Tuesday, August 6, 2013

South of the Border Submission

I love getting submissions at dinadishes@gmail.com . Everyone is so creative and I am honored that you share your personal recipes with me! Yes, my family cooks a lot of Italian food and I love it! But as we have all grown up we have all tried different foods and broadened our horizons. There is so much good food out there and so many places to try!

I got this yummy submission from Tracie Bock. I love dishes with a Mexican flair. I can't wait to try this!

Tortilla Pie by Tracie Bock

1 (16 oz) can of refriend beans
1 tsp chili powder
½ tsp ground cumin
1 cup of chunky salsa divided
2 (4 or 6 oz) cartons of guacamole
1 (8oz) package of Mexican cheese
8 (8 inch) flour tortillas

1. Combine first 3 ingredients, stirring well.

2. Place 1 tortilla in a lightly greased 9 inch round cake pan.  Then spread with half of the bean mixture. Then top with another tortilla.
3.  In the next layer spread half of the guacamole and then top with another tortilla.

4. Next layer sprinkle half of the cheese

5. Repeat this process, except for the cheese step.

6. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Then sprinkle remaining cheese. Bake again this time uncovered until cheese has melted.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Wild On Risotto

I was always intimidated by Risotto. It can be very fickle! But it seems if you take the time to keep an eye on it and stir it the outcome is well worth it! It is actually a pretty quick side dish and there are many variations! So, I picked up some wild mushrooms to go along with a steak and decided to give it a try!!!

  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 2 cups f mushrooms such as shitake, chanterelle, or oyster mushrooms, cleaned, trimmed, and cut into pieces
  • 2/3 cup sherry
  • 5-6 cups chicken stock
  • 1/3 cup of peeled and minced shallots (OR 1/3 cup of yellow or white onion, finely chopped)
  • 1 3/4 cups arborio rice or other risotto rice
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley or chives

1. Bring stock to a simmer in a saucepan.

2. Melt the butter in a deep, medium sized saucepan over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and shallots and sauté about 5 minutes.  Season the mushrooms with a little bit of salt and pepper. Then add the rice and stir to combine.

3. Add sherry, bring to a boil, and reduce liquid by half, about 3-4 minutes. Add simmering stock, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring enough to keep the rice from sticking to the edges of the pan. Stir the rice almost constantly — stirring sloughs off the starch from the rice, making the creamy sauce you're looking for in a risotto. Wait until the stock is almost completely absorbed before adding the next 1/2 cup. This process will take about 25 minutes. The rice should be just cooked and slightly chewy.

4. As you are stirring in the stock in add in a little bit more sherry. As I was stirring I think I dropped in two extra tablespoons.

5. Stir in the Parmesan cheese and season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley or chives.
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Sunday, July 14, 2013

Sunday Dinner

Sunday dinner is always a big deal. I always love a big pot of gravy with meatballs. But I know that everyone is not like me, bummer! Since I have grown up and started taking on a lot of Sunday dinners at my house I have tried to do different things. Kind of expose my family to some new recipes. Sometimes they love it, sometimes they roll their eyes haha! This Sunday was laid back, a lot of make ahead dishes. I love menu planning, I get really into it ! But I am still learning what works with what! Such fancy terminology I know. So here was my menu this Sunday:

White Wine Marinated Pork Loin
Roasted Potatoes with garlic, thyme, shallots and white wine
Zucchini and Squash roasted with Parmesean
Basic Salad
Crescent Rolls (Just the Pillsbury kind)

White Wine Pork Loin

Rosemary (fresh if you can)
Garlic Powder
Onion Powder

1 1/2 Cups white wine

4 garlic cloves cut in half
4 garlic cloves chopped roughly
1 Shallot sliced

1. Place the pork loin in a baking dish or a clear pyrex dish and pour over 1 cup of white wine

2. Then season one side of the pork loin with thyme, rosemary, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper

3. Take the halved pieces of garlic and make 4 slits on the top of the pork loin. Put the pieces of garlic into those slits

4. Then flip the pork loin over and repeat process in #3

5. Then take the sliced shallots and chopped garlic and sprinkle it throughout the pan or dish

6. Let the pork loin marinate for as long as you can. The longer the better, at least 2 hours!

7. Then put it in the oven at 400 degrees for about 45 minutes. You may want to hit the broiler on for about 10-15 minutes to get the top browned. Make sure you check the temperature of the pork. It should be about 160 degrees.

Zucchini and Squash Parmesan Bake

Yellow Onion, sliced
5 Garlic Cloves, minced
2 Zucchini,sliced
2 Squash, sliced

Parmesean Cheese
Onion Powder
Garlic Powder
Olive Oil
1 Tsp Butter

1. Put the sliced zucchini and squash into a boil. Season it with the thyme, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Then drizzle the olive oil and mix, coating everything as evenly as possible.

2. Meanwhile take the tablespoon of butter and melt it in a pan. Then add the garlic cloves and onion slices. Saute until the garlic is browned and the onions soft. Then take this mixture and pour it into a baking dish. You are making a bed to lay the zucchini and squash on.

3. Then lay each slice of zucchini and squash ontop of the onion and garlic in an alternating pattern if you can. This also looks pretty which is a plus!

4. Then put it in the oven for about 30 minutes at 400 degrees. Then after 30 minutes take it out and sprinkle parmesan cheese over the top generously. Then drizzle with olive oil, it helps the top brown!

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Sunday Sides from You!!!

I am so excited to open up my email and see all these awesome ideas! What fun is cooking and keeping it to yourself right? Thank you so much for your ideas! I am going to post a couple below. Please keep in mind I am still going through them, and I will post more! I do read all your emails! Check out some great ideas for veggie side dishes from my very talented friends!

Try some slices of grilled sweet potato-Season with a little salt, pepper and a touch of olive oil. Not only healthy, but delicious! Hope this helped! –Michelle Dolzani

Try bruschetta! Love from Italy- Bea Jonas

Fresh carrots with honey- Ondrea Marie

All you have to do is take fresh asparagus put olive oil on the bottom of an oven safe dish dish. Put your prepared asparagus in the dish. Put olive oil all over the the asparagus along with some balsamic vinegar. Cook it on 400 for 18-20 minutes- Jessica Smith

I always make a vegetable tabbouleh and it tastes so light and fresh- Tiffany Mckeithen

From Cait:

Grilled pepper salad

4   bell peppers, (mixed colors), halved, seeded and stemmed
1/4 cup  halved and pitted oil-cured black olives
1/4 cup  rinsed and chopped oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
1 tablespoon  extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon  balsamic vinegar
1/8 teaspoon  salt
1. Grill peppers on medium-high, turning once, until soft and charred in spots, about 5 minutes per side. When cool enough to handle, chop the peppers; toss with olives, sun-dried tomatoes, oil, vinegar and salt in a large bowl. Makes about 4 servings

Roasted broccoli and tomatoes 

12 ounces  broccoli crowns, trimmed and cut into bite-size florets (about 4 cups)
1 cup  grape tomatoes
1 tablespoon  extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves  garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon  salt
1/2 teaspoon  freshly grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon  lemon juice
10   pitted black olives, sliced
1 teaspoon  dried oregano
2 teaspoons  capers, rinsed (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
2. Toss broccoli, tomatoes, oil, garlic and salt in a large bowl until evenly coated. Spread in an even layer on a baking sheet. Bake until the broccoli begins to brown, 10 to 13 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, combine lemon zest and juice, olives, oregano and capers (if using) in a large bowl. Add the roasted vegetables; stir to combine. Serve warm. Makes about 4 servings

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

BBQ Winner :)

Right before 4th of July I opened up an email so people could submit their favorite BBQ recipes.
Two recipes were submitted by Debbie. She submitted two recipes one for  Shrimp Skewers in garlic butter and herbs, and a chicken marinade. They sound yummy! I can't wait to try them both.

I love to share recipes and hear of new ones! I cook almost everyday, so I can always use something new! Please continue to send your summer favorites to dinadishes@gmail.com. You never know what I might post!

Shrimp skewers in Garlic Butter and Herbs

-mix olive oil, garlic butter, and herbs such as thyme and rosemary.
- a marinade the shrimp in it for about 15 minutes, put them on skewers and then cook on BBQ until ready) (they don't take very long on a hot BBQ)
*my note-make sure you soak the skewers if you are using wooden ones before putting them on the grill!

*If you need to know how to make garlic butter here is a recipe I adpated from Bobby Flay:

1 1/12 sitcks of softened unsalted butter
4 Garlic Cloves, coarsely chopped
Kosher salt, and ground pepper 

Combine the butter and garlic in a food processor or with a mixer until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Add in herbs if you want to make it garlic and herb butter.

Chicken marinated in Red Wine

(overnight marinade needed)

-Put some red wine in a dish, add herbs and spices, like salt, peper, star anise, clove in the red wine, and than add the chickenpieces.
*my note-you could also use large Ziplocs to marinate over night!

-Let marinade overnight and when ready put them on the grill!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Snack Time! Kale Chips

Reason #44 why I love summer, well its not these crazy flood and tornado watches we have been having lately. That is for sure! But, farmers markets are in full swing and that is something I get really excited about! Especially since our town has one Saturday mornings. It is great to walk down there on a sunny day, get inspired, and grab fresh ingredients for the week. The best part is that you are supporting local business and farmers. Okay, and the food trucks aren't that bad!!! I will do a round-up of those one day as well!

Brian seems to have this obsession lately with Kale. Which is a good thing! Because Kale is super good for you. So when he brought over a bunch of Kale and asked if I could make them into Kale chips I didn't say no! Although, I thought yuck! How could you ever substitute chips with veggies? Well I was wrong because I have been crunching on them every since! Plus its super simple. The most time consuming part would be checking on them while they are baking so they don't burn and getting the right crunchy consistency. In my experience, I had a large bunch and the pieces weren't all the same size.  Therefore, some chips were done before others. So I did spend some time taking them out of the oven, weeding out the finished ones and putting the not yet crunchified ones back in the oven. Also not that you can season them different ways. I used garlic powder on mine, which was really yummy! You could throw a little cayenne pepper on them for some heat if you wanted to  as well!

ps- good party snack alert!

Kale Chips

1 head kale, washed and thoroughly dried
2 tablespoons olive oil
Pepper (optional)
Garlic Powder (optional
Sea salt, for sprinkling


Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F.

Remove the ribs from the kale and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces. Lay on a baking sheet and toss with the olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Bake until crisp, turning the leaves halfway through, about 20 minutes. If you have a larger bunch like I did, this may take longer. As I suggested before take them out and see which ones are done. Put those in a tupperware and keep baking the rest. Trust me, they are better when fully crispy!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Raspberry Lemonade Bars!

I am sure I have said it before, but I am NOT a baker. That is my sister Danielle's strong area, and my best friend Samantha. Those two girls are baking divas! But, as we all know my husband Brian loves his sweets! He hunts out infamous doughnuts anywhere he travels. So I do try from time to time, while grumbling at it along the way. You should hear me when baking, it is not very lady like :).

But once in awhile I get it right! Although the chocolate lasagne that ended up on my friend Margo's front lawn, long story, not so much. But this time Raspberry Lemonade Bars were a big hit at my friend's Gabbi and Pete's BBQ.  (Ps check out Gabbi's amazing  blog! She is home design and DIY diva!!! http://retroranchrenovation.blogspot.com/ )

I have to credit pinterest and blog called Annie's Eats ( http://www.annies-eats.com/2011/09/02/raspberry-lemonade-bars/ ) for this recipe!