Sunday, August 14, 2022

Fruit Salad with Limoncello

Once Upon A Time...way back before the pandemic, I bought a bottle of Limoncello with high hopes for many Limoncello recipes. It's years later now and I’m just getting around to those recipes. 

Ina's Fruit Salad with Limoncello was #1 on my list of Limoncello recipes because fruit salad is just yummy, but then Ina lets the fruit marinate in a combination of Limoncello and sugar, before topping it with the creamiest dreamiest Greek yogurt mixed with lemon curd, honey, and vanilla. 

I mean...this is summertime in a bowl, right?

I probably don't have to tell you that this is lemony, dreamy, and delicious! This is definitely an adult fruit salad, perfect for summer get-togethers. You can definitely taste the Limoncello and the fruit definitely does have a pronounced lemony flavor. However, as long as lemon is your vibe, then you will love this!

The lemon curd and Greek yogurt topping is just heavenly and delicious and I am already finding many other applications for it!

Fruit Salad with Limoncello

Adapted from Back To Basics

by Ina Garten

Serves 6

7 ounces Greek yogurt 

1/3 cup good bottled lemon curd

1 tablespoon honey

1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 cups sliced strawberries (1 pint)

1 cup raspberries (1/2 pint)

1 cup blueberries (1/2 pint)

2 tablespoons sugar

3 tablespoons limoncello liqueur

1 banana, sliced

fresh mint sprigs

For the lemon yogurt topping, whisk together the yogurt, lemon curd, honey and vanilla and set aside at room temperature.

For the fruit salad, carefully toss together the strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, sugar, and limoncello. Allow them to stand at room temperature for about 5 minutes to let the berries macerate with the sugar and liqueur. Gently fold the banana into the mixture.

Serve bowls of fruit with a dollop of lemon yogurt on top. Top each with a sprig of fresh mint.


No Cooking Required @ IHCC

Sunday, August 7, 2022

Spaghettini with Spicy Basil Pesto

I plant a container garden each summer and the one thing I can always count on is basil. It grows like a weed in my backyard every single year.

My basil was needing a trim, so I went out and got two packed cups and came right in to make Jacques Pepin's Spicy Basil Pesto.

Pepin says, "Conventionally pesto is made with pine nuts, but here I use pecans, along with a jalapeno, for a distinctive effect. You may want to double or triple the recipe for the pesto. It is very good on grilled fish or meat, as a delicious flavoring for baked potatoes, or as a topping for other pastas. It will keep for up to a week in the refrigerator. Be sure to cover it with a piece of plastic wrap, pressing it down so it touches the surface of the pesto. "Blanching" the basil and the parsley in a microwave helps prevent them from discoloring when the pesto is held for a few hours." 

I love that Pepin changes up the classic pesto by using pecans in place of pine nuts. I also love the idea of adding a jalapeno (also fresh from the garden)! I have to say this pesto was one of the tastiest pesto recipes I've ever made. I loved the slight heat from the jalapeno and the pecans seemed to give the pesto a little more body than normal. I found 5 cloves of garlic was just right and everything came together perfectly. 

Mixing pesto into pasta is likely a personal preference. Some people might like more or less pesto than others. Pepin has you mix the pesto with one pound of pasta which really stretches the pesto out and makes the flavor more subtle. If you wanted a more pronounced pesto flavor, then you'd want to make a double batch of pesto, or use less pasta. 

We enjoyed this pesto over angel hair pasta and found it to be incredibly light, like a cloud. A true summer pasta dish, if there ever was one. 

I am a HUGE fan of this pesto recipe. In fact, it may be my favorite of all time. I will definitely make it again!

 Spaghettini with Spicy Basil Pesto

Adapted from Essential Pepin

by Jacques Pepin

Serves 4

2 cups packed fresh basil leaves

1 cup tightly packed fresh parsley leaves

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 cup pecans

5 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed

1 small jalapeno pepper, cut in half and seeded

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 pound spaghettini

1/2 teaspoon salt

freshly ground black pepper

hot pepper flakes (optional)

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Bring 4 quarts of salted water to a boil in a large pot.

For The Pesto: Put the basil and parsley in a plastic bag and microwave on high for 1 minute. Transfer, while still hot, to a blender and add the Parmesan cheese, nuts, garlic, and jalapeno pepper. Process for about 30 seconds, until the mixture is finely purred. Add the oil and process for a few more seconds. (You should have about 1-1/2 cups). Transfer to a large bowl and set aside.

Add the spaghettini to the boiling water, stir well, and cook for 8 to 9 minutes, until tender but still slightly al dente.

Scoop out 1 cup of the pasta cooking liquid and mix it with the pesto. Drain the pasta well and add it to the sauce, along with the salt, and black pepper to taste. Toss and serve immediately, with hot pepper flakes, if desired, and the grated Parmesan cheese.


Summer Harvest @ IHCC

Sunday, July 31, 2022

Grown-Up Tomato-Parmesan Pasta {AKA Homemade Spaghettios}


When I was little my parents were strictly healthy and I wasn't eating any "junk food." Until I met the next door neighbor. My friend next door was eating ALL the junk food!

My mom couldn't keep me away from my next door neighbor, Julie. Julie was a year older than me and when I would go to her house she would climb the cabinets, get on the countertops, and get out the Nesquick for chocolate milk, or the Hostess treats, like the Ho-Ho's and Twinkies. Most importantly, her parents made THE BEST BUTTERED NOODLES and served them in the old school Tupperware bowls.

Our families became fast friends and before too long our moms started part-time jobs. The moms decided to get opposite shifts and take turns watching us. During this time, my exposure to endless buttered noodles and treats was on high. Julie's house had all the good stuff.

Julie's mom, Sally, would watch me in the morning while my mom was at work. Soon after, Julie started Kindergarten and oh I missed my friend terribly when she was away at school. I can remember sitting at her big picture window waiting to see her walking home from school. I always knew Julie was about to come home when Sally opened the can of Spaghettios for lunch. She would put two bowls of Spaghettios on the table right by the picture window and in no time at all Julie would come walking down the street.

That was about 42 years ago now, but I remember it like it was yesterday. Steaming bowls of Spaghettios and my friend walking down the street with a big smile on her face, running to the door to give me a hug and tell me all about Kindergarten. We loved each other fiercely.

Julie and me, Christmas 1979
Julie and me, Christmas 1979

The years passed and we both moved away, but kept in touch. At Julie's bridal shower her mom gifted her the old beat up buttered noodle pan that had been lovingly used over the years to cook us all our buttered noodles and Spaghettios. There wasn't a dry eye in the place.

Not too many years later, Mrs. Sally had a severe stroke, became wheelchair bound, and was unable to speak. Everyone was so upset and I remember my mom crying because Mrs. Sally was so active and hated sitting still. My mom couldn't bear the thought of it. Mrs. Sally lived several years this way and was able to meet her grandchildren before passing, but she deserved so much more. 

When I saw this recipe for Grown-Up Tomato-Parmesan Pasta I immediately thought of my old friend Julie and her mom, Mrs. Sally. 

I also thought of my daughter, who also loves pasta, but has never had Spaghettios (my mom and I succeeded on that one). Well, I made her this homemade version and it was so easy. A little bit of olive oil and minced garlic and seasonings, then tomato paste and water to a boil, toss the pasta in, cook until al dente, throw in some Parmesan and you have Homemade Spaghettios. 

My daughter loved it, just like I expected. I thought the tomato flavor was a bit sharp, but I only like tomatoes (I don't love them), so this makes sense. Tieghan calls for 3 tablespoons of tomato paste and that might be a bit too much for me. I might try less tomato paste next time. Overall, it is a fast and family-friendly dish to make and I think kids would really love it.

This week my daughter moved into her very own place. I have been 'in my feels lately' and really missing my mom. She's been gone for almost 5 years now. As I was packing things up I got mom's old pasta pan and colander, grabbed a box of pasta from the pantry, and a stick of butter from the fridge and put it all in a box. It was time for me to part with mom's pasta pan and pass it on to my daughter. I loaded it in the car and it was the first box to cross the threshold into Olivia's new place. 

I set the pan, colander, pasta and butter on Olivia's new stove and stepped back feeling so much reverence. In that moment they were all there with me: mom, Mrs. Sally, and my friend Julie. I snapped a picture and sent the text to my old friend Julie with the caption "first things in Olivia's new place." A handful of words with a lifetime of meaning.

Later that night Olivia send me a text and it read, "Made the pasta and I'm having the time of my life."

A little while later Julie answered my text, "Our moms would love this."

In these moments life sure is beautiful.

 Grown-Up Tomato-Parmesan Pasta

Adapted from Super Simple

by Tieghan Gerard @ Half Baked Harvest

Serves 2

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 garlic clove, smashed

2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary

crushed red pepper flakes

3 tablespoons tomato paste

3/4 cup anelli, or other short, tubular pasta*

salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/3 cup shaved Parmesan cheese

Fresh basil leaves, for garnish

In a medium saucepan, combine the olive oil and garlic over medium-low heat (*see note below). Cook, stirring occasionally, until the garlic is fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the rosemary and a pinch of red pepper flakes and cook until toasted and fragrant, about 1 minute more.

Remove the saucepan from the heat. Stir in the tomato paste, then add 2-1/2 cups of water. Return the pan to high heat and bring to a boil. Add the pasta and season generously with salt. Cook, stirring often, until the pasta is al dente, about 12 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat again and stir in the Parmesan. Taste and add more salt and pepper as needed.

Divide the pasta between two bowls and top with fresh basil. Serve immediately. Store any leftovers refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

*Note: It's important to keep the olive oil at a low temperature throughout step 1. If the oil is too hot when you add the rosemary and tomato paste, the rosemary will burn and the tomato paste will splatter.

 Potluck @ IHCC

Sunday, July 24, 2022

Ina's Milk Chocolate Oreo Ice Cream


The first time I thumbed through Ina Garten's copy of Modern Comfort Food, this recipe for Milk Chocolate Oreo Ice Cream screamed at me! It was just begging to be made. 

I couldn't quit put my hand on why this ice cream stuck out like it did. Then I showed it to my daughter and right away she said, "You never see chocolate ice cream with Oreos. It's always the classic Cookies 'N Cream with the vanilla base." She hit the nail on the head.

Not to mention, I don't want small little Oreo crumbles in my ice cream. I'm looking for the big chunks of Oreo, so much better if I make it myself!

Let me tell you...this ice cream is insanely delicious! It does not disappoint. The milk chocolate base has a few teaspoons of Brandy so that it stays soft and creamy and I just love the big chunks of Oreos running throughout. I can see this being one of our all-time favorite ice cream recipes!

Milk Chocolate Oreo Ice Cream

Adapted from Modern Comfort Food

by Ina Garten

Makes 1 quart

1-1/2 cups heavy cream

8 ounces milk chocolate, finely chopped

2 tablespoons cocoa powder

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 teaspoons Cognac or Brandy

1-1/2 cups whole milk

3/4 cups sugar

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

4 extra-large egg yolks

1/2 teaspoon cornstarch

2 cups Oreo cookies, rough chopped (15 cookies)

Place the cream and chocolate in a large heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, making sure the water doesn't touch the bottom of the bowl. Heat just until the chocolate melts, stirring occasionally. Off the heat, whisk in the cocoa powder, vanilla, and Cognac or Brandy, and set aside.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, heat the milk, sugar, and salt until hot but not simmering. In a separate large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and cornstarch. Slowly whisk the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture, then pour it back into the saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat for a few minutes, stirring almost constantly with a wooden spoon, until the mixture thickens like heavy cream (DON'T ALLOW IT TO BOIL!). Cook for 30 seconds, scraping the bottom of the pan with the spoon. The mixture should coat the spoon and if you run your finger down the back of the spoon, it will leave a clear trail.

Immediately, pour the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into the chocolate mixture and stir to combine. Cover and chill completely in the fridge or over a bowl of ice water. Transfer to an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions. Mix in the Oreos in the last few minutes. Transfer to a container or loaf pan, cover, and freeze. Soften slightly, scoop, and serve frozen. 


Ice Cream Social @ IHCC

Sunday, July 17, 2022

Tessa's Cottage Pie

 Not everyone makes a heavy meat and potatoes dish like this in the middle of July...but I do!

Sometimes I just crave simple comfort food like this, even when it's 90 degrees outside.

Other times I'm just in the mood for a little time in the kitchen. A little kitchen therapy we'll call it.

  Plus, I also have summers off and that's when I have the most time to make those dishes I've been wanting to make throughout the year.

So, Happy July...we're having Cottage Pie for supper!


I'm sure everyone has heard of the British classic named Shepherd's Pie, a dish of ground meat (namely lamb) under a layer of mashed potato. Well, Cottage Pie is like Shepherd's Pie cousin, or maybe even it's sibling, because it is the same exact thing except Cottage Pie is typically made with beef. So to recap, Shepherd's Pie=Lamb and Cottage Pie=Beef!

Both dishes are absolutely comforting and delicious and one can hardly go wrong with either!

I have made my fair share of Shepherd's Pie and I can tell you that this Cottage Pie tastes almost the same is actually much easier to source as I typically always have ground beef.

Tessa's Cottage Pie filling is a mixture of ground beef, onion, carrot, garlic, peas, tomato sauce, bay leaf, allspice berries, basil, and parsley that cooks down on the stove for about an hour. The time is well spent because the flavors have time to concentrate. The entire mixture gets covered with fluffy butter mashed potatoes and then baked until the potatoes puff up, turn golden brown, and start to go crispy.

We loved this dish and will definitely make it again!


Cottage Pie

Adapted from Apples For Jam

by Tessa Kiros

Serves 6 to 8

6 tablespoons olive oil

1-3/4 pounds ground beef

4 tablespoons dry white wine

1 large onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 large carrot, chopped

1 (14-ounce) can tomato sauce


1 bay leaf

2 allspice berries

4 basil leaves, torn

3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

3 cups hot water

2/3 cup shelled peas

7 to 8 medium potatoes, scrubbed but not peeled

3 tablespoons butter

2/3 cup milk

a little freshly grated nutmeg

Heat half the oil in a nonstick frying pan and fry the ground beef over fairly high heat for about 10 minutes until it is golden brown, stirring often and breaking up any clusters with a wooden spoon. Pour in the wine and scrape up any bits that are stuck to the bottom of the pan. When the wine has evaporated, remove the pan from the heat.

Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a large saucepan. Saute the onion for 5 minutes or so over low-medium heat until it is lightly golden and a bit sticky. Add the garlic and carrot, and saute for a few minutes more so that the carrot looks a bit caramelized. Add the tomato sauce and cook for a couple of minutes, then add the browned beef. Season well with salt and add the bay leaf, allspice berries, basil, and parsley. Stir in 2 cups of hot water. Bring to a boil and then turn the heat to low, cover the pan ,and cook for 30 minutes. Add a little water if the meat sauce seems very dry; it should neither be runny nor too stiff. Check the seasoning and try to find all the allspice berries.

Preheat the oven to 350F. Meanwhile, boil the potatoes in salted water for about 30 minutes (depending on their size) until they are soft enough to mash. Drain, and when they're cool enough to handle, peel and mash, or pass through a food mill. In a small saucepan, heat the butter and milk and, when the butter has melted, add to the potatoes. Add the nutmeg, taste for salt, and mix to a soft and fluffy mash (add a little more butter or milk if it seems too stiff).

Butter a 10-cup ovenproof dish or 6 to 8 individual dishes. Spoon in the meat sauce, smoothing the surface, and then spoon mashed potato over top, spreading it very gently to completely cover the sauce. Roughen the mash with a fork here and there so you get some crispy bits. Bake for 30 minutes, until the top is softly crusted and golden in places. 

Kitchen Travels @ IHCC

Sunday, July 10, 2022

Tessa's Zucchini Bread

When I was little the neighbors behind us were the nicest older couple named Mr. and Mrs. Mosso. They had a paved driveway, which was rare back then, and they were nice enough to let us kids ride our big wheels up and down their driveway all the time. As if that wasn't nice enough, Mrs. Mosso even bought us candy. I can remember all us kids lining up at her door waiting to reach in the candy dish and pull out one of those chewy square caramels that were so popular back in the day.

I remember my parents standing in the backyard talking to Mr. and Mrs. Mosso all the time and it was a real good day, when late in the summer, Mrs. Mosso came over with her famous Zucchini Bread. Mrs. Mosso made THE BEST ZUCCHINI BREAD and everyone loved it! I remember it would be gone almost as soon as she gave it to us.

Eventually we moved away and shortly thereafter both Mr. and Mrs. Mosso passed away. But every summer without fail, someone would give mom tons of zucchini and she would get out her old battered, well-loved, red and white checkered Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook held together with rubber bands. She would search through her recipe cards until she found the one that Mrs. Mosso had written out for her. The old recipe card of yesteryear with the beautiful cursive script that only the greatest generation used. The one I still have. 

Then mom would bake two loaves. One for us to eat. One to share, just like Mrs. Mosso.

Those sure were the good old days. I don't know if my mom knew how close I watched her in the kitchen when she got out her ol' Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook, but that was the beginning of my love for cooking. That cookbook was magical to me, watching her gather ingredients and make something delicious. Like a diary of my family, with all the recipes and recipe cards from loved ones over the years. It is an undying connection to who I am, my most prized possession. The one thing I would save in a fire. The one thing that will never lose it's magic.


You didn't know you signed up to read a book, did you?

These days I'm making Tessa Kiros' Zucchini Bread which is way different than Mrs. Mosso's. Tessa's recipe is different in that it calls for olive oil instead of vegetable/canola oil, and then she adds in lemon zest, and black pepper.

I didn't notice much of a difference using olive oil in place of the other oils. I did notice a touch of lemon flavor from the added lemon zest, which I thought was a nice addition. The major difference in Tessa's recipe is the pinch of black pepper. Even though it is just a pinch, you can definitely taste the pepper. It lends an interesting taste and really kind of stands out.

Tessa's recipe is a tasty and enjoyable version of a summertime favorite, but the black pepper does lend a distinct spicy taste. If you're in the mood for something different, then this might be the recipe for you. If not, I'm sure you could make this recipe without the black pepper and that would be more like your traditional zucchini bread recipe.

I'm looking forward to eating more of this zucchini bread and I don't mind the black pepper. I will say that even though I enjoy it and am happy I tried it; I'm not likely to make this version again because I prefer Mrs. Mosso's recipe.

Zucchini Bread

Adapted from Apples For Jam

by Tessa Kiros

Makes 10-12 slices

2/3 cup pecans

1 cup sugar

3/4 cup light olive oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 eggs

2-1/4 cups all purpose flour

1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

pinch of ground nutmeg


about 3 zucchini, coarsely grated

freshly ground black pepper

Zest of one lemon, or 2 teaspoons lemon zest

Notes: I omitted the pecans because I don't care for the interference of nuts in my quick breads.

Preheat the oven to 350F. Butter and flour a 12 x 4" loaf pan. Spread the pecans in a baking pan and toast them in the oven until they are just crisp and lightly roasted (keep a close eye on them so that they don't burn), then remove the pan from the oven and leave them to cool.

Beat the sugar with the oil and vanilla until smooth and then add the eggs one by one, beating well after each addition. Keep on beating until you have a thick , yet light and fluffy batter. Sift in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Add a pinch of salt, the zucchini, several good grinds of black pepper, and the lemon zest, and fold together well. Coarsely chop the pecans and gently stir through the batter.

Scrape the batter into the pan and bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until a skewer poked into the middle of the loaf comes out clean. Leave the pan on a rack to cool for 10 minutes before turning the loaf out onto the rack to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature, buttered if you like. Well wrapped up, this stays moist and soft for days, and it toasts well even after it's lost its moistness.

Cuts into 10 to 12 slices.

Block Party @ IHCC

Sunday, July 3, 2022

Julia's Supremes de Volaille aux Champignons {Chicken Breasts with Mushrooms and Cream}

 Here I am with yet another Julia Child recipe. In fact, it is the very same chicken recipe, just a different twist. Julia has several variations of Chicken Breasts with Cream sauces and I literally want to try them all.

Now, hear me when I say, I enjoyed last week's chicken dish so much that I decided I would try Julia's Supremes de Volaille aux Champignons, which is the French way of saying Chicken Breasts with Mushrooms and Cream.

I DO NOT LIKE MUSHROOMS. I haven't liked them for 46 years, but I keep trying because I want to like them. 

My favorite cook on Youtube, Anti-Chef, made Julia's chicken with mushroom cream and I thought if anyone can make me like mushrooms it's Julia.

Guess what? The dish turned out perfectly, but I still don't like mushrooms. I tried. Oh, how I've tried. My husband has tried. We did manage to eat a few mushrooms slices, but it's just a texture thing. We love the flavor. We just don't love mushrooms.

Regardless, don't let me sway you at all. If you're a mushroom lover then you should definitely try this version of Julia's Chicken Breasts with Cream. The sauce is crazy good. Like fine dining good.

Julia's recipes can be somewhat fussy and take time to put together, but these chicken breasts recipes with cream are super easy and fast, on the table in less than 30 minutes.

I highly recommend both of the recipes~!

Supremes de Volaille aux Champignons

Adapted from Mastering The Art of French Cooking

by Julia Child

Serves 4

For The Chicken

4 supremes (boned breasts from two fryers)*

1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

salt and pepper, to taste

heavy, covered, fireproof casserole about 10" in diameter

1 round of waxed paper 10 " in diameter and buttered on one side 

For The Sauce

1/4 cup white or brown stock or canned beef bouillon

1/4 cup port, Maderia, or dry white vermouth

1 cup whipping cream

salt and pepper

lemon juice, as needed

2 tablespoons fresh minced parsley

5 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon minced shallot or green onion

1/4 pound diced or sliced fresh mushrooms

salt, to taste

Notes: Julia's supremes must be very small if they only take 6 minutes to cook completely in the oven. I have found that I need to cut my chicken breasts in half lengthwise and cook them on one side for 6 minutes and then maybe 4-5 minutes on the other side. Each piece of chicken will cook differently. Best to check often.

Preheat the oven to 400F

Start with the Mushrooms: Heat the butter in the casserole over moderate heat until foaming. Stir in the minced shallots or green onion and saute a moment without browning. Then stir in the mushrooms and saute lightly for a minute or two without browning. Sprinkle with salt.

Time For the Chicken: Rub the supremes with drops of lemon juice and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Quickly roll the supremes in the mushrooms and butter, lay the buttered paper over them, cover casserole and place in hot oven. After 6 minutes*, press top of supremes with your finger. If still soft, return to oven for a moment or two. When the meat is springy to the touch it is done. Remove the supremes to a warm platter and cover while making the sauce (2 to 3 minutes).

For the Mushroom Sauce: Pour the stock, bouillon, or wine into the pan with the mushrooms and the cooking butter and boil down quickly over high heat until liquid is syrupy. Stir in the cream and boil down again over high heat until cream has thickened slightly. Off heat, taste carefully for seasoning, and add drops of lemon juice to taste. Pour the sauce over the supremes, sprinkle with parsley, and serve at once.

Sunday, June 26, 2022

Julia Child's Supremes de Volaille a l'Ecossaise {Chicken Breasts with Diced Aromatic Vegetables and Cream}

 I am completely enamored with Julia Child's recipes right now. I've really only made about 4 of her recipes, but they have all been mouthwateringly delicious. The best of the best.

Julia has a variety of chicken breast recipes with various sauces in her book. I had a very hard time deciding among them, but I finally settled on this version with the aromatic veggies and cream. We are having a Garden Party over at I Heart Cooking Clubs and the carrots, onions, and celery in the sauce remind me of garden-style cream cheese. It's a stretch, I know. I was really looking for any reason to make this recipe.

You begin by sauteing carrots, onions, and celery in butter until tender; then drizzle some lemon juice, salt, and pepper on the chicken breast before adding them to the pan with the veggies and the butter; top them with buttered parchment, and a lid, and bake in the oven until done (depends on size of breast). 

Then comes the good part. The sauce, which is really almost like a pot pie sauce, is very comforting and flavorful.

The chicken goes onto a warm plate and you add stock and either Maderia, or white vermouth, and whisk until it becomes syrupy, before adding the cream and reducing until thickened and saucy. Add the lemon juice and parsley and pour over the chicken.

This dish is OUTSTANDING! It is just seriously SO DANG GOOD. Chef's kiss to Julia Child because her recipes have been knocking it out of the park lately.

Do yourself a favor and make this dish sometime! 

 Supremes de Volaille a l'Ecossaise

{Chicken Breasts with Diced Aromatic Vegetables and Cream}

Adapted from Mastering The Art of French Cooking

by Julia Child

Serves 4

For the Veggies:

1 medium carrot, cut into 1/16" cubes

1 to 2 tender celery stalks, cut into 1/16" cubes

1 medium white onion, cut into 1/16" cubes

1/8 teaspoon salt

5 tablespoons butter

For the Supremes:

4 supremes (chicken breast)

1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon salt

big pinch white pepper

a heavy, covered, fireproof casserole about 10" diameter

a round of waxed paper 10" in diameter and buttered on one side

4 tablespoons butter

For The Sauce:

1/4 cup white or brown stock or canned beef bouillon

1/4 cup port, Madeira, or dry white vermouth 

1 cup whipping cream

salt and pepper

lemon juice, as needed

2 tablespoons minced parsley

For the veggies: Cook the diced vegetables slowly with the salt and butter for about 10 minutes in the covered casserole until tender, but not browned.

For the supremes: Preheat the oven to 400F. Rub the supremes with drops of lemon juice and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Quickly roll the supremes in the butter with the aromatic veggies, laying the buttered paper over them, cover casserole and place in hot oven.

After 6 minutes, press top of supremes with your finger. If still soft, return to oven for a moment or two. When the meat is springy to the touch it is done. remove the supremes to a warm platter and cover while making the sauce (2 to 3 minutes).

For the sauce: Pour the stock or bouillon and wine into the casserole with the cooking butter and boil down quickly over high heat until liquid is syrupy. Stir in the cream and boil down again over high heat until cream has thickened slightly. Off heat, taste carefully for seasoning, and add drops of lemon juice to taste. Pour the sauce over the supremes, sprinkle with parsley, and serve at once. 

Garden Party @ IHCC

Sunday, June 19, 2022

Saganaki {Fried Cheese}


I watched a cooking show one time where someone enjoyed a dish of fried feta cheese with some rustic bread for slathering all while setting outdoors on a cliff side in Greece overlooking the Aegean Sea. The scene seemed ideal and it has stuck with me over the years.

So, today I am lightly breading and lightly frying some feta cheese in my Kentucky kitchen. I'm having visions of Greece while I do it and that's about as close as I'll get for the time being.

If you're a feta cheese lover, then this recipe is for you. All you need is a nice block of cheese, 1 egg, a little flour and some oil. Simply dip the cheese in the beaten egg, dust with flour, and fry in oil until warm, melty, and golden brown.

I won't lie. It is a little tricky to fry cheese, especially when it comes to flipping the cheese over, etc. However, just go low and slow and take your time. I fried my cheese very low for about 5 minutes on each side, letting the oil bubble up on the sides, pushing the oil around the sides with a silicone spatula.

The cheese is really good on crackers or slathered on bread. I liked the fried cheese plain, but I think it would be even better with some fresh tomatoes or sun-dried tomatoes.

I will definitely be making this again and again!


{Fried Cheese}

Adapted from Food From Many Greek Kitchens

by Tessa Kiros

Serves 4

light olive oil, for frying

1 egg, lightly beaten

all-purpose flour, for coating

4-1/4-ounce 3/4" thick slice feta cheese, or kasseri-style, talagani cheese

lemon quarters, for serving

Pour the olive oil into a small non-stick skillet to a depth of roughly 1/2".

Put the egg in one flat bowl and the flour in another. Heat the oil over medium-high heat until a cube of bread dropped in the oil browns in 15 seconds. 

Dip the cheese slice in the egg, then pat it in the flour to coat well. Put the slice into the oil and fry until golden on both sides. Splash its sides with oil to make sure that they are fried golden, too. The cheese must be crisp on the outside and softened on the inside. When done, remove the cheese from the pan with tongs an drain on paper towels. Serve hot, cut up into squares and with lemon juice squeezed over the top. If serving in the pan, remove the cheese, pour away the oil, wipe the pan with a paper towel, return the cheese to the pan and squeeze some lemon over.

Seaside Escape @ IHCC

Sunday, June 12, 2022

Julia Child's Biftek Haché à la Lyonnaise {Ground Beef Burgers with Onions and Herbs}

My family loves what I like to call The Blue Plate Special. When I refer to The Blue Plate Special, I pretty much mean any old-fashioned dish you might find at a local diner. It usually consists of some type of meat with a gravy or sauce, some kind of potato, and a veggie. 

Just good old-fashioned comfort food.

I found this recipe on one of my favorite Youtube channels, Anti-Chef. The fella who runs the channel is named Jamie and he does a segment called Jamie and Julia that is well worth watching. Sometimes it is laugh out loud hilarious, sometimes I learn a thing or two, and other times it is downright delicious and drool-worthy.

A little while ago Jamie featured Julia's Hamburger with Onions and Herbs, aka Biftek Hache a la Lyonnaise and it really got my attention. The ingredients are always something I have on hand, the recipe was very approachable, and it looked and sounded delicious. I knew I had to make it soon.

Turns out Jamie found and shared a recipe that will grow to be one of my family's favorites!

Per Julia, the French do eat hamburgers, but not on a bun. Turns out they mix butter, salt, pepper, thyme, and sauteed onions into the beef before shaping them into patties, coating the patties in flour on both sides (giving them an amazing crust), sauteing them, then serving them with a beefy buttery rich and flavorful sauce poured over top.

I'm gonna tell you right now...this is an absolutely amazing dish! The burgers are buttery and rich and full of flavor, they develop a little bit of a crust from being dredged in the flour, and the beefy and buttery sauce poured over top just takes it to a whole new level. I'm gonna tell take a bite and it will blow your mind because you'd never expect this to be so wonderfully delicious.

My husband was skeptical, especially when he discovered there was no bun. He took one bite and he was like "Holy cow...this is delicious. I wasn't expecting this to be so flavorful and tender and rich."

This really is a stunningly delicious and flavorful dish that pairs well with any type of potato and veggie. I'd also like to highlight that it is extremely economical, which I feel is very important right now.

This is hands down one of my favorite dishes that I've shared this year and it will be put into my regular rotation. My entire family absolutely loved it and I sent the recipe to all of my friends. I cannot say enough good things about it.


If you have time, take a few minutes to watch Jamie make the burgers in the video above. I think you'll find that he is most enjoyable to watch; and, you might also be just as tempted as I was to make this dish!

Biftek Haché à la Lyonnaise 

{Ground Beef Hamburgers with Onions and Herbs}

Adapted from Mastering The Art of French Cooking

by Julia Child

Serves 6

For The Hamburgers

1/4 cup finely minced yellow onions

2 tablespoons butter

1-1/2 pounds lean, ground beef

2 tablespoons softened butter, ground beef suet, beef marrow, or fresh pork fat

1-1/2 teaspoons salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

1/8 teaspoon thyme

1 egg

1/2 cup flour spread on a plate

1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon oil, or sufficient to film the bottom of the skillet

1 or 2 heavy skillets just large enough to hold the patties easily in one layer

a warm serving platter

For The Sauce

1/2 cup beef stock, beef bouillon, dry white wine, or water or red wine*

2-3 tablespoons softened butter

Cook the onions slowly in the butter for about 10 minutes until very tender but not browned. Place in a mixing bowl. Add the beef, butter or fat, seasonings, and egg to the onions in the mixing bowl and beat vigorously with a wooden spoon to blend thoroughly. Correct seasoning. Form into patties 3/4 inch thick. Cover with waxed paper and refrigerate until ready to use. Just before sauteing, roll the patties lightly in the flour. Shake off excess flour.

Place the butter and the oil in the skillet and set over moderately high heat. When you see the butter foam begin to subside, indicating it is hot enough to sear the meat, saute the patties for 2 to 3 minutes or more on each side, depending on whether you like your hamburgers rare, medium, or well-done.

Arrange the hamburgers on the serving platter and keep warm for a moment while finishing the sauce.

Pour the fat out of the skillet. Add the liquid and boil it down rapidly, scraping up the coagulated pan juices, until it has reduced almost to a syrup. Off heat, swirl the butter by half-tablespoons into the sauce until it is absorbed. Pour the sauce over the hamburgers and serve. 

Family Favorites @ IHCC

Sunday, May 29, 2022

Apricot and Raspberry Crisp


On a recent trip to the grocery store I went a little fruit crazy. I usually only buy one or two types of fruit, but this time I went kinda nuts: bananas, apples, pineapple, cantaloupe, cherries, raspberries, and several pounds of the cutest little apricots. 

Those apricots totally suckered me in because I don't think I've ever seen them so small and so cute before! I had to have them. When I got home I realized that I had 36 apricots and there was no way I was going to eat all that fruit in a week.

So, I began looking for apricot recipes and wouldn't you know it, they were really few and far between. I found a few apricot tarts, but most apricot recipes consist of apricot jelly and preserves. No, thanks!

I finally decided apricots were a lot like peaches, so I set my sights on Ina's Peach and Raspberry Crisp! I had originally planned to pair the apricots with raspberries anyway, so this recipe seemed meant to be. 

I made Ina's recipe as written, subbing the apricots instead of the peaches and adding a splash of almond extract (because it goes so well with stone fruit).

The recipe turned out perfectly! The apricots and raspberries combined to make a sweet and tart filling with a hint of almond flavor and there was a good amount of crumble on top, which I love. I love this crumble with and without vanilla ice cream and I would definitely make it again!

Apricot and Raspberry Crisp

Adapted from Food Network

by Ina Garten

Serves 6-8

2-3 pounds apricots, skin on, halved if small, quartered if large

1 orange or 1 lemon, zested

1-1/4 cups granulated sugar

1 cup light brown sugar, packed

1/2 teaspoon almond extract*

1-1/2 cups plus 2 to 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/2 pint raspberries

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup oatmeal

1/2 pound cold butter, diced

Note: This recipe was originally written to be a peach and raspberry crisp. I chose to sub apricots. I also chose to add about 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract because I love the almond flavor with stone fruits. 

Preheat the oven to 350F. Butter inside of a 10 by 15 by 2-1/2 inch oval baking dish or just use any baking dish that fits the fruit mixture.

If using apricots leave the skins on. Cut the apricots in half if they're small and into quarters if they're larger. Add them a medium mixing bowl. Add the orange or lemon zest, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, 1/2 cup brown sugar, and 2 tablespoons of flour. Toss well. Gently mix in the raspberries. Allow the mixture to sit for 5 minutes. If there is a lot of liquid, add 1 more tablespoon of flour. Pour the apricots and berries into the baking dish and gently smooth the top.

Combine 1-1/2 cups flour, 1 cup granulated sugar, 1/2 cup brown sugar, salt, oatmeal, and the cold, diced butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until the butter is pea-sized and the mixture is crumbly. (I mixed the crumble mixture with my hands). Sprinkle the crumble on top of the apricots and raspberries.

Bake for 1 hour, until the top is browned and crisp and the juices are bubbly. Serve immediately, or store in the refrigerator and reheat in a preheated 350F oven for 20-30 minutes, until warm. 

Picnic Party @ IHCC!