What’s For Dinner?

Pork Cutlets

Ingredients

4 boneless pork loin chops (about 5 to 6 ounces each)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 large eggs
1/2 cup milk
4 cups plain dried bread crumbs or panko
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 sprig thyme minced
Lemon wedges

Directions

Begin by placing each chop between 2 sheets of plastic wrap and gently pounding them out with the flat side of a meat tenderizer until they are 1/4-inch thick.
Put the flour in a shallow dish and season with salt and pepper. Whisk the eggs and milk in another shallow dish and season with salt and pepper. Put the bread crumbs in a third dish and again season with salt and pepper. Lightly dredge each piece of pork in flour, then in the egg, and finally into the bread crumbs, pressing the bread crumbs onto the pork gently so they have a nice even coating.
Lay the breaded pork cutlets in a single layer on a plate lined with parchment and refrigerate, uncovered, for 10 to 12 minutes to allow the coating to dry out a little and adhere to the pork.
Heat oil and butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the thyme sprig and let it fry for about 1 minute to infuse the oil. Remove the thyme sprig and reserve. Gently lay the cutlets into the pan and cook until golden brown and crispy, about 3 minutes per side. Place on paper towels to drain. Season with salt and transfer to a serving platter while still hot. Garnish with lemon wedges and thyme before serving.

Crispy Brussels Sprouts

If you do not like the sprouts caramelized and crispy, cook for 10 minutes less.

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 pounds Brussel sprouts, washed and trim bottoms, cut in half
Salt and pepper to season
5 cloves garlic finely chopped
1/4 cup fresh shredded or grated parmesan cheese

Directions

Combine all the ingredients in a mixing bowl.
Spread evenly in a single layer on a large baking sheet (I cover mine with foil for easy clean-up).
Roast in the oven at 400 degrees for 30 minutes until browned and caramelized. Finish with a grinding of course sea salt.

Baked Tomatoes

ingredients

2 large Roma tomatoes, cut in half
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 garlic clove, minced
3 tablespoons fresh basil, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. In a small bowl combine the oil and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Place the omato in a small pan, brush with the oil mixture, and sprinkle an even amount of cheese on each tomato slice. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until cheese is melted. Top with chopped basil and serve warm.

Originally posted at Jovina Cooks Italian

Classic Baked Ziti

Warm and comforting this is an easy-to-make classic Baked Ziti recipe filled with Italian Sausage, tomato sauce, and cheese to the max! This recipe is especially indulgent with a side of Homemade Garlic Bread.

baked ziti in baking pan

Baked Ziti | A Classic Dinner

Love Lasagna but hate the time it takes to make it? Baked Ziti offers all of the same flavors and comforts that lasagna does but with way less effort. Meaty tomato sauce, filling pasta, and all of that melted gooey cheese! Today’s classic Baked Ziti recipe makes a large 9×13 pan which is perfect for large families or to use as leftovers! While I have my Instant Pot Baked Ziti on the blog (that is super popular), I thought I should post a more classic recipe that everyone can make. No special equipment needed!

Main Ingredients Needed

With a couple of pantry staples you can have this Baked Ziti recipe ready for dinner tonight! Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Ziti Pasta – this is just a specific pasta shape, penne would work perfectly well in its place.
  • Sweet Italian Sausage – I used sweet Italian Sausage here but feel free to use mild or hot!
  • Olive Oil, Onion + Garlic – these three are used with the sausage to add some subtle flavors.
  • Marinara Sauce, Tomatoes + Water – these three make up the sauce. I used storebought marinara sauce (Rao’s). It’s a little expensive but so worth it.
  • Oregano, Basil, Bay Leaves, Salt + Pepper – these herbs and seasonings help flavor the sauce.
  • Mozzarella + Part-Skim Mozzarella – I used a blend of full fat and a lower fat mozzarella in this recipe. Don’t worry, it still tastes great.
  • Parmesan – I also used parmesan for a little bit more cheesy oomph!
melting cheese into ziti

Baked Ziti Variations

Everyone has their secret tips and tricks in making Baked Ziti their own and in this house, I encourage it! Feel free to use my recipe as a base then customize to your liking. Here are a couple of options to get you started:

  • Vegetarian Baked Ziti: feel free to make this a vegetarian meal by leaving out any meat products and then supplementing with more veggies!
  • Adding Vegetables: you can absolutely use/hide vegetables in this dish. Consider wilting spinach, adding shredded zucchini, or shredded carrots to this dish! Or serve your vegetables on the side!
  • Using Different Meat: although I use a pork Italian sausage for this baked ziti recipe, you can absolutely replace it with ground beef or ground turkey.
baked ziti in baking dish before baking

How to Make Baked Ziti

For full details on how to make baked ziti can be found in the recipe card down below 🙂

Step 1: Boil the Pasta

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook ziti according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

Step 2: Brown the Meat

In another pot or deep skillet with high sides, heat the pan over medium heat. Brown sausage, breaking apart as it cooks. Drain if desired. Replace back in the pan. To the cooked sausage, add olive oil, onion, and garlic and saute until mostly tender.

Step 3: Make the Sauce

Stir in diced tomatoes, marinara sauce, water, basil, oregano, bay leaves, salt, pepper. Stir well. Cover and simmer. Taste sauce and adjust seasonings. Remove bay leaves.

Add cooked ziti to the sauce and stir to coat. Add in fresh mozzarella and parmesan cheese. Stir to melt slightly.

Step 4: Bake

Pour into lightly greased 9×13 pan. Sprinkle with shredded mozzarella cheese, cover with lightly greased foil and bake. Top with chopped parsley (optional) and serve hot.

baked ziti topped with cheese in baking dish before baking

Storing Baked Ziti

Baked Ziti will last in the fridge, in an airtight container, for 4-5 days! Which means it’s great for leftovers and meal prep. Alternatively you can make a double batch and freeze one portion for later!

Freezing Instructions

One of the best parts about Baked Ziti is that it can be frozen to last even longer and make a super easy dinner for the future, I love when that happens!

Simply double the recipe, bake one portion, and with the other store in a freezable container before baking (those aluminum casserole dishes found at the grocery store would work great for this). Be sure to cover tightly with aluminium foil and then plastic wrap before freezing. Freeze for up to 3 months.

When ready to bake, thaw in the fridge overnight then bake as accordingly!

spooning baked ziti onto white plate

Try this Baked Ziti soon, I just know you’ll love it!

The recipe card is down below, enjoy 🙂

baked ziti in baking pan

Print

Classic Baked Ziti

Warm and comforting this is an easy-to-make classic Baked Ziti recipe filled with Italian Sausage, tomato sauce and cheese to the max!
Course Dinner
Cuisine Italian
Keyword baked ziti
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 665kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ziti pasta
  • 1.25 lbs Sweet Italian Sausage
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion diced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 25 oz marinara sauce I used Rao’s
  • 14.5 oz petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 bay leaves
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 8 oz fresh mozzarella drained and cut into cubes
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup part skim mozzarella shredded

Instructions

  • Bring large pot of salted water to boil. Cook ziti according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
  • In another pot or deep skillet with high sides, heat pan over medium heat. Brown sausage, breaking apart as it cooks. Drain if desired. Replace back in the pan. To the cooked sausage, add olive oil, onion, and garlic and saute until mostly tender, about 3 minutes.
  • Stir in diced tomatoes, marinara sauce, water, basil, oregano, bay leaves, salt, pepper. Stir well. Cover and simmer 30 minutes. Taste sauce and adjust seasonings. Remove bay leaves.
  • Add cooked ziti to sauce and stir to coat. Add in fresh mozzarella and parmesan cheese. Stir to melt slightly. Pour into lightly greased 9×13 pan. Sprinkle with 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, cover with lightly greased foil and bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes. Top with chopped parsley (optional) and serve hot.

Nutrition

Calories: 665kcal | Carbohydrates: 54g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 36g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 87mg | Sodium: 1370mg | Potassium: 817mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 785IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 356mg | Iron: 4mg

The post Classic Baked Ziti appeared first on Lauren’s Latest.

Originally posted at Laurens Latest

Instant Pot 15 Bean Soup

Dried beans are cooked to tender perfection without any pre-soaking in this deliciously seasoned Instant Pot 15 Bean Soup. Old fashioned comfort food at its best!

A bowl of Instant Pot 15 Bean Soup shot from over the top.

I’ve been cooking with my Instant Pot for 3 years now and I never cease to be amazed at what it can do with dried beans. Thanks to the trusty Instant Pot, you can decide to cook up a pot of this Instant Pot 15 Bean Soup whenever the craving strikes. There is very little advance prep and the speed with which it cooks to tender perfection just gives me a little thrill every single time.

While pressure cooking has been around for ages, the Instant Pot has made its way into so many kitchens that it has effectively changed how and what we cook for dinner. You can decide on bean soup from scratch late in the afternoon and have it on the table in time for dinner.

Two bowls of bean soup shot from over the top.

Bean soup falls at the top of the my list of nostalgic comfort foods. It is pretty much on par with grilled cheese and tomato soup in my book and part of that special group of foods that somehow make things better.

If you have cozy bean soup memories, I think you’re going to love this quick and easy Instant Pot 15 Bean Soup. It has a creamy, tomato based broth, smoky ham, and a delicious blend of seasonings to evoke that classic feel.

A bowl of bean soup next to a smaller bowl of shredded cheese.

Ingredients

The ingredients for Instant Pot 15 Bean Soup with text overlay.
  • There are many different brands of 15 or 16 bean soup mix and any will work for this soup. If yours comes with a seasoning packet, just toss it. You can create great flavor with far less sodium by using your own seasonings.
  • Seasoning hams are bony pieces of ham that are used solely to add meaty, smoky flavor to recipes. Of course, a leftover meaty ham bone from a holiday ham is a great option, but since we don’t always have one tucked in our fridge, check the meat department for a ham hock or ham shank. You can also buy a ham steak to chop up and add for an even meatier soup if you’d like but this is totally optional.
  • A mix of dry spices including oregano, cumin, chili powder, bay leaves, black pepper, and a little cayenne adds great classic flavor. You might notice I didn’t include salt in this list. Between the seasoning ham, tomato sauce, broth, and spices, I find the soup to be perfectly seasoned. I highly recommend waiting until the end of the cooking process to taste and add salt only if you feel it needs it.
A bowl of bean soup on a blue cloth in front of an Instant Pot.

The Best Instant Pot

I own and LOVE my 6 quart Instant Pot Duo Nova and based on the Amazon reviews, it looks like I’m not alone! They improved on several features that makes this unit simpler and easier to use than older models. Once you close the lid and set the time, it automatically seals and begins to come to pressure without any need to move the steam release valve. After cooking, the steam releases with an easy press of the button. It is slick, easy to use, and has never failed me.

How to Make Instant Pot 15 Bean Soup

Vegetables are added to an Instant Pot.
  • Set your Instant Pot on the Sauté setting and add the oil. Once heated, add the onion, carrot, and celery and cook, stirring, for 4 to 5 minutes, or until onion and veggies begin to soften. Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute then press Cancel.
  • Transfer the rinsed dried beans to the Instant Pot.
Tomato sauce, broth, and water are added to an Instant Pot.
  • Pour in the tomato sauce, broth and water.
Spices and a ham hock are added to an Instant pot.
  • Add the chili powder, cumin, oregano, cayenne, and the bay leaves. Stir well to combine.
  • Tuck the seasoning ham (ham hock, shank, or meaty leftover ham bone) down into the mixture. Lock the lid in place and make sure vent is sealed (on older models). Pressure cook on High for 40 minutes.
  • When time is up, allow the steam pressure to naturally release for 15 minutes then manually release any remaining pressure. Unlock and remove the lid. You can remove any good chunks of ham from your seasoning ham (if any) to chop up and add back to the soup. Discard the remainder of the seasoning ham and bay leaves.

If a creamier (less brothy) texture is desired, pulse the mixture with an immersion blender 3 or 4 times, just to break up some of the beans. Don’t go overboard, you want lots of whole beans and a few pulses will yield a nice and creamy result.

A hand lifts a spoonful of soup from a bowl.

This 15 Bean Soup is delicious in its natural state or garnish it will a little shredded cheese and serve it with some crusty bread.

Two bowls of bean soup in front of an Instant Pot.

More Comfort in a Bowl

A bowl of Instant Pot 15 Bean Soup shot from over the top.

Print

Instant Pot 15 Bean Soup

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Dried beans are cooked to tender perfection without any pre-soaking in this deliciously seasoned Instant Pot 15 Bean Soup. Old fashioned comfort food at its best!
Course Main Course, Soup
Cuisine American
Diet Low Calorie, Low Fat
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Pressure and Release Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 433kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 pound 15 or 16 dried bean soup mix any brand will work (toss the seasoning packet)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 ½ cups diced yellow onion
  • 2 stalks celery diced
  • 2 carrots peeled and diced
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 3 cups water
  • 8 ounces tomato sauce
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper or to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne optional (it adds a nice kick)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 ham shank, ham hock, or meaty ham bone
  • salt to taste and only if needed

Optional Garnishes

  • grated Parmesan or Monterey Jack cheese, oyster crackers, crushed saltine crackers

Instructions

  • Place beans in a colander and rinse them well with cold water and allow to drain. Pick through the beans and remove and discard any debris.
  • Add oil to the Instant Pot and press the SAUTE button. When display reads “Hot” add the onion, carrot, and celery. Cook, stirring, for 4 to 5 minutes, or until onion and veggies begin to soften. Add garlic and cook for an additional minute then press CANCEL.
  • Add beans, broth, water, tomato sauce, chili powder, cumin, oregano, cayenne, and the bay leaves. Stir well to combine. Tuck the ham shank (or meaty ham bone) down into the mixture. Lock the lid in place and make sure vent is sealed (on older models). Press the MANUAL or the PRESSURE COOK button, select HIGH, and cook for 40 minutes.
  • When time is up, allow the steam pressure to naturally release for 15 minutes then manually release any remaining pressure. Unlock and remove the lid. Transfer ham shank (or bone) to a cutting board. Use a fork to remove the ham from the bone and stir it into the soup. Discard the bone.
  • If a creamier (less brothy) texture is desired, pulse the mixture with an immersion blender 3 or 4 times, just to break up some of the beans. Don’t go overboard, you want lots of whole beans and a few pulses will yield a nice and creamy result.
  • This soup is excellent reheated. It will thicken when refrigerated so just add a little water to reach desired consistency.
  • Taste and season with salt and additional pepper, if desired. I don’t recommend adding any salt until the end of the cooking process as the seasoning ham, tomato sauce, and broth tend to add enough.

Notes

Seasoning Ham

If you don’t have a leftover ham bone on hand, pick up a ham shank or hock from the meat department at your grocery store. My store carries Cook’s brand. Shanks are meatier but pork hocks are mainly used for seasoning. They impart a really nice meaty, smoky flavor but you won’t have much, if any, meat to add to the soup at the end of the cooking time. You can also pick up a ham steak to chop up and add to the soup if you’d like but there will be plenty of flavor either way.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 433kcal | Carbohydrates: 57g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 24mg | Sodium: 348mg | Potassium: 1424mg | Fiber: 21g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 3866IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 164mg | Iron: 6mg

The post Instant Pot 15 Bean Soup appeared first on Valerie’s Kitchen.

Originally posted at From Valeries Kitchen

Cuban Sandwich (Cubano)

This Cuban Sandwich recipe is easy to make at home and has all the irresistible flavors of a traditional Cubano. Perfectly seasoned pork, smoky ham, gooey, melted Swiss cheese with a mustard spread and pickles.

A Cuban sandwich sliced in half and stacked on a cutting board.

If you’ve had the pleasure of eating a Cubano, I hope I have your attention. For those who have yet to experience this delicious flavor combination, you’ve just got to do it! And, this easy Cuban Sandwich recipe is a great place to start.

A stack of cubanos on a cutting board.

We get strong Cubano cravings on a regular basis so I had to come up with a way to satisfy this craving at home. This is my somewhat non-traditional but completely delicious Cuban Sandwich recipe.

It starts with my Southwestern Pork Tenderloin recipe, sliced thin and layered on sliced bread with deli ham, swiss cheese, a mustard spread, and dill pickles. Trust me when I say that this combination is seriously crave-worthy.

Ingredients in a Cuban Sandwich

The ingredients needed to make a Cuban Sandwich.

Roasted Pork

Cuban Sandwiches must contain some sort of roasted pork. My Southwestern Pork Tenderloin recipe yields two tenderloins which, unless you are feeding a lot of people, can easily be stretched into two meals. This flavorful pork is delicious cold from the fridge in sandwiches and has just the right flavors to create these tasty Cuban Sandwiches. It also happens to be far leaner than the more traditional Boston butt or pork shoulder roast.

Ham

Any thinly sliced deli ham you love will work well. Black forest, honey, or smoked ham will all add great depth flavor.

Swiss Cheese

Sliced Swiss cheese from the dairy or deli section of your store is perfect.

Cuban Sandwich Bread

Cuban bread is a white bread that is similar to Italian bread but contains a bit of fat (usually lard) and sometimes sugar. They are baked into long loaves that are somewhat crusty on the outside and soft on the inside. Most of us are not lucky enough to have easy access to a Cuban or Latin bakery but I’ve found that sliced Italian or French bread is a great substitute.

Mustard and Pickles

Yellow mustard is a must but I stray from tradition with my sandwich spread made from equal parts of yellow mustard and mayonnaise. I have a couple of people in my house who have lukewarm feelings about yellow mustard but I’ve found that mixing it with a little mayo tempers it just enough to fool them into loving it. Baby steps! Go with plain yellow mustard for a more traditional Cuban Sandwich.

Dill pickles chips are the classic choice for true Cubano flavor.

A cuban sandwich being cooked on a panini press.

How to Make a Cuban Sandwich

Cubanos are grilled and pressed sandwiches and a panini press is an easy and effective way to replicate this process at home.

Assemble the Sandwiches

Ingredients are layered on bread.
  • Place 2 slices of bread on a cutting board and spread with softened butter (about 1 tablespoon per two pieces of bread).
  • Flip both slices of bread over, butter-side down, on the cutting board. Spread the top of each slice with about 1 tablespoon of the mayo/mustard mixture.
  • Layer one piece of bread with the sliced roast pork.
Cuban sandwich ingredients are layered on bread.
  • Layer a slice of deli ham over the pork.
  • Cover the ham with dill pickle chips. We love pickles so I really load them up!
  • Add two slices of Swiss cheese.

Grill and Press the Sandwiches

A fully assembled Cuban Sandwich on a cutting board and in a panini press.
  • Place the other slice of bread on top with butter side facing out so that the butter will make contact with the grill.
  • Grill the Cuban Sandwiches on a panini press until well toasted and golden brown.
A cuban sandwich on a plate with potato chips and pickles.

Alternate Stove Top Directions

If you don’t have a panini press, Cuban Sandwiches can be prepared in a skillet on the stove. Assemble the sandwiches as directed and cook in a hot skillet, weighing the sandwich down with a second skillet that is small enough to rest on top. Heavy cast iron skillets are an excellent choice for this method. Cook the sandwich until nicely browned and heated through.

A cuban sandwich on a plate with a pickle and potato chips.

Big Batch Oven Method

Have a group to feed? Follow this alternate oven method for cooking up a sheet pan full of sandwiches all at once. You should be able to fit about six sandwiches on a large rimmed baking sheet, depending on the size of your bread.

Assemble the sandwiches as directed and place them on a foil-lined baking sheet. Place a second baking sheet on top. Transfer to a preheated 425 degree F oven and place an empty cast iron pan (or other heavy, oven-proof pan) on top of the top baking sheet, pressing down the sandwiches. Bake for 15 minutes or until toasted and the cheese has melted.

A Cuban sandwich sliced in half and stacked on a cutting board.

Print

Cuban Sandwich (Cubano)

.wprm-recipe-rating .wprm-rating-star.wprm-rating-star-full svg * { fill: #343434; }

This Cuban Sandwich recipe is easy to make at home and has all the irresistible flavors of a traditional Cubano. Perfectly seasoned pork, smoky ham, gooey, melted Swiss cheese with a mustard spread and pickles.
Course Main Course, Sandwiches
Cuisine Cuban
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 689kcal

Equipment

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup yellow mustard
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 8 slices sliced Italian or French bread
  • 4 tablespoons butter softened
  • 8 slices Southwestern Pork Tenderloin (about 12 ounces)
  • 4 slices deli ham black forest, honey, smoked or your favorite variety.
  • 16 to 20 dill pickle chips 4 to 5 per sandwich
  • 8 slices Swiss cheese

Instructions

  • Combine mustard and mayonnaise in a small bowl and set aside.
  • Place 2 slices of bread on a cutting board and spread with softened butter (about 1 tablespoon per two pieces of bread). Flip both slices of bread over, butter-side down, on the cutting board. Spread the top of each slice of bread with about 1 tablespoon of the mustard/mayo mixture. Layer with 2 slices of roast pork, 1 slice of ham, 4 to 5 pickles, and 2 slices of cheese (offset to fit). Place the other slice of bread on top with butter side facing out so that it will make contact with the panini press. Repeat with remaining bread, butter, and filling ingredients.
  • Heat up your panini press according to the manufacturer directions. Working in batches, press the sandwiches until well toasted and the cheese has melted, about 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and cut in half on the diagonal.
  • To keep the sandwiches warm, place them on a foil lined baking sheet and transfer to a 200 degree F oven while you make the other sandwiches, adding each to the oven after they cook.

Notes

The Southwestern Pork Tenderloin can be made the same day or a day or two in advance. Just cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Cook Time and Total Time assume the pork has been roasted in advance.

Alternate Stove Top Directions

Assemble the sandwiches as directed and cook in a hot skillet, weighing the sandwich down with a second skillet that is small enough to rest on top. Heavy cast iron skillets are an excellent choice for this method. Cook the sandwiches until nicely browned and heated through.

Big Batch Oven Method

Assemble the sandwiches as directed and place them on a foil-lined baking sheet. Place a second baking sheet on top. Transfer to a preheated 425 degree F oven and place an empty cast iron pan (or other heavy, oven-proof pan) on top of the top baking sheet, pressing down the sandwiches. Bake for 15 minutes or until toasted and the cheese has melted.

Nutrition

Serving: 1sandwich | Calories: 689kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 40g | Fat: 45g | Saturated Fat: 19g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 140mg | Sodium: 1570mg | Potassium: 626mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1102IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 387mg | Iron: 4mg

The post Cuban Sandwich (Cubano) appeared first on Valerie’s Kitchen.

Originally posted at From Valeries Kitchen

Zuppa Toscana – An Olive Garden Copycat Recipe!

Zuppa Toscana is SO MUCH BETTER made at home!

A rich creamy broth, Italian sausage, crispy bacon, and tender potatoes; all of the best flavors for a cozy comforting soup recipe.

Zuppa Toscana in two bowls with bread on the side

What is Zuppa Toscana Soup?

Zuppa Toscana, or “Tuscan Soup” is a  delicious creamy soup and this copy cat Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana is even better than the restaurant version!

MEAT Bacon adds a smoky salty flavor while Italian sausage is hearty and seasoned (not to mention a generous dose of garlic).

POTATOES Help thicken the sauce slightly and add some starch. If you’re low carbing, swap them out for cauliflower!

KALE (or not!) Kale is great in this soup but needs a bit of time to cook. Other greens can be substituted. If using spinach, add it right at the end as it needs just a couple of minutes to wilt.

 

Zuppa Toscana ingredients on a marble board

Variations

One of the best things about soup is the fact that you can add almost anything to it! Add leftover chicken in addition to the sausage.

Skip the potatoes and stir in cannellini beans, cooked orzo, or your favorite pasta!

Time Saving Tips

  • I found frozen chopped onion in the freezer section of our local grocery store, it’s great for quick prep!
  • Check your grocery store for pre-washed kale/spinach or even diced potatoes.
  • Real bacon bits (or pre-cooked bacon) saves the step of cooking bacon. If you use bacon bits, crisp them in the microwave a few minutes before adding to the soup.

ingredients for Zuppa Toscana in a pot with broth being poured in

How to Make Zuppa Toscana Soup

  1. Brown sausage and onion, drain and set aside. Cook the bacon until crispy.
  2. Place all ingredients in a soup pot (except bacon & cream) into a large pot. Simmer per recipe below.
  3. Stir in heavy cream and garnish with crumbled bacon.

PRO TIP: For an even thicker soup, make a slurry by whisking a small amount of corn starch in cold water (1:1 ratio) and then add to the soup until desired consistency is reached.

Storing and Freezing Leftovers

  • Zuppa Toscana will keep in the refrigerator for about 4 days and is easily reheated on the stovetop or in the microwave. Garnish with grated parmesan cheese and it’s just like new again!
  • Diary doesn’t always freeze well so if you’d like to freeze this soup, scoop some out before adding the cream. Once thawed, stir in the cream after heating.

More Creamy Soups You’ll Love

Did your family love this Zuppa Toscana Soup? Be sure to leave a comment and a rating below! 

Zuppa Toscana in two bowls with bread on the side

Zuppa Toscana

Zuppa Toscana is an easy Italian soup filled with sausage, potatoes, and greens, with a rich, creamy broth.
Course Appetizer, Dinner, Entree, Lunch, Main Course, Side Dish, Soup
Cuisine American, Italian
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 520
Author Holly Nilsson

Ingredients

  • 1 pound Italian sausage
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 6 slices bacon diced
  • 4 cups potatoes peeled and cut into ½” cubes
  • 1 ½ cups kale chopped, or fresh spinach
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 5 cups chicken broth low sodium
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red peppers (optional)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • pepper to taste

Instructions

  • In a large pot, cook sausage and onion until no pink remains. Drain and set aside.
  • Cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Drain on a paper towel and drain fat from the pan.
  • Add in potatoes, kale, garlic, chicken broth, crushed peppers (if using), and sausage. Bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat and simmer uncovered 12-14 minutes or until potatoes are softened.
  • Stir in heavy cream and pepper and let simmer 1 minute.
  • Garnish with bacon.

Notes

If using spinach, add in the last 2 minutes of cooking.

If you’d like a thicker soup, combine 2 tablespoons cornstarch with 2 tablespoons water. Drizzle into the boiling soup while stirring until soup reaches desired consistency. You may not need all of the cornstarch mixture.

Nutrition

Serving: 1.25cup | Calories: 520 | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 48g | Saturated Fat: 21g | Cholesterol: 126mg | Sodium: 1438mg | Potassium: 546mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 2256IU | Vitamin C: 38mg | Calcium: 85mg | Iron: 2mg
Zuppa Toscana ingredients and Zuppa Toscana in a pot with a ladle and writing
Zuppa Toscana in a pot with a ladle and writing
Zuppa Toscana in two white bowls with a title
Zuppa Toscana in white bowls with text

Originally posted at Spend with Pennies

Kimchi Jjigae (Kimchi Stew)

Have some old kimchi in the fridge? Make this kimchi jjigae! It’s delicious with fatty pork. Such a comfort food! 
Red spicy kimchi stew in an earthen pot
 
When kimchi gets old, it becomes an excellent ingredient for various other dishes! The most common dish made with aged kimchi is kimchi jjigae (김치 찌개). It’s a go-to stew in Korean home and my absolute favorite!

Growing up in Korea, we had a lot of meals just with kimchi jjigae and a bowl of rice. I don’t remember ever getting tired of it! Whether you make it to use up old kimchi, or to satisfy a craving, this small pot of comfort food is all you need for a satisfying meal. 

The kimchi

When cooking with kimchi, you should always use fully fermented, sour kimchi. The older the better! If you can’t wait your kimchi to turn sour, add a little bit of vinegar to the kimchi before using it. It’s not going to be as good as sour kimchi, but it’ll help a little.

Also, Your Korean market may carry commercially packaged kimchi called mukeunji (묵은지), meaning old kimchi.

If the kimchi is overly sour to your taste, add a teaspoon or two of sugar to the stew to balance out the sour taste.

kimchi stew with tofu in an earthen pot with the lid laid on the side of the pot

The Meat for kimchi stew

While there are many variations, fatty pork is most favored for kimchi jjigae in Korea. As I always say, kimchi and fatty pork is a match made in heaven. Not surprisingly, pork ribs are common and delicious in kimchi stew. Pre-boil the ribs until fairly tender, 20 to 30 minutes, and then cook with kimchi. If you don’t like pork, use beef or canned tuna instead. This recipe also includes the canned tuna version.  

Growing up, we also enjoyed kimchi jjigae that’s simply made with  anchovy broth without any meat. It gives a nice, clean taste to the stew. 
 
With good sour kimchi and pork, it really doesn’t take much to make delicious kimchi jjigae. Also see my Instant Pot kimchi jjigae.
 
4 photo collage of kimchi stew steps - cutting and cooking pork, kimchi, tofu and scallions

Tips for making good kimchi jjigae

1. Use old, sour kimchi. 
2. Cook the kimchi and pork together before adding the liquid. This step develops extra flavor.
3. Use the water used to rinse rice (ssalddeumul, 쌀뜨물) as the stew base. It’s commonly used for Korean stews. Use the water from the second or third round of rinsing. The rice water thickens the broth slightly and enhance the flavor.
4. Anchovy broth, chicken broth, milky bone broth or vegetable broth will be also great as a soup base.
5. Use the juice from the kimchi if available. It will add lots of flavor to the broth.

If you want to try making kimchi at home, it’s not that difficult to make. Here are my easy-to-follow recipes: pogi kimchi, mak kimchi, and vegan kimchi

More recipes with old kimchi

Red spicy kimchi stew in an earthen pot

Have you tried this kimchi jjigae recipe? Please rate the recipe below and leave a comment! Stay in touch by following me on YouTubePinterestTwitterFacebook, and Instagram.

kimchi stew with tofu in an earthen pot with the lid laid on the side of the pot

Print

Kimchi Jjigae (Kimchi Stew)

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a classic Korean stew made with flavor-packed, old kimchi!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Korean
Keyword gochujang stew, kimchi, Korean stew
Servings 2
Author Hyosun

Ingredients

  • 2 cups packed bite size kimchi fully fermented
  • 4 ounces fresh pork belly or other pork meat with some fat or other protein choice
  • 1 to 3 teaspoons gochugaru (Korean red chili pepper flakes) adjust to taste or omit
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 1/2 cup juice from kimchi if available
  • 6 ounces tofu
  • 2 scallions
  • salt (or a little bit of soup soy sauce or regular soy sauce) and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Cut the kimchi into bite size pieces.
    Cutting kimchi on a cutting board
  • Cut the meat into bite sizes. Slice the tofu (about 1/2-inch thick), and roughly chop the scallions.
    Cutting Pork, tofu, and scallions on a cutting board
  • Heat a small to medium pot with 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the kimchi, pork, red pepper flakes and garlic and cook over medium high heat until the kimchi is softened and the pork cooks through, about 5 to 7 minutes.
    Stir-frying kimchi and pork in a pot
  • Add the kimchi juice and about 2 to 2.5 cups of water (or broth). Bring it to a boil, and continue cooking for 5 minutes. Then, reduce the heat to medium, and boil, covered, for about 15 minutes. You can add more water if necessary.
    boiling kimchi stew in an earthen pot
  • Drop the tofu and scallions in. Salt (or soup or regular soy sauce) and pepper to taste. (Salt is usually not necessary, unless kimchi was lightly seasoned or kimchi juice is not available.) Boil until the tofu is cooked through, about 5 minutes. Serve while bubbling over from the heat.
    Kimchi stew with tofu in an earthenware

Tuna kimchi jjigae

  • To make kimchi jjigae with no meat, follow the same steps leaving out the pork. Add one can of tuna (chamchi) with oil when adding the kimchi juice and water and boil for 10 – 15 minutes. (You can add onion slices at this point if desired.) Follow the rest of the recipe above. (Fresh or canned salmon works well too in kimchi jjigae.)

Notes

Tips for making good kimchi jjigae:

1. Use old, sour kimchi. 
2. Cook the kimchi and pork together before adding the liquid. This step develops extra flavor.
3. Use the water used to rinse rice (ssalddeumul, 쌀뜨물) as the stew base. It’s commonly used for Korean stews. Use the water from the second or third round of rinsing. The rice water thickens the broth slightly and enhance the flavor.
4. Anchovy broth, chicken broth, milky bone broth or vegetable broth will be also great as a soup base.
5. Use the juice from the kimchi if available. It will add lots of flavor to the broth.

This is a further update to my kimchi jjigae post that was last updated in March 2014 with new photos and more information.  

The post Kimchi Jjigae (Kimchi Stew) appeared first on Korean Bapsang.

Originally posted at Korean Bapsang

Easy Homemade Wonton Soup

No need for takeout – make this incredibly easy wonton soup at home.

Just a few ingredients are needed for this rich and flavorful broth. The wontons also only have a few ingredients, and once you get the hang of wrapping them, you will put this together in no time.

One quick tip – make a big pot of broth and then only drop in the wontons you plan on eating that night and freeze the rest. The next day you can pull out your pot of broth, heat it up and drop the frozen wontons in. This worked much better for us than cooking all the wontons at once as they would be soggy the next day.

Enjoy!

Easy Wonton Soup
Adapted from: Spend With Pennies

The Broth 

Broth Ingredients

  • 3 32 oz cartons chicken broth (not low sodium)
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 4 slices of fresh ginger
  • 3 Tbsb low sodium soy sauce
Broth Directions
  • Add all broth ingredients to a large pot and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce to a simmer for one hour.
  • Once ready to cook your wontons, remove the garlic and ginger and increase to a steady simmer. 
  • Drop wontons in and let cook about 6 minutes. Serve immediately. 

The Wontons

Wonton Ingredients
Note: I made 50 wontons with these ingredients. The broth will be able to cook 30 total; the rest of the wontons can be frozen for future use. 

  • 1 package wonton wrappers (50)
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1 bunch green onions, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp freshly grated ginger
  • 3 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 3 tsp cornstarch 
  • Other things needed: water, flour (about 2 Tbsp), parchment paper
Wonton Directions
  • Mix the pork, green onions, ginger, soy sauce, sesame oil and cornstarch in a large bowl until combined. 
  • Prep your area – put a small bowl of water and a small plate of flour near your wrapping station. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place a clean cutting board or other flat surface in front of you.
  • There are several ways to wrap wontons and they all work! I used this process, but you could take a look at some videos online before choosing how to wrap yours: Place a wonton wrapper on the cutting board. Spoon 1 tsp of the filling onto the center of the wrapper. Wet the edges with water, and then fold the wonton wrapper in half to form a triangle, pressing the edges together tightly. Wet the 2 pointed ends and pull them together, pinching tightly. Dip the bottom in flour and place on your parchment paper lined baking sheet. 
  • Continue until you have wrapped all of your wontons. 
  • At this point, either place them in the freezer and once frozen place in freezer baggies, or drop into the broth to cook. Or do like I did – cook half and freeze half! 


Originally posted at Maryellens Cooking Creations

Pineapple Pulled Pork

Pineapple Pulled Pork

It’s officially summer over here. When it gets over 100 degrees I don’t want to do anything but lay under the ceiling fan and melt until the air conditioner gets going. Needless to say, I sure don’t want to be cooking in a hot kitchen. That’s where my crock pot comes in handy. Let it do all the work and I get all the credit. I’d say that’s a big win.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3-4 pound pork shoulder (butt) roast
  • 1/3 cup Hoisin sauce (found in your grocery store international aisle)
  • 1 cup fresh or canned pineapple, mashed
  • 2 cups chicken stock

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Place pork roast in crock pot. Cover roast in the Hoisin sauce  and 1/2 of the mashed pineapple. Save the other half of mashed pineapple to serve on shredded pork.
  2. Pour in chicken stock.
  3. Set crock pot to High and set timer for 5 hours.
  4. Once pork is done, shred pork with two forks. Pineapple Pulled Pork 2
  5. Serve on Hawaiian bread rolls, or regular dinner rolls or tortillas.
  6. Enjoy!

Pineapple Pulled Pork 1

Originally posted at Joanns Food for Thought

Celebrating 10 Years with our Best Recipes

Today Mary Ellen’s Cooking Creations turns the big 1-0!! Ten years of sharing recipes from my kitchen – I can’t believe it!

It’s funny to think back on how much has changed in ten years both with this blog and with me personally. When I look back through the blog year by year I can remember things happening in my life by the way I was cooking and the food I would make. Kind of like when you hear an old song and it brings back a memory. My food brings back so many memories of times in my life. Oh how things have changed! Ten years ago we were both in our early 30s –

Food Blog Mary Ellen's Cooking Creations celebrates 10 years with their best recipes. Chicken, salads, pork, beef, lobster, quick and easy weeknight meals, romantic meals, meals for entertaining, soups, appetizers and party food.Ten years ago I had never cooked risotto. I had never baked something that didn’t come in a box. Believe it or not, I had never worked with bone-in chicken (except that one time I made chicken soup from scratch in high school). There were so many dishes and ingredients I hadn’t heard of, or wasn’t brave enough to try. I (thought) I loathed mushrooms and blue cheese and eggs. Things like homemade tomato sauce, pan sauces, homemade frosting and whipped cream did not exist in my kitchen. And my knife skills? None. I still used to put my index finger along the top of my cheap knives.

But then after being married for about three years, I took an interest in cooking, mostly because both my husband and I were getting sick of tacos, stuffed peppers, pepper steak, and cheese nip chicken. Sadly, that’s about all we ate when we were both home… Thank goodness for work travel!

When I first jumped into really cooking, I immediately discovered that I did not enjoy measuring and preferred to go by taste, look, and smell. I soon started to read recipes and decide what I’d change before even trying the recipe. I had some failures and some successes, and learned a LOT along the way. Weekly I was trying at least 2-3 new recipes, and Saturday nights were dedicated to date nights at home where we’d cook something new and fancy together (yes, my husband is an awesome cook and loves being in the kitchen whenever he can!). I don’t think we ate the same thing more than twice for at least 2 years because I was in love with experimenting and creating new recipes. That is when I decided to start this blog – it was really just a way to keep track of recipes. I had no idea where it would take me.

During those first few years, favorites were discovered and put on rotation, however I never lost that love of creating new recipes. Over the years my food has evolved to suit our lifestyle, and these days, instead of spending hours on one recipe, I focus a lot more meals to feed my family. Although every now and then I do get a full day in the kitchen and love it!!

Food Blog Mary Ellen's Cooking Creations celebrates 10 years with their best recipes. Chicken, salads, pork, beef, lobster, quick and easy weeknight meals, romantic meals, meals for entertaining, soups, appetizers and party food.

Writing this blog has taught me and brought me so much more than just cooking.

Entertaining and planning menus is one of my favorite things to do. I love sitting with my notebook writing out ideas and I totally appreciate that my husband lets me run them by him a million times. Luckily he enjoys it too, and we love creating holiday menus together. We often start talking about Christmas months before the big day!

Photography has also become a hobby of mine. I know I still have a lot to learn and hope to find the time to take some classes soon, but on my own I can see much improvement. Those early food pics were pretty homely, as my husband would say! (so please, as I share some old recipes below, be mindful of that 🙂

And finally, it’s crazy to think that I wasn’t even on Facebook when I started this blog. There was no such thing as Twitter, Instagram, Yummly, Pinterest, Snapchat, Tumblr, etc. I could go on and on! It has been fun connecting with people through those platforms and learning the best ways to use them to connect with all of you (and meanwhile my 6 year old sees a logo and knows what social media platform it belongs to – it’s like second nature to them!).

Since my life and this blog are completely entwined, I can’t help but think of how my personal life has changed over the past ten years. Ten years ago I was in my early 30s, married almost 4 years and working in the corporate world, traveling the country (and world) for pharmaceutical and medical meetings. After the birth of my daughter I decided to move on from that life, and now I consider myself very lucky that I am able to work part-time for now so I can be there for the school bus, school events, and extracurricular activities with my amazing 6 year old daughter. Cooking with kids Ten years ago I wasn’t even thinking of kids yet, and now this little one is almost 7! How awesome is it that she loves to get in the kitchen with me and we can pretty much get her to try (almost) anything. Most recently she tried mussels and loved them! She’s an energetic little girl and keeps us on on toes – our little first grader who loves acting, dancing, cooking, singing, playing outside, reading, writing, making lists, playing games and telling jokes. Things haven’t always been easy over the past ten years – although blessed to be in our forever home, it has been a continuous work in progress and it always seem like something is going wrong or breaking. We have both dealt with unemployment, secondary infertility, pregnancy losses, and the death of our first dog, Daisy Mae. During all of those times, I always turned to cooking as my therapy. Family and cooking have been my one constant through all of these ten years. 
So take a trip down memory lane with me as I share my most popular and/or favorite recipes. These are recipes that have been shared the most, liked the most, and recipes that have been favorites of my family. ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

My top post of all-time comes from May of 2008 – Time for a Party. In this post I shared a menu for a party including this recipe for tortilla pinwheels, and now I see them pinned all over Pinterest. They are a hit! I take them to every party and get asked for the recipe several times at each party. Sometimes simple is the best! 

The perfect party appetizer - tortilla pinwheels

My husband has contributed several recipes, desserts, and wine reviews to this blog. Two of his recipes are in my top searched, pinned and shared recipes! He loves making this Maine Lobster Stew, has made it for the last 2 years on Christmas, and is always looking for excuses to make it again. I’ll take credit for helping with the plating and taking the photos. 

Maine Lobster Stew - decadent and creamy with sherry and lobster meat

Another recipe of his that sends a lot of people to this blog through searches is his Beef Negimaki. After ordering it several times at our local sushi place he decided to make it on his own. We both agreed it was even better than the restaurant’s! Since this post is from 2009 the pic isn’t great, but what I do love about this post are the step by step photo instructions for cutting and rolling the beef. 

Beef Negimaki - rolled flank steak with green onions. Japanese food made at home

My top breakfast post of all time, and one that I make often, is a grab and go breakfast – Egg Muffins for Breakfast-on-the-Go

Breakfast on the go - egg muffins. Egg muffins with vegetables, egg muffins with sausage. Grab n go breakfast

I’m so happy that this next recipe is in my top ten of all time because it is one of my favorites – Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes with a Lemon-Garlic Aioli.Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes with a lemon garlic aioli. Celebrating 10 years of our best recipes. “Too hot to cook” and “grilled chicken salads” are both so commonly searched, and lead my followers to this post for Yakitori Chicken with Cold Veggie and Soba Noodle Bowls. This is one of my top chicken recipes as well as a top salad recipe. 

Grilled yakitori chicken with cold veggie soba noodle bowls. Too hot to cook! Celebrating 10 years of our best recipes.

With close to 200 chicken recipes in this blog, it was really, really hard to narrow it down to my favorite. I have so many, from this French Onion Braised Chicken and this Gruyere Chicken with Mushrooms, to Shredded Chicken with Chiles and Chicken and Dumplings. I finally chose a popular recipe, and it is fitting that it is a bone-in recipe – Garlic Herb Roast Chicken with Vegetables

Garlic Herb Roast Chicken Breasts with vegetables. Bone in chicken. Celebrating 10 years of our best recipes.

Soups are cooked in my kitchen once a week over the cool and cold months, so with over 80 soup recipes in this blog it is hard to choose a favorite. This Potato and Corn Chowder with Bacon is one of my most popular, and it is one of my favorites because it is so hearty and well, bacon!

Potato Corn Chowder with Bacon. Celebrating 10 years of our best recipes.

It’s funny that ten years ago I had never made risotto, and now I have over 20 risotto recipes on this blog. Risotto is in my top ten search words, so I picked one of my favorites for this anniversary post – Three Garlic Risotto. I have been making this one for years (it was probably one of the first risotto recipes I ever made!) but finally just blogged it recently. 

Three Garlic Risotto - Roasted garlic, toasted garlic, sauteed garlic. Celebrating 10 years of our best recipes.

Still, after ten years of doing this, I only use my crock-pot for shredded/pulled chicken, pork or beef. My top slow cooker and top pulled pork recipe is this amazing Guinness Pulled Pork. I’m so happy it gets so much love because it definitely gets a lot of love in this house! Korean Pulled Pork Tacos

Guinness Pulled Pork Sandwiches. Crock pot slow cooker cooking. Celebrating 10 years of our best recipes.

My personal favorite pulled pork recipe is the pork for these Korean Pulled Pork Tacos. These are pretty popular on Pinterest, too! 

Korean Pulled Pork Tacos with a Creamy Sriracha slaw. Crock pot slow cooker cooking. Celebrating 10 years of our best recipes.

And sticking with the pork theme, this Stuffed Pork Loin with a Mushroom Wine Gravy is one of my most popular posts. It is a great recipe, perfect for holidays or entertaining, and the tutorial for cutting and rolling the pork is spot-on. This post, and the picture, are from 2008 – 

Stuffed Pork Loin with a mushroom wine gravy. Great recipe for Christmas or Easter or entertaining. Celebrating 10 years of our best recipes.

This is a newer recipe and it quickly became my second most popular appetizer – Cheesy BLT Stuffed Jalapenos, and it is easy to see why. Look how yummy! 

Creamy and cheesy BLT Stuffed Jalapenos. BLT Jalapeno Poppers - perfect appetizer or party food. Celebrating 10 years of our best recipes.

Let’s finish this off on a sweet note! I don’t bake that often – my husband is actually the baker in the house. This cake recipe has become a favorite of both of ours, and is my most popular dessert recipe on the blog – Philly Fluff Cake

Philly Fluff Cake. Philly cream cheese cake with chocolate swirl. Celebrating 10 years of our best recipes.

Thank you to all of my readers and followers for making the last 10 years possible. I have enjoyed sharing and learning with all of you, and I appreciate all of your comments, likes and shares. I look forward to continuing this journey in my kitchen and with this blog, and hope you will be there with me! Thank you!

Food Blog Mary Ellen's Cooking Creations celebrates 10 years with their best recipes. Chicken, salads, pork, beef, lobster, quick and easy weeknight meals, romantic meals, meals for entertaining, soups, appetizers and party food.

Originally posted at Maryellens Cooking Creations