches with balsamic vinegar and serve.

Caramelized Onion and Grapefruit Salad

I got the recipe from here

This salad is different, but good! I have never had fennel until this salad. The flavors in this salad go really well together. The fennel has like a licorice flavor (which I don’t like that flavor) but it goes really well with the grapefruit and caramelized onion and dressing. At first I didn’t know if I would like this salad. But as I took each bite, I liked it more and more. It’s light and fresh and delicious!
Caramelized onions:
olive oil
2 onions, very thinly sliced (I used 3 onions as I LOVE caramelized onions and I eat them as I cook them, so I did 3 so there would be some for the salad and not all the onions went into my mouth)
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1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Dressing:
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp honey
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Salad:
2 pink grapefruits
1 head green leaf lettuce, thinly sliced or torn into 1-inch pieces
1 large fennel bulb, trimmed and thinly sliced
1 small english cucumber, peeled, seeded and thinly sliced
3 scallions, finely sliced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
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For the caramelized onions: In a large skillet, coat the pan with oil and heat over medium heat. Add the onions, balsamic vinegar,
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salt and pepper.
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Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are deep golden brown,
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about 20 minutes. Set aside to cool, about 10 minutes.

For the dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the red wine vinegar,
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lemon juice and honey.
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Slowly whisk in the olive oil until blended.
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Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
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For the salad: Peel and trim the ends from each grapefruit.
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Using a paring knife, cut along the membrane on both sides of each segment. Free the segments and add them to a large salad bowl.
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Add the lettuce, fennel, cucumber, scallions,
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and thyme.
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Pour the dressing over the salad and toss until all the ingredients are coated. Arrange the caramelized onions on top and serve.

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Recipe:

  • Caramelized onions:
  • olive oil
  • 2 onions, very thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • Dressing:
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Salad:
  • 2 pink grapefruits
  • 1 head green leaf lettuce, thinly sliced or torn into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 large fennel bulb, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 1 small English cucumber, peeled, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 3 scallions, finely sliced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • For the caramelized onions: In a large skillet, coat the pan with oil and heat over medium heat. Add the onions, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper.
  • Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are deep golden brown, about 20 minutes. Set aside to cool, about 10 minutes.
  • For the dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the red wine vinegar, lemon juice and honey.
  • Slowly whisk in the olive oil until blended. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  • For the salad: Peel and trim the ends from each grapefruit.
  • Using a paring knife, cut along the membrane on both sides of each segment. Free the segments and add them to a large salad bowl.
  • Add the lettuce, fennel, cucumber, scallions, and thyme.
  • Pour the dressing over the salad and toss until all the ingredients are coated. Arrange the caramelized onions on top and serve.

Arroz con Pollo (Caribbean Rice with Chicken)

So my hubby Normando or as I call him Normy or Norman, is from Puerto Rico. So the good wifey I am, I wanted to learn how to make the food of his homeland. So I chose Arroz con Pollo (Caribbean Rice with Chicken). Pretty easy dish! So this will be the 2nd time I have made it! I would like to master it and then learn to make more foods from his homeland…

I got the recipe from this book:
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Normy has explained to me when trying to find Puerto Rican recipes that I am to not look online! He told me what I need to know about Puerto Rican food is in this book!

So here we go…

I copied what was in the book…

So I went through the recipe and picked out what I needed so I could do my usual display of ingredients…

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A- 2 1/2 pounds chicken pieces (I used thighs) (Normy says he has had it with drumsticks and thighs, but I did just thighs because that’s what I like, dark meat)

B- 2 peppercorns (whole black pepper) I just used fresh ground black pepper

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2 cloves garlic, peeled, and then I minced them

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1 teaspoon dried oregano,

4 1/2 teaspoons salt,

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2 teaspoons olive oil,

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1 teaspoon vinegar or fresh lime juice. (I used balsamic vinegar)

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(Crush and mix in a mortar) (using a mortar is the best way to do this, but I don’t have one so I just mixed it in a bowl)

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C- 1 tablespoon lard or vegetable oil, 1 ounce salt pork, 2 ounces lean cured ham (for salt pork and ham- washed and diced)

D- 1 onion, peeled, 1 green pepper, seeded, 3 sweet chili peppers, seeded, 1 tomato, 6 cilantro (culantro) leaves (chopped)

E- 1/2 teaspoon salt, 10 olives stuffed with pimento, 1 tablespoon capers, 1/4 cup tomato sauce, 2 tablespoons fat or Achiote Coloring, 3 cups rice

F- 1 can (1 pound 1 ounce) green peas (I did not add)

G- 1 can (4 ounces) pimento (I did not add)

1- Wash chicken and divide each chicken piece in two. Dry and rub with seasoning included in B. Set in refrigerator for several hours or overnight.

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(side note –  I didn’t let it marinate, I just rub it on the chicken and then just started cooking it, I forget this step when I make this dish and I need to plan ahead and let it marinate overnight, so plan ahead and I HIGHLY recommend letting the chicken marinate)

2-In a caldero

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or heavy kettle, heat fat (I used vegetable oil)

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brown rapidly salt pork

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and ham.

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Reduce heat to moderate, add chicken pieces, and cook for 5 minutes.

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3- Reduce heat to low, add ingredients included in D,

onion, green pepper, 3 sweet chili peppers, 1 tomato, 6 cilantro leaves (chopped)

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Normy approves!

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and sauté for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

4- Meanwhile, drain liquid from can peas into measuring cup and add enough water to measure 2 1/2 cups, if regular rice is used, or 3 1/2 cups, if long grain rice is used. Reserve peas. Heat liquid and reserve. – For this step I skipped the peas – I just added the water

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5- Add to the kettle ingredients included in E and mix over moderate heat for 2 minutes.

1/2 teaspoon salt,

10 olives stuffed with pimento, (I LOVE green olives so I added more than the recipe called for)

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1 tablespoon capers,

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1/4 cup tomato sauce,

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2 tablespoons fat or Achiote Coloring, (I used two of these packets, you can get them at king soopers, wal mart or spanish/latin grocery store)

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3 cups rice

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6- Add reserved hot liquid to kettle, mix well, and cook, uncovered, over moderate heat, until rice is dry.

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7- With a fork, turn rice from bottom to top.

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8- Cover kettle and cook over low heat for 40 minutes. Halfway during this cooking period, turn Rice over again.

9- Add peas, turn rice once more, cover, and cook for 15 minutes over low heat. (again I skipped this part and did not add the peas)

10- Spoon rice into a serving platter.

11- Heat pimento in their juice, drain, and garnish the rice. Serve at once. (I skipped the pimento part as well, I was going to add them, but there was already pimento in the olives, so I felt that was enough).

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Here is that recipe for you again from the book:
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