Pasta Sausage Squash and Swiss Chard

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This is the first meal this year that was something we haven’t already had a million times over the years. I guess I just haven’t been interested in cooking yet. We have been very busy but we are always busy so that’s no excuse. It might also have something to do with my stupid cough that is better but not completely gone. I start the day with a list of things I want/need to do then I get home from work and am exhausted and end up doing nothing. It’s getting pretty old.

IMG_4948So I am going to thank you for getting me back in the kitchen. I made a list of things I want to make and last night started two of them. I wanted to make something new to share with you all. According to my family we had a keeper for dinner last night. The first question my husband asks me is if I wrote it down so I can recreate it. How rude of him to think I didn’t; he knows I tend to make things even from a recipe more to our tastes mostly out of necessity. Sometimes I can’t find what the recipe puts in their dishes so I improvise with what I have on hand. I hope you all do that; though through some of my experiences at a few of my cooking classes I hold at my home this is not always the case. In his defense he and my son keep bringing up a Mahi Mahi recipe I didn’t keep track of and have never been able to replicate it again. I don’t even try anymore.
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Last night I gave my fam an option of a couple of meals; my daughter said past and sausage two things we love. So that was it and here it is for you.

Pasta Sausage Squash and Swiss Chard
Serves 6
This would be a great weeknight meal, it comes together pretty quickly
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Total Time
35 min
Total Time
35 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 box of penne pasta
  2. 2 cups diced butternut squash (1/2 inch pieces) mine was larger than this
  3. 4 cups lightly packed chopped swiss chard
  4. 3 links sweet italian sausage casing removed and broken up (diced for a chunk works too)
  5. 1/2 cup finely chopped shallot
  6. 2-3 cloves garlic
  7. 2 tablespoon butter
  8. 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  9. 2 tablespoon flour
  10. 2 1/2 cups milk
  11. 1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  12. kosher salt and black pepper to taste
  13. pinch of crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
Instructions
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 2 minutes. Add the squash and cook for 6 minutes. add the chard and cook until the pasta is tender. 1 to 2 minutes longer. Drain and return to the pot.
  2. Combine sausage, shallot and butter to a large saute pan over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the shallot is soft about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and the thyme and cook another minute. Sprinkle with flour cook stirring for 1 minute. Whisk in the milk and cook whisking occasionally until the sauce starts to thicken. About 5 minutes. Stir in the cheese season with salt and pepper to taste. sprinkle with a little crushed red pepper to your liking. Cook until the cheese melts and the sauce is thick.
  3. Pour the sauce mixture over the pasta mixing to coat, serve with extra grated cheese.
Notes
  1. You can find butternut squash generally peeled and diced in large supermarkets to make it easier
Adapted from Eating Well
Adapted from Eating Well
Cooking at Clark Towers https://cookingatclarktowers.com/
 

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deconstructed BLT

I just finished putting Christmas away, which for me is about 2 weeks later than I normally put things away! This years tree lasted the longest in the house. It is usually down the day after and I will confess we have tossed it outside Christmas day eve a few times over the years just because the needles were driving me nuts.

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we have 9 foot ceilings – a little something for scale

My husband was especially attached to this years tree. It was the largest one we have ever had; we had to trim about 4 feet off of the back to push it up against the windows just so we could walk around it. Even though it is gone and the floors have been vacuumed and washed I am sure we will find a pine needle over the next few months.

I love me a great sandwich period! I literally just made a PBJ about an hour ago for a quick lunch!Image

Even though this an open faced sandwich that I am sharing it is easy to make and just as easy to eat. It is delicious I mean how can you go wrong with bacon?

Deconstructed BLT
an easy delicious open faced sandwich
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Ingredients
  1. 6 slices of Bacon
  2. 4 French baguette slices
  3. 1/4 Cup soft goat cheese
  4. 4 Cups bibb lettuce (I used boston)
  5. 2 large tomatoes sliced
  6. 1/4 Cup white balsamic vinegar (I didn' t have white)
  7. 2 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  8. 1 large clove of garlic minced
  9. 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
  10. 1/4 tsp salt
  11. 1/4 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
Instructions
  1. Cook bacon until crisp - set aside
  2. toast baguette slices until brown/crispy, spread with goat cheese and set aside
  3. divide lettuce and tomatoes among 2 plates.
  4. Whisk together vinegar and next 5 ingredients, drizzle over tomatoes and lettuce
  5. Top salad with bacon and baguette slices. Sprinkle with additional black pepper is desired.
Notes
  1. Makes 2 servings - I doubled it as there were 4 of us!
Cooking at Clark Towers https://cookingatclarktowers.com/

Charcuterie board

I hope your 2020 has started out as well as you had hoped! If you are one of those that makes resolutions I hope you are staying on track; if you are not there’s always next year wink wink! I am just hoping for this damn cough/cold to go away! It is getting better but I am SO done with it!

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My daughter assembled this beauty!

I’m writing this Saturday morning because the family is gathering for a wedding later today. My beautiful niece is marrying her best friend tonight surrounded by family and friends. I can’t wait to see everyone and share a tear or two. I’m an old softy when it comes to weddings. Who am I kidding I am just an old softy period!

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my husbands idea of a light dinner!

A few weeks ago we had our annual Christmas party; which is always so much fun and this year did not disappoint. I recreated our song booklets, while the old ones were great, they were pretty impossible to navigate and I won’t miss the binder clips. The new booklets are numbered and bound all neat and orderly plus I added some of the non Christmas songs we usually sing. I think we had the most singers this year, I would like to think it was because of the new books.

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less glamorous but still very tasty!

 

My dining room table is almost 12 feet long; my husband made it for the room which is why it is not a standard size. Anyway for the Christmas party I try to make sure it is covered with all kinds of different pick up and go or grab a plate and chill type items. I have this pretty cool board I found in the garage and I usually just add my fall decorations onto it and place it in the middle of the table. I decided to put it to another use for the party this year. I hope you like it!

Charcuterie board

What is a Charcuterie board? The wikipedia definition is. Charcuterie is a branch of cooking involving prepared meats, such as ham, sausage, bacon, confit, or other pork products. The word originated in France, and it translates to “pork-butcher shop.” … The correct French pronunciation of charcuterie is “shar-coo-tree.”

A typical board has the following on it. The amount depends on the size of the board and the number of people. 

  • Cured meats.
  • Cheese.
  • Olives.
  • Nuts.
  • Dried Fruit.
  • Crackers or baguette bread.
  • Jelly or jam.

 How to assemble a cheese board:

  • Add your cheeses spaced around your board.
  • Add your salami or other meat in a few different places.
  • Place bowls of olives or honey or jam down the middle.
  • Add crackers and vegetables in large open spaces.
  • Place bunches of grapes, nuts, and chocolate in all the cracks.

Leftover Prime Rib Soup

I have said it before and I will say it over and over again; soup is good for the soul!

Hope you have a safe happy healthy and prosperous New Year!

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I have had a cough since early November and I am sick of it! It started fast and furious and then subsided for a bit. Christmas day it decided to come back and bring with it me feeling like crap! Yesterday I spent about 12 hours lounging on the couch watching and sleeping thorough the Hallmark channel drinking several cups of tea and honey! I did make myself a pot of chicken and rice soup – I think that did the trick; I feel a little better this morning!

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I am re-posting this recipe for those of you that happen to have some prime rib leftover. I think we have one piece left so who knows this soup might be happening today!

This year is going to be a quiet New Years! The last few years we had spent them in Canada with friends. I’m going to miss hanging out with them but I think it better that I stay in and not party like a rock star – gotta kick this cough thing somehow!!! Plus it being in the middle of the week is kind of a drag!
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This years 3 rib roast

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a couple of years ago 2 rib roast

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Leftover Prime Rib Roast
A delicious use for a piece or two of your prime rib roast
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Ingredients
  1. 1 small to medium onion diced
  2. 1 or 2 stalks of celery diced
  3. 2 carrots peeled and diced
  4. 1 sprig of fresh rosemary chopped – or use whatever herb you flavored your roast with
  5. 3 potatoes peeled and diced
  6. 1 or 2 pieces of beef chopped
  7. Beef Broth – homemade or use your favorite
  8. leftover gravy – add so much flavor if you have any use it
  9. Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Sauté the onion, celery and carrots till translucent. Add rosemary and cook for another minute or two. Add gravy, broth and potatoes. Once the potatoes are soft add the beef and let simmer to let everything meld together. Serve with bread to sop up the wonderful broth
Cooking at Clark Towers https://cookingatclarktowers.com/

Pork Belly Ramen is what’s for dinner

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The countdown to Claus is coming quick! I know it is because the calendar says so and I have an enormous tree in my bay window with presents under it. But I am still not really feeling a whole lot like Christmas. Last weekend was our annual Christmas party where we all sang Christmas carols and that usually does the trick for me but I’m really not into it this year! 

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baked with a little olive oil Prosciutto wrapped asparagus for an appetizer – YUM

I proposed to my family that instead of a ton of presents under the tree there will be a few and then we will do something together as a family. Here are a few things I proposed that we do together. Take a cooking class, dance lessons, attend a Broadway show or concert. Maybe find a restaurant that has at least one Michelin star and have dinner there since we are all foodies. My husband suggested going up North and ski/snowshoe. We haven’t decided what we are going to do yet but will make a plan over the Holiday!

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a bunch of swiss chard

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Stems removed – you can eat them but they take longer to cook down

 

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use up those packages of ramen noodles – I throw away the salt flavor packet they include

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A box of stock as well as some of my homemade stock from the freezer

IMG_4930IMG_4931What is a Michelin star?
Michelin Stars are given out on a scale of one to three, and only the top establishments in the world qualify for this designation. To earn one star, a restaurant must be considered “a very good restaurant in its category.” For two stars, the criteria is “excellent cooking, worth a detour.” To qualify for the elusive three stars, a restaurant must serve up “exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey.”

People have taken vacations centered solely around visiting restaurants that have earned Michelin Stars. Because of this, it is easy to see why chefs are so eager to earn this recognition; having at least one Michelin Star can do wonders for a restaurant. Having three stars solidifies a restaurant as undeniably one of the best in the world. My daughter is looking into it for her 30th birthday this coming year!

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salted, peppered and sugar mixture all over the pork belly – let it sit over night in the fridge.

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thinly sliced and browned on both sides in a frying pan

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makes my mouth water – just saying!

Since we had our party last weekend we had family up and I had a large piece of Pork Belly in the freezer so I thawed it out, seasoned it, baked it and brought it out for dinner for a crowd. Ramen is delicious and can be time consuming; if made the traditional way. Mine here is crazy quick and crazy good; mind you having homemade chicken stock on hand is key. And starting the pork belly a day or so ahead of time. But the hands on time is nothing.

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday with all family and friends!

Pork Belly Ramen
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Ingredients
  1. 1 - 3 pound Pork Belly
  2. 1 Ramen packet per person
  3. 1-2 teaspoon grated ginger
  4. 1-2 tablespoon soy sauce
  5. 2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  6. 2 32 ounce chicken stock roughly for 4 people - adjust to how many people you are serving
  7. bunch of swiss chard or bok choy chopped - I made it both ways this week - bok choy add a little more punch
  8. scallions, sliced thinly - sprinkle on top
  9. basil, chopped - sprinkle on top (optional)
  10. cilantro, chopped - sprinkle on top (optional)
  11. eggs - 1 soft boiled egg per person
Instructions
  1. Pork belly;
  2. 1 pound = 2 teaspoons salt, 2 teaspoons sugar and 1 teaspoon black pepper. adjust for what you have
  3. season generously on all sides with kosher salt, black pepper and white sugar. cover and refrigerate overnight.
  4. Pre-heat oven to 450'F. roast fat side up for 30 minutes. Lower oven to 275'F for an hour.
  5. Let it cool to room temperature, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour or more, up to 2 days.
  6. Soft boiled eggs;
  7. bring a pot of water, enough to cover all of your eggs to boil, lower each egg gently into the water and cook for 6 minutes. Remove from the boiling water to an ice bath to stop them from cooking. Peel and slice when you assemble your bowls.
  8. Ramen;
  9. In a stock pot add the broth bring to a boil, add the ramen and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the bok choy or swiss chard cook for another minute or so. Remove from the heat and add the ginger, soy sauce and sesame oil to taste.
  10. Divide ramen and some broth between the bowls. Add the sliced egg, a few pieces of browned and crisped pork belly and the scallions. Also add the basil and cilantro if you are using.
Cooking at Clark Towers https://cookingatclarktowers.com/
 

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easy and so tasty – try it! baked for 15 minutes at 350’F

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Mocha Yule Log aka Buche de Noel

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After I made this I placed it in the fridge and didn’t tell anyone I made it. When each one went to get something out of the fridge; they each smiled and said “you made a yule log”

IMG_4891There are a few things I have wanted or at least thought about making and figured  they were beyond my reach. Not that I couldn’t make them more of I thought they were harder than I wanted to work for them; if that makes any sense.
IMG_4893IMG_4896Some recipes have a lot of ingredients listed which can look like it will take FOREVER to make the recipe; compare it to receiving a long email. You tend to zone out after the first paragraph or so and put it aside to “read” when you have time a little more time wink wink.
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While this recipe at first glance might look like it has a lot of ingredients it really is mostly hands off and didn’t take me very long at all, plus how forgiving is it since it is supposed to look like a log. I’ve tried to decorate cakes to perfection only to never get them quite right. This one turned out perfectly log like 🙂
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I know it tastes great since I got to eat the ends that I cut off to clean it up!

Mocha Yule Log aka Buche e Noel
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Ingredients
  1. 5 large eggs, separated
  2. 1/2 cup cake flour
  3. 1/4 cup baking cocoa
  4. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  5. 1 cup sugar, divided
  6. 1/2 teaspoon cream of tarter
  7. Filling
  8. 1 1/2 teaspoon instant coffee granules
  9. 1 cup heavy cream
  10. 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
  11. Frosting
  12. 1/3 cup butter, softened
  13. 2 cups confectioners sugar
  14. 1/3 cup baking cocoa
  15. 1 tablespoon brewed coffee, cooled
  16. 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  17. 2-3 tablespoon milk
Instructions
  1. place egg whites in a small bowl and yolks in a large mixing bowl. Let stand at room temperature about 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 350'F. Line bottom of a greased 15"x10"x1" pan with parchment; grease parchment. sift flour, cocoa and salt together twice. Beat the egg yolks until slightly thickened. Gradually add 1/2 cup of the sugar, beating on high speed until thick and lemon-colored about 3-4 minutes. Fold in the flour mixture.
  3. Add cream of tarter to the egg whites and with clean beaters, beat on medium until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining sugar 1 tablespoon at a time. Beating on high after each addition until the sugar is dissolved. Continue beating until soft glossy peaks form. Fold a fourth on the whites into the batter then fold in remaining whites. transfer to prepared pan, spreading evenly.
  4. Bake until the top springs back when lightly touched, about 12-15 minutes. be careful to not overbake. Cool for 5 minutes. invert onto a clean tea towel dusted with cocoa. Gently peel off the parchment paper. Roll up the cake in the towel jelly-roll style, starting with the short side. Cool completely on a wire rack.
  5. Filling; in a bowl, dissolve coffee granules in the cream. beat until it begins to thicken. Add sugar; beat until stiff peaks form. Unroll cake and spread the filling over the cake to within 1/2 inch of all the edges. Roll up again, without the towel, trim the ends. Transfer to a platter, seam side down, refrigerate, covered until cold.
  6. Frosting: beat all the ingredients until smooth. spread over the cake. Using a fork, make lines in the frosting to resemble tree bark. Refrigerate until serving.
Adapted from Taste of Home test kitchen
Adapted from Taste of Home test kitchen
Cooking at Clark Towers https://cookingatclarktowers.com/
This blog won’t feel complete unless I share what I found about the history of the Buche de Noel. The tradition dates back to medieval times, one of many pagan rites competing with Christmas traditions. A log of wood—often from a fruit tree to ensure a successful harvest in the year to come—would be brought home and placed in the hearth, which at the time functioned as the epicenter of every family’s activity. Depending on the region and its various beliefs, salt, wine, or holy water—among other ingredients—were sprinkled atop the log before lighting it on fire. Sprinkling wine, for example, was yet another way to guarantee the following year’s grape harvest would be bountiful.

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Slicing it at an angle and placing the flat part against the roll makes it look like a branch

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using a fork you can make lines through the frosting to make it look rustic and more like a log

 

Once lit on Christmas Eve, the log had to burn for at least three days for good luck—ideally until the New Year. That was just the start: ash from the log provided protection against lightning strikes, and coals were used throughout the year in various medicinal potions. It is believed that it turned into a cake looking like a log around the 20th century.
IMG_4916IMG_4917IMG_4919IMG_4922There are so many variations out there, this recipe had me at mocha – I LOVE mocha!

Anguilla vacation lunch and dinner

I mentioned last week that I was heading out for vacation and will be sharing some of the food we had. We arrived home last late night well actually we landed around 7:30 then had to go through immigration and then customs.

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Snapper lunch on Sandy Island

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BBQ chicken lunch on Sandy Island – cole slaw, rice and pasta – very good! 

Pictures of Sandy Island off the coast of Anguilla

We are no strangers to going through our international airport over the years. Our first time was back in 1988. Every year has been a little different; this one was a little odd to me. They have automated it a bit by having a machine read your passport and you answering a few questions on screen before you see an customs agent.  In the past we had always had to go through two check points one before you get your luggage and then another after you get your luggage. This time around there were 5 or 6 customs agents standing together and let us all just walk through with our bags and didn’t even look at us. Totally took me off guard. Not complaining that just meant that no one was going to pull us aside and go through our luggage looking for things we didn’t claim; which was also weird we never filled out customs forms; going into our destination and coming home. Very different!

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Lobster lunch at the Sunshine Shack

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Best french fries we had on the island at the Straw Hat

Enough about that I have a few pictures from my phone so some of the pictures are not that great but I will try to explain a little about what you are seeing. We ate out quite a bit and some restaurants stand out better than others and there was probably one that we probably wouldn’t go back to but it might have been either what we ordered or just not there night so I am not going to mention them.

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Steak dinner we made back at the house – I brought the steak from home!

Jacala on Meads Bay is a must but make sure to make a reservation, they can be crazy busy at times. This is an authentic French restaurant with the Co owner Jacques Borderon walking or rather talking you through taking your order and making sure you know exactly what your are going to be eating was a real treat.

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Asparagus soup amuse bouche at Jacala with my cosmo!

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Appetizer of a “shepherds pie” believe it or not. It was excellent

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bouillabaisse – said best he had ever eaten!

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Pan roasted pork tenderloin over risotto

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Grilled snapper – this was mine and was excellent! Seasoned and cooked to perfection!

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Grilled crayfish – also well seasoned and tender

Ember on Lower South Hill is another must try. Everything is cooked on an open wood fire. Nothing was too smoky and Chef owner Marc Alvarez knows exactly what he is doing!  Unfortunately I didn’t get any photos it was our anniversary dinner but was probably the best fish I had on the island – melted in your mouth. I pretty much ate Snapper and Mahi Mahi the entire week whether it be a sandwich or a fillet or even in a taco.

Both are open air with water views though at night there really isn’t much you can see unless a boat goes by. If you visit the island of Anguilla I would make these a must eat!
A few others were visited and enjoyed a meal. Blanchards on Meads Bay, Madearman on Shoal Bay had no power but we had a very nice lunch and Ocean Echo also on Meads Bay

 

Crispy Risotto cake for breakfast – yes please!

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I hope you all had a wonderful Holiday weekend. My husband and I are getting out of dodge for a little while. We are heading South for some sun, fun and relaxation! We are probably some of the small few at the airport not “technically” traveling for the actual holiday.
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I am writing this post a week early knowing I will not be making much on vacation even though we are renting a house with a kitchen. I am pretty sure I won’t be making anything new to share but I will be taking lots of pictures of most of my meals and will share with you what’s happening out on the Island of Anguilla in my next blog.

Risotto
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
35 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
35 min
Total Time
45 min
Ingredients
  1. 1½ Cup Arborio Rice
  2. 1 Quart Chicken Stock
  3. ½ Cup White Wine
  4. 1 medium shallot or small onion chopped finely
  5. 3 Tbs unsalted butter
  6. 1 Tbs Olive Oil
  7. ¼ cup grated Parmesan Reggiano
  8. 1 Tbs chopped Parsley
  9. Kosher Salt to taste
Instructions
  1. Heat the stock to a simmer in a medium saucepan, then lower the heat so that the stock just stays hot.
  2. In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat the oil and 1 Tbsp of the butter over medium heat. When the butter has melted, add the chopped shallot or onion. Sauté for 2-3 minutes or until it is slightly translucent.
  3. Add the rice and stir briskly with a wooden spoon so that the grains are coated with the oil and melted butter. Sauté for another minute or so; until there is a slightly nutty aroma. Don’t let the rice turn brown.
  4. Add the wine and cooking while stirring, until the liquid is fully absorbed. Add a ladle of hot chicken stock to the rice and stir until the liquid is fully absorbed. When the rice appears almost dry, add another ladle of stock and repeat the process.
  5. Note: It’s important to stir constantly, especially while the hot stock gets absorbed, to prevent scorching, and add the next ladle as soon as the rice is almost dry.
  6. The rice will take on a creamy consistency as it begins to release its natural starches. Continue adding stock, a ladle at a time, for 20-30 minutes or until the grains are tender but still firm to the bite, without being crunchy. If you run out of stock and the risotto still isn’t done, you can finish the cooking using hot water. Just add the water as you did with the stock, a ladle at a time, stirring while it’s absorbed
Notes
  1. A few notes to remember!
  2. always add hot liquid never cold
  3. stir often
  4. taste to make sure it has cooked thoroughly
  5. wait a day or two before making your rice cake. Freeze each cake and then fry in a hot pan
Cooking at Clark Towers https://cookingatclarktowers.com/

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I was craving risotto and it isn’t too often I will order it out. It is not something that gets better with time nor does it like to sit and wait for someone to order it.  Not saying that you shouldn’t order it you do you;  I just make a mean risotto at home so I am kinda spoiled! I made some the other night for dinner and of course I always make too mucha and have some left over. As I mentioned it doesn’t get better so I usually make Risotto balls aka arancini or rice cakes. I already have some arancini in the freezer so I had been thinking about what I could do with it differently. I wondered how it would be as a crispy rice cake with a poached egg on top and It was exactly as I thought it would be. It was so good I will be making this again soon!!! I also fried up some sausage to go along side. 
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It is best to wait until the next day for the risotto to dry out a bit; shape about a 1/2 cup of risotto into a cake and place on a sheet pan or something that will fit into your freezer. You’ll want to freeze the cakes for at least 30 minutes it helps them stay together while frying. Preheat either a non stick or cast iron pan. add a little oil and fry on both sides till browned. 

What would I do differently?  I would maybe add fried sausage to the risotto before making it into a patty instead of putting it on the side or maybe use a sausage patty and stack everything up. The sausage patty was my husband’s idea, I figured I could add the cooked sausage to the rice cake and my daughter thought maybe make it into an eggs benedict which sounds delish too. I am sure I will be playing around with this!

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Thanksgiving debate – Stuff or not to stuff

The great Thanksgiving Day food debate has started; does it ever really end?

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Spatchcock Turkey

The Thanksgiving Day debate I have overheard at work and the grocery stores even at the butcher just yesterday. Turkey, Ham, Lamb, Beef or even lasagna? I have never not had Turkey so the others don’t even cross my mind. To brine or not to brine. I’ve done both and prefer not! Stuffing or Dressing and is it a bread stuffing or meat stuffing? I haven’t stuffed a bird with anything except apples, garlic, herbs and onions in years! Bread or meat I grew up on meat but I have gone back and forth for many years but the last 20 or so has been bread. It took me a few years to decide what “my” go to stuffing; actually dressing was going to be. I tried several over the years and asked all in attendance their opinions. We have all agreed to what I now make.

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Fried Turkey

And now for the sides, is there such a thing of too many sides? I used to think so but I am over that now. I think even last year I said OK we are not going to do so many. That didn’t work at all; I argued with myself why each veggie needed to be on the table. Whether it was someone’s favorite,  my favorite or even for color. You eat with your eyes first! My sides are always and will always be carrots, butternut squash, rutabaga aka turnip, and peas. I know I will add sweet potatoes in some form because that was always on my in-laws table.

A couple of more debates that I find quite funny is; the frozen or canned pea debate. I can’t even believe that one exists because canned peas are super mushy and not even a nice green color, no thank you! Hey Mom did you serve canned peas when I was a kid? I am sure I just didn’t like them because they were green; just checking!  Green bean casserole, homemade or the Campbell soup recipe one with the french’s fried onions on top? I have never made nor will ever try either way. I don’t care for green beans, they taste very bitter and too green for me. Kind of like I am eating grass so they are totally out!
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turkey rice soup – tis the season

And last but not least the Cranberry sauce debate some want the canned and others want freshly homemade sauce. I grew up on; the canned and have made fresh several times over the last few years. I personally don’t add it to my plate but I am all over it for the leftovers. Adding it to a sandwich or the Egg rolls I made last year; I am all in! I am already thinking about what I am going to do with the leftovers!    

The only thing I am debating at my house is whether or not I will be making or buying my rolls. I would love to hear what you are debating about for your menu; maybe it is cooking or going out?

Here are a couple of ideas for your leftovers. See the links for Turkey Rice soup, Leftover Thanksgiving egg roll’s and

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Leftover Thanksgiving Egg Roll

 

Creamy Alfredo Sauce

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I have been using up some PTO the last couple of weeks with long weekends and had some grand illusion that I would spend at least some of it making food, taking pictures, writing and banking a few blogs in case the holiday season got a little out of control and I couldn’t write. Then I got this fast and furious cold that won’t go away hello cold and flu season grrrrr.

IMG_4824.JPGYesterday I headed out pretty early in the morning for most of the day; we were out dress shopping for my future daughter-in-law. She has an idea now of her perfect dress but is still waiting for the “yes to the dress” moment.

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I dice up my chicken breast so there is more surface area for the seasoning and fry pan!

My last stop was going to be the grocery shopping and I had a craving for fettuccine Alfredo before I got there so I added a few things to my list. I honestly cannot tell you the last time I had or even wanted it. I used to make it all the time; now it’s just a faded memory. Maybe I needed a little comfort food – that sounds about right!
IMG_4826.JPGTo make it a whole meal I grabbed some broccoli and chicken breast a loaf of bread and voila dinner! Well almost my daughter put away all the groceries while I chilled out on the couch and came very close to napping before I ventured into the kitchen

Creamy Alfredo Sauce
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup butter
  2. 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  3. 2 ounces cream cheese optional but does make the sauce creamier
  4. 3-4 cloves fresh garlic minced
  5. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  6. 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  7. 1 1/2 cups Parmesan cheese freshly grated
Instructions
  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, add butter, heavy cream, and cream cheese. Stir over low heat for about 2 minutes until melted and it starts to lightly simmer.
  2. Whisk in the garlic, salt, and pepper for one minute.
  3. Reduce heat to low and add in the Parmesan cheese, continue to whisk until melted.
  4. Serve immediately with your favorite pasta
Adapted from sweet and savory meals
Adapted from sweet and savory meals
Cooking at Clark Towers https://cookingatclarktowers.com/

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